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Find video protocols related to scientific articles indexed in Pubmed.
Derivation of Structure-Activity Relationships from the Anticancer Properties of Ruthenium(II) Arene Complexes with 2-Aryldiazole Ligands.
Inorg Chem
PUBLISHED: 10-10-2014
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The ligands 2-pyridin-2-yl-1H-benzimidazole (HL(1)), 1-methyl-2-pyridin-2-ylbenzimidazole (HL(2)), and 2-(1H-imidazol-2-yl)pyridine (HL(3)) and the proligand 2-phenyl-1H-benzimidazole (HL(4)) have been used to prepare five different types of new ruthenium(II) arene compounds: (i) monocationic complexes with the general formula [(?(6)-arene)RuCl(?(2)-N,N-HL)]Y [HL = HL(1), HL(2), or HL(3); Y = Cl or BF4; arene = 2-phenoxyethanol (phoxet), benzene (bz), or p-cymene (p-cym)]; (ii) dicationic aqua complexes of the formula [(?(6)-arene)Ru(OH2)(?(2)-N,N-HL(1))](Y)2 (Y = Cl or TfO; arene = phoxet, bz, or p-cym); (iii) the nucleobase derivative [(?(6)-arene)Ru(9-MeG)(?(2)-N,N-HL(1))](PF6)2 (9-MeG = 9-methylguanine); (iv) neutral complexes consistent with the formulation [(?(6)-arene)RuCl(?(2)-N,N-L(1))] (arene = bz or p-cym); (v) the neutral cyclometalated complex [(?(6)-p-cym)RuCl(?(2)-N,C-L(4))]. The cytototoxic activity of the new ruthenium(II) arene compounds has been evaluated in several cell lines (MCR-5, MCF-7, A2780, and A2780cis) in order to establish structure-activity relationships. Three of the compounds with the general formula [(?(6)-arene)RuCl(?(2)-N,N-HL(1))]Cl differing in the arene moiety have been studied in depth in terms of thermodynamic dissociation constants, aquation kinetic constants, and DNA binding measurements. The biologically most active compound is the p-cym derivative, which strongly destabilizes the DNA double helix, whereas those with bz and phoxet have only a small effect on the stability of the DNA double helix. Moreover, the inhibitory activity of several compounds toward CDK1 has also been evaluated. The DNA binding ability of some of the studied compounds and their CDK1 inhibitory effect suggest a multitarget mechanism for their biological activity.
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Single-molecule-magnet behavior in the family of [Ln(OETAP)2] double-decker complexes (Ln=lanthanide, OETAP=octa(ethyl)tetraazaporphyrin).
Chemistry
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2014
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Double-decker complexes of lanthanide cations can be readily prepared with tetraazaporphyrins (porphyrazines). We have synthesized and characterized a series of neutral double-decker complexes [Ln(OETAP)2 ] (Ln=Tb(3+), Dy(3+), Gd(3+), Y(3+); OETAP=octa(ethyl)tetraazaporphyrin). Some of these complexes show analogous magnetic features to their phthalocyanine (Pc) counterparts. The Tb(3+) and Dy(3+) derivatives exhibit single-molecule magnet (SMM) behavior with high blocking temperatures over 50 and 10?K, respectively. These results confirm that, in double-decker complexes that involve Tb or Dy, the (N4)2 square antiprism coordination mode has an important role in inducing very large activation energies for magnetization reversal. In contrast with their Pc counterparts, the use of tetraazaporphyrin ligands endows the presented [Ln(OETAP)2] complexes with extraordinary chemical versatility. The double-decker complexes that exhibit SMM behavior are highly soluble in common organic solvents, and easily processable even through sublimation.
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Modular framework to assess the risk of African swine fever virus entry into the European Union.
BMC Vet. Res.
PUBLISHED: 06-24-2014
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The recent occurrence and spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Eastern Europe is perceived as a serious risk for the pig industry in the European Union (EU). In order to estimate the potential risk of ASF virus (ASFV) entering the EU, several pathways of introduction were previously assessed separately. The present work aimed to integrate five of these assessments (legal imports of pigs, legal imports of products, illegal imports of products, fomites associated with transport and wild boar movements) into a modular tool that facilitates the visualization and comprehension of the relative risk of ASFV introduction into the EU by each analyzed pathway.
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Structural insights into the coenzyme mediated monomer-dimer transition of the pro-apoptotic apoptosis inducing factor.
Biochemistry
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2014
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The apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) is a mitochondrial-flavoprotein that, after cell death induction, is distributed to the nucleus to mediate chromatinolysis. In mitochondria, AIF is present in a monomer-dimer equilibrium that after reduction by NADH gets displaced toward the dimer. The crystal structure of the human AIF (hAIF):NAD(H)-bound dimer revealed one FAD and, unexpectedly, two NAD(H) molecules per protomer. A 1:2 hAIF:NAD(H) binding stoichiometry was additionally confirmed in solution by using surface plasmon resonance. The here newly discovered NAD(H)-binding site includes residues mutated in human disorders, and accommodation of the coenzyme in it requires restructuring of a hAIF portion within the 509-560 apoptogenic segment. Disruption of interactions at the dimerization surface by production of the hAIF E413A/R422A/R430A mutant resulted in a nondimerizable variant considerably less efficiently stabilizing charge-transfer complexes upon coenzyme reduction than WT hAIF. These data reveal that the coenzyme-mediated monomer-dimer transition of hAIF modulates the conformation of its C-terminal proapoptotic domain, as well as its mechanism as reductase. These observations suggest that both the mitochondrial and apoptotic functions of hAIF are interconnected and coenzyme controlled: a key information in the understanding of the physiological role of AIF in the cellular life and death cycle.
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Electron transferases.
Methods Mol. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 04-26-2014
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The flavin isoalloxazine ring in electron transferases functions in a redox capacity, being able to take up electrons from a donor to subsequently deliver them to an acceptor. The main characteristics of these flavoproteins, including their unique ability to mediate obligatory processes of two-electron transfers with those involving single-electron transfer, are here described. To illustrate the versatility of these proteins, the acquired knowledge of the function of the two electron transferases involved in the cyanobacterial photosynthetic electron transfer from photosystem I to NADP(+) is presented. Many aspects of their biochemistry and biophysics have been extensively characterized using site-directed mutagenesis, steady-state and transient kinetics, spectroscopy, calorimetry, X-ray crystallography, electron paramagnetic resonance, and computational methods.
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A Blk-p190RhoGAP signaling module downstream of activated G?13 functionally opposes CXCL12-stimulated RhoA activation and cell invasion.
Cell. Signal.
PUBLISHED: 04-24-2014
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Activation of the GTPase RhoA linked to cell invasion can be tightly regulated following G?13 stimulation. We have used a cellular model displaying G?13-dependent inhibition of RhoA activation associated with defective cell invasion to the chemokine CXCL12 to characterize the molecular players regulating these processes. Using both RNAi transfection approaches and protein overexpression experiments here we show that the Src kinase Blk is involved in G?13-activated tyrosine phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP, which causes RhoA inactivation and ultimately leads to deficient cell invasion. Characterization of molecular interplays between G?13, Blk and p190RhoGAP revealed that Blk binds G?13, and that Blk-mediated p190RhoGAP phosphorylation upon G?13 activation correlates with weakening of G?13-Blk association connected to increased Blk-p190RhoGAP assembly. These results place Blk upstream of the p190RhoGAP-RhoA pathway in G?13-activated cells, overall representing an opposing signaling module during CXCL12-triggered invasion. In addition, analyses with Blk- or G?13-knockdown cells indicated that Blk can also mediate CXCL12-triggered phosphorylation of p190RhoGAP independently of G?13. However, even if CXCL12 induces the Blk-mediated GAP phosphorylation, the simultaneous stimulation of the guanine-nucleotide exchange factor Vav1 by the chemokine, as earlier reported, leads to a net increase in RhoA activation. Therefore, when G?13 is concurrently stimulated with CXCL12 there appears to be sufficient Blk activity to promote adequate levels of p190RhoGAP tyrosine phosphorylation to inactivate RhoA and to impair cell invasiveness.
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Versatile, high quality and scalable continuous flow production of metal-organic frameworks.
Sci Rep
PUBLISHED: 04-14-2014
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Further deployment of Metal-Organic Frameworks in applied settings requires their ready preparation at scale. Expansion of typical batch processes can lead to unsuccessful or low quality synthesis for some systems. Here we report how continuous flow chemistry can be adapted as a versatile route to a range of MOFs, by emulating conditions of lab-scale batch synthesis. This delivers ready synthesis of three different MOFs, with surface areas that closely match theoretical maxima, with production rates of 60?g/h at extremely high space-time yields.
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Vestibulo-ocular reflex in patients with superior semicircular canal benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV).
Acta Otolaryngol.
PUBLISHED: 04-08-2014
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The function of all the semicircular canals in patients with idiopathic benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) in whom otoconial debris is located in the superior semicircular canal (SSC) is normal.
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Acute oral safety study of sodium caseinate glycosylated via maillard reaction with galactose in rats.
J. Food Prot.
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2014
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In order to potentially use sodium caseinate (SC) glycated with galactose (Gal) in the food industry as a new functional ingredient with proved technological and biological properties, an evaluation of oral acute toxicity has been carried out. An acute safety study with SC-Gal glycoconjugates in the Wistar rat with a single oral gavage dose of 2,000 mg/kg of body weight was conducted. The SC-Gal glycoconjugates were well tolerated; no adverse effects or mortality was observed during the 2-week observation period. No abnormal signs, behavioral changes, body weight changes, or alterations in food and water consumption occurred. After this period, no changes in hematological and serum chemistry parameters, organ weights, or gross pathology or histopathology were detected. It was concluded that SC-Gal glycoconjugates obtained via the Maillard reaction were well tolerated in rats at an acute oral dose of 2,000 mg/kg of body weight. The SC-Gal glycoconjugates have a low order of acute toxicity, and the oral 50 % lethal dose for male and female rats is in excess of 2,000 mg/kg of body weight.
