International Journal of Cell Biology
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Stellettin B Isolated from Stelletta Sp. Reduces Migration and Invasion of Hepatocellular Carcinoma Cells through Reducing Activation of the MAPKs and FAK/PI3K/AKT/mTOR Signaling Pathways

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International Journal of Cell Biology publishes original research articles as well as review articles in all areas of cell biology.

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International Journal of Cell Biology maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Review Article

miRNAs: The Key Regulator of COVID-19 Disease

As many parts of the world continue to fight the innumerable waves of COVID-19 infection, SARS-CoV-2 continues to sculpt its antigenic determinants to enhance its virulence and evolvability. Several vaccines were developed and used around the world, and oral antiviral medications are being developed against SARS-CoV-2. However, studies showed that the virus is mutating in line with the antibody’s neutralization escape; thus, new therapeutic alternatives are solicited. We hereby review the key role that miRNAs can play as epigenetic mediators of the cross-talk between SARS-CoV-2 and the host cells. The limitations resulting from the “virus intelligence” to escape and antagonize the host miRNAs as well as the possible mechanisms that could be used in the viral evasion strategies are discussed. Lastly, we suggest new therapeutic approaches based on viral miRNAs.

Research Article

Isolation of Female Germline Stem Cells from Mouse and Human Ovaries by Differential Adhesion

Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) counterparts known as female germline stem cells (fGSCs) were found in the mammalian ovary in 2004. Although the existence of fGSCs in the mammalian postnatal ovary is still under controversy, fGSC discovery encourages investigators to better understand the various aspects of these cells. However, their existence is not accepted by all scientists in the field because isolation of fGSCs by fluorescent activated cell sorting (FACS) has not been reproducible. In this study, we used differential adhesion to isolate and enrich fGSCs from mouse and human ovaries and subsequently cultured them in vitro. fGSCs were able to proliferate in vitro and expressed germ cell-specific markers Vasa, Dazl, Blimp1, Fragilis, Stella, and Oct4, at the protein level. Moreover, mouse and human fGSCs were, respectively, cultured for more than four months and one month in culture. Both mouse and human fGSCs maintained the expression of germ cell-specific markers over these times. In vitro cultured fGSCs spontaneously produced oocyte-like cells (OLCs) which expressed oocyte-relevant markers. Our results demonstrated that differential adhesion allows reproducible isolation of fGSCs that are able to proliferate in vitro over time. This source of fGSCs can serve as a suitable material for studying mechanisms underlying female germ cell development and function.

Research Article

Effects of Modified Melatonin Release on Human Colostrum Neutrophils to Induce Death in the MCF-7 Cell Line

Cancer is one of the diseases with the highest mortality rate today, with breast cancer being the second most common type among the Brazilian population. Due to its etiological complexity and inefficiency of treatments, studies have focused on new forms of treatment. Among these forms of treatment, hormonal therapy seems to be an excellent auxiliary mechanism in tumoricidal activity, and melatonin has great potential as a modulator of the immune system. Thus, the present study is aimed at evaluating the effect of the hormone melatonin on the coculture of colostrum polymorphonuclear cells and MCF-7 cancer cells and evaluates the effect of this hormone using a modified transport system. A feasibility analysis was performed by fluorescence microscopy at three cell incubation times, 2 hours, 24 hours, and 72 hours. The measurement of cytokines in the cell supernatant occurred in 24 hours, and the apoptosis assay was performed in 72 hours using flow cytometry. The results showed higher levels of cell viability in groups treated with melatonin and less viability in groups containing a coculture of polymorphonuclear cells and MCF-7 after 72 hours of incubation. Furthermore, the apoptosis and necrosis rates were higher in coculture polymorphonuclear and MCF-7 cells, especially in groups containing microemulsion as a modified release agent. These data suggest that melatonin, especially if associated with a modified release system, has immunomodulatory effects on human colostrum polymorphonuclear cells. These cells can play a crucial role in the resolution of the tumor through their mediation and inflammatory action.

