Cancer is now the second leading cause of death worldwide. It is estimated that every year, approximately 9.6 million people die of oncologic diseases. The most common origins of malignancy are the lungs, breasts, and colorectum. Even though in recent years, many new drugs and therapeutic options have been introduced, there are still no safe, effective chemopreventive agents. Cyclitols seem poised to improve this situation. There is a body of evidence that suggests that their supplementation can decrease the incidence of colorectal cancer, lower the risk of metastasis occurrence, lower the proliferation index, induce apoptosis in malignant cells, enhance natural killer (NK) cell activity, protect cells from free radical damage, and induce positive molecular changes, as well as reduce the side effects of anticancer treatments such as chemotherapy or surgery. Cyclitol supplementation appears to be both safe and well-tolerated. This review focuses on presenting, in a comprehensive way, the currently available knowledge regarding the use of cyclitols in the treatment of different malignancies, particularly in lung, breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers.
Listeria monocytogenes, an important foodborne pathogen, may be present in different kinds of food and in food processing environments where it can persist for a long time. In this study, 28 L. monocytogenes isolates from fish and fish manufactures were characterized by whole genome sequencing (WGS). Core genome multilocus sequence typing (cgMLST) analysis was applied to compare the present isolates with publicly available genomes of L. monocytogenes strains recovered worldwide from food and from humans with listeriosis. All but one (96.4%) of the examined isolates belonged to molecular serogroup IIa, and one isolate (3.6%) was classified to serogroup IVb. The isolates of group IIa were mainly of MLST sequence types ST121 (13 strains) and ST8 (four strains) whereas the isolate of serogroup IVb was classified to ST1. Strains of serogroup IIa were further subtyped into eight different sublineages with the most numerous being SL121 (13; 48.1% strains) which belonged to six cgMLST types. The majority of strains, irrespective of the genotypic subtype, had the same antimicrobial resistance profile. The cluster analysis identified several molecular clones typical for L. monocytogenes isolated from similar sources in other countries; however, novel molecular cgMLST types not present in the Listeria database were also identified.
Among the causes of global death and disability, ischemic stroke (also known as cerebral ischemia) plays a pivotal role, by determining the highest number of worldwide mortality, behind cardiomyopathies, affecting 30 million people. The etiopathogenetic burden of a cerebrovascular accident could be brain ischemia (similar to 80%) or intracranial hemorrhage (similar to 20%). The most common site when ischemia occurs is the one is perfused by middle cerebral arteries. Worse prognosis and disablement consequent to brain damage occur in elderly patients or affected by neurological impairment, hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. Since, in the coming years, estimates predict an exponential increase of people who have diabetes, the disease mentioned above constitutes together with stroke a severe social and economic burden. In diabetic patients after an ischemic stroke, an exorbitant activation of inflammatory molecular pathways and ongoing inflammation is responsible for more severe brain injury and impairment, promoting the advancement of ischemic stroke and diabetes. Considering that the ominous prognosis of ischemic brain damage could by partially clarified by way of already known risk factors the auspice would be modifying poor outcome in the post-stroke phase detecting novel biomolecules associated with poor prognosis and targeting them for revolutionary therapeutic strategies.
The strong association with the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I genes represents a shared trait for a group of autoimmune/autoinflammatory disorders having in common immunopathogenetic basis as well as clinical features. Accordingly, the main risk factors for Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), prototype of the Spondyloarthropathies (SpA), the Behcet's disease (BD), the Psoriasis (Ps) and the Birdshot Chorioretinopathy (BSCR) are HLA-B*27, HLA-B*51, HLA-C*06:02 and HLA-A*29:02, respectively. Despite the strength of the association, the HLA pathogenetic role in these diseases is far from being thoroughly understood. Furthermore, Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have highlighted other important susceptibility factors such as Endoplasmic Reticulum Aminopeptidase (ERAP) 1 and, less frequently, ERAP2 that refine the peptidome presented by HLA class I molecules to CD8(+) T cells. Mass spectrometry analysis provided considerable knowledge of HLA-B*27, HLA-B*51, HLA-C*06:02 and HLA-A*29:02 immunopeptidome. However, the combined effect of several ERAP1 and ERAP2 allelic variants could generate an altered pool of peptides accounting for the "mis-immunopeptidome" that ranges from suboptimal to pathogenetic/harmful peptides able to induce non-canonical or autoreactive CD8(+) T responses, activation of NK cells and/or garbling the classical functions of the HLA class I molecules. This review will focus on this class of epitopes as possible elicitors of atypical/harmful immune responses which can contribute to the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory diseases.
