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Sample records for human eosinophil-derived neurotoxin

  1. Molecular cloning of the human eosinophil-derived neurotoxin: A member of the ribonuclease gene family

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenberg, H.F.; Tenen, D.G.; Ackerman, S.J.

    1989-01-01

    The authors have isolated a 725-base-pair cDNA clone for human eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN). EDN is a distinct cationic protein of the eosinophil's large specific granule known primarily for its ability to induce ataxia, paralysis, and central nervous system cellular degeneration in experimental animals (Gordon phenomenon). The open reading frame encodes a 134-amino acid mature polypeptide with a molecular mass of 15.5 kDa and a 27-residue amino-terminal hydrophobic leader sequence. The sequence of the mature polypeptide is identical to that reported for human urinary ribonuclease, and to the amino-terminal sequence of human liver ribonuclease; the cDNA encodes a tryptophan in position 7. Both EDN and the related granule protein, eosinophil cationic protein, have ribonucleolytic activity; sequence similarities among EDN, eosinophil cationic protein, ribonucleases from liver, urine, and pancreas, and angiogenin define a ribonuclease multigene family. mRNA encoding EDN was detected in uninduced HL-60 cells and was up-regulated in cells induced toward eosinophilic differentiation with B-cell growth factor 2/interleukin 5 and toward neutrophilic differentiation with dimethyl sulfoxide. EDN mRNA was detected in mature neutrophils even though EDN-like neurotoxic activity is not found neutrophil extracts. These results suggest that neutrophils contain a protein that is closely related or identical to EDN

  2. Eosinophil protein X/eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EPX/EDN). Detection by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and purification from normal human urine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reimert, C M; Minuva, U; Kharazmi, A

    1991-01-01

    Eosinophil protein X/eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EPX/EDN) is one of the cationic proteins found in the granules of the human eosinophilic granulocytes. EPX was purified from extracts of granules isolated from blood buffy coat cells of healthy donors. Polyclonal anti-EPX antibodies were...

  3. Cyanobacteria, neurotoxins and water resources: are there implications for human neurodegenerative disease?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalf, James S; Codd, Geoffrey A

    2009-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are cosmopolitan microbes that inhabit marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments. Under favourable conditions in waterbodies, they can form massive populations (blooms and scums), which present hazards to human and animal health. Such cyanobacteria often contain a variety of toxic substances (cyanotoxins) that can exist as both cell-associated and free forms in the surrounding water. Some cyanotoxins are highly neurotoxic and act through a variety of mechanisms. Recent findings of the production of the neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) by cyanobacteria in aquatic environments, and of BMAA in brain and cerebrospinal fluid samples of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease victims, raises the possibility that people may be exposed to waterborne BMAA of cyanobacterial origin and that this may contribute to human neurodegenerative disease. An understanding of the risks presented by waterborne BMAA and of available mitigation strategies to reduce this potential exposure is needed.

  4. The Metal Neurotoxins: An Important Role in Current Human Neural Epidemics?

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    Keith Schofield

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Many published studies have illustrated that several of the present day neurological epidemics (autism, attention deficit disorder, Alzheimer’s cannot be correlated to any single neurotoxicant. However, the present scientific examination of the numerous global blood monitoring databases for adults that include the concentrations of the neurotoxic elements, aluminum (Al, arsenic (As, lead (Pb, manganese (Mn, mercury (Hg, and selenium (Se clearly indicate that, when considered in combination, for some, the human body may become easily over-burdened. This can be explained by changes in modern lifestyles. Similar data, solely for pregnant women, have been examined confirming this. All these elements are seen to be present in the human body and at not insignificant magnitudes. Currently suggested minimum risk levels (MRL for humans are discussed and listed together with averages of the reported distributions, together with their spread and maximum values. One observation is that many distributions for pregnant women are not too dissimilar from those of general populations. Women obviously have their individual baseline of neurotoxin values before pregnancy and any efforts to modify this to any significant degree is not yet clearly apparent. For any element, distribution shapes are reasonably similar showing broad distributions with extended tails with numerous outlier values. There are a certain fraction of people that lie well above the MRL values and may be at risk, especially if genetically susceptible. Additionally, synergistic effects between neurotoxins and with other trace metals are now also being reported. It appears prudent for women of child-bearing age to establish their baseline values well before pregnancy. Those at risk then can be better identified. Adequate instrumental testing now is commercially available for this. In addition, directives are necessary for vaccination programs to use only non-neurotoxic adjuvants, especially for

  5. Neutralization of botulinum neurotoxin by a human monoclonal antibody specific for the catalytic light chain.

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    Sharad P Adekar

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are a family of category A select bioterror agents and the most potent biological toxins known. Cloned antibody therapeutics hold considerable promise as BoNT therapeutics, but the therapeutic utility of antibodies that bind the BoNT light chain domain (LC, a metalloprotease that functions in the cytosol of cholinergic neurons, has not been thoroughly explored.We used an optimized hybridoma method to clone a fully human antibody specific for the LC of serotype A BoNT (BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody demonstrated potent in vivo neutralization when administered alone and collaborated with an antibody specific for the HC. In Neuro-2a neuroblastoma cells, the 4LCA antibody prevented the cleavage of the BoNT/A proteolytic target, SNAP-25. Unlike an antibody specific for the HC, the 4LCA antibody did not block entry of BoNT/A into cultured cells. Instead, it was taken up into synaptic vesicles along with BoNT/A. The 4LCA antibody also directly inhibited BoNT/A catalytic activity in vitro.An antibody specific for the BoNT/A LC can potently inhibit BoNT/A in vivo and in vitro, using mechanisms not previously associated with BoNT-neutralizing antibodies. Antibodies specific for BoNT LC may be valuable components of an antibody antidote for BoNT exposure.

  6. Explaining human recreational use of 'pesticides': The neurotoxin regulation model of substance use vs. the hijack model and implications for age and sex differences in drug consumption

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    Edward H Hagen

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Most globally popular drugs are plant neurotoxins or their close chemical analogs. These compounds evolved to deter, not reward or reinforce, consumption. Moreover, they reliably activate virtually all toxin defense mechanisms, and are thus correctly identified by human neurophysiology as toxins. Acute drug toxicity must therefore play a more central role in drug use theory. We accordingly challenge the popular idea that the rewarding and reinforcing properties of drugs "hijack" the brain, and propose instead that the brain evolved to carefully regulate neurotoxin consumption to minimize fitness costs and maximize fitness benefits. This perspective provides a compelling explanation for the dramatic changes in substance use that occur during the transition from childhood to adulthood, and for pervasive sex differences in substance use: because nicotine and many other plant neurotoxins are teratogenic, children, and to a lesser extent women of childbearing age, evolved to avoid ingesting them. However, during the course of human evolution many adolescents and adults reaped net benefits from regulated intake of plant neurotoxins.

  7. Increased levels of SV2A botulinum neurotoxin receptor in clinical sensory disorders and functional effects of botulinum toxins A and E in cultured human sensory neurons

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    Yiangou Y

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Yiangos Yiangou1 Uma Anand1,2, William R. Otto2, Marco Sinisi3, Michael Fox3, Rolfe Birch3 Keith A. Foster4, Gaurav Mukerji1,5, Ayesha Akbar1,6, Sanjiv K. Agarwal5, Praveen Anand11Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London; 2Histopathology Laboratory, Cancer Research UK, London Research Institute, London; 3Peripheral Nerve Injury Unit, Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Stanmore; 4Syntaxin Ltd, Oxford; 5Department of Urology; 6Department of Gastroenterology, Imperial College London, Hammersmith Hospital, London, United Kingdom Background: There is increasing evidence that botulinum neurotoxin A may affect sensory nociceptor fibers, but the expression of its receptors in clinical pain states, and its effects in human sensory neurons, are largely unknown.Methods: We studied synaptic vesicle protein subtype SV2A, a receptor for botulinum neurotoxin A, by immunostaining in a range of clinical tissues, including human dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons, peripheral nerves, the urinary bladder, and the colon. We also determined the effects of botulinum neurotoxins A and E on localization of the capsaicin receptor, TRPV1, and functional sensitivity to capsaicin stimuli in cultured human dorsal root ganglion neurons.Results: Image analysis showed that SV2A immunoreactive nerve fibers were increased in injured nerves proximal to the injury (P = 0.002, and in painful neuromas (P = 0.0027; the ratio of percentage area SV2A to neurofilaments (a structural marker was increased proximal to injury (P = 0.0022 and in neuromas (P = 0.0001, indicating increased SV2A levels in injured nerve fibers. In the urinary bladder, SV2A nerve fibers were found in detrusor muscle and associated with blood vessels, with a significant increase in idiopathic detrusor overactivity (P = 0.002 and painful bladder syndrome (P = 0.0087. Colon biopsies showed numerous SV2A-positive nerve fibers, which were increased in quiescent

  8. Identification and Characterization of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Substrate Binding Pockets and Their Re-Engineering for Human SNAP-23.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sikorra, Stefan; Litschko, Christa; Müller, Carina; Thiel, Nadine; Galli, Thierry; Eichner, Timo; Binz, Thomas

    2016-01-29

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent bacterial proteins that block neurotransmitter release at the neuromuscular junction by cleaving SNAREs (soluble N-ethyl maleimide sensitive factor attachment protein receptors). However, their serotype A (BoNT/A) that cleaves SNAP-25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa) has also been an established pharmaceutical for treatment of medical conditions that rely on hyperactivity of cholinergic nerve terminals for 25 years. The expansion of its use to a variety of further medical conditions associated with hypersecretion components is prevented partly because the involved SNARE isoforms are not cleaved. Therefore, we examined by mutational analyses the reason for the resistance of human SNAP-23, an isoform of SNAP-25. We show that replacement of 10 SNAP-23 residues with their SNAP-25 counterparts effects SNAP-25-like cleavability. Conversely, transfer of each of the replaced SNAP-23 residues to SNAP-25 drastically decreased the cleavability of SNAP-25. By means of the existing SNAP-25-toxin co-crystal structure, molecular dynamics simulations, and corroborative mutagenesis studies, the appropriate binding pockets for these residues in BoNT/A were characterized. Systematic mutagenesis of two major BoNT/A binding pockets was conducted in order to adapt these pockets to corresponding amino acids of human SNAP-23. Human SNAP-23 cleaving mutants were isolated using a newly established yeast-based screening system. This method may be useful for engineering novel BoNT/A pharmaceuticals for the treatment of diseases that rely on SNAP-23-mediated hypersecretion. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Comparison of oral toxicological properties of botulinum neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the foodborne intoxications in humans. BoNTs in nature are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins known as neurotoxin-associated ...

  10. Neurotoxins in a water supply reservoir: An alert to environmental and human health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calado, Sabrina Loise de Morais; Wojciechowski, Juliana; Santos, Gustavo Souza; Magalhães, Valéria Freitas de; Padial, André Andrian; Cestari, Marta Margarete; Silva de Assis, Helena Cristina da

    2017-02-01

    Reservoirs are important source of power generation, recreation, and water supply. Nevertheless, human activities have favored the bloom of toxic cyanobacteria in many reservoirs, which has resulted in environmental, social, and economic problems. This study aims to evaluate the water quality of a reservoir in South Brazil through the analysis of cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins PSTs (Paralytic Shellfish Toxins) and biomarkers of environmental contamination in fish. For this purpose, water samples and fish (Geophagus brasiliensis) (Perciformes: Cichlidae) were collected from September 2013 to May 2014. The fish G. brasiliensis were separated in two groups. The first one "site group" was euthanized after the sampling and their weight and length were measured. The blood, brain, muscle and liver were collected for chemical, biochemical and genetics biomarkers analysis. The second group "depuration group" was submitted to depuration experiment for 40 days in clean water. After that, the same procedures as for the first group were carried out. Cylindrospermopsis raciborskii was the dominant cyanobacteria found in the reservoir, and it showed a density above the recommended limit by Brazilian legislation of 20,000 cells/mL. Results showed that the fish accumulate PSTs in the Reservoir and these were not eliminated after 40 days. The biochemical and genotoxic biomarkers showed a significant difference between "site groups" and "depuration groups", which suggests a recovery of the antioxidant system and a reduction of cellular damage after 40 days in clean water. In conjunction with results reported earlier by others, Alagados Reservoir, in South Brazil, appears to have a persistent contamination of cyanotoxins. Moreover, the mixture of contaminants which may be present in the water body can explain the seasonal differences in fish at the sampled points. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Ophiophagus hannah Venom: Proteome, Components Bound by Naja kaouthia Antivenin and Neutralization by N. kaouthia Neurotoxin-Specific Human ScFv

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    Witchuda Danpaiboon

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5’-nucleotidase. N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins.

  12. Ophiophagus hannah venom: proteome, components bound by Naja kaouthia antivenin and neutralization by N. kaouthia neurotoxin-specific human ScFv.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danpaiboon, Witchuda; Reamtong, Onrapak; Sookrung, Nitat; Seesuay, Watee; Sakolvaree, Yuwaporn; Thanongsaksrikul, Jeeraphong; Dong-din-on, Fonthip; Srimanote, Potjanee; Thueng-in, Kanyarat; Chaicumpa, Wanpen

    2014-05-13

    Venomous snakebites are an important health problem in tropical and subtropical countries. King cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) is the largest venomous snake found in South and Southeast Asia. In this study, the O. hannah venom proteome and the venom components cross-reactive to N. kaouthia monospecific antivenin were studied. O. hannah venom consisted of 14 different protein families, including three finger toxins, phospholipases, cysteine-rich secretory proteins, cobra venom factor, muscarinic toxin, L-amino acid oxidase, hypothetical proteins, low cysteine protein, phosphodiesterase, proteases, vespryn toxin, Kunitz, growth factor activators and others (coagulation factor, endonuclease, 5'-nucleotidase). N. kaouthia antivenin recognized several functionally different O. hannah venom proteins and mediated paratherapeutic efficacy by rescuing the O. hannah envenomed mice from lethality. An engineered human ScFv specific to N. kaouthia long neurotoxin (NkLN-HuScFv) cross-neutralized the O. hannah venom and extricated the O. hannah envenomed mice from death in a dose escalation manner. Homology modeling and molecular docking revealed that NkLN-HuScFv interacted with residues in loops 2 and 3 of the neurotoxins of both snake species, which are important for neuronal acetylcholine receptor binding. The data of this study are useful for snakebite treatment when and where the polyspecific antivenin is not available. Because the supply of horse-derived antivenin is limited and the preparation may cause some adverse effects in recipients, a cocktail of recombinant human ScFvs for various toxic venom components shared by different venomous snakes, exemplified by the in vitro produced NkLN-HuScFv in this study, should contribute to a possible future route for an improved alternative to the antivenins.

  13. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injections

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... botulinum neurotoxin as much art as it is science. It is in your best interest to locate the most well-trained and experienced doctor you can find. Before making an appointment to receive botulinum neuro toxin injections, ask the office personnel which doctor ...

  14. Antipruritic effects of botulinum neurotoxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gazerani, Parisa

    2018-01-01

    This review explores current evidence to demonstrate that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exert antipruritic effects. Both experimental and clinical conditions in which botulinum neurotoxins have been applied for pruritus relief will be presented and significant findings will be highlighted. Potent....... Potential mechanisms underlying antipruritic effects will also be discussed and ongoing challenges and unmet needs will be addressed.......This review explores current evidence to demonstrate that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) exert antipruritic effects. Both experimental and clinical conditions in which botulinum neurotoxins have been applied for pruritus relief will be presented and significant findings will be highlighted...

  15. Crystal Structure of Botulinum Neurotoxin A2 in Complex with the Human Protein Receptor SV2C Reveals Plasticity in Receptor Binding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Gustafsson

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are a family of highly dangerous bacterial toxins, with seven major serotypes (BoNT/A-G. Members of BoNTs, BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B1, have been utilized to treat an increasing number of medical conditions. The clinical trials are ongoing for BoNT/A2, another subtype of BoNT/A, which showed promising therapeutic properties. Both BoNT/A1 and BoNT/A2 utilize three isoforms of synaptic vesicle protein SV2 (SV2A, B, and C as their protein receptors. We here present a high resolution (2.0 Å co-crystal structure of the BoNT/A2 receptor-binding domain in complex with the human SV2C luminal domain. The structure is similar to previously reported BoNT/A-SV2C complexes, but a shift of the receptor-binding segment in BoNT/A2 rotates SV2C in two dimensions giving insight into the dynamic behavior of the interaction. Small differences in key residues at the binding interface may influence the binding to different SV2 isoforms, which may contribute to the differences between BoNT/A1 and BoNT/A2 observed in the clinic.

  16. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    SWAMINATHAN, S.; ESWARAMOORTHY, S.

    2001-01-01

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases[1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD(sub 50) for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg(sup -1)[2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and(gamma)-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization[3

  17. CRYSTAL STRUCTURE OF CLOSTRIDIUM BOTULINUM NEUROTOXIN SEROTYPE B.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    SWAMINATHAN,S.; ESWARAMOORTHY,S.

    2001-11-19

    The toxigenic strains of Clostridium botulinum produce seven serologically distinct types of neurotoxins labeled A - G (EC 3.4.24.69), while Clostridium tetani produces tetanus neurotoxin (EC 3.4.24.68). Botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins (BoNTs and TeNT) are produced as single inactive chains of molecular mass of approximately 150 kDa. Most of these neurotoxins are released after being cleaved into two chains, a heavy chain (HI) of 100 kDa and a light chain (L) of 50 kDa held together by an interchain disulfide bond, by tissue proteinases. BoNT/E is released as a single chain but cleaved by host proteinases [1]. Clostvidium botulinum neurotoxins are extremely poisonous proteins with their LD{sub 50} for humans in the range of 0.1 - 1 ng kg{sup -1} [2]. Botulinum neurotoxins are responsible for neuroparalytic syndromes of botulism characterized by serious neurological disorders and flaccid paralysis. BoNTs block the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction causing flaccid paralysis while TeNT blocks the release of neurotransmitters like glycine and {gamma}-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the inhibitory interneurons of the spinal cord resulting in spastic paralysis. In spite of different clinical symptoms, their aetiological agents intoxicate neuronal cells in the same way and these toxins have similar structural organization [3].

  18. Phosphatase Inhibitors Function as Novel, Broad Spectrum Botulinum Neurotoxin Antagonists in Mouse and Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Motor Neuron-Based Assays.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erkan Kiris

    Full Text Available There is an urgent need to develop novel treatments to counter Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT poisoning. Currently, the majority of BoNT drug development efforts focus on directly inhibiting the proteolytic components of BoNT, i.e. light chains (LC. Although this is a rational approach, previous research has shown that LCs are extremely difficult drug targets and that inhibiting multi-serotype BoNTs with a single LC inhibitor may not be feasible. An alternative approach would target neuronal pathways involved in intoxication/recovery, rather than the LC itself. Phosphorylation-related mechanisms have been implicated in the intoxication pathway(s of BoNTs. However, the effects of phosphatase inhibitors upon BoNT activity in the physiological target of BoNTs, i.e. motor neurons, have not been investigated. In this study, a small library of phosphatase inhibitors was screened for BoNT antagonism in the context of mouse embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons (ES-MNs. Four inhibitors were found to function as BoNT/A antagonists. Subsequently, we confirmed that these inhibitors protect against BoNT/A in a dose-dependent manner in human ES-MNs. Additionally, these compounds provide protection when administered in post-intoxication scenario. Importantly, the inhibitors were also effective against BoNT serotypes B and E. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study showing phosphatase inhibitors as broad-spectrum BoNT antagonists.

  19. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2002-01-01

    The toxicity of chemically reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to make a significant contribution to the death of nerve cells caused by many neurotoxins as well as in stroke and Parkinson's disease...

  20. Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review

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    Da-Zhi Wang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Dinoflagellates are not only important marine primary producers and grazers, but also the major causative agents of harmful algal blooms. It has been reported that many dinoflagellate species can produce various natural toxins. These toxins can be extremely toxic and many of them are effective at far lower dosages than conventional chemical agents. Consumption of seafood contaminated by algal toxins results in various seafood poisoning syndromes: paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning (NSP, amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP, diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP, ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP and azaspiracid shellfish poisoning (ASP. Most of these poisonings are caused by neurotoxins which present themselves with highly specific effects on the nervous system of animals, including humans, by interfering with nerve impulse transmission. Neurotoxins are a varied group of compounds, both chemically and pharmacologically. They vary in both chemical structure and mechanism of action, and produce very distinct biological effects, which provides a potential application of these toxins in pharmacology and toxicology. This review summarizes the origin, structure and clinical symptoms of PSP, NSP, CFP, AZP, yessotoxin and palytoxin produced by marine dinoflagellates, as well as their molecular mechanisms of action on voltage-gated ion channels.

  1. Expression and functional roles of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) in human eosinophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tamaki, Mami; Konno, Yasunori; Kobayashi, Yoshiki; Takeda, Masahide; Itoga, Masamichi; Moritoki, Yuki; Oyamada, Hajime; Kayaba, Hiroyuki; Chihara, Junichi; Ueki, Shigeharu

    2014-07-01

    Sexual dimorphism in asthma links the estrogen and allergic immune responses. The function of estrogen was classically believed to be mediated through its nuclear receptors, i.e., estrogen receptors (ERs). However, recent studies established the important roles of G-protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER/GPR30) as a novel membrane receptor for estrogen. To date, the role of GPER in allergic inflammation is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to examine whether GPER might affect the functions of eosinophils, which play an important role in the pathogenesis of asthma. Here, we demonstrated that GPER was expressed in purified human peripheral blood eosinophils both at the mRNA and protein levels. Although GPER agonist G-1 did not induce eosinophil chemotaxis or chemokinesis, preincubation with G-1 enhanced eotaxin (CCL11)-directed eosinophil chemotaxis. G-1 inhibited eosinophil spontaneous apoptosis and caspase-3 activities. The anti-apoptotic effect was not affected by the cAMP-phospodiesterase inhibitor rolipram or phosphoinositide 3-kinase inhibitors. In contrast to resting eosinophils, G-1 induced apoptosis and increased caspase-3 activities when eosinophils were co-stimulated with IL-5. No effect of G-1 was observed on eosinophil degranulation in terms of release of eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN). The current study indicates the functional capacities of GPER on human eosinophils and also provides the previously unrecognized mechanisms of interaction between estrogen and allergic inflammation. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. What is the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2014-06-01

    Aluminium is neurotoxic. Its free ion, Al(3+) (aq), is highly biologically reactive and uniquely equipped to do damage to essential cellular (neuronal) biochemistry. This unequivocal fact must be the starting point in examining the risk posed by aluminium as a neurotoxin in humans. Aluminium is present in the human brain and it accumulates with age. The most recent research demonstrates that a significant proportion of individuals older than 70 years of age have a potentially pathological accumulation of aluminium somewhere in their brain. What are the symptoms of chronic aluminium intoxication in humans? What if neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease are the manifestation of the risk of aluminium as a neurotoxin? How might such an (outrageous) hypothesis be tested?

  3. Novel Botulinum Neurotoxins: Exploring Underneath the Iceberg Tip.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tehran, Domenico Azarnia; Pirazzini, Marco

    2018-05-10

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), the etiological agents of botulism, are the deadliest toxins known to humans. Yet, thanks to their biological and toxicological features, BoNTs have become sophisticated tools to study neuronal physiology and valuable therapeutics for an increasing number of human disorders. BoNTs are produced by multiple bacteria of the genus Clostridium and, on the basis of their different immunological properties, were classified as seven distinct types of toxin. BoNT classification remained stagnant for the last 50 years until, via bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing techniques, dozens of BoNT variants, novel serotypes as well as BoNT-like toxins within non-clostridial species have been discovered. Here, we discuss how the now “booming field” of botulinum neurotoxin may shed light on their evolutionary origin and open exciting avenues for future therapeutic applications.

  4. Novel Botulinum Neurotoxins: Exploring Underneath the Iceberg Tip

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Domenico Azarnia Tehran

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, the etiological agents of botulism, are the deadliest toxins known to humans. Yet, thanks to their biological and toxicological features, BoNTs have become sophisticated tools to study neuronal physiology and valuable therapeutics for an increasing number of human disorders. BoNTs are produced by multiple bacteria of the genus Clostridium and, on the basis of their different immunological properties, were classified as seven distinct types of toxin. BoNT classification remained stagnant for the last 50 years until, via bioinformatics and high-throughput sequencing techniques, dozens of BoNT variants, novel serotypes as well as BoNT-like toxins within non-clostridial species have been discovered. Here, we discuss how the now “booming field” of botulinum neurotoxin may shed light on their evolutionary origin and open exciting avenues for future therapeutic applications.

  5. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins (Addendum)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2003-01-01

    The toxicity of chemically reactive oxygen species (ROS) is thought to make a significant contribution to the death of nerve cells caused by many neurotoxins as well as in stroke and Parkinson's disease...

  6. Molecular Analysis of Neurotoxin-Induced Apoptosis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    D'Mello, Santosh R

    2006-01-01

    Apoptosis is a cell-suicide process that is required for the normal development of the nervous system, but that can be aberrantly activated in neurodegenerative diseases and following exposure to neurotoxins...

  7. Protein Receptor(s) of Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    therapeutic agent, which is a more effective drug in this form than the pure BoNT (12). Again, the molecular basis of the superior therapeutic efficacy of...neurotoxin B, Nat Struct Biol 7, 693-699 36. Hanson, M. A. and Stevens, R. C. (2000) Cocrystal structure of synaptobrevin-II bound to botulinum...designing novel drugs , Biochimie 82 (2000) 943-53. 21. L.A. Smith, Development of recombinant vaccines for botulinum neurotoxin, Toxicon 36 (1998) 539

  8. Fetal Exposure to Environmental Neurotoxins in Taiwan

    OpenAIRE

    Jiang, Chuen-Bin; Hsi, Hsing-Cheng; Fan, Chun-Hua; Chien, Ling-Chu

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) are recognized neurotoxins in children that particularly affect neurodevelopment and intellectual performance. Based on the hypothesis that the fetal basis of adult disease is fetal toxic exposure that results in adverse outcomes in adulthood, we explored the concentrations of key neurotoxins (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd, and As) in meconium to identify the risk factors associated with these concentrations. From January 2007 to December 2009, 545 m...

  9. Comparison of Toxicological Properties of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes A and B in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most toxic biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the human foodborne intoxications. In this study, we compared the toxicological properties of BoNT serotype A and B holotoxins and compl...

  10. Molecular immune recognition of botulinum neurotoxin B. The light chain regions that bind human blocking antibodies from toxin-treated cervical dystonia patients. Antigenic structure of the entire BoNT/B molecule.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atassi, M Zouhair; Jankovic, Joseph; Steward, Lance E; Aoki, K Roger; Dolimbek, Behzod Z

    2012-01-01

    We recently mapped the regions on the heavy (H) chain of botulinum neurotoxin, type B (BoNT/B) recognized by blocking antibodies (Abs) from cervical dystonia (CD) patients who develop immunoresistance during toxin treatment. Since blocking could also be effected by Abs directed against regions on the light (L) chain, we have mapped here the L chain, using the same 30 CD antisera. We synthesized, purified and characterized 32 19-residue L chain peptides that overlapped successively by 5 residues (peptide L32 overlapped with peptide N1 of the H chain by 12 residues). In a given patient, Abs against the L chain seemed less intense than those against H chain. Most sera recognized a limited set of L chain peptides. The levels of Abs against a given region varied with the patient, consistent with immune responses to each epitope being under separate MHC control. The peptides most frequently recognized were: L13, by 30 of 30 antisera (100%); L22, by 23 of 30 (76.67%); L19, by 15 of 30 (50.00%); L26, by 11 of 30 (36.70%); and L14, by 12 of 30 (40.00%). The activity of L14 probably derives from its overlap with L13. The levels of Ab binding decreased in the following order: L13 (residues 169-187), L22 (295-313), L19 (253-271), and L26 (351-369). Peptides L12 (155-173), L18 (239-257), L15 (197-215), L1 (1-19) and L23 (309-327) exhibited very low Ab binding. The remaining peptides had little or no Ab-binding activity. The antigenic regions are analyzed in terms of their three-dimensional locations and the enzyme active site. With the previous localization of the antigenic regions on the BoNT/B H chain, the human Ab recognition of the entire BoNT/B molecule is presented and compared to the recognition of BoNT/A by human blocking Abs. Copyright © 2011. Published by Elsevier GmbH.

  11. A monoclonal antibody based capture ELISA for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B: toxin detection in food

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalyic disease caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We repo...

  12. Inhibiting oral intoxication of botulinum neurotoxin A by carbohydrate receptor mimics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism manifested by flaccid paralysis that could be fatal to humans and animals. Oral ingestion of the toxin with contaminated food is one of the most common routes of BoNT intoxication, where BoNT assembles with several auxiliary proteins to surviv...

  13. Molecular structures and functional relationships in clostridial neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2011-12-01

    The seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (A-G) are the deadliest poison known to humans. They share significant sequence homology and hence possess similar structure-function relationships. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) act via a four-step mechanism, viz., binding and internalization to neuronal cells, translocation of the catalytic domain into the cytosol and finally cleavage of one of the three soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptors (SNARE) causing blockage of neurotransmitter release leading to flaccid paralysis. Crystal structures of three holotoxins, BoNT/A, B and E, are available to date. Although the individual domains are remarkably similar, their domain organization is different. These structures have helped in correlating the structural and functional domains. This has led to the determination of structures of individual domains and combinations of them. Crystal structures of catalytic domains of all serotypes and several binding domains are now available. The catalytic domains are zinc endopeptidases and share significant sequence and structural homology. The active site architecture and the catalytic mechanism are similar although the binding mode of individual substrates may be different, dictating substrate specificity and peptide cleavage selectivity. Crystal structures of catalytic domains with substrate peptides provide clues to specificity and selectivity unique to BoNTs. Crystal structures of the receptor domain in complex with ganglioside or the protein receptor have provided information about the binding of botulinum neurotoxin to the neuronal cell. An overview of the structure-function relationship correlating the 3D structures with biochemical and biophysical data and how they can be used for structure-based drug discovery is presented here. Journal compilation © 2011 FEBS. No claim to original US government works.

  14. The neurotoxin BMAA in aquatic systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.

    2016-01-01

    Eutrophication is a major water quality issue and in many aquatic systems, it leads to the proliferation of toxic phytoplankton species. The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is one of the compounds that can be present in phytoplankton. BMAA has been suggested to play a role in

  15. Fetal exposure to environmental neurotoxins in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Chuen-Bin; Hsi, Hsing-Cheng; Fan, Chun-Hua; Chien, Ling-Chu

    2014-01-01

    Mercury (Hg), lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd), and arsenic (As) are recognized neurotoxins in children that particularly affect neurodevelopment and intellectual performance. Based on the hypothesis that the fetal basis of adult disease is fetal toxic exposure that results in adverse outcomes in adulthood, we explored the concentrations of key neurotoxins (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd, and As) in meconium to identify the risk factors associated with these concentrations. From January 2007 to December 2009, 545 mother-infant pairs were recruited. The geometric mean concentrations of Pb and As in the meconium of babies of foreign-born mothers (22.9 and 38.1 µg/kg dry weight, respectively) were significantly greater than those of babies of Taiwan-born mothers (17.5 and 33.0 µg/kg dry weight, respectively). Maternal age (≥30 y), maternal education, use of traditional Chinese herbs during pregnancy, and fish cutlet consumption (≥3 meals/wk) were risk factors associated with concentrations of key prenatal neurotoxins. The Taiwan government should focus more attention on providing intervention programs for immigrant mothers to help protect the health of unborn babies. Further investigation on how multiple neurotoxins influence prenatal neurodevelopment is warranted.

  16. Fetal exposure to environmental neurotoxins in Taiwan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chuen-Bin Jiang

    Full Text Available Mercury (Hg, lead (Pb, cadmium (Cd, and arsenic (As are recognized neurotoxins in children that particularly affect neurodevelopment and intellectual performance. Based on the hypothesis that the fetal basis of adult disease is fetal toxic exposure that results in adverse outcomes in adulthood, we explored the concentrations of key neurotoxins (i.e., Hg, Pb, Cd, and As in meconium to identify the risk factors associated with these concentrations. From January 2007 to December 2009, 545 mother-infant pairs were recruited. The geometric mean concentrations of Pb and As in the meconium of babies of foreign-born mothers (22.9 and 38.1 µg/kg dry weight, respectively were significantly greater than those of babies of Taiwan-born mothers (17.5 and 33.0 µg/kg dry weight, respectively. Maternal age (≥30 y, maternal education, use of traditional Chinese herbs during pregnancy, and fish cutlet consumption (≥3 meals/wk were risk factors associated with concentrations of key prenatal neurotoxins. The Taiwan government should focus more attention on providing intervention programs for immigrant mothers to help protect the health of unborn babies. Further investigation on how multiple neurotoxins influence prenatal neurodevelopment is warranted.

  17. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature

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    Michael W. Peck

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and more than 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surrounding these neurotoxins. Worldwide, researchers are faced with the possibility that toxins having identical sequences may be given different designations or novel toxins having unique sequences may be given the same designations on publication. In order to minimize these problems, an ad hoc committee consisting of over 20 researchers in the field of botulinum neurotoxin research was convened to discuss the clarification of the issues involved in botulinum neurotoxin nomenclature. This publication presents a historical overview of the issues and provides guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature in the future.

  18. Therapeutic applications of botulinum neurotoxins in head and neck disorders

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    Ahmad Alshadwi

    2015-01-01

    Conclusion: Botulinum neurotoxin therapy provides viable alternatives to traditional treatment modalities for some conditions affecting the head and neck region that have neurological components. This therapy can overcome some of the morbidities associated with conventional therapy. More research is needed to determine the ideal doses of botulinum neurotoxin to treat different diseases affecting the head and neck regions.

  19. Genetic Diversity Among Botulinum Neurotoxin Producing Clostridial Strains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, K K; Smith, T J; Helma, C H; Ticknor, L O; Foley, B T; Svennson, R T; Brown, J L; Johnson, E A; Smith, L A; Okinaka, R T; Jackson, P J; Marks, J D

    2006-07-06

    Clostridium botulinum is a taxonomic designation for many diverse anaerobic spore forming rod-shaped bacteria which have the common property of producing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). The BoNTs are exoneurotoxins that can cause severe paralysis and even death in humans and various other animal species. A collection of 174 C. botulinum strains were examined by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis and by sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and BoNT genes to examine genetic diversity within this species. This collection contained representatives of each of the seven different serotypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT A-G). Analysis of the16S rRNA sequences confirmed earlier reports of at least four distinct genomic backgrounds (Groups I-IV) each of which has independently acquired one or more BoNT serotypes through horizontal gene transfer. AFLP analysis provided higher resolution, and can be used to further subdivide the four groups into sub-groups. Sequencing of the BoNT genes from serotypes A, B and E in multiple strains confirmed significant sequence variation within each serotype. Four distinct lineages within each of the BoNT A and B serotypes, and five distinct lineages of serotype E strains were identified. The nucleotide sequences of the seven serotypes of BoNT were compared and show varying degrees of interrelatedness and recombination as has been previously noted for the NTNH gene which is linked to BoNT. These analyses contribute to the understanding of the evolution and phylogeny within this species and assist in the development of improved diagnostics and therapeutics for treatment of botulism.

  20. Differentiating Botulinum Neurotoxin-Producing Clostridia with a Simple, Multiplex PCR Assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Charles H D; Vazquez, Adam J; Hill, Karen; Smith, Theresa J; Nottingham, Roxanne; Stone, Nathan E; Sobek, Colin J; Cocking, Jill H; Fernández, Rafael A; Caballero, Patricia A; Leiser, Owen P; Keim, Paul; Sahl, Jason W

    2017-09-15

    Diverse members of the genus Clostridium produce botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which cause a flaccid paralysis known as botulism. While multiple species of clostridia produce BoNTs, the majority of human botulism cases have been attributed to Clostridium botulinum groups I and II. Recent comparative genomic studies have demonstrated the genomic diversity within these BoNT-producing species. This report introduces a multiplex PCR assay for differentiating members of C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Coding region sequences unique to each of the four species/subgroups were identified by in silico analyses of thousands of genome assemblies, and PCR primers were designed to amplify each marker. The resulting multiplex PCR assay correctly assigned 41 tested isolates to the appropriate species or subgroup. A separate PCR assay to determine the presence of the ntnh gene (a gene associated with the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster) was developed and validated. The ntnh gene PCR assay provides information about the presence or absence of the botulinum neurotoxin gene cluster and the type of gene cluster present ( ha positive [ ha + ] or orfX + ). The increased availability of whole-genome sequence data and comparative genomic tools enabled the design of these assays, which provide valuable information for characterizing BoNT-producing clostridia. The PCR assays are rapid, inexpensive tests that can be applied to a variety of sample types to assign isolates to species/subgroups and to detect clostridia with botulinum neurotoxin gene ( bont ) clusters. IMPORTANCE Diverse clostridia produce the botulinum neurotoxin, one of the most potent known neurotoxins. In this study, a multiplex PCR assay was developed to differentiate clostridia that are most commonly isolated in connection with human botulism cases: C. botulinum group I, C. sporogenes , and two major subgroups within C. botulinum group II. Since Bo

  1. Tetrodotoxin, an Extremely Potent Marine Neurotoxin: Distribution, Toxicity, Origin and Therapeutical Uses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Lago

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Tetrodotoxin (TTX is a potent neurotoxin responsible for many human intoxications and fatalities each year. The origin of TTX is unknown, but in the pufferfish, it seems to be produced by endosymbiotic bacteria that often seem to be passed down the food chain. The ingestion of contaminated pufferfish, considered the most delicious fish in Japan, is the usual route of toxicity. This neurotoxin, reported as a threat to human health in Asian countries, has spread to the Pacific and Mediterranean, due to the increase of temperature waters worldwide. TTX, for which there is no known antidote, inhibits sodium channel producing heart failure in many cases and consequently death. In Japan, a regulatory limit of 2 mg eq TTX/kg was established, although the restaurant preparation of “fugu” is strictly controlled by law and only chefs qualified are allowed to prepare the fish. Due to its paralysis effect, this neurotoxin could be used in the medical field as an analgesic to treat some cancer pains.

  2. On the translocation of botulinum and tetanus neurotoxins across the membrane of acidic intracellular compartments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Leka, Oneda; Zanetti, Giulia; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2016-03-01

    Tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and are the most poisonous toxins known, with 50% mouse lethal dose comprised within the range of 0.1-few nanograms per Kg, depending on the individual toxin. Botulinum neurotoxins are similarly toxic to humans and can therefore be considered for potential use in bioterrorism. At the same time, their neurospecificity and reversibility of action make them excellent therapeutics for a growing and heterogeneous number of human diseases that are characterized by a hyperactivity of peripheral nerve terminals. The complete crystallographic structure is available for some botulinum toxins, and reveals that they consist of four domains functionally related to the four steps of their mechanism of neuron intoxication: 1) binding to specific receptors of the presynaptic membrane; 2) internalization via endocytic vesicles; 3) translocation across the membrane of endocytic vesicles into the neuronal cytosol; 4) catalytic activity of the enzymatic moiety directed towards the SNARE proteins. Despite the many advances in understanding the structure-mechanism relationship of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins, the molecular events involved in the translocation step have been only partially elucidated. Here we will review recent advances that have provided relevant insights on the process and discuss possible models that can be experimentally tested. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pore-Forming Toxins edited by Mauro Dalla Serra and Franco Gambale. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Ultrasound Guidance for Botulinum Neurotoxin Chemodenervation Procedures

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    Katharine E. Alter

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Injections of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are prescribed by clinicians for a variety of disorders that cause over-activity of muscles; glands; pain and other structures. Accurately targeting the structure for injection is one of the principle goals when performing BoNTs procedures. Traditionally; injections have been guided by anatomic landmarks; palpation; range of motion; electromyography or electrical stimulation. Ultrasound (US based imaging based guidance overcomes some of the limitations of traditional techniques. US and/or US combined with traditional guidance techniques is utilized and or recommended by many expert clinicians; authors and in practice guidelines by professional academies. This article reviews the advantages and disadvantages of available guidance techniques including US as well as technical aspects of US guidance and a focused literature review related to US guidance for chemodenervation procedures including BoNTs injection.

  4. RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janardhanan, Pavithra; Mello, Charlene M; Singh, Bal Ram; Lou, Jianlong; Marks, James D; Cai, Shuowei

    2013-12-15

    A surface plasmon resonance based RNA aptasensor for rapid detection of natively folded type A botulinum neurotoxin is reported. Using detoxified recombinant type A botulinum neurotoxin as the surrogate, the aptasensor detects active toxin within 90 min. The detection limit of the aptasensor in phosphate buffered saline, carrot juice, and fat free milk is 5.8 ng/ml, 20.3 ng/ml and 23.4 ng/ml, respectively, while that in 5-fold diluted human serum is 22.5 ng/ml. Recovery of toxin from disparate sample matrices are within 91-116%. Most significant is the ability of this aptasensor to effectively differentiate the natively folded toxin from denatured, inactive toxin, which is important for homeland security surveillance and threat assessment. The aptasensor is stable for more than 30 days and over 400 injections/regeneration cycles. Such an aptasensor holds great promise for rapid detection of active botulinum neurotoxin for field surveillance due to its robustness, stability and reusability. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Botulinum Neurotoxins and Botulism: A Novel Therapeutic Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wanpen Chaicumpa

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Specific treatment is not available for human botulism. Current remedial mainstay is the passive administration of polyclonal antibody to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT derived from heterologous species (immunized animal or mouse hybridoma together with supportive and symptomatic management. The antibody works extracellularly, probably by blocking the binding of receptor binding (R domain to the neuronal receptors; thus inhibiting cellular entry of the holo-BoNT. The antibody cannot neutralize the intracellular toxin. Moreover, a conventional antibody with relatively large molecular size (150 kDa is not accessible to the enzymatic groove and, thus, cannot directly inhibit the BoNT zinc metalloprotease activity. Recently, a 15–20 kDa single domain antibody (VHH that binds specifically to light chain of BoNT serotype A was produced from a humanized-camel VH/VHH phage display library. The VHH has high sequence homology (>80% to the human VH and could block the enzymatic activity of the BoNT. Molecular docking revealed not only the interface binding between the VHH and the toxin but also an insertion of the VHH CDR3 into the toxin enzymatic pocket. It is envisaged that, by molecular linking the VHH to a cell penetrating peptide (CPP, the CPP-VHH fusion protein would be able to traverse the hydrophobic cell membrane into the cytoplasm and inhibit the intracellular BoNT. This presents a novel and safe immunotherapeutic strategy for botulism by using a cell penetrating, humanized-single domain antibody that inhibits the BoNT by means of a direct blockade of the groove of the menace enzyme.

  6. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel M. Filippelli

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between environmental processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are poorly studied, yet may pose a significant threat to population health. Acute exposure to lead (Pb, a powerful neurotoxin to which children are particularly susceptible, has largely been eliminated in the U.S. and other countries through policy-based restrictions on leaded gasoline and lead-based paints. But the legacy of these sources remains in the form of surface soil Pb contamination, a common problem in cities and one that has only recently emerged as a widespread chronic exposure mechanism in cities. Some urban soils are also contaminated with another neurotoxin, mercury (Hg. The greatest human exposure to Hg is through fish consumption, so eating fish caught in urban areas presents risks for toxic Hg exposure. The potential double impact of chronic exposure to these two neurotoxins is pronounced in cities. Overall, there is a paradigmatic shift from reaction to and remediation of acute exposures towards a more nuanced understanding of the dynamic cycling of persistent environmental contaminants with resultant widespread and chronic exposure of inner-city dwellers, leading to chronic toxic illness and disability at substantial human and social cost.

  7. Botulinum Neurotoxins: Biology, Pharmacology, and Toxicology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella; Eleopra, Roberto; Montecucco, Cesare

    2017-04-01

    The study of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) is rapidly progressing in many aspects. Novel BoNTs are being discovered owing to next generation sequencing, but their biologic and pharmacological properties remain largely unknown. The molecular structure of the large protein complexes that the toxin forms with accessory proteins, which are included in some BoNT type A1 and B1 pharmacological preparations, have been determined. By far the largest effort has been dedicated to the testing and validation of BoNTs as therapeutic agents in an ever increasing number of applications, including pain therapy. BoNT type A1 has been also exploited in a variety of cosmetic treatments, alone or in combination with other agents, and this specific market has reached the size of the one dedicated to the treatment of medical syndromes. The pharmacological properties and mode of action of BoNTs have shed light on general principles of neuronal transport and protein-protein interactions and are stimulating basic science studies. Moreover, the wide array of BoNTs discovered and to be discovered and the production of recombinant BoNTs endowed with specific properties suggest novel uses in therapeutics with increasing disease/symptom specifity. These recent developments are reviewed here to provide an updated picture of the biologic mechanism of action of BoNTs, of their increasing use in pharmacology and in cosmetics, and of their toxicology. Copyright © 2017 by The Author(s).

  8. Recent advances in botulinum neurotoxin inhibitor development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiris, Erkan; Burnett, James C; Kane, Christopher D; Bavari, Sina

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are endopeptidases that target motor neurons and block acetylcholine neurotransmitter release. This action results in the muscle paralysis that defines the disease botulism. To date, there are no FDA-approved therapeutics to treat BoNT-mediated paralysis after intoxication of the motor neuron. Importantly, the rationale for pursuing treatments to counter these toxins is driven by their potential misuse. Current drug discovery efforts have mainly focused on small molecules, peptides, and peptidomimetics that can directly and competitively inhibit BoNT light chain proteolytic activity. Although this is a rational approach, direct inhibition of the Zn(2+) metalloprotease activity has been elusive as demonstrated by the dearth of candidates undergoing clinical evaluation. Therefore, broadening the scope of viable targets beyond that of active site protease inhibitors represents an additional strategy that could move the field closer to the clinic. Here we review the rationale, and discuss the outcomes of earlier approaches and highlight potential new targets for BoNT inhibition. These include BoNT uptake and processing inhibitors, enzymatic inhibitors, and modulators of neuronal processes associated with toxin clearance, neurotransmitter potentiation, and other pathways geared towards neuronal recovery and repair.

  9. Botulinum neurotoxin: a marvel of protein design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montal, Mauricio

    2010-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of botulism, is acknowledged to be the most poisonous protein known. BoNT proteases disable synaptic vesicle exocytosis by cleaving their cytosolic SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) substrates. BoNT is a modular nanomachine: an N-terminal Zn(2+)-metalloprotease, which cleaves the SNAREs; a central helical protein-conducting channel, which chaperones the protease across endosomes; and a C-terminal receptor-binding module, consisting of two subdomains that determine target specificity by binding to a ganglioside and a protein receptor on the cell surface and triggering endocytosis. For BoNT, functional complexity emerges from its modular design and the tight interplay between its component modules--a partnership with consequences that surpass the simple sum of the individual component's action. BoNTs exploit this design at each step of the intoxication process, thereby achieving an exquisite toxicity. This review summarizes current knowledge on the structure of individual modules and presents mechanistic insights into how this protein machine evolved to this level of sophistication. Understanding the design principles underpinning the function of such a dynamic modular protein remains a challenging task.

  10. Botulinum neurotoxin formulations: overcoming the confusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samizadeh S

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Souphiyeh Samizadeh,1 Koenraad De Boulle2 1Great British Academy of Aesthetic Medicine, London, UK; 2Aalst Dermatology Clinic, Aalst, Belgium Abstract: Botulinum toxin A is produced by anaerobic spore-forming bacteria and is used for various therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Botulinum toxin A injections are the most popular nonsurgical procedure worldwide. Despite an increased demand for botulinum toxin A injections, the clinical pharmacology and differences in formulation of commonly available products are poorly understood. The various products available in the market are unique and vary in terms of units, chemical properties, biological activities, and weight, and are therefore not interchangeable. For safe clinical practice and to achieve optimal results, the practitioners need to understand the clinical issues of potency, conversion ratio, and safety issues (toxin spread and immunogenicity. In this paper, the basic clinical pharmacology of botulinum toxin A and differences between onabotulinum toxin A, abobotulinum toxin A, and incobotulinum toxin A are discussed. Keywords: botulinum toxin, botulinum neurotoxin, moiety, protein complexes

  11. Protein Domain Analysis of C. botulinum Type A Neurotoxin and Its Relationship with Other Botulinum Serotypes

    OpenAIRE

    Sharma, Shashi K.; Basavanna, Uma; Shukla, Hem D.

    2009-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent poisons produced by seven serotypes of Clostridium botulinum. The mechanism of neurotoxin action is a multistep process which leads to the cleavage of one of three different SNARE proteins essential for synaptic vesicle fusion and transmission of the nerve signals to muscles: synaptobrevin, syntaxin, or SNAP-25. In order to understand the precise mechanism of neurotoxin in a host, the domain structure of the neurotoxin was analyzed among differe...

  12. A novel neurotoxin from venom of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum.

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    Yunhua Zhong

    Full Text Available Spiders have evolved highly selective toxins for insects. There are many insecticidal neurotoxins in spider venoms. Although a large amount of work has been done to focus on neurotoxicity of spider components, little information, which is related with effects of spider toxins on tumor cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, is available for Brachypelma albopilosum venom. In this work, a novel spider neurotoxin (brachyin was identified and characterized from venoms of the spider, Brachypelma albopilosum. Brachyin is composed of 41 amino acid residues with the sequence of CLGENVPCDKDRPNCCSRYECLEPTGYGWWYASYYCYKKRS. There are six cysteines in this sequence, which form three disulfided bridges. The serine residue at the C-terminus is amidated. Brachyin showed strong lethal effects on American cockroaches (Periplaneta americana and Tenebrio molitor (common mealbeetle. This neurotoxin also showed significant analgesic effects in mice models including abdominal writhing induced by acetic acid and formalin-induced paw licking tests. It was interesting that brachyin exerted marked inhibition on tumor cell proliferation.

  13. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Perry, Kay; Weisemann, Jasmin; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2017-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G), a new mosaic toxin type termed Bo...

  14. Crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin type HA, also known as type FA or H

    OpenAIRE

    Yao, G; Lam, KH; Perry, K; Weisemann, J; Rummel, A; Jin, R

    2017-01-01

    © 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established Bo...

  15. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-08-26

    Each neurotoxin subtype within a serotype cleaves its target substrate at the same single conserved peptide bond, except for BoNT/F5 (Table 2) [55...common for strains of C. botulinum Group III to form a chimeric or hybrid protein that combines elements of BoNT/C and BoNT/D neurotoxin, rather than a...Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. UNCLASSIFIED 15 reported as BoNT/CD or BoNT/DC chimeric toxins [22]. Two exotoxins

  16. Botulinum neurotoxin B recognizes its protein receptor with high affinity and specificity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Rongsheng; Rummel, Andreas; Binz, Thomas; Brunger, Axel T

    2006-12-21

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the neuroparalytic syndrome of botulism. With a lethal dose of 1 ng kg(-1), they pose a biological hazard to humans and a serious potential bioweapon threat. BoNTs bind with high specificity at neuromuscular junctions and they impair exocytosis of synaptic vesicles containing acetylcholine through specific proteolysis of SNAREs (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion protein attachment protein receptors), which constitute part of the synaptic vesicle fusion machinery. The molecular details of the toxin-cell recognition have been elusive. Here we report the structure of a BoNT in complex with its protein receptor: the receptor-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin serotype B (BoNT/B) bound to the luminal domain of synaptotagmin II, determined at 2.15 A resolution. On binding, a helix is induced in the luminal domain which binds to a saddle-shaped crevice on a distal tip of BoNT/B. This crevice is adjacent to the non-overlapping ganglioside-binding site of BoNT/B. Synaptotagmin II interacts with BoNT/B with nanomolar affinity, at both neutral and acidic endosomal pH. Biochemical and neuronal ex vivo studies of structure-based mutations indicate high specificity and affinity of the interaction, and high selectivity of BoNT/B among synaptotagmin I and II isoforms. Synergistic binding of both synaptotagmin and ganglioside imposes geometric restrictions on the initiation of BoNT/B translocation after endocytosis. Our results provide the basis for the rational development of preventive vaccines or inhibitors against these neurotoxins.

  17. Prediction of antigenic epitopes and MHC binders of neurotoxin ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    PRECIOUS

    2009-12-01

    Dec 1, 2009 ... scorpion chlorotoxin-like short-chain neurotoxins (SCNs). *Corresponding ... Protein sequence analysis. Here we ... MHC/peptide binding is a log-transformed value related to the IC50 values in nM ..... porter. Adducts of MHC and peptide complexes are the ligands for T cell receptors (TCR) (Table-1). MHC.

  18. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA in Shark Fins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John Pablo

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Sharks are among the most threatened groups of marine species. Populations are declining globally to support the growing demand for shark fin soup. Sharks are known to bioaccumulate toxins that may pose health risks to consumers of shark products. The feeding habits of sharks are varied, including fish, mammals, crustaceans and plankton. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA has been detected in species of free-living marine cyanobacteria and may bioaccumulate in the marine food web. In this study, we sampled fin clips from seven different species of sharks in South Florida to survey the occurrence of BMAA using HPLC-FD and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS methods. BMAA was detected in the fins of all species examined with concentrations ranging from 144 to 1836 ng/mg wet weight. Since BMAA has been linked to neurodegenerative diseases, these results may have important relevance to human health. We suggest that consumption of shark fins may increase the risk for human exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin BMAA.

  19. Current Status and Future Directions of Botulinum Neurotoxins for Targeting Pain Processing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Pellett

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Current evidence suggests that botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs A1 and B1, given locally into peripheral tissues such as skin, muscles, and joints, alter nociceptive processing otherwise initiated by inflammation or nerve injury in animal models and humans. Recent data indicate that such locally delivered BoNTs exert not only local action on sensory afferent terminals but undergo transport to central afferent cell bodies (dorsal root ganglia and spinal dorsal horn terminals, where they cleave SNAREs and block transmitter release. Increasing evidence supports the possibility of a trans-synaptic movement to alter postsynaptic function in neuronal and possibly non-neuronal (glial cells. The vast majority of these studies have been conducted on BoNT/A1 and BoNT/B1, the only two pharmaceutically developed variants. However, now over 40 different subtypes of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs have been identified. By combining our existing and rapidly growing understanding of BoNT/A1 and /B1 in altering nociceptive processing with explorations of the specific characteristics of the various toxins from this family, we may be able to discover or design novel, effective, and long-lasting pain therapeutics. This review will focus on our current understanding of the molecular mechanisms whereby BoNTs alter pain processing, and future directions in the development of these agents as pain therapeutics.

  20. Toxicology and detection methods of the alkaloid neurotoxin produced by cyanobacteria, anatoxin-a.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osswald, Joana; Rellán, Sandra; Gago, Ana; Vasconcelos, Vitor

    2007-11-01

    Freshwater resources are under stress due to naturally occurring conditions and human impacts. One of the consequences is the proliferation of cyanobacteria, microphytoplankton organisms that are capable to produce toxins called cyanotoxins. Anatoxin-a is one of the main cyanotoxins. It is a very potent neurotoxin that was already responsible for some animal fatalities. In this review we endeavor to divulgate much of the internationally published information about toxicology, occurrence and detection methods of anatoxin-a. Cyanobacteria generalities, anatoxin-a occurrence and production as well as anatoxin-a toxicology and its methods of detection are the aspects focused in this review. Remediation of anatoxin-a occurrence will be addressed with a public health perspective. Final remarks call the attention for some important gaps in the knowledge about this neurotoxin and its implication to public health. Alterations of aquatic ecosystems caused by anatoxin-a is also addressed. Although anatoxin-a is not the more frequent cyanotoxin worldwide, it has to be regarded as a health risk that can be fatal to terrestrial and aquatic organisms because of its high toxicity.

  1. New Typical Vector of Neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-Alanine (BMAA in the Marine Benthic Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aifeng Li

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA has been identified as an environmental factor triggering neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS and Alzheimer’s disease (AD. We investigated the possible vectors of BMAA and its isomers 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB and N-2(aminoethylglycine (AEG in marine mollusks collected from the Chinese coast. Sixty-eight samples of marine mollusks were collected along the Chinese coast in 2016, and were analyzed by an HILIC-MS/MS (hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography with tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer method without derivatization. BMAA was detected in a total of five samples from three species: Neverita didyma, Solen strictus, and Mytilus coruscus. The top three concentrations of free-form BMAA (0.99~3.97 μg·g−1 wet weight were detected in N. didyma. DAB was universally detected in most of the mollusk samples (53/68 with no species-specific or regional differences (0.051~2.65 μg·g−1 wet weight. No AEG was detected in any mollusk samples tested here. The results indicate that the gastropod N. didyma might be an important vector of the neurotoxin BMAA in the Chinese marine ecosystem. The neurotoxin DAB was universally present in marine bivalve and gastropod mollusks. Since N. didyma is consumed by humans, we suggest that the origin and risk of BMAA and DAB toxins in the marine ecosystem should be further investigated in the future.

  2. Structure-Function Relationship of Hydrophiidae Postsynaptic Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-03-11

    Fulde, G. (1987) Clin. Dermatology 5: 118. Tu, A. T. (1985) Detection of the sulfhydryl group in proteins by raman scattering spectroscopic method. J...properties of novel forms lacking tryptophan. J. Biochem. 85: 379-388. Yu, N. T., Lin, T. S., and Tu, A. T. (1975) Laser Raman scattering uf neurotoxins...hardwickii), binds tightly and specifically to the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) inhibiting neumuscular transmission and results in muscular

  3. Correction of Malocclusion by Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection into Masticatory Muscles

    OpenAIRE

    Seok, Hyun; Kim, Seong-Gon

    2018-01-01

    Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxin, and its injection in masticatory muscles induces muscle weakness and paralysis. This paralytic effect of BTX induces growth retardation of the maxillofacial bones, changes in dental eruption and occlusion state, and facial asymmetry. Using masticatory muscle paralysis and its effect via BTX, BTX can be used for the correction of malocclusion after orthognathic surgery and mandible fracture. The paralysis of specific masticatory muscles by BTX injection r...

  4. Mass spectrometry-based methods for detection and differentiation of botulinum neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Jurgen G [Los Alamos, NM; Boyer, Anne E [Atlanta, GA; Kalb, Suzanne R [Atlanta, GA; Moura, Hercules [Tucker, GA; Barr, John R [Suwannee, GA; Woolfitt, Adrian R [Atlanta, GA

    2009-11-03

    The present invention is directed to a method for detecting the presence of clostridial neurotoxins in a sample by mixing a sample with a peptide that can serve as a substrate for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin; and measuring for proteolytic activity of a clostridial neurotoxin by a mass spectroscopy technique. In one embodiment, the peptide can have an affinity tag attached at two or more sites.

  5. Injectable neurotoxins and fillers: there is no free lunch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emer, Jason; Waldorf, Heidi

    2011-01-01

    Injection of neurotoxins and filling agents for the treatment of facial aesthetics has increased dramatically during the past few decades due to an increased interest in noninvasive aesthetic improvements. An aging but still youth-oriented population expects effective treatments with minimal recovery time and limited risk of complications. Injectable neurotoxins and soft tissue stimulators and fillers have filled this niche of "lunch-time" procedures. As demand for these procedures has increased, supply has followed with more noncore cosmetic specialty physicians, as well as unsupervised ancillary staff, becoming providers and advertising them as easy fixes. Despite an excellent record of safety and efficacy demonstrated in scores of published studies, injectable agents do carry risks of complications. These procedures require a physician with in-depth knowledge of facial anatomy and injection techniques to ensure patient safety and satisfaction. In general, adverse events are preventable and technique-dependent. Although most adverse events are minor and temporary, more serious complications can occur. The recognition, management, and treatment of poor outcomes are as important as obtaining the best aesthetic results. This review addresses important considerations regarding the complications of injectable neurotoxins and fillers used for "lunch-time" injectable procedures. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Production and characterisation of a neutralising chimeric antibody against botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Prigent

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins, produced by Clostridium botulinum bacteria, are the causative agent of botulism. This disease only affects a few hundred people each year, thus ranking it among the orphan diseases. However, botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A is the most potent toxin known to man. Due to their potency and ease of production, these toxins were classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC as Category A biothreat agents. For several biothreat agents, like BoNT/A, passive immunotherapy remains the only possible effective treatment allowing in vivo neutralization, despite possible major side effects. Recently, several mouse monoclonal antibodies directed against a recombinant fragment of BoNT/A were produced in our laboratory and most efficiently neutralised the neurotoxin. In the present work, the most powerful one, TA12, was selected for chimerisation. The variable regions of this antibody were thus cloned and fused with the constant counterparts of human IgG1 (kappa light and gamma 1 heavy chains. Chimeric antibody production was evaluated in mammalian myeloma cells (SP2/0-Ag14 and insect cells (Sf9. After purifying the recombinant antibody by affinity chromatography, the biochemical properties of chimeric and mouse antibody were compared. Both have the same very low affinity constant (close to 10 pM and the chimeric antibody exhibited a similar capacity to its parent counterpart in neutralising the toxin in vivo. Its strong affinity and high neutralising potency make this chimeric antibody interesting for immunotherapy treatment in humans in cases of poisoning, particularly as there is a probable limitation of the immunological side effects observed with classical polyclonal antisera from heterologous species.

  7. Comparison of oral toxicological properties of botulinum neurotoxin serotypes A and B.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Luisa W; Henderson, Thomas D

    2011-07-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent biological toxins for humans. Of the seven known serotypes (A-G) of BoNT, serotypes A, B and E cause most of the foodborne intoxications in humans. BoNTs in nature are associated with non-toxic accessory proteins known as neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs), forming large complexes that have been shown to play important roles in oral toxicity. Using mouse intraperitoneal and oral models of botulism, we determined the dose response to both BoNT/B holotoxin and complex toxins, and compared the toxicities of BoNT/B and BoNT/A complexes. Although serotype A and B complexes have similar NAP composition, BoNT/B formed larger-sized complexes, and was approximately 90 times more lethal in mouse oral intoxications than BoNT/A complexes. When normalized by mean lethal dose, mice orally treated with high doses of BoNT/B complex showed a delayed time-to-death when compared with mice treated with BoNT/A complex. Furthermore, we determined the effect of various food matrices on oral toxicity of BoNT/A and BoNT/B complexes. BoNT/B complexes showed lower oral bioavailability in liquid egg matrices when compared to BoNT/A complexes. In summary, our studies revealed several factors that can either enhance or reduce the toxicity and oral bioavailability of BoNTs. Dissecting the complexities of the different BoNT serotypes and their roles in foodborne botulism will lead to a better understanding of toxin biology and aid future food risk assessments. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  8. Probiotic microorganisms inhibit epithelial cell internalization of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) complex (holotoxin with neurotoxin-associated proteins) bind and transit through the intestinal...

