A setup for the simultaneous measurement of mid-infrared spectra and static light scattering is described that can be used for the analysis of the formation of nanoscale and microscopic aggregates from smaller molecules to biopolymers. It can be easily integrated into sample chambers of infrared spectrometers or combined with laser beams from tunable infrared lasers. Here, its use for the analysis of the formation of amyloid fibrils from intact proteins is demonstrated. The formation of amyloid fibrils or plaques from proteins is a widespread and pathogenetic relevant process, and a number of diseases are caused and correlated with the deposition of amyloid fibrils in cells and tissues. The molecular mechanisms of these transformations, however, are still unclear. We report here the simultaneous measurement of infrared spectra and static light scattering for the analysis of fibril formation from egg-white lysozyme. The transformation of the native form into non-native forms rich in ?-sheet structure is measured by analysis of the amide I spectral region in the infrared spectra, which is sensitive for local structures. At the same time, light scattering signals at forward direction as well as the forward/backward ratio, which are sensitive for the number of scattering centers and their approximate sizes, respectively, are collected for the analysis of fibril growth. Thermodynamic and kinetic parameters as well as mechanistic information are deduced from the combination of the two complementary techniques.
Industrial production of nanosized drug delivery devices is still an obstacle to the commercialization of nanomedicines. This study encompasses the development of nanoparticles for peroral application in photodynamic therapy, optimization according to the selected product specifications, and the translation into a continuous flow process.
Optical properties of tissues are required for theoretical modeling of Laser Ablation in tumor therapy. The light scattering characteristic of tissues is described by the anisotropy coefficient, g. The relationship between the angular distribution of scattered light and g is given by the Henyey-Greenstein (HG) phase function. This work describes the estimation of anisotropy coefficients of ex vivo swine pancreas, liver and muscle at 1064 nm. The intensities of scattered light at fixed angles were measured under repeatability conditions. Experimental data were fitted with a two-term HG, estimating the anisotropy coefficients for the forward (e.g., 0.956 for pancreas, 0.964 for liver and 0.968 for muscle) and the backward (e.g., -0.481 for pancreas, -0.414 for liver and -0.372 for muscle) scattering. Experimental set up employed to estimate the anisotropy coefficient of biological tissues. The image on the left depicts the holder used to house tissue, laser fiber and photodetector; on the left an example of scattered light beam is shown, as well as the effect due to Snell's law.
Immunosurveillance of tumor cells depends on NKp30, a major activating receptor of human natural killer (NK) cells. The human BCL2-associated athanogene 6 (BAG-6, also known as BAT3; 1126 amino acids) is a cellular ligand of NKp30. To date, little is known about the molecular details of this receptor ligand system. Within the current study, we have located the binding site of NKp30 to a sequence stretch of 250 amino acids in the C-terminal region of BAG-6 (BAG-6686-936). BAG-6686-936 forms a noncovalent dimer of 57-59 kDa, which is sufficient for high affinity interaction with NKp30 (KD < 100 nm). As our most important finding, BAG-6686-936 inhibits NKp30-dependent signaling, interferon-? release, and degranulation of NK cells in the presence of malignantly transformed target cells. Based on these data, we show for the first time that BAG-6686-936 comprises a subdomain of BAG-6, which is sufficient for receptor docking and inhibition of NKp30-dependent NK cell cytotoxicity as part of a tumor immune escape mechanism. These molecular insights provide an access point to restore tumor immunosurveillance by NK cells and to increase the efficacy of cellular therapies.
Heparin is the standard drug for anticoagulation treatment and is used in many cardiac surgical interventions to prevent blood clotting. The anticoagulation status is controlled by various clotting tests. However, these tests depend on parameters like temperature, hemodilution etc. and are thus not applicable for a direct monitoring of the heparin concentration. The aim of this prospective study was to test a novel light scattering assay (LiSA) for the direct determination of heparin concentration during cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) surgery and to compare the heparin concentrations with routinely determined activated clotting time (ACT).
