HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0115.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: beta-amyloid toxicity, proteolytic digestion, membrane channel, intracellular ion disturbances, calcium homeostasis, intracellular pH, lysosome
Online: 4 August 2021 (13:19:50 CEST)
In this manuscript, we reassess the data on beta-amyloid-induced changes of intracellular ions concentrations published previously by Abramov et al. (2003, 2004). Their observations made using high-resolution confocal microscopy with fast temporal resolution of images formed by fluorescent ion-sensitive fluorescent probes in living cells represent an unequivocal support for the amyloid channel theory. However, closer look reveals multiple facts which cannot be explained by channel formation in plasma membrane. Recently proposed amyloid degradation toxicity hypothesis provides the interpretation to these facts by considering that channels are formed in the lysosomal membranes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0580.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Immune system; Oxidative stress; Nanoparticles; Intracellular Pathogens
Online: 28 October 2020 (10:05:05 CET)
The immune system is a dynamic network of cells and cytokines are the major mediators of immune responses which combat pathogens. Based on the cytokine production, effector T cells differentiate into subsets known as Th1, Th2, Th17 or Treg (T regulatory). This system serves as a barrier to intracellular pathogens, bacterial infections and stimulates the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), reactive nitrogen intermediates (RNI) and nitric oxide (NO), which diffuses across membranes and engulfs intracellular pathogens. Oxidative stress occurs when ROS, reactive nitrogen species (RNS) production and antioxidant defences become imbalanced. Oxidative stress generated by infected cells produces a substantial amount of free radicals which enables killing of intracellular pathogens. Intracellular pathogens are exposed to endogenous ROS as part of normal aerobic respiration, also aexogenous ROS and RNS are generated by the host immune system in response to infection. Nanoparticles which are designed for drug delivery are capable of trapping the desired drug in the particles which protects the drug from enzymatic degradation in a biological system. The small (subcellular) size of nanoparticles enables higher intracellular uptake of the drug which results in the reduction of the concentration of free drugs reducing their toxic effect. Research on the modulation of immune response and oxidative stress using nanoparticles used to encapsulate drugs has yet to be explored fully. In this review we illustrate the immune activation and generation of oxidative stress properties which are mediated by nanoparticle encapsulated drug delivery systems which can make the therapy more effective in case of diseases caused by intracellular pathogens.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0305.v1
Online: 27 October 2019 (11:04:31 CET)
Collagen type I production decreases with aging, leading to wrinkles and impaired skin function. Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a lipid-derived signaling molecule produced from arachidonic acid by cyclo-oxygenase, inhibits collagen production and induces matrix metallopeptidase 1 (MMP1) expression by fibroblasts in vitro. PGE2-induced collagen expression inhibition and MMP1 promotion are aging mechanisms. This study investigated the role of E-prostanoid 1 (EP1) in PGE2 signaling in normal human dermal fibroblasts (NHDFs). When EP1 expression was inhibited by EP1 small interfering RNA (siRNA), there were no significant changes in messenger RNA (mRNA) levels of collagen, type I, alpha 1 (COL1A1)/MMP1 between siRNA-transfected NHDFs and siRNA-transfected NHDFs with PGE2. This result showed that EP1 is a PGE2 receptor. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2) phosphorylation after PGE2 treatment significantly increased by ~2.5 times. In addition, PGE2 treatment increased the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in NHDFs. These results indicated that PGE2 is directly associated with EP1 pathway–regulated ERK1/2 and inositol trisphosphate (IP3) signaling in NHDFs.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0274.v2
Online: 2 May 2020 (16:40:16 CEST)
36 years after the publication of the important article by Busa and Nuccitelli on the variability of intracellular pH (pHi) and the interdependence of pHi and intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i), little research has been carried out on pHi and calcium signaling. Moreover, the results appear to be contradictory. Some authors claim that the increase in [Ca2+]i is due to a reduction in pHi, others that it is caused by an increase in pHi. The reasons for these conflicting results have not yet been discussed and clarified in an exhaustive manner. Variations in pHi have a significant impact on the increase in [Ca2+]i and hence on some of the basic biochemical mechanisms of calcium signaling. This paper focuses on the possible triggering role of protons, highlighting the mechanisms potentially involved and the open issues that could be clarified by research.
