Glycyrrhizin, an abundant bioactive component of the medicinal licorice root is rapidly metabolized by gut commensal bacteria into 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA). Either or both of these compounds have been shown to have antiviral, anti-hepatotoxic, anti-ulcerative, anti-tumor, anti-allergenic and anti-inflammatory activity in vitro or in vivo. In this study, the ability of GRA to modulate immune responses at the small intestinal mucosa when delivered orally was investigated. Analysis of cytokine transcription in duodenal and ileal tissue in response to GRA treatment revealed a pattern of chemokine and chemokine receptor gene expression predictive of B cell recruitment to the gut. Consistent with this finding, GRA induced increases in CD19+ B cells in the lamina propria and B220+ B cell aggregates framed by CD11c+ dendritic cells in structures resembling isolated lymphoid follicles (ILF). Using a mouse model of rotavirus infection, GRA reduced the duration of viral antigen shedding, and endpoint serum antibody titers were higher in GRA-treated animals. Together the data suggest GRA delivered orally augments lymphocyte recruitment to the intestinal mucosa and induces maturation of B cell-rich ILF independently of ectopic antigenic stimulus. These results provide further support a role for dietary ligands in modulation of dynamic intestinal lymphoid tissue.
Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has become a major source of infection in hospitals and in the community. Increasing antibiotic resistance in S. aureus strains has created a need for alternative therapies to treat disease. A component of the licorice root Glycyrrhiza spp., 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA), has been shown to have antiviral, antitumor, and antibacterial activity. This investigation explores the in vitro and in vivo effects of GRA on MRSA pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) type USA300. GRA exhibited bactericidal activity at concentrations exceeding 0.223 μM. Upon exposure of S. aureus to sublytic concentrations of GRA, we observed a reduction in expression of key virulence genes, including saeR and hla. In murine models of skin and soft tissue infection, topical GRA treatment significantly reduced skin lesion size and decreased the expression of saeR and hla genes. Our investigation demonstrates that at high concentrations GRA is bactericidal to MRSA and at sublethal doses it reduces virulence gene expression in S. aureus both in vitro and in vivo.
We earlier showed that 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA), a pentacyclic triterpenoid from licorice root, could completely cure visceral leishmaniasis in BALB/c mouse model. This was associated with induction of nitric oxide and proinflammatory cytokine production through the up regulation of NF-κB. In the present study we tried to decipher the underlying cellular mechanisms of the curative effect of GRA. Analysis of MAP kinase pathways revealed that GRA caused strong activation of p38 and to a lesser extent, ERK in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM). Almost complete abrogation of GRA-induced cytokine production in presence of specific inhibitors of p38 and ERK1/2 confirmed the involvement of these MAP kinases in GRA-mediated responses. GRA induced mitogen- and stress-activated protein kinase (MSK1) activity in a time-dependent manner suggested that GRA-mediated NF-κB transactivation is mediated by p38, ERK and MSK1 pathway. As kinase/phosphatase balance plays an important role in modulating infection, the effect of GRA on MAPK directed phosphatases (MKP) was studied. GRA markedly reduced the expression and activities of three phosphatases, MKP1, MKP3 and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) along with a substantial reduction of p38 and ERK dephosphorylation in infected BMDM. Similarly in the in vivo situation, GRA treatment of L. donovani-infected BALB/c mice caused marked reduction of spleen parasite burden associated with concomitant decrease of individual phosphatase levels. However, activation of kinases also played an important role as the protective effect of GRA was significantly abrogated by pharmacological inhibition of p38 and ERK pathway. Curative effect of GRA may, therefore, be associated with restoration of proper cellular kinase/phosphatase balance, rather than modulation of either kinases or phosphatases.
