Identification of Three Human POLH Germline Variants Defective in Complementing the UV-and Cisplatin-Sensitivity of POLH-Deficient Cells

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Published On 2023/3/8

DNA polymerase (pol) η is responsible for error-free translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) opposite ultraviolet light (UV)-induced cis-syn cyclobutane thymine dimers (CTDs) and cisplatin-induced intrastrand guanine crosslinks. POLH deficiency causes one form of the skin cancer-prone disease xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XPV) and cisplatin sensitivity, but the functional impacts of its germline variants remain unclear. We evaluated the functional properties of eight human POLH germline in silico-predicted deleterious missense variants, using biochemical and cell-based assays. In enzymatic assays, utilizing recombinant pol η (residues 1—432) proteins, the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants showed 4- to 14-fold and 3- to 5-fold decreases in specificity constants (kcat/Km) for dATP insertion opposite the 3’-T and 5′-T of a CTD, respectively, compared to the wild-type, while the other variants displayed 2- to 4-fold increases. A CRISPR/Cas9-mediated POLH knockout increased the sensitivity of human embryonic kidney 293 cells to UV and cisplatin, which was fully reversed by ectopic expression of wild-type pol η, but not by that of an inactive (D115A/E116A) or either of two XPV-pathogenic (R93P and G263V) mutants. Ectopic expression of the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants, unlike the other variants, did not rescue the UV- and cisplatin-sensitivity in POLH-knockout cells. Our results indicate that the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants—substantially reduced in TLS activity—failed to rescue the UV- and cisplatin-sensitive phenotype of POLH-deficient cells, which also raises the possibility that such hypoactive germline POLH variants may …

Journal

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Published On

2023/3/8

Volume

24

Issue

6

Page

5198

Authors

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Position

Professor of Biochemistry

H-Index(all)

175

H-Index(since 2020)

51

I-10 Index(all)

0

I-10 Index(since 2020)

0

Citation(all)

0

Citation(since 2020)

0

Cited By

0

Research Interests

Enzymology

drug metabolism

cytochrome P450

mutagenesis

University Profile Page

Other Articles from authors

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Medicinal Chemistry

Identification of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of Acanthamoeba: Structural Insights into Sterol 14α-Demethylase as a Key Drug Target

Fat mass obesity-associated protein (FTO) is a DNA/RNA demethylase involved in the epigenetic regulation of various genes and is considered a therapeutic target for obesity, cancer, and neurological disorders. Here, we aimed to design novel FTO-selective inhibitors by merging fragments of previously reported FTO inhibitors. Among the synthesized analogues, compound 11b, which merges key fragments of Hz (3) and MA (4), inhibited FTO selectively over alkylation repair homologue 5 (ALKBH5), another DNA/RNA demethylase. Treatment of acute monocytic leukemia NOMO-1 cells with a prodrug of 11b decreased the viability of acute monocytic leukemia cells, increased the level of the FTO substrate N6-methyladenosine in mRNA, and induced upregulation of MYC and downregulation of RARA, which are FTO target genes. Thus, Hz (3)/MA (4) hybrid analogues represent an entry into a new class of FTO …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Chemical Research in Toxicology

In Vivo and In Vitro Induction of Cytochrome P450 3A4 by Thalidomide in Humanized-Liver Mice and Experimental Human Hepatocyte HepaSH cells

Autoinduction of cytochrome P450 (P450) 3A4-mediated metabolism of thalidomide was investigated in humanized-liver mice and human hepatocyte-derived HepaSH cells. The mean plasma ratios of 5-hydroxythalidomide and glutathione adducts to thalidomide were significantly induced (3.5- and 6.0-fold, respectively) by thalidomide treatment daily at 1000 mg/kg for 3 days and measured at 2 h after the fourth administration (on day 4). 5-Hydroxythalidomide was metabolically activated by P450 3A4 in HepaSH cells pretreated with 300 and 1000 μM thalidomide, and 5,6-dihydroxythalidomide was detected. Significant induction of P450 3A4 mRNA expression (4.1-fold) in the livers of thalidomide-treated mice occurred. Thalidomide exerts a variety of actions through multiple mechanisms following bioactivation by induced human P450 3A enzymes.

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Formation of potentially toxic metabolites of drugs in reactions catalyzed by human drug-metabolizing enzymes

Data are presented on the formation of potentially toxic metabolites of drugs that are substrates of human drug metabolizing enzymes. The tabular data lists the formation of potentially toxic/reactive products. The data were obtained from in vitro experiments and showed that the oxidative reactions predominate (with 96% of the total potential toxication reactions). Reductive reactions (e.g., reduction of nitro to amino group and reductive dehalogenation) participate to the extent of 4%. Of the enzymes, cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) enzymes catalyzed 72% of the reactions, myeloperoxidase (MPO) 7%, flavin-containing monooxygenase (FMO) 3%, aldehyde oxidase (AOX) 4%, sulfotransferase (SULT) 5%, and a group of minor participating enzymes to the extent of 9%. Within the P450 Superfamily, P450 Subfamily 3A (P450 3A4 and 3A5) participates to the extent of 27% and the Subfamily 2C (P450 2C9 and P450 2C19 …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Proteomics, modeling, and fluorescence assays delineate cytochrome b5 residues involved in binding and stimulation of cytochrome P450 17A1 17, 20-lyase

