ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0315.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV2; ACE2 receptor; medical cannabis; CBD
Online: 19 April 2020 (02:45:50 CEST)
With the rapidly growing pandemic of COVID-19 caused by the new and challenging to treat zoonotic SARS-CoV2 coronavirus, there is an urgent need for new therapies and prevention strategies that can help curtail disease spread and reduce mortality. Inhibition of viral entry and thereby spread constitute plausible therapeutic avenues. Similar to other respiratory pathogens, SARS-CoV2 is transmitted through respiratory droplets, with potential for aerosol and contact spread. It uses receptor-mediated entry into the human host via angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) that is expressed in lung tissue, as well as oral and nasal mucosa, kidney, testes, and the gastrointestinal tract. Modulation of ACE2 levels in these gateway tissues may prove a plausible strategy for decreasing disease susceptibility. Cannabis sativa, especially one high in the anti-inflammatory cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD), has been proposed to modulate gene expression and inflammation and harbour anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Working under the Health Canada research license, we have developed over 800 new Cannabis sativa lines and extracts and hypothesized that high-CBD C. sativa extracts may be used to modulate ACE2 expression in COVID-19 target tissues. Screening C. sativa extracts using artificial human 3D models of oral, airway, and intestinal tissues, we identified 13 high CBD C. sativa extracts that modulate ACE2 gene expression and ACE2 protein levels. Our initial data suggest that some C. sativa extract down-regulate serine protease TMPRSS2, another critical protein required for SARS-CoV2 entry into host cells. While our most effective extracts require further large-scale validation, our study is crucial for the future analysis of the effects of medical cannabis on COVID-19. The extracts of our most successful and novel high CBD C. sativa lines, pending further investigation, may become a useful and safe addition to the treatment of COVID-19 as an adjunct therapy. They can be used to develop easy-to-use preventative treatments in the form of mouthwash and throat gargle products for both clinical and at-home use. Such products ought to be tested for their potential to decrease viral entry via the oral mucosa. Given the current dire and rapidly evolving epidemiological situation, every possible therapeutic opportunity and avenue must be considered.
Tue, 18 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0258.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; cell-entry receptor; ACE2 expression; The Cancer Genome Atlas; susceptibility; demographic factors; race
Online: 18 February 2020 (06:40:01 CET)
The recurrent coronavirus outbreaks in China (SARS-CoV and its relative, SARS-CoV-2) raise the possibility that Asians are more susceptible to coronavirus. Here, we test this possibility with the lung expression of ACE2, which encodes the cell-entry receptor of both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. We show that ACE2 expression is not affected during tumorigenesis, suggesting that the transcriptome data from the more than 1000 lung cancer samples in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) can be used to study ACE2 expression among people without cancer. The expression of ACE2 increases with age, but is not associated with sex. Asians show a similar ACE2 expression to other races. Furthermore, the frequencies of ACE2 alleles in Asians are not significantly deviated from those in other races. These observations indicate that individuals of all races need the same level of personal protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Wed, 5 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0051.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Wuhan 2019-nCov; ACE2; expression; susceptibility; race; age; gender; smoking
Online: 5 February 2020 (02:56:53 CET)
In current severe global emergency situation of 2019-nCov outbreak, it is imperative to identify vulnerable and susceptible groups for effective protection and care. Recently, studies found that 2019-nCov and SARS-nCov share the same receptor, ACE2. In this study, we analyzed four large-scale datasets of normal lung tissue to investigate the disparities related to race, age, gender and smoking status in ACE2 gene expression. No significant disparities in ACE2 gene expression were found between racial groups (Asian vs Caucasian), age groups (>60 vs <60) or gender groups (male vs female). However, we observed significantly higher ACE2 gene expression in smoker samples compared to non-smoker samples. This indicates the smokers may be more susceptible to 2019-nCov and thus smoking history should be considered in identifying susceptible population and standardizing treatment regimen.
Wed, 11 March 2020
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0180.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus; fulminant myocarditis; infection; echocardiography
Online: 11 March 2020 (04:57:10 CET)
Background: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has been demonstrated as the cause of pneumonia. Nevertheless, it has not been reported as the cause of acute myocarditis or fulminant myocarditis. Case Presentation: A 63-year-old male was admitted with pneumonia and cardiac symptoms. He was genetically confirmed as COVID-19 by testing sputum on the first day of admission. He also had an elevated troponin-I (Trop I) level and diffuse myocardial dyskinesia along with decreased left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) on echocardiography. The highest level of Interleukin 6 was 272.40pg/ml. Bedside chest radiograph had typical ground-glass changes of viral pneumonia. The laboratory test results of virus that can cause myocarditis are all negative. The patient conformed to the diagnostic criteria of Chinese expert consensus statement for fulminant myocarditis. After receiving antiviral therapy and mechanical life support, the Trop I reduced to 0.10 g/L, and Interleukin 6 was 7.63 pg/ml. Meanwhile the LVEF of the patient gradually recovered to 68%. Conclusion: COVID-19 patients may develop severe cardiac complications such as myocarditis and heart failure, and this is the first case of COVID-19 infection complicated with fulminant myocarditis. The mechanism of cardiac pathology caused by COVID-19 needs further study.
Thu, 27 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0408.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Wuhan SARS-CoV-2; ACE2; DC-SIGN; L-SIGN; expression; susceptibility; race; age; gender; smoking; single cell
Online: 27 February 2020 (12:45:26 CET)
The current spreading novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is highly infectious and pathogenic and has attracted global attention. Recent studies have found that SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share around 80% of homology and use the same cell entry receptor, ACE2. These inspired us to study other receptors of SARS-CoV, which may be used for SARS-CoV-2 binding as well. In this study, we screened the gene expression of three receptors (ACE2, DC-SIGN and L-SIGN) in four datasets of normal lung tissue from lung adenocarcinoma patients and two single-cell RNA sequencing datasets from normal lung and bronchial epithelial cells separately. No significant difference in gene expression of these three receptors were found between gender groups (male vs female). We found higher gene expression of DC-SIGN in elder with age>60 and higher gene expression of L-SIGN in Caucasian than Asian. Similar to ACE2, we observed significantly higher DC-SIGN gene expression in the lungs of smokers, especially former smokers. However, smokers upregulate ACE2 and DC-SIGN gene expression in different cell types. In the whole lung, ACE2 is actively expressed in remodeled Alveolar Type II cells of former smokers, while DC-SIGN is largely expressed in monocytes of former smokers and dendritic cells of current smokers. In bronchial epithelium, no obvious gene expression of DC-SIGN and L-SIGN was observed while ACE2 was found to be actively expressed in goblet cells of current smokers and club cells of non-smokers. In conclusion, our findings may indicate that smokers, especially former smokers, and people over 60 have higher risk and are more susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Also, this study provides hints on possible SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity mechanisms in lung infection.
Tue, 24 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0356.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; host genetics; genetics; polygenic risk score
Online: 24 March 2020 (08:36:20 CET)
The global pandemic of COVID-19 accounts for more than 14,000 deaths worldwide. However, little is known about the host genetics interaction with infection and COVID-19 progression. To better understand the role of host genetics, we review the current literature, aggregate readily available genetic resources, and provide some updated analysis relevant to COVID-19 and associated phenotypes. Using the unrelated individuals in UK Biobank (total n = 337,579 across 5 populations), we aggregate human leukocyte antigen and ABO blood type frequencies. We find significant and consistent risk reduction of blood group O reported in Zhao et al. and encourage broad sharing of ABO blood type frequencies that are readily accessible across COVID-19 with mild, moderate, and severe/critical symptoms for robust inferences at https://tinyurl.com/abo-covid19. In addition, we generate polygenic risk scores (PRSs) weights for 29 blood measurements, including clinically relevant haematological measurements for COVID-19, such as lymphocyte count and percentage. Focusing on the 8 most COVID-19 clinically relevant blood measurements, we performed PRS-PheWAS analysis across 44 disease antigen measurements (n = 6,643 unrelated individuals in White British group), infectious diseases and acute respiratory infections (n = 20,928 cases and 349,000 controls across 3 population groups) and deaths (n = 1,846 cases and 368,082 controls), recorded in hospital inpatient record and death registry data, respectively, in UK Biobank, and find host genetic PRS associations with disease risk. Taken together, we anticipate these resources (https://github.com/rivas-lab/covid19) will aid in improving our understanding of host genetic risk factors playing a role in SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease severity.
Sat, 8 February 2020
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: 2019-nCoV; coronavirus; peptide vaccine; CD4+ epitope; CD8+ epitope
Online: 8 February 2020 (05:56:31 CET)
In this report, we demonstrate that it is possible to design epitope-based peptide vaccine candidates to counteract the novel China coronavirus (2019-nCoV) by using an approach similar to the one used in cancer neoantigen vaccination therapy. We identified multiepitope peptide vaccine candidates against 2019-nCov that can potentially trigger both CD4+ and CD8+ T cell immune response with increased efficiency due to the presence of CD4+ and CD8+ T cell epitopes and a cathepsin-sensitive linker. Furthermore, we suggest that the peptide design strategy should incorporate population-specific HLA alleles in order to optimize binding specificity of the peptides. We refer to this as populationalized vaccinomics.
Thu, 5 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0078.v1
Online: 5 March 2020 (03:15:43 CET)
Background: Cigarette smoking (CS) is a global public health problem and a high-risk factor for various diseases. In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (HCoV-19) was identified in Wuhan, China. Because ACE2 has been identified as a receptor for HCoV-19, we hypothesize that CS affects the expression pattern of ACE2 in respiratory tract, causing differences in susceptibility to the virus. Methods: Three datasets (GSE994, GSE17913, and GSE18344), were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) database. Correlation and enrichment analysis were used to evaluate the function of ACE2. Also, the different expression of ACE2 in different groups of three datasets were analyzed. Results: Genes associated with ACE2 were enriched in important biological processes such as viral processes and immune response. Elevated ACE2 were found in intrapulmonary airways (GSE994) and oral epithelial cells (GSE17913) of smokers but not those of non-smokers or former smokers. Significant dose- and time-dependent relationships between CS and ACE2 expression were observed in mouse lung tissues, and long periods without smoking were found to significantly reduce ACE2 expression. Conclusions: Both human and rat data confirmed that CS could induce increased ACE2 in the respiratory tract, indicating that smokers have a higher susceptibility to HCoV-19.
Wed, 19 February 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0283.v1
Online: 19 February 2020 (11:58:13 CET)
The latest emergence of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) had caused an outbreak of respiratory virus infections in Wuhan, China, and other countries so that the world health organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 epidemic as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 31, 2020. At present, it is the fact that we have identified the bats as the host, the route of respiratory droplets, contact, and aerosol can accelerate the transmission from person to person. However, it is not well known about the intermediator and other approaches. Identifying and characterizing the origin and host(s) of COVID-19 can help us to evaluate the potential risk of COVID-19 for transmission among humans or cross-species.
Fri, 21 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0299.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; infection; scRNA-Seq; ACE2; spermatogonia
Online: 21 February 2020 (02:42:15 CET)
In December 2019, a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) was identified in patients with pneumonia (called COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. SARS-CoV-2 shares high sequence similarity and uses the same cell entry receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), as does severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Several studies have provided bioinformatic evidence of potential routes for SARS-CoV-2 infection in respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive and urinary systems. However, whether the reproductive system is a potential target of SARS-CoV-2 infection has not been determined. Here, we investigate the expression pattern of ACE2 in adult human testis at the level of single-cell transcriptomes. The results indicate that ACE2 is predominantly enriched in spermatogonia, Leydig and Sertoli cells. Gene ontology analyses indicate that GO categories associated with viral reproduction and transmission are highly enriched in ACE2-positive spermatogonia while male gamete generation related terms are down-regulated. Cell-cell junction and immunity related GO terms are increased in ACE2-positive Leydig and Sertoli cells, but mitochondria and reproduction related GO terms are decreased. These findings provide evidence that human testes are a potential target of SARS-CoV-2 infection which may have significant impact on our understanding of the pathophysiology of this rapidly spreading disease.
Tue, 21 April 2020
CONCEPT PAPER | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0381.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hydroxychloroquine; COVID-19; immunomodulator; cytokine storm; flow chemistry
Online: 21 April 2020 (08:26:31 CEST)
Hydroxychloroquine, a known antiviral metabolite of chloroquine, is increasingly used along with antibiotic azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19 infection. In about one month India, the world’s largest manufacturer, delivered hydroxychloroquine for treating COVID-19 to over 50 countries. The therapy is being used across the world both for patients staying at home at the early phase of symptoms, as well as for patients hospitalized. We summarize achievements as of late April 2020, review possible modes of action and suggest avenues for the quick scale-up of production of hydroxychloroquine.
Mon, 21 August 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201708.0070.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: stretch-shortening cycle; countermovement jump; force-time curve variables; eccentric; concentric; volleyball
Online: 21 August 2017 (09:08:50 CEST)
The importance of vertical jump in sport fields and rehabilitation is widely recognized. Furthermore, Force-Time variables of vertical jump are factors affecting jumping height. Exclusive review of each of this variables, in eccentric and concentric phases, can lead to a specific focus on them during jumping exercises. So, the aims of his study were to a) reviewing the relationship between force-time curve variables of eccentric and concentric phases with jump height and b) description of this variables in Iran national youth volleyball players society. This is an observational study. 12 elite volleyball player (Male, Iran national youth volleyball players, 17±0.7 years) have participated in this study. Correlation between Force-Time variables - included peak force (PF), relative peak force (RPP), peak power (PP), average power (AP), relative peak power (RPP), and Modified Reactive Strength Index (MRSI) - in eccentric and concentric phases and ultimate jump height has been studied. Results showed that the average power (r=0.7) and relative peak force (r=0.75) of concentric phase and MRSI (r=0.83) have significant correlation with ultimate jump height (JH). Relative peak power and average power of concentric phase can massively effect Jump Height in sports like volleyball, which vertical jump is an integral part of them. Focus on both of these factors, which has been studied in this research, in training programs, can improve athlete jump performance significantly.
Mon, 22 January 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0198.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: extromphiles; extremophilic bacteria; enzymes; biotechnology application
Online: 22 January 2018 (10:22:21 CET)
Extremophilic bacteria are important groups of extremophilic organisms that have been studied during the last years. They are considered as a source of enzymes due to great diversity and can survive under extreme conditions. Many enzymes produced by these microorganisms are of great importance and have found applications in several industries. Due to their activity and stability under extreme conditions, these enzymes offer new alternatives for current biotechnological and industrial applications. They have a wide range of potential uses and have been a nuclear subject of many different investigations. To date, some of the enzymes produced by extremophilic bacteria are currently being assessed thier industrials applications. Despite, benefits that present these enzymes, their potentials remain largely unexplored. These enzymes pose new opportunities for new line of research, and biotechnological applications. This review provides a summary on diversity and biotechnological and industrial applications of some enzymes produced by extremophilic bacteria.
Tue, 24 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0360.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; transcriptional inhibition; COVID-19; drug repurposing; TMPRSS2
Online: 24 March 2020 (14:26:57 CET)
There is an urgent need to identify effective therapies for COVID-19 given that a broadly available and effective vaccine is likely at least one year away. Here, we identify compounds that transcriptionally inhibit host proteins required for SARS-CoV-2 entry and should be evaluated for efficacy in SARS-CoV-2 viral infection assays. Recognizing the need for immediately available treatment options, we focused particular attention on FDA-approved drugs that could be immediately repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients. By mining publicly available gene expression data, we identify several compounds that down-regulate TMPRSS2, a protein required for SARS-CoV-2 entry that has emerged as a promising therapeutic target. Among these, we find twenty independent studies that implicate estrogen-related and androgen-related compounds as transcriptional modulators of TMPRSS2 expression, suggesting that these drugs and others acting on the pathway may be promising therapeutic candidates for COVID-19 for further testing. It is also noteworthy that TMPRSS2 has highly variable and skewed expression in humans, spanning two orders of magnitude with a small minority of individuals having extremely high expression. Combined with literature showing that TMPRSS2 loss-of-function in mouse is protective against SARS while anti-estrogen treatment predicted to increase TMPRSS2 expression exacerbates SARS, this observation raises the hypothesis that TMPRSS2 expression may positively correlate with severity in COVID-19.
