Suitable electrode interfacial layers are essential to the high performance of perovskite planar heterojunction solar cells. In this letter we report magnetron sputtered zinc oxide (ZnO) film as the cathode interlayer for methyl ammonium lead iodide (CH3NH3PbI3) perovskite solar cell. Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrate that the sputtered ZnO films consist of c-axis aligned nanorods. The solar cells based on this ZnO cathode interlayer showed high short circuit current and power conversion efficiency. Besides, the performance of the device is insensitive to the thickness of ZnO cathode interlayer. Considering the high reliability and maturity of sputtering technique both in lab and industry, we believe that the sputtered ZnO films are promising cathode interlayers for perovskite solar cells, especially in large-scale production.
The human FGF receptors (FGFRs) play critical roles in various human cancers, and several FGFR inhibitors are currently under clinical investigation. Resistance usually results from selection for mutant kinases that are impervious to the action of the drug or from up-regulation of compensatory signaling pathways. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that resistance to FGFR inhibitors can be acquired through mutations in the FGFR gatekeeper residue, as clinically observed for FGFR4 in embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma and neuroendocrine breast carcinomas. Here we report on the use of a structure-based drug design to develop two selective, next-generation covalent FGFR inhibitors, the FGFR irreversible inhibitors 2 (FIIN-2) and 3 (FIIN-3). To our knowledge, FIIN-2 and FIIN-3 are the first inhibitors that can potently inhibit the proliferation of cells dependent upon the gatekeeper mutants of FGFR1 or FGFR2, which confer resistance to first-generation clinical FGFR inhibitors such as NVP-BGJ398 and AZD4547. Because of the conformational flexibility of the reactive acrylamide substituent, FIIN-3 has the unprecedented ability to inhibit both the EGF receptor (EGFR) and FGFR covalently by targeting two distinct cysteine residues. We report the cocrystal structure of FGFR4 with FIIN-2, which unexpectedly exhibits a "DFG-out" covalent binding mode. The structural basis for dual FGFR and EGFR targeting by FIIN3 also is illustrated by crystal structures of FIIN-3 bound with FGFR4 V550L and EGFR L858R. These results have important implications for the design of covalent FGFR inhibitors that can overcome clinical resistance and provide the first example, to our knowledge, of a kinase inhibitor that covalently targets cysteines located in different positions within the ATP-binding pocket.
Drug-resistance acquisition through kinase gate-keeper mutations is a major hurdle in the clinic. Here, we determined the first crystal structures of the human FGFR4 kinase domain (FGFR4K) alone and complexed with ponatinib, a promiscuous type-2 (DFG-out) kinase inhibitor, and an oncogenic FGFR4K harboring the V550L gate-keeper mutation bound to FIIN-2, a new type-1 irreversible inhibitor. Remarkably, like ponatinib, FIIN-2 also binds in the DFG-out mode despite lacking a functional group necessary to occupy the pocket vacated upon the DFG-out flip. Structural analysis reveals that the covalent bond between FIIN-2 and a cysteine, uniquely present in the glycine-rich loop of FGFR kinases, facilitates the DFG-out conformation, which together with the internal flexibility of FIIN-2 enables FIIN-2 to avoid the steric clash with the gate-keeper mutation that causes the ponatinib resistance. The structural data provide a blueprint for the development of next generation anticancer inhibitors through combining the salient inhibitory mechanisms of ponatinib and FIIN-2.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between learning effects of the self-learning tool for nursing students and types of teaching materials. Ten nursing students were asked to perform transfer a patient from bed to wheelchair after watching the demo video and practicing 20 minutes. The students' performance was evaluated before and after practicing. The students were also asked to choose teaching materials that would be developed in the future. Out of nine teaching materials, the students chose seven of them. Correspondence analysis was conducted between the results of the evaluation of students' transfer technique and their preference of teaching materials. The results indicated that there was no relationship between the preference of teaching materials and the scores of transfer techniques. The authors concluded that the self-learning was not affected by the preference of teaching materials.
Fibroblast growth factor 1 (FGF1) is an autocrine/paracrine regulator whose binding to heparan sulphate proteoglycans effectively precludes its circulation. Although FGF1 is known as a mitogenic factor, FGF1 knockout mice develop insulin resistance when stressed by a high-fat diet, suggesting a potential role in nutrient homeostasis. Here we show that parenteral delivery of a single dose of recombinant FGF1 (rFGF1) results in potent, insulin-dependent lowering of glucose levels in diabetic mice that is dose-dependent but does not lead to hypoglycaemia. Chronic pharmacological treatment with rFGF1 increases insulin-dependent glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and suppresses the hepatic production of glucose to achieve whole-body insulin sensitization. The sustained glucose lowering and insulin sensitization attributed to rFGF1 are not accompanied by the side effects of weight gain, liver steatosis and bone loss associated with current insulin-sensitizing therapies. We also show that the glucose-lowering activity of FGF1 can be dissociated from its mitogenic activity and is mediated predominantly via FGF receptor 1 signalling. Thus we have uncovered an unexpected, neomorphic insulin-sensitizing action for exogenous non-mitogenic human FGF1 with therapeutic potential for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
Minimization of helices opens a door to impose novel functions derived from the dimensional shrinkage of optical, mechanical and electronic devices. Glancing angle deposition (GLAD) enables one to deposit three-dimensional helical porous thin films (HPTFs) composed of separated spiral micro/nano-columns. GLAD integrates a series of advantageous features, including one-step deposition, wafer-scale production with mono-handedness of spirals, flexible engineering of spiral materials and dimensions, and the adaption to various kinds of substrates. Herein, we briefly review the fabrication of HPTFs by GLAD, specific growth mechanisms, physical properties in structures, mechanics and chiral optics, and the emerging applications in green energy. A prospective outlook is presented to illuminate some promising developments in enantioselection, bio-dynamic analyses, wirelessly-controlled drug delivery and mass production.
