Vol.44, No.4, 2020-Table of Contents
  • COVID-19: Review on Its Etiology, Pathogenesis, and Existence in Humans
  • Abstract The world is facing a new healthcare crisis with the rise and spread of novel coronavirus since December 2019. Also known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Corona Virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the disease associated with SARSCoV-2 is even called COVID-19. The infection is said to have originated from the bat community and transmitted to humans through an intermediate host (yet unknown) in Wuhan, in the Hubei region of China. COVID-19 is having a pulverizing impact on the scientific community. As of August 13, 2020, the number of confirmed cases had reached up to 20,439,814 and the death toll to 744,385, affecting more… More
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  • Nuclear regulation of mitochondrial functions during oocyte development
  • Abstract Mitochondria are important in eukaryotic cells due to their functions in energy production and regulation over other cellular activities. Oocytes are produced by a long and precisely controlled process, the dysfunction of which leads to impaired female fertility. As oocytes mature, mitochondria are constantly under the regulation of nuclear genes, the process of which can be modulated by extracellular signals. Understanding how nuclear genes regulate mitochondrial functions is important for studying animal reproduction and human fertility. As more and more genes regulating mitochondrial functions in oocytes are being revealed, new approaches for improving female fertility in both human and animals… More
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  • Melatonin and its protective role against male reproductive toxicity induced by heavy metals, environmental pollutants, and chemotherapy: A review
  • Abstract Melatonin, as a ubiquitous indoleamine hormone, is synthesized primarily by the pineal gland. It has diverse biological effects through quite complex mechanisms. More recently, studies have focused on the mechanism of melatonin in anti-reproductive toxicity/damage. Since melatonin possesses strong antioxidant and anti-apoptotic properties, researchers have examined its potential role in protecting against male reproductive toxicity/damage, which may be induced by chemotherapy or environmental toxicants and can lead to male infertility. In this article, recent progress regarding the protective effects of melatonin on male reproductive toxicity/damage is reviewed. More
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  • Gene expression of granulosa and cumulus cells: The prospect in predicting the quality and developmental competence of oocytes in vitro maturation
  • Abstract In vitro maturation (IVM), a promising assisted reproductive technology (ART), has been evolving in clinical trials and applications. There is a huge potential demand for IVM in clinical practice because it reduces the stimulation of gonadotropins to patients and provides evidence for the safety of neonatal birth. Unfortunately, the maturation rate of oocytes in vivo is not as high as it is in vivo due to a different microenvironment. Moreover, there are still controversies in predicting the developmental capability of oocytes in IVM. The granulosa cells (GCs) and cumulus cells (CCs), closely surrounding the oocytes, play a critical role in… More
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  • New models of adipogenic differentiation highlight a cell-autonomous response to temperature
  • Abstract Temperature is a key regulator of brown adipose tissue (BAT) function, acting through central sensory inputs to influence metabolism and energy storage. Although animal models have produced a wealth of information on the pathways, effectors and responses mediating the physiological response of adipose tissue to temperature in vivo, the use of cell culture models now offers evidence of an additional cell-autonomous response to temperature changes, in the absence of neural input. In particular, stem cell models provide new insight into the regulation of adipogenic differentiation and the induction of browning features in vitro. Here the basis for adipogenic responsiveness to… More
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  • Molecular biomarkers: multiple roles in radiotherapy
  • Abstract Preoperative chemoradiation therapy (CRT) is becoming the standard treatment for patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. However, individual differences in response to treatment range from a complete response to complete resistance. Predicting the tumor response to radiotherapy may improve the efficacy of radiotherapy. This review mainly summarizes recent studies about the molecular biomarkers that can predict the response to radiotherapy in rectal cancer. These studies have indicated that the molecular markers involved in the response to radiotherapy mainly include genes related to radiosensitivity, cancer stem cell-related markers, non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs), single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and gene methylation, and other factors including… More
