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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (5)

Articles by Shivanjali Joshi-Barr in JoVE

 JoVE Bioengineering

Density Gradient Multilayered Polymerization (DGMP): A Novel Technique for Creating Multi-compartment, Customizable Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering

1Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, San Diego, 2Biomedical Sciences Program, University of California, San Diego, 3Department of Bioengineering, University of California, San Diego


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Here we describe a unique strategy for creating biocompatible, layered matrices with continuous interfaces between distinct layers for tissue engineering. Such a scaffold could provide an ideal customizable environment to modulate cell behavior by various biological, chemical or mechanical cues

Other articles by Shivanjali Joshi-Barr on PubMed

Prion Strain Interactions Are Highly Selective

Various misfolded and aggregated neuronal proteins commonly coexist in neurodegenerative disease, but whether the proteins coaggregate and alter the disease pathogenesis is unclear. Here, we used mixtures of distinct prion strains, which are believed to differ in conformation, to test the hypothesis that two different aggregates interact and change the disease in vivo. We tracked two prion strains in mice histopathologically and biochemically, as well as by spectral analysis of plaque-bound PTAA (polythiophene acetic acid), a conformation-sensitive fluorescent amyloid ligand. We found that prion strains interacted in a highly selective and strain-specific manner, with (1) no interaction, (2) hybrid plaque formation, or (3) blockage of one strain by a second (interference). The hybrid plaques were maintained on additional passage in vivo and each strain seemed to maintain its original conformational properties, suggesting that one strain served only as a scaffold for aggregation of the second strain. These findings not only further our understanding of prion strain interactions but also directly demonstrate interactions that may occur in other protein aggregate mixtures.

Spongiform Encephalopathy in Transgenic Mice Expressing a Point Mutation in the β2-α2 Loop of the Prion Protein

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases attributed to misfolding of the cellular prion protein, PrP(C), into a β-sheet-rich, aggregated isoform, PrP(Sc). We previously found that expression of mouse PrP with the two amino acid substitutions S170N and N174T, which result in high structural order of the β2-α2 loop in the NMR structure at pH 4.5 and 20°C, caused transmissible de novo prion disease in transgenic mice. Here we report that expression of mouse PrP with the single-residue substitution D167S, which also results in a structurally well ordered β2-α2 loop at 20°C, elicits spontaneous PrP aggregation in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing PrP(D167S) developed a progressive encephalopathy characterized by abundant PrP plaque formation, spongiform change, and gliosis. These results add to the evidence that the β2-α2 loop has an important role in intermolecular interactions, including that it may be a key determinant of prion protein aggregation.

Biochemical Properties of Highly Neuroinvasive Prion Strains

Infectious prions propagate from peripheral entry sites into the central nervous system (CNS), where they cause progressive neurodegeneration that ultimately leads to death. Yet the pathogenesis of prion disease can vary dramatically depending on the strain, or conformational variant of the aberrantly folded and aggregated protein, PrP(Sc). Although most prion strains invade the CNS, some prion strains cannot gain entry and do not cause clinical signs of disease. The conformational basis for this remarkable variation in the pathogenesis among strains is unclear. Using mouse-adapted prion strains, here we show that highly neuroinvasive prion strains primarily form diffuse aggregates in brain and are noncongophilic, conformationally unstable in denaturing conditions, and lead to rapidly lethal disease. These neuroinvasive strains efficiently generate PrP(Sc) over short incubation periods. In contrast, the weakly neuroinvasive prion strains form large fibrillary plaques and are stable, congophilic, and inefficiently generate PrP(Sc) over long incubation periods. Overall, these results indicate that the most neuroinvasive prion strains are also the least stable, and support the concept that the efficient replication and unstable nature of the most rapidly converting prions may be a feature linked to their efficient spread into the CNS.

Biocompatible Polymeric Nanoparticles Degrade and Release Cargo in Response to Biologically Relevant Levels of Hydrogen Peroxide

Oxidative stress is caused predominantly by accumulation of hydrogen peroxide and distinguishes inflamed tissue from healthy tissue. Hydrogen peroxide could potentially be useful as a stimulus for targeted drug delivery to diseased tissue. However, current polymeric systems are not sensitive to biologically relevant concentrations of H(2)O(2) (50-100 μM). Here we report a new biocompatible polymeric capsule capable of undergoing backbone degradation and thus release upon exposure to such concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. Two polymeric structures were developed differing with respect to the linkage between the boronic ester group and the polymeric backbone: either direct (1) or via an ether linkage (2). Both polymers are stable in aqueous solution at normal pH, and exposure to peroxide induces the removal of the boronic ester protecting groups at physiological pH and temperature, revealing phenols along the backbone, which undergo quinone methide rearrangement to lead to polymer degradation. Considerably faster backbone degradation was observed for polymer 2 over polymer 1 by NMR and GPC. Nanoparticles were formulated from these novel materials to analyze their oxidation triggered release properties. While nanoparticles formulated from polymer 1 only released 50% of the reporter dye after exposure to 1 mM H(2)O(2) for 26 h, nanoparticles formulated from polymer 2 did so within 10 h and were able to release their cargo selectively in biologically relevant concentrations of H(2)O(2). Nanoparticles formulated from polymer 2 showed a 2-fold enhancement of release upon incubation with activated neutrophils, while controls showed a nonspecific response to ROS producing cells. These polymers represent a novel, biologically relevant, and biocompatible approach to biodegradable H(2)O(2)-triggered release systems that can degrade into small molecules, release their cargo, and should be easily cleared by the body.

A Single UV or Near IR Triggering Event Leads to Polymer Degradation into Small Molecules

We report two polymers with UV- and NIR-removable end caps that respond to a single light activated event by complete cleavage of the polymer backbone via a self-immolative mechanism. Two photocleavable protecting groups were used to cap the polymers; o-nitrobenzyl alcohol (ONB) and bromo-coumarin (Bhc). GPC and (1)H NMR confirmed complete degradation of the ONB-containing polymer in response to UV. The polymers were formulated into nanoparticles; fluorescence measurements of encapsulated Nile red confirmed release upon photolysis of the endcaps. Contrary to previous work using a similar backbone structure that degrades upon hydrolysis, here, the disassembly process and burst release of the payload are only activated on demand, illustrating the powerful capacity of light to trigger release from polymeric nanoparticles. Our design allows the signal to be amplified in a domino effect to fully degrade the polymer into small molecules. Thus, polymers and nanoparticles can reach maximal degradation without having to use intense and/or long periods of irradiation.

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