Sample records for assay reveals munc18-1

  1. Munc18-1 is a molecular chaperone for α-synuclein, controlling its self-replicating aggregation. (United States)

    Chai, Ye Jin; Sierecki, Emma; Tomatis, Vanesa M; Gormal, Rachel S; Giles, Nichole; Morrow, Isabel C; Xia, Di; Götz, Jürgen; Parton, Robert G; Collins, Brett M; Gambin, Yann; Meunier, Frédéric A


    Munc18-1 is a key component of the exocytic machinery that controls neurotransmitter release. Munc18-1 heterozygous mutations cause developmental defects and epileptic phenotypes, including infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE), suggestive of a gain of pathological function. Here, we used single-molecule analysis, gene-edited cells, and neurons to demonstrate that Munc18-1 EIEE-causing mutants form large polymers that coaggregate wild-type Munc18-1 in vitro and in cells. Surprisingly, Munc18-1 EIEE mutants also form Lewy body-like structures that contain α-synuclein (α-Syn). We reveal that Munc18-1 binds α-Syn, and its EIEE mutants coaggregate α-Syn. Likewise, removal of endogenous Munc18-1 increases the aggregative propensity of α-Syn(WT) and that of the Parkinson's disease-causing α-Syn(A30P) mutant, an effect rescued by Munc18-1(WT) expression, indicative of chaperone activity. Coexpression of the α-Syn(A30P) mutant with Munc18-1 reduced the number of α-Syn(A30P) aggregates. Munc18-1 mutations and haploinsufficiency may therefore trigger a pathogenic gain of function through both the corruption of native Munc18-1 and a perturbed chaperone activity for α-Syn leading to aggregation-induced neurodegeneration.

  2. Extension of Helix 12 in Munc18-1 Induces Vesicle Priming

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    Munch, Anders S; Kedar, Girish H; van Weering, Jan R T;


    targeting. Disruptive mutations (L348R or Δ324-339) lowered the secretory amplitude by decreasing vesicle priming, whereas P335A markedly increased priming and secretory amplitude. The mutants displayed unchanged kinetics and Ca(2+) dependence of fusion, indicating that the mutations specifically affect...... the vesicle priming step. Mutation of a nearby tyrosine (Y337A), which interacts with closed syntaxin-1, mildly increased secretory amplitude. This correlated with results from an in vitro fusion assay probing the functions of Munc18-1, indicating an easier transition to the extended state in the mutant. Our...... findings support the notion that a conformational transition within the Munc18-1 domain 3a helix 12 leads to opening of a closed Munc18-1:syntaxin complex, followed by productive SNARE complex assembly and vesicle priming. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: The essential postdocking role of Munc18-1 in vesicular...

  3. Munc18-1 redistributes in nerve terminals in an activity- and PKC-dependent manner. (United States)

    Cijsouw, Tony; Weber, Jens P; Broeke, Jurjen H; Broek, Jantine A C; Schut, Desiree; Kroon, Tim; Saarloos, Ingrid; Verhage, Matthijs; Toonen, Ruud F


    Munc18-1 is a soluble protein essential for synaptic transmission. To investigate the dynamics of endogenous Munc18-1 in neurons, we created a mouse model expressing fluorescently tagged Munc18-1 from the endogenous munc18-1 locus. We show using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching in hippocampal neurons that the majority of Munc18-1 trafficked through axons and targeted to synapses via lateral diffusion together with syntaxin-1. Munc18-1 was strongly expressed at presynaptic terminals, with individual synapses showing a large variation in expression. Axon-synapse exchange rates of Munc18-1 were high: during stimulation, Munc18-1 rapidly dispersed from synapses and reclustered within minutes. Munc18-1 reclustering was independent of syntaxin-1, but required calcium influx and protein kinase C (PKC) activity. Importantly, a PKC-insensitive Munc18-1 mutant did not recluster. We show that synaptic Munc18-1 levels correlate with synaptic strength, and that synapses that recruit more Munc18-1 after stimulation have a larger releasable vesicle pool. Hence, PKC-dependent dynamic control of Munc18-1 levels enables individual synapses to tune their output during periods of activity.

  4. Synaptic Effects of Munc18-1 Alternative Splicing in Excitatory Hippocampal Neurons.

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    Marieke Meijer

    Full Text Available The munc18-1 gene encodes two splice-variants that vary at the C-terminus of the protein and are expressed at different levels in different regions of the adult mammalian brain. Here, we investigated the expression pattern of these splice variants within the brainstem and tested whether they are functionally different. Munc18-1a is expressed in specific nuclei of the brainstem including the LRN, VII and SOC, while Munc18-1b expression is relatively low/absent in these regions. Furthermore, Munc18-1a is the major splice variant in the Calyx of Held. Synaptic transmission was analyzed in autaptic hippocampal munc18-1 KO neurons re-expressing either Munc18-1a or Munc18-1b. The two splice variants supported synaptic transmission to a similar extent, but Munc18-1b was slightly more potent in sustaining synchronous release during high frequency stimulation. Our data suggest that alternative splicing of Munc18-1 support synaptic transmission to a similar extent, but could modulate presynaptic short-term plasticity.

  5. Synaptic Effects of Munc18-1 Alternative Splicing in Excitatory Hippocampal Neurons. (United States)

    Meijer, Marieke; Cijsouw, Tony; Toonen, Ruud F; Verhage, Matthijs


    The munc18-1 gene encodes two splice-variants that vary at the C-terminus of the protein and are expressed at different levels in different regions of the adult mammalian brain. Here, we investigated the expression pattern of these splice variants within the brainstem and tested whether they are functionally different. Munc18-1a is expressed in specific nuclei of the brainstem including the LRN, VII and SOC, while Munc18-1b expression is relatively low/absent in these regions. Furthermore, Munc18-1a is the major splice variant in the Calyx of Held. Synaptic transmission was analyzed in autaptic hippocampal munc18-1 KO neurons re-expressing either Munc18-1a or Munc18-1b. The two splice variants supported synaptic transmission to a similar extent, but Munc18-1b was slightly more potent in sustaining synchronous release during high frequency stimulation. Our data suggest that alternative splicing of Munc18-1 support synaptic transmission to a similar extent, but could modulate presynaptic short-term plasticity.

  6. Munc18-1 mutations that strongly impair SNARE-complex binding support normal synaptic transmission. (United States)

    Meijer, Marieke; Burkhardt, Pawel; de Wit, Heidi; Toonen, Ruud F; Fasshauer, Dirk; Verhage, Matthijs


    Synaptic transmission depends critically on the Sec1p/Munc18 protein Munc18-1, but it is unclear whether Munc18-1 primarily operates as a integral part of the fusion machinery or has a more upstream role in fusion complex assembly. Here, we show that point mutations in Munc18-1 that interfere with binding to the free Syntaxin1a N-terminus and strongly impair binding to assembled SNARE complexes all support normal docking, priming and fusion of synaptic vesicles, and normal synaptic plasticity in munc18-1 null mutant neurons. These data support a prevailing role of Munc18-1 before/during SNARE-complex assembly, while its continued association to assembled SNARE complexes is dispensable for synaptic transmission.

  7. Munc18-1 haploinsufficiency results in enhanced anxiety-like behavior as determined by heart rate responses in mice. (United States)

    Hager, Torben; Maroteaux, Grégoire; Pont, Paula du; Julsing, Joris; van Vliet, Rick; Stiedl, Oliver


    Heterozygous (HZ) missense mutations in the gene encoding syntaxin binding protein 1 (Stxbp1 or Munc18-1), a presynaptic protein essential for neurotransmitter release, causes early infantile epileptic encephalopathy, abnormal brain structure and mental retardation in humans. Here we investigated whether the mouse model mimics symptoms of the human phenotype. The effects of the deletion of munc18-1 were studied in HZ and wild-type (WT) mice based on heart rate (HR) and its variability (HRV) as independent measures to expand previous behavioral results of enhanced anxiety and impaired emotional learning suggesting mild cognitive impairments. HR responses were assessed during novelty exposure, during the expression and extinction of conditioned tone-dependent fear and during the diurnal phase. Novelty exposure yielded no differences in activity patterns between the two genotypes, while maximum HR differed significantly (WT: 770 bpm; HZ: 790 bpm). Retention tests after both auditory delay and trace fear conditioning showed a delayed extinction of the conditioned HR response in HZ mice compared to WT mice. Since the HR versus HRV correlation and HR dynamics assessed by nonlinear methods revealed similar function in HZ and WT mice, the higher HR responses of munc18-1 HZ mice to different emotional challenges cannot be attributed to differences in autonomic nervous system function. Thus, in contrast to the adverse consequences of deletion of a single allele of munc18-1 in humans, C57BL/6J mice show enhanced anxiety responses based on HR adjustments that extend previous results on the behavioral level without support of cognitive impairment, epileptic seizures and autonomic dysregulation.

  8. Munc18-1 phosphorylation by protein kinase C potentiates vesicle pool replenishment in bovine chromaffin cells. (United States)

    Nili, U; de Wit, H; Gulyas-Kovacs, A; Toonen, R F; Sørensen, J B; Verhage, M; Ashery, U


    Activation of protein kinase C (PKC) after robust stimulation is necessary for vesicle pool replenishment in secretory cells. Here we studied the contribution of a prominent downstream PKC target, Munc18-1, to this process in bovine chromaffin cells. In these cells, both activation of endogenous PKC and overexpressing of Munc18-1 promote vesicle pool replenishment after an extensive stimulation. In order to study the physiological relevance of PKC-dependent Munc18-1 phosphorylation, we generated two Munc18-1 phospho-mutants; one that mimics a constitutively PKC-phosphorylated Munc18-1 (i.e. a phosphomimetic mutant; Munc18-1(S313D)) and a second that cannot be PKC-phosphorylated (Munc18-1(3A)). Overexpression of Munc18-1(3A) caused a significant decrease in vesicle pool replenishment following a depleting stimulation, while Munc18-1(S313D) caused a significant increase in vesicle pool replenishment. These findings suggested that the phosphorylation of Munc18-1 by PKC potentiates vesicle pool replenishment. This hypothesis was further strengthened by the finding that overexpression of wild type Munc18-1 in the presence of a PKC inhibitor caused a significant reduction in vesicle pool replenishment, similar to that observed with Munc18-1(3A). Moreover, overexpression of Munc18-1(S313D) in the presence of the PKC inhibitor partly alleviated this attenuation, elucidating Munc18-1's unique contribution to vesicle pool replenishment. Finally, we demonstrate that Munc18-1 promotes vesicle docking in a phosphorylation-independent manner. This is deduced from the findings that both the wild type and the two Munc18-1 phospho-mutants enhanced docking to the same extent in bovine chromaffin cells. We conclude that Munc18-1 facilitates docking in a PKC phosphorylation-independent manner, and that its phosphorylation by PKC potentiates vesicle pool replenishment following a depleting stimulation, at a post-docking stage.

  9. Munc18-1 expression levels control synapse recovery by regulating readily releasable pool size (United States)

    Toonen, Ruud F. G.; Wierda, Keimpe; Sons, Michèle S.; de Wit, Heidi; Cornelisse, L. Niels; Brussaard, Arjen; Plomp, Jaap J.; Verhage, Matthijs


    Prompt recovery after intense activity is an essential feature of most mammalian synapses. Here we show that synapses with reduced expression of the presynaptic gene munc18-1 suffer from increased depression during intense stimulation at glutamatergic, GABAergic, and neuromuscular synapses. Conversely, munc18-1 overexpression makes these synapses recover faster. Concomitant changes in the readily releasable vesicle pool and its refill kinetics were found. The number of vesicles docked at the active zone and the total number of vesicles per terminal correlated with both munc18-1 expression levels and the size of the releasable vesicle pool. These data show that varying expression of a single gene controls synaptic recovery by modulating the number of docked, release-ready vesicles and thereby replenishment of the secretion capacity. PMID:17110441

  10. Early Golgi abnormalities and neurodegeneration upon loss of presynaptic proteins Munc18-1, syntaxin-1 or SNAP-25. (United States)

    Santos, Tatiana C; Wierda, Keimpe; Broeke, Jurjen H; Toonen, Ruud F; Verhage, Matthijs


    The loss of presynaptic proteins Munc18-1, syntaxin-1 or SNAP-25 is known to produce cell death, but the underlying features have not been compared experimentally. Here, we investigated these features in cultured mouse CNS and dorsal root ganglion neurons. Side-by-side comparisons confirmed massive cell death, before synaptogenesis, within 1-4 days in vitro (DIV) upon loss of t-SNAREs (syntaxin-1, SNAP-25) or Munc18-1, but not v-SNAREs (synaptobrevins/VAMP1/2/3 using Tetanus Neurotoxin (TeNT), also in TI-VAMP/VAMP7 knock-out (KO) neurons). A condensed cis-Golgi was the first abnormality observed upon Munc18-1 or SNAP-25 loss within 3 DIV. This phenotype was distinct from the Golgi fragmentation observed in apoptosis. Cell death was too rapid after syntaxin-1 loss to study Golgi abnormalities. Syntaxin-1 and Munc18-1 depend on each other for normal cellular levels. We observed that endogenous syntaxin-1 accumulates at the Golgi of Munc18-1 KO neurons. However, expression of a non-neuronal Munc18 isoform that does not bind syntaxin-1, Munc18-3, in Munc18-1 KO neurons prevented cell death and restored normal cis-Golgi morphology, but not synaptic transmission or syntaxin-1 targeting. Finally, we observed that dorsal root ganglion neurons are the only Munc18-1 KO neurons that do not degenerate in vivo or in vitro In these neurons, cis-Golgi abnormalities were less severe, with no changes in Golgi shape. Together these data demonstrate that cell death upon Munc18-1, syntaxin-1 or SNAP-25 loss occurs via a degenerative pathway unrelated to the known synapse function of these proteins and involving early cis-Golgi abnormalities, distinct from apoptosis.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThis study provides new insights in a neurodegeneration pathway triggered by the absence of specific proteins involved in synaptic transmission (syntaxin-1, Munc18-1, SNAP-25), while other proteins involved in the same molecular process (synaptobrevins, Munc13-1/2) do not cause degeneration. Massive

  11. Structure-function study of mammalian Munc18-1 and C. elegans UNC-18 implicates domain 3b in the regulation of exocytosis.

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    Margaret E Graham

    Full Text Available Munc18-1 is an essential synaptic protein functioning during multiple stages of the exocytotic process including vesicle recruitment, docking and fusion. These functions require a number of distinct syntaxin-dependent interactions; however, Munc18-1 also regulates vesicle fusion via syntaxin-independent interactions with other exocytotic proteins. Although the structural regions of the Munc18-1 protein involved in closed-conformation syntaxin binding have been thoroughly examined, regions of the protein involved in other interactions are poorly characterised. To investigate this we performed a random transposon mutagenesis, identifying domain 3b of Munc18-1 as a functionally important region of the protein. Transposon insertion in an exposed loop within this domain specifically disrupted Mint1 binding despite leaving affinity for closed conformation syntaxin and binding to the SNARE complex unaffected. The insertion mutation significantly reduced total amounts of exocytosis as measured by carbon fiber amperometry in chromaffin cells. Introduction of the equivalent mutation in UNC-18 in Caenorhabditis elegans also reduced neurotransmitter release as assessed by aldicarb sensitivity. Correlation between the two experimental methods for recording changes in the number of exocytotic events was verified using a previously identified gain of function Munc18-1 mutation E466K (increased exocytosis in chromaffin cells and aldicarb hypersensitivity of C. elegans. These data implicate a novel role for an exposed loop in domain 3b of Munc18-1 in transducing regulation of vesicle fusion independent of closed-conformation syntaxin binding.

  12. Munc18-1 is a dynamically regulated PKC target during short-term enhancement of transmitter release. (United States)

    Genc, Ozgür; Kochubey, Olexiy; Toonen, Ruud F; Verhage, Matthijs; Schneggenburger, Ralf


    Transmitter release at synapses is regulated by preceding neuronal activity, which can give rise to short-term enhancement of release like post-tetanic potentiation (PTP). Diacylglycerol (DAG) and Protein-kinase C (PKC) signaling in the nerve terminal have been widely implicated in the short-term modulation of transmitter release, but the target protein of PKC phosphorylation during short-term enhancement has remained unknown. Here, we use a gene-replacement strategy at the calyx of Held, a large CNS model synapse that expresses robust PTP, to study the molecular mechanisms of PTP. We find that two PKC phosphorylation sites of Munc18-1 are critically important for PTP, which identifies the presynaptic target protein for the action of PKC during PTP. Pharmacological experiments show that a phosphatase normally limits the duration of PTP, and that PTP is initiated by the action of a 'conventional' PKC isoform. Thus, a dynamic PKC phosphorylation/de-phosphorylation cycle of Munc18-1 drives short-term enhancement of transmitter release during PTP. DOI:

  13. The Role of Rab3a in Secretory Vesicle Docking Requires Association/Dissociation of Guanidine Phosphates and Munc18-1 (United States)

    van Weering, Jan R.T.; Toonen, Ruud F.; Verhage, Matthijs


    Rab3a is a small GTPase that binds selectively to secretory vesicles and switches between active, GTP-bound and inactive, GDP-bound conformations. In yeast, Rab and SM-genes interact genetically to promote vesicle targeting/fusion. We tested different Rab3a conformations and genetic interactions with the SM-gene munc18-1 on the docking function of Rab3a in mammalian chromaffin cells. We expressed Rab3a mutants locked in the GTP- or GDP-bound form in wild-type and munc18-1 null mutant cells and analyzed secretory vesicle distribution. We confirmed that wild-type Rab3a promotes vesicle docking in wild-type cells. Unexpectedly, both GTP- and GDP-locked Rab3a mutants did not promote docking. Furthermore, wild-type Rab3a did not promote docking in munc18-1 null cells and GTP- and GDP-Rab3a both decreased the amount of docked vesicles. The results show that GTP- and GDP-locked conformations do not support a Munc18-1 dependent role of Rab3a in docking. This suggests that nucleotide cycling is required to support docking and that this action of Rab3a is upstream of Munc18-1. PMID:17637832

  14. The role of Rab3a in secretory vesicle docking requires association/dissociation of guanidine phosphates and Munc18-1.

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    Jan R T van Weering

    Full Text Available Rab3a is a small GTPase that binds selectively to secretory vesicles and switches between active, GTP-bound and inactive, GDP-bound conformations. In yeast, Rab and SM-genes interact genetically to promote vesicle targeting/fusion. We tested different Rab3a conformations and genetic interactions with the SM-gene munc18-1 on the docking function of Rab3a in mammalian chromaffin cells. We expressed Rab3a mutants locked in the GTP- or GDP-bound form in wild-type and munc18-1 null mutant cells and analyzed secretory vesicle distribution. We confirmed that wild-type Rab3a promotes vesicle docking in wild-type cells. Unexpectedly, both GTP- and GDP-locked Rab3a mutants did not promote docking. Furthermore, wild-type Rab3a did not promote docking in munc18-1 null cells and GTP- and GDP-Rab3a both decreased the amount of docked vesicles. The results show that GTP- and GDP-locked conformations do not support a Munc18-1 dependent role of Rab3a in docking. This suggests that nucleotide cycling is required to support docking and that this action of Rab3a is upstream of Munc18-1.

  15. Deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT Neurons Results in Rapid Degeneration of the 5-HT System and Early Postnatal Lethality (United States)

    Dudok, Jacobus J.; Groffen, Alexander J. A.; Toonen, Ruud F. T.; Verhage, Matthijs


    The serotonin (5-HT) system densely innervates many brain areas and is important for proper brain development. To specifically ablate the 5-HT system we generated mutant mice carrying a floxed Munc18-1 gene and Cre recombinase driven by the 5-HT-specific serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT) promoter. The majority of mutant mice died within a few days after birth. Immunohistochemical analysis of brains of these mice showed that initially 5-HT neurons are formed and the cortex is innervated with 5-HT projections. From embryonic day 16 onwards, however, 5-HT neurons started to degenerate and at postnatal day 2 hardly any 5-HT projections were present in the cortex. The 5-HT system of mice heterozygous for the floxed Munc18-1 allele was indistinguishable from control mice. These data show that deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT neurons results in rapid degeneration of the 5-HT system and suggests that the 5-HT system is important for postnatal survival. PMID:22140524

  16. Deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT neurons results in rapid degeneration of the 5-HT system and early postnatal lethality.

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    Jacobus J Dudok

    Full Text Available The serotonin (5-HT system densely innervates many brain areas and is important for proper brain development. To specifically ablate the 5-HT system we generated mutant mice carrying a floxed Munc18-1 gene and Cre recombinase driven by the 5-HT-specific serotonin reuptake transporter (SERT promoter. The majority of mutant mice died within a few days after birth. Immunohistochemical analysis of brains of these mice showed that initially 5-HT neurons are formed and the cortex is innervated with 5-HT projections. From embryonic day 16 onwards, however, 5-HT neurons started to degenerate and at postnatal day 2 hardly any 5-HT projections were present in the cortex. The 5-HT system of mice heterozygous for the floxed Munc18-1 allele was indistinguishable from control mice. These data show that deletion of Munc18-1 in 5-HT neurons results in rapid degeneration of the 5-HT system and suggests that the 5-HT system is important for postnatal survival.

  17. TNFα induces co-trafficking of TRPV1/TRPA1 in VAMP1-containing vesicles to the plasmalemma via Munc18-1/syntaxin1/SNAP-25 mediated fusion. (United States)

    Meng, Jianghui; Wang, Jiafu; Steinhoff, Martin; Dolly, James Oliver


    Transient receptor potential (TRP) A1 and V1 channels relay sensory signals, yet little is known about their transport to the plasmalemma during inflammation. Herein, TRPA1 and TRPV1 were found on vesicles containing calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), accumulated at sites of exo- and endo-cytosis, and co-localised on fibres and cell bodies of cultured sensory neurons expressing both. A proinflammatory cytokine, TNFα, elevated their surface content, and both resided in close proximity, indicating co-trafficking. Syntaxin 1-interacting protein, Munc18-1, proved necessary for the response to TNFα, and for TRPV1-triggered CGRP release. TNFα-induced surface trafficking of TRPV1 and TRPA1 required a synaptic vesicle membrane protein VAMP1 (but not 2/3), which is essential for CGRP exocytosis from large dense-core vesicles. Inactivation of two proteins on the presynaptic plasma membrane, syntaxin-1 or SNAP-25, by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT)/C1 or /A inhibited the TNFα-elevated delivery. Accordingly, enhancement by TNFα of Ca(2+) influx through the upregulated surface-expressed TRPV1 and TRPA1 channels was abolished by BoNT/A. Thus, in addition, the neurotoxins' known inhibition of the release of pain transmitters, their therapeutic potential is augmented by lowering the exocytotic delivery of transducing channels and the resultant hyper-sensitisation in inflammation.

  18. Planarian Phototactic Assay Reveals Differential Behavioral Responses Based on Wavelength.

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    Taylor R Paskin

    Full Text Available Planarians are free-living aquatic flatworms that possess a well-documented photophobic response to light. With a true central nervous system and simple cerebral eyes (ocelli, planarians are an emerging model for regenerative eye research. However, comparatively little is known about the physiology of their photoreception or how their behavior is affected by various wavelengths. Most phototactic studies have examined planarian behavior using white light. Here, we describe a novel planarian behavioral assay to test responses to small ranges of visible wavelengths (red, blue, green, as well as ultraviolet (UV and infrared (IR which have not previously been examined. Our data show that planarians display behavioral responses across a range of wavelengths. These responses occur in a hierarchy, with the shortest wavelengths (UV causing the most intense photophobic responses while longer wavelengths produce no effect (red or an apparent attraction (IR. In addition, our data reveals that planarian photophobia is comprised of both a general photophobic response (that drives planarians to escape the light source regardless of wavelength and wavelength-specific responses that encompass specific behavioral reactions to individual wavelengths. Our results serve to improve the understanding of planarian phototaxis and suggest that behavioral studies performed with white light mask a complex behavioral interaction with the environment.

  19. A novel assay reveals hygrotactic behavior in Drosophila.

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    Feiteng Ji

    Full Text Available Humidity is one of the most important factors that determines the geographical distribution and survival of terrestrial animals. The ability to detect variation in humidity is conserved across many species. Here, we established a novel behavioral assay that revealed the thirsty Drosophila exhibits strong hygrotactic behavior, and it can locate water by detecting humidity gradient. In addition, exposure to high levels of moisture was sufficient to elicit proboscis extension reflex behavior in thirsty flies. Furthermore, we found that the third antennal segment was necessary for hygrotactic behavior in thirsty flies, while arista was required for the avoidance of moist air in hydrated flies. These results indicated that two types of hygroreceptor cells exist in Drosophila: one located in the third antennal segment that mediates hygrotactic behavior in thirst status, and the other located in arista which is responsible for the aversive behavior toward moist air in hydration status. Using a neural silencing screen, we demonstrated that synaptic output from the mushroom body α/β surface and posterior neurons was required for both hygrotactic behavior and moisture-aversive behavior.

  20. What is Comet assay not telling us: AFLP reveals wider aspects of genotoxicity. (United States)

    Šrut, Maja; Štambuk, Anamaria; Klobučar, Göran I V


    DNA damage detected by genotoxicity biomarkers such as the Comet assay is not always a reliable indicator of the consequences that genotoxic agents can have on the genome integrity of the exposed organisms. Therefore, to reveal the existence of more permanent alterations of DNA structure after genotoxic stress, the RTG-2 rainbow trout cell line was exposed for 3 days to benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P, 0.1-10 μM) and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS, 0.1-1mM) followed by 3 days of recovery period. Primary DNA damage was evaluated by the Comet assay and DNA alterations were assessed using AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism). Qualitative and quantitative modifications in AFLP profiles were analyzed in order to detect genetic alterations arising from mutation events and/or DNA damage. Significant induction in DNA damage measured by the Comet assay was noticed after B[a]P treatment at all concentrations but values returned to the control level after recovery. Exposure to EMS induced significant DNA damage only at the highest concentration and damage persisted after the recovery period. AFLP profiles detected DNA alterations even when Comet assay indicated complete DNA repair, revealing more persistent damage. Since such DNA damage can impair its structure and function, Comet assay results should preferably be supplemented with other methods in order to predict the consequences of genotoxic insult more accurately.

  1. Complementary assays reveal a relationship between HIV-1 uncoating and reverse transcription. (United States)

    Hulme, Amy E; Perez, Omar; Hope, Thomas J


    During the early stages of HIV-1 replication the conical capsid composed of p24(CA) protein dissociates from the rest of the cytoplasmic viral complex by a process called uncoating. Although proper uncoating is known to be required for HIV-1 infection, many questions remain about the timing and factors involved in the process. Here we have used two complementary assays to study the process of uncoating in HIV-1-infected cells, specifically looking at the timing of uncoating and its relationship to reverse transcription. We developed a fluorescent microscopy-based uncoating assay that detects the association of p24(CA) with HIV-1 viral complexes in cells. We also used an owl monkey kidney (OMK) cell assay that is based on timed TRIM-CypA-mediated restriction of HIV-1 replication. Results from both assays indicate that uncoating is initiated within 1 h of viral fusion. In addition, treatment with the reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine delayed uncoating in both assays. Analysis of reverse transcription products in OMK cells revealed that the generation of early reverse transcription products coincides with the timing of uncoating in these assays. Collectively, these results suggest that some aspect of reverse transcription has the ability to influence the kinetics of uncoating.

  2. Protein-carbohydrate complex reveals circulating metastatic cells in a microfluidic assay

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    Simone, Giuseppina


    Advances in carbohydrate sequencing technologies reveal the tremendous complexity of the glycome and the role that glycomics might have to bring insight into the biological functions. Carbohydrate-protein interactions, in particular, are known to be crucial to most mammalian physiological processes as mediators of cell adhesion and metastasis, signal transducers, and organizers of protein interactions. An assay is developed here to mimic the multivalency of biological complexes that selectively and sensitively detect carbohydrate-protein interactions. The binding of β-galactosides and galectin-3 - a protein that is correlated to the progress of tumor and metastasis - is examined. The efficiency of the assay is related to the expression of the receptor while anchoring to the interaction\\'s strength. Comparative binding experiments reveal molecular binding preferences. This study establishes that the assay is robust to isolate metastatic cells from colon affected patients and paves the way to personalized medicine. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. A simple high-content cell cycle assay reveals frequent discrepancies between cell number and ATP and MTS proliferation assays.

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    Grace Ka Yan Chan

    Full Text Available In order to efficiently characterize both antiproliferative potency and mechanism of action of small molecules targeting the cell cycle, we developed a high-throughput image-based assay to determine cell number and cell cycle phase distribution. Using this we profiled the effects of experimental and approved anti-cancer agents with a range mechanisms of action on a set of cell lines, comparing direct cell counting versus two metabolism-based cell viability/proliferation assay formats, ATP-dependent bioluminescence, MTS (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl-2-(4-sulfophenyl-2H-tetrazolium reduction, and a whole-well DNA-binding dye fluorescence assay. We show that, depending on compound mechanisms of action, the metabolism-based proxy assays are frequently prone to 1 significant underestimation of compound potency and efficacy, and 2 non-monotonic dose-response curves due to concentration-dependent phenotypic 'switching'. In particular, potency and efficacy of DNA synthesis-targeting agents such as gemcitabine and etoposide could be profoundly underestimated by ATP and MTS-reduction assays. In the same image-based assay we showed that drug-induced increases in ATP content were associated with increased cell size and proportionate increases in mitochondrial content and respiratory flux concomitant with cell cycle arrest. Therefore, differences in compound mechanism of action and cell line-specific responses can yield significantly misleading results when using ATP or tetrazolium-reduction assays as a proxy for cell number when screening compounds for antiproliferative activity or profiling panels of cell lines for drug sensitivity.

  4. Agarose gel shift assay reveals that calreticulin favors substrates with a quaternary structure in solution

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    Boelt, Sanne Grundvad; Houen, Gunnar; Højrup, Peter


    Here we present an agarose gel shift assay that, in contrast to other electrophoresis approaches, is loaded in the center of the gel. This allows proteins to migrate in either direction according to their isoelectric points. Therefore, the presented assay enables a direct visualization, separation...... structure. It is also demonstrated that the agarose gel shift assay is useful in the study of other protein interactions and can be used as an alternative method to native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis....

  5. A genetic assay for transcription errors reveals multilayer control of RNA polymerase II fidelity.

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    Jordan D Irvin


    Full Text Available We developed a highly sensitive assay to detect transcription errors in vivo. The assay is based on suppression of a missense mutation in the active site tyrosine in the Cre recombinase. Because Cre acts as tetramer, background from translation errors are negligible. Functional Cre resulting from rare transcription errors that restore the tyrosine codon can be detected by Cre-dependent rearrangement of reporter genes. Hence, transient transcription errors are captured as stable genetic changes. We used this Cre-based reporter to screen for mutations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae RPB1 (RPO21 that increase the level of misincorporation during transcription. The mutations are in three domains of Rpb1, the trigger loop, the bridge helix, and in sites involved in binding to TFIIS. Biochemical characterization demonstrates that these variants have elevated misincorporation, and/or ability to extend mispaired bases, or defects in TFIIS mediated editing.

  6. A genetic assay for transcription errors reveals multilayer control of RNA polymerase II fidelity. (United States)

    Irvin, Jordan D; Kireeva, Maria L; Gotte, Deanna R; Shafer, Brenda K; Huang, Ingold; Kashlev, Mikhail; Strathern, Jeffrey N


    We developed a highly sensitive assay to detect transcription errors in vivo. The assay is based on suppression of a missense mutation in the active site tyrosine in the Cre recombinase. Because Cre acts as tetramer, background from translation errors are negligible. Functional Cre resulting from rare transcription errors that restore the tyrosine codon can be detected by Cre-dependent rearrangement of reporter genes. Hence, transient transcription errors are captured as stable genetic changes. We used this Cre-based reporter to screen for mutations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae RPB1 (RPO21) that increase the level of misincorporation during transcription. The mutations are in three domains of Rpb1, the trigger loop, the bridge helix, and in sites involved in binding to TFIIS. Biochemical characterization demonstrates that these variants have elevated misincorporation, and/or ability to extend mispaired bases, or defects in TFIIS mediated editing.

  7. Bacterial regrowth in water reclamation and distribution systems revealed by viable bacterial detection assays. (United States)

    Lin, Yi-wen; Li, Dan; Gu, April Z; Zeng, Si-yu; He, Miao


    Microbial regrowth needs to be managed during water reclamation and distribution. The aim of present study was to investigate the removal and regrowth of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella in water reclamation and distribution system by using membrane integrity assay (PMA-qPCR), reverse transcriptional activity assay (Q-RT-PCR) and culture-based assay, and also to evaluate the relationships among bacterial regrowth, and environmental factors in the distribution system. The results showed that most of the water reclamation processes potentially induced bacteria into VBNC state. The culturable E. coli and Salmonella regrew 1.8 and 0.7 log10 in distribution system, which included reactivation of bacteria in the viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state and reproduction of culturable bacteria. The regrowth of culturable E. coli and Salmonella in the distribution system mainly depended on the residual chlorine levels, with correlations (R(2)) of -0.598 and -0.660. The abundances of membrane integrity and reverse transcriptional activity bacteria in reclamation effluents had significant correlations with the culturable bacteria at the end point of the distribution system, demonstrating that PMA-qPCR and Q-RT-PCR are sensitive and accurate tools to determine and predict bacterial regrowth in water distribution systems. This study has improved our understanding of microbial removal and regrowth in reclaimed water treatment and distribution systems. And the results also recommended that more processes should be equipped to remove viable bacteria in water reclamation plants for the sake of inhibition microbial regrowth during water distribution and usages.

  8. A novel high-throughput assay for islet respiration reveals uncoupling of rodent and human islets.

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    Jakob D Wikstrom

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The pancreatic beta cell is unique in its response to nutrient by increased fuel oxidation. Recent studies have demonstrated that oxygen consumption rate (OCR may be a valuable predictor of islet quality and long term nutrient responsiveness. To date, high-throughput and user-friendly assays for islet respiration are lacking. The aim of this study was to develop such an assay and to examine bioenergetic efficiency of rodent and human islets. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: The XF24 respirometer platform was adapted to islets by the development of a 24-well plate specifically designed to confine islets. The islet plate generated data with low inter-well variability and enabled stable measurement of oxygen consumption for hours. The F1F0 ATP synthase blocker oligomycin was used to assess uncoupling while rotenone together with myxothiazol/antimycin was used to measure the level of non-mitochondrial respiration. The use of oligomycin in islets was validated by reversing its effect in the presence of the uncoupler FCCP. Respiratory leak averaged to 59% and 49% of basal OCR in islets from C57Bl6/J and FVB/N mice, respectively. In comparison, respiratory leak of INS-1 cells and C2C12 myotubes was measured to 38% and 23% respectively. Islets from a cohort of human donors showed a respiratory leak of 38%, significantly lower than mouse islets. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The assay for islet respiration presented here provides a novel tool that can be used to study islet mitochondrial function in a relatively high-throughput manner. The data obtained in this study shows that rodent islets are less bioenergetically efficient than human islets as well as INS1 cells.

  9. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cockburn, Darrell; Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol


    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical...... for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon...... sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites...

  10. In planta assays involving epigenetically silenced genes reveal inhibition of cytosine methylation by genistein

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    Arase Sachiko


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytosine methylation is involved in epigenetic control of gene expression in a wide range of organisms. An increasing number of examples indicate that changing the frequency of cytosine methylation in the genome is a feasible tool to engineer novel traits in plants. Although demethylating effects of compounds have been analyzed in human cultured cells in terms of suppressing cancer, their effect in plant cells has not been analyzed extensively. Here, we developed in planta assay systems to detect inhibition of cytosine methylation using plants that contain a transgene transcriptionally silenced by an epigenetic mechanism. Results Seeds of two transgenic plants were used: a petunia line that has been identified as a revertant of the co-suppression of the chalcone synthase-A (CHS-A gene and contains CHS-A transgenes whose transcription is repressed; Nicotiana benthamiana plants that contain the green fluorescent protein (GFP reporter gene whose transcription is repressed through virus-induced transcriptional gene silencing. Seeds of these plants were sown on a medium that contained a demethylating agent, either 5-azacytidine or trichostatin A, and the restoration of the transcriptionally active state of the transgene was detected in seedlings. Using these systems, we found that genistein, a major isoflavonoid compound, inhibits cytosine methylation, thus restoring transgene transcription. Genistein also restored the transcription of an epigenetically silenced endogenous gene in Arabidopsis plants. Conclusions Our assay systems allowed us to assess the inhibition of cytosine methylation, in particular of maintenance of methylation, by compounds in plant cells. These results suggest a novel role of flavonoids in plant cells and that genistein is useful for modifying the epigenetic state of plant genomes.

  11. Genetic diversity and relationships in mulberry (genus Morus as revealed by RAPD and ISSR marker assays

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    Thangavelu K


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The genus Morus, known as mulberry, is a dioecious and cross-pollinating plant that is the sole food for the domesticated silkworm, Bombyx mori. Traditional methods using morphological traits for classification are largely unsuccessful in establishing the diversity and relationships among different mulberry species because of environmental influence on traits of interest. As a more robust alternative, PCR based marker assays including RAPD and ISSR were employed to study the genetic diversity and interrelationships among twelve domesticated and three wild mulberry species. Results RAPD analysis using 19 random primers generated 128 discrete markers ranging from 500–3000 bp in size. One-hundred-nineteen of these were polymorphic (92%, with an average of 6.26 markers per primer. Among these were a few putative species-specific amplification products which could be useful for germplasm classification and introgression studies. The ISSR analysis employed six anchored primers, 4 of which generated 93 polymorphic markers with an average of 23.25 markers per primer. Cluster analysis of RAPD and ISSR data using the WINBOOT package to calculate the Dice coefficient resulted into two clusters, one comprising polyploid wild species and the other with domesticated (mostly diploid species. Conclusion These results suggest that RAPD and ISSR markers are useful for mulberry genetic diversity analysis and germplasm characterization, and that putative species-specific markers may be obtained which can be converted to SCARs after further studies.

  12. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences. (United States)

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei


    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD(+) or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD(+)/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD(+) and NADH contents and the NAD(+)/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD(+), total NAD contents, and NAD(+)/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ.

  13. A multilocus assay reveals high nucleotide diversity and limited differentiation among Scandinavian willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus

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    Quintela Maria


    Full Text Available Abstract Background There is so far very little data on autosomal nucleotide diversity in birds, except for data from the domesticated chicken and some passerines species. Estimates of nucleotide diversity reported so far in birds have been high (~10-3 and a likely explanation for this is the generally higher effective population sizes compared to mammals. In this study, the level of nucleotide diversity has been examined in the willow grouse, a non-domesticated bird species from the order Galliformes, which also holds the chicken. The willow grouse (Lagopus lagopus has an almost circumpolar distribution but is absent from Greenland and the north Atlantic islands. It primarily inhabits tundra, forest edge habitats and sub-alpine vegetation. Willow grouse are hunted throughout its range, and regionally it is a game bird of great cultural and economical importance. Results We sequenced 18 autosomal protein coding loci from approximately 15–18 individuals per population. We found a total of 127 SNP's, which corresponds to 1 SNP every 51 bp. 26 SNP's were amino acid replacement substitutions. Total nucleotide diversity (πt was between 1.30 × 10-4 and 7.66 × 10-3 (average πt = 2.72 × 10-3 ± 2.06 × 10-3 and silent nucleotide diversity varied between 4.20 × 10-4and 2.76 × 10-2 (average πS = 9.22 × 10-3 ± 7.43 × 10-4. The synonymous diversity is approximately 20 times higher than in humans and two times higher than in chicken. Non-synonymous diversity was on average 18 times lower than the synonymous diversity and varied between 0 and 4.90 × 10-3 (average πa = 5.08 × 10-4 ± 7.43 × 103, which suggest that purifying selection is strong in these genes. FST values based on synonymous SNP's varied between -5.60 × 10-4 and 0.20 among loci and revealed low levels of differentiation among the four localities, with an overall value of FST = 0.03 (95% CI: 0.006 – 0.057 over 60 unlinked loci. Non-synonymous SNP's gave similar results. Low

  14. Functional assays and metagenomic analyses reveals differences between the microbial communities inhabiting the soil horizons of a Norway spruce plantation.

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    Stéphane Uroz

    Full Text Available In temperate ecosystems, acidic forest soils are among the most nutrient-poor terrestrial environments. In this context, the long-term differentiation of the forest soils into horizons may impact the assembly and the functions of the soil microbial communities. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology and functional potentials of these microbial communities, a suite of analyses including comparative metagenomics was applied on independent soil samples from a spruce plantation (Breuil-Chenue, France. The objectives were to assess whether the decreasing nutrient bioavailability and pH variations that naturally occurs between the organic and mineral horizons affects the soil microbial functional biodiversity. The 14 Gbp of pyrosequencing and Illumina sequences generated in this study revealed complex microbial communities dominated by bacteria. Detailed analyses showed that the organic soil horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Bacteria, Chordata, Arthropoda and Ascomycota. On the contrary the mineral horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Archaea. Our analyses also highlighted that the microbial communities inhabiting the two soil horizons differed significantly in their functional potentials according to functional assays and MG-RAST analyses, suggesting a functional specialisation of these microbial communities. Consistent with this specialisation, our shotgun metagenomic approach revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of sequences related glycoside hydrolases in the organic horizon compared to the mineral horizon that was significantly enriched in glycoside transferases. This functional stratification according to the soil horizon was also confirmed by a significant correlation between the functional assays performed in this study and the functional metagenomic analyses. Together, our results suggest that the soil stratification and particularly the soil resource

  15. Zebrafish-based reporter gene assays reveal different estrogenic activities in river waters compared to a conventional human-derived assay. (United States)

    Sonavane, Manoj; Creusot, Nicolas; Maillot-Maréchal, Emmanuelle; Péry, Alexandre; Brion, François; Aїt-Aïssa, Selim


    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on the endocrine system through multiple mechanisms of action, among them interaction with estrogen receptors (ERs) is a well-identified key event in the initiation of adverse outcomes. As the most commonly used estrogen screening assays are either yeast- or human-cell based systems, the question of their (eco)toxicological relevance when assessing risks for aquatic species can be raised. The present study addresses the use of zebrafish (zf) derived reporter gene assays, both in vitro (i.e. zf liver cell lines stably expressing zfERα, zfERβ1 and zfERβ2 subtypes) and in vivo (i.e. transgenic cyp19a1b-GFP zf embryos), to assess estrogenic contaminants in river waters. By investigating 20 French river sites using passive sampling, high frequencies of in vitro zfER-mediated activities in water extracts were measured. Among the different in vitro assays, zfERβ2 assay was the most sensitive and responsive one, enabling the detection of active compounds at all investigated sites. In addition, comparison with a conventional human-based in vitro assay highlighted sites that were able to active zfERs but not human ER, suggesting the occurrence of zf-specific ER ligands. Furthermore, a significant in vivo estrogenic activity was detected at the most active sites in vitro, with a good accordance between estradiol equivalent (E2-EQ) concentrations derived from both in vitro and in vivo assays. Overall, this study shows the relevance and usefulness of such novel zebrafish-based assays as screening tools to monitor estrogenic activities in complex mixtures such as water extracts. It also supports their preferred use compared to human-based assays to assess the potential risks caused by endocrine disruptive chemicals for aquatic species such as fish.

  16. Satellite cell heterogeneity revealed by G-Tool, an open algorithm to quantify myogenesis through colony-forming assays

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    Ippolito Joseph


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Muscle growth and repair is accomplished by the satellite cell pool, a self-renewing population of myogenic progenitors. Functional heterogeneity within the satellite cell compartment and changes in potential with experimental intervention can be revealed by in vitro colony-forming cell (CFC assays, however large numbers of colonies need to be assayed to give meaningful data, and manually quantifying nuclei and scoring markers of differentiation is experimentally limiting. Methods We present G-Tool, a multiplatform (Java open-source algorithm that analyzes an ensemble of fluorescent micrographs of satellite cell-derived colonies to provide quantitative and statistically meaningful metrics of myogenic potential, including proliferation capacity and propensity to differentiate. Results We demonstrate the utility of G-Tool in two applications: first, we quantify the response of satellite cells to oxygen concentration. Compared to 3% oxygen which approximates tissue levels, we find that 21% oxygen, the ambient level, markedly limits the proliferative potential of transit amplifying progeny but at the same time inhibits the rate of terminal myogenic differentiation. We also test whether satellite cells from different muscles have intrinsic differences that can be read out in vitro. Compared to masseter, dorsi, forelimb and hindlimb muscles, we find that the diaphragm satellite cells have significantly increased proliferative potential and a reduced propensity to spontaneously differentiate. These features may be related to the unique always-active status of the diaphragm. Conclusions G-Tool facilitates consistent and reproducible CFC analysis between experiments and individuals. It is released under an open-source license that enables further development by interested members of the community.

  17. Computational Assay of H7N9 Influenza Neuraminidase Reveals R292K Mutation Reduces Drug Binding Affinity (United States)

    Woods, Christopher J.; Malaisree, Maturos; Long, Ben; McIntosh-Smith, Simon; Mulholland, Adrian J.


    The emergence of a novel H7N9 avian influenza that infects humans is a serious cause for concern. Of the genome sequences of H7N9 neuraminidase available, one contains a substitution of arginine to lysine at position 292, suggesting a potential for reduced drug binding efficacy. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir bound to H7N9, H7N9-R292K, and a structurally related H11N9 neuraminidase. They show that H7N9 neuraminidase is structurally homologous to H11N9, binding the drugs in identical modes. The simulations reveal that the R292K mutation disrupts drug binding in H7N9 in a comparable manner to that observed experimentally for H11N9-R292K. Absolute binding free energy calculations with the WaterSwap method confirm a reduction in binding affinity. This indicates that the efficacy of antiviral drugs against H7N9-R292K will be reduced. Simulations can assist in predicting disruption of binding caused by mutations in neuraminidase, thereby providing a computational `assay.'

  18. A novel assay of biofilm antifungal activity reveals that amphotericin B and caspofungin lyse Candida albicans cells in biofilms. (United States)

    DiDone, Louis; Oga, Duana; Krysan, Damian J


    The ability of Candida albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms is an important factor in its contribution to human disease. Assays to identify and characterize molecules with activity against fungal biofilms are crucial for the development of drugs with improved anti-biofilm activity. Here we report the application of an adenylate kinase (AK)-based cytotoxicity assay of fungal cell lysis to the characterization of agents active against C. albicans biofilms. We have developed three protocols for the AK assay. The first measures AK activity in the supernatants of biofilms treated with antifungal drugs and can be performed in parallel with a standard 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-caboxanilide-based biofilm susceptibility assay; a second, more sensitive protocol measures the AK activity present within the biofilm matrix; and a third procedure allows the direct visualization of lytic activity toward biofilms formed on catheter material. Amphotericin B and caspofungin, the two most effective anti-biofilm drugs currently used to treat fungal infections, both directly lyse planktonic C. albicans cells in vitro, leading to the release of AK into the culture medium. These studies serve to validate the AK-based lysis assay as a useful addition to the methods for the characterization of antifungal agents active toward biofilms and provide insights into the mode of action of amphotericin B and caspofungin against C. albicans biofilms.

  19. Interdependence of initial cell density, drug concentration and exposure time revealed by real-time impedance spectroscopic cytotoxicity assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Caviglia, Claudia; Zor, Kinga; Canepa, Silvia


    We investigated the combined effect of the initial cell density (12 500, 35 000, 75 000, and 100 000 cells cm−2) and concentration of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin on HeLa cells by performing timedependent cytotoxicity assays using real-time electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. A correlation...... between the rate of cell death and the initial cell seeding density was found at 2.5 μM doxorubicin concentration, whereas this was not observed at 5 or 100 μM. By sensing the changes in the cell–substrate interaction using impedance spectroscopy under static conditions, the onset of cytotoxicity...... was observed 5 h earlier than when using a standard colorimetric end-point assay (MTS) which measures changes in the mitochondrial metabolism. Furthermore, with the MTS assay no cytotoxicity was observed after 15 h of incubation with 2.5 μM doxorubicin, whereas the impedance showed at this time point cell...

  20. Revealing the essentiality of multiple archaeal pcna genes using a mutant propagation assay based on an improved knockout method

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zhang, Changyi; Guo, Li; Deng, Ling;


    Organisms belonging to the Crenarchaeota lineage contain three PCNA subunits (proliferating cell nuclear antigen) while those in Euryarchaeota have only one as for Eukarya. To study the mechanism of archaeal sliding clamps, we sought to generate knockouts for each pcna gene in Sulfolobus islandic...... genes are absolutely required for host cell viability. Because the only prerequisite for this assay is to generate a MID transformant, this approach can be applied generally to any microorganisms proficient in homologous recombination....

  1. Functional Stability of the Human Kappa Opioid Receptor Reconstituted in Nanodiscs Revealed by a Time-Resolved Scintillation Proximity Assay (United States)

    Hansen, Randi Westh; Wang, Xiaole; Golab, Agnieszka; Bornert, Olivier; Oswald, Christine; Wagner, Renaud; Martinez, Karen Laurence


    Long-term functional stability of isolated membrane proteins is crucial for many in vitro applications used to elucidate molecular mechanisms, and used for drug screening platforms in modern pharmaceutical industry. Compared to soluble proteins, the understanding at the molecular level of membrane proteins remains a challenge. This is partly due to the difficulty to isolate and simultaneously maintain their structural and functional stability, because of their hydrophobic nature. Here we show, how scintillation proximity assay can be used to analyze time-resolved high-affinity ligand binding to membrane proteins solubilized in various environments. The assay was used to establish conditions that preserved the biological function of isolated human kappa opioid receptor. In detergent solution the receptor lost high-affinity ligand binding to a radiolabelled ligand within minutes at room temperature. After reconstitution in Nanodiscs made of phospholipid bilayer the half-life of high-affinity ligand binding to the majority of receptors increased 70-fold compared to detergent solubilized receptors—a level of stability that is appropriate for further downstream applications. Time-resolved scintillation proximity assay has the potential to screen numerous conditions in parallel to obtain high levels of stable and active membrane proteins, which are intrinsically unstable in detergent solution, and with minimum material consumption. PMID:27035823

  2. A quantitative multiplex nuclease protection assay reveals immunotoxicity gene expression profiles in the rabbit model for vaginal drug safety evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fichorova, Raina N., E-mail: [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S.; Murray, Ryan [Laboratory of Genital Tract Biology, Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, Brigham and Women' s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA (United States); Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F. [CONRAD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA (United States)


    Any vaginal product that alters the mucosal environment and impairs the immune barrier increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV infection, which thrives on mucosal damage and inflammation. The FDA-recommended rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model serves as a first line selection tool for vaginal products; however, for decades it has been limited to histopathology scoring, insufficient to select safe anti-HIV microbicides. In this study we incorporate to the RVI model a novel quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA) to quantify mRNA levels of 25 genes representing leukocyte differentiation markers, toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokines, chemokines, epithelial repair, microbicidal and vascular markers, by designing two multiplex arrays. Tissue sections were obtained from 36 rabbits (6 per treatment arm) after 14 daily applications of a placebo gel, saline, 4% nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and three combinations of the anti-HIV microbicides tenofovir (TFV) and UC781 in escalating concentrations (highest: 10% TFV + 2.5%UC781). Results showed that increased expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, interleukin (IL)-1β, CXCL8, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 (P < 0.05), and decreased levels of TLR2 (P < 0.05), TLR3 and bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI) (P < 0.001) were associated with cervicovaginal mucosal alteration (histopathology). Seven markers showed a significant linear trend predicting epithelial damage (up with CD4, IL-1β, CXCL8, CCL2, CCL21, EMP1 and down with BPI). Despite the low tissue damage RVI scores, the high-dose microbicide combination gel caused activation of HIV host cells (SLC and CD4) while N-9 caused proinflammatory gene upregulation (IL-8 and TLR4) suggesting a potential for increasing risk of HIV via different mechanisms depending on the chemical nature of the test product. - Highlights: • A transcriptome nuclease protection assay assessed microbicides for vaginal safety. • Biomarkers were

  3. Development and evaluation of an ELIME assay to reveal the presence of Salmonella in irrigation water: Comparison with Real-Time PCR and the Standard Culture Method. (United States)

    Volpe, G; Delibato, E; Fabiani, L; Pucci, E; Piermarini, S; D'Angelo, A; Capuano, F; De Medici, D; Palleschi, G


    A reliable, low-cost and easy-to-use ELIME (Enzyme-Linked-Immuno-Magnetic-Electrochemical) assay for detection of Salmonella enterica in irrigation water is presented. Magnetic beads (MBs), coupled to a strip of eight-magnetized screen-printed electrodes localized at the bottom of eight wells (8-well/SPE strip), effectively supported a sandwich immunological chain. Enzymatic by-product is quickly measured by chronoamperometry, using a portable instrument. With the goal of developing a method able to detect a wide range of Salmonella serotypes, including S. Napoli and S. Thompson strains responsible for various community alerts, different kinds of MBs, antibodies and blocking agents were tested. The final system employs MBs coated with a broad reactivity monoclonal antibody anti-salmonella and blocked with dry milk. For a simple and rapid assay these two steps were performed in a preliminary phase, while the two sequential incubations for the immuno-recognition events were merged in a single step of 1h. In parallel a Real-Time PCR (RTi-PCR) method, based on a specific locked nucleic acid (LNA) fluorescent probe and an internal amplification control (IAC), was carried out. The selectivity of the ELIME and RTi-PCR assays was proved by inclusivity and exclusivity tests performed analyzing different Salmonella serotypes and non-target microorganisms, most commonly isolated from environmental sources. Furthermore, both methods were applied to experimentally and not experimentally contaminated irrigation water samples. Results confirmed by the ISO culture method, demonstrated the effectiveness of ELIME and RTi-PCR assays to detect a low number of salmonella cells (1-10 CFU/L) reducing drastically the long analysis time usually required to reveal this pathogen.

  4. Stem cell-like differentiation potentials of endometrial side population cells as revealed by a newly developed in vivo endometrial stem cell assay.

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    Kaoru Miyazaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Endometrial stem/progenitor cells contribute to the cyclical regeneration of human endometrium throughout a woman's reproductive life. Although the candidate cell populations have been extensively studied, no consensus exists regarding which endometrial population represents the stem/progenitor cell fraction in terms of in vivo stem cell activity. We have previously reported that human endometrial side population cells (ESP, but not endometrial main population cells (EMP, exhibit stem cell-like properties, including in vivo reconstitution of endometrium-like tissues when xenotransplanted into immunodeficient mice. The reconstitution efficiency, however, was low presumably because ESP cells alone could not provide a sufficient microenvironment (niche to support their stem cell activity. The objective of this study was to establish a novel in vivo endometrial stem cell assay employing cell tracking and tissue reconstitution systems and to examine the stem cell properties of ESP through use of this assay. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: ESP and EMP cells isolated from whole endometrial cells were infected with lentivirus to express tandem Tomato (TdTom, a red fluorescent protein. They were mixed with unlabeled whole endometrial cells and then transplanted under the kidney capsule of ovariectomized immunodeficient mice. These mice were treated with estradiol and progesterone for eight weeks and nephrectomized. All of the grafts reconstituted endometrium-like tissues under the kidney capsules. Immunofluorescence revealed that TdTom-positive cells were significantly more abundant in the glandular, stromal, and endothelial cells of the reconstituted endometrium in mice transplanted with TdTom-labeled ESP cells than those with TdTom-labeled EMP cells. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We have established a novel in vivo endometrial stem cell assay in which multi-potential differentiation can be identified through cell tracking during in vivo

  5. Electromobility Shift Assay Reveals Evidence in Favor of Allele-Specific Binding of RUNX1 to the 5' Hypersensitive Site 4-Locus Control Region. (United States)

    Dehghani, Hossein; Ghobakhloo, Sepideh; Neishabury, Maryam


    In our previous studies on the Iranian β-thalassemia (β-thal) patients, we identified an association between the severity of the β-thal phenotype and the polymorphic palindromic site at the 5' hypersensitive site 4-locus control region (5'HS4-LCR) of the β-globin gene cluster. Furthermore, a linkage disequilibrium was observed between this region and XmnI-HBG2 in the patient population. Based on this data, it was suggested that the well-recognized phenotype-ameliorating role assigned to positive XmnI could be associated with its linked elements in the LCR. To investigate the functional significance of polymorphisms at the 5'HS4-LCR, we studied its influence on binding of transcription factors. Web-based predictions of transcription factor binding revealed a binding site for runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1), when the allele at the center of the palindrome (TGGGG(A/G)CCCCA) was A but not when it was G. Furthermore, electromobility shift assay (EMSA) presented evidence in support of allele-specific binding of RUNX1 to 5'HS4. Considering that RUNX1 is a well-known regulator of hematopoiesis, these preliminary data suggest the importance of further studies to confirm this interaction and consequently investigate its functional and phenotypical relevance. These studies could help us to understand the molecular mechanism behind the phenotype modifying role of the 5'HS4-LCR polymorphic palindromic region (rs16912979), which has been observed in previous studies.

  6. DNA-PKcs-OBA/Ku associate in the absence of DNA, as revealed by two-dimensional capillary gel electromobility shift assay. (United States)

    Ruiz, Marcia T; Nichols, Amanda; Price, Gerald B; Zannis-Hadjopoulos, Maria


    Ors-binding activity (OBA) has been previously purified by its ability to specifically interact with A3/4, a 36-bp mammalian origin consensus sequence [1]. Peptide sequence analyses identified OBA as Ku86, the largest subunit of Ku antigen, a heterodimeric protein (Ku70/Ku86) involved in several autoimmune disorders [2-5]. The affinity-purified fraction containing OBA/Ku is also enriched for DNA-dependent protein kinase DNA-PKcs, the catalytic subunit of the DNA-PK holoenzyme, of which Ku antigen is the DNA-binding subunit [6-8]. Glycerol-gradient sedimentation analyses have demonstrated the presence of OBA/Ku in a high-molecular-weight complex. In order to investigate whether OBA/Ku and DNA-PKcs are associated in this fraction, we have used a modification of the two-dimensional gel electrophoresis technique originally described [9]. Electromobility shift assays were developed in native capillary gels, which were subsequently used for sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) in the second dimension. The gels were then processed for Western blotting using the Ku70, Ku86 and DNA-PKcs antibodies. This approach has revealed the association of OBA/Ku and DNA-PKcs to give rise to the DNA-PK holoenzyme irrespective of the presence, or the absence of DNA. Altogether, we have proven the utility of this technique for the study of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions.

  7. Allele-specific real-time PCR testing for minor HIV-1 drug resistance mutations: assay preparation and application to reveal dynamic of mutations in vivo

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GUO Dong-xing; LI Jing-yun; LI Han-ping; LI Lin; ZHUANG Dao-min; JIAO Li-yan; WANG Zheng; BAO Zuo-yi; LIU Si-yang; LIU Yong-jian


    Background It is very important for the clinical management to test for minor HIV-1 resistance mutations accurately and sensitively. The conventional genotypic assays of HIV drug resistance detection based on sequencing can only discriminate the mutations which present in more than 20%-30%. The aim of this study was to evaluate allele-specific real-time PCR (ASPCR) to detect the resistance-related mutations located at positions 103, 184 and 215.Methods We developed the allele-specific PCR assay, using the most common drug resistance mutations in Chinese AIDS patients, K103N, M184V/I, T215F/Y as a model system. The standards were constructed by cloning the wild-type and mutant DNA fragments into the T-vector. We designed specific primers to discriminate mutant templates in the real-time PCR using SYBR green as a fluorescence reporter. And then we evaluated the ASPCR assay and tested 140clinical samples using this method.Results The sensitivities of ASPCR assay were 0.04% for K103N, 0.30% for M1841, 0.40% for M184V, 0.03% for T215F and 0.02% for T215Y. The intra-assay and inter-assay coefficients of variation were less than 0.42. One hundred and forty plasma samples were tested by ASPCR and dynamic resistance curves of ten patients were obtained.Conclusions Drug resistance emerged half a year after the start of antiretroviral therapy. The mutation of T215Yemerged 1 to 1.5 years after starting treatment and then increased rapidly. The ASPCR assay we developed was a sensitive, accurate and rapid method to detect the minor HIV-1 variants and it can provide earlier and more drug-resistance information for HIV research and AIDS antiretroviral therapy.

  8. High-throughput Screening of ToxCast™ Phase I Chemicals in a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell (mESC) Assay Reveals Disruption of Potential Toxicity Pathways (United States)

    Little information is available regarding the potential for many commercial chemicals to induce developmental toxicity. The mESC Adherent Cell Differentiation and Cytoxicity (ACDC) assay is a high-throughput screen used to close this data gap. Thus, ToxCast™ Phase I chemicals wer...

  9. Safety Evaluation of Chinese Medicine Injections with a Cell Imaging-Based Multiparametric Assay Revealed a Critical Involvement of Mitochondrial Function in Hepatotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Wang


    Full Text Available The safety of herbal medicine products has been a widespread concern due to their complex chemical nature and lack of proper evaluation methods. We have adapted a sensitive and reproducible multiparametric cell-based high-content analysis assay to evaluate the hepatic-safety of four Chinese medicine injections and validated it with classical animal-based toxicity assays. Our results suggested that the reported hepatotoxicity by one of the drugs, Fufangkushen injection, could be attributed at least in part to the interference of mitochondrial function in human HepG2 cells by some of its constituents. This method should be useful for both preclinical screen in a drug discovery program and postclinical evaluation of herbal medicine preparations.

  10. Antioxidant assays - consistent findings from FRAP and ORAC reveal a negative impact of organic cultivation on antioxidant potential in spinach but not watercress or rocket leaves. (United States)

    Payne, Adrienne C; Mazzer, Alice; Clarkson, Graham J J; Taylor, Gail


    Watercress (Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum), wild rocket (Diplotaxis tenuifolia), and spinach (Spinacia oleracea) are commercial crops reported to have high concentrations of antioxidants, possibly contributing to disease prevention following human consumption. Following analysis of supermarket-purchased salad leaves, we report the antioxidant content potential of these species using two comparable techniques assessing the consistency between the assays - by the ferric reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assay and the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) assay. The leaves were harvested from both conventionally and organically managed crops, to investigate whether organic agriculture results in improved crop quality. Watercress had the highest FRAP and ability to scavenge free radicals, followed by spinach and rocket. For watercress and rocket, there was no significant effect of organic agriculture on FRAP and ORAC, but for spinach, the antioxidant potential was reduced and this was significant at the 5% level of probability for FRAP but not ORAC, although the trend was clear in both tests. We conclude that there is variation in salad crop antioxidant potential and that FRAP and ORAC are useful techniques for measuring antioxidants in these salad crops with similar ranking for each salad crop studied.

  11. A microfluidics-based turning assay reveals complex growth cone responses to integrated gradients of substrate-bound ECM molecules and diffusible guidance cues. (United States)

    Joanne Wang, C; Li, Xiong; Lin, Benjamin; Shim, Sangwoo; Ming, Guo-Li; Levchenko, Andre


    Neuronal growth cones contain sophisticated molecular machinery precisely regulating their migration in response to complex combinatorial gradients of diverse external cues. The details of this regulation are still largely unknown, in part due to limitations of the currently available experimental techniques. Microfluidic devices have been shown to be capable of generating complex, stable and precisely controlled chemical gradients, but their use in studying growth cone migration has been limited in part due to the effects of shear stress. Here we describe a microfluidics-based turning-assay chip designed to overcome this issue. In addition to generating precise gradients of soluble guidance cues, the chip can also fabricate complex composite gradients of diffusible and surface-bound guidance cues that mimic the conditions the growth cones realistically counter in vivo. Applying this assay to Xenopus embryonic spinal neurons, we demonstrate that the presence of a surface-bound laminin gradient can finely tune the polarity of growth cone responses (repulsion or attraction) to gradients of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), with the guidance outcome dependent on the mean BDNF concentration. The flexibility inherent in this assay holds significant potential for refinement of our understanding of nervous system development and regeneration, and can be extended to elucidate other cellular processes involving chemotaxis of shear sensitive cells.

  12. RAS - Screens & Assays - Drug Discovery (United States)

    The RAS Drug Discovery group aims to develop assays that will reveal aspects of RAS biology upon which cancer cells depend. Successful assay formats are made available for high-throughput screening programs to yield potentially effective drug compounds.

  13. Single Vesicle Assaying of SNARE-Synaptotagmin-Driven Fusion Reveals Fast and Slow Modes of Both Docking and Fusion and Intrasample Heterogeneity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    M. Christensen, Sune; W. Mortensen, Michael; Stamou, Dimitrios


    . This analysis showed that C2AB and Ca(2+) accelerate vesicle-vesicle docking with more than two orders of magnitude. Comparison of the measured docking rates with ensemble lipid mixing kinetics, however, suggests that in most cases bilayer fusion remains therate-limiting step. Our single vesicle results show...... the docking or the fusion of vesicles. Here we report a fluorescence microscopy-based assay to monitor SNARE-mediated docking and fusion of individual vesicle pairs. In situ measurement of the concentration of diffusing particles allowed us to quantify docking rates by a maximum-likelihood approach...... that only 60% of the vesicles dock and only 6% of docked vesicles fuse. Lipid mixing on single vesicles was fast (t(mix)

  14. A fluorescence-coupled assay for gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA reveals metabolic stress-induced modulation of GABA content in neuroendocrine cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joseph E Ippolito

    Full Text Available Pathways involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA have been implicated in the pathogenesis of high grade neuroendocrine (NE neoplasms as well as neoplasms from a non-NE lineage. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas, overexpression of the GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1, was found to be associated with decreased disease free-survival in prostate adenocarcinoma and decreased overall survival in clear cell renal cell carcinomas. Furthermore, GAD1 was found to be expressed in castrate-resistant prostate cancer cell lines, but not androgen-responsive cell lines. Using a novel fluorescence-coupled enzymatic microplate assay for GABA mediated through reduction of resazurin in a prostate neuroendocrine carcinoma (PNEC cell line, acid microenvironment-induced stress increased GABA levels while alkaline microenvironment-induced stress decreased GABA through modulation of GAD1 and glutamine synthetase (GLUL activities. Moreover, glutamine but not glucose deprivation decreased GABA through modulation of GLUL. Consistent with evidence in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that GABA synthesis mediated through GAD1 may play a crucial role in surviving stress, GABA may be an important mediator of stress survival in neoplasms. These findings identify GABA synthesis and metabolism as a potentially important pathway for regulating cancer cell stress response as well as a potential target for therapeutic strategies.

