Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Biological Research]]> vol. 55 num. lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[An exploration of microbial response to stressors with Prof. Claudio C. Vásquez Guzmán]]> <![CDATA[Genome-wide analysis of metallothionein gene family in maize to reveal its role in development and stress resistance to heavy metal]]> Abstract Background: Maize (Zea mays L.) is a widely cultivated cereal and has been used as an optimum heavy metal phytoremediation crop. Metallothionein (MT) proteins are small, cysteine-rich, proteins that play important roles in plant growth and development, and the regulation of stress response to heavy metals. However, the MT genes for maize have not been fully analyzed so far. Methods: The putative ZmMT genes were identified by HMMER. The heat map of ZmMT genes spatial expression analysis was generated by using R with the log2 (FPKM + 1). The expression profiles of ZmMT genes under three kinds of heavy metal stresses were quantified by using qRT-PCR. The metallothionein proteins was aligned using MAFFT and phylogenetic analysis were constructed by ClustalX 2.1. The protein theoretical molecular weight and pI, subcellular localization, TFs binding sites, were predicted using ProtParam, PSORT, PlantTFDB, respectively. Results: A total of 9 ZmMT genes were identified in the whole genome of maize. The results showed that eight of the nine ZmMT proteins contained one highly conserved metallothio_2 domain, while ZmMT4 contained a Metallothio_PEC domain. All the ZmMT proteins could be classified into three major groups and located on five chromosomes. The ZmMT promoters contain a large number of hormone regulatory elements and hormone-related transcription factor binding sites. The ZmMT genes exhibited spatiotemporal specific expression patterns in 23 tissues of maize development stages and showed the different expression patterns in response to Cu, Cd, and Pb heavy metal stresses. Conclusions: We identified the 9 ZmMT genes, and explored their conserved motif, tissue expression patterns, evolutionary relationship. The expression profiles of ZmMT genes under three kinds of heavy metal stresses (Cu, Cd, Pb) were analyzed. In summary, the expression of ZmMTs have poteintial to be regulated by hormones. The specific expression of ZmMTs in different tissues of maize and the response to different heavy metal stresses are revealed that the role of MT in plant growth and development, and stress resistance to heavy metals. <![CDATA[Knockout of caspase-7 gene improves the expression of recombinant protein in CHO cell line through the cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase]]> Abstract Background: Chinese hamster ovary cell line has been used routinely as a bioproduction factory of numerous biopharmaceuticals. So far, various engineering strategies have been recruited to improve the production efficiency of this cell line such as apoptosis engineering. Previously, it is reported that the caspase-7 deficiency in CHO cells reduces the cell proliferation rate. But the effect of this reduction on the CHO cell productivity remained unclear. Hence, in the study at hand the effect of caspase-7 deficiency was assessed on the cell growth, viability and protein expression. In addition, the enzymatic activity of caspase-3 was investigated in the absence of caspase-7. Results: Findings showed that in the absence of caspase-7, both cell growth and cell viability were decreased. Cell cycle analysis illustrated that the CHO knockout (CHO-KO) cells experienced a cell cycle arrest in G2/M phase. This cell cycle arrest resulted in a 1.7-fold increase in the expression of luciferase in CHO-KO cells compared to parenteral cells. Furthermore, in the apoptotic situation the enzymatic activity of caspase-3 in CHO-KO cells was approximately 3 times more than CHO-K1 cells. Conclusions: These findings represented that; however, caspase-7 deficiency reduces the cell proliferation rate but the resulted cell cycle arrest leads to the enhancement of recombinant protein expression. Moreover, increasing in the caspase-3 enzymatic activity compensates the absence of caspase-7 in the caspase cascade of apoptosis. <![CDATA[Molecular structures and functional exploration of NDA family genes respond tolerant to alkaline stress in <em>Gossypium hirsutum</em> L.]]> Abstract Background: The internal NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (NDA) gene family was a member of the NAD(P)H dehydrogenase (ND) gene family, mainly involved in the non-phosphorylated respiratory pathways in mitochondria and played crucial roles in response to abiotic stress. Methods: The whole genome identification, structure analysis and expression pattern of NDA gene family were conducted to analyze the NDA gene family. Results: There were 51, 52, 26, and 24 NDA genes identified in G. hirsutum, G. barbadense, G. arboreum and G. raimondii, respectively. According to the structural characteristics of genes and traits of phylogenetic tree, we divided the NDA gene family into 8 clades. Gene structure analysis showed that the NDA gene family was relatively conservative. The four Gossypium species had good collinearity, and segmental duplication played an important role in the evolution of the NDA gene family. Analysis of cis-elements showed that most GhNDA genes contained cis-elements related to light response and plant hormones (ABA, MeJA and GA). The analysis of the expression patterns of GhNDA genes under different alkaline stress showed that GhNDA genes were actively involved in the response to alkaline stress, possibly through different molecular mechanisms. By analyzing the existing RNA-Seq data after alkaline stress, it was found that an NDA family gene GhNDA32 was expressed, and then theGhNDA32 was silenced by virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS). By observing the phenotype, we found that the wilting degree of silenced plants was much higher than that of the control plant after alkaline treatment, suggesting that GhNDA32 gene was involved in the response to alkaline stress. Conclusions: In this study, GhNDAs participated in response to alkaline stress, especially NaHCO3 stress. It was of great significance for the future research on the molecular mechanism of NDA gene family in responding to abiotic stresses. <![CDATA[Neuronal GRK2 regulates microglial activation and contributes to electroacupuncture analgesia on inflammatory pain in mice]]> Abstract Background: G protein coupled receptor kinase 2 (GRK2) has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in the development of chronic pain. Acupuncture is an alternative therapy widely used for pain management. In this study, we investigated the role of spinal neuronal GRK2 in electroacupuncture (EA) analgesia. Methods: The mice model of inflammatory pain was built by subcutaneous injection of Complete Freund's Adjuvant (CFA) into the plantar surface of the hind paws. The mechanical allodynia of mice was examined by von Frey test. The mice were subjected to EA treatment (BL60 and ST36 acupuncture points) for 1 week. Overexpression and down-regulation of spinal neuronal GRK2 were achieved by intraspinal injection of adeno associated virus (AAV) containing neuron–specific promoters, and microglial activation and neuroinflammation were evaluated by real–time PCR. Results: Intraplantar injection with CFA in mice induced the decrease of GRK2 and microglial activation along with neuroinflammation in spinal cord. EA treatment increased the spinal GRK2, reduced neuroinflammation, and significantly decreased CFA–induced mechanical allodynia. The effects of EA were markedly weakened by non–cell–specific downregulation of spinal GRK2. Further, intraspinal injection of AAV containing neuron–specific promoters specifically downregulated neuronal GRK2, and weakened the regulatory effect of EA on CFA–induced mechanical allodynia and microglial activation. Meanwhile, overexpression of spinal neuronal GRK2 decreased mechanical allodynia. All these indicated that