Tryptophan and its metabolites in normal physiology and cancer etiology.
The FEBS journal. 2023;(1):7-27
Within the growing field of amino acid metabolism, tryptophan (Trp) catabolism is an area of increasing interest. Trp is essential for protein synthesis, and its metabolism gives rise to biologically active catabolites including serotonin and numerous metabolites in the kynurenine (Kyn) pathway. In normal tissues, the production of Trp metabolites is directly regulated by the tissue-specific expression of Trp-metabolizing enzymes. Alterations of these enzymes in cancers can shift the balance and lead to an increased production of specific byproducts that can function as oncometabolites. For example, increased expression of the enzyme indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, which converts Trp into Kyn, leads to an increase in Kyn levels in numerous cancers. Kyn functions as an oncometabolite in cancer cells by promoting the activity of the transcription factor aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which regulates progrowth genes. Moreover, Kyn also inhibits T-cell activity and thus allows cancer cells to evade clearance by the immune system. Therefore, targeting the Kyn pathway has become a therapeutic focus as a novel means to abrogate tumor growth and immune resistance. This review summarizes the biological role and regulation of Trp metabolism and its catabolites with an emphasis on tumor cell growth and immune evasion and outlines areas for future research focus.
Inflammation and kidney stones: cause and effect?
Current opinion in urology. 2023;(2):129-135
PURPOSE OF REVIEW This short review is intended to highlight the potential role of inflammation as a key pathological driver, rather than a mere consequence, of nephrolithiasis. Although there is clearly a strong likelihood that the relationship is bidirectional, and that kidney stone-triggered inflammation can establish a vicious cycle of tissue injury and stone formation. RECENT FINDINGS These consist of data from both recent preclinical and clinical studies demonstrating the importance of inflammation in models of stone disease and in kidney tissue from patients with nephrolithiasis, and as a potential driver of disease recurrence and a suitable treatment target. In particular, the role of immune cells and their relationship to the NLRP3 inflammasome is becoming clearer, as well as the potential contribution to tissue injury and stone formation of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin-1β and interleukin-18. SUMMARY This concept is not new and raises the possibility that targeting inflammation directly may prove to be a novel and suitable means of treatment for at least some types of kidney stone, and in certain clinical settings, both acutely and as prevention, especially in those patients experiencing recurrent stone episodes and/or who have a well defined metabolic cause such as uric acid or calcium oxalate stones.
The exploitation of host autophagy and ubiquitin machinery by Mycobacterium tuberculosis in shaping immune responses and host defense during infection.
Intracellular pathogens have evolved various efficient molecular armaments to subvert innate defenses. Cellular ubiquitination, a normal physiological process to maintain homeostasis, is emerging one such exploited mechanism. Ubiquitin (Ub), a small protein modifier, is conjugated to diverse protein substrates to regulate many functions. Structurally diverse linkages of poly-Ub to target proteins allow enormous functional diversity with specificity being governed by evolutionarily conserved enzymes (E3-Ub ligases). The Ub-binding domain (UBD) and LC3-interacting region (LIR) are critical features of macroautophagy/autophagy receptors that recognize Ub-conjugated on protein substrates. Emerging evidence suggests that E3-Ub ligases unexpectedly protect against intracellular pathogens by tagging poly-Ub on their surfaces and targeting them to phagophores. Two E3-Ub ligases, PRKN and SMURF1, provide immunity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tb). Both enzymes conjugate K63 and K48-linked poly-Ub to M. tb for successful delivery to phagophores. Intriguingly, M. tb exploits virulence factors to effectively dampen host-directed autophagy utilizing diverse mechanisms. Autophagy receptors contain LIR-motifs that interact with conserved Atg8-family proteins to modulate phagophore biogenesis and fusion to the lysosome. Intracellular pathogens have evolved a vast repertoire of virulence effectors to subdue host-immunity via hijacking the host ubiquitination process. This review highlights the xenophagy-mediated clearance of M. tb involving host E3-Ub ligases and counter-strategy of autophagy inhibition by M. tb using virulence factors. The role of Ub-binding receptors and their mode of autophagy regulation is also explained. We also discuss the co-opting and utilization of the host Ub system by M. tb for its survival and virulence.Abbreviations: APC: anaphase promoting complex/cyclosome; ATG5: autophagy related 5; BCG: bacille Calmette-Guerin; C2: Ca2+-binding motif; CALCOCO2: calcium binding and coiled-coil domain 2; CUE: coupling of ubiquitin conjugation to ER degradation domains; DUB: deubiquitinating enzyme; GABARAP GABA type A receptor-associated protein; HECT homologous to the E6-AP carboxyl terminus; IBR: in-between-ring fingers; IFN: interferon; IL1B: interleukin 1 beta; KEAP1: kelch like ECH associated protein 1; LAMP1: lysosomal associated membrane protein 1; LGALS galectin; LIR: LC3-interacting region; MAPK11/p38: mitogen-activated protein kinase 11; MAP1LC3/LC3: microtubule associated protein 1 light chain 3; MAP3K7/TAK1: mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase 7; MAPK8/JNK: mitogen-activated protein kinase 8; MHC-II: major histocompatibility complex-II; MTOR mechanistic target of rapamycin kinase; NBR1: NBR1 autophagy cargo receptor; NFKB1/p50: nuclear factor kappa B subunit 1; OPTN optineurin; PB1: phox and bem 1; PE/PPE: proline-glutamic acid/proline-proline-glutamic acid; PknG: serine/threonine-protein kinase PknG; PRKN parkin RBR E3 ubiquitin protein ligase; RBR: RING-in between RING; RING really interesting new gene; RNF166: RING finger protein 166; ROS: reactive oxygen species; SMURF1: SMAD specific E3 ubiquitin protein ligase 1; SQSTM1: sequestosome 1; STING1: stimulator of interferon response cGAMP interactor 1; TAX1BP1: Tax1 binding protein 1; TBK1: TANK binding kinase 1; TNF: tumor necrosis factor; TRAF6: TNF receptor associated factor 6; Ub: ubiquitin; UBA: ubiquitin-associated; UBAN ubiquitin-binding domain in ABIN proteins and NEMO; UBD: ubiquitin-binding domain; UBL: ubiquitin-like; ULK1: unc-51 like autophagy activating kinase 1.
Inflammation, Lifestyle Factors, and the Microbiome-Gut-Brain Axis: Relevance to Depression and Antidepressant Action.
Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics. 2023;(2):246-259
Depression is considered a major public health concern, where existing pharmacological treatments are not equally effective across all patients. The pathogenesis of depression involves the interaction of complex biological components, such as the immune system and the microbiota-gut-brain axis. Adjunctive lifestyle-oriented approaches for depression, including physical exercise and special diets are promising therapeutic options when combined with traditional antidepressants. However, the mechanisms of action of these strategies are incompletely understood. Accumulating evidence suggests that physical exercise and specific dietary regimens can modulate both the immune system and gut microbiota composition. Here, we review the current information about the strategies to alleviate depression and their crosstalk with both inflammatory mechanisms and the gut microbiome. We further discuss the role of the microbiota-gut-brain axis as a possible mediator for the adjunctive therapies for depression through inflammatory mechanisms. Finally, we review existing and future adjunctive strategies to manipulate the gut microbiota with potential use for depression, including physical exercise, dietary interventions, prebiotics/probiotics, and fecal microbiota transplantation.
Sex disparity and drug-induced liver injury.
Digestive and liver disease : official journal of the Italian Society of Gastroenterology and the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver. 2023;(1):21-28
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is a potentially serious clinical condition that remains a major problem for patients, physicians and those involved in the development of new drugs. Population and hospital-based studies have reported incidences of DILI varying from 1.4 to 19.1/100.000. Overall, females have a 1.5- to 1.7-fold greater risk of developing adverse drug reactions and the female/male ratio increases after the age of 49 years, suggesting a clear susceptibility of DILI after menopause. Sex differences in pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic, sex-specific hormonal effects or interaction with signalling molecules that can influence drug efficacy and safety and differences in abnormal immune response following drug exposure are the main probable causes of the higher vulnerability observed among female patients. A novel phenotype of autoimmune-mediated DILI following the use of check-point inhibitors in oncology and haematology has been recently described. Finally, there have been increasing reports of DILI associated with use of herbal and dietary supplements that is more frequently reported in women.
Ligustri Lucidi Fructus, a traditional Chinese Medicine: Comprehensive review of botany, traditional uses, chemical composition, pharmacology, and toxicity.
Journal of ethnopharmacology. 2023;:115789
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE Ligustri Lucidi Fructus (LLF) is one of the usual Chinese herbs that has long been used with high therapeutic and condition value. LLF is used for the treatment of dizziness and tinnitus, soreness and weakness of the waist and knees, premature greying of the hair, the darkness of the eyes, internal heat and thirst, bone steam and hot flashes and other symptoms. AIM OF THE STUDY This review reviews botany, traditional uses, processing, phytochemistry, quality control, pharmacology, toxicity and pharmacokinetics to better understand its therapeutic potential. MATERIALS AND METHODS The literature on LLF was obtained from Google Scholar and Baidu Scholar, PubMed, ScienceDirect, SciFinder, Web of Science, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), WAN FANG DATA and libraries. Some local books, official websites, PhD or MS's dissertations were also included. Phytochemical constituents' structures were drawn by ChemDraw software. RESULTS So far, Multiple chemical components were isolated and identified from LLF, mainly including terpenoids and flavonoids. Modern studies have shown that LLF extracts and compounds have a wide range of pharmacological effects, including antitumor, liver protection, blood glucose, lipid-lowering, immune regulation, and other aspects. CONCLUSIONS LLF occupies an important position in the traditional medical system. It is cost-effective and is a significant plant with therapeutic applications in modern medicine. However, further in-depth studies are needed to determine the medical use of this plant and its chemical composition, pharmacological activity, quality control, toxicity and pharmacokinetics.
