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Head of Institute: Prof. Oren Tirosh

Administrative manager: Rakefet Kalev

Office Address:
Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition,
Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment,
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, 
Herzl 229, Rehovot 7610001, ISRAEL

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Email Address: rakefetk@savion.huji.ac.il

Publications

2020
Tavares, C. D. J. ; Aigner, S. ; Sharabi, K. ; Sathe, S. ; Mutlu, B. ; Yeo, G. W. ; Puigserver, P. Transcriptome-wide analysis of PGC-1 alpha-binding RNAs identifies genes linked to glucagon metabolic action. PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA 2020, 117, 22204-22213.Abstract
The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1 alpha) is a transcriptional coactivator that controls expression of metabolic/energetic genes, programming cellular responses to nutrient and environmental adaptations such as fasting, cold, or exercise. Unlike other coactivators, PGC-1 alpha contains protein domains involved in RNA regulation such as serine/arginine (SR) and RNA recognition motifs (RRM5). However, the RNA targets of PGC-1 alpha and how they pertain to metabolism are unknown. To address this, we performed enhanced ultraviolet (UV) cross-linking and immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (eCLIP-seq) in primary hepatocytes induced with glucagon. A large fraction of RNAs bound to PGC-1 alpha were intronic sequences of genes involved in transcriptional, signaling, or metabolic function linked to glucagon and fasting responses, but were not the canonical direct transcriptional PGC-1 alpha targets such as OXPHOS or gluconeogenic genes. Among the top-scoring RNA sequences bound to PGC-1 alpha were Foxo1, Camk1 delta, Pert, Klf15, Pln4, Cluh, Trpc5, Gfra1, and Slc25a25. PGC-1 alpha depletion decreased a fraction of these glucagon-induced messenger RNA (mRNA) transcript levels. Importantly, knockdown of several of these genes affected glucagon-dependent glucose production, a PGC-1 alpha-regulated metabolic pathway. These studies show that PGC-1 alpha binds to intronic RNA sequences, some of them controlling transcript levels associated with glucagon action.
Parma, V. ; Ohla, K. ; Veldhuizen, M. G. ; Niv, M. Y. ; Kelly, C. E. ; Bakke, A. J. ; Cooper, K. W. ; Bouysset, C. ; Pirastu, N. ; Dibattista, M. ; et al. More Than Smell - COVID-19 Is Associated With Severe Impairment of Smell,Taste, and Chemesthesis. CHEMICAL SENSES 2020, 45, 609-622.Abstract
Recent anecdotal and scientific reports have provided evidence of a link between COVID-19 and chemosensory impairments, such as anosmia. However, these reports have downplayed or failed to distinguish potential effects on taste, ignored chemesthesis, and generally lacked quantitative measurements. Here, we report the development, implementation, and initial results of a multilingual, international questionnaire to assess self-reported quantity and quality of perception in 3 distinct chemosensory modalities (smell, taste, and chemesthesis) before and during COVID-19. In the first 11 days after questionnaire launch, 4039 participants (2913 women, 1118 men, and 8 others, aged 19-79) reported a COVID-19 diagnosis either via laboratory tests or clinical assessment. Importantly, smell, taste, and chemesthetic function were each significantly reduced compared to their status before the disease. Difference scores (maximum possible change +/- 100) revealed a mean reduction of smell (-79.7 +/- 28.7, mean +/- standard deviation), taste (-69.0 +/- 32.6), and chemesthetic (-37.3 +/- 36.2) function during COVID-19. Qualitative changes in olfactory ability (parosmia and phantosmia) were relatively rare and correlated with smell loss. Importantly, perceived nasal obstruction did not account for smell loss. Furthermore, chemosensory impairments were similar between participants in the laboratory test and clinical assessment groups. These results show that COVID-19-associated chemosensory impairment is not limited to smell but also affects taste and chemesthesis.The multimodal impact of COVID-19 and the lack of perceived nasal obstruction suggest that severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus strain 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection may disrupt sensory-neural mechanisms.
