The availability of antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 represents a major step for the mass surveillance of the incidence of infection, especially regarding COVID-19 asymptomatic and/or early-stage patients. Recently, we reported the development of a Bioelectric Recognition Assay-based biosensor able to detect the SARS-CoV-2 S1 spike protein expressed on the surface of the virus in just three minutes, with high sensitivity and selectivity. The working principle was established by measuring the change of the electric potential of membrane-engineered mammalian cells bearing the human chimeric spike S1 antibody after attachment of the respective viral protein. In the present study, we applied the novel biosensor to patient-derived nasopharyngeal samples in a clinical set-up, with absolutely no sample pretreatment. More importantly, membrane-engineered cells were pre-immobilized in a proprietary biomatrix, thus enabling their long-term preservation prior to use as well as significantly increasing their ease-of-handle as test consumables. The plug-and-apply novel biosensor was able to detect the virus in positive samples with a 92.8% success rate compared to RT-PCR. No false negative results were recorded. These findings demonstrate the potential applicability of the biosensor for the early, routine mass screening of SARS-CoV-2 on a scale not yet realized.
The growth arrest-specific transcript 5 (GAS5) is a >200-nt lncRNA molecule that regulates several cellular functions, including proliferation, apoptosis, invasion and metastasis, across different types of human cancers. Here, we reviewed the current literature on the expression of GAS5 in leukemia, cervical, breast, ovarian, prostate, urinary bladder, lung, gastric, colorectal, liver, osteosarcoma and brain cancers, as well as its interaction with various miRNAs and its effect on therapy-related resistance in these malignancies. The general consensus is that GAS5 acts as a tumor suppressor across different tumor types and that its up-regulation results in tumor sensitization to chemotherapy or radiotherapy. GAS5 seems to play a previously unappreciated, but significant role in tumor therapy-induced resistance.
Literature findings represented in current review herald promising results for using Crocus Sativus L. and/or its active constituents as a cardiovascular-protective agent and in particular, Crocus Sativus L. manifests beneficial results against ischemia-reperfusion injury, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and diabetes.
BackgroundEarly action in Greece restricted COVID‐19 to Europe’s second lowest rate of cases and deaths. However, the pandemic significantly reduced blood supply. We present counter‐measures implemented in Greece, analyse data retrieved from blood services in the period from 1st February to 14th May 2020, and examine the pandemic’s impact on blood supply and demand.Materials and MethodsSixteen blood services provided their aggregate blood collection, broken down by whole blood or platelet apheresis, and by location (inside or outside the hospital), every two weeks during the study period. Aggregate donor demographics were recorded where available. Total collection was compared by period and location.ResultsTotal blood collection declined by 36% during the study, especially (65%) on the premises of the blood services. However, outpatient blood sessions organized under the ‘All Together We Can’ programme had an important impact, and supply and demand were balanced by the end of the study.ConclusionThe strategy of blood sessions and blood drives in outpatient facilities, rather than the in‐hospital environment, was successful in securing a balance between blood collection and demand. Significant shortages in supply were reported, as expected during pandemics; however, the blood inventory was managed efficiently and a demand‐based blood collection and allocation plan was developed to achieve adequate blood supply. Stringent transfusion criteria and surveillance for emergency usage of blood components were used to help in this. An active surveillance system for emergency procurement and use of blood components was also designed to optimize the blood supply chain.
MYCN Proto-Oncogene, BHLH Transcription Factor (MYCN) has been one of the most studied genes in neuroblastoma. It is known for its oncogenetic mechanisms, as well as its role in the prognosis of the disease and it is considered one of the prominent targets for neuroblastoma therapy. In the present work, we attempted to review the literature, on the relation between MYCN and neuroblastoma from all possible mechanistic sites. We have searched the literature for the role of MYCN in neuroblastoma based on the following topics: the references of MYCN in the literature, the gene’s anatomy, along with its transcripts, the protein’s anatomy, the epigenetic mechanisms regulating MYCN expression and function, as well as MYCN amplification. MYCN plays a significant role in neuroblastoma biology. Its functions and properties range from the forming of G-quadraplexes, to the interaction with miRNAs, as well as the regulation of gene methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation. Although MYCN is one of the most primary genes studied in neuroblastoma, there is still a lot to be learned. Our knowledge on the exact mechanisms of MYCN amplification, etiology and potential interventions is still limited. The knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of MYCN in neuroblastoma, could have potential prognostic and therapeutic advantages.
Phytocannabinoids possess anticancer properties, as established in vitro and in vivo. However, they are characterized by high lipophilicity. To improve the properties of cannabidiol (CBD), such as solubility, stability, and bioavailability, CBD inclusion complexes with cyclodextrins (CDs) might be employed, offering targeted, faster, and prolonged CBD release. The aim of the present study is to investigate the in vitro effects of CBD and its inclusion complexes in randomly methylated β-CD (RM-β-CD) and 2-hyroxypropyl-β-CD (HP-β-CD). The enhanced solubility of CBD upon complexation with CDs was examined by phase solubility study, and the structure of the inclusion complexes of CBD in 2,6-di-O-methyl-β-CD (DM-β-CD) and 2,3,6-tri-O-methyl-β-CD (TM-β-CD) was determined by X-ray crystallography. The structural investigation was complemented by molecular dynamics simulations. The cytotoxicity of CBD and its complexes with RM-β-CD and HP-β-CD was tested on two cell lines, the A172 glioblastoma and TE671 rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines. Methylated β-CDs exhibited the best inclusion ability for CBD. A dose-dependent effect of CBD on both cancer cell lines and improved efficacy of the CBD–CDs complexes were verified. Thus, cannabinoids may be considered in future clinical trials beyond their palliative use as possible inhibitors of cancer growth.
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