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    The long non-coding RNA CRNDE promotes cervical cancer cell growth and metastasis.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):93-100
    This study was intended to analyze effects of lncRNA CRNDE on cervical cancer cell growth and metastasis. Fifty pairs of cervical cancer tissues and corresponding adjacent tissues were collected. Expressions of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in tissue samples were detected by microarray analysis. Read More

    The role of microRNAs in chronic respiratory disease: recent insights.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov 27. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    , IL 60614.
    Chronic respiratory diseases encompass a group of diverse conditions affecting the airways, which all impair lung function over time. They include cystic fibrosis, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and asthma, which together affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding RNAs involved in post-transcriptional gene repression, are now recognized as major regulators in the development and progression of chronic lung disease. Read More

    Host target-based approaches against arboviral diseases.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov 27. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    In the 20th century, socioeconomic and environmental changes facilitated the reintroduction of mosquitoes in developing cities, resulting in the reintroduction of mosquito-borne viral diseases and the dispersal of their causative agents in a worldwide scale. Recurrent outbreaks of arboviral diseases are being reported, even in regions without a previous history of arboviral disease transmission. Of note, arboviral infections represented approximately 30% of all emerging vector-borne diseases of the last decade. Read More

    Mechanism and dynamics of INPP5E transport into and inside the ciliary compartment.
    Biol Chem 2017 Aug 28. Epub 2017 Aug 28.
    The inositol polyphosphate 5´-phosphatase E (INPP5E) localizes to cilia. We showed that the carrier protein phosphodiesterase 6 delta subunit (PDE6δ) mediates the sorting of farnesylated INPP5E into cilia due to high affinity binding and release by Arl3 GTP. However, the dynamics of INPP5E transport into and inside the ciliary compartment are not fully understood. Read More

    Impact of protamine I on colon cancer proliferation, invasion, migration, diagnosis and prognosis.
    Biol Chem 2017 Aug 28. Epub 2017 Aug 28.
    The paper investigated the Protamine I (PRM1) expression and its effects on proliferation, invasion and migration of colon cancer cells as well as its function in clinical diagnosis and prognosis. Gene chips were used to screen differentially expressed genes. PRM1 expression was detected by Western blotting and qRT-PCR. Read More

    TGF-β requires the activation of canonical and non-canonical signalling pathways to induce skeletal muscle atrophy.
    Biol Chem 2017 Aug 28. Epub 2017 Aug 28.
    The transforming growth factor type beta (TGF-β) induces skeletal muscle atrophy characterized by a decrease in fiber's diameter and levels of myosin heavy chain (MHC), also as an increase of MuRF-1 expression. In addition, TGF-β induces muscle atrophy by a mechanism dependent on reactive oxygen species (ROS). TGF-β signals by activating both canonical Smad-dependent, and non-canonical signalling pathways such as ERK1/2, JNK1/2, and p38 MAPKs. Read More

    Selection of an Anticalin® against the membrane form of Hsp70 via bacterial surface display and its theranostic application in tumour models.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov 27. Epub 2017 Nov 27.
    , D-85354 Freising (Weihenstephan).
    We describe the selection of Anticalins against a common tumour surface antigen, human Hsp70, using functional display on live E. coli cells as fusion with a truncated EspP autotransporter. While found intracellularly in normal cells, Hsp70 is frequently exposed in a membrane-bound state on the surface of tumour cells and, even more pronounced, in metastases or after radiochemotherapy. Read More

    Structure and function of the human parvulins Pin1 and Par14/17.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct 26. Epub 2017 Oct 26.
    Parvulins belong to the family of peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerases (PPIases) assisting in protein folding and in regulating the function of a broad variety of proteins in all branches of life. The human representatives Pin1 and Par14/17 are directly involved in processes influencing cellular maintenance and cell fate decisions such as cell-cycle progression, metabolic pathways and ribosome biogenesis. This review on human parvulins summarizes the current knowledge of these enzymes and intends to oppose the well-studied Pin1 to its less well-examined homolog human Par14/17 with respect to structure, catalytic and cellular function. Read More

