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International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Jing Song, Dongshen Ma, Yun Xing, Shanshan Tang, Murad Alahdal, Jiamin Guo, Yi Pan, Yanfeng Zhang, Yumeng Shen, Qiong Wu, Zhou Lu, Liang Jin
A major source of β cell generation is pancreatic progenitor-like cell differentiation. Multiple studies have confirmed that stem cell metabolism plays important roles in self-renewal and proliferation. In the absence of glucose, glutamine provides the energy for cell division and growth. Furthermore, α-ketoglutarate (αKG), a precursor for glutamine synthesis, is sufficient for enabling glutamine-independent cell proliferation. We have demonstrated that αKG contributes to the large-scale proliferation of pancreatic progenitor-like cells that can provide an ample amount of clinically relevant β cells...
March 22, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Anne Rübsam, Sonia Parikh, Patrice E Fort
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes and remains the leading cause of blindness among the working-age population. For decades, diabetic retinopathy was considered only a microvascular complication, but the retinal microvasculature is intimately associated with and governed by neurons and glia, which are affected even prior to clinically detectable vascular lesions. While progress has been made to improve the vascular alterations, there is still no treatment to counteract the early neuro-glial perturbations in diabetic retinopathy...
March 22, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Chau Yee Ng, Hsi Yen, Hui-Yi Hsiao, Shih-Chi Su
Skin is the largest human organ, our protection against various environmental assaults and noxious agents. Accumulation of these stress events may lead to the formation of skin cancers, including both melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Although modern targeted therapies have ameliorated the management of cutaneous malignancies, a safer, more affordable, and more effective strategy for chemoprevention and treatment is clearly needed for the improvement of skin cancer care. Phytochemicals are biologically active compounds derived from plants and herbal products...
March 22, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hongmin Hou, Hui Jia, Qin Yan, Xiping Wang
Salinity and drought are two major abiotic stresses that limit grape productivity. Responses to stress in grape are known to be regulated by several families of transcription factors. However, little is known about the role of grape Squamosa promoter binding protein (SBP)-box transcription factor genes in response to abiotic stress. To better understand the functions of the grape SBP-box genes in abiotic stress tolerance, a full-length complementary DNA (cDNA) sequence of the putative SBP-box transcription factor gene, VpSBP16 was amplified from Chinese wild grapevine Vitis pseudoreticulata clone "Baihe-35-1"...
March 22, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Thanasekaran Jayakumar, Chao-Hong Liu, Guan-Yi Wu, Tzu-Yin Lee, Manjunath Manubolu, Cheng-Ying Hsieh, Chih-Hao Yang, Joen-Rong Sheu
Hinokitiol, a natural monoterpenoid from the heartwood of Calocedrus formosana , has been reported to have anticancer effects against various cancer cell lines. However, the detailed molecular mechanisms and the inhibiting roles of hinokitiol on adenocarcinoma A549 cells remain to be fully elucidated. Thus, the current study was designed to evaluate the effect of hinokitiol on the migration of human lung adenocarcinoma A549 cells in vitro. The data demonstrates that hinokitiol does not effectively inhibit the viability of A549 cells at up to a 10 µM concentration...
March 22, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Germano Guerra, Angela Lucariello, Angelica Perna, Laura Botta, Antonio De Luca, Francesco Moccia
BACKGROUND: Neurovascular coupling (NVC) is the mechanism whereby an increase in neuronal activity (NA) leads to local elevation in cerebral blood flow (CBF) to match the metabolic requirements of firing neurons. Following synaptic activity, an increase in neuronal and/or astrocyte Ca2+ concentration leads to the synthesis of multiple vasoactive messengers. Curiously, the role of endothelial Ca2+ signaling in NVC has been rather neglected, although endothelial cells are known to control the vascular tone in a Ca2+ -dependent manner throughout peripheral vasculature...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Yuki Mitsuta, Takashi Kawakami, Mitsutaka Okumura, Shusuke Yamanaka
We present a new approach for automated exploration of free energy landscapes on the basis of the umbrella integration (UI) method. The method to search points in the landscape relies on the normal distributions and gradients of the potential of mean force (PMF) obtained from UI calculations. We applied this approach to the alanine dipeptide in solution and demonstrated that the equilibrium and the transition states were efficiently found in the ascending order of the PMF values.