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The effect of telestroke systems among neighboring hospitals: more and better? The Madrid Telestroke Project.
J. Neurol.
PUBLISHED: 03-27-2014
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A telestroke system was established between a community hospital lacking an on-call neurologist and a comprehensive stroke center only 13 km away. Our goal was to analyze the impact of telestroke on the number of intravenous thrombolysis (IVT), door-to-needle times and stroke outcomes. An observational before-and-after study of patients with acute ischemic stroke (IS) who were attended in a community hospital during the 2 years before the telestroke system was implemented (pre-telestroke group) and the first 2 years after telestroke was established (telestroke group). The number of IVT, the door-to-needle time (min), the outcomes [modified Rankin Scale (mRS)] and the safety (mortality and hemorrhagic transformations) were compared between groups. During the pre-telestroke years, 259 patients with IS were attended (28 phone activations), 12 of whom received IVT (4.7 %). During the telestroke years, 225 patients with IS were attended (42 telestroke activations), of whom 18 (8 %) received IVT. The door-to-needle times were lower in the telestroke group [median interquartile range: 66 (54) vs. 143.5 (48) min, P < 0.0001]. The safety was similar in both groups; however, the 3-month mRS scores were lower in the telestroke group (P = 0.049). The multiple linear regression analysis showed a negative association between telestroke and door-to-needle time [?-coefficient (SE) = -59.089 (14.461)], adjusted for confounders. In conclusion, telestroke systems are effective, even between nearby hospitals, shortening door-to-needle time and improving stroke outcomes.
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BAX channel activity mediates lysosomal disruption linked to Parkinson disease.
Autophagy
PUBLISHED: 03-26-2014
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Lysosomal disruption is increasingly regarded as a major pathogenic event in Parkinson disease (PD). A reduced number of intraneuronal lysosomes, decreased levels of lysosomal-associated proteins and accumulation of undegraded autophagosomes (AP) are observed in PD-derived samples, including fibroblasts, induced pluripotent stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons, and post-mortem brain tissue. Mechanistic studies in toxic and genetic rodent PD models attribute PD-related lysosomal breakdown to abnormal lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying PD-linked LMP and subsequent lysosomal defects remain virtually unknown, thereby precluding their potential therapeutic targeting. Here we show that the pro-apoptotic protein BAX (BCL2-associated X protein), which permeabilizes mitochondrial membranes in PD models and is activated in PD patients, translocates and internalizes into lysosomal membranes early following treatment with the parkinsonian neurotoxin MPTP, both in vitro and in vivo, within a time-frame correlating with LMP, lysosomal disruption, and autophagosome accumulation and preceding mitochondrial permeabilization and dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Supporting a direct permeabilizing effect of BAX on lysosomal membranes, recombinant BAX is able to induce LMP in purified mouse brain lysosomes and the latter can be prevented by pharmacological blockade of BAX channel activity. Furthermore, pharmacological BAX channel inhibition is able to prevent LMP, restore lysosomal levels, reverse AP accumulation, and attenuate mitochondrial permeabilization and overall nigrostriatal degeneration caused by MPTP, both in vitro and in vivo. Overall, our results reveal that PD-linked lysosomal impairment relies on BAX-induced LMP, and point to small molecules able to block BAX channel activity as potentially beneficial to attenuate both lysosomal defects and neurodegeneration occurring in PD.
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Maraviroc reduces the regulatory T-cell frequency in antiretroviral-naive HIV-infected subjects.
J. Infect. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 03-20-2014
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Maraviroc is the first antiretroviral (ART) drug to target a human protein, the CCR5 coreceptor; however, the mechanisms of maraviroc-associated immunomodulation in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected subjects remain to be elucidated. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) play a key role in HIV-associated immunopathology and are susceptible to maraviroc-mediated CCR5 blockade. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of maraviroc on Tregs.
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Classification of Spanish white wines using their electrophoretic profiles obtained by capillary zone electrophoresis with amperometric detection.
Electrophoresis
PUBLISHED: 02-18-2014
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A method was developed for the simultaneous detection of eight polyphenols (t-resveratrol, (+)-catechin, quercetin and p-coumaric, caffeic, sinapic, ferulic, and gallic acids) by CZE with electrochemical detection. Separation of these polyphenols was achieved within 25 min using a 200 mM borate buffer (pH 9.4) containing 10% methanol as separation electrolyte. Amperometric detection of polyphenols was carried out with a glassy carbon electrode (GCE) modified with a multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNT) layer obtained from a dispersion of CNT in polyethylenimine. The excellent electrochemical properties of this modified electrode allowed the detection and quantification of the selected polyphenols in white wines without any pretreatment step, showing remarkable signal stability despite the presence of potential fouling substances in wine. The electrophoretic profiles of white wines, obtained using this methodology, have proven to be useful for the classification of these wines by means of chemometric multivariate techniques. Principal component analysis and discriminant analysis allowed accurate classification of wine samples on the basis of their grape varietal (verdejo and airén) using the information contained in selected zones of the electropherogram. The utility of the proposed CZE methodology based on the electrochemical response of CNT-modified electrodes appears to be promising in the field of wine industry and it is expected to be successfully extended to classification of a wider range of wines made of other grape varietals.
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Experimental development of an intra-abdominal chemohyperthermia model using a closed abdomen technique and a PRS-1.0 Combat CO2 recirculation system.
Surgery
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2014
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Cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy is the best operative treatment currently available for patients with peritoneal carcinomatosis of ovarian origin. The open abdomen technique is the classic technique for hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy. We developed a closed abdomen model that improves temperature control and increases exposure of peritoneal surfaces to the drug by recirculating the perfusate.
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Roles of cyclic Di-GMP and the Gac system in transcriptional control of the genes coding for the Pseudomonas putida adhesins LapA and LapF.
J. Bacteriol.
PUBLISHED: 01-31-2014
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LapA and LapF are large extracellular proteins that play a relevant role in biofilm formation by Pseudomonas putida. Current evidence favors a sequential model in which LapA is first required for the initial adhesion of individual bacteria to a surface, while LapF participates in later stages of biofilm development. In agreement with this model, lapF transcription was previously shown to take place at late times of growth and to respond to the stationary-phase sigma factor RpoS. We have now analyzed the transcription pattern of lapA and other regulatory elements that influence expression of both genes. The lapA promoter shows a transient peak of activation early during growth, with a second increase in stationary phase that is independent of RpoS. The same pattern is observed in biofilms although expression is not uniform in the population. Both lapA and lapF are under the control of the two-component regulatory system GacS/GacA, and their transcription also responds to the intracellular levels of the second messenger cyclic diguanylate (c-di-GMP), although in surprisingly reverse ways. Whereas expression from the lapA promoter increases with high levels of c-di-GMP, the opposite is true for lapF. The transcriptional regulator FleQ is required for the modulation of lapA expression by c-di-GMP but has a minor influence on lapF. This work represents a further step in our understanding of the regulatory interactions controlling biofilm formation in P. putida.
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PM060184, a new tubulin binding agent with potent antitumor activity including P-glycoprotein over-expressing tumors.
Biochem. Pharmacol.
PUBLISHED: 01-20-2014
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PM060184 belongs to a new family of tubulin-binding agents originally isolated from the marine sponge Lithoplocamia lithistoides. This compound is currently produced by total synthesis and is under evaluation in clinical studies in patients with advanced cancer diseases. It was recently published that PM060184 presents the highest known affinities among tubulin-binding agents, and that it targets tubulin dimers at a new binding site. Here, we show that PM060184 has a potent antitumor activity in a panel of different tumor xenograft models. Moreover, PM060184 is able to overcome P-gp mediated resistance in vivo, an effect that could be related to its high binding affinity for tubulin. To gain insight into the mechanism responsible of the observed antitumor activity, we have characterized its molecular and cellular effects. We have observed that PM060184 is an inhibitor of tubulin polymerization that reduces microtubule dynamicity in cells by 59%. Interestingly, PM060184 suppresses microtubule shortening and growing at a similar extent. This action affects cells in interphase and mitosis. In the first case, the compound induces a disorganization and fragmentation of the microtubule network and the inhibition of cell migration. In the second case, it induces the appearance of multipolar mitosis and lagging chromosomes at the metaphase plate. These effects correlate with prometaphase arrest and induction of caspase-dependent apoptosis or appearance of cells in a multinucleated interphase-like state unrelated to classical apoptosis pathways. Taken together, these results indicate that PM060184 represents a new tubulin binding agent with promising potential as an anticancer agent.
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Impact of high-intensity ultrasound on the formation of lactulose and Maillard reaction glycoconjugates.
Food Chem
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2014
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The impact of high-intensity ultrasound (US) on the formation of lactulose during lactose isomerization and on the obtention of lysine-glucose glycoconjugates during Maillard reaction (MR) has been studied, respectively, in basic and neutral media. As compared to equivalent conventional heat treatments, a higher formation of furosine, as indicator of initial steps of MR, was observed together with more advance of the reaction in US treated samples, this effect being more pronounced with the increase of US amplitude (50-70%) and temperature (25-40 °C). Regarding the influence of US on lactulose formation, in general, in a buffered system (pH 10.0), US at 70% of amplitude and 60 °C increased the rate of lactose isomerization, higher values of lactulose, epilactose and galactose being observed in comparison to conventional heating. The results of this work showed an acceleration of both reactions by US, indicating its usefulness to promote the formation of functional ingredients.
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Associations of the antioxidant capacity and hemoglobin levels with functional physical performance of the upper and lower body limbs.
