To investigate the effect of sugar pucker conformation on DNA-protein interactions, we used 2′-O-methyl nucleotide (2′-OMeN) to modify the EcoRI recognition sequence -TGAATTCT-, and monitored the enzymatic cleavage process using FRET method. The 2′-O-methyl nucleotide has a C3′-endo sugar pucker conformation different from the C2′-endo sugar pucker conformation of native DNA nucleotides. The initial reaction velocities were measured and the kinetic parameters, Km and Vmax were derived using Michaelis-Menten equation. Experimental results showed that 2′-OMeN substitutions for the EcoRI recognition sequence decreased the cleavage efficiency for A2, A3 and T4 substitutions significantly, and 2′-OMeN substitution for T5 residue inhibited the enzymatic activity completely. In contrast, substitutions for G1 and C6 could maintain the original activity. 2′-fluoro nucleic acid (2′-FNA) and locked nucleic acid (LNA) having similar C3′-endo sugar pucker conformation also demonstrated similar enzymatic results. This position-dependent enzymatic cleavage property might be attributed to the phosphate backbone distortion caused by the switch from C2′-endo to C3′-endo sugar pucker conformation, and was interpreted on the basis of the DNA-EcoRI structure. These 2′-modified nucleotides could behave as a regulatory element to modulate the enzymatic activity in vitro, and this property will have potential applications in genetic engineering and biomedicine.
A serious limitation of numerous antitumor drugs is the incapacity to penetrate solid tumors. However, addition of an RGD fragment to peptide drugs might solve this problem. In this study, we explored whether the introduction of a permeability-enhancing sequence, such as iRGD (CRGDK/RGPD/EC) fragments, would enhance the activity of thymosin alpha 1 (Tα1). The modified Tα1 (Tα1-iRGD) was successfully expressed and purified, and the in vitro assay showed that Tα1-iRGD presented a similar activity as Tα1 in promoting proliferation of mouse splenocytes. Meanwhile, cell adhesion analysis revealed that Tα1-iRGD exhibited more specific and greater binding with tumor cells compared with Tα1. Furthermore, the iRGD fragment evidently enhanced the basal ability of Tα1 to inhibit proliferation of cancer cells in vitro, particularly of mouse melanoma cell line B16F10 and human lung cancer cell line H460. Our findings indicated that the addition of an iRGD fragment increased the anti-proliferative activity of Tα1 against cancer cells by improving the ability of Tα1 to penetrate the tumor cells. This study highlighted the important roles of an iRGD sequence in the therapeutic strategy of Tα1-iRGD. Thus, Tα1-iRGD could be a novel drug candidate for cancer treatment.
Two sensitive and reproducible capillary electrophoresis and high-performance liquid chromatography-fluorescence procedures were established for quantitative determination of L-egothioneine in plasma. After derivatization of L-ergothioneine with 5-iodoacetamidofluorescein, the separation was carried out by HPLC on an ODS-2 C-18 sperisorb column by using a linear gradient elution and by HPCE on an uncoated fused silica capillary, 50 µm id, and 60 cm length. The methods were validated and found to be linear in the range of 0.3 to 10 µmol/l. The limit of quantification was 0.27 µmol/l for HPCE and 0.15 µmol/l for HPLC. The variations for intra- and inter-assay precision were around 6 RSD%, and the mean recovery accuracy close to 100% (96.11%).
Blood clotting is a precise cascade engineered to form a clot with temporal and spatial control. Current control of blood clotting is achieved predominantly by anticoagulants and thus inherently one-sided. Here we use a pair of nanorods (NRs) to provide a two-way switch for the blood clotting cascade by utilizing their ability to selectively release species on their surface under two different laser excitations. We selectively trigger release of a thrombin binding aptamer from one nanorod, inhibiting blood clotting and resulting in increased clotting time. We then release the complementary DNA as an antidote from the other NR, reversing the effect of the aptamer and restoring blood clotting. Thus, the nanorod pair acts as an on/off switch. One challenge for nanobiotechnology is the bio-nano interface, where coronas of weakly adsorbed proteins can obscure biomolecular function. We exploit these adsorbed proteins to increase aptamer and antidote loading on the nanorods.
