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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Monoclonal antibodies to heat shock protein 60 induce a protective immune response against experimental Paracoccidioides lutzii.
Microbes Infect.
PUBLISHED: 08-24-2014
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is an endemic mycosis in Latin America. PCM is primarily caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and less frequently by the recently described, closely related species Paracoccidioides lutzii. Current treatment requires protracted administration of systemic antibiotics and relapses may frequently occur despite months of initial therapy. Hence, there is a need for innovative approaches to treatment. In the present study we analyzed the impact of two monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) generated against Heat Shock 60 (Hsp60) from Histoplasma capsulatum on the interactions of P. lutzii with macrophages and on the experimental P. lutzii infection. We demonstrated that the Hsp60-binding mAbs labeled P. lutzii yeast cells and enhanced their phagocytosis by macrophage cells. Treatment of mice with the mAbs to Hsp60 before infection reduced the pulmonary fungal burden as compared to mice treated with irrelevant mAb. Hence, mAbs raised to H. capsulatum Hsp60 are protective against P. lutzii, including mAb 7B6 which was non-protective against H. capsulatum, suggesting differences in their capacity to bind to these fungi and to be recognized by macrophages. These findings indicate that mAbs raised to one dimorphic fungus may be therapeutic against additional dimorphic fungi, but also suggests that biological differences in diseases may influence whether a mAb is beneficial or harmful.
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Immunization with P10 peptide increases specific immunity and protects immunosuppressed BALB/c mice infected with virulent yeasts of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis.
Mycopathologia
PUBLISHED: 08-19-2014
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Paracoccidioidomycosis is a systemic granulomatous disease caused by Paracoccidioides spp. A peptide from the major diagnostic antigen gp43, named P10, induces a T-CD4(+) helper-1 immune response in mice and protects against intratracheal challenge with virulent P. brasiliensis. Previously, we evaluated the efficacy of the P10 peptide alone or combined with antifungal drugs in mice immunosuppressed and infected with virulent isolate of P. brasiliensis. In the present work, our data suggest that P10 immunization leads to an effective cellular immune response associated with an enhanced T cell proliferative response. P10-stimulated splenocytes increased nitric oxide (NO) production and induced high levels of IFN-?, IL-1? and IL-12. Furthermore, significantly increased concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines were also observed in lung homogenates of immunized mice. P10 immunization was followed by minimal fibrosis in response to infection. Combined with antifungal drugs, P10 immunization most significantly improved survival of anergic infected mice. Administration of either itraconazole or sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim together with P10 immunization resulted in 100 % survival up to 200 days post-infection, whereas untreated mice died within 80 days. Hence, our data show that P10 immunization promotes a strong specific immune response even in immunocompromised hosts and thus P10 treatment represents a powerful adjuvant therapy to chemotherapy.
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Anti-metastatic immunotherapy based on mucosal administration of flagellin and immunomodulatory P10.
Immunol. Cell Biol.
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2014
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Current therapies against malignant melanoma generally fail to increase survival in most patients, and immunotherapy is a promising approach as it could reduce the dosage of toxic therapeutic drugs. In the present study, we show that an immunotherapeutic approach based on the use of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)-5 ligand flagellin (Salmonella Typhimurium FliCi) combined with the major histocompatibility complex class II-restricted P10 peptide, derived from the Paracoccidioides brasiliensis gp43 major surface protein, reduced the number of lung metastasis in a murine melanoma model. Compounds were administered intranasally into C57Bl/6 mice intravenously challenged with syngeneic B16F10-Nex2 melanoma cells, aiming at the local (pulmonary) immune response modulation. Along with a marked reduction in the number of lung nodules, a significant increase in survival was observed. The immunization regimen induced both local and systemic proinflammatory responses. Lung macrophages were polarized towards a M1 phenotype, lymph node cells, and splenocytes secreted higher interleukin-12p40 and interferon (IFN)-? levels when re-stimulated with tumor antigens. The protective effect of the FliCi+P10 formulation required TLR-5, myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 and IFN-? expression, but caspase-1 knockout mice were only partially protected, suggesting that intracellular flagellin receptors are not involved with the anti-tumor effect. The immune therapy resulted in the activation of tumor-specific CD4(+) T lymphocytes, which conferred protection to metastatic melanoma growth after adoptive transfer. Taken together, our results report a new immunotherapeutic approach based on TLR-5 activation and IFN-? production capable to control the metastatic growth of B16F10-Nex2 melanoma, being a promising alternative to be associated with chemotherapeutic drugs for an effective anti-tumor responses.Immunology and Cell Biology advance online publication, 16 September 2014; doi:10.1038/icb.2014.74.
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Mastoparan induces apoptosis in B16F10-Nex2 melanoma cells via the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway and displays antitumor activity in vivo.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 08-04-2014
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Mastoparan is an ?-helical and amphipathic tetradecapeptide obtained from the venom of the wasp Vespula lewissi. This peptide exhibits a wide variety of biological effects, including antimicrobial activity, increased histamine release from mast cells, induction of a potent mitochondrial permeability transition and tumor cell cytotoxicity. Here, the effects of mastoparan in malignant melanoma were studied using the murine model of B16F10-Nex2 cells. In vitro, mastoparan caused melanoma cell death by the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway, as evidenced by the Annexin V-FITC/PI assay, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential (??m), generation of reactive oxygen species, DNA degradation and cell death signaling. Most importantly, mastoparan reduced the growth of subcutaneous melanoma in syngeneic mice and increased their survival. The present results show that mastoparan induced caspase-dependent apoptosis in melanoma cells through the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway protecting the mice against tumor development.
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A subtraction tolerization method of immunization allowed for Wilms' tumor protein-1 (WT1) identification in melanoma and discovery of an antitumor peptide sequence.
J. Immunol. Methods
PUBLISHED: 07-28-2014
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On searching for melanoma transcription factors in a project focusing on internal antitumor peptide sequences from transcription factors, we found that a highly immunogenic component emerged upon using a subtraction tolerization method of immunization. While several conventional immunization procedures using whole melanoma cells induced a plethora of low affinity antibodies of various specificities, the subtraction tolerization method efficiently elicited mono-specific antibodies that recognized Wilms' tumor protein 1 (WT1), which is known as an important marker in melanoma prognosis and treatment. For the tolerization step, pre-immunization of Balb/c mice with a membrane-rich preparation of glioblastoma U87 cells was used. The subsequent immunizations with SK-MEL-28 melanoma cells elicited antibodies strongly reacting with 50 and 55kDa proteins, identified as WT1. Remarkably, this was the only component strongly reactive with these antibodies in a melanoma cell lysate. WT1 was then chosen as a target for selecting internally bioactive peptides. A hydrophilic Trojan peptide containing most of the zinc finger-2 domain of WT1 was synthesized and shown to inhibit SK-MEL-28 melanoma growth in vitro. The peptide WT1-pTj was also protective in vivo in a metastatic melanoma model and peptide-stimulated syngeneic dendritic cells reproduced the anti-melanoma effect of the unprotected peptide. Identification of antitumor peptides derived from major transcription factors represents a new tool to be explored in cancer research aiming at new therapeutic drugs.
