Anthrax toxin, a three-component protein toxin secreted by Bacillus anthracis, assembles into toxic complexes at the surface of receptor-bearing eukaryotic cells. The protective antigen (PA) protein binds to receptors, either tumor endothelial cell marker 8 (TEM8) or capillary morphogenesis protein 2 (CMG2), and orchestrates the delivery of the lethal and edema factors into the cytosol. TEM8 is reported to be over-expressed during tumor angiogenesis, whereas CMG2 is more widely expressed in normal tissues. To extend prior work on targeting of tumor with modified anthrax toxins, we used phage display to select PA variants that preferentially bind to TEM8 as compared to CMG2. Substitutions were randomly introduced into residues 605-729 of PA, within the C-terminal domain 4 of PA, which is the principal region that contacts receptor. Candidates were characterized in cellular cytotoxicity assays with CHO cells expressing either TEM8 or CMG2. A PA mutant having the substitutions R659S and M662R had enhanced specificity toward TEM8 over-expressing CHO cells. This PA variant also displayed broad and potent tumoricidal activity to various human tumor cells, especially to HeLa and A549/ATCC cells. By contrast, the substitution N657Q significantly reduced toxicity to TEM8 but not CMG2 over-expressing CHO cells. Our results indicate that certain amino acid substitutions within PA domain 4 create anthrax toxins that selectively kill human tumor cells. The PA R659S/M662R protein may be useful as a therapeutic agent for cancer treatment.
In this paper, four amphiphilic cholesterol-peptide conjugates (Ch-R5H5, Ch-R3H3, Ch-R5 and Ch-R5) were designed and synthesized, and their properties in gene delivery were evaluated in vitro with an aim of developing more efficient gene delivery carriers. These amphiphilic cholesterol-peptide conjugates are composed of hydrophobic cholesterol and positively charged peptides. They were able to self-assemble into micelles at low concentrations and their critical micelle concentrations in phosphate buffered saline (pH 7.4) are ≤85 µg/mL. Amphiphilic cholesterol-peptide conjugates condensed DNA more efficiently than a hydrophilic cationic oligoarginine (R10) peptide with no hydrophobic segment. Their transfection efficiencies were at least two orders of magnitude greater than that of R10 peptide in HEK-293 cells. Moreover, the introduction of histidine residues in cholesterol-peptide conjugates led to higher gene expression efficiency compared with cholesterol-peptides without histidine (Ch-R5 and Ch-R3), and the luciferase expression level was comparable or even higher than that induced by PEI at its optimal N/P ratio. In particular, Ch-R5H5 condensed DNA into smaller nanoparticles than Ch-R3H3 at higher N/P ratios, and the minimum size of Ch-R5H5/DNA complexes was 180 nm with zeta potential of 23 mV, achieved at the N/P ratio of 30. This liposome-like vesicle may be a promising gene delivery carrier for intravenous therapy.
Supramolecular micelles as drug-delivery vehicles are generally unable to enter the nucleus of nondividing cells. In the work reported here, nuclear localization signal (NLS)-modified polymeric micelles were studied with the aim of improving nuclear drug delivery.
In this research, cholesterol-modified glycol chitosan (CHGC) was synthesized. NLS-conjugated CHGC (NCHGC) was synthesized and characterized using proton nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, dynamic light scattering, and fluorescence spectroscopy. Doxorubicin (DOX), an anticancer drug with an intracellular site of action in the nucleus, was chosen as a model drug. DOX-loaded micelles were prepared by an emulsion/solvent evaporation method. The cellular uptake of different DOX formulations was analyzed by flow cytometry and confocal laser scanning microscopy. The cytotoxicity of blank micelles, free DOX, and DOX-loaded micelles in vitro was investigated by 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay in HeLa and HepG2 cells.
