Since the fabrication of the first diamond electrode in the mid 1980s, repid progress has been made on the development and application of this new type of electrode material. Boron-doped diamond (BDD) electrodes exhibit outstanding properties compared to oxygen-containing sp2 carbon electrodes. These properties make BDD electrodes an ideal choice for use in complex samples. In recent years, BDD microelectrodes have been applied to in vitro and in vivo measurements of biological molecules in animals, tissues and cells. This review will summarize recent progress in the development and applications of BDD electrodes in bio-sensing and in vitro measurements of biomolecules. In the first section, the methods for BDD nanocrystalline diamond film deposition and BDD microelectrodes preparation are described. This is followed by a description and discussion of several approaches for characterization of the BDD electrode surface structure, morphology, and electrochemical activity. Further, application of BDD microelectrodes for use in the in vitro analysis of norepinephrine (NE), serotonin (5-HT), nitric oxide (NO), histamine, and adenosine from tissues are summarized and finally some of the remaining challenges are discussed.
Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) antibodies are widely used as diagnostic and therapeutic agents or biosensors for a majority of human disease. However, the limitations of the present scFv antibody in terms of stability, solubility, and affinity are challenging to produce by traditional antibody screening and expression formats. We describe here a feasible strategy for creating the green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based antibody. Complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3), which retains the antigen binding activity, was introduced into the structural loops of superfolder GFP, and the result showed that CDR3-inserted GFP displayed almost the same fluorescence intensity as wild-type GFP, and the purified proteins of CDR3 insertion showed the similar binding activity to antigen as the corresponding scFv. Among of all of the CDRs, CDR3s are responsible for antigen recognition, and only the CDR3a insertion is the best format for producing GFP-based antibody binding to specific antigen. The wide versatility of this system was further verified by introducing CDR3 from other scFvs into loop 9 of GFP. We developed a feasible method for rapidly and effectively producing a high-affinity GFP-based antibody by inserting CDR3s into GFP loops. Further, the affinity can be enhanced by specific amino acids scanning and site-directed mutagenesis. Notably, this method had better versatility for creating antibodies to various antigens using GFP as the scaffold, suggesting that a GFP-based antibody with high affinity and specificity may be useful for disease diagnosis and therapy.
Aspergillus flavus is one of the most important producers of carcinogenic aflatoxins in crops, and the effect of water activity (aw) on growth and aflatoxin production of A. flavus has been previously studied. Here we found the strains under 0.93 aw exhibited decreased conidiation and aflatoxin biosynthesis compared to that under 0.99 aw. When RNA-Seq was used to delineate gene expression profile under different water activities, 23,320 non-redundant unigenes, with an average length of 1297 bp, were yielded. By database comparisons, 19,838 unigenes were matched well (e-value < 10−5) with known gene sequences, and another 6767 novel unigenes were obtained by comparison to the current genome annotation of A. flavus. Based on the RPKM equation, 5362 differentially expressed unigenes (with |log2Ratio| ≥ 1) were identified between 0.99 aw and 0.93 aw treatments, including 3156 up-regulated and 2206 down-regulated unigenes, suggesting that A. flavus underwent an extensive transcriptome response during water activity variation. Furthermore, we found that the expression of 16 aflatoxin producing-related genes decreased obviously when water activity decreased, and the expression of 11 development-related genes increased after 0.99 aw treatment. Our data corroborate a model where water activity affects aflatoxin biosynthesis through increasing the expression of aflatoxin producing-related genes and regulating development-related genes.
RNA-Seq; transcriptome; Aspergillus flavus; water activity; aflatoxin
AKT is a serine–threonine protein kinase that plays important roles in cell growth, proliferation and apoptosis. It is activated after binding to phosphatidylinositol phosphates (PIPs) with phosphate groups at positions 3,4 and 3,4,5 on the inositol ring. In spite of extensive research on AKT, one aspect has been largely overlooked, namely the role of the fatty acid chains on PIPs. PIPs are phospholipids composed of a glycerol backbone with fatty acids at the sn-1 and sn-2 position and inositol at the sn-3 position. Here, we show that polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) modify phospholipid content. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an ω3 PUFA, can replace the fatty acid at the sn-2 position of the glycerol backbone, thereby changing the species of phospholipids. DHA also inhibits AKTT308 but not AKTS473 phosphorylation, alters PI(3,4,5)P3 (PIP3) and phospho-AKTS473 protein localization, decreases pPDPK1S241-AKT and AKT–BAD interaction and suppresses prostate tumor growth. Our study highlights a potential novel mechanism of cancer inhibition by ω3 PUFA through alteration of PIP3 and AKT localization and affecting the AKT signaling pathway.
