Editor’s choice: Protein Secondary Structure Prediction: A Review of Progress and Directions

Author(s): Tomasz SmolarczykIrena Roterman-Konieczna and Katarzyna Stapor*

Background: Over the last few decades, a search for the theory of protein folding has grown into a full-fledged research field at the intersection of biology, chemistry and informatics. Despite enormous effort, there are still open questions and challenges, like understanding the rules by which amino acid sequence determines protein secondary structure.

Objective: In this review, we depict the progress of the prediction methods over the years and identify sources of improvement.

Methods: The protein secondary structure prediction problem is described followed by the discussion on theoretical limitations, description of the commonly used data sets, features and a review of three generations of methods with the focus on the most recent advances. Additionally, methods with available online servers are assessed on the independent data set.

Results: The state-of-the-art methods are currently reaching almost 88% for 3-class prediction and 76.5% for an 8-class prediction.

Conclusion: This review summarizes recent advances and outlines further research directions.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3VcWzGQ

Editors choice: Identification of Novel Key Targets and Candidate Drugs in Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma

Author(s):Juan LiuXinjie LianFeng LiuXueling YanChunyan ChengLijia ChengXiaolin Sun*and Zheng Shi*

Background: Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma (OSCC) is the most common malignant epithelial neoplasm. It is located within the top 10 ranking incidence of cancers with a poor prognosis and low survival rates. New breakthroughs of therapeutic strategies are therefore needed to improve the survival rate of OSCC harboring patients.

Objective: Since targeted therapy is considered as the most promising therapeutic strategies in cancer, it is of great significance to identify novel targets and drugs for the treatment of OSCC.

Methods: A series of bioinformatics approaches were launched to identify the hub proteins and their potential agents. Microarray analysis and several online functional activity network analysis were firstly utilized to recognize drug targets in OSCC. Subsequently, molecular docking was used to screen their potential drugs from the specs chemistry database. At the same time, the assessment of ligand-based virtual screening model was also evaluated.

Results: In this study, two microarray data (GSE31056, GSE23558) were firstly selected and analyzed to get consensus candidate genes including 681 candidate genes. Additionally, we selected 33 candidate genes based on whether they belong to the kinases and transcription factors and further clustered candidate hub targets based on functions and signaling pathways with significant enrichment analysis by using DAVID and STRING online databases. Then, core PPI network was then identified and we manually selected GRB2 and IGF1 as the key drug targets according to the network analysis and previous references. Lastly, virtual screening was performed to identify potential small molecules which could target these two targets, and such small molecules can serve as the promising candidate agents for future drug development.

Conclusion: In summary, our study might provide novel insights for understanding of the underlying molecular events of OSCC, and our discovered candidate targets and candidate agents could be used as the promising therapeutic strategies for the treatment of OSCC.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3U3CKQQ

Editors choice: Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Antioxidants Use in Sports: How is it Balanced?

Author(s):Olfa SlimeniAli Zaiter*Patrick ChaimbaultReem Omar Mohamed Salih Andrzej PokrywkaSondes Sellami Nicola Bragazzi and Maha Sellami

This review aims to summarize the fundamental classes of antioxidants, the utilization of the supplement with antioxidants as ergogenic benefits in exercise and sport, the efficiency, and the consequence of their chronic uses. Antioxidants have been used for a long time in different sports disciplines and at all degrees of rivalry. The supplement with antioxidants anticipates muscle damage by reducing immune dysfunction, inflammation, and fatigue syndrome for athletes. Subsequently, antioxidant supplementation will improve the physical performances and health of athletes. Polyphenol compounds as incredible antioxidants that are abundant in numerous plants. The consumption of antioxidants could be hazardous whenever taken in high dosages. Researchers found that overdoses may cause undesirable symptoms and might grow the risk of death.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3Ox5kJ0

Most cited: Nutraceuticals for Promoting Longevity

Author(s):Ivan PavlovićSoliman KhatebIrina Milisav and Jamal Mahajna*

Objective: To summarize the main findings on nutraceuticals that slow aging processes by delaying and even preventing the development of multiple chronic diseases and improve productivity and quality of life in the elderly.

Methods: Literature search of the relevant papers known to the authors was conducted.

Results: The most robust environmental manipulation for extending lifespan is caloric restriction without malnutrition. Some nutraceuticals can mimic caloric restriction effects. This review will focus on the nutraceuticals that impact insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling and sirtuin activity in mediating longevity and healthspan.

Conclusion: Aging is considered to be synonymous with the appearance of major diseases and an overall decline in physical and mental performance. Caloric restriction is well established as a strategy to extend lifespan without malnutrition. A variety of nutraceuticals were reported to mimic the effect of caloric restriction by modulating the activity of insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor signaling and sirtuin activity and consequently promote longevity and healthspan.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3U3rkfQ

Most cited: The Mediterranean Diets’ Effect on Gut Microbial Composition in Comparison with the Western Diet: A Literature Review

Author(s):Ioannis-Nektarios ElmaliklisSpyridon Konteles and Antonios E. Koutelidakis*

Background: In recent years, the scientific interest about the possible role of dietary attitudes on gut microbiota modulation has been increasing.

Objective: The present literature review aimed to analyze the effect of Mediterranean diet adoption on gut microbial composition, in comparison with the Western diet.

Methods: From an initial number of 38, 21 recent studies were selected using comprehensive scientific databases and relative keywords, such as microbial composition, dietary attitudes, and beneficial effects. The selected studies were recently published based on animal models, human interventional trials, metanalyses and gut microbiome analysis, such as metagenomics.