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Radiochemical pharmacokinetic profile of P10 peptide with antifungal properties.
Med. Mycol.
PUBLISHED: 06-15-2014
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a chronic granulomatous disease that is caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. It is endemic in some countries of Latin America and can cause a high-burden fungal infection with significant morbidity and mortality. The peptide P10, which demonstrates immune protection against experimental PCM, was radiolabeled with a radioisotope and evaluated in vivo. The radiolabeling was conducted to trace the pharmacokinetics of the molecule in principal organs and tissues. This was achieved with high radiochemical purity. Biodistribution and scintigraphic imaging showed fast blood clearance that was mainly renal; however, hepatobiliar excretion was also, with marked uptake in cervical lymph nodes. This profile may be useful for the development of a prophylactic drug or vaccine for patients exposed to PCM.
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Anti-tumor activities of peptides corresponding to conserved complementary determining regions from different immunoglobulins.
Peptides
PUBLISHED: 05-23-2014
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Short synthetic peptides corresponding to sequences of complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) from different immunoglobulin families have been shown to induce antimicrobial, antiviral and antitumor activities regardless of the specificity of the original monoclonal antibody (mAb). Presently, we studied the in vitro and in vivo antitumor activity of synthetic peptides derived from conserved CDR sequences of different immunoglobulins against human tumor cell lines and murine B16F10-Nex2 melanoma aiming at the discovery of candidate molecules for cancer therapy. Four light- and heavy-chain CDR peptide sequences from different antibodies (C36-L1, HA9-H2, 1-H2 and Mg16-H2) showed cytotoxic activity against murine melanoma and a panel of human tumor cell lineages in vitro. Importantly, they also exerted anti-metastatic activity using a syngeneic melanoma model in mice. Other peptides (D07-H3, MN20v1, MS2-H3) were also protective against metastatic melanoma, without showing significant cytotoxicity against tumor cells in vitro. In this case, we suggest that these peptides may act as immune adjuvants in vivo. As observed, peptides induced nitric oxide production in bone-marrow macrophages showing that innate immune cells can also be modulated by these CDR peptides. The present screening supports the search in immunoglobulins of rather frequent CDR sequences that are endowed with specific antitumor properties and may be candidates to be developed as anti-cancer drugs.
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A natural bacterial-derived product, the metalloprotease arazyme, inhibits metastatic murine melanoma by inducing MMP-8 cross-reactive antibodies.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The increased incidence, high rates of mortality and few effective means of treatment of malignant melanoma, stimulate the search for new anti-tumor agents and therapeutic targets to control this deadly metastatic disease. In the present work the antitumor effect of arazyme, a natural bacterial-derived metalloprotease secreted by Serratia proteomaculans, was investigated. Arazyme significantly reduced the number of pulmonary metastatic nodules after intravenous inoculation of B16F10 melanoma cells in syngeneic mice. In vitro, the enzyme showed a dose-dependent cytostatic effect in human and murine tumor cells, and this effect was associated to the proteolytic activity of arazyme, reducing the CD44 expression at the cell surface, and also reducing in vitro adhesion and in vitro/in vivo invasion of these cells. Arazyme treatment or immunization induced the production of protease-specific IgG that cross-reacted with melanoma MMP-8. In vitro, this antibody was cytotoxic to tumor cells, an effect increased by complement. In vivo, arazyme-specific IgG inhibited melanoma lung metastasis. We suggest that the antitumor activity of arazyme in a preclinical model may be due to a direct cytostatic activity of the protease in combination with the elicited anti-protease antibody, which cross-reacts with MMP-8 produced by tumor cells. Our results show that the bacterial metalloprotease arazyme is a promising novel antitumor chemotherapeutic agent.
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A novel cell-penetrating peptide derived from WT1 enhances p53 activity, induces cell senescence and displays antimelanoma activity in xeno- and syngeneic systems.
FEBS Open Bio
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The Wilms tumor protein 1 (WT1) transcription factor has been associated in malignant melanoma with cell survival and metastasis, thus emerging as a candidate for targeted therapy. A lysine-arginine rich peptide, WT1-pTj, derived from the ZF domain of WT1 was evaluated as an antitumor agent against A2058 human melanoma cells and B16F10-Nex2 syngeneic murine melanoma. Peptide WT1-pTj quickly penetrated human melanoma cells and induced senescence, recognized by increased SA-?-galactosidase activity, enhanced transcriptional activity of p53, and induction of the cell cycle inhibitors p21 and p27. Moreover, the peptide bound to p53 and competed with WT1 protein for binding to p53. WT1-pTj treatment led to sustained cell growth suppression, abrogation of clonogenicity and G2/M cell cycle arrest. Notably, in vivo studies showed that WT1-pTj inhibited both the metastases and subcutaneous growth of murine melanoma in syngeneic mice, and prolonged the survival of nude mice challenged with human melanoma cells. The 27-amino acid cell-penetrating WT1-derived peptide, depends on C(3) and H(16) for effective antimelanoma activity, inhibits proliferation of WT1-expressing human tumor cell lines, and may have an effective role in the treatment of WT1-expressing malignancies.
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Sialoglycoproteins in morphological distinct stages of Mucor polymorphosporus and their influence on phagocytosis by human blood phagocytes.
Mycopathologia
PUBLISHED: 08-06-2013
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The possible role of sialic acids in host cells-fungi interaction and their association with glycoproteins were evaluated using a clinical isolate of the dimorphic fungus Mucor polymorphosporus. Lectin-binding assays with spores and yeast cells denoted the presence of surface sialoglycoconjugates containing 2,3- and 2,6-linked sialylglycosyl groups. Western blotting with peroxidase-labeled Limulus polyphemus agglutinin revealed the occurrence of different sialoglycoprotein types in both cell lysates and cell wall protein extracts of mycelia, spores, and yeasts of M. polymorphosporus. Sialic acids contributed to the surface negative charge of spores and yeast forms as evaluated by adherence to a cationic substrate. Sialidase-treated spores were less resistant to phagocytosis by human neutrophils and monocytes from healthy individuals than control (untreated) fungal suspensions. The results suggest that sialic acids are terminal units of various glycoproteins of M. polymorphosporus, contributing to negative charge of yeasts and spore cells and protecting infectious propagules from destruction by host cells.
