Water transportation inside carbon nanotubes is of great importance for designing novel nanodevices. In this article, by using molecular dynamics simulations, we systematically investigate the pumping of water by rotating carbon nanotube (CNT). It is found that the chirality and rotation of the CNT are two preconditions for stable water flux inside it. Besides, we find that the water flux shows an approximately logarithmic dependence on the angular velocity of the rotation, a linear dependence on the radius of the CNT, and interestingly, independence of its length within a certain range of CNT size and angular velocity. Further, we also use a dragging theory which successfully describes the water flux behaviors inside the CNT and can fit well with the results obtained from simulations. The present study provides insight into the designing of nanodevices based on the CNT for real applications.
Delayed wound healing will result in the development of chronic wounds in some diseases, such as diabetes. Amphibian skins possess excellent wound-healing ability and represent a resource for prospective wound-healing promoting compounds. A potential wound-healing promoting peptide (CW49; amino acid sequence APFRMGICTTN) was identified from the frog skin of Odorrana grahami. It promotes wound healing in a murine model with a full-thickness dermal wound in both normal and diabetic animals. In addition to its strong angiogenic ability with respect to the upregulation of some angiogenic proteins, CW49 also showed a significant anti-inflammatory effect in diabetic wounds, which was very important for healing chronic wounds. CW49 had little effect on re-epithelialization, resulting in no significant effect on wound closure rate compared to a vehicle control. Altogether, this indicated that CW49 might accelerate diabetic wound healing by promoting angiogenesis and preventing any excessive inflammatory response. Considering its favorable traits as a small peptide that significantly promotes angiogenesis, CW49 might be an excellent candidate or template for the development of a drug for use in the treatment of diabetic wounds.
The prevalence of fundic gland polyps (FGPs) is increasing. Some researchers consider this increase to be associated strongly with the long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs); however, not all researchers share this belief. There are minimal data on the development of FGPs in China. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of FGPs and risk factors associated with the development of this disease.
Ticks are obligatory blood feeding ectoparasites, which continuously attach to their hosts for 1-2 weeks. There are many biologically active compounds in tick salivary glands interfering host haemostatic system and to successfully obtain blood meal. Several platelet aggregation inhibitors have been identified from ticks. A family of conserved peptides, which were identified from transcriptome analysis of many tick salivary glands, were found to contain unique primary structure including predicted mature peptides of 39-47 amino acid residues in length and a Pro/Glu(P/E)-Pro/His(P/H)-Lys-Gly-Asp(RGD) domain. Given their unique structure and RGD domain, they are considered a novel family of disintegrins that inhibit platelet aggregation. One of them (YY-39) was tested for its effects on platelets and thrombosis in vivo. YY-39 was found effectively to inhibit platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP), thrombin and thromboxane A2 (TXA2). Furthermore, YY-39 blocked platelet adhesion to soluble collagen and bound to purified GPIIb/IIIa in a dose-dependent manner. In in vivo experiments, YY-39 reduced thrombus weight effectively in a rat arteriovenous shunt model and inhibited thrombosis in a carrageenan-induced mouse tail thrombosis model. Combined with their prevalence in ticks and platelet inhibitory functions, this family of peptides might be conserved tick anti-haemostatic molecules.
Using a molecular theory for dilute PEO-b-PNIPAm solutions, we first take the formation of hydrogen bonds between copolymer monomers and water molecules into account, which enables us to study the impact of temperature on PEO-b-PNIPAm self-assembly effectively by quantitatively describing the different changes in water affinities of two blocks. With the increase of temperature, hydrogen bonds between PNIPAm and water break down dramatically, resulting in the hydrophobic character of PNIPAm while PEO remains hydrophilic. Amphiphilic copolymers in the aqueous surrounding can aggregate into various structures: micelles and vesicles. According to the equilibrium criterion of the excess grand potential under the conditions of the grand canonical ensemble, we find that both structures are stable and can coexist. Theoretically calculated potentials of mean force of aggregates further verify the coexistence of micelles and vesicles, although the low critical solution temperatures of different aggregates are different under these conditions. A phase diagram as functions of temperature and the weight fraction of PEO (fPEO) is obtained, which shows different regions of micelles, vesicles and their coexistence. It implies the appearance of two types of micelle-vesicle transition: spontaneous and temperature-induced. Since PEO-b-PNIPAm as a thermoresponsive material has a broad range of applications, a systematic investigation of the phase behavior is very useful not only for the scientific interest but also for the practical applications.
Although it is well known that wound healing proceeds incredibly quickly in urodele amphibians, such as newts and salamanders, little is known about skin-wound healing, and no bioactive/effector substance that contributes to wound healing has been identified from these animals. As a step toward understanding salamander wound healing and skin regeneration, a potential wound-healing-promoting peptide (tylotoin; KCVRQNNKRVCK) was identified from salamander skin of Tylototriton verrucosus. It shows comparable wound-healing-promoting ability (EC50=11.14 ?g/ml) with epidermal growth factor (EGF; NSDSECPLSHDGYCLHDGVCMYIEALDKYACNCVVGYIGERCQYRDLKWWELR) in a murine model of full-thickness dermal wound. Tylotoin directly enhances the motility and proliferation of keratinocytes, vascular endothelial cells, and fibroblasts, resulting in accelerated reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation in the wound site. Tylotoin also promotes the release of transforming growth factor ?1 (TGF-?1) and interleukin 6 (IL-6), which are essential in the wound healing response. Gene-encoded tylotoin secreted in salamander skin is possibly an effector molecule for skin wound healing. This study may facilitate understanding of the cellular and molecular events that underlie quick wound healing in salamanders.-Mu, L., Tang, J., Liu, H., Shen, C., Rong, M., Zhang, Z., Lai, R. A potential wound-healing-promoting peptide from salamander skin.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a long-term high-fructose diet on the insulin-signaling pathway of the hippocampus. Sprague-Dawley rats were fed either on a control (0% fructose solution) or high-fructose diet (10% fructose solution). Food intake and body mass were measured regularly. Eight months later, peripheral insulin sensitivity, the activity of the hippocampal insulin pathway, and memory tasks were assessed. Compared to the control group, the high fructose group exhibited more weight gain, peripheral insulin resistance, metabolic disorders, and memory impairments. In addition, insulin signaling in the hippocampus was attenuated in the high fructose group. These results suggested that a high-fructose diet induced peripheral insulin resistance and an abnormal insulin-signaling pathway in the hippocampus which exacerbated memory deficits in the rats.
Urinary tract infection (UTI), primarily caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), is one of the most common infectious diseases worldwide. Emerging antibiotic resistance requires novel treatment strategies. Luteolin, a dietary polyphenolic flavonoid, has been confirmed as a potential antimicrobial agent. Here, we evaluated the sub-MICs of luteolin for potential properties to modulate the UPEC infection. We found that luteolin significantly decreased the attachment and invasion of UPEC J96 or CFT073 in human bladder epithelial cell lines T24. Meanwhile, obvious decreased expression of type 1 fimbriae adhesin fimH gene, lower bacterial surface hydrophobicity and swimming motility, were observed in luteolin-pretreated UPEC. Furthermore, luteolin could attenuate UPEC-induced cytotoxicity in T24 cells, which manifested as decreased activity of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Simultaneously, the inhibition of luteolin on UPEC-induced cytotoxicity was confirmed by ethidium bromide/acridine orange staining. Finally, the luteolin-pretreated UPEC showed a lower ability of biofilm formation. Collectively, these results indicated that luteolin decreased the attachment and invasion of UPEC in bladder epithelial cells, attenuated UPEC-induced cytotoxicity and biofilm formation via down-regulating the expression of adhesin fimH gene, reducing the bacterial surface hydrophobicity and motility.
Five 4-arylcoumarins (1c-g) and twelve 3,4-dihydro-4-arylcoumarins (2a-l) were synthesized and tested for antioxidant activity, antitumor activity, toxicity and structure-activity relationships analysis. 4-Arylcoumarins and 3,4-dihydro-4-arylcoumarins that possess two hydroxyl groups in ortho position, such as 1d, 1f, 2a, 2f, 2g and 2h had stronger radical scavenging properties than that of vitamin C (Vit C) in ABTS(+) assay. Kinetic traces of scavenging ABTS(+) and DPPH radicals showed that all the reaction could reached endpoint in 1 min, which was similar with Vit C. 4-Arylcoumarins with 3'-hydroxyl-4'-methylphenyl structural show more efficient NO radical scavenging activity. Three compounds 2e, 1f and 2a, in particular had superior EC50 for NO scavenging than did Vit C. MTT assay indicated that one compound in particular had a potential antitumor effect, inhibiting proliferation of BGC-823 cells and almost completely killing them at a concentration 62.5 mg/L. With same concentration 100 ?g/mL, hemolytic analysis in rabbit red blood cells showed that only two compounds had hemolytic activity with a little more than 5% hemolysis. Injection and oral toxicity tests on Galleria mellonella larvae showed that none of the tested 4-arylcoumarins significantly affected their appetite, viability and mortality.
