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Sample records for connexin mimetic peptides

  1. Ex vivo investigation of ocular tissue distribution following intravitreal administration of connexin43 mimetic peptide using the microdialysis technique and LC-MS/MS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bisht, Rohit; Mandal, Abhirup; Rupenthal, Ilva D; Mitra, Ashim K

    2016-12-01

    This study aimed to develop and evaluate an ex vivo eye model for intravitreal drug sampling and tissue distribution of connexin43 mimetic peptide (Cx43MP) following intravitreal injection using the microdialysis technique and LC-MS/MS. An LC-MS/MS method was developed, validated, and applied for quantification of Cx43MP in ocular tissues. Microdialysis probes were calibrated for in vitro recovery studies. Bovine eyes were fixed in a customized eye holder and after intravitreal injection of Cx43MP, microdialysis probes were implanted in the vitreous body. Vitreous samples were collected at particular time intervals over 24 h. Moreover, 24 and 48 h after intravitreal injection ocular tissues were collected, processed, and analyzed for Cx43MP concentrations using LC-MS/MS. The LC-MS/MS method showed good linearity (r 2  = 0.9991). The mean percent recovery for lower (LQC), medium (MQC), and higher quality control (HQC) (0.244, 3.906, and 125 μg/mL) was found to be 83.83, 84.92, and 94.52, respectively, with accuracy ranges between 96 and 99 % and limits of detection (LOD) and quantification (LOQ) of 0.122 and 0.412 μg/mL. The in vitro recovery of the probes was found to be over 80 %. As per microdialysis sample analysis, the Cx43MP concentration was found to increase slowly in the vitreous body up to 16 h and thereafter declined. After 48 h, the Cx43MP concentration was higher in vitreous, cornea, and retina compared to lens, iris, and aqueous humor. This ex vivo model may therefore be a useful tool to investigate intravitreal kinetics and ocular disposition of therapeutic molecules after intravitreal injection.

  2. Self-assembly of fibronectin mimetic peptide-amphiphile nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rexeisen, Emilie Lynn

    Many therapeutic strategies incorporate peptides into their designs to mimic the natural protein ligands found in vivo. A few examples are the short peptide sequences RGD and PHSRN that mimic the primary and synergy-binding domains of the extracellular matrix protein, fibronectin, which is recognized by the cell surface receptor, alpha5beta 1 integrin. Even though scaffold modification with biomimetic peptides remains one of the most promising approaches for tissue engineering, the use of these peptides in therapeutic tissue-engineered products and drug delivery systems available on the commercial market is limited because the peptides are not easily able to mimic the natural protein. The design of a peptide that can effectively target the alpha5beta1 integrin would greatly increase biomimetic scaffold therapeutic potential. A novel peptide containing both the RGD primary binding domain and PHSRN synergy-binding domain for fibronectin joined with the appropriate linker should bind alpha 5beta1 integrin more efficiently and lead to greater cell adhesion over RGD alone. Several fibronectin mimetic peptides were designed and coupled to dialkyl hydrocarbon tails to make peptide-amphiphiles. The peptides contained different linkers connecting the two binding domains and different spacers separating the hydrophobic tails from the hydrophilic headgroups. The peptide-amphiphiles were deposited on mica substrates using the Langmuir-Blodgett technique. Langmuir isotherms indicated that the peptide-amphiphiles that contained higher numbers of serine residues formed a more tightly packed monolayer, but the increased number of serines also made transferring the amphiphiles to the mica substrate more difficult. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) images of the bilayers showed that the headgroups might be bent, forming small divots in the surface. These divots may help expose the PHSRN synergy-binding domain. Parallel studies undertaken by fellow group members showed that human

  3. Metal stabilization of collagen and de novo designed mimetic peptides

    OpenAIRE

    Parmar, Avanish S.; Xu, Fei; Pike, Douglas H.; Belure, Sandeep V.; Hasan, Nida F.; Drzewiecki, Kathryn E.; Shreiber, David I.; Nanda, Vikas

    2015-01-01

    We explore the design of metal binding sites to modulate triple-helix stability of collagen and collagen-mimetic peptides. Globular proteins commonly utilize metals to connect tertiary structural elements that are well separated in sequence, constraining structure and enhancing stability. It is more challenging to engineer structural metals into fibrous protein scaffolds, which lack the extensive tertiary contacts seen in globular proteins. In the collagen triple helix, the structural adjacen...

  4. Interactions of Bio-Inspired Membranes with Peptides and Peptide-Mimetic Nanoparticles

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    Michael Sebastiano

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Via Dissipative Particle Dynamics (DPD and implicit solvent coarse-grained (CG Molecular Dynamics (MD we examine the interaction of an amphiphilic cell-penetrating peptide PMLKE and its synthetic counterpart with a bio-inspired membrane. We use the DPD technique to investigate the interaction of peptide-mimetic nanoparticles, or nanopins, with a three-component membrane. The CG MD approach is used to investigate the interaction of a cell-penetrating peptide PMLKE with single-component membrane. We observe the spontaneous binding and subsequent insertion of peptide and nanopin in the membrane by using CG MD and DPD approaches, respectively. In addition, we find that the insertion of peptide and nanopins is mainly driven by the favorable enthalpic interactions between the hydrophobic components of the peptide, or nanopin, and the membrane. Our study provides insights into the mechanism underlying the interactions of amphiphilic peptide and peptide-mimetic nanoparticles with a membrane. The result of this study can be used to guide the functional integration of peptide and peptide-mimetic nanoparticles with a cell membrane.

  5. Metal Stabilization of Collagen and de Novo Designed Mimetic Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmar, Avanish S; Xu, Fei; Pike, Douglas H; Belure, Sandeep V; Hasan, Nida F; Drzewiecki, Kathryn E; Shreiber, David I; Nanda, Vikas

    2015-08-18

    We explore the design of metal binding sites to modulate triple-helix stability of collagen and collagen-mimetic peptides. Globular proteins commonly utilize metals to connect tertiary structural elements that are well separated in sequence, constraining structure and enhancing stability. It is more challenging to engineer structural metals into fibrous protein scaffolds, which lack the extensive tertiary contacts seen in globular proteins. In the collagen triple helix, the structural adjacency of the carboxy-termini of the three chains makes this region an attractive target for introducing metal binding sites. We engineered His3 sites based on structural modeling constraints into a series of designed homotrimeric and heterotrimeric peptides, assessing the capacity of metal binding to improve stability and in the case of heterotrimers, affect specificity of assembly. Notable enhancements in stability for both homo- and heteromeric systems were observed upon addition of zinc(II) and several other metal ions only when all three histidine ligands were present. Metal binding affinities were consistent with the expected Irving-Williams series for imidazole. Unlike other metals tested, copper(II) also bound to peptides lacking histidine ligands. Acetylation of the peptide N-termini prevented copper binding, indicating proline backbone amide metal-coordination at this site. Copper similarly stabilized animal extracted Type I collagen in a metal-specific fashion, highlighting the potential importance of metal homeostasis within the extracellular matrix.

  6. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    OpenAIRE

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min...

  7. Novel thrombopoietin mimetic peptides bind c-Mpl receptor: Synthesis, biological evaluation and molecular modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yaquan; Tian, Fang; Zhi, Dejuan; Wang, Haiqing; Zhao, Chunyan; Li, Hongyu

    2017-02-01

    Thrombopoietin (TPO) acts in promoting the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells and by initiating specific maturation events in megakaryocytes. Now, TPO-mimetic peptides with amino acid sequences unrelated to TPO are of considerable pharmaceutical interest. In the present paper, four new TPO mimetic peptides that bind and activate c-Mpl receptor have been identified, synthesized and tested by Dual-Luciferase reporter gene assay for biological activities. The molecular modeling research was also approached to understand key molecular mechanisms and structural features responsible for peptide binding with c-Mpl receptor. The results presented that three of four mimetic peptides showed significant activities. In addition, the molecular modeling approaches proved hydrophobic interactions were the driven positive forces for binding behavior between peptides and c-Mpl receptor. TPO peptide residues in P7, P13 and P7' positions were identified by the analysis of hydrogen bonds and energy decompositions as the key ones for benefiting better biological activities. Our data suggested the synthesized peptides have considerable potential for the future development of stable and highly active TPO mimetic peptides. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. A novel peptide thrombopoietin mimetic designing and optimization using computational approach

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    Vimal kishor Singh

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Thrombopoietin receptor (TPOR is a cytokine receptor protein; activation of cell surface TPOR by thrombopoietin (TPO triggers an intracellular cascade of megakaryocytopoiesis for the formation of platelets. TPO is a glycoprotein hormone which stimulates megakaryocytes formation and maturation to platelets in bone marrow. Ex vivo megakaryocytopoiesis is in highlight for its vast role in therapeutics and field of regenerative medicine. For therapeutic uses, various TPO alternatives have been used however they are associated with issues like recombinant TPO administration is associated with the generation of auto antibodies and its production is an expensive process. Moreover, reported thrombopoietin mimetic peptide (TMP has no sequence homology with TPO and low specificity to TPOR. Hence, in this study, a novel peptidic TPO mimetic is designed through computational studies by studying the binding sites of TPO and TMP to TPOR and analogs of known mimetics. Screening of combinatorial library was done through molecular docking using ClusPro and mimetic-9 was found to have better binding score of -938.8 kcal/mol with seven hydrogen bonds and a high number of hydrophobic interactions, than known mimetic TMP with docking score of -798.4 kcal/mol and TMP dimer with docking score of -811.9 kcal/mol for TPOR. Mimetic-9 interaction with TPOR was further assessed by the molecular dynamics simulation and their complex was found to be stable with an RMSD value of 0.091 Aº. Resulting mimetic-9 was found to have overall good physiochemical properties with positive grand average hydropathy (GRAVY score and high instability index score and it was found to be localized in the extracellular region. The designed mimetic-9 might prove to be a useful lead molecule for mimicking the role of TPO and to help for platelet production in vitro with higher efficiency.

  9. Improved surface bioactivity of stainless steel substrates using osteocalcin mimetic peptide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hosseini, Samaneh; Naderi-Manesh, Hossein; Vali, Hojatollah; Faghihi, Shahab

    2014-01-01

    Although stainless steel has a good biocompatibility for most clinical cases, the higher tissue response (bone bonding property) is required in orthopedic field. In this study, to improve bone-bonding ability of stainless steel substrates, a specific sequence of osteocalcin mimetic peptide is used as bioactive coating material to biochemically modify the surface of metallic samples. This sequence consists of thirteen amino acids present in the first helix of osteocalcin is synthesized in amidic form and physically adsorbed on the surface of 316LS (316 low carbon surgical grade) stainless steel substrates. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are used to characterize the surface of peptide coated and uncoated substrates. The bioactivity and bone bonding ability of coated and uncoated substrates are assessed by level of hydroxyapatite formation, using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive x-ray (EDS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pre-osteoblast cell attachment and proliferation are also evaluated by MTT assay. The results show that the surface of coated sample is homogenously covered by the peptide and display a rougher surface relative to uncoated sample. TEM images reveal the formation of plate-like hydroxyapatite crystals in the presence of the peptide and an amorphous calcium phosphate phase without the peptide. Pre-osteoblast cells proliferation is significantly higher on the surface of peptide coated substrate, while cell attachment remains unaffected by the peptide coatings. Pre-osteoblast cells also demonstrate a higher degree of spreading on the surface of coated sample. It is believed that osteocalcin mimetic peptide improve surface bioactivity and promote hydroxyapatite crystal formation may lead to increased mineralization and bone formation on the surface of metallic biomedical devices. - Graphical abstract: A peptide sequence located in the first helix of OC is selected based on its

  10. Improved surface bioactivity of stainless steel substrates using osteocalcin mimetic peptide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hosseini, Samaneh [Department of Nanobiotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Division, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran 14965/161 (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Naderi-Manesh, Hossein, E-mail: naderman@modares.ac.ir [Department of Nanobiotechnology, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Vali, Hojatollah [Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, McGill University, 3640 University Street, Montréal, QC H3A 0C7 (Canada); Faghihi, Shahab, E-mail: sfaghihi@nigeb.ac.ir [Tissue Engineering and Biomaterials Division, National Institute of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Tehran 14965/161 (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2014-02-14

    Although stainless steel has a good biocompatibility for most clinical cases, the higher tissue response (bone bonding property) is required in orthopedic field. In this study, to improve bone-bonding ability of stainless steel substrates, a specific sequence of osteocalcin mimetic peptide is used as bioactive coating material to biochemically modify the surface of metallic samples. This sequence consists of thirteen amino acids present in the first helix of osteocalcin is synthesized in amidic form and physically adsorbed on the surface of 316LS (316 low carbon surgical grade) stainless steel substrates. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) are used to characterize the surface of peptide coated and uncoated substrates. The bioactivity and bone bonding ability of coated and uncoated substrates are assessed by level of hydroxyapatite formation, using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), energy-dispersive x-ray (EDS), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The pre-osteoblast cell attachment and proliferation are also evaluated by MTT assay. The results show that the surface of coated sample is homogenously covered by the peptide and display a rougher surface relative to uncoated sample. TEM images reveal the formation of plate-like hydroxyapatite crystals in the presence of the peptide and an amorphous calcium phosphate phase without the peptide. Pre-osteoblast cells proliferation is significantly higher on the surface of peptide coated substrate, while cell attachment remains unaffected by the peptide coatings. Pre-osteoblast cells also demonstrate a higher degree of spreading on the surface of coated sample. It is believed that osteocalcin mimetic peptide improve surface bioactivity and promote hydroxyapatite crystal formation may lead to increased mineralization and bone formation on the surface of metallic biomedical devices. - Graphical abstract: A peptide sequence located in the first helix of OC is selected based on its

  11. Temperature-sensitive elastin-mimetic dendrimers: Effect of peptide length and dendrimer generation to temperature sensitivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kojima, Chie; Irie, Kotaro; Tada, Tomoko; Tanaka, Naoki

    2014-06-01

    Dendrimers are synthetic macromolecules with unique structure, which are a potential scaffold for peptides. Elastin is one of the main components of extracellular matrix and a temperature-sensitive biomacromolecule. Previously, Val-Pro-Gly-Val-Gly peptides have been conjugated to a dendrimer for designing an elastin-mimetic dendrimer. In this study, various elastin-mimetic dendrimers using different length peptides and different dendrimer generations were synthesized to control the temperature dependency. The elastin-mimetic dendrimers formed β-turn structure by heating, which was similar to the elastin-like peptides. The elastin-mimetic dendrimers exhibited an inverse phase transition, largely depending on the peptide length and slightly depending on the dendrimer generation. The elastin-mimetic dendrimers formed aggregates after the phase transition. The endothermal peak was observed in elastin-mimetic dendrimers with long peptides, but not with short ones. The peptide length and the dendrimer generation are important factors to tune the temperature dependency on the elastin-mimetic dendrimer. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Antifungal Potential of Host Defense Peptide Mimetics in a Mouse Model of Disseminated Candidiasis

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    Mobaswar Hossain Chowdhury

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Invasive candidiasis caused by Candida albicans and non-albicans Candida (NAC present a serious disease threat. Although the echinocandins are recommended as the first line of antifungal drug class, resistance to these agents is beginning to emerge, demonstrating the need for new antifungal agents. Host defense peptides (HDP exhibit potent antifungal activity, but as drugs they are difficult to manufacture efficiently, and they are often inactivated by serum proteins. HDP mimetics are low molecular weight non-peptide compounds that can alleviate these problems and were shown to be membrane-active against C. albicans and NAC. Here, we expand upon our previous works to describe the in vitro and in vivo activity of 11 new HDP mimetics that are active against C. albicans and NAC that are both sensitive and resistant to standard antifungal drugs. These compounds exhibit minimum inhibitory/fungicidal concentration (MIC/MFC in the µg/mL range in the presence of serum and are inhibited by divalent cations. Rapid propidium iodide influx into the yeast cells following in vitro exposure suggested that these HDP mimetics were also membrane active. The lead compounds were able to kill C. albicans in an invasive candidiasis CD-1 mouse model with some mimetic candidates decreasing kidney burden by 3–4 logs after 24 h in a dose-dependent manner. The data encouraged further development of this new anti-fungal drug class for invasive candidiasis.

  13. Glycosaminoglycan-Mimetic Signals Direct the Osteo/Chondrogenic Differentiation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Three-Dimensional Peptide Nanofiber Extracellular Matrix Mimetic Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arslan, Elif; Guler, Mustafa O; Tekinay, Ayse B

    2016-04-11

    Recent efforts in bioactive scaffold development focus strongly on the elucidation of complex cellular responses through the use of synthetic systems. Designing synthetic extracellular matrix (ECM) materials must be based on understanding of cellular behaviors upon interaction with natural and artificial scaffolds. Hence, due to their ability to mimic both the biochemical and mechanical properties of the native tissue environment, supramolecular assemblies of bioactive peptide nanostructures are especially promising for development of bioactive ECM-mimetic scaffolds. In this study, we used glycosaminoglycan (GAG) mimetic peptide nanofiber gel as a three-dimensional (3D) platform to investigate how cell lineage commitment is altered by external factors. We observed that amount of fetal bovine serum (FBS) presented in the cell media had synergistic effects on the ability of GAG-mimetic nanofiber gel to mediate the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells into osteogenic and chondrogenic lineages. In particular, lower FBS concentration in the culture medium was observed to enhance osteogenic differentiation while higher amount FBS promotes chondrogenic differentiation in tandem with the effects of the GAG-mimetic 3D peptide nanofiber network, even in the absence of externally administered growth factors. We therefore demonstrate that mesenchymal stem cell differentiation can be specifically controlled by the combined influence of growth medium components and a 3D peptide nanofiber environment.

  14. Bioactive Mimetics of Conotoxins and other Venom Peptides

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    Peter J. Duggan

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Ziconotide (Prialt®, a synthetic version of the peptide ω-conotoxin MVIIA found in the venom of a fish-hunting marine cone snail Conus magnus, is one of very few drugs effective in the treatment of intractable chronic pain. However, its intrathecal mode of delivery and narrow therapeutic window cause complications for patients. This review will summarize progress in the development of small molecule, non-peptidic mimics of Conotoxins and a small number of other venom peptides. This will include a description of how some of the initially designed mimics have been modified to improve their drug-like properties.

  15. Apolipoprotein Mimetic Peptides: A New Approach for the Treatment of Asthma

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    Xianglan eYao

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available New treatments are needed for severe asthmatics to improve disease control and avoid severe toxicities associated with oral corticosteroids. We have used a murine model of house dust mite (HDM-induced asthma to identify steroid-unresponsive genes that might represent targets for new therapeutic approaches for severe asthma. This strategy identified apolipoprotein E as a steroid-unresponsive gene with increased mRNA expression in the lungs of HDM-challenged mice. Furthermore, apolipoprotein E functioned as an endogenous negative regulator of airway hyperreactivity and goblet cell hyperplasia in experimental HDM-induced asthma. The ability of apolipoprotein E, which is expressed by lung macrophages, to attenuate AHR and goblet cell hyperplasia is mediated by low density lipoprotein (LDL receptors expressed by airway epithelial cells. Consistent with this, administration of an apolipoprotein E mimetic peptide, corresponding to amino acids 130 to 149 of the LDL receptor-binding domain of the holo-apoE protein, significantly reduced AHR and goblet cell hyperplasia in HDM-challenged apoE-/- mice. These findings identified the apolipoprotein E - LDL receptor pathway as a new druggable target for asthma that can be activated by administration of apoE mimetic peptides. Similarly, apolipoprotein A-I may have therapeutic potential in asthma based upon its anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and anti-fibrotic properties. Furthermore, administration of apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptides has attenuated airway inflammation, airway remodeling and airway hyperreactivity in murine models of experimental asthma. Thus, site-directed delivery of inhaled apolipoprotein E or apolipoprotein A-I mimetic peptides may represent novel treatment approaches that can be developed for asthma, including severe disease.

  16. Molecular Design, Structures, and Activity of Antimicrobial Peptide-Mimetic Polymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takahashi, Haruko; Palermo, Edmund F.; Yasuhara, Kazuma; Caputo, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    There is an urgent need for new antibiotics which are effective against drug-resistant bacteria without contributing to resistance development. We have designed and developed antimicrobial copolymers with cationic amphiphilic structures based on the mimicry of naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides. These copolymers exhibit potent antimicrobial activity against a broad spectrum of bacteria including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus with no adverse hemolytic activity. Notably, these polymers also did not result in any measurable resistance development in E. coli. The peptide-mimetic design principle offers significant flexibility and diversity in the creation of new antimicrobial materials and their potential biomedical applications. PMID:23832766

  17. Activity of Potent and Selective Host Defense Peptide Mimetics in Mouse Models of Oral Candidiasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, Lisa K.; Freeman, Katie B.; Masso-Silva, Jorge A.; Falkovsky, Klaudia; Aloyouny, Ashwag; Markowitz, Kenneth; Hise, Amy G.; Fatahzadeh, Mahnaz; Scott, Richard W.

    2014-01-01

    There is a strong need for new broadly active antifungal agents for the treatment of oral candidiasis that not only are active against many species of Candida, including drug-resistant strains, but also evade microbial countermeasures which may lead to resistance. Host defense peptides (HDPs) can provide a foundation for the development of such agents. Toward this end, we have developed fully synthetic, small-molecule, nonpeptide mimetics of the HDPs that improve safety and other pharmaceutical properties. Here we describe the identification of several HDP mimetics that are broadly active against C. albicans and other species of Candida, rapidly fungicidal, and active against yeast and hyphal cultures and that exhibit low cytotoxicity for mammalian cells. Importantly, specificity for Candida over commensal bacteria was also evident, thereby minimizing potential damage to the endogenous microbiome which otherwise could favor fungal overgrowth. Three compounds were tested as topical agents in two different mouse models of oral candidiasis and were found to be highly active. Following single-dose administrations, total Candida burdens in tongues of infected animals were reduced up to three logs. These studies highlight the potential of HDP mimetics as a new tool in the antifungal arsenal for the treatment of oral candidiasis. PMID:24752272

  18. Improving pancreatic islet in vitro functionality and transplantation efficiency by using heparin mimetic peptide nanofiber gels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzunalli, Gozde; Tumtas, Yasin; Delibasi, Tuncay; Yasa, Oncay; Mercan, Sercan; Guler, Mustafa O; Tekinay, Ayse B

    2015-08-01

    Pancreatic islet transplantation is a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes. However, viability and functionality of the islets after transplantation are limited due to loss of integrity and destruction of blood vessel networks. Thus, it is important to provide a proper mechanically and biologically supportive environment for enhancing both in vitro islet culture and transplantation efficiency. Here, we demonstrate that heparin mimetic peptide amphiphile (HM-PA) nanofibrous network is a promising platform for these purposes. The islets cultured with peptide nanofiber gel containing growth factors exhibited a similar glucose stimulation index as that of the freshly isolated islets even after 7 days. After transplantation of islets to STZ-induced diabetic rats, 28 day-long monitoring displayed that islets that were transplanted in HM-PA nanofiber gels maintained better blood glucose levels at normal levels compared to the only islet transplantation group. In addition, intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test revealed that animals that were transplanted with islets within peptide gels showed a similar pattern with the healthy control group. Histological assessment showed that islets transplanted within peptide nanofiber gels demonstrated better islet integrity due to increased blood vessel density. This work demonstrates that using the HM-PA nanofiber gel platform enhances the islets function and islet transplantation efficiency both in vitro and in vivo. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Impact of peptide clustering on unbinding forces in the context of fusion mimetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pähler, Gesa; Lorenz, Bärbel; Janshoff, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► Coiled-coil peptides as SNARE mimetics for membrane fusion. ► Interaction forces assessed by colloidal probe microscopy. ► Lateral organization of lipopeptides visualized by atomic force microscopy. -- Abstract: Coiled-coil zipping and unzipping is a pivotal process in SNARE-regulated membrane fusion. In this study we examine this process mediated by a minimal model for coiled-coil formation employing force spectroscopy in the context of membrane-coated surfaces and probes. The interaction forces of several hundred pN are surprisingly low considering the proposed amount of molecular bonds in the contact zone. However, by means of high-resolution imaging employing atomic force microscopy and studying the lateral mobility of lipids and peptides as a function of coiled-coil formation, we are able to supply a detailed view on processes occurring on the membrane surfaces during force measurements. The interaction forces determined here are not only dependent on the peptide concentration on the surface, but also on the regional organization of lateral peptide clusters found prior to coiled-coil formation

  20. Advances in the design and higher-order assembly of collagen mimetic peptides for regenerative medicine.

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    Strauss, Kevin; Chmielewski, Jean

    2017-08-01

    Regenerative medicine makes use of cell-supporting biomaterials to replace lost or damaged tissue. Collagen holds great potential in this regard caused by its biocompatibility and structural versatility. While natural collagen has shown promise for regenerative medicine, collagen mimetic peptides (CMPs) have emerged that allow far higher degrees of customization and ease of preparation. A wide range of two and three-dimensional assemblies have been generated from CMPs, many of which accommodate cellular adhesion and encapsulation, through careful sequence design and the exploitation of electrostatic and hydrophobic forces. But the methodology that has generated the greatest plethora of viable biomaterials is metal-promoted assembly of CMP triple helices-a rapid process that occurs under physiological conditions. Architectures generated in this manner promote cell growth, enable directed attachment of bioactive cargo, and produce living tissue. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Evaluation of carrier ampholyte-based capillary electrophoresis for separation of peptides and peptide mimetics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Koval, Dušan; Busnel, J. M.; Hlaváček, Jan; Jiráček, Jiří; Kašička, Václav; Peltre, G.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 18 (2008), s. 3759-3767 ISSN 0173-0835 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA203/06/1044; GA ČR GA203/06/1272; GA ČR GA203/08/1428 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : capillary electrophoresis * carrier ampholytes * peptides Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation Impact factor: 3.509, year: 2008

  2. Carbohydrate Mimetic Peptides Augment Carbohydrate-Reactive Immune Responses in the Absence of Immune Pathology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hennings, Leah; Artaud, Cecile; Jousheghany, Fariba; Monzavi-Karbassi, Behjatolah; Pashov, Anastas; Kieber-Emmons, Thomas, E-mail: tke@uams.edu [Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute and Department of Pathology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, AR 72205 (United States)

    2011-11-11

    Among the most challenging of clinical targets for cancer immunotherapy are Tumor Associated Carbohydrate Antigens (TACAs). To augment immune responses to TACA we are developing carbohydrate mimetic peptides (CMPs) that are sufficiently potent to activate broad-spectrum anti-tumor reactivity. However, the activation of immune responses against terminal mono- and disaccharide constituents of TACA raises concerns regarding the balance between “tumor destruction” and “tissue damage”, as mono- and disaccharides are also expressed on normal tissue. To support the development of CMPs for clinical trial testing, we demonstrate in preclinical safety assessment studies in mice that vaccination with CMPs can enhance responses to TACAs without mediating tissue damage to normal cells expressing TACA. BALB/c mice were immunized with CMPs that mimic TACAs reactive with Griffonia simplicifolia lectin 1 (GS-I), and tissue reactivity of serum antibodies were compared with the tissue staining profile of GS-I. Tissues from CMP immunized mice were analyzed using hematoxylin and eosin stain, and Luxol-fast blue staining for myelination. Western blots of membranes from murine mammary 4T1 cells, syngeneic with BALB/c mice, were also compared using GS-I, immunized serum antibodies, and naive serum antibodies. CMP immunization enhanced glycan reactivities with no evidence of pathological autoimmunity in any immunized mice demonstrating that tissue damage is not an inevitable consequence of TACA reactive responses.

  3. Carbohydrate Mimetic Peptides Augment Carbohydrate-Reactive Immune Responses in the Absence of Immune Pathology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hennings, Leah; Artaud, Cecile; Jousheghany, Fariba; Monzavi-Karbassi, Behjatolah; Pashov, Anastas; Kieber-Emmons, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Among the most challenging of clinical targets for cancer immunotherapy are Tumor Associated Carbohydrate Antigens (TACAs). To augment immune responses to TACA we are developing carbohydrate mimetic peptides (CMPs) that are sufficiently potent to activate broad-spectrum anti-tumor reactivity. However, the activation of immune responses against terminal mono- and disaccharide constituents of TACA raises concerns regarding the balance between “tumor destruction” and “tissue damage”, as mono- and disaccharides are also expressed on normal tissue. To support the development of CMPs for clinical trial testing, we demonstrate in preclinical safety assessment studies in mice that vaccination with CMPs can enhance responses to TACAs without mediating tissue damage to normal cells expressing TACA. BALB/c mice were immunized with CMPs that mimic TACAs reactive with Griffonia simplicifolia lectin 1 (GS-I), and tissue reactivity of serum antibodies were compared with the tissue staining profile of GS-I. Tissues from CMP immunized mice were analyzed using hematoxylin and eosin stain, and Luxol-fast blue staining for myelination. Western blots of membranes from murine mammary 4T1 cells, syngeneic with BALB/c mice, were also compared using GS-I, immunized serum antibodies, and naive serum antibodies. CMP immunization enhanced glycan reactivities with no evidence of pathological autoimmunity in any immunized mice demonstrating that tissue damage is not an inevitable consequence of TACA reactive responses

  4. HDL mimetic peptide CER-522 treatment regresses left ventricular diastolic dysfunction in cholesterol-fed rabbits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merlet, Nolwenn; Busseuil, David; Mihalache-Avram, Teodora; Mecteau, Melanie; Shi, Yanfen; Nachar, Walid; Brand, Genevieve; Brodeur, Mathieu R; Charpentier, Daniel; Rhainds, David; Sy, Gavin; Schwendeman, Anna; Lalwani, Narendra; Dasseux, Jean-Louis; Rhéaume, Eric; Tardif, Jean-Claude

    2016-07-15

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL) infusions induce rapid improvement of experimental atherosclerosis in rabbits but their effect on ventricular function remains unknown. We aimed to evaluate the effects of the HDL mimetic peptide CER-522 on left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (LVDD). Rabbits were fed with a cholesterol- and vitamin D2-enriched diet until mild aortic valve stenosis and hypercholesterolemia-induced LV hypertrophy and LVDD developed. Animals then received saline or 10 or 30mg/kg CER-522 infusions 6 times over 2weeks. We performed serial echocardiograms and LV histology to evaluate the effects of CER-522 therapy on LVDD. LVDD was reduced by CER-522 as shown by multiple parameters including early filling mitral deceleration time, deceleration rate, Em/Am ratio, E/Em ratio, pulmonary venous velocities, and LVDD score. These findings were associated with reduced macrophages (RAM-11 positive cells) in the pericoronary area and LV, and decreased levels of apoptotic cardiomyocytes in CER-522-treated rabbits. CER-522 treatment also resulted in decreased atheromatous plaques and internal elastic lamina area in coronary arteries. CER-522 improves LVDD in rabbits, with reductions of LV macrophage accumulation, cardiomyocyte apoptosis, coronary atherosclerosis and remodelling. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Conformational assembly and biological properties of collagen mimetic peptides and their thermally responsive polymer conjugates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krishna, Ohm Divyam

    2011-12-01

    Collagens are one of the most abundant proteins found in body tissues and organs, endowing structural integrity, mechanical strength, and multiple biological functions. Destabilized collagen inside human body leads to various degenerative diseases (ex. osteoarthritis) and ageing. This has continued to motivate the design of synthetic peptides and bio-synthetic polypeptides to closely mimic the native collagens in terms of triple helix structure and stability, potential for higher order assembly, and biological properties. However, the widespread application of de novo collagens has been limited in part by the need for hydroxylated proline in the formation of stable triple helical structures. To address this continued need, a hydroxyproline-free, thermally stable collagen-mimetic peptide (CLP-Cys) was rationally designed via the incorporation of electrostatically stabilized amino acid triplets. CLP-Cys was synthesized via solid phase peptide synthesis. The formation and stability of the triple helical structure were indicated via circular dichroism (CD) experiments and confirmed via differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results. CLP-Cys also self-assembled into nano-rods and micro-fibrils, as evidenced via a combination of dynamic light scattering and transmission electron microscopy. Given the high thermal stability and its propensity for higher-order assembly, CLP-Cys was further functionalized at both the ends with a thermally responsive polymer, poly(diethylene glycol methyl ether methacrylate), (PDEGMEMA) to synthesize a biohybrid triblock copolymer. The CD results indicated that the triple helical form is retained, the thermal unfolding is sustained and helix to coil transition is reversible in the triblock hybrid context. The LCST of PDEGMEMA homopolymer (26 °C) is increased (to 35 °C) upon conjugation to the hydrophilic collagen peptide domain. Further, a combination of static light scattering, Cryo-SEM, TEM and confocal microscopy elucidated that the

  6. C. pneumoniae CdsL regulates CdsN ATPase activity, and disruption with a peptide mimetic prevents bacterial invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris Blair Stone

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Chlamydiae are obligate intracellular pathogens that likely require type III secretion (T3S to invade cells and replicate intracellulary within a cytoplasmic vacuole called an inclusion body. C. pneumoniae possess a YscL ortholog, CdsL, that has been shown to interact with the T3S ATPase (CdsN. In this report we demonstrate that CdsL down-regulates CdsN enzymatic activity in a dose-dependent manner. Using PepScan epitope mapping we identified two separate binding domains to which CdsL binds viz. CdsN 221-229 and CdsN265-270. We confirmed the binding domains using a pull-down assay and showed that GST-CdsN221-270, which encompasses these peptides, co-purified with His-CdsL. Next, we used orthology modeling based on the crystal structure of a T3S ATPase ortholog from E. coli, EscN, to map the binding domains on the predicted three dimensional structure of CdsN. The CdsL binding domains mapped to the catalytic domain of the ATPase, one in the central channel of the ATPase hexamer and one on the outer face. Since peptide mimetics have been used to disrupt essential protein interactions of the chlamydial T3S system and inhibit T3S-mediated invasion of HeLa cells, we hypothesized that if CdsL – CdsN binding is essential for regulating T3S then a CdsN peptide mimetic could be used to potentially block T3S and Chlamydial invasion. Treatment of EBs with a CdsN peptide mimetic inhibited C. pneumoniae invasion into HeLa cells in a dose-dependent fashion. This report represents the first use of Pepscan technology to identify binding domains for specific T3S proteins viz. CdsL on the ATPase, CdsN, and demonstrates that peptide mimetics can be used as anti-virulence factors to block bacterial invasion.

  7. Activity of antimicrobial peptide mimetics in the oral cavity: II. Activity against periopathogenic biofilms and anti-inflammatory activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hua, J; Scott, R.W.; Diamond, G

    2011-01-01

    Whereas periodontal disease is ultimately of bacterial etiology, from multispecies biofilms of gram-negative anaerobic microorganisms, much of the deleterious effects are caused by the resultant epithelial inflammatory response. Hence, development of a treatment that combines anti-biofilm antibiotic activity with anti-inflammatory activity would be of great utility. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) such as defensins are naturally occurring peptides that exhibit broad-spectrum activity as well as a variety of immunomodulatory activities. Furthermore, bacteria do not readily develop resistance to these agents. However, clinical studies have suggested that they do not represent optimal candidates for exogenous therapeutic agents. Small-molecule mimetics of these AMPs exhibit similar activities to the parent peptides, in addition to having low toxicity, high stability and low cost. To determine whether AMP mimetics have the potential for treatment of periodontal disease, we examined the activity of one mimetic, mPE, against biofilm cultures of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. Metabolic assays as well as culture and biomass measurement assays demonstrated that mPE exhibits potent activity against biofilm cultures of both species. Furthermore, as little as 2 µg ml−1 mPE was sufficient to inhibit interleukin-1β-induced secretion of interleukin-8 in both gingival epithelial cells and THP-1 cells. This anti-inflammatory activity is associated with a reduction in activation of nuclear factor-κB, suggesting that mPE can act both as an anti-biofilm agent in an anaerobic environment and as an anti-inflammatory agent in infected tissues. PMID:21040516

  8. The CNTF-derived peptide mimetic Cintrofin attenuates spatial-learning deficits in a rat post-status epilepticus model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Russmann, Vera; Seeger, Natalie; Zellinger, Christina

    2013-01-01

    Ciliary neurotrophic growth factor is considered a potential therapeutic agent for central nervous system diseases. We report first in vivo data of the ciliary neurotrophic growth factor peptide mimetic Cintrofin in a rat post-status epilepticus model. Cintrofin prevented long-term alterations...... in the number of doublecortin-positive neuronal progenitor cells and attenuated the persistence of basal dendrites. In contrast, Cintrofin did neither affect acute status epilepticus-associated alterations in hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis nor reveal any relevant effect on seizure activity....... Whereas status epilepticus caused a significant disturbance in spatial learning in reversed peptide-treated rats, the performance of Cintrofin-treated rats did not differ from controls. The study confirms that Cintrofin comprises an active sequence mimicking effects of its parent molecule. While the data...

  9. Peptide mimetic of the S100A4 protein modulates peripheral nerve regeneration and attenuates the progression of neuropathy in myelin protein P0 null mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moldovan, Mihai; Pinchenko, Volodymyr; Dmytriyeva, Oksana

    2013-01-01

    and mimicked the S100A4-induced neuroprotection in brain trauma. Here, we investigated a possible function of S100A4 and its mimetics in the pathologies of the peripheral nervous system (PNS). We found that S100A4 was expressed in the injured PNS and that its peptide mimetic (H3) affected the regeneration......, these effects were attributed to the modulatory effect of H3 on initial axonal sprouting. In contrast to the modest effect of H3 on the time course of regeneration, H3 had a long-term neuroprotective effect in the myelin protein P0 null mice, a model of dysmyelinating neuropathy (Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 1...... disease), where the peptide attenuated the deterioration of nerve conduction, demyelination and axonal loss. From these results, S100A4 mimetics emerge as a possible means to enhance axonal sprouting and survival, especially in the context of demyelinating neuropathies with secondary axonal loss...

  10. Connexin hemichannel blockade is neuroprotective after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joanne O Davidson

    Full Text Available Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103-104 d gestational age. Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6 or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7. Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05, but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05 and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05, with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05. Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia.

  11. Connexin Hemichannel Blockade Is Neuroprotective after Asphyxia in Preterm Fetal Sheep

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davidson, Joanne O.; Drury, Paul P.; Green, Colin R.; Nicholson, Louise F.; Bennet, Laura; Gunn, Alistair J.

    2014-01-01

    Asphyxia around the time of preterm birth is associated with neurodevelopmental disability. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that blockade of connexin hemichannels would improve recovery of brain activity and reduce cell loss after asphyxia in preterm fetal sheep. Asphyxia was induced by 25 min of complete umbilical cord occlusion in preterm fetal sheep (103–104 d gestational age). Connexin hemichannels were blocked by intracerebroventricular infusion of mimetic peptide starting 90 min after asphyxia at a concentration of 50 µM/h for one hour followed by 50 µM/24 hour for 24 hours (occlusion-peptide group, n = 6) or vehicle infusion for controls (occlusion-vehicle group, n = 7). Peptide infusion was associated with earlier recovery of electroencephalographic power after asphyxia compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with reduced neuronal loss in the caudate and putamen (p<0.05), but not in the hippocampus. In the intragyral and periventricular white matter, peptide administration was associated with an increase in total oligodendrocyte numbers (p<0.05) and immature/mature oligodendrocytes compared to occlusion-vehicle (p<0.05), with a significant increase in proliferation (p<0.05). Connexin hemichannel blockade was neuroprotective and reduced oligodendrocyte death and improved recovery of oligodendrocyte maturation in preterm fetuses after asphyxia. PMID:24865217

  12. TREATMENT OF DIABETES MELLITUS IN A GOLDEN LION TAMARIN (LEONTOPITHECUS ROSALIA) WITH THE GLUCAGON-LIKE PEPTIDE-1 MIMETIC EXENATIDE.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, James G; Langan, Jennifer N; Gilor, Chen

    2016-09-01

    An 8-yr-old male golden lion tamarin ( Leontopithecus rosalia ) was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus based on hyperglycemia and persistent glycosuria. Initial treatment consisted of the oral antihyperglycemic medications glipizide and metformin that resulted in decreased blood glucose concentrations; however, marked glycosuria persisted. Insufficient improvement on oral antihyperglycemic therapy and poor feasibility of daily subcutaneous insulin therapy led to an investigation into an alternative therapy with extended-release exenatide, a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) mimetic, at a dosage of 0.13 mg/kg subcutaneously once per month. Following treatment with exenatide, the persistent glycosuria resolved, the animal maintained normal blood glucose concentrations, and had lower serum fructosamine concentrations compared to pretreatment levels. Based on these findings, extended-release exenatide could be considered as a therapeutic option in nonhuman primates with diabetes mellitus that do not respond to oral antihyperglycemics and in which daily subcutaneous insulin is not feasible.

  13. RXP-E: a connexin43-binding peptide that prevents action potential propagation block

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lewandowski, Rebecca; Procida, Kristina; Vaidyanathan, Ravi

    2008-01-01

    . Separately, RXP-E was concatenated to a cytoplasmic transduction peptide (CTP) for cytoplasmic translocation (CTP-RXP-E). The effect of RXP-E on action potential propagation was assessed by high-resolution optical mapping in monolayers of neonatal rat ventricular myocytes, containing approximately 20......% of randomly distributed myofibroblasts. In contrast to control experiments, when heptanol (2 mmol/L) was added to the superfusate of monolayers loaded with CTP-RXP-E, action potential propagation was maintained, albeit at a slower velocity. Similarly, intracellular acidification (pH(i) 6.2) caused a loss...... of action potential propagation in control monolayers; however, propagation was maintained in CTP-RXP-E-treated cells, although at a slower rate. Patch-clamp experiments revealed that RXP-E did not prevent heptanol-induced block of sodium currents, nor did it alter voltage dependence or amplitude of Kir2...

  14. Sera from Children with Autism Induce Autistic Features Which Can Be Rescued with a CNTF Small Peptide Mimetic in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazim, Syed Faraz; Cardenas-Aguayo, Maria del Carmen; Arif, Mohammad; Blanchard, Julie; Fayyaz, Fatima; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge; Iqbal, Khalid

    2015-01-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized clinically by impairments in social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication skills as well as restricted interests and repetitive behavior. It has been hypothesized that altered brain environment including an imbalance in neurotrophic support during early development contributes to the pathophysiology of autism. Here we report that sera from children with autism which exhibited abnormal levels of various neurotrophic factors induced cell death and oxidative stress in mouse primary cultured cortical neurons. The effects of sera from autistic children were rescued by pre-treatment with a ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) small peptide mimetic, Peptide 6 (P6), which was previously shown to exert its neuroprotective effect by modulating CNTF/JAK/STAT pathway and LIF signaling and by enhancing brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression. Similar neurotoxic effects and neuroinflammation were observed in young Wistar rats injected intracerebroventricularly with autism sera within hours after birth. The autism sera injected rats demonstrated developmental delay and deficits in social communication, interaction, and novelty. Both the neurobiological changes and the behavioral autistic phenotype were ameliorated by P6 treatment. These findings implicate the involvement of neurotrophic imbalance during early brain development in the pathophysiology of autism and a proof of principle of P6 as a potential therapeutic strategy for autism. PMID:25769033

  15. Sera from children with autism induce autistic features which can be rescued with a CNTF small peptide mimetic in rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kazim, Syed Faraz; Cardenas-Aguayo, Maria Del Carmen; Arif, Mohammad; Blanchard, Julie; Fayyaz, Fatima; Grundke-Iqbal, Inge; Iqbal, Khalid

    2015-01-01

    Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized clinically by impairments in social interaction and verbal and non-verbal communication skills as well as restricted interests and repetitive behavior. It has been hypothesized that altered brain environment including an imbalance in neurotrophic support during early development contributes to the pathophysiology of autism. Here we report that sera from children with autism which exhibited abnormal levels of various neurotrophic factors induced cell death and oxidative stress in mouse primary cultured cortical neurons. The effects of sera from autistic children were rescued by pre-treatment with a ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) small peptide mimetic, Peptide 6 (P6), which was previously shown to exert its neuroprotective effect by modulating CNTF/JAK/STAT pathway and LIF signaling and by enhancing brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression. Similar neurotoxic effects and neuroinflammation were observed in young Wistar rats injected intracerebroventricularly with autism sera within hours after birth. The autism sera injected rats demonstrated developmental delay and deficits in social communication, interaction, and novelty. Both the neurobiological changes and the behavioral autistic phenotype were ameliorated by P6 treatment. These findings implicate the involvement of neurotrophic imbalance during early brain development in the pathophysiology of autism and a proof of principle of P6 as a potential therapeutic strategy for autism.

  16. EPOR-Based Purification and Analysis of Erythropoietin Mimetic Peptides from Human Urine by Cys-Specific Cleavage and LC/MS/MS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Matthias; Thomas, Andreas; Schänzer, Wilhelm; Thevis, Mario

    2015-09-01

    The development of a new class of erythropoietin mimetic agents (EMA) for treating anemic conditions has been initiated with the discovery of oligopeptides capable of dimerizing the erythropoietin (EPO) receptor and thus stimulating erythropoiesis. The most promising amino acid sequences have been mounted on various different polymeric structures or carrier molecules to obtain highly active EPO-like drugs exhibiting beneficial and desirable pharmacokinetic profiles. Concomitant with creating new therapeutic options, erythropoietin mimetic peptide (EMP)-based drug candidates represent means to artificially enhance endurance performance and necessitate coverage by sports drug testing methods. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to develop a strategy for the comprehensive detection of EMPs in doping controls, which can be used complementary to existing protocols. Three model EMPs were used to provide proof-of-concept data. Following EPO receptor-facilitated purification of target analytes from human urine, the common presence of the cysteine-flanked core structure of EMPs was exploited to generate diagnostic peptides with the aid of a nonenzymatic cleavage procedure. Sensitive detection was accomplished by targeted-SIM/data-dependent MS2 analysis. Method characterization was conducted for the EMP-based drug peginesatide concerning specificity, linearity, precision, recovery, stability, ion suppression/enhancement, and limit of detection (LOD, 0.25 ng/mL). Additionally, first data for the identification of the erythropoietin mimetic peptides EMP1 and BB68 were generated, demonstrating the multi-analyte testing capability of the presented approach.

  17. Identification of ischemia-regulated phosphorylation sites in connexin43: A possible target for the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (ZP123)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Axelsen, Lene Nygaard; Stahlhut, Martin; Mohammed, Shabaz

    2006-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that dephosphorylation of connexin43 (Cx43) is related to uncoupling of gap junction communication, which plays an important role in the genesis of ischemia-induced ventricular tachycardia. We studied changes in Cx43 phosphorylation during global ischemia in the absence...... and presence of the antiarrhythmic peptide analogue rotigaptide (formerly known as ZP123). Phosphorylation analysis was performed on Cx43 purified from isolated perfused rat hearts using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography electrospray ionization tandem mass...... of ischemia, the critical time interval where gap junction uncoupling occurs, Ser297 and Ser368 also became fully dephosphorylated. During the same time period, all untreated hearts developed asystole. Treatment with rotigaptide significantly increased the time to ischemia-induced asystole and suppressed...

  18. High-level expression of human stem cell factor fused with erythropoietin mimetic peptide in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Lin; Chen, Song-Sen; Yang, Ke-Gong; Liu, Chang-Zheng; Zhang, Yan-Li; Liang, Zhi-Quan

    2006-06-01

    Stem cell factor (SCF) and erythropoietin are essential for normal erythropoiesis and induce proliferation and differentiation synergistically for erythroid progenitor cells. Here, we report our work on construction of SCF/erythropoietin mimetic peptide (EMP) fusion protein gene, in which human SCF cDNA (1-165aa) and EMP sequence (20aa) were connected using a short (GGGGS) or long (GGGGSGGGGGS) linker sequence. The SCF/EMP gene was cloned into the pBV220 vector and expressed in the Escherichia coli DH5alpha strain. The expression level of the fusion protein was about 30% of total cell protein. The resulting inclusion bodies were solubilized with 8 M urea, followed by dilution refolding. The renatured protein was subsequently purified by Q-Sepharose FF column. The final product was >95% pure by SDS-PAGE and the yield of fusion protein was about 40 mg/L of culture. UT-7 cell proliferation and human cord blood cell colony-forming assays showed that the fusion proteins exhibited more potent activity than recombinant human SCF, suggesting a new strategy to enhance biological activities of growth factors.

  19. A Novel Apolipoprotein C-II Mimetic Peptide That Activates Lipoprotein Lipase and Decreases Serum Triglycerides in Apolipoprotein E–Knockout Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sakurai, Toshihiro; Sakurai-Ikuta, Akiko; Sviridov, Denis; Freeman, Lita; Ahsan, Lusana; Remaley, Alan T.

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) mimetic peptides are currently being developed as possible new agents for the treatment of cardiovascular disease based on their ability to promote cholesterol efflux and their other beneficial antiatherogenic properties. Many of these peptides, however, have been reported to cause transient hypertriglyceridemia due to inhibition of lipolysis by lipoprotein lipase (LPL). We describe a novel bihelical amphipathic peptide (C-II-a) that contains an amphipathic helix (18A) for binding to lipoproteins and stimulating cholesterol efflux as well as a motif based on the last helix of apolipoprotein C-II (apoC-II) that activates lipolysis by LPL. The C-II-a peptide promoted cholesterol efflux from ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA1-transfected BHK cells similar to apoA-I mimetic peptides. Furthermore, it was shown in vitro to be comparable to the full-length apoC-II protein in activating lipolysis by LPL. When added to serum from a patient with apoC-II deficiency, it restored normal levels of LPL-induced lipolysis and also enhanced lipolysis in serum from patients with type IV and V hypertriglyceridemia. Intravenous injection of C-II-a (30 mg/kg) in apolipoprotein E–knockout mice resulted in a significant reduction of plasma cholesterol and triglycerides of 38 ± 6% and 85 ± 7%, respectively, at 4 hours. When coinjected with the 5A peptide (60 mg/kg), the C-II-a (30 mg/kg) peptide was found to completely block the hypertriglyceridemic effect of the 5A peptide in C57Bl/6 mice. In summary, C-II-a is a novel peptide based on apoC-II, which promotes cholesterol efflux and lipolysis and may therefore be useful for the treatment of apoC-II deficiency and other forms of hypertriglyceridemia. PMID:25395590

  20. Parathyroid Hormone-Related Peptide: A Novel Endocrine Cardioprotective "Conditioning Mimetic".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Datta, Tanuka; Przyklenk, Karin; Datta, Nabanita S

    2017-11-01

    An as-yet limited body of evidence suggests that calcium-regulating endocrine hormones-in particular, parathyroid hormone-related peptide (PTHrP)-may have unappreciated cardioprotective effects. The current review focuses on the concept that PTHrP may, via modulation of classic cardioprotective signaling pathways, provide a novel strategy to attenuate myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury.

  1. A metallothionein mimetic peptide protects neurons against kainic acid-induced excitotoxicity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sonn, Katrin; Pankratova, Stanislava; Korshunova, Irina

    2010-01-01

    Metallothioneins I and II (MTI/II) are metal-binding proteins overexpressed in response to brain injury. Recently, we have designed a peptide, termed EmtinB, which is modeled after the beta-domain of MT-II and mimics the biological effects of MTI/II in vitro. Here, we demonstrate the neuroprotect...

  2. Roles of gap junctions, connexins and pannexins in epilepsy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shanthini eMylvaganam

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced gap junctional communication (GJC between neurons is considered a major factor underlying the neuronal synchrony driving seizure activity. In addition, the hippocampal sharp wave ripple complexes, associated with learning and seizures, are diminished by GJC blocking agents. Although gap junctional blocking drugs inhibit experimental seizures, they all have other nonspecific actions. Besides interneuronal GJC between dendrites, inter-axonal and inter-glial GJC is also considered important for seizure generation. Interestingly, in most studies of cerebral tissue from animal seizure models and from human patients with epilepsy, there is up-regulation of glial, but not neuronal gap junctional mRNA and protein. Significant changes in the expression and post-translational modification of the astrocytic connexin Cx43, and Panx1 were observed in an in vitro Co++ seizure model, further supporting a role for glia in seizure-genesis, although the reasons for this remain unclear. Further suggesting an involvement of astrocytic GJC in epilepsy, is the fact that the expression of astrocytic Cx mRNAs (Cxs 30 and 43 is several fold higher than that of neuronal Cx mRNAs (Cxs 36 and 45, and the number of glial cells outnumber neuronal cells in mammalian hippocampal and cortical tissue. Pannexin expression is also increased in both animal and human epileptic tissues. Specific Cx43 mimetic peptides, Gap 27 and SLS, inhibit the docking of astrocytic connexin Cx43 proteins from forming intercellular gap junctions, diminishing spontaneous seizures. Besides GJs, Cx membrane hemichannels in glia and Panx membrane channels in neurons and glia are also inhibited by gap junctional pharmacological blockers. Although there is no doubt that connexin-based gap junctions and hemichannels, and pannexin-based membrane channels are related to epilepsy, the specific details of how they are involved and how we can modulate their function for therapeutic purposes remain to

  3. Characterization of linear mimetic peptides of Interleukin-22 from dissection of protein interfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Manna, Sara; Scognamiglio, Pasqualina Liana; Di Natale, Concetta; Leone, Marilisa; Mercurio, Flavia Anna; Malfitano, Anna Maria; Cianfarani, Francesca; Madonna, Stefania; Caravella, Sergio; Albanesi, Cristina; Novellino, Ettore; Marasco, Daniela

    2017-07-01

    Interleukin-22 (IL-22) belongs to the family of IL-10 cytokines and is involved in a wide number of human diseases, including inflammatory disorders and cancer pathology. The ligand-receptor complex IL-22/IL-22R plays a key role in several pathways especially in the regulation and resolution of immune responses. The identification of novel compounds able to modulate IL-22/IL-22R complex could open the route to new therapeutic strategies in multiple human diseases. In this study, we designed and characterized IL-22 derived peptides at protein interface regions: several sequences revealed able to interfere with the protein complex with IC 50 in the micromolar range as evaluated through Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) experiments. Their conformational characterization was carried out through Circular Dichroism (CD) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopies, shedding new light into the features of IL-22 fragments and on structural determinants of IL-22/IL-22R1 recognition. Finally, several peptides were tested on human keratinocyte cultures for evaluating their ability to mimic the activation of molecular pathways downstream to IL-22R in response to IL-22 binding. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.

  4. Targeted recombinant fusion proteins of IFNγ and mimetic IFNγ with PDGFβR bicyclic peptide inhibits liver fibrogenesis in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruchi Bansal

    Full Text Available Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs, following transdifferentiation to myofibroblasts plays a key role in liver fibrosis. Therefore, attempts to attenuate this myofibroblastic phenotype would be a promising therapeutic approach. Interferon gamma (IFNγ is a potent anti-fibrotic cytokine, but its pleiotropic receptor expression leading to severe adverse effects has limited its clinical application. Since, activated HSC express high-level of platelet derived growth factor beta receptor (PDGFβR, we investigated the potential of PDGFβR-specific targeting of IFNγ and its signaling peptide that lacks IFNγR binding site (mimetic IFNγ or mimIFNγ in liver fibrosis. We prepared DNA constructs expressing IFNγ, mimIFNγ or BiPPB (PDGFβR-specific bicyclic peptide-IFNγ, BiPPB-mimIFNγ fusion proteins. Both chimeric proteins alongwith IFNγ and mimIFNγ were produced in E.coli. The expressed proteins were purified and analyzed for PDGFβR-specific binding and in vitro effects. Subsequently, these recombinant proteins were investigated for the liver uptake (pSTAT1α signaling pathway, for anti-fibrotic effects and adverse effects (platelet counts in CCl4-induced liver fibrogenesis in mice. The purified HSC-targeted IFNγ and mimIFNγ fusion proteins showed PDGFβR-specific binding and significantly reduced TGFβ-induced collagen-I expression in human HSC (LX2 cells, while mouse IFNγ and mimIFNγ did not show any effect. Conversely, mouse IFNγ and BiPPB-IFNγ induced activation and dose-dependent nitric oxide release in mouse macrophages (express IFNγR while lack PDGFβR, which was not observed with mimIFNγ and BiPPB-mimIFNγ, due to the lack of IFNγR binding sites. In vivo, targeted BiPPB-IFNγ and BiPPB-mimIFNγ significantly activated intrahepatic IFNγ-signaling pathway compared to IFNγ and mimIFNγ suggesting increased liver accumulation. Furthermore, the targeted fusion proteins ameliorated liver fibrogenesis in mice by significantly reducing

  5. Design, synthesis, and validation of a β-turn mimetic library targeting protein-protein and peptide-receptor interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitby, Landon R; Ando, Yoshio; Setola, Vincent; Vogt, Peter K; Roth, Bryan L; Boger, Dale L

    2011-07-06

    The design and synthesis of a β-turn mimetic library as a key component of a small-molecule library targeting the major recognition motifs involved in protein-protein interactions is described. Analysis of a geometric characterization of 10,245 β-turns in the protein data bank (PDB) suggested that trans-pyrrolidine-3,4-dicarboxamide could serve as an effective and synthetically accessible library template. This was confirmed by initially screening select compounds against a series of peptide-activated GPCRs that recognize a β-turn structure in their endogenous ligands. This validation study was highlighted by identification of both nonbasic and basic small molecules with high affinities (K(i) = 390 and 23 nM, respectively) for the κ-opioid receptor (KOR). Consistent with the screening capabilities of collaborators and following the design validation, the complete library was assembled as 210 mixtures of 20 compounds, providing a total of 4200 compounds designed to mimic all possible permutations of 3 of the 4 residues in a naturally occurring β-turn. Unique to the design and because of the C(2) symmetry of the template, a typical 20 × 20 × 20-mix (8000 compounds prepared as 400 mixtures of 20 compounds) needed to represent 20 variations in the side chains of three amino acid residues reduces to a 210 × 20-mix, thereby simplifying the library synthesis and subsequent screening. The library was prepared using a solution-phase synthetic protocol with liquid-liquid or liquid-solid extractions for purification and conducted on a scale that insures its long-term availability for screening campaigns. Screening the library against the human opioid receptors (KOR, MOR, and DOR) identified not only the activity of library members expected to mimic the opioid receptor peptide ligands but also additional side-chain combinations that provided enhanced receptor binding selectivities (>100-fold) and affinities (as low as K(i) = 80 nM for KOR). A key insight to emerge from

  6. Modeling of arylamide helix mimetics in the p53 peptide binding site of hDM2 suggests parallel and anti-parallel conformations are both stable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonathan C Fuller

    Full Text Available The design of novel α-helix mimetic inhibitors of protein-protein interactions is of interest to pharmaceuticals and chemical genetics researchers as these inhibitors provide a chemical scaffold presenting side chains in the same geometry as an α-helix. This conformational arrangement allows the design of high affinity inhibitors mimicking known peptide sequences binding specific protein substrates. We show that GAFF and AutoDock potentials do not properly capture the conformational preferences of α-helix mimetics based on arylamide oligomers and identify alternate parameters matching solution NMR data and suitable for molecular dynamics simulation of arylamide compounds. Results from both docking and molecular dynamics simulations are consistent with the arylamides binding in the p53 peptide binding pocket. Simulations of arylamides in the p53 binding pocket of hDM2 are consistent with binding, exhibiting similar structural dynamics in the pocket as simulations of known hDM2 binders Nutlin-2 and a benzodiazepinedione compound. Arylamide conformations converge towards the same region of the binding pocket on the 20 ns time scale, and most, though not all dihedrals in the binding pocket are well sampled on this timescale. We show that there are two putative classes of binding modes for arylamide compounds supported equally by the modeling evidence. In the first, the arylamide compound lies parallel to the observed p53 helix. In the second class, not previously identified or proposed, the arylamide compound lies anti-parallel to the p53 helix.

  7. Mimetic Learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Wulf

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Mimetic learning, learning by imitation, constitutes one of the most important forms of learning. Mimetic learning does not, however, just denote mere imitation or copying: Rather, it is a process by which the act of relating to other persons and worlds in a mimetic way leads to an en-hancement of one’s own world view, action, and behaviour. Mimetic learning is productive; it is related to the body, and it establishes a connection between the individual and the world as well as other persons; it creates practical knowledge, which is what makes it constitutive of social, artistic, and practical action. Mimetic learning is cultural learning, and as such it is crucial to teaching and education (Wulf, 2004; 2005.

  8. Connexins and Disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Delmar, Mario; Laird, Dale W; Naus, Christian C

    2017-01-01

    Inherited or acquired alterations in the structure and function of connexin proteins have long been associated with disease. In the present work, we review current knowledge on the role of connexins in diseases associated with the heart, nervous system, cochlea, and skin, as well as cancer...... of connexins are fundamental components in the pathophysiology of multiple connexin related disorders, many of them highly debilitating and life threatening. Improved understanding of connexin biology has the potential to advance our understanding of mechanisms, diagnosis, and treatment of disease....

  9. EphrinA4 mimetic peptide targeted to EphA binding site impairs the formation of long-term fear memory in lateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dines, M; Lamprecht, R

    2014-09-30

    Fear conditioning leads to long-term fear memory formation and is a model for studying fear-related psychopathologies conditions such as phobias and posttraumatic stress disorder. Long-term fear memory formation is believed to involve alterations of synaptic efficacy mediated by changes in synaptic transmission and morphology in lateral amygdala (LA). EphrinA4 and its cognate Eph receptors are intimately involved in regulating neuronal morphogenesis, synaptic transmission and plasticity. To assess possible roles of ephrinA4 in fear memory formation we designed and used a specific inhibitory ephrinA4 mimetic peptide (pep-ephrinA4) targeted to EphA binding site. We show that this peptide, composed of the ephrinA4 binding domain, interacts with EphA4 and inhibits ephrinA4-induced phosphorylation of EphA4. Microinjection of the pep-ephrinA4 into rat LA 30 min before training impaired long- but not short-term fear conditioning memory. Microinjection of a control peptide derived from a nonbinding E helix site of ephrinA4, that does not interact with EphA, had no effect on fear memory formation. Microinjection of pep-ephrinA4 into areas adjacent to the amygdala had no effect on fear memory. Acute systemic administration of pep-ephrinA4 1 h after training also impaired long-term fear conditioning memory formation. These results demonstrate that ephrinA4 binding sites in LA are essential for long-term fear memory formation. Moreover, our research shows that ephrinA4 binding sites may serve as a target for pharmacological treatment of fear and anxiety disorders.

  10. Oral delivery of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3, synthetic peptide leptin mimetics: Immunofluorescent localization in the mouse hypothalamus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Brian M; Jacobson, Lauren; Novakovic, Zachary M; Grasso, Patricia

    2017-06-01

    This study describes the localization of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3, synthetic peptide leptin mimetics, in the hypothalamus of Swiss Webster and C57BL/6J wild-type mice, leptin-deficient ob/ob mice, and leptin-resistant diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. The mice were given [D-Leu-4]-OB3 or MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 in 0.3% dodecyl maltoside by oral gavage. Once peak serum concentrations were reached, the mice received a lethal dose of pentobarbital and were subjected to intracardiac perfusion fixation. The brains were excised, post-fixed in paraformaldehyde, and cryo-protected in sucrose. Free-floating frozen coronal sections were cut at 25-µm and processed for imaging by immunofluorescence microscopy. In all four strains of mice, dense staining was concentrated in the area of the median eminence, at the base and/or along the inner wall of the third ventricle, and in the brain parenchyma at the level of the arcuate nucleus. These results indicate that [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 cross the blood-brain barrier and concentrate in an area of the hypothalamus known to regulate energy balance and glucose homeostasis. Most noteworthy is the localization of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 immunoreactivity within the hypothalamus of DIO mice via a conduit that is closed to leptin in this rodent model, and in most cases of human obesity. Together with our previous studies describing the effects of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 on energy balance, glucose regulation, and signal transduction pathway activation, these findings are consistent with a central mechanism of action for these synthetic peptide leptin mimetics, and suggest their potential usefulness in the management of leptin-resistant obesity and type 2 diabetes in humans. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of an Aβ-antibody fragment on Aβ aggregation and astrocytic uptake are modulated by apolipoprotein E and J mimetic peptides.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laia Montoliu-Gaya

    Full Text Available Aβ-Immunotherapy has long been studied in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD, but not how other molecules involved in the disease can affect antibody performance. We previously designed an antibody fragment, scFv-h3D6, and showed that it precludes Aβ-induced cytotoxicity by withdrawing Aβ oligomers from the amyloid pathway towards a non-toxic, worm-like pathway. ScFv-h3D6 was effective at the behavioral, cellular, and molecular levels in the 3xTg-AD mouse model. Because scFv-h3D6 treatment restored apolipoprotein E (apoE and J (apoJ concentrations to non-pathological values, and Aβ internalization by glial cells was found to be decreased in the presence of these apolipoproteins, we now aimed to test the influence of scFv-h3D6 on Aβ aggregation and cellular uptake by primary human astrocytes in the presence of therapeutic apoE and apoJ mimetic peptides (MPs. Firstly, we demonstrated by CD and FTIR that the molecules used in this work were well folded. Next, interactions between apoE or apoJ-MP, scFv-h3D6 and Aβ were studied by CD. The conformational change induced by the interaction of Aβ with apoE-MP was much bigger than the induced with apoJ-MP, in line with the observed formation of protective worm-like fibrils by the scFv-h3D6/Aβ complex in the presence of apoJ-MP, but not of apoE-MP. ScFv-h3D6, apoJ-MP, and apoE-MP to a different extent reduced Aβ uptake by astrocytes, and apoE-MP partially interfered with the dramatic reduction by scFv-h3D6 while apoJ-MP had no effect on scFv-h3D6 action. As sustained Aβ uptake by astrocytes may impair their normal functions, and ultimately neuronal viability, this work shows another beneficence of scFv-h3D6 treatment, which is not further improved by the use of apoE or apoJ mimetic peptides.

  12. Apolipoprotein E-Mimetic Peptide COG1410 Promotes Autophagy by Phosphorylating GSK-3β in Early Brain Injury Following Experimental Subarachnoid Hemorrhage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinshen Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available COG1410, a mimetic peptide derived from the apolipoprotein E (apoE receptor binding region, exerts positive effect on neurological deficits in early brain injury (EBI after experimental subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH. Currently the neuroprotective effect of COG1410 includes inhibiting BBB disruption, reducing neuronal apoptosis, and neuroinflammation. However, the effect and mechanism of COG1410 to subcellular organelles disorder have not been fully investigated. As the main pathway for recycling long-lived proteins and damaged organelles, neuronal autophagy is activated in SAH and exhibits neuroprotective effects by reducing the insults of EBI. Pharmacologically elevated autophagy usually contributes to alleviated brain injury, while few of the agents achieved clinical transformation. In this study, we explored the activation of autophagy during EBI by measuring the Beclin-1 and LC3B-II protein levels. Administration of COG1410 notably elevated the autophagic markers expression in neurons, simultaneously reversed the neurological deficits. Furthermore, the up-regulated autophagy by COG1410 was further promoted by p-GSK-3β agonist, whereas decreased by p-GSK-3β inhibitor. Taken together, these data suggest that the COG1410 might be a promising therapeutic strategy for EBI via promoting autophagy in SAH.

  13. In silico-designed novel non-peptidic ABAD LD hot spot mimetics reverse Aβ-induced mitochondrial impairments in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viswanath, Ambily Nath Indu; Kim, TaeHun; Jung, Seo Yun; Lim, Sang Min; Pae, Ae Nim

    2017-12-01

    Present work aimed to introduce non-peptidic ABAD loop D (L D ) hot spot mimetics as ABAD-Aβ inhibitors. A full-length atomistic model of ABAD-Aβ complex was built as a scaffold to launch the lead design and its topology later verified by cross-checking the computational mutagenesis results with that of in vitro data. Thereafter, the interactions of prime Aβ-binding L D residues-Tyr101, Thr108, and Thr110-were translated into specific pharmacophore features and this hypothesis subsequently used as a virtual screen query. ELISA-based screening of 20 hits identified two promising lead candidates, VC15 and VC19 with an IC 50 of 4.4 ± 0.3 and 9.6 ± 0.1 μm, respectively. They productively reversed Aβ-induced mitochondrial dysfunctions such as mitochondrial membrane potential loss (JC-1 assay), toxicity (MTT assay), and ATP reduction (ATP assay) in addition to increased cell viabilities. This is the first reporting of L D hot spot-centric in silico scheme to discover novel compounds with promising ABAD-Aβ inhibitory potential. These chemotypes are proposed for further structural optimization to derive novel Alzheimer's disease (AD) therapeutics. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

  14. Rational and efficient preparation of a chimeric protein containing a tandem dimer of thrombopoietin mimetic peptide fused to human growth hormone in Escherichia coli.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Song; Shen, Mingqiang; Xu, Yang; Chen, Fang; Chen, Mo; Chen, Shilei; Wang, Aiping; Zhang, Zhou; Ran, Xinze; Cheng, Tianmin; Su, Yongping; Wang, Junping

    2013-04-01

    The 14-mer thrombopoietin mimetic peptide (TMP), especially in the form of dimer, displayed potent megakaryocytopoiesis activity in vitro. However, it is difficult to prepare such short peptide with high bioactivity through gene-engineering approaches. In this study, a chimeric protein containing a tandem dimer of TMP (dTMP) fused to human growth hormone (hGH), a kind of hematopoietic growth factor that activates the same signal pathways as thrombopoietin, was produced in Escherichia coli by soluble expression. By rational utilization of the XmnI and EcoRV restriction sites, a PCR fragment encoding dTMP-GH was inserted into the plasmid vector pMAL-p2X at the position right after Xa factor cleavage site, in frame with maltose-binding protein (MBP) gene. Under optimized conditions, a high-level expression of soluble MBP-dTMP-GH fusion protein was obtained. By application of amylose resin chromatography, Xa factor digestion, hydrophobic chromatography followed by gel filtration, the dTMP-GH fusion protein was separated. Finally, a relatively high yield of dTMP-GH fusion protein with high purity (>98%) and without redundant amino acid was achieved, as identified by high-performance liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, and amino acid sequencing. The functional assays showed that dTMP-GH could promote the proliferation of megakaryoblast cells and maturation of murine megakaryocytes derived from bone marrow, in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, an enhanced effect of dTMP-GH on megakaryocytopoiesis was found as compared with equimolar concentration of dTMP and rhGH. This work provides a new avenue to generate thrombopoietic agents based on TMP.

  15. Effects of Synthetic Neural Adhesion Molecule Mimetic Peptides and Related Proteins on the Cardiomyogenic Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruodan Xu

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Pluripotent stem cells differentiating into cardiomyocyte-like cells in an appropriate cellular environment have attracted significant attention, given the potential use of such cells for regenerative medicine. However, the precise mechanisms of lineage specification of pluripotent stem cells are still largely to be explored. Identifying the role of various small synthetic peptides involved in cardiomyogenesis may provide new insights into pathways promoting cardiomyogenesis. Methods: In the present study, using a transgenic murine embryonic stem (ES cell lineage expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP under the control of α-myosin heavy chain (α-MHC promoter (pαMHC-EGFP, we investigated the cardiomyogenic effects of 7 synthetic peptides (Betrofin3, FGLs, FGLL, hNgf_C2, EnkaminE, Plannexin and C3 on cardiac differentiation. The expression of several cardiac-specific markers was determined by RT-PCR whereas the structural and functional properties of derived cardiomyocytes were examined by immunofluorescence and electrophysiology, respectively. Results: The results revealed that Betrofin3, an agonist of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF peptide exerted the most striking pro-cardiomyogenic effect on ES cells. We found that BDNF receptor, TrkB expression was up-regulated during differentiation. Treatment of differentiating cells with Betrofin3 between days 3 and 5 enhanced the expression of cardiac-specific markers and improved cardiomyocyte differentiation and functionality as revealed by genes regulation, flow cytometry and patch clamp analysis. Thus Betrofin3 may exert its cardiomyogenic effects on ES cells via TrkB receptor. Conclusion: Taken together, the results suggest that Betrofin3 modulates BDNF signaling with positive cardiomyogenic effect in stage and dose-dependent manner providing an effective strategy to increase ES cell-based generation of cardiomyocytes and offer a novel therapeutic approach to

  16. Effect of an NCAM mimetic peptide FGL on impairment in spatial learning and memory after neonatal phencyclidine treatment in rats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Secher, Thomas; Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    treatment regimen where FGL was administered throughout development. Rats were tested as adults for spatial reference memory, reversal learning, and working memory in the Morris water maze. The PCP-treated rats demonstrated a robust impairment in working memory and reversal learning. However, the long-term......The FGL peptide is a neural cell adhesion molecule-derived fibroblast growth factor receptor agonist. FGL has both neurotrophic and memory enhancing properties. Neonatal phencyclidine (PCP) treatment on postnatal days 7, 9, and 11 has been shown to result in long-lasting behavioral abnormalities......, including cognitive impairment relevant to schizophrenia. The present study investigated the effect of FGL on spatial learning and memory deficits induced by neonatal PCP treatment. Rat pups were treated with 30mg/kg PCP on postnatal days 7, 9, and 11. Additionally, the rats were subjected to a chronic FGL...