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A new phage-display tumor-homing peptide fused to antiangiogenic peptide generates a novel bioactive molecule with antimelanoma activity.
Mol. Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 09-07-2011
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Phage-display peptide libraries have been widely used to identify specific peptides targeting in vivo tumor cells and the tumor vasculature and playing an important role in the discovery of antitumor bioactive peptides. In the present work, we identified a new melanoma-homing peptide, (-CVNHPAFAC-), using a C7C phage-display library directed to the developing tumor in syngeneic mice. Phage were able to preferentially target melanoma in vivo, with an affinity about 50-fold greater than that with normal tissue, and the respective synthesized peptide displaced the corresponding phage from the tumor. A preferential binding to endothelial cells rather than to melanoma cells was seen in cell ELISA, suggesting that the peptide is directed to the melanoma vasculature. Furthermore, the peptide was able to bind to human sonic hedgehog, a protein involved in the development of many types of human cancers. Using a new peptide approach therapy, we coupled the cyclic peptide to another peptide, HTMYYHHYQHHL-NH(2), a known antagonist of VEGFR-2 receptor, using the GYG linker. The full peptide CVNHPAFACGYGHTMYYHHYQHHL-NH(2) was effective in delaying tumor growth (P < 0.05) and increasing animal survival when injected systemically, whereas a scramble-homing peptide containing the same antagonist did not have any effect. This is the first report on the synthesis of a tumor-homing peptide coupled to antiangiogenic peptide as a new anticancer therapeutics.
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A cyclopalladated complex interacts with mitochondrial membrane thiol-groups and induces the apoptotic intrinsic pathway in murine and cisplatin-resistant human tumor cells.
BMC Cancer
PUBLISHED: 07-14-2011
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Systemic therapy for cancer metastatic lesions is difficult and generally renders a poor clinical response. Structural analogs of cisplatin, the most widely used synthetic metal complexes, show toxic side-effects and tumor cell resistance. Recently, palladium complexes with increased stability are being investigated to circumvent these limitations, and a biphosphinic cyclopalladated complex {Pd(2) [S((-))C(2), N-dmpa](2) (?-dppe)Cl(2)} named C7a efficiently controls the subcutaneous development of B16F10-Nex2 murine melanoma in syngeneic mice. Presently, we investigated the melanoma cell killing mechanism induced by C7a, and extended preclinical studies.
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Identification of a metallopeptidase with TOP-like activity in Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, with increased expression in a virulent strain.
Med. Mycol.
PUBLISHED: 07-05-2011
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), caused by the pathogenic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, is a systemic mycosis with severe acute and chronic forms. The pathology of PCM is not completely understood, and the role of proteases in the infection is not clearly defined. In this report, we describe a metallopeptidase activity in P. brasiliensis total and cytosolic protein extracts similar to that of mammalian thimet oligopeptidase (TOP). The analogous enzyme was suggested by analysis of P. brasiliensis genome databank and by hydrolytic activity of the FRET peptide Abz-GFSPFRQ-EDDnp which was completely inhibited by o-phenanthrolin and significantly inhibited by the TOP inhibitor, JA-2. This activity was also partially inhibited by IgG purified from patients with PCM, but not from normal individuals. As shown by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), the hydrolysis of bradykinin had the same pattern as that of mammalian TOP, and anti-mammalian TOP antibodies significantly inhibited fungal cytosolic peptidase activity. Moreover, anti-mammalian TOP antibodies recognized a component of 80 kDa on fungal cytosol. A P. brasiliensis virulent isolate showed higher gene expression and TOP-like peptidase activity than a non-virulent strain. The release of enzyme following fungal lysis would be consistent with host antibody production and may have a role in the pathogenesis, inflammation and further development of the mycosis.
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?-Pinene isolated from Schinus terebinthifolius Raddi (Anacardiaceae) induces apoptosis and confers antimetastatic protection in a melanoma model.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.
PUBLISHED: 06-24-2011
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Malignant melanoma is one the most aggressive types of cancer and its incidence has gradually increased in the last years, accounting for about 75% of skin cancer deaths. This poor prognosis results from the tumor resistance to conventional drugs mainly by deregulation of apoptotic pathways. The aim of this work was to investigate the cell death mechanism induced by ?-pinene and its therapeutic application. Our results demonstrated that ?-pinene was able to induce apoptosis evidenced by early disruption of the mitochondrial potential, production of reactive oxygen species, increase in caspase-3 activity, heterochromatin aggregation, DNA fragmentation and exposure of phosphatidyl serine on the cell surface. Most importantly, this molecule was very effective in the treatment of experimental metastatic melanoma reducing the number of lung tumor nodules. This is the first report on the apoptotic and antimetastatic activity of isolated ?-pinene.
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Protein tyrosine phosphatase alpha regulates cell detachment and cell death profiles induced by nitric oxide donors in the A431 human carcinoma cell line.
Redox Rep.
PUBLISHED: 05-25-2011
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We investigated the role of protein tyrosine phosphatase-alpha (PTP?) expression in the cell death profile of the A431 human carcinoma cell line that was induced by cytotoxic concentrations of the nitric oxide (NO) donors sodium nitroprusside (SNP) and 3,3-bis-(aminoethyl)-1-hydroxy-2-oxo-1-triazene (NOC-18). Both NO donors promoted extensive cell detachment in A431 parental cells as compared to the detachment observed for A431 cells that ectopically expressed PTP? (A431 (A27B(PTP?)) cells). The NO-induced cell death characteristics for both cell lines were examined. After incubation for 10 hours with 2.0 mM SNP, attached or detached A431 cells underwent apoptosis. Cells were highly positive for Annexin-V, featured increased cleavage of procaspase-8, activation of downstream caspase-3, and activation of poly-ADP-ribose polymerase 1 (PARP-1). In contrast, exposure of A431 (A27B(PTP?)) cells to 2.0 mM SNP produced an increase in the release of lactate dehydrogenase and enhanced incorporation of propidium iodide. In addition, A431 (A27B(PTP?)) cells showed partial inhibition of the activities of caspase-8, caspase-3, and PARP-1 upon detachment and cell death induced by SNP treatment. Results indicate that necrotic cell damage was induced, characterized by cellular swelling and lysis. We conclude from these results that PTP? regulates the A431 tumor cell death profile mediated by NO donors. Expression of PTP? or its absence may determine the occurrence of NO-induced cell death with necrotic or apoptotic features, respectively.
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C7a, a biphosphinic cyclopalladated compound, efficiently controls the development of a patient-derived xenograft model of adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma.