AGR2 is a member of the protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) family, which is implicated in cancer cell growth and metastasis, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Despite the contributions of this protein to several biological processes, the regulatory mechanisms controlling expression of the AGR2 gene in different organs remain unclear. Zebrafish anterior gradient 2 (agr2) is expressed in several organs, including the otic vesicles that contain mucus-secreting cells. To elucidate the regulatory mechanisms controlling agr2 expression in otic vesicles, we generated a Tg(-6.0 k agr2:EGFP) transgenic fish line that expressed EGFP in a pattern recapitulating that of agr2. Double immunofluorescence studies were used to demonstrate that Agr2 and GFP colocalize in the semicircular canals and supporting cells of all sensory patches in the otic vesicles of Tg(-6.0 k agr2:EGFP) embryos. Transient/stable transgenic analyses coupled with 5'-end deletion revealed that a 100 bp sequence within the -2.6 to -2.5 kbp region upstream of agr2 directs EGFP expression specifically in the otic vesicles. Two HMG-binding motifs were detected in this region. Mutation of these motifs prevented EGFP expression. Furthermore, EGFP expression in the otic vesicles was prevented by knockdown of the sox10 gene. This corresponded with decreased agr2 expression in the otic vesicles of sox10 morphants during different developmental stages. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays were used to show that Sox10 binds to HMG-binding motifs located within the -2.6 to -2.5 kbp region upstream of agr2. These results demonstrate that agr2 expression in the otic vesicles of zebrafish embryos is regulated by Sox10.
26RFa is one of neuroendocrine peptide groups in the RFamide peptide family containing conserved Arg-Phe/Tyr-NH2 motif at their C-terminus. They exert multiple biological functions in vertebrates. A novel 26RFa peptide (TC26RFa) with unique structure is identified from the tree shrew of Tupaia belangeri chinensis in the present study. In structure, different from other 26RFa peptides containing conserved Phe-Arg-Phe-NH2 motif at their C-terminus, there is a Phe-Arg-Tyr-NH2 C-terminus in TC26RFa. It has been found that TC26RFa of intraperitoneal injection exerts strong analgesic activities in several mice models including acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing, formalin-induced paw licking, and thermal pain-induced tail withdrawal. It shows comparable analgesic ability with morphine. In addition, this peptide has been found to inhibit inflammatory factor secretion (including tumor necrosis factor-?, interleukin-6, and interleukin-1?) induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Furthermore, it stimulates secretion of the anti-inflammatory factor, interleukin-10. In addition to the identification of a novel 26RFa peptide from tree shrew, a new type of function (anti-inflammation) involved in 26RFa peptide is discovered.
Vasotab TY is a KGD (Lys-Gly-Asp)-containing peptide identified from salivary glands of the horsefly of Tabanus yao. We have previously reported that vasotab TY showed a strong vasodilator activity. In the present study, vasotab TY was found to inhibit platelet aggregation effectively. It completely inhibited platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate (ADP) at the concentration of 9.6?g/ml. Vasotab TY significantly reduced thrombus weight in rat arteriovenous shunt model and inhibited thrombosis in carrageenan-induced mouse tail thrombosis model in vivo. Vasotab TY competitively bound to glycoprotein IIb/IIIa (GPIIb/IIIa) with eptifibatide, a well-known KGD-containing cyclic heptapeptide containing high specificity and high affinity for GPIIb/IIIa, suggesting that it is an antagonist of the fibrinogen receptor GPIIb/IIIa on the surface of platelet. The KGD motif in vasotab TY may facilitate the binding of it to GPIIb/IIIa. Vasotab TY showed a half-life of more than 1h in vivo. It showed little side effects including little bleeding, no hemolytic activity on human blood red cells and no cytotoxicity on human keratinocyte and THP-1 cells. Combined its vasodilator and platelet inhibitory functions, vasotab TY might be an excellent candidate for the development of clinical anti-thrombosis medicines.
Cutaneous wound healing is a dynamic, complex, and well-organized process that requires the orchestration of many different cell types and cellular processes. Transforming growth factor ?1 is an important factor that plays a key role during wound healing. Amphibian skin has been proven to possess excellent wound healing ability, whilst no bioactive substrate related to it has ever been identified. Here, a potential wound healing-promoting peptide (AH90, ATAWDFGPHGLLPIRPIRIRPLCG) was identified from the frog skin of Odorrana grahami. It showed potential wound healing-promoting activity in a murine model with full thickness dermal wound. AH90 promoted release of transforming growth factor ?1 through activation of nuclear factor-?B and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase mitogen-activated protein kinases signaling pathways, while inhibitors of nuclear factor-?B and c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase inhibited the process. In addition, the effects of AH90 on Smads family proteins, key regulators in transforming growth factor ?1 signaling pathways, could also be inhibited by transforming growth factor ?1 antibody. Altogether, this indicated that AH90 promoted wound healing by inducing the release of transforming growth factor ?1. This current study may facilitate the understanding of effective factors involved in the wound repair of amphibians and the underlying mechanisms as well. Considering its favorable traits as a small peptide that greatly promoting generation of endogenous wound healing agents (transforming growth factor ?1) without mitogenic effects, AH90 might be an excellent template for the future development of novel wound-healing agents.
Wound-healing represents a major health burden, such as diabetes-induced skin ulcers and burning. Many works are being tried to find ideal clinical wound-healing biomaterials. Especially, small molecules with low cost and function to promote production of endogenous wound healing agents (i.e. transforming growth factor beta, TGF-?) are excellent candidates. In this study, a small peptide (tiger17, c[WCKPKPKPRCH-NH2]) containing only 11 amino acid residues was designed and proved to be a potent wound healer. It showed strong wound healing-promoting activity in a murine model of full thickness dermal wound. Tiger17 exerted significant effects on three stages of wound healing progresses including (1) the induction of macrophages recruitment to wound site at inflammatory reaction stage; (2) the promotion of the migration and proliferation both keratinocytes and fibroblasts, leading to reepithelialization and granulation tissue formation; and (3) tissue remodeling phase, by promoting the release of transforming TGF-?1 and interleukin 6 (IL-6) in murine macrophages and activating mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) signaling pathways. Considering its easy production, store and transfer and function to promote production of endogenous wound healing agents (TGF-?), tiger17 might be an exciting biomaterial or template for the development of novel wound-healing agents.
Palustrin-OG1 (OG1) is a host defense peptide isolated from the frog Odorrana grahami. In this study, we analyzed the chemical properties, antimicrobial activities and cytotoxicities of OG1 and its derivatives to identify the most promising peptide as an antimicrobial agent. By increasing the net positive charge, amphipathicity and decreasing the mean hydrophobicity of OG1, the derivative named as OG2 exerted higher antimicrobial activity against bacteria but lower cytotoxicity against both porcine erythrocytes and peripheral blood mononuclear cells than did OG1 (P<0.01). After substitution of Cys residues of OG2 by Ala or Trp residues, two derivatives named as OG2A and OG2W were less effective against bacteria and induced greater hemolysis than did OG2, indicating the importance of Cys residues. The substitution of the C-terminal Thr of OG2 resulted OG2N, which decreased the cytotoxicity and improved killing kinetics against gram-positive bacteria by the rapid damage of cell wall and membrane.
Loss-of-function mutations in the human voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.7 result in a congenital indifference to pain. Selective inhibitors of NaV1.7 are therefore likely to be powerful analgesics for treating a broad range of pain conditions. Herein we describe the identification of µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a, a unique 46-residue peptide from centipede venom that potently inhibits NaV1.7 with an IC50 of ?25 nM. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a has more than 150-fold selectivity for NaV1.7 over all other human NaV subtypes, with the exception of NaV1.2, for which the selectivity is 32-fold. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a contains three disulfide bonds with a unique connectivity pattern, and it has no significant sequence homology with any previously characterized peptide or protein. µ-SLPTX-Ssm6a proved to be a more potent analgesic than morphine in a rodent model of chemical-induced pain, and it was equipotent with morphine in rodent models of thermal and acid-induced pain. This study establishes µ-SPTX-Ssm6a as a promising lead molecule for the development of novel analgesics targeting NaV1.7, which might be suitable for treating a wide range of human pain pathologies.
