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LASP2 was downregulated in pancreatic cancer (PC) tissues and cell lines. Moreover, upregulation of LASP2 ( LIM and SH3 protein 2) inhibited the PC cell migration and invasion. We also found that LASP2 upregulation reversed TGF‐β‐induced epithelial‐mesenchymal transition in PC cells.


Abstract

LASP2 (LIM and SH3 protein 2), a member of the LIM‐protein subfamily of the nebulin group, was first identified as a splice variant of the nebulin gene. In the past, investigators mainly focused on the impact of LASP2 on cardiac diseases because of its identification in the myocardium. Recently, several studies have reported that LASP2 is associated with the progression of various cancers. However, there have been no investigations on the expression and function of LASP2 in pancreatic cancer (PC). In this study, we performed the quantitative real‐time polymerase chain reaction and Western blot analysis to detect the expression of LASP2 in PC tissues and cell lines. PC cells were transfected with LASP2 overexpression plasmid or the negative control in the presence or absence of tumor growth factor‐β (TGF‐β). The transwell assays were used to measure the effects of LASP2 on PC cell migration and invasion. The protein expression of epithelial‐mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers was detected using Western blot assay. Our results demonstrated that LASP2 was downregulated in PC tissues and cell lines. In addition, upregulation of LASP2 inhibited the PC cell migration and invasion. We also found that LASP2 upregulation reversed TGF‐β‐induced EMT in PC cells. Taken together, we provided novel evidence supporting the tumor‐suppressor role of LASP2 in PC and suggested it as a potential therapeutic target in PC treatment.

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Abstract

Limb ischemia reperfusion (LIRI) injury is associated with serious local and systemic effects. Reperfusion may augment tissue injury in excess of that produced by ischemia alone. Calcium overloading and inflammation are considered to be two of the pathological mechanisms of limb ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) injury. Tao‐Hong‐Si‐Wu decoction (THSWD) is a traditional Chinese herbal medicine with a powerful anti‐inflammatory properties. We studied the probable restorative effect of THSWD on limb I/R‐induced calcium overloading and inflammation in myoblast obtained from gastrocnemius muscle tissues of Sprague‐Dawley rats (Frizzled Z5,a wnt5a blocker; KN‐93, a calmodulin‐dependent protein kinase II (CamkII) blocker; XeC, a IP3R blocker as positive controls). The simulated ischemia and reperfusion(I/R) solutions were used to imitate LIRI environment. The results showed that after I/R treatment, the secretion of proinflammatory factors (TNF‐α and IL‐1β) and Wnt5a/Ca2+ signal molecules (wnt5a, camkII, and IP3R) upregulated significantly, the Ca2+ concentration enhanced too in myoblast cells. THSWD pretreatment decreased the secretion of TNF‐α and IL‐1β, Ca2+ concentration; and abated the Wnt5a/Ca2+ signal molecules of wnt5a, camkII and IP3R expression activated by I/R injury; but could not abated the Wnt11 and protein kinase C (PKC) expression significantly, the results was similar with Frizzled Z5 treatment cells. Our research illustrated that THSWD may have a mitigating effect on LIRI targeting Wnt/IP3R/CAMKII but not Wnt/IP3R/PKC signaling pathway for the first time. This study may encourage the use of THSWD in the critical clinical settings with LIRI.

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We, for the first time, performed a weighted gene coexpression network analysis between intramuscular fat (IMF) traits and genes in chicken. A total of 26 coexpressed gene modules were identified, six of them showed a significant positive correlation with IMF traits. Meanwhile, 98 hub genes were identified from six modules of interest.


