Diseases that affect the buccal cavity are a public health concern nowadays. Chlorhexidine and nystatin are the most commonly used drugs for the control of buccal affections. In the search for more effective antimicrobials, nanotechnology can be successfully used to improve the physical chemical properties of drugs whilst avoiding the undesirable side effects associated with its use. Herein described are studies using nystatin and chlorhexidine with sodium montmorillonite (MMTNa), and chlorhexidine with β-cyclodextrin and two derivatives methyl-β-cyclodextrin and hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin in the development of antimicrobial nanosystems.
The nanosystems were prepared by kneading and solubilization followed by freeze-drying technique. The nanosystems were characterized by X-ray powder diffraction (XRPD), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). Nanosystem antimicrobial activity against Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans strains was evaluated with inhibition halo analysis.
The nanocarriers MMTNa and cyclodextrins showed good yields. XRPD, FTIR, and DSC analysis confirmed the proposed nanosystems formation and the suitability of the production methods. The nanosystems that showed best antimicrobial effect were chlorhexidine gluconate (CHX) and cyclodextrin inclusion complexes and CHX:MMTNa 60% cation exchange capacity – 24 hours.
The nanosystem formulations present higher stability for all chlorhexidine inclusion complexes compared with pure chlorhexidine. The nystatin nanosystems have the potential to mask the bitter taste, justifying subsequent in-vivo studies. For these reasons, further studies are being carried out to evaluate their application in professional formulations.
sodium montmorillonite; chlorhexidine gluconate; buccal diseases; nanotechnology; cyclodextrins
The T-cell response defines the pathogenesis of many common chronic disease states, including diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and transplant rejection. Therefore, a diagnostic strategy that visualizes this response can potentially lead to early therapeutic intervention, avoiding catastrophic organ failure or prolonged sickness. In addition, the means to deliver a drug dose to those cells in situ with the same specificity used to image those cells would provide for a powerful therapeutic alternative for many disease states involving T cells. In this report, we review emerging nanosystems that can be used for simultaneous tracking and drug delivery to those cells. Because of their versatility, these systems—which combine specific receptor targeting with an imaging agent and drug delivery—are suited to both basic science and applications, from developing therapeutic strategies for autoimmune and alloimmune diseases, to noninvasive tracking of pathogenic T-cell migration.
T cells; noninvasive imaging; drug delivery; nanoparticles
An outstanding aspect of pharmaceutical nanotechnology lies in the characterization of nanocarriers for targeting of drugs and other bioactive agents. The development of microscopic techniques has made the study of the surface and systems architecture more attractive. In the field of pharmaceutical nanosystems, researchers have collected vital information on size, stability, and bilayer organization through the microscopic characterization of liposomes. This paper aims to compare the results obtained by atomic force microscopy, environmental scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and confocal laser scanning microscopy to point out the limits and advantages of these applications in the evaluation of vesicular systems. Besides this comparative aim, our work proposes a simple confocal laser scanning microscopy procedure to rapidly and easily detect the liposomal membrane.
atomic force microscopy; transmission electron microscopy; environmental scanning electron microscopy; confocal laser scanning microscopy
The advance in nanotechnology has enabled us to utilize particles in the size of the nanoscale. This has created new therapeutic horizons, and in the case of silver, the currently available data only reveals the surface of the potential benefits and the wide range of applications. Interactions between viral biomolecules and silver nanoparticles suggest that the use of nanosystems may contribute importantly for the enhancement of current prevention of infection and antiviral therapies. Recently, it has been suggested that silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) bind with external membrane of lipid enveloped virus to prevent the infection. Nevertheless, the interaction of AgNPs with viruses is a largely unexplored field. AgNPs has been studied particularly on HIV where it was demonstrated the mechanism of antiviral action of the nanoparticles as well as the inhibition the transmission of HIV-1 infection in human cervix organ culture. This review discusses recent advances in the understanding of the biocidal mechanisms of action of silver Nanoparticles.