Age (Dordr)
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2014
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Herein we considered the role of oxidative stress on deficiencies of functional physical performance that could affect a future pre-frailty condition. Using principal component analyses (PCA), we created new variables to better describe the functionality regarding the physical performance of the upper and lower body limbs. Gait speed and the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB) score were classified by PCA to describe functional performance of the lower body limbs. Variables describing the general physical status, including weekly consumption of kilocalories and the musculoskeletal index, were classified together with grip strength of the dominant hand as indicators of functional performance of the upper body limbs. An intimate association between the functional physical performance of the upper body limbs and the total antioxidant capacity was observed in older subjects. Low levels of total antioxidant capacity were found in women 76 years or younger with deficiencies in the physical performance of both upper and lower body limbs. Similarly, we observed a close association between the functional physical performance of the lower body limbs and the levels of hemoglobin. In particular, low levels of hemoglobin were mostly found in men older than 76 years of age, showing impaired functional physical performance. In addition, the physical performance of the lower body limbs was shown to be more important than that of the upper body limbs in the statistical association with pre-frailty in the elderly. Therefore, specific low levels of hemoglobin and deficient oxidative defense in the elderly could significantly affect the functional physical performance and future outcomes of pre-frailty.
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Prostaglandin E2 reduces the release and infectivity of new cell-free virions and cell-to-cell HIV-1 transfer.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2014
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The course of human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1) infection is influenced by a complex interplay between viral and host factors. HIV infection stimulates several proinflammatory genes, such as cyclooxigense-2 (COX-2), which leads to an increase in prostaglandin (PG) levels in the plasma of HIV-1-infected patients. These genes play an indeterminate role in HIV replication and pathogenesis. The effect of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) on HIV infection is quite controversial and even contradictory, so we sought to determine the role of PGE2 and the signal transduction pathways involved in HIV infection to elucidate possible new targets for antiretrovirals.
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Localized, Stepwise Template Growth of Functional Nanowires from an Amino Acid-Supported Framework in a Microfluidic Chip.
ACS Nano
PUBLISHED: 12-23-2013
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A spatially controlled synthesis of nanowire bundles of the functional crystalline coordination polymer (CP) Ag(I)TCNQ (tetracyanoquinodimethane) from previously fabricated and trapped monovalent silver CP (Ag(I)Cys (cysteine)) using a room-temperature microfluidic-assisted templated growth method is demonstrated. The incorporation of microengineered pneumatic clamps in a two-layer polydimethylsiloxane-based (PDMS) microfluidic platform was used. Apart from guiding the formation of the Ag(I)Cys coordination polymer, this microfluidic approach enables a local trapping of the in situ synthesized structures with a simple pneumatic clamp actuation. This method not only enables continuous and multiple chemical events to be conducted upon the trapped structures, but the excellent fluid handling ensures a precise chemical activation of the amino acid-supported framework in a position controlled by interface and clamp location that leads to a site-specific growth of Ag(I)TCNQ nanowire bundles. The synthesis is conducted stepwise starting with Ag(I)Cys CPs, going through silver metal, and back to a functional CP (Ag(I)TCNQ); that is, a novel microfluidic controlled ligand exchange (CP ? NP ? CP) is presented. Additionally, the pneumatic clamps can be employed further to integrate the conductive Ag(I)TCNQ nanowire bundles onto electrode arrays located on a surface, hence facilitating the construction of the final functional interfaced systems from solution specifically with no need for postassembly manipulation. This localized self-supported growth of functional matter from an amino acid-based CP shows how sequential localized chemistry in a fluid cell can be used to integrate molecular systems onto device platforms using a chip incorporating microengineered pneumatic tools. The control of clamp pressure and in parallel the variation of relative flow rates of source solutions permit deposition of materials at different locations on a chip that could be useful for device array preparation. The in situ reaction and washing procedures make this approach a powerful one for the fabrication of multicomponent complex nanomaterials using a soft bottom-up approach.
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External loops at the ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase protein-partner binding cavity contribute to substrates allocation.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 10-21-2013
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Ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (FNR) is the structural prototype of a family of FAD-containing reductases that catalyze electron transfer between low potential proteins and NAD(P)(+)/H, and that display a two-domain arrangement with an open cavity at their interface. The inner part of this cavity accommodates the reacting atoms during catalysis. Loops at its edge are highly conserved among plastidic FNRs, suggesting that they might contribute to both flavin stabilization and competent disposition of substrates. Here we pay attention to two of these loops in Anabaena FNR. The first is a sheet-loop-sheet motif, loop102-114, that allocates the FAD adenosine. It was thought to determine the extended FAD conformation, and, indirectly, to modulate isoalloxazine electronic properties, partners binding, catalytic efficiency and even coenzyme specificity. The second, loop261-269, contains key residues for the allocation of partners and coenzyme, including two glutamates, Glu267 and Glu268, proposed as candidates to facilitate the key displacement of the C-terminal tyrosine (Tyr303) from its stacking against the isoalloxazine ring during the catalytic cycle. Our data indicate that the main function of loop102-114 is to provide the inter-domain cavity with flexibility to accommodate protein partners and to guide the coenzyme to the catalytic site, while the extended conformation of FAD must be induced by other protein determinants. Glu267 and Glu268 appear to assist the conformational changes that occur in the loop261-269 during productive coenzyme binding, but their contribution to Tyr303 displacement is minor than expected. Additionally, loop261-269 appears a determinant to ensure reversibility in photosynthetic FNRs.
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Key residues at the riboflavin kinase catalytic site of the bifunctional riboflavin kinase/FMN adenylyltransferase from Corynebacterium ammoniagenes.
Cell Biochem. Biophys.
PUBLISHED: 10-01-2013
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Many known prokaryotic organisms depend on a single bifunctional enzyme, encoded by the RibC of RibF gene and named FAD synthetase (FADS), to convert Riboflavin (RF), first into FMN and then into FAD. The reaction occurs through the sequential action of two activities present on a single polypeptide chain where the N-terminus is responsible for the ATP:FMN adenylyltransferase (FMNAT) activity and the C-terminus for the ATP: riboflavin kinase (RFK) activity. Sequence and structural analysis suggest that T208, N210 and E268 at the C-terminus RFK module of Corynebacterium ammoniagenes FADS (CaFADS) might be key during RF phosphorylation. The effect of site-directed mutagenesis on the RFK activity, as well as on substrates and products binding, indicates that T208 and N210 provide the RFK active-site geometry for binding and catalysis, while E268 might be involved in the catalytic step as catalytic base. These data additionally suggest concerted conformational changes at the RFK module of CaFADS during its activity. Mutations at the RFK site also modulate the binding parameters at the FMNAT active site of CaFADS, altering the catalytic efficiency in the transformation of FMN into FAD. This observation supports the hypothesis that the hexameric assembly previously revealed by the crystal structure of CaFADS might play a functional role during catalysis.
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The prokaryotic FAD synthetase family: a potential drug target.
Curr. Pharm. Des.
PUBLISHED: 09-27-2013
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Disruption of cellular production of the flavin cofactors, flavin adenine mononucleotide (FMN) and flavin adenine dinucleotide(FAD) will prevent the assembly of a large number of flavoproteins and flavoenzymes involved in key metabolic processes in all types of organisms. The enzymes responsible for FMN and FAD production in prokaryotes and eukaryotes exhibit various structural characteristics to catalyze the same chemistry, a fact that converts the prokaryotic FAD synthetase (FADS) in a potential drug target for the development of inhibitors endowed with anti-pathogenic activity. The first step before searching for selective inhibitors of FADS is to understand the structural and functional mechanisms for the riboflavin kinase and FMN adenylyltransferase activities of the prokaryotic enzyme, and particularly to identify their differential functional characteristics with regard to the enzymes performing similar functions in other organisms, particularly humans. In this paper, an overview of the current knowledge of the structure-function relationships in prokaryotic FADS has been presented, as well as of the state of the art in the use of these enzymes as drug targets.
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Anticancer activity and DNA binding of a bifunctional Ru(II) arene aqua-complex with the 2,4-diamino-6-(2-pyridyl)-1,3,5-triazine ligand.
Inorg Chem
PUBLISHED: 08-20-2013
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The synthesis and full characterization of the new aqua-complex [(?(6)-p-cymene)Ru(OH2)(?(2)-N,N-2-pydaT)](BF4)2, [2](BF4)2, and the nucleobase derivative [(?(6)-p-cymene)Ru(9-MeG)(?(2)-N,N-2-pydaT)](BF4)2, [4](PF6)2, where 2-pydaT = 2,4-diamino-6-(2-pyridyl)-1,3,5-triazine and 9-MeG = 9-methylguanine, are reported here. The crystal structures of both [4](PF6)2 and the chloro complex [(?(6)-p-cymene)RuCl(?(2)-N,N-2-pydaT)](PF6), [1](PF6), have been elucidated by X-ray diffraction. The former provided relevant information regarding the interaction of the metallic fragment [(?(6)-p-cymene)Ru(?(2)-N,N-2-pydaT)](2+) and a simple model of DNA. NMR and kinetic absorbance studies have proven that the aqua-complex [2](BF4)2 binds to the N7 site of guanine in nucleobases, nucleotides, or DNA. A stable bifunctional interaction (covalent and partially intercalated) between the [(?(6)-p-cymene)Ru(?(2)-N,N-2-pydaT)](2+) fragment and CT-DNA has been corroborated by kinetic, circular dichroism, viscometry, and thermal denaturation experiments. The reaction mechanism entails the very fast formation of the Ru-O-(PO3) linkage prior to the fast intercalation of the 2-pydaT fragment. Then, a Ru-N7-(G) covalent bond is formed at the expense of the Ru-O-(PO3) bond, yielding a bifunctional complex. The dissociation rate of the intercalated fragment is slow, and this confers additional interest to [2](BF4)2 in view of the likely correlation between slow dissociation and biological activity, on the assumption that DNA is the only biotarget. Furthermore, [2](BF4)2 displays notable pH-dependent cytotoxic activity in human ovarian carcinoma cells (A2780, IC50 = 11.0 ?M at pH = 7.4; IC50 = 6.58 ?M at pH = 6.5). What is more, complex [2](BF4)2 is not cross-resistant with cisplatin, exhibiting a resistance factor, RF(A2780cis), of 0.28, and it shows moderate selectivity toward the cancer cell lines, in particular, A2780cis (IC50 = 3.0 5 ± 0.08 ?M), relative to human lung fibroblast cells (MRC-5; IC50 = 24 ?M), the model for healthy cells.