Abstract

Intramuscular fat (IMF) traits are important factors that influence meat quality. However, the molecular regulatory mechanisms that underlie this trait in chickens are still poorly understood at the gene coexpression level. Here, we performed a weighted gene coexpression network analysis between IMF traits and transcriptome profile in breast muscle in the Chinese domestic Gushi chicken breed at 6, 14, 22, and 30 weeks. A total of 26 coexpressed gene modules were identified. Six modules, which included the dark gray, purple, cyan, pink, light cyan, and blue modules, showed a significant positive correlation (P < 0.05) with IMF traits. The strongest correlation was observed between the dark gray module and IMF content (r = 0.85; P = 4e‐04) and between the blue module and different fatty acid content (r = 0.87~0.91; P = 5e‐05~2e‐04). Enrichment analysis showed that the enrichment of biological processes, such as fatty acid metabolic process, fat cell differentiation, acylglycerol metabolic process, and glycerolipid metabolism were significantly different in the six modules. In addition, the 32, 24, 4, 7, 6, and 25 hub genes were identified from the blue, pink, light cyan, cyan, dark gray, and purple modules, respectively. These hub genes are involved in multiple links to fatty acid metabolism, phospholipid metabolism, cholesterol metabolism, diverse cellular behaviors, and cell events. These results provide novel insights into the molecular regulatory mechanisms for IMF‐related traits in chicken and may also help to uncover the formation mechanism for excellent meat quality traits in local breeds of Chinese chicken.

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The effect of paclitaxel and digoxin alone or in combination on the viability of human lung (A549) and cervical cancer (HeLa) cell lines and the inhibitory effect of paclitaxel on several mammalian Na+/K+‐ATPases were investigated. Our findings demonstrate that, under our conditions, although they have a partial or complete antitumor effect when used alone, the combination of paclitaxel and digoxin produces antagonistic cytotoxic effects, and paclitaxel does not directly inhibit the Na+/K+‐ATPase activity. The effect of such drug combinations should not be intuitively deduced, and further research is needed to evaluate the consequences of the interaction of cardiotonic steroids and chemotherapy drugs.


Abstract

Despite the growing interest in the antitumor effect of cardiotonic steroids, combination treatments with well‐established chemotherapy drugs like paclitaxel have been rarely investigated. Moreover, paclitaxel has been suggested as a Na+/K+‐ATPase inhibitor. Here we investigated the effect of paclitaxel and digoxin alone or in combination on the viability of human lung (A549) and cervical cancer (HeLa) cell lines and the inhibitory effect of paclitaxel on several mammalian Na+/K+‐ATPases. Although the viability of both tumor cell lines was concentration‐dependently affected by digoxin treatment after 48 hours (A549 IC50 = 31 nM and HeLa IC50 = 151 nM), a partial effect was observed for paclitaxel, with a maximal inhibitory effect of 45% at 1000 nM with A549 and around 70% with HeLa cells (IC50 = 1 nM). Although the two drugs were cytotoxic, their combined effect in HeLa cells was revealed to be antagonistic, as estimated by the combination index. No direct inhibitory effect of paclitaxel was detected in human, pig, rat, and mouse Na+/K+‐ATPase enzymes, but high concentrations of paclitaxel decreased the Na+/K+‐ATPase activity in HeLa cells after 48 hours without affecting protein expression. Our findings demonstrate that, under our conditions, paclitaxel and digoxin cotreatment produce antagonistic cytotoxic effects in HeLa cells, and the mechanism of action of paclitaxel does not involve a direct inhibition of Na+/K+‐ATPase. More studies shall be designed to evaluate the consequences of the interaction of cardiotonic steroids and chemotherapy drugs.

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This study provides mechanistic insights into behavioral changes of the prion imposed through conformational modulation due to the clinically relevant protective and pathogenic mutations in prion protein.


Abstract

In this study we are looking into two contradicting mutations found in prion protein (PrP) viz G127V and D178V, that are reportedly protective and pathogenic, respectively. Despite significant advances in comprehension of the role of pathogenic mutations, the role of protective mutation in amyloid fold inhibition still lacks a substantial basis. To understand the structural basis of protective mutation, molecular dynamics simulation coupled with protein‐protein docking and molecular mechanics/Poisson‐Boltzmann surface area analysis was used to understand the instant structural variability brought about by these mutations alone and in combination on PrP and prion‐prion complex. Atomic‐scale investigations successfully revealed that the binding pattern of prion‐prion varies differentially in protective and pathogenic mutations with secondary structure showing distinct contrasting patterns, which could supposedly be a critical factor for differential prion behavior in protective and pathogenic mutations. Considering the reported role of an amyloid fold in prion‐prion binding, the contrasting pattern has given us a lead in comprehending the role of these mutations and has been used in this study to look for small molecules that can inhibit amyloid fold for prion‐prion interaction in pathogenic mutant carrying PrP.