  9. Investigation on neurotoxin of sea snail meat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kumar Mohan

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Objective: To explore the neurotoxic agent tetramine and characterized with cytotoxicity studies from the chief constituents of sea food Trochus radiatus (T. radiatus and Thais rudolphi (T. rudolphi for coastal people of India. Methods: Extraction was performed by following the method of Hashizume et al. (1987 with apposite modification. The extracted aqueous layer was chromatographed on a column of diethylaminoethyl-Sephadex and Sephadex LH-20. To analysis the toxic compound of T. radiatus and T. rudolphi has been done by high performance thin layer chromatography, gas chromatography-mass spectrometer, and the spectral data was examined by Fourier transform infrared spectrum spectroscopy. The cytotoxicity studies of the purified samples were assessed by hemolytic assay, brine shrimp assay and 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide – cell proliferation assay. Results: The tetramine content was estimated as 0.4 µg/g and 1.2µg/g respectively (w/w. The maximum haemolytic activity in T. rudolphi was found to be 256 haemolytic unit and 16 haemolytic unit in T. radiatus against human erythrocytes when compared to chicken erythrocytes. The samples exhibited lethality against brine shrimps at 60 and 7 µg/100 mL, respectively. The tetramine from T. rudolphi and T. radiatus showed 54.2% and 70.8% of cytotoxicity against human lymphocyte at 2 mg/ml concentration. Further in the cell morphology studies, cell showed condensed chromatin, cytoplasmic blubbing and detachment from the surface. Furthermore, the presence of tetramine was confirmed based on the Rf values and it was chemically identified as Tetramethylammonium chloride (Pub Chem CID: 6379 through the gas chromatography-mass spectrometer analysis. Conclusions: From the human health point of view, though the residue levels of N,N,N'- trimethyl-1,2-ethanediamine, Tetramethylammonium chloride and N,N-dimethylglycine detected in this study are well below the maximum residue

  10. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neil Hammerschlag

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg, because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA, a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds.

  11. Cyanobacterial Neurotoxin BMAA and Mercury in Sharks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerschlag, Neil; Davis, David A; Mondo, Kiyo; Seely, Matthew S; Murch, Susan J; Glover, William Broc; Divoll, Timothy; Evers, David C; Mash, Deborah C

    2016-08-16

    Sharks have greater risk for bioaccumulation of marine toxins and mercury (Hg), because they are long-lived predators. Shark fins and cartilage also contain β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a ubiquitous cyanobacterial toxin linked to neurodegenerative diseases. Today, a significant number of shark species have found their way onto the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Many species of large sharks are threatened with extinction due in part to the growing high demand for shark fin soup and, to a lesser extent, for shark meat and cartilage products. Recent studies suggest that the consumption of shark parts may be a route to human exposure of marine toxins. Here, we investigated BMAA and Hg concentrations in fins and muscles sampled in ten species of sharks from the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. BMAA was detected in all shark species with only seven of the 55 samples analyzed testing below the limit of detection of the assay. Hg concentrations measured in fins and muscle samples from the 10 species ranged from 0.05 to 13.23 ng/mg. These analytical test results suggest restricting human consumption of shark meat and fins due to the high frequency and co-occurrence of two synergistic environmental neurotoxic compounds.

  12. An update on neurotoxin products and administration methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lanoue, Julien; Dong, Joanna; Do, Timothy; Goldenberg, Gary

    2016-09-01

    Since onabotulinumtoxinA for nonsurgical aesthetic enhancement of glabellar lines was initially reported, the popularity of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) products among both clinicians and consumers has rapidly grown, and we have seen several additional BoNT formulations enter the market. As the demand for minimally invasive cosmetic procedures continues to increase, we will see the introduction of additional formulations of BoNT products as well as new delivery devices and administration techniques. In this article, we provide a brief update on current and upcoming BoNT products and also review the literature on novel administration methods based on recently published studies.

  13. Molecular diversity of neurotoxins from Clostridium botulinum type D strains.

    OpenAIRE

    Moriishi, K; Syuto, B; Kubo, S; Oguma, K

    1989-01-01

    The molecular properties of Clostridium botulinum type D South African (D-SA) were compared with those of neurotoxins from type D strain 1873 (D-1873) and type C strains Stockholm and 6813. D-SA toxin, purified 610-fold from the culture supernatant in an overall yield of 30%, consisted of an intact peptide chain with a molecular weight of 140,000. Limited proteolysis of the toxin by trypsin formed a dichain structure consisting of a light chain (Mr, 50,000) and a heavy chain (Mr, 90,000) link...

  14. Assembly and function of the botulinum neurotoxin progenitor complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Shenyan; Jin, Rongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most poisonous substances known to man, but paradoxically, BoNT-containing medicines and cosmetics have been used with great success in the clinic. Accidental BoNT poisoning mainly occurs through oral ingestion of food contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. BoNTs are naturally produced in the form of progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs), which are high molecular weight (up to ~900 kDa) multiprotein complexes composed of BoNT and several non-toxic neurotoxin-associated proteins (NAPs). NAPs protect the inherently fragile BoNTs against the hostile environment of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and help BoNTs pass through the intestinal epithelial barrier before they are released into the general circulation. These events are essential for ingested BoNTs to gain access to motoneurons, where they inhibit neurotransmitter release and cause muscle paralysis. In this review, we discuss the structural basis for assembly of NAPs and BoNT into the PTC that protects BoNT and facilitate its delivery into the bloodstream.

  15. Dolichospermum and Aphanizomenon as neurotoxins producers in some Russian freshwaters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernova, Ekaterina; Sidelev, Sergey; Russkikh, Iana; Voyakina, Ekaterina; Babanazarova, Olga; Romanov, Roman; Kotovshchikov, Anton; Mazur-Marzec, Hanna

    2017-05-01

    Last decades, cyanobacterial blooms have been commonly reported in Russia. Among the boom-forming species, potential toxin producers have been identified. The aim of this paper was to study the presence of neurotoxic compounds - saxitoxins and anatoxin-a - in water bodies from different regions of Russia. We also made attempts to identify the neurotoxin-producing genera. The good convergence of the results obtained by light microscopy, PCR and LC-MS/MS analyses indicated the presence of active neurotoxin producing species in all investigated water bodies. Saxitoxin was detected in phytoplankton from 4 water bodies in Central European Russia and West Siberia, including lake and reservoirs used as a source for potable water. The water bodies differed with the respect of saxitoxin producers which belonged to Aphanizomenon and/or Dolichospermum genera. For the first time, we obtained quantitative data on the intracellular saxitoxin concentration in Russian freshwaters using LC-MS/MS. Anatoxin-a was detected only in lakes of Northwestern Russia. In the eutrophic shallow Lower Suzdal Lake, Aphanizomenon was the stated anatoxin-a-producing genus. In the large shallow artificial hypertrophic Sestroretskij Razliv Lake, it was very likely that both dominant species - Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Dolichospermum planctonicum - were anatoxin-a producers. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Botulinum Neurotoxin Detection Methods for Public Health Response and Surveillance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nagarajan Thirunavukkarasu

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Botulism outbreak due to consumption of food contaminated with botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs is a public health emergency. The threat of bioterrorism through deliberate distribution in food sources and/or aerosolization of BoNTs raises global public health and security concerns due to the potential for high mortality and morbidity. Rapid and reliable detection methods are necessary to support clinical diagnosis and surveillance for identifying the source of contamination, performing epidemiological analysis of the outbreak, preventing and responding to botulism outbreaks. This review considers the applicability of various BoNT detection methods and examines their fitness-for-purpose in safeguarding the public health and security goals.

  17. Structural Analysis of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type G Receptor Binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmitt, John; Karalewitz, Andrew; Benefield, Desire A.; Mushrush, Darren J.; Pruitt, Rory N.; Spiller, Benjamin W.; Barbieri, Joseph T.; Lacy, D. Borden (Vanderbilt); (MCW)

    2010-10-19

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) binds peripheral neurons at the neuromuscular junction through a dual-receptor mechanism that includes interactions with ganglioside and protein receptors. The receptor identities vary depending on BoNT serotype (A-G). BoNT/B and BoNT/G bind the luminal domains of synaptotagmin I and II, homologous synaptic vesicle proteins. We observe conditions under which BoNT/B binds both Syt isoforms, but BoNT/G binds only SytI. Both serotypes bind ganglioside G{sub T1b}. The BoNT/G receptor-binding domain crystal structure provides a context for examining these binding interactions and a platform for understanding the physiological relevance of different Syt receptor isoforms in vivo.

  18. Peptide inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin by mRNA display

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yiadom, Kwabena P.A.B.; Muhie, Seid; Yang, David C.H.

    2005-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are extremely toxic. The metalloproteases associated with the toxins cleave proteins essential for neurotransmitter secretion. Inhibitors of the metalloprotease are currently sought to control the toxicity of BoNTs. Toward that goal, we produced a synthetic cDNA for the expression and purification of the metalloprotease of BoNT/A in Escherichia coli as a biotin-ubiquitin fusion protein, and constructed a combinatorial peptide library to screen for BoNT/A light chain inhibitors using mRNA display. A protease assay was developed using immobilized intact SNAP-25 as the substrate. The new peptide inhibitors showed a 10-fold increase in affinity to BoNT/A light chain than the parent peptide. Interestingly, the sequences of the new peptide inhibitors showed abundant hydrophobic residues but few hydrophilic residues. The results suggest that mRNA display may provide a general approach in developing peptide inhibitors of BoNTs

  19. Update on botulinum neurotoxin use in aesthetic dermatology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Omer; Keller, Emily C; Arndt, Kenneth A

    2014-12-01

    Botulinum toxins are among the most widely studied and versatile drugs in the medicinal market. Since their extraction from Clostridium botulinum, they have been harnessed and incorporated into different formulations with varied properties and actions. These products have been used to treat countless disorders such as musculoskeletal disorders, headaches, and eye disorders, among many others. In the realm of aesthetic cutaneous medicine, the evolution and creativity in the use of botulinum toxins has been swift and ever changing. Knowledge of the science and innovation behind this toxin enables the user to provide the patient with a variety of treatment options founded in evidence-based medicine. This review will highlight the properties and actions of the newer, more recent neurotoxin preparations, as well as some of the latest and novel therapeutic applications of botulinum toxins.

  20. Defining the neurotoxin derived illness chronic ciguatera using markers of chronic systemic inflammatory disturbances: a case/control study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, Ritchie C; House, Dennis; Ryan, James C

    2010-01-01

    Ciguatoxins are extremely potent neurotoxins, produced by tropical marine dinoflagellates, that persistently enter into our food web. Over 100,000 people annually experience acute ciguatera poisoning from consuming toxic fish. Roughly 5% of these victims will develop chronic ciguatera (CC), a widespread, multisymptom, multisystem, chronic illness that can last tens of years. CC is marked by disproportionate disability and non-specific refractory symptoms such as fatigue, cognitive deficits and pain, and is suggestive of other illnesses. Its unknown pathophysiology makes both diagnosis and treatment difficult. We wanted to compare objective parameters of visual contrast sensitivity testing, measures of innate immune response and genetic markers in cases to controls to assess the potential for the presence of persistent inflammatory parameters that are demonstrated in other biotoxin associated illnesses at a single specialty clinic. Using 59 CC cases and 59 controls we present in retrospective review, in all cases, abnormalities in immune responses paralleling the chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome seen in several other chronic diseases. This study defines a preliminary case definition using medical history, total symptoms, visual contrast sensitivity, HLA DR genotype analysis, reduction of regulatory neuropeptides VIP and MSH, and multiple measures of inflammatory immune response, especially C4a and TGFβ1, thereby providing a basis for identification and targeted therapy. CC provides a model for chronic human illness associated with initiation of inflammatory responses by biologically produced neurotoxins. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. A Label Free Colorimetric Assay for the Detection of Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A by SNAP-25 Conjugated Colloidal Gold

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher Gwenin

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins are one of the most potent toxins known to man. Current methods of detection involve the quantification of the toxin but do not take into account the percentage of the toxin that is active. At present the assay used for monitoring the activity of the toxin is the mouse bioassay, which is lengthy and has ethical issues due to the use of live animals. This report demonstrates a novel assay that utilises the endopeptidase activity of the toxin to detect Botulinum neurotoxin in a pharmaceutical sample. The cleaving of SNAP-25 is monitored via UV-Visible spectroscopy with a limit of detection of 373 fg/mL and has been further developed into a high throughput method using a microplate reader detecting down to 600 fg/mL of active toxin. The results show clear differences between the toxin product and the placebo, which contains the pharmaceutical excipients human serum albumin and lactose, showing that the assay detects the active form of the toxin.

  2. Recommended Immunological Strategies to Screen for Botulinum Neurotoxin-Containing Samples

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stéphanie Simon

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs cause the life-threatening neurological illness botulism in humans and animals and are divided into seven serotypes (BoNT/A–G, of which serotypes A, B, E, and F cause the disease in humans. BoNTs are classified as “category A” bioterrorism threat agents and are relevant in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention. An international proficiency test (PT was conducted to evaluate detection, quantification and discrimination capabilities of 23 expert laboratories from the health, food and security areas. Here we describe three immunological strategies that proved to be successful for the detection and quantification of BoNT/A, B, and E considering the restricted sample volume (1 mL distributed. To analyze the samples qualitatively and quantitatively, the first strategy was based on sensitive immunoenzymatic and immunochromatographic assays for fast qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the second approach, a bead-based suspension array was used for screening followed by conventional ELISA for quantification. In the third approach, an ELISA plate format assay was used for serotype specific immunodetection of BoNT-cleaved substrates, detecting the activity of the light chain, rather than the toxin protein. The results provide guidance for further steps in quality assurance and highlight problems to address in the future.

  3. Recommended Immunological Strategies to Screen for Botulinum Neurotoxin-Containing Samples.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simon, Stéphanie; Fiebig, Uwe; Liu, Yvonne; Tierney, Rob; Dano, Julie; Worbs, Sylvia; Endermann, Tanja; Nevers, Marie-Claire; Volland, Hervé; Sesardic, Dorothea; Dorner, Martin B

    2015-11-26

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the life-threatening neurological illness botulism in humans and animals and are divided into seven serotypes (BoNT/A-G), of which serotypes A, B, E, and F cause the disease in humans. BoNTs are classified as "category A" bioterrorism threat agents and are relevant in the context of the Biological Weapons Convention. An international proficiency test (PT) was conducted to evaluate detection, quantification and discrimination capabilities of 23 expert laboratories from the health, food and security areas. Here we describe three immunological strategies that proved to be successful for the detection and quantification of BoNT/A, B, and E considering the restricted sample volume (1 mL) distributed. To analyze the samples qualitatively and quantitatively, the first strategy was based on sensitive immunoenzymatic and immunochromatographic assays for fast qualitative and quantitative analyses. In the second approach, a bead-based suspension array was used for screening followed by conventional ELISA for quantification. In the third approach, an ELISA plate format assay was used for serotype specific immunodetection of BoNT-cleaved substrates, detecting the activity of the light chain, rather than the toxin protein. The results provide guidance for further steps in quality assurance and highlight problems to address in the future.

  4. Presence of the Neurotoxin BMAA in Aquatic Ecosystems: What Do We Really Know?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faassen, Elisabeth J.

    2014-01-01

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) is suspected to play a role in the neurological diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. BMAA production by cyanobacteria has been reported and contact with cyanobacteria infested waters or consumption of aquatic organisms are possible pathways to human exposure. However, there is little consensus regarding whether BMAA is present in cyanobacteria or not, and if so, at what concentrations. The aim of this review is to indicate the current state of knowledge on the presence of BMAA in aquatic ecosystems. Some studies have convincingly shown that BMAA can be present in aquatic samples at the µg/g dry weight level, which is around the detection limit of some equally credible studies in which no BMAA was detected. However, for the majority of the reviewed articles, it was unclear whether BMAA was correctly identified, either because inadequate analytical methods were used, or because poor reporting of analyses made it impossible to verify the results. Poor analysis, reporting and prolific errors have shaken the foundations of BMAA research. First steps towards estimation of human BMAA exposure are to develop and use selective, inter-laboratory validated methods and to correctly report the analytical work. PMID:24662480

  5. Camelid-derived heavy-chain nanobody against Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin E in Pichia pastoris.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baghban, Roghayyeh; Gargari, Seyed Latif Mousavi; Rajabibazl, Masoumeh; Nazarian, Shahram; Bakherad, Hamid

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) result in severe and often fatal disease, botulism. Common remedial measures such as equine antitoxin and human botulism immunoglobulin in turn are problematic and time-consuming. Therefore, diagnosis and therapy of BoNTs are vital. The variable domain of heavy-chain antibodies (VHH) has unique features, such as the ability to identify and bind specifically to target epitopes and ease of production in bacteria and yeast. The Pichia pastoris is suitable for expression of recombinant antibody fragments. Disulfide bond formation and correct folds of protein with a high yield are some of the advantages of this eukaryotic host. In this study, we have expressed and purified the camelid VHH against BoNT/E in P. pastoris. The final yield of P. pastoris-expressed antibody was estimated to be 16 mg/l, which is higher than that expressed by Escherichia coli. The nanobody expressed in P. pastoris neutralized 4LD50 of the BoNT/E upon i.p. injection in 25% of mice. The nanobody expressed in E. coli extended the mice's survival to 1.5-fold compared to the control. This experiment indicated that the quality of expressed protein in the yeast is superior to that of the bacterial expression. Favorable protein folding by P. pastoris seems to play a role in its better toxin-binding property. © 2014 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  6. A Monoclonal Antibody Based Capture ELISA for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B: Toxin Detection in Food

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry H. Stanker

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT, produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A–H have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KD’s for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10−11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D., ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.

  7. A monoclonal antibody based capture ELISA for botulinum neurotoxin serotype B: toxin detection in food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanker, Larry H; Scotcher, Miles C; Cheng, Luisa; Ching, Kathryn; McGarvey, Jeffery; Hodge, David; Hnasko, Robert

    2013-11-18

    Botulism is a serious foodborne neuroparalytic disease, caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Seven toxin serotypes (A-H) have been described. The majority of human cases of botulism are caused by serotypes A and B followed by E and F. We report here a group of serotype B specific monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) capable of binding toxin under physiological conditions. Thus, they serve as capture antibodies for a sandwich (capture) ELISA. The antibodies were generated using recombinant peptide fragments corresponding to the receptor-binding domain of the toxin heavy chain as immunogen. Their binding properties suggest that they bind a complex epitope with dissociation constants (KD's) for individual antibodies ranging from 10 to 48 × 10-11 M. Assay performance for all possible combinations of capture-detector antibody pairs was evaluated and the antibody pair resulting in the lowest level of detection (L.O.D.), ~20 pg/mL was determined. Toxin was detected in spiked dairy samples with good recoveries at concentrations as low as 0.5 pg/mL and in ground beef samples at levels as low as 2 ng/g. Thus, the sandwich ELISA described here uses mAb for both the capture and detector antibodies (binding different epitopes on the toxin molecule) and readily detects toxin in those food samples tested.

  8. Using llama derived single domain antibodies to target botulinum neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Swain, Marla D.; Anderson, George P.; Bernstein, Rachael D.; Liu, Jinny L.; Goldman, Ellen R.

    2010-04-01

    Llama serum contains both conventional IgG as well as unique forms of antibody that contain only heavy chains where antigen binding is mediated through a single variable domain. These variable domains can be expressed recombinantly and are referred to as single domain antibodies (sdAb). SdAb are among the smallest known naturally derived antigen binding fragments, possess good solubility, thermal stability, and can refold after heat and chemical denaturation. Llamas were immunized with either BoNT A or B toxoid and phage display libraries prepared. Single domain antibodies (sdAb) that were able to detect botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A and B were selected from their respective libraries. Here, the binders obtained by panning the BoNT B library on either BoNT B toxoid or BoNT B complex toxoid coated plates or BoNT B toxin coupled microspheres are described. Using these panning methods, we selected for binders that showed specificity for BoNT B. Phage displayed binders were screened, moved to a protein expression vector and soluble sdAb was produced. Using a Luminex flow cytometer binders were evaluated in direct binding assays. We have exploited the unique properties of sdAb and used them as biological recognition elements in immuno-based sensors that can detect BoNT B.

  9. Challenges in searching for therapeutics against Botulinum Neurotoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Rossetto, Ornella

    2017-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent toxins known. BoNTs are responsible for botulism, a deadly neuroparalytic syndrome caused by the inactivation of neurotransmitter release at peripheral nerve terminals. Thanks to their specificity and potency, BoNTs are both considered potential bio-weapons and therapeutics of choice for a variety of medical syndromes. Several variants of BoNTs have been identified with individual biological properties and little antigenic relation. This expands greatly the potential of BoNTs as therapeutics but poses a major safety problem, increasing the need for finding appropriate antidotes. Areas covered: The authors describe the multi-step molecular mechanism through which BoNTs enter nerve terminals and discuss the many levels at which the toxins can be inhibited. They review the outcomes of the different strategies adopted to limit neurotoxicity and counter intoxication. Potential new targets arising from the last discoveries of the mechanism of action and the approaches to promote neuromuscular junction recovery are also discussed. Expert opinion: Current drug discovery efforts have mainly focused on BoNT type A and addressed primarily light chain proteolytic activity. Development of pan-BoNT inhibitors acting independently of BoNT immunological properties and targeting a common step of the intoxication process should be encouraged.

  10. A Three Monoclonal Antibody Combination Potently Neutralizes Multiple Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype E Subtypes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Rodriguez, Consuelo; Razai, Ali; Geren, Isin N; Lou, Jianlong; Conrad, Fraser; Wen, Wei-Hua; Farr-Jones, Shauna; Smith, Theresa J; Brown, Jennifer L; Skerry, Janet C; Smith, Leonard A; Marks, James D

    2018-03-01

    Human botulism is most commonly caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotypes A, B, and E. For this work, we sought to develop a human monoclonal antibody (mAb)-based antitoxin capable of binding and neutralizing multiple subtypes of BoNT/E. Libraries of yeast-displayed single chain Fv (scFv) antibodies were created from the heavy and light chain variable region genes of humans immunized with pentavalent-toxoid- and BoNT/E-binding scFv isolated by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS). A total of 10 scFv were isolated that bound one or more BoNT/E subtypes with nanomolar-level equilibrium dissociation constants (K D ). By diversifying the V-regions of the lead mAbs and selecting for cross-reactivity, we generated three scFv that bound all four BoNT/E subtypes tested at three non-overlapping epitopes. The scFvs were converted to IgG that had K D values for the different BoNT/E subtypes ranging from 9.7 nM to 2.28 pM. An equimolar combination of the three mAbs was able to potently neutralize BoNT/E1, BoNT/E3, and BoNT/E4 in a mouse neutralization assay. The mAbs have potential utility as therapeutics and as diagnostics capable of recognizing multiple BoNT/E subtypes. A derivative of the three-antibody combination (NTM-1633) is in pre-clinical development with an investigational new drug (IND) application filing expected in 2018.

  11. A Three Monoclonal Antibody Combination Potently Neutralizes Multiple Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype E Subtypes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Consuelo Garcia-Rodriguez

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Human botulism is most commonly caused by botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT serotypes A, B, and E. For this work, we sought to develop a human monoclonal antibody (mAb-based antitoxin capable of binding and neutralizing multiple subtypes of BoNT/E. Libraries of yeast-displayed single chain Fv (scFv antibodies were created from the heavy and light chain variable region genes of humans immunized with pentavalent-toxoid- and BoNT/E-binding scFv isolated by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS. A total of 10 scFv were isolated that bound one or more BoNT/E subtypes with nanomolar-level equilibrium dissociation constants (KD. By diversifying the V-regions of the lead mAbs and selecting for cross-reactivity, we generated three scFv that bound all four BoNT/E subtypes tested at three non-overlapping epitopes. The scFvs were converted to IgG that had KD values for the different BoNT/E subtypes ranging from 9.7 nM to 2.28 pM. An equimolar combination of the three mAbs was able to potently neutralize BoNT/E1, BoNT/E3, and BoNT/E4 in a mouse neutralization assay. The mAbs have potential utility as therapeutics and as diagnostics capable of recognizing multiple BoNT/E subtypes. A derivative of the three-antibody combination (NTM-1633 is in pre-clinical development with an investigational new drug (IND application filing expected in 2018.

  12. Structural and functional characterization of a novel homodimeric three-finger neurotoxin from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (king cobra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy, Amrita; Zhou, Xingding; Chong, Ming Zhi; D'hoedt, Dieter; Foo, Chun Shin; Rajagopalan, Nandhakishore; Nirthanan, Selvanayagam; Bertrand, Daniel; Sivaraman, J; Kini, R Manjunatha

    2010-03-12

    Snake venoms are a mixture of pharmacologically active proteins and polypeptides that have led to the development of molecular probes and therapeutic agents. Here, we describe the structural and functional characterization of a novel neurotoxin, haditoxin, from the venom of Ophiophagus hannah (King cobra). Haditoxin exhibited novel pharmacology with antagonism toward muscle (alphabetagammadelta) and neuronal (alpha(7), alpha(3)beta(2), and alpha(4)beta(2)) nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) with highest affinity for alpha(7)-nAChRs. The high resolution (1.5 A) crystal structure revealed haditoxin to be a homodimer, like kappa-neurotoxins, which target neuronal alpha(3)beta(2)- and alpha(4)beta(2)-nAChRs. Interestingly however, the monomeric subunits of haditoxin were composed of a three-finger protein fold typical of curaremimetic short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. Biochemical studies confirmed that it existed as a non-covalent dimer species in solution. Its structural similarity to short-chain alpha-neurotoxins and kappa-neurotoxins notwithstanding, haditoxin exhibited unique blockade of alpha(7)-nAChRs (IC(50) 180 nm), which is recognized by neither short-chain alpha-neurotoxins nor kappa-neurotoxins. This is the first report of a dimeric short-chain alpha-neurotoxin interacting with neuronal alpha(7)-nAChRs as well as the first homodimeric three-finger toxin to interact with muscle nAChRs.

  13. Peg Precipitation Coupled with Chromatography is a New and Sufficient Method for the Purification of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type B

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yao; Kang, Lin; Gao, Shan; Gao, Xing; Xin, Wenwen; Wang, Jinglin

    2012-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins are used to treat a variety of neuro-muscular disorders, as well as in cosmetology. The increased demand requires efficient methods for the production and purification of these toxins. In this study, a new purification process was developed for purifying type B neurotoxin. The kinetics of C.botulinum strain growth and neurotoxin production were determined for maximum yield of toxin. The neurotoxin was purified by polyethylene glycol (PEG) precipitation and chromatography. Based on design of full factorial experiment, 20% (w/v) PEG-6000, 4°C, pH 5.0 and 0.3 M NaCl were optimal conditions to obtain a high recovery rate of 87% for the type B neurotoxin complex, as indicated by a purification factor of 61.5 fold. Furthermore, residual bacterial cells, impurity proteins and some nucleic acids were removed by PEG precipitation. The following purification of neurotoxin was accomplished by two chromatography techniques using Sephacryl™ S-100 and phenyl HP columns. The neurotoxin was recovered with an overall yield of 21.5% and the purification factor increased to 216.7 fold. In addition, a mouse bioassay determined the purified neurotoxin complex possessed a specific toxicity (LD50) of 4.095 ng/kg. PMID:22761863

  14. Pharmaceutical, biological, and clinical properties of botulinum neurotoxin type A products.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frevert, Jürgen

    2015-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin injections are a valuable treatment modality for many therapeutic indications and have revolutionized the field of aesthetic medicine so that they are the leading cosmetic procedure performed worldwide. Studies show that onabotulinumtoxinA, abobotulinumtoxinA, and incobotulinumtoxinA are comparable in terms of clinical efficacy. Differences between the products relate to the botulinum neurotoxin complexes, specific biological potency, and their immunogenicity. Protein complex size and molecular weight have no effect on biological activity, stability, distribution, or side effect profile. Complexing proteins and inactive toxin (toxoid) content increase the risk of neutralizing antibody formation, which can cause secondary treatment failure, particularly in chronic disorders that require frequent injections and long-term treatment. These attributes could lead to differences in therapeutic outcomes, and, given the widespread aesthetic use of these three neurotoxin products, physicians should be aware of how they differ to ensure their safe and effective use.

  15. Heat shock and prolonged heat stress attenuate neurotoxin and sporulation gene expression in group I Clostridium botulinum strain ATCC 3502.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Selby, Katja; Mascher, Gerald; Somervuo, Panu; Lindström, Miia; Korkeala, Hannu

    2017-01-01

    Foodborne pathogenic bacteria are exposed to a number of environmental stresses during food processing, storage, and preparation, and in the human body. In order to improve the safety of food, the understanding of molecular stress response mechanisms foodborne pathogens employ is essential. Many response mechanisms that are activated during heat shock may cross-protect bacteria against other environmental stresses. To better understand the molecular mechanisms Clostridium botulinum, the causative agent of botulism, utilizes during acute heat stress and during adaptation to stressfully high temperature, the C. botulinum Group I strain ATCC 3502 was grown in continuous culture at 39°C and exposed to heat shock at 45°C, followed by prolonged heat stress at 45°C to allow adaptation of the culture to the high temperature. Growth in continuous culture was performed to exclude secondary growth phase effects or other environmental impacts on bacterial gene transcription. Changes in global gene expression profiles were studied using DNA microarray hybridization. During acute heat stress, Class I and III heat shock genes as well as members of the SOS regulon were activated. The neurotoxin gene botA and genes encoding the neurotoxin-associated proteins were suppressed throughout the study. Prolonged heat stress led to suppression of the sporulation machinery whereas genes related to chemotaxis and motility were activated. Induced expression of a large proportion of prophage genes was detected, suggesting an important role of acquired genes in the stress resistance of C. botulinum. Finally, changes in the expression of a large number of genes related to carbohydrate and amino acid metabolism indicated remodeling of the cellular metabolism.

  16. A camelid single-domain antibody neutralizes botulinum neurotoxin A by blocking host receptor binding

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Weisemann, Jasmin; Peng, Lisheng; Krez, Nadja; Perry, Kay; Shoemaker, Charles B.; Dong, Min; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng (BCH); (Cornell); (Tufts CTSI); (UCI); (MHH)

    2017-08-07

    Antibody treatment is currently the only available countermeasure for botulism, a fatal illness caused by flaccid paralysis of muscles due to botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) intoxication. Among the seven major serotypes of BoNT/A-G, BoNT/A poses the most serious threat to humans because of its high potency and long duration of action. Prior to entering neurons and blocking neurotransmitter release, BoNT/A recognizes motoneurons via a dual-receptor binding process in which it engages both the neuron surface polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Previously, we identified a potent neutralizing antitoxin against BoNT/A1 termed ciA-C2, derived from a camelid heavy-chain-only antibody (VHH). In this study, we demonstrate that ciA-C2 prevents BoNT/A1 intoxication by inhibiting its binding to neuronal receptor SV2. Furthermore, we determined the crystal structure of ciA-C2 in complex with the receptor-binding domain of BoNT/A1 (HCA1) at 1.68 Å resolution. The structure revealed that ciA-C2 partially occupies the SV2-binding site on HCA1, causing direct interference of HCA1 interaction with both the N-glycan and peptide-moiety of SV2. Interestingly, this neutralization mechanism is similar to that of a monoclonal antibody in clinical trials, despite that ciA-C2 is more than 10-times smaller. Taken together, these results enlighten our understanding of BoNT/A1 interactions with its neuronal receptor, and further demonstrate that inhibiting toxin binding to the host receptor is an efficient countermeasure strategy.

  17. Molecular basis of immunogenicity to botulinum neurotoxins and uses of the defined antigenic regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atassi, M Z

    2015-12-01

    Intensive research in this laboratory over the last 19 years has aimed at understanding the molecular bases for immune recognition of botulinum neurotoxin, types A and B and the role of anti-toxin immune responses in defense against the toxin. Using 92 synthetic 19-residue peptides that overlapped by 5 residues and comprised an entire toxin (A or B) we determined the peptides' ability to bind anti-toxin Abs of human, mouse, horse and chicken. We also localized the epitopes recognized by Abs of cervical dystonia patients who developed immunoresistance to correlate toxin during treatment with BoNT/A or BoNT/B. For BoNT/A, patients' blocking Abs bound to 13 regions (5 on L and 8 on H subunit) on the surface and the response to each region was under separate MHC control. The responses were defined by the structure of the antigen and by the MHC of the host. The antigenic regions coincided or overlapped with synaptosomes (SNPS) binding regions. Antibody binding blocked the toxin's ability to bind to neuronal cells. In fact selected synthetic peptides were able to inhibit the toxin's action in vivo. A combination of three synthetic strong antigenic peptides detected blocking Abs in 88% of immunoresistant patients' sera. Administration of selected epitopes, pre-linked at their N(α) group to monomethoxyployethylene glycol, into mice with ongoing blocking anti-toxin Abs, reduced blocking Ab levels in the recipients. This may be suitable for clinical applications. Defined epitopes should also be valuable in synthetic vaccines design. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Production and evaluation of a recombinant chimeric vaccine against clostridium botulinum neurotoxin types C and D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana A F Gil

    Full Text Available Bovine botulism is a fatal disease that is caused by botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs produced by Clostridium botulinum serotypes C and D and that causes great economic losses, with nearly 100% lethality during outbreaks. It has also been considered a potential source of human food-borne illness in many countries. Vaccination has been reported to be the most effective way to control bovine botulism. However, the commercially available toxoid-based vaccines are difficult and hazardous to produce. Neutralizing antibodies targeted against the C-terminal fragment of the BoNT heavy chain (HC are known to confer efficient protection against lethal doses of BoNTs. In this study, a novel recombinant chimera, consisting of Escherichia coli heat-labile enterotoxin B subunit (LTB, a strong adjuvant of the humoral immune response, fused to the HC of BoNT serotypes C and D, was produced in E. coli. Mice vaccinated with the chimera containing LTB and an equivalent molar ratio of the chimera without LTB plus aluminum hydroxide (Al(OH3 developed 2 IU/mL of antitoxins for both serotypes. Guinea pigs immunized with the recombinant chimera with LTB plus Al(OH3 developed a protective immune response against both BoNT/C (5 IU/mL and BoNT/D (10 IU/mL, as determined by a mouse neutralization bioassay with pooled sera. The results achieved with guinea pig sera fulfilled the requirements of commercial vaccines for prevention of botulism, as determined by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food, Supply. The presence of LTB was essential for the development of a strong humoral immune response, as it acted in synergism with Al(OH3. Thus, the vaccine described in this study is a strong candidate for the control of botulism in cattle.

  19. Rapid microfluidic assay for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin in animal sera

    Science.gov (United States)

    The potent botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) represent a threat to public health and safety. Botulism is a disease caused by BoNT intoxication that results in muscle paralysis that can be fatal. Sensitive assays capable of detecting BoNTs from different substrates and settings are essential to limit f...

  20. Structural basis for recognition of synaptic vesicle protein 2C by botulinum neurotoxin A

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Benoit, Roger M.; Frey, Daniel; Hilbert, Manuel; Kevenaar, Josta T.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/338771042; Wieser, Mara M.; Stirnimann, Christian U.; McMillan, David; Ceska, Tom; Lebon, Florence; Jaussi, Rolf; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Schertler, Gebhard F X; Hoogenraad, Casper C.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/227263502; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) belongs to the most dangerous class of bioweapons. Despite this, BoNT/A is used to treat a wide range of common medical conditions such as migraines and a variety of ocular motility and movement disorders. BoNT/A is probably best known for its use as an antiwrinkle

  1. A comparative study on three analytical methods for the determination of the neurotoxin BMAA in cyanobacteria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Faassen, E.J.; Gillissen, F.; Lurling, M.

    2012-01-01

    The cyanobacterial neurotoxin ß-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been considered a serious health threat because of its putative role in multiple neurodegenerative diseases. First reports on BMAA concentrations in cyanobacteria were alarming: nearly all cyanobacteria were assumed to contain high

  2. Innovative mode of action based in vitro assays for detection of marine neurotoxins

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.

    2015-01-01

    Innovative mode of action based in vitro assays for detection of marine neurotoxins

    J. Nicolas, P.J.M. Hendriksen, T.F.H. Bovee, I.M.C.M. Rietjens

    Marine biotoxins are naturally occurring compounds produced by particular phytoplankton species. These toxins often accumulate in

  3. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Ozbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2012-04-07

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficiency in sea water is further demonstrated by the rapid paralysis of fish or crustacean larvae upon application of recombinant Nv1 into their medium. Analysis of other anemone species reveals that in Anthopleura elegantissima, Type I neurotoxins also appear in gland cells, whereas in the common species Anemonia viridis, Type I toxins are localized to both nematocytes and ectodermal gland cells. The nematocyte-based and gland cell-based envenomation mechanisms may reflect substantial differences in the ecology and feeding habits of sea anemone species. Overall, the immunolocalization of neurotoxins to gland cells changes the common view in the literature that sea anemone neurotoxins are produced and delivered only by stinging nematocytes, and raises the possibility that this toxin-secretion mechanism is an ancestral evolutionary state of the venom delivery machinery in sea anemones.

  4. Maculotoxin: a neurotoxin from the venom glands of the octopus Hapalochlaena maculosa identified as tetrodotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheumack, D D; Howden, M E; Spence, I; Quinn, R J

    1978-01-13

    Maculotoxin, a potent neurotoxin isolated from the posterior salivary glands of the blue-ringed octopus. Hapalochlaena maculosa, has now been identified as tetrodotoxin. This is the first reported case in which tetrodotoxin has been found to occur in a venom.

  5. Neuronal targeting, internalization, and biological activity of a recombinant atoxic derivative of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) have the unique capacity to cross epithelial barriers, target neuromuscular junctions, and translocate active metalloprotease component to the cytosol of motor neurons. We have taken advantage of the molecular carriers responsible for this trafficking to create a family ...

  6. Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasooly, Reuven; Do, Paula M

    2010-12-08

    Foodborne botulism is caused by the ingestion of foods containing botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs). To study the heat stability of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, we needed to measure and compare the activity of botulinum neurotoxins, serotypes A and B, under various pasteurization conditions. Currently, the only accepted assay to detect active C. botulinum neurotoxin is an in vivo mouse bioassay, which raises ethical concerns with regard to the use of experimental animals. In this study, noninvasive methods were used to simultaneously detect and distinguish between active BoNT serotypes A and B in one reaction and sample. We developed an enzymatic activity assay employing internally quenched fluorogenic peptides corresponding to SNAP-25, for BoNT-A, and VAMP2, for BoNT-B, as an alternative method to the mouse bioassay. Because each peptide is labeled with different fluorophores, we were able to distinguish between these two toxins. We used this method to analyze the heat stability of BoNT-A and BoNT-B. This study reports that conventional milk pasteurization (63 °C, 30 min) inactivated BoNT serotype A; however, serotype B is heat-stable in milk and not inactivated by pasteurization. Using this activity assay, we also showed that the commonly used food processes such as acidity and pasteurization, which are known to inhibit C. botulinum growth and toxin production, are more effective in inactivating BoNT serotype A than serotype B when conventional pasteurization (63 °C, 30 min) is used.

  7. Three enzymatically active neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum strain Af84: BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Baudys, Jakub; Smith, Theresa J; Smith, Leonard A; Barr, John R

    2014-04-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by various species of clostridia and are potent neurotoxins which cause the disease botulism, by cleaving proteins needed for successful nerve transmission. There are currently seven confirmed serotypes of BoNTs, labeled A-G, and toxin-producing clostridia typically only produce one serotype of BoNT. There are a few strains (bivalent strains) which are known to produce more than one serotype of BoNT, producing either both BoNT/A and /B, BoNT/A and /F, or BoNT/B and /F, designated as Ab, Ba, Af, or Bf. Recently, it was reported that Clostridium botulinum strain Af84 has three neurotoxin gene clusters: bont/A2, bont/F4, and bont/F5. This was the first report of a clostridial organism containing more than two neurotoxin gene clusters. Using a mass spectrometry based proteomics approach, we report here that all three neurotoxins, BoNT/A2, /F4, and /F5, are produced by C. botulinum Af84. Label free MS(E) quantification of the three toxins indicated that toxin composition is 88% BoNT/A2, 1% BoNT/F4, and 11% BoNT/F5. The enzymatic activity of all three neurotoxins was assessed by examining the enzymatic activity of the neurotoxins upon peptide substrates, which mimic the toxins' natural targets, and monitoring cleavage of the substrates by mass spectrometry. We determined that all three neurotoxins are enzymatically active. This is the first report of three enzymatically active neurotoxins produced in a single strain of Clostridium botulinum.

  8. Botulinum neurotoxin type A injections for vaginismus secondary to vulvar vestibulitis syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertolasi, Laura; Frasson, Emma; Cappelletti, Jee Yun; Vicentini, Silvana; Bordignon, Monia; Graziottin, Alessandra

    2009-11-01

    To investigate whether botulinum neurotoxin type A improves vaginismus and study its efficacy with repeated treatments. Outpatients were referred because standard cognitive-behavioral and medical treatment for vaginismus and vulvar vestibular syndrome failed. From this group, we prospectively recruited consecutive women (n=39) whose diagnostic electromyogram (EMG) recordings from the levator ani muscle showed hyperactivity at rest and reduced inhibition during straining. These women were followed for a mean (+/-standard deviation) of 105 (+/-50) weeks. Recruited patients underwent repeated cycles of botulinum neurotoxin type A injected into the levator ani under EMG guidance and EMG monitoring thereafter. At enrollment and 4 weeks after each cycle, women were asked about sexual intercourse; underwent EMG evaluation and examinations to grade vaginal resistance according to Lamont; and completed a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, the Female Sexual Function Index Scale, a quality-of-life questionnaire (Short-Form 12 Health Survey), and bowel and bladder symptom assessment. At 4 weeks after the first botulinum neurotoxin type A cycle, the primary outcome measures (the possibility of having sexual intercourse, and levator ani EMG hyperactivity) both improved, as did the secondary outcomes, Lamont scores, VAS, Female Sexual Function Index Scales, Short-Form 12 Health Survey, and bowel-bladder symptoms. These benefits persisted through later cycles. When follow-up ended, 63.2% of the patients completely recovered from vaginismus and vulvar vestibular syndrome, 15.4% still needed reinjections (censored), and 15.4% had dropped out. Botulinum neurotoxin type A is an effective treatment option for vaginismus secondary to vulvar vestibular syndrome refractory to standard cognitive-behavioral and medical management. After patients received botulinum neurotoxin type A, their sexual activity improved and reinjections provided sustained benefits. III.

  9. Independent evolution of neurotoxin and flagellar genetic loci in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carter, Andrew T; Paul, Catherine J; Mason, David R; Twine, Susan M; Alston, Mark J; Logan, Susan M; Austin, John W; Peck, Michael W

    2009-03-19

    Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum is the causative agent of botulism, a severe neuroparalytic illness. Given the severity of botulism, surprisingly little is known of the population structure, biology, phylogeny or evolution of C. botulinum. The recent determination of the genome sequence of C. botulinum has allowed comparative genomic indexing using a DNA microarray. Whole genome microarray analysis revealed that 63% of the coding sequences (CDSs) present in reference strain ATCC 3502 were common to all 61 widely-representative strains of proteolytic C. botulinum and the closely related C. sporogenes tested. This indicates a relatively stable genome. There was, however, evidence for recombination and genetic exchange, in particular within the neurotoxin gene and cluster (including transfer of neurotoxin genes to C. sporogenes), and the flagellar glycosylation island (FGI). These two loci appear to have evolved independently from each other, and from the remainder of the genetic complement. A number of strains were atypical; for example, while 10 out of 14 strains that formed type A1 toxin gave almost identical profiles in whole genome, neurotoxin cluster and FGI analyses, the other four strains showed divergent properties. Furthermore, a new neurotoxin sub-type (A5) has been discovered in strains from heroin-associated wound botulism cases. For the first time, differences in glycosylation profiles of the flagella could be linked to differences in the gene content of the FGI. Proteolytic C. botulinum has a stable genome backbone containing specific regions of genetic heterogeneity. These include the neurotoxin gene cluster and the FGI, each having evolved independently of each other and the remainder of the genetic complement. Analysis of these genetic components provides a high degree of discrimination of strains of proteolytic C. botulinum, and is suitable for clinical and forensic investigations of botulism outbreaks.

  10. Independent evolution of neurotoxin and flagellar genetic loci in proteolytic Clostridium botulinum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Twine Susan M

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum is the causative agent of botulism, a severe neuroparalytic illness. Given the severity of botulism, surprisingly little is known of the population structure, biology, phylogeny or evolution of C. botulinum. The recent determination of the genome sequence of C. botulinum has allowed comparative genomic indexing using a DNA microarray. Results Whole genome microarray analysis revealed that 63% of the coding sequences (CDSs present in reference strain ATCC 3502 were common to all 61 widely-representative strains of proteolytic C. botulinum and the closely related C. sporogenes tested. This indicates a relatively stable genome. There was, however, evidence for recombination and genetic exchange, in particular within the neurotoxin gene and cluster (including transfer of neurotoxin genes to C. sporogenes, and the flagellar glycosylation island (FGI. These two loci appear to have evolved independently from each other, and from the remainder of the genetic complement. A number of strains were atypical; for example, while 10 out of 14 strains that formed type A1 toxin gave almost identical profiles in whole genome, neurotoxin cluster and FGI analyses, the other four strains showed divergent properties. Furthermore, a new neurotoxin sub-type (A5 has been discovered in strains from heroin-associated wound botulism cases. For the first time, differences in glycosylation profiles of the flagella could be linked to differences in the gene content of the FGI. Conclusion Proteolytic C. botulinum has a stable genome backbone containing specific regions of genetic heterogeneity. These include the neurotoxin gene cluster and the FGI, each having evolved independently of each other and the remainder of the genetic complement. Analysis of these genetic components provides a high degree of discrimination of strains of proteolytic C. botulinum, and is suitable for clinical and forensic investigations of botulism

  11. High-level expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the receptor-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin serotype D

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Yanfeng; Gao, Xiaoli; Qin, Ling; Buchko, Garry W.; Robinson, Howard; Varnum, Susan M.

    2010-01-01

    The receptor-binding domain of botulinum neurotoxin serotype D was expressed in E. coli using a codon-optimized cDNA. The highly purified protein crystallized in space group P2 1 2 1 2 1 , with unit-cell parameters a = 60.8, b = 89.7, c = 93.9 Å, and the crystals diffracted to 1.65 Å resolution. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly toxic proteins for humans and animals that are responsible for the deadly neuroparalytic disease botulism. Here, details of the expression and purification of the receptor-binding domain (HCR) of BoNT/D in Escherichia coli are presented. Using a codon-optimized cDNA, BoNT/D-HCR was expressed at a high level (150–200 mg per litre of culture) in the soluble fraction. Following a three-step purification protocol, very pure (>98%) BoNT/D-HCR was obtained. The recombinant BoNT/D-HCR was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to 1.65 Å resolution. The crystals belonged to space group P2 1 2 1 2 1 , with unit-cell parameters a = 60.8, b = 89.7, c = 93.9 Å. Preliminary crystallographic data analysis revealed the presence of one molecule in the asymmetric unit

  12. An Investigation of Immunogenicity of Chitosan-Based Botulinum Neurotoxin E Binding Domain Recombinant Candidate Vaccine via Mucosal Route

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad Javad Bagheripour

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background and Objectives: Botulism syndrome is caused by serotypes A-G of neurotoxins of Clostridium genus. Neurotoxin binding domain is an appropriate vaccine candidate due to its immunogenic activity. In this study, the immunogenicity of chitosan-based botulinum neurotoxin E binding domain recombinant candidate vaccine was investigated via mucosal route of administration. Methods: In this experimental study, chitosan nanoparticles containing rBoNT/E protein were synthesized by ionic gelation method and were administered orally and intranasally to mice. After each administration, IgG antibody titer was measured by ELISA method. Finally, all groups were challenged with active botulinum neurotoxin type E. Data were analyzed using Duncan and repeated ANOVA tests. The significance level was considered as p0.05, even intranasal route reduced the immunogenicity.

  13. Biochemistry of snake venom neurotoxins and their application to the study of synapse. [Neurotoxins isolated from venom of the Formosan banded krait

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanley, M.R.

    1978-11-01

    The crude venom of the Formosan banded krait, Bungarus multicinctus, was separated into eleven lethal protein fractions. Nine fractions were purified to final homogeneous toxins, designated ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 7, 8, 9A, 11, 12, 13, and 14. Three of the toxins, ..cap alpha..-bungarotoxin, 7, and 8, were identified as post-synaptic curarimimetic neurotoxins. The remaining toxins were identified as pre-synaptic neurotoxins. ..cap alpha..-Bungarotoxin, toxin 7, and toxin 8 are all highly stable basic polypeptides of approx. 8000 daltons molecular weight. The pre-synaptic toxins fell into two structural groups: toxin 9A and 14 which were single basic chains of approx. 14,000 daltons, and ..beta..-bungarotoxin, and toxins 11 thru 13 which were composed of two chains of approx. 8000 and approx. 13,000 daltons covalently linked by disulfides. All the pre-synaptic neurotoxins were shown to have intrinsic calcium-dependent phospholipase A activities. Under certain conditions, intact synaptic membranes were hydrolyzed more rapidly than protein-free extracted synaptic-lipid liposomes which, in turn, were hydrolyzed more rapidly than any other tested liposomes. It was speculated that cell-surface arrays of phosphatidyl serine/glycolipids created high affinity target sites for ..beta..-bungarotoxin. Single-chain toxins were found to be qualitatively different from the two-chain toxins in their ability to block the functioning of acetylcholine receptors, and were quantitatively different in their enzymatic and membrane disruptive activities. ..beta..-Bungarotoxin was shown to be an extremely potent neuronal lesioning agent. There was no apparent selectivity for cholinergic over non-cholinergic neurons, nor for nerve terminals over cell bodies. It was suggested that ..beta..-bungarotoxin can be considered a useful new histological tool, which may exhibit some regional selectivity.

  14. Minimal Essential Domains Specifying Toxicity of the Light Chains of Tetanus Toxin and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kurazono, Hisao; Mochida, Sumiko; Binz, Thomas; Eisel, Ulrich; Quanz, Martin; Grebenstein, Oliver; Wernars, Karel; Poulain, Bernard; Tauc, Ladislav; Niemann, Heiner

    1992-01-01

    To define conserved domains within the light (L) chains of clostridial neurotoxins, we determined the sequence of botulinum neurotoxin type B (BoNT/B) and aligned it with those of tetanus toxin (TeTx) and BoNT/A, BoNT/Cl, BoNT/D, and BoNT/E. The L chains of BoNT/B and TeTx share 51.6% identical

  15. N-linked glycosylation of SV2 is required for binding and uptake of botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Guorui; Zhang, Sicai; Mahrhold, Stefan; Lam, Kwok-ho; Stern, Daniel; Bagramyan, Karine; Perry, Kay; Kalkum, Markus; Rummel, Andreas; Dong, Min; Jin, Rongsheng

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A1 (BoNT/A1) is one of the most dangerous potential bioterrorism agents, and exerts its action by invading motoneurons. It is also a licensed drug widely used for medical and cosmetic applications. Here we report a 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of BoNT/A1 receptor-binding domain in complex with its neuronal receptor, the glycosylated human SV2C. We find that the neuronal tropism of BoNT/A1 requires recognition of both the peptide moiety and an N-linked glycan on SV2. This N-glycan—conserved in all SV2 isoforms across vertebrates—is essential for BoNT/A1 binding to neurons and its potent neurotoxicity. The glycan-binding interface on SV2 is targeted by a human BoNT/A1-neutralizing antibody currently licensed as an anti-botulism drug. Our studies reveal a new paradigm of host-pathogen interactions, in which pathogens exploit conserved host post-translational modifications to achieve highly specific receptor binding while also tolerating genetic changes across multiple isoforms of receptors. PMID:27294781

  16. Neurotoxin localization to ectodermal gland cells uncovers an alternative mechanism of venom delivery in sea anemones

    OpenAIRE

    Moran, Yehu; Genikhovich, Grigory; Gordon, Dalia; Wienkoop, Stefanie; Zenkert, Claudia; Özbek, Suat; Technau, Ulrich; Gurevitz, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Jellyfish, hydras, corals and sea anemones (phylum Cnidaria) are known for their venomous stinging cells, nematocytes, used for prey and defence. Here we show, however, that the potent Type I neurotoxin of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis, Nv1, is confined to ectodermal gland cells rather than nematocytes. We demonstrate massive Nv1 secretion upon encounter with a crustacean prey. Concomitant discharge of nematocysts probably pierces the prey, expediting toxin penetration. Toxin efficie...

  17. Beltless Translocation Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin A Embodies a Minimum Ion-conductive Channel*

    OpenAIRE

    Fischer, Audrey; Sambashivan, Shilpa; Brunger, Axel T.; Montal, Mauricio

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin, the causative agent of the paralytic disease botulism, is an endopeptidase composed of a catalytic domain (or light chain (LC)) and a heavy chain (HC) encompassing the translocation domain (TD) and receptor-binding domain. Upon receptor-mediated endocytosis, the LC and TD are proposed to undergo conformational changes in the acidic endocytic environment resulting in the formation of an LC protein-conducting TD channel. The mechanism of channel formation and the conformat...

  18. Purification and characterization of a novel subtype a3 botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tepp, William H; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A

    2012-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by Clostridium botulinum are of considerable importance due to their being the cause of human and animal botulism, their potential as bioterrorism agents, and their utility as important pharmaceuticals. Type A is prominent due to its high toxicity and long duration of action. Five subtypes of type A BoNT are currently recognized; BoNT/A1, -/A2, and -/A5 have been purified, and their properties have been studied. BoNT/A3 is intriguing because it is not effectively neutralized by polyclonal anti-BoNT/A1 antibodies, and thus, it may potentially replace BoNT/A1 for patients who have become refractive to treatment with BoNT/A1 due to antibody formation or other modes of resistance. Purification of BoNT/A3 has been challenging because of its low levels of production in culture and the need for innovative purification procedures. In this study, modified Mueller-Miller medium was used in place of traditional toxin production medium (TPM) to culture C. botulinum A3 (CDC strain) and boost toxin production. BoNT/A3 titers were at least 10-fold higher than those produced in TPM. A purification method was developed to obtain greater than 95% pure BoNT/A3. The specific toxicity of BoNT/A3 as determined by mouse bioassay was 5.8 × 10(7) 50% lethal doses (LD(50))/mg. Neutralization of BoNT/A3 toxicity by a polyclonal anti-BoNT/A1 antibody was approximately 10-fold less than the neutralization of BoNT/A1 toxicity. In addition, differences in symptoms were observed between mice that were injected with BoNT/A3 and those that were injected with BoNT/A1. These results indicate that BoNT/A3 has novel biochemical and pharmacological properties compared to those of other subtype A toxins.

  19. The Structure of the Neurotoxin- Associated Protein HA33/A from Clostridium botulinum Suggests a Reoccurring Beta-Trefoil Fold in the Progenitor Toxin Complex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Arndt, Joseph W; Gu, Jenny; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Hanson, Michael A; Lebeda, Frank L; Stevens, Raymond C

    2004-01-01

    The hemagglutinating protein HA33 from Clostridium botulinum is associated with the large botulinum neurotoxin secreted complexes and is critical in toxin protection, internalization, and possibly activation...

  20. Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects on the Immune Cells of the Freshwater Bivalve Dreissena polymorpha Exposed to the Environmental Neurotoxin BMAA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepoutre, Alexandra; Milliote, Nadia; Bonnard, Marc; Palos-Ladeiro, Mélissa; Rioult, Damien; Bonnard, Isabelle; Bastien, Fanny; Faassen, Elisabeth; Geffard, Alain; Lance, Emilie

    2018-03-01

    The environmental neurotoxin β- N -Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) has been pointed out to be involved in human neurodegenerative diseases. This molecule is known to be bioaccumulated by bivalves. However, little data about its toxic effects on freshwater mussels is available, particularly on the hemolymphatic compartment and its hemocyte cells involved in various physiological processes such as immune defenses, digestion and excretion, tissue repair, and shell production. Here we exposed Dreissena polymorpha to dissolved BMAA, at the environmental concentration of 7.5 µg of /mussel/3 days, during 21 days followed by 14 days of depuration in clear water, with the objective of assessing the BMAA presence in the hemolymphatic compartment, as well as the impact of the hemocyte cells in terms of potential cytotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and genotoxiciy. Data showed that hemocytes were in contact with BMAA. The presence of BMAA in hemolymph did not induce significant effect on hemocytes phagocytosis activity. However, significant DNA damage on hemocytes occurred during the first week (days 3 and 8) of BMAA exposure, followed by an increase of hemocyte mortality after 2 weeks of exposure. Those effects might be an indirect consequence of the BMAA-induced oxidative stress in cells. However, DNA strand breaks and mortality did not persist during the entire exposure, despite the BMAA persistence in the hemolymph, suggesting potential induction of some DNA-repair mechanisms.

  1. Genotoxic and Cytotoxic Effects on the Immune Cells of the Freshwater Bivalve Dreissena polymorpha Exposed to the Environmental Neurotoxin BMAA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandra Lepoutre

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The environmental neurotoxin β-N-Methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA has been pointed out to be involved in human neurodegenerative diseases. This molecule is known to be bioaccumulated by bivalves. However, little data about its toxic effects on freshwater mussels is available, particularly on the hemolymphatic compartment and its hemocyte cells involved in various physiological processes such as immune defenses, digestion and excretion, tissue repair, and shell production. Here we exposed Dreissena polymorpha to dissolved BMAA, at the environmental concentration of 7.5 µg of /mussel/3 days, during 21 days followed by 14 days of depuration in clear water, with the objective of assessing the BMAA presence in the hemolymphatic compartment, as well as the impact of the hemocyte cells in terms of potential cytotoxicity, immunotoxicity, and genotoxiciy. Data showed that hemocytes were in contact with BMAA. The presence of BMAA in hemolymph did not induce significant effect on hemocytes phagocytosis activity. However, significant DNA damage on hemocytes occurred during the first week (days 3 and 8 of BMAA exposure, followed by an increase of hemocyte mortality after 2 weeks of exposure. Those effects might be an indirect consequence of the BMAA-induced oxidative stress in cells. However, DNA strand breaks and mortality did not persist during the entire exposure, despite the BMAA persistence in the hemolymph, suggesting potential induction of some DNA-repair mechanisms.

  2. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Skadi Kull

    Full Text Available Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT. Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed

  3. Isolation and functional characterization of the novel Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin A8 subtype.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kull, Skadi; Schulz, K Melanie; Weisemann, Jasmin; Kirchner, Sebastian; Schreiber, Tanja; Bollenbach, Alexander; Dabrowski, P Wojtek; Nitsche, Andreas; Kalb, Suzanne R; Dorner, Martin B; Barr, John R; Rummel, Andreas; Dorner, Brigitte G

    2015-01-01

    Botulism is a severe neurological disease caused by the complex family of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT). Based on the different serotypes known today, a classification of serotype variants termed subtypes has been proposed according to sequence diversity and immunological properties. However, the relevance of BoNT subtypes is currently not well understood. Here we describe the isolation of a novel Clostridium botulinum strain from a food-borne botulism outbreak near Chemnitz, Germany. Comparison of its botulinum neurotoxin gene sequence with published sequences identified it to be a novel subtype within the BoNT/A serotype designated BoNT/A8. The neurotoxin gene is located within an ha-orfX+ cluster and showed highest homology to BoNT/A1, A2, A5, and A6. Unexpectedly, we found an arginine insertion located in the HC domain of the heavy chain, which is unique compared to all other BoNT/A subtypes known so far. Functional characterization revealed that the binding characteristics to its main neuronal protein receptor SV2C seemed unaffected, whereas binding to membrane-incorporated gangliosides was reduced in comparison to BoNT/A1. Moreover, we found significantly lower enzymatic activity of the natural, full-length neurotoxin and the recombinant light chain of BoNT/A8 compared to BoNT/A1 in different endopeptidase assays. Both reduced ganglioside binding and enzymatic activity may contribute to the considerably lower biological activity of BoNT/A8 as measured in a mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay. Despite its reduced activity the novel BoNT/A8 subtype caused severe botulism in a 63-year-old male. To our knowledge, this is the first description and a comprehensive characterization of a novel BoNT/A subtype which combines genetic information on the neurotoxin gene cluster with an in-depth functional analysis using different technical approaches. Our results show that subtyping of BoNT is highly relevant and that understanding of the detailed toxin function might

  4. Immune recognition of botulinum neurotoxin B: antibody-binding regions on the heavy chain of the toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolimbek, Behzod Z; Steward, Lance E; Aoki, K Roger; Atassi, M Zouhair

    2008-02-01

    The purpose of this work was to map the continuous regions recognized by human, horse and mouse anti-botulinum neurotoxin B (BoNT/B) antibodies (Abs). We synthesized a panel of sixty 19-residue peptides (peptide C31 was 24 residues) that overlapped consecutively by 5 residues and together encompassed the entire heavy chain of BoNT/B (H/B, residues 442-1291). Abs from the three host species recognized similar, but not identical, peptides. There were also peptides recognized by two or only by one host species. Where a peptide was recognized by Abs of more than one host species, these Abs were at different levels among the species. Human, horse and mouse Abs bound, although in different amounts, to regions within peptides 736-754, 778-796, 848-866, 932-950, 974-992, 1058-1076 and 1128-1146. Human and horse Abs bound to peptides 890-908 and 1170-1188. Human and mouse Abs recognized peptides 470-488/484-502 overlap, 638-656, 722-740, 862-880, 1030-1048, 1072-1090, 1240-1258 and 1268-1291. We concluded that the antigenic regions localized with the three antisera are quite similar, exhibiting in some cases a small shift to the left or to the right. This is consistent with what is known about protein immune recognition. In the three-dimensional structure, the regions recognized on H/B by anti-BoNT/B Abs occupied surface locations and analysis revealed no correlation between these surface locations and surface electrostatic potential, hydrophilicity, hydrophobicity, or temperature factor. A region that bound mouse Abs overlapped with a recently defined site on BoNT/B that binds to mouse and rat synaptotagmin II, thus providing a molecular explanation for the blocking (protecting) activity of these Abs. The regions thus localized afford candidates for incorporation into a synthetic vaccine design.