  15. Rules of donor preference in saccharomyces mating-type gene switching revealed by a competition assay involving two types of recombination. (United States)

    Wu, X; Wu, C; Haber, J E


    Mating type (MAT) switching in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is initiated by a double-strand break (DSB) created at MAT by HO endonuclease. MATa cells activate the entire left arm of chromosome III; thus MATa preferentially recombines with the silent donor HML. In contrast, MAT alpha cells inactivate the left arm, including HML, and thus preferentially recombine with HMR, 100 kb to the right of MAT. We present a novel competition assay, in which the DSB at MAT can be repaired either by MAT switching or by single-strand annealing (SSA) between two URA3 genes flanking MAT. With preferred donors, MATa or MAT alpha switching occurs 65-70% of the time in competition with SSA. When HML is deleted, 40% of MATa cells recombine with the "wrong" donor HMR; however, when HMR is deleted, only 18% of MAT alpha cells recombine with HML. In interchromosomal switching, with donors on chromosome III and MAT on chromosome V, MATa retains its strong preference for HML and switching is efficient, when the chromosome III recombination enhancer is present. However, MAT alpha donor preference is lost and interchromosomal switching is very inefficient. These experiments demonstrate the utility of using competition between two outcomes to measure the relative efficiency of recombination.

  16. A fluorescence-coupled assay for gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) reveals metabolic stress-induced modulation of GABA content in neuroendocrine cancer. (United States)

    Ippolito, Joseph E; Piwnica-Worms, David


    Pathways involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of high grade neuroendocrine (NE) neoplasms as well as neoplasms from a non-NE lineage. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas, overexpression of the GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1), was found to be associated with decreased disease free-survival in prostate adenocarcinoma and decreased overall survival in clear cell renal cell carcinomas. Furthermore, GAD1 was found to be expressed in castrate-resistant prostate cancer cell lines, but not androgen-responsive cell lines. Using a novel fluorescence-coupled enzymatic microplate assay for GABA mediated through reduction of resazurin in a prostate neuroendocrine carcinoma (PNEC) cell line, acid microenvironment-induced stress increased GABA levels while alkaline microenvironment-induced stress decreased GABA through modulation of GAD1 and glutamine synthetase (GLUL) activities. Moreover, glutamine but not glucose deprivation decreased GABA through modulation of GLUL. Consistent with evidence in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that GABA synthesis mediated through GAD1 may play a crucial role in surviving stress, GABA may be an important mediator of stress survival in neoplasms. These findings identify GABA synthesis and metabolism as a potentially important pathway for regulating cancer cell stress response as well as a potential target for therapeutic strategies.

  17. In Vitro Endothelial Cell Proliferation Assay Reveals Distinct Levels of Proangiogenic Cytokines Characterizing Sera of Healthy Subjects and of Patients with Heart Failure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rebecca Voltan


    Full Text Available Although myocardial angiogenesis is thought to play an important role in heart failure (HF, the involvement of circulating proinflammatory and proangiogenic cytokines in the pathogenesis and/or prognosis of HF has not been deeply investigated. By using a highly standardized proliferation assay with human endothelial cells, we first demonstrated that sera from older (mean age 52±7.6 years; n=46 healthy donors promoted endothelial cell proliferation to a significantly higher extent compared to sera obtained from younger healthy donors (mean age 29±8.6 years; n=20. The promotion of endothelial cell proliferation was accompanied by high serum levels of several proangiogenic cytokines. When we assessed endothelial cell proliferation in response to HF patients’ sera, we observed that a subset of sera (n=11 promoted cell proliferation to a significantly lesser extent compared to the majority of sera (n=18. Also, in this case, the difference between the patient groups in the ability to induce endothelial cell proliferation correlated to significant (P<0.05 differences in serum proangiogenic cytokine levels. Unexpectedly, HF patients associated to the highest endothelial proliferation index showed the worst prognosis as evaluated in terms of subsequent cardiovascular events in the follow-up, suggesting that high levels of circulating proangiogenic cytokines might be related to a worse prognosis.

  18. Molecular assays reveal the presence of Theileria spp. and Babesia spp. in Asian water buffaloes (Bubalus bubalis, Linnaeus, 1758) in the Amazon region of Brazil. (United States)

    Silveira, Júlia A G; de Oliveira, Cairo H S; Silvestre, Bruna T; Albernaz, Tatiana T; Leite, Rômulo C; Barbosa, José D; Oliveira, Carlos M C; Ribeiro, Múcio F B


    Approximately 50% of buffalo herds in Brazil are located in Pará state in northern Brazil. There are several properties where cattle and buffalo live and graze together, and thus, buffalo pathogens may threaten the health of cattle and vice versa. Therefore, knowledge of infectious agents of buffalo is essential for maintaining healthy livestock. Clinical disease caused by Theileria and Babesia parasites in the Asian water buffalo is not common, although these animals may act as reservoir hosts, and the detection of these hemoparasites in buffaloes is as important as it is in cattle. Studies of the infection of buffaloes by hemoparasites in Brazil are scarce. The objective of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of Piroplasmida parasites in Asian water buffaloes in the state of Pará in the Amazon region of Brazil using nested PCR assays and phylogenetic analysis. The 18S rRNA gene and ITS complete region were amplified from DNA extracted from blood samples collected from 308 apparently healthy buffaloes bred on six properties in the state of Pará, Brazil. The prevalence of positive buffalo samples was 4.2% (13/308) for Theileria spp., 3.6% (11/308) for Babesia bovis and 1% (3/308) for Babesia bigemina. Animals infected with Theileria were detected in 50% (3/6) of the assessed properties. Phylogenetic analyses indicated that the Theileria species detected in this study were closely related to Theileria buffeli, Theileria orientalis and Theileria sinensis. To our knowledge, this is the first report of Theileria in Asian water buffaloes in the Americas. The majority of Theileria-positive buffaloes (11/13) belong to a property that has a history of animals presenting lymphoproliferative disease of unknown etiology. Therefore, the present research suggests that this disorder can be associated with Theileria infection in this property. Our results provide new insights on the distribution and biological aspects of hemoparasites transmissible from

  19. Conformational states of syntaxin-1 govern the necessity of N-peptide binding in exocytosis of PC12 cells and Caenorhabditis elegans. (United States)

    Park, Seungmee; Bin, Na-Ryum; Michael Rajah, Maaran; Kim, Byungjin; Chou, Ting-Chieh; Kang, Soo-Young Ann; Sugita, Kyoko; Parsaud, Leon; Smith, Matthew; Monnier, Philippe P; Ikura, Mitsuhiko; Zhen, Mei; Sugita, Shuzo


    Syntaxin-1 is the central SNARE protein for neuronal exocytosis. It interacts with Munc18-1 through its cytoplasmic domains, including the N-terminal peptide (N-peptide). Here we examine the role of the N-peptide binding in two conformational states ("closed" vs. "open") of syntaxin-1 using PC12 cells and Caenorhabditis elegans. We show that expression of "closed" syntaxin-1A carrying N-terminal single point mutations (D3R, L8A) that perturb interaction with the hydrophobic pocket of Munc18-1 rescues impaired secretion in syntaxin-1-depleted PC12 cells and the lethality and lethargy of unc-64 (C. elegans orthologue of syntaxin-1)-null mutants. Conversely, expression of the "open" syntaxin-1A harboring the same mutations fails to rescue the impairments. Biochemically, the L8A mutation alone slightly weakens the binding between "closed" syntaxin-1A and Munc18-1, whereas the same mutation in the "open" syntaxin-1A disrupts it. Our results reveal a striking interplay between the syntaxin-1 N-peptide and the conformational state of the protein. We propose that the N-peptide plays a critical role in intracellular trafficking of syntaxin-1, which is dependent on the conformational state of this protein. Surprisingly, however, the N-peptide binding mode seems dispensable for SNARE-mediated exocytosis per se, as long as the protein is trafficked to the plasma membrane.

  20. First evaluation of drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis clinical isolates from Congo revealed misdetection of fluoroquinolone resistance by line probe assay due to a double substitution T80A-A90G in GyrA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Aubry

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB is one of the major public health problems in Congo. However, data concerning Mycobacterium tuberculosis drug resistance are lacking because of the insufficient processing capacity. So, the aim of this study was to investigate for the first time the resistance patterns and the strain lineages of a sample of M. tuberculosis complex (MTBC isolates collected in the two main cities of Congo. METHODS: Over a 9-day period, 114 smear-positive sputa isolated from 114 patients attending centers for the diagnosis and treatment of TB in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire were collected for culture and drug susceptibility testing (DST. Detection of mutations conferring drug resistance was performed by using line probe assays (GenoType MTBDRplus and MTBDRsl and DNA sequencing. Strain lineages were determined by MIRU-VNTR genotyping. RESULTS: Of the 114 sputa, 46 were culture positive for MTBC. Twenty-one (46% were resistant to one or more first-line antiTB drugs. Of these, 15 (71% were multidrug resistant (MDR. The most prevalent mutations involved in rifampin and isoniazid resistance, D516V (60% in rpoB and S315T (87% in katG respectively, were well detected by MTBDRplus assay. All the 15 MDR strains were susceptible to fluoroquinolone and injectable second-line drug. No mutation was detected in the rrs locus involved in resistance to amikacin and capreomycin by both the MTBDRsl assay and DNA sequencing. By contrast, 9 MDR strains belonging to the same cluster related to T-family were identified as being falsely resistant to fluoroquinolone by the MTBDRsl assay due to the presence of a double substitution T80A-A90G in GyrA. CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, these data revealed a possible spread of a particular MDR clone in Congo, misidentified as fluoroquinolone resistant by MTBDRsl assay. Thus, this test cannot replace gold-standard culture method and should be interpreted carefully in view of the patient's native land.

  1. Enzyme assays. (United States)

    Reymond, Jean-Louis; Fluxà, Viviana S; Maillard, Noélie


    Enzyme assays are analytical tools to visualize enzyme activities. In recent years a large variety of enzyme assays have been developed to assist the discovery and optimization of industrial enzymes, in particular for "white biotechnology" where selective enzymes are used with great success for economically viable, mild and environmentally benign production processes. The present article highlights the aspects of fluorogenic and chromogenic substrates, sensors, and enzyme fingerprinting, which are our particular areas of interest.

  2. TRI12 based quantitative real-time PCR assays reveal the distribution of trichothecene genotype of F. graminearum and F. culmorum isolates in Danish small grain cereals

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, L. K.; Jensen, J. D.; Rodríguez, A.;


    species complex, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium cerealis and Fusarium pseudograminearum. These assays were applied on a total of 378 field samples of cereal grain of wheat, barley, triticale, rye and oats collected from 2003 to 2007 to study the trichothecene genotype composition in Danish cereals. The three...... in wheat. The NIV genotype was found at low levels in most samples. Study of genotype composition within the Danish F. graminearum and F. culmorum population was based on principal component analysis (PCA). PCA revealed that the dominating genotype of F. graminearum in wheat is 15ADON. For barley, the PCA...... analysis indicated that the F. graminearum population consisted of all three genotypes, and in triticale, the F. graminearum population consisted mainly of 15ADON genotype. F. culmorum/F. cerealis showed correlation to the NIV genotype in wheat and triticale but not in barley. F. culmorum/F. cerealis also...



    Bishnoi Kapil*, , ,; Kataria Mahesh; Singhal Vipin; Gupta Deepika


    Micronutrients added to foods are analyzed using various procedures depending on their nature and properties. The microbiological assays are better than chemical method because any suitable change in vitamin molecule which may not be detected by chemical method will be revealed by change in microbial activity. The microbiological assay of vitamins is based upon the comparison of the stimulation of growth of bacteria by measured concentration of vitamin with that produced by known concentratio...

  4. Phosphorylation of synaptotagmin-1 controls a post-priming step in PKC-dependent presynaptic plasticity. (United States)

    de Jong, Arthur P H; Meijer, Marieke; Saarloos, Ingrid; Cornelisse, Lennart Niels; Toonen, Ruud F G; Sørensen, Jakob B; Verhage, Matthijs


    Presynaptic activation of the diacylglycerol (DAG)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway is a central event in short-term synaptic plasticity. Two substrates, Munc13-1 and Munc18-1, are essential for DAG-induced potentiation of vesicle priming, but the role of most presynaptic PKC substrates is not understood. Here, we show that a mutation in synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1(T112A)), which prevents its PKC-dependent phosphorylation, abolishes DAG-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission in hippocampal neurons. This mutant also reduces potentiation of spontaneous release, but only if alternative Ca(2+) sensors, Doc2A/B proteins, are absent. However, unlike mutations in Munc13-1 or Munc18-1 that prevent DAG-induced potentiation, the synaptotagmin-1 mutation does not affect paired-pulse facilitation. Furthermore, experiments to probe vesicle priming (recovery after train stimulation and dual application of hypertonic solutions) also reveal no abnormalities. Expression of synaptotagmin-2, which lacks a seven amino acid sequence that contains the phosphorylation site in synaptotagmin-1, or a synaptotagmin-1 variant with these seven residues removed (Syt1(Δ109-116)), supports normal DAG-induced potentiation. These data suggest that this seven residue sequence in synaptotagmin-1 situated in the linker between the transmembrane and C2A domains is inhibitory in the unphosphorylated state and becomes permissive of potentiation upon phosphorylation. We conclude that synaptotagmin-1 phosphorylation is an essential step in PKC-dependent potentiation of synaptic transmission, acting downstream of the two other essential DAG/PKC substrates, Munc13-1 and Munc18-1.

  5. A reversible Renilla luciferase protein complementation assay for rapid identification of protein-protein interactions reveals the existence of an interaction network involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis in the plant Golgi apparatus. (United States)

    Lund, Christian H; Bromley, Jennifer R; Stenbæk, Anne; Rasmussen, Randi E; Scheller, Henrik V; Sakuragi, Yumiko


    A growing body of evidence suggests that protein-protein interactions (PPIs) occur amongst glycosyltransferases (GTs) required for plant glycan biosynthesis (e.g. cell wall polysaccharides and N-glycans) in the Golgi apparatus, and may control the functions of these enzymes. However, identification of PPIs in the endomembrane system in a relatively fast and simple fashion is technically challenging, hampering the progress in understanding the functional coordination of the enzymes in Golgi glycan biosynthesis. To solve the challenges, we adapted and streamlined a reversible Renilla luciferase protein complementation assay (Rluc-PCA), originally reported for use in human cells, for transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana. We tested Rluc-PCA and successfully identified luminescence complementation amongst Golgi-localizing GTs known to form a heterodimer (GAUT1 and GAUT7) and those which homooligomerize (ARAD1). In contrast, no interaction was shown between negative controls (e.g. GAUT7, ARAD1, IRX9). Rluc-PCA was used to investigate PPIs amongst Golgi-localizing GTs involved in biosynthesis of hemicelluloses. Although no PPI was identified among six GTs involved in xylan biosynthesis, Rluc-PCA confirmed three previously proposed interactions and identified seven novel PPIs amongst GTs involved in xyloglucan biosynthesis. Notably, three of the novel PPIs were confirmed by a yeast-based split-ubiquitin assay. Finally, Gateway-enabled expression vectors were generated, allowing rapid construction of fusion proteins to the Rluc reporters and epitope tags. Our results show that Rluc-PCA coupled with transient expression in N. benthamiana is a fast and versatile method suitable for analysis of PPIs between Golgi resident proteins in an easy and mid-throughput fashion in planta.

  6. The extended cell panel assay characterizes the relationship of prion strains RML, 79A, and 139A and reveals conversion of 139A to 79A-like prions in cell culture. (United States)

    Oelschlegel, Anja M; Fallahi, Mohammad; Ortiz-Umpierre, Shannon; Weissmann, Charles


    Three commonly used isolates of murine prions, 79A, 139A, and RML, were derived from the so-called Chandler isolate, which was obtained by propagating prions from scrapie-infected goat brain in mice. RML is widely believed to be identical with 139A; however, using the extended cell panel assay (ECPA), we here show that 139A and RML isolates are distinct, while 79A and RML could not be distinguished. We undertook to clone 79A and 139A prions by endpoint dilution in murine neuroblastoma-derived PK1 cells. Cloned 79A prions, when returned to mouse brain, were unchanged and indistinguishable from RML by ECPA. However, 139A-derived clones, when returned to brain, yielded prions distinct from 139A and similar to 79A and RML. Thus, when 139A prions were transferred to PK1 cells, 79A/RML-like prions, either present as a minor component in the brain 139A population or generated by mutation in the cells, were selected and, after being returned to brain, were the major if not only component of the population.

  7. High throughput functional assays of the variant antigen PfEMP1 reveal a single domain in the 3D7 Plasmodium falciparum genome that binds ICAM1 with high affinity and is targeted by naturally acquired neutralizing antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew V Oleinikov


    Full Text Available Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes bind endothelial receptors to sequester in vascular beds, and binding to ICAM1 has been implicated in cerebral malaria. Binding to ICAM1 may be mediated by the variant surface antigen family PfEMP1: for example, 6 of 21 DBLbetaC2 domains from the IT4 strain PfEMP1 repertoire were shown to bind ICAM1, and the PfEMP1 containing these 6 domains are all classified as Group B or C type. In this study, we surveyed binding of ICAM1 to 16 DBLbetaC2 domains of the 3D7 strain PfEMP1 repertoire, using a high throughput Bioplex assay format. Only one DBL2betaC2 domain from the Group A PfEMP1 PF11_0521 showed strong specific binding. Among these 16 domains, DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 best preserved the residues previously identified as conserved in ICAM1-binding versus non-binding domains. Our analyses further highlighted the potential role of conserved residues within predominantly non-conserved flexible loops in adhesion, and, therefore, as targets for intervention. Our studies also suggest that the structural/functional DBLbetaC2 domain involved in ICAM1 binding includes about 80 amino acid residues upstream of the previously suggested DBLbetaC2 domain. DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 binding to ICAM1 was inhibited by immune sera from east Africa but not by control US sera. Neutralizing antibodies were uncommon in children but common in immune adults from east Africa. Inhibition of binding was much more efficient than reversal of binding, indicating a strong interaction between DBL2betaC2(PF11_0521 and ICAM1. Our high throughput approach will significantly accelerate studies of PfEMP1 binding domains and protective antibody responses.

  8. Microbead agglutination based assays

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas


    We report a simple and rapid room temperature assay for point-of-care (POC) testing that is based on specific agglutination. Agglutination tests are based on aggregation of microbeads in the presence of a specific analyte thus enabling the macroscopic observation. Such tests are most often used to explore antibody-antigen reactions. Agglutination has been used for protein assays using a biotin/streptavidin system as well as a hybridization based assay. The agglutination systems are prone to selftermination of the linking analyte, prone to active site saturation and loss of agglomeration at high analyte concentrations. We investigated the molecular target/ligand interaction, explaining the common agglutination problems related to analyte self-termination, linkage of the analyte to the same bead instead of different microbeads. We classified the agglutination process into three kinds of assays: a two- component assay, a three-component assay and a stepped three- component assay. Although we compared these three kinds of assays for recognizing DNA and protein molecules, the assay can be used for virtually any molecule, including ions and metabolites. In total, the optimized assay permits detecting analytes with high sensitivity in a short time, 5 min, at room temperature. Such a system is appropriate for POC testing.

  9. Colorimetric protein assay techniques. (United States)

    Sapan, C V; Lundblad, R L; Price, N C


    There has been an increase in the number of colorimetric assay techniques for the determination of protein concentration over the past 20 years. This has resulted in a perceived increase in sensitivity and accuracy with the advent of new techniques. The present review considers these advances with emphasis on the potential use of such technologies in the assay of biopharmaceuticals. The techniques reviewed include Coomassie Blue G-250 dye binding (the Bradford assay), the Lowry assay, the bicinchoninic acid assay and the biuret assay. It is shown that each assay has advantages and disadvantages relative to sensitivity, ease of performance, acceptance in the literature, accuracy and reproducibility/coefficient of variation/laboratory-to-laboratory variation. A comparison of the use of several assays with the same sample population is presented. It is suggested that the most critical issue in the use of a chromogenic protein assay for the characterization of a biopharmaceutical is the selection of a standard for the calibration of the assay; it is crucial that the standard be representative of the sample. If it is not possible to match the standard with the sample from the perspective of protein composition, then it is preferable to use an assay that is not sensitive to the composition of the protein such as a micro-Kjeldahl technique, quantitative amino acid analysis or the biuret assay. In a complex mixture it might be inappropriate to focus on a general method of protein determination and much more informative to use specific methods relating to the protein(s) of particular interest, using either specific assays or antibody-based methods. The key point is that whatever method is adopted as the 'gold standard' for a given protein, this method needs to be used routinely for calibration.

  10. Absolute nuclear material assay (United States)

    Prasad, Manoj K [Pleasanton, CA; Snyderman, Neal J [Berkeley, CA; Rowland, Mark S [Alamo, CA


    A method of absolute nuclear material assay of an unknown source comprising counting neutrons from the unknown source and providing an absolute nuclear material assay utilizing a model to optimally compare to the measured count distributions. In one embodiment, the step of providing an absolute nuclear material assay comprises utilizing a random sampling of analytically computed fission chain distributions to generate a continuous time-evolving sequence of event-counts by spreading the fission chain distribution in time.

  11. Planarian Phototactic Assay Reveals Differential Behavioral Responses Based on Wavelength


    Paskin, Taylor R.; John Jellies; Jessica Bacher; Wendy S Beane


    Planarians are free-living aquatic flatworms that possess a well-documented photophobic response to light. With a true central nervous system and simple cerebral eyes (ocelli), planarians are an emerging model for regenerative eye research. However, comparatively little is known about the physiology of their photoreception or how their behavior is affected by various wavelengths. Most phototactic studies have examined planarian behavior using white light. Here, we describe a novel planarian b...

  12. Transgenic Animal Mutation Assays

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Tao Chen; Ph.D.D.A.B.T.


    @@ The novel transgenic mouse and rat mutation assays have provided a tool for analyzing in vivo mutation in any tissue, thus permitting the direct comparison of cancer incidence with mutant frequency.

  13. Tube-Forming Assays. (United States)

    Brown, Ryan M; Meah, Christopher J; Heath, Victoria L; Styles, Iain B; Bicknell, Roy


    Angiogenesis involves the generation of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature and is dependent on many growth factors and signaling events. In vivo angiogenesis is dynamic and complex, meaning assays are commonly utilized to explore specific targets for research into this area. Tube-forming assays offer an excellent overview of the molecular processes in angiogenesis. The Matrigel tube forming assay is a simple-to-implement but powerful tool for identifying biomolecules involved in angiogenesis. A detailed experimental protocol on the implementation of the assay is described in conjunction with an in-depth review of methods that can be applied to the analysis of the tube formation. In addition, an ImageJ plug-in is presented which allows automatic quantification of tube images reducing analysis times while removing user bias and subjectivity.

  14. Cell viability assays: introduction. (United States)

    Stoddart, Martin J


    The measurement of cell viability plays a fundamental role in all forms of cell culture. Sometimes it is the main purpose of the experiment, such as in toxicity assays. Alternatively, cell viability can be used to -correlate cell behaviour to cell number, providing a more accurate picture of, for example, anabolic -activity. There are wide arrays of cell viability methods which range from the most routine trypan blue dye exclusion assay to highly complex analysis of individual cells, such as using RAMAN microscopy. The cost, speed, and complexity of equipment required will all play a role in determining the assay used. This chapter aims to provide an overview of many of the assays available today.

  15. New Rapid Spore Assay (United States)

    Kminek, Gerhard; Conley, Catharine


    The presentation will detail approved Planetary Protection specifications for the Rapid Spore Assay for spacecraft components and subsystems. Outlined will be the research and studies on which the specifications were based. The research, funded by ESA and NASA/JPL, was conducted over a period of two years and was followed by limited cleanroom studies to assess the feasibility of this assay during spacecraft assembly.

  16. Against vaccine assay secrecy. (United States)

    Herder, Matthew; Hatchette, Todd F; Halperin, Scott A; Langley, Joanne M


    Increasing the transparency of the evidence base behind health interventions such as pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices, has become a major point of critique, conflict, and policy focus in recent years. Yet the lack of publicly available information regarding the immunogenicity assays upon which many important, widely used vaccines are based has received no attention to date. In this paper we draw attention to this critical public health problem by reporting on our efforts to secure vaccine assay information in respect of 10 vaccines through Canada's access to information law. We argue, under Canadian law, that the public health interest in having access to the methods for these laboratory procedures should override claims by vaccine manufacturers and regulators that this information is proprietary; and, we call upon several actors to take steps to ensure greater transparency with respect to vaccine assays, including regulators, private firms, researchers, research institutions, research funders, and journal editors.

  17. Against vaccine assay secrecy (United States)

    Herder, Matthew; Hatchette, Todd F; Halperin, Scott A; Langley, Joanne M


    Increasing the transparency of the evidence base behind health interventions such as pharmaceuticals, biologics, and medical devices, has become a major point of critique, conflict, and policy focus in recent years. Yet the lack of publicly available information regarding the immunogenicity assays upon which many important, widely used vaccines are based has received no attention to date. In this paper we draw attention to this critical public health problem by reporting on our efforts to secure vaccine assay information in respect of 10 vaccines through Canada's access to information law. We argue, under Canadian law, that the public health interest in having access to the methods for these laboratory procedures should override claims by vaccine manufacturers and regulators that this information is proprietary; and, we call upon several actors to take steps to ensure greater transparency with respect to vaccine assays, including regulators, private firms, researchers, research institutions, research funders, and journal editors. PMID:25826194

  18. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)


    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  19. Assays for calcitonin receptors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teitelbaum, A.P.; Nissenson, R.A.; Arnaud, C.D.


    The assays for calcitonin receptors described focus on their use in the study of the well-established target organs for calcitonin, bone and kidney. The radioligand used in virtually all calcitonin binding studies is /sup 125/I-labelled salmon calcitonin. The lack of methionine residues in this peptide permits the use of chloramine-T for the iodination reaction. Binding assays are described for intact bone, skeletal plasma membranes, renal plasma membranes, and primary kidney cell cultures of rats. Studies on calcitonin metabolism in laboratory animals and regulation of calcitonin receptors are reviewed.

  20. CTL ELISPOT assay. (United States)

    Ranieri, Elena; Popescu, Iulia; Gigante, Margherita


    Enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (Elispot) is a quantitative method for measuring relevant parameters of T cell activation. The sensitivity of Elispot allows the detection of low-frequency antigen-specific T cells that secrete cytokines and effector molecules, such as granzyme B and perforin. Cytotoxic T cell (CTL) studies have taken advantage with this high-throughput technology by providing insights into quantity and immune kinetics. Accuracy, sensitivity, reproducibility, and robustness of Elispot resulted in a wide range of applications in research as well as in diagnostic field. Actually, CTL monitoring by Elispot is a gold standard for the evaluation of antigen-specific T cell immunity in clinical trials and vaccine candidates where the ability to detect rare antigen-specific T cells is of relevance for immune diagnostic. The most utilized Elispot assay is the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) test, a marker for CD8(+) CTL activation, but Elispot can also be used to distinguish different subsets of activated T cells by using other cytokines such as T-helper (Th) 1-type cells (characterized by the production of IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-6, IL-12, IL-21, and TNF-α), Th2 (producing cytokines like IL-4, IL-5, IL-10, and IL-13), and Th17 (IL-17) cells. The reliability of Elispot-generated data, by the evaluation of T cell frequency recognizing individual antigen/peptide, is the core of this method currently applied widely to investigate specific immune responses in cancer, infections, allergies, and autoimmune diseases. The Elispot assay is competing with other methods measuring single-cell cytokine production, e.g., intracellular cytokine by FACS or Miltenyi cytokine secretion assay. Other types of lymphocyte frequency and function assays include limiting dilution assay (LDA), cytotoxic T cell assay (CTL), and tetramer staining. Compared with respect to sensitivity the Elispot assay is outranking other methods to define frequency of antigen-specific lymphocytes. The method

  1. Ambiguity Revealed


    Subir Bose; Matthew Polisson; Ludovic Renou


    We derive necessary and suffcient conditions for data sets composed of state-contingent prices and consumption to be consistent with two prominent models of decision making under ambiguity: variational preferences and smooth ambiguity. The revealed preference conditions for the maxmin expected utility and subjective expected utility models are characterized as special cases.

  2. Ambiguity revealed


    Bayer, Ralph-C; Bose, Subir; Polisson, Matthew; Renou, Ludovic


    We derive necessary and sufficient conditions for data sets composed of state-contingent prices and consumption to be consistent with two prominent models of decision making under uncertainty: variational preferences and smooth ambiguity. The revealed preference conditions for subjective expected utility, maxmin expected utility, and multiplier preferences are characterised as special cases. We implement our tests on data from a portfolio choice experiment.

  3. Instrument for assaying radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coleman, Jody Rustyn; Farfan, Eduardo B.


    An instrument for assaying radiation includes a flat panel detector having a first side opposed to a second side. A collimated aperture covers at least a portion of the first side of the flat panel detector. At least one of a display screen or a radiation shield may cover at least a portion of the second side of the flat panel detector.

  4. New oligosaccharyltransferase assay method. (United States)

    Kohda, Daisuke; Yamada, Masaki; Igura, Mayumi; Kamishikiryo, Jun; Maenaka, Katsumi


    We developed a new in vitro assay for oligosaccharyltransferase (OST), which catalyzes the transfer of preassembled oligosaccharides on lipid carriers onto asparagine residues in polypeptide chains. The asparagine residues reside in the sequon, Asn-X-Thr/Ser, where X can be any amino acid residue except Pro. We demonstrate the potency of our assay using the OST from yeast. In our method, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis is used to separate the glycopeptide products from the peptide substrates. The substrate peptide is fluorescently labeled and the formation of glycopeptides is analyzed by fluorescence gel imaging. Two in vitro OST assay methods are now widely used, but both the methods depend on previous knowledge of the oligosaccharide moiety: One method uses lectin binding as the separation mechanism and the other method uses biosynthetically or chemoenzymatically synthesized lipid-linked oligosaccharides as donors. N-linked protein glycosylation is found in all three domains of life, but little is known about the N-glycosylation in Archaea. Thus, our new assay, which does not require a priori knowledge of the oligosaccharides, will be useful in such cases. Indeed, we have detected the OST activity in the membrane fraction from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus.

  5. Hyaluronic Acid Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Itenov, Theis S; Kirkby, Nikolai S; Bestle, Morten H


    BACKGROUD: Hyaluronic acid (HA) is proposed as a marker of functional liver capacity. The aim of the present study was to compare a new turbidimetric assay for measuring HA with the current standard method. METHODS: HA was measured by a particle-enhanced turbidimetric immunoassay (PETIA) and enzyme...

  6. The Spheroplast Lysis Assay for Yeast in Microtiter Plate Format (United States)

    Ovalle, Rafael; Spencer, Moyah; Thiwanont, Monthiwa; Lipke, Peter N.


    A yeast lysis assay in the microtiter plate format improved precision and throughput and led to an improved algorithm for estimating lag time. The assay reproducibly revealed differences of 10% or greater in the maximal lysis rate and 50% or greater in the lag time. Clonal differences were determined to be the major source of variation. Microtiter-based assays should be useful for screening for drug susceptibility and for analyzing mutant phenotypes. PMID:10427014

  7. Kinetic Tetrazolium Microtiter Assay (United States)

    Pierson, Duane L.; Stowe, Raymond; Koenig, David


    Kinetic tetrazolium microtiter assay (KTMA) involves use of tetrazolium salts and Triton X-100 (or equivalent), nontoxic, in vitro color developer solubilizing colored metabolite formazan without injuring or killing metabolizing cells. Provides for continuous measurement of metabolism and makes possible to determine rate of action of antimicrobial agent in real time as well as determines effective inhibitory concentrations. Used to monitor growth after addition of stimulatory compounds. Provides for kinetic determination of efficacy of biocide, greatly increasing reliability and precision of results. Also used to determine relative effectiveness of antimicrobial agent as function of time. Capability of generating results on day of test extremely important in treatment of water and waste, disinfection of hospital rooms, and in pharmaceutical, agricultural, and food-processing industries. Assay also used in many aspects of cell biology.

  8. The corneal pocket assay. (United States)

    Ziche, Marina; Morbidelli, Lucia


    The cornea in most species is physiologically avascular, and thus this assay allows the measurement of newly formed vessels. The continuous monitoring of neovascular growth in the same animal allows the evaluation of drugs acting as suppressors or stimulators of angiogenesis. Under anesthesia a micropocket is produced in the cornea thickness and the angiogenesis stimulus (tumor tissue, cell suspension, growth factor) is placed into the pocket in order to induce vascular outgrowth from the limbal capillaries. Neovascular development and progression can be modified by the presence of locally released or applied inhibitory factors or by systemic treatments. In this chapter the experimental details of the avascular cornea assay, the technical challenges, and advantages and disadvantages in different species are discussed. Protocols for local drug treatment and tissue sampling for histology and pharmacokinetic profile are reported.

  9. B cell helper assays. (United States)

    Abrignani, Sergio; Tonti, Elena; Casorati, Giulia; Dellabona, Paolo


    Activation, proliferation and differentiation of naïve B lymphocytes into memory B cells and plasma cells requires engagement of the B cell receptor (BCR) coupled to T-cell help (1, 2). T cells deliver help in cognate fashion when they are activated upon recognition of specific MHC-peptide complexes presented by B cells. T cells can also deliver help in a non-cognate or bystander fashion, when they do not find specific MHC-peptide complexes on B cells and are activated by alternative mechanisms. T-cell dependent activation of B cells can be studied in vitro by experimental models called "B cell helper assays" that are based on the co-culture of B cells with activated T cells. These assays allow to decipher the molecular bases for productive T-dependent B cell responses. We show here examples of B cell helper assays in vitro, which can be reproduced with any subset of T lymphocytes that displays the appropriate helper signals.

  10. Radon assay for SNO+

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rumleskie, Janet [Laurentian University, Greater Sudbury, Ontario (Canada)


    The SNO+ experiment will study neutrinos while located 6,800 feet below the surface of the earth at SNOLAB. Though shielded from surface backgrounds, emanation of radon radioisotopes from the surrounding rock leads to back-grounds. The characteristic decay of radon and its daughters allows for an alpha detection technique to count the amount of Rn-222 atoms collected. Traps can collect Rn-222 from various positions and materials, including an assay skid that will collect Rn-222 from the organic liquid scintillator used to detect interactions within SNO+.


    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)


    The present invention relates to a device for use in performing assays on standard laboratory solid supports whereon chemical entities are attached. The invention furthermore relates to the use of such a device and a kit comprising such a device. The device according to the present invention is a......, when operatively connected, one or more chambers (21) comprising the chemical entities (41), the inlet(s) (5) and outlet(s) (6) and chambers (21) being in fluid connection. The device further comprise means for providing differing chemical conditions in each chamber (21)....

  12. Growth cone collapse assay. (United States)

    Cook, Geoffrey M W; Jareonsettasin, Prem; Keynes, Roger J


    The growth cone collapse assay has proved invaluable in detecting and purifying axonal repellents. Glycoproteins/proteins present in detergent extracts of biological tissues are incorporated into liposomes, added to growth cones in culture and changes in morphology are then assessed. Alternatively purified or recombinant molecules in aqueous solution may be added directly to the cultures. In both cases after a defined period of time (up to 1 h), the cultures are fixed and then assessed by inverted phase contrast microscopy for the percentage of growth cones showing a collapsed profile with loss of flattened morphology, filopodia, and lamellipodia.

  13. Revealing Rembrandt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Parker


    Full Text Available The power and significance of artwork in shaping human cognition is self-evident. The starting point for our empirical investigations is the view that the task of neuroscience is to integrate itself with other forms of knowledge, rather than to seek to supplant them. In our recent work, we examined a particular aspect of the appreciation of artwork using present-day functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Our results emphasised the continuity between viewing artwork and other human cognitive activities. We also showed that appreciation of a particular aspect of artwork, namely authenticity, depends upon the co-ordinated activity between the brain regions involved in multiple decision making and those responsible for processing visual information. The findings about brain function probably have no specific consequences for understanding how people respond to the art of Rembrandt in comparison with their response to other artworks. However, the use of images of Rembrandt’s portraits, his most intimate and personal works, clearly had a significant impact upon our viewers, even though they have been spatially confined to the interior of an MRI scanner at the time of viewing. Neuroscientific studies of humans viewing artwork have the capacity to reveal the diversity of human cognitive responses that may be induced by external advice or context as people view artwork in a variety of frameworks and settings.

  14. Research highlights: digital assays on chip. (United States)

    Kim, Donghyuk; Wei, Qingshan; Kong, Janay Elise; Ozcan, Aydogan; Di Carlo, Dino


    The ability to break up a volume of fluid into smaller pieces that are confined or separated to prevent molecular communication/transport is a key capability intrinsic to microfluidic systems. This capability has been used to develop or implement digital versions of traditional molecular analysis assays, including digital PCR and digital immunoassays/ELISA. In these digital versions, the concentration of the target analyte is in a range such that, when sampled into smaller fluid volumes, either a single molecule or no molecule may be present. Subsequent amplification is sensitive enough to obtain a digital readout of the presence of these target molecules. Advantages of such approaches that are claimed include quantification without calibration and robustness to variations in reaction conditions or times because the digital readout is less sensitive to absolute signal intensity levels. Weaknesses of digital approaches include a lower dynamic range of concentrations over which the assay is sensitive, which depends on the total volume that can be analyzed. We highlight recent efforts to expand the dynamic range of digital assays based on exploiting reaction/diffusion phenomena. A side-by-side study that evaluates the strengths of digital assays reveals that the majority of these claims are supported, with specific caveats. Finally, we highlight approaches to apply digital assays to analyze new types of reactions, including the active transport of protons across membranes by ATPases at the single protein level - perhaps opening up new biophysical understanding and screening opportunities, similar to widely deployed single-molecule ion channel analysis.

  15. Bacterial assays for recombinagens. (United States)

    Hoffmann, G R


    Two principal strategies have been used for studying recombinagenic effects of chemicals and radiation in bacteria: (1) measurement of homologous recombination involving defined alleles in a partially diploid strain, and (2) measurement of the formation and loss of genetic duplications in the bacterial chromosome. In the former category, most methods involve one allele in the bacterial chromosome and another in a plasmid, but it is also possible to detect recombination between two chromosomal alleles or between two extrachromosomal alleles. This review summarizes methods that use each of these approaches for detecting recombination and tabulates data on agents that have been found to be recombinagenic in bacteria. The assays are discussed with respect to their effectiveness in testing for recombinagens and their potential for elucidating mechanisms underlying recombinagenic effects.

  16. Herbicide resistance screening assay. (United States)

    Peterson, Joan M


    Herbicide resistance screening is a method that can be used not only to determine presence of the enzyme, phosphinothricin acetyltransferase, encoded by either the Bar or the Pat gene in transgenic maize, but also to assess the inheritance ratio of those genes in a segregating population. Herbicide screening can also be used to study linkage of a transgene of interest that was cotransformed with the herbicide resistance marker gene. By combining the herbicide screen assay with a PCR-based screen of leaf tissue DNA for the presence of both the Bar or the Pat gene marker and a cotransformed transgene of interest from the same seedling tissue and maintaining that seedling identity, the researcher can identify linkage or the possible breakdown in linkage of the marker gene and the transgene of interest. Further, the occurrence of "DNA silencing" can be evaluated if an individual seedling that was susceptible to the applied herbicide nonetheless gave PCR data that indicated presence of the gene responsible for herbicide resistance. Similarly, "DNA silencing" of the gene of interest may be investigated if the seeds can be screened and scored for that phenotypic trait in a nondestructive manner prior to planting.

  17. Practical assay issues with the PERT/PBRT assay: a highly sensitive reverse transcriptase assay. (United States)

    Chang, A; Dusing, S


    Product safety testing for retroviruses can be achieved by a panel of screening assays, including electron microscopy, viral gene specific PCRs, virus propagation, and detection of reverse transciptase activity. The application of PCR-based reverse transcriptase assays (PERT) that are approximately a million-fold more sensitive than conventional nucleotide incorporation assays in the testing of biologicals is described. Use of PERT assays can be applied to three areas: (i) screening for adventitious retrovirus contamination; (ii) detecting and quantifying endogenous viral particle load and (iii) monitoring levels of infectious retrovirus generation in cell lines that contain endogenous retroviruses.

  18. Spectrophotometric Assays of Major Compounds Extracted from Algae. (United States)

    Connan, Solène


    This chapter describes spectrophotometric assays of major compounds extracted from microalgae and macroalgae, i.e., proteins, carbohydrates, pigments (chlorophylls, carotenoids, and phycobiliproteins) and phenolic compounds. In contrast to other specific analytical techniques, such as high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) or mass spectrometry (MS), commonly applied to purified extracts to reveal more detailed composition and structure of algal compound families, these assays serve as a first assessment of the global contents of extracts.

  19. Transporter assays and assay ontologies: useful tools for drug discovery. (United States)

    Zdrazil, Barbara; Chichester, Christine; Zander Balderud, Linda; Engkvist, Ola; Gaulton, Anna; Overington, John P


    Transport proteins represent an eminent class of drug targets and ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, toxicity) associated genes. There exists a large number of distinct activity assays for transport proteins, depending on not only the measurement needed (e.g. transport activity, strength of ligand–protein interaction), but also due to heterogeneous assay setups used by different research groups. Efforts to systematically organize this (divergent) bioassay data have large potential impact in Public-Private partnership and conventional commercial drug discovery. In this short review, we highlight some of the frequently used high-throughput assays for transport proteins, and we discuss emerging assay ontologies and their application to this field. Focusing on human P-glycoprotein (Multidrug resistance protein 1; gene name: ABCB1, MDR1), we exemplify how annotation of bioassay data per target class could improve and add to existing ontologies, and we propose to include an additional layer of metadata supporting data fusion across different bioassays.

  20. Nanoparticle-assay marker interaction: effects on nanotoxicity assessment (United States)

    Zhao, Xinxin; Xiong, Sijing; Huang, Liwen Charlotte; Ng, Kee Woei; Loo, Say Chye Joachim


    Protein-based cytotoxicity assays such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are commonly used in cytotoxic evaluation of nanoparticles (NPs) despite numerous reports on possible interactions with protein markers in these assays that can confound the results obtained. In this study, conventional cytotoxicity assays where assay markers may (LDH and TNF- α) or may not (PicoGreen and WST-8) come into contact with NPs were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of NPs. The findings revealed selective interactions between negatively charged protein assay markers (LDH and TNF- α) and positively charged ZnO NPs under abiotic conditions. The adsorption and interaction with these protein assay markers were strongly influenced by surface charge, concentration, and specific surface area of the NPs, thereby resulting in less than accurate cytotoxic measurements, as observed from actual cell viability measurements. An improved protocol for LDH assay was, therefore, proposed and validated by eliminating any effects associated with protein-particle interactions. In view of this, additional measures and precautions should be taken when evaluating cytotoxicity of NPs with standard protein-based assays, particularly when they are of opposite charges.

  1. Nanoparticle-assay marker interaction: effects on nanotoxicity assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhao, Xinxin; Xiong, Sijing; Huang, Liwen Charlotte; Ng, Kee Woei, E-mail:; Loo, Say Chye Joachim, E-mail: [Nanyang Technological University, School of Materials Science and Engineering (Singapore)


    Protein-based cytotoxicity assays such as lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) are commonly used in cytotoxic evaluation of nanoparticles (NPs) despite numerous reports on possible interactions with protein markers in these assays that can confound the results obtained. In this study, conventional cytotoxicity assays where assay markers may (LDH and TNF- α) or may not (PicoGreen and WST-8) come into contact with NPs were used to evaluate the cytotoxicity of NPs. The findings revealed selective interactions between negatively charged protein assay markers (LDH and TNF- α) and positively charged ZnO NPs under abiotic conditions. The adsorption and interaction with these protein assay markers were strongly influenced by surface charge, concentration, and specific surface area of the NPs, thereby resulting in less than accurate cytotoxic measurements, as observed from actual cell viability measurements. An improved protocol for LDH assay was, therefore, proposed and validated by eliminating any effects associated with protein–particle interactions. In view of this, additional measures and precautions should be taken when evaluating cytotoxicity of NPs with standard protein-based assays, particularly when they are of opposite charges.

  2. Diagnostic Certified Assay: Neuromuscular and Cardiac Assessments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rea Valaperta


    Full Text Available The expansion of the specific trinucleotide sequence, [CTG], is the molecular pathological mechanism responsible for the clinical manifestations of DM1. Many studies have described different molecular genetic techniques to detect DM1, but as yet there is no data on the analytical performances of techniques used so far in this disease. We therefore developed and validated a molecular method, “Myotonic Dystrophy SB kit,” to better characterize our DM1 population. 113 patients were examined: 20 DM1-positive, 11 DM1/DM2-negative, and13 DM1-negative/DM2-positive, who had a previous molecular diagnosis, while 69 were new cases. This assay correctly identified 113/113 patients, and all were confirmed by different homemade assays. Comparative analysis revealed that the sensitivity and the specificity of the new kit were very high (>99%. Same results were obtained using several extraction procedures and different concentrations of DNA. The distribution of pathologic alleles showed a prevalence of the “classical” form, while of the 96 nonexpanded alleles 19 different allelic types were observed. Cardiac and neuromuscular parameters were used to clinically characterize our patients and support the new genetic analysis. Our findings suggest that this assay appears to be a very robust and reliable molecular test, showing high reproducibility and giving an unambiguous interpretation of results.

  3. Correlation between the genotoxicity endpoints measured by two different genotoxicity assays: comet assay and CBMN assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carina Ladeira


    The results concerning of positive findings by micronuclei and non significant ones by comet assay, are corroborated by Deng et al. (2005 study performed in workers occupationally exposed to methotrexate, also a cytostatic drug. According to Cavallo et al. (2009, the comet assay seems to be more suitable for the prompt evaluation of the genotoxic effects, for instance, of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons mixtures containing volatile substances, whereas the micronucleus test seems more appropriate to evaluate the effects of exposure to antineoplastic agents. However, there are studies that observed an increase in both the comet assay and the micronucleus test in nurses handling antineoplastic drugs, although statistical significance was only seen in the comet assay, quite the opposite of our results (Maluf & Erdtmann, 2000; Laffon et al. 2005.

  4. Effect of Spacer and the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manisha Sathe


    Full Text Available The effect of spacers and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA formats on the functional parameters of assays such as lower detection limit, inhibitory concentration at 50 per cent (IC50, and specificity were studied. Enzyme conjugates having hydrophobic and hydrophilic spacers were prepared using O-isopropyl methylphosphonic acid (IMPA and horseradish peroxidase (HRP as an enzyme label. Comparison was made with reference to enzyme conjugate without any spacer. The present investigation revealed that the presence of a hydrophilic spacer in the enzyme conjugate significantly improves the sensitivity of assays. An enhanced IC50 value achieved was 0.01 μg mL−1 for free antigen detection by direct immunoassay using hydrophilic spacers and precoating of ELISA plates by secondary antibody. The use of a hydrophilic spacer might have helped in projecting the hapten in the aqueous phase, leading to enhanced antibody binding signal and improved sensitivity of the assay.

  5. Barcoded microchips for biomolecular assays. (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Sun, Jiashu; Zou, Yu; Chen, Wenwen; Zhang, Wei; Xi, Jianzhong Jeff; Jiang, Xingyu


    Multiplexed assay of analytes is of great importance for clinical diagnostics and other analytical applications. Barcode-based bioassays with the ability to encode and decode may realize this goal in a straightforward and consistent manner. We present here a microfluidic barcoded chip containing several sets of microchannels with different widths, imitating the commonly used barcode. A single barcoded microchip can carry out tens of individual protein/nucleic acid assays (encode) and immediately yield all assay results by a portable barcode reader or a smartphone (decode). The applicability of a barcoded microchip is demonstrated by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) immunoassays for simultaneous detection of three targets (anti-gp41 antibody, anti-gp120 antibody, and anti-gp36 antibody) from six human serum samples. We can also determine seven pathogen-specific oligonucleotides by a single chip containing both positive and negative controls.

  6. Radioreceptor assay method for insulin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mori, K.F.; Wood, R.J. (Bureau of Drug Research, Health and Welfare Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Health Protection Branch)


    A sensitive practical radioreceptor assay method for pharmaceutical insulin products has been developed with partially purified rat liver plasma membranes and the optimal conditions under which the best overall assay performance is obtainable have been defined. Intra- and inter-assay variations of the method averaged 7.3 and 12.2% of the man, respectively, when expressed as the coefficient of variation. Potency estimates of an insulin product obtained with the proposed method correlated well with those determined by the mouse convulsion bioassay method. Liver membranes prepared according to the method could be stored for up to ten weeks at 4/sup 0/C and for 6 months or more at -18/sup 0/C without losing insulin-binding ability.

  7. Chromosome aberration assays in Allium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grant, W.F.


    The common onion (Allium cepa) is an excellent plant for the assay of chromosome aberrations after chemical treatment. Other species of Allium (A. cepa var. proliferum, A. carinatum, A. fistulosum and A. sativum) have also been used but to a much lesser extent. Protocols have been given for using root tips from either bulbs or seeds of Allium cepa to study the cytological end-points, such as chromosome breaks and exchanges, which follow the testing of chemicals in somatic cells. It is considered that both mitotic and meiotic end-points should be used to a greater extent in assaying the cytogenetic effects of a chemical. From a literature survey, 148 chemicals are tabulated that have been assayed in 164 Allium tests for their clastogenic effect. Of the 164 assays which have been carried out, 75 are reported as giving a positive reaction, 49 positive and with a dose response, 1 positive and temperature-related, 9 borderline positive, and 30 negative; 76% of the chemicals gave a definite positive response. It is proposed that the Allium test be included among those tests routinely used for assessing chromosomal damage induced by chemicals.

  8. Disagreement between Human Papillomavirus Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rebolj, Matejka; Preisler, Sarah; Ejegod, Ditte Møller;


    We aimed to determine the disagreement in primary cervical screening between four human papillomavirus assays: Hybrid Capture 2, cobas, CLART, and APTIMA. Material from 5,064 SurePath samples of women participating in routine cervical screening in Copenhagen, Denmark, was tested with the four ass...

  9. 21 CFR 225.158 - Laboratory assays. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 4 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Laboratory assays. 225.158 Section 225.158 Food and Drugs FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES (CONTINUED) DRUGS... Laboratory assays. Where the results of laboratory assays of drug components, including assays by State...


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Casein, the main milk protein was determined by different assay methods: the gravimetric method, the method based on the neutralization of the NaOH excess used for the casein precipitate solving and the method based on the titration of the acetic acid used for the casein precipitation. The last method is the simplest one, with the fewer steps, and also with the lowest error degree. The results of the experiment revealed that the percentage of casein from the whole milk protein represents between 72.6–81.3% in experiment 1, between 73.6–81.3% in experiment 2 and between 74.3–81% in experiment 3.

  11. The skin-blanching assay. (United States)

    Smit, P; Neumann, H A M; Thio, H B


    The skin-blanching assay is used for the determination and bioequivalence of dermatologic glucocorticoids (GCs). The exact mechanism of the production of blanching is not fully understood, but it is considered that local vasoconstriction of the skin microvasculature and the consequent blood-flow reduction cause this phenomenon. Several factors influence skin blanching, including drug concentration, duration of application, nature of vehicle, occlusion, posture and location. The intensity of vasoconstriction can be measured in several ways: visual or quantitative methods, such as reflectance spectroscopy, thermography, laser Doppler velocimetry and chromametry. In literature, contradicting results in the correlation of the skin-blanching assay with different tests to determine GC sensitivity have been reported, limiting its clinical usefulness.

  12. Comet Assay in Cancer Chemoprevention. (United States)

    Santoro, Raffaela; Ferraiuolo, Maria; Morgano, Gian Paolo; Muti, Paola; Strano, Sabrina


    The comet assay can be useful in monitoring DNA damage in single cells caused by exposure to genotoxic agents, such as those causing air, water, and soil pollution (e.g., pesticides, dioxins, electromagnetic fields) and chemo- and radiotherapy in cancer patients, or in the assessment of genoprotective effects of chemopreventive molecules. Therefore, it has particular importance in the fields of pharmacology and toxicology, and in both environmental and human biomonitoring. It allows the detection of single strand breaks as well as double-strand breaks and can be used in both normal and cancer cells. Here we describe the alkali method for comet assay, which allows to detect both single- and double-strand DNA breaks.

  13. Protein binding assay for hyaluronate

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lacy, B.E.; Underhill, C.B.


    A relatively quick and simple assay for hyaluronate was developed using the specific binding protein, hyaluronectin. The hyaluronectin was obtained by homogenizing the brains of Sprague-Dawley rats, and then centrifuging the homogenate. The resulting supernatant was used as a source of crude hyaluronectin. In the binding assay, the hyaluronectin was mixed with (/sup 3/H)hyaluronate, followed by an equal volume of saturated (NH/sub 4/)/sub 2/SO/sub 4/, which precipitated the hyaluronectin and any (/sup 3/H)hyaluronate associated with it, but left free (/sup 3/H)hyaluronate in solution. The mixture was then centrifuged, and the amount of bound (/sup 3/H)hyaluronate in the precipitate was determined. Using this assay, the authors found that hyaluronectin specifically bound hyaluronate, since other glycosaminoglycans failed to compete for the binding protein. In addition, the interaction between hyaluronectin and hyaluronate was of relatively high affinity, and the size of the hyaluronate did not appear to substantially alter the amount of binding. To determine the amount of hyaluronate in an unknown sample, they used a competition assay in which the binding of a set amount of (/sup 3/H)hyaluronate was blocked by the addition of unlabeled hyaluronate. By comparing the degree of competition of the unknown samples with that of known amounts of hyaluronate, it was possible to determine the amount of hyaluronate in the unknowns. They have found that this method is sensitive to 1 or less of hyaluronate, and is unaffected by the presence of proteins.

  14. Bioluminescence assay for cell viability. (United States)

    Lomakina, G Yu; Modestova, Yu A; Ugarova, N N


    Theoretical aspects of the adenosine triphosphate bioluminescence assay based on the use of the firefly luciferin-luciferase system are considered, as well as its application for assessing cell viability in microbiology, sanitation, medicine, and ecology. Various approaches for the analysis of individual or mixed cultures of microorganisms are presented, and capabilities of the method for investigation of biological processes in live cells including necrosis, apoptosis, as well as for investigation of the dynamics of metabolism are described.

  15. Experiences with the in vivo and in vitro comet assay in regulatory testing. (United States)

    Frötschl, Roland


    The in vivo comet assay has recently been implemented into regulatory genotoxicity testing of pharmaceuticals with inclusion into the ICH S2R1 guidance. Regulatory genotoxicity testing aims to detect DNA alterations in form of gene mutations, larger scale chromosomal damage and recombination and aneuploidy. The ICH S2R1 guideline offers two options of standard batteries of tests for the detection of these endpoints. Both options start with an AMES assay and option 1 includes an in vitro mammalian cell assay and an in vivo micronucleus assay in rodent, whereas option 2 includes an in vivo micronucleus assay in bone marrow in rodent and a second in vivo assay in a second tissue with a second endpoint. The test recommended as second in vivo test is the comet assay in rat liver. The in vivo comet assay is considered as mature enough to ensure reliable detection of relevant in vivo genotoxicants in combination with the micronucleus test in bone marrow and the AMES assay. Although lots of research papers have been published using the in vitro comet assay, the in vitro version has not been implemented into official regulatory testing guidelines. A survey of the years 1999-2014 revealed 27 in vivo comet assays submitted to BfArM with market authorisation procedures, European and national advice procedures and clinical trial applications. In three procedures, in vitro comet assays had been submitted within the genetic toxicology packages.

  16. Correlation between the genotoxicity endpoints measured by two different genotoxicity assays: comet assay and CBMN assay


    Carina Ladeira; Susana Viegas; Manuel C. Gomes


    The cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN) assay is a comprehensive system for measuring DNA damage; cytostasis and cytotoxicity-DNA damage events are scored specifically in once-divided binucleated cells. The endpoints possible to be measured are micronuclei (MN), a biomarker of chromosome breakage and/or whole chromosome loss, nucleoplasmic bridges (NPB), a biomarker of DNA misrepair and/or telomere end-fusions, and nuclear buds (NBUD), a biomarker of elimination of amplified DNA and/...

  17. Allosteric indicator displacement enzyme assay for a cyanogenic glycoside. (United States)

    Jose, D Amilan; Elstner, Martin; Schiller, Alexander


    Indicator displacement assays (IDAs) represent an elegant approach in supramolecular analytical chemistry. Herein, we report a chemical biosensor for the selective detection of the cyanogenic glycoside amygdalin in aqueous solution. The hybrid sensor consists of the enzyme β-glucosidase and a boronic acid appended viologen together with a fluorescent reporter dye. β-Glucosidase degrades the cyanogenic glycoside amygdalin into hydrogen cyanide, glucose, and benzaldehyde. Only the released cyanide binds at the allosteric site of the receptor (boronic acid) thereby inducing changes in the affinity of a formerly bound fluorescent indicator dye at the other side of the receptor. Thus, the sensing probe performs as allosteric indicator displacement assay (AIDA) for cyanide in water. Interference studies with inorganic anions and glucose revealed that cyanide is solely responsible for the change in the fluorescent signal. DFT calculations on a model compound revealed a 1:1 binding ratio of the boronic acid and cyanide ion. The fluorescent enzyme assay for β-glucosidase uses amygdalin as natural substrate and allows measuring Michaelis-Menten kinetics in microtiter plates. The allosteric indicator displacement assay (AIDA) probe can also be used to detect cyanide traces in commercial amygdalin samples.

  18. Comet assay to assess the genotoxicity of Persian walnut (Juglans regia L.) husks with statistical evaluation. (United States)

    Petriccione, Milena; Ciniglia, Claudia


    The aim of this study was to confirm the utility of the Comet assay as a genotoxicity screening test for evaluating the impact of walnut husk aqueous extract. Phytotoxicity assays using diluted and undiluted walnut husk aqueous extracts were performed on young roots of Raphanus sativus (radish), and the Comet assay was used to evaluate DNA integrity in isolated radish radicle nuclei. The results reveal a dose-dependent accumulation of DNA damage in radish radicles treated with walnut husks water extract and that the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test combined with Johnson SB distribution was the best approach for describing Comet assay data.

  19. A colorimetric assay for cytokinin oxidase. (United States)

    Libreros-Minotta, C A; Tipton, P A


    A simple and rapid colorimetric assay for cytokinin oxidase is described. The assay is based on the formation of a Schiff base between the enzymatic reaction product 3-methyl-2-butenal and p-aminophenol. The assay is effective in the submicromolar concentration range and can be used in crude plant extracts as well as in more highly purified preparations.

  20. Capillary Electrophoresis Analysis of Conventional Splicing Assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Garibay, Gorka Ruiz; Acedo, Alberto; García-Casado, Zaida;


    of these assays is often challenging. Here, we explore this issue by conducting splicing assays in 31 BRCA2 genetic variants. All variants were assessed by RT-PCR followed by capillary electrophoresis and direct sequencing. If assays did not produce clear-cut outputs (Class-2 or Class-5 according to analytical...

  1. 21 CFR 864.7525 - Heparin assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Heparin assay. 864.7525 Section 864.7525 Food and... HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Kits and Packages § 864.7525 Heparin assay. (a) Identification. A heparin assay is a device used to determine the level of the anticoagulant heparin in the...

  2. Multicentre comparison of a diagnostic assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Waters, Patrick; Reindl, Markus; Saiz, Albert;


    ) assays in neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders (NMOSD). METHODS: Coded samples from patients with neuromyelitis optica (NMO) or NMOSD (101) and controls (92) were tested at 15 European diagnostic centres using 21 assays including live (n=3) or fixed cell-based assays (n=10), flow cytometry (n=4...

  3. 21 CFR 866.3210 - Endotoxin assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Endotoxin assay. 866.3210 Section 866.3210 Food... DEVICES IMMUNOLOGY AND MICROBIOLOGY DEVICES Serological Reagents § 866.3210 Endotoxin assay. (a) Identification. An endotoxin assay is a device that uses serological techniques in whole blood. The device...

  4. Steroid assays in paediatric endocrinology. (United States)

    Honour, John W


    Most steroid disorders of the adrenal cortex come to clinical attention in childhood and in order to investigate these problems, there are many challenges to the laboratory which need to be appreciated to a certain extent by clinicians. The analysis of sex steroids in biological fluids from neonates, over adrenarche and puberty present challenges of specificities and concentrations often in small sample sizes. Different reference ranges are also needed for interpretations. For around 40 years, quantitative assays for the steroids and their regulatory peptide hormones have been possible using immunoassay techniques. Problems are recognised and this review aims to summarise the benefits and failings of immunoassays and introduce where tandem mass spectrometry is anticipated to meet the clinical needs for steroid analysis in paediatric endocrine investigations. It is important to keep a dialogue between clinicians and the laboratory, especially when any laboratory result does not make sense in the clinical investigation.

  5. [Comparison of the clinical performance of the ECLusys HBsAg II assay with the Lumipulse f and HISCL 2000-i HBsAg screening assays]. (United States)

    Sugiura, Aya; Iwahara, Kunihiro; Suga, Yasuyuki; Uchiyama, Sachinori; Maekawa, Masato


    We compared the ECLusys HBsAgII (ECL HBsAg) assay to the Lumipulse Forte (LPf HBsAg) and HISCL (HIS HBsAg) assays. Measurement of dilution panels for which the WHO HBsAg international reference panel was the parent specimen revealed that the ECL and HIS assays enabled detection to a theoretical level of 0.04 IU/mL, whereas the LPf assay enabled detection to a level of 0.08 IU/mL. In a specificity test using high RF positive specimens (n = 33), pregnancy specimens (n = 35), cytomegalovirus antibody positive specimens (n = 36), and high M protein positive specimens (n = 21) that were confirmed negative for HBsAg by the LPf assay, negative results were obtained for all specimens on the HIS assay, but the ECL assay yielded a positive result for one of the high RF positive specimens. This individual was suggested on further testing to be an HBV carrier who was strongly positive for HBc antibody. In HBsAg mutants detection test, the detection rate was 92.3% with the ECL assay and 69.2% with the HIS assay. In a correlation test using routinely collected clinical specimens (n = 155), including positive stock specimens, aside from the one case where the LPf assay gave a negative result but both the ECL and HIS assays gave positive results, all of the results were consistent for all specimens. The above results confirmed that the ECL assay is both highly sensitive and specific, and also enables a high rate of HBsAg mutant detection.

  6. Predictive Assay For Cancer Targets

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Suess, A; Nguyen, C; Sorensen, K; Montgomery, J; Souza, B; Kulp, K; Dugan, L; Christian, A


    Early detection of cancer is a key element in successful treatment of the disease. Understanding the particular type of cancer involved, its origins and probable course, is also important. PhIP (2-amino-1-methyl-6 phenylimidazo [4,5-b]pyridine), a heterocyclic amine produced during the cooking of meat at elevated temperatures, has been shown to induce mammary cancer in female, Sprague-Dawley rats. Tumors induced by PhIP have been shown to contain discreet cytogenetic signature patterns of gains and losses using comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). To determine if a protein signature exists for these tumors, we are analyzing expression levels of the protein products of the above-mentioned tumors in combination with a new bulk protein subtractive assay. This assay produces a panel of antibodies against proteins that are either on or off in the tumor. Hybridization of the antibody panel onto a 2-D gel of tumor or control protein will allow for identification of a distinct protein signature in the tumor. Analysis of several gene databases has identified a number of rat homologs of human cancer genes located in these regions of gain and loss. These genes include the oncogenes c-MYK, ERBB2/NEU, THRA and tumor suppressor genes EGR1 and HDAC3. The listed genes have been shown to be estrogen-responsive, suggesting a possible link between delivery of bio-activated PhIP to the cell nucleus via estrogen receptors and gene-specific PhIP-induced DNA damage, leading to cell transformation. All three tumors showed similar silver staining patterns compared to each other, while they all were different than the control tissue. Subsequent screening of these genes against those from tumors know to be caused by other agents may produce a protein signature unique to PhIP, which can be used as a diagnostic to augment optical and radiation-based detection schemes.

  7. Activity assay of membrane transport proteins

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hao Xie


    Membrane transport proteins are integral membrane proteins and considered as potential drug targets. Activity assay of transport proteins is essential for developing drugs to target these proteins. Major issues related to activity assessment of transport proteins include availability of transporters,transport activity of transporters, and interactions between ligands and transporters. Researchers need to consider the physiological status of proteins (bound in lipid membranes or purified), availability and specificity of substrates, and the purpose of the activity assay (screening, identifying, or comparing substrates and inhibitors) before choosing appropriate assay strategies and techniques. Transport proteins bound in vesicular membranes can be assayed for transporting substrate across membranes by means of uptake assay or entrance counterflow assay. Alternatively, transport proteins can be assayed for interactions with ligands by using techniques such as isothermal titration calorimetry, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or surface plasmon resonance. Other methods and techniques such as fluorometry, scintillation proximity assay, electrophysiological assay, or stopped-flow assay could also be used for activity assay of transport proteins. In this paper the major strategies and techniques for activity assessment of membrane transport proteins are reviewed.

  8. Sensitivity of two in vitro assays for evaluating plant activity against the infective stage of Haemonchus contortus strains. (United States)

    Al-Rofaai, A; Rahman, W A; Abdulghani, Mahfoudh


    The sensitivity of larval paralysis assay (LPA) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide-formazan (MTT-formazan) assay was compared to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts. In this study, the methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) was evaluated for its activity against the infective-stage larvae (L(3)) of susceptible and resistant Haemonchus contortus strains using the two aforementioned assays. In both in vitro assays, the same serial concentrations of the extract were used, and the median lethal concentrations were determined to compare the sensitivity of both assays. The results revealed a significant difference (P formazan assay. The MTT-formazan assay is more feasible for practical applications because it measured the L(3) mortality more accurately than LPA. This study may help find a suitable assay for investigating the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts against trichostrongylid nematodes.

  9. Development and application of assays for serotonin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gow, I.F.


    In this thesis, two assays for serotonin were developed, validated, and used to investigate the relationship between platelet aggregation, serotonin levels and sodium status and serotonin levels and platelet function in patients with cardiovascular disease. A radioimmunoassay (RIA) using an (/sup 125/I)-labelled tracer was developed and validated for the measurement of serotonin in human platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and rat serum. Antisera were raised against N-succinamylserotonin conjugated to bovine albumin and, to improve assay sensitivity, the analyte was made chemically similar to the immunogen by conversion to N-acetylserotonin prior to assay, using the specific amino reagent N-acetoxysuccinimide. An assay for serotonin using high-pressure liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC-ECD) was developed, and used to validate the RIA. The RIA can be used to assay up to 100 samples/day compared with 10-20/day by the HPLC-ECD assay.