    A novel design of HA-coated nanoparticles co-encapsulating plasmid METase and 5-Fu shows enhanced application in targeting gastric cancer stem cells.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct 26. Epub 2017 Oct 26.
    Nanoparticles (NPs) is recognized as an attractive vehicles for cancer treatment due to their targeting drug release. Gastric cancer is an important death-related disease, and its therapy methods still need improvement. The NPs were prepared using a precipitation method, and were evaluated using transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Read More

    Structural mechanisms of HECT-type ubiquitin ligases.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov 8. Epub 2017 Nov 8.
    Ubiquitin ligases (E3 enzymes) transfer ubiquitin from ubiquitin-conjugating (E2) enzymes to target proteins. By determining the selection of target proteins, modification sites on those target proteins, and the types of ubiquitin modifications that are formed, E3 enzymes are key specificity factors in ubiquitin signaling. Here, I summarize our knowledge of the structural mechanisms in the HECT E3 subfamily, many members of which play important roles in human disease. Read More

    PARP-1 and PARP-2 activity in cancer-induced cachexia: potential therapeutic implications.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct 26. Epub 2017 Oct 26.
    Skeletal muscle dysfunction and mass loss is a characteristic feature in patients with chronic diseases including cancer and acute conditions such as critical illness. Maintenance of an adequate muscle mass is crucial for the patients' prognosis irrespective of the underlying condition. Moreover, aging-related sarcopenia may further aggravate the muscle wasting process associated with chronic diseases and cancer. Read More

    Mechanisms, pathophysiological roles, and methods for analyzing mitophagy - recent insights.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep 26. Epub 2017 Sep 26.
    , KS 66160.
    In 2012, we briefly summarized the mechanisms, pathophysiological roles and methods for analyzing mitophagy. Since then, the mitophagy field has continued to grow rapidly, and many new molecular mechanisms regulating mitophagy and molecular tools for monitoring mitophagy have been discovered and developed. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to update information regarding these advances in mitophagy while focusing on basic molecular mechanisms of mitophagy in different organisms and its pathophysiological roles. Read More

    The inhibition of the mitochondrial F1F0-ATPase activity when activated by Ca2+ opens new regulatory roles for NAD.
    Biol Chem 2017 Jun 27. Epub 2017 Jun 27.
    The mitochondrial F1F0-ATPase is uncompetitively inhibited by NAD+ only when the natural cofactor Mg2+ is replaced by Ca2+, a mode putatively involved in cell death. The Ca2+- dependent F1F0-ATPase is also inhibited when NAD+ concentration in mitochondria is raised by acetoacetate. The enzyme inhibition by NAD+ cannot be ascribed to any de-ac(et)ylation or ADP-ribosylation by sirtuines, being not reversed by nicotinamide. Read More

    How to get rid of mitochondria: crosstalk and regulation of multiple mitophagy pathways.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):29-45
    Mitochondria are indispensable cellular organelles providing ATP and numerous other essential metabolites to ensure cell survival. Reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are formed as side reactions during oxidative phosphorylation or by external agents, induce molecular damage in mitochondrial proteins, lipids/membranes and DNA. To cope with this and other sorts of organellar stress, a multi-level quality control system exists to maintain cellular homeostasis. Read More

    The dinoponeratoxin peptides from the giant ant Dinoponera quadriceps display in vitro antitrypanosomal activity.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep 26. Epub 2017 Sep 26.
    The crude venom of the giant ant Dinoponera quadriceps is a cocktail of polypeptides and organic compounds that showed antiparasitic effects against Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas disease. In order to investigate the venom-derived components responsible for such antitrypanosomal activity, four dinoponeratoxins were identified, namely M-PONTX-Dq3a, -Dq3b, -Dq3c and -Dq4e, that are diverse in size, net charge, hydrophobicity and propensity to interact with eukaryote cell membranes. These peptides were tested against epimastigote, trypomastigote and amastigote forms of benznidazoleresistant Y strain of T. Read More

    Domain topology of human Rasal.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):63-72
    Rasal is a modular multi-domain protein of the GTPase-activating protein 1 (GAP1) family; its four known members, GAP1m, Rasal, GAP1IP4BP and Capri, have a Ras GTPase-activating domain (RasGAP). This domain supports the intrinsically slow GTPase activity of Ras by actively participating in the catalytic reaction. In the case of Rasal, GAP1IP4BP and Capri, their remaining domains are responsible for converting the RasGAP domains into dual Ras- and Rap-GAPs, via an incompletely understood mechanism. Read More

