Antifouling magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) coated with block copolymer poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(γ-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane) (PEO-b-PγMPS) were investigated for improving cell targeting by reducing nonspecific uptake. Conjugation of a HER2 antibody, Herceptin®, or a single chain fragment (ScFv) of antibody against epidermal growth factor receptor (ScFvEGFR) to PEO-b-PγMPS-coated IONPs resulted in HER2-targeted or EGFR-targeted IONPs (anti-HER2-IONPs or ScFvEGFR-IONPs). The anti-HER2-IONPs bound specifically to SK-BR-3, a HER2-overexpressing breast cancer cell line, but not to MDA-MB-231, a HER2-underexpressing cell line. On the other hand, the ScFvEGFR-IONPs showed strong reactivity with MDA-MB-231, an EGFR-positive human breast cancer cell line, but not with MDA-MB-453, an EGFR-negative human breast cancer cell line. Transmission electron microscopy revealed internalization of the receptor-targeted nanoparticles by the targeted cancer cells. In addition, both antibody-conjugated and non-antibody-conjugated IONPs showed reduced nonspecific uptake by RAW264.7 mouse macrophages in vitro. The developed IONPs showed a long blood circulation time (serum half-life 11.6 hours) in mice and low accumulation in both the liver and spleen. At 24 hours after systemic administration of ScFvEGFR-IONPs into mice bearing EGFR-positive breast cancer 4T1 mouse mammary tumors, magnetic resonance imaging revealed signal reduction in the tumor as a result of the accumulation of the targeted IONPs.
magnetic nanoparticles; active targeting; antifouling; breast cancer; magnetic resonance imaging
To obtain positive contrast based on T1 weighting from magnetic iron oxide nanoparticle (IONP) using ultrashort echo time (UTE) imaging and investigate quantitative relationship between positive contrast and the core size and concentration of IONPs.
Materials and Methods
Solutions of IONPs with different core sizes and concentrations were prepared. T1 and T2 relaxation times of IONPs were measured using the inversion recovery turbo spin echo (TSE) and multi-echo spin echo sequences at 3 Tesla. T1-weighted UTE gradient echo and T2-weighted TSE sequences were used to image IONP samples. U87MG glioblastoma cells bound with arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) peptide and IONP conjugates were scanned using UTE, T1 and T2-weighted sequences.
Positive contrast was obtained by UTE imaging from IONPs with different core sizes and concentrations. The relative-contrast-to-water ratio of UTE images was three to four times higher than those of T2-weighted TSE images. The signal intensity increases as the function of the core size and concentration. Positive contrast was also evident in cell samples bound with RGD-IONPs.
UTE imaging allows for imaging of IONPs and IONP bound tumor cells with positive contrast and provides contrast enhancement and potential quantification of IONPs in molecular imaging applications.
magnetic nanoparticle; magnetic resonance imaging; iron oxide; ultrashort TE; molecular Imaging
Pulmonary tuberculoma is a special form of secondary pulmonary tuberculosis, with a poor response to drug treatment. We used the method of drug administration via percutaneous lung puncture “holing” to treat pulmonary tuberculoma and observe its short- and long-term efficacy, summing up our 10-year clinical experience.
A total of 54 patients with pulmonary tuberculoma were included in this study. They themselves were taken as the control group. Three to six months of conventional anti-tuberculosis treatment was conducted firstly. Then those patients with no changes of sizes in tuberculoma were recommended to receive drug administration via percutaneous lung puncture. Isoniazid (INH, 0.1 g) and amikacin (AMK, 0.2 g) were injected into tuberculoma (once or twice per week, 10 times as a course of treatment).
After two months of drug treatment by lung puncture, the sputum smear test showed the negative conversion rate of tubercle bacillus was 87% (13/15), and the positive conversion rate was 8% (3/39). The tuberculosis bacillus culture indicated that the negative conversion rate was 100% (7/7). The reexamination after one year showed the negative conversion rate of tubercle bacillus in the sputum smear test was 80% (4/5). About 58% (31/54) of tuberculoma disappeared or significantly reduced, in which, 40% (21/54) of tuberculoma disappeared. The tuberculoma diameter reduced from 3.6 cm × 2.8 cm to 1.7 cm × 1.1 cm on average. Side-effects included postoperative pneumothorax 9% (5/54), hemoptysis 7% (4/54) and fever 11% (6/54). A total of 34 patients were followed up for five years, and the disappearance rate of tuberculoma was up to 47% (16/34), with no recurrence.