Viruses
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2011
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Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATLL) is a highly aggressive disease that occurs in individuals infected with the human T lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1). Patients with aggressive ATLL have a poor prognosis because the leukemic cells are resistant to conventional chemotherapy. We have investigated the therapeutic efficacy of a biphosphinic cyclopalladated complex {Pd(2) [S(-)C(2), N-dmpa](2) (?-dppe)Cl(2)}, termed C7a, in a patient-derived xenograft model of ATLL, and investigated the mechanism of C7a action in HTLV-1-positive and negative transformed T cell lines in vitro. In vivo survival studies in immunocompromised mice inoculated with human RV-ATL cells and intraperitoneally treated with C7a led to significantly increased survival of the treated mice. We investigated the mechanism of C7a activity in vitro and found that it induced mitochondrial release of cytochrome c, caspase activation, nuclear condensation and DNA degradation. These results suggest that C7a triggers apoptotic cell death in both HTLV-1 infected and uninfected human transformed T-cell lines. Significantly, C7a was not cytotoxic to peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from healthy donors and HTLV-1-infected individuals. C7a inhibited more than 60% of the ex vivo spontaneous proliferation of PBMC from HTLV-1-infected individuals. These results support a potential therapeutic role for C7a in both ATLL and HTLV-1-negative T-cell lymphomas.
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Role of SOCS-1 Gene on Melanoma Cell Growth and Tumor Development.
Transl Oncol
PUBLISHED: 04-01-2011
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Melanoma is the most aggressive form of skin cancer, and its incidence has increased dramatically over the years. The murine B16F10 melanoma in syngeneic C57Bl/6 mice has been used as a highly aggressive model to investigate tumor development. Presently, we demonstrate in the B16F10-Nex2 subclone that silencing of SOCS-1, a negative regulator of Jak/Stat pathway, leads to reversal of the tumorigenic phenotype and inhibition of melanoma cell metastasis. SOCS-1 silencing with short hairpin RNA affected tumor growth and cell cycle regulation with arrest at the S phase with large-sized nuclei, reduced cell motility, and decreased melanoma cell invasion through Matrigel. A clonogenic assay showed that SOCS-1 acted as a modulator of resistance to anoikis. In addition, downregulation of SOCS-1 decreased the expression of epidermal growth factor receptor (mainly the phosphorylated-R), Ins-R?, and fibroblast growth factor receptor. In vivo, silencing of SOCS-1 inhibited subcutaneous tumor growth and metastatic development in the lungs. Because SOCS-1 is expressed in most melanoma cell lines and bears a relation with tumor invasion, thickness, and stage of disease, the present results on the effects of SOCS-1 silencing in melanoma suggest that this regulating protein can be a target of cancer therapy.
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The idiotype (Id) cascade in mice elicited the production of anti-R24 Id and anti-anti-Id monoclonal antibodies with antitumor and protective activity against human melanoma.
Cancer Sci.
PUBLISHED: 11-10-2010
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Gangliosides have been considered as potential targets for immunotherapy because they are overexpressed on the surface of melanoma cells. However, immunization with purified gangliosides results in a very poor immune response, usually mediated by IgM antibodies. To overcome this limitation, we immunized mice with R24, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) that recognizes the most tumor-restricted ganglioside (GD3); our goal was to obtain anti-idiotype (Id) antibodies bearing the internal image of GD3. Animals produced anti-Id and anti-anti-Id antibodies. Both anti-Id and anti-anti-Id antibodies were able to inhibit mAb R24 binding to GD3. In addition, the anti-anti-Id antibodies were shown to recognize GD3 directly. Anti-Id and anti-anti-Id mAb were then selected from two fusion experiments for evaluation. The most interesting finding emerged from the characterization of the anti-anti-Id mAb 5.G8. It was shown to recognize two different GD3-expressing human melanoma cell lines in vitro and to mediate tumor cell cytotoxicity by complement activation and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity. The biological activity of the anti-anti-Id mAb was also tested in a mouse tumor model, in which it was shown to be a powerful growth inhibitor of melanoma cells. Thus, activity of the anti-anti-Id mAb 5.G8 matched that of the prototypic anti-GD3 mAb R24 both in vitro and in vivo. Altogether, our results indicate that the idiotype approach might produce high affinity, specific and very efficient antitumor immune responses.
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In vitro and in vivo trypanocidal effects of the cyclopalladated compound 7a, a drug candidate for treatment of Chagas disease.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 05-17-2010
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Chagas disease, a neglected tropical infection, affects about 18 million people, and 100 million are at risk. The only drug available, benznidazole, is effective in the acute form and in the early chronic form, but its efficacy and tolerance are inversely related to the age of the patients. Side effects are frequent in elderly patients. The search for new drugs is thus warranted. In the present study we evaluated the in vitro and in vivo effect of a cyclopalladated compound (7a) against Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease. The 7a compound inhibits trypomastigote cell invasion, decreases intracellular amastigote proliferation, and is very effective as a trypanocidal drug in vivo, even at very low dosages. It was 340-fold more cytotoxic to parasites than to mammalian cells and was more effective than benznidazole in all in vitro and in vivo experiments. The 7a cyclopalladate complex exerts an apoptosis-like death in T. cruzi trypomastigote forms and causes mitochondrion disruption seen by electron microscopy.
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Adaptive immunity against Leishmania nucleoside hydrolase maps its c-terminal domain as the target of the CD4+ T cell-driven protective response.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
PUBLISHED: 05-10-2010
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Nucleoside hydrolases (NHs) show homology among parasite protozoa, fungi and bacteria. They are vital protagonists in the establishment of early infection and, therefore, are excellent candidates for the pathogen recognition by adaptive immune responses. Immune protection against NHs would prevent disease at the early infection of several pathogens. We have identified the domain of the NH of L. donovani (NH36) responsible for its immunogenicity and protective efficacy against murine visceral leishmaniasis (VL). Using recombinant generated peptides covering the whole NH36 sequence and saponin we demonstrate that protection against L. chagasi is related to its C-terminal domain (amino-acids 199-314) and is mediated mainly by a CD4+ T cell driven response with a lower contribution of CD8+ T cells. Immunization with this peptide exceeds in 36.73±12.33% the protective response induced by the cognate NH36 protein. Increases in IgM, IgG2a, IgG1 and IgG2b antibodies, CD4+ T cell proportions, IFN-? secretion, ratios of IFN-?/IL-10 producing CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and percents of antibody binding inhibition by synthetic predicted epitopes were detected in F3 vaccinated mice. The increases in DTH and in ratios of TNF?/IL-10 CD4+ producing cells were however the strong correlates of protection which was confirmed by in vivo depletion with monoclonal antibodies, algorithm predicted CD4 and CD8 epitopes and a pronounced decrease in parasite load (90.5-88.23%; p?=?0.011) that was long-lasting. No decrease in parasite load was detected after vaccination with the N-domain of NH36, in spite of the induction of IFN-?/IL-10 expression by CD4+ T cells after challenge. Both peptides reduced the size of footpad lesions, but only the C-domain reduced the parasite load of mice challenged with L. amazonensis. The identification of the target of the immune response to NH36 represents a basis for the rationale development of a bivalent vaccine against leishmaniasis and for multivalent vaccines against NHs-dependent pathogens.