  5. Quinolinic Acid: An Endogenous Neurotoxin with Multiple Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Lugo-Huitrón

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Quinolinic acid (QUIN, a neuroactive metabolite of the kynurenine pathway, is normally presented in nanomolar concentrations in human brain and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF and is often implicated in the pathogenesis of a variety of human neurological diseases. QUIN is an agonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor, and it has a high in vivo potency as an excitotoxin. In fact, although QUIN has an uptake system, its neuronal degradation enzyme is rapidly saturated, and the rest of extracellular QUIN can continue stimulating the NMDA receptor. However, its toxicity cannot be fully explained by its activation of NMDA receptors it is likely that additional mechanisms may also be involved. In this review we describe some of the most relevant targets of QUIN neurotoxicity which involves presynaptic receptors, energetic dysfunction, oxidative stress, transcription factors, cytoskeletal disruption, behavior alterations, and cell death.

  6. Botulinum neurotoxin vaccines: Past history and recent developments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusnak, Janice M; Smith, Leonard A

    2009-12-01

    Botulinum toxin may cause a neuroparalytic illness that may result in respiratory failure and require prolonged mechanical ventilation. As medical resources needed for supportive care of botulism in a bioterrorist event may quickly overwhelm the local healthcare systems, biodefense research efforts have been directed towards the development of a vaccine to prevent botulism. While human botulism has been caused only by toxin serotypes A, B, and E (rarely serotype F), all seven known immunologically distinct toxin serotypes (A - G) may potentially cause intoxication in humans from a bioterrorist event. A pentavalent (ABCDE) botulinum toxoid (PBT) has been administered as an investigation new drug (IND) to at-risk individuals for nearly 50 years. Due to declining immunogenicity of the PBT, research efforts have been directed at development of both improved (less local reactogenicity) botulinum toxoids and recombinant vaccines as potential vaccine candidates to replace the PBT.

  7. Differential role of molten globule and protein folding in distinguishing unique features of botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Raj; Kukreja, Roshan V; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal R

    2014-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are proteins of great interest not only because of their extreme toxicity but also paradoxically for their therapeutic applications. All the known serotypes (A-G) have varying degrees of longevity and potency inside the neuronal cell. Differential chemical modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination have been suggested as possible mechanisms for their longevity, but the molecular basis of the longevity remains unclear. Since the endopeptidase domain (light chain; LC) of toxin apparently survives inside the neuronal cells for months, it is important to examine the structural features of this domain to understand its resistance to intracellular degradation. Published crystal structures (both botulinum neurotoxins and endopeptidase domain) have not provided adequate explanation for the intracellular longevity of the domain. Structural features obtained from spectroscopic analysis of LCA and LCB were similar, and a PRIME (PReImminent Molten Globule Enzyme) conformation appears to be responsible for their optimal enzymatic activity at 37°C. LCE, on the other hand, was although optimally active at 37°C, but its active conformation differed from the PRIME conformation of LCA and LCB. This study establishes and confirms our earlier finding that an optimally active conformation of these proteins in the form of PRIME exists for the most poisonous poison, botulinum neurotoxin. There are substantial variations in the structural and functional characteristics of these active molten globule related structures among the three BoNT endopeptidases examined. These differential conformations of LCs are important in understanding the fundamental structural features of proteins, and their possible connection to intracellular longevity could provide significant clues for devising new countermeasures and effective therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) induces neuronal and behavioral changes in honeybees

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okle, Oliver, E-mail: oliver.okle@uni-konstanz.de [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Jacob-Burckhardt-Strasse 25, 78457 Konstanz (Germany); Rath, Lisa; Galizia, C. Giovanni [Zoology and Neurobiology, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstraße 10, 78457 Konstanz (Germany); Dietrich, Daniel R., E-mail: daniel.dietrich@uni-konstanz.de [Human and Environmental Toxicology, University of Konstanz, Jacob-Burckhardt-Strasse 25, 78457 Konstanz (Germany)

    2013-07-01

    The cyanobacterially produced neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is thought to induce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC)-like symptoms. However, its mechanism of action and its pathway of intoxication are yet unknown. In vivo animal models suitable for investigating the neurotoxic effect of BMAA with applicability to the human are scarce. Hence, we used the honeybee (Apis mellifera) since its nervous system is relatively simple, yet having cognitive capabilities. Bees fed with BMAA-spiked sugar water had an increased mortality rate and a reduced ability to learn odors in a classical conditioning paradigm. Using {sup 14}C-BMAA we demonstrated that BMAA is biologically available to the bee, and is found in the head, thorax and abdomen with little to no excretion. BMAA is also transferred from one bee to the next via trophallaxis resulting in an exposure of the whole beehive. BMAA bath application directly onto the brain leads to an altered Ca{sup 2+} homeostasis and to generation of reactive oxygen species. These behavioral and physiological observations suggest that BMAA may have effects on bee brains similar to those assumed to occur in humans. Therefore the bee could serve as a surrogate model system for investigating the neurological effects of BMAA. - Highlights: • Investigating of neurotoxic effects of BMAA in honeybees • BMAA impairs ALS markers (ROS, Ca{sup 2+}, learning, memory, odor) in bees. • A method for the observation of ROS development in living bees brain was established. • Honeybees are a suitable model to explore neurodegenerative processes. • Neurotoxic BMAA can be spread in bee populations by trophallaxis.

  9. The environmental neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (l-BMAA) is deposited into birds' eggs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marie; Karlsson, Oskar; Brandt, Ingvar

    2018-01-01

    The neurotoxic amino acid β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been implicated in the etiology of neurodegenerative disorders. BMAA is also a known developmental neurotoxin and research indicates that the sources of human and wildlife exposure may be more diverse than previously anticipated. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine whether BMAA can be transferred into birds' eggs. Egg laying quail were dosed with 14 C-labeled BMAA. The distribution of radioactivity in the birds and their laid eggs was then examined at different time points by autoradiography and phosphoimaging analysis. To evaluate the metabolic stability of the BMAA molecule, the distribution of 14 C-methyl- and 14 C-carboxyl-labeled BMAA were compared. The results revealed a pronounced incorporation of radioactivity in the eggs, predominantly in the yolk but also in the albumen. Imaging analysis showed that the concentrations of radioactivity in the liver decreased about seven times between the 24h and the 72h time points, while the concentrations in egg yolk remained largely unchanged. At 72h the egg yolk contained about five times the concentration of radioactivity in the liver. Both BMAA preparations gave rise to similar distribution pattern in the bird tissues and in the eggs, indicating metabolic stability of the labeled groups. The demonstrated deposition into eggs warrants studies of BMAAs effects on bird development. Moreover, birds' eggs may be a source of human BMAA exposure, provided that the laying birds are exposed to BMAA via their diet. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. The cyanobacterial neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) induces neuronal and behavioral changes in honeybees

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okle, Oliver; Rath, Lisa; Galizia, C. Giovanni; Dietrich, Daniel R.

    2013-01-01

    The cyanobacterially produced neurotoxin beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is thought to induce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/Parkinsonism dementia complex (ALS/PDC)-like symptoms. However, its mechanism of action and its pathway of intoxication are yet unknown. In vivo animal models suitable for investigating the neurotoxic effect of BMAA with applicability to the human are scarce. Hence, we used the honeybee (Apis mellifera) since its nervous system is relatively simple, yet having cognitive capabilities. Bees fed with BMAA-spiked sugar water had an increased mortality rate and a reduced ability to learn odors in a classical conditioning paradigm. Using 14 C-BMAA we demonstrated that BMAA is biologically available to the bee, and is found in the head, thorax and abdomen with little to no excretion. BMAA is also transferred from one bee to the next via trophallaxis resulting in an exposure of the whole beehive. BMAA bath application directly onto the brain leads to an altered Ca 2+ homeostasis and to generation of reactive oxygen species. These behavioral and physiological observations suggest that BMAA may have effects on bee brains similar to those assumed to occur in humans. Therefore the bee could serve as a surrogate model system for investigating the neurological effects of BMAA. - Highlights: • Investigating of neurotoxic effects of BMAA in honeybees • BMAA impairs ALS markers (ROS, Ca 2+ , learning, memory, odor) in bees. • A method for the observation of ROS development in living bees brain was established. • Honeybees are a suitable model to explore neurodegenerative processes. • Neurotoxic BMAA can be spread in bee populations by trophallaxis

  11. Structural Basis of the pH-Dependent Assembly of a Botulinum Neurotoxin Complex

    OpenAIRE

    Matsui, Tsutomu; Gu, Shenyan; Lam, Kwok-ho; Carter, Lester G.; Rummel, Andreas; Mathews, Irimpan I.; Jin, Rongsheng

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most poisonous biological substances known. They assemble with non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein to form the minimally functional progenitor toxin complexes (M-PTC), which protects BoNT in the gastrointestinal tract and release it upon entry into the circulation. Here we provide molecular insight into the assembly between BoNT/A and NTNHA-A using small-angle X-ray scattering. We found that the free form BoNT/A maintains a pH-independent co...

  12. Isolation and amino acid sequence of a short-chain neurotoxin from an Australian elapid snake, Pseudechis australis.

    OpenAIRE

    Takasaki, C; Tamiya, N

    1985-01-01

    A short-chain neurotoxin Pseudechis australis a (toxin Pa a) was isolated from the venom of an Australian elapid snake Pseudechis australis (king brown snake) by sequential chromatography on CM-cellulose, Sephadex G-50 and CM-cellulose columns. Toxin Pa a has an LD50 (intravenous) value of 76 micrograms/kg body wt. in mice and consists of 62 amino acid residues. The amino acid sequence of Pa a shows considerable homology with those of short-chain neurotoxins of elapid snakes, especially of tr...

  13. Production of the Neurotoxin BMAA by a Marine Cyanobacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul Alan Cox

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Diverse species of cyanobacteria have recently been discovered to produce theneurotoxic non-protein amino acid β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA. In Guam, BMAAhas been studied as a possible environmental toxin in the diets of indigenous Chamorropeople known to have high levels of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/ ParkinsonismDementia Complex (ALS/PDC. BMAA has been found to accumulate in brain tissues ofpatients with progressive neurodegenerative illness in North America. In Guam, BMAAwas found to be produced by endosymbiotic cyanobacteria of the genus Nostoc which livein specialized cycad roots. We here report detection of BMAA in laboratory cultures of afree-living marine species of Nostoc. We successfully detected BMAA in this marinespecies of Nostoc with five different methods: HPLC-FD, UPLC-UV, Amino AcidAnalyzer, LC/MS, and Triple Quadrupole LC/MS/MS. This consensus of five differentanalytical methods unequivocally demonstrates the presence of BMAA in this marinecyanobacterium. Since protein-associated BMAA can accumulate in increasing levelswithin food chains, it is possible that biomagnification of BMAA could occur in marineecosystems similar to the biomagnification of BMAA in terrestrial ecosystems. Productionof BMAA by marine cyanobacteria may represent another route of human exposure toBMAA. Since BMAA at low concentrations causes the death of motor neurons, low levelsof BMAA exposure may trigger motor neuron disease in genetically vulnerableindividuals.

  14. Immune effects of the neurotoxins ciguatoxins and brevetoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierre, Ophelie; Misery, Laurent; Talagas, Matthieu; Le Garrec, Raphaele

    2018-01-25

    Ciguatoxins (CTXs) and brevetoxins (PbTxs) are phycotoxins that can accumulate along the marine food chain and thus cause seafood poisoning in humans, namely "ciguatera fish poisoning" (CFP) and "neurotoxic shellfish poisoning" (NSP), respectively. CFP is characterized by early gastrointestinal symptoms and typical sensory disorders (paraesthesia, pain, pruritus and cold dysaesthesia), which can persist several weeks and, in some cases, several months or years. NSP is considered a mild form of CFP with similar but less severe symptoms. After inhaled exposure, PbTxs can also cause respiratory tract irritation in healthy subjects and asthma exacerbations in predisposed subjects, whose respiratory functions may be disrupted for several days following PbTx inhalation. Mechanistically, it is well established that CTX- or PbTx-induced disturbances are primarily mainly due to voltage-gated sodium channel activation in sensory and motor peripheral nervous system. However, little is known about the pathophysiology or a potential individual susceptibility to long lasting effects of CFP/NSP. In addition to their action on the nervous system, PbTxs and CTXs were also shown to exert effects on the immune system. However, their role in the pathophysiology of syndromes induced by CTX or PbTx exposure is poorly documented. The aim of this review is to inventory the literature thus far on the inflammatory and immune effects of PbTxs and CTXs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Identification and Funtional Characterization of Three Postsynaptic Short-chain Neurotoxins from Hydrophiinae, Lapemis hardwickii Gray.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Xiao-Fen; Peng, Li-Sheng; Wu, Wen-Yan; Wei, Jian-Wen; Yang, Hong; Yang, Yan-Zhen; Xu, An-Long

    2001-01-01

    Three cDNA clones, sn12, sn36 and sn160, encoding isoforms of postsynaptic short-chain neurotoxins, were cloned by screening a cDNA library of the venom from Hydrophiinae, Lapemis hardwickii Gray. The sequences of three cDNA clones encoded proteins consisting of 60 amino acid residues. There was only one amino acid substitution among the three isoforms SN12, SN36 and SN160 at the position 46 of mature proteins, and they were Pro(46), His(46) and Arg(46), respectively. The three molecules were expressed in Escherichia coli and the recombinant proteins were characterized. Different LD(50) were obtained, namely 0.0956 mg/kg, 0.3467 mg/kg and 0.2192 mg/kg, when the SN12, SN36 and SN160 were injected into Kunming mice(i.p.). In analgesic effect assayed by the acetic acid-induced writhing method, SN12 and SN160 showed similar analgesic effect, but SN36 had effects significantly different with the other two. Our studies suggested that the amino acid residues on position 46 could affect the combination between the postsynaptic short-chain neurotoxins and the nicotinic acetylchoine receptor, since different amino acid substitution resulted in different biological activities.

  16. Systematic analysis of snake neurotoxins' functional classification using a data warehousing approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, Joyce Phui Yee; Khan, Asif M; Tan, Paul T J; Koh, Judice L Y; Seah, Seng Hong; Koo, Chuay Yeng; Chai, Siaw Ching; Armugam, Arunmozhiarasi; Brusic, Vladimir; Jeyaseelan, Kandiah

    2004-12-12

    Sequence annotations, functional and structural data on snake venom neurotoxins (svNTXs) are scattered across multiple databases and literature sources. Sequence annotations and structural data are available in the public molecular databases, while functional data are almost exclusively available in the published articles. There is a need for a specialized svNTXs database that contains NTX entries, which are organized, well annotated and classified in a systematic manner. We have systematically analyzed svNTXs and classified them using structure-function groups based on their structural, functional and phylogenetic properties. Using conserved motifs in each phylogenetic group, we built an intelligent module for the prediction of structural and functional properties of unknown NTXs. We also developed an annotation tool to aid the functional prediction of newly identified NTXs as an additional resource for the venom research community. We created a searchable online database of NTX proteins sequences (http://research.i2r.a-star.edu.sg/Templar/DB/snake_neurotoxin). This database can also be found under Swiss-Prot Toxin Annotation Project website (http://www.expasy.org/sprot/).

  17. Fusion and retrotransposition events in the evolution of the sea anemone Anemonia viridis neurotoxin genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Weinberger, Hagar; Lazarus, Nimrod; Gur, Maya; Kahn, Roy; Gordon, Dalia; Gurevitz, Michael

    2009-08-01

    Sea anemones are sessile predators that use a variety of toxins to paralyze prey and foe. Among these toxins, Types I, II and III are short peptides that affect voltage-gated sodium channels. Anemonia viridis is the only sea anemone species that produces both Types I and III neurotoxin. Although the two toxin types are unrelated in sequence and three-dimensional structure, cloning and comparative analysis of their loci revealed a highly similar sequence at the 5' region, which encodes a signal peptide. This similarity was likely generated by gene fusion and could be advantageous in transcript stability and intracellular trafficking and secretion. In addition, these analyses identified the processed pseudogenes of the two gene families in the genome of A. viridis, probably resulting from retrotransposition events. As presence of processed pseudogenes in the genome requires transcription in germ-line cells, we analyzed oocyte-rich ovaries and found that indeed they contain Types I and III transcripts. This result raises questions regarding the role of toxin transcripts in these tissues. Overall, the retrotransposition and gene fusion events suggest that the genes of both Types I and III neurotoxins evolved in a similar fashion and share a partial common ancestry.

  18. Modulation of neurotransmitter release in the region of the caudate nucleus by diet and neurotoxins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurstjens, N P

    1987-01-01

    In this thesis the effects of dietary manipulation, ethanol and neurotoxins on the basal and electrically evoked release of dopamine and acetylcholine from the caudate nucleus of mature animals are presented together with an evaluation of the presynaptic acetylcholine and dopamine receptors controlling acetylcholine and dopamine release. A standardised superfusion technique was used to monitor the effect of apomorphine, in the presence of (R-S)- sulpiride or haloperidol, on the electrically induced release of (/sup 3/ H)-acetylcholine in slices of rat corpus striatum. The effect of ethanol and dietary manipulation on the basal and electrically evoke release of (/sup 3/H)-acetylfholine from rat striatal slices, in the presence of specific agonists and antagonists was evaluated. From this study it is possible to deduce that diet and neurotoxins exerted a measurable effect on the mechanisms controlling release of neurotransmitters in the region of the caudate nucleus. These changes were determined in mature animals previously considered to have cerebral activity, which was not subject to dietary fluctuaations. No changes in the activity of the presynaptic dopamine receptor of the acetylcholine nerve terminals of the striatal slice could be measured.

  19. Beltless translocation domain of botulinum neurotoxin A embodies a minimum ion-conductive channel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Audrey; Sambashivan, Shilpa; Brunger, Axel T; Montal, Mauricio

    2012-01-13

    Botulinum neurotoxin, the causative agent of the paralytic disease botulism, is an endopeptidase composed of a catalytic domain (or light chain (LC)) and a heavy chain (HC) encompassing the translocation domain (TD) and receptor-binding domain. Upon receptor-mediated endocytosis, the LC and TD are proposed to undergo conformational changes in the acidic endocytic environment resulting in the formation of an LC protein-conducting TD channel. The mechanism of channel formation and the conformational changes in the toxin upon acidification are important but less well understood aspects of botulinum neurotoxin intoxication. Here, we have identified a minimum channel-forming truncation of the TD, the "beltless" TD, that forms transmembrane channels with ion conduction properties similar to those of the full-length TD. At variance with the holotoxin and the HC, channel formation for both the TD and the beltless TD occurs independent of a transmembrane pH gradient. Furthermore, acidification in solution induces moderate secondary structure changes. The subtle nature of the conformational changes evoked by acidification on the TD suggests that, in the context of the holotoxin, larger structural rearrangements and LC unfolding occur preceding or concurrent to channel formation. This notion is consistent with the hypothesis that although each domain of the holotoxin functions individually, each domain serves as a chaperone for the others.

  20. Mass Spectrometric Identification and Differentiation of Botulinum Neurotoxins through Toxin Proteomics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R; Barr, John R

    2013-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the disease botulism, which can be lethal if untreated. There are seven known serotypes of BoNT, A-G, defined by their response to antisera. Many serotypes are distinguished into differing subtypes based on amino acid sequence and immunogenic properties, and some subtypes are further differentiated into toxin variants. Toxin characterization is important as different types of BoNT can respond differently to medical countermeasures for botulism, and characterization of the toxin can aid in epidemiologic and forensic investigations. Proteomic techniques have been established to determine the serotype, subtype, or toxin variant of BoNT. These techniques involve digestion of the toxin into peptides, tandem mass spectrometric (MS/MS) analysis of the peptides, and database searching to identify the BoNT protein. These techniques demonstrate the capability to detect BoNT and its neurotoxin-associated proteins, and differentiate the toxin from other toxins which are up to 99.9% identical in some cases. This differentiation can be accomplished from toxins present in a complex matrix such as stool, food, or bacterial cultures and no DNA is required.

  1. Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome : Radiation Neurotoxins, Mechanisms of Toxicity, Neuroimmune Interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Popov, Dmitri; Maliev, Slava

    Introduction: Cerebrovascular Acute Radiation Syndrome (CvARS) is an extremely severe in-jury of Central Nervous System (CNS) and Peripheral Nervous System (PNS). CvARS can be induced by the high doses of neutron, heavy ions, or gamma radiation. The Syndrome clinical picture depends on a type, timing, and the doses of radiation. Four grades of the CvARS were defined: mild, moderate, severe, and extremely severe. Also, four stages of CvARS were developed: prodromal, latent, manifest, outcome -death. Duration of stages depends on the types, doses, and time of radiation. The CvARS clinical symptoms are: respiratory distress, hypotension, cerebral edema, severe disorder of cerebral blood microcirculation, and acute motor weakness. The radiation toxins, Cerebro-Vascular Radiation Neurotoxins (SvARSn), determine development of the acute radiation syndrome. Mechanism of action of the toxins: Though pathogenesis of radiation injury of CNS remains unknown, our concept describes the Cv ARS as a result of Neurotoxicity and Excitotoxicity, cell death through apoptotic necrosis. Neurotoxicity occurs after the high doses radiation exposure, formation of radiation neuro-toxins, possible bioradicals, or group of specific enzymes. Intracerebral hemorrhage can be a consequence of the damage of endothelial cells caused by radiation and the radiation tox-ins. Disruption of blood-brain barrier (BBB)and blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCFB)is possibly the most significant effect of microcirculation disorder and metabolic insufficiency. NMDA-receptors excitotoxic injury mediated by cerebral ischemia and cerebral hypoxia. Dam-age of the pyramidal cells in layers 3 and 5 and Purkinje cell layer the cerebral cortex , damage of pyramidal cells in the hippocampus occur as a result of cerebral ischemia and intracerebral bleeding. Methods: Radiation Toxins of CV ARS are defined as glycoproteins with the molec-ular weight of RT toxins ranges from 200-250 kDa and with high enzymatic activity

  2. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-Ho; Perry, Kay; Weisemann, Jasmin; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2017-03-08

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A-G), a new mosaic toxin type termed BoNT/HA (aka type FA or H) was reported recently. Sequence analyses indicate that the receptor-binding domain (H C ) of BoNT/HA is ~84% identical to that of BoNT/A1. However, BoNT/HA responds differently to some potent BoNT/A-neutralizing antibodies (e.g., CR2) that target the H C . Therefore, it raises a serious concern as to whether BoNT/HA poses a new threat to our biosecurity. In this study, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of BoNT/HA-H C at 1.8 Å. Sequence and structure analyses reveal that BoNT/HA and BoNT/A1 are different regarding their binding to cell-surface receptors including both polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Furthermore, the new structure also provides explanations for the ~540-fold decreased affinity of antibody CR2 towards BoNT/HA compared to BoNT/A1. Taken together, these new findings advance our understanding of the structure and function of this newly identified toxin at the molecular level, and pave the way for the future development of more effective countermeasures.

  3. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guorui Yao

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs, which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G, a new mosaic toxin type termed BoNT/HA (aka type FA or H was reported recently. Sequence analyses indicate that the receptor-binding domain (HC of BoNT/HA is ~84% identical to that of BoNT/A1. However, BoNT/HA responds differently to some potent BoNT/A-neutralizing antibodies (e.g., CR2 that target the HC. Therefore, it raises a serious concern as to whether BoNT/HA poses a new threat to our biosecurity. In this study, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of BoNT/HA-HC at 1.8 Å. Sequence and structure analyses reveal that BoNT/HA and BoNT/A1 are different regarding their binding to cell-surface receptors including both polysialoganglioside (PSG and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2. Furthermore, the new structure also provides explanations for the ~540-fold decreased affinity of antibody CR2 towards BoNT/HA compared to BoNT/A1. Taken together, these new findings advance our understanding of the structure and function of this newly identified toxin at the molecular level, and pave the way for the future development of more effective countermeasures.

  4. Generation and Characterization of Six Recombinant Botulinum Neurotoxins as Reference Material to Serve in an International Proficiency Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jasmin Weisemann

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The detection and identification of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT is complex due to the existence of seven serotypes, derived mosaic toxins and more than 40 subtypes. Expert laboratories currently use different technical approaches to detect, identify and quantify BoNT, but due to the lack of (certified reference materials, analytical results can hardly be compared. In this study, the six BoNT/A1–F1 prototypes were successfully produced by recombinant techniques, facilitating handling, as well as improving purity, yield, reproducibility and biosafety. All six BoNTs were quantitatively nicked into active di-chain toxins linked by a disulfide bridge. The materials were thoroughly characterized with respect to purity, identity, protein concentration, catalytic and biological activities. For BoNT/A1, B1 and E1, serotypes pathogenic to humans, the catalytic activity and the precise protein concentration were determined by Endopep-mass spectrometry and validated amino acid analysis, respectively. In addition, BoNT/A1, B1, E1 and F1 were successfully detected by immunological assays, unambiguously identified by mass spectrometric-based methods, and their specific activities were assigned by the mouse LD50 bioassay. The potencies of all six BoNT/A1–F1 were quantified by the ex vivo mouse phrenic nerve hemidiaphragm assay, allowing a direct comparison. In conclusion, highly pure recombinant BoNT reference materials were produced, thoroughly characterized and employed as spiking material in a worldwide BoNT proficiency test organized by the EQuATox consortium.

  5. Crystal Structure of the Receptor-Binding Domain of Botulinum Neurotoxin Type HA, Also Known as Type FA or H

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yao, Guorui; Lam, Kwok-ho; Perry, Kay; Weisemann, Jasmin; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng (Cornell); (Dusseldorf); (UCI)

    2017-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), which have been exploited as cosmetics and muscle-disorder treatment medicines for decades, are well known for their extreme neurotoxicity to humans. They pose a potential bioterrorism threat because they cause botulism, a flaccid muscular paralysis-associated disease that requires immediate antitoxin treatment and intensive care over a long period of time. In addition to the existing seven established BoNT serotypes (BoNT/A–G), a new mosaic toxin type termed BoNT/HA (aka type FA or H) was reported recently. Sequence analyses indicate that the receptor-binding domain (HC) of BoNT/HA is ~84% identical to that of BoNT/A1. However, BoNT/HA responds differently to some potent BoNT/A-neutralizing antibodies (e.g., CR2) that target the HC. Therefore, it raises a serious concern as to whether BoNT/HA poses a new threat to our biosecurity. In this study, we report the first high-resolution crystal structure of BoNT/HA-HC at 1.8 Å. Sequence and structure analyses reveal that BoNT/HA and BoNT/A1 are different regarding their binding to cell-surface receptors including both polysialoganglioside (PSG) and synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2). Furthermore, the new structure also provides explanations for the ~540-fold decreased affinity of antibody CR2 towards BoNT/HA compared to BoNT/A1. Taken together, these new findings advance our understanding of the structure and function of this newly identified toxin at the molecular level, and pave the way for the future development of more effective countermeasures

  6. In vitro detection of cardiotoxins or neurotoxins affecting ion channels or pumps using beating cardiomyocytes as alternative for animal testing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nicolas, J.A.Y.; Hendriksen, P.J.M.; Haan, de L.H.J.; Koning, R.; Rietjens, I.M.C.M.; Bovee, T.F.H.

    2015-01-01

    The present study investigated if and to what extent murine stem cell-derived beating cardiomyocytes within embryoid bodies can be used as a broad screening in vitro assay for neurotoxicity testing, replacing for example in vivo tests for marine neurotoxins. Effect of nine model compounds, acting on

  7. MOLECULAR-BIOLOGY OF CLOSTRIDIAL TOXINS - EXPRESSION OF MESSENGER-RNAS ENCODING TETANUS AND BOTULINUM NEUROTOXINS IN APLYSIA NEURONS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    MOCHIDA, S; POULAIN, B; EISEL, U; BINZ, T; KURAZONO, H; NIEMANN, H; TAUC, L

    1990-01-01

    mRNAs encoding the light chain of tetanus and botulinum neurotoxins were transcribed, in vitro, from the cloned and specifically truncated genes of Clostridium tetani and Clostridium botulinum, respectively, and injected into presynaptic identified cholinergic neurons of the buccal ganglia of

  8. Saxitoxin - neurotoxin produkovaný sinicemi v povrchových vodách České republiky

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jančula, Daniel; Babica, Pavel; Straková, Lucie; Sadílek, Jan; Maršálek, Blahoslav

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 63, č. 12 (2013), s. 406-409 ISSN 1211-0760 Grant - others:European Commission(XE) FP/2007-2013 no.2SGA2858 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : cyanobacterial toxins * neurotoxin * hazard Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  9. Inhibition of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors by cobra venom α-neurotoxins: is there a perspective in lung cancer treatment?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela Alama

    Full Text Available Nicotine exerts its oncogenic effects through the binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and the activation of downstream pathways that block apoptosis and promote neo-angiogenesis. The nAChRs of the α7 subtype are present on a wide variety of cancer cells and their inhibition by cobra venom neurotoxins has been proposed in several articles and reviews as a potential innovative lung cancer therapy. However, since part of the published results was recently retracted, we believe that the antitumoral activity of cobra venom neurotoxins needs to be independently re-evaluated.We determined the activity of α-neurotoxins from Naja atra (short-chain neurotoxin, α-cobrotoxin and Naja kaouthia (long-chain neurotoxin, α-cobratoxin in vitro by cytotoxicity measurements in 5 lung cancer cell lines, by colony formation assay with α7nAChRs expressing and non-expressing cell lines and in vivo by assessing tumor growth in an orthotopic Non-Obese Diabetic/Severe Combined Immunodeficient (NOD/SCID mouse model system utilizing different treatment schedules and dosages.No statistically significant reduction in tumor growth was observed in the treatment arms in comparison to the control for both toxins. Paradoxically α-cobrotoxin from Naja atra showed the tendency to enhance tumor growth although, even in this case, the statistical significance was not reached.In conclusion our results show that, in contrast with other reports, the nAChR inhibitors α-cobratoxin from N. kaouthia and α-cobrotoxin from N. atra neither suppressed tumor growth nor prolonged the survival of the treated animals.

  10. Interaction of a dinoflagellate neurotoxin with voltage-activated ion channels in a marine diatom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kitchen, Sheila A; Bourdelais, Andrea J; Taylor, Alison R

    2018-01-01

    The potent neurotoxins produced by the harmful algal bloom species Karenia brevis are activators of sodium voltage-gated channels (VGC) in animals, resulting in altered channel kinetics and membrane hyperexcitability. Recent biophysical and genomic evidence supports widespread presence of homologous sodium (Na + ) and calcium (Ca 2+ ) permeable VGCs in unicellular algae, including marine phytoplankton. We therefore hypothesized that VGCs of these phytoplankton may be an allelopathic target for waterborne neurotoxins produced by K. brevis blooms that could lead to ion channel dysfunction and disruption of signaling in a similar manner to animal Na + VGCs. We examined the interaction of brevetoxin-3 (PbTx-3), a K. brevis neurotoxin, with the Na + /Ca 2+ VGC of the non-toxic diatom Odontella sinensi s using electrophysiology. Single electrode current- and voltage- clamp recordings from O. sinensis in the presence of PbTx-3 were used to examine the toxin's effect on voltage gated Na + /Ca 2+ currents. In silico analysis was used to identify the putative PbTx binding site in the diatoms. We identified Na + /Ca 2+ VCG homologs from the transcriptomes and genomes of 12 diatoms, including three transcripts from O. sinensis and aligned them with site-5 of Na + VGCs, previously identified as the PbTx binding site in animals. Up to 1 µM PbTx had no effect on diatom resting membrane potential or membrane excitability. The kinetics of fast inward Na + /Ca 2+ currents that underlie diatom action potentials were also unaffected. However, the peak inward current was inhibited by 33%, delayed outward current was inhibited by 25%, and reversal potential of the currents shifted positive, indicating a change in permeability of the underlying channels. Sequence analysis showed a lack of conservation of the PbTx binding site in diatom VGC homologs, many of which share molecular features more similar to single-domain bacterial Na + /Ca 2+ VGCs than the 4-domain eukaryote channels

  11. Botulinum neurotoxins A and E undergo retrograde axonal transport in primary motor neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Restani

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The striking differences between the clinical symptoms of tetanus and botulism have been ascribed to the different fate of the parental neurotoxins once internalised in motor neurons. Tetanus toxin (TeNT is known to undergo transcytosis into inhibitory interneurons and block the release of inhibitory neurotransmitters in the spinal cord, causing a spastic paralysis. In contrast, botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs block acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction, therefore inducing a flaccid paralysis. Whilst overt experimental evidence supports the sorting of TeNT to the axonal retrograde transport pathway, recent findings challenge the established view that BoNT trafficking is restricted to the neuromuscular junction by highlighting central effects caused by these neurotoxins. These results suggest a more complex scenario whereby BoNTs also engage long-range trafficking mechanisms. However, the intracellular pathways underlying this process remain unclear. We sought to fill this gap by using primary motor neurons either in mass culture or differentiated in microfluidic devices to directly monitor the endocytosis and axonal transport of full length BoNT/A and BoNT/E and their recombinant binding fragments. We show that BoNT/A and BoNT/E are internalised by spinal cord motor neurons and undergo fast axonal retrograde transport. BoNT/A and BoNT/E are internalised in non-acidic axonal carriers that partially overlap with those containing TeNT, following a process that is largely independent of stimulated synaptic vesicle endo-exocytosis. Following intramuscular injection in vivo, BoNT/A and TeNT displayed central effects with a similar time course. Central actions paralleled the peripheral spastic paralysis for TeNT, but lagged behind the onset of flaccid paralysis for BoNT/A. These results suggest that the fast axonal retrograde transport compartment is composed of multifunctional trafficking organelles orchestrating the simultaneous transfer

  12. Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-28

    significant threat was realized (Parker, 2002). Wein and Liu published a mathematical model to predict the effects of the deliberate introduction of...12, pp. 794-805, ISSN 1554-8600 Ryan, C.A., Nickels, M.K. & Hargrett, N.T. et al. (1987). Massive outbreak of antimicrobial resistant salmonellosis...200,000 people were infected with an antibiotic- resistant strain of Salmonella caused by an inadvertent contamination at a single northern Illinois dairy

  13. Neurotoxin Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Papain binds DFP on tyrosine (Chaiken and Smith, 1969), while rabbit liver carboxylesterase binds DFP on histidine as well as on the active site...of a specific tyrosine residue of papain with diisopropylfluorophosphate. J. Biol. Chem. 244, 4247–4250. Chaudhury, C., Mehnaz, S., Robinson, J. M

  14. Mass Spectrometric Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin by Measuring its Activity in Serum and Milk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalb, Suzanne R.; Pirkle, James L.; Barr, John R.

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are bacterial protein toxins which are considered likely agents for bioterrorism due to their extreme toxicity and high availability. A new mass spectrometry based assay called Endopep MS detects and defines the toxin serotype in clinical and food matrices via toxin activity upon a peptide substrate which mimics the toxin's natural target. Furthermore, the subtype of the toxin is differentiated by employing mass spectrometry based proteomic techniques on the same sample. The Endopep-MS assay selectively detects active BoNT and defines the serotype faster and with sensitivity greater than the mouse bioassay. One 96-well plate can be analyzed in under 7 h. On higher level or "hot" samples, the subtype can then be differentiated in less than 2 h with no need for DNA.

  15. [Mechanism of action of neurotoxins acting on the inactivation of voltage-gated sodium channels].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, E

    1998-01-01

    This review focuses on the mechanism(s) of action of neurotoxins acting on the inactivation of voltage-gated Na channels. Na channels are transmembrane proteins which are fundamental for cellular communication. These proteins form pores in the plasma membrane allowing passive ionic movements to occur. Their opening and closing are controlled by gating systems which depend on both membrane potential and time. Na channels have three functional properties, mainly studied using electrophysiological and biochemical techniques, to ensure their role in the generation and propagation of action potentials: 1) a highly selectivity for Na ions, 2) a rapid opening ("activation"), responsible for the depolarizing phase of the action potential, and 3) a late closing ("inactivation") involved in the repolarizing phase of the action potential. As an essential protein for membrane excitability, the Na channel is the specific target of a number of vegetal and animal toxins which, by binding to the channel, alter its activity by affecting one or more of its properties. At least six toxin receptor sites have been identified on the neuronal Na channel on the basis of binding studies. However, only toxins interacting with four of these sites (sites 2, 3, 5 et 6) produce alterations of channel inactivation. The maximal percentage of Na channels modified by the binding of neurotoxins to sites 2 (batrachotoxin and some alkaloids), 3 (alpha-scorpion and sea anemone toxins), 5 (brevetoxins and ciguatoxins) et 6 (delta-conotoxins) is different according to the site considered. However, in all cases, these channels do not inactivate. Moreover, Na channels modified by toxins which bind to sites 2, 5 and 6 activate at membrane potentials more negative than do unmodified channels. The physiological consequences of Na channel modifications, induced by the binding of neurotoxins to sites 2, 3, 5 and 6, are (i) an inhibition of cellular excitability due to an important membrane depolarization (site

  16. [The reaction of the neuroblastoma cells in the culture on the influence of tretionine and neurotoxine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magakian, Iu A; Karalian, Z A; Karalova, E M; Abroian, L O; Akopian, L A; Avetisian, A C; Semerdzhian, Z B

    2011-01-01

    Effect of the tretionine (retinoid) and aluminum chloride (neurotoxin) on the growth and differentiation of neuroblastoma cells in culture after their introduction into the medium separately and in combination was studied. The introduction of these substances creates a new information field in the medium, which becomes apparent by the reactions of neuroblastoma found on the populational and cellular levels of its organization. The presence of tretionine stimulates proliferation and induces differentiation of the cells into astrocytes. Aluminum chloride inhibits cell proliferation and enhances the process of their destruction in the monolayer. The variety of the reactions of neuroblastoma cells to the presence of these substances in the medium indicates the existence and functioning of a mechanism that selects from the information introduced only the portion which may contribute to adaptation of neuroblastoma cells to the changed culture conditions.

  17. Co-expression Network Approach to Studying the Effects of Botulinum Neurotoxin-A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mukund, Kavitha; Ward, Samuel R; Lieber, Richard L; Subramaniam, Shankar

    2017-10-16

    Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is a potent neurotoxin with several clinical applications.The goal of this study was to utilize co-expression network theory to analyze temporal transcriptional data from skeletal muscle after BoNT-A treatment. Expression data for 2000 genes (extracted using a ranking heuristic) served as the basis for this analysis. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we identified 19 co-expressed modules, further hierarchically clustered into 5 groups. Quantifying average expression and co-expression patterns across these groups revealed temporal aspects of muscle's response to BoNT-A. Functional analysis revealed enrichment of group 1 with metabolism; group 5 with contradictory functions of atrophy and cellular recovery; and groups 2 and 3 with extracellular matrix (ECM) and non-fast fiber isoforms. Topological positioning of two highly ranked, significantly expressed genes- Dclk1 and Ostalpha within group 5 suggested possible mechanistic roles in recovery from BoNT-A induced atrophy. Phenotypic correlations of groups with titin and myosin protein content further emphasized the effect of BoNT-A on the sarcomeric contraction machinery in early phase of chemodenervation. In summary, our approach revealed a hierarchical functional response to BoNT-A induced paralysis with early metabolic and later ECM responses and identified putative biomarkers associated with chemodenervation. Additionally, our results provide an unbiased validation of the response documented in our previous workBotulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) is a potent neurotoxin with several clinical applications.The goal of this study was to utilize co-expression network theory to analyze temporal transcriptional data from skeletal muscle after BoNT-A treatment. Expression data for 2000 genes (extracted using a ranking heuristic) served as the basis for this analysis. Using weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA), we identified 19 co-expressed modules

  18. Excitatory amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine is a putative environmental neurotoxin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VLADIMIR NEDELJKOV

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The amino acid b-N-methylamino-L-alanine (L-BMAA has been associated with the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/parkinsonism-dementia complex in three distinct western Pacific populations. The putative neurotoxin is produced by cyanobacteria, which live symbiotically in the roots of cycad trees. L-BMAA was thought to be a threat only to those few populations whose diet and medicines rely heavily on cycad seeds. However, the recent discovery that cyanobacteria from diverse terrestrial, freshwater, and saltwater ecosystems around the world produce the toxin requires a reassessment of whether it poses a larger health threat. Therefore, it is proposed that monitoring L-BMAA levels in cyanobacteria-contaminated water supplies might be prudent.

  19. Evaluation of adamantane hydroxamates as botulinum neurotoxin inhibitors: synthesis, crystallography, modeling, kinetic and cellular based studies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Šilhár, Peter; Silvaggi, Nicholas R; Pellett, Sabine; Čapková, Kateřina; Johnson, Eric A; Allen, Karen N; Janda, Kim D

    2013-03-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most lethal biotoxins known to mankind and are responsible for the neuroparalytic disease botulism. Current treatments for botulinum poisoning are all protein based and thus have a limited window of treatment opportunity. Inhibition of the BoNT light chain protease (LC) has emerged as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of botulism as it may provide an effective post exposure remedy. Using a combination of crystallographic and modeling studies a series of hydroxamates derived from 1-adamantylacetohydroxamic acid (3a) were prepared. From this group of compounds, an improved potency of about 17-fold was observed for two derivatives. Detailed mechanistic studies on these structures revealed a competitive inhibition model, with a K(i)=27 nM, which makes these compounds some of the most potent small molecule, non-peptidic BoNT/A LC inhibitors reported to date. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A when utilized in animals with trigeminal sensitization induced a antinociceptive effect

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elcio J Piovesan

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Purpose of the study was evaluate the possible antinociceptive effect of botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A in an experimental model of trigeminal neuralgia. Method Neuropathic pain was induced by surgical constriction of the infraorbital nerve in rats. A control group underwent a sham procedure consisting of surgical exposure of the nerve. Subgroups of each group received either BoNT/A or isotonic saline solution. The clinical response was assessed with the -20°C test. Animals that underwent nerve constriction developed sensitization; the sham group did not. Results The sensitization was reversed by BoNT/A treatment evident 24 hours following application. Pronociceptive effect was observed in the sham group following BoNT/A. Conclusion BoNT/A has an antinociceptive effect in sensitized animals and a pronociceptive effect in non-sensitized animals.

  1. Photoresponsive nanocapsulation of cobra neurotoxin and enhancement of its central analgesic effects under red light

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Q

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Qian Yang, Chuang Zhao, Jun Zhao, Yong Ye Department of Pharmaceutical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Cobra neurotoxin (CNT, a peptide isolated from snake venom of Naja naja atra, shows central analgesic effects in our previous research. In order to help CNT pass through blood–brain barrier (BBB and improve its central analgesic effects, a new kind of CNT nanocapsules were prepared by double emulsification with soybean lecithin and cholesterol as the shell, and pheophorbide as the photosensitizer added to make it photoresponsive. The analgesic effects were evaluated by hot plate test and acetic acid-induced writhing in mice. The CNT nanocapsules had an average particle size of 229.55 nm, zeta potential of -53.00 mV, encapsulation efficiency of 84.81% and drug loading of 2.98%, when the pheophorbide content was 1% of lecithin weight. Pheophorbide was mainly distributed in outer layer of the CNT nanocapsules and increased the release of the CNT nanocapsules after 650 nm illumination. The central analgesic effects were improved after intraperitoneal injection of CNT at 25 and 50 µg·kg-1 under 650 nm irradiation for 30 min in the nasal cavity. Activation of pheophorbide by red light generated reactive oxygen species which opened the nanocapsules and BBB and helped the CNT enter the brain. This research provides a new drug delivery for treatment of central pain. Keywords: cobra neurotoxin, nanocapsules, photoresponsive, central analgesic effects, red light, drug delivery, photosensitizer

  2. Egg yolk antibodies for detection and neutralization of Clostridium botulinum type A neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trott, D L; Yang, M; Gonzalez, J; Larson, A E; Tepp, W H; Johnson, E A; Cook, M E

    2009-05-01

    The objective of this research project was to determine the usefulness of an egg antibody platform for producing materials for the detection and neutralization of botulinum type A neurotoxin. Yield estimates for detection and neutralizing antibodies produced using methods described were calculated. Antibody specific to botulinum toxoid A (aToxoid) and toxin A (aBoNT/A) was produced by immunizing hens with botulinum toxoid A (toxoid) followed by increasing amounts of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) in Freund incomplete adjuvant. Egg yolks were extracted with polyethylene glycol (PEG) for antibody detection and neutralization experiments. A model aToxoid/toxoid immunoassay using only egg yolk antibody was developed and had a detection limit of 1 pg/ml of toxoid. In an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of BoNT/A-specific antibody, the aBoNT/A contained more BoNT/A-specific antibody than did the aToxoid, and aBoNT/A was as effective as commercial rabbit antibody. The aToxoid provided no protection against BoNT/A in a standard mouse neutralization assay; however, 1 mg of PEG-extracted aBoNT/A neutralized 4,000 lethal doses of BoNT/A injected intraperitoneally. Based on these results, we calculated that in 1 month one hen could produce more than 100 liters of antibody detection reagents or enough antibody to neutralize approximately 11.6 million mouse lethal doses of botulinum toxin. Utilization of an egg antibody platform is potentially rapid (28 to 70 days) and scalable to kilogram quantities using current egg production facilities with as few as 1,000 hens.

  3. A protein chip membrane-capture assay for botulinum neurotoxin activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marconi, Severine; Ferracci, Geraldine; Berthomieu, Maelys; Kozaki, Shunji; Miquelis, Raymond; Boucraut, Jose; Seagar, Michael

    2008-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins A and B (BoNT/A and B) are neuromuscular blocking agents which inhibit neurotransmission by cleaving the intra-cellular presynaptic SNARE proteins SNAP-25 and VAMP2, localized respectively in plasma membrane and synaptic vesicles. These neurotoxins are both dangerous pathogens and powerful therapeutic agents with numerous clinical and cosmetic applications. Consequently there is a need for in vitro assays of their biological activity to screen for potential inhibitors and to replace the widely used in vivo mouse assay. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to measure membrane vesicle capture by antibodies against SNAP-25 and VAMP2. Substrate cleavage by BoNTs modified capture providing a method to assay toxin activity. Firstly using synaptic vesicles as a substrate, a comparison of the EC 50 s for BoNT/B obtained by SPR, ELISA or flow cytometry indicated similar sensitivity although SPR assays were more rapid. Sonication of brain or neuronal cultures generated plasma membrane fragments with accessible intra-cellular epitopes adapted to measurement of BoNT/A activity. SPR responses were proportional to antigen concentration permitting detection of as little as 4 pM SNAP-25 in crude lysates. BoNT/A activity was assayed using monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize a SNAP-25 epitope generated by the proteolytic action of the toxin. Incubation of intact primary cultured neurons with BoNT/A yielded an EC 50 of 0.5 pM. The SPR biosensor method was sensitive enough to monitor BoNT/A and B activity in cells cultured in a 96-well format providing an alternative to experimental animals for toxicological assays

  4. In Vivo Toxicity and Immunological Characterization of Detoxified Recombinant Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravichandran, Easwaran; Janardhanan, Pavithra; Patel, Kruti; Riding, Stephen; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal Ram

    2016-03-01

    A double-mutant E224A/E262A full-length botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) Type A with structural similarity to native BoNT/A but lacking the endopeptidase activity provides an ideal surrogate for testing pharmacokinetics and immunochemical characteristics of BoNT. We determined lethality (LD50) of deactivated recombinant botulinum neurotoxin (drBoNT/A) to be 24.0 μg by intraperitoneal route (i.p). The polypeptide drBoNT/A labeled with near infra-red dye 800 (NIR 800) was used to examine its distribution to different organs using whole body imaging when administered to mice via intravenous (i.v) or i.p route. Also, drBoNT/A was used to evaluate its immunogenicity in Balb/C mice model. drBoNT/A was found to be highly immunogenic when tested under various in vivo conditions in Balb/C mice model. For the first time we have demonstrated that a full length 150 kDa drBoNT/A, by administering via inhalation route in mice model, has evoked both circulating immunoglobulin levels of IgG and secretory IgA at the mucosal surface. The immunoglobulin levels were sufficient enough to protect against the challenge dose of native BoNT toxin in mice model. Tissue distribution of drBoNT/A seems to be similar to that of native toxin. Based on the characteristics described in this report this nontoxic holotoxin protein will assist us to explore the window of opportunity available for therapeutic treatment in case of unnatural poisoning, and also it can be an effective vaccine candidate.

  5. Comparison of the catalytic properties of the botulinum neurotoxin subtypes A1 and A5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Dongxia; Krilich, Joan; Pellett, Sabine; Baudys, Jakub; Tepp, William H; Barr, John R; Johnson, Eric A; Kalb, Suzanne R

    2013-12-01

    Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) cause the life-threatening disease botulism through the inhibition of neurotransmitter release by cleaving essential SNARE proteins. There are seven serologically distinctive types of BoNTs and many subtypes within a serotype have been identified. BoNT/A5 is a recently discovered subtype of type A botulinum neurotoxin which possesses a very high degree of sequence similarity and identity to the well-studied A1 subtype. In the present study, we examined the endopeptidase activity of these two BoNT/A subtypes and our results revealed significant differences in substrate binding and cleavage efficiency between subtype A5 and A1. Distinctive hydrolysis efficiency was observed between the two toxins during cleavage of the native substrate SNAP-25 versus a shortened peptide mimic. N-terminal truncation studies demonstrated that a key region of the SNAP-25, including the amino acid residues at 151 through 154 located in the remote binding region of the substrate, contributed to the differential catalytic properties between A1 and A5. Elevated binding affinity of the peptide substrate resulted from including these important residues and enhanced BoNT/A5's hydrolysis efficiency. In addition, mutations of these amino acid residues affect the proteolytic performance of the two toxins in different ways. This study provides a better understanding of the biological activity of these toxins, their performance characteristics in the Endopep-MS assay to detect BoNT in clinical samples and foods, and is useful for the development of peptide substrates. © 2013. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Emerging roles of eosinophils and eosinophil-derived lipid mediators in the resolution of inflammation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yosuke eIsobe

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Acute inflammation and its resolution are essential processes for tissue protection and homeostasis. Once thought to be a passive process, the resolution of inflammation is now shown to involve active biochemical programs that enable inflamed tissues to return to homeostasis. The mechanisms by which acute inflammation is resolved are of interest, and research in recent years has uncovered new endogenous anti-inflammatory and pro-resolving lipid mediators (i.e. lipoxins, resolvins, protectin, and maresin generated from polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs. This review presents new insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammatory resolution, especially the roles of eosinophils, and a series of omega-3 PUFA derived anti-inflammatory lipid mediators that they generate.

  7. Effects of algal-produced neurotoxins on metabolic activity in telencephalon, optic tectum and cerebellum of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bakke, Marit Jorgensen; Horsberg, Tor Einar

    2007-01-01

    Neurotoxins from algal blooms have been reported to cause mortality in a variety of species, including sea birds, sea mammals and fish. Farmed fish cannot escape harmful algal blooms and their potential toxins, thus they are more vulnerable for exposure than wild stocks. Sublethal doses of the toxins are likely to affect fish behaviour and may impair cognitive abilities. In the present study, changes in the metabolic activity in different parts of the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) brain involved in central integration and cognition were investigated after exposure to sublethal doses of three algal-produced neurotoxins; saxitoxin (STX), brevetoxin (BTX) and domoic acid (DA). Fish were randomly selected to four groups for i.p. injection of saline (control) or one of the neurotoxins STX (10 μg STX/kg bw), BTX (68 μg BTX/kg bw) or DA (6 mg DA/kg bw). In addition, 14 C-2-deoxyglucose was i.m. injected to measure brain metabolic activity by autoradiography. The three regions investigated were telencephalon (Tel), optic tectum (OT) and cerebellum (Ce). There were no differences in the metabolic activity after STX and BTX exposure compared to the control in these regions. However, a clear increase was observed after DA exposure. When the subregions with the highest metabolic rate were pseudocoloured in the three brain regions, the three toxins caused distinct differences in the respective patterns of metabolic activation. Fish exposed to STX displayed similar patterns as the control fish, whereas fish exposed to BTX and DA showed highest metabolic activity in subregions different from the control group. All three neurotoxins affected subregions that are believed to be involved in cognitive abilities in fish

  8. Accelerated Intoxication of GABAergic Synapses by Botulinum Neurotoxin A Disinhibits Stem Cell-Derived Neuron Networks Prior to Network Silencing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-23

    administered BoNT can lead to central nervous system intoxication is currently being debated. Recent findings in vitro and in vivo suggest that BoNT...Literature 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by botulinum neurotoxin A disinhibits 5a...April 2015 Published: 23 April 2015 Citation: Beske PH, Scheeler SM, AdlerM and McNutt PM (2015) Accelerated intoxication of GABAergic synapses by

  9. Protective vaccination with a recombinant fragment of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A expressed from a synthetic gene in Escherichia coli.

    OpenAIRE

    Clayton, M A; Clayton, J M; Brown, D R; Middlebrook, J L

    1995-01-01

    A completely synthetic gene encoding fragment C, a approximately 50-kDa fragment, of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A was constructed from oligonucleotides. The gene was expressed in Escherichia coli, and full-sized product was produced as judged by Western blot (immunoblot) analysis. Crude extracts of E. coli expressing the gene were used to vaccinate mice and evaluate their survival against challenge with active toxin. Mice given three subcutaneous vaccinations were protected against an intr...

  10. Epitope targeting of tertiary protein structure enables target-guided synthesis of a potent in-cell inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrow, Blake; Wong, Michelle; Malette, Jacquie; Lai, Bert; Deyle, Kaycie M; Das, Samir; Nag, Arundhati; Agnew, Heather D; Heath, James R

    2015-06-08

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotype A is the most lethal known toxin and has an occluded structure, which prevents direct inhibition of its active site before it enters the cytosol. Target-guided synthesis by in situ click chemistry is combined with synthetic epitope targeting to exploit the tertiary structure of the BoNT protein as a landscape for assembling a competitive inhibitor. A substrate-mimicking peptide macrocycle is used as a direct inhibitor of BoNT. An epitope-targeting in situ click screen is utilized to identify a second peptide macrocycle ligand that binds to an epitope that, in the folded BoNT structure, is active-site-adjacent. A second in situ click screen identifies a molecular bridge between the two macrocycles. The resulting divalent inhibitor exhibits an in vitro inhibition constant of 165 pM against the BoNT/A catalytic chain. The inhibitor is carried into cells by the intact holotoxin, and demonstrates protection and rescue of BoNT intoxication in a human neuron model. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  11. A graphene oxide based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor for ultrasensitive detection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) enzymatic activity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Jingyu; Guo, Jiubiao; Bai, Gongxun; Chan, Chunyu; Liu, Xuan; Ye, Weiwei; Hao, Jianhua; Chen, Sheng; Yang, Mo

    2015-03-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most potent toxic bacterial proteins for humans, which make them potential agents for bioterrorism. Therefore, an ultrasensitive detection of BoNTs and their active states is in great need as field-deployable systems for anti-terrorism applications. We report the construction of a novel graphene oxide (GO)-peptide based fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) biosensor for ultrasensitive detection of the BoNT serotype A light chain (BoNT-LcA) protease activity. A green fluorescence protein (GFP) modified SNAP-25 peptide substrate (SNAP-25-GFP) was optimally designed and synthesized with the centralized recognition/cleavage sites. This FRET platform was constructed by covalent immobilization of peptide substrate on GO with BSA passivation which have advantages of low non-specific adsorption and high stability in protein abundant solution. BoNT-LcA can specifically cleave SNAP-25-GFP substrate covalently immobilized on GO to release the fragment with GFP. Based on fluorescence signal recovery measurement, the target BoNT-LcA was detected sensitively and selectively with the linear detection range from 1fg/mL to 1pg/mL. The limit of detection (LOD) for BoNT-LcA is around 1fg/mL. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. The thioredoxin reductase--Thioredoxin redox system cleaves the interchain disulphide bond of botulinum neurotoxins on the cytosolic surface of synaptic vesicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pirazzini, Marco; Azarnia Tehran, Domenico; Zanetti, Giulia; Lista, Florigio; Binz, Thomas; Shone, Clifford C; Rossetto, Ornella; Montecucco, Cesare

    2015-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are Janus toxins, as they are at the same time the most deadly substances known and one of the safest drugs used in human therapy. They specifically block neurotransmission at peripheral nerves through the proteolysis of SNARE proteins, i.e. the essential proteins which are the core of the neuroexocytosis machinery. Even if BoNTs are traditionally known as seven main serotypes, their actual number is much higher as each serotype exists in many different subtypes, with individual biological properties and little antigenic relations. Since BoNTs can be used as biological weapons, and the only currently available therapy is based on immunological approaches, the existence of so many different subtypes is a major safety problem. Nevertheless, all BoNT isoforms are structurally similar and intoxicate peripheral nerve endings via a conserved mechanism. They consist of two chains linked by a unique disulphide bond which must be reduced to enable their toxicity. We found that thioredoxin 1 and its reductase compose the cell redox system responsible for this reduction, and its inhibition via specific chemicals significantly reduces BoNTs activity, in vitro as well as in vivo. Such molecules can be considered as lead compounds for the development of pan-inhibitors. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Biodistribution and Lymphatic Tracking of the Main Neurotoxin of Micrurus fulvius Venom by Molecular Imaging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Vergara

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The venom of the Eastern coral snake Micrurus fulvius can cause respiratory paralysis in the bitten patient, which is attributable to β-neurotoxins (β-NTx. The aim of this work was to study the biodistribution and lymphatic tracking by molecular imaging of the main β-NTx of M. fulvius venom. β-NTx was bioconjugated with the chelator diethylenetriaminepenta-acetic acid (DTPA and radiolabeled with the radionuclide Gallium-67. Radiolabeling efficiency was 60%–78%; radiochemical purity ≥92%; and stability at 48 h ≥ 85%. The median lethal dose (LD50 and PLA2 activity of bioconjugated β-NTx decreased 3 and 2.5 times, respectively, in comparison with native β-NTx. The immune recognition by polyclonal antibodies decreased 10 times. Biodistribution of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga in rats showed increased uptake in popliteal, lumbar nodes and kidneys that was not observed with 67Ga-free. Accumulation in organs at 24 h was less than 1%, except for kidneys, where the average was 3.7%. The inoculation site works as a depot, since 10% of the initial dose of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga remains there for up to 48 h. This work clearly demonstrates the lymphatic system participation in the biodistribution of β-NTx-DTPA-67Ga. Our approach could be applied to analyze the role of the lymphatic system in snakebite for a better understanding of envenoming.

  14. Nerve cell-mimicking liposomes as biosensor for botulinum neurotoxin complete physiological activity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weingart, Oliver G., E-mail: Oliver.Weingart@hest.ethz.ch; Loessner, Martin J.

    2016-12-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most toxic substances known, and their neurotoxic properties and paralysing effects are exploited for medical treatment of a wide spectrum of disorders. To accurately quantify the potency of a pharmaceutical BoNT preparation, its physiological key activities (binding to membrane receptor, translocation, and proteolytic degradation of SNARE proteins) need to be determined. To date, this was only possible using animal models, or, to a limited extent, cell-based assays. We here report a novel in vitro system for BoNT/B analysis, based on nerve-cell mimicking liposomes presenting motoneuronal membrane receptors required for BoNT binding. Following triggered membrane translocation of the toxin's Light Chain, the endopeptidase activity can be quantitatively monitored employing a FRET-based reporter assay within the functionalized liposomes. We were able to detect BoNT/B physiological activity at picomolar concentrations in short time, opening the possibility for future replacement of animal experimentation in pharmaceutical BoNT testing. - Highlights: • A cell-free in vitro system was used to measure BoNT/B physiological function. • The system relies on nerve-cell mimicking liposomes as a novel detection system. • A FRET-based reporter assay is used as final readout of the test system. • BoNT/B physiological activity was detected at picogram quantities in short time. • The method opens the possibility to replace animal experimentation in BoNT testing.

  15. In vitro detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxin type E activity in avian blood

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Timothy M.; Blehert, David S.; Dunning, F. Mark; Berlowski-Zier, Brenda M.; Zeytin, Fusun N.; Samuel, Michael D.; Tucker, Ward C.

    2011-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype E (BoNT/E) outbreaks in the Great Lakes region cause large annual avian mortality events, with an estimated 17,000 bird deaths reported in 2007 alone. During an outbreak investigation, blood collected from bird carcasses is tested for the presence of BoNT/E using the mouse lethality assay. While sensitive, this method is labor-intensive and low throughput and can take up to 7 days to complete. We developed a rapid and sensitive in vitro assay, the BoTest Matrix E assay, that combines immunoprecipitation with high-affinity endopeptidase activity detection by Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to rapidly quantify BoNT/E activity in avian blood with detection limits comparable to those of the mouse lethality assay. On the basis of the analysis of archived blood samples (n = 87) collected from bird carcasses during avian mortality investigations, BoTest Matrix E detected picomolar quantities of BoNT/E following a 2-h incubation and femtomolar quantities of BoNT/E following extended incubation (24 h) with 100% diagnostic specificity and 91% diagnostic sensitivity.