Monti, N. ; Cavallaro, R. A. ; Stoccoro, A. ; Nicolia, V. ; Scarpa, S. ; Kovacs, G. G. ; Fiorenza, M. T. ; Lucarelli, M. ; Aronica, E. ; Ferrer, I. ; et al. CpG and non-CpG Presenilin1 methylation pattern in course of neurodevelopment and neurodegeneration is associated with gene expression in human and murine brain. EPIGENETICS 2020, 15, 781-799.Abstract
The Presenilin1 (PSEN1) gene encodes the catalytic peptide of the gamma-secretase complex, a key enzyme that cleaves the amyloid-beta protein precursor (A beta PP), to generate the amyloid-beta (A beta) peptides, involved in Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Other substrates of the gamma-secretase, such as E-cadherin and Notch1, are involved in neurodevelopment and haematopoiesis. Gene-specific DNA methylation influences PSEN1 expression in AD animal models. Here we evaluated canonical and non-canonical cytosine methylation patterns of the PSEN1 5MODIFIER LETTER PRIME-flanking during brain development and AD progression, in DNA extracted from the frontal cortex of AD transgenic mice (TgCRND8) and post-mortem human brain. Mapping CpG and non-CpG methylation revealed different methylation profiles in mice and humans. PSEN1 expression only correlated with DNA methylation in adult female mice. However, in post-mortem human brain, lower methylation, both at CpG and non-CpG sites, correlated closely with higher PSEN1 expression during brain development and in disease progression. PSEN1 methylation in blood DNA was significantly lower in AD patients than in controls. The present study is the first to demonstrate a temporal correlation between dynamic changes in PSEN1 CpG and non-CpG methylation patterns and mRNA expression during neurodevelopment and AD neurodegeneration. These observations were made possible by the use of an improved bisulphite methylation assay employing primers that are not biased towards non-CpG methylation. Our findings deepen the understanding of gamma-secretase regulation and support the hypothesis that epigenetic changes can promote the pathophysiology of AD. Moreover, they suggest that PSEN1 DNA methylation in peripheral blood may provide a biomarker for AD.
Antunes, B. P. ; Vainieri, M. L. ; Alini, M. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. ; Grad, S. ; Yayon, A. Enhanced chondrogenic phenotype of primary bovine articular chondrocytes in Fibrin-Hyaluronan hydrogel by multi-axial mechanical loading and FGF18. ACTA BIOMATERIALIA 2020, 105, 170-179.Abstract
Current treatments for cartilage lesions are often associated with fibrocartilage formation and donor site morbidity. Mechanical and biochemical stimuli play an important role in hyaline cartilage formation. Biocompatible scaffolds capable of transducing mechanical loads and delivering bioactive instructive factors may better support cartilage regeneration. In this study we aimed to test the interplay between mechanical and FGF-18 mediated biochemical signals on the proliferation and differentiation of primary bovine articular chondrocytes embedded in a chondro-conductive Fibrin-Hyaluronan (FB/HA) based hydrogel. Chondrocytes seeded in a Fibrin-HA hydrogel, with or without a chondro-inductive, FGFR3 selective FGF18 variant (FGF-18v) were loaded into a joint-mimicking bioreactor applying controlled, multi-axial movements, simulating the natural movements of articular joints. Samples were evaluated for DNA content, sulphated glycosaminoglycan (sGAG) accumulation, key chondrogenic gene expression markers and histology. Under moderate loading, samples produced particularly significant amounts of sGAG/DNA compared to unloaded controls. Interestingly there was no significant effect of FGF-18v on cartilage gene expression at rest. Following moderate multi-axial loading, FGF-18v upregulated the expression of Aggrecan (ACAN), Cartilage Oligomeric Matrix Protein (COMP), type II collagen (COL2) and Lubricin (PRG4). Moreover, the combination of load and FGF-18v, significantly downregulated Matrix Metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) and Matrix Metaloproteinase-13 (MMP-13), two of the most important factors contributing to joint destruction in OA. Biomimetic mechanical signals and FGF-18 may work in concert to support hyaline cartilage regeneration and repair. Statement of significance Articular cartilage has very limited repair potential and focal cartilage lesions constitute a challenge for current standard clinical procedures. The aim of the present research was to explore novel procedures and constructs, based on biomaterials and biomechanical algorithms that can better mimic joints mechanical and biochemical stimulation to promote regeneration of damaged cartilage. Using a hydrogel-based platform for chondrocyte 3D culture revealed a synergy between mechanical forces and growth factors. Exploring the mechanisms underlying this mechano-biochemical interplay may enhance our understanding of cartilage remodeling and the development of new strategies for cartilage repair and regeneration. (C) 2020 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Schmallegger, M. ; Barbon, A. ; Bortolus, M. ; Chemelli, A. ; Bilkis, I. ; Gescheidt, G. ; Weiner, L. Systematic Quantification of Electron Transfer in a Bare Phospholipid Membrane Using Nitroxide-Labeled Stearic Acids: Distance Dependence, Kinetics, and Activation Parameters. LANGMUIR 2020, 36, 10429-10437.Abstract
