ISSN / EISSN : 2227-9059 / 2227-9059
Current Publisher: MDPI AG (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 1,699
Latest articles in this journal
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060697
A reduced prevalence of a thoracic aortic aneurysm (thoracic AA) is observed in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)/GLP-1-based anti-diabetic therapy has indicated protective effects in thoracic AA and regulates the processes controlling the vascular tissue expression of Syndecan-1 (Sdc-1). Sdc-1 expression on macrophages infiltrating the aortic tissue contributes to a counter-regulatory response to thoracic AA formation in animal models through the interplay with inflammation/proteolytic activity. We hypothesized that elevated fasting plasma GLP-1 (fpGLP-1) increases the aortic Sdc-1 expression in T2D, which may contribute to a reduced prevalence of thoracic AA. Consequently, we determined whether T2D/thoracic AA associates with an altered Sdc-1 expression in the aortic tissue and the possible associations with fpGLP-1 and inflammation/proteolytic activity. From a cohort of surgical patients with an aortic valve pathology, we compared different disease groups (T2D/thoracic AA) with the same sub-cohort group of controls (patients without T2D and thoracic AA). The MMP-2 activity and Sdc-1, GLP-1R and CD68 expression were analyzed in the aortic tissue. GLP-1, Sdc-1 and cytokines were analyzed in the plasma. The aortic Sdc-1 expression was increased in T2D patients but did not correlate with fpGLP-1. Thoracic AA was associated with an increased aortic expression of Sdc-1 and the macrophage marker CD68. CD68 was not detected in T2D. In conclusion, an increased aortic Sdc-1 expression may contribute to a reduced prevalence of thoracic AA in T2D.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060699
The endothelium is the single-cell monolayer that lines the entire vasculature. The endothelium has a barrier function to separate blood from organs and tissues but also has an increasingly appreciated role in anti-coagulation, vascular senescence, endocrine secretion, suppression of inflammation and beyond. In modern times, endothelial cells have been identified as the source of major endocrine and vaso-regulatory factors principally the dissolved lipophilic vosodilating gas, nitric oxide and the potent vascular constricting G protein receptor agonists, the peptide endothelin. The role of the endothelium can be conveniently conceptualized. Continued investigations of the mechanism of endothelial dysfunction will lead to novel therapies for cardiovascular disease. In this review, we discuss the impact of endothelial dysfunction on cardiovascular disease and assess the clinical relevance of endothelial dysfunction.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060698
Cachexia is a disorder associated with several pathologies, including cancer. In this paper, we describe how cachexia is induced in myotubes by a metabolic shift towards fermentation, and the block of this metabolic modification prevents the onset of the cachectic phenotype. Cachectic myotubes, obtained by the treatment with conditioned medium from murine colon carcinoma cells CT26, show increased glucose uptake, decreased oxygen consumption, altered mitochondria, and increased lactate production. Interestingly, the block of glycolysis by 2-deoxy-glucose or lactate dehydrogenase inhibition by oxamate prevents the induction of cachexia, thus suggesting that this metabolic change is greatly involved in cachexia activation. The treatment with 2-deoxy-glucose or oxamate induces positive effects also in mitochondria, where mitochondrial membrane potential and pyruvate dehydrogenase activity became similar to control myotubes. Moreover, in myotubes treated with interleukin-6, cachectic phenotype is associated with a fermentative metabolism, and the inhibition of lactate dehydrogenase by oxamate prevents cachectic features. The same results have been achieved by treating myotubes with conditioned media from human colon HCT116 and human pancreatic MIAPaCa-2 cancer cell lines, thus showing that what has been observed with murine-conditioned media is a wide phenomenon. These findings demonstrate that cachexia induction in myotubes is linked with a metabolic shift towards fermentation, and inhibition of lactate formation impedes cachexia and highlights lactate dehydrogenase as a possible new tool for counteracting the onset of this pathology.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060695