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: heavy metals; oligodendrocytes; myelination; lipid formation; intracellular calcium regulation
Online: 1 August 2019 (04:47:18 CEST)
Evidence has been accumulated demonstrating that heavy metals may accumulate in various organs leading to tissue damage and toxic effects in mammals. In particular, the Central Nervous System (CNS) seems to be particularly vulnerable to cumulative concentrations of heavy metals, though the pathophysiological mechanisms is still to be clarified. In particular the potential role of oligodendrocyte dysfunction and myelin production after exposure to subtoxic concentration of heavy metals is to be better assessed. Here we investigated on the effect of sub-toxic concentration of several essential (Cu2 +, Cr3+, Ni2+, Co2+) and non-essential (Pb2+, Cd2+, Al3+) heavy metals on MO3.13 and SHSY5Y human oligodendrocyte and neuronal cell lines (grown individually or in co-culture). In particular, exposure of both cell lines to heavy metals produced a reduced cell viability of co-cultured cell lines compared to cells grown separately. This effect was more pronounced in neurons which were more sensitive to metals than oligodendrocytes when the cells were grown in co-culture. On the other hand, a significant reduction of lipid component in cells occurred after their exposure to heavy metals, an effect accompanied by substantial reduction of the main protein that makes up myelin (MBP) in co-cultured cells. Finally, the effect of heavy metals in oligodendrocytes were associated to imbalanced intracellular calcium ion concentration as measured through the fluorescent Rhod-2 probe, thus confirming that heavy metals, even used at subtoxic concentrations, lead to dysfunctional oligodendrocytes. In conclusion, our data show, for the first time, that sub-toxic concentrations of several heavy metals lead to dysfunctional oligodendrocytes, an effect highlighted when these cells are co-cultured with neurons. The pathophysiological mechanism(s) underlying this effect is to be better clarified. However, imbalanced intracellular calcium ion regulation, altered lipid formation and, finally, imbalanced myelin formation seem to play a major role in early stages of heavy metal-related oligodendrocyte dysfunction.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201711.0182.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: RpoS; crystal structure; Legionella pneumophila; intracellular pathogen; regulatory factor
Online: 29 November 2017 (05:04:33 CET)
Legionella pneumophila RpoS (LpRpoS) is an alternative sigma factor of RNA polymerase (RNAP) essential for virulence and stress resistance. To investigate the mechanism of RpoS in the intracellular pathogen L. pneumophila, we determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the LpRpoS (residues 95-194) containing a partial region 1.2 and region 2. The structure of LpRpoS (residues 95-194) reveals that the conserved residues are critical for promoter melting, DNA and core RNAP binding. The differences in regulatory factor binding site between Escherichia coli RpoS and LpRpoS suggest that LpRpoS may employ a distinct mechanism to recruit alternative regulatory factors controlling transcription initiation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0069.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Carbon nanodots; Silver ion; Fluorescent sensor; Structural memory; Intracellular imaging
Online: 3 August 2021 (10:14:39 CEST)
Ag+ pollution is great of harm to the human body and the biology. Therefore, it is an urgent need to develop inexpensive and accurate detection methods. Herein, lignin-derived structural memory carbon nanodots (CSM-dots) with outstanding fluorescence property were fabricated via a green method, which reserve functional and structural units of the precursor molecules. The CSM-dots could specifically bind Ag+, accompanied with a remarkable fluorescence quenching response. This “turn-off” fluorescence behavior was used for Ag+ determination in a linear range of 5-290 μM with the detection limit as low as 500 nM. Furthermore, the finding showed that this sensing nano-platform was successfully used for Ag+ determination in real samples and intracellular imaging, showing great potential in biological and environmental monitoring applications.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0229.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Other Keywords: Anti-aging therapy; lipofuscin; SENS; TFEB; intracellular microbe; and synthetic chemotaxis
Online: 21 September 2022 (03:36:55 CEST)
Lipofuscin is indigestible garbage that accumulates in the autophagic vesicles and cytosol of post-mitotic cells with age. Drs. Brunk and Terman postulated that lipofuscin accumulation is the main or at least a major driving factor in aging. They even posited that the evolution of memory is the reason why we get lipofuscin at all, as stable synaptic connections must be maintained over time, meaning that the somas of neurons must also remain in the same locale. In other words, they cannot dilute out their garbage over time through cell division. Mechanistically, their position certainly makes sense given that rendering a large percentage of a post-mitotic cell’s lysosomes useless must almost certainly negatively affect that cell and the surrounding microenvironment. Here, I explore the possibility that the accumulation of lipofuscin to some extent underlies all other categories of age-related damage as defined by Dr. Aubrey de Grey. I do not think that lipofuscin removal will reverse/prevent all forms of aging, just the major component facing us currently. It may suffice for the next few hundred years by itself. In this piece, I will review what is known about lipofuscin accumulation from evolutionary and mechanistic standpoints and discuss ways of removing it from post-mitotic cells (and then the body).