  16. The destructive effect of botulinum neurotoxins on the SNARE protein: SNAP-25 and synaptic membrane fusion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bin Lu

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic exocytosis requires the assembly of syntaxin 1A and SNAP-25 on the plasma membrane and synaptobrevin 2 (VAMP2 on the vesicular membrane to bridge the two opposite membranes. It is believed that the three SNARE proteins assemble in steps along the dynamic assembly pathway. The C-terminus of SNAP-25 is known to be the target of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT/A and BoNT/E that block neurotransmitters release in vivo. In this study, we employed electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR spectroscopy to investigate the conformation of the SNAP-25 C-terminus in binary and ternary SNARE complexes. The fluorescence lipid mixing assay shows that the C-terminal of SNAP-25 is essential for membrane fusion, and that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants cleaved by BoNT/A and BoNT/E display different inhibition effects on membrane fusion: SNAP-25E (Δ26 abolishes the fusion activity of the SNARE complex, while SNAP-25A (Δ9 loses most of its function, although it can still form a SDS-resistant SNARE complex as the wild-type SNAP-25. CW-EPR spectra validate the unstable structures of the SNARE complex formed by SNAP-25 mutants. We propose that the truncated SNAP-25 mutants will disrupt the assembly of the SNARE core complex, and then inhibit the synaptic membrane fusion accordingly.

  17. 125I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin: pharmacokinetics in cats after intramuscular injection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiegand, H.; Erdmann, G.; Wellhoener, H.H.

    1976-01-01

    On unilateral injection of sublethal doses of 125 I-botulinum A neurotoxin (BTA) into one gastrocnemius muscle of the cat we found after 48 h: a disto-proximal gradient of radioactivity (RA) hat developed in the sciatic nerve of the injected side. The ventral roots of the spinal cord half segments supplying the injected muscle showed a higher RA than the ventral roots of the contralateral control side. The spinal cord half segments innervating the injected muscle had a RA much higher than the corresponding segments of the contralateral side. However, a small rise of RA was also observed in the contralateral half segments. In histoautoradiographs of the (ligatured) ventral roots the RA was strictly confined to the intraaxonal space of a few nerve fibres. On injection of equal doses of 125 I-BTA into either gastrocnemius muscle we found after 38 h: direct stimulation of only one of the injected muscles caused the RA to reach a higher level in the spinal cord half segments ipsilateral to the stimulated muscle than in the spinal cord half segments of the non-stimulated side. Unilateral stimulation of one gastrocnemius nerve under the influence of gallamine or unilateral antidromic stimulation of the dorsal roots L7, S1 failed to cause a difference in RA between stimulated and non-stimulated side. (orig.) [de

  18. [Prophylaxis of recurring low-flow priapism : Experimental botulinum neurotoxin injection into the ischiocavernosus muscle].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichel, G; Stenner, A

    2018-01-01

    The treatment of recurring low-flow priapism with the usual medications is still unsatisfactory. The case of an otherwise healthy young man experiencing low-flow priapism at the age of 31 is presented. A reason for his condition could not be identified. Over the course of several months, he required emergency urological treatment more than ten times. Treatment with cyproterone acetate (Androcur® 50 mg/day) stopped the spontaneous erections, but resulted in erectile impotence, reduced motivation, decreased interest in sex, weight gain of 10 kg, breast enlargement combined with touch sensitivity on both sides, and hair loss on both legs. In addition, the patient complained about painful cramps in his pelvic muscles. After appropriate explanations he agreed to try botulinum neurotoxin injections into both ischiocavernosus muscles. The objective was to reduce muscle tone in order to improve venous drainage of blood from the penis. The latest relapse of priapism occurred more than 6 months ago.

  19. Use of Monoclonal Antibodies in the Sensitive Detection and Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype B

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luisa W. Cheng

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT are some of nature’s most potent toxins. Due to potential food contamination, and bioterrorism concerns, the development of detection reagents, therapeutics and countermeasures are of urgent interest. Recently, we have developed a sensitive electrochemiluminescent (ECL immunoassay for BoNT/B, using monoclonal antibodies (mAbs MCS6-27 and anti-BoNT/B rabbit polyclonal antibodies as the capture and detector. The ECL assay detected as little as 1 pg/mL BoNT/B in the buffer matrix, surpassing the detection sensitivities of the gold standard mouse bioassays. The ECL assay also allowed detection of BoNT/B in sera matrices of up to 100% sera with negligible matrix effects. This highly-sensitive assay allowed the determination of the biological half-lives of BoNT/B holotoxin in vivo. We further tested the toxin neutralization potential of our monoclonal antibodies using the mouse systemic and oral intoxication models. A combination of mAbs protected mice in both pre- and post-exposure models to lethal doses of BoNT/B. MAbs were capable of increasing survival of animals when administered even 10 h post-intoxication in an oral model, suggesting a likely time for BoNT/B complexes to reach the blood stream. More sensitive detection assays and treatments against BoNT intoxication will greatly enhance efforts to combat botulism.

  20. /sup 125/I-labelled botulinum A neurotoxin: pharmacokinetics in cats after intramuscular injection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiegand, H; Erdmann, G; Wellhoener, H H [Giessen Univ. (Germany, F.R.). Pharmakologisches Inst.

    1976-01-01

    On unilateral injection of sublethal doses of /sup 125/I-botulinum A neurotoxin (BTA) into one gastrocnemius muscle of the cat we found after 48 h: a disto-proximal gradient of radioactivity (RA) hat developed in the sciatic nerve of the injected side. The ventral roots of the spinal cord half segments supplying the injected muscle showed a higher RA than the ventral roots of the contralateral control side. The spinal cord half segments innervating the injected muscle had a RA much higher than the corresponding segments of the contralateral side. However, a small rise of RA was also observed in the contralateral half segments. In histoautoradiographs of the (ligatured) ventral roots the RA was strictly confined to the intraaxonal space of a few nerve fibres. On injection of equal doses of /sup 125/I-BTA into either gastrocnemius muscle we found after 38 h: direct stimulation of only one of the injected muscles caused the RA to reach a higher level in the spinal cord half segments ipsilateral to the stimulated muscle than in the spinal cord half segments of the non-stimulated side. Unilateral stimulation of one gastrocnemius nerve under the influence of gallamine or unilateral antidromic stimulation of the dorsal roots L7, S1 failed to cause a difference in RA between stimulated and non-stimulated side.

  1. Structural basis of the pH-dependent assembly of a botulinum neurotoxin complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matsui, Tsutomu; Gu, Shenyan; Lam, Kwok-Ho; Carter, Lester G; Rummel, Andreas; Mathews, Irimpan I; Jin, Rongsheng

    2014-11-11

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most poisonous biological substances known. They assemble with non-toxic non-hemagglutinin (NTNHA) protein to form the minimally functional progenitor toxin complexes (M-PTC), which protects BoNT in the gastrointestinal tract and releases it upon entry into the circulation. Here we provide molecular insight into the assembly between BoNT/A and NTNHA-A using small-angle X-ray scattering. We found that the free form BoNT/A maintains a pH-independent conformation with limited domain flexibility. Intriguingly, the free form NTNHA-A adopts pH-dependent conformational changes due to a torsional motion of its C-terminal domain. Once forming a complex at acidic pH, they each adopt a stable conformation that is similar to that observed in the crystal structure of the M-PTC. Our results suggest that assembly of the M-PTC depends on the environmental pH and that the complex form of BoNT/A is induced by interacting with NTNHA-A at acidic pH. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Rational design of botulinum neurotoxin A1 mutants with improved oxidative stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    López de la Paz, Manuela; Scheps, Daniel; Jurk, Marcel; Hofmann, Fred; Frevert, Jürgen

    2018-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most potent toxic proteins to mankind known but applied in low doses trigger a localized muscle paralysis that is beneficial for the therapy of several neurological disorders and aesthetic treatment. The paralytic effect is generated by the enzymatic activity of the light chain (LC) that cleaves specifically one of the SNARE proteins responsible for neurotransmitter exocytosis. The activity of the LC in a BoNT-containing therapeutic can be compromised by denaturing agents present during manufacturing and/or in the cell. Stabilization of the LC by reducing vulnerability towards denaturants would thus be advantageous for the development of BoNT-based therapeutics. In this work, we focused on increasing the stability of LC of BoNT/A1 (LC/A1) towards oxidative stress. We tackled this task by rational design of mutations at cysteine and methionine LC/A1 sites. Designed mutants showed improved oxidative stability in vitro and equipotency to wildtype toxin in vivo. Our results suggest that suitable modification of the catalytic domain can lead to more stable BoNTs without impairing their therapeutic efficacy. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Clinical Uses of Botulinum Neurotoxins: Current Indications, Limitations and Future Developments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Chen

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs cause flaccid paralysis by interfering with vesicle fusion and neurotransmitter release in the neuronal cells. BoNTs are the most widely used therapeutic proteins. BoNT/A was approved by the U.S. FDA to treat strabismus, blepharospam, and hemificial spasm as early as 1989 and then for treatment of cervical dystonia, glabellar facial lines, axillary hyperhidrosis, chronic migraine and for cosmetic use. Due to its high efficacy, longevity of action and satisfactory safety profile, it has been used empirically in a variety of ophthalmological, gastrointestinal, urological, orthopedic, dermatological, secretory, and painful disorders. Currently available BoNT therapies are limited to neuronal indications with the requirement of periodic injections resulting in immune-resistance for some indications. Recent understanding of the structure-function relationship of BoNTs prompted the engineering of novel BoNTs to extend therapeutic interventions in non-neuronal systems and to overcome the immune-resistance issue. Much research still needs to be done to improve and extend the medical uses of BoNTs.

  4. Probiotic Microorganisms Inhibit Epithelial Cell Internalization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

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    Tina I. Lam

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal epithelia to disseminate in the blood. The timing of BoNT/A toxin internalization was shown to be comparable in both the Caco-2 in vitro cell culture and in the oral mouse intoxication models. Probiotic microorganisms have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects in not only maintaining the normal gut mucosa but also protection from allergens, pathogens, and toxins. In this study, we evaluate whether probiotic microorganisms will block BoNT/A uptake in the in vitro cell culture system using Caco-2 cells. Several probiotics tested (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, and Lactobacillus reuteri blocked BoNT/A uptake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a non-probiotic strain of Escherichia coli did not. We also showed that inhibition of BoNT/A uptake was not due to the degradation of BoNT/A nor by sequestration of toxin via binding to probiotics. These results show for the first time that probiotic treatment can inhibit BoNT/A binding and internalization in vitro and may lead to the development of new therapies.

  5. Probiotic Microorganisms Inhibit Epithelial Cell Internalization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lam, Tina I.; Tam, Christina C.; Stanker, Larry H.; Cheng, Luisa W.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most poisonous natural toxins known to man and are threats to public health and safety. Previous work from our laboratory showed that both BoNT serotype A complex and holotoxin can bind and transit through the intestinal epithelia to disseminate in the blood. The timing of BoNT/A toxin internalization was shown to be comparable in both the Caco-2 in vitro cell culture and in the oral mouse intoxication models. Probiotic microorganisms have been extensively studied for their beneficial effects in not only maintaining the normal gut mucosa but also protection from allergens, pathogens, and toxins. In this study, we evaluate whether probiotic microorganisms will block BoNT/A uptake in the in vitro cell culture system using Caco-2 cells. Several probiotics tested (Saccharomyces boulardii, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus LGG, and Lactobacillus reuteri) blocked BoNT/A uptake in a dose-dependent manner whereas a non-probiotic strain of Escherichia coli did not. We also showed that inhibition of BoNT/A uptake was not due to the degradation of BoNT/A nor by sequestration of toxin via binding to probiotics. These results show for the first time that probiotic treatment can inhibit BoNT/A binding and internalization in vitro and may lead to the development of new therapies. PMID:27999281

  6. Amino acid neurotoxins in feathers of the Lesser Flamingo, Phoeniconaias minor.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metcalf, J S; Banack, S A; Kotut, K; Krienitz, L; Codd, G A

    2013-01-01

    The Lesser Flamingo (Phoeniconaias minor) is known to use cyanobacteria (primarily Arthrospira) as a major food source in the East African Rift Valley lakes. Periodically, mass mortalities have occurred, associated with the cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins), microcystins and anatoxin-a. Deposition of these cyanotoxins into P. minor feathers has been shown to occur, consistent with the presence of cyanotoxins in the livers, stomach and faecal contents after dietary intake. As cyanobacteria have been shown to also produce the neurotoxins β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutyric acid (DAB), stored wing feathers, previously recovered from flamingos which had been exposed to microcystins and anatoxin-a and had subsequently died, were analysed for these neurotoxic amino acids. Trace amounts of BMAA were detected in extracts from Lake Nakuru flamingo feathers, with DAB also present at concentrations between 3.5 and 8.5 μg g(-1) dry weight in feathers from both lakes. Toxin recovery by solid-phase extraction of feather digests was tested with spiked deuterated BMAA and showed good recovery when analysed by LC-MS/MS (80-94%). This is the first report of these neurotoxic amino acids in birds. We discuss the origin and significance of DAB, alongside other cyanotoxins of dietary origin, in the feathers of the Lesser Flamingo. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Implementing the Bruker MALDI Biotyper in the Public Health Laboratory for C. botulinum Neurotoxin Detection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael J. Perry

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Currently, the gold standard method for active botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT detection is the mouse bioassay (MBA. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-developed mass spectrometry (MS-based assay that detects active BoNT was successfully validated and implemented in a public health laboratory in clinical matrices using the Bruker MALDI-TOF MS (Matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry Biotyper. For the first time, a direct comparison with the MBA was performed to determine MS-based assay sensitivity using the Bruker MALDI Biotyper. Mice were injected with BoNT/A, /B, /E, and /F at concentrations surrounding the established MS assay limit of detection (LOD and analyzed simultaneously. For BoNT/B, /E, and /F, MS assay sensitivity was equivalent or better than the MBA at 25, 0.3, and 8.8 mLD50, respectively. BoNT/A was detected by the MBA between 1.8 and 18 mLD50, somewhat more sensitive than the MS method of 18 mLD50. Studies were performed to compare assay performance in clinical specimens. For all tested specimens, the MS method rapidly detected BoNT activity and serotype in agreement with, or in the absence of, results from the MBA. We demonstrate that the MS assay can generate reliable, rapid results while eliminating the need for animal testing.

  8. Nerve cell-mimicking liposomes as biosensor for botulinum neurotoxin complete physiological activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weingart, Oliver G.; Loessner, Martin J.

    2016-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) are the most toxic substances known, and their neurotoxic properties and paralysing effects are exploited for medical treatment of a wide spectrum of disorders. To accurately quantify the potency of a pharmaceutical BoNT preparation, its physiological key activities (binding to membrane receptor, translocation, and proteolytic degradation of SNARE proteins) need to be determined. To date, this was only possible using animal models, or, to a limited extent, cell-based assays. We here report a novel in vitro system for BoNT/B analysis, based on nerve-cell mimicking liposomes presenting motoneuronal membrane receptors required for BoNT binding. Following triggered membrane translocation of the toxin's Light Chain, the endopeptidase activity can be quantitatively monitored employing a FRET-based reporter assay within the functionalized liposomes. We were able to detect BoNT/B physiological activity at picomolar concentrations in short time, opening the possibility for future replacement of animal experimentation in pharmaceutical BoNT testing. - Highlights: • A cell-free in vitro system was used to measure BoNT/B physiological function. • The system relies on nerve-cell mimicking liposomes as a novel detection system. • A FRET-based reporter assay is used as final readout of the test system. • BoNT/B physiological activity was detected at picogram quantities in short time. • The method opens the possibility to replace animal experimentation in BoNT testing.

  9. Novel therapeutic uses and formulations of botulinum neurotoxins: a patent review (2012 - 2014).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kane, Christopher D; Nuss, Jonathan E; Bavari, Sina

    2015-06-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most toxic of known biological molecules and function as acetylcholine release inhibitors and neuromuscular blocking agents. Paradoxically, these properties also make them valuable therapeutic agents for the treatment of movement disorders, urological conditions and hypersecretory disorders. Greater understanding of their molecular mechanism of action and advances in protein engineering has led to significant efforts to improve and expand their function with a view towards broadening their therapeutic potential. Searches of Espacenet and Google Patent have revealed a number of patents related to BoNTs. This review will focus on novel therapeutic uses and formulations disclosed during 2012 - 2014. The seven patents discussed will include nanoformulations of FDA-approved BoNTs, additional BoNT subtypes and novel BoNT variants and chimeras created through protein engineering. Supporting patents and related publications are also briefly discussed. The clinical and commercial success of BoNTs has prompted investigation into novel BoNTs or BoNT-mediated chimeras with promising in vitro results. Distinct strategies including the use of nanoformulations and targeted delivery have been implemented to identify new indication and improved functionality. Greater understanding of their systemic exposure, efficacy and safety profiles will be required for further development.

  10. Botulinum neurotoxin: unique folding of enzyme domain of the most-poisonous poison.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Raj; Kukreja, Roshan V; Li, Li; Zhmurov, Artem; Kononova, Olga; Cai, Shuowei; Ahmed, Syed A; Barsegov, Valeri; Singh, Bal Ram

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most toxic substance known to mankind, is the first example of the fully active molten globule state. To understand its folding mechanism, we performed urea denaturation experiments and theoretical modeling using BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A). We found that the extent of BoNT/A denaturation from the native state (N) shows a nonmonotonic dependence on urea concentration indicating a unique multistep denaturation process, N → I1 [Formula: see text] I2 [Formula: see text] U, with two intermediate states I1 and I2. BoNT/A loses almost all its secondary structure in 3.75 M urea (I1), yet it displays a native-like secondary structure in 5 M urea (I2). This agrees with the results of theoretical modeling, which helped to determine the molecular basis of unique behavior of BoNT/A in solution. Except for I2, all the states revert back to full enzymatic activity for SNAP-25 including the unfolded state U stable in 7 M urea. Our results stress the importance of structural flexibility in the toxin's mechanism of survival and action, an unmatched evolutionary trait from billion-year-old bacteria, which also correlates with the long-lasting enzymatic activity of BoNT inside neuronal cells. BoNT/A provides a rich model to explore protein folding in relation to functional activity.

  11. Utilizing Ayurvedic literature for the identification of novel phytochemical inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yalamanchili, Chinni; Manda, Vamshi K; Chittiboyina, Amar G; Guernieri, Rebecca L; Harrell, William A; Webb, Robert P; Smith, Leonard A; Khan, Ikhlas A

    2017-02-02

    Ayurveda, an ancient holistic system of health care practiced on the Indian subcontinent, utilizes a number of multi-plant formulations and is considered by many as a potential source for novel treatments, as well as the identification of new drugs. Our aim is to identify novel phytochemicals for the inhibition of bacterial exotoxin, botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) based on Ayurvedic literature. BoNT/A is released by Clostridium species, which when ingested, inhibits the release of acetylcholine by concentrating at the neuromuscular junction and causes flaccid paralysis, resulting in a condition termed as botulism, and may also lead to death due to respiratory arrest. Fifteen plants were selected from the book 'Diagnosis and treatment of diseases in Ayurveda' by Vaidya Bhagwan Dash and Lalitesh Kashyap, based on their frequency of use in the formulations used for the treatment of six diseases with neuromuscular symptoms similar to botulism. Phytochemicals from these plants were screened using in silico, and in vitro methods. Structures of 570 reported phytochemicals from 14 plants were docked inside six reported BoNT/A light chain crystal structures using ensemble docking module in Maestro (Schrödinger, LLE). From the docking scores and structural diversity, nine compounds including acoric acid 1, three flavonoids, three coumarins derivatives, one kava lactone were selected and screened using an in vitro HPLC-based protease assay. The bioassay results showed that several compounds possess BoNT/A LC inhibition of 50-60% when compared to positive controls NSC 84094 and CB7967495 (80-95%). Further testing of the active compounds identified from Ayurvedic literature and structure-activity studies of acoric acid 1 using more sensitive bioassays is under way. The identification of acoric acid 1, a novel scaffold against BoNT/A, exemplifies the utility of Ayurvedic literature for the discovery of novel drug leads. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights

  12. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inui, Ken; Sagane, Yoshimasa; Miyata, Keita; Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro; Suzuki, Tomonori; Shikamori, Yasuyuki; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi; Watanabe, Toshihiro

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. ► NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. ► NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. ► Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X 35 -D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  13. Scorpion neurotoxin AaIT-expressing Beauveria bassiana enhances the virulence against Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Sheng-Qun; Cai, Qun-Di; Deng, Ming-Zhi; Huang, Qiang; Peng, Hong-Juan

    2017-12-01

    To improve the insecticidal efficacy of this entomopathogen Beauveria bassiana, the fungus was genetically modified to express an insect-specific scorpion neurotoxin AaIT. The virulence of the recombinant B. bassiana strain (Bb-AaIT) against Aedes albopictus adults (which occurs via penetration through the cuticle during spore germination or by conidia ingestion), and the larvae (by conidia ingestion) was measured with bioassays. The median lethal concentration (LC 50 ) of Bb-AaIT against A. albopictus larvae was 313.3-fold lower on day 4 and 11.3-fold lower on day 10 than that of the wild type (WT). Through conidia feeding or body contact, Bb-AaIT killed 50% of adult female mosquitoes at 3.9- or 1.9-fold reduced concentrations on day 4 and at 2.1- or 2.4-fold reduced concentrations on day 10. Compared with the results for the WT, the median lethal time (LT 50 ) of Bb-AaIT was reduced by 28.6% at 1 × 10 7 conidia ml -1 and 34.3% at 1 × 10 6 conidia ml -1 in the larvae bioassay by conidia ingestion, while it decreased 32.3% at 1 × 10 7 conidia ml -1 by conidia ingestion and 24.2% at 1 × 10 8 conidia ml -1 by penetrating through the cuticle in the adult bioassay. All the differences were significant. Our findings indicated that Bb-AaIT had higher virulence and faster action than the WT in killing the larval and adult mosquitoes, and therefore, it is valuable for development as a commercial mosquito pesticide.

  14. Concerted evolution of sea anemone neurotoxin genes is revealed through analysis of the Nematostella vectensis genome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moran, Yehu; Weinberger, Hagar; Sullivan, James C; Reitzel, Adam M; Finnerty, John R; Gurevitz, Michael

    2008-04-01

    Gene families, which encode toxins, are found in many poisonous animals, yet there is limited understanding of their evolution at the nucleotide level. The release of the genome draft sequence for the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis enabled a comprehensive study of a gene family whose neurotoxin products affect voltage-gated sodium channels. All gene family members are clustered in a highly repetitive approximately 30-kb genomic region and encode a single toxin, Nv1. These genes exhibit extreme conservation at the nucleotide level which cannot be explained by purifying selection. This conservation greatly differs from the toxin gene families of other animals (e.g., snakes, scorpions, and cone snails), whose evolution was driven by diversifying selection, thereby generating a high degree of genetic diversity. The low nucleotide diversity at the Nv1 genes is reminiscent of that reported for DNA encoding ribosomal RNA (rDNA) and 2 hsp70 genes from Drosophila, which have evolved via concerted evolution. This evolutionary pattern was experimentally demonstrated in yeast rDNA and was shown to involve unequal crossing-over. Through sequence analysis of toxin genes from multiple N. vectensis populations and 2 other anemone species, Anemonia viridis and Actinia equina, we observed that the toxin genes for each sea anemone species are more similar to one another than to those of other species, suggesting they evolved by manner of concerted evolution. Furthermore, in 2 of the species (A. viridis and A. equina) we found genes that evolved under diversifying selection, suggesting that concerted evolution and accelerated evolution may occur simultaneously.

  15. Characterization of SNARE Cleavage Products Generated by Formulated Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A Drug Products

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Xie

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The study evaluated substrate cleavage product(s generated by three botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A medicinal drug products utilizing a novel and highly specific, light-chain activity, high-performance liquid chromatography (LCA-HPLC method. Samples were reacted with a commercially available BoNT/A fluorescent substrate derived from the SNAP-25 sequence. Reaction products were separated by reversed-phase HPLC. The method detected an atypical cleavage pattern by one of the formulated drug products. IncobotulinumtoxinA produced two cleavage fragments rather than the single fragment typically generated by BoNT/A. Identification confirmed the secondary cleavage at a position corresponding to SNAP-25 Arg198–Ala199 (normal BoNT/A cleavage is Gln197–Arg198. Arg198–Ala199 is also the cleavage site for trypsin and serotype C toxin. Normal cleavage was observed for all other BoNT/A drug product samples, as well as 900-kD and 150-kD bulk toxin BoNT/A. The reason for this unexpected secondary cleavage pattern by one formulated BoNT/A drug product is unknown. Possible explanations include a contaminating protease and/or damage to the 150-kD type-A toxin causing nonspecific substrate recognition and subsequent cleavage uncharacteristic of type-A toxin. The BoNT/A drug products were also analyzed via the LCA-HPLC assay using a commercial BoNT/C fluorescent substrate derived from the syntaxin sequence. Cleavage of the serotype C substrate by incobotulinumtoxinA was also confirmed whilst neither of the other drug products cleaved the syntaxin substrate.

  16. Botulinum Neurotoxin Type-A for the Treatment of Atypical Odontalgia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuadrado, María-Luz; García-Moreno, Héctor; Arias, José-Antonio; Pareja, Juan A

    2016-09-01

    Atypical odontalgia (AO), a subform of persistent idiopathic facial pain, is defined as a continuous toothache in which a thorough examination reveals no dental pathology. AO is believed to be a neuropathic condition, given that some cases are preceded by dental procedures. Different topical and systemic medications have been used for the treatment of AO, but their effect is often unsatisfactory. The authors aimed to assess the effect and safety of botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNTA) in a series of patients with AO. Four patients with refractory AO (2 males and 2 females, aged 31-72) were treated with local injections of BoNTA to the painful area. BoNTA was injected at various sites into the gums, and two patients had additional injections in the hard palate or the upper lip. The total dose of BoNTA for each procedure was 15-30 U, and the total number of injection points was 6-12. The follow-up ranged from 6 to 20 months. Two patients received two cycles of BoNTA, while the remaining patients received three and five cycles each, respectively. All patients obtained significant relief with complete or almost complete reduction of pain. The analgesic effect was apparent after a latency period of 3-14 days, and the effect persisted for 2-6 months. There were no adverse events reported from any of the interventions. The responses to BoNTA injections in this series agree with those previously observed in neuropathic pain. BoNTA injections may be a safe and effective option for the treatment of AO. © 2016 American Academy of Pain Medicine. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Botulinum neurotoxin type A versus punctal plug insertion in the management of dry eye disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amal A Bukhari

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: To compare the efficacies of punctal plug insertion and Botulinum toxin injection in dry eye disease not responding to topical medications. Materials and Methods: A non-controlled randomized clinical trial of two parallel groups of 60 dry eye patients seen in the clinic not responding to topical medications were divided into two groups. One group received punctal plugs and the other group received Botulinum toxin injections to prevent lacrimal tear drainage. Results: Of a total of 36 patients with a mean age of 44.5 years who received punctal plugs, 50% of them experienced improvements in the clinical manifestations of their disease. 12/36 (33.3% developed plug extrusion, and 6/36 (16.7% patients developed conjunctival erosions with irritation that necessitated plug removal within one week of insertion. A total of 24 patients with a mean age of 47.5 years received injections of Botulinum toxin. Of these, 83.3% had improvement in all of the clinical manifestations of dry eye. 4/24 (16.7% had no improvement in the degrees to which they experienced foreign body sensations, 33.3% reported shampoo entering the eye while showering. All of the patients who received Botulinum toxin injections were satisfied with the results of their treatment, whereas only 72.3% of the patients who received punctal plugs were satisfied with their results. Conclusion: Botulinum neurotoxin A injections can be a very good alternative to punctal plugs in improving the clinical manifestations of dry eye disease They are associated with the development of fewer and milder complications and with higher levels of patient satisfaction.

  18. Pilot cohort study of endoscopic botulinum neurotoxin injection in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Triadafilopoulos, George; Gandhy, Rita; Barlow, Carrolee

    2017-11-01

    Gastrointestinal symptoms, such as dysphagia, postprandial bloating, and defecatory straining are common in Parkinson's Disease (PD) and they impact quality of life. Endoscopic botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) injection has been used in the treatment of dysphagia, gastroparesis and chronic anismus. To examine the feasibility, safety and efficacy of endoscopically delivered BoNT injection to distal esophagus, pylorus or anal canal aiming at relieving regional gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with PD. This is a retrospective open cohort pilot study to assess the clinical response to endoscopic BoNT injection on selected PD patients with symptoms and identifiable abnormalities on high-resolution manometry and wireless motility capsule, to generate early uncontrolled data on feasibility, tolerability, safety and efficacy. Baseline symptoms and response to therapy were assessed by questionnaires. Fourteen PD patients (10 M:4 F), mean age 73 (range: 62-93) were treated. Three patients had esophageal Botox for ineffective esophageal motility (IEM) (n = 1), esophago-gastric junction outlet obstruction (EGJOO) & IEM (n = 1), and diffuse esophageal spasm (DES) (n = 1). Nine patients were treated with pyloric BoNT injection for gastroparesis with mean gastric transit time of 21.2 h; range 5.2-44.2 h. Two patients received anal Botox for defecatory dyssynergia ((Type I) (n = 1) and overlap (slow-transit and dyssynergic) constipation (n = 1). Endoscopic BoNT injection (100-200 units) was well tolerated and there were no significant adverse events. Endoscopic BoNT injection to esophagus, pylorus or anal canal is safe, well-tolerated and leads to symptomatic improvement that lasts up to several months. The procedure can be repeated as needed and combined with other therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Botulinum neurotoxin type A radiolabeled at either the light or the heavy chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dekleva, M.L.; DasGupta, B.R.; Sathyamoorthy, V.

    1989-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (NT) has two distinct structural regions called L and H chains (approximately 50 and approximately 100 kDa, respectively). Although the H chain is responsible for binding of the NT to neuronal cells, it is not known which of the subunits is internalized and therefore responsible for causing the blockage of acetylcholine release in susceptible neuronal cells. In this report we describe for the first time the preparation of type A NT which is selectively radiolabeled at either the L or the H chain subunit. Such NT preparations will be useful as tools for determining the distribution of L and H chains in poisoned neuronal cells and the role that each subunit plays in inducing toxicity. The L and H chains of the NT (approximately 150 kDa) were separated, purified, and then individually radiolabeled by reductive methylation of the lysine residues using [3H]- or [14C]formaldehyde. The labeled L and H chains were reconjugated with the complementary unlabeled L and H chains. Formation of -S-S- and noncovalent bonds between the L and H chains regenerated the approximately 150 kDa NT. Autoradiographs of sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gels confirmed that each reconstituted NT preparation was labeled at only one subunit chain. NT selectively labeled at either the L or the H chain had specific radioactivities of ca. 25-30 and 45-55 microCi/mumol, respectively, and toxicity (mouse LD50/mg protein) values of 2.2 +/- 1.1 X 10(7) and 3.0 +/- 1.0 X 10(7), respectively. A linear increase in the specific radioactivity of L and H chain subunits was observed with increasing concentrations of 3H- or 14C-labeled formaldehyde in the reaction mixture and with increasing concentrations of L or H chain in the reaction mixture

  20. Antinociceptive Effects of Transcytosed Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A on Trigeminal Nociception in Rats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Hye-Jin; Lee, Geun-Woo; Kim, Min-Ji; Yang, Kui-Ye; Kim, Seong-Taek; Bae, Yong-Cheol

    2015-01-01

    We examined the effects of peripherally or centrally administered botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) on orofacial inflammatory pain to evaluate the antinociceptive effect of BoNT-A and its underlying mechanisms. The experiments were carried out on male Sprague-Dawley rats. Subcutaneous (3 U/kg) or intracisternal (0.3 or 1 U/kg) administration of BoNT-A significantly inhibited the formalin-induced nociceptive response in the second phase. Both subcutaneous (1 or 3 U/kg) and intracisternal (0.3 or 1 U/kg) injection of BoNT-A increased the latency of head withdrawal response in the complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA)-treated rats. Intracisternal administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) evoked nociceptive behavior via the activation of trigeminal neurons, which was attenuated by the subcutaneous or intracisternal injection of BoNT-A. Intracisternal injection of NMDA up-regulated c-Fos expression in the trigeminal neurons of the medullary dorsal horn. Subcutaneous (3 U/kg) or intracisternal (1 U/kg) administration of BoNT-A significantly reduced the number of c-Fos immunoreactive neurons in the NMDA-treated rats. These results suggest that the central antinociceptive effects the peripherally or centrally administered BoNT-A are mediated by transcytosed BoNT-A or direct inhibition of trigeminal neurons. Our data suggest that central targets of BoNT-A might provide a new therapeutic tool for the treatment of orofacial chronic pain conditions. PMID:26170739

  1. Opening of brain blood barrier induced by red light and central analgesic improvement of cobra neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Yong; Li, Yue; Fang, Fei

    2014-05-05

    Cobra neurotoxin (NT) has central analgesic effects, but it is difficult to pass through brain blood barrier (BBB). A novel method of red light induction is designed to help NT across BBB, which is based on photosensitizer activation by red light to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) to open BBB. The effects were evaluated on cell models and animals in vivo with illumination by semiconductor laser at 670nm on photosensitizer pheophorbide isolated from silkworm excrement. Brain microvascular endothelial cells and astrocytes were co-cultured to build up BBB cell model. The radioactivity of (125)I-NT was measured in cells and tissues for NT permeation. Three ways of cranial irradiation, nasal cavity and intravascular irradiation were tested with combined injection of (125)I-NT 20μg/kg and pheophorbide 100μg/kg to rats, and organs of rats were separated and determined the radioactivity. Paw pressure test in rats, hot plate and writhing test in mice were applied to appraise the analgesic effects. NT across BBB cell model increased with time of illumination, and reached stable level after 60min. So did ROS in cells. NT mainly distributed in liver and kidney of rats, significantly increased in brain after illumination, and improved analgesic effects. Excitation of pheophorbide at red light produces ROS to open BBB, help NT enter brain, and enhance its central action. This research provides a new method for drug across BBB to improve its central role. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Enhanced neutralization potency of botulinum neurotoxin antibodies using a red blood cell-targeting fusion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sharad P Adekar

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT potently inhibits cholinergic signaling at the neuromuscular junction. The ideal countermeasures for BoNT exposure are monoclonal antibodies or BoNT antisera, which form BoNT-containing immune complexes that are rapidly cleared from the general circulation. Clearance of opsonized toxins may involve complement receptor-mediated immunoadherence to red blood cells (RBC in primates or to platelets in rodents. Methods of enhancing immunoadherence of BoNT-specific antibodies may increase their potency in vivo. We designed a novel fusion protein (FP to link biotinylated molecules to glycophorin A (GPA on the RBC surface. The FP consists of an scFv specific for murine GPA fused to streptavidin. FP:mAb:BoNT complexes bound specifically to the RBC surface in vitro. In a mouse model of BoNT neutralization, the FP increased the potency of single and double antibody combinations in BoNT neutralization. A combination of two antibodies with the FP gave complete neutralization of 5,000 LD50 BoNT in mice. Neutralization in vivo was dependent on biotinylation of both antibodies and correlated with a reduction of plasma BoNT levels. In a post-exposure model of intoxication, FP:mAb complexes gave complete protection from a lethal BoNT/A1 dose when administered within 2 hours of toxin exposure. In a pre-exposure prophylaxis model, mice were fully protected for 72 hours following administration of the FP:mAb complex. These results demonstrate that RBC-targeted immunoadherence through the FP is a potent enhancer of BoNT neutralization by antibodies in vivo.

  3. Predicting Improvement in Writer's Cramp Symptoms following Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection Therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mallory Jackman

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Writer's cramp is a specific focal hand dystonia causing abnormal posturing and tremor in the upper limb. The most popular medical intervention, botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A therapy, is variably effective for 50–70% of patients. BoNT-A non-responders undergo ineffective treatment and may experience significant side effects. Various assessments have been used to determine response prediction to BoNT-A, but not in the same population of patients. Methods: A comprehensive assessment was employed to measure various symptom aspects. Clinical scales, full upper-limb kinematic measures, self-report, and task performance measures were assessed for nine writer's cramp patients at baseline. Patients received two BoNT-A injections then were classified as responders or non-responders based on a quantified self-report measure. Baseline scores were compared between groups, across all measures, to determine which scores predicted a positive BoNT-A response. Results: Five of nine patients were responders. No kinematic measures were predictably different between groups. Analyses revealed three features that predicted a favorable response and separated the two groups: higher than average cramp severity and cramp frequency, and below average cramp latency. Discussion: Non-kinematic measures appear to be superior in making such predictions. Specifically, measures of cramp severity, frequency, and latency during performance of a specific set of writing and drawing tasks were predictive factors. Since kinematic was not used to determine the injection pattern and the injections were visually guided, it may still be possible to use individual patient kinematics for better outcomes. 

  4. Botulinum neurotoxin type A induces TLR2-mediated inflammatory responses in macrophages.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yun Jeong Kim

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT/A is the most potent protein toxin and causes fatal flaccid muscle paralysis by blocking neurotransmission. Application of BoNT/A has been extended to the fields of therapeutics and biodefense. Nevertheless, the global response of host immune cells to authentic BoNT/A has not been reported. Employing microarray analysis, we performed global transcriptional profiling of RAW264.7 cells, a murine alveolar macrophage cell line. We identified 70 genes that were modulated following 1 nM BoNT/A treatment. The altered genes were mainly involved in signal transduction, immunity and defense, protein metabolism and modification, neuronal activities, intracellular protein trafficking, and muscle contraction. Microarray data were validated with real-time RT-PCR for seven selected genes including tlr2, tnf, inos, ccl4, slpi, stx11, and irg1. Proinflammatory mediators such as nitric oxide (NO and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFα were induced in a dose-dependent manner in BoNT/A-stimulated RAW264.7 cells. Increased expression of these factors was inhibited by monoclonal anti-Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2 and inhibitors specific to intracellular proteins such as c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK, extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK, and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK. BoNT/A also suppressed lipopolysaccharide-induced NO and TNFα production from RAW264.7 macrophages at the transcription level by blocking activation of JNK, ERK, and p38 MAPK. As confirmed by TLR2-/- knock out experiments, these results suggest that BoNT/A induces global gene expression changes in host immune cells and that host responses to BoNT/A proceed through a TLR2-dependent pathway, which is modulated by JNK, ERK, and p38 MAPK.

  5. Toxic and nontoxic components of botulinum neurotoxin complex are evolved from a common ancestral zinc protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inui, Ken [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Sagane, Yoshimasa [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Miyata, Keita [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, 1-8 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8472 (Japan); Miyashita, Shin-Ichiro [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Suzuki, Tomonori [Department of Bacteriology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2-5-1 Shikata-cho, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8558 (Japan); Shikamori, Yasuyuki [Agilent Technologies International Japan, Ltd. Takaura-cho 9-1, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 192-0033 (Japan); Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan); Watanabe, Toshihiro, E-mail: t-watana@bioindustry.nodai.ac.jp [Department of Food and Cosmetic Science, Faculty of Bioindustry, Tokyo University of Agriculture, 196 Yasaka, Abashiri 099-2493 (Japan)

    2012-03-16

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer BoNT and NTNHA proteins share a similar protein architecture. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA and BoNT were both identified as zinc-binding proteins. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer NTNHA does not have a classical HEXXH zinc-coordinating motif similar to that found in all serotypes of BoNT. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Homology modeling implied probable key residues involved in zinc coordination. -- Abstract: Zinc atoms play an essential role in a number of enzymes. Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the most potent toxin known in nature, is a zinc-dependent endopeptidase. Here we identify the nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA), one of the BoNT-complex constituents, as a zinc-binding protein, along with BoNT. A protein structure classification database search indicated that BoNT and NTNHA share a similar domain architecture, comprising a zinc-dependent metalloproteinase-like, BoNT coiled-coil motif and concanavalin A-like domains. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry analysis demonstrated that every single NTNHA molecule contains a single zinc atom. This is the first demonstration of a zinc atom in this protein, as far as we know. However, the NTNHA molecule does not possess any known zinc-coordinating motif, whereas all BoNT serotypes possess the classical HEXXH motif. Homology modeling of the NTNHA structure implied that a consensus K-C-L-I-K-X{sub 35}-D sequence common among all NTNHA serotype molecules appears to coordinate a single zinc atom. These findings lead us to propose that NTNHA and BoNT may have evolved distinct functional specializations following their branching out from a common ancestral zinc protein.

  6. Botulinum Neurotoxins: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis Using the Mouse Phrenic Nerve Hemidiaphragm Assay (MPN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Bigalke

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The historical method for the detection of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT is represented by the mouse bioassay (MBA measuring the animal survival rate. Since the endpoint of the MBA is the death of the mice due to paralysis of the respiratory muscle, an ex vivo animal replacement method, called mouse phrenic nerve (MPN assay, employs the isolated N. phrenicus-hemidiaphragm tissue. Here, BoNT causes a dose-dependent characteristic decrease of the contraction amplitude of the indirectly stimulated muscle. Within the EQuATox BoNT proficiency 13 test samples were analysed using the MPN assay by serial dilution to a bath concentration resulting in a paralysis time within the range of calibration curves generated with BoNT/A, B and E standards, respectively. For serotype identification the diluted samples were pre-incubated with polyclonal anti-BoNT/A, B or E antitoxin or a combination of each. All 13 samples were qualitatively correctly identified thereby delivering superior results compared to single in vitro methods like LFA, ELISA and LC-MS/MS. Having characterized the BoNT serotype, the final bath concentrations were calculated using the calibration curves and then multiplied by the respective dilution factor to obtain the sample concentration. Depending on the source of the BoNT standards used, the quantitation of ten BoNT/A containing samples delivered a mean z-score of 7 and of three BoNT/B or BoNT/E containing samples z-scores <2, respectively.

  7. Epitopic Profiling of Antibody Response against Neurotoxins from the Black Mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jespersen, Martin Closter; Engmark, Mikael; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    The black mamba (Dendroaspis Polylepis) is among the most dangerous snakes in the world, with a venom dominated by three-finger toxins and dendrotoxins. Among the three-finger toxins, the α-neurotoxins (α-NT) are the most important, and these are conserved between snake species. Cross......-reactivity between threefinger toxins is known to occur, and understanding this phenomenon in depth may help guide future design of antivenoms to obtain optimal specificity against medically important toxins from different snake species. Using a bioinformatic approach, we investigated the cross-reactivity be- tween...

  8. Researchers unmask secret to long-lasting effects of botulinum neurotoxin A in motor neurons | Center for Cancer Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    A team of scientists led by the Center for Cancer Research's Allan M. Weissman, M.D., and Yien Che Tsai, Ph.D., has discovered a molecular mechanism that explains the extreme toxicity of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A), the most potent BoNT strain. The discovery, published June 5 in PNAS, also identifies a molecular target that the researchers hope will eventually lead to improved therapies to treat exposure and severely undermine the potential use of BoNTs as bioweapons.  Read more...  

  9. Safety and administration of treatment with botulinum neurotoxin for sialorrhoea in ALS patients: Review of the litterature and a proposal for tailored treatment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stokholm, Morten; Bisgård, Carsten; Vilholm, Ole Jakob

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a second-line treatment of sialorrhoea in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patients. This article is a review of the published literature concerning safety and administration of this treatment to ALS patients. A PubMed search was performed. All original publicati......Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a second-line treatment of sialorrhoea in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) patients. This article is a review of the published literature concerning safety and administration of this treatment to ALS patients. A PubMed search was performed. All original...

  10. Neurotoxin synthesis is positively regulated by the sporulation transcription factor Spo0A in Clostridium botulinum type E.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascher, Gerald; Mertaoja, Anna; Korkeala, Hannu; Lindström, Miia

    2017-10-01

    Clostridium botulinum produces the most potent natural toxin, the botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), probably to create anaerobiosis and nutrients by killing the host, and forms endospores that facilitate survival in harsh conditions and transmission. Peak BoNT production coincides with initiation of sporulation in C. botulinum cultures, which suggests common regulation. Here, we show that Spo0A, the master regulator of sporulation, positively regulates BoNT production. Insertional inactivation of spo0A in C. botulinum type E strain Beluga resulted in significantly reduced BoNT production and in abolished or highly reduced sporulation in relation to wild-type controls. Complementation with spo0A restored BoNT production and sporulation. Recombinant DNA-binding domain of Spo0A directly bound to a putative Spo0A-binding box (CTTCGAA) within the BoNT/E operon promoter, demonstrating direct regulation. Spo0A is the first neurotoxin regulator reported in C. botulinum type E. Unlike other C. botulinum strains that are terrestrial and employ the alternative sigma factor BotR in directing BoNT expression, C. botulinum type E strains are adapted to aquatic ecosystems, possess distinct epidemiology and lack BotR. Our results provide fundamental new knowledge on the genetic control of BoNT production and demonstrate common regulation of BoNT production and sporulation, providing a key intervention point for control. © 2017 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Characterization of the binding of the Ptychodiscus brevis neurotoxin T17 to sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Poli, M.A.

    1985-01-01

    The lipid-soluble polyether neurotoxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) have been determined to bind to a unique receptor site associated with the voltage-sensitive sodium channel in rat brain synaptosomes. Reduction of the C 42 aldehyde function of T34 to the alcohol function of T17 using NaB 3 H 4 yielded 3 H-T17 with a specific activity of 15 Ci;/mmol. Using this specific probe, binding to sodium channels was measured at 4 0 CC, 22 0 C, and 37 0 C. Rosenthal analysis of the binding data yielded a K/sub d/ of 2.9 nM and B/sub max/ of 6.8 pmoles 3 H-T17 per mg of synaptosomal protein at 4 0 C. Both K/sub d/ and B/sub max/ were found to be temperature dependent. Depolarization of the synaptosomes by osmotic lysis resulted in the loss of 34% of the available receptor sites, with no decrease in binding affinity. Unlabeled T17, T34, and synthetic T17 (reduced T34) were equipotent in their ability to displace 3 H-T17 from its specific receptor site. Competition experiments using natural toxin probes specific for sites I-IV on the voltage-sensitive sodium channel demonstrate that 3 H-T17 does not bind to any of the previously-described neurotoxin receptor sites. A fifth site is proposed

  12. Selection of RNA Aptamers Against Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A Light Chain Through a Non-Radioactive Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Tzuu-Wang; Janardhanan, Pavithra; Mello, Charlene M; Singh, Bal Ram; Cai, Shuowei

    2016-09-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), a category A agent, is the most toxic molecule known to mankind. The endopeptidase activity of light chain domain of BoNT is the cause for the inhibition of the neurotransmitter release and the flaccid paralysis that leads to lethality in botulism. Currently, antidotes are not available to reverse the flaccid paralysis caused by BoNT. In the present study, a non-radioactive-based systematic evolution of ligands by exponential enrichment (SELEX) process is developed by utilizing surface plasmon resonance to monitor the binding enrichment. Two RNA aptamers have been identified as strong binders against light chain of botulinum neurotoxin type A. These two aptamers showed strong inhibition activity on LCA, with IC50 in nanomolar range. Inhibition kinetic studies reveal mid nanomolar KI and non-competitive nature of their inhibition, suggesting that they have strong potential as antidotes that can reverse the symptom caused by BoNT/A. More importantly, we observed that the 2'-fluorine-pyrimidine-modified RNA aptamers identified here do not change their binding and biological activities. This observation could lead to a cost-effective way for SELEX, by using regular nucleotide during SELEX, and 2'-fluorine-pyrimidine-modified nucleotide for final application to enhance their RNase-resistance.

  13. Llama Single Domain Antibodies Specific for the 7 Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes as Heptaplex Immunoreagents

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collazo, M. Thelma; Garza, John A.; Hayhurst, Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Background There are currently 7 known serotypes of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) classified upon non-cross reactivity of neutralizing immunoglobulins. Non-neutralizing immunoglobulins, however, can exhibit cross-reactivities between 2 or more serotypes, particularly mosaic forms, which can hamper the development of highly specific immunoassays, especially if based on polyclonal antisera. Here we employ facile recombinant antibody technology to subtractively select ligands to each of the 7 BoNT serotypes, resulting in populations with very high specificity for their intended serotype. Methods and Findings A single llama was immunized with a cocktail of 7 BoNT toxoids to generate a phage display library of single domain antibodies (sdAb, VHH or nanobodies) which were selected on live toxins. Resulting sdAb were capable of detecting both toxin and toxin complex with the best combinations able to detect 100s-10s of pg per 50 µL sample in a liquid bead array. The most sensitive sdAb were combined in a heptaplex assay to identify each of the BoNT serotypes in buffer and milk and to a lesser extent in carrot juice, orange juice and cola. Several anti-A(1) sdAb recognized A2 complex, showing that subtype cross-reactivity within a serotype was evident. Many of our sdAb could act as both captor and tracer for several toxin and toxin complexes suggesting sdAb can be used as architectural probes to indicate BoNT oligomerisation. Six of 14 anti-A clones exhibited inhibition of SNAP-25 cleavage in the neuro-2A assay indicating some sdAb had toxin neutralizing capabilities. Many sdAb were also shown to be refoldable after exposure to high temperatures in contrast to polyclonal antisera, as monitored by circular dichroism. Conclusions Our panel of molecularly flexible antibodies should not only serve as a good starting point for ruggedizing assays and inhibitors, but enable the intricate architectures of BoNT toxins and complexes to be probed more extensively. PMID:20098614

  14. Clinical outcomes of individualized botulinum neurotoxin type A injection techniques in patients with essential blepharospasm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sung, Youngje; Nam, Sang Min; Lew, Helen

    2015-04-01

    To assess the clinical outcomes following botulinum neurotoxin type A (BoNT-A) treatment with an individualized injection technique based on the types of spasms and to compare the results of the individualized injection technique with those of the conventional injection technique in the same patients. From November 2011 to July 2013, 77 BoNT-A injections were performed in 38 patients. Eighteen patients were treated with conventional BoNT-A injections before 2011, and 20 patients were referred to our hospital for unsatisfactory results after a conventional injection technique. We classified the patients by spasm-dominant sites: the lateral orbital area, representing the orbital orbicularis-dominant group (ODG); the glabella, representing the corrugator-dominant group (CDG); and the ptosis, representing the palpebral part of the orbicularis-dominant group (PDG). We increased the injection dose into the spasm-dominant sites of the blepharospasm groups. We assessed subjective symptom scores (functional disability score, FDS) after treatment. This study included 38 patients (26 women, 12 men; mean age, 60.6 ± 10.9 years). There were 21 patients in the ODG, 10 patients in the CDG, and 7 patients in the PDG. Mean ages were 59.7 ± 12.6, 59.8 ± 8.5, and 66.8 ± 9.0 years, and mean BoNT-A injection dose was 38.8 ± 11.2, 38.8 ± 11.2, and 38.8 ± 10.8 U in each group, respectively (p = 0.44, 0.82 Kruskal-Wallis test). Mean FDS after injection was 1.7 ± 0.7 in the ODG, 1.4 ± 0.8 in the CDG, and 1.2 ± 0.3 in the PDG. There were significant differences in reading and job scale among the three groups. In a comparison between the conventional and individualized injection techniques, there was a significant improvement in mean FDS and in the reading scale in the PDG with the individualized injection technique. The success rate was 92.1% in the conventional injection group and 94.1% in the individualized injection group. The individualized injection technique of Bo

  15. Crystal structure of the botulinum neurotoxin type G binding domain: insight into cell surface binding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stenmark, Pål; Dong, Min; Dupuy, Jérôme; Chapman, Edwin R; Stevens, Raymond C

    2010-04-16

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) typically bind the neuronal cell surface via dual interactions with both protein receptors and gangliosides. We present here the 1.9-A X-ray structure of the BoNT serotype G (BoNT/G) receptor binding domain (residues 868-1297) and a detailed view of protein receptor and ganglioside binding regions. The ganglioside binding motif (SxWY) has a conserved structure compared to the corresponding regions in BoNT serotype A and BoNT serotype B (BoNT/B), but several features of interactions with the hydrophilic face of the ganglioside are absent at the opposite side of the motif in the BoNT/G ganglioside binding cleft. This may significantly reduce the affinity between BoNT/G and gangliosides. BoNT/G and BoNT/B share the protein receptor synaptotagmin (Syt) I/II. The Syt binding site has a conserved hydrophobic plateau located centrally in the proposed protein receptor binding interface (Tyr1189, Phe1202, Ala1204, Pro1205, and Phe1212). Interestingly, only 5 of 14 residues that are important for binding between Syt-II and BoNT/B are conserved in BoNT/G, suggesting that the means by which BoNT/G and BoNT/B bind Syt diverges more than previously appreciated. Indeed, substitution of Syt-II Phe47 and Phe55 with alanine residues had little effect on the binding of BoNT/G, but strongly reduced the binding of BoNT/B. Furthermore, an extended solvent-exposed hydrophobic loop, located between the Syt binding site and the ganglioside binding cleft, may serve as a third membrane association and binding element to contribute to high-affinity binding to the neuronal membrane. While BoNT/G and BoNT/B are homologous to each other and both utilize Syt-I/Syt-II as their protein receptor, the precise means by which these two toxin serotypes bind to Syt appears surprisingly divergent. Copyright (c) 2010. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. Structural basis for recognition of synaptic vesicle protein 2C by botulinum neurotoxin A

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benoit, Roger M.; Frey, Daniel; Hilbert, Manuel; Kevenaar, Josta T.; Wieser, Mara M.; Stirnimann, Christian U.; McMillan, David; Ceska, Tom; Lebon, Florence; Jaussi, Rolf; Steinmetz, Michel O.; Schertler, Gebhard F. X.; Hoogenraad, Casper C.; Capitani, Guido; Kammerer, Richard A.

    2014-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) belongs to the most dangerous class of bioweapons. Despite this, BoNT/A is used to treat a wide range of common medical conditions such as migraines and a variety of ocular motility and movement disorders. BoNT/A is probably best known for its use as an antiwrinkle agent in cosmetic applications (including Botox and Dysport). BoNT/A application causes long-lasting flaccid paralysis of muscles through inhibiting the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by cleaving synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) within presynaptic nerve terminals. Two types of BoNT/A receptor have been identified, both of which are required for BoNT/A toxicity and are therefore likely to cooperate with each other: gangliosides and members of the synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) family, which are putative transporter proteins that are predicted to have 12 transmembrane domains, associate with the receptor-binding domain of the toxin. Recently, fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3) has also been reported to be a potential BoNT/A receptor. In SV2 proteins, the BoNT/A-binding site has been mapped to the luminal domain, but the molecular details of the interaction between BoNT/A and SV2 are unknown. Here we determined the high-resolution crystal structure of the BoNT/A receptor-binding domain (BoNT/A-RBD) in complex with the SV2C luminal domain (SV2C-LD). SV2C-LD consists of a right-handed, quadrilateral β-helix that associates with BoNT/A-RBD mainly through backbone-to-backbone interactions at open β-strand edges, in a manner that resembles the inter-strand interactions in amyloid structures. Competition experiments identified a peptide that inhibits the formation of the complex. Our findings provide a strong platform for the development of novel antitoxin agents and for the rational design of BoNT/A variants with improved therapeutic properties.

  17. Selective quantitation of the neurotoxin BMAA by use of hydrophilic-interaction liquid chromatography-differential mobility spectrometry-tandem mass spectrometry (HILIC-DMS-MS/MS).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beach, Daniel G; Kerrin, Elliott S; Quilliam, Michael A

    2015-11-01

    The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) has been reported in cyanobacteria and shellfish, raising concerns about widespread human exposure. However, inconsistent results for BMAA analysis have led to controversy. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) is the most appropriate method for analysis of BMAA, but the risk of interference from isomers, other sample components, and the electrospray background is still present. We have investigated differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) as an ion filter to improve selectivity in the hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatographic (HILIC)-MS/MS determination of BMAA. We obtained standards for two BMAA isomers not previously analyzed by HILIC-MS, β-amino-N-methylalanine and 3,4-diaminobutanoic acid, and the typically used 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid and N-(2-aminoethyl)glycine. DMS separation of BMAA from these isomers was achieved and optimized conditions were used to develop a sensitive and highly selective multidimensional HILIC-DMS-MS/MS method. This work revealed current technical limitations of DMS for trace quantitation, and practical solutions were implemented. Accurate control of low levels of DMS carrier gas modifier was essential, but required external metering. The linearity of our optimized method was excellent from 0.01 to 6 μmol L(-1). The instrumental LOD was 0.4 pg BMAA injected on-column and the estimated method LOD was 20 ng g(-1) dry weight for BMAA in sample matrix. The method was used to analyze cycad plant tissue, a cyanobacterial reference material, and mussel tissues, by use of isotope-dilution quantitation with deuterated BMAA. This confirmed the presence of BMAA and several of its isomers in cycad and mussel tissues, including commercially available mussel tissue reference materials certified for other biotoxins. Graphical Abstract Differential Mobility Spectrometry is used to increases the selectivity of BMAA analysis by HILIC-MS/MS.

  18. Extraction and inhibition of enzymatic activity of botulinum neurotoxins/A1, /A2, and /A3 by a panel of monoclonal anti-BoNT/A antibodies.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suzanne R Kalb

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs are extremely potent toxins that are capable of causing death or respiratory failure leading to long-term intensive care. Treatment includes serotype-specific antitoxins, which must be administered early in the course of the intoxication. Rapidly determining human exposure to BoNT is an important public health goal. In previous work, our laboratory focused on developing Endopep-MS, a mass spectrometry-based endopeptidase method for detecting and differentiating BoNT/A-G serotypes in buffer and BoNT/A, /B, /E, and /F in clinical samples. We have previously reported the effectiveness of antibody-capture to purify and concentrate BoNTs from complex matrices, such as clinical samples. Because some antibodies inhibit or neutralize the activity of BoNT, the choice of antibody with which to extract the toxin is critical. In this work, we evaluated a panel of 16 anti-BoNT/A monoclonal antibodies (mAbs for their ability to inhibit the in vitro activity of BoNT/A1, /A2, and /A3 complex as well as the recombinant LC of A1. We also evaluated the same antibody panel for the ability to extract BoNT/A1, /A2, and /A3. Among the mAbs, there were significant differences in extraction efficiency, ability to extract BoNT/A subtypes, and inhibitory effect on BoNT catalytic activity. The mAbs binding the C-terminal portion of the BoNT/A heavy chain had optimal properties for use in the Endopep-MS assay.

  19. Structural analysis and tissue localization of human C4.4A

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Line V.; Gårdsvoll, Henrik; Nielsen, Boye S

    2004-01-01

    recombinant human C4.4A is extensively modified by post-translational glycosylation, which include 5-6 N-linked carbohydrates primarily located in or close to its second Ly-6/uPAR/alpha-neurotoxin module and approximately 15 O-linked carbohydrates clustered in a Ser/Thr/Pro-rich region at the C...

  20. Effects of atomoxetine on attention in Wistar rats treated with the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hauser, J.; Reissmann, A.; Sontag, T.A.; Tucha, Oliver; Lange, K.W.

    2017-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4), which allows a depletion of noradrenergic terminals in a dose-dependent manner, on attention in rats as measured using the five-choice serial-reaction time task (5CSRTT). In

  1. Dopamine, Noradrenaline and Serotonin Receptor Densities in the Striatum of Hemiparkinsonian Rats following Botulinum Neurotoxin-A Injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, T; Zilles, K; Dikow, H; Hellfritsch, A; Cremer, M; Piel, M; Rösch, F; Hawlitschka, A; Schmitt, O; Wree, A

    2018-03-15

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is characterized by a degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc) that causes a dopamine (DA) deficit in the caudate-putamen (CPu) accompanied by compensatory changes in other neurotransmitter systems. These changes result in severe motor and non-motor symptoms. To disclose the role of various receptor binding sites for DA, noradrenaline, and serotonin in the hemiparkinsonian (hemi-PD) rat model induced by unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) injection, the densities of D 1 , D 2 /D 3 , α 1 , α 2 , and 5HT 2A receptors were longitudinally visualized and measured in the CPu of hemi-PD rats by quantitative in vitro receptor autoradiography. We found a moderate increase in D 1 receptor density 3 weeks post lesion that decreased during longer survival times, a significant increase of D 2 /D 3 receptor density, and 50% reduction in 5HT 2A receptor density. α 1 receptor density remained unaltered in hemi-PD and α 2 receptors demonstrated a slight right-left difference increasing with post lesion survival. In a second step, the possible role of receptors on the known reduction of apomorphine-induced rotations in hemi-PD rats by intrastriatally injected Botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A) was analyzed by measuring the receptor densities after BoNT-A injection. The application of this neurotoxin reduced D 2 /D 3 receptor density, whereas the other receptors mainly remained unaltered. Our results provide novel data for an understanding of the postlesional plasticity of dopaminergic, noradrenergic and serotonergic receptors in the hemi-PD rat model. The results further suggest a therapeutic effect of BoNT-A on the impaired motor behavior of hemi-PD rats by reducing the interhemispheric imbalance in D 2 /D 3 receptor density. Copyright © 2018 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Characterization of the binding of the Ptychodiscus brevis neurotoxin T17 to sodium channels in rat brain synaptosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Poli, M.A.

    1985-01-01

    The lipid-soluble polyether neurotoxins isolated from the marine dinoflagellate Ptychodiscus brevis (formerly Gymnodinium breve) have been determined to bind to a unique receptor site associated with the voltage-sensitive sodium channel in rat brain synaptosomes. Reduction of the C/sub 42/ aldehyde function of T34 to the alcohol function of T17 using NaB/sup 3/H/sub 4/ yielded /sup 3/H-T17 with a specific activity of 15 Ci;/mmol. Using this specific probe, binding to sodium channels was measured at 4/sup 0/CC, 22/sup 0/C, and 37/sup 0/C. Rosenthal analysis of the binding data yielded a K/sub d/ of 2.9 nM and B/sub max/ of 6.8 pmoles /sup 3/H-T17 per mg of synaptosomal protein at 4/sup 0/C. Both K/sub d/ and B/sub max/ were found to be temperature dependent. Depolarization of the synaptosomes by osmotic lysis resulted in the loss of 34% of the available receptor sites, with no decrease in binding affinity. Unlabeled T17, T34, and synthetic T17 (reduced T34) were equipotent in their ability to displace /sup 3/H-T17 from its specific receptor site. Competition experiments using natural toxin probes specific for sites I-IV on the voltage-sensitive sodium channel demonstrate that /sup 3/H-T17 does not bind to any of the previously-described neurotoxin receptor sites. A fifth site is proposed.

  3. Cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 is a ligand of alpha1B-glycoprotein in human plasma

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Udby, Lene; Sørensen, Ole E; Pass, Jesper

    2004-01-01

    Human cysteine-rich secretory protein 3 (CRISP-3; also known as SGP28) belongs to a family of closely related proteins found in mammals and reptiles. Some mammalian CRISPs are known to be involved in the process of reproduction, whereas some of the CRISPs from reptiles are neurotoxin...

