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1.  Morphological and molecular characterization of the human breast epithelial cell line M13SV1 and its tumorigenic derivatives M13SV1-R2-2 and M13SV1-R2-N1 
The estrogen receptor-positive M13SV1 breast epithelial cell line was proposed to be a suitable in vitro model for breast cancer research since two derivatives with graduated tumorigenicity—M13SV1-R2-2 and M13SV1-R2-N1—are available for this cell line. In the present study, these three cell lines were comparatively examined for their morphological and their biochemical properties on the molecular level.
A transcriptomic approach (gene array analysis) was chosen to unravel differences in gene expression among the three cell lines. Network analysis was conducted to identify deregulated signaling pathways. Cellular viability was determined by impedance measurements as well as by neutral red uptake assay. Apoptosis was determined by using a caspase assay. For morphological characterization, cells were grown in three-dimensional cell culture, and cellular differentiation and spheroid formation was followed by immunofluorescence staining by using confocal laser scanning microscopy.
The gene array results indicated that there were only marginal differences in gene expression among the three cell lines. Network analysis predicted the R2-N1 derivative (1) to display enhanced apoptosis and (2) to have a higher migration capability compared to its parent cell line M13SV1. Enhanced apoptosis was confirmed by elevated caspase activity, and increased migration was observed in 3D culture when cells migrated out of the globular spheroids. In 3D cell culture, all three cell lines similarly formed spheroids within three days, but there was no acini formation until day 21 which is indicated by a growth arrest around day 15, cellular polarization, and the formation of hollow lumen inside the spheroids. These characteristics, however, are crucial to study, e.g., the differentiation process of breast epithelial cells in vitro.
Due to the molecular and morphological features, the M13SV1 cell line and its tumorigenic derivatives seem to be less suitable as in vitro models than other cell lines such as the MCF-10A cell line which displays proper acini formation in 3D culture.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12935-015-0262-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4660649  PMID: 26612978
Human breast epithelial cell line; M13SV1; Transcriptomics; 3D cell culture; Cellular differentiation; In vitro model
2.  Bioavailability of cyanide after consumption of a single meal of foods containing high levels of cyanogenic glycosides: a crossover study in humans 
Archives of Toxicology  2015;90:559-574.
The acute toxicity of cyanide is determined by its peak levels reached in the body. Compared to the ingestion of free cyanide, lower peak levels may be expected after consumption of foods containing cyanogenic glycosides with the same equivalent dose of cyanide. This is due to possible delayed and/or incomplete release of cyanide from the cyanogenic glycosides depending on many factors. Data on bioavailability of cyanide after consumption of foods containing high levels of cyanogenic glycosides as presented herein were necessary to allow a meaningful risk assessment for these foods. A crossover study was carried out in 12 healthy adults who consumed persipan paste (equivalent total cyanide: 68 mg/kg), linseed (220 mg/kg), bitter apricot kernels (about 3250 mg/kg), and fresh cassava roots (76–150 mg/kg), with each “meal” containing equivalents of 6.8 mg cyanide. Cyanide levels were determined in whole blood using a GC–MS method with K13C15N as internal standard. Mean levels of cyanide at the different time points were highest after consumption of cassava (15.4 µM, after 37.5 min) and bitter apricot kernels (14.3 µM, after 20 min), followed by linseed (5.7 µM, after 40 min) and 100 g persipan (1.3 µM, after 105 min). The double dose of 13.6 mg cyanide eaten with 200 g persipan paste resulted in a mean peak level of 2.9 µM (after 150 min). An acute reference dose of 0.075 mg/kg body weight was derived being valid for a single application/meal of cyanides or hydrocyanic acid as well as of unprocessed foods with cyanogenic glycosides also containing the accompanying intact β-glucosidase. For some of these foods, this approach may be overly conservative due to delayed release of cyanide, as demonstrated for linseed. In case of missing or inactivated β-glucosidase, the hazard potential is much lower.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00204-015-1479-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4754328  PMID: 25708890
Cyanide; Cyanogenic glycosides; Bioavailability; Cassava; Linseed; Bitter apricot kernels; Persipan
3.  Absorption and Metabolism of cis-9,trans-11-CLA and of Its Oxidation Product 9,11-Furan Fatty Acid by Caco-2 Cells 
Lipids  2012;47(4):435-442.
Furan fatty acids (furan-FA) can be formed by auto-oxidation of conjugated linoleic acids (CLA) and may therefore be ingested when CLA-containing foodstuff is consumed. Due to the presence of a furan ring structure, furan-FA may have toxic properties, however, these substances are toxicologically not well characterized so far. Here we show that 9,11-furan-FA, the oxidation product of the major CLA isomer cis-9,trans-11-CLA (c9,t11-CLA), is not toxic to human intestinal Caco-2 cells up to a level of 100 μM. Oil-Red-O staining indicated that 9,11-furan-FA as well as c9,t11-CLA and linoleic acid are taken up by the cells and stored in the form of triglycerides in lipid droplets. Chemical analysis of total cellular lipids revealed that 9,11-furan-FA is partially elongated probably by the enzymatic activity of cellular fatty acid elongases whereas c9,t11-CLA is partially converted to other isomers such as c9,c11-CLA or t9,t11-CLA. In the case of 9,11-furan-FA, there is no indication for any modification or activation of the furan ring system. From these results, we conclude that 9,11-furan-FA has no properties of toxicological relevance at least for Caco-2 cells which serve as a model for enterocytes of the human small intestine.