Antisense oligonucleotides (ASODNs) have been widely used as an important tool for regulating gene expression, and developed into therapeutics. Natural ODNs are susceptible to nuclease degradation, nucleic acid analogues, however, have less side effects, stronger stability and more potent activities. Large-scale de novo synthesis of a certain oligonucleotide has been very difficult and costly. In a previous preliminary study, we developed the polymerase-endonuclease amplification reaction (PEAR) for amplification and large-scale preparation of natural antisense ODNs. Here we extended the method in preparation of a widely used modified oligonucleotide with 5′-O-(1-Thiotriphosphate) modifications. Using electrospray ionization liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (ESI/LC/MS) detection, the purity of the PEAR product was measured as high as 100.0%. Using PEAR a large amount of a specific oligonucleotide can be produced starting from a small amount of synthetic seeds. It is suggested that PEAR can be a useful tool for large-scale production of modified oligonucleotides.
Optimising non-viral vectors for neuronal siRNA delivery presents a significant challenge. Here, we investigate a co-formulation, consisting of two amphiphilic cyclodextrins (CDs), one cationic and the other PEGylated, which were blended together for siRNA delivery to a neuronal cell culture model. Co-formulated CD-siRNA complexes were characterised in terms of size, charge and morphology. Stability in salt and serum was also examined. Uptake was determined by flow cytometry and toxicity was measured by MTT assay. Knockdown of a luciferase reporter gene was used as a measure of gene silencing efficiency. Incorporation of a PEGylated CD in the formulation had significant effects on the physical and biological properties of CD.siRNA complexes. Co-formulated complexes exhibited a lower surface charge and greater stability in a high salt environment. However, the inclusion of the PEGylated CD also dramatically reduced gene silencing efficiency due to its effects on neuronal uptake. The co-formulation strategy for cationic and PEGylated CDs improved the stability of the CD.siRNA delivery systems, although knockdown efficiency was impaired. Future work will focus on the addition of targeting ligands to the co-formulated complexes to restore transfection capabilities.
We developed a method for aptamer identification without in vitro selection. We have previously obtained several aptamers, which may fold into the G-quadruplex (G4) structure, against target proteins; therefore, we hypothesized that the G4 structure would be an excellent scaffold for aptamers to recognize the target protein. Moreover, the G4-forming sequence contained in the promoter region of insulin can reportedly bind to insulin. We thus expected that G4 DNAs, which are contained in promoter regions, could act as DNA aptamers against their gene products. We designated this aptamer identification method as “G4 promoter-derived aptamer selection (G4PAS).” Using G4PAS, we identified vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)165, platelet-derived growth factor-AA (PDGF)-AA, and RB1 DNA aptamers. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis revealed that the dissociation constant (Kd) values of VEGF165, PDGF-AA, and RB1 DNA aptamers were 1.7 × 10−7 M, 6.3 × 10−9 M, and 4.4 × 10−7 M, respectively. G4PAS is a simple and rapid method of aptamer identification because it involves only binding analysis of G4 DNAs to the target protein. In the human genome, over 40% of promoters contain one or more potential G4 DNAs. G4PAS could therefore be applied to identify aptamers against target proteins that contain G4 DNAs on their promoters.
Adverse drug reactions, including severe patient bleeding, may occur following the administration of anticoagulant drugs. Bivalirudin is a synthetic anticoagulant drug sometimes employed as a substitute for heparin, a commonly used anticoagulant that can cause a condition called heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT). Although bivalrudin has the advantage of not causing HIT, a major concern is lack of an antidote for this drug. In contrast, medical professionals can quickly reverse the effects of heparin using protamine. This report details the selection of an aptamer to bivalirudin that functions as an antidote in buffer. This was accomplished by immobilizing the drug on a monolithic column to partition binding sequences from nonbinding sequences using a low-pressure chromatography system and salt gradient elution. The elution profile of binding sequences was compared to that of a blank column (no drug), and fractions with a chromatographic difference were analyzed via real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) and used for further selection. Sequences were identified by 454 sequencing and demonstrated low micromolar dissociation constants through fluorescence anisotropy after only two rounds of selection. One aptamer, JPB5, displayed a dose-dependent reduction of the clotting time in buffer, with a 20 µM aptamer achieving a nearly complete antidote effect. This work is expected to result in a superior safety profile for bivalirudin, resulting in enhanced patient care.
Cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs) are short peptides which can carry various types of molecules into cells; however, although most CPPs rapidly penetrate cells in vitro, their in vivo tissue-targeting specificities are low. Herein, we describe cell-binding, internalization, and targeting characteristics of a newly identified 10-residue CPP, denoted ECP32–41, derived from the core heparin-binding motif of human eosinophil cationic protein (ECP). Besides traditional emphasis on positively charged residues, the presence of cysteine and tryptophan residues was demonstrated to be essential for internalization. ECP32–41 entered Beas-2B and wild-type CHO-K1 cells, but not CHO cells lacking of cell-surface glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), indicating that binding of ECP32–41 to cell-surface GAGs was required for internalization. When cells were cultured with GAGs or pre-treated with GAG-digesting enzymes, significant decreases in ECP32–41 internalization were observed, suggesting that cell-surface GAGs, especially heparan sulfate proteoglycans were necessary for ECP32–41 attachment and penetration. Furthermore, treatment with pharmacological agents identified two forms of energy-dependent endocytosis, lipid-raft endocytosis and macropinocytosis, as the major ECP32–41 internalization routes. ECP32–41 was demonstrated to transport various cargoes including fluorescent chemical, fluorescent protein, and peptidomimetic drug into cultured Beas-2B cells in vitro, and targeted broncho-epithelial and intestinal villi tissues in vivo. Hence this CPP has the potential to serve as a novel vehicle for intracellular delivery of biomolecules or medicines, especially for the treatment of pulmonary or gastrointestinal diseases.
Nano-scale alignment of several proteins with freedom of motion is equivalent to an enormous increase in effective local concentration of proteins and will enable otherwise impossible weak and/or cooperative associations between them or with their ligands. For this purpose, a DNA backbone made of six oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) chains is designed in which five double-stranded segments are connected by four single-stranded flexible linkers. A desired protein with an introduced cysteine is connected covalently to the 5′-end of azido-ODN by catalyst-free click chemistry. Then, six protein-ODN conjugates are assembled with their complementary nucleotide sequences into a single multi-protein-DNA complex, and six proteins are aligned along the DNA backbone. Flexible alignment of proteins is directly observed by high-speed AFM imaging, and association of proteins with weak interaction is demonstrated by fluorescence resonance energy transfer between aligned proteins.
The anticancer activity of DNA intercalators is related to their ability to intercalate into the DNA duplex with high affinity, thereby interfering with DNA replication and transcription. Polyamines (spermine in particular) are almost exclusively bound to nucleic acids and are involved in many cellular processes that require nucleic acids. Until now, the effects of polyamines on DNA intercalator activities have remained unclear because intercalation is the most important mechanism employed by DNA-binding drugs. Herein, using actinomycin D (ACTD) as a model, we have attempted to elucidate the effects of spermine on the action of ACTD, including its DNA-binding ability, RNA and DNA polymerase interference, and its role in the transcription and replication inhibition of ACTD within cells. We found that spermine interfered with the binding and stabilization of ACTD to DNA. The presence of increasing concentrations of spermine enhanced the transcriptional and replication activities of RNA and DNA polymerases, respectively, in vitro treated with ActD. Moreover, a decrease in intracellular polyamine concentrations stimulated by methylglyoxal-bis(guanylhydrazone) (MGBG) enhanced the ACTD-induced inhibition of c-myc transcription and DNA replication in several cancer cell lines. The results indicated that spermine attenuates ACTD binding to DNA and its inhibition of transcription and DNA replication both in vitro and within cells. Finally, a synergistic antiproliferative effect of MGBG and ACTD was observed in a cell viability assay. Our findings will be of significant relevance to future developments in combination with cancer therapy by enhancing the anticancer activity of DNA interactors through polyamine depletion.