Cytochrome b5 (b5) is known to stimulate some catalytic activities of cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) enzymes, although mechanisms still need to be defined. The reactions most strongly enhanced by b5 are the 17,20-lyase reactions of P450 17A1 involved in steroid biosynthesis. We had previously used a fluorescently labeled human b5 variant (Alexa 488-T70C-b5) to characterize human P450 17A1-b5 interactions, but subsequent proteomic analyses indicated that lysines in b5 were also modified with Alexa 488 maleimide in addition to Cys-70, due to disulfide dimerization of the T70C mutant. A series of b5 variants were constructed with Cys replacements for the identified lysine residues and labeled with the dye. Fluorescence attenuation and the function of b5 in the steroid lyase reaction depended on the modified position. Apo-b5 (devoid of heme group) studies revealed the lack of involvement of the b5 heme in …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Angewandte Chemie

Oxygen‐18 Labeling Reveals a Mixed Fe− O Mechanism in the Last Step of Cytochrome P450 51 Sterol 14α‐Demethylation

The 14α‐demethylation step is critical in eukaryotic sterol biosynthesis, catalyzed by cytochrome P450 (P450) Family 51 enzymes, for example, with lanosterol in mammals. This conserved three‐step reaction terminates in a C−C cleavage step that generates formic acid, the nature of which has been controversial. Proposed mechanisms involve roles of P450 Compound 0 (ferric peroxide anion, FeO2−) or Compound I (perferryl oxygen, FeO3+) reacting with either the aldehyde or its hydrate, respectively. Analysis of 18O incorporation into formic acid from 18O2 provides a means of distinguishing the two mechanisms. Human P450 51A1 incorporated 88 % 18O (one atom) into formic acid, consistent with a major but not exclusive FeO2− mechanism. Two P450 51 orthologs from amoeba and yeast showed similar results, while two orthologs from pathogenic trypanosomes showed roughly equal contributions of both …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Ninety-eight semesters of cytochrome P450 enzymes and related topics—What have I taught and learned?

This Reflection article begins with my family background and traces my career through elementary and high school, followed by time at the University of Illinois, Vanderbilt University, the University of Michigan, and then for 98 semesters as a Vanderbilt University faculty member. My research career has dealt with aspects of cytochrome P450 enzymes, and the basic biochemistry has had applications in fields as diverse as drug metabolism, toxicology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacogenetics, biological engineering, and bioremediation. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the Journal of Biological Chemistry not only as an author but also for 34 years as an Editorial Board Member, Associate Editor, Deputy Editor, and interim Editor-in-Chief. Thanks are extended to my family and my mentors, particularly Profs. Harry Broquist and Minor J. Coon, and the more than 170 people who have trained with me. I have …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

ACS catalysis

Oxygen-18 Labeling Defines a Ferric Peroxide (Compound 0) Mechanism in the Oxidative Deformylation of Aldehydes by Cytochrome P450 2B4

Most cytochrome P450 (P450) oxidations are considered to occur with the active oxidant being a perferryl oxygen (FeO3+, Compound I). However, a ferric peroxide (FeO2̅, Compound 0) mechanism has been proposed, as well, particularly for aldehyde substrates. We investigated three of these systems, the oxidative deformylation of the model substrates citronellal, 2-phenylpropionaldehyde, and 2-methyl-2-phenylpropionaldehyde by rabbit P450 2B4, using 18O labeling. The formic acid product contained one 18O derived from 18O2, which is indicative of a dominant Compound 0 mechanism. The formic acid also contained only one 18O derived from H218O, which ruled out a Compound I mechanism. The possibility of a Baeyer–Villiger reaction was examined by using synthesized possible intermediates, but our data do not support its presence. Overall, these findings unambiguously demonstrate the role of the …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Principles of Xenobiotic Metabolism (Biotransformation)

This chapter provides a general overview of metabolic reactions and their significance. Basic concepts and terminology related to biotransformation, activity, and toxicityToxicity are explained and discussed. Major enzymes involved in oxidationOxidation, reductionReduction, hydrolytic, and conjugationConjugation are covered including enzyme nomenclature, localization, catalytic cycle, coenzymes, relevance of individual enzymes, types of reactions, substrates and metabolites, influence of metabolic reactions on the activity/toxicity of xenobiotics, enzyme inhibition, and relevance if applicable.

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Biological Chemistry

The multistep oxidation of cholesterol to pregnenolone by human cytochrome P450 11A1 is highly processive

Cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) 11A1 is the classical cholesterol side chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc) that removes six carbons of the side chain, the first and rate-limiting step in the synthesis of all mammalian steroids. The reaction is a 3-step, 6-electron oxidation that proceeds via formation of 22R-hydroxy (OH) and 20R,22R-(OH)2 cholesterol, yielding pregnenolone. We expressed human P450 11A1 in bacteria, purified the enzyme in the absence of nonionic detergents, and assayed pregnenolone formation by HPLC-mass spectrometry of the dansyl hydrazone. The reaction was inhibited by the nonionic detergent Tween 20, and several lipids did not enhance enzymatic activity. The 22R-OH and 20R,22R-(OH)2 cholesterol intermediates were bound to P450 11A1 relatively tightly, as judged by steady-state optical titrations and koff rates. The electron donor adrenodoxin had little effect on binding; the substrate …

