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Abstract

Mitochondria import the vast majority of their proteins via dedicated protein machineries. The translocase of the outer membrane (TOM complex) forms the main entry site for precursor proteins that are produced on cytosolic ribosomes. Subsequently, different protein sorting machineries transfer the incoming preproteins to the mitochondrial outer and inner membranes, the intermembrane space, and the matrix. In this review, we highlight the recently discovered role of porin, also termed voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC), in mitochondrial protein biogenesis. Porin forms the major channel for metabolites and ions in the outer membrane of mitochondria. Two different functions of porin in protein translocation have been reported. First, it controls the formation of the TOM complex by modulating the integration of the central receptor Tom22 into the mature translocase. Second, porin promotes the transport of carrier proteins toward the carrier translocase (TIM22 complex), which inserts these preproteins into the inner membrane. Therefore, porin acts as a coupling factor to spatially coordinate outer and inner membrane transport steps. Thus, porin links metabolite transport to protein import, which are both essential for mitochondrial function and biogenesis.

Abstract

Mitochondria are multifaceted metabolic organelles and adapt dynamically to various developmental transitions and environmental challenges. The metabolic flexibility of mitochondria is provided by alterations in the mitochondrial proteome and is tightly coupled to changes in the shape of mitochondria. Mitochondrial proteases are emerging as important posttranslational regulators of mitochondrial plasticity. The i-AAA protease YME1L, an ATP-dependent proteolytic complex in the mitochondrial inner membrane, coordinates mitochondrial biogenesis and dynamics with the metabolic output of mitochondria. mTORC1-dependent lipid signaling drives proteolytic rewiring of mitochondria by YME1L. While the tissue-specific loss of YME1L in mice is associated with heart failure, disturbed eye development, and axonal degeneration in the spinal cord, YME1L activity supports growth of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma cells. YME1L thus represents a key regulatory protease determining mitochondrial plasticity and metabolic reprogramming and is emerging as a promising therapeutic target.

Abstract

Chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is still one of the major reasons for liver related mortality and morbidity all around the world. This study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between the immune system activation and presence, as well as progression, of hepatitis B infection by monitoring the tryptophan degradation and serum neopterin levels in patients with HBV. 110 patients with HBV and 23 healthy subjects were included in the study. The patients had significantly higher neopterin levels and increased kynurenine to tryptophan ratios, which were most probably due to enhanced indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) activity compared to healthy control. A strong positive correlation was found between neopterin levels and IDO activity in patient group. Neopterin levels and IDO activity were markedly increased in patients with histological activity index (HAI) ≥4 compared to HAI<4, and a significant correlation was found between neopterin and HAI. Moreover, there was a significant correlation between albumin levels and IDO activity in HBV patients. These findings suggest that tryptophan degradation results from IFN-γ-induced IDO activation, likewise depletion of albumin synthesis in HBV patients may result from diminished tryptophan availability. In conclusion, based on the study results, serum neopterin levels and IDO activity could provide additional immunological information for monitoring liver histological activity and can be used as prognostic markers in HBV disease.

Abstract

Cytochrome P450s are an important group of enzymes catalyzing hydroxylation and epoxidations reactions. In this work we describe the characterization of the CinA-CinC fusion enzyme system of a previously reported P450 using genetically fused heme (CinA) and FMN (CinC) enzyme domains from Citrobacter braaki. We observed that mixing individually inactivated heme (-) with FMN (-) domain in the CinA-10aa linker- CinC fusion constructs results in recovered activity and the formation of (2S)-2β-hydroxy,1,8-cineole (174 μM), a similar amount when compared to the fully functional fusion protein (176 μM). We also studied the effect of the fusion linker length in the activity complementation assay. Our results suggests an intermolecular interaction between heme and FMN parts from different CinACinC fusion protein similar to proposed mechanisms for P450 BM3 on the other hand, linker length plays a crucial influence on the activity of the fusion constructs. However, complementation assays show that inactive constructs with shorter linker lengths have functional subunits, and that the lack of activity might be due to incorrect interaction between fused enzymes.