the neuronal GRK2 mediated microglial activation and neuroinflammation, and subsequently contributed to CFA–induced inflammatory pain. Conclusion: The restoration of the spinal GRK2 and subsequent suppression of microglial activation and neuroinflammation might be an important mechanism for EA analgesia. Our findings further suggested that the spinal GRK2, especially neuronal GRK2, might be the potential target for EA analgesia and pain management, and we provided a new experimental basis for the EA treatment of pain. <![CDATA[The OxyR and SoxR transcriptional regulators are involved in a broad oxidative stress response in <em>Paraburkholderia xenovorans</em> LB400]]> Abstract Background: Aerobic metabolism generates reactive oxygen species that may cause critical harm to the cell. The aim of this study is the characterization of the stress responses in the model aromatic degrading bacterium Paraburkholderia xenovorans LB400 to the oxidizing agents paraquat and H 2 O2. Methods: Antioxidant genes were identified by bioinformatic methods in the genome of P. xenovorans LB400, and the phylogeny of its OxyR and SoxR transcriptional regulators were studied. Functionality of the transcriptional regulators from strain LB400 was assessed by complementation with LB400 SoxR of null mutant P. aeruginosa ΔsoxR, and the construction of P. xenovorans pIZ oxyR that overexpresses OxyR. The effects of oxidizing agents on P. xenovorans were studied measuring bacterial susceptibility, survival and ROS formation after exposure to paraquat and H 2 O2. The effects of these oxidants on gene expression (qRT PCR) and the proteome (LC–MS/MS) were quantified. Results: P. xenovorans LB400 possesses a wide repertoire of genes for the antioxidant defense including the oxyR , ahpC , ahpF , kat , trxB , dpsA and gorA genes, whose orthologous genes are regulated by the transcriptional regulator OxyR in E. coli . The LB400 genome also harbors the soxR, fumC , acnA , sodB , fpr and fldX genes, whose orthologous genes are regulated by the transcriptional regulator SoxR in E. coli . The functionality of the LB400 soxR gene was confirmed by complementation of null mutant P. aeruginosa Δ soxR . Growth, susceptibility, and ROS formation assays revealed that LB400 cells were more susceptible to paraquat than H2O2. Transcriptional analyses indicated the upregulation of the oxyR , ahpC1 , katE and ohrB genes in LB400 cells after exposure to H2O2, whereas the oxyR , fumC , ahpC1 , sodB1 and ohrB genes were induced in presence of paraquat. Proteome analysis revealed that paraquat induced the oxidative stress response proteins AhpCF and DpsA, the universal stress protein UspA and the RNA chaperone CspA. Both oxidizing agents induced the Ohr protein, which is involved in organic peroxide resistance. Notably, the overexpression of the LB400 oxyR gene in P. xenovorans significantly decreased the ROS formation and the susceptibility to paraquat, suggesting a broad OxyR regulated antioxidant response. Conclusions: This study showed that P. xenovorans LB400 possess a broad range oxidative stress response, which explain the high resistance of this strain to the oxidizing compounds paraquat and H2O2. <![CDATA[Genetic regulation of the <em>ompX</em> porin of <em>Salmonella</em> Typhimurium in response to hydrogen peroxide stress]]> Abstract Background: Salmonella Typhimurium is a Gram negative pathogen that causes a systemic disease in mice resembling typhoid fever. During its infective cycle, S. Typhimurium is phagocytized by macrophages and proliferates inside a Salmonella containing vacuole where Salmonella is exposed and survives oxidative stress induced by H2O2 through modulation of gene expression. After exposure of Salmonella to H2O2, the expression of the porin encoding gene ompX increases, as previously shown by microarray analysis. Expression of ompX mRNA is regulated at a post transcriptional level by MicA and CyaR sRNAs in aerobiosis. In addition, sequence analysis predicts a site for OxyS sRNA in ompX mRNA. Results: In this work we sought to evaluate the transcriptional and post transcriptional regulation of ompX under H2O2 stress. We demonstrate that ompX expression is induced at the transcriptional level in S . Typhimurium under such conditions. Unexpectedly, an increase in ompX gene transcript and promoter activity after challenges with H2O2 does not translate into increased protein levels in the wild type strain, suggesting that ompX mRNA is also regulated at a post transcriptional level, at least under oxidative stress. In silico gene sequence analysis predicted that sRNAs CyaR, MicA, and OxyS could regulate ompX mRNA levels. Using rifampicin to inhibit mRNA expression, we show that the sRNAs (MicA, CyaR and OxyS) and the sRNA:mRNA chaperone Hfq positively modulate ompX mRNA levels under H2O2 induced stress in Salmonella during the exponential growth phase in Lennox broth. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that ompX mRNA is regulated in response to H2O2 by the sRNAs CyaR, MicA and OxyS is Salmonella Typhimurium. <![CDATA[Cobalamin <em>cbiP</em> mutant shows decreased tolerance to low temperature and copper stress in <em>Listeria monocytogenes</em>]]> Abstract Background: Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis in humans. This pathogen activates multiple regulatory mechanisms in response to stress, and cobalamin biosynthesis might have a potential role in bacterial protection. Low temperature is a strategy used in the food industry to control bacteria proliferation; however, L. monocytogenes can grow in cold temperatures and overcome different stress conditions. In this study we selected L. monocytogenes List2-2, a strain with high tolerance to the combination of low temperature +copper, to understand whether the cobalamin biosynthesis pathway is part of the tolerance mechanism to this stress condition. For this, we characterized the transcription level of three cobalamin biosynthesis related genes ( cbiP , cbiB, and cysG ) and the eutV gene, a transcriptional regulator encoding gene involved in ethanolamine metabolism, in L. monocytogenes strain List2-2 growing simultaneously under two environmental stressors: low temperature (8 °C) +copper (0.5 mM of CuSO4 ×5H2O). In addition, the gene cbiP , which encodes an essential cobyric acid synthase required in the cobalamin pathway, was deleted by homologous recombination to evaluate the impact of this gene in L. monocytogenes tolerance to a low temperature (8 °C) +different copper concentrations. Results: By analyzing the KEGG pathway database, twenty-two genes were involved in the cobalamin biosynthesis pathway in L. monocytogenes List2-2. The expression of genes cbiP , cbiB, and cysG, and eutV increased 6 h after the exposure to low temperature +copper. The cobalamin cbiP mutant strain List2-2Δ cbiP showed less tolerance to low temperature +copper (3 mM) than the wild type L. monocytogenes List2-2. The addition of cyanocobalamin (5 nM) to the medium reverted the phenotype observed in List2-2Δ cbiP . Conclusion: These results indicate that cobalamin biosynthesis is necessary for L. monocytogenes growth under stress and that the cbiP gene may play a role in the survival and growth of L. monocytogenes List2-2 at low temperature +copper. <![CDATA[Aβ promotes CD38 expression in senescent microglia in Alzheimer’s disease]]> Abstract Background: In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the neuroinflammatory response mediated by the activation of senescent microglia is closely related to energy dysmetabolism. However, the mechanism underlying the interaction between the energy metabolism of aging microglia and neuroinflammation remains unclear. Methods: We used biochemical methods, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), immunofluorescence, and western blot to determine the effects and mechanism of CD38 knockdown on energy metabolism and neuroinflammation in Aβ1-40 injured BV2 cells. Using AD model mice, we detected CD38 enzyme activity, energy metabolism factors (ATP, NAD +, and NAD +/NADH), and neuroinflammatory factors (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α) following the addition of CD38 inhibitor. Using a combination of biochemical analysis and behavioral testing, we analyzed the effects of the CD38 inhibitor on energy metabolism disorder, the neuroinflammatory response, and the cognition of AD mice. Results: Following Aβ1-40 injury, SA-β-Gal positive cells and senescence-related proteins P16 and P21 increased in BV2 cells, while energy-related molecules (ATP, NAD +, and NAD +/NADH) and mitochondrial function (mitochondrial ROS and MMP) decreased. Further studies showed that CD38 knockdown could improve Aβ1-40-induced BV2 cells energy dysmetabolism and reduce the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α. In vivo results showed an increase in senile plaque deposition and microglial activation in the hippocampus and cortex of 34-week-old APP/PS1 mice. Following treatment with the CD38 inhibitor, senile plaque deposition decreased, the number of Iba1 +BV2 cells increased, the energy metabolism disorder was improved, the proinflammatory cytokines were reduced, and the spatial learning ability was improved. Conclusions: Our results confirm that senescent microglia appeared in the brain of 34-week-old APP/PS1 mice, and that Aβ1-40 can induce senescence of BV2 cells. The expression of CD38 increases in senescent BV2 cells, resulting in energy metabolism disorder. Therefore, reducing CD38 expression can effectively improve energy metabolism disorder and reduce proinflammatory cytokines. Following intervention with the CD38 inhibitor in APP/PS1 mice, the energy metabolism disorder was improved in the hippocampus and cortex, the level of proinflammatory cytokines was reduced, and cognitive impairment was improved. <![CDATA[Biomineralization of lithium nanoparticles by Li-resistant <em>Pseudomonas rodhesiae</em> isolated from the Atacama salt flat]]> Abstract Background: The Atacama salt flat is located in northern Chile, at 2300 m above sea level, and has a high concentration of lithium, being one of the main extraction sites in the world. The effect of lithium on microorganism communities inhabiting environments with high concentrations of this metal has been scarcely studied. A few works have studied the microorganisms present in lithium-rich salt flats (Uyuni and Hombre Muerto in Bolivia and Argentina, respectively). Nanocrystals formation through biological mineralization has been described as an alternative for microorganisms living in metal-rich environments to cope with metal ions. However, bacterial lithium biomineralization of lithium nanostructures has not been published to date. In the present work, we studied lithium-rich soils of the Atacama salt flat and reported for the first time the biological synthesis of Li nanoparticles. Results: Bacterial communities were evaluated and a high abundance of Cellulomonas, Arcticibacter, Mucilaginibacter, and Pseudomonas were determined. Three lithium resistant strains corresponding to Pseudomonas rodhesiae, Planomicrobium koreense, and Pseudomonas sp. were isolated (MIC &gt; 700 mM). High levels of S2− were detected in the headspace of P. rodhesiae and Pseudomonas sp. cultures exposed to cysteine. Accordingly, biomineralization of lithium sulfide-containing nanomaterials was determined in P. rodhesiae exposed to lithium salts and cysteine. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of ultrathin sections of P. rodhesiae cells biomineralizing lithium revealed the presence of nanometric materials. Lithium sulfide-containing nanomaterials were purified, and their size and shape determined by dynamic light scattering and TEM. Spherical nanoparticles with an average size &lt; 40 nm and a hydro-dynamic size ~ 44.62 nm were determined. Conclusions: We characterized the bacterial communities inhabiting Li-rich extreme environments and reported for the first time the biomineralization of Li-containing nanomaterials by Li-resistant bacteria. The biosynthesis method described in this report could be used to recover lithium from waste batteries and thus provide a solution to the accumulation of batteries. <![CDATA[tiRNA-Val promotes angiogenesis via Sirt1–Hif-1α axis in mice with diabetic retinopathy]]> Abstract Background: Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a specific microvascular complication arising from diabetes, and its pathogenesis is not completely understood. tRNA-derived stress-induced RNAs (tiRNAs), a new type of small noncoding RNA generated by specific cleavage of tRNAs, has become a promising target for several diseases. However, the regulatory function of tiRNAs in DR and its detailed mechanism remain unknown. Results: Here, we analyzed the tiRNA profiles of normal and DR retinal tissues. The expression level of tiRNA-Val was significantly upregulated in DR retinal tissues. Consistently, tiRNA-Val was upregulated in human retinal microvascular endothelial cells (HRMECs) under high glucose conditions. The overexpression of tiRNA-Val enhanced cell proliferation and inhibited cell apoptosis in HRMECs, but the knockdown of tiRNA-Val decreased cell proliferation and promoted cell apoptosis. Mechanistically, tiRNA-Val, derived from mature tRNA-Val with Ang cleavage, decreased Sirt1 expression level by interacting with sirt1 3’UTR, leading to the accumulation of Hif-1α, a key target for DR. In addition, subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus to knock down tiRNA-Val in DR mice ameliorated the symptoms of DR. Conclusion: tiRNA-Val enhance cell proliferation and inhibited cell apoptosis via Sirt1/Hif-1α pathway in HRMECs of DR retinal tissues. <![CDATA[Sperm DNA damage compromises embryo development, but not oocyte fertilisation in pigs]]> Abstract Background: The assessment of sperm DNA integrity has been proposed as a complementary test to conventional mammalian semen analysis. In this sense, single-strand (SSB) and double-strand (DSB) DNA breaks, the two types of sperm DNA fragmentation (SDF), have been reported to have different aetiologies and to be associated to different fertility outcomes in bovine and humans. Considering that no studies in porcine have addressed how SDF may affect sperm quality and fertility outcomes, the present work aimed to determine the impact of global DNA damage, SSB and DSB on sperm quality and in vitro fertilising ability. To this end, 24 ejaculates (one per boar) were split into three aliquots: the first was used to assess sperm quality parameters through a computer-assisted sperm analysis (CASA) system and flow cytometry; the second was used to perform in vitro fertilisation, and the third, to evaluate sperm DNA integrity using alkaline and neutral Comet assays. Results: The results showed that global DNA damage negatively correlates (P &lt; 0.05) with normal sperm morphology (R = — 0.460) and progressive motility (R = — 0.419), and positively with the percentage of non-viable sperm (R = 0.507). Multiple regression analyses showed that non-viable sperm were related to SSB (β = — 0.754). In addition, while fertilisation did not seem to be affected by sperm DNA integrity, global DNA damage, DSB and SSB were found to be correlated to embryo development outcomes. Specifically, whereas global DNA damage and DSB negatively affected (P &lt; 0.05) the later preimplantation embryo stages (percentage of early blastocyst/blastocyst D6: for global DNA damage, R = — 0.458, and for DSB, R = — 0.551; and percentage of hatching/hatched blastocyst D6: for global DNA damage, R = — 0.505, and for DSB, R = — 0.447), global DNA damage and SSB had a negative impact (P &lt; 0.05) on the developmental competency of fertilised embryos (R = — 0.532 and R = — 0.515, respectively). Remarkably, multiple regression analyses supported the associations found in correlation analyses. Finally, the present work also found that the inclusion of Comet assays to the conventional sperm quality tests improves the prediction of blastocyst formation (AUC = 0.9021, P &lt; 0.05), but not fertilisation rates (P &gt; 0.05). Conclusion: Considering all these findings, this work sets a useful model to study how SDF negatively influences fertility. <![CDATA[Anaerobic RSH-dependent tellurite reduction contributes to <em>Escherichia coli tolerance</em> against tellurite]]> Abstract Background: Tellurium is a rare metalloid that exerts high toxicity on cells, especially on bacteria, partly due to reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Moreover, it has also been observed that tellurite can target free cell thiols groups (RSH) (i.e. reduced glutathione (GSH)), enhancing the cellular redox imbalance. Additionally, in vitro experiments have suggested that several enzymes can reduce tellurite (IV) to its elemental form (0); where RSH present on their active sites may be responsible for the process. Nevertheless, the mechanisms implemented by bacteria for tellurite reduction and its role in resistance have not been evaluated in vivo. Results: This work shows that tellurite reduction to elemental tellurium is increased under anaerobic conditions in E. coli cells. The in vivo tellurite reduction is related to the intracellular concentration of total RSH, in the presence and absence of oxygen. This metabolization of tellurite directly contributes to the resistance of the bacteria to the oxyanion. Conclusions: We demonstrated that in vivo tellurite reduction is related to the intracellular thiol concentration, i.e. large availability of cellular RSH groups, results in a more significant reduction of tellurite. Furthermore, we observed that, when the bacterium exhibits less resistance to the oxyanion, a decreased tellurite reduction was seen, affecting the growth fitness. Together, these results let us propose that tellurite reduction and the intracellular RSH content are related to the oxyanion bacterial resistance, this tripartite mechanism in an oxygen independent anaerobic process. <![CDATA[Betahistine alleviates benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) through inducing production of multiple CTRP family members and activating the ERK1/2-AKT/PPARy pathway]]> Abstract Background: Betahistine is a clinical medication for the treatment of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). Otolin, a secreted glycoprotein with a C-terminal globular domain homologous to the immune complement C1q, has been identified as a biomarker for BPPV. However, the role of complement C1q/TNF-related proteins (CTRPs) with a C-terminal globular domain in BPPV is unclear, so we explored the change of CTRPs in betahistine treated BPPV. Methods: We treated BPPV patients with Betahistine (12 mg/time, 3 times/day) for 4 weeks and observed the clinical efficacy and the expression of CTRP family members in BPPV patients. Then, we constructed a vertigo mice model of vestibular dysfunction with gentamicin (150 mg/Kg) and a BPPV model of Slc26a4loop/loop mutant mice. Adenoviral vectors for CTRP expression vector and small interfering RNA were injected via the intratympanic injection into mice and detected the expression of CTRP family members, phosphorylation levels of ERK and AKT and the expression of PPARγ. In addition, we treated mice of vestibular dysfunction with Betahistine (10 mg/Kg) and/or ERK inhibitor of SCH772984 (12 mg/Kg) and/or and PPARγ antagonist GW9662 (1 mg/Kg) for 15 days, and evaluated the accuracy of air righting reflex, the time of contact righting reflex and the scores of head tilt and swimming behavior. Results: After treatment with Betahistine, the residual dizziness duration and the score of the evaluation were reduced, and the expression of CTRP1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 were significantly increased in BPPV patients. We also found that Betahistine improved the accuracy of air righting reflex, reduced the time of contact righting reflex and the scores of head tilt and swimming behavior in gentamicin-treated mice and Slc26a4loop/loop mutant mice. The expression levels of CTRP1, 3, 6, 9 and 12, phosphorylation levels of ERK and AKT, and PPARγ expression were significantly increased, and the scores of head tilt and swimming behavior were decreased in vestibular dysfunction mice with overexpression of CTRPs. Silencing CTRPs has the opposite effect. SCH772984 reversed the effect of Betahistine in mice with vestibular dysfunction. Conclusion: Betahistine alleviates BPPV through inducing production of multiple CTRP family members and activating the ERK1/2-AKT/PPARy pathway. <![CDATA[nNav1.5 expression is associated with glutamate level in breast cancer cells]]> Abstract Background: Glutamate and voltage-gated sodium channels, both have been the target of intense investigation for its involvement in carcinogenesis and progression of malignant disease. Breast cancer with increased level of glutamate often metastasize to other organs (especially bone), whilst re-expression of ‘neonatal’ Nav1.5, nNav1.5 in breast cancer is known to promote cell invasion in vitro, metastasis in vivo and positive lymph node metastasis in patients. Methods: In this study, the role of nNav1.5 in regulating glutamate level in human breast cancer cells was examined using pharmacological approach (VGSCs specific blocker, TTX, glutamate release inhibitor, riluzole and siRNA-nNav1.5). Effect of these agents were evaluated based on endogenous and exogenous glutamate concentration using glutamate fluorometric assay, mRNA expression of nNav1.5 using qPCR and finally, invasion using 3D culture assay. Results: Endogenous and exogenous glutamate levels were significantly higher in aggressive human breast cancer cells, MDA-MB-231 cells compared to less aggressive human breast cancer cells, MCF-7 and non-cancerous human breast epithelial cells, MCF-10A. Treatment with TTX to MDA-MB-231 cells resulted in significant reduction of endogenous and exogenous glutamate levels corresponded with significant suppression of cell invasion. Subsequently, downregulation of nNav1.5 gene was observed in TTX-treated cells. Conclusions: An interesting link between nNav1.5 expression and glutamate level in aggressive breast cancer cells was detected and requires further investigation. <![CDATA[A novel gene from the acidophilic bacterium <em>Leptospirillum</em> sp. CF-1 and its role in oxidative stress and chromate tolerance]]> Abstract Background: Acidophilic microorganisms like Leptospirillum sp. CF 1 thrive in environments with extremely low pH and high concentrations of dissolved heavy metals that can induce the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Several hypothetical genes and proteins from Leptospirillum sp. CF 1 are known to be up regulated under oxidative stress conditions. Results: In the present work, the function of hypothetical gene ABH19_09590 from Leptospirillum sp. CF 1 was studied. Heterologous expression of this gene in Escherichia coli led to an increase in the ability to grow under oxidant conditions with 5 mM K2CrO4 or 5 mM H2O2. Similarly, a significant reduction in ROS production in E. coli transformed with a plasmid carrying ABH19_09590 was observed after exposure to these oxidative stress elicitors for 30 min, compared to a strain complemented with the empty vector. A co transcriptional study using RT PCR showed that ABH19_09590 is contained in an operon, here named the “och” operon, that also contains ABH19_09585, ABH19_09595 and ABH19_09600 genes. The expression of the och operon was significantly up regulated in Leptospirillum sp. CF 1 exposed to 5 mM K2CrO4 for 15 and 30 min. Genes of this operon potentially encode a NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase, a CXXC motif containing protein likely involved in thiol/disulfide exchange, a hypothetical protein, and a di hydroxy acid dehydratase. A comparative genomic analysis revealed that the och operon is a characteristic genetic determinant of the Leptospirillum genus that is not present in other acidophiles. Conclusions: Altogether, these results suggest that the och operon plays a protective role against chromate and hydrogen peroxide and is an important mechanism required to