In this report, we present a method to characterize the kinetics of electron transfer across the bilayer of a unilamellar liposome composed of 1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine. The method utilizes synthetic phospholipids containing noninvasive nitroxide spin labels having the >N-O center dot moiety at well-defined distances from the outer surface of the liposome to serve as reporters for their local environment and, at the same time, permit measurement of the kinetics of electron transfer. We used 5-doxyl and 16-doxyl stearic acids. The paramagnetic >N-O center dot moiety is photo-oxidized to the corresponding diamagnetic oxoammonium cation by a ruthenium electron acceptor formed in the solution. Electron transfer is monitored by three independent spectroscopic methods: by both steady-state and time-resolved electron paramagnetic resonance and by optical spectroscopy. These techniques allowed us to differentiate between the electron transfer rates of nitroxides located in the outer leaflet of the phospholipid bilayer and of those located in the inner leaflet. Measurement of electron transfer rates as a function of temperature revealed a low-activation barrier (Delta G double dagger similar to 40 kJ/mol) that supports a tunneling mechanism.
Lotan, R. ; Ganmore, I. ; Shelly, S. ; Zacharia, M. ; Uribarri, J. ; Beisswenger, P. ; Cai, W. ; Troen, A. M. ; Beeri, M. S. Long Term Dietary Restriction of Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs) in Older Adults with Type 2 Diabetes Is Feasible and Efficacious-Results from a Pilot RCT. NUTRIENTS 2020, 12.Abstract
Introduction: High serum concentrations of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in older adults and diabetics are associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment. The aim of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of long-term adherence to a dietary intervention designed to decrease intake and exposure to circulating AGEs among older adults with type 2 diabetes. Methods: Herein, 75 participants were randomized to either a standard of care (SOC) control arm or to an intervention arm receiving instruction on reducing dietary AGEs intake. The primary outcome was a change in serum AGEs at the end of the intervention. Secondary and exploratory outcomes included adherence to diet and its association with circulating AGEs. Cognitive function and brain imaging were also assessed but were out of the scope of this article (ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT02739971). Results: The intervention resulted in a significant change over time in several serum AGEs compared to the SOC guidelines. Very high adherence (above 80%) to the AGE-lowering diet was associated with a greater reduction in serum AGEs levels. There were no significant differences between the two arms in any other metabolic markers. Conclusions: A long-term dietary intervention to reduce circulating AGEs is feasible in older adults with type 2 diabetes, especially in those who are highly adherent to the AGE-lowering diet.
Sinai, T. ; Bromberg, M. ; Axelrod, R. ; Shimony, T. ; Stark, A. H. ; Keinan-Boker, L. Menarche at an Earlier Age: Results from Two National Surveys of Israeli Youth, 2003 and 2016. JOURNAL OF PEDIATRIC AND ADOLESCENT GYNECOLOGY 2020, 33, 459-465.Abstract
Study Objective: To assess emergent changes in the age at menarche and investigate associated factors in Israeli adolescents in 2003 and 2016. Design: Cross-sectional study. Setting: Two national representative school-based surveys (first and second ``Mabat Youth''). Participants: Both surveys included female students in 7th-12th grades (ages 11-19 years). The first (N = 3328) was conducted between the years 2003 and 2004, and the second (N = 2535) from 2015 to 2016. Interventions: The survey questionnaire was self-administered and anthropometric measurements were performed by trained personnel. Main Outcome Measures: The current age at menarche in Israeli girls was determined and independent factors (demographic, clinical, and lifestyle) examined. Changes that occurred since the past national survey more than a decade ago were documented. Results: The estimated median age at menarche declined from 13.0 (interquartile range, 12.0-14.0) years in 2003-2004 to 12.5 (interquartile range, 12.0-13.0) years in 2015-2016 (P < .0001). Jewish girls reached menarche earlier than Arab girls, but both populations experienced a similar downward trend in the past approximately 14 years. Greater body mass index, higher socioeconomic status, and immigrant status were associated with younger menarche onset (P < .001). Age at menarche remained lower in 2015-2016 vs 2003-2004, even after adjustment for these potential confounders, with a high hazard ratio (HR), which decreased as a function of survival time (t): HRt = 15.417 x 0.813(t). Conclusion: This study confirms the decline in age at menarche in Israel. Findings were associated with body mass index and population group but also indicated that other factors are likely involved.