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Positive effects of resistance training in frail elderly patients with dementia after long-term physical restraint.
Age (Dordr)
PUBLISHED: 08-12-2013
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This study investigated the effects of a multicomponent exercise intervention on muscle strength, incidence of falls and functional outcomes in frail elderly patients with dementia after long-term physical restraint, followed by 24 weeks of training cessation. Eighteen frail elderly patients with mild dementia (88.1?±?5.1 years) performed a multicomponent exercise program, which consisted of 4 weeks of walking, balance and cognitive exercises, followed by 4 weeks of resistance exercise performed twice weekly [8-12 repetitions at 20-50 % of the one-repetition maximum (1RM)], combined with walking, balance and cognitive exercises. Before and after training, as well as after 24 weeks of training cessation, strength outcomes, Barthel Index, balance, gait ability, rise from a chair ability, dual task performance, incidence of falls and Mini-Mental State Examination were assessed. After the first 4 weeks of training, there was a significant improvement only in the balance test, whereas no additional changes were observed. However, after the second part of the training, the participants required significantly less time for the time-up-and-go test (P?
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A hydrogen bond network in the active site of Anabaena ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase modulates its catalytic efficiency.
Biochim. Biophys. Acta
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2013
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Ferredoxin-nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADP(+)) reductase (FNR) catalyses the production of reduced nicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) in photosynthetic organisms, where its flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactor takes two electrons from two reduced ferredoxin (Fd) molecules in two sequential steps, and transfers them to NADP(+) in a single hydride transfer (HT) step. Despite the good knowledge of this catalytic machinery, additional roles can still be envisaged for already reported key residues, and new features are added to residues not previously identified as having a particular role in the mechanism. Here, we analyse for the first time the role of Ser59 in Anabaena FNR, a residue suggested by recent theoretical simulations as putatively involved in competent binding of the coenzyme in the active site by cooperating with Ser80. We show that Ser59 indirectly modulates the geometry of the active site, the interaction with substrates and the electronic properties of the isoalloxazine ring, and in consequence the electron transfer (ET) and HT processes. Additionally, we revise the role of Tyr79 and Ser80, previously investigated in homologous enzymes from plants. Our results probe that the active site of FNR is tuned by a H-bond network that involves the side-chains of these residues and that results to critical optimal substrate binding, exchange of electrons and, particularly, competent disposition of the C4n (hydride acceptor/donor) of the nicotinamide moiety of the coenzyme during the reversible HT event.
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Prevalence of pharyngeal infection by Neisseria gonorrhoeae among human immunodeficiency virus-positive men who have sex with men in downtown Madrid, 2011.
Int J STD AIDS
PUBLISHED: 07-19-2013
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The prevalence of pharyngeal gonorrhoea in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive men who have sex with men (MSM) is not entirely known. We cultured the pharynx of 264 asymptomatic HIV-positive MSM in downtown Madrid. A questionnaire on sexual and drug use risk behaviours was also administered. Gonococci were isolated in 25 (9.5%). Among the whole study population, 65% had a history of sexual intercourse with two or more partners on a single day and 26% were involved in group sex with other men. Only 29% regularly used condoms in all sexual encounters and 63% used condoms only in insertive anal intercourse. When asked about oral sex, 89% of patients engaged in insertive and/or receptive oral sex and 86% recognized that they did not regularly request the use of condoms when practising "fellatio" on a partner. Cocaine, crystal methamphetamine or alcohol use and a previous history of ?1 sexually transmitted infection were significantly more common among culture-positive patients. Gonococcal colonization of the pharynx was self-limited in patients that were not treated and re-cultured a mean 18.5?±?5.2 days after diagnosis. Asymptomatic pharyngeal gonorrhoea is common among HIV-positive MSM and may contribute to the increasing epidemic of gonorrhoea in Madrid.
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A fusion protein between streptavidin and the endogenous TLR4 ligand EDA targets biotinylated antigens to dendritic cells and induces T cell responses in vivo.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 06-28-2013
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The development of tools for efficient targeting of antigens to antigen presenting cells is of great importance for vaccine development. We have previously shown that fusion proteins containing antigens fused to the extra domain A from fibronectin (EDA), an endogenous TLR4 ligand, which targets antigens to TLR4-expressing dendritic cells (DC), are highly immunogenic. To facilitate the procedure of joining EDA to any antigen of choice, we have prepared the fusion protein EDAvidin by linking EDA to the N terminus of streptavidin, allowing its conjugation with biotinylated antigens. We found that EDAvidin, as streptavidin, forms tetramers and binds biotin or biotinylated proteins with a Kd ~ 2.6 × 10(-14) mol/L. EDAvidin favours the uptake of biotinylated green fluorescent protein by DC. Moreover, EDAvidin retains the proinflammatory properties of EDA, inducing NF- ?? by TLR4-expressing cells, as well as the production of TNF- ? by the human monocyte cell line THP1 and IL-12 by DC. More importantly, immunization of mice with EDAvidin conjugated with the biotinylated nonstructural NS3 protein from hepatitis C virus induces a strong anti-NS3 T cell immune response. These results open a new way to use the EDA-based delivery tool to target any antigen of choice to DC for vaccination against infectious diseases and cancer.
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Characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates synthesized from microbial mixed cultures and of their nanobiocomposites with bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers.
N Biotechnol
PUBLISHED: 06-20-2013
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The present work reports on the production and characterization of polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) with different valerate contents, which were synthesized from microbial mixed cultures, and the subsequent development of nanocomposites incorporating bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers (BCNW) via solution casting processing. The characterization of the pure biopolyesters showed that the properties of PHAs may be strongly modified by varying the valerate ratio in the poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHBV) copolymer, as expected. Increasing the valerate content was seen to greatly decrease the melting temperature and enthalpy of the material, as well as its rigidity and stiffness, resulting in a more ductile behaviour. Additionally, the higher valerate PHA displayed higher permeability to water and oxygen and higher moisture sensitivity. Subsequently, BCNW were incorporated into both PHA grades, achieving a high level of dispersion for a 1wt.-% loading, whereas some agglomeration took place for 3wt.-% BCNW. As evidenced by DSC analyses, BCNW presented a nucleating effect on the PHA matrices. BCNW also increased the thermal stability of the polymeric matrices when properly dispersed due to strong matrix-filler interactions. Barrier properties were seen to depend on relative humidity and improved at low nanofiller loadings and low relative humidity.
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Quantification of Nitrate-? Interactions and Selective Transport of Nitrate Using Calix[4]pyrroles with Two Aromatic Walls.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 05-24-2013
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Herein we disclose the results of our investigations regarding the interactions between the biologically relevant nitrate oxoanion and several "two-wall" aryl-extended calix[4]pyrroles. There exists a clear relationship between the electronic nature of the aromatic walls of the calix[4]pyrroles and the stability of the nitrate?calix[4]pyrrole complex. This suggests that NO3(-)-? interactions have an important electrostatic component. We provide energetic estimates for the interaction of nitrate with several phenyl derivatives. Additionally, we report solid-state evidence for a preferred binding geometry of the nitrate anion included in the calix[4]pyrroles. Finally, the "two-wall" aryl-extended calix[4]pyrroles show excellent activity in ion transport through lipid-based lamellar membranes. Notably the best anion transporters are highly selective for transport of nitrate over other anions.
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Effect of natamycin on cytochrome P450 enzymes in rats.
Food Chem. Toxicol.
PUBLISHED: 05-14-2013
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Natamycin is a polyene macrolide antibiotic widely used in the food industry as a feed additive to prevent mold contamination of foods. There are many contradictory results on the genotoxic effects of macrolides which could suggest a potential risk for humans. In the present study, the effects of natamycin on the activities of some drug metabolizing enzymes in rat liver microsomes were determined in vivo. Rats were treated orally with natamycin at doses of 0.3, 1, 3 and 10mg/kg body weight (bw)/day for 6days. Determinations of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzyme activities were carried out in hepatic microsomes isolated from rats treated. The activities of CYP2E1, CYP1A1/2 CYP2B1/2 and CYP4A1/2 enzymes significantly decreased after treatment with 1, 3 and 10mg/kgbw/day, in a dose-dependent manner as compared to control. This effect was not observed after natamycin treatment at dose of 0.3mg/kgbw/day. Our results suggest that natamycin may not potentiate the toxicity of many xenobiotics via metabolic activation and/or accumulation of reactive metabolites but also might affect the clearance of other xenobiotics detoxified by the studied CYP enzymes.
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Crystal structure of the FAD-containing ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase from the plant pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri.
Biomed Res Int
PUBLISHED: 05-02-2013
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We have solved the structure of ferredoxin-NADP(H) reductase, FPR, from the plant pathogen Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri, responsible for citrus canker, at a resolution of 1.5 Å. This structure reveals differences in the mobility of specific loops when compared to other FPRs, probably unrelated to the hydride transfer process, which contributes to explaining the structural and functional divergence between the subclass I FPRs. Interactions of the C-terminus of the enzyme with the phosphoadenosine of the cofactor FAD limit its mobility, thus affecting the entrance of nicotinamide into the active site. This structure opens the possibility of rationally designing drugs against the X. axonopodis pv. citri phytopathogen.