2023/11/24

Article Details
Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Processive kinetics in the three-step lanosterol 14α-demethylation reaction catalyzed by human cytochrome P450 51A1

Cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) family 51 enzymes catalyze the 14α-demethylation of sterols, leading to critical products used for membranes and the production of steroids, as well as signaling molecules. In mammals, P450 51 catalyzes the 3-step, 6-electron oxidation of lanosterol to form (4β,5α)-4,4-dimethyl-cholestra-8,14,24-trien-3-ol (FF-MAS). P450 51A1 can also use 24,25-dihydrolanosterol (a natural substrate in the Kandutsch-Russell cholesterol pathway). 24,25-Dihydrolanosterol and the corresponding P450 51A1 reaction intermediates, the 14α-alcohol and -aldehyde derivatives of dihydrolanosterol, were synthesized to study the kinetic processivity of the overall 14α-demethylation reaction of human P450 51A1. A combination of steady-state kinetic parameters, steady-state binding constants, dissociation rates of P450-sterol complexes, and kinetic modeling of the time course of oxidation of a P450 …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Nucleic Acids Research

Basis for the discrimination of supercoil handedness during DNA cleavage by human and bacterial type II topoisomerases

To perform double-stranded DNA passage, type II topoisomerases generate a covalent enzyme-cleaved DNA complex (i.e. cleavage complex). Although this complex is a requisite enzyme intermediate, it is also intrinsically dangerous to genomic stability. Consequently, cleavage complexes are the targets for several clinically relevant anticancer and antibacterial drugs. Human topoisomerase IIα and IIβ and bacterial gyrase maintain higher levels of cleavage complexes with negatively supercoiled over positively supercoiled DNA substrates. Conversely, bacterial topoisomerase IV is less able to distinguish DNA supercoil handedness. Despite the importance of supercoil geometry to the activities of type II topoisomerases, the basis for supercoil handedness recognition during DNA cleavage has not been characterized. Based on the results of benchtop and rapid-quench flow kinetics experiments, the forward …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Xenobiotica

The influence of temperature on the metabolic activity of CYP2C9, CYP2C19, and CYP3A4 genetic variants in vitro

1. Temperature is considered to affect the activity of drug-metabolizing enzymes; however, no previous studies have compared temperature dependency among cytochrome P450 genetic variants. This study aimed to analyse warfarin 7-hydroxylation by CYP2C9 variants; omeprazole 5-hydroxylation by CYP2C19 variants; and midazolam 1-hydroxylation by CYP3A4 variants at 34 °C, 37 °C, and 40 °C.2. Compared with that seen at 37 °C, the intrinsic clearance rates (Vmax/Km) of CYP2C9.1 and .2 were decreased (76 ∼ 82%), while that of CYP2C9.3 was unchanged at 34 °C. At 40 °C, CYP2C9.1, .2, and .3 exhibited increased (121%), unchanged and decreased (87%) intrinsic clearance rates, respectively. At 34 °C, the clearance rates of CYP2C19.1A and .10 were decreased (71 ∼ 86%), that of CYP2C19.1B was unchanged, and those of CYP2C19.8 and .23 were increased (130 ∼ 134%). At 40 …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Food and Chemical Toxicology

FEMA GRAS assessment of natural flavor complexes: Lemongrass oil, chamomile oils, citronella oil and related flavoring ingredients

In 2015, the Expert Panel of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) initiated a program for the re-evaluation of the safety of over 250 natural flavor complexes (NFCs) used as flavor ingredients. This publication, eleventh in the series, evaluates the safety of NFCs characterized by primary alcohol, aldehyde, carboxylic acid, ester and lactone constituents derived from terpenoid biosynthetic pathways and/or lipid metabolism. The scientific-based evaluation procedure published in 2005 and updated in 2018 that relies on a complete constituent characterization of the NFC and organization of the constituents into congeneric groups. The safety of the NFCs is evaluated using the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) concept in addition to data on estimated intake, metabolism and toxicology of members of the congeneric groups and for the NFC under evaluation. The scope of the safety evaluation …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Food and Chemical Toxicology

FEMA GRAS assessment of derivatives of basil, nutmeg, parsley, tarragon and related allylalkoxybenzene-containing natural flavor complexes

In 2015, the Expert Panel of the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) initiated a program for the re-evaluation of the safety of over 250 natural flavor complexes (NFCs) used as flavoring ingredients in food. In this publication, tenth in the series, NFCs containing a high percentage of at least one naturally occurring allylalkoxybenzene constituent with a suspected concern for genotoxicity and/or carcinogenicity are evaluated. In a related paper, ninth in the series, NFCs containing anethole and/or eugenol and relatively low percentages of these allylalkoxybenzenes are evaluated. The Panel applies the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) concept and evaluates relevant toxicology data on the NFCs and their respective constituent congeneric groups. For NFCs containing allylalkoxybenzene constituent(s), the estimated intake of the constituent is compared to the TTC for compounds with structural …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Identification of Three Human POLH Germline Variants Defective in Complementing the UV-and Cisplatin-Sensitivity of POLH-Deficient Cells