face polyextremophilic conditions in acid environments. <![CDATA[Heritable genomic diversity in breast cancer driver genes and associations with risk in a Chilean population]]> Abstract Background: Driver mutations are the genetic components responsible for tumor initiation and progression. These variants, which may be inherited, influence cancer risk and therefore underlie many familial cancers. The present study examines the potential association between SNPs in driver genes SF3B1 (rs4685), TBX3 (rs12366395, rs8853, and rs1061651) and MAP3K1 (rs72758040) and BC in BRCA1/2-negative Chilean families. Methods: The SNPs were genotyped in 486 BC cases and 1258 controls by TaqMan Assay. Results: Our data do not support an association between rs4685:C &gt; T, rs8853:T &gt; C, or rs1061651:T &gt; C and BC risk. However, the rs12366395-G allele (A/G + G/G) was associated with risk in families with a strong history of BC (OR = 1.2 [95% CI 1.0–1.6] p = 0.02 and OR = 1.5 [95% CI 1.0–2.2] p = 0.02, respectively). Moreover, rs72758040-C was associated with increased risk in cases with a moderate-to-strong family history of BC (OR = 1.3 [95% CI 1.0–1.7] p = 0.02 and OR = 1.3 [95% CI 1.0–1.8] p = 0.03 respectively). Finally, risk was significantly higher in homozygous C/C cases from families with a moderate-to-strong BC history (OR = 1.8 [95% CI 1.0–3.1] p = 0.03 and OR = 1.9 [95% CI 1.1–3.4] p = 0.01, respectively). We also evaluated the combined impact of rs12366395-G and rs72758040-C. Familial BC risk increased in a dose-dependent manner with risk allele count, reflecting an additive effect (p-trend = 0.0002). Conclusions: Our study suggests that germline variants in driver genes TBX3 (rs12366395) and MAP3K1 (rs72758040) may influence BC risk in BRCA1/2-negative Chilean families. Moreover, the presence of rs12366395-G and rs72758040-C could increase BC risk in a Chilean population. <![CDATA[Intravitreal injection of mitochondrial DNA induces cell damage and retinal dysfunction in rats]]> Abstract Background: Retinal neurodegeneration is induced by a variety of environmental insults and stresses, but the exact mechanisms are unclear. In the present study, we explored the involvement of cytosolic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), resulting in the cGAS-STING dependent inflammatory response and apoptosis in retinal damage in vivo. Methods: Retinal injury was induced with white light or intravitreal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). After light-or LPS-induced injury, the amount of cytosolic mtDNA in the retina was detected by PCR. The mtDNA was isolated and used to transfect retinas in vivo. WB and real-time PCR were used to evaluate the activation of cGAS-STING path-way and the levels of apoptosis-associated protein at different times after mtDNA injection. Retinal cell apoptosis rate was detected by TUNEL staining. Full-field electroretinography (ERG) was used to assess the retinal function. Results: Light injury and the intravitreal injection of LPS both caused the leakage of mtDNA into the cytoplasm in retinal tissue. After the transfection of mtDNA in vivo, the levels of cGAS, STING, and IFN-β mRNAs and the protein levels of STING, phosph-TBK1, phospho-IRF3, and IFN-β were upregulated. mtDNA injection also induced the activation of caspase 3 and caspase 9. BAX and BAK were increased at both the mRNA and protein levels. The release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol was increased after mtDNA injection. The wave amplitudes on ERG decreased and retinal cell apoptosis was detected after mtDNA injection. Conclusions: Cytosolic mtDNA triggers an inflammatory response. It also promotes apoptosis and the dysfunction of the retina. <![CDATA[Characterization of metal(loid)s and antibiotic resistance in bacteria of human gut microbiota from chronic kidney disease subjects]]> Abstract Background: Human Gut Microbiota (HGM) is composed of more than one thousand species, playing an important role in the health status of individuals. Dysbiosis (an HGM imbalance) is augmented as chronic kidney disease (CKD) progresses, as loss of kidney function accelerates. Increased antibiotic use in CKD subjects and consumption of nephrotoxic heavy metals and metalloids such as lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury in tap water increases the dysbiosis state. Studies in people with stage 3 CKD are complex to carry out, mainly because patients are self-reliant who rarely consult a specialist. The current work focused on this type of patient. Results: Lead and arsenic-resistant bacteria were obtained from self-reliant (that stands on its own) stage 3 CKD subjects. Pathogen-related Firmicutes and Proteobacteria genus bacteria were observed. Resistance and potentiation of antibiotic effects in the presence of metal(loid)s in vitro were found. Furthermore, the presence of the following genes markers for antibiotic and metal(loid) resistance were identified by qPCR: oxa10, qnrB1, mphB, ermB, mefE1, arr2, sulll, tetA, floR, strB, dhfr1, acrB, cadA2k, cadA3k, arsC, pbrA. We observed a decrease in the number of metal resistance markers. Conclusions: The presence of cadA and arsC genetic markers of antibiotics and metal(loid)s resistance were detected in samples from stage 3 CKD subjects. Lower gene amplification in advanced stages of CKD were also observed, possibly associated with a decrease in resident HGM during kidney disease progression. <![CDATA[Impact of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on embryo ploidy: a retrospective cohort study of 133 PGT-A cycles in China]]> Abstract Background: Unsubstantiated concerns have been raised on the potential correlation between severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccination and infertility, leading to vaccine hesitancy in reproductive-aged population. Herein, we aim to evaluate the impact of inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on embryo ploidy, which is a critical indicator for embryo quality and pregnancy chance. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 133 patients who underwent preimplantation genetic testing for aneuploidy (PGT-A) cycles with next-generation sequencing technology from June 1st 2021 to March 17th 2022 at a tertiary-care medical center in China. Women fully vaccinated with two doses of Sinopharm or Sinovac inactivated vaccines (n = 66) were compared with unvaccinated women (n = 67). The primary outcome was the euploidy rate per cycle. Multivariate linear and logistic regression analyses were performed to adjust for potential confounders. Results: The euploidy rate was similar between vaccinated and unvaccinated groups (23.2 ± 24.6% vs. 22.6 ± 25.9%, P = 0.768), with an adjusted β of 0.01 (95% confidence interval [CI]: -0.08–0.10). After frozen-thawed single euploid blastocyst transfer, the two groups were also comparable in clinical pregnancy rate (75.0% vs. 60.0%, P = 0.289), with an adjusted odds ratio of 6.21 (95% CI: 0.76–50.88). No significant associations were observed between vaccination and cycle characteristics or other laboratory and pregnancy outcomes. Conclusions: Inactivated SARS-CoV-2 vaccination had no detrimental impact on embryo ploidy during in vitro fertilization treatment. Our finding provides further reassurance for vaccinated women who are planning to conceive. Future prospective cohort studies with larger datasets and longer follow-up are needed to confirm the conclusion. <![CDATA[Structure and character analysis of cotton <em>response regulator</em> genes family reveals that <em>GhRR7</em> responses to draught stress]]> Abstract Background: Cytokinin signal transduction is mediated by a two-component system (TCS). Two-component systems are utilized in plant responses to hormones as well as to biotic and abiotic environmental stimuli. In plants, response regulatory genes (RRs) are one of the main members of the two-component system (TCS). Method: From the aspects of gene structure, evolution mode, expression type, regulatory network and gene function, the evolution