Stoeger, V. ; Dingjan, T. ; Ben-Shoshan-Galeczki, Y. ; Hans, J. ; Ley, J. P. ; Krammer, G. E. ; Niv, M. ; Somoza, V. L-Arginine and L-Isoleucine interactions with bitter taste receptor T2R1 and relevance for gastric acid secretion. CHEMICAL SENSES 2020, 45, 154.
Roos, Y. H. ; Saguy, I. In Memoriam: Professor Emeritus Marcus (Marc) Karel (1928 - 2019): A Food Science and Food Engineering Pioneer, Exceptional Educator, Mentor, and Friend. JOURNAL OF FOOD SCIENCE EDUCATION 2020, 19, 32-35.
Gillon-Keren, M. ; Kaufman-Shriqui, V. ; Goldsmith, R. ; Safra, C. ; Shai, I. ; Fayman, G. ; Berry, E. ; Tirosh, A. ; Dicker, D. ; Froy, O. ; et al. Development of Criteria for a Positive Front-of-Package Food Labeling: The Israeli Case. NUTRIENTS 2020, 12.Abstract
Efforts to shape the food environment are aimed at reducing diet-related co-morbidities. Front-of-package labeling (FOPL) may support the consumers to make an informed decision at the point of purchase and encourage industry to reformulate food products. The Israeli Ministry of Health (MOH) implemented a unique FOPL system, using two colors: A mandatory warning (red) label alongside a voluntary positive (green) label. An independent Scientific Committee, from academia, the healthcare system, and MOH was appointed to determine the core principles for the positive FOPL. The criteria were based on the Mediterranean diet principles, with adjustments to the Israeli dietary habits, focusing on the health advantages of the food and considering its processing level. The food products eligible for positive FOPL are foods in their natural form or with added spices or herbs, or those that underwent minimal processing, with no food additives. Based on population consumption data, 19.8% of food products were eligible for positive FOPL; of them, 54% were fruits and vegetables, 20% dairy, and 14% grains. An evaluation plan is needed to assess the degree of acceptance of the positive FOPL by the industry, retailers, and the public, and its impact on food consumption and on public health.
Chai, C. ; Cox, B. ; Yaish, D. ; Gross, D. ; Rosenberg, N. ; Amblard, F. ; Shemuelian, Z. ; Gefen, M. ; Korach, A. ; Tirosh, O. ; et al. Agonist of RORA Attenuates Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Progression in Mice via Up-regulation of MicroRNA 122. GASTROENTEROLOGY 2020, 159, 999+.Abstract
BACKGROUND & AIMS: Development of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is associated with reductions in hepatic microRNA122 (MIR122); the RAR related orphan receptor A (RORA) promotes expression of MIR122. Increasing expression of RORA in livers of mice increases expression of MIR122 and reduces lipotoxicity. We investigated the effects of a RORA agonist in mouse models of NASH. METHODS: We screened a chemical library to identify agonists of RORA and tested their effects on a human hepatocellular carcinoma cell line (Huh7). C57BL/6 mice were fed a chow or high-fat diet (HFD) for 4 weeks to induce fatty liver. Mice were given hydrodynamic tail vein injections of a MIR122 antagonist (antagomiR-122) or a control antagomiR once each week for 3 weeks while still on the HFD or chow diet, or intraperitoneal injections of the RORA agonist RS-2982 or vehicle, twice each week for 3 weeks. Livers, gonad white adipose, and skeletal muscle were collected and analyzed by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, histology, and immunohistochemistry. A separate group of mice were fed an atherogenic diet, with or without injections of RS-2982 for 3 weeks; livers were analyzed by immunohistochemistry, and plasma was analyzed for levels of aminotransferases. We analyzed data from liver tissues from patients with NASH included in the RNA-sequencing databases GSE33814 and GSE89632. RESULTS: Injection of mice with antagomiR122 significantly reduced levels of MIR122 in plasma, liver, and white adipose tissue; in mice on an HFD, antagomiR-122 injections increased fat droplets and total triglyceride content in liver and reduced b-oxidation and energy expenditure, resulting in significantly more weight gain than in mice given the control microRNA. We identified RS-2982 as an agonist of RORA and found it to increase expression of MIR122 promoter activity in Huh7 cells. In mice fed an HFD or atherogenic diet, injections of RS-2982 increased hepatic levels of MIR122 precursors and reduced hepatic synthesis of triglycerides by reducing expression of biosynthesis enzymes. In these mice, RS 2982 significantly reduced hepatic lipotoxicity, reduced liver fibrosis, increased insulin resistance, and reduced body weightcompared with mice injected with vehicle. Patients who underwent cardiovascular surgery had increased levels of plasma MIR122 compared to its levels before surgery; increased expression of plasma MIR122 was associated with increased levels of plasma free fatty acids and levels of RORA. CONCLUSIONS: We identified the compound RS-2982 as an agonist of RORA that increases expression of MIR122 in cell lines and livers of mice. Mice fed an HFD or atherogenic diet given injections of RS-2982 had reduced hepatic lipotoxicity, liver fibrosis, and body weight compared with mice given the vehicle. Agonists of RORA might be developed for treatment of NASH.