Abstract

Objective To investigate the correlation between serum homocysteine (Hcy), Galectin-3 concentration and atrial structural remodeling in atrial fibrillation (AF) patients.

Methods Twenty-five patients with persistent atrial fibrillation (PeAF), 24 patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (PaAF) and 23 healthy controls were included in the present work. All subjects received an echocardiography examination. Serum concentration of Hcy and Galectin-3 were also examined by Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA).

Results Echocardiography examination demonstrated that there were significant differences for LAD (p=0.002), LVEF (p=0.005) and LVAI (p=0.0001) between the control, PaAF and PeAF groups. However, LVSD and LVDD were not significantly different between the three groups (pall>0.05). There was a significant positive correlation between LAVI and serum Hcy level in both PaAF (rpearson=0.49, p=0.016) and PeAF (rpearson=0.51, p=0.009) groups. The correlation between LAVI and serum Galectin-3 concentration was also statistically significant for PaAF (rpearson=0.54, p=0.006) and PeAF (rpearson=0.60, p=0.001) groups. Using serum Hcy as reference, diagnostic sensitivity and specificity were calculated as 72.00 (95%CI: 50.61-87.93) and 62.50 (95%CI: 40.59-81.20), respectively, with an AUC of 0.68 for PaAF and PeAF. For serum Galectin-3, the sensitivity and specificity values were 64.00 (95%CI:42.52-82.03) and 66.67 (95%CI:44.68-84.37), respectively, with an AUC of 0.68.

Conclusion: Serum Hcy and Galectin-3 were elevated in AF patients and thus may be potential markers of atrial structural remodeling. However, the diagnostic efficacy of PeAF from PaAF was limited by low AUC values.

Abstract

Introduction: Neopterin and 7,8-dihydroneopterin are used as biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation, but the effect of kidney function on these measurements has not been extensively explored. We examine the levels of oxidative stress, inflammation and kidney function in intensive patients and compare them to equivalent patients without sepsis.

Methods: 34 Intensive care patients were selected for the study, 14 without sepsis and 20 with. Both groups had equivalent levels of trauma, assessed by SAPS II, SOFA, and APACHE II and III scores. Plasma and urinary neopterin and total neopterin (neopterin + 7,8-dihydroneopterin) values were measured.

Results: Neopterin and total neopterin were significantly elevated in urine and plasma for multiple days in sepsis versus non-sepsis patients. Plasma neopterin and total neopterin have decreasing relationships with increased eGFR (p<0.008 and p<0.001, respectively). Plasma/urinary neopterin and total neopterin ratios demonstrate that total neopterin flux is more influenced by eGFR than neopterin, with significantce of p<0.02 and p<0.0002 respectively.

Conclusion: Sepsis patients present with greater levels of oxidative stress and immune system activation than non-sepsis patients of equal levels of trauma, as measured by neopterin and total neopterin. eGFR may need to be taken into account when accessing the level of inflammation from urinary neopterin measurements.

Abstract

The link between histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), i.e. amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles, and AD-associated cognitive impairment, has long been established. However, the introduction of interactions between amyloid-beta (Aβ) as well as hyperphosphorylated tau, and the cholinergic system to the territory of descriptive neuropathology has drastically changed this field by adding the theory of synaptic neurotransmission to the toxic pas de deux in AD. Accumulating data show that a multitarget approach involving all amyloid, tau, and cholinergic hypotheses could better explain the evolution of events happening in AD. Various species of both Aβ and tau could be traced in cholinergic neurons of the basal forebrain system early in the course of the disease. These molecules induce degeneration in the neurons of this system. Reciprocally, aberrant cholinergic system modulation promotes changes in amyloid precursor protein (APP) metabolism and tau phosphorylation, resulting in neurotoxicity, neuroinflammation, and neuronal death. Altogether, these changes may better correlate with the clinical findings and cognitive impairment detected in AD patients. Failure of several of Aβ- and tau-related therapies further highlights the need for special attention to molecules that target all of these mentioned pathologic changes. Another noteworthy fact here is that none of the popular hypotheses of AD such as amyloidopathy or tauopathy seem to be responsible for the changes observed in AD alone. Thus, the main culprit should be sought higher in the stream somewhere in APP metabolism or Wnt signaling in the cholinergic system of the basal forebrain. Future studies should target these pathological events.

