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Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology

Xiaohong Wang, Heinz C Schröder, Ute Schloßmacher, Werner E G Müller
Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a widely occurring but only rarely investigated biopolymer which exists in both prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Only in the last few years, this polymer has been identified to cause morphogenetic activity on cells involved in human bone formation. The calcium complex of polyP was found to display a dual effect on bone-forming osteoblasts and bone-resorbing osteoclasts. Exposure of these cells to polyP (Ca(2+) complex) elicits the expression of cytokines that promote the mineralization process by osteoblasts and suppress the differentiation of osteoclast precursor cells to the functionally active mature osteoclasts dissolving bone minerals...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Werner E G Müller, Heinz C Schröder, Zhijian Shen, Qingling Feng, Xiaohong Wang
In recent years, considerable progress has been achieved towards the development of customized scaffold materials, in particular for bone tissue engineering and repair, by the introduction of rapid prototyping or solid freeform fabrication techniques. These new fabrication techniques allow to overcome many problems associated with conventional bone implants, such as inadequate external morphology and internal architecture, porosity and interconnectivity, and low reproducibility. However, the applicability of these new techniques is still hampered by the fact that high processing temperature or a postsintering is often required to increase the mechanical stability of the generated scaffold, as well as a post-processing, i...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Heinz C Schröder, Xiaohong Wang, Ute Schloßmacher, Matthias Wiens, Werner E G Müller
The siliceous sponges, the demosponges and hexactinellid glass sponges, are unique in their ability to form biosilica structures with complex architectures through an enzyme-catalyzed mechanism. The biosilica skeleton of these sponges with its hierarchically structure and exceptional opto-mechanical properties has turned out to be an excellent model for the design of biomimetic nanomaterials with novel property combinations. In addition, biosilica shows morphogenetic activity that offers novel applications in the field of bone tissue engineering and repair...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Ines Mancini, Andrea Defant
An overview of the biological activities of arsenic compounds containing more than one arsenic atom in their molecular structure is presented. This contribution covers the literature of the last 10-12 years concerning the in vitro and in vivo studies on arsenic species. They include inorganic oxides and sulfides, already employed for a long time in traditional Chinese medicine and currently investigated against hematological or solid malignancies, with arsenic trioxide clinically used in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukemia...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Marco Giovine, Sonia Scarfì, Marina Pozzolini, Antonella Penna, Carlo Cerrano
The interaction between mineral structures and living beings is increasingly attracting the interest of research. The formation of skeletons, geomicrobiology, the study of the origin of life, soil biology, benthos biology, human and mammalian diseases generated by the inhalation of dust and biomaterials are some examples of scientific areas where the topic has a relevance. In this chapter we focus on cell reactivity to siliceous rocks and to the various forms of silicon dioxide, in particular. The examples here reported carefully review how such minerals may strongly affect different living beings, from simple ones to humans...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Narjes Javaheri, Carolina M Cronemberger, Jaap A Kaandorp
Biosilicification occurs in many organisms. Sponges and diatoms are major examples of them. In this chapter, we introduce a modeling approach that describes several biological mechanisms controlling silicification. Modeling biosilicification is a typical multiscale problem where processes at very different temporal and spatial scales need to be coupled: processes at the molecular level, physiological processes at the subcellular and cellular level, etc. In biosilicification morphology plays a fundamental role, and a spatiotemporal model is required...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Toshihiro Yamase