The purpose of this study was to evaluate magnetic resonance (MR) temperature imaging of the laser-induced thermotherapy (LITT) comparing the proton resonance frequency (PRF) and T 1 thermometry methods. LITT was applied to a liver-mimicking acrylamide gel phantom. Temperature rise up to 70 °C was measured using a MR-compatible fiber-optic thermometer. MR imaging was performed by a 1.5-T scanner utilizing fast gradient echo sequences including a segmented echo planar imaging (seg-EPI) sequence for PRF and the following sequences for T 1 method: fast low-angle shot (FLASH), inversion recovery turbo flash (IRTF), saturation recovery turbo flash (SRTF), and true fast imaging (TRUFI). Temperature-induced change of the pixel values in circular regions of interest, selected on images under the temperature probe tip, was recorded. For each sequence, a calibration constant could be determined to be -0.0088 ± 0.0002 ppm °C(-1) (EPI), -1.15 ± 0.03 °C(-1) (FLASH), -1.49 ± 0.03 °C(-1) (IRTF), -1.21 ± 0.03 °C(-1) (SRTF), and -2.52 ± 0.12 °C(-1) (TRUFI). These constants were evaluated in further LITT experiments in phantom comparing the calculated temperatures with the fiber optic-measured ones; temperature precisions of 0.60 °C (EPI), 0.81 °C (FLASH), 1.85 °C (IRTF), 1.95 °C (SRTF), and 3.36 °C (TRUFI) were obtained. Furthermore, performing the Bland-Altman analysis, temperature accuracy was determined to be 0.23 °C (EPI), 0.31 °C (FLASH), 1.66 °C (IRTF), 1.19 °C (SRTF), and 3.20 °C (TRUFI). In conclusion, the seg-EPI sequence was found to be more convenient for MR temperature imaging of LITT due to its relatively high precision and accuracy. Among the T 1 method sequences, FLASH showed the highest accuracy and robustness.
To develop a liver-mimicking MRI gel phantom for use in the development of temperature mapping and coagulation progress visualization tools needed for the thermal tumor ablation methods, including laser-induced interstitial thermotherapy (LITT) and radiofrequency ablation (RFA).
Nanoparticles consisting of human serum albumin (HSA) play an emerging role in the development of new drug delivery systems. Many of these protein-based colloidal carriers are prepared by the well-known desolvation technique, which has shown to be a robust and reproducible method for the laboratory-scale production of HSA nanoparticles. The aim of the present study was to upscale the ethanolic desolvation process utilizing the paddle stirring systems Nanopaddle I and II in combination with a HPLC pump in order to find the optimal conditions for the controlled desolvation of up to 2000 mg of the protein. For characterization of the HSA nanoparticles particle size, zeta potential as a function of the pH, polydispersity index and particle content were investigated. The particle content was determined by microgravimetry and by a turbidimetry to allow optimized in-process control for the novel desolvation technique. Furthermore the sedimentation coefficient was measured by analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) to gain deeper insight into the size distribution of the nanoparticles. The formed nanocarriers were freeze dryed to achieve a solid preparation for long-term storage and further processing. Particles ranging in size between 251.2 ± 27.0 and 234.1 ± 1.5 nm and with a polydispersity index below 0.2 were achieved.
Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR)- and UV-circular dichroism (UV-CD) spectroscopy have been used to study real-time proteolytic digestion of ?-lactoglobulin (?-LG) and ?-casein (?-CN) by trypsin at various substrate/enzyme ratios in D(2)O-buffer at 37°C. Both techniques confirm that protein substrate looses its secondary structure upon conversion to the peptide fragments. This perturbation alters the backbone of the protein chain resulting in conformational changes and degrading of the intact protein. Precisely, the most significant spectral changes which arise from digestion take place in the amide I and amide II regions. The FT-IR spectra for the degraded ?-LG show a decrease around 1634 cm(-1), suggesting a decrease of ?-sheet structure in the course of hydrolysis. Similarly, the intensity around the 1654 cm(-1) band decreases for ?-CN digested by trypsin, indicating a reduction in the ?-helical part. On the other hand, the intensity around ?1594 cm(-1) and ?1406 cm(-1) increases upon enzymatic breakdown of both substrates, suggesting an increase in the antisymmetric and symmetric stretching modes of free carboxylates, respectively, as released digestion products. Observation of further H/D exchange in the course of digestion manifests the structural opening of the buried groups and accessibility to the core of the substrate. On the basis of the UV-CD spectra recorded for ?-LG and ?-CN digested by trypsin, the unordered structure increases concomitant with a decrease in the remaining structure, thus, revealing breakdown of the intact protein into smaller fragments. This model study in a closed reaction system may serve as a basis for the much more complex digestion processes in an open reaction system such as the stomach.