DNA polymerase (pol) η is responsible for error-free translesion DNA synthesis (TLS) opposite ultraviolet light (UV)-induced cis-syn cyclobutane thymine dimers (CTDs) and cisplatin-induced intrastrand guanine crosslinks. POLH deficiency causes one form of the skin cancer-prone disease xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XPV) and cisplatin sensitivity, but the functional impacts of its germline variants remain unclear. We evaluated the functional properties of eight human POLH germline in silico-predicted deleterious missense variants, using biochemical and cell-based assays. In enzymatic assays, utilizing recombinant pol η (residues 1—432) proteins, the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants showed 4- to 14-fold and 3- to 5-fold decreases in specificity constants (kcat/Km) for dATP insertion opposite the 3’-T and 5′-T of a CTD, respectively, compared to the wild-type, while the other variants displayed 2- to 4-fold increases. A CRISPR/Cas9-mediated POLH knockout increased the sensitivity of human embryonic kidney 293 cells to UV and cisplatin, which was fully reversed by ectopic expression of wild-type pol η, but not by that of an inactive (D115A/E116A) or either of two XPV-pathogenic (R93P and G263V) mutants. Ectopic expression of the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants, unlike the other variants, did not rescue the UV- and cisplatin-sensitivity in POLH-knockout cells. Our results indicate that the C34W, I147N, and R167Q variants—substantially reduced in TLS activity—failed to rescue the UV- and cisplatin-sensitive phenotype of POLH-deficient cells, which also raises the possibility that such hypoactive germline POLH variants may …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Journal of inorganic biochemistry

Hydroxylation and lyase reactions of steroids catalyzed by mouse cytochrome P450 17A1 (Cyp17a1)

Cytochrome P450 17A1 (CYP17A1) catalyzes 17α-hydroxylation and 17,20-lyase reactions with steroid hormones. Mice contain an orthologous Cyp17a1 enzyme in the genome, and its amino acid sequence has high similarity with human CYP17A1. We purified recombinant mouse Cyp17a1 and characterized its oxidation reactions with progesterone and pregnenolone. The open reading frame of the mouse Cyp17a1 gene was inserted and successfully expressed in Escherichia coli and then purified using Ni2+-nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) affinity column chromatography. Purified mouse Cyp17a1 displayed typical Type I binding titration spectral changes upon the addition of progesterone, 17α-OH progesterone, pregnenolone, and 17α-OH pregnenolone, with similar binding affinities to those of human CYP17A1. Catalytic activities for 17α-hydroxylation and 17,20-lyase reactions were studied using ultra-performance …

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

The Importance of Biotransformation

Biotransformation is important in considerations of toxicity of chemicals. What begins as a well-defined compound may lead to a mixture of chemicals after it enters the body. The changes may be beneficial or detrimental. A potentially harmful chemical may be rapidly inactivated, at low doses. Conversely, an innocuous compound may be transformed into a toxic one. There are cases of both detoxication and bioactivation for the same chemical, sometimes even with the same enzyme being involved in both changes (e.g., aflatoxin B1 and cytochrome P450 3A4). A proper understanding of the chemical changes, the enzymes involved, and the kinetics of changes is needed to understand the outcomes regarding safety assessment.

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Drug Metabolism and Disposition

Cytochrome P450 enzymes as drug targets in human disease

Although the mention of cytochrome P450 (P450, CYP) inhibition usually brings to mind unwanted variability in pharmacokinetics, in several cases P450s are good targets for inhibition. These P450s are essential but in certain disease states it is desirable to reduce the concentrations of their products. Most of the attention to date has been with human P450s 5A1, 11A1, 11B1, 11B2, 17A1, 19A1, and 51A1. In some of those cases, there are multiple drugs in us, e.g., exemestane, letrozole, and anastrozole with P450 19A1, the steroid aromatase target in breast cancer. There are also several targets that are less developed, e. g. P450s 2A6, 8B1, 4A11, 24A1, 26A1, and 26B1.Significance Statement The selective inhibition of certain P450s that have major physiological functions has been shown to be very efficacious in certain human diseases. In several cases the search for better drugs continues.

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Steroid 17α-hydroxylase/17, 20-lyase (cytochrome P450 17A1)

Cytochrome P450 (P450) 17A1 plays a key role in steroidogenesis, in that this enzyme catalyzes the 17α-hydroxylation of both pregnenolone and progesterone, followed by a lyase reaction to cleave the C-20 land C-21 carbons from each steroid. The reactions are important in the production of both glucocorticoids and androgens. The enzyme is critical in humans but is also a drug target in treatment of prostate cancer. Detailed methods are described for the heterologous expression of human P450 17A1 in bacteria, purification of the recombinant enzyme, reconstitution of the enzyme system in the presence of cytochrome b5, and chromatographic procedures for sensitive analyses of reaction products. Historic assay approaches are reviewed. Some information is also provided about outstanding questions in the research field, including catalytic mechanisms and searches for selective inhibitors.

Fred Guengerich

Fred Guengerich

Vanderbilt University

Direct addition of flavors, including taste and flavor modifiers

The addition of flavorings to food and beverages provides practically unlimited opportunities for innovation, for maintaining and enhancing palatability, and is one essential element of a stable supply of nutritious consumer products. A safety evaluation by the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) Expert Panel provides a pathway for flavor producers and users to achieve regulatory authority to use for substances under the conditions of intended use as a flavoring. This chapter describes the factors that contribute to the safety assessment process that is conducted by the Expert Panel, and provides examples of specific flavorings and types of flavorings that are considered. The chapter also describes future issues and opportunities likely to be encountered within the context of the FEMA generally recognized as safe assessment of flavorings.