Wed, 1 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0005.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Pandemic; Viral Genomics
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:22:38 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic is due to infection caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 that impacts the lower respiratory tract. The spectrum of symptoms ranges from asymptomatic infections to mild respiratory symptoms to the lethal form of COVID-19 which is associated with severe pneumonia, acute respiratory distress and fatality. At present, the global case fatality rate of COVID-19 laboratory confirmed cases is ~4.7% ranging from ~0.3-0.4% in Chile and Israel to ~10.8% in Italy. To address this global crisis, up-to-date information on the viral genomics and transcriptomics is crucial for understanding the origins and global dispersal of the virus, providing insight into viral pathogenicity, transmission and epidemiology, and enabling strategies for therapeutic interventions, drug discovery and vaccine development. Therefore, this review provides a comprehensive overview of COVID-19 epidemiology, genomic etiology, findings from recent transcriptomic map analysis, viral-human protein interactions, molecular diagnostics, and the current status of vaccine and novel therapeutic intervention development. Moreover, we provide an extensive list of resources that will help the scientific community access numerous types of databases related to SARS-CoV-2 OMICs and approaches to therapeutics related to COVID-19 treatment.
Thu, 5 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; CoV-Mpro; CoV-Nsp12 polymerase; CoV-Nsp13 helicase
Online: 5 March 2020 (11:50:45 CET)
The recently emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused a major outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and instigated a widespread fear and has threatened global health security. Although phenomenal efforts are in progress to effectively combat this COVID-19 outbreak. Still, no licensed antiviral drugs or vaccines are available, and treatment is limited to supportive care and few repurposed drugs. In this urgency situation, computational drug discovery methods provide both an alternative and a supplement to tiresome high-throughput screening, particularly in the hit-to-lead-optimization stage. Identification of small molecules that specifically target viral replication apparatus has shown the most successful strategy in antiviral drug discovery. The present study deals with the identification of potential compounds that specifically interact with SARS-CoV-2 vital proteins, including main protease (Mpro), Nsp12 RNA-dependent-RNA-polymerase (RdRp) and Nsp13 helicase. A constructive and integrated virtual screening efforts together with molecular dynamics simulations identified potential binding modes and favourable molecular interaction profile of corresponding compounds. Moreover, structurally important binding site residues in conserved motifs located inside the active site are elucidated, which displayed relative importance in ligand binding based on residual energy decomposition analysis. Although the current study lacks experimental validation, the structural information obtained from this computational study paved the way to identify and design specific targeted inhibitors to combat COVID-19 outbreak.
Mon, 26 September 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0091.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: biomaterial; scaffold; protein; keratin; tissue engineering
Online: 26 September 2016 (10:25:01 CEST)
In tissue engineering scaffolds take the place of the natural extra cellular matrix (ECM). The natural ECM is the extracellular part of animal tissue that usually provides structural support to the animal cells in addition to performing various other important functions. The design aspect along with the choice of the material for the artificial scaffold is very crucial to cell differentiation, adhesion, proliferation, and the transport of the growth factors or other bio molecular signals. In addition to the material and design of the scaffolds, it is necessary to replicate the normal physiological situation if the scaffold has to function as an implant. The cells have to be located in the porous scaffold to form a three dimensional assembly. The article discusses the important factors to be considered while designing a scaffold for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
Mon, 6 May 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0056.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: phylogenetic inference; maximum likelihood; parallel processing; HPC
Online: 6 May 2019 (11:12:20 CEST)
RAxML-NG is a new phylogentic inference tool that replaces the widely-used RAxML and ExaMLtree inference codes. Compared to its predecessors, RAxML-NG offers improvements in accur-acy, flexibility, speed, scalability, and user-friendliness. In this chapter, we provide practicalrecommendations for the most common use cases of RAxML-NG: tree inference, branch supportestimation via non-parametric bootstrapping, and parameter optimization on a fixed tree topo-logy. We also describe best practices for achieving optimal performance with RAxML-NG, inparticular, with respect to parallel tree inferences on computer clusters and supercomputers. AsRAxML-NG is continuously updated, the most up-to-date version of the tutorial described inthis chapter is available online at: https://cme.h-its.org/exelixis/raxml-ng/tutorial .
Wed, 19 July 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0053.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Black polyethylene, Mulches, Allium sativum, Growth, Grass
Online: 19 July 2017 (22:50:23 CEST)
A field experiment to assess the effect of mulch on growth (days to maturity, plant height, leaf length and leaf number) of Garlic (Allium Sativum L.) was conducted in 2015 - 2016 at Addis Ababa University Selale campus, on demonstration field to identify optimum plant growth using different mulches for Garlic tested independently. The experiment was designed using randomized complete block. The analyzed result using ANOVA shows significance difference among the treatments. Plots treated with black polyethylene mulch and grass mulch enhanced maturity by about 114 and 116 days, respectively, while garlic in control showed slightly delayed maturity of 125 days. Maximum plant height (66.5 cm) was recorded in the plants mulched by black polyethylene mulch followed by grass mulch which records 62.3 cm and 52.3 cm, respectively. A highly significant variation (p<0.05) in the leaf length was observed at the different mulch treatments. Significantly maximum leaf number (15.3) was recorded in plants mulched with black polyethylene followed by grass mulch with 14.0 leaf number. Thus, black polyethylene and grass mulch performs better than control treatment in growth parameter evaluation of garlic plants under fiche condition.
Sun, 23 February 2020
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; acute kidney injury; angiotensin converting enzyme II (ACE2); transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSSs)
Online: 23 February 2020 (15:42:24 CET)
Purpose: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is a severe symptom of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), especially for patients in a critical condition.This study explored the potential mechanism of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on AKI at the single-cell level. Methods: 15 normal human kidney samples were collected and analyzed using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Subsequently, we analyzed the components and proportions of kidney cells expressing the host cellular receptor ACE2 and the key protease TMPRSSs family, and analyzed the expression differences in Occidental and Asian populations. Results: We drafted the currently available world's largest human kidney cell atlas with 42,589 cells and identified 19 clusters through unsupervised hierarchical clustering analysis. ACE2 and TMPRSSs genes were significantly co-expressed in podocytes and proximal convoluted tubules as potential host cells targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Comparative analysis showed that ACE2 expression in kidney cells was no less than that in the lung, esophagus, small intestine and colon, suggesting that the kidney may be an important target organ for SARS-CoV-2. In addition, given the high expression of ACE2 and kidney disease-related genes in Occidental donors relative to Asian donors, Occidental populations with SARS-CoV-2 infection might be a higher risk of of kidney injury.
Tue, 10 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0161.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: coronaviruses receptors; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); COVID-19; SARS-Cov-2; the Red Queen hypothesis; segmented filamentous bacteria
Online: 10 March 2020 (08:45:34 CET)
Understanding how the coronaviruses invade our body is an essential point, and the expression profile of coronaviruses receptor may help us to find where the coronavirus infects our body. We found that the coronavirus receptors, including angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) for SARS-CoV and SARS-Cov-2, are digestion-related enzymes in human enterocytes. Coronaviruses are continually altering the binding receptor and binding modes during their evolution, but the potential target cell in the small intestine is constant when in the lung is inconstant. Enterocytes may act as a conserved cell reservoir for coronaviruses, which may be partially explained by the Red Queen hypothesis. We also found that coronaviruses receptors could be elevated in the presence of both invasive bacteria and their counterpart, probiotics. We demonstrated here that enterocytes act as a conserved cell reservoir for coronaviruses during their evolutions, which should not be ignored in the investigation of coronavirus diagnosis and treatment strategies.
Mon, 1 August 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0005.v1
Online: 1 August 2016 (12:08:36 CEST)
The Leguminosae (legume family) is divided into three sub-families, the Caesalpiniodeae, Mimosoideae and Papilionoideae. Here, the literature on legume-rhizobia symbioses was reviewed, and genotypically characterised rhizobia related to the taxonomy of the legumes they were isolated from. Only data from field soils were considered. The objective of the work was to assess to what extent legume specificity for rhizobial symbiont is related to legume taxonomy. Bradyrhizobium spp. were the exclusive rhizobial symbionts of species in the Caesalpinioideae but data are limited. Where tested, species within the two Mimosoideae tribes, Ingeae and Mimoseae were nodulated by different rhizobial genera. Generally, Papilionoideae species with indeterminate nodules were promiscuous in relation to rhizobial symbionts but high specificity for rhizobial partners appears to hold at tribe level for the Fabeae (Rhizobium spp.), genus level for Medicago (Ensifer spp.), Cytisus (Bradyrhizobium spp.) and Lupinus (Bradyrhizobium spp.), and species level for Galega spp. (Neorhizobium galegeae), Hedysarum coronarium (Rhizobium sullae), Cicer arietinum (Mesorhizobium spp.) and New Zealand native Sophora spp. (Mesorhizobium spp.). High legume specificity for rhizobial symbionts was linked to specific rhizobial symbiosis genes. For Papilionoideae species with determinate nodules, the Dalbergieae were primarily nodulated by Bradyrhizobium but were promiscuous with respect to Bradyrhizobium spp. while those in the Desmodieae, Phaseoleae, Psoraleae and Loteae were promiscuous across different rhizobial genera. Possible advantages and disadvantages of high specificity or promiscuity are discussed.
Mon, 23 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0349.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: novel coronavirus; COVID-19; protease; molecular docking; drug designing; ADME; drug repurposing
Online: 23 March 2020 (09:47:49 CET)
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a positive-sense single-stranded RNA ((+)ssRNA) virus. The COVID-19 Main Proteases play very important role in the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). It has already killed more than 8000 people around the world and thousands of people are getting infected every day. Therefore, it is very important to identify a potential inhibitor against COVID-19 Main Proteases to inhibit the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We have applied a drug repurposing approach of computational methodology, depending on the synergy of molecular docking and virtual screening techniques, aimed to identify possible potent inhibitors against Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) from FDA approved antiviral compounds and from the library of active phytochemicals. On the basis of recently resolved COVID-19 Main Protease crystal structure (PDB:6LU7), the library of 100 FDA approved antiviral compounds and 1000 active components of Indian Medicinal Plants extracted for screening against COVID-19 Main Protease. The compounds were further screened using Pyrex virtual screening tool and then best inhibitors, top 19 compounds optimally docked to the COVID-19 Main Protease structure to understand the participation of specific amino acids with inhibitors at active sites. Total 19 best compounds were identified after screening based on their highest binding affinity with respect to the other screened compounds. Out of 19, 6 best compounds were further screened based on their binding affinity and best ADME properties. Nelfinavir exhibited highest binding energy -8.4 kcal/mol and strong stability with the TRP207, ILE281, LEU282, PHE3, PHE291, GLN127, ARG4, GLY283, GLU288, LYS5, LYS137, TYR126, GLY138, TYR126, SER139 and VAL135 amino acid residues of COVID-19 Main Protease participating in the interaction at the binding pocket. In addition to Nelfinavir (-8.4), Rhein (-8.1), Withanolide D (-7.8), Withaferin A (-7.7), Enoxacin (-7.4), and Aloe-emodin (-7.4) also showed good binding affinity and best ADME properties. Our findings suggest that these compounds can be used as potential inhibitors against COVID-19 Main Protease, which could be helpful in inhibiting the propagation of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). Moreover, further in vitro and in vivo validation of these findings would be very helpful to bring these inhibitors to next level study.
Tue, 5 May 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0070.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Covid; covid-19; sars-cov-2; temperature; heat; body temperature; air temperature; viral decay; viral stability; transmission; severity
Online: 5 May 2020 (10:47:18 CEST)
Air temperature and body temperature may influence COVID-19 disease severity and transmission rates. In vitro data indicate that SARS-CoV-2 loses infectivity at normal core body temperature (37°C); however, small reductions in temperature proximate to 37°C may result in substantially increased viral stability. If these results are representative of viral decay rates in vivo, then cooler temperatures in the body may enable more rapid viral growth. Breathing cool air—even as warm as 25°C—cools upper respiratory tract (URT) surfaces to several degrees below body temperature, and these lower temperatures may make the URT exceptionally conducive to SARS-CoV-2 replication. Increased URT viral load may enable more effective transmission. Additionally, because SARS-CoV-2 infection may frequently begin in the URT before spreading through the body, an increased rate of viral replication in the URT early in the disease course may result in more rapid progression of disease, potentially causing more severe adverse outcomes. Core body temperature may also be a factor in disease severity, as lower core body temperatures may enable more rapid viral growth. The significance of air temperature and body temperature to disease severity and transmission rates may inform preventative measures and post-exposure prophylaxis treatments for COVID-19.
Tue, 28 April 2020
Online: 28 April 2020 (07:50:12 CEST)
There were warnings before; nevertheless the current CoVID-19 pandemic took the world by surprise: within just four month, it conquered the globe and claimed over 200'000 lives. Unprecedented governmental actions put about half of the population under curfew or lock-down. The resulting economic meltdown is expected to eliminate globally 9’000’000’000’000 (9 trillion) USD in 2020 and 2021 alone, a value roughly the size of the yearly GDP of the world’s 150 smallest economies. The resulting crises might cause mass-unemployment and a hunger pandemic later this year. This Essay analyses current statistical data of the CoVID-19 pandemic to develop a guideline for a path through the crisis, minimizing both loss of lives and economic costs. Part 1 details the current situation; part 2 develops a small set of measures, allowing a near normal life until a future vaccination campaign has reached sufficient numbers of people; and part 3 provides some important lessons for the future beyond SARS-CoV-2. The Essay leads to the following key-messages: 1) The CoVID-19 pandemic will stay for at least two more years. This is the minimum time required for a vaccination campaign to reach sufficient numbers of people. 2) The crucial element to control the pandemic is keeping case numbers under the threshold required for a functional tracing, testing & isolation (TTI) strategy. That threshold differs from country to country and strongly depends on culture and the applied tracing technology as well as available testing capacities. 3) The economic burden of a TTI strategy is moderate while fatalities are also reduced. Hence, such an approach is strongly recommended. Its implementation requires a set of simple and cost-effective measures (see figure below), which in combination seem to be sufficient to keep CoVID-2’s reproductive rate at or below 1. 4) Implementing international coordination of actions will be necessary for effective infection-chain tracing5) If case numbers are above the TTI threshold, shutdown measures remain the only option until tracing of infection chains becomes feasible again.6) In the future, neglected pandemic-related research requires a funding boost. Just 1% of the bill of the current crisis could support the research of 45’000 scientist for 20 years.
Thu, 12 March 2020
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: immune system; viral infection; influenza; COVID-19; micronutrients; vitamins; omega-3 fatty acids; minerals; vitamin C; vitamin D
Online: 12 March 2020 (04:30:45 CET)
Public health practices including handwashing and vaccinations help reduce the spread and impact of infections. Nevertheless, the global burden of infection is high, and additional measures are necessary. Acute respiratory tract infections, for example, are responsible for approximately 2.65 million deaths per year. The role nutrition plays in supporting the immune system is well-established. A wealth of mechanistic and clinical data show that vitamins, including vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and folate; trace elements, including zinc, iron, selenium, magnesium, and copper; and the omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid play important and complementary roles in supporting the immune system. Inadequate intake and status of these nutrients are widespread, leading to a decrease in resistance to infections and as a consequence an increase in disease burden. Against this background the following conclusions are made: 1) Supplementation with the above micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids is a safe, effective, and low-cost strategy to help support optimal immune function; 2) Supplementation above the RDA, but within recommended upper safety limits, for specific nutrients such as vitamins C and D is warranted; and 3) Public health officials are encouraged to include nutritional strategies in their recommendations to improve public health.
