We review recent progress toward understanding and enhancing the stability of amorphous pharmaceutical solids against crystallization. As organic liquids are cooled to become glasses, fast modes of crystal growth can emerge. One such growth mode, the glass-to-crystal or GC mode, occurs in the bulk, and another exists at the free surface, both leading to crystal growth much faster than predicted by theories that assume diffusion defines the kinetic barrier of crystallization. These phenomena have received different explanations, and we propose that GC growth is a solid-state transformation enabled by local mobility in glasses and that fast surface crystal growth is facilitated by surface molecular mobility. In the second part, we review recent findings concerning the effect of polymer additives on crystallization in organic glasses. Low-concentration polymer additives can strongly inhibit crystal growth in the bulk of organic glasses, while having weaker effect on surface crystal growth. Ultra-thin polymer coatings can inhibit surface crystallization. Recent work has shown the importance of molecular weight for crystallization inhibitors of organic glasses, besides “direct intermolecular interactions” such as hydrogen bonding. Relative to polyvinylpyrrolidone, the VP dimer is far less effective in inhibiting crystal growth in amorphous nifedipine. Further work is suggested for better understanding of crystallization of amorphous organic solids and the prediction of their stability.
amorphous solid; crystal growth; crystallization; crystallization inhibitor; glass; glass transition; polymer additive; surface molecular mobility
The enteric nervous system (ENS) arises from the coordinated migration, expansion and differentiation of vagal and sacral neural crest progenitor cells. During development, vagal neural crest cells enter the foregut and migrate in a rostro-to-caudal direction, colonizing the entire gastrointestinal tract and generating the majority of the ENS. Sacral neural crest contributes to a subset of enteric ganglia in the hindgut, colonizing the colon in a caudal-to-rostral wave. During this process, enteric neural crest-derived progenitors (ENPs) self-renew and begin expressing markers of neural and glial lineages as they populate the intestine. Our earlier work demonstrated that the transcription factor Foxd3 is required early in neural crest-derived progenitors for self-renewal, multipotency and establishment of multiple neural crest-derived cells and structures including the ENS. Here, we describe Foxd3 expression within the fetal and postnatal intestine: Foxd3 was strongly expressed in ENPs as they colonize the gastrointestinal tract and was progressively restricted to enteric glial cells. Using a novel Ednrb-iCre transgene to delete Foxd3 after vagal neural crest cells migrate into the midgut, we demonstrated a late temporal requirement for Foxd3 during ENS development. Lineage labeling of Ednrb-iCre expressing cells in Foxd3 mutant embryos revealed a reduction of ENPs throughout the gut and loss of Ednrb-iCre lineage cells in the distal colon. Although mutant mice were viable, defects in patterning and distribution of ENPs were associated with reduced proliferation and severe reduction of glial cells derived from the Ednrb-iCre lineage. Analyses of ENS-lineage and differentiation in mutant embryos suggested activation of a compensatory population of Foxd3-positive ENPs that did not express the Ednrb-iCre transgene. Our findings highlight the crucial roles played by Foxd3 during ENS development including progenitor proliferation, neural patterning, and glial differentiation and may help delineate distinct molecular programs controlling vagal versus sacral neural crest development.
neural crest; Foxd3; enteric nervous system; glial cells; developmental compensation
Pre-eclampsia is the leading cause of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality with incompletely understood etiopathogenesis. The purpose of the current study is to determine whether there is a relationship between the presence of autoantibodies against β1, β2 and α1 adrenoreceptors and severe pre-eclampsia.
Synthetic peptides corresponding to amino acid sequences of the second extracellular loops of β1, β2 and α1 adrenoreceptors were synthesized as antigens to test 34 patients with severe pre-eclampsia, 36 normal pregnancy women and 40 non-pregnant controls for the presence of autoantibodies using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The respective frequencies of autoantibodies against β1, β2 and α1 adrenoreceptors were 50.0% (17/34), 52.9% (18/34) and 55.9% (19/34) in patients with severe pre-eclampsia, 19.4% (7/36) (p = 0.011), 19.4% (7/36) (p = 0.006) and 17.6% (6/36) (p = 0.001) in normal pregnancy women and 10% (4/40), 7.5% (3/40) and 10% (4/40) (p<0.001) in non-pregnant controls. Titers of these autoantibodies were also significantly increased in patients with severe pre-eclampsia. By logistic regression analysis, the presence of these three autoantibodies significantly increased the risk of neonatal death (odds ratio, 13.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–141.3; p = 0.030) and long-term neonatal hospitalization (odds ratio, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.3–19.1; p = 0.018). The risk of hypertension and fetal distress were also associated with the presence of these three autoantibodies.
