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1.  Modulation of Induced Cytotoxicity of Doxorubicin by Using Apoferritin and Liposomal Cages 
Doxorubicin is an effective chemotherapeutic drug, however, its toxicity is a significant limitation in therapy. Encapsulation of doxorubicin inside liposomes or ferritin cages decreases cardiotoxicity while maintaining anticancer potency. We synthesized novel apoferritin- and liposome-encapsulated forms of doxorubicin (“Apodox” and “lip-8-dox”) and compared its toxicity with doxorubicin and Myocet on prostate cell lines. Three different prostatic cell lines PNT1A, 22Rv1, and LNCaP were chosen. The toxicity of the modified doxorubicin forms was compared to conventional doxorubicin using the MTT assay, real-time cell impedance-based cell growth method (RTCA), and flow cytometry. The efficiency of doxorubicin entrapment was 56% in apoferritin cages and 42% in the liposome carrier. The accuracy of the RTCA system was verified by flow-cytometric analysis of cell viability. The doxorubicin half maximal inhibition concentrations (IC50) were determined as 170.5, 234.0, and 169.0 nM for PNT1A, 22Rv1, and LNCaP, respectively by RTCA. Lip8-dox is less toxic on the non-tumor cell line PNT1A compared to doxorubicin, while still maintaining the toxicity to tumorous cell lines similar to doxorubicin or epirubicin (IC50 = 2076.7 nM for PNT1A vs. 935.3 and 729.0 nM for 22Rv1 and LNCaP). Apodox IC50 was determined as follows: 603.1, 1344.2, and 931.2 nM for PNT1A, 22Rv1, and LNCaP.
doi:10.3390/ijms151222960
PMCID: PMC4284748  PMID: 25514405
doxorubicin; liposome; apoferritin; cancer; cardiotoxicity; modification; encapsulation
2.  Formation of DNA Adducts by Ellipticine and Its Micellar Form in Rats — A Comparative Study 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2014;14(12):22982-22997.
The requirements for early diagnostics as well as effective treatment of cancer diseases have increased the pressure on development of efficient methods for targeted drug delivery as well as imaging of the treatment success. One of the most recent approaches covering the drug delivery aspects is benefitting from the unique properties of nanomaterials. Ellipticine and its derivatives are efficient anticancer compounds that function through multiple mechanisms. Formation of covalent DNA adducts after ellipticine enzymatic activation is one of the most important mechanisms of its pharmacological action. In this study, we investigated whether ellipticine might be released from its micellar (encapsulated) form to generate covalent adducts analogous to those formed by free ellipticine. The 32P-postlabeling technique was used as a useful imaging method to detect and quantify covalent ellipticine-derived DNA adducts. We compared the efficiencies of free ellipticine and its micellar form (the poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(allyl glycidyl ether) (PAGE-PEO) block copolymer, P 119 nanoparticles) to form ellipticine-DNA adducts in rats in vivo. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that treatment of rats with ellipticine in micelles resulted in formation of ellipticine-derived DNA adducts in vivo and suggest that a gradual release of ellipticine from its micellar form might produce the enhanced permeation and retention effect of this ellipticine-micellar delivery system.
doi:10.3390/s141222982
PMCID: PMC4299049  PMID: 25479328
ellipticine; ellipticine-derived DNA adducts; 32P-postlabeling imaging; nanoparticles; micelles
3.  Quantum dots and prion proteins 
Prion  2013;7(5):349-358.
A diagnostics of infectious diseases can be done by the immunologic methods or by the amplification of nucleic acid specific to contagious agent using polymerase chain reaction. However, in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, the infectious agent, prion protein (PrPSc), has the same sequence of nucleic acids as a naturally occurring protein. The other issue with the diagnosing based on the PrPSc detection is that the pathological form of prion protein is abundant only at late stages of the disease in a brain. Therefore, the diagnostics of prion protein caused diseases represent a sort of challenges as that hosts can incubate infectious prion proteins for many months or even years. Therefore, new in vivo assays for detection of prion proteins and for diagnosis of their relation to neurodegenerative diseases are summarized. Their applicability and future prospects in this field are discussed with particular aim at using quantum dots as fluorescent labels.
