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biochemistry and cell biology

Robert N Kirchdoerfer, Crystal L Moyer, Dafna M Abelson, Erica Ollmann Saphire
Filoviruses are capable of causing deadly hemorrhagic fevers. All nonsegmented negative-sense RNA-virus nucleocapsids are composed of a nucleoprotein (NP), a phosphoprotein (VP35) and a polymerase (L). However, the VP30 RNA-synthesis co-factor is unique to the filoviruses. The assembly, structure, and function of the filovirus RNA replication complex remain unclear. Here, we have characterized the interactions of Ebola, Sudan and Marburg virus VP30 with NP using in vitro biochemistry, structural biology and cell-based mini-replicon assays...
October 2016: PLoS Pathogens
Junhua Zhou, Brian Lam, Sudeshna Neogi, Giles Yeo, Elena Azizan, Morris Brown
OBJECTIVE: Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common type of secondary hypertension occurring in ∼10% of hypertensive patients. Up to 50% of PA is caused by aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA). This study is to identify the potential biological processes and canonical pathways involved with aldosterone regulation, APA formation, or APA and ZG cell functions. DESIGN AND METHOD: Gene ontology (GO) and pathway analyses were performed on genes differentially expressed in APAs when compared to ZG and on genes differentially expressed in ZG when compared to ZF...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Robert G Salomon
Our research on the roles of lipid oxidation in human disease is guided by chemical intuition. For example, we postulated that 2-(ω-carboxyethyl)pyrrole (CEP) derivatives of primary amines would be produced through covalent adduction of a γ-hydroxyalkenal generated, in turn, through oxidative fragmentation of docosahexaenoates. Our studies confirmed the natural occurrence of this chemistry, and the biological activities of these natural products and their extensive involvements in human physiology (wound healing) and pathology (age-related macular degeneration, autism, atherosclerosis, sickle cell disease and tumor growth) continue to emerge...
October 17, 2016: Chemical Research in Toxicology
Alexandra E Paharik, Wilmara Salgado-Pabon, David K Meyerholz, Mark J White, Patrick M Schlievert, Alexander R Horswill
The Spl proteases are a group of six serine proteases that are encoded on the νSaβ pathogenicity island and are unique to Staphylococcus aureus. Despite their interesting biochemistry, their biological substrates and functions in virulence have been difficult to elucidate. We found that an spl operon mutant of the community-associated methicillin-resistant S. aureus USA300 strain LAC induced localized lung damage in a rabbit model of pneumonia, characterized by bronchopneumonia observed histologically. Disease in the mutant-infected rabbits was restricted in distribution compared to that in wild-type USA300-infected rabbits...
September 2016: MSphere
Hiroko Nishimura
Renin substrate, biological renin activity, and/or renin-secreting cells in kidneys evolved at an early stage of vertebrate phylogeny. Angiotensin (Ang) I and II molecules have been identified biochemically in representative species of all vertebrate classes, although variation occurs in amino acids at positions 1, 5, and 9 of Ang I. Variations have also evolved in amino acid positions 3 and 4 in some cartilaginous fish. Angiotensin receptors, AT1 and AT2 homologues, have been identified molecularly or characterized pharmacologically in nonmammalian vertebrates...
October 7, 2016: Anatomical Science International
Amit Lakhanpal, Ernest Brahn
Biologics as therapeutic interventions for human disease represent both a distinctly modern novelty and an echo of ancient, or at least old, medical practice. The similarity lies in the sense that in both the synthetic effort occurs in living organisms (an extract of a plant, animal tissue, or a cell culture) while the difference is apparent in the bioengineering required in modern methods and the corresponding flexibility to customize the therapeutic product. Although the concept of looking to living systems as a source of medically useful compounds either for research or for actual patient care has never vanished, the development of biochemistry and advances in medicinal chemistry made production by total synthesis the standard for a safe, reliable, and commercial drug production at sufficient scale...
October 6, 2016: Clinical Rheumatology
Fabio Bozzi, Silvia Brich, Gian Paolo Dagrada, Tiziana Negri, Elena Conca, Barbara Cortelazzi, Antonino Belfiore, Federica Perrone, Ambra Vittoria Gualeni, Annunziata Gloghini, Antonello Cabras, Monica Brenca, Roberta Maestro, Nadia Zaffaroni, Paolo Casali, Rossella Bertulli, Marcello Deraco, Silvana Pilotti
The aim of this study was to reconsider the biological characteristics of epithelioid malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (E-MpM) in the light of new concepts about epithelial mesenchymal transition and mesenchymal epithelial reverse transition (EMT/MErT) and the role of epigenetic reprogramming in this context. To this end we profiled surgical specimens and derived cells cultures by a number of complementary approaches i.e. immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, in situ hybridization, biochemistry, pluripotent stem cell arrays, treatments with cytokines, growth factors and specific inhibitors...