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0305.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs); MMP-2; MT1-MMP; intracellular roles; subcellular localization
Online: 22 June 2022 (05:19:01 CEST)
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are critical enzymes involved in a variety of cellular processes. MMPs are well known for their ability to degrade the extracellular matrix (ECM) and their extracellular role in cell migration. Recently, more research has been conducted on investigating novel subcellular localizations of MMPs and their intracellular roles at the respective locations. In this review article, we focus on the subcellular localization and novel intracellular roles of two MMPs closely related: membrane-type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) and matrix metalloproteinase-2 (MMP-2). Although MT1-MMP is commonly known to localize on the cell surface, the protease also localizes to the cytoplasm, caveolae, Golgi, cytoskeleton, centrosome, and nucleus. At these subcellular locations, MT1-MMP functions in cell migration, macrophage metabolism, invadopodia development, spindle formation and genes expression, respectively. Similar to MT1-MMP, MMP-2 localizes to the caveolae, mitochondria, cytoskeleton, nucleus and nucleolus, and functions in calcium regulation, contractile dysfunction, genes expression and ribosomal RNA transcription. Our particular interest lies in the role MMP-2 and MT1-MMP serve within the nucleus, as it may provide critical insights into cancer epigenetics and tumor migration and invasion. We suggest that targeting nuclear MT1-MMP or MMP-2 to reduce or halt cell proliferation and migration may lead to the development of new therapies in cancer and other diseases.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0751.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: efferocytosis; cell death; apoptosis; intracellular trafficking; transcriptional regulation; cellular metabolism; inflammation; resolution
Online: 28 April 2021 (15:28:24 CEST)
Apoptosis, the programmed and intentional death of senescent, damaged, or otherwise superfluous cells, is the natural end-point for most cells within multicellular organisms. Apoptotic cells are not inherently damaging, but if left unattended they can lyse through secondary necrosis. The resulting release of intracellular contents drives inflammation in the surrounding tissue and can lead to autoimmunity. These negative consequences of secondary necrosis are avoided by efferocytosis—the phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cells. Efferocytosis is a product of both apoptotic cell and efferocyte mechanisms, which cooperate to ensure the rapid and complete removal of apoptotic cells. Herein, the processes used by apoptotic cells to ensure their timely removal, and the receptors, signaling, and cellular processes used by efferocytes to identify, remove, and process the apoptotic cells, are reviewed.
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: origin of viruses; phylogenetic reconstruction; reductive evolution; obligate intracellular parasites; Varidnaviria; Bamfordvirae; Nucleocytoviricota
Online: 19 September 2020 (03:51:15 CEST)
The extension of virology beyond its traditional medical, veterinary or agricultural applications, now called environmental virology, has shown that viruses are both the most numerous and diverse biological entities on earth. In particular, virus isolation studies involving unicellular eukaryotic hosts (heterotrophic and photosynthetic protozoans) revealed numerous viral types previously unexpected in terms of virion structure and morphology, genome size and gene content, or mode of replication. Complemented by large-scale metagenomic analyzes, these discoveries have rekindled interest in the enigma of the evolutionary origin of viruses, for which no simple definition encompassing all of their diversity is still unanimous. Several laboratories have repeatedly tackled the deep reconstruction of the evolutionary history of viruses, using various methods of molecular phylogeny applied to the few shared genes detected in certain virus groups (e.g. the Nucleocytoviricota). Beyond the practical difficulties of establishing reliable homology relationships from extremely divergent sequences, I present here purely conceptual arguments highlighting several fundamental limitations plaguing the reconstruction of the deep evolutionary history of viruses, and even more the identification of their unique of multiple origin (s). Those limitations are direct consequences of the particularly random mechanisms which govern the reductive evolution of obligate intracellular parasites.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0312.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: cancer-associated fibroblasts; tumor microenvironment; pancreatic cancer; intracellular metabolism; glycolysis; oxidative phosphorylation; cell differentiation
Online: 20 January 2022 (19:42:29 CET)
