The flavone backbone is a well-known pharmacophore present in a number of substrates and inhibitors of various P450 enzymes. In order to find highly potent and novel P450 family I enzyme inhibitors, an acetylene group was incorporated into six different positions of flavone. The introduction of an acetylene group at certain locations of the flavone backbone lead to time-dependent inhibitors of P450 1A1. 3'-Ethynylflavone, 4'-ethynylflavone, 6-ethynylflavone, and 7-ethynylflavone (KI values of 0.035-0.056 ?M) show strong time-dependent inhibition of P450 1A1, while 5-ethynylflavone (KI value of 0.51 ?M) is a moderate time-dependent inhibitor of this enzyme. Meanwhile, 4'-ethynylflavone and 6-ethynylflavone are highly selective inhibitors toward this enzyme. Especially, 6-ethynylflavone possesses a Ki value of 0.035 ?M for P450 1A1 177- and 15-fold lower than those for P450s 1A2 and 1B1, respectively. The docking postures observed in the computational simulations show that the orientation of the acetylene group determines its capability to react with P450s 1A1 and 1A2. Meanwhile, conformational analysis indicates that the shape of an inhibitor determines its inhibitory selectivity toward these enzymes.
For enveloped viruses, fusion of the viral envelope with a cellular membrane is critical for a productive infection to occur. This fusion process is mediated by at least three classes of fusion proteins (Class I, II, and III) based on the protein sequence and structure. For Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV), the glycoprotein Gc (Class II fusion protein) mediates this fusion event following entry into the endocytic pathway, allowing the viral genome access to the cell cytoplasm. Here, we show that peptides analogous to the RVFV Gc stem region inhibited RVFV infectivity in cell culture by inhibiting the fusion process. Further, we show that infectivity can be inhibited for diverse, unrelated RNA viruses that have Class I (Ebola virus), Class II (Andes virus), or Class III (vesicular stomatitis virus) fusion proteins using this single peptide. Our findings are consistent with an inhibition mechanism similar to that proposed for stem peptide fusion inhibitors of dengue virus in which the RVFV inhibitory peptide first binds to both the virion and cell membranes, allowing it to traffic with the virus into the endocytic pathway. Upon acidification and rearrangement of Gc, the peptide is then able to specifically bind to Gc and prevent fusion of the viral and endocytic membranes, thus inhibiting viral infection. These results could provide novel insights into conserved features among the three classes of viral fusion proteins and offer direction for the future development of broadly active fusion inhibitors.
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) are diseases caused by hantavirus infections and are characterized by vascular leakage due to alterations of the endothelial barrier. Hantavirus-infected endothelial cells (EC) display no overt cytopathology; consequently, pathogenesis models have focused either on the influx of immune cells and release of cytokines or on increased degradation of the adherens junction protein, vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin, due to hantavirus-mediated hypersensitization of EC to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). To examine endothelial leakage in a relevant in vitro system, we co-cultured endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells (vSMC) to generate capillary blood vessel-like structures. In contrast to results obtained in monolayers of cultured EC, we found that despite viral replication in both cell types as well as the presence of VEGF, infected in vitro vessels neither lost integrity nor displayed evidence of VE-cadherin degradation. Here, we present evidence for a novel mechanism of hantavirus-induced vascular leakage involving activation of the plasma kallikrein-kinin system (KKS). We show that incubation of factor XII (FXII), prekallikrein (PK), and high molecular weight kininogen (HK) plasma proteins with hantavirus-infected EC results in increased cleavage of HK, higher enzymatic activities of FXIIa/kallikrein (KAL) and increased liberation of bradykinin (BK). Measuring cell permeability in real-time using electric cell-substrate impedance sensing (ECIS), we identified dramatic increases in endothelial cell permeability after KKS activation and liberation of BK. Furthermore, the alterations in permeability could be prevented using inhibitors that directly block BK binding, the activity of FXIIa, or the activity of KAL. Lastly, FXII binding and autoactivation is increased on the surface of hantavirus-infected EC. These data are the first to demonstrate KKS activation during hantavirus infection and could have profound implications for treatment of hantavirus infections.
Selective inhibition of P450 enzymes is the key to block the conversion of environmental procarcinogens to their carcinogenic metabolites in both animals and humans. To discover highly potent and selective inhibitors of P450s 1A1, 1A2, and 1B1, as well as to investigate active site cavities of these enzymes, 14 novel flavone derivatives were prepared as chemical probes. Fluorimetric enzyme inhibition assays were used to determine the inhibitory activities of these probes toward P450s 1A1, 1A2, 1B1, 2A6, and 2B1. A highly selective P450 1B1 inhibitor 5-hydroxy-4-propargyloxyflavone (5H4FPE) was discovered. Some tested compounds also showed selectivity between P450s 1A1 and 1A2. ?-Naphthoflavone-like and 5-hydroxyflavone derivatives preferentially inhibited P450 1A2, while ?-naphthoflavone-like flavone derivatives showed selective inhibition of P450 1A1. On the basis of structural analysis, the active site cavity models of P450 enzymes 1A1 and 1A2 were generated, demonstrating a planar long strip cavity and a planar triangular cavity, respectively.