    The consequences of deglycosylation of recombinant intra-melanosomal domain of human tyrosinase.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):73-77
    Tyrosinase, a melanosomal glycoenzyme, catalyzes initial steps of the melanin biosynthesis. While glycosylation was previously studied in vivo, we present three recombinant mutant variants of human tyrosinase, which were obtained using multiple site-directed mutagenesis, expressed in insect larvae, purified and characterized biochemically. The mutagenesis demonstrated the reduced protein expression and enzymatic activity due to possible loss of protein stability and protein degradation. Read More

    Targeted degradomics in protein terminomics and protease substrate discovery.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):47-54
    Targeted degradomics integrates positional information into mass spectrometry (MS)-based targeted proteomics workflows and thereby enables analysis of proteolytic cleavage events with unprecedented specificity and sensitivity. Rapid progress in the establishment of protease-substrate relations provides extensive degradomics target lists that now can be tested with help of selected and parallel reaction monitoring (S/PRM) in complex biological systems, where proteases act in physiological environments. In this minireview, we describe the general principles of targeted degradomics, outline the generic experimental workflow of the methodology and highlight recent and future applications in protease research. Read More

    Maintaining protein composition in cilia.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):1-11
    The primary cilium is a sensory organelle that is vital in regulating several signalling pathways. Unlike most organelles cilia are open to the rest of the cell, not enclosed by membranes. The distinct protein composition is crucial to the function of cilia and many signalling proteins and receptors are specifically concentrated within distinct compartments. Read More

    Brain plasticity, cognitive functions and neural stem cells: a pivotal role for the brain-specific neural master gene |-SRGAP2-FAM72-|.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):55-61
    Due to an aging society with an increased dementia-induced threat to higher cognitive functions, it has become imperative to understand the molecular and cellular events controlling the memory and learning processes in the brain. Here, we suggest that the novel master gene pair |-SRGAP2-FAM72-| (SLIT-ROBO Rho GTPase activating the protein 2, family with sequence similarity to 72) reveals a new dogma for the regulation of neural stem cell (NSC) gene expression and is a distinctive player in the control of human brain plasticity. Insight into the specific regulation of the brain-specific neural master gene |-SRGAP2-FAM72-| may essentially contribute to novel therapeutic approaches to restore or improve higher cognitive functions. Read More

    Eremophilane-type sesquiterpenes from fungi and their medicinal potential.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):13-28
    Eremophilanes are sesquiterpenes with a rearranged carbon skeleton formed both by plants and fungi, however, almost no plant eremophilanes are found in fungi. These eremophilanes possess mainly phytotoxic, antimicrobial, anticancer and immunomodulatory properties and in this review fungal eremophilanes with bioactivities of potential medicinal applications are reviewed and discussed. A special focus is set on natural products bearing highly functionalized fatty acids at C-1 or C-3 position of the eremophilane backbone. Read More

    Regulation of protein function by S-nitrosation and S-glutathionylation: processes and targets in cardiovascular pathophysiology.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1267-1293
    Decades of chemical, biochemical and pathophysiological research have established the relevance of post-translational protein modifications induced by processes related to oxidative stress, with critical reflections on cellular signal transduction pathways. A great deal of the so-called 'redox regulation' of cell function is in fact mediated through reactions promoted by reactive oxygen and nitrogen species on more or less specific aminoacid residues in proteins, at various levels within the cell machinery. Modifications involving cysteine residues have received most attention, due to the critical roles they play in determining the structure/function correlates in proteins. Read More

    Locally produced xenin and the neurotensinergic system in pancreatic islet function and β-cell survival.
    Biol Chem 2017 Dec;399(1):79-92
    Modulation of neuropeptide receptors is important for pancreatic β-cell function. Here, islet distribution and effects of the neurotensin (NT) receptor modulators, xenin and NT, was examined. Xenin, but not NT, significantly improved glucose disposal and insulin secretion, in mice. Read More

