Editor’s Choice – Saccharomyces cerevisiae as Cell Factory for the Production of Plant Natural Products – Current Biotechnology

Journal: Current Biotechnology

Author(s): Hilde C. Coumou, Pia D. Petersen, Uffe H. Mortensen.

Graphical Abstract:



Background: Plant natural products (PNPs) play a key role in human health and life quality through the treatment of diseases and as supplements in the food and healthcare industry. These high-value metabolites are traditionally extracted from the natural resource, but ongoing research is exploring the possibilities to construct efficient microbial cell factories that can replace current production methods.

Objective: This review describes recent progress for producing PNPs in S. cerevisiae.
Conclusion: Various PNPs, including stillbenoids, flavonoids, terpenoids and glucosinolates can now be produced in the baker’s yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. As a result of the growing interest in the expression of plant biosynthetic pathways in yeast, many studies have aimed at developing platform strains delivering an improved supply of precursor metabolites. Synthetic biology tools facilitate the identification of superior enzymes, balance gene expression levels in the pathway, and enable the spatial arrangement of plant-derived enzymes in yeast to optimize the performance of the introduced pathways even further.
Perspectives: The entry of CRISPR/Cas9 based technologies may allow other yeast species or filamentous fungi to be engineered for the production of PNPs.

Editor’s Choice – Hold-up in Ventures for Technology Transfer – Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship

Journal: Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship

Author(s): Klaus Spremann.



Entrepreneurs and Investors found ventures for transferring technology and bringing it closer to the market. Focussing on a situation in which the investor exercises hold-up at the disadvantage of the entrepreneur, this paper works on three points: We identify (1) conditions which make hold-up possible, and discuss (2) measures which help entrepreneurs to protect themselves against hold-up. (3) The balance of powers in a venture is related to returns to scale. Overall, the paper contributes to the theory of small-seized firms which are exposed to high uncertainties including behavioural opportunism.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/148584

Editor’s Choice – In-Vitro and In-Vivo Pharmacological Activities with Phytochemical Evaluation of Methanolic Extract of Microcos paniculata Stem Barks – Current Drug Therapy

Journal: Current Drug Therapy

Author(s): Md. Al-Amin Sarker, Sujan Banik, Md. Saddam Hussain, Antara Ghosh, Mohammad S. Hossain.

Graphical Abstract:



Background and Objectives: Microcos paniculata is widely distributed throughout the Bangladesh which belongs to the family Tiliaceae. The present study was considered to determine anti-diarrheal, analgesic, membrane stabilizing and thrombolytic activities with evaluation of phytochemical nature of methanolic extract of M. paniculata steam bark.

Methods: Methanolic extract of this plant part was prepared at room temperature and the concentrated methanolic extracts used for the phytochemical screenings by using appropriate and proper procedure for the investigation of phytoconstituents. The extract was then used for investigation of in-vitro thrombolytic and membrane stabilizing activity. The in-vivo antidiarrheal and analgesic activities were done according to the method of castor oil and acetic acid induce writhing respectively.

Results: Phytochemical study reveal the presence of flavonoids, diterpenes, alkaloids, saponin, tannin and phenols. During the estimation of anti-diarrheal activity plant extract showed most significant inhibition of 63.30% and 56.70% diarrhea at 400 mg/kg and 200 mg/kg, respectively. Analgesic test showed pain inhibition of 41.36% and 32.0% at 500 mg/kg and 250 mg/kg, respectively in contrast to standard drug (Ibuprofen) showed 46.64% inhibition of pain. The membrane stabilizing study showed that the inhibition of hemolysis increases respectively when the dose increased. Similar result was found in thrombolytic activity which means that when the dose increased, the thrombolytic activity of the plant extract increased.

Conclusion: By considering this result, it can be concluded that M. paniculata may lead to find novel drugs for cardiovascular and diarrheal patient and also bring hope for patients suffering with diverse pain.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/142376/article

Editor’s Choice – Role of ncRNAs in Development, Diagnosis and Treatment of Human Cancer – Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery

Journal: Recent Patents on Anti-Cancer Drug Discovery

Author(s): Francisco E. Nicolas.