Silver Nanoparticles; Virucides; Bactericides; HIV/AIDS; Antibacterial agents
A novel nanocarrier system was designed and developed with key components uniquely structured at the nanoscale for early cancer diagnosis and treatment. In order to perform magnetic resonance imaging, hydrophilic superparamagnetic maghemite nanoparticles (NPs) were synthesized and coated with a lipophilic organic ligand. Next, they were entrapped into polymeric NPs made of biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) linked to polyethylene glycol. In addition, resulting NPs have been conjugated on their surface with a 2,2′-(7-(4-((2-aminoethyl)amino)-1-carboxy-4-oxobutyl)-1,4,7-triazonane-1,4-diyl)diacetic acid ligand for subsequent 68Ga incorporation. A cell-based cytotoxicity assay has been employed to verify the in vitro cell viability of human pancreatic cancer cells exposed to this nanosystem. Finally, in vivo positron emission tomography-computerized tomography biodistribution studies in healthy animals were performed.
maghemite nanoparticles; organic coating; polymeric nanoparticles; magnetic resonance imaging; radiolabeling; positron emission tomography
The purpose of this study was to develop a drug-loaded nanosystem that has the ability to achieve flexible yet rate-controlled release of model drug isoniazid (INH) employing either an aqueous or emulsion-based salting-out approach. Formulation conditions were aimed at reducing the polymeric size with subsequent rate-modulated INH release patterns from the polymeric nanosystem. The emulsion-based salted-out nanosystems had particle sizes ranging from 77–414 nm and a zeta potential of −24 mV. The dispersant dielectric constant was set at 78.5 and a conductivity of 3.99 mS/cm achieved. The reduced nanosystem size of the aqueous-based approach has demonstrated an intrinsically enhanced exposure of methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate to zinc sulphate which was employed as a crosslinking reagent. This resulted in robustly interconnected polymeric supports in which INH was efficiently embedded and subsequently released. The multi-layer perceptron data obtained showed that the aqueous and emulsion-based salting out approaches had Power (law) (MSE = 0.020) and Linear (MSE = 0.038) relationships, respectively. Drug release from the nanosystems occurred in two phases with an initial burst-release in aqueous-based nanosystems (30–100%) and significantly lower bursts observed in emulsion-based nanosystems (20–65%) within the first 2 h. This was followed by a gradual exponential release phase over the remaining 12 h. The nanosystems developed demonstrated the ability to control the release of INH depending on the formulation approach adopted.
crosslinking; drug release; methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate; nanoparticles; tuberculosis
Mitochondrial dysfunction including oxidative stress and DNA mutations underlies the pathology of various diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes, necessitating the development of mitochondria targeted therapeutic agents. Nanotechnology offers unique tools and materials to target therapeutic agents to mitochondria. As discussed in this paper, a variety of functionalized nanosystems including polymeric and metallic nanoparticles as well as liposomes are more effective than plain drug and non-functionalized nanosystems in delivering therapeutic agents to mitochondria. Although the field is in its infancy, studies to date suggest the superior therapeutic activity of functionalized nanosystems for treating mitochondrial defects.
Mitochondrial Targeted Delivery; Nanotechnology; Liposomes; Polymeric Nanoparticles; Metallic Nanoparticles
The latest development of protein engineering allows the production of proteins having desired properties and large potential markets, but the clinical advances of therapeutical proteins are still limited by their fragility. Nanotechnology could provide optimal vectors able to protect from degradation therapeutical biomolecules such as proteins, enzymes or specific polypeptides. On the other hand, some proteins can be also used as active ligands to help nanoparticles loaded with chemotherapeutic or other drugs to reach particular sites in the body. The aim of this review is to provide an overall picture of the general aspects of the most successful approaches used to combine proteins with nanosystems. This combination is mainly achieved by absorption, bioconjugation and encapsulation. Interactions of nanoparticles with biomolecules and caveats related to protein denaturation are also pointed out. A clear understanding of nanoparticle-protein interactions could make possible the design of precise and versatile hybrid nanosystems. This could further allow control of their pharmacokinetics as well as activity, and safety.
