Undesirable aggregation of nanoparticles stabilized by proteins may occur at the protein's isoelectric point when the particle has zero net charge. Stability against aggregation of nanoparticles may be improved by reacting free amino groups with reducing sugars by the Maillard reaction. ?-Lactoglobulin (BLG)-dextran conjugates were characterized by SDS-PAGE and CD. Nanoparticles (60-70 nm diameter) of ?-carotene (BC) encapsulated by BLG or BLG-dextran were prepared by the homogenization-evaporation method. Both BLG and BLG-dextran nanoparticles appeared to be spherically shaped and uniformly dispersed by TEM. The stability and release of BC from the nanoparticles under simulated gastrointestinal conditions were evaluated. Dextran conjugation prevented the flocculation or aggregation of BLG-dextran particles at pH ?4-5 compared to very large sized aggregates of BLG nanoparticles. The released contents of BC from BLG and BLG-dextran nanoparticles under acidic gastric conditions were 6.2 ± 0.9 and 5.4 ± 0.3%, respectively. The release of BC from BLG-dextran nanoparticles by trypsin digestion was 51.8 ± 4.3% of total encapsulated BC, and that from BLG nanoparticles was 60.9 ± 2.9%. Neither BLG-BC nanoparticles nor the Maillard-reacted BLG-dextran conjugates were cytotoxic to Caco-2 cells, even at 10 mg/mL. The apparent permeability coefficient (Papp) of Caco-2 cells to BC was improved by nanoencapsulation, compared to free BC suspension. The results indicate that BC-encapsulated ?-lactoglobulin-dextran-conjugated nanoparticles are more stable to aggregation under gastric pH conditions with good release and permeability properties.
With a homogenization-evaporation method, ?-carotene (BC) loaded nanoparticles were prepared with different ratios of food-grade sodium caseinate (SC), whey protein isolate (WPI), or soy protein isolate (SPI) to BC and evaluated for their physiochemical stability, in vitro cytotoxicity, and cellular uptake by Caco-2 cells. The particle diameters of the BC loaded nanoparticles with 0.75% SC or 1.0% WPI emulsifiers were 75 and 90 nm, respectively. Mean particle diameters of three BC loaded nanoparticle nanoemulsions increased less than 10% at 4 °C while they increased more at 25 °C (10-76%) during 30 days of storage. The oxidative stability of BC loaded nanoparticles encapsulated by proteins decreased in the following order: SC > WPI > SPI. The retention rates of BC in nanoparticles were 63.5%, 60.5%, and 41.8% for SC, WPI, and SPI, respectively, after 30 days of storage at 25 °C. The BC's chemical stability was improved by increasing the concentration of protein. Both the rate of particle growth and the total BC loss at 25 °C were larger than at 4 °C. The color of BC loaded nanoparticles decreased with increasing storage in the dark without oxygen, similar to the decrease in BC content of nanoparticles at 4 and 25 °C. Almost no cytotoxicity due to BC loaded nanoparticles cellular uptake was observed, especially when diluted 10 times or more. The uptake of BC was significantly improved through nanoparticle delivery systems by 2.6-, 3.4-, and 1.7-fold increase, respectively, for SC, WPI, and SPI, as compared to the free BC. The results of this study indicate that protein stabilized, BC loaded nanoparticles can improve stability and uptake of BC.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs) to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ?760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A) and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry.
Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) food contaminations pose serious health concerns, and have been the subject of massive food recalls. STEC has been identified as the major cause of the life-threatening complication of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Besides supportive care, there currently are no therapeutics available. The use of antibiotics for combating pathogenic E. coli is not recommended because they have been shown to stimulate toxin production. Clearing Stx2 from the circulation could potentially lessen disease severity. In this study, we tested the in vivo neutralization of Stx2 in mice using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). We measured the biologic half-life of Stx2 in mice and determined the distribution phase or t(1/2) ? to be 3 min and the clearance phase or t(1/2) ? to be 40 min. Neutralizing mAbs were capable of clearing Stx2 completely from intoxicated mouse blood within minutes. We also examined the persistence of these mAbs over time and showed that complete protection could be passively conferred to mice 4 weeks before exposure to Stx2. The advent of better diagnositic methods and the availability of a greater arsenal of therapeutic mAbs against Stx2 would greatly enhance treatment outcomes of life threatening E. coli infections.
Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture) ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KDs) for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10-11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D.), ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule) and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are used in a wide variety of medical applications, but there is limited pharmacokinetic data on active BoNT. Monitoring BoNT activity in the circulation is challenging because BoNTs are highly toxic and are rapidly taken up by neurons and removed from the bloodstream. Previously we reported a sensitive BoNT "Assay with a Large Immunosorbent Surface Area" that uses conversion of fluorogenic peptide substrates to measure the intrinsic endopeptidase activity of bead-captured BoNT. However, in complex biological samples, protease contaminants can also cleave the substrates, reducing sensitivity and specificity of the assay. Here, we present a novel set of fluorogenic peptides that serve as BoNT-specific substrates and protease-sensitive controls. BoNT-cleavable substrates contain a C-terminal Nle, while BoNT-noncleavable controls contain its isomer ?-Ahx. The substrates are cleaved by BoNT subtypes A1-A3 and A5. Substrates and control peptides can be cleaved by non-BoNT proteases (e.g., trypsin, proteinase K, and thermolysin) while obeying Michaelis-Menten kinetics. Using this novel substrate/control set, we studied BoNT/A1 activity in two mouse models of botulism. We detected BoNT/A serum activities ranging from ~3600 to 10 amol/L in blood of mice that had been intravenously injected 1 h prior with BoNT/A1 complex (100 to 4 pg/mouse). We also detected the endopeptidase activity of orally administered BoNT/A1 complex (1 ?g) in blood 5 h after administration; activity was greatest 7 h after administration. Redistribution and elevation rates for active toxin were measured and are comparable to those reported for inactive toxin.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause severe neuroparalytic disease that if not treated quickly is often fatal. The toxin is produced as a 150?kDa precursor protein (holotoxin) that is enzymatically cleaved to form two subunits, heavy and light chains, linked by a single disulfide bond. Seven toxin serotypes are known. BoNT serotypes A1 and B1 are secreted as precursor toxic complexes (PTC) containing of the toxin and non-toxic associated proteins (NAPs) consisting of non-toxic hemagglutinin proteins (HA), designated HA17, HA34, and HA70, and a 120?kDa non-toxin non-hemagglutinin (NTNH) protein. The exact contribution of the NAPs in disease is not known, but it is thought that they protect the toxin as it passes through the harsh environment of the stomach. The structure of the complex is also poorly understood, although recent models suggest that for each molecule of toxin the PTC contains one molecule of the NTNH and multiple copies of each HA. In this paper we describe six monoclonal antibodies that specifically bind the HA70 protein found in the PTC of BoNT/A1 and /B1. Based on these antibodies, we demonstrate a rapid sandwich ELISA assay for detecting HA70.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most potent biological toxins. High-affinity monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been developed for the detection of BoNT serotypes A and B using a chemiluminescent capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In an effort to improve toxin detection levels in complex matrices such as food and sera, we evaluated the performance of existing antitoxin mAbs using a new electrochemiluminescence (ECL) immunoassay platform developed by Meso Scale Discovery. In side-by-side comparisons, the limits of detection (LODs) observed for ELISA and the ECL immunoassay for BoNT/A were 12 and 3 pg/mL, and for BoNT/B, they were 17 and 13 pg/mL, respectively. Both the ELISA and the ECL method were more sensitive than the "gold standard" mouse bioassay. The ECL assay outperformed ELISA in detection sensitivity in most of the food matrices fortified with BoNT/A and in some foods spiked with BoNT/B. Both the ELISA and the ECL immunoassay platforms are fast, simple alternatives for use in the routine detection of BoNTs in food and animal sera.
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the foodborne intoxications in humans. BoNTs in nature are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins known as neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs), forming large complexes that have been shown to play important roles in oral toxicity. Using mouse intraperitoneal and oral models of botulism, we determined the dose response to both BoNT/B holotoxin and complex toxins, and compared the toxicities of BoNT/B and BoNT/A complexes. Although serotype A and B complexes have similar NAP composition, BoNT/B formed larger-sized complexes, and was approximately 90 times more lethal in mouse oral intoxications than BoNT/A complexes. When normalized by mean lethal dose, mice orally treated with high doses of BoNT/B complex showed a delayed time-to-death when compared with mice treated with BoNT/A complex. Furthermore, we determined the effect of various food matrices on oral toxicity of BoNT/A and BoNT/B complexes. BoNT/B complexes showed lower oral bioavailability in liquid egg matrices when compared to BoNT/A complexes. In summary, our studies revealed several factors that can either enhance or reduce the toxicity and oral bioavailability of BoNTs. Dissecting the complexities of the different BoNT serotypes and their roles in foodborne botulism will lead to a better understanding of toxin biology and aid future food risk assessments.
Ricin (also called RCA-II or RCA(60)), one of the most potent toxins and documented bioweapons, is derived from castor beans of Ricinus communis. Several in vitro methods have been designed for ricin detection in complex food matrices in the event of intentional contamination. Recently, a novel Immuno-PCR (IPCR) assay was developed with a limit of detection of 10 fg/ml in a buffer matrix and about 10-1000-fold greater sensitivity than other methods in various food matrices.
Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of botulism, a serious neuroparylatic disease, is produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum and consists of a family of seven serotypes (A-H). We previously reported production of high-affinity monoclonal antibodies to BoNT serotype A.
Adulteration of food or feed with any of the seven serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a potential bioterrorism concern. Currently, there is strong interest in the development of detection reagents, vaccines, therapeutics, and other countermeasures. A sensitive immunoassay for detecting BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A), based on monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) F1-2 and F1-40, has been developed and used in complex matrices. The epitope for F1-2 has been mapped to the heavy chain of BoNT/A, and the epitope of F1-40 has been mapped to the light chain. The ability of these MAbs to provide therapeutic protection against BoNT/A intoxication in mouse intravenous and oral intoxication models was tested. High dosages of individual MAbs protected mice well both pre- and postexposure to BoNT/A holotoxin. A combination therapy consisting of antibodies against both the light and heavy chains of the toxin, however, significantly increased protection, even at a lower MAb dosage. An in vitro peptide assay for measuring toxin activity showed that pretreatment of toxin with these MAbs did not block catalytic activity but instead blocked toxin entry into primary and cultured neuronal cells. The timing of antibody rescue in the mouse intoxication models revealed windows of opportunity for antibody therapeutic treatment that correlated well with the biologic half-life of the toxin in the serum. Knowledge of BoNT intoxication and antibody clearance in these mouse models and understanding of the pharmacokinetics of BoNT are invaluable for future development of antibodies and therapeutics against intoxication by BoNT.
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