Granzyme B (GraB) induces apoptosis in the presence of perforin. Perforin polymerizes in the cell membrane to form a nonspecific ion pore, but it is not known where GraB acts to initiate the events that ultimately lead to apoptosis. It has been hypothesized that GraB enters the target cell through a perforin channel and then initiates apoptosis by cleaving and activating members of the ICE/Ced-3 family of cell death proteases. To determine if GraB can enter the cell, we treated YAC-1 or HeLa cells with FITC-labeled GraB and measured intracellular fluorescence with a high sensitivity CCD camera and image analyzer. GraB was internalized and found diffusely dispersed in the cell cytoplasm within 10 min. Uptake was inhibited at low temperature (4°C) and by pretreatment with metabolic inhibitors, NaF and DNP, or cytochalasin B, a drug that both blocks microfilament formation, and FITC-GraB remained on the cell membrane localized in patches. With the simultaneous addition of perforin and FITC-GraB, no significant increase in cytoplasmic fluorescence was observed over that found in cells treated only with FITC-GraB. However, FITC-GraB was now detected in the nucleus of apoptotic cells labeling apoptotic bodies and localized areas within and along the nuclear membrane. The ability of GraB to enter cells in the absence of perforin was reexamined using anti-GraB antibody immunogold staining of ultrathin cryosections of cells incubated with GraB. Within 15 min, gold particles were detected both on the plasma membrane and in the cytoplasm of cells with some gold staining adjacent to the nuclear envelope but not in the nucleus. Cells internalizing GraB in the absence of perforin appeared morphologically normal by Hoechst staining and electron microscopy. GraB directly microinjected into the cytoplasm of B16 melanoma cells induced transient plasma membrane blebbing and nuclear coarsening but the cells did not become frankly apoptotic unless perforin was added. We conclude that GraB can enter cells autonomously but that perforin initiates the apoptotic process and the entry of GraB into the nucleus.
We investigated the inhibitory effect of three glycyrrhizin derivatives, such as Glycyrrhizin (compound 1), dipotassium glycyrrhizate (compound 2) and glycyrrhetinic acid (compound 3), on the activity of mammalian pols. Among these derivatives, compound 3 was the strongest inhibitor of mammalian pols α, β, κ, and λ, which belong to the B, A, Y, and X families of pols, respectively, whereas compounds 1 and 2 showed moderate inhibition. Among the these derivatives tested, compound 3 displayed strongest suppression of the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) induced by lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in a cell-culture system using mouse macrophages RAW264.7 and peritoneal macrophages derived from mice. Moreover, compound 3 was found to inhibit the action of nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) in engineered human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. In addition, compound 3 caused greater reduction of 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate-(TPA-) induced acute inflammation in mouse ear than compounds 1 and 2. In conclusion, this study has identified compound 3, which is the aglycone of compounds 1 and 2, as a promising anti-inflammatory candidate based on mammalian pol inhibition.
Background. Licorice has long been used to treat many ailments including cardiovascular disorders in China. Recent studies have shown that the cardiac actions of licorice can be attributed to its active component, glycyrrhetinic acid (GA). However, the mechanism of action remains poorly understood. Aim. The effects of GA on the delayed rectifier potassium current (IK), the rapidly activating (IKr) and slowly activating (IKs) components of IK, and the HERG K+ channel expressed in HEK-293 cells were investigated. Materials and Methods. Single ventricular myocytes were isolated from guinea pig myocardium using enzymolysis. The wild type HERG gene was stably expressed in HEK293 cells. Whole-cell patch clamping was used to record IK (IKr, IKs) and the HERG K+ current. Results. GA (1, 5, and 10 μM) inhibited IK (IKr, IKs) and the HERG K+ current in a concentration-dependent manner. Conclusion. GA significantly inhibited the potassium currents in a dose- and voltage-dependent manner, suggesting that it exerts its antiarrhythmic action through the prolongation of APD and ERP owing to the inhibition of IK (IKr, IKs) and HERG K+ channel.
Background and objective
18beta-glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) is a natural anti-inflammatory compound derived from licorice root extract (Glycyrrhiza glabra). The effect of GA on experimental periodontitis and its mechanism of action were determined in the present study.
Periodontitis was induced by oral infection with Porphyromonas gingivalis W83 in IL-10 deficient mice. The effect of GA, which was delivered by subcutaneous injections in either prophylactic or therapeutic regimens, on alveolar bone loss and gingival gene expressions was determined on day 42 after initial infection. The effect of GA on LPS-stimulated macrophages, T cell proliferation, and osteoclastogenesis was also examined in vitro.