The drug administration via percutaneous lung puncture—“holing” in pulmonary tuberculoma takes a significant effect obviously, good short- and long-term effects and less side effects.
Percutaneous lung puncture; pulmonary tuberculoma; holing
In the field of catalysis, it is highly desired to develop novel catalysts that combine the advantages of both homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts. Here we disclose that the use of plant pholyphenol as amphiphilic large molecule ligand/stabilizer allows for the preparation of noble metal complex and noble metal nanoparticle catalysts. These catalysts are found to be highly selective and active in aqueous-organic biphasic catalysis of cinnamaldehyde and quinoline, and can be reused at least 3 times without significant loss of activity. Moreover, the catalytic activity and reusability of the catalysts can be rationally controlled by simply adjusting the content of polyphenols in the catalysts. Our strategy may be extended to design a wide range of aqueous-organic biphasic catalysis system.
Siglec-F and Siglec-8 are functional paralog proapoptotic cell surface receptors expressed on mouse and human eosinophils, respectively. Whereas Siglec-8 mediated death involves caspases and/or reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and mitochondrial injury, very little is known about Siglec-F-mediated signaling and apoptosis. Therefore the objective of the current experiments was to better define apoptosis pathways mediated by Siglec-F and Siglec-8. Given that Siglec-F-induced apoptosis is much less robust than Siglec-8-induced apoptosis, we hypothesized that mechanisms involved in cell death via these receptors would differ.
Consequences of engagement of Siglec-F on mouse eosinophils were studied by measuring ROS production, and by performing apoptosis assays using eosinophils from normal, hypereosinophilic, NADPH oxidase-deficient, src homology domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase (SHP)-1-deficient, and Lyn kinase-deficient mice. Inhibitors of caspase and Src family kinase activity were also used.
Engagement of Siglec-F induced mouse eosinophil apoptosis that was modest in magnitude and dependent on caspase activity. There was no detectable ROS generation, or any role for ROS, NADPH oxidase, SHP-1, or Src family kinases in this apoptotic process.
These data suggest that Siglec-F-mediated apoptosis is different in both magnitude and mechanisms when compared to published data on Siglec-8-mediated human eosinophil apoptosis. One likely implication of this work is that models targeting Siglec-F in vivo in mice may not provide identical mechanistic predictions for consequences of Siglec-8 targeting in vivo in humans.
Aims: Activation of specific signaling pathways in response to mechanical trauma causes delayed neuronal apoptosis; GSK-3β/β-catenin signaling plays a critical role in the apoptosis of neurons in CNS diseases, SGK was discovered as a regulator of GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway, The goal of this study was to determine if the mechanism of cell death or survival mediated by the SGK/GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway is involved in a rat model of TBI. Main methods: Here, an acute traumatic brain injury model was applied to investigate the expression change and possible roles of SGK, Expression of SGK, and total-GSK-3β, phospho-GSK3β on ser-9, beta-catenin, and caspase-3 were examined by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. Double immunofluorescent staining was used to observe the SGK localizations. Si-RNA was performed to identify whether SGK regulates neuron apoptosis via GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway, ultimately inhibit caspase-3 activation. Key findings: Temporally, SGK expression showed an increase pattern after TBI and reached a peak at day 3. Spatially, SGK was widely expressed in the neuron, rarely in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes; in addition, the expression patterns of active caspase-3 and phospho-GSK3β were parallel with that of SGK, at the same time, the expression of β-catenin shows similarity with SGK. In vitro, to further investigate the function of SGK, a neuronal cell line PC12 was employed to establish an apoptosis model. We analyzed the association of SGK with apoptosis on PC12 cells by western blot, immunofluorescent labeling and siRNA. Significance: the results implied that SGK plays an important role in neuron apoptosis via the regulation of GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway; ultimately inhibit caspase-3 activation. Taken together, we inferred traumatic brain injury induced an upregulation of SGK in the central nervous system, which show a protective role in neuron apoptosis.