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Kinetic characterization of the Escherichia coli oligopeptidase A (OpdA) and the role of the Tyr(607) residue.
Arch. Biochem. Biophys.
PUBLISHED: 04-07-2010
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Oligopeptidase A (OpdA) belongs to the M3A subfamily of bacterial peptidases with catalytic and structural properties similar to mammalian thimet-oligopeptidase (TOP) and neurolysin (NEL). The three enzymes have four conserved Tyr residues on a flexible loop in close proximity to the catalytic site. In OpdA, the flexible loop is formed by residues 600-614 ((600)SHIFAGGYAAGYYSY(614)). Modeling studies indicated that in OpdA the Tyr(607) residue might be involved in the recognition of the substrate with a key role in catalysis. Two mutants were constructed replacing Tyr(607) by Phe (Y607F) or Ala (Y607A) and the influence of the site-directed mutagenesis in the catalytic process was examined. The hydrolysis of Abz-GXSPFRQ-EDDnp derivatives (Abz=ortho-aminobenzoic acid; EDDnp N-[2,4-dinitrophenyl]-ethylenediamine; X=different amino acids) was studied to compare the activities of wild-type OpdA (OpdA WT) and those of Y607F and Y607A mutants The results indicated that OpdA WT cleaved all the peptides only on the X-S bond whereas the Y607F and Y607A mutants were able to hydrolyze both the X-S and the P-F bonds. The kinetic parameters showed the importance of Tyr(607) in OpdA catalytic activity as its substitution promoted a decrease in the k(cat)/K(m) value of about 100-fold with Y607F mutant and 1000-fold with Y607A. Both mutations, however, did not affect protein folding as indicated by CD and intrinsic fluorescence analysis. Our results indicate that the OpdA Tyr(607) residue plays an important role in the enzyme-substrate interaction and in the hydrolytic activity.
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A novel melanoma-targeting peptide screened by phage display exhibits antitumor activity.
J. Mol. Med.
PUBLISHED: 04-05-2010
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Peptide display on the phage surface has been widely used to identify specific peptides targeting several in vivo and in vitro tumor cells and the tumor vasculature, playing a role in the discovery of bioactive antitumor agents. Bioactive peptides have been selected to target important tumor receptors or apoptosis-associated molecules such as p53. Presently, we attempted to identify potentially antitumor bioactive molecules using the whole cell surface as the recognizable static matrix. Such methodology could be advantageous in cancer therapy because it does not require previous characterization of target molecules. Using a C7C phage display library, we screened for peptides binding to the B16F10-Nex2 melanoma cell surface after pre-absorption on melan-A lineage. After a few rounds of enrichment, 50 phages were randomly selected, amplified, and tested for inhibition of tumor cell proliferation. Seven were active, and the corresponding peptide of each phage was chemically synthesized in the cyclic form and tested in vitro. Three peptides were able to preferentially inhibit the melanoma lineage. A unique peptide, [-CSSRTMHHC-], exhibited in vivo antitumor inhibitory activity against a subcutaneous melanoma challenge, rendering 60% of mice without tumor growth. Further, this peptide also markedly inhibited in vitro and in vivo the tumor cell invasion and cell-to-cell adhesiveness in vitro. This is the first report on a bioactive peptide derived from a C7C library active against whole melanoma cells in vitro and in vivo.
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Differential Antitumor Effects of IgG and IgM Monoclonal Antibodies and Their Synthetic Complementarity-Determining Regions Directed to New Targets of B16F10-Nex2 Melanoma Cells.
Transl Oncol
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2010
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Malignant melanoma has increased incidence worldwide and causes most skin cancer-related deaths. A few cell surface antigens that can be targets of antitumor immunotherapy have been characterized in melanoma. This is an expanding field because of the ineffectiveness of conventional cancer therapy for the metastatic form of melanoma. In the present work, antimelanoma monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were raised against B16F10 cells (subclone Nex4, grown in murine serum), with novel specificities and antitumor effects in vitro and in vivo. MAb A4 (IgG2ak) recognizes a surface antigen on B16F10-Nex2 cells identified as protocadherin beta(13). It is cytotoxic in vitro and in vivo to B16F10-Nex2 cells as well as in vitro to human melanoma cell lines. MAb A4M (IgM) strongly reacted with nuclei of permeabilized murine tumor cells, recognizing histone 1. Although it is not cytotoxic in vitro, similarly with mAb A4, mAb A4M significantly reduced the number of lung nodules in mice challenged intravenously with B16F10-Nex2 cells. The V(H) CDR3 peptide from mAb A4 and V(L) CDR1 and CDR2 from mAb A4M showed significant cytotoxic activities in vitro, leading tumor cells to apoptosis. A cyclic peptide representing A4 CDR H3 competed with mAb A4 for binding to melanoma cells. MAb A4M CDRs L1 and L2 in addition to the antitumor effect also inhibited angiogenesis of human umbilical vein endothelial cells in vitro. As shown in the present work, mAbs A4 and A4M and selected CDR peptides are strong candidates to be developed as drugs for antitumor therapy for invasive melanoma.
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Poly(lactic acid-glycolic acid) nanoparticles markedly improve immunological protection provided by peptide P10 against murine paracoccidioidomycosis.
Br. J. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2010
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Background and purpose: The present study reports on the preparation and testing of a sustained delivery system for the immunomodulatory peptide P10 aimed at reducing the in vivo degradation of the peptide and the amount required to elicit a protective immune response against paracoccidioidomycosis. Experimental approach: BALB/c mice were infected with the yeast Paracoccidioides brasiliensis to mimic the chronic form of paracoccidioidomycosis. The animals were treated daily with sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim alone or combined with peptide P10, either emulsified in Freunds adjuvant or entrapped in poly(lactic acid-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles at different concentrations (1 microg, 5 microg, 10 microg, 20 microg or 40 microg.50 microL(-1)). Therapeutic efficacy was assessed as fungal burden in tissues and the immune response by quantitative determination of cytokines. Key results: Animals given combined chemotherapy and P10 nanotherapy presented a marked reduction of fungal load in the lungs, compared with the non-treated animals. After 30 days of treatment, P10 entrapped within PLGA (1 microg.50 microL(-1)) was more effective than free P10 emulsified in Freunds adjuvant (20 microg.50 microL(-1)), as an adjuvant to chemotherapy. After treatment for 90 days, the higher doses of P10 entrapped within PLGA (5 or 10 microg.50 microL(-1)) were most effective. Treatment with P10 emulsified in Freunds adjuvant (20 microg.50 microL(-1)) or P10 entrapped within PLGA (1 microg.50 microL(-1)) were accompanied by high levels of interferon-gamma in lung. Conclusions and implications: Combination of sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim with the P10 peptide entrapped within PLGA demonstrated increased therapeutic efficacy against paracoccidioidomycosis. P10 incorporation into PLGA nanoparticles dramatically reduced the peptide amount necessary to elicit a protective effect.