  10. Rapid assays for detection of anti-islet autoantibodies: implications for organ donor screening. (United States)

    Maniatis, A K; Yu, L; Miao, D; Nelson, K; Eisenbarth, G S


    The purpose of the current study was to develop and evaluate rapid assays for autoantibodies to GAD65 (GAA), ICA512bdc/IA-2 (ICA512AA), and insulin (microIAA, mIAA) as a potential tool for identification of cadaveric pancreas donors who were at high risk for developing diabetes. The study included 154 new onset diabetic, prediabetic, and healthy control subjects. Subjects were evaluated for all three autoantibodies in three separate assays: (1) standard (std) assay with a 24-h or 72-h incubation at 4 degrees C (combined GAA/ICA512AA or mIAA, respectively), (2) rapid assay with 1-h room temperature (RT) incubation, and (3) rapid assay with 2-h RT incubation. The serum samples from 777 organ donors were also evaluated for all three autoantibodies and all the positive samples from standard assay evaluated with the 1-h incubation assay. Simple linear regression analyses revealed excellent correlation between the standard assay and the rapid assays for all three autoantibodies, as follows: (1) GAA: std vs. 1 h (R2=0.85) and std vs. 2 h (R2=0.83), (2) ICA512AA: std vs. 1 h (R2=0.85) and std vs. 2 h (R2=0.84), and (3) mIAA: std vs. 1 h (R2=0.70) and std vs. 2 h (R2=0.64). Comparison of assay correlation rates between subject cohorts revealed no significant differences. Compared to their respective standard assays, the 1-h RT GAA assay missed 3.2% and identified an additional 1.3% of samples, the 1-h RT ICA512AA assay had no discordant samples, and the 1-h RT mIAA assay missed 7.1% and identified an additional 5.8% of samples. We analysed a series of 777 stored serum samples from cadaveric donors. Two of 777 (0.25%) were positive for two autoantibodies (both GAA and ICA512AA) and 23 of 777 (3.0%) one autoantibody (11 IAA; 12 GAA). The rapid analysis for all three autoantibodies could be completed in less than 3 h with comparable concordance rates to the more time-consuming standard assays, making these assays an attractive option for organ donor screening to identify

  11. Direct Spectrophotometric Assay for Benzaldehyde Lyase Activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dessy Natalia


    Full Text Available Benzaldehyde lyase from Pseudomonas fluorescens Biovar I. (BAL, EC is a versatile catalyst for the organic synthesis of chiral α-hydroxy ketones. To allow fast assessment of enzyme activity, a direct spectrophotometric assay is desirable. Here, a new robust and easy-to-handle assay based on UV absorption is presented. The assay developed is based on the ligation of the α-hydroxy ketone (R-2,2′-furoin from 2-furaldehyde. A robust assay with direct monitoring of the product is facilitated with a convenient concentration working range minimising experimental associated with low concentrations.

  12. Hopping of a processivity factor on DNA revealed by single-molecule assays of diffusion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Komazin-Meredith, Gloria; Mirchev, Rossen; Golan, David E.; Oijen, Antoine M. van; Coen, Donald M.; Richardson, Charles C.


    Many DNA-interacting proteins diffuse on DNA to perform their biochemical functions. Processivity factors diffuse on DNA to permit unimpeded elongation by their associated DNA polymerases, but little is known regarding their rates and mechanisms of diffusion. The processivity factor of herpes simple

  13. Factors Essential for Prostate Cancer Metastasis Revealed Through a Novel 3D Microtissue Assay (United States)


    and destruction. Growing evidence suggest that the micro -dissemination of bone metastatic prostate cancer (BMPCa) to bone marrow (BM) may be...bone. Furthermore, the messenger RNA expression of osteopontin, a marker of osteoblast, is increased during the culture in differentiation medium

  14. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1 (United States)

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A.; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer


    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling.

  15. A simple cell-based assay reveals that diverse neuropsychiatric risk genes converge on primary cilia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron Marley

    Full Text Available Human genetic studies are beginning to identify a large number of genes linked to neuropsychiatric disorders. It is increasingly evident that different genes contribute to risk for similar syndromes and, conversely, the same genes or even the same alleles cross over traditional diagnostic categories. A current challenge is to understand the cellular biology of identified risk genes. However, most genes associated with complex neuropsychiatric phenotypes are not related through a known biochemical pathway, and many have an entirely unknown cellular function. One possibility is that diverse disease-linked genes converge at a higher-level cellular structure. The synapse is already known to be one such convergence, and emerging evidence suggests the primary cilium as another. Because many genes associated with neuropsychiatric illness are expressed also outside the nervous system, as are cilia, we tested the hypothesis that such genes affect conserved features of the primary cilium. Using RNA interference to test 41 broadly expressed candidate genes associated with schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability, we found 20 candidates that reduce ciliation in NIH3T3 cells when knocked down, and three whose manipulation increases cilia length. Three of the candidate genes were previously implicated in cilia formation and, altogether, approximately half of the candidates tested produced a ciliary phenotype. Our results support the hypothesis that primary cilia indeed represent a conserved cellular structure at which the effects of diverse neuropsychiatric risk genes converge. More broadly, they suggest a relatively simple cell-based approach that may be useful for exploring the complex biological underpinnings of neuropsychiatric disease.

  16. Off-Target Effects of Psychoactive Drugs Revealed by Genome-Wide Assays in Yeast



    To better understand off-target effects of widely prescribed psychoactive drugs, we performed a comprehensive series of chemogenomic screens using the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system. Because the known human targets of these drugs do not exist in yeast, we could employ the yeast gene deletion collections and parallel fitness profiling to explore potential off-target effects in a genome-wide manner. Among 214 tested, documented psychoactive drugs, we identified 81 comp...

  17. Determining vitamin D status: a comparison between commercially available assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greta Snellman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Vitamin D is not only important for bone health but can also affect the development of several non-bone diseases. The definition of vitamin D insufficiency by serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D depends on the clinical outcome but might also be a consequence of analytical methods used for the definition. Although numerous 25-hydroxyvitamin D assays are available, their comparability is uncertain. We therefore aim to investigate the precision, accuracy and clinical consequences of differences in performance between three common commercially available assays. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels from 204 twins from the Swedish Twin Registry were determined with high-pressure liquid chromatography-atmospheric pressure chemical ionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC-APCI-MS, a radioimmunoassay (RIA and a chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA. High inter-assay disagreement was found. Mean 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were highest for the HPLC-APCI-MS technique (85 nmol/L, 95% CI 81-89, intermediate for RIA (70 nmol/L, 95% CI 66-74 and lowest with CLIA (60 nmol/L, 95% CI 56-64. Using a 50-nmol/L cut-off, 8% of the subjects were insufficient using HPLC-APCI-MS, 22% with RIA and 43% by CLIA. Because of the heritable component of 25-hydroxyvitamin D status, the accuracy of each method could indirectly be assessed by comparison of within-twin pair correlations. The strongest correlation was found for HPLC-APCI-MS (r = 0.7, intermediate for RIA (r = 0.5 and lowest for CLIA (r = 0.4. Regression analyses between the methods revealed a non-uniform variance (p<0.0001 depending on level of 25-hydroxyvitamin D. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: There are substantial inter-assay differences in performance. The most valid method was HPLC-APCI-MS. Calibration between 25-hydroxyvitamin D assays is intricate.

  18. Assessing sediment contamination using six toxicity assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allen G. BURTON Jr.


    Full Text Available An evaluation of sediment toxicity at Lake Orta, Italy was conducted to compare a toxicity test battery of 6 assays and to evaluate the extent of sediment contamination at various sediment depths. Lake Orta received excessive loadings of copper and ammonia during the 1900’s until a large remediation effort was conducted in 1989-90 using lime addition. Since that time, the lake has shown signs of a steady recovery of biological communities. The study results showed acute toxicity still exists in sediments at a depth of 5 cm and greater. Assays that detected the highest levels of toxicity were two whole sediment exposures (7 d using Hyalella azteca and Ceriodaphnia dubia. The MicrotoxR assay using pore water was the third most sensitive assay. The Thamnotox, Rototox, Microtox solid phase, and Seed Germination-Root Elongation (pore and solid phase assays showed occasional to no toxicity. Based on similarity of responses and assay sensitivity, the two most useful assays were the C. dubia (or H. azteca and Microtox pore water. These assays were effective at describing sediment toxicity in a weight-of-evidence approach.

  19. Radioreceptor assay: theory and applications to pharmacology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perret, G. (U.E.R. de Medecine, Sante et Biologie Humaine, 93 - Bobigny (France)); Simon, P. (Faculte de Medecine Pitie-Salpetriere, 75 - Paris (France))

    The aim of the first part of this work is to present the theory of the radioreceptor assay and to compare it to the other techniques of radioanalysis (radioimmunoassay, competitive protein binding assays). The technology of the radioreceptor assay is then presented and its components (preparation of the receptors, radioligand, incubation medium) are described. The analytical characteristics of the radioreceptor assay (specificity, sensitivity, reproductibility, accuracy) and the pharmacological significance of the results are discussed. The second part is devoted to the description of the radioreceptor assays of some pharmacological classes (neuroleptics, tricyclic antidepressants, benzodiazepines, ..beta..-blockers, anticholinergic drugs) and to their use in therapeutic drug monitoring. In conclusion, by their nature, radioreceptor assays are highly sensitive, reliable, precise, accurate and simple to perform. Their chief disadvantage relates to specificity, since any substance having an appreciable affinity to the receptor site will displace the specifically bound radioligand. Paradoxically in some cases, this lack of specificity may be advantageous in that it allows for the detection of not only the apparent compound but of active metabolites and endogenous receptor agonists as well and in that radioreceptors assays can be devised for a whole pharmacological class and not only for one drug as it is the case for classical physico-chemical techniques. For all these reasons future of radioreceptor assay in pharmacology appears promising.


    NARCIS (Netherlands)



    Receptor assays occupy a particular position in the methods used in bioanalysis, as they do not exploit the physico-chemical properties of the analyte. These assays make use of the property of the analyte to bind to the specific binding site (receptor) and to competitively replace a labelled ligand

  1. Acellular comet assay: a tool for assessing variables influencing the alkaline comet assay. (United States)

    Kennedy, Erin K; McNamee, James P; Prud'homme Lalonde, Louise; Jones, Trevor; Wilkinson, Diana


    In this study, an acellular modification to the alkaline comet assay to further evaluate key variables within the assay that may influence the outcome of genotoxicity studies is described. This acellular comet assay can detect differences of 0.2 Gy of (60)Co gamma-ray radiation between 0 and 1 Gy and differences of 1 Gy between 0 and 8 Gy; thus, this assay is applicable for a wide range of DNA damage levels. It is also shown that DNA damage from different radiation energies was not significantly different from (60)Co gamma-ray. This assay displayed a statistical increase in DNA damage due to uncontrolled exposure to natural light; however, the slope of the dose-response curve for light-exposed samples was similar to that for samples protected from light. A comparison of the alkaline comet assay with the acellular comet assay allowed for the intrinsic repair capacity of the alkaline comet assay to be quantified.

  2. Inferring Protein Associations Using Protein Pulldown Assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharp, Julia L.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Daly, Don S.; Auberry, Deanna L.; Borkowski, John J.; Cannon, William R.


    Background: One method to infer protein-protein associations is through a “bait-prey pulldown” assay using a protein affinity agent and an LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry)-based protein identification method. False positive and negative protein identifications are not uncommon, however, leading to incorrect inferences. Methods: A pulldown experiment generates a protein association matrix wherein each column represents a sample from one bait protein, each row represents one prey protein and each cell contains a presence/absence association indicator. Our method evaluates the presence/absence pattern across a prey protein (row) with a Likelihood Ratio Test (LRT), computing its p-value with simulated LRT test statistic distributions after a check with simulated binomial random variates disqualified the large sample 2 test. A pulldown experiment often involves hundreds of tests so we apply the false discovery rate method to control the false positive rate. Based on the p-value, each prey protein is assigned a category (specific association, non-specific association, or not associated) and appraised with respect to the pulldown experiment’s goal and design. The method is illustrated using a pulldown experiment investigating the protein complexes of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Results: The Monte Carlo simulated LRT p-values objectively reveal specific and ubiquitous prey, as well as potential systematic errors. The example analysis shows the results to be biologically sensible and more realistic than the ad hoc screening methods previously utilized. Conclusions: The method presented appears to be informative for screening for protein-protein associations.

  3. Assays for Determination of Protein Concentration. (United States)

    Olson, Bradley J S C


    Biochemical analysis of proteins relies on accurate quantification of protein concentration. Detailed in this appendix are some commonly used methods for protein analysis, e.g., Lowry, Bradford, bicinchoninic acid (BCA), UV spectroscopic, and 3-(4-carboxybenzoyl)quinoline-2-carboxaldehyde (CBQCA) assays. The primary focus of this report is assay selection, emphasizing sample and buffer compatibility. The fundamentals of generating protein assay standard curves and of data processing are considered, as are high-throughput adaptations of the more commonly used protein assays. Also included is a rapid, inexpensive, and reliable BCA assay of total protein in SDS-PAGE sample buffer that is used for equal loading of SDS-PAGE gels. © 2016 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  4. Comet assay, cloning assay, and light and electron microscopy on one preselected cell (United States)

    Koenig, Karsten; Oehring, Hartmut; Halbhuber, Karl-Juergen; Fiedler, Ursula; Bauer, Eckhard; Greulich, Karl-Otto


    In order to perform long-term studies up to one week on a preselected single cell after micromanipulation (e.g. UVA and NIR microbeam exposure) in comparison with non-treated neighbor cells (control cells) we applied a variety of single cell diagnostic techniques and developed a special comet assay for single preselected cells. For that purpose adherent cells were grown in low concentrations and maintained in special sterile centimeter-sized glass cell chambers. After preselection, a single cell was marked by means of diamond-produced circles on the outer cell chamber window. During exposure to microbeams, NADH-attributed autofluorescence of the chosen cell was detected by fluorescence imaging and spectroscopy. In addition, cell morphology was video-monitored (formation of pseudopodia, membrane blebbing,...). Maintaining the microchamber in the incubator, the irradiated cell was examined 24 h later for cell division (clone formation) and modifications in autofluorescence and morphology (including daughter cells). In the case that no division occurred the vitality of the light-exposed cell and of the control cells were probed by intranuclear propidium iodide accumulation. After fixation, either electron microscopy or single cell gel electrophoresis (comet assay) was performed. To monitor comet formation indicating photoinduced DNA damage in the preselected single cell in comparison with the non-exposed neighbor cells the chamber was filled with low-melting gel and lysis solution and exposed to an electric field. In contrast to the conventional comet assay, where only randomly chosen cells of a suspension are investigated, the novel optimized electrophoresis technique should enhance the possibilities of DNA damage detection to a true single (preselected) cell level. The single cell techniques applied to UVA microexposed Chinese hamster ovary cells (364 nm, 1 mW, 3.5 W/cm2) revealed significant cell damage for J/cm2 fluences such as modifications of intracellular

  5. Heat reveals faults

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weinreich, Bernhard [Solarschmiede GmbH, Muenchen (Germany). Engineering Dept.


    Gremlins cannot hide from the all-revealing view of a thermographic camera, whereby it makes no difference whether it is a roof-mounted system or a megawatt-sized farm. Just as diverse are the range of faults that, with the growing level of expertise, can now be detected and differentiated with even greater detail. (orig.)

  6. Improved benzodiazepine radioreceptor assay using the MultiScreen (R) Assay System

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssen, MJ; Ensing, K; de Zeeuw, RA


    In this article, an improved benzodiazepine radioreceptor assay is described, which allows substantial reduction in assay time, The filtration in this method was performed by using the MultiScreen(R) Assay System. The latter consists of a 96-well plate with glass fibre filters sealed at the bottom,

  7. The importance of serological assays in diagnosing acute pulmonary histoplasmosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    RS Freitas


    Full Text Available Histoplasmosis is a systemic mycosis caused by inhalation of Histoplasma capsulatum microconidia. The disease does not normally affect immunocompetent individuals after a single, transient inhalation exposure. However, longer exposure may cause chronic or disseminated acute pulmonary infection. Herein, we report the case of a 24-year-old immunocompetent patient, who presented fever, cough and dyspnea for one month. The chest radiography revealed interstitial infiltrate and diffuse micronodules. The patient reported having had close and prolonged contact with bats. Diagnosis was confirmed by positive double immunodifusion and immunoblotting assays. She was treated with ketoconazole (400 mg and there was complete resolution of the disease.

  8. Mobile non-destructive assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Colarusso, A.P.; Audas, J.H.; Bieri, J.M.; Herrera, G.C.; Hastings, R.D.; Horton, W.S.; Kuckertz, T.H.; Kunz, W.E.; Medvick, P.A.; Vogel, P.A.


    A mobile system for non-destructive assay (NDA), developed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, provides accurate and sensitive measurements for transuranic (TRU) isotopes contained in 208-iota drums of miscellaneous nuclear wastes. The NDA unit consists of four major subsystems: an assay chamber, counting and digital electronics, data acquisition, and a neutron generator. It performs both active and passive neutron waste measurements. The former determines the amount of fissile isotopes at a sensitivity level of 1 mg plutonium. The latter determines spontaneous fission and ..cap alpha..,n) isotopes at a comparable level. A complete assay consists of sequential active and passive measurements. The assay measurement and other supporting data are incorporated in a commercial spreadsheet program (Lotus 1,2,3) for further analysis, which includes various matrix corrections and a determination of whether or not the drum exceeds the 100-nCi/g threshold for TRU wastes. Field tests have been performed on three separate occasions, accomplishing more than 1800 waste drum assays. These waste drum assays are discussed, especially those comparing passive and active neutron measurements with independent segmented gamma scan assays. Results obtained with a set of 15 drums containing plutonium prepared from standards and actual hot waste matrices are also reviewed.

  9. Nano-immunosafety: issues in assay validation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boraschi, Diana; Italiani, Paola [Institute of Biomedical Technologies, National Research Council, Via G. Moruzzi 1, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Oostingh, Gertie J; Duschl, Albert [Department of Molecular Biology, University of Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, 5020 Salzburg (Austria); Casals, Eudald; Puntes, Victor F [Institut Catala de Nanotecnologia, Campus de la UAB - Facultat de Ciencies, Edifici CM7, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Nelissen, Inge, E-mail: [VITO NV, Boeretang 200, BE-2400 Mol (Belgium)


    Assessing the safety of engineered nanomaterials for human health must include a thorough evaluation of their effects on the immune system, which is responsible for defending the integrity of our body from damage and disease. An array of robust and representative assays should be set up and validated, which could be predictive of the effects of nanomaterials on immune responses. In a trans-European collaborative work, in vitro assays have been developed to this end. In vitro tests have been preferred for their suitability to standardisation and easier applicability. Adapting classical assays to testing the immunotoxicological effects of nanoparticulate materials has raised a series of issues that needed to be appropriately addressed in order to ensure reliability of results. Besides the exquisitely immunological problem of selecting representative endpoints predictive of the risk of developing disease, assay results turned out to be significantly biased by artefactual interference of the nanomaterials or contaminating agents with the assay protocol. Having addressed such problems, a series of robust and representative assays have been developed that describe the effects of engineered nanoparticles on professional and non-professional human defence cells. Two of such assays are described here, one based on primary human monocytes and the other employing human lung epithelial cells transfected with a reporter gene.

  10. Determination of cell survival after irradiation via clonogenic assay versus multiple MTT Assay - A comparative study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Buch Karl


    Full Text Available Abstract For studying proliferation and determination of survival of cancer cells after irradiation, the multiple MTT assay, based on the reduction of a yellow water soluble tetrazolium salt to a purple water insoluble formazan dye by living cells was modified from a single-point towards a proliferation assay. This assay can be performed with a large number of samples in short time using multi-well-plates, assays can be performed semi-automatically with a microplate reader. Survival, the calculated parameter in this assay, is determined mathematically. Exponential growth in both control and irradiated groups was proven as the underlying basis of the applicability of the multiple MTT assay. The equivalence to a clonogenic survival assay with its disadvantages such as time consumption was proven in two setups including plating of cells before and after irradiation. Three cell lines (A 549, LN 229 and F 98 were included in the experiment to study its principal and general applicability.

  11. 21 CFR 864.7250 - Erythropoietin assay. (United States)


    ... erythropoietin (an enzyme that regulates the production of red blood cells) in serum or urine. This assay provides diagnostic information for the evaluation of erythrocytosis (increased total red cell mass)...

  12. Quantification of Human Kallikrein-Related Peptidases in Biological Fluids by Multiplatform Targeted Mass Spectrometry Assays. (United States)

    Karakosta, Theano D; Soosaipillai, Antoninus; Diamandis, Eleftherios P; Batruch, Ihor; Drabovich, Andrei P


    Human kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are a group of 15 secreted serine proteases encoded by the largest contiguous cluster of protease genes in the human genome. KLKs are involved in coordination of numerous physiological functions including regulation of blood pressure, neuronal plasticity, skin desquamation, and semen liquefaction, and thus represent promising diagnostic and therapeutic targets. Until now, quantification of KLKs in biological and clinical samples was accomplished by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). Here, we developed multiplex targeted mass spectrometry assays for the simultaneous quantification of all 15 KLKs. Proteotypic peptides for each KLK were carefully selected based on experimental data and multiplexed in single assays. Performance of assays was evaluated using three different mass spectrometry platforms including triple quadrupole, quadrupole-ion trap, and quadrupole-orbitrap instruments. Heavy isotope-labeled synthetic peptides with a quantifying tag were used for absolute quantification of KLKs in sweat, cervico-vaginal fluid, seminal plasma, and blood serum, with limits of detection ranging from 5 to 500 ng/ml. Analytical performance of assays was evaluated by measuring endogenous KLKs in relevant biological fluids, and results were compared with selected ELISAs. The multiplex targeted proteomic assays were demonstrated to be accurate, reproducible, sensitive, and specific alternatives to antibody-based assays. Finally, KLK4, a highly prostate-specific protein and a speculated biomarker of prostate cancer, was unambiguously detected and quantified by immunoenrichment-SRM assay in seminal plasma and blood serum samples from individuals with confirmed prostate cancer and negative biopsy. Mass spectrometry revealed exclusively the presence of a secreted isoform and thus unequivocally resolved earlier disputes about KLK4 identity in seminal plasma. Measurements of KLK4 in either 41 seminal plasma or 58 blood serum samples

  13. Variables Affecting Two Electron Transport System Assays


    Burton, G. Allen; Lanza, Guy R.


    Several methodological variables were critical in two commonly used electron transport activity assays. The dehydrogenase assay based on triphenyl formazan production exhibited a nonlinear relationship between formazan production (dehydrogenase activity) and sediment dilution, and linear formazan production occurred for 1 h in sediment slurries. Activity decreased with increased time of sediment storage at 4°C. Extraction efficiencies of formazan from sediment varied with alcohol type; methan...

  14. Electrochemical Assay of Gold-Plating Solutions (United States)

    Chiodo, R.


    Gold content of plating solution is assayed by simple method that required only ordinary electrochemical laboratory equipment and materials. Technique involves electrodeposition of gold from solution onto electrode, the weight gain of which is measured. Suitable fast assay methods are economically and practically necessary in electronics and decorative-plating industries. If gold content in plating bath is too low, poor plating may result, with consequent economic loss to user.

  15. The comet assay: a heavenly method! (United States)

    Collins, Andrew R


    The contributions to this special issue of Mutagenesis have been selected to cover the main research areas served by the comet assay, namely genotoxicology, environmental toxicology, human biomonitoring and fundamental investigations into mechanisms of DNA damage and repair. Innovative methods are described, technical issues are explored, and guidelines are given for venturing into relatively new or unexploited areas of research. The popularity of the comet assay in a historical context is illustrated by a bibliometric survey.

  16. Evaluation of the reliability of maize reference assays for GMO quantification. (United States)

    Papazova, Nina; Zhang, David; Gruden, Kristina; Vojvoda, Jana; Yang, Litao; Buh Gasparic, Meti; Blejec, Andrej; Fouilloux, Stephane; De Loose, Marc; Taverniers, Isabel


    A reliable PCR reference assay for relative genetically modified organism (GMO) quantification must be specific for the target taxon and amplify uniformly along the commercialised varieties within the considered taxon. Different reference assays for maize (Zea mays L.) are used in official methods for GMO quantification. In this study, we evaluated the reliability of eight existing maize reference assays, four of which are used in combination with an event-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay validated and published by the Community Reference Laboratory (CRL). We analysed the nucleotide sequence variation in the target genomic regions in a broad range of transgenic and conventional varieties and lines: MON 810 varieties cultivated in Spain and conventional varieties from various geographical origins and breeding history. In addition, the reliability of the assays was evaluated based on their PCR amplification performance. A single base pair substitution, corresponding to a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) reported in an earlier study, was observed in the forward primer of one of the studied alcohol dehydrogenase 1 (Adh1) (70) assays in a large number of varieties. The SNP presence is consistent with a poor PCR performance observed for this assay along the tested varieties. The obtained data show that the Adh1 (70) assay used in the official CRL NK603 assay is unreliable. Based on our results from both the nucleotide stability study and the PCR performance test, we can conclude that the Adh1 (136) reference assay (T25 and Bt11 assays) as well as the tested high mobility group protein gene assay, which also form parts of CRL methods for quantification, are highly reliable. Despite the observed uniformity in the nucleotide sequence of the invertase gene assay, the PCR performance test reveals that this target sequence might occur in more than one copy. Finally, although currently not forming a part of official quantification methods, zein and SSIIb

  17. TypeScript revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Maharry, Dan


    TypeScript Revealed is a quick 100-page guide to Anders Hejlsberg's new take on JavaScript. With this brief, fast-paced introduction to TypeScript, .NET, Web and Windows 8 application developers who are already familiar with JavaScript will easily get up to speed with TypeScript and decide whether or not to start incorporating it into their own development. TypeScript is 'JavaScript for Application-scale development'; a superset of JavaScript that brings to it an additional object-oriented-like syntax familiar to .NET programmers that compiles down into simple, clean JavaScript that any browse

  18. High throughput comet assay to study genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naouale El Yamani


    per slide. Subsequent incubation with FPG revealed damage not seen with the basic assay for strand breaks (without FPG (Harris et al., 2015. Statistical evaluation showed that oleic acid coated Fe3O4 and TiO2 NMs are genotoxic, in the experimental conditions used. No differences were seen between cell lines representing a range of different tissues – demonstrating the general usefulness of in vitro models and the ability of cells to classify NMs as genotoxic and non-genotoxic (Cowie et al., 2015. We are currently studying the effects of 20 NMs in the NANoREG project using A549, BEAS B2 and TK6 cells - again demonstrating the usefulness of the HTP comet assay for nanogenotoxicity testing.

  19. Revealing the programming process

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bennedsen, Jens; Caspersen, Michael Edelgaard


    One of the most important goals of an introductory programming course is that the students learn a systematic approach to the development of computer programs. Revealing the programming process is an important part of this; however, textbooks do not address the issue -- probably because the textb......One of the most important goals of an introductory programming course is that the students learn a systematic approach to the development of computer programs. Revealing the programming process is an important part of this; however, textbooks do not address the issue -- probably because...... the textbook medium is static and therefore ill-suited to expose the process of programming. We have found that process recordings in the form of captured narrated programming sessions are a simple, cheap, and efficient way of providing the revelation.We identify seven different elements of the programming...... process for which process recordings are a valuable communication media in order to enhance the learning process. Student feedback indicates both high learning outcome and superior learning potential compared to traditional classroom teaching....

  20. Evaluation of Signature Erosion in Ebola Virus Due to Genomic Drift and Its Impact on the Performance of Diagnostic Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanmuga Sozhamannan


    Full Text Available Genome sequence analyses of the 2014 Ebola Virus (EBOV isolates revealed a potential problem with the diagnostic assays currently in use; i.e., drifting genomic profiles of the virus may affect the sensitivity or even produce false-negative results. We evaluated signature erosion in ebolavirus molecular assays using an in silico approach and found frequent potential false-negative and false-positive results. We further empirically evaluated many EBOV assays, under real time PCR conditions using EBOV Kikwit (1995 and Makona (2014 RNA templates. These results revealed differences in performance between assays but were comparable between the old and new EBOV templates. Using a whole genome approach and a novel algorithm, termed BioVelocity, we identified new signatures that are unique to each of EBOV, Sudan virus (SUDV, and Reston virus (RESTV. Interestingly, many of the current assay signatures do not fall within these regions, indicating a potential drawback in the past assay design strategies. The new signatures identified in this study may be evaluated with real-time reverse transcription PCR (rRT-PCR assay development and validation. In addition, we discuss regulatory implications and timely availability to impact a rapidly evolving outbreak using existing but perhaps less than optimal assays versus redesign these assays for addressing genomic changes.

  1. The EpiDerm™ 3D human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay: Historical control data and proof of principle studies for mechanistic assay adaptations. (United States)

    Roy, Shambhu; Kulkarni, Rohan; Hewitt, Nicola J; Aardema, Marilyn J


    The in vitro human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay in EpiDerm™ is a promising novel animal alternative for evaluating genotoxicity of topically applied chemicals. It is particularly useful for assessing cosmetic ingredients that can no longer be tested using in vivo assays. To advance the use of this test especially for regulatory decision-making, we have established the RSMN assay in our laboratory according to Good Laboratory Practice and following the principles of the OECD test guideline 487 in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus test. Proficiency with the assay was established by correctly identifying direct-acting genotoxins and genotoxins requiring metabolism, as well as non-genotoxic/non-carcinogenic chemicals. We also report the analysis of our historical control data that demonstrate vehicle control and positive control values for %micronuclei in binucleated cells are in the ranges reported previously. Technical issues including evaluating various solvents with both 48h and 72h treatment regimens were investigated. For the first time, mechanistic studies using CREST analysis revealed that the RSMN assay is suitable for distinguishing aneugens and clastogens. Moreover, the assay is also suitable for measuring cytokines as markers for proliferative and toxic effects of chemicals.

  2. Identification and analysis of hepatitis C virus NS3 helicase inhibitors using nucleic acid binding assays. (United States)

    Mukherjee, Sourav; Hanson, Alicia M; Shadrick, William R; Ndjomou, Jean; Sweeney, Noreena L; Hernandez, John J; Bartczak, Diana; Li, Kelin; Frankowski, Kevin J; Heck, Julie A; Arnold, Leggy A; Schoenen, Frank J; Frick, David N


    Typical assays used to discover and analyze small molecules that inhibit the hepatitis C virus (HCV) NS3 helicase yield few hits and are often confounded by compound interference. Oligonucleotide binding assays are examined here as an alternative. After comparing fluorescence polarization (FP), homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF®; Cisbio) and AlphaScreen® (Perkin Elmer) assays, an FP-based assay was chosen to screen Sigma's Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds (LOPAC) for compounds that inhibit NS3-DNA complex formation. Four LOPAC compounds inhibited the FP-based assay: aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) (IC50=1.4 μM), suramin sodium salt (IC50=3.6 μM), NF 023 hydrate (IC50=6.2 μM) and tyrphostin AG 538 (IC50=3.6 μM). All but AG 538 inhibited helicase-catalyzed strand separation, and all but NF 023 inhibited replication of subgenomic HCV replicons. A counterscreen using Escherichia coli single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) revealed that none of the new HCV helicase inhibitors were specific for NS3h. However, when the SSB-based assay was used to analyze derivatives of another non-specific helicase inhibitor, the main component of the dye primuline, it revealed that some primuline derivatives (e.g. PubChem CID50930730) are up to 30-fold more specific for HCV NS3h than similarly potent HCV helicase inhibitors.

  3. Cell Culture Assay for Human Noroviruses [response

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Straub, Tim M.; Honer Zu Bentrup, Kerstin; Orosz Coghlan, Patricia; Dohnalkova, Alice; Mayer, Brooke K.; Bartholomew, Rachel A.; Valdez, Catherine O.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Gerba, Charles P.; Abbaszadegan, Morteza A.; Nickerson, Cheryl A.


    We appreciate the comments provided by Leung et al., in response to our recently published article “In Vitro Cell Culture Infectivity Assay for Human Noroviruses” by Straub et al. (1). The specific aim of our project was to develop an in vitro cell culture infectivity assay for human noroviruses (hNoV) to enhance risk assessments when they are detected in water supplies. Reverse transcription (RT) qualitative or quantitative PCR are the primary assays for waterborne NoV monitoring. However, these assays cannot distinguish between infectious vs. non-infectious virions. When hNoV is detected in water supplies, information provided by our infectivity assay will significantly improve risk assessment models and protect human health, regardless of whether we are propagating NoV. Indeed, in vitro cell culture infectivity assays for the waterborne pathogen Cryptosporidium parvum that supplement approved fluorescent microscopy assays, do not result in amplification of the environmentally resistant hard-walled oocysts (2). However, identification of life cycle stages in cell culture provides evidence of infectious oocysts in a water supply. Nonetheless, Leung et al.’s assertion regarding the suitability of our method for the in vitro propagation of high titers of NoV is valid for the medical research community. In this case, well-characterized challenge pools of virus would be useful for developing and testing diagnostics, therapeutics, and vaccines. As further validation of our published findings, we have now optimized RT quantitative PCR to assess the level of viral production in cell culture, where we are indeed finding significant increases in viral titer. The magnitude and time course of these increases is dependent on both virus strain and multiplicity of infection. We are currently preparing a manuscript that will discuss these findings in greater detail, and the implications this may have for creating viral challenge pools

  4. Controlling variation in the comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew Richard Collins


    Full Text Available Variability of the comet assay is a serious issue, whether it occurs from experiment to experiment in the same laboratory, or between different laboratories analysing identical samples. Do we have to live with high variability, just because the comet assay is a biological assay rather than analytical chemistry? Numerous attempts have been made to limit variability by standardising the assay protocol, and the critical steps in the assay have been identified; agarose concentration, duration of alkaline incubation, and electrophoresis conditions (time, temperature and voltage gradient are particularly important. Even when these are controlled, variation seems to be inevitable. It is helpful to include in experiments reference standards, i.e. cells with a known amount of specific damage to the DNA. They can be aliquots frozen from a single large batch of cells, either untreated (negative controls or treated with, for example, H2O2 or X-rays to induce strand breaks (positive control for the basic assay, or photosensitiser plus light to oxidise guanine (positive control for Fpg- or OGG1-sensitive sites. Reference standards are especially valuable when performing a series of experiments over a long period - for example, analysing samples of white blood cells from a large human biomonitoring trial - to check that the assay is performing consistently, and to identify anomalous results necessitating a repeat experiment. The reference values of tail intensity can also be used to iron out small variations occurring from day to day. We present examples of the use of reference standards in human trials, both within one laboratory and between different laboratories, and describe procedures that can be used to control variation.

  5. The Comet Assay: Tails of the (Unexpected. Use of the comet assay in pharmaceutical development.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bas-jan Van Der Leede


    Full Text Available In genotoxicity testing of pharmaceuticals the rodent alkaline comet assay is being increasingly used as a second in vivo assay in addition to the in vivo micronucleus assay to mitigate in vitro positive results as recommended by regulatory guidance. In this presentation we want to give insight into the circumstances in vivo comet assay is deployed in a Genetic Toxicology Department of a pharmaceutical company. As the in vivo comet assay is a salvage assay, it means that some events have occurred in an in vitro assay and that the compound (or metabolite responsible for this signal is potentially deselected for further development. More than often the decision to perform an in vivo comet assay is at a very early stage in development and the first time that the compound will be tested in vivo at high/toxic dose levels. As almost no toxicokinetic data and tissue distribution data are available a careful design with maximizes the chances for successful mitigation is necessary. Decisions on acute or repeated dosing need to be made and arrangements for combining the in vivo comet assay with the in vivo micronucleus assay are to be considered. Often synthesis methods need to be scaled up fast to provide the required amount of compound and information on suitable formulations needs to be in place. As exposure data is crucial for interpretation of results, analytical methods need to be brought in place rapidly. An experienced multi skilled and communicative team needs to be available to deploy successfully this kind of assays at an early stage of development. We will present a few scenarios on study conduct and demonstrate how this assay can make a difference for the further development of a new drug.

  6. Android Emotions Revealed

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vlachos, Evgenios; Schärfe, Henrik


    This work presents a method for designing facial interfaces for sociable android robots with respect to the fundamental rules of human affect expression. Extending the work of Paul Ekman towards a robotic direction, we follow the judgment-based approach for evaluating facial expressions to test...... in which case an android robot like the Geminoid|DK –a duplicate of an Original person- reveals emotions convincingly; when following an empirical perspective, or when following a theoretical one. The methodology includes the processes of acquiring the empirical data, and gathering feedback on them. Our...... findings are based on the results derived from a number of judgments, and suggest that before programming the facial expressions of a Geminoid, the Original should pass through the proposed procedure. According to our recommendations, the facial expressions of an android should be tested by judges, even...

  7. Slp4-a/granuphilin-a inhibits dense-core vesicle exocytosis through interaction with the GDP-bound form of Rab27A in PC12 cells. (United States)

    Fukuda, Mitsunori


    Slp4-a (synaptotagmin-like protein 4-a)/granuphilin-a is specifically localized on dense-core vesicles in PC12 cells and negatively controls dense-core vesicle exocytosis through specific interaction with Rab27A via the N-terminal Slp homology domain (SHD) (Fukuda, M., Kanno, E., Saegusa, C., Ogata, Y., and Kuroda, T. S. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. 277, 39673-39678). However, the mechanism of the inhibition by Slp4-a has never been elucidated at the molecular level and is still a matter of controversy. In this study, I discovered an unexpected biochemical property of Slp4-a, that Slp4-a, but not other Rab27 effectors reported thus far, is capable of interacting with both Rab27A(T23N), a dominant negative form that mimics the GDP-bound form, and Rab27A(Q78L), a dominant active form that mimics the GTP-bound form, whereas Slp4-a specifically recognizes the GTP-bound form of Rab3A and Rab8A and does not recognize their GDP-bound form. I show by deletion and mutation analyses that the TGDWFY sequence in SHD2 is essential for Rab27A(T23N) binding, whereas SHD1 is involved in Rab27A(Q78L) binding. I further show by immunoprecipitation and cotransfection assays that Munc18-1, but not syntaxin IA, directly interacts with the C-terminal domain of Slp4-a in a Rab27A-independent manner. Expression of Slp4-a mutants that lack Rab27A(T23N) binding activity (i.e. specific binding to Rab27A(Q78L)) completely reverses the inhibitory effect of the wild-type Slp4-a on high KCl-dependent neuropeptide Y secretion in PC12 cells. The results strongly indicate that interaction of Slp4-a with the GDP-bound form of Rab27A, not with syntaxin IA or Munc18-1, is the primary reason that Slp4-a expression inhibits dense core vesicle exocytosis in PC12 cells.

  8. Using the CPTAC Assay Portal to identify and implement highly characterized targeted proteomics assays (United States)

    Whiteaker, Jeffrey R; Halusa, Goran N; Hoofnagle, Andrew N; Sharma, Vagisha; MacLean, Brendan; Yan, Ping; Wrobel, John A; Kennedy, Jacob; Mani, DR; Zimmerman, Lisa J; Meyer, Matthew R.; Mesri, Mehdi; Abbatiello, Susan E; Boja, Emily; Carr, Steven A.; Chan, Daniel W.; Chen, Xian; Chen, Jing; Davies, Sherri R; Ellis, Matthew J. C.; Fenyö, David; Hiltke, Tara; Ketchum, Karen A.; Kinsinger, Chris; Kuhn, Eric; Liebler, Daniel C.; Lin, De; Liu, Tao; Loss, Michael; MacCoss, Michael J; Qian, Wei-Jun; Rivers, Robert; Rodland, Karin D.; Ruggles, Kelly V; Scott, Mitchell G; Smith, Richard D.; Thomas, Stefani; Townsend, R. Reid; Whiteley, Gordon; Wu, Chaochao; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Zhen; Rodriguez, Henry; Paulovich, Amanda G


    Summary The Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched an Assay Portal ( to serve as an open-source repository of well-characterized targeted proteomic assays. The portal is designed to curate and disseminate highly characterized, targeted mass spectrometry (MS)-based assays by providing detailed assay performance characterization data, standard operating procedures, and access to reagents. Assay content is accessed via the portal through queries to find assays targeting proteins associated with specific cellular pathways, protein complexes, or specific chromosomal regions. The position of the peptide analytes for which there are available assays are mapped relative to other features of interest in the protein, such as sequence domains, isoforms, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and post-translational modifications. The overarching goals are to enable robust quantification of all human proteins and to standardize the quantification of targeted MS-based assays to ultimately enable harmonization of results over time and across laboratories. PMID:26867747

  9. Using the CPTAC Assay Portal to identify and implement highly characterized targeted proteomics assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whiteaker, Jeffrey R.; Halusa, Goran; Hoofnagle, Andrew N.; Sharma, Vagisha; MacLean, Brendan; Yan, Ping; Wrobel, John; Kennedy, Jacob; Mani, DR; Zimmerman, Lisa J.; Meyer, Matthew R.; Mesri, Mehdi; Boja, Emily; Carr, Steven A.; Chan, Daniel W.; Chen, Xian; Chen, Jing; Davies, Sherri; Ellis, Matthew; Fenyo, David; Hiltket, Tara; Ketchum, Karen; Kinsinger, Christopher; Kuhn, Eric; Liebler, Daniel; Liu, Tao; Loss, Michael; MacCoss, Michael; Qian, Weijun; Rivers, Robert; Rodland, Karin D.; Ruggles, Kelly; Scott, Mitchell; Smith, Richard D.; Thomas, Stefani N.; Townsend, Reid; Whiteley, Gordon; Wu, Chaochao; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Zhen; Rodriguez, Henry; Paulovich, Amanda G.


    The Clinical Proteomic Tumor Analysis Consortium (CPTAC) of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched an Assay Portal ( to serve as an open-source repository of well-characterized targeted proteomic assays. The portal is designed to curate and disseminate highly characterized, targeted mass spectrometry (MS)-based assays by providing detailed assay performance characterization data, standard operating procedures, and access to reagents. Assay content is accessed via the portal through queries to find assays targeting proteins associated with specific cellular pathways, protein complexes, or specific chromosomal regions. The position of the peptide analytes for which there are available assays are mapped relative to other features of interest in the protein, such as sequence domains, isoforms, single nucleotide polymorphisms, and post-translational modifications. The overarching goals are to enable robust quantification of all human proteins and to standardize the quantification of targeted MS-based assays to ultimately enable harmonization of results over time and across laboratories.

  10. Analysis of JC virus DNA replication using a quantitative and high-throughput assay. (United States)

    Shin, Jong; Phelan, Paul J; Chhum, Panharith; Bashkenova, Nazym; Yim, Sung; Parker, Robert; Gagnon, David; Gjoerup, Ole; Archambault, Jacques; Bullock, Peter A


    Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is caused by lytic replication of JC virus (JCV) in specific cells of the central nervous system. Like other polyomaviruses, JCV encodes a large T-antigen helicase needed for replication of the viral DNA. Here, we report the development of a luciferase-based, quantitative and high-throughput assay of JCV DNA replication in C33A cells, which, unlike the glial cell lines Hs 683 and U87, accumulate high levels of nuclear T-ag needed for robust replication. Using this assay, we investigated the requirement for different domains of T-ag, and for specific sequences within and flanking the viral origin, in JCV DNA replication. Beyond providing validation of the assay, these studies revealed an important stimulatory role of the transcription factor NF1 in JCV DNA replication. Finally, we show that the assay can be used for inhibitor testing, highlighting its value for the identification of antiviral drugs targeting JCV DNA replication.

  11. Comparison of Three Nucleic Acid Amplification Assays of Cerebrospinal Fluid for Diagnosis of Cytomegalovirus Encephalitis (United States)

    Bestetti, Arabella; Pierotti, Chiara; Terreni, Mariarosa; Zappa, Alessandra; Vago, Luca; Lazzarin, Adriano; Cinque, Paola


    The diagnostic reliabilities of three cytomegalovirus (CMV) nucleic acid amplification assays of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were compared by using CSF samples from human immunodeficiency virus-infected patients with a postmortem histopathological diagnosis of CMV encephalitis (n = 15) or other central nervous system conditions (n = 16). By using a nested PCR assay, the quantitative COBAS AMPLICOR CMV MONITOR PCR, and the NucliSens CMV pp67 nucleic acid sequence-based amplification assay, sensitivities were 93.3, 86.6, and 93.3%, respectively, and specificities were 93.7, 93.7, and 87.5%, respectively. The COBAS AMPLICOR assay revealed significantly higher CMV DNA levels in patients with diffuse ventriculoencephalitis than in patients with focal periventricular lesions. PMID:11230445

  12. Comet assay on mice testicular cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anoop Kumar Sharma


    Full Text Available Heritable mutations may result in a variety of adverse outcomes including genetic disease in the offspring. In recent years the focus on germ cell mutagenicity has increased and the “Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS” has published classification criteria for germ cell mutagens (Speit et al., 2009. The in vivo Comet assay is considered a useful tool for investigating germ cell genotoxicity. In the present study DNA strand breaks in testicular cells of mice were investigated. Different classes of chemicals were tested in order to evaluate the sensitivity of the comet assay in testicular cells. The chemicals included environmentally relevant substances such as Bisphenol A, PFOS and Tetrabrombisphenol A. Statistical power calculations will be presented to aid in the design of future Comet assay studies on testicular cells. Power curves were provided with different fold changes in % tail DNA, different number of cells scored and different number of gels (Hansen et al., 2014. An example is shown in Figure 1. A high throughput version of the Comet assay was used. Samples were scored with a fully automatic comet assay scoring system that provided faster scoring of randomly selected cells.

  13. Fungicide resistance assays for fungal plant pathogens. (United States)

    Secor, Gary A; Rivera, Viviana V


    Fungicide resistance assays are useful to determine if a fungal pathogen has developed resistance to a fungicide used to manage the disease it causes. Laboratory assays are used to determine loss of sensitivity, or resistance, to a fungicide and can explain fungicide failures and for developing successful fungicide recommendations in the field. Laboratory assays for fungicide resistance are conducted by measuring reductions in growth or spore germination of fungi in the presence of fungicide, or by molecular procedures. This chapter describes two techniques for measuring fungicide resistance, using the sugarbeet leaf spot fungus Cercospora beticola as a model for the protocol. Two procedures are described for fungicides from two different classes; growth reduction for triazole (sterol demethylation inhibitor; DMI) fungicides, and inhibition of spore germination for quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) fungicides.

  14. Comet assay on tetraploid yeast cells

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rank, Jette; Syberg, Kristian; Jensen, Klara


    Tetraploid yeast cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) were used in the comet assay with the intention of developing a new, fast and easy assay for detecting environmental genotoxic agents without using higher organisms. Two DNA-damaging chemicals, H2O2 and acrylamide, together with wastewater from...... three municipal treatment plants were tested for their effect on the yeast-cell DNA. The main problem with using yeast in the comet assay is the necessity to degrade the cell wall. This was achieved by using Zymolase 100 T twice during the procedure, since Zymolase 20 T did not open the cell wall....... Analytical problems that arose due to the small amount of DNA in the yeast nuclei in haploid and diploid cells, which contain 13 Mbp and 26 Mbp DNA per cell, respectively, were solved by using tetraploid yeast cells (52 Mbp) instead. DNA damage was shown after exposure to H2O2 and acrylamide. The lowest dose...

  15. EDTA interference in electrochemiluminescence ACTH assay. (United States)

    Toprak, Burak; Yalcin, Hulya; Arı, Elif; Colak, Ayfer


    Background As plasma is the recommended sample type for Roche adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) assay, we evaluated the effect of EDTA concentration on Cobas ACTH assay. Methods Samples containing twofold and fourfold higher concentrations of EDTA were prepared by adding plasma to empty K2EDTA tubes and by making under-filled EDTA tubes. All measurements were performed with four replicates. Results Increased EDTA concentration resulted in a significant decrease in ACTH concentration. Fifty-per cent-filled EDTA tube showed 19% decrease in ACTH concentration and 25% filled EDTA tube showed 50% decrease in ACTH concentration. Conclusion We recommend that inadequately filled EDTA specimens should be rejected when using Cobas ACTH assay.

  16. Comparison of three multiplex PCR assays for the detection of respiratory viral infections: evaluation of xTAG respiratory virus panel fast assay, RespiFinder 19 assay and RespiFinder SMART 22 assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dabisch-Ruthe Mareike


    in 16 TS samples (32% by RespiFinder-19. Fewer infections were found in summer (RespiFinder-19: 20%; RVP: 6%. All positive results were verified using monoplex PCR. Conclusions Multiplex PCR tests have a broad spectrum of pathogens to test at a time. Analysis of multiple inoculated samples revealed a different focus of the detected virus types by the three assays. Analysis of clinical samples showed a high concordance of detected viruses by the RespiFinder-19 compared to monoplex tests.

  17. Detection of Eperythrozoon wenyoni by PCR assay

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Jian WANG; Yutao ZHU; Jianhua QIN; Fumei ZHANG; Yuelan ZHAO


    The objective of this research was to develop a detection method for Eperythrozoon wenyoni infection using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay technique. A pair of primers was designed and synthesized according to the conservative sequence 16S rRNA. The PCR assay was performed with the primers. A 985-bp fragment was amplified by using PCR. The amplified fragments with the expected size were identified by EcoR I restriction digestion. The crossing-reaction, specific-reaction and duplicate-reaction indicated that the PCR method is a specific, sensitive, fast and effective method for diagnosing E. Wenyoni infection at group level.

  18. Instructions for Uploading Data to the Assay Portal - Instructions for Uploading Data to the Assay Portal (United States)

    This document provides instructions for configuring and uploading data files to the CPTAC Assay Portal. It is divided into sections, with an overview checklist provided at the end. If help is needed at any stage of the process, please use the support page:

  19. Evaluation of genetic damage in tobacco and arsenic exposed population of Southern Assam, India using buccal cytome assay and comet assay. (United States)

    Roy, Prasenjit; Mukherjee, Anita; Giri, Sarbani


    Ground water is the principal source of drinking water in Assam. Ground water contamination of arsenic in drinking water is a great concern for human health and considered as a human carcinogen. The present cytogenetic biomonitoring study was undertaken to investigate the genotoxic effects associated with people of southern Assam consuming arsenic contaminated water and chewing tobacco. Employing the buccal cytome assay, exfoliated cells were analyzed in 138 individuals of age range 22-42 years and divided into four groups. Group I (n=54) are participants residing in localities where ground water contains arsenic concentration below the permissible limit (comet assay, percent of tail DNA gradually increases among the groups and has statistical significance. Spearman correlation revealed strong positive correlation between the arsenic exposed peoples and the binucleated cells (r=0.4763; Pcomet assay.

  20. Endoproteolytic activity assay in malting barley

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blanca Gómez Guerrero


    Full Text Available Hydrolysis of barley proteins into peptides and amino acids is one of the most important processes during barley germination.The degradation of the endosperm stored proteins facilitates water and enzyme movements, enhances modification, liberates starch granules and increases soluble amino nitrogen. Protease activity is the result of the activities of a mixture of exo- and endo-proteases. The barley proteins are initially solubilized by endo-proteases and the further by exo-proteases. Four classes of endo-proteases have been described: serine-proteases, cysteine-proteases, aspartic-proteases and metallo-proteases. The objective of this work was to develop a rapid and colorimetric enzymatic assay to determine the endo-proteolytic activity of the four endo-protease classes using two different substrates: azo-gelatin and azo-casein. Optimum conditions for the assays such as: pH,reaction time and temperature and absorbance scale were determined. Azo-gelatin presented several difficulties in standardizing an “in solution” assay. On the other hand, azo-casein allowed standardization of the assay for the four enzyme classes to produce consistent results. The endo-proteoteolytic method developed was applied to determine the endo-protease activity in barley, malt and wort.

  1. Drugs and brain death: drug assay perspectives. (United States)

    Morris, R G


    The ability to make any meaningful interpretation of a drug assay result is very dependent upon a knowledge of the limitations of the method(s) used (sensitivity, specificity etc.), and the concentration that may be measured in plasma and its relationship to CNS effects. We need more information about 'critical' concentrations for each drug and sedation in the setting of the brain-injured patient before meaningful interpretation can be applied to such data. While the above discussion is critical of screen-type assays, the alternative specific assays are not easily provided for, as obviously the resourcing of laboratories to be able to deliver such specialized services for a range of therapeutic drugs, in addition to 'social' drugs or other toxins (e.g. glues, pesticides, solvents, environmental substances etc), becomes an increasingly complex issue in the current economic climate. Hence, the analytical laboratory can offer valuable support to the clinical team however, the interpretation of such results must be assessed in the light of many limitations of such assay methods and not seen as the 'gold standard' for assessment of brain function.

  2. Functionalized Nanofiber Meshes Enhance Immunosorbent Assays. (United States)

    Hersey, Joseph S; Meller, Amit; Grinstaff, Mark W


    Three-dimensional substrates with high surface-to-volume ratios and subsequently large protein binding capacities are of interest for advanced immunosorbent assays utilizing integrated microfluidics and nanosensing elements. A library of bioactive and antifouling electrospun nanofiber substrates, which are composed of high-molecular-weight poly(oxanorbornene) derivatives, is described. Specifically, a set of copolymers are synthesized from three 7-oxanorbornene monomers to create a set of water insoluble copolymers with both biotin (bioactive) and triethylene glycol (TEG) (antifouling) functionality. Porous three-dimensional nanofiber meshes are electrospun from these copolymers with the ability to specifically bind streptavidin while minimizing the nonspecific binding of other proteins. Fluorescently labeled streptavidin is used to quantify the streptavidin binding capacity of each mesh type through confocal microscopy. A simplified enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is presented to assess the protein binding capabilities and detection limits of these nanofiber meshes under both static conditions (26 h) and flow conditions (1 h) for a model target protein (i.e., mouse IgG) using a horseradish peroxidase (HRP) colorimetric assay. Bioactive and antifouling nanofiber meshes outperform traditional streptavidin-coated polystyrene plates under flow, validating their use in future advanced immunosorbent assays and their compatibility with microfluidic-based biosensors.

  3. Benzodiazepine Synthesis and Rapid Toxicity Assay (United States)

    Fletcher, James T.; Boriraj, Grit


    A second-year organic chemistry laboratory experiment to introduce students to general concepts of medicinal chemistry is described. Within a single three-hour time window, students experience the synthesis of a biologically active small molecule and the assaying of its biological toxicity. Benzodiazepine rings are commonly found in antidepressant…

  4. A novel data mining method to identify assay-specific signatures in functional genomic studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guidarelli Jack W


    Full Text Available Abstract Background: The highly dimensional data produced by functional genomic (FG studies makes it difficult to visualize relationships between gene products and experimental conditions (i.e., assays. Although dimensionality reduction methods such as principal component analysis (PCA have been very useful, their application to identify assay-specific signatures has been limited by the lack of appropriate methodologies. This article proposes a new and powerful PCA-based method for the identification of assay-specific gene signatures in FG studies. Results: The proposed method (PM is unique for several reasons. First, it is the only one, to our knowledge, that uses gene contribution, a product of the loading and expression level, to obtain assay signatures. The PM develops and exploits two types of assay-specific contribution plots, which are new to the application of PCA in the FG area. The first type plots the assay-specific gene contribution against the given order of the genes and reveals variations in distribution between assay-specific gene signatures as well as outliers within assay groups indicating the degree of importance of the most dominant genes. The second type plots the contribution of each gene in ascending or descending order against a constantly increasing index. This type of plots reveals assay-specific gene signatures defined by the inflection points in the curve. In addition, sharp regions within the signature define the genes that contribute the most to the signature. We proposed and used the curvature as an appropriate metric to characterize these sharp regions, thus identifying the subset of genes contributing the most to the signature. Finally, the PM uses the full dataset to determine the final gene signature, thus eliminating the chance of gene exclusion by poor screening in earlier steps. The strengths of the PM are demonstrated using a simulation study, and two studies of real DNA microarray data – a study of

  5. Production and assay of forskolin antibodies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ho, L.T.; Ho, R.J.


    Forskolin (Fo), a cardiovascular active diterpene of plant origin, has been widely used as a research tool in regulation of the catalytic activity of adenylate cyclase (AC). A linear relationship of Fo binding to plasma membrane with activation of AC has been reported. The present abstract describes the production and assay of Fo antibodies (AB). 7-0-Hemisuccinyl-7-deacetyl Fo, coupled to either human serum albumin or goat IgG, was injected into goats to elicit AB to Fo haptan. AB to Fo in antiserum or an isolated IgG fraction was tested by two assay methods, a radioimmunoassay using /sup 3/H-Fo as a tracer and a colorimetric enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using horse radish peroxidase-rabbit anti goat IgG as indicator. The titers for Fo antiserum were 4000-10,000. In the defined assay condition, approximately 20-25% of the added /sup 3/H-Fo was found to bind to AB. The bound radioactivity was displaced by Fo-HSA or Fo-goat IgG or free unlabelled Fo ranging from 0.5-50 pmol/tube, or 5-500 nM. The IC/sub 50/ was approximately 8-10 pmol/tube or 80-100 nM. The binding of HRP-rabbit anti goat IgG in the ELISA was inhibited by proper Fo conjugate. The development of methods for production and assay for Fo AB may be useful in the study of mechanism of activation of AC by Fo and Fo-like compound.

  6. Biological Assay of Toxoplasma gondii Egyptian Mutton Isolates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N.A. Hassanain


    Full Text Available Mutton signifies one of the most prevalent sources for human toxoplasmosis. However, sheep serological assays don't categorize the virulent strains initiating antibodies, so the biological bioassay of Egyptian mutton isolates with reference to their pathogenicity in both mice and kittens were done in this study for indicating to how extent their zoonotic bio-hazard. A total number of 280 of each sheep blood and tissue samples were collected during slaughtering at Cairo abattoir, Egypt. Sera assayed using Latex Agglutination Test (LAT and immunosorbant assay (ELISA and their corresponding mutton samples were microscopically examined after pepsin digestion for detection of Toxoplasma gondii infection. The sero-positive percent of the naturally infected sheep was 50.4 and 61.4 by LAT and ELISA, respectively, 47.9% of samples were confirmedly positive in both LAT and ELISA results. The microscopical examination revealed that only 28 out of 134 (20.9% of the confirmed sero-positive animals by both tests were found harboring T. gondii tissue cysts in their mutton samples, while high percentage of confirmed sero-positve animals (79.1% (106 out of 134 were biologically tissue cysts free mutton. Biological typing of the 28 T. gondii sheep isolates with reference to mice and kittens' bioassay indicated that 10.7, 50, 21.4 and 17.9% were type I, II, III and avirulent strains, respectively. The high T. gondii infection rate resulted in this study concludes that the feeding of under cooked mutton is a bad health habit as a source for human toxoplasmosis moreover; the T. gondii virulent strains obtained by mutton bioassay indicated that not all sero-positive sheep are connecting zoonotic bio-hazard through their mutton strains.

  7. Development of an Easy and High-Throughput Cell Assay System with a Culture Chip and an Assay Chip (United States)

    Sugiura, Kanako; Kaji, Noritada; Okamoto, Yukihiro; Tokeshi, Manabu; Baba, Yoshinobu

    High throughput cell assay is significantly important in drug screening, assessment of toxicity etc. Cell assay with a microchip is one of the candidates for high throughput cell assay. However, reported cell assay system with the microchip requires expensive apparatus for refluxing medium and investigation of optimum experimental condition for steady data. For an inexpensive, easy and high throughput cell assay, we introduce a new cell assay system combined with a culture chip and an assay chip made of poly(dimethyl siloxane). Cell culture chips enabled cell to proliferate along the microchannel without refluxing medium and permitted to prepare cell patterning easily. Also, assay chips formed concentration gradient inside the chip and allowed the cell assay with different concentrations of drug at the same time. Thus, our developed cell assay system can overcome the problems of the present cell assay and would promote the drug discovery, assessment of toxicity etc.

  8. Evaluation of the Procleix Ultrio Plus ID NAT assay for detection of HIV 1, HBV and HCV in blood donors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raj Nath Makroo


    Full Text Available Introduction: The Procleix Ultrio Plusassay is a new-generation qualitative in vitro nucleic acid amplification test used to screen for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1 RNA, hepatitis C virus (HCV RNA and hepatitis B virus (HBV DNA in blood donors. This study was performed to compare the Procleix Ultrio assay with the new-generation Procleix Ultrio Plus Nucleic Acid Test (NAT assays. Materials and Methods: Ten thousand three hundred and two donor samples were run in parallel for ID NAT using the Procleix Ultrio and the Procleix Ultrio Plus assay. Simultaneously, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing was performed on an EVOLIS Walk away System for HIV, HCV, HBsAg and anti-HBc. Reactive samples were confirmed using polymerase chain reaction. Results: In the 10,302 samples tested during the study period, we identified 15 NAT yields, and all these revealed HBV DNA in the discriminatory assays. Eight of these were exclusive yields from the Ultrio Plus assay and the remaining seven cases were determined as HBV NAT yield, both by the Procleix Ultrio as well as the Ultrio Plus assays, i.e. "Combined" yields. No HCV or HIV 1 yields were detected during the study period by either of two assays. Conclusion: With an overall yield rate of 1 in 687 and an exclusive yield rate of 1 in 1287, the Procleix Ultrio Plus assay proved to be highly sensitive in detecting occult HBV infections.

  9. Puerto Rico Revealed Preference data (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Revealed preference models provide insights into recreational angler behavior and the economic value of recreational fishing trips. Revealed preference data is...

  10. Revealing the Beast Within (United States)


    Deeply Embedded Massive Stellar Clusters Discovered in Milky Way Powerhouse Summary Peering into a giant molecular cloud in the Milky Way galaxy - known as W49 - astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) have discovered a whole new population of very massive newborn stars . This research is being presented today at the International Astronomical Union's 25th General Assembly held in Sydney, Australia, by ESO-scientist João Alves. With the help of infrared images obtained during a period of excellent observing conditions with the ESO 3.5-m New Technology Telescope (NTT) at the La Silla Observatory (Chile), the astronomers looked deep into this molecular cloud and discovered four massive stellar clusters, with hot and energetic stars as massive as 120 solar masses. The exceedingly strong radiation from the stars in the largest of these clusters is "powering" a 20 light-year diameter region of mostly ionized hydrogen gas (a "giant HII region"). W49 is one of the most energetic regions of star formation in the Milky Way. With the present discovery, the true sources of the enormous energy have now been revealed for the first time, finally bringing to an end some decades of astronomical speculations and hypotheses. PR Photo 21a/03 : Colour Composite of W49A (NTT+SOFI). PR Photo 21b/03 : Radio and Near-Infrared Composite of W49A Giant molecular clouds Stars form predominantly inside Giant Molecular Clouds which populate our Galaxy, the Milky Way. One of the most prominent of these is W49 , which has a mass of a million solar masses. It is located some 37,000 light-years away and is the most luminous star-forming region known in our home galaxy: its luminosity is several million times the luminosity of our Sun. A smaller region within this cloud is denoted W49A - this is one of the strongest radio-emitting areas known in the Galaxy . Massive stars are excessive in all ways. Compared to their smaller and ligther brethren, they form at an Olympic speed and

  11. SNP genotyping using TaqMan technology: the CYP2D6*17 assay conundrum. (United States)

    Gaedigk, Andrea; Freeman, Natalie; Hartshorne, Toinette; Riffel, Amanda K; Irwin, David; Bishop, Jeffrey R; Stein, Mark A; Newcorn, Jeffrey H; Jaime, Lazara Karelia Montané; Cherner, Mariana; Leeder, J Steven


    CYP2D6 contributes to the metabolism of many clinically used drugs and is increasingly tested to individualize drug therapy. The CYP2D6 gene is challenging to genotype due to the highly complex nature of its gene locus. TaqMan technology is widely used in the clinical and research settings for genotype analysis due to assay reliability, low cost, and the availability of commercially available assays. The assay identifying 1023C>T (rs28371706) defining a reduced function (CYP2D6*17) and several nonfunctional alleles, produced a small number of unexpected diplotype calls in three independent sets of samples, i.e. calls suggested the presence of a CYP2D6*4 subvariant containing 1023C>T. Gene resequencing did not reveal any unknown SNPs in the primer or probe binding sites in any of the samples, but all affected samples featured a trio of SNPs on their CYP2D6*4 allele between one of the PCR primer and probe binding sites. While the phenomenon was ultimately overcome by an alternate assay utilizing a PCR primer excluding the SNP trio, the mechanism causing this phenomenon remains elusive. This rare and unexpected event underscores the importance of assay validation in samples representing a variety of genotypes, but also vigilance of assay performance in highly polymorphic genes such as CYP2D6.

  12. Analysis of JC virus DNA replication using a quantitative and high-throughput assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shin, Jong; Phelan, Paul J.; Chhum, Panharith; Bashkenova, Nazym; Yim, Sung; Parker, Robert [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Gagnon, David [Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal (IRCM), 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1R7 (Canada); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec (Canada); Gjoerup, Ole [Molecular Oncology Research Institute, Tufts Medical Center, Boston, MA 02111 (United States); Archambault, Jacques [Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal (IRCM), 110 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada H2W 1R7 (Canada); Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec (Canada); Bullock, Peter A., E-mail: [Department of Developmental, Molecular and Chemical Biology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111 (United States)


    Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy (PML) is caused by lytic replication of JC virus (JCV) in specific cells of the central nervous system. Like other polyomaviruses, JCV encodes a large T-antigen helicase needed for replication of the viral DNA. Here, we report the development of a luciferase-based, quantitative and high-throughput assay of JCV DNA replication in C33A cells, which, unlike the glial cell lines Hs 683 and U87, accumulate high levels of nuclear T-ag needed for robust replication. Using this assay, we investigated the requirement for different domains of T-ag, and for specific sequences within and flanking the viral origin, in JCV DNA replication. Beyond providing validation of the assay, these studies revealed an important stimulatory role of the transcription factor NF1 in JCV DNA replication. Finally, we show that the assay can be used for inhibitor testing, highlighting its value for the identification of antiviral drugs targeting JCV DNA replication. - Highlights: • Development of a high-throughput screening assay for JCV DNA replication using C33A cells. • Evidence that T-ag fails to accumulate in the nuclei of established glioma cell lines. • Evidence that NF-1 directly promotes JCV DNA replication in C33A cells. • Proof-of-concept that the HTS assay can be used to identify pharmacological inhibitor of JCV DNA replication.

