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1.  Characterization and optimization of ArtinM lectin expression in Escherichia coli 
BMC Biotechnology  2012;12:44.
ArtinM is a d-mannose-specific lectin from Artocarpus integrifolia seeds that induces neutrophil migration and activation, degranulation of mast cells, acceleration of wound healing, induction of interleukin-12 production by macrophages and dendritic cells, and protective T helper 1 immune response against Leishmania major, Leishmania amazonensis and Paracoccidioides brasiliensis infections. Considering the important biological properties of ArtinM and its therapeutic applicability, this study was designed to produce high-level expression of active recombinant ArtinM (rArtinM) in Escherichia coli system.
The ArtinM coding region was inserted in pET29a(+) vector and expressed in E. coli BL21(DE3)-Codon Plus-RP. The conditions for overexpression of soluble ArtinM were optimized testing different parameters: temperatures (20, 25, 30 or 37°C) and shaking speeds (130, 200 or 220 rpm) during induction, concentrations of the induction agent IPTG (0.01-4 mM) and periods of induction (1-19 h). BL21-CodonPlus(DE3)-RP cells induced under the optimized conditions (incubation at 20°C, at a shaking speed of 130 rpm, induction with 0.4 mM IPTG for 19 h) resulted in the accumulation of large amounts of soluble rArtinM. The culture provided 22.4 mg/L of rArtinM, which activity was determined by its one-step purification through affinity chromatography on immobilized d-mannose and glycoarray analysis. Gel filtration showed that rArtinM is monomeric, contrasting with the tetrameric form of the plant native protein (jArtinM). The analysis of intact rArtinM by mass spectrometry revealed a 16,099.5 Da molecular mass, and the peptide mass fingerprint and esi-cid-ms/ms of amino acid sequences of peptides from a tryptic digest covered 41% of the total ArtinM amino acid sequence. In addition, circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy of rArtinM indicated that its global fold comprises β-sheet structure.
Overall, the optimized process to express rArtinM in E. coli provided high amounts of soluble, correctly folded and active recombinant protein, compatible with large scale production of the lectin.
PMCID: PMC3431236  PMID: 22857259
2.  Dietary whey protein lessens several risk factors for metabolic diseases: a review 
Obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) have grown in prevalence around the world, and recently, related diseases have been considered epidemic. Given the high cost of treatment of obesity/DM-associated diseases, strategies such as dietary manipulation have been widely studied; among them, the whey protein diet has reached popularity because it has been suggested as a strategy for the prevention and treatment of obesity and DM in both humans and animals. Among its main actions, the following activities stand out: reduction of serum glucose in healthy individuals, impaired glucose tolerance in DM and obese patients; reduction in body weight; maintenance of muscle mass; increases in the release of anorectic hormones such as cholecystokinin, leptin, and glucagon like-peptide 1 (GLP-1); and a decrease in the orexigenic hormone ghrelin. Furthermore, studies have shown that whey protein can also lead to reductions in blood pressure, inflammation, and oxidative stress.
PMCID: PMC3393628  PMID: 22676328
Whey protein; Obesity; Type 2 diabetes mellitus; Appetite; Inflammation; Hypertension.
3.  Proteomic profiling of the rat hypothalamus 
Proteome Science  2012;10:26.
The hypothalamus plays a pivotal role in numerous mechanisms highly relevant to the maintenance of body homeostasis, such as the control of food intake and energy expenditure. Impairment of these mechanisms has been associated with the metabolic disturbances involved in the pathogenesis of obesity. Since rodent species constitute important models for metabolism studies and the rat hypothalamus is poorly characterized by proteomic strategies, we performed experiments aimed at constructing a two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) profile of rat hypothalamus proteins.