GA administered either prophylactically or therapeutically dramatically reduced infection-induced bone loss in IL-10 deficient mice, which are highly disease-susceptible. Although GA has been reported to exert its anti-inflammatory activity via down-regulation of 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-2 (HSD2), which converts active glucocorticoids (GC) to their inactive forms, GA did not reduce HSD2 gene expression in gingival tissue. Rather, under GC-free conditions, GA potently inhibited LPS-stimulated proinflammatory cytokine production and RANKL-stimulated osteoclastogenesis, both of which are NF–κB-dependent. GA furthermore suppressed LPS- and RANKL-stimulated phosphorylation of NF–κB p105 in vitro.
These findings indicate that GA inhibits periodontitis by inactivation of NF–κB in an IL-10 and GC-independent fashion.
18beta-glycyrrhetinic acid; periodontal disease; NF–κB; IL-10 deficient mouse
Methyl 2-cyano-3,11-dioxo-18β-olean-1,12-dien-30-oate (CDODA-Me) is a synthetic triterpenoid derived from glycyrrhetinic acid, a bioactive phytochemical in licorice, CDODA-Me inhibits growth of Panc1 and Panc28 pancreatic cancer cell lines and activates peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ)-dependent transactivation in these cells. CDODA-Me also induced p21 and p27 protein expression and downregulates cyclin D1; however, these responses were receptor-independent. CDODA-Me induced apoptosis in Panc1 and Panc28 cells, and this was accompanied by receptor-independent induction of the proapoptotic proteins early growth response-1 (Egr-1), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene-1 (NAG-1), and activating transcription factor-3 (ATF3). Induction of NAG-1 and Egr-1 by CDODA-Me was dependent on activation of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3-K) and/or p42 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways but there were differences between Panc28 and Panc1 cells. Induction of NAG-1 in Panc28 cells was p38-MAPK- and PI3-K-dependent but Egr-1-independent, whereas induction in Panc1 cells was associated with activation of p38-MAPK, PI3-K and p42-MAPK and was only partially Egr-1-dependent. This is the first report of the induction of the proapoptotic protein NAG-1 in pancreatic cancer cells.
CDODA-Me; pancreatic cancer; apoptosis
Objective: To investigate the effects of 18α-glycyrrhetinic acid (18α-GA) on the expression of type I and III collagen in human and rat hepatic stellate cells (HSC) and to explore the role of TGF-β1/Smad signaling pathway involved.
Methods: Following 18α-GA treatment, the cell viability and cell growth were detected to determine the optimal concentration of 18α-GA. The expressions of TGF-β1/Smad signaling-related genes including type I and III collagen in human and rat HSCs before and after 18α-GA treatment were measured by real time PCR. The expression of related proteins was verified by western blot assay. The phosphorylation level of Smad2 and Smad3 was detected by immunocytochemistry. The DNA binding activities of SP-1, AP-1 and NF-κB were measured by both EMSA and ArrayStar transcription factor activity assay.
Results: 18α-GA could decrease the mRNA and protein expression of Smad3, type I and III collagen, increase the Smad7 expression in human and rat HSCs (P<0.05), and reduce phosphorylation level of Smad3 at 24 h and 48 h after treatment. The DNA binding activities of transcription factors were suppressed by 18α-GA in human and rat HSCs at 24 h, and the activities reduced in a time dependent manner with the lowest activities at 48 h, especially for SP-1.
Conclusion: 18α-GA could inhibit the mRNA and protein expression of type I and III collagen in human and rat HSCs, which may be attributed to down-regulation of Smad3, up-regulation of Smad7, and inhibition of DNA binding activities of SP-1, AP-1 and NF-κB.