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  • A hypothesis for a novel role of RIN1-the modulation of telomerase function by the MAPK signaling pathway
  • Abstract Cancerous cells display abnormalities in the signal transduction pathways responsible for responding to extracellular growth factors, or mitogens. Mutations that alter proteins involved in these types of pathways can lead to inappropriate or unregulated cell growth, and therefore predispose the cell to become malignant. The critical role of the Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway in transducing growth signals to the interior of the cell and subsequently stimulating cell growth and proliferation is underscored by the fact that roughly one quarter of all human tumors contain mutant forms of Ras proteins. A particular focus on the signaling and membrane trafficking adaptor… More
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  • Functions of ULK1 in autophagy and non-autophagy pathways and its implications in human physiology and disease
  • Abstract ULK1 (unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1), a mammalian serine/threonine kinase, is a key component of autophagy initiation complex and helps to induce all types of autophagy. Canonical autophagy is a process in which, through the interactions of a series of autophagy-related proteins, damaged organelles or misfolded proteins are engulfed by autophagosomes and then merged with lysosomes to be degraded. Thus, canonical autophagy is an important constituent part of the cellular “quality control.” Besides, accumulating evidence indicates that ULK1 exerts autophagy-independent effects in a cell-specific manner. For example, ULK1 facilitates neurite elongation through the regulation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)–Golgi trafficking… More
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  • The role of protein phosphorylation in the regulation of class switch recombination
  • Abstract Antibody is an important part of adaptive immune system and is produced only by B cells. There are five main classes (IgM, IgD, IgG, IgA, IgE) and some subclasses in antibodies. IgM and IgD are produced by mature naïve B cells. On the other hand, IgG, IgA and IgE are produced by activated antigen-specific B cells via class switch recombination (CSR). CSR is the irreversible DNA rearrangement from upstream to downstream classes in immunoglobulin heavy chain genes. Co-stimulations of CD40 ligand (CD40L) and cytokines are required for induction of CSR by activating several transcription factors. These signal transduction pathways involve… More
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  • Expression profiling of immune cells in systemic lupus erythematosus by single-cell RNA sequencing
  • Abstract Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease characterized by abnormal cellular and humoral immune responses and excessive autoantibody production. The precise pathologic mechanism of SLE remains elusive. The advent of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) enables unbiased analysis of the molecular differences of cell populations at the single-cell level. We used scRNA-seq to profile the transcriptomes of peripheral blood mononuclear cells from an SLE patient compared with a healthy control (HC). A total of 16,021 cells were analyzed and partitioned into 12 distinct clusters. The marker genes of each cluster and the four major immune cell types (B cells,… More
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  • Profiles of immune status and related pathways in sepsis: evidence based on GEO and bioinformatics
  • Abstract Sepsis, characterized as life-threatening sequential organ failure, is caused by a dysregulated host immune response to a pathogen. Conventional practice for sepsis is to control the inflammation source and administer highgrade antibiotics. However, the mortality rate of sepsis varies from 25–30% and can reach 50% if a septic shock occurs. In our current study, we used bioinformatics technology to detect immune status profiles in sepsis at the genomic level. We downloaded and analyzed gene expression profiles of GSE28750 from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database to determine differential gene expression and immune status between sepsis and normal samples. Next, we… More
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  • Chaperone-mediated autophagy targeting chimeras (CMATAC) for the degradation of ERα in breast cancer
  • Abstract Estrogen receptor alpha (ERα/ESR1) is overexpressed in over half of all breast cancers and is considered a valuable therapeutic target in ERα positive breast cancer. Here, we designed a membrane-permeant Chaperonemediated Autophagy Targeting Chimeras (CMATAC) peptide to knockdown endogenous ERα protein through chaperone-mediated autophagy. The peptide contains a cell membrane-penetrating peptide (TAT) that allows the peptide to by-pass the plasma membrane, an αI peptide as a protein-binding peptide (PBD) that binds specifically to ERα, and CMA-targeting peptide (CTM) that targeting chaperone-mediated autophagy. We validated that ERα targeting peptide was able to target and degrade ERα to reduce the viability of… More