As metal nanorods show much higher metal enhanced fluorescence (MEF) than metal nanospheres, microfluidic-based MEF is first explored with Ag nanorod (ND) arrays made by oblique angle deposition. By measuring the fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) solution sandwiched between the Ag NDs and a piece of cover slip, the enhancement factors (EFs) are found as 3.7 ± 0.64 and 6.74 ± 2.04, for a solution thickness at 20.8 ?m and 10 ?m, respectively. Because of the strong plasmonic coupling between the adjacent Ag NDs, only the emission of the fluorophores present in the three-dimensional NDs array gets enhanced. Thus, the corresponding effective enhancement factors (EEFs) are revealed to be relatively close, 259 ± 92 and 340 ± 102, respectively. To demonstrate the application of MEF in microfluidic systems, a multilayer of SiO2 NDs/Ag NDs is integrated with a capillary electrophoresis device. At a microchannel depth of 10 ?m, an enhancement of 6.5 fold is obtained for amino acids separation detection. These results are very encouraging and open the possibility of MEF applications for the Ag ND arrays decorated microchannels. With the miniaturization of microfluidic devices, microfluidic-based MEF by Ag ND arrays will likely find more applications with further enhancement.
This paper describes a fully aqueous- and air-compatible chemical approach to preparing high-performance conductive textiles. In this method, the surfaces of textile materials are first modified with an aqueous solution of double-bond-containing silane molecules to form a surface-anchoring layer for subsequent in situ free-radical polymerization of [2-(methacryloyloxy)ethyl]trimethylammonium chloride (METAC) in the air. Thin layers of poly-METAC (PMETAC) are therefore covalently grafted on top of the silane-modified textile surface. Cu- or Ni-coated textiles are finally fabricated by electroless deposition (ELD) onto the PMETAC-modified textiles. Parameters including polymerization time, temperature, and ELD conditions are studied to optimize the whole fabrication process. The as-made conductive textiles exhibit sheet resistance as low as 0.2???sq(-1) , which makes them highly suitable for use as conductive wires and interconnects in flexible and wearable electronic devices. More importantly, the chemical method is fully compatible with the conventional "pad-dry-cure" fabrication process in the textile manufacturing industry, thus indicating that it is very promising for high-throughput and roll-to-roll fabrication of high-performance metal-coated conductive textiles in the future.
Conventional three-dimensional (3D) structure determination methods require either multiple measurements at different sample orientations or a collection of serial sections through a sample. Here we report the experimental demonstration of single-shot 3D structure determination of an object; in this case, individual gold nanocrystals at ~5.5 nm resolution using ~10 fs X-ray free-electron laser pulses. Coherent diffraction patterns are collected from high-index-faceted nanocrystals, each struck by an X-ray free-electron laser pulse. Taking advantage of the symmetry of the nanocrystal and the curvature of the Ewald sphere, we reconstruct the 3D structure of each nanocrystal from a single-shot diffraction pattern. By averaging a sufficient number of identical nanocrystals, this method may be used to determine the 3D structure of nanocrystals at atomic resolution. As symmetry exists in many virus particles, this method may also be applied to 3D structure studies of such particles at nanometer resolution on femtosecond time scales.
Solid silicon nanowires and their luminescent properties have been widely studied, but lesser is known about the optical properties of mesoporous silicon nanowires (mp-SiNWs). In this work, we present a facile method to generate greenish-blue photoluminescence (GB-PL) by fast scanning a focused green laser beam (wavelength of 532?nm) on a close-packed array of mp-SiNWs to carry out photo-induced chemical modification. The threshold of laser power is 5?mW to excite the GB-PL, whose intensity increases with laser power in the range of 5-105?mW. The quenching of GB-PL comes to occur beyond 105?mW. The in-vacuum annealing effectively excites the GB-PL in the pristine mp-SiNWs and enhances the GB-PL of the laser-modified mp-SiNWs. A complex model of the laser-induced surface modification is proposed to account for the laser-power and post-annealing effect. Moreover, the fast scanning of focused laser beam enables us to locally tailor mp-SiNWs en route to a wide variety of micropatterns with different optical functionality, and we demonstrate the feasibility in the application of creating hidden images.
Fibroblast growth factor 2 (FGF-2) has a neurotrophic effect on dopaminergic neurons in vitro and in vivo, and exhibits beneficial effects in animal models of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD). The poor stability and short half-life of FGF-2, however, have hampered its clinical use for neurological diseases. In the present study, we modified native recombinant human FGF-2 (rhFGF-2) by covalently attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG) polymers, named PEGylation, to enhance its neuroprotection efficacy in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced model of PD. In vitro, PEG-rhFGF-2 performed better biostability in 6-OHDA-induced PC-12 cells than native rhFGF-2. The in vivo data showed that, compared with native rhFGF-2, PEGylated rhFGF-2 was more efficacious in preventing 6-OHDA-induced lesion upon tyrosine hydroxylase-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN), improving the apomorphine-induced rotational behavior and the 6-OHDA-induced decline in tissue concentration of dopamine (DA) and its metabolites. Importantly, our data showed that the superior pharmacological activity of PEGylated rhFGF-2 is probably due to its greater permeability through the blood-brain barrier and better in vivo stability compared to native rhFGF-2. The enhanced stability and bioavailability of PEGylated rhFGF-2 make this molecule a great therapeutic candidate for neurodegenerative diseases such as PD and mood disorders.