September 26, 2016: Oncotarget
J J Todd, E M McSorley, L K Pourshahidi, S M Madigan, W Crowe, E J Laird, M Healy, A McNeilly, P J Magee
Vitamin D inadequacy [total 25(OH)D <50 nmol/L] is widespread in athletes. The biologically active metabolite, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, may be involved in regulating inflammation although in vitro findings have not been consistently replicated in human intervention trials. This study, conducted at a latitude of 55°N, aimed to assess inflammatory biomarkers in Gaelic footballers before and after a wintertime vitamin D3 intervention. Samples from a 12-week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, in which 42 Gaelic footballers received 3000 IU (75 μg) vitamin D3 daily or placebo via oral spray solutions, were analysed for a range of inflammatory biomarkers...
October 5, 2016: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Marisela Vélez
In Nature, proteins perform functions that go well beyond controlled self-assembly at the nano scale. They are the principal components of diverse "biological machines" that can self-assemble into dynamic aggregates that achieve the cold conversion of chemical energy into motion to realize complex functions involved in cell division, cellular transport and cell motility. Nowadays, we have identified many of the proteins involved in these "molecular machines" and know much about their biochemistry, structure and biophysical behavior...
2016: Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
Yunier Rodríguez-Álvarez, Yanelys Morera-Díaz, Haydee Gerónimo-Pérez, Jorge Castro-Velazco, Rafael Martínez-Castillo, Pedro Puente-Pérez, Vladimir Besada-Pérez, Eugenio Hardy-Rando, Araceli Chico-Capote, Klaudia Martínez-Cordovez, Alicia Santos-Savio
BACKGROUND: Interleukin-15 is an immunostimulatory cytokine overexpressed in several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, psoriasis and ulcerative colitis; thus, inhibition of IL-15-induced signaling could be clinically beneficial in these disorders. Our approach to neutralize IL-15 consisted in active immunization with structurally modified human IL-15 (mhIL-15) with the aim to induce neutralizing antibodies against native IL-15. In the present study, we characterized the antibody response in Macaca fascicularis, non-human primates that were immunized with a vaccine candidate containing mhIL-15 in Aluminum hydroxide (Alum), Montanide and Incomplete Freund's Adjuvant...
September 26, 2016: BMC Immunology
Eric Lacazette
Chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by qPCR analysis (ChIP-qPCR) is a widely used technique to study gene expression. A large number of students in molecular biology and more generally in life sciences will be confronted with the use of this technique, which is quite difficult to set up and can lead to misinterpretation if not carefully managed. This article describes a four-session laboratory practical designed for Masters students to introduce this technique. During the practical, students work in pairs...
September 26, 2016: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Karly L Ackermann, Rebecca R Florke, Shannon S Reyes, Brooke R Tader, Michael J Hamann
TCL/RhoJ is a Cdc42-related Rho GTPase with reported activities in endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis, metastatic melanoma, and corneal epithelial cells; however, less is known about how it is inherently regulated in comparison to its closest homologues TC10 and Cdc42. TCL has an N-terminal extension of 18 amino acids in comparison to Cdc42, but the function of this amino acid sequence has not been elucidated. A truncation mutant lacking the N-terminus (ΔN) was found to alter TCL plasma membrane localization and nucleotide binding, and additional truncation and point mutants mapped the alterations of TCL biochemistry to amino acids 17-20...
September 22, 2016: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Junhua Zhou, Brian Lam, Sudeshna Neogi, Giles Yeo, Elena Azizan, Morris Brown
OBJECTIVE: Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common type of secondary hypertension occurring in ∼10% of hypertensive patients. Up to 50% of PA is caused by aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA). This study is to identify the potential biological processes and canonical pathways involved with aldosterone regulation, APA formation, or APA and ZG cell functions. DESIGN AND METHOD: Gene ontology (GO) and pathway analyses were performed on genes differentially expressed in APAs when compared to ZG and on genes differentially expressed in ZG when compared to ZF...