PMCID: PMC3311842  PMID: 22249938
Furan fatty acid; Conjugated linoleic acid; CLA; Caco-2
4.  Involvement of hyp Gene Products in Maturation of the H2-Sensing [NiFe] Hydrogenase of Ralstonia eutropha 
Journal of Bacteriology  2001;183(24):7087-7093.
The biosynthesis of [NiFe] hydrogenases is a complex process that requires the function of the Hyp proteins HypA, HypB, HypC, HypD, HypE, HypF, and HypX for assembly of the H2-activating [NiFe] site. In this study we examined the maturation of the regulatory hydrogenase (RH) of Ralstonia eutropha. The RH is a H2-sensing [NiFe] hydrogenase and is required as a constituent of a signal transduction chain for the expression of two energy-linked [NiFe] hydrogenases. Here we demonstrate that the RH regulatory activity was barely affected by mutations in hypA, hypB, hypC, and hypX and was not substantially diminished in hypD- and hypE-deficient strains. The lack of HypF, however, resulted in a 90% decrease of the RH regulatory activity. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and the incorporation of 63Ni into the RH from overproducing cells revealed that the assembly of the [NiFe] active site is dependent on all Hyp functions, with the exception of HypX. We conclude that the entire Hyp apparatus (HypA, HypB, HypC, HypD, HypE, and HypF) is involved in an efficient incorporation of the [NiFe] center into the RH.
PMCID: PMC95556  PMID: 11717266
5.  The H2 Sensor of Ralstonia eutropha Is a Member of the Subclass of Regulatory [NiFe] Hydrogenases 
Journal of Bacteriology  2000;182(10):2716-2724.
Two energy-generating hydrogenases enable the aerobic hydrogen bacterium Ralstonia eutropha (formerly Alcaligenes eutrophus) to use molecular hydrogen as the sole energy source. The complex synthesis of the nickel-iron-containing enzymes has to be efficiently regulated in response to H2, which is available in low amounts in aerobic environments. H2 sensing in R. eutropha is achieved by a hydrogenase-like protein which controls the hydrogenase gene expression in concert with a two-component regulatory system. In this study we show that the H2 sensor of R. eutropha is a cytoplasmic protein. Although capable of H2 oxidation with redox dyes as electron acceptors, the protein did not support lithoautotrophic growth in the absence of the energy-generating hydrogenases. A specifically designed overexpression system for R. eutropha provided the basis for identifying the H2 sensor as a nickel-containing regulatory protein. The data support previous results which showed that the sensor has an active site similar to that of prototypic [NiFe] hydrogenases (A. J. Pierik, M. Schmelz, O. Lenz, B. Friedrich, and S. P. J. Albracht, FEBS Lett. 438:231–235, 1998). It is demonstrated that in addition to the enzymatic activity the regulatory function of the H2 sensor is nickel dependent. The results suggest that H2 sensing requires an active [NiFe] hydrogenase, leaving the question open whether only H2 binding or subsequent H2 oxidation and electron transfer processes are necessary for signaling. The regulatory role of the H2-sensing hydrogenase of R. eutropha, which has also been investigated in other hydrogen-oxidizing bacteria, is intimately correlated with a set of typical structural features. Thus, the family of H2 sensors represents a novel subclass of [NiFe] hydrogenases denoted as the “regulatory hydrogenases.”
PMCID: PMC101976  PMID: 10781538
6.  Positive Transcriptional Feedback Controls Hydrogenase Expression in Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 
Journal of Bacteriology  1999;181(18):5684-5692.
The protein HoxA is the central regulator of the Alcaligenes eutrophus H16 hox regulon, which encodes two hydrogenases, a nickel permease and several accessory proteins required for hydrogenase biosynthesis. Expression of the regulatory gene hoxA was analyzed. Screening of an 8-kb region upstream of hoxA with a promoter probe vector localized four promoter activities. One of these was found in the region immediately 5′ of hoxA; the others were correlated with the nickel metabolism genes hypA1, hypB1, and hypX. All four activities were independent of HoxA and of the minor transcription factor ς54. Translational fusions revealed that hoxA is expressed constitutively at low levels. In contrast to these findings, immunoblotting studies revealed a clear fluctuation in the HoxA pool in response to conditions which induce the hox regulon. Quantitative transcript assays indicated elevated levels of hyp mRNA under hydrogenase-derepressing conditions. Using interposon mutagenesis, we showed that the activity of a remote promoter is required for hydrogenase expression and autotrophic growth. Site-directed mutagenesis revealed that PMBH, which directs transcription of the structural genes of the membrane-bound hydrogenase, contributes to the expression of hoxA under hydrogenase-derepressing conditions. Thus, expression of the hox regulon is governed by a positive feedback loop mediating amplification of the regulator HoxA. These results imply the existence of an unusually large (ca. 17,000-nucleotide) transcript.
PMCID: PMC94088  PMID: 10482509

Results 1-6 (6)