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Volume 20, 10 Issues, 2020
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Special Issue Submission
MicroRNAs in colon and rectal cancer
Guest Editor(s):Surajit Pathak, Antara Banerjee
Metabolic and Hormonal Alterations in neuro-psychiatric disorders
Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders - Drug Targets, Volume 18, Number 4
Guest Editor(s): Omar Cauli
"EMID-DT is a prestigious journal with a multidisciplinary coverage. Its aim is to provide cutting- edge information to readers working in different field of research ranging from immune endocrine to metabolic disorders."
Max Planck Institude, Germany
Thank you for your email. Our experience of publishing with Endocrine, Metabolic and Immune Disorders - Drug Targets has been pleasant and smooth. The reports from peer reviewers arrived within a reasonable time frame and their comments were most constructive and helpful. The editors are meticulous and responsive. We hope to publish with your esteemed journal again in the near future.
169 Articles Ahead of Print are available electronically
Nowadays, heavy metals represent serious danger to human health. In fact, they are massively spread in the environment
and, therefore, the skin, the airway and the gastro-enteric systems are the most exposed organs. In the light of the above considerations,
this special issue will deal with the heavy metal-induced damage in animals and humans and also potential interventions
with nutraceuticals will be discussed.
Salimi and associates  have provided evidence on the toxic effects of nickel and raised the necessity to find out new
drugs for preventing metal-associated damage.
Martìnez-Martìnez and associates  have elucidated the role of nickel exposure in modulating dopamine release and inhibiting
glutammate N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors.
Tramontana and associates  have reviewed the issue of nickel allergy for its importance in public health with significant
personal, social and economic impact.
Gergovska and associates  have emphasized the role of nickel allergy with special reference to the skin. In fact, the morbidity
due to this metal in terms of allergic contact dermatitis outcome is constantly growing worldwide.
Filatova and Cherpak  have clarified the immunological mechanisms involved in the development of allergic contact
dermatitis under nickel exposure, emphasizing the intervention of T helper 1 and T helper 2 cells as well as the reduced functions
of T regulatory cells.
Drenovska and associates  have pointed out the important role which nickel may play in the development of autoimmune
Son  has elucidated the molecular mechanisms of nickel-induced carcinogenesis with special reference to epigenetic
changes, activation of hypoxia signaling pathways and reactive oxygen species generation.
Das and associates  have clarified the mechanisms of vitamin C protection against nickel-mediated damage in the light of
the notion that such a vitamin reduces ferric iron to ferrous iron in the duodenum, thus, competing with nickel intestinal absorption.
Magrone and associates  have focused on the impact of heavy metals with host cells (e.g., Toll-like receptor-4). In addition,
multiple damages provoked by nickel may be attenuated by nutritional intervention and, in particular, by polyphenol administration.
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a major health burden affecting 415 million adults worldwide. The prevalence is continuously
increasing at a rapid pace . It is a complex metabolic disorder where both genetic and environmental factors contribute
in the pathogenesis. To expand the understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms and improving the treatment strategies,
identification of genetic variations predisposing to T2DM is important. Candidate gene approaches, genome-wide association
studies (GWAS) and sequencing techniques have been used in the identification of common, low-frequency and rare variants of
T2DM. GWAS have identified more than 100 common variants of T2DM [2-4]. Almost all of these variants regulate insulin
secretion, and only a few regulate insulin sensitivity. However, all the genetic loci identified so far account for only about 10%
of the overall heritability of T2DM. In addition, how the novel susceptible loci are correlated with the pathophysiology of the
disease remains largely unknown. Gene-environment and gene-gene interactions are likely to contribute to the missing heritability
of T2DM [5, 6]. Besides genetics, epigenetics is believed to play a role in the pathogenesis and development of T2DM.
Dysregulation of the epigenome, especially, epigenetic modification of DNA methylation, histone modification and RNAassociated
gene silencing are found to be associated with T2DM. In recent years, progress has been made in revealing T2DMassociated
genes undergoing epigenetic alterations. Evidence suggest that environmental factors can easily influence these epigenetic
markers and increase the risk of T2DM via affecting gene expressions. Additionally, it is suspected that variable drug
response in patients with T2DM is due to different levels of T2DM-associated gene expressions [7, 8]. Thus, exploration in the
pharmacogenetic and epigenetic aspects of T2DM is needed towards personalized treatment.
In this special issue of Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Disorders-Drug Targets (EMIDDT), Ahmed et al.  represented
an update on the role of DNA methylation and protein misfolding in diabetes. Johar et al.  provided an insightful review
focusing on the molecular basis of the biomolecular changes that occur in respect to glucose homeostasis and underlying links
between pancreatic, renal and microvascular diseases in diabetes based on oxidative stress and the unfolded protein response. In
an interesting review, Tiwari et al.  summarized the emerging significance of computational biology in drug designing and
development, pertaining to identification and validation of lead molecules for the treatment of diabetes. Hossan et al.  critically
updated the epigenetic modifications including DNA methylation, posttranslational histone modifications, ATP-dependent
chromatin remodelling and non-coding RNAs related to the pathogenesis of T2DM. In another review, Khatami et al. 
critically represented the most important candidate genes of T2DM such as CAPN10, TCF7L2, PPAR-γ, IRSs, KCNJ11, WFS1
and HNF homeoboxes in order to predict the efficacy of personalized medication strategies of T2DM.
To sum up, we would like to complete this editorial by thanking Dr. Emilio Jirillo, the Editor-in-Chief, as well as Ms. Humaira
Shabbir, Senior Manager Publications, EMIDDT, along with all the contributing authors who have enthusiastically responded
to our invitations by contributing to this special issue of EMIDDT. In addition, we would like to thank all the reviewers
who evaluated the submitted manuscripts for this special issue and provided their evaluation based on novelty and scientific
contribution in the fields of genetics and epigenetics of diabetes.
