The aim of this study was to elucidate the relationship between serum bilirubin, which is an endogenous antioxidant with anti-inflammatory activity, and pro- and anti-inflammatory serum adipokines in asymptomatic normal weight and overweight individuals. Healthy men and women aged 25-49 participated in this cross-sectional study. All participants underwent fasting serological measurements of adipokines, interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-[alpha]), C-reactive protein (CRP), total and direct serum bilirubin, and other biochemical parameters. Participants were divided into normal weight and overweight groups. We found a significant negative association between total bilirubin and CRP, TNF-[alpha], visfatin and resistin values, and a significant positive association between total bilirubin and adiponectin values in both normal-weight and overweight groups. Importantly, after adjusting for body mass index, we also found a significant negative association between total serum bilirubin levels and both visfatin and CRP serum levels. Moreover, visfatin, resistin and CRP were predictors of the total serum bilirubin levels.
Berberine causes transient increases in plasma bilirubin levels. Berberine replaces bilirubin in binding to albumin (in nearly 10 times greater effect compared to phenylbutazone).
The bilitranslocase (BTL) protein facilitates the uptake of various anions, such as bilirubin, from the blood into the liver cells. As previously established, there are four hydrophobic transmembrane segments (TM1–TM4), which constitute the structure of the transmembrane channel of the BTL protein. In our previous studies, the 3D high-resolution structure of the TM2 and TM3 transmembrane fragments of the BTL in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) micellar media were solved using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations (MD). The high-resolution 3D structure of the fourth transmembrane region (TM4) of the BTL was evaluated using NMR spectroscopy in two different micellar media, anionic SDS and zwitterionic DPC (dodecylphosphocholine). The presented experimental data revealed the existence of an ?-helical conformation in the central part of the TM4 in both micellar media. In the case of SDS surfactant, the ? -helical conformation is observed for the Pro258–Asn269 region. The use of the zwitterionic DPC micelle leads to the formation of an amphipathic ?-helix, which is characterized by the extension of the central ? -helix in the TM4 fragment to Phe257–Thr271. The complex character of the dynamic processes in the TM4 peptide within both surfactants was analyzed based on the relaxation data acquired on 15 N and 31 P isotopes. Contrary to previously published and present observations in the SDS micelle, the zwitterionic DPC environment leads to intensive low-frequency molecular dynamic processes in the TM4 fragment.
Focus of this research was a particular transporter bilitranslocase (BTL). BTL has a broad tissue expression (vascular endothelium, absorptive and excretory epithelia) and can transport wide variety of poly-aromatic compounds. With available BTL data (pKi [mmol/L] for 120 organic compounds) a robust and reliable QSAR models for BTL transport activity were developed and extrapolated on 300 phenolic compounds. For all compounds the transporter profiles were assessed and results show that dietary phenols and some drug candidates are likely to interact with BTL. Moreover, synopsis of predictions from BTL models and hits/predictions of 20 transporters from Metrabase and Chembench platforms were revealed. With such joint transporter analyses a new insights for elucidation of BTL functional role were acquired. Regarding limitation of models for virtual profiling of transporter interactions the computational approach reported in this study could be applied for further development of reliable in silico models for any transporter, if in vitro experimental data are available.
Bilitranslocase is bilirubin membrane transporter, which shares similar tissue distribution and functional properties with some of the members of the Organic Anion Transporter family and is the only member classified in the Bilirubin Transporter Family. Regarding its unique properties, bilitranslocase is a potentially interesting drug target. Due to the vast biological and pharmaceutical interest in the elucidation of the structure and the functional mechanisms of transmembrane proteins, several computational methods have been developed to overcome the experimental gap. If combined with experimental data the computational information enables rapid, low cost and successful predictions of the molecular structure of unsolved proteins. The reliability of the predictions depends on the availability and accuracy of experimental data associated with structural information. In this review, the following methods are proposed for in silico structure elucidation: sequence-dependent predictions of transmembrane regions, predictions of transmembrane helix–helix interactions, helix arrangements in membrane models, and testing their stability with molecular dynamics simulations. We also demonstrate the usage of the computational methods listed above by proposing a model for the molecular structure of the transmembrane protein bilitranslocase.