This novel pilot study demonstrated for the first time that the presence of autoantibodies against β1, β2 and α1 adrenoreceptors are increased in patients with severe pre-eclampsia. Pregnant women who are positive for the three autoantibodies are at increased risks of neonatal mortality and morbidity. We posit that these autoantibodies may be involved in the pathogenesis of severe pre-eclampsia.
Epigenetic mechanisms are emerging as one of the major factors of the dynamics of gene expression in the human malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. To elucidate the role of chromatin remodeling in transcriptional regulation associated with the progression of the P. falciparum intraerythrocytic development cycle (IDC), we mapped the temporal pattern of chromosomal association with histone H3 and H4 modifications using ChIP-on-chip. Here, we have generated a broad integrative epigenomic map of twelve histone modifications during the P. falciparum IDC including H4K5ac, H4K8ac, H4K12ac, H4K16ac, H3K9ac, H3K14ac, H3K56ac, H4K20me1, H4K20me3, H3K4me3, H3K79me3 and H4R3me2. While some modifications were found to be associated with the vast majority of the genome and their occupancy was constant, others showed more specific and highly dynamic distribution. Importantly, eight modifications displaying tight correlations with transcript levels showed differential affinity to distinct genomic regions with H4K8ac occupying predominantly promoter regions while others occurred at the 5′ ends of coding sequences. The promoter occupancy of H4K8ac remained unchanged when ectopically inserted at a different locus, indicating the presence of specific DNA elements that recruit histone modifying enzymes regardless of their broad chromatin environment. In addition, we showed the presence of multivalent domains on the genome carrying more than one histone mark, highlighting the importance of combinatorial effects on transcription. Overall, our work portrays a substantial association between chromosomal locations of various epigenetic markers, transcriptional activity and global stage-specific transitions in the epigenome.
Malaria is a devastating parasitic disease caused by the protozoan protist Plasmodium falciparum. The complex life cycle of P. falciparum comprises various morphological and functionally distinct forms and is completed in two different hosts. Various regulatory mechanisms are employed by these parasites to complete their life cycle and survive in human hosts. Epigenetic mechanisms, though not fully explored, have been implicated as one of the key players in gene regulation, morphological differentiation and antigenic variation. Here, we present a comprehensive epigenetic map of 12 histone post-translational modifications during the intraerythrocytic life cycle of P. falciparum. We have been able to identify at least eight histone modifications whose dynamic patterns correlate with the transcriptional regulation across the life cycle. In particular, we have shown that a set of euchromatic histone marks work in synergy, creating a dynamic unique histone code that is linked with gene expression during the progression of the Plasmodium intraerythrocytic developmental cycle. These findings enhance our knowledge of complex gene regulation and will help to identify novel targets for fighting malaria.
Diacylglycerol acyltransferase-1 (DGAT1) is a potential therapeutic target for treatment of obesity and related metabolic diseases. However, the degree of DGAT1 inhibition required for metabolic benefits is unclear. Here we show that partial DGAT1 deficiency in mice suppressed postprandial triglyceridemia, led to elevations in glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and peptide YY (PYY) only following meals with very high lipid content, and did not protect from diet-induced obesity. Maximal DGAT1 inhibition led to enhanced GLP-1 and PYY secretion following meals with physiologically relevant lipid content. Finally, combination of DGAT1 inhibition with dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibition led to further enhancements in active GLP-1 in mice and dogs. The current study suggests that targeting DGAT1 to enhance postprandial gut hormone secretion requires maximal inhibition, and suggests combination with DPP-4i as a potential strategy to develop DGAT1 inhibitors for treatment of metabolic diseases.
Bacillus thuringiensis is an insect pathogen which has been widely used for biocontrol. During B. thuringiensis fermentation, lysogenic bacteriophages cause severe losses of yield. Here, we announce the complete genome sequence of a bacteriophage, BMBtp2, which is induced from B. thuringiensis strain YBT-1765, which may be helpful to clarify the mechanism involved in bacteriophage contamination.