    Heat shock protein 47 effects on hepatic stellate cell-associated receptors in hepatic fibrosis of Schistosoma japonicum-infected mice.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1357-1366
    The study aimed to explore the regulation of heat shock protein 47 (HSP47) on expressions of receptors associated with hepatic stellate cell (HSC) in liver fibrosis mouse models induced by Schistosoma japonicum (S. japonicum). Mouse fibroblasts (NIH/3T3) were transfected with HSP47 shRNA plasmid by lipofectamine transfection, and experimental fibrosis in HSCs was studied in S. Read More

    Comparison of cytochrome P450 expression in four different human osteoblast models.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1327-1334
    Cytochromes P450 (CYPs) are important for bone homeostasis, but only limited information is available on their expression in human bone cells. We analyzed the expression levels of eight CYPs in osteoblasts cultured in human bone pieces, in osteoblasts differentiated from human periosteum mesenchymal stem cells, in primary human osteoblasts and in the human osteoblast cell line MG63, respectively. Our results confirm previous reports about the presence of CYP11A1, CYP17A1, CYP24A1 and CYP27B1, while demonstrating expression of CYP2E1, CYP26A1, CYP39A1 and CYP51A1 for the first time. Read More

    HDAC1 triggers the proliferation and migration of breast cancer cells via upregulation of interleukin-8.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1347-1356
    Targeted inhibition of histone deacetylase (HDAC) is one of the potent anticancer therapy approaches. Our data showed that mRNA and protein levels of HDAC1 in breast cancer cells were greater than that in normal fibroblast 3T3 cells and normal epithelial breast MCF10A cells. The mRNA levels of HDAC1 in 75% of breast cancer tissues (18/24) were greater than that in their corresponding adjacent normal tissues. Read More

    The molecular mechanisms involved in lectin-induced human platelet aggregation.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1335-1346
    We have compared the effect of three legume lectins, wheat germ agglutinin (WGA), Phaseolus vulgaris agglutinin (PHA) and Lens culinaris agglutinin (LCA), on the function of human platelets. We have found that WGA is more active than PHA in stimulating platelet activation/aggregation, while LCA has no effect. Studies on the mechanisms involved show that WGA and PHA induce phosphorylation/activation of PLCγ2 and increase [Ca2+]i. Read More

    Tissue kallikrein-related peptidase 4 (KLK4), a novel biomarker in triple-negative breast cancer.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep;398(10):1151-1164
    Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC), lacking the steroid hormone receptors ER and PR and the oncoprotein HER2, is characterized by its aggressive pattern and insensitivity to endocrine and HER2-directed therapy. Human kallikrein-related peptidases KLK1-15 provide a rich source of serine protease-type biomarkers associated with tumor growth and cancer progression for a variety of malignant diseases. In this study, recombinant KLK4 protein was generated and affinity-purified KLK4-directed polyclonal antibody pAb587 established to allow localization of KLK4 protein expression in tumor cell lines and archived formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded TNBC tumor tissue specimens. Read More

    Kallistatin: double-edged role in angiogenesis, apoptosis and oxidative stress.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1309-1317
    Kallistatin, via its two structural elements - an active site and a heparin-binding domain - displays a double-edged function in angiogenesis, apoptosis and oxidative stress. First, kallistatin has both anti-angiogenic and pro-angiogenic effects. Kallistatin treatment attenuates angiogenesis and tumor growth in cancer-bearing mice. Read More

    The sphingomyelin synthase family: proteins, diseases, and inhibitors.
    Biol Chem 2017 Nov;398(12):1319-1325
    Sphingomyelin (SM) is among the most important biomolecules in eukaryotes and acts as both constructive components and signal carrier in physiological processes. SM is catalyzed by a membrane protein family, sphingomyelin synthases (SMSs), consisting of three members, SMS1, SMS2 and SMSr. SMSs modulate sphingomyelin and other sphingolipids levels, thereby regulating membrane mobility, ceramide-dependent apoptosis and DAG-dependent signaling pathways. Read More

    Progress in understanding the molecular oxygen paradox - function of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species in cell signaling.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1209-1227
    The molecular oxygen (O2) paradox was coined to describe its essential nature and toxicity. The latter characteristic of O2 is associated with the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which can damage structures vital for cellular function. Mammals are equipped with antioxidant systems to fend off the potentially damaging effects of ROS. Read More