Endocrine-Metabolic Disorders (EMDs) can arise due to hormonal imbalances in the organism that lead to important
changes in glycemia, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Metabolic disorders are a major cause of illness and death worldwide.
Metabolism is the process by which the body makes energy from proteins, carbohydrates, and fats; chemically breaking these
down in the digestive system towards sugars and acids which constitute the human body's fuel for immediate use, or for storage
in body tissues such as the liver, muscles, and body fat. Metabolic disorders in the population are increasing and dramatically
affecting human health. The main etiology of metabolic disorders is heredity; an estimated 303,000 newborns die within 4
weeks of birth every year worldwide due to congenital anomalies; and 2.68 million neonatal period deaths occurred in 2015
worldwide ; a major public health issue. Metabolic disorders may also develop when certain organs, such as the liver or pancreas,
become diseased or do not function normally; obesity, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism are common examples  whose
signs and symptoms include lethargy, excessive weight gain or loss, jaundice, and seizures among them .
Diabetes and obesity are two major diseases resulting from such hormonal imbalances. The search for new targets and effective
drugs against these diseases has become the object of study for many researchers . Various areas involved in therapeutic
application of multi-target ligands have already been evaluated: including complex disorders, bacterial drug resistance,
and drug repositioning. Although in certain cases, such disorders can be approached through combined drug therapy, multitarget
ligands present clear advantages; including more predictable pharmacokinetics, better patient compliance, and reduced
risk of drug interactions. Then, what are potential applications for the use of multi target ligands in metabolic disorders? Metabolic
control analysis (or flux-balance analysis) uses a vast set of experimental data to evaluate all of the metabolic rates in the
metabolic network, (the calculations assume that the reaction rate producing a metabolite equals the reaction rate for its consumption),
and highlights key points in the metabolism where a metabolic pathology or even a parasite is present and can be
Drs Singla & Dubey  explored the α-amylase inhibitory potential of Cocos nucifera endocarp ethanolic extract. The DNS
based α-amylase assay indicated that the IC50 value for the extract was approximately 100 μg/ml. At higher doses, i.e. above
250 μg/ml, it presented greater α-amylase inhibition than the standard drug, Acarbose when tested in vitro. The ethanolic extract
of C. nucifera presented no hemolytic effects when plate tested on sheep blood agar compared to the standard sodium
lauryl sulphate. The extract’s phytochemical screening indicated high contents of alkaloids, tannins, flavonoids, saponins,
triterpenes, glycosides, carbohydrates, terpenoids, quinones and lactones. Further, GC-MS analysis (Similarity Index was >
90%) predicted myristic acid, syringaldehyde, eugenol, vanillin, 2,4-di-tert-butylphenol, lauric acid, palmitic acid methyl ester
and γ-sitosterol as the phytoconstituents most likely present in the extract. In silico docking studies were performed using VLife
MDS 4.6 software and these molecules, (predicted through the GC-MS analysis), were docked co-crystallized with (Acarbose),
tracking the active site and all other clefts of porcine pancreatic α-amylase (1OSE). γ-sitosterol presented the strongest affinity
towards the active site which was tracked by the co-crystallized ligand along with cavities 1 and 2; significant interactions were
observed at the co-crystallized active site, as well as at 1OSE cavity 4. ADMET analysis was done using StarDrop 6.4 and
Derek Nexus which provided information about the structural features influencing the ADMET properties. The correlation between
the ADME properties of the molecules together with their docking scores provided this design rationale for tailoring of
derivatives from these molecules.
Khan et al.  focused on preclinical studies of various glycosides with in vitro α-glucosidase inhibitory activity. The surveyed
literature revealed marked (extremely potent) inhibitory profiles for various glycosides relative to the standard Acarbose.
Such glycosides are strong candidates for more detailed studies that might ascertain their clinical potential to manage diabetes,
where addressing multiple targets is required.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the major pathogens associated with acute tissue damage in patients with Diabetic Foot
Ulcer (DFU). Owing to a variety of intrinsic and acquired molecular mechanisms, antibiotic resistance in P. aeruginosa often
bodes poorly for predictable and favorable clinical outcomes. In a study aimed to determine the frequency of Extended-
Spectrum β-Lactamases (ESBLs) in multi-drug resistant P. aeruginosa in diabetic foot patients, Hassan et al.  showed that P.
aeruginosa isolates present significant differences in their ESBL gene patterns. Polymxin B was found to be most effective
drug against the tested P. aeruginosa isolates and SHV-1 was most the common ESBL among the strains.
Panwar & Singh  discuss obesity, a well-known multifactor disorder facing public health authorities around the world.
Increasing rates of obesity have been characterized together with liver disease, various chronic diseases, diabetes mellitus, hypertension,
stroke, heart malfunction, reproductive and gastrointestinal diseases, and gallstones. Pancreatic lipase, an essential
enzyme involved in digestion and absorption of lipids, has become a potential drug target for developing anti-obesity therapeutics
to cure obesity.
We, the Guest-Editors, would like to express our gratitude to the many authors who contributed to this special issue, reporting
investigations in various aspects of Multi-Target Drugs Against Metabolic Disorders.
Neuropsychiatric disorders are common debilitating conditions associated with poor quality of life and
premature mortality. Several metabolic alterations are found in these disorders and many
neuropsychiatric disorders often co-occur with metabolic disturbances. The knowledge of these
alterations may offer the possibility to evaluate new pharmacological and non-pharmacological
interventions to modulate those alterations leading to an improvement of patients' life and their
environment. The thematic issue wishes to shed new lights in this exciting and insightful field of
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