We have designed a high-throughput system for the identification of novel crystal protein genes (cry) from Bacillus thuringiensis strains. The system was developed with two goals: (i) to acquire the mixed plasmid-enriched genomic sequence of B. thuringiensis using next-generation sequencing biotechnology, and (ii) to identify cry genes with a computational pipeline (using BtToxin_scanner). In our pipeline method, we employed three different kinds of well-developed prediction methods, BLAST, hidden Markov model (HMM), and support vector machine (SVM), to predict the presence of Cry toxin genes. The pipeline proved to be fast (average speed, 1.02 Mb/min for proteins and open reading frames [ORFs] and 1.80 Mb/min for nucleotide sequences), sensitive (it detected 40% more protein toxin genes than a keyword extraction method using genomic sequences downloaded from GenBank), and highly specific. Twenty-one strains from our laboratory's collection were selected based on their plasmid pattern and/or crystal morphology. The plasmid-enriched genomic DNA was extracted from these strains and mixed for Illumina sequencing. The sequencing data were de novo assembled, and a total of 113 candidate cry sequences were identified using the computational pipeline. Twenty-seven candidate sequences were selected on the basis of their low level of sequence identity to known cry genes, and eight full-length genes were obtained with PCR. Finally, three new cry-type genes (primary ranks) and five cry holotypes, which were designated cry8Ac1, cry7Ha1, cry21Ca1, cry32Fa1, and cry21Da1 by the B. thuringiensis Toxin Nomenclature Committee, were identified. The system described here is both efficient and cost-effective and can greatly accelerate the discovery of novel cry genes.
In super-resolution microscopy methods based on single-molecule switching, the rate to accumulate single-molecule activation events often limits the time resolution. Here, we developed a sparse-signal recovery technique using compressed sensing to analyze images with highly overlapping fluorescent spots. This method allows an activated fluorophore density an order of magnitude higher than what conventional single-molecule fitting methods can handle. Using this method, we have demonstrated imaging microtubule dynamics in living cells with a time resolution of 3 s.
Objectives: Most chemotherapy agents cause tumor cell death primarily by the induction of apoptosis. The ability to noninvasively image apoptosis in vivo could dramatically benefit pre-clinical and clinical evaluation of chemotherapeutics targeting the apoptotic pathway. This study aims to visualize the dynamics of apoptotic process with temporal bioluminescence imaging (BLI) using an apoptosis specific bioluminescence reporter gene. Methods: Both UM-SCC-22B human head and neck squamous carcinoma cells and 4T1 murine breast cancer cells were genetically modified with a caspase-3 specific cyclic firefly luciferase reporter gene (pcFluc-DEVD). Apoptosis induced by different concentrations of doxorubicin in the transfected cells was evaluated by both annexin V staining and BLI. Longitudinal BLI was performed in xenografted tumor models at different time points after doxorubicin or Doxil treatment, to evaluate apoptosis. After imaging, DNA fragmentation in apoptotic cells was assessed in frozen tumor sections using TUNEL staining. Results: Dose- and time-dependent apoptosis induced by doxorubicin in pcFluc-DEVD transfected UM-SCC-22B and 4T1 cells was visualized and quantified by BLI. Caspase-3 activation was confirmed by both caspase activity assay and GloTM luciferase assay. One dose of doxorubicin treatment induced a dramatic increase in BLI intensity as early as 24 h after treatment in 22B-pcFluc-DEVD xenografted tumors. Sustained signal increase was observed for the first 3 days and the fluorescent signal from ex vivo TUNEL staining was consistent with BLI imaging results. Long-term imaging revealed that BLI signal consistently increased and reached a maximum at around day 12 after the treatment with one dose of Doxil. Conclusions: BLI of apoptosis with pcFluc-DEVD as a reporter gene facilitates the determination of kinetics of the apoptotic process in a real-time manner, which provides a unique tool for drug development and therapy response monitoring.
apoptosis; cyclic firefly luciferase; bioluminescence imaging; doxorubicin; caspase-3.
