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Biology ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 133
Adrián Vicente-Barrueco ◽  
Ángel Carlos Román ◽  
Trinidad Ruiz-Téllez ◽  
Francisco Centeno

Yearly, 1,500,000 cases of leishmaniasis are diagnosed, causing thousands of deaths. To advance in its therapy, we present an interdisciplinary protocol that unifies ethnobotanical knowledge of natural compounds and the latest bioinformatics advances to respond to an orphan disease such as leishmaniasis and specifically the one caused by Leishmania amazonensis. The use of ethnobotanical information serves as a basis for the development of new drugs, a field in which computer-aided drug design (CADD) has been a revolution. Taking this information from Amazonian communities, located in the area with a high prevalence of this disease, a protocol has been designed to verify new leads. Moreover, a method has been developed that allows the evaluation of lead molecules, and the improvement of their affinity and specificity against therapeutic targets. Through this approach, deguelin has been identified as a good lead to treat the infection due to its potential as an ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) inhibitor, a key enzyme in Leishmania development. Using an in silico-generated combinatorial library followed by docking approaches, we have found deguelin derivatives with better affinity and specificity against ODC than the original compound, suggesting that this approach could be adapted for developing new drugs against leishmaniasis.

Antioxidants ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 153
Xin Yin ◽  
Kaiwen Chen ◽  
Hao Cheng ◽  
Xing Chen ◽  
Shuai Feng ◽  

The L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid is commonly known as vitamin C. It is an indispensable nutrient and plays a key role in retaining the physiological process of humans and animals. L-gulonolactone oxidase, the key enzyme for the de novo synthesis of ascorbic acid, is lacking in some mammals including humans. The functionality of ascorbic acid has prompted the development of foods fortified with this vitamin. As a natural antioxidant, it is expected to protect the sensory and nutritional characteristics of the food. It is thus important to know the degradation of ascorbic acid in the food matrix and its interaction with coexisting components. The biggest challenge in the utilization of ascorbic acid is maintaining its stability and improving its delivery to the active site. The review also includes the current strategies for stabilizing ascorbic acid and the commercial applications of ascorbic acid.

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 ◽  
Bo Ma ◽  
Zaoqu Liu ◽  
Hui Xu ◽  
Long Liu ◽  
Tao Huang ◽  

Background: Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is well-known to be a key enzyme in alcohol metabolism. However, a comprehensive understanding of ALDH2 across human cancers is lacking.Methods: A systematic and comprehensive analysis of the molecular alterations and clinical relevance for ALDH2 in more than 10,000 samples from 33 cancer types was performed. qRT-PCR was performed on 60 cancer and 60 paired nontumor tissues.Results: It was observed that ALDH2 was generally downregulated in most cancers, which was mainly driven by DNA hypermethylation rather than mutations or copy number variations. Besides, ALDH2 was closely related to the inhibition and activation of tumor pathways and a variety of potential targeted agents had been discovered in our research. Last but not least, ALDH2 had the best prediction efficacy in assessing immunotherapeutic response compared with PD-L1, PD-1, CTLA4, CD8, and tumor mutation burden (TMB) in cutaneous melanoma. According to the analysis of large-scale public data and 60 pairs of clinical cancer samples, we found the downregulation of ALDH2 expression tends to suggest the malignant phenotypes and adverse prognosis, which might enhance the precise diagnosis and timely intervention of cancer patients.Conclusion: This study advanced the understanding of ALDH2 across cancers, and provided important insight into chemotherapy, immunotherapy and prognosis of patients with cancer.

2022 ◽  
Olga L. Meshcheryakova ◽  
Galina P. Shuvaeva ◽  
Tatyana V. Sviridova ◽  
Anna A. Tolkacheva ◽  
Olga S. Korneeva

The researchers of this study investigated the biosynthesis of squalene by the yeast S. cerevisiae VGSH-2 through the activity of squalene epoxidase, which is a key enzyme in the conversion of squalene to ergosterol. It has been established that under aerobic conditions the antimycotic drug terbinafine promotes the switching of ergosterol formation to squalene synthesis. This switch occurs through specific inhibition of the squalene epoxidase of the yeast S. cerevisiae VGSH-2, thus increasing the biosynthetic ability of the yeast towards squalene. According to the results of this study, the optimal concentration of terbinofine in the nutrient medium was 0.3 μmol / cm3 . This concentration led to a 5-fold decrease in squalene epoxidase activity and a 7-8 times increase in squalene synthesis. The results obtained can be used to develop a competitive technology for the industrial production of squalene by microbial synthesis. Keywords: squalene, yeast, biosynthesis, inhibition of activity, terbinafine, squalene epoxidase, Saccharomices cerevisiae VGSH-2