  17. Impact of the NCAM derived mimetic peptide plannexin on the acute cellular consequences of a status epilepticus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zellinger, Christina; Hadamitzky, Martin; Bock, Elisabeth

    2011-01-01

    Plannexin represents a NCAM-derived peptide mimicking trans-homophilic NCAM interaction, which proved to exert neuroprotective effects in vitro. The effect of plannexin was evaluated in a rat status epilepticus model. As expected, prolonged seizure activity resulted in a pronounced cell loss...... in hippocampal subregions. The comparison between the vehicle- and plannexin-treated animals with status epilepticus did not reveal neuroprotective effects of plannexin on mature neurons. However, treatment with plannexin partially prevented the reduction in the number of doublecortin-labeled neuronal progenitor...... cells, which was evident 48h following status epilepticus. In conclusion, the data might give first evidence that plannexin can protect immature neurons in vivo. Future studies are necessary to evaluate whether disease-modifying or preventive effects are observed in models of epileptogenesis....

  18. Connexin mutants and cataracts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric C Beyer

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The lens is a multicellular, but avascular tissue that must stay transparent to allow normal transmission of light and focusing of it on the retina. Damage to lens cells and/or proteins can cause cataracts, opacities that disrupt these processes. The normal survival of the lens is facilitated by an extensive network of gap junctions formed predominantly of connexin46 and connexin50. Mutations of the genes that encode these connexins (GJA3 and GJA8 have been identified and linked to inheritance of cataracts in human families and mouse lines. In vitro expression studies of several of these mutants have shown that they exhibit abnormalities that may lead to disease. Many of the mutants reduce or modify intercellular communication due to channel alterations (including loss of function or altered gating or due to impaired cellular trafficking which reduces the number of gap junction channels within the plasma membrane. However, the abnormalities detected in studies of other mutants suggest that they cause cataracts through other mechanisms including gain of hemichannel function (leading to cell injury and death and formation of cytoplasmic accumulations (that may act as light scattering particles. These observations and the anticipated results of ongoing studies should elucidate the mechanisms of cataract development due to mutations of lens connexins and abnormalities of other lens proteins. They may also contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms of disease due to connexin mutations in other tissues.

  19. Binding of the fibronectin-mimetic peptide, PR_b, to α5β1 on pig islet cells increases fibronectin production and facilitates internalization of PR_b functionalized liposomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atchison, Nicole A.; Fan, Wei; Papas, Klearchos K.; Hering, Bernhard J.; Tsapatsis, Michael; Kokkoli, Efrosini

    2010-01-01

    Islet transplantation is a promising treatment for type 1 diabetes. Recent studies have demonstrated that human islet allografts can restore insulin independence to patients with this disease. As islet isolation and immunotherapeutic techniques improve, the demand for this cell-based therapy will dictate the need for other sources of islets. Pig islets could provide an unlimited supply for xenotransplantation and have shown promise as an alternative to human islet allografts. However, stresses imposed during islet isolation and transplantation decrease islet viability, leading to loss of graft function. In this study, we investigated the ability of a fibronectin-mimetic peptide, PR_b, which specifically binds to the α5β1 integrin, to reestablish lost extracellular matrix (ECM) around isolated pig islets and increase internalization of liposomes. Confocal microscopy and western blotting were used to show the presence of the integrin α5β1 on the pig islets on day 0 (day of isolation), as well as different days of islet culture. Islets cultured in medium supplemented with free PR_b for 48 hours were found to have increased levels of ECM fibronectin secretion compared to islets in normal culture conditions. Using confocal microscopy and flow cytometry we found that PR_b peptide-amphiphile functionalized liposomes delivered to the pig islets internalized into the cells in a PR_b concentration dependent manner, and non-functionalized liposomes showed minimal internalization. These studies proved that the fibronectin-mimetic peptide, PR_b, is an appropriate peptide bullet for applications involving α5β1 expressing pig islet cells. Fibronectin production stimulated through α5β1 PR_b binding may decrease apoptosis and therefore increase islet viability in culture. In addition, PR_b peptide-amphiphile functionalized liposomes may be used for targeted delivery of different agents to pig islet cells. PMID:20704278

  20. NCAM Mimetic Peptides: An Update

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Berezin, Vladimir; Bock, Elisabeth

    2008-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is involved in multiple, relatively low affinity interactions with itself and with other cell surface receptors and growth factors. Its cytoplasmic domains do not posses any intrinsic enzymatic activity, which makes it difficult to develop reliable...... in vitro and in vivo, making them attractive pharmacological tools suitable for drug development for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders and impaired memory....

  1. Connexin Hemichannels in Astrocytes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Brian Skriver; Hansen, Daniel Bloch; Ransom, Bruce R.

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli are repo...... selectivity. We expect that some, or all, of the controversies discussed here will be resolved by future research and sincerely hope that this review serves to motivate such clarifying investigations.......Astrocytes in the mammalian central nervous system are interconnected by gap junctions made from connexins of the subtypes Cx30 and Cx43. These proteins may exist as hemichannels in the plasma membrane in the absence of a ‘docked’ counterpart on the neighboring cell. A variety of stimuli....... Published studies about astrocyte hemichannel behavior, however, have been highly variable and/or contradictory. The field of connexin hemichannel research has been complicated by great variability in the experimental preparations employed, a lack of highly specific pharmacological inhibitors...

  2. Mimetic discretization methods

    CERN Document Server

    Castillo, Jose E

    2013-01-01

    To help solve physical and engineering problems, mimetic or compatible algebraic discretization methods employ discrete constructs to mimic the continuous identities and theorems found in vector calculus. Mimetic Discretization Methods focuses on the recent mimetic discretization method co-developed by the first author. Based on the Castillo-Grone operators, this simple mimetic discretization method is invariably valid for spatial dimensions no greater than three. The book also presents a numerical method for obtaining corresponding discrete operators that mimic the continuum differential and

  3. Chronic stress in adulthood followed by intermittent stress impairs spatial memory and the survival of newborn hippocampal cells in aging animals: prevention by FGL, a peptide mimetic of neural cell adhesion molecule

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Borcel, Erika; Pérez-Alvarez, Laura; Herrero, Ana Isabel

    2008-01-01

    In this study, we examined whether chronic stress in adulthood can exert long-term effects on spatial-cognitive abilities and on the survival of newborn hippocampal cells in aging animals. Male Wistar rats were subjected to chronic unpredictable stress at midlife (12 months old) and then reexposed...... in the hippocampus. Interestingly, spatial-memory performance in the Morris water maze was positively correlated with the number of newborn cells that survived in the dentate gyrus: better spatial memory in the water maze was associated with more 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU)-labeled cells. Administration of FGL......, a peptide mimetic of neural cell adhesion molecule, during the 4 weeks of continuous stress not only prevented the deleterious effects of chronic stress on spatial memory, but also reduced the survival of the newly generated hippocampal cells in aging animals. FGL treatment did not, however, prevent...

  4. Connexins and the kidney

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hanner, Fiona; Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Holstein-Rathlou, Niels-Henrik

    2010-01-01

    Connexins (Cxs) are widely-expressed proteins that form gap junctions in most organs, including the kidney. In the renal vasculature, Cx37, Cx40, Cx43, and Cx45 are expressed, with predominant expression of Cx40 in the endothelial cells and Cx45 in the vascular smooth muscle cells. In the tubules......, the major function of Cxs in the kidney appears to be intercellular communication, although they may also form hemichannels that allow cellular secretion of large signaling molecules. Renal Cxs facilitate vascular conduction, juxtaglomerular apparatus calcium signaling, and tubular purinergic signaling....... Accordingly, current evidence points to roles for these Cxs in several important regulatory mechanisms in the kidney, including the renin angiotensin system, tubuloglomerular feedback, and salt and water reabsorption. At the systemic level, renal Cxs may help regulate blood pressure and may be involved...

  5. Unimodular-mimetic cosmology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nojiri, S; Odintsov, S D; Oikonomou, V K

    2016-01-01

    We combine the unimodular gravity and mimetic gravity theories into a unified theoretical framework, which is proposed to provide a suggestive proposal for a framework that may assist in the discussion and search for a solution to the cosmological constant problem and the dark matter issue. After providing the formulation of the unimodular mimetic gravity and investigating all the new features that the vacuum unimodular gravity implies, by using the underlying reconstruction method, we realize some well known cosmological evolutions, with some of these being exotic for the ordinary Einstein–Hilbert gravity. Specifically we provide the vacuum unimodular mimetic gravity description of the de Sitter cosmology and of the perfect fluid with constant equation of state cosmology. As we demonstrate, these cosmologies can be realized by vacuum mimetic unimodular gravity, without the existence of any matter fluid source. Moreover, we investigate how cosmologically viable cosmologies, which are compatible with the recent observational data, can be realized by the vacuum unimodular mimetic gravity. Since in some cases, a graceful exit from inflation problem might exist, we provide a qualitative description of the mechanism that can potentially generate the graceful exit from inflation in these theories, by searching for the unstable de Sitter solutions in the context of unimodular mimetic theories of gravity. (paper)

  6. [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3, small molecule synthetic peptide leptin mimetics, improve glycemic control in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Anke; Anderson, Brian M; Novakovic, Zachary M; Grasso, Patricia

    2018-03-01

    We have previously shown that following oral delivery in dodecyl maltoside (DDM), [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and its myristic acid conjugate, MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3, improved energy balance and glucose homeostasis in genetically obese/diabetic mouse models. More recently, we have provided immunohistochemical evidence indicating that these synthetic peptide leptin mimetics cross the blood-brain barrier and concentrate in the area of the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus in normal C57BL/6J and Swiss Webster mice, in genetically obese ob/ob mice, and in diet-induced obese (DIO) mice. In the present study, we describe the effects of oral delivery of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 on glycemic control in diet-induced (DIO) mice, a non-genetic rodent model of obesity and its associated insulin resistance, which more closely recapitulates common obesity and diabetes in humans. Male C57BL/6J and DIO mice, 17, 20, and 28 weeks of age, were maintained on a low-fat or high-fat diet and given vehicle (DDM) alone or [D-Leu-4]-OB3 or MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 in DDM by oral gavage for 12 or 14 days. Body weight gain, food and water intake, fasting blood glucose, oral glucose tolerance, and serum insulin levels were measured. Our data indicate that (1) [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 restore glucose tolerance in male DIO mice maintained on a high-fat diet to levels comparable to those of non-obese C57BL/6J wild-type mice of the same age and sex maintained on a low-fat diet; and (2) the influence of [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 on glycemic control appears to be independent of their effects on energy balance. These results suggest that [D-Leu-4]-OB3 and/or MA-[D-Leu-4]-OB3 may have application to the management of the majority of cases of common obesity in humans, a state characterized at least in part, by leptin resistance resulting from a defect in leptin transport across the blood-brain barrier. They further suggest that these small molecule synthetic peptide leptin mimetics, through their

  7. Structural Basis for Species Selectivity in the HIV-1 gp120-CD4 Interaction: Restoring Affinity to gp120 in Murine CD4 Mimetic Peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristin Kassler

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The first step of HIV-1 infection involves interaction between the viral glycoprotein gp120 and the human cellular receptor CD4. Inhibition of the gp120-CD4 interaction represents an attractive strategy to block HIV-1 infection. In an attempt to explore the known lack of affinity of murine CD4 to gp120, we have investigated peptides presenting the putative gp120-binding site of murine CD4 (mCD4. Molecular modeling indicates that mCD4 protein cannot bind gp120 due to steric clashes, while the larger conformational flexibility of mCD4 peptides allows an interaction. This finding is confirmed by experimental binding assays, which also evidenced specificity of the peptide-gp120 interaction. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the mCD4-peptide stably interacts with gp120 via an intermolecular β-sheet, while an important salt-bridge formed by a C-terminal lysine is lost. Fixation of the C-terminus by introducing a disulfide bridge between the N- and C-termini of the peptide significantly enhanced the affinity to gp120.

  8. Apolipoprotein A-1 mimetic peptide 4F promotes endothelial repairing and compromises reendothelialization impaired by oxidized HDL through SR-B1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan He

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Disruption of endothelial monolayer integrity is the primary instigating factor for many cardiovascular diseases. High density lipoprotein (HDL oxidized by heme enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO is dysfunctional in promoting endothelial repair. Apolipoprotein A-1 mimetic 4F with its pleiotropic benefits has been proven effective in many in vivo models. In this study we investigated whether 4F promotes endothelial repair and restores the impaired function of oxidized HDL (Cl/NO2-HDL in promoting re-endothelialization. We demonstrate that 4F and Cl/NO2-HDL act on scavenger receptor type I (SR-B1 using human aorta endothelial cells (HAEC and SR-B1 (-/- mouse aortic endothelial cells. Wound healing, transwell migration, lamellipodia formation and single cell migration assay experiments show that 4F treatment is associated with a recovery of endothelial cell migration and associated with significantly increased endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS activity, Akt phosphorylation and SR-B1 expression. 4F increases NO generation and diminishes oxidative stress. In vivo, 4F can stimulate cell proliferation and re-endothelialization in the carotid artery after treatment with Cl/NO2-HDL in a carotid artery electric injury model but fails to do so in SR-B1(-/- mice. These findings demonstrate that 4F promotes endothelial cell migration and has a potential therapeutic benefit against early endothelial injury in cardiovascular diseases.

  9. Mimetic finite difference method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lipnikov, Konstantin; Manzini, Gianmarco; Shashkov, Mikhail

    2014-01-01

    The mimetic finite difference (MFD) method mimics fundamental properties of mathematical and physical systems including conservation laws, symmetry and positivity of solutions, duality and self-adjointness of differential operators, and exact mathematical identities of the vector and tensor calculus. This article is the first comprehensive review of the 50-year long history of the mimetic methodology and describes in a systematic way the major mimetic ideas and their relevance to academic and real-life problems. The supporting applications include diffusion, electromagnetics, fluid flow, and Lagrangian hydrodynamics problems. The article provides enough details to build various discrete operators on unstructured polygonal and polyhedral meshes and summarizes the major convergence results for the mimetic approximations. Most of these theoretical results, which are presented here as lemmas, propositions and theorems, are either original or an extension of existing results to a more general formulation using polyhedral meshes. Finally, flexibility and extensibility of the mimetic methodology are shown by deriving higher-order approximations, enforcing discrete maximum principles for diffusion problems, and ensuring the numerical stability for saddle-point systems.

  10. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mathieu Charvériat

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the “tripartite synapse” with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial

  11. Connexin-Dependent Neuroglial Networking as a New Therapeutic Target.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charvériat, Mathieu; Naus, Christian C; Leybaert, Luc; Sáez, Juan C; Giaume, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Astrocytes and neurons dynamically interact during physiological processes, and it is now widely accepted that they are both organized in plastic and tightly regulated networks. Astrocytes are connected through connexin-based gap junction channels, with brain region specificities, and those networks modulate neuronal activities, such as those involved in sleep-wake cycle, cognitive, or sensory functions. Additionally, astrocyte domains have been involved in neurogenesis and neuronal differentiation during development; they participate in the "tripartite synapse" with both pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neurons by tuning down or up neuronal activities through the control of neuronal synaptic strength. Connexin-based hemichannels are also involved in those regulations of neuronal activities, however, this feature will not be considered in the present review. Furthermore, neuronal processes, transmitting electrical signals to chemical synapses, stringently control astroglial connexin expression, and channel functions. Long-range energy trafficking toward neurons through connexin-coupled astrocytes and plasticity of those networks are hence largely dependent on neuronal activity. Such reciprocal interactions between neurons and astrocyte networks involve neurotransmitters, cytokines, endogenous lipids, and peptides released by neurons but also other brain cell types, including microglial and endothelial cells. Over the past 10 years, knowledge about neuroglial interactions has widened and now includes effects of CNS-targeting drugs such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, psychostimulants, or sedatives drugs as potential modulators of connexin function and thus astrocyte networking activity. In physiological situations, neuroglial networking is consequently resulting from a two-way interaction between astrocyte gap junction-mediated networks and those made by neurons. As both cell types are modulated by CNS drugs we postulate that neuroglial networking may emerge as

  12. Molecular imaging of alpha v beta3 integrin expression in atherosclerotic plaques with a mimetic of RGD peptide grafted to Gd-DTPA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burtea, Carmen; Laurent, Sophie; Murariu, Oltea; Rattat, Dirk; Toubeau, Gérard; Verbruggen, Alfons; Vansthertem, David; Vander Elst, Luce; Muller, Robert N

    2008-04-01

    -to-noise ratio, and the low immunogenicity of the mimetic molecule highlight its potential for an industrial and clinical implementation.

  13. 1,2,3-Triazole Rings as a Disulfide Bond Mimetic in Chimeric AGRP-Melanocortin Peptides: Design, Synthesis, and Functional Characterization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tala, Srinivasa R; Singh, Anamika; Lensing, Cody J; Schnell, Sathya M; Freeman, Katie T; Rocca, James R; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie

    2018-05-16

    The melanocortin system is involved in the regulation of complex physiological functions, including energy and weight homeostasis, feeding behavior, inflammation, sexual function, pigmentation, and exocrine gland function. The five melanocortin receptors that belong to the superfamily of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are regulated by endogenously expressed agonists and antagonists. The aim of this study was to explore the potential of replacing the disulfide bridge in chimeric AGRP-melanocortin peptide Tyr-c[Cys-His-d-Phe-Arg-Trp-Asn-Ala-Phe-Cys]-Tyr-NH 2 (1) with 1,2,3-triazole moieties. A series of 1,2,3-triazole-bridged peptidomimetics were designed, synthesized, and pharmacologically evaluated at the mouse melanocortin receptors. The ligands possessed nanomolar to micromolar agonist cAMP signaling potency. A key finding was that the disulfide bond in peptide 1 can be replaced with the monotriazole ring with minimal effect on the functional activity at the melanocortin receptors. The 1,5-disubstituted triazole-bridged peptide 6 showed equipotent functional activity at the mMC3R and modest 5-fold decreased agonist potency at the mMC4R compared to those of 1. Interestingly, the 1,4- and 1,5-disubstituted isomers of the triazole ring resulted in different selectivities at the receptor subtypes, indicating subtle structural features that may be exploited in the generation of selective melanocortin ligands. Introducing cyclic and acyclic bis-triazole moieties into chimeric AGRP template 1 generally decreased agonist activity. These results will be useful for the further design of neuronal chemical probes for the melanocortin receptors as well as in other receptor systems.

  14. [Incretin mimetic drugs: therapeutic positioning].

    Science.gov (United States)

    López Simarro, F

    2014-07-01

    Type 2 diabetes is a chronic and complex disease, due to the differences among affected individuals, which affect choice of treatment. The number of drug families has increased in the last few years, and these families have widely differing mechanisms of action, which contributes greatly to the individualization of treatment according to the patient's characteristics and comorbidities. The present article discusses incretin mimetic drugs. Their development has been based on knowledge of the effects of natural incretin hormones: GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1), GIP (glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide) and dipeptidyl peptidase enzyme 4 (DPP4), which rapidly degrade them in the systemic circulation. This group is composed of 2 different types of molecules: GLP-1 analogs and DPP4 enzyme inhibitors. The benefits of these molecules include a reduction in plasma glucose without the risk of hypoglycemias or weight gain. There are a series of questions that require new studies to establish a possible association between the use of these drugs and notification of cases of pancreatitis, as well as their relationship with pancreatic and thyroid cancer. Also awaited is the publication of several studies that will provide information on the relationship between these drugs and cardiovascular risk in people with diabetes. All these questions will probably be progressively elucidated with greater experience in the use of these drugs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier España, S.L.U. y Sociedad Española de Medicina Rural y Generalista (SEMERGEN). All rights reserved.

  15. Aspartate and glutamate mimetic structures in biologically active compounds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stefanic, Peter; Dolenc, Marija Sollner

    2004-04-01

    Glutamate and aspartate are frequently recognized as key structural elements for the biological activity of natural peptides and synthetic compounds. The acidic side-chain functionality of both the amino acids provides the basis for the ionic interaction and subsequent molecular recognition by specific receptor sites that results in the regulation of physiological or pathophysiological processes in the organism. In the development of new biologically active compounds that possess the ability to modulate these processes, compounds offering the same type of interactions are being designed. Thus, using a peptidomimetic design approach, glutamate and aspartate mimetics are incorporated into the structure of final biologically active compounds. This review covers different bioisosteric replacements of carboxylic acid alone, as well as mimetics of the whole amino acid structure. Amino acid analogs presented include those with different distances between anionic moieties, and analogs with additional functional groups that result in conformational restriction or alternative interaction sites. The article also provides an overview of different cyclic structures, including various cycloalkane, bicyclic and heterocyclic analogs, that lead to conformational restriction. Higher di- and tripeptide mimetics in which carboxylic acid functionality is incorporated into larger molecules are also reviewed. In addition to the mimetic structures presented, emphasis in this article is placed on their steric and electronic properties. These mimetics constitute a useful pool of fragments in the design of new biologically active compounds, particularly in the field of RGD mimetics and excitatory amino acid agonists and antagonists.

  16. Gap junctions and connexin-interacting proteins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G

    2004-01-01

    Gap junctions form channels between adjacent cells. The core proteins of these channels are the connexins. Regulation of gap junction communication (GJC) can be modulated by connexin-associating proteins, such as regulatory protein phosphatases and protein kinases, of which c-Src is the

  17. Instabilities in mimetic matter perturbations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Firouzjahi, Hassan; Gorji, Mohammad Ali [School of Astronomy, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences (IPM), P.O. Box 19395-5531, Tehran (Iran, Islamic Republic of); Mansoori, Seyed Ali Hosseini, E-mail: firouz@ipm.ir, E-mail: gorji@ipm.ir, E-mail: shosseini@shahroodut.ac.ir, E-mail: shossein@ipm.ir [Physics Department, Shahrood University of Technology, P.O. Box 3619995161 Shahrood (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2017-07-01

    We study cosmological perturbations in mimetic matter scenario with a general higher derivative function. We calculate the quadratic action and show that both the kinetic term and the gradient term have the wrong sings. We perform the analysis in both comoving and Newtonian gauges and confirm that the Hamiltonians and the associated instabilities are consistent with each other in both gauges. The existence of instabilities is independent of the specific form of higher derivative function which generates gradients for mimetic field perturbations. It is verified that the ghost instability in mimetic perturbations is not associated with the higher derivative instabilities such as the Ostrogradsky ghost.

  18. Cardioprotection by Conditioning Mimetic Drugs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santillo, Elpidio; Migale, Monica; Postacchini, Demetrio; Balestrini, Fabrizio; Incalzi, Raffaele Antonelli

    2016-01-01

    At present, ischemic heart disease (IHD) is one of the main causes of morbidity and mortality world-wide. An important insight into both IHD pathophysiology and cardioprotection was achieved in 1986 when Murry et al. described for the first time the ischemic preconditioning (IP). IP can be defined as an innate phenomenon by which brief episodes of ischemia confer protection to a tissue from a subsequent more protracted ischemic insult. Suggested mechanisms explaining IP comprise the action of circulating substances (e.g. adenosine, bradykinin, nitric oxide). These mediators are released after a prolonged ischemic stress, causing activation of molecular pathways that induce favorable posttranslational changes of proteins and adaptive modifications in genetic expression. Briefly review evidences from clinical studies on drugs that exert their effects by mimicking IP, discussing their therapeutic properties and the potential clinical employment in order to obtain cardioprotection. Literature regarding IP mimicking pharmacological agents was searched in Medline and Google Scholar. Authors reviewed relevant researches in English language including both clinical studies and reviews of clinical studies published from 1986 to 2016. Several pharmacological agents reproducing IP protective actions have been evaluated in many clinical trials. Examined molecules include adenosine, nicorandil and atrial natriuretic peptide. Interestingly IP mimicking effects of drugs have been also analyzed perioperatively in the context of ischaemia-reperfusion heart injury. Moreover evidences suggest that also some anaesthetic drugs (especially volatile agents) are able to provide myocardial protection by inducing IP. Drugs capable of mimicking IP exhibit a high therapeutic potential because of their properties of eliciting an effective cardioprotective signaling. Future studies should clarify the optimal doses and timing of administration of IP mimetic agents in order to favor the advent of

  19. Joint diseases: from connexins to gap junctions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donahue, Henry J; Qu, Roy W; Genetos, Damian C

    2017-12-19

    Connexons form the basis of hemichannels and gap junctions. They are composed of six tetraspan proteins called connexins. Connexons can function as individual hemichannels, releasing cytosolic factors (such as ATP) into the pericellular environment. Alternatively, two hemichannel connexons from neighbouring cells can come together to form gap junctions, membrane-spanning channels that facilitate cell-cell communication by enabling signalling molecules of approximately 1 kDa to pass from one cell to an adjacent cell. Connexins are expressed in joint tissues including bone, cartilage, skeletal muscle and the synovium. Indicative of their importance as gap junction components, connexins are also known as gap junction proteins, but individual connexin proteins are gaining recognition for their channel-independent roles, which include scaffolding and signalling functions. Considerable evidence indicates that connexons contribute to the function of bone and muscle, but less is known about the function of connexons in other joint tissues. However, the implication that connexins and gap junctional channels might be involved in joint disease, including age-related bone loss, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, emphasizes the need for further research into these areas and highlights the therapeutic potential of connexins.

  20. Regulation of connexin26 and connexin43 expression in rat endometrium by ovarian steroid hormones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grümmer, R; Chwalisz, K; Mulholland, J; Traub, O; Winterhager, E

    1994-12-01

    A distinct spatial and temporal pattern of connexin26 and connexin43 (cx26 and cx43) expression was observed in the rat endometrium in response to embryo implantation; however, connexin expression was suppressed during the preimplantation period. Pseudopregnant rats did not show connexin mRNA, while artificial decidualization induced by a scratch led to a strong expression of cx26 and cx43 in the endometrium of these animals. In order to examine the regulatory effects of ovarian steroid hormones on connexin expression, ovariectomized rats were treated with progesterone (P) and/or estradiol-17 beta (E2). Untreated, ovariectomized animals expressed mRNA for cx43, but not for cx26. Endometrial expression of mRNA for both connexins was strongly enhanced by E2 treatment; immunolabeling revealed protein for cx26 in the uterine luminal epithelial cells and for cx43 in the uterine stromal cells. P treatment, either alone or in combination with E2, suppressed expression of connexin mRNA. P suppression in the presence of E2 was reversible when P was withdrawn. When administered on Days 0-2 of pregnancy, the antiprogestin onapristone inhibited the effect of P and gave rise to strong expression of both connexin transcripts. These results demonstrate that expression of cx26 and cx43 in the rat uterine endometrium is differentially regulated by E2 and P during early pregnancy.

  1. Gap junction protein connexin-43 interacts directly with microtubules

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Hengeveld, T; Janssen, H; Calafat, J; Falk, M M; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are specialized cell-cell junctions that mediate intercellular communication. They are composed of connexin proteins, which form transmembrane channels for small molecules [1, 2]. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated

  2. Astrocyte sigma-1 receptors modulate connexin 43 expression leading to the induction of below-level mechanical allodynia in spinal cord injured mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sheu-Ran; Roh, Dae-Hyun; Yoon, Seo-Yeon; Kwon, Soon-Gu; Choi, Hoon-Seong; Han, Ho-Jae; Beitz, Alvin J; Lee, Jang-Hern

    2016-12-01

    We have previously shown using a spinal cord injury (SCI) model that gap junctions contribute to the early spread of astrocyte activation in the lumbar spinal cord and that this astrocyte communication plays critical role in the induction of central neuropathic pain. Sigma-1 receptors (Sig-1Rs) have been implicated in spinal astrocyte activation and the development of peripheral neuropathic pain, yet their contribution to central neuropathic pain remains unknown. Thus, we investigated whether SCI upregulates spinal Sig-1Rs, which in turn increase the expression of the astrocytic gap junction protein, connexin 43 (Cx43) leading to the induction of central neuropathic pain. A thoracic spinal cord hemisection significantly increased both astrocyte activation and Cx43 expression in lumbar dorsal horn. Sig-1Rs were also increased in lumbar dorsal horn astrocytes, but not neurons or microglia. Intrathecal injection of an astrocyte metabolic inhibitor (fluorocitrate); a gap junction/hemichannel blocker (carbenoxolone); or a Cx43 mimetic peptide ( 43 Gap26) significantly reduced SCI-induced bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Blockade of Sig-1Rs with BD1047 during the induction phase of pain significantly suppressed the SCI-induced development of mechanical allodynia, astrocyte activation, increased expression of Cx43 in both total and membrane levels, and increased association of Cx43 with Sig-1R. However, SCI did not change the expression of oligodendrocyte (Cx32) or neuronal (Cx36) gap junction proteins. These findings demonstrate that SCI activates astrocyte Sig-1Rs leading to increases in the expression of the gap junction protein, Cx43 and astrocyte activation in the lumbar dorsal horn, and ultimately contribute to the induction of bilateral below-level mechanical allodynia. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Connexin43 gene and its irradiation-induced expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Long Xianhui; Zhou Pingkun

    2005-01-01

    Gap junctions, composed of connexin protein subunits, provide the important channel for the intercellular communication. Connexin43, the most popular component of the connexin protein family, is widely expressed in multiple tissues and cell lines and plays an important role in cell proliferation, differention and tissue homeostasis. Recently it was reported that the expression of connexin43 gene is remarkedly up-regulated by low dose ionizing radiation, the available data suggest connexin43 gene to be a poten-tial sensitive bio-marker in radiation damage. (authors)

  4. Cosmological dynamics of mimetic gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Jibitesh; Khyllep, Wompherdeiki; Saridakis, Emmanuel N.; Tamanini, Nicola; Vagnozzi, Sunny

    2018-02-01

    We present a detailed investigation of the dynamical behavior of mimetic gravity with a general potential for the mimetic scalar field. Performing a phase-space and stability analysis, we show that the scenario at hand can successfully describe the thermal history of the universe, namely the successive sequence of radiation, matter, and dark-energy eras. Additionally, at late times the universe can either approach a de Sitter solution, or a scaling accelerated attractor where the dark-matter and dark-energy density parameters are of the same order, thus offering an alleviation of the cosmic coincidence problem. Applying our general analysis to various specific potential choices, including the power-law and the exponential ones, we show that mimetic gravity can be brought into good agreement with the observed behavior of the universe. Moreover, with an inverse square potential we find that mimetic gravity offers an appealing unified cosmological scenario where both dark energy and dark matter are characterized by a single scalar field, and where the cosmic coincidence problem is alleviated.

  5. Bio-mimetic Flow Control

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Haecheon

    2009-11-01

    Bio-mimetic engineering or bio-mimetics is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology (from Wikipedia). The concept itself is old, but successful developments have been made recently, especially in the research field of flow control. The objective of flow control based on the bio-mimetic approach is to develop novel concepts for reducing drag, increasing lift and enhancing aerodynamic performance. For skin friction reduction, a few ideas have been suggested such as the riblet from shark, compliant surface from dolphin, microbubble injection and multiple front-body curvature from penguin, and V-shaped protrusion from sailfish. For form drag reduction, several new attempts have been also made recently. Examples include the V-shaped spanwise grooves from saguaro cactus, overall shape of box fish, longitudinal grooves on scallop shell, bill of swordfish, hooked comb on owl wing, trailing-edge protrusion on dragonfly wing, and fillet. For the enhancement of aerodynamic performance, focuses have been made on the birds, fish and insects: e.g., double layered feather of landing bird, leading-edge serration of humpback-whale flipper, pectoral fin of flying fish, long tail on swallowtail-butterfly wing, wing flapping motion of dragonfly, and alula in birds. Living animals adapt their bodies to better performance in multi purposes, but engineering requires single purpose in most cases. Therefore, bio-mimetic approaches often produce excellent results more than expected. However, they are sometimes based on people's wrong understanding of nature and produce unwanted results. Successes and failures from bio-mimetic approaches in flow control will be discussed in the presentation.

  6. Connexins, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamelin, Romain; Allagnat, Florent; Haefliger, Jacques-Antoine; Meda, Paolo

    2009-02-01

    Diabetes and the related metabolic syndrome are multi system disorders that result from improper interactions between various cell types. Even though the underlying mechanism remains to be fully understood, it is most likely that both the long and the short distance range cell interactions, which normally ensure the physiologic functioning of the pancreas, and its relationships with the insulin-targeted organs, are altered. This review focuses on the short-range type of interactions that depend on the contact between adjacent cells and, specifically, on the interactions that are dependent on connexins. The widespread distribution of these membrane proteins, their multiple modes of action, and their interactions with conditions/molecules associated to both the pathogenesis and the treatment of the 2 main forms of diabetes and the metabolic syndrome, make connexins an essential part of the chain of events that leads to metabolic diseases. Here, we review the present state of knowledge about the molecular and cell biology of the connexin genes and proteins, their general mechanisms of action, the roles specific connexin species play in the endocrine pancreas and the major insulin-targeted organs, under physiological and patho-physiological conditions.

  7. Bioactive self-assembled peptide nanofibers for corneal stroma regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uzunalli, G; Soran, Z; Erkal, T S; Dagdas, Y S; Dinc, E; Hondur, A M; Bilgihan, K; Aydin, B; Guler, M O; Tekinay, A B

    2014-03-01

    Defects in the corneal stroma caused by trauma or diseases such as macular corneal dystrophy and keratoconus can be detrimental for vision. Development of therapeutic methods to enhance corneal regeneration is essential for treatment of these defects. This paper describes a bioactive peptide nanofiber scaffold system for corneal tissue regeneration. These nanofibers are formed by self-assembling peptide amphiphile molecules containing laminin and fibronectin inspired sequences. Human corneal keratocyte cells cultured on laminin-mimetic peptide nanofibers retained their characteristic morphology, and their proliferation was enhanced compared with cells cultured on fibronectin-mimetic nanofibers. When these nanofibers were used for damaged rabbit corneas, laminin-mimetic peptide nanofibers increased keratocyte migration and supported stroma regeneration. These results suggest that laminin-mimetic peptide nanofibers provide a promising injectable, synthetic scaffold system for cornea stroma regeneration. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Connexin 32 and connexin 43 are involved in lineage restriction of hepatic progenitor cells to hepatocytes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haiyun Pei

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bi-potential hepatic progenitor cells can give rise to both hepatocytes and cholangiocytes, which is the last phase and critical juncture in terms of sequentially hepatic lineage restriction from any kind of stem cells. If their differentiation can be controlled, it might access to functional hepatocytes to develop pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries as well as cell therapies for end-stage liver diseases. Methods In this study, we investigated the influence of Cx32 and Cx43 on hepatocyte differentiation of WB-F344 cells by in vitro gain and loss of function analyses. An inhibitor of Cx32 was also used to make further clarification. To reveal p38 MAPK pathway is closely related to Cxs, rats with 70% partial hepatectomy were injected intraperitoneally with a p38 inhibitor, SB203580. Besides, the effects of p38 MAPK pathway on differentiation of hepatoblasts isolated from fetal rat livers were evaluated by addition of SB203580 in culture medium. Results In vitro gain and loss of function analyses showed overexpression of Connexin 32 and knockdown of Connexin 43 promoted hepatocytes differentiation from hepatic progenitor cells. In addition, in vitro and ex vivo research revealed inhibition of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway can improve hepatocytes differentiation correlating with upregulation of Connexin 32 expression and downregulation of Connexin 43 expression. Conclusions Here we demonstrate that Connexins play crucial roles in facilitating differentiation of hepatic progenitors. Our work further implicates that regulators of Connexins and their related pathways might provide new insights to improve lineage restriction of stem cells to mature hepatocytes.

  9. Detailed regulatory mechanism of the interaction between ZO-1 PDZ2 and connexin43 revealed by MD simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fei Xiao

    Full Text Available The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43 binds to the second PDZ domain of Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1 through its C-terminal tail, mediating the regulation of gap junction plaque size and dynamics. Biochemical study demonstrated that the very C-terminal 12 residues of Cx43 are necessary and sufficient for ZO-1 PDZ2 binding and phosphorylation at residues Ser (-9 and Ser (-10 of the peptide can disrupt the association. However, only a crystal structure of ZO-1 PDZ2 in complex with a shorter 9 aa peptide of connexin43 was solved experimentally. Here, the interactions between ZO-1 PDZ2 and the short, long and phosphorylated Cx43 peptides were studied using molecular dynamics (MD simulations and free energy calculation. The short peptide bound to PDZ2 exhibits large structural variations, while the extension of three upstream residues stabilizes the peptide conformation and enhanced the interaction. Phosphorylation at Ser(-9 significantly weakens the binding and results in conformational flexibility of the peptide. Glu210 of ZO-1 PDZ2 was found to be a key regulatory point in Cx43 binding and phosphorylation induced dissociation.

  10. Human Lactoferricin Is Partially Folded in Aqueous Solution and Is Better Stabilized in a Membrane Mimetic Solvent

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Howard N.; Demcoe, A. Ross; Jenssen, Håvard; Gutteberg, Tore J.; Vogel, Hans J.

    2005-01-01

    Lactoferricins are highly basic bioactive peptides that are released in the stomach through proteolytic cleavage of various lactoferrin proteins. Here we have determined the solution structure of human lactoferricin (LfcinH) by conventional two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance methods in both aqueous solution and a membrane mimetic solvent. Unlike the 25-residue bovine lactoferricin (LfcinB), which adopts a somewhat distorted antiparallel β sheet, the longer LfcinH peptide shows a helical content from Gln14 to Lys29 in the membrane mimetic solvent but a nonexistent β-sheet character in either the N- or C-terminal regions of the peptide. The helical characteristic of the LfcinH peptide resembles the conformation that this region adopts in the crystal structure of the intact protein. The LfcinH structure determined in aqueous solution displays a nascent helix in the form of a coiled conformation in the region from Gln14 to Lys29. Numerous hydrophobic interactions create the basis for the better-defined overall structure observed in the membrane mimetic solvent. The 49-residue LfcinH peptide isolated for these studies was found to be slightly longer than previously reported peptide preparations and was found to have an intact peptide bond between residues Ala11 and Val12. The distinct solution structures of LfcinH and LfcinB represent a novel difference in the physical properties of these two peptides, which contributes to their unique physiological activities. PMID:16048952

  11. Molecular interaction of connexin 30.3 and connexin 31 suggests a dominant-negative mechanism associated with erythrokeratodermia variabilis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Plantard, Laure; Huber, Marcel; Macari, Francoise

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are homologous four-transmembrane-domain proteins and major components of gap junctions. We recently identified mutations in either GJB3 or GJB4 genes, encoding respectively connexin 31 (Cx31) or 30.3 (Cx30.3), as causally involved in erythrokeratodermia variabilis (EKV), a mostly autos...

  12. Research progress of nanoparticles as enzyme mimetics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, XiaoNa; Liu, JianBo; Hou, Shuai; Wen, Tao; Liu, WenQi; Zhang, Ke; He, WeiWei; Ji, YingLu; Ren, HongXuan; Wang, Qi; Wu, XiaoChun

    2011-10-01

    Natural enzymes as biological catalysts possess remarkable advantages, especially their highly efficient and selective catalysis under mild conditions. However, most natural enzymes are proteins, thus exhibiting an inherent low durability to harsh reaction conditions. Artificial enzyme mimetics have been pursued extensively to avoid this drawback. Quite recently, some inorganic nanoparticles (NPs) have been found to exhibit unique enzyme mimetics. In addition, their much higher stability overcomes the inherent disadvantage of natural enzymes. Furthermore, easy mass-production and low cost endow them more benefits. As a new member of artificial enzyme mimetics, they have received intense attention. In this review article, major progress in this field is summarized and future perspectives are highlighted.

  13. Connexins in Prostate Cancer Initiation and Progression

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-11-01

    Connexin43 in the Failing Heart . Circ Res, 106, 1153-1163. 69. Bejiarno,E., Girao,H., Yuste,A., Patel,B., Marques,C., Spray,D., Pereira,P., and...Roth C, Warkany J (1953) An analysis of the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitam A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at...the syndrome of malformations induced by maternal vitamin A deficeincy. Effects of restoriation of vitamin A at varruous times during gestation. Am J

  14. Gap junction protein connexin43 exacerbates lung vascular permeability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James J O'Donnell

    Full Text Available Increased vascular permeability causes pulmonary edema that impairs arterial oxygenation and thus contributes to morbidity and mortality associated with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and sepsis. Although components of intercellular adhesive and tight junctions are critical for maintaining the endothelial barrier, there has been limited study of the roles of gap junctions and their component proteins (connexins. Since connexins can modulate inflammatory signaling in other systems, we hypothesized that connexins may also regulate pulmonary endothelial permeability. The relationships between connexins and the permeability response to inflammatory stimuli were studied in cultured human pulmonary endothelial cells. Prolonged treatment with thrombin, lipopolysaccharide, or pathological cyclic stretch increased levels of mRNA and protein for the major connexin, connexin43 (Cx43. Thrombin and lipopolysaccharide both increased intercellular communication assayed by transfer of microinjected Lucifer yellow. Although thrombin decreased transendothelial resistance in these cells, the response was attenuated by pretreatment with the connexin inhibitor carbenoxolone. Additionally, the decreases of transendothelial resistance produced by either thrombin or lipopolysaccharide were attenuated by reducing Cx43 expression by siRNA knockdown. Both carbenoxolone and Cx43 knockdown also abrogated thrombin-induced phosphorylation of myosin light chain. Taken together, these data suggest that increased lung vascular permeability induced by inflammatory conditions may be amplified via increased expression of Cx43 and intercellular communication among pulmonary endothelial cells.

  15. Amyloid-beta induced CA1 pyramidal cell loss in young adult rats is alleviated by systemic treatment with FGL, a neural cell adhesion molecule-derived mimetic peptide.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola J Corbett

    Full Text Available Increased levels of neurotoxic amyloid-beta in the brain are a prominent feature of Alzheimer's disease. FG-Loop (FGL, a neural cell adhesion molecule-derived peptide that corresponds to its second fibronectin type III module, has been shown to provide neuroprotection against a range of cellular insults. In the present study impairments in social recognition memory were seen 24 days after a 5 mg/15 µl amyloid-beta(25-35 injection into the right lateral ventricle of the young adult rat brain. This impairment was prevented if the animal was given a systemic treatment of FGL. Unbiased stereology was used to investigate the ability of FGL to alleviate the deleterious effects on CA1 pyramidal cells of the amyloid-beta(25-35 injection. NeuN, a neuronal marker (for nuclear staining was used to identify pyramidal cells, and immunocytochemistry was also used to identify inactive glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK3β and to determine the effects of amyloid-beta(25-35 and FGL on the activation state of GSK3β, since active GSK3β has been shown to cause a range of AD pathologies. The cognitive deficits were not due to hippocampal atrophy as volume estimations of the entire hippocampus and its regions showed no significant loss, but amyloid-beta caused a 40% loss of pyramidal cells in the dorsal CA1 which was alleviated partially by FGL. However, FGL treatment without amyloid-beta was also found to cause a 40% decrease in CA1 pyramidal cells. The action of FGL may be due to inactivation of GSK3β, as an increased proportion of CA1 pyramidal neurons contained inactive GSK3β after FGL treatment. These data suggest that FGL, although potentially disruptive in non-pathological conditions, can be neuroprotective in disease-like conditions.

  16. Mechanism for modulation of gating of connexin26-containing channels by taurine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kieken, Fabien; Tao, Liang; Sorgen, Paul L.; Harris, Andrew L.

    2011-01-01

    The mechanisms of action of endogenous modulatory ligands of connexin channels are largely unknown. Previous work showed that protonated aminosulfonates (AS), notably taurine, directly and reversibly inhibit homomeric and heteromeric channels that contain Cx26, a widely distributed connexin, but not homomeric Cx32 channels. The present study investigated the molecular mechanisms of connexin channel modulation by taurine, using hemichannels and junctional channels composed of Cx26 (homomeric) and Cx26/Cx32 (heteromeric). The addition of a 28–amino acid “tag” to the carboxyl-terminal domain (CT) of Cx26 (Cx26T) eliminated taurine sensitivity of homomeric and heteromeric hemichannels in cells and liposomes. Cleavage of all but four residues of the tag (Cx26Tc) resulted in taurine-induced pore narrowing in homomeric hemichannels, and restored taurine inhibition of heteromeric hemichannels (Cx26Tc/Cx32). Taurine actions on junctional channels were fully consistent with those on hemichannels. Taurine-induced inhibition of Cx26/Cx32T and nontagged Cx26 junctional channels was blocked by extracellular HEPES, a blocker of the taurine transporter, confirming that the taurine-sensitive site of Cx26 is cytoplasmic. Nuclear magnetic resonance of peptides corresponding to Cx26 cytoplasmic domains showed that taurine binds to the cytoplasmic loop (CL) and not the CT, and that the CT and CL directly interact. ELISA showed that taurine disrupts a pH-dependent interaction between the CT and the CT-proximal half of the CL. These studies reveal that AS disrupt a pH-driven cytoplasmic interdomain interaction in Cx26-containing channels, causing closure, and that the Cx26CT has a modulatory role in Cx26 function. PMID:21844220

  17. Different domains are critical for oligomerization compatibility of different connexins

    Science.gov (United States)

    MARTÍNEZ, Agustín D.; MARIPILLÁN, Jaime; ACUÑA, Rodrigo; MINOGUE, Peter J.; BERTHOUD, Viviana M.; BEYER, Eric C.

    2011-01-01

    Oligomerization of connexins is a critical step in gap junction channel formation. Some members of the connexin family can oligomerize with other members and form functional heteromeric hemichannels [e.g. Cx43 (connexin 43) and Cx45], but others are incompatible (e.g. Cx43 and Cx26). To find connexin domains important for oligomerization, we constructed chimaeras between Cx43 and Cx26 and studied their ability to oligomerize with wild-type Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26. HeLa cells co-expressing Cx43, Cx45 or Cx26 and individual chimaeric constructs were analysed for interactions between the chimaeras and the wild-type connexins using cell biological (subcellular localization by immunofluorescence), functional (intercellular diffusion of microinjected Lucifer yellow) and biochemical (sedimentation velocity through sucrose gradients) assays. All of the chimaeras containing the third transmembrane domain of Cx43 interacted with wild-type Cx43 on the basis of co-localization, dominant-negative inhibition of intercellular communication, and altered sedimentation velocity. The same chimaeras also interacted with co-expressed Cx45. In contrast, immunofluorescence and intracellular diffusion of tracer suggested that other domains influenced oligomerization compatibility when chimaeras were co-expressed with Cx26. Taken together, these results suggest that amino acids in the third transmembrane domain are critical for oligomerization with Cx43 and Cx45. However, motifs in different domains may determine oligomerization compatibility in members of different connexin subfamilies. PMID:21348854

  18. Selection of ligand peptides with the ability to detect antibodies in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Peptides present in phages were selected using phage display technology and immunoassays to find out the antigenic mimetics of immunodominant epitopes of bovine leukosis virus (BLV). The use of antigenic mimetics may result in the enhancement of the sensitivity and specificity of the serologic diagnosis of enzootic ...

  19. Fibronectin- and collagen-mimetic ligands regulate bone marrow stromal cell chondrogenesis in three-dimensional hydrogels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    JT Connelly

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Modification of tissue engineering scaffolds with bioactive molecules is a potential strategy for modulating cell behavior and guiding tissue regeneration. While adhesion to RGD peptides has been shown to inhibit in vitro chondrogenesis, the effects of extracellular matrix (ECM-mimetic ligands with complex secondary and tertiary structures are unknown. This study aimed to determine whether collagen- and fibronectin-mimetic ligands would retain biologic functionality in three-dimensional (3D hydrogels, whether different ECM-mimetic ligands differentially influence in vitro chondrogenesis, and if effects of ligands on differentiation depend on soluble biochemical stimuli. A linear RGD peptide, a recombinant fibronectin fragment containing the seven to ten Type III repeats (FnIII7-10 and a triple helical, collagen mimetic peptide with the GFOGER motif were covalently coupled to agarose gels using the sulfo-SANPAH crosslinker, and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs were cultured within the 3D hydrogels. The ligands retained biologic functionality within the agarose gels and promoted density-dependent BMSC spreading. Interactions with all adhesive ligands inhibited stimulation by chondrogenic factors of collagen Type II and aggrecan mRNA levels and deposition of sulfated glycosaminoglycans. In medium containing fetal bovine serum, interactions with the GFOGER peptide enhanced mRNA expression of the osteogenic gene osteocalcin whereas FnIII7-10 inhibited osteocalcin expression. In conclusion, modification of agarose hydrogels with ECM-mimetic ligands can influence the differentiation of BMSCs in a manner that depends strongly on the presence and nature of soluble biochemical stimuli.

  20. Inhibition of connexin43 hemichannels impairs spatial short-term memory without affecting spatial working memory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Walrave

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Astrocytes are active players in higher brain function as they can release gliotransmitters, which are essential for synaptic plasticity. Various mechanisms have been proposed for gliotransmission, including vesicular mechanisms as well as non-vesicular ones, for example by passive diffusion via connexin hemichannels (HCs. We here investigated whether interfering with connexin43 (Cx43 HCs influenced hippocampal spatial memory. We made use of the peptide Gap19 that blocks HCs but not gap junction channels and is specific for Cx43. To this end, we microinfused transactivator of transcription linked Gap19 (TAT-Gap19 into the brain ventricle of male NMRI mice and assessed spatial memory in a Y maze. We found that the in vivo blockade of Cx43 HCs did not affect the locomotor activity or spatial working memory in a spontaneous alternation Y maze task. Cx43 blockade did however significantly impair the spatial short-term memory in a delayed spontaneous alternation Y maze task. These results indicate that Cx43 HCs play a role in spatial short-term memory.

  1. Connexin-43 interactions with ZO-1 and alpha- and beta-tubulin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Verlaan, I; Moolenaar, W H

    2001-01-01

    Gap junctions are composed of connexins that form transmembrane channels between adjacent cells. The C-terminal tail of connexin-43 (Cx43), the most widely expressed connexin member, has been implicated in the regulation of Cx43 channel gating. Interestingly, channel-independent processes regulated

  2. Plasma levels of glucagon like peptide-1 associate with diastolic function in elderly men

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nathanson, D; Zethelius, B; Berne, C

    2011-01-01

    Congestive heart failure is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in diabetes. Besides the glycaemic effects of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) mimetics, their effects on the heart are of interest....

  3. Antibody mimetics: promising complementary agents to animal-sourced antibodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baloch, Abdul Rasheed; Baloch, Abdul Wahid; Sutton, Brian J; Zhang, Xiaoying

    2016-01-01

    Despite their wide use as therapeutic, diagnostic and detection agents, the limitations of polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies have inspired scientists to design the next generation biomedical agents, so-called antibody mimetics that offer many advantages over conventional antibodies. Antibody mimetics can be constructed by protein-directed evolution or fusion of complementarity-determining regions through intervening framework regions. Substantial progress in exploiting human, butterfly (Pieris brassicae) and bacterial systems to design and select mimetics using display technologies has been made in the past 10 years, and one of these mimetics [Kalbitor® (Dyax)] has made its way to market. Many challenges lie ahead to develop mimetics for various biomedical applications, especially those for which conventional antibodies are ineffective, and this review describes the current characteristics, construction and applications of antibody mimetics compared to animal-sourced antibodies. The possible limitations of mimetics and future perspectives are also discussed.

  4. Antimicrobial beta-peptides and alpha-peptoids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Godballe, Troels; Nilsson, Line L.; Petersen, Pernille D.

    2011-01-01

    candidates is derived from naturally occurring antimicrobial peptides. However, despite promising results in early-stage clinical trials, these molecules have faced some difficulties securing FDA approval, which can be linked to their poor metabolic stability. Hence, mimetics of these antimicrobial peptides...

  5. Fluoxetin Upregulates Connexin 43 Expression in Astrocyte

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hossein Mostafavi

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Recent studies have shown that astrocytes play major roles in normal and disease condition of the central nervous system including multiple sclerosis (MS. Molecular target therapy studies in MS have revealed that connexin-43 (Cx43 and Aquaporin-4 (AQP4 contents of astrocytes undergo expression alteration. Fluoxetine had some effects in MS patients unrelated to its known antidepressant effects. Some of fluoxetine effects were attributed to its capability of cAMP signaling pathway stimulation. This study aimed to investigate possible acute effects of fluoxetine on Cx43 and AQP4 expression in astrocyte.  Methods: Astrocytoma cells were treated for 24 hours with fluoxetine (10 and 20 &mug/ml with or without adenyl cyclase (AC and protein kinase A (PKA inhibition. Cx43 expression at both mRNA and protein levels and AQP4 expression at mRNA level were evaluated.  Results: Acquired results showed that fluoxetine with and without AC and PKA inhibition resulted in Cx43 up-regulation both in mRNA and protein levels, whereas AQP4 expression have not changed.  Discussion: In conclusion, data showed that fluoxetine alone and in the absence of serotonin acutely up-regulated Cx43 expression in astrocytes that can be assumed in molecular target therapy of MS patients. It seems that cAMP involvement in fluoxetine effects need more researches.

  6. Synthesis, molecular docking and biological evaluation as HDAC inhibitors of cyclopeptide mimetics by a tandem three-component reaction and intramolecular [3+2] cycloaddition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirali, Tracey; Faccio, Valeria; Mossetti, Riccardo; Grolla, Ambra A; Di Micco, Simone; Bifulco, Giuseppe; Genazzani, Armando A; Tron, Gian Cesare

    2010-02-01

    Novel macrocyclic peptide mimetics have been synthesized by exploiting a three-component reaction and an azide-alkyne [3 + 2] cycloaddition. The prepared compounds were screened as HDAC inhibitors allowing us to identify a new compound with promising biological activity. In order to rationalize the biological results, computational studies have also been performed.

  7. Apolipoprotein E Mimetic Promotes Functional and Histological Recovery in Lysolecithin-Induced Spinal Cord Demyelination in Mice

    OpenAIRE

    Gu, Zhen; Li, Fengqiao; Zhang, Yi Ping; Shields, Lisa B.E.; Hu, Xiaoling; Zheng, Yiyan; Yu, Panpan; Zhang, Yongjie; Cai, Jun; Vitek, Michael P.; Shields, Christopher B.

    2014-01-01

    Objective Considering demyelination is the pathological hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), reducing demyelination and/or promoting remyelination is a practical therapeutic strategy to improve functional recovery for MS. An apolipoprotein E (apoE)-mimetic peptide COG112 has previously demonstrated therapeutic efficacy on functional and histological recovery in a mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of human MS. In the current study, we further investigated whether COG1...

  8. Oestrogene mimetic isoflavones’ pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anca Dragomirescu,

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Genisteine is the most abundant and the most studied estrogen-mimetic izoflavone. It's chemical formula is 4',5,7 – trihidroxyisoflavone. It has also estrogen-modulated properties by its binding ability to the beta type estrogen receptor. Genisteine presents the following farmacodinamic effects: antiaterogen effect, prevention of estrogen-dependent cancers, especially breast cancer, prevention of skin aging body, osteoprogen effect, prevention of osteoporosis at the menopauses women. Despite all these real benefits, there are also many adverse effects, registered both in humans and animals. Thus, the sheep feeding with some Fabaceae species, containing estrogen-mimetic isoflavones were stopped their reproductive function(isoflavones acted as an oral contraceptive. In humans, phytoestroges influence is still under evaluation, being suspected effects such as cerebral involution - via abusive apoptosis - or disturbance in hormonal status, in male children. All these are added to already known allergies, caused by soy proteins.

  9. Differential Connexin Function Enhances Self-Renewal in Glioblastoma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Hitomi

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available The coordination of complex tumor processes requires cells to rapidly modify their phenotype and is achieved by direct cell-cell communication through gap junction channels composed of connexins. Previous reports have suggested that gap junctions are tumor suppressive based on connexin 43 (Cx43, but this does not take into account differences in connexin-mediated ion selectivity and intercellular communication rate that drive gap junction diversity. We find that glioblastoma cancer stem cells (CSCs possess functional gap junctions that can be targeted using clinically relevant compounds to reduce self-renewal and tumor growth. Our analysis reveals that CSCs express Cx46, while Cx43 is predominantly expressed in non-CSCs. During differentiation, Cx46 is reduced, while Cx43 is increased, and targeting Cx46 compromises CSC maintenance. The difference between Cx46 and Cx43 is reflected in elevated cell-cell communication and reduced resting membrane potential in CSCs. Our data demonstrate a pro-tumorigenic role for gap junctions that is dependent on connexin expression.

  10. Connexins and pannexins: New insights into microglial functions and dysfunctions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosario Gajardo-Gómez

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In a physiological context, microglia adopt a resting phenotype that is associated with the production of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors. In response to a wide variety of insults, they shift to the activated phenotype that is necessary for the proper restoration of brain homeostasis. When the intensity of the threat is relatively high, microglial activation can worsen the damage progression instead of providing protection, with potentially significant consequences for neuronal survival. Coordinated interactions among microglia and with other brain cells, including astrocytes and neurons, is critical for the development of timely and optimal inflammatory responses in the brain parenchyma. Tissue synchronization is in part mediated by connexins and pannexins, which are protein families that form different plasma membrane channels to communicate with neighboring cells. At one end, the gap junction channels (which are exclusively formed by connexins in vertebrates connect the cytoplasm of contacting cells to coordinate electrical and metabolic coupling. At the other end, hemichannels and pannexons (which are formed by connexins and pannexins, respectively communicate via intra- and extracellular compartments and serve as diffusion pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules. In this review, we discuss the evidence available concerning the functional expression and regulation of connexin- and pannexin-based channels in microglia and their contribution to microglial function and dysfunction. We focus on the possible implications of these channels in microglia-to-microglia, microglia-to-astrocyte and neuron-to-microglia interactions in the inflamed brain.

  11. Connexin43 orthologues in vertebrates: phylogeny from fish to man

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.; van Eijk, Marleen; Wilders, Ronald; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Opthof, Tobias

    2004-01-01

    The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) is widely expressed in all vertebrate species; however, in ventricular myocardium, Cx43 expression is restricted to mammalian species only, where it provides the molecular correlate for both electrical conduction and synchronization of the repolarization

  12. Association of connexin43 with a receptor protein tyrosine phosphatase

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, Ben N G; Feiken, Elles; Gebbink, Martijn F B G; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2003-01-01

    Connexin-43(Cx43)-based gap junctional communication is transiently inhibited by certain G protein-coupled receptor agonists, including lysophosphatidic acid, endothelin and thrombin. Our previous studies have implicated the c-Src protein tyrosine kinase in mediating closure of Cx43 based gap

  13. Connexin-based intercellular communication and astrocyte heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theis, Martin; Giaume, Christian

    2012-12-03

    This review gives an overview of the current knowledge on connexin-mediated communication in astrocytes, covering gap junction and hemichannel functions mediated by connexins. Astroglia is the main brain cell type that expresses the largest amount of connexin and exhibits high level of gap junctional communication compared to neurons and oligodendrocytes. However, in certain developmental and regional situations, astrocytes are also coupled with oligodendrocytes and neurons. This heterotypic coupling is infrequent and minor in terms of extent of the coupling area, which does not mean that it is not important in terms of cell interaction. Here, we present an update on heterogeneity of connexin expression and function at the molecular, subcellular, cellular and networking levels. Interestingly, while astrocytes were initially considered as a homogenous population, there is now increasing evidence for morphological, developmental, molecular and physiological heterogeneity of astrocytes. Consequently, the specificity of gap junction channel- and hemichannel-mediated communication, which tends to synchronize cell populations, is also a parameter to take into account when neuroglial interactions are investigated. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Electrical Synapses. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. NEC violation in mimetic cosmology revisited

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Ijjas

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In the context of Einstein gravity, if the null energy condition (NEC is satisfied, the energy density in expanding space–times always decreases while in contracting space–times the energy density grows and the universe eventually collapses into a singularity. In particular, no non-singular bounce is possible. It is, though, an open question if this energy condition can be violated in a controlled way, i.e., without introducing pathologies, such as unstable negative-energy states or an imaginary speed of sound. In this letter, we will re-examine the claim that the recently proposed mimetic scenario can violate the NEC without pathologies. We show that mimetic cosmology is prone to gradient instabilities even in cases when the NEC is satisfied (except for trivial examples. Most interestingly, the source of the instability is always the Einstein–Hilbert term in the action. The matter stress-energy component does not contribute spatial gradient terms but instead makes the problematic curvature modes dynamical. We also show that mimetic cosmology can be understood as a singular limit of known, well-behaved theories involving higher-derivative kinetic terms and discuss ways of removing the instability.

  15. Progress of Mimetic Enzymes and Their Applications in Chemical Sensors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Bin; Li, Jianping; Deng, Huan; Zhang, Lianming

    2016-11-01

    The need to develop innovative and reformative approaches to synthesize chemical sensors has increased in recent years because of demands for selectivity, stability, and reproducibility. Mimetic enzymes provide an efficient and convenient method for chemical sensors. This review summarizes the application of mimetic enzymes in chemical sensors. Mimetic enzymes can be classified into five categories: hydrolases, oxidoreductases, transferases, isomerases, and induced enzymes. Potential and recent applications of mimetic enzymes in chemical sensors are reviewed in detail, and the outlook of profound development has been illustrated.

  16. Colocalization of connexin 36 and corticotropin-releasing hormone in the mouse brain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ribeiro Ana C

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Gap junction proteins, connexins, are expressed in most endocrine and exocrine glands in the body and are at least in some glands crucial for the hormonal secretion. To what extent connexins are expressed in neurons releasing hormones or neuropeptides from or within the central nervous system is, however, unknown. Previous studies provide indirect evidence for gap junction coupling between subsets of neuropeptide-containing neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN of the hypothalamus. Here we employ double labeling and retrograde tracing methods to investigate to what extent neuroendocrine and neuropeptide-containing neurons of the hypothalamus and brainstem express the neuronal gap junction protein connexin 36. Results Western blot analysis showed that connexin 36 is expressed in the PVN. In bacterial artificial chromosome transgenic mice, which specifically express the reporter gene Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP under the control of the connexin 36 gene promoter, EGFP expression was detected in magnocellular (neuroendocrine and in parvocellular neurons of the PVN. Although no EGFP/connexin36 expression was seen in neurons containing oxytocin or vasopressin, EGFP/connexin36 was found in subsets of PVN neurons containing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH, and in somatostatin neurons located along the third ventricle. Moreover, CRH neurons in brainstem areas, including the lateral parabrachial nucleus, also expressed EGFP/connexin 36. Conclusion Our data indicate that connexin 36 is expressed in subsets of neuroendocrine and CRH neurons in specific nuclei of the hypothalamus and brainstem.

  17. Black hole solutions in mimetic Born-Infeld gravity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Che-Yu [National Taiwan University, Department of Physics and Center for Theoretical Sciences, Taipei (China); LeCosPA, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Bouhmadi-Lopez, Mariam [University of the Basque Country UPV/EHU, Department of Theoretical Physics, Bilbao (Spain); IKERBASQUE, Basque Foundation for Science, Bilbao (Spain); Chen, Pisin [National Taiwan University, Department of Physics and Center for Theoretical Sciences, Taipei (China); LeCosPA, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Stanford University, Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Stanford, CA (United States)

    2018-01-15

    The vacuum, static, and spherically symmetric solutions in the mimetic Born-Infeld gravity are studied. The mimetic Born-Infeld gravity is a reformulation of the Eddington-inspired-Born-Infeld (EiBI) model under the mimetic approach. Due to the mimetic field, the theory contains non-trivial vacuum solutions different from those in Einstein gravity. We find that with the existence of the mimetic field, the spacelike singularity inside a Schwarzschild black hole could be altered to a lightlike singularity, even though the curvature invariants still diverge at the singularity. Furthermore, in this case, the maximal proper time for a timelike radially-infalling observer to reach the singularity is found to be infinite. (orig.)

  18. Black hole solutions in mimetic Born-Infeld gravity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Che-Yu; Bouhmadi-López, Mariam; Chen, Pisin

    2018-01-01

    The vacuum, static, and spherically symmetric solutions in the mimetic Born-Infeld gravity are studied. The mimetic Born-Infeld gravity is a reformulation of the Eddington-inspired-Born-Infeld (EiBI) model under the mimetic approach. Due to the mimetic field, the theory contains non-trivial vacuum solutions different from those in Einstein gravity. We find that with the existence of the mimetic field, the spacelike singularity inside a Schwarzschild black hole could be altered to a lightlike singularity, even though the curvature invariants still diverge at the singularity. Furthermore, in this case, the maximal proper time for a timelike radially-infalling observer to reach the singularity is found to be infinite.

  19. Connexin 50 Mutation Lowers Blood Pressure in Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šeda, Ondřej; Liška, F.; Pravenec, Michal; Vernerová, Z.; Kazdová, L.; Křenová, D.; Zídek, Václav; Šedová, Lucie; Krupková, M.; Křen, V.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 1 (2017), s. 15-28 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP301/12/0696 Institutional support: RVO:68378050 ; RVO:67985823 Keywords : Connexin * Hypertension * Transcriptome * Animal models * Insulin resistance Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems; Cardiac and Cardiovascular systems (FGU-C) Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  20. Targeting connexin 43 in diabetic wound healing: Future perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bajpai S

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available The unknown mechanisms of impaired tissue repair in diabetes mellitus are making this disease a serious clinical problem for the physicians worldwide. The lacuna in the knowledge of the etiology of diabetic wounds necessitates more focused research in order to develop new targeting tools with higher efficacy for their effective management. Gap-junction proteins, connexins, have shown some promising results in the process of diabetic wound healing. Till now the role of connexins has been implicated in peripheral neuropathy, deafness, skin disorders, cataract, germ cell development and treatment of cancer. Recent findings have revealed that gap junctions play a key role in normal as well as diabetic wound healing. The purpose of this review is to provide the information related to etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation of diabetic wounds and to analyze the role of connexin 43 (Cx43 in the diabetic wound healing process. The current control strategies and the future research challenges have also been discussed briefly in this review.

  1. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    OpenAIRE

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-01-01

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mob...

  2. Large-scale structure in mimetic Horndeski gravity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroja, Frederico; Okumura, Teppei; Bartolo, Nicola; Karmakar, Purnendu; Matarrese, Sabino

    2018-05-01

    In this paper, we propose to use the mimetic Horndeski model as a model for the dark universe. Both cold dark matter (CDM) and dark energy (DE) phenomena are described by a single component, the mimetic field. In linear theory, we show that this component effectively behaves like a perfect fluid with zero sound speed and clusters on all scales. For the simpler mimetic cubic Horndeski model, if the background expansion history is chosen to be identical to a perfect fluid DE (PFDE) then the mimetic model predicts the same power spectrum of the Newtonian potential as the PFDE model with zero sound speed. In particular, if the background is chosen to be the same as that of LCDM, then also in this case the power spectrum of the Newtonian potential in the mimetic model becomes indistinguishable from the power spectrum in LCDM on linear scales. A different conclusion may be found in the case of non-adiabatic perturbations. We also discuss the distinguishability, using power spectrum measurements from LCDM N-body simulations as a proxy for future observations, between these mimetic models and other popular models of DE. For instance, we find that if the background has an equation of state equal to ‑0.95 then we will be able to distinguish the mimetic model from the PFDE model with unity sound speed. On the other hand, it will be hard to do this distinction with respect to the LCDM model.

  3. Synthesis, analysis, and cytotoxic effects of novel SMAC-based peptides

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Georgieva, M.; Dzimbova, T.; Sázelová, Petra; Detcheva, R.; Kašička, Václav; Momekov, G.; Pajpanova, T.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 47, č. 8 (2015), s. 1687 ISSN 0939-4451. [International Congress on Amino Acids , Peptides and Proteins /14./. 03.08.2015-07.08.2015, Vienna] Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : apoptotic peptides * SMAC-mimetics * capillary electrophoresis Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation

  4. Connexins and pannexins in the integumentary system: the skin and appendages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faniku, Chrysovalantou; Wright, Catherine S; Martin, Patricia E

    2015-08-01

    The integumentary system comprises the skin and its appendages, which includes hair, nails, feathers, sebaceous and eccrine glands. In this review, we focus on the expression profile of connexins and pannexins throughout the integumentary system in mammals, birds and fish. We provide a picture of the complexity of the connexin/pannexin network illustrating functional importance of these proteins in maintaining the integrity of the epidermal barrier. The differential regulation and expression of connexins and pannexins during skin renewal, together with a number of epidermal, hair and nail abnormalities associated with mutations in connexins, emphasize that the correct balance of connexin and pannexin expression is critical for maintenance of the skin and its appendages with both channel and non-channel functions playing profound roles. Changes in connexin expression during both hair and feather regeneration provide suggestions of specialized communication compartments. Finally, we discuss the potential use of zebrafish as a model for connexin skin biology, where evidence mounts that differential connexin expression is involved in skin patterning and pigmentation.

  5. Role of Connexin40 in the autoregulatory response of the afferent arteriole

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Charlotte Mehlin; Giese, Isaiah; Braunstein, Thomas Hartig

    2012-01-01

    Connexins in renal arterioles affect autoregulation of arteriolar tonus and renal blood flow and are believed to be involved in the transmission of the tubuloglomerular feedback (TGF) response across the cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. Connexin40 (Cx40) also plays a significant role in th...

  6. The Mimetic Principle in the Underground Economy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Voicu

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available There has been in the recent years an increased preoccupation at international level for the research of the mechanism of development of the underground economy. The numerous vain attempts to measure the dimension of the underground economy persuaded us to embark on a qualitative research of this economic phenomenon. In our investigation on the roots of the underground economy we drew very close to the psychological and sociological aspects of the phenomenon itself. The process of humanizing that has at its origin components of the mimetic principle, like acquisitive mimesis, prompt us to ponder over J.M. Keynes’ words: „The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual ambition that one feels rewarded for.”

  7. Connexin 43 Communication Channels in Follicular Dendritic Cell Development and in Follicular Lymphomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hajnalka Rajnai

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Follicular dendritic cells (FDC show homo- and heterocellular metabolic coupling through connexin 43 (Cx43 gap junctions and support B cell selection and maturation in germinal centers. In follicular lymphomas B cells escape apoptosis while FDC develop abnormally. Here we tested Cx43 channels in reactive FDC development and follicular lymphomas. In culture, the treatment of FDC-B cell clusters (resembling to “ex vivo” germinal centers with Gap27 peptide, mimicking the 2nd extracellular loop of Cx43 protein, significantly impaired FDC-B cell cluster formation and cell survival. In untreated cultures of intact clusters, cell proliferation showed a moderate reduction. In tissues, Cx43 protein levels run parallel with the density of FDC both in reactive germinal centers and in malformed follicles of follicular lymphomas and showed strong upregulation in newly generated and/or degrading bi-/multinuclear FDC of rudimentary processes. However, the inverse correlation between Cx43 expression and B cell proliferation seen in reactive germinal centers was not detected in follicular lymphomas. Furthermore, Cx43 levels were not associated with either lymphoma grade or bone marrow involvement. Our results suggest that Cx43 channels are critical in FDC and “ex vivo” germinal center development and in the persistence of FDC in follicular lymphomas but do not affect tumor progression.

  8. The mimetic finite difference method for elliptic problems

    CERN Document Server

    Veiga, Lourenço Beirão; Manzini, Gianmarco

    2014-01-01

    This book describes the theoretical and computational aspects of the mimetic finite difference method for a wide class of multidimensional elliptic problems, which includes diffusion, advection-diffusion, Stokes, elasticity, magnetostatics and plate bending problems. The modern mimetic discretization technology developed in part by the Authors allows one to solve these equations on unstructured polygonal, polyhedral and generalized polyhedral meshes. The book provides a practical guide for those scientists and engineers that are interested in the computational properties of the mimetic finite difference method such as the accuracy, stability, robustness, and efficiency. Many examples are provided to help the reader to understand and implement this method. This monograph also provides the essential background material and describes basic mathematical tools required to develop further the mimetic discretization technology and to extend it to various applications.

  9. Microwave-assisted synthesis of triple-helical, collagen-mimetic lipopeptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerjee, Jayati; Hanson, Andrea J; Muhonen, Wallace W; Shabb, John B; Mallik, Sanku

    2018-01-01

    Collagen-mimetic peptides and lipopeptides are widely used as substrates for matrix degrading enzymes, as new biomaterials for tissue engineering, as drug delivery systems and so on. However, the preparation and subsequent purification of these peptides and their fatty-acid conjugates are really challenging. Herein, we report a rapid microwave-assisted, solid-phase synthetic protocol to prepare the fatty-acid conjugated, triple-helical peptides containing the cleavage site for the enzyme matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9). We employed a PEG-based resin as the solid support and the amino acids were protected with Fmoc- and tert-butyl groups. The amino acids were coupled at 50 °C (25 W of microwave power) for 5 min. The deprotection reactions were carried out at 75 °C (35 W of microwave power) for 3 min. Using this protocol, a peptide containing 23 amino acids was synthesized and then conjugated to stearic acid in 14 h. PMID:20057380

  10. Tumor-induced loss of mural Connexin 43 gap junction activity promotes endothelial proliferation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Choudhary, Mayur; Naczki, Christine; Chen, Wenhong; Barlow, Keith D.; Case, L. Douglas; Metheny-Barlow, Linda J.