PEGylation is a widely applied approach to improve the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic properties of protein therapeutics. The current solution-phase PEGylation protocols often suffer from poor yield of homogeneously PEGylated bioactive products and hence fall short of being commercially attractive. To improve upon these techniques, here we developed a novel, solid-phase PEGylation methodology using a hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC) resin. Two variations of the HIC-based PEGylation are described that are tailored towards conjugation of proteins with hydrophobicity index above (lysozyme) and below (fibroblast growth factor 1, FGF-1) that of the mPEG-butyraldehyde (mPEG) chain used. In the case of lysozyme, the protein was first immobilized on the HIC, and the HIC-bound protein was then conjugated by passing over the column. In the case of FGF-1, the mPEG solution was first immobilized on the HIC, and the FGF-1 solution was then passed through the column. Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy demonstrated HIC-based PEGylation almost retained the secondary structures of proteins. Bioactivity assay showed that the recovery of activity of HIC-based PEGylated rhFGF-1 (i.e. 92%) was higher than that of liquid-phase PEGylated rhFGF-1 (i.e. 61%), while HIC-based PEGylated lysozyme showed the same activity recovery (i.e. 7%) as the liquid-phase PEGylated form. For specific proteins, the HIC-based solid-phase PEGylation maybe offer a more promising alternative than the current PEGylation methods and is expected to have a major impact in the area of protein-based therapeutics.
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine-acting hormone that has the potential to treat metabolic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. Development of FGF21 into a therapeutic has been hindered due to its low intrinsic bio-stability, propensity towards aggregation and its susceptibility to in vivo proteolytic degradation. In order to address these shortcomings, we've developed recombinant human FGF21 variants by strategically introducing cysteine residues via site-directed mutagenesis, and have also developed a solid-phase nickel affinity PEGylation strategy, whereby engineered, surface-exposed cysteine residues of immobilized proteins were used as a platform to efficiently and site-selectively conjugate with PEG-maleimide. The engineered PEGylated FGF21 conjugates retained its biological functions, as well as demonstrated an increase in half-life by over 211.3 min. By demonstrating the biological activity of the FGF21 analog as a prototype, we have also provided a "generalized" solid-phase approach to effectively increase serum half-life of protein therapeutics.
Production of protein therapeutics often involves in vitro refolding from bacterial inclusion bodies and subsequent PEGylation to improve protein stability and plasma half-life. Here, we devised a novel strategy for one-step production of site-specific mono-PEGylated proteins with good bioactivity and improved biostability by integrating PEGylation and protein refolding (IPPR). Using lysozyme and recombinant human fibroblast growth factor 21 (rhFGF21) as model proteins, we showed that both PEGylation and refolding of denatured proteins have been simultaneously accomplished by IPPR with high efficiency of refolding yield and bioconjugation. PEGylated rhFGF21 by IPPR has a similar capacity as the native rhFGF21 to stimulate glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells, but exhibits prolonged blood glucose and triglyceride lowering activity levels in the ob/ob diabetic mouse model. Hence, IPPR will significantly facilitate the generation of protein therapeutics.
The growth dynamics of 1D nanorods (NRs) composed of noble metals is ambiguous during glancing angle deposition (GLAD). The continuum equation (CE) model describes ballistic deposition limited by adatom diffusion, not verified in GLAD of noble metal NRs. In this work, GLAD is operated at Ts (substrate temperature) below room temperature to create inclined Ag NRs, and the CE fits the growth orientation of NRs with deposition angles at fixed Ts well. The CE fitting evaluates the diffusion activation energy (Ed) as 0.23 eV, showing that Ag NRs are poly-crystalline with dominant (111), as confirmed by XRD. This work introduces an effective approach to study the growth thermodynamics of 1D nanostructures and evaluate the Ed of adatoms with relatively low melting points.
The K650E gain-of-function mutation in the tyrosine kinase domain of FGF receptor 3 (FGFR3) causes Thanatophoric Dysplasia type II, a neonatal lethal congenital dwarfism syndrome, and when acquired somatically, it contributes to carcinogenesis. In this report, we determine the crystal structure of the FGFR3 kinase domain harboring this pathogenic mutation and show that the mutation introduces a network of intramolecular hydrogen bonds to stabilize the active-state conformation. In the crystal, the mutant FGFR3 kinases are caught in the act of trans-phosphorylation on a kinase insert autophosphorylation site, emphasizing the fact that the K650E mutation circumvents the requirement for A-loop tyrosine phosphorylation in kinase activation. Analysis of this trans-phosphorylation complex sheds light onto the determinants of tyrosine trans-phosphorylation specificity. We propose that the targeted inhibition of this pathogenic FGFR3 kinase may be achievable by small molecule kinase inhibitors that selectively bind the active-state conformation of FGFR3 kinase.