  4. Detection and Quantification of Biologically Active Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotypes A and B Using a Förster Resonance Energy Transfer-Based Quantum Dot Nanobiosensor

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Yun [Center for Food; Fry, H. Christopher [Center for Nanoscale Materials, Argonne National Laboratory, 9700 S. Cass Avenue, Lemont, DuPage County, Illinois 60439, United States; Skinner, Guy E. [Center for Food; Schill, Kristin M. [Center for Food; Duncan, Timothy V. [Center for Food

    2017-03-20

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is the most potent toxin known. The ingestion of food contaminated with biologically active BoNT causes foodborne botulism, which can lead to respiratory paralysis, coma, and death after ingestion of as little as 70 mu g for a 70 kg human. Because of its lethality and challenges associated with current detection methods, there is an urgent need for highly sensitive rapid screening techniques capable of detecting biologically active BoNT. Here, we describe a Forster resonance energy transfer-based nanobiosensor that uses quantum dots (QDs) and two specific quencher-labeled peptide probes to detect and differentiate two biologically active forms of BoNT, serotypes A and B, which were responsible for 80% of human foodborne botulism cases in the U.S. from 2012 to 2015. Each peptide probe contains an enzymatic cleavage site specific to only one serotype. QDs were selected based on the spectral overlap with the quenchers. In the presence of the target BoNT serotype, the peptide probe is cleaved and the quenching of QD photoluminescence (PL) is reduced, giving a signal that is easily detected by a PL spectrophotometer. This sensor performance was evaluated with light chains of BoNT/A and BoNT/B (LcA and LcB), catalytic domains of the respective serotypes. LcA and LcB were detected in 3 h with limits of detection of 0.2 and 2 ng/mL, respectively. The specificity of the sensor was evaluated, and no cross-reactivity from nontarget serotypes was observed with 2 h of incubation. Because each serotype-specific peptide is conjugated to a QD with a unique emission wavelength, multiple biologically active BoNT serotypes could be detected in one PL spectrum. The sensor was also shown to be responsive to BoNT/A and BoNT/B holotoxins. Good performance of this sensor implies its potential application as a rapid screening method for biologically active BoNT/A and BoNT/B in the laboratory and in the field.

  5. CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Genomic Deletion of the Beta-1, 4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 Gene in Murine P19 Embryonal Carcinoma Cells Results in Low Sensitivity to Botulinum Neurotoxin Type C.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kentaro Tsukamoto

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum cause flaccid paralysis by inhibiting neurotransmitter release at peripheral nerve terminals. Previously, we found that neurons derived from the murine P19 embryonal carcinoma cell line exhibited high sensitivity to botulinum neurotoxin type C. In order to prove the utility of P19 cells for the study of the intracellular mechanism of botulinum neurotoxins, ganglioside-knockout neurons were generated by deletion of the gene encoding beta-1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1 in P19 cells using the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats combined with Cas9 (CRISPR/Cas9 system. By using this system, knockout cells could be generated more easily than with previous methods. The sensitivity of the generated beta-1,4 N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 1-depleted P19 neurons to botulinum neurotoxin type C was decreased considerably, and the exogenous addition of the gangliosides GD1a, GD1b, and GT1b restored the susceptibility of P19 cells to botulinum neurotoxin type C. In particular, addition of a mixture of these three ganglioside more effectively recovered the sensitivity of knockout cells compared to independent addition of GD1a, GD1b, or GT1b. Consequently, the genome-edited P19 cells generated by the CRISPR/Cas9 system were useful for identifying and defining the intracellular molecules involved in the toxic action of botulinum neurotoxins.

  6. Potent New Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Endopeptidase Developed by Synthesis-Based Computer-Aided Molecular Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-11-01

    simulations; (4) synthesis and evaluation of the molecules from Step 2 or 3 (e.g., synthesizing and testing AHP). From synthetic chemistry point of view...2000) Synthesis of 6H-indolo [2,3-b][1,6]naphthyridines and related compounds as the 5-Aza analogues of ellipticine alkaloids . J Org Chem 65: 7977–7983...Potent New Small-Molecule Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Endopeptidase Developed by Synthesis -Based Computer-Aided Molecular Design

  7. Isolation and Pharmacological Characterization of α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a, a Short-Chain Postsynaptic Neurotoxin from the Venom of the Western Desert Taipan, Oxyuranus temporalis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmel M. Barber

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Taipans (Oxyuranus spp. are elapids with highly potent venoms containing presynaptic (β and postsynaptic (α neurotoxins. O. temporalis (Western Desert taipan, a newly discovered member of this genus, has been shown to possess venom which displays marked in vitro neurotoxicity. No components have been isolated from this venom. We describe the characterization of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (α-EPTX-Ot1a; 6712 Da, a short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin, which accounts for approximately 30% of O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1–1 µM produced concentration-dependent inhibition of indirect-twitches, and abolished contractile responses to exogenous acetylcholine and carbachol, in the chick biventer cervicis nerve-muscle preparation. The inhibition of indirect twitches by α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM was not reversed by washing the tissue. Prior addition of taipan antivenom (10 U/mL delayed the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (1 µM and markedly attenuated the neurotoxic effects of α-elapitoxin-Ot1a (0.1 µM. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a displayed pseudo-irreversible antagonism of concentration-response curves to carbachol with a pA2 value of 8.02 ± 0.05. De novo sequencing revealed the main sequence of the short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxin (i.e., α-elapitoxin-Ot1a as well as three other isoforms found in O. temporalis venom. α-Elapitoxin-Ot1a shows high sequence similarity (i.e., >87% with other taipan short-chain postsynaptic neurotoxins.

  8. Botulinum and Tetanus Neurotoxin Induced Blockage of Synaptic Transmission in Networked Cultures of Human and Rodent Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-11-28

    Systems) and a mouse anti-SNAP-25 antibody ( Covance , Gaithersburg, Maryland) or a mouse anti- synaptobrevin-2 antibody (Synaptic Systems, Gottingen... Covance ) and NeuN (Synaptic Systems) diluted in PBSS according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Coverslips were incubated for 1h with Alexa-labeled

  9. Gene expression profiling in brain of mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin ciguatoxin reveals an acute anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective response

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan James C

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Ciguatoxins (CTXs are polyether marine neurotoxins and potent activators of voltage-gated sodium channels. This toxin is carried by multiple reef-fish species and human consumption of ciguatoxins can result in an explosive gastrointestinal/neurologic illness. This study characterizes the global transcriptional response in mouse brain to a symptomatic dose of the highly toxic Pacific ciguatoxin P-CTX-1 and additionally compares this data to transcriptional profiles from liver and whole blood examined previously. Adult male C57/BL6 mice were injected with 0.26 ng/g P-CTX-1 while controls received only vehicle. Animals were sacrificed at 1, 4 and 24 hrs and transcriptional profiling was performed on brain RNA with Agilent whole genome microarrays. RT-PCR was used to independently validate gene expression and the web tool DAVID was used to analyze gene ontology (GO and molecular pathway enrichment of the gene expression data. Results A pronounced 4°C hypothermic response was recorded in these mice, reaching a minimum at 1 hr and lasting for 8 hrs post toxin exposure. Ratio expression data were filtered by intensity, fold change and p-value, with the resulting data used for time course analysis, K-means clustering, ontology classification and KEGG pathway enrichment. Top GO hits for this gene set included acute phase response and mono-oxygenase activity. Molecular pathway analysis showed enrichment for complement/coagulation cascades and metabolism of xenobiotics. Many immediate early genes such as Fos, Jun and Early Growth Response isoforms were down-regulated although others associated with stress such as glucocorticoid responsive genes were up-regulated. Real time PCR confirmation was performed on 22 differentially expressed genes with a correlation of 0.9 (Spearman's Rho, p Conclusions Many of the genes differentially expressed in this study, in parallel with the hypothermia, figure prominently in protection against

  10. Gene expression profiling in brain of mice exposed to the marine neurotoxin ciguatoxin reveals an acute anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, James C; Morey, Jeanine S; Bottein, Marie-Yasmine Dechraoui; Ramsdell, John S; Van Dolah, Frances M

    2010-08-26

    Ciguatoxins (CTXs) are polyether marine neurotoxins and potent activators of voltage-gated sodium channels. This toxin is carried by multiple reef-fish species and human consumption of ciguatoxins can result in an explosive gastrointestinal/neurologic illness. This study characterizes the global transcriptional response in mouse brain to a symptomatic dose of the highly toxic Pacific ciguatoxin P-CTX-1 and additionally compares this data to transcriptional profiles from liver and whole blood examined previously. Adult male C57/BL6 mice were injected with 0.26 ng/g P-CTX-1 while controls received only vehicle. Animals were sacrificed at 1, 4 and 24 hrs and transcriptional profiling was performed on brain RNA with Agilent whole genome microarrays. RT-PCR was used to independently validate gene expression and the web tool DAVID was used to analyze gene ontology (GO) and molecular pathway enrichment of the gene expression data. A pronounced 4°C hypothermic response was recorded in these mice, reaching a minimum at 1 hr and lasting for 8 hrs post toxin exposure. Ratio expression data were filtered by intensity, fold change and p-value, with the resulting data used for time course analysis, K-means clustering, ontology classification and KEGG pathway enrichment. Top GO hits for this gene set included acute phase response and mono-oxygenase activity. Molecular pathway analysis showed enrichment for complement/coagulation cascades and metabolism of xenobiotics. Many immediate early genes such as Fos, Jun and Early Growth Response isoforms were down-regulated although others associated with stress such as glucocorticoid responsive genes were up-regulated. Real time PCR confirmation was performed on 22 differentially expressed genes with a correlation of 0.9 (Spearman's Rho, p < 0.0001) with microarray results. Many of the genes differentially expressed in this study, in parallel with the hypothermia, figure prominently in protection against neuroinflammation. Pathologic

  11. Detection, concentrations and distribution of paxilline, an animal neurotoxin, in mouse brain: an application of ultra-high sensitivity detection of 14C by accelerator mass spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, P.B.; Kim, K.

    1999-01-01

    Full text: Paxilline is an intermediate in the biosynthesis of lolitrem neurotoxins that cause the disorder rye grass staggers in livestock grazing on pastures infected with certain fungi. Paxilline itself produces similar symptoms and the 14 C-labelled compound has been produced bio-synthetically at low specific activity. Using conventional liquid scintillation counting it was not possible to detect the labelled compound in the brain of mice sacrificed at the time they displayed physiological symptoms. Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) counts 14 C atoms, not decays, and provides sensitivity 10,000-100,000 times greater than conventional scintillation counting of radioactive decays. Measurements are easily obtained at the level of the natural abundance of 14 C in living tissue of 6fCi or 10 -16 moles 14 C per mg total carbon. Extraction of the labelled compound from the tissue is unnecessary and sample size can be 0.01-10mg. Paxilline (8mg/kg ip) was given to 25g mice. The total activity injected was 11,000 dpm though the results showed that 1,000dpm would have been sufficient. The concentration of paxilline in homogenised whole brain was determined to be 985 pg or 0.0075 dpm mg dry tissue. The concentration in the major brain segments ranged from 893-1137 pgmg dry tissue. The spinal cord contained 719 pg/mg dry tissue. Our results suggest that toxicologists and pharmacologists should consider what new information may be obtained by combining tracer studies with the power of AMS detection. The AMS method makes possible great reductions in the amount of label and sample sizes, plus wider ranges in concentration/time course studies. In particular, it opens up new possibilities such as: studies at true dietary or environmental levels; tracer studies in large animal or plant systems; field trials; human studies where radiation dose must be considered; and studies with compounds that can only be synthesised with low specific activity. Copyright (1999) Australasian

  12. Label-Free (XIC) Quantification of Venom Procoagulant and Neurotoxin Expression in Related Australian Elapid Snakes Gives Insight into Venom Toxicity Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skejic, Jure; Steer, David L; Dunstan, Nathan; Hodgson, Wayne C

    2015-11-06

    This study demonstrates a direct role of venom protein expression alteration in the evolution of snake venom toxicity. Avian skeletal muscle contractile response to exogenously administered acetylcholine is completely inhibited upon exposure to South Australian and largely preserved following exposure to Queensland eastern brown snake Pseudonaja textilis venom, indicating potent postsynaptic neurotoxicity of the former and lack thereof of the latter venom. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals extremely large differences in the expression of postsynaptic three-finger α-neurotoxins in these venoms, explaining the difference in the muscle contractile response and suggesting that the type of toxicity induced by venom can be modified by altered expression of venom proteins. Furthermore, the onset of neuromuscular paralysis in the rat phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation occurs sooner upon exposure to the venom (10 μg/mL) with high expression of α-neurotoxins than the venoms containing predominately presynaptic β-neurotoxins. The study also finds that the onset of rat plasma coagulation is faster following exposure to the venoms with higher expression of venom prothrombin activator subunits. This is the first quantitative proteomic study that uses extracted ion chromatogram peak areas (MS1 XIC) of distinct homologous tryptic peptides to directly show the differences in the expression of venom proteins.

  13. The analgesic effect on neuropathic pain of retrogradely transported botulinum neurotoxin A involves Schwann cells and astrocytes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Marinelli

    Full Text Available In recent years a growing debate is about whether botulinum neurotoxins are retrogradely transported from the site of injection. Immunodetection of cleaved SNAP-25 (cl-SNAP-25, the protein of the SNARE complex targeted by botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A, could represent an excellent approach to investigate the mechanism of action on the nociceptive pathways at peripheral and/or central level. After peripheral administration of BoNT/A, we analyzed the expression of cl-SNAP-25, from the hindpaw's nerve endings to the spinal cord, together with the behavioral effects on neuropathic pain. We used the chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve in CD1 mice as animal model of neuropathic pain. We evaluated immunostaining of cl-SNAP-25 in the peripheral nerve endings, along the sciatic nerve, in dorsal root ganglia and in spinal dorsal horns after intraplantar injection of saline or BoNT/A, alone or colocalized with either glial fibrillar acidic protein, GFAP, or complement receptor 3/cluster of differentiation 11b, CD11b, or neuronal nuclei, NeuN, depending on the area investigated. Immunofluorescence analysis shows the presence of the cl-SNAP-25 in all tissues examined, from the peripheral endings to the spinal cord, suggesting a retrograde transport of BoNT/A. Moreover, we performed in vitro experiments to ascertain if BoNT/A was able to interact with the proliferative state of Schwann cells (SC. We found that BoNT/A modulates the proliferation of SC and inhibits the acetylcholine release from SC, evidencing a new biological effect of the toxin and further supporting the retrograde transport of the toxin along the nerve and its ability to influence regenerative processes. The present results strongly sustain a combinatorial action at peripheral and central neural levels and encourage the use of BoNT/A for the pathological pain conditions difficult to treat in clinical practice and dramatically impairing patients' quality of life.

  14. Effect of nitrogen on cellular production and release of the neurotoxin anatoxin-a in a nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexis eGagnon

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Anatoxin-a (ANTX is a neurotoxin produced by several freshwater cyanobacteria and implicated in lethal poisonings of domesticated animals and wildlife. The factors leading to its production in nature and in culture are not well understood. Resource availability may influence its cellular production as suggested by the carbon-nutrient hypothesis, which links the amount of secondary metabolites produced by plants or microbes to the relative abundance of nutrients. We tested the effects of nitrogen supply on ANTX production and release in a toxic strain of the cyanobacterium Aphanizomenon issatschenkoi (Nostocales. We hypothesized that nitrogen deficiency might constrain the production of ANTX. However, the total concentration and more significantly the cellular content of anatoxin-a peaked (max. 146 µg/L and 1683 µg•g-1 dry weight at intermediate levels of nitrogen supply when N-deficiency was evident based on phycocyanin to chlorophyll a and carbon to nitrogen ratios. The results suggest that the cellular production of anatoxin-a may be stimulated by moderate nutrient stress as described recently for another cyanotoxin (microcystin.

  15. Botulinum Neurotoxin Injection for the Treatment of Recurrent Temporomandibular Joint Dislocation with and without Neurogenic Muscular Hyperactivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuya Yoshida

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to compare treatment outcomes following intramuscular injection of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT in patients with recurrent temporomandibular joint dislocation, with and without muscle hyperactivity due to neurological diseases. Thirty-two patients (19 women and 13 men, mean age: 62.3 years with recurrent temporomandibular joint dislocation were divided into two groups: neurogenic (8 women and 12 men and habitual (11 women and 1 man. The neurogenic group included patients having neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or oromandibular dystonia, that are accompanied by muscle hyperactivity. BoNT was administered via intraoral injection to the inferior head of the lateral pterygoid muscle. In total, BoNT injection was administered 102 times (mean 3.2 times/patient. The mean follow-up duration was 29.5 months. The neurogenic group was significantly (p < 0.001 younger (47.3 years than the habitual group (84.8 years and required significantly (p < 0.01 more injections (4.1 versus 1.7 times to achieve a positive outcome. No significant immediate or delayed complications occurred. Thus, intramuscular injection of BoNT into the lateral pterygoid muscle is an effective and safe treatment for habitual temporomandibular joint dislocation. More injections are required in cases of neurogenic temporomandibular joint dislocation than in those of habitual dislocation without muscle hyperactivity.

  16. Structural insight into exosite binding and discovery of novel exosite inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A through in silico screening

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xin; Legler, Patricia M.; Southall, Noel; Maloney, David J.; Simeonov, Anton; Jadhav, Ajit

    2014-07-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is the most lethal toxin among the Tier 1 Select Agents. Development of potent and selective small molecule inhibitors against BoNT/A zinc metalloprotease remains a challenging problem due to its exceptionally large substrate binding surface and conformational plasticity. The exosites of the catalytic domain of BoNT/A are intriguing alternative sites for small molecule intervention, but their suitability for inhibitor design remains largely unexplored. In this study, we employed two recently identified exosite inhibitors, D-chicoric acid and lomofungin, to probe the structural features of the exosites and molecular mechanisms of synergistic inhibition. The results showed that D-chicoric acid favors binding at the α-exosite, whereas lomofungin preferentially binds at the β-exosite by mimicking the substrate β-sheet binding interaction. Molecular dynamics simulations and binding interaction analysis of the exosite inhibitors with BoNT/A revealed key elements and hotspots that likely contribute to the inhibitor binding and synergistic inhibition. Finally, we performed database virtual screening for novel inhibitors of BoNT/A targeting the exosites. Hits C1 and C2 showed non-competitive inhibition and likely target the α- and β-exosites, respectively. The identified exosite inhibitors may provide novel candidates for structure-based development of therapeutics against BoNT/A intoxication.

  17. Molecular bases of protective immune responses against botulinum neurotoxin A--how antitoxin antibodies block its action.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atassi, M Zouhair; Dolimbek, Behzod Z; Steward, Lance E; Aoki, K Roger

    2007-01-01

    In studies from this laboratory, we localized the regions on the H chain of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) that are recognized by anti-BoNT/A antibodies (Abs) and block the activity of the toxin in vivo. These Abs were obtained from cervical dystonia patients who had been treated with BoNT/A and had become unresponsive to the treatment, as well as blocking Abs raised in mouse, horse, and chicken. We also localized the regions involved in BoNT/A binding to mouse brain synaptosomes (snp). Comparison of spatial proximities in the three-dimensional structure of the Ab-binding regions and the snp binding showed that except for one, the Ab-binding regions either coincide or overlap with the snp regions. It should be folly expected that protective Abs when bound to the toxin at sites that coincide or overlap with snp binding would prevent the toxin from binding to nerve synapse and therefore block toxin entry into the neuron. Thus, analysis of the locations of the Ab-binding and the snp-binding regions provides a molecular rationale for the ability of protecting Abs to block BoNT/A action in vivo.

  18. Qualitative and Quantitative Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins from Complex Matrices: Results of the First International Proficiency Test

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Worbs

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In the framework of the EU project EQuATox, a first international proficiency test (PT on the detection and quantification of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT was conducted. Sample materials included BoNT serotypes A, B and E spiked into buffer, milk, meat extract and serum. Different methods were applied by the participants combining different principles of detection, identification and quantification. Based on qualitative assays, 95% of all results reported were correct. Successful strategies for BoNT detection were based on a combination of complementary immunological, MS-based and functional methods or on suitable functional in vivo/in vitro approaches (mouse bioassay, hemidiaphragm assay and Endopep-MS assay. Quantification of BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/E was performed by 48% of participating laboratories. It turned out that precise quantification of BoNT was difficult, resulting in a substantial scatter of quantitative data. This was especially true for results obtained by the mouse bioassay which is currently considered as “gold standard” for BoNT detection. The results clearly demonstrate the urgent need for certified BoNT reference materials and the development of methods replacing animal testing. In this context, the BoNT PT provided the valuable information that both the Endopep-MS assay and the hemidiaphragm assay delivered quantitative results superior to the mouse bioassay.

  19. Cleavage of SNAP25 and its shorter versions by the protease domain of serotype A botulinum neurotoxin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahman M Mizanur

    Full Text Available Various substrates, catalysts, and assay methods are currently used to screen inhibitors for their effect on the proteolytic activity of botulinum neurotoxin. As a result, significant variation exists in the reported results. Recently, we found that one source of variation was the use of various catalysts, and have therefore evaluated its three forms. In this paper, we characterize three substrates under near uniform reaction conditions using the most active catalytic form of the toxin. Bovine serum albumin at varying optimum concentrations stimulated enzymatic activity with all three substrates. Sodium chloride had a stimulating effect on the full length synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa (SNAP25 and its 66-mer substrates but had an inhibitory effect on the 17-mer substrate. We found that under optimum conditions, full length SNAP25 was a better substrate than its shorter 66-mer or 17-mer forms both in terms of kcat, Km, and catalytic efficiency kcat/Km. Assay times greater than 15 min introduced large variations and significantly reduced the catalytic efficiency. In addition to characterizing the three substrates, our results identify potential sources of variations in previous published results, and underscore the importance of using well-defined reaction components and assay conditions.

  20. Antigenic sites on the HN domain of botulinum neurotoxin A stimulate protective antibody responses against active toxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayyar, B Vijayalakshmi; Tajhya, Rajeev B; Beeton, Christine; Atassi, M Zouhair

    2015-10-28

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic substances known. BoNT intoxicates cells in a highly programmed fashion initiated by binding to the cell surface, internalization and enzymatic cleavage of substrate, thus, inhibiting synaptic exocytosis. Over the past two decades, immunological significance of BoNT/A C-terminal heavy chain (HC) and light chain (LC) domains were investigated extensively leading to important findings. In the current work, we explored the significance of BoNT/A heavy chain N-terminal (HN) region as a vaccine candidate. Mice were immunized with recombinant HN519-845 generating antibodies (Abs) that were found to be protective against lethal dose of BoNT/A. Immuno-dominant regions of HN519-845 were identified and individually investigated for antibody response along with synthetic peptides within those regions, using in vivo protection assays against BoNT/A. Results were confirmed by patch-clamp analysis where anti-HN antibodies were studied for the ability to block toxin-induced channel formation. This data strongly indicated that HN519-593 is an important region in generating protective antibodies and should be valuable in a vaccine design. These results are the first to describe and dissect the protective activity of the BoNT/A HN domain.

  1. Clostridium botulinum serotype D neurotoxin and toxin complex bind to bovine aortic endothelial cells via sialic acid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneyama, Tohru; Miyata, Keita; Chikai, Tomoyuki; Mikami, Akifumi; Suzuki, Tomonori; Hasegawa, Kimiko; Ikeda, Toshihiko; Watanabe, Toshihiro; Ohyama, Tohru; Niwa, Koichi

    2008-12-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is produced as a large toxin complex (L-TC) associated with nontoxic nonhemagglutinin (NTNHA) and three hemagglutinin subcomponents (HA-70, -33 and -17). The binding properties of BoNT to neurons and L-TC to intestinal epithelial cells are well documented, while those to other tissues are largely unknown. Here, to obtain novel insights into the pathogenesis of foodborne botulism, we examine whether botulinum toxins bind to vascular endothelial cells. BoNT and 750 kDa L-TC (a complex of BoNT, NTNHA and HAs) of Clostridium botulinum serotype D were incubated with bovine aortic endothelial cells (BAECs), and binding to the cells was assessed using sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and Western blot. Both BoNT and L-TC bound to BAECs, with L-TC showing stronger binding. Binding of BoNT and L-TC to BAECs was significantly inhibited by N-acetyl neuraminic acid in the cell culture medium or by treatment of the cells with neuraminidase. However, galactose, lactose or N-acetyl galactosamine did not significantly inhibit toxin binding to the cells. This is the first report demonstrating that BoNT and L-TC bind to BAECs via sialic acid, and this mechanism may be important in the trafficking pathway of BoNT in foodborne botulism.

  2. Discovery of Peptide-Based Antitoxins against Neurotoxins from Green and Black Mamba (Dendroaspis Family)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jappe, Emma Christine; Munk, Andreas; Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard

    treatment. Since the introduction of antivenoms in the 1890’s, only modest advances in antivenom technology and production have been made. Current antivenoms are, therefore, still being produced by immunisation of large ruminants, typically horses, with snake venoms and subsequently bleeding them to collect...... blood comprising venom-specific antibodies [4]. The incompatibility of these antivenoms with the human immune system canlead to serious adverse effects. A novel approach is needed in order to introduce safer, cheaper and more efficacious antivenoms that are compatible with the human immune system...... dendrotoxins α-dendrotoxin (α-Dtx, UniProtKBP00980), isolated from Dendroaspisangusticeps (Green mamba), and dendrotoxin I (Dtx I, UniProtKBP00979) from Dendroaspis polylepis (Black mamba) by phage display [5,6].Cross-reactive antitoxins with theability to neutralise several toxins are of interest to antivenom...

  3. Geochemical legacies and the future health of cities: A tale of two neurotoxins in urban soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillipelli, Gabriel M.; Risch, Martin R.; Laidlaw, Mark A. S.; Nichols, Deborah E.; Crewe, Julie

    2015-01-01

    The past and future of cities are inextricably linked, a linkage that can be seen clearly in the long-term impacts of urban geochemical legacies. As loci of population as well as the means of employment and industry to support these populations, cities have a long history of co-locating contaminating practices and people, sometimes with negative implications for human health. Working at the intersection between environmental processes, communities, and human health is critical to grapple with environmental legacies and to support healthy, sustainable, and growing urban populations. An emerging area of environmental health research is to understand the impacts of chronic exposures and exposure mixtures—these impacts are poorly studied, yet may pose a significant threat to population health.

  4. Regulation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Synthesis and Toxin Complex Formation by Arginine and Glucose in Clostridium botulinum ATCC 3502.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fredrick, Chase M; Lin, Guangyun; Johnson, Eric A

    2017-07-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), produced by neurotoxigenic clostridia, is the most potent biological toxin known and the causative agent of the paralytic disease botulism. The nutritional, environmental, and genetic regulation of BoNT synthesis, activation, stability, and toxin complex (TC) formation is not well studied. Previous studies indicated that growth and BoNT formation were affected by arginine and glucose in Clostridium botulinum types A and B. In the present study, C. botulinum ATCC 3502 was grown in toxin production medium (TPM) with different levels of arginine and glucose and of three products of arginine metabolism, citrulline, proline, and ornithine. Cultures were analyzed for growth (optical density at 600 nm [OD 600 ]), spore formation, and BoNT and TC formation by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation and for BoNT activity by mouse bioassay. A high level of arginine (20 g/liter) repressed BoNT production approximately 1,000-fold, enhanced growth, slowed lysis, and reduced endospore production by greater than 1,000-fold. Similar effects on toxin production were seen with equivalent levels of citrulline but not ornithine or proline. In TPM lacking glucose, levels of formation of BoNT/A1 and TC were significantly decreased, and extracellular BoNT and TC proteins were partially inactivated after the first day of culture. An understanding of the regulation of C. botulinum growth and BoNT and TC formation should be valuable in defining requirements for BoNT formation in foods and clinical samples, improving the quality of BoNT for pharmaceutical preparations, and elucidating the biological functions of BoNTs for the bacterium. IMPORTANCE Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is a major food safety and bioterrorism concern and is also an important pharmaceutical, and yet the regulation of its synthesis, activation, and stability in culture media, foods, and clinical samples is not well understood. This paper provides insights into the effects of critical

  5. Detection of marine neurotoxins and characterization of the presynaptic activity of iotrochotin from the sponge Iotrochota birotulata

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Martin, J.V.

    1987-01-01

    In order to detect novel presynaptic neurotoxins, a total of 766 extracts from marine organisms collected during expeditions of the research vessel Alpha Helix around the peninsula of Baja Mexico in 1974 and through the Caribbean in 1978 were tested for activity in a synaptosomal assay for the release of acetylcholine (ACh). To eliminate from consideration sample extracts which lysed the synaptosomal membrane, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was measured as a cytoplasmic marker. On the basis of the screening studies the extract of the sponge lotrochota birotulata was chosen for more detailed characterization. The active factor, iotrochotin (IOT), was sensitive to thermal inactivation, was partially activated by trypsin treatment and had a molecular weight of 12,000-13,000. The activity of IOT was found to be complete by one minute. The maximal release of radioactivity from synaptosomes preloaded with [ 3 H]choline was found to be dependent on the concentration of IOT irrespective of the time of further incubation. The concentration-response curve of IOT activity showed a sigmoid shape which did not fit the Hill equation. IOT caused release of both ACh and choline. Of the radioactivity released by IOT from synaptosomes preloaded with [ 3 H]choline, 50-60% was [ 3 H]ACh. IOT also released [ 3 H]GABA and [ 3 H]norepinephrine from synaptosomes preincubated with these labeled neurotransmitters. The activity of IOT was only minimally sensitive to reduction in Na + or Ca 2+ levels, and was not sensitive to tetrodotoxin. IOT did not dramatically change the fluorescence of synaptosomes incubated with a depolarization-indicating dye. However, depolarization of synaptosomes with high concentrations of K + was still detectable by this method in the presence of IOT

  6. Purification of a neurotoxin from the venom of the 'armed spider' and synthesis of a radioactive probe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea; Renterghem, Catherine Van; Mori, Yasuo; Martin-Moutot, Nicole; Mansuelle, Pascal; Sampieri, Francois; Seagar, Michel; Lima, Maria Elena de

    2002-01-01

    The venom of the 'armed spider', a South American spider from the genus Phoneutria contains several toxins that exert important biological effects. ω-Phonetoxin IIA (ω-PtxIIA) is a potent neurotoxin from this venom evoking flaccid paralysis and death after intracerebro-ventricular injection in mouse. This toxin blocks HVA calcium channels. Calcium channels have been shown to be important targets in neurological pathophysiology like ataxia and migraine. In order to shed more light on the mechanism of action of w-PtxIIA, we have purified this toxin to synthesize a radioactive probe. Crude venom was fractionated in three steps of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Spectrometric analysis of the purified fraction (causing flaccid paralysis) was recorded on a MALDI-TOF Perseptive Voyager Elite spectrometer and a 8363 kDa peptide was detected. After amino acid sequencing the purity of the peptide was confirmed and it was identified as ω-PtxIIA. ω-PtxIIA was radiolabeled with 125 I using the lactoperoxidase as a oxidizing agent. The stability of the probe synthesized was verified by the binding studies on rat brain synaptosomal membranes. The specific and saturable binding of the 125 I-ω-PtxIIA to the membranes indicate that the iodine introduced in the toxin molecule did not interfere with its activity. Native ω-PtxIIA competed with the 125 I-ω-PtxIIA bound to the specific sites on synaptosomes (IC 50 = 0.54 n M). In this paper we described a new and simpler purification protocol of the ω-PtxIIA and synthesized a probe that proved to be useful to study the mechanism of action of 125 I-ω-PtxIIA. Selective toxins for calcium channel are very useful tools to the study of some neuronal pathophysiology. (author)

  7. The selective neurotoxin DSP-4 impairs the noradrenergic projections from the locus coeruleus to the inferior colliculus in rats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián eHormigo

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The inferior colliculus (IC and the locus coeruleus (LC are two midbrain nuclei that integrate multimodal information and play a major role in novelty detection to elicit an orienting response. Despite the reciprocal connections between these two structures, the projection pattern and target areas of the LC within the subdivisions of the rat IC are still unknown. Here, we used tract-tracing approaches combined with immunohistochemistry, densitometry and confocal microscopy analysis to describe a projection from the LC to the IC. Biotinylated dextran amine (BDA injections into the LC showed that the LC-IC projection is mainly ipsilateral (90% and reaches, to a major extent, the dorsal and lateral part of the IC and the intercollicular commissure. Additionally, some LC fibers extend into the central nucleus of the IC. The neurochemical nature of this projection is noradrenergic, given that tyrosine hydroxylase (TH and dopamine beta hydroxylase (DBH colocalize with the BDA-labeled fibers from the LC. To determine the total field of the LC innervations in the IC, we destroyed the LC neurons and fibers using a highly selective neurotoxin, DSP-4, and then studied the distribution and density of TH- and DBH-immunolabeled axons in the IC. In the DSP-4 treated animals, the number of axonal fibers immunolabeled for TH and DBH were deeply decreased throughout the entire rostrocaudal extent of the IC and its subdivisions compared to controls. Our densitometry results showed that the IC receives up to 97% of its noradrenergic innervations from the LC neurons and only 3% from non-coeruleus neurons. Our results also indicate that TH immunoreactivity in the IC was less impaired than the immunoreactivity for DBH after DSP-4 administration. This is consistent with the existence of an important dopaminergic projection from the substantia nigra to the IC. In conclusion, our study demonstrates and quantifies the noradrenergic projection from the LC to the IC and its

  8. Multiplex Biosensing Based on Highly Sensitive Magnetic Nanolabel Quantification: Rapid Detection of Botulinum Neurotoxins A, B, and E in Liquids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orlov, Alexey V; Znoyko, Sergey L; Cherkasov, Vladimir R; Nikitin, Maxim P; Nikitin, Petr I

    2016-11-01

    We present a multiplex quantitative lateral flow (LF) assay for simultaneous on-site detection of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types A, B, and E in complex matrixes, which is innovative by virtually no sacrifice in performance while transition from the single-plex assays and by characteristics on the level of laboratory quantitative methods. The novel approach to easy multiplexing is realized via joining an on-demand set of single-plex LF strips, which employ magnetic nanolabels, into a miniature cylinder cartridge that mimics LF strip during all assay stages. The cartridge is read out by an original portable multichannel reader based on the magnetic particle quantification technique. The developed reader offers the unmatched 60 zmol detection limit and 7-order linear dynamic range for volumetric registration of magnetic labels inside a cartridge of several millimeters in diameter regardless of its optical transparency. Each of the test strips, developed here as building blocks for the multiplex assay, can be used "as is" for autonomous quantitative single-plex detection with the same measuring setup, exhibiting the limits of detection (LOD) of 0.22, 0.11, and 0.32 ng/mL for BoNT-A, -B, and -E, respectively. The proposed multiplex assay has demonstrated the remarkably similar LOD values of 0.20, 0.12, 0.35 ng/mL under the same conditions. The multiplex assay performance was successfully validated by BoNT detection in milk and apple and orange juices. The developed methods can be extended to other proteins and used for rapid multianalyte tests for point-of-care in vitro diagnostics, food analysis, biosafety and environmental monitoring, forensics, and security, etc.

  9. Intrastriatal injection of botulinum neurotoxin-A is not cytotoxic in rat brain - A histological and stereological analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehlan, Juliane; Brosig, Hans; Schmitt, Oliver; Mix, Eilhard; Wree, Andreas; Hawlitschka, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta, resulting in a deficiency of dopamine in the striatum and an increased release of acetylcholine by tonically active interneurons. Botulinum neurotoxin-A (BoNT-A) is well known for blocking transmitter release by cholinergic presynaptic terminals. Treating striatal hypercholinism by local application of BoNT-A could be a possible new local therapy option of PD. In previous studies of our group, we analyzed the effect of BoNT-A injection into the CPu of 6-OHDA lesioned hemiparkinsonian rats. Our studies showed that BoNT-A application in hemiparkinson rat model is capable of abolishing apomorphine induced rotations for approximately 3 months. Regularly occurring axonal swellings in the BoNT-A infiltrated striata were also discovered, which we named BoNT-A induced varicosities (BiVs). Résumé: Here we investigated the long-term effect of the injection of 1ng BoNT-A into the right CPu of naive Wistar rats on the number of ChAT-ir interneurons as well as on the numeric density and the volumetric size of the BiVs in the CPu. Significant differences in the number of ChAT-ir neurons between the right BoNT-A treated CPu and the left untreated CPu were not detected up to 12 month post BoNT-A injection. The numeric density of BiVs in the treated CPu reached a maximum 3 months after BoNT-A treatment and decreased afterwards, whereas the volume of single BiVs increased steadily throughout the whole time course of the experiment. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Structural and mutational analyses of the receptor binding domain of botulinum D/C mosaic neurotoxin: Insight into the ganglioside binding mechanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nuemket, Nipawan [Graduate School of Life Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Tanaka, Yoshikazu [Creative Research Institution ' Sousei,' Hokkaido University, Sapporo 001-0021 (Japan); Faculty of Advanced Life Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Tsukamoto, Kentaro; Tsuji, Takao [Department of Microbiology, Fujita Health University School of Medicine, Toyoake, Aichi 470-1192 (Japan); Nakamura, Keiji; Kozaki, Shunji [Department of Veterinary Science, Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Osaka Prefecture University, Osaka 598-8531 (Japan); Yao, Min [Graduate School of Life Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Faculty of Advanced Life Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Tanaka, Isao, E-mail: tanaka@castor.sci.hokudai.ac.jp [Graduate School of Life Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Faculty of Advanced Life Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan)

    2011-07-29

    Highlights: {yields} We determined the crystal structure of the receptor binding domain of BoNT in complex with 3'-sialyllactose. {yields} An electron density derived from the 3'-sialyllactose was confirmed at the cleft in the C-terminal subdomain. {yields} Alanine site-directed mutagenesis showed that GBS and GBL are important for ganglioside binding. {yields} A cell binding mechanism, which involves cooperative contribution of two sites, was proposed. -- Abstract: Clostridium botulinum type D strain OFD05, which produces the D/C mosaic neurotoxin, was isolated from cattle killed by the recent botulism outbreak in Japan. The D/C mosaic neurotoxin is the most toxic of the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) characterized to date. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the receptor binding domain of BoNT from strain OFD05 in complex with 3'-sialyllactose at a resolution of 3.0 A. In the structure, an electron density derived from the 3'-sialyllactose was confirmed at the cleft in the C-terminal subdomain. Alanine site-directed mutagenesis showed the significant contribution of the residues surrounding the cleft to ganglioside recognition. In addition, a loop adjoining the cleft also plays an important role in ganglioside recognition. In contrast, little effect was observed when the residues located around the surface previously identified as the protein receptor binding site in other BoNTs were substituted. The results of cell binding analysis of the mutants were significantly correlated with the ganglioside binding properties. Based on these observations, a cell binding mechanism of BoNT from strain OFD05 is proposed, which involves cooperative contribution of two ganglioside binding sites.

  11. Involvement of Cholinergic and Adrenergic Receptors in Pathogenesis and Inflammatory Response Induced by Alpha-Neurotoxin Bot III of Scorpion Venom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakib, Imene; Martin-Eauclaire, Marie-France; Laraba-Djebari, Fatima

    2016-10-01

    Bot III neurotoxin is the most lethal α neurotoxin purified from Buthus occitanus tunetanus scorpion venom. This toxin binds to the voltage-gated sodium channel of excitable cells and blocks its inactivation, inducing an increased release of neurotransmitters (acetylcholine and catecholamines). This study aims to elucidate the involvement of cholinergic and adrenergic receptors in pathogenesis and inflammatory response triggered by this toxin. Injection of Bot III to animals induces an increase of peroxidase activities, an imbalance of oxidative status, tissue damages in lung parenchyma, and myocardium correlated with metabolic disorders. The pretreatment with nicotine (nicotinic receptor agonist) or atropine (muscarinic receptor antagonist) protected the animals from almost all disorders caused by Bot III toxin, especially the immunological alterations. Bisoprolol administration (selective β1 adrenergic receptor antagonist) was also efficient in the protection of animals, mainly on tissue damage. Propranolol (non-selective adrenergic receptor antagonist) showed less effect. These results suggest that both cholinergic and adrenergic receptors are activated in the cardiopulmonary manifestations induced by Bot III. Indeed, the muscarinic receptor appears to be more involved than the nicotinic one, and the β1 adrenergic receptor seems to dominate the β2 receptor. These results showed also that the activation of nicotinic receptor leads to a significant protection of animals against Bot III toxin effect. These findings supply a supplementary data leading to better understanding of the mechanism triggered by scorpionic neurotoxins and suggest the use of drugs targeting these receptors, especially the nicotinic one in order to counteract the inflammatory response observed in scorpion envenomation.

  12. Epitope-Targeting of Tertiary Protein Structure Enables Target-Guided Synthesis of a Potent in Cell Inhibitor of Botulinum Neurotoxin**

    OpenAIRE

    Farrow, Blake; Wong, Michelle; Malette, Jacquie; Lai, Bert; Deyle, Kaycie M.; Das, Samir; Nag, Arundhati; Agnew, Heather D.; Heath, James R.

    2015-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) serotype A is the most lethal known toxin and has an occluded structure, which prevents direct inhibition of its active site before it enters the cytosol. Target-guided synthesis by in situ click chemistry is combined with synthetic epitope targeting to exploit the tertiary structure of the BoNT protein as a landscape for assembling a competitive inhibitor. A substrate-mimicking peptide macrocycle is used as a direct inhibitor of BoNT. An epitope-targeting in situ ...

  13. In-Vivo Neutralization of Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype E Using Rabbit Polyclonal Antibody Developed against BoNT/E Light Chain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rani, Sarita; Ponmariappan, S; Sharma, Arti; Kamboj, D V; Jain, A K

    2017-01-01

    Clostridium botulinum is an obligate anaerobic, Gram positive bacterium that secretes extremely toxic substances known as botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) that cause serious paralytic illness called botulism. Based upon the serological properties, these neurotoxin have been classified into seven serotypes designated from A to G. Due to extreme toxicity of BoNTs, these neurotoxins have been designated as category A biowarfare agents. There is no commercial neutralizing antibody available for the treatment of botulism. Hence there is an urgent need to develop therapeutic intervention for prevention and cure of botulism within short period. BoNT antiserum injection is still the effective treatment. In the present study, the recombinant light chain of BoNT/E was successfully purified in soluble form. The purified rBoNT/E LC was used for the generation of polyclonal antibody in rabbit. In order to find out the neutralizing capacity of generated antisera, rabbit antiserum was incubated with 20 LD50 of botulinum neurotoxin type E for 1 hour at 37°C and then injected intraperitoneally (IP) into mice. Further in another set of experiments antiserum was administered in different ways that included administration of - antiserum and BoNT/E toxin simultaneously without preincubation, one after another at the same and different time points for its therapeutic ability. To find out cross neutralization capacity, rBoNT/E LC antiserum was pre-incubated with 5 LD50 of BoNT/A, BoNT/B, BoNT/F and then injected (IP) into mice. In all the cases mice were observed continuously for 96 hours. The results clearly indicate that developed polyclonal rabbit antiserum showed serotype specific neutralization of BoNT/E toxin only but not of BoNT/A, BoNT/B and BoNT/F. The developed antibodies will be used for preventive and therapeutic intervention of type 'E' botulism. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  14. Roles of thioredoxin in nitric oxide-dependent preconditioning-induced tolerance against MPTP neurotoxin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiueh, C.C.; Andoh, Tsugunobu; Chock, P. Boon

    2005-01-01

    Hormesis, a stress tolerance, can be induced by ischemic preconditioning stress. In addition to preconditioning, it may be induced by other means, such as gas anesthetics. Preconditioning mechanisms, which may be mediated by reprogramming survival genes and proteins, are obscure. A known neurotoxicant, 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), causes less neurotoxicity in the mice that are preconditioned. Pharmacological evidences suggest that the signaling pathway of ·NO-cGMP-PKG (protein kinase G) may mediate preconditioning phenomenon. We developed a human SH-SY5Y cell model for investigating · NO-mediated signaling pathway, gene regulation, and protein expression following a sublethal preconditioning stress caused by a brief 2-h serum deprivation. Preconditioned human SH-SY5Y cells are more resistant against severe oxidative stress and apoptosis caused by lethal serum deprivation and 1-mehtyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP + ). Both sublethal and lethal oxidative stress caused by serum withdrawal increased neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS/NOS1) expression and · NO levels to a similar extent. In addition to free radical scavengers, inhibition of nNOS, guanylyl cyclase, and PKG blocks hormesis induced by preconditioning. S-nitrosothiols and 6-Br-cGMP produce a cytoprotection mimicking the action of preconditioning tolerance. There are two distinct cGMP-mediated survival pathways: (i) the up-regulation of a redox protein thioredoxin (Trx) for elevating mitochondrial levels of antioxidant protein Mn superoxide dismutase (MnSOD) and antiapoptotic protein Bcl-2, and (ii) the activation of mitochondrial ATP-sensitive potassium channels [K(ATP)]. Preconditioning induction of Trx increased tolerance against MPP + , which was blocked by Trx mRNA antisense oligonucleotide and Trx reductase inhibitor. It is concluded that Trx plays a pivotal role in · NO-dependent preconditioning hormesis against MPTP/MPP +

  15. Interactions of neurotoxins with non-NMDA glutamate receptors: an autoradiographic study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kuenig, G.; Niedermeyer, B.; Krause, F.; Hartmann, J.; Deckert, J.; Heinsen, H.; Beckmann, H.; Riederer, P.; Ransmayr, G.

    1994-01-01

    Neurotoxic substances are discussed to cause neurode-generation by acting as excitotoxins on glutamate receptors. We investigated the properties of L-beta-oxalyl-amino-alanine (L-BOAA) and 3,4,6-trihydroxyphenlyalanine (6-OH-Dopa) at the alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor and that of L-BOAA and domoic acid at the kainate glutamate receptor in human hippocampus. (3 H)AMPA binding in hippocampal subfields was inhibited by L-BOAA and 6-OH-Dopa with mean IC50-values in the low micromolar range. (3H)Kainate binding was inhibited by L-BOAA with similar potency as (3H)AMPA binding and by domoic acid with mean IC50-values in the low nanomolar range. These results support the notion that symptoms like anterograde amnesia and epileptic seizures seen in domoic acid intoxication and limbic symptoms, e.g. cognitive and mood impairment observed in neurolathyrism may be caused by excitotoxic action on non-NMDA receptors. The potent interaction of 6-OH-Dopa with the AMPA-receptor may point to a possible dopaminergic-glutamatergic interaction in the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's and Huntington's disease. (author)

  16. The first venomous crustacean revealed by transcriptomics and functional morphology: remipede venom glands express a unique toxin cocktail dominated by enzymes and a neurotoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Reumont, Björn M; Blanke, Alexander; Richter, Sandy; Alvarez, Fernando; Bleidorn, Christoph; Jenner, Ronald A

    2014-01-01

    Animal venoms have evolved many times. Venomous species are especially common in three of the four main groups of arthropods (Chelicerata, Myriapoda, and Hexapoda), which together represent tens of thousands of species of venomous spiders, scorpions, centipedes, and hymenopterans. Surprisingly, despite their great diversity of body plans, there is no unambiguous evidence that any crustacean is venomous. We provide the first conclusive evidence that the aquatic, blind, and cave-dwelling remipede crustaceans are venomous and that venoms evolved in all four major arthropod groups. We produced a three-dimensional reconstruction of the venom delivery apparatus of the remipede Speleonectes tulumensis, showing that remipedes can inject venom in a controlled manner. A transcriptomic profile of its venom glands shows that they express a unique cocktail of transcripts coding for known venom toxins, including a diversity of enzymes and a probable paralytic neurotoxin very similar to one described from spider venom. We screened a transcriptomic library obtained from whole animals and identified a nontoxin paralog of the remipede neurotoxin that is not expressed in the venom glands. This allowed us to reconstruct its probable evolutionary origin and underlines the importance of incorporating data derived from nonvenom gland tissue to elucidate the evolution of candidate venom proteins. This first glimpse into the venom of a crustacean and primitively aquatic arthropod reveals conspicuous differences from the venoms of other predatory arthropods such as centipedes, scorpions, and spiders and contributes valuable information for ultimately disentangling the many factors shaping the biology and evolution of venoms and venomous species.

  17. Extracellular microvesicle production by human eosinophils activated by “inflammatory” stimuli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Praveen Akuthota

    2016-10-01

    responses. The contribution of the eosinophil-derived MVs to the regulation of immune responses awaits further investigation.

  18. Risk to human health associated with the environmental occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxic alkaloids anatoxins and saxitoxins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Testai, Emanuela; Scardala, Simona; Vichi, Susanna; Buratti, Franca M; Funari, Enzo

    2016-01-01

    Cyanobacteria are ubiquitous photosynthetic micro-organisms forming blooms and scums in surface water; among them some species can produce cyanotoxins giving rise to some concern for human health and animal life. To date, more than 65 cyanobacterial neurotoxins have been described, of which the most studied are the groups of anatoxins and saxitoxins (STXs), comprising many different variants. In freshwaters, the hepatotoxic microcystins represent the most frequently detected cyanotoxin: on this basis, it could appear that neurotoxins are less relevant, but the low frequency of detection may partially reflect an a priori choice of target analytes, the low method sensitivity and the lack of certified standards. Cyanobacterial neurotoxins target cholinergic synapses or voltage-gated ion channels, blocking skeletal and respiratory muscles, thus leading to death by respiratory failure. This review reports and analyzes the available literature data on environmental occurrence of cyanobacterial neurotoxic alkaloids, namely anatoxins and STXs, their biosynthesis, toxicology and epidemiology, derivation of guidance values and action limits. These data are used as the basis to assess the risk posed to human health, identify critical exposure scenarios and highlight the major data gaps and research needs.

  19. Functional influence of botulinum neurotoxin type A treatment (Xeomin® of multifocal upper and lower limb spasticity on chronic hemiparetic gait

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maurizio Falso

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available This report describes the modification of hemiplegic shoulder pain and walking velocity through injections of Xeomin®, a new botulinum neurotoxin type A formulation, in a 67-year-old woman with chronic residual left hemiparesis and hemiparetic gait attributable to stroke. Clinical evaluation included upper and lower limb spasticity, upper and lower limb pain, trunk control, upper and lower limb motricity index, visual gait analysis, and gait velocity. Assessments were performed before, 1 week after, and 1 month after treatment. Improvement was observed in all clinical parameters assessed. Amelioration of spasticity of the upper and lower limbs and shoulder pain was observed after 1 month. Trunk postural attitude and paraxial muscle recruitment recovered. No adverse events were observed and the patient shows significant improvement of functional impairment derived from chronic spasticity after treatment with Xeomin®. We also provide a simple and useful protocol for clinical evaluation of the treatment.

  20. Binding sites and actions of Tx1, a neurotoxin from the venom of the spider Phoneutria nigriventer, in guinea pig ileum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.G. Santos

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available Tx1, a neurotoxin isolated from the venom of the South American spider Phoneutria nigriventer, produces tail elevation, behavioral excitation and spastic paralysis of the hind limbs after intracerebroventricular injection in mice. Since Tx1 contracts isolated guinea pig ileum, we have investigated the effect of this toxin on acetylcholine release, as well as its binding to myenteric plexus-longitudinal muscle membranes from the guinea pig ileum. [125I]-Tx1 binds specifically and with high affinity (Kd = 0.36 ± 0.02 nM to a single, non-interacting (nH = 1.1, low capacity (Bmax 1.1 pmol/mg protein binding site. In competition experiments using several compounds (including ion channel ligands, only PhTx2 and PhTx3 competed with [125I]-Tx1 for specific binding sites (K0.5 apparent = 7.50 x 10-4 g/l and 1.85 x 10-5 g/l, respectively. PhTx2 and PhTx3, fractions from P. nigriventer venom, contain toxins acting on sodium and calcium channels, respectively. However, the neurotoxin PhTx2-6, one of the isoforms found in the PhTx2 pool, did not affect [125I]-Tx1 binding. Tx1 reduced the [3H]-ACh release evoked by the PhTx2 pool by 33%, but did not affect basal or KCl-induced [3H]-ACh release. Based on these results, as well as on the homology of Tx1 with toxins acting on calcium channels (w-Aga IA and IB and its competition with [125I]-w-Cono GVIA in the central nervous system, we suggest that the target site for Tx1 may be calcium channels.

  1. Interactions of a potent cyclic peptide inhibitor with the light chain of botulinum neurotoxin A: Insights from X-ray crystallography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumaran, Desigan; Adler, Michael; Levit, Matthew; Krebs, Michael; Sweeney, Richard; Swaminathan, Subramanyam

    2015-11-15

    The seven antigenically distinct serotypes (A-G) of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) are responsible for the deadly disease botulism. BoNT serotype A (BoNT/A) exerts its lethal action by cleaving the SNARE protein SNAP-25, leading to inhibition of neurotransmitter release, flaccid paralysis and autonomic dysfunction. BoNTs are dichain proteins consisting of a ∼ 100 kDa heavy chain and a ∼ 50 kDa light chain; the former is responsible for neurospecific binding, internalization and translocation, and the latter for cleavage of neuronal SNARE proteins. Because of their extreme toxicity and history of weaponization, the BoNTs are regarded as potential biowarfare/bioterrorism agents. No post-symptomatic therapeutic interventions are available for BoNT intoxication other than intensive care; therefore it is imperative to develop specific antidotes against this neurotoxin. To this end, a cyclic peptide inhibitor (CPI-1) was evaluated in a FRET assay for its ability to inhibit BoNT/A light chain (Balc). CPI was found to be highly potent, exhibiting a Ki of 12.3 nM with full-length Balc448 and 39.2 nM using a truncated crystallizable form of the light chain (Balc424). Cocrystallization studies revealed that in the Balc424-CPI-1 complex, the inhibitor adopts a helical conformation, occupies a high percentage of the active site cavity and interacts in an amphipathic manner with critical active site residues. The data suggest that CPI-1 prevents SNAP-25 from accessing the Balc active site by blocking both the substrate binding path at the surface and the Zn(2+) binding region involved in catalysis. This differs from linear peptide inhibitors described to date which block only the latter. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Brevetoxin, the Dinoflagellate Neurotoxin, Localizes to Thylakoid Membranes and Interacts with the Light-Harvesting Complex II (LHCII) of Photosystem II.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cassell, Ryan T; Chen, Wei; Thomas, Serge; Liu, Li; Rein, Kathleen S

    2015-05-04

    The brevetoxins are neurotoxins that are produced by the "Florida red tide" dinoflagellate Karenia brevis. They bind to and activate the voltage-gated sodium channels in higher organisms, specifically the Nav 1.4 and Nav 1.5 channel subtypes. However, the native physiological function that the brevetoxins perform for K. brevis is unknown. By using fluorescent and photoactivatable derivatives, brevetoxin was shown to localize to the chloroplast of K. brevis where it binds to the light-harvesting complex II (LHCII) and thioredoxin. The LHCII is essential to non-photochemical quenching (NPQ), whereas thioredoxins are critical to the maintenance of redox homeostasis within the chloroplast and contribute to the scavenging of reactive oxygen. A culture of K. brevis producing low levels of toxin was shown to be deficient in NPQ and produced reactive oxygen species at twice the rate of the toxic culture, implicating a role in NPQ for the brevetoxins. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  3. Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injections Influence Stretching of the Gastrocnemius Muscle-Tendon Unit in an Animal Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Tuohy

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum Neurotoxin A (BoNT-A injections have been used for the treatment of muscle contractures and spasticity. This study assessed the influence of (BoNT-A injections on passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit. Mouse gastrocnemius muscle (GC was injected with BoNT-A (n = 18 or normal saline (n = 18 and passive, non-destructive, in vivo load relaxation experimentation was performed to examine how the muscle-tendon unit behaves after chemical denervation with BoNT-A. Injection of BoNT-A impaired passive muscle recovery (15% vs. 35% recovery to pre-stretching baseline, p < 0.05 and decreased GC stiffness (0.531 ± 0.061 N/mm vs. 0.780 ± 0.037 N/mm, p < 0.05 compared to saline controls. The successful use of BoNT-A injections as an adjunct to physical therapy may be in part attributed to the disruption of the stretch reflex; thereby modulating in vivo passive muscle properties. However, it is also possible that BoNT-A injection may alter the structure of skeletal muscle; thus modulating the in vivo passive biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit.

  4. Interaction of 125I-labeled botulinum neurotoxins with nerve terminals. II. Autoradiographic evidence for its uptake into motor nerves by acceptor-mediated endocytosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Black, J.D.; Dolly, J.O.

    1986-01-01

    Using pharmacological and autoradiographic techniques it has been shown that botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) is translocated across the motor nerve terminal membrane to reach a postulated intraterminal target. In the present study, the nature of this uptake process was investigated using electron microscopic autoradiography. It was found that internalization is acceptor-mediated and that binding to specific cell surface acceptors involves the heavier chain of the toxin. In addition, uptake was shown to be energy and temperature-dependent and to be accelerated by nerve stimulation, a treatment which also shortens the time course of the toxin-induced neuroparalysis. These results, together with the observation that silver grains were often associated with endocytic structures within the nerve terminal, suggested that acceptor-mediated endocytosis is responsible for toxin uptake. Possible recycling of BoNT acceptors (an important aspect of acceptor-mediated endocytosis of toxins) at motor nerve terminals was indicated by comparing the extent of labeling in the presence and absence of metabolic inhibitors. On the basis of these collective results, it is concluded that BoNT is internalized by acceptor-mediated endocytosis and, hence, the data support the proposal that this toxin inhibits release of acetylcholine by interaction with an intracellular target

  5. Fabrication of a Novel Highly Sensitive and Selective Immunosensor for Botulinum Neurotoxin Serotype A Based on an Effective Platform of Electrosynthesized Gold Nanodendrites/Chitosan Nanoparticles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rahim Sorouri

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In this work, a novel nanocomposite consisting of electrosynthesized gold nanodendrites and chitosan nanoparticles (AuNDs/CSNPs has been prepared to fabricate an impedimetric immunosensor based on a screen printed carbon electrode (SPCE for the rapid and sensitive immunoassay of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A. BoNT/A polyclonal antibody was immobilized on the nanocomposite-modified SPCE for the signal amplification. The structure of the prepared nanocomposite was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM, scanning electron microscopy (SEM, X-ray diffraction (XRD, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry (CV, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS. The charge transfer resistance (RCT changes were used to detect BoNT/A as the specific immuno-interactions at the immunosensor surface that efficiently limited the electron transfer of Fe(CN63−/4− as a redox probe at pH = 7.4. A linear relationship was observed between the %∆RCT and the concentration logarithm of BoNT/A within the range of 0.2 to 230 pg·mL−1 with a detection limit (S/N = 3 of 0.15 pg·mL−1. The practical applicability of the proposed sensor was examined by evaluating the detection of BoNT/A in milk and serum samples with satisfactory recoveries. Therefore, the prepared immunosensor holds great promise for the fast, simple and sensitive detection of BoNT/A in various real samples.

  6. Identification of fibroblast growth factor receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a protein receptor for botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Birgitte P S Jacky

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A causes transient muscle paralysis by entering motor nerve terminals (MNTs where it cleaves the SNARE protein Synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP25206 to yield SNAP25197. Cleavage of SNAP25 results in blockage of synaptic vesicle fusion and inhibition of the release of acetylcholine. The specific uptake of BoNT/A into pre-synaptic nerve terminals is a tightly controlled multistep process, involving a combination of high and low affinity receptors. Interestingly, the C-terminal binding domain region of BoNT/A, HC/A, is homologous to fibroblast growth factors (FGFs, making it a possible ligand for Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptors (FGFRs. Here we present data supporting the identification of Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor 3 (FGFR3 as a high affinity receptor for BoNT/A in neuronal cells. HC/A binds with high affinity to the two extra-cellular loops of FGFR3 and acts similar to an agonist ligand for FGFR3, resulting in phosphorylation of the receptor. Native ligands for FGFR3; FGF1, FGF2, and FGF9 compete for binding to FGFR3 and block BoNT/A cellular uptake. These findings show that FGFR3 plays a pivotal role in the specific uptake of BoNT/A across the cell membrane being part of a larger receptor complex involving ganglioside- and protein-protein interactions.

  7. Effects of methylphenidate on attention in Wistar rats treated with the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauser, Joachim; Reissmann, Andreas; Sontag, Thomas-A; Tucha, Oliver; Lange, Klaus W

    2017-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effects of the neurotoxin N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP4) on attention in rats as measured using the 5-choice-serial-reaction-time task (5CSRTT) and to investigate whether methylphenidate has effects on DSP4-treated rats. Methylphenidate is a noradrenaline and dopamine reuptake inhibitor and commonly used in the pharmacological treatment of individuals with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Wistar rats were trained in the 5CSRTT and treated with one of three doses of DSP4 or saline. Following the DSP4 treatment rats were injected with three doses of methylphenidate or saline and again tested in the 5CSRTT. The treatment with DSP4 caused a significant decline of performance in the number of correct responses and a decrease in response accuracy. A reduction in activity could also be observed. Whether or not the cognitive impairments are due to attention deficits or changes in explorative behaviour or activity remains to be investigated. The treatment with methylphenidate had no beneficial effect on the rats' performance regardless of the DSP4 treatment. In the group without DSP4 treatment, methylphenidate led to a reduction in response accuracy and bidirectional effects in regard to parameters related to attention. These findings support the role of noradrenaline in modulating attention and call for further investigations concerning the effects of methylphenidate on attentional processes in rats.