Sun, 8 March 2020
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0138.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: 2019-nCoV; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; ADE; antibody depedendent enhancement
Online: 8 March 2020 (15:35:27 CET)
Background: In 80% of patients, COVID-19 presents as mild disease1,2. 20% of cases develop severe (13%) or critical (6%) illness. More severe forms of COVID-19 present as clinical severe acute respiratory syndrome, but include a T-predominant lymphopenia3, high circulating levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, accumulation of neutrophils and macrophages in lungs, and immune dysregulation including immunosuppression4. Methods: All major SARS-CoV-2 proteins were characterized using an amino acid residue variation analysis method. Results predict that most SARS-CoV-2 proteins are evolutionary constrained, with the exception of the spike (S) protein extended outer surface. Results were interpreted based on known SARS-like coronavirus virology and pathophysiology, with a focus on medical countermeasure development implications. Findings: Non-neutralizing antibodies to variable S domains may enable an alternative infection pathway via Fc receptor-mediated uptake. This may be a gating event for the immune response dysregulation observed in more severe COVID-19 disease. Prior studies involving vaccine candidates for FCoV5,6 SARS-CoV-17-10 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) 11 demonstrate vaccination-induced antibody-dependent enhancement of disease (ADE), including infection of phagocytic antigen presenting cells (APC). T effector cells are believed to play an important role in controlling coronavirus infection; pan-T depletion is present in severe COVID-19 disease3 and may be accelerated by APC infection. Sequence and structural conservation of S motifs suggests that SARS and MERS vaccine ADE risks may foreshadow SARS-CoV-2 S-based vaccine risks. Autophagy inhibitors may reduce APC infection and T-cell depletion12 13. Amino acid residue variation analysis identifies multiple constrained domains suitable as T cell vaccine targets. Evolutionary constraints on proven antiviral drug targets present in SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 may reduce risk of developing antiviral drug escape mutants. Interpretation: Safety testing of COVID-19 S protein-based B cell vaccines in animal models is strongly encouraged prior to clinical trials to reduce risk of ADE upon virus exposure.
Wed, 1 April 2020
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0004.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19, Pakistan, Economic Losses, Disease Spread, SARS-CoV-2
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:19:30 CEST)
As of 26 March 2020, Pakistan had 1179 cases of COVID-19, with most 421 cases from Sindh, 394 cases, 131 cases, 123 cases, 84 cases, 25 cases and 01 cases from Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad Capital Territory, and Azad Jammu and Kashmir respectively. Travel-related cases were the main source of SARS-CoV-2 infection during the early phase of the pandemic in Pakistan. Nevertheless, cases of local virus transmission are increasing day by day. As of 26 March 2020, nine deaths have been reported from COVID-19. The case fatality rate is 0.8%, which is less compare to China, Italy, USA, and Iran. The SIR (Susceptible-Infected-Recovered) model of epidemiological analysis predicts that almost 90 million population will be infected in the coming days with 5% critical cases that need health care facilities. However, the Pakistan health care system cannot provide services to this much population. Hence, we need to act timely to reduce this number by restricting local transmission of the disease. This can be done by mass testing, quarantine, isolation and social distancing of the active coronavirus cases in Pakistan. Moreover, better communication between the authorities is very much required to control disease transmission.
Thu, 27 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0119.v1
Online: 27 October 2016 (11:50:52 CEST)
Rosette caused by rose rosette virus (RRV) is the most devastating malady of rose in the United States. Because of the recent discovery of the virus and the completion of Koch’s postulates all assumptions about the disease are based on visual observations of material that may or may have not been infected by the virus. This study addresses several aspects of virus and disease epidemiology. Twenty rose genotypes were screened for mite and/or virus resistance. Phyllocoptes fructiphilus the only known vector of RRV, was able to establish, lay eggs and develop to nymphs and adults in all genotypes. ‘Stormy Weather’ shows resistance to the virus as assessed by both mite and cleft-grafting transmission experiments. The acquisition/latent and inoculation access periods were studied revealing long acquisition/latent periods but rapid inoculation time frames. The outputs of this study will assist in the better management of the vector and the disease. The resistant genotype identified could be used in areas with high disease pressure to minimize spread and for identification of the mechanisms behind resistance or as breeding material to incorporate virus resistance to new cultivars. The short inoculation access period indicates that chemical control for the vector may be a challenging undertaking.
Mon, 20 March 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201703.0150.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: olive pomace oil; fatty acid profile; total nitrogen content; total protein; olive pomace; biochemical characterization
Online: 20 March 2017 (08:40:46 CET)
In this study, the olive pomace was considered because of its importance in the environment. So, this study carried out to estimate the total nitrogen content and the fatty acids profile of olive pomace. The olive pomace samples were collected from Irbid, Jarash, Ajloun and Mafraq during the harvesting season 2014 to study the biochemical characteristics of fatty acid composition and the total nitrogen (TN) content. The total nitrogen content was determined by standard Kjeldahl method and the fatty acid profile was detected by gas chromatography (GC). The results show that the total nitrogen content ranged from (0.39 ± 0.0) to (0.62 ± 0.02) with statistically significant difference suggesting that the composition of matrices and their percentage may be responsible for composition of amendments. The calculated total protein percentage ranged between (2.43 ± 0.00) to (3.87 ± 0.17). Also, 13 different fatty acids were quantitatively profiled and quantitated. Oleic acid (C 18:1) was found to be the highest percentage of all other fatty acids and ranged between (59.03%) and (63.81%), moreover the C 18:1/C 18:2 (oil quality) was calculated and C.V% showed variation meaning that nutritional implication could affect the oxidative stability of oils. In conclusion, OP by-product could give a sustainable and alternative-cheap source for fertilizers, pharmaceutical industries, cosmetics and other industries.
Wed, 1 April 2020
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0006.v1
Online: 1 April 2020 (09:30:36 CEST)
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 is now officially declared as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), and most parts of the world are taking drastic measures to restrict human movements to contain the infection. Like millions of others around the world, I am wondering, is there anything that could be done, other than keeping high personal hygiene, and be vigilant of symptoms, to reduce the chances of infection, or at least to reduce the burden of the disease. So far, the National and International health agencies, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the WHO have provided clear guidelines for both preventive and treatment suggestions. In this opinion-based article, I want to discuss, why keeping the adequate micronutrient balance might enhance the host response and be protective of viral infections. A detailed in-depth discussion of various micronutrients is not the purpose of this article, I will mostly emphasize on the role of zinc in viral infection.
Wed, 17 August 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0162.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: bacterial ghosts (BGs); Vibrio parahaemolyticus; chemically induced lysis; minimum inhibition concentration (MIC); sodium hydroxide (NaOH); lipopolysaccharides (LPS); endotoxic activity; macrophages; cytotoxicity; cytokine
Online: 17 August 2016 (10:26:00 CEST)
Acellular bacterial ghosts (BGs) are empty non-living bacterial cell envelopes, commonly generated by controlled expression of the cloned lysis gene E of bacteriophage PhiX174. In this study, Vibrio parahaemolyticus ghosts (VPGs) were generated by chemically induced lysis and the method is based on minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), acetic acid, boric acid, citric acid, maleic acid, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid. The MIC values of the respective chemicals were 3.125, 6.25, < 50.0, 25.0, 6.25, 1.56 and 0.781 mg/ml. Except boric acid, the lysis efficiency was reached more than 99.99% at 5 min after treatment of all chemicals. Among those chemicals, NaOH-induced VPGs showed completely DNA-free that was confirmed by quantitative real-time PCR. Besides, lipopolysaccharides (LPS) extracted from the NaOH-induced VPGs showed no distinctive band on SDS-PAGE gel after silver staining. On the other hand, LPS extracted from wild-type bacterial cells as well as the organic acids-induced VPGs showed triple major bands and LPS extracted from the inorganic acids-induced VPGs showed double bands. It suggests that some surface structures in LPS of the NaOH-induced VPGs may be lost, weakened or modified by the MIC of NaOH. Nevertheless, Limulus amoebocyte lysate assay revealed that there is no significant difference in endotoxic activity between the NaOH-induced VPGs and wild-type bacterial cells. Macrophages exposed to the NaOH-induced VPGs at 0.5 × 106 CFU/mL showed cell viability of 97.9%, however the MIC of NaOH did not reduce the cytotoxic effect of wild-type bacterial cells. Like Escherichia coli LPS, the NaOH-induced VPGs are an excellent activator of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β and iNOS), anti-inflammatory cytokine (IL-10) and dual activities (IL-6) in the stimulated macrophage cells. On the other hand, the induction of TNF-α mRNA was remarkable in the macrophages exposed with wild-type cells. Scanning electron microscopy showed the formation of trans-membrane lysis tunnel structures in the NaOH-induced VPGs. SDS-PAGE and agarose gel electrophoresis also confirmed that cytoplasmic proteins and genomic DNA released from the VPGs to culture medium through the lysis tunnel structures. Taken together, all these results indicated that the NaOH-induced VPGs show the potency of safe, economical and effective inactivated bacterial vaccine candidate.
Wed, 5 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0071.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: 2019-nCoV; novel corona virus; Wuhan virus; drug; vaccine; spike protein; epitope; vaccine design
Online: 5 February 2020 (15:34:15 CET)
The recent outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan city, China from the sea food market has led to the identification of a new strain called the corona virus and named as novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) belonging to Coronaviridae family. This has created major havoc and concern due to the mortality of 250 persons and affecting more than 10,000 people. This virus causes sudden fever, pneumonia and also kidney failure. In this study a computational approach is proposed for drug and vaccine design. The spike protein sequences were collected from a protein database and analysed with various bioinformatics tools to identify suitable natural inhibitors for the N-terminal receptor binding domain of spike protein. Also, it is attempted to identify suitable vaccine candidates by identifying B-Cell and T-cell epitopes. In the drug design, the tanshinone Iia and methyl Tanshinonate were identified as natural inhibitors based on the docking score. In the vaccine design, B-cell epitope VLLPLVSSQCVNLTTRTQLPPAYTN was found to have the highest antigenicity. FVFLVLLPL of MHC class-I allele and FVFLVLLPL of MHC class-II allele were identified as best peptides based on a number of alleles and antigencity scores. The present study identifies natural inhibitors and putative antigenic epitopes which may be useful as effective drug and vaccine candidates for the eradication of novel corona virus.
Tue, 25 February 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0258.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; cell-entry receptor; ACE2; The Cancer Genome Atlas; susceptibility; demographic factors; polymorphism
Online: 25 February 2020 (06:30:17 CET)
The recurrent coronavirus outbreaks in China (SARS-CoV and its relative, SARS-CoV-2) have raised speculations that perhaps Asians are somehow more susceptible to these coronaviruses. Here, we test this possibility based on an analysis of the lung-specific expression of ACE2, which encodes the known cell-entry receptor of both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. We show that ACE2 expression is not affected during tumorigenesis, supporting that the abundant transcriptomes in cancer genomic studies can be informatively used to study ACE2 expression among diverse individuals without cancer. We find that ACE2 expression in the lung increases with age, but is not associated with sex. Further, Asians do not differ from other populations for ACE2 expression and do not harbor unique genetic polymorphisms in the ACE2 locus. Thus, beyond illustrating an innovative method for assessing the potential impacts of demographic factors for non-cancer diseases from large-scale cancer sample datasets, our statistically robust findings emphasize that individuals of all races require the same level of personal protection against SARS-CoV-2.
Fri, 30 September 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0124.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: breast cancer; immunosuppressive factor; biomarker; online database
Online: 30 September 2016 (09:34:30 CEST)
To screen and validate immunosuppressive factors in luminal- and basal-like breast cancer cell lines and tissue samples associated with malignant phenotypes. The mRNA microarray datasets, GSE40057 and GSE1561, were downloaded and remodelled. Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. Enrichment analyses performed and the online resources, GOBO and Kaplan-Meier Plotter, were employed to screen for immunosuppressive factors associated with breast cancer malignant phenotypes. qRT-PCR and western blot were used to validate the expression of CD274 and IL8 in cell lines and immunohistochemical detected the MIF and VEGFA on tissue microarrays. The results showed that CD274 and IL8 were both upregulated in basal-like cell lines. That MIF expression was dramatically increased in patients with breast cancer metastases (p<0.05) and that VEGFA expression positively correlates with breast cancer pathologic grade (p<0.05).During the formation and development of breast cancer, immune-related genes are always activated, and immunosuppressive factors CD274, IL8, MIF and VEGFA are upregulated. Such molecules could be used as biomarkers for breast cancer prognosis. However, because individual immune-related factors can play several biological roles, the mechanistic relationship between immunosuppressive factors and breast cancer malignant phenotypes and the feasibility of their application as drug targets require further investigation.
Thu, 4 August 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0040.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: seeds; ELISA; Fusarium; morphological data analysis; mycotoxins; phylogenetic analysis S
Online: 4 August 2016 (10:12:54 CEST)
Adlay seed samples were collected from 3 adlay growing regions (Yeoncheon, Jeonnam and Eumseong regions) in Korea during 2012. Among all the samples collected, 400 seeds were tested for fungal occurrence by standard blotter and test tube agar methods and different taxonomic groups of fungal genera were detected. The most predominant fungal genera encountered were Fusarium, Phoma, Alternaria, Cladosporium, Curvularia, Cochliobolus and Leptosphaerulina. The occurrence of Fusarium species were 45.6% and based on the combined sequences of two protein coding genes, EF-1a, Beta-tubulin and phylogenetic analysis, 10 species were characterized as F. incarnatum (11.67%), F. kyushense (10.33%), F. fujikuroi (8.67%), F. concentricum (6.00%), F. asiaticum (5.67%), F. graminearum (1.67%), F. miscanthi (0.67%), F. polyphialidiom (0.33%), F. armeniacum (0.33%) and F. thapsinum (0.33%). The ability of these isolates to produce mycotoxins fumonisin (FUM) and zeralenone (ZEN) were tested by ELISA quantitative analysis method. The result revealed that fumonisin (FUM) was produced only by F. fujikuroi and zeralenone (ZEN) by F. asiaticum & F. graminearum. Mycotoxigenic species were then examined for their morphological characteristics to confirm their identity. Morphological observations of the species correlated well with their molecular identification and confirmed as F. asiaticum, F. fujikuroi and F. graminearum.
Mon, 8 January 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0055.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: orange peel essential oil; green extraction; liquid whole eggs; biopreservation; shelf-life
Online: 8 January 2018 (09:22:37 CET)
A possible way to valorize citrus peels, which are byproducts of the juice extraction industry, is to use them as natural biopreservatives. In this paper we present early results from a compared Solvent Free Microwave Extraction (SFME) with Hydro-Distillation (HD) and Cold Pressing (CP) of essential oils (EOs) using fresh orange peel (Citrus sinensis L. var. Valencia late), a by-product in the production of orange juice in Algeria. The EOs were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). All extracted C. sinensis EOs were chemotype limonene (94.64 to 95.48%). SFME is performed without added any solvent or water. SFME increases EO yield and eliminate wastewater treatment, resulting in a great progress in terms of time and cost efficiency. In its second part, the present study was conducted to evaluate “in vitro”, the antioxidant activities of Solvent Free Microwave (SFM) extracted orange EO by using the DPPH• (2,2-di-phenyl-1-picrilhydrazyl) free radical scavenging assay. The ability of orange EO to scavenge the free radical DPPH• was high, exceeding 80%. The result of the DPPH assay gives an IC50 range value of 89.25 μg/mL (0.09 mg/mL) for the studied sample. Accordingly to the scientific literature, C. sinensis EO tested in the present study presented strong antioxidant activity, when looking to its values of AAI = 1.12 μg/mL. The feasibility of biopreservation used EOs as an alternative to synthetic techniques for liquid whole egg (LWE) stored under commercial retail conditions was investigated. The orange EO extracted by SFM was screened for its antibacterial and antioxidant activities in LWE at concentrations of 0.1, 0.3 and 0.5%. The TBA-RS results showed that the EO treatments significantly (p < 0.05) reduced the lipid oxidation in LWE. The long term oxidative, microbial and organoleptical stability of the LWE during display was positively influenced by orange EO treatments. Therefore, the results obtained here confirm that EO treatment as a promising technology to extend the commercial shelf-life of liquid egg products during retail/display.