  13. A modified microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons assay to account for the presence of hydrocarbon droplets. (United States)

    Zoueki, Caroline Warne; Tufenkji, Nathalie; Ghoshal, Subhasis


    The microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons (MATH) assay has been used widely to characterize microbial cell hydrophobicity and/or the extent of cell adhesion to hydrophobic liquids. The classical MATH assay involves spectrophotometric absorbance measurements of the initial and final cell concentrations in an aqueous cell suspension that has been contacted with a hydrocarbon liquid. In this study, microscopic examination of the aqueous cell suspension after contact with hexadecane or a hexadecane/toluene mixture revealed the presence of hydrocarbon droplets. The hydrocarbon droplets contributed to the absorbance values during spectrophotometric measurements and caused erroneous estimates of cell concentrations and extents of microbial adhesion. A modified MATH assay that avoids such artefacts is proposed here. In this modified assay, microscopic examination of the aqueous suspension and direct cell counts provides cell concentrations that are free of interference from hydrocarbon droplets. The presence of hydrocarbon droplets was noted in MATH assays performed with three bacterial strains, and two different hydrocarbons, at ionic strengths of 0.2 mM and 20 mM and pH 6. In these experiments, the formation of quasi-stable hydrocarbon droplets cannot be attributed to the presence of biosurfactants, or stabilization by biocolloids. The presence of surface potential at the hydrocarbon-water interface that was characterized by electrophoretic mobility of up to -1 and -2 microm cm/Vs, likely caused the formation of the quasi-stable hydrocarbon droplets that provided erroneous results using the classical MATH assay.

  14. Statistical Evaluation of HTS Assays for Enzymatic Hydrolysis of β-Keto Esters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O Buß

    Full Text Available β-keto esters are used as precursors for the synthesis of β-amino acids, which are building blocks for some classes of pharmaceuticals. Here we describe the comparison of screening procedures for hydrolases to be used for the hydrolysis of β-keto esters, the first step in the preparation of β-amino acids. Two of the tested high throughput screening (HTS assays depend on coupled enzymatic reactions which detect the alcohol released during ester hydrolysis by luminescence or absorption. The third assay detects the pH shift due to acid formation using an indicator dye. To choose the most efficient approach for screening, we assessed these assays with different statistical methods-namely, the classical Z'-factor, standardized mean difference (SSMD, the Kolmogorov-Smirnov-test, and t-statistics. This revealed that all three assays are suitable for HTS, the pH assay performing best. Based on our data we discuss the explanatory power of different statistical measures. Finally, we successfully employed the pH assay to identify a very fast hydrolase in an enzyme-substrate screening.

  15. In vitro comet and micronucleus assays do not predict morphological transforming effects of silica particles in Syrian Hamster Embryo cells. (United States)

    Darne, Christian; Coulais, Catherine; Terzetti, Francine; Fontana, Caroline; Binet, Stéphane; Gaté, Laurent; Guichard, Yves


    Crystalline silica particles and asbestos have both been classified as carcinogenic by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). However, because of the limited data available, amorphous silica was not classifiable. In vitro, the carcinogenic potential of natural crystalline and amorphous silica particles has been revealed by the Syrian Hamster Embryo (SHE) cell transformation assay. On the other hand, the genotoxic potential of those substances has not been investigated in SHE cells. And yet, genotoxicity assays are commonly used for hazard evaluation and they are often used as in vitro assays of reference to predict a possible carcinogenic potential. The main objective of this study was to compare the genotoxic potential and the carcinogenic potential of different crystalline and amorphous silica particles in SHE cells. Three silica samples of different crystallinity were used: natural amorphous silica, partially crystallized silica and quartz silica particles. Their genotoxicity were tested through the in vitro micronucleus assay and the comet assay in SHE, and their carcinogenic potential through the SHE transformation assay. In addition, silica samples were also tested with the same genotoxicity assays in V79 hamster-lung cells, a common in vitro model for particle exposure. Results obtained in the micronucleus and the comet assays show that none of the silica was capable of inducing genotoxic effects in SHE cells and only the amorphous silica induced genotoxic effects in V79 cells. However in the SHE cell transformation assays, the partially crystallized and quartz silica were able to induce morphological cell transformation. Together, these data suggest that, in vitro, the short-term genotoxic assays alone are not sufficient to predict the hazard and the carcinogenic potential of this type of particles; SHE transformation assay appears a more reliable tool for this purpose and should be included in the "in vitro battery assays" for hazard

  16. Mutagenicity test system based on a reporter gene assay for short-term detection of mutagens (MutaGen assay). (United States)

    Schmid, Claudia; Arndt, Christian; Reifferscheid, Georg


    The construction of a bacterial mutation assay system detecting reversions of base substitutions and frameshifts in tetracycline (tet) and ampicillin resistance genes located on low copy plasmids is described. Frameshift mutations were introduced into repetitive GC-sequences and G-repeats known to be mutagenic hot-spots. Base pair substitutions were inserted in or around the active site of the ampicillinase gene thus generating reversibility of the ampicilline sensitivity. The plasmids carry genes to enable sensitive, fast and specific detection of mutagens in bacteria. MucAB was cloned into the test plasmid to enhance error-prone DNA-repair. The conventional reversion principle has been combined with the luminometric measurement of an inducible reporter gene. The revertants are detected after induction of the beta-galactosidase-producing lacZ-gene either controlled by its natural lac-promotor or by the more stringently repressed (anhydrotetracyclin inducible) tetA promotor. The tester strains containing the tetA/lacZ reporter gene construct can grow in full medium over the complete assay. This test procedure enables screening for mutations within one working day. Incubation for 16 h reveals high sensitivity.

  17. Transient expression assays in tobacco protoplasts. (United States)

    Vanden Bossche, Robin; Demedts, Brecht; Vanderhaeghen, Rudy; Goossens, Alain


    The sequence information generated through genome and transcriptome analysis from plant tissues has reached unprecedented sizes. Sequence homology-based annotations may provide hints for the possible function and roles of particular plant genes, but the functional annotation remains nonexistent or incomplete for many of them. To discover gene functions, transient expression assays are a valuable tool because they can be done more rapidly and at a higher scale than generating stably transformed tissues. Here, we describe a transient expression assay in protoplasts derived from suspension cells of tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum) for the study of the transactivation capacities of transcription factors. To enhance throughput and reproducibility, this method can be automated, allowing medium-throughput screening of interactions between large compendia of potential transcription factors and gene promoters.

  18. Posttranslational Modification Assays on Functional Protein Microarrays. (United States)

    Neiswinger, Johnathan; Uzoma, Ijeoma; Cox, Eric; Rho, HeeSool; Jeong, Jun Seop; Zhu, Heng


    Protein microarray technology provides a straightforward yet powerful strategy for identifying substrates of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) and studying the specificity of the enzymes that catalyze these reactions. Protein microarray assays can be designed for individual enzymes or a mixture to establish connections between enzymes and substrates. Assays for four well-known PTMs-phosphorylation, acetylation, ubiquitylation, and SUMOylation-have been developed and are described here for use on functional protein microarrays. Phosphorylation and acetylation require a single enzyme and are easily adapted for use on an array. The ubiquitylation and SUMOylation cascades are very similar, and the combination of the E1, E2, and E3 enzymes plus ubiquitin or SUMO protein and ATP is sufficient for in vitro modification of many substrates.

  19. Lump corrections for radioactive waste assay. (United States)

    Miller, T J


    Previous studies have shown that automated radioactive waste assay techniques, such as segmented gamma scanner (SGS) and automated qualitative and quantitative (AQ2), have severely underestimated fissile material due to either the malfunction or absence of appropriate lump correction routines. This paper examines the application of manual techniques, such as Monte Carlo N particle (MCNP) and spectral non-destructive assay platform (SNAP) software, to lump corrections in plutonium (Pu), enriched uranium (EU) and depleted uranium (DU) waste streams. Excellent results have been obtained when comparing MCNP with SNAP and applying the SNAP lump correction routine to a range of simulated and typical wastes containing various Pu and EU lump sizes. It has been concluded that the need for lump corrections was relatively rare and usually apparent from abnormal gamma ray peak area ratios, since most AWE waste streams are only lightly shielded.

  20. Delivery of High-Quality Biomarker Assays

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian N. Swanson


    Full Text Available Biomarker measurements now support key decisions throughout the drug development process, from lead optimization to regulatory approvals. They are essential for documenting exposure-response relationships, specificity and potency toward the molecular target, untoward effects, and therapeutic applications. In a broader sense, biomarkers constitute the basis of clinical pathology and laboratory medicine. The utility of biomarkers is limited by their specificity and sensitivity toward the drug or disease process and by their overall variability. Understanding and controlling sources of variability is not only imperative for delivering high-quality assay results, but ultimately for controlling the size and expense of research studies. Variability in biomarker measurements is affected by: biological and environmental factors (e.g., gender, age, posture, diet and biorhythms, sample collection factors (e.g., preservatives, transport and storage conditions, and collection technique, and analytical factors (e.g., purity of reference material, pipetting precision, and antibody specificity. The quality standards for biomarker assays used in support of nonclinical safety studies fall under GLP (FDA regulations, whereas, those assays used to support human diagnostics and healthcare are established by CLIA (CMS regulations and accrediting organizations such as the College of American Pathologists. While most research applications of biomarkers are not regulated, biomarker laboratories in all settings are adopting similar laboratory practices in order to deliver high-quality data. Because of the escalation in demand for biomarker measurements, the highly-parallel (multi-plexed assay platforms that have fueled the rise of genomics will likely evolve into the analytical engines that drive the biomarker laboratories of tomorrow.

  1. Methods and devices for protein assays (United States)

    Chhabra, Swapnil; Cintron, Jose M.; Shediac, Renee


    Methods and devices for protein assays based on Edman degradation in microfluidic channels are disclosed herein. As disclosed, the cleaved amino acid residues may be immobilized in an array format and identified by detectable labels, such as antibodies, which specifically bind given amino acid residues. Alternatively, the antibodies are immobilized in an array format and the cleaved amino acids are labeled identified by being bound by the antibodies in the array.

  2. Immunoreagents and competitive assays to fludioxonil


    Abad Fuentes, Antonio; Agulló, Consuelo; Esteve Turrillas, Francesc Albert; Abad Somovilla, Antonio; Mercader Badia, Josep Vicent


    Fludioxonil is a new-generation fungicide widely used for postharvest fruit protection. The aim of this study was to produce hitherto unreported immunoreagents for Fludioxonil analysis by immunoassay. Derivatives of this agrochemical were synthesized with different linker tethering sites. Those functionalized haptens were activated, and the purified active esters were efficiently conjugated to different carrier proteins for immunogen and assay antigen preparation. Antibodies to Fludioxonil we...

  3. A new fluorescent assay for sialyltransferase. (United States)

    Kajihara, Y; Kamitani, T; Sakakibara, T


    A new fluorescent assay for the sialyltransferase reaction was established. After incubation of the sialyltransferase reaction, the sialyloligosaccharide obtained was treated by acid hydrolysis, and then the NeuAc that was released was labeled with 1,2-diamino-4,5-methylenedioxibenzene. The fluorescent-labeled NeuAc could be estimated by HPLC (excitation: 373 nm; emission: 448 nm) and a Lineweaver-Burk plot could be plotted with the data from this analysis.

  4. Kinetic viability assays using DRAQ7 probe. (United States)

    Wlodkowic, Donald; Akagi, Jin; Dobrucki, Jurek; Errington, Rachel; Smith, Paul J; Takeda, Kazuo; Darzynkiewicz, Zbigniew


    Cell death within cell populations is a stochastic process where cell-to-cell variation in temporal progression through the various stages of cell death arises from asynchrony of subtle fluctuations in the signaling pathways. Most cell death assays rely on detection of the specific marker of cell demise at the end-point of cell culturing. Such an approach cannot account for the asynchrony and the stochastic nature of cell response to the death-inducing signal. There is a need therefore for rapid and high-throughput bioassays capable of continuously tracking viability of individual cells from the time of encountering a stress signal up to final stages of their demise. In this context, a new anthracycline derivative, DRAQ7, is gaining increasing interest as an easy-to-use marker capable of long-term monitoring of cell death in real-time. This novel probe neither penetrates the plasma membrane of living cells nor does it affect the cells' susceptibility to the death-inducing agents. However, when the membrane integrity is compromised, DRAQ7 enters cells undergoing demise and binds readily to nuclear DNA to report cell death. Here, we provide three sets of protocols for viability assays using DRAQ7 probe. The first protocol describes the innovative use of single-color DRAQ7 real-time assay to dynamically track cell viability. The second protocol outlines a simplified end-point DRAQ7 staining approach. The final protocol highlights the real-time and multiparametric apoptosis assay utilizing DRAQ7 dye concurrently with tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM), the mitochondrial trans-membrane electrochemical potential (ΔΨm) sensing probe.

  5. Cell based assay for hypoglycemic drugs screening

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LiZHANG; Juan-juanHU; Guan-huaDU


    OBJECTIVE: To establish a cell based assay for hypoglyc emicdrugs. METHODS: The five cell lines, BALB/c3T3, HepG2, NIH3T3, Be17402, and L929 were incubated with insulin (0-125n mol/L) for 48 h. Their sensitivities to insulin were studied by detecting glucose consumption. The dose-response and time-response relationship between the sensitive cell line (BALB/c 3T3)

  6. Assessment of plaque assay methods for alphaviruses. (United States)

    Juarez, Diana; Long, Kanya C; Aguilar, Patricia; Kochel, Tadeusz J; Halsey, Eric S


    Viruses from the Alphavirus genus are responsible for numerous arboviral diseases impacting human health throughout the world. Confirmation of acute alphavirus infection is based on viral isolation, identification of viral RNA, or a fourfold or greater increase in antibody titers between acute and convalescent samples. In convalescence, the specificity of antibodies to an alphavirus may be confirmed by plaque reduction neutralization test. To identify the best method for alphavirus and neutralizing antibody recognition, the standard solid method using a cell monolayer overlay with 0.4% agarose and the semisolid method using a cell suspension overlay with 0.6% carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) overlay were evaluated. Mayaro virus, Una virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), and Western equine encephalitis virus (WEEV) were selected to be tested by both methods. The results indicate that the solid method showed consistently greater sensitivity than the semisolid method. Also, a "semisolid-variant method" using a 0.6% CMC overlay on a cell monolayer was assayed for virus titration. This method provided the same sensitivity as the solid method for VEEV and also had greater sensitivity for WEEV titration. Modifications in plaque assay conditions affect significantly results and therefore evaluation of the performance of each new assay is needed.

  7. Hyperpolarized NMR Probes for Biological Assays

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    Sebastian Meier


    Full Text Available During the last decade, the development of nuclear spin polarization enhanced (hyperpolarized molecular probes has opened up new opportunities for studying the inner workings of living cells in real time. The hyperpolarized probes are produced ex situ, introduced into biological systems and detected with high sensitivity and contrast against background signals using high resolution NMR spectroscopy. A variety of natural, derivatized and designed hyperpolarized probes has emerged for diverse biological studies including assays of intracellular reaction progression, pathway kinetics, probe uptake and export, pH, redox state, reactive oxygen species, ion concentrations, drug efficacy or oncogenic signaling. These probes are readily used directly under natural conditions in biofluids and are often directly developed and optimized for cellular assays, thus leaving little doubt about their specificity and utility under biologically relevant conditions. Hyperpolarized molecular probes for biological NMR spectroscopy enable the unbiased detection of complex processes by virtue of the high spectral resolution, structural specificity and quantifiability of NMR signals. Here, we provide a survey of strategies used for the selection, design and use of hyperpolarized NMR probes in biological assays, and describe current limitations and developments.

  8. Evaluation of Rapid Molecular Detection Assays for Salmonella in Challenging Food Matrices at Low Inoculation Levels and Using Difficult-to-Detect Strains. (United States)

    Ryan, Gina; Roof, Sherry; Post, Laurie; Wiedmann, Martin


    Assays for detection of foodborne pathogens are generally initially evaluated for performance in validation studies carried out according to guidelines provided by validation schemes (e.g., AOAC International or the International Organization for Standardization). End users often perform additional validation studies to evaluate the performance of assays in specific matrices (e.g., specific foods or raw material streams of interest) and with specific pathogen strains. However, these types of end-user validations are typically not well defined. This study was conducted to evaluate a secondary end user validation of four AOAC-validated commercial rapid detection assays (an isothermal nucleic acid amplification, an immunoassay, and two PCR-based assays) for their ability to detect Salmonella in two challenging matrices (dry pet food and dark chocolate). Inclusivity was evaluated with 68 diverse Salmonella strains at low population levels representing the limit of detection (LOD) for each assay. One assay detected all strains at the LOD, two assays detected multiple strains only at 10 times the LOD, and the fourth assay failed to detect two strains (Salmonella bongori and S. enterica subsp. houtenae) even at 1,000 times the LOD; this assay was not further evaluated. The three remaining assays were subsequently evaluated for their ability to detect five selected Salmonella strains in food samples contaminated at fractional levels. Unpaired comparisons revealed no significant difference between the results for each given assay and the results obtained with the reference assay. However, analysis of paired culture-confirmed results revealed assay false-negative rates of 4 to 26% for dry pet food and 12 to 16% for dark chocolate. Overall, our data indicate that rapid assays may have high false-negative rates when performance is evaluated under challenging conditions, including low-moisture matrices, strains that are difficult to detect, injured cells, and low inoculum

  9. A novel assay detecting recall response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis: Comparison with existing assays. (United States)

    Hsu, Denise C; Zaunders, John J; Plit, Marshall; Leeman, Craig; Ip, Susanna; Iampornsin, Thatri; Pett, Sarah L; Bailey, Michelle; Amin, Janaki; Ubolyam, Sasiwimol; Avihingsanon, Anchalee; Ananworanich, Jintanat; Ruxrungtham, Kiat; Cooper, David A; Kelleher, Anthony D


    A strategy to reduce the burden of active TB is isoniazid preventive therapy for latent TB infection (LTBI). However, current assays used to diagnose LTBI all have limitations. In these proof of concept studies, we compared the agreement of a novel flow cytometry assay detecting CD25/CD134 co-expression with QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube (QFN-GIT) and Tuberculin skin test (TST) in the detection of recall immune response to TB. The CD25/CD134 assay, QFN-GIT and TST were performed on 74 participants referred for TB screening in Sydney and on 50 participants with advanced HIV infection (CD4 ≤ 350 × 10(6) cells/L) in Bangkok. The agreement between CD25/CD134 assay and QFN-GIT was 93.2% (Kappa 0.631 95% CI 0.336-0.926) in Sydney and 90% (Kappa 0.747 95% CI 0.541-0.954) in Bangkok. Discordant results occurred around the cut off of both tests. The agreement between CD25/CD134 assay and TST was 73.6% (Kappa 0.206 95% CI 0.004-0.409) in Sydney and 84% (Kappa 0.551 95% CI 0.296-0.806) in Bangkok. The CD25/CD134 assay showed good agreement with QFN-GIT in detecting recall response to TB both in well and less resourced setting as well as in persons with advanced HIV infection. Further study into the performance of this assay is thus warranted.

  10. Inter-laboratory comparison of the in vivo comet assay including three image analysis systems. (United States)

    Plappert-Helbig, Ulla; Guérard, Melanie


    To compare the extent of potential inter-laboratory variability and the influence of different comet image analysis systems, in vivo comet experiments were conducted using the genotoxicants ethyl methanesulfonate and methyl methanesulfonate. Tissue samples from the same animals were processed and analyzed-including independent slide evaluation by image analysis-in two laboratories with extensive experience in performing the comet assay. The analysis revealed low inter-laboratory experimental variability. Neither the use of different image analysis systems, nor the staining procedure of DNA (propidium iodide vs. SYBR® Gold), considerably impacted the results or sensitivity of the assay. In addition, relatively high stability of the staining intensity of propidium iodide-stained slides was found in slides that were refrigerated for over 3 months. In conclusion, following a thoroughly defined protocol and standardized routine procedures ensures that the comet assay is robust and generates comparable results between different laboratories.

  11. Modeling of coupled differential equations for cellular chemical signaling pathways: Implications for assay protocols utilized in cellular engineering. (United States)

    O'Clock, George D


    Cellular engineering involves modification and control of cell properties, and requires an understanding of fundamentals and mechanisms of action for cellular derived product development. One of the keys to success in cellular engineering involves the quality and validity of results obtained from cell chemical signaling pathway assays. The accuracy of the assay data cannot be verified or assured if the effect of positive feedback, nonlinearities, and interrelationships between cell chemical signaling pathway elements are not understood, modeled, and simulated. Nonlinearities and positive feedback in the cell chemical signaling pathway can produce significant aberrations in assay data collection. Simulating the pathway can reveal potential instability problems that will affect assay results. A simulation, using an electrical analog for the coupled differential equations representing each segment of the pathway, provides an excellent tool for assay validation purposes. With this approach, voltages represent pathway enzyme concentrations and operational amplifier feedback resistance and input resistance values determine pathway gain and rate constants. The understanding provided by pathway modeling and simulation is strategically important in order to establish experimental controls for assay protocol structure, time frames specified between assays, and assay concentration variation limits; to ensure accuracy and reproducibility of results.

  12. Bench-top validation testing of selected immunological and molecular Renibacterium salmoninarum diagnostic assays by comparison with quantitative bacteriological culture. (United States)

    Elliott, D G; Applegate, L J; Murray, A L; Purcell, M K; McKibben, C L


    No gold standard assay exhibiting error-free classification of results has been identified for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of salmonid bacterial kidney disease. Validation of diagnostic assays for R. salmoninarum has been hindered by its unique characteristics and biology, and difficulties in locating suitable populations of reference test animals. Infection status of fish in test populations is often unknown, and it is commonly assumed that the assay yielding the most positive results has the highest diagnostic accuracy, without consideration of misclassification of results. In this research, quantification of R. salmoninarum in samples by bacteriological culture provided a standardized measure of viable bacteria to evaluate analytical performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity and repeatability) of non-culture assays in three matrices (phosphate-buffered saline, ovarian fluid and kidney tissue). Non-culture assays included polyclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), direct smear fluorescent antibody technique (FAT), membrane-filtration FAT, nested polymerase chain reaction (nested PCR) and three real-time quantitative PCR assays. Injection challenge of specific pathogen-free Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum), with R. salmoninarum was used to estimate diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Results did not identify a single assay demonstrating the highest analytical and diagnostic performance characteristics, but revealed strengths and weaknesses of each test.

  13. Bench-top validation testing of selected immunological and molecular Renibacterium salmoninarum diagnostic assays by comparison with quantitative bacteriological culture (United States)

    Elliott, D.G.; Applegate, L.J.; Murray, A.L.; Purcell, M.K.; McKibben, C.L.


    No gold standard assay exhibiting error-free classification of results has been identified for detection of Renibacterium salmoninarum, the causative agent of salmonid bacterial kidney disease. Validation of diagnostic assays for R. salmoninarum has been hindered by its unique characteristics and biology, and difficulties in locating suitable populations of reference test animals. Infection status of fish in test populations is often unknown, and it is commonly assumed that the assay yielding the most positive results has the highest diagnostic accuracy, without consideration of misclassification of results. In this research, quantification of R. salmoninarum in samples by bacteriological culture provided a standardized measure of viable bacteria to evaluate analytical performance characteristics (sensitivity, specificity and repeatability) of non-culture assays in three matrices (phosphate-buffered saline, ovarian fluid and kidney tissue). Non-culture assays included polyclonal enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), direct smear fluorescent antibody technique (FAT), membrane-filtration FAT, nested polymerase chain reaction (nested PCR) and three real-time quantitative PCR assays. Injection challenge of specific pathogen-free Chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Walbaum), with R. salmoninarum was used to estimate diagnostic sensitivity and specificity. Results did not identify a single assay demonstrating the highest analytical and diagnostic performance characteristics, but revealed strengths and weaknesses of each test.

  14. Nondestructive boxed transuranic (TRU) waste assay systems (United States)

    Caldwell, John T.; Jones, Stephanie A.; Lucero, Randy F.


    A brief history of boxed waste assay systems (primarily those developed at Los Alamos National Laboratory) is presented. The characteristics and design process involved with current generation systems--as practiced by BII--are also discussed in some detail. Finally, a specific boxed waste assay system and acceptance test results are presented. This system was developed by BII and installed at the Waste Receiving and Packaging (WRAP) facility in Hanford, Washington in early 1997. The WRAP system combines imaging passive/active neutron (IPAN) techniques with gamma- ray energy analysis (GEA) to assay crates up to 2.5 m X 2.5 m X 6.5 m in size. (Systems that incorporate both these methodologies are usually denoted IPAN/GEA types.) Two separate gamma-ray measurements are accomplished utilizing 16 arrayed NaI detectors and a moveable HPGe detector, while 3He detectors acquire both active and passive neutron data. These neutron measurements use BII's proprietary imaging methodology. Acceptance testing of the system was conducted at Hanford in January 1998. The system's operating performance was evaluated based on accuracy and sensitivity requirements for three different matrix types. Test results indicate an average 13% active mode accuracy for 10 nCi/g loadings of Pu waste and 5% passive mode accuracy for 10 g loadings of Pu waste. Sensitivity testing demonstrated an active mode lower limit of detection of less than 5 nCi/g of 239Pu for the medium matrix and less than 20 pCi/g of fission and activation products at 3(sigma) above background.

  15. Mass-based readout for agglutination assays (United States)

    Chunara, Rumi; Godin, Michel; Knudsen, Scott M.; Manalis, Scott R.


    We present a mass-based readout for agglutination assays. The suspended microchannel resonator (SMR) is used to classify monomers and dimers that are formed during early stage aggregation, and to relate the total count to the analyte concentration. Using a model system of streptavidin functionalized microspheres and biotinylated antibody as the analyte, we obtain a dose-response curve over a concentration range of 0.63-630nM and show that the results are comparable to what has been previously achieved by image analysis and conventional flow cytometry.

  16. Standardization of cytokine flow cytometry assays

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    Cox Josephine


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cytokine flow cytometry (CFC or intracellular cytokine staining (ICS can quantitate antigen-specific T cell responses in settings such as experimental vaccination. Standardization of ICS among laboratories performing vaccine studies would provide a common platform by which to compare the immunogenicity of different vaccine candidates across multiple international organizations conducting clinical trials. As such, a study was carried out among several laboratories involved in HIV clinical trials, to define the inter-lab precision of ICS using various sample types, and using a common protocol for each experiment (see additional files online. Results Three sample types (activated, fixed, and frozen whole blood; fresh whole blood; and cryopreserved PBMC were shipped to various sites, where ICS assays using cytomegalovirus (CMV pp65 peptide mix or control antigens were performed in parallel in 96-well plates. For one experiment, antigens and antibody cocktails were lyophilised into 96-well plates to simplify and standardize the assay setup. Results (CD4+cytokine+ cells and CD8+cytokine+ cells were determined by each site. Raw data were also sent to a central site for batch analysis with a dynamic gating template. Mean inter-laboratory coefficient of variation (C.V. ranged from 17–44% depending upon the sample type and analysis method. Cryopreserved peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC yielded lower inter-lab C.V.'s than whole blood. Centralized analysis (using a dynamic gating template reduced the inter-lab C.V. by 5–20%, depending upon the experiment. The inter-lab C.V. was lowest (18–24% for samples with a mean of >0.5% IFNγ + T cells, and highest (57–82% for samples with a mean of Conclusion ICS assays can be performed by multiple laboratories using a common protocol with good inter-laboratory precision, which improves as the frequency of responding cells increases. Cryopreserved PBMC may yield slightly more

  17. Purification and kinase assay of PKN. (United States)

    Mukai, Hideyuki; Ono, Yoshitaka


    PKN is a serine/threonine protein kinase, which has a catalytic domain highly homologous to that of protein kinase C (PKC) in the carboxyl-terminal region and three repeats of the antiparallel coiled coil (ACC) domain in the amino-terminal region. Mammalian PKN has three isoforms each derived from different genes, PKN1 (PKNalpha/PRK1/PAK1), PKN2 (PRK2/PAK2/PKNgamma), and PKN3 (PKNbeta). PKN isoforms show different enzymatic properties and tissue distributions and have been implicated in various distinct cellular processes (reviewed in Mukai [2003]). This chapter discusses methods to prepare purified enzymes and to assay substrate phosphorylation activities.

  18. A pseudovirus-based hemagglutination-inhibition assay as a rapid, highly sensitive, and specific assay for detecting avian influenza A (H7N9 antibodies

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    Anli Zhang


    Full Text Available Background Increased surveillance of avian-origin influenza A (H7N9 virus infection is critical to assess the risk of new outbreaks in China. A high-throughput assay with a good safety profile, sensitivity, and specificity is urgently needed. Methods We used a hemagglutination-inhibition (HI assay based on an H7N9-enveloped pseudovirus to assess serum neutralization antibodies level in 40 H7N9 positive sera and 40 H7N9 negative sera and compared the efficacy of the assay with traditional HI test and micro-neutralization (MN test. Results Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient analysis showed pseudovirus HI (PHI titers correlated well with both HI titers and MN titers. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC curves test revealed using a PHI cut-off titer of 10, the sensitivity and specificity reached 1.0. Conclusions PHI can be used in H7N9-related serological studies. This assay is high-throughput, very sensitive and specific, and cost effective.

  19. Profiling 976 ToxCast chemicals across 331 enzymatic and receptor signaling assays. (United States)

    Sipes, Nisha S; Martin, Matthew T; Kothiya, Parth; Reif, David M; Judson, Richard S; Richard, Ann M; Houck, Keith A; Dix, David J; Kavlock, Robert J; Knudsen, Thomas B


    Understanding potential health risks is a significant challenge due to the large numbers of diverse chemicals with poorly characterized exposures and mechanisms of toxicities. The present study analyzes 976 chemicals (including failed pharmaceuticals, alternative plasticizers, food additives, and pesticides) in Phases I and II of the U.S. EPA's ToxCast project across 331 cell-free enzymatic and ligand-binding high-throughput screening (HTS) assays. Half-maximal activity concentrations (AC50) were identified for 729 chemicals in 256 assays (7,135 chemical-assay pairs). Some of the most commonly affected assays were CYPs (CYP2C9 and CYP2C19), transporters (mitochondrial TSPO, norepinephrine, and dopaminergic), and GPCRs (aminergic). Heavy metals, surfactants, and dithiocarbamate fungicides showed promiscuous but distinctly different patterns of activity, whereas many of the pharmaceutical compounds showed promiscuous activity across GPCRs. Literature analysis confirmed >50% of the activities for the most potent chemical-assay pairs (54) but also revealed 10 missed interactions. Twenty-two chemicals with known estrogenic activity were correctly identified for the majority (77%), missing only the weaker interactions. In many cases, novel findings for previously unreported chemical-target combinations clustered with known chemical-target interactions. Results from this large inventory of chemical-biological interactions can inform read-across methods as well as link potential targets to molecular initiating events in adverse outcome pathways for diverse toxicities.

  20. A novel multiplex cell viability assay for high-throughput RNAi screening.

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    Daniel F Gilbert

    Full Text Available Cell-based high-throughput RNAi screening has become a powerful research tool in addressing a variety of biological questions. In RNAi screening, one of the most commonly applied assay system is measuring the fitness of cells that is usually quantified using fluorescence, luminescence and absorption-based readouts. These methods, typically implemented and scaled to large-scale screening format, however often only yield limited information on the cell fitness phenotype due to evaluation of a single and indirect physiological indicator. To address this problem, we have established a cell fitness multiplexing assay which combines a biochemical approach and two fluorescence-based assaying methods. We applied this assay in a large-scale RNAi screening experiment with siRNA pools targeting the human kinome in different modified HEK293 cell lines. Subsequent analysis of ranked fitness phenotypes assessed by the different assaying methods revealed average phenotype intersections of 50.7±2.3%-58.7±14.4% when two indicators were combined and 40-48% when a third indicator was taken into account. From these observations we conclude that combination of multiple fitness measures may decrease false-positive rates and increases confidence for hit selection. Our robust experimental and analytical method improves the classical approach in terms of time, data comprehensiveness and cost.

  1. Investigations of plant-derived products with the in vitro comet assay

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    Luc Verschaeve


    It is impossible to perform a wide range of tests for screening purposes and often only the Ames assay is performed, which is insufficient. Furthermore, this test is most probably not the best choice when plant extracts need to be tested, because they often contain high amounts of histidine and have antibacterial properties. We have participated in many screening programs of medicinal plants and used different genotoxicity tests (mainly Ames assay, Vitotox test, micronucleus test and comet assay. Or results revealed that a combination of the Vitotox test and comet assay provides sufficiently reliable data with respect to genotoxicity as well as antigenotoxicity. This holds true for the testing of (medicinal plant extracts but also other plant derived products, for example those aimed at identifying novel TB chemotherapeutic drugs. The investigation of smoke and smoke compounds as enhancers of seed germination and smoke treated plants provides another example in which the comet assay proved to be valuable in the assessment of potential adverse health effects resulting from such treatment.

  2. Heterologous enzyme linked immunosorbent assay for measurement of testosterone in serum. (United States)

    Shrivastav, Tulsidas G; Chaube, Shail K; Prasad, Pramod K V; Kariya, Kiran P; Kumar, Dinesh


    In steroid enzyme immunoassay (EIA), homologous and heterologous combinations of enzyme conjugate with immunogen influences labeled steroid recognition by antibodies that affect sensitivity of the assay. To develop testosterone enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), antibodies were generated against testosterone-3-carboxymethyloxime-bovine serum albumin (T-3-CMO-BSA), testosterone-11-hemisuccinate-bovine serum albumin (T-11-HS-BSA), testosterone-17-hemisuccinate-bovine serum albumin (T-17-HS-BSA), testosterone-17-glucuronide-bovine serum albumin (T-17-G-BSA), and testosterone-19-carboxymethylether-bovine serum albumin (T-19-CME-BSA). Testosterone horseradish peroxidase (HRP) enzyme conjugate were prepared using carboxyl derivatives of 11-keto-testosterone (11-keto-T) and 1-dehydrotestosterone (1-Dehydro-T). Ten combinations of heterologous assays were evaluated. The data of the present study revealed that the use of the T-11-HS-BSA antibody in antigen plus site heterologous assay that employed 11-keto-testosterone-3-CMO-HRP as the label showed binding and displacement, and led to the development of sensitive and specific assay.

  3. A novel multiplex cell viability assay for high-throughput RNAi screening. (United States)

    Gilbert, Daniel F; Erdmann, Gerrit; Zhang, Xian; Fritzsche, Anja; Demir, Kubilay; Jaedicke, Andreas; Muehlenberg, Katja; Wanker, Erich E; Boutros, Michael


    Cell-based high-throughput RNAi screening has become a powerful research tool in addressing a variety of biological questions. In RNAi screening, one of the most commonly applied assay system is measuring the fitness of cells that is usually quantified using fluorescence, luminescence and absorption-based readouts. These methods, typically implemented and scaled to large-scale screening format, however often only yield limited information on the cell fitness phenotype due to evaluation of a single and indirect physiological indicator. To address this problem, we have established a cell fitness multiplexing assay which combines a biochemical approach and two fluorescence-based assaying methods. We applied this assay in a large-scale RNAi screening experiment with siRNA pools targeting the human kinome in different modified HEK293 cell lines. Subsequent analysis of ranked fitness phenotypes assessed by the different assaying methods revealed average phenotype intersections of 50.7±2.3%-58.7±14.4% when two indicators were combined and 40-48% when a third indicator was taken into account. From these observations we conclude that combination of multiple fitness measures may decrease false-positive rates and increases confidence for hit selection. Our robust experimental and analytical method improves the classical approach in terms of time, data comprehensiveness and cost.

  4. Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Rudel

    Full Text Available Although nickel exposure results in allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and cancer in humans and rodents, the ramifications of excess nickel in the environment for animal and human health remain largely undescribed. Nickel and other cationic metals travel through waterways and bind to soils and sediments. To evaluate the potential toxic effects of nickel at environmental contaminant levels (8.9-7,600 µg Ni/g dry weight of sediment and 50-800 µg NiCl2/L of water, we conducted assays using two cosmopolitan nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. We assayed the effects of both sediment-bound and aqueous nickel upon animal growth, developmental survival, lifespan, and fecundity. Uncontaminated sediments were collected from sites in the Midwestern United States and spiked with a range of nickel concentrations. We found that nickel-spiked sediment substantially impairs both survival from larval to adult stages and adult longevity in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, while aqueous nickel showed no adverse effects on either survivorship or longevity, we observed a significant decrease in fecundity, indicating that aqueous nickel could have a negative impact on nematode physiology. Intriguingly, C. elegans and P. pacificus exhibit similar, but not identical, responses to nickel exposure. Moreover, P. pacificus could be tested successfully in sediments inhospitable to C. elegans. Our results add to a growing body of literature documenting the impact of nickel on animal physiology, and suggest that environmental toxicological studies could gain an advantage by widening their repertoire of nematode species.

  5. Standardization of anti-DNA antibody assays. (United States)

    Pisetsky, David S


    Antibodies to DNA (anti-DNA) are the serological hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus and represent important biomarkers for clinical and research purposes. These antibodies are part of a family of antibodies to nucleosomes and bind to conserved sites widely present on DNA. While the value of anti-DNA as a biomarker is well established, the assay for these antibodies has involved a variety of DNA sources and systems to detect DNA-anti-DNA interactions. The influence of these variations on antibody detection has complicated assay standardization. As an antigen, DNA has unique features since it is a highly charged polymer that has structural heterogeneity. This heterogeneity can affect antigenicity which can vary on the basis of DNA origin, size, conformation and mobility. In addition, as a polymer, DNA can promote patterns of antibody binding based on monogamous or bivalent interaction which require an extended polynucleotide structure. Understanding the nature of DNA as an antigen can facilitate interpretation of serological tests and underpin efforts at better standardization.

  6. Assaying environmental nickel toxicity using model nematodes (United States)

    Rudel, David; Douglas, Chandler; Huffnagle, Ian; Besser, John M.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.


    Although nickel exposure results in allergic reactions, respiratory conditions, and cancer in humans and rodents, the ramifications of excess nickel in the environment for animal and human health remain largely undescribed. Nickel and other cationic metals travel through waterways and bind to soils and sediments. To evaluate the potential toxic effects of nickel at environmental contaminant levels (8.9-7,600 µg Ni/g dry weight of sediment and 50-800 µg NiCl2/L of water), we conducted assays using two cosmopolitan nematodes, Caenorhabditis elegans and Pristionchus pacificus. We assayed the effects of both sediment-bound and aqueous nickel upon animal growth, developmental survival, lifespan, and fecundity. Uncontaminated sediments were collected from sites in the Midwestern United States and spiked with a range of nickel concentrations. We found that nickel-spiked sediment substantially impairs both survival from larval to adult stages and adult longevity in a concentration-dependent manner. Further, while aqueous nickel showed no adverse effects on either survivorship or longevity, we observed a significant decrease in fecundity, indicating that aqueous nickel could have a negative impact on nematode physiology. Intriguingly, C. elegansand P. pacificus exhibit similar, but not identical, responses to nickel exposure. Moreover, P. pacificus could be tested successfully in sediments inhospitable to C. elegans. Our results add to a growing body of literature documenting the impact of nickel on animal physiology, and suggest that environmental toxicological studies could gain an advantage by widening their repertoire of nematode species.

  7. Assay Method for 235U in Low-Density Waste

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    <正>235U assay method will provide a semi-quantitative assay for any uranium lumps that might exist in low-density, low-Z material waste boxes within a short count time. These materials will consist of

  8. Is the Comet Assay a Sensitive Procedure for Detecting Genotoxicity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satomi Kawaguchi


    Full Text Available Although the Comet assay, a procedure for quantitating DNA damage in mammalian cells, is considered sensitive, it has never been ascertained that its sensitivity is higher than the sensitivity of other genotoxicity assays in mammalian cells. To determine whether the power of the Comet assay to detect a low level of genotoxic potential is superior to those of other genotoxicity assays in mammalian cells, we compared the results of Comet assay with those of micronucleus test (MN test. WTK1 human lymphoblastoid cells were exposed to methyl nitrosourea (MNU, ethyl nitrosourea (ENU, methyl methanesulfonate (MMS, ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS, bleomycin (BLM, or UVC. In Comet assay, cells were exposed to each mutagen with (Comet assay/araC and without (Comet assay DNA repair inhibitors (araC and hydroxyurea. Furthermore, acellular Comet assay (acellular assay was performed to determine how single-strand breaks (SSBs as the initial damage contributes to DNA migration and/or to micronucleus formation. The lowest genotoxic dose (LGD, which is defined as the lowest dose at which each mutagen causes a positive response on each genotoxicity assay, was used to compare the power of the Comet assay to detect a low level of genotoxic potential and that of MN test; that is, a low LGD indicates a high power. Results are summarized as follows: (1 for all mutagens studied, LGDs were MN test ≦ Comet assay; (2 except for BLM, LGDs were Comet assay/araC ≦ MN test; (3 except for UVC and MNU, LGDs were acellular assay ≦ Comet assay/araC ≦ MN test ≦ Comet assay. The following is suggested by the present findings: (1 LGD in the Comet assay is higher than that in MN test, which suggests that the power of the MN test to detect a low level of genotoxic potential is superior to that of the Comet assay; (2 for the studied mutagens, all assays were able to detect all mutagens correctly, which suggests that the sensitivity of the Comet assay and that of the MN test were

  9. Further characterization of benzo[a]pyrene diol-epoxide (BPDE)-induced comet assay effects. (United States)

    Bausinger, Julia; Schütz, Petra; Piberger, Ann Liza; Speit, Günter


    The present study aims to further characterize benzo[a]pyrene diol-epoxide (BPDE)-induced comet assay effects. Therefore, we measured DNA effects by the comet assay and adduct levels by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) in human lymphocytes and A549 cells exposed to (±)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide [(±)-anti-BPDE] or (+)-anti-benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-diol 9,10-epoxide [(+)-anti-BPDE]. Both, the racemic form and (+)-anti-BPDE, which is the most relevant metabolite with regard to mutagenicity and carcinogenicity, induced DNA migration in cultured lymphocytes in the same range of concentrations to a similar extent in the alkaline comet assay after exposure for 2h. Nevertheless, (+)-anti-BPDE induced significantly enhanced DNA migration after 16 and 18h post-cultivation which was not seen in response to (±)-anti-BPDE. Combination of the comet assay with the Fpg (formamidopyrimidine-DNA glycosylase) protein did not enhance BPDE-induced effects and thus indicated the absence of Fpg-sensitive sites (oxidized purines, N7-guanine adducts, AP-sites). The aphidicolin (APC)-modified comet assay suggested significant excision repair activity of cultured lymphocytes during the first 18h of culture after a 2 h-exposure to BPDE. In contrast to these repair-related effects measured by the comet assay, HPLC analysis of stable adducts did not reveal any significant removal of (+)-anti-BPDE-induced adducts from lymphocytes during the first 22h of culture. On the other hand, HPLC measurements indicated that A549 cells repaired about 70% of (+)-anti-BPDE-induced DNA-adducts within 22h of release. However, various experiments with the APC-modified comet assay did not indicate significant repair activity during this period in A549 cells. The conflicting results obtained with the comet assay and the HPLC-based adduct analysis question the real cause for BPDE-induced DNA migration in the comet assay and the reliability of the APC-modified comet assay for the

  10. Assay optimization: a statistical design of experiments approach. (United States)

    Altekar, Maneesha; Homon, Carol A; Kashem, Mohammed A; Mason, Steven W; Nelson, Richard M; Patnaude, Lori A; Yingling, Jeffrey; Taylor, Paul B


    With the transition from manual to robotic HTS in the last several years, assay optimization has become a significant bottleneck. Recent advances in robotic liquid handling have made it feasible to reduce assay optimization timelines with the application of statistically designed experiments. When implemented, they can efficiently optimize assays by rapidly identifying significant factors, complex interactions, and nonlinear responses. This article focuses on the use of statistically designed experiments in assay optimization.

  11. Performance Characteristics of Xpert Flu/RSV XC Assay. (United States)

    Popowitch, Elena B; Miller, Melissa B


    The Xpert Flu/RSV XC assay was compared to laboratory-developed tests (LDTs) (n = 207) and the Xpert Flu assay (n = 147) using archived nasopharyngeal swabs. The percentages of positive agreements with LDTs were 97.8% for influenza A, 97.2% for influenza B, and 89.3% for RSV. The sensitivity of influenza detection was improved with the Xpert Flu/RSV XC assay compared to the Xpert Flu assay.

  12. Comparison of two rapid assays for Clostridium difficile Common antigen and a C difficile toxin A/B assay with the cell culture neutralization assay. (United States)

    Reller, Megan E; Alcabasa, Romina C; Lema, Clara A; Carroll, Karen C


    We compared 3 rapid assays for Clostridium difficile with a cell culture cytotoxicity neutralization assay (CCNA). Of 600 stool samples, 46 were positive for toxigenic C difficile. Both rapid common antigen assays were highly sensitive (91.3%-100%) and, therefore, were appropriate screening tests. The rapid toxin assay had poor sensitivity (61%) but excellent specificity (99.3%). Testing stools for glutamate dehydrogenase (step 1) and those positive with a rapid toxin assay (step 2) would correctly classify 81% of submitted specimens within 2 hours, including during periods of limited staffing (evenings, nights, and weekends). CCNA could then be used as a third step to test rapid toxin-negative samples, thereby providing a final result for the remaining 19% of samples by 48 to 72 hours. The use of rapid assays as outlined could enhance timely diagnosis of C difficile.

  13. Systems, devices, and methods for agglutination assays using sedimentation (United States)

    Schaff, Ulrich Y.; Sommer, Gregory J.; Singh, Anup K.


    Embodiments of the present invention include methods for conducting agglutination assays using sedimentation. Aggregates may be exposed to sedimentation forces and travel through a density medium to a detection area. Microfluidic devices, such as microfluidic disks, are described for conducting the agglutination assays, as are systems for conducting the assays.

  14. 21 CFR 866.2350 - Microbiological assay culture medium. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Microbiological assay culture medium. 866.2350... Microbiological assay culture medium. (a) Identification. A microbiological assay culture medium is a device that... (general controls). The device is exempt from the premarket notification procedures in subpart E of...

  15. 21 CFR 864.7100 - Red blood cell enzyme assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Red blood cell enzyme assay. 864.7100 Section 864...) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Kits and Packages § 864.7100 Red blood cell enzyme assay. (a) Identification. Red blood cell enzyme assay is a device used to measure the activity...

  16. 40 CFR 79.64 - In vivo micronucleus assay. (United States)


    ... micronucleus assay. (a) Purpose. The micronucleus assay is an in vivo cytogenetic test which uses erythrocytes...) Test evaluation. (i) Positive results in the micronucleus test provide information on the ability of a..., Mammalian Bone Marrow Cytogenetics Tests: Micronucleus Assay. (2) Cihak, R. “Evaluation of Benzidine by...

  17. 21 CFR 864.7470 - Glycosylated hemoglobin assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Glycosylated hemoglobin assay. 864.7470 Section... Glycosylated hemoglobin assay. (a) Identification. A glycosylated hemoglobin assay is a device used to measure the glycosylated hemoglobins (A1a, A1b, and A1c) in a patient's blood by a column...

  18. 21 CFR 864.7400 - Hemoglobin A2 assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Hemoglobin A2 assay. 864.7400 Section 864.7400...) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Kits and Packages § 864.7400 Hemoglobin A2 assay. (a) Identification. A hemoglobin A2 assay is a device used to determine the hemoglobin A2...

  19. 21 CFR 864.7500 - Whole blood hemoglobin assays. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Whole blood hemoglobin assays. 864.7500 Section... blood hemoglobin assays. (a) Identification. A whole blood hemoglobin assay is a device consisting or... hemoglobin content of whole blood for the detection of anemia. This generic device category does not...

  20. 21 CFR 864.7415 - Abnormal hemoglobin assay. (United States)


    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Abnormal hemoglobin assay. 864.7415 Section 864... hemoglobin assay. (a) Identification. An abnormal hemoglobin assay is a device consisting of the reagents... hemoglobin types. (b) Classification. Class II (performance standards)....

  1. Preferential increase in the hippocampal synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) by pentylenetetrazole kindling. (United States)

    Ohno, Yukihiro; Ishihara, Shizuka; Terada, Ryo; Kikuta, Miki; Sofue, Nobumasa; Kawai, Yoshiko; Serikawa, Tadao; Sasa, Masashi


    The present study evaluated the expressional levels of synaptic vesicle protein 2A (SV2A) and other secretary machinery proteins (i.e., soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complexes, Munc18-1, N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor (NSF) and soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein (SNAP)) in a pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) kindling model. Repeated administration of sub-convulsive PTZ (40 mg/kg, i.p.) progressively increased seizure susceptibility in mice and consistently induced clonic seizures in most animals tested at 15 days after the treatment. Western blot analysis revealed that, among the secretary machinery proteins examined, hippocampal SV2A was selectively elevated by PTZ kindling. PTZ kindling-induced SV2A expression appeared region-specific and the SV2A levels in the cerebral cortex or cerebellum were unaltered. In addition, SV2A expression by PTZ kindling was prominent in the hilar region of the dentate gyrus (DG) where GABAergic interneurons are located, but not in other hippocampal regions (e.g., the stratum lucidum of the CA3 and synaptic layers surrounding CA1 or CA3 pyramidal neurons). These findings suggest that PTZ kindling preferentially elevates SV2A expression in the hippocampus probably as a compensatory mechanism to activate the inhibitory neurotransmission.

  2. Advancement in biochemical assays in andrology

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wolf-BernhardSchill; RaftHenkel


    Determination of maikers of sperm function, accessory sex gland secretion and silent male genital tract inflammation is of considerable diagnostic value in the evaluation of male infertility. The introduction of biochemical tests into the analysis of male factor has the advantage that standardized assays with a coefficient of variafion characteristic of clinical chemistry are performed, in contrast to biological test systems with a large variability .Biochemical parameters may be used in clinical practice to evaluate the sperm fertitizing capacity (acrosin, aniline blue,ROS), to characterize male accessory sex gland secretinns (fructose, a-glucosidase, PSA), and to identify men with silent genital tract inflammation (elastase, C'3 complement component, coeruloplasmin, IgA, IgG, ROS). (As/an J Androl 1999 Jun; 1: 45-51)

  3. Universal fieldable assay with unassisted visual detection (United States)

    Chelyapov, Nicolas (Inventor)


    A universal detection system based on allosteric aptamers, signal amplification cascade, and eye-detectable phrase transition. A broadly applicable homogeneous detection system is provided. It utilizes components of the blood coagulation cascade in the presence of polystyrene microspheres (MS) as a signal amplifier. Russell's viper venom factor X activator (RVV-X) triggers the cascade, which results in an eye-visible phase transition--precipitation of MS bound to clotted fibrin. An allosteric RNA aptamer, RNA132, with affinity for RVV-X and human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF.sub.165) was created. RNA132 inhibits enzymatic activity of RVV-X. The effector molecule, VEGF.sub.165, reverses the inhibitory activity of RNA132 on RVV-X and restores its enzymatic activity, thus triggering the cascade and enabling the phase transition. Similar results were obtained for another allosteric aptamer modulated by a protein tyrosine phosphatase. The assay is instrumentation-free for both processing and readout.

  4. Lab-on-a-Chip Multiplex Assays. (United States)

    Peter, Harald; Wienke, Julia; Bier, Frank F


    Lab-on-a-chip multiplex assays allow a rapid identification of multiple parameters in an automated manner. Here we describe a lab-based preparation followed by a rapid and fully automated DNA microarray hybridization and readout in less than 10 min using the Fraunhofer in vitro diagnostics (ivD) platform to enable rapid identification of bacterial species and detection of antibiotic resistance. The use of DNA microarrays allows a fast adaptation of new biomarkers enabling the identification of different genes as well as single-nucleotide-polymorphisms (SNPs) within these genes. In this protocol we describe a DNA microarray developed for identification of Staphylococcus aureus and the mecA resistance gene.

  5. Assays for investigating deSUMOylation enzymes. (United States)

    Madu, Ikenna G; Chen, Yuan


    Post-translational modifications by the SUMO (Small Ubiquitin-like MOdifier) family of proteins are recently discovered essential regulatory mechanisms. All SUMO proteins are synthesized as larger precursors that are matured by SUMO-specific proteases, known as SENPs, which remove several C-terminal amino acids of SUMO to expose the Gly-Gly motif. SENPs also remove SUMO modifications from target proteins, making this modification highly dynamic. At least six deSUMOylation enzymes, all of which are encoded by essential genes, have been identified in mammals. SENP1 has been shown to play an important role in the development of prostate cancer and in angiogenesis. This unit describes and discusses methods for characterizing the deSUMOylation enzymes. These assays enable the identification of inhibitors of these enzymes and investigation of their mechanism of inhibition in order to develop research tools and future therapeutics.

  6. Assay of Endocannabinoid Oxidation by Cyclooxygenase-2 (United States)

    Kudalkar, Shalley N.; Kingsley, Philip J.; Marnett, Lawrence J.


    Summary The endocannabinoids, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and arachidonylethanolamide (AEA) are endogenous ligands for the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2) and are implicated in a wide array of physiological processes. These neutral arachidonic acid (AA) derivatives have been identified as efficient substrates for the second isoform of the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX-2). A diverse family of prostaglandin glycerol esters (PG-Gs) and prostaglandin ethanolamides (PG-EAs) is generated by the action of COX-2 (and downstream prostaglandin synthases) on 2-AG and AEA. As the biological importance of the endocannabinoid system becomes more apparent, there is a tremendous need for robust, sensitive and efficient analytical methodology for the endocannabinoids and their metabolites. In this chapter we describe methodology suitable for carrying out oxygenation of endocannabinoids by COX-2, and analysis of products of endocannabinoid oxygenation by COX-2 and of endocannabinoids themselves from in-vitro and cell assays. PMID:27245906

  7. Development of a Radioactive Waste Assay System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Duck Won; Song, Myung Jae; Shin, Sang Woon; Sung, Kee Bang; Ko, Dae Hach [Korea Electric Power Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of); Kim, Kil Jeong; Park, Jong Mook; Jee, Kwang Yoong [Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Taejon (Korea, Republic of)


    Nuclear Act of Korea requires the manifest of low and intermediate level radioactive waste generated at nuclear power plants prior to disposal sites.Individual history records of the radioactive waste should be contained the information about the activity of nuclides in the drum, total activity, weight, the type of waste. A fully automated nuclide analysis assay system, non-destructive analysis and evaluation system of the radioactive waste, was developed through this research project. For the nuclides that could not be analysis directly by MCA, the activities of the representative {gamma}-emitters(Cs-137, Co-60) contained in the drum were measured by using that system. Then scaling factors were used to calculate the activities of {alpha}, {beta}-emitters. Furthermore, this system can automatically mark the analysis results onto the drum surface. An automated drum handling system developed through this research project can reduce the radiation exposure to workers. (author). 41 refs., figs.

  8. Stable isotope dilution assays in mycotoxin analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rychlik, Michael; Asam, Stefan [Universitaet Muenchen, Lehrstuhl fuer Lebensmittelchemie der Technischen, Garching (Germany)


    The principle and applications of stable isotope dilution assays (SIDAs) in mycotoxin analysis are critically reviewed. The general section includes historical aspects of SIDAs, the prerequisites and limitations of the use of stable isotopically labelled internal standards, and possible calibration procedures. In the application section actual SIDAs for the analysis of trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, patulin, and ochratoxin A are presented. The syntheses and availability of labelled mycotoxins for use as internal standards is reviewed and specific advances in food analysis and toxicology are demonstrated. The review indicates that LC-MS applications, in particular, require the use of stable isotopically labelled standards to compensate for losses during clean-up and for discrimination due to ion suppression. As the commercial availability of these compounds continues to increase, SIDAs can be expected to find expanding use in mycotoxin analysis. (orig.)

  9. Stable isotope dilution assays in mycotoxin analysis. (United States)

    Rychlik, Michael; Asam, Stefan


    The principle and applications of stable isotope dilution assays (SIDAs) in mycotoxin analysis are critically reviewed. The general section includes historical aspects of SIDAs, the prerequisites and limitations of the use of stable isotopically labelled internal standards, and possible calibration procedures. In the application section actual SIDAs for the analysis of trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins, patulin, and ochratoxin A are presented. The syntheses and availability of labelled mycotoxins for use as internal standards is reviewed and specific advances in food analysis and toxicology are demonstrated. The review indicates that LC-MS applications, in particular, require the use of stable isotopically labelled standards to compensate for losses during clean-up and for discrimination due to ion suppression. As the commercial availability of these compounds continues to increase, SIDAs can be expected to find expanding use in mycotoxin analysis.

  10. Nondestructive Assay Options for Spent Fuel Encapsulation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tobin, Stephen J. [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States); Jansson, Peter [Uppsala Univ. (Sweden)


    This report describes the role that nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques and systems of NDA techniques may have in the context of an encapsulation and deep geological repository. The potential NDA needs of an encapsulation and repository facility include safeguards, heat content, and criticality. Some discussion of the facility needs is given, with the majority of the report concentrating on the capability and characteristics of individual NDA instruments and techniques currently available or under development. Particular emphasis is given to how the NDA techniques can be used to determine the heat production of an assembly, as well as meet the dual safeguards needs of 1) determining the declared parameters of initial enrichment, burn-up, and cooling time and 2) detecting defects (total, partial, and bias). The report concludes with the recommendation of three integrated systems that might meet the combined NDA needs of the encapsulation/repository facility.

  11. Enzymatic assay for methotrexate in erythrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schrøder, H; Heinsvig, E M


    Methotrexate (MTX) accumulates in erythrocytes in MTX-treated patients. We present a modified enzymatic assay measuring MTX concentrations between 10 and 60 nmol/l in erythrocytes, adapted for a centrifugal analyser (Cobas Bio). About 40 patient's samples could be analysed within 1 h. The detection...... limit was 3 nmol/l. Within run and between-run precision was 7.4% and 13.5% for control 10 nmol/l and 1.2% and 3.2% for control 50 nmol/l. Recovery was 85-115% of MTX added to haemolysed erythrocytes. We found the method useful for pharmacokinetic studies of MTX in erythrocytes in MTX-treated patients...

  12. Improved internal control for molecular diagnosis assays. (United States)

    Vinayagamoorthy, T; Maryanski, Danielle; Vinayagamoorthy, Dilanthi; Hay, Katie S L; Yo, Jacob; Carter, Mark; Wiegel, Joseph


    The two principal determining steps in molecular diagnosis are the amplification and the identification steps. Accuracy of DNA amplification is primarily determined by the annealing sequence of the PCR primer to the analyte DNA. Accuracy for identification is determined either by the annealing region of a labelled probe for the real time PCR analysis, or the annealing of a sequencing primer for DNA sequencing analysis, that binds to the respective analyte (amplicon). Presently, housekeeping genes (Beta globin, GAPDH) are used in molecular diagnosis to verify that the PCR conditions are optimum, and are thus known as amplification controls [1-4]. Although these genes have been useful as amplification controls, they lack the true definition of an internal control because the primers and annealing conditions are not identical to the analyte being assayed. This may result in a false negative report [5]. The IC-Code platform technology described here provides a true internal control where the internal control and analyte share identical PCR primers annealing sequences for the amplification step and identical sequencing primer annealing sequence for the identification step. •The analyte and internal control have the same PCR and sequencing annealing sequences.•This method assures for little or no false negatives and false positives due to the method's design of using identical annealing conditions for the internal control and analyte, and by using DNA sequencing analysis for the identification step of the analyte, respectively.•This method also allows for a set lower limit of detection to be used by varying the amount of internal control used in the assay.

  13. Spectrophotometric Enzyme Assays for High-Throughput Screening

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Louis Reymond


    Full Text Available This paper reviews high-throughput screening enzyme assays developed in our laboratory over the last ten years. These enzyme assays were initially developed for the purpose of discovering catalytic antibodies by screening cell culture supernatants, but have proved generally useful for testing enzyme activities. Examples include TLC-based screening using acridone-labeled substrates, fluorogenic assays based on the β-elimination of umbelliferone or nitrophenol, and indirect assays such as the back-titration method with adrenaline and the copper-calcein fluorescence assay for aminoacids.

  14. Antioxidant assay using genetically engineered bioluminescent Escherichia coli (United States)

    Bartolome, Amelita; Macalino, Bernadette; Pastoral, Ian Lemuel; Sevilla, Fortunato, III


    A new antioxidant activity assay based on the reactive oxygen species (ROS)-inducible bacterial strain (E. coli DPD2511) is described. The strain harbors the plasmid pKatG::luxCDABE and responds to hydrogen peroxide treatment by increasing light emission at 490 nm. Antioxidant capacity is evaluated through the ability of an agent to inhibit the hydrogen peroxide-induced bioluminescence of E. coli DPD2511. Applicability of the developed assay in detecting levels of antioxidants in various aqueous plant extracts is demonstrated. The assay was validated against 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay, a known antioxidant assay.

  15. Performance of MycAssay Aspergillus DNA real-time PCR assay compared with the galactomannan detection assay for the diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis from serum samples. (United States)

    Danylo, Alexis; Courtemanche, Chantal; Pelletier, René; Boudreault, Alexandre A


    Invasive aspergillosis (IA) is a major problem in the immunocompromised population, and its diagnosis is difficult due to the low sensitivity of available tests. Detection of Aspergillus nucleic acid by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in serum samples is a promising diagnostic tool; however, use of multiple "in-house" methods precludes standardization. The first commercial PCR assay, MycAssay Aspergillus (Myconostica, Ltd), became available recently, and its performance in the diagnosis of IA was evaluated and compared with the galactomannan (GM) assay. Serum samples obtained from patients with hematological cancer were tested retrospectively with MycAssay Aspergillus PCR. Per-episode and per-test analyses were undertaken with 146 sera from 35 hematological patients. Sixteen patients had proven or probable IA and 19 had possible or no IA. In per-episode analysis, MycAssay Aspergillus had a sensitivity of 43.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 19.8%-70.1%) and a specificity of 63.2% (95% CI, 38.4%-83.7%) for IA diagnosis. In per-test analyses, MycAssay Aspergillus had a lower specificity than the GM assay (83.3% vs. 93.1%, P = 0.04). The addition of PCR to routine clinical practice would have permitted the diagnosis of one additional probable IA in our cohort. Use of PCR instead of GM assay would have delayed the diagnosis in two cases. Aspergillus DNA detection by PCR with serum specimens using MycAssay showed a lower specificity than the GM assay and was associated with a low sensitivity for IA diagnosis. More studies are needed to determine the exact role of MycAssay in IA diagnosis in patients with hematological malignancy.


    Vandersea, Mark W; Kibler, Steven R; Holland, William C; Tester, Patricia A; Schultz, Thomas F; Faust, Maria A; Holmes, Michael J; Chinain, Mirelle; Wayne Litaker, R


    Ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP) is a serious health problem in tropical regions and is caused by the bioaccumulation of lipophilic toxins produced by dinoflagellates in the genus Gambierdiscus. Gambierdiscus species are morphologically similar and are difficult to distinguish from one another even when using scanning electron microscopy. Improved identification and detection methods that are sensitive and rapid are needed to identify toxic species and investigate potential distribution and abundance patterns in relation to incidences of CFP. This study presents the first species-specific, semi-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assays that can be used to address these questions. These assays are specific for five Gambierdiscus species and one undescribed ribotype. The assays utilized a SYBR green format and targeted unique sequences found within the SSU, ITS, and the D1/D3 LSU ribosomal domains. Standard curves were constructed using known concentrations of cultured cells and 10-fold serial dilutions of rDNA PCR amplicons containing the target sequence for each specific assay. Assay sensitivity and accuracy were tested using DNA extracts purified from known concentrations of multiple Gambierdiscus species. The qPCR assays were used to assess Gambierdiscus species diversity and abundance in samples collected from nearshore areas adjacent to Ft. Pierce and Jupiter, Florida USA. The results indicated that the practical limit of detection for each assay was 10 cells per sample. Most interestingly, the qPCR analysis revealed that as many as four species of Gambierdiscus were present in a single macrophyte sample.

  17. Technical note: comparison of the PrestoBlue and LDH release assays with the MTT assay for skin viability assessment. (United States)

    Gaucher, Sonia; Jarraya, Mohamed


    MTT assay is the gold standard for assessing skin sample viability but it is time-consuming. Here we compared the MTT test with two other assays for the assessment of skin viability. The MTT, PrestoBlue (colorimetric method) and LDH release assays were applied to fresh and cryopreserved skin. Skin viability was considered proportional to the optical density values of the relevant analytes. PrestoBlue did not reliably distinguish between fresh and cryopreserved skin. The LDH release assay did not allow us to establish a viability index. We recommend the MTT assay for assessing skin viability.

  18. The low molecular weight DNA diffusion assay as an indicator of cytotoxicity for the in vitro comet assay. (United States)

    Speit, Günter; Vesely, Alexandra; Schütz, Petra; Linsenmeyer, Regina; Bausinger, Julia


    The low molecular weight DNA diffusion assay (LMW assay) has been recommended as a measure for cytotoxicity for the in vivo comet assay. To better understand the relationship between effects in the LMW assay, DNA migration in the comet assay and effects in established cytotoxicity tests, we performed in vitro experiments with cultured human cell lines (TK6, A549) and comparatively investigated five test substances (methyl methanesulfonate, (±)-benzo[a]pyrene diol epoxide, sodium dodecyl sulphate, menthol and sodium arsenite). We measured DNA migration (tail intensity) in the comet assay and the frequency of 'hedgehogs' (cells with almost all DNA in the tail), DNA diffusion in the LMW assay, cell viability (trypan blue and fluorescein diacetate/ethidium bromide staining) and inhibition of proliferation (relative cell counts). Our in vitro experiments indicate that effects in the LMW assay occur independently from DNA effects in the comet assay and are not related to the occurrence of hedgehogs. Results from the LMW assay are in good agreement with results from viability assays and seem to allow discriminating genotoxic from non-genotoxic substances when appropriate preparation times are considered. Measurements of cytotoxicity by these methods only at an early preparation time after exposure to genotoxic substances may lead to erroneous results.