  8. Negative effects of submandibular botulinum neurotoxin A injections on oral motor function in children with drooling due to central nervous system disorders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Hulst, Karen; Kouwenberg, Carlyn V; Jongerius, Pieter H; Feuth, Ton; van den Hoogen, Franciscus J A; Geurts, Alexander C H; Erasmus, Corrie E

    2017-05-01

    The aims of this study were: (1) to determine the incidence and nature of adverse effects on oral motor function after first injections of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) in submandibular glands for excessive drooling in children with central nervous system disorders; and (2) to identify independent predictors of these adverse effects. A cohort study involved 209 children (123 males, 86 females, aged 4-27y, median 8y 4mo), who received submandibular BoNT-A injections for drooling. Adverse effects were categorized into swallowing, eating, drinking, articulation, and other problems. Univariable logistic regression was used to study differences in patients with and without adverse effects. Possible predictors were identified using multivariable logistic regression. Transient adverse effects occurred in 33% of the 209 BoNT-A treatments. Almost 80% of these were mild, versus 8.7% severe. Approximately 54% of the adverse effects spontaneously resolved within 4 weeks; 3% still existed after 32 weeks. A diagnosis of cerebral palsy, higher range of BoNT-A dosage, and a pre-treatment drooling quotient <18% were found to be independent predictors of adverse effects. Before using submandibular BoNT-A injections for drooling, potential adverse effects should be discussed. Oral motor function needs to be monitored, because existing dysphagia may be worsened. The identified clinical predictors could be helpful to optimize patient selection. © 2016 The Authors. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Mac Keith Press.

  9. CHRONIC LYME DISEASE: SYMPTOMS, VISION AND A NEW APPROACH TO TREATMENT BASED ON A THEORY OF NEUROTOXIN-MEDIATED ILLNESS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evidence suggests that the estuarine dinoflagellate, Pfiesteria piscicida, and/or morphologically related organisms (Pf-MRO) may release a toxin(s) which kills fish and adversely affects human health. The North Carolina study investigated the potential for persistent health effec...

  10. 76 FR 29752 - Nomination of In Vitro Test Methods for Detection and Quantification of Botulinum Neurotoxins and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-05-23

    ... Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (BioSentinel). Data from the standardized mouse LD 50 assay currently used for these... Mouse LD 50 Assay for Botulinum Toxin Testing, in response to a nomination from the Humane Society of... mouse LD 50 assay for BoNT potency testing. Workshop participants concluded that some of the methods...

  11. Femtogram-level detection of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type A by sandwich immunoassay using nanoporous substrate and ultra-bright fluorescent suprananoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bok, Sangho; Korampally, Venumadhav; Darr, Charles M; Folk, William R; Polo-Parada, Luis; Gangopadhyay, Keshab; Gangopadhyay, Shubhra

    2013-03-15

    We report a simple, robust fluorescence biosensor for the ultra-sensitive detection of Clostridium botulinum Neurotoxin Type A (BoNT/A) in complex, real-world media. High intrinsic signal amplification was achieved through the combined use of ultra-bright, photostable dye-doped nanoparticle (DOSNP) tags and high surface area nanoporous organosilicate (NPO) thin films. DOSNP with 22 nm diameter were synthesized with more than 200 times equivalent free dye fluorescence and conjugated to antibodies with average degree of substitution of 90 dyes per antibody, representing an order of magnitude increase compared with conventional dye-labeled antibodies. The NPO films were engineered to form constructive interference at the surface where fluorophores were located. In addition, DOSNP-labeled antibodies with NPO films increased surface roughness causing diffuse scattering resulting in 24% more scattering intensity than dye-labeled antibody with NPO films. These substrates were used for immobilization of capture antibodies against BoNT/A, which was further quantified by DOSNP-labeled signal antibodies. The combination of optical effects enhanced the fluorescence and, therefore, the signal-to-noise ratio significantly. BoNT/A was detected in PBS buffer down to 21.3 fg mL(-1) in 4 h. The assay was then extended to several complex media and the four-hour detection limit was found to be 145.8 fg mL(-1) in orange juice and 164.2 fg mL(-1) in tap water, respectively, demonstrating at least two orders of magnitude improvement comparing to the reported detection limit of other enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). This assay, therefore, demonstrates a novel method for rapid, ultra-low level detection of not only BoNT/A, but other analytes as well. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Botulinum neurotoxin G binds synaptotagmin-II in a mode similar to that of serotype B: tyrosine 1186 and lysine 1191 cause its lower affinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willjes, Gesche; Mahrhold, Stefan; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Eichner, Timo; Rummel, Andreas; Binz, Thomas

    2013-06-04

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) block neurotransmitter release by proteolyzing SNARE proteins in peripheral nerve terminals. Entry into neurons occurs subsequent to interaction with gangliosides and a synaptic vesicle protein. Isoforms I and II of synaptotagmin were shown to act as protein receptors for two of the seven BoNT serotypes, BoNT/B and BoNT/G, and for mosaic-type BoNT/DC. BoNT/B and BoNT/G exhibit a homologous binding site for synaptotagmin whose interacting part adopts helical structure upon binding to BoNT/B. Whereas the BoNT/B-synaptotagmin-II interaction has been elucidated in molecular detail, corresponding information about BoNT/G is lacking. Here we systematically mutated the synaptotagmin binding site in BoNT/G and performed a comparative binding analysis with mutants of the cell binding subunit of BoNT/B. The results suggest that synaptotagmin takes the same overall orientation in BoNT/B and BoNT/G governed by the strictly conserved central parts of the toxins' binding site. The surrounding nonconserved areas differently contribute to receptor binding. Reciprocal mutations Y1186W and L1191Y increased the level of binding of BoNT/G approximately to the level of BoNT/B affinity, suggesting a similar synaptotagmin-bound state. The effects of the mutations were confirmed by studying the activity of correspondingly mutated full-length BoNTs. On the basis of these data, molecular modeling experiments were employed to reveal an atomistic model of BoNT/G-synaptotagmin recognition. These data suggest a reduced length and/or a bend in the C-terminal part of the synaptotagmin helix that forms upon contact with BoNT/G as compared with BoNT/B and are in agreement with the data of the mutational analyses.

  13. Intrastriatal administration of botulinum neurotoxin A normalizes striatal D2 R binding and reduces striatal D1 R binding in male hemiparkinsonian rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wedekind, Franziska; Oskamp, Angela; Lang, Markus; Hawlitschka, Alexander; Zilles, Karl; Wree, Andreas; Bauer, Andreas

    2018-01-01

    Cerebral administration of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) has been shown to improve disease-specific motor behavior in a rat model of Parkinson disease (PD). Since the dopaminergic system of the basal ganglia fundamentally contributes to motor function, we investigated the impact of BoNT-A on striatal dopamine receptor expression using in vitro and in vivo imaging techniques (positron emission tomography and quantitative autoradiography, respectively). Seventeen male Wistar rats were unilaterally lesioned with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) and assigned to two treatment groups 7 weeks later: 10 rats were treated ipsilaterally with an intrastriatal injection of 1 ng BoNT-A, while the others received vehicle (n = 7). All animals were tested for asymmetric motor behavior (apomorphine-induced rotations and forelimb usage) and for striatal expression of dopamine receptors and transporters (D 1 R, D 2 R, and DAT). The striatal D 2 R availability was also quantified longitudinally (1.5, 3, and 5 months after intervention) in 5 animals per treatment group. The 6-OHDA lesion alone induced a unilateral PD-like phenotype and a 13% increase of striatal D 2 R. BoNT-A treatment reduced the asymmetry in both apomorphine-induced rotational behavior and D 2 R expression, with the latter returning to normal values 5 months after intervention. D 1 R expression was significantly reduced, while DAT concentrations showed no alteration. Independent of the treatment, higher interhemispheric symmetry in raclopride binding to D 2 R was generally associated with reduced forelimb akinesia. Our findings indicate that striatal BoNT-A treatment diminishes motor impairment and induces changes in D 1 and D 2 binding site density in the 6-OHDA rat model of PD. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Purification of a neurotoxin from the venom of the 'armed spider' and synthesis of a radioactive probe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Santos, Raquel Gouvea [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques]|[Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN), Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Renterghem, Catherine Van; Mori, Yasuo; Martin-Moutot, Nicole; Mansuelle, Pascal; Sampieri, Francois; Seagar, Michel [INSERM, Marseille (France). Lab. Canaux Ioniques; Cordeiro, Marta Nascimento; Diniz, Carlos Ribeiro [FUNED - Fundacao Ezequiel Dias, Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil); Lima, Maria Elena de [Minas Gerais Univ., Belo Horizonte, MG (Brazil). Inst. de Ciencias Biologicas. Lab. de Venenos e Toxinas Animais

    2002-07-01

    The venom of the 'armed spider', a South American spider from the genus Phoneutria contains several toxins that exert important biological effects. {omega}-Phonetoxin IIA ({omega}-PtxIIA) is a potent neurotoxin from this venom evoking flaccid paralysis and death after intracerebro-ventricular injection in mouse. This toxin blocks HVA calcium channels. Calcium channels have been shown to be important targets in neurological pathophysiology like ataxia and migraine. In order to shed more light on the mechanism of action of w-PtxIIA, we have purified this toxin to synthesize a radioactive probe. Crude venom was fractionated in three steps of reversed-phase liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC). Spectrometric analysis of the purified fraction (causing flaccid paralysis) was recorded on a MALDI-TOF Perseptive Voyager Elite spectrometer and a 8363 kDa peptide was detected. After amino acid sequencing the purity of the peptide was confirmed and it was identified as {omega}-PtxIIA. {omega}-PtxIIA was radiolabeled with {sup 125} I using the lactoperoxidase as a oxidizing agent. The stability of the probe synthesized was verified by the binding studies on rat brain synaptosomal membranes. The specific and saturable binding of the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA to the membranes indicate that the iodine introduced in the toxin molecule did not interfere with its activity. Native {omega}-PtxIIA competed with the {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA bound to the specific sites on synaptosomes (IC{sub 50}= 0.54 n M). In this paper we described a new and simpler purification protocol of the {omega}-PtxIIA and synthesized a probe that proved to be useful to study the mechanism of action of {sup 125} I-{omega}-PtxIIA. Selective toxins for calcium channel are very useful tools to the study of some neuronal pathophysiology. (author)

  15. Multiagent vaccines vectored by Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus replicon elicits immune responses to Marburg virus and protection against anthrax and botulinum neurotoxin in mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, John S; Groebner, Jennifer L; Hadjipanayis, Angela G; Negley, Diane L; Schmaljohn, Alan L; Welkos, Susan L; Smith, Leonard A; Smith, Jonathan F

    2006-11-17

    The development of multiagent vaccines offers the advantage of eliciting protection against multiple diseases with minimal inoculations over a shorter time span. We report here the results of using formulations of individual Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus replicon-vectored vaccines against a bacterial disease, anthrax; a viral disease, Marburg fever; and against a toxin-mediated disease, botulism. The individual VEE replicon particles (VRP) expressed mature 83-kDa protective antigen (MAT-PA) from Bacillus anthracis, the glycoprotein (GP) from Marburg virus (MBGV), or the H(C) fragment from botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT H(C)). CBA/J mice inoculated with a mixture of VRP expressing BoNT H(C) serotype C (BoNT/C H(C)) and MAT-PA were 80% protected from a B. anthracis (Sterne strain) challenge and then 100% protected from a sequential BoNT/C challenge. Swiss mice inoculated with individual VRP or with mixtures of VRP vaccines expressing BoNT H(C) serotype A (BoNT/A H(C)), MAT-PA, and MBGV-GP produced antibody responses specific to the corresponding replicon-expressed protein. Combination of the different VRP vaccines did not diminish the antibody responses measured for Swiss mice inoculated with formulations of two or three VRP vaccines as compared to mice that received only one VRP vaccine. Swiss mice inoculated with VRP expressing BoNT/A H(C) alone or in combination with VRP expressing MAT-PA and MBGV GP, were completely protected from a BoNT/A challenge. These studies demonstrate the utility of combining individual VRP vaccines into multiagent formulations for eliciting protective immune responses to various types of diseases.

  16. [18F]fallypride-PET/CT Analysis of the Dopamine D₂/D₃ Receptor in the Hemiparkinsonian Rat Brain Following Intrastriatal Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Teresa; Kurth, Jens; Hawlitschka, Alexander; Stenzel, Jan; Lindner, Tobias; Polei, Stefan; Hohn, Alexander; Krause, Bernd J; Wree, Andreas

    2018-03-06

    Intrastriatal injection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A) results in improved motor behavior of hemiparkinsonian (hemi-PD) rats, an animal model for Parkinson's disease. The caudate-putamen (CPu), as the main input nucleus of the basal ganglia loop, is fundamentally involved in motor function and directly interacts with the dopaminergic system. To determine receptor-mediated explanations for the BoNT-A effect, we analyzed the dopamine D₂/D₃ receptor (D₂/D₃R) in the CPu of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-induced hemi-PD rats by [ 18 F]fallypride-PET/CT scans one, three, and six months post-BoNT-A or -sham-BoNT-A injection. Male Wistar rats were assigned to three different groups: controls, sham-injected hemi-PD rats, and BoNT-A-injected hemi-PD rats. Disease-specific motor impairment was verified by apomorphine and amphetamine rotation testing. Animal-specific magnetic resonance imaging was performed for co-registration and anatomical reference. PET quantification was achieved using PMOD software with the simplified reference tissue model 2. Hemi-PD rats exhibited a constant increase of 23% in D₂/D₃R availability in the CPu, which was almost normalized by intrastriatal application of BoNT-A. Importantly, the BoNT-A effect on striatal D₂/D₃R significantly correlated with behavioral results in the apomorphine rotation test. Our results suggest a therapeutic effect of BoNT-A on the impaired motor behavior of hemi-PD rats by reducing interhemispheric changes of striatal D₂/D₃R.

  17. [18F]fallypride-PET/CT Analysis of the Dopamine D2/D3 Receptor in the Hemiparkinsonian Rat Brain Following Intrastriatal Botulinum Neurotoxin A Injection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Mann

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Intrastriatal injection of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT-A results in improved motor behavior of hemiparkinsonian (hemi-PD rats, an animal model for Parkinson’s disease. The caudate–putamen (CPu, as the main input nucleus of the basal ganglia loop, is fundamentally involved in motor function and directly interacts with the dopaminergic system. To determine receptor-mediated explanations for the BoNT-A effect, we analyzed the dopamine D2/D3 receptor (D2/D3R in the CPu of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA-induced hemi-PD rats by [18F]fallypride-PET/CT scans one, three, and six months post-BoNT-A or -sham-BoNT-A injection. Male Wistar rats were assigned to three different groups: controls, sham-injected hemi-PD rats, and BoNT-A-injected hemi-PD rats. Disease-specific motor impairment was verified by apomorphine and amphetamine rotation testing. Animal-specific magnetic resonance imaging was performed for co-registration and anatomical reference. PET quantification was achieved using PMOD software with the simplified reference tissue model 2. Hemi-PD rats exhibited a constant increase of 23% in D2/D3R availability in the CPu, which was almost normalized by intrastriatal application of BoNT-A. Importantly, the BoNT-A effect on striatal D2/D3R significantly correlated with behavioral results in the apomorphine rotation test. Our results suggest a therapeutic effect of BoNT-A on the impaired motor behavior of hemi-PD rats by reducing interhemispheric changes of striatal D2/D3R.

  18. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS Accumulates in Neocortical Neurons of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD Brain and Impairs Transcription in Human Neuronal-Glial Primary Co-cultures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhai Zhao

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Several independent laboratories have recently reported the detection of bacterial nucleic acid sequences or bacterial-derived neurotoxins, such as highly inflammatory lipopolysaccharide (LPS, within Alzheimer’s disease (AD affected brain tissues. Whether these bacterial neurotoxins originate from the gastrointestinal (GI tract microbiome, a possible brain microbiome or some dormant pathological microbiome is currently not well understood. Previous studies indicate that the co-localization of pro-inflammatory LPS with AD-affected brain cell nuclei suggests that there may be a contribution of this neurotoxin to genotoxic events that support inflammatory neurodegeneration and failure in homeostatic gene expression. In this report we provide evidence that in sporadic AD, LPS progressively accumulates in neuronal parenchyma and appears to preferentially associate with the periphery of neuronal nuclei. Run-on transcription studies utilizing [α-32P]-uridine triphosphate incorporation into newly synthesized total RNA further indicates that human neuronal-glial (HNG cells in primary co-culture incubated with LPS exhibit significantly reduced output of DNA transcription products. These studies suggest that in AD LPS may impair the efficient readout of neuronal genetic information normally required for the homeostatic operation of brain cell function and may contribute to a progressive disruption in the read-out of genetic information.

  19. Transcriptional profiling of whole blood and serum protein analysis of mice exposed to the neurotoxin Pacific Ciguatoxin-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryan, James C; Bottein Dechraoui, Marie-Yasmine; Morey, Jeanine S; Rezvani, Amir; Levin, Edward D; Gordon, Christopher J; Ramsdell, John S; Van Dolah, Frances M

    2007-11-01

    Ciguatoxins (CTX) are a suite of cyclic polyether toxins produced by the marine dinoflagellate Gambierdiscus sp., are potent activators of voltage-gated sodium channels and a leading cause of human poisoning from food fish. This report characterizes the genomic and proteomic response in whole blood of adult male mice exposed i.p. to 264 ng/kg of the Pacific congener of CTX (P-CTX-1) at 1, 4 and 24h. Whole genome microarray expression data were filtered by tightness of fit between replicates, fold change (1.8) and p-value (10(-5)), resulting in 183 annotated genes used for trending analysis, K-means clustering and ontology classification. Genes involved with cytokine signaling, proteasome complex and ribosomal function were dominant. qPCR performed on 19 genes of interest had a correlation of 0.95 to array results by Pearson's correlation coefficient. Serum protein analysis showed small but significant changes in 6 of 60 proteins assayed: Ccl2, Ccl12, CD40, IL-10, leptin and M-CSF. In large part, the gene expression was consistent with a Th2 immune response with interesting similarities to expression seen in asthmatic models.

  20. Parkinson's disease: Studies on the pathology of the disease and the mechanism of action of the neurotoxin MPTP

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D'Amato, R.J.

    1988-01-01

    In humans and animals, exposure to 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetra-hydropyridine (MPTP) causes certain clinical, pathological, and neurochemical features of Parkinson's disease (PD). MPTP is metabolized in the brain by monoamine oxidase (MAOb) to 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridine (MPP + ), which is selectively accumulated and concentrated by high affinity uptake mechanisms into catecholamine neurons. We have demonstrated high affinity binding of MPP + to neuromelanin which may result in a toxic intraneuronal sequestration of MPP + . The involvement of neuromelanin is further supported by the demonstration that monkeys pretreated with chloroquine prior to the administration of MPTP are protected from MPTP induced neurotoxicity. Decreases in serotonin levels have been reported in the brains and spinal fluid of patients with both Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. In an effort to investigate the pathology of serotonin neurons in postmortem brain tissue from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's patients, [ 3 H]citalopram was characterized as a means of labeling serotonin uptake sites present on serotonin terminals

  1. Toxicosis by Plant Alkaloids in Humans and Animals in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gonzalo J. Diaz

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to its tropical location, chains of mountains, inter-Andean valleys, Amazon basin area, eastern plains and shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Colombia has many ecosystems and the second largest plant biodiversity in the world. Many plant species, both native and naturalized, are currently recognized as toxic for both animals and humans, and some of them are known to cause their toxic effects due to their alkaloid content. Among these, there are plants containing the hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, neurotoxins such as the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine and the piperidine alkaloids coniine and γ-coniceine and tropane alkaloids. Unfortunately, the research in toxic plants in Colombia is not nearly proportional to its plant biodiversity and the scientific information available is only very scarce. The present review aims at summarizing the scarce information about plant alkaloid toxicosis in animals and humans in Colombia.

  2. Toxicosis by Plant Alkaloids in Humans and Animals in Colombia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, Gonzalo J.

    2015-01-01

    Due to its tropical location, chains of mountains, inter-Andean valleys, Amazon basin area, eastern plains and shores on both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, Colombia has many ecosystems and the second largest plant biodiversity in the world. Many plant species, both native and naturalized, are currently recognized as toxic for both animals and humans, and some of them are known to cause their toxic effects due to their alkaloid content. Among these, there are plants containing the hepatotoxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids, neurotoxins such as the indolizidine alkaloid swainsonine and the piperidine alkaloids coniine and γ-coniceine and tropane alkaloids. Unfortunately, the research in toxic plants in Colombia is not nearly proportional to its plant biodiversity and the scientific information available is only very scarce. The present review aims at summarizing the scarce information about plant alkaloid toxicosis in animals and humans in Colombia. PMID:26690479

  3. Heightened systemic levels of neutrophil and eosinophil granular proteins in pulmonary tuberculosis and reversal following treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moideen, Kadar; Kumar, Nathella Pavan; Nair, Dina; Banurekha, Vaithilingam V; Bethunaickan, Ramalingam; Babu, Subash

    2018-04-09

    Granulocytes are activated during tuberculosis (TB) infection and act as immune effector cells and granulocyte responses are implicated in TB pathogenesis. Plasma levels of neutrophil and eosinophil granular proteins provide an indirect measure of degranulation. In this study, we wanted to examine the levels of neutrophil and eosinophil granular proteins in individuals with pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and to compare them with the levels in latent TB (LTB) individuals. Hence, we measured the plasma levels of myeloperoxidase (MPO), neutrophil elastase, and proteinase-3; major basic protein (MBP), eosinophil derived neurotoxin (EDN), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and eosinophil peroxidase (EPX) in these individuals. Finally, we also measured the levels of all of these parameters in PTB individuals following anti-tuberculosis (ATT) treatment. Our data reveal that PTB individuals are characterized by significantly higher plasma levels of MPO, elastase, human proteinase 3 as well as MBP and EDN in comparison to LTB individuals. Our data also reveal that ATT resulted in reversal of all of these changes, indicating an association with TB disease. Finally, our data show that the systemic levels of MPO and proteinase-3 can significantly discriminate PTB from LTB individuals. Thus, our data suggest that neutrophil and eosinophil granular proteins could play a potential role in the innate immune response and therefore, the pathogenesis of pulmonary TB. Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.

  4. A Single-Domain Llama Antibody Potently Inhibits the Enzymatic Activity of Botulinum Neurotoxin by Binding to the Non-Catalytic [alpha]-Exosite Binding Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dong, Jianbo; Thompson, Aaron A.; Fan, Yongfeng; Lou, Jianlong; Conrad, Fraser; Ho, Mengfei; Pires-Alves, Melissa; Wilson, Brenda A.; Stevens, Raymond C.; Marks, James D. (UIUC); (Scripps); (UCSF)

    2010-08-13

    Ingestion or inhalation of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) results in botulism, a severe and frequently fatal disease. Current treatments rely on antitoxins, which, while effective, cannot reverse symptoms once BoNT has entered the neuron. For treatments that can reverse intoxication, interest has focused on developing inhibitors of the enzymatic BoNT light chain (BoNT Lc). Such inhibitors typically mimic substrate and bind in or around the substrate cleavage pocket. To explore the full range of binding sites for serotype A light chain (BoNT/A Lc) inhibitors, we created a library of non-immune llama single-domain VHH (camelid heavy-chain variable region derived from heavy-chain-only antibody) antibodies displayed on the surface of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Library selection on BoNT/A Lc yielded 15 yeast-displayed VHH with equilibrium dissociation constants (K{sub d}) from 230 to 0.03 nM measured by flow cytometry. Eight of 15 VHH inhibited the cleavage of substrate SNAP25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25,000 Da) by BoNT/A Lc. The most potent VHH (Aa1) had a solution K{sub d} for BoNT/A Lc of 1.47 x 10{sup -10} M and an IC{sub 50} (50% inhibitory concentration) of 4.7 x 10{sup -10} M and was resistant to heat denaturation and reducing conditions. To understand the mechanism by which Aa1 inhibited catalysis, we solved the X-ray crystal structure of the BoNT/A Lc-Aa1 VHH complex at 2.6 {angstrom} resolution. The structure reveals that the Aa1 VHH binds in the {alpha}-exosite of the BoNT/A Lc, far from the active site for catalysis. The study validates the utility of non-immune llama VHH libraries as a source of enzyme inhibitors and identifies the BoNT/A Lc {alpha}-exosite as a target for inhibitor development.

  5. Time-dependent alterations in growth, photosynthetic pigments and enzymatic defense systems of submerged Ceratophyllum demersum during exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxin-a

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ha, Mi-Hee; Pflugmacher, Stephan, E-mail: stephan.pflugmacher@tu-berlin.de

    2013-08-15

    Highlights: •We examined time-dependent metabolic changes in C. demersum exposed to anatoxin-a. •Biotransformation and antioxidative defense mechanisms responded positively to anatoxin-a. •Decline in chlorophylls contents was detected in company with irreversible plant growth inhibition during exposure to anatoxin-a. •Anatoxin-a exhibits phytotoxic allelopathy by provoking oxidative stress. •Macrophytes may have interactions with anatoxin-a in aquatic environments. -- Abstract: Recently, aquatic macrophytes have been considered as promising tools for eco-friendly water management with a low running cost. However, only little information is available thus far regarding the metabolic capacity of macrophytes for coping with cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins) in the aquatic environment. Cyanotoxins have become emerging contaminants of great concern due to the high proliferation of cyanobacteria (cyanobacterial bloom) accelerated by eutrophication and climate change. Anatoxin-a, one of the common and major cyanotoxins, is suggested as a high priority water pollutant for regulatory consideration owing to its notoriously rapid mode of action as a neurotoxin. In this study, the time-course metabolic regulation of the submerged macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum (C. demersum) was investigated during exposure to anatoxin-a at an environmentally relevant concentration (15 μg/L). Biotransformation and antioxidative systems in C. demersum responded positively to anatoxin-a through the promoted synthesis of most of the involved enzymes within 8 h. Maximum enzyme activities were exhibited after 24 or 48 h of exposure to anatoxin-a. However, an apparent decline in enzyme activities was also observed at longer exposure duration (168 and 336 h) in company with high steady-state levels of cell internal H{sub 2}O{sub 2}, which showed its highest level after 48 h. Meanwhile, irreversible inhibitory influence on chlorophyll content (vitality) was noticed, whereas the ratio of

  6. Potent new small-molecule inhibitor of botulinum neurotoxin serotype A endopeptidase developed by synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuan-Ping Pang

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNTA causes a life-threatening neuroparalytic disease known as botulism. Current treatment for post exposure of BoNTA uses antibodies that are effective in neutralizing the extracellular toxin to prevent further intoxication but generally cannot rescue already intoxicated neurons. Effective small-molecule inhibitors of BoNTA endopeptidase (BoNTAe are desirable because such inhibitors potentially can neutralize the intracellular BoNTA and offer complementary treatment for botulism. Previously we reported a serotype-selective, small-molecule BoNTAe inhibitor with a K(i (app value of 3.8+/-0.8 microM. This inhibitor was developed by lead identification using virtual screening followed by computer-aided optimization of a lead with an IC(50 value of 100 microM. However, it was difficult to further improve the lead from micromolar to even high nanomolar potency due to the unusually large enzyme-substrate interface of BoNTAe. The enzyme-substrate interface area of 4,840 A(2 for BoNTAe is about four times larger than the typical protein-protein interface area of 750-1,500 A(2. Inhibitors must carry several functional groups to block the unusually large interface of BoNTAe, and syntheses of such inhibitors are therefore time-consuming and expensive. Herein we report the development of a serotype-selective, small-molecule, and competitive inhibitor of BoNTAe with a K(i value of 760+/-170 nM using synthesis-based computer-aided molecular design (SBCAMD. This new approach accounts the practicality and efficiency of inhibitor synthesis in addition to binding affinity and selectivity. We also report a three-dimensional model of BoNTAe in complex with the new inhibitor and the dynamics of the complex predicted by multiple molecular dynamics simulations, and discuss further structural optimization to achieve better in vivo efficacy in neutralizing BoNTA than those of our early micromolar leads. This work provides new insight

  7. Time-dependent alterations in growth, photosynthetic pigments and enzymatic defense systems of submerged Ceratophyllum demersum during exposure to the cyanobacterial neurotoxin anatoxin-a

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ha, Mi-Hee; Pflugmacher, Stephan

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: •We examined time-dependent metabolic changes in C. demersum exposed to anatoxin-a. •Biotransformation and antioxidative defense mechanisms responded positively to anatoxin-a. •Decline in chlorophylls contents was detected in company with irreversible plant growth inhibition during exposure to anatoxin-a. •Anatoxin-a exhibits phytotoxic allelopathy by provoking oxidative stress. •Macrophytes may have interactions with anatoxin-a in aquatic environments. -- Abstract: Recently, aquatic macrophytes have been considered as promising tools for eco-friendly water management with a low running cost. However, only little information is available thus far regarding the metabolic capacity of macrophytes for coping with cyanobacterial toxins (cyanotoxins) in the aquatic environment. Cyanotoxins have become emerging contaminants of great concern due to the high proliferation of cyanobacteria (cyanobacterial bloom) accelerated by eutrophication and climate change. Anatoxin-a, one of the common and major cyanotoxins, is suggested as a high priority water pollutant for regulatory consideration owing to its notoriously rapid mode of action as a neurotoxin. In this study, the time-course metabolic regulation of the submerged macrophyte Ceratophyllum demersum (C. demersum) was investigated during exposure to anatoxin-a at an environmentally relevant concentration (15 μg/L). Biotransformation and antioxidative systems in C. demersum responded positively to anatoxin-a through the promoted synthesis of most of the involved enzymes within 8 h. Maximum enzyme activities were exhibited after 24 or 48 h of exposure to anatoxin-a. However, an apparent decline in enzyme activities was also observed at longer exposure duration (168 and 336 h) in company with high steady-state levels of cell internal H 2 O 2 , which showed its highest level after 48 h. Meanwhile, irreversible inhibitory influence on chlorophyll content (vitality) was noticed, whereas the ratio of

  8. Novel animal defenses against predation: a snail egg neurotoxin combining lectin and pore-forming chains that resembles plant defense and bacteria attack toxins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos Sebastián Dreon

    Full Text Available Although most eggs are intensely predated, the aerial egg clutches from the aquatic snail Pomacea canaliculata have only one reported predator due to unparalleled biochemical defenses. These include two storage-proteins: ovorubin that provides a conspicuous (presumably warning coloration and has antinutritive and antidigestive properties, and PcPV2 a neurotoxin with lethal effect on rodents. We sequenced PcPV2 and studied whether it was able to withstand the gastrointestinal environment and reach circulation of a potential predator. Capacity to resist digestion was assayed using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS, fluorescence spectroscopy and simulated gastrointestinal proteolysis. PcPV2 oligomer is antinutritive, withstanding proteinase digestion and displaying structural stability between pH 4.0-10.0. cDNA sequencing and protein domain search showed that its two subunits share homology with membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF-like toxins and tachylectin-like lectins, a previously unknown structure that resembles plant Type-2 ribosome-inactivating proteins and bacterial botulinum toxins. The protomer has therefore a novel AB toxin combination of a MACPF-like chain linked by disulfide bonds to a lectin-like chain, indicating a delivery system for the former. This was further supported by observing PcPV2 binding to glycocalix of enterocytes in vivo and in culture, and by its hemaggutinating, but not hemolytic activity, which suggested an interaction with surface oligosaccharides. PcPV2 is able to get into predator's body as evidenced in rats and mice by the presence of circulating antibodies in response to sublethal oral doses. To our knowledge, a lectin-pore-forming toxin has not been reported before, providing the first evidence of a neurotoxic lectin in animals, and a novel function for ancient and widely distributed proteins. The acquisition of this unique neurotoxic/antinutritive/storage protein may confer the eggs a survival advantage

  9. Polarized secretion of interleukin (IL-6 and IL-8 by human airway epithelia 16HBE14o- cells in response to cationic polypeptide challenge.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alison Wai-ming Chow

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The airway epithelium participates in asthmatic inflammation in many ways. Target cells of the epithelium can respond to a variety of inflammatory mediators and cytokines. Damage to the surface epithelium occurs following the secretion of eosinophil-derived, highly toxic cationic proteins. Moreover, the surface epithelium itself is responsible for the synthesis and release of cytokines that cause the selective recruitment, retention, and accumulation of various inflammatory cells. To mimic the damage seen during asthmatic inflammation, the bronchial epithelium can be challenged with highly charged cationic polypeptides such as poly-L-arginine. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this study, human bronchial epithelial cells, 16HBE14o- cells, were "chemically injured" by exposing them to poly-l-arginine as a surrogate of the eosinophil cationic protein. Cytokine antibody array data showed that seven inflammatory mediators were elevated out of the 40 tested, including marked elevation in interleukin (IL-6 and IL-8 secretion. IL-6 and IL-8 mRNA expression levels were elevated as measured with real-time PCR. Cell culture supernatants from apical and basolateral compartments were collected, and the IL-6 and IL-8 production was quantified with ELISA. IL-6 and IL-8 secretion by 16HBE14o- epithelia into the apical compartment was significantly higher than that from the basolateral compartment. Using specific inhibitors, the production of IL-6 and IL-8 was found to be dependent on p38 MAPK, ERK1/2 MAPK, and NF-kappaB pathways. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The results clearly demonstrate that damage to the bronchial epithelia by poly-L-arginine stimulates polarized IL-6 and IL-8 secretion. This apically directed secretion of cytokines may play an important role in orchestrating epithelial cell responses to inflammation.

  10. PCR und ELISA - Alternativen zum Maustest für die Analyse des Botulismus-Neurotoxin-C1 Giftbildungspotentiales in Umweltproben? [PCR and ELISA - in vitro alternatives to the mouse-bioassay for assessing the botulinum-neurotoxin-C1 production potential in environmental samples?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zechmeister, T.C.; Farnleitner, A.H.; Rocke, T.E.; Pittner, F.; Rosengarten, R.; Mach, R.L.; Herzig, A.; Kirschner, A.K.T.

    2002-01-01

    Botulism is one of the most important bird diseases world-wide and is caused by the intoxication with Botulinum-Neurotoxin-C1 (BoNt-C1), which is produced by toxigenic clostridia under appropriate conditions. Avian botulism leads regularly to large losses among the migrating bird populations breeding and resting at the saltwater pools of the Austrian national park Neusiedler See-Seewinkel. Despite of its ethical dubiousness and its high technical expense the mouse-bioassay is still used as the routine standard method for the detection of BoNt-C1. According to the 3R-concept, in vitro alternative methods for the qualitative detection of BoNt-C1 (immunostick-ELISA) and a corresponding BoNt-C1 gene fragment (nested-PCR) were established. In order to estimate the BoNt-C1 production potential the methods were tested with sediment samples from different saltwater pools subjected to cultivation conditions appropriate for in vitro BoNt-C1-production. With the mouse-bioassay, 52 out of 77 samples were found to have a positive toxin production potential. The immunostick-ELISA showed a similar sensitivity as the mouse-bioassay and exhibited a highly significant positive correlation (r=0.94; pELISA (r=0.09; p=0.46). Obviously, the PCR approach detected the BoNt-C1 gene fragment in some of the samples where no toxin expression has occurred. Thus it is suggested that the qualitative immunostick-ELISA represents a potential in vitro alternative to the mouse-bioassay for assessing the BoNt-C1 production potential in environmental samples. In contrast, qualitative BoNt-C1 gene fragment detection via PCR led to an overestimation of the actual toxin production potential.

  11. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2002-01-01

    .... During all of these events, some groups of nerve cells are spared relative to others. It is therefore likely that biochemical mechanisms exist which lead to increased resistance to oxidative stress and other forms of cytotoxicity...

  12. Metabolic solutions to the biosynthesis of some diaminomonocarboxylic acids in nature: Formation in cyanobacteria of the neurotoxins 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunn, Peter B; Codd, Geoffrey A

    2017-12-01

    The non-encoded diaminomonocarboxylic acids, 3-N-methyl-2,3-diaminopropanoic acid (syn: α-amino-β-methylaminopropionic acid, MeDAP; β-N-methylaminoalanine, BMAA) and 2,4-diaminobutanoic acid (2,4-DAB), are distributed widely in cyanobacterial species in free and bound forms. Both amino acids are neurotoxic in whole animal and cell-based bioassays. The biosynthetic pathway to 2,4-DAB is well documented in bacteria and in one higher plant species, but has not been confirmed in cyanobacteria. The biosynthetic pathway to BMAA is unknown. This review considers possible metabolic routes, by analogy with reactions used in other species, by which these amino acids might be biosynthesised by cyanobacteria, which are a widespread potential environmental source of these neurotoxins. Where possible, the gene expression that might be implicated in these biosyntheses is discussed. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Improved soluble expression and characterization of the Hc domain of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin serotype A in Escherichia coli by using a PCR-synthesized gene and a Trx co-expression strain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Rongchang; Shi, Jing; Cai, Kun; Tu, Wei; Hou, Xiaojun; Liu, Hao; Xiao, Le; Wang, Qin; Tang, Yunming; Wang, Hui

    2010-05-01

    Botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) is an extremely potent bacterial protein toxin. The Hc fragment of BoNT/A (AHc) was shown to be non-toxic, antigenic, and capable of eliciting a protective immunity in animals challenged with homologous BoNT. In this study, we synthesized AHc gene by using T4 DNA ligase and PCR. The AHc was expressed at a high level in Escherichia coli successfully. Because of using the Trx co-expression strain, the expressed AHc is in a soluble and active form. The yield of the purified AHc was about 70mg/L, and its purity was up to 90% through one-step affinity chromatography. The AHc was positively identified by the antibodies raised against BoNT/A using immunological-dot-blot and Western blot assays. AHc was shown to bind with gangliosides and elicit immunity against BoNT/A, indicating that the expressed and purified AHc protein retains a functionally active conformation. Furthermore, the purified AHc has a strong immunogenicity and can be used as a potential subunit candidate vaccine for botulinum toxin serotype A. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Interaction of 125I-labeled botulinum neurotoxins with nerve terminals. I. Ultrastructural autoradiographic localization and quantitation of distinct membrane acceptors for types A and B on motor nerves

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Black, J.D.; Dolly, J.O.

    1986-01-01

    The labeling patterns produced by radioiodinated botulinum neurotoxin ( 125 I-BoNT) types A and B at the vertebrate neuromuscular junction were investigated using electron microscopic autoradiography. The data obtained allow the following conclusions to be made. (a) 125 I-BoNT type A, applied in vivo or in vitro to mouse diaphragm or frog cutaneous pectoris muscle, interacts saturably with the motor nerve terminal only; silver grains occur on the plasma membrane, within the synaptic bouton, and in the axoplasm of the nerve trunk, suggesting internalization and retrograde intra-axonal transport of toxin or fragments thereof. (b) 125 I-BoNT type B, applied in vitro to the murine neuromuscular junction, interacts likewise with the motor nerve terminal except that a lower proportion of internalized radioactivity is seen. This result is reconcilable with the similar, but not identical, pharmacological action of these toxin types. (c) The saturability of labeling in each case suggested the involvement of acceptors; on preventing the internalization step with metabolic inhibitors, their precise location became apparent. They were found on all unmyelinated areas of the nerve terminal membrane, including the preterminal axon and the synaptic bouton. (d) It is not proposed that these membrane acceptors target BoNT to the nerve terminal and mediate its delivery to an intracellular site, thus contributing to the toxin's selective inhibitory action on neurotransmitter release

  15. Human health risk assessment related to cyanotoxins exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Funari, Enzo; Testai, Emanuela

    2008-01-01

    This review focuses on the risk assessment associated with human exposure to cyanotoxins, secondary metabolites of an ubiquitous group of photosynthetic procariota. Cyanobacteria occur especially in eutrophic inland and coastal surface waters, where under favorable conditions they attain high densities and may form blooms and scums. Cyanotoxins can be grouped according to their biological effects into hepatotoxins, neurotoxins, cytotoxins, and toxins with irritating potential, also acting on the gastrointestinal system. The chemical and toxicological properties of the main cyanotoxins, relevant for the evaluation of possible risks for human health, are presented. Humans may be exposed to cyanotoxins via several routes, with the oral one being by far the most important, occurring by ingesting contaminated drinking water, food, some dietary supplements, or water during recreational activities. Acute and short-term toxic effects have been associated in humans with exposure to high levels of cyanotoxins in drinking and bathing waters. However, the chronic exposure to low cyanotoxin levels remains a critical issue. This article identifies the actual risky exposure scenarios, provides toxicologically derived reference values, and discusses open issues and research needs.

  16. Rosiglitazone protects human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells against acetaldehyde-induced cytotoxicity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jung, Tae Woo; Lee, Ji Young; Shim, Wan Sub; Kang, Eun Seok; Kim, Soo Kyung; Ahn, Chul Woo; Lee, Hyun Chul; Cha, Bong Soo

    2006-01-01

    Acetaldehyde, an inhibitor of mitochondrial function, has been widely used as a neurotoxin because it elicits a severe Parkinson's disease-like syndrome with elevation of the intracellular reactive oxygen species level and apoptosis. Rosiglitazone, a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ agonist, has been known to show various non-hypoglycemic effects, including anti-inflammatory, anti-atherogenic, and anti-apoptotic. In this study, we investigated the protective effects of rosiglitazone on acetaldehyde-induced apoptosis in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells and attempted to examine its mechanism. Acetaldehyde-induced apoptosis was moderately reversed by rosiglitazone treatment. Our results suggest that the protective effects of rosiglitazone on acetaldehyde-induced apoptosis may be ascribed to ability to induce the expression of anti-oxidant enzymes and to regulate Bcl-2 and Bax expression. These data indicate that rosiglitazone may provide a useful therapeutic strategy for the prevention of progressive neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson's disease

  17. The urokinase receptor and its structural homologue C4.4A in human cancer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, B; Ploug, M

    2008-01-01

    The urokinase-type plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) and its structural homologue C4.4A are multidomain members of the Ly6/uPAR/alpha-neurotoxin protein domain family. Both are glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored membrane glycoproteins encoded by neighbouring genes located on chromosome 19q13...... that high protein expression in tumour cells of non-small cell pulmonary adenocarcinomas is associated with a particularly severe disease progression. This review will evaluate structural-functional and disease-related aspects of uPAR and C4.4A with a view to possible pharmacological targeting strategies...... in the human genome. The structural relationship between the two proteins is, however, not reflected at the functional level. Whereas uPAR has a well-established role in regulating and focalizing uPA-mediated plasminogen activation to the surface of those cells expressing the receptor, the biological function...

  18. Elevated Systemic Levels of Eosinophil, Neutrophil, and Mast Cell Granular Proteins in Strongyloides Stercoralis Infection that Diminish following Treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rajamanickam, Anuradha; Munisankar, Saravanan; Bhootra, Yukthi; Dolla, Chandra Kumar; Nutman, Thomas B; Babu, Subash

    2018-01-01

    Infection with the helminth parasite Strongyloides stercoralis ( Ss ) is commonly clinically asymptomatic that is often accompanied by peripheral eosinophilia. Granulocytes are activated during helminth infection and can act as immune effector cells. Plasma levels of eosinophil and neutrophil granular proteins convey an indirect measure of granulocyte degranulation and are prominently augmented in numerous helminth-infected patients. In this study, we sought to examine the levels of eosinophil, neutrophil, and mast cell activation-associated granule proteins in asymptomatic Ss infection and to understand their kinetics following anthelmintic therapy. To this end, we measured the plasma levels of eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, eosinophil peroxidase, eosinophil major basic protein, neutrophil elastase, myeloperoxidase, neutrophil proteinase-3, mast cell tryptase, leukotriene C4, and mast cell carboxypeptidase-A3 in individuals with asymptomatic Ss infection or without Ss infection [uninfected (UN)]. We also estimated the levels of all of these analytes in infected individuals following definitive treatment of Ss infection. We demonstrated that those infected individuals have significantly enhanced plasma levels of eosinophil cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, eosinophil peroxidase, eosinophil major basic protein, elastase, myeloperoxidase, mast cell tryptase, leukotriene C4, and carboxypeptidase-A3 compared to UN individuals. Following the treatment of Ss infection, each of these granulocyte-associated proteins drops significantly. Our data suggest that eosinophil, neutrophil, and mast cell activation may play a role in the response to Ss infection.

  19. Characterization of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-derived Human Serotonergic Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lining Cao

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available In the brain, the serotonergic neurons located in the raphe nucleus are the unique resource of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which plays a pivotal role in the regulation of brain development and functions. Dysfunction of the serotonin system is present in many psychiatric disorders. Lack of in vitro functional human model limits the understanding of human central serotonergic system and its related diseases and clinical applications. Previously, we have developed a method generating human serotonergic neurons from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs. In this study, we analyzed the features of these human iPSCs-derived serotonergic neurons both in vitro and in vivo. We found that these human serotonergic neurons are sensitive to the selective neurotoxin 5, 7-Dihydroxytryptamine (5,7-DHT in vitro. After being transplanted into newborn mice, the cells not only expressed their typical molecular markers, but also showed the migration and projection to the host’s cerebellum, hindbrain and spinal cord. The data demonstrate that these human iPSCs-derived neurons exhibit the typical features as the serotonergic neurons in the brain, which provides a solid foundation for studying on human serotonin system and its related disorders.

  20. Effects of all-trans-retinoic acid on human SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma as in vitro model in neurotoxicity research.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheung, Yuen-Ting; Lau, Way Kwok-Wai; Yu, Man-Shan; Lai, Cora Sau-Wan; Yeung, Sze-Chun; So, Kwok-Fai; Chang, Raymond Chuen-Chung

    2009-01-01

    Human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y is a dopaminergic neuronal cell line which has been used as an in vitro model for neurotoxicity experiments. Although the neuroblastoma is usually differentiated by all-trans-retinoic acid (RA), both RA-differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells have been used in neuroscience research. However, the changes in neuronal properties triggered by RA as well as the subsequent responsiveness to neurotoxins have not been comprehensively studied. Therefore, we aim to re-evaluate the differentiation property of RA on this cell line. We hypothesize that modulation of signaling pathways and neuronal properties during RA-mediated differentiation in SH-SY5Y cells can affect their susceptibility to neurotoxins. The differentiation property of RA was confirmed by showing an extensive outgrowth of neurites, increased expressions of neuronal nuclei, neuron specific enolase, synaptophysin and synaptic associated protein-97, and decreased expression of inhibitor of differentiation-1. While undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells were susceptible to 6-OHDA and MPP+, RA-differentiation conferred SH-SY5Y cells higher tolerance, potentially by up-regulating survival signaling, including Akt pathway as inhibition of Akt removed RA-induced neuroprotection against 6-OHDA. As a result, the real toxicity cannot be revealed in RA-differentiated cells. Therefore, undifferentiated SH-SY5Y is more appropriate for studying neurotoxicity or neuroprotection in experimental Parkinson's disease research.

  1. Potent inhibition of mammalian ribonucleases by 3', 5'-pyrophosphate-linked nucleotides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, N; Shapiro, R

    1999-05-21

    Molecular modeling based on the crystal structure of the complex of bovine pancreatic RNase A with the inhibitor 5'-diphosphoadenosine 3'-phosphate (ppAp) (Leonidas, D. D., Shapiro, R., Irons, L. I., Russo, N., and Acharya, K. R. (1997) Biochemistry 36, 5578-5588) was used to design new inhibitors that extend into unoccupied regions of the enzyme active site. These compounds are dinucleotides that contain an unusual 3',5'-pyrophosphate linkage and were synthesized in solution by a combined chemical and enzymatic procedure. The most potent of them, 5'-phospho-2'-deoxyuridine 3'-pyrophosphate, P' --> 5'-ester with adenosine 3'-phosphate (pdUppAp), binds to RNase A with Ki values of 27 and 220 nM at pH 5.9 and 7, respectively. These values are 6-9-fold lower than those for ppAp and 50-fold lower than that for the transition state analogue, uridine vanadate. pdUppAp has broad specificity; it is an effective inhibitor of at least two other members of the pancreatic RNase superfamily, human RNase-2 (eosinophil-derived neurotoxin) and RNase-4, which share only 36-44% sequence identity with the pancreatic enzyme. The potency of pdUppAp and the other inhibitors described here depends critically on the extended internucleotide linkage; the pyrophosphate group enhances dinucleotide binding to the three RNases by 2.1-2.9 orders of magnitude, as compared with a monophosphate. These data give further insight into the organization of the catalytic centers of the various RNases. Moreover, the new class of inhibitors provides a useful means by which to probe the biological actions of these and other related enzymes.

  2. The role of human endogenous retroviruses in brain development and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mortelmans, Kristien; Wang-Johanning, Feng; Johanning, Gary L

    2016-01-01

    Endogenous retroviral sequences are spread throughout the genome of all humans, and make up about 8% of the genome. Despite their prevalence, the function of human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in humans is largely unknown. In this review we focus on the brain, and evaluate studies in animal models that address mechanisms of endogenous retrovirus activation in the brain and central nervous system (CNS). One such study in mice found that TRIM28, a protein critical for mouse early development, regulates transcription and silencing of endogenous retroviruses in neural progenitor cells. Another intriguing finding in human brain cells and mouse models was that endogenous retrovirus HERV-K appears to be protective against neurotoxins. We also report on studies that associate HERVs with human diseases of the brain and CNS. There is little doubt of an association between HERVs and a number of CNS diseases. However, a cause and effect relationship between HERVs and these diseases has not yet been established. © 2016 APMIS. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Cyanotoxins: producing organisms, occurrence, toxicity, mechanism of action and human health toxicological risk evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buratti, Franca M; Manganelli, Maura; Vichi, Susanna; Stefanelli, Mara; Scardala, Simona; Testai, Emanuela; Funari, Enzo

    2017-03-01

    Cyanobacteria were present on the earth 3.5 billion years ago; since then they have colonized almost all terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. They produce a high number of bioactive molecules, among which some are cyanotoxins. Cyanobacterial growth at high densities, forming blooms, is increasing in extension and frequency, following anthropogenic activities and climate changes, giving rise to some concern for human health and animal life exposed to cyanotoxins. Numerous cases of lethal poisonings have been associated with cyanotoxins ingestion in wild animal and livestock. In humans few episodes of lethal or severe human poisonings have been recorded after acute or short-term exposure, but the repeated/chronic exposure to low cyanotoxin levels remains a critical issue. The properties of the most frequently detected cyanotoxins (namely, microcystins, nodularins, cylindrospermopsin and neurotoxins) are here critically reviewed, describing for each toxin the available information on producing organisms, biosynthesis/genetic and occurrence, with a focus on the toxicological profile (including kinetics, acute systemic toxicity, mechanism and mode of action, local effects, repeated toxicity, genotoxicity, carcinogenicity, reproductive toxicity; human health effects and epidemiological studies; animal poisoning) with the derivation of health-based values and considerations on the risks for human health.

  4. More Human than Human.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, David

    2017-07-01

    Within the literature surrounding nonhuman animals on the one hand and cognitively disabled humans on the other, there is much discussion of where beings that do not satisfy the criteria for personhood fit in our moral deliberations. In the future, we may face a different but related problem: that we might create (or cause the creation of) beings that not only satisfy but exceed these criteria. The question becomes whether these are minimal criteria, or hierarchical, such that those who fulfill them to greater degree should be afforded greater consideration. This article questions the validity and necessity of drawing divisions among beings that satisfy the minimum requirements for personhood; considering how future beings-intelligent androids, synthezoids, even alternate-substrate sentiences-might fit alongside the "baseline" human. I ask whether these alternate beings ought to be considered different to us, and why this may or may not matter in terms of a notion of "human community." The film Blade Runner, concerned in large part with humanity and its key synthezoid antagonist Roy Batty, forms a framing touchstone for my discussion. Batty is stronger, faster, more resilient, and more intelligent than Homo sapiens. His exploits, far beyond the capability of normal humans, are contrasted with his frailty and transient lifespan, his aesthetic appreciation of the sights he has seen, and his burgeoning empathy. Not for nothing does his creator within the mythos term him "more human than human."

  5. Mechanisms of Resistance to Neurotoxins (Addendum)

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Schubert, David

    2003-01-01

    .... During all of these events, some groups of nerve cells are spared relative to others. It is therefore likely that biochemical mechanisms exist which lead to increased resistance to oxidative stress and other forms of cytotoxicity...

  6. Mechanism of Action of Presynaptic Neurotoxins

    Science.gov (United States)

    1985-09-01

    lGTb 1Db. gnlisde RE-105 cells and their structures were verified by partial hydrolysis studies performed by the principal Investigator in...internalized 12sI-tetanus toxin migrates with authentic toxin on SDS gels ( Staub et al., 1985). This is consistent with recent reports that tetanus...for a Transsynaptic Migration of Tetanus Toxin in Spinal Cord Motoneurons: An Autoradiographic and Morphometric Study. Brain Res. 105, 213-227. Simpson

  7. SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cell line: in vitro cell model of dopaminergic neurons in Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Hong-rong; Hu, Lin-sen; Li, Guo-yi

    2010-04-20

    To evaluate the human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line as an in vitro model of dopaminergic (DAergic) neurons for Parkinson's disease (PD) research and to determine the effect of differentiation on this cell model. The data of this review were selected from the original reports and reviews related to SH-SY5Y cells published in Chinese and foreign journals (Pubmed 1973 to 2009). After searching the literature, 60 articles were selected to address this review. The SH-SY5Y cell line has become a popular cell model for PD research because this cell line posses many characteristics of DAergic neurons. For example, these cells express tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine-beta-hydroxylase, as well as the dopamine transporter. Moreover, this cell line can be differentiated into a functionally mature neuronal phenotype in the presence of various agents. Upon differentiation, SH-SY5Y cells stop proliferating and a constant cell number is subsequently maintained. However, different differentiating agents induce different neuronal phenotypes and biochemical changes. For example, retinoic acid induces differentiation toward a cholinergic neuronal phenotype and increases the susceptibility of SH-SY5Y cells to neurotoxins and neuroprotective agents, whereas treatment with retinoic acid followed by phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate results in a DAergic neuronal phenotype and decreases the susceptibility of cells to neurotoxins and neuroprotective agents. Some differentiating agents also alter kinetics of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP(+)) uptake, making SH-SY5Y cells more similar to primary mesencephalic neurons. Differentiated and undifferentiated SH-SY5Y cells have been widely used as a cell model of DAergic neurons for PD research. Some differentiating agents afford SH-SY5Y cells with more potential for studying neurotoxicity and neuroprotection and are thus more relevant to experimental PD research.

  8. Human engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang, Seong Hwan; Park, Bum; Gang, Yeong Sik; Gal, Won Mo; Baek, Seung Ryeol; Choe, Jeong Hwa; Kim, Dae Sung

    2006-07-01

    This book mentions human engineering, which deals with introduction of human engineering, Man-Machine system like system design, and analysis and evaluation of Man-Machine system, data processing and data input, display, system control of man, human mistake and reliability, human measurement and design of working place, human working, hand tool and manual material handling, condition of working circumstance, working management, working analysis, motion analysis working measurement, and working improvement and design in human engineering.

  9. Isolation and characterization of two disintegrins inhibiting ADP-induced human platelet aggregation from the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanchez, Elda E.; Galan, Jacob A.; Russell, William K.; Soto, Julio G.; Russell, David H.; Perez, John C.

    2006-01-01

    Disintegrins and disintegrin-like proteins are molecules found in the venom of four snake families (Atractaspididae, Elapidae, Viperidae, and Colubridae). The disintegrins are nonenzymatic proteins that inhibit cell-cell interactions, cell-matrix interactions, and signal transduction, and may have potential in the treatment of strokes, heart attacks, cancers, and osteoporosis. Prior to 1983, the venom of Crotalus scutulatus scutulatus (Mohave Rattlesnake) was known to be only neurotoxic; however, now there is evidence that these snakes can contain venom with: (1) neurotoxins; (2) hemorrhagins; and (3) both neurotoxins and hemorrhagins. In this study, two disintegrins, mojastin 1 and mojastin 2, from the venom of a Mohave rattlesnake collected in central Arizona (Pinal County), were isolated and characterized. The disintegrins in these venoms were identified by mass-analyzed laser desorption ionization/time-of-flight/time-of-flight (MALDI/TOF/TOF) mass spectrometry as having masses of 7.436 and 7.636 kDa. Their amino acid sequences are similar to crotratroxin, a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the western diamondback rattlesnake (C. atrox). The amino acid sequence of mojastin 1 was identical to the amino acid sequence of a disintegrin isolated from the venom of the Timber rattlesnake (C. horridus). The disintegrins from the Mohave rattlesnake venom were able to inhibit ADP-induced platelet aggregation in whole human blood both having IC 5 s of 13.8 nM, but were not effective in inhibiting the binding of human urinary bladder carcinoma cells (T24) to fibronectin

  10. Structure-based assessment of disease-related mutations in human voltage-gated sodium channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Weiyun Huang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Voltage-gated sodium (Nav channels are essential for the rapid upstroke of action potentials and the propagation of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. Defects of Nav channels are associated with a variety of channelopathies. More than 1000 disease-related mutations have been identified in Nav channels, with Nav1.1 and Nav1.5 each harboring more than 400 mutations. Nav channels represent major targets for a wide array of neurotoxins and drugs. Atomic structures of Nav channels are required to understand their function and disease mechanisms. The recently determined atomic structure of the rabbit voltage-gated calcium (Cav channel Cav1.1 provides a template for homology-based structural modeling of the evolutionarily related Nav channels. In this Resource article, we summarized all the reported disease-related mutations in human Nav channels, generated a homologous model of human Nav1.7, and structurally mapped disease-associated mutations. Before the determination of structures of human Nav channels, the analysis presented here serves as the base framework for mechanistic investigation of Nav channelopathies and for potential structure-based drug discovery.

  11. Structure-based assessment of disease-related mutations in human voltage-gated sodium channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Weiyun; Liu, Minhao; Yan, S Frank; Yan, Nieng

    2017-06-01

    Voltage-gated sodium (Na v ) channels are essential for the rapid upstroke of action potentials and the propagation of electrical signals in nerves and muscles. Defects of Na v channels are associated with a variety of channelopathies. More than 1000 disease-related mutations have been identified in Na v channels, with Na v 1.1 and Na v 1.5 each harboring more than 400 mutations. Na v channels represent major targets for a wide array of neurotoxins and drugs. Atomic structures of Na v channels are required to understand their function and disease mechanisms. The recently determined atomic structure of the rabbit voltage-gated calcium (Ca v ) channel Ca v 1.1 provides a template for homology-based structural modeling of the evolutionarily related Na v channels. In this Resource article, we summarized all the reported disease-related mutations in human Na v channels, generated a homologous model of human Na v 1.7, and structurally mapped disease-associated mutations. Before the determination of structures of human Na v channels, the analysis presented here serves as the base framework for mechanistic investigation of Na v channelopathies and for potential structure-based drug discovery.

  12. Human rights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaay Fortman, B. de

    2006-01-01

    Human rights reflect a determined effort to protect the dignity of each and every human being against abuse of power. This endeavour is as old as human history. What is relatively new is the international venture for the protection of human dignity through internationally accepted legal standards

  13. Human reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Embrey, D.E.

    1987-01-01

    Concepts and techniques of human reliability have been developed and are used mostly in probabilistic risk assessment. For this, the major application of human reliability assessment has been to identify the human errors which have a significant effect on the overall safety of the system and to quantify the probability of their occurrence. Some of the major issues within human reliability studies are reviewed and it is shown how these are applied to the assessment of human failures in systems. This is done under the following headings; models of human performance used in human reliability assessment, the nature of human error, classification of errors in man-machine systems, practical aspects, human reliability modelling in complex situations, quantification and examination of human reliability, judgement based approaches, holistic techniques and decision analytic approaches. (UK)

  14. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security

    OpenAIRE

    Gasper, Des

    2009-01-01

    Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each has emerged within the United Nations world; each relies implicitly on a conceptualisation of human need; each has specific strengths. Yet mutual communication, understanding and co-operation are deficient, espec...

  15. Human Scalp Hair as an Indicator of Exposure to the Environmental Toxin β-N-Methylamino-l-alanine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simoné Downing

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Dietary or aerosol exposure to the environmental neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA is a putative risk factor for the development of sporadic neurodegenerative disease. There are many potential sources of BMAA in the environment, but BMAA presence and quantities are highly variable. It has been suggested that BMAA in human hair may serve as an indicator of exposure. We sought to evaluate the use of the BMAA content of human scalp hair as an indicator of exposure, as well as the correlation between specific lifestyle or dietary habits, reported as hypothesised exposure risk factors, and BMAA in hair. Scalp hair samples and questionnaires were collected from participants in a small residential village surrounding a freshwater impoundment renowned for toxic cyanobacterial blooms. Data suggested a positive correlation between hair BMAA content and consumption of shellfish, and possibly pork. No statistically significant correlations were observed between hair BMAA content and residential proximity to the water or any other variable. Hair BMAA content was highly variable, and in terms of exposure, probably reflects primarily dietary exposure. However, the BMAA content of human hair may be affected to a great extent by several other factors, and as such, should be used with caution when evaluating human BMAA exposure, or correlating exposure to neurodegenerative disease incidence.

  16. Insights into the Evolution of Host Association through the Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Human Periodontal Pathobiont, Desulfobulbus oralis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karissa L. Cross

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available The human oral microbiota encompasses representatives of many bacterial lineages that have not yet been cultured. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of previously uncultured Desulfobulbus oralis, the first human-associated representative of its genus. As mammalian-associated microbes rarely have free-living close relatives, D. oralis provides opportunities to study how bacteria adapt and evolve within a host. This sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacterium has adapted to the human oral subgingival niche by curtailing its physiological repertoire, losing some biosynthetic abilities and metabolic independence, and by dramatically reducing environmental sensing and signaling capabilities. The genes that enable free-living Desulfobulbus to synthesize the potent neurotoxin methylmercury were also lost by D. oralis, a notably positive outcome of host association. However, horizontal gene acquisitions from other members of the microbiota provided novel mechanisms of interaction with the human host, including toxins like leukotoxin and hemolysins. Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that most of those factors are actively expressed, including in the subgingival environment, and some are secreted. Similar to other known oral pathobionts, D. oralis can trigger a proinflammatory response in oral epithelial cells, suggesting a direct role in the development of periodontal disease.

  17. Insights into the Evolution of Host Association through the Isolation and Characterization of a Novel Human Periodontal Pathobiont, Desulfobulbus oralis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cross, Karissa L.; Chirania, Payal; Xiong, Weili; Elkins, James G.; Giannone, Richard J.; Griffen, Ann L.; Hettich, Robert L.; Joshi, Snehal S.; Mokrzan, Elaine M.; Martin, Roman K.; Leys, Eugene J.

