Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Biological Research]]> vol. 49 num. lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Can widely used cell type markers predict the suitability of immortalized or primary mammary epithelial cell models?</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Mammary cell cultures are convenient tools for in vitro studies of mammary gland biology. However, the heterogeneity of mammary cell types, e.g., glandular milk secretory epithelial or myoepithelial cells, often complicates the interpretation of cell-based data. The present study was undertaken to determine the relevance of bovine primary mammary epithelial cells isolated from American Holstein (bMEC US) or Swiss Holstein-Friesian (bMEC CH) cows, and of primary bovine mammary alveolar epithelial cells stably transfected with simian virus-40 (SV-40) large T-antigen (MAC-T) for in vitro analyses. This was evaluated by testing their expression pattern of cytokeratin (CK) 7, 18, 19, vimentin, and α-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA. RESULTS: The expression of the listed markers was assessed using real-time quantitative PCR, flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. Characteristic markers of the mesenchymal (vimentin), myoepithelial (α-SMA) and glandular secretory cells (CKs) showed differential expression among the studied cell cultures, partly depending on the analytical method used. The relative mRNA expression of vimentin, CK7 and CK19, respectively, was lower (P < 0.05) in immortalized than in primary mammary cell cultures. The stain index (based on flow cytometry) of CK7 and CK19 protein was lower (P < 0.05) in MAC-T than in bMECs, while the expression of α-SMA and CK18 showed an inverse pattern. Immunofluorescence microscopy analysis mostly confirmed the mRNA data, while partly disagreed with flow cytometry data (e.g., vimentin level in MAC-T). The differential expression of CK7 and CK19 allowed discriminating between immortal and primary mammary cultures. CONCLUSIONS: The expression of the selected widely used cell type markers in primary and immortalized MEC cells did not allow a clear preference between these two cell models for in vitro analyses studying aspects of milk composition. All tested cell models exhibited to a variable degree epithelial and mesenchymal features. Thus, based on their characterization with widely used cell markers, none of these cultures represent an unequivocal alveolar mammary epithelial cell model. For choosing the appropriate in vitro model additional properties such as the expression profile of specific proteins of interest (e.g., transporter proteins) should equally be taken into account. <![CDATA[<b>The expression of heterologous MAM-7 in <i>Lactobacillus rhamnosus </i>reduces its intrinsic capacity to inhibit colonization of pathogen <i>Vibrio parahaemolyticus </i>in vitro</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Vibrio parahaemolyticus (V. parahaemolyticus) is a Gram-negative, halophilic bacterium recognized as one of the most important foodborne pathogen. When ingested, V. parahaemolyticus causes a self-limiting illness (Vibriosis), characterized mainly by watery diarrhoea. Treatment is usually oral rehydration and/or antibiotics in complicated cases. Since 1996, the pathogenic and pandemic V. parahaemolyticus O3:K6 serotype has spread worldwide, increasing the reported number of vibriosis cases. Thus, the design of new strategies for pathogen control and illness prevention is necessary. Lactobacillus sp. grouped Gram positive innocuous bacteria, part of normal intestinal microbiota and usually used as oral vaccines for several diarrheic diseases. Recombinants strains of Lactobacillus (RL) expressing pathogen antigens can be used as part of an anti-adhesion strategy where RL block the pathogen union sites in host cells. Thus, we aimed to express MAM-7 V. parahaemolyticus adhesion protein in Lactobacillus sp. to generate an RL that prevents pathogen colonization RESULTS: We cloned the MAM-7 gene from V. parahaemolyticus RIMD 2210633 in Lactobacillus expression vectors. Recombinant strains (Lactobacillus rhamnosus pSEC-MAM7 and L. rhamnosus pCWA-MAM7) adhered to CaCo-2 cells and competed with the pathogen. However, the L. rhamnosus wild type strain showed the best capacity to inhibit pathogen colonization in vitro. In addition, LDH-assay showed that recombinant strains were cytotoxic compared with the wild type isogenic strain CONCLUSIONS: MAM-7 expression in lactobacilli reduces the intrinsic inhibitory capacity of L. rhamnosus against V. parahaemolyticus <![CDATA[<b>Identification of novel gene and pathway targets for human epilepsy treatment</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to explore epilepsy-related mechanism so as to figure out the possible targets for epilepsy treatment. METHODS: The gene expression profile dataset GES32534 was downloaded from Gene Expression Omnibus database. We identified the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) by Affy package. Then the DEGs were used to perform gene ontology (GO) and pathway enrichment analyses. Furthermore, a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network was constructed with the DEGs followed by co-expression modules construction and analysis. RESULTS: Total 420 DEGs were screened out, including 214 up-regulated and 206 down-regulated genes. Functional enrichment analysis revealed that down-regulated genes were mainly involved in the process of immunity regulation and biological repairing process while up-regulated genes were closely related to transporter activity. PPI network analysis showed the top ten genes with high degrees were all down-regulated, among which FN1 had the highest degree. The up-regulated and down-regulated DEGs in the PPI network generated two obvious sub-co-expression modules, respectively. In up-co-expression module, SCN3B (sodium channel, voltage gated, type III beta subunit) was enriched in GO:0006814 ~ sodium ion transport. In down-co-expression module, C1QB (complement C1s), CIS (complement component 1, S subcomponent) and CFI (complement factor I) were enriched in GO:0006955 ~ immune response. CONCLUSION: The immune response and complement system play a major role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy. Additionally, C1QB, C1S, CFI, SCN3B and FN1 may be potential therapeutic targets for epilepsy. <![CDATA[<b>Coenzyme Q<sub>10</sub> defects may be associated with a deficiency of Q<sub>10</sub>-independent mitochondrial respiratory chain complexes</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10 or ubiquinone) deficiency can be due either to mutations in genes involved in CoQ10 biosynthesis pathway, or to mutations in genes unrelated to CoQ10 biosynthesis. CoQ10 defect is the only oxidative phosphorylation disorder that can be clinically improved after oral CoQ10 supplementation. Thus, early diagnosis, first evoked by mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) spectrophotometric analysis, then confirmed by direct measurement of CoQ10 levels, is of critical importance to prevent irreversible damage in organs such as the kidney and the central nervous system. It is widely reported that CoQ10 deficient patients present decreased quinone-dependent activities (segments I + III or G3P + III and II + III) while MRC activities of complexes I, II, III, IV and V are normal. We previously suggested that CoQ10 defect may be associated with a deficiency of CoQ10-independent MRC complexes. The aim of this study was to verify this hypothesis in order to improve the diagnosis of this disease. RESULTS: To determine whether CoQ10 defect could be associated