Genetic variations in the Orf7a protein of SARS-CoV-2 and its possible role in vaccine development
The recurrent mutations in Orf7a of SARS-CoV-2 provide a deep understanding of its role in the virus–host interactions. Findings of our study revealed that the predicted epitopes could be promising candidates for a vaccine against COVID-19 infections.....
Docking studies, synthesis, characterization, and cytotoxicity activity of new bis-chalcones derivatives
The cytotoxic activity of all the synthesized compounds was evaluated against MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines. Compounds 5 and 6 were found to have IC50 values of about 20 µM. These compounds are good candidates to be selected for further studies to develop anticancer drugs...
Case Report on Adjunct Intravenous Autologous Activated Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy in Severely Ill COVID-19 Patients
Summary: In most people, COVID-19 presents as a mild disease. However, in many people, especially those with comorbidities, profound inflammation manifesting as a cytokine storm may lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ failure. This novel study reports two severe COVID-19 patients from Koja Regional Hospital: a male aged 52 and a female aged 65. Both patients had poor prognoses based on prognostic biomarkers, disseminated intravascular coagulation, nosocomial infections, and were reintubated more than once. Both patients were treated with adjunct autologous activated platelet-rich plasma â€” a safe and promising therapy â€” and were ultimately discharged. Thus, this study reports the potential of autologous activated platelet-rich plasma as supportive therapy for severe COVID-19 patients.
Significance of Sialoglycans in SARS-CoV2 Infection
Summary: The second wave of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) has hit India badly with a rapid surge of cases. One of the greatest challenges in managing infections from the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the incomplete knowledge regarding the disease course, hypersensitivity, and relative resistance in a number of individuals. Recently, it has been reported that besides the Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), certain sialic acids present on the cell surface may also function as potential receptors for binding the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. In this brief commentary we briefly discuss the role of sialic acids in SARS-CoV-2 infection and suggest more research investigations pertaining to this arena. This may pave the way for breakthrough solutions to combat the current pandemic more effectively by developing specific drug-targeted therapies.
Unlocking effective transgene expression potential in gene therapy with viral vectors
Summary: Gene therapy is an experimental approach for treating or preventing disease by using genes. Due to its promised therapeutic benefits for various diseases, this technology has drawn much interest in recent years. Despite reports of adverse events caused by gene therapies, success stories have increasingly emerged. The key to the success of gene therapy is finding a suitable DNA vector that will transport the gene into host cells, thus leading to the expression of the desired protein. An effective vector must be very efficient in delivering a gene to the target cells, non-toxic and safe to patients, inexpensive, and simple to use. This review discusses various aspects of the viral vectors currently in use in gene delivery systems and their great potential to unlock effective transgene expression in gene therapy applications based on this platform.
Cellular and Immunological Response of THP-1 Cells in Response to Lipopolysaccharides and Lipoteichoic Acid Exposure
Summary: Bacterial toxins are considered to be obscuring factors in multiple human diseases. Accidental contamination by bacterial lipopolysaccharides (LPS) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA) in biomedical and biotechnological products may lead to inflammation and associated pyrogenic reactions in humans. LPS are the most studied and clinically important pyrogen from gram-negative bacteria, while LTA is derived from the cell wall of gram-positive bacteria. Previous studies have identified that LPS and LTA induce a pyrogenic response in living systems. However, the detailed mechanisms of cellular toxicity have not yet been determined. The present study aimed to investigate LPS-induced and LTA-induced immune response activation and the ensuing effects on cellular integrity and organelle function in monocytes and monocyte-derived macrophages.
Human Insulin: History, Recent Advances, and Expression Systems for Mass Production
Summary: The significant rise in the number of diabetic patients worldwide, as well as the development of new insulin delivery techniques such as inhalation or oral administration which require higher dosages, are expected to increase the demand for recombinant insulin. Current manufacturing technologies will be unable to fulfill the rising demand for inexpensive insulin due to their production capacity limitations and high production costs. Production of therapeutic recombinant insulin requires a suitable host organism with adequate post-translational modification and refolding machinery. E. coli and S. cerevisiae have been used extensively to make recombinant human insulin for medicinal applications. However, transgenic plants are particularly appealing expression systems as they can be used to synthesize huge amounts of insulin for human medicinal purposes. Plant-based expression systems have the potential for high-capacity insulin synthesis at a minimal cost. The significant production of biologically active proinsulin in seeds or leaves with long-term stability provides a low-cost technique to develop proinsulin for both injectable and oral administration. Recently, stem cell therapy is being utilized for the treatment of diabetes, as these cells are capable of differentiating into insulin producing cells. With the advancement of regenerative medicine research for different chronic diseases, treatment for type 1 diabetes mellitus has been reported. The current review concentrates on several biotechnological attributes applied to the rapid and mass synthesis of biologically active insulin and its analogs in microbes, various types of stem cells and transgenic crops.