    Human U3 protein 14a plays an anti-apoptotic role in cancer cells.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1247-1257
    Human U three protein 14a (hUTP14a) binds p53 and promotes p53 degradation. Here, we report that hUTP14a plays an anti-apoptotic role in tumor cells through a p53-independent pathway. Knockdown of hUTP14a activated the intrinsic pathway of apoptosis and sensitized tumor cells to chemotherapeutic drug-induced apoptosis. Read More

    Functional control of polypeptide GalNAc-transferase 3 through an acetylation site in the C-terminal lectin domain.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1237-1246
    , and.
    O-GalNAc glycans are important structures in cellular homeostasis. Their biosynthesis is initiated by members of the polypeptide GalNAc-transferase (ppGalNAc-T) enzyme family. Mutations in ppGalNAc-T3 isoform cause diseases (congenital disorders of glycosylation) in humans. Read More

    Reactive nitrogen species (RNS)-resistant microbes: adaptation and medical implications.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1193-1208
    Nitrosative stress results from an increase in reactive nitrogen species (RNS) within the cell. Though the RNS - nitric oxide (·NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) - play pivotal physiological roles, at elevated concentrations, these moieties can be poisonous to both prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells alike due to their capacity to disrupt a variety of essential biological processes. Numerous microbes are known to adapt to nitrosative stress by elaborating intricate strategies aimed at neutralizing RNS. Read More

    Immune-regulation and -functions of eicosanoid lipid mediators.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1177-1191
    Bioactive lipids regulate most physiological processes, from digestion to blood flow and from hemostasis to labor. Lipid mediators are also involved in multiple pathologies including cancer, autoimmunity or asthma. The pathological roles of lipid mediators are based on their intricate involvement in the immune system, which comprises source and target cells of these mediators. Read More

    Cellular and plasma nitrite levels in myeloid leukemia: a pathogenetic decrease.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1259-1265
    Nitric oxide (NO) has a contributory role in hemopoietic cell growth and differentiation. The effects of NO on leukemic cell growth have been predominantly studied in in vitro settings. This study was done to assess the alterations in nitrite level in myeloid leukemias. Read More

    Oxidised protein metabolism: recent insights.
    Biol Chem 2017 Oct;398(11):1165-1175
    The 'oxygen paradox' arises from the fact that oxygen, the molecule that aerobic life depends on, threatens its very existence. An oxygen-rich environment provided life on Earth with more efficient bioenergetics and, with it, the challenge of having to deal with a host of oxygen-derived reactive species capable of damaging proteins and other crucial cellular components. In this minireview, we explore recent insights into the metabolism of proteins that have been reversibly or irreversibly damaged by oxygen-derived species. Read More

    Targeting and inactivation of bacterial toxins by human defensins.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep;398(10):1069-1085
    Defensins, as a prominent family of antimicrobial peptides (AMP), are major effectors of the innate immunity with a broad range of immune modulatory and antimicrobial activities. In particular, defensins are the only recognized fast-response molecules that can neutralize a broad range of bacterial toxins, many of which are among the deadliest compounds on the planet. For a decade, the mystery of how a small and structurally conserved group of peptides can neutralize a heterogeneous group of toxins with little to no sequential and structural similarity remained unresolved. Read More

    Role of sigma 1 receptor in high fat diet-induced peripheral neuropathy.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep;398(10):1141-1149
    The neurobiological mechanisms of obesity-induced peripheral neuropathy are poorly understood. We evaluated the role of Sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) and NMDA receptor (NMDARs) in the spinal cord in peripheral neuropathy using an animal model of high fat diet-induced diabetes. We examined the expression of Sig-1R and NMDAR subunits GluN2A and GluN2B along with postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95) in the spinal cord after 24-week HFD treatment in both wild-type and Sig-1R-/- mice. Read More