Laggera pterodonta displays different phenotypes in its natural habitat but expresses a uniform phenotype with large, broad leaves and fewer secondary metabolites when grown under optimal conditions. The production of six furoeudesmanes is only induced when L. pterodonta encounters stresses, conferring host resistance against a broad spectrum of plant invaders.
Most of amphibians belonging to family Rhacophoridae live in arboreal habitats. A large number of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) have been identified from amphibian skins. No antimicrobial peptide from Rhacophoridae amphibians has been reported. In this study, we purified and characterized a novel antimicrobial peptide, pleurain-a1-thel from skin secretions of the tree frog, Theloderma kwangsiensis. Its amino acid sequence was determined as RILTMTKRVKMPQLYKQIVCRLFKTC by Edman degradation, mass spectrometry analysis and cDNA cloning. There are two cysteines, which form an intra-molecular disulfide bridge, in the sequence of pleurain-a1-thel. Pleurain-a1-thel exerted potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms, including Gram-negative and -positive bacteria and fungi. It exerted little hemolytic activity in human or rabbit red cells. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of antimicrobial peptide from Rhacophoridae amphibians.
To explore the effect of sustained-release recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (rhBMP-2) on ectopic osteogenesis in the muscle pouches of rats through preparing rhBMP-2 sustained-release capsules by wrapping morphogenesis protein bones-2 (BMP-2) using chitosan nanoparticles, and compositing collagen materials.
This study aims to investigate the effects of rhBMP-2/ACS composite on bone regeneration and mineralization during expansion of the interparietal suture in rats. Forty 10-week-old Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into four groups (n=10). The first group (intact group) did not receive any intervention. The second group (expansion control group) received an expansion force of 60 g. The remaining two groups received an expansion force of 60 g and were implanted with an atelo-type I absorbable collagen sponge and rhBMP-2/ACS composite positioned on the suture beneath the periosteum. The relapse, relapse ratio, relevant bone remodelling, and calcium and osteocalcin contents were evaluated. Bone regeneration in the interparietal suture was estimated by the histological method. The osteocalcin content was measured by radioimmunoassay, and the calcium content was measured by atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Bone regeneration was more active in the suture after application of the expansion force compared with that of the suture without any intervention. Bone bridges formed in the rhBMP-2/collagen composite group. Both osteocalcin and calcium content were higher in the rhBMP-2/collagen composite group than in the other three groups (P<0.01). The relapse ratio in the rhBMP-2/collagen group was much lower than that in the other two expansion groups (P<0.01). RhBMP-2/ACS composite can promote bone regeneration and bone mineralization in the expanded suture and decrease the relapse ratio. Thus, the rhBMP-2/ACS composite may be therapeutically beneficial to the inhibition of relapse and shortening of the retention period during rapid expansion.
Two novel analgesic peptides (Analgesin-HJ, FWPVI-NH2 and Analgesin-HJ(I5T), FWPVT-NH2) were identified from the skin of the tree frog, Hyla japonica. There are 171 amino acid residues in the precursor encoding analgesin-HJs. The precursor contains 10 copies of mature peptide, which include 9 copies of analgesin-HJ and one copy of analgesin-HJ(I5T). Results from analgesic experiments using mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid, formalin-induced paw licking, and thermal pain test indicated that this two peptides exerted comparable analgesic activities with morphine. In addition, they had ability to inhibit inflammatory factor secretion induced by lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Considering their easy production, storage, transfer and potential analgesic activity, analgesin-HJs might be exciting leading compounds or templates for the development of novel analgesic agent. In addition, this study might facilitate to understand skin defensive mechanism of amphibians.
Mainstream theories about decision-making under risk suggest that risky decisions are made by choosing the option that offers the highest mathematical expectation. The present event-related potentials (ERPs) study investigated the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying risky choice by contrasting a preferential choice task with an expected value choice task. The ERP data revealed that (1) the computational difficulty, which would be expected to influence a compensatory process, affected the slow wave only when participants were forced to choose the option with the highest expectation; and that (2) the difference in the minimum outcome dimension between two options, which would be expected to be influential in a heuristic process, affected the P300 and slow wave when participants were asked to choose the preferred option. Our findings provide neural evidence that preferential choice is not based on an expectation computation and thus raised the question of whether expectation theories can provide an adequate description of individual risky decisions.
Human ?-defensin 2 (HBD2) is a cysteine-rich cationic antimicrobial peptide known for its important role in innate immune system. Intensive studies have demonstrated its antimicrobial and chemotactic activities in vitro. In this study, ELISA analysis showed that HBD2 was significantly downregulated in sera of patients with hypertension. It relaxed vessel smooth muscle by acting on the major regulatory pathways, contributing to vessel smooth muscle contraction. Electrophysiology analysis indicated that HBD2 acted as an opener of large-conductance Ca(2+)-activated potassium (BKCa)-mSlo+h?1 channels and increased BKCa currents. Mutation analysis revealed that HBD2 activated BKCa-mSlo+h?1 channels via interacting with Leu41 and Gln43 of ?1-loop. In vivo experiments suggested that HBD2 at 4 × to 6 × of physiological concentration exerted hypotensive effect in monkeys significantly, whereas the selective blocker of BKCa channels, Paxilline, inhibited the effect. HBD2 is the first peptide opener of BKCa-mSlo+h?1 channels. It may be a novel regulator of blood pressure and provides a new therapeutic target for the treatment of hypertension. The HBD2 blockade of the BKCa channels may represent a new type of cross-talk between immune and cardiovascular systems.
Defects in multiple coagulation factor deficiency protein 2 (MCFD2) are a cause of factor V and factor VIII combined deficiency type 2 (F5F8D). MCFD2 was also suggested to play an important role as an autocrine/paracrine factor in maintaining neural stem cell potential. The current work provided direct evidence that both amphibian and human MCFD2 can maintain stem cell pluripotency or stemness of rhesus monkey embryonic stem cells (rESCs) as basic fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) does. In most cases, MCFD2 had identical effects on stem cells as FGF-2. We investigated the possible mechanism of MCFD2 to support stem cell pluripotency by highlighting the effects of MCFD2 and FGF-2 on several signaling pathways in rESCs, namely MAPK, TGF-?, Wnt, and Akt, and 3 core transcriptional factors (Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2). In addition, some features of signaling pathways (MAPK and Akt), which are different from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs), are found in rESCs, indicating that primate ESCs have unique signaling mechanisms. These results may shed light on the biological roles of MCFD2, the conserved protein family distributed in both vertebrates and invertebrates. The ability to support stem cell self-renewal may be the general function of the conserved protein family.
Amphibian skin is an abundant repository of bioactive peptides, important components of the defensive system. The variability of the bioactive peptide repertoires of individual species remains unclear. In this study, dark-spotted frogs were collected from Kunming in Yunnan Province, China and Guiyang in Guizhou Province, China to determine whether the bioactive peptides in amphibian skin differ between the two regions. Eight antimicrobial peptides and an antioxidant peptide were identified by screening of cDNA library. Among the identified peptides, three antimicrobial peptides (pelophylaxin-2GY, temporin-1GY, and temporin-1KM) and an antioxidant peptide (antioxidin-PN) are reported here for the first time. Nigrocin-1, nigrocin-2, and pelophylaxin-2 were expressed by frogs in both regions. Pelophylaxin-2GY and temporin-1GY were found only in the frogs from Guiyang, whereas antioxidin-PN, esculetin-1, esculetin-2, and temporin-1KM were found only in those from Kunming. This difference was confirmed by allele-specific RT-PCR. The bioactive peptides expressed clearly varied between these populations of the same species.
Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) play pivotal roles in the innate defense of vertebrates. A novel AMP (cathelicidin-PY) has been identified from the skin secretions of the frog Paa yunnanensis . Cathelicidin-PY has an amino acid sequence of RKCNFLCKLKEKLRTVITSHIDKVLRPQG. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy analysis revealed that cathelicidin-PY adopts a tertiary structure with a mostly positively charged surface containing a helix (Thr15-Ser19). It possesses strong antimicrobial activity, low hemolytic activity, low cytotoxicity against RAW 264.7 cells, and strong anti-inflammatory activity. The action of antimicrobial activity of cathelicidin-PY is through the destruction of the cell membrane. Moreover, cathelicidin-PY exerts anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting the production of nitric oxide (NO) and inflammatory cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF-?), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). Cathelicidin-PY inhibits the activation of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) inflammatory response pathways induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The NMR titration experiments indicated that cathelicidin-PY can bind to LPS. In conclusion, we have identified a novel potent peptide antibiotic with both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory activities and laid the groundwork for future research and development.