nanoparticles; drug delivery; proteins; polypeptides; absorption; bioconjugation; encapsulation
Engineered nanoparticles with theranostic functions have attracted a lot of attention for their potential role in the dawning era of personalized medicine. Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs), with their advantages of being non-toxic, biodegradable and inexpensive, are candidate platforms for the build-up of theranostic nanostructures; however, progress in using them has been limited largely due to inefficient drug loading and delivery. In the current study, we utilized dopamine to modify the surface of IONPs, yielding nanoconjugates that can be easily encapsulated into human serum albumin (HSA) matrices (clinically utilized drug carriers). This nanosystem is well-suited for dual encapsulation of IONPs and drug molecules, because the encapsulation is achieved in a way that is similar to common drug loading. To assess the biophysical characteristics of this novel nanosystem, the HSA coated IONPs (HSA-IONPs) were dually labeled with 64Cu-DOTA and Cy5.5, and tested in a subcutaneous U87MG xenograft mouse model. In vivo positron emission tomography (PET)/near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF)/magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tri-modality imaging, and ex vivo analyses and histological examinations were carefully conducted to investigate the in vivo behavior of the nanostructures. With the compact HSA coating, the HSA-IONPs manifested a prolonged circulation half-life; more impressively, they showed massive accumulation in lesions, high extravasation rate, and low uptake of the particles by macrophages at the tumor area.
iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP); magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); positron emission tomography (PET); near-infrared fluorescence (NIRF) imaging; enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect
Theranostic nanomedicine is emerging as a promising therapeutic paradigm. It takes advantage of the high capacity of nanoplatforms to ferry cargo and loads onto them both imaging and therapeutic functions. The resulting nanosystems, capable of diagnosis, drug delivery and monitoring of therapeutic response, are expected to play a significant role in the dawning era of personalized medicine, and much research effort has been devoted toward that goal. A convenience in constructing such function-integrated agents is that many nanoplatforms are already, themselves, imaging agents. Their well developed surface chemistry makes it easy to load them with pharmaceutics and promote them to be theranostic nanosystems. Iron oxide nanoparticles, quantum dots, carbon nanotubes, gold nanoparticles and silica nanoparticles, have been previously well investigated in the imaging setting and are candidate nanoplatforms for building up nanoparticle-based theranostics. In the current article, we will outline the progress along this line, organized by the category of the core materials. We will focus on construction strategies and will discuss the challenges and opportunities associated with this emerging technology.
Theranostics; drug delivery; gene delivery; nanomedicine; molecular imaging; iron oxide nanoparticles; quantum dots; gold nanoparticles; carbon nanotubes; silica nanoparticles
The literature concerning ethical issues associated with nanotechnologies has become prolific. However, it has been claimed that ethical problems are only at stake with rather sophisticated nanotechnologies such as active nanostructures, integrated nanosystems and heterogeneous molecular nanosystems, whereas more basic nanotechnologies such as passive nanostructures mainly pose technical difficulties. In this paper I argue that fundamental ethical issues are already at stake with this more basic kind of nanotechnologies and that ethics impacts every kind of nanotechnologies, already from the simplest kind of engineered nanoproducts. These ethical issues are mainly associated with the social desirability of nanotechnologies, with the difficulties to define nanotechnologies properly, with the important uncertainties surrounding nanotechnologies, with the threat of ‘nano-divide’, and with nanotechnology as ‘dual-use technology’.
Ethics; Equity; Dual-use technology; Generations of nanotechnologies; Informed consent; Nano-divide; Nanotechnologies; Precautionary principle; Risk; Social desirability; Uncertainty; Philosophy; Ethics; Philosophy of Science; Philosophy of Technology; Nanotechnology
Prosthetic medical device-associated infections are responsible for significant morbidity and mortality rates. Novel improved materials and surfaces exhibiting inappropriate conditions for microbial development are urgently required in the medical environment. This study reveals the benefit of using natural Mentha piperita essential oil, combined with a 5 nm core/shell nanosystem-improved surface exhibiting anti-adherence and antibiofilm properties. This strategy reveals a dual role of the nano-oil system; on one hand, inhibiting bacterial adherence and, on the other hand, exhibiting bactericidal effect, the core/shell nanosystem is acting as a controlled releasing machine for the essential oil. Our results demonstrate that this dual nanobiosystem is very efficient also for inhibiting biofilm formation, being a good candidate for the design of novel material surfaces used for prosthetic devices.