Umbilical Cord Tissue-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Should be Considered as Adjuvant Therapy for COVID-19 Treatment: An Opinion from Pooled Clinical Evidence
Summary: In 2020, we suggested that umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell (UC-MSC) transplantation can significantly improve COVID-19 symptoms based on evidential relations (10.4252/wjsc.v12.i8.721). One year later, this review aims to summarize and update the clinical evidence regarding UC-MSC usage in COVID-19 treatment. The publications on applications of UC-MSCs were searched in the PubMed, Web of Science, and Google scholar databases with the keywords â€śumbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cellsâ€ť and â€śCOVID-19â€ť. All publications about clinical studies, from case reports to randomized controlled trials (RCTs), were used as clinical evidence in this review. The results showed 16 publications (4 randomized clinical trials, 3 pilot studies/phase 1 clinical trials, 3 case series reports, and 6 case reports) with a total of 395 COVID-19 patients that were provided with UC-MSC transplantation. All publications demonstrated that UC-MSC transplantation is safe, well tolerated, improved COVID-19 symptoms, and significantly decreased mortality. These findings support our suggestion for the usage of off-the-shelf UC-MSCs for COVID-19 as an adjuvant therapy.
Recent Advances in the Role of Microorganisms in Cancer Incidence: Mechanisms and Health Precautions
Summary: Humans harbor various microorganisms, some of which reside naturally in the body, and some of which are transferred from elsewhere. Many of these microbes are considered to be normal flora that do not cause disease, provided that they occur only in their normal anatomical site in the body. The development of malignant lesions requires a long incubation time, even after direct exposure to known carcinogens. Multistep tumorigenesis is required to transform a normal cell into a cancerous one. The role of different microbes in tumorigenesis has expanded to include their potential capacity to form and modulate several cancer hallmarks, including the alteration of the immune response, tumor-promoting inflammation, angiogenesis, tumor growth and proliferation, and pro-carcinogenic metabolite production. Furthermore, microbes may damage the host DNA and induce genomic instability. This review provides a basic overview of the process of tumorigenesis and the role of different microorganisms in cancer accuracy. Then this study discusses the different mechanisms of tumor induction by viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Finally, it highlights the necessary health precautions that need to be taken to prevent the development of cancers.
Hepatitis E vaccines: A mini review
Summary: The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an important public health concern and a significant cause of enterically-transmitted viral hepatitis infections. HEV infection remains a serious threat to life, especially in immunocompromised individuals and pregnant women. Globally, vaccines have had a massive impact on public health and saved millions of lives. Vaccination can reduce the healthcare expenditure, decrease the mortality rate, and increase life expectancy. The availability of commercially effective vaccines is the most effective means for the prevention of HEV. However, the development of classic inactive or attenuated HEV vaccines is not feasible due to the lack of an efficient cell culture system for HEV. In recent years, recombinant HEV vaccine approaches have been explored. Many vaccine candidates have showed potential efficacy against HEV infection. Currently, the only licensed vaccine is HecolinÂ®, a recombinant vaccine developed by Xiamen Innovax Biotech Co., Ltd. It is available in China. However, there are many hindrances when it comes to the acrossthe- board application of HecolinÂ® and other vaccines worldwide. Large-scale efforts are needed to further evaluate the efficacy and safety of HecolinÂ® in at-risk populations and to pass the World Health Organization prequalification for licensing outside of China.