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The objective of the present study is to investigate whether icariin (ICA) prevents bone loss by acting on BMSCs via affecting the level of autophagy after ovariectomy (OVX). Our results indicate that ICA prevents OVX‐induced bone loss possibly by strengthening the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs via increasing autophagic activity.


Abstract

Osteoporosis (OP) results from the impaired function of endogenous bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs). Icariin (ICA) has shown potential osteoprotective effects. However, the molecular mechanism for the anabolic action of ICA remains largely unknown. The objective of the present study is to investigate whether ICA prevents bone loss by acting on BMSCs via affecting the level of autophagy after ovariectomy (OVX). The BMSCs were extracted from BALB/c mice treated with ICA, chloroquine (CQ, an autophagy inhibitor) or ICA + CQ. The OVX mice were injected with ICA, CQ, or ICA + CQ for 1 month. We performed Alizarin Red staining and alkaline phosphatase staining to detect osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs. Micro‐CT, hematoxylin and eosin staining, Oil Red O staining, and tartrate‐resistant acid phosphatase staining were used to assess the bone mass, lipid droplets and osteoclasts in femurs. Autophagy activity in BMSCs from different groups was evaluated by Western blot analysis. The osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs from OVX‐induced OP mice was decreased. Treatment with ICA reduced bone loss and formation of osteoclasts and increased osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs in vitro and vivo. In addition, autophagy was enhanced in BMSCs of OVX mice treated with ICA. Our results indicate that ICA prevents OVX‐induced bone loss possibly by strengthening the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs via increasing autophagic activity.

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Osteogenic differentiation is a controlled developmental process in which microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles. Although much is known about regulatory genes and signaling pathways in osteogenesis, the role of miRNAs in osteogenic differentiation still needs to be explored. This review aims to provide a general overview of miRNAs participating in osteogenic differentiation of stem cells and explain their regulatory effect based on the genes targeted with these miRNAs.


Abstract

Osteogenic differentiation is a controlled developmental process in which external and internal factors including cytokines, growth factors, transcription factors (TFs), signaling pathways and microRNAs (miRNAs) play important roles. Various stimulatory and inhibitory TFs contribute to osteogenic differentiation and are responsible for bone development. In addition, cross‐talk between several complex signaling pathways regulates the osteogenic differentiation of some stem cells. Although much is known about regulatory genes and signaling pathways in osteogenesis, the role of miRNAs in osteogenic differentiation still needs to be explored.

miRNAs are small, approximately 22 nucleotides, single‐stranded nonprotein coding RNAs which are abundant in many mammalian cell types. They paly significant regulated roles in various biological processes and serve as promising biomarkers for disease states. Recently, emerging evidence have shown that miRNAs are the key regulators of osteogenesis of stem cells. They may endogenously regulate osteogenic differentiation of stem cells through direct targeting of positive or negative directors of osteogenesis and depending on the target result in the promotion or inhibition of osteogenic differentiation.

This review aims to provide a general overview of miRNAs participating in osteogenic differentiation of stem cells and explain their regulatory effect based on the genes targeted with these miRNAs.

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In summary, we conclude that Acteoside inhibits autophagy‐induced apoptosis in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) through the Optineurin (OPTN) and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, and glaucoma patients may benefit from Acteoside treatment alone or in combination with other autophagy inhibitors.


Abstract Background

Glaucoma is the world's second biggest cause of blindness, and patients progressively lose their eyesight. The current clinical treatment for glaucoma involves controlling intraocular pressure with drugs or surgery; however, some patients still progressively lose their eyesight. This treatment is also similar to the treatment of traumatic optic neuropathy. Thus, saving retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) from apoptosis is essential.

Methods

The role of Acteoside on autophagy modulation in the 661 W cell line.