The aberrant expression of microRNAs has been demonstrated to play a crucial role in the initiation and progression of hepatocarcinoma. miR-1246 expression in High invasive ability cell line than significantly higher than that in low invasive ability cell line.
Transwell chambers (8-uM pore size; Costar) were used in the in vitro migration and invison anssay. Dual luciferase reporter gene construct and Dual luciferase reporter assay to identify the target of miR-1246. CADM1 expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistric staining. The clinical manifestations, treatments and survival were collected for statistical analysis.
Inhibition of miR-1246 effectively reduced migration and invasion of hepatocellular carcinoma cell lines. Bioinformatics and luciferase reporter assay revealed that miR-1246 specifically targeted the 3′-UTR of Cell adhesion molecule 1 and regulated its expression. Down-regulation of CADM1 enhanced migration and invasion of HCC cell lines. Furthermore, in tumor tissues obtained from liver cancer patients, the expression of miR-1246 was negatively correlated with CADM1 and the high expression of miR-1246 combined with low expression of CADM1 might serve as a risk factor for stage1 liver cancer patients.
Our study showed that miR-1246, by down-regulation CADM1, enhances migration and invasion in HCC cells.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2407-14-616) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Invasion; MicroRNA-1246; CADM1
Tumor behavior is not entirely determined by tumor cells. Studies have demonstrated that a variety of non-tumor cells in the tumor microenvironment affect tumor behavior; thus, a new focus of cancer research has been the development of novel cancer treatment ideas and therapeutic targets based on the effects of these cells. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are an important component of the tumor microenvironment; however, previous studies have produced controversial results regarding whether MSCs promote or inhibit tumor growth and progression. In particular, Naïve MSCs and tumor-derived MSCs (T-MSCs) have different functions. Naïve MSCs could exert bidirectional effects on tumors because these cells can both promote and inhibit tumor progression while T-MSCs promote tumor progression due to influences from the tumor itself and from the inflammatory tumor microenvironment. As an unhealed wound, tumor produces a continuous source of inflammatory mediators and causes aggregation of numerous inflammatory cells, which constitute an inflammatory microenvironment. Inflammatory factors can induce homing of circulating MSCs and MSCs in adjacent tissues into tumors, which are then being “educated” by the tumor microenvironment to support tumor growth. T-MSCs could recruit more immune cells into the tumor microenvironment, increase the proportion of cancer stem cells and promote tumor angiogenesis, further supporting tumor progression. However, as plasticity is a fundamental feature of MSCs, MSCs can also inhibit tumors by activating various MSC-based signaling pathways. Studies of the mechanisms by which interactions among tumors, MSCs, and the inflammatory microenvironment occur and methods to disrupt these interactions will likely reveal new targets for cancer therapy.
Mesenchymal stem cell; Tumor; Inflammatory microenvironment
T-2 toxin is known to induce apoptosis in mammalian cells. The mechanism of apoptosis induced by T-2 toxin has been proposed to be linked with oxidative stress and mitochondrial pathway. In the current study, the toxic effect of T-2 on Hela, Bel-7402, and Chang liver cells was examined in dose-dependent and time-dependent manner by MTT assay. Caspase-3 was found to be up-regulated under T-2 toxin stress, which suggested that T-2 toxin induced cell apoptosis. Endogenous GSH and MDA levels in all three cell lines were found down- and up-regulated respectively, which indicated the link between toxic effect of T-2 toxin and intracellular oxidative stress. It was also found by MTT assay that NAC, which maintained the level of GSH in cells, could protect cells from death. Western-blot result showed that the level of both activated Caspase-8 and Caspase-9 increased when cells were treated by T-2 toxin. Caspase-9 was found to be activated earlier than Caspase-8. It was also found that p53 was up-regulated under T-2 toxin stress in the study. These results implied that the effect of T-2 toxin on cells was apoptosis rather than necrosis, and it was probably induced through mitochondrial pathway. To the best of our knowledge, the present study is the first to show that JunD is down-regulated in T-2 toxin induced apoptosis. By construction of an over-expression vector for the JunD gene, we observed that the survival ratio of JunD over-expressed cells obviously increased under T-2 toxin stress. These results suggested that the mechanism of T-2 induced cell death was closely connected with oxidative stress, and that JunD plays an important role in the defensive process against T-2 toxin stress.