  19. Multi-platform metabolomics assays for human lung lavage fluids in an air pollution exposure study. (United States)

    Surowiec, Izabella; Karimpour, Masoumeh; Gouveia-Figueira, Sandra; Wu, Junfang; Unosson, Jon; Bosson, Jenny A; Blomberg, Anders; Pourazar, Jamshid; Sandström, Thomas; Behndig, Annelie F; Trygg, Johan; Nording, Malin L


    Metabolomics protocols are used to comprehensively characterize the metabolite content of biological samples by exploiting cutting-edge analytical platforms, such as gas chromatography (GC) or liquid chromatography (LC) coupled to mass spectrometry (MS) assays, as well as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) assays. We have developed novel sample preparation procedures combined with GC-MS, LC-MS, and NMR metabolomics profiling for analyzing bronchial wash (BW) and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid from 15 healthy volunteers following exposure to biodiesel exhaust and filtered air. Our aim was to investigate the responsiveness of metabolite profiles in the human lung to air pollution exposure derived from combustion of biofuels, such as rapeseed methyl ester biodiesel, which are increasingly being promoted as alternatives to conventional fossil fuels. Our multi-platform approach enabled us to detect the greatest number of unique metabolites yet reported in BW and BAL fluid (82 in total). All of the metabolomics assays indicated that the metabolite profiles of the BW and BAL fluids differed appreciably, with 46 metabolites showing significantly different levels in the corresponding lung compartments. Furthermore, the GC-MS assay revealed an effect of biodiesel exhaust exposure on the levels of 1-monostearylglycerol, sucrose, inosine, nonanoic acid, and ethanolamine (in BAL) and pentadecanoic acid (in BW), whereas the LC-MS assay indicated a shift in the levels of niacinamide (in BAL). The NMR assay only identified lactic acid (in BW) as being responsive to biodiesel exhaust exposure. Our findings demonstrate that the proposed multi-platform approach is useful for wide metabolomics screening of BW and BAL fluids and can facilitate elucidation of metabolites responsive to biodiesel exhaust exposure. Graphical Abstract Graphical abstract illustrating the study workflow. NMR Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, LC-TOFMS Liquid chromatography-Time Of Flight Mass Spectrometry, GC Gas

  20. Different sensitivities of cultured mammalian cells towards aphidicolin-enhanced DNA effects in the comet assay. (United States)

    Speit, Günter; Schütz, Petra; Bausinger, Julia


    The comet assay in combination with the polymerase inhibitor aphidicolin (APC) has been used to measure DNA excision repair activity, DNA repair kinetics and individual DNA repair capacity. Since APC can enhance genotoxic effects of mutagens measured by the comet assay, this approach has been proposed for increasing the sensitivity of the comet assay in human biomonitoring. The APC-modified comet assay has mainly been performed with human blood and it was shown that it not only enhances the detection of DNA damage repaired by nucleotide excision repair (NER) but also damage typically repaired by base excision repair (BER). Recently, we reported that in contrast to blood leukocytes, A549 cells (a human lung adenocarcinoma cell line) seem to be insensitive towards the repair-inhibiting action of APC. To further elucidate the general usefulness of the APC-modified comet assay for studying repair in cultured mammalian cells, we comparatively investigated further cell lines (HeLa, TK6, V79). DNA damage was induced by BPDE (benzo[a]pyrene-7,8-dihydrodiol-9,10-epoxide) and MMS (methyl methanesulfonate) in the absence and presence of APC (3 or 15μM). APC was either added for 2h together with the mutagen or cells were pre-incubated for 30min with APC before the mutagen was added. The results indicate that the cell lines tested differ fundamentally with regard to their sensitivity and specificity towards the repair-inhibiting effect of APC. The actual cause for these differences is still unclear but potential molecular explanations are discussed. Irrespective of the underlying mechanism(s), our study revealed practical limitations of the use of the APC-modified comet assay.

  1. Modulating temporal control of NF-kappaB activation: implications for therapeutic and assay selection. (United States)

    Klinke, David J; Ustyugova, Irina V; Brundage, Kathleen M; Barnett, John B


    The activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB) plays a central role in the induction of many inflammatory response genes. This process is characterized by either oscillations or stable induction of NF-kappaB nuclear binding. Changes in dynamics of binding result in the expression of distinct subsets of genes leading to different physiological outcomes. We examined NF-kappaB DNA binding activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated IC-21 cells by electromobility shift assay and nonradioactive transcription factor assay and interpreted the results using a kinetic model of NF-kappaB activation. Both assays detected damped oscillatory behavior of NF-kappaB with differences in sensitivity and reproducibility. 3,4-Dichloropropionaniline (DCPA) was used to modulate the oscillatory behavior of NF-kappaB after LPS stimulation. DCPA is known to inhibit the production of two NF-kappaB-inducible cytokines, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, by reducing but not completely abrogating NF-kappaB-induced transcription. DCPA treatment resulted in a potentiation of early LPS-induced NF-kappaB activation. The nonradioactive transcription factor assay, which has a higher signal/noise ratio than the electromobility shift assay, combined with in silico modeling, produced results that revealed changes in NF-kappaB dynamics which, to the best of our knowledge, have never been previously reported. These results highlight the importance of cell type and stimulus specificity in transcription factor activity assessment. In addition, assay selection has important implications for network inference and drug discovery.

  2. Marine biofouling field tests, settlement assay and footprint micromorphology of cyprid larvae of Balanus amphitrite on model surfaces

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Phang, In Yee; Chaw, Kuan Chun; Choo, Sue Sok Hui; Kang, Ryan Kok Chuan; Lee, Serina Siew Chen; Birch, William R.; Teo, Serena Lay Ming; Vancso, G. Julius


    Atomic force microscopy (AFM), laboratory settlement assays and field tests were used to correlate cyprid footprint (FP) morphology with the behaviour of cyprids on different substrata. AFM imaging under laboratory conditions revealed more porous and larger FPs on glass exposing a CH3-surface than o

  3. Repurposing CRISPR/Cas9 for in situ functional assays. (United States)

    Malina, Abba; Mills, John R; Cencic, Regina; Yan, Yifei; Fraser, James; Schippers, Laura M; Paquet, Marilène; Dostie, Josée; Pelletier, Jerry


    RNAi combined with next-generation sequencing has proven to be a powerful and cost-effective genetic screening platform in mammalian cells. Still, this technology has its limitations and is incompatible with in situ mutagenesis screens on a genome-wide scale. Using p53 as a proof-of-principle target, we readapted the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR associated 9) genome-editing system to demonstrate the feasibility of this methodology for targeted gene disruption positive selection assays. By using novel "all-in-one" lentiviral and retroviral delivery vectors heterologously expressing both a codon-optimized Cas9 and its synthetic guide RNA (sgRNA), we show robust selection for the CRISPR-modified Trp53 locus following drug treatment. Furthermore, by linking Cas9 expression to GFP fluorescence, we use an "all-in-one" system to track disrupted Trp53 in chemoresistant lymphomas in the Eμ-myc mouse model. Deep sequencing analysis of the tumor-derived endogenous Cas9-modified Trp53 locus revealed a wide spectrum of mutants that were enriched with seemingly limited off-target effects. Taken together, these results establish Cas9 genome editing as a powerful and practical approach for positive in situ genetic screens.

  4. Development of a stable isotope dilution assay for tenuazonic acid. (United States)

    Asam, Stefan; Liu, Yang; Konitzer, Katharina; Rychlik, Michael


    A stable isotope dilution assay (SIDA) for the Alternaria mycotoxin tenuazonic acid was developed. Therefore, [(13)C(6),(15)N]-tenuazonic acid was synthesized from [(13)C(6),(15)N]-isoleucine by Dieckmann intramolecular cyclization after acetoacetylation with diketene. The synthesized [(13)C(6),(15)N]-tenuazonic acid was used as the internal standard for determination of tenuazonic acid in tomato products by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry after derivatization with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine. Method validation revealed a limit of detection of 0.1 μg/kg and a limit of quantitation of 0.3 μg/kg. Recovery was close to 100% in the range of 3-300 μg/kg. Determination of tenuazonic acid in two samples of different tomato ketchups (naturally contaminated) was achieved with a coefficient of variation of 2.3% and 4.7%. Different tomato products (n = 16) were analyzed for their content of tenuazonic acid using the developed SIDA. Values were between 15 and 195 μg/kg (tomato ketchup, n = 9), 363 and 909 μg/kg (tomato paste, n = 2), and 8 and 247 μg/kg (pureed tomatoes and comparable products, n = 5).

  5. Development of fully automated determination of marker-specific immunoglobulin G (IgG) avidity based on the avidity competition assay format: application for Abbott Architect cytomegalovirus and Toxo IgG Avidity assays. (United States)

    Curdt, Ingo; Praast, Gerald; Sickinger, Eva; Schultess, Jan; Herold, Iris; Braun, Hans Bertram; Bernhardt, Stephanie; Maine, Gregory T; Smith, Darwin D; Hsu, Stephen; Christ, Heike M; Pucci, Dominick; Hausmann, Michael; Herzogenrath, Jörg


    Determination of the avidity of immunoglobulin G (IgG) directed against a specific marker has become an established diagnostic tool for identifying or excluding acute infections with pathogens. A novel assay format termed AVIcomp (avidity competition based on mass action) circumventing the conventional chaotropic format has been developed for determination of the avidity of marker-specific IgG in patient specimens. Its applications for cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Toxoplasma gondii are presented. Specific high-avidity IgG from the patient specimen is selectively blocked using a soluble antigen in a sample pretreatment reagent, and the amount of remaining specific low-avidity IgG is determined relative to that in an untreated control. The comparison of the conventional chaotropic format, represented by the Radim CMV IgG Avidity assay, and the newly developed AVIcomp method, as exemplified by the Architect CMV IgG Avidity assay, on blood drawn within 4 months after seroconversion revealed a sensitivity of 100% (97.3% by an alternative calculation) for the AVIcomp format versus 87.5% (75.7% by an alternative calculation) for the chaotropic avidity assay. The specificity on 312 CMV IgG reactive and CMV IgM nonreactive specimens from pregnant women was 100% for the AVIcomp assay and 99.7% for the conventional avidity assay. The Architect Toxo IgG Avidity assay showed an agreement of 97.2% with the bioMérieux Vidas Toxo IgG Avidity Assay employing chaotropic reagents. These performance data suggest that the AVIcomp format shows superior sensitivity and equivalent specificity for the determination of IgG avidity to assays based on the chaotropic method and that the AVIcomp format may also be applicable to other disease states.

  6. Repeated dose liver micronucleus assay using adult mice with multiple genotoxicity assays concurrently performed as a combination test. (United States)

    Hagio, Soichiro; Furukawa, Satoshi; Abe, Masayoshi; Kuroda, Yusuke; Hayashi, Seigo; Ogawa, Izumi


    Recently, the liver micronucleus (MN) assay using young adult rats with repeated administrations has been investigated by employing a new method without partial hepatectomy or in situcollagenase perfusion as the repeated dose liver MN (RDLMN) assay by Narumi et al. (2012). In our study, in order to investigate the possibility of the RDLMN assay using young adult mice instead of rats and the feasibility of employing some genotoxicity assays along with the RDLMN assay as a combination test, two genotoxic carcinogens (N,N-diethylnitrosoamine (DEN) and cisplatin (CIS)) and a nongenotoxic carcinogen (phenobarbital sodium (PHE)) were administered to mice for 15 or 29 days. Then, the liver MN assay, peripheral blood (PB) MN assay and comet assay using the liver and kidney were concurrently performed as a combination test. DEN showed positive responses to all endpoints except MN induction in PB after 15 days of repeat administration. A cross-linking agent, CIS, showed MN induction in liver after 29 days of repeat administration, and in PB after 15 and 29 days of repeat administration, although the comet assay yielded negative responses for both organs at both sampling times. PHE yielded negative responses for all endpoints. In conclusion, it is suggested that the RDLMN assay using mice is a feasible method to be integrated into the general repeated toxicity test along with the combination assays, i.e., comet assay or PB MN assay, which would help in risk assessment for carcinogenicity by comparing the results of combination assays with each other.

  7. Heated oligonucleotide ligation assay (HOLA): an affordable single nucleotide polymorphism assay. (United States)

    Black, W C; Gorrochotegui-Escalante, N; Duteau, N M


    Most single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) detection requires expensive equipment and reagents. The oligonucleotide ligation assay (OLA) is an inexpensive SNP assay that detects ligation between a biotinylated "allele-specific detector" and a 3' fluorescein-labeled "reporter" oligonucleotide. No ligation occurs unless the 3' detector nucleotide is complementary to the SNP nucleotide. The original OLA used chemical denaturation and neutralization. Heated OLA (HOLA) instead uses a thermal stable ligase and cycles of denaturing and hybridization for ligation and SNP detection. The cost per genotype is approximately US$1.25 with two-allele SNPs or approximately US$1.75 with three-allele SNPs. We illustrate the development of HOLA for SNP detection in the Early Trypsin and Abundant Trypsin loci in the mosquito Aedes aegypti (L.) and at the a-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase locus in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae s.s.

  8. Fluorescence Polarization Assays in Small Molecule Screening (United States)

    Lea, Wendy A.; Simeonov, Anton


    Importance of the field Fluorescence polarization (FP) is a homogeneous method that allows rapid and quantitative analysis of diverse molecular interactions and enzyme activities. This technique has been widely utilized in clinical and biomedical settings, including the diagnosis of certain diseases and monitoring therapeutic drug levels in body fluids. Recent developments in the field has been symbolized by the facile adoption of FP in high-throughput screening (HTS) and small molecule drug discovery of an increasing range of target classes. Areas covered in this review The article provides a brief overview on the theoretical foundation of FP, followed by updates on recent advancements in its application for various drug target classes, including G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), enzymes and protein-protein interactions (PPIs). The strengths and weaknesses of this method, practical considerations in assay design, novel applications, and future directions are also discussed. What the reader will gain The reader will be informed of the most recent advancements and future directions of FP application to small molecule screening. Take home message In addition to its continued utilization in high-throughput screening, FP has expanded into new disease and target areas and has been marked by increased use of labeled small molecule ligands for receptor binding studies. PMID:22328899

  9. Fluorometric enzymatic assay of L-arginine (United States)

    Stasyuk, Nataliya; Gayda, Galina; Yepremyan, Hasmik; Stepien, Agnieszka; Gonchar, Mykhailo


    The enzymes of L-arginine (further - Arg) metabolism are promising tools for elaboration of selective methods for quantitative Arg analysis. In our study we propose an enzymatic method for Arg assay based on fluorometric monitoring of ammonia, a final product of Arg splitting by human liver arginase I (further - arginase), isolated from the recombinant yeast strain, and commercial urease. The selective analysis of ammonia (at 415 nm under excitation at 360 nm) is based on reaction with o-phthalaldehyde (OPA) in the presence of sulfite in alkali medium: these conditions permit to avoid the reaction of OPA with any amino acid. A linearity range of the fluorometric arginase-urease-OPA method is from 100 nM to 6 μМ with a limit of detection of 34 nM Arg. The method was used for the quantitative determination of Arg in the pooled sample of blood serum. The obtained results proved to be in a good correlation with the reference enzymatic method and literature data. The proposed arginase-urease-OPA method being sensitive, economical, selective and suitable for both routine and micro-volume formats, can be used in clinical diagnostics for the simultaneous determination of Arg as well as urea and ammonia in serum samples.

  10. Mouse lung adhesion assay for Bordetella pertussis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Burns, K.A.; Freer, J.H. (Department of Microbiology, Alexander Stone Building, Bearsden, Glasgow, Scotland)


    The ability of Bordetella pertussis to adhere to cell surfaces has been demonstrated by adhesion to tissue culture cells and adhesion to chicken, hamster or rabbit trachea in organ culture. In this report a mouse lung assay for adhesion is described and the results obtained using two virulent strains of B. pertussis and their avirulent counterparts. These were a C modulation of one of the original virulent strains and a phase IV variant of the other virulent strain. Organisms were radiolabelled by adding 1 (37 K Bq) of (/sup 14/C)glutamic acid per 10 ml of culture medium before inoculation and incubation for 5 days. The lungs were washed by perfusion in situ with at least two volumes (1 ml) of sterile 1% (w/v) casamino acids. The percentage of the inoculated organisms retained in the lungs was determined, after removal of the lungs, by one of the following two methods: viable count or radioactive count. Results for both methods were expressed as the percentage of the inoculum retained in the lungs plus or minus one standard deviation.

  11. The synchronous active neutron detection assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickrell, M.M.; Kendall, P.K.


    We have begun to develop a novel technique for active neutron assay of fissile material in spent nuclear fuel. This approach will exploit a 14-MeV neutron generator developed by Schlumberger. The technique, termed synchronous active neutron detection (SAND), follows a method used routinely in other branches of physics to detect very small signals in presence of large backgrounds. Synchronous detection instruments are widely available commercially and are termed ``lock-in`` amplifiers. We have implemented a digital lock-in amplifier in conjunction with the Schlumberger neutron generator to explore the possibility of synchronous detection with active neutrons. The Schlumberger system can operate at up to a 50% duty factor, in effect, a square wave of neutron yield. Results are preliminary but promising. The system is capable of resolving the fissile material contained in a small fraction of the fuel rods in a cold fuel assembly; it also appears resilient to background neutron interference. The interrogating neutrons appear to be non-thermal and penetrating. Work remains to fully explore relevant physics and optimize instrument design.

  12. Microrheological Coagulation Assay Exploiting Micromechanical Resonators. (United States)

    Padovani, Francesco; Duffy, James; Hegner, Martin


    Rheological measurements in biological liquids yield insights into homeostasis and provide information on important molecular processes that affect fluidity. We present a fully automated cantilever-based method for highly precise and sensitive measurements of microliter sample volumes of human blood plasma coagulation (0.009 cP for viscosity range 0.5-3 cP and 0.0012 g/cm(3) for density range 0.9-1.1 g/cm(3)). Microcantilever arrays are driven by a piezoelectric element, and resonance frequencies and quality factors of sensors that change over time are evaluated. A highly accurate approximation of the hydrodynamic function is introduced that correlates resonance frequency and quality factor of cantilever beams immersed in a fluid to the viscosity and density of that fluid. The theoretical model was validated using glycerol reference solutions. We present a surface functionalization protocol that allows minimization of unspecific protein adsorption onto cantilevers. Adsorption leads to measurement distortions and incorrect estimation of the fluid parameters (viscosity and density). Two hydrophilic terminated self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) sensor surfaces are compared to a hydrophobic terminated SAM coating. As expected, the hydrophobic modified surfaces induced the highest mass adsorption and could promote conformational changes of the proteins and subsequent abnormal biological activity. Finally, the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) coagulation assay was performed, and the viscosity, density, and coagulation rate of human blood plasma were measured along with the standard coagulation time. The method could extend and improve current coagulation testing.

  13. Establishment of indirect immunofluorescence assay for rotavirus. (United States)

    Tao, J; Zhang, J; Liu, X; Jin, H; Jiang, C; Yin, Y


    Rotavirus infection is the most frequent cause of infantile gastroenteritis worldwide and a significant cause of death in infants and young children, following severe diarrhea and dehydration. Rotavirus vaccines are considered the most effective way to prevent rotavirus infections. In the process of developing rotavirus vaccines, it is crucial to establish a reliable and standardized method to determine vaccine titer. In this study, we developed an indirect immunofluorescence assay (IFA) to determine the infectious titer of Lanzhou lamb rotavirus (LLR) vaccine grown in MA104 cells. The activating concentration of trypsin was 1 µg/ml for healthy monolayers of MA104 cells at 100% confluence. After incubation for 18 hr, a rabbit anti-SA11 polyclonal antibody, diluted at 1:800 in PBS, was added to all wells, followed by an Alexa-488-conjugated secondary antibody diluted at 1:500 in PBS. Cells were examined with a fluorescence microscope. Our results show that IFA was more reproducible, more sensitive, simpler, and more rapid than the log 50% cell culture infectious dose-ELISA (lgCCID50-ELISA) in measuring the rotavirus vaccines. IFA provided a reliable basis for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of rotavirus, and the certification of rotavirus vaccine production.

  14. Decision Making and Revealed Preference

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de la Rosa, Leonidas Enrique

    If our decision-making processes are to some extent shaped by evolutionary pressures and our environment is different from that to which we adapted, some of our choices will not be in our best interest. But revealed preference is the only tool that we have so far to conduct a normative analysis...

  15. Revealed preference with limited consideration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Demuynck, T.; Seel, C.


    We derive revealed preference tests for models where individuals use consideration sets to simplify their consumption problem. Our basic test provides necessary and sufficient conditions for consistency of observed choices with the existence of consideration set restrictions. The same conditions can

  16. The Hydra regeneration assay reveals ecological risks in running waters: a new proposal to detect environmental teratogenic threats. (United States)

    Traversetti, Lorenzo; Del Grosso, Floriano; Malafoglia, Valentina; Colasanti, Marco; Ceschin, Simona; Larsen, Stefano; Scalici, Massimiliano


    The regenerative ability of Hydra vulgaris was tested as potential biomarker for the development of a new eco-toxicological index. The test is based on the regeneration rate and the aberration frequency of the columna (body and adhesive foot) after separation from head and tentacles by a bistoury. Particularly, 45 columnae were submerged in the rearing solution (that is Hydra medium) to have control, and 285 in potential contaminated waters to have treatments, collected from 19 sites along 10 rivers in central Italy. ANCOVA and chi-square tests were used to compare values from each site to a laboratory control. Subsequently the values on regeneration rate and aberration frequency were inserted in a double entry matrix, where the match of the two entries in the matrix provides the score of the proposed Teratogenic Risk Index (TRI). Each score corresponded to one of the 5 teratogenic risk classes, to which a risk level was associated: from 1 (no risk) to 5 (very high risk). On the whole, 32% of the studied sites were classified as no teratogenic risk while the remaining showed a variable risk level from low to very high. This study proposed for the first time an early warning system to detect the presence of teratogens in running waters, providing a rapid and cost-effective evaluation method. Therefore, TRI may contribute to initiate adequate measures to manage riverine habitats, and to monitor the running water teratogenic status. Specifically, this index may provide the opportunity to identify the disturbance sources and then to drive the decisions, together with competent authorities, on the catchment and landscape management and on the possible use of waters for urban, agricultural, and industrial activities, since they may show significant effects on the human health.

  17. A human blood-brain barrier transcytosis assay reveals antibody transcytosis influenced by pH-dependent receptor binding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadassah Sade

    Full Text Available We have adapted an in vitro model of the human blood-brain barrier, the immortalized human cerebral microvascular endothelial cells (hCMEC/D3, to quantitatively measure protein transcytosis. After validating the receptor-mediated transport using transferrin, the system was used to measure transcytosis rates of antibodies directed against potential brain shuttle receptors. While an antibody to the insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R was exclusively recycled to the apical compartment, the fate of antibodies to the transferrin receptor (TfR was determined by their relative affinities at extracellular and endosomal pH. An antibody with reduced affinity at pH5.5 showed significant transcytosis, while pH-independent antibodies of comparable affinities at pH 7.4 remained associated with intracellular vesicular compartments and were finally targeted for degradation.

  18. Ultrastructural Interactions and Genotoxicity Assay of Cerium Dioxide Nanoparticles on Mouse Oocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Blandine Courbiere


    Full Text Available Cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO2 ENPs are on the priority list of nanomaterials requiring evaluation. We performed in vitro assays on mature mouse oocytes incubated with CeO2 ENPs to study (1 physicochemical biotransformation of ENPs in culture medium; (2 ultrastructural interactions with follicular cells and oocytes using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM; (3 genotoxicity of CeO2 ENPs on follicular cells and oocytes using a comet assay. DNA damage was quantified as Olive Tail Moment. We show that ENPs aggregated, but their crystal structure remained stable in culture medium. TEM showed endocytosis of CeO2 ENP aggregates in follicular cells. In oocytes, CeO2 ENP aggregates were only observed around the zona pellucida (ZP. The comet assay revealed significant DNA damage in follicular cells. In oocytes, the comet assay showed a dose-related increase in DNA damage and a significant increase only at the highest concentrations. DNA damage decreased significantly both in follicular cells and in oocytes when an anti-oxidant agent was added in the culture medium. We hypothesise that at low concentrations of CeO2 ENPs oocytes could be protected against indirect oxidative stress due to a double defence system composed of follicular cells and ZP.

  19. Development of a Cryptosporidium oocyst assay using an automated fiber optic-based biosensor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kramer Marianne F


    Full Text Available Abstract An intestinal protozoan parasite, Cryptosporidium parvum, is a major cause of waterborne gastrointestinal disease worldwide. Detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts in potable water is a high priority for the water treatment industry to reduce potential outbreaks among the consumer populace. Anti-Cryptosporidium oocyst polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies were tested as capture and detection reagents for use in a fiber optic biosensor assay for the detection of Cryptosporidium oocysts. Antibodies were validated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, flow cytometry, Western blotting and fluorescent microscopy. Oocysts could be detected at a concentration of 105 oocysts/ml when the polyclonal antibodies were used as the capture and detection reagents. When oocysts were boiled prior to detection, a ten-fold increase in sensitivity was achieved using the polyclonal antibody. Western blotting and immunofluorescence revealed that both the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies recognize a large (>300 kDa molecular weight mucin-like antigen present on the surface of the oocyst wall. The polyclonal antibody also reacted with a small (105 kDa molecular weight antigen that was present in boiled samples of oocysts. Preliminary steps to design an in-line biosensor assay system have shown that oocysts would have to be concentrated from water samples and heat treated to allow detection by a biosensor assay.

  20. Comparison of total protein concentration in skeletal muscle as measured by the Bradford and Lowry assays. (United States)

    Seevaratnam, Rajini; Patel, Barkha P; Hamadeh, Mazen J


    The Lowry and Bradford assays are the most commonly used methods of total protein quantification, yet vary in several aspects. To date, no comparisons have been made in skeletal muscle. We compared total protein concentrations of mouse red and white gastrocnemius, reagent stability, protein stability and range of linearity using both assays. The Lowry averaged protein concentrations 15% higher than the Bradford with a moderate correlation (r = 0.36, P = 0.01). However, Bland-Altman analysis revealed considerable bias (15.8 +/- 29.7%). Both Lowry reagents and its protein-reagent interactions were less stable over time than the Bradford. The linear range of concentration was smaller for the Lowry (0.05-0.50 mg/ml) than the Bradford (0-2.0 mg/ml). We conclude that the Bradford and Lowry measures of total protein concentration in skeletal muscle are not interchangeable. The Bradford and Lowry assays have various strengths and weaknesses in terms of substance interference and protein size. However, the Bradford provides greater reagent stability, protein-reagent stability and range of linearity, and requires less time to analyse compared to the Lowry assay.

  1. Open innovation for phenotypic drug discovery: The PD2 assay panel. (United States)

    Lee, Jonathan A; Chu, Shaoyou; Willard, Francis S; Cox, Karen L; Sells Galvin, Rachelle J; Peery, Robert B; Oliver, Sarah E; Oler, Jennifer; Meredith, Tamika D; Heidler, Steven A; Gough, Wendy H; Husain, Saba; Palkowitz, Alan D; Moxham, Christopher M


    Phenotypic lead generation strategies seek to identify compounds that modulate complex, physiologically relevant systems, an approach that is complementary to traditional, target-directed strategies. Unlike gene-specific assays, phenotypic assays interrogate multiple molecular targets and signaling pathways in a target "agnostic" fashion, which may reveal novel functions for well-studied proteins and discover new pathways of therapeutic value. Significantly, existing compound libraries may not have sufficient chemical diversity to fully leverage a phenotypic strategy. To address this issue, Eli Lilly and Company launched the Phenotypic Drug Discovery Initiative (PD(2)), a model of open innovation whereby external research groups can submit compounds for testing in a panel of Lilly phenotypic assays. This communication describes the statistical validation, operations, and initial screening results from the first PD(2) assay panel. Analysis of PD(2) submissions indicates that chemical diversity from open source collaborations complements internal sources. Screening results for the first 4691 compounds submitted to PD(2) have confirmed hit rates from 1.6% to 10%, with the majority of active compounds exhibiting acceptable potency and selectivity. Phenotypic lead generation strategies, in conjunction with novel chemical diversity obtained via open-source initiatives such as PD(2), may provide a means to identify compounds that modulate biology by novel mechanisms and expand the innovation potential of drug discovery.

  2. Rapid Estimation of Tocopherol Content in Linseed and Sunflower Oils-Reactivity and Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tjaša Prevc


    Full Text Available The reactivity of tocopherols with 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH was studied in model systems in order to establish a method for quantifying vitamin E in plant oils. The method was optimized with respect to solvent composition of the assay medium, which has a large influence on the course of reaction of tocopherols with DPPH. The rate of reaction of α-tocopherol with DPPH is higher than that of γ-tocopherol in both protic and aprotic solvents. In ethyl acetate, routinely applied for the analysis of antioxidant potential (AOP of plant oils, reactions of tocopherols with DPPH are slower and concentration of tocopherols in the assay has a large influence on their molar reactivity. In 2-propanol, however, two electrons are exchanged for both α- and γ-tocopherols, independent of their concentration. 2-propanol is not toxic and is fully compatible with polypropylene labware. The chromatographically determined content of tocopherols and their molar reactivity in the DPPH assay reveal that only tocopherols contribute to the AOP of sunflower oil, whereas the contribution of tocopherols to the AOP of linseed oil is 75%. The DPPH assay in 2-propanol can be applied for rapid and cheap estimation of vitamin E content in plant oils where tocopherols are major antioxidants.

  3. A novel SERRS sandwich-hybridization assay to detect specific DNA target.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cécile Feuillie

    Full Text Available In this study, we have applied Surface Enhanced Resonance Raman Scattering (SERRS technology to the specific detection of DNA. We present an innovative SERRS sandwich-hybridization assay that allows specific DNA detection without any enzymatic amplification, such as is the case with Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR. In some substrates, such as ancient or processed remains, enzymatic amplification fails due to DNA alteration (degradation, chemical modification or to the presence of inhibitors. Consequently, the development of a non-enzymatic method, allowing specific DNA detection, could avoid long, expensive and inconclusive amplification trials. Here, we report the proof of concept of a SERRS sandwich-hybridization assay that leads to the detection of a specific chamois DNA. This SERRS assay reveals its potential as a non-enzymatic alternative technology to DNA amplification methods (particularly the PCR method with several applications for species detection. As the amount and type of damage highly depend on the preservation conditions, the present SERRS assay would enlarge the range of samples suitable for DNA analysis and ultimately would provide exciting new opportunities for the investigation of ancient DNA in the fields of evolutionary biology and molecular ecology, and of altered DNA in food frauds detection and forensics.

  4. Optimization of cell motility evaluation in scratch assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gotsulyak N. Ya.


    Full Text Available A scratch test is one of the most popular methods of classical cell migration assay in a monolayer culture. At the same time, the scratch assay has some disadvantages that can be easily corrected. Aim. Optimization the existent scratch assay on the base of detection of scratch wound surface area and the length of the field of observation which is more objective and less time consuming. Methods. Scratch assay. Results. The modification of scratch assay enables to perform measurement more accurately and rapidly. This approach is more simple and eliminates the main disadvantages of the classical method. Conclusions. The procedure of scratch wound width measurement calculated on the base of detection of cell free area and the length of the field of observation is more effective than the classical wound healing assay. It will be useful for the estimation of cell migration dynamics in monolayer culture for a wide range of live cell based experiments.

  5. Ecotoxicological Assessment of Aquatic Genotoxicity Using the Comet Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Comet assay is a novel biological analysis, which is a sensitive, flexible, simple, rapid, and inexpensive method to assess aquatic genotoxicant. Since Singh and co-workers developed the method in 1988, its use has increased exponentially in various fields. This review discourses on the application of this assay in aquatic ecosystems. Various types of cells from various aquatic organisms have been tested by various genotoxicant both direct- and indirect-acting using the comet assay. The applications of this assay suggest that it is a useful assay to assess aquatic genotoxicants. However, there are some factors, which should be taken into account when using this assay as aquatic ecotoxicological assessment device such as inter-animal and cell variability.

  6. A comprehensive company database analysis of biological assay variability. (United States)

    Kramer, Christian; Dahl, Göran; Tyrchan, Christian; Ulander, Johan


    Analysis of data from various compounds measured in diverse biological assays is a central part of drug discovery research projects. However, no systematic overview of the variability in biological assays has been published and judgments on assay quality and robustness of data are often based on personal belief and experience within the drug discovery community. To address this we performed a reproducibility analysis of all biological assays at AstraZeneca between 2005 and 2014. We found an average experimental uncertainty of less than a twofold difference and no technologies or assay types had higher variability than others. This work suggests that robust data can be obtained from the most commonly applied biological assays.

  7. Establishment of an Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay for Neonatal Thyrotropin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)


    A sensitive and specific ELISA for neonatal thyrotropin(Neonatal TSH) is established with using twoanti-TSH monoclonal antibody. One of them is coated on the microtiter plate, the other is conjugate ofbiotin. The label is horseradish peroxidase(HRP) conjugate of streptavidin. TMB-H2O2 solution is used asthe substrate of HRP.The sensitivity of the assay is 0.5 mIU/L, the intra-assay CVs and the intre-assay

  8. An ultrasensitive rapid immunocytotoxicity assay for detecting Clostridium difficile toxins (United States)

    He, Xiangyun; Wang, Jufang; Steele, Jennifer; Sun, Xingmin; Nie, Weijia; Tzipori, Saul; Feng, Hanping


    We describe a novel ultrasensitive cell-based immunocytotoxicity assay for detecting less then 1 pg/ml of Clostridium difficile toxins in porcine clinical samples. The assay is simple to perform with a turnaround time of approximately 3 hours and capable of detecting less then 1 pg/ml of toxin A. Using this assay, we were able to detect the presence of C. difficile toxins in the fecal and serum specimens of experimentally infected piglets. PMID:19393695


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)



    Full Text Available Three new, simple, and cost-effective visible spectrophotometric methods are proposed for determination of gatifloxacin (GTF using bromate-bromide mixture, and three dyes, methyl orange, indigocarmine and thymol blue, as reagents.The methods engross the addition of a known excess of bromate-bromide mixture to GTF in hydrochloric acid medium followed by determination of residual bromine by reacting with a fixed amount of either methyl orange andmeasuring the absorbance at 520 nm (method A or indigo carmine and measuring the absorbance at 610 nm (method B or thymol blue and measuring the absorbance at 550 nm (method C. In all the methods, the amount of brominereacted corresponds to the amount of GTF, and the absorbance is found to increase linearly with the concentration of GTF. Under the optimum conditions, GTF could be assayed in the concentration range 0.25-1.5, 0.5-6.0, and 0.5-10μg/mL by method A, method B and method C, respectively. The apparent molar absorptivities are calculated to be 1.6x105, 4.0x104 and 3.2x104 L mol-1 cm-1 for the method A, method B and method C, respectively, and the corresponding Sandell sensitivity values are 0.0025, 0.010 and 0.012 μg/cm2. The intra-day and inter-day precision, and the accuracy of the methods were evaluated as per the current ICH guidelines. The methods were successfully applied to the determination of GTF in pharmaceutical preparations without the interference from any of the pharmaceutical adjuvants.

  10. Computer-determined assay time based on preset precision

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foster, L.A.; Hagan, R.; Martin, E.R.; Wachter, J.R.; Bonner, C.A.; Malcom, J.E. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States). Nuclear Materials Measurement and Accountability


    Most current assay systems for special nuclear materials (SNM) operate on the principle of a fixed assay time which provides acceptable measurement precision without sacrificing the required throughput of the instrument. Waste items to be assayed for SNM content can contain a wide range of nuclear material. Counting all items for the same preset assay time results in a wide range of measurement precision and wastes time at the upper end of the calibration range. A short time sample taken at the beginning of the assay could optimize the analysis time on the basis of the required measurement precision. To illustrate the technique of automatically determining the assay time, measurements were made with a segmented gamma scanner at the Plutonium Facility of Los Alamos National Laboratory with the assay time for each segment determined by counting statistics in that segment. Segments with very little SNM were quickly determined to be below the lower limit of the measurement range and the measurement was stopped. Segments with significant SNM were optimally assays to the preset precision. With this method the total assay time for each item is determined by the desired preset precision. This report describes the precision-based algorithm and presents the results of measurements made to test its validity.

  11. Robust versatile tyrosine kinase assay for HTS in drug discovery (United States)

    Deshpande, Sudhir S.; Mineyev, I.; Owicki, John C.


    A fluorescence polarization assay was developed as an alternative to the radiolabeled SPA assays currently used to monitor the activity of tyrosine kinases in drug discovery. The assay can be used with enzymes having substrate specificity similar to that of the insulin receptor, the EGF receptor and the Src kinase receptor enzymes. The assay is easy to configure in 96, 384 and 1536-well microplates in assay volumes ranging from (mu) L with minimal efforts. The reconstituted reagents are stable for up to 24 hr at ambient temperatures, thereby minimizing the need for replenishing the stock solutions during the course of a high-throughput screen. Because of the stability and equilibrium kinetics, the assay allows the user the luxury of scheduling the reading of plates any time up to 24 hr after the completion of the assay without substantial deterioration in the assay signal. The antibody and the tracer solutions can also be premixed and added as a preformed complex in a single step. The performance of the assay with the insulin receptor kinase is described. In addition, given the diversity of the substrates used in measuring the activity of different tyrosine kinases, LJL's on-going efforts to provide different antibodies of wide ranging specificity and sensitivity are described.

  12. A Multi-detection Assay for Malaria Transmitting Mosquitoes (United States)

    Lee, Yoosook; Weakley, Allison M.; Nieman, Catelyn C.; Malvick, Julia; Lanzaro, Gregory C.


    The Anopheles gambiae species complex includes the major malaria transmitting mosquitoes in Africa. Because these species are of such medical importance, several traits are typically characterized using molecular assays to aid in epidemiological studies. These traits include species identification, insecticide resistance, parasite infection status, and host preference. Since populations of the Anopheles gambiae complex are morphologically indistinguishable, a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is traditionally used to identify species. Once the species is known, several downstream assays are routinely performed to elucidate further characteristics. For instance, mutations known as KDR in a para gene confer resistance against DDT and pyrethroid insecticides. Additionally, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) or Plasmodium parasite DNA detection PCR assays are used to detect parasites present in mosquito tissues. Lastly, a combination of PCR and restriction enzyme digests can be used to elucidate host preference (e.g., human vs. animal blood) by screening the mosquito bloodmeal for host-specific DNA. We have developed a multi-detection assay (MDA) that combines all of the aforementioned assays into a single multiplex reaction genotyping 33SNPs for 96 or 384 samples at a time. Because the MDA includes multiple markers for species, Plasmodium detection, and host blood identification, the likelihood of generating false positives or negatives is greatly reduced from previous assays that include only one marker per trait. This robust and simple assay can detect these key mosquito traits cost-effectively and in a fraction of the time of existing assays. PMID:25867057

  13. Modeling error in experimental assays using the bootstrap principle: understanding discrepancies between assays using different dispensing technologies (United States)

    Hanson, Sonya M.; Ekins, Sean; Chodera, John D.


    All experimental assay data contains error, but the magnitude, type, and primary origin of this error is often not obvious. Here, we describe a simple set of assay modeling techniques based on the bootstrap principle that allow sources of error and bias to be simulated and propagated into assay results. We demonstrate how deceptively simple operations—such as the creation of a dilution series with a robotic liquid handler—can significantly amplify imprecision and even contribute substantially to bias. To illustrate these techniques, we review an example of how the choice of dispensing technology can impact assay measurements, and show how large contributions to discrepancies between assays can be easily understood and potentially corrected for. These simple modeling techniques—illustrated with an accompanying IPython notebook—can allow modelers to understand the expected error and bias in experimental datasets, and even help experimentalists design assays to more effectively reach accuracy and imprecision goals.

  14. Modeling error in experimental assays using the bootstrap principle: understanding discrepancies between assays using different dispensing technologies. (United States)

    Hanson, Sonya M; Ekins, Sean; Chodera, John D


    All experimental assay data contains error, but the magnitude, type, and primary origin of this error is often not obvious. Here, we describe a simple set of assay modeling techniques based on the bootstrap principle that allow sources of error and bias to be simulated and propagated into assay results. We demonstrate how deceptively simple operations--such as the creation of a dilution series with a robotic liquid handler--can significantly amplify imprecision and even contribute substantially to bias. To illustrate these techniques, we review an example of how the choice of dispensing technology can impact assay measurements, and show how large contributions to discrepancies between assays can be easily understood and potentially corrected for. These simple modeling techniques--illustrated with an accompanying IPython notebook--can allow modelers to understand the expected error and bias in experimental datasets, and even help experimentalists design assays to more effectively reach accuracy and imprecision goals.

  15. SNP genotyping using TaqMan® technology: the CYP2D6*17 assay conundrum (United States)

    Gaedigk, Andrea; Freeman, Natalie; Hartshorne, Toinette; Riffel, Amanda K.; Irwin, David; Bishop, Jeffrey R.; Stein, Mark A.; Newcorn, Jeffrey H.; Jaime, Lazara Karelia Montané; Cherner, Mariana; Leeder, J. Steven


    CYP2D6 contributes to the metabolism of many clinically used drugs and is increasingly tested to individualize drug therapy. The CYP2D6 gene is challenging to genotype due to the highly complex nature of its gene locus. TaqMan® technology is widely used in the clinical and research settings for genotype analysis due to assay reliability, low cost, and the availability of commercially available assays. The assay identifying 1023C>T (rs28371706) defining a reduced function (CYP2D6*17) and several nonfunctional alleles, produced a small number of unexpected diplotype calls in three independent sets of samples, i.e. calls suggested the presence of a CYP2D6*4 subvariant containing 1023C>T. Gene resequencing did not reveal any unknown SNPs in the primer or probe binding sites in any of the samples, but all affected samples featured a trio of SNPs on their CYP2D6*4 allele between one of the PCR primer and probe binding sites. While the phenomenon was ultimately overcome by an alternate assay utilizing a PCR primer excluding the SNP trio, the mechanism causing this phenomenon remains elusive. This rare and unexpected event underscores the importance of assay validation in samples representing a variety of genotypes, but also vigilance of assay performance in highly polymorphic genes such as CYP2D6. PMID:25788121

  16. The Slug Mucosal Irritation (SMI) assay: a tool for the evaluation of nasal discomfort. (United States)

    Lenoir, Joke; Bachert, Claus; Remon, Jean-Paul; Adriaens, Els


    In this research project, the Slug Mucosal Irritation (SMI) assay was applied to predict nasal discomfort, investigating the correlation between responses in slugs and humans. Several SMI experiments and a Human Nose Irritation Test (HNIT) were performed with five NaCl solutions (0.4%, 1.3%, 2.6%, 5.4% and 10.4%) and two benzalkonium chloride solutions (BAC 0.02% and BAC 0.05%). In the HNIT, subjective evaluation of clinical discomfort was performed by 24 participants at several time points. Analyzes reveal that (1) a significant positive association existed between immediate stinging reaction reported by the participants and the mean total mucus production of the slugs (Spearman's Rank correlation=0.963, passay is a promising evaluation method for clinical nasal discomfort. Screening (prototype) formulations with this assay allows formula optimization prior to a clinical trial.

  17. Bacteriophage amplification assay for detection of Listeria spp. using virucidal laser treatment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.C. Oliveira


    Full Text Available A protocol for the bacteriophage amplification technique was developed for quantitative detection of viable Listeria monocytogenes cells using the A511 listeriophage with plaque formation as the end-point assay. Laser and toluidine blue O (TBO were employed as selective virucidal treatment for destruction of exogenous bacteriophage. Laser and TBO can bring a total reduction in titer phage (ca. 10(8 pfu/mL without affecting the viability of L. monocytogenes cells. Artificially inoculated skimmed milk revealed mean populations of the bacteria as low as between 13 cfu/mL (1.11 log cfu/mL, after a 10-h assay duration. Virucidal laser treatment demonstrated better protection of Listeria cells than the other agents previously tested. The protocol was faster and easier to perform than standard procedures. This protocol constitutes an alternative for rapid, sensitive and quantitative detection of L. monocytogenes.

  18. Genotoxicity evaluation of dimethoate to experimental mice by micronucleus, chromosome aberration tests, and comet assay. (United States)

    Ayed-Boussema, Imen; Rjiba, Karima; Mnasri, Nourhène; Moussa, Amal; Bacha, Hassen


    Dimethoate (DM) is an organophosphate insecticide with numerous uses on field and agricultural crops and ornamentals. Data concerning DM-acute genotoxicity are controversial and knowledge on its delayed effect is limited. For this reason, we aimed to further explore DM genotoxicity resulting from subchronic intoxication of experimental mice. Thus, DM was administered to mice at doses ranging from 1 to 30 mg/kg body weight for a period of 30 consecutive days. There was a significant increase (P < .05) in the frequency of micronucleated bone marrow cells following DM administration. Furthermore, the chromosome aberration assay revealed a significant increase in the percentage of chromosome abnormalities in a dose-dependent manner. Dimethoate was also found to induce significant DNA damage in mouse bone marrow cells as assessed by the comet assay. Altogether, our results showed that, after a subchronic exposure, DM was a genotoxic compound in experimental mice.

  19. Antibodies to poliovirus detected by immunoradiometric assay with a monoclonal antibody

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spitz, M.; Fossati, C.A.; Schild, G.C.; Spitz, L.; Brasher, M. (National Inst. for Biological Standards and Control, London (UK))


    An immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) for the assay of antibodies to poliovirus antigens is described. Dilutions of the test sera or whole (finger prick) blood samples were incubated with the poliovirus antigen bound to a solid phase and the specific antibody was detected by the addition of a mouse anti-human IgG monoclonal antibody (McAb), which was itself revealed by iodinated sheep IgG antimouse F(ab). The authors have shown that this technique is suitable for the estimation of IgG anti-poliovirus antibodies induced in children following polio vaccine. The present study shows that SPRIA provides a simple and inexpensive method for serological studies with poliovirus particularly for use in large-scale surveys.

  20. Development of a caseinase assay for PCR independent detection of esp gene carriage among enterococci (United States)

    Dada, Ayokunle Christopher; Asmat, Ahmad; Lee, Yook Heng; Usup, Gires


    Currently, there is no known relationship between caseinase and carriage of esp gene. Also, no breakpoints exist for phenotypic assays that are used to infer virulence characteristics among Enterococci. In the present study, caseinase activity was measured by a radial diffusion assay for 113 enterococci isolates. A standard curve with predictive r2 value of 0.939 was produced by dispensing several doubling dilutions of proteinase K into 3% skimmed milk agar wells. Caseinase activity for all tested enterococci was subsequently converted into proteinase K activity, using the obtained chart. Caseinase activity ranged from 1.74 × 10-8 to 4.47 × 10-7ug/ml and 6.37 × 10-8 to 8.82 × 10-8 ug/ml per colony of environmental and clinical enterocococci tested, proportionate to proteinase K activity. Caseinase activity among environmental strains was five-fold higher than was observed among clinical strains. Fishers exact test revealed significant associations between esp gene carriage and caseinase activity (diameter on skimmed milk, z=8 to 13mm) at p<0.1. However, the probability of association was strongest at z=13 mm (p=0.033) suggesting a range of diameter cut-offs that was exclusive to and may be used to predict the presence of environmental enterococci strains harbouring esp gene. Results obtained from sensitivity analysis showed increasing assay sensitivity from cut-off of 9 mm (61.54%) up to 84.62% (13 mm). Specificity of the caseinase assay slightly decreased from 50% to 42.86% as cut-off increased from 9 to 13 mm. The caseinase assay described here potentially proves useful in preliminary PCR independent screening of environmental enterococci isolates for the detection of strains which carry the esp gene known to increase the severity of enterococcal infections.

  1. Dissecting docking and tethering of secretory vesicles at the target membrane (United States)

    Toonen, Ruud F; Kochubey, Olexiy; de Wit, Heidi; Gulyas-Kovacs, Attila; Konijnenburg, Bas; Sørensen, Jakob B; Klingauf, Jurgen; Verhage, Matthijs


    Secretory vesicles dock at their target in preparation for fusion. Using single-vesicle total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy in chromaffin cells, we show that most approaching vesicles dock only transiently, but that some are captured by at least two different tethering modes, weak and strong. Both vesicle delivery and tethering depend on Munc18-1, a known docking factor. By decreasing the amount of cortical actin by Latrunculin A application, morphological docking can be restored artificially in docking-deficient munc18-1 null cells, but neither strong tethering nor fusion, demonstrating that morphological docking is not sufficient for secretion. Deletion of the t-SNARE and Munc18-1 binding partner syntaxin, but not the v-SNARE synaptobrevin/VAMP, also reduces strong tethering and fusion. We conclude that docking vesicles either undock immediately or are captured by minimal tethering machinery and converted in a munc18-1/syntaxin-dependent, strongly tethered, fusion-competent state. PMID:16902411

  2. Phosphorylation of synaptotagmin-1 controls a post-priming step in PKC-dependent presynaptic plasticity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    de Jong, Arthur P H; Meijer, Marieke; Saarloos, Ingrid


    Presynaptic activation of the diacylglycerol (DAG)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway is a central event in short-term synaptic plasticity. Two substrates, Munc13-1 and Munc18-1, are essential for DAG-induced potentiation of vesicle priming, but the role of most presynaptic PKC substrates is not unde...

  3. A Simple Endpoint Assay for Starch-Degrading Enzymes. (United States)

    Kroen, William K.


    Since many of the important energy-transferring pathways involve synthesis or degradation of biological macromolecules, observations of the enzymes responsible for starch breakdown provide a useful case study. Provides a short, one-step assay for the enzymes amylase and amyloglucosidase. Topics covered include goals, preparation, assay procedure,…

  4. 21 CFR 864.7455 - Fetal hemoglobin assay. (United States)


    ... hemoglobin present. The assay may be used to detect fetal red cells in the maternal circulation or to detect... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Fetal hemoglobin assay. 864.7455 Section 864.7455...) MEDICAL DEVICES HEMATOLOGY AND PATHOLOGY DEVICES Hematology Kits and Packages § 864.7455 Fetal...

  5. Calibrated user-friendly reverse transcriptase-PCR assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bor, M V; Sørensen, B S; Rammer, P;


    We report a competitive reverse transcriptase-PCR (RT-PCR) assay and a calibrated user-friendly RT-PCR assay (CURT-PCR) for epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mRNA. A calibrator was prepared from isolated rat liver RNA, and the amount of EGFR mRNA was determined by competitive RT-PCR. In CUR...

  6. Radioimmunoprecipitation polyethylene glycol assay for circulating Entamoeba histolytica antigens

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pillai, S.; Mohimen, A.; Mehra, S. (Calcutta Medical Research Inst., Calcutta (India). Kothari Centre of Gastroenterology)


    An assay capable of detecting circulating Entamoeba histolytica antigens in amoebiasis is described. This assay utilised a radiolabelled affinity purified rabbit anti-E. histolytica antibody that had been depleted of antibodies that cross-react with human serum proteins, and a polyethylene glycol precipitation step.

  7. Engineering luciferase enzymes and substrates for novel assay capabilities (United States)

    Wood, Keith V.


    In the development of HTS as a central paradigm of drug discovery, fluorescent reporter molecules have generally been adopted as the favored signal transducer. Nevertheless, luminescence has maintained a prominent position among certain methodologies, most notably genetic reporters. Recently, there has been growing partiality for luminescent assays across a broader range of applications due to their sensitivity, extensive linearity, and robustness to library compounds and complex biological samples. This trend has been fostered by development several new assay designs for diverse targets such as kinases, cytochrome p450's, proteases, apoptosis, and cytotoxicity. This review addresses recent progress made in the use of bioluminescent assays for drug discovery, highlighting new detection capabilities brought about by engineering luciferase enzymes and substrates. In reporter gene applications, modified luciferases have provided greatly improved expression efficiency in mammalian cells, improved responsiveness to changes of transcriptional rate, and increased the magnitude of the reporter response. Highly stabilized luciferase mutants have enabled new assays strategies for high-throughput screening based on detection of ATP and luciferin. Assays based on ATP support rapid analysis of cell metabolism and enzymatic processes coupled to ATP hydrolysis. Although luciferin is found natively only in luminous beetles, coupled assays have been designed using modified forms of luciferin requiring the action of second enzyme to yield luminescence. Due to the very low inherent background and protection of the photon-emitter afforded by the enzyme, bioluminescent assays often outperform the analogous fluorescent assays for analyses performed in multiwell plates.

  8. The glucose oxidase-peroxidase assay for glucose (United States)

    The glucose oxidase-peroxidase assay for glucose has served as a very specific, sensitive, and repeatable assay for detection of glucose in biological samples. It has been used successfully for analysis of glucose in samples from blood and urine, to analysis of glucose released from starch or glycog...

  9. Microfluidic assay without blocking for rapid HIV screening and confirmation. (United States)

    Song, Lusheng; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Wenjun; Ma, Liying; Liu, Yong; Hao, Yanlin; Shao, Yiming; Zhang, Wei; Jiang, Xingyu


    The essential step for HIV spreading limitation is the screening tests. However, there are multiple disadvantages in current screening assays which need further confirmation test. Herein we developed a rapid HIV assay combining screening and confirmation test by using the microfluidic network assay. Meanwhile, the assay is accelerated by bypassing the step of blocking. We call this method as microfluidic assay without blocking (MAWB). Both the limit of detection and reagent incubation time of MAWB are determined by screening of one model protein pair: ovalbumin and its antibody. The assay time is accelerated about 25% while the limit of detection (LOD) is well kept. Formatting the method in for both HIV screening (testing 8 HIV-related samples) and confirmation (assaying 6 kinds of HIV antibodies of each sample) within 30 min was successful. Fast HIV screening and confirmation of 20 plasma samples were also demonstrated by this method. MAWB improved the assay speed while keeping the LOD of conventional ELISA. Meanwhile, both the accuracy and throughput of MAWB were well improved, which made it an excellent candidate for a quick HIV test for both screening and confirmation. Methods like this one will find wide applications in clinical diagnosis and biochemical analysis based on the interactions between pairs of molecules.

  10. Exposure-based validation list for developmental toxicity screening assays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daston, George P.; Beyer, Bruce K.; Carney, Edward W.; Chapin, Robert E.; Friedman, Jan M.; Piersma, Aldert H.; Rogers, John M.; Scialli, Anthony R.


    Validation of alternative assays requires comparison of the responses to toxicants in the alternative assay with in vivo responses. Chemicals have been classified as "positive" or "negative" in vivo, despite the fact that developmental toxicity is conditional on magnitude of exposure. We developed a

  11. Comparison of in vivo and in vitro reporter gene assays for short-term screening of estrogenic activity. (United States)

    Legler, Juliette; Zeinstra, Laura M; Schuitemaker, Femke; Lanser, Peter H; Bogerd, Jan; Brouwer, Abraham; Vethaak, A Dick; De Voogt, Pim; Murk, Albertinka J; Van der Burg, Bart


    Functional in vitro and in vivo reporter gene assays have recently been developed for the rapid determination of exposure to (xeno)estrogens. The in vitro estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated chemically activated luciferase gene expression (ER-CALUX) assay uses T47D human breast cancer cells stably transfected with an ER-mediated luciferase gene construct. In the in vivo assay, transgenic zebrafish are used in which the same luciferase construct has been stably introduced. In both assays, luciferase reporter gene activity can be easily quantified following short-term exposure to chemicals activating endogenous estrogen receptors. The objective of this study was to compare responses by known (xeno)estrogenic compounds in both assays. Exposure to the (xeno)estrogens estradiol (E2), estrone, ethynylestradiol (EE2), o,p'-DDT, nonylphenol (NP), and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) revealed that EE2 was the most potent (xeno)estrogen tested and was 100 times more potent than E2 in the transgenic zebrafish assay, whereas in the in vitro ER-CALUX assay, EE2 and E2 were equipotent Although the xenoestrogens o,p'-DDT and NP were full estrogen agonists in the in vitro ER-CALUX assay, only o,p'-DDT demonstrated weak dose-related estrogenic activity in vivo. To determine if differences in reporter gene activity may be explained by differential affinity of (xeno)estrogens to human and zebrafish ERs, full-length sequences of the zebrafish ER subtypes alpha, beta, and gamma were cloned, and transactivation by (xeno)estrogens was compared to human ERalpha and ERbeta. Using transiently transfected recombinant ER and reporter gene constructs, EE2 also showed relatively potent activation of zebrafish ERalpha and ERbeta compared to human ERalpha and ERbeta. Zebrafish ERbeta and ERgamma showed higher transactivation by (xeno)estrogens relative to E2 than human ERbeta.

  12. Bioluminescence-Sensing Assay for Microbial Growth Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heba Ramadan Eed


    Full Text Available The conventional methods for microbial viability quantification require cultivation and are laborious. There is consequently a widespread need for cultivation-free methods. The adenosine triphosphate (ATP bioluminescence-sensing assay is considered an extremely effective biosensor; hence ATP is the energy currency of all living microbes and can be used as a rapid indicator of microbial viability. We developed an ATP bioluminescence-sensing assay to detect microbial viability. A bioluminescent recombinant E. coli strain was used with luciferase extracted from transformed bacteria. Results showed that there is a direct correlation between the bioluminescence intensity of the ATP bioluminescence-sensing assay and the microbial viability. Bacterial counts from food samples were detected using the developed sensing assay and validated by the traditional plate-counting method. Compared with the plate-counting method, ATP bioluminescence-sensing assay is a more rapid and efficient approach for detecting microbial viability.

  13. Comparison of immunoturbidimetric and immunonephelometric assays for specific proteins. (United States)

    Mali, Bahera; Armbruster, David; Serediak, Ernie; Ottenbreit, Tammy


    Immunoturbidimetric assays for specific proteins are available on "open system" clinical chemistry analyzers. The analytical performance of nine immunoturbidimetric specific protein assays (C3, C4, CRP, Haptoglobin, IgA, IgG, IgM, RF, and Transferrin) was compared to immunonephelometry. Testing was performed on the Abbott ARCHITECT ci8200 and the Dade Behring BNII nephelometer and evaluated for precision, linearity, limit of detection, prozone phenomenon, method comparison, workflow, and proficiency testing survey comparison. Immunoturbidimetric assays performance was satisfactory for total precision, linearity, limit of detection and the prozone effect was not observed. Method comparison was acceptable for the immunoglobulins, CRP and transferrin but less favorable for the other assays, likely due to methodology and antibody specificity differences. Immunourbidimetric specific protein assays allow for efficient test consolidation on a general purpose clinical chemistry analyzer.

  14. Transparency masters for mathematics revealed

    CERN Document Server

    Berman, Elizabeth


    Transparency Masters for Mathematics Revealed focuses on master diagrams that can be used for transparencies for an overhead projector or duplicator masters for worksheets. The book offers information on a compilation of master diagrams prepared by John R. Stafford, Jr., audiovisual supervisor at the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Some of the transparencies are designed to be shown horizontally. The initial three masters are number lines and grids that can be used in a mathematics course, while the others are adaptations of text figures which are slightly altered in some instances. The

  15. Implementation and Use of State-of-the-Art, Cell-Based In Vitro Assays. (United States)

    Langer, Gernot


    The impressive advances in the generation and interpretation of functional omics data have greatly contributed to a better understanding of the (patho-)physiology of many biological systems and led to a massive increase in the number of specific targets and phenotypes to investigate in both basic and applied research. The obvious complexity revealed by these studies represents a major challenge to the research community and asks for improved target characterisation strategies with the help of reliable, high-quality assays. Thus, the use of living cells has become an integral part of many research activities because the cellular context more closely represents target-specific interrelations and activity patterns. Although still predominant, the use of traditional two-dimensional (2D) monolayer cell culture models has been gradually complemented by studies based on three-dimensional (3D) spheroid (Sutherland 1988) and other 3D tissue culture systems (Santos et al. 2012; Matsusaki et al. 2014) in an attempt to employ model systems more closely representing the microenvironment of cells in the body. Hence, quite a variety of state-of-the-art cell culture models are available for the generation of novel chemical probes or the identification of starting points for drug development in translational research and pharma drug discovery. In order to cope with these information-rich formats and their increasing technical complexity, cell-based assay development has become a scientific research topic in its own right and is used to ensure the provision of significant, reliable and high-quality data outlasting any discussions related to the current "irreproducibility epidemic" (Dolgin 2014; Prinz et al. 2011; Schatz 2014). At the same time the use of cells in microplate assay formats has become state of the art and greatly facilitates rigorous cell-based assay development by providing the researcher with the opportunity to address the multitude of factors affecting the actual

  16. Development and Validation of a HPV-32 Specific PCR Assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh Janet


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Human Papillomavirus-32 (HPV-32 has traditionally been associated with focal-epithelial-hyperplasia (FEH. It is also present in 58% of oral warts of HIV-positive individuals whose prevalence is increasing. Current methods for the detection of HPV-32 are labor-intensive and insensitive so the goal of this work was to develop a highly sensitive and easy to use specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR assay. Materials and methods An HPV-32 L1 specific PCR assay was developed and optimized. The sensitivity and specificity was compared to previous assays utilized for detection (PGMY and MY09/11 PCR with dot blot hybridization using cloned HPV-32 L1, the closely related HPV-42 L1 as well as clinical samples (oral swabs and fluids from 89 HIV-positive subjects. Results The HPV-32 specific PCR assay showed improved sensitivity to 5 copies of HPV-32 as compared to the PGMY PCR, MY09/11 PCR and dot blot which had a limit of detection of approximately 3,000 copies. Using the HPV-32 dot blot hybridization assay as the gold standard, the HPV-32 specific PCR assay has a sensitivity of 95.8% and 88.9% by sample and subject, respectively, and specificity was 87.8% and 58.8% by sample and subject, respectively. The low sensitivity is due to the HPV-32 specific PCR assays ability to detect more HPV-32 positive samples and may be the new gold standard. Conclusion Due to the ease, sensitivity, and specificity the HPV-32 specific PCR assay is superior to previous assays and is ideal for detection of HPV-32 in large cohorts. This assay provides an excellent tool to study the natural history of HPV-32 infection and the development of oral warts.

  17. Feasibility studies for assaying alpha-fetoprotein using antibody-activated magnetic nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Huang KW


    Full Text Available Kai-Wen Huang1, Shieh-Yueh Yang2,3, Yu-Wei Hong3, Jen-Jie Chieh3, Che-Chuan Yang3, Herng-Er Horng3, Chau-Chung Wu4, Chin-Yih Hong5, Hong-Chang Yang61Department of Surgery and Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 2MagQu Co, Ltd, Sindian Dist, New Taipei City, 3Institute of Electro-optical Science and Technology, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, 4Departments of Internal Medicine and Primary Care Medicine, College of Medicine, National Taiwan University, Taipei, 5Graduate Institute of Bio-medical Engineering, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung, 6Department of Physics, National Taiwan University, Taipei, TaiwanAbstract: Some previous reports have already shown the characterizations of immunomagnetic reduction (IMR. The assay technology involves the utilities of biofunctionalized magnetic nanoparticles to label target biomolecules. However, the detection threshold and interference tests for IMR have not been investigated in detail. In this study, alpha-fetoprotein (AFP was used as a target biomolecule. The signals for AFP solutions of various concentrations, or with interfering materials, were detected via IMR. These samples were also used for characterizing the detection threshold and interference with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA. The results of assaying AFP level with IMR and ELISA were compared. The detection threshold for assaying AFP with IMR was found to be 3 ng/mL, which is 15 times lower than that of ELISA, and definitely suppresses false negative. For the interfering materials noted commonly in serum such as hemoglobin, bilirubin, triglyceride, and vascular endothelial growth factor, there was no detectable interfering effect when assaying AFP with IMR. Several serum samples from normal people and liver-tumor-bearing patients were used for the detections of AFP concentration via IMR. These results reveal the feasibilities of assaying AFP in blood

  18. Spectrophotometric Assay of Immobilized Glucose Oxidase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nojan Noorbehesht


    Full Text Available Enzyme results in change the substrate of product. Each enzyme may act on specific substrates, resulting in product or different products. The enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX is a bio catalyst. It accelerates the process of transforming glucose into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 . These enzymes are used in the chemical industry, food industry, cosmetics and kits for diagnosis of glucose. There are many researches about immobilizations of Glucose Oxide to increase specifications such as repeated use, recovery, stability, shelf life and other features In this work, glucose oxidase enzyme using covalent bonding is placed on the carrier of carbon nanotubes. In this study, multi-walled carbon nanotubes have been used as adsorbents. Also, carbon nanotubes have been functionalized by sulfuric acid and nitric acid with a high concentration. Glucose oxidase is a biological biocatalyst enzyme. It accelerates changing glucose to H2O2. This enzyme is used in the chemical industry, food industry, cosmetics and glucose diagnostic kits. For example, as a result of ongoing research working focuses on the development of glucose biosensors, GOX in practice as standard enzyme has been revealed for immobilization of oxidative enzyme.GOX correct fixation on the MWNTs carrier is a way to reuse enzyme and miniature of biosensor devices and structures. In this study, a spectrophotometer was used to determine the absorbance of the enzyme glucose oxidase (GOX to review its activities after stabilizing the carbon nanotubes.

  19. SAPHO Syndrome – A Pictorial Assay (United States)

    Khanna, Lokesh; El-khoury, Georges Y.


    SAPHO (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis and osteitis) syndrome is a distinct clinical entity representing involvement of the musculoskeletal and dermatologic systems. It is well known to rheumatologists because of characteristic skin manifestations and polyarthropathy. However, few reports exist in the orthopaedic literature. It is important to be aware of sAPHO syndrome as it can mimic some of the more common disease entities such as infection, tumor, and other inflammatory arthropathies. Anterior chest wall pain centered at sternoclavicular and sternocostal joints is an important and characteristic clinical finding which can point to its diagnosis. A patient may undergo different diagnostic tests and invasive procedures such as biopsies before a diagnosis is made. Imaging can be helpful by offering a detailed evaluation of the abnormalities. More importantly it helps in revealing subclinical foci of involvement due to the polyostotic nature of the disease. The treatment is mostly nonsurgical. NSAIDS are the first line agents. However multiple new agents are being used for refractory cases. Surgery is reserved to treat complications. PMID:23576940

  20. SAPHO syndrome--a pictorial assay. (United States)

    Khanna, Lokesh; El-Khoury, Georges Y


    SAPHO (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis and osteitis) syndrome is a distinct clinical entity representing involvement of the musculoskeletal and dermatologic systems. It is well known to rheumatologists because of characteristic skin manifestations and polyarthropathy. However, few reports exist in the orthopaedic literature. It is important to be aware of sAPHO syndrome as it can mimic some of the more common disease entities such as infection, tumor, and other inflammatory arthropathies. Anterior chest wall pain centered at sternoclavicular and sternocostal joints is an important and characteristic clinical finding which can point to its diagnosis. A patient may undergo different diagnostic tests and invasive procedures such as biopsies before a diagnosis is made. Imaging can be helpful by offering a detailed evaluation of the abnormalities. More importantly it helps in revealing subclinical foci of involvement due to the polyostotic nature of the disease. The treatment is mostly nonsurgical. NSAIDS are the first line agents. However multiple new agents are being used for refractory cases. Surgery is reserved to treat complications.