Liquid biopsy is a minimally-invasive diagnostic method that may improve access to molecular profiling for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Although cell-free DNA (cf-DNA) isolation from plasma is the standard liquid biopsy method for detecting DNA mutations in cancer patients, the sensitivity can be highly variable. Vn96 is a peptide with an affinity for both extracellular vesicles (EVs) and circulating cf-DNA. In this study, we evaluated whether peptide-affinity (PA) precipitation of EVs and cf-DNA from NSCLC patient plasma improves the sensitivity of single nucleotide variants (SNVs) detection and compared observed SNVs with those reported in the matched tissue biopsy. NSCLC patient plasma was subjected to either PA precipitation or cell-free methods and total nucleic acid (TNA) was extracted; SNVs were then detected by next-generation sequencing (NGS). PA led to increased recovery of DNA as well as an improvement in NGS sequencing parameters when compared to cf-TNA. Reduced concordance with tissue was observed in PA-TNA (62%) compared to cf-TNA (81%), mainly due to identification of SNVs in PA-TNA that were not observed in tissue. EGFR mutations were detected in PA-TNA with 83% sensitivity and 100% specificity. In conclusion, PA-TNA may improve the detection limits of low-abundance alleles using NGS.
Carlina acaulis L. has a long tradition of use in folk medicine. The chemical composition of the roots and green parts of the plant is quite well known. There is the lowest amount of data on the cypsela (fruit) of this plant. In this study, the microscopic structures and the chemical composition of the cypsela were investigated. Preliminary cytochemical studies of the structure of the Carlina acaulis L. cypsela showed the presence of substantial amounts of protein and lipophilic substances. The chemical composition of the cypsela was investigated using spectrophotometry, gas chromatography with mass spectrometry, and high-performance liquid chromatography with spectrophotometric and fluorescence detection. The cypsela has been shown to be a rich source of macro- and microelements, vegetable oil (25%), alpha-tocopherol (approx. 2 g/kg of oil), protein (approx. 36% seed weight), and chlorogenic acids (approx. 22 g/kg seed weight). It also contains a complex set of volatile compounds. The C. acaulis cypsela is, therefore, a valuable source of nutrients and bioactive substances.
The hippocampus is crucial in learning, memory and emotion processing, and is involved in the development of different neurological and neuropsychological disorders. Several epigenetic factors, including DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNAs, have been shown to regulate the development and function of the hippocampus, and the alteration of epigenetic regulation may play important roles in the development of neurocognitive and neurodegenerative diseases. This review summarizes the epigenetic modifications of various cell types and processes within the hippocampus and their resulting effects on cognition, memory and overall hippocampal function. In addition, the effects of exposure to radiation that may induce a myriad of epigenetic changes in the hippocampus are reviewed. By assessing and evaluating the current literature, we hope to prompt a more thorough understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie radiation-induced epigenetic changes, an area which can be further explored.
Gastric cancer (GC) is a deadly disease with poor prognosis that is characterized by heterogeneity. New classifications based on histologic features, genotypes, and molecular phenotypes, for example, the Cancer Genome Atlas subtypes and those by the Asian Cancer Research Group, help understand the carcinogenic differences in GC and have led to the identification of an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-related GC subtype (EBVaGC), providing new indications for tailored treatment and prognostic factors. This article provides a review of the features of EBVaGC and an update on the latest insights from EBV-related research with a particular focus on the strict interaction between EBV infection and the gastric tumor environment, including the host immune response. This information may help increase our knowledge of EBVaGC pathogenesis and the mechanisms that sustain the immune response of patients since this mechanism has been demonstrated to offer a survival advantage in a proportion of patients with GC.