Wed, 5 September 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201809.0077.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Garlic, Antibiotics, Lomé, Uropathogenic bacteria, Urinary Tract Infection, Multidrug resistance and alternative therapy.
Online: 5 September 2018 (01:35:46 CEST)
The urinary tract infection (UTI) is the most common bacterial infection, especially in women. The increased incidence of UTIs, at the last decades have paralleled with the growing emergence of antibiotic resistance. The aim is to evaluate aqueous garlic extract (AGE) susceptibility against multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria isolated in urine of women. The investigation of antibacterial propriety and time kill effect of AGE was performed by the well method, microdilution method and spectrophotometer assay. Antibiotics susceptibility assay revealed that the nine MDR bacteria had high resistance against Amoxicillin/ clavulanic acid (100%) and Erythromycin (100%), Cefotaxime (83.33%) and Ceftazidime (83.33%). AGE exhibited potent antibacterial activity against the nine MDR bacteria tested. In Gram-negative bacteria, the inhibition diameters ranged from 20 ± 3 to 32 ± 4 mm, with Minimum Inhibitory Concentrations (MICs) ranging from 10% to 12.5% (w/v) and Minimum Bactericidal Concentration (MBCs) was 12.5 % (w/v). Gram-positive bacteria exhibited diameters ranging from 38 ± 2 to 45 ± 1 mm; MIC and MBC values ranged from 05 to 10 % (w/v) and were found more susceptible than Gram-negative bacteria. To conclude, this investigation shown that AGE have high potential antibacterial to use as an alternative to treat women UTIs.
Tue, 24 March 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0362.v1
Online: 24 March 2020 (14:46:29 CET)
With the current rapid spread of COVID-19, global health systems are increasingly overburdened by the sheer number of people that need diagnosis, isolation and treatment. Shortcomings are evident across the board, from staffing, facilities for rapid and reliable testing to availability of hospital beds and key medical-grade equipment. The scale and breadth of the problem calls for an equally substantive response not only from frontline workers such as medical staff and scientists, but from skilled members of the public who have the time, facilities and knowledge to meaningfully contribute to a consolidated global response. Here, we summarise community-driven approaches based on Free and Open Source scientific and medical Hardware (FOSH) currently being developed and deployed to bolster access to personal protective equipment (PPE), patient treatment and diagnostics.
Sun, 12 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0201.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: diagnosis; detection kits; RT-PCR; immunoassay; false negative; false positive; sensitivity; point-of-care (POC)
Online: 12 April 2020 (16:50:05 CEST)
The COVID-19 pandemic has created huge damage to society and brought panics around the world. Such panics can be ascribed to the seemingly deceptive features of the COVID-19: compared to other deadly viral outspreads, it has medium transmission and mortality rates. As a result, the severity of this virus was deeply underestimated by the society at the beginning of the outbreak. Based on this, in this review, we define the viruses with features similar to those of COVID-19 as the Panic Zone viruses. To contain those viruses, accurate and fast diagnosis followed by effective isolation and treatment of patients are pivotal at the early stage of virus breakouts. This is especially true when there is no cure or vaccine available for a transmissible disease, which is the case for current COVID-19 pandemic. As of April 2020, more than one hundred kits for the COVID-19 diagnosis on the market are surveyed in this review. It is of critical importance to rationally use these kits for the efficient management and control of the Panic Zone viruses. Therefore, we discuss guidelines to select diagnostic kits at different outbreak stages of the Panic Zone viruses, COVID-19 in particular. While it is of utmost importance to use detection kits with low false negativity at the early stage of an outbreak, the low false positivity gains its importance at later stages of the outbreak. Finally, since a massive attack from a viral pandemic requires a massive defense from the whole society, we urge both government and private sectors to research and develop affordable point-of-care (POC) detection kits, which can be used massively by the general public (and therefore called as massive POC) to contain Panic Zone viruses in future.
Tue, 21 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0377.v1
Online: 21 April 2020 (06:56:12 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel coronavirus that is the causative agent of Coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVD-19). As of the 17th April 2020, it has infected 2 114 269 people resulting in 145 144 deaths. The timing, magnitude and longevity of humoral immunity is not yet understood for SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, understanding this is urgently required to inform the likely future dynamics of the pandemic, to guide strategies to allow relaxation of social distancing measures and to understand how to deploy limiting vaccine doses when they become available to achieve maximum impact. SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh human coronavirus to be described. Four human coronaviruses circulate seasonally and cause common colds. Two other coronaviruses, SARS and MERS, have crossed from animal sources into humans but have not become endemic. Here we review what is known about the human humoral immune response to epidemic SARS CoV and MERS CoV and to the seasonal, endemic coronaviruses. Then we summarize recent, mostly non-peer reviewed studies into SARS-CoV-2 serology and reinfection in humans and non-human primates and summarize current pressing research needs.
Tue, 23 August 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0195.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: green anole; tail autotomy; regeneration; microRNAs; Anolis carolinensis
Online: 23 August 2016 (11:25:42 CEST)
Regeneration of lost tail is of great importance to lizards. Anolis carolinensis, a green lizard, is capable of regenerating its tail efficiently after autotomy. Hence, it is considered as a model organism in regeneration study. A. carolinensis shed its tail in order to distract the predator’s attention and thus makes a way to escape. Restoring of the amputated tail takes several days and the mechanism is currently clearly understood. Although save its life, tail regeneration is associated with the impairment of several vital functions in Anoles. In addition, various differences have been observed between original and regenerated tail in terms of mechanism and structure. To date, very little work has been conducted on tail autotomy and regeneration at molecular and genetic level. The genes responsible for regeneration in anoles are identified recently. These genes are evolutionarily conserved through all tetrapod vertebrates. They are, however, in a state of ‘switched-off’ in other vertebrates including humans. Consequently, a throughout study of these so called ‘switched-off’ genes may provide a way of restoring lost organs in human, and thus could revolutionize the modern medical science.
Tue, 28 February 2017
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0103.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: fructose; obesity; liver; aerobic exercise; strength exercise; combined exercise
Online: 28 February 2017 (12:02:06 CET)
Fructose consumption has been growing exponentially and, concomitant with this, the increase in the incidence of obesity and associated complications has followed the same behavior. Studies indicate that fructose may be a carbohydrate with greater obesogenic potential than other sugars. In this context, the liver seems to be a key organ for understanding the deleterious health effects promoted by fructose consumption. Fructose promotes complications in glucose metabolism, accumulation of triacylglycerol in the hepatocytes and alterations in the lipid profile, which, associated with an inflammatory response and alterations in the redox state, will imply a systemic picture of insulin resistance. However, physical exercise has been indicated for the treatment of several chronic diseases. In this review, we show how each exercise protocol (aerobic, strength or a combination of both) promote improvements in the obesogenic state created by fructose consumption as an improvement in the serum and liver lipid profile (HDL increase and decrease TG and LDL levels) and a reduction of markers of inflammation caused by an excess of fructose. Therefore, it is concluded that the practice of aerobic physical exercise, strength or a combination of both is essential for attenuating the complications developed by the consumption of fructose.
Mon, 1 May 2017
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0012.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Jivanti; Leptadenia reticulata; traditional medicine; herb; therapy; rasayana; galactagogue; pharmacology; biological activities; medicinal plant
Online: 1 May 2017 (10:25:26 CEST)
Leptadenia reticulata (Ritz.) Wight (Asclepiadaceae), a traditional medicinal plant species, is widely used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as tuberculosis, hematopoiesis, emaciation, cough, dyspnea, fever, burning sensation, night blindness, cancer, and dysentery. In Ayurveda, it is known for its revitalizing, rejuvenating, and lactogenic properties. This plant is one of the major ingredients in many commercial herbal formulations, including Speman, Envirocare, Calshakti, Antisept, and Chyawanprash. The therapeutic potential of this herb is because of the presence of diverse bioactive compounds such as α-amyrin, β-amyrin, ferulic acid, luteolin, diosmetin, rutin, β-sitosterol, stigmasterol, hentriacontanol, a triterpene alcohol simiarenol, apigenin, reticulin, deniculatin, and leptaculatin. However, most biological studies on L. reticulata are restricted to crude extracts, and many biologically active compounds are yet to be identified in order to claim the traditional uses of L. reticulata into evidence-based uses. At present, L. reticulata is a threatened endangered plant because of overexploitation, unscientific harvesting, and habitat loss. The increased demand from pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, and veterinary industries has prompted its large-scale propagation. However, its commercial cultivation is hampered because of the non-availability of genuine planting material and the lack of knowledge on its agronomical practices. In this regard, micropropagation technique will be useful to obtain true-to-type L. reticulata planting materials from an elite germplasm to meet the current demand. Adopting other biotechnological approaches such as synthetic seed technology, cryopreservation, cell culture, and genetic transformation can warrant conservation as well as increased metabolite production from L. reticulata. The present review summarizes scientific information on the botanical, agronomical, phytochemical, pharmacological, and biotechnological aspects of L. reticulata. This comprehensive information will certainly allow better utilization of this industrially important herb towards the discovery of lead drug molecules.
Thu, 30 April 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0529.v1
Online: 30 April 2020 (11:15:17 CEST)
The novel respiratory disease COVID-19 has reached the status of worldwide pandemic and large efforts are currently being undertaken in molecularly characterizing the virus causing it, SARS-CoV-2. The genomic variability of SARS-CoV-2 specimens scattered across the globe can underly geographically specific etiological effects. In the present study, we gather the 10,014 SARS-CoV-2 complete genomes currently available thanks to the collection endeavor of the GISAID consortium and thousands of contributing laboratories. We analyze and annotate all SARS-CoV-2 mutations compared with the reference Wuhan genome NC_045512.2. Our analysis shows the prevalence of single nucleotide transitions as the major mutational type across the world. There exist at least three clades characterized by geographic and genomic specificity. In particular, the clade G, prevalent in Europe, carries a D614G mutation in the Spike protein, which is responsible for the initial interaction of the virus with the host human cell. Our analysis may drive local modulation of antiviral strategies based on the molecular specificities of this novel virus.
Thu, 3 November 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0023.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: anti-yeast; enzyme inhibitors; Terminalia mantaly; Combretaceae
Online: 3 November 2016 (09:35:17 CET)
The chemical investigation of the anti-yeast methanol extract from the stem bark of Terminalia mantaly led to the isolation of seven compounds: 3-O-methyl-4-O-α-rhamnopyranoside ellagic acid (1), 3-O-mehylellagic acid (2), arjungenin or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid (3), arjunglucoside or 2,3,19,23-tetrahydroxyolean-12-en-28-oïc acid glucopyranoside (4), 2α,3α,24-trihydroxyolean-11,13(18)-dien-28-oïc acid (5), stigmasterol (6), stigmasterol 3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (7). Their structures were established by means of spectroscopic analysis and comparison with published data. Compounds 1-5 were tested in vitro for activity against three pathogenic yeast isolates, Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis and Candida krusei. The activity of compounds 1, 2 and 4 were comparable to that of the reference compound fluconazole (MIC values below 32 µg/ml) against the three tested yeast isolates. They were also tested for inhibitory properties against four enzymes of metabolic significance: Glucose-6-Phosphate Deshydrogenase (G6PD), human erythrocyte Carbonic anhydrase I and II (hCA I and hCA II), Glutathione S-transferase (GST). Compound 4 showed highly potent inhibitory property against the four tested enzymes with overall IC50 values below 4 µM and inhibitory constant (Ki) <3 µM.
Tue, 20 December 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0103.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: zebrafish; models; evaluation; drugs; cardiotoxicity; genotoxicity
Online: 20 December 2016 (10:34:56 CET)
Embryonic and larval Danio rerio is increasingly used as a toxicological model to conduct rapid in vivo tests and developmental toxicity assays; the zebrafish features as high genetic homology to mammals; robust phenotypes; and its value in high-throughput genetic and chemical screening have made it a powerful tool to evaluate in vivo toxicity. New methodologies of genome editing as CRISPR/Cas9; ZFN or Talen make it a suitable model to perform studies to pair human genetic diseases as well. This review surveys recent studies; employing zebrafish as experimental model; comparing it with other in vivo and in vitro models; presenting zebrafish as a potent vertebrate tool to evaluate drug toxicity to facilitate more extensive; easy and comprehensive knowledge of new generation drugs.
Thu, 9 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0122.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: melatonin; coronavirus; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; bat; lung; apoptosis; programmed cell death; mortality; morbidity; COVID-19; drug
Online: 9 April 2020 (09:24:47 CEST)
The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating events in recent history. The virus causes relatively minor damage to young, healthy populations, imposing life-threatening danger to the elderly and people with diseases of chronic inflammation. Therefore, if we could reduce the risk for vulnerable populations, it would make the COVID-19 pandemic more similar to other typical outbreaks. Children don’t suffer from COVID-19 as much as their grandparents and have a much higher melatonin level. Bats are nocturnal animals possessing high levels of melatonin, which may contribute to their high anti-viral resistance. Viruses induce an explosion of inflammatory cytokines and reactive oxygen species, and melatonin is the best natural antioxidant that is lost with age. The programmed cell death coronaviruses cause, which can result in significant lung damage, is also inhibited by melatonin. Coronavirus causes inflammation in the lungs which requires inflammasome activity. Melatonin blocks these inflammasomes. General immunity is impaired by anxiety and sleep deprivation. Melatonin improves sleep habits, reduces anxiety and stimulates immunity. Fibrosis may be the most dangerous complication after COVID-19. Melatonin is known to prevent fibrosis. Mechanical ventilation may be necessary but yet imposes risks due to oxidative stress, which can be reduced by melatonin. Thus, by using the safe over-the-counter drug melatonin, we may be immediately able to prevent the development of severe disease symptoms in coronavirus patients, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and/or reduce the immuno-pathology of coronavirus infection on patients’ health after the active phase of the infection is over.
Fri, 29 July 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201607.0096.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: number of paralogs; comparative genomics; combinatorial optimization; Mycoplasmas; Halophiles; Orientia; Mycobacterium leprae; genome size
Online: 29 July 2016 (16:24:29 CEST)
The existence of multiple copies of genes is a well-known phenomenon. A gene family is a set of sufficiently similar genes, formed by gene duplication. In earlier works conducted on limited number of completely sequenced and annotated genomes it was found that size of gene family and size of genome are positively correlated. Additionally, it was found that several atypical microbes deviated from the observed general trend. In this study, we reexamined these associations on a larger dataset consisting of 1484 prokaryotic genomes and using several ranking approaches. We applied ranking methods in such a way that genomes with lower number of paralogs would have lower rank. Until now only simple ranking methods were used; we applied the Kemeny optimal aggregation approach as well. Regression and correlation analysis were utilized in order to accurately quantify and characterize the relationships between measures of paralog indices and genome size. In addition, boxplot analysis was employed as a method for outlier detection. We found that, in general, all paralog indexes positively correlate with an increase of genome size. As expected, different groups of atypical prokaryotic genomes were found for different types of paralog quantities.