In continuing search for effective treatments of cancer, the emerging model aims at efficient intracellular delivery of therapeutics into tumor cells in order to increase the drug concentration. However, the implementation of this strategy suffers from inefficient cellular uptake and drug resistance. Therefore, pH-sensitive nanosystems have recently been developed to target slightly acidic extracellular pH environment of solid tumors. The pH targeting approach is regarded as a more general strategy than conventional specific tumor cell surface targeting approaches, because the acidic tumor microclimate is most common in solid tumors. When nanosystems are combined with triggered release mechanisms in endosomal or lysosomal acidic pH along with endosomolytic capability, the nanocarriers demonstrated to overcome multidrug resistance of various tumors. Here, novel pH sensitive carbonate apatite has been fabricated to efficiently deliver anticancer drug Doxorubicin (DOX) to cancer cells, by virtue of its pH sensitivity being quite unstable under an acidic condition in endosomes and the desirable size of the resulting apatite-DOX for efficient cellular uptake as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Florescence microscopy and flow cytometry analyses demonstrated significant uptake of drug (92%) when complexed with apatite nanoparticles. In vitro chemosensitivity assay revealed that apatite-DOX nanoparticles executed high cytotoxicity in several human cancer cell lines compared to free drugs and consequently apatite-DOX-facilitated enhanced tumor inhibitory effect was observed in colorectal tumor model within BALB/cA nude mice, thereby shedding light on their potential applications in cancer therapy.
The oil of babassu tree nuts (Orbignya speciosa) is a potential alternative for treatment and prophylaxis of benign prostatic hyperplasia. Improved results can be obtained by drug vectorization to the hyperplastic tissue. The main objective of this work was the preparation and characterization of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle and clay nanosystems containing babassu oil (BBS). BBS was extracted from the kernels of babassu tree nuts and characterized by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as well as 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance. BBS-clay nanosystems were obtained by adding polyvinylpyrrolidone, Viscogel B8®, and BBS at a 2:1:1 mass ratio and characterized by X-ray diffraction, thermogravimetric analysis, infrared spectroscopy, and laser diffraction. The PLGA-BBS nanoparticles were prepared by the precipitation-solvent evaporation method. Mean diameter, polydispersity, zeta potential, and scanning electron microscopic images of the nanosystems were analyzed. Thermogravimetric analysis showed successful formation of the nanocomposite. PLGA nanoparticles containing BBS were obtained, with a suitable size that was confirmed by scanning electron microscopy. Both nanostructured systems showed active incorporation yields exceeding 90%. The two systems obtained represent a new and potentially efficient therapy for benign prostatic hyperplasia.
babassu oil; nanocomposite; poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid); nanoparticles; benign prostatic hyperplasia; treatment; nanotechnology
Use of biodegradable polymers for biomedical applications has increased in recent decades due to their biocompatibility, biodegradability, flexibility, and minimal side effects. Applications of these materials include creation of skin, blood vessels, cartilage scaffolds, and nanosystems for drug delivery. These biodegradable polymeric nanoparticles enhance properties such as bioavailability and stability, and provide controlled release of bioactive compounds. This review evaluates the classification, synthesis, degradation mechanisms, and biological applications of the biodegradable polymers currently being studied as drug delivery carriers. In addition, the use of nanosystems to solve current drug delivery problems are reviewed.
biodegradable polymers; nanoparticles; drug delivery; cellular uptake; biomedical applications
This paper describes the investigation and development of a novel magnetic drug delivery nanosystem (labeled as MO-20) for cancer therapy. The drug employed was oncocalyxone A (onco A), which was isolated from Auxemma oncocalyx, an endemic Brazilian plant. It has a series of pharmacological properties: antioxidant, cytotoxic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiplatelet. Onco A was associated with magnetite nanoparticles in order to obtain magnetic properties. The components of MO-20 were characterized by XRD, FTIR, TGA, TEM and Magnetization curves. The MO-20 presented a size of about 30 nm and globular morphology. In addition, drug releasing experiments were performed, where it was observed the presence of the anomalous transport. The results found in this work showed the potential of onco A for future applications of the MO-20 as a new magnetic drug release nanosystem for cancer treatment.