doi:10.4161/pri.26524
PMCID: PMC4134339  PMID: 24055838
imaging; label; neurodegenerative disease; prion protein; quantum dots
4.  In Vitro Interactions between 17β-Estradiol and DNA Result in Formation of the Hormone-DNA Complexes 
Beyond the role of 17β-estradiol (E2) in reproduction and during the menstrual cycle, it has been shown to modulate numerous physiological processes such as cell proliferation, apoptosis, inflammation and ion transport in many tissues. The pathways in which estrogens affect an organism have been partially described, although many questions still exist regarding estrogens’ interaction with biomacromolecules. Hence, the present study showed the interaction of four oligonucleotides (17, 20, 24 and/or 38-mer) with E2. The strength of these interactions was evaluated using optical methods, showing that the interaction is influenced by three major factors, namely: oligonucleotide length, E2 concentration and interaction time. In addition, the denaturation phenomenon of DNA revealed that the binding of E2 leads to destabilization of hydrogen bonds between the nitrogenous bases of DNA strands resulting in a decrease of their melting temperatures (Tm). To obtain a more detailed insight into these interactions, MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry was employed. This study revealed that E2 with DNA forms non-covalent physical complexes, observed as the mass shifts for app. 270 Da (Mr of E2) to higher molecular masses. Taken together, our results indicate that E2 can affect biomacromolecules, as circulating oligonucleotides, which can trigger mutations, leading to various unwanted effects.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110807725
PMCID: PMC4143829  PMID: 25089777
cancer; denaturation; endocrine disruptors; estrogens; nucleic acids; spectrometry
5.  Serum and Tissue Zinc in Epithelial Malignancies: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e99790.
Background and Objectives
Current studies give us inconsistent results regarding the association of neoplasms and zinc(II) serum and tissues concentrations. The results of to-date studies using meta-analysis are summarized in this paper.
Methods
Web of Science (Science citation index expanded), PubMed (Medline), Embase and CENTRAL were searched. Articles were reviewed by two evaluators; quality was assessed by Newcastle-Ottawa scale; meta-analysis was performed including meta-regression and publication bias analysis.
Results
Analysis was performed on 114 case control, cohort and cross-sectional studies of 22737 participants. Decreased serum zinc level was found in patients with lung (effect size = −1.04), head and neck (effect size = −1.43), breast (effect size = −0.93), liver (effect size = −2.29), stomach (effect size = −1.59), and prostate (effect size = −1.36) cancers; elevation was not proven in any tumor. More specific zinc patterns are evident at tissue level, showing increase in breast cancer tissue (effect size = 1.80) and decrease in prostatic (effect size = −3.90), liver (effect size = −8.26), lung (effect size = −3.12), and thyroid cancer (effect size = −2.84). The rest of the included tumors brought ambiguous results, both in serum and tissue zinc levels across the studies. The association between zinc level and stage or grade of tumor has not been revealed by meta-regression.
Conclusion
This study provides evidence on cancer-specific tissue zinc level alteration. Although serum zinc decrease was associated with most tumors mentioned herein, further – prospective - studies are needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099790
PMCID: PMC4062461  PMID: 24941118
6.  Effect of Ampicillin, Streptomycin, Penicillin and Tetracycline on Metal Resistant and Non-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus 
There is an arising and concerning issue in the field of bacterial resistance, which is confirmed by the number of deaths associated with drug-resistant bacterial infections. The aim of this study was to compare the effects of antibiotics on Staphylococcus aureus non-resistant strain and strains resistant to cadmium or lead ions. Metal resistant strains were created by the gradual addition of 2 mM solution of metal ions (cadmium or lead) to the S. aureus culture. An increasing antimicrobial effect of ampicillin, streptomycin, penicillin and tetracycline (0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 150, 225 and 300 µM) on the resistant strains was observed using a method of growth curves. A significant growth inhibition (compared to control) of cadmium resistant cells was observed in the presence of all the four different antibiotics. On the other hand, the addition of streptomycin and ampicillin did not inhibit the growth of lead resistant strain. Other antibiotics were still toxic to the bacterial cells. Significant differences in the morphology of cell walls were indicated by changes in the cell shape. Our data show that the presence of metal ions in the urban environment may contribute to the development of bacterial strain resistance to other substances including antibiotics, which would have an impact on public health.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110303233
PMCID: PMC3987032  PMID: 24651395
S. aureus; antimicrobial resistance; antibiotics; metal resistance; cross resistance; growth curves; inhibition concentrations; spectrophotometry
7.  Identification of estrogen receptor proteins in breast cancer cells using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (Review) 
Oncology Letters  2014;7(5):1341-1344.