Thu, 26 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0386.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: hesperidin; COVID-19; pectin; flavonoids; hydrodynamic cavitation; IntegroPectin
Online: 26 March 2020 (13:59:28 CET)
Computational studies suggest that hesperidin, a flavonoid abundant in citrus peel, binding the three main cellular receptors of SARS-CoV-2 virus can act in the prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19. Herein we urge the uptake of hydrodynamic cavitation industrial-scale reactors based on the low cost, reliable Venturi tube for the extraction of citrus pectin rich in hesperidin (and in other bioflavonoids including naringing) by very fast processing of waste orange peel or waste lemon peel in water only. A device able to process up to 500 kg of waste peels per session, similar to the one lately deployed in Italy for hydrodynamic cavitation-assisted brewing, is capable to provide 36,000 doses of 1000 mg hesperidin per day.
Fri, 23 September 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0080.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Anatolian Black; East Anatolian Red; South Anatolian Red; Turkish Grey; Holstein Friesian; Innate immunity; Next Generation Sequencing; TLR2; TLR4; TLR6
Online: 23 September 2016 (05:44:43 CEST)
In recent years, the focus of disease resistance and susceptibility studies in cattle have been on determining patterns in the innate immune response of key proteins, such as Toll-like receptors (TLR). In the bovine genome, there are 10 TLR family members and, of these, TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 are specialized in recognition of bacterial ligands. Indigenous cattle breeds of Anatolia have been reported to show fewer signs of clinical bacterial infections, such as bovine tuberculosis and mastitis, and it is hypothesized that this might be due to a less stringent genetic selection during breeding. In contrast, Holstein-Friesian cattle have been under strong selection for milk production, which may have resulted in greater susceptibility to diseases. To test this hypothesis, we have compared the TLR2, TLR4 and TLR6 genes of Anatolian Black (AB), East Anatolian Red (EAR), South Anatolian Red (SAR), Turkish Grey (TG), and Holstein (HOL) cattle using Next Generation Sequencing. The SAR breed had the most variations overall, followed by EAR, AB, TG and HOL. TG had the most variations for TLR2 whereas SAR had the most variations in TLR4 and TLR6. We compared these variants with those associated with disease and susceptibility traits. We used exon variants to construct haplotypes, investigated shared haplotypes within breeds and determined candidate haplotypes for disease resistance phenotype in Anatolian cattle breeds.
Tue, 7 April 2020
SHORT NOTE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0089.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Sars-CoV-2; Homology modelling; Envelope Membrane glycoprotein; Bat; Pangolin; Sars-CoV
Online: 7 April 2020 (11:09:23 CEST)
The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that was initially reported in city of Wuhan, China and afterwards spread globally. Genomic analyses revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like (SARS-like) Pangolin and Bat coronavirus specific isolates. In this study we focused on two proteins of Sars-CoV-2 surface: Envelope protein and Membrane protein. Sequences from Sars-CoV-2 isolates and other closely related virus were collected from the GenBank through TBlastN searches. The retrieved sequences were multiply aligned with MAFFT. The Envelope protein is identical to the counterparts from Pangolin CoV MP798 isolate and Bat CoV isolates CoVZXC21, CoVZC45 and RaTG13. However, a substitution at position 69 where an Arg replace for Glu, and a deletion in position 70 corresponding to Gly or Cys in other Envelope proteins were found. The Membrane glycoprotein appears more variable with respect to the SARS CoV proteins than the Envelope: a heterogeneity at the N-terminal position, exposed to the virus surface, was found between Pangolin CoV MP798 isolate and Bat CoV isolates CoVZXC21, CoVZC45 and RaTG13. Mutations observed on Envelope protein are drastic and may have significant implications for conformational properties and possibly for protein-protein interactions. Mutations on Membrane protein may also be relevant because this protein cooperates with the Spike during the cell attachment and entry. Therefore, these mutations may influence interaction with host cells. The mutations that have been detected in these comparative studies may reflect functional peculiarities of the Sars-CoV-2 virus and may help explaining the epizootic origin the COVID-19 epidemic.
Fri, 27 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0127.v1
Online: 27 January 2017 (03:55:50 CET)
The majority of polygenic selection signal of educational attainment GWAS hits is confined to a handful of SNPs within genomic regions replicated across GWAS publications. A polygenic score comprising 9 SNPs predicts population IQ (r=0.9), outperforming 99.9% of the polygenic scores obtained from sets of random SNPs. Its predictive power remains unaffected after controlling for spatial autocorrelation. Even random polygenic scores are moderate predictors of population IQ, and their predictive power increases logarithmically with the number of SNPs, indicating an exponential reduction in noise.Thus, the predictive power of polygenic scores has to be scaled in proportion to the number of SNPs composing them.
Sun, 23 February 2020
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0332.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: nucleic acids; airborne microorganisms; far infrared radiation; RNA virus
Online: 23 February 2020 (15:51:12 CET)
Emergence of zoonotic-human pathogens is proven to be a lethal threat to public health, and RNA virus including influenza viruses, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus, Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), plays a pivotal role. As those viruses as airborne microorganisms spread mainly by tiny airborne particles, it is important to de-active those airborne particles before their entry into human bodies. In this study, we investigated the effect of far infrared (FIR) radiation on inhibition of airborne microorganisms. The result confirmed that double stand DNA from airborne microorganisms were stable under mild FIR radiation. However, single strand RNA from them was found to be sensitive to FIR radiation, indicating that RNA virus in airborne particles is instable under FIR radiation. Based on this observation, two models on usage of FIR radiation to prevent RNA virus transmission and cure RNA virus infection were proposed, implying that FIR radiation might be a cheap, convenient, and efficient method in clinic to treat RNA virus.
Thu, 24 November 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0125.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Lamin, EBV latency, transformation, epigenetic regulation, activated B cell
Online: 24 November 2016 (17:53:07 CET)
Lamin A, B and C, the nuclear intermediate-filament proteins, play a role in epigenetic regulation. While Lamin B is expressed in all nucleated cells studied, Lamin A/C are transcribed in most somatic cell types except mature B lymphocytes. Since Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human gammaherpesvirus, is associated with tumorigenic processes and is known to alter the epigenotype of its host cells, we studied the expression of the LMNA gene and its epigenetic marks in EBV-carrying human lymphoid cell lines. We observed a high lamin A/C mRNA and protein expression in EBV-immortalized lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and in group III Burkitt lymphoma (BL) lines where hypomethylated first exons were observed with activating histone marks. In most cell lines with low promoter activity a highly methylated first exon could be detected. Our data showed that methylation of the first exon of LMNA was associated with the downregulation of LMNA expression whereas euchromatic histone marks were enriched at active LMNA promoters in EBV-immortalized LCLs. These data suggest a role for viral latency products to activate LMNAp in EBV-infected latency type III B cells in vitro. Expression of lamin A/C may contribute to the establishment of activated B cell phenotype that needs further explorations.
Tue, 3 March 2020
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0042.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: COVID -19; 2019-nCoV; spike (S) protein; zorubicin; aclarubicin
Online: 3 March 2020 (11:41:51 CET)
The novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a human and animal pathogen recently emerged in the city of Wuhan in Hubei province of China, causing a spectrum of severe respiratory illnesses. Corona viruses makes entry in to human cells through its spike (S) protein that binds to cell surface receptors. Wide spread of 2019-nCoV has been attributed to relatively high affinity of S protein to its receptor. Although S protein is a highly importantdrug target, unavailability of a high-resolution crystal structure and solvent accessible binding surface has made it a tedious target for current rapid virtual screening. A homology model of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of 2019 -n CoV S protein that is reasonably acceptable for drug screening was prepared using a high resolution crystal structure of SARS corona virus (SARS CoV)S protein. Data obtained from RBD- receptor docking experiments and published molecular dynamics experiments were used to map a RBD-receptor interaction hotspot that can be used for designing small molecule inhibitors. The hot spot was then used for virtual screening of more than 3000 drugs approved by U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other authorities for human use. Two anthracycline class drugs (zorubicin and aclarubicin) and a food dye (E 155) were predicted to be potent inhibitors of RBD – receptor interaction. Results of present study provide evidence for the potential of these compounds asprophylactic medications or for use to reduce disease severity of COVID -19.
Mon, 17 July 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201707.0041.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: pine nut; pine nut syndrome (PNS); pine mouth syndrome (PMS); non-wood forest products; Leptoglossus occidentalis (Western conifer seed bug); Sphaeropsis sapinea (sphaeropsis blight)
Online: 17 July 2017 (05:58:34 CEST)
Pine nuts are non-wood forest products (NWFP) with constantly growing market notwithstanding a series of phytosanitary issues and related trade problems. The aim of paper is to review the literature on the relationship between phytosanitary problems and trade development. Production and trade of pine nuts in Mediterranean Europe have been negatively affected by the spreading of Sphaeropsis sapinea (a fungus) associated to an adventive insect Leptoglossus occidentalis (fungal vector), with impacts on forest management activities, production and profitability and thus in value chain organization. Reduced availability of domestic production in markets with growing demand has stimulated the import of pine nuts. China has become a leading exporter of pine nuts, but its export is affected by a symptom associated to the nuts of some pine species: the ‘pine nut syndrome’ (PNS). Most of the studies embraced during the review are associated to PNS occurrence associated to the nuts of Pinus armandii. In the literature review we highlight the need for a comprehensive and interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of the pine nuts value chain organisation, where research on food properties and clinical toxicology be connected to breeding and forest management, forest pathology and entomology and trade development studies.
Fri, 6 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0033.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: H7N9 avian influenza; pseudovirus; neutralization assay; relative luminescence units (RLU)
Online: 6 January 2017 (10:21:52 CET)
In March 2013, a novel avian influenza A H7N9 virus was emerged in China, which cause rapidly progressive pneumonia and with a high fatality rate. Serologic studies to evaluate neutralizing antibodies of infected patients and birds are invaluable tools for immunogenicity research of H7N9 and epidemiological investigation. Conventional neutralization assays are laborious and time-consuming which also hampered by biosafety requirement. In this study, We construct and produce pseudovirus bearing the full-length hemagglutinin (HA) of H7N9 virus in the Env-defective, luciferase-expressing HIV-1 backbone. The production of lentiviral pseudovirus was analysed by HA gene specific real-time reverse-transcription PCR, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and Western Blot assay to prove the nucleic acid replication, the morphology of virus, and the expression of HA protein in pseudovirus. After that pseudovirus based inhibition assay was established to detect neutralizing antibodies of a panel of serum samples. Our results demonstrated that H7N9 pseudovirus which had single-cycle infection was generated. By comparing the neutralization antibody titers, pseudovirus based neutralization test could be recognized as an alternative of conventional microneutralization (MN). Hence, we conclude that it is possible to use pseudovirus inhibition assay to screen sera samples, as well as evaluate vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies against H7N9 virus.
Mon, 30 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0440.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; 2019-nCoV; novel corona virus; drug repurposing; chloroquine; high-risk group; asymptomatic
Online: 30 March 2020 (07:24:16 CEST)
COVID-19 (2019-nCoV) is a pandemic disease with an estimated mortality rate of 3.4% (estimated by the WHO as of March 3, 2020). Until now there is no antiviral drug and vaccine for COVID-19. The current overwhelming situation by COVID-19 patients in hospitals is likely to increase in the next few months. About 15 percent of patients with serious disease in COVID-19 require immediate health services. Rather than waiting for new anti-viral drugs or vaccines that take a few months to years to develop and test, several researchers and public health agencies are attempting to repurpose medicines that are already approved for another similar disease and have proved to be fairly effective. This study aims to identify FDA approved drugs that can be used for drug repurposing and identify biomarkers among high- risk and asymptomatic groups. In this study gene-disease association related to COVID-19 reported mild, severe symptoms and clinical outcomes were determined. The high-risk group was studied related to SARS-CoV-2 viral entry and life cycle by using Disgenet and compared with curated COVID-19 gene data sets from the CTD database. The overlapped gene sets were enriched and the selected genes were constructed for protein-protein interaction networks. Through interactome, key genes were identified for COVID-19 and also for high risk and asymptomatic groups. The key hub genes involved in COVID-19 were VEGFA, TNF, IL-6, CXCL8, IL10, CCL2, IL1B, TLR4, ICAM1, MMP9. The identified key genes were used for drug-gene interaction for drug repurposing. The chloroquine, lenalidomide, pentoxifylline, thalidome, sorafenib, pacitaxel, rapamycin, cortisol, statins were proposed to be probable drug repurposing candidates for the treatment of COVID-19. However, these predicted drug candidates need to be validated through randomized clinical trials. Also, a key gene involved in high risk and the asymptomatic group were identified, which can be used as probable biomarkers for early identification.
Mon, 8 August 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0072.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: forest residue; pretreatment; liquefaction; enzymatic hydrolysis/saccharification; fermentation; high titer bioethanol; detoxification
Online: 8 August 2016 (10:39:56 CEST)
This study evaluated batch fermentation modes, namely, separate hydrolysis and fermentation (SHF), Quasi-simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (Q-SSF), and simultaneous saccharification and fermentation (SSF), and fermentation conditions, i.e., enzyme and yeast loadings, nutrient supplementation and sterilization, on high titer bioethanol production from SPORL-pretreated Douglas-fir forest residue without detoxification. The result indicated Q-SSF and SSF were obviously superior to SHF operation in terms of ethanol yield. The enzyme loading showed a strong positive correlation between enzyme loading and the ethanol yield. The nutrient supplementation and sterility was not necessary for ethanol production from SPORL-pretreated Douglas-fir. The yeast loading showed no significant influence on the ethanol yield for typical SSF conditions. The terminal ethanol titer of 43.2 g/L, or 75.1% theoretical based on glucose, mannose, and xylose theoretical was achieved when SSF was conducted at the condition of following: whole slurry solids loading of 15%, enzyme loading of 20 FPU/g glucan, 1.8 g/kg (wet) yeast loading, without nutrition supplementation and sterilization, at 38°C, on shake flask at 150 rpm for 96h. It is believed that with mechanical mixing, enzyme loading can be substantially reduced with affect ethanol yield by using a long fermentation time.
Fri, 1 February 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0004.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: artificial intelligence; machine learning; live-cell imaging; super-resolution microscopy; classification; segmentation
Online: 1 February 2019 (09:00:39 CET)
Artificial Intelligence based on Deep Learning is opening new horizons in Biomedical research and promises to revolutionize the Microscopy field. Slowly, it now transitions from the hands of experts in Computer Sciences to researchers in Cell Biology. Here, we introduce recent developments in Deep Learning applied to Microscopy, in a manner accessible to non-experts. We overview its concepts, capabilities and limitations, presenting applications in image segmentation, classification and restoration. We discuss how Deep Learning shows an outstanding potential to push the limits of Microscopy, enhancing resolution, signal and information content in acquired data. Its pitfalls are carefully discussed, as well as the future directions expected in this field.