Two fluorescent heteroditopic ligands (2a and 2b) for zinc ion were synthesized and studied. The efficiencies of two photophysical processes, intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) and photoinduced electron transfer (PET), determine the magnitudes of emission bathochromic shift and enhancement, respectively, when a heteroditopic ligand forms mono- or dizinc complexes. The electron-rich 2b is characterized by a high degree of ICT in the excited state with little propensity for PET, which is manifested in a large bathochromic shift of emission upon Zn2+ coordination without enhancement in fluorescence quantum yield. The electron-poor 2a displays the opposite photophysical consequence where Zn2+ binding results in greatly enhanced emission without significant spectral shift. The electronic structural effects on the relative efficiencies of ICT and PET in 2a and 2b as well as the impact of Zn2+-coordination are probed using experimental and computational approaches. This study reveals that the delicate balance between various photophysical pathways (e.g. ICT and PET) engineered in a heteroditopic ligand is sensitively dependent on the electronic structure of the ligand, i.e. whether the fluorophore is electron-rich or poor, whether it possesses a donor–acceptor type of structure, and where the metal binding occurs.
[18F]FPPRGD2, an F-18 labeled dimeric cyclic RGDyK peptide, has favorable properties for PET imaging of angiogenesis by targeting the αvβ3 integrin receptor. This radiotracer has been approved by the FDA for use in clinical trials. However, the time-consuming multiple-step synthetic procedure required for its preparation may hinder the widespread usage of this tracer. The recent development of a method using an F-18 fluoride-aluminum complex to radiolabel peptides provides a strategy for simplifying the labeling procedure. On the other hand, the easy-to-prepare [68Ga]-labeled NOTA-RGD derivatives have also been reported to have promising properties for imaging αvβ3 integrin receptors. The purpose of this study was to prepare [18F]FPPRDG2, [18F]FAl-NOTA-PRGD2, and [68Ga]Ga-NOTA-PRGD2 and to compare their pharmacokinetics and tumor imaging properties using small animal PET. All three compounds showed rapid and high tracer uptake in U87MG tumors with high target-to-background ratios. The uptake in the liver, kidneys and muscle were similar for all three tracers and they all showed predominant renal clearance. In conclusion, [18F]FAl-NOTA-PRGD2 and [68Ga]Ga-NOTA-PRGD2 have imaging properties and pharmacokinetics comparable to those of [18F]FPPRGD2. Considering their ease of preparation and good imaging qualities, [18F]FAl-NOTA-PRGD2 and [68Ga]NOTA-PRGD2 are promising alternatives to [18F]FPPRGD2 for PET imaging of tumor αvβ3 integrin expression.
positron emission tomography (PET); integrin αvβ3; Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) peptide; fluorine-aluminum complex; Ga-68; F-18
Herein we demonstrate for the first time that a fluorogenic probe can be used as an in vivo imaging agent for visualizing activities of membrane-tethered, membrane-type matrix metalloproteinases (MT-MMPs). An MT-MMP fluorogenic probe that consisted of an MT1-MMP (MMP-14) substrate and near-infrared (NIR) dye-quencher pair exhibited rapid, efficient boosts in fluorescence upon cleavage by MT1-MMP in tumor-bearing mice. In particular, unlike similar fluorogenic probes designed to target extracellular, soluble-type MMPs (EC-MMPs)--which can be cleared from the blood stream after activation--the fluorescence signals activated by MT1-MMP enable clear visualization of MT1-MMP-positive tumors in animal models for up to 24 hours. The results indicate that a simple form of a fluorogenic probe that is less effective in EC-MMP imaging is an effective probe for imaging MT-MMP activities in vivo. These findings can be widely applied to designing probes and to applications targeting various membrane-anchored proteases in vivo.
activatable probe; fluorogenic probe; membrane-type matrix metalloproteinase; optical imaging; protease
A strategy based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to transform a red-emitting fluorophore into a ratiometric indicator for mitochondrial ZnII is demonstrated.
The dimeric transmembrane integrin, αvβ3, is a well-investigated target by different imaging modalities through suitably labeled arginine–glycine–aspartic acid (RGD) containing peptides. In this study, we labeled four cyclic RGD peptides with or without PEG functional groups: c(RGDfK) (denoted as FK), PEG3-c(RGDfK) (denoted as FK-PEG3), E[c(RGDfK)]2 (denoted as [FK]2), and PEG4-E[PEG4-c(RGDfK)]2 (denoted as [FK]2-3PEG4), with 89Zr (t1/2=78.4 h), using the chelator desferrioxamine-p-SCN (Df) for imaging tumor integrin αvβ3.