process and role of RR genes in the evolution of the cotton genome were analyzed. Result: A total of 284 RR genes in four cotton species were identified. Including 1049 orthologous/paralogous gene pairs were identified, most of which were whole genome duplication (WGD). The RR genes promoter elements contain phytohormone responses and abiotic or biotic stress-related cis-elements. Expression analysis showed that RR genes family may be negatively regulate and involved in salt stress and drought stress in plants. Protein regulatory network analysis showed that RR family proteins are involved in regulating the DNA-binding transcription factor activity (COG5641) pathway and HP kinase pathways. VIGS analysis showed that the GhRR7 gene may be in the same regulatory pathway as GhAHP5 and GhPHYB, ultimately negatively regulating cotton drought stress by regulating POD, SOD, CAT, H2O2 and other reactive oxygen removal systems. Conclusion: This study is the first to gain insight into RR gene members in cotton. Our research lays the foundation for discovering the genes related to drought and salt tolerance and creating new cotton germplasm materials for drought and salt tolerance. <![CDATA[Acupuncture attenuates comorbid anxiety- and depressive-like behaviors of atopic dermatitis through modulating neuroadaptation in the brain reward circuit in mice]]> Abstract Atopic dermatitis (AD) is highly comorbid with negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. Although acupuncture has demonstrated efficacy in AD, its influence on comorbid anxiety and depression remains unclear. We sought to explore the impact and mechanisms of action of acupuncture on comorbid anxiety and depression of AD. AD-like skin lesions were induced by the topical application of MC903 to the mouse cheek. Acupuncture was performed at Gok-Ji (LI11) acupoints. AD-like phenotypes were quantified by lesion scores, scratching behavior, and histopathological changes. The effects of acupuncture on comorbid anxiety and depression-like behaviors were assessed using the elevated plus-maze (EPM), open-field tests (OFT), and tail-suspension test (TST). In addition, biochemical changes in the brain reward regions were investigated by immunoblotting for the expression of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine D1 receptor (D1R), phospho-dopamine and cAMP-regulated phosphoprotein-32 kDa (pDARPP-32), phospho-cAMP response element binding protein (pCREB), ΔFosB, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the nucleus accumbens, dorsolateral striatum, and ventral tegmental area. Acupuncture effectively improved the chronic itching and robust AD-like skin lesions with epidermal thickening. Additionally, it considerably reduced comorbid anxiety- and depression-like symptoms, as indicated by more time spent in the open arms of the EPM and in the center of the open field and less time spent immobile in the TST. Higher pCREB, ΔFosB, BDNF, and pDARPP-32 levels, and reduced TH and D1R protein expression in the brain reward regions of AD mice were reversed by acupuncture treatment. The beneficial effects of acupuncture on clinical symptoms (scratching behavior) and comorbid psychological distress in AD strongly correlated with dorsal striatal ΔFosB levels. Collectively, these data indicate that acupuncture had a significant, positive impact on comorbid anxiety- and depression-like behaviors by modulating neuroadaptation in the brain reward circuit in mice with AD, providing a novel perspective for the non-pharmacological management of psychiatric comorbidities of AD. <![CDATA[Melanoma stem cells promote metastasis via exosomal miR-1268a inactivation of autophagy]]> Abstract Background: Metastatic melanoma has a high mortality rate and poor survival. This is associated with efficient metastatic colonization, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive. Communication between cancer stem cells (CSCs) and cancer cells plays an important role in metastatic dissemination. Whether cancer stem cells can alter the metastatic properties of non-CSC cells; and whether exosomal crosstalk can mediate such interaction, have not been demonstrated in melanoma prior to this report. Results: The results revealed that exosomes secreted by highly metastatic melanoma CSCs (OL-SCs) promoted the invasiveness of the low metastatic melanoma cells (OL) and accelerated metastatic progression. miR-1268a was up-regulated in cells and exosomes of OL-SCs. Moreover, OL-SCs-derived exosomal miR-1268a, upon taking up by OL cells, promoted the metastatic colonization ability of OL cells in vitro and in vivo. In addition, the pro-metastatic activity of exosomal miR-1268a is achieved through inhibition of autophagy. Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that OL cells can acquire the “metastatic ability” from OL-SCs cells. OL-SCs cells achieves this goal by utilizing its exosomes to deliver functional miRNAs, such as miR-1268a, to the targeted OL cells which in turn augments metastatic colonization by inactivating the autophagy pathway in OL cells. <![CDATA[Immature rat testis sustained long-term development using an integrative model]]> Abstract Background: Xenotransplantation has been primarily performed using fresh donor tissue to study testicular development for about 20 years, and whether the cultured tissue would be a suitable donor is unclear. In this study, we combined testicular culture and xenotransplantation into an integrative model and explored whether immature testicular tissue would survive and continue to develop in this model. Methods: In the new integrative model group, the testes of neonatal rats on postnatal day 8 (PND 8) were cultured for 4 days ex vivo and then were transplanted under the dorsal skin of castrated nude mice. The xenografted testes were resected on the 57th day after xenotransplantation and the testes of rats in the control group were harvested on PND 69. The survival state of testicular tissue was evaluated from morphological and functional perspectives including H&amp;E staining, immunohistochemical staining of 8-OH-dG, immunofluorescence staining, TUNEL assay, ultrastructural study, gene expression and protein analysis. Results: (a) We found that complete spermatogenesis was established in the testes in the new integrative model group. Compared with the control in the same stage, the seminiferous epithelium in some tubules was a bit thinner and there were vacuoles in part of the tubules. Immunofluorescence staining revealed some ACROSIN-positive spermatids were present in seminiferous tubule of xenografted testes. TUNEL detection showed apoptotic cells and most of them were germ cells in the new integrative model group. 8-OH-dG immunohistochemistry showed strongly positive-stained in the seminiferous epithelium after xenotransplantation in comparison with the control group; (b) Compared with the control group, the expressions of FOXA3, DAZL, GFRα1, BOLL, SYCP3, CDC25A, LDHC, CREM and MKI67 in the new integrative model group were significantly elevated (P &lt; 0.05), indicating that the testicular tissue was in an active differentiated and proliferative state; (c) Antioxidant gene detection showed that the expression of Nrf2, Keap1, NQO1 and SOD1 in the new integrative model group was significantly higher than those in the control group (P &lt; 0.05), and DNA methyltransferase gene detection showed that the expression of DNMT3B was significantly elevated as well (P &lt; 0.05). Conclusion: The new integrative model could maintain the viability of immature testicular tissue and sustain the long-term survival in vivo with complete spermatogenesis. However, testicular genes expression was altered, vacuolation and thin seminiferous epithelium were still apparent in this model, manifesting that oxidative damage may contribute to the testicular development lesion and it needs further study in order to optimize this model. <![CDATA[The production of the first functional antibody mimetic in higher plants: the chloroplast makes the DARPin G3 for HER2 imaging in oncology]]> Abstract