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Beatrice Xuan Ho, Nicole Min Qian Pek, Boon-Seng Soh
The rising interest in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived organoid culture has stemmed from the manipulation of various combinations of directed multi-lineage differentiation and morphogenetic processes that mimic organogenesis. Organoids are three-dimensional (3D) structures that are comprised of multiple cell types, self-organized to recapitulate embryonic and tissue development in vitro. This model has been shown to be superior to conventional two-dimensional (2D) cell culture methods in mirroring functionality, architecture, and geometric features of tissues seen in vivo...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Kena Song, Zirui Wang, Ruchuan Liu, Guo Chen, Liyu Liu
Exploring the complicated development of tumors and metastases needs a deep understanding of the physical and biological interactions between cancer cells and their surrounding microenvironments. One of the major challenges is the ability to mimic the complex 3-D tissue microenvironment that particularly influences cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and apoptosis in relation to the extracellular matrix (ECM). Traditional cell culture is unable to create 3-D cell scaffolds resembling tissue complexity and functions, and, in the past, many efforts were made to realize the goal of obtaining cell clusters in hydrogels...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Songzhen He, Xiaoling Tong, Minjin Han, Yanmin Bai, Fangyin Dai
The tyrosine kinases (TKs) are important parts of metazoan signaling pathways and play significant roles in cell growth, development, apoptosis and disease. Genome-wide characterization of TKs has been conducted in many metazoans, however, systematic information about this family in Lepidoptera is still lacking. We retrieved 33 TK-encoding genes in silkworm and classified them into 25 subfamilies by sequence analysis, without members in AXL, FRK, PDGFR, STYK1 and TIE subfamilies. Although domain sequences in each subfamily are conserved, TKs in vertebrates tend to be remarkably conserved and stable...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Sumana Sharma, Evangelia Petsalaki
The cellular signalling process is a highly complex mechanism, involving multiple players, which together orchestrate the cell's response to environmental changes and perturbations. Given the multitude of genes that participate in the process of cellular signalling, its study in a genome-wide manner has proven challenging. Recent advances in gene editing technologies, including clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats/Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9) approaches, have opened new opportunities to investigate global regulatory signalling programs of cells in an unbiased manner...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Ayako Casanova-Nakayama, Elena Wernicke von Siebenthal, Christian Kropf, Elisabeth Oldenberg, Helmut Segner
Genomic actions of estrogens in vertebrates are exerted via two intracellular estrogen receptor (ER) subtypes, ERα and ERβ, which show cell- and tissue-specific expression profiles. Mammalian immune cells express ERs and are responsive to estrogens. More recently, evidence became available that ERs are also present in the immune organs and cells of teleost fish, suggesting that the immunomodulatory function of estrogens has been conserved throughout vertebrate evolution. For a better understanding of the sensitivity and the responsiveness of the fish immune system to estrogens, more insight is needed on the abundance of ERs in the fish immune system, the cellular ratios of the ER subtypes, and their autoregulation by estrogens...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Yuki Yamashita, Nanoha Suzuki, Nana Hirose, Katsuhiro Kojima, Wakako Tsugawa, Koji Sode
The FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase from Burkholderia cepacia (FADGDH) is a hetero-oligomeric enzyme that is capable of direct electron transfer (DET) with an electrode. The cytochrome c (cyt c ) subunit, which possesses three hemes (heme 1, heme 2, and heme 3, from the N-terminal sequence), is known to enable DET; however, details of the electron transfer pathway remain unknown. A mutagenesis investigation of the heme axial ligands was carried out to elucidate the electron transfer pathway to the electron mediators and/or the electrode...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Hirofumi Noguchi, Chika Miyagi-Shiohira, Yoshiki Nakashima
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells have significant implications for overcoming most of the ethical issues associated with embryonic stem (ES) cells. The pattern of expressed genes, DNA methylation, and covalent histone modifications in iPS cells are very similar to those in ES cells. However, it has recently been shown that, following the reprogramming of mouse/human iPS cells, epigenetic memory is inherited from the parental cells. These findings suggest that the phenotype of iPS cells may be influenced by their cells of origin and that their skewed differentiation potential may prove useful in the generation of differentiated cell types that are currently difficult to produce from ES/iPS cells for the treatment of human diseases...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Josphat K Saina, Zhi-Zhong Li, Andrew W Gichira, Yi-Ying Liao
Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Simaroubaceae) is a deciduous tree widely distributed throughout temperate regions in China, hence suitable for genetic diversity and evolutionary studies. Previous studies in A. altissima have mainly focused on its biological activities, genetic diversity and genetic structure. However, until now there is no published report regarding genome of this plant species or Simaroubaceae family. Therefore, in this paper, we first characterized A. altissima complete chloroplast genome sequence...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Alberto Zullo, Emanuela Simone, Maddalena Grimaldi, Vincenzina Musto, Francesco Paolo Mancini
Fighting diseases and controlling the signs of ageing are the major goals of biomedicine. Sirtuins, enzymes with mainly deacetylating activity, could be pivotal targets of novel preventive and therapeutic strategies to reach such aims. Scientific proofs are accumulating in experimental models, but, to a minor extent, also in humans, that the ancient practice of calorie restriction could prove an effective way to prevent several degenerative diseases and to postpone the detrimental signs of ageing. In the present review, we summarize the evidence about the central role of sirtuins in mediating the beneficial effects of calorie restriction in skeletal and cardiac muscle since these tissues are greatly damaged by diseases and advancing years...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Christiana Leimena, Hongyu Qiu
Hypertension is a complex, multifactorial disease that involves the coexistence of multiple risk factors, environmental factors and physiological systems. The complexities extend to the treatment and management of hypertension, which are still the pursuit of many researchers. In the last two decades, various genes have emerged as possible biomarkers and have become the target for investigations of specialized drug design based on its risk factors and the primary cause. Owing to the growing technology of microarrays and next-generation sequencing, the non-protein-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have increasingly gained attention, and their status of redundancy has flipped to importance in normal cellular processes, as well as in disease progression...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Tracey Ann Cuin, Ingo Dreyer, Erwan Michard
Fast responses to an external threat depend on the rapid transmission of signals through a plant. Action potentials (APs) are proposed as such signals. Plant APs share similarities with their animal counterparts; they are proposed to depend on the activity of voltage-gated ion channels. Nonetheless, despite their demonstrated role in (a)biotic stress responses, the identities of the associated voltage-gated channels and transporters remain undefined in higher plants. By demonstrating the role of two potassium-selective channels in Arabidopsis thaliana in AP generation and shaping, we show that the plant AP does depend on similar Kv -like transport systems to those of the animal signal...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Benjamin B Kasten, Patsy G Oliver, Harrison Kim, Jinda Fan, Soldano Ferrone, Kurt R Zinn, Donald J Buchsbaum
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) is an aggressive subtype of breast cancer with a poor prognosis. There is a clinical need for effective, targeted therapy strategies that destroy both differentiated TNBC cells and TNBC cancer initiating cells (CICs), as the latter are implicated in the metastasis and recurrence of TNBC. Chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is overexpressed on differentiated tumor cells and CICs obtained from TNBC patient specimens, suggesting that CSPG4 may be a clinically relevant target for the imaging and therapy of TNBC...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Wuxing Dong, Alison C Todd, Angelika Bröer, Sarah R Hulme, Stefan Bröer, Brian Billups
Astrocytes are glial cells that have an intimate physical and functional association with synapses in the brain. One of their main roles is to recycle the neurotransmitters glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), as a component of the glutamate/GABA-glutamine cycle. They perform this function by sequestering neurotransmitters and releasing glutamine via the neutral amino acid transporter SNAT3. In this way, astrocytes regulate the availability of neurotransmitters and subsequently influence synaptic function...
March 21, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
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