Heparin, a linear glycosaminoglycan, is used in different forms in anticoagulation treatment. Protamine, a highly positive charged peptide containing about 32 amino acids, acts as an antagonist for heparin to restore normal blood coagulation. The complex formation of protamine with heparin was analyzed by a combination of analytical ultracentrifugation and light scattering. Titration of heparin with protamine in blood plasma preparations results in a drastic increase of turbidity, indicating the formation of nanoscale particles. A similar increase of turbidity was observed in physiological saline solution with or without human serum albumin (HSA). Particle size analysis by analytical ultracentrifugation revealed a particle radius of approximately 30 nm for unfractionated heparin and of approximately 60 nm for low molecular weight heparin upon complexation with excess protamine, in agreement with atomic force microscopy data. In the absence of HSA, larger and more heterogeneous particles were observed. The particles obtained were found to be stable for hours. The particle formation kinetics was analyzed by light scattering at different scattering angles and was found to be complete within several minutes. The time course of particle formation suggests a condensation reaction, with sigmoidal traces for low heparin concentrations and quasi-first-order reaction for high heparin concentrations. Under all conditions, the final scattering intensity reached after several minutes was found to be proportional to the amount of heparin in the blood plasma or buffer solution, provided that excess protamine was available and no multiple scattering occurred. On the basis of a direct relation between particle concentration and the heparin concentration present before protaminization, a light scattering assay was developed which permits the quantitative analysis of the heparin concentration in blood plasma and which could complement or even replace the activated clotting time test, which is currently the most commonly used method for blood coagulation management.
Lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) from Gram-negative bacteria are strong elicitors of the human immune systems. There is strong evidence that aggregates and not monomers of LPS play a decisive role at least in the initial stages of cell activation of immune cells such as mononuclear cells. In previous reports, it was shown that the biologically most active part of enterobacterial LPS, hexa-acyl bisphosphorylated lipid A, adopts a particular supramolecular conformation, a cubic aggregate structure. However, little is known about the size and morphology of these aggregates, regarding the fact that LPS may have strong variations in the length of the saccharide chains (various rough mutant and smooth-form LPS). Thus, in the present paper, several techniques for the determination of details of the aggregate morphology such as freeze-fracture and cryo-electron microscopy, analytical ultracentrifugation, laser backscattering analysis, and small-angle X-ray scattering were applied for various endotoxin (lipid A and different LPS) preparations. The data show a variety of different morphologies not only for different endotoxins but also when comparing different applied techniques. The data are interpreted with respect to the suitability of the single techniques, in particular on the basis of available literature data.
RUNX1/ETO, the fusion protein resulting from the chromosomal translocation t(8;21), is one of the most frequent translocation products in acute myeloid leukemia. Several in vitro and in vivo studies have shown that the homo-tetramerization domain of ETO, the nervy homology region 2 (NHR2), is essential for RUNX1/ETO oncogenic activity. We analyzed the energetic contribution of individual amino acids within the NHR2 to RUNX1/ETO dimer-tetramer transition and found a clustered area of 5 distinct amino acids with strong contribution to the stability of tetramers. Substitution of these amino acids abolishes tetramer formation without affecting dimer formation. Similar to RUNX1/ETO monomers, dimers failed to bind efficiently to DNA and to alter expression of RUNX1-dependent genes. RUNX1/ETO dimers do not block myeloid differentiation, are unable to enhance the self-renewal capacity of hematopoietic progenitors, and fail to induce leukemia in a murine transplantation model. Our data reveal the existence of an essential structural motif (hot spot) at the NHR2 dimer-tetramer interface, suitable for a molecular intervention in t(8;21) leukemias.