Polyoxometalates (PMs) as discrete metal-oxide cluster anions with high solubility in water and photochemically and electrochemically active property have a wide variety of structures not only in molecular size from sub-nano to sub-micrometers with a various combination of metals but also in symmetry and highly negative charge. One of the reasons for such a structural variety originates from their conformation change (due to the condensed aggregation and the structural assembly) which strongly depends on environmental parameters such as solution pH, concentration, and coexistent foreign inorganic and/or organic substances...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Tatyana Kulakovskaya, Igor Kulaev
Inorganic polyphosphate (PolyP) is a linear polymer containing a few to several hundred orthophosphate residues linked by energy-rich phosphoanhydride bonds. Investigation of PolyP-metabolizing enzymes is important for medicine, because PolyPs perform numerous functions in the cells. In human organism, PolyPs are involved in the regulation of Ca(2+) uptake in mitochondria, bone tissue development, and blood coagulation. The essentiality of polyphosphate kinases in the virulence of pathogenic bacteria is a basis for the discovery of new antibiotics...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Irene M Mavridis
Composite materials with unique architectures are ubiquitous in nature, e.g., marine shells, sponge spicules, bones, and dentine. These structured organic-inorganic systems are generated through self-assembly of organic matter (usually proteins or lipids) into scaffolds, onto which the inorganic component is deposited in organized hierarchical structures of sizes spanning several orders of magnitude. The development of bio-inspired materials is possible through the design of synthetic bottom-up self-assembly methods...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Xiao-Gai Yang, Kui Wang
Vanadate is widely used as an inhibitor of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPase) and is routinely applied in cell lysis buffers or immunoprecipitations of phosphotyrosyl proteins. Additionally, vanadate has been extensively studied for its antidiabetic and anticancer effects. In most studies, orthovanadate or metavanadate was used as the starting compound, whereas these "vanadate" solutions may contain more or less oligomerized species. Whether and how different species of vanadium compounds formed in the biological media exert specific biological effect is still a mystery...
2013: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Zhu-Hua Luo, Ka-Lai Pang, Yi-Rui Wu, Ji-Dong Gu, Raymond K K Chow, L L P Vrijmoed
Phthalate esters (PAEs) are important industrial compounds mainly used as plasticizers to increase flexibility and softness of plastic products. PAEs are of major concern because of their widespread use, ubiquity in the environment, and endocrine-disrupting toxicity. In this study, two fungal strains, Fusarium sp. DMT-5-3 and Trichosporon sp. DMI-5-1 which had the capability to degrade dimethyl phthalate esters (DMPEs), were isolated from mangrove sediments in the Futian Nature Reserve of Shenzhen, China, by enrichment culture technique...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Samir Damare, Purnima Singh, Seshagiri Raghukumar
Filamentous fungi are the most widely used eukaryotes in industrial and pharmaceutical applications. Their biotechnological uses include the production of enzymes, vitamins, polysaccharides, pigments, lipids and others. Marine fungi are a still relatively unexplored group in biotechnology. Taxonomic and habitat diversity form the basis for exploration of marine fungal biotechnology. This review covers what is known of the potential applications of obligate and marine-derived fungi obtained from coastal to the oceanic and shallow water to the deep-sea habitats...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Vemuri Venkateswara Sarma
Rhizophora spp. occurring in mangrove habitats are excellent hosts for marine fungi. The morphological adaptations of this host plant provide suitable niche for the marine fungi. This review deals with diversity and ecology of marine fungi occurring on Rhizophora spp. Two hundred and one fungal species have been recorded on Rhizophora plant species consisting of more than ten fungal species specific to this host. In mangroves, no other genus other than Rhizophora accommodates as many as 201 marine fungi. Rhizophora plant species are highly suitable hosts as they show a variety of niches with vertical zonation, specificity, preferential colonization and succession...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Sukanyanee Chareprasert, Mohamed T Abdelghany, Hussain H El-Sheikh, Ayman Farrag Ahmed, Ahmed M A Khalil, George P Sharples, Prakitsin Sihanonth, Hamdy G Soliman, Nuttika Suwannasai, Anthony J S Whalley, Margaret A Whalley