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"Dual-template" synthesis of one-dimensional conductive nanoparticle superstructures from coordination metal-Peptide polymer crystals.
Small
PUBLISHED: 04-30-2013
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Bottom-up fabrication of self-assembled structures made of nanoparticles may lead to new materials, arrays and devices with great promise for myriad applications. Here a new class of metal-peptide scaffolds is reported: coordination polymer Ag(I)-DLL belt-like crystals, which enable the dual-template synthesis of more sophisticated nanoparticle superstructures. In these biorelated scaffolds, the self-assembly and recognition capacities of peptides and the selective reduction of Ag(I) ions to Ag are simultaneously exploited to control the growth and assembly of inorganic nanoparticles: first on their surfaces, and then inside the structures themselves. The templated internal Ag nanoparticles are well confined and closely packed, conditions that favour electrical conductivity in the superstructures. It is anticipated that these Ag(I)-DLL belts could be applied to create long (>100 ?m) conductive Ag@Ag nanoparticle superstructures and polymetallic, multifunctional Fe3 O4 @Ag nanoparticle composites that marry the magnetic and conductive properties of the two nanoparticle types.
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Treatment with statins and ischemic stroke severity: does the dose matter?
Neurology
PUBLISHED: 04-17-2013
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To examine the effects of pretreatment with statins at high doses (40 mg of rosuvastatin or 80 mg of any other statin) and low to moderate doses (<40 mg of rosuvastatin or <80 mg of any other statin) on ischemic stroke (IS) severity in clinical practice.
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Supramolecular bulky phosphines comprising 1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane and Zn(salphen)s: structural features and application in hydrosilylation catalysis.
Dalton Trans
PUBLISHED: 03-29-2013
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The use of the commercially available, bifunctional phosphine 1,3,5-triaza-7-phosphaadamantane (abbreviated as PN3) in conjunction with a series of Zn(salphen) complexes leads to sterically encumbered phosphine ligands as a result of (reversible) coordinative Zn-N interactions. The solid state and solution phase behaviour of these supramolecular ligand systems have been investigated in detail and revealed their stoichiometries in the solid state observed by X-ray crystallography, and those determined in solution by NMR and UV-Vis spectroscopy. Also, upon application of these supramolecular bulky phosphines in hydrosilylation catalysis employing 1-hexene as a substrate, the catalysis data infer the presence of an active Rh species with two coordinated, bulky PN3/Zn(salphen) assembly units having a maximum of three Zn(salphen)s associated per PN3 scaffold, with an excess of bulky phosphines hardly affecting the overall activity.
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Interplay between extracellular matrix components of Pseudomonas putida biofilms.
Res. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 03-19-2013
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The extracellular matrix of bacterial biofilms has at least two key functions: to serve as a structural scaffold for the multicellular community, and to play a protective role against external stress. In this work, we report a compensatory effect whereby Pseudomonas putida reacts to the lack of either of the two main surface proteins involved in biofilm formation, LapA and LapF, by increasing expression and production of a species-specific EPS. Elevated levels of the second messenger molecule cyclic di-GMP alter the balance of extracellular matrix components, and the phenotypes of lapA and lapF mutants under these conditions are indicative of direct interactions taking place between large secreted proteins and exopolysaccharides. Our data suggest the existence of a mechanism by which bacteria would sense alterations in the composition of the extracellular matrix, leading to changes in expression of the different elements.
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Generation of stable human cell lines with Tetracycline-inducible (Tet-on) shRNA or cDNA expression.
J Vis Exp
PUBLISHED: 03-15-2013
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A major approach in the field of mammalian cell biology is the manipulation of the expression of genes of interest in selected cell lines, with the aim to reveal one or several of the genes function(s) using transient/stable overexpression or knockdown of the gene of interest. Unfortunately, for various cell biological investigations this approach is unsuitable when manipulations of gene expression result in cell growth/proliferation defects or unwanted cell differentiation. Therefore, researchers have adapted the Tetracycline repressor protein (TetR), taken from the E. coli tetracycline resistance operon(1), to generate very efficient and tight regulatory systems to express cDNAs in mammalian cells(2,3). In short, TetR has been modified to either (1) block initiation of transcription by binding to the Tet-operator (TO) in the promoter region upon addition of tetracycline (termed Tet-off system) or (2) bind to the TO in the absence of tetracycline (termed Tet-on system) (Figure 1). Given the inconvenience that the Tet-off system requires the continuous presence of tetracycline (which has a half-life of about 24 hr in tissue cell culture medium) the Tet-on system has been more extensively optimized, resulting in the development of very tight and efficient vector systems for cDNA expression as used here. Shortly after establishment of RNA interference (RNAi) for gene knockdown in mammalian cells(4), vectors expressing short-hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) were described that function very similar to siRNAs(5-11). However, these shRNA-mediated knockdown approaches have the same limitation as conventional knockout strategies, since stable depletion is not feasible when gene targets are essential for cellular survival. To overcome this limitation, van de Wetering et al.(12) modified the shRNA expression vector pSUPER(5) by inserting a TO in the promoter region, which enabled them to generate stable cell lines with tetracycline-inducible depletion of their target genes of interest. Here, we describe a method to efficiently generate stable human Tet-on cell lines that reliably drive either inducible overexpression or depletion of the gene of interest. Using this method, we have successfully generated Tet-on cell lines which significantly facilitated the analysis of the MST/hMOB/NDR cascade in centrosome(13,14) and apoptosis signaling(15,16). In this report, we describe our vectors of choice, in addition to describing the two consecutive manipulation steps that are necessary to efficiently generate human Tet-on cell lines (Figure 2). Moreover, besides outlining a protocol for the generation of human Tet-on cell lines, we will discuss critical aspects regarding the technical procedures and the characterization of Tet-on cells.
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[Chronic disease, mortality and disability in an elderly Spanish population: The FRADEA study.]
Rev Esp Geriatr Gerontol
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2013
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The objective of this study was to analyse the relationships between the major chronic diseases and multiple morbidity, with mortality, incident disability in basic activities of daily living, and loss of mobility in the elderly.
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High short-term loosening rates with the wagner standard cup.
J Arthroplasty
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2013
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The stability of prosthetic fixation is to a large extent dependent on component design. The purpose of this study is to analyze the short-term radiological results obtained with the Wagner Standard Cup in primary hip arthroplasty. An assessment was made of one hundred primary hip arthroplasties. The radiological evaluation revealed bone ingrowth in 37 of cases, fibrous integration in 49 and loosening in 14. In summary, osseointegration of the Wagner Standard Cup was unsuccessful in a high percentage of cases. This finding, which was unrelated to the type of stem or bearing surface used, bore a statistically significant relation (P<0.05) with an observed poor bone coverage of the acetabular component. Although insufficient bone coverage could arguably be attributable to a poor surgical technique, we would tend to agree with other authors that it is rather likely to result from a flawed implant design that impedes osseointegration.
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Kingella kingae keratitis.
J. Clin. Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 02-27-2013
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We present the first two cases of Kingella kingae keratitis in adults. This species is a rare isolate from ophthalmic samples for which final identification was obtained with matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry. One of the patients recovered uneventfully with topical therapy. Results from the second patient cannot be confirmed as he was lost to follow-up.
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ERP correlates of letter identity and letter position are modulated by lexical frequency.
Brain Lang
PUBLISHED: 02-26-2013
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The encoding of letter position is a key aspect in all recently proposed models of visual-word recognition. We analyzed the impact of lexical frequency on letter position assignment by examining the temporal dynamics of lexical activation induced by pseudowords extracted from words of different frequencies. For each word (e.g., BRIDGE), we created two pseudowords: A transposed-letter (TL: BRIGDE) and a replaced-letter pseudoword (RL: BRITGE). ERPs were recorded while participants read words and pseudowords in two tasks: Semantic categorization (experiment 1) and lexical decision (experiment 2). For high-frequency stimuli, similar ERPs were obtained for words and TL-pseudowords, but the N400 component to words was reduced relative to RL-pseudowords, indicating less lexical/semantic activation. In contrast, TL- and RL-pseudowords created from low-frequency stimuli elicited similar ERPs. Behavioral responses in the lexical decision task paralleled this asymmetry. The present findings impose constraints on computational and neural models of visual-word recognition.
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Lysosomal impairment in Parkinsons disease.
Mov. Disord.
PUBLISHED: 02-20-2013
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Impairment of autophagy-lysosomal pathways (ALPs) is increasingly regarded as a major pathogenic event in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinsons disease (PD). ALP alterations are observed in sporadic PD brains and in toxic and genetic rodent models of PD-related neurodegeneration. In addition, PD-linked mutations and post-translational modifications of ?-synuclein impair its own lysosomal-mediated degradation, thereby contributing to its accumulation and aggregation. Furthermore, other PD-related genes, such as leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 (LRRK2), parkin, and phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN)-induced putative kinase 1 (PINK1), have been mechanistically linked to alterations in ALPs. Conversely, mutations in lysosomal-related genes, such as glucocerebrosidase (GBA) and lysosomal type 5 P-type ATPase (ATP13A2), have been linked to PD. New data offer mechanistic molecular evidence for such a connection, unraveling a causal link between lysosomal impairment, ?-synuclein accumulation, and neurotoxicity. First, PD-related GBA deficiency/mutations initiate a positive feedback loop in which reduced lysosomal function leads to ?-synuclein accumulation, which, in turn, further decreases lysosomal GBA activity by impairing the trafficking of GBA from the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi to lysosomes, leading to neurodegeneration. Second, PD-related mutations/deficiency in the ATP13A2 gene lead to a general lysosomal impairment characterized by lysosomal membrane instability, impaired lysosomal acidification, decreased processing of lysosomal enzymes, reduced degradation of lysosomal substrates, and diminished clearance of autophagosomes, collectively contributing to ?-synuclein accumulation and cell death. According to these new findings, primary lysosomal defects could potentially account for Lewy body formation and neurodegeneration in PD, laying the groundwork for the prospective development of new neuroprotective/disease-modifying therapeutic strategies aimed at restoring lysosomal levels and function.