Crotamine, a 42-residue polypeptide derived from the venom of the South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus, has been shown to be a cell-penetrating protein that targets chromosomes, carries plasmid DNA into cells, and shows specificity for actively proliferating cells. Given this potential role as a nucleic acid-delivery vector, we have studied in detail the binding of crotamine to single- and double-stranded DNAs of different lengths and base compositions over a range of ionic conditions. Agarose gel electrophoresis and ultraviolet spectrophotometry analysis indicate that complexes of crotamine with long-chain DNAs readily aggregate and precipitate at low ionic strength. This aggregation, which may be important for cellular uptake of DNA, becomes less likely with shorter chain length. 25-mer oligonucleotides do not show any evidence of such aggregation, permitting the determination of affinities and size via fluorescence quenching experiments. The polypeptide binds non-cooperatively to DNA, covering about 5 nucleotide residues when it binds to single (ss) or (ds) double stranded molecules. The affinities of the protein for ss- vs. ds-DNA are comparable, and inversely proportional to salt levels. Analysis of the dependence of affinity on [NaCl] indicates that there are a maximum of ∼3 ionic interactions between the protein and DNA, with some of the binding affinity attributable to non-ionic interactions. Inspection of the three-dimensional structure of the protein suggests that residues 31 to 35, Arg-Trp-Arg-Trp-Lys, could serve as a potential DNA-binding site. A hexapeptide containing this sequence displayed a lower DNA binding affinity and salt dependence as compared to the full-length protein, likely indicative of a more suitable 3D structure and the presence of accessory binding sites in the native crotamine. Taken together, the data presented here describing crotamine-DNA interactions may lend support to the design of more effective nucleic acid drug delivery vehicles which take advantage of crotamine as a carrier with specificity for actively proliferating cells.
The broad applicability of RNA aptamers as cell-specific delivery tools for therapeutic reagents depends on the ability to identify aptamer sequences that selectively access the cytoplasm of distinct cell types. Towards this end, we have developed a novel approach that combines a cell-based selection method (cell-internalization SELEX) with high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatics analyses to rapidly identify cell-specific, internalization-competent RNA aptamers.
We demonstrate the utility of this approach by enriching for RNA aptamers capable of selective internalization into vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Several rounds of positive (VSMCs) and negative (endothelial cells; ECs) selection were performed to enrich for aptamer sequences that preferentially internalize into VSMCs. To identify candidate RNA aptamer sequences, HTS data from each round of selection were analyzed using bioinformatics methods: (1) metrics of selection enrichment; and (2) pairwise comparisons of sequence and structural similarity, termed edit and tree distance, respectively. Correlation analyses of experimentally validated aptamers or rounds revealed that the best cell-specific, internalizing aptamers are enriched as a result of the negative selection step performed against ECs.
Conclusions and Significance
We describe a novel approach that combines cell-internalization SELEX with HTS and bioinformatics analysis to identify cell-specific, cell-internalizing RNA aptamers. Our data highlight the importance of performing a pre-clear step against a non-target cell in order to select for cell-specific aptamers. We expect the extended use of this approach to enable the identification of aptamers to a multitude of different cell types, thereby facilitating the broad development of targeted cell therapies.
Nucleic acids based therapeutic approaches have gained significant interest in recent years towards the development of therapeutics against many diseases. Recently, research on aptamers led to the marketing of Macugen®, an inhibitor of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) for the treatment of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Aptamer technology may prove useful as a therapeutic alternative against an array of human maladies. Considering the increased interest in aptamer technology globally that rival antibody mediated therapeutic approaches, a simplified selection, possibly in one-step, technique is required for developing aptamers in limited time period.