Bacteriophages, the viruses of eubacteria, have developed unique mechanisms to interact with their host bacteria. They have been viewed as potential antibacterial therapeutics. Mycobacteriophage-derived compounds may interact with Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) and/or its components, such as the cord factor, trehalose-6,6-dimycolate (TDM), which is the most abundant glycolipid produced on the surface of MTB. TDM emulsion injected intravenously into mice induces lung immunopathology that mimics many aspects of MTB infection. Thus, TDM is an important target for anti-MTB agent development. On the basis of genomics information of mycobacteriophages, 200 peptides were synthesized. Their effects on MTB, their interactions with TDM, and anti-inflammatory activities were tested. One of them (PK34) showed MTB-killing activity with a minimal inhibitory concentration of 50 ?g/ml and TDM-binding ability. In a mouse model, PK34 showed comparable ability to clear MTB as rifampin did in vivo. It also exerted strong activity to inhibit MTB or TDM-induced inflammation in vivo. PK34 significantly inhibited inflammatory cytokines secretions by inactivating MAPK and PKB signals while it maintained certain proinflammatory cytokine production. It is possible to prospect for TDM-binding and/or anti-MTB peptides by mining the mycobacteriophages genome. In addition to its direct MTB-killing ability, PK34 might be a useful adjunct in the treatment of granulomatous inflammation occurring during mycobacterial infection or a template for developing antituberculosis (TB) agents because of its immunoregulative effects. As a TDM-binding peptide, PK34 may be a promising tool to study TDMs interactions with corresponding receptors and signal pathways.
The most important indoor allergens for humans are house dust mites (HDM). Fourteen Dermatophagoides farinae allergens (Der f 1-3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13-18, and 22) are reported although more than 30 allergens have been estimated in D. farinae. Seventeen allergens belonging to 12 different groups were identified by a procedure of proteomics combined with two-dimensional immunoblotting from D. farina extracts. Their sequences were determined by Edman degradation, mass spectrometry analysis, and cDNA cloning. Their allergenicities were assayed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay inhibition tests, immunoblots, basophil activation test, and skin prick tests. Eight of them are the first report as D. farinae allergens. The procedure of using a proteomic approach combined with a purely discovery approach using sera of patients with broad IgE reactivity profiles to mite allergens was an effective method to investigate a more complete repertoire of D. farinae allergens. The identification of eight new D. farinae allergens will be helpful for HDM allergy diagnosis and therapy, especially for patients without response for HDM major allergens. In addition, the current work significantly extendedthe repertoire of D. farinae allergens.
Chinese tree shrews (Tupaia belangeri chinensis) possess many features valuable in animals used as experimental models in biomedical research. Currently, there are numerous attempts to employ tree shrews as models for a variety of human disorders: depression, myopia, hepatitis B and C virus infections, and hepatocellular carcinoma, to name a few. Here we present a publicly available annotated genome sequence for the Chinese tree shrew. Phylogenomic analysis of the tree shrew and other mammalians highly support its close affinity to primates. By characterizing key factors and signalling pathways in nervous and immune systems, we demonstrate that tree shrews possess both shared common and unique features, and provide a genetic basis for the use of this animal as a potential model for biomedical research.
Antimicrobial peptides have been widely identified from amphibian skins except salamanders. A novel antimicrobial peptide (CFBD) was isolated and characterized from skin secretions of the salamander, Cynops fudingensis. The cDNA encoding CFBD precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of C. fudingensis. The precursor was composed of three domains: signal peptide of 17 residues, mature peptide of 41 residues and intervening propeptide of 3 residues. There are six cysteines in the sequence of mature CFBD peptide, which possibly form three disulfide-bridges. CFBD showed antimicrobial activities against Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis, Candida albicans and Escherichia coli. This peptide could be classified into family of ?-defensin based on its seqeuence similarity with ?-defensins from other vertebrates. Evolution analysis indicated that CFBD was close to fish ?-defensin. As far as we know, CFBD is the first ?-defensin antimicrobial peptide from salamanders.
Main indoor allergens for humans are from house dust mites. There are more than 30 allergens in Dermatophagoides farinae but only fourteen allergens have been identified from this mite including Der f 1-3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13-18, and 22. A native allergen protein (Der f 24, 90 kDa) was purified from D. farinae by gel filtration and anionic exchange liquid chromatography combined with IgE immunodetection. Its primary structure was determined by Edman degradation, mass spectrometry analysis and cDNA cloning. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay inhibition tests (ELISA-IT), immunoblots, basophil activation test (BAT) and skin prick test (SPT) were performed to evaluate the allergenicity. It was identified as an alpha (?)-actinin containing a CaM-like domain with EF-hand motifs. Der f 24 reacted to sera from 85.4% (35/41) of patients on western blot analysis. It reduced ?20% sera IgE reactivity to D. farinae extracts on a competitive ELISA. Eighty percent (8/10) of patients with D. farinae allergy showed positive reactions to Der f 24 in skin prick test. The expression of CD63 on basophils from patients was up-regulated by Der f 24 by ?5.4-fold. Alpha-actinin was identified as a new type of house dust mite allergen. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of ?-actinin as an allergen.
A designed peptide named LZ1 with 15 amino acid residues containing strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria pathogens of acne vulgaris including Propionibacterium acnes, Staphylococcus epidermidis and S. aureus. Especially, it exerted strong anti-P. acnes ability. The minimal inhibitory concentration against three strains of P. acnes was only 0.6 µg/ml, which is 4 times lower than that of clindamycin. In experimental mice skin colonization model, LZ1 significantly reduced the number of P. acnes colonized on the ear, P. acnes-induced ear swelling, and inflammatory cell infiltration. It ameliorated inflammation induced by P. acnes by inhibiting the secretion of inflammatory factors including tumor necrosis factor-? (TNF-?) and interleukin (IL)-1?. LZ1 showed little cytotoxicity on human keratinocyte and hemolytic activity on human blood red cells. Furthermore, LZ1 was very stable in human plasma. Combined with its potential bactericidal and anti-inflammatory properties, simple structure and high stability, LZ1 might be an ideal candidate for the treatment of acne.
A combined experimental and theoretical approach establishes the long-lived nature of protein adsorption on surfaces coated with chemically grafted macromolecules. Specifically, we monitor the time dependence of adsorption of lysozyme on surfaces comprising polymer assemblies made of poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) brushes grafted onto flat silica surfaces such that they produce patterns featuring orthogonal and gradual variation of the chain length (N) and grafting density (?). We show that in the kinetically controlled regime, the amount of adsorbed protein scales universally with the product ?N, while at equilibrium the amount of adsorbed protein is governed solely by ?. Surprisingly, for moderate concentrations of protein in solution, adsorption takes more than 72 h to reach an equilibrium, or steady state. Our experimental findings are corroborated with predictions using molecular theory that provides further insight into the protein adsorption phenomenon. The theory predicts that the universal behavior observed experimentally should be applicable to polymers in poor and theta solvents and to a limited extent also to good solvent conditions. Our combined experimental and theoretical findings reveal that protein adsorption is a long-lived phenomenon, much longer than generally assumed. Our studies confirm the previously predicted important differences in behavior for the kinetic versus thermodynamic control of protein adsorption.
Tree frogs produce a variety of skin defensive chemicals against many biotic and abiotic risk factors for their everyday survival. By proteomics or peptidomics and coupling transcriptome analysis with pharmacological testings, 27 peptides or proteins belonging to 9 families, which act mainly as defensive functions, were identified and characterized from skin secretions of the tree frog, Hyla simplex. They are: (1) a novel family of peptides with EGF- and VEGF-releasing activities; (2) a novel family of analgesic peptides; (3) a family of neurotoxins acting on sodium channel; (4) a snake venom-like presynaptically active neurotoxin; (5) a snake venom-like neurotoxin targeting cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels; (6) a tachykinin-like peptide, which is the first report from tree frogs; (7) two antimicrobial peptides; (8) a alpha-1-antitrypsin-like serpin; and (9) a wasp venom-like toxin with serine protease inhibitors activity. Families of 1, 2, 4, 5, and 8 proteins or peptides are first reported in amphibians. The chemical array in the tree frog skin shares some similarities with snake venoms. Most of these components in this tree frog help defend against predators, heal wounds, or attenuate suffering.