Margulis, E. ; Slavutsky, Y. ; Tromelin, A. ; Benjamini, Y. ; Niv, M. Y. Predicting multi-functionality of bitter taste compounds using computational tools. CHEMICAL SENSES 2020, 45, 138.
Xin, Z. ; Yu, D. ; Yang, B. ; Chen, L. ; Hayouka, Z. ; Chen, X. ; Gong, Y. ; Dai, H. ; Wang, L. ; Zhao, Y. ; et al. Molecular characterization, expression and immune functions of two C-type lectin from Venerupis philippinarum. FISH & SHELLFISH IMMUNOLOGY 2020, 107, 260-268.Abstract
In the present study, two C-type lectins (designated as VpClec-3 and VpClec-4) were identified and characterized from the manila clam Venerupis philippinarum. Multiple alignment and phylogenetic relationship analysis strongly suggested that VpClec-3 and VpClec-4 belong to the C-type lectin family. In nonstimulated clams, the VpClec-3 transcript was dominantly expressed in the hepatopancreas, while the VpClec-4 transcript was mainly expressed in gill tissues. Both VpClec-3 and VpClec-4 mRNA expression was significantly upregulated following Vibrio anguillarum challenge. Recombinant VpClec-4 (rVpClec-4) was shown to bind lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and glucan in vitro, whereas recombinant VpClec-3 (rVpClec-3) only bound to glucan. In addition, rVpClec-3 and rVpClec-4 displayed broad agglutination activities towards Vibrio harveyi, Vibrio splendidus and V. anguillarum, while no agglutination activities towards Enterobacter cloacae or Aeromonas hydrophila were observed in rVpClec-3. Moreover, hemocyte phagocytosis was significantly enhanced by rVpClec-3 and rVpClec-4. All the results showed that VpClecs function as pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) with distinct recognition spectra and are potentially involved in the innate immune responses of V. philippinarum.
Ofir, O. ; Buch, A. ; Rouach, V. ; Goldsmith, R. ; Stern, N. ; Monsonego-Ornan, E. Association between abdominal obesity and fragility fractures among elderly Israeli women. AGING CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RESEARCH 2020, 32, 1459-1467.Abstract

Background

Obesity has been traditionally viewed as a protective factor for fractures. Recent studies have challenged this concept, particularly regarding abdominal obesity. We aimed to investigate the association between abdominal obesity, body mass index (BMI) and fragility fractures prevalence in a sample of community-dwelling elderly Israeli women. Methods The data in this cross-sectional study were based on `Mabat Zahav'-a survey of a nationally representative sample of elderly Israelis. The study population included 669 women. Data on fragility fractures site and circumstances were self-reported, and height, weight, waist and calf circumferences were measured. Waist circumference (WC) variable was divided into tertiles: < 88 cm, 88-99 cm and > 99 cm.

Results

Sixty-five women reported fragility fractures (14 hip fractures, 18 vertebral fractures and 39 wrist fractures). Mean age was 73.9 +/- 5.9 years, mean BMI was 29.9 +/- 5 kg/m(2)and mean WC was 93.9 +/- 12 cm. While BMI was not associated with osteoporotic fractures, abdominal obesity (WC > 88 cm) was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity [middle and high WC tertiles \3.15 (95% CI 1.41-7.02), 2.78 (95% CI 1.05-7.31), respectively\].

