Berberine, a natural product alkaloid, and its analogs have a wide range of medicinal properties, including antibacterial and anticancer effects. Here, the authors explored a library of alkyl or aryl berberine analogs to probe binding to double-stranded and G-quadruplex DNA. They determined that the nature of the substituent, the position of the substituent, and the nucleic acid target affect the free energy of binding of berberine analogs to DNA and G-quadruplex DNA, however berberine analogs did not result in net stabilization of G-quadruplex DNA.
As cancer continues to take millions of lives worldwide, the need to create effective therapeutics for the disease persists. The kinesin Eg5 assembly motor protein is a promising target for cancer therapeutics as inhibition of this protein leads to cell cycle arrest. Monastrol, a small dihydropyrimidine-based molecule capable of inhibiting the kinesin Eg5 function, has attracted the attention of medicinal chemists with its potency, affinity, and specificity to the highly targeted loop5/α2/α3 allosteric binding pocket. In this work, we employed high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS) to identify potential small molecule Eg5 inhibitors from a designed set of novel dihydropyrimidine analogs structurally similar to monastrol.
Mainstream cancer treatments, which include radiotherapy and chemotherapeutic drugs, are known to induce oxidative damage to healthy somatic cells due to the liberation of harmful free radicals. In order to avert this, physiological antioxidants must be complemented with external antioxidants. Here the authors performed a preliminary phytochemical screen to identify alkaloids, saponins, flavonoids, polyphenols, and tannins in all parts of the Amaranthus spinosus Linn. plant. This paper describes the preparation of this crude extract and assesses its antioxidant properties for potential use in complementary cancer treatment.
Digital compasses are essential in technology that we use in our everyday lives: phones, vehicles, and more. Li and Liu address the accuracy of these devices by presenting a new algorithm for accurately calibrating low-cost magnetometers.
In this work, the authors compared the effects of common natural products, including sesame, cinnamon, garlic, moringa and turmeric on tumor growth in Drosophila eyes. The data showed that these natural products cannot be used to reduce tumor growth once it has completely formed. However, the data suggested that some natural products can reduce cancer cell growth when tumors are treated early.
Neuroinflammation and oxidative stress are both known to play a role in the occurrence and severity of seizures. This study tested effects of oxidative stress from seizures by evaluating the longevity, egg-laying, and electroshock resilience of C. elegans. Results revealed that oxidative stress and neuroinflammation diminish longevity and reproductivity while also increasing recovery time after seizures in C. elegans. This research can help lead to future studies and may also lead to finding new therapeutics for epilepsy.
In this study, the authors investigate just how effectively paper towels can absorb different types of liquid and whether changing the properties of the towel (such as folding it) affects absorbance. Using variables of either different liquid types or the folded state of the paper towels, they used thorough approaches to make some important and very useful conclusions about optimal ways to use paper towels. This has important implications as we as a society continue to use more and more paper towels.
In this study, we performed orthotopic auto-transplantation of fresh ovarian tissues by transplanting unilateral half ovarian tissue to the contralateral ovary in the ICR (Institute of Cancer Research) strain of outbred, heterogeneous mice to determine if the transplanted tissue could be functional. We found that the freshly transplanted mouse ovarian tissue survived and functional, as histochemical and immunofluorescence assays have shown that not only both follicles at different developing stages and corpus luteum are available, but the morphology of them are properly maintained within the transplanted tissue.
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is the most malignant brain tumor with the highest fraction of genome alterations (FGA), manifesting poor disease-free status (DFS) and overall survival (OS). We explored The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) and cBioportal public dataset- Firehose legacy GBM to study DNA repair genes Activating Signal Cointegrator 1 Complex Subunit 3 (ASCC3) and Alpha-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Dioxygenase AlkB Homolog 3 (ALKBH3). To test our hypothesis that these genes have correlations with FGA and can better determine prognosis and survival, we sorted the dataset to arrive at 254 patients. Analyzing using RStudio, both ASCC3 and ALKBH3 demonstrated hypomethylation in 82.3% and 61.8% of patients, respectively. Interestingly, low mRNA expression was observed in both these genes. We further conducted correlation tests between both methylation and mRNA expression of these genes with FGA. ASCC3 was found to be negatively correlated, while ALKBH3 was found to be positively correlated, potentially indicating contrasting dysregulation of these two genes. Prognostic analysis showed the following: ASCC3 hypomethylation is significant with DFS and high ASCC3 mRNA expression to be significant with OS, demonstrating ASCC3’s potential as disease prediction marker.
One important factor that contributes to human cancers is accumulated damage to cells' DNA due to the oxidative stress caused by free radicals. In this study, the authors investigate the effects of several different tea leaf extracts on oxidative stress in cultured human prostate cells to see if antioxidants in the tea leaves could help protect cells from this type of DNA damage. They found that all four types of tea extract (as well as direct application of the antioxidant EGCG) improved the outcomes for the cultured cells, with white tea extract having the strongest effect. This research suggests that tea extracts and the antioxidants that they contain may have applications in the treatment of the many diseases associated with cellular DNA damage, including cancer.