We recently isolated a polypeptide from the earthworm Lumbricus terrestris that is structurally similar to defensin, a well-known antibacterial peptide. An 11-mer antibacterial peptide (NH2-RNRRWCIDQQA), designated Lumbricusin, was synthesized based on the amino acid sequence of the isolated polypeptide. Since we previously reported that CopA3, a dung beetle peptide, enhanced neuronal cell proliferation, we here examined whether Lumbricusin exerted neurotropic and/or neuroprotective effects. Lumbricusin treatment induced a time-dependent increase (?51%) in the proliferation of human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Lumbricusin also significantly inhibited the apoptosis and decreased viability induced by treatment with 6-hydroxy dopamine, a Parkinson's disease-mimicking agent. Immunoblot analyses revealed that Lumbricusin treatment increased ubiquitination of p27(Kip1) protein, a negative regulator of cell-cycle progression, in SH-SY5Y cells, and markedly promoted its degradation. Notably, adenoviral-mediated over-expression of p27(Kip1) significantly blocked the antiapoptotic effect of Lumbricusin in 6-hydroxy dopamine-treated SH-SY5Y cells. These results suggest that promotion of p27(Kip1) degradation may be the main mechanism underlying the neuroprotective and neurotropic effects of Lumbricusin.
Clostridium difficile causes mucosal damage and diarrhea by releasing two exotoxins: toxin A and toxin B. C. difficile colitis is associated with alterations in bowel flora and the failure to mount an effective antibody response. The aim of the current study was to investigate whether antitoxin sera prevent toxin-A-induced apoptosis, cytoskeletal disaggregation, cell detachment, and tight junction loss in cultured colonic epithelial cells. Serum samples were isolated from mice that survived a C. difficile infection following antibiotic treatment, and the antitoxin effects of these samples were investigated in toxin-A-exposed HT29 colonic epithelial cells and a toxin-A-induced animal model of gut inflammation. Unchallenged mice did not produce IgG against toxin A, whereas serum (antiserum) from C. difficile-challenged mice showed significant IgG responses against toxin A. Treatment with the antiserum markedly inhibited mucosal damage and inflammation in the toxin-A-treated mouse model. In contrast to control mouse serum, the antiserum also markedly inhibited toxin-A-induced DNA fragmentation, dephosphorylation of paxillin and Epo receptor (EpoR), deacetylation of tubulin, and upregulation of p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p53. Taken together, these results reveal that the generated antitoxin serum has biotherapeutic effects in preventing various C. difficile toxin-A-induced cellular toxicities.
NADH:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is known to be involved in the regulation of energy synthesis and metabolism, and the functional studies of NQO1 have largely focused on metabolic disorders. Here, we show for the first time that compared to NQO1-WT mice, NQO1-KO mice exhibited a marked increase of permeability and spontaneous inflammation in the gut. In the DSS-induced colitis model, NQO1-KO mice showed more severe inflammatory responses than NQO1-WT mice. Interestingly, the transcript levels of claudin and occludin, the major tight junction molecules of gut epithelial cells, were significantly decreased in NQO1-KO mice. The colons of NQO1-KO mice also showed high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and histone deacetylase (HDAC) activity, which are known to affect transcriptional regulation. Taken together, these novel findings indicate that NQO1 contributes to the barrier function of gut epithelial cells by regulating the transcription of tight junction molecules.
The trace toxic metal copper was assayed using mercury immobilized on a carbon nanotube electrode (MCW), with a graphite counter and a reference electrode. In this study, a macro-scale convection motor was interfaced with a MCW three-electrode system, in which a handmade MCW was optimized using cyclic- and square-wave stripping voltammetry. An analytical electrolyte for tap water was used instead of an expensive acid or base ionic solution. Under these conditions, optimum parameters were 0.09 V amplitude, 40 Hz frequency, 0.01 V incremental potential, and a 60-s accumulation time. A diagnostic working curve was obtained from 50.0 to 350 ?g/L. At a constant Cu(II) concentration of 10.0 ?g/L, the statistical relative standard deviation was 1.78% (RSD, n = 15), the analytical accumulation time was only 60 s, and the analytical detection limit approached 4.6 ?g/L (signal/noise = 3). The results were applied to nontreated drinking water. The content of the analyzed copper using 9.0 and 4.0 ?g/L standards were 8.68 ?g/L and 3.96 ?g/L; statistical values R(2) = 0.9987 and R(2) = 0.9534, respectively. This method is applicable to biological diagnostics or food surveys.
