Years and Volumes

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Articles from this Volume

By Guest Editors Stefano L Sensi, Lorella MT Canzoniero and Susan Benoff
      In this special issue of Molecular Medicine we report on the 6th Zinc Signals conference held last year at the Abbey of Monte Oliveto in Italy. At the meeting, more than 130 researchers from around the globe gathered to discuss the latest advances in the field of Zn2+ biology. Zinc is the second most abundant heavy metal in the human body, essential for proper development and function of brain, skin, reproductive, and digestive systems. Although eukaryotic cells contain as much as 200μM of this ion, the vast majority is tightly bound to intracellular proteins, serving in a functional and/or structural role or catalyzing the activity of more than 300 enzymes and proteins. Participants in the Zinc Signals meeting study the free ionic form (i.e., free or chelatable) Zn2+, whose concentration is considered to be in the picomolar range. This “free-Zn2+ constitutes a highly dynamic pool that mediates cell signaling.


Posted by Leah Caracappa on Mar 28, 2012 10:24 AM CDT
Arif Khan, Yogeshwer Shukla, Neetu Kalra, Maroof Alam, Manzoor Gatoo Ahmad, Seema Rashid Hakim, and Mohammad Owais

Throughout history garlic has been shown to possess potential health benefits.  The chemotherapeutic and antitumor activity associated with garlic has been attributed to the presence of various organosulfide based compounds including diallyl sulfide (DAS). This active component of garlic possesses strong anti-neoplastic properties against various forms of cancer.  Topical application is the most promising approach for local treatment of skin tumors.  More efficient delivery methods are necessary to ensure that drugs are effectively carried to their targets because topical delivery of small molecules tend to diffuse across the skin surface.  Topical liposome-based formulations have shown promise in this area and in the present study Arif et al. (443-451) evaluated the effects of liposomised-DAS against dimethyl benz (a) anthracene (DMBA)-induced skin papilloma. Results showed that liposomised-DAS could effectively delay the onset of tumorogenesis and reduce the cumulative numbers and size of tumor papillomas in treated mice. The promising chemo-preventive nature of liposomal DAS may form the basis for establishing effective means of controlling various forms of cancer including skin papilloma.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 8, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Roberto D Fanganiello, Andréa L Sertié, Eduardo M Reis, Erika Yeh, Nélio AJ Oliveira, Daniela F Bueno, Irina Kerkis, Nivaldo Alonso, Sérgio Cavalheiro, Hamilton Matsushita, Renato Freitas, Sergio Verjovski-Almeida, and Maria Rita Passos-Bueno

Craniosynostosis is a common malformation in which the sutures form prematurely. Early corrective surgery is necessary to allow proper brain and skull growth. As a result of continuous bone healing defects, several surgeries are usually necessary during childhood and puberty. Apert syndrome (AS) is a severe form of craniosynostosis caused by mutations in the fibroblast growth factor 2 receptor (FGFR2). The periosteum, a dense fibrous membrane covering bone surfaces may play a role in cranial bone regeneration but the contribution of the periosteum to AS and its cranial pathophysiology is unknown. Here, Fanganiello, Sertié et al. (422-442) observed that AS periosteal cells (harboring the FGFR2 p.Ser252Trp mutation) are more committed towards the osteblast lineage. Additionally, a global gene expression analysis on AS patients periosteal cells showed that several genes involved in cellular proliferation and extracellular matrix formation are differentially expressed when compared with control subjects. While additional studies are needed these results suggest that the periosteum may be involved in the pathophysiology of craniosynostosis.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 7, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Davide Sartini, Andrea Santarelli, Valentina Rossi, Gaia Goteri, Corrado Rubini, Domenico Ciavarella, Lorenzo Lo Muzio, and Monica Emanuelli

Squamous cell carcinoma is the most common type of cancer in the oral cavity, representing 90% of all oral cancers.  Treatment methods for oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) usually include surgery or radiation treatment, with or without chemotherapy.  Despite advances in surgical techniques and therapies, the mortality rate of OSCC has shown little improvement over the last three decades.  The overall five-year survival rate of these patients is less than 50% and diagnostic delay seems to be responsible for this poor prognosis.  Abnormal expression of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT), an enzyme involved in the biotransformation and detoxification of many xenobiotics, has been reported in various cancers.  Upregulation of NNMT is inversely related to tumor size, suggesting the enzyme may play a role in an initial step of malignant conversion.  Studying tumor and non-tumor tissues, Sartini et al. (415-421) found a correlation between NNMT enzyme gene upregulation and favorable prognosis in OSCC patients.  While the function of NNMT in cancer cell metabolism is still unclear, these data suggest that NNMT may serve as a therapeutic target and potential biomarker for oral squamous cell carcinoma, which may lead to earlier detection of this disease.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 6, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Birgit H Funke, Todd Lencz, Christine T Finn, Pamela DeRosse, G David Poznik, Alex M Plocik, John Kane, John Rogus, Anil K Malhotra, and Raju Kucherlapati

A significant portion of patients with 22q11 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) develop psychiatric disorders including schizophrenia and and other psychotic and affective symptoms. The gene/s responsible for this syndrome may also play a significant role in the etiology of nonsyndromic psychiatric disease. The primary candidate 22q11DS gene, TBX1, is involved in epithelial and mesenchymal interactions, a mechanism which is crucial for the development of a wide variety of organs including the forebrain, heart, face and limbs. TBX1 may therefore play a role in brain development and thus in 22q11DS-associated as well as nonsyndromic psychiatric disease. Funke et al. (407-414) tested whether variation in the TBX1 gene could be associated with psychotic and affective disorders relevant to 22q11DS in Caucasian patients. Results show that allele and haplotype frequencies were not significantly different between affected cases and controls.  Therefore, it is unlikely that the TBX1 gene plays a major role in the genetic etiology of nonsyndromic schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders observed in 22q11DS. However, 22q11DS may still represent a genetic subclass of schizophrenia which is very similar but genetically distinct from the nonsyndromic form. In this case TBX1 may still contribute to the risk of developing psychiatric disease in patients with 22q11DS.

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 5, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 4, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Kathryn M Taylor, Helen E Morgan, Kathryn Smart, Normawati M Zahari, Sara Pumford, Ian O Ellis, John FR Robertson, and Robert I Nicholson

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 3, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Robertina Giacconi, Elisa Muti, Marco Malavolta, Catia Cipriano, Laura Costarelli, Gianni Bernardini, Nazzarena Gasparini, Erminia Mariani, Vittorio Saba, Gianfranco Boccoli, and Eugenio Mocchegiani

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 2, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Sherry L Galasso and Richard H Dyck

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Posted by Leah Caracappa on Aug 1, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
Posted by Leah Caracappa on Jul 8, 2007 12:00 AM CDT
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