The Df conjugated RGD peptides were subjected to integrin αvβ3 binding assay in vitro using MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells. The 89Zr-labeled RGD peptides were then subjected to small animal positron emission tomography (PET) and direct tissue sampling biodistribution studies in an orthotopic MDA-MB-435 breast cancer xenograft model.
All four tracers, 89Zr-Df-FK, 89Zr-Df-FK-PEG3, 89Zr-Df-[FK]2, and 89Zr-Df-[FK]2-3PEG4, were labeled in high radiochemical yield (89±4%) and high specific activity (4.07–6 MBq/µg). Competitive binding assay with 125I-echistatin showed that conjugation of the RGD peptides to the Df chelator did not have significant impact on their integrin αvβ3 binding affinity and the dimeric peptides were shown to be more potent than the monomers. In agreement with binding results, tumor uptake of 89Zr-Df-[FK]2 and 89Zr-Df-[FK]2-3PEG4 was significantly higher (4.32±1.73%ID/g and 4.72±0.66%ID/g, respectively, at 2 h post-injection) than the monomers 89Zr-Df-FK and 89Zr-Df-FK-PEG3 (1.97±0.38%ID/g and 1.57±0.49%ID/g, respectively, at 2 h post-injection). Out of the four labeled peptides, 89Zr-Df-[FK]2-3PEG4 gave the highest tumor-to-background ratio (18.21±2.52 at 2 h post-injection and 19.69±3.99 at 4 h post-injection), with the lowest uptake in metabolic organs. Analysis of late time points biodistribution data revealed that the uptake in the tumor was decreased, along with increase in the bone, which implies decomplexation of 89Zr-Df.
Efficient radiolabeling of peptides with an appropriate chelator such as Df-RGD with 89Zr was observed. The 89Zr radiolabeled peptides provided high-quality and high-resolution microPET images in xenograft models. 89Zr-Df-[FK]2-3PEG4 demonstrated the highest tumor-to-background ratio of the compounds tested. Preparation of 89Zr peptides to take advantage of the longer half-life is unwarranted due to the relatively rapid clearance from the tumor region of peptide tracers prepared for this study and the increased uptake in the bone of transchelated 89Zr with time (2.0±0.36%ID/g, 24 h post-injection).
89Zr—zirconium; RGD peptides; Integrin αvβ3; PET
A fluorescent heteroditopic indicator for zinc(II) ion possesses two different zinc(II) binding sites. The sequential coordination of zinc(II) at the two sites can be transmitted into distinct fluorescence changes. In the heteroditopic ligand system that our group developed, the formations of mono- and di-zinc(II) complexes along an increasing gradient of zinc(II) concentration lead to fluorescence enhancement and emission bathochromic shift, respectively. The extents of these two changes determine the sensitivity, and ultimately, the effectiveness of the heteroditopic indicator in quantifying zinc(II) ion over a large concentration range. In this work, a strategy to increase the degree of fluorescence enhancement upon the formation of the mono-zinc(II) complex of a heteroditopic ligand under simulated physiological conditions is demonstrated. Fluorination of the pyridyl groups in the pentadentate N,N,N′-tris(pyridylmethyl)ethyleneamino group reduces the apparent pKa value of the high-affinity site, which increases the degree of fluorescence enhancement as the mono-zinc(II) complex is forming. However, fluorination impairs the coordination strength of the high-affinity zinc(II) binding site, which in the triply-fluorinated ligand reduces the binding strength to the level of the low-affinity 2,2′-bipyridyl. The potential of the reported ligands in imaging zinc(II) ion in living cells was evaluated. The subcellular localization properties of two ligands in five organelles were characterized. Both benefits and deficiencies of these ligands were revealed which provides directions for the near future in this line of research.
Heteroditopic ligands; Photoinduced electron transfer; Internal charge transfer; Zinc(II); Fluorescence imaging; Fluorescence microscopy; Subcellular colocalization; Red fluorescent protein
Tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8) has been reported to be upregulated in both tumor cells and tumor-associated endothelial cells in several cancer types. TEM8 antagonists and TEM8-targeted delivery of toxins have been developed as effective cancer therapeutics. The ability to image TEM8 expression would be of use in evaluating TEM8-targeted cancer therapy.