Background: Since the first reports of microRNAs and the advent of new sequencing technologies, a whole new world of regulatory non-conding RNAs (ncRNAs) has revolutionized our knowledge of the RNA dimension. Thousands of functional non-coding transcripts have been identified and grouped into new classes of ncRNAs attending to their origin and function. Despite the fact that we have just started to study ncRNAs, it is now clear that these new regulatory actors play an important role in most of the regulated biological processes and in almost all species.

Objective: An overview of the state of the art in ncRNAs and the development, diagnosis and treatment of human cancer.Method: NcRNAs are deeply involved in the regulation of key genes that are associated with human cancer, representing a promising field for new therapies. This review summarizes the origin, structure and function of the most relevant new classes of ncRNAs, playing special attention to the studies that have related these new regulatory factors with the development of human cancer.

Results: From a thorough literature review on scientific publications and patented applications, this review presents recent advances related to ncRNAs and human cancer. In addition, a selection of patents that use ncRNAs to develop new methodologies for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer is included and described in each class of ncRNAs.
Conclusion: The regulatory potential of ncRNAs opens a new research field that will uncover new and promising aspects in the study of human cancer.

Editor’s Choice – Chitosan Functionalized CuS Nanoparticles Boots Gene Transfection via Photothermal Effect – Current Drug Delivery

Journal: Current Drug Delivery

Author(s): Li Lin, Xiaoda Li, Yongbo Yang, Lijia Jing, Xiuli Yue, Xuzhu Chen, Zhifei Dai


Graphical Abstract:


Background: The lack of smart and controllable gene vectors with high safety and efficiency is still a main obstruction for clinical applications of gene therapy. Recently, the external physical stimuli, such as near infrared light induced temperature elevation, have been applied to enhance the gene transfection efficiency and specificity. The aim of this paper is to fabricate chitosan functionalized CuS nanoparticles (CuS@CS NPs) with small size and higher biocompatibility for enhanced gene delivery by photothermal effect.

Methods: CuS@CS NPs were successfully prepared by simple hydrothermal method. The biocompatibility was detected by MTT method and hymolytic analysis. pEGFP-C1was used as gene model, and its expression efficiency was detected by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry to investigate the effect of photothermal effect on the transfection efficiency.

Results: The CuS@CS NPs around 15 nm were successfully engineered. The modification of CuS nanoparticles with chitosan conduced to higher physiological stability and biocompatibility. The utilization of CuS@CS NPs in combination with external near infrared (NIR) laser irradiation could enhance gene transfection efficiency due to photothermal effect. The gene transfection efficiency of CuS@CS NPs found to increase from 5.05±0.54% (0 min) to 23.47±1.27% (10 min), significantly higher than the free polyethylenimine (18.15±1.03%).

Conclusion: CuS@CS NPs showed great capability to control gene delivery by an external NIR laser irradiation and enhance the gene transfection efficiency and specificity because of convenient preparation, stabilized optical properties, excellent photothermal effect and good biocompatibility. It encourages further exploration of the CuS@CS NPs as a photocontrollable nanovector for combined photothermal and gene therapy, as well as image guided therapy.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/138394

Editor’s Choice – “Beyond Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors: Novel Cholinergic Treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease”

Journal: Current Alzheimer’s Research

Author(s):  Asante R. Kamkwalala, Paul A. Newhouse



The major components of the cholinergic receptor system of the human brain include projections from the basal forebrain nuclei, and utilize the two types of receptors that they synapse on, nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. With the widespread cortical and subcortical projections of the basal forebrain, activity of these two receptor systems provide modulation of neurotransmitter activity underlying normal cognitive processes, such as attention, episodic memory, and working memory. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) targets and damages cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain, and as these projections are lost, cognitive performance progressively declines. Currently, the most widely prescribed treatment for AD is acetylcholinesterase inhibitor medications, which work by partially blocking the degradation of acetylcholine in the synapse and enabling more of the neurotransmitter to reach and activate cholinergic receptors. However since these medications have limited effectiveness, alternate treatments that focus on augmenting the activity of the receptors themselves, independent of acetylcholinesterase inhibition, are being explored. This review will discuss: 1) the role of the cholinergic system in modulating cognition, 2) novel cholinergic treatment strategies for AD-related cognitive decline, in particular treatments intended to increase cholinergic system activity by selectively targeting muscarinic and nicotinic acetylcholinergic receptors to improve cognitive performance, 3) risks, and additional considerations for cholinergic cognitive treatments for AD.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/145925


