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Caspase-3 precursor (EC (CASP-3) (Apopain) (Cysteine protease CPP32) (CPP-32) (Protein Yama) (SREBP cleavage activity 1) (SCA-1) [Contains: Caspase-3 subunit p17; Caspase-3 subunit p12] [CPP32]


Does cartilage ERα overexpression correlate with osteoarthritic chondrosenescence? Indications from [i]Labisia pumila[/i] OA mitigation.

Chondrosenescence (chondrocyte senescence) and subchondral bone deterioration in osteoarthritic rats were analyzed after treatment with the estrogenic herb Labisia pumila (LP) or diclofenac. Osteoarthritis (OA) was induced in bilaterally ovariectomized (OVX) rats by injecting mono-iodoacetate into the right knee joints. Rats were grouped (n = 8) into nontreated OVX OA control, OVX OA diclofenac (5 mg/kg) (positive control), OVX OA LP leaf extract (150 and 300 mg/kg) and healthy sham control. After 8 weeks' treatment, their conditions were evaluated via serum biomarkers, knee joint histology, bone histomorphometry, protein and mRNA expressions. The LP significantly reduced cartilage erosion, femur bone surface alteration, bone loss and porosity and increased trabecular bone thickness better than diclofenac and the non-treated OA. The cartilage catabolic markers' (matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-13, RUNX2, COL10a, ERa, CASP3 and HIF-2 alpha) mRNA expressions were down-regulated and serum bone formation marker, PINP, was increased by LP in a dose-dependent manner. The LP (containing myricetin and gallic acid) showed protection against chondrosenescence, chondrocyte death, hypoxia-induced cartilage catabolism and subchondral bone deterioration. The bone and cartilage protective effects were by suppressing proteases (collagen break-down), bone resorption and upregulating subchondral bone restoration. The cartilage ER alpha over-expression showed a strong positive correlation with MMP-13, COL10 alpha1, histological, micro-computed tomography evidence for cartilage degradation and chondrosenescence.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Bone Development
  • Cartilage
  • Chondrocytes
  • Diclofenac
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Estrogen Receptor alpha
  • Flavonoids
  • Gallic Acid
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Iodoacetates
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 13
  • Metabolism
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Ovariectomy
  • Plant Extracts
  • Primulaceae
  • Rats

Analysis of molecular networks and targets mining of Chinese herbal medicines on anti-aging.

Many kidney-tonifying Chinese herbal medicines exert effects on anti-aging by comprehensive interactions of multiple targets. However, the interactions of multi-targets targeted by effective ingredients of kidney-tonifying Chinese herbal medicines are unknown. In this study, to explore the systems pharmacology mechanisms of kidney-tonifying Chinese medicines on anti-aging, we establish the molecular networks with the interactions of multi-targets, analyze bio-functions and pathways with IPA, and calculated the mutual interaction pairs of targets (target pairs) with data mining, respectively. Kidney-tonifying Chinese medicines with anti-aging effects were screened from the Chinese Pharmacopoeia and the literatures. Target proteins of these herbal medicines were obtained from bioinformatics databases. Comparisons of molecular networks, bio-functions and pathways given by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis system showed the similarities and the differences between kidney Yin-tonifying herbal medicines and kidney Yang-tonifying herbal medicines. Target pairs with high correlation related to anti-aging were also discovered by data mining algorithm. And regulatory networks of targets were built based on the target pairs. Twenty-eight kidney-tonifying herbal medicines with anti-aging effects and 717 related target proteins were collected. The main bio-functions that all targets enriched in were "Cell Death and Survival", "Free Radical Scavenging" and "Cellular Movement", etc. The results of comparison analysis showed that kidney Yin-tonifying herbal medicines focused more on "Cancer related signaling", "Apoptosis related signaling" and "Cardiovascular related signaling". And kidney Yang-tonifying herbal medicines focused more on "Cellular stress and injury related signaling" and "Cellular growth, proliferation and development related signaling". Moreover, the results of regulatory network showed that the anti-aging related target pairs with high correlated degrees of Kidney Yin-tonifying herbal medicines included TNF-PTGS2, TNF-CASP3, PTGS2-CASP3, CASP3-NOS2 and TNF-NOS2, and that of kidney Yang-tonifying herbal medicines included REAL-TNF, REAL-NFKBIA, REAL-JUN, PTGS2-SOD1 and TNF-IL6. In this study, we achieved some important targets, target pairs and regulatory networks with bioinformatics and data mining, to discuss the systems pharmacology mechanisms of kidney-tonifying herbal medicines acting on anti-aging. Mutual target pairs related to anti-aging found in this study included TNF-PTGS2, TNF-CASP3, PTGS2-CASP3, CASP3-NOS2, TNF-NOS2, REAL-TNF, REAL-NFKBIA, REAL-JUN, PTGS2-SOD1 and TNF-IL6. Target pairs and regulatory networks of targets could reflect more potential interactions between targets and comprehensive effects on anti-aging. Compared with the existing researches, it was found that the kidney-tonifying herbal medicines may exert anti-aging effects in multiple pathways in this study.

MeSH Terms

  • Aging
  • Computational Biology
  • Data Mining
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Humans
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Proteins
  • Signal Transduction


  • Anti-aging
  • Bioinformatics
  • Data mining
  • Kidney-tonifying
  • Molecular Network

Di-retinoid-pyridinium-ethanolamine (A2E) Accumulation and the Maintenance of the Visual Cycle Are Independent of Atg7-mediated Autophagy in the Retinal Pigmented Epithelium.

Autophagy is an evolutionarily conserved catabolic mechanism that relieves cellular stress by removing/recycling damaged organelles and debris through the action of lysosomes. Compromised autophagy has been implicated in many neurodegenerative diseases, including retinal degeneration. Here we examined retinal phenotypes resulting from RPE-specific deletion of the autophagy regulatory gene Atg7 by generating Atg7(flox/flox);VMD2-rtTA-cre mice to determine whether autophagy is essential for RPE functions including retinoid recycling. Atg7-deficient RPE displayed abnormal morphology with increased RPE thickness, cellular debris and vacuole formation indicating that autophagy is important in maintaining RPE homeostasis. In contrast, 11-cis-retinal content, ERGs and retinal histology were normal in mice with Atg7-deficient RPE in both fasted and fed states. Because A2E accumulation in the RPE is associated with pathogenesis of both Stargardt disease and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in humans, deletion of Abca4 was introduced into Atg7(flox/flox);VMD2-rtTA-cre mice to investigate the role of autophagy during A2E accumulation. Comparable A2E concentrations were detected in the eyes of 6-month-old mice with and without Atg7 from both Abca4(-/-) and Abca4( / ) backgrounds. To identify other autophagy-related molecules involved in A2E accumulation, we performed gene expression array analysis on A2E-treated human RPE cells and found up-regulation of four autophagy related genes; DRAM1, NPC1, CASP3, and EIF2AK3/PERK. These observations indicate that Atg7-mediated autophagy is dispensable for retinoid recycling and A2E deposition; however, autophagy plays a role in coping with stress caused by A2E accumulation.

MeSH Terms

  • Animals
  • Autophagy-Related Protein 7
  • Cell Line
  • Eye Proteins
  • Gene Deletion
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium
  • Retinoids
  • Stargardt Disease
  • Ubiquitin-Activating Enzymes
  • Vision, Ocular


  • A2E
  • ABCA4
  • Stargardt disease
  • aging
  • autophagy
  • autophagy-related protein 7 (ATG7)
  • retina
  • retinal degeneration