Thu, 26 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0117.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: blunt snout bream; high carbohydrate; transcriptome; metabolomics; insulin resistance; fatty liver disease
Online: 26 January 2017 (03:52:10 CET)
A high intake of carbohydrates, associated with obesity, is one of the major causes of fatty liver disease in humans. This study investigated how high carbohydrate intake induces fatty liver disease in Blunt snout bream (Megalobrama amblycephala). Blunt snout bream were fed a high-carbohydrate diet (HCBD) for 60 days. Their growth indices were evaluated, and the transcriptomes, metabolites, biochemistry, and histology of their blood and livers were analyzed. The final weight, weight gain, specific growth rate, and feed conversion ratio were all higher in the HCBD group than in the control group, but not significantly so (P > 0.05). The hepatosomatic index (HSI) differed significantly in the two groups (P < 0.05), and the metabolomics results showed that a high carbohydrate intake induced significant increases in plasma α/β-glucose, succinate, and tyrosine, which could increase hepatic glycogen and triglyceride. Low levels of betaine were also found in the livers of the HCBD group. The histology and blood biochemistry results suggested abnormal liver, with excessive lipid accumulation and liver damage. A transcriptome analysis and quantitative reverse transcription–PCR (RT–qPCR) indicated that the expression of the factors INSR, IRS, PI3K, PDK, AKT, ACC, IL6, AP1, ChREBP-MLX, PEPCK, and FBP in the insulin signaling pathway was significantly upregulated and that of SOCS3, GSK3β, and AMPK significantly downregulated in the HCBD. This pattern is associated with the nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) pathway. This study extends our understanding of how high carbohydrate causes increased fat deposition in the liver, enhanced glycolysis (α/β-glucose) in the plasma, and reduced betaine in the liver. This leads to activation of hepatocyte insulin resistance and lipogenesis by regulating the expression of genes related to fatty liver disease.
Tue, 30 October 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0708.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: circular visualization; circos; genomics; next-generation sequencing
Online: 30 October 2018 (07:06:35 CET)
After human genome sequencing and rapid changes in genome sequencing methods, we have entered in the era of rapidly accumulating genome-sequencing data. This has poses development of several types of methods for representing results of genome sequencing data. Circular genome visualizations tools are also critical in this area as they provide rapid interpretation and simple visualization of overall data. In the last 15 years, we have seen rapid changes in circular visualization tools after the development of the circos tool with 1–2 tools published per year. Herein we have summarized and revisited all these tools until the third quarter of 2018.
Thu, 5 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0081.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: COVID-19; electrostatic feature; salt bridging network; structural update
Online: 5 March 2020 (03:37:44 CET)
Since the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak at the end of 2019, the past two month has seen an acceleration both in and outside China in the R&D of the diagnostics, vaccines and therapeutics for this novel coronavirus. As one of the molecular forces that determine protein structure, electrostatic effects dominate many aspects of protein behaviour and biological function. Thus, incorporating currently available experimental structures related to COVID-19, this article reports a simple python-based analysis tool and a LaTeX-based editing tool to extract and summarize the electrostatic features from experimentally determined structures, to strengthen our understanding of COVID-19's structure and function and to facilitate machine-learning and structure-based computational design of its neutralizing antibodies and/or small molecule(s) as potential therapeutic candidates. Finally, this article puts forward a brief update of the structurally observed electrostatic features of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
Sun, 15 March 2020
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0242.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; spike protein; multiepitope vaccine; molecular modeling
Online: 15 March 2020 (12:45:54 CET)
The outbreak of 2019-novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes severe respiratory infection (COVID-19) has spread in China, and the world health organization declared it pandemic. However, no approved drug or vaccines are available, and treatment is mainly supportive and through a few repurposed drugs. In this urgency situation, development of SARS-CoV-2 based vaccines is immediately required. Immunoinformatic and molecular modelling are generally used time-efficient methods to accelerate the discovery and design of the candidate peptides for vaccine development. In recent years, the use of multiepitope vaccines is proved to be a promising immunization strategy against viruses and pathogens, which induce more comprehensive protective immunity. The current study demonstrated a comprehensive in-silico strategy to design stable multiepitope vaccine construct (MVC) from B-cell and T-cell epitopes of essential SARS-CoV-2 proteins with the help of adjuvants and linkers. The integrated molecular dynamics simulations analysis revealed the stability of MVC and its interaction with human Toll-like receptors (TLRs), which trigger an innate and adaptive immune response. Later, the in-silico cloning in a known pET28a vector system also estimated the possibility of MVC expression in E. Coli. Despite this study lacks validation of this vaccine construct in terms of its efficacy, the current integrated strategy encompasses the initial multiple epitope vaccine design concepts. After validation, this MVC can present to be a better prophylactic solution against COVID-19.
Mon, 3 February 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0007.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: molecular diagnostics; molecular epidemiology; HIV; HBV; HCV; HPV; Zika virus; Dengue virus; tuberculosis; SARS; MERS; nCov-2019
Online: 3 February 2020 (03:47:27 CET)
Infectious diseases are a global health problem affecting billions of people. Developing rapid and sensitive diagnostic tools is key for successful patient management and curbing disease spread. Currently available diagnostics are very specific and sensitive but time-consuming and require expensive laboratory settings and well-trained personnel; thus, they are not available in resource-limited areas, for the purposes of large-scale screenings and in case of outbreaks and epidemics. Developing new, rapid, and affordable point-of-care diagnostic assays is urgently needed. This review focuses on CRISPR-based technologies and their perspectives to become platforms for point-of-care nucleic acid detection methods and as deployable diagnostic platforms that could help to identify and curb outbreaks and emerging epidemics. We describe the mechanisms and function of different classes and types of CRISPR-Cas systems, including pros and cons for developing molecular diagnostic tests and applications of each type to detect a wide range of infectious agents. Many Cas proteins (Cas9, Cas12, Cas13, Cas14) have been leveraged to create highly accurate and sensitive diagnostic tools combined with technologies of signal amplification and fluorescent, potentiometric, colorimetric, or lateral flow assay detection. In particular, the most advanced platforms -- SHERLOCK/v2, DETECTR, or CRISPR-Chip -- enable detection of attomolar amounts of pathogenic nucleic acids with specificity comparable to that of PCR but with minimal technical settings. Further developing CRISPR-based diagnostic tools promises to dramatically transform molecular diagnostics, making them easily affordable and accessible virtually anywhere in the world. The burden of socially significant diseases, frequent outbreaks, recent epidemics (MERS, SARS and the ongoing coronoviral nCov-2019 infection) urgently need the developing of express-diagnostic tools. Recently devised CRISPR-technologies represent the unprecedented opportunity to reshape epidemiological surveillance and molecular diagnostics.
Sat, 8 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0021.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: SET; I2PP2A; ZFX; transcriptional regulation; gynecologic cancers
Online: 8 October 2016 (10:52:00 CEST)
SET protein carries out multiple functions including those for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibition, histone modification, DNA repair and gene regulation. SET overexpression has been detected in brain neurons of Alzheimer's disease patients, follicle theca cells of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) patients, and ovarian cancer cells, indicating that SET may play a pathological role for these disorders. SET transcript 2, produced by a specific promoter, represents a major transcript variant in different cell types. In this study, we characterized the transcriptional activation of human SET transcript 2 promoter in HeLa cells. Promoter deletion experiments and co-transfection assays indicated that ZFX, the Zinc finger and X-linked transcription factor, was able to transactivate the SET promoter. A proximal promoter region containing four ZFX-binding sites was found to be critical for the ZFX-mediated transactivation. Mutagenesis study indicated that the site located closest to the transcription start site accounted for most of the ZFX-mediated transactivity. Manipulation of ZFX levels by overexpression or siRNA knockdown confirmed the significance and specificity of the ZFX-mediated SET promoter activation. Chromatin immunoprecipitation results verified the binding of ZFX to its cognate site in the SET promoter. These findings have led to identification of ZFX as an upstream factor regulating SET gene expression. More studies are required to define the in vivo significance of this mechanism, and specifically, its implication for several benign and malignant diseases related to SET dysregulation.
Mon, 24 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0102.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: dental caries; Streptococcus mutans; lactic acid bacteria; biofilm; glucosyltransferases
Online: 24 October 2016 (09:37:48 CEST)
Consumption of refined foods and beverages high in sugar make the teeth susceptible to the formation of biofilm, and lead to dental caries and diseases of the oral cavity such as periodontitis and periodontal disease. The aim of the present study was to determine the ability of selected probiotics to inhibit growth and biofilm formation by the cariogenic bacterium Streptococcus mutans in vitro. We screened strains of latic acid bacteria (LAB) (n=120) from the Bioresources Collection and Research Center (BCRC), saliva of healthy adults and infant stool. The antimicrobial activity of LAB in vitro was evaluated by agar spot culture and co-culture of the S. mutans strains. We determined the effect of heating and dilution factors (2- and 4-fold) on the antagonistic activity of LAB. Antagonistic substances in the spent culture suspensions (SCS) of LAB were precipitated by extraction with ammonium sulphate and chloroform to characterise the protein and lipophilic fractions. Results of co-culturing show that the SCS of the three LAB strains (Lactobacillus pentosus 13-1, 13-4 and Lactobacillus crispatus BCRC 14618) subjected to heat treatment showed significantly high antimicrobial activity. We found that substances produced by L. pentosus 13-4 which have the potential to exhibit antimicrobial properties might be lipophilic proteins. Additionally, we infer that the mechanism of reducing biofilm formation by Lactobacillus strains is associated with sucrose-dependent cell–cell adhesion and the gtfC level of glucosyltransferases (Gtfs) in the biofilm. Native LAB strains screened in our study may be used in chewing gums and other processed foods for preventing tooth decay.
Wed, 10 August 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0111.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: Erigeron floribundus; essential oil; antimicrobial; NadD; Trypanosoma brucei; cytotoxicity; antioxidant; limonene; caryophyllene oxide
Online: 10 August 2016 (12:36:57 CEST)
Erigeron floribundus (Asteraceae) is an herbaceous plant widely used in the Cameroonian traditional medicine to treat various diseases of microbial and non-microbial origin. In the present study we evaluated the in vitro biological activities displayed by the essential oil obtained from the aerial parts of E. floribundus, namely the antioxidant, antimicrobial and antiproliferative activities. Moreover, we investigated the inhibitory effects of E. floribundus essential oil on nicotinate mononucleotide adenylyltransferase (NadD), a promising new target for developing novel antibiotics, and Trypanosoma brucei, the protozoan parasite responsible for Human African trypanosomiasis. The essential oil composition was dominated by spathulenol (12.2%), caryophyllene oxide (12.4%) and limonene (8.8%). The E. floribundus oil showed a good activity against Staphylococcus aureus (IZD of 14 mm, MIC of 512 µg/mL). Interestingly, it inhibited the NadD enzyme from S. aureus (IC50 of 98 µg/mL), with no effects on mammalian orthologue enzymes. In addition, T. brucei proliferation was inhibited with IC50 values of 33.5 µg/mL with the essential oil and 5.6 µg/mL with the active component limonene. The essential oil exhibited strong cytotoxicity on HCT 116 colon carcinoma cells with an IC50 value of 14.89 µg/mL, and remarkable ferric reducing antioxidant power (TEAC= 411.9 μmol TE/g).
Thu, 23 February 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: alfalfa; drought; microRNA; small RNA; differential expression
Online: 23 February 2017 (09:50:07 CET)
Alfalfa, an important legume forage, is an ideal crop for sustainable agriculture and a potential bioenergy plant. Drought, one of the most common environmental stresses, substantially affects plants’ growth, development and productivity. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are newly discovered gene expression regulators that have been linked to several plant stress responses. To elucidate the role of miRNAs in drought stress regulation of alfalfa, a high-throughput sequencing approach was used to analyze 12 small RNA libraries comprising of 4 samples, each with 3 biological replicates. We identified 348 known miRNAs, belonging to 80 miRNA families, from the 12 libraries and 281 novel miRNAs using Mireap software. 18 known miRNAs in roots and 12 known miRNAs in leaves were screened out as drought-responsive miRNAs. Except for miR319d and miR157a which were upregulated under drought stress, the expression pattern of drought-responsive miRNAs were different between roots and leaves in alfalfa. This is the first study discovering miR157a, miR1507, miR3512, miR3630, miR5213, miR5294, miR5368 and miR6173 are drought-responsive miRNAs. Target transcripts of drought-responsive miRNAs were computationally predicted. All 447 target genes for the known miRNAs were predicted using an online tool. This study provides a significant insight on understanding drought-responsive mechanisms of alfalfa.
Wed, 8 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0097.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: convalescent plasma; serology; pathogen reduction technologies; pathogen inactivation; COVID-19; SARS-CoV2
Online: 8 April 2020 (11:43:14 CEST)
Convalescent blood product therapy has been introduced since early 1900s to treat emerging infectious disease based on the evidence that polyclonal neutralizing antibodies can reduce duration of viremia. Recent large outbreaks of viral diseases for whom effective antivirals or vaccines are still lacking has revamped the interest in convalescent plasma as life-saving treatments. This review summarizes historical settings of application, and surveys current technologies for collection, manufacturing, pathogen inactivation, and banking, with a focus on COVID-19.
Fri, 30 September 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201609.0123.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: carbonic anhydrase; acetylcholinesterase; β-Lactam; 2-Azetidinone; enzyme inhibition; enzyme purification
Online: 30 September 2016 (05:38:45 CEST)
β-Lactams are pharmacologically important compounds because of their various biological uses, including antibiotic and so on. β-Lactams were synthesized from benzylidene-inden derivatives and acetoxyacetyl chloride. The inhibitory effect of these compounds was also examined for human carbonic anhydrase I and II (hCA I, and II) and acetylcholinesterase (AChE). The results reveal that β-lactams are inhibitors of hCA I, II and AChE. The Ki values of β-lactams (2a-k) were 0.44-6.29 nM against hCA I, 0.93-8.34 nM against hCA II, and 0.25-1.13 nM against AChE. Our findings indicate that β-lactams (2a-k) inhibit both CA isoenzymes and AChE at low nanomolar concentrations.
Mon, 10 October 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0028.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: mercury; antioxidants; cardiovascular diseases; cardiotoxicity; chelating agents
Online: 10 October 2016 (09:49:50 CEST)
Environmental contamination has exposed humans to various metal agents, including mercury. It has been determined that mercury is not only harmful to the health of vulnerable populations such as pregnant women and children, but is also toxic to ordinary adults in various ways. For many years, mercury was used in a wide variety of human activities. Nowadays, the exposure to this metal from both natural and artificial sources is significantly increasing. Recent studies suggest that chronic exposure, even to low concentration levels of mercury, can cause cardiovascular, reproductive and developmental toxicity, neurotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and carcinogenicity. Possible biological effects of mercury, including the relationship between mercury toxicity and diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as hypertension, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction, are being studied. As heart rhythm and function are under autonomic nervous system control, it has been hypothesized that the neurotoxic effects of mercury might also impact cardiac autonomic function. Mercury exposure could have a long-lasting effect on cardiac parasympathetic activity and some evidence show that mercury exposure might affect heart rate variability, particularly early exposures in children. The mechanism by which mercury produces toxic effects on the cardiovascular system is not fully elucidated, but this mechanism is believed to involve an increase in oxidative stress. The exposure to mercury increases the production of free radicals, potentially because of the role of mercury in the Fenton reaction and a reduction in the activity of antioxidant enzymes, such as glutathione peroxidase. In this review we report an overview on the toxicity of mercury and focus our attention on the toxic effects on the cardiovascular system.
Tue, 11 December 2018
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0137.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: microscopy, fluorescence, machine learning, deep learning, inverse problems, image reconstruction, image restoration, super-resolution, deconvolution, spectral unmixing
Online: 11 December 2018 (17:03:14 CET)
Deep Learning is a recent and important addition to the computational toolbox available for image reconstruction in fluorescence microscopy. We review state-of-the-art applications such as image restoration, super-resolution, and light-field imaging, and discuss how the latest Deep Learning research can be applied to other image reconstruction tasks such as structured illumination, spectral deconvolution, and sample stabilisation. Despite its successes, Deep Learning also poses significant challenges, has often misunderstood capabilities, and overlooked limits. We will address key questions, such as: What are the challenges in obtaining training data? Can we discover structures not present in the training data? And, what is the danger of inferring unsubstantiated image details?