    2015-01-01

    Proper functional association between mural cells and endothelial cells (EC) causes EC of blood vessels to become quiescent. Mural cells on tumor vessels exhibit decreased attachment to EC, which allows vessels to be unstable and proliferative. The mechanisms by which tumors prevent proper association between mural cells and EC are not well understood. Since gap junctions (GJ) play an important role in cell-cell contact and communication, we investigated whether loss of GJ plays a role in tumor-induced mural cell dissociation. Mural cell regulation of endothelial proliferation was assessed by direct co-culture assays of fluorescently labeled cells quantified by flow cytometry or plate reader. Gap junction function was assessed by parachute assay. Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein in mural cells exposed to conditioned media from cancer cells was assessed by Western and confocal microscopy; mRNA levels were assessed by quantitative real-time PCR. Expression vectors or siRNA were utilized to overexpress or knock down Cx43. Tumor growth and angiogenesis was assessed in mouse hosts deficient for Cx43. Using parachute dye transfer assay, we demonstrate that media conditioned by MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells diminishes GJ communication between mural cells (vascular smooth muscle cells, vSMC) and EC. Both protein and mRNA of the GJ component Connexin 43 (Cx43) are downregulated in mural cells by tumor-conditioned media; media from non-tumorigenic MCF10A cells had no effect. Loss of GJ communication by Cx43 siRNA knockdown, treatment with blocking peptide, or exposure to tumor-conditioned media diminishes the ability of mural cells to inhibit EC proliferation in co-culture assays, while overexpression of Cx43 in vSMC restores GJ and endothelial inhibition. Breast tumor cells implanted into mice heterozygous for Cx43 show no changes in tumor growth, but exhibit significantly increased tumor vascularization determined by CD31 staining, along with decreased mural cell support

  11. Fluoroolefins as Peptide Mimetics. 2. A Computational Study of the Conformational Ramifications of Peptide Bond Replacement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    Calculated Relative Energies and Thermochemical Corrections (in kcal/mol) for the Gas Phase Conformations of DFA ∆E ∆(E+ ZPE ) ∆E(298) ∆H(298) ∆G(298...Thermochemical Corrections (in kcal/mol) for the Aqueous Phase Conformations of DFA ∆E ∆(E+ ZPE ) ∆E(298) ∆Η(298) ∆G(298) DFA1 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 DFA2 0.39

  12. Connexin 30 expression and frequency of connexin heterogeneity in astrocyte gap junction plaques increase with age in the rat retina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hussein Mansour

    Full Text Available We investigated age-associated changes in retinal astrocyte connexins (Cx by assaying Cx numbers, plaque sizes, protein expression levels and heterogeneity of gap junctions utilizing six-marker immunohistochemistry (IHC. We compared Wistar rat retinal wholemounts in animals aged 3 (young adult, 9 (middle-aged and 22 months (aged. We determined that retinal astrocytes have gap junctions composed of Cx26, -30, -43 and -45. Cx30 was consistently elevated at 22 months compared to younger ages both when associated with parenchymal astrocytes and vascular-associated astrocytes. Not only was the absolute number of Cx30 plaques significantly higher (P<0.05 but the size of the plaques was significantly larger at 22 months compared to younger ages (p<0.05. With age, Cx26 increased significantly initially, but returned to basal levels; whereas Cx43 expression remained low and stable with age. Evidence that astrocytes alter connexin compositions of gap junctions was demonstrated by the significant increase in the number of Cx26/Cx45 gap junctions with age. We also found gap junctions comprised of 1, 2, 3 or 4 Cx proteins suggesting that retinal astrocytes use various connexin protein combinations in their gap junctions during development and aging. These data provides new insight into the dynamic and extensive Cx network utilized by retinal astrocytes for communication within both the parenchyma and vasculature for the maintenance of normal retinal physiology with age. This characterisation of the changes in astrocytic gap junctional communication with age in the CNS is crucial to the understanding of physiological aging and age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

  13. Air-Stimulated ATP Release from Keratinocytes Occurs through Connexin Hemichannels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Travis P.; Albrecht, Phillip J.; Hou, Quanzhi; Mongin, Alexander A.; Strichartz, Gary R.; Rice, Frank L.

    2013-01-01

    Cutaneous ATP release plays an important role in both epidermal stratification and chronic pain, but little is known about ATP release mechanisms in keratinocytes that comprise the epidermis. In this study, we analyzed ATP release from cultured human neonatal keratinocytes briefly exposed to air, a process previously demonstrated to trigger ATP release from these cells. We show that exposing keratinocytes to air by removing media for 15 seconds causes a robust, long-lasting ATP release. This air-stimulated ATP release was increased in calcium differentiated cultures which showed a corresponding increase in connexin 43 mRNA, a major component of keratinocyte hemichannels. The known connexin hemichannel inhibitors 1-octanol and carbenoxolone both significantly reduced air-stimulated ATP release, as did two drugs traditionally used as ABC transporter inhibitors (glibenclamide and verapamil). These same 4 inhibitors also prevented an increase in the uptake of a connexin permeable dye induced by air exposure, confirming that connexin hemichannels are open during air-stimulated ATP release. In contrast, activity of the MDR1 ABC transporter was reduced by air exposure and the drugs that inhibited air-stimulated ATP release had differential effects on this transporter. These results indicate that air exposure elicits non-vesicular release of ATP from keratinocytes through connexin hemichannels and that drugs used to target connexin hemichannels and ABC transporters may cross-inhibit. Connexins represent a novel, peripheral target for the treatment of chronic pain and dermatological disease. PMID:23457608

  14. Inhibition of connexin43 gap junction channels by the endocrine disruptor ioxynil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leithe, Edward; Kjenseth, Ane; Bruun, Jarle; Sirnes, Solveig; Rivedal, Edgar

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are intercellular plasma membrane domains containing channels that mediate transport of ions, metabolites and small signaling molecules between adjacent cells. Gap junctions play important roles in a variety of cellular processes, including regulation of cell growth and differentiation, maintenance of tissue homeostasis and embryogenesis. The constituents of gap junction channels are a family of trans-membrane proteins called connexins, of which the best-studied is connexin43. Connexin43 functions as a tumor suppressor protein in various tissue types and is frequently dysregulated in human cancers. The pesticide ioxynil has previously been shown to act as an endocrine disrupting chemical and has multiple effects on the thyroid axis. Furthermore, both ioxynil and its derivative ioxynil octanoate have been reported to induce tumors in animal bioassays. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the possible tumorigenic effects of these compounds are unknown. In the present study we show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are strong inhibitors of connexin43 gap junction channels. Both compounds induced rapid loss of connexin43 gap junctions at the plasma membrane and increased connexin43 degradation. Ioxynil octanoate, but not ioxynil, was found to be a strong activator of ERK1/2. The compounds also had different effects on the phosphorylation status of connexin43. Taken together, the data show that ioxynil and ioxynil octanoate are potent inhibitors of intercellular communication via gap junctions.

  15. A simple RT-PCR-based strategy for screening connexin identity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Urban

    1999-08-01

    Full Text Available Vertebrate gap junctions are aggregates of transmembrane channels which are composed of connexin (Cx proteins encoded by at least fourteen distinct genes in mammals. Since the same Cx type can be expressed in different tissues and more than one Cx type can be expressed by the same cell, the thorough identification of which connexin is in which cell type and how connexin expression changes after experimental manipulation has become quite laborious. Here we describe an efficient, rapid and simple method by which connexin type(s can be identified in mammalian tissue and cultured cells using endonuclease cleavage of RT-PCR products generated from "multi primers" (sense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide corresponding to a region of the first extracellular domain; antisense primer, degenerate oligonucleotide complementary to the second extracellular domain that amplify the cytoplasmic loop regions of all known connexins except Cx36. In addition, we provide sequence information on RT-PCR primers used in our laboratory to screen individual connexins and predictions of extension of the "multi primer" method to several human connexins.

  16. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chanson, Marc; Watanabe, Masakatsu; O'Shaughnessy, Erin M; Zoso, Alice; Martin, Patricia E

    2018-05-03

    Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

  17. Connexin Communication Compartments and Wound Repair in Epithelial Tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Chanson

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Epithelial tissues line the lumen of tracts and ducts connecting to the external environment. They are critical in forming an interface between the internal and external environment and, following assault from environmental factors and pathogens, they must rapidly repair to maintain cellular homeostasis. These tissue networks, that range from a single cell layer, such as in airway epithelium, to highly stratified and differentiated epithelial surfaces, such as the epidermis, are held together by a junctional nexus of proteins including adherens, tight and gap junctions, often forming unique and localised communication compartments activated for localised tissue repair. This review focuses on the dynamic changes that occur in connexins, the constituent proteins of the intercellular gap junction channel, during wound-healing processes and in localised inflammation, with an emphasis on the lung and skin. Current developments in targeting connexins as corrective therapies to improve wound closure and resolve localised inflammation are also discussed. Finally, we consider the emergence of the zebrafish as a concerted whole-animal model to study, visualise and track the events of wound repair and regeneration in real-time living model systems.

  18. Connexin: a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hong-yan Xie

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin subunits are proteins that form gap junction channels, and play an important role in communication between adjacent cells. This review article discusses the function of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions under physiological conditions, and summarizes the findings regarding the role of connexins/hemichannels/gap junctions in the physiological and pathological mechanisms underlying central nervous system diseases such as brain ischemia, traumatic brain and spinal cord injury, epilepsy, brain and spinal cord tumor, migraine, neuroautoimmune disease, Alzheimer′s disease, Parkinson′s disease, X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher-like disease, spastic paraplegia and maxillofacial dysplasia. Connexins are considered to be a potential novel target for protecting the central nervous system.

  19. Apolipoprotein E Mimetic Promotes Functional and Histological Recovery in Lysolecithin-Induced Spinal Cord Demyelination in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Zhen; Li, Fengqiao; Zhang, Yi Ping; Shields, Lisa B E; Hu, Xiaoling; Zheng, Yiyan; Yu, Panpan; Zhang, Yongjie; Cai, Jun; Vitek, Michael P; Shields, Christopher B

    2013-04-01

    Considering demyelination is the pathological hallmark of multiple sclerosis (MS), reducing demyelination and/or promoting remyelination is a practical therapeutic strategy to improve functional recovery for MS. An apolipoprotein E (apoE)-mimetic peptide COG112 has previously demonstrated therapeutic efficacy on functional and histological recovery in a mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model of human MS. In the current study, we further investigated whether COG112 promotes remyelination and improves functional recovery in lysolecithin induced focal demyelination in the white matter of spinal cord in mice. A focal demyelination model was created by stereotaxically injecting lysolecithin into the bilateral ventrolateral funiculus (VLF) of T8 and T9 mouse spinal cords. Immediately after lysolecithin injection mice were treated with COG112, prefix peptide control or vehicle control for 21 days. The locomotor function of the mice was measured by the beam walking test and Basso Mouse Scale (BMS) assessment. The nerve transmission of the VLF of mice was assessed in vivo by transcranial magnetic motor evoked potentials (tcMMEPs). The histological changes were also examined by by eriochrome cyanine staining, immunohistochemistry staining and electron microscopy (EM) method. The area of demyelination in the spinal cord was significantly reduced in the COG112 group. EM examination showed that treatment with COG112 increased the thickness of myelin sheaths and the numbers of surviving axons in the lesion epicenter. Locomotor function was improved in COG112 treated animals when measured by the beam walking test and BMS assessment compared to controls. TcMMEPs also demonstrated the COG112-mediated enhancement of amplitude of evoked responses. The apoE-mimetic COG112 demonstrates a favorable combination of activities in suppressing inflammatory response, mitigating demyelination and in promoting remyelination and associated functional recovery in animal model

  20. Antimicrobial Peptides for Therapeutic Applications: A Review

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    Tsogbadrakh Mishig-Ochir

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs have been considered as potential therapeutic sources of future antibiotics because of their broad-spectrum activities and different mechanisms of action compared to conventional antibiotics. Although AMPs possess considerable benefits as new generation antibiotics, their clinical and commercial development still have some limitations, such as potential toxicity, susceptibility to proteases, and high cost of peptide production. In order to overcome those obstacles, extensive efforts have been carried out. For instance, unusual amino acids or peptido-mimetics are introduced to avoid the proteolytic degradation and the design of short peptides retaining antimicrobial activities is proposed as a solution for the cost issue. In this review, we focus on small peptides, especially those with less than twelve amino acids, and provide an overview of the relationships between their three-dimensional structures and antimicrobial activities. The efforts to develop highly active AMPs with shorter sequences are also described.

  1. Multifaceted Roles of Connexin 43 in Stem Cell Niches.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genet, Nafiisha; Bhatt, Neha; Bourdieu, Antonin; Hirschi, Karen K

    2018-01-01

    Considerable progress has been made in the field of stem cell research; nonetheless, the use of stem cells for regenerative medicine therapies, for either endogenous tissue repair or cellular grafts post injury, remains a challenge. To better understand how to maintain stem cell potential in vivo and promote differentiation ex vivo, it is fundamentally important to elucidate the interactions between stem cells and their surrounding partners within their distinct niches. Among the vast array of proteins depicted as mediators for cell-to-cell interactions, connexin-comprised gap junctions play pivotal roles in the regulation of stem cell fate both in vivo and in vitro. This review summarizes and illustrates the current knowledge regarding the multifaceted roles of Cx43, specifically, in various stem cell niches.

  2. Regulation of Connexin-Based Channels by Fatty Acids

    Science.gov (United States)

    Puebla, Carlos; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Acuña, Rodrigo; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    In this mini-review, we briefly summarize the current knowledge about the effects of fatty acids (FAs) on connexin-based channels, as well as discuss the limited information about the impact FAs may have on pannexins (Panxs). FAs regulate diverse cellular functions, some of which are explained by changes in the activity of channels constituted by connexins (Cxs) or Panxs, which are known to play critical roles in maintaining the functional integrity of diverse organs and tissues. Cxs are transmembrane proteins that oligomerize into hexamers to form hemichannels (HCs), which in turn can assemble into dodecamers to form gap junction channels (GJCs). While GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of contacting cells, HCs serve as pathways for the exchange of ions and small molecules between the intra and extracellular milieu. Panxs, as well as Cx HCs, form channels at the plasma membrane that enable the interchange of molecules between the intra and extracellular spaces. Both Cx- and Panx-based channels are controlled by several post-translational modifications. However, the mechanism of action of FAs on these channels has not been described in detail. It has been shown however that FAs frequently decrease GJC-mediated cell-cell communication. The opposite effect also has been described for HC or Panx-dependent intercellular communication, where, the acute FA effect can be reversed upon washout. Additionally, changes in GJCs mediated by FAs have been associated with post-translational modifications (e.g., phosphorylation), and seem to be directly related to chemical properties of FAs (e.g., length of carbon chain and/or degree of saturation), but this possible link remains poorly understood. PMID:28174541

  3. Peptide-membrane Interactions by Spin-labeling EPR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smirnova, Tatyana I.; Smirnov, Alex I.

    2016-01-01

    Site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) in combination with Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is a well-established method that has recently grown in popularity as an experimental technique, with multiple applications in protein and peptide science. The growth is driven by development of labeling strategies, as well as by considerable technical advances in the field, that are paralleled by an increased availability of EPR instrumentation. While the method requires an introduction of a paramagnetic probe at a well-defined position in a peptide sequence, it has been shown to be minimally destructive to the peptide structure and energetics of the peptide-membrane interactions. In this chapter, we describe basic approaches for using SDSL EPR spectroscopy to study interactions between small peptides and biological membranes or membrane mimetic systems. We focus on experimental approaches to quantify peptide-membrane binding, topology of bound peptides, and characterize peptide aggregation. Sample preparation protocols including spin-labeling methods and preparation of membrane mimetic systems are also described. PMID:26477253

  4. Opening of pannexin and connexin based-channels increases the excitability of nodose ganglion sensory neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio Antonio Retamal

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Satellite glial cells (SGCs are the main glia in sensory ganglia. They surround neuronal bodies and form a cap that prevents the formation of chemical or electrical synapses between neighboring neurons. SGCs have been suggested to establish bidirectional paracrine communication with sensory neurons. However, the molecular mechanism involved in this cellular communication is unknown. In the central nervous system, astrocytes present connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and pannexin1 (Panx1 channels, and their opening allows the release of signal molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. We propose that these channels could play a role in the glia-neuron communication in sensory ganglia. Therefore, we studied the expression and function of Cx43 and Panx1 in rat and mouse nodose-petrosal-jugular complex (NPJc by confocal immunofluorescence, molecular and electrophysiological techniques. Cx43 and Panx1 were detected in SGCs and sensory neurons, respectively. In the rat and mouse, the electrical activity of vagal nerve increased significantly after nodose neurons were exposed to Ca2+/ Mg2+-free solution, a condition that increases the open probability of Cx hemichannels. This response was partially mimicked by a cell-permeable peptide corresponding to the last 10 amino acids of Cx43 (TAT-Cx43CT. Enhanced neuronal activity was reduced by Cx hemichannel, Panx1 channel and P2X7 receptor blockers. Moreover, the role of Panx1 was confirmed in NPJc, because Panx1 knockout mouse showed a reduced increase of neuronal activity induced by Ca2+/Mg2+-free extracellular conditions. Data suggest that Cx hemichannels and Panx channels serve as paracrine communication pathways between SGCs and neurons by modulating the excitability of sensory neurons.

  5. Defective propagation of signals generated by sympathetic nerve stimulation in the liver of connexin32-deficient mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelles, E; Bützler, C; Jung, D; Temme, A; Gabriel, H D; Dahl, U; Traub, O; Stümpel, F; Jungermann, K; Zielasek, J; Toyka, K V; Dermietzel, R; Willecke, K

    1996-09-03

    The gap junctional protein connexin32 is expressed in hepatocytes, exocrine pancreatic cells, Schwann cells, and other cell types. We have inactivated the connexin32 gene by homologous recombination in the mouse genome and have generated homozygous connexin32-deficient mice that were viable and fertile but weighed on the average approximately 17% less than wild-type controls. Electrical stimulation of sympathetic nerves in connexin32-deficient liver triggered a 78% lower amount of glucose mobilization from glycogen stores, when compared with wild-type liver. Thus, connexin32-containing gap junctions are essential in mouse liver for maximal intercellular propagation of the noradrenaline signal from the periportal (upstream) area, where it is received from sympathetic nerve endings, to perivenous (downstream) hepatocytes. In connexin32-defective liver, the amount of connexin26 protein expressed was found to be lower than in wild-type liver, and the total area of gap junction plaques was approximately 1000-fold smaller than in wild-type liver. In contrast to patients with connexin32 defects suffering from X chromosome-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) due to demyelination in Schwann cells of peripheral nerves, connexin32-deficient mice did not show neurological abnormalities when analyzed at 3 months of age. It is possible, however, that they may develop neurodegenerative symptoms at older age.

  6. Bio-Mimetic Sensors Based on Molecularly Imprinted Membranes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Algieri, Catia; Drioli, Enrico; Guzzo, Laura; Donato, Laura

    2014-01-01

    An important challenge for scientific research is the production of artificial systems able to mimic the recognition mechanisms occurring at the molecular level in living systems. A valid contribution in this direction resulted from the development of molecular imprinting. By means of this technology, selective molecular recognition sites are introduced in a polymer, thus conferring it bio-mimetic properties. The potential applications of these systems include affinity separations, medical diagnostics, drug delivery, catalysis, etc. Recently, bio-sensing systems using molecularly imprinted membranes, a special form of imprinted polymers, have received the attention of scientists in various fields. In these systems imprinted membranes are used as bio-mimetic recognition elements which are integrated with a transducer component. The direct and rapid determination of an interaction between the recognition element and the target analyte (template) was an encouraging factor for the development of such systems as alternatives to traditional bio-assay methods. Due to their high stability, sensitivity and specificity, bio-mimetic sensors-based membranes are used for environmental, food, and clinical uses. This review deals with the development of molecularly imprinted polymers and their different preparation methods. Referring to the last decades, the application of these membranes as bio-mimetic sensor devices will be also reported. PMID:25196110

  7. Bio-Mimetic Sensors Based on Molecularly Imprinted Membranes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catia Algieri

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available An important challenge for scientific research is the production of artificial systems able to mimic the recognition mechanisms occurring at the molecular level in living systems. A valid contribution in this direction resulted from the development of molecular imprinting. By means of this technology, selective molecular recognition sites are introduced in a polymer, thus conferring it bio-mimetic properties. The potential applications of these systems include affinity separations, medical diagnostics, drug delivery, catalysis, etc. Recently, bio-sensing systems using molecularly imprinted membranes, a special form of imprinted polymers, have received the attention of scientists in various fields. In these systems imprinted membranes are used as bio-mimetic recognition elements which are integrated with a transducer component. The direct and rapid determination of an interaction between the recognition element and the target analyte (template was an encouraging factor for the development of such systems as alternatives to traditional bio-assay methods. Due to their high stability, sensitivity and specificity, bio-mimetic sensors-based membranes are used for environmental, food, and clinical uses. This review deals with the development of molecularly imprinted polymers and their different preparation methods. Referring to the last decades, the application of these membranes as bio-mimetic sensor devices will be also reported.

  8. Metabolic effects of the incretin mimetic exenatide in the treatment of type 2 diabetes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A Schnabel

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Catherine A Schnabel, Matthew Wintle, Orville KoltermanAmylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc, 9360 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 110, San Diego, CA 92121, USAAbstract: Interventional studies have demonstrated the impact of hyperglycemia on the development of vascular complications associated with type 2 diabetes, which underscores the importance of safely lowering glucose to as near-normal as possible. Among the current challenges to reducing the risk of vascular disease associated with diabetes is the management of body weight in a predominantly overweight patient population, and in which weight gain is likely with many current therapies. Exenatide is the first in a new class of agents termed incretin mimetics, which replicate several glucoregulatory effects of the endogenous incretin hormone, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1. Currently approved in the US as an injectable adjunct to metformin and/or sulfonylurea therapy, exenatide improves glycemic control through multiple mechanisms of action including: glucose-dependent enhancement of insulin secretion that potentially reduces the risk of hypoglycemia compared with insulin secretagogues; restoration of first-phase insulin secretion typically deficient in patients with type 2 diabetes; suppression of inappropriately elevated glucagon secretion to reduce postprandial hepatic output; and slowing the rate of gastric emptying to regulate glucose appearance into the circulation. Clinical trials in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with subcutaneous exenatide twice daily demonstrated sustained improvements in glycemic control, evidenced by reductions in postprandial and fasting glycemia and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c levels. Notably, improvements in glycemic control with exenatide were coupled with progressive reductions in body weight, which represents a distinct therapeutic benefit for patients with type 2 diabetes. Acute effects of exenatide on beta-cell responsiveness along with significant reductions

  9. Elaborate Mimetic Vocal Displays by Female Superb Lyrebirds

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    Anastasia H Dalziell

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Some of the most striking vocalizations in birds are made by males that incorporate vocal mimicry in their sexual displays. Mimetic vocalization in females is largely undescribed, but it is unclear whether this is because of a lack of selection for vocal mimicry in females, or whether the phenomenon has simply been overlooked. These issues are thrown into sharp relief in the superb lyrebird, Menura novaehollandiae, a basal oscine passerine with a lek-like mating system and female uniparental care. The spectacular mimetic song display produced by courting male lyrebirds is a textbook example of a sexually selected trait, but the vocalizations of female lyrebirds are largely unknown. Here, we provide the first analysis of the structure and context of the vocalizations of female lyrebirds. Female lyrebirds were completely silent during courtship; however, females regularly produced sophisticated vocal displays incorporating both lyrebird-specific vocalizations and imitations of sounds within their environment. The structure of female vocalizations varied significantly with context. While foraging, females mostly produced a complex lyrebird-specific song, whereas they gave lyrebird-specific alarm calls most often during nest defense. Within their vocal displays females also included a variety of mimetic vocalizations, including imitations of the calls of dangerous predators, and of alarm calls and song of harmless heterospecifics. Females gave more mimetic vocalizations during nest defense than while foraging, and the types of sounds they imitated varied between these contexts, suggesting that mimetic vocalizations have more than one function. These results are inconsistent with previous portrayals of vocalizations by female lyrebirds as rare, functionless by-products of sexual selection on males. Instead, our results support the hypotheses that complex female vocalizations play a role in nest defense and mediate female-female competition for

  10. Molecular cloning, functional expression, and tissue distribution of a novel human gap junction-forming protein, connexin-31.9. Interaction with zona occludens protein-1

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nielsen, Peter A; Beahm, Derek L; Giepmans, Ben N G; Baruch, Amos; Hall, James E; Kumar, Nalin M

    2002-01-01

    A novel human connexin gene (GJA11) was cloned from a genomic library. The open reading frame encoded a hypothetical protein of 294 amino acid residues with a predicted molecular mass of 31,933, hence referred to as connexin-31.9 (Cx31.9) or alpha 11 connexin. A clone in GenBank containing the

  11. Phylogenetic and bioinformatic analysis of gap junction-related proteins, innexins, pannexins and connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fushiki, Daisuke; Hamada, Yasuo; Yoshimura, Ryoichi; Endo, Yasuhisa

    2010-04-01

    All multi-cellular animals, including hydra, insects and vertebrates, develop gap junctions, which communicate directly with neighboring cells. Gap junctions consist of protein families called connexins in vertebrates and innexins in invertebrates. Connexins and innexins have no homology in their amino acid sequence, but both are thought to have some similar characteristics, such as a tetra-membrane-spanning structure, formation of a channel by hexamer, and transmission of small molecules (e.g. ions) to neighboring cells. Pannexins were recently identified as a homolog of innexins in vertebrate genomes. Although pannexins are thought to share the function of intercellular communication with connexins and innexins, there is little information about the relationship among these three protein families of gap junctions. We phylgenetically and bioinformatically examined these protein families and other tetra-membrane-spanning proteins using a database and three analytical softwares. The clades formed by pannexin families do not belong to the species classification but do to paralogs of each member of pannexins. Amino acid sequences of pannexins are closely related to those of innexins but less to those of connexins. These data suggest that innexins and pannexins have a common origin, but the relationship between innexins/pannexins and connexins is as slight as that of other tetra-membrane-spanning members.

  12. Expression of connexin 37, 40 and 43 in rat mesenteric arterioles and resistance arteries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gustafsson, Finn; Mikkelsen, Hanne B; Arensbak, Birgitte

    2003-01-01

    Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms in the microcirculat......Connexins are the protein constituents of gap junctions which mediate intercellular communication in most tissues. In arterioles gap junctions appear to be important for conduction of vasomotor responses along the vessel. Studies of the expression pattern of connexin isoforms...... in the microcirculation are sparse. We investigated the expression of the three major vascular connexins in mesenteric arterioles (diameter micro m) from male Sprague-Dawley rats, since conducted vasomotor responses have been described in these vessels. The findings were compared with those obtained from upstream...... small resistance arteries. Indirect immunofluorescence techniques were used on whole mounts of mesenteric arterioles and on frozen sections of resistance arteries (diameter approximately 300 micro m). Mesenteric arterioles expressed Cx40 and Cx43 in the endothelial layer, and Cx37 was found in most...

  13. Prolonged labour associated with lower expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 in human uterine tissue

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Malmström Anders

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prolonged labour is associated with greater morbidity and mortality for mother and child. Connexin 43 is a major myometrial gap junction protein found in human myometrium. Syndecan 3 seems to prevail in the human uterus among heparan sulphate proteoglycans, showing the most significant increase during labour. The aims of the present study were to investigate syndecan 3 and connexin 43 mRNA expressions and protein distributions in human uterine tissue during normal and prolonged labour. Methods Uterine isthmic biopsies were collected from non-pregnant (n = 7, term pregnant women not in labour (n = 14, in normal labour (n = 7 and in prolonged labour (n = 7. mRNA levels of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 were determined by real time RT-PCR. The localization and expression were demonstrated by immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy. Results In women with prolonged labour, the mRNA expressions of syndecan 3 and Connexin 43 were considerably lower than the expression level at normal labour (p Conclusion The high expression of syndecan 3 and connexin 43 and their co-localization to the smooth muscle bundles during normal labour, together with the significant reduction in prolonged labour, may indicate a role for these proteins in the co-ordination of myometrial contractility.

  14. The gap junction protein connexin43 interacts with the second PDZ domain of the zona occludens-1 protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Giepmans, B N; Moolenaar, W H

    1998-01-01

    Gap junctions mediate cell-cell communication in almost all tissues and are composed of channel-forming integral membrane proteins, termed connexins [1-3]. Connexin43 (Cx43) is the most widely expressed and the most well-studied member of this family. Cx43-based cell-cell communication is regulated

  15. Eco-Cognitive Computationalism: From Mimetic Minds to Morphology-Based Enhancement of Mimetic Bodies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Magnani

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Eco-cognitive computationalism sees computation in context, exploiting the ideas developed in those projects that have originated the recent views on embodied, situated, and distributed cognition. Turing’s original intellectual perspective has already clearly depicted the evolutionary emergence in humans of information, meaning, and of the first rudimentary forms of cognition, as the result of a complex interplay and simultaneous coevolution, in time, of the states of brain/mind, body, and external environment. This cognitive process played a fundamental heuristic role in Turing’s invention of the universal logical computing machine. It is by extending this eco-cognitive perspective that we can see that the recent emphasis on the simplification of cognitive and motor tasks generated in organic agents by morphological aspects implies the construction of appropriate “mimetic bodies”, able to render the accompanied computation simpler, according to a general appeal to the “simplexity” of animal embodied cognition. I hope it will become clear that eco-cognitive computationalism does not aim at furnishing a final and stable definition of the concept of computation, such as a textbook or a different epistemological approach could provide: I intend to take into account the historical and dynamical character of the concept, to propose an intellectual framework that depicts how we can understand not only the change of its meaning, but also the “emergence” of new forms of computations.

  16. Gap junction connexins in female reproductive organs: implications for women's reproductive health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Winterhager, Elke; Kidder, Gerald M

    2015-01-01

    Connexins comprise a family of ~20 proteins that form intercellular membrane channels (gap junction channels) providing a direct route for metabolites and signalling molecules to pass between cells. This review provides a critical analysis of the evidence for essential roles of individual connexins in female reproductive function, highlighting implications for women's reproductive health. No systematic review has been carried out. Published literature from the past 35 years was surveyed for research related to connexin involvement in development and function of the female reproductive system. Because of the demonstrated utility of genetic manipulation for elucidating connexin functions in various organs, much of the cited information comes from research with genetically modified mice. In some cases, a distinction is drawn between connexin functions clearly related to the formation of gap junction channels and those possibly linked to non-channel roles. Based on work with mice, several connexins are known to be required for female reproductive functions. Loss of connexin43 (CX43) causes an oocyte deficiency, and follicles lacking or expressing less CX43 in granulosa cells exhibit reduced growth, impairing fertility. CX43 is also expressed in human cumulus cells and, in the context of IVF, has been correlated with pregnancy outcome, suggesting that this connexin may be a determinant of oocyte and embryo quality in women. Loss of CX37, which exclusively connects oocytes with granulosa cells in the mouse, caused oocytes to cease growing without acquiring meiotic competence. Blocking of CX26 channels in the uterine epithelium disrupted implantation whereas loss or reduction of CX43 expression in the uterine stroma impaired decidualization and vascularization in mouse and human. Several connexins are important in placentation and, in the human, CX43 is a key regulator of the fusogenic pathway from the cytotrophoblast to the syncytiotrophoblast, ensuring placental growth

  17. Mimetics of Suppressor of cytokine signalling 3: novel potential therapeutics in triple breast cancer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Manna, Sara; Lee, Eunmi; Ouzounova, Maria; Di Natale, Concetta; Novellino, Ettore; Merlino, Antonello; Korkaya, Hasan; Marasco, Daniela

    2018-05-11

    Suppressor of cytokine signaling (SOCS) family of proteins plays critical role in the regulation of immune responses controlling JAK/STAT mediated inflammatory cytokines. Among the members, SOCS1 and SOCS3 contain a kinase inhibitory region (KIR) and SOCS3 binds to JAK/STAT/gp130 complex by inhibiting the downstream signaling and suppressing inflammatory cytokines. Loss or reduced levels of SOCS3 have been linked to cancer-associated inflammation and suppressive immunity leading to enhanced tumour growth and metastasis. In line with these reports, we previously demonstrated that proteolytic degradation of SOCS3 in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype drives the expression of inflammatory cytokines. Therefore, we postulated that SOCS3 mimetics might suppress the inflammatory cytokine production in TNBC subtype and inhibit tumor growth and metastasis. Here we designed and characterized five linear peptides derived from the N-terminal region of SOCS3 encompassing regions that interface with the JAK2/gp130 complex by using the Circular Dichroism and Surface Plasmon Resonance spectroscopies. The KIRESS peptide resulted the sequence containing the most part of the hot-spots required for binding to JAK2 and was further investigated in vivo in mouse xenografts of MDA-MB-231-luci tumours as models of human TNBC subtype. Expectedly, this peptide showed a significant inhibition of primary tumour growth and pulmonary metastasis. Our studies suggest that SOCS3 peptidomimetics may possess a therapeutic potential in aggressive cancers, such as TNBC subtype, with activated inflammatory cytokines. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2018 UICC.

  18. Release of gliotransmitters through astroglial connexin 43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation in the basolateral amygdala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stehberg, Jimmy; Moraga-Amaro, Rodrigo; Salazar, Christian; Becerra, Alvaro; Echeverría, Cesar; Orellana, Juan A; Bultynck, Geert; Ponsaerts, Raf; Leybaert, Luc; Simon, Felipe; Sáez, Juan C; Retamal, Mauricio A

    2012-09-01

    Recent in vitro evidence indicates that astrocytes can modulate synaptic plasticity by releasing neuroactive substances (gliotransmitters). However, whether gliotransmitter release from astrocytes is necessary for higher brain function in vivo, particularly for memory, as well as the contribution of connexin (Cx) hemichannels to gliotransmitter release, remain elusive. Here, we microinfused into the rat basolateral amygdala (BLA) TAT-Cx43L2, a peptide that selectively inhibits Cx43-hemichannel opening while maintaining synaptic transmission or interastrocyte gap junctional communication. In vivo blockade of Cx43 hemichannels during memory consolidation induced amnesia for auditory fear conditioning, as assessed 24 h after training, without affecting short-term memory, locomotion, or shock reactivity. The amnesic effect was transitory, specific for memory consolidation, and was confirmed after microinfusion of Gap27, another Cx43-hemichannel blocker. Learning capacity was recovered after coinfusion of TAT-Cx43L2 and a mixture of putative gliotransmitters (glutamate, glutamine, lactate, d-serine, glycine, and ATP). We propose that gliotransmitter release from astrocytes through Cx43 hemichannels is necessary for fear memory consolidation at the BLA. Thus, the present study is the first to demonstrate a physiological role for astroglial Cx43 hemichannels in brain function, making these channels a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of psychiatric disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder.

  19. Salicylamide and salicylglycine oxidovanadium complexes with insulin-mimetic properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilsson, Jessica; Shteinman, Albert A; Degerman, Eva; Enyedy, Eva A; Kiss, Tamás; Behrens, Ulrich; Rehder, Dieter; Nordlander, Ebbe

    2011-12-01

    Reaction of N-(2-hydroxybenzyl)-N-(2-picolyl) glycine (H(2)papy) with VOSO(4) in water gives the oxidovanadium(V) oxido-bridged dimer [{(papy)(VO)}(2) μ-O)] (1). Similarly, reaction of N-(2-hydroxybenzyl) glycine (H(2)glysal) with VOSO(4) gives [(glysal)VO(H(2)O)] (2) and reaction of salicylamide (Hsalam) with VOSO(4) in methanol gives [(salam)(2)VO] (3). The crystal structure of the oxido-bridged complex 1 is reported. The insulin-mimetic activity of all three complexes was evaluated with respect to their ability to phosphorylate protein kinase B (PKB). The speciations of complexes 1 and 2 were studied over the pH range 2-10. Complex 1 shows greater stability over the whole pH range but only 2 and 3 exhibit an insulin-mimetic effect. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. On (in)stabilities of perturbations in mimetic models with higher derivatives

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zheng, Yunlong; Shen, Liuyuan [Department of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093 (China); Mou, Yicen; Li, Mingzhe, E-mail: zylakx@163.com, E-mail: sly12271103@163.com, E-mail: moinch@mail.ustc.edu.cn, E-mail: limz@ustc.edu.cn [Interdisciplinary Center for Theoretical Study, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026 (China)

    2017-08-01

    Usually when applying the mimetic model to the early universe, higher derivative terms are needed to promote the mimetic field to be dynamical. However such models suffer from the ghost and/or the gradient instabilities and simple extensions cannot cure this pathology. We point out in this paper that it is possible to overcome this difficulty by considering the direct couplings of the higher derivatives of the mimetic field to the curvature of the spacetime.

  1. A recombinant mimetics of the HIV-1 gp41 prehairpin fusion intermediate fused with human IgG Fc fragment elicits neutralizing antibody response in the vaccinated mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Qi, Zhi; Pan, Chungen; Lu, Hong; Shui, Yuan; Li, Lin; Li, Xiaojuan; Xu, Xueqing; Liu, Shuwen; Jiang, Shibo

    2010-01-01

    Research highlights: → One recombinant mimetics of gp41 prehairpin fusion intermediate (PFI) consisting of gp41 N46 sequence, foldon and IgG Fc, designated N46FdFc, was expressed. → N46FdFc-induced antibodies in mice that neutralized HIV-1 infection, inhibited PIE7 binding to PFI, blocked gp41 six-helix bundle formation, and suppressed HIV-1 mediated cell-cell fusion. → These findings provide an important clue for developing recombinant gp41 PFI mimetics-based HIV vaccines. -- Abstract: HIV-1 gp41 prehairpin fusion intermediate (PFI) composed of three N-terminal heptad repeats (NHR) plays a crucial role in viral fusion and entry and represents an attractive target for anti-HIV therapeutics (e.g., enfuvirtide) and vaccines. In present study, we constructed and expressed two recombinant gp41 PFI mimetics, designated N46Fd and N46FdFc. N46Fd consists of N46 (residues 536-581) in gp41 NHR and foldon (Fd), a trimerization motif. N46FdFc is composed of N46Fd fused with human IgG Fc fragment as an immunoenhancer. We immunized mice with N46 peptide, N46Fd and N46FdFc, respectively, and found that only N46FdFc elicited neutralizing antibody response in mice against infection by HIV-1 strains IIIB (clade B, X4), 92US657 (clade B, R5), and 94UG103 (clade A, X4R5). Anti-N46FdFc antibodies inhibited PIE7 binding to PFI, blocked gp41 six-helix bundle formation, and suppressed HIV-1 mediated cell-cell fusion. These findings provide an important clue for developing recombinant gp41 PFI mimetics-based HIV vaccines.

  2. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guoqiang Zhong

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2 is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge of the crossing molecules.

  3. Mono-Heteromeric Configurations of Gap Junction Channels Formed by Connexin43 and Connexin45 Reduce Unitary Conductance and Determine both Voltage Gating and Metabolic Flux Asymmetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Guoqiang; Akoum, Nazem; Appadurai, Daniel A.; Hayrapetyan, Volodya; Ahmed, Osman; Martinez, Agustin D.; Beyer, Eric C.; Moreno, Alonso P.

    2017-01-01

    In cardiac tissues, the expression of multiple connexins (Cx40, Cx43, Cx45, and Cx30.2) is a requirement for proper development and function. Gap junctions formed by these connexins have distinct permeability and gating mechanisms. Since a single cell can express more than one connexin isoform, the formation of hetero-multimeric gap junction channels provides a tissue with an enormous repertoire of combinations to modulate intercellular communication. To study further the perm-selectivity and gating properties of channels containing Cx43 and Cx45, we studied two monoheteromeric combinations in which a HeLa cell co-transfected with Cx43 and Cx45 was paired with a cell expressing only one of these connexins. Macroscopic measurements of total conductance between cell pairs indicated a drastic reduction in total conductance for mono-heteromeric channels. In terms of Vj dependent gating, Cx43 homomeric connexons facing heteromeric connexons only responded weakly to voltage negativity. Cx45 homomeric connexons exhibited no change in Vj gating when facing heteromeric connexons. The distributions of unitary conductances (γj) for both mono-heteromeric channels were smaller than predicted, and both showed low permeability to the fluorescent dyes Lucifer yellow and Rhodamine123. For both mono-heteromeric channels, we observed flux asymmetry regardless of dye charge: flux was higher in the direction of the heteromeric connexon for MhetCx45 and in the direction of the homomeric Cx43 connexon for MhetCx43. Thus, our data suggest that co-expression of Cx45 and Cx43 induces the formation of heteromeric connexons with greatly reduced permeability and unitary conductance. Furthermore, it increases the asymmetry for voltage gating for opposing connexons, and it favors asymmetric flux of molecules across the junction that depends primarily on the size (not the charge) of the crossing molecules. PMID:28611680

  4. Cloning, embryonic expression, and functional characterization of two novel connexins from Xenopus laevis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Boer, Teun P.; Kok, Bart; Roël, Giulietta; van Veen, Toon A. B.; Destrée, Olivier H. J.; Rook, Martin B.; Vos, Marc A.; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; van der Heyden, Marcel A. G.

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrate gap junctions are constituted of connexin (Cx) proteins. In Xenopus laevis, only seven different Cxs have been described so far. Here, we identify two new Cxs from X. laevis. Cx28.6 displays > 60% amino acid identity with human Cx25, Cx29 displays strong homology with mouse Cx26 and Cx30.

  5. Molecular dynamics simulation of the thermosensitivity of the human connexin 26 hemichannel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alizadeh, Hadi; Davoodi, Jamal; Zeilinger, Carsten; Rafii-Tabar, Hashem

    2018-01-01

    Connexin hemichannels mediate cytoplasm and extracellular milieu communication by exchanging a variety of cytoplasmic molecules and ions. These hemichannels can be regulated by external stimuli such as mechanical stress, applied voltage, pH and temperature changes. Although there are many studies on structures and functions of connexin 26 in contexts of pH, ion concentration and voltage, employing computational methods, no such study has been performed so far involving temperature changes. In this study, using molecular dynamics simulation, we investigate thermosensitivity of the human Connexin 26 hemichannel. Our results show that the channel approaches a structurally closed state at lower temperature compared to higher temperature. This is in fair agreement with experimental results that indicate channel closure at lower temperature. Furthermore, our MD simulation results show that some regions of connexin 26 hemichannel are more sensitive to temperature compared to other regions. Whereas the intercellular half of the channel does not show any considerable response to temperature during the simulation time accessible in this study, the cytoplasmic half approaches a closed structural state at lower temperature compared to the higher temperature. Specifically, our results suggest that the cytoplasmic loop, the cytoplasmic half of the second transmembrane helix, and the N-terminus helix play a dominant role in temperature gating.

  6. Cardiac cell therapy: overexpression of connexin43 in skeletal myoblasts and prevention of ventricular arrhythmias

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fernandes, Sarah; van Rijen, Harold V. M.; Forest, Virginie; Evain, Stéphane; Leblond, Anne-Laure; Mérot, Jean; Charpentier, Flavien; de Bakker, Jacques M. T.; Lemarchand, Patricia

    2009-01-01

    Cell-based therapies have great potential for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Recently, using a transgenic mouse model Roell et al. reported that cardiac engraftment of connexin43 (Cx43)-overexpressing myoblasts in vivo prevents post-infarct arrhythmia, a common cause of death in patients

  7. Inhibition by Commercial Aminoglycosides of Human Connexin Hemichannels Expressed in Bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana C. Fiori

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In addition to gap junctional channels that mediate cell-to-cell communication, connexins form hemichannels that are present at the plasma membrane. Since hemichannels are permeable to small hydrophilic compounds, including metabolites and signaling molecules, their abnormal opening can cause or contribute to cell damage in disorders such as cardiac infarct, stroke, deafness, skin diseases, and cataracts. Therefore, hemichannels are potential pharmacological targets. A few aminoglycosides, well-known broad-spectrum antibiotics, have been shown to inhibit hemichannels. Here, we tested several commercially available aminoglycosides for inhibition of human connexin hemichannels using a cell-based bacterial growth complementation assay that we developed recently. We found that kanamycin A, kanamycin B, geneticin, neomycin, and paromomycin are effective inhibitors of hemichannels formed by connexins 26, 43, and 46 (Cx26, Cx43, and Cx46. Because of the >70 years of clinical experience with aminoglycosides and the fact that several of the aminoglycosides tested here have been used in humans, they are promising starting points for the development of effective connexin hemichannel inhibitors.

  8. Regulation of connexin43 gap junctional communication by phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Zeijl, Leonie; Ponsioen, Bas; Giepmans, Ben N G; Ariaens, Aafke; Postma, Friso R; Várnai, Péter; Balla, Tamas; Divecha, Nullin; Jalink, Kees; Moolenaar, Wouter H

    2007-01-01

    Cell-cell communication through connexin43 (Cx43)-based gap junction channels is rapidly inhibited upon activation of various G protein coupled receptors; however, the mechanism is unknown. We show that Cx43-based cell-cell communication is inhibited by depletion of phosphatidylinositol

  9. Data of the molecular dynamics simulations of mutations in the human connexin46 docking interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrik Schadzek

    2016-06-01

    The data described here are related to the research article entitled “The cataract related mutation N188T in human connexin46 (hCx46 revealed a critical role for residue N188 in the docking process of gap junction channels” (Schadzek et al., 2015 [1].

  10. Cell proliferation and expression of connexins differ in melanotic and amelanotic canine oral melanomas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Tarso Felipe; Gentile, Luciana Boffoni; da Silva, Tereza Cristina; Mennecier, Gregory; Chaible, Lucas Martins; Cogliati, Bruno; Roman, Marco Antonio Leon; Gioso, Marco Antonio; Dagli, Maria Lucia Zaidan

    2014-03-01

    Melanoma is a malignant neoplasm occurring in several animal species, and is the most frequently found tumor in the oral cavity in dogs. Melanomas are classified into two types: melanotic and amelanotic. Prior research suggests that human amelanotic melanomas are more aggressive than their melanotic counterparts. This study evaluates the behavior of canine melanotic and amelanotic oral cavity melanomas and quantifies cell proliferation and the expression of connexins. Twenty-five melanomas (16 melanotic and 9 amelanotic) were collected from dogs during clinical procedures at the Veterinary Hospital of the School of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Science of the University of São Paulo, Brazil. After diagnosis, dogs were followed until death or euthanasia. Histopathology confirmed the gross melanotic or amelanotic characteristics and tumors were classified according to the WHO. HMB45 or Melan A immunostainings were performed to confirm the diagnosis of amelanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was quantified both by counting mitotic figures and PCNA positive nuclei. Expressions of connexins 26 and 43 were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, qRT-PCR and Western blot. Dogs bearing amelanotic melanomas presented a shorter lifespan in comparison to those with melanotic melanomas. Cell proliferation was significantly higher in amelanotic melanomas. Expressions of Connexins 26 and 43 were significantly reduced in amelanotic melanomas. The results presented here suggest that oral cavity melanotic and amelanotic melanomas differ regarding their behavior, cell proliferation and connexin expression in dogs, indicating a higher aggressiveness of amelanotic variants.

  11. Expression of connexin 37, 40, and 43 mRNA and protein in renal preglomerular arterioles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Arensbak, B; Mikkelsen, Hanne Birte; Gustafsson, F

    2001-01-01

    arterioles in frozen sections was evaluated. SMC were isolated from kidneys using an iron oxide sieve method and explant technique. Total RNA from these cultures was tested by RT-PCR analysis for the expression of the three connexins mRNA. Using immunofluorescence we examined whether the expression pattern...

  12. Connexin 43 (GJA1) mutations cause the pleiotropic phenotype of oculodentodigital dysplasia.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Paznekas, W.A.; Boyadjiev, S.A.; Shapiro, R.E.; Daniëls, O.; Wollnik, B.; Keegan, C.E.; Innis, J.W.; Dinulos, M.B.; Christian, C.; Hannibal, M.C.; Jabs, E.W.

    2003-01-01

    Gap junctions are assemblies of intercellular channels that regulate a variety of physiologic and developmental processes through the exchange of small ions and signaling molecules. These channels consist of connexin family proteins that allow for diversity of channel composition and conductance

  13. Peptide dendrimers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Niederhafner, Petr; Šebestík, Jaroslav; Ježek, Jan

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 11, - (2005), 757-788 ISSN 1075-2617 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA203/03/1362 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : multiple antigen peptides * peptide dendrimers * synthetic vaccine * multipleantigenic peptides Subject RIV: CC - Organic Chemistry Impact factor: 1.803, year: 2005

  14. The Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule-Derived Peptide FGL Facilitates Long-Term Plasticity in the Dentate Gyrus in Vivo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dallerac, Glenn; Zerwas, Meike; Novikova, Tatiana; Callu, Delphine; Leblanc-Veyrac, Pascale; Bock, Elisabeth; Berezin, Vladimir; Rampon, Claire; Doyere, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is known to play a role in developmental and structural processes but also in synaptic plasticity and memory of the adult animal. Recently, FGL, a NCAM mimetic peptide that binds to the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR-1), has been shown to have a beneficial impact on normal memory functioning, as…

  15. Intracerebroventricular Injection of Lipopolysaccharide Increases Gene Expression of Connexin32 Gap Junction in Rat Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Abbasian

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Gap junctions are intercellular membrane channels that provide direct cytoplasmic continuity between adjacent cells. This communication can be affected by changes in expression of gap junctional subunits called Connexins (Cx. Changes in the expression and function of connexins are associated with number of brain neurodegenerative diseases. Neuroinflammation is a hallmark of various central nervous system (CNS diseases, like multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. Neuroinflammation causes change in Connexins expression. Hippocampus, one of the main brain regions with a wide network of Gap junctions between different neural cell types, has particular vulnerability to damage and consequent inflammation. Cx32 – among Connexins– is expressed in hippocampal Olygodandrocytes and some neural subpopulations. Although multiple lines of evidence indicate that there is an association between neuroinflammation and the expression of connexin, the direct effect of neuroinflammation on the expression of connexins has not been well studied. In the present study, the effect of neuroinflammation induced by the Lipopolysaccharide (LPS on Cx32 gene and protein expressions in rat hippocampus is evaluated. Methods: LPS (2.5μg/rat was infused into the rat cerebral ventricles for 14 days. Cx32 mRNA and protein levels were measured by Real Time PCR and Western Blot after 1st, 7th and 14th injection of LPS in the hippocampus. Results: Significant increase in Cx32 mRNA expression was observed after 7th injection of LPS (P<0.001. However, no significant change was observed in Cx32 protein level. Conclusion: LPS seems to modify Cx32 GJ communication in the hippocampus at transcription level but not at translation or post-translation level. In order to have a full view concerning modification of Cx32 GJ communication, effect of LPS on Cx32 channel gating should also be determined.

  16. Control of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Growth by Connexin 43

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chintamani eJoshi

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43, the principal gap junction protein in vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs, regulates movement of ions and other signaling molecules through gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC and plays important roles in maintaining normal vessel function; however, many of the signaling mechanisms controlling Cx43 in VSMCs are not clearly described. The goal of this study was to investigate mechanisms of Cx43 regulation with respect to VSMC proliferation. Treatment of rat primary VSMCs with the cAMP analog 8Br-cAMP, the soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC stimulator BAY 41-2272 (BAY, or the Cx inducer diallyl disulfide (DADS significantly reduced proliferation after 72 h compared to vehicle controls. Bromodeoxyuridine uptake revealed reduction (p<.001 in DNA synthesis after 6 h and flow cytometry showed reduced (40% S phase cell numbers after 16 h in DADS-treated cells compared to controls. Cx43 expression significantly increased after 270 min treatment with 8Br-cAMP, 8Br-cGMP, BAY or DADS. Inhibition of PKA, PKG or PKC reversed 8Br-cAMP-stimulated increases in Cx43 expression, whereas only PKG or PKC inhibition reversed 8Br-cGMP- and BAY-stimulated increases in total Cx43. Interestingly, stimulation of Cx43 expression by DADS was not dependent on PKA, PKG or PKC. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, only 8Br-cAMP or DADS increased GJIC with 8Br-cAMP mediated by PKC and DADS mediated by PKG. Further, DADS significantly increased phosphorylation at the MAPK-sensitive serine (Ser255 and Ser279, the cell cycle regulatory kinase-sensitive Ser262 and the PKC-sensitive Ser368 after 30 min while 8Br-cAMP significantly increased phosphorylation only at Ser279 compared to controls. This study demonstrates that 8Br-cAMP- and DADS-enhanced GJIC rather than Cx43 expression and/or phosphorylation plays an important role in regulation of VSMC proliferation and provides new insights into the growth-regulatory capacities of Cx43 in VSMCs.

  17. Virtual screening using combinatorial cyclic peptide libraries reveals protein interfaces readily targetable by cyclic peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffy, Fergal J; O'Donovan, Darragh; Devocelle, Marc; Moran, Niamh; O'Connell, David J; Shields, Denis C

    2015-03-23

    Protein-protein and protein-peptide interactions are responsible for the vast majority of biological functions in vivo, but targeting these interactions with small molecules has historically been difficult. What is required are efficient combined computational and experimental screening methods to choose among a number of potential protein interfaces worthy of targeting lead macrocyclic compounds for further investigation. To achieve this, we have generated combinatorial 3D virtual libraries of short disulfide-bonded peptides and compared them to pharmacophore models of important protein-protein and protein-peptide structures, including short linear motifs (SLiMs), protein-binding peptides, and turn structures at protein-protein interfaces, built from 3D models available in the Protein Data Bank. We prepared a total of 372 reference pharmacophores, which were matched against 108,659 multiconformer cyclic peptides. After normalization to exclude nonspecific cyclic peptides, the top hits notably are enriched for mimetics of turn structures, including a turn at the interaction surface of human α thrombin, and also feature several protein-binding peptides. The top cyclic peptide hits also cover the critical "hot spot" interaction sites predicted from the interaction crystal structure. We have validated our method by testing cyclic peptides predicted to inhibit thrombin, a key protein in the blood coagulation pathway of important therapeutic interest, identifying a cyclic peptide inhibitor with lead-like activity. We conclude that protein interfaces most readily targetable by cyclic peptides and related macrocyclic drugs may be identified computationally among a set of candidate interfaces, accelerating the choice of interfaces against which lead compounds may be screened.

  18. Reproductive isolation related to mimetic divergence in the poison frog Ranitomeya imitator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Twomey, Evan; Vestergaard, Jacob Schack; Summers, Kyle

    2014-01-01

    study the Peruvian poison frog Ranitomeya imitator, a species that has undergone a mimetic radiation into four distinct morphs. Using a combination of colour–pattern analysis, landscape genetics and mate-choice experiments, we show that a mimetic shift in R. imitator is associated with a narrow...

  19. Overcoming EMT-driven therapeutic resistance by BH3 mimetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keitel, Ulrike; Scheel, Christina; Dobbelstein, Matthias

    2014-01-01

    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) contributes to the progression of cancer through enhanced invasion and stem-like properties of cancer cells. Additionally, EMT confers resistance towards many chemotherapeutics. We recently described a mechanism that mediates EMT-driven chemoresistance through augmented levels of Bcl-xL, an anti-apoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family (Keitel et al., Oncotarget, in press). Here, we elaborate on how these findings pertain to cancer cells dispersed in the tumor-adjacent stroma of breast cancer tissues, and how BH3-mimetics may provide a therapeutic strategy to eliminate cancer cell populations that have passed through an EMT.

  20. Mimetic Finite Differences for Flow in Fractures from Microseismic Data

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Hinai, Omar; Srinivasan, Sanjay; Wheeler, Mary F.

    2015-01-01

    We present a method for porous media flow in the presence of complex fracture networks. The approach uses the Mimetic Finite Difference method (MFD) and takes advantage of MFD's ability to solve over a general set of polyhedral cells. This flexibility is used to mesh fracture intersections in two and three-dimensional settings without creating small cells at the intersection point. We also demonstrate how to use general polyhedra for embedding fracture boundaries in the reservoir domain. The target application is representing fracture networks inferred from microseismic analysis.

  1. Board composition, mimetic behaviour and corporate voluntary disclosures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roshayani Arshad

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the effects of board composition and mimetic behaviour on the extent and credibility of corporate voluntary disclosure. The investigation is based on the annual reports of 155 Malaysian listed companies during the period when these companies faced new corporate governance regulation. This study provides evidence that under the influence of dominant owners on board, management voluntary disclosure decisions are driven by incentives to conform when their company is structured to meet expectations of good corporate governance. Such incentive seems to override incentives to disclose credible information to outside investors

  2. Mimetic Finite Differences for Flow in Fractures from Microseismic Data

    KAUST Repository

    Al-Hinai, Omar

    2015-01-01

    We present a method for porous media flow in the presence of complex fracture networks. The approach uses the Mimetic Finite Difference method (MFD) and takes advantage of MFD\\'s ability to solve over a general set of polyhedral cells. This flexibility is used to mesh fracture intersections in two and three-dimensional settings without creating small cells at the intersection point. We also demonstrate how to use general polyhedra for embedding fracture boundaries in the reservoir domain. The target application is representing fracture networks inferred from microseismic analysis.

  3. Impact of Genetic Counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 Testing on Deaf Identity and Comprehension of Genetic Test Results in a Sample of Deaf Adults: A Prospective, Longitudinal Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Christina G. S.; Boudreault, Patrick; Baldwin, Erin E.; Sinsheimer, Janet S.

    2014-01-01

    Using a prospective, longitudinal study design, this paper addresses the impact of genetic counseling and testing for deafness on deaf adults and the Deaf community. This study specifically evaluated the effect of genetic counseling and Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results on participants' deaf identity and understanding of their genetic test results. Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic testing was offered to participants in the context of linguistically and culturally appropriate genetic counseling. Questionnaire data collected from 209 deaf adults at four time points (baseline, immediately following pre-test genetic counseling, 1-month following genetic test result disclosure, and 6-months after result disclosure) were analyzed. Four deaf identity orientations (hearing, marginal, immersion, bicultural) were evaluated using subscales of the Deaf Identity Development Scale-Revised. We found evidence that participants understood their specific genetic test results following genetic counseling, but found no evidence of change in deaf identity based on genetic counseling or their genetic test results. This study demonstrated that culturally and linguistically appropriate genetic counseling can improve deaf clients' understanding of genetic test results, and the formation of deaf identity was not directly related to genetic counseling or Connexin-26 and Connexin-30 genetic test results. PMID:25375116

  4. Interfering amino terminal peptides and functional implications for heteromeric gap junction formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard David Veenstra

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin43 (Cx43 is widely expressed in many different tissues of the human body. In cells of some organs, Cx43 is co-expressed with other connexins (Cx, including Cx46 and Cx50 in lens, Cx40 in atrium, Purkinje fibers, and the blood vessel wall, Cx45 in heart, and Cx37 in the ovary. Interactions with the co-expressed connexins may have profound functional implications. The abilities of Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 to function in heteromeric gap junction combinations with Cx43 are well documented. Different studies disagree regarding the ability of Cx43 and Cx40 to produce functional heteromeric gap junctions with each other. We review previous studies regarding the heteromeric interactions of Cx43. The possibility of negative functional interactions between the cytoplasmic pore-forming amino terminal (NT domains of these connexins was assessed using pentameric connexin sequence-specific NT domain (iNT peptides applied to cells expressing homomeric Cx40, Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 gap junctions. A Cx43 iNT peptide corresponding to amino acids 9 to 13 (Ac-KLLDK-NH2 specifically inhibited the electrical coupling of Cx40 gap junctions in a transjunctional (Vj voltage-dependent manner without affecting the function of homologous Cx37, Cx46, Cx50, and Cx45 gap junctions. A Cx40 iNT (Ac-EFLEE-OH peptide counteracted the Vj-dependent block of Cx40 gap junctions, whereas a similarly charged Cx50 iNT (Ac-EEVNE-OH peptide did not, suggesting that these NT domain interactions are not solely based on electrostatics. These data are consistent with functional Cx43 heteromeric gap junction formation with Cx37, Cx45, Cx46, and Cx50 and suggest that Cx40 uniquely experiences functional suppressive interactions with a Cx43 NT domain sequence. These findings present unique functional implications about the heteromeric interactions between Cx43 and Cx40 that may influence cardiac conduction in atrial myocardium and the specialized conduction system.

  5. Studies on level of cytokines and expression of connexin43 in tumor and normal cells in culture conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Asati, V.; Pandey, B.N.

    2016-01-01

    Factors secreted from the tumor cells in culture medium have been known to facilitate the growth of fresh cultures and also to affect the cellular radio-sensitivity. Moreover, expression of gap junction proteins like connexin-43 is known as a key player in cell survival and proliferation. The present study is aimed to evaluate the effects of conditioned medium on the growth of respective tumor/normal cells and the expression of connexin-43 in these cells

  6. B cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) homology domain 3 (BH3) mimetics demonstrate differential activities dependent upon the functional repertoire of pro- and anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Thibaud T; Elkholi, Rana; Bharti, Archana; Chipuk, Jerry E

    2014-09-19

    The B cell lymphoma-2 (BCL-2) family is the key mediator of cellular sensitivity to apoptosis during pharmacological interventions for numerous human pathologies, including cancer. There is tremendous interest to understand how the proapoptotic BCL-2 effector members (e.g. BCL-2-associated X protein, BAX) cooperate with the BCL-2 homology domain only (BH3-only) subclass (e.g. BCL-2 interacting mediator of death, BIM; BCL-2 interacting-domain death agonist, BID) to induce mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization (MOMP) and apoptosis and whether these mechanisms may be pharmacologically exploited to enhance the killing of cancer cells. Indeed, small molecule inhibitors of the anti-apoptotic BCL-2 family members have been designed rationally. However, the success of these "BH3 mimetics" in the clinic has been limited, likely due to an incomplete understanding of how these drugs function in the presence of multiple BCL-2 family members. To increase our mechanistic understanding of how BH3 mimetics cooperate with multiple BCL-2 family members in vitro, we directly compared the activity of several BH3-mimetic compounds (i.e. ABT-263, ABT-737, GX15-070, HA14.1, TW-37) in biochemically defined large unilamellar vesicle model systems that faithfully recapitulate BAX-dependent mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization. Our investigations revealed that the presence of BAX, BID, and BIM differentially regulated the ability of BH3 mimetics to derepress proapoptotic molecules from anti-apoptotic proteins. Using mitochondria loaded with fluorescent BH3 peptides and cells treated with inducers of cell death, these differences were supported. Together, these data suggest that although the presence of anti-apoptotic BCL-2 proteins primarily dictates cellular sensitivity to BH3 mimetics, additional specificity is conferred by proapoptotic BCL-2 proteins. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  7. Role of Non-Myocyte Gap Junctions and Connexin Hemichannels in Cardiovascular Health and Disease: Novel Therapeutic Targets?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Robert D; Camelliti, Patrizia

    2018-03-15

    The heart is a complex organ composed of multiple cell types, including cardiomyocytes and different non-myocyte populations, all working closely together to determine the hearts properties and maintain normal cardiac function. Connexins are abundantly expressed proteins that form plasma membrane hemichannels and gap junctions between cells. Gap junctions are intracellular channels that allow for communication between cells, and in the heart they play a crucial role in cardiac conduction by coupling adjacent cardiomyocytes. Connexins are expressed in both cardiomyocytes and non-myocytes, including cardiac fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and macrophages. Non-myocytes are the largest population of cells in the heart, and therefore it is important to consider what roles connexins, hemichannels, and gap junctions play in these cell types. The aim of this review is to provide insight into connexin-based signalling in non-myocytes during health and disease, and highlight how targeting these proteins could lead to the development of novel therapies. We conclude that connexins in non-myocytes contribute to arrhythmias and adverse ventricular remodelling following myocardial infarction, and are associated with the initiation and development of atherosclerosis. Therefore, therapeutic interventions targeting these connexins represent an exciting new research avenue with great potential.

  8. Modular protein switches derived from antibody mimetic proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholes, N; Date, A; Beaujean, P; Hauk, P; Kanwar, M; Ostermeier, M

    2016-02-01

    Protein switches have potential applications as biosensors and selective protein therapeutics. Protein switches built by fusion of proteins with the prerequisite input and output functions are currently developed using an ad hoc process. A modular switch platform in which existing switches could be readily adapted to respond to any ligand would be advantageous. We investigated the feasibility of a modular protein switch platform based on fusions of the enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase (BLA) with two different antibody mimetic proteins: designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) and monobodies. We created libraries of random insertions of the gene encoding BLA into genes encoding a DARPin or a monobody designed to bind maltose-binding protein (MBP). From these libraries, we used a genetic selection system for β-lactamase activity to identify genes that conferred MBP-dependent ampicillin resistance to Escherichia coli. Some of these selected genes encoded switch proteins whose enzymatic activity increased up to 14-fold in the presence of MBP. We next introduced mutations into the antibody mimetic domain of these switches that were known to cause binding to different ligands. To different degrees, introduction of the mutations resulted in switches with the desired specificity, illustrating the potential modularity of these platforms. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. The mimetic repertoire of the spotted bowerbird Ptilonorhynchus maculatus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelley, Laura A.; Healy, Susan D.

    2011-06-01

    Although vocal mimicry in songbirds is well documented, little is known about the function of such mimicry. One possibility is that the mimic produces the vocalisations of predatory or aggressive species to deter potential predators or competitors. Alternatively, these sounds may be learned in error as a result of their acoustic properties such as structural simplicity. We determined the mimetic repertoires of a population of male spotted bowerbirds Ptilonorhynchus maculatus, a species that mimics predatory and aggressive species. Although male mimetic repertoires contained an overabundance of vocalisations produced by species that were generally aggressive, there was also a marked prevalence of mimicry of sounds that are associated with alarm such as predator calls, alarm calls and mobbing calls, irrespective of whether the species being mimicked was aggressive or not. We propose that it may be the alarming context in which these sounds are first heard that may lead both to their acquisition and to their later reproduction. We suggest that enhanced learning capability during acute stress may explain vocal mimicry in many species that mimic sounds associated with alarm.

  10. Mimetic Gravity: A Review of Recent Developments and Applications to Cosmology and Astrophysics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lorenzo Sebastiani

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Mimetic gravity is a Weyl-symmetric extension of General Relativity, related to the latter by a singular disformal transformation, wherein the appearance of a dust-like perfect fluid can mimic cold dark matter at a cosmological level. Within this framework, it is possible to provide a unified geometrical explanation for dark matter, the late-time acceleration, and inflation, making it a very attractive theory. In this review, we summarize the main aspects of mimetic gravity, as well as extensions of the minimal formulation of the model. We devote particular focus to the reconstruction technique, which allows the realization of any desired expansionary history of the universe by an accurate choice of potential or other functions defined within the theory (as in the case of mimetic f(R gravity. We briefly discuss cosmological perturbation theory within mimetic gravity. As a case study within which we apply the concepts previously discussed, we study a mimetic Hořava-like theory, of which we explore solutions and cosmological perturbations in detail. Finally, we conclude the review by discussing static spherically symmetric solutions within mimetic gravity and apply our findings to the problem of galactic rotation curves. Our review provides an introduction to mimetic gravity, as well as a concise but self-contained summary of recent findings, progress, open questions, and outlooks on future research directions.

  11. Structural basis for inhibition of the protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B by phosphotyrosine peptide mimetics

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groves, M R; Yao, Z J; Roller, P P; Burke, T R; Barford, D

    1998-01-01

    Protein tyrosine phosphatases regulate diverse cellular processes and represent important targets for therapeutic intervention in a number of diseases. The crystal structures of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) in complex with small molecule inhibitors based upon two classes of

  12. A novel anti-inflammatory role of NCAM-derived mimetic peptide, FGL

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Downer, Eric J; Cowley, Thelma R; Lyons, Anthony

    2010-01-01

    as a novel anti-inflammatory agent. Administration of FGL to aged rats attenuated the increased expression of markers of activated microglia, the increase in pro-inflammatory interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) and the impairment in long-term potentiation (LTP). We report that the age-related increase in microglial...... activation was accompanied by decreased expression of neuronal CD200, and suggest that the proclivity of FGL to suppress microglial activation is due to its stimulatory effect on neuronal CD200. We demonstrate that FGL enhanced interleukin-4 (IL-4) release from glial cells and IL-4 in turn enhanced neuronal...

  13. Impact of the erythropoietin-derived peptide mimetic Epotris on the histopathological consequences of status epilepticus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zellinger, Christina; Seeger, Natalie; Hadamitzky, Martin

    2011-01-01

    the microglial response caused by prolonged seizure activity in the thalamus but not in other brain regions. The study renders support that the Epotris' sequences from binding site 2 in helix C of Epo play a role in receptor interaction and cytokine function. In addition, the data demonstrate that Epotris can...

  14. Coating of Biomaterial Scaffolds with the Collagen-Mimetic Peptide GFOGER for Bone Defect Repair

    OpenAIRE

    Wojtowicz, Abigail M.; Shekaran, Asha; Oest, Megan E.; Dupont, Kenneth M.; Templeman, Kellie L.; Hutmacher, Dietmar W.; Guldberg, Robert E.; García, Andrés J.

    2009-01-01

    Healing large bone defects and non-unions remains a significant clinical problem. Current treatments, consisting of auto- and allografts, are limited by donor supply and morbidity, insufficient bioactivity and risk of infection. Biotherapeutics, including cells, genes and proteins, represent promising alternative therapies, but these strategies are limited by technical roadblocks to biotherapeutic delivery, cell sourcing, high cost, and regulatory hurdles. In the present study, the collagen-m...

  15. Sex differences in connexin-43 expression in left ventricles of aging rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tribulová, N.; Dupont, E.; Soukup, Tomáš; Okruhlicová, L.; Severs, N. J.