Abstract

To evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of passive cellular immunotherapy for glioma, a total of 979 patients were assigned to the meta-analysis. PubMed and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched initially from February 2018 and updated in April 2019. The overall survival (OS) rates and Karnofsky performance status (KPS) values of patients who underwent passive cellular immunotherapy were compared to those of patients who did not undergo immunotherapy. The proportion of survival rates was also evaluated in one group of clinical trials. Pooled analysis was performed with random- or fixed-effects models. Clinical trials of lymphokine-activated killer cells, cytotoxic T lymphocytes, autologous tumor-specific T lymphocytes, chimeric antigen receptor T cells, cytokine-induced killer cells, cytomegalovirus-specific T cells, and natural killer cell therapies were selected. Results showed that treatment of glioma with passive cellular immunotherapy was associated with a significantly improved 0.5-year OS (p = 0.003) as well as improved 1-, 1.5-, and 3-year OS (p ≤ 0.05). A meta-analysis of 206 patients in one group of clinical trials with 12-month follow-up showed that the overall pooled survival rate was 37.9% (p = 0.003). Analysis of KPS values demonstrated favorable results for the immunotherapy arm (p < 0.001). Thus, the present meta-analysis showed that passive cellular immunotherapy prolongs survival and improves quality of life for glioma patients, suggesting that it has some clinical benefits.

Abstract

We review current thinking about, and draw connections between, brain energetics and metabolism, and between mitochondria and traumatic brain injury. Energy is fundamental to proper brain function. Its creation in a useful form for neurons and glia, and consistently in response to the brain’s high energy needs, is critical for physiological pathways. Dysfunction in the mechanisms of energy production is at the center of neurological and neuropsychiatric pathologies. We examine the connections between energetics and mitochondria – the organelle responsible for almost all the energy production in the cell – and how secondary pathologies in traumatic brain injury result from energetic dysfunction. This paper interweaves these topics, a necessity since they are closely coupled, and identifies where there exist a lack of understanding and of data. In addition to summarizing current thinking in these disciplines, our goal is to suggest a framework for the mathematical modeling of mechanisms and pathways based on optimal energetic decisions.

Abstract

At the end of 19th century, Adolf von Strümpell and Sigmund Freud independently described the symptoms of a new pathology now known as hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). HSP is part of the group of genetic neurodegenerative diseases usually associated with slow progressive pyramidal syndrome, spasticity, weakness of the lower limbs, and distal-end degeneration of motor neuron long axons. Patients are typically characterized by gait symptoms (with or without other neurological disorders), which can appear both in young and adult ages depending on the different HSP forms. The disease prevalence is at 1.3–9.6 in 100 000 individuals in different areas of the world, making HSP part of the group of rare neurodegenerative diseases. Thus far, there are no specific clinical and paraclinical tests, and DNA analysis is still the only strategy to obtain a certain diagnosis. For these reasons, it is mandatory to extend the knowledge on genetic causes, pathology mechanism, and disease progression to give clinicians more tools to obtain early diagnosis, better therapeutic strategies, and examination tests. This review gives an overview of HSP pathologies and general insights to a specific HSP subtype called spastic paraplegia 31 (SPG31), which rises after mutation of REEP1 gene. In fact, recent findings discovered an interesting endoplasmic reticulum antistress function of REEP1 and a role of this protein in preventing τ accumulation in animal models. For this reason, this work tries to elucidate the main aspects of REEP1, which are described in the literature, to better understand its role in SPG31 HSP and other pathologies.