SGK; GSK3β/β-catenin signaling pathway; traumatic brain injury (TBI); neuron apoptosis
Background & Aims
Identification of a ligand/receptor system that enables functionalized nanoparticles to efficiently target pancreatic cancer holds great promise for the development of novel approaches for the detection and treatment of pancreatic cancer. Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR), a cellular receptor that is highly expressed in pancreatic cancer and tumor stromal cells, is an excellent surface molecule for receptor-targeted imaging of pancreatic cancer using multifunctional nanoparticles.
The uPAR-targeted dual-modality molecular imaging nanoparticle probe is designed and prepared by conjugating a near-infrared dye-labeled amino-terminal fragment of the receptor binding domain of urokinase plasminogen activator to the surface of functionalized magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles.
We have shown that the systemic delivery of uPAR-targeted nanoparticles leads to their selective accumulation within tumors of orthotopically xenografted human pancreatic cancer in nude mice. The uPAR-targeted nanoparticle probe binds to and is subsequently internalized by uPAR-expressing tumor cells and tumor-associated stromal cells, which facilitates the intratumoral distribution of the nanoparticles and increases the amount and retention of the nanoparticles in a tumor mass. Imaging properties of the nanoparticles enable in vivo optical and magnetic resonance imaging of uPAR-elevated pancreatic cancer lesions.
Targeting uPAR using biodegradable multifunctional nanoparticles allows for the selective delivery of the nanoparticles into primary and metastatic pancreatic cancer lesions. This novel receptor-targeted nanoparticle is a potential molecular imaging agent for the detection of pancreatic cancer.
Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is a principal enzyme in lipoprotein metabolism, tissue lipid utilization and energy metabolism. LPL is synthesized by parenchymal cells in adipose, heart and muscle tissues followed by secretion to extracellular sites, where lipolyic function is exerted. The catalytic activity of LPL is attained during post-translational maturation, which involves glycosylation, folding and subunit assembly within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). A lipase-chaperone, lipase maturation factor 1 (Lmf1), has recently emerged as a critical factor in this process. Previous studies demonstrated that loss-of-function mutations of Lmf1 result in diminished lipase activity and severe hypertriglyceridemia in mice and human subjects. The objective of this study is to investigate whether, beyond its role as a required factor in lipase maturation, variation in Lmf1 expression is sufficient to modulate LPL activity in vivo.
Methods and Results
To assess the effects of Lmf1 overexpression in adipose and muscle tissues, we generated aP2-Lmf1 and Mck-Lmf1 transgenic mice. Characterization of relevant tissues revealed increased LPL activity in both mouse strains. In the omental and subcutaneous adipose depots, Lmf1 overexpression was associated with increased LPL specific activity without changes in LPL mass. In contrast, increased LPL activity was due to elevated LPL protein level in heart and gonadal adipose tissue. To extend these studies to humans, we detected association between LMF1 gene variants and post-heparin LPL activity in a dyslipidemic cohort.
Our results suggest that variation in Lmf1 expression is a post-translational determinant of LPL activity.
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) targeted nanoparticle are developed by conjugating a single-chain anti-EGFR antibody (ScFvEGFR) to surface functionalized quantum dots (QDs) or magnetic iron oxide (IO) nanoparticles. The results show that ScFvEGFR can be successfully conjugated to the nanoparticles, resulting in compact ScFvEGFR nanoparticles that specifically bind to and are internalized by EGFR-expressing cancer cells, thereby producing a fluorescent signal or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast. In vivo tumor targeting and uptake of the nanoparticles in human cancer cells is demonstrated after systemic delivery of ScFvEGFR-QDs or ScFvEGFR-IO nanoparticles into an orthotopic pancreatic cancer model. Therefore, ScFvEGFR nanoparticles have potential to be used as a molecular-targeted in vivo tumor imaging agent. Efficient internalization of ScFvEGFR nanoparticles into tumor cells after systemic delivery suggests that the EGFR-targeted nanoparticles can also be used for the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents.
antibodies; drug delivery; nanoparticles; proteins; quantum dots
This study investigates the effect of tumor location on alterations of language network by brain tumors at different locations using blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) fMRI and group independent component analysis (ICA).