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 54, č. 6 (2005), s. 705-708 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA304/05/0327 Grant - others:MYORES(XE) 511978; CZ-SK(CZ) 02-2004-05 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50110509 Keywords : connexin-43 * rat cardiomyocytes * male and female specificity Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.806, year: 2005

  16. Dual stimuli-sensitive dendrimers: Photothermogenic gold nanoparticle-loaded thermo-responsive elastin-mimetic dendrimers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukushima, Daichi; Sk, Ugir Hossain; Sakamoto, Yasuhiro; Nakase, Ikuhiko; Kojima, Chie

    2015-08-01

    Dendrimers are synthetic macromolecules with unique structures that can work as nanoplatforms for both photothermogenic gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and thermosensitive elastin-like peptides (ELPs) with valine-proline-glycine-valine-glycine (VPGVG) repeats. In this study, photothermogenic AuNPs were loaded into thermo-responsive elastin-mimetic dendrimers (dendrimers conjugating ELPs at their periphery) to produce dual stimuli-sensitive nanoparticles. Polyamidoamine G4 dendrimers were modified with acetylated VPGVG and (VPGVG)2, and the resulting materials were named ELP1-den and ELP2-den, respectively. The AuNPs were prepared by the reduction of Au ions using a dendrimer-nanotemplated method. The AuNP-loaded elastin-mimetic dendrimers exhibited photothermal properties. ELP1-den and ELP2-den showed similar temperature-dependent changes in their conformations. Phase transitions were observed at around 55°C and 35°C for the AuNP-loaded ELP1-den and AuNP-loaded ELP2-den, respectively, but not for the corresponding PEGylated dendrimer. In contrast to the AuNP-loaded PEGylated dendrimer, AuNP-loaded ELP2-den readily associated with cells and induced efficient photocytotoxicity at 37°C. The cell association and the photocytotoxicity properties of AuNP-loaded ELP2-den could be controlled by temperature. These results therefore suggest that dual stimuli-sensitive dendrimer nanoparticles of this type could be used for photothermal therapy. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. HDL mimetic CER-001 targets atherosclerotic plaques in patients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Kang He; van der Valk, Fleur M; Smits, Loek P; Sandberg, Mara; Dasseux, Jean-Louis; Baron, Rudi; Barbaras, Ronald; Keyserling, Constance; Coolen, Bram F; Nederveen, Aart J; Verberne, Hein J; Nell, Thijs E; Vugts, Danielle J; Duivenvoorden, Raphaël; Fayad, Zahi A; Mulder, Willem J M; van Dongen, Guus A M S; Stroes, Erik S G

    2016-08-01

    Infusion of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) mimetics aimed at reducing atherosclerotic burden has led to equivocal results, which may relate in part to the inability of HDL mimetics to adequately reach atherosclerotic lesions in humans. This study evaluated delivery of recombinant human apolipoprotein A-I (apoA-I) containing HDL mimetic CER-001 in carotid plaques in patients. CER-001 was radiolabeled with the long-lived positron emitter zirconium-89 ((89)Zr) to enable positron emission tomography with computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging. Eight patients with atherosclerotic carotid artery disease (>50% stenosis) received a single infusion of unlabeled CER-001 (3 mg/kg), co-administered with 10 mg of (89)Zr-labeled CER-001 (18 MBq). Serial PET/CT imaging and contrast enhanced-magnetic resonance imaging (CE-MRI) were performed to evaluate targeted delivery of CER-001. One hour after infusion, mean plasma apoA-I levels increased by 9.9 mg/dL (p = 0.026), with a concomitant relative increase in the plasma cholesterol efflux capacity of 13.8% (p CER-001 expressed as target-to-background ratio (TBRmax) increased significantly 24 h after infusion, and remained increased up to 48 h (TBRmax t = 10 min: 0.98; t = 24 h: 1.14 (p = 0.001); t = 48 h: 1.12 (p = 0.007)). TBRmax was higher in plaque compared with non-plaque segments (1.18 vs. 1.05; p CER-001 increases plasma apoA-I concentration and plasma cholesterol efflux capacity. Our data support the concept that CER-001 targets plaque regions in patients, which correlates with plaque contrast enhancement. These clinical findings may also guide future nanomedicine development using HDL particles for drug delivery in atherosclerosis. Netherlands Trial Registry - NTR5178. http://www.trialregister.nl/trialreg/admin/rctview.asp?TC=5178. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  18. Improving cardiac gap junction communication as a new antiarrhythmic mechanism: the action of antiarrhythmic peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dhein, Stefan; Hagen, Anja; Jozwiak, Joanna; Dietze, Anna; Garbade, Jens; Barten, Markus; Kostelka, Martin; Mohr, Friedrich-Wilhelm

    2010-03-01

    Co-ordinated electrical activation of the heart is maintained by intercellular coupling of cardiomyocytes via gap junctional channels located in the intercalated disks. These channels consist of two hexameric hemichannels, docked to each other, provided by either of the adjacent cells. Thus, a complete gap junction channel is made from 12 protein subunits, the connexins. While 21 isoforms of connexins are presently known, cardiomyocytes typically are coupled by Cx43 (most abundant), Cx40 or Cx45. Some years ago, antiarrhythmic peptides were discovered and synthesised, which were shown to increase macroscopic gap junction conductance (electrical coupling) and enhance dye transfer (metabolic coupling). The lead substance of these peptides is AAP10 (H-Gly-Ala-Gly-Hyp-Pro-Tyr-CONH(2)), a peptide with a horseshoe-like spatial structure as became evident from two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance studies. A stable D: -amino-acid derivative of AAP10, rotigaptide, as well as a non-peptide analogue, gap-134, has been developed in recent years. Antiarrhythmic peptides act on Cx43 and Cx45 gap junctions but not on Cx40 channels. AAP10 has been shown to enhance intercellular communication in rat, rabbit and human cardiomyocytes. Antiarrhythmic peptides are effective against ventricular tachyarrhythmias, such as late ischaemic (type IB) ventricular fibrillation, CaCl(2) or aconitine-induced arrhythmia. Interestingly, the effect of antiarrhythmic peptides is higher in partially uncoupled cells and was shown to be related to maintained Cx43 phosphorylation, while arrhythmogenic conditions like ischaemia result in Cx43 dephosphorylation and intercellular decoupling. It is still a matter of debate whether these drugs also act against atrial fibrillation. The present review outlines the development of this group of peptides and derivatives, their mode of action and molecular mechanisms, and discusses their possible therapeutic potential.

  19. Synthesis, analysis and biological evaluation of new RGD mimetics

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Balacheva, A. A.; Lambev, M. K.; Pashov, I.; Detcheva, R. L.; Sázelová, Petra; Momekov, G. Ts.; Kašička, Václav; Pajpanova, T. I.; Golovinsky, E. V.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 49, SI E (2017), s. 7-10 ISSN 0324-1130. [Bulgarian Peptide Symposium /7./. Blagoevgrad, 10.06.2016-12.06.2016] Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : RGD * biological ly active peptides * cytotoxicity Subject RIV: CB - Analytical Chemistry, Separation OBOR OECD: Analytical chemistry Impact factor: 0.238, year: 2016

  20. Altered Connexin 43 and Connexin 45 protein expression in the heart as a function of social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grippo, Angela J; Moffitt, Julia A; Henry, Matthew K; Firkins, Rachel; Senkler, Jonathan; McNeal, Neal; Wardwell, Joshua; Scotti, Melissa-Ann L; Dotson, Ashley; Schultz, Rachel

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to social and environmental stressors may influence behavior as well as autonomic and cardiovascular regulation, potentially leading to depressive disorders and cardiac dysfunction including elevated sympathetic drive, reduced parasympathetic function, and ventricular arrhythmias. The cellular mechanisms that underlie these interactions are not well understood. One mechanism may involve alterations in the expression of Connexin43 (Cx43) and Connexin45 (Cx45), gap junction proteins in the heart that play an important role in ensuring efficient cell-to-cell coupling and the maintenance of cardiac rhythmicity. The present study investigated the hypothesis that long-term social isolation, combined with mild environmental stressors, would produce both depressive behaviors and altered Cx43 and Cx45 expression in the left ventricle of prairie voles - a socially monogamous rodent model. Adult, female prairie voles were exposed to either social isolation (n = 22) or control (paired, n = 23) conditions (4 weeks), alone or in combination with chronic mild stress (CMS) (1 week). Social isolation, versus paired control conditions, produced significantly (p Social isolation (alone) reduced (p social and environmental stress in the prairie vole.

  1. Thick branes with inner structure in mimetic gravity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhong, Yi; Zhang, Yu-Peng; Liu, Yu-Xiao [Lanzhou University, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Lanzhou (China); Lanzhou University, Research Center of Gravitation, Lanzhou (China); Zhong, Yuan [Xi' an Jiaotong University, School of Science, Xi' an (China)

    2018-01-15

    In this paper, thick branes generated by mimetic scalar field are investigated. Three typical thick brane models are constructed and the linear tensor and scalar perturbations are analyzed. These branes have different inner structures, some of which are absent in general relativity. For each brane model, the solution is stable under both tensor and scalar perturbations. The tensor zero modes are localized on the branes, while the scalar perturbations do not propagate and they are not localized on the brane. As the branes split into multi sub-branes for specific parameters, the potentials of the tensor perturbations also split into multi-wells, and this may lead to new phenomenon in the resonance of the tensor perturbation and the localization of matter fields. (orig.)

  2. Ancient homology underlies adaptive mimetic diversity across butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallant, Jason R.; Imhoff, Vance E.; Martin, Arnaud; Savage, Wesley K.; Chamberlain, Nicola L.; Pote, Ben L.; Peterson, Chelsea; Smith, Gabriella E.; Evans, Benjamin; Reed, Robert D.; Kronforst, Marcus R.; Mullen, Sean P.

    2014-01-01

    Convergent evolution provides a rare, natural experiment with which to test the predictability of adaptation at the molecular level. Little is known about the molecular basis of convergence over macro-evolutionary timescales. Here we use a combination of positional cloning, population genomic resequencing, association mapping and developmental data to demonstrate that positionally orthologous nucleotide variants in the upstream region of the same gene, WntA, are responsible for parallel mimetic variation in two butterfly lineages that diverged >65 million years ago. Furthermore, characterization of spatial patterns of WntA expression during development suggests that alternative regulatory mechanisms underlie wing pattern variation in each system. Taken together, our results reveal a strikingly predictable molecular basis for phenotypic convergence over deep evolutionary time. PMID:25198507

  3. The neural cell adhesion molecule-derived peptide, FGL, attenuates lipopolysaccharide-induced changes in glia in a CD200-dependent manner

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cox, F F; Berezin, V; Bock, E

    2013-01-01

    Fibroblast growth loop (FGL) is a neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM)-mimetic peptide that mimics the interaction of NCAM with fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR). FGL increases neurite outgrowth and promotes neuronal survival in vitro, and it has also been shown to have neuroprotective eff...

  4. Gating of Connexin Channels by transjunctional-voltage: Conformations and models of open and closed states.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bargiello, Thaddeus A; Oh, Seunghoon; Tang, Qingxiu; Bargiello, Nicholas K; Dowd, Terry L; Kwon, Taekyung

    2018-01-01

    Voltage is an important physiologic regulator of channels formed by the connexin gene family. Connexins are unique among ion channels in that both plasma membrane inserted hemichannels (undocked hemichannels) and intercellular channels (aggregates of which form gap junctions) have important physiological roles. The hemichannel is the fundamental unit of gap junction voltage-gating. Each hemichannel displays two distinct voltage-gating mechanisms that are primarily sensitive to a voltage gradient formed along the length of the channel pore (the transjunctional voltage) rather than sensitivity to the absolute membrane potential (V m or V i-o ). These transjunctional voltage dependent processes have been termed V j - or fast-gating and loop- or slow-gating. Understanding the mechanism of voltage-gating, defined as the sequence of voltage-driven transitions that connect open and closed states, first and foremost requires atomic resolution models of the end states. Although ion channels formed by connexins were among the first to be characterized structurally by electron microscopy and x-ray diffraction in the early 1980's, subsequent progress has been slow. Much of the current understanding of the structure-function relations of connexin channels is based on two crystal structures of Cx26 gap junction channels. Refinement of crystal structure by all-atom molecular dynamics and incorporation of charge changing protein modifications has resulted in an atomic model of the open state that arguably corresponds to the physiologic open state. Obtaining validated atomic models of voltage-dependent closed states is more challenging, as there are currently no methods to solve protein structure while a stable voltage gradient is applied across the length of an oriented channel. It is widely believed that the best approach to solve the atomic structure of a voltage-gated closed ion channel is to apply different but complementary experimental and computational methods and to use

  5. Structure and Orientation of Bovine Lactoferrampin in the Mimetic Bacterial Membrane as Revealed by Solid-State NMR and Molecular Dynamics Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsumi, Atsushi; Javkhlantugs, Namsrai; Kira, Atsushi; Umeyama, Masako; Kawamura, Izuru; Nishimura, Katsuyuki; Ueda, Kazuyoshi; Naito, Akira

    2012-01-01

    Bovine lactoferrampin (LFampinB) is a newly discovered antimicrobial peptide found in the N1-domain of bovine lactoferrin (268–284), and consists of 17 amino-acid residues. It is important to determine the orientation and structure of LFampinB in bacterial membranes to reveal the antimicrobial mechanism. We therefore performed 13C and 31P NMR, 13C-31P rotational echo double resonance (REDOR), potassium ion-selective electrode, and quartz-crystal microbalance measurements for LFampinB with mimetic bacterial membrane and molecular-dynamics simulation in acidic membrane. 31P NMR results indicated that LFampinB caused a defect in mimetic bacterial membranes. Ion-selective electrode measurements showed that ion leakage occurred for the mimetic bacterial membrane containing cardiolipin. Quartz-crystal microbalance measurements revealed that LFampinB had greater affinity to acidic phospholipids than that to neutral phospholipids. 13C DD-MAS and static NMR spectra showed that LFampinB formed an α-helix in the N-terminus region and tilted 45° to the bilayer normal. REDOR dephasing patterns between carbonyl carbon nucleus in LFampinB and phosphorus nuclei in lipid phosphate groups were measured by 13C-31P REDOR and the results revealed that LFampinB is located in the interfacial region of the membrane. Molecular-dynamics simulation showed the tilt angle to be 42° and the rotation angle to be 92.5° for Leu3, which are in excellent agreement with the experimental values. PMID:23083717

  6. Identification of novel small-molecule Ulex europaeus I mimetics for targeted drug delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamashin, Christa; Spindler, Lisa; Russell, Shannon; Schink, Amy; Lambkin, Imelda; O'Mahony, Daniel; Houghten, Richard; Pinilla, Clemencia

    2003-11-17

    Lectin mimetics have been identified that may have potential application towards targeted drug delivery. Synthetic multivalent polygalloyl constructs effectively competed with Ulex europaeus agglutinin I (UEA1) for binding to intestinal Caco-2 cell membranes.

  7. A mucosa-mimetic material for the mucoadhesion testing of thermogelling semi-solids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    da Silva, Jéssica Bassi; Khutoryanskiy, Vitaliy V; Bruschi, Marcos L; Cook, Michael T

    2017-08-07

    Mucosa-mimetic materials are synthetic substrates which aim to replace animal tissue in mucoadhesion experiments. One potential mucosa-mimetic material is a hydrogel comprised of N-acryloyl-d-glucosamine and 2-hydroxyethylmethacrylate, which has been investigated as a surrogate for animal mucosae in the mucoadhesion testing of tablets and solution formulations. This study aims to investigate the efficacy of this mucosa-mimetic material in the testing of thermogelling semi-solid formulations, which transition from solution to gel upon warming. Two methods for assessing mucoadhesion have been used; tensile testing and a flow-through system, which allow for investigation under dramatically different conditions. It was found that the mucosa-mimetic material was a good surrogate for buccal mucosa using both testing methods. This material may be used to replace animal tissue in these experiments, potentially reducing the number of laboratory animals used in studies of this type. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Response of thyroid follicular cells to gamma irradiation compared to proton irradiation: II. The role of connexin 32

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, L. M.; Tran, D. T.; Murray, D. K.; Rightnar, S. S.; Todd, S.; Nelson, G. A.

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this study was to determine whether connexin 32-type gap junctions contribute to the "contact effect" in follicular thyrocytes and whether the response is influenced by radiation quality. Our previous studies demonstrated that early-passage follicular cultures of Fischer rat thyroid cells express functional connexin 32 gap junctions, with later-passage cultures expressing a truncated nonfunctional form of the protein. This model allowed us to assess the role of connexin 32 in radiation responsiveness without relying solely on chemical manipulation of gap junctions. The survival curves generated after gamma irradiation revealed that early-passage follicular cultures had significantly lower values of alpha (0.04 Gy(-1)) than later-passage cultures (0.11 Gy(-1)) (P 0.1, n = 9). This strongly suggests that the presence of functional connexin 32-type gap junctions was contributing to radiation resistance in gamma-irradiated thyroid follicles. Survival curves from proton-irradiated cultures had alpha values that were not significantly different whether cells expressed functional connexin 32 (0.10 Gy(-1)), did not express connexin 32 (0.09 Gy(-1)), or were down-regulated (early-passage plus heptanol, 0.09 Gy(-1); late-passage plus heptanol, 0.12 Gy(-1)) (P > 0.1, n = 19). Thus, for proton irradiation, the presence of connexin 32-type gap junctional channels did not influence their radiosensitivity. Collectively, the data support the following conclusions. (1) The lower alpha values from the gamma-ray survival curves of the early-passage cultures suggest greater repair efficiency and/or enhanced resistance to radiation-induced damage, coincident with the expression of connexin 32-type gap junctions. (2) The increased sensitivity of FRTL-5 cells to proton irradiation was independent of their ability to communicate through connexin 32 gap junctions. (3) The fact that the beta components of the survival curves from both gamma rays and proton beams were

  9. Production and characterization Te-peptide by induced autolysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morya, V K; Dong, Shin Jae; Kim, Eun-ki

    2014-04-01

    Recently, the interest in mimicking functions of chalcogen-based catalytic antioxidants like selenoenzymes, has been increased. Various attempts had been done with selenium, but very few attempts were carried out with tellurium. Bio-complex formation and characterization of tellurium was not tried earlier by using any organism. The present study was focused on tellurium peptide production, characterization, and bioactivity assessment especially Mimetic to glutathione peroxidase (GPx). The production was achieved by the autolysis of total proteins obtained from Saccharomyces cerevisiae ATCC 7752 grown with inorganic tellurium. The GPx-like activity of the hydrolyzed tellurium peptide was increased when prepared by autolysis, but decreased when prepared by acid hydrolysis. Tellurium peptide produced by autolysis of the yeast cell showed increased GPx-like activity as well as tellurium content. Tellurium peptide showed little toxicity, compared to highly toxic inorganic tellurium. The results showed the potential of tellurium peptide as an antioxidant that can be produced by simple autolysis of yeast cells.

  10. Reissner–Nordström Anti-de Sitter Black Holes in Mimetic F(R Gravity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. K. Oikonomou

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, we study under which conditions the Reissner–Nordström anti-de Sitter black hole can be a solution of the vacuum mimetic F ( R gravity with Lagrange multiplier and mimetic scalar potential. As the author demonstrates, the resulting picture in the mimetic F ( R gravity case is a trivial extension of the standard F ( R approach, and in effect, the metric perturbations in the mimetic F ( R gravity case, for the Reissner–Nordström anti-de Sitter black hole metric, at the first order of the perturbed variables are the same at the leading order.

  11. Design and Characterization of a Human Monoclonal Antibody that Modulates Mutant Connexin 26 Hemichannels Implicated in Deafness and Skin Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liang Xu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Background: Mutations leading to changes in properties, regulation, or expression of connexin-made channels have been implicated in 28 distinct human hereditary diseases. Eight of these result from variants of connexin 26 (Cx26, a protein critically involved in cell-cell signaling in the inner ear and skin. Lack of non-toxic drugs with defined mechanisms of action poses a serious obstacle to therapeutic interventions for diseases caused by mutant connexins. In particular, molecules that specifically modulate connexin hemichannel function without affecting gap junction channels are considered of primary importance for the study of connexin hemichannel role in physiological as well as pathological conditions. Monoclonal antibodies developed in the last three decades have become the most important class of therapeutic biologicals. Recombinant methods permit rapid selection and improvement of monoclonal antibodies from libraries with large diversity.Methods: By screening a combinatorial library of human single-chain fragment variable (scFv antibodies expressed in phage, we identified a candidate that binds an extracellular epitope of Cx26. We characterized antibody action using a variety of biochemical and biophysical assays in HeLa cells, organotypic cultures of mouse cochlea and human keratinocyte-derived cells.Results: We determined that the antibody is a remarkably efficient, non-toxic, and completely reversible inhibitor of hemichannels formed by connexin 26 and does not affect direct cell-cell communication via gap junction channels. Importantly, we also demonstrate that the antibody efficiently inhibits hyperative mutant Cx26 hemichannels implicated in autosomal dominant non-syndromic hearing impairment accompanied by keratitis and hystrix-like ichthyosis-deafness (KID/HID syndrome. We solved the crystal structure of the antibody, identified residues that are critical for binding and used molecular dynamics to uncover its mechanism of action

  12. Astrocyte and Oligodendrocyte Connexins of the Glial Syncytium in Relation to Astrocyte Anatomical Domains and Spatial Buffering

    OpenAIRE

    NAGY, JAMES I.; RASH, JOHN E.

    2003-01-01

    Astroctyes express a set of three connexins (Cx26, Cx30, and Cx43) that are contained in astrocyte-to-astrocyte (A/A) gap junctions; oligodendrocytes express a different set of three connexins (Cx29, Cx32, and Cx47) that are contained in the oligodendrocyte side of necessarily heterotypic astrocyte-to-oligodendrocyte (A/O) gap junctions, and there is little ultrastructural evidence for gap junction formation between individual oligodendrocytes. In addition, primarily Cx29 and Cx32 are contain...

  13. Connexin domains relevant to the chemical gating of gap junction channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Peracchia

    1997-05-01

    Full Text Available Most cells exchange ions and small metabolites via gap junction channels. These channels are made of two hemichannels (connexons, each formed by the radial arrangement of six connexin (Cx proteins. Connexins span the bilayer four times (M1-M4 and have both amino- and carboxy-termini (NT, CT at the cytoplasmic side of the membrane, forming two extracellular loops (E1, E2 and one inner (IL loop. The channels are regulated by gates that close with cytosolic acidification (e.g., CO2 treatment or increased calcium concentration, possibly via calmodulin activation. Although gap junction regulation is still unclear, connexin domains involved in gating are being defined. We have recently focused on the CO2 gating sensitivity of Cx32, Cx38 and various mutants and chimeras expressed in Xenopus oocytes and studied by double voltage clamp. Cx32 is weakly sensitive to CO2, whereas Cx38 is highly sensitive. A Cx32 chimera containing the second half of the inner loop (IL2 of Cx38 was as sensitive to CO2 as Cx38, indicating that this domain plays an important role. Deletion of CT by 84% did not affect CO2 sensitivity, but replacement of 5 arginines (R with sparagines (N at the beginning of CT (C1 greatly enhanced the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32. This suggests that whereas most of CT is irrelevant, positive charges of C1 maintain the CO2 sensitivity of Cx32 low. As a hypothesis we have proposed a model that involves charge interaction between negative residues of the beginning of IL1 and positive residues of either C1 or IL2. Open and closed channels would result from IL1-C1 and IL1-IL2 interactions, respectively

  14. Effect of Beta-Carotene on Oxidative Stress and Expression of Cardiac Connexin 43

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Novo, Rosangela; Azevedo, Paula S.; Minicucci, Marcos F.; Zornoff, Leonardo A. M., E-mail: lzornoff@fmb.unesp.br; Paiva, Sergio A. R. [Faculdade de Medicina de Botucatu - Universidade Estadual Paulista ' Júlio de Mesquita Filho' , Botucatu, SP (Brazil)

    2013-09-15

    Intervention studies have shown an increased mortality in patients who received beta-carotene. However, the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon are still unknown. Evaluate the influence of beta-carotene on oxidative stress and the expression of connexin 43 in rat hearts. Wistar rats, weighing approximately 100 g, were allocated in two groups: Control Group (n = 30), that received the diet routinely used in our laboratory, and Beta-Carotene Group (n = 28), which received beta-carotene (in crystal form, added and mixed to the diet) at a dose of 500 mg of beta carotene/kg of diet. The animals received the treatment until they reached 200-250g, when they were sacrificed. Samples of blood, liver and heart were collected to perform Western blotting and immunohistochemistry for connexin 43; morphometric studies, dosages of beta carotene by high performance liquid chromatography as well as reduced glutathione, oxidized glutathione and lipids hydroperoxides were performed by biochemical analysis. Beta-carotene was detected only in the liver of Beta-Carotene Group animals (288 ± 94.7 μg/kg). Levels of reduced/ oxidized glutathione were higher in the liver and heart of Beta-Carotene Group animals (liver - Control Group: 42.60 ± 1.62; liver - Beta-Carotene Group: 57.40 ± 5.90; p = 0.04; heart: - Control Group: 117.40 ± 1.01; heart - Beta-Carotene Group: 121.81 ± 1.32 nmol/mg protein; p = 0.03). The content of total connexin 43 was larger in Beta-Carotene Group. Beta-carotene demonstrated a positive effect, characterized by the increase of intercellular communication and improvement of anti-oxidizing defense system. In this model, mechanism does not explain the increased mortality rate observed with the beta-carotene supplementation in clinical studies.

  15. Glial and neuronal connexin expression patterns in the rat spinal cord during development and following injury

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lee, I. Hui; Lindqvist, Eva; Kiehn, Ole

    2005-01-01

    Spinal cord injury induces a complex cascade of degenerative and remodeling events evolving over time. The possible roles of changed intercellular communication via gap junctions after spinal cord injury (SCI) have remained relatively unexplored. We investigated the temporospatial expression...... patterns of gap junctional genes and proteins, connexin 43 (Cx43), Cx36, and Cx32, by in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry in the rat neonatal, adult normal, and adult injured spinal cord. Cx36 was strongly expressed in immature neurons, and levels declined markedly during development, whereas Cx...

  16. Determination of superoxide dismutase mimetic activity in common culinary herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chohan, Magali; Naughton, Declan P; Opara, Elizabeth I

    2014-01-01

    Under conditions of oxidative stress, the removal of superoxide, a free radical associated with chronic inflammation, is catalysed by superoxide dismutase (SOD). Thus in addition to acting as an antioxidant, SOD may also be utilized as an anti-inflammatory agent. Some plant derived foods have been shown to have SOD mimetic (SODm) activity however it is not known if this activity is possessed by culinary herbs which have previously been shown to possess both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The aim of the study was to ascertain if the culinary herbs rosemary, sage and thyme possess SODm activity, and to investigate the influence of cooking and digestion on this activity. Transition metal ion content was also determined to establish if it could likely contribute to any SODm activity detected. All extracts of uncooked (U), cooked (C) and cooked and digested (C&D) herbs were shown to possess SODm activity, which was significantly correlated with previously determined antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities of these herbs. SODm activity was significantly increased following (C) and (C&D) for rosemary and sage only. The impact of (C) and (C&D) on the SODm for thyme may have been influenced by its transition metal ion content. SODm activity may contribute to the herbs' antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities however the source and significance of this activity need to be established.

  17. Membrane mimetic surface functionalization of nanoparticles: Methods and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weingart, Jacob; Vabbilisetty, Pratima; Sun, Xue-Long

    2013-01-01

    Nanoparticles (NPs), due to their size-dependent physical and chemical properties, have shown remarkable potential for a wide range of applications over the past decades. Particularly, the biological compatibilities and functions of NPs have been extensively studied for expanding their potential in areas of biomedical application such as bioimaging, biosensing, and drug delivery. In doing so, surface functionalization of NPs by introducing synthetic ligands and/or natural biomolecules has become a critical component in regards to the overall performance of the NP system for its intended use. Among known examples of surface functionalization, the construction of an artificial cell membrane structure, based on phospholipids, has proven effective in enhancing biocompatibility and has become a viable alternative to more traditional modifications, such as direct polymer conjugation. Furthermore, certain bioactive molecules can be immobilized onto the surface of phospholipid platforms to generate displays more reminiscent of cellular surface components. Thus, NPs with membrane-mimetic displays have found use in a range of bioimaging, biosensing, and drug delivery applications. This review herein describes recent advances in the preparations and characterization of integrated functional NPs covered by artificial cell membrane structures and their use in various biomedical applications. PMID:23688632

  18. Recognition of GPCRs by peptide ligands and membrane compartments theory: structural studies of endogenous peptide hormones in membrane environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankararamakrishnan, Ramasubbu

    2006-04-01

    One of the largest family of cell surface proteins, G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) regulate virtually all known physiological processes in mammals. With seven transmembrane segments, they respond to diverse range of extracellular stimuli and represent a major class of drug targets. Peptidergic GPCRs use endogenous peptides as ligands. To understand the mechanism of GPCR activation and rational drug design, knowledge of three-dimensional structure of receptor-ligand complex is important. The endogenous peptide hormones are often short, flexible and completely disordered in aqueous solution. According to "Membrane Compartments Theory", the flexible peptide binds to the membrane in the first step before it recognizes its receptor and the membrane-induced conformation is postulated to bind to the receptor in the second step. Structures of several peptide hormones have been determined in membrane-mimetic medium. In these studies, micelles, reverse micelles and bicelles have been used to mimic the cell membrane environment. Recently, conformations of two peptide hormones have also been studied in receptor-bound form. Membrane environment induces stable secondary structures in flexible peptide ligands and membrane-induced peptide structures have been correlated with their bioactivity. Results of site-directed mutagenesis, spectroscopy and other experimental studies along with the conformations determined in membrane medium have been used to interpret the role of individual residues in the peptide ligand. Structural differences of membrane-bound peptides that belong to the same family but differ in selectivity are likely to explain the mechanism of receptor selectivity and specificity of the ligands. Knowledge of peptide 3D structures in membrane environment has potential applications in rational drug design.

  19. Virus-mimetic polyplex particles for systemic and inflammation-specific targeted delivery of large genetic contents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, S; Lu, K; Leelawattanachai, J; Hu, X; Park, S; Park, T; Min, I M; Jin, M M

    2013-11-01

    Systemic and target-specific delivery of large genetic contents has been difficult to achieve. Although viruses effortlessly deliver kilobase-long genome into cells, its clinical use has been hindered by serious safety concerns and the mismatch between native tropisms and desired targets. Nonviral vectors, in contrast, are limited by low gene transfer efficiency and inherent cytotoxicity. Here we devised virus-mimetic polyplex particles (VMPs) based on electrostatic self-assembly among polyanionic peptide (PAP), cationic polymer polyethyleneimine (PEI) and nucleic acids. We fused PAP to the engineered ligand-binding domain of integrin αLβ2 to target intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1), an inducible marker of inflammation. Fully assembled VMPs packaged large genetic contents, bound specifically to target molecules, elicited receptor-mediated endocytosis and escaped endosomal pathway, resembling intracellular delivery processes of viruses. Unlike conventional PEI-mediated transfection, molecular interaction-dependent gene delivery of VMPs was unaffected by the presence of serum and achieved higher efficiency without toxicity. By targeting overexpressed ICAM-1, VMPs delivered genes specifically to inflamed endothelial cells and macrophages both in vitro and in vivo. Simplicity and versatility of the platform and inflammation-specific delivery may open up opportunities for multifaceted gene therapy that can be translated into the clinic and treat a broad range of debilitating immune and inflammatory diseases.

  20. Egg white hydrolysate shows insulin mimetic and sensitizing effects in 3T3-F442A pre-adipocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Forough Jahandideh

    Full Text Available Insulin resistance and inflammation in adipose tissue is a key mechanism underlying metabolic syndrome, a growing health problem characterized by diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Previous work from our research group has demonstrated the potential of egg white ovotransferrin derived bioactive peptides against hypertension, oxidative stress and inflammation in vitro and in vivo. Egg white hydrolysate (EWH has also shown anti-hypertensive effects in spontaneously hypertensive rats. Given the interplay among hypertension, inflammation, oxidative stress and metabolic syndrome, the objective of the study was to test the EWH on differentiation, insulin signaling and inflammatory responses in 3T3-F442A pre-adipocytes. Our study suggested that EWH could promote adipocyte differentiation as shown by increased lipid accumulation, increased release of adiponectin and upregulation of peroxisome proliferator associated receptor gamma (PPARγ and CCAAT/ enhancer binding protein alpha (C/EBP-α. In addition to enhanced insulin effects on the upregulation of protein kinase B/Akt phosphorylation, EWH treatment increased extracellular signal regulated kinase 1/2 (ERK1/2 phosphorylation to a level similar to that of insulin, indicating insulin sensitizing and mimetic properties of the EWH. EWH further attenuated cytokine induced inflammatory marker; cyclooxygenase -2 (COX-2 by 48.78%, possibly through the AP-1 pathway by down regulating c-Jun phosphorylation in adipocytes. Given the critical role of adipose in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, EWH may have potential applications in the prevention and management of metabolic syndrome and its complications.

  1. Elementary dispersion analysis of some mimetic discretizations on triangular C-grids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Korn, P., E-mail: peter.korn@mpimet.mpg.de [Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany); Danilov, S. [Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven (Germany); A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Moscow (Russian Federation)

    2017-02-01

    Spurious modes supported by triangular C-grids limit their application for modeling large-scale atmospheric and oceanic flows. Their behavior can be modified within a mimetic approach that generalizes the scalar product underlying the triangular C-grid discretization. The mimetic approach provides a discrete continuity equation which operates on an averaged combination of normal edge velocities instead of normal edge velocities proper. An elementary analysis of the wave dispersion of the new discretization for Poincaré, Rossby and Kelvin waves shows that, although spurious Poincaré modes are preserved, their frequency tends to zero in the limit of small wavenumbers, which removes the divergence noise in this limit. However, the frequencies of spurious and physical modes become close on shorter scales indicating that spurious modes can be excited unless high-frequency short-scale motions are effectively filtered in numerical codes. We argue that filtering by viscous dissipation is more efficient in the mimetic approach than in the standard C-grid discretization. Lumping of mass matrices appearing with the velocity time derivative in the mimetic discretization only slightly reduces the accuracy of the wave dispersion and can be used in practice. Thus, the mimetic approach cures some difficulties of the traditional triangular C-grid discretization but may still need appropriately tuned viscosity to filter small scales and high frequencies in solutions of full primitive equations when these are excited by nonlinear dynamics.

  2. From Dalek half balls to Daft Punk helmets: Mimetic fandom and the crafting of replicas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matt Hills

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Mimetic fandom is a surprisingly understudied mode of (culturally masculinized fan activity in which fans research and craft replica props. Mimetic fandom can be considered as (inauthentic and (immaterial, combining noncommercial status with grassroots marketing or brand reinforcement as well as fusing an emphasis on material artifacts with Web 2.0 collective intelligence. Simply analyzing mimetic fandom as part of fannish material culture fails to adequately assess the nonmaterial aspects of this collaborative creativity. Two fan cultures are taken as case studies: Dalek building groups and Daft Punk helmet constructors. These diverse cases indicate that mimetic fandom has a presence and significance that moves across media fandoms and is not restricted to the science fiction, fantasy, and horror followings with which it is most often associated. Mimetic fandom may be theorized as an oscillatory activity that confuses binaries and constructions of (academic/fan authenticity. This fan practice desires and pursues a kind of ontological bridging or unity—from text to reality—that is either absent or less dominant in many other fan activities such as cosplay, screen-used prop collecting, and geographical pilgrimage. Fan studies may benefit from reassessing the place of mimesis, especially in order to theorize fan practices that are less clearly transformative in character.

  3. Beyond Antibodies as Binding Partners: The Role of Antibody Mimetics in Bioanalysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Xiaowen; Yang, Yu-Ping; Dikici, Emre; Deo, Sapna K; Daunert, Sylvia

    2017-06-12

    The emergence of novel binding proteins or antibody mimetics capable of binding to ligand analytes in a manner analogous to that of the antigen-antibody interaction has spurred increased interest in the biotechnology and bioanalytical communities. The goal is to produce antibody mimetics designed to outperform antibodies with regard to binding affinities, cellular and tumor penetration, large-scale production, and temperature and pH stability. The generation of antibody mimetics with tailored characteristics involves the identification of a naturally occurring protein scaffold as a template that binds to a desired ligand. This scaffold is then engineered to create a superior binder by first creating a library that is then subjected to a series of selection steps. Antibody mimetics have been successfully used in the development of binding assays for the detection of analytes in biological samples, as well as in separation methods, cancer therapy, targeted drug delivery, and in vivo imaging. This review describes recent advances in the field of antibody mimetics and their applications in bioanalytical chemistry, specifically in diagnostics and other analytical methods.

  4. Role of connexin 32 hemichannels in the release of ATP from peripheral nerves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nualart-Marti, Anna; del Molino, Ezequiel Mas; Grandes, Xènia; Bahima, Laia; Martin-Satué, Mireia; Puchal, Rafel; Fasciani, Ilaria; González-Nieto, Daniel; Ziganshin, Bulat; Llobet, Artur; Barrio, Luis C; Solsona, Carles

    2013-12-01

    Extracellular purines elicit strong signals in the nervous system. Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) does not spontaneously cross the plasma membrane, and nervous cells secrete ATP by exocytosis or through plasma membrane proteins such as connexin hemichannels. Using a combination of imaging, luminescence and electrophysiological techniques, we explored the possibility that Connexin 32 (Cx32), expressed in Schwann cells (SCs) myelinating the peripheral nervous system could be an important source of ATP in peripheral nerves. We triggered the release of ATP in vivo from mice sciatic nerves by electrical stimulation and from cultured SCs by high extracellular potassium concentration-evoked depolarization. No ATP was detected in the extracellular media after treatment of the sciatic nerve with Octanol or Carbenoxolone, and ATP release was significantly inhibited after silencing Cx32 from SCs cultures. We investigated the permeability of Cx32 to ATP by expressing Cx32 hemichannels in Xenopus laevis oocytes. We found that ATP release is coupled to the inward tail current generated after the activation of Cx32 hemichannels by depolarization pulses, and it is sensitive to low extracellular calcium concentrations. Moreover, we found altered ATP release in mutated Cx32 hemichannels related to the X-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, suggesting that purinergic-mediated signaling in peripheral nerves could underlie the physiopathology of this neuropathy. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Molecular cloning and evolutionary analysis of the GJA1 (connexin43) gene from bats (Chiroptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Li; Li, Gang; Wang, Jinhong; Ye, Shaohui; Jones, Gareth; Zhang, Shuyi

    2009-04-01

    Gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43), encoded by the GJA1 gene, is the most abundant connexin in the cardiovascular system and was reported as a crucial factor maintaining cardiac electrical conduction, as well as having a very important function in facilitating the recycling of potassium ions from hair cells in the cochlea back into the cochlear endolymph during auditory transduction processes. In mammals, bats are the only taxon possessing powered flight, placing exceptional demand on many organismal processes. To meet the demands of flying, the hearts of bats show many specialties. Moreover, ultrasonic echolocation allows bat species to orientate and often detect and locate food in darkness. In this study, we cloned the full-length coding region of GJA1 gene from 12 different species of bats and obtained orthologous sequences from other mammals. We used the maximum likelihood method to analyse the evolution of GJA1 gene in mammals and the lineage of bats. Our results showed this gene is much conserved in mammals, as well as in bats' lineage. Compared with other mammals, we found one private amino acid substitution shared by bats, which is located on the inner loop domain, as well as some species-specific amino acid substitutions. The evolution rate analyses showed the signature of purifying selection on not only different classification level lineages but also the different domains and amino acid residue sites of this gene. Also, we suggested that GJA1 gene could be used as a good molecular marker to do the phylogenetic reconstruction.

  6. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1 in Breast Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mélanie Busby

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43 in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression.

  7. Connexins and M3 Muscarinic Receptors Contribute to Heterogeneous Ca2+ Signaling in Mouse Aortic Endothelium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    François-Xavier Boittin

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Smooth muscle tone is controlled by Ca2+ signaling in the endothelial layer. Mouse endothelial cells are interconnected by gap junctions made of Connexin40 (Cx40 and Cx37, which allow the exchange of signaling molecules to coordinate their activity. Here, we investigated the role of Cx40 in the endothelial Ca2+ signaling of the mouse aorta. Methods: Ca2+ imaging was performed on intact aortic endothelium from both wild type (Cx40+/+ and Connexin40-deficient (Cx40 -/- mice. Results: Acetylcholine (ACh induced early fast and high amplitude Ca2+ transients in a fraction of endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors. Inhibition of intercellular communication using carbenoxolone or octanol fully blocked the propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ transients toward adjacent cells in WT and Cx40-/- mice. As compared to WT, Cx40-/- mice displayed a reduced propagation of ACh-induced Ca2+ waves, indicating that Cx40 contributes to the spreading of Ca2+ signals. The propagation of those Ca2+ responses was not blocked by suramin, a blocker of purinergic ATP receptors, indicating that there is no paracrine effect of ATP release on the Ca2+ waves. Conclusions: Altogether our data show that Cx40 and Cx37 contribute to the propagation and amplification of the Ca2+ signaling triggered by ACh in endothelial cells expressing the M3 muscarinic receptors.

  8. Regulation of connexins expression levels by microRNAs, an update

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Francisco Calderon

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Control of cell-cell coordination and communication is regulated by several factors, including paracrine and autocrine release of biomolecules, and direct exchange of soluble factors between cells through gap junction channels. Additionally, hemichannels also participate in cell-cell coordination through the release of signaling molecules, such as ATP and glutamate. A family of transmembrane proteins named connexins forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels. Because of their importance in cell and tissue coordination, connexins are controlled both by post-translational and post-transcriptional modifications. In recent years, non-coding RNAs have garnered research interest due to their ability to exert post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression. One of the most recent, well-documented control mechanisms of protein synthesis is found through the action of small, single-stranded RNA, called micro RNAs (miRNAs or miRs. Put simply, miRNAs are negative regulators of the expression of a myriad proteins involved in many physiological and pathological processes. This mini review will briefly summarize what is currently known about the action of miRNAs over Cxs expression/function in different organs under some relevant physiological and pathological conditions

  9. Connexin43 Hemichannels in Satellite Glial Cells, Can They Influence Sensory Neuron Activity?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mauricio A. Retamal

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In this review article, we summarize the current insight on the role of Connexin- and Pannexin-based channels as modulators of sensory neurons. The somas of sensory neurons are located in sensory ganglia (i.e., trigeminal and nodose ganglia. It is well known that within sensory ganglia, sensory neurons do not form neither electrical nor chemical synapses. One of the reasons for this is that each soma is surrounded by glial cells, known as satellite glial cells (SGCs. Recent evidence shows that connexin43 (Cx43 hemichannels and probably pannexons located at SGCs have an important role in paracrine communication between glial cells and sensory neurons. This communication may be exerted via the release of bioactive molecules from SGCs and their subsequent action on receptors located at the soma of sensory neurons. The glio-neuronal communication seems to be relevant for the establishment of chronic pain, hyperalgesia and pathologies associated with tissue inflammation. Based on the current literature, it is possible to propose that Cx43 hemichannels expressed in SGCs could be a novel pharmacological target for treating chronic pain, which need to be directly evaluated in future studies.

  10. Effect of enhanced expression of connexin 43 on sunitinib-induced cytotoxicity in mesothelioma cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miaki Uzu

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx makes up a type of intercellular channel called gap junction (GJ. GJ plays a regulatory role in cellular physiology. The Cx expression level is often decreased in cancer cells compared to that in healthy ones, and the restoration of its expression has been shown to exert antiproliferative effects. This work aims to evaluate the effect of the restoration of connexin 43 (Cx43 (the most ubiquitous Cx subtype expression on sunitinib (SU-induced cytotoxicity in malignant mesothelioma (MM cells. Increased Cx43 expression in an MM cell line (H28 improved the ability of SU to inhibit receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK signaling. Moreover, higher Cx43 expression promoted SU-induced apoptosis. The cell viability test revealed that Cx43 enhanced the cytotoxic effect of SU in a GJ-independent manner. The effect of Cx43 on a proapoptotic factor, Bax, was then investigated. The interaction between Cx43 and Bax was confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Furthermore, higher Cx43 expression increased the production of a cleaved (active form of Bax during SU-induced apoptosis with no alteration in total Bax expression. These findings indicate that Cx43 most likely increases sensitivity to SU in H28 through direct interaction with Bax. In conclusion, we found that Cx43 overcame the chemoresistance of MM cells.

  11. The Complex Subtype-Dependent Role of Connexin 43 (GJA1) in Breast Cancer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busby, Mélanie; Hallett, Michael T.; Plante, Isabelle

    2018-01-01

    Gap junction transmembrane channels allow the transfer of small molecules between the cytoplasm of adjacent cells. They are formed by proteins named connexins (Cxs) that have long been considered as a tumor suppressor. This widespread view has been challenged by recent studies suggesting that the role of Connexin 43 (Cx43) in cancer is tissue- and stage-specific and can even promote tumor progression. High throughput profiling of invasive breast cancer has allowed for the construction of subtyping schemes that partition patients into at least four distinct intrinsic subtypes. This study characterizes Cx43 expression during cancer progression with each of the tumor subtypes using a compendium of publicly available gene expression data. In particular, we show that Cx43 expression depends greatly on intrinsic subtype. Tumor grade also co-varies with patient subtype, resulting in Cx43 co-expression with grade in a subtype-dependent manner. Better survival was associated with a high expression of Cx43 in unstratified and luminal tumors but with a low expression in Her2e subtype. A better understanding of Cx43 regulation in a subtype-dependent manner is needed to clarify the context in which Cx43 is associated with tumor suppression or cancer progression. PMID:29495625

  12. The first de novo mutation of the connexin 32 gene associated with X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meggouh, F.; Benomar, A.; Rouger, H.; Tardieu, S.; Birouk, N.; Tassin, J.; Barhoumi, C.; Yahyaoui, M.; Chkili, T.; Brice, A.; LeGuern, E.

    1998-01-01

    X linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMTX) is a hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy caused by mutations in the connexin 32 gene (Cx32). Using the SSCP technique and direct sequencing of PCR amplified genomic DNA fragments of the Cx32 gene from a Moroccan patient and her relatives, we identified

  13. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L. Y. Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M.; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M.; Moorman, Antoon F. M.; Barnett, Phil

    2008-01-01

    AIMS: T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering

  14. Modulation of cardiac connexin-43 by omega-3 fatty acid ethyl-ester supplementation demonstrated in spontaneously diabetic rats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Radošinská, J.; Kurahara, L. H.; Hiraishi, K.; Viczenczová, C.; Egan Beňová, T.; Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Dosenko, V.; Navarová, J.; Obšitník, B.; Imanaga, I.; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 64, č. 6 (2015), s. 795-806 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14SK123 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : diabetes * omega-3 fatty acids * cardiac connexin-43 * PKC * ultrastructure Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.643, year: 2015

  15. [Cochlear implantation in a child with congenital sensorineural deafness due to 35 DELG mutation in GJB2 (connexin 26) gene].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teriutin, F M; Barashkov, N A; Dzhemileva, L U; Posukh, O L; Fedotova, E E; Gurinova, E E; Fedorova, S A; Tavartkiladze, G A; Khusnutdinova, E K

    2009-01-01

    This paper reports the first case of cochlear implantation performed in this country in a child with congenital non-syndromic sensorineural loss of hearing having hereditary etiology and attributable to autosomal-recessive 35 delG mutation in locus DFNB1 (13q.11-q12) of GJB2 (connexin 26) gene.

  16. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Exercise enhances learning and memory in animals and humans. The role of peripheral factors that may trigger the beneficial effects of running on brain function has been sparsely examined. In particular, it is unknown whether AMP-kinase (AMPK) activation in muscle can predict enhancement of brain plasticity. Here we compare the effects of running and administration of AMPK agonist 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR, 500 mg/kg), for 3, 7 or 14 days in one-month-old male C57BL/6J mice, on muscle AMPK signaling. At the time-points where we observed equivalent running- and AICAR-induced muscle pAMPK levels (7 and 14 days), cell proliferation, synaptic plasticity and gene expression, as well as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) were evaluated. At the 7-day time-point, both regimens increased new DG cell number and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels. Furthermore, microarray analysis of DG and LEC tissue showed a remarkable overlap between running and AICAR in the regulation of neuronal, mitochondrial and metabolism related gene classes. Interestingly, while similar outcomes for both treatments were stable over time in muscle, in the brain an inversion occurred at fourteen days. The compound no longer increased DG cell proliferation or neurotrophin levels, and upregulated expression of apoptotic genes and inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β. Thus, an exercise mimetic that produces changes in muscle consistent with those of exercise does not have the same sustainable positive effects on the brain, indicating that only running consistently benefits brain function. PMID:26286955

  17. Prey from the eyes of predators: Color discriminability of aposematic and mimetic butterflies from an avian visual perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Shiyu; Lim, Matthew; Kunte, Krushnamegh

    2015-11-01

    Predation exerts strong selection on mimetic butterfly wing color patterns, which also serve other functions such as sexual selection. Therefore, specific selection pressures may affect the sexes and signal components differentially. We tested three predictions about the evolution of mimetic resemblance by comparing wing coloration of aposematic butterflies and their Batesian mimics: (a) females gain greater mimetic advantage than males and therefore are better mimics, (b) due to intersexual genetic correlations, sexually monomorphic mimics are better mimics than female-limited mimics, and (c) mimetic resemblance is better on the dorsal wing surface that is visible to predators in flight. Using a physiological model of avian color vision, we quantified mimetic resemblance from predators' perspective, which showed that female butterflies were better mimics than males. Mimetic resemblance in female-limited mimics was comparable to that in sexually monomorphic mimics, suggesting that intersexual genetic correlations did not constrain adaptive response to selection for female-limited mimicry. Mimetic resemblance on the ventral wing surface was better than that on the dorsal wing surface, implying stronger natural and sexual selection on ventral and dorsal surfaces, respectively. These results suggest that mimetic resemblance in butterfly mimicry rings has evolved under various selective pressures acting in a sex- and wing surface-specific manner. © 2015 The Author(s). Evolution © 2015 The Society for the Study of Evolution.

  18. Self-assembling peptide hydrogels immobilized on silicon surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franchi, Stefano; Battocchio, Chiara; Galluzzi, Martina; Navisse, Emanuele [Department of Sciences, University “Roma Tre”, Via della Vasca Navale 79, Roma, 00146 (Italy); Zamuner, Annj; Dettin, Monica [Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Padua, Via Marzolo, 9, Padua, 35131 (Italy); Iucci, Giovanna, E-mail: giovanna.iucci@uniroma3.it [Department of Sciences, University “Roma Tre”, Via della Vasca Navale 79, Roma, 00146 (Italy)

    2016-12-01

    The hydrogels of self-assembling ionic complementary peptides have collected in the scientific community increasing consensus as mimetics of the extracellular matrix that can offer 3D supports for cell growth or be vehicles for the delivery of stem cells or drugs. Such scaffolds have also been proposed as bone substitutes for small defects as they promote beneficial effects on human osteoblasts. In this context, our research deals with the introduction of a layer of self-assembling peptides on a silicon surface by covalent anchoring and subsequent physisorption. In this work, we present a spectroscopic investigation of the proposed bioactive scaffolds, carried out by surface-sensitive spectroscopic techniques such as XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) and RAIRS (Reflection Absorption Infrared Spectroscopy) and by state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation methodologies such as angle dependent NEXAFS (Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure). XPS studies confirmed the change in the surface composition in agreement with the proposed enrichments, and led to assess the self-assembling peptide chemical stability. NEXAFS spectra, collected in angular dependent mode at the N K-edge, allowed to investigate the self-assembling behavior of the macromolecules, as well as to determine their molecular orientation on the substrate. Furthermore, Infrared Spectroscopy measurements demonstrated that the peptide maintains its secondary structure (β-sheet anti-parallel) after deposition on the silicon surface. The complementary information acquired by means of XPS, NEXAFS and RAIRS lead to hypothesize a “layer-by-layer” arrangement of the immobilized peptides, giving rise to an ordered 3D nanostructure. - Highlights: • A self-assembling peptide (SAP) was covalently immobilized of on a flat silicon surface. • A physisorbed SAP layer was grown on top of the covalently immobilized peptide layer. • Molecular order and orientation of the peptide overlayer on the flat silicon

  19. Self-assembling peptide hydrogels immobilized on silicon surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franchi, Stefano; Battocchio, Chiara; Galluzzi, Martina; Navisse, Emanuele; Zamuner, Annj; Dettin, Monica; Iucci, Giovanna

    2016-01-01

    The hydrogels of self-assembling ionic complementary peptides have collected in the scientific community increasing consensus as mimetics of the extracellular matrix that can offer 3D supports for cell growth or be vehicles for the delivery of stem cells or drugs. Such scaffolds have also been proposed as bone substitutes for small defects as they promote beneficial effects on human osteoblasts. In this context, our research deals with the introduction of a layer of self-assembling peptides on a silicon surface by covalent anchoring and subsequent physisorption. In this work, we present a spectroscopic investigation of the proposed bioactive scaffolds, carried out by surface-sensitive spectroscopic techniques such as XPS (X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) and RAIRS (Reflection Absorption Infrared Spectroscopy) and by state-of-the-art synchrotron radiation methodologies such as angle dependent NEXAFS (Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure). XPS studies confirmed the change in the surface composition in agreement with the proposed enrichments, and led to assess the self-assembling peptide chemical stability. NEXAFS spectra, collected in angular dependent mode at the N K-edge, allowed to investigate the self-assembling behavior of the macromolecules, as well as to determine their molecular orientation on the substrate. Furthermore, Infrared Spectroscopy measurements demonstrated that the peptide maintains its secondary structure (β-sheet anti-parallel) after deposition on the silicon surface. The complementary information acquired by means of XPS, NEXAFS and RAIRS lead to hypothesize a “layer-by-layer” arrangement of the immobilized peptides, giving rise to an ordered 3D nanostructure. - Highlights: • A self-assembling peptide (SAP) was covalently immobilized of on a flat silicon surface. • A physisorbed SAP layer was grown on top of the covalently immobilized peptide layer. • Molecular order and orientation of the peptide overlayer on the flat silicon

  20. Healthy imperfect dark matter from effective theory of mimetic cosmological perturbations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirano, Shin'ichi; Nishi, Sakine; Kobayashi, Tsutomu

    2017-01-01

    We study the stability of a recently proposed model of scalar-field matter called mimetic dark matter or imperfect dark matter. It has been known that mimetic matter with higher derivative terms suffers from gradient instabilities in scalar perturbations. To seek for an instability-free extension of imperfect dark matter, we develop an effective theory of cosmological perturbations subject to the constraint on the scalar field's kinetic term. This is done by using the unifying framework of general scalar-tensor theories based on the ADM formalism. We demonstrate that it is indeed possible to construct a model of imperfect dark matter which is free from ghost and gradient instabilities. As a side remark, we also show that mimetic F (R) theory is plagued with the Ostrogradsky instability.

  1. A review of underwater bio-mimetic propulsion: cruise and fast-start

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chao, Li-Ming; Cao, Yong-Hui; Pan, Guang, E-mail: PanGuang_010@163.com [School of Marine Science and Technology, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xian 710072 (China)

    2017-08-15

    This paper reviews recent developments in the understanding of underwater bio-mimetic propulsion. Two impressive models of underwater propulsion are considered: cruise and fast-start. First, we introduce the progression of bio-mimetic propulsion, especially underwater propulsion, where some primary conceptions are touched upon. Second, the understanding of flapping foils, considered as one of the most efficient cruise styles of aquatic animals, is introduced, where the effect of kinematics and the shape and flexibility of foils on generating thrust are elucidated respectively. Fast-start propulsion is always exhibited when predator behaviour occurs, and we provide an explicit introduction of corresponding zoological experiments and numerical simulations. We also provide some predictions about underwater bio-mimetic propulsion. (review)

  2. A review of underwater bio-mimetic propulsion: cruise and fast-start

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chao, Li-Ming; Cao, Yong-Hui; Pan, Guang

    2017-08-01

    This paper reviews recent developments in the understanding of underwater bio-mimetic propulsion. Two impressive models of underwater propulsion are considered: cruise and fast-start. First, we introduce the progression of bio-mimetic propulsion, especially underwater propulsion, where some primary conceptions are touched upon. Second, the understanding of flapping foils, considered as one of the most efficient cruise styles of aquatic animals, is introduced, where the effect of kinematics and the shape and flexibility of foils on generating thrust are elucidated respectively. Fast-start propulsion is always exhibited when predator behaviour occurs, and we provide an explicit introduction of corresponding zoological experiments and numerical simulations. We also provide some predictions about underwater bio-mimetic propulsion.

  3. René Girard and the Mimetic Nature of Eating Disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strand, Mattias

    2018-03-07

    French historian and literary critic René Girard (1923-2015), most widely known for the concepts of mimetic desire and scapegoating, also engaged in the discussion of the surge of eating disorders in his 1996 essay Eating Disorders and Mimetic Desire. This article explores Girard's ideas on the mimetic nature and origin of eating disorders from a clinical psychiatric perspective and contextualizes them within the field of eating disorders research as well as in relation to broader psychological, sociological and anthropological models of social comparison and non-consumption. Three main themes in Girard's thinking on the topic of eating disorders are identified and explored: the 'end of prohibitions' as a driving force in the emergence of eating disorders, eating disorders as a phenomenon specific to modernity, and the significance of 'conspicuous non-consumption' in the emergence of eating disorders.

  4. Targeting apoptotic machinery as approach for anticancer therapy: Smac mimetics as anticancer agents

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nevine M.Y. Elsayed

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Apoptosis is a chief regulator of cellular homeostasis. Impairment of apoptotic machinery is a main characteristic of several diseases such as cancer, where the evasion of apoptosis is a cardinal hallmark of cancer. Apoptosis is regulated by contribution of pro- and anti- apoptotic proteins, where caspases are the main executioners of the apoptotic machinery. IAP (inhibitors of apoptosis proteins is a family of endogenous inhibitors of apoptosis, which perform their function through interference with the function of caspases. Smac (second mitochondria-derived activator of caspases is endogenous inhibitor of IAPs, thus it is one of the major proapoptotic endogenous proteins. Thus, the development of Smac mimetics has evolved as an approach for anticancer therapy. Several Smac mimetic agents have been introduced to clinical trial such as birinapanet 12. Herein, the history of development of Smac mimetics along with the recent development in this field is briefly discussed.

  5. Modeling seismic wave propagation using staggered-grid mimetic finite differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Freysimar Solano-Feo

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Mimetic finite difference (MFD approximations of continuous gradient and divergence operators satisfy a discrete version of the Gauss-Divergence theorem on staggered grids. On the mimetic approximation of this integral conservation principle, an unique boundary flux operator is introduced that also intervenes on the discretization of a given boundary value problem (BVP. In this work, we present a second-order MFD scheme for seismic wave propagation on staggered grids that discretized free surface and absorbing boundary conditions (ABC with same accuracy order. This scheme is time explicit after coupling a central three-level finite difference (FD stencil for numerical integration. Here, we briefly discuss the convergence properties of this scheme and show its higher accuracy on a challenging test when compared to a traditional FD method. Preliminary applications to 2-D seismic scenarios are also presented and show the potential of the mimetic finite difference method.

  6. Static spherically symmetric solutions in mimetic gravity: rotation curves and wormholes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Myrzakulov, Ratbay; Sebastiani, Lorenzo; Vagnozzi, Sunny; Zerbini, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    In this work, we analyse static spherically symmetric solutions in the framework of mimetic gravity, an extension of general relativity where the conformal degree of freedom of gravity is isolated in a covariant fashion. Here we extend previous works by considering, in addition, a potential for the mimetic field. An appropriate choice of such a potential allows for the reconstruction of a number of interesting cosmological and astrophysical scenarios. We explicitly show how to reconstruct such a potential for a general static spherically symmetric space-time. A number of applications and scenarios are then explored, among which are traversable wormholes. Finally, we analytically reconstruct potentials, which leads to solutions to the equations of motion featuring polynomial corrections to the Schwarzschild space-time. Accurate choices for such corrections could provide an explanation for the inferred flat rotation curves of spiral galaxies within the mimetic gravity framework, without the need for particle dark matter. (paper)

  7. Healthy imperfect dark matter from effective theory of mimetic cosmological perturbations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirano, Shin' ichi; Nishi, Sakine; Kobayashi, Tsutomu, E-mail: s.hirano@rikkyo.ac.jp, E-mail: sakine@rikkyo.ac.jp, E-mail: tsutomu@rikkyo.ac.jp [Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8501 (Japan)

    2017-07-01

    We study the stability of a recently proposed model of scalar-field matter called mimetic dark matter or imperfect dark matter. It has been known that mimetic matter with higher derivative terms suffers from gradient instabilities in scalar perturbations. To seek for an instability-free extension of imperfect dark matter, we develop an effective theory of cosmological perturbations subject to the constraint on the scalar field's kinetic term. This is done by using the unifying framework of general scalar-tensor theories based on the ADM formalism. We demonstrate that it is indeed possible to construct a model of imperfect dark matter which is free from ghost and gradient instabilities. As a side remark, we also show that mimetic F (R) theory is plagued with the Ostrogradsky instability.

  8. Connexin 39.9 Protein Is Necessary for Coordinated Activation of Slow-twitch Muscle and Normal Behavior in Zebrafish*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Hiromi; Wen, Hua; Kawakami, Yu; Naganawa, Yuriko; Ogino, Kazutoyo; Yamada, Kenta; Saint-Amant, Louis; Low, Sean E.; Cui, Wilson W.; Zhou, Weibin; Sprague, Shawn M.; Asakawa, Kazuhide; Muto, Akira; Kawakami, Koichi; Kuwada, John Y.

    2012-01-01

    In many tissues and organs, connexin proteins assemble between neighboring cells to form gap junctions. These gap junctions facilitate direct intercellular communication between adjoining cells, allowing for the transmission of both chemical and electrical signals. In rodents, gap junctions are found in differentiating myoblasts and are important for myogenesis. Although gap junctions were once believed to be absent from differentiated skeletal muscle in mammals, recent studies in teleosts revealed that differentiated muscle does express connexins and is electrically coupled, at least at the larval stage. These findings raised questions regarding the functional significance of gap junctions in differentiated muscle. Our analysis of gap junctions in muscle began with the isolation of a zebrafish motor mutant that displayed weak coiling at day 1 of development, a behavior known to be driven by slow-twitch muscle (slow muscle). We identified a missense mutation in the gene encoding Connexin 39.9. In situ hybridization found connexin 39.9 to be expressed by slow muscle. Paired muscle recordings uncovered that wild-type slow muscles are electrically coupled, whereas mutant slow muscles are not. The further examination of cellular activity revealed aberrant, arrhythmic touch-evoked Ca2+ transients in mutant slow muscle and a reduction in the number of muscle fibers contracting in response to touch in mutants. These results indicate that Connexin 39.9 facilitates the spreading of neuronal inputs, which is irregular during motor development, beyond the muscle cells and that gap junctions play an essential role in the efficient recruitment of slow muscle fibers. PMID:22075003

  9. Peptide chemistry toolbox - Transforming natural peptides into peptide therapeutics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erak, Miloš; Bellmann-Sickert, Kathrin; Els-Heindl, Sylvia; Beck-Sickinger, Annette G

    2018-06-01

    The development of solid phase peptide synthesis has released tremendous opportunities for using synthetic peptides in medicinal applications. In the last decades, peptide therapeutics became an emerging market in pharmaceutical industry. The need for synthetic strategies in order to improve peptidic properties, such as longer half-life, higher bioavailability, increased potency and efficiency is accordingly rising. In this mini-review, we present a toolbox of modifications in peptide chemistry for overcoming the main drawbacks during the transition from natural peptides to peptide therapeutics. Modifications at the level of the peptide backbone, amino acid side chains and higher orders of structures are described. Furthermore, we are discussing the future of peptide therapeutics development and their impact on the pharmaceutical market. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Synthesis of new enantiopure poly(hydroxyaminooxepanes as building blocks for multivalent carbohydrate mimetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Léa Bouché

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available New compounds with carbohydrate-similar structure (carbohydrate mimetics are presented in this article. Starting from enantiopure nitrones and lithiated TMSE-allene we prepared three 1,2-oxazine derivatives which underwent a highly stereoselective Lewis acid-induced rearrangement to give bicyclic products in good yield. Subsequent reductive transformations delivered a library of new poly(hydroxyaminooxepane derivatives. The crucial final palladium-catalyzed hydrogenolysis of the 1,2-oxazine moiety was optimized resulting in a reasonably efficient approach to a series of new seven-membered carbohydrate mimetics.

  11. Mitsunobu mischief: Neighbor-directed histidine N(π)–alkylation provides access to peptides containing selectively functionalized imidazolium heterocycles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qian, Wen-Jian

    2015-01-01

    There are few methodologies that yield peptides containing His residues with selective N(π), N(π)-bis-alkylated imidazole rings. We have found that, under certain conditions, on-resin Mitsunobu coupling of alcohols with peptides having a N(π)-alkylated His residue results in selective and high-yield alkylation of the imidazole N(π) nitrogen. The reaction requires the presence of a proximal phosphoric, carboxylic or sulfonic acid, and proceeds through an apparent intramolecular mechanism involving Mitsunobu intermediates. These transformations have particular application to phosphopeptides, where “charge masking” of one phosphoryl anionic charge by the cationic histidine imidazolium ion is now possible. This chemistry opens selective access to peptides containing differentially functionalized imidazolium heterocycles, which provide access to new classes of peptides and peptide mimetics. PMID:25739367

  12. 17β estradiol regulation of connexin 43-based gap junction and mechanosensitivity through classical estrogen receptor pathway in osteocyte-like MLO-Y4 cells.

    KAUST Repository

    Ren, Jian; Wang, Xuhui; Wang, Guangchao; Wu, Junhua

    2013-01-01

    Connexin 43 (Cx43) plays an essential role in osteocyte mechanotransduction. Although estrogen involves in the adaptive responses of bone cells to mechanical loadings, its effects on osteocytic Cx43-based gap junction intercellular communication

  13. Multimerized CHR-derived peptides as HIV-1 fusion inhibitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nomura, Wataru; Hashimoto, Chie; Suzuki, Takaharu; Ohashi, Nami; Fujino, Masayuki; Murakami, Tsutomu; Yamamoto, Naoki; Tamamura, Hirokazu

    2013-08-01

    To date, several HIV-1 fusion inhibitors based on the carboxy-terminal leucine/isoleucine heptad repeat (CHR) region of an HIV-1 envelope protein gp41 have been discovered. We have shown that a synthetic peptide mimetic of a trimer form of the CHR-derived peptide C34 has potent inhibitory activity against the HIV-1 fusion mechanism, compared to a monomer C34 peptide. The present study revealed that a dimeric form of C34 is evidently structurally critical for fusion inhibitors, and that the activity of multimerized CHR-derived peptides in fusion inhibition is affected by the properties of the unit peptides C34, SC34EK, and T20. The fluorescence-based study suggested that the N36-interactive sites of the C34 trimer, including hydrophobic residues, are exposed outside the trimer and that trimerization of C34 caused a remarkable increase in fusion inhibitory activity. The present results could be useful in the design of fusion inhibitors against viral infections which proceed via membrane fusion with host cells. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  14. Mimicking protein-protein interactions through peptide-peptide interactions: HIV-1 gp120 and CXCR4

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea eGross

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available We have recently designed a soluble synthetic peptide that functionally mimics the HIV-1 coreceptor CXCR4, which is a chemokine receptor that belongs to the family of seven-transmembrane GPCRs. This CXCR4 mimetic peptide, termed CX4-M1, presents the three extracellular loops (ECLs of the receptor. In binding assays involving recombinant proteins, as well as in cellular infection assays, CX4-M1 was found to selectively recognize gp120 from HIV-1 strains that use CXCR4 for cell entry (X4 tropic HIV-1. Furthermore, anti-HIV-1 antibodies modulate this interaction in a molecular mechanism related to that of their impact on the gp120-CXCR4 interaction. We could now show that the selectivity of CX4-M1 pertains not only to gp120 from X4 tropic HIV-1, but also to synthetic peptides presenting the V3 loops of these gp120 proteins. The V3 loop is thought to be an essential part of the coreceptor binding site of gp120 that contacts the second ECL of the coreceptor. We were able to experimentally confirm this notion in binding assays using substitution analogs of CX4-M1 and the V3 loop peptides, respectively, as well as in cellular infection assays. These results indicate that interactions of the HIV-1 Env with coreceptors can be mimicked by synthetic peptides, which may be useful to explore these interactions at the molecular level in more detail.

  15. Clicked bis-PEG-peptide conjugates for studying calmodulin-Kv7.2 channel binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonache, M Angeles; Alaimo, Alessandro; Malo, Covadonga; Millet, Oscar; Villarroel, Alvaro; González-Muñiz, Rosario

    2014-11-28

    The recombinant Kv7.2 calmodulin (CaM) binding site (Q2AB CaMBD) shows a high tendency to aggregate, thus complicating biochemical and structural studies. To facilitate these studies we have conceived bis-PEG-peptide CaMBD-mimetics linking helices A and B in single, easy to handle molecules. Short PEG chains were selected as spacers between the two peptide molecules, and a Cu(i)-catalyzed cycloaddition (CuAAC) protocol was used to assemble the final bis-PEG-peptide conjugate, by the convenient functionalization of PEG arms with azide and alkyne groups. The resulting conjugates, with a certain helical character in TFE solutions (CD), showed nanomolar affinity in a fluorescence CaM binding in vitro assay, higher than just the sum of the precursor PEG-peptide affinities, thus validating our design. The approach to these first described examples of Kv7.2 CaMBD-mimetics could pave the way to chimeric conjugates merging helices A and B from different Kv7 subunits.

  16. Connexin 43-Mediated Astroglial Metabolic Networks Contribute to the Regulation of the Sleep-Wake Cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clasadonte, Jerome; Scemes, Eliana; Wang, Zhongya; Boison, Detlev; Haydon, Philip G

    2017-09-13

    Astrocytes produce and supply metabolic substrates to neurons through gap junction-mediated astroglial networks. However, the role of astroglial metabolic networks in behavior is unclear. Here, we demonstrate that perturbation of astroglial networks impairs the sleep-wake cycle. Using a conditional Cre-Lox system in mice, we show that knockout of the gap junction subunit connexin 43 in astrocytes throughout the brain causes excessive sleepiness and fragmented wakefulness during the nocturnal active phase. This astrocyte-specific genetic manipulation silenced the wake-promoting orexin neurons located in the lateral hypothalamic area (LHA) by impairing glucose and lactate trafficking through astrocytic networks. This global wakefulness instability was mimicked with viral delivery of Cre recombinase to astrocytes in the LHA and rescued by in vivo injections of lactate. Our findings propose a novel regulatory mechanism critical for maintaining normal daily cycle of wakefulness and involving astrocyte-neuron metabolic interactions. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Protein kinase C-dependent regulation of connexin43 gap junctions and hemichannels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Alstrøm, Jette Skov; Stroemlund, Line Waring; Nielsen, Morten Schak

    2015-01-01

    Connexin43 (Cx43) generates intercellular gap junction channels involved in, among others, cardiac and brain function. Gap junctions are formed by the docking of two hemichannels from neighbouring cells. Undocked Cx43 hemichannels can upon different stimuli open towards the extracellular matrix...... and allow transport of molecules such as fluorescent dyes and ATP. A range of phosphorylated amino acids have been detected in the C-terminus of Cx43 and their physiological role has been intensively studied both in the gap junctional form of Cx43 and in its hemichannel configuration. We present the current...... knowledge of protein kinase C (PKC)-dependent regulation of Cx43 and discuss the divergent results....

  18. The Expression of Connexins and SOX2 Reflects the Plasticity of Glioma Stem-Like Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joana Balça-Silva

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Glioblastoma (GBM is the most malignant primary brain tumor, with an average survival rate of 15 months. GBM is highly refractory to therapy, and such unresponsiveness is due, primarily, but not exclusively, to the glioma stem-like cells (GSCs. This subpopulation express stem-like cell markers and is responsible for the heterogeneity of GBM, generating multiple differentiated cell phenotypes. However, how GBMs maintain the balance between stem and non-stem populations is still poorly understood. We investigated the GBM ability to interconvert between stem and non-stem states through the evaluation of the expression of specific stem cell markers as well as cell communication proteins. We evaluated the molecular and phenotypic characteristics of GSCs derived from differentiated GBM cell lines by comparing their stem-like cell properties and expression of connexins. We showed that non-GSCs as well as GSCs can undergo successive cycles of gain and loss of stem properties, demonstrating a bidirectional cellular plasticity model that is accompanied by changes on connexins expression. Our findings indicate that the interconversion between non-GSCs and GSCs can be modulated by extracellular factors culminating on differential expression of stem-like cell markers and cell-cell communication proteins. Ultimately, we observed that stem markers are mostly expressed on GBMs rather than on low-grade astrocytomas, suggesting that the presence of GSCs is a feature of high-grade gliomas. Together, our data demonstrate the utmost importance of the understanding of stem cell plasticity properties in a way to a step closer to new strategic approaches to potentially eliminate GSCs and, hopefully, prevent tumor recurrence.

  19. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue; Panda, Satya P.

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. → First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. → Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. → Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b 5 and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  20. TC-PTP directly interacts with connexin43 to regulate gap junction intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hanjun; Spagnol, Gaelle; Naslavsky, Naava; Caplan, Steve; Sorgen, Paul L.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Protein kinases have long been reported to regulate connexins; however, little is known about the involvement of phosphatases in the modulation of intercellular communication through gap junctions and the subsequent downstream effects on cellular processes. Here, we identify an interaction between the T-cell protein tyrosine phosphatase (TC-PTP, officially known as PTPN2) and the carboxyl terminus of connexin43 (Cx43, officially known as GJA1). Two cell lines, normal rat kidney (NRK) cells endogenously expressing Cx43 and an NRK-derived cell line expressing v-Src with temperature-sensitive activity, were used to demonstrate that EGF and v-Src stimulation, respectively, induced TC-PTP to colocalize with Cx43 at the plasma membrane. Cell biology experiments using phospho-specific antibodies and biophysical assays demonstrated that the interaction is direct and that TC-PTP dephosphorylates Cx43 residues Y247 and Y265, but does not affect v-Src. Transfection of TC-PTP also indirectly led to the dephosphorylation of Cx43 S368, by inactivating PKCα and PKCδ, with no effect on the phosphorylation of S279 and S282 (MAPK-dependent phosphorylation sites). Dephosphorylation maintained Cx43 gap junctions at the plaque and partially reversed the channel closure caused by v-Src-mediated phosphorylation of Cx43. Understanding dephosphorylation, along with the well-documented roles of Cx43 phosphorylation, might eventually lead to methods to modulate the regulation of gap junction channels, with potential benefits for human health. PMID:24849651

  1. Regulation of gap junction function and Connexin 43 expression by cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polusani, Srikanth R.; Kar, Rekha; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Masters, Bettie Sue [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States); Panda, Satya P., E-mail: panda@uthscsa.edu [The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Department of Biochemistry, San Antonio, TX 78229 (United States)

    2011-08-05

    Highlights: {yields} Humans with severe forms of cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) mutations show bone defects as observed in Antley-Bixler Syndrome. {yields} First report showing knockdown of CYPOR in osteoblasts decreased Connexin 43 (Cx43) protein levels. Cx43 is known to play an important role in bone modeling. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Gap Junctional Intercellular Communication and hemichannel activity. {yields} Knockdown of CYPOR decreased Cx43 in mouse primary calvarial osteoblasts. {yields} Decreased Cx43 expression was observed at the transcriptional level. -- Abstract: Cytochrome P450 oxidoreductase (CYPOR) is a microsomal electron-transferring enzyme containing both FAD and FMN as co-factors, which provides the reducing equivalents to various redox partners, such as cytochromes P450 (CYPs), heme oxygenase (HO), cytochrome b{sub 5} and squalene monooxygenase. Human patients with severe forms of CYPOR mutation show bone defects such as cranio- and humeroradial synostoses and long bone fractures, known as Antley-Bixler-like Syndrome (ABS). To elucidate the role of CYPOR in bone, we knocked-down CYPOR in multiple osteoblast cell lines using RNAi technology. In this study, knock-down of CYPOR decreased the expression of Connexin 43 (Cx43), known to play a critical role in bone formation, modeling, and remodeling. Knock-down of CYPOR also decreased Gap Junction Intercellular Communication (GJIC) and hemichannel activity. Promoter luciferase assays revealed that the decrease in expression of Cx43 in CYPOR knock-down cells was due to transcriptional repression. Primary osteoblasts isolated from bone specific Por knock-down mice calvariae confirmed the findings in the cell lines. Taken together, our study provides novel insights into the regulation of gap junction function by CYPOR and suggests that Cx43 may play an important role(s) in CYPOR-mediated bone defects seen in patients.

