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Sex-Specific Genetically Predicted Iron Status in relation to 12 Vascular Diseases: A Mendelian Randomization Study in the UK Biobank
Background. Iron overload has been implicated in the pathogenesis of varicose veins (VVs). However, the association of serum iron status with other vascular diseases (VDs) is not well understood, which might be a potential target for VD prevention. This study was aimed at investigating the causal associations between iron status and VDs using the Mendelian randomization (MR) method. Methods. A two-sample MR was designed to investigate whether iron status was associated with VDs, based on iron data from a published genome-wide association study meta-analysis of 48,972 subjects of European descent and VD data obtained from the UK Biobank, including 361,194 British subjects (167,020 males and 194,174 females). We further explored whether there was sex difference in the associations between genetically predicted iron status and VDs. Results. The results demonstrated that iron status had a significant causal effect on VVs of lower extremities () and a potential effect on coronary atherosclerosis ( for serum iron, ferritin, and transferrin saturation, respectively), but not on other VDs. Furthermore, higher iron status exerted a detrimental effect on VVs of lower extremities in both genders () and a protective effect on male patients with coronary atherosclerosis ( for serum iron, ferritin, and transferrin saturation, respectively). Conclusions. This MR study provides robust evidence that higher iron status increases the risk of VVs of lower extremities, whereas it reduces the incidence of coronary atherosclerosis in the male population, which indicates that iron has divergent effects on vascular pathology.
Circular RNA circ-CCAC1 Facilitates Adrenocortical Carcinoma Cell Proliferation, Migration, and Invasion through Regulating the miR-514a-5p/C22orf46 Axis
Adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC) is a rare but clinically aggressive endocrine malignancy. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) were found to play key roles in tumorigenesis. In the current study, we aimed to investigate the functions and mechanisms of a novel circRNA, circ-CCAC1, in ACC cells. circ-CCAC1 expression levels in ACC tissue specimens and cell lines were evaluated by RT-qPCR. Kaplan-Meier analysis was applied to explore the relationship between circ-CCAC1 and patients’ prognosis. Cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8), colony formation, acridine orange/ethidium bromide (AO/EB) double fluorescence staining, and Transwell assays were performed to evaluate the functions of circ-CCAC1 in ACC cells. Bioinformatics analysis and a dual-luciferase reporter assay were utilized to explore the mechanisms of circ-CCAC1. As a result, circ-CCAC1 was overexpressed in ACC tissue samples and cell lines and correlated with poor prognosis. Gain- and loss-of-function tests demonstrated that circ-CCAC1 acted as an oncogene in ACC. What is more, circ-CCAC1 enhanced C22orf46 expression by sponging miR-514a-5p in ACC cells. A rescue assay illustrated that circ-CCAC1 facilitated ACC progression through miR-514a-5p/C22orf46 signaling. To sum up, we identified a novel circRNA, circ-CCAC1, which may be used as a potential therapeutic target for ACC.
Characterization of Plasmid-Mediated Quinolone Resistance and Serogroup Distributions of Uropathogenic Escherichia coli among Iranian Kidney Transplant Patients
Introduction. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most frequent infections in kidney transplant patients (KTPs). This infection is mainly caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC). Plasmid-mediated quinolone resistance (PMQR) was also increasingly identified in UPEC. This study proposed to investigate the frequency of quinolone-resistance plasmid genes and the O-antigen serogroup among UPEC isolated from KTPs and non-KTP with UTI. Methods. Totally, 114 UPEC isolates from 49 KTPs and 65 non-KTPs patients diagnosed with an UPEC-associated UTI were obtained from June 2019 to December 2019 at three laboratory centers in Isfahan, Iran. The isolates were confirmed through phenotypic and genotypic methods. Moreover, the antimicrobial susceptibility test to nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, norfloxacin, and ofloxacin was performed using a disk diffusion method. The presence of the qnr gene as well as the serogroup distribution was identified using the PCR method. Result. According to data, the distribution of O1, O2, O4, O16, and O25 serogroups were 3.5%, 2.6, 3.5, 3.5, and 20.2%, respectively. Antibiotic susceptibility pattern revealed that the highest and lowest resistance rates were to nalidixic acid (69.3%) and norfloxacin (43.9%), respectively. Also, the frequency of qnrS and qnrB genes were 33.3% and 15.8%, respectively, while none of the isolates was found to be positive for the qnrA gene. There was no significant association between the presence of qnr genes and higher antibiotic resistance. Conclusion. This study recognized that the qnrS gene, O25 serotype, and resistance to nalidixic acid had the highest frequencies in UPEC strains isolated from UTI patients.