Orf virus is a parapoxvirus that causes recurring contagious ecthyma or orf disease in goat, sheep and other wild and domestic ruminants. Infected animals show signs of pustular lesions on the mouth and muzzle and develop scabs over the lesions. Although the infection is usually cleared within 1–2 months, delayed growth and associated secondary infections could still impact the herds. Orf virus can also infect humans, causing lesions similar to the animals in pathological histology. Prior infection of orf virus apparently offers little protective immunity against future infections. Several gene products of orf virus have been identified as responsible for immunomodulatory functions. In our recent study of orf virus isolates from an area along the Minjiang River in northern Fujian Province, we found a high heterogeneity among isolates from 10 farms within a 120-kilometer distance. Only two isolates from locations within 1 km to each other had same viral genes. There is no correlation between the geographical distance between the corresponding collection sites and the phylogenetic distance in ORFV011 or ORV059 genes for any two isolates. This finding suggests that there are diverse populations of orf virus present in the environment. This may in part contribute to the phenomenon of recurring outbreaks and heighten the need for better surveillance.
Mesenchmal stem cells (MSCs) can be differentiated into either adipocytes or osteoblasts, and a reciprocal relationship exists between adipogenesis and osteogenesis. Multiple transcription factors and signaling pathways have been reported to regulate adipogenic or osteogenic differentiation, respectively, yet the molecular mechanism underlying the cell fate alteration between adipogenesis and osteogenesis still remains to be illustrated. MicroRNAs are important regulators in diverse biological processes by repressing protein expression of their targets. Here, miR-22 was found to regulate adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation of human adipose tissue-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hADMSCs) in opposite directions. Our data showed that miR-22 decreased during the process of adipogenic differentiation but increased during osteogenic differentiation. On one hand, overexpression of miR-22 in hADMSCs could inhibit lipid droplets accumulation and repress the expression of adipogenic transcription factors and adipogenic-specific genes. On the other hand, enhanced alkaline phosphatase activity and matrix mineralization, as well as increased expression of osteo-specific genes, indicated a positive role of miR-22 in regulating osteogenic differentiation. Target databases prediction and validation by Dual Luciferase Reporter Assay, western blot, and real-time polymerase chain reaction identified histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6) as a direct downstream target of miR-22 in hADMSCs. Inhibition of endogenous HDAC6 by small-interfering RNAs suppressed adipogenesis and stimulated osteogenesis, consistent with the effect of miR-22 overexpression in hADMSCs. Together, our results suggested that miR-22 acted as a critical regulator of balance between adipogenic and osteogenic differentiation of hADMSCs by repressing its target HDAC6.
MicroRNAs are known to play an important role in modulating gene expression in various diseases including cancers and cardiovascular disorders, but only a few of them are associated with the pathology of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), a potent mycotoxin. Here, we discovered a novel regulatory network between AFB1, miR-33a and β-catenin in human carcinoma cells. The level of miR-33a was up-regulated in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells treated with AFB1, while in the same cells causing the decrease in β-catenin expression when treated at their IC50 values. miR-33a, specifically miR-33a-5p, was demonstrated to down-regulate the expression of β-catenin, affect the β-catenin pathway, and inhibit cell growth. Also, by employing a luciferase assay, we found that miR-33a down-regulated β-catenin by directly binding to the 3’-UTR of β-catenin. These results suggested that AFB1 might down-regulate β-catenin by up-regulating miR-33a. This understanding opens new lines of thought in the potential role of miR-33a in the clinical therapy of cancer.