Research Article

IL-17 Is a Key Regulator of Mucin-Galectin-3 Interactions in Asthma

Mucus hypersecretion and chronic airway inflammation are standard characteristics of several airway diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. Increased mucus secretion from increased mucin gene expression in the airway epithelium is associated with poor prognosis and mortality. We previously showed that the absence of tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase 1 (TIMP-1) enhances lung inflammation, airway hyperreactivity, and lung remodeling in asthma in an ovalbumin (OVA) asthma model of TIMP-1 knockout (TIMPKO) mice as compared to wild-type (WT) controls and mediated by increased galectin-3 (Gal-3) levels. Additionally, we have shown that in the lung epithelial cell line A549, Gal-3 inhibition increases interleukin-17 (IL-17) levels, leading to increased mucin expression in the airway epithelium. Therefore, in the current study, we further examined the relationship between Gal-3 and the production of IL-17-axis cytokines and critical members of the mucin family in the murine TIMPKO asthma model and the lung epithelium cell line A549. While Gal-3 may regulate a Th1/Th2 response, IL-17 could stimulate the mucin genes, MUC5B and MUC5AC. Gal-3 and IL-17 interactions induce mucus expression in OVA-sensitized mice. We conclude that Gal-3 may play an essential role in the pathogenesis of asthma, and modulation of Gal-3 may prove helpful in the treatment of this disease.

Research Article

Asporin Reduces Adult Aortic Valve Interstitial Cell Mineralization Induced by Osteogenic Media and Wnt Signaling Manipulation In Vitro

Worldwide, calcific aortic valve disease is one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality among patients with cardiac abnormalities. Aortic valve mineralization and calcification are the key events of adult calcific aortic valve disease manifestation and functional insufficiency. Due to heavy mineralization and calcification, adult aortic valvular cusps show disorganized and dispersed stratification concomitant with deposition of calcific nodules with severely compromised adult valve function. Interestingly, shared gene regulatory pathways are identified between bone-forming cells and heart valve cells during development. Asporin, a small leucine-rich proteoglycan (43 kDa), acts to inhibit mineralization in periodontal ligament cells and is also detected in normal murine adult aortic valve leaflets with unknown function. Therefore, to understand the Asporin function in aortic cusp mineralization and calcification, adult avian aortic valvular interstitial cell culture system is established and osteogenesis has been induced in these cells successfully. Upon induction of osteogenesis, reduced expression of Asporin mRNA and increased expression of bone and osteogenesis markers are detected compared to cells maintained without osteogenic induction. Importantly, treatment with human recombinant Asporin protein reduces the mineralization level in osteogenic media-induced aortic valvular interstitial cells with the concomitant decreased level of Wnt/β-catenin signaling. Overall, all these data are highly indicative that Asporin might be a novel biomolecular target to treat patients of calcific aortic valve disease over current cusp replacement surgery.

Research Article

Antiaging Factor Klotho Retards the Progress of Intervertebral Disc Degeneration through the Toll-Like Receptor 4-NF-κB Pathway

Antiaging protein Klotho exhibits impressive properties of anti-inflammation, however is declined early after intervertebral disc injury, making Klotho restoration an attractive strategy of treating intervertebral disc inflammatory disorders. Here, we have found that Klotho is enriched in nucleus pulposus (NP) cells and Klotho overexpression attenuates H2O2-induced acute inflammation essentially via suppressing Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). The proinflammatory NF-κB signaling and cytokine expressions paralleled with Klotho repression and TLR4 elevation in both NP cells (H2O2 treatment) and rat intervertebral disc (needle puncture treatment). Overexpression of TLR4 downregulated expression of Klotho, whereas interfering TLR4 expression diminished the inhibitory effects of H2O2 on Klotho in NP cells. Consistently, Klotho knockdown by RNA interferences largely diminished the anti-inflammatory and intervertebral disc protective effects in an Intervertebral Disc Degeneration (IDD) model. Thus, our study indicates that TLR4-NF-κB signaling and Klotho form a negative-feedback loop in NP cells. Also, we demonstrate that the expression of Klotho is regulated by the balance between upregulation and downregulation of TLR4-NF-κB signaling.

International Journal of Cell Biology
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2021, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.