As a first step, we established the best conditions for tissue collection and protein extraction, quantification and separation. The extraction buffer composition selected for proteome characterization of rat hypothalamus was urea 7 M, thiourea 2 M, CHAPS 4%, Triton X-100 0.5%, followed by a precipitation step with chloroform/methanol. Two-dimensional (2-D) gels of hypothalamic extracts from four-month-old rats were analyzed; the protein spots were digested and identified by using tandem mass spectrometry and database query using the protein search engine MASCOT. Eighty-six hypothalamic proteins were identified, the majority of which were classified as participating in metabolic processes, consistent with the finding of a large number of proteins with catalytic activity. Genes encoding proteins identified in this study have been related to obesity development.
The present results indicate that the 2-DE technique will be useful for nutritional studies focusing on hypothalamic proteins. The data presented herein will serve as a reference database for studies testing the effects of dietary manipulations on hypothalamic proteome. We trust that these experiments will lead to important knowledge on protein targets of nutritional variables potentially able to affect the complex central nervous system control of energy homeostasis.
doi: 10.1186/1477-5956-10-26
PMCID: PMC3441799  PMID: 22519962
Hypothalamus; Proteome; 2-D electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry; Nutrition; Obesity; Rat
4.  Gut-central nervous system axis is a target for nutritional therapies 
Nutrition Journal  2012;11:22.
Historically, in the 1950s, the chemist Linus Pauling established a relationship between decreased longevity and obesity. At this time, with the advent of studies involving the mechanisms that modulate appetite control, some researchers observed that the hypothalamus is the "appetite centre" and that peripheral tissues have important roles in the modulation of gut inflammatory processes and levels of hormones that control food intake. Likewise, the advances of physiological and molecular mechanisms for patients with obesity, type 2 diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel diseases, bariatric surgery and anorexia-associated diseases has been greatly appreciated by nutritionists. Therefore, this review highlights the relationship between the gut-central nervous system axis and targets for nutritional therapies.
PMCID: PMC3342925  PMID: 22490672
Gut; Central nervous system; Nutrition; Diet; Appetite; Inflammatory disease
5.  Supplementing alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and vitamin D3 in high fat diet decrease IL-6 production in murine epididymal adipose tissue and 3T3-L1 adipocytes following LPS stimulation 
It is well known that high fat diets (HFDs) induce obesity and an increase in proinflammatory adipokines. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is considered the major inflammatory mediator in obesity. Obesity is associated with a vitamin deficiency, especially of vitamins E and D3. We examined the effects of vitamin D3 and vitamin E supplementation on levels of IL-6 and IL-10 (as a marker of anti-inflammatory cytokines since, a balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines is maintained) protein expression in adipose tissue of mice provided with an HFD. Additionally, we measured the effects of vitamin E and vitamin D3 treatment on LPS-stimulated 3T3-L1 adipocytes IL-6 and IL-10 secretion.
IL-6 protein levels and the IL-6/IL-10 ratio were decreased in epididymal white adipose tissue in groups receiving vitamins E and D3 supplementation compared to the HFD group. A 24-hour treatment of vitamin D3 and vitamin E significantly reduced the IL-6 levels in the adipocytes culture medium without affecting IL-10 levels.
Vitamin D3 and vitamin E supplementation in an HFD had an anti-inflammatory effect by decreasing IL-6 production in epididymal adipose tissue in mice and in 3T3-L1 adipocytes stimulated with LPS. Our results suggest that vitamin E and D3 supplementation can be used as an adjunctive therapy to reduce the proinflammatory cytokines present in obese patients.
PMCID: PMC3050762  PMID: 21352586
6.  β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMβ) supplementation stimulates skeletal muscle hypertrophy in rats via the mTOR pathway 
β-Hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMβ) supplementation is used to treat cancer, sepsis and exercise-induced muscle damage. However, its effects on animal and human health and the consequences of this treatment in other tissues (e.g., fat and liver) have not been examined. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of HMβ supplementation on skeletal muscle hypertrophy and the expression of proteins involved in insulin signalling. Rats were treated with HMβ (320 mg/kg body weight) or saline for one month. The skeletal muscle hypertrophy and insulin signalling were evaluated by western blotting, and hormonal concentrations were evaluated using ELISAs. HMβ supplementation induced muscle hypertrophy in the extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus muscles and increased serum insulin levels, the expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and phosphorylation of p70S6K in the EDL muscle. Expression of the insulin receptor was increased only in liver. Thus, our results suggest that HMβ supplementation can be used to increase muscle mass without adverse health effects.