18α-glycyrrhetinic acid; hepatic stellate cell; TGF-β1/Smad; transcription factor
The triblock 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid-poly(ethylene glycol)-18β-glycyrrhetinic acid conjugates (GA-PEG-GA) based self-assembled micelles were synthesized and characterized by FTIR, NMR, transmission electron microscopy, and particle size analysis. The GA-PEG-GA conjugates having the critical micelle concentration of 6 × 10−5 M were used to form nanosized micelles, with mean diameters of 159.21 ± 2.2 nm, and then paclitaxel (PTX) was incorporated into GA-PEG-GA micelles by self-assembly method. The physicochemical properties of the PTX loaded GA-PEG-GA micelles were evaluated including in vitro cellular uptake, cytotoxicity, drug release profile, and in vivo tissue distribution. The results demonstrate that the GA-PEG-GA micelles had low cytotoxicity and good ability of selectively delivering drug to hepatic cells in vitro and in vivo by the targeting moiety glycyrrhetinic acid. In conclusion, the GA-PEG-GA conjugates have potential medical applications for targeted delivery of poor soluble drug delivery.
Toxoplasma gondii GRA10 expressed as a GFP-GRA10 fusion protein in HeLa cells moved to the nucleoli within the nucleus rapidly and entirely. GRA10 was concentrated specifically in the dense fibrillar component of the nucleolus morphologically by the overlap of GFP-GRA10 transfection image with IFA images by monoclonal antibodies against GRA10 (Tg378), B23 (nucleophosmin) and C23 (nucleolin). The nucleolar translocalization of GRA10 was caused by a putative nucleolar localizing sequence (NoLS) of GRA10. Interaction of GRA10 with TATA-binding protein associated factor 1B (TAF1B) in the yeast two-hybrid technique was confirmed by GST pull-down assay and immunoprecipitation assay. GRA10 and TAF1B were also co-localized in the nucleolus after co-transfection. The nucleolar condensation of GRA10 was affected by actinomycin D. Expressed GFP-GRA10 was evenly distributed over the nucleoplasm and the nucleolar locations remained as hollows in the nucleoplasm under a low dose of actinomycin D. Nucleolar localizing and interacting of GRA10 with TAF1B suggested the participation of GRA10 in rRNA synthesis of host cells to favor the parasitism of T. gondii.
Toxoplasma gondii; GRA10; transfection; nucleolar localization; NoLS; TAF1B; rRNA synthesis
We report on an optimized method for the in vitro culture of tissue cyst-forming Neospora caninum bradyzoites in Vero cells and the separation of viable parasites from host cells. Treatment of tachyzoite-infected Vero cell cultures with 17 μM sodium nitroprusside for 8 days severely scaled down parasite proliferation, led to reduced expression of tachyzoite surface antigens, and induced the expression of the bradyzoite marker NcBAG1 and the cyst wall antigen recognized by the monoclonal antibody MAbCC2. Transmission electron microscopy demonstrated that intracellular parasites were located within parasitophorous vacuoles that were surrounded by a cyst wall-like structure, and the dense granule antigens NcGRA1, NcGRA2, and NcGRA7 were incorporated into the cyst wall. Adhesion-invasion assays employing purified tachyzoites and bradyzoites showed that tachyzoites adhered to, and invaded, Vero cells with higher efficiency than bradyzoites. However, removal of terminal sialic acid residues from either the host cell or the parasite surface increased the invasion of Vero cells by bradyzoites, but not tachyzoites.
The evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii isolates obtained from geographical environments other than Europe and North America revealed the existence of atypical strains that are not included in the three archetypal clonal lineages (lineages I, II, and III). GRA6 and GRA7 are polymorphic genes that have been used for the genotyping of Toxoplasma. The coding regions of GRA6 and GRA7 from 49 nonarchetypal strains were sequenced and compared with the sequences of type I, II, and III reference strains. Eighteen and 10 different amino acid sequences were found for GRA6 and GRA7, respectively. The polymorphisms found between the different sequences were analyzed, with the objective of defining peptides to be used for the serotyping of Toxoplasma infections. Two peptides specific for clonal lineages I and III (peptides GRA7I and GRA7III, respectively) were selected from the GRA7 locus. Three peptides specific for some atypical strains (peptides Am6, Af6, and Am7) were selected from both the GRA6 and the GRA7 loci. Serum samples from humans infected with Toxoplasma strains of known genotypes were serotyped with the selected peptides. Peptide GRA7III seems to be a good candidate for the serotyping of infections caused by type III strains. Peptide GRA7I had a very low sensitivity. Peptides Am6 and Af6 had low specificities, since they reacted with serum samples from patients infected with strains belonging to the three archetypal lineages. Although peptide Am7 was specific, it had low sensitivity.