Coagulopathy after liver cryoablation was first reported many years ago; the cause is local platelet trapping and destruction within the margin of the cryolesion. However, the prognosis and therapeutic effects of coagulopathy remain unclear. This study retrospectively reviewed clinical data from 372 patients (525 sessions) who underwent liver cryoablation in our hospital during the past 4.5 years. Small tumors (major diameter < 6 cm) were treated with a single complete ablation; massive tumors (major diameter 6-10 cm or >10 cm) were divided into two or three parts that were dealt with in turn. Platelet counts decreased to an average of (46.12 ± 68.13) × 10(9)/L after each session of cryoablation. The decline was most evident in patients with high pretreatment platelet counts, while those with low pretreatment counts had the highest risk of coagulopathy. Change in platelet count was not correlated with the diameter of the tumor. Slight coagulopathy (platelet count (70-100) × 10(9)/L) can resolve without treatment within 1 week and administration of recombinant human interleukin-11 can assist recovery from severe coagulopathy (platelet count < 70 × 10(9)/L).
Using fusion tags, expression of recombinant human fibroblast growth factor 18 (rhFGF18) in mammalian cells and Escherichia coli has been extensively used for fundamental research and clinical applications, including chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, hair growth, and neuroprotection. However, high-level rhFGF18 expression is difficult and the products are often not homogeneous. Furthermore, fusion-tagged protein has higher immunogenicity and lower bioactivity, and the removal of the fused tag is expensive. To overcome the limitations of fusion-tagged expression of protein and to prepare soluble highly bioactive rhFGF18, we have developed a rapid and efficient expression strategy. Optimized hFGF18 gene was amplified by polymerase chain reaction and cloned into pET22b and pET3c vectors, then transformed into E. coli strains Origima (DE3) and BL21 (DE3)PlysS. The best combination of plasmid and host strain was selected, and only Origima (DE3)/pET3c-rhFGF18 was screened for high-level expressed rhFGF18. Under optimal conditions in a 30-L fermentor, the average bacterial yield and expression level of rhFGF18 of three batches were more than 652 g and 30 % respectively, after treatment with 1 mM isopropyl-thio-?-galactopyranoside for 10 h at 25 °C. The target protein was purified by CM Sepharose FF and heparin affinity chromatography. The purity of rhFGF18 was shown by HPLC to be higher than 95 %, and the yield was 155 mg/L. In vitro MTT assays demonstrated that the purified rhFGF18 could stimulate significant proliferation of NIH3T3 cells, and animal experiments showed that rhFGF18 could effectively regulate hair growth. In conclusion, this may be a better method of producing rhFGF18 to meet the increasing demand in its pharmacological application.
The basal (ligand-independent) kinase activity of receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) promotes trans-phosphorylation on activation loop tyrosines upon ligand-induced receptor dimerization, thus upregulating intrinsic kinase activity and triggering intracellular signaling. To understand the molecular determinants of intrinsic kinase activity, we used X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy to analyze pathogenic FGF receptor mutants with gradations in gain-of-function activity. These structural analyses revealed a "two-state" dynamic equilibrium model whereby the kinase toggles between an "inhibited," structurally rigid ground state and a more dynamic and heterogeneous active state. The pathogenic mutations have different abilities to shift this equilibrium toward the active state. The increase in the fractional population of FGF receptors in the active state correlates with the degree of gain-of-function activity and clinical severity. Our data demonstrate that the fractional population of RTKs in the active state determines intrinsic kinase activity and underscore how a slight increase in the active population of kinases can have grave consequences for human health.
A Fourier-based iterative reconstruction technique, termed Equally Sloped Tomography (EST), is developed in conjunction with advanced mathematical regularization to investigate radiation dose reduction in x-ray CT. The method is experimentally implemented on fan-beam CT and evaluated as a function of imaging dose on a series of image quality phantoms and anonymous pediatric patient data sets. Numerical simulation experiments are also performed to explore the extension of EST to helical cone-beam geometry.
Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is a novel member identified and was reported to express predominantly in pancreas, liver and adipose tissue, and relatively less in other organs, such as the testis. However, the role of FGF21 in the testis has never been addressed. The present study examined FGF21 expression at mRNA level by real-time RT-PCR assay in the testis of fasting and non-fasting mice or mice with type 1 diabetes that was induced with streptozotocin. We also examined the effect of Fgf21 gene deletion or supplementation of the exogenous FGF21 on the testicular apoptotic cell death spontaneously or induced by type 1 diabetes in FGF21 knockout (FGF21-KO) mice. Deletion of Fgf21 gene does not affect testicular cell proliferation, but significantly increases the spontaneous incidence of testicular TUNEL positive cells with increases in the Bax/Bcl2 expression ratio and apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) expression. Diabetes induced significant increases in testicular TUNEL positive cells, Bax/Bcl2 expression ratio, AIF expression, CHOP and cleaved caspase-12 expression, and oxidative damage, but did not change the expression of cleaved caspase-3 and caspase-8. Deletion of Fgf21 gene also significantly enhances diabetes-induced TUNEL positive cells along with the increased expression of Bax/Bcl2 ratio, AIF, CHOP, cleaved caspase-12, and oxidative damage, which was significantly prevented by the supplementation of exogenous FGF21. These results suggest that Fgf21 gene may involve in maintaining normal spermatogenesis and also protect the germ cells from diabetes-induced apoptotic cell death probably via the prevention of diabetes-induced oxidative damage.
