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Biomolecules ; 11(6)2021 06 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1257986


Carbohydrates have long been known to mediate intracellular interactions, whether within one organism or between different organisms. Sialic acids (Sias) are carbohydrates that usually occupy the terminal positions in longer carbohydrate chains, which makes them common recognition targets mediating these interactions. In this review, we summarize the knowledge about animal disease-causing agents such as viruses, bacteria and protozoa (including the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum) in which Sias play a role in infection biology. While Sias may promote binding of, e.g., influenza viruses and SV40, they act as decoys for betacoronaviruses. The presence of two common forms of Sias, Neu5Ac and Neu5Gc, is species-specific, and in humans, the enzyme converting Neu5Ac to Neu5Gc (CMAH, CMP-Neu5Ac hydroxylase) is lost, most likely due to adaptation to pathogen regimes; we discuss the research about the influence of malaria on this trait. In addition, we present data suggesting the CMAH gene was probably present in the ancestor of animals, shedding light on its glycobiology. We predict that a better understanding of the role of Sias in disease vectors would lead to more effective clinical interventions.

Bacteria/metabolism , Mixed Function Oxygenases/metabolism , N-Acetylneuraminic Acid/metabolism , Plasmodium falciparum/metabolism , Viruses/metabolism , Animals , Humans
Plant J ; 107(5): 1299-1319, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282039


Caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) are specialized plant metabolites we encounter in our daily life. Humans consume CQAs in mg-to-gram quantities through dietary consumption of plant products. CQAs are considered beneficial for human health, mainly due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Recently, new biosynthetic pathways via a peroxidase-type p-coumaric acid 3-hydroxylase enzyme were discovered. More recently, a new GDSL lipase-like enzyme able to transform monoCQAs into diCQA was identified in Ipomoea batatas. CQAs were recently linked to memory improvement; they seem to be strong indirect antioxidants via Nrf2 activation. However, there is a prevalent confusion in the designation and nomenclature of different CQA isomers. Such inconsistencies are critical and complicate bioactivity assessment since different isomers differ in bioactivity and potency. A detailed explanation regarding the origin of such confusion is provided, and a recommendation to unify nomenclature is suggested. Furthermore, for studies on CQA bioactivity, plant-based laboratory animal diets contain CQAs, which makes it difficult to include proper control groups for comparison. Therefore, a synthetic diet free of CQAs is advised to avoid interferences since some CQAs may produce bioactivity even at nanomolar levels. Biotransformation of CQAs by gut microbiota, the discovery of new enzymatic biosynthetic and metabolic pathways, dietary assessment, and assessment of biological properties with potential for drug development are areas of active, ongoing research. This review is focused on the chemistry, biosynthesis, occurrence, analytical challenges, and bioactivity recently reported for mono-, di-, tri-, and tetraCQAs.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , Antioxidants/chemistry , Cognitive Dysfunction/prevention & control , Neuroprotective Agents/chemistry , Phytochemicals/chemistry , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Quinic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Acyltransferases/genetics , Acyltransferases/metabolism , Animals , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antioxidants/metabolism , Antioxidants/pharmacology , Biosynthetic Pathways , Brachypodium/enzymology , Dietary Supplements , Humans , Ipomoea batatas/enzymology , Mixed Function Oxygenases/genetics , Mixed Function Oxygenases/metabolism , Neuroprotective Agents/metabolism , Neuroprotective Agents/pharmacology , Phytochemicals/metabolism , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , Plant Proteins/genetics , Plant Proteins/metabolism , Quinic Acid/chemistry , Quinic Acid/metabolism , Quinic Acid/pharmacology , Terminology as Topic
Int J Mol Sci ; 21(18)2020 Sep 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-831006


Vitamin D is a steroid hormone classically involved in the calcium metabolism and bone homeostasis. Recently, new and interesting aspects of vitamin D metabolism has been elucidated, namely the special role of the skin, the metabolic control of liver hydroxylase CYP2R1, the specificity of 1α-hydroxylase in different tissues and cell types and the genomic, non-genomic and epigenomic effects of vitamin D receptor, which will be addressed in the present review. Moreover, in the last decades, several extraskeletal effects which can be attributed to vitamin D have been shown. These beneficial effects will be here summarized, focusing on the immune system and cardiovascular system.

Vitamin D/metabolism , 25-Hydroxyvitamin D3 1-alpha-Hydroxylase/metabolism , Animals , Bone and Bones/metabolism , Calcitriol/metabolism , Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System/metabolism , Cytochrome P450 Family 2/metabolism , Homeostasis , Humans , Lipid Metabolism , Mixed Function Oxygenases/metabolism , Receptors, Calcitriol/metabolism , Skin/metabolism , Vitamin D3 24-Hydroxylase/metabolism