with MRC deficiency, we quantified CoQ10 by LC-MSMS in a cohort of 18 patients presenting CoQ10-dependent deficiency associated with MRC defect. We found decreased levels of CoQ10 in eight patients out of 18 (45 %), thus confirming CoQ10 disease. CONCLUSIONS: Our study shows that CoQ10 defect can be associated with MRC deficiency. This could be of major importance in clinical practice for the diagnosis of a disease that can be improved by CoQ10 supplementation. <![CDATA[<b><i>Reprimo </i>as a modulator of cell migration and invasion in the MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Reprimo (RPRM), a highly glycosylated protein, is a new downstream effector of p53-induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M checkpoint, and a putative tumor suppressor gene frequently silenced via methylation of its promoter region in several malignances. The aim of this study was to characterize the epigenetic inactivation and its biological function in BC cell lines. METHODS: The correlation between RPRM methylation and loss of mRNA expression was assessed in six breast cancer cell lines by methylation specific PCR (MSP), 5'-Aza-2'-deoxycytidine treatment and RT-PCR assays. MDA-MB-231 cells were chosen to investigate the phenotypic effect of RPRM in cell proliferation, cell cycle, cell death, cell migration and invasion. RESULTS: In the cancer methylome system (CMS) (web-based system for visualizing and analyzing genome-wide methylation data of human cancers), the CpG island region of RPRM (1.1 kb) was hypermethylated in breast cancer compared to normal breast tissue; more interesting still was that ERa(+) tumors showed higher methylation intensity than ERa(-). Downregulation of RPRM mRNA by methylation was confirmed in MDA-MB-231 and BT-20 cell lines. In addition, overexpression of RPRM in MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in decreased rates of cell migration, wound healing and invasion in vitro. However, RPRM overexpression did not alter cell viability, phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation or G2/M cell cycle transition. CONCLUSION: Taken together, these data suggest that RPRM is involved in decreased cell migration and invasion in vitro, acting as a potential tumor suppressor gene in the MDA-MB-231 cell line. <![CDATA[<b>Soluble carbohydrate content variation in <i>Sanionia uncinata </i>and <i>Polytrichastrum alpinum, </i>two Antarctic mosses with contrasting desiccation capacities</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Cryptogamic vegetation dominates the ice-free areas along the Antarctic Peninsula. The two mosses Sanionia uncinata and Polytrichastrum alpinum inhabit soils with contrasting water availability. Sanionia uncinata grows in soil with continuous water supply, while P. alpinum grows in sandy, non-flooded soils. Desiccation and rehydration experiments were carried out to test for differences in the rate of water loss and uptake, with non-structural carbohydrates analysed to test their role in these processes. RESULTS: Individual plants of S. uncinata lost water 60 % faster than P. alpinum; however, clumps of S. uncinata took longer to dry than those of P. alpinum (11 vs. 5 h, respectively). In contrast, rehydration took less than 10 min for both mosses. Total non-structural carbohydrate content was higher in P. alpinum than in S. uncinata, but sugar levels changed more in P. alpinum during desiccation and rehydration (60-50 %) when compared to S. uncinata. We report the presence of galactinol (a precursor of the raffinose family) for the first time in P. alpinum. Galactinol was present at higher amounts than all other non-structural sugars. CONCLUSIONS: Individual plants of S. uncinata were not able to retain water for long periods but by growing and forming carpets, this species can retain water the longest. In contrast individual P. alpinum plants required more time to lose water than S. uncinata, but as moss cushions they suffered desiccation faster than the later. On the other hand, both species rehydrated very quickly. We found that when both mosses lost 50 % of their water, carbohydrates content remained stable and the plants did not accumulate non-structural carbohydrates during the desiccation prosses as usually occurs in vascular plants. The raffinose family oligosaccarides decreased during desiccation, and increased during rehydration, suggesting they function as osmoprotectors. <![CDATA[<b>Aged garlic extract and S-allylcysteine prevent apoptotic cell death in a chemical hypoxia model</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Aged garlic extract (AGE) and its main constituent S-allylcysteine (SAC) are natural antioxidants with protective effects against cerebral ischemia or cancer, events that involve hypoxia stress. Cobalt chloride (CoCl2) has been used to mimic hypoxic conditions through the stabilization of the α subunit of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF-Ια) and up-regulation of HIF-1a-dependent genes as well as activation of hypoxic conditions such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential and apoptosis. The present study was designed to assess the effect of AGE and SAC on the CoCl2-chemical hypoxia model in PC12 cells RESULTS: We found that CoCl2 induced the stabilization of HIF-1a and its nuclear localization. CoCl2 produced ROS and apoptotic cell death that depended on hypoxia extent. The treatment with AGE and SAC decreased ROS and protected against CoCl2-induced apoptotic cell death which depended on the CoCl2 concentration and incubation time. SAC or AGE decreased the number of cells in the early and late stages of apoptosis. Interestingly, this protective effect was associated with attenuation in HIF-1a stabilization, activity not previously reported for AGE and SAC CONCLUSIONS: Obtained results show that AGE and SAC decreased apoptotic CoCl2-induced cell death. This protection occurs by affecting the activity of HIF-1a and supports the use of these natural compounds as a therapeutic alternative for hypoxic conditions <![CDATA[<b>Effects of CpG oligodeoxynucleotide 1826 on acute radiation-induced lung injury in mice</b>]]> BACKGROUND: The radiation-induced lung injury is a common complication from radiotherapy in lung cancer. CpG ODN is TLR9 activator with potential immune modulatory effects and sensitization of radiotherapy in lung cancer. This study aimed to examine the effect of CpG ODN on acute radiation-induced lung injury in mice. METHODS AND RESULTS: The mouse model of radiation-induced lung injury was established by a single dose of 20 Gy X-rays exposure to the left lung. The results showed that the pneumonia score was lower in RT+CpG group than in RT group on 15th and 30th days. Compared with RT group, CpG ODN reduced the serum concentrations of MDA (P < 0.05) and increased the serum concentrations of SOD, GSH (P < 0.05). The serum concentration of TNF-α in RT+CpG group was lower on 15th and 30th days post-irradiation (P < 0.05). CONCLUSION: The study demonstrated that CpG ODN has preventive effects of acute radiation-induced lung injury in mice. Lung inflammatory reaction and oxidative stress are promoted in the initiation of radiation-induced pneumonia. CpG ODN may reduce the injury of reactive oxygen species and adjust the serum TNF-α concentration in the mice after irradiation, which reduces the generation of the inflammatory cytokines. <![CDATA[<b>Wnt-5a-regulated miR-101b controls COX2 expression in hippocampal neurons</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Wnt-5a is a member of the WNT family of secreted lipoglycoproteins, whose expression increases during development; moreover, Wnt-5a plays a key role in synaptic structure and function in the adult nervous system. However, the mechanism underlying these effects is still elusive. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a family of small non-coding RNAs that control the gene expression of their targets through hybridization with complementary sequences in the 3' UTR, thereby inhibiting the translation of the target proteins. Several evidences indicate that the miRNAs are actively involved in the regulation of neuronal function RESULTS: In the present study, we examined whether Wnt-5a modulates the levels of miRNAs in hippocampal neurons. Using PCR arrays, we identified a set of miRNAs that respond to Wnt-5a treatment. One of the most affected miRNAs was miR-101b, which targets cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2), an inducible enzyme that converts arachidonic acid to prostanoids, and has been involved in the injury/inflammatory response, and more recently in neuronal plasticity. Consistent with the Wnt-5a regulation of miR-101b, this Wnt ligand regulates COX2 expression in a time-dependent manner in cultured hippocampal neurons CONCLUSION: The biological processes induced by Wnt-5a in hippocampal neurons, involve the regulation of several miRNAs including miR-101b, which has the capacity to regulate several targets, including COX-2 in the central nervous system <![CDATA[<b>On cognitive ecology and the environmental factors that promote Alzheimer disease</b>: <b></b><b>lessons from <i>Octodon degus </i>(Rodentia: Octodontidae)</b>]]> Cognitive ecologist posits that the more efficiently an animal uses information from the biotic and abiotic environment, the more adaptive are its cognitive abilities. Nevertheless, this approach does not test for natural neurodegenerative processes under field or experimental conditions, which may recover animals information processing and decision making and may explain, mechanistically, maladaptive behaviors. Here, we call for integrative approaches to explain the relationship between ultimate and proximate mechanisms behind social behavior. We highlight the importance of using the endemic caviomorph rodent Octodon degus as a valuable natural model for mechanistic studies of social behavior and to explain how physical environments can shape social experiences that might influence impaired cognitive abilities and the onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer disease. We consequently suggest neuroecological approaches to examine how key elements of the environment may affect neural and cognitive mechanisms associated with learning, memory processes and brain structures involved in social behavior. We propose the following three core objectives of a program comprising interdisciplinary research in O. degus, namely: (1) to determine whether diet types provided after weaning can lead to cognitive impairment associated with spatial memory, learning and predisposing to develop Alzheimer disease in younger ages; (2) to examine if early life social experience has long term effects on behavior and cognitive responses and risk for development Alzheimer disease in later life and (3) To determine if an increase of social interactions in adult degu reared in different degree of social stressful conditions alter their behavior and cognitive responses. <![CDATA[<b>Neuroethics</b>: <b>the pursuit of transforming medical ethics in scientific ethics</b>]]> Ethical problems resulting from brain research have given rise to a new discipline termed neuroethics, representing a new kind of knowledge capable of discovering the neural basis for universal ethics. The article (1) tries to evaluate the contributions of neuroethics to medical ethics and its suitability to outline the foundations of universal ethics, (2) critically analyses the process of founding this universal ethic. The potential benefits of applying neuroimaging, psy-chopharmacology and neurotechnology have to be carefully weighed against their potential harm. In view of these questions, an intensive dialogue between neuroscience and the humanities is more necessary than ever. <![CDATA[<b>Effects of different water management options and fertilizer supply on photosynthesis, fluorescence parameters and water use efficiency of <i>Prunella vulgaris </i>seedlings</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Prunella vulgaris L. is a medical plant cultivated in sloping, sun-shaded areas in China. Recently, owing to air-environmental stress, especially drought stress strongly inhibits plant growth and development, the appropriate fertilizer supply can alleviate these effects. However, these is little information about their effects on P. vulgaris growing in arid and semi-arid areas with limited water and fertilizer supply. RESULTS: In this study, water stress decreased the photosynthetic pigment contents, inhibited photosynthetic efficiency, induced photodamage in photosystem 2 (PS2), and decreased leaf instantaneous WUE (WUEi). The decreased net photosynthetic rate (Pn) under medium drought stress compared with the control might result from stomatal limitations. However, fertilizer supply improved photosynthetic capacity by increasing the photosynthetic pigment contents and enhancing photosynthetic efficiency under water deficit. Moreover, medium fertilization also increased WUEi under the two water conditions, but fertilizer supply did little to alleviate the PS2 photodamage caused by drought stress. Hence, drought stress was the primary limitation in the photosynthetic process of P. vulgaris seedlings, while the photosynthetic characteristics of the seedlings exhibited positive responses to fertilizer supply. CONCLUSIONS: Appropriate fertilizer supply is recommended to improve photosynthetic efficiency, enhance WUEi and alleviate photodamage under drought stress. <![CDATA[<b>Carotid body (Thermoreceptors, sympathetic neural activation, and cardiometabolic disease</b>]]> The carotid body (CB) is the main peripheral chemoreceptor that senses the arterial PO2, PCO2 and pH. In response to hypoxemia, hypercapnia and acidosis, carotid chemosensory discharge elicits reflex respiratory, autonomic and cardiovascular adjustments. The classical construct considers the CB as the main peripheral oxygen sensor, triggering reflex physiological responses to acute hypoxemia and facilitating the ventilatory acclimation to chronic hypoxemia at high altitude. However, a growing body of experimental evidence supports the novel concept that an abnormally enhanced CB chemosensory input to the brainstem contributes to overactivation of the sympathetic nervous system, and consequent pathology. Indeed, the CB has been implicated in several diseases associated with increases in central sympathetic outflow. These include hypertension, heart failure, sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and metabolic syndrome. Indeed, ablation of the CB has been proposed for the treatment of severe and resistant hypertension in humans. In this review, we will analyze and discuss new evidence supporting an important role for the CB chemoreceptor in the progression of autonomic and cardiorespiratory alterations induced by heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and metabolic syndrome. <![CDATA[<b>Genetic variants associated with neurodegenerative Alzheimer disease in natural models</b>]]> The use of transgenic models for the study of neurodegenerative diseases has made valuable contributions to the field. However, some important limitations, including protein overexpression and general systemic compensation for the missing genes, has caused researchers to seek natural models that show the main biomarkers of neurodegenerative diseases