Herein, we present a simple one-step selection of DNA aptamers against α-bungarotoxin. A toxin immobilized glass coverslip was subjected to nucleic acid pool binding and extensive washing followed by PCR enrichment of the selected aptamers. One round of selection successfully identified a DNA aptamer sequence with a binding affinity of 7.58 µM.
We have demonstrated a one-step method for rapid production of nucleic acid aptamers. Although the reported binding affinity is in the low micromolar range, we believe that this could be further improved by using larger targets, increasing the stringency of selection and also by combining a capillary electrophoresis separation prior to the one-step selection. Furthermore, the method presented here is a user-friendly, cheap and an easy way of deriving an aptamer unlike the time consuming conventional SELEX-based approach. The most important application of this method is that chemically-modified nucleic acid libraries can also be used for aptamer selection as it requires only one enzymatic step. This method could equally be suitable for developing RNA aptamers.
Chemical synthesis of Ag-NPs was carried out using reduction method. The reduction mechanistic approach of silver ions was found to be a basic clue for the formation of the Ag-NPs. The nanoparticles were characterized by UV-vis, FT-IR and TEM analysis. We had designed some experiments in support of our hypothesis, “low concentrations of novel nanoparticles (silver and gold) increases the activity of plant peroxidases and alter their structure also”, we had used Ag-NPs and HRP as models. The immobilization/interaction experiment had demonstrated the specific concentration range of the Ag-NPs and within this range, an increase in HRP activity was reported. At 0.08 mM concentration of Ag-NPs, 50% increase in the activity yield was found. The U.V-vis spectra had demonstrated the increase in the absorbance of HRP within the reported concentration range (0.06–0.12 mM). Above and below this concentration range there was a decrease in the activity of HRP. The results that we had found from the fluorescence spectra were also in favor of our hypothesis. There was a maximum increase in ellipticity and α-helix contents in the presence of 0.08 mM concentration of Ag-NPs, demonstrated by circular dichroism (CD) spectra. Finally, incubation of a plant peroxidase, HRP with Ag-NPs, within the reported concentration range not only enhances the activity but also alter the structure.
Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat a variety of neuro-muscular disorders, as well as in cosmetology. The increased demand requires efficient methods for the production and purification of these toxins. In this study, a new purification process was developed for purifying type B neurotoxin. The kinetics of C.botulinum strain growth and neurotoxin production were determined for maximum yield of toxin. The neurotoxin was purified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation and chromatography. Based on design of full factorial experiment, 20% (w/v) PEG-6000, 4°C, pH 5.0 and 0.3 M NaCl were optimal conditions to obtain a high recovery rate of 87% for the type B neurotoxin complex, as indicated by a purification factor of 61.5 fold. Furthermore, residual bacterial cells, impurity proteins and some nucleic acids were removed by PEG precipitation. The following purification of neurotoxin was accomplished by two chromatography techniques using Sephacryl™ S-100 and phenyl HP columns. The neurotoxin was recovered with an overall yield of 21.5% and the purification factor increased to 216.7 fold. In addition, a mouse bioassay determined the purified neurotoxin complex possessed a specific toxicity (LD50) of 4.095 ng/kg.
Heparanase is an enzyme involved in extracellular matrix remodelling and heparan sulphate proteoglycan catabolism. It is secreted by metastatic tumour cells, allowing them to penetrate the endothelial cell layer and basement membrane to invade target organs. The release of growth factors at the site of cleaved heparan sulphate chains further enhance the potential of the tumour by encouraging the process of angiogenesis. This leads to increased survival and further proliferation of the tumour. Aptamers are single or double stranded oligonucleotides that recognise specific small molecules, peptides, proteins, or even cells or tissues and have shown great potential over the years as diagnostic and therapeutic agents in anticancer treatment. For the first time, single stranded DNA aptamers were successfully generated against the active heterodimer form of heparanase using a modified SELEX protocol, and eluted based on increasing affinity for the target. Sandwich ELISA assays showed recognition of heparanase by the aptamers at a site distinct from that of a polyclonal HPSE1 antibody. The binding affinities of aptamer to immobilised enzyme were high (7×107 to 8×107 M−1) as measured by fluorescence spectroscopy. Immunohistochemistry and immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that the aptamers were able to recognise heparanase with staining comparable or in some cases superior to that of the HPSE1 antibody control. Finally, matrigel assay demonstrated that aptamers were able to inhibit heparanase. This study provides clear proof of principle concept that nucleic acid aptamers can be generated against heparanase. These reagents may serve as useful tools to explore the functional role of the enzyme and in the future development of diagnostic assays or therapeutic reagents.