Estrogen receptors [ERs (subtypes α and β)], classified as a nuclear receptor super family, are intracellular proteins with an important biological role as the transcription factors for estrogen target genes. For ER-induced transcription, an interaction must exist between ligand and coregulators. Coregulators may stimulate (coactivators) or inhibit (corepressors) transcription, following binding with a specific region of the gene, called the estrogen response element. Misbalanced activity of coregulators or higher ligand concentrations may cause increased cell proliferation, resulting in specific types of cancer. These are exhibited as overexpression of ER proteins. Breast cancer currently ranks first in the incidence and second in the mortality of cancer in females worldwide. In addition, 70% of breast tumors are ERα positive and the importance of these proteins for diagnostic use is indisputable. Early diagnosis of the tumor and its classification has a large influence on the selection of appropriate therapy, as ER-positive tumors demonstrate a positive response to hormonal therapy. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI TOF MS) has been hypothesized to have great potential, as it offers reliable, robust and efficient analysis methods for biomarker monitoring and identification. The present review discusses ER protein analysis by MALDI TOF MS, including the crucial step of protein separation.
doi:10.3892/ol.2014.1912
PMCID: PMC3997732  PMID: 24765135
matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight; estrogen receptor; estrogen response element; cancer
8.  Flow Injection Analysis with Electrochemical Detection for Rapid Identification of Platinum-Based Cytostatics and Platinum Chlorides in Water 
Platinum-based cytostatics, such as cisplatin, carboplatin or oxaliplatin are widely used agents in the treatment of various types of tumors. Large amounts of these drugs are excreted through the urine of patients into wastewaters in unmetabolised forms. This phenomenon leads to increased amounts of platinum ions in the water environment. The impacts of these pollutants on the water ecosystem are not sufficiently investigated as well as their content in water sources. In order to facilitate the detection of various types of platinum, we have developed a new, rapid, screening flow injection analysis method with electrochemical detection (FIA-ED). Our method, based on monitoring of the changes in electrochemical behavior of analytes, maintained by various pH buffers (Britton-Robinson and phosphate buffer) and potential changes (1,000, 1,100 and 1,200 mV) offers rapid and cheap selective determination of platinum-based cytostatics and platinum chlorides, which can also be present as contaminants in water environments.
doi:10.3390/ijerph110201715
PMCID: PMC3945563  PMID: 24499878
platinum-based cytostatics; platinum chlorides; flow injection analysis with electrochemical detection; hydrodynamic voltammograms
9.  Metallothionein – Immunohistochemical Cancer Biomarker: A Meta-Analysis 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e85346.
Metallothionein (MT) has been extensively investigated as a molecular marker of various types of cancer. In spite of the fact that numerous reviews have been published in this field, no meta-analytical approach has been performed. Therefore, results of to-date immunohistochemistry-based studies were summarized using meta-analysis in this review.
Web of science, PubMed, Embase and CENTRAL databases were searched (up to April 30, 2013) and the eligibility of individual studies and heterogeneity among the studies was assessed. Random and fixed effects model meta-analysis was employed depending on the heterogeneity, and publication bias was evaluated using funnel plots and Egger's tests.
A total of 77 studies were included with 8,015 tissue samples (4,631 cases and 3,384 controls). A significantly positive association between MT staining and tumors (vs. healthy tissues) was observed in head and neck (odds ratio, OR 9.95; 95% CI 5.82–17.03) and ovarian tumors (OR 7.83; 1.09–56.29), and a negative association was ascertained in liver tumors (OR 0.10; 0.03–0.30). No significant associations were identified in breast, colorectal, prostate, thyroid, stomach, bladder, kidney, gallbladder, and uterine cancers and in melanoma. While no associations were identified between MT and tumor staging, a positive association was identified with the tumor grade (OR 1.58; 1.08–2.30). In particular, strong associations were observed in breast, ovarian, uterine and prostate cancers. Borderline significant association of metastatic status and MT staining were determined (OR 1.59; 1.03–2.46), particularly in esophageal cancer. Additionally, a significant association between the patient prognosis and MT staining was also demonstrated (hazard ratio 2.04; 1.47–2.81). However, a high degree of inconsistence was observed in several tumor types, including colorectal, kidney and prostate cancer.