The GraSR two-component system (TCS) controls cationic antimicrobial peptide (CAMP) resistance in Staphylococcus aureus through the synthesis of enzymes that increase bacterial cell surface positive charges, by d-alanylation of teichoic acids and lysylination of phosphatidylglycerol, leading to electrostatic repulsion of CAMPs. The GraS histidine kinase belongs to the “intramembrane-sensing kinases” subfamily, with a structure featuring a short amino-terminal sensing domain, and two transmembrane helices separated only by a short loop, thought to be buried in the cytoplasmic membrane. The GraSR TCS is in fact a multicomponent system, requiring at least one accessory protein, GraX, in order to function, which, as we show here, acts by signaling through the GraS kinase. The graXRS genes are located immediately upstream from genes encoding an ABC transporter, vraFG, whose expression is controlled by GraSR. We demonstrated that the VraFG transporter does not act as a detoxification module, as it cannot confer resistance when produced on its own, but instead plays an essential role by sensing the presence of CAMPs and signaling through GraS to activate GraR-dependent transcription. A bacterial two-hybrid approach, designed to identify interactions between the GraXSR and VraFG proteins, was carried out in order to understand how they act in detecting and signaling the presence of CAMPs. We identified many interactions between these protein pairs, notably between the GraS kinase and both GraX and the VraG permease, indicating the existence of an original five-component system involved in CAMP sensing and signal transduction to promote S. aureus resistance.
The root of Glycyrrhiza glabra is a traditional medicine used mainly for the treatment of peptic ulcer, hepatitis C, pulmonary and skin diseases, although clinical and experimental studies suggest that it has several other useful pharmacological properties such as antiinflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, antioxidative, anticancer activities, immunomodulatory, hepatoprotective and cardioprotective effects. Glycyrrhizinic acid, a major component of licorice, has antiulcer effect by raising the local concentration of prostaglandins that promote mucous secretion and cell proliferation in the stomach. Glycyrrhizin shows hepatoprotective effect by preventing changes in cell membrane permeability, inhibiting phospholipase A2 (PLA2) and increasing survival rate of hepatocytes. Glabridin has effect in melanogenesis and inflammation by inhibiting the tyrosinase activity of melanocytes. α-glycyhrritinic acid exhibits anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting glucocorticoid metabolism. In present study ethanolic (95%) extract of root of Glycyrrhiza glabra and its fractions were investigated for its antidyslipidaemic activity on HFD induced dyslipidaemic hamsters. Ethanolic extract and its ethyl acetate soluble, water soluble and hexane soluble fractions decreased serum level of total cholesterol by 25.9, 38.0, 39.0 and 26.3%, respectively. On the other hand ethanolic extract, ethyl acetate soluble, water soluble and hexane soluble fraction increased the serum HDL-cholesterol level by 14.8, 34.3, 27.3 and 17.2%, respectively. Ethanolic extract, ethyl acetate fraction, aqueous fraction and hexane fraction decreased triglyceride level by 31.3, 37.2, 41.2 and 28.9%, respectively. The reduction in LDL-cholesterol level by ethanolic extract, ethyl acetate soluble fraction and water soluble fraction were 43.9, 31.0, 33.4 and 24.6%, respectively.