Background: Designed mimetic molecules are attractive tools in biopharmaceuticals and synthetic biology. They require mass and functional production for the assessment of upcoming challenges in the near future. The DARPin family is considered a mimetic pharmaceutical peptide group with high affinity binding to specific targets. DARPin G3 is designed to bind to the HER2 (human epidermal growth factor receptor 2) tyrosine kinase receptor. Overexpression of HER2 is common in some cancers, including breast cancer, and can be used as a prognostic and predictive tool for cancer. The chloroplasts are cost-effective alternatives, equal to, and sometimes better than, bacterial, yeast, or mammalian expression systems. This research examined the possibility of the production of the first antibody mimetic, DARPin G3, in tobacco chloroplasts for HER2 imaging in oncology. Results: The chloroplast specific DARPin G3 expression cassette was constructed and transformed into N. tabacum chloroplasts. PCR and Southern blot analysis confirmed integration of transgenes as well as chloroplastic and cellular homoplasmy. The Western blot analysis and ELISA confirmed the production of DARPin G3 at the commercial scale and high dose with the rate of 20.2% in leaf TSP and 33.7% in chloroplast TSP. The functional analysis by ELISA confirmed the binding of IMAC purified chloroplast-made DARPin G3 to the extracellular domain of the HER2 receptor with highly effective picomolar affinities. The carcinoma cellular studies by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy confirmed the correct functioning by the specific binding of the chloroplast-made DARPin G3 to the HER2 receptor on the surface of HER2-positive cancer cell lines. Conclusion: The efficient functional bioactive production of DARPin G3 in chloroplasts led us to introduce plant chloroplasts as the site of efficient production of the first antibody mimetic molecules. This report, as the first case of the cost-effective production of mimetic molecules, enables researchers in pharmaceuticals, synthetic biology, and bio-molecular engineering to develop tool boxes by producing new molecular substitutes for diverse purposes. <![CDATA[Utility of melatonin in mitigating ionizing radiation-induced testis injury through synergistic interdependence of its biological properties]]> Abstract Background: Ionizing radiations (IR) have widespread useful applications in our daily life; however, they have unfavorable effects on reproductive health. Maintaining testicular health following IR exposure is an important requirement for reproductive potential. The current study explored the role of melatonin (MLT) in mitigating IR-induced injury in young adult rat testis. Methods: Rats were given daily MLT (25 mg/kg) for 3 and 14 days after receiving 4 Gy γ-radiation. Results: Serum MLT levels and other antioxidants, including glutathione content, and the activity of glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase in the testis of the irradiated rats were remarkably maintained by MLT administration in irradiated rats. Hence, the hydrogen peroxide level declined with remarkably reduced formation of oxidative stress markers, 4-hydroxynonenal, and 8-Hydroxy-2′-deoxyguanosine in the testis of irradiated animals after MLT administration. The redox status improvement caused a remarkable regression of proapoptotic protein (p53, Cyto-c, and caspase-3) in the testis and improved inflammatory cytokines (CRP and IL-6), and anti-inflammatory cytokine (interleukin IL-10) in serum. This is associated with restoration of disturbed sex hormonal balance, androgen receptor upregulation, and testicular cell proliferation activity in irradiated rats, explaining the improvement of sperm parameters (count, motility, viability, and deformation). Consequently, spermatogenic cell depletion and decreased seminiferous tubule diameter and perimeter were attenuated by MLT treatment post irradiation. Moreover, the testis of irradiated-MLT-treated rats showed well-organized histological architecture and normal sperm morphology. Conclusions: These results show that radiation-induced testicular injury is mitigated following IR exposure through synergistic interdependence between the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-DNA damage actions of MLT. <![CDATA[Oocyte quality assessment in marine invertebrates: a novel approach by fluorescence spectroscopy]]> Abstract Background: The assessment of oocyte quality is, nowadays, a major challenge in aquaculture, oocyte cryopreservation, and environmental science. Oocyte quality is a determining factor in fertilization and embryo development; however, there is still a lack of rapid and sensitive cellular markers for its assessment. Currently, its estimation is pre-dominantly based on morphological analysis, which is subjective and does not consistently reflect the developmental competence of the oocytes. Despite several recent studies investigating molecular markers related to oocyte quality, methods currently available for their determination pose various technical challenges and limitations. In this study, we developed a novel approach based on fluorescence spectroscopy to assess different intrinsic physiological parameters that can be employed to evaluate egg quality in marine invertebrates that are widely used as animal models such as sea urchins and mussels. Results: Different physiological parameters, such as viability, mitochondrial activity, intracellular ROS levels, plasma membrane lipid peroxidation, and intracellular pH, for egg quality evaluation have been successfully assessed in sea urchins and mussels by using specific fluorescent dyes and detecting the fluorescent signals in eggs through fluorescence spectroscopy. Conclusions: Based on our findings, we propose these physiological markers as useful predictors of egg quality in marine invertebrates; they can be estimated rapidly, selectively, and sensitively by employing this novel approach, which, due to the speed of analysis, the low cost, and easy use can be considered a powerful analytical tool for the egg quality assessment. <![CDATA[Potential role of dental pulp stem cells conditioned medium for odontoblastic differentiation]]> Abstract Background: Functional bioengineered tooth regeneration using autologous or allogeneic alternative differentiated cells sources are thought to have a great potential in replacing conventional dentures. This study investigated the potential of dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs) conditioned medium for odontoblastic differentiation of Wharton’s jelly mesenchymal stem cells (WJMSCs). The DPSCs derived from healthy adult permanent first molars were cultured at high confluence prior to conditioned medium collection. The WJMSCs were cultured in six different treatments, with varying ratios of culture media to DPSCs-conditioned medium. MTT assay was used to measure the rate of proliferation of WJMSCs, while immunocytochemistry staining was utilised to detect the expression of dental matrix protein 1 (DMP-1). The deposited calcium was detected and analysed via Alizarin-Red Staining (ARS). Results: It was found that the proliferation of WJMSCs cultured under the mixture of complete medium and DPSCs conditioned medium showed significantly lower than the control; presumably the cells started to exit proliferative state prior differentiation. In 14 days of induction, the cells in all treatments showed osteoblastic-like morphology, calcium compound deposits were observed at day 7, 10 and 14 of differentiation suggested that DPSCs conditioned medium could lead to osteoblastic/odontoblastic differentiation. However, the DMP-1 protein can be seen only expressed minimally at day 14 of conditioned medium induction. Conclusions: In conclusion, DPSCs conditioned medium appeared as a potential odontoblastic induction approach for WJMSCs. To further investigate the stimulatory effects by DPSCs conditioned medium, specific signalling pathway need to be elucidated to enhance the differentiation