Despite the ambiguity in some tumor types, conclusive results are provided in the tumors of head and neck, ovary and liver and in relation to the tumor grade and patient survival.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085346
PMCID: PMC3885711  PMID: 24416395
10.  Lead Ions Encapsulated in Liposomes and Their Effect on Staphylococcus aureus 
The aim of the study was the preparation of a liposome complex with encapsulated lead ions, which were electrochemically detected. In particular, experiments were focused on the potential of using an electrochemical method for the determination of free and liposome-encapsulated lead and determination of the encapsulation efficiency preventing the lead toxicity. Primarily, encapsulation of lead ions in liposomes and confirmation of successful encapsulation by electrochemical methods was done. Further, the reduction effect of the liposome matrix on the detected electrochemical signal was monitored. Besides encapsulation itself, comparison of toxicity of free lead ions and lead ions encapsulated in liposome was tested. The calculated IC50 values for evaluating the lead cytotoxicity showed significant differences between the lead enclosed in liposomes (28 µM) and free lead ions (237 µM). From the cytotoxicity studies on the bacterial strain of S. aureus it was observed that the free lead ions are less toxic in comparison with lead encapsulated in liposomes. Liposomes appear to be a suitable carrier of various substances through the inner cavity. Due to the liposome structure the lead enclosed in the liposome is more easily accepted into the cell structure and the toxicity of the enclosed lead is higher in comparison to free lead ions.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10126687
PMCID: PMC3881135  PMID: 24317385
lead; liposome; toxicity; differential pulse voltammetry; cyclic voltammetry; atomic absorption spectrometry; IC50; Staphylococcus aureus
11.  A Novel Insight into the Cardiotoxicity of Antineoplastic Drug Doxorubicin 
Doxorubicin is a commonly used antineoplastic agent in the treatment of many types of cancer. Little is known about the interactions of doxorubicin with cardiac biomolecules. Serious cardiotoxicity including dilated cardiomyopathy often resulting in a fatal congestive heart failure may occur as a consequence of chemotherapy with doxorubicin. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of exposure to doxorubicin on the changes in major amino acids in tissue of cardiac muscle (proline, taurine, glutamic acid, arginine, aspartic acid, leucine, glycine, valine, alanine, isoleucine, threonine, lysine and serine). An in vitro interaction study was performed as a comparison of amino acid profiles in heart tissue before and after application of doxorubicin. We found that doxorubicin directly influences myocardial amino acid representation even at low concentrations. In addition, we performed an interaction study that resulted in the determination of breaking points for each of analyzed amino acids. Lysine, arginine, β-alanine, valine and serine were determined as the most sensitive amino acids. Additionally we compared amino acid profiles of myocardium before and after exposure to doxorubicin. The amount of amino acids after interaction with doxorubicin was significantly reduced (p = 0.05). This fact points at an ability of doxorubicin to induce changes in quantitative composition of amino acids in myocardium. Moreover, this confirms that the interactions between doxorubicin and amino acids may act as another factor most likely responsible for adverse effects of doxorubicin on myocardium.
doi:10.3390/ijms141121629
PMCID: PMC3856025  PMID: 24185911
myocardium; cardiomyopathy; interaction; amide bond; spectrophotometry; ion-exchange liquid chromatography
12.  How Do Grass Species, Season and Ensiling Influence Mycotoxin Content in Forage? 
Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungal species that have harmful effects on mammals. The aim of this study was to assess the content of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material of selected forage grass species both during and at the end of the growing season. We further assessed mycotoxin content in subsequently produced first-cutting silages with respect to the species used in this study: Lolium perenne (cv. Kentaur), Festulolium pabulare (cv. Felina), Festulolium braunii (cv. Perseus), and mixtures of these species with Festuca rubra (cv. Gondolin) or Poa pratensis (Slezanka). The mycotoxins deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and T-2 toxin were mainly detected in the fresh-cut grass material, while fumonisin and aflatoxin contents were below the detection limits. July and October were the most risky periods for mycotoxins to occur. During the cold temperatures in November and December, the occurrence of mycotoxins in fresh-cut material declined. Although June was a period with low incidence of mycotoxins in green silage, contents of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in silages from the first cutting exceeded by several times those determined in their biomass collected directly from the field. Moreover, we observed that use of preservatives or inoculants did not prevent mycotoxin production.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10116084
PMCID: PMC3863888  PMID: 24225645
grass; silage; mycotoxin; environmental factor
13.  Behaviour of Zinc Complexes and Zinc Sulphide Nanoparticles Revealed by Using Screen Printed Electrodes and Spectrometry 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(11):14417-14437.