Wu Yin ◽  
zhirui zhang ◽  
Wei Wu ◽  
Hao Jiao ◽  
Yuzhong Chen ◽  

Background and Purpose Squalene epoxidase (SQLE) is a key enzyme involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, but increasing evidence reveals that SQLE is abnormally expressed in some types of malignant tumors, and the underlying mechanism remains poorly understood. Experimental Approach Bioinformatics analysis and RNA sequencing were applied to detect to differentially expressed genes in clinical HCC tumors. AnnexinV-FITC/PI, EdU assay, transwell, IHC staining, cytoskeleton F-actin filaments assay, RNA sequencing, dual-luciferase reporters and HE staining were evaluated to investigate the pharmacological effects and possible mechanisms of SQLE. Key Results We found that SQLE expression is specifically elevated in HCC tumors, correlating with poor clinical outcomes. SQLE promoted HCC growth, EMT, and metastasis both in vitro and in vivo. In contrast, silencing of SQLE expression prevented HCC development. Both RNA-seq and functional experiments revealed that the protumorigenic effect of SQLE on HCC is closely related to the activation of cellular TGF-β/SMAD signaling, but interestingly, the stimulatory effect of SQLE on TGF-β/SMAD signaling and HCC development is also critically dependent on STRAP, a serine and threonine kinase. SQLE expression is well correlated with STRAP in HCC, and further, to amplify TGF-β/SMAD signaling, SQLE even transcriptionally increased STRAP gene expression mediated by the trans-acting factor AP-2α. Finally, as a chemical inhibitor of SQLE, NB-598 markedly inhibited HCC cell growth and tumor development in mouse models. Conclusions and Implications Taken together, SQLE serves as an oncogene in HCC development by activating TGF-β/SMAD signaling, and targeting SQLE could be useful in drug development and therapy for HCC.

Nutrients ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 306
Sónia Rocha ◽  
Natália Aniceto ◽  
Rita C. Guedes ◽  
Hélio M. T. Albuquerque ◽  
Vera L. M. Silva ◽  

Glycogen phosphorylase (GP) is a key enzyme in the glycogenolysis pathway. GP inhibitors are currently under investigation as a new liver-targeted approach to managing type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the inhibitory activity of a panel of 52 structurally related chromone derivatives; namely, flavonoids, 2-styrylchromones, 2-styrylchromone-related derivatives [2-(4-arylbuta-1,3-dien-1-yl)chromones], and 4- and 5-styrylpyrazoles against GP, using in silico and in vitro microanalysis screening systems. Several of the tested compounds showed a potent inhibitory effect. The structure–activity relationship study indicated that for 2-styrylchromones and 2-styrylchromone-related derivatives, the hydroxylations at the A and B rings, and in the flavonoid family, as well as the hydroxylation of the A ring, were determinants for the inhibitory activity. To support the in vitro experimental findings, molecular docking studies were performed, revealing clear hydrogen bonding patterns that favored the inhibitory effects of flavonoids, 2-styrylchromones, and 2-styrylchromone-related derivatives. Interestingly, the potency of the most active compounds increased almost four-fold when the concentration of glucose increased, presenting an IC50 < 10 µM. This effect may reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, a commonly reported side effect of antidiabetic agents. This work contributes with important considerations and provides a better understanding of potential scaffolds for the study of novel GP inhibitors.

2022 ◽  
Tomoteru Yamasaki ◽  
Katsushi Kumata ◽  
Atsuto Hiraishi ◽  
Yiding Zhang ◽  
Hidekatsu Wakizaka ◽  

Abstract Background: Receptor-interacting protein 1 kinase (RIPK1) is a key enzyme in the regulation of cellular necroptosis. Recently, cyclohexyl (5-(2-acetamidobenzo[d]thiazol-6-yl)-2-methylpyridin-3-yl)carbamate (PK68, 5) has been developed as a potent inhibitor of RIPK1. Herein, we radiosynthesized [11C]PK68 as a new positron emission tomography (PET) ligand for imaging RIPK1 and evaluated its potential in vivo.Results: We synthesized [11C]PK68 by reacting amine precursor 14 with [11C]acetyl chloride. At the end of synthesis, we obtained [11C]PK68 of 1200–1790 MBq (n = 10) with >99% radiochemical purity and a molar activity of 37–99 GBq/μmol starting from 18–33 GBq of [11C]CO2. The fully automated synthesis took 30 min from the end of irradiation. In a small-animal PET study, [11C]PK68 was rapidly distributed in the liver and kidneys of healthy mice after injection, and was subsequently cleared from their bodies via hepatobiliary excretion and the intestinal reuptake pathway. Although there was no obvious specific binding of RIPK1 in the PET study, [11C]PK68 demonstrated relatively high stability in vivo, and may be used as a lead compound for further candidate development.Conclusions: In the present study, we successfully radiosynthesized [11C]PK68 and evaluated its potential in vivo. We are planning to optimize the chemical structure of [11C]PK68 and conduct further PET studies on it using pathological models.