drug delivery; cancer therapy; magnetic nanoparticles; oncocalyxone A
Lead acetate treatment of unfixed cells immobilizes the intracellular water-soluble, inorganic orthophosphate ions as microcrystalline lead hydroxyapatite precipitates (see reference 1). These precipitates have been analyzed with the electron microprobe. A much higher concentration of phosphorus has been found in the nucleoli of maize root tip cells fixed in lead acetate-glutaraldehyde (organic phosphorus plus inorganic orthophosphate), as compared to the nucleoli of roots fixed in glutaraldehyde alone (organic phosphorus). The concentration of the inorganic orthophosphate pool in these nucleoli is three to five times as high as the concentration of the macromolecular organic phosphate. Since nearly all of the latter is in RNA, the concentration of inorganic phosphate in the nucleolus is calculated to be roughly 0.5–0.8 M. About 30%—and up to 50%—of the total cellular inorganic phosphate is accumulated in the nucleolus since the mean concentration per cell is about 10-2 M. In the extranucleolar part of the nucleus the mean concentration was estimated by densitometry to be roughly six times less than in the nucleolus (⩽ 0.1 M), and appears more concentrated in the nucleoplasm than in the condensed chromatin. While there is no direct evidence for the concentration in the cytoplasm, it certainly must be much lower than the mean cellular level (i.e., < 10-2 M) since the nucleus is about 10% of the total cell volume. The implications of this compartmentation in the intact cell are discussed in connection with (A) the availability of orthophosphate ions for the cytoplasm in those processes in which these ions affect the rate of enzymatic reactions, and (B) protein nucleic acid interactions within the nucleus and nucleolus.
Analyses have been made of the inorganic constituents of the juices expressed from the leaves of Rheum, Rumex, and Oxalis. It has been shown that in all cases there is a large excess of inorganic cations over anions in the sap, the average ratio of cations to anions being 3.8 (Part 1, p. 239). The ash analyses of plant tissues (chiefly leaves) reported in the literature have been examined critically, and it has been shown that the preponderance of inorganic cations over inorganic anions in the ash and in the sap is general. It has been concluded that the excess of inorganic cations is consistent with the view that cations pass into the protoplasm chiefly in the form of hydroxides, and are accumulated either in the form of organic salts (such as the oxalates) or in non-polar linkage. It has been concluded that practically all the potassium and sodium found in plant ash must have been present originally in the form of soluble ionogenic compounds, but that a considerable part of the calcium and magnesium may have been present originally in the form of insoluble salts or as components of non-polar compounds. The methods whereby the cations, particularly potassium, may have been accumulated have been discussed, and it has been concluded that as it does not seem very probable that they enter chiefly as nitrates or bicarbonates we may suppose that they go in to a large extent as hydrates: this is highly probable in the case which has been most carefully investigated (Valonia).
The heme-cytochrome P-450 complexes represent sensitive metabolic systems for examining the biological impact of metals on important cellular functions. Many metals, both in the inorganic form and bound to organic moieties, potently induce heme oxygenase, the rate limiting enzyme of heme degradation. The resulting increase in the rate of heme breakdown is reflected in a marked depression of cellular cytochrome P-450 content and impairment of the oxidative metabolism of natural and foreign chemicals dependent on this hemeprotein. Organometal complexes do not mimic in all their aspects the actions of the inorganic elements which they contain. For example, organotins, in contrast to inorganic tin, produce a prolonged induction response of heme oxygenase in the liver but not in the kidney. Co-protoporphyrin is a much more potent inducer of heme oxygenase in liver than is inorganic cobalt; and Sn-protoporphyrin inhibits heme oxygenase activity nearly completely, whereas inorganic tin is a powerful inducer of the renal enzyme. Contrasting effects on heme metabolism exist as well within the metalloporphyrin species as demonstrated by the effects in vivo of Co-protoporphyrin and Sn-protoporphyrin on heme oxygenase activity; the former induces the enzyme whereas the latter potently inhibits it. In vitro, however, both compounds competitively inhibit heme oxidation activity. These differences, among others which characterize metal actions in vivo and in vitro attest to the importance of pharmacokinetic, adaptive and other host factors in defining the responses of the heme-cytochrome P-450 systems to the impact of metals in the whole animal.