A novel cathelicidin-like antimicrobial peptide was identified by mining genome of panda. This peptide (cathelicidin-AM) was synthesized. It showed potential antimicrobial activities against wide spectrum of microorganisms including Gram-negative and -positive bacteria, and fungi. It had similar antimicrobial abilities against both standard and clinically isolated drug-resistant strains. Cathelicidin-AM could rapidly exert its antibacterial activities. It just took less than 1h to kill all Staphylococcus sciuri at the concentration of 2, 4 or 10 times of minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) while clindamycin took 6h. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis indicated that cathelicidin-AM killed bacteria by directly affecting bacterial cell wall and membrane. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the panda cathelicidin had the nearest evolution relationship with dog cathelicidin. The current work provides a novel cathelicidin-like peptide with strong antimicrobial abilities.
Cathelicidins comprise a family of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) sharing a highly conserved cathelin domain, and play a central role in the innate defense against infection in most of vertebrates. But so far it has not yet been found in amphibians although a large number of other groups of AMPs have been identified. In the current work, the first amphibian cathelicidin (cathelicidin-AL) has been characterized from the frog skin of Amolops loloensis. Cathelicidin-AL (RRSRRGRGGGRRGGSGGRGGRGGGGRSGAGSSIAGVGSRGGGGGRHYA) is a cationic peptide containing 48 amino acid residues (aa) with 12 basic aa and no acidic aa. The chemical synthesized peptide efficiently killed bacteria and some fungal species including clinically isolated drug-resistance microorganisms. The cDNA encoding cathelicidin-AL precursor was cloned from the skin cDNA library of A. loloensis. As other cathelicidins, the precursor of cathelicidin-AL also contains highly conserved anionic cathelin domain of cysteine proteinase inhibitor followed by the AMP fragment at C-terminus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that as connecting link, the amphibian cathelicidin predates reptilia but postdates fish cathelicidin. The peptide purification combined with gene cloning results confirms the presence of cathelicidin in amphibians and filled the evolutionary gap of cathelicidin in vertebrate, considering amphibians special niche as the animals bridging the evolutionary land-water gap.
Amphibian skins act as the first line against noxious aggression by microorganisms, parasites, and predators. Anti-microorganism activity is an important task of amphibian skins. A large amount of gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) has been identified from amphibian skins. Only a few of small protease inhibitors have been found in amphibian skins. From skin secretions of 5 species (Odorrana livida, Hylarana nigrovittata, Limnonectes kuhlii, Odorrana grahami, and Amolops loloensis) of Ranidae frogs, 16 small serine protease inhibitor peptides have been purified and characterized. They have lengths of 17-20 amino acid residues (aa). All of them are encoded by precursors with length of 65-70 aa. These small peptides show strong trypsin-inhibitory abilities. Some of them can exert antimicrobial activities. They share the conserved GCWTKSXXPKPC fragment in their primary structures, suggesting they belong to the same families of peptide. Signal peptides of precursors encoding these serine protease inhibitors share obvious sequence similarity with those of precursors encoding AMPs from Ranidae frogs. The current results suggest that these small serine protease inhibitors are the common defensive compounds in frog skin of Ranidae as amphibian skin AMPs.
Because of the immunogenicity and toxicity in vivo of large molecules such as lectins, the application of these molecules is remarkably restricted in drug delivery systems. In this study, to improve the brain drug delivery and reduce the immunogenicity of traditional lectin modified delivery system, Odorranalectin (OL, 1700 Da), a novel non-immunogenic small peptide, was selected to establish an OL-modified cubosomes (Cubs) system. The streptavidin (SA)-conjugated Cubs were prepared by incorporating maleimide-PEG-oleate and taking advantage of its thiol group binding reactivity to conjugate with 2-iminothiolane thiolated SA; mono-biotinylated OL was then coupled with the SA-modified Cubs. The OL-decorated Cubs (OL-Cubs) devised via a non-covalent SA-biotin "bridge" made it easy to conjugate OL and determine the number of ligands on the surface of the Cubs using sensitive chemiluminescent detection. Retention of the bio-recognitive activity of OL after covalent coupling was verified by hemagglutination testing. Nose-to-brain delivery characteristic of OL-Cubs was investigated by in vivo fluorescent biodistribution using coumarin-6 as a marker. The relative uptake of coumarin carried by OL-Cubs was 1.66- to 3.46-fold in brain tissues compared to that incorporated in the Cubs. Besides, Gly14-Humanin (S14G-HN) as a model peptide drug was loaded into cubosomes and evaluated for its pharmacodynamics on Alzheimers disease (AD) rats following intranasal administration by Morris water maze test and acetylcholinesterase activity determination. The results suggested that OL functionalization enhanced the therapeutic effects of S14G-HN-loaded cubosomes on AD. Thus, OL-Cubs might offer a novel effective and noninvasive system for brain drug delivery, especially for peptides and proteins.
We aimed to investigate which factors are associated with coronary artery lesions (CALs) during the acute and chronic stages in Taiwanese children with Kawasaki disease (KD). A total of 216 children with KD were enrolled. Clinical and laboratory data were obtained for each child within 7 days of illness. The patients were classified into KD children without acute CALs (n=135) and those with acute CALs (n=81) according to echocardiography data at Week 2 after treatment. Then, KD children with acute CALs were further divided into those without chronic CALs (n=55) and with chronic CALs (n=26) according to annual echocardiography data. During acute stage of KD, neutrophil count (<54%) [odds ratio (OR)=0.44, p=0.041]; second dose of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment (OR=5.01, p=0.009); and platelet count (?400,000) (OR=0.42, p=0.006) were correlated with the risk of acute CALs. During chronic stage of KD, age (12-60 months) (OR=0.25, p=0.042); first dose of IVIG treatment (OR=0.12, p=0.005); and band count (?3%) (OR=3.51, p=0.032) were correlated with the risk of chronic CALs. Our results suggest that the effects of neutrophil count, doses of IVIG treatment, and platelet count on CALs in acute KD are important. Age, doses of IVIG treatment, and band count are related to the persistence of CALs in chronic stage of KD.
It is well-known that there is a large amount of antimicrobial peptides in amphibian skins but few antimicrobial peptides are found in amphibian brains. Twenty-two and four antimicrobial peptides were purified and characterized from the brain homogenate of Bombina maxima and B. microdeladigitora, respectively. One hundred fifty-eight cDNA clones encoding 79 antimicrobial peptides were isolated from brain cDNA libraries of B. maxima and B. microdeladigitora. These antimicrobial peptides belong to two peptide groups (maximin and maximin-H). Twenty of them are identical to previously reported antimicrobial peptides (maximin 1-8, 10, 11, maximin H1, 3-5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16) from B. maxima skin secretions. Fifty-nine of them are novel antimicrobial peptides. Some of these antimicrobial peptides showed strong antimicrobial activities against tested microorganism strains including Gram-positive and -negative bacteria and fungi. The current diversity in peptide coding cDNA sequences is, to our knowledge, the most extreme yet described for any animal brains. The extreme diversity may give rise to interest to prospect the actual functions of antimicrobial peptides in amphibian brains.
Cathelicidins are a family of antimicrobial peptides acting as multifunctional effector molecules in innate immunity. Cathelicidin-BF has been purified from the snake venoms of Bungarus fasciatus and it is the first identified cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide in reptiles. In this study, cathelicidin-BF was found exerting strong antibacterial activities against Propionibacterium acnes. Its minimal inhibitory concentration against two strains of P. acnes was 4.7 µg/ml. Cathelicidin-BF also effectively killed other microorganisms including Staphylococcus epidermidis, which was possible pathogen for acne vulgaris. Cathelicidin-BF significantly inhibited pro-inflammatory factors secretion in human monocytic cells and P. acnes-induced O2.- production of human HaCaT keratinocyte cells. Observed by scanning electron microscopy, the surfaces of the treated pathogens underwent obvious morphological changes compared with the untreated controls, suggesting that this antimicrobial peptide exerts its action by disrupting membranes of microorganisms. The efficacy of cathelicidin-BF gel topical administering was evaluated in experimental mice skin colonization model. In vivo anti-inflammatory effects of cathelicidin-BF were confirmed by relieving P. acnes-induced mice ear swelling and granulomatous inflammation. The anti-inflammatory effects combined with potent antimicrobial activities and O2.- production inhibition activities of cathelicidin-BF indicate its potential as a novel therapeutic option for acne vulgaris.