Glycyrrhiza glabra; Dyslipidaemia; High fructose diet
The nanoparticle drug delivery system, which uses natural or synthetic polymeric material as a carrier to deliver drugs to targeted tissues, has a broad prospect for clinical application for its targeting, slow-release, and biodegradable properties. Here, we used chitosan (CTS) and hepatoma cell-specific binding molecule glycyrrhetinic acid to synthesize glycyrrhetinic acid-modified chitosan (GA-CTS). The synthetic product was confirmed by infrared (IR) spectra and hydrogen-1 nuclear magnetic resonance. The GA-CTS/5-fluorouracil (5-FU) nanoparticles were synthesized by combining GA-CTS and 5-FU and conjugating 5-FU onto the GA-CTS nanomaterial. The central composite design was performed to optimize the preparation process as CTS:tripolyphosphate sodium (TPP) weight ratio =5:1, 5-FU:CTS weight ratio =1:1, TPP concentration =0.05% (w/v), and cross-link time =50 minutes. GA-CTS/5-FU nanoparticles had a mean particle size of 193.7 nm, a polydispersity index of 0.003, a zeta potential of +27.4 mV, and a drug loading of 1.56%. The GA-CTS/5-FU nanoparticle had a protective effect on the drug against plasma degrading enzyme, and provided a sustained release system comprising three distinct phases of quick, steady, and slow release. Our study showed that the peak time, half-life time, mean residence time and area under the curve of GA-CTS/5-FU were longer or more than those of the 5-FU group, but the maximum concentration (Cmax) was lower. We demonstrated that the nanoparticles accumulated in the liver and have significantly inhibited tumor growth in an orthotropic liver cancer mouse model.
liver cancer; targeted therapy; chemotherapy; pharmacokinetics efficacy
Glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) is the active compound in Glycyrrhizae radix, a famous traditional Chinese medicine. Recently the anticancer activity of GA became the focus of scientific interest and many GA derivatives were developed as anti-tumor lead compounds. We previously reported that AEGA, a GA derivative, has proliferation inhibition and apoptosis-inducing activity in various human tumor cells. The present study was undertaken to further investigate the molecular mechanisms involved in AEGA-induced apoptosis in human leukemia K562 cells. AEGA can inhibit the growth of K562 cells in dose- and time-dependent manners determined by the MTT assay. Induction of apoptosis was evidenced by morphological changes and biochemical markers such as cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation and DNA ladder formation. Further mechanistic analysis revealed that AEGA induced apoptosis through the collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential, the accumulation of the cytosolic cytochrome c and the activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3. The apoptosis induction by AEGA was associated with the alteration in the ratio of Bcl-2/Bax protein expression. These results suggest that AEGA may induce apoptosis through a mitochondria-mediated pathway, and might have the therapeutic value against hematological malignancies.
AEGA; Glycyrrhetinic acid derivative; Apoptosis; Mitochondrial membrane potential; Bcl-2/Bax; Human leukemic cells
The objective of this work was to develop an antibody-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity assay to discriminate between acute and latent phases of Toxoplasma gondii infection by using recombinant antigens. One hundred twenty-one serum samples from women who developed IgG antibodies against Toxoplasma during pregnancy were used. The IgG avidities of antibodies directed against epitopes carried by fragments of GRA3, GRA7, MIC3, and SAG1 antigens were measured by performing parallel enzyme immunoassays. The avidity index for Toxoplasma-specific antibodies against a homogeneous mixture of recombinant GRA3, GRA7, MIC3, and SAG1 antigens correlated closely with the IgG avidity of antibodies against lysed whole-cell T. gondii antigen. The avidity assay performed with the recombinant MIC3 antigen highlighted the presence of avidity low-antibodies IgG exclusively in sera collected within 2 months after primary infection. The presence of T. gondii-specific, low-avidity IgG antibodies against recombinant MIC3 antigen can be used to determine the point of infection with T. gondii within a 2-month time frame after infection.