Genetic evidence suggests that three members of the VAV family (VAV1, VAV2 and VAV3) of signal transduction proteins could play important roles in rheumatoid arthritis. However, it is not known currently whether the inhibition of these proteins protects against this disease and, if so, the number of family members that must be eliminated to get a therapeutic impact. To address this issue, we have used a collection of single and compound Vav family knockout mice in experimental models for antigen-dependent (methylated bovine serum albumin injections) and neutrophil-dependent (Zymosan A injections) rheumatoid arthritis in mice. We show here that the specific elimination of Vav1 is sufficient to block the development of antigen-induced arthritis. This protection is likely associated with the roles of this Vav family member in the development and selection of immature T cells within the thymus as well as in the subsequent proliferation and differentiation of effector T cells. By contrast, we have found that depletion of Vav2 reduces the number of neutrophils present in the joints of Zymosan A-treated mice. Despite this, the elimination of Vav2 does not protect against the joint degeneration triggered by this experimental model. These findings indicate that Vav1 is the most important pharmacological target within this family, although its main role is limited to the protection against antigen-induced rheumatoid arthritis. They also indicate that the three Vav family proteins do not play redundant roles in these pathobiological processes.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060694
Oncohistones have emerged as a new area in cancer epigenetics research. Recent efforts to catalogue histone mutations in cancer patients have revealed thousands of histone mutations across different types of cancer. In contrast to previously identified oncohistones (H3K27M, H3G34V/R, and H3K36M), where the mutations occur on the tail domain and affect histone post-translational modifications, the majority of the newly identified mutations are located within the histone fold domain and affect gene expression via distinct mechanisms. The recent characterization of the selected H2B has revealed previously unappreciated roles of oncohistones in nucleosome stability, chromatin accessibility, and chromatin remodeling. This review summarizes recent advances in the study of H2B oncohistones and other emerging oncohistones occurring on other types of histones, particularly those occurring on the histone fold domain.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060696
Leishmania parasites are trypanosomatid protozoans that cause leishmaniasis affecting millions of people worldwide. Sterols are important components of the plasma and organellar membranes. They also serve as precursors for the synthesis of signaling molecules. Unlike animals, Leishmania does not synthesize cholesterol but makes ergostane-based sterols instead. C-14-demethylase is a key enzyme involved in the biosynthesis of sterols and an important drug target. In Leishmania parasites, the inactivation of C-14-demethylase leads to multiple defects, including increased plasma membrane fluidity, mitochondrion dysfunction, hypersensitivity to stress and reduced virulence. In this study, we revealed a novel role for sterol synthesis in the maintenance of RNA stability and translation. Sterol alteration in C-14-demethylase knockout mutant leads to increased RNA degradation, reduced translation and impaired heat shock response. Thus, sterol biosynthesis in Leishmania plays an unexpected role in global gene regulation.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060690
Epigenetic alterations have contributed greatly to human carcinogenesis. Conventional epigenetic studies have been predominantly focused on DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodelling. Epitranscriptomics is an emerging field that encompasses the study of RNA modifications that do not affect the RNA sequence but affect functionality via a series of RNA binding proteins called writer, reader and eraser. Several kinds of epi-RNA modifications are known, such as 6-methyladenosine (m6A), 5-methylcytidine (m5C), and 1-methyladenosine. M6A modification is the most studied and has large therapeutic implications. In this review, we have summarised the therapeutic potential of m6A-modifiers in controlling haematological disorders, especially acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). AML is a type of blood cancer affecting specific subsets of blood-forming hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), which proliferate rapidly and acquire self-renewal capacities with impaired terminal cell-differentiation and apoptosis leading to abnormal accumulation of white blood cells, and thus, an alternative therapeutic approach is required urgently. Here, we have described how RNA m6A-modification machineries EEE (Editor/writer: Mettl3, Mettl14; Eraser/remover: FTO, ALKBH5, and Effector/reader: YTHDF-1/2) could be reformed into potential druggable candidates or as RNA-modifying drugs (RMD) to treat leukaemia. Moreover, we have shed light on the role of microRNAs and suppressors of cytokine signalling (SOCS/CISH) in increasing anti-tumour immunity towards leukaemia. We anticipate, our investigation will provide fundamental knowledge in nurturing the potential of RNA modifiers in discovering novel therapeutics or immunotherapeutic procedures.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060689