Recent progress in the application of new 2D-materials-MXenes-in the design of biosensors, biofuel cells and bioelectronics is overviewed and some advances in this area are foreseen. Recent developments in the formation of a relatively new class of 2D metallically conducting MXenes opens a new avenue for the design of conducting composites with metallic conductivity and advanced sensing properties. Advantageous properties of MXenes suitable for biosensing applications are discussed. Frontiers and new insights in the area of application of MXenes in sensorics, biosensorics and in the design of some wearable electronic devices are outlined. Some disadvantages and challenges in the application of MXene based structures are critically discussed.
In a wide range of organisms, dolichyl phosphate mannose (DPM) synthase is a complex of tree proteins Dpm1, Dpm2, and Dpm3. However, in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is believed to be a single Dpm1 protein. The function of Dpm3 is performed in S. cerevisiae by the C-terminal transmembrane domain of the catalytic subunit Dpm1. Until present, the regulatory Dpm2 protein has not been found in S. cerevisiae. In this study, we show that, in fact, the Yil102c-A protein interacts directly with Dpm1 in S. cerevisiae and influences its DPM synthase activity. Deletion of the YIL102c-A gene is lethal, and this phenotype is reversed by the dpm2 gene from Trichoderma reesei. Functional analysis of Yil102c-A revealed that it also interacts with glucosylphosphatidylinositol-N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (GPI-GnT), similar to DPM2 in human cells. Taken together, these results show that Yil102c-A is a functional homolog of DPMII from T. reesei and DPM2 from humans.
A new series of hybrid compounds with tropinone and thiazole rings in the structure was designed and synthesized as potential anticancer agents. They were tested against human multiple myeloma (RPMI 8226), lung carcinoma (A549), breast adenocarcinoma (MDA-MB-231), and mouse skin melanoma (B16-F10) cell lines. Toxicity was tested on human normal skin fibroblasts (HSF) and normal colon fibroblasts (CCD-18Co). The growth inhibition mechanism of the most active derivative was analyzed through investigation of its effect on the distribution of cell cycle phases and ability to induce apoptosis and necrosis in RPMI 8226 and A549 cancer cells. The tyrosinase inhibitory potential was assessed, followed by molecular docking studies. Compounds 3a-3h show high anticancer activity against MDA-MB-231 and B16-F10 cell lines with IC50 values of 1.51-3.03 mu M. Moreover, the cytotoxic activity of the investigated compounds against HSF and CCD-18Co cells was 8-70 times lower than against the cancer cells or no toxicity was shown in our tests, with derivative 3a being particularly successful. The mechanism of action of compound 3a in RPMI 8226 cell was shown to be through induction of cell death through apoptosis. The derivatives show ability to inhibit the tyrosinase activity with a mixed mechanism of inhibition. The final molecular docking results showed for IC50 distinct correlation with experiment.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are the main mediators of Th2 immune responses in allergic asthma, and Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 ligand (Flt3L) is an important growth factor for the development and homeostasis of DCs. This study identified the DC populations that primarily cause the initiation and development of allergic lung inflammation using Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (Flt3) knockout (KO) mice with allergen-induced allergic asthma. We observed type 2 allergic lung inflammation with goblet cell hyperplasia in Flt3 KO mice, despite a significant reduction in total DCs, particularly CD103(+) DCs, which was barely detected. In addition, bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) from Flt3 KO mice directed Th2 immune responses in vitro, and the adoptive transfer of these BMDCs exacerbated allergic asthma with more marked Th2 responses than that of BMDCs from wild-type (WT) mice. Furthermore, we found that Flt3L regulated the in vitro expression of OX40 ligand (OX40L) in DCs, which is correlated with DC phenotype in in vivo models. In conclusion, we revealed that Flt3-independent CD11b(+) DCs direct Th2 responses with the elevated OX40L and are the primary cause of allergic asthma. Our findings suggest that Flt3 is required to control type 2 allergic inflammation.