during aging. Here we review some of these models-most of them rodents, focusing especially on the genetic variations in biomarkers for Alzheimer diseases, in order to explain their relationships with variants associated with the occurrence of the disease in humans. <![CDATA[<b>A high-fat diet decreases GABA concentration in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of rats</b>]]> BACKGROUND: It has been proposed that the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plays a key role in the regulation of food intake and body weight by controlling the excitability, plasticity and the synchronization of neuronal activity in the frontal cortex (FC). It has been also proposed that the high-fat diet (HFD) could disturb the metabolism of glutamate and consequently the GABA levels, but the mechanism is not yet clearly understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a HFD on the GABA levels in the FC and hippocampus of rats RESULTS: The HFD significantly increased weight gain and blood glucose levels, whereas decreased the GABA levels in the FC and hippocampus compared with standard diet-fed rats CONCLUSIONS: HFD decreases GABA levels in the FC and hippocampus of rat, which likely disrupts the GABAergic inhibitory processes, underlying feeding behavior. <![CDATA[<b>Schizophrenia and reelin: a model based on prenatal stress to study epigenetics, brain development and behavior</b>]]> Schizophrenia is a severe psychiatric disorder that results in a significant disability for the patient. The disorder is characterized by impairment of the adaptive orchestration of actions, a cognitive function that is mainly dependent on the prefrontal cortex. This behavioral deficit, together with cellular and neurophysiological alterations in the prefrontal cortex, as well as reduced density of GABAergic cells and aberrant oscillatory activity, all indicate structural and functional deficits of the prefrontal cortex in schizophrenia. Among the several risk factors for the development of schizophrenia, stress during the prenatal period has been identified as crucial. Thus, it is proposed that prenatal stress induces neurodevelopmental alterations in the prefrontal cortex that are expressed as cognitive impairment observed in schizophrenia. However, the precise mechanisms that link prenatal stress with the impairment of prefrontal cortex function is largely unknown. Reelin is an extracellular matrix protein involved in the development of cortical neural connectivity at embryonic stages, and in synaptic plasticity at postnatal stages. Interestingly, down-regulation of reelin expression has been associated with epigenetic changes in the reelin gene of the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenic patients. We recently showed that, similar to schizophrenic patients, prenatal stress induces down-expression of reelin associated with the methylation of its promoter in the rodent prefrontal cortex. These alterations were paralleled with altered prefrontal cortex functional connectivity and impairment in prefrontal cortex-dependent behavioral tasks. Therefore, considering molecular, cellular, physiological and behavioral evidence, we propose a unifying framework that links prenatal stress and prefrontal malfunction through epigenetic alterations of the reelin gene. <![CDATA[<b>Shenhua Tablet inhibits mesangial cell proliferation in rats with chronic anti-Thy-1 nephritis</b>]]> BACKGROUND: In China, mesangial proliferative glomerulonephritis (MsPGN) is one of the most common kidney diseases. In this study, we treated a rat model of chronic anti-Thy-1 MsPGN with Shenhua Tablet and evaluated whether the tablet was able to protect the kidney function. Thirty-six Wistar rats were randomly divided into six groups: (1) Sham surgery (Sham); (2) anti-Thy-1 nephritis model (Thy-1); (3) anti-Thy-1 nephritis model + irbesartan-treated (Irb); (4) anti-Thy-1 nephritis model + low-dose of Shenhua Tablet (SHL); (5) anti-Thy-1 nephritis model + medium-dose of Shenhua Tablet (SHM); (6) anti-Thy-1 nephritis model + high-dose of Shenhua Tablet (SHH RESULTS: Thirteen weeks after drug treatment, urinary proteins were quantified and renal pathological changes were thoroughly examined at the time point of 24 h. Meanwhile, the expression levels of p-Erk1/2, cyclin D1 and p21 at the renal cortex were also tested. The levels of urinary proteins and total cholesterol in the blood were significantly reduced in rats treated with any drug tested in this study. The level of triglyceride was significantly reduced in all three Shenhua Tablet-treated groups. Renal pathomorphological scores were significantly improved in groups of Irb, SHM and SHH. Mesangial cell proliferation was significantly inhibited in any drug-treated group. p-Erk1/2 and cyclin D1 were downregulated whereas p21 was upregulated in the renal cortex CONCLUSIONS: Our study indicated that Shenhua Tablet is able to inhibit the abnormal proliferation of mesangial cells and to prevent kidney damage, which is likely associated with downregulation of p-Erk1/2 and reduced activity of its downstream target-cyclin D1. <![CDATA[<b>Antitumor and anti-angiogenic potentials of isolated crude saponins and various fractions of <i>Rumexhastatus </i>D. Don</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Cancer, being the foremost challenge of the modern era and the focus of world-class investigators, gargantuan research is in progress worldwide to explore novel therapeutic for its management. The exploitation of natural sources has been proven to be an excellent approach to treat or minify the excessive angiogenesis and proliferation of cells. Similarly, based the ethnomedicinal uses and literature survey, the current study is designed to explore the anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic potentials of Rumex hastatus. Anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities were carried out using potato-disc model and chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay respectively. Moreover, R. hastatus was also assessed for antibacterial activity against Agrobacterium tumefaciens (tumor causing bacterial strain). The positive controls used in anti-tumor, anti-angiogenic and antibacterial activities were vincristine sulphate, dexamethasone and cefotaxime respectively RESULTS: The crude saponins (Rh.Sp), methanolic extract (Rh.Cr) and other solvent extracts like n-hexane (Rh.Hex), chloroform (Rh.Chf), ethylacetate (Rh.EtAc) and aqueous fraction (Rh.Aq) exhibited notable anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities. In potato tumor assay, the chloroform and saponin fractions were observed to be the most effective showing 86.7 and 93.3 % tumor inhibition at 1000 μg/ml with IC50 values 31.6 and 18.1 μg/ml respectively. Similarly, these two samples i.e., chloroform and saponins also excelled among the entire test samples in anti-angiogenic evaluation exhibiting 81.6 % (IC50 = 17.9 μg/ml) and 78.9 % (IC50 = 64.9 μg/ml) at 1000 μg/ml respectively. In contrast, the antibacterial investigations revealed a negligible potential against A. tumefaciens. CONCLUSION: Based on our results we can claim that R. hastatus possesses both anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic potentials. In all of the solvent fractions, Rh.Chf and Rh.Sp were most effective against tumor and angiogenesis while having negligible activity against A. tumefaciens. It can be concluded that Rh.Chf and Rh.Sp might be potential targets in the isolation of natural product having anti-neoplastic action. <![CDATA[<b>Special series on trending themes in Neurobiology in <i>Biological Research</i></b>]]> BACKGROUND: Cancer, being the foremost