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  • Microenvironment and related genes predict outcomes of patients with cervical cancer: evidence from TCGA and bioinformatic analysis
  • Abstract Cervical cancer (CESC) is one of the most common cancers and affects the female genital tract. Consistent HPV infection status has been determined to be a vital cause of tumorigenesis. HPV infection may induce changes to the immune system and limit the host’s immune response. Immunotherapy is therefore essential to improving the overall survival of both locally advanced and recurrent CESC patients. Using 304 relevant samples from TCGA, we assessed immune cell function in CESC patients to better understand the status of both tumor micro-environment cells and immune cells in CESC. Functional enrichment analysis, pathway enrichment analysis, and PPI network… More
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  • Decreased CD10-positive granulocytes for the differential diagnosis of myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Abstract Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are highly heterogeneous myeloid neoplasms, and a large number of patients are difficult to diagnose and classify by blood and bone marrow examination. As a surface marker of granulocyte, studies have shown CD10 can be used to define the degree of granulocyte maturation in MDS patients. However, whether it can be used for differential diagnosis of MDS and other hematological diseases remains inconclusive. To explore the value of CD10 for differential diagnosis of MDS, 60 newly diagnosed MDS, 20 aplastic anemia (AA) patients, and 35 iron-deficient anemia (IDA) patients were selected for this study. Bone marrow (BM)… More
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  • Two polymorphisms in methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase gene (C677T and A1298C) frequently associated with recurrent spontaneous abortion show no association in Saudi women
  • Abstract Methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency is the most common genetic cause of hyperhomocysteinemia, which has been implicated in the etiology of recurrent spontaneous abortion (RSA). This study was designed to investigate the association between two single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (rs1801133 [C677T] and rs1801131 [A1298C]) in the MTHFR gene and RSA, in Saudis. These two SNPs were selected as these polymorphisms have a different effect on the activity and stability of the enzyme, and significantly diverse effects have been reported in relation to the association with RSA. Ethical approval was acquired from the IRB at King Saud University (KKUH), Saudi Arabia, and… More
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  • Exosomes derived from circBCRC-3-knockdown mesenchymal stem cells promoted macrophage polarization
  • Abstract Macrophages play an essential role in the myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury (MIRI), and the macrophage shifting from M1 to M2 phenotypes might be a potential strategy for the treatment of MIRI. It has been reported that miR-182 plays an important role in MSC-Exo-associated macrophage polarization. As circBCRC-3 is a newly discovered circle RNA that worked as a sponge of miR-182, this research aimed to find if circBCRC-3 plays a role in MSC-Exo-associated macrophage polarization. Firstly, circBCRC-3 was identified by divergent primers in mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). Secondly, the exosome of MSCs was isolated and identified by transmission electron microscopy (TEM), nanoparticle-tracking… More
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  • MiR-4262 regulates differentiation and osteogenesis of human periodontal stem cells by targeting suppressor of cytokine signaling 4
  • Abstract Periodontitis, as a chronic inflammatory disease, remains unsolved, and the pathogenesis of this disease has not been fully elucidated. In this study, the effect of miR-4262 was investigated in tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced human periodontal stem cells (hPDLSCs) for the first time. The gene expression involved in this study was determined using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the expressions of relevant proteins were determined by western blot analysis, and the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and MCP-1 were estimated by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) assay. The luciferase reporter assay was performed for verification of the target gene, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity… More
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  • Oncolytic adenovirus targeting LASP-1 inhibited renal cell cancer progression