Molecular modification with polyethylene glycol (PEGylation) is an effective approach to improve protein biostability, in vivo lifetime and therapeutic potency. In the present study, the recombinant human acid fibroblast growth factor (rhaFGF) was site-selectively PEGylated with 20?kDa mPEG-butyraldehyde. Mono-PEGylated rhaFGF was purified to near homogeneity by Sephadex G 25-gel filtration followed by a Heparin Sepharose TM CL-6B affinity chromatography. PEGylated rhaFGF has less effect than the native rhaFGF on the stimulation of 3T3 cell proliferation in vitro; however, its relative thermal stability at normal physiological temperature and structural stability were significantly enhanced, and its half-life time in vivo was significantly extended. Then, the physiological function of PEGylated rhaFGF on diabetic-wound healing was evaluated in type 1 diabetic Sprague Dawley rats. The results showed that, compared with the group of animal treated with native rhaFGF, the group treated with PEGylated rhaFGF exhibited better therapeutic efficacy with shorter healing time, quicker tissue collagen generation, earlier and higher transforming growth factor (TGF)-? expression, and dermal cell proliferation. In addition, in vivo analysis showed that both native and PEGylated rhaFGF were more effective in the wound healing in the diabetic group compared with the nondiabetic one. Taken together, these results suggest that PEGylation of rhaFGF could be a more effective approach to the pharmacological and therapeutic application of native rhaFGF.
In general, n-type mesoporous silicon nanowires (mp-SiNWs) are exclusively created by the two-step metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE). This work first reports that one-step MACE (in HF and AgNO3) is also capable of producing the n-type mp-SiNWs, and the developed formula is generally adapted to generate SiNWs by etching n-Si(100) with electrical resistivity over a range of 10(-3)-10(1) ?·cm. Integrating the contribution of silicon intrinsic properties in the existing MACE mechanism explicitly accounts for the new findings and contradictions with previous studies. The as-generated mesoporous structures emit red light under laser excitation at room temperature. The red-color emission sensitively varies with temperature over a range of 16-300 K, attributed to a temperature-dependent photoluminescent mechanism.
Differential phase contrast imaging computed tomography (DPCI-CT) is a novel x-ray inspection method to reconstruct the distribution of refraction index rather than the attenuation coefficient in weakly absorbing samples. In this paper, we propose an iterative reconstruction algorithm for DPCI-CT which benefits from the new compressed sensing theory. We first realize a differential algebraic reconstruction technique (DART) by discretizing the projection process of the differential phase contrast imaging into a linear partial derivative matrix. In this way the compressed sensing reconstruction problem of DPCI reconstruction can be transformed to a resolved problem in the transmission imaging CT. Our algorithm has the potential to reconstruct the refraction index distribution of the sample from highly undersampled projection data. Thus it can significantly reduce the dose and inspection time. The proposed algorithm has been validated by numerical simulations and actual experiments.
As one of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family members, FGF21 has been extensively investigated for its potential as a drug candidate to combat metabolic diseases. In the present study, recombinant human FGF21 (rhFGF21) was modified with polyethylene glycol (PEGylation) in order to increase its in vivo biostabilities and therapeutic potency. At N-terminal residue rhFGF21 was site-selectively PEGylated with mPEG20 kDa-butyraldehyde. The PEGylated rhFGF21 was purified to near homogeneity by Q Sepharose anion-exchange chromatography. The general structural and biochemical features as well as anti-diabetic effects of PEGylated rhFGF21 in a type 2 diabetic rat model were evaluated. By N-terminal sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry, we confirmed that PEG molecule was conjugated only to the N-terminus of rhFGF21. The mono-PEGylated rhFGF21 retained the secondary structure, consistent with the native rhFGF21, but its biostabilities, including the resistance to physiological temperature and trypsinization, were significantly enhanced. The in vivo immunogenicity of PEGylated rhFGF21 was significantly decreased, and in vivo half-life time was significantly elongated. Compared to the native form, the PEGylated rhFGF21 had a similar capacity of stimulating glucose uptake in 3T3-L1 cells in vitro, but afforded a significantly long effect on reducing blood glucose and triglyceride levels in the type 2 diabetic animals. These results suggest that the PEGylated rhFGF21 is a better and more effective anti-diabetic drug candidate than the native rhFGF21 currently available. Therefore, the PEGylated rhFGF21 may be potentially applied in clinics to improve the metabolic syndrome for type 2 diabetic patients.
The aim of the present study is to investigate the effect and mechanism of acidic fibroblast growth factor (aFGF) on treating refractory wound of diabetic rats. SD rats were randomly divided into control group, diabetes group, and aFGF group. Ulcer skin tissues of three groups of rats were respectively collected on days 7 and 14 after establishment of ulcer model for biochemical test, pathological section and immunohistochemistry to comprehensively evaluate the treatment effect of aFGF on diabetic ulcer. The results showed that aFGF could significantly increase capillaries and fibroblast amounts of ulcer tissues, enhance the expression of TGF-? and PCNA proliferation proteins, and thus improved diabetic ulcer tissues. The preliminary mechanism that aFGF helps to promote healing of diabetic ulcer is possibly associated with that aFGF stimulated ulcer skins to secrete TGF-? and PCNA proteins and promoted proliferation of capillaries and fibroblasts.