challenge of the modern era and the focus of world-class investigators, gargantuan research is in progress worldwide to explore novel therapeutic for its management. The exploitation of natural sources has been proven to be an excellent approach to treat or minify the excessive angiogenesis and proliferation of cells. Similarly, based the ethnomedicinal uses and literature survey, the current study is designed to explore the anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic potentials of Rumex hastatus. Anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities were carried out using potato-disc model and chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) assay respectively. Moreover, R. hastatus was also assessed for antibacterial activity against Agrobacterium tumefaciens (tumor causing bacterial strain). The positive controls used in anti-tumor, anti-angiogenic and antibacterial activities were vincristine sulphate, dexamethasone and cefotaxime respectively RESULTS: The crude saponins (Rh.Sp), methanolic extract (Rh.Cr) and other solvent extracts like n-hexane (Rh.Hex), chloroform (Rh.Chf), ethylacetate (Rh.EtAc) and aqueous fraction (Rh.Aq) exhibited notable anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic activities. In potato tumor assay, the chloroform and saponin fractions were observed to be the most effective showing 86.7 and 93.3 % tumor inhibition at 1000 μg/ml with IC50 values 31.6 and 18.1 μg/ml respectively. Similarly, these two samples i.e., chloroform and saponins also excelled among the entire test samples in anti-angiogenic evaluation exhibiting 81.6 % (IC50 = 17.9 μg/ml) and 78.9 % (IC50 = 64.9 μg/ml) at 1000 μg/ml respectively. In contrast, the antibacterial investigations revealed a negligible potential against A. tumefaciens. CONCLUSION: Based on our results we can claim that R. hastatus possesses both anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic potentials. In all of the solvent fractions, Rh.Chf and Rh.Sp were most effective against tumor and angiogenesis while having negligible activity against A. tumefaciens. It can be concluded that Rh.Chf and Rh.Sp might be potential targets in the isolation of natural product having anti-neoplastic action. <![CDATA[<b>Cobalt oxide nanoparticles aggravate DNA damage and cell death in eggplant via mitochondrial swelling and NO signaling pathway</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Despite manifold benefits of nanoparticles (NPs), less information on the risks of NPs to human health and environment has been studied. Cobalt oxide nanoparticles (Co3O4-NPs) have been reported to cause toxicity in several organisms. In this study, we have investigated the role of Co3O4-NPs in inducing phytotoxicity, cellular DNA damage and apoptosis in eggplant (Solanum melongena L. cv. Violetta lunga 2). To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on Co3O4-NPs showing phytotoxicity in eggplant. RESULTS: The data revealed that eggplant seeds treated with Co3O4-NPs for 2 h at a concentration of 1.0 mg/ml retarded root length by 81.5 % upon 7 days incubation in a moist chamber. Ultrastructural analysis by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) demonstrated the uptake and translocation of Co3O4-NPs into the cytoplasm. Intracellular presence of Co3O4-NPs triggered subcellular changes such as degeneration of mitochondrial cristae, abundance of peroxisomes and excessive vacuolization. Flow cytometric analysis of Co3O4-NPs (1.0 mg/ml) treated root protoplasts revealed 157, 282 and 178 % increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS), membrane potential (APm) and nitric oxide (NO), respectively. Besides, the esterase activity in treated protoplasts was also found compromised. About 2.4-fold greater level of DNA damage, as compared to untreated control was observed in Comet assay, and 73.2 % of Co3O4-NPs treated cells appeared apoptotic in flow cytometry based cell cycle analysis. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrate the phytotoxic potential of Co3O4-NPs in terms of reduction in seed germination, root growth, greater level of DNA and mitochondrial damage, oxidative stress and cell death in eggplant. The data generated from this study will provide a strong background to draw attention on Co3O4-NPs environmental hazards to vegetable crops. <![CDATA[<b>The anti-cancerous activity of recombinant trichosanthin on prostate cancer cell PC3</b>]]> CONTEXT: Trichosanthin produced in the root tube of Trichosanthes kirilowii shows anti-tumor activity on a series of cancer cells including Hela, MCF-7, HL-60. But there is little information about its effect on the carcinogenesis of prostate cancer. OBJECTIVE: This work was designed to study the role of trichosanthin on prostate cancer cells PC3. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Trichosanthin was expressed in BL21 strain and purified by affinity chromatography. MTT assay was designed to determine the effect of trichosanthin on growth of PC3 cells at doses of 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 120 μg/ml.Then the effect of 50 μg/ml rTCS alone or combined with 2 μΜ IL-2 on PC3 cell proliferation was analyzed. And the mechanism of rTCS was studied by western blot. After that the in vivo effect of rTCS combined with IL-2 was explored in mice bearing PC3 xenograft tumor. RESULTS: Trichosanthin was successfully expressed in BL21 and purified by 100 mM imidazole. It was shown to inhibit proliferation of PC3 cells in a dose-dependent manner with IC50 50.6 μg/ml. When combined with cytokine IL-2, a significant synergic effect was obtained. The inhibition rate on PC3 was around 50 % in combination group while only 35.5 % in single rTCS group at 50 μg/ml. Further, the expression of full length caspase-8 and Bcl-2 decreased significantly while cleaved caspase-8 and Bax were up-regulated, which suggest that caspase-8-mediated apoptosis pathway may be activated by rTCS in PC3 cells. Moreover, our data demonstrated that tumor volume and tumor weight were significantly reduced in rTCS-treated or rTCS/IL-2-treated nude mice bearing PC3 xenograft tumor compared with control. And significant difference was also found between rTCS and rTCS/IL-2 group. CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates that rTCS is a potential agent with high in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity on PC3 cells. And rTCS combined with IL-2 is a promising strategy in treating patients with prostate cancer in future. <![CDATA[<b>MnSOD and GPx1 polymorphism relationship with coronary heart disease risk and severity</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Disturbance of the equilibrium between reactive oxygen species (ROS) and anti-oxidants (AOX) has been implicated in various diseases, including atherosclerosis, the most common pathologic process underlying coronary heart disease (CHD). Thus, the defense systems against ROS are critical protecting blood vessel walls against oxidative damage. In this study, we investigate whether Ala16Val MnSOD and Pro198Leu GPx polymorphisms are associated with CHD susceptibility and/or severity METHODS: Both polymorphisms were genotyped in a sample of 203 controls and 164 patients. CHD risk and severity, antioxidant status (enzymatic and/or non enzymatic) and biochemical parameters were assessed and analysed by genotype RESULTS: A significant association of MnSOD variant to CHD risk was revealed in males. Males harboring the Val/Val genotype were approximately at twofold increased risk of CHD compared to controls (Ala carriers vs Val/Val, adjusted OR 1.89; 95 % CI 1.18-3.42, p = 0.03). Significant decreases in SOD activity and total antioxidant