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Lauren G Poole, Christine E Dolin, Gavin E Arteel
Alcohol consumption is a common custom worldwide, and the toxic effects of alcohol on several target organs are well-understood. Given the poor prognosis of treating clinically-relevant alcoholic liver disease (ALD) (i.e., alcoholic hepatitis (AH) and cirrhosis), additional research is required to develop more effective therapies. While the stages of ALD have been well-characterized, targeted therapies to prevent or reverse this process in humans are still needed. Better understanding of risk factors and mechanisms underlying disease progression can lead to the development of rational therapies to prevent or reverse ALD in the clinic...
August 16, 2017: Biomolecules
Anuradha Ratna, Pranoti Mandrekar
Several scientific and clinical studies have shown an association between chronic alcohol consumption and the occurrence of cancer in humans. The mechanism for alcohol-induced carcinogenesis has not been fully understood, although plausible events include genotoxic effects of acetaldehyde, cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1)-mediated generation of reactive oxygen species, aberrant metabolism of folate and retinoids, increased estrogen, and genetic polymorphisms. Here, we summarize the impact of alcohol drinking on the risk of cancer development and potential underlying molecular mechanisms...
August 14, 2017: Biomolecules
Anna Dragoš, Ákos T Kovács, Dennis Claessen
Amyloid fibrils play pivotal roles in all domains of life. In bacteria, these fibrillar structures are often part of an extracellular matrix that surrounds the producing organism and thereby provides protection to harsh environmental conditions. Here, we discuss the role of amyloid fibrils in the two distant Gram-positive bacteria, Streptomyces coelicolor and Bacillus subtilis. We describe how amyloid fibrils contribute to a multitude of developmental processes in each of these systems, including multicellular growth and community development...
August 7, 2017: Biomolecules
Livia Pérez-Hidalgo, Sergio Moreno
Cell growth and division are two processes tightly coupled in proliferating cells. While Target of Rapamycin (TOR) is the master regulator of growth, the cell cycle is dictated by the activity of the cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs). A long-standing question in cell biology is how these processes may be connected. Recent work has highlighted that regulating the phosphatases that revert CDK phosphorylations is as important as regulating the CDKs for cell cycle progression. At mitosis, maintaining a low level of protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A)-B55 activity is essential for CDK substrates to achieve the correct level of phosphorylation...
August 4, 2017: Biomolecules
Heidi N Danielsen, Susan H Hansen, Florian-Alexander Herbst, Henrik Kjeldal, Allan Stensballe, Per H Nielsen, Morten S Dueholm
Functional amyloids are important structural and functional components of many biofilms, yet our knowledge of these fascinating polymers is limited to a few examples for which the native amyloids have been isolated in pure form. Isolation of the functional amyloids from other cell components represents a major bottleneck in the search for new functional amyloid systems. Here we present a label-free quantitative mass spectrometry method that allows identification of amyloid proteins directly in cell lysates...
August 4, 2017: Biomolecules
Thalia H Bajakian, Silvia A Cervantes, Maria A Soria, Maïwenn Beaugrand, Ji Yun Kim, Rachel J Service, Ansgar B Siemer
The cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein (CPEB) homologue Orb2 is a functional amyloid that plays a key regulatory role for long-term memory in Drosophila. Orb2 has a glutamine, histidine-rich (Q/H-rich) domain that resembles the Q/H-rich, metal binding domain of the Hpn-like protein (Hpnl) found in Helicobacter pylori. In the present study, we used chromatography and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) to show that the Q/H-rich domain of Orb2 binds Ni(2+) and other transition metals ions with μM affinity...
August 1, 2017: Biomolecules
Yang Liu, Manoj N Krishnan, Kyle K L Phua
In vitro transcribed (IVT) mRNA is increasingly applied in lieu of DNA to deliver reprogramming genes to fibroblasts for stem cell derivation. However, IVT mRNA induces interferon (IFN) responses from mammalian cells that reduces transfection efficiency. It has been previously suggested that small molecule inhibitors of IFN are a viable strategy to enhance mRNA transfection efficiency. Herein, we screen a list of commercially available small molecules, including published IFN inhibitors, for their potential to enhance mRNA transfection in BJ fibroblasts...