A 13-meric peptide, KYNDRLPLYISNP (QQM), identified from the small loop in domain IV of protective antigen of anthrax toxin was evaluated for TEM8 binding and labeled with 18F for small-animal PET imaging in both UM-SCC1 head-and-neck cancer and MDA-MB-435 melanoma models.
A modified ELISA showed that QQM peptide bound specifically to the extracellular vWA domain of TEM8 with an IC50 value of 304 nM. Coupling 4-nitrophenyl 2-18F-fluoropropionate with QQM gave almost quantitative yield and a high specific activity (79.2±7.4 TBq/mmol, n=5) of 18F-FP-QQM at the end of synthesis. 18F-FP-QQM showed predominantly renal clearance and had significantly higher accumulation in TEM8 high-expressing UM-SCC1 tumors (2.96±0.84 %ID/g at 1 h after injection) than TEM8 low-expressing MDA-MB-435 tumors (1.38±0.56 %ID/g at 1 h after injection).
QQM peptide bound specifically to the extracellular domain of TEM8. 18F-FP-QQM peptide tracer would be a promising lead compound for measuring TEM8 expression. Further efforts to improve the affinity and specificity of the tracer and to increase its metabolic stability are warranted.
Tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8); Small-animal PET; 18F; Peptide
The ability to distinguish between similar experiences is a critical feature of episodic memory and is primarily regulated by the dentate gyrus (DG) region of the hippocampus. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such pattern separation tasks are poorly understood. We report a novel role for the small GTPase ADP ribosylation factor 4 (Arf4) in controlling pattern separation by regulating dendritic spine development. Arf4+/− mice at 4–5 months of age display severe impairments in a pattern separation task, as well as significant dendritic spine loss and smaller miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) in granule cells of the DG. Arf4 knockdown also decreases spine density in primary neurons, whereas Arf4 overexpression promotes spine development. A constitutively active form of Arf4, Arf4-Q71L, promotes spine density to an even greater extent than wildtype Arf4, whereas the inactive Arf4-T31N mutant does not increase spine density relative to controls. Arf4′s effects on spine development are regulated by ASAP1, a GTPase-activating protein that modulates Arf4 GTPase activity. ASAP1 overexpression decreases spine density, and this effect is partially rescued by concomitant overexpression of wildtype Arf4 or Arf4-Q71L. In addition, Arf4 overexpression rescues spine loss in primary neurons from an Alzheimer's disease-related apolipoprotein (apo) E4 mouse model. Our findings suggest that Arf4 is a critical modulator of DG-mediated pattern separation by regulating dendritic spine development.
A mechanistic model is formulated to account for the high reactivity of chelating azides (organic azides capable of chelation-assisted metal coordination at the alkylated azido nitrogen position) and copper(II) acetate (Cu(OAc)2) in copper(II)-mediated azide-alkyne cycloaddition (AAC) reactions. Fluorescence and 1H NMR assays are developed for monitoring the reaction progress in two different solvents – methanol and acetonitrile. Solvent kinetic isotopic effect and pre-mixing experiments give credence to the proposed different induction reactions for converting copper(II) to catalytic copper(I) species in methanol (methanol oxidation) and acetonitrile (alkyne oxidative homocoupling), respectively. The kinetic orders of individual components in a chelation-assisted, copper(II)-accelerated AAC reaction are determined in both methanol and acetonitrile. Key conclusions resulting from the kinetic studies include (1) the interaction between copper ion (either in +1 or +2 oxidation state) and a chelating azide occurs in a fast, pre-equilibrium step prior to the formation of the in-cycle copper(I)-acetylide, (2) alkyne deprotonation is involved in several kinetically significant steps, and (3) consistent with prior experimental and computational results by other groups, two copper centers are involved in the catalysis. The X-ray crystal structures of chelating azides with Cu(OAc)2 suggest a mechanistic synergy between alkyne oxidative homocoupling and copper(II)-accelerated AAC reactions, in which both a bimetallic catalytic pathway and a base are involved. The different roles of the two copper centers (a Lewis acid to enhance the electrophilicity of the azido group and a two-electron reducing agent in oxidative metallacycle formation, respectively) in the proposed catalytic cycle suggest that a mixed valency (+2 and +1) dinuclear copper species be a highly efficient catalyst. This proposition is supported by the higher activity of the partially reduced Cu(OAc)2 in mediating a 2-picolylazide-involved AAC reaction than the fully reduced Cu(OAc)2. Finally, the discontinuous kinetic behavior that has been observed by us and others in copper(I/II)-mediated AAC reactions is explained by the likely catalyst disintegration during the course of a relatively slow reaction. Complementing the prior mechanistic conclusions drawn by other investigators which primarily focus on the copper(I)/alkyne interactions, we emphasize the kinetic significance of copper(I/II)/azide interaction. This work not only provides a mechanism accounting for the fast Cu(OAc)2-mediated AAC reactions involving chelating azides, which has apparent practical implications, but suggests the significance of mixed-valency dinuclear copper species in catalytic reactions where two copper centers carry different functions.