status (TAS) were observed in Val carriers and by CHD status. Whereas, no association of GPx variant genotype (Leu/Leu) and activity to cardiopathy events was discerned. CHD severity, as demonstrated by the number of vessel stenosis, was associated with significantly higher frequency of Val allele and LDL levels in CHD subjects CONCLUSIONS: Our results showed a lack of association of Pro198Leu GPx polymorphism to CHD risk and severity. However, they suggest that Ala16Val MnSOD polymorphism and decreased antioxidant defences are likely contributed to CHD risk in Tunisian men. Furthermore, the Val encoding MnSOD allele and decreased SOD activity were significantly correlated with CHD stenosis progression <![CDATA[<b>The p. N103K mutation of leptin (<i>LEP) </i>gene and severe early onset obesity in Pakistan</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Obesity is a complex disorder and has been increasing globally at alarming rates including Pakistan. However, there is scarce research on understanding obesity genetics in Pakistan. Leptin is a hormone secreted by adipocytes in response to satiety and correlates with body weight. Any mutations in the LEP gene have an adverse effect on energy regulation pathway and lead to severe, early onset obesity. To date, only eight mutations have been described in the LEP gene of which p. N103K is one. METHODS: We aimed to analyze the prevalence of this mutation in Pakistani subjects. A total of 475 subjects were genotyped by PCR-RFLP analysis and their serum profiling was done. RESULTS: Results showed that this mutation was present only in one male child with early onset obesity (10 year). He had very low serum leptin levels suggestive of functional impact of the mutation. The prevalence of such mutations is, however, low due to the drastic effects on the energy regulation. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, LEP gene mutations contribute significantly to the monogenic forms of obesity and are important due to the availability of treatment options. Such mutations may exert their effect by directly affecting energy regulation pathway and are more prominent in the early stages of life only. <![CDATA[<b>Salinity-induced changes in the morphology and major mineral nutrient composition of purslane <i>(Portulaca oleracea </i>L.) accessions</b>]]> This study was undertaken to determine the effects of varied salinity regimes on the morphological traits (plant height, number of leaves, number of flowers, fresh and dry weight) and major mineral composition of 13 selected purslane accessions. Most of the morphological traits measured were reduced at varied salinity levels (0.0, 8, 16, 24 and 32 dS m-1), but plant height was found to increase in Ac1 at 16 dS m-1 salinity, and Ac13 was the most affected accession. The highest reductions in the number of leaves and number of flowers were recorded in Ac13 at 32 dS m-1 salinity compared to the control. The highest fresh and dry weight reductions were noted in Ac8 and Ac6, respectively, at 32 dS m-1 salinity, whereas the highest increase in both fresh and dry weight was recorded in Ac9 at 24 dS m-1 salinity compared to the control. In contrast, at lower salinity levels, all of the measured mineral levels were found to increase and later decrease with increasing salinity, but the performance of different accessions was different depending on the salinity level. A dendrogram was also constructed by UPGMA based on the morphological traits and mineral compositions, in which the 13 accessions were grouped into 5 clusters, indicating greater diversity among them. A three-dimensional principal component analysis also confirmed the output of grouping from cluster analysis. <![CDATA[<b>Candidate genes and pathogenesis investigation for sepsis-related acute respiratory distress syndrome based on gene expression profile</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is a potentially devastating form of acute inflammatory lung injury as well as a major cause of acute respiratory failure. Although researchers have made significant progresses in elucidating the pathophysiology of this complex syndrome over the years, the absence of a universal detail disease mechanism up until now has led to a series of practical problems for a definitive treatment. This study aimed to predict some genes or pathways associated with sepsis-related ARDS based on a public microarray dataset and to further explore the molecular mechanism of ARDS RESULTS: A total of 122 up-regulated DEGs and 91 down-regulated differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were obtained. The up- and down-regulated DEGs were mainly involved in functions like mitotic cell cycle and pathway like cell cycle. Protein-protein interaction network of ARDS analysis revealed 20 hub genes including cyclin B1 (CCNB1), cyclin B2 (CCNB2) and topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A). A total of seven transcription factors including forkhead box protein M1 (FOXM1) and 30 target genes were revealed in the transcription factor-target gene regulation network. Furthermore, co-cited genes including CCNB2-CCNB1 were revealed in literature mining for the relations ARDS related genes CONCLUSIONS: Pathways like mitotic cell cycle were closed related with the development of ARDS. Genes including CCNB1, CCNB2 and TOP2A, as well as transcription factors like FOXM1 might be used as the novel gene therapy targets for sepsis related ARDS <![CDATA[<b>Knockdown of ZFR suppresses cell proliferation and invasion of human pancreatic cancer</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Zinc finger RNA binding protein (ZFR) is involved in the regulation of growth and cancer development. However, little is known about ZFR function in pancreatic cancer. METHODS: Herein, to investigate whether ZFR is involved in tumor growth, Oncomine microarray data was firstly used to evaluate ZFR gene expression in human pancreatic tumors. Then short hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting ZFR was designed and delivered into PANC-1 pancreatic cancer cells to knock down ZFR expression. Cell viability, cell proliferation and cell cycle analysis after ZFR knockdown were determined by MTT, colony forming and FACS, respectively. In addition, cell migration and invasion were assessed using the Transwell system. RESULTS: The expression of ZFR was significantly higher in pancreatic tumors than normal pancreas tissues by Oncomine database analysis. Knockdown of ZFR by shRNA-expressing lentivirus significantly decreased the viability and invasion ability of pancreatic cancer cells. Moreover, FACS analysis showed that knockdown of ZFR in PANC-1 cells caused a significant cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Furthermore, knockdown of ZFR decreased the levels of CDK2, CDK4, CyclinA and CyclinD1 and enhanced the expression of p27, which has evidenced by qRT-PCR and Western blot analysis. CONCLUSIONS: Knockdown of ZFR might provide a novel alternative to targeted therapy of pancreatic cancer and deserves further investigation. <![CDATA[<b>Novel identification and characterisation of Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 ion channels on Natural Killer cells and B lymphocytes</b>: <b>effects on cell signalling in Chronic fatigue syndrome/Myalgic encephalomyelitis patients</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Transient receptor potential melastatin 3 (TRPM3) cation channels are ubiquitously expressed by multiple cells and have an important regulatory role in calcium-dependent cell signalling to help maintain cellular homeostasis. TRPM3 protein expression has yet to be determined on Natural Killer (NK) cells