July 31, 2017: Biomolecules
Alexander Brobeil, Rajaa Chehab, Eric Dietel, Stefan Gattenlöhner, Monika Wimmer
Protein-protein interactions play a pivotal role in normal cellular functions as well as in carcinogenesis. The protein-protein interactions form functional clusters during signal transduction. To elucidate the fine calibration of the protein-protein interactions of protein tyrosine phosphatase interacting protein 51 (PTPIP51) a small molecule drug, namely LDC-3, directly targeting PTPIP51 is now available. Therefore, LDC-3 allows for the studying of the regulation of the endogenous interactome by modulating PTPIP51 binding capacity...
July 21, 2017: Biomolecules
María Esther Pérez-Pérez, Inmaculada Couso, José L Crespo
Cell growth is tightly coupled to nutrient availability. The target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase transmits nutritional and environmental cues to the cellular growth machinery. TOR functions in two distinct multiprotein complexes, termed TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TOR complex 2 (TORC2). While the structure and functions of TORC1 are highly conserved in all eukaryotes, including algae and plants, TORC2 core proteins seem to be missing in photosynthetic organisms. TORC1 controls cell growth by promoting anabolic processes, including protein synthesis and ribosome biogenesis, and inhibiting catabolic processes such as autophagy...
July 12, 2017: Biomolecules
Yassi Fallah, Janetta Brundage, Paul Allegakoen, Ayesha N Shajahan-Haq
The transcription factor MYC (MYC proto-oncogene, bHLH transcription factor) is an essential signaling hub in multiple cellular processes that sustain growth of many types of cancers. MYC regulates expression of RNA, both protein and non-coding, that control central metabolic pathways, cell death, proliferation, differentiation, stress pathways, and mechanisms of drug resistance. Activation of MYC has been widely reported in breast cancer progression. Breast cancer is a complex heterogeneous disease and treatment options are primarily guided by histological and biochemical evaluations of the tumors...
July 11, 2017: Biomolecules
Takeshi Noda
Autophagy is an intracellular protein-degradation process that is conserved across eukaryotes including yeast and humans. Under nutrient starvation conditions, intracellular proteins are transported to lysosomes and vacuoles via membranous structures known as autophagosomes, and are degraded. The various steps of autophagy are regulated by the target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1/mTORC1). In this review, a history of this regulation and recent advances in such regulation both in yeast and mammals will be discussed...
July 7, 2017: Biomolecules
Yao Yao, Edith Jones, Ken Inoki
The mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) is a master regulator of cell growth in eukaryotic cells. The active mTORC1 promotes cellular anabolic processes including protein, pyrimidine, and lipid biosynthesis, and inhibits catabolic processes such as autophagy. Consistent with its growth-promoting functions, hyper-activation of mTORC1 signaling is one of the important pathomechanisms underlying major human health problems including diabetes, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer. The mTORC1 receives multiple upstream signals such as an abundance of amino acids and growth factors, thus it regulates a wide range of downstream events relevant to cell growth and proliferation control...
July 7, 2017: Biomolecules
Yoko Otsubo, Akio Nakashima, Masayuki Yamamoto, Akira Yamashita
Target of rapamycin (TOR) kinase controls cell metabolism and growth in response to environmental cues such as nutrients, growth factors, and stress. TOR kinase is widely conserved across eukaryotes. As in other organisms, the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe has two types of TOR complex, namely TOR complex 1 (TORC1) and TORC2. It is interesting that the two TOR complexes in S. pombe have opposite roles in sexual differentiation, which is induced by nutrient starvation. TORC1, which contains Tor2 as a catalytic subunit, promotes vegetative growth and represses sexual differentiation in nutrient-rich conditions, while TORC2 is required for the initiation of sexual differentiation...
July 3, 2017: Biomolecules
Viktoriia Tsuber, Yunus Kadamov, Lars Brautigam, Ulrika Warpman Berglund, Thomas Helleday
Accumulation of somatic mutations is critical for the transition of a normal cell to become cancerous. Mutations cause amino acid substitutions that change properties of proteins. However, it has not been studied as to what extent the composition and accordingly chemical properties of the cell proteome is altered as a result of the increased mutation load in cancer. Here, we analyzed data on amino acid substitutions caused by mutations in about 2000 protein coding genes from the Cancer Cell Line Encyclopedia that contains information on nucleotide and amino acid alterations in 782 cancer cell lines, and validated the analysis with information on amino acid substitutions for the same set of proteins in the Catalogue of Somatic Mutations in Cancer (COSMIC; v78) in circa 18,000 tumor samples...