In this study, we focused on microfluidic electrochemical analysis of zinc complexes (Zn(phen)(his)Cl2, Zn(his)Cl2) and ZnS quantum dots (QDs) using printed electrodes. This method was chosen due to the simple (easy to use) instrumentation and variable setting of flows. Reduction signals of zinc under the strictly defined and controlled conditions (pH, temperature, flow rate, accumulation time and applied potential) were studied. We showed that the increasing concentration of the complexes (Zn(phen)(his)Cl2, Zn(his)Cl2) led to a decrease in the electrochemical signal and a significant shift of the potential to more positive values. The most likely explanation of this result is that zinc is strongly bound in the complex and its distribution on the electrode is very limited. Changing the pH from 3.5 to 5.5 resulted in a significant intensification of the Zn(II) reduction signal. The complexes were also characterized by UV/VIS spectrophotometry, chromatography, and ESI-QTOF mass spectrometry.
doi:10.3390/s131114417
PMCID: PMC3871106  PMID: 24233071
electrochemical analysis; differential pulse voltammetry; screen printed electrode; spectrometry; Zn(II)
14.  An Acetylcholinesterase-Based Chronoamperometric Biosensor for Fast and Reliable Assay of Nerve Agents 
Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)  2013;13(9):11498-11506.
The enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) is an important part of cholinergic nervous system, where it stops neurotransmission by hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. It is sensitive to inhibition by organophosphate and carbamate insecticides, some Alzheimer disease drugs, secondary metabolites such as aflatoxins and nerve agents used in chemical warfare. When immobilized on a sensor (physico-chemical transducer), it can be used for assay of these inhibitors. In the experiments described herein, an AChE- based electrochemical biosensor using screen printed electrode systems was prepared. The biosensor was used for assay of nerve agents such as sarin, soman, tabun and VX. The limits of detection achieved in a measuring protocol lasting ten minutes were 7.41 × 10−12 mol/L for sarin, 6.31 × 10−12 mol/L for soman, 6.17 × 10−11 mol/L for tabun, and 2.19 × 10−11 mol/L for VX, respectively. The assay was reliable, with minor interferences caused by the organic solvents ethanol, methanol, isopropanol and acetonitrile. Isopropanol was chosen as suitable medium for processing lipophilic samples.
doi:10.3390/s130911498
PMCID: PMC3821328  PMID: 23999806
biosensor; acetylcholinesterase; sarin; tabun; soman; VX; inhibitor; screen printed electrode; voltammetry; amperometry
15.  Classification of genomic signals using dynamic time warping 
BMC Bioinformatics  2013;14(Suppl 10):S1.
Background
Classification methods of DNA most commonly use comparison of the differences in DNA symbolic records, which requires the global multiple sequence alignment. This solution is often inappropriate, causing a number of imprecisions and requires additional user intervention for exact alignment of the similar segments. The similar segments in DNA represented as a signal are characterized by a similar shape of the curve. The DNA alignment in genomic signals may adjust whole sections not only individual symbols. The dynamic time warping (DTW) is suitable for this purpose and can replace the multiple alignment of symbolic sequences in applications, such as phylogenetic analysis.
Methods
The proposed method is composed of three main parts. The first part represent conversion of symbolic representation of DNA sequences in the form of a string of A,C,G,T symbols to signal representation in the form of cumulated phase of complex components defined for each symbol. Next part represents signals size adjustment realized by standard signal preprocessing methods: median filtration, detrendization and resampling. The final part necessary for genomic signals comparison is position and length alignment of genomic signals by dynamic time warping (DTW).
Results
The application of the DTW on set of genomic signals was evaluated in dendrogram construction using cluster analysis. The resulting tree was compared with a classical phylogenetic tree reconstructed using multiple alignment. The classification of genomic signals using the DTW is evolutionary closer to phylogeny of organisms. This method is more resistant to errors in the sequences and less dependent on the number of input sequences.
Conclusions
Classification of genomic signals using dynamic time warping is an adequate variant to phylogenetic analysis using the symbolic DNA sequences alignment; in addition, it is robust, quick and more precise technique.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-14-S10-S1
PMCID: PMC3750471  PMID: 24267034
16.  Development of a Magnetic Electrochemical Bar Code Array for Point Mutation Detection in the H5N1 Neuraminidase Gene 
Viruses  2013;5(7):1719-1739.