Laboratory strategy for autoantibodies testing as a diagnostic marker of pulmonary fibrosis in systemic sclerosis: A preliminary study prior to cohort registry of systemic sclerosis in West Java Indonesia
W., A., M.,
Summary: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a complication often found in patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). This usually manifests as pulmonary fibrosis and is the leading cause of death in SSc patients. Antinuclear antibodies indirect immunofluorescence (ANA-IIF) test and specific autoantibodies testing could be employed as a diagnostic marker to detect pulmonary fibrosis, but the high cost of these tests often burdens patients in developing countries. This study aims to compare ANA-IIF and an alternative, possibly inexpensive method to detect pulmonary fibrosis in SSc.
Fenugreek-mediated synthesis of zinc oxide nanoparticles and evaluation of its in vitro and in vivo antitumor potency
Summary: Zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnONPs) are one of the most interesting metal oxide nanoparticles due to their easy functionalization, biocompatibility, and anticancer impact. The current study was designated to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo anticancer potency of biologically synthesized ZnONPs.
Genetic variations in the Orf7a protein of SARS-CoV-2 and its possible role in vaccine development
Summary: SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) is the causative agent of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that has been creating an unprecedented situation globally. The recurrent mutations in SARS-CoV-2 genomes impact on the vaccine designing strategies. The Orf7a is a 121-amino acid-long type I transmembrane accessory protein encoded by the genome of SARSCoV- 2 and plays a crucial role in the virusâ€“host interaction. The present study aimed to analyze the variations occurring in Orf7a due to multiple mutations and its immunological role in developing a promising therapeutic target to curb SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Green synthesized monodispersed silver nanoparticlesâ€™ characterization and their efficacy against cancer cells
Summary: In biomedical research, silver nanoparticles have attracted the attention of many scientists in drug delivery and other applications. This study investigates the characterization of biologically synthesized nanoparticles and their efficacy on cancer cells.
Proteinuria in early pregnancy: Is it a reflection of chronic renal disease?
Summary: Encountering pregnant women with significant proteinuria in the first trimester is rare, and it calls for investigating a renal cause. A 25-year-old primigravida was diagnosed with proteinuria during her first prenatal visit at 12 weeks. When investigated further, she was found to have bilateral renal cysts and chronic kidney disease (CKD) and, hence, was advised medical termination of pregnancy. At tertiary care Institute, her evaluation showed 22 weeks of pregnancy with live fetus and proteinuria of more than 1500 mg/day, and serum creatinine was 3.1 mg%. She was counseled and managed by a multidisciplinary team consisting of nephrologists and obstetricians. Apart from her routine hematinic, she had twice-weekly dialysis and received multiple blood transfusions, twiceweekly erythropoietin, low molecular weight heparin, and aspirin. She developed mild intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) and had a planned vaginal delivery at 37 weeks, and delivered a neonate of 2.3 kg with an Apgar score of 9/10 at 5 min. The baby was observed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) as the cord blood creatinine was high, which normalized after four days. Mother and baby were discharged after five days in good health; however, after six weeks, mother's renal function deteriorated, and she was hospitalized again for renal biopsy and further management under nephrology.
Pharmacological intervention of various Indian medicinal plants in combating COVID-19 infection
Summary: Coronavirus pandemic is progressing rapidly causing an eruption of successive waves around the globe due to its ability to cause recurrent mutations, making the prevention and control measures extremely essential. The success of therapeutic benefits of natural plants and herbs are well known to humans since ancient times. Medicinal plants play an important role in curing human diseases due to the presence of phytochemicals and bioactive compounds. India is known for its heritage of medicinal plants, and Traditional Indian Medicines (TIM) have shown the potential to treat several diseases. The review highlights the detailed information of various Indian medicinal plants and their potential therapeutic role as an antiviral and immunomodulatory therapeutics. Ministry of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy) has already issued several health advisory and routinely use of medicinal plants to strengthen the immune system to fight against COVID-19. Various medicinal plants, such as Ocimum sanctum, Withania somnifera, Tinospora cordifolia, Curcuma longa, Zingiber officinalis, Azadirachta indica, Piper nigrum, Nigella sativa, Allium sativum, Glycyrrhiza glabra with their antiviral properties against several viruses including SARS-CoV-2 virus have been discussed in the review, which might be an effective prophylaxis against COVID-19. Special emphasis has been given on the antiviral activities of these plants against SARS-CoV-2, highlighting their efficacy as potential drug candidates.
Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
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Phuc Van Pham, Editor-in-Chief
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