A common treatment of advanced prostate cancer involves the deprivation of androgens. Despite the initial response to hormonal therapy, eventually all the patients relapse. In the present study, we sought to determine whether dietary polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) affects the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Cell culture, patient tissue microarray, allograft, xenograft, prostate-specific Pten knockout and omega-3 desaturase transgenic mouse models in conjunction with dietary manipulation, gene knockdown and knockout approaches were used to determine the effect of dietary PUFA on castration-resistant Pten-null prostate cancer. We found that deletion of Pten increased androgen receptor (AR) expression and Pten-null prostate cells were castration resistant. Omega-3 PUFA slowed down the growth of castration-resistant tumors as compared with omega-6 PUFA. Omega-3 PUFA decreased AR protein to a similar extent in tumor cell cytosolic and nuclear fractions but had no effect on AR messenger RNA level. Omega-3 PUFA treatment appeared to accelerate AR protein degradation, which could be blocked by proteasome inhibitor MG132. Knockdown of AR significantly slowed down prostate cancer cell proliferation in the absence of androgens. Our data suggest that omega-3 PUFA inhibits castration-resistant prostate cancer in part by accelerating proteasome-dependent degradation of the AR protein. Dietary omega-3 PUFA supplementation in conjunction with androgen ablation may significantly delay the development of castration-resistant prostate cancer in patients compared with androgen ablation alone.
Single-chain variable fragment (scFv) is a class of engineered antibodies generated by the fusion of the heavy (VH) and light chains (VL) of immunoglobulins through a short polypeptide linker. ScFv play a critical role in therapy and diagnosis of human diseases, and may in fact also be developed into a potential diagnostic and/or therapeutic agent. However, the fact that current scFv antibodies have poor stability, low solubility, and affinity, seriously limits their diagnostic and clinical implication. Here we have developed four different expression vectors, and evaluated their abilities to express a soluble scFv protein. The solubility and binding activity of the purified proteins were determined using both SDS-PAGE and ELISA. Amongst the four purified proteins, the Skp co-expressed scFv showed the highest solubility, and the binding activity to antigen TLH was 3-4 fold higher than the other three purified scFv. In fact, this scFv is specific for TLH and does not cross-react with other TLH-associated proteins and could be used to detect TLH directly in real samples. These results suggest that the pACYC-Duet-skp co-expression vector might be a useful tool for the production of soluble and functional scFv antibody.
Vibrio parahaemolyticus; scFv; co-expression; solubility; production
Vibrio parahaemolyticus is a halophilic bacterium that is widely distributed in water resources. The bacterium causes lethal food-borne diseases and poses a serious threat to human and animal health all over the world. The major pathogenic factor of V. parahaemolyticus is thermolabile hemolysin (TLH), encoded by the tlh gene, but its toxicity mechanisms are unknown. A high-affinity antibody that can neutralize TLH activity effectively is not available. In this study, we successfully expressed and purified the TLH antigen and discovered a high-affinity antibody to TLH, named scFv-LA3, by phage display screening. Cytotoxicity analysis showed that scFv-LA3 has strong neutralization effects on TLH-induced cell toxicity.
Today, thrombosis is one of the most widely occurring diseases in modern life. Drugs with thrombolytic functions are the most effective methods in the treatment of thrombosis. Among them, Douchi fibrinolytic enzyme (DFE) is a promising agent. DFE was isolated from Douchi, a typical and popular soybean-fermented food in China, and it can dissolve fibrin directly and efficiently. A strain, Bacillus subtilis LD-8547 produced DFE with high fibrinolytic activity has been isolated in our lab previously.
In the study, thrombolytic effect of DFE from Bacillus subtilis LD-8547 was studied in vitro and in vivo systematically. The results showed that DFE played a significant role in thrombolysis and anticoagulation in vitro. And the thrombolytic effects correlated with DFE in a dose-dependent manner. In vivo, the acute toxicity assay showed that DFE had no obvious acute toxicity to mice. Test of carrageenan-induced thrombosis in mice indicated that the DFE significantly prevented tail thrombosis, and arterial thrombosis model test indicated that Douchi fibrinolytic enzyme DFE had thrombolytic effect on carotid thrombosis of rabbits in vivo. Other results in vivo indicated that DFE could increase bleeding and clotting time obviously.