The degree of substitution was 5.9 cholesterol and 3.8 NLS groups per 100 sugar residues of the NCHGC conjugate. The critical aggregation concentration of the NCHGC micelles in aqueous solution was 0.0209 mg/mL. The DOX-loaded NCHGC (DNCHGC) micelles were observed as being almost spherical in shape under transmission electron microscopy, and the size was determined as 248 nm by dynamic light scattering. The DOX-loading content of the DNCHGC micelles was 10.1%. The DOX-loaded micelles showed slow drug-release behavior within 72 hours in vitro. The DNCHGC micelles exhibited greater cellular uptake and higher amounts of DOX in the nuclei of HeLa cells than free DOX and DOX-loaded CHGC (DCHGC) micelles. The half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of free DOX, DCHGC, and DNCHGC micelles against HepG2 cells were 4.063, 0.591, and 0.171 μg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the IC50 values of free DOX (3.210 μg/mL) and the DCHGC micelles (1.413 μg/mL) against HeLa cells were nearly 6.96- and 3.07-fold (P < 0.01), respectively, higher than the IC50 value of the DNCHGC micelles (0.461 μg/mL).
The results of this study suggest that novel NCHGC micelles could be a potential carrier for nucleus-targeting delivery.
polymeric micelles; drug delivery; nucleus-targeting delivery
Nanoparticle (NP) compositions such as hydrophobicity and surface charge are vital to determine the presence and amount of human serum albumin (HSA) binding. The HSA binding influences drug release, biocompatibility, biodistribution, and intercellular trafficking of nanoparticles (NPs). Here, we prepared 2 kinds of nanomaterials to investigate HSA binding and evaluated drug release of HSA-bound NPs. Polysaccharides (pullulan) carboxyethylated to provide ionic derivatives were then conjugated to cholesterol groups to obtain cholesterol-modified carboxyethyl pullulan (CHCP). Cholesterol-modified pullulan (CHP) conjugate was synthesized with a similar degree of substitution of cholesterol moiety to CHCP. CHCP formed self-aggregated NPs in aqueous solution with a spherical structure and zeta potential of −19.9±0.23 mV, in contrast to −1.21±0.12 mV of CHP NPs. NPs could quench albumin fluorescence intensity with maximum emission intensity gradually decreasing up to a plateau at 9 to 12 h. Binding constants were 1.12×105 M−1 and 0.70×105 M−1 to CHP and CHCP, respectively, as determined by Stern-Volmer analysis. The complexation between HSA and NPs was a gradual process driven by hydrophobic force and inhibited by NP surface charge and shell-core structure. HSA conformation was altered by NPs with reduction of α-helical content, depending on interaction time and particle surface charges. These NPs could represent a sustained release carrier for mitoxantrone in vitro, and the bound HSA assisted in enhancing sustained drug release.
In this paper, a series of amphiphilic triblock copolymers based on polyethylene glycol–poly ɛ-caprolactone–polyethylenimine (mPEG–PCL-g–PEI) were successfully synthesized, and their application for codelivery of chemotherapeutic drugs and DNA simultaneously was investigated.
Methods and results
These copolymers could self-assemble into micelles with positive charges. The size and zeta potential of the micelles was measured, and the results indicate that temperature had a large effect on the micelles obtained. In vitro gene transfection evaluation in cancer cells indicated that the self-assembled micelles could serve as potential gene delivery vectors. In addition, hydrophobic drug entrapment efficiency and codelivery with the gene was also studied in vitro. The self-assembled micelles could load doxorubicin efficiently and increase cellular uptake in vitro, while maintaining high gene transfection efficiency.
The triblock copolymer mPEG–PCL-g–PEI could be a novel vector for codelivery of drug and gene therapy.
self-assembly; triblock copolymer; DNA; drug codelivery; gene transfection
Cholesterol plays a critical role in liposome composition. It has great impact on the behavior of liposome in vitro and in vivo. In order to verify the possible effects from cholesterol charge, surface shielding and chemical nature, two catalogs of liposomes with charged and PEGylated cholesterols were synthesized. Anionic liposomes (AL) and cationic liposomes (CL) were prepared, with charges from hemisuccinate and lysine in cholesterol derivatives, respectively. Characteristics of different formulated liposomes were investigated after doxorubicin encapsulation, using neutral liposomes (NL) as control. Results showed that after PEGylation, AL and CL liposomes displayed prolonged retention release profile, while kept similar size distribution, encapsulation efficiency, low cytotoxicity and hemolysis comparing with NL. Confocal laser scanning microscopy and flow cytometry experiments confirmed the significantly higher cell uptake from AL and CL vesicles than the NL in mouse breast carcinoma and melanoma cells, human epithelial carcinoma and hepatoma cells. It was in accordance with our corresponding cellular mortality studies of DOX-loaded liposomes. The in vivo anti-tumor effect experiments from charged liposomes also presented much higher tumor inhibition effect (70% vs 45%, p < 0.05) than NL liposomes. This is the first time reporting anti-cancer effect from charged cholesterol liposome with/without PEGylation. It may give deeper understanding on the liposome formulation which is critical for liposome associated drug research and development.