  1. Assessment and reduction of comet assay variation in relation to DNA damage: studies from the European Comet Assay Validation Group

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Møller, Peter; Möller, Lennart; Godschalk, Roger W L


    The alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay has become a widely used method for the detection of DNA damage and repair in cells and tissues. Still, it has been difficult to compare results from different investigators because of differences in assay conditions and because the data ...

  2. Genotoxicity of cadmium chloride in the marine gastropod Nerita chamaeleon using comet assay and alkaline unwinding assay

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Sarkar, A.; Bhagat, J.; Ingole, B.S.; Rao, P.V.S.S.D.P.; Markad, V.L.

    This paper presents an evaluation of the genotoxic effects of cadmium chloride (CdCl2) on marine gastropod, Nerita chamaeleon following the technique of comet assay and the DNA alkaline unwinding assay (DAUA). In this study, the extent...

  3. Challenges and approaches to conducting and interpreting the amphibian metamorphosis assay and the fish short-term reproduction assay. (United States)

    Coady, Katherine Kemler; Lehman, Christine Marie; Currie, Rebecca J; Marino, Troy Alan


    The amphibian metamorphosis assay (AMA) and the fish short-term reproduction assay (FSTRA) are screening assays designed to detect potential endocrine activity of a test substance. These assays are included in a battery of assays in Tier 1 of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program. Based on our laboratory's experience with these two assays, we have noted several challenges in the conduct and interpretation of the AMA and FSTRA, including, but not limited to, diseased/parasitized test organisms, failure to meet some guideline performance criteria, and issues selecting and maintaining test concentrations. Various approaches are described for addressing the challenges associated with both the conduct and interpretation of these assays. Historical control data for both the AMA and FSTRA are presented to further understand background occurrences of histopathological phenomena and variability associated with the measured endpoints in these assays. In the historical control database for the AMA, wet weight on day 7 was the most variable endpoint (coefficient of variation = 26%), while developmental stage on day 21 was least variable (coefficient of variation = 0.47%). In the FSTRA, vitellogenin concentrations were the most variable endpoint (coefficient of variation = 47-84%), while fertility was the least variable endpoint (coefficient of variation = 1.5%) among historical controls.

  4. The line blot assay: problems with titrating first and second antibodies for Western blot and immunohistochemistry assays? (United States)

    Rojas-Espinosa, O; Silva-Miranda, M; Wek-Rodriguez, K; Arce-Paredes, P


    We describe a technique designed to assess the optimal dilution of primary and secondary antibodies, to be used in Western blot, dot blot, the multi-antigen print immunoassay (MAPIA) and immunohistochemistry assays. The method that we call "line blot" is not an alternative but a practical, complementary tool for the above techniques that assures definitive results are obtained from single assays, so there is no need to repeat the assay. As with most immunoenzymatic assays, the line blot assay is very sensitive, allowing the detection of absolute amounts of antigen as low as 2.5 ng in the 0.5 cm-long segment line (see Results), depending on the strength of the secondary, enzyme-labelled antibody.

  5. [Role of ultrasensitive TSH assay and ultrarapid total thyroxine assay in the thyroid studies]. (United States)

    Fragu, P; Comoy, E; Noël, M; Lounis, M; Patois, E; Parmentier, C


    The diagnostic value of high sensitivity thyrotrophin assay (HS-TSH) and that of ultra-short determination of total thyroxine (T4) by fluorescence polarization (T4-TDX) were evaluated in 284 patients (29 hyperthyroid, 137 euthyroid without treatment and 118 under substitutive therapy). After comparing the clinician's first impression with the results of these laboratory tests the proportion of correctly classified untreated euthyroid patients was the same with T4-TDX as with HS-TSH (90%). In contrast, this proportion in hyperthyroid patients was about twice as low with HS-TSH (23%) as with T4-TDX (42%). While HS-TSH gives a better diagnostic evaluation, T4-TDX is an excellent indicator of the degree of hyperthyroidism. In patients under suppressive therapy HS-TSH and T4-TDX provide a better evaluation of therapeutic effectiveness.

  6. Traditional and Model Based Assay of Irregular Geometry Items

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    The Analytical Development Section (ADS) of SRNL was requested to perform a waste disposal assay of two heater boxes which had been used in the HB Line dissolvers. They had been sent to SRNL for study to make recommendations on how to prevent future failure of the units when they were replaced. The study having been completed, the units needed to be characterized prior to sending to Solid Waste for disposal. An assay station consisting of a turntable, HPGe detector, CANBERRA Inspector, transmission source and a portable computer was set up to do the required assays. The assays indicate the presence of U-235, Pu-239 and Cs-137. No measurable amounts of U-235 or Pu-239 were found. Therefore the Minimum Detectable Activities for U-235 and Pu-239 were calculated. For Heater Box 1, 0.23 grams of U-235 and 0.24 grams of Pu-239. For Heater Box 2, the results were 0.21 grams of U-235 and 0.21 grams of Pu-239. This paper describes and documents the assays employed to determine the amount of U, Pu and Cs contents of the heater boxes. The paper provides results of SNM assays using traditional calibration of the system and on one based on modeling. It also provides the scientific community with data that will assist the user in determining the method of choice for assaying items with irregular geometries.

  7. Immunoradiometric assay for quantification of prostate-specific antigen (PSA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruiz, Miriam [Institute of Nuclear Sciences and Technology, Havana (Cuba). Dept.of Radiochemistry]. E-mail:


    To develop an immunoradiometric assay (IRMA) for quantification of total PSA in serum, we carried out the evaluation of a panel of 12 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). The mAbs (CB-PSA 1 to CB-PSA 10) were developed in the Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) Havana, Cuba and mAbs (CMC-H9, CMC-A5) in the Center of Immunology and Biologics (CENIB), Camaguey, Cuba. The inhibition assays were carried out using as reference a commercial equimolar assay for total PSA. For the evaluation, the mAbs were labeled with {sup 125} I by the method of Chloramine T and the capture mAbs were used conjugated with biotin. For separation, it was used the avidin coupled to magnetic particles. To validate the assay we evaluated the sensibility, inter and intraassay precision and the correlation with reference assay in 65 samples of patient under suspicion of prostate cancer. The partner CB-PSA 4 / CB-PSA 9 (capture / tracer) showed the best results in the IRMA. The developed assay presented a detection limit of 0.025 mg/L, a good intra and interassay precision and a high correlation with the reference assay. (author)

  8. The application of protein microarray assays in psychoneuroimmunology. (United States)

    Ayling, K; Bowden, T; Tighe, P; Todd, I; Dilnot, E M; Negm, O H; Fairclough, L; Vedhara, K


    Protein microarrays are miniaturized multiplex assays that exhibit many advantages over the commonly used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This article aims to introduce protein microarrays to readers of Brain, Behavior, and Immunity and demonstrate its utility and validity for use in psychoneuroimmunological research. As part of an ongoing investigation of psychological and behavioral influences on influenza vaccination responses, we optimized a novel protein microarray to quantify influenza-specific antibody levels in human sera. Reproducibility was assessed by calculating intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variance on serially diluted human IgG concentrations. A random selection of samples was analyzed by microarray and ELISA to establish validity of the assay. For IgG concentrations, intra-assay and inter-assay precision profiles demonstrated a mean coefficient of variance of 6.7% and 11.5% respectively. Significant correlations were observed between microarray and ELISA for all antigens, demonstrating the microarray is a valid alternative to ELISA. Protein microarrays are a highly robust, novel assay method that could be of significant benefit for researchers working in psychoneuroimmunology. They offer high throughput, fewer resources per analyte and can examine concurrent neuro-immune-endocrine mechanisms.

  9. Plan competitions reveal entrepreneurial talent

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Madison, Alison L.


    Monthly economic diversity column for Tri-City Herald business section. Excerpt below: There’s something to be said for gaining valuable real-world experience in a structured, nurturing environment. Take for instance learning to scuba dive in the comfort of my resort pool rather than immediately hanging out with sharks while I figure out little things like oxygen tanks and avoiding underwater panic attacks. Likewise, graduate students are getting some excellent, supportive real-world training through university business plan competitions. These competitions are places where smart minds, new technologies, months of preparation and coaching, and some healthy pre-presentation jitters collide to reveal not only solid new business ideas, but also some promising entrepreneurial talent. In fact, professionals from around our region descend upon college campuses every spring to judge these events, which help to bridge the gap between academics and the real technology and business-driven economy.

  10. A highly sensitive quantitative real-time pcr assay for determination of mutant jak2 exon 12 allele burden

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kjær, L.; Riley, C.H.; Westman, M.


    present a highly sensitive real-time quantitative PCR assay for determination of the mutant allele burden of JAK2 exon 12 mutations. In combination with high resolution melting analysis and sequencing the assay identified six patients carrying previously described JAK2 exon 12 mutations and one novel...... mutation. Two patients were homozygous with a high mutant allele burden, whereas one of the heterozygous patients had a very low mutant allele burden. The allele burden in the peripheral blood resembled that of the bone marrow, except for the patient with low allele burden. Myeloid and lymphoid cell...... populations were isolated by cell sorting and quantitative PCR revealed similar mutant allele burdens in CD16+ granulocytes and peripheral blood. The mutations were also detected in B-lymphocytes in half of the patients at a low allele burden. In conclusion, our highly sensitive assay provides an important...

  11. Biocompatibility of Poly (L-Lactic Acid Synthesized In Polymerization Unit By Cytotoxicity And Hemocompatibility Assay And Nanofibers Production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier, M.V


    Full Text Available The absorbable polyacid is one of the most used and studied materials in tissue engineering. This work synthesized a poly (L-lactic acid (PLLA through ring-opening polymerization and produced nanofibers by the electrospinning process. The PLLA was analyzed by FTIR and the cytotoxicity was evaluated by the MTT assay and Live/Dead®. The hemocompatibility was tested by platelet adhesion and hemolytic activity assay. The tests were performed in contact with human mesenchymal cells at varying times. The high rates of cell viability and proliferation shown by MTT and Live/Dead® tests demonstrate that this PLLA is a non-toxic material and the hemocompatibility assay revealed that the biomaterial was also biocompatible. It was achieved as well the successful production of electrospinning nanofibers, which can be converted for specific biomedical applications in the future

  12. The slug mucosal irritation (SMI) assay: development of a screening tool for the evaluation of ocular discomfort caused by shampoos. (United States)

    Lenoir, Joke; Claerhout, Ilse; Kestelyn, Philippe; Klomp, Andre; Remon, Jean-Paul; Adriaens, Els


    In this research, the slug mucosal irritation (SMI) assay was applied to predict ocular discomfort caused by shampoos to investigate the correlation between responses in slugs and humans. Several SMI experiments and a human eye irritation test (HEIT) were performed with 1 artificial tear solution (ArtTear) and 5 shampoos (A-E; 5%-dilution). In the HEIT, evaluation was performed by participants and an ophthalmologist at several time points. Analyses reveal that (1) a significant positive association existed between immediate stinging reaction reported by the participants and the mean total mucus produced by the slugs (MTMP) (Spearman's Rank correlation=0.986, pSMI assay is a promising evaluation method for discomfort in the human eye. Screening prototype (eye) formulations with this assay allows formula optimization prior to a HEIT.

  13. Tetraplex PCR assay involving double gene-sites discriminates beef and buffalo in Malaysian meat curry and burger products. (United States)

    Hossain, M A Motalib; Ali, Md Eaqub; Hamid, Sharifah Bee Abd; Hossain, S M Azad; Asing; Nizar, Nina Naquiah Ahmad; Uddin, Mohammad Nasir; Ali, Lokman; Asaduzzaman, Md; Akanda, Md Jahurul Haque


    Replacement of beef by buffalo and vice versa is frequent in global markets, but their authentication is challenging in processed foods due to the fragmentation of most biomarkers including DNA. The shortening of target sequences through use of two target sites might ameliorate assay reliability because it is highly unlikely that both targets will be lost during food processing. For the first time, we report a tetraplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay targeting two different DNA regions in beef (106 and 120-bp) and buffalo (90 and 138-bp) mitochondrial genes to discriminate beef and buffalo in processed foods. All targets were stable under boiling, autoclaving and microwave cooking conditions. A survey in Malaysian markets revealed 71% beef curries contained buffalo but there was no buffalo in beef burgers. The assay detected down to 0.01ng DNA and 1% meat in admixed and burger products.

  14. Graphene and graphene-like two-denominational materials based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assays for biological applications. (United States)

    Tian, Feng; Lyu, Jing; Shi, Jingyu; Yang, Mo


    In the past decades, Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) has been applied in many biological applications to reveal the biological information at the nanoscale. Recently, graphene and graphene-like two-dimensional (2D) nanomaterials started to be used in FRET assays as donors or acceptors including graphene oxide (GO), graphene quantum dot (GQD), graphitic-carbon nitride nanosheets (g-C3N4) and transition metal dichalcogenides (e.g. MoS2, MnO2, and WS2). Due to the remarkable properties such as large surface to volume ratio, tunable energy band, photoluminescence and excellent biocompatibility, these 2D nanomaterials based FRET assays have shown great potential in various biological applications. This review summarizes the recent development of graphene and graphene-like 2D nanomaterials based FRET assays in applications of biosensing, bioimaging, and drug delivery monitoring.

  15. Comparative endpoint sensitivity of in vitro estrogen agonist assays. (United States)

    Dreier, David A; Connors, Kristin A; Brooks, Bryan W


    Environmental and human health implications of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs), particularly xenoestrogens, have received extensive study. In vitro assays are increasingly employed as diagnostic tools to comparatively evaluate chemicals, whole effluent toxicity and surface water quality, and to identify causative EDCs during toxicity identification evaluations. Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) initiated ToxCast under the Tox21 program to generate novel bioactivity data through high throughput screening. This information is useful for prioritizing chemicals requiring additional hazard information, including endocrine active chemicals. Though multiple in vitro and in vivo techniques have been developed to assess estrogen agonist activity, the relative endpoint sensitivity of these approaches and agreement of their conclusions remain unclear during environmental diagnostic applications. Probabilistic hazard assessment (PHA) approaches, including chemical toxicity distributions (CTD), are useful for understanding the relative sensitivity of endpoints associated with in vitro and in vivo toxicity assays by predicting the likelihood of chemicals eliciting undesirable outcomes at or above environmentally relevant concentrations. In the present study, PHAs were employed to examine the comparative endpoint sensitivity of 16 in vitro assays for estrogen agonist activity using a diverse group of compounds from the USEPA ToxCast dataset. Reporter gene assays were generally observed to possess greater endpoint sensitivity than other assay types, and the Tox21 ERa LUC BG1 Agonist assay was identified as the most sensitive in vitro endpoint for detecting an estrogenic response. When the sensitivity of this most sensitive ToxCast in vitro endpoint was compared to the human MCF-7 cell proliferation assay, a common in vitro model for biomedical and environmental monitoring applications, the ERa LUC BG1 assay was several orders of magnitude less

  16. A High Throughput Screening Assay for Anti-Mycobacterial Small Molecules Based on Adenylate Kinase Release as a Reporter of Cell Lysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauren Forbes

    Full Text Available Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb is well-established to be one of the most important bacterial pathogens for which new antimicrobial therapies are needed. Herein, we describe the development of a high throughput screening assay for the identification of molecules that are bactericidal against Mycobacteria. The assay utilizes the release of the intracellular enzyme adenylate kinase into the culture medium as a reporter of mycobacterial cell death. We demonstrate that the assay is selective for mycobactericidal molecules and detects anti-mycobacterial activity at concentrations below the minimum inhibitory concentration of many molecules. Thus, the AK assay is more sensitive than traditional growth assays. We have validated the AK assay in the HTS setting using the Mtb surrogate organism M. smegmatis and libraries of FDA approved drugs as well as a commercially available Diversity set. The screen of the FDA-approved library demonstrated that the AK assay is able to identify the vast majority of drugs with known mycobactericidal activity. Importantly, our screen of the Diversity set revealed that the increased sensitivity of the AK assay increases the ability of M. smegmatis-based screens to detect molecules with relatively poor activity against M. smegmatis but good to excellent activity against Mtb.

  17. A rapid and efficient assay for extracting DNA from fungi (United States)

    Griffin, Dale W.; Kellogg, C.A.; Peak, K.K.; Shinn, E.A.


    Aims: A method for the rapid extraction of fungal DNA from small quantities of tissue in a batch-processing format was investigated. Methods and Results: Tissue (DNA for PCR/ sequencing applications. Conclusions: The method allowed batch DNA extraction from multiple fungal isolates using a simple yet rapid and reliable assay. Significance and Impact of the Study: Use of this assay will allow researchers to obtain DNA from fungi quickly for use in molecular assays that previously required specialized instrumentation, was time-consuming or was not conducive to batch processing.

  18. A non-isotopic assay for histone deacetylase activity. (United States)

    Hoffmann, K; Brosch, G; Loidl, P; Jung, M


    Inhibitors of histone deacetylase (HD) bear great potential as new drugs due to their ability to modulate transcription and to induce apoptosis or differentiation in cancer cells. To study the activity of HD and the effect of potential inhibitors in vitro so far only radio-active assays have existed. For the search of new inhibitors and for the use in HD identification and purification we established a simple, non-radioactive assay that allows screening of large numbers of compounds. The assay is based on an aminocoumarin derivative of an Omega-acetylated lysine as enzyme substrate.

  19. Droplet microfluidics for high-throughput biological assays. (United States)

    Guo, Mira T; Rotem, Assaf; Heyman, John A; Weitz, David A


    Droplet microfluidics offers significant advantages for performing high-throughput screens and sensitive assays. Droplets allow sample volumes to be significantly reduced, leading to concomitant reductions in cost. Manipulation and measurement at kilohertz speeds enable up to 10(8) samples to be screened in one day. Compartmentalization in droplets increases assay sensitivity by increasing the effective concentration of rare species and decreasing the time required to reach detection thresholds. Droplet microfluidics combines these powerful features to enable currently inaccessible high-throughput screening applications, including single-cell and single-molecule assays.

  20. Ethanal assay, using an enzymo-conductimetric method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Saad, I.; Wallach, J.M. (I.C.B.M.C., Villeurbanne (France))


    An enzymo-conductimetric method for the assay of ethanol is described. It is based on ethanol oxidation is presence of yeast aldehyde dehydrogenase. Experimental conditions compatible with conductimetry were optimized and kinetic parameters of the enzymatic reaction determined. Due to the low K{sub M} value of ethanol for the enzyme, an end-point assay was proposed. A linear relationship was demonstrated between experimental conductance changes and ethanol concentration up to 25 {mu}M. Validation of the assay was made on wines by comparison with a spectrophotometric method. Both methods gave similar results, but conductimetry avoids sample treatment if solutions are colored or turbid.

  1. Advances in Assays and Analytical Approaches for Botulinum Toxin Detection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grate, Jay W.; Ozanich, Richard M.; Warner, Marvin G.; Bruckner-Lea, Cindy J.; Marks, James D.


    Methods to detect botulinum toxin, the most poisonous substance known, are reviewed. Current assays are being developed with two main objectives in mind: 1) to obtain sufficiently low detection limits to replace the mouse bioassay with an in vitro assay, and 2) to develop rapid assays for screening purposes that are as sensitive as possible while requiring an hour or less to process the sample an obtain the result. This review emphasizes the diverse analytical approaches and devices that have been developed over the last decade, while also briefly reviewing representative older immunoassays to provide background and context.

  2. A Sensitive Chemotaxis Assay Using a Novel Microfluidic Device

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chen Zhang


    Full Text Available Existing chemotaxis assays do not generate stable chemotactic gradients and thus—over time—functionally measure only nonspecific random motion (chemokinesis. In comparison, microfluidic technology has the capacity to generate a tightly controlled microenvironment that can be stably maintained for extended periods of time and is, therefore, amenable to adaptation for assaying chemotaxis. We describe here a novel microfluidic device for sensitive assay of cellular migration and show its application for evaluating the chemotaxis of smooth muscle cells in a chemokine gradient.

  3. Application of radioreceptor assay of benzodiazepines for toxicology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aaltonen, L.; Scheinin, M. (Department of Pharmacology and the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Turku, Finland)


    A radioreceptor assay (RRA) for determining benzodiazepines (BZ) has been developed and applied to toxicological analysis of serum samples from 21 patients with acute BZ overdosage. The method was sensitive (e.g., lorazepam 17 nM, diazepam 41 nM), and specific for pharmacologically active BZ derivatives. The reproducibility of the results was good (intra-assay variation < 8%, inter-assay variation < 10%). Concentrations measured by the RRA showed a good correlation with those obtained by gas-liquid chromatographic analysis of the same samples. The quantitative results represent the sum of one or several parent substances and all biologically active metabolites, in proportion to their receptor binding affinities.

  4. Analytical characterization and clinical evaluation of an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for measurement of afamin in human plasma☆ (United States)

    Dieplinger, Benjamin; Egger, Margot; Gabriel, Christian; Poelz, Werner; Morandell, Elisabeth; Seeber, Beata; Kronenberg, Florian; Haltmayer, Meinhard; Mueller, Thomas; Dieplinger, Hans


    Background Comparative proteomics has recently identified afamin, the newest member of the albumin gene family, as a potential biomarker for ovarian cancer. The aim of this study was the analytical and clinical evaluation of a sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for the determination of afamin in human plasma. Methods We evaluated precision, linearity, and detection limit of the assay, analyte stability and biological variability, determined reference values and quantified afamin concentrations in various diseases. Results Within-run and total coefficients of variation were < 10%. The method was linear across the tested measurement range. Detection limit was 7 mg/L for the assay. The analyte was stable for 24 h at room temperature, for 48 h at 4 °C, and for at least one year at − 20 °C and − 80 °C. The reference change value for healthy individuals was 24%. Age- and sex-independent reference values in healthy blood donors were 45–99 mg/L (median 68 mg/L). In the clinical assay evaluation afamin plasma concentrations were modestly decreased in patients with heart failure. Patients with pneumonia or sepsis exhibited markedly decreased afamin plasma concentrations. However, patients with chronic renal disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease showed no difference in afamin plasma concentrations as compared to healthy individuals. Correlation analyses revealed an inverse association between afamin and inflammatory biomarkers. Conclusions The afamin assay meets quality specifications for laboratory medicine. The results of the clinical assay evaluation revealed novel insights with respect to afamin as a potential negative acute phase protein and should encourage further studies. PMID:23981841

  5. Comparative evaluation under routine conditions of the nitrate reduction assay, the proportion assay and the MGIT 960 assay for drug susceptibility testing of clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leila de Souza Fonseca


    Full Text Available The performance of the nitrate reductase assay (NRA was compared with the proportion method (PM on Lowenstein-Jensen medium and the BACTEC MGIT960 assay under routine conditions using 160 clinical isolates of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with a high proportion of resistant strains. The mean time to obtain results was 8.8 days and the overall agreements between NRA and PM and NRA and M960 were 95% and 94%, respectively. NRA was easy to perform and represents a useful tool for the rapid screening of drug-resistant M. tuberculosis strains in low-resource countries.

  6. Deoxyribonucleic acid damage study in primary amenorrhea by comet assay and karyotyping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Ramamurthy


    Full Text Available Aim: This study aims at evaluating the chromosomal abnormalities and deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA damage in cases with primary amenorrhea by karyotyping and comet assay. Study Design: A total of 30 cases of primary amenorrhea were recruited. Secondary sexual characters were assessed by Tanner staging. Chromosomal analysis was performed by conventional phytohemagglutinin stimulated lymphocyte cell culture technique. Alkaline version of comet assay was used to evaluate DNA damage. Results: The chromosomal pattern of 20 subjects (66.7% was found to be normal (46,XX. Two subjects had 46,XY pattern and eight subjects had Turner syndrome (45,X or 45,X/46,XX. The comet parameters were found to be increased among subjects with 45,X monosomy, when compared to the rest of the study group and also in subjects with Tanner stage 1 when compared to stage 2. Conclusion: Comet assay revealed increased DNA damage in cases with 45,X monosomy, compared with subjects with 46,XX and 46,XY karyotype, which correlated with clinical features.

  7. Small-Scale Assays for Studying Dissolution of Pharmaceutical Cocrystals for Oral Administration. (United States)

    Box, Karl J; Comer, John; Taylor, Robert; Karki, Shyam; Ruiz, Rebeca; Price, Robert; Fotaki, Nikoletta


    The purpose of this study was to better understand the dissolution properties and precipitation behavior of pharmaceutical cocrystals of poorly soluble drugs for the potential for oral administration based on a small-scale dissolution assay. Carbamazepine and indomethacin cocrystals with saccharin and nicotinamide as coformers were prepared with the sonic slurry method. Dissolution of the poorly soluble drugs indomethacin and carbamazepine and their cocrystals was studied with a small-scale dissolution assay installed on a SiriusT3 instrument. Two methodologies were used: (i) surface dissolution of pressed tablet (3 mm) in 20 mL running for fixed times at four pH stages (pH 1.8, pH 3.9, pH 5.4, pH 7.3) and (ii) powder dissolution (2.6 mg) in 2 mL at a constant pH (pH 2). Improved dissolution and useful insights into precipitation kinetics of poorly soluble compounds from the cocrystal form can be revealed by the small-scale dissolution assay. A clear difference in dissolution/precipitation behaviour can be observed based on the characteristics of the coformer used.

  8. Glucocorticoid receptor expression in 20 solid tumor types using immunohistochemistry assay (United States)

    Block, Thaddeus S; Murphy, Tiffany I; Munster, Pamela N; Nguyen, Dat P; Lynch, Frank J


    Background Glucocorticoid receptor (GR) activity plays a role in many aspects of human physiology and may play a crucial role in chemotherapy resistance in a wide variety of solid tumors. A novel immunohistochemistry (IHC) based assay has been previously developed and validated in order to assess GR immunoreactivity in triple-negative breast cancer. The current study investigates the standardized use of this validated assay to assess GR expression in a broad range of solid tumor malignancies. Methods Archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tumor bank samples (n=236) from 20 different solid tumor types were analyzed immunohistochemically. Nuclear staining was reported based on the H-score method using differential intensity scores (0, 1+, 2+, or 3+) with the percent stained (out of at least 100 carcinoma cells) recorded at each intensity. Results GR was expressed in all tumor types that had been evaluated. Renal cell carcinoma, sarcoma, cervical cancer, and melanoma were those with the highest mean H-scores, indicating high levels of GR expression. Colon, endometrial, and gastric cancers had lower GR staining percentages and intensities, resulting in the lowest mean H-scores. Conclusion A validated IHC assay revealed GR immunoreactivity in all solid tumor types studied and allowed for standardized comparison of reactivity among the different malignancies. Impact Baseline expression levels of GR may be a useful biomarker when pharmaceutically targeting GR in research or clinical setting. PMID:28293120

  9. Poor prognosis of hypocoagulability assessed by thrombin generation assay in disseminated intravascular coagulation. (United States)

    Lee, Kyunghoon; Kim, Ji-Eun; Kwon, Jihyun; Kim, Inho; Yoon, Sung-Soo; Park, Seonyang; Han, Kyou-Sup; Kim, Hyun Kyung


    Overall assessment of the hemostatic system including procoagulant and anticoagulant changes may help assess the clinical status and prognosis of disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The thrombin generation assay provides useful information about the global hemostatic status. Therefore, we measured several parameters of global hemostatic potential by the thrombin generation assay in patients suspected of having DIC. A total of 114 patients with suspected DIC were included. The thrombin generation assay was performed on the calibrated automated thrombogram using tissue factor with or without the addition of thrombomodulin, showing three parameters: lag time, endogenous thrombin potential (ETP), and peak thrombin. Both 1 and 5 pmol/l tissue factor-stimulated ETP and peak thrombin were well correlated with DIC severity. Interestingly, antithrombin level greatly affected ETP, whereas protein C influenced lag time. Prognostic analysis revealed that the area under the curve of peak thrombin stimulated by 1 pmol/l tissue factor was superior to that of D-dimer. Moreover, multivariate Cox analysis showed that the lag time and time to peak with both 1 and 5 pmol/l tissue factor were independent prognostic markers. ETP and peak thrombin well reflect DIC severity. Hypocoagulability manifesting as prolonged lag time and time to peak is expected to be an independent prognostic marker in DIC.

  10. Interference sources in ATP bioluminescence assay of silica nanoparticle toxicity to activated sludge. (United States)

    Sibag, Mark; Kim, Seung Hwan; Kim, Choah; Kim, Hee Jun; Cho, Jinwoo


    ATP measurement provides an overview of the general state of microbial activity, and thus it has proven useful for the evaluation of nanoparticle toxicity in activated sludge. ATP bioluminescence assay, however, is susceptible to interference by the components of activated sludge other than biomass. This paper presents the interference identified specific to the use of this assay after activated sludge respiration inhibition test of silica nanoparticles (OECD 209). We observed a high degree of interference (90%) in the presence of 100 mg/L silica nanoparticles and a low level of ATP being measured (0.01 μM); and 30% interference by the synthetic medium regardless of silica nanoparticle concentration and ATP level in the samples. ATP measurement in activated sludge with different MLSS concentrations revealed interference of high biomass content. In conclusion, silica nanoparticles, synthetic medium and activated sludge samples themselves interfere with ATP bioluminescence; this will need to be considered in the evaluation of silica nanoparticle toxicity to activated sludge when this type of assay is used.

  11. Antioxidant activities of Indigofera cassioides Rottl. Ex. DC. using various in vitro assay models

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    R Senthil Kumar; B Rajkapoor; P Perumal


    Objective: To evaluate the antioxidant potential of methanolic leaf extract of Indigoferacassioides (MEIC) using various in vitro antioxidant assay systems. Methods: Antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of MEIC was assayed by using different in vitro models like ABTS, DPPH, nitric oxide, superoxide, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radical. Reductive ability of the extract was tested by the complex formation with potassium ferricyanide. Further total phenol and flavonoid contents of the crude extract were also determined. Rutin and ascorbic acid were used as standards. Results: MEIC exhibited potent and concentration dependent free radical scavenging activity in all the tested models. Reductive ability was also found to increase with increase in MEIC concentration. Total phenol and flavonoid content determination showed that the extract is rich in phenols and flavonoids. Conclusions: All the results of the in vitro antioxidant assays reveal potent antioxidant and free radical scavenging activity of the leaves of Indigofera cassioides, equivalent to that of standard ascorbic acid and rutin. This potent antioxidant activity may be attributed to its high phenolic and flavonoid contents

  12. Rapid one-step assays for on-site monitoring of mouse and rat urinary allergens. (United States)

    Koets, Marjo; Renström, Anne; Zahradnik, Eva; Bogdanovic, Jelena; Wouters, Inge M; van Amerongen, Aart


    Allergy to rodent proteins is common among laboratory animal workers. Sensitive methods to measure exposure to these allergens have been developed. These assays are, however, expensive, time-consuming, and require a laboratory facility and methodological expertise. A simple method to screen for allergen spread, or to test whether hygiene standards are maintained, would be useful. Lateral flow immunoassays (LFIAs) are especially suited for field settings; the tests are simple and results are visible within minutes. LFIAs were developed for detection of the rodent urinary allergens Mus m 1 and Rat n 1. Pilot studies were performed in animal facilities in three countries using both extracts from airborne dust samples and samples collected by wiping surfaces. For comparison and determination of sensitivity, the concentrations of rodent urinary allergens in the samples were also measured using enzyme immunoassays (EIAs). The LFIAs for rat and mouse urinary allergens had a detection limit of 31 pg allergen per mL in a buffer system with purified allergen standards. Results of environmental dust extracts tested in LFIAs correlated well with levels obtained using EIAs. Spread of rodent allergens, or non-adherence to hygiene around laboratory animal facilities, may aggravate rodent allergy. Using a simple, sensitive one-step assay, allergens can be detected to prevent allergen exposure. The results reveal that the rapid assays are suited for on-site demonstration of exposure to rodent allergens, and thus, useful in occupational hygiene practice.

  13. Estrogen and progesterone receptors in breast cancer. Immunohistochemical assay on scraping material. (United States)

    Frigo, B; Pilotti, S; Coradini, D; La Malfa, G; Rilke, F


    In order to demonstrate the reliability of immunocytochemical results on cytologic specimens for receptor analysis, the expression of estrogen and progesterone receptors was investigated using immunohistochemistry on frozen sections and on scraping material from the same samples of 50 breast carcinomas. The level of agreement between the two procedures was evaluated by the kappa statistic, as was that between each immunohistochemical procedure and the dextran-coated-charcoal assay since the latter is still the assay employed most frequently for steroid receptor determination and is used for official reports. Statistical results revealed very good agreement regarding the estrogen receptor analysis, with kappa values of .910 and .952 for the comparison of the dextran-coated-charcoal assay with immunocytochemistry on frozen sections and on scrapes, respectively, and .950 for the comparison between the two immunocytochemical procedures. As to progesterone receptors, the kappa values were .795 and .712 for the comparison between the biochemical and immunocytochemical results and .915 for agreement evaluation between the two immunocytochemical procedures. The study showed that the scraping procedure is a valuable tool for the immunocytochemical assessment of steroid receptors in small mammary tumors; it yields representative cellular samples, thus permitting the investigation of heterogeneously distributed substances in tissues.

  14. Quantification of cerivastatin toxicity supports organismal performance assays as an effective tool during pharmaceutical safety assessment. (United States)

    Gaukler, Shannon M; Ruff, James S; Galland, Tessa; Underwood, Tristan K; Kandaris, Kirstie A; Liu, Nicole M; Morrison, Linda C; Veranth, John M; Potts, Wayne K


    A major problem in pharmaceutical development is that adverse effects remain undetected during preclinical and clinical trials, but are later revealed after market release when prescribed to many patients. We have developed a fitness assay known as the organismal performance assay (OPA), which evaluates individual performance by utilizing outbred wild mice (Mus musculus) that are assigned to an exposed or control group, which compete against each other for resources within semi-natural enclosures. Performance measurements included reproductive success, survival, and male competitive ability. Our aim was to utilize cerivastatin (Baycol(®), Bayer), a pharmaceutical with known adverse effects, as a positive control to assess OPAs as a potential tool for evaluating the safety of compounds during preclinical trials. Mice were exposed to cerivastatin (~4.5 mg/kg/day) into early adulthood. Exposure ceased and animals were released into semi-natural enclosures. Within enclosures, cerivastatin-exposed females had 25% fewer offspring and cerivastatin-exposed males had 10% less body mass, occupied 63% fewer territories, sired 41% fewer offspring, and experienced a threefold increase in mortality when compared to controls. OPAs detected several cerivastatin-induced adverse effects indicating that fitness assays, commonly used in ecology and evolutionary biology, could be useful as an additional tool in safety testing during pharmaceutical development.

  15. Cell-based Assays to Identify Inhibitors of Viral Disease (United States)

    Green, Neil; Ott, Robert D.; Isaacs, Richard J.; Fang, Hong


    Background Antagonizing the production of infectious virus inside cells requires drugs that can cross the cell membrane without harming host cells. Objective It is therefore advantageous to establish intracellular potency of anti-viral drug candidates early in the drug-discovery pipeline. Methods To this end, cell-based assays are being developed and employed in high-throughput drug screening, ranging from assays that monitor replication of intact viruses to those that monitor activity of specific viral proteins. While numerous cell-based assays have been developed and investigated, rapid counter screens are also needed to define the specific viral targets of identified inhibitors and to eliminate nonspecific screening hits. Results/Conclusions Here, we describe the types of cell-based assays being used in antiviral drug screens and evaluate the equally important counter screens that are being employed to reach the full potential of cell-based high-throughput screening. PMID:19750206

  16. Click Chemistry-Mediated Nanosensors for Biochemical Assays. (United States)

    Chen, Yiping; Xianyu, Yunlei; Wu, Jing; Yin, Binfeng; Jiang, Xingyu


    Click chemistry combined with functional nanoparticles have drawn increasing attention in biochemical assays because they are promising in developing biosensors with effective signal transformation/amplification and straightforward signal readout for clinical diagnostic assays. In this review, we focus on the latest advances of biochemical assays based on Cu (I)-catalyzed 1, 3-dipolar cycloaddition of azides and alkynes (CuAAC)-mediated nanosensors, as well as the functionalization of nanoprobes based on click chemistry. Nanoprobes including gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, magnetic nanoparticles and carbon nanomaterials are covered. We discuss the advantages of click chemistry-mediated nanosensors for biochemical assays, and give perspectives on the development of click chemistry-mediated approaches for clinical diagnosis and other biomedical applications.

  17. Quantitative Assays for RAS Pathway Proteins and Phosphorylation States (United States)

    The NCI CPTAC program is applying its expertise in quantitative proteomics to develop assays for RAS pathway proteins. Targets include key phosphopeptides that should increase our understanding of how the RAS pathway is regulated.

  18. Usefulness of human coagulation and fibrinolysis assays in domestic pigs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Münster, Anna-Marie Bloch; Olsen, Aage Kristian; Bladbjerg, Else-Marie


    Pigs are often used as animal models in research on blood coagulation and fibrinolysis. The usefulness of the assays applied within this field, and the knowledge of reference intervals are therefore essential and of utmost importance. In the study reported here, we investigated the applicability...... time, tissue factor, tissue factor pathway inhibitor, factor VII, protein C, protein S, prothrombin fragment 1+2, antithrombin, thrombin-antithrombin complexes, fibrinogen, soluble fibrin, urokinase-type plasminogen activator, plasmin inhibitor, plasminogen activator inhibitor 1, and D-dimer. We found...... that 11 of 12 functional assays, but only 3 of 10 immunoassays, were applicable to porcine plasma, and we determined the normal range of these variables. We conclude that human functional assays are useful in porcine plasma, whereas only a few immunologic assays can be used. However, precautions must...

  19. Click Chemistry-Mediated Nanosensors for Biochemical Assays (United States)

    Chen, Yiping; Xianyu, Yunlei; Wu, Jing; Yin, Binfeng; Jiang, Xingyu


    Click chemistry combined with functional nanoparticles have drawn increasing attention in biochemical assays because they are promising in developing biosensors with effective signal transformation/amplification and straightforward signal readout for clinical diagnostic assays. In this review, we focus on the latest advances of biochemical assays based on Cu (I)-catalyzed 1, 3-dipolar cycloaddition of azides and alkynes (CuAAC)-mediated nanosensors, as well as the functionalization of nanoprobes based on click chemistry. Nanoprobes including gold nanoparticles, quantum dots, magnetic nanoparticles and carbon nanomaterials are covered. We discuss the advantages of click chemistry-mediated nanosensors for biochemical assays, and give perspectives on the development of click chemistry-mediated approaches for clinical diagnosis and other biomedical applications. PMID:27217831

  20. PubChem BioAssay: 2017 update (United States)

    Wang, Yanli; Bryant, Stephen H.; Cheng, Tiejun; Wang, Jiyao; Gindulyte, Asta; Shoemaker, Benjamin A.; Thiessen, Paul A.; He, Siqian; Zhang, Jian


    PubChem's BioAssay database ( has served as a public repository for small-molecule and RNAi screening data since 2004 providing open access of its data content to the community. PubChem accepts data submission from worldwide researchers at academia, industry and government agencies. PubChem also collaborates with other chemical biology database stakeholders with data exchange. With over a decade's development effort, it becomes an important information resource supporting drug discovery and chemical biology research. To facilitate data discovery, PubChem is integrated with all other databases at NCBI. In this work, we provide an update for the PubChem BioAssay database describing several recent development including added sources of research data, redesigned BioAssay record page, new BioAssay classification browser and new features in the Upload system facilitating data sharing. PMID:27899599

  1. Influences of acidic conditions on formazan assay: a cautionary note. (United States)

    Johno, Hisashi; Takahashi, Shuhei; Kitamura, Masanori


    Formazan assay has been used for several decades to evaluate metabolic activity of eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. In particular, it has been often applied for quantitative assessment of viable cells under acidic circumstances caused by, e.g., ischemia and hypoxia. However, little attention has been paid to the influence of acidic pH on formazan assays. We found that acidic culture conditions significantly affect outcomes of the assays. Absorbance of tetrazolium-formazan decreased in a pH-dependent manner without affecting cell viability. This nonspecific effect was ascribed to influences of acidic pH on the production of formazan. Replacement of culture media to fresh medium at physiologic pH partially overcame this problem. The influence of acidic culture conditions should be carefully considered when formazan assays are used for the assessment of viable cells under various experimental situations.

  2. Mouse Assay for Determination of Arsenic Bioavailability in Contaminated Soils (United States)

    Background: Accurate assessment of human exposure estimates from arsenic-contaminated soils depends upon estimating arsenic (As) soil bioavailability. Development of bioavailability assays provides data needed for human health risk assessments and supports development and valida...

  3. Piceance Basin Oil Shale Data: Assays, Boreholes and Formation Tops (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This database contains Oil Shale Assays, Borehole Locations and Formation Tops that were used in support of the 2009 Oil Shale Assessment (Survey Fact Sheet...

  4. Alkaline Comet Assay for Assessing DNA Damage in Individual Cells. (United States)

    Pu, Xinzhu; Wang, Zemin; Klaunig, James E


    Single-cell gel electrophoresis, commonly called a comet assay, is a simple and sensitive method for assessing DNA damage at the single-cell level. It is an important technique in genetic toxicological studies. The comet assay performed under alkaline conditions (pH >13) is considered the optimal version for identifying agents with genotoxic activity. The alkaline comet assay is capable of detecting DNA double-strand breaks, single-strand breaks, alkali-labile sites, DNA-DNA/DNA-protein cross-linking, and incomplete excision repair sites. The inclusion of digestion of lesion-specific DNA repair enzymes in the procedure allows the detection of various DNA base alterations, such as oxidative base damage. This unit describes alkaline comet assay procedures for assessing DNA strand breaks and oxidative base alterations. These methods can be applied in a variety of cells from in vitro and in vivo experiments, as well as human studies.

  5. Sperm penetration assay and its correlation with semen analysis parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laxmi Kant Pandey


    Full Text Available Background: Aim of current study was to determine whether the Sperm Penetration Assay (SPA can be used as a test to discriminate the infertile male from fertile one. We have also correlated the SPA with semen analysis. Methods: Sperm characteristics namely Semen analysis and the sperm penetration assay were tested in 44 infertile and 10 fertile men. Sperm penetration assay was determined by using zona free hamster eggs. Results: With decreasing spermatozoa concentration in the semen there was significant decrease in percentage penetration of zona free Hamster eggs (p0.05. Conclusions: The Sperm penetration assay could discriminate the infertile group from fertile group significantly (p<0.001. The test appeared to be highly reproducible and probably identifies a truly infertile male. [Int J Res Med Sci 2015; 3(11.000: 3197-3201

  6. A Cell-Based Assay to Assess Hemichannel Function (United States)

    Krishnan, Srinivasan; Fiori, Mariana C.; Cuello, Luis G.; Altenberg, Guillermo A.


    Activation of connexin hemichannels is involved in the pathophysiology of disorders that include deafness, stroke, and cardiac infarct. This aspect makes hemichannels an attractive therapeutic target. Unfortunately, most available inhibitors are not selective or isoform specific, which hampers their translational application. The absence of a battery of useful inhibitors is due in part to the absence of simple screening assays for the discovery of hemichannel-active drugs. Here, we present an assay that we have recently developed to assess hemichannel function. The assay is based on the expression of functional human connexins in a genetically modified bacterial strain deficient in K+ uptake. These modified cells do not grow in low-K+ medium, but functional expression of connexin hemichannels allows K+ uptake and growth. This cell-growth-based assay is simple, robust, and easily scalable to high-throughput multi-well platforms.

  7. A novel behavioral assay for measuring cold sensation in mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel S Brenner

    Full Text Available Behavioral models of cold responses are important tools for exploring the molecular mechanisms of cold sensation. To complement the currently cold behavioral assays and allow further studies of these mechanisms, we have developed a new technique to measure the cold response threshold, the cold plantar assay. In this assay, animals are acclimated on a glass plate and a cold stimulus is applied to the hindpaw through the glass using a pellet of compressed dry ice. The latency to withdrawal from the cooled glass is used as a measure of the cold response threshold of the rodents, and the dry ice pellet provides a ramping cold stimulus on the glass that allows the correlation of withdrawal latency values to rough estimates of the cold response threshold temperature. The assay is highly sensitive to manipulations including morphine-induced analgesia, Complete Freund's Adjuvant-induced inflammatory allodynia, and Spinal Nerve Ligation-induced neuropathic allodynia.

  8. Application of neutron multiplicity counting to waste assay

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickrell, M.M.; Ensslin, N. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Sharpe, T.J. [North Carolina State Univ., Raleigh, NC (United States)


    This paper describes the use of a new figure of merit code that calculates both bias and precision for coincidence and multiplicity counting, and determines the optimum regions for each in waste assay applications. A {open_quotes}tunable multiplicity{close_quotes} approach is developed that uses a combination of coincidence and multiplicity counting to minimize the total assay error. An example is shown where multiplicity analysis is used to solve for mass, alpha, and multiplication and tunable multiplicity is shown to work well. The approach provides a method for selecting coincidence, multiplicity, or tunable multiplicity counting to give the best assay with the lowest total error over a broad spectrum of assay conditions. 9 refs., 6 figs.

  9. Radiometric microbiologic assay for the biologically active forms of niacin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kertcher, J.A.; Guilarte, T.R.; Chen, M.F.; Rider, A.A.; McIntyre, P.A.


    A radiometric microbiologic assay has been developed for the determination of niacin in biologic fluids. Lactobacillus plantarum produced /sup 14/CO/sub 2/ from L-(U-/sup 14/C) malic acid in quantities proportional to the amount of niacin present. The assay is specific for the biologically active forms of niacin in humans. Thirty normal hemolysates were analyzed and the values ranged from 13.0 to 17.8 niacin/ml RBC (mean = 15.27 +- 1.33 s.d.). Good recovery and reproducibility studies were obtained with this assay. On thirty blood samples, correlation was excellent between the radiometric and the conventional turbidimetric assays.

  10. Comparative activities of p-nonylphenol and diethylstilbestrol in noble rat mammary gland and uterotrophic assays. (United States)

    Odum, J; Pyrah, I T; Foster, J R; Van Miller, J P; Joiner, R L; Ashby, J


    Colerangle and Roy (1996, Endocrine 4, 115-122) have described the apparent ability of both diethylstilbestrol (DES) and p-nonylphenol (NP) to cause extensive cell proliferation and lobular development in the mammary glands of young adult Noble rats. The chemicals were administered over 11 days via subcutaneously implanted minipumps. The dose level of DES used (0.076 mg/kg/day) was about 70 times higher than its minimum detection level in rodent uterotrophic and reproductive toxicology studies. In contrast, the lowest active dose level of NP (0.073 mg/kg/day) in the Noble rat mammary gland study was about 600 times lower than its minimum detection level in rat uterotrophic and multigeneration studies. The apparent enhanced sensitivity of the Noble rat mammary gland to the estrogenic activity of NP was considered worthy of further study. Ovariectomized Noble rat uterotrophic assays with NP (minimum detection level approximately 40 mg/kg/day, 3 or 11 days, oral gavage) revealed similar assay sensitivity to that observed for earlier immature and ovariectomized Alderley Park (AP) rat uterotrophic assays of this chemical. The response of the ovariectomized Noble rat uterotrophic assay to DES and estradiol was also as expected from earlier immature AP rat assays. It is concluded that the general sensitivity to estrogens of the Noble rat and the AP rat is similar. A repeat of the Noble rat mammary gland study with DES (11 x 0.076 mg/kg/day) and NP (11 x either 0.073 or 53.2 mg/kg/day), as originally reported by Colerangle and Roy (1996), revealed a strong positive response to DES and no response to NP. It is concluded that the minimum detection level of NP as a weakly estrogenic material in the rat should be based on the results of rat uterotrophic and multigeneration studies and therefore be set at approximately 40 mg/kg/day. It is also concluded that induced S-phase in the rodent mammary gland is best monitored using BRDU, as opposed to PCNA staining, and that use of

  11. The regulation of circulating ghrelin - with recent updates from cell-based assays. (United States)

    Iwakura, Hiroshi; Kangawa, Kenji; Nakao, Kazuwa


    Ghrelin is a stomach-derived orexigenic hormone with a wide range of physiological functions. Elucidation of the regulation of the circulating ghrelin level would lead to a better understanding of appetite control in body energy homeostasis. Earlier studies revealed that circulating ghrelin levels are under the control of both acute and chronic energy status: at the acute scale, ghrelin levels are increased by fasting and decreased by feeding, whereas at the chronic scale, they are high in obese subjects and low in lean subjects. Subsequent studies revealed that nutrients, hormones, or neural activities can influence circulating ghrelin levels in vivo. Recently developed in vitro assay systems for ghrelin secretion can assess whether and how individual factors affect ghrelin secretion from cells. In this review, on the basis of numerous human, animal, and cell-based studies, we summarize current knowledge on the regulation of circulating ghrelin levels and enumerate the factors that influence ghrelin levels.

  12. Can physiological endpoints improve the sensitivity of assays with plants in the risk assessment of contaminated soils?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Gavina

    Full Text Available Site-specific risk assessment of contaminated areas indicates prior areas for intervention, and provides helpful information for risk managers. This study was conducted in the Ervedosa mine area (Bragança, Portugal, where both underground and open pit exploration of tin and arsenic minerals were performed for about one century (1857-1969. We aimed at obtaining ecotoxicological information with terrestrial and aquatic plant species to integrate in the risk assessment of this mine area. Further we also intended to evaluate if the assessment of other parameters, in standard assays with terrestrial plants, can improve the identification of phytotoxic soils. For this purpose, soil samples were collected on 16 sampling sites distributed along four transects, defined within the mine area, and in one reference site. General soil physical and chemical parameters, total and extractable metal contents were analyzed. Assays were performed for soil elutriates and for the whole soil matrix following standard guidelines for growth inhibition assay with Lemna minor and emergence and seedling growth assay with Zea mays. At the end of the Z. mays assay, relative water content, membrane permeability, leaf area, content of photosynthetic pigments (chlorophylls and carotenoids, malondialdehyde levels, proline content, and chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm and ΦPSII parameters were evaluated. In general, the soils near the exploration area revealed high levels of Al, Mn, Fe and Cu. Almost all the soils from transepts C, D and F presented total concentrations of arsenic well above soils screening benchmark values available. Elutriates of several soils from sampling sites near the exploration and ore treatment areas were toxic to L. minor, suggesting that the retention function of these soils was seriously compromised. In Z. mays assay, plant performance parameters (other than those recommended by standard protocols, allowed the identification of more phytotoxic soils

  13. A static-cidal assay for Trypanosoma brucei to aid hit prioritisation for progression into drug discovery programmes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manu De Rycker

    Full Text Available Human African Trypanosomiasis is a vector-borne disease of sub-Saharan Africa that causes significant morbidity and mortality. Current therapies have many drawbacks, and there is an urgent need for new, better medicines. Ideally such new treatments should be fast-acting cidal agents that cure the disease in as few doses as possible. Screening assays used for hit-discovery campaigns often do not distinguish cytocidal from cytostatic compounds and further detailed follow-up experiments are required. Such studies usually do not have the throughput required to test the large numbers of hits produced in a primary high-throughput screen. Here, we present a 384-well assay that is compatible with high-throughput screening and provides an initial indication of the cidal nature of a compound. The assay produces growth curves at ten compound concentrations by assessing trypanosome counts at 4, 24 and 48 hours after compound addition. A reduction in trypanosome counts over time is used as a marker for cidal activity. The lowest concentration at which cell killing is seen is a quantitative measure for the cidal activity of the compound. We show that the assay can identify compounds that have trypanostatic activity rather than cidal activity, and importantly, that results from primary high-throughput assays can overestimate the potency of compounds significantly. This is due to biphasic growth inhibition, which remains hidden at low starting cell densities and is revealed in our static-cidal assay. The assay presented here provides an important tool to follow-up hits from high-throughput screening campaigns and avoid progression of compounds that have poor prospects due to lack of cidal activity or overestimated potency.

  14. The comet assay – from toy to tool

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guenter Speit


    Full Text Available The comet assay is nowadays the most common method for measuring DNA damage and repair in single cells. It is based on the microelectrophoretic study published by Ostling and Johanson (1984 and was developed by Singh and coworkers (1988 to a versatile technique for quantitation of low levels of DNA damage in individual cells. This alkaline version still is the basis for the triumphant success of the comet assay in basic research into mechanisms of DNA damage and DNA repair, genotoxicity testing, ecotoxicology and human biomonitoring. Important technical improvements (e.g., the use of precoated slides, introduction of image analysis, high throughput methods, automated scoring systems made the assay more robust and more efficient. Modifications of the standard protocol provide more specific information on the type and biological significance of the damage studied. The introduction of lesion-specific endonucleases allowed the characterization of oxidative base damage, alkylation damage and UV-induced pyrimidine dimers. The combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH made it possible to identify DNA of particular chromosome regions and measure effects of damage and repair in particular genes. The comet assay is being increasingly used in genotoxicity testing. In particular, the in vivo comet assay has become a component of some genotoxicity test strategies and generally accepted test protocols have evolved over the years. A large international collaborative trial sponsored by the Japanese Center for the Validation of Alternative Methods (JaCVAM was recently completed and an OECD test guideline was approved. The comet assay is widely used in human biomonitoring to measure DNA damage as a marker of exposure to genotoxic agents or to investigate genoprotective effects. However, there are still problems in comparing results from different laboratories and there is need for reducing inter-laboratory variation and identification of standard

  15. Tuning a 96-Well Microtiter Plate Fluorescence-Based Assay to Identify AGE Inhibitors in Crude Plant Extracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luc Séro


    Full Text Available Advanced glycation end-products (AGEs are involved in the pathogenesis of numerous diseases. Among them, cellular accumulation of AGEs contributes to vascular complications in diabetes. Besides using drugs to lower blood sugar, a balanced diet and the intake of herbal products potentially limiting AGE formation could be considered beneficial for patients’ health. The current paper presents a simple and cheap high-throughput screening (HTS assay based on AGE fluorescence and suitable for plant extract screening. We have already implemented an HTS assay based on vesperlysines-like fluorescing AGEs quickly (24 h formed from BSA and ribose under physiological conditions. However, interference was noted when fluorescent compounds and/or complex mixtures were tested. To overcome these problems and apply this HTS assay to plant extracts, we developed a technique for systematic quantification of both vesperlysines (λexc 370 nm; λem 440 nm and pentosidine-like (λexc 335 nm; λem 385 nm AGEs. In a batch of medicinal and food plant extracts, hits were selected as soon as fluorescence decreased under a fixed threshold for at least one wavelength. Hits revealed during this study appeared to contain well-known and powerful anti-AGE substances, thus demonstrating the suitability of this assay for screening crude extracts (0.1 mg/mL. Finally, quercetin was found to be a more powerful reference compound than aminoguanidine in such assay.

  16. Multiplex assay for live-cell monitoring of cellular fates of amyloid-β precursor protein (APP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Merezhko

    Full Text Available Amyloid-β precursor protein (APP plays a central role in pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. APP has a short half-life and undergoes complex proteolytic processing that is highly responsive to various stimuli such as changes in cellular lipid or energy homeostasis. Cellular trafficking of APP is controlled by its large protein interactome, including dozens of cytosolic adaptor proteins, and also by interactions with lipids. Currently, cellular regulation of APP is mostly studied based on appearance of APP-derived proteolytic fragments to conditioned media and cellular extracts. Here, we have developed a novel live-cell assay system based on several indirect measures that reflect altered APP trafficking and processing in cells. Protein-fragment complementation assay technology for detection of APP-BACE1 protein-protein interaction forms the core of the new assay. In a multiplex form, the assay can measure four endpoints: total cellular APP level, total secreted sAPP level in media, APP-BACE1 interaction in cells and in exosomes released by the cells. Functional validation of the assay with pharmacological and genetic tools revealed distinct patterns of cellular fates of APP, with immediate mechanistic implications. This new technology will facilitate functional genomics studies of late-onset Alzheimer's disease, drug discovery efforts targeting APP and characterization of the physiological functions of APP and its proteolytic fragments.

  17. Diced electrophoresis gel assay for screening enzymes with specified activities. (United States)

    Komatsu, Toru; Hanaoka, Kenjiro; Adibekian, Alexander; Yoshioka, Kentaro; Terai, Takuya; Ueno, Tasuku; Kawaguchi, Mitsuyasu; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Nagano, Tetsuo


    We have established the diced electrophoresis gel (DEG) assay as a proteome-wide screening tool to identify enzymes with activities of interest using turnover-based fluorescent substrates. The method utilizes the combination of native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) with a multiwell-plate-based fluorometric assay to find protein spots with the specified activity. By developing fluorescent substrates that mimic the structure of neutrophil chemoattractants, we could identify enzymes involved in metabolic inactivation of the chemoattractants.

  18. Embryotoxicity assays for leached components from dental restorative materials


    Mummolo Stefano; Tecco Simona; Gallusi Gianni; Farini Donatella; Klinger Francesca G; Marzo Giuseppe; Libonati Antonio; De Felici Massimo; Campanella Vincenzo


    Abstract Background Currently, there are no suitable assays available to evaluate the embryotoxicity of leached components from restorative dental materials. Methods The effect of the medium conditioned by composites and amalgam on mouse blastocysts in vitro was tested. The materials were also subcutaneously implanted, and the effect of the medium supplemented with serum from the host blood was evaluated in the embryotoxicity assay. The embryo implantation rate in the material-transplanted mo...

  19. Antibiotic microbial assay using kinetic-reading microplate system


    Felipe Rebello Lourenço; Terezinha de Jesus Andreoli Pinto


    The aim of this study was to determine the optimal experimental conditions to develop a methodology for microbiological assay of apramycin employing microplate and kinetic reading mode, and to validate the developed method, through evaluation of parameters of selectivity, linearity, linear range, limits of detection and quantification, accuracy and precision. The turbidimetric assay principle is simple: the test solution is added to a suspension of test microorganism in culture media, the mix...

  20. Fluorescence Assay for Evaluating Microbicidal Activity of Hand Antiseptics


    Lopez-Gigosos, Rosa M.; Mariscal, Alberto; Mariscal-Lopez, Eloisa; Gutierrez-Bedmar, Mario; Fernandez, Joaquin


    We developed a fluorescent β-d-glucuronidase activity (BGA)-based assay for detecting and quantifying Escherichia coli in samples to assess the biocide efficacy of hand antiseptics. The fluorescence level is proportional to the number of viable E. coli organisms present. We compared our assay results to those of the E. coli plate count method specified by the European standard for testing hygienic hand rub disinfectant products (EN1500). The plate count method requires excessive handling and ...

  1. Bioluminescence-Sensing Assay for Microbial Growth Recognition


    Heba Ramadan Eed; Nora S. Abdel-Kader; Mahmoud Helmy El Tahan; Tianhong Dai; Rehab Amin


    The conventional methods for microbial viability quantification require cultivation and are laborious. There is consequently a widespread need for cultivation-free methods. The adenosine triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence-sensing assay is considered an extremely effective biosensor; hence ATP is the energy currency of all living microbes and can be used as a rapid indicator of microbial viability. We developed an ATP bioluminescence-sensing assay to detect microbial viability. A biolumine...

  2. Multiplex PCR Assay for Identification of Human Diarrheagenic Escherichia coli



    A multiplex PCR assay for the identification of human diarrheagenic Escherichia coli was developed. The targets selected for each category were eae for enteropathogenic E. coli, stx for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, elt and est for enterotoxigenic E. coli, ipaH for enteroinvasive E. coli, and aggR for enteroaggregative E. coli. This assay allowed the categorization of a diarrheagenic E. coli strain in a single reaction tube.

  3. Analytical applications of MIPs in diagnostic assays: future perspectives. (United States)

    Bedwell, Thomas S; Whitcombe, Michael J


    Many efforts have been made to produce artificial materials with biomimetic properties for applications in binding assays. Among these efforts, the technique of molecular imprinting has received much attention because of the high selectivity obtainable for molecules of interest, robustness of the produced polymers, simple and short synthesis, and excellent cost efficiency. In this review, progress in the field of molecularly imprinted sorbent assays is discussed-with a focus on work conducted from 2005 to date.

  4. Monkey Feeding Assay for Testing Emetic Activity of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin. (United States)

    Seo, Keun Seok


    Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are unique bacterial toxins that cause gastrointestinal toxicity as well as superantigenic activity. Since systemic administration of SEs induces superantigenic activity leading to toxic shock syndrome that may mimic enterotoxic activity of SEs such as vomiting and diarrhea, oral administration of SEs in the monkey feeding assay is considered as a standard method to evaluate emetic activity of SEs. This chapter summarizes and discusses practical considerations of the monkey feeding assay used in studies characterizing classical and newly identified SEs.

  5. Troponin assays in the assessment of the equine myocardium. (United States)

    Rossi, T M; Pyle, W G; Maxie, M G; Pearl, D L; Physick-Sheard, P W


    In 2000, troponin assays were adopted as the test of choice for detection of myocardial injury in man. This decision was made after extensive testing and followed a 60 year search for a biomarker of myocardial damage with sufficient analytical sensitivity and specificity. This has led to proliferation of assays for use in human medicine, each requiring extensive testing and validation before it could be made available on the open market for human use. The search for ever-more analytically sensitive assays and for a standard reference material continues. The adoption of troponin testing in veterinary medicine followed shortly after its development for use in man, providing a much-needed means of detecting and monitoring myocardial damage in horses. However, application of these tests in veterinary medicine has exclusively involved use of assays designed for and clinically validated in human patients. There is no mandated requirement for test validation in veterinary medicine and, while many of these assays have been shown to be capable of detecting equine troponin, the wide diversity of available tests, lack of validation, absence of protocols for their use and lack of standardisation make their application problematic. The objective of this review article is to address this issue, offering guidance where data are available and encouraging caution where there are none. Ultimately, the overall goal of this review is to examine critically the use of troponin assays in the horse and to promote the accurate and appropriate interpretation of valid results.

  6. First 25-hydroxyvitamin D assay for general chemistry analyzers. (United States)

    Saida, Fakhri B; Chen, Xiaoru; Tran, Kiet; Dou, Chao; Yuan, Chong


    25-Hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], the predominant circulating form of vitamin D, is an accurate indicator of the general vitamin D status of an individual. Because vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to several pathologies (including osteoporosis and rickets), accurate monitoring of 25(OH)D levels is becoming increasingly important in clinical settings. Current 25(OH)D assays are either chromatographic or immunoassay-based assays. These assays include HPLC, liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), enzyme-immunosorbent, immunochemiluminescence, immunofluorescence and radioimmunoassay. All these assays use heterogeneous formats that require phase separation and special instrumentations. In this article, we present an overview of these assays and introduce the first homogeneous assay of 25(OH)D for use on general chemistry analyzers. A special emphasis is put on the unique challenges posed by the 25(OH)D analyte. These challenges include a low detection limit, the dissociation of the analyte from its serum transporter and the inactivation of various binding proteins without phase separation steps.

  7. Detection of Streptococcus pyogenes using rapid visual molecular assay. (United States)

    Zhao, Xiangna; He, Xiaoming; Li, Huan; Zhao, Jiangtao; Huang, Simo; Liu, Wei; Wei, Xiao; Ding, Yiwei; Wang, Zhaoyan; Zou, Dayang; Wang, Xuesong; Dong, Derong; Yang, Zhan; Yan, Xiabei; Huang, Liuyu; Du, Shuangkui; Yuan, Jing


    Streptococcus pyogenes is an increasingly important pathogen in many parts of the world. Rapid and accurate detection of S. pyogenes aids in the control of the infection. In this study, a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay was developed and validated for the specific detection of S. pyogenes. The assay incorporates two methods: a chromogenic analysis using a calcein/Mn(2+) complex and real-time turbidity monitoring to assess the reaction. Both methods detected the target DNA within 60 min under 64°C isothermal conditions. The assay used specifically designed primers to target spy1258, and correctly identified 111 strains of S. pyogenes and 32 non-S. pyogenes strains, including other species of the genus Streptococcus. Tests using reference strains showed that the LAMP assay was highly specific. The sensitivity of the assay, with a detection limit of 1.49 pg DNA, was 10-fold greater than that of PCR. The LAMP assay established in this study is simple, fast and sensitive, and does not rely upon any special equipment; thus, it could be employed in clinical diagnosis.

  8. Axenic Cultivation and Pathogenic Assays of Acanthamoeba Strains Using Physical Parameters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Niyyati


    Full Text Available Background: The main goal of the present study was to set up an axenic cultivation of Acanthamoeba and assess the pathogenic ability of T4 genotypes from different clinical and environmental strains of Acanthamoeba using two physical assays.Methods: Sixteen Acanthamoeba isolates including 10 environmental and 6 clinical strains were cul­tured axenically. Axenic cultivation was performed using Proteosepepton, yeast extract and glucose medium and TY-I-S33culture. Pathogenic survey was done using osmotolerance and thermotoler­ance assay. Briefly, differentosmolarity (0.5 M and 1 M of non-nutrient agar plates were performed. One hundred fiftyµl of axenic culture were collected and were inoculated in 1% agar medium. For thermotolerance assay 150 µl of amoebas from axenic culture were divided into fresh culture me­diums. Cultures were incubated at 37oC and 42 oC. All plates were monitored for 24 h, 48 h and 72 h.Results: Overall, 16 strains of Acanthamoeba isolates previously genotyped as T4 were cultivated axeni­cally after several months. Thermotolerance and osmotolerance assay revealed that all of clinical strains, soil and animal feces strains were highly pathogenic isolates. Two dust and water strains did not grow at high temperature (42 oC and osmolarity (1.5 M and thus they were classified as weak pathogens.Conclusion: Most of T4 genotypes are highly pathogenic organisms. This is an important finding since Acanthamoeba belonging to T4 type is the predominate genotype in environmental and clinical samples. The presence of highly pathogenic Acanthamoeba may pose a risk within susceptible people.

  9. Assaying the catalytic potential of transition metal sulfides for abiotic carbon fixation (United States)

    Cody, G. D.; Boctor, N. Z.; Brandes, J. A.; Filley, T. R.; Hazen, R. M.; Yoder, H. S.


