Assessment of Larval Toxicity and the Teratogenic Effect of Three Medicinal Plants Used in the Traditional Treatment of Urinary Tract Infections in BeninRead the full article
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Text Mining and Hub Gene Network Analysis of Endometriosis
This study is aimed at systematically characterizing the endometriosis-associated genes based on text mining and at annotating the functions, pathways, and networks of endometriosis-associated hub genes. We extracted endometriosis-associated abstracts published between 1970 and 2020 from the PubMed database. A neural-named entity recognition and multitype normalization tool for biomedical text mining was used to recognize and normalize the genes and proteins embedded in the abstracts. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway enrichment analyses were conducted to annotate the functions and pathways of recognized genes. Protein-protein interaction analysis was conducted on the genes significantly cooccurring with endometriosis to identify the endometriosis-associated hub genes. A total of 433 genes were recognized as endometriosis-associated genes (), and 154 pathways were significantly enriched (). A network of endometriosis-associated genes with 278 gene nodes and 987 interaction links was established. The 15 proteins that interacted with 20 or more other proteins were identified as the hub proteins of the endometriosis-associated protein network. This study provides novel insights into the hub genes that play key roles in the development of endometriosis and have implications for developing targeted interventions for endometriosis.
Production and Partial Characterization of α-Amylase Enzyme from Marine Actinomycetes
Amylase producing actinobacteria were isolated and characterized from terrestrial environment. There are a limited number of reports investigating the marine environment; hence, in the present study, four marine enzymes were tested for their amylase production ability. On starch agar plates, the Streptomyces rochei strain showed a higher hydrolytic zone (24 mm) than the other isolates. Growth under optimized culture conditions using Plackett-Burman’s experimental design led to a 1.7, 9.8, 7.7, and 3.12-fold increase for the isolates S. griseorubens, S. rochei, S. parvus, and Streptomyces sp., respectively, in the specific activity measurement. When applying the Box-Behnken design on S. rochei using the most significant parameters (starch, K2HPO4, pH, and temperature), there was a 12.22-fold increase in the specific activity measurement 7.37 U/mg. The α-amylase was partially purified, and its molecular weight was determined using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. α-Amylase was particularly active at pH 6 and 65°C. The purified enzyme was most active at 65°C and pH 6, thermal stability of 70°C for 40 min, and salt concentration of 1 M with Km and Vmax of 6.58 mg/ml and 21.93 μmol/ml/min, respectively. The α-amylase was improved by adding Cu+2, Zn+2, and Fe+2 (152.21%, 207.24%, and 111.89%). Increased production of α-amylase enzyme by S. rochei KR108310 leads to production of significant industrial products.
Prevalence of Malaria and Associated Factors among Delivering Mothers in Northwest Ethiopia
Background. Malaria is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality especially in pregnant women and under-five-year-old children. However, data on the prevalence among delivering mothers, potential fetal transmission, and associated birth outcomes is lacking in Ethiopia. Objective. To assess the prevalence of Plasmodium infection from peripheral, placental, and cord blood samples among delivering mothers in Kuch health center, Northwest Ethiopia. Methods. An institution-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 218 delivering mothers from February to May 2021 in Kuch health center. Data on sociodemographic characteristics and clinical and obstetric history of mothers were collected using a structured questionnaire. Giemsa stained blood films from maternal capillary and placental and umbilical cord blood were examined for plasmodium infection. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 23 software package. Results. The prevalence of maternal, placental, and umbilical cord malaria was 6.4% (14/218), 2.3% (5/218), and 0.5% (1/218), respectively. Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax accounted 3.7% (8/218) and 2.8% (6/218), respectively, in maternal peripheral blood but only Plasmodium falciparum was detected in placental and umbilical cord blood samples. Maternal malaria had significant association with primigravida (, ) and low birth weight (, ). Placental malaria was also significantly associated with low birth weight (, ). Conclusion. The prevalence of malaria among delivering mothers was considerable. Maternal peripheral malaria had a significant association with gravidity and birth weight. Placental and umbilical cord malaria also had a significant association with birth weight. Pregnant mothers should be examined for malaria and receive appropriate treatment to prevent adverse birth outcomes.