Liposome; Cholesterol derivative; charged; PEGylation; image; Drug delivery.
The aim of this work was to investigate the immunomodulatory activities of Rubus coreanus Miquel extract-loaded gelatin nanoparticles. The mean size of the produced nanoparticles was 143 ± 18 nm with a bandwidth of 76 nm in the size distribution and a maximum size of ~200 nm, which allows effective nanoparticle uptake by cells. Confocal imaging confirmed this, since the nanoparticles were internalized within 30 min and heterogeneously distributed throughout the cell. Zeta-potential measurements showed that from pH = 5 onwards, the nanoparticles were highly negatively charged, which prevents agglomeration to clusters by electrostatic repulsion. This was confirmed by TEM imaging, which showed a well dispersed colloidal solution. The encapsulation efficiency was nearly 60%, which is higher than for other components encapsulated in gelatin nanoparticles. Measurements of immune modulation in immune cells showed a significant effect by the crude extract, which was only topped by the nanoparticles containing the extract. Proliferation of B-, T- and NK cells was notably enhanced by Rubus coreanus-gelatin nanoparticles and in general ~2–3 times higher than control and on average ~2 times higher than ferulic acid. R. coreanus-gelatin nanoparticles induced cytokine secretion (IL-6 and TNF-α) from B- and T-cells on average at a ~2–3 times higher rate compared with the extract and ferulic acid. In vivo immunomodulatory activity in mice fed with R. coreanus-gelatin nanoparticles at 1 mL/g body weight showed a ~5 times higher antibody production compared to control, a ~1.3 times higher production compared to the extract only, and a ~1.6 times higher production compared to ferulic acid. Overall, our results suggest that gelatin nanoparticles represent an excellent transport vehicle for Rubus coreanus extract and extracts from other plants generally used in traditional Asian medicine. Such nanoparticles ensure a high local concentration that results in enhancement of immune cell activities, including proliferation, cytokine secretion, and antibody production.
Rubus coreanus Miquel; nano-encapsulation process; nanoparticle; immune activity; immunomodulation; edible polymer; gelatin; ferulic acid; cytotoxicity
1. Experiments on anomalous osmosis suggested that salts with trivalent cations, e.g. LaCl3, caused isoelectric gelatin to be positively charged, and salts with tetravalent anions, e.g. Na4Fe(CN)6, caused isoelectric gelatin to be negatively charged. In this paper direct measurements of the P.D. between gels of isoelectric gelatin and an aqueous solution as well as between solutions of isoelectric gelatin in a collodion bag and an aqueous solution are published which show that this suggestion was correct. 2. Experiments on anomalous osmosis suggested that salts like MgCl2, CaCl2, NaCl, LiCl, or Na2SO4 produce no charge on isoelectric gelatin and it is shown in this paper that direct measurements of the P.D. support this suggestion. 3. The question arose as to the nature of the mechanism by which trivalent and tetravalent ions cause the charge of isoelectric proteins. It is shown that salts with such ions act on isoelectric gelatin in a way similar to that in which acids or alkalies act, inasmuch as in low concentrations the positive charge of isoelectric gelatin increases with the concentration of the LaCl3 solution until a maximum is reached at a concentration of LaCl3 of about M/8,000; from then on a further increase in the concentration of LaCl3 diminishes the charge again. It is shown that the same is true for the action of Na4Fe(CN)6. From this it is inferred that the charge of the isoelectric gelatin under the influence of LaCl3 and Na4Fe(CN)6 at the isoelectric point is due to an ionization of the isoelectric protein by the trivalent or tetravalent ions. 4. This ionization might be due to a change of the pH of the solution, but experiments are reported which show that in addition to this influence on pH, LaCl3 causes an ionization of the protein in some other way, possibly by the formation of a complex cation, gelatin-La. Na4Fe(CN)6 might probably cause the formation of a complex anion of the type gelatin-Fe(CN)6. Isoelectric gelatin seems not to form such compounds with Ca, Na, Cl, or SO4. 5. Solutions of LaCl3 and Na4Fe(CN)6 influence the osmotic pressure of solutions of isoelectric gelatin in a similar way as they influence the P.D., inasmuch as in lower concentrations they raise the osmotic pressure of the gelatin solution until a maximum is reached at a concentration of about M/2,048 LaCl3 and M/4,096 Na4Fe(CN)6. A further increase of the concentration of the salt depresses the osmotic pressure again. NaCl, LiCl, MgCl2, CaCl2, and Na2SO4 do not act in this way. 6. Solutions of LaCl3 have only a depressing effect on the P.D. and osmotic pressure of gelatin chloride solutions of pH 3.0 and this depressing effect is quantitatively identical with that of solutions of CaCl2 and NaCl of the same concentration of Cl.