Copper-catalyzed azide-alkyne cycloaddition; click chemistry; mixed-valency dinuclear copper complex; copper(II) acetate; alkyne oxidative homocoupling; Glaser reaction
Chromatin-associated nonhistone proteins (CHRAPs) are readily collected from the DNaseI digested crude chromatin preparation. In this study, we show that the absolute abundance-based label-free quantitative proteomic analysis fail to identify potential CHRAPs from the CHRAP-prep. This is because that the most-highly abundant cytoplasmic proteins such as ribosomal proteins are not effectively depleted in the CHRAP-prep. Ribosomal proteins remain the top-ranked abundant proteins in the CHRAP-prep. On the other hand, we show that relative abundance-based SILAC-mediated quantitative proteomic analysis is capable of discovering the potential CHRAPs in the CHRAP-prep when compared to the whole-cell-extract. Ribosomal proteins are depleted from the top SILAC ratio-ranked proteins. In contrast, nucleus-localized proteins or potential CHRAPs are enriched in the top SILAC-ranked proteins. Consistent with this, gene-ontology analysis indicates that CHRAP-associated functions such as transcription, regulation of chromatin structures, and DNA replication and repair are significantly overrepresented in the top SILAC-ranked proteins. Some of the novel CHRAPs are confirmed using the traditional method. Notably, phenotypic assessment reveals that the top SILAC-ranked proteins exhibit the high likelihood of requirement for growth fitness under DNA damage stress. Taken together, our results indicate that the SILAC-mediated proteomic approach is capable of determining CHRAPs without prior knowledge.
Herein we report a new type of in vivo fluorogenic probe that enables simultaneous and active targeting of overexpressed receptors, αvβ3 integrins, and extracellular proteases, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), in the tumor regions. This c(RGDyK)-conjugated MMP fluorogenic probe efficiently targets the tumor regions with high retention time while maintaining receptor binding affinity and substrate activity. The probe minimizes nonspecific accumulation, and thus demonstrating improved tumor-to-background signal ratio (T/N) in both αvβ3 integrin- and MMP-overexpressing U87MG tumor-bearing mouse model. This strategy can be easily tuned for a wide array of applications targeting various receptors and extracellular proteases in vivo.
We and others have recently proposed the synthesis of composite nanoparticles that offer strongly enhanced functionality. Here we have used a flower-shaped Au-Fe3O4 nanoparticle as a template to construct an optical probe containing Cy5.5-GPLGVRG-TDOPA on the iron oxide surface and SH-PEG5000 on the gold surface that can be specifically activated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) expressed in tumors. Gold nanoparticles have excellent quenching properties, but labile surface chemistry in vivo; on the other hand, iron oxide nanoparticles afford robust surface chemistry, but are suboptimal as energy receptors. By a marriage of the two, we have produced a unified structure with performance that is unachievable with the separate components. Our results are a further demonstration that the architecture of nanoparticles can be modulated to tailor their function as molecular imaging/therapeutic agents.