Since its first official detection in the Guangdong province of China in 1996, the highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of H5N1 subtype (HPAI H5N1) has reportedly been the cause of outbreaks in birds in more than 60 countries, 24 of which were European. The main issue is still to develop effective antiviral drugs. In this case, single point mutation in the neuraminidase gene, which causes resistance to antiviral drug and is, therefore, subjected to many studies including ours, was observed. In this study, we developed magnetic electrochemical bar code array for detection of single point mutations (mismatches in up to four nucleotides) in H5N1 neuraminidase gene. Paramagnetic particles Dynabeads® with covalently bound oligo (dT)25 were used as a tool for isolation of complementary H5N1 chains (H5N1 Zhejin, China and Aichi). For detection of H5N1 chains, oligonucleotide chains of lengths of 12 (+5 adenine) or 28 (+5 adenine) bp labeled with quantum dots (CdS, ZnS and/or PbS) were used. Individual probes hybridized to target molecules specifically with efficiency higher than 60%. The obtained signals identified mutations present in the sequence. Suggested experimental procedure allows obtaining further information from the redox signals of nucleic acids. Moreover, the used biosensor exhibits sequence specificity and low limits of detection of subnanogram quantities of target nucleic acids.
doi:10.3390/v5071719
PMCID: PMC3738958  PMID: 23860384
voltammetry; highly pathogenic influenza; antiviral resistance; paramagnetic particles; hybridization; quantum dots; automated separation; electrochemistry
17.  Apoferritin Modified Magnetic Particles as Doxorubicin Carriers for Anticancer Drug Delivery 
Magnetic particle mediated transport in combination with nanomaterial based drug carrier has a great potential for targeted cancer therapy. In this study, doxorubicin encapsulation into the apoferritin and its conjugation with magnetic particles was investigated by capillary electrophoresis with laser-induced fluorescence detection (CE-LIF). The quantification of encapsulated doxorubicin was performed by fluorescence spectroscopy and compared to CE-LIF. Moreover, the significant enhancement of the doxorubicin signal was observed by addition of methanol into the sample solution.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713391
PMCID: PMC3742193  PMID: 23807501
cancer; nanomedicine; magnetic particles; doxorubicin; nanoparticles
18.  Voltammetry as a Tool for Characterization of CdTe Quantum Dots 
Electrochemical detection of quantum dots (QDs) has already been used in numerous applications. However, QDs have not been well characterized using voltammetry, with respect to their characterization and quantification. Therefore, the main aim was to characterize CdTe QDs using cyclic and differential pulse voltammetry. The obtained peaks were identified and the detection limit (3 S/N) was estimated down to 100 fg/mL. Based on the convincing results, a new method for how to study stability and quantify the dots was suggested. Thus, the approach was further utilized for the testing of QDs stability.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713497
PMCID: PMC3742199  PMID: 23807507
quantum dot; electrochemistry; differential pulse voltammetry; cyclic voltammetry; in vivo imaging
19.  Complexes of Silver(I) Ions and Silver Phosphate Nanoparticles with Hyaluronic Acid and/or Chitosan as Promising Antimicrobial Agents for Vascular Grafts 
Polymers are currently widely used to replace a variety of natural materials with respect to their favourable physical and chemical properties, and due to their economic advantage. One of the most important branches of application of polymers is the production of different products for medical use. In this case, it is necessary to face a significant disadvantage of polymer products due to possible and very common colonization of the surface by various microorganisms that can pose a potential danger to the patient. One of the possible solutions is to prepare polymer with antibacterial/antimicrobial properties that is resistant to bacterial colonization. The aim of this study was to contribute to the development of antimicrobial polymeric material ideal for covering vascular implants with subsequent use in transplant surgery. Therefore, the complexes of polymeric substances (hyaluronic acid and chitosan) with silver nitrate or silver phosphate nanoparticles were created, and their effects on gram-positive bacterial culture of Staphylococcus aureus were monitored. Stages of formation of complexes of silver nitrate and silver phosphate nanoparticles with polymeric compounds were characterized using electrochemical and spectrophotometric methods. Furthermore, the antimicrobial activity of complexes was determined using the methods of determination of growth curves and zones of inhibition. The results of this study revealed that the complex of chitosan, with silver phosphate nanoparticles, was the most suitable in order to have an antibacterial effect on bacterial culture of Staphylococcus aureus. Formation of this complex was under way at low concentrations of chitosan. The results of electrochemical determination corresponded with the results of spectrophotometric methods and verified good interaction and formation of the complex. The complex has an outstanding antibacterial effect and this effect was of several orders higher compared to other investigated complexes.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713592
PMCID: PMC3742205  PMID: 23812079
polymers; antimicrobial activity; silver ions; silver phosphate nanoparticles; hyaluronic acid; chitosan
20.  Sarcosine as a Potential Prostate Cancer Biomarker—A Review 
Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common type of tumour disease in men. Early diagnosis of cancer of the prostate is very important, because the sooner the cancer is detected, the better it is treated. According to that fact, there is great interest in the finding of new markers including amino acids, proteins or nucleic acids. Prostate specific antigen (PSA) is commonly used and is the most important biomarker of CaP. This marker can only be detected in blood and its sensitivity is approximately 80%. Moreover, early stages cannot be diagnosed using this protein. Currently, there does not exist a test for diagnosis of early stages of prostate cancer. This fact motivates us to find markers sensitive to the early stages of CaP, which are easily detected in body fluids including urine. A potential is therefore attributed to the non-protein amino acid sarcosine, which is generated by glycine-N-methyltransferase in its biochemical cycle. In this review, we summarize analytical methods for quantification of sarcosine as a CaP marker. Moreover, pathways of the connection of synthesis of sarcosine and CaP development are discussed.