High-resolution hard X-ray grating-based imaging method with conventional X-ray sources provides attenuation, refraction and scattering information synchronously, and it is regarded as the next-generation X-ray imaging technology for medical and industrial applications. In this letter, a large phase-stepping approach with at least one order of magnitude lower resolution of the movement is presented to equivalently substitute the current high-positioning-resolution phase-stepping approach. Both the theoretical deduction and actual experiment prove that the new approach is available to relax the requirement of high positioning resolution and strict circumstances so as to benefit the future commercial applications of the grating-based multiple-information imaging technology.
Keratinocyte growth factor-2 (KGF-2), also called fibroblast growth factor-10 (FGF-10), is a member of the fibroblast growth factor family. It plays a critical role in epithelial development and exerts its biological activities in a paracrine manner on the receptor FGFR2-IIIb. This study examined the function of topically applied KGF-2 in vivo on wound healing using a CO(2) laser, corneal epithelial wounded, rabbit model. Topically applied 25 microg/ml KGF-2 accelerated corneal epithelial wound healing, in contrast to the control, and reduced inflammation, stromal edema, and fibrosis. In addition, this factor also exhibited significant inhibition of corneal neovascularization. KGF-2 appears to be another important growth factor in the regulation of corneal epithelial wound healing.
Small ubiquitin-related modifier (SUMO) fusion system has been shown to be efficient for enhancing expression and preventing degradation of the target protein. We showed herein that SUMO fusion to human keratinocyte growth factor 2 (hKGF-2) gene was feasible and it significantly enhanced protein expression and its efficiency. The fusion DNA fragment composed of SUMO gene, which was fused to hexahistidine tag, and hKGF-2 gene was amplified by PCR and inserted into the expression vector pET28a to construct the recombinant plasmid, pET28a-SUMO-hKGF-2. The plasmid was then transformed into Escherichia coli Rosetta(TM)2(DE3), and the recombinant fusion protein SUMO-hKGF-2 was expressed at 30 degrees C for 6 h, with the induction of IPTG at the final concentration of 0.4 mM. The expression level of the fusion protein was up to 30% of the total cellular protein. The fusion protein was purified by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography. After desalting by Sephadex G-25 size exclusion chromatography, the hexahistidine-SUMO-hKGF-2 was digested by SUMO proteases. The recombinant hKGF-2 was purified again with Ni-NTA column and the purity was about 95% with a total yield of 13.9 mg/l culture. The result of mitogenicity assay suggests that the recombinant hKGF-2 can significantly promote the proliferation of normal rat kidney epithelial (NRK-52E) cells.
Refolding of proteins at high concentrations often results in non-productive aggregation. This study, through a unique combination of spectroscopic and chromatographic analyzes, provides biomolecular evidence to demonstrate the ability of Eudragit S-100, a pH-responsive polymer, to enhance refolding of denatured-reduced lysozyme at high concentrations. The addition of Eudragit in the refolding buffer significantly increases lysozyme refolding yield to 75%, when dilution refolding was conducted at 1 mg/mL lysozyme. This study shows evidence of an electrostatic interaction between oppositely charged lysozyme and the Eudragit polymer during refolding. This ionic complexing of Eudragit and lysozyme appears to shield exposed hydrophobic residues of the lysozyme refolding intermediates, thus minimizing hydrophobic-driven aggregation of the molecules. Importantly, results from this study show that the Eudragit-lysozyme bioconjugation does not compromise refolded protein structure, and that the polymer can be readily dissociated from the protein by ion exchange chromatography. The strategy was also applied to refolding of TGF-beta1 and KGF-2.
Curcuminoids have been reported to possess multifunctional bioactivities, especially the ability to inhibit proinflammatory induction. Since it has been suggested that the seven-carbon beta-diketone linker in curcumin is responsible for its instability, nine mono-carbonyl five-carbon linker containing analogues were designed and synthesized. Their bioactivity against lipopolysaccharide-induced TNF-alpha amd IL-6 secretion was evaluated by using mouse J774.1 macrophages. The results showed that the 3-methoxyl plays an important role in bioactivity and cyclohexanone containing analogues exhibited stronger inflammatory inhibition than acetone and cyclopentanone analogues. Subsequently the most active analogue 3c was determined using single-crystal X-ray diffraction. X-ray analysis and comparison with curcumin reveals that the presence of cyclohexanone in 3c, which remotely resembles the 6-membered ring in the enol tautomer in curcumin, may play an important role in the bioactivity. It is suggested that five-carbon linker analogues containing a cyclohexane ring which are synthetically assessable may be pharmacologically important.
Recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor 2 (rhKGF-2) is a member of fibroblast growth factor protein family currently being investigated for its promising significant effects in treating epithelial damage. Molecular modification with polyethylene glycol (PEGylation) is an effective approach to improve protein biostability and decrease protein immunogenic activity. In this study, we modified rhKGF-2 through PEGylation at N-terminal residue using 20 kDa PEG-phenyl-isothiocyanate (PIT-PEG20K). PEGylated rhKGF-2 is then purified to near homogeneity by Sephadex G-25 gel filtration followed by a Heparin Sepharose TM CL-6B affinity chromatography. This PEGylated rhKGF-2 retained about 60% of mitogenic activity compared to the non-modified rhKGF-2. Its relative thermal stability at normal physiological temperature and structural stability were significantly enhanced. Moreover, the immunogenicity of PEGylated rhKGF-2 in mice is significant decreased compared to non-modified rhKGF-2. These results suggest that PEGylation of rhKGF-2 could be a more effective approach to the pharmacological and therapeutic application of rhKGF-2.