Subjects and Methods
BOLD fMRI data were obtained from 43 right handed brain tumor patients. Presurgical mapping of language areas was performed on all 43 patients with a picture naming task. All data were retrospectively analyzed using group ICA. Patents were divided into three groups based on tumor locations, i.e., left frontal region, left temporal region or right hemisphere. Laterality index (LI) was used to assess language lateralization in each group.
The results from BOLD fMRI and ICA revealed the different language activation patterns in patients with brain tumors located in different brain regions. Language areas, such as Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, were intact in patients with tumors in the right hemisphere. Significant functional changes were observed in patients with tumor in the left frontal and temporal areas. More specifically, the tumors in the left frontal region affect both Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas, while tumors in the left temporal lobe affect mainly Wernicke’s area. The compensated activation increase was observed in the right frontal areas in patients with left hemisphere tumors.
Group ICA provides a model free alternative approach for mapping functional networks in brain tumor patients. Altered language activation by different tumor locations suggested reorganization of language functions in brain tumor patients and may help better understanding of the language plasticity.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has emerged as a leading diagnostic technique in clinical and preclinical settings. However, the application of MRI to assess specific disease markers for diagnosis and monitoring drug effect has been severely hampered by the lack of desired contrast agents with high relaxivities, and optimized in vivo retention time. We have reported the development of protein-based MRI contrast agents (ProCA1) by rational design of Gd3+ binding sites into a stable protein resulting in significantly increased longitudinal (r1) and transverse (r2) relaxivities compared to Gd-DTPA. Here, we report a further improvement of protein contrast agents ProCA1 for in vivo imaging by protein modification with various sizes of polyethylene glycol (PEG) chain. PEGylation results in significant increases of both r1 and r2 relaxivities (up to 200%), and these high relaxivities persist even at field strengths up to 9.4 T. In addition, our experimental results demonstrate that modified contrast agents have significant improvement of in vivo MR imaging and biocompatibilities including dose efficiency, protein solubility, blood retention time and decreased immunogenicity. Such improvement can be important to the animal imaging and pre-clinical research at high or ultra-high field where there is an urgent need for molecular imaging probes and optimized contrast agent.
Contrast agent; Magnet Resonance Imaging; PEGylation; Relaxivity
The asymmetric unit of the title compound, C12H16O2, contains two independent molecules in which the dihedral angles between the benzene and cyclopropane rings are 75.9 (3) and 76.3 (3)°. In the crystal, the molecules are connected by O—H⋯O hydrogen bonds into a three dimensional supramolecular structure.
Visualizing distribution of infused therapeutic agents into the brain by convection-enhanced delivery (CED) is necessary to ensure accurate delivery into target sites. Recently, bioconjugated magnetic iron-oxide nanoparticles (IONPs) have been shown to produce a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast in the rodent brain after CED permitting direct visualization of nanoparticle distribution and dispersion over time. We have now studied the CED of IONPs in the larger, more clinically relevant, canine brain for assessment of distribution, dispersion, toxicity, and clearance.
Eight healthy laboratory dogs were infused with either free IONPs (n=4) or cetuximab-conjugated IONPs (cetuximab-IONPs; n=4) at different infusion rates (0.5, 1.0, 3.0, and 5.0 microliters/min) and volumes (180, 300, 360, and 720 microliters). IONP CED was monitored by sequential MRIs (pre-operative, within 12 h, 5 d, 7 d, and 30 d post-operative) and volumes of distribution and dispersion were calculated from the MR images. Toxicity assessment was based on MRI, clinical examination, hematologic/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, and brain histopathological evaluation.