The study was designed for the development of salbutamol-modified release tablet using various polymer composition of agar, gelatin A and gelatin B. The purpose is to observe the role of polymer composition on the modified dissolution rate of salbutamol. Pre-formulation trials were initiated by comprising different ratios of polymer blend in the tablets. Formulations were optimized based on their invitro release performed in enzyme free simulated gastric fluid (0.1 N HCl, pH 1.2). Dissolution profiles of tablets were compared among the tablets made of agar, gelatin A, gelatin B and their blends agar-gelatin A, agar-gelatin B, gelatin A-gelatin B and agar-gelatin A-gelatin B in 1:1 ratio. Polymer compositions were fixed based on our desired sustaining activity of the tablet which showed a biphasic release profile with immediate release followed by sustained release. Polymer blends were more effective in controlling drug release. The better controlling behavior of polymer blends was explained by specific interaction between polymer components, their network structure and polymer–drug interaction.
Biopolymer blends; biphasic release; in-vitro release; simulated gastric fluid; specific interaction
Specific properties of amphiphilic copolymeric micelles like small size, stability, biodegradability and prolonged biodistribution have projected them as promising vectors for drug delivery. To evaluate the potential of δ-valerolactone based micelles as carriers for drug delivery, a novel triblock amphiphilic copolymer poly(δ-valerolactone)/poly(ethylene glycol)/poly(δ-valerolactone) (VEV) was synthesized and characterized using IR, NMR, GPC, DTA and TGA. To evaluate VEV as a carrier for drug delivery, doxorubicin (DOX) entrapped VEV micelles (VEVDMs) were prepared and analyzed for in vitro antitumor activity.
VEV copolymer was successfully synthesized by ring opening polymerization and the stable core shell structure of VEV micelles with a low critical micelle concentration was confirmed by proton NMR and fluorescence based method. Doxorubicin entrapped micelles (VEVDMs) prepared using a modified single emulsion method were obtained with a mean diameter of 90 nm and high encapsulation efficiency showing a pH dependent sustained doxorubicin release. Biological evaluation in breast adenocarcinoma (MCF7) and glioblastoma (U87MG) cells by flow cytometry showed 2-3 folds increase in cellular uptake of VEVDMs than free DOX. Block copolymer micelles without DOX were non cytotoxic in both the cell lines. As evaluated by the IC50 values VEVDMs induced 77.8, 71.2, 81.2% more cytotoxicity in MCF7 cells and 40.8, 72.6, 76% more cytotoxicity in U87MG cells than pristine DOX after 24, 48, 72 h treatment, respectively. Moreover, VEVDMs induced enhanced apoptosis than free DOX as indicated by higher shift in Annexin V-FITC fluorescence and better intensity of cleaved PARP. Even though, further studies are required to prove the efficacy of this formulation in vivo the comparable G2/M phase arrest induced by VEVDMs at half the concentration of free DOX confirmed the better antitumor efficacy of VEVDMs in vitro.
Our studies clearly indicate that VEVDMs possess great therapeutic potential for long-term tumor suppression. Furthermore, our results launch VEV as a promising nanocarrier for an effective controlled drug delivery in cancer chemotherapy.