The potential of the dense granule antigens GRA1 and GRA6 of Toxoplasma gondii to be used as diagnosis reagents in a recombinant form was evaluated. Both proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli as glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusions. The GST-GRA1 fusion comprises the entire GRA1 sequence devoid of its N-terminal signal peptide. Separate expression of the two N- and C-terminal hydrophilic regions of GRA6 showed that only the N-terminal hydrophilic part of the protein was recognized by a pool of positive human sera in an immunoblot. One hundred T. gondii-positive and 98 negative human sera were tested in two separate immunoglobulin G (IgG)-direct enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) using either GST-GRA1 or GST-GRA6-Nt recombinant protein. Whereas the sensitivity of the GST-GRA1 IgG ELISA was low (68%), the GST-GRA6-Nt IgG ELISA reached a sensitivity of 96%. The reactivity to GRA6-Nt was shown to be high even with human sera of low IgG titers. In addition, comparison of the optical density values for each serum revealed that GRA1 may complement GRA6-Nt to reach an overall sensitivity of 98%. Therefore, the GST-GRA6-Nt ELISA could be used together with another antigen like GRA1 for the development of a recombinant antigen-based test for serodiagnosis of toxoplasmosis.
Low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) is the agent of choice for
anticoagulant therapy and prophylaxis of thrombosis and coronary syndromes.
However, its therapeutic use is limited due to poor oral bioavailability. The
aim of this study was to investigate the oral delivery of LMWH, ardeparin
formulated with 18-β glycyrrhetinic acid (GA), as an alternative to
currently used subcutaneous (sc) delivery. Drug transport through Caco-2 cell
monolayers was monitored in the presence and absence of GA by scintillation
counting and transepithelial electrical resistance. Regional permeability
studies using rat intestine were performed using a modified Ussing chamber. Cell
viability in the presence of various concentrations of enhancer was determined
by MTT assay. The absorption of ardeparin after oral administration in rats was
measured by an anti-factor Xa assay. Furthermore, the eventual mucosal
epithelial damage was histologically evaluated. Higher ardeparin permeability
(~7-fold) compared to control was observed in the presence of 0.02 %
GA. Regional permeability studies indicated predominant absorption in the
duodenal segment. Cell viability studies showed no significant cytotoxicity
below 0.01 % GA. Ardeparin oral bioavailability was significantly
increased (Frelative/S.C. = 13.3%)
without causing any damage to the intestinal tissues. GA enhanced the oral
absorption of ardeparin both in vitro and in vivo. The oral formulation of
ardeparin with GA could be absorbed in the intestine. These results suggest that
GA may be used as an absorption enhancer for the oral delivery of LMWH.
glycyrrhetinic acid; LMWH; Caco-2 cells; absorption enhancer; oral delivery
The molecular mechanisms of plant growth and development have been analyzed in detail during the past years. The critical role of a plant-specific family of GRAS domain proteins in these processes has become apparent. In this review we highlight the importance of DELLA proteins in gibberellic acid (GA) and light signaling, the regulation of root patterning by SCR-SHR interactions and the requirement of two GRAS proteins from legumes, NSP1 and NSP2, for root nodule symbiosis. We discuss common and distinct molecular mechanisms underlying GRAS protein function and emphasise new discoveries regarding their function as transcription factors and the role of protein movement in refining their mode of action.
GRAS; transcription factor; signaling; gene expression; DELLA; gibberellin; SCR; SHR; protein movement; root development; NSP1; NSP2; nodulation; interaction
We identified a gene cluster that is involved in the γ-resorcylate (2,6-dihydroxybenzoate) catabolism of the aerobic bacterium Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005. The cluster consists of the graRDAFCBEK genes, and graA, graB, graC, and graD were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. Enzymological studies showed that graD, graA, graC, and graB encode the reductase (GraD) and oxygenase (GraA) components of a resorcinol hydroxylase (EC 1.14.13.x), a maleylacetate reductase (GraC) (EC 22.214.171.124), and a hydroxyquinol 1,2-dioxygenase (GraB) (EC 126.96.36.199). Bioinformatic analyses suggested that graE, graR, and graK encode a protein with an unknown function (GraE), a MarR-type transcriptional regulator (GraR), and a benzoate transporter (GraK). Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR of graF, which encodes γ-resorcylate decarboxylase, revealed that the maximum relative mRNA expression level ([5.93 ± 0.82] × 10−4) of graF was detected in the total RNA of the cells after one hour of cultivation when γ-resorcylate was used as the sole carbon source. Reverse transcription-PCR of graDAFCBE showed that these genes are transcribed as a single mRNA and that the transcription of the gene cluster is induced by γ-resorcylate. These results suggested that the graDAFCBE genes are responsible as an operon for the growth of Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005 on γ-resorcylate and are probably regulated by GraR at the transcriptional level. This is the first report of the γ-resorcylate catabolic pathway in an aerobic bacterium.