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International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Faster Gastrointestinal Transit, Reduced Small Intestinal Smooth Muscle Tone and Dysmotility in the Nlgn3R451C Mouse Model of Autism

Individuals with autism often experience gastrointestinal issues but the cause is unknown. Many gene mutations that modify neuronal synapse function are associated with autism and therefore may impact the enteric nervous system that regulates gastrointestinal function. A missense mutation in the Nlgn3 gene encoding the cell adhesion protein Neuroligin-3 was identified in two brothers with autism who both experienced severe gastrointestinal dysfunction. Mice expressing this mutation (Nlgn3R451C mice) are a well-studied preclinical model of autism and show autism-relevant characteristics, including impaired social interaction and communication, as well as repetitive behaviour. We previously showed colonic dysmotility in response to GABAergic inhibition and increased myenteric neuronal numbers in the small intestine in Nlgn3R451C mice bred on a mixed genetic background. Here, we show that gut dysfunction is a persistent phenotype of the Nlgn3 R451C mutation in mice backcrossed onto a C57BL/6 background. We report that Nlgn3R451C mice show a 30.9% faster gastrointestinal transit (p = 0.0004) in vivo and have 6% longer small intestines (p = 0.04) compared to wild-types due to a reduction in smooth muscle tone. In Nlgn3R451C mice, we observed a decrease in resting jejunal diameter (proximal jejunum: 10.6% decrease, p = 0.02; mid: 9.8%, p = 0.04; distal: 11.5%, p = 0.009) and neurally regulated dysmotility as well as shorter durations of contractile complexes (mid: 25.6% reduction in duration, p = 0.009; distal: 30.5%, p = 0.004) in the ileum. In Nlgn3R451C mouse colons, short contractions were inhibited to a greater extent …

Anup Mahurkar

Anup Mahurkar

University of Maryland, Baltimore

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Reprogramming Chromosome Ends by Functional Histone Acetylation

Cancers harness embryonic programs to evade aging and promote survival. Normally, sequences at chromosome ends called telomeres shorten with cell division, serving as a countdown clock to limit cell replication. Therefore, a crucial aspect of cancerous transformation is avoiding replicative aging by activation of telomere repair programs. Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) activate a transient expression of the gene Zscan4, which correlates with chromatin de-condensation and telomere extension. Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) cancers reactivate ZSCAN4, which in turn regulates the phenotype of cancer stem cells (CSCs). Our study reveals a new role for human ZSCAN4 in facilitating functional histone H3 acetylation at telomere chromatin. Next-generation sequencing indicates ZSCAN4 enrichment at telomere chromatin. These changes correlate with ZSCAN4-induced histone H3 acetylation and telomere elongation, while CRISPR/Cas9 knockout of ZSCAN4 leads to reduced H3 acetylation and telomere shortening. Our study elucidates the intricate involvement of ZSCAN4 and its significant contribution to telomere chromatin remodeling. These findings suggest that ZSCAN4 induction serves as a novel link between ‘stemness’ and telomere maintenance. Targeting ZSCAN4 may offer new therapeutic approaches to effectively limit or enhance the replicative lifespan of stem cells and cancer cells.

Hossein Ardeschir Ghofrani

Hossein Ardeschir Ghofrani

Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

A Novel Rat Model of Mild Pulmonary Hypertension Associated with Pulmonary Venous Congestion Induced by Left Pulmonary Vein Banding

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) associated with left heart disease (PH-LHD) is the most common form of PH. In PH-LHD, changes in the pulmonary vasculature are assumed to be mainly caused by pulmonary venous congestion. However, the underlying mechanisms of this form of PH are poorly understood. We aimed to establish a model of PH associated with pulmonary venous congestion. Wistar–Kyoto rats underwent partial occlusion of the left pulmonary vein to induce pulmonary venous congestion or sham surgery and were assessed at various time points post-surgery (3, 6, 9, 12 weeks). In vivo cardiopulmonary phenotyping was performed by using echocardiography along with heart catheterization. Histomorphometry methods were used to assess pulmonary vascular remodeling (e.g., wall thickness, degree of muscularization). Left pulmonary vein banding (PVB) resulted in mildly elevated right ventricular systolic pressure and moderate right ventricular hypertrophy. In PVB rats, small- and medium-sized pulmonary vessels in the left lung were characterized by increased wall thickness and muscularization. Taken together, our data demonstrate that left PVB-induced pulmonary venous congestion is associated with pulmonary vascular remodeling and mild PH.

Simone Beninati

Simone Beninati

Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

α-Pinene, a Main Component of Pinus Essential Oils, Enhances the Expression of Insulin-Sensitive Glucose Transporter Type 4 in Murine Skeletal Muscle Cells

Glucose transporter-4 (GLUT4) represents the major glucose transporter isoform responsible for glucose uptake into insulin-sensitive cells, primarily in skeletal muscle and adipose tissues. In insulin-resistant conditions, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus, GLUT4 expression and/or translocation to the cell plasma membrane is reduced, compromising cell energy metabolism. Therefore, the use of synthetic or naturally occurring molecules able to stimulate GLUT4 expression represents a good tool for alternative treatments of insulin resistance. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of essential oils (EOs) derived from Pinus spp. (P. nigra and P. radiata) and of their main terpenoid constituents (α- and β-pinene) on the expression/translocation of GLUT4 in myoblast C2C12 murine cells. For this purpose, the chemical profiles of the EOs were first analyzed through gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Cell viability was assessed by MTT assay, and GLUT4 expression/translocation was evaluated through RT-qPCR and flow cytometry analyses. The results showed that only the P. nigra essential oil (PnEO) and α-pinene can increase the transcription of the Glut4/Scl2a4 gene, resulting in a subsequent increase in the amount of GLUT4 produced and its plasma membrane localization. Moreover, the PnEO or α-pinene can induce Glut4 expression both during myogenesis and in myotubes. In summary, the PnEO and α-pinene emulate insulin’s effect on the GLUT4 transporter expression and its translocation to the muscle cell surface.