  2. Connexin 50 Expression in Ependymal Stem Progenitor Cells after Spinal Cord Injury Activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Javier Rodriguez-Jimenez

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Ion channels included in the family of Connexins (Cx help to control cell proliferation and differentiation of neuronal progenitors. Here we explored the role of Connexin 50 (Cx50 in cell fate modulation of adult spinal cord derived neural precursors located in the ependymal canal (epSPC. epSPC from non-injured animals showed high expression levels of Cx50 compared to epSPC from animals with spinal cord injury (SCI (epSPCi. When epSPC or epSPCi were induced to spontaneously differentiate in vitro we found that Cx50 favors glial cell fate, since higher expression levels, endogenous or by over-expression of Cx50, augmented the expression of the astrocyte marker GFAP and impaired the neuronal marker Tuj1. Cx50 was found in both the cytoplasm and nucleus of glial cells, astrocytes and oligodendrocyte-derived cells. Similar expression patterns were found in primary cultures of mature astrocytes. In addition, opposite expression profile for nuclear Cx50 was observed when epSPC and activated epSPCi were conducted to differentiate into mature oligodendrocytes, suggesting a different role for this ion channel in spinal cord beyond cell-to-cell communication. In vivo detection of Cx50 by immunohistochemistry showed a defined location in gray matter in non-injured tissues and at the epicenter of the injury after SCI. epSPCi transplantation, which accelerates locomotion regeneration by a neuroprotective effect after acute SCI is associated with a lower signal of Cx50 within the injured area, suggesting a minor or detrimental contribution of this ion channel in spinal cord regeneration by activated epSPCi.

  3. Gap junction mediated intercellular metabolite transfer in the cochlea is compromised in connexin30 null mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Chang

    Full Text Available Connexin26 (Cx26 and connexin30 (Cx30 are two major protein subunits that co-assemble to form gap junctions (GJs in the cochlea. Mutations in either one of them are the major cause of non-syndromic prelingual deafness in humans. Because the mechanisms of cochlear pathogenesis caused by Cx mutations are unclear, we investigated effects of Cx30 null mutation on GJ-mediated ionic and metabolic coupling in the cochlea of mice. A novel flattened cochlear preparation was used to directly assess intercellular coupling in the sensory epithelium of the cochlea. Double-electrode patch clamp recordings revealed that the absence of Cx30 did not significantly change GJ conductance among the cochlear supporting cells. The preserved electrical coupling is consistent with immunolabeling data showing extensive Cx26 GJs in the cochlea of the mutant mice. In contrast, dye diffusion assays showed that the rate and extent of intercellular transfer of multiple fluorescent dyes (including a non-metabolizable D-glucose analogue, 2-NBDG among cochlear supporting cells were severely reduced in Cx30 null mice. Since the sensory epithelium in the cochlea is an avascular organ, GJ-facilitated intercellular transfer of nutrient and signaling molecules may play essential roles in cellular homeostasis. To test this possibility, NBDG was used as a tracer to study the contribution of GJs in transporting glucose into the cochlear sensory epithelium when delivered systemically. NBDG uptake in cochlear supporting cells was significantly reduced in Cx30 null mice. The decrease was also observed with GJ blockers or glucose competition, supporting the specificity of our tests. These data indicate that GJs facilitate efficient uptake of glucose in the supporting cells. This study provides the first direct experimental evidence showing that the transfer of metabolically-important molecules in cochlear supporting cells is dependent on the normal function of GJs, thereby suggesting a

  4. BH3 mimetics inhibit growth of chondrosarcoma--a novel targeted-therapy for candidate models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morii, Takeshi; Ohtsuka, Kouki; Ohnishi, Hiroaki; Mochizuki, Kazuo; Yoshiyama, Akira; Aoyagi, Takayuki; Hornicek, Francis J; Ichimura, Shoichi

    2014-11-01

    Chondrosarcoma is refractory to conventional chemotherapy. BH-3 mimetics ABT-737 and ABT-263 are synthetic small-molecule inhibitors of anti-apoptotic proteins B-cell lymphoma-2 (Bcl2) and Bcl-xL, which play a critical role in survival of chondrosarcoma cells. Chondrosarcoma cell lines SW-1353 and CS-1 were used as the disease model. We used immunoblotting to assess the expression of target molecules Bcl2 and Bcl-xL, and the apoptotic inducers Bcl2-associated X (Bax) and Bcl2-antagonist/killer (Bak). In vitro growth inhibition by BH-3 mimetics was confirmed by photomicroscopic cell counting and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-5-(3-carboxymethoxyphenyl)-2-(4-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium, inner salt (MTS) assay. Apoptotic induction was confirmed by Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assay (ELISA). In vivo growth inhibition was assessed in a non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient (NOD/SCID) mouse model. Expression of the target and effector molecules was confirmed in chondrosarcoma cell lines. BH3 mimetics significantly inhibited cell growth and induced apoptosis in vitro. Administration of ABT-263 inhibited chondrosarcoma growth and improved survival in a mouse model. BH3 mimetics represent a novel treatment modality for chondrosarcoma. Copyright© 2014 International Institute of Anticancer Research (Dr. John G. Delinassios), All rights reserved.

  5. Discrete conservation properties for shallow water flows using mixed mimetic spectral elements

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lee, D.; Palha, A.; Gerritsma, M.

    2018-01-01

    A mixed mimetic spectral element method is applied to solve the rotating shallow water equations. The mixed method uses the recently developed spectral element histopolation functions, which exactly satisfy the fundamental theorem of calculus with respect to the standard Lagrange basis functions in

  6. Mimetic Divergence and the Speciation Continuum in the Mimic Poison Frog Ranitomeya imitator

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Twomey, Evan; Vestergaard, Jacob Schack; Venegas, Pablo J.

    2016-01-01

    While divergent ecological adaptation can drive speciation, understanding the factors that facilitate or constrain this process remains a major goal in speciation research. Here, we study two mimetic transition zones in the poison frog Ranitomeya imitator, a species that has undergone a Mullerian...

  7. Comparative Allometric Growth of the Mimetic Ephippid Reef Fishes Chaetodipterus faber and Platax orbicularis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Breno Barros

    Full Text Available Mimesis is a relatively widespread phenomenon among reef fish, but the ontogenetic processes relevant for mimetic associations in fish are still poorly understood. In the present study, the allometric growth of two allopatric leaf-mimetic species of ephippid fishes, Chaetodipterus faber from the Atlantic and Platax orbicularis from the Indo-Pacific, was analyzed using ten morphological variables. The development of fins was considered owing to the importance of these structures for mimetic behaviors during early life stages. Despite the anatomical and behavioral similarities in both juvenile and adult stages, C. faber and P. orbicularis showed distinct patterns of growth. The overall shape of C. faber transforms from a rounded-shape in mimetic juveniles to a lengthened profile in adults, while in P. orbicularis, juveniles present an oblong profile including dorsal and anal fins, with relative fin size diminishing while the overall profile grows rounder in adults. Although the two species are closely-related, the present results suggest that growth patterns in C. faber and P. orbicularis are different, and are probably independent events in ephippids that have resulted from similar selective processes.

  8. Spectral mimetic least-squares method for div-curl systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gerritsma, Marc; Palha, Artur; Lirkov, I.; Margenov, S.

    2018-01-01

    In this paper the spectral mimetic least-squares method is applied to a two-dimensional div-curl system. A test problem is solved on orthogonal and curvilinear meshes and both h- and p-convergence results are presented. The resulting solutions will be pointwise divergence-free for these test

  9. The conversion in the René Girard’s mimetic theory

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    Agustín Moreno Fernández

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available One of the specific peculiarities of René Girard’s mimetic theory is the recovery of the concept of conversion. In this article we expose, in a detailed way, the three senses of the conversion according to his thinking: novelistic, religious and epistemological. There is an interaction between the three senses and also different significations for each other.

  10. Social variables exert selective pressures in the evolution and form of primate mimetic musculature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, Anne M; Li, Ly; Waller, Bridget M; Micheletta, Jerome

    2016-04-01

    Mammals use their faces in social interactions more so than any other vertebrates. Primates are an extreme among most mammals in their complex, direct, lifelong social interactions and their frequent use of facial displays is a means of proximate visual communication with conspecifics. The available repertoire of facial displays is primarily controlled by mimetic musculature, the muscles that move the face. The form of these muscles is, in turn, limited by and influenced by phylogenetic inertia but here we use examples, both morphological and physiological, to illustrate the influence that social variables may exert on the evolution and form of mimetic musculature among primates. Ecomorphology is concerned with the adaptive responses of morphology to various ecological variables such as diet, foliage density, predation pressures, and time of day activity. We present evidence that social variables also exert selective pressures on morphology, specifically using mimetic muscles among primates as an example. Social variables include group size, dominance 'style', and mating systems. We present two case studies to illustrate the potential influence of social behavior on adaptive morphology of mimetic musculature in primates: (1) gross morphology of the mimetic muscles around the external ear in closely related species of macaque (Macaca mulatta and Macaca nigra) characterized by varying dominance styles and (2) comparative physiology of the orbicularis oris muscle among select ape species. This muscle is used in both facial displays/expressions and in vocalizations/human speech. We present qualitative observations of myosin fiber-type distribution in this muscle of siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus), chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes), and human to demonstrate the potential influence of visual and auditory communication on muscle physiology. In sum, ecomorphologists should be aware of social selective pressures as well as ecological ones, and that observed morphology might

  11. Antifungal Activity of 14-Helical β-Peptides against Planktonic Cells and Biofilms of Candida Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Namrata Raman

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Candida albicans is the most prevalent cause of fungal infections and treatment is further complicated by the formation of drug resistant biofilms, often on the surfaces of implanted medical devices. In recent years, the incidence of fungal infections by other pathogenic Candida species such as C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis has increased. Amphiphilic, helical β-peptide structural mimetics of natural antimicrobial α-peptides have been shown to exhibit specific planktonic antifungal and anti-biofilm formation activity against C. albicans in vitro. Here, we demonstrate that β-peptides are also active against clinically isolated and drug resistant strains of C. albicans and against other opportunistic Candida spp. Different Candida species were susceptible to β-peptides to varying degrees, with C. tropicalis being the most and C. glabrata being the least susceptible. β-peptide hydrophobicity directly correlated with antifungal activity against all the Candida clinical strains and species tested. While β-peptides were largely ineffective at disrupting existing Candida biofilms, hydrophobic β-peptides were able to prevent the formation of C. albicans, C. glabrata, C. parapsilosis and C. tropicalis biofilms. The broad-spectrum antifungal activity of β-peptides against planktonic cells and in preventing biofilm formation suggests the promise of this class of molecules as therapeutics.

  12. Multifunctional hybrid networks based on self assembling peptide sequences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sathaye, Sameer

    The overall aim of this dissertation is to achieve a comprehensive correlation between the molecular level changes in primary amino acid sequences of amphiphilic beta-hairpin peptides and their consequent solution-assembly properties and bulk network hydrogel behavior. This has been accomplished using two broad approaches. In the first approach, amino acid substitutions were made to peptide sequence MAX1 such that the hydrophobic surfaces of the folded beta-hairpins from the peptides demonstrate shape specificity in hydrophobic interactions with other beta-hairpins during the assembly process, thereby causing changes to the peptide nanostructure and bulk rheological properties of hydrogels formed from the peptides. Steric lock and key complementary hydrophobic interactions were designed to occur between two beta-hairpin molecules of a single molecule, LNK1 during beta-sheet fibrillar assembly of LNK1. Experimental results from circular dichroism, transmission electron microscopy and oscillatory rheology collectively indicate that the molecular design of the LNK1 peptide can be assigned the cause of the drastically different behavior of the networks relative to MAX1. The results indicate elimination or significant reduction of fibrillar branching due to steric complementarity in LNK1 that does not exist in MAX1, thus supporting the original hypothesis. As an extension of the designed steric lock and key complementarity between two beta-hairpin molecules of the same peptide molecule. LNK1, three new pairs of peptide molecules LP1-KP1, LP2-KP2 and LP3-KP3 that resemble complementary 'wedge' and 'trough' shapes when folded into beta-hairpins were designed and studied. All six peptides individually and when blended with their corresponding shape complement formed fibrillar nanostructures with non-uniform thickness values. Loose packing in the assembled structures was observed in all the new peptides as compared to the uniform tight packing in MAX1 by SANS analysis. This

  13. Connexin30-deficient mice show increased emotionality and decreased rearing activity in the open-field along with neurochemical changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dere, E; De Souza-Silva, M A; Frisch, C; Teubner, B; Söhl, G; Willecke, K; Huston, J P

    2003-08-01

    Gap-junction channels in the brain, formed by connexin (Cx) proteins with a distinct regional/cell-type distribution, allow intercellular electrical and metabolic communication. In astrocytes, mainly the connexins 43, 26 and 30 are expressed. In addition, connexin30 is expressed in ependymal and leptomeningeal cells, as well as in skin and cochlea. The functional implications of the astrocytic gap-junctional network are not well understood and evidence regarding their behavioural relevance is lacking. Thus, we have tested groups of Cx30-/-, Cx30+/-, and Cx30+/+ mice in the open-field, an object exploration task, in the graded anxiety test and on the rotarod. The Cx30-/- mice showed reduced exploratory activity in terms of rearings but not locomotion in the open-field and object exploration task. Furthermore, Cx30-/- mice exhibited anxiogenic behaviour as shown by higher open-field centre avoidance and corner preference. Graded anxiety test and rotarod performance was similar across groups. The Cx30-/- mice had elevated choline levels in the ventral striatum, possibly related to their aberrant behavioural phenotypes. The Cx30+/- mice had lower dopamine and metabolite levels in the amygdala and ventral striatum and lower hippocampal 5-hydroxyindole acid (5-HIAA) concentrations relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Furthermore, the Cx30+/- mice had lower acetylcholine concentrations in the ventral striatum and higher choline levels in the neostriatum, relative to Cx30+/+ mice. Our data suggest that the elimination of connexin30 can alter the reactivity to novel environments, pointing to the importance of gap-junctional signalling in behavioural processes.

  14. Cardiac Connexin-43 and PKC Signaling in Rats With Altered Thyroid Status Without and With Omega-3 Fatty Acids Intake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Egan Beňová, T.; Viczenczová, C.; Soukup, Tomáš; Rauchová, Hana; Pavelka, Stanislav; Knezl, V.; Barančík, M.; Tribulová, N.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 65, Suppl.1 (2016), S77-S90 ISSN 0862-8408 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA305/09/1228; GA ČR(CZ) GAP304/12/0259 Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * Connexin-43 * omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 1.461, year: 2016

  15. Green fluorescent protein changes the conductance of connexin 43 (Cx43) hemichannels reconstituted in planar lipid bilayers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-20

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein.

  16. Green Fluorescent Protein Changes the Conductance of Connexin 43 (Cx43) Hemichannels Reconstituted in Planar Lipid Bilayers*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnarius, Christian; Kreir, Mohamed; Krick, Marcel; Methfessel, Christoph; Moehrle, Volker; Valerius, Oliver; Brüggemann, Andrea; Steinem, Claudia; Fertig, Niels

    2012-01-01

    In mammalian tissues, connexin 43 (Cx43) is the most prominent member of the connexin family. In a single lipid bilayer, six connexin subunits assemble into a hemichannel (connexon). Direct communication of apposing cells is realized by two adjacent hemichannels, which can form gap junction channels. Here, we established an expression system in Pichia pastoris to recombinantly produce and purify Cx43 as well as Cx43 fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP). Proteins were isolated from crude cell membrane fractions via affinity chromatography. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP hemichannels were reconstituted in giant unilamellar vesicles as proven by fluorescence microscopy, and their electrophysiological behavior was analyzed on the single channel level by planar patch clamping. Cx43 and Cx43-GFP both showed an ohmic behavior and a voltage-dependent open probability. Cx43 hemichannels exhibited one major mean conductance of 224 ± 26 picosiemens (pS). In addition, a subconductance state at 124 ± 5 pS was identified. In contrast, the analysis of Cx43-GFP single channels revealed 10 distinct conductance states in the range of 15 to 250 pS, with a larger open probability at 0 mV as compared with Cx43, which suggests that intermolecular interactions between the GFP molecules alter the electrophysiology of the protein. PMID:22139870

  17. Structural organization of intercellular channels II. Amino terminal domain of the connexins: sequence, functional roles, and structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beyer, Eric C; Lipkind, Gregory M; Kyle, John W; Berthoud, Viviana M

    2012-08-01

    The amino terminal domain (NT) of the connexins consists of their first 22-23 amino acids. Site-directed mutagenesis studies have demonstrated that NT amino acids are determinants of gap junction channel properties including unitary conductance, permeability/selectivity, and gating in response to transjunctional voltage. The importance of this region has also been emphasized by the identification of multiple disease-associated connexin mutants affecting amino acid residues in the NT region. The first part of the NT is α-helical. The structure of the Cx26 gap junction channel shows that the NT α-helix localizes within the channel, and lines the wall of the pore. Interactions of the amino acid residues in the NT with those in the transmembrane helices may be critical for holding the channel open. The predicted sites of these interactions and the applicability of the Cx26 structure to the NT of other connexins are considered. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: The Communicating junctions, composition, structure and characteristics. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Phage display peptide libraries: deviations from randomness and correctives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryvkin, Arie; Ashkenazy, Haim; Weiss-Ottolenghi, Yael; Piller, Chen; Pupko, Tal; Gershoni, Jonathan M

    2018-01-01

    Abstract Peptide-expressing phage display libraries are widely used for the interrogation of antibodies. Affinity selected peptides are then analyzed to discover epitope mimetics, or are subjected to computational algorithms for epitope prediction. A critical assumption for these applications is the random representation of amino acids in the initial naïve peptide library. In a previous study, we implemented next generation sequencing to evaluate a naïve library and discovered severe deviations from randomness in UAG codon over-representation as well as in high G phosphoramidite abundance causing amino acid distribution biases. In this study, we demonstrate that the UAG over-representation can be attributed to the burden imposed on the phage upon the assembly of the recombinant Protein 8 subunits. This was corrected by constructing the libraries using supE44-containing bacteria which suppress the UAG driven abortive termination. We also demonstrate that the overabundance of G stems from variant synthesis-efficiency and can be corrected using compensating oligonucleotide-mixtures calibrated by mass spectroscopy. Construction of libraries implementing these correctives results in markedly improved libraries that display random distribution of amino acids, thus ensuring that enriched peptides obtained in biopanning represent a genuine selection event, a fundamental assumption for phage display applications. PMID:29420788

  19. Water-Floating Giant Nanosheets from Helical Peptide Pentamers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jaehun; Nam, Ki Tae

    One of the important challenges in the development of protein-mimetic materials is to understand the sequence specific assembly behavior and the dynamic folding change. Conventional strategies to construct two dimensional nanostructures from the peptides have been limited to beta-sheet forming sequences in use of basic building blocks because of their natural tendency to form sheet like aggregations. Here we identified a new peptide sequence, YFCFY that can form dimers by the disulfide bridge, fold into helix and assemble into macroscopic flat sheet at the air/water interface. Because of large driving force for two dimensional assembly and high elastic modulus of the resulting sheet, the peptide assembly induces the flattening of initially round water droplet. Additionally, we found that stabilization of helix by the dimerization is a key determinant for maintaining macroscopic flatness over a few tens centimeter even with a uniform thickness below 10 nm. Furthermore, the capability to transfer 2D film from water droplet to other substrates allows for the multiple stacking of 2D peptide nanostructure, suggesting possible applications in the biomimetic catalysts, biosensor and 2D related electronic devices. This work was supported by Samsung Research Funding Center of Samsung Electronics under Project Number SRFC-MA1401-01.

  20. A biomimetic collagen derived peptide exhibits anti-angiogenic activity in triple negative breast cancer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elena V Rosca

    Full Text Available We investigated the application of a mimetic 20 amino acid peptide derived from type IV collagen for treatment of breast cancer. We showed that the peptide induced a decrease of proliferation, adhesion, and migration of endothelial and tumor cells in vitro. We also observed an inhibition of triple negative MDA-MB-231 xenograft growth by 75% relative to control when administered intraperitoneally for 27 days at 10 mg/kg. We monitored in vivo the changes in vascular properties throughout the treatment using MRI and found that the vascular volume and permeability surface area product decreased significantly. The treatment also resulted in an increase of caspase-3 activity and in a reduction of microvascular density. The multiple mode of action of this peptide, i.e., anti-angiogenic, and anti-tumorigenic, makes it a viable candidate as a therapeutic agent as a monotherapy or in combination with other compounds.

  1. Binding Mode of Insulin Receptor and Agonist Peptide

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2006-01-01

    Insulin is a protein hormone secreted by pancreatic β cells. One of its main functions is to keep the balance of glucose inside the body by regulating the absorption and metabolism of glucose in the periphery tissue, as well as the production and storage of hepatic glycogen. The insulin receptor is a transmembrane glycoprotein in which two α subunits with a molecular weight of 135 kD and twoβ subunits with a molecular weight of 95 kD are joined by a disulfide bond to form a β-α-α-β structure. The extracellular α subunit, especially, its three domains near the N-terminal are partially responsible for signal transduction or ligand-binding, as indicated by the experiments. The extracellular α subunits are involved in binding the ligands. The experimental results indicate that the three domains of the N-terminal of the α subunits are the main determinative parts of the insulin receptor to bind the insulin or mimetic peptide.We employed the extracellular domain (PDBID: 1IGR) of the insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1 R ) as the template to simulate and optimize the spatial structures of the three domains in the extracellular domain of the insulin receptor, which includes 468 residues. The work was accomplished by making use of the homology program in the Insight Ⅱ package on an Origin3800 server. The docking calculations of the insulin receptor obtained by homology with hexapeptides were carried out by means of the program Affinity. The analysis indicated that there were hydrogen bonding, and electrostatic and hydrophobic effects in the docking complex of the insulin receptor with hexapeptides.Moreover, we described the spatial orientation of a mimetic peptide with agonist activity in the docking complex. We obtained a rough model of binding of DLAPSQ or STIVYS with the insulin receptor, which provides the powerful theoretical support for designing the minimal insulin mimetic peptide with agonist activity, making it possible to develop oral small

  2. Human peptide transporters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Carsten Uhd; Brodin, Birger; Jørgensen, Flemming Steen

    2002-01-01

    Peptide transporters are epithelial solute carriers. Their functional role has been characterised in the small intestine and proximal tubules, where they are involved in absorption of dietary peptides and peptide reabsorption, respectively. Currently, two peptide transporters, PepT1 and PepT2, wh...

  3. The importance of connexin hemichannels during chondroprogenitor cell differentiation in hydrogel versus microtissue culture models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrobback, Karsten; Klein, Travis Jacob; Woodfield, Tim B F

    2015-06-01

    Appropriate selection of scaffold architecture is a key challenge in cartilage tissue engineering. Gap junction-mediated intercellular contacts play important roles in precartilage condensation of mesenchymal cells. However, scaffold architecture could potentially restrict cell-cell communication and differentiation. This is particularly important when choosing the appropriate culture platform as well as scaffold-based strategy for clinical translation, that is, hydrogel or microtissues, for investigating differentiation of chondroprogenitor cells in cartilage tissue engineering. We, therefore, studied the influence of gap junction-mediated cell-cell communication on chondrogenesis of bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) and articular chondrocytes. Expanded human chondrocytes and BM-MSCs were either (re-) differentiated in micromass cell pellets or encapsulated as isolated cells in alginate hydrogels. Samples were treated with and without the gap junction inhibitor 18-α glycyrrhetinic acid (18αGCA). DNA and glycosaminoglycan (GAG) content and gene expression levels (collagen I/II/X, aggrecan, and connexin 43) were quantified at various time points. Protein localization was determined using immunofluorescence, and adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) was measured in conditioned media. While GAG/DNA was higher in alginate compared with pellets for chondrocytes, there were no differences in chondrogenic gene expression between culture models. Gap junction blocking reduced collagen II and extracellular ATP in all chondrocyte cultures and in BM-MSC hydrogels. However, differentiation capacity was not abolished completely by 18αGCA. Connexin 43 levels were high throughout chondrocyte cultures and peaked only later during BM-MSC differentiation, consistent with the delayed response of BM-MSCs to 18αGCA. Alginate hydrogels and microtissues are equally suited culture platforms for the chondrogenic (re-)differentiation of expanded human articular

  4. Structural similarity between β(3)-peptides synthesized from β(3)-homo-amino acids and aspartic acid monomers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Sahar; Sprules, Tara; Kaur, Kamaljit

    2014-07-01

    Formation of stable secondary structures by oligomers that mimic natural peptides is a key asset for enhanced biological response. Here we show that oligomeric β(3)-hexapeptides synthesized from L-aspartic acid monomers (β(3)-peptides 1, 5a, and 6) or homologated β(3)-amino acids (β(3)-peptide 2), fold into similar stable 14-helical secondary structures in solution, except that the former form right-handed 14-helix and the later form left-handed 14-helix. β(3)-Peptides from L-Asp monomers contain an additional amide bond in the side chains that provides opportunities for more hydrogen bonding. However, based on the NMR solution structures, we found that β(3)-peptide from L-Asp monomers (1) and from homologated amino acids (2) form similar structures with no additional side-chain interactions. These results suggest that the β(3)-peptides derived from L-Asp are promising peptide-mimetics that can be readily synthesized using L-Asp monomers as well as the right-handed 14-helical conformation of these β(3)-peptides (such as 1 and 6) may prove beneficial in the design of mimics for right-handed α-helix of α-peptides. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Mimetic Theory for Cell-Centered Lagrangian Finite Volume Formulation on General Unstructured Grids

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sambasivan, Shiv Kumar [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Shashkov, Mikhail J. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Burton, Donald E. [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Christon, Mark A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2012-07-19

    A finite volume cell-centered Lagrangian scheme for solving large deformation problems is constructed based on the hypo-elastic model and using the mimetic theory. Rigorous analysis in the context of gas and solid dynamics, and arbitrary polygonal meshes, is presented to demonstrate the ability of cell-centered schemes in mimicking the continuum properties and principles at the discrete level. A new mimetic formulation based gradient evaluation technique and physics-based, frame independent and symmetry preserving slope limiters are proposed. Furthermore, a physically consistent dissipation model is employed which is both robust and inexpensive to implement. The cell-centered scheme along with these additional new features are applied to solve solids undergoing elasto-plastic deformation.

  6. Synthesis and evaluation of di- and trimeric hydroxylamine-based β-(1→3)-glucan mimetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferry, Angélique; Malik, Gaëlle; Guinchard, Xavier; Vĕtvička, Václav; Crich, David

    2014-10-22

    Di- and trimeric hydroxylamine-based mimetics of β-(1→3)-glucans have been accessed by an asymmetric synthesis route featuring an iterative double ring-closing reductive amination reaction. These oligomeric hydroxylamines are demonstrated to inhibit the staining of human neutrophils and of mouse macrophages by fluorescent anti-CR3 and anti-dectin-1 antibodies, respectively, and to stimulate phagocytosis, all in a linkage-dependent manner suggestive of binding to the lectin domains of complement receptor 3 (CR3) and dectin-1. The ability of these relatively short mimetics to bind to CR3 and dectin-1, as compared to the greater degree of polymerization required in β-(1→3)-glucans, is discussed in terms of the increased hydrophobicity of the α-face on replacement of the glycosidic bond by the hydroxylamine linkage.

  7. A cataract-causing connexin 50 mutant is mislocalized to the ER due to loss of the fourth transmembrane domain and cytoplasmic domain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Somaraju Chalasani, Madhavi Latha; Muppirala, Madhavi; G Ponnam, Surya Prakash; Kannabiran, Chitra; Swarup, Ghanshyam

    2013-01-01

    Mutations in the eye lens gap junction protein connexin 50 cause cataract. Earlier we identified a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 (c.670insA; p.Thr203AsnfsX47) in a family with autosomal recessive cataract. The mutant protein is smaller and contains 46 aberrant amino acids at the C-terminus after amino acid 202. Here, we have analysed this frameshift mutant and observed that it localized to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) but not in the plasma membrane. Moreover, overexpression of the mutant resulted in disintegration of the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment (ERGIC), reduction in the level of ERGIC-53 protein and breakdown of the Golgi in many cells. Overexpression of the frameshift mutant partially inhibited the transport of wild type connexin 50 to the plasma membrane. A deletion mutant lacking the aberrant sequence showed predominant localization in the ER and inhibited anterograde protein transport suggesting, therefore, that the aberrant sequence is not responsible for improper localization of the frameshift mutant. Further deletion analysis showed that the fourth transmembrane domain and a membrane proximal region (231-294 amino acids) of the cytoplasmic domain are needed for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane. Our results show that a frameshift mutant of connexin 50 mislocalizes to the ER and causes disintegration of the ERGIC and Golgi. We have also identified a sequence of connexin 50 crucial for transport from the ER and localization to the plasma membrane.

  8. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Talhouk, Rabih S.; Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania; El-Sabban, Marwan E.

    2013-01-01

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  9. Context dependent reversion of tumor phenotype by connexin-43 expression in MDA-MB231 cells and MCF-7 cells: Role of β-catenin/connexin43 association

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Talhouk, Rabih S., E-mail: rtalhouk@aub.edu.lb [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); Fares, Mohamed-Bilal; Rahme, Gilbert J.; Hariri, Hanaa H.; Rayess, Tina; Dbouk, Hashem A.; Bazzoun, Dana; Al-Labban, Dania [Department of Biology, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon); El-Sabban, Marwan E., E-mail: me00@aub.edu.lb [Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut, P.O. Box 11-0236, Beirut (Lebanon)

    2013-12-10

    Connexins (Cx), gap junction (GJ) proteins, are regarded as tumor suppressors, and Cx43 expression is often down regulated in breast tumors. We assessed the effect of Cx43 over-expression in 2D and 3D cultures of two breast adenocarcinoma cell lines: MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231. While Cx43 over-expression decreased proliferation of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 by 56% and 80% respectively, MDA-MB-231 growth was not altered in 2D cultures, but exhibited 35% reduction in 3D cultures. C-terminus truncated Cx43 did not alter proliferation. Untransfected MCF-7 cells formed spherical aggregates in 3D cultures, and MDA-MB-231 cells formed stellar aggregates. However, MCF-7 cells over-expressing Cx43 formed smaller sized clusters and Cx43 expressing MDA-MB-231 cells lost their stellar morphology. Extravasation ability of both MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cells was reduced by 60% and 30% respectively. On the other hand, silencing Cx43 in MCF10A cells, nonneoplastic human mammary cell line, increased proliferation in both 2D and 3D cultures, and disrupted acinar morphology. Although Cx43 over-expression did not affect total levels of β-catenin, α-catenin and ZO-2, it decreased nuclear levels of β-catenin in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and in 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells. Cx43 associated at the membrane with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 in 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and only in 3D conditions in MDA-MB-231 cells. This study suggests that Cx43 exerts tumor suppressive effects in a context-dependent manner where GJ assembly with α-catenin, β-catenin and ZO-2 may be implicated in reducing growth rate, invasiveness, and, malignant phenotype of 2D and 3D cultures of MCF-7 cells, and 3D cultures of MDA-MB-231 cells, by sequestering β-catenin away from nucleus. - Highlights: • Cx43 over-expressing MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 were grown in 2D and 3D cultures. • Proliferation and growth morphology were affected in a context dependent manner. • Extravasation ability of both MCF

  10. iBodies: Modular Synthetic Antibody Mimetics Based on Hydrophilic Polymers Decorated with Functional Moieties

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šácha, Pavel; Knedlík, Tomáš; Schimer, Jiří; Tykvart, Jan; Parolek, Jan; Navrátil, Václav; Dvořáková, Petra; Sedlák, František; Ulbrich, Karel; Strohalm, Jiří; Majer, Pavel; Šubr, Vladimír; Konvalinka, Jan

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 55, č. 7 (2016), s. 2356-2360 ISSN 1433-7851 R&D Projects: GA ČR GBP208/12/G016; GA MŠk LO1302 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 ; RVO:61389013 Keywords : antibody mimetics * HPMA * molecular recognition * polymer conjugates * protein targeting Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry; CD - Macromolecular Chemistry (UMCH-V) Impact factor: 11.994, year: 2016 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/anie.201508642/full

  11. Superstretchable Nacre-Mimetic Graphene/Poly(vinyl alcohol) Composite Film Based on Interfacial Architectural Engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Nifang; Yang, Miao; Zhao, Qian; Gao, Weiwei; Xie, Tao; Bai, Hao

    2017-05-23

    Through designing hierarchical structures, particularly optimizing the chemical and architectural interactions at its inorganic/organic interface, nacre has achieved an excellent combination of contradictory mechanical properties such as strength and toughness, which is highly demanded yet difficult to achieve by most synthetic materials. Most techniques applied to develop nacre-mimetic composites have been focused on mimicking the "brick-and-mortar" structure, but the interfacial architectural features, especially the asperities and mineral bridges of "bricks", have been rarely concerned, which are of equal importance for enhancing mechanical properties of nacre. Here, we used a modified bidirectional freezing method followed by uniaxial pressing and chemical reduction to assemble a nacre-mimetic graphene/poly(vinyl alcohol) composite film, with both asperities and bridges introduced in addition to the lamellar layers to mimic the interfacial architectural interactions found in nacre. As such, we have developed a composite film that is not only strong (up to ∼150.9 MPa), but also tough (up to ∼8.50 MJ/m 3 ), and highly stretchable (up to ∼10.44%), difficult to obtain by other methods. This was all achieved by only interfacial architectural engineering within the traditional "brick-and-mortar" structure, without introducing a third component or employing chemical cross-linker as in some other nacre-mimetic systems. More importantly, we believe that the design principles and processing strategies reported here can also be applied to other material systems to develop strong and stretchable materials.

  12. Design, synthesis, and evaluation of an alpha-helix mimetic library targeting protein-protein interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaginian, Alex; Whitby, Landon R; Hong, Sukwon; Hwang, Inkyu; Farooqi, Bilal; Searcey, Mark; Chen, Jiandong; Vogt, Peter K; Boger, Dale L

    2009-04-22

    The design and solution-phase synthesis of an alpha-helix mimetic library as an integral component of a small-molecule library targeting protein-protein interactions are described. The iterative design, synthesis, and evaluation of the candidate alpha-helix mimetic was initiated from a precedented triaryl template and refined by screening the designs for inhibition of MDM2/p53 binding. Upon identifying a chemically and biologically satisfactory design and consistent with the screening capabilities of academic collaborators, the corresponding complete library was assembled as 400 mixtures of 20 compounds (20 x 20 x 20-mix), where the added subunits are designed to mimic all possible permutations of the naturally occurring i, i + 4, i + 7 amino acid side chains of an alpha-helix. The library (8000 compounds) was prepared using a solution-phase synthetic protocol enlisting acid/base liquid-liquid extractions for purification on a scale that insures its long-term availability for screening campaigns. Screening of the library for inhibition of MDM2/p53 binding not only identified the lead alpha-helix mimetic upon which the library was based, but also suggests that a digestion of the initial screening results that accompany the use of such a comprehensive library can provide insights into the nature of the interaction (e.g., an alpha-helix mediated protein-protein interaction) and define the key residues and their characteristics responsible for recognition.

  13. Role of phosphate on stability and catalase mimetic activity of cerium oxide nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, Ragini; Singh, Sanjay

    2015-08-01

    Cerium oxide nanoparticles (CeNPs) have been recently shown to scavenge reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS and RNS) in different experimental model systems. CeNPs (3+) and CeNPs (4+) have been shown to exhibit superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase mimetic activity, respectively. Due to their nanoscale dimension, CeNPs are expected to interact with the components of biologically relevant buffers and medium, which could alter their catalytic properties. We have demonstrated earlier that CeNPs (3+) interact with phosphate and lose the SOD activity. However, very little is known about the interaction of CeNPs (4+) with the phosphate and other anions, predominantly present in biological buffers and their effects on the catalase mimetic-activity of these nanoparticles. In this study, we report that catalase mimetic-activity of CeNPs (4+) is resistant to the phosphate anions, pH changes and composition of cell culture media. Given the abundance of phosphate anions in the biological system, it is likely that internalized CeNPs would be influenced by cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic concentration of phosphate. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. The reconstruction of f(ϕ)R and mimetic gravity from viable slow-roll inflation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odintsov, S. D.; Oikonomou, V. K.

    2018-04-01

    In this work, we extend the bottom-up reconstruction framework of F (R) gravity to other modified gravities, and in particular for f (ϕ) R and mimetic F (R) gravities. We investigate which are the important conditions in order for the method to work, and we study several viable cosmological evolutions, focusing on the inflationary era. Particularly, for the f (ϕ) R theory case, we specify the functional form of the Hubble rate and of the scalar-to-tensor ratio as a function of the e-foldings number and accordingly, the rest of the physical quantities and also the slow-roll and the corresponding observational indices can be calculated. The same method is applied in the mimetic F (R) gravity case, and in both cases we thoroughly analyze the resulting free parameter space, in order to show that the viability of the models presented is guaranteed and secondly that there is a wide range of values of the free parameters for which the viability of the models occurs. In addition, the reconstruction method is also studied in the context of mimetic F (R) = R gravity. As we demonstrate, the resulting theory is viable, and also in this case, only the scalar-to-tensor ratio needs to be specified, since the rest follow from this condition. Finally, we discuss in brief how the reconstruction method could function for other modified gravities.

  15. The reconstruction of f(ϕR and mimetic gravity from viable slow-roll inflation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.D. Odintsov

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this work, we extend the bottom-up reconstruction framework of F(R gravity to other modified gravities, and in particular for f(ϕR and mimetic F(R gravities. We investigate which are the important conditions in order for the method to work, and we study several viable cosmological evolutions, focusing on the inflationary era. Particularly, for the f(ϕR theory case, we specify the functional form of the Hubble rate and of the scalar-to-tensor ratio as a function of the e-foldings number and accordingly, the rest of the physical quantities and also the slow-roll and the corresponding observational indices can be calculated. The same method is applied in the mimetic F(R gravity case, and in both cases we thoroughly analyze the resulting free parameter space, in order to show that the viability of the models presented is guaranteed and secondly that there is a wide range of values of the free parameters for which the viability of the models occurs. In addition, the reconstruction method is also studied in the context of mimetic F(R=R gravity. As we demonstrate, the resulting theory is viable, and also in this case, only the scalar-to-tensor ratio needs to be specified, since the rest follow from this condition. Finally, we discuss in brief how the reconstruction method could function for other modified gravities.

  16. Late-time cosmological approach in mimetic f(R, T) gravity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baffou, E.H. [Institut de Mathematiques et de Sciences Physiques (IMSP), Porto-Novo (Benin); Houndjo, M.J.S. [Institut de Mathematiques et de Sciences Physiques (IMSP), Porto-Novo (Benin); Faculte des Sciences et Techniques de Natitingou, Natitingou (Benin); Hamani-Daouda, M. [Universite de Niamey, Departement de Physique, Niamey (Niger); Alvarenga, F.G. [Universidade Federal do Espirito Santo, Departamento de Engenharia e Ciencias Naturais, CEUNES, Sao Mateus, ES (Brazil)

    2017-10-15

    In this paper, we investigate the late-time cosmic acceleration in mimetic f(R, T) gravity with the Lagrange multiplier and potential in a Universe containing, besides radiation and dark energy, a self-interacting (collisional) matter. We obtain through the modified Friedmann equations the main equation that can describe the cosmological evolution. Then, with several models from Q(z) and the well-known particular model f(R, T), we perform an analysis of the late-time evolution. We examine the behavior of the Hubble parameter, the dark energy equation of state and the total effective equation of state and in each case we compare the resulting picture with the non-collisional matter (assumed as dust) and also with the collisional matter in mimetic f(R, T) gravity. The results obtained are in good agreement with the observational data and show that in the presence of the collisional matter the dark energy oscillations in mimetic f(R, T) gravity can be damped. (orig.)

  17. A potential role for neuronal connexin 36 in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belousov, Andrei B; Nishimune, Hiroshi; Denisova, Janna V; Fontes, Joseph D

    2018-02-14

    Neuronal gap junctional protein connexin 36 (Cx36) contributes to neuronal death following a range of acute brain insults such as ischemia, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy. Whether Cx36 contributes to neuronal death and pathological outcomes in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is not known. We show here that the expression of Cx36 is significantly decreased in lumbar segments of the spinal cord of both human ALS subjects and SOD1 G93A mice as compared to healthy human and wild-type mouse controls, respectively. In purified neuronal cultures prepared from the spinal cord of wild-type mice, knockdown of Cx36 reduces neuronal death caused by overexpression of the mutant human SOD1-G93A protein. Taken together, these data suggest a possible contribution of Cx36 to ALS pathogenesis. A perspective for the use of blockers of Cx36 gap junction channels for ALS therapy is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Connexin 43 Gene Therapy Delivered by Polymer-Modified Salmonella in Murine Tumor Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei-Kuang Wang

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The use of preferentially tumor-targeting bacteria as vectors is one of the most innovative approaches for the treatment of cancer. This method is based on the observation that some obligate or facultative anaerobic bacteria are capable of selectively multiplying in tumors and inhibiting their growth. Previously, we found that the tumor-targeting efficiency of Salmonella could be modulated by modifying the immune response to these bacteria by coating them with poly(allylamine hydrochloride (PAH, and these organisms are designated PAH-S.C. (S. choleraesuis. PAH can provide a useful platform for the chemical modification of Salmonella, perhaps by allowing a therapeutic gene to bind to tumor-targeting Salmonella. This study aimed to investigate the benefits of the use of PAH-S.C. for gene delivery. To evaluate this modulation, the invasion activity and gene transfer of DNA-PAH-S.C. were measured in vitro and in vivo. Treatment with PAH-S.C. carrying a tumor suppressor gene (connexin 43 resulted in inhibition of tumor growth, which suggested that tumor-targeted gene therapy using PAH-S.C. carrying a therapeutic gene could exert antitumor activities. This technique represents a promising strategy for the treatment of tumors.

  19. Connexin 26-mediated gap junctional intercellular communication suppresses paracellular permeability of human intestinal epithelial cell monolayers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morita, Hidekazu; Katsuno, Tatsuro; Hoshimoto, Aihiro; Hirano, Noriaki; Saito, Yasushi; Suzuki, Yasuo

    2004-01-01

    In some cell types, gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC) is associated with tight junctions. The present study was performed to determine the roles of GJIC in regulation of the barrier function of tight junctions. Caco-2 human colonic cells were used as a monolayer model, and barrier function was monitored by measuring mannitol permeability and transepithelial electrical resistance (TER). The monolayers were chemically disrupted by treatment with oleic acid and taurocholic acid. Western blotting analyses were performed to evaluate the protein levels of connexins, which are components of gap junctional intercellular channels. Cx26 expression was detected in preconfluent Caco-2 cells, and its level increased gradually after the monolayer reached confluency. These results prompted us to examine whether overexpression of Cx26 affects barrier function. Monolayers of Caco-2 cells stably expressing Cx26 showed significantly lower mannitol permeability and higher TER than mock transfectants when the monolayers were chemically disrupted. The levels of claudin-4, an important component of tight junctions, were significantly increased in the stable Cx26 transfectant. These results suggest that Cx26-mediated GJIC may play a crucial role in enhancing the barrier function of Caco-2 cell monolayers

  20. Connexin 43 Expression on Peripheral Blood Eosinophils: Role of Gap Junctions in Transendothelial Migration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Harissios Vliagoftis

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Eosinophils circulate in the blood and are recruited in tissues during allergic inflammation. Gap junctions mediate direct communication between adjacent cells and may represent a new way of communication between immune cells distinct from communication through cytokines and chemokines. We characterized the expression of connexin (Cx43 by eosinophils isolated from atopic individuals using RT-PCR, Western blotting, and confocal microscopy and studied the biological functions of gap junctions on eosinophils. The formation of functional gap junctions was evaluated measuring dye transfer using flow cytometry. The role of gap junctions on eosinophil transendothelial migration was studied using the inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid. Peripheral blood eosinophils express Cx43 mRNA and protein. Cx43 is localized not only in the cytoplasm but also on the plasma membrane. The membrane impermeable dye BCECF transferred from eosinophils to epithelial or endothelial cells following coculture in a dose and time dependent fashion. The gap junction inhibitors 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid and octanol did not have a significant effect on dye transfer but reduced dye exit from eosinophils. The gap junction inhibitor 18-a-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibited eosinophil transendothelial migration in a dose dependent manner. Thus, eosinophils from atopic individuals express Cx43 constitutively and Cx43 may play an important role in eosinophil transendothelial migration and function in sites of inflammation.

  1. Cardiotoxic Effects of Short-Term Doxorubicin Administration: Involvement of Connexin 43 in Calcium Impairment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pecoraro, Michela; Rodríguez-Sinovas, Antonio; Marzocco, Stefania; Ciccarelli, Michele; Iaccarino, Guido; Pinto, Aldo; Popolo, Ada

    2017-10-11

    The use of Doxorubicin (DOXO), a potent antineoplastic agent, is limited by the development of cardiotoxicity. DOXO-induced cardiotoxicity is multifactorial, although alterations in calcium homeostasis, seem to be involved. Since even the Connexin43 (Cx43) plays a pivotal role in these two phenomena, in this study we have analyzed the effects of DOXO on Cx43 expression and localization. Damage caused by anthracyclines on cardiomyocytes is immediate after each injection, in the present study we used a short-term model of DOXO-induced cardiomyopathy. C57BL/6j female mice were randomly divided in groups and injected with DOXO (2 or 10 mg/kg i.p.) for 1-3 or 7 days once every other day. Cardiac function was assessed by Echocardiography. Sarco/endoplasmic reticulum Ca 2+ -ATPase (SERCAII) and phospholamban (PLB) expression were assessed by Western blot analysis, intracellular [Ca 2+ ] were detected spectrofluorometrically by means of Fura-2 pentakis (acetoxymethyl) ester (FURA-2AM), and Cx43 and pCx43 expression and localization was analyzed by Western blot and confirmed by immunofluorescence analysis. DOXO induces impairment in Ca 2+ homeostasis, already evident after a single administration, and affects Cx43 expression and localization. Our data suggest that DOXO-induced alterations in Ca 2+ homeostasis causes in the cells the induction of compensatory mechanisms until a certain threshold, above which cardiac injury is triggered.

  2. Lycopene ameliorates neuropathic pain by upregulating spinal astrocytic connexin 43 expression.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Fujii, Shiori; Miyauchi, Kazuki; Nakamura, Yoki; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2016-06-15

    Peripheral nerve injury upregulates tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression. In turn, connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in spinal astrocytes is downregulated by TNF. Therefore, restoration of spinal astrocyte Cx43 expression to normal level could lead to the reduction of nerve injury-induced pain. While the non-provitaminic carotenoid lycopene reverses thermal hyperalgesia in mice with painful diabetic neuropathy, the antinociceptive mechanism is not entirely clear. The current study evaluated whether the antinociceptive effect of lycopene is mediated through the modulation of Cx43 expression in spinal astrocytes. The effect of lycopene on Cx43 expression was examined in cultured rat spinal astrocytes. The effect of intrathecal lycopene on Cx43 expression and neuropathic pain were evaluated in mice with partial sciatic nerve ligation (PSNL). Treatment of cultured rat spinal astrocytes with lycopene reversed TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression through a transcription-independent mechanism. By contrast, treatment of cultured spinal astrocytes with either pro-vitamin A carotenoid β-carotene or antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine had no effect on TNF-induced downregulation of Cx43 protein expression. In addition, repeated, but not single, intrathecal treatment with lycopene of mice with a partial sciatic nerve ligation significantly prevented not only the downregulation of Cx43 expression in spinal dorsal horn but mechanical hypersensitivity as well. The current findings suggest a significant spinal mechanism that mediates the analgesic effect of lycopene, through the restoration of normal spinal Cx43 expression. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Ultrastructure and regulation of lateralized connexin43 in the failing heart.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hesketh, Geoffrey G; Shah, Manish H; Halperin, Victoria L; Cooke, Carol A; Akar, Fadi G; Yen, Timothy E; Kass, David A; Machamer, Carolyn E; Van Eyk, Jennifer E; Tomaselli, Gordon F

    2010-04-02

    Gap junctions mediate cell-to-cell electric coupling of cardiomyocytes. The primary gap junction protein in the working myocardium, connexin43 (Cx43), exhibits increased localization at the lateral membranes of cardiomyocytes in a variety of heart diseases, although the precise location and function of this population is unknown. To define the subcellular location of lateralized gap junctions at the light and electron microscopic level, and further characterize the biochemical regulation of gap junction turnover. By electron microscopy, we characterized gap junctions formed between cardiomyocyte lateral membranes in failing canine ventricular myocardium. These gap junctions were varied in structure and appeared to be extensively internalizing. Internalized gap junctions were incorporated into multilamellar membrane structures, with features characteristic of autophagosomes. Intracellular Cx43 extensively colocalized with the autophagosome marker GFP-LC3 when both proteins were exogenously expressed in HeLa cells, and endogenous Cx43 colocalized with GFP-LC3 in neonatal rat ventricular myocytes. Furthermore, a distinct phosphorylated form of Cx43, as well as the autophagosome-targeted form of LC3 (microtubule-associated protein light chain 3) targeted to lipid rafts in cardiac tissue, and both were increased in heart failure. Our data demonstrate a previously unrecognized pathway of gap junction internalization and degradation in the heart and identify a cellular pathway with potential therapeutic implications.

  4. Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Cardiac Connexin 43 mRNA levels in male adult rat offspring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Kamila Fernanda; de Oliveira, Camila Andrea; Rebelato, Hércules Jonas; Esquisatto, Marcelo Augusto Marreto; Catisti, Rosana

    2017-01-01

    Background The dietary limitation during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the fetus and offspring and their health into adult life. The mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of gestational protein restriction (GPR) in the development of the offspring hearts are not well understood. Objectives The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GPR on cardiac structure in male rat offspring at day 60 after birth (d60). Methods Pregnant Wistar rats were fed a normal-protein (NP, 17% casein) or low-protein (LP, 6% casein) diet. Blood pressure (BP) values from 60-day-old male offspring were measured by an indirect tail-cuff method using an electro sphygmomanometer. Hearts (d60) were collected for assessment of connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression and morphological and morphometric analysis. Results LP offspring showed no difference in body weight, although they were born lighter than NP offspring. BP levels were significantly higher in the LP group. We observed a significant increase in the area occupied by collagen fibers, a decrease in the number of cardiomyocytes by 104 µm2, and an increase in cardiomyocyte area associated with an increased Cx43 expression. Conclusion GPR changes myocardial levels of Cx43 mRNA in male young adult rats, suggesting that this mechanism aims to compensate the fibrotic process by the accumulation of collagen fibers in the heart interstitium. PMID:28678925

  5. Mena associates with Rac1 and modulates connexin 43 remodeling in cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ram, Rashmi; Wescott, Andrew P; Varandas, Katherine; Dirksen, Robert T; Blaxall, Burns C

    2014-01-01

    Mena, a member of the Ena/VASP family of actin regulatory proteins, modulates microfilaments and interacts with cytoskeletal proteins associated with heart failure. Mena is localized at the intercalated disc (ICD) of adult cardiac myocytes, colocalizing with numerous cytoskeletal proteins. Mena's role in the maintainence of mechanical myocardial stability at the cardiomyocyte ICD remains unknown. We hypothesized that Mena may modulate signals from the sarcolemma to the actin cytoskeleton at the ICD to regulate the expression and localization of connexin 43 (Cx43). The small GTPase Rac1 plays a pivotal role in the regulation of actin cytoskeletal reorganization and mediating morphological and transcriptional changes in cardiomyocytes. We found that Mena is associated with active Rac1 in cardiomyocytes and that RNAi knockdown of Mena increased Rac1 activity significantly. Furthermore, Mena knockdown increased Cx43 expression and altered Cx43 localization and trafficking at the ICD, concomitant with faster intercellular communication, as assessed by dye transfer between cardiomyocyte pairs. In mice overexpressing constitutively active Rac1, left ventricular Mena expression was increased significantly, concomitant with lateral redistribution of Cx43. These results suggest that Mena is a critical regulator of the ICD and is required for normal localization of Cx43 in part via regulation of Rac1.

  6. Different expressions of connexin 43 and 32 in the fibroblasts of human dental pulp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibuki, N; Yamaoka, Y; Sawa, Y; Kawasaki, T; Yoshida, S

    2002-06-01

    The expression and localization of gap junctional proteins connexin (Cx) 26, 32, and 43 was examined in human dental pulp. Dental pulp tissues were obtained from human third molars immediately after extraction. Some pulp tissues were used for cell culture, and the rest for histological observations. Immunostaining for cultured dental pulp fibroblasts (DPFs) showed that Cx32 and 43 were expressed in human DPFs, and proteins corresponding to 27 (Cx32) and 43kDa (Cx43) were identified by Western blot analysis. Immunostaining for tissue sections showed that the expression of Cx32 and 43 was observed in the entire region of the pulp and further strong expression of Cx32 was established beneath the cell-rich zone. Considering the close relationship between Cx types and cell functions, the results indicate that DPFs beneath the cell-rich zone may have specific, Cx32-related functions. The cell rich zone is thought to contain progenitor odontoblasts that can be induced to differentiate into mature odontoblasts in response to wounding. Therefore, it may be hypothesized that DPFs just beneath the cell-rich zone produce proteins and induce odontoblast differentiation from the cells in the cell-rich zone.

  7. Effects of androgen on immunohistochemical localization of androgen receptor and Connexin 43 in mouse ovary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Mei; Li, Jianhua; An, Yulin; Zhang, Shuiwen

    2015-10-01

    Androgens have essential roles in the regulation of follicular development and female fertility. Androgen excess is the leading defect in polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) patients and involved in the ovarian dysfunction. The aim of this study was to elucidate the regarding regulatory role of androgen in the follicular development of female mouse. Immunohistochemical staining and Western blot analyses were performed to detect androgen receptor (AR) and Connexin 43 (Cx43) expression in ovaries from both control and testosterone-treated group mice. In this study, localizations of AR and Cx43 were dramatically altered in testosterone-treated mouse ovaries. In addition, AR expression was significantly increased, whereas Cx43 expression was markedly decreased after testosterone treatment. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone with concomitant reduction of MII oocytes. Overall, these results suggest the involvement of androgen in the regulation of AR and Cx43 localizations in mouse ovary. Alterations of AR and Cx43 expression by testosterone may affect normal folliculogenesis. Together these findings will enable us to begin understanding the important roles of AR and Cx43 actions in the regulation of follicular development, as well as providing insights into the role of AR and Cx43 actions in the androgen-associated reproductive diseases such as PCOS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Molecular determinants of magnesium-dependent synaptic plasticity at electrical synapses formed by connexin36

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palacios-Prado, Nicolás; Chapuis, Sandrine; Panjkovich, Alejandro; Fregeac, Julien; Nagy, James I.; Bukauskas, Feliksas F.

    2014-08-01

    Neuronal gap junction (GJ) channels composed of connexin36 (Cx36) play an important role in neuronal synchronization and network dynamics. Here we show that Cx36-containing electrical synapses between inhibitory neurons of the thalamic reticular nucleus are bidirectionally modulated by changes in intracellular free magnesium concentration ([Mg2+]i). Chimeragenesis demonstrates that the first extracellular loop of Cx36 contains a Mg2+-sensitive domain, and site-directed mutagenesis shows that the pore-lining residue D47 is critical in determining high Mg2+-sensitivity. Single-channel analysis of Mg2+-sensitive chimeras and mutants reveals that [Mg2+]i controls the strength of electrical coupling mostly via gating mechanisms. In addition, asymmetric transjunctional [Mg2+]i induces strong instantaneous rectification, providing a novel mechanism for electrical rectification in homotypic Cx36 GJs. We suggest that Mg2+-dependent synaptic plasticity of Cx36-containing electrical synapses could underlie neuronal circuit reconfiguration via changes in brain energy metabolism that affects neuronal levels of intracellular ATP and [Mg2+]i.

  9. The long-term effects of FSH and triiodothyronine administration during the pubertal period on Connexin 43 expression and spermatogenesis efficiency in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marchlewska, Katarzyna; Slowikowska-Hilczer, Jolanta; Walczak-Jedrzejowska, Renata; Oszukowska, Elzbieta; Filipiak, Eliza; Kula, Krzysztof

    2015-04-01

    Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and triiodothyronine (T3) are known regulatory factors of spermatogenesis initiation. Hyperstimulation of both hormones evokes regressional changes in connexin 43 expression and the seminiferous epithelium in young rats during testicular maturation. However, separate treatments with T3 reduce Sertoli cell number, which seems to be closely connected with the maturation of connexin 43 gap junctions. FSH elevates Sertoli cell number and function, but this effect may take place regardless of the presence of connexin 43-dependent intercellular communication. The aim of the study was to evaluate the later effects of such treatments. Newborn, male Wistar rats were divided randomly into experimental groups receiving daily subcutaneous injections of either 7.5 IU/animal FSH, or 100 mg/kg b.w. T3, or both substances or the same volume of vehicle (control group) until day 15 of life. The animals were sacrificed on day 50. Morphometric analysis and immunohistochemical reactions were performed using antibodies against Vimentin, Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen and Connexin 43 in the testis. Sertoli cell count, efficiency of spermatogenesis, and hormonal pattern were examined. Disturbances in the connexin 43 expression reduced the number of Sertoli cells, the efficiency of spermatogenesis and impaired endocrine function of testes in adult rats treated with FSH and T3 during puberty. Stimulation with FSH alone increased Sertoli cell number, but was associated with a negative effect on cell-to-cell connexin 43-dependent communication, with a consequential reduction of spermatogenesis efficiency. J. Exp. Zool. 323A: 256-265, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. A peptide mimetic targeting trans-homophilic NCAM binding sites promotes spatial learning and neural plasticity in the hippocampus

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kraev, Igor; Henneberger, Christian; Rossetti, Clara

    2011-01-01

    The key roles played by the neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in plasticity and cognition underscore this membrane protein as a relevant target to develop cognitive-enhancing drugs. However, NCAM is a structurally and functionally complex molecule with multiple domains engaged in a variety of ...

  11. Targeted Recombinant Fusion Proteins of IFNγ and Mimetic IFNγ with PDGFβR Bicyclic Peptide Inhibits Liver Fibrogenesis In Vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bansal, Ruchi; Prakash, Jai; de Ruiter, Marieke; Poelstra, Klaas

    2014-01-01

    Hepatic stellate cells (HSCs), following transdifferentiation to myofibroblasts plays a key role in liver fibrosis. Therefore, attempts to attenuate this myofibroblastic phenotype would be a promising therapeutic approach. Interferon gamma (IFNγ) is a potent anti-fibrotic cytokine, but its

  12. Connexin hemichannel-mediated CO2-dependent release of ATP in the medulla oblongata contributes to central respiratory chemosensitivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huckstepp, Robert T R; id Bihi, Rachid; Eason, Robert; Spyer, K Michael; Dicke, Nikolai; Willecke, Klaus; Marina, Nephtali; Gourine, Alexander V; Dale, Nicholas

    2010-01-01

    Arterial , a major determinant of breathing, is detected by chemosensors located in the brainstem. These are important for maintaining physiological levels of in the blood and brain, yet the mechanisms by which the brain senses CO2 remain controversial. As ATP release at the ventral surface of the brainstem has been causally linked to the adaptive changes in ventilation in response to hypercapnia, we have studied the mechanisms of CO2-dependent ATP release in slices containing the ventral surface of the medulla oblongata. We found that CO2-dependent ATP release occurs in the absence of extracellular acidification and correlates directly with the level of . ATP release is independent of extracellular Ca2+ and may occur via the opening of a gap junction hemichannel. As agents that act on connexin channels block this release, but compounds selective for pannexin-1 have no effect, we conclude that a connexin hemichannel is involved in CO2-dependent ATP release. We have used molecular, genetic and immunocytochemical techniques to demonstrate that in the medulla oblongata connexin 26 (Cx26) is preferentially expressed near the ventral surface. The leptomeninges, subpial astrocytes and astrocytes ensheathing penetrating blood vessels at the ventral surface of the medulla can be loaded with dye in a CO2-dependent manner, suggesting that gating of a hemichannel is involved in ATP release. This distribution of CO2-dependent dye loading closely mirrors that of Cx26 expression and colocalizes to glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells. In vivo, blockers with selectivity for Cx26 reduce hypercapnia-evoked ATP release and the consequent adaptive enhancement of breathing. We therefore propose that Cx26-mediated release of ATP in response to changes in is an important mechanism contributing to central respiratory chemosensitivity. PMID:20736421

  13. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garciarena, Carolina D.; Malik, Akif; Swietach, Pawel; Moreno, Alonso P.; Vaughan-Jones, Richard D.

    2018-01-01

    Most mammalian cells can intercommunicate via connexin-assembled, gap-junctional channels. To regulate signal transmission, connexin (Cx) channel permeability must respond dynamically to physiological and pathophysiological stimuli. One key stimulus is intracellular pH (pHi), which is modulated by a tissue’s metabolic and perfusion status. Our understanding of the molecular mechanism of H+ gating of Cx43 channels—the major isoform in the heart and brain—is incomplete. To interrogate the effects of acidic and alkaline pHi on Cx43 channels, we combined voltage-clamp electrophysiology with pHi imaging and photolytic H+ uncaging, performed over a range of pHi values. We demonstrate that Cx43 channels expressed in HeLa or N2a cell pairs are gated biphasically by pHi via a process that consists of activation by H+ ions at alkaline pHi and inhibition at more acidic pHi. For Cx43 channel–mediated solute/ion transmission, the ensemble of these effects produces a pHi optimum, near resting pHi. By using Cx43 mutants, we demonstrate that alkaline gating involves cysteine residues of the C terminus and is independent of motifs previously implicated in acidic gating. Thus, we present a molecular mechanism by which cytoplasmic acid–base chemistry fine tunes intercellular communication and establishes conditions for the optimal transmission of solutes and signals in tissues, such as the heart and brain.—Garciarena, C. D., Malik, A., Swietach, P., Moreno, A. P., Vaughan-Jones, R. D. Distinct moieties underlie biphasic H+ gating of connexin43 channels, producing a pH optimum for intercellular communication. PMID:29183963

  14. PeptideAtlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — PeptideAtlas is a multi-organism, publicly accessible compendium of peptides identified in a large set of tandem mass spectrometry proteomics experiments. Mass...

  15. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuo Liu

    Full Text Available Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases

  16. Connexin43 Mediated Delivery of ADAMTS5 Targeting siRNAs from Mesenchymal Stem Cells to Synovial Fibroblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shuo; Niger, Corinne; Koh, Eugene Y; Stains, Joseph P

    2015-01-01

    Osteoarthritis is a joint-destructive disease that has no effective cure. Human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) could offer therapeutic benefit in the treatment of arthritic diseases by suppressing inflammation and permitting tissue regeneration, but first these cells must overcome the catabolic environment of the diseased joint. Likewise, gene therapy also offers therapeutic promise given its ability to directly modulate key catabolic factors that mediate joint deterioration, although it too has limitations. In the current study, we explore an approach that combines hMSCs and gene therapy. Specifically, we test the use of hMSC as a vehicle to deliver ADAMTS5 (an aggrecanase with a key role in osteoarthritis)-targeting siRNAs to SW982 synovial fibroblast-like cells via connexin43 containing gap junctions. Accordingly, we transduced hMSCs with ADAMTS5-targeting shRNA or non-targeted shRNA, and co-cultured them with synovial fibroblasts to allow delivery of siRNAs from hMSC to synovial fibroblasts. We found that co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 and synovial fibroblasts reduced ADAMTS5 expression relative to co-culture of hMSCs-shRNA-control and synovial fibroblasts. Furthermore, ADAMTS5 was specifically reduced in the synovial fibroblasts populations as determined by fluorescence-activated cell sorting, suggesting transfer of the siRNA between cells. To test if Cx43-containing gap junctions are involved in the transfer of siRNA, we co-cultured hMSCs-shRNA-ADAMTS5 cells with synovial fibroblasts in which connexin43 was knocked down. Under these conditions, ADAMTS5 levels were not inhibited by co-culture, indicating that connexin43 mediates the delivery of siRNA from hMSCs to synovial fibroblasts. In total, our findings demonstrate that hMSCs can function as donor cells to host and deliver siRNAs to synovial fibroblasts via connexin43 gap junction in vitro. These data may have implications in the combination of hMSCs and gene therapy to treat diseases like

  17. Genomic instability induced in distant progeny of bystander cells depends on the connexins expressed in the irradiated cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Toledo, Sonia M; Buonanno, Manuela; Harris, Andrew L; Azzam, Edouard I

    2017-10-01

    To examine the time window during which intercellular signaling though gap junctions mediates non-targeted (bystander) effects induced by moderate doses of ionizing radiation; and to investigate the impact of gap junction communication on genomic instability in distant progeny of bystander cells. A layered cell culture system was developed to investigate the propagation of harmful effects from irradiated normal or tumor cells that express specific connexins to contiguous bystander normal human fibroblasts. Irradiated cells were exposed to moderate mean absorbed doses from 3.7 MeV α particle, 1000 MeV/u iron ions, 600 MeV/u silicon ions, or 137 Cs γ rays. Following 5 h of co-culture, pure populations of bystander cells, unexposed to secondary radiation, were isolated and DNA damage and oxidative stress was assessed in them and in their distant progeny (20-25 population doublings). Increased frequency of micronucleus formation and enhanced oxidative changes were observed in bystander cells co-cultured with confluent cells exposed to either sparsely ionizing ( 137 Cs γ rays) or densely ionizing (α particles, energetic iron or silicon ions) radiations. The irradiated cells propagated signals leading to biological changes in bystander cells within 1 h of irradiation, and the effect required cellular coupling by gap junctions. Notably, the distant progeny of isolated bystander cells also exhibited increased levels of spontaneous micronuclei. This effect was dependent on the type of junctional channels that coupled the irradiated donor cells with the bystander cells. Previous work showed that gap junctions composed of connexin26 (Cx26) or connexin43 (Cx43) mediate toxic bystander effects within 5 h of co-culture, whereas gap junctions composed of connexin32 (Cx32) mediate protective effects. In contrast, the long-term progeny of bystander cells expressing Cx26 or Cx43 did not display elevated DNA damage, whereas those coupled by Cx32 had enhanced DNA

  18. Na,K-ATPase regulates intercellular communication in the vascular wall via cSrc kinase dependent connexin43 phosphorylation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hangaard, Lise; Bouzinova, Elena; Stæhr, Christian Albeck

    2017-01-01

    Communication between vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is dependent on gap junctions and is regulated by the Na-K-ATPase. The Na-K-ATPase is therefore important for synchronized VSMC oscillatory activity, i.e., vasomotion. The signaling between the Na-K-ATPase and gap junctions is unknown. We...... coupling in rat mesenteric small arteries in vitro. Phosphorylation of cSrc kinase and connexin43 (Cx43) were semiquantified by Western blotting. Micromole concentration of ouabain reduced the amplitude of norepinephrine-induced vasomotion and desynchronized Ca2+ transients in VSMC in the arterial wall...

  19. Peptide-Carrier Conjugation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Paul Robert

    2015-01-01

    To produce antibodies against synthetic peptides it is necessary to couple them to a protein carrier. This chapter provides a nonspecialist overview of peptide-carrier conjugation. Furthermore, a protocol for coupling cysteine-containing peptides to bovine serum albumin is outlined....

  20. PH dependent adhesive peptides

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomich, John; Iwamoto, Takeo; Shen, Xinchun; Sun, Xiuzhi Susan

    2010-06-29

    A novel peptide adhesive motif is described that requires no receptor or cross-links to achieve maximal adhesive strength. Several peptides with different degrees of adhesive strength have been designed and synthesized using solid phase chemistries. All peptides contain a common hydrophobic core sequence flanked by positively or negatively charged amino acids sequences.

  1. Peptide Nucleic Acids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2003-01-01

    A novel class of compounds, known as peptide nucleic acids, bind complementary ssDNA and RNA strands more strongly than a corresponding DNA. The peptide nucleic acids generally comprise ligands such as naturally occurring DNA bases attached to a peptide backbone through a suitable linker....

  2. Peptide Nucleic Acids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    1998-01-01

    A novel class of compounds, known as peptide nucleic acids, bind complementary ssDNA and RNA strands more strongly than a corresponding DNA. The peptide nucleic acids generally comprise ligands such as naturally occurring DNA bases attached to a peptide backbone through a suitable linker....

  3. Peptide Nucleic Acids (PNA)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2002-01-01

    A novel class of compounds, known as peptide nucleic acids, bind complementary ssDNA and RNA strands more strongly than a corresponding DNA. The peptide nucleic acids generally comprise ligands such as naturally occurring DNA bases attached to a peptide backbone through a suitable linker....

  4. Peptide Nucleic Acid Synthons

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2004-01-01

    A novel class of compounds, known as peptide nucleic acids, bind complementary ssDNA and RNA strands more strongly than a corresponding DNA. The peptide nucleic acids generally comprise ligands such as naturally occurring DNA bases attached to a peptide backbone through a suitable linker....

  5. Antimicrobial Peptides in 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guangshun Wang

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available This article highlights new members, novel mechanisms of action, new functions, and interesting applications of antimicrobial peptides reported in 2014. As of December 2014, over 100 new peptides were registered into the Antimicrobial Peptide Database, increasing the total number of entries to 2493. Unique antimicrobial peptides have been identified from marine bacteria, fungi, and plants. Environmental conditions clearly influence peptide activity or function. Human α-defensin HD-6 is only antimicrobial under reduced conditions. The pH-dependent oligomerization of human cathelicidin LL-37 is linked to double-stranded RNA delivery to endosomes, where the acidic pH triggers the dissociation of the peptide aggregate to release its cargo. Proline-rich peptides, previously known to bind to heat shock proteins, are shown to inhibit protein synthesis. A model antimicrobial peptide is demonstrated to have multiple hits on bacteria, including surface protein delocalization. While cell surface modification to decrease cationic peptide binding is a recognized resistance mechanism for pathogenic bacteria, it is also used as a survival strategy for commensal bacteria. The year 2014 also witnessed continued efforts in exploiting potential applications of antimicrobial peptides. We highlight 3D structure-based design of peptide antimicrobials and vaccines, surface coating, delivery systems, and microbial detection devices involving antimicrobial peptides. The 2014 results also support that combination therapy is preferred over monotherapy in treating biofilms.

  6. Connexin 43 expression in human and mouse testes with impaired spermatogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Kotula-Balak

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Connexin 43 (Cx43 belongs to a family of proteins that form gap junction channels. The aim of this study was to examine the expression of Cx43 in the testis of a patient with Klinefelter’s syndrome and of mice with the mosaic mutation and a partial deletion in the long arm of the Y chromosome. These genetic disorders are characterized by the presence of numerous degenerated seminiferous tubules and impaired spermatogenesis. In mouse testes, the expression and presence of Cx43 were detected by means of immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis, respectively. In testes of Klinefelter’s patient only immunoexpression of Cx43 was detected. Regardless of the species Cx43 protein was ubiquitously distributed in testes of reproductively normal males, whereas in those with testicular disorders either a weak intensity of staining or no staining within the seminiferous tubules was observed. Moderate to strong or very strong staining was confined to the interstitial tissue. In an immunoblot analysis of testicular homogenates Cx43 appeared as one major band of approximately 43 kDa. Our study adds three more examples of pathological gonads in which the absence or apparent decrease of Cx43 expression within the seminiferous tubules was found. A positive correlation between severe spermatogenic impairment and loss of Cx43 immunoreactivity observed in this study supports previous data that gap junctions play a crucial role in spermatogenesis. Strong Cx43 expression detected mostly in the interstitial tissue of the Klinefelter’s patient may presumably be of importance in sustaining Leydig cell metabolic activity. However, the role of gap junction communication in the control of Leydig cell function seems to be more complex than originally thought.