The synthetic polyether polyethylene glycol (PEG) with a molecular weight of 20,000 was anaerobically degraded in enrichment cultures inoculated with mud of limnic and marine origins. Three strains (Gra PEG 1, Gra PEG 2, and Ko PEG 2) of rod-shaped, gram-negative, nonsporeforming, strictly anaerobic bacteria were isolated in mineral medium with PEG as the sole source of carbon and energy. All strains degraded dimers, oligomers, and polymers of PEG up to a molecular weight of 20,000 completely by fermentation to nearly equal amounts of acetate and ethanol. The monomer ethylene glycol was not degraded. An ethylene glycol-fermenting anaerobe (strain Gra EG 12) isolated from the same enrichments was identified as Acetobacterium woodii. The PEG-fermenting strains did not excrete extracellular depolymerizing enzymes and were inhibited by ethylene glycol, probably owing to a blocking of the cellular uptake system. PEG, some PEG-containing nonionic detergents, 1,2-propanediol, 1,2-butanediol, glycerol, and acetoin were the only growth substrates utilized of a broad variety of sugars, organic acids, and alcohols. The isolates did not reduce sulfate, sulfur, thiosulfate, or nitrate and were independent of growth factors. In coculture with A. woodii or Methanospirillum hungatei, PEGs and ethanol were completely fermented to acetate (and methane). A marine isolate is described as the type strain of a new species, Pelobacter venetianus sp. nov. Its physiology and ecological significance, as well as the importance and possible mechanism of anaerobic polyether degradation, are discussed.
Interactions between GRA proteins of dense granules in Toxoplasma gondii and host cell proteins were analyzed by yeast two-hybrid technique. The cMyc-GRA fusion proteins expressed from pGBKT7 plasmid in Y187 yeast were bound to host cell proteins from pGADT7-Rec-HeLa cDNA library transformed to AH109 yeast by mating method. By the selection procedures, a total of 939 colonies of the SD/-AHLT culture, 348 colonies of the X-α-gal positive and PCR, 157 colonies of the X-β-gal assay were chosen for sequencing the cDNA and finally 90 colonies containing ORF were selected to analyze the interactions. GRA proteins interacted with a variety of host cell proteins such as enzymes, structural and functional proteins of organellar proteins of broad spectrum. Several specific bindings of each GRA protein to host proteins were discussed presumptively the role of GRA proteins after secreting into the parasitophorous vacuoles (PV) and the PV membrane in the parasitism of this parasite.
Toxoplasma gondii; GRA proteins; parasitophorous vacuole; parasitophorous vacuole membrane; secretion; yeast two-hybrid technique; GRA-host protein interaction; parasitism
The intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii resides within a specialized compartment, the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), that resists fusion with host cell endocytic and lysosomal compartments. The PV is extensively modified by secretion of parasite proteins, including the dense granule protein GRA5 that is specifically targeted to the delimiting membrane of the PV (PVM). We show here that GRA5 is present both in a soluble form and in hydrophobic aggregates. GRA5 is secreted as a soluble form into the PV after which it becomes stably associated with the PVM. Topological studies demonstrated that GRA5 was inserted into the PVM as a transmembrane protein with its N-terminal domain extending into the cytoplasm and its C terminus in the vacuole lumen. Deletion of 8 of the 18 hydrophobic amino acids of the single predicted transmembrane domain resulted in the failure of GRA5 to associate with the PVM; yet it remained correctly packaged in the dense granules and was secreted as a soluble protein into the PV. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that the secretory pathway in Toxoplasma is unusual in two regards; it allows soluble export of proteins containing typical transmembrane domains and provides a mechanism for their insertion into a host cell membrane after secretion from the parasite.