Basal-like breast cancer is an incurable disease with limited therapeutic options, mainly due to the frequent development of anti-cancer drug resistance. Therefore, identification of druggable targets to improve current therapies and overcome these resistances is a major goal. Targeting DNA repair mechanisms has reached the clinical setting and several strategies, like the inhibition of the CHK1 kinase, are currently in clinical development. Here, using a panel of basal-like cancer cell lines, we explored the synergistic interactions of CHK1 inhibitors (rabusertib and SAR020106) with approved therapies in breast cancer and evaluated their potential to overcome resistance. We identified a synergistic action of these inhibitors with agents that produce DNA damage, like platinum compounds, gemcitabine, and the PARP inhibitor olaparib. Our results demonstrated that the combination of rabusertib with these chemotherapies also has a synergistic impact on tumor initiation, invasion capabilities, and apoptosis in vitro. We also revealed a biochemical effect on DNA damage and caspase-dependent apoptosis pathways through the phosphorylation of H2AX, the degradation of full-length PARP, and the increase of caspases 3 and 8 activity. This agent also demonstrated synergistic activity in a platinum-resistant cell line, inducing an increase in cell death in response to cisplatin only when combined with rabusertib, while no toxic effect was found on non-tumorigenic breast tissue-derived cell lines. Lastly, the combination of CHK1 inhibitor with cisplatin and gemcitabine resulted in more activity than single or double combinations, leading to a higher apoptotic effect. In conclusion, in our study we identify therapeutic options for the clinical development of CHK1 inhibitors, and confirm that the inhibition of this kinase can overcome acquired resistance to cisplatin.
The metabolism of pineal indoles is closely related to alterations in the light and dark phases of a daily cycle. Recent research showed important interspecies differences in the pineal biochemistry, and a strong impact of monochromatic light on many physiological processes in birds. Therefore, the aims of study were to characterize the metabolism of melatonin-synthesis indoles in the pineal organ of the domestic turkey, and to determine the changes occurring in this metabolism under the influence of different wavelengths and intensities of light. For this purpose, 3-week-old turkeys were kept under 16 lx white light, or under blue, green, and red light with intensities of 16, 32, and 64 lx during the photophase, and after 7 d were sacrificed at 4 h intervals. The activities of melatonin-synthesizing enzymes and the contents of indoles were measured in the same pineal organ. The results revealed that the activities of tryptophan hydroxylase and arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, and the levels of all tryptophan derivatives had significant daily changes in birds kept under each light condition used. The profile of pineal indole metabolism in 4-week-old turkeys was characterized by high-amplitude rhythms in the activity of arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase and the contents of N-acetylserotonin and melatonin, equal relative amounts of serotonin and 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid, and higher content of melatonin than N-acetylserotonin. The monochromatic light significantly modified the pineal indole metabolism, and its effects were dependent on the color and intensity of light. Pronounced changes occurred in the level of serotonin synthesis and the daily rhythm course of melatonin synthesis.
The reactive oxygen species (ROS) gene network, consisting of both ROS-generating and detoxifying enzymes, adjusts ROS levels in response to various stimuli. We performed a cross-kingdom comparison of ROS gene networks to investigate how they have evolved across all Eukaryotes, including protists, fungi, plants and animals. We included the genomes of 16 extremotolerant Eukaryotes to gain insight into ROS gene evolution in organisms that experience extreme stress conditions. Our analysis focused on ROS genes found in all Eukaryotes (such as catalases, superoxide dismutases, glutathione reductases, peroxidases and glutathione peroxidase/peroxiredoxins) as well as those specific to certain groups, such as ascorbate peroxidases, dehydroascorbate/monodehydroascorbate reductases in plants and other photosynthetic organisms. ROS-producing NADPH oxidases (NOX) were found in most multicellular organisms, although several NOX-like genes were identified in unicellular or filamentous species. However, despite the extreme conditions experienced by extremophile species, we found no evidence for expansion of ROS-related gene families in these species compared to other Eukaryotes. Tardigrades and rotifers do show ROS gene expansions that could be related to their extreme lifestyles, although a high rate of lineage-specific horizontal gene transfer events, coupled with recent tetraploidy in rotifers, could explain this observation. This suggests that the basal Eukaryotic ROS scavenging systems are sufficient to maintain ROS homeostasis even under the most extreme conditions.