We previously identified the 67-kDa laminin receptor (67LR) as the cell-surface receptor conferring the major green tea polyphenol (–)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (EGCG) responsiveness to cancer cells. However, the underlying mechanism for interaction between EGCG and 67LR remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the possible role of EGCG-67LR interaction responsible for its bioactivities.
We synthesized various peptides deduced from the extracellular domain corresponding to the 102-295 region of human 67LR encoding a 295-amino acid. The neutralizing activity of these peptides toward EGCG cell-surface binding and inhibition of cancer cell growth were assayed. Both activities were inhibited by a peptide containing the 10-amino acid residues, IPCNNKGAHS, corresponding to residues 161-170. Furthermore, mass spectrometric analysis revealed the formation of a EGCG-LR161-170 peptide complex. A study of the amino acid deletion/replacement of the peptide LR161-170 indicated that the 10-amino acid length and two basic amino acids, K166 and H169, have a critical role in neutralizing EGCG’s activities. Moreover, neutralizing activity against the anti-proliferation action of EGCG was observed in a recombinant protein of the extracellular domain of 67LR, and this effect was abrogated by a deletion of residues 161-170. These findings support that the 10 amino-acid sequence, IPCNNKGAHS, might be the functional domain responsible for the anti-cancer activity of EGCG.
Overall, our results highlight the nature of the EGCG-67LR interaction and provide novel structural insights into the understanding of 67LR-mediated functions of EGCG, and could aid in the development of potential anti-cancer compounds for chemopreventive or therapeutic uses that can mimic EGCG-67LR interactions.
Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNAs), nucleic acid analogues showing high stability to enzyme degradation and strong affinity and specificity of binding toward DNA and RNA are widely investigated as tools to interfere in gene expression. Several studies have been focused on PNA analogues with modifications on the backbone and bases in the attempt to overcome solubility, uptake and aggregation issues. γ PNAs, PNA derivatives having a substituent in the γ position of the backbone show interesting properties in terms of secondary structure and affinity of binding toward complementary nucleic acids. In this paper we illustrate our results obtained on new analogues, bearing a sulphate in the γ position of the backbone, developed to be more DNA-like in terms of polarity and charge. The synthesis of monomers and oligomers is described. NMR studies on the conformational properties of monomers and studies on the secondary structure of single strands and triplexes are reported. Furthermore the hybrid stability and the effect of mismatches on the stability have also been investigated. Finally, the ability of the new analogue to work as antigene, interfering with the transcription of the ErbB2 gene on a human cell line overexpressing ErbB2 (SKBR3), assessed by FACS and qPCR, is described.
Modified nucleotides are increasingly being utilized in the de novo selection of aptamers for enhancing their drug-like character and abolishing the need for time consuming trial-and-error based post-selection modifications. Locked nucleic acid (LNA) is one of the most prominent and successful nucleic acid analogues because of its remarkable properties, and widely explored as building blocks in therapeutic oligonucleotides. Evolution of LNA-modified RNA aptamers requires an efficient reverse transcription method for PCR enrichment of the selected RNA aptamer candidates. Establishing this key step is a pre-requisite for performing LNA-modified RNA aptamer selection.
In this study three different reverse transcriptases were investigated towards the enzymatic recognition of LNA nucleotides. Both incorporation as well as reading capabilities of the LNA nucleotides was investigated to fully understand the limitations of the enzymatic recognition.