Robust delivery and monitoring of IONP distribution in the grey and white matter of the canine brain was achieved by CED and MRI. Quantitative measurements of IONP distribution volumes was achieved by MRI. Distribution volumes were linearly proportional to infusion volumes and dispersion of IONPs occurred 5 d after CED. Use of the slower infusion rates allowed for more uniform initial distribution of IONPs and low infusate leakback of IONPs along the catheter track. No signs of toxicity were found in any animals that underwent IONP or cetuximab-conjugated IONP CED based on physical examination and hematologic/CSF analysis. MRI and histopathologic analysis of brains 30 d after CED revealed near complete clearance of IONPs. Uptake of IONPs by astrocytes and microglia was found adjacent to the catheter sites.
CED of either free or cetuximab-conjugated IONPs in the canine brain is safe and represents an effective delivery method in a larger animal model. MRI monitoring of distribution and dispersion of IONPs is possible and quantitative after CED. Future studies involving CED of bioconjugated IONPs in canines with spontaneous gliomas may provide a unique and more clinical relevant animal model for targeting infiltrative cancer cells responsible for tumor recurrence.
Glioblastoma; Magnetic Nanoparticles; Convection-Enhanced Delivery; MRI; EGFR; Cetuximab; Canine
The clinical application of cis-diamminedichloroplatinum(II) (DDP, cisplatin) for cancer therapy is limited by its non-specific biodistribution and severe side effects. Here, we have developed EGFR-targeted heparin-DDP (EHDDP) nanoparticles for tumor targeted delivery of DDP. This nanoparticle delivery system possesses the following unique properties: i) the succinic anhydride-modified heparin is biocompatible and biodegradable with no anticoagulant activity; ii) the single chain variable fragment anti-EGFR antibody (ScFvEGFR) was conjugated to the nanoparticles as an EGFR-targeting ligand. Our results showed that EHDDP nanoparticles can significantly increase the intracellular concentrations of DDP and Pt-DNA adducts in EGFR-expressing non-small cell lung cancer H292 cells via an EGFR-mediated pathway. Compared to the free DDP, significantly prolonged blood circulation time and improved pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of Pt were observed after systemic delivery of the EHDDP nanoparticles. The new EHDDP nanoparticle delivery system significantly enhanced antitumor activity of DDP without weight loss or damage to the kidney and spleen in nude mice bearing H292 cell tumors.
cisplatin; heparin; tumor targeting; drug delivery; nanoparticles; lung cancer; EGFR
Bone-marrow derived endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an important role in tumor neovasculature. Due to their tumor homing property, EPCs are regarded as promising targeted vectors for delivering therapeutic agents in cancer treatment. Consequently, non-invasive confirmation of targeted delivery via imaging is urgently needed. This study shows the development and application of a novel dual-modality probe for in vivo non-invasively tracking of the migration, homing and differentiation of EPCs.
The paramagnetic/near-infrared fluorescence probe Conjugate 1 labeled EPCs were systemically transplanted into mice bearing human breast MDA-MB-231 tumor xenografts. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and near-infrared (NIR) fluorescence optical imaging were performed at different stages of tumor development. The homing of EPCs and the tumor neovascularization were further evaluated by immunofluorescence.
Conjugate 1 labeled EPCs can be monitored in vivo by MRI and NIR fluorescence optical imaging without altering tumor growth for up to three weeks after the systemic transplantation. Histopathological examination confirmed that EPCs were recruited into the tumor bed and then incorporated into new vessels two weeks after the transplantation. Tumor size and microvessel density was not influenced by EPCs transplantation in the first three weeks.
This preclinical study shows the feasibility of using a MRI and NIR fluorescence optical imaging detectable probe to non-invasively monitor transplanted EPCs and also provides strong evidence that EPCs are involved in the development of endothelial cells during the tumor neovascularization.
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate a novel protein-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agent that has the capability of targeting prostate cancer and which provides high-sensitivity MR imaging in tumor cells and mouse models.
A fragment of gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) was fused into a protein-based MRI contrast agent (ProCA1) at different regions. MR imaging was obtained in both tumor cells (PC3 and H441) and a tumor mouse model administrated with ProCA1.GRP.
PC3 and DU145 cells treated with ProCA1.GRPs exhibited enhanced signal in MRI. Intratumoral injection of ProCA1.GRP in a PC3 tumor model displayed enhanced MRI signal. The contrast agent was retained in the PC3 tumor up to 48 h post-injection.