Editor’s Choice – “The Status of Methicillin Resistance Among Egyptian Staphylococcus aureus Isolates: An Overview”

Journal: Infectious Disorders – Drug Targets

Author(s): Alaa Abouelfetouh



Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for a large number of antibiotic resistant infections worldwide. Understanding the epidemiology and identifying the molecular characteristics of MRSA is elemental in designing infection control plans to minimize the risks associated with these infections. The prevalence of MRSA varies between the different geographic regions. In Egypt, such knowledge is sparse, with a limited number of isolated studies reporting the infection rate of MRSA in select parts of the country. This work summarizes the few published reports that described MRSA prevalence and types in Egypt.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/144438/article

Editor’s Choice – “Mevalonate Cascade and Neurodevelopmental and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Future Targets for Therapeutic Application”

Journal: Current Molecular Pharmacology

Author(s): Xiaodan Jiao, Niloufar Ashtari, Maryam Rahimi-Balaei, Qi Min Chen, Ilnaz Badbezanchi, Shahla Shojaei, Adel Marzban, Nima Mirzaei, Seunghyuk Chung, Teng Guan, Jiasi Li, Jerry Vriend, Shahram Ejtemaei Mehr, Jiming Kong, Hassan Marzban

Graphical Abstract:



The mevalonate cascade is a key metabolic pathway that regulates a variety of cellular functions and is thereby implicated in the pathophysiology of most brain diseases, including neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders. Emerging lines of evidence suggest that statins and Rho GTPase inhibitors are efficacious and have advantageous properties in treatment of different pathologic conditions that are relevant to the central nervous system. Beyond the original role of statins in lowering cholesterol synthesis, they have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and modulatory effects on signaling pathways. Additionally, Rho GTPase inhibitors and statins share the mevalonate pathway as a common target of their therapeutic actions. In this review, we discuss potential mechanisms through which these drugs, via their role in the mevalonate pathway, exert their neuroprotective effects in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/138465

Editor’s Choice Article – “Hold-up in Ventures for Technology Transfer”

Journal: Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship

Author(s): Klaus Spremann



Entrepreneurs and Investors found ventures for transferring technology and bringing it closer to the market. Focussing on a situation in which the investor exercises hold-up at the disadvantage of the entrepreneur, this paper works on three points: We identify (1) conditions which make hold-up possible, and discuss (2) measures which help entrepreneurs to protect themselves against hold-up. (3) The balance of powers in a venture is related to returns to scale. Overall, the paper contributes to the theory of small-seized firms which are exposed to high uncertainties including behavioural opportunism.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/148584

Editor’s Choice – “Solid State Concerns During Drug Discovery and Development: Thermodynamic and Kinetic Aspects of Crystal Polymorphism and the Special Cases of Concomitant Polymorphs, Co-Crystals and Glasses”

Journal: Current Drug Discovery Technologies

Author(s): Daniel P. Otto, Melgardt M. De Villiers

Graphical Abstract:


During drug discovery and development the thermodynamics and kinetics of crystal form transitions must be studied and the fundamental properties of polymorphs must be identified. However, despite the accumulation of knowledge and experimental evidence that support the understanding of crystallization, its predictability still presents significant challenges. With the continuous development of new drug delivery technologies, even more complex situations arise such as difficult cases of polymorph selection, co-crystallization of different molecules, and manipulation of the crystallization environment for example amorphous solids. This review covers some fundamental thermodynamics and kinetics of simple system, before the discussions consider at these special cases and how the manipulation of thermodynamic and kinetic processes has increased our knowledge, understanding and application of crystallization science during the drug development process.

Read more here: http://www.eurekaselect.com/147852