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Identification of iGb3 and iGb4 in melanoma B16F10-Nex2 cells and the iNKT cell-mediated antitumor effect of dendritic cells primed with iGb3.
Mol. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 09-29-2009
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CD1d-restricted iNKT cells are protective against murine melanoma B16F10-Nex2 growing subcutaneously in syngeneic C57Bl/6 mice as inferred from the fast tumor development in CD1d-KO in comparison with wild type animals. CD1d glycoproteins are related to the class I MHC molecules, and are involved in the presentation, particularly by dentritic cells (DC), of lipid antigens to iNKT cells. In the present work we attempted to identify the endogenous lipid mediator expressed in melanoma cells inducing such immunesurveillance response and study the possibility of protecting animals challenged with tumor cells with lipid-primed DC.
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Role for chitin and chitooligomers in the capsular architecture of Cryptococcus neoformans.
Eukaryotic Cell
PUBLISHED: 07-17-2009
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Molecules composed of beta-1,4-linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and deacetylated glucosamine units play key roles as surface constituents of the human pathogenic fungus Cryptococcus neoformans. GlcNAc is the monomeric unit of chitin and chitooligomers, which participate in the connection of capsular polysaccharides to the cryptococcal cell wall. In the present study, we evaluated the role of GlcNAc-containing structures in the assembly of the cryptococcal capsule. The in vivo expression of chitooligomers in C. neoformans varied depending on the infected tissue, as inferred from the differential reactivity of yeast forms to the wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) in infected brain and lungs of rats. Chromatographic and dynamic light-scattering analyses demonstrated that glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), the major cryptococcal capsular component, interacts with chitin and chitooligomers. When added to C. neoformans cultures, chitooligomers formed soluble complexes with GXM and interfered in capsular assembly, as manifested by aberrant capsules with defective connections with the cell wall and no reactivity with a monoclonal antibody to GXM. Cultivation of C. neoformans in the presence of an inhibitor of glucosamine 6-phosphate synthase resulted in altered expression of cell wall chitin. These cells formed capsules that were loosely connected to the cryptococcal wall and contained fibers with decreased diameters and altered monosaccharide composition. These results contribute to our understanding of the role played by chitin and chitooligosaccharides on the cryptococcal capsular structure, broadening the functional activities attributed to GlcNAc-containing structures in this biological system.
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Catalytic properties of recombinant dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase from Escherichia coli: a comparative study with angiotensin I-converting enzyme.
Biol. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 06-30-2009
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Dipeptidyl carboxypeptidase from Escherichia coli (EcDcp) is a zinc metallopeptidase with catalytic properties closely resembling those of angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE). However, EcDcp and ACE are classified in different enzyme families (M3 and M2, respectively) due to differences in their primary sequences. We cloned and expressed EcDcp and studied in detail the enzymes S(3) to S(1) substrate specificity using positional-scanning synthetic combinatorial (PS-SC) libraries of fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) peptides. These peptides contain ortho-aminobenzoic acid (Abz) and 2,4-dinitrophenyl (Dnp) as donor/acceptor pair. In addition, using FRET substrates developed for ACE [Abz-FRK(Dnp)P-OH, Abz-SDK(Dnp)P-OH and Abz-LFK(Dnp)-OH] as well as natural ACE substrates (angiotensin I, bradykinin, and Ac-SDKP-OH), we show that EcDcp has catalytic properties very similar to human testis ACE. EcDcp inhibition studies were performed with the ACE inhibitors captopril (K(i)=3 nM) and lisinopril (K(i)=4.4 microM) and with two C-domain-selective ACE inhibitors, 5-S-5-benzamido-4-oxo-6-phenylhexanoyl-L-tryptophan (kAW; K(i)=22.0 microM) and lisinopril-Trp (K(i)=0.8 nM). Molecular modeling was used to provide the basis for the differences found in the inhibitors potency. The phylogenetic relationship of EcDcp and related enzymes belonging to the M3 and M2 families was also investigated and the results corroborate the distinct origins of EcDcp and ACE.
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Antifungal and antitumor models of bioactive protective peptides.
An. Acad. Bras. Cienc.
PUBLISHED: 03-31-2009
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Peptides are remarkably reactive molecules produced by a great variety of species and able to display a number of functions in uni-and multicellular organisms as mediators, agonists and regulating substances. Some of them exert cytotoxic effects on cells other than those that produced them, and may have a role in controlling subpopulations and protecting certain species or cell types. Presently, we focus on antifungal and antitumor peptides and discuss a few models in which specific sequences and structures exerted direct inhibitory effects or stimulated a protective immune response. The killer peptide, deduced from an antiidiotypic antibody, with several antimicrobial activities and other Ig-derived peptides with cytotoxic activities including antitumor effects, are models studied in vitro and in vivo. Peptide 10 from gp43 of P. brasiliensis (P10) and the vaccine perspective against paracoccidioidomycosis is another topic illustrating the protective effect in vivo against a pathogenic fungus. The cationic antimicrobial peptides with antitumor activities are mostly reviewed here. Local treatment of murine melanoma by the peptide gomesin is another model studied at the Experimental Oncology Unit of UNIFESP.
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Resistance of melanized yeast cells of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis to antimicrobial oxidants and inhibition of phagocytosis using carbohydrates and monoclonal antibody to CD18.
Mem. Inst. Oswaldo Cruz
PUBLISHED: 03-04-2009
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Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, a thermal dimorphic fungal pathogen, produces a melanin-like pigment in vitro and in vivo. We investigated the involvement of carbohydrates and monoclonal antibody to CD18, on phagocytosis inhibition, involving macrophage receptors and the resistance of melanized fungal cells to chemically generated nitric oxide (NO), reactive oxygen species (ROS), hypochlorite and H2O2. Our results demonstrate that melanized yeast cells were more resistant than nonmelanized yeast cells to chemically generated NO, ROS, hypochlorite and H2O2, in vitro. Phagocytosis of melanized yeast cells was virtually abolished when mannan, N-acetyl glucosamine and anti-CD18 antibody were added together in this system. Intratracheal infection of BALB/c mice, with melanized yeast cells, resulted in higher lung colony forming units, when compared to nonmelanized yeast cells. Therefore, melanin is a virulence factor of P. brasiliensis.