  7. Connexin43 hemichannels contributes to the disassembly of cell junctions through modulation of intracellular oxidative status

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    Yuan Chi

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Connexin (Cx hemichannels regulate many cellular processes with little information available regarding their mechanisms. Given that many pathological factors that activate hemichannels also disrupts the integrity of cellular junctions, we speculated a potential participation of hemichannels in the regulation of cell junctions. Here we tested this hypothesis. Exposure of renal tubular epithelial cells to Ca2+-free medium led to disassembly of tight and adherens junctions, as indicated by the reduced level of ZO-1 and cadherin, disorganization of F-actin, and severe drop in transepithelial electric resistance. These changes were preceded by an activation of Cx43 hemichannels, as revealed by extracellular efflux of ATP and intracellular influx of Lucifer Yellow. Inhibition of hemichannels with chemical inhibitors or Cx43 siRNA greatly attenuated the disassembly of cell junctions. Further analysis using fetal fibroblasts derived from Cx43 wide-type (Cx43+/+, heterozygous (Cx43+/- and knockout (Cx43-/- littermates showed that Cx43-positive cells (Cx43+/+ exhibited more dramatic changes in cell shape, F-actin, and cadherin in response to Ca2+ depletion, as compared to Cx43-null cells (Cx43-/-. Consistently, these cells had higher level of protein carbonyl modification and phosphorylation, and much stronger activation of P38 and JNK. Hemichannel opening led to extracellular loss of the major antioxidant glutathione (GSH. Supplement of cells with exogenous GSH or inhibition of oxidative sensitive kinases largely prevented the above-mentioned changes. Taken together, our study indicates that Cx43 hemichannels promote the disassembly of cell junctions through regulation of intracellular oxidative status.

  8. Connexin 43 Channels are Essential for Normal Bone Structure and Osteocyte Viability

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    Xu, Huiyun; Gu, Sumin; Riquelme, Manuel A.; Burra, Sirisha; Callaway, Danielle; Cheng, Hongyun; Guda, Teja; Schmitz, James; Fajardo, Roberto J.; Werner, Sherry L.; Zhao, Hong; Shang, Peng; Johnson, Mark L.; Bonewald, Lynda F.; Jiang, Jean X.

    2014-01-01

    Connexin (Cx) 43 serves important roles in bone function and development. Targeted deletion of Cx43 in osteoblasts or osteocytes leads to increased osteocyte apoptosis, osteoclast recruitment, and reduced biomechanical properties. Cx43 forms both gap junction channels and hemichannels, which mediate the communication between adjacent cells or between cell and extracellular environments, respectively. Two transgenic mouse models driven by a DMP1 promoter with the overexpression of dominant negative Cx43 mutants were generated to dissect the functional contribution of Cx43 gap junction channels and hemichannels in osteocytes. The R76W mutant blocks gap junction channel, but not hemichannel function, and the Δ130-136 mutant inhibits activity of both types of channels. Δ130-136 mice showed a significant increase in bone mineral density compared to WT and R76W mice. MicroCT analyses revealed a significant increase in total tissue and bone area in midshaft cortical bone of Δ130-136 mice. The bone marrow cavity was expanded, whereas the cortical thickness was increased and associated with increased bone formation along the periosteal area. However, there is no significant alteration in the structure of trabecular bone. Histologic sections of the midshaft showed increased apoptotic osteocytes in Δ130-136, but not in WT and R76W, mice which correlated with altered biomechanical and estimated bone material properties. Osteoclasts were increased along the endocortical surface in both transgenic mice with a greater effect in Δ130-136 mice which likely contributed to the increased marrow cavity. Interestingly, the overall expression of serum bone formation and resorption markers were higher in R76W mice. These findings suggest that osteocytic Cx43 channels play distinctive roles in the bone; hemichannels play a dominant role in regulating osteocyte survival, endocortical bone resorption and periosteal apposition, and gap junction communication is involved in the process of

  9. Neurons and satellite glial cells in adult rat lumbar dorsal root ganglia express connexin 36.

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    Pérez Armendariz, E Martha; Norcini, Monica; Hernández-Tellez, Beatriz; Castell-Rodríguez, Andrés; Coronel-Cruz, Cristina; Alquicira, Raquel Guerrero; Sideris, Alexandra; Recio-Pinto, Esperanza

    2018-04-01

    Previous studies have shown that following peripheral nerve injury there was a downregulation of the gap junction protein connexin 36 (Cx36) in the spinal cord; however, it is not known whether Cx36 protein is expressed in the dorsal root ganglia (DRGs), nor if its levels are altered following peripheral nerve injuries. Here we address these aspects in the adult rat lumbar DRG. Cx36 mRNA was detected using qRT-PCR, and Cx36 protein was identified in DRG sections using immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IF). Double staining revealed that Cx36 co-localizes with both anti-β-III tubulin, a neuronal marker, and anti-glutamine synthetase, a satellite glial cell (SGC) marker. In neurons, Cx36 staining was mostly uniform in somata and fibers of all sizes and its intensity increased at the cell membranes. This labeling pattern was in contrast with Cx36 IF dots mainly found at junctional membranes in islet beta cells used as a control tissue. Co-staining with anti-Cx43 and anti-Cx36 showed that whereas mostly uniform staining of Cx36 was found throughout neurons and SGCs, Cx43 IF puncta were localized to SGCs. Cx36 mRNA was expressed in normal lumbar DRG, and it was significantly down-regulated in L4 DRG of rats that underwent sciatic nerve injury resulting in persistent hypersensitivity. Collectively, these findings demonstrated that neurons and SGCs express Cx36 protein in normal DRG, and suggested that perturbation of Cx36 levels may contribute to chronic neuropathic pain resulting from a peripheral nerve injury. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  10. Modulation of Connexin-36 Gap Junction Channels by Intracellular pH and Magnesium Ions.

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    Rimkute, Lina; Kraujalis, Tadas; Snipas, Mindaugas; Palacios-Prado, Nicolas; Jotautis, Vaidas; Skeberdis, Vytenis A; Bukauskas, Feliksas F

    2018-01-01

    Connexin-36 (Cx36) protein forms gap junction (GJ) channels in pancreatic beta cells and is also the main Cx isoform forming electrical synapses in the adult mammalian brain. Cx36 GJs can be regulated by intracellular pH (pH i ) and cytosolic magnesium ion concentration ([Mg 2+ ] i ), which can vary significantly under various physiological and pathological conditions. However, the combined effect and relationship of these two factors over Cx36-dependent coupling have not been previously studied in detail. Our experimental results in HeLa cells expressing Cx36 show that changes in both pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i affect junctional conductance (g j ) in an interdependent manner; in other words, intracellular acidification cause increase or decay in g j depending on whether [Mg 2+ ] i is high or low, respectively, and intracellular alkalization cause reduction in g j independently of [Mg 2+ ] i . Our experimental and modelling data support the hypothesis that Cx36 GJ channels contain two separate gating mechanisms, and both are differentially sensitive to changes in pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Using recombinant Cx36 we found that two glutamate residues in the N-terminus could be partly responsible for the observed interrelated effect of pH i and [Mg 2+ ] i . Mutation of glutamate at position 8 attenuated the stimulatory effect of intracellular acidification at high [Mg 2+ ] i , while mutation at position 12 and double mutation at both positions reversed stimulatory effect to inhibition. Moreover, Cx36 * E8Q lost the initial increase of g j at low [Mg 2+ ] i and double mutation lost the sensitivity to high [Mg 2+ ] i . These results suggest that E8 and E12 are involved in regulation of Cx36 GJ channels by Mg 2+ and H + ions.

  11. Estradiol Receptors Regulate Differential Connexin 43 Expression in F98 and C6 Glioma Cell Lines.

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    Zahra Moinfar

    Full Text Available Glioma is the most common malignant primary brain tumour with male preponderance and poor prognosis. Glioma cells express variable amounts of connexin 43 (Cx43 and estrogen receptors (ERs. Both, Cx43 and ERs, play important roles in cell proliferation and migration. Therefore, we investigated the effects of 17-ß estradiol (E2 on Cx43 expression in two glioma cell lines with variable native expression of Cx43.F98 and C6 rat glioma cells were cultured for 24 h in the presence of 10 nM or 100 nM E2, and the E2-antagonist, Fulvestrant. An MTT assay was performed to evaluate cell viability. ERα, ERβ and Cx43 protein expressions were analysed by western blotting and Cx43 mRNA expression was analysed by real-time polymerase chain reaction. To quantify cell migration, an exclusive zone migration assay was used. Functional coupling of cells via gap junctions was examined using whole-cell patch-clamp technique.E2 reduced Cx43 expression in C6 cells, but increased Cx43 expression in F98 cultures. These effects were mediated via ERs. Moreover, E2 promoted C6 cell migration, but it did not affect F98 cell migration. The expression level of ERα was found to be high in C6, but low in F98 cells. ERβ was exclusively expressed in C6 cells. In addition, E2 treatment induced a significant decrease of ERβ in C6 cultures, while it decreased ERα expression in F98 glioma cells.These findings show that E2 differentially modulates Cx43 expression in F98 and C6 glioma cells, likely due to the differential expression of ERs in each of these cell lines. Our findings point to the molecular mechanisms that might contribute to the gender-specific differences in the malignancy of glioma and could have implications for therapeutic strategies against glioma.

  12. Dynamic changes in connexin expression following engraftment of neural stem cells to striatal tissue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jaederstad, Johan; Jaederstad, Linda Maria; Herlenius, Eric

    2011-01-01

    Gap-junctional intercellular communication between grafted neural stem cells (NSCs) and host cells seem to be essential for many of the beneficial effects associated with NSC engraftment. Utilizing murine NSCs (mNSCs) grafted into an organotypic ex vivo model system for striatal tissue we examined the prerequisites for formation of gap-junctional couplings between graft and host cells at different time points following implantation. We utilized flow cytometry (to quantify the proportion of connexin (Cx) 26 and 43 expressing cells), immunohistochemistry (for localization of the gap-junctional proteins in graft and host cells), dye-transfer studies with and without pharmacological gap-junctional blockers (assaying the functionality of the formed gap-junctional couplings), and proliferation assays (to estimate the role of gap junctions for NSC well-being) to this end. Immunohistochemical staining and dye-transfer studies revealed that the NSCs already form functional gap junctions prior to engraftment, thereby creating a substrate for subsequent graft and host communication. The expression of Cx43 by grafted NSCs was decreased by neurotrophin-3 overexpression in NSCs and culturing of grafted tissue in serum-free Neurobasal B27 medium. Cx43 expression in NSC-derived cells also changed significantly following engraftment. In host cells the expression of Cx43 peaked following traumatic stimulation and then declined within two weeks, suggesting a window of opportunity for successful host cell rescue by NSC engraftment. Further investigation of the dynamic changes in gap junction expression in graft and host cells and the associated variations in intercellular communication between implanted and endogenous cells might help to understand and control the early positive and negative effects evident following neural stem cell transplantation and thereby optimize the outcome of future clinical NSC transplantation therapies.

  13. Differential expression and localization of four connexins in the ovary of the ayu (Plecoglossus Altivelis)

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    Yamamoto, Y.; Yoshizaki, G.; Takeuchi, T.; Soyano, K.; Itoh, F.; Patino, R.

    2007-01-01

    The post-vitellogenic oocytes of teleost fish are generally unresponsive to maturation-inducing hormone (MIH) until a luteinizing hormone (LH) surge stimulates sensitivity via the acquisition of oocyte-maturational competence (OMC). Heterologous gap junctions (GJs) between granulosa cells and the oocyte have been previously implicated in the regulation of oocyte maturation in various vertebrate species. Although heterologous GJ are present in ovarian follicles of ayu (Plecoglossus altivelis), their role in maturation remains unclear. In the present study, we cloned and characterized complementary DNAs for GJ protein connexin (Cx), and examined the expression pattern of Cx messenger RNAs in the ayu ovary. Four Cx cDNAs with predicted molecular masses of 32.1 (Cx32.1), 34.9 (Cx34.9), 44.1 (Cx44.1), and 44.2 (Cx44.2) kDa, respectively, were cloned. Northern blot analysis revealed that the levels of Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 transcripts were similar during the vitellogenic and ovulatory stages. Cx32.1 transcripts were more abundant during the vitellogenic stage, but their levels declined thereafter. Cx34.9 transcript levels increased during the vitellogenic stage and remained high during the acquisition of OMC. In situ hybridization revealed that Cx44.1 and Cx44.2 signals were restricted to the oocyte, whereas the Cx32.1 and Cx34.9 signals were detected in both cellular fractions. Furthermore, a dye-transfer assay revealed the presence of functional GJs between the oocytes and follicle cells. These results suggest that Cx34.9 contributes to the formation of heterologous GJs between oocytes and granulosa cells. Moreover, GJs formed by Cx34.9 may function during the LH-dependent acquisition of OMC and the MIH-dependent resumption of meiosis in ayu. ?? 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. Connexin 43-targeted T1 contrast agent for MRI diagnosis of glioma.

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    Abakumova, Tatiana; Abakumov, Maxim; Shein, Sergey; Chelushkin, Pavel; Bychkov, Dmitry; Mukhin, Vladimir; Yusubalieva, Gaukhar; Grinenko, Nadezhda; Kabanov, Alexander; Nukolova, Natalia; Chekhonin, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Glioblastoma multiforme is the most aggressive form of brain tumor. Early and accurate diagnosis of glioma and its borders is an important step for its successful treatment. One of the promising targets for selective visualization of glioma and its margins is connexin 43 (Cx43), which is highly expressed in reactive astrocytes and migrating glioma cells. The purpose of this study was to synthesize a Gd-based contrast agent conjugated with specific antibodies to Cx43 for efficient visualization of glioma C6 in vivo. We have prepared stable nontoxic conjugates of monoclonal antibody to Cx43 and polylysine-DTPA ligands complexed with Gd(III), which are characterized by higher T1 relaxivity (6.5 mM(-1) s(-1) at 7 T) than the commercial agent Magnevist® (3.4 mM(-1) s(-1)). Cellular uptake of Cx43-specific T1 contrast agent in glioma C6 cells was more than four times higher than the nonspecific IgG-contrast agent, as detected by flow cytometry and confocal analysis. MRI experiments showed that the obtained agents could markedly enhance visualization of glioma C6 in vivo after their intravenous administration. Significant accumulation of Cx43-targeted contrast agents in glioma and the peritumoral zone led not only to enhanced contrast but also to improved detection of the tumor periphery. Fluorescence imaging confirmed notable accumulation of Cx43-specific conjugates in the peritumoral zone compared with nonspecific IgG conjugates at 24 h after intravenous injection. All these features of Cx43-targeted contrast agents might be useful for more precise diagnosis of glioma and its borders by MRI. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  15. Silencing the expression of connexin 43 decreases inflammation and joint destruction in experimental arthritis.

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    Tsuchida, Shinji; Arai, Yuji; Kishida, Tsunao; Takahashi, Kenji A; Honjo, Kuniaki; Terauchi, Ryu; Inoue, Hiroaki; Oda, Ryo; Mazda, Osam; Kubo, Toshikazu

    2013-04-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine whether the expression of connexin 43 (Cx43) effected on inflammatory conditions in rat fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and on rat model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The expression of Cx43 in rat FLS stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). The effects of small-interfering RNA targeting Cx43 (siCx43) on pro-inflammatory cytokines and chemokine were assessed by real-time RT-PCR and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The therapeutic and side effects of siCx43 in a rat model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) were examined by in vivo electroporation method. LPS markedly enhanced Cx43 gene expression in rat FLS, with transfection of siCx43 suppressing the over-expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and the chemokine. Treatment of CIA rats with siCx43 significantly ameliorated paw swelling, and significantly reduced histological arthritis scores and radiographic scores. In histological appearance of rat ankle joints, siCx43 treatment significantly decreased the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive (osteoclast-like) cells. These findings indicated that siCx43 had anti-inflammatory effects in rat FLS and efficiently inhibited the development of CIA. Cx43 may play an important role in the pathophysiology of RA, and may be a potential target molecule for novel RA therapies. Copyright © 2012 Orthopaedic Research Society.

  16. Three novel GJB2 (connexin 26) variants associated with autosomal dominant syndromic and nonsyndromic hearing loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMille, Desiree; Carlston, Colleen M; Tam, Oliver H; Palumbos, Janice C; Stalker, Heather J; Mao, Rong; Zori, Roberto T; Viskochil, David H; Park, Albert H; Carey, John C

    2018-04-01

    Connexin 26 (Cx26), encoded by the GJB2 gene, is a key protein involved in the formation of gap junctions in epithelial organs including the inner ear and palmoplantar epidermis. Pathogenic variants in GJB2 are responsible for approximately 50% of inherited sensorineural deafness. The majority of these variants are associated with autosomal recessive inheritance; however, rare reports of dominantly co-segregating variants have been published. Since we began offering GJB2 testing in 2003, only about 2% of detected GJB2 variants from our laboratory have been classified as dominant. Here we report three novel dominant GJB2 variants (p.Thr55Ala, p.Gln57_Pro58delinsHisSer, and p.Trp44Gly); two associated with syndromic sensorineural hearing loss and one with nonsyndromic hearing loss. In the kindred with the p.Thr55Ala variant, the proband and his father present with only leukonychia as a cutaneous finding of their syndromic hearing loss. This phenotype has been previously documented in conjunction with palmoplantar hyperkeratosis, but isolated leukonychia is a novel finding likely associated with the unique threonine to alanine change at codon 55 (other variants at this codon have been reported in cases of nonsyndromic hearing loss). This report contributes to the short list of GJB2 variants associated with autosomal dominant hearing loss, highlights the variability of skin and nail findings associated with such cases, and illustrates the occurrence of both syndromic and nonsyndromic presentations with changes in the same gene. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Domain-Specific Partitioning of Uterine Artery Endothelial Connexin43 and Caveolin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ampey, Bryan C; Morschauser, Timothy J; Ramadoss, Jayanth; Magness, Ronald R

    2016-10-01

    Uterine vascular adaptations facilitate rises in uterine blood flow during pregnancy, which are associated with gap junction connexin (Cx) proteins and endothelial nitric oxide synthase. In uterine artery endothelial cells (UAECs), ATP activates endothelial nitric oxide synthase in a pregnancy (P)-specific manner that is dependent on Cx43 function. Caveolar subcellular domain partitioning plays key roles in ATP-induced endothelial nitric oxide synthase activation and nitric oxide production. Little is known regarding the partitioning of Cx proteins to caveolar domains or their dynamics with ATP treatment. We observed that Cx43-mediated gap junction function with ATP stimulation is associated with Cx43 repartitioning between the noncaveolar and caveolar domains. Compared with UAECs from nonpregnant (NP) ewes, levels of ATP, PGI2, cAMP, NOx, and cGMP were 2-fold higher (PLucifer yellow dye transfer, a response abrogated by Gap27, but not Gap 26, indicating involvement of Cx43, but not Cx37. Confocal microscopy revealed domain partitioning of Cx43 and caveolin-1. In pregnant UAECs, LC/MS/MS analysis revealed only Cx43 in the caveolar domain. In contrast, Cx37 was located only in the noncaveolar pool. Western analysis revealed that ATP increased Cx43 distribution (1.7-fold; P=0.013) to the caveolar domain, but had no effect on Cx37. These data demonstrate rapid ATP-stimulated repartitioning of Cx43 to the caveolae, where endothelial nitric oxide synthase resides and plays an important role in nitric oxide-mediated increasing uterine blood flow during pregnancy. © 2016 American Heart Association, Inc.

  18. Localization of connexin 43 gap junctions and hemichannels in tanycytes of adult mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szilvásy-Szabó, Anett; Varga, Edina; Beliczai, Zsuzsa; Lechan, Ronald M; Fekete, Csaba

    2017-10-15

    Tanycytes are specialized glial cells lining the lateral walls and the floor of the third ventricle behind the optic chiasm. In addition to functioning as barrier cells, they also have an important role in the regulation of neuroendocrine axes and energy homeostasis. To determine whether tanycytes communicate with each other via Connexin 43 (Cx43) gap junctions, individual tanycytes were loaded with Lucifer yellow (LY) through a patch pipette. In all cases, LY filled a larger group of tanycytes as well as blood vessels adjacent to tanycyte processes. The Cx43-blocker, carbenoxolone, inhibited spreading of LY. The greatest density of Cx43-immunoreactive spots was observed in the cell membrane of α-tanycyte cell bodies. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also present in the membrane of β-tanycyte cell bodies, but in lower density. Processes of both types of tanycytes also contained Cx43-immunoreactivity. At the ultrastructural level, Cx43-immunoreactivity was present in the cell membrane of all types of tanycytes including their ventricular surface, but gap junctions were more frequent among α-tanycytes. Cx43-immunoreactivity was also observed in the cell membrane between contacting tanycyte endfeet processes, and between tanycyte endfeet process and axon varicosities in the external zone of the median eminence and capillaries in the arcuate nucleus and median eminence. These results suggest that gap junctions are present not only among tanycytes, but also between tanycytes and the axons of hypophysiotropic neurons. Cx43 hemichannels may also facilitate the transport between tanycytes and extracellular fluids, including the cerebrospinal fluid, extracellular space of the median eminence and bloodstream. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Conflicting Roles of Connexin43 in Tumor Invasion and Growth in the Central Nervous System

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    Miaki Uzu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The tumor microenvironment is known to have increased levels of cytokines and metabolites, such as glutamate, due to their release from the surrounding cells. A normal cell around the tumor that responds to the inflammatory environment is likely to be subsequently altered. We discuss how these abnormalities will support tumor survival via the actions of gap junctions (GJs and hemichannels (HCs which are composed of hexamer of connexin43 (Cx43 protein. In particular, we discuss how GJ intercellular communication (GJIC in glioma cells, the primary brain tumor, is a regulatory factor and its attenuation leads to tumor invasion. In contrast, the astrocytes, which are normal cells around the glioma, are “hijacked” by tumor cells, either by receiving the transmission of malignant substances from the cancer cells via GJIC, or perhaps via astrocytic HC activity through the paracrine signaling which enable the delivery of these substances to the distal astrocytes. This astrocytic signaling would promote tumor expansion in the brain. In addition, brain metastasis from peripheral tissues has also been known to be facilitated by GJs formed between cerebral vascular endothelial cells and cancer cells. Astrocytes and microglia are generally thought to eliminate cancer cells at the blood–brain barrier. In contrast, some reports suggest they facilitate tumor progression as tumor cells take advantage of the normal functions of astrocytes that support the survival of the neurons by exchanging nutrients and metabolites. In summary, GJIC is essential for the normal physiological function of growth and allowing the diffusion of physiological substances. Therefore, whether GJIC is cancer promoting or suppressing may be dependent on what permeates through GJs, when it is active, and to which cells. The nature of GJs, which has been ambiguous in brain tumor progression, needs to be revisited and understood together with new findings on Cx proteins and HC

  20. Histone deacetylase inhibition reduces cardiac Connexin43 expression and gap junction communication

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    Qin eXu

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Histone deactylase (HDAC inhibitors are being investigated as novel therapies for cancer, inflammation, neurodegeneration, and heart failure. The effects of HDAC inhibitors on the functional expression of cardiac gap junctions (GJ are essentially unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of trichostatin A (TSA and vorinostat (VOR on functional GJ expression in ventricular cardiomyocytes. The effects of HDAC inhibition on connexin43 (Cx43 expression and functional GJ assembly were examined in primary cultured neonatal mouse ventricular myocytes. TSA and VOR reduced Cx43 mRNA, protein expression, and immunolocalized Cx43 GJ plaque area within ventricular myocyte monolayer cultures in a dose-dependent manner. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation experiments revealed altered protein interactions with the Cx43 promoter. VOR also altered the phosphorylation state of several key regulatory Cx43 phospho-serine sites. Patch clamp analysis revealed reduced electrical coupling between isolated ventricular myocyte pairs, altered transjunctional voltage-dependent inactivation kinetics, and steady state junctional conductance inactivation and recovery relationships. Single GJ channel conductance was reduced to 54 pS only by maximum inhibitory doses of TSA (>= 100 nM. These two hydroxamate pan-HDAC inhibitors exert multiple levels of regulation on ventricular GJ communication by altering Cx43 expression, GJ area, post-translational modifications (e.g. phosphorylation, acetylation, gating, and channel conductance. Although a 50% downregulation of Cx43 GJ communication alone may not be sufficient to slow ventricular conduction or induce arrhythmias, the development of class-selective HDAC inhibitors may help avoid the potential negative cardiovascular effects of pan-HDACI.

  1. Streptozotocin alters glucose transport, connexin expression and endoplasmic reticulum functions in neurons and astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biswas, Joyshree; Gupta, Sonam; Verma, Dinesh Kumar; Singh, Sarika

    2017-07-25

    The study was undertaken to explore the cell-specific streptozotocin (STZ)-induced mechanistic alterations. STZ-induced rodent model is a well-established experimental model of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and in our previous studies we have established it as an in vitro screening model of AD by employing N2A neuronal cells. Therefore, STZ was selected in the present study to understand the STZ-induced cell-specific alterations by utilizing neuronal N2A and astrocytes C6 cells. Both neuronal and astrocyte cells were treated with STZ at 10, 50, 100 and 1000μM concentrations for 48h. STZ exposure caused significant decline in cellular viability and augmented cytotoxicity of cells involving astrocytes activation. STZ treatment also disrupted the energy metabolism by altered glucose uptake and its transport in both cells as reflected with decreased expression of glucose transporters (GLUT) 1/3. The consequent decrease in ATP level and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential was also observed in both the cells. STZ caused increased intracellular calcium which could cause the initiation of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. Significant upregulation of ER stress-related markers were observed in both cells after STZ treatment. The cellular communication of astrocytes and neurons was altered as reflected by increased expression of connexin 43 along with DNA fragmentation. STZ-induced apoptotic death was evaluated by elevated expression of caspase-3 and PI/Hoechst staining of cells. In conclusion, study showed that STZ exert alike biochemical alterations, ER stress and cellular apoptosis in both neuronal and astrocyte cells. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Scavenger Receptor B1 is a Potential Biomarker of Human Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma and Its Growth is Inhibited by HDL-mimetic Nanoparticles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Ying; Liu, Yanyan; Jin, Honglin; Pan, Shaotao; Qian, Yuan; Huang, Chuan; Zeng, Yixin; Luo, Qingming; Zeng, Musheng; Zhang, Zhihong

    2013-01-01

    Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a very regional malignant head and neck cancer that has attracted widespread attention for its unique etiology, epidemiology and therapeutic options. To achieve high cure rates in NPC patients, theranostic approaches are actively being pursued and improved efforts remain desirable in identifying novel biomarkers and establishing effective therapeutic approaches with low long-term toxicities. Here, we discovered that the scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-B1) was overexpressed in all investigated NPC cell lines and 75% of NPC biopsies, demonstrating that SR-B1 is a potential biomarker of NPC. Additional functional analysis showed that SR-B1 has great effect on cell motility while showing no significant impact on cell proliferation. As high-density lipoproteins (HDL) exhibit strong binding affinities to SR-B1 and HDL mimetic peptides are reportedly capable of inhibiting tumor growth, we further examined the SR-B1 targeting ability of a highly biocompatible HDL-mimicking peptide-phospholipid scaffold (HPPS) nanocarrier and investigated its therapeutic effect on NPC. Results show that NPC cells with higher SR-B1 expression have superior ability in taking up the core constituents of HPPS. Moreover, HPPS inhibited the motility and colony formation of 5-8F cells, and significantly suppressed the NPC cell growth in nude mice without inducing tumor cell necrosis or apoptosis. These results indicate that HPPS is not only a NPC-targeting nanocarrier but also an effective anti-NPC drug. Together, the identification of SR-B1 as a potential biomarker and the use of HPPS as an effective anti-NPC agent may shed new light on the diagnosis and therapeutics of NPC. PMID:23843895

  3. Bio-mimetic mineralization potential of collagen hydrolysate obtained from chromium tanned leather waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Banerjee, Pradipta; Madhu, S.; Chandra Babu, N.K.; Shanthi, C.

    2015-01-01

    Hydroxyapatite (HA) ceramics serve as an alternative to autogenous-free bone grafting by virtue of their excellent biocompatibility. However, chemically synthesized HA lacks the strong load-bearing capacity as required by bone. The bio-mimetic growth of HA crystals on collagen surface provides a feasible solution for synthesizing bone substitutes with the desired properties. This study deals with the utilization of the collagen hydrolysate recovered from leather waste as a substrate for promoting HA crystal growth. Bio-mimetic growth of HA was induced by subjecting the hydrolysate to various mineralization conditions. Parameters that would have a direct effect on crystal growth were varied to determine the optimal conditions necessary. Maximum mineralization was achieved with a combination of 10 mM of CaCl 2 , 5 mM of Na 2 HPO 4 , 100 mM of NaCl and 0.575% glutaraldehyde at a pH of 7.4. The metal–protein interactions leading to formation of HA were identified through Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and x-ray diffraction (XRD) studies. The crystal dimensions were determined to be in the nanoscale range by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The size and crystallinity of bio-mimetically grown HA indicate that hydrolysate from leather waste can be used as an ideal alternative substrate for bone growth. - Highlights: • Collagen hydrolysate, extracted from leather industry waste is subjected to biomineralization. • Optimal conditions required for HA growth are identified. • FTIR studies reveal higher Ca−COO − and low C−N stretch with higher HA formation. • AFM and SEM studies reveal nanometer ranged HA crystals

  4. Smac mimetic-derived augmentation of chemotherapeutic response in experimental pancreatic cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schwarz Margaret A

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC is highly resistant to conventional chemotherapy, in part due to the overexpression of inhibitors of apoptosis proteins (IAPs. Smac is an endogenous IAP-antagonist, which renders synthetic Smac mimetics attractive anticancer agents. We evaluated the benefits of combining a Smac mimetic, JP1201 (JP, with conventional chemotherapy agents used for PDAC management. Methods Cell viability assays and protein expression analysis were performed using WST-1 reagent and Western blotting, respectively. Apoptosis was detected by annexin V/propidium iodide staining. In vivo tumor growth and survival studies were performed in murine PDAC xenografts. Results JP and gemcitabine (Gem inhibited PDAC cell proliferation with additive effects in combination. The percentage of early apoptotic cells in controls, JP, Gem and JP + Gem was 17%, 26%, 26% and 38%, respectively. JP-induced apoptosis was accompanied by PARP-1 cleavage. Similar additive anti-proliferative effects were seen for combinations of JP with doxorubicin (Dox and docetaxel (DT. The JP + Gem combination caused a 30% decrease in tumor size in vivo compared to controls. Median animal survival was improved significantly in mice treated with JP + Gem (38 d compared to controls (22 d, JP (28 d or Gem (32 d (p = 0.01. Animal survival was also improved with JP + DT treatment (32 d compared to controls (16 d, JP (21 d or DT alone (27 d. Conclusions These results warrant further exploration of strategies that promote chemotherapy-induced apoptosis of tumors and highlight the potential of Smac mimetics in clinical PDAC therapy.

  5. Mimetic Theory and the evolutionary paradox of schizophrenia: The archetypal scapegoat hypothesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riordan, Daniel Vincent

    2017-10-01

    Schizophrenia poses an evolutionary paradox, being genetically mediated yet associated with reduced fecundity. Numerous hypotheses have attempted to address this, but few describe how the schizophrenic phenotype itself might constitute an evolutionary adaptation. This paper draws on René Girard's theory on human origins, which claims that humans evolved a tendency to mimic both the desires and the behaviours of each other (mimetic theory). This would have promoted social cohesion and co-operation, but at the cost of intra-group rivalry and conflict. The mimetic dynamic would have escalated such conflicts into reciprocal internecine violence, threatening the survival of the entire group. Girard theorised that the "scapegoat mechanism" emerged, by which means such violence was curtailed by the unanimity of "all against one", thus allowing the mimetic impulse to safely evolve further, making language and complex social behaviours possible. Whereas scapegoating may have emerged in the entire population, and any member of a community could be scapegoated if necessary, this paper proposes that the scapegoat mechanism would have worked better in groups containing members who exhibited traits, recognised by all others, which singled them out as victims. Schizophrenia may be a functional adaptation, similar in evolutionary terms to altruism, in that it may have increased inclusive fitness, by providing scapegoat victims, the choice of whom was likely to be agreed upon unanimously, even during internecine conflict, thus restoring order and protecting the group from self-destruction. This evolutionary hypothesis, uses Girardian anthropology to combine the concept of the schizophrenic as religious shaman with that of the schizophrenic as scapegoat. It may help to reconcile divergent philosophical concepts of mental illness, and also help us to better understand, and thus counter, social exclusion and stigmatisation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Mimetic discretization of the Abelian Chern-Simons theory and link invariants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Di Bartolo, Cayetano; Grau, Javier [Departamento de Física, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Apartado Postal 89000, Caracas 1080-A (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of); Leal, Lorenzo [Departamento de Física, Universidad Simón Bolívar, Apartado Postal 89000, Caracas 1080-A (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of); Centro de Física Teórica y Computacional, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Central de Venezuela, Apartado Postal 47270, Caracas 1041-A (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of)

    2013-12-15

    A mimetic discretization of the Abelian Chern-Simons theory is presented. The study relies on the formulation of a theory of differential forms in the lattice, including a consistent definition of the Hodge duality operation. Explicit expressions for the Gauss Linking Number in the lattice, which correspond to their continuum counterparts are given. A discussion of the discretization of metric structures in the space of transverse vector densities is presented. The study of these metrics could serve to obtain explicit formulae for knot an link invariants in the lattice.

  7. The Cx43-like connexin protein Cx40.8 is differentially localized during fin ontogeny and fin regeneration.

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    Sarah V Gerhart

    Full Text Available Connexins (Cx are the subunits of gap junctions, membraneous protein channels that permit the exchange of small molecules between adjacent cells. Cx43 is required for cell proliferation in the zebrafish caudal fin. Previously, we found that a Cx43-like connexin, cx40.8, is co-expressed with cx43 in the population of proliferating cells during fin regeneration. Here we demonstrate that Cx40.8 exhibits novel differential subcellular localization in vivo, depending on the growth status of the fin. During fin ontogeny, Cx40.8 is found at the plasma membrane, but Cx40.8 is retained in the Golgi apparatus during regeneration. We next identified a 30 amino acid domain of Cx40.8 responsible for its dynamic localization. One possible explanation for the differential localization is that Cx40.8 contributes to the regulation of Cx43 in vivo, perhaps modifying channel activity during ontogenetic growth. However, we find that the voltage-gating properties of Cx40.8 are similar to Cx43. Together our findings reveal that Cx40.8 exhibits differential subcellular localization in vivo, dependent on a discrete domain in its carboxy terminus. We suggest that the dynamic localization of Cx40.8 differentially influences Cx43-dependent cell proliferation during ontogeny and regeneration.

  8. The B[a]P-increased intercellular communication via translocation of connexin-43 into gap junctions reduces apoptosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tekpli, X.; Rivedal, E.; Gorria, M.; Landvik, N.E.; Rissel, M.; Dimanche-Boitrel, M.-T.; Baffet, G.; Holme, J.A.; Lagadic-Gossmann, D.

    2010-01-01

    Gap junctions are channels in plasma membrane composed of proteins called connexins. These channels are organized in special domains between cells, and provide for direct gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC), allowing diffusion of signalling molecules < 1 kD. GJIC regulates cell homeostasis and notably the balance between proliferation, cell cycle arrest, cell survival and apoptosis. Here, we have investigated benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P) effects on GJIC and on the subcellular localization of the major protein of gap junction: connexin-43 (Cx43). Our results showed that B[a]P increased GJIC between mouse hepatoma Hepa1c1c7 cells via translocation of Cx43 from Golgi apparatus and lipid rafts into gap junction plaques. Interestingly, inhibition of GJIC by chlordane or small interference RNA directed against Cx43 enhanced B[a]P-induced apoptosis in Hepa1c1c7 cells. The increased apoptosis caused by inhibition of GJIC appeared to be mediated by ERK/MAPK pathway. It is suggested that B[a]P could induce transfer of cell survival signal or dilute cell death signal via regulation of ERK/MAPK through GJIC.

  9. Gap junctions composed of connexins 41.8 and 39.4 are essential for colour pattern formation in zebrafish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Irion, Uwe; Frohnhöfer, Hans Georg; Krauss, Jana; Çolak Champollion, Tuǧba; Maischein, Hans-Martin; Geiger-Rudolph, Silke; Weiler, Christian; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane

    2014-01-01

    Interactions between all three pigment cell types are required to form the stripe pattern of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio), but their molecular nature is poorly understood. Mutations in leopard (leo), encoding Connexin 41.8 (Cx41.8), a gap junction subunit, cause a phenotypic series of spotted patterns. A new dominant allele, leotK3, leads to a complete loss of the pattern, suggesting a dominant negative impact on another component of gap junctions. In a genetic screen, we identified this component as Cx39.4 (luchs). Loss-of-function alleles demonstrate that luchs is required for stripe formation in zebrafish; however, the fins are almost not affected. Double mutants and chimeras, which show that leo and luchs are only required in xanthophores and melanophores, but not in iridophores, suggest that both connexins form heteromeric gap junctions. The phenotypes indicate that these promote homotypic interactions between melanophores and xanthophores, respectively, and those cells instruct the patterning of the iridophores. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05125.001 PMID:25535837

  10. c-Jun N-terminal kinase mediates AML1-ETO protein-induced connexin-43 expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao Fenghou; Wang Qiong; Wu Yingli; Li Xi; Zhao Kewen; Chen Guoqiang

    2007-01-01

    AML1-ETO fusion protein, a product of leukemia-related chromosomal translocation t(8;21), was reported to upregulate expression of connexin-43 (Cx43), a member of gap junction-constituted connexin family. However, its mechanism(s) remains unclear. By bioinformatic analysis, here we showed that there are two putative AML1-binding consensus sequences followed by two activated protein (AP)1 sites in the 5'-flanking region upstream to Cx43 gene. AML1-ETO could directly bind to these two AML1-binding sites in electrophoretic mobility shift assay, but luciferase reporter assay revealed that the AML1 binding sites were not indispensable for Cx43 induction by AML1-ETO protein. Conversely, AP1 sites exerted an important role in this event. In agreement, AML1-ETO overexpression in leukemic U937 cells activated c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK), while its specific inhibitor SP600125 effectively abrogated AML1-ETO-induced Cx43 expression, indicating that JNK signaling pathway contributes to AML1-ETO induced Cx43 expression. These results would shed new insights for understanding mechanisms of AML1-ETO-associated leukemogenesis

  11. Complexes of neutralizing and non-neutralizing affinity matured Fabs with a mimetic of the internal trimeric coiled-coil of HIV-1 gp41.

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    Elena Gustchina

    Full Text Available A series of mini-antibodies (monovalent and bivalent Fabs targeting the conserved internal trimeric coiled-coil of the N-heptad repeat (N-HR of HIV-1 gp41 has been previously constructed and reported. Crystal structures of two closely related monovalent Fabs, one (Fab 8066 broadly neutralizing across a wide panel of HIV-1 subtype B and C viruses, and the other (Fab 8062 non-neutralizing, representing the extremes of this series, were previously solved as complexes with 5-Helix, a gp41 pre-hairpin intermediate mimetic. Binding of these Fabs to covalently stabilized chimeric trimers of N-peptides of HIV-1 gp41 (named (CCIZN363 or 3-H has now been investigated using X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, and a variety of biophysical methods. Crystal structures of the complexes between 3-H and Fab 8066 and Fab 8062 were determined at 2.8 and 3.0 Å resolution, respectively. Although the structures of the complexes with the neutralizing Fab 8066 and its non-neutralizing counterpart Fab 8062 were generally similar, small differences between them could be correlated with the biological properties of these antibodies. The conformations of the corresponding CDRs of each antibody in the complexes with 3-H and 5-Helix are very similar. The adaptation to a different target upon complex formation is predominantly achieved by changes in the structure of the trimer of N-HR helices, as well as by adjustment of the orientation of the Fab molecule relative to the N-HR in the complex, via rigid-body movement. The structural data presented here indicate that binding of three Fabs 8062 with high affinity requires more significant changes in the structure of the N-HR trimer compared to binding of Fab 8066. A comparative analysis of the structures of Fabs complexed to different gp41 intermediate mimetics allows further evaluation of biological relevance for generation of neutralizing antibodies, as well as provides novel structural insights into immunogen

  12. A novel mutation in the connexin 26 gene (GJB2) in a child with clinical and histological features of keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koppelhus, Uffe; Tranebjaerg, L; Esberg, G

    2011-01-01

    Keratitis-ichthyosis-deafness (KID) syndrome is a rare congenital ectodermal disorder, caused by heterozygous missense mutation in GJB2, encoding the gap junction protein connexin 26. The commonest mutation is the p.Asp50Asn mutation, and only a few other mutations have been described to date....

  13. The dynamics of connexin expression, degradation and localisation are regulated by gonadotropins during the early stages of in vitro maturation of swine oocytes.

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    Nicolas Santiquet

    Full Text Available Gap junctional communication (GJC plays a primordial role in oocyte maturation and meiotic resumption in mammals by directing the transfer of numerous molecules between cumulus cells and the oocyte. Gap junctions are made of connexins (Cx, proteins that regulate GJC in numerous ways. Understanding the dynamic regulation of connexin arrangements during in vitro maturation (IVM could provide a powerful tool for controlling meiotic resumption and consequently in vitro development of fully competent oocytes. However, physiological events happening during the early hours of IVM may still be elucidated. The present study reports the dynamic regulation of connexin expression, degradation and localization during this stage. Cx43, Cx45 and Cx60 were identified as the main connexins expressed in swine COC. Cx43 and Cx45 transcripts were judged too static to be a regulator of GJC, while Cx43 protein expression was highly responsive to gonadotropins, suggesting that it might be the principal regulator of GJC. In addition, the degradation of Cx43 expressed after 4.5 h of IVM in response to equine chorionic gonadotropin appeared to involve the proteasomal complex. Cx43 localisation appeared to be associated with GJC. Taken together, these results show for the first time that gonadotropins regulate Cx43 protein expression, degradation and localisation in porcine COC during the first several hours of IVM. Regulation of Cx43 may in turn, via GJC, participate in the development of fully competent oocytes.

  14. Gap junctional communication modulates gene transcription by altering the recruitment of Sp1 and Sp3 to connexin-response elements in osteoblast promoters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stains, Joseph P.; Lecanda, Fernando; Screen, Joanne; Towler, Dwight A.; Civitelli, Roberto

    2003-01-01

    Loss-of-function mutations of gap junction proteins, connexins, represent a mechanism of disease in a variety of tissues. We have shown that recessive (gene deletion) or dominant (connexin45 overexpression) disruption of connexin43 function results in osteoblast dysfunction and abnormal expression of osteoblast genes, including down-regulation of osteocalcin transcription. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of gap junction-sensitive transcriptional regulation, we systematically analyzed the rat osteocalcin promoter for sensitivity to gap junctional intercellular communication. We identified an Sp1/Sp3 containing complex that assembles on a minimal element in the -70 to -57 region of the osteocalcin promoter in a gap junction-dependent manner. This CT-rich connexin-response element is necessary and sufficient to confer gap junction sensitivity to the osteocalcin proximal promoter. Repression of osteocalcin transcription occurs as a result of displacement of the stimulatory Sp1 by the inhibitory Sp3 on the promoter when gap junctional communication is perturbed. Modulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment also occurs on the collagen Ialpha1 promoter and translates into gap junction-sensitive transcriptional control of collagen Ialpha1 gene expression. Thus, regulation of Sp1/Sp3 recruitment to the promoter may represent a potential general mechanism for transcriptional control of target genes by signals passing through gap junctions.

  15. [Plant signaling peptides. Cysteine-rich peptides].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrowski, Maciej; Kowalczyk, Stanisław

    2015-01-01

    Recent bioinformatic and genetic analyses of several model plant genomes have revealed the existence of a highly abundant group of signaling peptides that are defined as cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs). CRPs are usually in size between 50 and 90 amino acid residues, they are positively charged, and they contain 4-16 cysteine residues that are important for the correct conformational folding. Despite the structural differences among CRP classes, members from each class have striking similarities in their molecular properties and function. The present review presents the recent progress in research on signaling peptides from several families including: EPF/EPFL, SP11/SCR, PrsS, RALF, LURE, and some other peptides belonging to CRP group. There is convincing evidence indicating multiple roles for these CRPs as signaling molecules during the plant life cycle, ranging from stomata development and patterning, self-incompatibility, pollen tube growth and guidance, reproductive processes, and nodule formation.

  16. STAT1, STAT3 and p38MAPK are involved in the apoptotic effect induced by a chimeric cyclic interferon-{alpha}2b peptide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blank, Viviana C.; Pena, Clara [Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (UBA-CONICET), School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Junin 956-C1113AAD Buenos Aires (Argentina); Roguin, Leonor P., E-mail: rvroguin@qb.ffyb.uba.ar [Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (UBA-CONICET), School of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, University of Buenos Aires, Junin 956-C1113AAD Buenos Aires (Argentina)

    2010-02-15

    In the search of mimetic peptides of the interferon-{alpha}2b molecule (IFN-{alpha}2b), we have previously designed and synthesized a chimeric cyclic peptide of the IFN-{alpha}2b that inhibits WISH cell proliferation by inducing an apoptotic response. Here, we first studied the ability of this peptide to activate intracellular signaling pathways and then evaluated the participation of some signals in the induction of apoptosis. Stimulation of WISH cells with the cyclic peptide showed tyrosine phosphorylation of Jak1 and Tyk2 kinases, tyrosine and serine phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3 transcription factors and activation of p38 MAPK pathway, although phosphorylation levels or kinetics were in some conditions different to those obtained under IFN-{alpha}2b stimulus. JNK and p44/42 pathways were not activated by the peptide in WISH cells. We also showed that STAT1 and STAT3 downregulation by RNA interference decreased the antiproliferative activity and the amount of apoptotic cells induced by the peptide. Pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK also reduced the peptide growth inhibitory activity and the apoptotic effect. Thus, we demonstrated that the cyclic peptide regulates WISH cell proliferation through the activation of Jak/STAT signaling pathway. In addition, our results indicate that p38 MAPK may also be involved in cell growth regulation. This study suggests that STAT1, STAT3 and p38 MAPK would be mediating the antitumor and apoptotic response triggered by the cyclic peptide in WISH cells.

  17. STAT1, STAT3 and p38MAPK are involved in the apoptotic effect induced by a chimeric cyclic interferon-α2b peptide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blank, Viviana C.; Pena, Clara; Roguin, Leonor P.

    2010-01-01

    In the search of mimetic peptides of the interferon-α2b molecule (IFN-α2b), we have previously designed and synthesized a chimeric cyclic peptide of the IFN-α2b that inhibits WISH cell proliferation by inducing an apoptotic response. Here, we first studied the ability of this peptide to activate intracellular signaling pathways and then evaluated the participation of some signals in the induction of apoptosis. Stimulation of WISH cells with the cyclic peptide showed tyrosine phosphorylation of Jak1 and Tyk2 kinases, tyrosine and serine phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT3 transcription factors and activation of p38 MAPK pathway, although phosphorylation levels or kinetics were in some conditions different to those obtained under IFN-α2b stimulus. JNK and p44/42 pathways were not activated by the peptide in WISH cells. We also showed that STAT1 and STAT3 downregulation by RNA interference decreased the antiproliferative activity and the amount of apoptotic cells induced by the peptide. Pharmacological inhibition of p38 MAPK also reduced the peptide growth inhibitory activity and the apoptotic effect. Thus, we demonstrated that the cyclic peptide regulates WISH cell proliferation through the activation of Jak/STAT signaling pathway. In addition, our results indicate that p38 MAPK may also be involved in cell growth regulation. This study suggests that STAT1, STAT3 and p38 MAPK would be mediating the antitumor and apoptotic response triggered by the cyclic peptide in WISH cells.

  18. Correlations of differentially expressed gap junction connexins Cx26, Cx30, Cx32, Cx43 and Cx46 with breast cancer progression and prognosis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivett Teleki

    Full Text Available Connexins and their cell membrane channels contribute to the control of cell proliferation and compartmental functions in breast glands and their deregulation is linked to breast carcinogenesis. Our aim was to correlate connexin expression with tumor progression and prognosis in primary breast cancers.Meta-analysis of connexin isotype expression data of 1809 and 1899 breast cancers from the Affymetrix and Illumina array platforms, respectively, was performed. Expressed connexins were also monitored at the protein level in tissue microarrays of 127 patients equally representing all tumor grades, using immunofluorescence and multilayer, multichannel digital microscopy. Prognostic correlations were plotted in Kaplan-Meier curves and tested using the log-rank test and cox-regression analysis in univariate and multivariate models.The expression of GJA1/Cx43, GJA3/Cx46 and GJB2/Cx26 and, for the first time, GJA6/Cx30 and GJB1/Cx32 was revealed both in normal human mammary glands and breast carcinomas. Within their subfamilies these connexins can form homo- and heterocellular epithelial channels. In cancer, the array datasets cross-validated each other's prognostic results. In line with the significant correlations found at mRNA level, elevated Cx43 protein levels were linked with significantly improved breast cancer outcome, offering Cx43 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker stronger than vascular invasion or necrosis. As a contrary, elevated Cx30 mRNA and protein levels were associated with a reduced disease outcome offering Cx30 protein detection as an independent prognostic marker outperforming mitotic index and necrosis. Elevated versus low Cx43 protein levels allowed the stratification of grade 2 tumors into good and poor relapse free survival subgroups, respectively. Also, elevated versus low Cx30 levels stratified grade 3 patients into poor and good overall survival subgroups, respectively.Differential expression of Cx43 and Cx

  19. The neural cell adhesion molecule-derived peptide FGL facilitates long-term plasticity in the dentate gyrus in vivo

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dallérac, Glenn; Zerwas, Meike; Novikova, Tatiana

    2011-01-01

    The neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) is known to play a role in developmental and structural processes but also in synaptic plasticity and memory of the adult animal. Recently, FGL, a NCAM mimetic peptide that binds to the Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 1 (FGFR-1), has been shown to have...... a beneficial impact on normal memory functioning, as well as to rescue some pathological cognitive impairments. Whether its facilitating impact may be mediated through promoting neuronal plasticity is not known. The present study was therefore designed to test whether FGL modulates the induction...

  20. Connexin 43 astrocytopathy linked to rapidly progressive multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica.

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    Katsuhisa Masaki

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Multiple sclerosis (MS and neuromyelitis optica (NMO occasionally have an extremely aggressive and debilitating disease course; however, its molecular basis is unknown. This study aimed to determine a relationship between connexin (Cx pathology and disease aggressiveness in Asian patients with MS and NMO. METHODS/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Samples included 11 autopsied cases with NMO and NMO spectrum disorder (NMOSD, six with MS, and 20 with other neurological diseases (OND. Methods of analysis included immunohistochemical expression of astrocytic Cx43/Cx30, oligodendrocytic Cx47/Cx32 relative to AQP4 and other astrocytic and oligodendrocytic proteins, extent of demyelination, the vasculocentric deposition of complement and immunoglobulin, and lesion staging by CD68 staining for macrophages. Lesions were classified as actively demyelinating (n=59, chronic active (n=58 and chronic inactive (n=23. Sera from 120 subjects including 30 MS, 30 NMO, 40 OND and 20 healthy controls were examined for anti-Cx43 antibody by cell-based assay. Six NMO/NMOSD and three MS cases showed preferential loss of astrocytic Cx43 beyond the demyelinated areas in actively demyelinating and chronic active lesions, where heterotypic Cx43/Cx47 astrocyte oligodendrocyte gap junctions were extensively lost. Cx43 loss was significantly associated with a rapidly progressive disease course as six of nine cases with Cx43 loss, but none of eight cases without Cx43 loss regardless of disease phenotype, died within two years after disease onset (66.7% vs. 0%, P=0.0090. Overall, five of nine cases with Cx43 loss and none of eight cases without Cx43 loss had distal oligodendrogliopathy characterized by selective myelin associated glycoprotein loss (55.6% vs. 0.0%, P=0.0296. Loss of oligodendrocytic Cx32 and Cx47 expression was observed in most active and chronic lesions from all MS and NMO/NMOSD cases. Cx43-specific antibodies were absent in NMO/NMOSD and MS patients. CONCLUSIONS

  1. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

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    Teleki Ivett

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. Methods The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA. Cx plaques of Results In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015 than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (20% pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (ppre-chemo=0.006; Sataloff TB (ppre-chemo=0.005; ppost-chemo=0.029 and in Miller-Payne G3 (ppre-chemo=0.002; ppost-chemo=0.012 classifications. Pre-chemotherapy, Cx46 expression was the only marker that correlated with overall survival within these subgroups. Conclusion Our results suggest that Cx46 and Cx26 expression

  2. The potential prognostic value of connexin 26 and 46 expression in neoadjuvant-treated breast cancer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teleki, Ivett; Varga, Zsuzsanna; Krenacs, Tibor; Szasz, Marcell A; Kulka, Janina; Wichmann, Barna; Leo, Cornelia; Papassotiropoulos, Barbel; Riemenschnitter, Cosima; Moch, Holger

    2013-01-01

    Several classification systems are available to assess pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer, but reliable biomarkers to predict the efficiency of primary systemic therapy (PST) are still missing. Deregulation of gap junction channel forming connexins (Cx) has been implicated in carcinogenesis and tumour progression through loss of cell cycle control. In this study we correlated Cx expression and cell proliferation with disease survival and pathological response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancers using existing classification systems. The expression of Cx26, Cx32, Cx43, Cx46 and Ki67 was evaluated in 96 breast cancer patients prior to and after neoadjuvant chemotherapy using duplicate cores in tissue microarrays (TMA). Cx plaques of <1μm were detected with multilayer, multichannel fluorescence digital microscopy. Current classifications to assess residual tumour burden after primary systemic therapy included the EWGBSP, CPS-EG, Miller-Payne, Sataloff and NSABP systems. In our cohort dominated by hormone receptor (ER/PR) positive and HER2 negative cases, only the CPS-EG classification showed prognostic relevance: cases with scores 1–2 had significantly better overall survival (p=0.015) than cases with scores 3–5. Pre-chemotherapy Cx43 expression correlated positively with hormone receptor status both before and after chemotherapy and had a negative correlation with HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy. There was a positive correlation between Cx32 and HER2 expression pre-chemotherapy and between Cx32 and Ki67 expression post-chemotherapy. A negative correlation was found between post-chemotherapy Cx46 and Ki67 expression. Decreased post-chemotherapy Cx26 expression (<5%) statistically correlated with better overall survival (p=0.011). Moderate or higher Cx46 expression (>20%) pre- and post-chemotherapy correlated with significantly better survival in the intermediate prognostic subgroups of EWGBSP TR2b (p pre-chemo =0

  3. Novel Functional Role of Heat Shock Protein 90 in Mitochondrial Connexin 43-Mediated Hypoxic Postconditioning

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    Rong-Hui Tu

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Previous studies have shown that heat shock protein 90 (HSP90-mediated mitochondrial import of connexin 43 (Cx43 is critical in preconditioning cardioprotection. The present study was designed to test whether postconditioning has the same effect as preconditioning in promoting Cx43 translocation to mitochondria and whether mitochondrial HSP90 modulates this effect. Methods: Cellular models of hypoxic postconditioning (HPC from rat heart-derived H9c2 cells and neonatal rat cardiomyocytes were employed. The effects of HPC on cardiomyocytes apoptosis were examined by flow cytometry and Hoechst 33342 fluorescent staining. Reactive oxidative species (ROS production was assessed with the peroxide-sensitive fluorescent probe 2′,7′-dichlorofluorescin in diacetate (DCFH-DA. The anti- and pro-apoptotic markers Bcl-2 and Bax, HSP90 and Cx43 protein levels were studied by Western blot analysis in total cell homogenate and sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. The effects on HPC of the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA, ROS scavengers superoxide dismutase (SOD and catalase (CAT, and small interfering RNA (siRNA targeting Cx43 and HSP90 were also investigated. Results: HPC significantly reduced hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R-induced cardiomyocyte apoptosis. These beneficial effects were accompanied by an increase in Bcl-2 levels and a decrease in Bax levels in both sarcolemmal and mitochondrial fractions. HPC with siRNA targeting Cx43 or the ROS scavengers SOD plus CAT significantly prevented ROS generation and HPC cardioprotection, but HPC with either SOD or CAT did not. These data strongly supported the involvement of Cx43 in HPC cardioprotection, likely via modulation of the ROS balance which plays a central role in HPC protection. Furthermore, HPC increased total and mitochondrial levels of HSP90 and the mitochondria-to-sarcolemma ratio of Cx43; blocking the function of HSP90 with the HSP90 inhibitor geldanamycin (GA or siRNA targeting

  4. Regulatory effect of connexin 43 on basal Ca2+ signaling in rat ventricular myocytes.

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    Chen Li

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: It has been found that gap junction-associated intracellular Ca(2+ [Ca(2+](i disturbance contributes to the arrhythmogenesis and hyperconstriction in diseased heart. However, whether functional gaps are also involved in the regulation of normal Ca(2+ signaling, in particular the basal [Ca(2+](i activities, is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: Global and local Ca(2+ signaling and gap permeability were monitored in cultured neonatal rat ventricular myocytes (NRVMs and freshly isolated mouse ventricular myocytes by Fluo4/AM and Lucifer yellow (LY, respectively. The results showed that inhibition of gap communication by heptanol, Gap 27 and flufenamic acid or interference of connexin 43 (Cx43 with siRNA led to a significant suppression of LY uptake and, importantly, attenuations of global Ca(2+ transients and local Ca(2+ sparks in monolayer NRVMs and Ca(2+ sparks in adult ventricular myocytes. In contrast, overexpression of rat-Cx43 in NRVMs induced enhancements in the above measurements, and so did in HEK293 cells expressing rat Cx43. Additionally, membrane-permeable inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP(3 butyryloxymethyl ester and phenylephrine, an agonist of adrenergic receptor, could relieve the inhibited Ca(2+ signal and LY uptake by gap uncouplers, whereas blockade of IP(3 receptor with xestospongin C or 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate mimicked the effects of gap inhibitors. More importantly, all these gap-associated effects on Ca(2+ signaling were also found in single NRVMs that only have hemichannels instead of gap junctions. Further immunostaining/immunoblotting single myocytes with antibody against Cx43 demonstrated apparent increases in membrane labeling of Cx43 and non-junctional Cx43 in overexpressed cells, suggesting functional hemichannels exist and also contribute to the Ca(2+ signaling regulation in cardiomyocytes. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that Cx43-associated gap coupling plays a role in the regulation of resting Ca(2

  5. CD25 targeted therapy of chemotherapy resistant leukemic stem cells using DR5 specific TRAIL peptide

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    Jayaprakasam Madhumathi

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Chemotherapy resistant leukemic stem cells (LSCs are being targeted as a modern therapeutic approach to prevent disease relapse. LSCs isolated from methotrexate resistant side population (SP of leukemic cell lines HL60 and MOLT4 exhibited high levels of CD25 and TRAIL R2/DR5 which are potential targets. Recombinant immunotoxin conjugating IL2α with TRAIL peptide mimetic was constructed for DR5 receptor specific targeting of LSCs and were tested in total cell population and LSCs. IL2-TRAIL peptide induced apoptosis in drug resistant SP cells from cell lines and showed potent cytotoxicity in PBMCs derived from leukemic patients with an efficacy of 81.25% in AML and 100% in CML, ALL and CLL. IL2-TRAIL peptide showed cytotoxicity in relapsed patient samples and was more effective than TRAIL or IL2-TRAIL proteins. Additionally, DR5 specific IL2-TRAIL peptide was effective in targeting and killing LSCs purified from cell lines [IC50: 952 nM in HL60, 714 nM in MOLT4] and relapsed patient blood samples with higher efficacy (85% than IL2-TRAIL protein (46%. Hence, CD25 and DR5 specific targeting by IL2-TRAIL peptide may be an effective strategy for targeting drug resistant leukemic cells and LSCs.

  6. Growth hormone-releasing peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghigo, E; Arvat, E; Muccioli, G; Camanni, F

    1997-05-01

    Growth hormone-releasing peptides (GHRPs) are synthetic, non-natural peptides endowed with potent stimulatory effects on somatotrope secretion in animals and humans. They have no structural homology with GHRH and act via specific receptors present either at the pituitary or the hypothalamic level both in animals and in humans. The GHRP receptor has recently been cloned and, interestingly, it does not show sequence homology with other G-protein-coupled receptors known so far. This evidence strongly suggests the existence of a natural GHRP-like ligand which, however, has not yet been found. The mechanisms underlying the GHRP effect are still unclear. At present, several data favor the hypothesis that GHRPs could act by counteracting somatostatinergic activity both at the pituitary and the hypothalamic level and/or, at least partially, via a GHRH-mediated mechanism. However, the possibility that GHRPs act via an unknown hypothalamic factor (U factor) is still open. GHRP-6 was the first hexapeptide to be extensively studied in humans. More recently, a heptapeptide, GHRP-1, and two other hexapeptides, GHRP-2 and Hexarelin, have been synthesized and are now available for human studies. Moreover, non-peptidyl GHRP mimetics have been developed which act via GHRP receptors and their effects have been clearly demonstrated in animals and in humans in vivo. Among non-peptidyl GHRPs, MK-0677 seems the most interesting molecule. The GH-releasing activity of GHRPs is marked and dose-related after intravenous, subcutaneous, intranasal and even oral administration. The effect of GHRPs is reproducible and undergoes partial desensitization, more during continuous infusion, less during intermittent administration: in fact, prolonged administration of GHRPs increases IGF-1 levels both in animals and in humans. The GH-releasing effect of GHRPs does not depend on sex but undergoes age-related variations. It increases from birth to puberty, persists at a similar level in adulthood and

  7. Stick–slip friction of gecko-mimetic flaps on smooth and rough surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saurabh; Cadirov, Nicholas; Chary, Sathya; Kaufman, Yair; Hogan, Jack; Turner, Kimberly L.; Israelachvili, Jacob N.

    2015-01-01

    The discovery and understanding of gecko ‘frictional-adhesion’ adhering and climbing mechanism has allowed researchers to mimic and create gecko-inspired adhesives. A few experimental and theoretical approaches have been taken to understand the effect of surface roughness on synthetic adhesive performance, and the implications of stick–slip friction during shearing. This work extends previous studies by using a modified surface forces apparatus to quantitatively measure and model frictional forces between arrays of polydimethylsiloxane gecko footpad-mimetic tilted microflaps against smooth and rough glass surfaces. Constant attachments and detachments occur between the surfaces during shearing, as described by an avalanche model. These detachments ultimately result in failure of the adhesion interface and have been characterized in this study. Stick–slip friction disappears with increasing velocity when the flaps are sheared against a smooth silica surface; however, stick–slip was always present at all velocities and loads tested when shearing the flaps against rough glass surfaces. These results demonstrate the significance of pre-load, shearing velocity, shearing distances, commensurability and shearing direction of gecko-mimetic adhesives and provide us a simple model for analysing and/or designing such systems. PMID:25589569

  8. Copper Complexes of Nicotinic-Aromatic Carboxylic Acids as Superoxide Dismutase Mimetics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virapong Prachayasittikul

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Nicotinic acid (also known as vitamin B3 is a dietary element essential for physiological and antihyperlipidemic functions. This study reports the synthesis of novel mixed ligand complexes of copper with nicotinic and other select carboxylic acids (phthalic, salicylic and anthranilic acids. The tested copper complexes exhibited superoxide dismutase (SOD mimetic activity and antimicrobial activity against Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633, with a minimum inhibition concentration of 256 μg/mL. Copper complex of nicotinic-phthalic acids (CuNA/Ph was the most potent with a SOD mimetic activity of IC50 34.42 μM. The SOD activities were observed to correlate well with the theoretical parameters as calculated using density functional theory (DFT at the B3LYP/LANL2DZ level of theory. Interestingly, the SOD activity of the copper complex CuNA/Ph was positively correlated with the electron affinity (EA value. The two quantum chemical parameters, highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO, were shown to be appropriate for understanding the mechanism of the metal complexes as their calculated energies show good correlation with the SOD activity. Moreover, copper complex with the highest SOD activity were shown to possess the lowest HOMO energy. These findings demonstrate a great potential for the development of value-added metallovitamin-based therapeutics.

  9. Stick-slip friction of gecko-mimetic flaps on smooth and rough surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Saurabh; Cadirov, Nicholas; Chary, Sathya; Kaufman, Yair; Hogan, Jack; Turner, Kimberly L; Israelachvili, Jacob N

    2015-03-06

    The discovery and understanding of gecko 'frictional-adhesion' adhering and climbing mechanism has allowed researchers to mimic and create gecko-inspired adhesives. A few experimental and theoretical approaches have been taken to understand the effect of surface roughness on synthetic adhesive performance, and the implications of stick-slip friction during shearing. This work extends previous studies by using a modified surface forces apparatus to quantitatively measure and model frictional forces between arrays of polydimethylsiloxane gecko footpad-mimetic tilted microflaps against smooth and rough glass surfaces. Constant attachments and detachments occur between the surfaces during shearing, as described by an avalanche model. These detachments ultimately result in failure of the adhesion interface and have been characterized in this study. Stick-slip friction disappears with increasing velocity when the flaps are sheared against a smooth silica surface; however, stick-slip was always present at all velocities and loads tested when shearing the flaps against rough glass surfaces. These results demonstrate the significance of pre-load, shearing velocity, shearing distances, commensurability and shearing direction of gecko-mimetic adhesives and provide us a simple model for analysing and/or designing such systems. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  10. Glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Possess Insulin-Mimetic and Antioxidant Activities in Rat Cardiac Fibroblasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Prata

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a shrub having a high content of sweet diterpenoid glycosides in its leaves, mainly stevioside and rebaudioside A, which are used as noncaloric, natural sweeteners. The aim of this study was to deepen the knowledge about the insulin-mimetic effect exerted by four different mixtures of steviol glycosides, rich in stevioside and rebaudioside A, in neonatal rat cardiac fibroblasts. The potential antioxidant activity of these steviol glycosides was also assessed, as oxidative stress is associated with diabetes. Likewise the insulin effect, steviol glycosides caused an increase in glucose uptake into rat fibroblasts by activating the PI3K/Akt pathway, thus inducing Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane. The presence of S961, an insulin antagonist, completely abolished these effects, allowing to hypothesize that steviol glycosides could act as ligands of the same receptor engaged by insulin. Moreover, steviol glycosides counteracted oxidative stress by increasing reduced glutathione intracellular levels and upregulating expression and activity of the two antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. The present work unravels the insulin-mimetic effect and the antioxidant property exerted by steviol glycosides, suggesting their potential beneficial role in the cotreatment of diabetes and in health maintenance.

  11. Glycosides from Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni Possess Insulin-Mimetic and Antioxidant Activities in Rat Cardiac Fibroblasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prata, Cecilia; Zambonin, Laura; Rizzo, Benedetta; Vieceli Dalla Sega, Francesco

    2017-01-01

    Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni is a shrub having a high content of sweet diterpenoid glycosides in its leaves, mainly stevioside and rebaudioside A, which are used as noncaloric, natural sweeteners. The aim of this study was to deepen the knowledge about the insulin-mimetic effect exerted by four different mixtures of steviol glycosides, rich in stevioside and rebaudioside A, in neonatal rat cardiac fibroblasts. The potential antioxidant activity of these steviol glycosides was also assessed, as oxidative stress is associated with diabetes. Likewise the insulin effect, steviol glycosides caused an increase in glucose uptake into rat fibroblasts by activating the PI3K/Akt pathway, thus inducing Glut4 translocation to the plasma membrane. The presence of S961, an insulin antagonist, completely abolished these effects, allowing to hypothesize that steviol glycosides could act as ligands of the same receptor engaged by insulin. Moreover, steviol glycosides counteracted oxidative stress by increasing reduced glutathione intracellular levels and upregulating expression and activity of the two antioxidant enzymes superoxide dismutase and catalase. The present work unravels the insulin-mimetic effect and the antioxidant property exerted by steviol glycosides, suggesting their potential beneficial role in the cotreatment of diabetes and in health maintenance. PMID:28947927

  12. Fabrication of cell outer membrane mimetic polymer brush on polysulfone surface via RAFT technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ma Qian; Zhang Hui; Zhao Jiang; Gong Yongkuan

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Cell membrane mimetic antifouling polymer brush was grown on polysulfone surface. ► Graft density and polymerization degree were calculated from XPS results. ► Water contact angle measurements showed an extremely hydrophilic surface. ► Platelet adhesion and protein adsorption results suggested excellent antifouling ability. - Abstract: Cell membrane mimetic antifouling polymer brush was grown on polysulfone (PSF) membrane by surface-induced reversible addition–fragmentation chain transfer (RAFT) polymerization of 2-methacryloyloxyethyl phosphorylcholine (MPC). The RAFT agent immobilized PSF substrate was prepared by successive chloromethylation, amination with ethylenediamine (EDA) and amidation of the amine group of grafted EDA with the carboxylic group of 4-cyanopentanoic acid dithiobenzoate (CPAD). The surface RAFT polymerization of MPC was initiated in aqueous solution by 4,4′-azobis-4-cyanopentanoic acid (ACPA). The formation of PMPC brush coating is evidenced by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and water contact angle measurements. The degree of polymerization of PMPC and the polymer grafting density were calculated from the high resolution XPS spectra. The platelet adhesion and protein adsorption results showed that the PMPC-grafted PSF surface has excellent antifouling ability to resist platelet adhesion completely and suppress protein adsorption significantly. This biomimetic and bio-friendly surface RAFT polymerization strategy could be promising for a variety of biomedical applications.

  13. Methods and Experimental Protocols to Design a Simulated Bio-Mimetic Quadruped Robot

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hadi El Daou

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract This paper presents a bio-mimetic approach to design and simulate a tortoise-like virtual robot. This study takes a multidisciplinary approach: from in vivo and in vitro experiments on animals, data are collected and used to design, control and simulate a bio-mimetic virtual robot using MD ADAMS platform. From the in vitro experiments, the geometrical and inertial properties of body limbs are measured, and a model of tortoise kinematics is derived. From the in vivo experiments the contact forces between each limb and the ground are measured. The contributions of hind and forelimbs in the generation of propelling and braking forces are studied. The motion of the joints between limb segments are recorded and used to solve the inverse kinematics problem. A virtual model of a tortoise-like robot is built; it is a linkage of 15 rigid bodies articulated by 22 degrees of freedom. This model is referred to as TATOR II. It has the inertial and geometrical properties measured during the in vitro experiments. TATOR II motion is achieved using a Proportional-Derivative controller copying the joint angle trajectories calculated from the in vivo experiments.

  14. A mimetic finite difference method for the Stokes problem with elected edge bubbles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipnikov, K [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Berirao, L [DIPARTMENTO DI MATERMATICA

    2009-01-01

    A new mimetic finite difference method for the Stokes problem is proposed and analyzed. The unstable P{sub 1}-P{sub 0} discretization is stabilized by adding a small number of bubble functions to selected mesh edges. A simple strategy for selecting such edges is proposed and verified with numerical experiments. The discretizations schemes for Stokes and Navier-Stokes equations must satisfy the celebrated inf-sup (or the LBB) stability condition. The stability condition implies a balance between discrete spaces for velocity and pressure. In finite elements, this balance is frequently achieved by adding bubble functions to the velocity space. The goal of this article is to show that the stabilizing edge bubble functions can be added only to a small set of mesh edges. This results in a smaller algebraic system and potentially in a faster calculations. We employ the mimetic finite difference (MFD) discretization technique that works for general polyhedral meshes and can accomodate non-uniform distribution of stabilizing bubbles.

  15. Differential Effects of Superoxide Dismutase Mimetics after Mechanical Overload of Articular Cartilage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitchell C. Coleman

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Post-traumatic osteoarthritis can develop as a result of the initial mechanical impact causing the injury and also as a result of chronic changes in mechanical loading of the joint. Aberrant mechanical loading initiates excessive production of reactive oxygen species, oxidative damage, and stress that appears to damage mitochondria in the surviving chondrocytes. To probe the benefits of increasing superoxide removal with small molecular weight superoxide dismutase mimetics under severe loads, we applied both impact and overload injury scenarios to bovine osteochondral explants using characterized mechanical platforms with and without GC4403, MnTE-2-PyP, and MnTnBuOE-2-PyP. In impact scenarios, each of these mimetics provides some dose-dependent protection from cell death and loss of mitochondrial content while in repeated overloading scenarios only MnTnBuOE-2-PyP provided a clear benefit to chondrocytes. These results support the hypothesis that superoxide is generated in excess after impact injuries and suggest that superoxide production within the lipid compartment may be a critical mediator of responses to chronic overload. This is an important nuance distinguishing roles of superoxide, and thus superoxide dismutases, in mediating damage to cellular machinery in hyper-acute impact scenarios compared to chronic scenarios.