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High-barrier coated bacterial cellulose nanowhiskers films with reduced moisture sensitivity.
Carbohydr Polym
PUBLISHED: 02-05-2013
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This study reports on the development and characterization of bacterial cellulose (BCNW) films coated with hydrophobic layers, presenting enhanced barrier properties. Pure BCNW films showed good transparency and thermal stability, high rigidity and extremely low oxygen permeability at 0%RH. The dramatic increase in oxygen permeability at 80%RH, due to the hydrophilic character of BCNW, was counteracted through coating the films with annealed PLA electrospun nanostructured fibres or hydrophobic silanes. The use of electrospinning was crucial to attain a good adhesion between the hydrophilic BCNW and the hydrophobic PLA layer. After electrospinning, the fibres were homogenised by annealing, thus obtaining a uniform and continuous coating. Coated systems showed a hydrophobic surface and protected the BCNW from moisture, thus reducing ca. 70% the water permeability and up to 97% the oxygen permeability at 80%RH. Furthermore, this novel approach was seen to protect BCNW films from moisture more efficiently than coating with hydrophobic silanes.
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Evidence of chondrocyte turnover in lung cartilage, with the probable participation of nestin-positive cells.
Cell Biol. Int.
PUBLISHED: 01-30-2013
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Healthy adult cartilage is thought to have little or no capacity to renewal, and cell turnover has not been reported in lung cartilage. We report that chondrocyte turnover occurs in lung cartilage, found in an unrelated study. Lung specimens from CD1 mice of 2, 6, 12, 18 or 24 months were fixed in 10% neutral-buffered formalin and paraffin-embedded. Apoptosis was analysed by in situ end-labelling of fragmented DNA. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and nestin were examined by immunohistochemistry. Apoptosis and PCNA were detected in lung chondrocytes. Serial section analysis showed that cells in apoptosis were different from PCNA-positive cells, indicating that turnover was occurring. Chondrocytes were negative for nestin. Nestin-positive cells were present in connective tissue associated with cartilage, in some specimens in close proximity of it and in perivascular cells. Thus cell turnover in lung cartilage is possible, which may be mediated by nestin-positive cells.
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A recyclable trinuclear bifunctional catalyst derived from a tetraoxo bis-Zn(salphen) metalloligand.
Chemistry
PUBLISHED: 01-25-2013
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A tetraoxo bis-Zn(salphen) supramolecular host can bind various divalent metal salts, thereby providing access to trinuclear bifunctional systems that incorporate both Lewis acid sites and dynamically bound nucleophilic anions. The formation of these trinuclear species was investigated and their stability features were also determined. The application of these trinuclear complexes as bifunctional catalysts was evaluated in the formation of cyclic organic carbonates from epoxides and CO(2). The catalytic data, in combination with control experiments, clearly demonstrate that these trinuclear compounds show much higher recycling potential compared to various control compounds and they can be used in up to five cycles without an observable loss in activity. Furthermore, this new recyclable catalytic system does not require any additives and can be applied under solvent-free conditions.
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Expression of XPG protein in human normal and tumor tissues.
Int J Clin Exp Pathol
PUBLISHED: 01-15-2013
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XPG (Xeroderma pigmentosum group G complementing factor) is a protein associated with DNA repair and transcription. Point mutations in ERCC5, the gene coding for XPG, cause the cancer-prone disorder xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) while truncation mutations give rise to individuals with the combined clinical features of XP and Cockayne syndrome. Polymorphisms of ERCC5 or alterations in XPG mRNA expression were also associated to an increase risk of different cancers types and to prognosis of cancer patients. However, the expression of XPG protein in different normal or tumor human tissues is not well known. In the present work, we have validated an immunohistochemistry (IHC) assay for detection of expression levels of XPG protein in FFPE human tissue samples. We have also tested this IHC assay in different normal and tumor human tissues. On a microarray containing 28 normal cores, positive staining was observed in 60% of the samples. The highest staining was detected in adrenal gland, breast, colon, heart, kidney, thyroid and tongue. In tumors, positive staining was observed in 9 of 10 breast cancer samples and in all 5 ovarian cancer and 5 sarcomas samples. Subcellular localization was predominantly nuclear. The use of this validated methodology would help to interpret the role of XPG in tumorogenesis and its use as a possible prognostic or predictive factor.
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High-density lipoprotein: a novel marker for risk of in-hospital infection in acute ischemic stroke patients?
Cerebrovasc. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 01-10-2013
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Several studies have shown that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol provides protection against bacterial infections. Our aim was to investigate the influence of HDL cholesterol levels on the risk of developing in-hospital infectious complications after an acute ischemic stroke (IS) as well as the possible effect of prestroke statin treatment on this association.
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Brain region- and age-dependent dysregulation of p62 and NBR1 in a mouse model of Huntingtons disease.
Neurobiol. Dis.
PUBLISHED: 01-04-2013
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Huntingtons disease is characterized by the formation of protein aggregates, which can be degraded by macroautophagy. Here, we studied protein levels and intracellular distribution of p62 and NBR1, two macroautophagy cargo receptors, during disease progression. In R6/1 mice, p62 and NBR1 protein levels were decreased in all brain regions analyzed early in the disease, whereas at late stages they accumulated in the striatum and hippocampus, but not in the cortex. The accumulation of p62, but not NBR1, occurred in neuronal nuclei, where it co-localized with mutant huntingtin inclusions, both in R6/1 and Huntingtons disease patients. Moreover, exportin-1 was selectively decreased in old R6/1 mice brain, and could worsen p62 nuclear accumulation. In conclusion, p62 interacts with mutant huntingtin and is retained in the nucleus along the progression of the disease, mostly in striatal and hippocampal neurons. Thus, cytoplasmic NBR1 might be important to maintain basal levels of selective macroautophagy in these neurons.
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Generation of HIV-1 Gag VLPs by transient transfection of HEK 293 suspension cell cultures using an optimized animal-derived component free medium.
J. Biotechnol.
PUBLISHED: 01-03-2013
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Virus-like particles (VLPs) offer great promise as candidates for new vaccine strategies. Large-scale approaches for the manufacturing of HIV-1 Gag VLPs have mainly focused on the use of the baculovirus expression system. In this work, the development and optimization of an HIV-1 Gag VLP production protocol by transient gene expression in mammalian cell suspension cultures is reported. To facilitate process optimization, a Gag-GFP fusion construct enabling the generation of fluorescent VLPs was used. The great majority of Gag-GFP present in cell culture supernatants was shown to be correctly assembled into virus-like particles of the expected size and morphology consistent with immature HIV-1 particles. Medium optimization was performed using design of experiments (DoE). Culture medium supplementation with non-animal derived components including recombinant proteins and lipids of synthetic or non-animal-derived origin resulted in improved HEK 293 cell growth and VLP production. The maximum cell density attained using the optimized Freestyle culture medium was 5.4×10(6)cells/mL in batch mode, almost double of that observed using the unsupplemented medium (2.9×10(6)cells/mL). Best production performance was attained when cells were transfected at mid-log phase (2-3×10(6)cells/mL) with medium exchange at the time of transfection using standard amounts of plasmid DNA and polyethylenimine. By using an optimized production protocol, VLP titers were increased 2.4-fold obtaining 2.8?g of Gag-GFP/mL or 2.7×10(9)VLPs/mL according to ELISA and nanoparticle tracking quantification analyses, respectively.
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p53 E3 ubiquitin protein ligase homolog regulates p53 in vivo in the adult mouse eye lens.
Mol. Vis.
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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p53 is a transcription factor that plays an important role in preventing cancer development. p53 participates in relevant aspects of cell biology, including apoptosis and cell cycle control and must be strictly regulated to maintain normal tissue homeostasis. p53 E3 ubiquitin protein ligase homolog (Mdm2) is an important negative regulator of p53. The purpose of this study was to determine if Mdm2 regulates p53 in vivo in the adult lens.
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Introduction of African swine fever into the European Union through illegal importation of pork and pork products.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 01-01-2013
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Transboundary animal diseases can have very severe socio-economic impacts when introduced into new regions. The history of disease incursions into the European Union suggests that initial outbreaks were often initiated by illegal importation of meat and derived products. The European Union would benefit from decision-support tools to evaluate the risk of disease introduction caused by illegal imports in order to inform its surveillance strategy. However, due to the difficulty in quantifying illegal movements of animal products, very few studies of this type have been conducted. Using African swine fever as an example, this work presents a novel risk assessment framework for disease introduction into the European Union through illegal importation of meat and products. It uses a semi-quantitative approach based on factors that likely influence the likelihood of release of contaminated smuggled meat and products, and subsequent exposure of the susceptible population. The results suggest that the European Union is at non-negligible risk of African swine fever introduction through illegal importation of pork and products. On a relative risk scale with six categories from negligible to very high, five European Union countries were estimated at high (France, Germany, Italy and United Kingdom) or moderate (Spain) risk of African swine fever release, five countries were at high risk of exposure if African swine fever were released (France, Italy, Poland, Romania and Spain) and ten countries had a moderate exposure risk (Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden and United Kingdom). The approach presented here and results obtained for African swine fever provide a basis for the enhancement of risk-based surveillance systems and disease prevention programmes in the European Union.
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Constitutive upregulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy in Huntingtons disease.
J. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 12-16-2011
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Autophagy contributes to the removal of prone-to-aggregate proteins, but in several instances these pathogenic proteins have been shown to interfere with autophagic activity. In the case of Huntingtons disease (HD), a congenital neurodegenerative disorder resulting from mutation in the huntingtin protein, we have previously described that the mutant protein interferes with the ability of autophagic vacuoles to recognize cytosolic cargo. Growing evidence supports the existence of cross talk among autophagic pathways, suggesting the possibility of functional compensation when one of them is compromised. In this study, we have identified a compensatory upregulation of chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) in different cellular and mouse models of HD. Components of CMA, namely the lysosome-associated membrane protein type 2A (LAMP-2A) and lysosomal-hsc70, are markedly increased in HD models. The increase in LAMP-2A is achieved through both an increase in the stability of this protein at the lysosomal membrane and transcriptional upregulation of this splice variant of the lamp-2 gene. We propose that CMA activity increases in response to macroautophagic dysfunction in the early stages of HD, but that the efficiency of this compensatory mechanism may decrease with age and so contribute to cellular failure and the onset of pathological manifestations.
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Zn(II) Robson macrocycles as templates for chelating diphosphines.
Dalton Trans
PUBLISHED: 08-26-2011
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Chelating diphosphines were constructed using dinuclear Zn(II) complexes of Robson macrocycles (Zn-RMCs) as templates. The assembly process is driven by the interaction between the metal centers (Lewis acids) with anionic and neutral Lewis base-functionalized monophosphines. The stability of the final structure depends on the geometry and the affinity of the functional groups of the ditopic phosphines and on the structure of the RMC. In the free ligand the ditopic phosphines coordinate at opposite faces of the pseudo-planar macrocycle as is shown in the molecular structure of several of the assemblies, according to X-ray diffraction. Pre-organization of the system by coordinating the phosphorus atoms to a transition metal center enforced coordination of the functional groups at the same face of the RMC. For several templated diphosphines cis-PtCl(2) complexes were identified by NMR. The in situ assembled diphosphines showed a chelating effect in the rhodium catalyzed hydroformylation of 1-octene. Combination of Zn-RMC 3 and phosphine A gave the highest l/b ratio (13) in acetonitrile.
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Eradication of large tumors expressing human papillomavirus E7 protein by therapeutic vaccination with E7 fused to the extra domain a from fibronectin.
Int. J. Cancer
PUBLISHED: 08-18-2011
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Cervical carcinoma is one of the most common cancers in women worldwide. It is well established that chronic infection of the genital tract by various mucosatropic human papillomavirus (HPV) types causes cervical cancer. Cellular immunity to E7 protein from HPV (HPVE7) has been associated with clinical and cytologic resolution of HPV-induced lesions. Thus, we decided to test if targeting of HPVE7 to dendritic cells using a fusion protein containing the extra domain A (EDA) from fibronectin, a natural ligand for TLR4, and HPVE7 (EDA-HPVE7) might be an efficient vaccine for the treatment of cervical carcinoma. We found that EDA-HPVE7 fusion protein was efficiently captured by bone marrow derived dendritic cells in vitro and induced their maturation, with the upregulation of maturation markers and the production of IL-12. Immunization of mice with EDA-HPVE7 fusion protein induced antitumor CD8(+) T cell responses in the absence of additional adjuvants. Repeated intratumoral administration of EDA-HPVE7 in saline was able to cure established TC-1 tumors of 5-7 mm in diameter. More importantly, intravenous injection with EDA-HPVE7 in combination with the TLR ligand polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid (pIC), or with low doses of cyclophosphamide and the TLR9 ligand CpG-B complexed in cationic lipids, were able to eradicate large established TC-1 tumors (1.2 cm in diameter). Thus, therapeutic vaccination with EDA-HPVE7 fusion protein may be effective in the treatment of human cervical carcinoma.
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Shape-persistent octanuclear zinc salen clusters: synthesis, characterization, and catalysis.
Inorg Chem
PUBLISHED: 08-01-2011
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We describe a selective and template-controlled synthesis of a series of Zn(8) metal complexes based on a bis-nucleating salen ligand scaffold. Our results, a combination of X-ray analysis and solution studies, show that discrete, shape-persistent metal clusters can be prepared in high yield. Their activity in organic carbonate catalysis is a function of the metal-connecting fragment present in the exterior of the cluster complex. The high stability of the clusters has been confirmed by (1)H, (13)C (DEPTQ) and DOSY NMR, gel permeation chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatography, and mass spectrometry.
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Fighting neurodegeneration with rapamycin: mechanistic insights.
Nat. Rev. Neurosci.
PUBLISHED: 07-21-2011
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A growing number of studies point to rapamycin as a pharmacological compound that is able to provide neuroprotection in several experimental models of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimers disease, Parkinsons disease, Huntingtons disease and spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. In addition, rapamycin exerts strong anti-ageing effects in several species, including mammals. By inhibiting the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), rapamycin influences a variety of essential cellular processes, such as cell growth and proliferation, protein synthesis and autophagy. Here, we review the molecular mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effects of rapamycin and discuss the therapeutic potential of this compound for neurodegenerative diseases.
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Effect of milk protein glycation and gastrointestinal digestion on the growth of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria.
Int. J. Food Microbiol.
PUBLISHED: 07-18-2011
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In this paper, ?-lactoglobulin (?-Lg) and sodium caseinate (SC) have been glycated via Maillard reaction with galactose and lactose and, subsequently, the effect of glycoconjugates hydrolyzed under simulated gastrointestinal digestion on the growth of pure culture of Lactobacillus, Streptococcus and Bifidobacterium has been investigated. Glycopeptides were added to the growth media as the sole carbon source. None of the bacterial strains was able to grow in hydrolysates of native and control heated ?-Lg and SC. However, glycopeptides were fermented, in different degree, by Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium and hardly any effect was detected on the growth of Streptococcus. Digested ?-Lg glycoconjugates showed a strain-dependent effect whereas growth profiles of bacteria when hydrolysates of SC glycoconjugates were used as substrates were very similar, regardless of the strain. A general preference towards peptides from ?-Lg/SC glycated with galactose, particularly at the state of the reaction in which the highest content in the Amadori compound tagatosyl-lysine is present, was observed. SC glycoconjugates were quickly fermented by some strains, promoting their growth in a greater extent than ?-Lg complexes or even glucose. Therefore, from the results obtained in this work it can be concluded that conjugation of both milk proteins with galactose and lactose via the Maillard reaction could be an efficient method to obtain novel food ingredients with a potential prebiotic character.
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Structural insights into the mechanism of protein O-fucosylation.
PLoS ONE
PUBLISHED: 07-08-2011
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Protein O-fucosylation is an essential post-translational modification, involved in the folding of target proteins and in the role of these target proteins during embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis, among other things. Two different enzymes are responsible for this modification, Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 and 2 (POFUT1 and POFUT2, respectively). Both proteins have been characterised biologically and enzymatically but nothing is known at the molecular or structural level. Here we describe the first crystal structure of a catalytically functional POFUT1 in an apo-form and in complex with GDP-fucose and GDP. The enzyme belongs to the GT-B family and is not dependent on manganese for activity. GDP-fucose/GDP is localised in a conserved cavity connected to a large solvent exposed pocket, which we show is the binding site of epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeats in the extracellular domain of the Notch Receptor. Through both mutational and kinetic studies we have identified which residues are involved in binding and catalysis and have determined that the Arg240 residue is a key catalytic residue. We also propose a novel S(N)1-like catalytic mechanism with formation of an intimate ion pair, in which the glycosidic bond is cleaved before the nucleophilic attack; and theoretical calculations at a DFT (B3LYP/6-31+G(d,p) support this mechanism. Thus, the crystal structure together with our mutagenesis studies explain the molecular mechanism of POFUT1 and provide a new starting point for the design of functional inhibitors to this critical enzyme in the future.
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Sitamaquine overcomes ABC-mediated resistance to miltefosine and antimony in Leishmania.
Antimicrob. Agents Chemother.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2011
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Although oral miltefosine represented an important therapeutic advance in the treatment of leishmaniasis, the appearance of resistance remains a serious threat. LMDR1/LABCB4, a P-glycoprotein-like transporter included in the Leishmania ABC (ATP-binding cassette) family, was the first molecule shown to be involved in experimental miltefosine resistance. LMDR1 pumps drugs out of the parasite, thereby decreasing their intracellular accumulation. Sitamaquine, another promising oral drug for leishmaniasis, is currently in phase 2b clinical trials. The physicochemical features of this drug suggested to us that it could be considered for use as an LMDR1 inhibitor. Indeed, we report herein that nonleishmanicidal concentrations of sitamaquine reverse miltefosine resistance in a multidrug resistance Leishmania tropica line that overexpresses LMDR1. This reversal effect is due to modulation of the LMDR1-mediated efflux of miltefosine. In addition, sitamaquine is not a substrate of LMDR1, as this transporter does not affect sitamaquine accumulation or sensitivity in the parasite. Likewise, we show that ketoconazole, another oral leishmanicidal drug known to interact with ABC transporters, is also able to reverse LMDR1-mediated miltefosine resistance, although with a lower efficiency than sitamaquine. Molecular docking on a three-dimensional homology model of LMDR1 showed different preferential binding sites for each substrate-inhibitor pair, thus explaining this different behavior. Finally, we show that sitamaquine is also able to modulate the antimony resistance mediated by MRPA/LABCC3, another ABC transporter involved in experimental and clinical antimony resistance in this parasite. Taken together, these data suggest that the combination of sitamaquine with miltefosine or antimony could avoid the appearance of resistance mediated by these membrane transporters in Leishmania.
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Antagonistic role of 9-lipoxygenase-derived oxylipins and ethylene in the control of oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and plant defence.
Plant J.