Conclusions

Among this sample of elderly women, abdominal obesity was positively associated with fragility fractures, independently of age, smoking, physical activity and BMI. Waist circumference, an easily measured anthropometric indicator, may be useful for assessing the risk of fragility fractures in elderly women, particularly among those with normal or high BMI-a vast population which has been traditionally considered as having lower fracture risk.

Zelber-Sagi, S. ; Ivancovsky-Wajcman, D. ; Fliss-Isakov, N. ; Hahn, M. ; Webb, M. ; Shibolet, O. ; Kariv, R. ; Tirosh, O. Serum Malondialdehyde is Associated with Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver and Related Liver Damage Differentially in Men and Women. ANTIOXIDANTS 2020, 9.Abstract
{{Background: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and steatohepatitis (NASH) are associated with increased oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation, but large studies are lacking. The aim was to test the association of malondialdehyde (MDA), as a marker of oxidative damage of lipids, with NAFLD and liver damage markers, and to test the association between dietary vitamins E and C intake and MDA levels. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out among subjects who underwent blood tests including FibroMax for non-invasive assessment of NASH and fibrosis. MDA was evaluated by reaction with Thiobarbituric acid and HPLC-fluorescence detection method. NAFLD was diagnosed by abdominal ultrasound. Findings: MDA measurements were available for 394 subjects. In multivariate analysis, the odds for NAFLD were higher with the rise of MDA levels in a dose-response manner, adjusting for age, gender, BMI, and lifestyle factors. Only among men, higher serum MDA was associated of higher odds for NAFLD and NASH and/or fibrosis (OR = 2.59, 95% CI 1.33-5.07
Milenkovic, D. ; Declerck, K. ; Guttman, Y. ; Kerem, Z. ; Claude, S. ; Weseler, A. R. ; Bast, A. ; Schroeter, H. ; Morand, C. ; Vanden Berghe, W. (-)-Epicatechin metabolites promote vascular health through epigenetic reprogramming of endothelial-immune cell signaling and reversing systemic low-grade inflammation. BIOCHEMICAL PHARMACOLOGY 2020, 173.Abstract
Ingestion of (-)-epicatechin flavanols reverses endothelial dysfunction by increasing flow mediated dilation and by reducing vascular inflammation and oxidative stress, monocyte-endothelial cell adhesion and transendothelial monocyte migration in vitro and in vivo. This involves multiple changes in gene expression and epigenetic DNA methylation by poorly understood mechanisms. By in silico docking and molecular modeling we demonstrate favorable binding of different glucuronidated, sulfated or methylated (-)-epicatechin metabolites to different DNA methyltransferases (DNMT1/DNMT3A). In favor of this model, genome-wide DNA methylation profiling of endothelial cells treated with TNF and different (-)-epicatechin metabolites revealed specific DNA methylation changes in gene networks controlling cell adhesion-extravasation endothelial hyperpermeability as well as gamma-aminobutyric acid, renin-angiotensin and nitric oxide hypertension pathways. Remarkably, blood epigenetic profiles of an 8 weeks intervention with monomeric and oligomeric flavanols (MOF) including (-)-epicatechin in male smokers revealed individual epigenetic gene changes targeting similar pathways as the in vitro exposure experiments in endothelial cells. Furthermore, epigenetic changes following MOF diet intervention oppose atherosclerosis associated epigenetic changes. In line with biological data, the individual epigenetic response to a MOF diet is associated with different vascular health parameters (glutathione peroxidase 1 and endothelin-1 expression, acetylcholine-mediated microvascular response), in part involving systemic shifts in blood immune cell types which reduce the neutrophil-lymphocyte ratio (NLR). Altogether, our study suggests that different (-)-epicatechin metabolites promote vascular health in part via epigenetic reprogramming of endothelial-immune cell signaling and reversing systemic low-grade inflammation.
Peri, L. ; Malach, E. ; Gaida, M. ; Niv, M. Y. Bitter taste 2 receptor member 14: novel agonists and combinations with chemotherapeutic agents with relevance for pancreatic cancer. CHEMICAL SENSES 2020, 45, 148.