Acacetin Suppresses IL-1β-Induced Expression of Matrix Metalloproteinases in Chondrocytes and Protects against Osteoarthritis in a Mouse Model by Inhibiting NF-κB Signaling Pathways
Osteoarthritis (OA) is a very common chronic joint dysfunction, and there is currently a poor understanding of its etiology and pathogenesis. Therefore, there are no active disease-modifying drugs currently available for clinical treatment. Several natural compounds have been shown to play a role in inhibiting OA progression. The present study is aimed at investigating the curative effects of acacetin, a natural flavonoid compound, against OA. Our results demonstrated that MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13 were highly expressed in OA specimens. Acacetin inhibited the interleukin-1β- (IL-1β-) induced expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13in chondrocytes by blocking nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) signaling pathways. Furthermore, we found that acacetin suppressed OA progression and inhibited the expression of MMP-1, MMP-3, and MMP-13 in ACLT-induced OA mice. Taken together, our study revealed that acacetin may serve as a potential drug for treating OA.
Anti-Inflammatory, Barrier-Protective, and Antiwrinkle Properties of Agastache rugosa Kuntze in Human Epidermal Keratinocytes
This work aimed to assess the skin-beneficial properties of Agastache rugosa Kuntze, an herbal medication used to treat different types of disorders in traditional folk medicine. The total phenolic compounds and total antiradical, nitrite scavenging, superoxide scavenging, antielastase, and antihyaluronidase activities of a hot water extract of A. rugosa Kuntze leaves (ARE) were spectrophotometrically determined. Intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) was fluorometrically quantitated using 2,7-dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA). Inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and filaggrin were evaluated using Western analysis. Real-time quantitative RT-PCR was used to measure filaggrin mRNA. Caspase-14 activity was determined using a fluorogenic substrate. ARE contained the total phenolic content of 38.9 mg gallic acid equivalent/g extract and exhibited 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical, superoxide radical, and nitrite scavenging activities with the SC50 values of 2.9, 1.4, and 1.7 mg/mL, respectively. ARE exerted suppressive activities on nitric oxide (NO) and ROS levels elevated by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in HaCaT keratinocytes. It attenuated the LPS-stimulated expression of iNOS. ARE augmented the UV-B-reduced filaggrin expression on both protein and mRNA levels and was capable of upregulating the UV-B-reduced caspase-14 activity. ARE inhibited in vitro elastase and hyaluronidase activities associated with the wrinkling process. ARE, at the concentrations used, did not interfere with the viability of HaCaT keratinocytes. These findings preliminarily imply that the leaves of A. rugosa possess desirable cosmetic potentials, such as anti-inflammatory, barrier protective, and antiwrinkle activities, which infers their skin healing potentials.
A2AR Antagonists Upregulate Expression of GS and GLAST in Rat Hypoxia Model
Background. The aim of this study was to research the effects of glutamine synthetase (GS) and glutamate aspartate transporter (GLAST) in rat Müller cells and the effects of an adenosine A2AR antagonist (SCH 442416) on GS and GLAST in hypoxia both in vivo and in vitro. Methods. This study used RT-PCR and Western blotting to quantify the expressions of GS and GLAST under different hypoxic conditions as well as the expressions of GS and GLAST at different drug concentrations. A cell viability assay was used to assess drug toxicity. Results. mRNA and protein expression of GS and GLAST in hypoxia Group 24 h was significantly increased. mRNA and protein expressions of GS and GLAST both increased in Group 1 μM SCH 442416 compared with other groups. One micromolar SCH 442416 could upregulate GS and GLAST’s activity in hypoxia both in vivo and in vitro. Conclusions. Hypoxia activates GS and GLAST in rat retinal Müller cells in a short time in vitro. (2) A2AR antagonists upregulate the activity of GS and GLAST in hypoxia both in vivo and in vitro.