Protein-based MRI contrast agent with tumor targeting modality can specifically target GRPR-positive prostate cancer. Intratumoral injection of the ProCA1 agent in the prostate cancer mouse model verified the targeting capability of ProCA1.GRP and showed a prolonged retention time in tumors.
MRI; Contrast agents; Prostate cancer; Molecular imaging; Relaxivity
Sialic acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectin (Siglec)-F is a mouse functional paralog of human Siglec-8 that induces apoptosis in human eosinophils, and therefore may be useful as the basis of treatments for a variety of disorders associated with eosinophil hyperactivity, such as asthma. The expression pattern and functions of this protein in various cell types remain to be elucidated. The aim of this study was to determine the expression of Siglec-F on mouse macrophages by immunocytochemical staining, and also to investigate the effects of Siglec-F engagement by a Siglec-F antibody on phagocytic activity of macrophages. The results showed that Siglec-F expression was detected on mouse alveolar macrophages, but not on peritoneal macrophages. Furthermore, Siglec-F engagement did not affect the phagocytic activity of alveolar macrophages in the resting state or in the activated state following stimulation by the proinflammatory mediator tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) or lipopolysaccharide (LPS). Siglec-F expression on alveolar macrophages may be a result of adaptation. Macrophages actively regulate immune responses via production of cytokines. Therefore, further investigation of the effects of Siglec-F engagement on immune mediators or cytokines released by alveolar macrophages is required.
Siglec-F; Expression; Macrophages; Phagocytosis; Eosinophil
White matter hyperintensities (WMHs) are a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This study investigated the relationship between WMHs and white matter changes in AD using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and the sensitivity of each DTI index in distinguishing AD with WMHs.
Subjects and Methods
Forty-four subjects with WMHs were included. Subjects were classified into three groups based on the Scheltens rating scale: 15 AD patients with mild WMHs, 12 AD patients with severe WMHs, and 17 controls with mild WMHs. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD), radial diffusivity (DR) and axial diffusivity (DA) were analyzed using the region of interest and Tract-Based Spatial Statistics methods. Sensitivity and specificity of DTI indices in distinguishing AD groups from the controls were evaluated.
AD patients with mild WMHs exhibited differences from control subjects in most DTI indices in the medial temporal and frontal areas; however, differences in DTI indices from AD patients with mild WMHs and AD patients with severe WMHs were found in the parietal and occipital areas. FA and DR were more sensitive measurements than MD and DA in differentiating AD patients from controls, while MD was a more sensitive measurement in distinguishing AD patients with severe WMHs from those with mild WMHs.
WMHs may contribute to the white matter changes in AD brains, specifically in temporal and frontal areas. Changes in parietal and occipital lobes may be related to the severity of WMHs. DR may serve as an imaging marker of myelin deficits associated with AD.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging; White Matter Hyperintensity; Diffusion Tensor; Alzheimer’s Disease; Diffusivity; White Matter
Jatropha curcas is recognized as a new energy crop due to the presence of the high amount of oil in its seeds that can be converted into biodiesel. The quality and performance of the biodiesel depends on the chemical composition of the fatty acids present in the oil. The fatty acids profile of the oil has a direct impact on ignition quality, heat of combustion and oxidative stability. An ideal biodiesel composition should have more monounsaturated fatty acids and less polyunsaturated acids. Jatropha seed oil contains 30% to 50% polyunsaturated fatty acids (mainly linoleic acid) which negatively impacts the oxidative stability and causes high rate of nitrogen oxides emission.
The enzyme 1-acyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine delta 12-desaturase (FAD2) is the key enzyme responsible for the production of linoleic acid in plants. We identified three putative delta 12 fatty acid desaturase genes in Jatropha (JcFAD2s) through genome-wide analysis and downregulated the expression of one of these genes, JcFAD2-1, in a seed-specific manner by RNA interference technology. The resulting JcFAD2-1 RNA interference transgenic plants showed a dramatic increase of oleic acid (> 78%) and a corresponding reduction in polyunsaturated fatty acids (< 3%) in its seed oil. The control Jatropha had around 37% oleic acid and 41% polyunsaturated fatty acids. This indicates that FAD2-1 is the major enzyme responsible for converting oleic acid to linoleic acid in Jatropha. Due to the changes in the fatty acids profile, the oil of the JcFAD2-1 RNA interference seed was estimated to yield a cetane number as high as 60.2, which is similar to the required cetane number for conventional premium diesel fuels (60) in Europe. The presence of high seed oleic acid did not have a negative impact on other Jatropha agronomic traits based on our preliminary data of the original plants under greenhouse conditions. Further, we developed a marker-free system to generate the transgenic Jatropha that will help reduce public concerns for environmental issues surrounding genetically modified plants.