    A suite of nickel, cobalt, iron, copper, and zinc containing sulfides are assayed for the promotion of a model carbon fixation reaction with relevance to local reducing environments of the early Earth. The assay tests the promotion of hydrocarboxylation (the Koch reaction) wherein a carboxylic acid is synthesized via carbonyl insertion at a metal-sulfide-bound alkyl group. The experimental conditions are chosen for optimal assay, i.e., high reactant concentrations and pressures (200 MPa) to enhance chemisorption, and high temperature (250°C) to enhance reaction kinetics. All of the metal sulfides studied, with the exception CuS, promote hydrocarboxylation. Two other significant reactions involve the catalytic reduction of CO to form a surface-bound methyl group, detected after nucleophilic attack by nonane thiol to form methyl nonyl sulfide, and the formation of dinonyl sulfide via a similar reaction. Estimation of the catalytic turnover frequencies for each of the metal sulfides with respect to each of the primary reactions reveals that NiS, Ni 3S 2, and CoS perform comparably to commonly employed industrial catalysts. A positive correlation between the yield of primary product to NiS and Ni 3S 2 surface areas provides strong evidence that the reactions are surface catalytic in these cases. The sulfides FeS and Fe (1-x)S are unique in that they exhibit evidence of extensive dissolution, thus, complicating interpretation regarding heterogeneous vs. homogeneous catalysis. With the exception of CuS, each of the metal sulfides promotes reactions that mimic key intermediate steps manifest in the mechanistic details of an important autotrophic enzyme, acetyl-CoA synthase. The relatively high temperatures chosen for assaying purposes, however, are incompatible with the accumulation of thioesters. The results of this study support the hypothesis that transition metal sulfides may have provided useful catalytic functionality for geochemical carbon fixation in a prebiotic

  10. Natural product juglone targets three key enzymes from Helicobacter pylori: inhibition assay with crystal structure characterization

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yun-hua KONG; Liang ZHANG; Zheng-yi YANG; Cong HAN; Li-hong HU; Hua-liang JIANG; Xu SHEN


    Aim: To investigate the inhibition features of the natural product juglone (5-hydroxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) against the three key enzymes from Helicobacter pylori (cystathionine γ-synthase [HpCGS], malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase [HpFabD], and β-hydroxyacyl-ACP dehydratase [HpFabZ]). Methods: An enzyme inhibition assay against HpCGS was carded out by using a continuous coupled spectrophotometric assay approach. The inhibition assay of HpFabD was performed based on the α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase-coupled system, while the inhibition assay for HpFabZ was monitored by detecting the decrease in absorbance at 260 nm with crotonoyl-CoA conversion to βhydroxybutyryl-CoA. The juglone/FabZ complex crystal was obtained by soaking juglone into the HpFabZ crystal, and the X-ray crystal structure of the complex was analyzed by molecular replacement approach. Results: Juglone was shown to potently inhibit HpCGS, HpFabD, and HpFabZ with the half maximal inhibitory concentration IC50 values of 7.0±0.7, 20±1, and 30±4 μmol/L, respectively. An inhibition-type study indicated that juglone was a non-competitive inhibitor of HpCGS against O-succi-nyl-L-homoserine (KI=αKI=24 μmol/L), an uncompetitive inhibitor of HpFabD against malonyl-CoA (αKI=7.4 μmol/L), and a competitive inhibitor of HpFabZ against crotonoyl-CoA (K,1=6.8 μtmol/L). Moreover, the crystal structure of the HpFabZ/juglone complex further revealed the essential binding pattern ofjuglone against HpFabZ at the atomic level. Conclusion: HpCGS, HpFabD, and HpFabZ are potential targets ofjuglone.

  11. Development and characterization of a high density SNP genotyping assay for cattle.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshmi K Matukumalli

    Full Text Available The success of genome-wide association (GWA studies for the detection of sequence variation affecting complex traits in human has spurred interest in the use of large-scale high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP genotyping for the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTL and for marker-assisted selection in model and agricultural species. A cost-effective and efficient approach for the development of a custom genotyping assay interrogating 54,001 SNP loci to support GWA applications in cattle is described. A novel algorithm for achieving a compressed inter-marker interval distribution proved remarkably successful, with median interval of 37 kb and maximum predicted gap of <350 kb. The assay was tested on a panel of 576 animals from 21 cattle breeds and six outgroup species and revealed that from 39,765 to 46,492 SNP are polymorphic within individual breeds (average minor allele frequency (MAF ranging from 0.24 to 0.27. The assay also identified 79 putative copy number variants in cattle. Utility for GWA was demonstrated by localizing known variation for coat color and the presence/absence of horns to their correct genomic locations. The combination of SNP selection and the novel spacing algorithm allows an efficient approach for the development of high-density genotyping platforms in species having full or even moderate quality draft sequence. Aspects of the approach can be exploited in species which lack an available genome sequence. The BovineSNP50 assay described here is commercially available from Illumina and provides a robust platform for mapping disease genes and QTL in cattle.

  12. Objective scoring of transformed foci in BALB/c 3T3 cell transformation assay by statistical image descriptors


    Urani, Chiara; Corvi, Raffaella; CALLEGARO G.; Stefanini, Federico Mattia


    In vitro cell transformation assays (CTAs) have been shown to model important stages of in vivo carcinogenesis and have the potential to predict carcinogenicity in humans. Advantages of CTAs are their ability of revealing both genotoxic and non-genotoxic carcinogens while reducing both experimental costs and the number of animals used. The endpoint of the CTA is foci formation, and requires classification under light microscopy based on morphology. Thus current limitations for the wide ado...

  13. Duplex Quantitative PCR Assay for Detection of Haemophilus influenzae That Distinguishes Fucose- and Protein D-Negative Strains. (United States)

    de Gier, Camilla; Pickering, Janessa L; Richmond, Peter C; Thornton, Ruth B; Kirkham, Lea-Ann S


    We have developed a specific Haemophilus influenzae quantitative PCR (qPCR) that also identifies fucose-negative and protein D-negative strains. Analysis of 100 H. influenzae isolates, 28 Haemophilus haemolyticus isolates, and 14 other bacterial species revealed 100% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 96% to 100%) and 100% specificity (95% CI, 92% to 100%) for this assay. The evaluation of 80 clinical specimens demonstrated a strong correlation between semiquantitative culture and the qPCR (P < 0.001).

  14. Use of an aqueous soluble tetrazolium/formazan assay for cell growth assays in culture. (United States)

    Cory, A H; Owen, T C; Barltrop, J A; Cory, J G


    A new tetrazolium analog of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2, 5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) was evaluated as a substitute for MTT in the microculture screening assay for in vitro cell growth. This new tetrazolium compound, 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2- (4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt (MTS), in the presence of phenazine methosulfate (PMS), gave a water-soluble formazan product that had an absorbance maximum at 490-500 nm in phosphate-buffered saline. The amount of colored product formed was proportional to the number of cells and the time of incubation of the cells with MTS/PMS. MTS/PMS was reactive in all the cell lines tested which included mouse leukemia L1210 cells, mouse Ehrlich tumor cells, mouse 3T3 fibroblasts, and human colon tumor cells (HT-29). HT-29 and 3T3 fibroblasts reduced MTS/PMS more efficiently than they reduced MTT. Comparable to the amount of product formed from MTT, MTS/PMS gave excellent product formation. The IC50 value for pyrazoloimidazole obtained using MTS/PMS was 200 microM; for 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine, the IC50 value was 0.9 nM. These values compared very favorably with the IC50 values obtained by direct cell counts. Further, the same IC50 values were obtained when the absorbances of the formazan product in the 96-well plates were determined after different times of incubation.

  15. Hemizona Assay and Sperm Penetration Assay in the Prediction of IVF Outcome: A Systematic Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paraskevi Vogiatzi


    Full Text Available The limited predictive value of semen analysis in achieving natural conception or in IVF outcome confirms the need for sperm function tests to determine optimal management. We reviewed HZA and SPA predictive power in IVF outcome, with statistical significance of diagnostic power of the assays. HZA was readily efficient in predicting IVF outcome, while evident inconsistency among the studies analysed framed the SPA’s role in male fertility evaluation. Considerable variation was noted in the diagnostic accuracy values of SPA with wide sensitivity (52–100%, specificity (0–100%, and PPV (18–100% and NPV (0–100% together with fluctuation and notable differentiation in methodology and cutoff values employed by each group. HZA methodology was overall consistent with minor variation in cutoff values and oocyte source, while data analysis reported strong correlation between HZA results with IVF outcome, high sensitivity (75–100%, good specificity (57–100%, and high PPV (79–100% and NPV (68–100%. HZA correlated well with IVF outcome and demonstrated better sensitivity/specificity and positive/negative predictive power. Males with normal or slightly abnormal semen profiles could benefit by this intervention and could be evaluated prior to referral to assisted reproduction. HZA should be used in a sequential fashion with semen analysis and potentially other bioassays in an IVF setting.

  16. A colorimetric sandwich-type assay for sensitive thrombin detection based on enzyme-linked aptamer assay. (United States)

    Park, Jun Hee; Cho, Yea Seul; Kang, Sungmuk; Lee, Eun Jeong; Lee, Gwan-Ho; Hah, Sang Soo


    A colorimetric sandwich-type assay based on enzyme-linked aptamer assay has been developed for the fast and sensitive detection of as low as 25 fM of thrombin with high linearity. Aptamer-immobilized glass was used to capture the target analyte, whereas a second aptamer, functionalized with horseradish peroxidase (HRP), was employed for the conventional 3,5,3',5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB)-based colorimetric detection. Without the troublesome antibody requirement of the conventional enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), as low as 25 fM of thrombin could be rapidly and reproducibly detected. This assay has superior, or at least equal, recovery and accuracy to that of conventional antibody-based ELISA.

  17. Evaluation of Presto(plus) assay and LightMix kit Trichomonas vaginalis assay for detection of Trichomonas vaginalis in dry vaginal swabs. (United States)

    de Waaij, Dewi J; Ouburg, Sander; Dubbink, Jan Henk; Peters, Remco P H; Morré, Servaas A


    This is an evaluation study of the Presto(plus) Assay for T. vaginalis by comparing to the TIB MOLBIOL LightMix Kit Trichomonas vaginalis Assay using 615 dry collected vaginal and rectal swabs. Discordant samples were analyzed by the Qiagen® Microbial DNA qPCR for TV Assay. Both assays showed comparable performances (McNemar p>0.05).

  18. The Granzyme B ELISPOT assay: an alternative to the 51Cr-release assay for monitoring cell-mediated cytotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baseler Michael


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The interferon-γ (IFN-γ ELISPOT assay is one of the most useful techniques for immunological monitoring of cancer vaccine trials and has gained increased application as a measure of specific T cell activation. However, it does not assess cell-mediated cytotoxicity directly as IFN-γ secretion is not limited to only cytolytic cells. Granzyme B (GrB is a key mediator of target cell death via the granule-mediated pathway. Therefore, the release of GrB by cytolytic lymphocytes upon effector-target interaction may be a more specific indicator of CTL and NK cytotoxic ability than IFN-γ secretion. Methods We assessed whether the GrB ELISPOT assay is a viable alternative to the 51Cr-release and IFN-γ ELISPOT assays for measuring antigen-specific CTL cytotoxicity. Direct comparisons between the three assays were made using human CTL cell lines (αEN-EBV and αJY and an in vitro stimulated anti-Flu matrix peptide (FMP-specific CTL. Results When the GrB ELISPOT was directly compared to the IFN-γ ELISPOT and 51Cr-release assays, excellent cross-correlation between all three assays was shown. However, measurable IFN-γ secretion in the ELISPOT assay was observed only after 1 hour of incubation and cytotoxicity assessed via the 51Cr-release assay after 4 hours, whereas GrB secretion was detectable within 10 min of effector-target contact with significant secretion observed after 1 h. Titration studies demonstrated a strong correlation between the number of effector cells and GrB spots per well. Irrelevant targets or antigens did not induce significant GrB secretion. Additionally, GrB secretion was abrogated when CTL cultures were depleted of CD8+ cells. Conclusion Our findings demonstrate that the GrB ELISPOT assay is a superior alternative to the 51Cr-release assay since it is significantly more sensitive and provides an estimation of cytotoxic effector cell frequency. Additionally, unlike the IFN-γ ELISPOT assay, the GrB ELISPOT

  19. Sperm DNA assays and their relationship to sperm motility and morphology in bulls (Bos Taurus). (United States)

    Serafini, Rosanna; Romano, Juan E; Varner, Dickson D; Di Palo, Rossella; Love, Charles C


    The relationship among sperm DNA assays in bulls with different sperm motility and morphology measures has not been reported. The objectives of the present study were to (1) describe Comet assay measures and examine their repeatability (inter- and intra-assay); (2) compare sperm DNA quality assays (i.e., Sperm Chromatin Structure Assay-SCSA; alkaline and neutral Comet assays and Sperm Bos Halomax assay-SBH) in two groups of bulls selected on either greater and lesser sperm motility and morphology (greater compared with lesser); (3) determine the relationship among DNA assays and sperm motility and morphology values. Inter-assay repeatability was greater for the neutral Comet assay as compared to the alkaline Comet assay. Intra-assay repeatability was greater than inter-assay repeatability for both Comet assays. Comet assay dimension measures and percentage tail DNA were the most repeatable for both Comet assays. Among sperm DNA quality assays, only SCSA measures and neutral Comet assay Ghosts (% Ghosts), head diameter and area, and comet area were different between greater and lesser sperm quality groups (P<0.05). The SCSA measures were inversely correlated with neutral Comet head measures (diameter, area, and intensity) and positively with percentage Ghosts (P<0.05). The % Ghosts and COMP-αt were correlated with some measures of sperm morphology and sperm motility. The neutral Comet assay was more appropriate for sperm evaluation than the alkaline Comet assay for distinguishing among groups with different sperm quality.

  20. Suitability of a liquid chromatography assay of neomycin sulfate to replace the microbiological assay for neomycin in USP Monographs. (United States)

    Hanko, Valoran P; Rohrer, Jeffrey S


    The current USP National Formulary contains 65 Monographs for drug formulations containing neomycin. All 65 Monographs prescribe a bioassay for neomycin assay. This bioassay, based on cell culture, is labor intensive, has poor precision, and cannot be adapted for purity or identification. High-performance anion-exchange chromatography with integrated pulsed amperometric detection (HPAE-IPAD), a liquid chromatography technique, has been shown to be suitable for neomycin purity analysis and neomycin assay of an over-the-counter first aid cream (Hanko and Rohrer [17]). Here we propose that an HPAE-IPAD assay can replace the bioassay in the 65 neomycin-containing Monographs. We applied the HPAE-IPAD assay to four neomycin-containing drug products representing the four classes of formulations found in the 65 Monographs, liquid, solid, suspension, and cream. Each drug was analyzed with two chromatography systems, and on 3 separate days. For all products, HPAE-IPAD measurements were precise and accurate with respect to the label concentrations. There was also high accuracy for spike recovery of neomycin from the four drug products throughout 70-150% of the labeled concentration. These results suggest that an HPAE-IPAD assay would be an accurate assay for neomycin, and would be faster and more precise than the current bioassay.

  1. Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA): A Nondestructive Assay Technique for the Next Generation Safeguards Initiative’s Plutonium Assay Challenge

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. W. Sterbentz; D. L. Chichester


    This is an end-of-year report for a project funded by the National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Nuclear Safeguards (NA-241). The goal of this project is to investigate the feasibility of using Neutron Resonance Transmission Analysis (NRTA) to assay plutonium in commercial light-water-reactor spent fuel. This project is part of a larger research effort within the Next-Generation Safeguards Initiative (NGSI) to evaluate methods for assaying plutonium in spent fuel, the Plutonium Assay Challenge. The first-year goals for this project were modest and included: 1) developing a zero-order MCNP model for the NRTA technique, simulating data results presented in the literature, 2) completing a preliminary set of studies investigating important design and performance characteristics for the NRTA measurement technique, and 3) documentation of this work in an end of the year report (this report). Research teams at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and at several universities are also working to investigate plutonium assay methods for spent-fuel safeguards. While the NRTA technique is well proven in the scientific literature for assaying individual spent fuel pins, it is a newcomer to the current NGSI efforts studying Pu assay method techniques having just started in March 2010; several analytical techniques have been under investigation within this program for two to three years or more. This report summarizes a nine month period of work.

  2. Focus groups reveal consumer ambivalence. (United States)


    According to qualitative research, Salvadoreans are ambivalent about the use of contraceptives. Since complete responsibility for management of the CSM project was accepted by the Association Demografica Salvadorena (ADS), the agency which operates the contraceptive social marketing project in El Salvador, in November 1980, the need for decisions in such areas as product price increases, introduction of new condom brands, promotion of the vaginal foaming tablet, and assessment of product sales performance had arisen. The ICSMP funded market research, completed during 1983, was intended to provide the data on which such decisions by ADS could be based. The qualitative research involved 8 focus groups, comprised of men and women, aged 18-45, contraceptive users and nonusers, from the middle and lower socioeconomic strata of the city of San Salvador and other suburban areas. In each group a moderator led discussion of family planning and probed respondents for specific attitudes, knowledge, and behavior regarding the use of contraceptives. To assess attitudes at a more emotional level, moderators asked respondents to "draw" their ideas on certain issues. A marked discrepancy was revealed between respondents' intellectual responses to the issues raised in group discussion, as opposed to their feelings expressed in the drawings. Intellectually, participants responded very positively to family planning practice, but when they were asked to draw their perceptions, ambivalent feelings emerged. Drawings of both the user and the nonuser convey primarily negative aspects for either choice. The user is tense and moody toward her children; the nonuser loses her attractiveness and "dies." Figures also show drawings of some of the attitudes of single and married male participants. 1 drawing shows an incomplete and a complete circle, symbolizing a sterilized man (incomplete) and a nonsterilized man (complete). Another picture depicts a chained man who has lost his freedom

  3. A versatile polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis based sulfotransferase assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Prather Brittany


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Sulfotransferases are a large group of enzymes that regulate the biological activity or availability of a wide spectrum of substrates through sulfation with the sulfur donor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate (PAPS. These enzymes are known to be difficult to assay. A convenient assay is needed in order to better understand these enzymes. Results A universal sulfotransferase assay method based on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE is described. This assay has been successfully applied to substrates as small as α-naphthol and as big as proteoglycans. As examples, we present the assays for recombinant human CHST4, TPST1, CHST3 and HS6ST1. In order to assess whether a small molecule can be applicable to this type of assay, a method to estimate the relative mobility of a molecule to PAPS is also presented. The estimated relative mobilities of various sulfated small molecules generated by SULT1A1, SULT1E1, SULT2A1 and CHST4 are in the range of ± 0.2 of the actual relative mobilities. Conclusion The versatility of the current method comes from the ability that SDS-PAGE can separate proteins and small molecules according to different parameters. While mobilities of proteins during SDS-PAGE are inversely related to their sizes, mobilities of small molecules are positively related to their charge/mass ratios. The predicted relative mobility of a product to PAPS is a good indicator of whether a sulfotransferase can be assayed with SDS-PAGE. Because phosphorylation is most similar to sulfation in chemistry, the method is likely to be applicable to kinases as well.

  4. Evolving BioAssay Ontology (BAO): modularization, integration and applications. (United States)

    Abeyruwan, Saminda; Vempati, Uma D; Küçük-McGinty, Hande; Visser, Ubbo; Koleti, Amar; Mir, Ahsan; Sakurai, Kunie; Chung, Caty; Bittker, Joshua A; Clemons, Paul A; Brudz, Steve; Siripala, Anosha; Morales, Arturo J; Romacker, Martin; Twomey, David; Bureeva, Svetlana; Lemmon, Vance; Schürer, Stephan C


    The lack of established standards to describe and annotate biological assays and screening outcomes in the domain of drug and chemical probe discovery is a severe limitation to utilize public and proprietary drug screening data to their maximum potential. We have created the BioAssay Ontology (BAO) project ( to develop common reference metadata terms and definitions required for describing relevant information of low-and high-throughput drug and probe screening assays and results. The main objectives of BAO are to enable effective integration, aggregation, retrieval, and analyses of drug screening data. Since we first released BAO on the BioPortal in 2010 we have considerably expanded and enhanced BAO and we have applied the ontology in several internal and external collaborative projects, for example the BioAssay Research Database (BARD). We describe the evolution of BAO with a design that enables modeling complex assays including profile and panel assays such as those in the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures (LINCS). One of the critical questions in evolving BAO is the following: how can we provide a way to efficiently reuse and share among various research projects specific parts of our ontologies without violating the integrity of the ontology and without creating redundancies. This paper provides a comprehensive answer to this question with a description of a methodology for ontology modularization using a layered architecture. Our modularization approach defines several distinct BAO components and separates internal from external modules and domain-level from structural components. This approach facilitates the generation/extraction of derived ontologies (or perspectives) that can suit particular use cases or software applications. We describe the evolution of BAO related to its formal structures, engineering approaches, and content to enable modeling of complex assays and integration with other ontologies and

  5. Multiplexed Recombinase Polymerase Amplification Assay To Detect Intestinal Protozoa. (United States)

    Crannell, Zachary; Castellanos-Gonzalez, Alejandro; Nair, Gayatri; Mejia, Rojelio; White, A Clinton; Richards-Kortum, Rebecca


    This work describes a proof-of-concept multiplex recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assay with lateral flow readout that is capable of simultaneously detecting and differentiating DNA from any of the diarrhea-causing protozoa Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba. Together, these parasites contribute significantly to the global burden of diarrheal illness. Differential diagnosis of these parasites is traditionally accomplished via stool microscopy. However, microscopy is insensitive and can miss up to half of all cases. DNA-based diagnostics such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) are far more sensitive; however, they rely on expensive thermal cycling equipment, limiting their availability to centralized reference laboratories. Isothermal DNA amplification platforms, such as the RPA platform used in this study, alleviate the need for thermal cycling equipment and have the potential to broaden access to more sensitive diagnostics. Until now, multiplex RPA assays have not been developed that are capable of simultaneously detecting and differentiating infections caused by different pathogens. We developed a multiplex RPA assay to detect the presence of DNA from Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba. The multiplex assay was characterized using synthetic DNA, where the limits-of-detection were calculated to be 403, 425, and 368 gene copies per reaction of the synthetic Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba targets, respectively (roughly 1.5 orders of magnitude higher than for the same targets in a singleplex RPA assay). The multiplex assay was also characterized using DNA extracted from live parasites spiked into stool samples where the limits-of-detection were calculated to be 444, 6, and 9 parasites per reaction for Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and Entamoeba parasites, respectively. This proof-of-concept assay may be reconfigured to detect a wide variety of targets by re-designing the primer and probe sequences.

  6. Recommendations for safety testing with the in vivo comet assay. (United States)

    Vasquez, Marie Z


    While the in vivo comet assay increases its role in regulatory safety testing, deliberations about the interpretation of comet data continue. Concerns can arise regarding comet assay publications with limited data from non-blind testing of positive control compounds and using protocols (e.g. dose concentrations, sample times, and tissues) known to give an expected effect. There may be a tendency towards bias when the validation or interpretation of comet assay data is based on results generated by widely accepted but non-validated assays. The greatest advantages of the comet assay are its sensitivity and its ability to detect genotoxicity in tissues and at sample times that could not previously be evaluated. Guidelines for its use and interpretation in safety testing should take these factors into account. Guidelines should be derived from objective review of data generated by blind testing of unknown compounds dosed at non-toxic concentrations and evaluated in a true safety-testing environment, where the experimental design and conclusions must be defensible. However, positive in vivo comet findings with such compounds are rarely submitted to regulatory agencies and this data is typically unavailable for publication due to its proprietary nature. To enhance the development of guidelines for safety testing with the comet assay, and with the permission of several sponsors, this paper presents and discusses relevant data from multiple GLP comet studies conducted blind, with unknown pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Based on these data and the lessons we have learned through the course of conducting these studies, I suggest significant adjustments to the current conventions, and I provide recommendations for interpreting in vivo comet assay results in situations where risk must be evaluated in the absence of carcinogenicity or clinical data.

  7. Worldwide interest in the comet assay: a bibliometric study. (United States)

    Neri, Monica; Milazzo, Daniele; Ugolini, Donatella; Milic, Mirta; Campolongo, Alessandra; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Bonassi, Stefano


    The comet assay is a rapid, sensitive and relatively simple method for measuring DNA damage. A bibliometric study was performed to evaluate temporal and geographical trends, research quality and main areas of interest in scientific production in this field. A PubMed search strategy was developed and 7674 citations were retrieved in the period 1990-2013. Notably, the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) term 'comet assay', officially introduced in 2000, is used by indexers only in two thirds of papers retrieved. Articles on the comet assay were published in 78 countries, spread over the 5 continents. The EU contributed the greatest output, producing >2900 articles with IF (42.0%) and totalling almost 10000 IF points, and was followed by USA. In the new millennium, research with this assay reached a plateau or slow decline in the most industrialised areas (USA, Germany, UK, Italy), while its use has boomed in emerging countries, with increases of 5- to 7-fold in the last 10 years in China, India and Brazil, for instance. This transition resulted in a slow decrease of scientific production quality, as the countries that increased their relative weight typically had lower mIFs. The most common MeSH terms used in papers using the comet assay referred to wide areas of interest, such as DNA damage and repair, cell survival and apoptosis, cancer and oxidative stress, occupational and environmental health. Keywords related to humans, rodents and cell culture were also frequently used. The top journal for the comet assay articles was found to be Mutation Research, followed by Mutagenesis. Most papers using the comet assay as a biomarker were published in genetic and toxicology journals, with a stress on environmental and occupational disciplines.

  8. Comparison of clonogenic assay with premature chromosome condensation assay in prediction of human cell radiosensitivity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Zhuan-Zi Wang; Wen-Jian Li; Hong Zhang; Jian-She Yang; Rong Qiu; Xiao Wang


    AIM: To determine whether the number of non-rejoining G2-chromatid breaks can predict the radiosensitivity of human cell lines.METHODS: Cell lines of human ovary carcinoma cells (HO8910), human hepatoma cells (HepG2) and liver cells (L02) were irradiated with a range of doses and assessed both of cell survival and non-rejoining G2-chromatid breaks at 24 h after irradiation. Cell survival was documented by a colony assay. Non-rejoining G2-chromatid breaks were measured by counting the number of non-rejoining G2 chromatid breaks at 24 h after irradiation, detected by the prematurely chromosome condensed (PCC) technique.RESULTS: A linear-quadratic survival curve was observed in three cell lines, and HepG2 was the most sensitive to y-radiation. A dose-dependent linear increase was observed in radiation-induced non-rejoining G2-PCC breaks measured at 24 h after irradiation in all cell lines, and HepG2 was the most susceptible to induction of non-rejoining G2-PCC breaks. A close correlation was found between the clonogenic radiosensitivity and the radiation-induced non-rejoining G2-PCC breaks (r= 0.923). Furthermore, survival-aberration correlations for two or more than two doses lever were also significant.CONCLUSION: The number of non-rejoining G2 PCC breaks holds considerable promise for predicting the radiosensitivity of normal and tumor cells when two or more than two doses lever is tested.

  9. The comet assay in testing the potential genotoxicity of nanomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amaya Azqueta


    Full Text Available In the last two decades the production and use of nanomaterials (NMs has impressively increased. Their small size, given a mass equal to that of the corresponding bulk material, implies an increase in the surface area and consequently in the number of atoms that can be reactive. They possess different physical, chemical and biological properties compared to bulk materials of the same composition, which makes them very interesting and valuable for many different applications in technology, energy, construction, electronics, agriculture, optics, paints, textiles, food, cosmetics, medicine... Toxicological assessment of NMs is crucial; the same properties that make them interesting also make them potentially harmful for health and the environment. However, the term NM covers many different kinds of particle , and so there is no simple, standard approach to assessing their toxicity. NMs can enter the cell, interact with cell components and even penetrate the nucleus and interfere with the genetic material. Among the different branches of toxicology, genotoxicity is a main area of concern since it is closely related with the carcinogenic potential of compounds. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD has published internationally agreed in vitro and in vivo validated test methods to evaluate different genotoxic endpoints of chemicals, including chromosome and gene mutations, and DNA breaks. However not all the assays are suitable to study the genotoxic potential of NMs as has been shown by the OECD Working Party on Manufactured Nanomaterials (WPMN. Moreover, alterations to DNA bases, which are precursors to mutations and of great importance in elucidating the mechanism of action of NMs, are not covered by the OECD guidelines. The in vivo standard comet assay (which measures DNA breaks and alkali-labile sites was included in the OECD assays battery in September 2014 while the in vitro standard comet assay is currently under

  10. Development of a real-time PCR assay based on primer-probe energy transfer for the detection of swine vesicular disease virus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hakhverdyan, M.; Rasmussen, Thomas Bruun; Thoren, P.;


    remained negative. The sensitivity of assay was five copies of viral genome equivalents. A key point of the assay is tolerance toward mutations in the probe region. Melting curve analysis directly after PCR, with determination of probe melting point, confirmed specific hybridisation of the SVDV strains....... Eight of twenty SVDV strains tested, revealed shifted melting points that indicated mutations in the probe region. All predicted mutations were confirmed by nucleotide sequencing. With the PriProET system there is a chance to identify phylogenetically divergent strains of SVDV, which may appear negative...... in other probe-based real-time PCR assays. At the same time, any difference in melting points may provide an indication of divergence in the probe region. The high sensitivity, specificity, and tolerance toward mutations in the probe region of the SVDV PriProET assay may improve the early and rapid...

  11. A highly scalable peptide-based assay system for proteomics.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor A Kozlov

    Full Text Available We report a scalable and cost-effective technology for generating and screening high-complexity customizable peptide sets. The peptides are made as peptide-cDNA fusions by in vitro transcription/translation from pools of DNA templates generated by microarray-based synthesis. This approach enables large custom sets of peptides to be designed in silico, manufactured cost-effectively in parallel, and assayed efficiently in a multiplexed fashion. The utility of our peptide-cDNA fusion pools was demonstrated in two activity-based assays designed to discover protease and kinase substrates. In the protease assay, cleaved peptide substrates were separated from uncleaved and identified by digital sequencing of their cognate cDNAs. We screened the 3,011 amino acid HCV proteome for susceptibility to cleavage by the HCV NS3/4A protease and identified all 3 known trans cleavage sites with high specificity. In the kinase assay, peptide substrates phosphorylated by tyrosine kinases were captured and identified by sequencing of their cDNAs. We screened a pool of 3,243 peptides against Abl kinase and showed that phosphorylation events detected were specific and consistent with the known substrate preferences of Abl kinase. Our approach is scalable and adaptable to other protein-based assays.

  12. Evaluation of a radioreceptor assay for TSH receptor autoantibodies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rootwelt, K.


    A commercial radioreceptor assay for TSH receptor autoantibodies (TRAb), based on solubilized porcine receptor and purified radio-iodinated bovine TSH, was tested in 264 subjects with a variety of thyroid disorders. The sensitivity of the assay for the detection of hyperthyroid Graves' disease was 91%. The assay specificity for Graves' disease was 95%. With the exception of one patient with Hashimoto's disease and one patient with de Quervain's subacute thyroiditis no subjects other than Graves' patients had detectable TRAb. Thus purely blocking TSII receptor autoantibodies were not detected with the assay. One female with thyroxine-treated idiopathic primary hypothyroidism who had given birth to two children with transiently elevated TSH, was found to have a circulating TSH-binding substance that resulted in an abnormally negative TRAb value, and highly discrepant results when TSH was measured with a double antibody TSH radioimmunoassay and an immunoradiometric assay. The TSH-binding substance was precipitated like a protein, but was not IgG. Similar findings have not previously been reported.

  13. The use of comet assay in plant toxicology: recent advances

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conceição LV Santos


    Full Text Available The systematic study of genotoxicity in plants induced by contaminants and other stress agents has been hindered to date by the lack of reliable and robust biomarkers. The comet assay is a versatile and sensitive method for the evaluation of DNA damages and DNA repair capacity at single-cell level. Due to its simplicity and sensitivity, and the small number of cells required to obtain robust results, the use of plant comet assay has drastically increased in the last decade. For years its use was restricted to a few model species, e.g. Allium cepa, Nicotiana tabacum, Vicia faba, or Arabidopsis thaliana but this number largely increased in the last years. Plant comet assay has been used to study the genotoxic impact of radiation, chemicals including pesticides, phytocompounds, heavy metals, nanoparticles or contaminated complex matrices. Here we will review the most recent data on the use of this technique as a standard approach for studying the genotoxic effects of different stress conditions on plants. Also, we will discuss the integration of information provided by the comet assay with other DNA-damage indicators, and with cellular responses including oxidative stress, cell division or cell death. Finally, we will focus on putative relations between transcripts related with DNA damage pathways, DNA replication and repair, oxidative stress and cell cycle progression that have been identified in plant cells with comet assays demonstrating DNA damage.

  14. Capture-stabilize approach for membrane protein SPR assays. (United States)

    Chu, Ruiyin; Reczek, David; Brondyk, William


    Measuring the binding kinetics of antibodies to intact membrane proteins by surface plasmon resonance has been challenging largely because of the inherent difficulties in capturing membrane proteins on chip surfaces while retaining their native conformation. Here we describe a method in which His-tagged CXCR5, a GPCR, was purified and captured on a Biacore chip surface via the affinity tag. The captured receptor protein was then stabilized on the chip surface by limited cross-linking. The resulting chip surface retained ligand binding activity and was used for monoclonal antibody kinetics assays by a standard Biacore kinetics assay method with a simple low pH regeneration step. We demonstrate the advantages of this whole receptor assay when compared to available peptide-based binding assays. We further extended the application of the capture-stabilize approach to virus-like particles and demonstrated its utility analyzing antibodies against CD52, a GPI-anchored protein, in its native membrane environment. The results are the first demonstration of chemically stabilized chip surfaces for membrane protein SPR assays.

  15. Non-Destructive Assay of Curium Contaminated Transuranic Waste Drums

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foster, L.A.


    At the Plutonium Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory, a series of non-destructive assays were performed on five transuranic waste (TRU) drums containing non-plutonium scrap metal that was potentially contaminated with weapons grade plutonium and trace quantities of curium. Typically, waste drums containing metal matrices are assayed for plutonium content using passive neutron coincidence counting techniques. The presence of trace quantities of Cm-244 prevents this type of analysis because of the strong coincidence signal created by spontaneous fission of Cm-244. To discriminate between the plutonium and curium materials present, an active neutron measurement technique was used. A Cf shuffler designed for measurement of uranium bearing materials was calibrated for plutonium in the active mode. The waste drums were then assayed for plutonium content in the shuffler using the active-mode calibration. The curium contamination levels were estimated from the difference between the active-mode measurement in the shuffler and a passive assay in a neutron coincidence counter. Far field gamma-ray measurements were made to identify additional radioactive contaminants and to corroborate the plutonium measurement results obtained from the active-mode assay. This report describes in detail the measurement process used for characterization of these waste drums. The measurement results and the estimated uncertainty will be presented.

  16. Revealing conceptual understanding of international business

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ashley, S.; Schaap, H.; Bruijn, E. de


    This study aims to identify an adequate approach for revealing conceptual understanding in higher professional education. Revealing students’ conceptual understanding is an important step towards developing effective curricula, assessment and aligned teaching strategies to enhance conceptual

  17. Revealing conceptual understanding of international business

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ashley, S.M.; Schaap, H.; de Bruijn, E.


    This study aims to identify an adequate approach for revealing conceptual understanding in higher professional education. Revealing students’ conceptual understanding is an important step towards developing effective curricula, assessment and aligned teaching strategies to enhance conceptual underst

  18. Formalization, annotation and analysis of diverse drug and probe screening assay datasets using the BioAssay Ontology (BAO.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Uma D Vempati

    Full Text Available Huge amounts of high-throughput screening (HTS data for probe and drug development projects are being generated in the pharmaceutical industry and more recently in the public sector. The resulting experimental datasets are increasingly being disseminated via publically accessible repositories. However, existing repositories lack sufficient metadata to describe the experiments and are often difficult to navigate by non-experts. The lack of standardized descriptions and semantics of biological assays and screening results hinder targeted data retrieval, integration, aggregation, and analyses across different HTS datasets, for example to infer mechanisms of action of small molecule perturbagens. To address these limitations, we created the BioAssay Ontology (BAO. BAO has been developed with a focus on data integration and analysis enabling the classification of assays and screening results by concepts that relate to format, assay design, technology, target, and endpoint. Previously, we reported on the higher-level design of BAO and on the semantic querying capabilities offered by the ontology-indexed triple store of HTS data. Here, we report on our detailed design, annotation pipeline, substantially enlarged annotation knowledgebase, and analysis results. We used BAO to annotate assays from the largest public HTS data repository, PubChem, and demonstrate its utility to categorize and analyze diverse HTS results from numerous experiments. BAO is publically available from the NCBO BioPortal at BAO provides controlled terminology and uniform scope to report probe and drug discovery screening assays and results. BAO leverages description logic to formalize the domain knowledge and facilitate the semantic integration with diverse other resources. As a consequence, BAO offers the potential to infer new knowledge from a corpus of assay results, for example molecular mechanisms of action of perturbagens.

  19. Formalization, annotation and analysis of diverse drug and probe screening assay datasets using the BioAssay Ontology (BAO). (United States)

    Vempati, Uma D; Przydzial, Magdalena J; Chung, Caty; Abeyruwan, Saminda; Mir, Ahsan; Sakurai, Kunie; Visser, Ubbo; Lemmon, Vance P; Schürer, Stephan C


    Huge amounts of high-throughput screening (HTS) data for probe and drug development projects are being generated in the pharmaceutical industry and more recently in the public sector. The resulting experimental datasets are increasingly being disseminated via publically accessible repositories. However, existing repositories lack sufficient metadata to describe the experiments and are often difficult to navigate by non-experts. The lack of standardized descriptions and semantics of biological assays and screening results hinder targeted data retrieval, integration, aggregation, and analyses across different HTS datasets, for example to infer mechanisms of action of small molecule perturbagens. To address these limitations, we created the BioAssay Ontology (BAO). BAO has been developed with a focus on data integration and analysis enabling the classification of assays and screening results by concepts that relate to format, assay design, technology, target, and endpoint. Previously, we reported on the higher-level design of BAO and on the semantic querying capabilities offered by the ontology-indexed triple store of HTS data. Here, we report on our detailed design, annotation pipeline, substantially enlarged annotation knowledgebase, and analysis results. We used BAO to annotate assays from the largest public HTS data repository, PubChem, and demonstrate its utility to categorize and analyze diverse HTS results from numerous experiments. BAO is publically available from the NCBO BioPortal at BAO provides controlled terminology and uniform scope to report probe and drug discovery screening assays and results. BAO leverages description logic to formalize the domain knowledge and facilitate the semantic integration with diverse other resources. As a consequence, BAO offers the potential to infer new knowledge from a corpus of assay results, for example molecular mechanisms of action of perturbagens.

  20. Qualification of standard membrane-feeding assay with Plasmodium falciparum malaria and potential improvements for future assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazutoyo Miura

    Full Text Available Vaccines that interrupt malaria transmission are of increasing interest and a robust functional assay to measure this activity would promote their development by providing a biologically relevant means of evaluating potential vaccine candidates. Therefore, we aimed to qualify the standard membrane-feeding assay (SMFA. The assay measures the transmission-blocking activity of antibodies by feeding cultured P. falciparum gametocytes to Anopheles mosquitoes in the presence of the test antibodies and measuring subsequent mosquito infection. The International Conference on Harmonisation (ICH Harmonised Tripartite Guideline Q2(R1 details characteristics considered in assay validation. Of these characteristics, we decided to qualify the SMFA for Precision, Linearity, Range and Specificity. The transmission-blocking 4B7 monoclonal antibody was tested over 6 feeding experiments at several concentrations to determine four suitable concentrations that were tested in triplicate in the qualification experiments (3 additional feeds to evaluate Precision, Linearity and Range. For Specificity, 4B7 was tested in the presence of normal mouse IgG. We determined intra- and inter-assay variability of % inhibition of mean oocyst intensity at each concentration of 4B7 (lower concentrations showed higher variability. We also showed that % inhibition was dependent on 4B7 concentration and the activity is specific to 4B7. Since obtaining empirical data is time-consuming, we generated a model using data from all 9 feeds and simulated the effects of different parameters on final readouts to improve the assay procedure and analytical methods for future studies. For example, we estimated the effect of number of mosquitoes dissected on variability of % inhibition, and simulated the relationship between % inhibition in oocyst intensity and % inhibition of prevalence of infected mosquitos at different mean oocysts in the control. SMFA is one of the few biological assays used in

  1. Dose estimation using dicentric chromosome assay and cytokinesis block micronucleus assay: comparison between manual and automated scoring in triage mode. (United States)

    De Amicis, Andrea; De Sanctis, Stefania; Di Cristofaro, Sara; Franchini, Valeria; Regalbuto, Elisa; Mammana, Giacomo; Lista, Florigio


    In cases of an accidental overexposure to ionizing radiation, it is essential to estimate the individual absorbed dose of a potentially radiation-exposed person. For this purpose, biological dosimetry can be performed to confirm, complement or even replace physical dosimetry when this proves to be unavailable. The most validated biodosimetry techniques for dose estimation are the dicentric chromosome assay, the "gold standard" for individual dose assessment, and cytokinesis-block micronucleus assay. However, both assays are time consuming and require skilled scorers. In case of large-scale accidents, different strategies have been developed to increase the throughput of cytogenetic service laboratories. These are the decrease of cell numbers to be scored for triage dosimetry; the automation of procedures including the scoring of, for example, aberrant chromosomes and micronuclei; and the establishment of laboratory networks in order to enable mutual assistance if necessary. In this study, the authors compared the accuracy of triage mode biodosimetry by dicentric chromosome analysis and the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay performing both the manual and the automated scoring mode. For dose estimation using dicentric chromosome assay of 10 blind samples irradiated up to 6.4 Gy of x-rays, a number of metaphase spreads were analyzed ranging from 20 up to 50 cells for the manual and from 20 up to 500 cells for the automatic scoring mode. For dose estimation based on the cytokinesis block micronucleus assay, the micronucleus frequency in both 100 and 200 binucleated cells was determined by manual and automatic scoring. The results of both assays and scoring modes were compared and analyzed considering the sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of dose estimation with regard to the discrimination power of clinically relevant binary categories of exposure doses.

  2. Cytogenetic status of healthy children assessed with the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome assay. (United States)

    Gajski, Goran; Gerić, Marko; Oreščanin, Višnja; Garaj-Vrhovac, Vera


    In the present study the alkaline comet assay and the cytokinesis-block micronucleus cytome (CBMN Cyt) assay were used to evaluate the baseline frequency of cytogenetic damage in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) of 50 healthy children from the general population in Croatia (age, 11.62±1.81 years). Mean values of tail length, tail intensity and tail moment, as comet assay parameters, were 12.92±0.10, 0.73±0.06 and 0.08±0.01, respectively. The mean frequency of micronuclei (MN) for all subjects was 2.32±0.28 per 1000 bi-nucleated cells, while the mean frequency of nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs) was 1.72±0.24 and of nuclear buds (NBUDs) 1.44±0.19. The mean nuclear division index (NDI) was 1.70±0.05. When comet-assay parameters were considered, higher mean values for all three were found for the female population. According to the Mann-Whitney U test applied on the results of the comet assay, the only statistically significant difference between the male and female populations was found for tail length. Similar to the results obtained by the comet assay, girls showed higher mean values of all three measured parameters of the CBMN Cyt assay. This difference was statistically significant for total number of NPBs only. In the case of the NDI, a higher mean value was also obtained in girls, but this difference was not statistically significant. The results obtained present background data that could be considered as normal values for healthy children living in urban areas, and can later on serve as baseline values for further toxicological monitoring. Additionally, the usefulness of both techniques in measuring cytogenetic damage during bio-monitoring of children is confirmed.

  3. A PCR-RFLP assay to detect and type cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) genes in Campylobacter hyointestinalis (United States)

    HATANAKA, Noritoshi; KAMEI, Kazumasa; SOMROOP, Srinuan; AWASTHI, Sharda Prasad; ASAKURA, Masahiro; MISAWA, Naoaki; HINENOYA, Atsushi; YAMASAKI, Shinji


    Campylobacter hyointestinalis is considered as an emerging zoonotic pathogen. We have recently identified two types of cytolethal distending toxin (cdt) gene in C. hyointestinalis and designated them as Chcdt-I and Chcdt-II. In this study, we developed a PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) assay that can differentiate Chcdt-I from Chcdt-II. When the PCR-RFLP assay was applied to 17 other Campylobacter strains and 25 non-Campylobacter strains, PCR products were not obtained irrespective of their cdt gene-possession, indicating that the specificity of the PCR-RFLP assay was 100%. In contrast, when the PCR-RFLP assay was applied to 35 C. hyointestinalis strains including 23 analyzed in the previous study and 12 newly isolated from pigs and bovines, all of them showed the presence of cdt genes. Furthermore, a restriction digest by EcoT14-I revealed that 29 strains contained both Chcdt-I and Chcdt-II and 6 strains contained only Chcdt-II, showing 100% sensitivity. Unexpectedly, however, PCR products obtained from 7 C. hyointestinalis strains were not completely digested by EcoT14-I. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed that the undigested PCR product was homologous to cdtB but not to Chcdt-IB or Chcdt-IIB, indicating the presence of another cdt gene-variant. Then, we further digested the PCR products with DdeI in addition to EcoT14-I, showing that all three cdt genes, including a possible new Chcdt variant, could be clearly differentiated. Thus, the PCR-RFLP assay developed in this study is a valuable tool for evaluating the Chcdt gene-profile of bacteria. PMID:27916784

  4. Evaluation of a visualization assay for blood on forensic evidence. (United States)

    Vandewoestyne, Mado; Lepez, Trees; Van Hoofstat, David; Deforce, Dieter


    In forensics, bloodstains on dark fabrics might be invisible for the naked eye. Although several visualization, presumptive, and confirmatory blood tests have been developed, all have one or more disadvantages, especially on DNA analysis. We report here the use of a visualization assay that can visually detect blood drops up to 1/20 dilution. In this assay, the fabric is placed between two wet filter papers and covered by glass surfaces on both sides. Pressure is applied on the glass surfaces in which bloodstains transfer onto the filter papers through capillary forces. Detected stains can be tested with other more sensitive presumptive blood tests performed on the filter paper. Even more, DNA analysis can be performed on the transferred bloodstains. The presented visualization assay is easy to perform, extremely cheap, requires little hands on time, and does not affect bloodstain pattern analysis.

  5. Developmental toxicity assay using high content screening of zebrafish embryos. (United States)

    Lantz-McPeak, Susan; Guo, Xiaoqing; Cuevas, Elvis; Dumas, Melanie; Newport, Glenn D; Ali, Syed F; Paule, Merle G; Kanungo, Jyotshna


    Typically, time-consuming standard toxicological assays using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryo model evaluate mortality and teratogenicity after exposure during the first 2 days post-fertilization. Here we describe an automated image-based high content screening (HCS) assay to identify the teratogenic/embryotoxic potential of compounds in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Automated image acquisition was performed using a high content microscope system. Further automated analysis of embryo length, as a statistically quantifiable endpoint of toxicity, was performed on images post-acquisition. The biological effects of ethanol, nicotine, ketamine, caffeine, dimethyl sulfoxide and temperature on zebrafish embryos were assessed. This automated developmental toxicity assay, based on a growth-retardation endpoint should be suitable for evaluating the effects of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants in a high throughput manner. This approach can significantly expedite the screening of potential teratogens and developmental toxicants, thereby improving the current risk assessment process by decreasing analysis time and required resources.

  6. Protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent proteins (United States)

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie


    The invention provides protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent protein systems. The assays are conducted in living cells, do not require fixation and washing steps inherent in existing immunostaining and related techniques, and permit rapid, non-invasive, direct visualization of protein localization in living cells. The split fluorescent protein systems used in the practice of the invention generally comprise two or more self-complementing fragments of a fluorescent protein, such as GFP, wherein one or more of the fragments correspond to one or more beta-strand microdomains and are used to "tag" proteins of interest, and a complementary "assay" fragment of the fluorescent protein. Either or both of the fragments may be functionalized with a subcellular targeting sequence enabling it to be expressed in or directed to a particular subcellular compartment (i.e., the nucleus).

  7. MAPK Assays in Arabidopsis MAMP-PRR Signal Transduction. (United States)

    Chung, Hoo Sun; Sheen, Jen


    Activation of MAPK (Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase) cascades after MAMP (Microbe-Associated Molecular Pattern) perception through PRR (Pattern Recognition Receptor) is one of the first conserved responses when plants encounter microbial organisms. Phosphorylation of various cellular factors in the MAMP-PRR pathway by MAPK cascades is critical for broad-spectrum plant innate immunity. Measurement of MAPK activation and identification of MAPK phosphorylation targets in the MAMP-PRR signal transduction pathway are essential to understand how plants reprogram their cellular processes to cope with unfavorable microbial attack. Here, we describe detailed protocols of three assays measuring MAPK activity after MAMP perception: (1) immune-blotting analysis with anti-phospho ERK1/2 antibody; (2) in-gel kinase assay using a general substrate myelin basic protein (MBP); (3) an in vitro kinase assay to evaluate phosphorylation of MAPK substrate candidates during MAMP-PRR signaling based on a protoplast expression system.

  8. Proofreading genotyping assays mediated by high fidelity exo+ DNA polymerases. (United States)

    Zhang, Jia; Li, Kai; Pardinas, Jose R; Sommer, Steve S; Yao, Kai-Tai


    DNA polymerases with 3'-5' proofreading function mediate high fidelity DNA replication but their application for mutation detection was almost completely neglected before 1998. The obstacle facing the use of exo(+) polymerases for mutation detection could be overcome by primer-3'-termini modification, which has been tested using allele-specific primers with 3' labeling, 3' exonuclease-resistance and 3' dehydroxylation modifications. Accordingly, three new types of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) assays have been developed to carry out genome-wide genotyping making use of the fidelity advantage of exo(+) polymerases. Such SNP assays might also provide a novel approach for re-sequencing and de novo sequencing. These new mutation detection assays are widely adaptable to a variety of platforms, including real-time PCR, multi-well plate and microarray technologies. Application of exo(+) polymerases to genetic analysis could accelerate the pace of personalized medicine.

  9. Development of robotic plasma radiochemical assays for positron emission tomography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alexoff, D.L.; Shea, C.; Fowler, J.S.; Gatley, S.J.; Schlyer, D.J. [Brookhaven National Lab., Upton, NY (United States). Dept. of Chemistry


    A commercial laboratory robot system (Zymate PyTechnology II Laboratory Automation System; Zymark Corporation, Hopkinton, MA) was interfaced to standard and custom laboratory equipment and programmed to perform rapid radiochemical analyses for quantitative PET studies. A Zymark XP robot arm was used to carry out the determination of unchanged (parent) radiotracer in plasma using only solid phase extraction methods. Robotic throughput for the assay of parent radiotracer in plasma is 4--6 samples/hour depending on the radiotracer. Robotic assays of parent compound in plasma were validated for the radiotracers [{sup 11}C]Benztropine, [{sup 11}C]cocaine, [{sup 11}C]clorgyline, [{sup 11}C]deprenyl, [{sup 11}C]methadone, [{sup 11}C]methylphenidate, [{sup 11}C]raclorpride, and [{sup 11}C]SR46349B. A simple robot-assisted methods development strategy has been implemented to facilitate the automation of plasma assays of new radiotracers.

  10. Kynetic resazurin assay (KRA) for bacterial quantification of foodborne pathogens (United States)

    Arenas, Yaxal; Mandel, Arkady; Lilge, Lothar


    Fast detection of bacterial concentrations is important for the food industry and for healthcare. Early detection of infections and appropriate treatment is essential since, the delay of treatments for bacterial infections tends to be associated with higher mortality rates. In the food industry and in healthcare, standard procedures require the count of colony-forming units in order to quantify bacterial concentrations, however, this method is time consuming and reports require three days to be completed. An alternative is metabolic-colorimetric assays which provide time efficient in vitro bacterial concentrations. A colorimetric assay based on Resazurin was developed as a time kinetic assay (KRA) suitable for bacterial concentration measurements. An optimization was performed by finding excitation and emission wavelengths for fluorescent acquisition. A comparison of two non-related bacteria, foodborne pathogens Escherichia coli and Listeria monocytogenes, was performed in 96 well plates. A metabolic and clonogenic dependence was established for fluorescent kinetic signals.

  11. Assay and analytical practice in the South African mining industry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lenahan, W.C.; Murray-Smith, R. de L.


    Contains chapters with the following titles: laboratory design; the preparation of mine samples; the furnace room; balances and mass measurement; the fire assay; sampling and the preparation of samples from metallurgical plants; the determination of gold in cyanide solutions; particle size analysis; the analysis of uranium prospecting, mining and extraction plant samples; the assay of gold bullion and some associated methods of analysis, special methods for the assay of complex materials and geological prospecting samples; the analysis of mine air; pH and electrometric measurement; the treatment and analysis of water and effluents; the sample preparation; analysis and testing of coal (and coke); the analysis of miscellaneous mine materials; the determination of base metals in ores and related materials; the determination of platinum group metals; the analysis of cyanide solutions; the determination of sulphur in ores and related materials; statistical control of analytical practice.

  12. Application of statistical process control to qualitative molecular diagnostic assays

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    O'Brien, Cathal P.


    Modern pathology laboratories and in particular high throughput laboratories such as clinical chemistry have developed a reliable system for statistical process control (SPC). Such a system is absent from the majority of molecular laboratories and where present is confined to quantitative assays. As the inability to apply SPC to an assay is an obvious disadvantage this study aimed to solve this problem by using a frequency estimate coupled with a confidence interval calculation to detect deviations from an expected mutation frequency. The results of this study demonstrate the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and highlight minimum sample number requirements. Notably, assays with low mutation frequencies and detection of small deviations from an expected value require greater sample numbers to mitigate a protracted time to detection. Modeled laboratory data was also used to highlight how this approach might be applied in a routine molecular laboratory. This article is the first to describe the application of SPC to qualitative laboratory data.

  13. Lipase assay in duodenal juice using a conductimetric method. (United States)

    Ballot, C; Favre-Bonvin, G; Wallach, J M


    Lipase activity in duodenal juice is known to undergo important variations in pathologic states, especially in cases of chronic pancreatitis. Almost all of the current assay methods are based on the measurement of hydrolysis of olive oil or triolein, mainly by potentiometry. As we have developed a conductimetric method for enzyme activity measurements, we have applied it to lipase assay. A higher experimental conductimetric sensitivity is obtained when liberated acids have a short chain (higher limiting equivalent conductivity). We have therefore used triacetin as a substrate and compared out method with potentiometry (pH-stat) and spectrophotometry. The correlation coefficients of both methods with conductimetry were 0.94 and 0.97, respectively, indicating that the conductimetric method may be used for lipase assay in duodenal juice, using triacetin as a substrate.

  14. Ebolavirus nucleoprotein C-termini potently attract single domain antibodies enabling monoclonal affinity reagent sandwich assay (MARSA formulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura J Sherwood

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Antigen detection assays can play an important part in environmental surveillance and diagnostics for emerging threats. We are interested in accelerating assay formulation; targeting the agents themselves to bypass requirements for a priori genome information or surrogates. Previously, using in vitro affinity reagent selection on Marburg virus we rapidly established monoclonal affinity reagent sandwich assay (MARSA where one recombinant antibody clone was both captor and tracer for polyvalent nucleoprotein (NP. Hypothesizing that the closely related Ebolavirus genus may share the same Achilles' heel, we redirected the scheme to see whether similar assays could be delivered and began to explore their mechanism. METHODS AND FINDINGS: In parallel we selected panels of llama single domain antibodies (sdAb from a semi-synthetic library against Zaire, Sudan, Ivory Coast, and Reston Ebola viruses. Each could perform as both captor and tracer in the same antigen sandwich capture assay thereby forming MARSAs. All sdAb were specific for NP and those tested required the C-terminal domain for recognition. Several clones were cross-reactive, indicating epitope conservation across the Ebolavirus genus. Analysis of two immune shark sdAb revealed they also targeted the C-terminal domain, and could be similarly employed, yet were less sensitive than a comparable llama sdAb despite stemming from immune selections. CONCLUSIONS: The C-terminal domain of Ebolavirus NP is a strong attractant for antibodies and enables sensitive sandwich immunoassays to be rapidly generated using a single antibody clone. The polyvalent nature of nucleocapsid borne NP and display of the C-terminal region likely serves as a bountiful affinity sink during selections, and a highly avid target for subsequent immunoassay capture. Combined with the high degree of amino acid conservation through 37 years and across wide geographies, this domain makes an ideal handle for monoclonal

  15. Diagnosis of Russell-Silver syndrome by the combined bisulfite restriction analysis-denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography assay. (United States)

    Hattori, Mitsu; Torii, Chiharu; Yagihashi, Tatsuhiko; Izumi, Kosuke; Suda, Naoto; Ohyama, Kimie; Takahashi, Takao; Moriyama, Keiji; Kosaki, Kenjiro


    Russell-Silver syndrome (RSS) is characterized by prenatal and postnatal growth retardation, triangular facies, and fifth-finger clinodactyly. Half of all patients with RSS have hypomethylation of the differentially methylated region of the H19 gene on chromosome 11p15.5. Hence, a quantitative methylation analysis of this region can be useful for the molecular diagnosis of RSS. However, conventional assays based on bisulfite clone sequencing are rather time and labor consuming and are not suitable for clinical use. In the present study, we investigated a possible method of quantitatively determining H19 hypomethylation in RSS patients using a combined bisulfite restriction analysis (COBRA)-denaturing high-performance liquid chromatography (DHPLC) assay; in this combined assay, polymerase chain reaction products amplified from the H19 differentially methylated region of bisulfite-treated genomic DNA were analyzed using a COBRA assay, which detects methylation-dependent sequence differences in the bisulfite-treated genomic DNA using a restriction enzyme analysis. We designed the assay so that a restriction enzyme (HinfI) would cut the methylated, but not the unmethylated, template. The molar ratio between the cut and uncut fragments was measured using DHPLC, and the construction of a calibration curve enabled the methylation index for the original genomic DNA to be estimated. An analysis of seven RSS patients using the COBRA-DHPLC assay demonstrated that three of the seven RSS patients had a low methylation index of around 10%. A comparison of the methylation indices obtained using COBRA-DHPLC and conventional bisulfite clone sequencing revealed an excellent intermethod agreement. In summary, we have developed a robust, rapid, and cost-effective COBRA-DHPLC-based screening system for RSS.

  16. Development of an improved IP(1) assay for the characterization of 5-HT(2C) receptor ligands. (United States)

    Zhang, Jean Y; Kowal, Dianne M; Nawoschik, Stanley P; Dunlop, John; Pausch, Mark H; Peri, Ravikumar


    The 5-hydroxytryptamine 2C (5-HT(2C)) receptor is a member of the serotonin 5-HT(2) subfamily of G-protein-coupled receptors signaling predominantly via the phospholipase C (PLC) pathway. Stimulation of phosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis upon 5-HT(2C) receptor activation is traditionally assessed by measuring inositol monophosphate (IP(1)) using time-consuming and labor-intensive anion exchange radioactive assays. In this study, we have developed and optimized a cellular IP(1) assay using homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF), a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based technology (Cisbio; Gif sur Yvette, France). The measurement is simple to carry out without the cumbersome steps associated with radioactive assays and may therefore be used as an alternative tool to evaluate PI hydrolysis activated by 5-HT(2C) agonists. In Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells stably expressing 5-HT(2C) receptors, characterization of 5-HT(2C) agonists with the HTRF platform revealed a rank order of potency (EC(50), nM) comparable to that from intracellular calcium mobilization studies measured by the fluorometric imaging plate reader (FLIPR). A similar rank order of potency was seen with conventional radioactive PI assay with the exception of 5-HT. Lastly, the new assay data correlated better with agonist-induced calcium responses in FLIPR (R(2) = 0.78) than with values determined by radioactive IP(1) method (R(2) = 0.64). Our study shows that the HTRF FRET-based assay detects IP(1) with good sensitivity and may be streamlined for high-throughput (HTS) applications.

  17. Development of A Real-Time PCR Assay for Plasmodiophora brassicae and Its Detection in Soil Samples

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Jin-ping; LI Yan; SHI Yan-xia; XIE Xue-wen; Chai A-li; LI Bao-ju


    A SYBR Green I real-time PCR assay was developed to detect and quantify Plasmodiophora brassicae ribosomal DNA (rDNA) and internal transcribed spacer (ITS). A pair of primers PBF1/PBR1 was designed based on the conservative region of rDNA-ITS of P. brassicae. The positive plasmid pB12 was obtained and used as the template to create standard curve. The specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility of real-time PCR were evaluated respectively. Naturally and artificially infested soil samples containing different concentrations of P. brassicae were detected. The results demonstrated that standard curve established by recombinant plasmid was shown a fine linear relationship between threshold cycle and template concentration. The melting curve was specific with the correlation coefficient of 0.995 and that the amplification efficiency was 93.8%. The detection limit of P. brassicae genomic DNA was approximately 40 copies per 25μL. The sensitivity of the assay was at least 100-fold higher than conventional PCR. Only DNA from P. brassicae could be amplified and detected using this assay, suggesting the highly specific of this assay. The coefficient of variation was less than 3%, indicating the PCR method revealed high reproducibility. The detection limit in soil samples corresponded to 1 000 resting spores g-1 soil. Bait plants were used to validate the real-time PCR assay. This developed real-time PCR assay allows for fast and sensitive detection of P. brassicae in soil and should be useful in disease management and pest interception so as to prevent further spread of P. brassicae.

  18. Development and evaluation of multiplex PCR assays for rapid detection of virulence-associated genes in Arcobacter species. (United States)

    Whiteduck-Léveillée, Jenni; Cloutier, Michel; Topp, Edward; Lapen, David R; Talbot, Guylaine; Villemur, Richard; Khan, Izhar U H


    As the pathogenicity of Arcobacter species might be associated with various virulence factors, this study was aimed to develop and optimize three single-tube multiplex PCR (mPCR) assays that can efficiently detect multiple virulence-associated genes (VAGs) in Arcobacter spp. including the Arcobacter butzleri, Arcobacter cryaerophilus and Arcobacter skirrowii, respectively. The recognized target virulence factors used in the study were fibronectin binding protein (cj1349), filamentous hemagglutinin (hecA), hemolysin activation protein (hecB), hemolysin (tlyA), integral membrane protein virulence factor (mviN), invasin (ciaB), outer membrane protein (irgA) and phospholipase (pldA). Identical results were obtained between singleplex PCR and mPCR assays and no cross- and/or non-specific amplification products were obtained when tested against other closely related bacterial species. The sensitivities of these three mPCR assays were ranging from 1ngμL(-1) to 100ngμL(-1) DNA. The developed assays with combinations of duplex or triplex PCR primer pairs of VAGs were further evaluated and validated by applying them to isolates of the A. butzleri, A. cryaerophilus and A. skirrowii recovered from fecal samples of human and animal origins. The findings revealed that the distribution of the ciaB (90%), mviN (70%), tlyA (50%) and pldA (45%) genes among these target species was significantly higher than the hecA (16%), hecB (10%) and each of irgA and cj1349 (6%) genes, respectively. The newly developed mPCR assays can be used as rapid technique and useful markers for the detection, prevalence and profiling of VAGs in the Arcobacter spp. Moreover, these assays can easily be performed with a high throughput to give a presumptive identification of the causal pathogen in epidemiological investigation of human infections.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. P. Samoylovich


    Full Text Available Detection of total free light chains (FLC of immunoglobulins and their ratio (kappa/lambda quotient are used in diagnostics and monitoring of multiple myeloma and other gammapathies, primary amyloidosis and multiple sclerosis. Previously described immunoassays with monoclonal antibodies (Mabs against cryptic and constantly exposed epitopes of FLC failed to recognize rare variants of lambda Bence-Jones proteins and a significant proportion of lambda chains excreted with urine. Aiming to improve this approach, a novel murine Mab (IgG2b coded as 1C8 was employed, which specifically binds free lambda chains but doesn’t interact with native IgA, IgG, and IgM. The novel Mab recognized an epitope exposed at free lambda chains in peripheral blood of healthy donors and patients with multiple myeloma. It is not destroyed or masked upon renal filtration.The aim of this study was to determine basic features of improved assay system, and to estimate its potential in diagnostics of monoclonal gammapathies. The mixtures of three Bence-Jones proteins of either kappa- or lambda- types purified from the urine of multiple myeloma patients were used as calibrator samples.Improved immunometric assay is able to detect free kappa and lambda chains in serum and urine at a scale of 1 to 100 ng/ml, thus being three orders more sensitive than, e.g., detection levels of Freelite method based on polyclonal antibodies.A novel assay allows to detect free kappa and lambda chains at comparable levels in serum or urine, and to deduce kappa/lambda ratio. The proposed assay is able to detect FLC in 10,000-fold excess of whole IgG molecules. The calibrating plots for both antigens are linear on log-log scales, with very similar slopes. Detection thresholds for kappa or lambda chains proved to be 5 and 3 ng/ml, respectively. Mean concentrations of free kappa chains in sera of healthy donors were 6.7±2.1, in urine, 4.2±3.8 mcg/ml. Mean concentrations of free lambda chains were 4

  20. A high-throughput chemically induced inflammation assay in zebrafish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liebel Urban


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Studies on innate immunity have benefited from the introduction of zebrafish as a model system. Transgenic fish expressing fluorescent proteins in leukocyte populations allow direct, quantitative visualization of an inflammatory response in vivo. It has been proposed that this animal model can be used for high-throughput screens aimed at the identification of novel immunomodulatory lead compounds. However, current assays require invasive manipulation of fish individually, thus preventing high-content screening. Results Here we show that specific, noninvasive damage to lateral line neuromast cells can induce a robust acute inflammatory response. Exposure of fish larvae to sublethal concentrations of copper sulfate selectively damages the sensory hair cell population inducing infiltration of leukocytes to neuromasts within 20 minutes. Inflammation can be assayed in real time using transgenic fish expressing fluorescent proteins in leukocytes or by histochemical assays in fixed larvae. We demonstrate the usefulness of this method for chemical and genetic screens to detect the effect of immunomodulatory compounds and mutations affecting the leukocyte response. Moreover, we transformed the assay into a high-throughput screening method by using a customized automated imaging and processing system that quantifies the magnitude of the inflammatory reaction. Conclusions This approach allows rapid screening of thousands of compounds or mutagenized zebrafish for effects on inflammation and enables the identification of novel players in the regulation of innate immunity and potential lead compounds toward new immunomodulatory therapies. We have called this method the chemically induced inflammation assay, or ChIn assay. See Commentary article:

  1. Reference cells and ploidy in the comet assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gunnar eBrunborg


    Full Text Available In the comet assay, single cells are analyzed with respect to their level of DNA damage. Discrimination of the individual cell or cell type based on DNA content, with concomitant scoring of the DNA damage, is useful since this may allow analysis of mixtures of cells. Different cells can then be characterized based on their ploidy, cell cycle stage, or genome size. We here describe two applications of such a cell type-specific comet assay: (i Testicular cell suspensions, analyzed on the basis of their ploidy during spermatogenesis; and (ii reference cells in the form of fish erythrocytes which can be included as internal standards to correct for inter-assay variations. With standard fluorochromes used in the comet assay, the total staining signal from each cell – whether damaged or undamaged – was found to be associated with the cell’s DNA content. Analysis of the fluorescence intensity of single cells is straightforward since these data are available in scoring systems based on image analysis. The analysis of testicular cell suspensions provides information on cell type specific composition, susceptibility to genotoxicants, and DNA repair. Internal reference cells, either untreated or carrying defined numbers of lesions induced by ionizing radiation, are useful for investigation of experimental factors that can cause variation in comet assay results, and for routine inclusion in experiments to facilitate standardization of methods and comparison of comet assay data obtained in different experiments or in different laboratories. They can also be used - in combination with a reference curve - to quantify the DNA lesions induced by a certain treatment. Fish cells of a range of genome sizes, both greater and smaller than human, are suitable for this purpose and they are inexpensive.