PUBLISHED: 06-06-2011
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9-lipoxygenases (9-LOXs) initiate fatty acid oxygenation in plant tissues, with formation of 9-hydroxy-10,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid (9-HOT) from linolenic acid. A lox1 lox5 mutant, which is deficient in 9-LOX activity, and two mutants noxy6 and noxy22 (non-responding to oxylipins), which are insensitive to 9-HOT, have been used to investigate 9-HOT signalling. Map-based cloning indicated that the noxy6 and noxy22 mutations are located at the CTR1 (CONSTITUTIVE ETHYLENE RESPONSE1) and ETO1 (ETHYLENE-OVERPRODUCER1) loci, respectively. In agreement, the noxy6 and noxy22 mutants, renamed as ctr1-15 and eto1-14, respectively, showed enhanced ethylene (ET) production. The correlation between increased ET production and reduced 9-HOT sensitivity indicated by these results was supported by experiments in which exogenously added ethylene precursor ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid) impaired the responses to 9-HOT. Moreover, a reciprocal interaction between ET and 9-HOT signalling was indicated by results showing that the effect of ACC was reduced in the presence of 9-HOT. We found that the 9-LOX and ET pathways regulate the response to the lipid peroxidation-inducer singlet oxygen. Thus, the massive transcriptional changes seen in wild-type plants in response to singlet oxygen were greatly affected in the lox1 lox5 and eto1-14 mutants. Furthermore, these mutants displayed enhanced susceptibility to both singlet oxygen and Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato, in the latter case leading to increased accumulation of the lipid peroxidation product malondialdehyde. These findings demonstrate an antagonistic relationship between products of the 9-LOX and ET pathways, and suggest a role for the 9-LOX pathway in modulating oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation and plant defence.
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A short desymmetrization protocol for the coordination environment in bis-salphen scaffolds.
J. Org. Chem.
PUBLISHED: 06-02-2011
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A remarkable short preparation of desymmetrized bis-salphen scaffolds is presented. The protocol consists of an hydroxide-mediated hydrolysis of Lewis acidic bis-Zn(salphen) complexes yielding C(s)-symmetric diimine/amine salts that can be selectively transformed into bis-salphens with dissymmetric substitution patterns within each salphen unit under mild conditions. These isolated nonsymmetrical bis-salphen derivatives do not show signs of imine scrambling or decomposition due to a metal template effect. A possible rationale is provided for the formation and isolation of one of the intermediate bis-phenolate salts, and the hypothesis involves H-bond directed hydrolysis of the nearest located imine bond across the bis-salphen scaffold.
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Metal-biomolecule frameworks (MBioFs).
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 04-18-2011
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Biomolecules are the building blocks of life. Nature has evolved countless biomolecules that show promise for bridging metal ions. These molecules have emerged as an excellent source of biocompatible building blocks that can be used to design Metal-Biomolecule Frameworks (MBioFs). This feature article highlights the advances in the synthesis of this class of MOFs. Special emphasis is provided on the crystal structures of these materials, their miniaturization to the submicron length scale, and their new potential storage, catalytic, and biomedical applications.
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Metal-ligand bifunctional activation and transfer of N-H bonds.
Chem. Commun. (Camb.)
PUBLISHED: 03-24-2011
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The concept of metal-ligand bifunctionality can be employed for an efficient activation of N-H bonds by well-defined ruthenium amido complexes. An enantioselective catalytic aza-Michael reaction was developed on the basis of this process, which gives rise to indoline ?-amino acids.
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Adjuvant combination and antigen targeting as a strategy to induce polyfunctional and high-avidity T-cell responses against poorly immunogenic tumors.
Cancer Res.
PUBLISHED: 03-14-2011
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Low antigen expression and an absence of coimmunostimulatory signals may be partly responsible for the low immunogenicity of many tumors. It may be possible to overcome this situation by defining a combination of adjuvants and antigens that can activate a high-avidity antitumor response. Using the poorly immunogenic B16-OVA melanoma cells as tumor model, we tested different combinations of adjuvants and antigens to treat established tumors. In the absence of exogenous antigens, repeated administration of the TLR7 ligand Imiquimod together with anti-CD40 agonistic antibodies activated only innate immunity, which was insufficient to reject intradermal tumors. Administering this adjuvant combination together with OVA as a tumor antigen induced T-cell responses that delayed tumor growth. However, administering a combination of anti-CD40 plus TLR3 and TLR7 ligands, together with antigen targeting to dendritic cells through TLR4, was sufficient to induce tumor rejection in 50% of mice. This response was associated with a greater activation of innate immunity and induction of high-avidity polyfunctional CD8(+) T-cell responses, which each contributed to tumor rejection. This therapy activated T-cell responses not only against OVA, which conferred protection against a rechallenge with B16-OVA cells, but also activated T-cell responses against other melanoma-associated antigens. Our findings support the concept that multiple adjuvant combination and antigen targeting may be a useful immunotherapeutic strategy against poorly immunogenic tumors.
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XPF-dependent DNA breaks and RNA polymerase II arrest induced by antitumor DNA interstrand crosslinking-mimetic alkaloids.
Chem. Biol.
PUBLISHED: 03-12-2011
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Trabectedin and Zalypsis are two potent anticancer tetrahydroisoquinoline alkaloids that can form a covalent bond with the amino group of a guanine in selected triplets of DNA duplexes and eventually give rise to double-strand breaks. Using well-defined in vitro and in vivo assays, we show that the resulting DNA adducts stimulate, in a concentration-dependent manner, cleavage by the XPF/ERCC1 nuclease on the strand opposite to that bonded by the drug. They also inhibit RNA synthesis by: (1) preventing binding of transcription factors like Sp1 to DNA, and (2) arresting elongating RNA polymerase II at the same nucleotide position regardless of the strand they are located on. Structural models provide a rationale for these findings and highlight the similarity between this type of DNA modification and an interstrand crosslink.
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Coordination polymer nanofibers generated by microfluidic synthesis.
J. Am. Chem. Soc.
PUBLISHED: 03-08-2011
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One-dimensional coordination polymer nanostructures are an emerging class of nanoscale materials with many potential applications. Here, we report the first case of coordination polymer nanofibers assembled using microfluidic technologies. Unlike common synthetic procedures, this approach enables parallel synthesis with an unprecedented level of control over the coordination pathway and facilitates the formation of 1D coordination polymer assemblies at the nanometer length scale. Finally, these nanostructures, which are not easily constructed with traditional methods, can be used for various applications, for example as templates to grow and organize functional inorganic nanoparticles.
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Cystic peripapillary staphyloma: a report of two cases.
J AAPOS
PUBLISHED: 02-24-2011
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Peripapillary staphyloma is a rare, nonhereditary, congenital anomaly in which an excavation surrounds the optic disk. We present 2 cases of peripapillary staphylomas resembling cystic cavities, both of which caused severe visual impairment. We propose the term cystic peripapillary staphyloma to describe this anomaly. The first case was associated with microphthalmia; the second, with encephalocele and Chiari malformation, an association that has not been previously described. We propose the term "cystic peripapillary staphyloma" to describe this anomaly.
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Immunotherapy for Alzheimers disease: rational basis in ongoing clinical trials.
Curr. Pharm. Des.
PUBLISHED: 02-08-2011
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Amyloid-? (A?) immunotherapy has recently begun to gain considerable attention as a potentially promising therapeutic approach to reducing the levels of A? in the Central Nervous System (CNS) of patients with Alzheimers Disease (AD). Despite extensive preclinical evidence showing that immunization with A?(1-42) peptide can prevent or reverse the development of the neuropathological hallmarks of AD, in 2002, the clinical trial of AN-1792, the first trial involving an AD vaccine, was discontinued at Phase II when a subset of patients immunized with A?(1-42) developed meningoencephalitis, thereby making it necessary to take a more refined and strategic approach towards developing novel A? immunotherapy strategies by first constructing a safe and effective vaccine. This review describes the rational basis in modern clinical trials that have been designed to overcome the many challenges and known hurdles inherent to the search for effective AD immunotherapies. The precise delimitation of the most appropriate targets for AD vaccination remains a major point of discussion and emphasizes the need to target antigens in proteins involved in the early steps of the amyloid cascade. Other obstacles that have been clearly defined include the need to avoid unwanted anti-A?/APP Th1 immune responses, the need to achieve adequate responses to vaccination in the elderly and the need for precise monitoring. Novel strategies have been implemented to overcome these problems including the use of N-terminal peptides as antigens, the development of DNA based epitope vaccines and vaccines based on passive immunotherapy, recruitment of patients at earlier stages with support of novel biomarkers, the use of new adjuvants, the use of foreign T cell epitopes and viral-like particles and adopting new efficacy endpoints. These strategies are currently being tested in over 10,000 patients enrolled in one of the more than 40 ongoing clinical trials, most of which are expected to report final results within two years.
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Access to multinuclear salen complexes using olefin metathesis.
Dalton Trans
PUBLISHED: 02-04-2011
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The use of olefin metathesis as a construction tool for multimetallic salen-based structures is described. The approach involves mono- and diallyl-functionalized metallosalen complexes that can be directly coupled by metathesis leading to dimetallic species or mixtures of linear and cyclic oligomers. The metathesis of bis-allyl Ni(salen) complexes has been studied in detail. At high concentration it is possible to selectively obtain di-Ni species rather than heavier oligomers while under dilute conditions cyclic rather than linear oligomers are preferentially obtained. A mono-allyl Zn(salphen) complex was efficiently coupled using metathesis to give the di-Zn(salphen) product, which was subsequently transmetalated with a variety of metals to yield dimetallic salens of potential catalytic interest. Finally, a tetranuclear Zn(4) macrocycle was also prepared using buildings blocks obtained by metathesis from commercially available precursors. The methods described herein allow for the facile construction of multi-centered Schiff base complexes of catalytic or supramolecular interest.
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