Ishihara, N., Shiojima, S., and Suzuki, T. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 245-249. Selective enhancement of urinary organic mercury excretion by D-penicillamine. This report deals with the study of a patient who was suspected of having mercury vapour poisoning and was treated with D-penicillamine.
D-penicillamine by mouth enhanced the urinary excretion of organic but not inorganic mercury. It was considered that D-penicillamine was ineffective because at a relatively low dose level of inorganic mercury exposure most inorganic mercury was tightly bound to sites of great affinity for mercury in tissues and resistant to replacement with D-penicillamine. On the contrary, organic mercury was considered to be easily replaced with D-penicillamine.
The need to study further the different nature of tissue binding between inorganic and organic mercury is discussed.
Inorganic and organic mercury was measured in the red cells, plasma, and urine of five laboratory workers to examine the effect of D-penicillamine. The workers had had no particular exposure to mercurials. Before and during administration of D-penicillamine, inorganic mercury levels in plasma were significantly correlated with those in urine or 24-hour urinary outputs, but no significant correlation was found for organic mercury. Administration of D-penicillamine enhanced 24-hour urinary output to a much greater extent in organic than inorganic mercury. All the organic mercury levels in blood, red cells, and plasma were increased by D-penicillamine. This contrasted with the decrease of inorganic mercury levels in plasma.
Mercury is a toxic and non-essential metal in the human body. Mercury is ubiquitously distributed in the environment, present in natural products, and exists extensively in items encountered in daily life. There are three forms of mercury, i.e., elemental (or metallic) mercury, inorganic mercury compounds, and organic mercury compounds. This review examines the toxicity of elemental mercury and inorganic mercury compounds. Inorganic mercury compounds are water soluble with a bioavailability of 7% to 15% after ingestion; they are also irritants and cause gastrointestinal symptoms. Upon entering the body, inorganic mercury compounds are accumulated mainly in the kidneys and produce kidney damage. In contrast, human exposure to elemental mercury is mainly by inhalation, followed by rapid absorption and distribution in all major organs. Elemental mercury from ingestion is poorly absorbed with a bioavailability of less than 0.01%. The primary target organs of elemental mercury are the brain and kidney. Elemental mercury is lipid soluble and can cross the blood-brain barrier, while inorganic mercury compounds are not lipid soluble, rendering them unable to cross the blood-brain barrier. Elemental mercury may also enter the brain from the nasal cavity through the olfactory pathway. The blood mercury is a useful biomarker after short-term and high-level exposure, whereas the urine mercury is the ideal biomarker for long-term exposure to both elemental and inorganic mercury, and also as a good indicator of body burden. This review discusses the common sources of mercury exposure, skin lightening products containing mercury and mercury release from dental amalgam filling, two issues that happen in daily life, bear significant public health importance, and yet undergo extensive debate on their safety.
Elemental mercury; Inorganic mercury compounds; Kidney; Brain; Biomarkers; Public health
The salt tolerance of halophilic bacteria make them promising candidates for technical applications, like isolation of salt tolerant enzymes or remediation of contaminated saline soils and waters. Furthermore, some halophilic bacteria synthesize inorganic solids resulting in organic–inorganic hybrids. This process is known as biomineralization, which is induced and/or controlled by the organism. The adaption of the soft and eco-friendly reaction conditions of this formation process to technical syntheses of inorganic nano materials is desirable. In addition, environmental contaminations can be entrapped in biomineralization products which facilitate the subsequent removal from waste waters. The moderately halophilic bacteria Halomonas halophila mineralize calcium carbonate in the calcite polymorph. The biomineralization process was investigated in the presence of zinc ions as a toxic model contaminant. In particular, the time course of the mineralization process and the influence of zinc on the mineralized inorganic materials have been focused in this study.