Results

In this study, we first find that Acteoside inhibits autophagy, Rapamycin alleviates this inhibition and the PI3K inhibitor, 3‐MA or LY294002, synergistically promotes it. In a mechanistic study, we find that Optineurin (OPTN) mediates Acteoside regulation of autophagy. OPTN overexpression or knockdown activates or inhibits autophagy, respectively. OPTN is inhibited by autophagy inhibitors, such as Acteoside and 3‐MA and is promoted by the autophagy activator, Rapamycin. Meanwhile, PI3K and AKT are elevated by Acteoside and 3‐MA and inhibited by Rapamycin. Finally, we find that Acteoside inhibits apoptosis in parallel to autophagy and that this inhibition is also mediated by OPTN.

Conclusion

In summary, we conclude that Acteoside inhibits autophagy‐induced apoptosis in RGCs through the OPTN and PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway, and glaucoma patients may benefit from Acteoside treatment alone or in combination with other autophagy inhibitors.

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Abstract

Cardiovascular risk increases in women after menopause. Unfavorable lipid‐lipoprotein changes due to a lack of estrogens may have an important role in this context. Estrogen actions are mainly mediated by their binding to two estrogen receptors (ERs) whose signaling may be conditioned by different factors. Calcium, vitamin D, and genistein, among others, cause a beneficial effect on serum lipid profile by its modulation. Some genetic factors can also determine this signal. We determined the possible additive effect of genistein on calcium and vitamin D supplementation regarding serum lipid profile changes and whether ER polymorphisms may mediate in this effect.

We performed a prospective, double blind study in which women were randomized in two groups: one group received calcium and vitamin D and the other group received calcium, vitamin D and genistein. Subsequently, we studied rs9340799, rs928554, and rs4986938 ER polymorphisms in both groups.

Our results showed that being a carrier of the variant allele G of rs928554 polymorphism was associated with a greater decrease in triglyceride levels and that the homozygous AA genotype of rs9340799 polymorphism was associated with a greater decrease in total cholesterol, low‐density lipoprotein cholesterol, and triglyceride levels after calcium, vitamin D, and genistein supplementation.

This is the first report showing an association between polymorphisms in ER genes and an improvement of the serum lipid profile after taking calcium, vitamin D, and genistein supplementation in postmenopausal women. It reinforces the hypothesis that genetic factors are crucial in ER signalling.

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In this study, we aimed to investigate the phenotypic characteristics of human immortal skin keratinocytes (HaCaT) cells and the role of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) in coculture system of HaCaT cells and ADM. HaCaT cells might be as seed cells to develop skin tissue engineering and the HaCaT‐ADM scaffold might be a better candidate to promote skin repair and regeneration.


Abstract

In this study, we aimed to investigate the phenotypic characteristics of human immortal skin keratinocytes (HaCaT) cells and the role of acellular dermal matrix (ADM) in coculture system of HaCaT cells and ADM. Flow cytometry was used to examine the cluster of differentiation (CD) makers of HaCaT cells. Apoptosis analysis was applied to detect the apoptosis rate of HaCaT cells. Morphological observation of ADM isolated from the reticular layer of Sprague‐Dawley rat dermis was utilized to evaluate the morphological structure of ADM. Methylthiazolyl tetrazolium (MTT) assay and morphological experiments were further used to confirm the scaffold role of ADM in HaCaT cells. A wound‐healing mice model accompanied by HaCaT‐ADM scaffold transplantation was performed to further verify the function of HaCaT‐ADM scaffold. Our results showed that CD71, CD49f, K19, and CD29 were highly expressed in HaCaT cells, and the percentage of apoptosis cells was significantly increased, which represented that HaCaT cells had much stronger capacities of adhesion and proliferation than normal human keratinocytes. Additionally, the morphological structure of ADM presented many natural microbores, which made cells rapidly grow on ADM. The results exhibited that the HaCaT cells indeed promptly proliferate on ADM and easily grow into the microbores of ADM. Finally, an in vivo experiment further confirmed that the transplantation of the HaCaT‐ADM scaffold into the dorsal skin of a wound‐healing mice model could gradually repair the injured wound. Thus, these findings indicated that HaCaT cells might be as seed cells to develop skin tissue engineering and the HaCaT‐ADM scaffold might be a better candidate to promote skin repair and regeneration.

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