Ioannis Kanakis

Ioannis Kanakis

University of Chester

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Defining the most potent osteoinductive culture conditions for MC3T3-E1 cells reveals no implication of oxidative stress or energy metabolism

The MC3T3-E1 preosteoblastic cell line is widely utilised as a reliable in vitro system to assess bone formation. However, the experimental growth conditions for these cells hugely diverge, and, particularly, the osteogenic medium (OSM)’s composition varies in research studies. Therefore, we aimed to define the ideal culture conditions for MC3T3-E1 subclone 4 cells with regard to their mineralization capacity and explore if oxidative stress or the cellular metabolism processes are implicated. Cells were treated with nine different combinations of long-lasting ascorbate (Asc) and β-glycerophosphate (βGP), and osteogenesis/calcification was evaluated at three different time-points by qPCR, Western blotting, and bone nodule staining. Key molecules of the oxidative and metabolic pathways were also assessed. It was found that sufficient mineral deposition was achieved only in the 150 μg.mL−1/2 mM Asc/βGP combination on day 21 in OSM, and this was supported by Runx2, Alpl, Bglap, and Col1a1 expression level increases. NOX2 and SOD2 as well as PGC1α and Tfam were also monitored as indicators of redox and metabolic processes, respectively, where no differences were observed. Elevation in OCN protein levels and ALP activity showed that mineralisation comes as a result of these differences. This work defines the most appropriate culture conditions for MC3T3-E1 cells and could be used by other research laboratories in this field.

Roberta De Tullio

Roberta De Tullio

Università degli Studi di Genova

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Temperature-Dependent Olive Pomace Extraction for Obtaining Bioactive Compounds Preventing the Death of Murine Cortical Neurons

High-pressure and temperature extraction (HPTE) can effectively recover bioactive compounds from olive pomace (OP). HPTE extract obtained by extracting OP with ethanol and water (50:50 v/v) at 180 °C for 90 min demonstrated a pronounced ability to preserve intracellular calcium homeostasis, shielding neurons from the harmful effects induced by N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor (NMDAR) overactivation, such as aberrant calpain activation. In this study, the extraction temperature was changed from 37 to 180 °C, and the extracts were evaluated for their antioxidant potency and ability to preserve crucial intracellular Ca2+-homeostasis necessary for neuronal survival. Additionally, to verify the temperature-induced activity of the extract, further extractions on the exhausted olive pomace were conducted, aiming to identify variations in the quality and quantity of extracted phenolic molecules through HPLC analysis. The results revealed a significant increase in bioactive compounds as a function of temperature variation, reaching 6.31 ± 0.09 mgCAE/mL extract for the extraction performed at 180 °C. Subsequent extraction of the exhausted residues yielded extracts that remained active in preventing calcium-induced cell death. Moreover, despite increased antiradical power, extracts re-treated at 180 °C did not display cell protection activity. Our results indicate that the molecules able to maintain physiological Ca2+-homeostasis in murine cortical neurons in conditions of cytotoxic stimulation of NMDAR are wholly recovered from olive pomace only following extraction performed at 180 °C.

Wojciech Paslawski

Wojciech Paslawski

Karolinska Institutet

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Secretome Analyses Identify FKBP4 as a GBA1-Associated Protein in CSF and iPS Cells from Parkinson’s Disease Patients with GBA1 Mutations

Mutations in the GBA1 gene increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (PD). However, most carriers of GBA1 mutations do not develop PD throughout their lives. The mechanisms of how GBA1 mutations contribute to PD pathogenesis remain unclear. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is used for detecting pathological conditions of diseases, providing insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we utilized the proximity extension assay to examine the levels of metabolism-linked protein in the CSF from 17 PD patients carrying GBA1 mutations (GBA1-PD) and 17 idiopathic PD (iPD). The analysis of CSF secretome in GBA1-PD identified 11 significantly altered proteins, namely FKBP4, THOP1, GLRX, TXNDC5, GAL, SEMA3F, CRKL, APLP1, LRP11, CD164, and NPTXR. To investigate GBA1-associated CSF changes attributed to specific neuronal subtypes responsible for PD, we analyzed the cell culture supernatant from GBA1-PD-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons. The secretome analysis of GBA1-PD iPSC-derived mDA neurons revealed that five differently regulated proteins overlapped with those identified in the CSF analysis: FKBP4, THOP1, GLRX, GAL, and CRKL. Reduced intracellular level of the top hit, FKPB4, was confirmed via Western Blot. In conclusion, our findings identify significantly altered CSF GBA1-PD-associated proteins with FKPB4 being firmly attributed to mDA neurons.