and B lymphocytes. Multiple single nucleotide polymorphisms have been reported in TRPM3 genes from isolated peripheral blood mononuclear cells, NK and B cells in Chronic fatigue syndrome/Myalgic encephalomyelitis (CFS/ME) patients and have been proposed to correlate with illness presentation. The object of the study was to assess TRPM3 surface expression on NK and B lymphocytes from healthy controls, followed by a comparative investigation examining TRPM3 surface expression, and cytoplasmic and mitochondrial calcium influx in CD19+ B cells, CD56bnght and CD56dim cell populations from CFS/ME patients. RESULTS: TRPM3 cell surface expression was identified for NK and B lymphocytes in healthy controls (CD56bright TRPM3 35.72 % ± 7.37; CD56dim 5.74 % ± 2.00; B lymphocytes 2.05 % ± 0.19, respectively). There was a significant reduction of TRPM3 surface expression on CD19+ B cells (1.56 ± 0.191) and CD56bright NK cells (17.37 % ± 5.34) in CFS/ME compared with healthy controls. Anti-CD21 and anti-IgM conjugated biotin was cross-linked with streptavidin,and subsequently treatment with thapsigargin. This showed a significant reduction in cytoplasmic calcium ion concentration in CD19+ B lymphocytes. CD56bright NK cells also had a significant decrease in cytoplasmic calcium in the presence of 2-APB and thapsigargin in CFS/ME patients. CONCLUSIONS: The results from this preliminary investigation identify, for the first time, TRPM3 surface expression on both NK and B lymphocytes in healthy controls. We also report for the first time, significant reduction in TRPM3 cell surface expression in NK and B lymphocytes, as well as decreased intracellular calcium within specific conditions in CFS/ME patients. This warrants further examination of these pathways to elucidate whether TRPM3 and impaired calcium mobilisation has a role in CFS/ME. <![CDATA[<b>Progress in tear microdesiccate analysis by combining various transmitted-light microscope techniques</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Tear desiccation on a glass surface followed by transmitted-light microscopy has served as diagnostic test for dry eye. Four distinctive morphological domains (zones I, II, III and transition band) have been recently recognized in tear microdesiccates. Physicochemical dissimilarities among those domains hamper comprehensive microscopic examination of tear microdesiccates. Optimal observation conditions of entire tear microdesiccates are now investigated. One-μ! aliquots of tear collected from individual healthy eyes were dried at ambient conditions on microscope slides. Tear microdesiccates were examined by combining low-magnification objective lenses with transmitted-light microscopy (brightfield, phase contrasts Ph1,2,3 and darkfield. RESULTS: Fern-like structures (zones II and III) were visible with all illumination methods excepting brightfield. Zone I was the microdesiccate domain displaying the most noticeable illumination-dependent variations, namely transparent band delimited by an outer rim (Ph1, Ph2), homogeneous compactly built structure (brightfield) or invisible domain (darkfield, Ph3). Intermediate positions of the condenser (BF/Ph1, Ph1/Ph2) showed a structured roughly cylindrical zone I. The transition band also varied from invisibility (brightfield) to a well-defined domain comprising interwoven filamentous elements (phase contrasts, darkfield. CONCLUSIONS: Imaging of entire tear microdesiccates by transmitted-light microscopy depends upon illumination. A more comprehensive description of tear microdesiccates can be achieved by combining illumination methods. <![CDATA[<b>Protective roles of free avian respiratory macrophages in captive birds</b>]]> In the mammalian lung, respiratory macrophages provide front line defense against invading pathogens and particulate matter. In birds, respiratory macrophages are known as free avian respiratory macrophages (FARM) and a dearth of the cells in the avian lung has been purported to foreordain a weak first line of pulmonary defense, a condition associated with high mortality of domestic birds occasioned by respiratory inflictions. Avian pulmonary mechanisms including a three tiered aerodynamic filtration system, tight epithelial junctions and an efficient mucociliary escalator system have been known to supplement FARM protective roles. Current studies, however, report FARM to exhibit an exceptionally efficient phagocytic capacity and are effective in elimination of invading pathogens. In this review, we also report on effects of selective synthetic peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR γ) agonists on non phlogistic phagocytic properties in the FARM. To develop effective therapeutic interventions targeting FARM in treatment and management of respiratory disease conditions in the poultry, further studies are required to fully understand the role of FARM in innate and adaptive immune responses. <![CDATA[<b>The antioxidative defense system is involved in the premature senescence in transgenic tobacco (<i>Nicotiana tabacum NC89</i>)</b>]]> BACKGROUND: α-Farnesene is a volatile sesquiterpene synthesized by the plant mevalonate (MVA) pathway through the action of α-farnesene synthase. The α-farnesene synthase 1 (MdAFS1) gene was isolated from apple peel (var. white winterpearmain), and transformed into tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum NC89). The transgenic plants had faster stem elongation during vegetative growth and earlier flowering than wild type (WT). Our studies focused on the transgenic tobacco phenotype. RESULTS: The levels of chlorophyll and soluble protein decreased and a lower seed biomass and reduced net photosynthetic rate (Pn) in transgenic plants. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide radicals (O2._) had higher levels in transgenics compared to controls. Transgenic plants also had enhanced sensitivity to oxidative stress. The transcriptome of 8-week-old plants was studied to detect molecular changes. Differentially expressed unigene analysis showed that ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, cell growth, and death unigenes were upregulated. Unigenes related to photosynthesis, antioxidant activity, and nitrogen metabolism were downregulated. Combined with the expression analysis of senescence marker genes, these results indicate that senescence started in the leaves of the transgenic plants at the vegetative growth stage. CONCLUSIONS: The antioxidative defense system was compromised and the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) played an important role in the premature aging of transgenic plants. <![CDATA[<b>50 years of amino acid hydrophobicity scales</b>: <b>revisiting the capacity for peptide classification</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Physicochemical properties are frequently analyzed to characterize protein-sequences of known and unknown function. Especially the hydrophobicity of amino acids is often used for structural prediction or for the detection of membrane associated or embedded β-sheets and α-helices. For this purpose many scales classifying amino acids according to their physicochemical properties have been defined over the past decades. In parallel, several hydrophobicity parameters have been defined for calculation of peptide properties. We analyzed the performance of separating sequence pools using 98 hydrophobicity scales and five different hydrophobicity parameters, namely the overall hydrophobicity, the hydrophobic moment for detection of the α-helical and β-sheet membrane segments, the alternating hydrophobicity and the exact β-strand score. RESULTS: Most of the scales are capable of discriminating between