Hutchings, C. ; Rajasekharan, S. K. ; Reifen, R. ; Shemesh, M. Mitigating Milk-Associated Bacteria through Inducing Zinc Ions Antibiofilm Activity. FOODS 2020, 9.Abstract
Dairy products are a sector heavily impacted by food loss, often due to bacterial contaminations. A major source of contamination is associated with the formation of biofilms by bacterial species adopted to proliferate in milk production environment and onto the surfaces of milk processing equipment. Bacterial cells within the biofilm are characterized by increased resistance to unfavorable environmental conditions and antimicrobial agents. Members of theBacillusgenus are the most commonly found spoilage microorganisms in the dairy environment. It appears that physiological behavior of these species is somehow depended on the availability of bivalent cations in the environment. One of the important cations that may affect the bacterial physiology as well as survivability are Zn(2+)ions. Thus, the aim of this study was to examine the antimicrobial effect of Zn(2+)ions, intending to elucidate the potential of a zinc-based antibacterial treatment suitable for the dairy industry. The antimicrobial effect of different doses of ZnCl(2)was assessed microscopically. In addition, expression of biofilm related genes was evaluated using RT-PCR. Analysis of survival rates following heat treatment was conducted in order to exemplify a possible applicative use of Zn(2+)ions. Addition of zinc efficiently inhibited biofilm formation byB. subtilisand further disrupted the biofilm bundles. Expression of matrix related genes was found to be notably downregulated. Microscopic evaluation showed that cell elongation was withheld when cells were grown in the presence of zinc. Finally,B. cereusandB. subtiliscells were more susceptible to heat treatment after being exposed to Zn(2+)ions. It is believed that an anti-biofilm activity, expressed in downregulation of genes involved in construction of the extracellular matrix, would account for the higher sensitivity of bacteria during heat pasteurization. Consequently, we suggest that Zn(2+)ions can be of used as an effective antimicrobial treatment in various applications in the dairy industry, targeting both biofilms and vegetative bacterial cells.
Tietel, Z. ; Simhon, E. ; Gashu, K. ; Ananth, D. A. ; Schwartz, B. ; Saranga, Y. ; Yermiyahu, U. Nitrogen availability and genotype affect major nutritional quality parameters of tef grain grown under irrigation. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 2020, 10.Abstract
Worldwide demand for tef (Eragrostis tef) as a functional food for human consumption is increasing, thanks to its nutritional benefits and gluten-free properties. As a result, tef in now grown outside its native environment in Ethiopia and thus information is required regarding plant nutrition demands in these areas, as well as resulting grain health-related composition. In the current work, two tef genotypes were grown in Israel under irrigation in two platforms, plots in the field and pots in a greenhouse, with four and five nitrogen treatments, respectively. Nutritional and health-related quality traits were analyzed, including mineral content, fatty acid composition, hydrophilic and lipophilic antioxidative capacity, total phenolic content and basic polyphenolic profile. Our results show that tef genotypes differ in their nutritional composition, e.g. higher phenolic contents in the brown compared to the white genotype. Additionally, nitrogen availability positively affected grain fatty acid composition and iron levels in both experiments, while negatively affecting total phenolics in the field trials. To conclude, nitrogen fertilization is crucial for crop growth and productivity, however it also implicates nutritional value of the grains as food. These effects should be considered when fertilizing tef with nitrogen, to optimize both crop productivity and nutritional effects.
Ramot, Y. ; Zandani, G. ; Madar, Z. ; Deshmukh, S. ; Nyska, A. Utilization of a Deep Learning Algorithm for Microscope-Based Fatty Vacuole Quantification in a Fatty Liver Model in Mice. TOXICOLOGIC PATHOLOGY 2020, 48, 702-707.Abstract
Quantification of fatty vacuoles in the liver, with differentiation from lumina of liver blood vessels and bile ducts, is an example where the traditional semiquantitative pathology assessment can be enhanced with artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms. Using glass slides of mice liver as a model for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a deep learning AI algorithm was developed. This algorithm uses a segmentation framework for vacuole quantification and can be deployed to analyze live histopathology fields during the microscope-based pathology assessment. We compared the manual semiquantitative microscope-based assessment with the quantitative output of the deep learning algorithm. The deep learning algorithm was able to recognize and quantify the percent of fatty vacuoles, exhibiting a strong and significant correlation (r = 0.87, P < .001) between the semiquantitative and quantitative assessment methods. The use of deep learning algorithms for difficult quantifications within the microscope-based pathology assessment can help improve outputs of toxicologic pathology workflows.