Mon, 13 February 2017
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0037.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: tumor microenvironment; nanoparticle; nanotheronostics; probe; imaging
Online: 13 February 2017 (09:33:16 CET)
Long gone was the time when tumors were thought to be insular masses of cells, residing independently at specific sites in an organ. Now, researchers gradually realize that tumors interact with the extracellular matrix (ECM), blood vessels, connective tissues and immune cells in their environment, which is now known as the tumor microenvironment (TME). It is found that the interactions between tumors and their surrounding promote tumor growth, invasion and metastasis. The dynamics and diversity of TME cause the tumors to be heterogeneous and thus pose a challenge for cancer diagnosis, drug design and therapy. As TME is significant in enhancing tumor progression, it is vital to identify the different components in the TME. This review explores how different factors in the TME supply tumors with the required growth factors and signaling molecules to proliferate, invade and metastasis. We also examine the development of TME-targeted nanotheranostics over the recent years for cancer therapy, diagnosis and anticancer drug delivery system. This review further discusses the limitations and future perspective of nanoparticle based theranostics when used in combination with current imaging modalities like Optical Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Nuclear Imaging (PET and SPECT).
Fri, 14 December 2018
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0170.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: bacterial nanocellulose; nanofibrillated nanocellulose; animal nanocellulose; algal nanocellulose; tissue engineering; tissue repair; wound dressing; cell delivery; drug delivery; antimicrobial properties
Online: 14 December 2018 (06:44:53 CET)
Nanocellulose is cellulose in the form of nanostructures, i.e. features not exceeding 100 nm at least in one dimension. These nanostructures include nanofibrils, e.g. in bacterial cellulose; nanofibers, e.g. in electrospun matrices; nanowhiskers and nanocrystals. These structures can be further assembled into bigger 2D and 3D nano-, micro- and macro-structures, such as nanoplatelets, membranes, films, microparticles and porous macroscopic matrices. There are four main sources of nanocellulose: bacteria (Gluonacetobacter), plants (trees, shrubs, herbs), algae (Cladophora) and animals (Tunicata). Nanocellulose has emerged for a wide range of industrial, technology and biomedical applications, e.g. for adsorption, ultrafiltration, packaging, conservation of historical artifacts, thermal insulation and fire retardation, energy extraction and storage, acoustics, sensorics, controlled drug delivery, and particularly for tissue engineering. Nanocellulose is promising for use in scaffolds for engineering of blood vessels, neural tissue, bone, cartilage, liver, adipose tissue, urethra and dura mater, for repairing connective tissue and congenital heart defects, and for constructing contact lenses and protective barriers. This review is focused on applications of nanocellulose in skin tissue engineering and wound healing as a scaffold for cell growth, for delivering cells into wounds, and as a material for advanced wound dressings coupled with drug delivery, transparency and sensorics. Potential cytotoxicity and immunogenicity of nanocellulose are also discussed.
Thu, 8 June 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201706.0039.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: educational attainment; polygenes; polygenic selection; IQ; GWAS
Online: 8 June 2017 (08:11:07 CEST)
Background: The genetic variants identified by three large genome-wide association studies (GWAS) of educational attainment and the largest intelligence GWAS were used to test a polygenic selection model. Methods: Average frequencies of alleles with positive effect (polygenic scores or PS) were compared across populations (N=26) using data from 1000 Genomes. Factor analysis was used to extract a signal of polygenic selection. Results: A polygenic selection factor of educational attainment GWAS hits is high among a handful of SNPs within genomic regions replicated across GWAS publications and it is highly correlated to the genetic intelligence factor (r= 0.96). These factors are both highly predictive of average population IQ (r=0.9), and are robust to tests of spatial autocorrelation. Several Monte Carlo simulations yielded highly significant p values. Furthermore, the polygenic selection model shows high replicability, with the EA and intelligence factor scores being virtually identical to those from an older study (r=0.96-0.99). A larger sample of populations (N=53) produced similar results. Conclusion: This study shows robust results after accounting for spatial autocorrelation and Monte Carlo simulation using random SNPs and shows robust reproducibility of results from a previous study.
Thu, 4 August 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201608.0043.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: enveloped viruses; viral glycoproteins; endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation; ERAD; unfolded protein response; UPR; ER stress
Online: 4 August 2016 (11:44:59 CEST)
Enveloped viruses represent a significant category of pathogens that cause serious diseases in animals. These viruses express envelope glycoproteins that are singularly important during infection of host cells by mediating fusion between the viral envelope and host cell membranes. Despite low homology at protein levels, three classes of viral fusion proteins have, as of yet, been identified based on structural similarities. Their incorporation into viral particles is dependent upon their proper sub-cellular localization after being expressed and folded properly in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, viral protein expression can cause stress in the ER, and host cells respond to alleviate the ER stress in the form of the unfolded protein response (UPR); the effects of which have been observed potentiating or inhibiting viral infection. One important arm of UPR is to elevate the capacity of the ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway, which is comprised of host quality control machinery that ensures proper protein folding. In this review, we provide relevant details regarding viral envelope glycoproteins, UPR, ERAD, and their interactions in host cells.
Thu, 29 December 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0142.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: aflatoxin B1; transaminases; hepatocellular carcinoma; Saudi patients; liver dysfunction
Online: 29 December 2016 (10:59:51 CET)
Background: Exposure to chronic low levels of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) contamination can lead to immune suppression and nutritional consequences that might greatly contributed in the increase of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The toxicity of AFB1 is greatly vary between different population, affected by age, gender, and environmental factors. Material and subjects: Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) was measured in 50 blood samples collected from non B, C hepatitis viruses and non CMV-Ab liver disease patients from different general hospitals and polyclinic in KSA during period 01-2013 to 06-2014. All Patients demonstrate elevation of ALT and AST with unknown etiology. Serum samples were obtained and kept at −20 °C for AFB1detection. Results: Out of the 50 blood samples, 38 demonstrate a detectable serum level of AFB1 while the remaining 12 patients were AFB1 negative and used as control participants. While AST was non-significantly different in AFB1 exposed patients, ALT was significantly higher in AFB1 positive samples compared to control AFB1-negative. AFB1 was positively correlated with AST and ALT as liver function enzymes and with age as a risk factor of long duration of AFB1 chronic exposure. Multiple linear regression analysis ascertained the association between AFB1 chronic exposure and ALT increase in liver dysfunction Saudi patients. Conclusion: Measurement of elevated ALT as marker of liver injury in AFB1 chronically exposed Saudi patients can help to avoid the future development of HCC. Moreover, early detection of AFB1 exposure, together with early vaccination against HBV and HCV can remove the synergistic effects of these two etiological factors and thus decrease the risk of developing liver cancer.
Fri, 14 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0054.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: energy metabolism; respiration; fermentation; auxotrophy; retrograde response
Online: 14 October 2016 (10:58:50 CEST)
Background: The control of energy metabolism is fundamental for cell growth and function, and anomalies are implicated in complex diseases and ageing. It is important for cells to carefully tune metabolic pathways to optimize their function in response to different nutrient or physiological conditions. Metabolism in yeast cells can be easily manipulated by supplying different carbon sources: on glucose yeast rapidly proliferates by fermentation, analogous to tumour cells growing by aerobic glycolysis, whereas on non-fermentable carbon sources metabolism shifts towards respiration. Results: We screened deletion libraries of fission yeast to identify over 200 genes required for respiratory growth. The growth medium and auxotrophic mutants strongly influenced respiratory metabolism. Most genes uncovered in the mutant screens have not been implicated in respiration in budding yeast. We applied gene expression profiling approaches to compare steady-state fermentative and respiratory growth and to analyse the dynamic adaptation to respiratory growth. The transcript levels of most genes functioning in key energy metabolism pathways were coherently tuned, reflecting anticipated differences in metabolic flows between fermenting and respiring cells. We show that the acetyl-CoA synthase, rather than the citrate lyase, is essential for acetyl-CoA synthesis in fission yeast. We also investigated the transcriptional response to mitochondrial damage by genetic or chemical perturbations, defining a retrograde response that involves the concerted regulation of distinct groups of nuclear genes that may avert harm from mitochondrial malfunction. Conclusions: These systematic and targeted analyses provide a rich framework of the genetic and regulatory basis of fundamental metabolic states to guide future studies on energy metabolism in fission yeast and beyond. Our study pinpoints weaknesses of commonly used auxotroph mutants for investigating energy metabolism. As a model for cellular energy regulation, fission yeast provides an attractive and complementary system to budding yeast.
Fri, 3 April 2020
BRIEF REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0024.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-nCoV-2; vaccine; antibody; immune escape; variant; spike protein; genomic drift; convalescent plasma
Online: 3 April 2020 (04:24:52 CEST)
New coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) treatments and vaccines are under development to combat the COVID-19 disease. Several approaches are being used by scientists for investigation including 1) various small molecule approaches targeting RNA polymerase, 3C-like protease, and RNA endonuclease and 2) exploration of antibodies obtained from convalescent plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19. The coronavirus genome is highly prone to mutations that lead to genetic drift and escape from immune recognition; thus, it is imperative that sub-strains with different mutations are also accounted for during vaccine development. As the disease has grown to become a pandemic, new B-cell and T-cell epitopes predicted from SARS coronavirus have been reported. Using the epitope information along with variants of the virus, we have found several variants which might cause drifts. Among such variants, 23403A>G variant (p.D614G) in spike protein B-cell epitope is observed frequently in European countries such as the Netherlands, Switzerland and France.
Mon, 9 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0040.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: Sarcocystis neurona; EPM; docking; apicomplexans; phylogeny; homology modeling
Online: 9 January 2017 (05:19:32 CET)
The apicomplexan parasite, Sarcocystis neurona causes the degenerative neurological equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune responses evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans. Further, three-dimensional (3D) homology models for selected S. neurona putative PKs were constructed and evaluated for inhibitor docking. We identified 92 putative PKs clustering within the AGC, CAMK, CK1, CMGC, STE, TKL, aPK and OPK groups. Although containing the universally conserved PKA (AGC group), S. neurona kinome was devoid of PKB and PKC, but contained the six apicomplexan conserved CDPKs (CAMK group). The OPK group was represented by ROPKs 19A, 27, 30, 33, 35 and 37, but was devoid of the virulence-associated ROPKs 5, 6, 18 and 38. Two out of the three S. neurona CK1 enzymes had high sequence similarities to T. gondii TgCK1-α and TgCK1-β and the Plasmodium PfCK1. Docking of four inhibitors onto homology models of putative ROP27 and PKA indicated that inhibition of S. neurona PKs is feasible, but needs to be experimentally tested. The essentiality of apicomplexan PKs makes the elucidation of S. neurona kinome a key milestone for development of novel therapeutics for EPM.
Mon, 24 October 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201610.0101.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Immunology Keywords: reactive oxygen species (ROS); asthma; montelukast; long-acting β2 agonist (LABA); corticosteroid; monocyte
Online: 24 October 2016 (05:50:30 CEST)
Asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disease induced by many environmental factors. The inhalation of allergens and pollutants promote the reactive oxygen species (ROS) production leading to airway inflammation, hyper-responsiveness and remodeling in allergic asthma. The effects of asthma medications on ROS production are unclear. The present study investigated the anti-ROS effects of current asthma medications including inhaled corticosteroid (ICS; budesonide and fluticasone), leukotriene receptor antagonist (LTRA; montelukast), long acting β2 agonists (LABAs; salmeterol and formoterol) and a new extra-LABA (indacaterol). The human monocyte cell line THP-1 cells were pre-treated with different concentrations of the asthma medications at different time-points after hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) stimulation. H2O2 production was measured with DCFH-DA by flow cytometry. Montelukast, fluticasone and salmeterol suppressed H2O2-induced ROS production. Indacaterol enhanced H2O2-induced ROS production. Budesonide and formoterol alone had no anti-ROS effects, but the combination of these two drugs significantly suppressed H2O2-induced ROS production. Different asthma medications have different anti-ROS effects on monocytes. The combination therapy with LABA and ICS seemed not be the only choice for asthma control. Montelukast may be also a good supplemental treatment for the poorly-controlled asthma because of its powerful anti-ROS effects. Our findings provide a novel therapeutic view in asthma.
Fri, 25 November 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0128.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: time slice LC-SPE-NMR/MS; GC-MS; LC-MS/MS; triterpenoid saponins; Barbarea vulgaris
Online: 25 November 2016 (10:04:12 CET)
Recently the number of studies investigating triterpenoid saponins has drastically increased due to their diverse and potentially attractive biological activities. Currently the literature contains chemical structures of few hundreds of triterpenoid saponins of plant and animal origin. Triterpenoid saponins consist of a triterpene aglycone with one or more sugar moieties attached to it. However, due to similar physico-chemical properties, isolation and identification of a large diversity of triterpenoid saponins remain challenging. This study demonstrates a methodology to screen saponins using hyphenated analytical platforms, GC-MS, LC-MS/MS, and LC-SPE-NMR/MS, in the example of two different phenotypes of the model plant Barbarea vulgaris (winter cress), glabrous (G) and pubescent (P) type that are known to differ by their insect resistance. The proposed methodology allows for detailed comparison of saponin profiles from intact plant extracts as well as saponin aglycone profiles from hydrolysed samples. Continuously measured 1D proton NMR data during LC separation along with mass spectrometry data revealed significant differences, including contents of saponins, types of aglycones and numbers of sugar moieties attached to the aglycone. A total of 49 peaks were tentatively identified as saponins from both plants; they are derived from eight types of aglycones and with 2–5 sugar moieties. Identification of two previously known insect-deterrent saponins, hederagenin cellobioside and oleanolic acid cellobioside, demonstrated the applicability of the methodology for relatively rapid screening of bioactive compounds.
Mon, 9 January 2017
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0046.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: cancer; microRNA; gene therapy; oncogene; tumor suppressor gene
Online: 9 January 2017 (10:24:03 CET)
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are a kind of conserved small non-coding RNAs that participate in regulating gene expression by targeting multiple molecules. Early studies have shown that the expression of miRNAs changes significantly in different tumor tissues and cancer cell lines. It is well acknowledged that such variation is involved in almost all biological processes, including cell proliferation, mobility, survival and differentiation. Increasing experimental data indicate that miRNA dysregulation is a biomarker of several pathological conditions including cancer, and that miRNA can exert a causal role, as oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes, in different steps of the tumorigenic process. Anticancer therapies based on miRNAs are currently being developed with a goal to improve outcomes of cancer treatment. In our present study, we review the function of miRNAs in tumorigenesis and development, and discuss the latest clinical applications and strategies of therapy targeting miRNAs in cancer.
Tue, 31 January 2017
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0136.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Aquatic-toxic effects; EU chemical regulation; Glyoxal-containing cellulose ether
Online: 31 January 2017 (12:10:39 CET)
The objective of this study is to investigate the aquatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether with four different glyoxal concentrations (0, 1.4, 2.3 and 6.3%) in response to global chemical regulations, e.g., European Union Classification, Labeling and Packaging (EU CLP). Tests of the aquatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether on 11 freeze-dried microbial strains, Microcystis aeruginosa, Daphnia magna and zebrafish embryos were designed as an initial stage for toxicity screening, and were performed with the standardized toxicity test guidelines. Glyoxal-containing cellulose ether showed no significant toxic effects in the toxicity tests for the 11 freeze-dried microbial strains, Daphnia magna and zebrafish embryos. Alternatively, 6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether led to more than a 60% reduction of Microcystis aeruginosa growth after 7 days of exposure. Approximately 10% developmental abnormalities (e.g., bent spine) in zebrafish embryos were also observed in the group exposed to 6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether after 6 days of exposure. These results imply that <6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether results in non-toxic effects on the acute toxicity of aquatic organisms. However, ≥6.3% glyoxal-containing cellulose ether may affect the health of aquatic organisms with long-term exposure. In order to better evaluate the eco-safety of cellulosic products contained in glyoxal, further studies regarding the toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulose ether with long-term exposure are required. The results from this study allow us to evaluate the auatic-toxic effects of glyoxal-containing cellulosic products, under EU chemical regulations, on the health of aquatic organisms.