Anntoxin is the first gene-encoded neurotoxin identified from amphibians, which is a 60-residue neurotoxin peptide, acting as an inhibitor of tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC). Sodium channels have been considered as therapeutic targets for pain. Several animal models of persistent inflammatory and neuropathic pain (tail-flick test, hot plate test, acetic acid-induced writhing test, formalin-induced paw licking, carrageenan-induced paw edema) were used to test analgesic functions of recombinant anntoxin (r-anntoxin). In all these animal models, r-anntoxin showed strong analgesic functions. R-anntoxin obviously inhibited secretions of both tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-?) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2). Histopathological study indicated that r-anntoxin reduced the edematous epidermis induced by carrageenan. All these results indicate that r-anntoxin has strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory activities.
Two antimicrobial peptides (piceain 1 and 2) derived from sequences encoded Picea sitchensis are identified. Their amino acid sequences are KSLRPRCWIKIKFRCKSLKF and RPRCWIKIKFRCKSLKF, respectively. One intra-molecular disulfide bridge is formed by these two half-cysteines in both piceain 1 and 2. Antimicrobial activities of synthesized piceains against several kinds of microorganisms were tested. They showed antimicrobial activities against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and fungus Candida albicans but little antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis. The results of nematicidal test showed they exerted strong nematicidal activities against Caenorhabditis elegans, following exposure for 5 h at concentrations as low as 10 µg/ml. They had weak hemolytic abilities against human and rabbit red cells. At the concentration of 250 µg/ml, they induced red cell hemolysis of less than 5%. Circular dichroism spectra of the two antimicrobial peptides were investigated in several solutions. Their main secondary structure components are ?-sheet and random. The current work provides a novel family of antimicrobial and nematicidal peptides with unique disulfided loop containing nine amino acid residues.
Direct-acting fibrin(ogen)olytic agents such as plasmin have been proved to contain effective and safety thrombolytic potential. Unfortunately, plasmin is ineffective when administered by the intravenous route because it was neutralized by plasma antiplasmin. Direct-acting fibrin(ogen)olytic agents with resistance against antiplasmin will brighten the prospect of anti-thrombosis. As reported in Compendium of Materia Medica, the insect of Eupolyphaga sinensis Walker has been used as traditional anti-thrombosis medicine without bleeding risk for several hundreds years. Currently, we have identified a fibrin(ogen)olytic protein (Eupolytin1) containing both fibrin(ogen)olytic and plasminogen-activating (PA) activities from the beetle, E. sinensis.
The objective of this study was to investigate the feasibility of using serum heart fatty acid-binding protein (H-FABP) concentrations as an early biomarker for doxorubicin-induced myocardial damage. Forty-four male rabbits were randomly divided into a control (8 rabbits) or one of four doxorubicin groups (8 rabbits in each group). Rabbits in the control group received saline, whereas rabbits in the doxorubicin group received 2 mg/kg doxorubicin weekly for 1-8 weeks. Rabbits in the doxorubicin groups received doxorubicin 2 mg/kg for one (Group 1, 8 rabbits), two (Group 2, 8 rabbits), four (Group 3, 9 rabbits), or eight (Group 4, 11 rabbits) weeks. Echocardiography was performed to measure left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF), shortening fraction (FS), and E/A ratio. Cardiotoxicity scores were assessed by light microscopy using Billinghams method and also by electron microscopy. Serum H-FABP concentrations were quantified by a rabbit-specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Decreased LVEF, FS, and E/A ratio were detected in Group 4 (P < 0.05). Billingham cardiomyopathy scores of the rabbits in Group 3 were significantly higher (P < 0.05) than those of rabbits in the control group or Groups 1 or 2. Billingham cardiomyopathy scores in Group 4 were the highest of all groups (P < 0.05). Myocardial injury was demonstrable by electron microscopy in rabbits in Groups 2, 3, and 4. Compared with the control group, serum H-FABP concentrations increased only in Group 4 (P < 0.05). Serum H-FABP concentrations may not be a sensitive method for assessing early cardiotoxicity of doxorubicin.
Odorranalectin (OL) was recently identified as the smallest lectin with much less immunogenicity than other members of the lectin family. In this study, to improve nose-to-brain drug delivery and reduce the immunogenicity of traditional lectin modified delivery system, OL was conjugated to poly(ethylene glycol)-poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PEG-PLGA) nanoparticles and its biorecognitive activity on nanoparticles was verified by haemagglutination tests. Nose-to-brain delivery characteristic of OL-conjugated nanoparticles (OL-NP) was investigated by in vivo fluorescence imaging technique using DiR as a tracer. Besides, urocortin peptide (UCN), as a macromolecular model drug, was incorporated into nanoparticles and evaluated for its therapeutic efficacy on hemiparkinsonian rats following intranasal administration by rotation behavior test, neurotransmitter determination and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) test. The results suggested that OL modification increased the brain delivery of nanoparticles and enhanced the therapeutic effects of UCN-loaded nanoparticles on Parkinsons disease. In summary, the OL-NPs could be potentially used as carriers for nose-to-brain drug delivery, especially for macromolecular drugs, in the treatment of CNS disorders.
Using chitosan (CS)/beta-tricalcium phosphate (TCP)/recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP)-2 for the reconstruction of rabbits mandible defect, to prove the feasibility of CS/beta-TCP as an injectable bone tissue engineering scaffold material.
In the absence of the plant enzyme myrosinase, such as in cooked broccoli, glucoraphanin is considered to be hydrolyzed by bacteria in the lower gut to produce the bioactive isothiocyanate sulforaphane. Simulated digestion using US Pharmacopeia methods caused no loss of glucoraphanin, confirming that glucoraphanin is not destroyed by digestive enzymes during passage through the digestive tract and is able to reach the rat cecum intact. Introduction of glucoraphanin (150 ?mol/kg BW) directly into the cecum resulted in appearance of isothiocyanates in the mesenteric plasma by 120 min. In contrast, introduction of sulforaphane (150 ?mol/kg BW) directly into the cecum resulted in the appearance of isothiocyanates in the mesenteric plasma within 15 min. Plasma levels remained constant for over an hour. Anaerobic incubation ex vivo of cecal microbiota from male F344 rats with glucoraphanin resulted in very low levels of the hydrolytic metabolite erucin nitrile, showing that hydrolysis of glucosinolates is carried out by cecal microbiota, but metabolism ex vivo by microbiota did not reflect not reflect metabolism in situ. These data are the first to report direct evidence of hydrolysis of glucoraphanin to sulforaphane in the cecum of rats and to show that sulforaphane is able to cross the cecal enterocyte for systemic absorption.
Myostatin is a member of the TGF-beta superfamily and acts as a negative regulator of skeletal muscle growth. The characterization of the myostatin gene and its expression in Trachidermus fasciatus was reported in the current study. A full-length of 2 568 bp myostatin cDNA sequence in T. fasciats was cloned by 5 and 3 RACE, which included a 1 131 bp complete ORF encoding a 376 amino acid peptide, a 106 bp long 5-UTR and a 1331 bp long 3UTR. As other MSTN, the putative peptide contains a 22 amino acids long signal peptide, a conserved RARR proteolytic processing site, and 10 conserved cysteine residues in the C terminal of the protein. The Trachidermus fasciatus MSTN has high homology with Umbrina cirrosa, Morone saxatilis, Morone americana, Morone chrysops myostatin while has low homology with mammalian and birds myostatin. The phylogenetic analysis showed that the T. fasciatus myostatin had the closest relationship with U. cirrosa. In the four examined tissues, the myostatin gene was highly expressed in muscle and intestine and weakly expressed in brain and liver. These results suggested that the fish myostatin gene might not only play roles in muscle development but also contribute to other biological functions.
The purpose of this study was to conduct quantitative research on bone height and bone mineral density of palatal implant sites for implantation, and to provide reference sites for safe and stable palatal implants.