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the tumor microenvironment perform glycolysis to produce energy, i.e., ATP. Since the origin of CAFs is unidentified, it is not determined whether the intracellular metabolism transitions from oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis when normal tissue fibroblasts differentiate into CAFs. In this study, we established an experimental system and induced the in vitro differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to CAFs. Additionally, we performed metabolomic and RNA-sequencing analyses before and after differentiation to investigate changes in the intracellular metabolism. Consequently, we discovered that OXPHOS, which was the primary intracellular metabolism in MSCs, was reprogrammed to glycolysis. In addition, we identified CAF-specific metabolites that were expressed during this reprogramming and determined their presence in the pancreatic tumor tissues of mouse models. Thus, we conclude that normal tissue fibroblasts that differentiate into CAFs undergo a metabolic reprogramming from OXPHOS to glycolysis. Moreover, we identified the CAF-specific metabolites expressed during metabolic reprogramming as potential future biomarkers for pancreatic cancer.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0290.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: Irreversible electroporation, microfluidics, microelectrodes, pulsed electric field electroporation, intracellular metabolites, enzymes, quenching, E. coli, S. cerevisiae
Online: 25 July 2019 (11:44:33 CEST)
Exploring the dynamic behavior of cellular metabolism requires a standard laboratory method that guarantees rapid sampling and extraction of the cellular content. We propose a versatile sampling technique applicable to cells with different cell wall and cell membrane properties. The technique is based on irreversible electroporation with simultaneous quenching and extraction by using a microfluidic device. By application of electric pulses in the millisecond range, permanent lethal pores are formed in the cell membrane of Escherichia coli and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, facilitating the release of the cellular contents; here demonstrated by the measurement of glucose-6-phosphate and the activity of the enzyme glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The successful application of this device was demonstrated by pulsed electric field treatment in a flow-through configuration of the microfluidic chip in combination with sampling, inactivation, and extraction of the intracellular content in a few seconds. Minimum electric field strengths of 10 kV/cm for E. coli and 7.5 kV/cm for yeast S. cerevisiae were required for successful cell lysis. The results are discussed in the context of applications in industrial biotechnology, where metabolomics analyses are important.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0316.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Nanotechnology Keywords: nanoparticles; FA-DABA-SMA; drug delivery systems; folic acid receptor alpha; intracellular disruptions; invasion and migration; breast cancer
Online: 14 August 2020 (09:49:17 CEST)
The development of a highly specific drug delivery system (DDS) for anti-cancer therapeutics is an area of intense research focus. Chemical engineering of a “smart” DDS to specifically target tumor cells has gained interest, designed for safer, more efficient, and effective use of chemotherapeutics for the treatment of cancer. However, the selective targeting and choosing the critical cancer surface biomarker are essential for targeted treatments to work. The folic acid receptor alpha (FRalpha) has gained popularity as a potential target in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). We have previously reported on a functionalized folic acid (FA)-conjugated amphiphilic alternating copolymer poly(styrene-alt-maleic anhydride) (FA-DABA-SMA) via a biodegradable linker 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DABA) that has the essential features for efficient “smart” DDS. This biocompatible DDS self-assembles in a pH-dependent manner, providing stimuli-responsive, active targeting, extended-release of hydrophobic chemotherapeutic agents, and can effectively penetrate the inner core of 3-dimensional cancer spheroid models. The empty FA-DABA-SMA decreased spheroid volume, revealing a previously unknown mechanism of action. Upon further investigation, a size- and shape-dependent interaction FA-DABA-SMA with FR reduced the expression of p53, the product of the highly mutated TP53 gene, and additional oncogenic c-Myc and STAT3 proteins. Here, we investigated how this copolymer influences FR behavior and disrupting the receptor’s functions. Results indicate that FA-DABA-SMA increases FR expression levels in breast MDA MB-231 cancer cells and disrupting FR signaling by the reduction in HES1 and NOTCH1 protein expression levels. Also, FA-DABA-SMA induces apoptosis and further causes a change in the morphology of the MDA MB-231 cells, as well as significantly reduces their ability to migrate in a Scratch wound assay. Collectively, these findings provide a novel insight into the functionalized FA-DABA-SMA copolymer. The 350 kDa and 20 kDa copolymers actively target FRα to initialize internationalization. However, only the large size and sheet-shaped 350 kDa copolymers disrupt FRα signaling. The significance of these novel findings reveals the intracellular activity of the copolymer that is critically dependent on the size and structural shape. This report offers novel therapeutic insight into a dual mechanism of FA-DABA-SMA copolymer for its therapeutic potential for the treatment of cancer.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0270.v1