Synthetic nonionic surfactant vesicles (niosomes) are a colloidal system with closed bilayer structures, displaying distinct advantages in stability and cost compared to liposomes. In this paper, polysorbate cationic niosomes (PCNs) were developed as gene carriers. The PCNs comprised nonionic surfactants (i.e. polysorbates) and a cationic cholesterol, and were synthesized using a film hydration method. The niosomes thus prepared possessed a regular morphology, and a particle size of 100 ~ 200 nm, and a zeta potential of +30 ~ 45 mV. The PCNs showed great physical stability over the course of 4 weeks at room temperature. The binding capacity of PCNs toward oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) was assessed by a gel retardation approach, which demonstrated that the ionic complexes were formed when +/− charge ratio reached to 4 or greater. Gene transfer study showed that the PCNs exhibited a high efficiency in mediating cellular uptake and transferred DNA expression. Based on these findings, PCNs may offer the potential to function as an effective gene delivery system.
nonionic surfactant; synthetic vesicle; niosome; polysorbates; gene delivery
Biocompatible materials are of considerable interest in the development of cell/drug delivery carriers for therapeutic applications. This paper investigates the effects of the Bloom index of gelatin on its interaction with retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Following two days of culture of ARPE-19 cells with gelatin samples G75-100, G175, and G300, the in vitro biocompatibility was determined by cell proliferation and viability assays, and glutamate uptake measurements, as well as cytokine expression analyses. The mitochondrial dehydrogenase activity in the G300 groups was significantly lower than that of G75-100 and G175 groups. The Live/Dead assays also showed that the gelatin samples G300 induced mild cytotoxicity. In comparison with the treatment of gelatins with low Bloom index, the exposure to high Bloom strength gelatins markedly reduced the glutamate uptake capacity of ARPE-19 cells. One possible explanation for these observations is that the presence of gelatin samples G300 with high viscosity in the medium may affect the nutrient availability to cultured cells. The analyses of pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-6 expression at both mRNA and protein levels showed that the gelatins with low Bloom index caused less cellular inflammatory reaction and had more acceptable biocompatibility than their high Bloom strength counterparts. These findings suggest that the Bloom index gives influence on cellular responses to gelatin materials.
gelatin; Bloom index; in vitro biocompatibility; retinal pigment epithelial cells
The objective of the present study was to construct epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeting cetuximab immunoliposomes (ILs) for targeted delivery of boron compounds to EGFR(+) glioma cells for neutron capture therapy. The ILs were synthesized by using a novel cholesterol-based membrane anchor, maleimido-PEG-cholesterol (Mal-PEG-Chol), to incorporate cetuximab into liposomes by either surface conjugation or a post-insertion method. For post-insertion, transfer efficiency of MAb conjugates from micelles to liposome was examined at varying temperatures, mPEG2000-DSPE ratios, and micelle-to-liposome lipid ratios. Following this, the cetuximab-ILs were evaluated for targeted delivery of the encapsulated boron anion, dodecahydro-closo-dodecaborate (2−) (B12H122−), to human EGFR gene transfected F98EGFR glioma cells as potential delivery agents for boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT). In addition, cellular uptake of cetuximab-ILs, encapsulating a fluorescence dye, was analyzed by confocal fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry, and boron content was quantified by ICP-MS. Much greater (~ 8-fold) cellular uptake of boron was obtained using cetuximab-ILs in EGFR(+) F98EGFR compared with non-targeted human IgG-ILs. Based on these observations, we have concluded that cholesterol can serve as an effective anchor for MAb in liposomes and cetuximab-ILs are potentially useful delivery vehicles for BNCT of gliomas.
immunoliposomes; cholesterol; cetuximab; BNCT; post-insertion
The labile nature of live, attenuated varicella-zoster virus (Oka/Merck) requires robust stabilization during virus bulk preparation and vaccine manufacturing in order to preserve potency through storage and administration. One stabilizing ingredient used in a varicella-zoster virus (VZV) vaccine is hydrolyzed porcine gelatin which represents the major protein/peptide-based excipient in the vaccine formulation.
In this comparative study, a recombinant human gelatin fragment (8.5 kD) was assessed as a potential replacement for hydrolyzed porcine gelatin in an experimental live, attenuated VZV (Oka/Merck) vaccine. VZV (Oka/Merck) was harvested in two formulations prepared with either a hydrolyzed porcine gelatin or a recombinant human gelatin. Moreover, the viral stability in the experimental VZV (Oka/Merck) vaccines was evaluated under accelerated and real-time conditions in a comparative study.