July 3, 2017: Biomolecules
Akito Kawano, Kazuya Yamamoto, Jun-Ichi Kadokawa
We previously reported the preparation of a self-assembled chitin nanofiber (CNF) film via regeneration from an ion gel with an ionic liquid, followed by sonication and filtration. Based on the finding that CNFs were redispersed in a mixture of the film with ammonia aqueous solution (aq.), in this study, CNF-natural rubber (NR) composite sheets were fabricated by mixing redispersed CNF with NR latex stabilized by ammonia, followed by drying under reduced pressure. Tensile testing of the sheets indicated the reinforcing effect of CNFs...
July 1, 2017: Biomolecules
Raffaele Nicastro, Alessandro Sardu, Nicolas Panchaud, Claudio De Virgilio
The evolutionarily conserved target of rapamycin complex 1 (TORC1) couples an array of intra- and extracellular stimuli to cell growth, proliferation and metabolism, and its deregulation is associated with various human pathologies such as immunodeficiency, epilepsy, and cancer. Among the diverse stimuli impinging on TORC1, amino acids represent essential input signals, but how they control TORC1 has long remained a mystery. The recent discovery of the Rag GTPases, which assemble as heterodimeric complexes on vacuolar/lysosomal membranes, as central elements of an amino acid signaling network upstream of TORC1 in yeast, flies, and mammalian cells represented a breakthrough in this field...
June 30, 2017: Biomolecules
Aveline Hewetson, Hoa Quynh Do, Caitlyn Myers, Archana Muthusubramanian, Roger Bryan Sutton, Benjamin J Wylie, Gail A Cornwall
Amyloids are traditionally considered pathological protein aggregates that play causative roles in neurodegenerative disease, diabetes and prionopathies. However, increasing evidence indicates that in many biological systems nonpathological amyloids are formed for functional purposes. In this review, we will specifically describe amyloids that carry out biological roles in sexual reproduction including the processes of gametogenesis, germline specification, sperm maturation and fertilization. Several of these functional amyloids are evolutionarily conserved across several taxa, including human, emphasizing the critical role amyloids perform in reproduction...
June 29, 2017: Biomolecules
Alessandra Piscitelli, Paola Cicatiello, Alfredo Maria Gravagnuolo, Ilaria Sorrentino, Cinzia Pezzella, Paola Giardina
Class I hydrophobins produced from fungi are amongst the first proteins recognized as functional amyloids. They are amphiphilic proteins involved in the formation of aerial structures such as spores or fruiting bodies. They form chemically robust layers which can only be dissolved in strong acids. These layers adhere to different surfaces, changing their wettability, and allow the binding of other proteins. Herein, the modification of diverse types of surfaces with Class I hydrophobins is reported, highlighting the applications of the coated surfaces...
June 26, 2017: Biomolecules
Emmanuel Oppong, Gunter Stier, Miriam Gaal, Rebecca Seeger, Melanie Stoeck, Marc-André Delsuc, Andrew C B Cato, Bruno Kieffer
The human androgen receptor (AR) is a ligand inducible transcription factor that harbors an amino terminal domain (AR-NTD) with a ligand-independent activation function. AR-NTD is intrinsically disordered and displays aggregation properties conferred by the presence of a poly-glutamine (polyQ) sequence. The length of the polyQ sequence as well as its adjacent sequence motifs modulate this aggregation property. AR-NTD also contains a conserved KELCKAVSVSM sequence motif that displays an intrinsic property to form amyloid fibrils under mild oxidative conditions...
June 19, 2017: Biomolecules
Martin Neuenfeldt, Thomas Scheibel
Egg stalk silks of the common green lacewing Chrysoperla carnea likely comprise at least three different silk proteins. Based on the natural spinning process, it was hypothesized that these proteins self-assemble without shear stress, as adult lacewings do not use a spinneret. To examine this, the first sequence identification and determination of the gene expression profile of several silk proteins and various transcript variants thereof was conducted, and then the three major proteins were recombinantly produced in Escherichia coli encoded by their native complementary DNA (cDNA) sequences...
June 13, 2017: Biomolecules
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