Results: According to the basic findings of the present review study, Mediterranean diet adherence leads to a gut microbial richness and richer diversity as well as a higher abundance of genera Lactobacillus, Faecalibacterium, Oscillospira, Bifidobacterium, Eubacterium species, that stimulate the production of total short-chain fatty acids. This diet also leads to a lower Firmicutes / Bacteroidetes ratio due to the increase of Bacteroidetes and decrease of Firmicutes, accompanied by a decrease of circulating Trimethylamine N oxide levels and a reduction in abundance of Ruminococcus, Lachnospiraceae, Proteobacteria and Coprococcus, in comparison to the Western diet.

Conclusion: Further understanding of the multifactorial effect of both Mediterranean and Western diet on gut microbiota could allow the establishment of nutritional educational programs and nutritional policies with aim to improve human health by modulating gut microbial composition.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3gA8hfy

Most cited: Functional Food with Some Health Benefits, So Called Superfood: A Review

Author(s):Ena Gupta and Pragya Mishra*

The possible beneficial properties of functional foods are due to their content in bioactive ingredients, with specific biological properties. A number of processed functional foods are available in the market – probiotic yogurt, calcium and ω-3 fatty acids enriched orange juice and milk. Simultaneously, new research studies confer potential health benefits of various conventional foods (salmon, berries, green tea, vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and breads, etc.) termed as “superfood” which is a marketing term and there is no established medical definition. Following suitable dietary patterns, superfood reduces the risk of degenerative diseases by promoting physical and emotional health. Scientific evidences suggest that superfoods are a dense source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients. There is insufficient research on the exact explanation of the term ‘superfood’and its health claims by different companies without any legislation. This buzz word has created confusion among consumers, that how much and what quantity should make a food superfood, as no single food may be as nutritious to be stated as a superfood. This article introduces further investigation on superfood which was categorized on the basis of their major constituents and potential health benefits. Further, there is a need for more reviews, researches, clinical trials and human case studies to investigate or test superfood.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3EX723t

Seed Oil Wastes: Potent Substrates for the Production of Aquafeed Meal

Author(s):Fataneh Hashempour-Baltork and Kianoush Khosravi-Darani*

Read for free: http://bit.ly/3ExVqlM

Editors choice: Chronic Kidney Disease, Metabolic Syndrome, and Cardiovascular Risk: Insights and Associated Mechanistic Pathways

Author(s):Thaís Rodrigues Nogueira*Camila Santos Marreiros and Betânia de Jesus e Silva de Almendra Freitas


This study is a narrative review that aims to address the conceptual, characteristic, pathophysiological, and mechanistic aspects that define the profile of metabolic syndrome and chronic kidney disease. The objective was to investigate current knowledge and elucidate, through discussions on the topic, the main interrelated paths. This review was carried out unsystematically, from March to May 2020, by means of a survey of the literature indexed in the PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus (Elsevier®) databases. The scientific materials collected showed that the cross-talk between the diseases in question is mainly based on the conditions of resistance to insulin action, endothelial dysfunction, activation pathways of the Renin- Angiotensin-Aldosterone System, and adipokine imbalance, also emphasizing the influence of atherosclerotic events in kidney damage. Furthermore, it was reinforced that inflammatory processes play an important role in the worsening and evolution of the clinical condition of patients, especially when they have underlying pathologies chronically treated for subclinical inflammation. It is expected that more original research will propose investigating other possible interactions with a view to standardized treatment of these diseases or nutritional management.

Download and read: http://bit.ly/3gubX2h

Editors choice: Benefits of Coffee Consumption for Human Health: An Overview

Author(s):Jéssica Petrine Castro Pereira*Fernanda Aparecida Castro Pereira and Carlos José Pimenta

Background: Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages worldwide and is popular for its characteristic flavor and rich organoleptic properties.

Aim: Based on published articles, the aims of this review are i) study the association between coffee consumption and benefits to human health; ii) the effects of coffee consumption on some pathologies; and iii) provide a description of coffee’s bioactive compounds.

Discussion: Coffee presents bioactive compounds, which include phenolic compounds, especially chlorogenic acid (caffeoylquinic acid), trigonelline, and diterpenes, such as cafestol and kahweol. These compounds are related to the beneficial effects for human health, including high antioxidant activity, antimutagenic activity, hepatoprotective action, reduced incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus, reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, decreased incidence of inflammatory diseases, reduced menopausal symptoms, and others. Coffee’s bioactive compounds are caffeine, chlorogenic acid, trigonelline, cafestol and kahweol, which are closely related to coffee’s beneficial effects.

Conclusion: The present review clarified that the benefits of moderate coffee consumption outweigh the associated risks.

Read more: http://bit.ly/3TVR51G

Meet the Associate Editorial Board Member

Author(s): Tapan Behl

Dr. Tapan Behl obtained his Ph.D. degree (in 2017) in Pharmacology from University of Delhi, New
Delhi, India. Dr. Behl is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Chitkara
College of Pharmacy, Chitkara University, Rajpura, India. His skills and expertise mainly lie in the subject areas/fields of Cell Signaling, Apoptosis, Antioxidant Activity, Reactive Oxygen Species, Oxidative
Stress, Pathology, Diabetic Complications, etc. Dr. Behl, as an author/co-author, has published more than
15 articles in various journals of international repute.

Learn more: http://bit.ly/3VjaScg

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