In this study we produced seed-specific JcFAD2-1 RNA interference transgenic Jatropha without a selectable marker. We successfully increased the proportion of oleic acid versus linoleic in Jatropha through genetic engineering, enhancing the quality of its oil.
Biodiesel; Cre-lox recombination; FAD2; high oleic acid; Jatropha; marker free; transgenic
The tubulin-binding anticancer activity of noscapine, an orally-available plant-derived anti-tussive alkaloid, has been recently identified. Noscapine inhibits tumor growth in nude mice bearing human xenografts of hematopoietic, breast, lung, ovarian, brain and prostate origin. Despite its non-toxic attributes, significant elimination of the disease has not been achieved, perhaps since the bioavailability of noscapine to tumors saturates at an oral dose of 300 mg/kg body weight. To enable the selective and specific delivery of noscapine to prostate cancer cells, we have engineered a multifunctional nanoscale delivery vehicle which takes advantage of urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) overexpression in prostate cancer compared to normal prostate epithelia and can be tracked by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and near-infrared (NIR) imaging. Specifically, we employed the human-type 135 amino-acid amino-terminal fragment (hATF) of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), a high-affinity natural ligand for uPAR. Noscapine (Nos) was efficiently adsorbed onto the amphiphilic polymer coating of uPAR-targeted nanoparticles (NPs). Nos-loaded NPs were uniformly compact-sized, stable at physiological pH and efficiently released the drug at pH 4 to 5 within a span of 4 h. Our results demonstrate that these uPAR-targeted NPs were capable of binding to the receptor and were internalized by PC-3 cells. uPAR-targeted Nos-loaded NPs enhanced intracellular noscapine accumulation as evident by the ~6-fold stronger inhibitory effect on PC-3 growth compared to free noscapine. In addition, Nos-loaded iron oxide NPs maintained their T2 MRI contrast effect upon internalization into tumor cells owing to their significant susceptibility effect in cells. Thus, our data provide compelling evidence that these optically- and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- trackable uPAR-targeted NPs may offer a great potential for image-directed targeted delivery of noscapine for the management of prostate cancer.
Prostate; Noscapine; Nanoparticles; uPAR; MRI
Cerebral palsy is a heterogeneous group of neurodevelopmental brain disorders resulting in motor and posture impairments often associated with cognitive, sensorial, and behavioural disturbances. Hypoxic–ischaemic injury, long considered the most frequent causative factor, accounts for fewer than 10% of cases, whereas a growing body of evidence suggests that diverse genetic abnormalities likely play a major role.
Methods and results
This report describes an autosomal recessive form of spastic tetraplegic cerebral palsy with profound intellectual disability, microcephaly, epilepsy and white matter loss in a consanguineous family resulting from a homozygous deletion involving AP4E1, one of the four subunits of the adaptor protein complex-4 (AP-4), identified by chromosomal microarray analysis.
These findings, along with previous reports of human and mouse mutations in other members of the complex, indicate that disruption of any one of the four subunits of AP-4 causes dysfunction of the entire complex, leading to a distinct ‘AP-4 deficiency syndrome’.