As a public health emergency of international concern, the highly contagious coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has been identified as a severe threat to the lives of billions of individuals. Lung cancer, a malignant tumor with the highest mortality rate, has brought significant challenges to both human health and economic development. Natural products may play a pivotal role in treating lung diseases. We reviewed published studies relating to natural products, used alone or in combination with US Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, active against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and lung cancer from 1 January 2020 to 31 May 2021. A wide range of natural products can be considered promising anti-COVID-19 or anti-lung cancer agents have gained widespread attention, including natural products as monotherapy for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 (ginkgolic acid, shiraiachrome A, resveratrol, and baicalein) or lung cancer (daurisoline, graveospene A, deguelin, and erianin) or in combination with FDA-approved anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents (cepharanthine plus nelfinavir, linoleic acid plus remdesivir) and anti-lung cancer agents (curcumin and cisplatin, celastrol and gefitinib). Natural products have demonstrated potential value and with the assistance of nanotechnology, combination drug therapies, and the codrug strategy, this “natural remedy” could serve as a starting point for further drug development in treating these lung diseases.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060693
Ovarian cancer is one of the most common causes of death in women as survival is highly dependent on the stage of the disease. Ovarian cancer is typically diagnosed in the late stage due to the fact that in the early phases is mostly asymptomatic. Genomic instability is one of the hallmarks of ovarian cancer. While ovarian cancer is stratified into different clinical subtypes, there still exists extensive genetic and progressive diversity within each subtype. Early detection of the disorder is one of the most important steps that facilitate a favorable prognosis and a good response to medical therapy for the patients. In targeted therapies, individual patients are treated by agents targeting the changes in tumor cells that help them grow, divide and spread. Currently, in gynecological malignancies, potential therapeutic targets include tumor-intrinsic signaling pathways, angiogenesis, homologous-recombination deficiency, hormone receptors, and immunologic factors. Ovarian cancer is usually diagnosed in the final stages, partially due to the absence of an effective screening strategy, although, over the times, numerous biomarkers have been studied and used to assess the status, progression, and efficacy of the drug therapy in this type of disorder.
Biomedicines, Volume 9; doi:10.3390/biomedicines9060692
Interferon gamma (IFN-γ) is an important cytokine with antiviral, antibacterial, and immunosuppressive properties. It has been used as a biomarker for the early detection of several diseases, including cancer, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis, and paratuberculosis. In this study, we developed an electrochemical biosensor composed of multifunctional DNA 3WJ to detect IFN-γ level with high sensitivity. Each multifunctional triple-stranded aptamer (MF-3WJ) was designed to have an IFN-γ aptamer sequence, anchoring region (thiol group), and 4C–C (cytosine–cytosine) mismatch sequence (signal generation), which could introduce silver ions. To generate the electrochemical signal, four Ag+ ions were intercalated (3wj b-3wj c) in the 4C–C mismatch sequence. MF-3WJ was assembled through the annealing step, and the assembly of MF-3WJ was confirmed by 8% tris–boric–EDTA native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The Au microgap electrode was manufactured to load sample volumes of 5 µL. The reliability of electrochemical biosensor measurement was established by enabling the measurement of seven samples from one Au microgap electrode. MF-3WJ was immobilized on the Au microgap electrode. Then, cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy were performed to confirm the electrochemical properties of MF-3WJ. To test the electrochemical biosensor’s ability to detect IFN-γ, the limit of detection (LOD) and selectivity tests were performed by square wave voltammetry. A linear region was observed in the concentration range of 1 pg/mL–10 ng/mL of IFN-γ. The LOD of the fabricated electrochemical biosensor was 0.67 pg/mL. In addition, for the clinical test, the LOD test was carried out for IFN-γ diluted in 10% human serum samples in the concentration range of 1 pg/mL–10 ng/mL, and the LOD was obtained at 0.42 pg/mL.