    I36T↑T mutation in South African subtype C (C-SA) HIV-1 protease significantly alters protease-drug interactions.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep;398(10):1109-1117
    The efficacy of HIV-1 protease (PR) inhibition therapies is often compromised by the emergence of mutations in the PR molecule that reduces the binding affinity of inhibitors while maintaining viable catalytic activity and affinity for natural substrates. In the present study, we used a recombinant HIV-1 C-SA PR and a recently reported variant for inhibition (Ki, IC50) and thermodynamic studies against nine clinically used inhibitors. This is the first time that binding free energies for C-SA PR and the mutant are reported. Read More

    Galanin suppresses proliferation of human U251 and T98G glioma cells via its subtype 1 receptor.
    Biol Chem 2017 Sep;398(10):1127-1139
    Galanin is a neuropeptide with a widespread distribution throughout the nervous and endocrine systems, and recent studies have shown an anti-proliferative effect of galanin on several types of tumors. However, whether and how galanin and its receptors are involved in the regulation of cell proliferation in glioma cells remains unclear. In this study, the roles of galanin and its subtype 1 receptor (GAL1) in the proliferation of human U251 and T98G glioma cells were investigated. Read More

    The biology of JC polyomavirus.
    Biol Chem 2017 Jul;398(8):839-855
    JC polyomavirus (JCPyV) is the causative agent of a fatal central nervous system demyelinating disease known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). PML occurs in people with underlying immunodeficiency or in individuals being treated with potent immunomodulatory therapies. JCPyV is a DNA tumor virus with a double-stranded DNA genome and encodes a well-studied oncogene, large T antigen. Read More

    The small GTPases Ras and Rheb studied by multidimensional NMR spectroscopy: structure and function.
    Biol Chem 2017 May;398(5-6):577-588
    Biomolecular NMR, Ruhr University of Bochum, D-44780 Bochum.
    Ras GTPases are key players in cellular signalling because they act as binary switches. These states manifest through toggling between an active (GTP-loaded) and an inactive (GDP-loaded) form. The hydrolysis and replenishing of GTP is controlled by two additional protein classes: GAP (GTPase-activating)- and GEF (Guanine nucleotide exchange factors)-proteins. Read More

    The small GTPases Ras and Rheb studied by multidimensional NMR spectroscopy: structure and function.
    Biol Chem 2017 Feb 11. Epub 2017 Feb 11.
    Ras GTPases are key players in cellular signalling because they act as binary switches. These states manifest through toggling between an active (GTP-loaded) and an inactive (GDPloaded) form. The hydrolysis and replenishing of GTP is controlled by two additional protein classes: GAP (GTPase-activating)- and GEF (Guanine nucleotide exchange factors)-proteins. Read More

    Chronic viral hepatitis and its association with liver cancer.
    Biol Chem 2017 Jul;398(8):817-837
    Chronic infection with hepatitis viruses represents the major causative factor for end-stage liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis and primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC). In this review, we highlight the current understanding of the molecular mechanisms that drive the hepatocarcinogenesis associated with chronic hepatitis virus infections. While chronic inflammation (associated with a persistent, but impaired anti-viral immune response) plays a major role in HCC initiation and progression, hepatitis viruses can also directly drive liver cancer. Read More

    Rhadinoviral interferon regulatory factor homologues.
    Biol Chem 2017 Jul;398(8):857-870
    Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), or human herpesvirus 8 (HHV8) is a gammaherpesvirus and the etiological agent of Kaposi's sarcoma, primary effusion lymphoma and multicentric Castleman disease. The KSHV genome contains genes for a unique group of proteins with homology to cellular interferon regulatory factors, termed viral interferon regulatory factors (vIRFs). This review will give an overview over the oncogenic, antiapoptotic and immunomodulatory characteristics of KSHV and related vIRFs. Read More

    Employing RNA viruses to fight cancer: novel insights into oncolytic virotherapy.
    Biol Chem 2017 Jul;398(8):891-909
    Within recent decades, viruses that specifically target tumor cells have emerged as novel therapeutic agents against cancer. These viruses do not only act via their cell-lytic properties, but also harbor immunostimulatory features to re-direct the tumor microenvironment and stimulate tumor-directed immune responses. Furthermore, oncolytic viruses are considered to be superior to classical cancer therapies due to higher selectivity towards tumor cell destruction and, consequently, less collateral damage of non-transformed healthy tissue. Read More

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