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT The human oral microbiota encompasses representatives of many bacterial lineages that have not yet been cultured. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of previously uncultured Desulfobulbus oralis, the first human-associated representative of its genus. As mammalian-associated microbes rarely have free-living close relatives, D. oralis provides opportunities to study how bacteria adapt and evolve within a host. This sulfate-reducing deltaproteobacterium has adapted to the human oral subgingival niche by curtailing its physiological repertoire, losing some biosynthetic abilities and metabolic independence, and by dramatically reducing environmental sensing and signaling capabilities. The genes that enable free-living Desulfobulbus to synthesize the potent neurotoxin methylmercury were also lost by D. oralis, a notably positive outcome of host association. However, horizontal gene acquisitions from other members of the microbiota provided novel mechanisms of interaction with the human host, including toxins like leukotoxin and hemolysins. Proteomic and transcriptomic analysis revealed that most of those factors are actively expressed, including in the subgingival environment, and some are secreted. Similar to other known oral pathobionts, D. oralis can trigger a proinflammatory response in oral epithelial cells, suggesting a direct role in the development of periodontal disease. PMID:29535201

  18. Human niche, human behaviour, human nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuentes, Agustin

    2017-10-06

    The concept of a 'human nature' or 'human natures' retains a central role in theorizing about the human experience. In Homo sapiens it is clear that we have a suite of capacities generated via our evolutionary past, and present, and a flexible capacity to create and sustain particular kinds of cultures and to be shaped by them. Regardless of whether we label these capacities 'human natures' or not, humans occupy a distinctive niche and an evolutionary approach to examining it is critical. At present we are faced with a few different narratives as to exactly what such an evolutionary approach entails. There is a need for a robust and dynamic theoretical toolkit in order to develop a richer, and more nuanced, understanding of the cognitively sophisticated genus Homo and the diverse sorts of niches humans constructed and occupied across the Pleistocene, Holocene, and into the Anthropocene. Here I review current evolutionary approaches to 'human nature', arguing that we benefit from re-framing our investigations via the concept of the human niche and in the context of the extended evolutionary synthesis (EES). While not a replacement of standard evolutionary approaches, this is an expansion and enhancement of our toolkit. I offer brief examples from human evolution in support of these assertions.

  19. Eosinophils from hematopoietic stem cell recipients suppress allogeneic T cell proliferation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Jennie; Cromvik, Julia; Ingelsten, Madeleine; Lingblom, Christine; Andersson, Kerstin; Johansson, Jan-Erik; Wennerås, Christine

    2014-12-01

    Eosinophilia has been associated with less severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but the underlying mechanism is unknown. We hypothesized that eosinophils diminish allogeneic T cell activation in patients with chronic GVHD. The capacity of eosinophils derived from healthy subjects and hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplant recipients, with or without chronic GVHD, to reduce allogeneic T cell proliferation was evaluated using a mixed leukocyte reaction. Eosinophil-mediated inhibition of proliferation was observed for the eosinophils of both healthy subjects and patients who underwent HSC transplantation. Eosinophils from patients with and without chronic GVHD were equally suppressive. Healthy eosinophils required cell-to-cell contact for their suppressive capacity, which was directed against CD4(+) T cells and CD8(+) T cells. Neither eosinophilic cationic protein, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, or increased numbers of regulatory T cells could account for the suppressive effect of healthy eosinophils. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis revealed significantly increased mRNA levels of the immunoregulatory protein galectin-10 in the eosinophils of both chronic GVHD patients and patients without GVHD, as compared with those from healthy subjects. The upregulation of galectin-10 expression in eosinophils from patients suggests a stimulatory effect of HSC transplantation in itself on eosinophilic galectin-10 expression, regardless of chronic GVHD status. To conclude, eosinophils from HSC transplant recipients and healthy subjects have a T cell suppressive capacity. Copyright © 2014 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Gallic Acid Protects 6-OHDA Induced Neurotoxicity by Attenuating Oxidative Stress in Human Dopaminergic Cell Line.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandrasekhar, Y; Phani Kumar, G; Ramya, E M; Anilakumar, K R

    2018-04-18

    Gallic acid is one of the most important polyphenolic compounds, which is considered an excellent free radical scavenger. 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) is a neurotoxin, which has been implicated in mainly Parkinson's disease (PD). In this study, we investigated the molecular mechanism of the neuroprotective effects of gallic acid on 6-OHDA induced apoptosis in human dopaminergic cells, SH-SY5Y. Our results showed that 6-OHDA induced cytotoxicity in SH-SY5Y cells was suppressed by pre-treatment with gallic acid. The percentage of live cells (90%) was high in the pre-treatment of gallic acid when compared with 6-OHDA alone treated cell line. Moreover, gallic acid was very effective in attenuating the disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, elevated levels of intracellular ROS and apoptotic cell death induced by 6-OHDA. Gallic acid also lowered the ratio of the pro-apoptotic Bax protein and the anti-apoptotic Bcl-2 protein in SH-SY5Y cells. 6-OHDA exposure was up-regulated caspase-3 and Keap-1 and, down-regulated Nrf2, BDNF and p-CREB, which were sufficiently reverted by gallic acid pre-treatment. These findings indicate that gallic acid is able to protect the neuronal cells against 6-OHDA induced injury and proved that gallic acid might potentially serve as an agent for prevention of several human neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.

  1. Human Smuggling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Siegel - Rozenblit, Dina; Zaitch, Damian

    2014-01-01

    Human smuggling is based on a consensus between smuggler, smuggled, and his/her family (which usually guarantees or effectuates payment). However, unauthorized immigrants are violating immigration laws and human smugglers are profiting from enabling illegal immigration. Both human smuggling and its

  2. Human intrusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hora, S.; Neill, R.; Williams, R.; Bauser, M.; Channell, J.

    1993-01-01

    This paper focused on the possible approaches to evaluating the impacts of human intrusion on nuclear waste disposal. Several major issues were reviewed. First, it was noted that human intrusion could be addressed either quantitatively through performance assessments or qualitatively through design requirements. Second, it was decided that it was impossible to construct a complete set of possible future human intrusion scenarios. Third, the question of when the effect of possible human intrusion should be considered, before or after site selection was reviewed. Finally, the time frame over which human intrusion should be considered was discussed

  3. Human Technology and Human Affects

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fausing, Bent

    2009-01-01

    Human Technology and Human Affects  This year Samsung introduced a mobile phone with "Soul". It was made with a human touch and included itself a magical touch. Which function does technology and affects get in everyday aesthetics like this, its images and interactions included this presentation...... will ask and try to answer. The mobile phone and its devices are depicted as being able to make a unique human presence, interaction, and affect. The medium, the technology is a necessary helper to get towards this very special and lost humanity. Without the technology, no special humanity - soul....... The paper will investigate how technology, humanity, affects, and synaesthesia are presented and combined with examples from everyday aesthetics, e.g. early computer tv-commercial, net-commercial for mobile phones. Technology and affects point, is the conclusion, towards a forgotten pre-human and not he...

  4. Human Parvoviruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Söderlund-Venermo, Maria; Young, Neal S.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Parvovirus B19 (B19V) and human bocavirus 1 (HBoV1), members of the large Parvoviridae family, are human pathogens responsible for a variety of diseases. For B19V in particular, host features determine disease manifestations. These viruses are prevalent worldwide and are culturable in vitro, and serological and molecular assays are available but require careful interpretation of results. Additional human parvoviruses, including HBoV2 to -4, human parvovirus 4 (PARV4), and human bufavirus (BuV) are also reviewed. The full spectrum of parvovirus disease in humans has yet to be established. Candidate recombinant B19V vaccines have been developed but may not be commercially feasible. We review relevant features of the molecular and cellular biology of these viruses, and the human immune response that they elicit, which have allowed a deep understanding of pathophysiology. PMID:27806994

  5. Human Rights/Human Needs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canning, Cynthia

    1978-01-01

    The faculty of Holy Names High School developed an interdisciplinary human rights program with school-wide activities focusing on three selected themes: the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in conjunction with Human Rights Week; Food; and Women. This article outlines major program activities. (SJL)

  6. Occurrence of β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA and Isomers in Aquatic Environments and Aquatic Food Sources for Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emilie Lance

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The neurotoxin β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA, a non-protein amino acid produced by terrestrial and aquatic cyanobacteria and by micro-algae, has been suggested to play a role as an environmental factor in the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex (ALS-PDC. The ubiquitous presence of BMAA in aquatic environments and organisms along the food chain potentially makes it public health concerns. However, the BMAA-associated human health risk remains difficult to rigorously assess due to analytical challenges associated with the detection and quantification of BMAA and its natural isomers, 2,4-diamino butyric acid (DAB, β-amino-N-methyl-alanine (BAMA and N-(2-aminoethyl glycine (AEG. This systematic review, reporting the current knowledge on the presence of BMAA and isomers in aquatic environments and human food sources, was based on a selection and a score numbering of the scientific literature according to various qualitative and quantitative criteria concerning the chemical analytical methods used. Results from the best-graded studies show that marine bivalves are to date the matrix containing the higher amount of BMAA, far more than most fish muscles, but with an exception for shark cartilage. This review discusses the available data in terms of their use for human health risk assessment and identifies knowledge gaps requiring further investigations.

  7. Proneural transcription factor Atoh1 drives highly efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into dopaminergic neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagal, Jonathan; Zhan, Xiping; Xu, Jinchong; Tilghman, Jessica; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar S; Chen, Li; Dawson, Valina L; Dawson, Ted M; Laterra, John; Ying, Mingyao

    2014-08-01

    Human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) are a promising cell resource for various applications in regenerative medicine. Highly efficient approaches that differentiate human PSCs into functional lineage-specific neurons are critical for modeling neurological disorders and testing potential therapies. Proneural transcription factors are crucial drivers of neuron development and hold promise for driving highly efficient neuronal conversion in PSCs. Here, we study the functions of proneural transcription factor Atoh1 in the neuronal differentiation of PSCs. We show that Atoh1 is induced during the neuronal conversion of PSCs and that ectopic Atoh1 expression is sufficient to drive PSCs into neurons with high efficiency. Atoh1 induction, in combination with cell extrinsic factors, differentiates PSCs into functional dopaminergic (DA) neurons with >80% purity. Atoh1-induced DA neurons recapitulate key biochemical and electrophysiological features of midbrain DA neurons, the degeneration of which is responsible for clinical symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD). Atoh1-induced DA neurons provide a reliable disease model for studying PD pathogenesis, such as neurotoxin-induced neurodegeneration in PD. Overall, our results determine the role of Atoh1 in regulating neuronal differentiation and neuron subtype specification of human PSCs. Our Atoh1-mediated differentiation approach will enable large-scale applications of PD patient-derived midbrain DA neurons in mechanistic studies and drug screening for both familial and sporadic PD. ©AlphaMed Press.

  8. Occurrence of β-N-methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA) and Isomers in Aquatic Environments and Aquatic Food Sources for Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lance, Emilie; Arnich, Nathalie; Maignien, Thomas; Biré, Ronel

    2018-02-14

    The neurotoxin β- N -methylamino-l-alanine (BMAA), a non-protein amino acid produced by terrestrial and aquatic cyanobacteria and by micro-algae, has been suggested to play a role as an environmental factor in the neurodegenerative disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Parkinsonism-Dementia complex (ALS-PDC). The ubiquitous presence of BMAA in aquatic environments and organisms along the food chain potentially makes it public health concerns. However, the BMAA-associated human health risk remains difficult to rigorously assess due to analytical challenges associated with the detection and quantification of BMAA and its natural isomers, 2,4-diamino butyric acid (DAB), β-amino- N -methyl-alanine (BAMA) and N -(2-aminoethyl) glycine (AEG). This systematic review, reporting the current knowledge on the presence of BMAA and isomers in aquatic environments and human food sources, was based on a selection and a score numbering of the scientific literature according to various qualitative and quantitative criteria concerning the chemical analytical methods used. Results from the best-graded studies show that marine bivalves are to date the matrix containing the higher amount of BMAA, far more than most fish muscles, but with an exception for shark cartilage. This review discusses the available data in terms of their use for human health risk assessment and identifies knowledge gaps requiring further investigations.

  9. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security - Relationships between four international human discourses.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2007-01-01

    markdownabstractAbstract: Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and

  10. Human evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Llamas, Bastien; Willerslev, Eske; Orlando, Ludovic Antoine Alexandre

    2017-01-01

    The field of human ancient DNA (aDNA) has moved from mitochondrial sequencing that suffered from contamination and provided limited biological insights, to become a fully genomic discipline that is changing our conception of human history. Recent successes include the sequencing of extinct homini...

  11. Think Human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Charlotte Marie Bisgaard

    2013-01-01

    years' campaigns suggests that the theory of communication underlying the campaign has its basis in mechanical action rather than in human communication. The practice of 'Communication design' is investigated in relation to this metaphorical 'machine thinking' model of communication and contrasted...... with the human-centered theory of communication advocated by integrationism....

  12. Human kapital

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grosen, Anders; Nielsen, Peder Harbjerg

    2007-01-01

    finansiel og human kapital. Den traditionelle rådgivnings snævre synsvinkel kan føre til forkerte investeringsråd. Der skal derfor opfordres til, at de finansielle virksomheder i tilrettelæggelsen af deres rådgivning af private kunder systematisk inddrager den humane kapitals størrelse og karakteristika i...

  13. Human trichuriasis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Betson, Martha; Søe, Martin Jensen; Nejsum, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Human trichuriasis is a neglected tropical disease which affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide and is particularly prevalent among children living in areas where sanitation is poor. This review examines the current knowledge on the taxonomy, genetics and phylogeography of human Trichuris...

  14. Optimization of procedures for mercury-203 instrumental neutron activation analysis in human urine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blotcky, A J; Claassen, J P [Nebraska Univ., Omaha, NE (United States). Medical Center; Fung, Y K [Nebraska Univ., Lincoln, NE (United States). Dept. of Chemistry; Meade, A G; Rack, E P [Nebraska Univ., Lincoln, NE (United States)

    1995-08-01

    Mercury, a known neurotoxin, has been implicated in etiology and pathogenesis of such disease states as Alzheimer`s and Parkinson`s diseases. There is concern that the exposure to mercury vapor released from dental amalgam restorations is a potential health hazard. Measurement of mercury concentrations in blood or urine may be useful in diagnosis of mercury poisoning and in assessing the extent exposure. This study describes the optimization of pre-neutron activation analysis procedures such as sampling, selection of irradiation and counting vials and acid digestion in order to minimize mercury loss via volatilization and/or permeation through containers. Therefore, the determination of mercury can be complicated by these potential losses. In the optimized procedure 20mL of urine was spiked with three different concentrations of mercury, digested with concentrated nitric acid, and placed in polypropylene vials for irradiation and counting. Analysis was performed by subtracting the Se-75 photopeak contribution to the 279 keV Hg-203 photopeak and applying the method of standard additions. Urinary mercury concentrations in normal human subjects were determined to be of the order of 10ng/mL. (author). 22 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs.

  15. Alkaloids in the human food chain--natural occurrence and possible adverse effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koleva, Irina I; van Beek, Teris A; Soffers, Ans E M F; Dusemund, Birgit; Rietjens, Ivonne M C M

    2012-01-01

    Alkaloid-containing plants are an intrinsic part of the regular Western diet. The present paper summarizes the occurrence of alkaloids in the food chain, their mode of action and possible adverse effects including a safety assessment. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are a reason for concern because of their bioactivation to reactive alkylating intermediates. Several quinolizidine alkaloids, β-carboline alkaloids, ergot alkaloids and steroid alkaloids are active without bioactivation and mostly act as neurotoxins. Regulatory agencies are aware of the risks and have taken or are considering appropriate regulatory actions for most alkaloids. These vary from setting limits for the presence of a compound in feed, foods and beverages, trying to define safe upper limits, advising on a strategy aiming at restrictions in use, informing the public to be cautious or taking specific plant varieties from the market. For some alkaloids known to be present in the modern food chain, e.g., piperine, nicotine, theobromine, theophylline and tropane alkaloids risks coming from the human food chain are considered to be low if not negligible. Remarkably, for many alkaloids that are known constituents of the modern food chain and of possible concern, tolerable daily intake values have so far not been defined. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  16. Optimization of procedures for mercury-203 instrumental neutron activation analysis in human urine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blotcky, A.J.; Claassen, J.P.

    1995-01-01

    Mercury, a known neurotoxin, has been implicated in etiology and pathogenesis of such disease states as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. There is concern that the exposure to mercury vapor released from dental amalgam restorations is a potential health hazard. Measurement of mercury concentrations in blood or urine may be useful in diagnosis of mercury poisoning and in assessing the extent exposure. This study describes the optimization of pre-neutron activation analysis procedures such as sampling, selection of irradiation and counting vials and acid digestion in order to minimize mercury loss via volatilization and/or permeation through containers. Therefore, the determination of mercury can be complicated by these potential losses. In the optimized procedure 20mL of urine was spiked with three different concentrations of mercury, digested with concentrated nitric acid, and placed in polypropylene vials for irradiation and counting. Analysis was performed by subtracting the Se-75 photopeak contribution to the 279 keV Hg-203 photopeak and applying the method of standard additions. Urinary mercury concentrations in normal human subjects were determined to be of the order of 10ng/mL. (author). 22 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs

  17. Human neuronal cell based assay: A new in vitro model for toxicity evaluation of ciguatoxin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coccini, Teresa; Caloni, Francesca; De Simone, Uliana

    2017-06-01

    Ciguatoxins (CTXs) are emerging marine neurotoxins representing the main cause of ciguatera fish poisoning, an intoxication syndrome which configures a health emergency and constitutes an evolving issue constantly changing due to new vectors and derivatives of CTXs, as well as their presence in new non-endemic areas. The study applied the neuroblastoma cell model of human origin (SH-SY5Y) to evaluate species-specific mechanistic information on CTX toxicity. Metabolic functionality, cell morphology, cytosolic Ca 2+ i responses, neuronal cell growth and proliferation were assessed after short- (4-24h) and long-term exposure (10days) to P-CTX-3C. In SH-SY5Y, P-CTX-3C displayed a powerful cytotoxicity requiring the presence of both Veratridine and Ouabain. SH-SY5Y were very sensitive to Ouabain: 10 and 0.25nM appeared the optimal concentrations, for short- and long-term toxicity studies, respectively, to be used in co-incubation with Veratridine (25μM), simulating the physiological and pathological endogenous Ouabain levels in humans. P-CTX-3C cytotoxic effect, on human neurons co-incubated with OV (Ouabain+Veratridine) mix, was expressed starting from 100pM after short- and 25pM after long-term exposure. Notably, P-CTX-3C alone at 25nM induced cytotoxicity after 24h and prolonged exposure. This human brain-derived cell line appears a suitable cell-based-model to evaluate cytotoxicity of CTX present in marine food contaminated at low toxic levels and to characterize the toxicological profile of other/new congeners. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Digital Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brügger, Niels

    2016-01-01

    , and preserving material to study, as an object of study in its own right, as an analytical tool, or for collaborating, and for disseminating results. The term "digital humanities" was coined around 2001, and gained currency within academia in the following years. However, computers had been used within......Digital humanities is an umbrella term for theories, methodologies, and practices related to humanities scholarship that use the digital computer as an integrated and essential part of its research and teaching activities. The computer can be used for establishing, finding, collecting...

  19. Human Computation

    CERN Multimedia

    CERN. Geneva

    2008-01-01

    What if people could play computer games and accomplish work without even realizing it? What if billions of people collaborated to solve important problems for humanity or generate training data for computers? My work aims at a general paradigm for doing exactly that: utilizing human processing power to solve computational problems in a distributed manner. In particular, I focus on harnessing human time and energy for addressing problems that computers cannot yet solve. Although computers have advanced dramatically in many respects over the last 50 years, they still do not possess the basic conceptual intelligence or perceptual capabilities...

  20. Differentiating human NT2/D1 neurospheres as a versatile in vitro 3D model system for developmental neurotoxicity testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, E.J.; Woehrling, E.K.; Prince, M.; Coleman, M.D.

    2008-01-01

    Developmental neurotoxicity is a major issue in human health and may have lasting neurological implications. In this preliminary study we exposed differentiating Ntera2/clone D1 (NT2/D1) cell neurospheres to known human teratogens classed as non-embryotoxic (acrylamide), weakly embryotoxic (lithium, valproic acid) and strongly embryotoxic (hydroxyurea) as listed by European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM) and examined endpoints of cell viability and neuronal protein marker expression specific to the central nervous system, to identify developmental neurotoxins. Following induction of neuronal differentiation, valproic acid had the most significant effect on neurogenesis, in terms of reduced viability and decreased neuronal markers. Lithium had least effect on viability and did not significantly alter the expression of neuronal markers. Hydroxyurea significantly reduced cell viability but did not affect neuronal protein marker expression. Acrylamide reduced neurosphere viability but did not affect neuronal protein marker expression. Overall, this NT2/D1-based neurosphere model of neurogenesis, may provide the basis for a model of developmental neurotoxicity in vitro

  1. Human expunction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klee, Robert

    2017-10-01

    Thomas Nagel in `The Absurd' (Nagel 1971) mentions the future expunction of the human species as a `metaphor' for our ability to see our lives from the outside, which he claims is one source of our sense of life's absurdity. I argue that the future expunction (not to be confused with extinction) of everything human - indeed of everything biological in a terran sense - is not a mere metaphor but a physical certainty under the laws of nature. The causal processes by which human expunction will take place are presented in some empirical detail, so that philosophers cannot dismiss it as merely speculative. I also argue that appeals to anthropic principles or to forms of mystical cosmology are of no plausible avail in the face of human expunction under the laws of physics.

  2. Human Cloning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Johnson, Judith A; Williams, Erin D

    2006-01-01

    .... Scientists in other labs, including Harvard University and the University of California at San Francisco, intend to produce cloned human embryos in order to derive stem cells for medical research...

  3. Human brucellosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Franco, María Pía; Mulder, Maximilian; Gilman, Robert H.; Smits, Henk L.

    2007-01-01

    Human brucellosis still presents scientists and clinicians with several challenges, such as the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms of Brucella spp, the identification of markers for disease severity, progression, and treatment response, and the development of improved treatment regimens.

  4. Human settlements

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Niekerk, Cornelia W

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available risk of deaths and injuries by drowning in floods and migration- related health effects. • Increased migration, which can result in human suffering, human rights violations, conflicts and political instability. • Loss of property and livelihoods.... The vulnerability of settlements in southern Africa is impacted by various and complex socio-economic processes related to the cultural, political and institutional contexts and demographic pressure, as well as specific high-risk zones susceptible to flash floods...

  5. Human Cloning

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-07-20

    Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA). A team of scientists headed by Alison Murdoch at the University of Newcastle received permission...not yet reported success in isolating stem cells from a cloned human embryo. A research team headed by Ian Wilmut at the University of Edinburgh...research group, headed by Douglas Melton and Kevin Eggan, submitted their proposal to a Harvard committee composed of ethicists, scientists and public

  6. Secretory Products of the Human GI Tract Microbiome and Their Potential Impact on Alzheimer's Disease (AD: Detection of Lipopolysaccharide (LPS in AD Hippocampus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhai Zhao

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Although the potential contribution of the human gastrointestinal (GI tract microbiome to human health, aging, and disease is becoming increasingly acknowledged, the molecular mechanics and signaling pathways of just how this is accomplished is not well-understood. Major bacterial species of the GI tract, such as the abundant Gram-negative bacilli Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis and Escherichia coli (E. coli, secrete a remarkably complex array of pro-inflammatory neurotoxins which, when released from the confines of the healthy GI tract, are pathogenic and highly detrimental to the homeostatic function of neurons in the central nervous system (CNS. For the first time here we report the presence of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS in brain lysates from the hippocampus and superior temporal lobe neocortex of Alzheimer's disease (AD brains. Mean LPS levels varied from two-fold increases in the neocortex to three-fold increases in the hippocampus, AD over age-matched controls, however some samples from advanced AD hippocampal cases exhibited up to a 26-fold increase in LPS over age-matched controls. This “Perspectives” paper will further highlight some very recent research on GI tract microbiome signaling to the human CNS, and will update current findings that implicate GI tract microbiome-derived LPS as an important internal contributor to inflammatory degeneration in the CNS.

  7. Human cognition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norman, D.A.

    1982-01-01

    The study of human cognition encompasses the study of all mental phenomena, from the receipt and interpretation of sensory information to the final control of the motor system in the performance of action. The cognitive scientist examines all intermediary processes, including thought, decision making, and memory and including the effects of motivation, states of arousal and stress, the study of language, and the effects of social factors. The field therefore ranges over an enormous territory, covering all that is known or that should be known about human behavior. It is not possible to summarize the current state of knowledge about cognition with any great confidence that we know the correct answer about any aspect of the work. Nontheless, models provide good characterizations of certain aspects of the data and situations. Even if these models should prove to be incorrect, they do provide good approximate descriptions of people's behavior in some situations, and these approximations will still apply even when the underlying theories have changed. A quick description is provided of models within a number of areas of human cognition and skill and some general theoretical frameworks with which to view human cognition. The frameworks are qualitative descriptions that provide a way to view the development of more detailed, quantitative models and, most important, a way of thinking about human performance and skill

  8. Beyond Humanisms

    OpenAIRE

    Capurro, Rafael

    2012-01-01

    In the first part of this paper a short history of Western humanisms (Socrates, Pico della Mirandola, Descartes, Kant) is presented. As far as these humanisms rest on a fixation of the ‘humanum’ they are metaphysical, although they might radically differ from each other. The second part deals with the present debate on trans- and posthumanism in the context of some breath-taking developments in science and technology.Angeletics, a theory of messengers and messages, intends to give an answer t...

  9. Hypoxia causes IL-8 secretion, Charcot Leyden crystal formation, and suppression of corticosteroid-induced apoptosis in human eosinophils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porter, L M; Cowburn, A S; Farahi, N; Deighton, J; Farrow, S N; Fiddler, C A; Juss, J K; Condliffe, A M; Chilvers, E R

    2017-06-01

    Inflamed environments are typically hypercellular, rich in pro-inflammatory cytokines, and profoundly hypoxic. While the effects of hypoxia on neutrophil longevity and function have been widely studied, little is known about the consequences of this stimulus on eosinophils. We sought to investigate the effects of hypoxia on several key aspects of eosinophil biology, namely secretion, survival, and their sensitivity to glucocorticosteroids (GCS), agents that normally induce eosinophil apoptosis. Eosinophils derived from patients with asthma/atopy or healthy controls were incubated under normoxia and hypoxia, with or without glucocorticoids. Activation was measured by flow cytometry, ELISA of cultured supernatants, and F-actin staining; apoptosis and efferocytosis by morphology and flow cytometry; and GCS efficacy by apoptosis assays and qPCR. Hypoxic incubation (3 kPa) caused (i) stabilization of HIF-2α and up-regulation of hypoxia-regulated genes including BNIP3 (BCL2/adenovirus E1B 19-kDa protein-interacting protein 3) and GLUT1 (glucose transporter 1); (ii) secretion of pre-formed IL-8, and Charcot Leyden crystal (CLC) formation, which was most evident in eosinophils derived from atopic and asthmatic donors; (iii) enhanced F-actin formation; (iv) marked prolongation of eosinophil lifespan (via a NF-κB and Class I PI3-kinase-dependent mechanism); and (v) complete abrogation of the normal pro-apoptotic effect of dexamethasone and fluticasone furoate. This latter effect was evident despite preservation of GCS-mediated gene transactivation under hypoxia. These data indicate that hypoxia promotes an eosinophil pro-inflammatory phenotype by enhancing eosinophil secretory function, delaying constitutive apoptosis, and importantly, antagonizing the normal pro-apoptotic effect of GCS. As eosinophils typically accumulate at sites that are relatively hypoxic, particularly during periods of inflammation, these findings may have important implications to understanding the

  10. Human Parechoviruses

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fischer, Thea Kølsen; Harvala, Heli; Midgley, Sofie

    2017-01-01

    Infections with human parechoviruses (HPeV) are highly prevalent, particularly in neonates, where they may cause substantial morbidity and mortality. The clinical presentation of HPeV infection is often indistinguishable from that of enterovirus (EV) infection and may vary from mild disease...

  11. Practicing Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gimmler, Antje

    2016-01-01

    and self-reflective democracy. Contemporary humanities have adopted a new orientation towards practices, and it is not clear how this fits with the ideals of ‘Bildung’ and ‘pure science’. A possible theoretical framework for this orientation towards practices could be found in John Dewey’s pragmatic...

  12. Human waste

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Amin, Md Nurul; Kroeze, Carolien; Strokal, Maryna

    2017-01-01

    Many people practice open defecation in south Asia. As a result, lot of human waste containing nutrients such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enter rivers. Rivers transport these nutrients to coastal waters, resulting in marine pollution. This source of nutrient pollution is, however, ignored in

  13. Human Trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, David McKay

    2011-01-01

    The shadowy, criminal nature of human trafficking makes evaluating its nature and scope difficult. The U.S. State Department and anti-trafficking groups estimate that worldwide some 27 million people are caught in a form of forced servitude today. Public awareness of modern-day slavery is gaining momentum thanks to new abolitionist efforts. Among…

  14. Think Human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Charlotte Marie Bisgaard

    2013-01-01

    years' campaigns suggests that the theory of communication underlying the campaign has its basis in mechanical action rather than in human communication. The practice of 'Communication design' is investigated in relation to this metaphorical 'machine thinking' model of communication and contrasted...

  15. Nothing Human

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wharram, C. C.

    2014-01-01

    In this essay C. C. Wharram argues that Terence's concept of translation as a form of "contamination" anticipates recent developments in philosophy, ecology, and translation studies. Placing these divergent fields of inquiry into dialogue enables us read Terence's well-known statement "I am a human being--I deem nothing…

  16. Human Rights and Human Function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohsen Javadi

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper firstly explores some theories of Human Rights justification and then assents to the theory that Human Rights is based on justified moral values. In order to justify moral values, Aristotle’s approach called “Function Argument” is reviewed. Propounding this argument, the writer attempts to show that all analysis of human identity will directly contribute to the man’s view of his rights. Not only Human rights is really determined by human function or human distinguishing characteristic i.e. human identity, but in the world of knowledge the proper method to know human rights is to know human being himself. n cloning violates man’s rights due to two reasons: damage of human identity and violation of the right to be unique. Attempting to clarify the nature of human cloning, this article examines the aspects to be claimed to violate human rights and evaluates the strength of the reasons for this claim. این مقاله پس از بررسی اجمالی برخی از نظریه‌های توجیه حقوق بشر، نظریة ابتنای آن بر ارزش‌های اخلاقی موجّه را می‌پذیرد. دربارة چگونگی توجیه ارزش اخلاقی، رویکرد ارسطو که به «برهان ارگن» موسوم است، مورد بحث و بررسی قرار می‌گیرد. مؤلف با طرح این برهان می‌کوشد نشان دهد ارائه هرگونه تحلیل از هویت انسان در نگرش آدمی به حقوق خود تأثیر مستقیم خواهد گذاشت. حقوق آدمی نه فقط از ناحیة کارویژه یا فصل ممیز وی (هویت انسان تعیّن واقعی می‌گیرد، بلکه در عالم معرفت هم راه درست شناخت حقوق بشر، شناخت خود انسان است.

  17. Human Rights, Human Needs, Human Development, Human Security : Relationships between four international 'human' discourses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    D.R. Gasper (Des)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractHuman rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each

  18. Human Face as human single identity

    OpenAIRE

    Warnars, Spits

    2014-01-01

    Human face as a physical human recognition can be used as a unique identity for computer to recognize human by transforming human face with face algorithm as simple text number which can be primary key for human. Human face as single identity for human will be done by making a huge and large world centre human face database, where the human face around the world will be recorded from time to time and from generation to generation. Architecture database will be divided become human face image ...

  19. Human Rights in the Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harpham, Geoffrey

    2012-01-01

    Human rights are rapidly entering the academic curriculum, with programs appearing all over the country--including at Duke, Harvard, Northeastern, and Stanford Universities; the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Universities of Chicago, of Connecticut, of California at Berkeley, and of Minnesota; and Trinity College. Most of these…

  20. Human reliability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bubb, H.

    1992-01-01

    This book resulted from the activity of Task Force 4.2 - 'Human Reliability'. This group was established on February 27th, 1986, at the plenary meeting of the Technical Reliability Committee of VDI, within the framework of the joint committee of VDI on industrial systems technology - GIS. It is composed of representatives of industry, representatives of research institutes, of technical control boards and universities, whose job it is to study how man fits into the technical side of the world of work and to optimize this interaction. In a total of 17 sessions, information from the part of ergonomy dealing with human reliability in using technical systems at work was exchanged, and different methods for its evaluation were examined and analyzed. The outcome of this work was systematized and compiled in this book. (orig.) [de

  1. Tetrodotoxin – Distribution and Accumulation in Aquatic Organisms, and Cases of Human Intoxication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Osamu Arakawa

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Many pufferfish of the family Tetraodontidae possess a potent neurotoxin, tetrodotoxin (TTX. In marine pufferfish species, toxicity is generally high in the liver and ovary, whereas in brackish water and freshwater species, toxicity is higher in the skin. In 1964, the toxin of the California newt was identified as TTX as well, and since then TTX has been detected in a variety of other organisms. TTX is produced primarily by marine bacteria, and pufferfish accumulate TTX via the food chain that begins with these bacteria. Consequently, pufferfish become non-toxic when they are fed TTX-free diets in an environment in which the invasion of TTX-bearing organisms is completely shut off. Although some researchers claim that the TTX of amphibians is endogenous, we believe that it also has an exogenous origin, i.e., from organisms consumed as food. TTX-bearing animals are equipped with a high tolerance to TTX, and thus retain or accumulate TTX possibly as a biologic defense substance. There have been many cases of human intoxication due to the ingestion of TTX-bearing pufferfish, mainly in Japan, China, and Taiwan, and several victims have died. Several cases of TTX intoxication due to the ingestion of small gastropods, including some lethal cases, were recently reported in China and Taiwan, revealing a serious public health issue.

  2. The human taste receptor hTAS2R14 responds to a variety of different bitter compounds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Behrens, Maik; Brockhoff, Anne; Kuhn, Christina; Bufe, Bernd; Winnig, Marcel; Meyerhof, Wolfgang

    2004-01-01

    The recent advances in the functional expression of TAS2Rs in heterologous systems resulted in the identification of bitter tastants that specifically activate receptors of this family. All bitter taste receptors reported to date exhibit a pronounced selectivity for single substances or structurally related bitter compounds. In the present study we demonstrate the expression of the hTAS2R14 gene by RT-PCR analyses and in situ hybridisation in human circumvallate papillae. By functional expression in HEK-293T cells we show that hTAS2R14 displays a, so far, unique broad tuning towards a variety of structurally diverse bitter compounds, including the potent neurotoxins, (-)-α-thujone, the pharmacologically active component of absinthe, and picrotoxinin, a poisonous substance of fishberries. The observed activation of heterologously expressed hTAS2R14 by low concentrations of (-)-α-thujone and picrotoxinin suggests that the receptor is sufficiently sensitive to caution us against the ingestion of toxic amounts of these substances

  3. Human paleoneurology

    CERN Document Server

    2015-01-01

    The book presents an integrative review of paleoneurology, the study of endocranial morphology in fossil species. The main focus is on showing how computed methods can be used to support advances in evolutionary neuroanatomy, paleoanthropology and archaeology and how they have contributed to creating a completely new perspective in cognitive neuroscience. Moreover, thanks to its multidisciplinary approach, the book addresses students and researchers approaching human paleoneurology from different angles and for different purposes, such as biologists, physicians, anthropologists, archaeologists

  4. Human universe

    CERN Document Server

    Cox, Brian

    2014-01-01

    Human life is a staggeringly strange thing. On the surface of a ball of rock falling around a nuclear fireball in the blackness of a vacuum the laws of nature conspired to create a naked ape that can look up at the stars and wonder where it came from. What is a human being? Objectively, nothing of consequence. Particles of dust in an infinite arena, present for an instant in eternity. Clumps of atoms in a universe with more galaxies than people. And yet a human being is necessary for the question itself to exist, and the presence of a question in the universe - any question - is the most wonderful thing. Questions require minds, and minds bring meaning. What is meaning? I don't know, except that the universe and every pointless speck inside it means something to me. I am astonished by the existence of a single atom, and find my civilisation to be an outrageous imprint on reality. I don't understand it. Nobody does, but it makes me smile. This book asks questions about our origins, our destiny, and our place i...

  5. Tailor-made purified human platelet lysate concentrated in neurotrophins for treatment of Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Ming-Li; Wu, Joe-Wei; Gouel, Flore; Jonneaux, Aurélie; Timmerman, Kelly; Renn, Ting-Yi; Laloux, Charlotte; Chang, Hung-Ming; Lin, Liang-Tzung; Devedjian, Jean-Christophe; Devos, David; Burnouf, Thierry

    2017-10-01

    Human platelet lysates (PLs), which contain multiple neurotrophins, have been proposed for treating neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease (PD). However, current PLs suspended in plasma have high protein content and contain fibrinogen/fibrin and, following activation, also proteolytic and thrombogenic enzymes. Upon brain administration, such PLs may saturate the cerebrospinal fluid and exert neurotoxicity. We assessed whether purified PLs, concentrated in neurotrophins, protected dopaminergic neurons in PD models. Platelet concentrates were collected by apheresis and centrifuged to eliminate plasma and recover the platelets. Platelets were lysed by freeze-thaw cycles, and the 10-fold concentrated platelet pellet lysates (PPLs) were heat-treated (at 56 °C for 30 min). The heat-treated PPLs were low in total proteins, depleted in both plasma and platelet fibrinogen, and devoid of thrombogenic and proteolytic activities. They exerted very high neuroprotective activity when non-oncogenic, Lund human mesencephalic (LUHMES) cells that had differentiated into dopaminergic neurons were exposed to the MPP + neurotoxin. Heat treatment improved the neuroprotection and inactivated the neurotoxic blood-borne hepatitis C virus. PPL did not induce inflammation in BV2 microglial cells and inhibited COX-2 expression upon lipopolysaccharide exposure. Intranasal administration in mice revealed (a) diffusion of neurotrophins in the striatum and cortex, and (b) MPTP intoxication neuroprotection in the substantia nigra and striatum and the absence of neuroinflammation. These dedicated heat-treated PPLs can be a safe and valuable candidate for a therapeutic strategy for PD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. A comparative study of the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeleton in human cortical neurons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allani, Pramod K.; Sum, Tak; Bhansali, Suraj G.; Mukherjee, Suman K.; Sonee, Manisha

    2004-01-01

    Cytoskeleton disruption is a process by which oxidative stress disrupts cellular function. This study compares and contrasts the effect of oxidative stress on the three major cytoskeleton filaments, microfilaments (MFs), microtubule (MT), and vimentin in human cortical neuronal cell line (HCN2). HCN2 cells were treated with 100 μM tertiary butylhydroperoxide (t-BuOOH), a free radical generating neurotoxin for 1, 3, or 6 h. Cell viability studies demonstrated significant cell death although the morphology studies showed that there was a substantial loss in neurites of neurons treated with t-BuOOH for 6 h. Because the cytoskeleton plays a role in neurite outgrowth, the effect of oxidative stress on the cytoskeletal was studied. In neurons subjected to oxidative stress for 30 min or 1 h, there were no major changes in microfilament distribution though there was altered distribution of microtubule and vimentin filaments as compared to controls. However, loss and disruption of all the three cytoskeletal filaments was observed at later times (3 and 6 h), which was confirmed by Western Blot analysis. Further studies were done to measure the gene expression levels of actin, tubulin, and vimentin. Results indicated that the overall loss of the cytoskeletal proteins in neurons treated with free radical generating toxin might not be a direct result of the downregulation of the cytoskeletal genes. This study shows that free radical generation in human neurons leads to the disruption of the cytoskeleton, though there may be a difference in the susceptibility to oxidative stress among the individual components of the cytoskeletal filaments

  7. BDNF Increases Survival and Neuronal Differentiation of Human Neural Precursor Cells Cotransplanted with a Nanofiber Gel to the Auditory Nerve in a Rat Model of Neuronal Damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu Jiao

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Objectives. To study possible nerve regeneration of a damaged auditory nerve by the use of stem cell transplantation. Methods. We transplanted HNPCs to the rat AN trunk by the internal auditory meatus (IAM. Furthermore, we studied if addition of BDNF affects survival and phenotypic differentiation of the grafted HNPCs. A bioactive nanofiber gel (PA gel, in selected groups mixed with BDNF, was applied close to the implanted cells. Before transplantation, all rats had been deafened by a round window niche application of β-bungarotoxin. This neurotoxin causes a selective toxic destruction of the AN while keeping the hair cells intact. Results. Overall, HNPCs survived well for up to six weeks in all groups. However, transplants receiving the BDNF-containing PA gel demonstrated significantly higher numbers of HNPCs and neuronal differentiation. At six weeks, a majority of the HNPCs had migrated into the brain stem and differentiated. Differentiated human cells as well as neurites were observed in the vicinity of the cochlear nucleus. Conclusion. Our results indicate that human neural precursor cells (HNPC integration with host tissue benefits from additional brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF treatment and that these cells appear to be good candidates for further regenerative studies on the auditory nerve (AN.

  8. Introduction: Digital Humanities, Public Humanities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Christie

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available NANO: New American Notes Online: An Interdisciplinary Academic Journal for Big Ideas in a Small World. This special issue shows how both public and digital humanities research can be rendered more persuasive through engagement with cultures beyond the academy. More specifically, the aim of this special issue is to demonstrate how investments in technologies and computation are not necessarily antithetical to investments in critical theory and social justice.

  9. Human Capital, (Human) Capabilities and Higher Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Grange, L.

    2011-01-01

    In this article I initiate a debate into the (de)merits of human capital theory and human capability theory and discuss implications of the debate for higher education. Human capital theory holds that economic growth depends on investment in education and that economic growth is the basis for improving the quality of human life. Human capable…

  10. Humanizing Architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Toft, Tanya Søndergaard

    2015-01-01

    The article proposes the urban digital gallery as an opportunity to explore the relationship between ‘human’ and ‘technology,’ through the programming of media architecture. It takes a curatorial perspective when proposing an ontological shift from considering media facades as visual spectacles...... agency and a sense of being by way of dematerializing architecture. This is achieved by way of programming the symbolic to provide new emotional realizations and situations of enlightenment in the public audience. This reflects a greater potential to humanize the digital in media architecture....

  11. Humanized mouse models: Application to human diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ito, Ryoji; Takahashi, Takeshi; Ito, Mamoru

    2018-05-01

    Humanized mice are superior to rodents for preclinical evaluation of the efficacy and safety of drug candidates using human cells or tissues. During the past decade, humanized mouse technology has been greatly advanced by the establishment of novel platforms of genetically modified immunodeficient mice. Several human diseases can be recapitulated using humanized mice due to the improved engraftment and differentiation capacity of human cells or tissues. In this review, we discuss current advanced humanized mouse models that recapitulate human diseases including cancer, allergy, and graft-versus-host disease. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Human steroidogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Claus Y; Ezcurra, Diego

    2014-01-01

    In the menstrual cycle, the mid-cycle surge of gonadotropins (both luteinising hormone [LH] and follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH]) signals the initiation of the periovulatory interval, during which the follicle augments progesterone production and begins to luteinise, ultimately leading to the r......In the menstrual cycle, the mid-cycle surge of gonadotropins (both luteinising hormone [LH] and follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH]) signals the initiation of the periovulatory interval, during which the follicle augments progesterone production and begins to luteinise, ultimately leading...... reviews current knowledge of the regulation of progesterone in the human ovary during the follicular phase and highlights areas where knowledge remains limited. In this review, we provide in-depth information outlining the regulation and function of gonadotropins in the complicated area of steroidogenesis...

  13. NATO Human View Architecture and Human Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handley, Holly A. H.; Houston, Nancy P.

    2010-01-01

    The NATO Human View is a system architectural viewpoint that focuses on the human as part of a system. Its purpose is to capture the human requirements and to inform on how the human impacts the system design. The viewpoint contains seven static models that include different aspects of the human element, such as roles, tasks, constraints, training and metrics. It also includes a Human Dynamics component to perform simulations of the human system under design. One of the static models, termed Human Networks, focuses on the human-to-human communication patterns that occur as a result of ad hoc or deliberate team formation, especially teams distributed across space and time. Parameters of human teams that effect system performance can be captured in this model. Human centered aspects of networks, such as differences in operational tempo (sense of urgency), priorities (common goal), and team history (knowledge of the other team members), can be incorporated. The information captured in the Human Network static model can then be included in the Human Dynamics component so that the impact of distributed teams is represented in the simulation. As the NATO militaries transform to a more networked force, the Human View architecture is an important tool that can be used to make recommendations on the proper mix of technological innovations and human interactions.

  14. The Digital Humanities as a Humanities Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svensson, Patrik

    2012-01-01

    This article argues that the digital humanities can be seen as a humanities project in a time of significant change in the academy. The background is a number of scholarly, educational and technical challenges, the multiple epistemic traditions linked to the digital humanities, the potential reach of the field across and outside the humanities,…

  15. Managing the Human in Human Brands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fournier Susan

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available The physical and social realities, mental biases and limitations of being human differentiate human brands from others. It is their very humanness that introduces risk while generating the ability for enhanced returns. Four particular human characteristics can create imbalance or inconsistency between the person and the brand: mortality, hubris, unpredictability and social embeddedness. None of these qualities manifest in traditional non-human brands, and all of them present risks requiring active managerial attention. Rather than treating humans as brands and making humans into brands for sale in the commercial marketplace, our framework forces a focus on keeping a balance between the person and the personified object.

  16. Human cloning and human dignity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hasan Eslami

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Catholic Church and most of Muslims believe that human cloning is in contrast with human rights. They argue that applying Somatic Nuclear Transfer Technique or so-called cloning to humans is against human dignity. Their main reason is that the cloned person would be a copy or shadow of another person and lack his or her identity and uniqueness. They also argue that in the process of cloning human beings would be treated as laboratory mice. This article tries to evaluate this kind of argumentation and shows that the "human dignity" expression in the relevant writings is vague and has been used inappropriately. مسیحیان و برخی از مسلمانان استدلال می‌کنند که کاربست تکنیک شبیه‌سازی ناقض کرامت انسانی است. این دلیل خود به صورت‌های مختلفی بیان می‌شود، مانند آنکه انسان موضوع آزمایش‌های علمی قرار می‌گیرد و با او مانند حیوانات رفتار می‌شود. گاه نیز تغییر نحوة تولید مثل، مایة نقض کرامت انسانی قلمداد می‌گردد و گاه به مسئلة از بین رفتن هویت فردی اشاره می‌شود. نگارنده در دو قسمت، دیدگاه مسیحیان و مسلمانان را در این باره نقل و تحلیل کرده است و کوشیده است نشان دهد که استناد به مفهوم کرامت انسانی در این جا مبهم و ناگویاست و مخالفان کوشش دقیقی در جهت تبیین دلیل خود به عمل نیاورده‌اند.

  17. Digital Humanities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Hans Jørn

    2015-01-01

    overgangen fra trykkekultur til digital kultur. For det første problemstillingen omkring digitalisering af litterær kulturarv med fokus på kodning og tagging af teksten samt organisering i hypertekststrukturer. For det andet reorganiseringen af det digitale dokument i dataelementer og database. For det......Artiklen præsenterer først nogle generelle problemstillinger omkring Digital Humanities (DH) med det formål at undersøge dem nærmere i relation til konkrete eksempler på forskellige digitaliseringsmåder og ændringer i dokumentproduktion. I en nærmere afgrænsning vælger artiklen den tendens i DH......, der betragter DH som forbundet med "making" og "building" af digitale objekter og former. Dette kan også karakteriseres som DH som praktisk-produktiv vending. Artiklen har valgt tre typer af digitalisering. De er valgt ud fra, at de skal repræsentere forskellige måder at håndtere digitaliseringen på...

  18. Crotoxin in humans: analysis of the effects on extraocular and facial muscles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Geraldo de Barros Ribeiro

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available PURPOSE: Crotoxin is the main neurotoxin of South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. The neurotoxic action is characterized by a presynaptic blockade. The purpose of this research is to assess the ability of crotoxin to induce temporary paralysis of extraocular and facial muscles in humans. METHODS: Doses of crotoxin used ranged from 2 to 5 units (U, each unit corresponding to one LD50. We first applied 2U of crotoxin in one of the extraocular muscles of 3 amaurotic individuals to be submitted to ocular evisceration. In the second stage, we applied crotoxin in 12 extraocular muscles of 9 patients with strabismic amblyopia. In the last stage, crotoxin was used in the treatment of blepharospasm in another 3 patients. RESULTS: No patient showed any systemic side effect or change in vision or any eye structure problem after the procedure. The only local side effects observed were slight conjunctival hyperemia, which recovered spontaneously. In 2 patients there was no change in ocular deviation after 2U crotoxin application. Limitation of the muscle action was observed in 8 of the 12 applications. The change in ocular deviation after application of 2U of crotoxin (9 injections was in average 15.7 prism diopters (PD. When the dose was 4U (2 applications the change was in average 37.5 PD and a single application of 5U produced a change of 16 PD in ocular deviation. This effect lasted from 1 to 3 months. Two of the 3 patients with blepharospasm had the hemifacial spasm improved with crotoxin, which returned after 2 months. CONCLUSIONS: This study provides data suggesting that crotoxin may be a useful new therapeutic option for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm. We expect that with further studies crotoxin could be an option for many other medical areas.

  19. Crotoxin in humans: analysis of the effects on extraocular and facial muscles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribeiro, Geraldo de Barros; Almeida, Henderson Celestino de; Velarde, David Toledo

    2012-01-01

    Crotoxin is the main neurotoxin of South American rattlesnake Crotalus durissus terrificus. The neurotoxic action is characterized by a presynaptic blockade. The purpose of this research is to assess the ability of crotoxin to induce temporary paralysis of extraocular and facial muscles in humans. Doses of crotoxin used ranged from 2 to 5 units (U), each unit corresponding to one LD50. We first applied 2U of crotoxin in one of the extraocular muscles of 3 amaurotic individuals to be submitted to ocular evisceration. In the second stage, we applied crotoxin in 12 extraocular muscles of 9 patients with strabismic amblyopia. In the last stage, crotoxin was used in the treatment of blepharospasm in another 3 patients. No patient showed any systemic side effect or change in vision or any eye structure problem after the procedure. The only local side effects observed were slight conjunctival hyperemia, which recovered spontaneously. In 2 patients there was no change in ocular deviation after 2U crotoxin application. Limitation of the muscle action was observed in 8 of the 12 applications. The change in ocular deviation after application of 2U of crotoxin (9 injections) was in average 15.7 prism diopters (PD). When the dose was 4U (2 applications) the change was in average 37.5 PD and a single application of 5U produced a change of 16 PD in ocular deviation. This effect lasted from 1 to 3 months. Two of the 3 patients with blepharospasm had the hemifacial spasm improved with crotoxin, which returned after 2 months. This study provides data suggesting that crotoxin may be a useful new therapeutic option for the treatment of strabismus and blepharospasm. We expect that with further studies crotoxin could be an option for many other medical areas.

  20. Modern Human Engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeong, Byeong Yong; Lee Dong Kyeong

    2005-08-01

    These are the titles of each chapter. They are as in the following; design of human-centerdness, human machine system, information processing process, sense of human, user interface, elements of human body, vital dynamics, measurement of reaction of human body, estimation and management of working environment, mental characteristic of human, human error, group, organization and leadership, safety supervision, process analysis, time studying, work sampling, work factor and methods time measurement, introduction of muscular skeletal disease and program of preventive management.

  1. Modern Human Engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jeong, Byeong Yong; Lee Dong Kyeong

    2005-08-15

    These are the titles of each chapter. They are as in the following; design of human-centerdness, human machine system, information processing process, sense of human, user interface, elements of human body, vital dynamics, measurement of reaction of human body, estimation and management of working environment, mental characteristic of human, human error, group, organization and leadership, safety supervision, process analysis, time studying, work sampling, work factor and methods time measurement, introduction of muscular skeletal disease and program of preventive management.

  2. HUMANISM OF ANTROPOCENTRISM AND ANTROPOCENTRISM WITHOUT HUMANISM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. S. Shilovskaya

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Article is devoted to the distinction of humanism and anthropocentrism which is based on the parity of the person and being. Genetic communication of humanism and anthropocentrism and their historical break comes to light.

  3. Superintelligence, Humans, and War

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-04-13

    Recent studies of the human mind debunk the myth that humans only use 10-20 percent of the human mind. A healthy human mind uses up to 90 percent...way. They will eat what is in front of them to satiate their appetite not knowing if there is anymore food for the future. Humans can predict

  4. NMR Identification and MS Conformation of the Scopolamine Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Team for chemical weapons screening . After testing negative for the suspected chemical weapons and their degradation products, the sample was analyzed...Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy. Phytochem . Anal. 1998, 9, 168-70. 42. Glaser, R.; Shiftan, D.; Drouin, M. Conformational

  5. Rational Design of Therapeutic and Diagnostic Against Botulinum Neurotoxin

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-12-01

    induced fluorescence Da, kDa Dalton, Kilodalton DMPS 2, 3-dimercaptopropanesulfonate DMSO Dimethylsulfoxide Dnp 2, 4-dinitrophenol DRDC Defence...high performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (HPLC-ESI-MS) experiment. H1R3 was dissolved in 10% DMSO / 0.1...separation of peptides. A linear solvent gradient was used in the HPLC separation at an initial condition of 5% acetonitrile in 0.1% TFA/water, up to

  6. Use of Botulinum Neurotoxin for the Treatment of Movement Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... spasmodic dysphonia, or ABSD). Does BoNT control motor tics? Tics associated with Tourette syndrome are relatively brief, intermittent movements (also known as motor tics) or sounds (also known as vocal or phonic ...

  7. Primary Cell Culture for Evaluation of Botulinum Neurotoxin Antagonists

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Sheridan, Robert E; Smith, Theresa J; Adler, Michael

    2005-01-01

    ... + in the presence of 2 mM Ca2+. Release of 3 [H]-glycine was found to be inhibited by BoNT serotypes A, B and E with similar potency ratios to those observed in the acutely isolated mouse diaphragm muscle...

  8. Host Response to Botulinum Neurotoxins for Developing Diagnostics and Antidotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-09-18

    Toxin: Chemistry , Pharmacology, Toxicity, and Immunology. Muscle and Nerve Suppl. (6), S1-S23. Cai, S., Sarkar, H. K., and Singh, B. R., 1999...subsequent refolding by a multichaperone network. J. Biol. Chem. 273, 11032-11037. Vickery, L. E., Silberg , J. J., and Ta, D. T. (1997). Hsc66

  9. Ciguatera: the detection of neurotoxins in carnivorous reef fish from ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Two barracuda and one snapper tested positive for a sodium-channel activator, i.e. presumptive ciguatoxin, in the N2a assay. LC/MS analyses showed that only these three samples contained high-intensity peaks, with masses of 1 222 amu and 1 279 amu. These results represent the first analytical report indicating the ...

  10. Treatment of Chronic Migraine with Focus on Botulinum Neurotoxins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara M. Schaefer

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, and contributes to disability and large healthcare costs in the United States and the world. The treatment of migraine until recently has focused on medications, both abortive and prophylactic, but treatment of chronic migraine has been revolutionized with the introduction of botulinum toxin injection therapy. In this review, we explore the current understanding of migraine pathophysiology, and the evolution of the use of botulinum toxin therapy including proposed pathophysiological mechanisms through animal data. We also discuss the similarities and differences between three injection techniques.

  11. The golden triangle of human dignity: human security, human development and human rights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gaay Fortman, B. de

    2004-01-01

    The success or failure of processes of democratization cannot be detached from processes of development related to the aspirations of people at the grassroots. Human rights, in a more theoretical terminology, require human development in order to enhance human security.

  12. Human factors in training

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dutton, J.W.; Brown, W.R.

    1981-01-01

    The Human Factors concept is a focused effort directed at those activities which require human involvement. Training is, by its nature, an activity totally dependent on the Human Factor. This paper identifies several concerns significant to training situations and discusses how Human Factor awareness can increase the quality of learning. Psychology in the training arena is applied Human Factors. Training is a method of communication represented by sender, medium, and receiver. Two-thirds of this communications model involves the human element directly

  13. Human-machine interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forsythe, J Chris [Sandia Park, NM; Xavier, Patrick G [Albuquerque, NM; Abbott, Robert G [Albuquerque, NM; Brannon, Nathan G [Albuquerque, NM; Bernard, Michael L [Tijeras, NM; Speed, Ann E [Albuquerque, NM

    2009-04-28

    Digital technology utilizing a cognitive model based on human naturalistic decision-making processes, including pattern recognition and episodic memory, can reduce the dependency of human-machine interactions on the abilities of a human user and can enable a machine to more closely emulate human-like responses. Such a cognitive model can enable digital technology to use cognitive capacities fundamental to human-like communication and cooperation to interact with humans.

  14. Resveratrol induces cell cycle arrest and apoptosis in human eosinophils from asthmatic individuals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xin; Wang, Jing; Xia, Yu; Simayi, Mihereguli; Ikramullah, Syed; He, Yuanbing; Cui, Shihong; Li, Shuang; Wushouer, Qimanguli

    2016-12-01

    Eosinophils exert a number of inflammatory effects through the degranulation and release of intracellular mediators, and are considered to be key effector cells in allergic disorders, including asthma. In order to investigate the regulatory effects of the natural polyphenol, resveratrol, on eosinophils derived from asthmatic individuals, the cell counting Kit‑8 assay and flow cytometry analysis were used to determine cell proliferation and cell cycle progression in these cells, respectively. Cellular apoptosis was detected using annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate/propidium iodide double‑staining. The protein expression levels of p53, p21, cyclin‑dependent kinase 2 (CDK2), cyclin A, cyclin E, Bim, B‑cell lymphoma (Bcl)‑2 and Bcl‑2‑associated X protein (Bax) were measured by western blot analysis following resveratrol treatment. The results indicated that resveratrol effectively suppressed the proliferation of eosinophils from asthmatic patients in a concentration‑ and time‑dependent manner. In addition, resveratrol was observed to arrest cell cycle progression in G1/S phase by increasing the protein expression levels of p53 and p21, and concurrently reducing the protein expression levels of CDK2, cyclin A and cyclin E. Furthermore, resveratrol treatment significantly induced apoptosis in eosinophils, likely through the upregulation of Bim and Bax protein expression levels and the downregulation of Bcl‑2 protein expression. These findings suggested that resveratrol may be a potential agent for the treatment of asthma by decreasing the number of eosinophils.

  15. Transport and Deposition of Welding Fume Agglomerates in a Realistic Human Nasal Airway.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Lin; Inthavong, Kiao; Lidén, Göran; Shang, Yidan; Tu, Jiyuan

    2016-07-01

    Welding fume is a complex mixture containing ultra-fine particles in the nanometer range. Rather than being in the form of a singular sphere, due to the high particle concentration, welding fume particles agglomerate into long straight chains, branches, or other forms of compact shapes. Understanding the transport and deposition of these nano-agglomerates in human respiratory systems is of great interest as welding fumes are a known health hazard. The neurotoxin manganese (Mn) is a common element in welding fumes. Particulate Mn, either as soluble salts or oxides, that has deposited on the olfactory mucosa in human nasal airway is transported along the olfactory nerve to the olfactory bulb within the brain. If this Mn is further transported to the basal ganglia of the brain, it could accumulate at the part of the brain that is the focal point of its neurotoxicity. Accounting for various dynamic shape factors due to particle agglomeration, the current computational study is focused on the exposure route, the deposition pattern, and the deposition efficiency of the inhaled welding fume particles in a realistic human nasal cavity. Particular attention is given to the deposition pattern and deposition efficiency of inhaled welding fume agglomerates in the nasal olfactory region. For particles in the nanoscale, molecular diffusion is the dominant transport mechanism. Therefore, Brownian diffusion, hydrodynamic drag, Saffman lift force, and gravitational force are included in the model study. The deposition efficiencies for single spherical particles, two kinds of agglomerates of primary particles, two-dimensional planar and straight chains, are investigated for a range of primary particle sizes and a range of number of primary particles per agglomerate. A small fraction of the inhaled welding fume agglomerates is deposited on the olfactory mucosa, approximately in the range 0.1-1%, and depends on particle size and morphology. The strong size dependence of the deposition

  16. The Human/Machine Humanities: A Proposal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ollivier Dyens

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available What does it mean to be human in the 21st century? The pull of engineering on every aspect of our lives, the impact of machines on how we represent ourselves, the influence of computers on our understanding of free-will, individuality and species, and the effect of microorganisms on our behaviour are so great that one cannot discourse on humanity and humanities without considering their entanglement with technology and with the multiple new dimensions of reality that it opens up. The future of humanities should take into account AI, bacteria, software, viruses (both organic and inorganic, hardware, machine language, parasites, big data, monitors, pixels, swarms systems and the Internet. One cannot think of humanity and humanities as distinct from technology anymore.

  17. Special Section: Human Rights

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frydenlund, Knut; And Others

    1978-01-01

    Eleven articles examine human rights in Europe. Topics include unemployment, human rights legislation, role of the Council of Europe in promoting human rights, labor unions, migrant workers, human dignity in industralized societies, and international violence. Journal available from Council of Europe, Directorate of Press and Information, 67006…

  18. Human factor reliability program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knoblochova, L.

    2017-01-01

    The human factor's reliability program was at Slovenske elektrarne, a.s. (SE) nuclear power plants. introduced as one of the components Initiatives of Excellent Performance in 2011. The initiative's goal was to increase the reliability of both people and facilities, in response to 3 major areas of improvement - Need for improvement of the results, Troubleshooting support, Supporting the achievement of the company's goals. The human agent's reliability program is in practice included: - Tools to prevent human error; - Managerial observation and coaching; - Human factor analysis; -Quick information about the event with a human agent; -Human reliability timeline and performance indicators; - Basic, periodic and extraordinary training in human factor reliability(authors)

  19. Economics of human trafficking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wheaton, Elizabeth M; Schauer, Edward J; Galli, Thomas V

    2010-01-01

    Because freedom of choice and economic gain are at the heart of productivity, human trafficking impedes national and international economic growth. Within the next 10 years, crime experts expect human trafficking to surpass drug and arms trafficking in its incidence, cost to human well-being, and profitability to criminals (Schauer and Wheaton, 2006: 164-165). The loss of agency from human trafficking as well as from modern slavery is the result of human vulnerability (Bales, 2000: 15). As people become vulnerable to exploitation and businesses continually seek the lowest-cost labour sources, trafficking human beings generates profit and a market for human trafficking is created. This paper presents an economic model of human trafficking that encompasses all known economic factors that affect human trafficking both across and within national borders. We envision human trafficking as a monopolistically competitive industry in which traffickers act as intermediaries between vulnerable individuals and employers by supplying differentiated products to employers. In the human trafficking market, the consumers are employers of trafficked labour and the products are human beings. Using a rational-choice framework of human trafficking we explain the social situations that shape relocation and working decisions of vulnerable populations leading to human trafficking, the impetus for being a trafficker, and the decisions by employers of trafficked individuals. The goal of this paper is to provide a common ground upon which policymakers and researchers can collaborate to decrease the incidence of trafficking in humans.