Two novel antimicrobial peptides with similarity to brevinin-2 family are purified and characterized from the skin secretions of the frog, Rana nigrovittata. Their amino acid sequences were determined as GAFGNFLKGVAKKAGLKILSIAQCKLSGTC (brevinin-2-RN1) and GAFGNFLKGVAKKAGLKILSIAQCKLFGTC (brevinin-2-RN2), respectively, by Edman degradation. Different from brevinin-2, which is composed of 33 amino acid residues (aa), both brevinin-2-RN1 and -RN2 contain 30 aa. Five cDNA sequences (Genbank accession numbers, EU136465-9) encoding precursors of brevinin-2-RN1 and -RN2 were screened from the skin cDNA library of R. nigrovittata. These precursors are composed of 72 aa including a predicted signal peptide, an acidic spacer peptide, and a mature brevinin-2-RN. Both brevinin-2-RN1 and -RN2 showed strong antimicrobial activities against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and fungi. The current work identified and characterized two novel antimicrobial peptides with unique primary structure.
Strain LXD30(T) was isolated from rhizosphere soil of a plant of the species Camptotheca acuminata Decne which is native to warm, humid stream banks in southern China. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequence revealed that the Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium fell within the realm of the genus Rhizobium and was most closely related to Rhizobium huautlense SO2(T) (96.4% sequence similarity) and Rhizobium cellulosilyticum LMG 23642(T) (96.4%). The isolate grew optimally at pH7.0 and 25-28 degrees C in the presence of 0-1% (w/v) NaCl. Major fatty acids were C16:0 (17.5%) and summed feature 7 (C18:1omega7c/omega9t/omega12t, 58.3%). Unequivocally low 16S rRNA (<97%), recA (<92%) and atpD (<90%) gene sequence similarities to all existing species of the genus and phenotypic characteristics all suggested that strain LXD30(T) (=KCTC 22609(T)=CGMCC 1.8903(T)) represents a novel Rhizobium species, for which the name Rhizobium kunmingense sp. nov. is proposed.
Insect antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are an important group of insect innate immunity effectors. Insect AMPs are cationic and contain less than 100 amino acid residues. According to structure, insect AMPs can be divided into a limited number of families. The diverse antimicrobial spectrum of insect AMPs may indicate different modes of action. Research on the model organism Drosophila indicate that insect AMPs gene regulation involves multiple signaling pathways and a large number of signaling molecules.
Many animals produced a diversity of venoms and secretions to adapt the changes of environments through the long history of evolution. The components including a large quantity of specific and highly active peptides and proteins have become good research models for protein structure-function and also served as tools and novel clues for illustration of human disease mechanisms. At the same time, they are rich natural resources for new drug development. Through the valuable venomous animal resources of China, researchers at the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS have carried out animal toxin research over 30 years. This paper reviews the main work conducted on snake venoms, amphibian and insect secretions, and the development from single component to venomics, from biochemical characterization to human disease mechanisms, from crude venom to rational drug design along with a short perspective on future studies.
In the present study, EA-CATH1 and EA-CATH2 were identified from a constructed lung cDNA library of donkey (Equus asinus) as members of cathelicidin-derived antimicrobial peptides, using a nested PCR-based cloning strategy. Composed of 25 and 26 residues, respectively, EA-CATH1 and EA-CATH2 are smaller than most other cathelicidins and have no sequence homology to other cathelicidins identified to date. Chemically synthesized EA-CATH1 exerted potent antimicrobial activity against most of the 32 strains of bacteria and fungi tested, especially the clinically isolated drug-resistant strains, and minimal inhibitory concentration values against Gram-positive bacteria were mostly in the range of 0.3-2.4 microg mL(-1). EA-CATH1 showed an extraordinary serum stability and no haemolytic activity against human erythrocytes in a dose up to 20 microg mL(-1). CD spectra showed that EA-CATH1 mainly adopts an alpha-helical conformation in a 50% trifluoroethanol/water solution, but a random coil in aqueous solution. Scanning electron microscope observations of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC2592) treated with EA-CATH1 demonstrated that EA-CATH could cause rapid disruption of the bacterial membrane, and in turn lead to cell lysis. This might explain the much faster killing kinetics of EA-CATH1 than conventional antibiotics revealed by killing kinetics data. In the presence of CaCl(2), EA-CATH1 exerted haemagglutination activity, which might potentiate an inhibition against the bacterial polyprotein interaction with the host erythrocyte surface, thereby possibly restricting bacterial colonization and spread.
This paper proposes a low-cost field-programmable gate-array (FPGA)-based brain-computer interface (BCI) multimedia control system, different from the BCI system, which uses bulky and expensive electroencephalography (EEG) measurement equipment, personal computer, and commercial real-time signal-processing software. The proposed system combines a customized stimulation panel, a brainwave-acquisition circuit, and an FPGA-based real-time signal processor and allows users to use their brainwave to communicate with or control multimedia devices by themselves. This study also designs a light-emitting diode stimulation panel instead of cathode ray tube or liquid-crystal display used in existing studies, to induce a stronger steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP), a kind of EEG, used as the input signal of the proposed BCI system. Implementing a prototype of the SSVEP-based BCI multimedia control system verifies the effectiveness of the proposed system. Experimental results show that the subjects SSVEP can successfully control the multimedia device through the proposed BCI system with high identification accuracy.
Ticks are blood-feeding arthropods that may secrete immunosuppressant molecules, which inhibit host inflammatory and immune responses and provide survival advantages to pathogens at tick bleeding sites in hosts. In the current work, two families of immunoregulatory peptides, hyalomin-A and -B, were first identified from salivary glands of hard tick Hyalomma asiaticum asiaticum. Three copies of hyalomin-A are encoded by an identical gene and released from the same protein precursor. Both hyalomin-A and -B can exert significant anti-inflammatory functions, either by directly inhibiting host secretion of inflammatory factors such as tumor necrosis factor-alpha, monocyte chemotectic protein-1, and interferon-gamma or by indirectly increasing the secretion of immunosuppressant cytokine of interleukin-10. Hyalomin-A and -B were both found to potently scavenge free radical in vitro in a rapid manner and inhibited adjuvant-induced inflammation in mouse models in vivo. The JNK/SAPK subgroup of the MAPK signaling pathway was involved in such immunoregulatory functions of hyalomin-A and -B. These results showed that immunoregulatory peptides of tick salivary glands suppress host inflammatory response by modulating cytokine secretion and detoxifying reactive oxygen species.
In vitro, animal, and epidemiological studies all show that broccoli products containing sulforaphane, the bioactive hydrolysis product of glucoraphanin (GRP), lower risk for cancer. As a result, GRP-rich extracts are appearing on the market as dietary supplements. However, these products typically have no hydrolyzing enzyme for sulforaphane (SF) formation. We evaluated safety and compared efficacy to other broccoli preparations. Four daily doses of 0.5 mmol GRP/kg BW, given by gavage to adult male F344 rats, caused temporary cecal inflammation that was essentially resolved four days later. A similar dose dispersed in the diet caused no inflammation. To compare efficacy, we fed rats 20% freeze-dried broccoli (heated or unheated), 3.5% broccoli seed meal, or 4.3% semipurified GRP, each balanced within an AIN93G semipurified diet, for 4 days. Diets lacking myrosinase (semipurified GRP and heated broccoli florets) caused upregulation of NAD(P)H-quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) in colon but not liver. Surprisingly, broccoli seed, rich in myrosinase and GRP, also caused NQO1 upregulation in colon but not liver. In contrast, unheated broccoli florets caused upregulation in both colon and liver. These data suggest that GRP supplements may not exert systemic effects. We hypothesize that within whole broccoli additional components enhanced sulforaphane-dependent upregulation of NQO1 in liver.
Approximately 8-38% of children with Kawasaki disease (KD) will have persistent or recrudescent fever after initial intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) treatment and are at increased risk for development of coronary artery abnormalities. Using genetic markers may be helpful to identify the high-risk group of IVIG-resistant patients for aggressive treatment. The aim of this study was to evaluate the associations between 4 potential polymorphisms in the interleukin (IL)-1 family of genes and initial IVIG treatment failure in KD children.
The question of how amphibians can protect themselves from reactive oxygen species when exposed to the sun in an oxygen-rich atmosphere is important and interesting, not only from an evolutionary viewpoint, but also as a primer for researchers interested in mammalian skin biology, in which such peptide systems for antioxidant defense are not well studied. The identification of an antioxidant peptide named antioxidin-RL from frog (Odorrana livida) skin in this report supports the idea that a peptide antioxidant system may be a widespread antioxidant strategy among amphibian skins. Its ability to eliminate most of the 2,2-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzthiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) radical tested within 2 s, which is much faster than the commercial antioxidant factor butylated hydroxytoluene, suggests that it has a potentially large impact on redox homeostasis in amphibian skins. Cys10 is proven to be responsible for its rapid radical scavenging function and tyrosines take part in the binding of antioxidin-RL to radicals according to our nuclear magnetic resonance assay.
