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2.  In vitro release of organophosphorus acid anhydrolase from functionalized mesoporous silica against nerve agents 
Analytical Biochemistry  2011;421(2):477-481.
We report here that under different physiological conditions, biomolecular drugs can be stockpiled in a nanoporous support and afterwards can be instantly released when needed for acute responses, and the biomolecular drug molecules can also be gradually released from the nanoporous support over a long time for a complete recovery. Organophosphorus acid anhydrolase (OPAA) was spontaneously and largely entrapped in functionalized mesoporous silica (FMS) due to the dominant electrostatic interaction. The OPAA-FMS composite exhibited a burst release in pH 9.0, NaHCO3-Na2CO3 buffer system and a gradual release in pH 7.4, simulated body fluid. The binding of OPAA to NH2-FMS can result in less Trp exposure of OPAA molecules to aqueous environment. The bound OPAA in FMS displayed lower activity than the free OPAA in solution prior to the enzyme entrapment. However, the released enzyme still displayed the native conformational structure and the same high enzymatic activity as that prior to the enzyme entrapment. The in vitro results in the rabbit serum demonstrate that both OPAA-FMS and the released OPAA may be used as the medical measures against the organophosphorus nerve agents.
doi:10.1016/j.ab.2011.09.024
PMCID: PMC3274626  PMID: 22019765
Controlled release; organophosphorus acid anhydrolase; mesoporous silica; organophosphorus nerve agents
3.  Improving the Catalytic Activity of Hyperthermophilic Pyrococcus horikoshii Prolidase for Detoxification of Organophosphorus Nerve Agents over a Broad Range of Temperatures 
Archaea  2011;2011:565127.
Prolidases hydrolyze Xaa-Pro dipeptides and can also cleave the P-F and P-O bonds found in organophosphorus (OP) compounds, including the nerve agents soman and sarin. Ph1prol (PH0974) has previously been isolated and characterized from Pyrococcus horikoshii and was shown to have higher catalytic activity over a broader pH range, higher affinity for metal, and increased thermostability compared to P. furiosus prolidase, Pfprol (PF1343). To obtain a better enzyme for OP nerve agent decontamination and to investigate the structural factors that may influence protein thermostability and thermoactivity, randomly mutated Ph1prol enzymes were prepared. Four Ph1prol mutants (A195T/G306S-, Y301C/K342N-, E127G/E252D-, and E36V-Ph1prol) were isolated which had greater thermostability and improved activity over a broader range of temperatures against Xaa-Pro dipeptides and OP nerve agents compared to wild type Pyrococcus prolidases.
doi:10.1155/2011/565127
PMCID: PMC3227228  PMID: 22162664
4.  Evaluation of Handheld Assays for the Detection of Ricin and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B in Disinfected Waters 
Development of a rapid field test is needed capable of determining if field supplies of water are safe to drink by the warfighter during a military operation. The present study sought to assess the effectiveness of handheld assays (HHAs) in detecting ricin and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B (SEB) in water. Performance of HHAs was evaluated in formulated tap water with and without chlorine, reverse osmosis water (RO) with chlorine, and RO with bromine. Each matrix was prepared, spiked with ricin or SEB at multiple concentrations, and then loaded onto HHAs. HHAs were allowed to develop and then read visually. Limits of detection (LOD) were determined for all HHAs in each water type. Both ricin and SEB were detected by HHAs in formulated tap water at or below the suggested health effect levels of 455 ng/mL and 4.55 ng/mL, respectively. However, in brominated or chlorinated waters, LODs for SEB increased to approximately 2,500 ng/mL. LODs for ricin increased in chlorinated water, but still remained below the suggested health effect level. In brominated water, the LOD for ricin increased to approximately 2,500 ng/mL. In conclusion, the HHAs tested were less effective at detecting ricin and SEB in disinfected water, as currently configured.
doi:10.1155/2011/132627
PMCID: PMC3139884  PMID: 21792355
5.  Systematic Evaluation of the Efficacy of Chlorine Dioxide in Decontamination of Building Interior Surfaces Contaminated with Anthrax Spores▿  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2010;76(10):3343-3351.
Efficacy of chlorine dioxide (CD) gas generated by two distinct generation systems, Sabre (wet system with gas generated in water) and ClorDiSys (dry system with gas generated in air), was evaluated for inactivation of Bacillus anthracis spores on six building interior surfaces. The six building materials included carpet, acoustic ceiling tile, unpainted cinder block, painted I-beam steel, painted wallboard, and unpainted pinewood. There was no statistically significant difference in the data due to the CD generation technology at a 95% confidence level. Note that a common method of CD gas measurement was used for both wet and dry CD generation types. Doses generated by combinations of different concentrations of CD gas (500, 1,000, 1,500, or 3,000 parts per million of volume [ppmv]) and exposure times (ranging between 0.5 and 12 h) were used to evaluate the relative role of fumigant exposure period and total dose in the decontamination of building surfaces. The results showed that the time required to achieve at least a 6-log reduction in viable spores is clearly a function of the material type on which the spores are inoculated. The wood and cinder block coupons required a longer exposure time to achieve a 6-log reduction. The only material showing a clear statistical difference in rate of decay of viable spores as a function of concentration was cinder block. For all other materials, the profile of spore kill (i.e., change in number of viable spores with exposure time) was not dependent upon fumigant concentration (500 to 3,000 ppmv). The CD dose required for complete spore kill on biological indicators (typically, 1E6 spores of Bacillus atrophaeus on stainless steel) was significantly less than that required for decontamination of most of the building materials tested.
doi:10.1128/AEM.02668-09
PMCID: PMC2869126  PMID: 20305025

Results 1-5 (5)