composite nanoparticles; Au-Fe3O4; matrix metalloproteinase (MMP); activatable probes; near-infrared fluorescence imaging
Membrane type-1 matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is a key member of the matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family. It participates in pericellular proteolysis of extracellular matrix (ECM) macromolecules and is essential for many biological and pathological processes, such as tumor development, angiogenesis and metastasis. A ligand that specifically binds to MT1-MMP may facilitate the labeling of this molecule, allow imaging at the cellular and organism levels, and provide a means for targeted drug delivery specific to MT1-MMP. A non-substrate MT1-MMP binding peptide was identified by screening a Ph. D.™ - 12 phage display peptide library and conjugated with near-infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dye Cy5.5 for tumor imaging. Peptide HWKHLHNTKTFL (denoted as MT1-AF7p) showed high MT1-MMP binding affinity. Computer modeling verified that MT1-AF7p binds to the MT-loop region of MT1-MMP and interacts with MT1-MMP through hydrogen bonding and hydrophobic interactions. MDA-MB-435 xenografts with high MT1-MMP expression had significantly higher tumor accumulation and better tumor contrast than the low MT1-MMP expressing A549 xenografts after intravenous injection of Cy5.5-MT1-AF7p. A novel non-substrate affinity peptide MT1-AF7p was found for MT1-MMP high affinity and specificity. Using NIRF imaging, we have demonstrated specific targeting of MT1-AF7p to MT1-MMP-expressing tumors. Thus, MT1-AF7p is an important tool for noninvasive monitoring of MT1-MMP expression in tumors, and it shows great potential as an imaging agent for MT1-MMP – positive tumors.
matrix metalloproteinase; MT1-MMP (MMP-14); phage display peptide library; near-infrared fluorescence optical imaging
Labeling biomolecules with 18F is usually done through coupling with prosthetic groups, which requires several time-consuming radiosynthesis steps and therefore results in low labeling yield. In this study we designed a simple one-step 18F-labeling strategy to replace the conventional complex and long process of multiple-step radiolabeling procedure.
Both Monomeric and dimeric cyclic RGD peptides were modified to contain 4-NO2-3-CF3 arene as precursors for direct 18F labeling. Binding of the two functionalized peptides to integrin αvβ3 was tested in vitro using MDA-MB-435 human breast cell line. The most promising functionalized peptide, the dimeric cyclic RGD, was further evaluated in vivo in an orthotopic MDA-MB-435 tumor xenograft model.
The use of relatively low amount of precursor (~0.5μmol), gave reasonable yield, ranging from 7–23% (decay corrected, calculated from start of synthesis) after HPLC purification. Overall reaction time was 40 min and the specific activity of the labeled peptide was high. Modification of RGD peptides did not significantly change the biological binding affinities of the modified peptides. Small animal PET and biodistribution studies revealed integrin specific tumor uptake and favorable biokinetics.
We have developed a novel one-step 18F radiolabeling strategy for peptides that contain a specific arene group, which shortens reaction time and labor significantly, requires low amount of precursor and results in specific activity of 79 ± 13 GBq/μmol. Successful introduction of 4-fluoro-3-trifluoromethylbenzamide into RGD peptides may be a general strategy applicable to other biologically active peptides and proteins.
18F-fluoride; direct fluorination; PET; RGD peptides; integrin αvβ3
In the title compound, C14H14F4N2O3S, the hexahydropyrimidine ring adopts a half-chair conformation. The molecular conformation is stabilized by an intramolecular O—H⋯O hydrogen bond, generating an S(6) ring. The crystal structure features O—H⋯S and N—H⋯S hydrogen bonds.
Recently, a disulfide-based cyclic RGD peptide called iRGD, i.e. c(CRGDKGPDC), has been reported to interact with both integrin and neuropilin-1 receptors for cellular and deep tissue penetration to improve the imaging sensitivity and therapeutic efficacy. In this study, two new near-infrared fluorescent iRGD conjugates, i.e., Ac-Cys(IRDye®800CW)-iRGD (1), and its dual labeling analog DOTA-Cys(IRDye®800CW)-iRGD (2) were synthesized via the specific mercapto-maleimide reaction for tumor imaging. Both 1 and 2 showed significant tumor localization in optical imaging of MDA-MB-435 tumor-bearing mice. The potential of such iRGD compounds in tumor-targeted imaging and drug delivery deserves further exploration.
iRGD peptide; Integrin receptor; Near-infrared fluorescent probe; Optical imaging; Tumor targeting