We found that SuperScript® III Reverse Transcriptase is an efficient enzyme for the recognition of LNA nucleotides, making it a prime candidate to be used in de novo selection of LNA containing RNA aptamers
Lunasin is a peptide derived from the soybean 2S albumin seed protein that has both anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Large-scale animal studies and human clinical trials to determine the efficacy of lunasin in vivo have been hampered by the cost of synthetic lunasin and the lack of a method for obtaining gram quantities of highly purified lunasin from plant sources. The goal of this study was to develop a large-scale method to generate highly purified lunasin from defatted soy flour. A scalable method was developed that utilizes the sequential application of anion-exchange chromatography, ultrafiltration, and reversed-phase chromatography. This method generates lunasin preparations of >99% purity with a yield of 442 mg/kg defatted soy flour. Mass spectrometry of the purified lunasin revealed that the peptide is 44 amino acids in length and represents the original published sequence of lunasin with an additional C-terminal asparagine residue. Histone-binding assays demonstrated that the biological activity of the purified lunasin was similar to that of synthetic lunasin. This study provides a robust method for purifying commercial-scale quantities of biologically-active lunasin and clearly identifies the predominant form of lunasin in soy flour. This method will greatly facilitate the development of lunasin as a potential nutraceutical or therapeutic anticancer agent.
Peptide receptor radionuclide therapy (PRRT), employed for treatment of neuroendocrine tumors (NETs) is based on over-expression of Somatostatin Receptors (SSTRs) on NETs. It is, however, limited by high uptake and retention of radiolabeled peptide in kidneys resulting in unnecessary radiation exposure thus causing nephrotoxicity. Employing a nanocarrier to deliver PRRT drugs specifically to the tumor can reduce the associated nephrotoxicity. Based on this, 177Lu-DOTATATE loaded PLGA nanoparticles (NPs) were formulated in the present study, as a potential therapeutic model for NETs.
Methodology and Findings
DOTATATE was labeled with Lutetium-177 (177Lu) (labeling efficiency 98%; Rf∼0.8). Polyethylene Glycol (PEG) coated 177Lu-DOTATATE-PLGA NPs (50∶50 and 75∶25) formulated, were spherical with mean size of 304.5±80.8 and 733.4±101.3 nm (uncoated) and 303.8±67.2 and 494.3±71.8 nm (coated) for PLGA(50∶50) and PLGA(75∶25) respectively. Encapsulation efficiency (EE) and In-vitro release kinetics for uncoated and coated NPs of PLGA (50∶50 & 75∶25) were assessed and compared. Mean EE was 77.375±4.98% & 67.885±5.12% (uncoated) and 65.385±5.67% & 58.495±5.35% (coated). NPs showed initial burst release between 16.64–21.65% with total 42.83–44.79% over 21days. The release increased with coating to 20.4–23.95% initially and 60.97–69.12% over 21days. In-vivo studies were done in rats injected with 177Lu-DOTATATE and 177Lu-DOTATATE-NP (uncoated and PEG-coated) by imaging and organ counting after sacrificing rats at different time points over 24 hr post-injection. With 177Lu-DOTATATE, renal uptake of 37.89±10.2%ID/g was observed, which reduced to 4.6±1.97% and 5.27±1.66%ID/g with uncoated and coated 177Lu-DOTATATE-NP. The high liver uptake with uncoated 177Lu-DOTATATE-NP (13.68±3.08% ID/g), reduced to 7.20±2.04%ID/g (p = 0.02) with PEG coating.
PLGA NPs were easily formulated and modified for desired release properties. PLGA 50∶50 NPs were a more suitable delivery vehicle for 177Lu-DOTATATE than PLGA 75∶25 because of higher EE and slower release rate. Reduced renal retention of 177Lu-DOTATATE and reduced opsonisation strongly advocate the potential of 177Lu-DOTATATE-PLGA-PEG NPs to reduce radiation dose in PRRT.