H. halophila can adapt to zinc contaminated medium, maintaining the ability for biomineralization of calcium carbonate. Adapted cultures show only a low influence of zinc on the growth rate. In the time course of cultivation, zinc ions accumulated on the bacterial surface while the medium depleted in the zinc contamination. Intracellular zinc concentrations were below the detection limit, suggesting that zinc was mainly bound extracellular. Zinc ions influence the biomineralization process. In the presence of zinc, the polymorphs monohydrocalcite and vaterite were mineralized, instead of calcite which is synthesized in zinc-free medium.
We have demonstrated that the bacterial mineralization process can be influenced by zinc ions resulting in the modification of the synthesized calcium carbonate polymorph. In addition, the shape of the mineralized inorganic material is chancing through the presence of zinc ions. Furthermore, the moderately halophilic bacterium H. halophila can be applied for the decontamination of zinc from aqueous solutions.
We have described the methods used in determining the influence of certain substances on tumor growth, and we measured approximately the degree of reliability of the quantitative method used. We examined with these methods various classes of substances,— distilled water, a number of inorganic salts, inorganic colloidal substances, various organic colloidal and non-colloidal substances, especially various proteids, tuberculin and hirudin alone as well as in combination with other substances. Distilled water, various inorganic sulphur preparations, and various inorganic salts did not show an inhibiting effect on tumor growth sufficient to be detected by means of our first method. Only in the case of gold potassium cyanide was there possibly a slightly retarding influence present. On the other hand, certain colloidal solutions of heavy metals (copper, platinum, gold) retard the growth of a number of tumors of injected animals. Certain combinations of copper salts and casein act in a similar manner. Of the organic substances used, casein, nucleoproteid, and hirudin were active, while the other proteids tested, as well as various other organic substances and tuberculin and lecithin, seemed to be either without effect or weaker than the other substances mentioned as retarding the tumor growth. Hirudin was active and caused in addition to its inhibiting influence the retrogression of a certain number of tumors. Especially active was a combination of hirudin with colloidal copper and of hirudin with nucleoproteid. One single injection of casein or nucleoproteid, or of the Heyden preparation of colloidal copper, leads to a more or less marked edematous condition of a certain number of tumors, while hirudin caused in addition, in many cases, marked hemorrhages in or around the tumors. Other substances which we tested did not show this effect, although their inhibiting action on tumor growth may have been equally strong. Very young tumors (two to six days old) are not retarded in their growth through injection of colloidal copper or hirudin, while nine to thirteen days old tumors are, independently of their size on the ninth day, inhibited in approximately the same relative degree; absolutely, however, the more rapidly growing smaller tumors are more markedly inhibited than the normally more slowly growing larger tumors.
Two S. agalactiae proteins, the inorganic pyrophosphatase and the serine/threonine phosphatase, were crystallized and diffraction data were collected and processed from these crystals. The data from the two protein crystals extended to 2.80 and 2.65 Å, respectively.
Streptococcus agalactiae, which infects human neonates and causes sepsis and meningitis, has recently been shown to possess a eukaryotic-like serine/threonine protein phosphorylation signalling cascade. Through their target proteins, the S. agalactiae Ser/Thr kinase and Ser/Thr phosphatase together control the growth as well as the morphology and virulence of this organism. One of the targets is the S. agalactiae family II inorganic pyrophosphatase. The inorganic pyrophosphatase and the serine/threonine phosphatase have therefore been purified and crystallized and diffraction data have been collected from their crystals. The data were processed using XDS. The inorganic pyrosphosphatase crystals diffracted to 2.80 Å and the Ser/Thr phosphatase crystals to 2.65 Å. Initial structure-solution experiments indicate that structure solution will be successful in both cases. Solving the structure of the proteins involved in this cascade is the first step towards understanding this phenomenon in atomic detail.
Streptococcus agalactiae; inorganic pyrophosphatase; serine/threonine phosphatase