doi:10.3390/ijms140713893
PMCID: PMC3742224  PMID: 23880848
cancer of prostate; biomarkers; early diagnostic; prostatic specific antigen; non-invasive markers; urine; amino acids
21.  Serum Metallothioneins in Childhood Tumours—A Potential Prognostic Marker 
Metallothioneins (MT) are low molecular weight, cysteine-rich proteins maintaining metal ions homeostasis. They play a role in carcinogenesis and may also cause chemoresistance. The aim of the study was to explore the importance of MT serum levels in children suffering from malignant tumours. This prospective study involves examination of 865 samples from 172 patients with malignant tumours treated from 2008 to 2011 at University Hospital Motol. MT serum levels were determined using differential pulse voltammetry–Brdicka reaction. Mean MT level was 2.7 ± 0.5 μM. There was no statistically significant difference between MT levels in different tumours. We also did not find any correlation between MT levels and response to therapy or clinical stages. However, we found a positive correlation between MT levels and age (p = 0.009) and a negative correlation with absolute lymphocyte number (p = 0.001). The fact that patients who had early disease recurrence had lower MT levels during the treatment (complete remission 2.67 vs. recurring 2.34, p = 0.001) seems to be important for clinical practice. Accordingly we believe that there is benefit in further studies of serum MT levels in tumours.
doi:10.3390/ijms140612170
PMCID: PMC3709780  PMID: 23743828
serum metallothioneins; children; solid tumours; treatment; differential pulse voltammetry Brdicka reaction
22.  Ion Exchange Chromatography and Mass Spectrometric Methods for Analysis of Cadmium-Phytochelatin (II) Complexes 
In this study, in vitro formed Cd-phytochelatin (PC2) complexes were characterized using ion exchange chromatography (IEC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) mass spectrometry. The ratio of both studied compounds as well as experimental conditions were optimized. The highest yield of the complex was observed under an applied concentration of 100 µg·mL−1 PC2 and 100 µg·mL−1 of CdCl2. The data obtained show that IEC in combination with MALDI-TOF is a reliable and fast method for the determination of these complexes.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10041304
PMCID: PMC3709318  PMID: 23538727
ion exchange chromatography; mass spectrometry; MALDI-TOF; phytochelatin; cadmium; intramolecular complex
23.  The Role of Metallothionein in Oxidative Stress 
Free radicals are chemical particles containing one or more unpaired electrons, which may be part of the molecule. They cause the molecule to become highly reactive. The free radicals are also known to play a dual role in biological systems, as they can be either beneficial or harmful for living systems. It is clear that there are numerous mechanisms participating on the protection of a cell against free radicals. In this review, our attention is paid to metallothioneins (MTs) as small, cysteine-rich and heavy metal-binding proteins, which participate in an array of protective stress responses. The mechanism of the reaction of metallothioneins with oxidants and electrophilic compounds is discussed. Numerous reports indicate that MT protects cells from exposure to oxidants and electrophiles, which react readily with sulfhydryl groups. Moreover, MT plays a key role in regulation of zinc levels and distribution in the intracellular space. The connections between zinc, MT and cancer are highlighted.
doi:10.3390/ijms14036044
PMCID: PMC3634463  PMID: 23502468
metallothionein; free radicals; cellular oxidative stress; zinc; transcription factor; cancer
24.  Lead toxicosis of captive vultures: case description and responses to chelation therapy 
Background
Lead, a serious threat for raptors, can hamper the success of their conservation. This study reports on experience with accidental lead intoxication and responses to chelation therapy in captive Cinereous (Aegypius monachus) and Egyptian (Neophron percnopterus) Vultures.