Expression of Circulating MicroRNAs and Myokines and Interactions with Serum Osteopontin in Type 2 Diabetic Patients with Moderate and Poor Glycemic Control: A Biochemical and Molecular Study
Background. Cellular miRNAs are expressed in tissue fluids with sufficient amounts and were identified as potential molecular targets for studying the physiological mechanisms and correlations with many human diseases particularly diabetes. However, molecular-based changes among older adults with diabetes mellitus (DM) are rarely fully elucidated. Aim. This study is aimed at identifying circulating miRNAs, which hold the potential to serve as biomarkers for the immune-inflammatory changes in older T2D patients with moderate and poor glycemic control status. In addition, the association of both myokines and osteopontin (OPN) levels with circulating miRNAs was identified. Methods. A total of 80 subjects aged 20–80 years were invited during the period of October 2017–May 2018 to participate in this descriptive cross-sectional study. All subjects were diagnosed with T2D for more than 5 years. Subjects were grouped based on glycemic control (HbA1c values) into two groups: moderate glycemic control (>7-8% HbA1c, ) and poor glycemic control (>8% HbA1c, ), respectively. Diabetic control parameters, fasting blood sugar (FS), HbA1c, fasting insulin (IF), insulin resistance (IR), HOMA-IR, inflammatory cytokines (IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, IL-23, TNF-α, and CRP), osteopontin, and myokines (adropin and irisin) were estimated by colorimetric and immune ELISA assays, respectively. In addition, real-time RT-PCR analysis was performed to evaluate the expression of circulating miRNAs, miR-146a and miR-144, in the serum of all diabetic subjects. Results. In this study, T2D patients with poor glycemic control showed a significant increase in the serum levels of IL-6, IL-8, IL-18, IL-23, TNF-α, CRP, and OPN and a reduction in the levels of myokines, adropin and irisin, compared to patients with moderate glycemic control. The results obtained are significantly correlated with the severity of diabetes measured by HbA1c, FS, IF, and HOMA-IR. In addition, baseline expression of miR-146a is significantly reduced and miR-144 is significantly increased in T2D patients with poor glycemic control compared to those with moderate glycemic control. In all diabetic groups, the expression of miR-146a and miR-144 is significantly correlated with diabetic controls, inflammatory cytokines, myokines, and serum levels of OPN. Respective of gender, women with T2D showed more significant change in the expressed miRNAs, inflammatory cytokines, OPN, and serum myokine markers compared to men. ROC analysis identified AUC cutoff values of miR-146a, miR-144, adropin, irisin, and OPN expression levels with considerable specificity and sensitivity which recommends the potential use of adropin, irisin, and OPN as diagnostic biomarkers for diabetes with varying glycemic control status. Conclusion. In this study, molecular expression of certain microRNA species, such as miR-146a and miR-144, was identified and significantly associated with parameters of disease severity, HbA1c, inflammatory cytokines, myokines, and serum osteopontin in T2D patients with moderate and poor glycemic control. The AUC cutoff values of circulating miRNAs, miR-146a and miR-144; myokines, adropin and irisin; and serum OPN were significantly identified by ROC analysis which additionally recommends the potential use of these biomarkers, miR-146a, miR-144, adropin, irisin, and OPN, as diagnostic biomarkers with considerable specificity and sensitivity for diabetes in patients with varying glycemic control status.
3D-QSAR Studies of 1,2,4-Oxadiazole Derivatives as Sortase A Inhibitors
Sortase A (SrtA) is an enzyme that catalyzes the attachment of proteins to the cell wall of Gram-positive bacterial membrane, preventing the spread of pathogenic bacterial strains. Here, one class of oxadiazole compounds was distinguished as an efficient inhibitor of SrtA via the “S. aureus Sortase A” substrate-based virtual screening. The current study on 3D-QSAR was done by utilizing preparation of the structure in the Schrödinger software suite and an assessment of 120 derivatives with the crystal structure of 1,2,4-oxadiazole which was extracted from the PDB data bank. The docking operation of the best compound in terms of pMIC () was done to determine the drug likeliness and binding form of 1,2,4-oxadiazole derivatives as antibiotics in the active site. Using the kNN-MFA way, seven models of 3D-QSAR were created and amongst them, and one model was selected as the best. The chosen model based on (pred_) and values related to the sixth factor of PLS illustrates better and more acceptable external and internal predictions. Values of crossvalidation (pred_), validation (), and were observed 0.5479, 0.6319, and 179.0, respectively, for a test group including 24 molecules and the training group including 96 molecules. The external reliability outcomes showed that the acceptable and the selective 3D-QSAR model had a high predictive potential () which was confirmed by the -randomization test. Besides, the model applicability domain was described successfully to validate the estimation of the model.
Impact of Phytomediated Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles on Growth and Oxidative Stress Response of In Vitro Raised Shoots of Ochradenus arabicus
Biogenic nanoparticles have potential roles in the growth and development of plants and animals as they are ecofriendly and free of chemical contaminants. In this study, we assessed the effects of phytomediated zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) on shoot growth, biochemical markers, and antioxidant system response in Ochradenus arabicus, which is a medicinal plant. The shoot length and fresh and dry weights were found to be higher in groups with 5 and 10 mg/L ZnONPs than in the control. At high concentrations of ZnONPs (50, 100, and 300 mg/L), biomass was decreased in a concentration-dependent manner. The shoot number was observed to be highest at 50 mg/L among all applied concentrations of ZnONPs. The levels of the stress markers proline and TBARS were found to be higher in shoots treated with 100 and 300 mg/L ZnONPs than in the control as well as NP-treated shoots. The levels of antioxidant enzymes were significantly increased at high concentrations of nanoparticles compared with the control. Thus, synthesized phytomediated ZnONPs from shoots of O. arabicus and their application to the same organ of O. arabicus in vitro were found to be effective as a low concentration of nanoparticles promoted shoot growth, resulting in high biomass accumulation. Thus, using green nanotechnology, such endemic plants could be conserved in vitro and multiple shoots could be produced by reducing the phytohormone concentration for multiple uses, such as the production of potential secondary metabolites.