2022 ◽  
Lanbo Shi ◽  
Qingkui Jiang ◽  
Yunping Qiu ◽  
Irwin J. Kurland ◽  
Karl Drlica ◽  

In response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection, macrophages mount early proinflammatory and antimicrobial responses similar to those observed in M1 macrophages classically activated by LPS and IFN-γ. A metabolic reprogramming to HIF-1-mediated uptake of glucose and its metabolism by glycolysis is required for M1-like polarization, but little is known about other metabolic programs driving M1-like polarization during M. tuberculosis infection. Identification and quantification of labeling patterns of U 13 C glutamine and U 13 C glucose-derived metabolites demonstrated that glutamine, rather than glucose, is catabolized in both the oxidative and reductive TCA cycle of M1-like macrophages, thereby generating signaling molecules that include succinate, biosynthetic precursors such as aspartate, and the antimicrobial metabolite itaconate. This conclusion is corroborated by diminished M1 polarization via chemical inhibition of glutaminase (GLS), the key enzyme of the glutaminolysis pathway, and by genetic deletion of GLS in infected macrophages. Furthermore, characterization of the labeling distribution pattern of U 15 N glutamine in M1-like macrophages indicates that glutamine serves as a nitrogen source for the synthesis of intermediates of purine and pyrimidine metabolism plus amino acids including aspartate. Thus, the catabolism of glutamine, as an integral component of metabolic reprogramming in activating macrophages, fulfills the cellular demand for bioenergetic and biosynthetic precursors of M1-like macrophages. Knowledge of these new immunometabolic features of M1-like macrophages is expected to advance the development of host-directed therapies that will enhance bacterial clearance and prevent immunopathology during tuberculosis.

Molecules ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 27 (2) ◽  
pp. 443
Yang Ai ◽  
Sang Luo ◽  
Ben Wang ◽  
Shuai Xiao ◽  
Yefu Wang

TDO2 is a key enzyme in the kynurenine metabolic pathway, which is the most important pathway of tryptophan metabolism. It has been shown that miRNAs are involved in cell metastasis through interaction with target mRNAs. In this study, we found 645 miRNAs that could be immunoprecipitated with TDO2 through the RNA-immunoprecipitation experiment. miR-126-5p was selected as the research target, which was also confirmed by dual-luciferase reporter assay. Through qRT-PCR analysis, it was verified that the overexpression of miR-126-5p promoted the expression of TDO2, PI3K/AKT and WNT1. Meanwhile, it was verified that overexpression of miR-126-5p can promote intracellular tryptophan metabolism by HPLC. We also verified the effects of miR-126-5p on cell proliferation, migration, and invasion by cck-8, cell colony formation and trans-well assay in both HCCLM3 cells and HepG2 cells. In vivo experiments were also conducted to verify that miR-126-5p promoted tumor formation and growth via immunohistochemical detection of cell infiltration and proliferation to generate markers Ki-67, BAX, and VEGF. In conclusion, our results suggest that miR-126-5p is a biomarker and a potential new treatment target in the progression of HCC via promoting the expression of TDO2.

2022 ◽  
Vol 2022 ◽  
pp. 1-23
Tingting Yu ◽  
Guojun Han ◽  
Zhihui Luan ◽  
Changfu Zhu ◽  
Jinghua Zhao ◽  

Anthocyanins are important pigments for flower color, determining the ornamental and economic values of horticultural plants. As a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of anthocyanidins, dihydroflavonol 4-reductase (DFR) catalyzes the reduction of dihydroflavonols to generate the precursors for anthocyanidins (i.e., leucoanthocyanidins) and anthocyanins. To investigate the functions of DFRs in plants, we cloned the GlaDFR1 and GlaDFR2 genes from the petals of Gentiana lutea var. aurantiaca and transformed both genes into Nicotiana tabacum by Agrobacterium-mediated leaf disc method. We further investigated the molecular and phenotypic characteristics of T1 generation transgenic tobacco plants selected based on the hygromycin resistance and verified by both PCR and semiquantitative real-time PCR analyses. The phenotypic segregation was observed in the flower color of the transgenic tobacco plants, showing petals darker than those in the wild-type (WT) plants. Results of high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis showed that the contents of gentiocyanin derivatives were decreased in the petals of transgenic plants in comparison to those of WT plants. Ours results revealed the molecular functions of GlaDFR1 and GlaDFR2 in the formation of coloration, providing solid theoretical foundation and candidate genes for further genetic improvement in flower color of plants.

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