September 2016: Journal of Hypertension
Christopher M Madl, Lily M Katz, Sarah C Heilshorn
Covalently-crosslinked hydrogels are commonly used as 3D matrices for cell culture and transplantation. However, the crosslinking chemistries used to prepare these gels generally cross-react with functional groups present on the cell surface, potentially leading to cytotoxicity and other undesired effects. Bio-orthogonal chemistries have been developed that do not react with biologically relevant functional groups, thereby preventing these undesirable side reactions. However, previously developed biomaterials using these chemistries still possess less than ideal properties for cell encapsulation, such as slow gelation kinetics and limited tuning of matrix mechanics and biochemistry...
June 7, 2016: Advanced Functional Materials
Alireza Milani, Marzieh Basirnejad, Sepideh Shahbazi, Azam Bolhassani
Carotenoids and retinoids have several similarities in biological activities such as antioxidant properties, the inhibition of malignant tumor growth, and the induction of apoptosis. Supplementation with carotenoids can influence cell growth regulation, and modulate gene expression and immune response. Epidemiologic studies have shown the correlation of high carotenoid intake from food sources with reduced risk of breast, cervical, ovarian, colorectal cancers, and cardiovascular or eye diseases. Cancer chemoprevention by dietary carotenoids involves some approaches including gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), growth factor signaling, cell cycle progression, differentiation-related proteins, retinoid-like receptors, antioxidant response element, nuclear receptors, AP-1 transcriptional complex, Wnt/β-Catenin pathway, and inflammatory cytokines...
September 16, 2016: British Journal of Pharmacology
Avrum Spira, Mary L Disis, John T Schiller, Eduardo Vilar, Timothy R Rebbeck, Rafael Bejar, Trey Ideker, Janine Arts, Matthew B Yurgelun, Jill P Mesirov, Anjana Rao, Judy Garber, Elizabeth M Jaffee, Scott M Lippman
Prevention is an essential component of cancer eradication. Next-generation sequencing of cancer genomes and epigenomes has defined large numbers of driver mutations and molecular subgroups, leading to therapeutic advances. By comparison, there is a relative paucity of such knowledge in premalignant neoplasia, which inherently limits the potential to develop precision prevention strategies. Studies on the interplay between germ-line and somatic events have elucidated genetic processes underlying premalignant progression and preventive targets...
September 27, 2016: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Stacey Lee, Sanjay Kumar
Mechanotransduction is the process through which cells survey the mechanical properties of their environment, convert these mechanical inputs into biochemical signals, and modulate their phenotype in response. These mechanical inputs, which may be encoded in the form of extracellular matrix stiffness, dimensionality, and adhesion, all strongly influence cell morphology, migration, and fate decisions. One mechanism through which cells on planar or pseudo-planar matrices exert tensile forces and interrogate microenvironmental mechanics is through stress fibers, which are bundles composed of actin filaments and, in most cases, non-muscle myosin II filaments...
2016: F1000Research
Martina Cordella, Claudio Tabolacci, Stefania Rossi, Cinzia Senatore, Angelo M Facchiano, Daniela D'Arcangelo, Antonio Facchiano, Francesco Facchiano
Migration is a key cellular function with important implications in cell physiology. Impairment of such function is observed in angiogenesis, cancer, central nervous system development, and many other physiological and pathological events. Serum is considered among the most potent physiological chemotactic stimuli. Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is involved in most of the mentioned processes, suggesting the hypothesis that TG2 may modulate cell movement and chemotaxis by acting on serum factors. Cell biology and biochemistry studies confirmed this hypothesis, showing that human serum contains potent chemotactic signals significantly impaired by activated TG2...
September 16, 2016: Amino Acids
Federico Pelisch, Ronald T Hay
The cell biology of sumoylation has mostly been studied using transformed cultured cells and yeast. In recent years, genetic analysis has demonstrated important roles for sumoylation in the biology of C. elegans. Here, we expand the existing set of tools making it possible to address the role of sumoylation in the nematode C. elegans using a combination of genetics, imaging, and biochemistry. Most importantly, the dynamics of SUMO conjugation and deconjugation can be followed very precisely both in space and time within living worms...
2016: Methods in Molecular Biology
Lin Zhao, Juedan Li, Jiali Su, Malcolm L Snead, Jianping Ruan
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the possible biological mechanism of dental fluorosis at a molecular level. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Cultured LS8 were incubated with serum-free medium containing selected concentrations of NaF (0 ∼ 2 mM) for either 24 or 48 h. Subcellular microanatomy was characterized using TEM; meanwhile, selected biomolecules were analysed using various biochemistry techniques. Transient transfection was used to modulate a molecular pathway for apoptosis...
October 2016: Acta Odontologica Scandinavica
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