Engineering and functionalizing magnetic nanoparticles have been an area of the extensive research and development in the biomedical and nanomedicine fields. Because their biocompatibility and toxicity are well investigated and better understood, magnetic nanoparticles, especially iron oxide nanoparticles, are better suited materials as contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and for image-directed delivery of therapeutics. Given tunable magnetic properties and various surface chemistries from the coating materials, most applications of engineered magnetic nanoparticles take advantages of their superb MRI contrast enhancing capability as well as surface functionalities. It has been found that MRI contrast enhancement by magnetic nanoparticles is highly dependent on the composition, size and surface properties as well as the degree of aggregation of the nanoparticles. Therefore, understanding the relationships between these intrinsic parameters and the relaxivities that contribute to MRI contrast can lead to establishing essential guidance that may direct the design of engineered magnetic nanoparticles for theranostics applications. On the other hand, new contrast mechanism and imaging strategy can be developed based on the novel properties of engineered magnetic nanoparticles. This review will focus on discussing the recent findings on some chemical and physical properties of engineered magnetic nanoparticles affecting the relaxivities as well as the impact on MRI contrast. Furthermore, MRI methods for imaging magnetic nanoparticles including several newly developed MRI approaches aiming at improving the detection and quantification of the engineered magnetic nanoparticles are described.
magnetic nanoparticles; engineering; functionalizing; magnetic resonance imaging
The magnetic nanoparticle has emerged as a potential multifunctional clinical tool that can provide cancer cell detection by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast enhancement as well as targeted cancer cell therapy. A major barrier in the use of nanotechnology for brain tumor applications is the difficulty in delivering nanoparticles to intracranial tumors. Iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs; 10 nm in core size) conjugated to a purified antibody that selectively binds to the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) deletion mutant (EGFRvIII) present on human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cells, were used for therapeutic targeting and MRI contrast enhancement of experimental glioblastoma both in vitro and in vivo after convection-enhanced delivery (CED). A significant decrease in glioblastoma cell survival was observed after nanoparticle treatment and no toxicity was observed with treatment of human astrocytes (P<0.001). Lower EGFR phosphorylation was found in glioblastoma cells after EGFRvIIIAb-IONP treatment. Apoptosis was determined to be the mode of cell death after treatment of GBM cells and glioblastoma stem cell (GSC)-containing neurospheres with EGFRvIIIAb-IONPs. MRI-guided CED of EGFRvIIIAb-IONPs allowed for the initial distribution of magnetic nanoparticles within or adjacent to intracranial human xenograft tumors and continued dispersion days later. A significant increase in animal survival was found after CED of magnetic nanoparticles (P<0.01) in mice implanted with highly tumorigenic glioblastoma xenografts (U87ΔEGFRvIII). IONPs conjugated to an antibody specific to the EGFRvIII deletion mutant constitutively expressed by human glioblastoma tumors can provide selective MRI contrast enhancement of tumor cells and targeted therapy of infiltrative glioblastoma cells after CED.
Glioblastoma; Magnetic Nanoparticles; Convection-Enhanced Delivery; MRI; EGFR
One of the major limitations impeding the sensitivity and specificity of biomarker targeted nanoparticles is non-specific binding by biomolecules and uptake by the reticuloendothelial system (RES). We report the development of an antibiofouling polysiloxane containing amphiphilic diblock copolymer, poly(ethylene oxide)-block-poly(γ-methacryloxypropyltrimethoxysilane) (PEO-b-PγMPS), for coating and functionalizing high quality hydrophobic nanocrystals such as iron oxide nanoparticles and quantum dots. These PEO-b-PγMPS coated nanocrystals were colloidally stable in biological medium and showed low non-specific binding by macromolecules after incubation with 100% fetal bovine serum. Both in vitro experiments with macrophages and in vivo biodistribution studies in mice revealed that PEO-b-PγMPS copolymer coated nanocrystals have an antibiofouling effect that reduces non-specific cell and RES uptake. Surface functionalization with amine groups was accomplished through co-crosslinking the polysiloxane coating layer and (3-Aminopropyl) trimethoxysilane in aqueous solution. Tumor integrin αvβ3 targeting peptide cyclo-RGD ligands were conjugated on the nanoparticles through a heterobifunctional linker. The resulting integrin αvβ3 targeting nanoparticle conjugates showed improved cancer cell targeting with a stronger affinity to U87MG glioma cells, which have a high expression of αvβ3 integrins, but minimal binding to MCF-7 (low expression of αvβ3 integrins).
Nanoparticles; Copolymer; Antifouling; Non-specific binding; Reticuloendothelial system; Cancer targeting