Results
Soil contamination by lead-based paint sanded off the steel aviary resulted in poisoning of eight Cinereous and two Egyptian Vultures. A male Egyptian Vulture developed signs of apathy, polydipsia, polyuria, regurgitation, and stupor, and died on the next day. Liver, kidney and blood lead concentrations were 12.2, 8.16 and 2.66 μg/g, respectively. Laboratory analyses confirmed severe liver and kidney damage and anaemia. Blood Pb levels of Pb-exposed Cinereous Vultures were 1.571 ± 0.510 μg/g shortly after intoxication, decreased to 0.530 ± 0.165 μg/g without any therapy in a month and to 0.254 ± 0.097 μg/g one month after CaNa2EDTA administration. Eight months later, blood lead levels decreased to close to the background of the control group. Blood parameters of healthy Pb-non-exposed Cinereous Vultures were compared with those of the exposed group prior to and after chelation therapy. Iron levels in the lead-exposed pre-treatment birds significantly decreased after chelation. Haematocrit levels in Pb-exposed birds were significantly lower than those of the controls and improved one month after chelation. Creatine kinase was higher in pre-treatment birds than in the controls but normalised after therapy. Alkaline phosphatase increased after chelation. A marked increase in the level of lipid peroxidation measured as thiobarbituric acid reactive species was demonstrated in birds both prior to and after chelation. The ferric reducing antioxidant power was significantly lower in pre-treatment vultures and returned to normal following chelation therapy. Blood metallothionein levels in lead-exposed birds were higher than in controls. Reduced glutathione dropped after CaNa2EDTA therapy, while oxidised glutathione was significantly lower in both pre- and post-treatment birds. A chick in an egg produced by a Cinereous Vulture female two months after lead toxicosis died on day 40 of artificial incubation. Lead concentrations in foetal tissues were consistent with levels causing avian mortality.
Conclusions
The reported blood parameters and reproduction impairment in captive birds may have implications for professionals dealing with lead exposure in wild birds.
doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-11
PMCID: PMC3566908  PMID: 23324224
Aegypius monachus; Neophron percnopterus; Plumbism; Haematology; Biochemistry; Oxidative stress; Reproduction impairment; Treatment
25.  Effect of Magnetic Nanoparticles on Tobacco BY-2 Cell Suspension Culture  
Nanomaterials are structures whose exceptionality is based on their large surface, which is closely connected with reactivity and modification possibilities. Due to these properties nanomaterials are used in textile industry (antibacterial textiles with silver nanoparticles), electronics (high-resolution imaging, logical circuits on the molecular level) and medicine. Medicine represents one of the most important fields of application of nanomaterials. They are investigated in connection with targeted therapy (infectious diseases, malignant diseases) or imaging (contrast agents). Nanomaterials including nanoparticles have a great application potential in the targeted transport of pharmaceuticals. However, there are some negative properties of nanoparticles, which must be carefully solved, as hydrophobic properties leading to instability in aqueous environment, and especially their possible toxicity. Data about toxicity of nanomaterials are still scarce. Due to this fact, in this work we focused on studying of the effect of magnetic nanoparticles (NPs) and modified magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) on tobacco BY-2 plant cell suspension culture. We aimed at examining the effect of NPs and MNPs on growth, proteosynthesis—total protein content, thiols—reduced (GSH) and oxidized (GSSG) glutathione, phytochelatins PC2-5, glutathione S-transferase (GST) activity and antioxidant activity of BY-2 cells. Whereas the effect of NPs and MNPs on growth of cell suspension culture was only moderate, significant changes were detected in all other biochemical parameters. Significant changes in protein content, phytochelatins levels and GST activity were observed in BY-2 cells treated with MNPs nanoparticles treatment. Changes were also clearly evident in the case of application of NPs. Our results demonstrate the ability of MNPs to negatively affect metabolism and induce biosynthesis of protective compounds in a plant cell model represented by BY-2 cell suspension culture. The obtained results are discussed, especially in connection with already published data. Possible mechanisms of NPs’ and MNPs’ toxicity are introduced.
doi:10.3390/ijerph10010047
PMCID: PMC3564130  PMID: 23343980
nanoparticles; plant cell; thiol compounds; glutathione; phytochelatin

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