sangyeob han

sangyeob han

Kyungpook National University

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Efficient Assessment of Tumor Vascular Shutdown by Photodynamic Therapy on Orthotopic Pancreatic Cancer Using High-Speed Wide-Field Waterproof Galvanometer Scanner …

To identify the vascular alteration by photodynamic therapy (PDT), the utilization of high-resolution, high-speed, and wide-field photoacoustic microscopy (PAM) has gained enormous interest. The rapid changes in vasculature during PDT treatment and monitoring of tumor tissue activation in the orthotopic pancreatic cancer model have received limited attention in previous studies. Here, a fully two-axes waterproof galvanometer scanner-based photoacoustic microscopy (WGS-PAM) system was developed for in vivo monitoring of dynamic variations in micro blood vessels due to PDT in an orthotopic pancreatic cancer mouse model. The photosensitizer (PS), Chlorin e6 (Ce6), was utilized to activate antitumor reactions in response to the irradiation of a 660 nm light source. Microvasculatures of angiogenesis tissue were visualized on a 40 mm2 area using the WGS-PAM system at 30 min intervals for 3 h after the PDT treatment. The decline in vascular intensity was observed at 24.5% along with a 32.4% reduction of the vascular density at 3 h post-PDT by the analysis of PAM images. The anti-vascularization effect was also identified with fluorescent imaging. Moreover, Ce6-PDT increased apoptotic and necrotic markers while decreasing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) expression in MIA PaCa-2 and BxPC-3 pancreatic cancer cell lines. The approach of the WGS-PAM system shows the potential to investigate PDT effects on the mechanism of angiographic dynamics with high-resolution wide-field imaging modalities.

Dokyoung Kim

Dokyoung Kim

Kyung Hee University

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Systemic Treatment with Fas-Blocking Peptide Attenuates Apoptosis in Brain Ischemia

Apoptosis plays a crucial role in neuronal injury, with substantial evidence implicating Fas-mediated cell death as a key factor in ischemic strokes. To address this, inhibition of Fas-signaling has emerged as a promising strategy in preventing neuronal cell death and alleviating brain ischemia. However, the challenge of overcoming the blood–brain barrier (BBB) hampers the effective delivery of therapeutic drugs to the central nervous system (CNS). In this study, we employed a 30 amino acid-long leptin peptide to facilitate BBB penetration. By conjugating the leptin peptide with a Fas-blocking peptide (FBP) using polyethylene glycol (PEG), we achieved specific accumulation in the Fas-expressing infarction region of the brain following systemic administration. Notably, administration in leptin receptor-deficient db/db mice demonstrated that leptin facilitated the delivery of FBP peptide. We found that the systemic administration of leptin-PEG-FBP effectively inhibited Fas-mediated apoptosis in the ischemic region, resulting in a significant reduction of neuronal cell death, decreased infarct volumes, and accelerated recovery. Importantly, neither leptin nor PEG-FBP influenced apoptotic signaling in brain ischemia. Here, we demonstrate that the systemic delivery of leptin-PEG-FBP presents a promising and viable strategy for treating cerebral ischemic stroke. Our approach not only highlights the therapeutic potential but also emphasizes the importance of overcoming BBB challenges to advance treatments for neurological disorders.

Theodora Matsi

Theodora Matsi

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

DNA Barcoding and Fertilization Strategies in Sideritis syriaca subsp. syriaca, a Local Endemic Plant of Crete with High Medicinal Value

Herein, we applied DNA barcoding for the genetic characterization of Sideritis syriaca subsp. syriaca (Lamiaceae; threatened local Cretan endemic plant) using seven molecular markers of cpDNA. Five fertilization schemes were evaluated comparatively in a pilot cultivation in Crete. Conventional inorganic fertilizers (ChFs), integrated nutrient management (INM) fertilizers, and two biostimulants were utilized (foliar and soil application). Plant growth, leaf chlorophyll fluorescence, and color were assessed and leaf content of chlorophyll, key antioxidants (carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols), and nutrients were evaluated. Fertilization schemes induced distinct differences in leaf shape, altering quality characteristics. INM-foliar and ChF-soil application promoted yield, without affecting tissue water content or biomass partitioning to inflorescences. ChF-foliar application was the most stimulatory treatment when the primary target was enhanced antioxidant contents while INM-biostimulant was the least effective one. However, when the primary target is yield, INM, especially by foliar application, and ChF, by soil application, ought to be employed. New DNA sequence datasets for the plastid regions of petB/petD, rpoC1, psbK-psbI, and atpF/atpH were deposited in the GenBank for S. syriaca subsp. syriaca while the molecular markers rbcL, trnL/trnF, and psbA/trnH were compared to those of another 15 Sideritis species retrieved from the GenBank, constructing a phylogenetic tree to show their genetic relatedness.

Rudi van Eldik

Rudi van Eldik

Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Copper(II)-Assisted Degradation of Pheophytin a by Reactive Oxygen Species

The central ion Mg2+ is responsible for the differences between chlorophyll a and its free base in their reactivity toward metal ions and thus their resistance to oxidation. We present here the results of spectroscopic (electronic absorption and emission, circular dichroism, and electron paramagnetic resonance), spectroelectrochemical, and computational (based on density functional theory) investigations into the mechanism of pheophytin, a degradation that occurs in the presence of Cu ions and O2. The processes leading to the formation of the linear form of tetrapyrrole are very complex and involve the weakening of the methine bridge due to an electron withdrawal by Cu(II) and the activation of O2, which provides protection to the free ends of the opening macrocycle. These mechanistic insights are related to the naturally occurring damage to the photosynthetic apparatus of plants growing on metal-contaminated soils.