In this work, behaviors of positively-charged AuNRs in a highly metastatic tumor cell line MDA-MB-231 are examined based on UV-vis-NIR absorption spectroscopy in combination with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and dark-field microscopic observation. It is found that characteristic surface plasmon resonance (SPR) peaks of AuNRs can be detected using spectroscopic method within living cells that have taken up AuNRs. The peak area of transverse SPR band is shown to be proportionally related to the amount of AuNRs in the cells determined with ICP-MS, which suggests a facile and real time quantification method for AuNRs in living cells. The shape of longitudinal SPR band in UV-vis-NIR spectrum reflects the aggregation state of AuNRs in the cells during the incubation period, which is proved by TEM and microscopic observations. Experimental results reveal that AuNRs are internalized by the cells rapidly; the accumulation, distribution and aggregation of AuNRs in the cells compartments are time and dose dependent. The established spectroscopic analysis method can not only monitor the behaviors of AuNRs in living cells but may also be helpful in choosing the optimum laser stimulation wavelength for anti-tumor thermotherapy.
Previous studies indicated that (+)-13a-(S)-Deoxytylophorinine (1) showed profound anti-cancer activities both in vitro and in vivo and could penetrate the blood brain barrier to distribute well in brain tissues. CNS toxicity, one of the main factors to hinder the development of phenanthroindolizidines, was not obviously found in 1. Based on its fascinating activities, thirty-four derivatives were designed, synthesized; their cytotoxic activities in vitro were tested to discover more excellent anticancer agents. Considering the distinctive mechanism of 1 and interesting SAR of deoxytylophorinine and its derivatives, the specific impacts of these compounds on cellular progress as cell signaling transduction pathways and cell cycle were proceeded with seven representative compounds. 1 as well as three most potent compounds, 9, 32, 33, and three less active compounds, 12, 16, 35, were selected to proform this study to have a relatively deep view of cancer cell growth-inhibitory characteristics. It was found that the expressions of phospho-Akt, Akt, phospho-ERK, and ERK in A549 cells were greater down-regulated by the potent compounds than by the less active compounds in the Western blot analysis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report describing phenanthroindolizidines alkaloids display influence on the crucial cell signaling proteins, ERK. Moreover, the expressions of cyclin A, cyclin D1 and CDK2 proteins depressed more dramatically when the cells were treated with 1, 9, 32, and 33. Then, these four excellent compounds were subjected to flow cytometric analysis, and an increase in S-phase was observed in A549 cells. Since the molecular level assay results of Western blot for phospho-Akt, Akt, phospho-ERK, ERK, and cyclins were relevant to the potency of compounds in cellular level, we speculated that this series of compounds exhibit anticancer activities through blocking PI3K and MAPK signaling transduction pathways and interfering with the cell cycle progression.
Coevolving residues in a multiple sequence alignment provide evolutionary clues of biophysical interactions in 3D structure. Despite a rich literature describing amino acid coevolution within or between proteins and nucleic acid coevolution within RNA, to date there has been no direct evidence of coevolution between protein and RNA. The ribosome, a structurally conserved macromolecular machine composed of over 50 interacting protein and RNA chains, provides a natural example of RNA/protein interactions that likely coevolved. We provide the first direct evidence of RNA/protein coevolution by characterizing the mutual information in residue triplets from a multiple sequence alignment of ribosomal protein L22 and neighboring 23S RNA. We define residue triplets as three positions in the multiple sequence alignment, where one position is from the 23S RNA and two positions are from the L22 protein. We show that residue triplets with high mutual information are more likely than residue doublets to be proximal in 3D space. Some high mutual information residue triplets cluster in a connected series across the L22 protein structure, similar to patterns seen in protein coevolution. We also describe RNA nucleotides for which switching from one nucleotide to another (or between purines and pyrimidines) results in a change in amino acid distribution for proximal amino acid positions. Multiple crystal structures for evolutionarily distinct ribosome species can provide structural evidence for these differences. For one residue triplet, a pyrimidine in one species is a purine in another, and RNA/protein hydrogen bonds are present in one species but not the other. The results provide the first direct evidence of RNA/protein coevolution by using higher order mutual information, suggesting that biophysical constraints on interacting RNA and protein chains are indeed a driving force in their evolution.