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Paracoccidioides brasiliensis vaccine formulations based on the gp43-derived P10 sequence and the Salmonella enterica FliC flagellin.
Infect. Immun.
PUBLISHED: 02-09-2009
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is a systemic granulomatous disease caused by the dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Anti-PCM vaccine formulations based on the secreted fungal cell wall protein (gp43) or the derived P10 sequence containing a CD4(+) T-cell-specific epitope have shown promising results. In the present study, we evaluated new anti-PCM vaccine formulations based on the intranasal administration of P. brasiliensis gp43 or the P10 peptide in combination with the Salmonella enterica FliC flagellin, an innate immunity agonist binding specifically to the Toll-like receptor 5, in a murine model. BALB/c mice immunized with gp43 developed high-specific-serum immunoglobulin G1 responses and enhanced interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-10 levels. On the other hand, mice immunized with recombinant purified flagellins genetically fused with P10 at the central hypervariable domain, either flanked or not by two lysine residues, or the synthetic P10 peptide admixed with purified FliC elicited a prevailing Th1-type immune response based on lung cell-secreted type 1 cytokines. Mice immunized with gp43 and FliC and intratracheally challenged with P. brasiliensis yeast cells had increased fungal proliferation and lung tissue damage. In contrast, mice immunized with the chimeric flagellins and particularly those immunized with P10 admixed with FliC reduced P. brasiliensis growth and lung damage. Altogether, these results indicate that S. enterica FliC flagellin modulates the immune response to P. brasiliensis P10 antigen and represents a promising alternative for the generation of anti-PCM vaccines.
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DNA vaccine encoding peptide P10 against experimental paracoccidioidomycosis induces long-term protection in presence of regulatory T cells.
Microbes Infect.
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Paracoccidioidomycosis is a granulomatous systemic mycosis endemic in Brazil and other Latin America countries. A DNA vaccine encoding the immunoprotective peptide 10 (P10) significantly reduced the fungal burden in mice when given prior to or after intratracheal challenge with Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Presently, the generation/expansion of CD4+ CD44hi memory T cells as well as Foxp3+ Treg cells in mice immunized with the DNA vaccine (pcDNA3-P10) before and after infection with P. brasiliensis was investigated. Memory CD4+ CD44hi T cells simultaneously with Foxp3+ Treg cells increased in the spleens and lungs of pcDNA3-P10 immunized mice on day 0, 30, 60 and 120 postinfection. Histopathology of the lung tissue showed minimal inflammation in immunized mice compared with the unimmunized group, suggesting a role for regulatory T cells in controlling the immunopathology. The DNA vaccine shows that the repeated immunization generates memory cells and regulatory T cells that replace the initially protective pro-inflammatory T cells conferring a long term protection while preserving the integrity of the infected tissue.
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Paracoccidioidomycosis vaccine.
Hum Vaccin Immunother
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Paracoccidioidomycosis is a granulomatous pulmonary infection that is generally controlled by chemotherapy. The efficacy of treatment, however, is limited by the status of the host immune response. The inhibition of a Th-2 immunity or the stimulation of Th-1 cytokines generally increases the efficacy of antifungal drugs. ( 1) This has been achieved by immunization with an internal peptide of the major diagnostic antigen gp43 of Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. Peptide 10 (QTLIAIHTLAIRYAN) elicits an IFN-? rich Th-1 immune response that protects against experimental intratracheal infection by this fungus. The combination of chemotherapy with P10 immunization showed additive protective effect even after 30 d of infection or in anergic mice, rendering in general, increased production of IL-12 and IFN-? and reduction of IL-4 and IL-10. Immunotherapy with P10 even in the absence of simultaneous chemotherapy has been effective using various protocols, adjuvants, nanoparticles, P10-primed dendritic cells, and especially a combination of plasmids encoding the P10 minigene and IL-12. Gene therapy, in a long-term infection protocol succeeded in the virtual elimination of the fungus, preserving the lung structure, free from immunopathological side effects.
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Jacaranone induces apoptosis in melanoma cells via ROS-mediated downregulation of Akt and p38 MAPK activation and displays antitumor activity in vivo.
PLoS ONE
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Malignant melanoma is a deadly type of metastatic skin cancer with increased incidence over the past 30 years. Despite the advanced knowledge on the biology, immunobiology and molecular genetics of melanoma, the alternatives of treatment are limited with poor prognosis. On clinical trials, natural products and among them redox-active quinones have been tested in the attempt to control the growth of cancer cells. Recently, we isolated jacaranone from Pentacalia desiderabilis, a benzoquinone derivative that showed a broad antitumor activity and protective anti-melanoma effect in a syngeneic model. The purified substance is active at micromolar concentrations, is not hemolytic, and is not toxic in naïve mice.
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New advances in the development of a vaccine against paracoccidioidomycosis.
Front Microbiol
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM) is an endemic Latin American mycosis caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis and also by the recently described P. lutzii. The systemic mycosis is the 10th leading cause of death due to infectious diseases in Brazil. As published, 1,853 patients died of PCM in the 1996-2006 decade in this country. The main diagnostic antigen of P.brasiliensis is the 43 kDa glycoprotein gp43, and its 15-mer peptide QTLIAIHTLAIRYAN, known as P10, contains the T-CD4(+) epitope that elicits an IFN-?-mediated Th1 immune response, which effectively treats mice intratracheally infected with PCM. The association of peptide P10 with antifungal drugs rendered an additive protective effect, even in immunosuppressed animals, being the basis of a recommended treatment protocol. Other immunotherapeutic tools include a peptide carrying a B cell epitope as well as protective anti-gp43 monoclonal antibodies. New delivery systems and gene therapy have been studied in prophylactic and therapeutic protocols to improve the efficacy of the recognized antigens aiming at a future vaccine as co-adjuvant therapy in patients with PCM.
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The role of adjuvants in therapeutic protection against paracoccidioidomycosis after immunization with the P10 peptide.