Results and discussion
The stabilizing effect of recombinant human gelatin on VZV (Oka/Merck) potency change during vaccine lyophilization was similar to the experimental vaccine containing porcine-derived gelatin. Vaccine viral potency changes were comparable in stabilized VZV (Oka/Merck) formulations containing either hydrolyzed porcine gelatin or recombinant human gelatin. No statistically significant difference in potency stability was observed between the vaccine formulations stored at any of the temperatures tested.
The recombinant human gelatin demonstrated similar ability to stabilize the live attenuated VZV (Oka/Merck) in an experimental, refrigerator-stable varicella vaccine when compared to the vaccine preparation formulated with hydrolyzed porcine gelatin used in currently marketed varicella vaccine.
1. It has been shown in this paper that while non-ionized gelatin may exist in gelatin solutions on both sides of the isoelectric point (which lies for gelatin at a hydrogen ion concentration of CH = 2.10–5 or pH = 4.7), gelatin, when it ionizes, can only exist as an anion on the less acid side of its isoelectric point (pH > 4.7), as a cation only on the more acid side of its isoelectric point (pH < 4.7). At the isoelectric point gelatin can dissociate practically neither as anion nor as cation. 2. When gelatin has been transformed into sodium gelatinate by treating it for some time with M/32 NaOH, and when it is subsequently treated with HCl, the gelatin shows on the more acid side of the isoelectric point effects of the acid treatment only; while the effects of the alkali treatment disappear completely, showing that the negative gelatin ions formed by the previous treatment with alkali can no longer exist in a solution with a pH < 4.7. When gelatin is first treated with acid and afterwards with alkali on the alkaline side of the isoelectric point only the effects of the alkali treatment are noticeable. 3. On the acid side of the isoelectric point amphoteric electrolytes can only combine with the anions of neutral salts, on the less acid side of their isoelectric point only with cations; and at the isoelectric point neither with the anion nor cation of a neutral salt. This harmonizes with the statement made in the first paragraph, and the experimental results on the effect of neutral salts on gelatin published in the writer's previous papers. 4. The reason for this influence of the hydrogen ion concentration on the stability of the two forms of ionization possible for an amphoteric electrolyte is at present unknown. We might think of the possibility of changes in the configuration or constitution of the gelatin molecule whereby ionized gelatin can exist only as an anion on the alkaline side and as a cation on the acid side of its isoelectric point. 5. The literature of colloid chemistry contains numerous statements which if true would mean that the anions of neutral salts act on gelatin on the alkaline side of the isoelectric point, e.g. the alleged effect of the Hofmeister series of anions on the swelling and osmotic pressure of common gelatin in neutral solutions, and the statement that both ions of a neutral salt influence a protein simultaneously. The writer has shown in previous publications that these statements are contrary to fact and based on erroneous methods of work. Our present paper shows that these claims of colloid chemists are also theoretically impossible. 6. In addition to other physical properties the conductivity of gelatin previously treated with acids has been investigated and plotted, and it was found that this conductivity is a minimum in the region of the isoelectric point, thus confirming the conclusion that gelatin can apparently not exist in ionized condition at that point. The conductivity rises on either side of the isoelectric point, but not symmetrically for reasons given in the paper. It is shown that the curves for osmotic pressure, viscosity, swelling, and alcohol number run parallel to the curve of the conductivity of gelatin when the gelatin has been treated with acid, supporting the view that these physical properties are in this case mainly or exclusively a function of the degree of ionization of the gelatin or gelatin salt formed. It is pointed out, however, that certain constitutional factors, e.g. the valency of the ion in combination with the gelatin, may alter the physical properties of the gelatin (osmotic pressure, etc.) without apparently altering its conductivity. This point is still under investigation and will be further discussed in a following publication. 7. It is shown that the isoelectric point of an amphoteric electrolyte is not only a point where the physical properties of an ampholyte experience a sharp drop and become a minimum, but that it is also a turning point for the mode of chemical reactions of the ampholyte. It may turn out that this chemical influence of the isoelectric point upon life phenomena overshadows its physical influence. 8. These experiments suggest that the theory of amphoteric colloids is in its general features identical with the theory of inorganic hydroxides (e.g. aluminum hydroxide), whose behavior is adequately understood on the basis of the laws of general chemistry.