Rita Kiss

Rita Kiss

Debreceni Egyetem

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Assessing the Impact of Influenza Vaccination Timing on Experimental Arthritis: Effects on Disease Progression and Inflammatory Biomarkers

Numerous studies have indicated a link between vaccines and the exacerbation of autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, there is no consensus in clinical practice regarding the optimal timing of immunization. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate the impact of the 3Fluart influenza vaccine on the complete Freund’s adjuvant (CFA)-induced chronic arthritis rat model and to identify new biomarkers with clinical utility. CFA was injected into the plantar surface of one hind paw and the root of the tail on day 0, and the tail root injection was repeated on day 1. Flu vaccination was performed on day 1 or 7. Paw volume was measured by plethysmometry, mechanonociceptive threshold by dynamic plantar aesthesiometry, neutrophil myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity, and vascular leakage using in vivo optical imaging throughout the 21-day experiment. Inflammatory markers were determined by Western blot and histopathology. CFA-induced swelling, an increase in MPO activity, plasma extravasation in the tibiotarsal joint. Mechanical hyperalgesia of the hind paw was observed 3 days after the injection, which gradually decreased. Co-administration of the flu vaccine on day 7 but not on day 1 resulted in significantly increased heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) expression. The influenza vaccination appears to have a limited impact on the progression and severity of the inflammatory response and associated pain. Nevertheless, delayed vaccination could alter the disease activity, as indicated by the findings from assessments of edema and inflammatory biomarkers. HO-1 may serve as a potential marker for the severity of inflammation …

Janos Podani

Janos Podani

Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Analysis of SIRT1 Gene SNPs and Clinical Characteristics in Medication-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw

Certain genetic factors, including single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the SIRT1 gene, have been linked to medication-related osteonecrosis of the jaw (MRONJ). This study examined four SNPs in the SIRT1 gene and implemented multivariate statistical analysis to analyze genetic and clinical factors in MRONJ patients. Genomic DNA was isolated from peripheral blood samples of 63 patients of European origin treated for MRONJ, and four SNP genotypes in the gene encoding the SIRT-1 protein were determined by Sanger sequencing. The allele frequencies measured in the MRONJ population were compared with allele frequencies measured in the European population in the National Center for Biotechnology Information Allele Frequency Aggregator (NCBI ALFA) database. Genetic and clinical factors were examined with multivariate statistical analysis. A C:A allele distribution ratio of 77.8:22.2 was measured in the rs932658 SNP. In the ALFA project, a C:A allele distribution ratio of 59.9:40.1 was detected in the European population, which was found to be a significant difference (p = 4.5 × 10−5). Multivariate statistical analysis revealed a positive correlation (0.275) between the genotype of SNP rs932658 and the number of stages improved during appropriate MRONJ therapy. It is concluded that allele A in SNP rs932658 in the SIRT1 gene acts as a protective factor in MRONJ.

Ernő  Kuzmann

Ernő Kuzmann

Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

International Journal of Molecular Sciences

Debye Temperature Evaluation for Secondary Battery Cathode of α-SnxFe1−xOOH Nanoparticles Derived from the 57Fe- and 119Sn-Mössbauer Spectra

Debye temperatures of α-SnxFe1−xOOH nanoparticles (x = 0, 0.05, 0.10, 0.15 and 0.20, abbreviated as Sn100x NPs) prepared by hydrothermal reaction were estimated with 57Fe- and 119Sn-Mössbauer spectra measured by varying the temperature from 20 to 300 K. Electrical properties were studied by solid-state impedance spectroscopy (SS-IS). Together, the charge–discharge capacity of Li- and Na-ion batteries containing Sn100x NPs as a cathode were evaluated. 57Fe-Mössbauer spectra of Sn10, Sn15, and Sn20 measured at 300 K showed only one doublet due to the superparamagnetic doublet, while the doublet decomposed into a sextet due to goethite at the temperature below 50 K for Sn 10, 200 K for Sn15, and 100 K for Sn20. These results suggest that Sn10, Sn15 and Sn20 had smaller particles than Sn0. On the other hand, 20 K 119Sn-Mössbauer spectra of Sn15 were composed of a paramagnetic doublet with an isomer shift (δ) of 0.24 mm s−1 and quadrupole splitting (∆) of 3.52 mm s−1. These values were larger than those of Sn10 (δ: 0.08 mm s−1, ∆: 0.00 mm s−1) and Sn20 (δ: 0.10 mm s−1, ∆: 0.00 mm s−1), suggesting that the SnIV-O chemical bond is shorter and the distortion of octahedral SnO6 is larger in Sn15 than in Sn10 and Sn20 due to the increase in the covalency and polarization of the SnIV-O chemical bond. Debye temperatures determined from 57Fe-Mössbauer spectra measured at the low temperature were 210 K, 228 K, and 250 K for Sn10, Sn15, and Sn20, while that of α-Fe2O3 was 324 K. Similarly, the Debye temperature of 199, 251, and 269 K for Sn10, Sn15, and Sn20 were estimated from the temperature …