PMCID: PMC3048483  PMID: 21345206
7.  Inflammation and adipose tissue: effects of progressive load training in rats 
Cytokines (IL-6, IL-10 and TNF-α) are increased after exhaustive exercise in the rat retroperitoneal (RPAT) and mesenteric adipose tissue (MEAT) pads. On the other hand, these cytokines show decreased expression in these depots in response to a chronic exercise protocol. However, the effect of exercise with overload combined with a short recovery period on pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine expression is unknown. In the present study, we investigated the regulation of cytokine production in the adipose tissue of rats after an overtraining-inducing exercise protocol.
Male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: Control (C), Trained (Tr), Overtrained (OT) and recovered overtrained (R). Cytokines (IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10) levels and Toll Like Receptor 4 (TLR4), Nuclear Factor kBp65 (NF-kBp65), Hormone Sensitive Lipase (HSL) and, Perilipin protein expression were assessed in the adipose tissue. Furthermore, we analysed plasma lipid profile, insulin, testosterone, corticosterone and endotoxin levels, and liver triacylglycerol, cytokine content, as well as apolipoprotein B (apoB) and TLR4 expression in the liver.
OT and R groups exhibited reduced performance accompanied by lower testosterone and increased corticosterone and endotoxin levels when compared with the control and trained groups. IL-6 and IL-10 protein levels were increased in the adipose tissue of the group allowed to recover, in comparison with all the other studied groups. TLR-4 and NF-kBp65 were increased in this same group when compared with both control and trained groups. The protein expression of HSL was increased and that of Perilipin, decreased in the adipose in R in relation to the control. In addition, we found increased liver and serum TAG, along with reduced apoB protein expression and IL-6 and IL-10 levels in the of R in relation to the control and trained groups.
In conclusion, we have shown that increases in pro-inflammatory cytokines in the adipose tissue after an overtraining protocol may be mediated via TLR-4 and NF-kBp65 signalling, leading to an inflammatory state in this tissue.
PMCID: PMC2959201  PMID: 20920329
8.  Proteomic analysis of total cellular proteins of human neutrophils 
Proteome Science  2009;7:32.
Neutrophils are the most abundant leukocytes in peripheral blood and represent one of the most important elements of innate immunity. Recent subcellular proteomic studies have focused on the identification of human neutrophil proteins in various subcellular membrane and granular fractions. Although there are relatively few studies dealing with the analysis of the total extract of human neutrophils, many biological problems such as the role of chemokines, adhesion molecules, and other activating inputs involved in neutrophil responses and signaling can be approached on the basis of the identification of the total cellular proteins.
Using gel-LC-MS/MS, 251 total cellular proteins were identified from resting human neutrophils. This is more than ten times the number of proteins identified by an initial proteome analysis of human neutrophils and almost five times the number of proteins identified by the first 2-DE map of extracts of rat polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Most of the proteins identified in the present study are well-known, but some of them, such as neutrophil-secreted proteins and centaurin beta-1, a cytoplasmic protein involved in the regulation of NF-κB activity, are described here for the first-time.
The present report provides new information about the protein content of human neutrophils. Importantly, our study resulted in the discovery of a series of proteins not previously reported to be associated with human neutrophils. These data are relevant to the investigation of comparative pathological states and models for novel classes of pharmaceutical drugs that could be useful in the treatment of inflammatory disorders in which neutrophils participate.
PMCID: PMC3224919  PMID: 19719850

Results 1-8 (8)