We are excited to highlight new research from the IUBMB Journals: IUBMB Life, BioFactors, Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry, and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education.
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Jaime Balderas-Villalobos, J. M. Lourdes Medina-Contreras, Christopher Lynch, Rajiv Kabadi, Janée Hayles, Rafael J. Ramirez, Alex Y. Tan, Karoly Kaszala, Montserrat Samsó, Jose F. Huizar, Jose M. Eltit
First published: 10 July 2023
Frequent premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) promoted eccentric cardiac hypertrophy and reduced ejection fraction (EF) in a large animal model of PVC-induced cardiomyopathy (PVC-CM), but the molecular mechanisms and markers of this hypertrophic remodeling remain unexplored. Healthy mongrel canines were implanted with pacemakers to deliver bigeminal PVCs (50% burden with 200–220 ms coupling interval). After 12 weeks, left ventricular (LV) free wall samples were studied from PVC-CM and Sham groups. In addition to reduced LV ejection fraction (LVEF), the PVC-CM group showed larger cardiac myocytes without evident ultrastructural alterations compared to the Sham group. Biochemical markers of pathological hypertrophy, such as store-operated Ca2+ entry, calcineurin/NFAT pathway, β-myosin heavy chain, and skeletal type α-actin were unaltered in the PVC-CM group. In contrast, pro-hypertrophic and antiapoptotic pathways including ERK1/2 and AKT/mTOR were activated and/or overexpressed in the PVC-CM group, which appeared counterbalanced by an overexpression of protein phosphatase 1 and a borderline elevation of the anti-hypertrophic factor atrial natriuretic peptide. Moreover, the potent angiogenic and pro-hypertrophic factor VEGF-A and its receptor VEGFR2 were significantly elevated in the PVC-CM group. In conclusion, a molecular program is in place to keep this structural remodeling associated with frequent PVCs as an adaptive pathological hypertrophy.
Tamara Dakic, Ksenija Velickovic, Iva Lakic, Aleksandra Ruzicic, Andjela Milicevic, Nikola Plackic, Predrag Vujovic, Tanja Jevdjovic
First published: 21 July 2023
Brown adipose tissue (BAT) converts chemical energy into heat to maintain body temperature. Although fatty acids (FAs) represent a primary substrate for uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1)-dependent thermogenesis, BAT also utilizes glucose for the same purpose. Considering that estrous cycle effects on BAT are not greatly explored, we examined those of 6-h fasting on interscapular BAT (iBAT) thermogenic markers in proestrus and diestrus. We found that the percentage of multilocular adipocytes was lower in proestrus than in diestrus, although it was increased after fasting in both analyzed estrous cycle stages. Furthermore, the percentage of paucilocular adipocytes was increased by fasting, unlike the percentage of unilocular cells, which decreased in both analyzed stages of the estrous cycle. The UCP1 amount was lower in proestrus irrespectively of the examined dietary regimens. Regarding FA transporters, it was shown that iBAT CD36 content was increased in fasted rats in diestrus. In contrast to GLUT1, the level of GLUT4 was interactively modulated by selected estrous cycle phases and fasting. There was no change in insulin receptor and ERK1/2 activation, while AKT activation was interactively modulated by fasting and estrous cycle stages. Our study showed that iBAT exhibits morphological and functional changes in proestrus and diestrus. Moreover, iBAT undergoes additional dynamic functional and morphological changes during short-term fasting to modulate nutrient utilization and adjust energy expenditure.
Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry
Je-Jin Ryu, Chang-Hyun Jang
First published: 21 July 2023
We report here a liquid crystal (LC)-based sensor for detecting serotonin (5-HT); the proposed sensor uses target-specific aptamer recognition at a cationic surfactant decorated-aqueous/LC interface. Our detection strategy focuses on the orientational transition of LCs upon biological interactions at the interface. In this sensing system, the cationic surfactant hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) forms a self-assembled monolayer at the aqueous/LC interface and triggers the homeotropic orientation of LCs. After introducing the 5-HT specific aptamer, an electrostatic attraction occurs between the cationic CTAB and anionic aptamer. This interaction destructs the surfactant monolayer at the interface, inducing reorganization of LC alignment from homeotropic to tilted conditions. In the increasing 5-HT levels, specific binding between 5-HT and the aptamer diminishes the interaction between the aptamer and CTAB, thereby maintaining the homeotropic alignment of LCs. The orientational transition of the LCs was observed under a polarized optical microscope. The developed biosensor has a linear detection range from 1 to 1000 nM and a detection limit of 1.68 nM. Moreover, the sensor was applied to a human urine sample and a detection limit of 2.25 nM was obtained. Overall, the designed LC-based sensor is a sensitive, simple, cost effective, and selective platform for detecting 5-HT in aqueous solutions.
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education
Muhammad Sajeer Paramabth, Manoj Varma
First published: 24 July 2023
The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique is one of the most potent tools in molecular biology. It is extensively used for various applications ranging from medical diagnostics to forensic science and food quality testing. This technique has facilitated to survive COVID-19 pandemic by identifying the virus-infected individuals effortlessly and effectively. This review explores the principles, recent advancements, challenges, and alternatives of PCR technique in the context of COVID-19 and fungal infections. The introduction of PCR technique for anyone new to this field is the primary aim of this review and thereby equips them to understand the science of COVID-19 and related fungal infections in a simplistic manner.
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Thanks to a partnership our publisher Wiley has signed with Jisc, certain UK institutions now have full access to journals published by Wiley, including the IUBMB Journals. Further, the partnership enables authors at participating UK institutions to publish open access at no cost to them in the IUBMB Journals. Payment of the associated Article Publication Charges (APC) would be covered via the partnership, and authors will not need to cover the APCs from their own pockets.
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Molecular Aspects of Medicine
Volume 91 (June 2023) 101151
Protein structure-based in-silico approaches to drug discovery: Guide to COVID-19 therapeutics
by Yash Gupta a, Oleksandr V. Savytskyi b f, Matt Coban b d, Amoghavarsha Venugopal a, Vasili Pleqi a, Caleb A. Weber b, Rohit Chitale a e, Ravi Durvasula a, Christopher Hopkins f, Prakasha Kempaiah a, Thomas R. Caulfield b c g h i
Aspects of Molecular Medicine
Volume 1 (2023) 100008
sgRNAs: A SARS-CoV-2 emerging issue
by Antonio Mori Antonio Mori 1, Denise Lavezzari 1, Elena Pomari, Michela Deiana, Chiara Piubelli, Maria Rosaria Capobianchi, Concetta Castilletti
Read an interview with the Section Editors of Aspects of Molecular Medicine and learn about their research backgrounds, motivation for taking on the role, and types of papers they would like to see submitted to the journal.