Thu, 8 December 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0044.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Polyalthia suaveolens; Uvaria angolensis; Monodora tenuifolia; Plasmodium falciparum K1; toxicity; antimalarial
Online: 8 December 2016 (08:59:49 CET)
The present study aimed at investigating the in vitro and in vivo susceptibility of malaria parasites to crude extracts and fractions from Polyalthia suaveolens, Uvaria angolensis, and Monodora tenuifolia. The ethanolic extracts were prepared by maceration, and were further partitioned using water, dichloromethane, hexane, and methanol. The most promising fraction was subjected to column chromatography and the sub-fractions tested for activity in vitro. The antiplasmodial effect of extracts and fractions was tested against the Chloroquine resistant (PfK1) strain in 96 wells microtiter plate format using SYBR green florescence assay. The promising fraction was further assessed for cytotoxicity and acute toxicity in Swiss albino mice and subsequently against the rodent malaria parasite, P. berghei. Qualitative phytochemical screening was also performed on the promising fraction. The methanol fractions exerted the overall better effect with that of the twigs of P. suaveolens (PStw(Ace)) showing the highest potency with a IC50 value of 3.24 µg/mL followed by the fractions of leaf of M. tenuifolia (MoTel(Ace), IC50= 3.84 µg/ml) and stem bark of P. suaveolens (IC50= 4.90 µg/ml). The phytochemical screening showed the presence of alkaloids, lactones, and phenols in the more active fraction of P. suaveolens (PStw(Ace)). The chromatographic fractionation of this fraction led to 12 sub-fractions with PS8 sub-fraction being the most active (IC50= 4.42 µg/mL). In vivo, oral administration of 2000 mg/kg b.w of fraction PStw(Ace) in mice showed no signs of toxicity. Also, fraction PStw(Ace) at 400 mg/kg b.w exerted the highest suppressive effect against P. berghei strain B throughout the 4 days experiment (% parasitaemia below 5.2%). Overall, the results achieved supported the use of the three plants in the traditional treatment of malaria in Cameroon. More interestingly, the methanolic fraction of the twigs extract from P. suaveolens might be of interest in future development of an antimalarial phytodrug.
Thu, 17 November 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0093.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: diabetes mellitus; cardiomyopathy; hyperglycemia; oxidative stress; aspalathin; Nrf2
Online: 17 November 2016 (11:07:56 CET)
Aspalathin (ASP) can protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes against high glucose (HG)-induced shifts in myocardial substrate preference, oxidative stress and apoptosis. While the protective mechanism of aspalathin remains unknown, nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2) has emerged as a key factor for intracellular responses against oxidative stress. Therefore, we hypothesized that aspalathin protects the myocardium against hyperglycemia-induced oxidative damage by up-regulating Nrf2 expression in H9c2 cardiomyocytes and diabetic (db/db) mice. Using an oxidative stress RT2 Profiler PCR array, ASP at a dose of 1 µM was demonstrated to protect H9c2 cardiomyocytes against HG-induced oxidative stress, but silencing of Nrf2 abolished this protective response of ASP and exacerbated cardiomyocyte apoptosis. Db/db mice and their non-diabetic (db/+) littermate controls were subsequently treated daily for 6 weeks with either a low (13 mg/kg) or high (130 mg/kg) ASP dose. Compared to nondiabetic mice the db/db mice presented increased cardiac remodeling and enlarged left ventricular wall that occurred concomitant to enhanced oxidative stress. Daily treatment of mice with ASP at a dose of 130 mg/kg for 6 weeks was more effective at reversing complications than both a low dose ASP or metformin, eliciting enhanced expression of Nrf2 and its downstream antioxidant genes. These results indicate that ASP maintains cellular homeostasis and protects the myocardium against hyperglycemia-induced stress through activation of Nrf2 and its downstream target genes.
Thu, 24 November 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0121.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: tissue microarray; immunohistochemistry; cancer imaging; tyrosine kinase receptor; normal tissue; colon cancer
Online: 24 November 2016 (11:07:23 CET)
Targeted image-guided oncologic surgery (IGOS) relies on the recognition of cell surface-associated proteins, which should be abundantly present on the tumor cells but preferably absent on cells in surrounding healthy tissue. The transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase EphA2, a member of the A class of the Eph receptor family, has been reported to be highly overexpressed in several tumor types including breast, lung, brain, prostate, and colon cancer, and is considered amongst the most promising cell membrane-associated tumor antigens by the NIH. Another member of the Eph receptor family belonging to the B class, EphB4, has also been found to be up-regulated in multiple cancer types. In this study, EphaA2 and EphB4 are evaluated as target for IGOS of colorectal cancer by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using a tissue microarray (TMA) consisting of 168 pairs of tumor and normal tissue. The IHC sections were scored for staining intensity and percentage of cells stained. The results show a significantly enhanced staining intensity and more widespread distribution in tumor tissue compared with adjacent normal tissue for EphA2 as well as EphB4. Based on its more consistently higher score in colorectal tumor tissue compared to normal tissue, EphB4 appears to be an especially promising candidate for IGOS of colorectal cancer.
Fri, 12 May 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0106.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: propolis; NIR spectroscopy; flavonoids; antioxidant capacity
Online: 12 May 2017 (05:53:14 CEST)
Propolis is a bee product widely used as a dietary supplement and included in sweets or baby foods due to its well-known antioxidant and nutritional properties that are directly correlated with its phenolic composition. For this reason, this study analysed the total contents of flavones and flavonols, flavanones and dihydroflavonols, and the antioxidant capacity by using the methods of ABTS and linoleic acid/β-carotene in 99 samples of propolis from Spain and Chile. A rapid method was developed for quantifying these parameters in raw propolis using near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy with an optical fibre probe of remote reflectance applied directly to the ground up sample. The models developed allow the determination of the total of flavones and flavonols (0-183 mg rutin/ g propolis), of the total of flavanones and dihydroflavonols (9-109 mg pinocembrin/ g propolis extract), and the antioxidant capacity by the ABTS method (0-3212 nmolesTrolox/ mg of propolis) and of linoleic acid/β-carotene (22-86% inhibition). The NIR spectroscopy models were applied in external validation to different samples of the calibration group, which led to the conclusion that the methods developed provide significantly identical data to the initial chemical data of reference.
Wed, 25 January 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201701.0111.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: aldo-keto reductases; cigarette smoke; smokeless tobacco products; nicotine; oral cavity cells; xenobiotic metabolism
Online: 25 January 2017 (04:20:07 CET)
Smoking has been established as a major risk factor for developing oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC), but less attention has been paid to the effects of smokeless tobacco products. Our objective is to identify potential biomarkers to distinguish the biological effects of combustible tobacco products from those of non-combustible using oral cell lines. Normal human gingival epithelial cells (HGEC), non-metastatic (101A) and metastatic (101B) OSCC cell lines were exposed to different tobacco product preparations (TPPs) including cigarette smoke total particulate matter (TPM), whole-smoke conditioned media (WS-CM), smokeless tobacco extract in complete artificial saliva (STE), or nicotine (NIC) alone. We performed microarray-based gene expression profiling and found 3456 probe sets from 101A, 1432 probe sets from 101B, and 2717 probe sets from HGEC to be differentially expressed. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) revealed xenobiotic metabolism and steroid biosynthesis were the top two pathways that were upregulated by combustible but not by non-combustible TPPs. Notably, aldo-keto reductase genes, AKR1C1 and AKR1C2, were the core genes in the top enriched pathways and were statistically upregulated more than 8 fold by combustible TPPs. Our qRT-PCR results statistically support AKR1C1 as a potential biomarker for differentiating the biological effects of combustible from non-combustible tobacco products.
Thu, 2 April 2020
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0018.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: COVID-19 response; MERS-CoV; Saudi Arabia; travel restrictions; Pandemic preparedness
Online: 2 April 2020 (12:08:33 CEST)
Nearly three months have passed since the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), which caused the rapidly spreading Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. To date, there have been more than 550,000 confirmed cases and more than 25,000 deaths globally caused by COVID-19. Chinese health authorities, where the virus emerged, have taken prompt strict public health measures to control and prevent the spread of the outbreak. In the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, unprecedented precautionary strict measures were applied to slow virus entry and to mitigate the risk of the outbreak. Here, we review the experience learned during the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) epidemic in Saudi Arabia, which has been in the country since 2012, and is expected to have helped the country to be well prepared for the current COVID-19 pandemic. We also discuss the country readiness, improvement in research and development, and the unprecedented rapid precautionary measures that have been taken by the Saudi government thus far.
Sun, 13 October 2019
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0146.v1
Online: 13 October 2019 (15:51:58 CEST)
Thu, 4 May 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0041.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: core-shell; disinfection; Escherichia coli; nanoparticles; pathogens; silver; solar-photocatalysis; Staphylococcus aureus; water; zinc oxide
Online: 4 May 2017 (11:32:16 CEST)
Water borne pathogens present a threat to human health and their disinfection from water poses a challenge, prompting search for newer methods and newer materials. Disinfection of Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli and Gram-positive coccal bacterium Staphylococcus aureus in aqueous matrix was achieved within 60 and 90 minutes respectively at 35⁰C using solar-photocatalysis mediated by sonochemically synthesized [email protected] core-shell nanoparticles. The efficiency of the process increased with increase in temperature and at 55⁰C the disinfection could be achieved in 45 and 60 min respectively for the two bacteria. A new ultrasound assisted chemical precipitation technique was used for the synthesis of [email protected] core-shell nanoparticles. The characteristics of the synthesized material were established using physical techniques. The material remained stable even at 400o C. Disinfection efficiency of the [email protected] core-shell nanoparticles was confirmed in case of real world water samples from pond, river, municipal tap and was found to be better than that of pure ZnO and TiO2 (Degussa P25). When the nanoparticle based catalyst was recycled and reused for subsequent disinfection experiments, its efficiency did not change remarkably even after three cycles. The sonochemically synthesized [email protected] core-shell nanoparticles have a good potential for application in solar photocatalytic disinfection of water borne pathogens.
Thu, 11 May 2017
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0095.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: indigenous goats; free range; milk production; milk composition
Online: 11 May 2017 (07:52:28 CEST)
This study was conducted to evaluate the yield and quality parameters of milk from 60 indigenous South African goats of different genotypes namely Nguni, Boer and Non- descript reared under a free ranging system. Milk yield and quality parameters (milk fat, protein, lactose, solid non-fat and minerals) from Nguni (10), Boer (10) and Non-descript (10) goats was measured and analysed per week at each stage of lactation. Result showed that, Nguni goats produced (1.2±0.09, 1.3±0.11 and 1.2±0.07 litres per day) more milk (P ˂ 0.05) at early, mid and late stages of lactation than Boer (0.6±0.10, 1.0±0.17 and 0.6±0.09 litres per day) and Non-descript (0.3±0.10, 0.3±0.12 and 0.3±0.09 litres per day) goats, respectively. The mean value of milk fat, protein and lactose content from Nguni goat was (3.98, 3.54 and 5.31); Boer goat (2.9, 3.59 and 5.04) and Non-descript goat (4.05, 3.39 and 5.02), respectively. There was significant effect (P ˂ 0.05) of genotypes on milk fat, milk magnesium and sodium contents of Nguni, Boer and Non-descript goats. It could be concluded that, Nguni goat produced more milk than Boer and Non-descript goats, but the Non-descript goat had higher mean percentage of milk fat compared to Nguni and Boer goats.
Fri, 20 March 2020
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: SARS-CoV2; spike; receptor–ligand docking; super infection
Online: 20 March 2020 (08:30:40 CET)
SARS-CoV2 (corona virus) has spread globally at an unprecedented rate; so far, increasing SARS-CoV2-infected individuals have been identified. Although the situation in China is improving and is currently under control, the outbreak in other countries and its pandemic management is only beginning to develop. Based on 154 SARS-CoV2 genome sequence analyses, we used receptor–ligand docking to identify one potential point mutation (V354F) on the spike structure which enhances spike binding to ACE2 receptors underlying potential super infection. Importantly, the V354F site on spike S1 had been identified in 5/10 infected French patients living in Paris, who sharing 100% identical SARS-CoV2 genomes. With Covid-19 cases increasing rapidly in France that could lead to a new explosion, we suggest that the French government should identify all potential super spreaders and treat them accordingly. In summary, our study provides on of the measures to avoid the potential second worldwide explosion of SARS-CoV2.
Wed, 9 November 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0055.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biotechnology Keywords: hybridization analysis; nucleic acids; optical biosensors; electrochemical biosensors; micromechanical (piezoelectric) sensors
Online: 9 November 2016 (10:28:58 CET)
In review, the operating principles of the most common bio sensing devices, detection methods and the identification sensitivity of analyzed molecules were shown. The central focus was done on hybridization analysis of nucleic acids (NA), which are considered to be one of the most important analytes in terms of diagnostic point of view. Constructions enabling to transfer the fact of formation of nucleotide probe/target complex in to detectable signal by optical, electrochemical or micromechanical (piezoelectric) sensors were presented in this review.
Thu, 17 November 2016
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201611.0087.v1
Online: 17 November 2016 (10:40:58 CET)
Oxidative stress occurs when cells are exposed to elevated levels of reactive oxygen species that could damage biological molecules. One bacterial response to oxidative stress involves disulfide bond formation either between protein thiols or between protein thiols and low-molecular-weight thiols. Bacillithiol was recently identified as a major low-molecular-weight thiol in Bacillus subtilis and related Firmicutes. Four genes (bshA, bshB1, bshB2 and bshC) are involved in bacillithiol biosynthesis. The bshA and bshB1 genes are part of a seven-gene operon (ypjD), which includes the essential gene cca, encoding CCA-tRNA nucleotidyltransferase. The inclusion of cca in the operon containing bacillithiol biosynthetic genes suggests that the integrity of the 3’ terminus of tRNAs may also be important in oxidative stress. Addition of the 3´ terminal CCA sequence by CCA-tRNA nucleotidyltransferase to give a mature tRNA and functional molecules ready for aminoacylation plays an essential role during translation and expression of the genetic code. Any defects in these processes, for example, the accumulation of shorter and defective tRNAs under oxidative stress, could exert a deleterious effect on cells. This review summarizes the physiological link between tRNACys regulation and oxidative stress in Bacillus.
Thu, 29 December 2016
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201612.0145.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: ATP-dependent proteolysis, Non-native membrane proteins, Periplasmic domain, Crystal structure, Photosystem II.
Online: 29 December 2016 (17:16:52 CET)
Prompt removal of misfolded membrane proteins and misassembled membrane protein complexes is essential for membrane homeostasis. However, the elimination of these toxic proteins from the hydrophobic membrane environment has high energetic barriers. Transmembrane FtsH is the only known ATP-dependent protease responsible for this task, unlike other well-studied soluble ATP-dependent proteases. The mechanisms by which FtsH recognizes, unfolds, translocates, and proteolyzes its substrates remain unclear. Here, we report the crystal structures of the Thermotoga maritima FtsH periplasmic domain (PD) in an associative trimeric state at a 1.5-1.95 Å resolution. We also describe the pH-dependent oligomerization states of the isolated PD using dynamic light scattering. These observations help us understand how FtsH recognizes membrane-anchored misfolded proteins.
Mon, 16 January 2017