  20. Boundaries of Humanities: Writing Medical Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolton, Gillie

    2008-01-01

    Literature and medicine is a discipline within medical humanities, which challenges medicine to reconfigure its scientific model to become interdisciplinary, and be disciplined by arts and humanities as well as science. The psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical are inextricably linked in people, inevitably entailing provisionality,…

  1. Human algorithmic stability and human Rademacher complexity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vahdat, Mehrnoosh; Oneto, L.; Ghio, A; Anguita, D.; Funk, M.; Rauterberg, G.W.M.

    2015-01-01

    In Machine Learning (ML), the learning process of an algo- rithm given a set of evidences is studied via complexity measures. The way towards using ML complexity measures in the Human Learning (HL) domain has been paved by a previous study, which introduced Human Rademacher Complexity (HRC): in this

  2. Human errors and mistakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wahlstroem, B.

    1993-01-01

    Human errors have a major contribution to the risks for industrial accidents. Accidents have provided important lesson making it possible to build safer systems. In avoiding human errors it is necessary to adapt the systems to their operators. The complexity of modern industrial systems is however increasing the danger of system accidents. Models of the human operator have been proposed, but the models are not able to give accurate predictions of human performance. Human errors can never be eliminated, but their frequency can be decreased by systematic efforts. The paper gives a brief summary of research in human error and it concludes with suggestions for further work. (orig.)

  3. Defense Human Resources Activity > PERSEREC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skip to main content (Press Enter). Toggle navigation Defense Human Resources Activity Search Search Defense Human Resources Activity: Search Search Defense Human Resources Activity: Search Defense Human Resources Activity U.S. Department of Defense Defense Human Resources Activity Overview

  4. Snake venomics of monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) and investigation of human IgG response against venom toxins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Laustsen, Andreas Hougaard; Gutiérrez, José María; Lohse, Brian

    2015-01-01

    /cardiotoxins. IgGs isolated from a person who had repeatedly self-immunized with a variety of snake venoms were immunoprofiled by ELISA against all venom fractions. Stronger responses against larger toxins, but lower against the most critical α-neurotoxins were obtained. As expected, no neutralization potential...

  5. Evaluating human genetic diversity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    This book assesses the scientific value and merit of research on human genetic differences--including a collection of DNA samples that represents the whole of human genetic diversity--and the ethical...

  6. Human Exposure and Health

    Science.gov (United States)

    The ROE is divided into 5 themes: Air, Water, Land, Human Exposure and Health and Ecological Condition. From these themes, the report indicators address fundamental questions that the ROE attempts to answer. For human health there are 3 questions.

  7. ECONOMICS OF HUMAN RESOURCES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IOANA - JULIETA JOSAN

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to analyze human resources in terms of quantitative and qualitative side with special focus on the human capital accumulation influence. The paper examines the human resources trough human capital accumulation in terms of modern theory of human resources, educational capital, health, unemployment and migration. The findings presented in this work are based on theoretical economy publications and data collected from research materials. Sources of information include: documents from organizations - the EUROSTAT, INSSE - studies from publications, books, periodicals, and the Internet. The paper describes and analyzes human resources characteristics, human resource capacities, social and economic benefits of human capital accumulation based on economy, and the government plans and policies on health, education and labor market.

  8. Human bites (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Human bites present a high risk of infection. Besides the bacteria which can cause infection, there is ... the wound extends below the skin. Anytime a human bite has broken the skin, seek medical attention.

  9. HPV (Human Papillomavirus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Consumers Consumer Information by Audience For Women HPV (human papillomavirus) Share Tweet Linkedin Pin it More sharing ... Español In Chamorro In Urdu In Vietnamese HPV (human papillomavirus) is a sexually transmitted virus. It is ...

  10. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Why get vaccinated?HPV vaccine prevents infection with human papillomavirus (HPV) types that are associated with cause ... at http://www.cdc.gov/hpv. HPV Vaccine (Human Papillomavirus) Information Statement. U.S. Department of Health and ...

  11. Human Parainfluenza Viruses

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search The CDC Human Parainfluenza Viruses (HPIVs) Note: Javascript is disabled or ... CDC.gov . Recommend on Facebook Tweet Share Compartir Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIVs) commonly cause respiratory illnesses in ...

  12. Human Use Index (Future)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Human land uses may have major impacts on ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, habitat, air and water quality. The human use index (also known as U-index) is the...

  13. Human Use Index

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — Human land uses may have major impacts on ecosystems, affecting biodiversity, habitat, air and water quality. The human use index (also known as U-index) is the...

  14. Human papillomavirus molecular biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harden, Mallory E; Munger, Karl

    Human papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses with a tropism for squamous epithelia. A unique aspect of human papillomavirus molecular biology involves dependence on the differentiation status of the host epithelial cell to complete the viral lifecycle. A small group of these viruses are the etiologic agents of several types of human cancers, including oral and anogenital tract carcinomas. This review focuses on the basic molecular biology of human papillomaviruses. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Human Computer Music Performance

    OpenAIRE

    Dannenberg, Roger B.

    2012-01-01

    Human Computer Music Performance (HCMP) is the study of music performance by live human performers and real-time computer-based performers. One goal of HCMP is to create a highly autonomous artificial performer that can fill the role of a human, especially in a popular music setting. This will require advances in automated music listening and understanding, new representations for music, techniques for music synchronization, real-time human-computer communication, music generation, sound synt...

  16. Rapid Detection of Clostridium botulinum Toxins A, B, E, and F in Clinical Samples, Selected Food Matrices, and Buffer Using Paramagnetic Bead-Based Electrochemiluminescence Detection

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rivera, Victor R; Gamez, Frank J; Keener, William K; White, Jill A; Poli, Mark A

    2006-01-01

    Sensitive and specific electrochemiluminescence (ECL) assays were used to detect Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins serotypes A, B, E, and F in undiluted human serum, undiluted human urine, assay buffer, and selected food matrices...

  17. Humanities Review Journal

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Humanities Review Journal is published in June and December by Humanities Research Forum. The Journal publishes original, well-researched papers, review essays, interviews, resume, and commentaries, which offer new insights into the various disciplines in the Humanities. The focus is on issues about Africa.

  18. Humanity at the Edge

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svendsen, Mette N.; Gjødsbøl, Iben M.; Dam, Mie S.

    2017-01-01

    At the heart of anthropology and the social sciences lies a notion of human existence according to which humans and animals share the basic need for food, but only humans have the capacity for morality. Based on fieldwork in a pig laboratory, a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and a dementia ...

  19. Human Document Project

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Vries, Jeroen; Abelmann, Leon; Manz, A; Elwenspoek, Michael Curt

    2012-01-01

    “The Human Document Project‿ is a project which tries to answer all of the questions related to preserving information about the human race for tens of generations of humans to come or maybe even for a future intelligence which can emerge in the coming thousands of years. This document mainly

  20. Esprit: A Humanities Magazine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, Donald G.; Capella, Barry John

    In March 1984, the first issue of "Esprit," a semi-annual humanities magazine for the 56 two-year colleges in New York State, was published. The magazine seeks to confront the apparent decline of student interest in the humanities, community doubts about the relevance of the humanities, and the seeming indifference to the special truths…

  1. A Human Rights Glossary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flowers, Nancy

    1998-01-01

    Presents a human rights glossary that includes definitions of basic terms, treaties, charters, and groups/organizations that have been featured in previous articles in this edition of "Update on Law-Related Education"; the human rights terms have been compiled as part of the celebration of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights…

  2. Has Human Evolution Stopped?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alan R. Templeton

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available It has been argued that human evolution has stopped because humans now adapt to their environment via cultural evolution and not biological evolution. However, all organisms adapt to their environment, and humans are no exception. Culture defines much of the human environment, so cultural evolution has actually led to adaptive evolution in humans. Examples are given to illustrate the rapid pace of adaptive evolution in response to cultural innovations. These adaptive responses have important implications for infectious diseases, Mendelian genetic diseases, and systemic diseases in current human populations. Moreover, evolution proceeds by mechanisms other than natural selection. The recent growth in human population size has greatly increased the reservoir of mutational variants in the human gene pool, thereby enhancing the potential for human evolution. The increase in human population size coupled with our increased capacity to move across the globe has induced a rapid and ongoing evolutionary shift in how genetic variation is distributed within and among local human populations. In particular, genetic differences between human populations are rapidly diminishing and individual heterozygosity is increasing, with beneficial health effects. Finally, even when cultural evolution eliminates selection on a trait, the trait can still evolve due to natural selection on other traits. Our traits are not isolated, independent units, but rather are integrated into a functional whole, so selection on one trait can cause evolution to occur on another trait, sometimes with mildly maladaptive consequences.

  3. Human Machine Learning Symbiosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walsh, Kenneth R.; Hoque, Md Tamjidul; Williams, Kim H.

    2017-01-01

    Human Machine Learning Symbiosis is a cooperative system where both the human learner and the machine learner learn from each other to create an effective and efficient learning environment adapted to the needs of the human learner. Such a system can be used in online learning modules so that the modules adapt to each learner's learning state both…

  4. Skin and the non-human human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rösing, Lilian Munk

    2013-01-01

    The article puts forward an aesthetic and psychoanalytic analysis of Titian's painting, The Flaying of Marsyas, arguing that the painting is a reflection on the human subject as a being constituted by skin and by a core of non-humanity. The analysis is partly an answer to Melanie Hart's (2007) ar...... of the 'Muselmann', and Anton Ehrenzweig's psychoanalytic theory of artistic creation. Whereas Hart is focusing on form and colour, I also turn my attention towards the texture of the painting....

  5. Universe, human immortality and future human evaluation

    CERN Document Server

    Bolonkin, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    This book debates the universe, the development of new technologies in the 21st century and the future of the human race. Dr Bolonkin shows that a human soul is only the information in a person's head. He offers a new unique method for re-writing the main brain information in chips without any damage to the human brain. This is the scientific prediction of the non-biological (electronic) civilization and immortality of the human being. Such a prognosis is predicated upon a new law, discovered by the author, for the development of complex systems. According to this law, every self-copying system tends to be more complex than the previous system, provided that all external conditions remain the same. The consequences are disastrous: humanity will be replaced by a new civilization created by intellectual robots (which Dr Bolonkin refers to as "E-humans" and "E-beings"). These creatures, whose intellectual and mechanical abilities will far exceed those of man, will require neither food nor oxygen to sustain their...

  6. Modeling Human Leukemia Immunotherapy in Humanized Mice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinxing Xia

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The currently available human tumor xenograft models permit modeling of human cancers in vivo, but in immunocompromised hosts. Here we report a humanized mouse (hu-mouse model made by transplantation of human fetal thymic tissue plus hematopoietic stem cells transduced with a leukemia-associated fusion gene MLL-AF9. In addition to normal human lymphohematopoietic reconstitution as seen in non-leukemic hu-mice, these hu-mice showed spontaneous development of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL, which was transplantable to secondary recipients with an autologous human immune system. Using this model, we show that lymphopenia markedly improves the antitumor efficacy of recipient leukocyte infusion (RLI, a GVHD-free immunotherapy that induces antitumor responses in association with rejection of donor chimerism in mixed allogeneic chimeras. Our data demonstrate the potential of this leukemic hu-mouse model in modeling leukemia immunotherapy, and suggest that RLI may offer a safe treatment option for leukemia patients with severe lymphopenia.

  7. Rethinking medical humanities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiapperino, Luca; Boniolo, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

    This paper questions different conceptions of Medical Humanities in order to provide a clearer understanding of what they are and why they matter. Building upon former attempts, we defend a conception of Medical Humanities as a humanistic problem-based approach to medicine aiming at influencing its nature and practice. In particular, we discuss three main conceptual issues regarding the overall nature of this discipline: (i) a problem-driven approach to Medical Humanities; (ii) the need for an integration of Medical Humanities into medicine; (iii) the methodological requirements that could render Medical Humanities an effective framework for medical decision-making.

  8. [Human factors in medicine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazarovici, M; Trentzsch, H; Prückner, S

    2017-01-01

    The concept of human factors is commonly used in the context of patient safety and medical errors, all too often ambiguously. In actual fact, the term comprises a wide range of meanings from human-machine interfaces through human performance and limitations up to the point of working process design; however, human factors prevail as a substantial cause of error in complex systems. This article presents the full range of the term human factors from the (emergency) medical perspective. Based on the so-called Swiss cheese model by Reason, we explain the different types of error, what promotes their emergence and on which level of the model error prevention can be initiated.

  9. Integrated Environmental Modelling: Human decisions, human challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glynn, Pierre D.

    2015-01-01

    Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) is an invaluable tool for understanding the complex, dynamic ecosystems that house our natural resources and control our environments. Human behaviour affects the ways in which the science of IEM is assembled and used for meaningful societal applications. In particular, human biases and heuristics reflect adaptation and experiential learning to issues with frequent, sharply distinguished, feedbacks. Unfortunately, human behaviour is not adapted to the more diffusely experienced problems that IEM typically seeks to address. Twelve biases are identified that affect IEM (and science in general). These biases are supported by personal observations and by the findings of behavioural scientists. A process for critical analysis is proposed that addresses some human challenges of IEM and solicits explicit description of (1) represented processes and information, (2) unrepresented processes and information, and (3) accounting for, and cognizance of, potential human biases. Several other suggestions are also made that generally complement maintaining attitudes of watchful humility, open-mindedness, honesty and transparent accountability. These suggestions include (1) creating a new area of study in the behavioural biogeosciences, (2) using structured processes for engaging the modelling and stakeholder communities in IEM, and (3) using ‘red teams’ to increase resilience of IEM constructs and use.

  10. Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luciana Helena Antoniassi da Silva

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available The human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV and the human metapneumovírus (hMPV are main etiological agents of acute respiratory infections (ARI. The ARI is an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide.  hRSV and hMPV are members of the Paramyxoviridae. They are enveloped, non-segmented viruses, with negative-sense single stranded genomes. Respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV is the best characterized agent viral of this group, associated with respiratory diseases in lower respiratory tract. Recently, a new human pathogen belonging to the subfamily Pneumovirinae was identified, the human metapneumovirus (hMPV, which is structurally similar to the hRSV, in genomic organization, viral structure, antigenicity and clinical symptoms.  The subfamily Pneumovirinae contains two genera: genus Pneumovirus contains hRSV, the bovine (bRSV, as well as the ovine and caprine respiratory syncytial virus and pneumonia virus of mice, the second genus Metapneumovirus, consists of avian metapneumovirus (aMPV and human metapneumovirus (hMPV. In this work, we present a brief narrative review of the literature on important aspects of the biology, epidemiology and clinical manifestations of infections by two respiratory viruses.

  11. Bursty human dynamics

    CERN Document Server

    Karsai, Márton; Kaski, Kimmo

    2018-01-01

    This book provides a comprehensive overview on emergent bursty patterns in the dynamics of human behaviour. It presents common and alternative understanding of the investigated phenomena, and points out open questions worthy of further investigations. The book is structured as follows. In the introduction the authors discuss the motivation of the field, describe bursty phenomena in case of human behaviour, and relate it to other disciplines. The second chapter addresses the measures commonly used to characterise heterogeneous signals, bursty human dynamics, temporal paths, and correlated behaviour. These definitions are first introduced to set the basis for the discussion of the third chapter about the observations of bursty human patterns in the dynamics of individuals, dyadic interactions, and collective behaviour. The subsequent fourth chapter discusses the models of bursty human dynamics. Various mechanisms have been proposed about the source of the heterogeneities in human dynamics, which leads to the in...

  12. The Human Cell Atlas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regev, Aviv; Teichmann, Sarah A; Lander, Eric S; Amit, Ido; Benoist, Christophe; Birney, Ewan; Bodenmiller, Bernd; Campbell, Peter; Carninci, Piero; Clatworthy, Menna; Clevers, Hans; Deplancke, Bart; Dunham, Ian; Eberwine, James; Eils, Roland; Enard, Wolfgang; Farmer, Andrew; Fugger, Lars; Göttgens, Berthold; Hacohen, Nir; Haniffa, Muzlifah; Hemberg, Martin; Kim, Seung; Klenerman, Paul; Kriegstein, Arnold; Lein, Ed; Linnarsson, Sten; Lundberg, Emma; Lundeberg, Joakim; Majumder, Partha; Marioni, John C; Merad, Miriam; Mhlanga, Musa; Nawijn, Martijn; Netea, Mihai; Nolan, Garry; Pe'er, Dana; Phillipakis, Anthony; Ponting, Chris P; Quake, Stephen; Reik, Wolf; Rozenblatt-Rosen, Orit; Sanes, Joshua; Satija, Rahul; Schumacher, Ton N; Shalek, Alex; Shapiro, Ehud; Sharma, Padmanee; Shin, Jay W; Stegle, Oliver; Stratton, Michael; Stubbington, Michael J T; Theis, Fabian J; Uhlen, Matthias; van Oudenaarden, Alexander; Wagner, Allon; Watt, Fiona; Weissman, Jonathan; Wold, Barbara; Xavier, Ramnik; Yosef, Nir

    2017-12-05

    The recent advent of methods for high-throughput single-cell molecular profiling has catalyzed a growing sense in the scientific community that the time is ripe to complete the 150-year-old effort to identify all cell types in the human body. The Human Cell Atlas Project is an international collaborative effort that aims to define all human cell types in terms of distinctive molecular profiles (such as gene expression profiles) and to connect this information with classical cellular descriptions (such as location and morphology). An open comprehensive reference map of the molecular state of cells in healthy human tissues would propel the systematic study of physiological states, developmental trajectories, regulatory circuitry and interactions of cells, and also provide a framework for understanding cellular dysregulation in human disease. Here we describe the idea, its potential utility, early proofs-of-concept, and some design considerations for the Human Cell Atlas, including a commitment to open data, code, and community.

  13. Managing human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bishop, J.; LaRhette, R.

    1988-01-01

    Evaluating human error or human performance problems and correcting the root causes can help preclude recurrence. The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), working with several members and participant utilities in an extended pilot program, has developed a nonpunitive program designed to identify, evaluate, and correct situations that cause human performance errors. The program is called the Human Performance Evaluation System (HPES). Its primary goal is to improve human reliability in overall nuclear plant operations by reducing human error through correction of the conditions that cause the errors. Workers at participating nuclear utilities are encouraged to report their errors and a specially trained plant coordinator investigates and recommends actions to correct the root causes of these errors

  14. Developing human technology curriculum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teija Vainio

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available During the past ten years expertise in human-computer interaction has shifted from humans interacting with desktop computers to individual human beings or groups of human beings interacting with embedded or mobile technology. Thus, humans are not only interacting with computers but with technology. Obviously, this shift should be reflected in how we educate human-technology interaction (HTI experts today and in the future. We tackle this educational challenge first by analysing current Master’s-level education in collaboration with two universities and second, discussing postgraduate education in the international context. As a result, we identified core studies that should be included in the HTI curriculum. Furthermore, we discuss some practical challenges and new directions for international HTI education.

  15. Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus

    OpenAIRE

    Luciana Helena Antoniassi da Silva; Fernando Rosado Spilki; Adriana Gut Lopes Riccetto; Emilio Elias Baracat; Clarice Weis Arns

    2009-01-01

    The human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) and the human metapneumovírus (hMPV) are main etiological agents of acute respiratory infections (ARI). The ARI is an important cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide.  hRSV and hMPV are members of the Paramyxoviridae. They are enveloped, non-segmented viruses, with negative-sense single stranded genomes. Respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is the best characterized agent viral of this group, associated with respiratory diseases in...

  16. Human intrusion: New ideas?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cooper, J.R.

    2002-01-01

    Inadvertent human intrusion has been an issue for the disposal of solid radioactive waste for many years. This paper discusses proposals for an approach for evaluating the radiological significance of human intrusion as put forward by ICRP with contribution from work at IAEA. The approach focuses on the consequences of the intrusion. Protective actions could, however, include steps to reduce the probability of human intrusion as well as the consequences. (author)

  17. Human reliability analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dougherty, E.M.; Fragola, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    The authors present a treatment of human reliability analysis incorporating an introduction to probabilistic risk assessment for nuclear power generating stations. They treat the subject according to the framework established for general systems theory. Draws upon reliability analysis, psychology, human factors engineering, and statistics, integrating elements of these fields within a systems framework. Provides a history of human reliability analysis, and includes examples of the application of the systems approach

  18. The human genome project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Worton, R.

    1996-01-01

    The Human Genome Project is a massive international research project, costing 3 to 5 billion dollars and expected to take 15 years, which will identify the all the genes in the human genome - i.e. the complete sequence of bases in human DNA. The prize will be the ability to identify genes causing or predisposing to disease, and in some cases the development of gene therapy, but this new knowledge will raise important ethical issues

  19. Modern Human Capital Management

    OpenAIRE

    Feldberger, Madita

    2008-01-01

    Title: Modern Human Capital Management Seminar date: 30th of May 2008 Course: Master thesis in Business Administration, 15 ECTS Authors: Madita Feldberger Supervisor: Lars Svensson Keywords: Human capital, SWOT Analysis, Strategic Map, Balanced Scorecard Research Problem: Despite of the success of Human Capital Management (HCM) in research it did not arrive yet in the HR departments of many companies. Numerous firms even have problems to set their strategic goals with focus on HR. The HR Bala...

  20. Options for human intrusion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bauser, M.; Williams, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper addresses options for dealing with human intrusion in terms of performance requirements and repository siting and design requirements. Options are presented, along with the advantages and disadvantages of certain approaches. At the conclusion, a conceptual approach is offered emphasizing both the minimization of subjective judgements concerning future human activity, and specification of repository requirements to minimize the likelihood of human intrusion and any resulting, harmful effects should intrusion occur

  1. Human Engineering Procedures Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1981-09-01

    Research Laboratory AFETR Air Force Eastern Test Range AFFTC Air Force Flight Test Center AFHRL Air Force Human Resources Laboratory AFR Air Force...performance requirements through the most effective use of man’s performance capability. 13 Human Engineering is one of five elements in the Human...applied judiciously and tailored to fit * the program or program phase and the acquisition strategy to achieve cost effective acquisition and life cycle

  2. Human babesiosis: Recent discoveries

    OpenAIRE

    Mitrović Sanja M.; Kranjčić-Zec Ivana F.; Arsić-Arsenijević Valentina S.; Džamić Aleksandar M.; Radonjić Ivana V.

    2004-01-01

    Introduction Babesiosis is caused by intraerythrocytic parasites of the genus Babesia, which is a common animal infection worldwide. This protozoa requires both a competent vertebrate and a nonvertebrate host (Ixodes sp. etc.) to maintain the transmission cycle. Human babesiosis Human babesiosis is predominantly caused by Babesia microti (rodent-borne piroplasm, an emerging zoonosis in humans in North America) and by Babesia divergens (bovine pathogen, in Europe). Occasionally, infection in A...

  3. Dogs catch human yawns

    OpenAIRE

    Joly-Mascheroni, Ramiro M; Senju, Atsushi; Shepherd, Alex J

    2008-01-01

    This study is the first to demonstrate that human yawns are possibly contagious to domestic dogs (Canis familiaris). Twenty-nine dogs observed a human yawning or making control mouth movements. Twenty-one dogs yawned when they observed a human yawning, but control mouth movements did not elicit yawning from any of them. The presence of contagious yawning in dogs suggests that this phenomenon is not specific to primate species and may indicate that dogs possess the capacity for a rudimentary f...

  4. Effects of excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission on motor patterns of human sigmoid colon in vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulí, M; Martínez, E; Gallego, D; Opazo, A; Espín, F; Martí-Gallostra, M; Jiménez, M; Clavé, P

    2008-01-01

    Background and purpose: To characterize the in vitro motor patterns and the neurotransmitters released by enteric motor neurons (EMNs) in the human sigmoid colon. Experimental approach: Sigmoid circular strips were studied in organ baths. EMNs were stimulated by electrical field stimulation (EFS) and through nicotinic ACh receptors. Key results: Strips developed weak spontaneous rhythmic contractions (3.67±0.49 g, 2.54±0.15 min) unaffected by the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin (TTX; 1 μM). EFS induced strong contractions during (on, 56%) or after electrical stimulus (off, 44%), both abolished by TTX. Nicotine (1–100 μM) inhibited spontaneous contractions. Latency of off-contractions and nicotine responses were reduced by NG-nitro-L-arginine (1 mM) and blocked after further addition of apamin (1 μM) or the P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS 2179 (10 μM) and were unaffected by the P2X antagonist NF279 (10 μM) or α-chymotrypsin (10 U mL−1). Amplitude of on- and off-contractions was reduced by atropine (1 μM) and the selective NK2 receptor antagonist Bz-Ala-Ala-D-Trp-Phe-D-Pro-Pro-Nle-NH2 (1 μM). MRS 2179 reduced the amplitude of EFS on- and off-contractions without altering direct muscular contractions induced by ACh (1 nM–1 mM) or substance P (1 nM–10 μM). Conclusions and implications: Latency of EFS-induced off-contractions and inhibition of spontaneous motility by nicotine are caused by stimulation of inhibitory EMNs coreleasing NO and a purine acting at muscular P2Y1 receptors through apamin-sensitive K+ channels. EFS-induced on- and off-contractions are caused by stimulation of excitatory EMNs coreleasing ACh and tachykinins acting on muscular muscarinic and NK2 receptors. Prejunctional P2Y1 receptors might modulate the activity of excitatory EMNs. P2Y1 and NK2 receptors might be therapeutic targets for colonic motor disorders. PMID:18846038

  5. Human Performance Research Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — Biochemistry:Improvements in energy metabolism, muscular strength and endurance capacity have a basis in biochemical and molecular adaptations within the human body....

  6. Human spinal motor control

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2016-01-01

    Human studies in the past three decades have provided us with an emerging understanding of how cortical and spinal networks collaborate to ensure the vast repertoire of human behaviors. We differ from other animals in having direct cortical connections to spinal motoneurons, which bypass spinal...... the central motor command by opening or closing sensory feedback pathways. In the future, human studies of spinal motor control, in close collaboration with animal studies on the molecular biology of the spinal cord, will continue to document the neural basis for human behavior. Expected final online...

  7. Human Capital Overview

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    McCarthy, Ellen E

    2007-01-01

    ...: To provide an agile, adaptive, integrated, and innovative defense intelligence workforce through a deliberate process identifying, implementing, and directing human capital organizational, doctrinal...

  8. Developing Human Resources through Actualizing Human Potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarken, Rodney H.

    2012-01-01

    The key to human resource development is in actualizing individual and collective thinking, feeling and choosing potentials related to our minds, hearts and wills respectively. These capacities and faculties must be balanced and regulated according to the standards of truth, love and justice for individual, community and institutional development,…

  9. Challenges for Virtual Humans in Human Computing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reidsma, Dennis; Ruttkay, Z.M.; Huang, T; Nijholt, Antinus; Pantic, Maja; Pentland, A.

    The vision of Ambient Intelligence (AmI) presumes a plethora of embedded services and devices that all endeavor to support humans in their daily activities as unobtrusively as possible. Hardware gets distributed throughout the environment, occupying even the fabric of our clothing. The environment

  10. Impairments and compensation in mouth and limb use in free feeding after unilateral dopamine depletions in a rat analog of human Parkinson's disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whishaw, I Q; Coles, B L; Pellis, S M; Miklyaeva, E I

    1997-03-01

    Rats depleted unilaterally of dopamine (DA) with the neurotoxin 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) have contralateral sensorimotor deficits. These include pronounced impairments in using the contralateral limbs (bad limbs) for skilled movements in tests of reaching and bar pressing. There has been no systematic examination of the changes that take place in movements of spontaneous food handling. This was the purpose of the present study. Rats were filmed as they picked up and ate pieces of angel hair pasta (Capelli d'Angelo), a food item that challenges the rats to use delicate and bilaterally coordinated limb and paw movements. Control rats picked up the food with their incisors, transferred it to their paws, and manipulated it using a variety of bilaterally coordinated limb and paw movements. The DA-depleted rats were impaired in both their mouth and paw movements. They seemed unable to use their teeth to grasp the food and so used their tongue. They did not use the bad side of their mouth to chew and relied upon the good side of their mouth. The bad paw was impaired in grasping the food, grasped only with a whole paw grip, did not make manipulatory movements, and did not open to release the food or open to regain support once the food was eaten. Although the rats improved over a 30-day recovery period, much of the improvement was due to compensatory adjustments. That unilateral DA-depletion results in profound contralateral impairments of the mouth and limb with improvements due mainly to compensatory adjustments confirms a role for dopaminergic systems in motor control. Additionally, the behavioral tests described here could provide important adjuncts for assessing therapies in this animal analog of human Parkinson's disease.

  11. Human trafficking in Germany: strengthening victim's human rights

    OpenAIRE

    Follmar-Otto, Petra; Rabe, Heike

    2009-01-01

    The first study - "A human rights approach against human trafficking - International obligations and the status of implementation in Germany" - analyses how the prohibition of human trafficking and the resulting state obligations are anchored in human rights. The more recent specialised international agreements on human trafficking and law-making in the European Union are then presented. The emphasis is on the Council of Europe Convention, which professes to treat human trafficking in a human...

  12. Human Rights, History of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Baets, Antoon; Wright, James

    2015-01-01

    In this article, six basic debates about human rights are clarified from a historical perspective: the origin of human rights as moral rights connected to the natural law doctrine and opposed to positive rights; the wave of criticism of their abstract and absolute character by nineteenth-century

  13. Rationality in Human Movement.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Brien, Megan K; Ahmed, Alaa A

    2016-01-01

    It long has been appreciated that humans behave irrationally in economic decisions under risk: they fail to objectively consider uncertainty, costs, and rewards and instead exhibit risk-seeking or risk-averse behavior. We hypothesize that poor estimates of motor variability (influenced by motor task) and distorted probability weighting (influenced by relevant emotional processes) contribute to characteristic irrationality in human movement decisions.

  14. Human-centred Governance

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bason, Christian

    2017-01-01

    Design approaches are now being applied all over the world as a powerful approach to innovating public policies and services. Christian Bason, author of Leading public design: Discovering human-centred governance, argues that by bringing design methods into play, public managers can lead change...... with citizens at the centre, and discover a new model for steering public organisations: human-centred governance....

  15. Translating the human microbiome

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Brown, J.; Vos, de W.M.; Distefano, P.S.; Doré, J.; Huttenhower, C.; Knight, R.; Lawley, T.D.; Raes, J.; Turnbaugh, P.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past decade, an explosion of descriptive analyses from initiatives, such as the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) and the MetaHIT project, have begun to delineate the human microbiome. Inhabitants of the intestinal tract, nasal passages, oral cavities, skin, gastrointestinal tract and

  16. Incorporating Human Interindividual Biotransformation ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The protection of sensitive individuals within a population dictates that measures other than central tendencies be employed to estimate risk. The refinement of human health risk assessments for chemicals metabolized by the liver to reflect data on human variability can be accomplished through (1) the characterization of enzyme expression in large banks of human liver samples, (2) the employment of appropriate techniques for the quantification and extrapolation of metabolic rates derived in vitro, and (3) the judicious application of physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. While in vitro measurements of specific biochemical reactions from multiple human samples can yield qualitatively valuable data on human variance, such measures must be put into the perspective of the intact human to yield the most valuable predictions of metabolic differences among humans. For quantitative metabolism data to be the most valuable in risk assessment, they must be tied to human anatomy and physiology, and the impact of their variance evaluated under real exposure scenarios. For chemicals metabolized in the liver, the concentration of parent chemical in the liver represents the substrate concentration in the MichaelisMenten description of metabolism. Metabolic constants derived in vitro may be extrapolated to the intact liver, when appropriate conditions are met. Metabolic capacity Vmax; the maximal rate of the reaction) can be scaled directly to the concentration

  17. Human Powered Centrifuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mulenburg, Gerald M. (Inventor); Vernikos, Joan (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A human powered centrifuge has independently established turntable angular velocity and human power input. A control system allows excess input power to be stored as electric energy in a battery or dissipated as heat through a resistors. In a mechanical embodiment, the excess power is dissipated in a friction brake.

  18. Kinship and Human Evolution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergendorff, Steen

    This book offers a exiting new explanation of human evolution. Based on insight from Anthropology is shows that human became 'cultured' beings capable of symbolic thought by developing rasting kinship based between groups that could not other wise survive in the harah climate condition during...

  19. Modeling human color categorization

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van den Broek, Egon; Schouten, Th.E.; Kisters, P.M.F.

    A unique color space segmentation method is introduced. It is founded on features of human cognition, where 11 color categories are used in processing color. In two experiments, human subjects were asked to categorize color stimuli into these 11 color categories, which resulted in markers for a

  20. Fungi that Infect Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Köhler, Julia R; Hube, Bernhard; Puccia, Rosana; Casadevall, Arturo; Perfect, John R

    2017-06-01

    Fungi must meet four criteria to infect humans: growth at human body temperatures, circumvention or penetration of surface barriers, lysis and absorption of tissue, and resistance to immune defenses, including elevated body temperatures. Morphogenesis between small round, detachable cells and long, connected cells is the mechanism by which fungi solve problems of locomotion around or through host barriers. Secretion of lytic enzymes, and uptake systems for the released nutrients, are necessary if a fungus is to nutritionally utilize human tissue. Last, the potent human immune system evolved in the interaction with potential fungal pathogens, so few fungi meet all four conditions for a healthy human host. Paradoxically, the advances of modern medicine have made millions of people newly susceptible to fungal infections by disrupting immune defenses. This article explores how different members of four fungal phyla use different strategies to fulfill the four criteria to infect humans: the Entomophthorales, the Mucorales, the Ascomycota, and the Basidiomycota. Unique traits confer human pathogenic potential on various important members of these phyla: pathogenic Onygenales comprising thermal dimorphs such as Histoplasma and Coccidioides ; the Cryptococcus spp. that infect immunocompromised as well as healthy humans; and important pathogens of immunocompromised patients- Candida , Pneumocystis , and Aspergillus spp. Also discussed are agents of neglected tropical diseases important in global health such as mycetoma and paracoccidiomycosis and common pathogens rarely implicated in serious illness such as dermatophytes. Commensalism is considered, as well as parasitism, in shaping genomes and physiological systems of hosts and fungi during evolution.

  1. Global Journal of Humanities

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Journal Homepage Image. Global Journal of Humanities is aimed at promoting reasearch in all areas of Humanities including philosophy, languages, linguistics, literature, history, fine/applied arts, theater arts, architecture, etc. Visit the Global Journal Series website here: http://www.globaljournalseries.com/ ...

  2. Evaluating the Humanities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brody, Howard

    2013-01-01

    How can one measure the value of teaching the humanities? The problem of assessment and accountability is prominent today, of course, in secondary and higher education. It is perhaps even more acute for those who teach the humanities in nontraditional settings, such as medical and other professional schools. The public assumes that academes can…

  3. Human gliomas contain morphine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Peter; Rasmussen, Mads; Zhu, Wei

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Morphine has been found in cancer cell lines originating from human and animal cells. Thus, it became important to demonstrate whether or not actual tumours contain this opiate alkaloid. MATERIAL/METHODS: Human glioma tissues were biochemically treated to isolate and separate endogenous...

  4. Human Resource Construction

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2015-01-01

    Centering on strategic objective of reform and development,CIAE formulated its objectives in human resource construction for the 13th Five-year Plan period,and achieved new apparent progress in human resource construction in 2015.1 Implementation of"LONGMA Project"

  5. Dynamics of human movement

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koopman, Hubertus F.J.M.

    2010-01-01

    The part of (bio)mechanics that studies the interaction of forces on the human skeletal system and its effect on the resulting movement is called rigid body dynamics. Some basic concepts are presented: A mathematical formulation to describe human movement and how this relates on the mechanical loads

  6. Biodemography of human ageing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vaupel, James W

    2010-01-01

    Human senescence has been delayed by a decade. This finding, documented in 1994 and bolstered since, is a fundamental discovery about the biology of human ageing, and one with profound implications for individuals, society and the economy. Remarkably, the rate of deterioration with age seems...

  7. Human Intestinal Spirochaetosis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerman, L.J.

    2013-01-01

    Human intestinal spirochaetosis is a condition of the colon that is characterized by the presence of spirochaetes attached to the mucosal cells of the colon. These spirochaetes belong to the family Brachyspiraceae and two species are known to occur in humans: Brachyspira aalborgi and Brachyspira

  8. Human migraine models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Iversen, Helle Klingenberg

    2001-01-01

    , which is a human experience. A set-up for investigations of experimental headache and migraine in humans, has been evaluated and headache mechanisms explored by using nitroglycerin and other headache-inducing agents. Nitric oxide (NO) or other parts of the NO activated cascade seems to be responsible...

  9. Manage "Human Capital" Strategically

    Science.gov (United States)

    Odden, Allan

    2011-01-01

    To strategically manage human capital in education means restructuring the entire human resource system so that schools not only recruit and retain smart and capable individuals, but also manage them in ways that support the strategic directions of the organization. These management practices must be aligned with a district's education improvement…

  10. Introduction to human factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winters, J.M.

    1988-03-01

    Some background is given on the field of human factors. The nature of problems with current human/computer interfaces is discussed, some costs are identified, ideal attributes of graceful system interfaces are outlined, and some reasons are indicated why it's not easy to fix the problems

  11. Teaching Human Rights Law.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berman, Howard R.

    1985-01-01

    The international community has developed a system of human rights law relevant to many areas of legal encounter, which American law schools have been slow to incorporate into curricula. Teaching human rights law provides an opportunity for law schools to enrich the learning process and contribute creatively to the respect for rights in society.…

  12. Humane Education Projects Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Junior League of Ogden, UT.

    This handbook was developed to promote interest in humane education and to encourage the adoption of humane education projects. Although specifically designed to assist Junior Leagues in developing such projects, the content should prove valuable to animal welfare organizations, zoos, aquariums, nature centers, and other project-oriented groups…

  13. Human Mind Maps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Tom

    2016-01-01

    When students generate mind maps, or concept maps, the maps are usually on paper, computer screens, or a blackboard. Human Mind Maps require few resources and little preparation. The main requirements are space where students can move around and a little creativity and imagination. Mind maps can be used for a variety of purposes, and Human Mind…

  14. Urbanization and human rights

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mihr, A.

    Urban governance on the basis of human rights can help to set up problem solving mechanisms to guarantee social peace, economic growth and political participation.If states both integrate more in international or regional human rights regime and give more autonomy to urban governments and local

  15. The Human Technology

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fausing, Bent

     Bent Fausing  "The Humane Technology", abstract (for The Two Cultures: Balancing Choices and Effects Oxford University July 20-26, 2008). The paper will investigate the use of technology in everyday aesthetics such as TV-commercials for mobile phones for Nokia, which slogan is, as it is well known......, "Nokia - connecting people". Which function does this technology get in narratives, images, interactions and affects here?      The mobile phone and its digital camera are depicted as being able to make a unique human presence and interaction. The medium, the technology is a necessary helper to get...... towards this very special and lost humanity. Without the technology, no special humanity is the prophecy. This personification or anthropomorphism is important for the branding of new technology. The technology is seen as creating a technotranscendens towards a more qualified humanity, which is in contact...

  16. Human gliomas contain morphine

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Peter; Rasmussen, Mads; Zhu, Wei

    2005-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Morphine has been found in cancer cell lines originating from human and animal cells. Thus, it became important to demonstrate whether or not actual tumours contain this opiate alkaloid. MATERIAL/METHODS: Human glioma tissues were biochemically treated to isolate and separate endogeno...... of the solutions used in the study nor was it present as a residual material in blank HPLC runs. CONCLUSIONS: Morphine is present in human gliomas, suggesting that it may exert an action that effects tumour physiology/pathology.......BACKGROUND: Morphine has been found in cancer cell lines originating from human and animal cells. Thus, it became important to demonstrate whether or not actual tumours contain this opiate alkaloid. MATERIAL/METHODS: Human glioma tissues were biochemically treated to isolate and separate endogenous...

  17. The human cell atlas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Regev, Aviv; Teichmann, Sarah A.; Lander, Eric S.

    2017-01-01

    The recent advent of methods for high-throughput single-cell molecular profiling has catalyzed a growing sense in the scientific community that the time is ripe to complete the 150-year-old effort to identify all cell types in the human body. The Human Cell Atlas Project is an international...... collaborative effort that aims to define all human cell types in terms of distinctive molecular profiles (such as gene expression profiles) and to connect this information with classical cellular descriptions (such as location and morphology). An open comprehensive reference map of the molecular state of cells...... in healthy human tissues would propel the systematic study of physiological states, developmental trajectories, regulatory circuitry and interactions of cells, and also provide a framework for understanding cellular dysregulation in human disease. Here we describe the idea, its potential utility, early...

  18. UN human rights council

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vuksanović Mlrjana

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper deals with the structure, mechanisms, practices and perspectives of the Human Rights Council, the UN body that, at universal level is the most important body in this area. Introductory section provides for a brief overview of the origins of human rights and the work of the Commission on Human Rights, in whose jurisdiction were questions of human rights before the establishment of the Council. After the introductory section the author gives an analysis of the structure, objectives, mandate and main procedures for the protection of human rights within the united Nations. In the final section the authorpoints out the advantages of this authority and criticism addressed to it, with emphasis on the possibility and the need for its reform.

  19. Waste - the human factor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaren, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    Waste is a human concept, referring to things that have no use to human beings and arising entirely from human activities. It is the useless residue of any human process that affects the economy or environment. The changes brought about by the industrial revolution are enormous; fossil fuels, not just photosynthesis, now provide energy and wastes at rates far exceeding the capacity of the ecosystem to absorb or recycle. Three major problems face the Planet: accelerated population growth, accelerated use of resources for energy and industry, and the disproportionate use of resources and waste between the northern and southern parts of the Planet. Knowledge and science are in a position to provide both human creativity and the directed technology to take remedial action and rediscover harmony between nature and mankind. Only social and political will is lacking

  20. Managing human performance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strucic, M.; Kavsek, D.

    2004-01-01

    Human performance remains a significant factor for management attention not only from a reactor safety perspective, but also from a financial one. Recent significant events analysis shows that human errors are still dominant causes and contributors to them. An analysis of significant events in nuclear industry occurred through 15-years period revealed that three of four significant events were triggered by human error, although the number of events have dropped by more than a factor of four. A number of human performance breakdowns occurred in the application of errorprevention techniques. These included a lack of pre-job briefs, inadequate turnover of tasks, ineffective use of peer checking, inadequate procedure adherence, and failure to apply a questioning attitude when unexpected changes were encountered in the task. Attempts by the industry to improve human performance have traditionally focused at the worker level. However, human error occurs within the context of the organization, which can either foster or resist human error. The greatest room for improvement lies not only in the continued improvement of front-line worker performance but more so in the identification and elimination of weaknesses in the organizational and managerial domains that contributes to worker performance at the job site. Based on mentioned analysis, other industrial sources and own operating experience, NPP Krsko is paying more attention to improve human performance among own as well as contractor workers. Through series of programs and activities, such as Reactivity Management Program, Safety Culture Program, Self-assessment Program, Corrective Action Program, Plant Performance Monitoring Program, developed in last few years, and through new procedures, written guides and publications, training and management efforts, number of human errors is going to be reduced. Involvement of higher levels of NPP Krsko organization in promotion and use of Human Performance techniques is

  1. Digital Human Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dischinger, H. Charles, Jr.

    2017-01-01

    The development of models to represent human characteristics and behaviors in human factors is broad and general. The term "model" can refer to any metaphor to represent any aspect of the human; it is generally used in research to mean a mathematical tool for the simulation (often in software, which makes the simulation digital) of some aspect of human performance and for the prediction of future outcomes. This section is restricted to the application of human models in physical design, e.g., in human factors engineering. This design effort is typically human interface design, and the digital models used are anthropometric. That is, they are visual models that are the physical shape of humans and that have the capabilities and constraints of humans of a selected population. They are distinct from the avatars used in the entertainment industry (movies, video games, and the like) in precisely that regard: as models, they are created through the application of data on humans, and they are used to predict human response; body stresses workspaces. DHM enable iterative evaluation of a large number of concepts and support rapid analysis, as compared with use of physical mockups. They can be used to evaluate feasibility of escape of a suited astronaut from a damaged vehicle, before launch or after an abort (England, et al., 2012). Throughout most of human spaceflight, little attention has been paid to worksite design for ground workers. As a result of repeated damage to the Space Shuttle which adversely affected flight safety, DHM analyses of ground assembly and maintenance have been developed over the last five years for the design of new flight systems (Stambolian, 2012, Dischinger and Dunn Jackson, 2014). The intent of these analyses is to assure the design supports the work of the ground crew personnel and thereby protect the launch vehicle. They help the analyst address basic human factors engineering questions: can a worker reach the task site from the work platform

  2. Human Milk Banking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haiden, Nadja; Ziegler, Ekhard E

    2016-01-01

    Human milk banks play an essential role by providing human milk to infants who would otherwise not be able to receive human milk. The largest group of recipients are premature infants who derive very substantial benefits from it. Human milk protects premature infants from necrotizing enterocolitis and from sepsis, two devastating medical conditions. Milk banks collect, screen, store, process, and distribute human milk. Donating women usually nurse their own infants and have a milk supply that exceeds their own infants' needs. Donor women are carefully selected and are screened for HIV-1, HIV-2, human T-cell leukemia virus 1 and 2, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and syphilis. In the milk bank, handling, storing, processing, pooling, and bacterial screening follow standardized algorithms. Heat treatment of human milk diminishes anti-infective properties, cellular components, growth factors, and nutrients. However, the beneficial effects of donor milk remain significant and donor milk is still highly preferable in comparison to formula. © 2017 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. Human factors information system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goodman, P.C.; DiPalo, C.A.

    1991-01-01

    Nuclear power plant safety is dependent upon human performance related to plant operations. To provide improvements in human performance, data collection and assessment play key roles. This paper reports on the Human factors Information System (HFIS) which is designed to meet the needs of the human factors specialists of the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. These specialists identify personnel errors and provide guidance designed to prevent such errors. HFIS is a simple and modular system designed for use on a personal computer. It is designed to contain four separate modules that provide information indicative of program or function effectiveness as well as safety-related human performance based on programmatic and performance data. These modules include the Human Factors Status module; the Regulatory Programs module; the Licensee Event Report module; and the Operator Requalification Performance module. Information form these modules can either be used separately or can be combined due to the integrated nature of the system. HFIS has the capability, therefore, to provide insights into those areas of human factors that can reduce the probability of events caused by personnel error at nuclear power plants and promote the health and safety of the public. This information system concept can be applied to other industries as well as the nuclear industry

  4. Genetics of human hydrocephalus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Michael A.; Rigamonti, Daniele

    2006-01-01

    Human hydrocephalus is a common medical condition that is characterized by abnormalities in the flow or resorption of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), resulting in ventricular dilatation. Human hydrocephalus can be classified into two clinical forms, congenital and acquired. Hydrocephalus is one of the complex and multifactorial neurological disorders. A growing body of evidence indicates that genetic factors play a major role in the pathogenesis of hydrocephalus. An understanding of the genetic components and mechanism of this complex disorder may offer us significant insights into the molecular etiology of impaired brain development and an accumulation of the cerebrospinal fluid in cerebral compartments during the pathogenesis of hydrocephalus. Genetic studies in animal models have started to open the way for understanding the underlying pathology of hydrocephalus. At least 43 mutants/loci linked to hereditary hydrocephalus have been identified in animal models and humans. Up to date, 9 genes associated with hydrocephalus have been identified in animal models. In contrast, only one such gene has been identified in humans. Most of known hydrocephalus gene products are the important cytokines, growth factors or related molecules in the cellular signal pathways during early brain development. The current molecular genetic evidence from animal models indicate that in the early development stage, impaired and abnormal brain development caused by abnormal cellular signaling and functioning, all these cellular and developmental events would eventually lead to the congenital hydrocephalus. Owing to our very primitive knowledge of the genetics and molecular pathogenesis of human hydrocephalus, it is difficult to evaluate whether data gained from animal models can be extrapolated to humans. Initiation of a large population genetics study in humans will certainly provide invaluable information about the molecular and cellular etiology and the developmental mechanisms of human

  5. Human Power Empirically Explored

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jansen, A.J.

    2011-01-18

    Harvesting energy from the users' muscular power to convert this into electricity is a relatively unknown way to power consumer products. It nevertheless offers surprising opportunities for product designers; human-powered products function independently from regular power infrastructure, are convenient and can be environmentally and economically beneficial. This work provides insight into the knowledge required to design human-powered energy systems in consumer products from a scientific perspective. It shows the developments of human-powered products from the first introduction of the BayGen Freeplay radio in 1995 till current products and provides an overview and analysis of 211 human-powered products currently on the market. Although human power is generally perceived as beneficial for the environment, this thesis shows that achieving environmental benefit is only feasible when the environmental impact of additional materials in the energy conversion system is well balanced with the energy demands of the products functionality. User testing with existing products showed a preference for speeds in the range of 70 to 190 rpm for crank lengths from 32 to 95 mm. The muscular input power varied from 5 to 21 W. The analysis of twenty graduation projects from the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering in the field of human-powered products, offers an interesting set of additional practice based design recommendations. The knowledge based approach of human power is very powerful to support the design of human-powered products. There is substantial potential for improvements in the domains energy conversion, ergonomics and environment. This makes that human power, when applied properly, is environmentally and economically competitive over a wider range of applications than thought previously.

  6. Human dignity and bioethics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marjanović Miloš

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available By opening the field of bioethics followed a new wave of intense debate on the theological, philosophical and legal significance of the concept of human dignity . Exactly ten years ago (December 2003 American bioethicist Ruth Maclin has proposed to divest ourselves of the concept of human dignity because it is vague, useless and redundant and that, without any loss, we can replace it by the ethical principle of personal autonomy. Her article was followed by harsh reactions and opposite views. What is this term in so broad, almost inflationary and opposite use is not a reason to deprive him, but, on the contrary, it shows how important it is and that it should be determined at least outline. As universal values and general concept, the human dignity has no pre-defined and narrow, precise meaning. It is more an evaluation horizon, the guiding principle and regulatory ideas that must constantly define and codify by many guaranted human rights and fundamental freedoms. As generic notion of each reasonable law, it is their foundation and a common denominator, legitimising basis of natural but also of positive law. As intrinsic and static value which means the humaneness, the humanity it is absolute, inherent to every human being without distinction and conditioning, as a unique and unrepeatable creation. In this meaning, the dignity is the obligation and limitation of the state, society and each of us. As an ethical and dynamic category, it is not given to us, but it is assign to us, and it is not in us, but always before us, as a guide of our actions in accordance with virtues, to treat ourselves, each other and the nature in a human way. The century in which we live is named the century of molecular biology and genetic engineering because of the enormous potential but also risks to human dignity. Because of that human dignity has become a central principle in all international documents relating to the human genome, genetics and bioethics, adopted

  7. Human Genome Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Block, S. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Cornwall, J. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Dally, W. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Dyson, F. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Fortson, N. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Joyce, G. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Kimble, H. J. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Lewis, N. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Max, C. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Prince, T. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Schwitters, R. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Weinberger, P. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office; Woodin, W. H. [The MITRE Corporation, McLean, VA (US). JASON Program Office

    1998-01-04

    The study reviews Department of Energy supported aspects of the United States Human Genome Project, the joint National Institutes of Health/Department of Energy program to characterize all human genetic material, to discover the set of human genes, and to render them accessible for further biological study. The study concentrates on issues of technology, quality assurance/control, and informatics relevant to current effort on the genome project and needs beyond it. Recommendations are presented on areas of the genome program that are of particular interest to and supported by the Department of Energy.

  8. Aluminium in human sweat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minshall, Clare; Nadal, Jodie; Exley, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    It is of burgeoning importance that the human body burden of aluminium is understood and is measured. There are surprisingly few data to describe human excretion of systemic aluminium and almost no reliable data which relate to aluminium in sweat. We have measured the aluminium content of sweat in 20 healthy volunteers following mild exercise. The concentration of aluminium ranged from 329 to 5329μg/L. These data equate to a daily excretion of between 234 and 7192μg aluminium and they strongly suggest that perspiration is the major route of excretion of systemic aluminium in humans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier GmbH. All rights reserved.

  9. Human exposure to aluminium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Exley, Christopher

    2013-10-01

    Human activities have circumvented the efficient geochemical cycling of aluminium within the lithosphere and therewith opened a door, which was previously only ajar, onto the biotic cycle to instigate and promote the accumulation of aluminium in biota and especially humans. Neither these relatively recent activities nor the entry of aluminium into the living cycle are showing any signs of abating and it is thus now imperative that we understand as fully as possible how humans are exposed to aluminium and the future consequences of a burgeoning exposure and body burden. The aluminium age is upon us and there is now an urgent need to understand how to live safely and effectively with aluminium.

  10. Avian and human metapneumovirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Broor, Shobha; Bharaj, Preeti

    2007-04-01

    Pneumovirus infection remains a significant problem for both human and veterinary medicine. Both avian pneumovirus (aMPV, Turkey rhinotracheitis virus) and human metapneumovirus (hMPV) are pathogens of birds and humans, which are associated with respiratory tract infections. Based on their different genomic organization and low level of nucleotide (nt) and amino acid (aa) identity with paramyxoviruses in the genus Pneumovirus, aMPV and hMPV have been classified into a new genus referred to as Metapneumovirus. The advancement of our understanding of pneumovirus biology and pathogenesis of pneumovirus disease in specific natural hosts can provide us with strategies for vaccine formulations and combined antiviral and immunomodulatory therapies.

  11. Mediator profiles in tears during the conjunctival response induced by allergic reaction in the nasal mucosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelikan, Zdenek

    2013-01-01

    The allergic reaction occurring primarily in the nasal mucosa can induce a secondary conjunctival response of an immediate (SICR), late (SLCR), or delayed (SDYCR) type in some patients with allergic conjunctivitis (AC). To investigate the concentration changes of histamine, tryptase, eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), leukotrienes (LTB 4, LTC4, LTE4), myeloperoxidase (MPO), interferon-γ (IFN-γ), and interleukins (IL-2, IL-4, IL-5) in tears during the SICR, SLCR, and SDYCR. In 32 patients with AC, 11 SICR (ptears. The SICRs were associated with significant concentration changes in tears (ptears (ptears during the 32 PBS controls (p>0.1) or in the ten control patients (p>0.1). These results provide evidence for causal involvement of nasal allergy in some patients with AC, inducing secondary conjunctival response of immediate (SICR), late SLCR, or delayed SDYCR type, associated with different mediator, cytokine, and cellular profiles in the tears, suggesting involvement of different hypersensitivity mechanisms. These results also emphasize the diagnostic value of nasal allergen challenge combined with monitoring of the conjunctival response in some patients with AC.

  12. Inflammatory mediator profiles in tears accompanying keratoconjunctival responses induced by nasal allergy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelikan, Zdenek

    2013-07-01

    The allergic reaction taking place in the nasal mucosa can induce a secondary ocular (keratoconjunctival) response of an immediate (SIOR), late (SLOR) or delayed (SDYOR) type in some patients with keratoconjunctivitis (KC). To investigate the concentration changes of histamine, tryptase, eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN), eosinophil cationic protein (ECP), eosinophilic peroxidase (EPO), leucotrienes (LTB₄, LTC₄, LTE₄), prostaglandins (PGD₂, PGE₂ and PGF₂α), thromboxane B₂ (TXB₂), myeloperoxidase (MPO), interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukins (IL-2, IL-4 and IL-5) in tears during the SIOR, SLOR and SDYOR. 19 SIORs (ptears. The ocular response types were associated with significant changes (ptears as follows: (1) SIORs: histamine, tryptase, ECP, LTC₄, PGD₂, PGF₂α, IL-4 and IL-5; (2) SLORs: histamine, ECP, EDN, LTB₄, LTC₄, PGE₂, MPO, IL-4 and IL-5; (3) SDYORs: LTB4, TXB₂, MPO, IFN-γ and IL-2. No significant changes of these factors were measured in tears during the 57 PBS controls (p>0.1). These results demonstrate a causal involvement of nasal allergy in some KC patients, inducing a secondary keratoconjunctival response of an immediate (SIOR), late (SLOR) or delayed (SDYOR) type, associated with different inflammatory mediator profiles in the tears, suggesting participation of different hypersensitivity mechanisms. These results also emphasise the diagnostic value of nasal challenge with allergen combined with monitoring of ocular response in KC patients, responding insufficiently to the usual ophthalmologic therapy.

  13. Increased CD69 Expression on Peripheral Eosinophils from Patients with Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wada, Taizo; Matsuda, Yusuke; Toma, Tomoko; Koizumi, Eiko; Okamoto, Hiroyuki; Yachie, Akihiro

    2016-01-01

    Food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is an uncommon, non-IgE-mediated food allergy. We recently described a significant increase in fecal eosinophil-derived neurotoxin (EDN) after ingestion of the causative food. However, little is known about the activation status of circulating eosinophils in patients with an acute FPIES reaction. Surface CD69 expression was assessed by flow cytometry on peripheral eosinophils from 5 patients with FPIES before and after ingestion of the causative food. Fecal EDN was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. No eosinophil activation was observed before ingestion; however, a significant increase in CD69 expression on eosinophils after an acute FIPES reaction was demonstrated in all of the patients. There was no significant change in absolute eosinophil counts in the peripheral blood. The levels of fecal EDN increased on the day after ingestion of the causative food in all patients. These results suggest that circulating eosinophils as well as eosinophils in the intestinal mucosal tissue are activated in acute FPIES reactions and might be associated with systemic immune events in FPIES. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  14. Refractoriness in human atria

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Skibsbye, Lasse; Jespersen, Thomas; Christ, Torsten

    2016-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Refractoriness of cardiac cells limits maximum frequency of electrical activity and protects the heart from tonic contractions. Short refractory periods support major arrhythmogenic substrates and augmentation of refractoriness is therefore seen as a main mechanism of antiarrhythmic...... drugs. Cardiomyocyte excitability depends on availability of sodium channels, which involves both time- and voltage-dependent recovery from inactivation. This study therefore aims to characterise how sodium channel inactivation affects refractoriness in human atria. METHODS AND RESULTS: Steady......-state activation and inactivation parameters of sodium channels measured in vitro in isolated human atrial cardiomyocytes were used to parameterise a mathematical human atrial cell model. Action potential data were acquired from human atrial trabeculae of patients in either sinus rhythm or chronic atrial...

  15. Human Reliability Program Overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodin, Michael

    2012-09-25

    This presentation covers the high points of the Human Reliability Program, including certification/decertification, critical positions, due process, organizational structure, program components, personnel security, an overview of the US DOE reliability program, retirees and academia, and security program integration.

  16. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccines

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... factors for developing them, such as taking oral contraceptives . A safety review of Gardasil in Denmark and ... and venous thromboembolic adverse events after immunisation of adolescent girls with quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine in Denmark ...

  17. Human-Machine Communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farbrot, J.E.; Nihlwing, Ch.; Svengren, H.

    2005-01-01

    New requirements for enhanced safety and design changes in process systems often leads to a step-wise installation of new information and control equipment in the control room of older nuclear power plants, where nowadays modern digital I and C solutions with screen-based human-machine interfaces (HMI) most often are introduced. Human factors (HF) expertise is then required to assist in specifying a unified, integrated HMI, where the entire integration of information is addressed to ensure an optimal and effective interplay between human (operators) and machine (process). Following a controlled design process is the best insurance for ending up with good solutions. This paper addresses the approach taken when introducing modern human-machine communication in the Oskarshamn 1 NPP, the results, and the lessons learned from this work with high operator involvement seen from an HF point of view. Examples of possibilities modern technology might offer for the operators are also addressed. (orig.)

  18. Human Bond Communication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prasad, Ramjee

    2016-01-01

    Modern dexterous communication technology is progressively enabling humans to communicate their information through them with speech (aural) and media (optical) as underpinning essence. Humans realize this kind of aural and optical information by their optical and auditory senses. However, due...... to certain constraints, the ability to incorporate the other three sensory features namely, olfactory, gustatory, and tactile are still far from reality. Human bond communication is a novel concept that incorporates olfactory, gustatory, and tactile that will allow more expressive and holistic sensory...... information exchange through communication techniques for more human sentiment centric communication. This concept endorses the need of inclusion of other three senses and proposes an innovative approach of holistic communication for future communication network....

  19. OAS :: Accountability :: Human Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    OAS, including its organizational structure, each organizational unit's staffing, vacant posts, and a list of procurement notices for formal bids, links to the performance contract and travel control Plan Human Resources Organizational Structure Functions of each organizational unit Vacant Posts

  20. Spaceflight Versus Human Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Stephanie

    2013-09-01

    Spaceflight is challenging. Human spaceflight is far more challenging,.Those familiar with spaceflight recognize that human spaceflight is more than tacking an environmental control system on an existing spacecraft, that there are a number of serious technical challenges involved in sending people out into space and bringing them back home safely.The return trip, bringing the crew back to the surface of the earth safely, is more than just an additional task, it's the new imperative. Differences between manned and unmanned spaceflight are more than technical. The human element forces a change in philosophy, a mindset that will likely touch every aspect of flight from launch through mission and return. Seasoned space professionals used to the paradigms and priorities of unmanned flight need to be cognizant of these differences and some of the implications, perhaps most especially because mission success and human safety priorities are sometimes contradictory.