Subject: Keywords: Cell division; Intracellular osmotic pressure; Tolerance limit of cell membrane; Carcinogenesis; Aneuploidy; Na+/K+ pump; Cytoskeleton; Oncogene; Tumor suppressor
Online: 21 June 2020 (13:41:21 CEST)
At present more than 9 million people die of cancer every year. Simple and broad-spectrum drugs are still an urgent need for cancer patients. Recently, we proposed a new hypothesis that intracellular osmotic pressure (IOP) is the driving force of cell division, and abnormal tumor proliferation is the result of uncontrolled IOP in cells. On the one hand, aneuploidy and abnormal function of Na+/K+ pump lead to a faster rise of IOP in tumor cell than normal cells, on the other hand, abnormality of cytoskeleton assembly leads to the decrease of tolerance limit of cell membrane (TLCM) of tumor cells for resisting IOP. This hypothesis predicts: 1)Tumor cells were more intolerant to hypotonic stress than normal cells. 2) Maligancies may be sellectively killed by a suddenn increase of IOP and combined with decrease of the TLCM of tumors. Na+/K+ pump inhibitors can promotely increase the IOP of tumor cells and cytoskeleton inhibitors can dramatically lower the TLCM of tumor cells. Therefore, Na+/K+ pump and cytoskeleton inhibitors may have a synergetic effect to kill tumor cells. 3) Molecules regulating cell osmolality may be new targets for cancer treatment.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201903.0138.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: extracellular signal-regulated kinase; MAPK/ERK signaling; intracellular signaling; kidney development; ureteric bud branching morphogenesis; nephrogenesis; progenitor cells; self-renewal; differentiation
Online: 13 March 2019 (09:00:32 CET)
Congenital anomalies of the kidney and urinary tract (CAKUT) are common birth defects deriving from abnormalities in renal differentiation during embryogenesis. CAKUT is the major cause of end-stage renal disease and chronic kidney diseases in children, but its genetic causes remain largely unresolved. Here we discuss advances in the understanding of how MAPK/ERK activity contributes to the regulation of ureteric bud branching morphogenesis, which dictates the final size, shape, and nephron number of the kidney. Recent studies also demonstrate that MAPK/ERK pathway is directly involved in nephrogenesis, regulating both the maintenance and differentiation of the nephrogenic mesenchyme. Interestingly, aberrant MAPK/ERK signaling is linked to many cancers, and recent studies suggest it also plays a role in the most common pediatric renal cancer, Wilms’ tumor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0172.v4
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: RNA-dependent amplification of mammalian mRNA; physiologically occurring intracellular PCR, iPCR; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, RdRp; chimeric RNA; sense-strand RNA; antisense-strand RNA
Online: 12 June 2019 (12:21:59 CEST)
The transfer of protein-encoding genetic information from DNA to RNA to protein, a process formalized as the “Central Dogma of Molecular Biology”, has undergone a significant evolution since its inception. It was amended to account for the information flow from RNA to DNA, the reverse transcription, and for the information transfer from RNA to RNA, the RNA-dependent RNA synthesis. These processes, both potentially leading to protein production, were initially described only in viral systems, and although RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity was shown to be present, and RNA-dependent RNA synthesisfound to occur, in mammalian cells, its function was presumed to be restricted to regulatory. However, recent results, obtained with multiple mRNA species in several mammalian systems, strongly indicate the occurrence of protein-encoding RNA to RNA information transfer in mammalian cells. It can result in the rapid production of the extraordinary quantities of specific proteins as was seen in cases of terminal cellular differentiation and during cellular deposition of extracellular matrix molecules. A malfunction of this process may be involved in pathologies associated either with the deficiency of a protein normally produced by this mechanism or with the abnormal abundanceof a protein or of its C-terminal fragment. It seems to be responsible for some types of familial thalassemia and may underlie the overproduction of beta amyloid in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of the present article is to systematize the current knowledge and understanding of this pathway. The outlined framework introduces unexpected features of the mRNA amplification such as its ability to generate polypeptides non-contiguously encoded in the genome, its second Tier, a physiologically occurring intracellular polymerase chain reaction, iPCR, a Two-Tier Paradox and RNA Dark Matter. RNA-dependent mRNA amplification represents a new mode of genomic protein-encoding information transfer in mammalian cells. Its potential physiological impact is substantial, it appears relevant to multiple pathologies and its understanding opens new venues of therapeutic interference, it suggests powerful novel bioengineering approaches and its further rigorous investigations are highly warranted.