We recently demonstrated that the antibacterial peptide, CopA3 (a D-type disulfide dimer peptide, LLCIALRKK), inhibits LPS-induced macrophage activation and also has anticancer activity in leukemia cells. Here, we examined whether CopA3 could affect neuronal cell proliferation. We found that CopA3 time-dependently increased cell proliferation by up to 31 ± 2% in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, and up to 29 ± 2% in neural stem cells isolated from neonatal mouse brains. In both cell types, CopA3 also significantly inhibited the apoptosis and viability losses caused by 6-hydroxy dopamine (a Parkinson disease-mimicking agent) and okadaic acid (an Alzheimers disease-mimicking agent). Immunoblotting revealed that the p27Kip1 protein (a negative regulator of cell cycle progression) was markedly degraded in CopA3-treated SH-SY5Y cells. Conversely, an adenovirus expressing p27Kip1 significantly inhibited the antiapoptotic effects of CopA3 against 6-hydroxy dopamine- and okadaic acid-induced apoptosis, and decreased the neurotropic effects of CopA3. These results collectively suggest that CopA3-mediated protein degradation of p27Kip1 may be the main mechanism through which CopA3 exerts neuroprotective and neurotropic effects.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is an acute viral disease characterized by fever, hemorrhage, and renal failure. Among the various hemorrhagic complications of HFRS, the spontaneous rupture of an arteriovenous malformation of the testicular vessels with a retroperitoneal hematoma is a rare finding. Here, we report a case of HFRS complicated by a massive retroperitoneal hematoma that was treated with transcatheter arterial embolization.
Prostate cancer is the most common malignancy among men. Prostate cancer-related deaths are largely attributable to the development of hormone resistance in the tumor. No effective chemotherapy has yet been developed for advanced prostate cancer. It is desirable if a drug can be delivered directly and specifically to prostate cancer cells. Stem cells have selective migration ability toward cancer cells and therapeutic genes can be easily transduced into stem cells. In one form of gene therapy for cancer, the stem cells carry a gene encoding an enzyme that transforms an inert prodrug into a toxic product. Cytosine deaminase (CD) transforms the pro-drug 5-fluorocytosine into highly cytotoxic 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The migration of the genetically modified stem cells was monitored by molecular magnetic resonance imaging, after labeling the stem cells with fluorescent magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs). Human neural stem cells encoding CD (HB1.F3.CD) were prepared and labeled with MNP. In tumor-bearing C57B mice, systemically transplanted HB1.F3.CD stem cells migrated toward the tumor and in combination with prodrug 5-FC, the volume of tumor implant was significantly reduced. These findings may contribute to development of a new selective chemotherapeutic strategy against prostate cancer.
PbTiO(3) (PTO) ferroelectric films on Pt(111) bottom electrode layers covering Ta/glass were prepared using pulsed laser deposition. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed that the PTO films were preferentially (111)-oriented. The films were highly crystalline and had a smooth surface with root mean square (RMS) roughness of 1.5 nm. Ferroelectric properties of the PTO films were characterized using piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM). PFM techniques achieved ferroelectric polarization bits with a minimum width of 22 nm, which corresponds to a potential recording density of 1.3 Tbit/in(2) in ferroelectric storage devices.
To evaluate whether proton MR spectroscopy (MRS) at 3 T with metabolite quantification is helpful for characterizing musculoskeletal lesions and to reveal whether the concentration of choline is correlated with the pathologic degree of malignancy.
Previously, we demonstrated that the erythropoietin receptor (EpoR) is present on fibroblasts, where it regulates focal contact. Here, we assessed whether this action of EpoR is involved in the reduced cell adhesion observed in colonocytes exposed to Clostridium difficile toxin A. EpoR was present and functionally active in cells of the human colonic epithelial cell line HT29 and epithelial cells of human colon tissues. Toxin A significantly decreased activating phosphorylations of EpoR and its downstream signaling molecules JAK-2 (Janus kinase 2) and STAT5 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 5). In vitro kinase assays confirmed that toxin A inhibited JAK 2 kinase activity. Pharmacological inhibition of JAK2 (with AG490) abrogated activating phosphorylations of EpoR and also decreased focal contacts in association with inactivation of paxillin, an essential focal adhesion molecule. In addition, AG490 treatment significantly decreased expression of occludin (a tight junction molecule) and tight junction levels. Taken together, these data suggest that inhibition of JAK2 by toxin A in colonocytes causes inactivation of EpoR, thereby enhancing the inhibition of focal contact formation and loss of tight junctions known to be associated with the enzymatic activity of toxin A.
We recently demonstrated that the insect peptide CopA3 (LLCIALRKK), a disulfide-linked dimeric peptide, exerts antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities in a mouse colitis model. Here, we examined whether CopA3 inhibited activation of macrophages by LPS. Exposure of an unseparated mouse peritoneal cell population or isolated peritoneal macrophages to LPS markedly increased secretion of IL-6 and TNF-?; these effects were significantly inhibited by CopA3 treatment. The inhibitory effect of CopA3 was also evident in murine macrophage cell line, RAW 264.7. Western blotting revealed that LPS-induced activation of STAT1 and STAT5 in macrophages was significantly inhibited by CopA3. Inhibition of JAK (STAT1/STAT5 kinase) with AG490 markedly reduced the production of IL-6 and TNF-? in macrophages. Collectively, these observations suggest that CopA3 inhibits macrophage activation by inhibiting activating phosphorylations of the transcription factors, STAT1 and STAT5, and blocking subsequent production of IL-6 and TNF-? and indicate that CopA3 may be useful as an immune-modulating agent.
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