  • Abstract Recent studies suggested that LIM and SH3 protein 1 (LASP-1) is a promising therapeutic target for renal cell cancer (RCC). This study aimed to explore the role of LASP-1 in RCC. For this purpose, LASP-1 expression in RCC tissues was analyzed by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Cell proliferation, migration, invasion, and gene expression were detected by CCK-8 assay, Transwell assay, and Western blot analysis. The results showed that LASP-1 was highly expressed in RCC, and its expression level,t was positively correlated with lymph node metastasis and tumor, nodes, and metastases (TNM) stage. The knockdown of LASP-1 expression significantly inhibited… More
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  • Ginkgo paste improves tinea corporis in a guinea pig model
  • Abstract To investigate the effects of Ginkgo paste for external use on tinea corporis in a guinea pig model. The guinea pig tinea corporis model were induced by infection with Trichophyton mentagrophytes strains. And then, high and low doses of Ginkgo water-paste and alcohol-paste were administrated to the animals. The symptom, tinea corporis skin lesions and histopathological aspects of guinea pig were analyzed. High and low doses of Ginkgo alcohol-paste and Ginkgo water-paste could significantly reduced the tinea corporis symptom (P < 0.01), increased negative rate of strain culture (P < 0.01), and improved pathological changes of tinea corporis (P <… More
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  • Allicin neuroprotective effect during oxidative/inflammatory injury involves AT1-Hsp70-iNOS counterbalance axis
  • Abstract The ancestral cultures have described many therapeutic properties of garlic; therefore, it is of central interest to elucidate the molecular basis explaining this millenary empirical knowledge. Indeed, it has been demonstrated a neuroprotective effect of allicin–a phytochemical present in garlic- linked to oxidative-inflammatory modulation. Allicin improved neuronal injury by heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) regulation. Also, allicin exerts renal protection involving a possible angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1) interaction. In connection, AT1 overexpression has been recognized as a central deleterious factor in many brain diseases. However, there are no studies that evaluate AT1-Hsp70-iNOS interaction… More
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  • Progresses of mycobacteriophage-based Mycobacterium tuberculosis detection
  • Abstract Tuberculosis (TB) remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in developing countries. A rapid and efficient method for TB diagnosis is indispensable to check the trend of tuberculosis expansion. The emergence of drug-resistant bacteria has increased the challenge of rapid drug resistance tests. Due to its high specificity and sensitivity, bacteriophage-based diagnosis is intensively pursued. In this review, we mainly described mycobacteriophage-based diagnosis in TB detection, especially two prevalent approaches: fluorescent reporter phage and phage amplified biologically assay (PhaB). The rationale of reporter phage is that phage carrying fluorescent genes can infect host bacteria specifically. Phage amplified… More
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  • GP30 of the mycobacteriophage CASbig impairs mycobacterial adaptation during acidic stress and in macrophages
  • Abstract The rapid emergence of multidrug-resistant and extensively drug-resistant Tuberculosis retrieved intense interest in phage-based therapy. This old approach, which was abandoned in the west in the 1940s but is generating renewed interest, has stimulated fresh research on mycobacteriophages and their lytic efficiency against their hosts. GP30 is a novel protein of the mycobacteriophage CASbig with undiscovered function. In this study, we analyzed the role of CASbig gp30 in the host Mycobacterium smegmatis. Overexpression of gp30 in the host led to reduced growth in acidic medium and attenuated the intracellular survival rate of M. smegmatis inside the THP-1 macrophages, which may… More
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  • Optimization of the in-situ growth conditions based on a novel photo-microcalorimeter for the sustainable cultivation of photosynthetic microorganisms
  • Abstract Despite the great potential of photosynthetic microbes in the production of renewable fuels, value-adding chemicals, and water treatment, etc., commercial utilization of them is significantly hindered by the lack of techniques to accurately monitor the thermodynamic and kinetic characteristics of the In-situ growth of microbes under controlled light illumination for optimal cultivation. Herein, we demonstrated that a newly developed highly sensitive photo-microcalorimetric system successfully captured the impacts of the light wavelength and strength on the thermodynamic and kinetic parameters of the In-situ growth of Rhodopseudomonas palustris, a representative photosynthetic microorganism. To our best knowledge, this is the first time that… More
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  • Insight into 5-aminolevulinic acid-induced modulation of cellular antioxidant metabolism to confer salinity and drought tolerance in maize