The Xylariaceae is one of the best-known pyrenomycete families (Ascomycota) and is distributed throughout the world. The majority are wood inhabitants and are prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions. Halorosellinia oceanicum is the most widely distributed in mangroves and can be regarded as truly manglicolous being frequently recorded as the dominant member of the family in such environments in S.E. Asia. In Malaysian mangroves, members of the Xylariaceae have been found to be numerically important with up to 9% present in one mangrove ecosystem...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
K R Sridhar, K S Karamchand, C Pascoal, F Cássio
Three hundred and fifty woody litter and one hundred and forty seaweed litter sampled from seven beaches of Northwest Portugal were assessed for the filamentous fungal assemblage and diversity. The woody litter was screened for fungi up to 42 months using damp chamber incubation. They consisted of 36 taxa (ascomycetes, 21; basidiomycetes, 3; anamorphic taxa, 12) comprising 10 core group taxa (≥10%) (ascomycetes, 8; basidiomycete, 1; anamorphic taxa, 1). The total fungal isolates ranged between 150 and 243, while the number of fungal taxa per wood ranged between 3 and 4...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Cathrine Sumathi Jebaraj, Dominik Forster, Frank Kauff, Thorsten Stoeck
Molecular diversity surveys of marine fungi have demonstrated that the species richness known to date is just the tip of the iceberg and that there is a large extent of unknown fungal diversity in marine habitats. Reports of novel fungal lineages at higher taxonomic levels are documented from a large number of marine habitats, including the various marine oxygen-deficient environments (ODEs). In the past few years, a strong focus of eukaryote diversity research has been on a variety of ODEs, as these environments are considered to harbor a large number of organisms, which are highly divergent to known diversity and could provide insights into the early eukaryotic evolution...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Takahiko Nagahama, Yuriko Nagano
The importance of fungi found in deep-sea extreme environments is becoming increasingly recognized. In this chapter, current scientific findings on the fungal diversity in several deep-sea environments by conventional culture and culture-independent methods are reviewed and discussed, primarily focused on culture-independent approaches. Fungal species detected by conventional culture methods mostly belonged to Ascomycota and Basidiomycota phyla. Culture-independent approaches have revealed the presence of highly novel fungal phylotypes, including new taxonomic groups placed in deep branches within the phylum Chytridiomycota and unknown ancient fungal groups...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Ka-Lai Pang, Wai-Lun Chiang, Jen-Sheng Jheng
In the Halosphaeriaceae, taxa with unfurling ascospore appendages and related species constitute 61 species (in 21 genera). Recent phylogenetic analyses of the rRNA genes have advanced our knowledge on the relationships between genera in the family, especially the group with unfurling ascospore appendages. However, many new genera resulting from these studies lack distinctive morphological characteristics from closely related taxa. In this chapter, peridial wall layers of the ascomata and morphology of asci and ascospores are re-examined to determine if these structures offer useful information for the delineation of genera...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Janja Zajc, Polona Zalar, Ana Plemenitaš, Nina Gunde-Cimerman
Solar salterns are constructed as shallow multi-pond systems for the production of halite through evaporation of seawater. The main feature of salterns is the discontinuous salinity gradient that provides a range of well-defined habitats with increasing salinities, from moderate to hypersaline. These present one of the most extreme environments, because of the low levels of biologically available water and the toxic concentrations of ions. Up to the year 2000, hypersaline environments were considered to be populated almost exclusively by prokaryotic microorganisms till fungi were reported to be active inhabitants of solar salterns...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
Aharon Oren, Nina Gunde-Cimerman
The waters of the Dead Sea currently contain about 348 g/l salts (2 M Mg(2+), 0.5 M Ca(2+), 1.5 M Na(+), 0.2 M K(+), 6.5 M Cl(-), 0.1 M Br(-)). The pH is about 6.0. After rainy winters the surface waters become diluted, triggering development of microbial blooms. The 1980 and 1992 blooms were dominated by the unicellular green alga Dunaliella and red Archaea. At least 70 species (in 26 genera) of Oomycota (Chromista), Mucoromycotina, Ascomycota, and Basidiomycota (Fungi) were isolated from near-shore localities and offshore stations, including from deep waters...
2012: Progress in Molecular and Subcellular Biology
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