Sensitive biosensors based on topological insulator Bi2Se3 and peptide.
Analytica chimica acta. 2023;:340655
In this work, we designed a facile and label-free electrochemical biosensor based on intrinsic topological insulator (TI) Bi2Se3 and peptide for the detection of immune checkpoint molecules. With topological protection, Bi2Se3 could have robust surface states with low electronic noise, which was beneficial for the stable and sensitive electron transport between electrode and electrolyte interface. The peptides are easily synthesized and chemically modified, and have good biocompatibility and bioavailability, which is a suitable candidate as the recognition units for immune checkpoint molecules. Therefore, the peptide/Bi2Se3 was developed as a suitable working electrode for the electrochemical biosensor. The basic performance of the designed peptide/Bi2Se3 biosensor was investigated to determine the Anti-HA Tag Antibody and PD-L1 molecules. The linear detection range was from 3.6 × 10-10 mg mL-1 to 3.6 × 10-5 mg mL-1, and the detection limit was 1.07 × 10-11 mg mL-1. Moreover, the biosensor also displayed good selectivity and stability.
The role of the gut microbiome in eye diseases.
Progress in retinal and eye research. 2023;:101117
The gut microbiome is a complex ecosystem of microorganisms and their genetic entities colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. When in balanced composition, the gut microbiome is in symbiotic interaction with its host and maintains intestinal homeostasis. It is involved in essential functions such as nutrient metabolism, inhibition of pathogens and regulation of immune function. Through translocation of microbes and their metabolites along the epithelial barrier, microbial dysbiosis induces systemic inflammation that may lead to tissue destruction and promote the onset of various diseases. Using whole-metagenome shotgun sequencing, several studies have shown that the composition and associated functional capacities of the gut microbiome are associated with age-related macular degeneration, retinal artery occlusion, central serous chorioretinopathy and uveitis. In this review, we provide an overview of the current knowledge about the gut microbiome in eye diseases, with a focus on interactions between the microbiome, specific microbial-derived metabolites and the immune system. We explain how these interactions may be involved in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration, retinal artery occlusion, central serous chorioretinopathy and uveitis and guide the development of new therapeutic approaches by microbiome-altering interventions for these diseases.
Graphene quantum dots disturbed the energy homeostasis by influencing lipid metabolism of macrophages.
To investigate the potential factors of graphene quantum dots (GQDs), the assessment impact on the innate immune system is one of the most important. As the innate immune cell, macrophages possess phagocytosis activity and affect immunomodulation. Higher oxygen consumption rates (OCR) are used to gain insight into GQDs' effects on macrophages. Metabolomics profiling also revealed that GQDs exposure provoked an increase in phosphoglycerides, sphingolipids, and oxidized lipids in macrophages. The molecular pathways disrupted by GQDs were associated with lipid and energy metabolisms. Metabolite flux analysis was used to evaluate changes in the lipid metabolism of macrophages exposed to 100 µg mL-1 GQDs for 24 and 48 h. A combination of 13C-flux analysis and metabolomics revealed the regulation of lipid biosynthesis influenced the balance of energy metabolism. Integrated proteomics and metabolomics analyses showed that nicotinic acid adenine dinucleotide and coenzyme Q10 were significantly increased under GQDs treatment, alongside upregulated protein activity (e.g., Cox5b and Cd36). The experimental evidences were expected to be provided in this study to reveal the potential harmful effect from exposure to GQDs.
Selenium, selenoproteins and cancer of the thyroid.
Journal of trace elements in medicine and biology : organ of the Society for Minerals and Trace Elements (GMS). 2023;:127115
Selenium is an essential mineral element with important biological functions for the whole body through incorporation into selenoproteins. This element is highly concentrated in the thyroid gland. Selenoproteins provide antioxidant protection for this tissue against the oxidative stress caused by free radicals and contribute, via iodothyronine deiodinases, to the metabolism of thyroid hormones. It is known that oxidative stress plays a major role in carcinogenesis and that in recent decades there has been an increase in the incidence of thyroid cancer. The anti-carcinogenic action of selenium, although not fully understood, is mainly attributable to selenoproteins antioxidant properties, and to the ability to modulate cell proliferation (cell cycle and apoptosis), energy metabolism, and cellular immune response, significantly altered during tumorigenesis. Researchers have suggested that different forms of selenium supplementation may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of thyroid cancer; however, the studies have several methodological limitations. This review is a summary of the current knowledge on how selenium and selenoproteins related to thyroid cancer.