  2. Radioreceptor assay analysis of tamsulosin and terazosin pharmacokinetics (United States)

    Taguchi, Katsunari; Schäfers, Rafael F; Michel, Martin C


    Aims A radioreceptor assay has been developed for α1-adrenoceptor subtypes and applied to a pharmacokinetic analysis of tamsulosin and terazosin. Methods Young, male, healthy volunteers received 0.4 mg tamsulosin (as Omnic® modified release capsules) or 5 mg terazosin (as Flotrin® tablets) in a randomized, cross-over design. Before and after 1, 3, 5, 7, 10 and 23.5 h plasma was analyzed by radioreceptor assay using cloned human α1A-, α1B- and α1D-adrenoceptors and specific h.p.l.c. analysis. Results Following ingestion of tamsulosin median peak plasma levels of 16 ng ml−1 were reached after 5 h and declined to 2 ng ml−1 at 23.5 h. The time course in the radioreceptor assay was similar, and at most time points binding to α1A-adrenoceptors was significantly greater than to α1B- and α1D-adrenoceptors. Following ingestion of terazosin median peak plasma levels of 91 ng ml−1 were reached after 1 h and declined to 11 ng ml−1 at 23.5 h. In the radioreceptor assay binding also peaked at 1 h and declined thereafter, but even after 23.5 h considerable binding activity remained detectable at all three subtypes. At most time points binding to the α1A- and α1D-adrenoceptor was significantly greater than to the α1B-adrenoceptor. Conclusions We conclude that α1-adrenoceptor antagonist pharmacokinetics can be monitored by radioreceptor assays in a subtype-selective manner. Tamsulosin and terazosin exhibit subtype selective receptor binding ex vivo. The discordance between terazosin blood levels as determined by h.p.l.c. and radioreceptor assay at late time points indicates the possible involvement of metabolites in in vivo terazosin effects. PMID:9489594

  3. Automated assay optimization with integrated statistics and smart robotics. (United States)

    Taylor, P B; Stewart, F P; Dunnington, D J; Quinn, S T; Schulz, C K; Vaidya, K S; Kurali, E; Lane, T R; Xiong, W C; Sherrill, T P; Snider, J S; Terpstra, N D; Hertzberg, R P


    The transition from manual to robotic high throughput screening (HTS) in the last few years has made it feasible to screen hundreds of thousands of chemical entities against a biological target in less than a month. This rate of HTS has increased the visibility of bottlenecks, one of which is assay optimization. In many organizations, experimental methods are generated by therapeutic teams associated with specific targets and passed on to the HTS group. The resulting assays frequently need to be further optimized to withstand the rigors and time frames inherent in robotic handling. Issues such as protein aggregation, ligand instability, and cellular viability are common variables in the optimization process. The availability of robotics capable of performing rapid random access tasks has made it possible to design optimization experiments that would be either very difficult or impossible for a person to carry out. Our approach to reducing the assay optimization bottleneck has been to unify the highly specific fields of statistics, biochemistry, and robotics. The product of these endeavors is a process we have named automated assay optimization (AAO). This has enabled us to determine final optimized assay conditions, which are often a composite of variables that we would not have arrived at by examining each variable independently. We have applied this approach to both radioligand binding and enzymatic assays and have realized benefits in both time and performance that we would not have predicted a priori. The fully developed AAO process encompasses the ability to download information to a robot and have liquid handling methods automatically created. This evolution in smart robotics has proven to be an invaluable tool for maintaining high-quality data in the context of increasing HTS demands.

  4. Development and application of a PCR assay to detect chicken and turkey parvoviruses in commercial poultry flocks in the United States. (United States)

    Comparative sequence analysis of six independent chicken and turkey parvovirus nonstructural (NS) genes revealed specific genomic regions with 100% nucleotide sequence identity. A PCR assay with primers targeting these conserved genome sequences proved to be highly specific and sensitive to detect p...

  5. Quantitative detection of RT activity by PERT assay: feasibility and limits to a standardized screening assay for human vaccines. (United States)

    André, M; Morgeaux, S; Fuchs, F


    The detection of adventitious retroviruses has always been critical for assessing the safety concerns associated with viral vaccines. Assays for the enzymatic activity of reverse transcriptase (RT) are used as general methods for the detection of both known and unknown retroviruses. Several studies using newly-developed ultrasensitive PCR-based RT assays reported RT activity in viral vaccines grown in chicken cells. Here, we have assessed the performances of such a PCR-based RT assay--PERT assay--for the quantitative detection of RT activity in vaccines. Sensitivity, linearity and reproducibility of the method were studied on purified RT and viral vaccines treated to release RT from potentially contaminant retroviruses. The level of RT activity detected in chicken cell-derived vaccines was higher for live attenuated vaccines compared to inactivated ones. Contrary to other studies, RT activity was found in some mammalian cell-derived vaccines. AZT-TP sensitivity of RT activities detected in these vaccines and discrimination between retroviral and RT-like activities was further investigated. Feasibility and limits of PERT assay as a broad-spectrum retroviruses detection method in vaccines are discussed.

  6. Development of an in vitro binding assay for ecdysone receptor of mysid shrimp (Americamysis bahia)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yokota, Hirofumi, E-mail: [Department of Biosphere Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Kobe College 4-1, Okadayama, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo 662-8505 (Japan); Eguchi, Sayaka [Department of Biosphere Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Kobe College 4-1, Okadayama, Nishinomiya-shi, Hyogo 662-8505 (Japan); Nakai, Makoto [Hita Laboratory, Chemicals Evaluation and Research Institute (CERI), 3-822, Ishii-machi, Hita-shi, Oita 877-0061 (Japan)


    Highlights: We successfully performed cDNA cloning of EcR and USP of mysid shrimp. We then expressed the ligand-binding domains of the corresponding receptor peptides. The translated peptides could bind to ecdysone agonists as heterodimers. These results indicate that they are functional hormone receptors of mysid shrimp. - Abstract: A global effort has been made to establish screening and testing methods that can identify the effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on invertebrates. The purpose of our study was to develop an in vitro receptor binding assay for ecdysone receptor (EcR) in mysid shrimp (Americamysis bahia). We cloned mysid shrimp EcR cDNA (2888 nucleotides) and ultraspiracle (USP) cDNA (2116 nucleotides), and determined that they encode predicted proteins of length 570 and 410 amino acids, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of these proteins shared 36-71% homology for EcR and 44-65% for USP with those of other arthropods. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that mysid shrimp EcR was classified into an independent cluster together with the EcRs of another mysid species, Neomysis integer and the cluster diverged early from those of the other taxonomic orders of crustaceans. We then expressed the ligand-binding domains (DEF regions) of mysid shrimp EcR (abEcRdef) and USP (abUSPdef) as glutathione S-transferase (GST)-fusion peptides in Escherichia coli. After purifying the fusion peptides by affinity chromatography and removing the GST labels, we subjected the peptides to a ligand-receptor binding assay. [{sup 3}H]-ponasterone A did not bind to abEcRdef or abUSPdef peptides alone but bound strongly to the abEcRdef/abUSPdef mixture with dissociation constant (K{sub d}) = 2.14 nM. Competitive binding assays showed that the IC{sub 50} values for ponasterone A, muristerone A, 20-hydroxyecdysone, and {alpha}-ecdysone were 1.2, 1.9, 35, and 1200 nM, respectively. In contrast, the IC{sub 50} values for two dibenzoylhydrazine ligands

  7. Cardiac troponins and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays. (United States)

    Conrad, Michael J; Jarolim, Petr


    Measurement of circulating cardiac troponins I and T has become integral to the diagnosis of myocardial infarction. This article discusses the structure and function of the troponin complex and the release of cardiac troponin molecules from the injured cardiomyocyte into the circulation. An overview of current cardiac troponin assays and their classification according to sensitivity is presented. The diagnostic criteria, role, and usefulness of cardiac troponin for myocardial infarction are discussed. In addition, several examples are given of the usefulness of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin assays for short-term and long-term prediction of adverse events.

  8. Towards a high throughput droplet-based agglutination assay

    KAUST Repository

    Kodzius, Rimantas


    This work demonstrates the detection method for a high throughput droplet based agglutination assay system. Using simple hydrodynamic forces to mix and aggregate functionalized microbeads we avoid the need to use magnetic assistance or mixing structures. The concentration of our target molecules was estimated by agglutination strength, obtained through optical image analysis. Agglutination in droplets was performed with flow rates of 150 µl/min and occurred in under a minute, with potential to perform high-throughput measurements. The lowest target concentration detected in droplet microfluidics was 0.17 nM, which is three orders of magnitude more sensitive than a conventional card based agglutination assay.

  9. Development of ELISA and immunochromatographic assay for ofloxacin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wu Yong Sun; Wen Ying Liu; Ling Bo Qu


    Two rapid, sensitive and reliable immunoassay methods, namely competitive indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (CIELISA) and colloidal gold-based immunochromatographic assay (CGIA), were developed to detect ofloxacin (OFL). The linear range of the CI-ELISA was from 0.5 to 128 ng/mL with a limit of detection (LOD) of 0.35 ng/mL. Good recoveries were obtained in analyzing simulated swine urine samples. The CGIA could accurately estimate OFL at concentrations as low as 10 ng/mL in less than 10 min, and test results were read visually without any instrument.

  10. Development of a VHH-Based Erythropoietin Quantification Assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kol, Stefan; Beuchert Kallehauge, Thomas; Adema, Simon;


    Erythropoietin (EPO) quantification during cell line selection and bioreactor cultivation has traditionally been performed with ELISA or HPLC. As these techniques suffer from several drawbacks, we developed a novel EPO quantification assay. A camelid single-domain antibody fragment directed against...... human EPO was evaluated as a capturing antibody in a label-free biolayer interferometry-based quantification assay. Human recombinant EPO can be specifically detected in Chinese hamster ovary cell supernatants in a sensitive and pH-dependent manner. This method enables rapid and robust quantification...... of EPO in a high-throughput setting....

  11. Use of laminar flow patterning for miniaturised biochemical assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Regenberg, Birgitte; Krühne, Ulrich; Beyer, M.


    Laminar flow in microfluidic chambers was used to construct low (one dimensional) density arrays suitable for miniaturized biochemical assays. By varying the ratio of flows of two guiding streams flanking a sample stream, precise focusing and positioning of the latter was achieved, and reactive...... species carried in the sample stream were deposited on functionalized chip surfaces as discrete 50 mm wide lanes. Using different model systems we have confirmed the method's suitability for qualitative screening and quantification tasks in receptor-ligand assays, recording biotin......-streptavidin interactions, DNA-hybridization and DNA-triplex formation. The system is simple, fast, reproducible, flexible, and has small sample requirements....

  12. Assessing equivalence of two assays using sensitivity and specificity. (United States)

    Quiroz, Jorge; Burdick, Richard K


    The equivalence of two assays is determined using the sensitivity and specificity relative to a gold standard. The equivalence-testing criterion is based on a misclassification rate proposed by Burdick et al. (2005) and the intersection-union test (IUT) method proposed by Berger (1982). Using a variance components model and IUT methods, we construct bounds for the sensitivity and specificity relative to the gold standard assay based on generalized confidence intervals. We conduct a simulation study to assess whether the bounds maintain the stated test size. We present a computational example to demonstrate the method described in the paper.

  13. Lactate dehydrogenase assay for assessment of polycation cytotoxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Parhamifar, Ladan; Andersen, Helene; Moghimi, Seyed Moien


    Cellular toxicity and/or cell death entail complex mechanisms that require detailed evaluation for proper characterization. A detailed mechanistic assessment of cytotoxicity is essential for design and construction of more effective polycations for nucleic acid delivery. A single toxicity assay...... cannot stand alone in determining the type and extent of damage or cell death mechanism. In this chapter we describe a lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) assay for high-throughput screening that can be used as a starting point for further detailed cytotoxicity determination. LDH release is considered an early...

  14. Liposomes and MTT cell viability assay: an incompatible affair. (United States)

    Angius, Fabrizio; Floris, Alice


    The 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay is commonly used to evaluate the cytotoxicity potential of drugs vehicled by liposomes. However, liposome delivering drugs could produce inconsistent values of MTT absorbance. On the basis of previous experiments demonstrating the MTT affinity for lipid droplets, this paper aims to show that empty-liposomes interfere, per se, on MTT assay due to its lipidic nature. This brings into question the use of MTT testing cytotoxicity when liposomes are involved in delivering drugs.


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anand Prem Rajan


    Full Text Available Mercury and its salts are the major constituents of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Tibetan traditional formulations. The mercury is extensively reported to accumulate in food chain and cause many neurological disorders in environment. The safety assessment of mercury on the ectodermal application on animal model is rarely reported. The void in the scientific study on external exposure of mercury and its genotoxic inside the body lead to the necessity for the present study. The freshwater cat fish Clarias batrachus was used for broad specificity genotoxic indicators micronucleus assay and alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assays. The fish was exposed to 0.03 ppm of mercuric chloride for a period of 7, 14, 28 and 35 days ectodermally. The blood sample was assayed for the genotoxicity. The results revealed undoubted DNA damage through the micronuclei and alkaline single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet assays. Hence it is concluded the usage of traditional medicines containing the mercury may be toxic at genetic level in prolonged usage.

  16. A 3-plex methylation assay combined with the FGFR3 mutation assay sensitively detects recurrent bladder cancer in voided urine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kandimalla, Raju; Masius, Roy; Beukers, Willemien;


    Purpose: DNA methylation is associated with bladder cancer and these modifications could serve as useful biomarkers. FGFR3 mutations are present in 60% to 70% of non–muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Low-grade bladder cancer recurs in more than 50% of patients. The aim of this study......, and nonmalignant urines (n = 130). Results: The 3-plex assay identified recurrent bladder cancer in voided urine with a sensitivity of 74% in the validation set. In combination with the FGFR3 mutation assay, a sensitivity of 79% was reached (specificity of 77%). Sensitivity of FGFR3 and cytology was 52% and 57......%, respectively. Conclusion: The combination of methylation and FGFR3 assays efficiently detects recurrent bladder cancer without the need for stratification of patients regarding methylation/mutation status of the primary tumor. We conclude that the sensitivity of this combination is in the same range...

  17. Development of a TaqMan assay for the six major genotypes of hepatitis C virus: Comparison with commercial assays

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Engle, Ronald E; Russell, Rodney S; Purcell, Robert H;


    A quantitative real-time PCR assay was developed that detects genomic RNA from reference strains representing the six major genotypes of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with equal sensitivity and accurately measured HCV RNA in JFH1 HCV-infected Huh7.5 cells. The method is indirectly calibrated to the first...... (Versant HCV RNA 3.0 b-DNA and Amplicor HCV Monitor), that also employ the WHO standard, allowed validation of the TaqMan assay against all major HCV genotypes. Both commercial methods detected HCV RNA over a wide dynamic range, but showed a consistent difference of about 0.3 log10 when evaluating samples...... of different HCV genotypes. The genome titers obtained with the three methods correlated with the infectivity titers previously determined for the HCV reference strains. TaqMan assays have become an essential tool to follow viral load in clinical samples and cell culture-based experiments and this technology...

  18. Evaluation of fully automated assays for the detection of Rubella IgM and IgG antibodies by the Elecsys(®) immunoassay system. (United States)

    van Helden, Josef; Grangeot-Keros, Liliane; Vauloup-Fellous, Christelle; Vleminckx, Renaud; Masset, Frédéric; Revello, Maria-Grazia


    Screening for acute rubella infection in pregnancy is an important element of antenatal care. This study compared the sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility of two new, fully automated Elecsys(®) Rubella IgM and IgG immunoassays designed for the Elecsys 2010, Modular Analytics E170, COBAS e-411 and COBAS e-601 and e602 analytical platforms, with current assays using serum from patients with primary rubella infections, vaccinated patients, patients with potentially cross-reacting infections and on routine samples in clinical laboratories in France, Germany and Italy. Both assays showed good within-run and within-laboratory precision. A sensitivity of 79.8-96.0% was demonstrated for Elecsys IgM in primary, early acute infection, consistent with existing assays. In samples obtained from routine antenatal screening, the Elecsys Rubella IgM assay revealed high specificity (98.7-99.0%). A significantly (prubella infection was excluded, and the incidence of false positives in patients with potentially cross-reacting infections was lower with Elecsys Rubella IgM compared with other. The Elecsys Rubella IgG assay exhibited a relative sensitivity of 99.9-100.0% and specificity of 97.4-100.0% in samples from routine antenatal screening. The Elecsys Rubella IgM and IgG assays allow convenient, rapid and reliable determination of anti-rubella antibodies. Sensitivity, specificity and reproducibility were comparable with existing assay systems. Assay results were available in approximately half the time required for currently employed methods and the assays are compatible with widely used analytical platforms.

  19. A versatile method to design stem-loop primer-based quantitative PCR assays for detecting small regulatory RNA molecules.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zsolt Czimmerer

    Full Text Available Short regulatory RNA-s have been identified as key regulators of gene expression in eukaryotes. They have been involved in the regulation of both physiological and pathological processes such as embryonal development, immunoregulation and cancer. One of their relevant characteristics is their high stability, which makes them excellent candidates for use as biomarkers. Their number is constantly increasing as next generation sequencing methods reveal more and more details of their synthesis. These novel findings aim for new detection methods for the individual short regulatory RNA-s in order to be able to confirm the primary data and characterize newly identified subtypes in different biological conditions. We have developed a flexible method to design RT-qPCR assays that are very sensitive and robust. The newly designed assays were tested extensively in samples from plant, mouse and even human formalin fixed paraffin embedded tissues. Moreover, we have shown that these assays are able to quantify endogenously generated shRNA molecules. The assay design method is freely available for anyone who wishes to use a robust and flexible system for the quantitative analysis of matured regulatory RNA-s.

  20. A highly sensitive quantitative real-time PCR assay for determination of mutant JAK2 exon 12 allele burden.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lasse Kjær

    Full Text Available Mutations in the Janus kinase 2 (JAK2 gene have become an important identifier for the Philadelphia-chromosome negative chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms. In contrast to the JAK2V617F mutation, the large number of JAK2 exon 12 mutations has challenged the development of quantitative assays. We present a highly sensitive real-time quantitative PCR assay for determination of the mutant allele burden of JAK2 exon 12 mutations. In combination with high resolution melting analysis and sequencing the assay identified six patients carrying previously described JAK2 exon 12 mutations and one novel mutation. Two patients were homozygous with a high mutant allele burden, whereas one of the heterozygous patients had a very low mutant allele burden. The allele burden in the peripheral blood resembled that of the bone marrow, except for the patient with low allele burden. Myeloid and lymphoid cell populations were isolated by cell sorting and quantitative PCR revealed similar mutant allele burdens in CD16+ granulocytes and peripheral blood. The mutations were also detected in B-lymphocytes in half of the patients at a low allele burden. In conclusion, our highly sensitive assay provides an important tool for quantitative monitoring of the mutant allele burden and accordingly also for determining the impact of treatment with interferon-α-2, shown to induce molecular remission in JAK2V617F-positive patients, which may be a future treatment option for JAK2 exon 12-positive patients as well.

  1. Optimization of a Fluorescence-Based Assay for Large-Scale Drug Screening against Babesia and Theileria Parasites. (United States)

    Rizk, Mohamed Abdo; El-Sayed, Shimaa Abd El-Salam; Terkawi, Mohamed Alaa; Youssef, Mohamed Ahmed; El Said, El Said El Shirbini; Elsayed, Gehad; El-Khodery, Sabry; El-Ashker, Maged; Elsify, Ahmed; Omar, Mosaab; Salama, Akram; Yokoyama, Naoaki; Igarashi, Ikuo


    A rapid and accurate assay for evaluating antibabesial drugs on a large scale is required for the discovery of novel chemotherapeutic agents against Babesia parasites. In the current study, we evaluated the usefulness of a fluorescence-based assay for determining the efficacies of antibabesial compounds against bovine and equine hemoparasites in in vitro cultures. Three different hematocrits (HCTs; 2.5%, 5%, and 10%) were used without daily replacement of the medium. The results of a high-throughput screening assay revealed that the best HCT was 2.5% for bovine Babesia parasites and 5% for equine Babesia and Theileria parasites. The IC50 values of diminazene aceturate obtained by fluorescence and microscopy did not differ significantly. Likewise, the IC50 values of luteolin, pyronaridine tetraphosphate, nimbolide, gedunin, and enoxacin did not differ between the two methods. In conclusion, our fluorescence-based assay uses low HCT and does not require daily replacement of culture medium, making it highly suitable for in vitro large-scale drug screening against Babesia and Theileria parasites that infect cattle and horses.

  2. Simultaneous analysis of folic acid and pantothenic acid in foods enriched with vitamins by stable isotope dilution assays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rychlik, Michael


    Folic and pantothenic acid were quantified in multivitamin products by stable isotope dilution assays using [{sup 2}H{sub 4}]folic acid and [{sup 13}C{sub 3},{sup 15}N]pantothenic acid as the internal standards. Detection was achieved by liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry which enabled unequivocal determination of the vitamins. Due to the very simple extraction procedure, analysis of the vitamins was completed within 2 h. When analyzing multivitamin sweets, the intra-assay and inter-assay coefficient of variation was 3.2% (n=5) and 3.1% (n=5) for folic acid and 4.5% (n=5) as well as 6.5% (n=7) for pantothenic acid, respectively. Along with the precision data, recovery values of 99.4% for folic acid and 103% for pantothenic acid at addition levels of 6 mg/kg and 600 {mu}g/kg, respectively, to starch products proved the accuracy of the new method. Application of the stable isotope dilution assay to fruit juices, whey products, cereals, sweets, pharmaceuticals, wheat flour and salt fortified with one or both vitamins revealed that for the majority of products the labeled pantothenic acid contents were exceeded by about 30%, whereas for folic acid also significantly lower contents than the label claim were found.

  3. Optimization of a Fluorescence-Based Assay for Large-Scale Drug Screening against Babesia and Theileria Parasites.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Abdo Rizk

    Full Text Available A rapid and accurate assay for evaluating antibabesial drugs on a large scale is required for the discovery of novel chemotherapeutic agents against Babesia parasites. In the current study, we evaluated the usefulness of a fluorescence-based assay for determining the efficacies of antibabesial compounds against bovine and equine hemoparasites in in vitro cultures. Three different hematocrits (HCTs; 2.5%, 5%, and 10% were used without daily replacement of the medium. The results of a high-throughput screening assay revealed that the best HCT was 2.5% for bovine Babesia parasites and 5% for equine Babesia and Theileria parasites. The IC50 values of diminazene aceturate obtained by fluorescence and microscopy did not differ significantly. Likewise, the IC50 values of luteolin, pyronaridine tetraphosphate, nimbolide, gedunin, and enoxacin did not differ between the two methods. In conclusion, our fluorescence-based assay uses low HCT and does not require daily replacement of culture medium, making it highly suitable for in vitro large-scale drug screening against Babesia and Theileria parasites that infect cattle and horses.

  4. Fluorescence assay for evaluating microbicidal activity of hand antiseptics. (United States)

    Lopez-Gigosos, Rosa M; Mariscal, Alberto; Mariscal-Lopez, Eloisa; Gutierrez-Bedmar, Mario; Fernandez, Joaquin


    We developed a fluorescent β-d-glucuronidase activity (BGA)-based assay for detecting and quantifying Escherichia coli in samples to assess the biocide efficacy of hand antiseptics. The fluorescence level is proportional to the number of viable E. coli organisms present. We compared our assay results to those of the E. coli plate count method specified by the European standard for testing hygienic hand rub disinfectant products (EN1500). The plate count method requires excessive handling and materials and is not valid if the number of organisms per plate is too low or high for counting in many of the samples. We optimized the fluorescent assay based on the cleavage of 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-glucuronide by adding 4-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucuronide, a nonfluorogenic BGA substrate, to induce glucuronidase activity and reduce assay time. Furthermore, our method can be automated and eliminates the need for multiple dilutions. Fluorescence was temporally monitored, and the time required to reach a specific value of fluorescence was correlated with the initial number of viable E. coli organisms on the samples. There was a positive correlation (P counts by plate count and fluorescence methods. Reported effects in fluorescent BGA were compared to the EN1500 plate count method with five hand disinfectants. We found our method more advantageous, because it was as sensitive as the EN1500 method, requires less time to complete, and is less expensive and less laborious than conventional plating techniques.

  5. Development of a slide agglutination assay for detection of blastomycosis. (United States)

    Hatch, Wayne O; Scalarone, Gene M


    Blastomycosis, caused by the thermally dimorphic fungus Blastomyces dermatitides, which is endemic to eastern regions of the USA, is commonly misdiagnosed as a viral or bacterial infection and therefore treated improperly. Over the years, many immunodiagnostic assays to aid in the diagnosis of blastomycosis have been developed; however, a reliable assay for use in local clinics still remains elusive. Procedures for a slide agglutination assay for detection of antibody in serum from rabbits immunized with B. dermatitidis were evaluated with antigenic preparations from B. dermatitidis adsorbed to polystyrene microparticles. Yeast-phase lysates from five isolates of B. dermatitides: namely ER-593 (Eagle River, WI, USA), ER-598 (Eagle River, WI, USA), 48938 (India), B5896 (Mt. Iron, MN, USA), and T-58 (TN, USA) were evaluated for their sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivities of the lysates ranged from 29% to 83% whereas specificities ranged from 13% to 100%. Lysate ER-593 provided the most promising results with a sensitivity of 82% and specificity of 100%. This study provides suggests that a simple rapid slide agglutination assay for detecting blastomycosis may be used for screening patients with suspected B. dermatitidis infection.

  6. An immunochemical assay to detect DNA damage in bovine sperm

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schans, G.P. van der; Haring, R.; Dijk- Knijnenburg, H.C.M. van; Bruijnzeel, P.L.B.; Daas, N.H.G. den


    An immunochemical assay has been developed to detect oxidative damage in bovine sperm DNA. Sperm DNA contains a large amount of oxidative damage as a result of exposure to exogenous agents, but damage also can caused by normal metabolic processes and the absence of DNA repair in the later stages of

  7. Synthesis and evaluation of fluorogenic triglycerides as lipase assay substrates. (United States)

    Andersen, Rokhsana J; Brask, Jesper


    Three racemic fluorogenic triglycerides are synthesized and evaluated as lipase assay substrates. The presented synthesis route goes through a key triglyceride intermediate which can be chemoselectively functionalized with a wide range of different probes. Hence the substrate can be tailor-made for a specific assay, or focus can be on low cost in larger scale for applications in high-throughput screening (HTS) assays. In the specific examples, TG-ED, TG-FD and TG-F2 are assembled with the Edans-Dabcyl or the fluorescein-Dabcyl FRET pair, or relying on fluorescein self-quenching, respectively. Proof-of-concept assays allowed determination of 1st order kinetic parameters (kcat/KM) of 460s(-1)M(-1), 59s(-1)M(-1) and 346s(-1)M(-1), respectively, for the three substrates. Commercially available EnzChek lipase substrate provided 204s(-1)M(-1). Substrate concentration was identified as a critical parameter, with measured reaction rates decreasing at higher concentrations when intermolecular quenching becomes significant.

  8. Targets and assays for discovering novel antibacterial agents. (United States)

    Donadio, Stefano; Carrano, Lucia; Brandi, Letizia; Serina, Stefania; Soffientini, Adolfo; Raimondi, Elena; Montanini, Nicoletta; Sosio, Margherita; Gualerzi, Claudio O


    The increasing frequency of nosocomial infections due to multi-resistant pathogens exerts a significant toll and calls for novel and better antibiotics. Different approaches can be used in the search for novel antibiotics acting on drug-resistant bacterial pathogens. We present some considerations on valid bacterial targets to be used for searching new antibiotics, and how the information from bacterial genome sequences can assist in choosing the appropriate targets. Other factors to be considered in target selection are the chemical diversity available for screening and its uniqueness. We will conclude discussing our strategy for searching novel antibacterials. This is based on a large collection of microbial extracts as a source of chemical diversity and on the use of specific targets essential for the viability of bacterial pathogens. Two assay strategies have been implemented: a pathway-based assay, where a series of essential bacterial targets is screened in a single assay; and a binding assay, where many targets can be screened individually in the same format.

  9. 40 CFR 79.68 - Salmonella typhimurium reverse mutation assay. (United States)


    ... 40 Protection of Environment 16 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Salmonella typhimurium reverse... Registration § 79.68 Salmonella typhimurium reverse mutation assay. (a) Purpose. The Salmonella typhimurium... chemicals which cause base changes or frameshift mutations in the genome of the microorganism...

  10. New simple spectrophotometric assay of total carotenes in margarines

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Luterotti, S.; Bicanic, D.D.; Pozgaj, R.


    Direct and reliable spectrophotometric method for assaying total carotenes (TC) in margarines with the minimum of sample manipulation is proposed. For the first time saponification step used in determination of carotenes in margarines was omitted leading to a substantial cost saving and reduction of

  11. Yeast Protein–Protein Interaction Assays and Screens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Folter, de S.; Immink, G.H.


    Most transcription factors fulfill their role in protein complexes. As a consequence, information about their interaction capacity sheds light on a protein’s function and the molecular mechanism underlying this activity. The yeast two-hybrid GAL4 (Y2H) assay is a powerful method to unravel and ident

  12. Spontaneous and cytokine induced basophil adhesion evaluated by microtiter assay

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Quan, Sha; Poulsen, Lars K; Reimert, Claus Michael;


    We have developed a microtiter assay for evaluating basophil spontaneous adhesion to extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins exemplified by fibronectin and cytokine induced basophil adhesion to bovine serum albumin (BSA). The percentage of basophils adhering to either ECM or BSA was quantified...

  13. Cytokine release assays: current practices and future directions. (United States)

    Finco, D; Grimaldi, C; Fort, M; Walker, M; Kiessling, A; Wolf, B; Salcedo, T; Faggioni, R; Schneider, A; Ibraghimov, A; Scesney, S; Serna, D; Prell, R; Stebbings, R; Narayanan, P K


    As a result of the CD28 superagonist biotherapeutic monoclonal antibody (TGN 1412) "cytokine storm" incident, cytokine release assays (CRA) have become hazard identification and prospective risk assessment tools for screening novel biotherapeutics directed against targets having a potential risk for eliciting adverse pro-inflammatory clinical infusion reactions. Different laboratories may have different strategies, assay formats, and approaches to the reporting, interpretation, and use of data for either decision making or risk assessment. Additionally, many independent contract research organizations (CROs), academic and government laboratories are involved in some aspect of CRA work. As a result, while some pharmaceutical companies are providing CRA data as part of the regulatory submissions when necessary, technical and regulatory practices are still evolving to provide data predictive of cytokine release in humans and that are relevant to safety. This manuscript provides an overview of different approaches employed by the pharmaceutical industry and CROs, for the use and application of CRA based upon a survey and post survey follow up conducted by ILSI-Health and Environmental Sciences Institute (HESI) Immunotoxicology Committee CRA Working Group. Also discussed is ongoing research in the academic sector, the regulatory environment, current limitations of the assays, and future directions and recommendations for cytokine release assays.

  14. Development of a lion-specific interferon-gamma assay

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, M.; Kooten, van P.J.S.; Schreuder, J.; Morar, D.; Tijhaar, E.; Michel, A.L.; Rutten, V.P.M.G.


    The ongoing spread of bovine tuberculosis (BTB) in African free-ranging lion populations, for example in the Kruger National Park, raises the need for diagnostic assays for BTB in lions. These, in addition, would be highly relevant for zoological gardens worldwide that want to determine the BTB stat

  15. IP-10 release assays in the diagnosis of tuberculosis infection

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ruhwald, Morten; Aabye, Martine G; Ravn, Pernille


    The current state-of-the-art tests for infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis - the IFN-γ release assays - rely on accurate measurement of the cytokine IFN-γ. Many other potential biomarkers are expressed in concert with IFN-γ, and IP-10 in particular has shown promising results. IP-10...

  16. Optimized conditions for a quantitative SELDI TOF MS protein assay. (United States)

    Lomas, Lee; Clarke, Charlotte H; Thulasiraman, Vanitha; Fung, Eric


    The development of peptide/protein analyte assays for the purpose of diagnostic tests is driven by multiple factors, including sample availability, required throughput, and quantitative reproducibility. Laser Desorption/ionization mass spectrometry methods (LDI-MS) are particularly well suited for both peptide and protein characterization, and combining chromatographic surfaces directly onto the MS probe in the form of surface enhanced laser desorption/ionization (SELDI)-biochips has improved the reproducibility of analyte detection and provided effective relative quantitation. Here, we provide methods for developing reproducible SELDI-based assays by providing a complex artificial protein matrix background within the sample to be analyzed that allows for a common and reproducible ionization background as well as internal normalization standards. Using this approach, quantitative assays can be developed with CVs typically less than 10% across assays and days. Although the method has been extensively and successfully implemented in association with a protein matrix from E. coli, any other source for the complex protein matrix can be considered as long as it adheres to a set of conditions including the following: (1) the protein matrix must not provide interferences with the analyte to be detected, (2) the protein matrix must be sufficiently complex such that a majority of ion current generated from the desorption of the sample comes from the complex protein matrix, and (3) specific and well-resolved protein matrix peaks must be present within the mass range of the analyte of interest for appropriate normalization.

  17. Quantitative Microplate Assay for Real-Time Nuclease Kinetics


    Eriksson, Jonas; Langel, Ülo


    Utilizing the phenomenon of nucleases exposing oligonucleotide phosphate backbones to phosphatases we present a novel quantitative method for kinetics of nuclease catalysis. Inorganic phosphate released from nuclease products by phosphatases could be quantified in real-time by a fluorescent sensor of inorganic phosphate. Two different nucleases were employed, showing the versatility of this assay for multiple turnover label-free nuclease studies.

  18. The comet assay: Reflections on its development, evolution and applications. (United States)

    Singh, Narendra P


    The study of DNA damage and its repair is critical to our understanding of human aging and cancer. This review reflects on the development of a simple technique, now known as the comet assay, to study the accumulation of DNA damage and its repair. It describes my journey into aging research and the need for a method that sensitively quantifies DNA damage on a cell-by-cell basis and on a day-by-day basis. My inspirations, obstacles and successes on the path to developing this assay and improving its reliability and sensitivity are discussed. Recent modifications, applications, and the process of standardizing the technique are also described. What was once untried and unknown has become a technique used around the world for understanding and monitoring DNA damage. The comet assay's use has grown exponentially in the new millennium, as emphasis on studying biological phenomena at the single-cell level has increased. I and others have applied the technique across cell types (including germ cells) and species (including bacteria). As it enters new realms and gains clinical relevance, the comet assay may very well illuminate human aging and its prevention.

  19. Evaluation of environmental genotoxicity by comet assay in Columba livia. (United States)

    González-Acevedo, Anahi; García-Salas, Juan A; Gosálvez, Jaime; Fernández, José Luis; Dávila-Rodríguez, Martha I; Cerda-Flores, Ricardo M; Méndez-López, Luis F; Cortés-Gutiérrez, Elva I


    The concentrations of recognized or suspected genotoxic and carcinogenic agents found in the air of large cities and, in particular, developing countries, have raised concerns about the potential for chronic health effects in the populations exposed to them. The biomonitoring of environmental genotoxicity requires the selection of representative organisms as "sentinels," as well as the development of suitable and sensitive assays, such as those aimed at assessing DNA damage. The aim of this study was to evaluate DNA damage levels in erythrocytes from Columba livia living in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Mexico, compared with control animals via comet assay, and to confirm the results via Micronuclei test (MN) and DNA breakage detection-fluorescence in situ hybridization (DBD-FISH). Our results showed a significant increase in DNA migration in animals from the area assayed compared with that observed in control animals sampled in non-contaminated areas. These results were confirmed by MN test and DBD-FISH. In conclusion, these observations confirm that the examination of erythrocytes from Columba livia via alkaline comet assay provides a sensitive and reliable end point for the detection of environmental genotoxicants.

  20. Highly Sensitive Assay for Measurement of Arenavirus-cell Attachment. (United States)

    Klaus, Joseph P; Botten, Jason


    Arenaviruses are a family of enveloped RNA viruses that cause severe human disease. The first step in the arenavirus life cycle is attachment of viral particles to host cells. While virus-cell attachment can be measured through the use of virions labeled with biotin, radioactive isotopes, or fluorescent dyes, these approaches typically require high multiplicities of infection (MOI) to enable detection of bound virus. We describe a quantitative (q)RT-PCR-based assay that measures Junin virus strain Candid 1 attachment via quantitation of virion-packaged viral genomic RNA. This assay has several advantages including its extreme sensitivity and ability to measure attachment over a large dynamic range of MOIs without the need to purify or label input virus. Importantly, this approach can be easily tailored for use with other viruses through the use of virus-specific qRT-PCR reagents. Further, this assay can be modified to permit measurement of particle endocytosis and genome uncoating. In conclusion, we describe a simple, yet robust assay for highly sensitive measurement of arenavirus-cell attachment.

  1. 40 CFR 798.5460 - Rodent heritable translocation assays. (United States)


    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent heritable translocation assays. 798.5460 Section 798.5460 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC...) Species. The mouse is the species generally used, and is recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy sexually...

  2. 40 CFR 798.5450 - Rodent dominant lethal assay. (United States)


    ... 40 Protection of Environment 31 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 true Rodent dominant lethal assay. 798.5450 Section 798.5450 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY (CONTINUED) TOXIC SUBSTANCES... lethality, high pregnancy frequency and high implant numbers are recommended. (ii) Age. Healthy,...

  3. Comparison of Different Promoter Methylation Assays in Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karijn P. M. Suijkerbuijk


    Full Text Available Background: Promoter hypermethylation has emerged as a promising cancer biomarker. Currently, a large variety of quantitative and non-quantitative techniques is used to measure methylation in clinical specimens. Here we directly compared three commonly used methylation assays and assessed the influence of tissue fixation, target sequence location and the amount of DNA on their performance.

  4. Assay and physicochemical characterization of the antiparasitic albendazole

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Noely Camila Tavares Cavalcanti


    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to characterize three batches of albendazole by pharmacopeial and complementary analytical techniques in order to establish more detailed specifications for the development of pharmaceutical forms. The ABZ01, ABZ02, and ABZ03 batches had melting points of 208 ºC, 208 ºC, and 209 ºC, respectively. X-ray diffraction revealed that all three batches showed crystalline behavior and the absence of polymorphism. Scanning electron microscopy showed that all the samples were crystals of different sizes with a strong tendency to aggregate. The samples were insoluble in water (5.07, 4.27, and 4.52 mg mL-1, respectively and very slightly soluble in 0.1 M HCl (55.10, 56.90, and 61.70 mg mL-1, respectively and additionally showed purities within the range specified by the Brazilian Pharmacopoeia 5th edition (F. Bras. V; 98% to 102%. The pharmacopeial assay method was not reproducible and some changes were necessary. The method was validated and showed to be selective, specific, linear, robust, precise, and accurate. From this characterization, we concluded that pharmacopeial techniques alone are not able to detect subtle differences in active pharmaceutical ingredients; therefore, the use of other complementary techniques is required to ensure strict quality control in the pharmaceutical industry.O objetivo do trabalho foi caracterizar três lotes de albendazol com técnicas analíticas farmacopéicas e complementares a fim de estabelecer especificações mais detalhadas para o desenvolvimento de formas farmacêuticas. Os lotes ABZ01, ABZ02 e ABZ03 apresentaram fusão em 208 ºC, 208 ºC e 209 ºC. Foi possível evidenciar, por difração de raios X, que os três lotes apresentaram comportamento cristalino e ausência de polimorfismo. Através da microscopia eletrônica de varredura verificou-se que todas as amostras apresentaram cristais com diferentes tamanhos e forte tendência de agregação. As amostras foram insolúveis em

  5. A Functional Henipavirus Envelope Glycoprotein Pseudotyped Lentivirus Assay System

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Broder Christopher C


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hendra virus (HeV and Nipah virus (NiV are newly emerged zoonotic paramyxoviruses discovered during outbreaks in Queensland, Australia in 1994 and peninsular Malaysia in 1998/9 respectively and classified within the new Henipavirus genus. Both viruses can infect a broad range of mammalian species causing severe and often-lethal disease in humans and animals, and repeated outbreaks continue to occur. Extensive laboratory studies on the host cell infection stage of HeV and NiV and the roles of their envelope glycoproteins have been hampered by their highly pathogenic nature and restriction to biosafety level-4 (BSL-4 containment. To circumvent this problem, we have developed a henipavirus envelope glycoprotein pseudotyped lentivirus assay system using either a luciferase gene or green fluorescent protein (GFP gene encoding human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV-1 genome in conjunction with the HeV and NiV fusion (F and attachment (G glycoproteins. Results Functional retrovirus particles pseudotyped with henipavirus F and G glycoproteins displayed proper target cell tropism and entry and infection was dependent on the presence of the HeV and NiV receptors ephrinB2 or B3 on target cells. The functional specificity of the assay was confirmed by the lack of reporter-gene signals when particles bearing either only the F or only G glycoprotein were prepared and assayed. Virus entry could be specifically blocked when infection was carried out in the presence of a fusion inhibiting C-terminal heptad (HR-2 peptide, a well-characterized, cross-reactive, neutralizing human mAb specific for the henipavirus G glycoprotein, and soluble ephrinB2 and B3 receptors. In addition, the utility of the assay was also demonstrated by an examination of the influence of the cytoplasmic tail of F in its fusion activity and incorporation into pseudotyped virus particles by generating and testing a panel of truncation mutants of NiV and HeV F

  6. A novel assay for monitoring internalization of nanocarrier coupled antibodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pickering Edward M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Discovery of tumor-selective antibodies or antibody fragments is a promising approach for delivering therapeutic agents to antigen over-expressing cancers. Therefore it is important to develop methods for the identification of target- and function specific antibodies for effective drug delivery. Here we describe a highly selective and sensitive method for characterizing the internalizing potential of multivalently displayed antibodies or ligands conjugated to liposomes into tumor cells. The assay requires minute amounts of histidine-tagged ligand and relies on the non-covalent coupling of these antibodies to fluorescent liposomes containing a metal ion-chelating lipid. Following incubation of cells with antibody-conjugated liposomes, surface bound liposomes are gently removed and the remaining internalized liposomes are quantitated based on fluorescence in a high throughput manner. We have termed this methodology "Chelated Ligand Internalization Assay", or CLIA. Results The specificity of the assay was demonstrated with different antibodies to the ErbB-2 and EGF receptors. Antibody-uptake correlated with receptor expression levels in tumor cell lines with a range of receptor expression. Furthermore, Ni-NTA liposomes containing doxorubicin were used to screen for the ability of antibodies to confer target-specific cytotoxicity. Using an anti-ErbB2 single chain Fv (scFv (F5 antibody, cytotoxicity could be conferred to ErbB2-overexpressing cells; however, a poly(ethylene glycol-linked lipid (DSPE-PEG-NTA-Ni was necessary to allow for efficient loading of the drug and to reduce nonspecific drug leakage during the course of the assay. Conclusion The CLIA method we describe here represents a rapid, sensitive and robust assay for the identification and characterization of tumor-specific antibodies capable of high drug-delivery efficiency when conjugated to liposomal nanocarriers.

  7. Development of a rapid, simple assay of plasma total carotenoids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Donaldson Michael


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Plasma total carotenoids can be used as an indicator of risk of chronic disease. Laboratory analysis of individual carotenoids by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC is time consuming, expensive, and not amenable to use beyond a research laboratory. The aim of this research is to establish a rapid, simple, and inexpensive spectrophotometric assay of plasma total carotenoids that has a very strong correlation with HPLC carotenoid profile analysis. Results Plasma total carotenoids from 29 volunteers ranged in concentration from 1.2 to 7.4 μM, as analyzed by HPLC. A linear correlation was found between the absorbance at 448 nm of an alcohol / heptane extract of the plasma and plasma total carotenoids analyzed by HPLC, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.989. The average coefficient of variation for the spectrophotometric assay was 6.5% for the plasma samples. The limit of detection was about 0.3 μM and was linear up to about 34 μM without dilution. Correlations between the integrals of the absorption spectra in the range of carotenoid absorption and total plasma carotenoid concentration gave similar results to the absorbance correlation. Spectrophotometric assay results also agreed with the calculated expected absorbance based on published extinction coefficients for the individual carotenoids, with a Pearson correlation coefficient of 0.988. Conclusion The spectrophotometric assay of total carotenoids strongly correlated with HPLC analysis of carotenoids of the same plasma samples and expected absorbance values based on extinction coefficients. This rapid, simple, inexpensive assay, when coupled with the carotenoid health index, may be useful for nutrition intervention studies, population cohort studies, and public health interventions.

  8. ApoHRP-based Assay to Measure Intracellular Regulatory Heme (United States)

    Atamna, Hani; Brahmbhatt, Marmik; Atamna, Wafa; Shanower, Gregory A.; Dhahbi, Joseph M.


    The majority of the heme-binding proteins possess a “heme-pocket” that stably binds with heme. Usually known as housekeeping heme-proteins, they participate in a variety of metabolic reactions (e.g., catalase). Heme also binds with lower affinity to the “Heme-Regulatory Motifs” (HRM) in specific regulatory proteins. This type of heme binding is known as exchangeable or regulatory heme (RH). Heme binding to HRM proteins regulates their function (e.g., Bach1). Although there are well-established methods for assaying total cellular heme (e.g., heme-proteins plus RH), currently there is no method available for measuring RH independently from the total heme (TH). The current study describes and validates a new method to measure intracellular RH. The method is based on the reconstitution of apo-horseradish peroxidase (apoHRP) with heme to form holoHRP. The resulting holoHRP activity is then measured with a colorimetric substrate. The results show that apoHRP specifically binds RH but not with heme from housekeeping heme-proteins. The RH assay detects intracellular RH. Furthermore, using conditions that create positive (hemin) or negative (N-methyl protoporphyrin IX) controls for heme in normal human fibroblasts (IMR90), the RH assay shows that RH is dynamic and independent from TH. We also demonstrated that short-term exposure to subcytotoxic concentrations of lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), or amyloid-β(Aβ) significantly alters intracellular RH with little effect on TH. In conclusion the RH assay is an effective assay to investigate intracellular RH concentration and demonstrates that RH represents ~6% of total heme in IMR90 cells. PMID:25525887

  9. Real time assays for quantifying cytotoxicity with single cell resolution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sonny C Hsiao

    Full Text Available A new live cell-based assay platform has been developed for the determination of complement dependent cytotoxicity (CDC, antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC, and overall cytotoxicity in human whole blood. In these assays, the targeted tumor cell populations are first labeled with fluorescent Cell Tracker dyes and immobilized using a DNA-based adhesion technique. This allows the facile generation of live cell arrays that are arranged arbitrarily or in ordered rectilinear patterns. Following the addition of antibodies in combination with serum, PBMCs, or whole blood, cell death within the targeted population can be assessed by the addition of propidium iodide (PI as a viability probe. The array is then analyzed with an automated microscopic imager. The extent of cytotoxicity can be quantified accurately by comparing the number of surviving target cells to the number of dead cells labeled with both Cell Tracker and PI. Excellent batch-to-batch reproducibility has been achieved using this method. In addition to allowing cytotoxicity analysis to be conducted in real time on a single cell basis, this new assay overcomes the need for hazardous radiochemicals. Fluorescently-labeled antibodies can be used to identify individual cells that bear the targeted receptors, but yet resist the CDC and ADCC mechanisms. This new approach also allows the use of whole blood in cytotoxicity assays, providing an assessment of antibody efficacy in a highly relevant biological mixture. Given the rapid development of new antibody-based therapeutic agents, this convenient assay platform is well-poised to streamline the drug discovery process significantly.

  10. Fluorescent competitive assay for melamine using dummy molecularly imprinted polymers as antibody mimics

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DU Xin-wei; JIN Mao-jun; ZHENG Lu-fei; ZHANG Yan-xin; SHE Yong-xin; LIU Guang-yang; ZHAO Feng-nian; WANG Jing; WANG Shan-shan; JIN Fen; SHAO Hua


    A lfuorescent competitive assay for melamine was ifrst developed utilizing dummy molecularly imprinted polymers (DMIPs) as artiifcial antibodies. This method is based on the competition between lfuorescent substances and the unlabeled analyte for binding sites in synthesized DMIPs and the decreased binding of lfuorescent substances to DMIPs due to increased concentrations of melamine in the solutions. DMIPs for melamine were synthesized under a hot water bath in the pres-ence of the initiator azobisisobutyronitrile (AIBN) using 2,4-diamino-6-methyl-1,3,5-triazine (DAMT) as a dummy template, methacrylic acid (MAA) as a functional monomer, and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as a crosslinking agent. The adsorption capacity and selectivity of DMIPs for melamine were evaluated by the isothermal adsorption curve and Scatchard analysis. The evaluation results showed that the synthesized DMIPs had speciifc recognition sites for melamine and the maximum adsorption amount was 1066.33 μg g–1. Later, 5-(4,6-dichlorotriazinyl) amino lfuorescein (DTAF) with a triazine ring, which slightly resembles melamine, was selected as the lfuorescent substance. The lfuorescent competitive assay using DMIPs as the antibody mimics was ifnaly established by selecting and optimizing the reaction solvents, DMIPs amount, DTAF concentration, and incubation time. The optimal detection system showed a linear response within range of 0.05–40 mg L–1 and the limit of detection (LOD) was 1.23 μg L–1. It was successfuly applied to the detection of melamine in spiked milk samples with satisfactory recoveries (71.9 to 86.3%). According to the comparative analysis, the result of optimized lfuorescent competitive assay revealed excelent agreement with the HPLC-MS/MS result for melamine.

  11. Combined thioflavin T-Congo red fluorescence assay for amyloid fibril detection (United States)

    Girych, Mykhailo; Gorbenko, Galyna; Maliyov, Ivan; Trusova, Valeriya; Mizuguchi, Chiharu; Saito, Hiroyuki; Kinnunen, Paavo


    Fluorescence represents one of the most powerful tools for the detection and structural characterization of the pathogenic protein aggregates, amyloid fibrils. The traditional approaches to the identification and quantification of amyloid fibrils are based on monitoring the fluorescence changes of the benzothiazole dye thioflavin T (ThT) and absorbance changes of the azo dye Congo red (CR). In routine screening it is usually sufficient to perform only the ThT and CR assays, but both of them, when used separately, could give false results. Moreover, fibrillization kinetics can be measured only by ThT fluorescence, while the characteristic absorption spectra and birefringence of CR represent more rigid criteria for the presence of amyloid fibrils. Therefore, it seemed reasonable to use both these dyes simultaneously, combining the advantages of each technique. To this end, we undertook a detailed analysis of the fluorescence spectral behavior of these unique amyloid tracers upon their binding to amyloid fibrils from lysozyme, insulin and an N-terminal fragment of apolipoprotein A-I with Iowa mutation. The fluorescence measurements revealed several criteria for distinguishing between fibrillar and monomeric protein states: (i) a common drastic increase in ThT fluorescence intensity; (ii) a sharp decrease in ThT fluorescence upon addition of CR; (iii) an appearance of the maximum at 535-540 nm in the CR excitation spectra; (iv) increase in CR fluorescence intensity at 610 nm. Based on these findings we designed a novel combined ThT-CR fluorescence assay for amyloid identification. Such an approach not only strengthens the reliability of the ThT assay, but also provides new opportunities for structural characterization of amyloid fibrils.

  12. Promising Nucleic Acid Lateral Flow Assay Plus PCR for Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli. (United States)

    Terao, Yoshitaka; Takeshita, Kana; Nishiyama, Yasutaka; Morishita, Naoki; Matsumoto, Takashi; Morimatsu, Fumiki


    Shiga toxin (Stx)-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) is a frequent cause of foodborne infections, and methods for rapid and reliable detection of STEC are needed. A nucleic acid lateral flow assay (NALFA) plus PCR was evaluated for detecting STEC after enrichment. When cell suspensions of 45 STEC strains, 14 non-STEC strains, and 13 non-E. coli strains were tested with the NALFA plus PCR, all of the STEC strains yielded positive results, and all of the non-STEC and non-E. coli strains yielded negative results. The lower detection limit for the STEC strains ranged from 0.1 to 1 pg of genomic DNA (about 20 to 200 CFU) per test, and the NALFA plus PCR was able to detect Stx1- and Stx2-producing E. coli strains with similar sensitivities. The ability of the NALFA plus PCR to detect STEC in enrichment cultures of radish sprouts, tomato, raw ground beef, and beef liver inoculated with 10-fold serially diluted STEC cultures was comparable to that of a real-time PCR assay (at a level of 100 to 100,000 CFU/ml in enrichment culture). The bacterial inoculation test in raw ground beef revealed that the lower detection limit of the NALFA plus PCR was also comparable to that obtained with a real-time PCR assay that followed the U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines. Although further evaluation is required, these results suggest that the NALFA plus PCR is a specific and sensitive method for detecting STEC in a food manufacturing plant.

  13. Enzyme catalysis-electrophoresis titration for multiplex enzymatic assay via moving reaction boundary chip. (United States)

    Zhong, Ran; Xie, Haiyang; Kong, Fanzhi; Zhang, Qiang; Jahan, Sharmin; Xiao, Hua; Fan, Liuyin; Cao, Chengxi


    In this work, we developed the concept of enzyme catalysis-electrophoresis titration (EC-ET) under ideal conditions, the theory of EC-ET for multiplex enzymatic assay (MEA), and a related method based on a moving reaction boundary (MRB) chip with a collateral channel and cell phone imaging. As a proof of principle, the model enzymes horseradish peroxidase (HRP), laccase and myeloperoxidase (MPO) were chosen for the tests of the EC-ET model. The experiments revealed that the EC-ET model could be achieved via coupling EC with ET within a MRB chip; particularly the MEA analyses of catalysis rate, maximum rate, activity, Km and Kcat could be conducted via a single run of the EC-ET chip, systemically demonstrating the validity of the EC-ET theory. Moreover, the developed method had these merits: (i) two orders of magnitude higher sensitivity than a fluorescence microplate reader, (ii) simplicity and low cost, and (iii) fairly rapid (30 min incubation, 20 s imaging) analysis, fair stability (<5.0% RSD) and accuracy, thus validating the EC-ET method. Finally, the developed EC-ET method was used for the clinical assay of MPO activity in blood samples; the values of MPO activity detected via the EC-ET chip were in agreement with those obtained by a traditional fluorescence microplate reader, indicating the applicability of the EC-ET method. The work opens a window for the development of enzymatic research, enzyme assay, immunoassay, and point-of-care testing as well as titration, one of the oldest methods of analysis, based on a simple chip.

  14. Estrogenicity and acute toxicity of selected anilines using a recombinant yeast assay. (United States)

    Hamblen, Elizabeth L; Cronin, Mark T D; Schultz, T Wayne


    Suspected estrogen modulators include industrial organic chemicals (i.e., xenoestrogens), and have been shown to consist of alkylphenols, bisphenols, biphenylols, and some hydroxy-substituted polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The most prominent structural feature identified to be important for estrogenic activity is a polar group capable of donating hydrogen bonds (i.e., hydroxyl) on an aromatic system. The present study was undertaken to explore the estrogenic activity and acute toxicity of chemicals containing a weaker hydrogen bond donor group on aromatic systems, i.e., the amino substituent. There is a great deal of chemical similarity between aromatic amines (anilines) and aromatic alcohols (phenols). The chemicals chosen for the current study contained an amino-substituted benzene ring with hydrophobic constituents varying in size and shape. Thus, 37 substituted aromatic amines were assayed for estrogenic activity EC50 and acute toxicity LC50 using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae recombinant yeast assay. While the EC50 of 17-beta-estradiol occurs at the 10(-10) range, the aniline with the greatest activity had an EC50 of 10(-6) M. Thus, anilines, in general, are capable only of very weak estrogenic activity in this assay. A comparison of estrogenic potency between the present group of anilines and a set of previously tested analogous phenols indicated that anilines are consistently less estrogenic than phenols. A comparison of hazard indices (EC50/LC50) of these chemicals revealed that, for the vast majority of anilines, the EC50 and LC50 were in the same order of magnitude. More specifically, estrogenic activity of para-substituted alkylanilines increases with alkyl group size up to 5 carbons in length, after which the acute toxicity of the larger alkyl-substituents precluded the ability of the compound to induce the estrogenic response.

  15. Comparison of genotoxicity of textile dyestuffs in Salmonella mutagenicity assay, in vitro micronucleus assay, and single cell gel/comet assay. (United States)

    Wollin, Klaus-M; Gorlitz, Bernd-D


    The mutagenicity of textile dyes is an important consideration for the assurance of consumer protection and work safety. The mutagenicity testing of textile dyestuffs is crucial for accurately predicting health risks for consumers and workers exposed to dyes. Unfortunately, these data are often lacking. We studied the genotoxic activity of ten selected commercial textile dyestuffs, which are made up of mixtures of azo dyes and azo metal complex dyes as well as two anthraquinone dyestuffs. We used the Salmonella mutagenicity assay and cultured human keratinocytes (HaCaT cell line). In the S. typhimurium strain TA98, with and without S9, eight often dyestuffs investigated, and in strain TA 100, with and without S9, six often dyes caused frameshift mutations and base-pair substitutions in the dose range of 1-5000 microg/plate in a dose-related manner. All dyes, including those negative in the Salmonella mutagenicity assay, induced clastogenic effects in the in vitro micronucleus (MN) test in HaCaT cells as direct-acting mutagens in the concentration range of 5-150 microg/mL and with maximum MN frequencies between 1.1 and 7.2%, compared to negative controls that showed 0.2-0.4% MN cells. In the single cell gel/comet assay, all ten dyestuffs investigated caused DNA damage in HaCaT keratinocytes. The alkaline (pH >13) version used is capable of detecting DNA single strand breaks, alkali-labile sites, and DNA-DNA/DNA-protein cross-linking. Under the conditions of these screening tests, the textile dyes investigated are direct-acting genotoxic substances. The HaCaT cells testing protocol proposed has been shown to be an appropriate test system for evaluating mutagenicity of textile dyes on a base level.

  16. Multicentric performance analysis of HCV quantification assays and its potential relevance for HCV treatment. (United States)

    Wiesmann, F; Naeth, G; Berger, A; Hirsch, H H; Regenass, S; Ross, R S; Sarrazin, C; Wedemeyer, H; Knechten, H; Braun, P


    An accurate quantification of low viremic HCV RNA plasma samples has gained importance since the approval of direct acting antivirals and since only one single measurement predicts the necessity of a prolonged or shortened therapy. As reported previously, HCV quantification assays such as Abbott RealTime HCV and Roche COBAS AmpliPrep/COBAS TaqMan HCV version 2 (CTM v2) may vary in sensitivity and precision particularly in low-level viremia. Importantly, substantial variations were previously demonstrated between some of these assays compared to the Roche High Pure System/COBAS TaqMan assay (HPS) reference assay, which was used to establish the clinical decision points in clinical studies. In this study, the reproducibility of assay performances across several laboratories was assessed by analysing quantification results generated by six independent laboratories (3× RealTime, 3× CTM v2) in comparison with one HPS reference laboratory. The 4th WHO Standard was diluted to 100, 25 and 10 IU/ml, and aliquots were tested in triplicates in 5 independent runs by each assay in the different laboratories to assess assay precision and detection rates. In a second approach, 2 clinical samples (GT 1a & GT 1b) were diluted to 100 and 25 IU/ml and tested as described above. While the result range for WHO 100 IU/ml replicates across all laboratories was similar in this analysis, the CVs of each laboratory ranged from 19.3 to 25.6 % for RealTime laboratories and were lower than CVs of CTM v2 laboratories with a range of 26.1-47.3 %, respectively, and also in comparison with the CV of the HPS reference laboratory (34.9 %). At WHO standard dilution of 25 IU/ml, 24 replicates were quantified by RealTime compared to 8 replicates with CTM v2. Results of clinical samples again revealed a higher variation of CTM v2 results as compared to RealTime values. (CVs at 100 IU/ml: RealTime: 13.1-21.0 % and CTM v2: 15.0-32.3 %; CVs at 25 IU/ml: RealTime 17.6-34.9 % and CTM v2 28

  17. Evaluation of the estrogenic activity of the wild Pueraria mirifica by vaginal cornification assay. (United States)

    Cherdshewasart, Wichai; Kitsamai, Yosaporn; Malaivijitnond, Suchinda


    The aim of this study was to evaluate the estrogenic activity of tuberous samples of phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica collected from 25 of 76 provinces in Thailand by vaginal cornification assay. Tuberous powders were prepared and administered to ovariectomized rats for 14 consecutive days at dosages of 10, 100 and 1,000 mg/kg BW respectively, and were compared with a daily treatment with 2 mg/kg BW 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Rats treated with 10 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica showed no vaginal cornification. Treatment with 100 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica from 13 out of 25 plant samples resulted in development of vaginal cornification. The cell count percentages of the vaginal smeared cells for the treatment with the 2 plant samples that exhibited the fastest vaginal cornification revealed large variation in their estrogenic activities. Treatment with 1,000 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica from all plant samples produced vaginal cornification with the mean value for the period (day) of first appearance of cornified cells being 4.08 days compared to 2 days with 2 mg/kg BW E(2). The overall appearance period (day) of cornified cells during the treatment and post-treatment period with 1,000 mg/kg BW per day Pueraria mirifica was shorter than treatment with 2 mg/kg BW E(2). The results demonstrate that the plant population shows differential estrogenic activity as evaluated by vaginal cornification assay.

  18. [In vitro evaluation of the chemosensitivity of malignant gastrointestinal tumors by stem cell assay]. (United States)

    Scheithauer, W; Temsch, E M; Schieder, H; Funovics, J; Schiessel, R; Grabner, G


    The Human Tumor Stem Cell Assay, originally described by Hamburger and Salmon, was shown to be a useful in-vitro technique for predicting response or lack of response in individual patients' tumors. In the present study 34 GI-tumors were assayed for evaluation of in-vitro growth characteristics and sensitivity-patterns to standard chemotherapeutic drugs as well as to recombinant interferon alpha-2(rIF). Sufficient growth for evaluation of anticancer drug activity (greater than 30 colonies/control plate) was obtained in 56% of specimens: 2/9 colorectal, 0/3 stomach, 0/3 pancreatic tumors and 1/4 hepatomas revealed a 50% (or more) decrease of TCFUs, that was considered the minimum for in-vitro efficacy. Our results suggest a very limited overall activity of rIF in gastrointestinal malignancies. Only 1 pancreatic cancer (of 18 evaluable specimens) showed a significant decrease of colony formation (70%), when 100 U of interferon/ml were added to the culture system.

  19. Establishment of a Predictive In Vitro Assay for Assessment of the Hepatotoxic Potential of Oligonucleotide Drugs (United States)

    Sewing, Sabine; Boess, Franziska; Moisan, Annie; Bertinetti-Lapatki, Cristina; Minz, Tanja; Hedtjaern, Maj; Tessier, Yann; Schuler, Franz; Singer, Thomas; Roth, Adrian B.


    Single stranded oligonucleotides (SSO) represent a novel therapeutic modality that opens new space to address previously undruggable targets. In spite of their proven efficacy, the development of promising SSO drug candidates has been limited by reported cases of SSO-associated hepatotoxicity. The mechanisms of SSO induced liver toxicity are poorly understood, and up to now no preclinical in vitro model has been established that allows prediction of the hepatotoxicity risk of a given SSO. Therefore, preclinical assessment of hepatic liability currently relies on rodent studies that require large cohorts of animals and lengthy protocols. Here, we describe the establishment and validation of an in vitro assay using primary hepatocytes that recapitulates the hepatotoxic profile of SSOs previously observed in rodents. In vitro cytotoxicity upon unassisted delivery was measured as an increase in extracellular lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) levels and concomitant reduction in intracellular glutathione and ATP levels after 3 days of treatment. Furthermore, toxic, but not safe, SSOs led to an increase in miR-122 in cell culture supernatants after 2 days of exposure, revealing the potential use of miR122 as a selective translational biomarker for detection of SSO-induced hepatotoxicity. Overall, we have developed and validated for the first time a robust in vitro screening assay for SSO liver safety profiling which allows rapid prioritization of candidate molecules early on in development. PMID:27442522

  20. Establishment of multiplexed, microsphere-based flow cytometric assay for multiple human tumor markers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Kai SUN; Qian WANG; Xiao-hui HUANG; Mao-chuan ZHEN; Wen LI; Long-juan ZHANG


    Aim: The multiplexed, microsphere-based flow cytometric assay (MFCA) for mul- tiple human tumor markers was established for the early screening and detection of suspected cancer patients. Methods: Covalent coupling of capture antibodies directed against their respective tumor markers to fluorescent microspheres was performed by following the protocols recommended by a commercial corporation with some modifications. The coupling efficiency and cross-reactivity were iden- tified by the Luminex 100 system and associated software. The standard curve was constructed by using serial dilution of recombinant tumor marker standards and was validated by comparison with ELISA for quantifying the tumor markers in serum samples. Results: The identifications revealed that the coupling proce- dures were successful without non-specific cross-reactivity and the standard curve was highly efficient. However, it was necessary to ensure the quality con- trol of the coupling process since slight variations in the coupling procedures could profoundly affect the density of capture reagents coupled to the microspheres and consequently adversely affect the assay precision. In addition to its multi-analyte capability, the MFCA system had definite advantages, such as higher reproducibility, greater dynamic range of measurement, and considerably less preparation time and labor over the conventional "gold standard", which was the ELISA. Conclusion: The successful establishment of the MFCA system for the simultaneous detection of multiple tumor markers will provide the foundation for the further study of clinical applications.