Despite several early reports on the refolding-enhancement effect of a stimuli-responsive polymer, Eudragit, the exact mechanism by which Eudragit interacts with protein molecules to improve refolding remains not well-understood. This study provides clear elucidation of the mode of involvement of Eudragit in facilitating the refolding of two ionic forms of human fibroblast growth factor: (i) human basic fibroblast growth factor (hbFGF) and (ii) human acidic fibroblast growth factor (haFGF). Eudragit enhanced the refolding yield of hbFGF to 74% at 0.5 mg ml(-1) refolding protein concentration, but had little effect on its acidic counterpart. Spectroscopic and chromatographic analyses provide clear biomolecular evidence that the oppositely charged polymer and hbFGF protein interact during refolding by forming an ionic complex. This ionic conjugation shields exposed hydrophobic residues of the hbFGF refolding intermediates, thus minimizing hydrophobic-prone aggregation of the molecules. The refolded hbFGF protein can be readily dissociated from the polymer by ion-exchange chromatography. Circular dichroism spectroscopy confirmed that the interaction between Eudragit and hbFGF during refolding did not compromise the final refolded protein structure. This study conclusively shows that Eudragit exhibits charge selectivity in its role as a refolding enhancer, which will have a significant impact on its future use as a refolding additive.
A rapid and efficient expression and purification system has been developed for large-scale production of biologically active recombinant human keratinocyte growth factor-2 (rhKGF-2). The gene encoding human KGF-2 was cloned into the expression vector pET3c and transformed into Escherichia coli BL21(DE3)/pLys S. Under optimal conditions in a 30-l fermentor, the average bacterial yield and the average expression level of rhKGF-2 of three batches were up to 732 g and 32%, respectively. The recombinant protein was purified by cation exchange and heparin-affinity chromatography. One hundred and sixty five milligrams of pure rhKGF-2 was achieved per liter culture. A preliminary biochemical characterization of purified rhKGF-2 was performed by Western blotting and mitogenic activity analysis, and the results demonstrated that purified rhKGF-2 could react with anti-human KGF-2 antibody and stimulate the proliferation of HaCat cells.
Mammography is the primary imaging tool for screening and diagnosis of human breast cancers, but ~10-20% of palpable tumors are not detectable on mammograms and only about 40% of biopsied lesions are malignant. Here we report a high-resolution, low-dose phase contrast X-ray tomographic method for 3D diagnosis of human breast cancers. By combining phase contrast X-ray imaging with an image reconstruction method known as equally sloped tomography, we imaged a human breast in three dimensions and identified a malignant cancer with a pixel size of 92 ?m and a radiation dose less than that of dual-view mammography. According to a blind evaluation by five independent radiologists, our method can reduce the radiation dose and acquisition time by ~74% relative to conventional phase contrast X-ray tomography, while maintaining high image resolution and image contrast. These results demonstrate that high-resolution 3D diagnostic imaging of human breast cancers can, in principle, be performed at clinical compatible doses.
Metal-assisted chemical etching (MACE) was carried out to fabricate solid silicon nanowires (s-SiNWs) and mesoporous silicon nanowires (mp-SiNWs). Total reflection and transmission were measured using an integrated sphere to study optical properties of the MACE-generated silicon nanostructures. Without NW aggregation, mp-SiNWs vertically standing on a mesoporous silicon layer trap less light than s-SiNWs over a wavelength range of 400-800 nm, owing to porosification-enhanced optical scattering from the rough inner surfaces of the mesoporous silicon skeletons. Porosification substantially weakens the NW mechanical strength; hence the elongated mp-SiNWs aggregate after 30 min etching and deteriorate optical trapping.
Murine model studies have shown that function of the immune system declines with aging, but data on aged pigs are scarce. Many physiological and pathophysiological data of pigs can be transferred to human, research in pigs is important to confirm murine data, therefore, aged pigs were chosen as an aged animal model. In this study, we demonstrated an age-related decline in Th1 responses in vivo to PRV vaccine in the pig model, and this decline in type 1 immune responses was associated with reduced PRV-specific T cell proliferation, IgG2/IgG1, and Th1 cytokines production. More importantly, these impaired Th1 responses correlated with reduced CD4(+) T cells and markedly increased CD4(+)CD8(+) T cells. Taken together, these data demonstrated that there was a decline in Th1 immune responses to PRV vaccine with aging in pigs, which may help to explain the age-related decline in vaccine efficacy and increase in morbidity and mortality of infectious diseases.
A new technique is developed to fabricate biomimetic antireflection coatings (ARCs). This technique combines a bottom-up fabrication approach (glancing angle deposition, or GLAD) with a top-down engineering process (ion milling). The GLAD technique is first utilized to produce nanopillar arrays (NPAs) with broadened structures, which are subsequently transformed into biomimetic tapered geometries by means of post-deposition ion milling. This structure transformation, due to milling-induced mass redistribution, remarkably decreases reflection over a wide wavelength range (300-1700 nm) and field of view (angle of incidence < 60° with respect to the substrate normal). The milling-induced antireflection enhancement has been demonstrated in the NPAs made of Si, SiO(x) and TiO(2), illustrating that this integrated technique is readily adapted to a wide variety of materials. Good agreement between simulation and experiment indicates that the enhanced antireflection performance is ascribed to a smoother refractive index transition from the substrate to the air, which improves the impedance match and reduces reflection losses. Additionally, ion bombardment tends to alter the stoichiometry and diminish the crystallographic structure of the NPA materials. The broadband and quasi-omnidirectional antireflection observed establishes the strong competitiveness of this technique with the methods previously reported.