The DFE isolated from Bacillus subtilis LD-8547 has obvious thrombolytic effects in vitro and in vivo. This function demonstrates that this enzyme can be a useful tool for preventing and treating clinical thrombus.
Thrombolytic effects; Douchi Fibrinolytic enzyme; in vitro; in vivo
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) have generated a great amount of enthusiasm over the past decade as a novel therapeutic paradigm for a variety of diseases. Currently, MSC based clinical trials have been conducted for at least 12 kinds of pathological conditions, with many completed trials demonstrating the safety and efficacy. This review provides an overview of the recent clinical findings related to MSC therapeutic effects. Roles of MSCs in clinical trials conducted to treat graft-versus-host-disease (GVHD) and cardiovascular diseases are highlighted. Clinical application of MSC are mainly attributed to their important four biological properties- the ability to home to sites of inflammation following tissue injury when injected intravenously; to differentiate into various cell types; to secrete multiple bioactive molecules capable of stimulating recovery of injured cells and inhibiting inflammation and to perform immunomodulatory functions. Here, we will discuss these four properties. Moreover, the issues surrounding clinical grade MSCs and principles for MSC therapeutic approaches are also addressed on the transition of MSCs therapy from bench side to bedside.
Membrane type 1 (MT1)-matrix metalloproteinase (MT1-MMP) is a membrane-tethered MMP that has been shown to play a key role in promoting cancer cell invasion. MT1-MMP is highly expressed in bone metastasis of prostate cancer (PC) patients and promotes intraosseous tumor growth of PC cells in mice. The majority of metastatic prostate cancers harbor loss-of-function mutations or deletions of the tumor suppressor PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome ten). However, the role of PTEN inactivation in MT1-MMP expression in PC cells has not been examined. In this study, prostate epithelial cell lines derived from mice that are either heterozygous (PTEN+/-) or homozygous (PTEN-/-) for PTEN deletion or harboring a wild type PTEN (PTEN+/+) were used to investigate the expression of MT1-MMP. We found that biallelic loss of PTEN is associated with posttranslational regulation of MT1-MMP protein in mouse PC cells. PTEN-/- PC cells display higher levels of MT1-MMP at the cell surface when compared to PTEN+/+ and PTEN+/- cells and consequently exhibited enhanced migratory and collagen-invasive activities. MT1-MMP displayed by PTEN-/- cells is differentially O-glycosylated and exhibits a slow rate of turnover. MT1-MMP expression in PTEN-/- cells is under control of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway, as determined using pharmacological inhibitors. Interestingly, rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor, up-regulates MT1-MMP expression in PTEN+/+ cells via PI3K activity. Collectively, these data in a mouse prostate cell system uncover for the first time a novel and complex relationship between PTEN loss-mediated PI3K/AKT activation and posttranslational regulation of MT1-MMP, which may play a role in PC progression.
matrix metalloproteinases; prostate cancer; PTEN; glycosylation; posttranslational modification
In eukaryotic cells, repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway is critical for genome stability. In contrast to the complex eukaryotic repair system, bacterial NHEJ apparatus consists of only two proteins, Ku and a multifunctional DNA ligase (LigD), whose functional mechanism has not been fully clarified. We show here for the first time that Sir2 is involved in the mycobacterial NHEJ repair pathway. Here, using tandem affinity purification (TAP) screening, we have identified an NAD-dependent deacetylase in mycobacteria which is a homologue of the eukaryotic Sir2 protein and interacts directly with Ku. Results from an in vitro glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assay suggest that Sir2 interacts directly with LigD. Plasmid-based end-joining assays revealed that the efficiency of DSB repair in a sir2 deletion mutant was reduced 2-fold. Moreover, the Δsir2 strain was about 10-fold more sensitive to ionizing radiation (IR) in the stationary phase than the wild-type. Our results suggest that Sir2 may function closely together with Ku and LigD in the nonhomologous end-joining pathway in mycobacteria.