transmembrane α-helices and transmembrane β-sheets, but assignment of peptides to pools of soluble peptides of different secondary structures is not achieved at the same quality. The separation capacity as measure of the discrimination between different structural elements is best by using the five different hydrophobicity parameters, but addition of the alternating hydrophobicity does not provide a large benefit. An in silico evolutionary approach shows that scales have limitation in separation capacity with a maximal threshold of 0.6 in general. We observed that scales derived from the evolutionary approach performed best in separating the different peptide pools when values for arginine and tyrosine were largely distinct from the value of glutamate. Finally, the separation of secondary structure pools via hydrophobicity can be supported by specific detectable patterns of four amino acids. CONCLUSION: It could be assumed that the quality of separation capacity of a certain scale depends on the spacing of the hydrophobicity value of certain amino acids. Irrespective of the wealth of hydrophobicity scales a scale separating all different kinds of secondary structures or between soluble and transmembrane peptides does not exist reflecting that properties other than hydrophobicity affect secondary structure formation as well. Nevertheless, application of hydrophobicity scales allows distinguishing between peptides with transmembrane α-helices and β-sheets. Furthermore, the overall separation capacity score of 0.6 using different hydrophobicity parameters could be assisted by pattern search on the protein sequence level for specific peptides with a length of four amino acids. <![CDATA[<b>Effects and molecular mechanism of chitosan-coated levodopa nanoliposomes on behavior of dyskinesia rats</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Chitosan, the N-deacetylated derivative of chitin, is a cationic polyelectrolyte due to the presence of amino groups, one of the few occurring in nature. The use of chitosan in protein and drug delivery systems is being actively researched and reported in the literature RESULTS: In this study, we used chitosan-coated levodopa liposomes to investigate the behavioral character and the expression of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2), dopamine- and cAMP-regulated phos-phoprotein of 32 kDa (DARPP-32) and FosB/AFosB in striatum of rat model of levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID). We found that scores of abnormal involuntary movement (AIM) decreased significantly in liposome group (P < 0.05), compared with levodopa group. Levels of phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-Thr34 DARPP-32 and FosB/AFosB in striatum decreased significantly in liposome group lesion side compared with levodopa group (P < 0.05). However, both of two groups above have significantly differences compared with the control group (P < 0.05 CONCLUSION: Chitosan-coated levodopa liposomes may be useful in reducing dyskinesias inducing for Parkinson disease. The mechanism might be involved the pathway of signaling molecular phospho-ERK1/2, phospho-Thr34 DARPP-32 and AFosB in striatum <![CDATA[<b>Galectin-8 promotes migration and proliferation and prevents apoptosis in U87 glioblastoma cells</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Glioblastoma is one of the most aggressive cancers of the brain. Malignant traits of glioblastoma cells include elevated migration, proliferation and survival capabilities. Galectins are unconventionally secreted glycan-binding proteins that modulate processes of cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and apoptosis by interacting with beta-galactosides of cell surface glycoproteins and the extracellular matrix. Galectin-8 is one of the galectins highly expressed in glioblastoma cells. It has a unique selectivity for terminally sialylated glycans recently found enhanced in these highly malignant cells. A previous study in glioblastoma cell lines reported that Gal-8 coating a plastic surface stimulates two-dimensional motility. Because in other cells Gal-8 arrests proliferation and induces apoptosis, here we extend its study by analyzing all of these processes in a U87 glioblastoma cell mode.l METHODS: We used immunoblot and RT-PCR for Gal-8 expression analysis, recombinant Gal-8 produced in a bacteria system for Gal-8 treatment of the cells, and shRNA in lentivirus transduction for Gal-8 silencing. Cell migration as assessed in transwell filters. Cell proliferation, cell cycle and apoptosis were analyzed by FACS. RESULTS: Gal-8 as a soluble stimulus triggered chemotactic migration of U87 cells across the polycarbonate filter of transwell chambers, almost as intensively as fetal bovine serum. Unexpectedly, Gal-8 also enhanced U87 cell growth. Co-incubation of Gal-8 with lactose, which blocks galectin-glycan interactions, abrogated both effects. Immunoblot showed Gal-8 in conditioned media reflecting its secretion. U87 cells transduced with silencing shRNA in a lentiviral vector expressed and secreted 30-40 % of their normal Gal-8 levels. These cells maintained their migratory capabilities, but decreased their proliferation rate and underwent higher levels of apoptosis, as revealed by flow cytometry analysis of cell cycle, CFSE and activated caspase-3 staining. Proliferation seemed to be more sensitive than migration to Gal-8 expression levels. CONCLUSIONS: Gal-8, either secreted or exogenously enriched in the media, and acting through extracellular glycan interactions, constitutes a strong stimulus of directional migration in glioblastoma U87 cells and for the first time emerges as a factor that promotes proliferation and prevents apoptosis in cancerous cells. These properties could potentially contribute to the exaggerated malignancy of glioblastoma cells. <![CDATA[<b>Conserved genes and pathways in primary human fibroblast strains undergoing replicative and radiation induced senescence</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Cellular senescence is induced either internally, for example by replication exhaustion and cell division, or externally, for example by irradiation. In both cases, cellular damages accumulate which, if not successfully repaired, can result in senescence induction. Recently, we determined the transcriptional changes combined with the transition into replicative senescence in primary human fibroblast strains. Here, by γ-irradiation we induced premature cellular senescence in the fibroblast cell strains (HFF and MRC-5) and determined the corresponding transcriptional changes by high-throughput RNA sequencing. RESULTS: Comparing the transcriptomes, we found a high degree of similarity in differential gene expression in replicative as well as in irradiation induced senescence for both cell strains suggesting, in each cell strain, a common cellular response to error accumulation. On the functional pathway level, "Cell cycle" was the only pathway commonly down-regulated in replicative and irradiation-induced senescence in both fibroblast strains, confirming the tight link between DNA repair and cell cycle regulation. However, "DNA repair" and "replication" pathways were down-regulated more strongly in fibroblasts undergoing replicative exhaustion. We also retrieved genes and pathways in each of the cell strains specific for irradiation induced senescence. CONCLUSION: We found the pathways associated with "DNA repair" and "replication" less stringently regulated in irradiation induced compared to replicative senescence. The strong regulation of these pathways in replicative senescence highlights the importance of replication errors for its induction.