Front Microbiol
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), a common chronic mycosis in Latin America, is a granulomatous systemic disease caused by the thermo-dimorphic fungus Paracoccidioides brasiliensis. The glycoprotein gp43 is the main antigen target of P. brasiliensis and a 15-mer internal peptide (QTLIAIHTLAIRYAN), known as P10, defines a major CD4(+)-specific T cell epitope. Previous results have indicated that, besides having a preventive role in conventional immunizations prior to challenge with the fungus, protective anti-fungal effects can be induced in P. brasiliensis-infected mice treated with P10 administered with complete Freunds adjuvant (CFA). The peptide elicits an IFN-?-dependent Th1 immune response and is the main candidate for effective immunotherapy of patients with PCM, as an adjunctive approach to conventional chemotherapy. In the present study we tested the therapeutic effects of P10 combined with different adjuvants [aluminum hydroxide, CFA, flagellin, and the cationic lipid dioctadecyl-dimethylammonium bromide (DODAB)] in BALB/c mice previously infected with the P. brasiliensis Pb18 strain. Significant reductions in the number of colony forming units of the fungus were detected in lungs of mice immunized with P10 associated with the different adjuvants 52 days after infection. Mice treated with DODAB and P10, followed by mice treated with P10 and flagellin, showed the most prominent effects as demonstrated by the lowest numbers of viable yeast cells as well as reductions in granuloma formation and fibrosis. Concomitantly, secretion of IFN-? and TNF-?, in contrast to interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-10, was enhanced in the lungs of mice immunized with P10 in combination with the tested adjuvants, with the best results observed in mice treated with P10 and DODAB. In conclusion, the present results demonstrate that the co-administration of the synthetic P10 peptide with several adjuvants, particularly DODAB, have significant therapeutic effects in experimental PCM.
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Chitin-like molecules associate with Cryptococcus neoformans glucuronoxylomannan to form a glycan complex with previously unknown properties.
Eukaryotic Cell
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In prior studies, we demonstrated that glucuronoxylomannan (GXM), the major capsular polysaccharide of the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, interacts with chitin oligomers at the cell wall-capsule interface. The structural determinants regulating these carbohydrate-carbohydrate interactions, as well as the functions of these structures, have remained unknown. In this study, we demonstrate that glycan complexes composed of chitooligomers and GXM are formed during fungal growth and macrophage infection by C. neoformans. To investigate the required determinants for the assembly of chitin-GXM complexes, we developed a quantitative scanning electron microscopy-based method using different polysaccharide samples as inhibitors of the interaction of chitin with GXM. This assay revealed that chitin-GXM association involves noncovalent bonds and large GXM fibers and depends on the N-acetyl amino group of chitin. Carboxyl and O-acetyl groups of GXM are not required for polysaccharide-polysaccharide interactions. Glycan complex structures composed of cryptococcal GXM and chitin-derived oligomers were tested for their ability to induce pulmonary cytokines in mice. They were significantly more efficient than either GXM or chitin oligomers alone in inducing the production of lung interleukin 10 (IL-10), IL-17, and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?). These results indicate that association of chitin-derived structures with GXM through their N-acetyl amino groups generates glycan complexes with previously unknown properties.
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Peptides of the constant region of antibodies display fungicidal activity.
PLoS ONE
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Synthetic peptides with sequences identical to fragments of the constant region of different classes (IgG, IgM, IgA) of antibodies (Fc-peptides) exerted a fungicidal activity in vitro against pathogenic yeasts, such as Candida albicans, Candida glabrata, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Malassezia furfur, including caspofungin and triazole resistant strains. Alanine-substituted derivatives of fungicidal Fc-peptides, tested to evaluate the critical role of each residue, displayed unaltered, increased or decreased candidacidal activity in vitro. An Fc-peptide, included in all human IgGs, displayed a therapeutic effect against experimental mucosal and systemic candidiasis in mouse models. It is intriguing to hypothesize that some Fc-peptides may influence the antifungal immune response and constitute the basis for devising new antifungal agents.
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Therapeutic DNA vaccine encoding peptide P10 against experimental paracoccidioidomycosis.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis
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Paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM), caused by Paracoccidioides brasiliensis, is the most prevalent invasive fungal disease in South America. Systemic mycoses are the 10th most common cause of death among infectious diseases in Brazil and PCM is responsible for more than 50% of deaths due to fungal infections. PCM is typically treated with sulfonamides, amphotericin B or azoles, although complete eradication of the fungus may not occur and relapsing disease is frequently reported. A 15-mer peptide from the major diagnostic antigen gp43, named P10, can induce a strong T-CD4+ helper-1 immune response in mice. The TEPITOPE algorithm and experimental data have confirmed that most HLA-DR molecules can present P10, which suggests that P10 is a candidate antigen for a PCM vaccine. In the current work, the therapeutic efficacy of plasmid immunization with P10 and/or IL-12 inserts was tested in murine models of PCM. When given prior to or after infection with P. brasiliensis virulent Pb 18 isolate, plasmid-vaccination with P10 and/or IL-12 inserts successfully reduced the fungal burden in lungs of infected mice. In fact, intramuscular administration of a combination of plasmids expressing P10 and IL-12 given weekly for one month, followed by single injections every month for 3 months restored normal lung architecture and eradicated the fungus in mice that were infected one month prior to treatment. The data indicate that immunization with these plasmids is a powerful procedure for prevention and treatment of experimental PCM, with the perspective of being also effective in human patients.
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?-Actin-binding complementarity-determining region 2 of variable heavy chain from monoclonal antibody C7 induces apoptosis in several human tumor cells and is protective against metastatic melanoma.
J. Biol. Chem.
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Complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) from monoclonal antibodies tested as synthetic peptides display anti-infective and antitumor activities, independent of the specificity of the native antibody. Previously, we have shown that the synthetic peptide C7H2, based on the heavy chain CDR 2 from monoclonal antibody C7, a mAb directed to a mannoprotein of Candida albicans, significantly reduced B16F10 melanoma growth and lung colony formation by triggering tumor apoptosis. The mechanism, however, by which C7H2 induced apoptosis in tumor cells remained unknown. Here, we demonstrate that C7H2 interacts with components of the tumor cells cytoskeleton, being rapidly internalized after binding to the tumor cell surface. Mass spectrometry analysis and in vitro validation revealed that ?-actin is the receptor of C7H2 in the tumor cells. C7H2 induces ?-actin polymerization and F-actin stabilization, linked with abundant generation of superoxide anions and apoptosis. Major phenotypes following peptide binding were chromatin condensation, DNA fragmentation, annexin V binding, lamin disruption, caspase 8 and 3 activation, and organelle alterations. Finally, we evaluated the cytotoxic efficacy of C7H2 in a panel of human tumor cell lines. All tumor cell lines studied were equally susceptible to C7H2 in vitro. The C7H2 amide without further derivatization significantly reduced lung metastasis of mice endovenously challenged with B16F10-Nex2 melanoma cells. No significant cytotoxicity was observed toward nontumorigenic cell lines on short incubation in vitro or in naïve mice injected with a high dose of the peptide. We believe that C7H2 is a promising peptide to be developed as an anticancer drug.
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