Many organizations use credit scores as an employment screening tool, but little is known about the legitimacy of such practices. To address this important gap, the reported research conceptualized credit scores as a biographical measure of financial responsibility and investigated dispositional antecedents and performance-related outcomes. Using personality data collected from employees, objective credit scores obtained from the Fair Isaac Corporation, and performance data provided by supervisors, we found conscientiousness to be positively related and agreeableness to be negatively related to credit scores. Results also indicate significant relationships between credit scores and task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Credit scores did not, however, predict workplace deviance. Implications for organizations currently using or planning to use credit scores as part of the screening process are discussed.
Hantaviruses cause two human diseases thought to be immune-mediated: hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). We recently reported that the nucleocapsid (N) protein of HFRS-causing Hantaan virus (HTNV) inhibits tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) activation of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). Here we measured the ability of other hantaviral N proteins to similarly interfere with the inflammatory process of TNF-alpha. We found that like HTNV N, the N proteins of HFRS-causing Seoul and Dobrava viruses inhibited TNF-alpha activation of NF-kappaB and translocation of the NF-kappaB p65 subunit, but did not interfere with degradation of inhibitor of NF-kappaB (IkappaB). In contrast, the HFRS-causing Puumala virus and the HPS-causing Andes and Sin Nombre viruses did not prevent TNF-alpha activation of NF-kappaB or nuclear translocation of p65. These studies provide evidence that hantaviruses differ in their abilities to interfere with host innate immune responses.
Hantaviruses such as Hantaan virus (HTNV) and Andes virus cause two human diseases, hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, respectively. For both, disease pathogenesis is thought to be immunologically mediated and there have been numerous reports of patients with elevated levels of proinflammatory and inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), in their sera. Multiple viruses have developed evasion strategies to circumvent the host cell inflammatory process, with one of the most prevalent being the disruption of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation. We hypothesized that hantaviruses might also moderate host inflammation by interfering with this pathway. We report here that the nucleocapsid (N) protein of HTNV was able to inhibit TNF-alpha-induced activation of NF-kappaB, as measured by a reporter assay, and the activation of endogenous p65, an NF-kappaB subunit. Surprisingly, there was no defect in the degradation of the inhibitor of NF-kappaB (IkappaB) protein, nor was there any alteration in the level of p65 expression in HTNV N-expressing cells. However, immunofluorescence antibody staining demonstrated that cells expressing HTNV N protein and a green fluorescent protein-p65 fusion had limited p65 nuclear translocation. Furthermore, we were able to detect an interaction between HTNV N protein and importin alpha, a nuclear import molecule responsible for shuttling NF-kappaB to the nucleus. Collectively, our data suggest that HTNV N protein can sequester NF-kappaB in the cytoplasm, thus inhibiting NF-kappaB activity. These findings, which were obtained using cells transfected with cDNA representing the HTNV N gene, were confirmed using HTNV-infected cells.
Although research on workplace aggression has long recognized job stressors as antecedents, little is known about the process through which employee responses to stressful workplace demands escalate from relatively mild interactions into more intense behaviors. This study investigates the influence that employees perceptions of role stress (ambiguity, conflict, overload) have on their aggressive behavior by affecting their perceptions of incivility, and whether these downstream effects depend on personality traits (neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness). Results supported moderated mediation, such that the indirect effects of perceived role ambiguity and role conflict on enacted aggression through experienced incivility varied according to individual differences in personality.
The objectives of this study were to examine whether (1) daily pain-related changes in physical functioning differed between happily partnered, unhappily partnered, and unpartnered female chronic pain patients, and (2) affect and pain cognitions mediated the partner status effect on pain-related changes in physical functioning. Two hundred fifty-one women with chronic pain due to osteoarthritis and/or fibromyalgia completed 30 daily electronic diaries assessing pain, affect, pain-related cognitions, and physical functioning. Patients living with a romantic partner also completed a modified version of the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale to assess relationship satisfaction. Multilevel modeling revealed that patients in satisfying unions showed more adaptive daily pain-related changes in physical functioning, pain coping difficulty, and catastrophizing compared to those in unsatisfying unions and those who were unpartnered. Both partnered groups also showed more adaptive pain-related changes in positive affect compared to the unpartnered group. The impact of relationship status on pain-related changes in physical functioning was partly mediated by the pain cognitions catastrophizing and coping difficulty. These results indicate that happily partnered pain patients show less pain-related physical disability and more adaptive affective and cognitive responses to daily pain changes than do unhappily partnered and unpartnered patients. Living in a happy union may bolster the capacity of patients to sustain a sense of pain coping efficacy during pain episodes, which in turn, minimizes pain-related physical activity limitations.
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