Monotopic membrane proteins are membrane proteins that interact with only one leaflet of the lipid bilayer and do not possess transmembrane spanning segments. They are endowed with important physiological functions but until now only few of them have been studied. Here we present a detailed biochemical, enzymatic and crystallographic characterization of the monotopic membrane protein sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase. Sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase is a ubiquitous enzyme involved in sulfide detoxification, in sulfide-dependent respiration and photosynthesis, and in heavy metal tolerance. It may also play a crucial role in mammals, including humans, because sulfide acts as a neurotransmitter in these organisms. We isolated and purified sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase from the native membranes of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus. We studied the pure and solubilized enzyme by denaturing and non-denaturing polyacrylamide electrophoresis, size-exclusion chromatography, cross-linking, analytical ultracentrifugation, visible and ultraviolet spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and electron microscopy. Additionally, we report the characterization of its enzymatic activity before and after crystallization. Finally, we discuss the crystallization of sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase in respect to its membrane topology and we propose a classification of monotopic membrane protein crystal lattices. Our data support and complement an earlier description of the three-dimensional structure of A. aeolicus sulfide:quinone oxidoreductase (M. Marcia, U. Ermler, G. Peng, H. Michel, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 106 (2009) 9625-9630) and may serve as a reference for further studies on monotopic membrane proteins.
Hydrophobic drugs, loperamide and paclitaxel, were loaded in poly(butyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles by polymerization of n-butyl-2-cyanoacrylate in aqueous-organic media in the presence of a drug. The particles were stabilized by dextran 70,000 and poloxamer 188 or by 1,2-dioleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphoethanolamine-N-[methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-5000] sodium salt. It was shown that in the presence of dichloromethane, methanol or ethanol the encapsulation efficiency of loperamide in the nanoparticles reached 80%. Loading of paclitaxel was efficient only in the presence of the lipid. The organic solvents did not significantly influence the nanoparticle morphology or their physicochemical parameters. Thus produced poly(butyl cyanoacrylate) nanoparticles enabled delivery of loperamide across the blood-brain barrier, which was evidenced by the drug analgesic effect evaluated by the tail-flick test.
Nanoparticles represent promising carriers for controlled drug delivery. Particle size and size distribution of the particles are important parameters for the in vivo behaviour after intravenous injection and have to be characterised precisely. In the present study, the influence of lyophilisation on the storage stability of poly(D,L lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticles, formulated with several cryoprotective agents, was evaluated. Nanoparticles were prepared by a high pressure solvent evaporation method and freeze-dried in the presence of 1%, 2%, and 3% (m/v) sucrose, trehalose, and mannitol, respectively. Additionally, to all samples containing 3% of the excipients, L-arginine hydrochloride was added in concentrations of 2.1% or 8.4% (m/V). Dynamic light scattering (DLS), analytical ultracentrifugation and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) were used for particle characterisation before and after freeze-drying and subsequent reconstitution. In addition, glass transition temperatures were determined by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and the residual moisture of the lyophilisates was analysed by Karl Fischer titration. It was demonstrated that 1% sucrose or 2% trehalose were suitable to maintain particle integrity after reconstitution of lyophilised PLGA nanoparticles. The storage stability study over 3 months showed notable changes in mean particle size, size distribution, and residual moisture content, depending on the composition of the formulation.
We present here a study on proteorhodopsin (PR) 2D crystals with analytical ultracentrifugation, circular dichroism and Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. The aim of our experiments was to test the activity of 2D crystal sample preparations and to gain further insight in PR structure, stability and function with these techniques. Our results demonstrate higher stability compared to detergent-solubilized or reconstituted samples. For different pH values, low pH 2D crystals tend to form bigger aggregates and are less stable than at basic pH. The pH 9 sample shows a sharp phase transition during heat denaturation and there is also evidence for protein-protein interaction due to the close proximity of the proteins in the 2D crystals. In the FTIR measurements at cryogenic temperatures (77 K), we characterized the first step in the PR photocycle. At pH 9, the K intermediate could be observed and the samples showed no orientation effects. At pH 5, we could trap the K/L intermediate, characterized by its negative IR signal at 1741 cm(-1). In rapid-scan FTIR experiments, we could also identify the M intermediate of the photocycle at basic pH. We conclude that the PR 2D crystals exhibit a fully functional photocycle and are therefore well suited for further studies on the proton transport mechanism of PR.
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