efficiency. <![CDATA[Zinc oxide nanoparticles synthesized using <em>Hyssopus Officinalis</em> L. Extract Induced oxidative stress and changes the expression of key genes involved in inflammatory and antioxidant Systems]]> Abstract Background: Recent advances in the synthesis of bioactive nanoparticles resulted in the discovery and introduction of new bioactive nanoparticles to the pharmaceutical industry. In this regard, this research is aimed to synthesize the zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) using Hyssopus officinalis L. extract and to evaluate the safety of nanoparticles using Balb/C mice. Methods: Forty male mice were divided into four groups and received 0, 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg of ZnO-NPs for thirty days. At the end of the experiment, blood sugar, creatinine, aspartate aminotransferase (A.S.T.), and alanine aminotransferase (A.L.T.) were determined. Furthermore, histopathological and oxidative stress biomarker analyses in liver and kidney tissues were performed. The changes in the major inflammatory- and antioxidant-related genes were determined. Results: The results showed that blood sugar and creatinine reduced significantly (P &lt; 0.05) when 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg ZnO-NPs were supplemented to the diet. The serum ALT and AST and lipid peroxidation in the liver and kidney tissues were increased significantly (p &lt; 0.05) when 50, 100, and 200 mg/kg ZnO-NPs were supplemented to the diet. Supplementation of ZnO-NPs suppressed the expression of antioxidant-related genes (SOD and CAT) and up-regulated the inflammatory biomarkers (iNOS and TNF- α). The concentration of 200 mg/Kg nanoparticles indicated cellular degeneration and necrosis in the liver and kidney tissues. Conclusions: Overall, it can be concluded that supplementation of ZnO-NPs synthesized using Hyssopus Officinalis L. extract in this study at 50 mg/kg or higher concentrations might be toxic to the mice. <![CDATA[Tellurite and Selenite: how can these two oxyanions be chemically different yet so similar in the way they are transformed to their metal forms by bacteria?]]> Abstract This opinion review explores the microbiology of tellurite, TeO32− and selenite, SeO32− oxyanions, two similar Group 16 chalcogen elements, but with slightly different physicochemical properties that lead to intriguing biological differences. Selenium, Se, is a required trace element compared to tellurium, Te, which is not. Here, the challenges around understanding the uptake transport mechanisms of these anions, as reflected in the model organisms used by different groups, are described. This leads to a discussion around how these oxyanions are subsequently reduced to nanomaterials, which mechanistically, has controversies between ideas around the molecule chemistry, chemical reactions involving reduced glutathione and reactive oxygen species (ROS) production along with the bioenergetics at the membrane versus the cytoplasm. Of particular interest is the linkage of glutathione and thioredoxin chemistry from the cytoplasm through the membrane electron transport chain (ETC) system/quinones to the periplasm. Throughout the opinion review we identify open and unanswered questions about the microbial physiology under selenite and tellurite exposure. Thus, demonstrating how far we have come, yet the exciting research directions that are still possible. The review is written in a conversational manner from three long-term researchers in the field, through which to play homage to the late Professor Claudio Vásquez. <![CDATA[Stress response and virulence factors in bacterial pathogens relevant for Chilean aquaculture: current status and outlook of our knowledge]]> Abstract The study of the stress responses in bacteria has given us a wealth of information regarding the mechanisms employed by these bacteria in aggressive or even non-optimal living conditions. This information has been applied by several researchers to identify molecular targets related to pathogeny, virulence, and survival, among others, and to design new prophylactic or therapeutic strategies against them. In this study, our knowledge of these mechanisms has been summarized with emphasis on some aquatic pathogenic bacteria of relevance to the health and productive aspects of Chilean salmon farming (Piscirickettsia salmonis, Tenacibaculum spp., Renibacterium salmoninarum, and Yersinia ruckeri). This study will aid further investigations aimed at shedding more light on possible lines of action for these pathogens in the coming years. <![CDATA[Genetically modified organisms: adapting regulatory frameworks for evolving genome editing technologies]]> Abstract Genetic modification of living organisms has been a prosperous activity for research and development of agricultural, industrial and biomedical applications. Three decades have passed since the first genetically modified products, obtained by transgenesis, become available to the market. The regulatory frameworks across the world have not been able to keep up to date with new technologies, monitoring and safety concerns. New genome editing techniques are opening new avenues to genetic modification development and uses, putting pressure on these frameworks. Here we discuss the implications of definitions of living/genetically modified organisms, the evolving genome editing tools to obtain them and how the regulatory frameworks around the world have taken these technologies into account, with a focus on agricultural crops. Finally, we expand this review beyond commercial crops to address living modified organism uses in food industry, biomedical applications and climate change-oriented solutions. <![CDATA[Correction to: Effects of enriched-potassium diet on cardiorespiratory outcomes in experimental non-ischemic chronic heart failure]]> Abstract Genetic modification of living organisms has been a prosperous activity for research and development of agricultural, industrial and biomedical applications. Three decades have passed since the first genetically modified products, obtained by transgenesis, become available to the market. The regulatory frameworks across the world have not been able to keep up to date with new technologies, monitoring and safety concerns. New genome editing techniques are opening new avenues to genetic modification development and uses, putting pressure on these frameworks. Here we discuss the implications of definitions of living/genetically modified organisms, the evolving genome editing tools to obtain them and how the regulatory frameworks around the world have taken these technologies into account, with a focus on agricultural crops. Finally, we expand this review beyond commercial crops to address living modified organism uses in food industry, biomedical applications and climate change-oriented solutions. <![CDATA[Correction to: Increased glucose metabolism in <em>Arid5b</em><sup>−/−</sup> skeletal muscle is associated with the down-regulation of TBC1 domain family member 1 (TBC1D1)]]> Abstract Genetic modification of living organisms has been a prosperous activity for research and development of agricultural, industrial and biomedical applications. Three decades have passed since the first genetically modified products, obtained by transgenesis, become available to the market. The regulatory frameworks across the world have not been able to keep up to date with new technologies, monitoring and safety concerns. New genome editing techniques are opening new avenues to genetic modification development and uses, putting pressure on these frameworks. Here we discuss the implications of definitions of living/genetically modified organisms, the evolving genome editing tools to obtain them and how the regulatory frameworks around the world have taken these technologies into account, with a focus on agricultural crops. Finally, we expand this review beyond commercial crops to address living modified organism uses in food industry, biomedical applications and climate change-oriented solutions.