  16. Peptides in melanoma therapy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocellin, Simone

    2012-01-01

    Peptides derived from tumor associated antigens can be utilized to elicit a therapeutically effective immune response against melanoma in experimental models. However, patient vaccination with peptides - although it is often followed by the induction of melanoma- specific T lymphocytes - is rarely associated with tumor response of clinical relevance. In this review I summarize the principles of peptide design as well as the results so far obtained in the clinical setting while treating cutaneous melanoma by means of this active immunotherapy strategy. I also discuss some immunological and methodological issues that might be helpful for the successful development of peptide-based vaccines.

  17. Antimicrobial Peptides in Reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hoek, Monique L.

    2014-01-01

    Reptiles are among the oldest known amniotes and are highly diverse in their morphology and ecological niches. These animals have an evolutionarily ancient innate-immune system that is of great interest to scientists trying to identify new and useful antimicrobial peptides. Significant work in the last decade in the fields of biochemistry, proteomics and genomics has begun to reveal the complexity of reptilian antimicrobial peptides. Here, the current knowledge about antimicrobial peptides in reptiles is reviewed, with specific examples in each of the four orders: Testudines (turtles and tortosises), Sphenodontia (tuataras), Squamata (snakes and lizards), and Crocodilia (crocodilans). Examples are presented of the major classes of antimicrobial peptides expressed by reptiles including defensins, cathelicidins, liver-expressed peptides (hepcidin and LEAP-2), lysozyme, crotamine, and others. Some of these peptides have been identified and tested for their antibacterial or antiviral activity; others are only predicted as possible genes from genomic sequencing. Bioinformatic analysis of the reptile genomes is presented, revealing many predicted candidate antimicrobial peptides genes across this diverse class. The study of how these ancient creatures use antimicrobial peptides within their innate immune systems may reveal new understandings of our mammalian innate immune system and may also provide new and powerful antimicrobial peptides as scaffolds for potential therapeutic development. PMID:24918867

  18. Efficacy and safety of canagliflozin when used in conjunction with incretin-mimetic therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fulcher, G.; Matthews, D. R.; Perkovic, V.; de Zeeuw, D.; Mahaffey, K. W.; Mathieu, C.; Woo, V.; Wysham, C.; Capuano, G.; Desai, M.; Shaw, W.; Vercruysse, F.; Meininger, G.; Neal, B.

    Aims: To assess the efficacy and safety of canagliflozin, a sodium glucose co-transporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitor, in patients with type 2 diabetes enrolled in the CANagliflozin cardioVascular Assessment Study (CANVAS) who were on an incretin mimetic [dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor or

  19. L-Eye to Me: The Combined Role of Need for Cognition and Facial Trustworthiness in Mimetic Desires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Treinen, Evelyne; Corneille, Olivier; Luypaert, Gaylord

    2012-01-01

    Recent studies showed that stimuli are evaluated more favourably when they are perceived to capture others' attention, an effect coined "mimetic desire". The aim of the present research was to examine the combined role of Need for Cognition and target's facial trustworthiness in this effect. Participants saw movie excerpts of trustworthy and…

  20. Diabetes-impaired wound healing is improved by matrix therapy with heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan mimetic OTR4120 in rats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Tong (Miao); B. Tuk (Bastiaan); P. Shang (Peng); J.M. Hekking-Weijma (Ineke); E.M.G. Fijneman (Esther ); M. Guijt (Marnix); S.E.R. Hovius (Steven); J.W. van Neck (Han)

    2012-01-01

    textabstractWound healing in diabetes is frequently impaired, and its treatment remains a challenge. We tested a therapeutic strategy of potentiating intrinsic tissue regeneration by restoring the wound cellular environment using a heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycan mimetic, OTR4120. The effect of

  1. Insulin C-peptide test

    Science.gov (United States)

    C-peptide ... the test depends on the reason for the C-peptide measurement. Ask your health care provider if ... C-peptide is measured to tell the difference between insulin the body produces and insulin someone injects ...

  2. Cytotoxic effect of the Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor PKI-166 on renal cancer cells expressing the connexin 32 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimoto, Eriko; Yano, Tomohiro; Sato, Hiromi; Hagiwara, Kiyokazu; Yamasaki, Hiroshi; Shirai, Sumiko; Fukumoto, Keiko; Hagiwara, Hiromi; Negishi, Etsuko; Ueno, Koichi

    2005-02-01

    We have reported that connexin (Cx) 32 acts as a tumor suppressor gene in renal cancer cells partly due to Her-2 inactivation. Here, we determined if a Her-2/Her-1 inhibitor (PKI-166) can enhance the tumor-suppressive effect of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells from human renal cell carcinoma. The expression of Cx32 in Caki-2 cells was required for PKI-166-induced cytotoxic effect at lower doses. The cyctotoxicity was dependent on the occurrence of apoptosis and partly mediated by Cx32-driven gap junction intercellular communications. These results suggest that PKI-166 further supports the tumor-suppressive effect of the Cx32 gene in renal cancer cells through the induction of apoptosis.

  3. Peptide Vaccines for Leishmaniasis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rory C. F. De Brito

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Due to an increase in the incidence of leishmaniases worldwide, the development of new strategies such as prophylactic vaccines to prevent infection and decrease the disease have become a high priority. Classic vaccines against leishmaniases were based on live or attenuated parasites or their subunits. Nevertheless, the use of whole parasite or their subunits for vaccine production has numerous disadvantages. Therefore, the use of Leishmania peptides to design more specific vaccines against leishmaniases seems promising. Moreover, peptides have several benefits in comparison with other kinds of antigens, for instance, good stability, absence of potentially damaging materials, antigen low complexity, and low-cost to scale up. By contrast, peptides are poor immunogenic alone, and they need to be delivered correctly. In this context, several approaches described in this review are useful to solve these drawbacks. Approaches, such as, peptides in combination with potent adjuvants, cellular vaccinations, adenovirus, polyepitopes, or DNA vaccines have been used to develop peptide-based vaccines. Recent advancements in peptide vaccine design, chimeric, or polypeptide vaccines and nanovaccines based on particles attached or formulated with antigenic components or peptides have been increasingly employed to drive a specific immune response. In this review, we briefly summarize the old, current, and future stands on peptide-based vaccines, describing the disadvantages and benefits associated with them. We also propose possible approaches to overcome the related weaknesses of synthetic vaccines and suggest future guidelines for their development.

  4. Peptide Vaccines for Leishmaniasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Brito, Rory C F; Cardoso, Jamille M De O; Reis, Levi E S; Vieira, Joao F; Mathias, Fernando A S; Roatt, Bruno M; Aguiar-Soares, Rodrigo Dian D O; Ruiz, Jeronimo C; Resende, Daniela de M; Reis, Alexandre B

    2018-01-01

    Due to an increase in the incidence of leishmaniases worldwide, the development of new strategies such as prophylactic vaccines to prevent infection and decrease the disease have become a high priority. Classic vaccines against leishmaniases were based on live or attenuated parasites or their subunits. Nevertheless, the use of whole parasite or their subunits for vaccine production has numerous disadvantages. Therefore, the use of Leishmania peptides to design more specific vaccines against leishmaniases seems promising. Moreover, peptides have several benefits in comparison with other kinds of antigens, for instance, good stability, absence of potentially damaging materials, antigen low complexity, and low-cost to scale up. By contrast, peptides are poor immunogenic alone, and they need to be delivered correctly. In this context, several approaches described in this review are useful to solve these drawbacks. Approaches, such as, peptides in combination with potent adjuvants, cellular vaccinations, adenovirus, polyepitopes, or DNA vaccines have been used to develop peptide-based vaccines. Recent advancements in peptide vaccine design, chimeric, or polypeptide vaccines and nanovaccines based on particles attached or formulated with antigenic components or peptides have been increasingly employed to drive a specific immune response. In this review, we briefly summarize the old, current, and future stands on peptide-based vaccines, describing the disadvantages and benefits associated with them. We also propose possible approaches to overcome the related weaknesses of synthetic vaccines and suggest future guidelines for their development.

  5. Peptide Nucleic Acids

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    2004-01-01

    A novel class of compounds known as peptide nucleic acids, bind complementary DNA and RNA strands, and generally do so more strongly than the corresponding DNA or RNA strands while exhibiting increased sequence specificity and solubility. The peptide nucleic acids comprise ligands selected from...

  6. Laminin-332 alters connexin profile, dye coupling and intercellular Ca2+ waves in ciliated tracheal epithelial cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olsen Colin E

    2006-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tracheal epithelial cells are anchored to a dynamic basement membrane that contains a variety of extracellular matrix proteins including collagens and laminins. During development, wound repair and disease of the airway epithelium, significant changes in extracellular matrix proteins may directly affect cell migration, differentiation and events mediated by intercellular communication. We hypothesized that alterations in cell matrix, specifically type I collagen and laminin α3β3γ2 (LM-332 proteins within the matrix, directly affect intercellular communication in ciliated rabbit tracheal epithelial cells (RTEC. Methods Functional coupling of RTEC was monitored by microinjection of the negatively charged fluorescent dyes, Lucifer Yellow and Alexa 350, into ciliated RTEC grown on either a LM-332/collagen or collagen matrix. Coupling of physiologically significant molecules was evaluated by the mechanism and extent of propagated intercellular Ca2+ waves. Expression of connexin (Cx mRNA and proteins were assayed by reverse transcriptase – polymerase chain reaction and immunocytochemistry, respectively. Results When compared to RTEC grown on collagen alone, RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen displayed a significant increase in dye transfer. Although mechanical stimulation of RTEC grown on either LM-332/collagen or collagen alone resulted in intercellular Ca2+ waves, the mechanism of transfer was dependent on matrix: RTEC grown on LM-332/collagen propagated Ca2+waves via extracellular purinergic signaling whereas RTEC grown on collagen used gap junctions. Comparison of RTEC grown on collagen or LM-332/collagen matrices revealed a reorganization of Cx26, Cx43 and Cx46 proteins. Conclusion Alterations in airway basement membrane proteins such as LM-332 can induce connexin reorganizations and result in altered cellular communication mechanisms that could contribute to airway tissue function.

  7. THE FEATURES OF CONNEXINS EXPRESSION IN THE CELLS OF NEUROVASCLAR UNIT IN NORMAL CONDITIONS AND HYPOXIA IN VITRO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. V. Morgun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to assess a role of connexin 43 (Cx43 and associated molecule CD38 in the regulation of cell-cell interactions in the neurovascular unit (NVU in vitro in physiological conditions and in hypoxia.Materials and methods. The study was done using the original neurovascular unit model in vitro. The NVU consisted of three cell types: neurons, astrocytes, and cerebral endothelial cells derived from rats. Hypoxia was induced by incubating cells with sodium iodoacetate for 30 min at37 °C in standard culture conditions.Results. We investigated the role of connexin 43 in the regulation of cell interactions within the NVU in normal and hypoxic injury in vitro. We found that astrocytes were characterized by high levels of expression of Cx43 and low level of CD38 expression, neurons demonstrated high levels of CD38 and low levels of Cx43. In hypoxic conditions, the expression of Cx43 and CD38 in astrocytes markedly increased while CD38 expression in neurons decreased, however no changes were found in endothelial cells. Suppression of Cx43 activity resulted in down-regulation of CD38 in NVU cells, both in physiological conditions and at chemical hypoxia.Conclusion. Thus, the Cx-regulated intercellular NAD+-dependent communication and secretory phenotype of astroglial cells that are the part of the blood-brain barrier is markedly changed in hypoxia.

  8. Prolongation of atrio-ventricular node conduction in a rabbit model of ischaemic cardiomyopathy: Role of fibrosis and connexin remodelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nisbet, Ashley M; Camelliti, Patrizia; Walker, Nicola L; Burton, Francis L; Cobbe, Stuart M; Kohl, Peter; Smith, Godfrey L

    2016-05-01

    Conduction abnormalities are frequently associated with cardiac disease, though the mechanisms underlying the commonly associated increases in PQ interval are not known. This study uses a chronic left ventricular (LV) apex myocardial infarction (MI) model in the rabbit to create significant left ventricular dysfunction (LVD) 8weeks post-MI. In vivo studies established that the PQ interval increases by approximately 7ms (10%) with no significant change in average heart rate. Optical mapping of isolated Langendorff perfused rabbit hearts recapitulated this result: time to earliest activation of the LV was increased by 14ms (16%) in the LVD group. Intra-atrial and LV transmural conduction times were not altered in the LVD group. Isolated AVN preparations from the LVD group demonstrated a significantly longer conduction time (by approximately 20ms) between atrial and His electrograms than sham controls across a range of pacing cycle lengths. This difference was accompanied by increased effective refractory period and Wenckebach cycle length, suggesting significantly altered AVN electrophysiology post-MI. The AVN origin of abnormality was further highlighted by optical mapping of the isolated AVN. Immunohistochemistry of AVN preparations revealed increased fibrosis and gap junction protein (connexin43 and 40) remodelling in the AVN of LVD animals compared to sham. A significant increase in myocyte-non-myocyte connexin co-localization was also observed after LVD. These changes may increase the electrotonic load experienced by AVN muscle cells and contribute to slowed conduction velocity within the AVN. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  9. Gestational Protein Restriction Increases Cardiac Connexin 43 mRNA levels in male adult rat offspring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossini, Kamila Fernanda; Oliveira, Camila Andrea de; Rebelato, Hércules Jonas; Esquisatto, Marcelo Augusto Marreto; Catisti, Rosana

    2017-07-01

    The dietary limitation during pregnancy influences the growth and development of the fetus and offspring and their health into adult life. The mechanisms underlying the adverse effects of gestational protein restriction (GPR) in the development of the offspring hearts are not well understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of GPR on cardiac structure in male rat offspring at day 60 after birth (d60). Pregnant Wistar rats were fed a normal-protein (NP, 17% casein) or low-protein (LP, 6% casein) diet. Blood pressure (BP) values from 60-day-old male offspring were measured by an indirect tail-cuff method using an electro sphygmomanometer. Hearts (d60) were collected for assessment of connexin 43 (Cx43) mRNA expression and morphological and morphometric analysis. LP offspring showed no difference in body weight, although they were born lighter than NP offspring. BP levels were significantly higher in the LP group. We observed a significant increase in the area occupied by collagen fibers, a decrease in the number of cardiomyocytes by 104 µm2, and an increase in cardiomyocyte area associated with an increased Cx43 expression. GPR changes myocardial levels of Cx43 mRNA in male young adult rats, suggesting that this mechanism aims to compensate the fibrotic process by the accumulation of collagen fibers in the heart interstitium. A limitação dietética durante a gravidez influencia o crescimento e desenvolvimento do feto e da prole e sua saúde na vida adulta. Os mecanismos subjacentes dos efeitos adversos da restrição proteica gestacional (RPG) no desenvolvimento dos corações da prole não são bem compreendidos. Avaliar os efeitos da RPG sobre a estrutura cardíaca em filhotes machos de ratas aos 60 dias após o nascimento (d60). Ratos fêmeas Wistar grávidas foram alimentadas com uma dieta de proteína normal (PN, 17% caseína) ou de baixa proteína (BP, caseína 6%). Os valores de pressão arterial (PA) de descendentes do sexo masculino de

  10. Synthetic, structural mimetics of the β-hairpin flap of HIV-1 protease inhibit enzyme function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chauhan, Jay; Chen, Shen-En; Fenstermacher, Katherine J; Naser-Tavakolian, Aurash; Reingewertz, Tali; Salmo, Rosene; Lee, Christian; Williams, Emori; Raje, Mithun; Sundberg, Eric; DeStefano, Jeffrey J; Freire, Ernesto; Fletcher, Steven

    2015-11-01

    Small-molecule mimetics of the β-hairpin flap of HIV-1 protease (HIV-1 PR) were designed based on a 1,4-benzodiazepine scaffold as a strategy to interfere with the flap-flap protein-protein interaction, which functions as a gated mechanism to control access to the active site. Michaelis-Menten kinetics suggested our small-molecules are competitive inhibitors, which indicates the mode of inhibition is through binding the active site or sterically blocking access to the active site and preventing flap closure, as designed. More generally, a new bioactive scaffold for HIV-1PR inhibition has been discovered, with the most potent compound inhibiting the protease with a modest K(i) of 11 μM. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. In Situ Enzymatically Generated Photoswitchable Oxidase Mimetics and Their Application for Colorimetric Detection of Glucose Oxidase.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Gen-Xia; Wu, Xiu-Ming; Dong, Yu-Ming; Li, Zai-Jun; Wang, Guang-Li

    2016-07-09

    In this study, a simple and amplified colorimetric assay is developed for the detection of the enzymatic activity of glucose oxidase (GOx) based on in situ formation of a photoswitchable oxidase mimetic of PO₄(3-)-capped CdS quantum dots (QDs). GOx catalyzes the oxidation of 1-thio-β-d-glucose to give 1-thio-β-d-gluconic acid which spontaneously hydrolyzes to β-d-gluconic acid and H₂S; the generated H₂S instantly reacts with Cd(2+) in the presence of Na₃PO₄ to give PO₄(3-)-stabilized CdS QDs in situ. Under visible-light (λ ≥ 400 nm) stimulation, the PO₄(3-)-capped CdS QDs are a new style of oxidase mimic derived by producing some active species, such as h⁺, (•)OH, O₂(•-) and a little H₂O₂, which can oxidize the typical substrate (3,3,5,5-tetramethylbenzydine (TMB)) with a color change. Based on the GOx-triggered growth of the oxidase mimetics of PO₄(3-)-capped CdS QDs in situ, we developed a simple and amplified colorimetric assay to probe the enzymatic activity of GOx. The proposed method allowed the detection of the enzymatic activity of GOx over the range from 25 μg/L to 50 mg/L with a low detection limit of 6.6 μg/L. We believe the PO₄(3-)-capped CdS QDs generated in situ with photo-stimulated enzyme-mimicking activity may find wide potential applications in biosensors.

  12. The BH3 Mimetic Obatoclax Accumulates in Lysosomes and Causes Their Alkalinization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stamelos, Vasileios A; Fisher, Natalie; Bamrah, Harnoor; Voisey, Carolyn; Price, Joshua C; Farrell, William E; Redman, Charles W; Richardson, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Obatoclax belongs to a class of compounds known as BH3 mimetics which function as antagonists of Bcl-2 family apoptosis regulators. It has undergone extensive preclinical and clinical evaluation as a cancer therapeutic. Despite this, it is clear that obatoclax has additional pharmacological effects that contribute to its cytotoxic activity. It has been claimed that obatoclax, either alone or in combination with other molecularly targeted therapeutics, induces an autophagic form of cell death. In addition, obatoclax has been shown to inhibit lysosomal function, but the mechanism of this has not been elucidated. We have evaluated the mechanism of action of obatoclax in eight ovarian cancer cell lines. Consistent with its function as a BH3 mimetic, obatoclax induced apoptosis in three cell lines. However, in the remaining cell lines another form of cell death was evident because caspase activation and PARP cleavage were not observed. Obatoclax also failed to show synergy with carboplatin and paclitaxel, chemotherapeutic agents which we have previously shown to be synergistic with authentic Bcl-2 family antagonists. Obatoclax induced a profound accumulation of LC-3 but knockdown of Atg-5 or beclin had only minor effects on the activity of obatoclax in cell growth assays suggesting that the inhibition of lysosomal function rather than stimulation of autophagy may play a more prominent role in these cells. To evaluate how obatoclax inhibits lysosomal function, confocal microscopy studies were conducted which demonstrated that obatoclax, which contains two basic pyrrole groups, accumulates in lysosomes. Studies using pH sensitive dyes demonstrated that obatoclax induced lysosomal alkalinization. Furthermore, obatoclax was synergistic in cell growth/survival assays with bafilomycin and chloroquine, two other drugs which cause lysosomal alkalinization. These studies explain, for the first time, how obatoclax inhibits lysosomal function and suggest that lysosomal

  13. Glutathione-mimetic D609 alleviates memory deficits and reduces amyloid-β deposition in an AβPP/PS1 transgenic mouse model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Hui; Xie, ZhaoHong; Wei, LiFei; Ding, Mao; Wang, Ping; Bi, JianZhong

    2018-04-18

    Excessive extracellular deposition of amyloid-β-peptide (Aβ) in the brain is a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Oxidative stress is associated with the onset and progression of AD and contributes to Aβ generation. Tricyclodecan-9-yl-xanthogenate (D609) is a glutathione (GSH)-mimetic compound. Although the antioxidant properties of D609 have been well-studied, its potential therapeutic significance on AD remains unclear. In the present study, we used a mouse model of AD to investigate the effects and the mechanism of action of D609 on AD. We found that D609 treatment significantly improved the spatial learning and alleviated the memory decline in the mice harboring amyloid precursor protein (APP) and presenilin-1 (PS1) double mutations (AβPP/PS1 mice). D609 treatment also increased GSH level, GSH and oxidative glutathione ratio, and superoxide dismutase activity, whereas decreased malondialdehyde and protein carbonyl levels, suggesting that D609 alleviated oxidative stress in AβPP/PS1 mice. In addition, D609 reduced β-secretase 1 level and decreased amyloidogenic processing of AβPP, consequently reducing Aβ deposition in the mice. Thus, our findings suggest that D609 might produce beneficial effects on the prevention and treatment of AD.This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives License 4.0 (CCBY-NC-ND), where it is permissible to download and share the work provided it is properly cited. The work cannot be changed in any way or used commercially without permission from the journal. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/.

  14. The Thrombospondin-1 Mimetic ABT-510 Increases the Uptake and Effectiveness of Cisplatin and Paclitaxel in a Mouse Model of Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicole E. Campbell

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC comprises approximately 90% of ovarian cancers and arises from the surface epithelium. Typical treatment of EOC involves cytoreductive surgery combined with chemotherapy. More recent therapies have targeted the tumor vasculature using antiangiogenic compounds such as thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1. TSP-1 mimetic peptides such as ABT-510 have been created and have been in various clinical trials. We have previously shown that ABT-510 reduces abnormal vasculature associated with tumor tissue and increases the presence of mature blood vessels. It has been hypothesized that treatment with antiangiogenic compounds would allow increased delivery of cytotoxic agents and enhance treatment. In this study, we evaluated the potential role of ABT-510 and various chemotherapeutics (cisplatin and paclitaxel on tumor progression, angiogenesis, and the benefits of combinational treatments on tissue uptake and perfusion using an orthotopic syngeneic mouse model of EOC. Animals were treated with ABT-510 (100 mg/kg per day alone or in combination with cisplatin (2 mg/kg per 3 days or paclitaxel (10 mg/kg per 2 days at 60 days after tumor induction. Radiolabeled and fluorescently labeled paclitaxel demonstrated a significant increase in tumor uptake after ABT-510 treatment. Combined treatment with ABT-510 and cisplatin or paclitaxel resulted in a significant increase in tumor cell and tumor endothelial cell apoptosis and a resultant decrease in ovarian tumor size. Combined treatment also regressed secondary lesions and eliminated the presence of abdominal ascites. The results from this study show that through vessel normalization, ABT-510 increases uptake of chemotherapy drugs and can induce regression of advanced ovarian cancer.

  15. Down-regulation of Connexin43 expression reveals the involvement of caveolin-1 containing lipid rafts in human U251 glioblastoma cell invasion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strale, Pierre-Olivier; Clarhaut, Jonathan; Lamiche, Coralie; Cronier, Laurent; Mesnil, Marc; Defamie, Norah

    2012-11-01

    Glioblastoma cells are characterized by high proliferation and invasive capacities. Tumor development has been associated with a decrease of gap-junctional intercellular communication, but the concrete involvement of gap junction proteins, connexins, remains elusive since they are also suspected to promote cell invasion. In order to better understand how connexins control the glioma cell phenotype, we studied the consequences of inhibiting the intrinsic expression of the major astrocytic connexin, Connexin43, in human U251 glioblastoma cells by the shRNA strategy. The induced down-regulation of Cx43 expression has various effects on the U251 cells such as increased clonogenicity, angiogenesis and decreased adhesion on specific extracellular matrix proteins. We demonstrate that the invasion capacity measured in vitro and ex vivo correlates with Cx43 expression level. For the first time in a cancer cell context, our work demonstrates that Cx43 cofractionates, colocalizes and coimmunoprecipitates with a lipid raft marker, caveolin-1 and that this interaction is inversely correlated to the level of Cx43. This localization of Cx43 in these lipid raft microdomains regulates both homo- and heterocellular gap junctional communications (respectively between U251 cells, or between U251 cells and astrocytes). Moreover, the adhesive and invasive capacities are not dependent, in our model, on Cav-1 expression level. Our results tend to show that heterocellular gap junctional communication between cancer and stroma cells may affect the behavior of the tumor cells. Altogether, our data demonstrate that Cx43 controls the tumor phenotype of glioblastoma U251 cells and in particular, invasion capacity, through its localization in lipid rafts containing Cav-1. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Smac Mimetic Bypasses Apoptosis Resistance in FADD- or Caspase-8-Deficient Cells by Priming for Tumor Necrosis Factor α-Induced Necroptosis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bram Laukens

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Searching for new strategies to bypass apoptosis resistance, we investigated the potential of the Smac mimetic BV6 in Jurkat leukemia cells deficient in key molecules of the death receptor pathway. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that Smac mimetic primes apoptosis-resistant, FADD- or caspase-8-deficient leukemia cells for TNFα-induced necroptosis in a synergistic manner. In contrast to TNFα, Smac mimetic significantly enhances CD95-induced apoptosis in wild-type but not in FADD-deficient cells. Interestingly, Smac mimetic- and TNFα-mediated cell death occurs without characteristic features of apoptosis (i.e., caspase activation, DNA fragmentation in FADD-deficient cells. By comparison, Smac mimetic and TNFα trigger activation of caspase-8, -9, and -3 and DNA fragmentation in wild-type cells. Consistently, the caspase inhibitor zVAD.fmk fails to block Smac mimetic- and TNFα-triggered cell death in FADD- or caspase-8-deficient cells, while it confers protection in wild-type cells. By comparison, necrostatin-1, an RIP1 kinase inhibitor, abolishes Smac mimetic- and TNFα-induced cell death in FADD- or caspase-8-deficient. Thus, Smac mimetic enhances TNFα-induced cell death in leukemia cells via two distinct pathways in a context-dependent manner: it primes apoptosis-resistant cells lacking FADD or caspase-8 to TNFα-induced, RIP1-dependent and caspase-independent necroptosis, whereas it sensitizes apoptosis-proficient cells to TNFα-mediated, caspase-dependent apoptosis. These findings have important implications for the therapeutic exploitation of necroptosis as an alternative cell death program to overcome apoptosis resistance.

  17. Diversity-oriented peptide stapling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tran, Thu Phuong; Larsen, Christian Ørnbøl; Røndbjerg, Tobias

    2017-01-01

    as a powerful method for peptide stapling. However, to date CuAAC stapling has not provided a simple method for obtaining peptides that are easily diversified further. In the present study, we report a new diversity-oriented peptide stapling (DOPS) methodology based on CuAAC chemistry. Stapling of peptides...

  18. Changes in Expression of Connexin 32, Bile Canaliculus-Like Structures, and Localization of Alkaline Phosphatase in Primary Cultures of Fetal Rat Hepatocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fukazawa, Shoko; Chida, Kohsuke; Taguchi, Meiko; Takeuchi, Akihiro; Ikeda, Noriaki

    2013-01-01

    We devised an experimental design in primary cultures of fetal rat hepatocytes for studying hepatocyte differentiation over a short period. In the present study, hepatocytes were first cultured for 3 days in dexamethasone-supplemented medium and then for an additional 3 days in dexamethasone- or epidermal growth factor-supplemented medium. In hepatocytes cultured continuously in dexamethasone-supplemented medium, the expression of connexin 32 increased and bile canaliculus-like structures and localization of alkaline phosphatase in the plasma membrane around bile canaliculus-like structures were maintained. Few cells incorporated bromodeoxyuridine. On the other hand, in most of the hepatocytes cultured in epidermal growth factor-supplemented medium, the expression of connexin 32 was minimally recognized, bile canaliculus-like structures were shortened or eliminated, and alkaline phosphatase was localized as numerous fine spots throughout the cytoplasm. More than 20% of all hepatocytes incorporated bromodeoxyuridine. The present study suggests that in hepatocytes, there is a close relationship among connexin 32 expression, the maintenance of bile canaliculus-like structures, and the localization of alkaline phosphatase to the plasma membrane around the bile canaliculus-like structures, and this indicates that the present experimental model is useful for studying hepatocyte differentiation over a short period

  19. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo J Sáez

    Full Text Available Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻ showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  20. Structure-Function Correlation Analysis of Connexin50 Missense Mutations Causing Congenital Cataract: Electrostatic Potential Alteration Could Determine Intracellular Trafficking Fate of Mutants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devroop Sarkar

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Connexin50 (Cx50 mutations are reported to cause congenital cataract probably through the disruption of intercellular transport in the lens. Cx50 mutants that undergo mistrafficking have generally been associated with failure to form functional gap junction channels; however, sometimes even properly trafficked mutants were found to undergo similar consequences. We hereby wanted to elucidate any structural bases of the varied functional consequences of Cx50 missense mutations through in silico approach. Computational studies have been done based on a Cx50 homology model to assess conservation, solvent accessibility, and 3-dimensional localization of mutated residues as well as mutation-induced changes in surface electrostatic potential, H-bonding, and steric clash. This was supplemented with meta-analysis of published literature on the functional properties of connexin missense mutations. Analyses revealed that the mutation-induced critical alterations of surface electrostatic potential in Cx50 mutants could determine their fate in intracellular trafficking. A similar pattern was observed in case of mutations involving corresponding conserved residues in other connexins also. Based on these results the trafficking fates of 10 uncharacterized Cx50 mutations have been predicted. Further experimental analyses are needed to validate the observed correlation.

  1. Disruption in connexin-based communication is associated with intracellular Ca²⁺ signal alterations in astrocytes from Niemann-Pick type C mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sáez, Pablo J; Orellana, Juan A; Vega-Riveros, Natalia; Figueroa, Vania A; Hernández, Diego E; Castro, Juan F; Klein, Andrés D; Jiang, Jean X; Zanlungo, Silvana; Sáez, Juan C

    2013-01-01

    Reduced astrocytic gap junctional communication and enhanced hemichannel activity were recently shown to increase astroglial and neuronal vulnerability to neuroinflammation. Moreover, increasing evidence suggests that neuroinflammation plays a pivotal role in the development of Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease, an autosomal lethal neurodegenerative disorder that is mainly caused by mutations in the NPC1 gene. Therefore, we investigated whether the lack of NPC1 expression in murine astrocytes affects the functional state of gap junction channels and hemichannels. Cultured cortical astrocytes of NPC1 knock-out mice (Npc1⁻/⁻) showed reduced intercellular communication via gap junctions and increased hemichannel activity. Similarly, astrocytes of newborn Npc1⁻/⁻ hippocampal slices presented high hemichannel activity, which was completely abrogated by connexin 43 hemichannel blockers and was resistant to inhibitors of pannexin 1 hemichannels. Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes also showed more intracellular Ca²⁺ signal oscillations mediated by functional connexin 43 hemichannels and P2Y₁ receptors. Therefore, Npc1⁻/⁻ astrocytes present features of connexin based channels compatible with those of reactive astrocytes and hemichannels might be a novel therapeutic target to reduce neuroinflammation in NPC disease.

  2. PNA Peptide chimerae

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Koch, T.; Næsby, M.; Wittung, P.

    1995-01-01

    Radioactive labelling of PNA has been performed try linking a peptide segment to the PNA which is substrate for protein kinase A. The enzymatic phosphorylation proceeds in almost quantitative yields....

  3. Tumor penetrating peptides

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tambet eTeesalu

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Tumor-homing peptides can be used to deliver drugs into tumors. Phage library screening in live mice has recently identified homing peptides that specifically recognize the endothelium of tumor vessels, extravasate, and penetrate deep into the extravascular tumor tissue. The prototypic peptide of this class, iRGD (CRGDKGPDC, contains the integrin-binding RGD motif. RGD mediates tumor homing through binding to αv integrins, which are selectively expressed on various cells in tumors, including tumor endothelial cells. The tumor-penetrating properties of iRGD are mediated by a second sequence motif, R/KXXR/K. This C-end Rule (or CendR motif is active only when the second basic residue is exposed at the C-terminus of the peptide. Proteolytic processing of iRGD in tumors activates the cryptic CendR motif, which then binds to neuropilin-1 activating an endocytic bulk transport pathway through tumor tissue. Phage screening has also yielded tumor-penetrating peptides that function like iRGD in activating the CendR pathway, but bind to a different primary receptor. Moreover, novel tumor-homing peptides can be constructed from tumor-homing motifs, CendR elements and protease cleavage sites. Pathologies other than tumors can be targeted with tissue-penetrating peptides, and the primary receptor can also be a vascular zip code of a normal tissue. The CendR technology provides a solution to a major problem in tumor therapy, poor penetration of drugs into tumors. The tumor-penetrating peptides are capable of taking a payload deep into tumor tissue in mice, and they also penetrate into human tumors ex vivo. Targeting with these peptides specifically increases the accumulation in tumors of a variety of drugs and contrast agents, such as doxorubicin, antibodies and nanoparticle-based compounds. Remarkably the drug to be targeted does not have to be coupled to the peptide; the bulk transport system activated by the peptide sweeps along any compound that is

  4. Peptide aldehyde inhibitors of bacterial peptide deformylases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durand, D J; Gordon Green, B; O'Connell, J F; Grant, S K

    1999-07-15

    Bacterial peptide deformylases (PDF, EC 3.5.1.27) are metalloenzymes that cleave the N-formyl groups from N-blocked methionine polypeptides. Peptide aldehydes containing a methional or norleucinal inhibited recombinant peptide deformylase from gram-negative Escherichia coli and gram-positive Bacillus subtilis. The most potent inhibitor was calpeptin, N-CBZ-Leu-norleucinal, which was a competitive inhibitor of the zinc-containing metalloenzymes, E. coli and B. subtilis PDF with Ki values of 26.0 and 55.6 microM, respectively. Cobalt-substituted E. coli and B. subtilis deformylases were also inhibited by these aldehydes with Ki values for calpeptin of 9.5 and 12.4 microM, respectively. Distinct spectral changes were observed upon binding of calpeptin to the Co(II)-deformylases, consistent with the noncovalent binding of the inhibitor rather than the formation of a covalent complex. In contrast, the chelator 1,10-phenanthroline caused the time-dependent inhibition of B. subtilis Co(II)-PDF activity with the loss of the active site metal. The fact that calpeptin was nearly equipotent against deformylases from both gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial sources lends further support to the idea that a single deformylase inhibitor might have broad-spectrum antibacterial activity. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  5. Scaling mimesis: Morphometric and ecomorphological similarities in three sympatric plant-mimetic fish of the family Carangidae (Teleostei).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queiroz, Alexya Cunha de; Vallinoto, Marcelo; Sakai, Yoichi; Giarrizzo, Tommaso; Barros, Breno

    2018-01-01

    The mimetic juveniles of a number of carangid fish species resemble plant parts floating near the water surface, such as leaves, seeds and other plant debris. The present study is the first to verify the morphological similarities and ecomorphological relationships between three carangids (Oligoplites saurus, Oligoplites palometa and Trachinotus falcatus) and their associated plant models. Behavioral observations were conducted in the estuary of Curuçá River, in northeastern Pará (Brazil) between August 2015 and July 2016. Individual fishes and associated floating objects (models) were sampled for comparative analysis using both geometric and morphometric approaches. While the mimetic fish and their models retain their own distinct, intrinsic morphological features, a high degree of morphological similarity was found between each fish species and its model. The morphometric analyses revealed a general tendency of isometric development in all three fish species, probably related to their pelagic habitats, during all ontogenetic stages.

  6. The arbitrary order mimetic finite difference method for a diffusion equation with a non-symmetric diffusion tensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gyrya, V.; Lipnikov, K.

    2017-11-01

    We present the arbitrary order mimetic finite difference (MFD) discretization for the diffusion equation with non-symmetric tensorial diffusion coefficient in a mixed formulation on general polygonal meshes. The diffusion tensor is assumed to be positive definite. The asymmetry of the diffusion tensor requires changes to the standard MFD construction. We present new approach for the construction that guarantees positive definiteness of the non-symmetric mass matrix in the space of discrete velocities. The numerically observed convergence rate for the scalar quantity matches the predicted one in the case of the lowest order mimetic scheme. For higher orders schemes, we observed super-convergence by one order for the scalar variable which is consistent with the previously published result for a symmetric diffusion tensor. The new scheme was also tested on a time-dependent problem modeling the Hall effect in the resistive magnetohydrodynamics.

  7. Structural and computational analysis of peptide recognition mechanism of class-C type penicillin binding protein, alkaline D-peptidase from Bacillus cereus DF4-B

    OpenAIRE

    Nakano, Shogo; Okazaki, Seiji; Ishitsubo, Erika; Kawahara, Nobuhiro; Komeda, Hidenobu; Tokiwa, Hiroaki; Asano, Yasuhisa

    2015-01-01

    Alkaline D-peptidase from Bacillus cereus DF4-B, called ADP, is a D-stereospecific endopeptidase reacting with oligopeptides containing D-phenylalanine (D-Phe) at N-terminal penultimate residue. ADP has attracted increasing attention because it is useful as a catalyst for synthesis of D-Phe oligopeptides or, with the help of substrate mimetics, L-amino acid peptides and proteins. Structure and functional analysis of ADP is expected to elucidate molecular mechanism of ADP. In this study, the c...

  8. Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and the regulation of human invariant natural killer T cells: lessons from obesity, diabetes and psoriasis.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Hogan, A E

    2011-11-01

    The innate immune cells, invariant natural killer T cells (iNKT cells), are implicated in the pathogenesis of psoriasis, an inflammatory condition associated with obesity and other metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and dyslipidaemia. We observed an improvement in psoriasis severity in a patient within days of starting treatment with an incretin-mimetic, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist. This was independent of change in glycaemic control. We proposed that this unexpected clinical outcome resulted from a direct effect of GLP-1 on iNKT cells.

  9. Bioinspired Hydroxyapatite/Poly(methyl methacrylate) Composite with a Nacre-Mimetic Architecture by a Bidirectional Freezing Method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bai, Hao; Walsh, Flynn; Gludovatz, Bernd; Delattre, Benjamin; Huang, Caili; Chen, Yuan; Tomsia, Antoni P; Ritchie, Robert O

    2016-01-06

    Using a bidirectional freezing technique, combined with uniaxial pressing and in situ polymerization, "nacre-mimetic" hydroxyapatite/poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) composites are developed by processing large-scale aligned lamellar ceramic scaffolds. Structural and mechanical characterization shows "brick-and-mortar" structures, akin to nacre, with interesting combinations of strength, stiffness, and work of fracture, which provide a pathway to making strong and tough lightweight materials. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  10. Effect of the Nerve Growth Factor Mimetic GK-2 on Brain Structural and Functional State in the Early Postresuscitation Period

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Sh. Avrushchenko

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Objective: to evaluate the efficacy of the nerve growth factor mimetic GK-2 used to improve the structural and functional state of the brain in the early postresuscitation period. Material and methods. Cardiac arrest was induced in mature male albino rats for 12 minutes, followed by resuscitation. The neurological state of the resuscitated animals was assessed by a scoring scale. On postresuscitation day 7, the density and composition of neuronal populations of Purkinje cells in the lateral cerebellar region and pyramidal neurons in the hippocampal CA1 sector were determined by a differential morphometric analysis. The results were statistically processed using the ANOVA method. Results. The use of GK-2 was found to accelerate neurological recovery in the resuscitated animals. On day 7 after 12-minute cardiac arrest, the resuscitated animals showed neuronal dystrophic changes and death in the neuronal populations highly susceptible to ischemia. It was shown that the systemic administration of the nerve growth factor mimetic GK-2 contributed to a reduction in the magnitude and depth of postresuscitation changes in the cerebellar Purkinje cells and prevented dystrophic changes in the pyramidal cells of the hippocampal CA1 sector. The findings suggest that GK-2 has a neuroprotective effect in the recovery period after total body ischemia. Conclusion. The results of this study indicate the efficiency of the systemic administration of the nerve growth factor mimetic GK-2 in improving the brain structural and functional state in the early postresuscitation period. This determines perspectives for the use of GK-2 to prevent and correct posthypoxic encephalopathies. Key words: the nerve growth factor mimetic GK-2, postresuscitation period, neuronal dystrophic changes and death, neurological status.

  11. Peptide-laden mesoporous silica nanoparticles with promoted bioactivity and osteo-differentiation ability for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Zuyuan; Deng, Yi; Zhang, Ranran; Wang, Mengke; Bai, Yanjie; Zhao, Qiang; Lyu, Yalin; Wei, Jie; Wei, Shicheng

    2015-07-01

    Combination of mesoporous silica materials and bioactive factors is a promising niche-mimetic solution as a hybrid bone substitution for bone tissue engineering. In this work, we have synthesized biocompatible silica-based nanoparticles with abundant mesoporous structure, and incorporated bone-forming peptide (BFP) derived from bone morphogenetic protein-7 (BMP-7) into the mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) to obtain a slow-release system for osteogenic factor delivery. The chemical characterization demonstrates that the small osteogenic peptide is encapsulated in the mesoporous successfully, and the nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherms suggest that the peptide encapsulation has no influence on mesoporous structure of MSNs. In the cell experiment, the peptide-laden MSNs (p-MSNs) show higher MG-63 cell proliferation, spreading and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity than the bare MSNs, indicating good in vitro cytocompatibility. Simultaneously, the osteogenesis-related proteins expression and calcium mineral deposition disclose enhanced osteo-differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) under the stimulation of the p-MSNs, confirming that BFP released from MSNs could significantly promote the osteogenic differentiation of hMSCs, especially at 500μg/mL of p-MSNs concentration. The peptide-modified MSNs with better bioactivity and osteogenic differentiation make it a potential candidate as bioactive material for bone repairing, bone regeneration, and bio-implant coating applications. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Peptide-modified PELCL electrospun membranes for regulation of vascular endothelial cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou, Fang; Jia, Xiaoling; Yang, Yang; Yang, Qingmao; Gao, Chao; Zhao, Yunhui; Fan, Yubo; Yuan, Xiaoyan

    2016-01-01

    The efficiency of biomaterials used in small vascular repair depends greatly on their ability to interact with vascular endothelial cells (VECs). Rapid endothelialization of the vascular grafts is a promising way to prevent thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia. In this work, modification of electrospun membranes of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PELCL) by three different peptides for regulation of VECs were studied in order to obtain ideal bioactive biomaterials as small diameter vascular grafts. QK (a mimetic peptide to vascular endothelial growth factor), Arg-Glu-Asp-Val (REDV, a specific adhesive peptide to VECs) and Val-Ala-Pro-Gly (VAPG, a specific adhesive peptide to vascular smooth muscle cells) were investigated. Surface properties of the modified membranes and the response of VECs were verified. It was found that protein adsorption and platelet adhesion were effectively suppressed with the introduction of QK, REDV or VAPG peptides on the PELCL electrospun membranes. Both QK- and REDV-modified electrospun membranes could accelerate the proliferation of VECs in the first 9 days, and the QK-modified electrospun membrane promoted cell proliferation more significantly than the REDV-modified one. The REDV-modified PELCL membrane was the most favorable for VECs adhesion than QK- and VAPG-modified membranes. It was suggested that QK- or REDV-modified PELCL electrospun membranes may have great potential applications in cardiovascular biomaterials for rapid endothelialization in situ. - Highlights: • A series of peptide-modified PELCL electrospun membranes were prepared. • Hemocompatibility of the membranes was greatly improved by the modification. • QK-modified PELCL membrane promoted VECs proliferation more significantly. • REDV-modified PELCL membrane was the most favorable for VEC adhesion.

  13. Peptide-modified PELCL electrospun membranes for regulation of vascular endothelial cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, Fang [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Composite and Functional Materials, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Jia, Xiaoling [Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100083 (China); Yang, Yang [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Composite and Functional Materials, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Yang, Qingmao; Gao, Chao [Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100083 (China); Zhao, Yunhui [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Composite and Functional Materials, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China); Fan, Yubo, E-mail: yubofan@buaa.edu.cn [Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing 100083 (China); National Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical Aids, Beijing 100176 (China); Yuan, Xiaoyan, E-mail: yuanxy@tju.edu.cn [School of Materials Science and Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Composite and Functional Materials, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072 (China)

    2016-11-01

    The efficiency of biomaterials used in small vascular repair depends greatly on their ability to interact with vascular endothelial cells (VECs). Rapid endothelialization of the vascular grafts is a promising way to prevent thrombosis and intimal hyperplasia. In this work, modification of electrospun membranes of poly(ethylene glycol)-b-poly(L-lactide-co-ε-caprolactone) (PELCL) by three different peptides for regulation of VECs were studied in order to obtain ideal bioactive biomaterials as small diameter vascular grafts. QK (a mimetic peptide to vascular endothelial growth factor), Arg-Glu-Asp-Val (REDV, a specific adhesive peptide to VECs) and Val-Ala-Pro-Gly (VAPG, a specific adhesive peptide to vascular smooth muscle cells) were investigated. Surface properties of the modified membranes and the response of VECs were verified. It was found that protein adsorption and platelet adhesion were effectively suppressed with the introduction of QK, REDV or VAPG peptides on the PELCL electrospun membranes. Both QK- and REDV-modified electrospun membranes could accelerate the proliferation of VECs in the first 9 days, and the QK-modified electrospun membrane promoted cell proliferation more significantly than the REDV-modified one. The REDV-modified PELCL membrane was the most favorable for VECs adhesion than QK- and VAPG-modified membranes. It was suggested that QK- or REDV-modified PELCL electrospun membranes may have great potential applications in cardiovascular biomaterials for rapid endothelialization in situ. - Highlights: • A series of peptide-modified PELCL electrospun membranes were prepared. • Hemocompatibility of the membranes was greatly improved by the modification. • QK-modified PELCL membrane promoted VECs proliferation more significantly. • REDV-modified PELCL membrane was the most favorable for VEC adhesion.

  14. Tetra(p-tolyl)borate-functionalized solvent polymeric membrane: a facile and sensitive sensing platform for peroxidase and peroxidase mimetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Xuewei; Qin, Wei

    2013-07-22

    The determination of peroxidase activities is the basis for enzyme-labeled bioaffinity assays, peroxidase-mimicking DNAzymes- and nanoparticles-based assays, and characterization of the catalytic functions of peroxidase mimetics. Here, a facile, sensitive, and cost-effective solvent polymeric membrane-based peroxidase detection platform is described that utilizes reaction intermediates with different pKa values from those of substrates and final products. Several key but long-debated intermediates in the peroxidative oxidation of o-phenylenediamine (o-PD) have been identified and their charge states have been estimated. By using a solvent polymeric membrane functionalized by an appropriate substituted tetraphenylborate as a receptor, those cationic intermediates could be transferred into the membrane from the aqueous phase to induce a large cationic potential response. Thus, the potentiometric indication of the o-PD oxidation catalyzed by peroxidase or its mimetics can be fulfilled. Horseradish peroxidase has been detected with a detection limit at least two orders of magnitude lower than those obtained by spectrophotometric techniques and traditional membrane-based methods. As an example of peroxidase mimetics, G-quadruplex DNAzymes were probed by the intermediate-sensitive membrane and a label-free thrombin detection protocol was developed based on the catalytic activity of the thrombin-binding G-quadruplex aptamer. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. Connexin 43 reboots meiosis and reseals blood-testis barrier following toxicant-mediated aspermatogenesis and barrier disruption.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D; Mok, Ka-Wai; Li, Michelle W M; Wong, Chris K C; Lee, Will M; Han, Daishu; Silvestrini, Bruno; Cheng, C Yan

    2016-04-01

    Earlier studies have shown that rats treated with an acute dose of 1-(2,4-dichlorobenzyl)-1H-indazole-3-carbohydrazide (adjudin, a male contraceptive under development) causes permanent infertility due to irreversible blood-testis barrier (BTB) disruption even though the population of undifferentiated spermatogonia remains similar to normal rat testes, because spermatogonia fail to differentiate into spermatocytes to enter meiosis. Since other studies have illustrated the significance of connexin 43 (Cx43)-based gap junction in maintaining the homeostasis of BTB in the rat testis and the phenotypes of Sertoli cell-conditional Cx43 knockout mice share many of the similarities of the adjudin-treated rats, we sought to examine if overexpression of Cx43 in these adjudin-treated rats would reseal the disrupted BTB and reinitiate spermatogenesis. A full-length Cx43 cloned into mammalian expression vector pCI-neo was used to transfect testes of adjudin-treated ratsversusempty vector. It was found that overexpression of Cx43 indeed resealed the Sertoli cell tight junction-permeability barrier based on a functionalin vivoassay in tubules displaying signs of meiosis as noted by the presence of round spermatids. Thus, these findings suggest that overexpression of Cx43 reinitiated spermatogenesis at least through the steps of meiosis to generate round spermatids in testes of rats treated with an acute dose of adjudin that led to aspermatogenesis. It was also noted that the round spermatids underwent eventual degeneration with the formation of multinucleated cells following Cx43 overexpression due to the failure of spermiogenesis because no elongating/elongated spermatids were detected in any of the tubules examined. The mechanism by which overexpression of Cx43 reboots meiosis and rescues BTB function was also examined. In summary, overexpression of Cx43 in the testis with aspermatogenesis reboots meiosis and reseals toxicant-induced BTB disruption, even though it fails to

  16. Phosphorylation of connexin43 on S279/282 may contribute to laminopathy-associated conduction defects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Steven C., E-mail: bug@uw.edu [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States); University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Kennedy, Brian K., E-mail: bkennedy@buckinstitute.org [University of Washington Department of Biochemistry, 1959 NE Pacific St., Seattle, WA 98195 (United States); Buck Institute for Research on Aging, 8001 Redwood Boulevard, Novato, CA 94945 (United States); Lampe, Paul D., E-mail: plampe@fhcrc.org [Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC), Public Health Sciences Division, 1100 Fairview Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98109 (United States)

    2013-04-01

    An understanding of the molecular mechanism behind the arrhythmic phenotype associated with laminopathies has yet to emerge. A-type lamins have been shown to interact and sequester activated phospho-ERK1/2(pERK1/2) at the nucleus. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) can be phosphorylated by pERK1/2 on S279/282 (pS279/282), inhibiting intercellular communication. We hypothesized that without A-type lamins, pS279/282 Cx43 will increase due to inappropriate phosphorylation by pERK1/2, resulting in decreased gap junction function. We observed a 1.6-fold increase in pS279/282 Cx43 levels in Lmna{sup −/−} mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) compared to Lmna{sup +/+}, and 1.8-fold more pERK1/2 co-precipitated from Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs with Cx43 antibodies. We found a 3-fold increase in the fraction of non-nuclear pERK1/2 and a concomitant 2-fold increase in the fraction of pS279/282 Cx43 in Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs by immunofluorescence. In an assay of gap junctional function, Lmna{sup −/−} MEFs transferred dye to 60% fewer partners compared to Lmna{sup +/+} controls. These results are mirrored in 5–6 week-old Lmna{sup −/−} mice compared to their Lmna{sup +/+} littermates as we detect increased pS279/282 Cx43 in gap junctions by immunofluorescence and 1.7-fold increased levels by immunoblot. We conclude that increased pS279/282 Cx43 in the Lmna{sup −/−} background results in decreased cell communication and may contribute to the arrhythmic pathology in vivo. - Highlights: ► Connexin43 phosphorylation plays a role in laminopathy-associated conduction defects. ► Loss of A-type lamin activity results in release of pERK1/2 from the nucleus. ► Increased cytoplasmic localization of pERK1/2 acts to phosphorylate S279/282 of Cx43. ► Phosphorylation of S279/282 on Cx43 decreases gap junction activity in cell culture. ► Mice lacking A-type lamins have increased phosphorylation on S279/282 of Cx43.

  17. Using superoxide dismutase/catalase mimetics to manipulate the redox environment of neural precursor cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Limoli, C. L.; Giedzinski, E.; Baure, J.; Doctrow, S. R.; Rola, R.; Fike, J. R.

    2006-01-01

    Past work has shown that neural precursor cells are predisposed to redox sensitive changes, and that oxidative stress plays a critical role in the acute and persistent changes that occur within the irradiated CNS. Irradiation leads to a marked rise in reactive oxygen species (ROS) that correlates with oxidative endpoints in vivo and reductions in neuro-genesis. To better understand the impact of oxidative stress on neural precursor cells, and to determine if radiation-induced oxidative damage and precursor cell loss after irradiation could be reduced, a series of antioxidant compounds (EUK-134, EUK-163, EUK-172, EUK-189) were tested, three of which possess both superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase activities and one (EUK-163) whose only significant activity is SOD. Our results show that these SOD/catalase mimetics apparently increase the oxidation of a ROS-sensitive fluorescent indicator dye, particularly after short (12 h) treatments, but that longer treatments (24 h) decrease oxidation attributable to radiation-induced ROS. Similarly, other studies found that cells incubated with CuZnSOD showed some increase in intracellular ROS levels. Subsequent data suggested that the dye-oxidising capabilities of the EUK compounds were linked to differences in their catalase activity and, most likely, their ability to catalyse per-oxidative pathways. In unirradiated mice, the EUK-134 analogue induced some decrease of proliferating precursor cells and immature neurons 48 h after radiation, an effect that may be attributable to cytotoxicity and/or inhibition of precursor proliferation. In irradiated mice, a single injection of EUK-134 was not found to be an effective radioprotector at acute times (48 h). The present results support continued development of our in vitro model as a tool for predicting certain in vivo responses, and suggest that in some biological systems the capability to scavenge superoxide but produce excess H 2 O 2 , as is known for CuZnSOD, may be

  18. Peptide Integrated Optics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handelman, Amir; Lapshina, Nadezda; Apter, Boris; Rosenman, Gil

    2018-02-01

    Bio-nanophotonics is a wide field in which advanced optical materials, biomedicine, fundamental optics, and nanotechnology are combined and result in the development of biomedical optical chips. Silk fibers or synthetic bioabsorbable polymers are the main light-guiding components. In this work, an advanced concept of integrated bio-optics is proposed, which is based on bioinspired peptide optical materials exhibiting wide optical transparency, nonlinear and electrooptical properties, and effective passive and active waveguiding. Developed new technology combining bottom-up controlled deposition of peptide planar wafers of a large area and top-down focus ion beam lithography provides direct fabrication of peptide optical integrated circuits. Finding a deep modification of peptide optical properties by reconformation of biological secondary structure from native phase to β-sheet architecture is followed by the appearance of visible fluorescence and unexpected transition from a native passive optical waveguiding to an active one. Original biocompatibility, switchable regimes of waveguiding, and multifunctional nonlinear optical properties make these new peptide planar optical materials attractive for application in emerging technology of lab-on-biochips, combining biomedical photonic and electronic circuits toward medical diagnosis, light-activated therapy, and health monitoring. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  19. Antimicrobial Peptides from Plants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James P. Tam

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Plant antimicrobial peptides (AMPs have evolved differently from AMPs from other life forms. They are generally rich in cysteine residues which form multiple disulfides. In turn, the disulfides cross-braced plant AMPs as cystine-rich peptides to confer them with extraordinary high chemical, thermal and proteolytic stability. The cystine-rich or commonly known as cysteine-rich peptides (CRPs of plant AMPs are classified into families based on their sequence similarity, cysteine motifs that determine their distinctive disulfide bond patterns and tertiary structure fold. Cystine-rich plant AMP families include thionins, defensins, hevein-like peptides, knottin-type peptides (linear and cyclic, lipid transfer proteins, α-hairpinin and snakins family. In addition, there are AMPs which are rich in other amino acids. The ability of plant AMPs to organize into specific families with conserved structural folds that enable sequence variation of non-Cys residues encased in the same scaffold within a particular family to play multiple functions. Furthermore, the ability of plant AMPs to tolerate hypervariable sequences using a conserved scaffold provides diversity to recognize different targets by varying the sequence of the non-cysteine residues. These properties bode well for developing plant AMPs as potential therapeutics and for protection of crops through transgenic methods. This review provides an overview of the major families of plant AMPs, including their structures, functions, and putative mechanisms.

  20. Rescue of perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS)-mediated Sertoli cell injury by overexpression of gap junction protein connexin 43

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Nan; Mruk, Dolores D.; Chen, Haiqi; Wong, Chris K. C.; Lee, Will M.; Cheng, C. Yan

    2016-07-01

    Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) is an environmental toxicant used in developing countries, including China, as a stain repellent for clothing, carpets and draperies, but it has been banned in the U.S. and Canada since the late 2000s. PFOS perturbed the Sertoli cell tight junction (TJ)-permeability barrier, causing disruption of actin microfilaments in cell cytosol, perturbing the localization of cell junction proteins (e.g., occluden-ZO-1, N-cadherin-ß-catenin). These changes destabilized Sertoli cell blood-testis barrier (BTB) integrity. These findings suggest that human exposure to PFOS might induce BTB dysfunction and infertility. Interestingly, PFOS-induced Sertoli cell injury associated with a down-regulation of the gap junction (GJ) protein connexin43 (Cx43). We next investigated if overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells could rescue the PFOS-induced cell injury. Indeed, overexpression of Cx43 in Sertoli cells with an established TJ-barrier blocked the disruption in PFOS-induced GJ-intercellular communication, resulting in the re-organization of actin microfilaments, which rendered them similar to those in control cells. Furthermore, cell adhesion proteins that utilized F-actin for attachment became properly distributed at the cell-cell interface, resealing the disrupted TJ-barrier. In summary, Cx43 is a good target that might be used to manage PFOS-induced reproductive dysfunction.

  1. Role of connexin43 and ATP in long-range bystander radiation damage and oncogenesis in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancuso, M; Pasquali, E; Leonardi, S; Rebessi, S; Tanori, M; Giardullo, P; Borra, F; Pazzaglia, S; Naus, C C; Di Majo, V; Saran, A

    2011-11-10

    Ionizing radiation is a genotoxic agent and human carcinogen. Recent work has questioned long-held dogmas by showing that cancer-associated genetic alterations occur in cells and tissues not directly exposed to radiation, questioning the robustness of the current system of radiation risk assessment. In vitro, diverse mechanisms involving secreted soluble factors, gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) and oxidative metabolism are proposed to mediate these indirect effects. In vivo, the mechanisms behind long-range 'bystander' responses remain largely unknown. Here, we investigate the role of GJIC in propagating radiation stress signals in vivo, and in mediating radiation-associated bystander tumorigenesis in mouse central nervous system using a mouse model in which intercellular communication is downregulated by targeted deletion of the connexin43 (Cx43) gene. We show that GJIC is critical for transmission of oncogenic radiation damage to the non-targeted cerebellum, and that a mechanism involving adenosine triphosphate release and upregulation of Cx43, the major GJIC constituent, regulates transduction of oncogenic damage to unirradiated tissues in vivo. Our data provide a novel hypothesis for transduction of distant bystander effects and suggest that the highly branched nervous system, similar to the vascular network, has an important role.

  2. Mechanism of Mitochondrial Connexin43′s Protection of the Neurovascular Unit under Acute Cerebral Ischemia-Reperfusion Injury

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shuai Hou

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available We observed mitochondrial connexin43 (mtCx43 expression under cerebral ischemia-reperfusion (I/R injury, analyzed its regulation, and explored its protective mechanisms. Wistar rats were divided into groups based on injections received before middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO. Cerebral infarction volume was detected by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolim chloride staining, and cell apoptosis was observed by transferase dUTP nick end labeling. We used transmission electron microscopy to observe mitochondrial morphology and determined superoxide dismutase (SOD activity and malondialdehyde (MDA content. MtCx43, p-mtCx43, protein kinase C (PKC, and p-PKC expression were detected by Western blot. Compared with those in the IR group, cerebral infarction volumes in the carbenoxolone (CBX and diazoxide (DZX groups were obviously smaller, and the apoptosis indices were down-regulated. Mitochondrial morphology was damaged after I/R, especially in the IR and 5-hydroxydecanoic acid (5-HD groups. Similarly, decreased SOD activity and increased MDA were observed after MCAO; CBX, DZX, and phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate (PMA reduced mitochondrial functional injury. Expression of mtCx43 and p-mtCx43 and the p-Cx43/Cx43 ratio were significantly lower in the IR group than in the sham group. These abnormalities were ameliorated by CBX, DZX, and PMA. MtCx43 may protect the neurovascular unit from acute cerebral IR injury via PKC activation induced by mitoKATP channel agonists.

  3. Mimetic finite difference method for the stokes problem on polygonal meshes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lipnikov, K [Los Alamos National Laboratory; Beirao Da Veiga, L [DIPARTIMENTO DI MATE; Gyrya, V [PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIV; Manzini, G [ISTIUTO DI MATEMATICA

    2009-01-01

    Various approaches to extend the finite element methods to non-traditional elements (pyramids, polyhedra, etc.) have been developed over the last decade. Building of basis functions for such elements is a challenging task and may require extensive geometry analysis. The mimetic finite difference (MFD) method has many similarities with low-order finite element methods. Both methods try to preserve fundamental properties of physical and mathematical models. The essential difference is that the MFD method uses only the surface representation of discrete unknowns to build stiffness and mass matrices. Since no extension inside the mesh element is required, practical implementation of the MFD method is simple for polygonal meshes that may include degenerate and non-convex elements. In this article, we develop a MFD method for the Stokes problem on arbitrary polygonal meshes. The method is constructed for tensor coefficients, which will allow to apply it to the linear elasticity problem. The numerical experiments show the second-order convergence for the velocity variable and the first-order for the pressure.

  4. In Vitro Mimetic Models for the Bone-Cartilage Interface Regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bicho, Diana; Pina, Sandra; Oliveira, J Miguel; Reis, Rui L

    2018-01-01

    In embryonic development, pure cartilage structures are in the basis of bone-cartilage interfaces. Despite this fact, the mature bone and cartilage structures can vary greatly in composition and function. Nevertheless, they collaborate in the osteochondral region to create a smooth transition zone that supports the movements and forces resulting from the daily activities. In this sense, all the hierarchical organization is involved in the maintenance and reestablishment of the equilibrium in case of damage. Therefore, this interface has attracted a great deal of interest in order to understand the mechanisms of regeneration or disease progression in osteoarthritis. With that purpose, in vitro tissue models (either static or dynamic) have been studied. Static in vitro tissue models include monocultures, co-cultures, 3D cultures, and ex vivo cultures, mostly cultivated in flat surfaces, while dynamic models involve the use of bioreactors and microfluidic systems. The latter have emerged as alternatives to study the cellular interactions in a more authentic manner over some disadvantages of the static models. The current alternatives of in vitro mimetic models for bone-cartilage interface regeneration are overviewed and discussed herein.

  5. Synthetic mimetics of the endogenous gastrointestinal nanomineral: Silent constructs that trap macromolecules for intracellular delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pele, Laetitia C; Haas, Carolin T; Hewitt, Rachel E; Robertson, Jack; Skepper, Jeremy; Brown, Andy; Hernandez-Garrido, Juan Carlos; Midgley, Paul A; Faria, Nuno; Chappell, Helen; Powell, Jonathan J

    2017-02-01

    Amorphous magnesium-substituted calcium phosphate (AMCP) nanoparticles (75-150nm) form constitutively in large numbers in the mammalian gut. Collective evidence indicates that they trap and deliver luminal macromolecules to mucosal antigen presenting cells (APCs) and facilitate gut immune homeostasis. Here, we report on a synthetic mimetic of the endogenous AMCP and show that it has marked capacity to trap macromolecules during formation. Macromolecular capture into AMCP involved incorporation as shown by STEM tomography of the synthetic AMCP particle with 5nm ultra-fine iron (III) oxohydroxide. In vitro, organic cargo-loaded synthetic AMCP was taken up by APCs and tracked to lysosomal compartments. The AMCP itself did not regulate any gene, or modify any gene regulation by its cargo, based upon whole genome transcriptomic analyses. We conclude that synthetic AMCP can efficiently trap macromolecules and deliver them to APCs in a silent fashion, and may thus represent a new platform for antigen delivery. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Discrete conservation properties for shallow water flows using mixed mimetic spectral elements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, D.; Palha, A.; Gerritsma, M.

    2018-03-01

    A mixed mimetic spectral element method is applied to solve the rotating shallow water equations. The mixed method uses the recently developed spectral element histopolation functions, which exactly satisfy the fundamental theorem of calculus with respect to the standard Lagrange basis functions in one dimension. These are used to construct tensor product solution spaces which satisfy the generalized Stokes theorem, as well as the annihilation of the gradient operator by the curl and the curl by the divergence. This allows for the exact conservation of first order moments (mass, vorticity), as well as higher moments (energy, potential enstrophy), subject to the truncation error of the time stepping scheme. The continuity equation is solved in the strong form, such that mass conservation holds point wise, while the momentum equation is solved in the weak form such that vorticity is globally conserved. While mass, vorticity and energy conservation hold for any quadrature rule, potential enstrophy conservation is dependent on exact spatial integration. The method possesses a weak form statement of geostrophic balance due to the compatible nature of the solution spaces and arbitrarily high order spatial error convergence.

  7. Data assimilation method for fractured reservoirs using mimetic finite differences and ensemble Kalman filter

    KAUST Repository

    Ping, Jing

    2017-05-19

    Optimal management of subsurface processes requires the characterization of the uncertainty in reservoir description and reservoir performance prediction. For fractured reservoirs, the location and orientation of fractures are crucial for predicting production characteristics. With the help of accurate and comprehensive knowledge of fracture distributions, early water/CO 2 breakthrough can be prevented and sweep efficiency can be improved. However, since the rock property fields are highly non-Gaussian in this case, it is a challenge to estimate fracture distributions by conventional history matching approaches. In this work, a method that combines vector-based level-set parameterization technique and ensemble Kalman filter (EnKF) for estimating fracture distributions is presented. Performing the necessary forward modeling is particularly challenging. In addition to the large number of forward models needed, each model is used for sampling of randomly located fractures. Conventional mesh generation for such systems would be time consuming if possible at all. For these reasons, we rely on a novel polyhedral mesh method using the mimetic finite difference (MFD) method. A discrete fracture model is adopted that maintains the full geometry of the fracture network. By using a cut-cell paradigm, a computational mesh for the matrix can be generated quickly and reliably. In this research, we apply this workflow on 2D two-phase fractured reservoirs. The combination of MFD approach, level-set parameterization, and EnKF provides an effective solution to address the challenges in the history matching problem of highly non-Gaussian fractured reservoirs.

  8. M402, a novel heparan sulfate mimetic, targets multiple pathways implicated in tumor progression and metastasis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    He Zhou

    Full Text Available Heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs play a key role in shaping the tumor microenvironment by presenting growth factors, cytokines, and other soluble factors that are critical for host cell recruitment and activation, as well as promoting tumor progression, metastasis, and survival. M402 is a rationally engineered, non-cytotoxic heparan sulfate (HS mimetic, designed to inhibit multiple factors implicated in tumor-host cell interactions, including VEGF, FGF2, SDF-1α, P-selectin, and heparanase. A single s.c. dose of M402 effectively inhibited seeding of B16F10 murine melanoma cells to the lung in an experimental metastasis model. Fluorescent-labeled M402 demonstrated selective accumulation in the primary tumor. Immunohistological analyses of the primary tumor revealed a decrease in microvessel density in M402 treated animals, suggesting anti-angiogenesis to be one of the mechanisms involved in-vivo. M402 treatment also normalized circulating levels of myeloid derived suppressor cells in tumor bearing mice. Chronic administration of M402, alone or in combination with cisplatin or docetaxel, inhibited spontaneous metastasis and prolonged survival in an orthotopic 4T1 murine mammary carcinoma model. These data demonstrate that modulating HSPG biology represents a novel approach to target multiple factors involved in tumor progression and metastasis.

  9. Synergistic Interactions of a Synthetic Lubricin-Mimetic with Fibronectin for Enhanced Wear Protection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto C. Andresen Eguiluz

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Lubricin (LUB, a major mucinous glycoprotein of mammalian synovial fluids, is believed to provide excellent lubrication to cartilage surfaces. Consequently, when joint disease or replacement leads to increased friction and surface damage in the joint, robust synthetic LUB alternatives that could be used therapeutically to improve lubrication and surface protection are needed. Here, we report the characterization of a lubricating multiblock bottlebrush polymer whose architecture was inspired by LUB, and we investigate the role of fibronectin (FN, a glycoprotein found in the superficial zone of cartilage, in mediating the tribological properties of the polymer upon shear between mica surfaces. Our surface forces apparatus (SFA normal force measurements indicate that the lubricin-mimetic (mimLUB could be kept anchored between mica surfaces, even under high contact pressures, when an intermediate layer of FN was present. Additional SFA friction measurements show that FN would also extend the wearless friction regime of the polymer up to pressures of 3.4 MPa while ensuring stable friction coefficients (μ ≈ 0.28. These results demonstrate synergistic interactions between mimLUB and FN in assisting the lubrication and wear protection of ideal (mica substrates upon shear. Collectively, these findings suggest that our proposed mimLUB might be a promising alternative to LUB, as similar mechanisms could potentially facilitate the interaction between the polymer and cartilage surfaces in articular joints and prosthetic implants in vivo.

  10. Wing scale ultrastructure underlying convergent and divergent iridescent colours in mimetic Heliconius butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parnell, Andrew J; Bradford, James E; Curran, Emma V; Washington, Adam L; Adams, Gracie; Brien, Melanie N; Burg, Stephanie L; Morochz, Carlos; Fairclough, J Patrick A; Vukusic, Pete; Martin, Simon J; Doak, Scott; Nadeau, Nicola J

    2018-04-01

    Iridescence is an optical phenomenon whereby colour changes with the illumination and viewing angle. It can be produced by thin film interference or diffraction. Iridescent optical structures are fairly common in nature, but relatively little is known about their production or evolution. Here we describe the structures responsible for producing blue-green iridescent colour in Heliconius butterflies. Overall the wing scale structures of iridescent and non-iridescent Heliconius species are very similar, both having longitudinal ridges joined by cross-ribs. However, iridescent scales have ridges composed of layered lamellae, which act as multilayer reflectors. Differences in brightness between species can be explained by the extent of overlap of the lamellae and their curvature as well as the density of ridges on the scale. Heliconius are well known for their Müllerian mimicry. We find that iridescent structural colour is not closely matched between co-mimetic species. Differences appear less pronounced in models of Heliconius vision than models of avian vision, suggesting that they are not driven by selection to avoid heterospecific courtship by co-mimics. Ridge profiles appear to evolve relatively slowly, being similar between closely related taxa, while ridge density evolves faster and is similar between distantly related co-mimics. © 2018 The Authors.

  11. Design and facile synthesis of neoglycolipids as lactosylceramide mimetics and their transformation into glycoliposomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harada, Yoichiro; Murata, Takeomi; Totani, Kazuhide; Kajimoto, Tetsuya; Masum, Shah Md; Tamba, Yukihiro; Yamazaki, Masahito; Usui, Taichi

    2005-01-01

    Neoglycolipids composed of disaccharide glycoside and phospholipid were designed and prepared as mimetics of lactosylceramide. The lactosyl- and N-acetyllactosaminyl-phospholipids (Lac-DPPA and LacNAc-DPPA) were enzymatically synthesized from lactose and LacNAc respectively by cellulase-mediated condensation with 1,6-hexanediol, followed by conjugation of the resulting glycosides and dipalmitoylphosphatidyl choline (DPPC) mediated by Streptomyces phospholipase D. Alternatively, allyl beta-lactoside was ozonolyzed to give an aldehyde, which was condensed with dipalmytoyl phosphatidyl ethanolamine to afford a second type of glycolipid (Lac-DPPE). NMR spectroscopy indicated that the neoglycolipids behave differently in different solvent systems. X-ray diffraction clearly showed that multilamellar vesicles (MLVs) of Lac-DPPE and Lac-DPPA-MLV are in the bilayer gel phase at 20 degrees C, whereas those of Lac-DPPE-MLV were in the lamellar liquid-crystalline phase at 50 degrees C. Differential scanning calorimetry showed that Lac-DPPE-MLV had complex thermotropic behavior depending on the incubation conditions. After a long incubation at 10 degrees C, endothermic transitions are observed at 39.6, 42.3 degrees C, and 42.9 degrees C. These neoglycolipids have the ability to trap calcein, a chelating derivative of fluorescein, in MLVs and showed specific binding to lectin in plate assays using fluorescently labeled compounds.