To investigate the vertical bone height and the bone density of the palate for implants placement using cone beam CT(CBCT) and to provide references to the safe and stable placement of palatal implants.
More than ten bradykinin-related peptides and their cDNAs have been identified from amphibians, but their genes are unknown. In present study, four cDNAs encoding one, two, four and six copies of bradykinin-related peptides were cloned from the frog (Odorrana grahami) skin cDNA library, respectively. Three bradykinin-related peptides (bradykinin, Thr6-bradykinin, Leu5Thr6-bradykinin) were deduced from these four cDNA sequences. Based on the cDNA sequence, the gene sequence encoding an amphibian bradykinin-related peptide from O. grahami was determined. It is composed of 7481 base pairs including two exons and two introns. The first exon codes signal peptide and the second exon codes acidic spacer peptide and Thr6-bradykinin. The promoter region of the bradykinin gene contains several putative recognition sites for nuclear factors, such as SRY, GATA-1, LYF-1, DeltaE, CDXA, NKX-2.5, MIF1 and S8. The current work may facilitate to understand the regulation and possible functions of amphibian skin bradykinin-related peptides.
The binding of streptavidin to biotin located at the terminal ends of poly(ethylene oxide) tethered to a planar surface is studied using molecular theory. The theoretical model is applied to mimic experiments (Langmuir 2008, 24, 2472) performed using drop-shape analysis to study receptor-ligand binding at the oil/water interface. Our theoretical predictions show very good agreements with the experimental results. Furthermore, the theory enables us to study the thermodynamic and structural behavior of the PEO-biotin + streptavidin layer. The interfacial structure, shown by the volume fraction profiles of bound proteins and polymers, indicates that the proteins form a thick layer supported by stretched polymers, where the thickness of the layer is greater than the height of the protein. When the polymer spacer is composed of PEO (3000), a thick layer with multilayers of proteins is formed, supported by the stretched polymer chains. It was found that thick multilayers of proteins are formed when long spacers are present or at very high protein surface coverages on short spacers. This shows that the flexibility of the polymer spacer plays an important role in determining the structure of the bound proteins due to their ability to accommodate highly distorted conformations to optimize binding and protein interactions. Protein domains are predicted when the amount of bound proteins is small due to the existence of streptavidin-streptavidin attractive interactions. As the number of proteins is increased, the competition between attractive interactions and steric repulsions determines the stability and structure of the bound layer. The theory predicts that the competition between these two forces leads to a phase separation at higher protein concentrations. The point where this transition happens depends on both spacer length and protein surface coverage and is an important consideration for practical applications of these and other similar systems. If the goal is to maximize protein binding, it is favorable to be above the layer transition, as multiple layers can accommodate greater bound protein densities. On the other hand, if the goal is to use these bound proteins as a linker group to build more complex structures, such as when avidin or streptavidin serves as a linker between two biotinylated polymers or proteins, the optimum is to be below the layer transition such that all bound linker proteins are available for further binding.
While investigating antimicrobial peptide diversity of Amolops loloensis, five novel antimicrobial peptides belonging to two families were identified from skin secretions of this frog. The first family including two members is esculentin-2-AL (esculentin-2-ALa and -ALb); the second family including three members is temporin-AL (temporin-ALd to -ALf). The family of esculentin-2-AL is composed of 37 amino acid residues (aa); the family of temporin-AL is composed of 16, 13 and 10 aa, respectively. All of these antimicrobial peptides showed antimicrobial activities against tested microorganisms. cDNAs encoding precursors of esculentin-2-ALs and temporin-ALs were cloned from the skin cDNA library of A. loloensis. All the precursors share similar overall structures. There is a typical prohormone processing signal (Lys-Arg) located between the acidic propiece and the mature peptide. The antimicrobial peptide family of esculentin-2 is firstly reported in the genus of Amolops. Combined with previous reports, a total of four antimicrobial peptide families have been identified from the genus of Amolops; three of them are also found in the genus of Rana. These results suggest the possible evolutionary connection between the genera Amolops and Rana.
Some lepidopteran lysozymes have been reported to display activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, in contrast to most lysozymes that are active only against Gram-positive bacteria. OstrinLysC, a c-type lysozyme, was purified from the Asian corn borer, Ostrinia furnacalis Guenée (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), and shows activity against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. The NH2-terminal amino acid sequence was determined by Edman degradation and used in a homology cloning strategy. The gene coding for OstrinLysC contains three exons and two introns. The expression profile of the OstrinlysC gene was examined by quantitative real-time PCR. Following injection of the larvae with bacteria, the OstrinlysC gene is strongly up-regulated in immune tissues. Transcripts were also detected in gut tissue. After feeding the larvae with bacteria, OstrinlysC transcripts increased in immune tissues. A very low level of transcript abundance was also detected in gut tissue. These results suggested that the OstrinlysC gene is involved in immune responses. The three dimensional structure of OstrinLysC was predicted. Based on comparison of the 3-D structure of OstrinLysC with that of silkworm lysozyme and chicken lysozyme, we hypothesize that the positive charge-rich surface and the short loop-2, which is close to the cluster of hydrophobic residues, may play important roles in the interaction with the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacterial cell walls.
A novel red-pigmented, Gram-negative, motile, fluorescent, rod-shaped strain, DZ0503SBS1(T), with a single lateral flagellum, was isolated from the intestine of the nematode Heterorhabditidoides chongmingensis. Comparative 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis indicated that the strain is a member of the genus Serratia, sharing highest sequence similarities with Serratia marcescens subsp. sakuensis JCM 11315(T) (99.8 %), S. marcescens subsp. marcescens DSM 30121(T) (99.5 %) and Serratia ureilytica LMG 22860(T) (98.3 %). Similarities between the rpoB gene sequence of strain DZ0503SBS1(T) and those of S. marcescens subsp. sakuensis JCM 11315(T), S. marcescens subsp. marcescens DSM 30121(T) and S. ureilytica LMG 22860(T) were 98.0, 97.4 and 98.3 %, respectively. DNA-DNA hybridization values of strain DZ0503SBS1(T) with S. marcescens subsp. sakuensis JCM 11315(T), S. marcescens subsp. marcescens DSM 30121(T) and S. ureilytica LMG 22860(T) were 68.2, 65.1 and 53.0 %, respectively. The major isoprenoid quinone of strain DZ0503SBS1(T) was Q-8 and the predominant fatty acids were C(16 : 0) (34.76 %), cyclo-C(17 : 0) (20.03 %) and cyclo-C(19 : 0)omega8c (17.24 %). The cyclo-C(19 : 0)omega8c content (17.24 %) was significantly different from those found in S. marcescens subsp. sakuensis JCM 11315(T) and S. marcescens subsp. marcescens DSM 30121(T). Some characteristics of strain DZ0503SBS1(T), i.e. fluorescence and its symbiotic association with nematodes, have not been reported previously in any species of the genus Serratia. Phenotypic and biochemical characteristics and molecular data show that strain DZ0503SBS1(T) represents a novel species, for which the name Serratia nematodiphila sp. nov. is proposed; the type strain is DZ0503SBS1(T) (=KCTC 22130(T) =CGMCC 1.6853(T)).
Many gene-encoded neurotoxins with various functions have been discovered in fish, reptiles, and mammals. A novel 60-residue neurotoxin peptide (anntoxin) that inhibited tetrodotoxin-sensitive (TTX-S) voltage-gated sodium channel (VGSC) was purified and characterized from the skin secretions of the tree frog Hyla annectans (Jerdon). This is the first gene-encoded neurotoxin found in amphibians. The IC50 of anntoxin for the TTX-S channel was about 3.4 microM. Anntoxin shares sequence homology with Kunitz-type toxins but contains only two of three highly conserved cysteine bridges, which are typically found in these small, basic neurotoxin modules, i.e. snake dendrotoxins. Anntoxin showed an inhibitory ability against trypsin with an inhibitory constant (Ki) of 0.025 microM. Anntoxin was distributed in skin, brain, stomach, and liver with a concentration of 25, 7, 3, and 2 microg/g wet tissue, respectively. H. annectans lives on trees or other plants for its entire life cycle, and its skin contains the largest amount of anntoxin, which possibly helps defend against various aggressors or predators. A low dose of anntoxin was found to induce lethal toxicity for several potential predators, including the insect, snake, bird, and mouse. The tissue distribution and functional properties of the current toxin may provide insights into the ecological adaptation of tree-living amphibians.
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