Keratinocyte growth factor 1 (KGF-1) has proven useful in the treatment of pathologies associated with dermal adnexae, liver, lung, and the gastrointestinal tract diseases. However, poor stability and short plasma half-life of the protein have restricted its therapeutic applications. While it is possible to improve the stability and extend the circulating half-life of recombinant human KGF-1 (rhKGF-1) using solution-phase PEGylation, such preparations have heterogeneous structures and often low specific activities due to multiple and/or uncontrolled PEGylation. In the present study, a novel solid-phase PEGylation strategy was employed to produce homogenous mono-PEGylated rhKGF-1. RhKGF-1 protein was immobilized on a Heparin-Sepharose column and then a site-selective PEGylation reaction was carried out by a reductive alkylation at the N-terminal amino acid of the protein. The mono-PEGylated rhKGF-1, which accounted for over 40% of the total rhKGF-1 used in the PEGylation reaction, was purified to homogeneity by SP Sepharose ion-exchange chromatography. Our biophysical and biochemical studies demonstrated that the solid-phase PEGylation significantly enhanced the in vitro and in vivo biostability without affecting the over all structure of the protein. Furthermore, pharmacokinetic analysis showed that modified rhKGF-1 had considerably longer plasma half-life than its intact counterpart. Our cell-based analysis showed that, similar to rhKGF-1, PEGylated rhKGF-1 induced proliferation in NIH 3T3 cells through the activation of MAPK/Erk pathway. Notably, PEGylated rhKGF-1 exhibited a greater hepatoprotection against CCl(4)-induced injury in rats compared to rhKGF-1.
An in-depth understanding of molecular basis by which smart polymers assist protein refolding can lead us to develop a more effective polymer for protein refolding. In this report, to investigate structure-function relationship of pH-sensitive smart polymers, a series of poly(methylacrylic acid (MAc)-acrylic acid (AA))s with different MAc/AA ratios and molecular weights were synthesized and then their abilities in refolding of denatured lysozyme were compared by measuring the lytic activity of the refolded lysozyme. Based on our analysis, there were optimal MAc/AA ratio (44% MAc), M(w) (1700 Da), and copolymer concentration (0.1%, w/v) at which the highest yield of protein refolding was achieved. Fluorescence, circular dichroism, and RP-HPLC analysis reported in this study demonstrated that the presence of P(MAc-AA)s in the refolding buffer significantly improved the refolding yield of denatured lysozyme without affecting the overall structure of the enzyme. Importantly, our bioseparation analysis, together with the analysis of zeta potential and particle size of the copolymer in refolding buffers with different copolymer concentrations, suggested that the polymer provided a negatively charged surface for an electrostatic interaction with the denatured lysozyme molecules and thereby minimized the hydrophobic-prone aggregation of unfolded proteins during the process of refolding.
Recombinant fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2) has been extensively studied and used in several clinical applications including wound healing, bone regeneration, and neuroprotection. Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) modification of recombinant human FGF-2 (rhFGF-2) in solution phase has been studied to increase the in vivo biostabilities and therapeutic potency. However, the solution-phase strategy is not site-controlled and the products are often not homogeneous due to the generation of multi-PEGylated proteins. In order to increase mono-PEGylated rhFGF-2 level, a novel solid-phase strategy for rhFGF-2 PEGylation is developed. RhFGF-2 proteins were loaded onto a heparin-sepharose column and the PEGylaton reaction was carried out at the N-terminus by PEG20 kDa butyraldehyde through reductive alkylation. The PEGylated rhFGF-2 was purified to near homogeneity by SP sepharose anion-exchange chromatography and the purity was more than 95% with a yield of mono-PEGylated rhFGF-2 of 58.3%, as confirmed by N-terminal sequencing and MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. In vitro biophysical and biochemical measurements demonstrated that PEGylated rhFGF-2 has an unchanged secondary structure, receptor binding activity, cell proliferation, and MAP kinase stimulating activity, and an improved bio- and thermal stability. Animal assay showed that PEGylated rhFGF-2 has an increased half-life and reduced immunogenicity. Compared to conventional solution-phase PEGylation, the solid-phase PEGylation is advantageous in reaction time, production of mono-PEGylated protein, and improvement of biochemical and biological activity.
Thermal effects greatly influence the optical properties of the acousto-optic deflectors (AODs). Thermal analysis plays an important role in modern AOD design. However, the lack of an effective method of analysis limits the prediction in the thermal performance. In this paper, we propose a finite element analysis model to analyze the thermal effects of a TeO(2)-based AOD. Both transducer heating and acoustic absorption are considered as thermal sources. The anisotropy of sound propagation is taken into account for determining the acoustic absorption. Based on this model, a transient thermal analysis is employed using ANSYS software. The spatial temperature distributions in the crystal and the temperature changes over time are acquired. The simulation results are validated by experimental results. The effect of heat source and heat convection on temperature distribution is discussed. This numerical model and analytical method of thermal analysis would be helpful in the thermal design and practical applications of AODs.
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