  12. Cell-free expressed bacteriorhodopsin in different soluble membrane mimetics: biophysical properties and NMR accessibility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Etzkorn, Manuel; Raschle, Thomas; Hagn, Franz; Gelev, Vladimir; Rice, Amanda J; Walz, Thomas; Wagner, Gerhard

    2013-03-05

    Selecting a suitable membrane-mimicking environment is of fundamental importance for the investigation of membrane proteins. Nonconventional surfactants, such as amphipathic polymers (amphipols) and lipid bilayer nanodiscs, have been introduced as promising environments that may overcome intrinsic disadvantages of detergent micelle systems. However, structural insights into the effects of different environments on the embedded protein are limited. Here, we present a comparative study of the heptahelical membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin in detergent micelles, amphipols, and nanodiscs. Our results confirm that nonconventional environments can increase stability of functional bacteriorhodopsin, and demonstrate that well-folded heptahelical membrane proteins are, in principle, accessible by solution-NMR methods in amphipols and phospholipid nanodiscs. Our data distinguish regions of bacteriorhodopsin that mediate membrane/solvent contacts in the tested environments, whereas the protein's functional inner core remains almost unperturbed. The presented data allow comparing the investigated membrane mimetics in terms of NMR spectral quality and thermal stability required for structural studies. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Extreme Mechanical Behavior of Nacre-Mimetic Graphene-Oxide and Silk Nanocomposites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Wanting; Tadepalli, Sirimuvva; Park, Sang Hyun; Kazemi-Moridani, Amir; Jiang, Qisheng; Singamaneni, Srikanth; Lee, Jae-Hwang

    2018-02-14

    Biological materials have the ability to withstand extreme mechanical forces due to their unique multilevel hierarchical structure. Here, we fabricated a nacre-mimetic nanocomposite comprised of silk fibroin and graphene oxide that exhibits hybridized dynamic responses arising from alternating high-contrast mechanical properties of the components at the nanoscale. Dynamic mechanical behavior of these nanocomposites is assessed through a microscale ballistic characterization using a 7.6 μm diameter silica sphere moving at a speed of approximately 400 m/s. The volume fraction of graphene oxide in these composites is systematically varied from 0 to 32 vol % to quantify the dynamic effects correlating with the structural morphologies of the graphene oxide flakes. Specific penetration energy of the films rapidly increases as the distribution of graphene oxide flakes evolves from noninteracting, isolated sheets to a partially overlapping continuous sheet. The specific penetration energy of the nanocomposite at the highest graphene oxide content tested here is found to be significantly higher than that of Kevlar fabrics and close to that of pure multilayer graphene. This study evidently demonstrates that the morphologies of nanoscale constituents and their interactions are critical to realize scalable high-performance nanocomposites using typical nanomaterial constituents having finite dimensions.

  14. Effects of the potential lithium-mimetic, ebselen, on impulsivity and emotional processing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masaki, Charles; Sharpley, Ann L; Cooper, Charlotte M; Godlewska, Beata R; Singh, Nisha; Vasudevan, Sridhar R; Harmer, Catherine J; Churchill, Grant C; Sharp, Trevor; Rogers, Robert D; Cowen, Philip J

    2016-07-01

    Lithium remains the most effective treatment for bipolar disorder and also has important effects to lower suicidal behaviour, a property that may be linked to its ability to diminish impulsive, aggressive behaviour. The antioxidant drug, ebselen, has been proposed as a possible lithium-mimetic based on its ability in animals to inhibit inositol monophosphatase (IMPase), an action which it shares with lithium. The aim of the study was to determine whether treatment with ebselen altered emotional processing and diminished measures of risk-taking behaviour. We studied 20 healthy participants who were tested on two occasions receiving either ebselen (3600 mg over 24 h) or identical placebo in a double-blind, randomized, cross-over design. Three hours after the final dose of ebselen/placebo, participants completed the Cambridge Gambling Task (CGT) and a task that required the detection of emotional facial expressions (facial emotion recognition task (FERT)). On the CGT, relative to placebo, ebselen reduced delay aversion while on the FERT, it increased the recognition of positive vs negative facial expressions. The study suggests that at the dosage used, ebselen can decrease impulsivity and produce a positive bias in emotional processing. These findings have implications for the possible use of ebselen in the disorders characterized by impulsive behaviour and dysphoric mood.

  15. Acylation of Therapeutic Peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Trier, Sofie; Henriksen, Jonas Rosager; Jensen, Simon Bjerregaard

    ) , which promotes intestinal growth and is used to treat bowel disorders such as inflammatory bowel diseases and short bowel syndrome, and the 32 amino acid salmon calcitonin (sCT), which lowers blood calcium and is employed in the treatment of post-menopausal osteoporosis and hypercalcemia. The two...... peptides are similar in size and structure, but oppositely charged at physiological pH. Both peptides were acylated with linear acyl chains of systematically increasing length, where sCT was furthermore acylated at two different positions on the peptide backbone. For GLP-2, we found that increasing acyl...... remained optimal overall. The results indicate that rational acylation of GLP-2 can increase its in vitro intestinal absorption, alone or in combination with permeation enhancers, and are consistent with the initial project hypothesis. For sCT, an unpredicted effect of acylation largely superseded...

  16. Therapeutic HIV Peptide Vaccine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fomsgaard, Anders

    2015-01-01

    Therapeutic vaccines aim to control chronic HIV infection and eliminate the need for lifelong antiretroviral therapy (ART). Therapeutic HIV vaccine is being pursued as part of a functional cure for HIV/AIDS. We have outlined a basic protocol for inducing new T cell immunity during chronic HIV-1...... infection directed to subdominant conserved HIV-1 epitopes restricted to frequent HLA supertypes. The rationale for selecting HIV peptides and adjuvants are provided. Peptide subunit vaccines are regarded as safe due to the simplicity, quality, purity, and low toxicity. The caveat is reduced immunogenicity...

  17. Descriptors for antimicrobial peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jenssen, Håvard

    2011-01-01

    of these are currently being used in quantitative structure--activity relationship (QSAR) studies for AMP optimization. Additionally, some key commercial computational tools are discussed, and both successful and less successful studies are referenced, illustrating some of the challenges facing AMP scientists. Through...... examples of different peptide QSAR studies, this review highlights some of the missing links and illuminates some of the questions that would be interesting to challenge in a more systematic fashion. Expert opinion: Computer-aided peptide QSAR using molecular descriptors may provide the necessary edge...

  18. Towards the Development of Synthetic Antibiotics: Designs Inspired by Natural Antimicrobial Peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azmi, Fazren; Skwarczynski, Mariusz; Toth, Istvan

    2016-01-01

    Virtually every living organism produces gene-encoded antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) that provide an immediate defence against pathogen invasion. Many AMPs have been isolated and used as antibiotics that are effective against multidrug-resistant bacteria. Although encouraging, AMPs have such poor drug-like properties that their application for clinical use is restricted. In turn, this has diverted research to the development of synthetic molecules that retain the therapeutic efficacy of AMPs but are endowed with greater biological stability and safety profiles. Most of the synthetic molecules, either based on a peptidic or non-peptidic scaffold, have been designed to mimic the amphiphilic properties of native AMPs, which are widely believed to be the key determinant of their antibacterial activity. In this review, the structural, chemical and biophysical features that govern the biological activities of various synthetic designs are discussed extensively. Recent innovative approaches from the literature that exhibit novel concepts towards the development of new synthetic antibacterial agents, including the engineered delivery platform incorporated with AMP mimetics, are also emphasised.

  19. Antimicrobial Peptides: An Introduction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haney, Evan F; Mansour, Sarah C; Hancock, Robert E W

    2017-01-01

    The "golden era" of antibiotic discovery has long passed, but the need for new antibiotics has never been greater due to the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance. This urgency to develop new antibiotics has motivated researchers to find new methods to combat pathogenic microorganisms resulting in a surge of research focused around antimicrobial peptides (AMPs; also termed host defense peptides) and their potential as therapeutics. During the past few decades, more than 2000 AMPs have been identified from a diverse range of organisms (animals, fungi, plants, and bacteria). While these AMPs share a number of common features and a limited number of structural motifs; their sequences, activities, and targets differ considerably. In addition to their antimicrobial effects, AMPs can also exhibit immunomodulatory, anti-biofilm, and anticancer activities. These diverse functions have spurred tremendous interest in research aimed at understanding the activity of AMPs, and various protocols have been described to assess different aspects of AMP function including screening and evaluating the activities of natural and synthetic AMPs, measuring interactions with membranes, optimizing peptide function, and scaling up peptide production. Here, we provide a general overview of AMPs and introduce some of the methodologies that have been used to advance AMP research.

  20. The oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu represents a cell culture system to examine functional expression of the mouse gap junction gene connexin29 (Cx29

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Goran Christoph Söhl

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The potential gap junction forming mouse connexin29 (Cx29 protein is concomitantly expressed with connexin32 (Cx32 in peripheral myelin forming Schwann cells and together with both Cx32 and connexin47 (Cx47 in oligodendrocytes of the CNS. To study the genomic structure and functional expression of Cx29, either primary cells or cell culture systems might be selected, from which the latter are easier to cultivate. Both structure and expression of Cx29 is still not fully understood. In the mouse sciatic nerve, brain and the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu the Cx29 gene is processed in two transcript isoforms both harbouring a unique reading frame. In contrast to Cx32 and Cx47, only Cx29 protein is abundantly expressed in undifferentiated as well as differentiated Oli-neu cells but the absence of Etbr dye transfer after microinjection concealed the function of Cx29 mediated gap junction communication between those cells. Although HeLa cells stably transfected with Cx29 or Cx29-eGFP neither demonstrated any permeability for Lucifer yellow nor for neurobiotin, blocking of Etbr uptake from the media by gap junction blockers does suppose a role of Cx29 in hemi-channel function. Thus, we conclude that, due to its high abundance of Cx29 expression and its reproducible culture conditions, the oligodendroglial precursor cell line Oli-neu might constitute an appropriate cell culture system to study molecular mechanisms or putative extracellular stimuli to functionally open Cx29 channels or hemi-channels.

  1. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ganesan, Shanthi; Nteeba, Jackson; Keating, Aileen F.

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility

  2. Impact of obesity on 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-induced altered ovarian connexin gap junction proteins in female mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Nteeba, Jackson, E-mail: nteeba@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2015-01-01

    The ovarian gap junction proteins alpha 4 (GJA4 or connexin 37; CX37), alpha 1 (GJA1 or connexin 43; CX43) and gamma 1 (GJC1 or connexin 45; CX45) are involved in cell communication and folliculogenesis. 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) alters Cx37 and Cx43 expression in cultured neonatal rat ovaries. Additionally, obesity has an additive effect on DMBA-induced ovarian cell death and follicle depletion, thus, we investigated in vivo impacts of obesity and DMBA on CX protein levels. Ovaries were collected from lean and obese mice aged 6, 12, 18, or 24 wks. A subset of 18 wk old mice (lean and obese) were dosed with sesame oil or DMBA (1 mg/kg; ip) for 14 days and ovaries collected 3 days thereafter. Cx43 and Cx45 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 18 wks while Cx37 mRNA and protein levels decreased (P < 0.05) after 24 wks in obese ovaries. Cx37 mRNA and antral follicle protein staining intensity were reduced (P < 0.05) by obesity while total CX37 protein was reduced (P < 0.05) in DMBA exposed obese ovaries. Cx43 mRNA and total protein levels were decreased (P < 0.05) by DMBA in both lean and obese ovaries while basal protein staining intensity was reduced (P < 0.05) in obese controls. Cx45 mRNA, total protein and protein staining intensity level were decreased (P < 0.05) by obesity. These data support that obesity temporally alters gap junction protein expression and that DMBA-induced ovotoxicity may involve reduced gap junction protein function. - Highlights: • Ovarian gap junction proteins are affected by ovarian aging and obesity. • DMBA exposure negatively impacts gap junction proteins. • Altered gap junction proteins may contribute to infertility.

  3. L-type calcium channels play a critical role in maintaining lens transparency by regulating phosphorylation of aquaporin-0 and myosin light chain and expression of connexins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maddala, Rupalatha; Nagendran, Tharkika; de Ridder, Gustaaf G; Schey, Kevin L; Rao, Ponugoti Vasantha

    2013-01-01

    Homeostasis of intracellular calcium is crucial for lens cytoarchitecture and transparency, however, the identity of specific channel proteins regulating calcium influx within the lens is not completely understood. Here we examined the expression and distribution profiles of L-type calcium channels (LTCCs) and explored their role in morphological integrity and transparency of the mouse lens, using cDNA microarray, RT-PCR, immunoblot, pharmacological inhibitors and immunofluorescence analyses. The results revealed that Ca (V) 1.2 and 1.3 channels are expressed and distributed in both the epithelium and cortical fiber cells in mouse lens. Inhibition of LTCCs with felodipine or nifedipine induces progressive cortical cataract formation with time, in association with decreased lens weight in ex-vivo mouse lenses. Histological analyses of felodipine treated lenses revealed extensive disorganization and swelling of cortical fiber cells resembling the phenotype reported for altered aquaporin-0 activity without detectable cytotoxic effects. Analysis of both soluble and membrane rich fractions from felodipine treated lenses by SDS-PAGE in conjunction with mass spectrometry and immunoblot analyses revealed decreases in β-B1-crystallin, Hsp-90, spectrin and filensin. Significantly, loss of transparency in the felodipine treated lenses was preceded by an increase in aquaporin-0 serine-235 phosphorylation and levels of connexin-50, together with decreases in myosin light chain phosphorylation and the levels of 14-3-3ε, a phosphoprotein-binding regulatory protein. Felodipine treatment led to a significant increase in gene expression of connexin-50 and 46 in the mouse lens. Additionally, felodipine inhibition of LTCCs in primary cultures of mouse lens epithelial cells resulted in decreased intracellular calcium, and decreased actin stress fibers and myosin light chain phosphorylation, without detectable cytotoxic response. Taken together, these observations reveal a crucial

  4. Connexins in the early development of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Amphibia: The role of the connexin43 carboxyl terminal tail in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaime Cofre

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Connexins are a family of related proteins identified in vertebrate forming gap junctions, which mediate cell-to-cell communication in early embryos, with an important role in establishing embryonic asymmetry and ‘communication compartments’. By in situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR and western blotting we show that a Cx43-like molecule is present in oocytes and embryos of the African clawed frog Xenopus laevis, with specific localization in the animal-vegetal axis. This specific distribution is suggestive for an important role for this protein in the establishment of the dorso-ventral axis. Antisense RNA and antibodies directed against rat carboxyl terminal tail of the Cx43 (CT-Cx43 and injected in 1-cell stage Xenopus embryos, induced pronounced alterations in nervous system development, with a severe ventralization phenotype. Coherently, the overexpression of CT-Cx43 produced a dorsalization of the embryos. In antisense treated embryos, the expression of the beta-catenin gene is eliminated from the Nieuwkoop center, the pattern expression of the Chordin, Xnot and Xbra is modified, with no effect in expression of the Goosecoid gene. In CT-Cx43 mRNA treated embryos the pattern of expression of the beta-catenin, Chordin, Goosecoid, Xnot and engrailed-2 genes is modified. The expression of beta-catenin is increased in the Nieuwkoop center, the expression pattern of Chordin and Goosecoid is expanded to the posterior neural plate and engrailed-2 presents ectopic expression in the ventral region. Taken together our data suggest a role for CT-Cx43 as a maternal determinant with a critical function in the formation of the dorso-ventral axis in Xenopus laevis. The Cx43 may be one of the earliest markers of the dorso-ventral axis in these embryos and could possibly be acting through regionalization of factors responsible for the establishment of this axis.

  5. Inverse relationship between tumour proliferation markers and connexin expression in a malignant cardiac tumour originating from mesenchymal stem cell engineered tissue in a rat in-vivo model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathleen eSpath

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Recently, we demonstrated the beneficial effects of engineered heart tissues for the treatment of dilated cardiomyopathy in rats. For further development of this technique we started to produce engineered tissue (ET from mesenchymal stem cells. Interestingly, we observed a malignant tumour invading the heart with an inverse relationship between proliferation markers and connexin-expression.Methods: Commercial CD54+/CD90+/CD34-/CD45- bone marrow derived mesenchymal rat stem cells (cBM-MSC, characterized were used for production of mesenchymal stem-cell-ET (MSC-ET by suspending them in a collagen-I, matrigel-mixture and cultivating for 14 days with electrical stimulation. 3 MSC-ET were implanted around the beating heart of adult rats for days. Another 3 MSC-ET were produced from freshly isolated rat bone marrow derived stem cells (sBM-MSC.Results: 3 weeks after implantation of the MSC-ETs the hearts were surgically excised. While in 5/6 cases the ET was clearly distinguishable and was found as a ring containing mostly connective tissue around the heart, in 1/6 the heart was completely surrounded by a huge, undifferentiated, pleomorphic tumour originating from the cMSC-ET (cBM-MSC, classified as a high grade malignant sarcoma. Quantitatively we found a clear inverse relationship between cardiac connexin-expression (Cx43, Cx40 or Cx45 and increased Ki-67 expression (Cx43: p<0.0001, Cx45: p<0.03, Cx40: p<0.014. At the tumour-heart border there were significantly more Ki-67 positive cells (p=0.001, and only 2% Cx45 and Ki-67-expressing cells, while the other connexins were nearly completely absent (p<0.0001.Conclusions and hypothesis: These observations strongly suggest the hypothesis, that invasive tumour growth is accompanied by reduction in connexins. This implicates that gap junction communication between tumour and normal tissue is reduced or absent, which could mean that growth and differentiation signals can not be exchanged.

  6. Altered thyroid status affects myocardial expression of connexin-43 and susceptibility of rat heart to malignant arrhythmias that can be partially normalized by red palm oil intake

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Szeiffová Bačová, B.; Vinczenzová, C.; Žurmanová, J.; Kašparová, Dita; Knezl, V.; Egan Beňová, T.; Pavelka, Stanislav; Soukup, Tomáš; Tribulová, N.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 147, č. 1 (2017), s. 63-73 ISSN 0948-6143 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH15279; GA MŠk(CZ) 7AMB14SK123 Grant - others:AV ČR(CZ) SAV-15-03 Program:Bilaterální spolupráce Institutional support: RVO:67985823 Keywords : thyroid hormones * cardiac arrhythmias * connexin-43 * PKC * red palm oil Subject RIV: ED - Physiology OBOR OECD: Physiology (including cytology) Impact factor: 2.553, year: 2016

  7. An investigation of the mimetic enzyme activity of two-dimensional Pd-based nanostructures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Jingping; Chen, Xiaolan; Shi, Saige; Mo, Shiguang; Zheng, Nanfeng

    2015-11-01

    In this work, we investigated the mimetic enzyme activity of two-dimensional (2D) Pd-based nanostructures (e.g. Pd nanosheets, Pd@Au and Pd@Pt nanoplates) and found that they possess intrinsic peroxidase-, oxidase- and catalase-like activities. These nanostructures were able to activate hydrogen peroxide or dissolved oxygen for catalyzing the oxidation of organic substrates, and decompose hydrogen peroxide to generate oxygen. More systematic investigations revealed that the peroxidase-like activities of these Pd-based nanomaterials were highly structure- and composition-dependent. Among them, Pd@Pt nanoplates displayed the highest peroxidase-like activity. Based on these findings, Pd-based nanostructures were applied for the colorimetric detection of H2O2 and glucose, and also the electro-catalytic reduction of H2O2. This work offers a promising prospect for the application of 2D noble metal nanostructures in biocatalysis.In this work, we investigated the mimetic enzyme activity of two-dimensional (2D) Pd-based nanostructures (e.g. Pd nanosheets, Pd@Au and Pd@Pt nanoplates) and found that they possess intrinsic peroxidase-, oxidase- and catalase-like activities. These nanostructures were able to activate hydrogen peroxide or dissolved oxygen for catalyzing the oxidation of organic substrates, and decompose hydrogen peroxide to generate oxygen. More systematic investigations revealed that the peroxidase-like activities of these Pd-based nanomaterials were highly structure- and composition-dependent. Among them, Pd@Pt nanoplates displayed the highest peroxidase-like activity. Based on these findings, Pd-based nanostructures were applied for the colorimetric detection of H2O2 and glucose, and also the electro-catalytic reduction of H2O2. This work offers a promising prospect for the application of 2D noble metal nanostructures in biocatalysis. Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available: TEM images, EDX and dispersion stability of Pd-based nanomaterials

  8. [Distiller Yeasts Producing Antibacterial Peptides].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klyachko, E V; Morozkina, E V; Zaitchik, B Ts; Benevolensky, S V

    2015-01-01

    A new method of controlling lactic acid bacteria contamination was developed with the use of recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains producing antibacterial peptides. Genes encoding the antibacterial peptides pediocin and plantaricin with codons preferable for S. cerevisiae were synthesized, and a system was constructed for their secretory expression. Recombinant S. cerevisiae strains producing antibacterial peptides effectively inhibit the growth of Lactobacillus sakei, Pediacoccus pentasaceus, Pediacoccus acidilactici, etc. The application of distiller yeasts producing antibacterial peptides enhances the ethanol yield in cases of bacterial contamination. Recombinant yeasts producing the antibacterial peptides pediocin and plantaricin can successfully substitute the available industrial yeast strains upon ethanol production.

  9. A model for population dynamics of the mimetic butterfly Papilio polytes in the Sakishima Islands, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sekimura, Toshio; Fujihashi, Yuta; Takeuchi, Yasuhiro

    2014-11-21

    We present a mathematical model for population dynamics of the mimetic swallowtail butterfly Papilio polytes in the Sakishima Islands, Japan. The model includes four major variables, that is, population densities of three kinds of butterflies (two female forms f. cyrus, f. polytes and the unpalatable butterfly Pachliopta aristolochiae) and their predator. It is well-known that the non-mimic f. cyrus resembles and attracts the male most, and the mimic f. polytes mimics the model butterfly P. aristolochiae. Based on experimental evidence, we assume that two forms f. cyrus and f. polytes interact under intraspecific competition for resources including the male, and the growth rate of f. cyrus is higher than that of f. polytes. We further assume that both the benefit of mimicry for the mimic f. polytes and the cost for the model are dependent on their relative frequencies, i.e. the motality of the mimic by predation decreases with increase in frequency of the model, while the motality of the model increases as the frequency of the mimic increases. Taking the density-dependent effect through carrying capacity into account, we set up a model system consisting of three ordinary differential equations (ODEs), analyze it mathematically and provide computer simulations that confirm the analytical results. Our results reproduce field records on population dynamics of P. polytes in the Miyako-jima Island. They also explain the positive dependence of the relative abundance (RA) of the mimic on the advantage index (AI) of the mimicry in the Sakishima Islands defined in Section 2. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Continuous volatile fatty acid production from lignocellulosic biomass by a novel rumen-mimetic bioprocess.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agematu, Hitosi; Takahashi, Takehiko; Hamano, Yoshio

    2017-11-01

    Lignocellulosic biomass is an attractive source of biofuels and biochemicals, being abundant in various plant sources. However, processing this type of biomass requires hydrolysis of cellulose. The proposed rumen-mimetic bioprocess consists of dry-pulverization of lignocellulosic biomass and pH-controlled continuous cultivation of ruminal bacteria using ammonium as a nitrogen source. In this study, ruminal bacteria were continuously cultivated for over 60 days and used to digest microcrystalline cellulose, rice straw, and Japanese cedar to produce volatile fatty acids (VFAs). The ruminal bacteria grew well in the chemically defined medium. The amounts of VFAs produced from 20 g of cellulose, rice straw, and Japanese cedar were 183 ± 29.7, 69.6 ± 12.2, and 21.8 ± 12.9 mmol, respectively. Each digestion completed within 24 h. The carbon yield was 60.6% when 180 mmol of VFAs was produced from 20 g of cellulose. During the cultivation, the bacteria were observed to form flocs that enfolded the feed particles. These flocs likely contain all of the bacterial species necessary to convert lignocellulosic biomass to VFAs and microbial protein symbiotically. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) analysis of PCR-amplified 16S rDNA fragments revealed that the bacterial community was relatively stable after 1 week in cultivation, though it was different from the original community structure. Furthermore, sequence analysis of the DGGE bands indicates that the microbial community includes a cellulolytic bacterium, a bacterium acting synergistically with cellulolytic bacteria, and a propionate-producing bacterium, as well as other anaerobic bacteria. Copyright © 2017 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Perylene Diimide as a Precise Graphene-like Superoxide Dismutase Mimetic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jalilov, Almaz S.; Nilewski, Lizanne G.; Berka, Vladimir [Hematology,; Zhang, Chenhao; Yakovenko, Andrey A. [Argonne National Laboratory, X-ray Science Division,; Wu, Gang [Hematology,; Kent, Thomas A. [Department; Center for Translational Research in Inflammatory Diseases, Michel E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, Texas 77030, United States; Tsai, Ah-Lim [Hematology,; Tour, James M.

    2017-01-31

    Here we show that the active portion of a graphitic nanoparticle can be mimicked by a perylene diimide (PDI) to explain the otherwise elusive biological and electrocatalytic activity of the nanoparticle construct. Development of molecular analogues that mimic the antioxidant properties of oxidized graphenes, in this case the poly(ethylene glycolated) hydrophilic carbon clusters (PEG–HCCs), will afford important insights into the highly efficient activity of PEG–HCCs and their graphitic analogues. PEGylated perylene diimides (PEGn–PDI) serve as well-defined molecular analogues of PEG–HCCs and oxidized graphenes in general, and their antioxidant and superoxide dismutase-like (SOD-like) properties were studied. PEGn–PDIs have two reversible reduction peaks, which are more positive than the oxidation peak of superoxide (O2•–). This is similar to the reduction peak of the HCCs. Thus, as with PEG–HCCs, PEGn–PDIs are also strong single-electron oxidants of O2•–. Furthermore, reduced PEGn–PDI, PEGn–PDI•–, in the presence of protons, was shown to reduce O2•– to H2O2 to complete the catalytic cycle in this SOD analogue. The kinetics of the conversion of O2•– to O2 and H2O2 by PEG8–PDI was measured using freeze-trap EPR experiments to provide a turnover number of 133 s–1; the similarity in kinetics further supports that PEG8–PDI is a true SOD mimetic. Finally, PDIs can be used as catalysts in the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction in water, which proceeds by a two-electron process with the production of H2O2, mimicking graphene oxide nanoparticles that are otherwise difficult to study spectroscopically.

  12. Three-Dimensional Elastomeric Scaffolds Designed with Cardiac-Mimetic Structural and Mechanical Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, Rebekah A.; Jean, Aurélie; Park, Hyoungshin; Wu, Patrick B.; Hsiao, James; Engelmayr, George C.; Langer, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Tissue-engineered constructs, at the interface of material science, biology, engineering, and medicine, have the capacity to improve outcomes for cardiac patients by providing living cells and degradable biomaterials that can regenerate the native myocardium. With an ultimate goal of both delivering cells and providing mechanical support to the healing heart, we designed three-dimensional (3D) elastomeric scaffolds with (1) stiffnesses and anisotropy mimicking explanted myocardial specimens as predicted by finite-element (FE) modeling, (2) systematically varied combinations of rectangular pore pattern, pore aspect ratio, and strut width, and (3) structural features approaching tissue scale. Based on predicted mechanical properties, three scaffold designs were selected from eight candidates for fabrication from poly(glycerol sebacate) by micromolding from silicon wafers. Large 20×20 mm scaffolds with high aspect ratio features (5:1 strut height:strut width) were reproducibly cast, cured, and demolded at a relatively high throughput. Empirically measured mechanical properties demonstrated that scaffolds were cardiac mimetic and validated FE model predictions. Two-layered scaffolds providing fully interconnected pore networks were fabricated by layer-by-layer assembly. C2C12 myoblasts cultured on one-layered scaffolds exhibited specific patterns of cell elongation and interconnectivity that appeared to be guided by the scaffold pore pattern. Neonatal rat heart cells cultured on two-layered scaffolds for 1 week were contractile, both spontaneously and in response to electrical stimulation, and expressed sarcomeric α-actinin, a cardiac biomarker. This work not only demonstrated several scaffold designs that promoted functional assembly of rat heart cells, but also provided the foundation for further computational and empirical investigations of 3D elastomeric scaffolds for cardiac tissue engineering. PMID:23190320

  13. Bio-Mimetics of Disaster Anticipation-Learning Experience and Key-Challenges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2013-03-19

    Anomalies in animal behavior and meteorological phenomena before major earthquakes have been reported throughout history. Bio-mimetics or bionics aims at learning disaster anticipation from animals. Since modern science is reluctant to address this problem an effort has been made to track down the knowledge available to ancient natural philosophers. Starting with an archaeologically documented human sacrifice around 1700 B.C. during the Minoan civilization immediately before a large earthquake, which killed the participants, earthquake prediction knowledge throughout antiquity is evaluated. Major practical experience with this phenomenon has been gained from a Chinese earthquake prediction initiative nearly half a century ago. Some quakes, like that of Haicheng, were recognized in advance. However, the destructive Tangshan earthquake was not predicted, which was interpreted as an inherent failure of prediction based on animal phenomena. This is contradicted on the basis of reliable Chinese documentation provided by the responsible earthquake study commission. The Tangshan earthquake was preceded by more than 2,000 reported animal anomalies, some of which were of very dramatic nature. They are discussed here. Any physical phenomenon, which may cause animal unrest, must involve energy turnover before the main earthquake event. The final product, however, of any energy turnover is heat. Satellite based infrared measurements have indeed identified significant thermal anomalies before major earthquakes. One of these cases, occurring during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat, India, is analyzed together with parallel animal anomalies observed in the Gir national park. It is suggested that the time window is identical and that both phenomena have the same geophysical origin. It therefore remains to be demonstrated that energy can be released locally before major earthquake events. It is shown that by considering appropriate geophysical feedback processes, this is

  14. Mimetic Muscles in a Despotic Macaque (Macaca mulatta) Differ from Those in a Closely Related Tolerant Macaque (M. nigra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burrows, Anne M; Waller, Bridget M; Micheletta, Jérôme

    2016-10-01

    Facial displays (or expressions) are a primary means of visual communication among conspecifics in many mammalian orders. Macaques are an ideal model among primates for investigating the co-evolution of facial musculature, facial displays, and social group size/behavior under the umbrella of "ecomorphology". While all macaque species share some social behaviors, dietary, and ecological parameters, they display a range of social dominance styles from despotic to tolerant. A previous study found a larger repertoire of facial displays in tolerant macaque species relative to despotic species. The present study was designed to further explore this finding by comparing the gross morphological features of mimetic muscles between the Sulawesi macaque (Macaca nigra), a tolerant species, and the rhesus macaque (M. mulatta), a despotic species. Five adult M. nigra heads were dissected and mimetic musculature was compared to those from M. mulatta. Results showed that there was general similarity in muscle presence/absence between the species as well as muscle form except for musculature around the external ear. M. mulatta had more musculature around the external ear than M. nigra. In addition, M. nigra lacked a zygomaticus minor while M. mulatta is reported to have one. These morphological differences match behavioral observations documenting a limited range of ear movements used by M. nigra during facial displays. Future studies focusing on a wider phylogenetic range of macaques with varying dominance styles may further elucidate the roles of phylogeny, ecology, and social variables in the evolution of mimetic muscles within Macaca Anat Rec, 299:1317-1324, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Ligand-regulated peptide aptamers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Russell A

    2009-01-01

    The peptide aptamer approach employs high-throughput selection to identify members of a randomized peptide library displayed from a scaffold protein by virtue of their interaction with a target molecule. Extending this approach, we have developed a peptide aptamer scaffold protein that can impart small-molecule control over the aptamer-target interaction. This ligand-regulated peptide (LiRP) scaffold, consisting of the protein domains FKBP12, FRB, and GST, binds to the cell-permeable small-molecule rapamycin and the binding of this molecule can prevent the interaction of the randomizable linker region connecting FKBP12 with FRB. Here we present a detailed protocol for the creation of a peptide aptamer plasmid library, selection of peptide aptamers using the LiRP scaffold in a yeast two-hybrid system, and the screening of those peptide aptamers for a ligand-regulated interaction.

  16. Biosynthesis of cardiac natriuretic peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Goetze, Jens Peter

    2010-01-01

    Cardiac-derived peptide hormones were identified more than 25 years ago. An astonishing amount of clinical studies have established cardiac natriuretic peptides and their molecular precursors as useful markers of heart disease. In contrast to the clinical applications, the biogenesis of cardiac...... peptides has only been elucidated during the last decade. The cellular synthesis including amino acid modifications and proteolytic cleavages has proven considerably more complex than initially perceived. Consequently, the elimination phase of the peptide products in circulation is not yet well....... An inefficient post-translational prohormone maturation will also affect the biology of the cardiac natriuretic peptide system. This review aims at summarizing the myocardial synthesis of natriuretic peptides focusing on B-type natriuretic peptide, where new data has disclosed cardiac myocytes as highly...

  17. Radiolabelled peptides for oncological diagnosis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Laverman, Peter; Boerman, Otto C.; Oyen, Wim J.G. [Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Nijmegen (Netherlands); Sosabowski, Jane K. [Queen Mary University of London, Centre for Molecular Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, London (United Kingdom)

    2012-02-15

    Radiolabelled receptor-binding peptides targeting receptors (over)expressed on tumour cells are widely under investigation for tumour diagnosis and therapy. The concept of using radiolabelled receptor-binding peptides to target receptor-expressing tissues in vivo has stimulated a large body of research in nuclear medicine. The {sup 111}In-labelled somatostatin analogue octreotide (OctreoScan trademark) is the most successful radiopeptide for tumour imaging, and was the first to be approved for diagnostic use. Based on the success of these studies, other receptor-targeting peptides such as cholecystokinin/gastrin analogues, glucagon-like peptide-1, bombesin (BN), chemokine receptor CXCR4 targeting peptides, and RGD peptides are currently under development or undergoing clinical trials. In this review, we discuss some of these peptides and their analogues, with regard to their potential for radionuclide imaging of tumours. (orig.)

  18. Msx1 and Msx2 are functional interacting partners of T-box factors in the regulation of Connexin43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boogerd, Kees-Jan; Wong, L Y Elaine; Christoffels, Vincent M; Klarenbeek, Meinke; Ruijter, Jan M; Moorman, Antoon F M; Barnett, Phil

    2008-06-01

    T-box factors Tbx2 and Tbx3 play key roles in the development of the cardiac conduction system, atrioventricular canal, and outflow tract of the heart. They regulate the gap-junction-encoding gene Connexin43 (Cx43) and other genes critical for heart development and function. Discovering protein partners of Tbx2 and Tbx3 will shed light on the mechanisms by which these factors regulate these gene programs. Employing an yeast 2-hybrid screen and subsequent in vitro pull-down experiments we demonstrate that muscle segment homeobox genes Msx1 and Msx2 are able to bind the cardiac T-box proteins Tbx2, Tbx3, and Tbx5. This interaction, as that of the related Nkx2.5 protein, is supported by the T-box and homeodomain alone. Overlapping spatiotemporal expression patterns of Msx1 and Msx2 together with the T-box genes during cardiac development in mouse and chicken underscore the biological significance of this interaction. We demonstrate that Msx proteins together with Tbx2 and Tbx3 suppress Cx43 promoter activity and down regulate Cx43 gene activity in a rat heart-derived cell line. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis we demonstrate that Msx1 can bind the Cx43 promoter at a conserved binding site located in close proximity to a previously defined T-box binding site, and that the activity of Msx proteins on this promoter appears dependent in the presence of Tbx3. Msx1 and Msx2 can function in concert with the T-box proteins to suppress Cx43 and other working myocardial genes.

  19. Mixed electrical-chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus are primarily glutamatergic and coupled by connexin-36

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farid eHamzei-Sichani

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Dendrodendritic electrical signaling via gap junctions is now an accepted feature of neuronal communication in the mammalian brain, whereas axodendritic and axosomatic gap junctions have rarely been described. We present ultrastructural, immunocytochemical, and dye-coupling evidence for mixed (electrical/chemical synapses in adult rat hippocampus on both principal cells and interneurons. Thin-section electron microscopic images of small gap junction-like appositions were found at mossy fiber (MF terminals on thorny excrescences of CA3 pyramidal neurons (CA3pyr, apparently forming glutamatergic mixed synapses. Lucifer Yellow injected into four weakly-fixed CA3pyr was detected in MF axons that contacted the injected CA3pyr, supporting gap junction-mediated coupling between those two types of principal cells. Freeze-fracture replica immunogold-labeling revealed diverse sizes and morphologies of connexin36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus. Of 20 immunogold-labeled gap junctions, seven were large (328-1140 connexons, three of which were consistent with electrical synapses between interneurons; but nine were at axon terminal synapses, three of which were immediately adjacent to distinctive glutamate receptor-containing postsynaptic densities, forming mixed glutamatergic synapses. Four others were adjacent to small clusters of immunogold-labeled 10-nm E-face intramembrane particles, apparently representing extrasynaptic glutamate receptor particles. Gap junctions also were on spines in stratum lucidum, stratum oriens, dentate gyrus, and hilus, on both interneurons and unidentified neurons. In addition, one putative GABAergic mixed synapse was found in thin section images of a CA3pyr, but none found by immunogold-labeling were at GABAergic mixed synapses, suggesting their rarity. Cx36-containing gap junctions throughout hippocampus suggest the possibility of reciprocal modulation of electrical and chemical signals in diverse hippocampal

  20. Cardiomyopathy-Associated Gene 1-Sensitive PKC-Dependent Connexin 43 Expression and Phosphorylation in Left Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuanyuan Xie

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background/Aims: Cardiomyopathy-associated gene 1 (CMYA1 plays an important role in embryonic cardiac development, postnatal cardiac remodeling and myocardial injury repair. Abnormal CMYA1 expression may be involved in cardiac dysplasia and primary cardiomyopathy. Our study aims to establish the relationship between CMYA1 and Left ventricular noncompaction cardiomyopathy (LVNC pathogenesis. Methods: We explored the effects of CMYA1 on connexins (Cx, which contribute to gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC, and the underlying signaling pathway in human normal tissues, LVNC myocardial tissues and HL1 cells by means of western blotting, RT-qPCR, immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, co-immunoprecipitation and scrape loading-dye transfer. Results: CMYA1 expression was inversely associated with Cx43 and Cx40 expression, as determined by gap junction PCR array analysis. An increased expression and disordered distribution of CMYA1 at the intercalated discs in LVNC myocardial tissue was also observed. CMYA1 and Cx43 are co-expressed and interact in myocardial cells. CMYA1 expression was positively correlated with p-Cx43 (S368 via the Protein kinase C (PKC signaling pathway in myocardial tissue and HL1 cells. The diffusion distance of Lucifer Yellow in the HL1 cells in which CMYA1 was over-expressed or knocked down was significantly less or more than that of the control group, respectively. Conclusion: Abnormal CMYA1 expression affects the expression and phosphorylation of Cx43 through the PKC signaling pathway, which is involved in the regulation of GJIC. CMYA1 participates in the molecular mechanism of LVNC pathogenesis.

  1. Connexin 43-mediated modulation of polarized cell movement and the directional migration of cardiac neural crest cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Xin; Francis, Richard; Wei, Chih Jen; Linask, Kaari L; Lo, Cecilia W

    2006-09-01

    Connexin 43 knockout (Cx43alpha1KO) mice have conotruncal heart defects that are associated with a reduction in the abundance of cardiac neural crest cells (CNCs) targeted to the heart. In this study, we show CNCs can respond to changing fibronectin matrix density by adjusting their migratory behavior, with directionality increasing and speed decreasing with increasing fibronectin density. However, compared with wild-type CNCs, Cx43alpha1KO CNCs show reduced directionality and speed, while CNCs overexpressing Cx43alpha1 from the CMV43 transgenic mice show increased directionality and speed. Altered integrin signaling was indicated by changes in the distribution of vinculin containing focal contacts, and altered temporal response of Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs to beta1 integrin function blocking antibody treatment. High resolution motion analysis showed Cx43alpha1KO CNCs have increased cell protrusive activity accompanied by the loss of polarized cell movement. They exhibited an unusual polygonal arrangement of actin stress fibers that indicated a profound change in cytoskeletal organization. Semaphorin 3A, a chemorepellent known to inhibit integrin activation, was found to inhibit CNC motility, but in the Cx43alpha1KO and CMV43 CNCs, cell processes failed to retract with semaphorin 3A treatment. Immunohistochemical and biochemical analyses suggested close interactions between Cx43alpha1, vinculin and other actin-binding proteins. However, dye coupling analysis showed no correlation between gap junction communication level and fibronectin plating density. Overall, these findings indicate Cx43alpha1 may have a novel function in mediating crosstalk with cell signaling pathways that regulate polarized cell movement essential for the directional migration of CNCs.

  2. Extracellular gentamicin reduces the activity of connexin hemichannels and interferes with purinergic Ca2+ signaling in HeLa cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Figueroa, Vania A.; Retamal, Mauricio A.; Cea, Luis A.; Salas, José D.; Vargas, Aníbal A.; Verdugo, Christian A.; Jara, Oscar; Martínez, Agustín D.; Sáez, Juan C.

    2014-01-01

    Gap junction channels (GJCs) and hemichannels (HCs) are composed of protein subunits termed connexins (Cxs) and are permeable to ions and small molecules. In most organs, GJCs communicate the cytoplasm of adjacent cells, while HCs communicate the intra and extracellular compartments. In this way, both channel types coordinate physiological responses of cell communities. Cx mutations explain several genetic diseases, including about 50% of autosomal recessive non-syndromic hearing loss. However, the possible involvement of Cxs in the etiology of acquired hearing loss remains virtually unknown. Factors that induce post-lingual hearing loss are diverse, exposure to gentamicin an aminoglycoside antibiotic, being the most common. Gentamicin has been proposed to block GJCs, but its effect on HCs remains unknown. In this work, the effect of gentamicin on the functional state of HCs was studied and its effect on GJCs was reevaluated in HeLa cells stably transfected with Cxs. We focused on Cx26 because it is the main Cx expressed in the cochlea of mammals where it participates in purinergic signaling pathways. We found that gentamicin applied extracellularly reduces the activity of HCs, while dye transfer across GJCs was not affected. HCs were also blocked by streptomycin, another aminoglycoside antibiotic. Gentamicin also reduced the adenosine triphosphate release and the HC-dependent oscillations of cytosolic free-Ca2+ signal. Moreover, gentamicin drastically reduced the Cx26 HC-mediated membrane currents in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Therefore, the extracellular gentamicin-induced inhibition of Cx HCs may adversely affect autocrine and paracrine signaling, including the purinergic one, which might partially explain its ototoxic effects. PMID:25237294

  3. Proinflammatory cytokines downregulate connexin 43-gap junctions via the ubiquitin-proteasome system in rat spinal astrocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fang Fang; Morioka, Norimitsu; Kitamura, Tomoya; Hisaoka-Nakashima, Kazue; Nakata, Yoshihiro

    2015-09-04

    Astrocytic gap junctions formed by connexin 43 (Cx43) are crucial for intercellular communication between spinal cord astrocytes. Various neurological disorders are associated with dysfunctional Cx43-gap junctions. However, the mechanism modulating Cx43-gap junctions in spinal astrocytes under pathological conditions is not entirely clear. A previous study showed that treatment of spinal astrocytes in culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) decreased both Cx43 expression and gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC) via a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)-dependent pathway. The current study further elaborates the intracellular mechanism that decreases Cx43 under an inflammatory condition. Cycloheximide chase analysis revealed that TNF-α (10 ng/ml) alone or in combination with IFN-γ (5 ng/ml) accelerated the degradation of Cx43 protein in cultured spinal astrocytes. The reduction of both Cx43 expression and GJIC induced by a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ were blocked by pretreatment with proteasome inhibitors MG132 (0.5 μM) and epoxomicin (25 nM), a mixture of TNF-α and IFN-γ significantly increased proteasome activity and Cx43 ubiquitination. In addition, TNF-α and IFN-γ-induced activation of ubiquitin-proteasome systems was prevented by SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. Together, these results indicate that a JNK-dependent ubiquitin-proteasome system is induced under an inflammatory condition that disrupts astrocytic gap junction expression and function, leading to astrocytic dysfunction and the maintenance of the neuroinflammatory state. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Gap junction intercellular communication mediated by connexin43 in astrocytes is essential for their resistance to oxidative stress.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Hoa T; Sin, Wun Chey; Lozinsky, Shannon; Bechberger, John; Vega, José Luis; Guo, Xu Qiu; Sáez, Juan C; Naus, Christian C

    2014-01-17

    Oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species (ROS) is associated with various neurological disorders including aging, neurodegenerative diseases, as well as traumatic and ischemic insults. Astrocytes have an important role in the anti-oxidative defense in the brain. The gap junction protein connexin43 (Cx43) forms intercellular channels as well as hemichannels in astrocytes. In the present study, we investigated the contribution of Cx43 to astrocytic death induced by the ROS hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and the mechanism by which Cx43 exerts its effects. Lack of Cx43 expression or blockage of Cx43 channels resulted in increased ROS-induced astrocytic death, supporting a cell protective effect of functional Cx43 channels. H2O2 transiently increased hemichannel activity, but reduced gap junction intercellular communication (GJIC). GJIC in wild-type astrocytes recovered after 7 h, but was absent in Cx43 knock-out astrocytes. Blockage of Cx43 hemichannels incompletely inhibited H2O2-induced hemichannel activity, indicating the presence of other hemichannel proteins. Panx1, which is predicted to be a major hemichannel contributor in astrocytes, did not appear to have any cell protective effect from H2O2 insults. Our data suggest that GJIC is important for Cx43-mediated ROS resistance. In contrast to hypoxia/reoxygenation, H2O2 treatment decreased the ratio of the hypophosphorylated isoform to total Cx43 level. Cx43 has been reported to promote astrocytic death induced by hypoxia/reoxygenation. We therefore speculate the increase in Cx43 dephosphorylation may account for the facilitation of astrocytic death. Our findings suggest that the role of Cx43 in response to cellular stress is dependent on the activation of signaling pathways leading to alteration of Cx43 phosphorylation states.

  5. Additional records and descriptions of the ant-mimetic plant bug genus Pilophorus from Thailand (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Miridae: Phylinae: Pilophorini).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasunaga, Tomohide; Yamada, Kazutaka; Artchawakom, Taksin

    2014-05-09

    Eleven species of the ant-mimetic plant bug genus Pilophorus Hahn from Thailand are documented, with photographic images of live individuals. Four new species with conventional, moderate antlike shape, Pilophorus meteorus, P. saovapruki, P. subparallelus and P. suwimonae, are described. Two known Thai species, P. alstoni Schuh and P. typicus (Distant), are further reported and diagnosed. Biological information including host association is provided for P. alstoni, P. meteorus, P. saovapruki and P. typicus. A checklist of all currently known species of Pilophorus in Thailand and a key to known Thai species are included. Pilophorus typicus is reported from Singapore for the first time.

  6. Peptides derived from the solvent-exposed loops 3 and 4 of BDNF bind TrkB and p75(NTR) receptors and stimulate neurite outgrowth and survival

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fobian, Kristina; Owczarek, Sylwia; Budtz, Christian

    2010-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is critically involved in modeling the developing nervous system and is an important regulator of a variety of crucial functions in the mature CNS. BDNF exerts its action through interactions with two transmembrane receptors, either separately or in concert....... BDNF has been implicated in several neurological disorders, and irregularities in BDNF function may have severe consequences. Administration of BDNF as a drug has thus far yielded few practicable results, and the potential side effects when using a multifunctional protein are substantial. In an effort...... to produce more specific compounds without side effects, small peptides mimicking protein function have been developed. The present study characterized two mimetic peptides, Betrofin 3 and Betrofin 4, derived from the BDNF sequence. Both Betrofins bound the cognate BDNF receptors, TrkB and p75(NTR...

  7. Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehrzad Sadredinamin

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs are extensive group of molecules that produced by variety tissues of invertebrate, plants, and animal species which play an important role in their immunity response. AMPs have different classifications such as; biosynthetic machines, biological sources, biological functions, molecular properties, covalent bonding patterns, three dimensional structures, and molecular targets.These molecules have multidimensional properties including antimicrobial activity, antiviral activity, antifungal activity, anti-parasite activity, biofilm control, antitumor activity, mitogens activity and linking innate to adaptive immunity that making them promising agents for therapeutic drugs. In spite of this advantage of AMPs, their clinical developments have some limitation for commercial development. But some of AMPs are under clinical trials for the therapeutic purpose such as diabetic foot ulcers, different bacterial infections and tissue damage. In this review, we emphasized on the source, structure, multidimensional properties, limitation and therapeutic applications of various antimicrobial peptides.

  8. De novo design of alpha-amylase inhibitor: A small linear mimetic of macromolecular proteinaceous ligands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marešová, Lucie; Pavlík, Manfred; Horn, Martin; Mareš, Michael

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 12 (2005), 1349-1357 ISSN 1074-5521 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GP203/02/P081; GA MŠk(CZ) OC D16.001 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : amylase * peptide inhibitor * combinatorial chemistry Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 6.138, year: 2005

  9. TGF-beta induces connexin43 gene expression in normal murine mammary gland epithelial cells via activation of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tacheau, Charlotte; Fontaine, Juliette; Loy, Jennifer; Mauviel, Alain; Verrecchia, Franck

    2008-12-01

    One of the shared physiological roles between TGF-beta and connexin family members is to inhibit epithelial cell cycle progression and consequently, to provide protection against malignant transformation. Herein, we demonstrated that TGF-beta1 induces the expression of connexin43 (Cx43) in normal murine mammary gland (NMuMG) cell lines at the protein and mRNA levels, and transcriptionally. Using overexpression of a truncated dominant-negative form of Cx43, we determined that the modulation of gap junctional communication by TGF-beta1 plays a key role in the control of NMuMG cells proliferation by TGF-beta1. In addition, using overexpression of truncated dominant-negative forms of either Smad2 or Smad3, and MDA-MB-468 human breast carcinoma cells deficient for Smad4, we determined that the Smad cascade is not implicated in TGF-beta1 effect on Cx43 expression. Using specific pharmacologic inhibitors for JNK, ERK, p38, and PI3K/AKT signaling pathways, we demonstrated the cooperative role of p38 and PI3K/AKT signaling in TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 expression and gap junctional communication. Furthermore, transfection of a c-jun antisense expression vector significantly prevented TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression demonstrating the involvement of c-Jun/AP-1 pathway together with p38 and PI3K/AKT pathways in mediating TGF-beta1-induced Cx43 gene expression.

  10. A Short Peptide That Mimics the Binding Domain of TGF-β1 Presents Potent Anti-Inflammatory Activity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emília R Vaz

    Full Text Available The transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-β1 is a pleiotropic cytokine with multiple roles in development, wound healing, and immune regulation. TGF-β1-mediated immune dysfunction may lead to pathological conditions, such as inflammation. Chronic inflammatory process is characterized by a continuous release of pro-inflammatory cytokines, and the inhibition or the blockage of these cytokines signaling pathways are considered a target treatment. In this context, despite the high numbers of TGF-β-targeted pathways, the inducible regulatory T cells (iTreg to control inflammation seems to be a promising approach. Our aim was to develop novel peptides through phage display (PhD technology that could mimic TGF-β1 function with higher potency. Specific mimetic peptides were obtained through a PhD subtraction strategy from whole cell binding using TGF-β1 recombinant as a competitor during elution step. We have selected a peptide that seems to play an important role on cellular differentiation and modulation of TNF-α and IL-10 cytokines. The synthetic pm26TGF-β1 peptide tested in PBMC significantly down-modulated TNF-α and up-regulated IL-10 responses, leading to regulatory T cells (Treg phenotype differentiation. Furthermore, the synthetic peptide was able to decrease leukocytes rolling in BALB/C mice and neutrophils migration during inflammatory process in C57BL/6 mice. These data suggest that this peptide may be useful for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, especially because it displays potent anti-inflammatory properties and do not exhibit neutrophils' chemoattraction.

  11. Bio-Mimetics of Disaster Anticipation—Learning Experience and Key-Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tributsch, Helmut

    2013-01-01

    Simple Summary Starting from 1700 B.C. in the old world and up to recent times in China there is evidence of earthquake prediction based on unusual metrological phenomena and animal behavior. The review tries to explore the credibility and to pin down the nature of geophysical phenomena involved. It appears that the concept of ancient Greek philosophers in that a dry gas, pneuma is correlated with earthquakes, is relevant. It is not the cause of earthquakes, as originally thought, but may be an accompanying phenomenon and occasional precursor. This would explain unusual animal behavior as well as thermal anomalies detected from satellites. Abstract Anomalies in animal behavior and meteorological phenomena before major earthquakes have been reported throughout history. Bio-mimetics or bionics aims at learning disaster anticipation from animals. Since modern science is reluctant to address this problem an effort has been made to track down the knowledge available to ancient natural philosophers. Starting with an archaeologically documented human sacrifice around 1700 B.C. during the Minoan civilization immediately before a large earthquake, which killed the participants, earthquake prediction knowledge throughout antiquity is evaluated. Major practical experience with this phenomenon has been gained from a Chinese earthquake prediction initiative nearly half a century ago. Some quakes, like that of Haicheng, were recognized in advance. However, the destructive Tangshan earthquake was not predicted, which was interpreted as an inherent failure of prediction based on animal phenomena. This is contradicted on the basis of reliable Chinese documentation provided by the responsible earthquake study commission. The Tangshan earthquake was preceded by more than 2,000 reported animal anomalies, some of which were of very dramatic nature. They are discussed here. Any physical phenomenon, which may cause animal unrest, must involve energy turnover before the main earthquake

  12. Bio-Mimetics of Disaster Anticipation—Learning Experience and Key-Challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helmut Tributsch

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Anomalies in animal behavior and meteorological phenomena before major earthquakes have been reported throughout history. Bio-mimetics or bionics aims at learning disaster anticipation from animals. Since modern science is reluctant to address this problem an effort has been made to track down the knowledge available to ancient natural philosophers. Starting with an archaeologically documented human sacrifice around 1700 B.C. during the Minoan civilization immediately before a large earthquake, which killed the participants, earthquake prediction knowledge throughout antiquity is evaluated. Major practical experience with this phenomenon has been gained from a Chinese earthquake prediction initiative nearly half a century ago. Some quakes, like that of Haicheng, were recognized in advance. However, the destructive Tangshan earthquake was not predicted, which was interpreted as an inherent failure of prediction based on animal phenomena. This is contradicted on the basis of reliable Chinese documentation provided by the responsible earthquake study commission. The Tangshan earthquake was preceded by more than 2,000 reported animal anomalies, some of which were of very dramatic nature. They are discussed here. Any physical phenomenon, which may cause animal unrest, must involve energy turnover before the main earthquake event. The final product, however, of any energy turnover is heat. Satellite based infrared measurements have indeed identified significant thermal anomalies before major earthquakes. One of these cases, occurring during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake in Gujarat, India, is analyzed together with parallel animal anomalies observed in the Gir national park. It is suggested that the time window is identical and that both phenomena have the same geophysical origin. It therefore remains to be demonstrated that energy can be released locally before major earthquake events. It is shown that by considering appropriate geophysical feedback

  13. Therapeutic peptides for cancer therapy. Part II - cell cycle inhibitory peptides and apoptosis-inducing peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raucher, Drazen; Moktan, Shama; Massodi, Iqbal; Bidwell, Gene L

    2009-10-01

    Therapeutic peptides have great potential as anticancer agents owing to their ease of rational design and target specificity. However, their utility in vivo is limited by low stability and poor tumor penetration. The authors review the development of peptide inhibitors with potential for cancer therapy. Peptides that arrest the cell cycle by mimicking CDK inhibitors or induce apoptosis directly are discussed. The authors searched Medline for articles concerning the development of therapeutic peptides and their delivery. Inhibition of cancer cell proliferation directly using peptides that arrest the cell cycle or induce apoptosis is a promising strategy. Peptides can be designed that interact very specifically with cyclins and/or cyclin-dependent kinases and with members of apoptotic cascades. Use of these peptides is not limited by their design, as a rational approach to peptide design is much less challenging than the design of small molecule inhibitors of specific protein-protein interactions. However, the limitations of peptide therapy lie in the poor pharmacokinetic properties of these large, often charged molecules. Therefore, overcoming the drug delivery hurdles could open the door for effective peptide therapy, thus making an entirely new class of molecules useful as anticancer drugs.

  14. Peptides and polypeptides as scaffolds for optoelectronics and biomaterials applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charati, Manoj B.

    Peptides and polypeptides are emerging as a new class of biomaterials due to their unique structural, physiochemical, mechanical, and biological properties. The development of peptide and protein-based biomaterials is driven by the convergence of convenient techniques for peptide/protein engineering and its importance in applications as smart biomaterials. The thesis is divided in two parts; the first part highlights the importance of incorporation of non-natural amino acids into peptides and proteins. In particular, incorporation on p-bromophenylalanine in short alpha-helical peptide templates to control the association of chromophores is discussed. In the second part, design of a multi-component, biocompatible polypeptide with superior elasticity is discussed. Part 1. Novel peptide templates to control association of chromophores. Tailor made peptide and protein materials have many versatile applications, as both conformation and functional group position can be controlled. Such control may have intriguing applications in the development of hybrid materials for electroactive applications. A critical need in fabricating devices from organic semiconducting materials is to achieve control over the conformation and distance between two conjugated chains. Controlling chromophore spacing and orientation with required precision over nanometer length scale poses a greater challenge. Here we propose a peptide based template to control the alignment of the methylstilbene and Oxa-PPV chromophores with desired orientations and spacing. The hybrid peptides were characterized via CD, exciton coupled CD, 1H NMR and photoluminescence experiments. It is observed that slight change in the orientation of molecules has pronounced effect on the photo-physical behavior of the molecules. Characterization of the hybrid peptides via circular dichroism (CD) confirmed the helical character of the designed peptides and indicated that inclusion of non-natural amino acids has significant

  15. Shape-specific nanostructured protein mimics from de novo designed chimeric peptides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Linhai; Yang, Su; Lund, Reidar; Dong, He

    2018-01-30

    Natural proteins self-assemble into highly-ordered nanoscaled architectures to perform specific functions. The intricate functions of proteins have provided great impetus for researchers to develop strategies for designing and engineering synthetic nanostructures as protein mimics. Compared to the success in engineering fibrous protein mimetics, the design of discrete globular protein-like nanostructures has been challenging mainly due to the lack of precise control over geometric packing and intermolecular interactions among synthetic building blocks. In this contribution, we report an effective strategy to construct shape-specific nanostructures based on the self-assembly of chimeric peptides consisting of a coiled coil dimer and a collagen triple helix folding motif. Under salt-free conditions, we showed spontaneous self-assembly of the chimeric peptides into monodisperse, trigonal bipyramidal-like nanoparticles with precise control over the stoichiometry of two folding motifs and the geometrical arrangements relative to one another. Three coiled coil dimers are interdigitated on the equatorial plane while the two collagen triple helices are located in the axial position, perpendicular to the coiled coil plane. A detailed molecular model was proposed and further validated by small angle X-ray scattering experiments and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The results from this study indicated that the molecular folding of each motif within the chimeric peptides and their geometric packing played important roles in the formation of discrete protein-like nanoparticles. The peptide design and self-assembly mechanism may open up new routes for the construction of highly organized, discrete self-assembling protein-like nanostructures with greater levels of control over assembly accuracy.

  16. Design of Decorated Self-Assembling Peptide Hydrogels as Architecture for Mesenchymal Stem Cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annj Zamuner

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogels from self-assembling ionic complementary peptides have been receiving a lot of interest from the scientific community as mimetic of the extracellular matrix that can offer three-dimensional supports for cell growth or can become vehicles for the delivery of stem cells, drugs or bioactive proteins. In order to develop a 3D “architecture” for mesenchymal stem cells, we propose the introduction in the hydrogel of conjugates obtained by chemoselective ligation between a ionic-complementary self-assembling peptide (called EAK and three different bioactive molecules: an adhesive sequence with 4 Glycine-Arginine-Glycine-Aspartic Acid-Serine-Proline (GRGDSP motifs per chain, an adhesive peptide mapped on h-Vitronectin and the growth factor Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1. The mesenchymal stem cell adhesion assays showed a significant increase in adhesion and proliferation for the hydrogels decorated with each of the synthesized conjugates; moreover, such functionalized 3D hydrogels support cell spreading and elongation, validating the use of this class of self-assembly peptides-based material as very promising 3D model scaffolds for cell cultures, at variance of the less realistic 2D ones. Furthermore, small amplitude oscillatory shear tests showed that the presence of IGF-1-conjugate did not alter significantly the viscoelastic properties of the hydrogels even though differences were observed in the nanoscale structure of the scaffolds obtained by changing their composition, ranging from long, well-defined fibers for conjugates with adhesion sequences to the compact and dense film for the IGF-1-conjugate.

  17. Solid-phase peptide synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Knud Jørgen

    2013-01-01

    This chapter provides an introduction to and overview of peptide chemistry with a focus on solid-phase peptide synthesis. The background, the most common reagents, and some mechanisms are presented. This chapter also points to the different chapters and puts them into perspective.......This chapter provides an introduction to and overview of peptide chemistry with a focus on solid-phase peptide synthesis. The background, the most common reagents, and some mechanisms are presented. This chapter also points to the different chapters and puts them into perspective....

  18. Improving Peptide Applications Using Nanotechnology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narayanaswamy, Radhika; Wang, Tao; Torchilin, Vladimir P

    2016-01-01

    Peptides are being successfully used in various fields including therapy and drug delivery. With advancement in nanotechnology and targeted delivery carrier systems, suitable modification of peptides has enabled achievement of many desirable goals over-riding some of the major disadvantages associated with the delivery of peptides in vivo. Conjugation or physical encapsulation of peptides to various nanocarriers, such as liposomes, micelles and solid-lipid nanoparticles, has improved their in vivo performance multi-fold. The amenability of peptides to modification in chemistry and functionalization with suitable nanocarriers are very relevant aspects in their use and have led to the use of 'smart' nanoparticles with suitable linker chemistries that favor peptide targeting or release at the desired sites, minimizing off-target effects. This review focuses on how nanotechnology has been used to improve the number of peptide applications. The paper also focuses on the chemistry behind peptide conjugation to nanocarriers, the commonly employed linker chemistries and the several improvements that have already been achieved in the areas of peptide use with the help of nanotechnology.

  19. Structural and antimicrobial properties of human pre-elafin/trappin-2 and derived peptides against Pseudomonas aeruginosa

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    Gagné Stéphane M

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Pre-elafin/trappin-2 is a human innate defense molecule initially described as a potent inhibitor of neutrophil elastase. The full-length protein as well as the N-terminal "cementoin" and C-terminal "elafin" domains were also shown to possess broad antimicrobial activity, namely against the opportunistic pathogen P. aeruginosa. The mode of action of these peptides has, however, yet to be fully elucidated. Both domains of pre-elafin/trappin-2 are polycationic, but only the structure of the elafin domain is currently known. The aim of the present study was to determine the secondary structures of the cementoin domain and to characterize the antibacterial properties of these peptides against P. aeruginosa. Results We show here that the cementoin domain adopts an α-helical conformation both by circular dichroism and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses in the presence of membrane mimetics, a characteristic shared with a large number of linear polycationic antimicrobial peptides. However, pre-elafin/trappin-2 and its domains display only weak lytic properties, as assessed by scanning electron micrography, outer and inner membrane depolarization studies with P. aeruginosa and leakage of liposome-entrapped calcein. Confocal microscopy of fluorescein-labeled pre-elafin/trappin-2 suggests that this protein possesses the ability to translocate across membranes. This correlates with the finding that pre-elafin/trappin-2 and elafin bind to DNA in vitro and attenuate the expression of some P. aeruginosa virulence factors, namely the biofilm formation and the secretion of pyoverdine. Conclusions The N-terminal cementoin domain adopts α-helical secondary structures in a membrane mimetic environment, which is common in antimicrobial peptides. However, unlike numerous linear polycationic antimicrobial peptides, membrane disruption does not appear to be the main function of either cementoin, elafin or full-length pre-elafin/trappin-2 against

  20. Complex role of connexin 43 in astrocytic tumors and possible promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge (Review).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Hui; Zhou, Xing-Wang; Wang, Xiang; Yang, Yuan; Luo, Jie-Wen; Liu, Yan-Hui; Mao, Qing

    2017-12-01

    Connexin (Cx)43 is a multifunction protein which forms gap junction channels and hemi‑channels. It also contains abundant binding domains which possess the ability to interact with certain Cx43‑associated proteins and therefore serve a fundamental role in various physiological and pathological functions. However, the understanding of the association between cancer and Cx43 along with Cx43‑gap junctions (GJ) remains unclear. All available data illustrate that Cx43 and its associated GJ serve important functions in cancers. The expression levels of Cx43 demonstrate a downward trend and an increase in the levels of malignancy, particularly in astrocytomas. The GJ intercellular communication activity in glioma cells can be adjusted via Cx43 phosphorylation and through the combination of Cx43 and its associated protein. Available evidence reveals Cx43 as a tumor‑inhibiting factor that suppresses glioma growth and proliferation. However, its mechanism is also regarded as complicated and ambiguous. Furthermore, it is apparent that Cx43‑GJ and the carboxyl tail may contribute to glioma growth and proliferation too. However, this valuable role could be weakened by its effects on migration and invasiveness. The detailed mechanism remains unclear and full of controversies. Cx43 can enhance the motor ability and invasiveness of astrocytic glioma cells. It is also able to influence glioma cells to detach from the tumor core to the peritumoral neocortex. This peritumoral region has recently been regarded as the basic focus of glioma‑associated seizure. Thus, Cx43 may take part in the onset and development of glioma‑associated epileptic discharge. In addition, change and increase of Cx43 expression in GJs has been observed in seizure perilesional tissue, which is associated with brain tumors. Cx43 or GJ/hemi‑channels exert enduring effects in the promotion of glioma‑associated epileptic release through direct mass effects and change of the tumor microenvironment

  1. Irradiation-Induced Cardiac Connexin-43 and miR-21 Responses Are Hampered by Treatment with Atorvastatin and Aspirin

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    Csilla Viczenczova

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Radiation of the chest during cancer therapy is deleterious to the heart, mostly due to oxidative stress and inflammation related injury. A single sub-lethal dose of irradiation has been shown to result in compensatory up-regulation of the myocardial connexin-43 (Cx43, activation of the protein kinase C (PKC signaling along with the decline of microRNA (miR-1 and an increase of miR-21 levels in the left ventricle (LV. We investigated whether drugs with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory or vasodilating properties, such as aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil, may affect myocardial response in the LV and right ventricle (RV following chest irradiation. Adult, male Wistar rats were subjected to a single sub-lethal dose of chest radiation at 25 Gy and treated with aspirin (3 mg/day, atorvastatin (0.25 mg/day, and sildenafil (0.3 mg/day for six weeks. Cx43, PKCε and PKCδ proteins expression and levels of miR-1 as well as miR-21 were determined in the LV and RV. Results showed that the suppression of miR-1 was associated with an increase of total and phosphorylated forms of Cx43 as well as PKCε expression in the LV while having no effect in the RV post-irradiation as compared to the non-irradiated rats. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin prevented an increase in the expression of Cx43 and PKCε without change in the miR-1 levels. Furthermore, treatment with aspirin, atorvastatin, and sildenafil completely prevented an increase of miR-21 in the LV while having partial effect in the RV post irradiation. The increase in pro-apoptotic PKCδ was not affected by any of the used treatment. In conclusion, irradiation and drug-induced changes were less pronounced in the RV as compared to the LV. Treatment with aspirin and atorvastatin interfered with irradiation-induced compensatory changes in myocardial Cx43 protein and miR-21 by preventing their elevation, possibly via amelioration of oxidative stress and inflammation.

  2. Impact of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene exposure on connexin gap junction proteins in cultured rat ovaries

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ganesan, Shanthi, E-mail: shanthig@iastate.edu; Keating, Aileen F., E-mail: akeating@iastate.edu

    2014-01-15

    7,12-Dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA) destroys ovarian follicles in a concentration-dependent manner. The impact of DMBA on connexin (CX) proteins that mediate communication between follicular cell types along with pro-apoptotic factors p53 and Bax were investigated. Postnatal day (PND) 4 Fisher 344 rat ovaries were cultured for 4 days in vehicle medium (1% DMSO) followed by a single exposure to vehicle control (1% DMSO) or DMBA (12.5 nM or 75 nM) and cultured for 4 or 8 days. RT-PCR was performed to quantify Cx37, Cx43, p53 and Bax mRNA level. Western blotting and immunofluorescence staining were performed to determine CX37 or CX43 level and/or localization. Cx37 mRNA and protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days of 12.5 nM DMBA exposure. Relative to vehicle control-treated ovaries, mRNA encoding Cx43 decreased (P < 0.05) but CX43 protein increased (P < 0.05) at 4 days by both DMBA exposures. mRNA expression of pro-apoptotic p53 was decreased (P < 0.05) but no changes in Bax expression were observed after 4 days of DMBA exposures. In contrast, after 8 days, DMBA decreased Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein but increased both p53 and Bax mRNA levels. CX43 protein was located between granulosa cells, while CX37 was located at the oocyte cell surface of all follicle stages. These findings support that DMBA exposure impacts ovarian Cx37 and Cx43 mRNA and protein prior to both observed changes in pro-apoptotic p53 and Bax and follicle loss. It is possible that such interference in follicular cell communication is detrimental to follicle viability, and may play a role in DMBA-induced follicular atresia. - Highlights: • DMBA increases Cx37 and Cx43 expression prior to follicle loss. • During follicle loss both Cx37 and Cx43 expressions are reduced. • CX43 protein is absent in follicle remnants lacking an oocyte.

  3. On Biophysical Properties and Sensitivity to Gap Junction Blockers of Connexin 39 Hemichannels Expressed in HeLa Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vargas, Anibal A.; Cisterna, Bruno A.; Saavedra-Leiva, Fujiko; Urrutia, Carolina; Cea, Luis A.; Vielma, Alex H.; Gutierrez-Maldonado, Sebastian E.; Martin, Alberto J. M.; Pareja-Barrueto, Claudia; Escalona, Yerko; Schmachtenberg, Oliver; Lagos, Carlos F.; Perez-Acle, Tomas; Sáez, Juan C.

    2017-01-01

    Although connexins (Cxs) are broadly expressed by cells of mammalian organisms, Cx39 has a very restricted pattern of expression and the biophysical properties of Cx39-based channels [hemichannels (HCs) and gap junction channels (GJCs)] remain largely unknown. Here, we used HeLa cells transfected with Cx39 (HeLa-Cx39 cells) in which intercellular electrical coupling was not detected, indicating the absence of GJCs. However, functional HCs were found on the surface of cells exposed to conditions known to increase the open probability of other Cx HCs (e.g., extracellular divalent cationic-free solution (DCFS), extracellular alkaline pH, mechanical stimulus and depolarization to positive membrane potentials). Cx39 HCs were blocked by some traditional Cx HC blockers, but not by others or a pannexin1 channel blocker. HeLa-Cx39 cells showed similar resting membrane potentials (RMPs) to those of parental cells, and exposure to DCFS reduced RMPs in Cx39 transfectants, but not in parental cells. Under these conditions, unitary events of ~75 pS were frequent in HeLa-Cx39 cells and absent in parental cells. Real-time cellular uptake experiments of dyes with different physicochemical features, as well as the application of a machine-learning approach revealed that Cx39 HCs are preferentially permeable to molecules characterized by six categories of descriptors, namely: (1) electronegativity, (2) ionization potential, (3) polarizability, (4) size and geometry, (5) topological flexibility and (6) valence. However, Cx39 HCs opened by mechanical stimulation or alkaline pH were impermeable to Ca2+. Molecular modeling of Cx39-based channels suggest that a constriction present at the intracellular portion of the para helix region co-localizes with an electronegative patch, imposing an energetic and steric barrier, which in the case of GJCs may hinder channel function. Results reported here demonstrate that Cx39 form HCs and add to our understanding of the functional roles of Cx39 HCs

  4. Argirein alleviates stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism in rats via normalizing testis endothelin receptor A and connexin 43.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Ming; Hu, Chen; Khan, Hussein-hamed; Shi, Fang-hong; Cong, Xiao-dong; Li, Qing; Dai, Yin; Dai, De-zai

    2016-02-01

    Argirein (rhein-arginine) is a derivative of rhein isolated from Chinese rhubarb (Rheum Officinale Baill.) that exhibits antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. In the present study we investigated the effects of argirein on stress-induced (hypergonadotrophic) and diabetic (hypogonadotrophic) hypogonadism in male rats. Stress-induced and diabetic hypogonadism was induced in male rats via injection of isoproterenol (ISO) or streptozotocin (STZ). ISO-injected rats were treated with argirein (30 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or testosterone replacement (0.5 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), sc) for 5 days, and STZ-injected rats were treated with argirein (40-120 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) or aminoguanidine (100 mg·kg(-1)·d(-1), po) for 4 weeks. After the rats were euthanized, blood samples and testes were collected. Serum hormone levels were measured, and the expression of endothelin receptor A (ETA), connexin 43 (Cx43) and other proteins in testes was detected. For in vitro experi