1. It is shown that when part of the gelatin in a solution of gelatin chloride is replaced by particles of powdered gelatin (without change of pH) the membrane potential of the solution is influenced comparatively little. 2. A measurement of the hydrogen ion concentration of the gelatin chloride solution and the outside aqueous solution with which the gelatin solution is in osmotic equilibrium, shows that the membrane potential can be calculated from this difference of hydrogen ion concentration with an accuracy of half a millivolt. This proves that the membrane potential is due to the establishment of a membrane equilibrium and that the powdered particles participate in this membrane equilibrium. 3. It is shown that a Donnan equilibrium is established between powdered particles of gelatin chloride and not too strong a solution of gelatin chloride. This is due to the fact that the powdered gelatin particles may be considered as a solid solution of gelatin with a higher concentration than that of the weak gelatin solution in which they are suspended. It follows from the theory of membrane equilibria that this difference in concentration of protein ions must give rise to potential differences between the solid particles and the weaker gelatin solution. 4. The writer had shown previously that when the gelatin in a solution of gelatin chloride is replaced by powdered gelatin (without a change in pH), the osmotic pressure of the solution is lowered the more the more dissolved gelatin is replaced by powdered gelatin. It is therefore obvious that the powdered particles of gelatin do not participate in the osmotic pressure of the solution in spite of the fact that they participate in the establishment of the Donnan equilibrium and in the membrane potentials. 5. This paradoxical phenomenon finds its explanation in the fact that as a consequence of the participation of each particle in the Donnan equilibrium, a special osmotic pressure is set up in each individual particle of powdered gelatin which leads to a swelling of that particle, and this osmotic pressure is measured by the increase in the cohesion pressure of the powdered particles required to balance the osmotic pressure inside each particle. 6. In a mixture of protein in solution and powdered protein (or protein micellæ) we have therefore two kinds of osmotic pressure, the hydrostatic pressure of the protein which is in true solution, and the cohesion pressure of the aggregates. Since only the former is noticeable in the hydrostatic pressure which serves as a measure of the osmotic pressure of a solution, it is clear why the osmotic pressure of a protein solution must be diminished when part of the protein in true solution is replaced by aggregates.
On the basis of high enzyme activity a newly isolated strain of L. mesenteroides CMG713 was selected for dextran production. For maximum yield of dextran, effects of various parameters such as pH, temperature, sucrose concentration and incubation period were studied. L. mesenteroides CMG713 produced maximum dextran after 20 hours of incubation at 30ºC with 15% sucrose at pH 7.0. The molecular mass distribution of dextran produced by this strain showed that its molecular mass was about 2.0 million Da. Dextran analysis by 13C-NMR spectrometry showed no signals corresponding to any other linkages except α-(1→6) glycosidic linkage in the main chain, which has not been reported before. Physico-chemical properties of this unique dextran were also studied. These optimised conditions could be used for the commercial production of this unique high molecular weight dextran, which have significant industrial perspectives.
L. mesenteroides; Dextran; NMR
During sclerotial infection of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum the mycoparasite Coniothyrium minitans penetrates through the host cell wall, which contains β-1,3-glucan as its major component. A PCR-based strategy was used to clone a β-1,3-glucanase-encoding gene, designated cmg1, from a cDNA library of the fungus. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences of this gene showed high levels of similarity to the sequences of other fungal exo-β-1,3-glucanase genes. The calculated molecular mass of the deduced protein (without the predicted 24-amino-acid N-terminal secretion signal peptide) was 83,346 Da, and the estimated pI was 4.73. Saccharomyces cerevisiae INVSc1 expressing the cmg1 gene secreted a ∼100-kDa β-1,3-glucanase enzyme (as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) into the culture medium. N-terminal sequence analysis of the purified recombinant enzyme revealed that the secreted enzyme starts at Ala-32, seven amino acids downstream from the predicted signal peptidase cleavage site. The purified recombinant glucanase inhibited in vitro mycelial growth of S. sclerotiorum by 35 and 85% at concentrations of 300 and 600 μg ml−1, respectively. A single copy of the cmg1 gene is present in the genome of C. minitans. Northern analyses indicated increases in the transcript levels of cmg1 due to both carbon starvation and the presence of ground sclerotia of S. sclerotiorum; only slight repression was observed in the presence of 2% glucose. Expression of cmg1 increased during parasitic interaction with S. sclerotiorum.