  • Abstract The current study investigated the comparative oxidative damage in two maize seedlings induced by saline, drought, and combined stress and the ameliorative role of two different doses (20 and 80 µM) of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) against the above-mentioned stresses. Hydroponically grown 10-day-old maize (Zea mays, var. BARI Hybrid Maize-7 (BHM-7) and BARI Hybrid Maize-9 (BHM-9)) seedlings were exposed to 12 dS/m of saline solution, 200 mM mannitol-induced drought stress alone and their combined stress for 7 days. Result revealed that individual stresses retard the plant growth to some degrees; however, their combined stress has more detrimental effects, which might be… More
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  • Cloning and characterization of 5-enopyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase from Phragmites australis
  • Abstract Glyphosate is a non-selective broad-spectrum herbicide that blocks plant growth by inhibiting 5- Enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), a key enzyme of the shikimate pathway in microorganisms and plants. The full-length epsps cDNA sequence (paepsps, Genebank: KY860582.1) was cloned and characterized for the first time from Phragmites australis. The full-length cDNA of paepsps was 1308 bp encoding a polypeptide of 435 amino acids. The bioinformatic analyses showed that PaEPSPS has highly homologous with EPSPS from other plants. RT-PCR analysis of paepsps expression indicated that the gene expressed in leaves, stems, and roots, with higher expression in leaves. The expression of the paepsps More
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  • Characterization of full-length transcriptome and mechanisms of sugar accumulation in Annona squamosa fruit
  • Abstract Annona squamosa is a multipurpose fruit tree employed in nutritional, medicinal, and industrial fields. Its fruit is significantly enriched in sugars, making it an excellent species to study sugar accumulation in fruit. However, the scarcity of genomic resources hinders genetic studies in this species. This study aimed at generating large-scale genomic resources in A. squamosa and deciphering the molecular basis of its high sugar content. Herein, we sequenced and characterized the full-length transcriptome of A. squamosa fruit using PacBio Iso-seq. In addition, we analyzed the changes in sugar content over five fruit growth and ripening stages, and we applied RNA-sequencing… More
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  • Phytohormonal and metabolism analysis of Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis with different resistance during Plasmodiophora brassicae infection
  • Abstract Clubroot of Chinese cabbage (Brassica rapa L. ssp. pekinensis), caused by the obligate parasite Plasmodiophora brassicae, accounts for serious yield losses. The aim of our study was to explore the phytohormone levels and metabolome changes in the roots of resistant and susceptible B. rapa genotypes at a late stage of infection, i.e., 28 days post-infection. Both genotypes showed decreased auxin levels after P. brassicae infection except for indole-3-acetic acid. Overall, the susceptible genotype had higher auxin and cytokinin levels after infection, with the exception of trans-zeatin and 3- indolebutyric acid as compared to the resistant genotype. Jasmonic acid levels declined… More
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  • Polymorphic information and genetic diversity in Brassica species revealed by RAPD markers
  • Abstract Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) is a tremendously convenient approach used to discriminate between Brassica species owing to its accuracy and speed. RAPD primers generate adequate genetic information that can be used in the primer-marker system. In this work, twenty RAPD-PCR based markers were executed to generate polymorphic data, like polymorphic information content (PIC), mean resolving power (MRP), resolving power (RP), effective multiplex ratio (EMR), and marker index (MI) for the first time and genetic distance among and between six Brassica species were calculated. Our results indicated that 20 primers produced a total of 231 scored band and generated 87%… More
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  • Identification and analysis of AP2/ERF gene family in tomato under abiotic stress
  • Abstract AP2/ERE-type transcription factors, as a type of plant-specific transcription factors, play a key role in plant biotic and abiotic stress. Meanwhile, they have been studied in many plants, but rarely in tomatoes. In this study, we performed a genome-wide analysis of the SlAP2/ERF gene family of tomato, and finally identified 29 SlAP2/ERF genes and divided them into different subfamilies. At the same time, its basic physical and chemical properties were analyzed. We also constructed phylogenetic trees with 30 Arabidopsis AP2/ERF proteins and 28 potatoes AP2/ERF proteins to ensure conservative homology between them. In addition, we mapped 29 SlAP2/ERF transcription factors… More
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