Biological insights from hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry

Author: Jaswal, S.S. Description: Over the past two decades, hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry (HXMS) has achieved the status of a widespread and routine approach in the structural biology toolbox. The ability of hydrogen exchange to detect a range of protein dynamics coupled with the accessibility of mass spectrometry to mixtures and large complexes at low concentrations result in an unmatched tool for investigating proteins challenging to many other structural techniques. Recent advances in methodology and data analysis are helping HXMS deliver on its potential to uncover the connection between conformation,…

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Biological function of laminin-5 and pathogenic impact of its deficiency

Author: Schneider, H.; Muhle, C.; Pacho, F. Description: The basement membrane glycoprotein laminin-5 is a key component of the anchoring complex connecting keratinocytes to the underlying dermis. It is secreted by keratinocytes as a cross-shaped heterotrimer of alpha3, beta3 and gamma2 chains and serves as a ligand of various transmembrane receptors, thereby regulating keratinocyte adhesion, motility and proliferation. In intact skin, laminin-5 provides essential links to both the hemidesmosomal alpha6beta4 integrin and the collagen type VII molecules which form the anchoring fibrils inserting into the dermis. If the basement membrane…

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p53: From Fundamental Biology to Clinical Applications in Cancer

Author: Capuozzo, Maurizio; Santorsola, Mariachiara; Bocchetti, Marco; Perri, Francesco; Cascella, Marco; Granata, Vincenza; Celotto, Venere; Gualillo, Oreste; Cossu, Alessia Maria; Nasti, Guglielmo; Caraglia, Michele; Ottaiano, Alessandro Description: p53 tumour suppressor gene is our major barrier against neoplastic transformation. It is involved in many cellular functions, including cell cycle arrest, senescence, DNA repair, apoptosis, autophagy, cell metabolism, ferroptosis, immune system regulation, generation of reactive oxygen species, mitochondrial function, global regulation of gene expression, miRNAs, etc. Its crucial importance is denounced by the high percentage of amino acid sequence identity between very…

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Assessing the Relevance of Herbarium Collections as Tools for Conservation Biology

Author: Nualart, Neus; Ibanez, Neus; Soriano, Ignasi; Lopez-Pujol, Jordi Description: Herbarium collections constitute permanent and often well-documented records of the distribution of taxa through space and time. Since their creation, their uses have dramatically expanded and with many new uses being proposed, including some for which herbaria were not initially intended for. In this paper we assess the potential of these collections on conservation biology, by providing exemplary studies that use herbarium specimens, grouped into four categories: (1) based on occurrence data, such as studies about plant extinction or introduction,…

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Harnessing the properties of cobalt coordination complexes for biological application

Author: Renfrew, A.K.; O’Neill, E.S.; Hambley, T.W.; New, E.J. Description: Cobalt is an essential metal that is found in very low abundance in the body and the environment. Cobalt coordination complexes exhibit interesting redox and magnetic properties that make them suitable for a remarkable breadth of applications in biology and medicine. Here we review the diversity of uses of cobalt complexes in imaging and therapy, and highlight the most promising directions for future research. Subject Headings: Cobalt; Transition metal complexes; Redox chemistry; Inorganic pharmaceuticals; MRI contrast agents; Bioactive molecules; Fluorophores…

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Sedaxane, Isopyrazam and Solatenol: Novel Broad-spectrum Fungicides Inhibiting Succinate Dehydrogenase (SDH) – Synthesis Challenges and Biological Aspects

Author: Walter, H.; Tobler, H.; Gribkov, D.; Corsi, C. Description: Sedaxane (SDX) 1, isopyrazam (IZM) 2 and Solatenol (STL) 3 are broad-spectrum pyrazole carboxamides, which originate from novel chemical classes of fungicides. Their mode of action (MoA) is inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase (SDH), which was recognized for a long time to deliver only compounds with a narrow biological spectrum. This view changed with the market introduction of BASF’s boscalid in 2003. All major agro-companies subsequently worked in parallel on this MoA successfully and recently introduced new compounds to the market….

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Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of angiogenesis inhibitors: aromatic enone and dienone analogues of curcumin

Author: Robinson, T.P.; Ehlers, T.; Hubbard IV, R.B.; Bai, X.; Arbiser, J.L.; Goldsmith, D.J.; Bowen, J.P. Description: The quest to find new antitumor compounds is an ongoing research endeavor in many laboratories around the world. The use of small-molecule angiogenesis inhibitors promises to be a potentially effective method for cancer treatment and possible prevention. Many antiangiogenic compounds are in various stages of laboratory evaluations and clinical trials. Curcumin is a natural product that has exhibited potent antiangiogenic properties. Based on a simple pharmacophore model, using standard drug design concepts, aromatic…

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Women’s underrepresentation in science: sociocultural and biological considerations

Author: Ceci, S.J.; Williams, W.M.; Barnett, S.M. Description: The underrepresentation of women at the top of math-intensive fields is controversial, with competing claims of biological and sociocultural causation. The authors develop a framework to delineate possible causal pathways and evaluate evidence for each. Biological evidence is contradictory and inconclusive. Although cross-cultural and cross-cohort differences suggest a powerful effect of sociocultural context, evidence for specific factors is inconsistent and contradictory. Factors unique to underrepresentation in math-intensive fields include the following: (a) Math-proficient women disproportionately prefer careers in non-math-intensive fields and are…

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Plant synthetic biology could drive a revolution in biofuels and medicine

Author: Mortimer, J.C. Description: IMPACT STATEMENT: The plant synthetic biology field has exploded in the last five years, in part driven by techniques such as CRISPR and cheap DNA synthesis. This review summarizes the current state of research in plant synthetic biology, and how it is being applied to two topics: renewable fuels and chemicals, and medicine. Subject Headings: Biofuels; gene editing; genetic engineering; plant produced vaccines; plant synthetic biology; renewable chemicals Keywords: Plant synthetic biology could drive a revolution in biofuels and medicine Publication year: 2019 Journal or book…

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Tricellular junctions: a hot corner of epithelial biology

Author: Bosveld, F.; Wang, Z.; Bellaiche, Y. Description: As the result of an intricate interplay between mechanical and biochemical cues, coordinated cell dynamics are at the basis of tissue development, homeostasis and repair. Numerous studies have addressed the interplay between these two inputs and their impact on cellular dynamics. These studies largely focus on bicellular junctions (BCJs). Recent works have illuminated that tricellular junctions (TCJs), the junctions where three cells contact, play important roles in epithelial tissues beyond their well-known structural function in preserving epithelial barrier integrity. Indeed, TJCs have…

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