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Sample records for presynaptic neurotoxins biochemistry

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Part of the framework for effective control or management of cyst nematodes depends upon the detailed understanding of their biology. This chapter summarizes fundamental knowledge and recent discoveries about the biochemistry of cyst nematodes, particularly areas related to lipids, carbohydrates and...

  4. 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

  5. Presynaptic excitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, M B

    1995-01-01

    Based on functional characterizations with electrophysiological techniques, the channels in nerve terminals appear to be as diverse as channels in nerve cell bodies (Table I). While most presynaptic Ca2+ channels superficially resemble either N-type or L-type channels, variations in detail have necessitated the use of subscripts and other notations to indicate a nerve terminal-specific subtype (e.g., Wang et al., 1993). Variations such as these pose a serious obstacle to the identification of presynaptic channels based solely on the effects of channel blockers on synaptic transmission. Pharmacological sensitivity alone is not likely to help in determining functional properties. Crucial details, such as voltage sensitivity and inactivation, require direct examination. It goes without saying that every nerve terminal membrane contains Ca2+ channels as an entry pathway so that Ca2+ can trigger secretion. However, there appears to be no general specification of channel type, other than the exclusion of T-type Ca2+ channels. T-type Ca2+ channels are defined functionally by strong inactivation and low threshold. Some presynaptic Ca2+ channels inactivate (posterior pituitary and Xenopus nerve terminals), and others have a somewhat reduced voltage threshold (retinal bipolar neurons and squid giant synapse). Perhaps it is just a matter of time before a nerve terminal Ca2+ channel is found with both of these properties. The high threshold and strong inactivation of T-type Ca2+ channels are thought to be adaptations for oscillations and the regulation of bursting activity in nerve cell bodies. The nerve terminals thus far examined have no endogenous electrical activity, but rather are driven by the cell body. On functional grounds, it is then reasonable to anticipate finding T-type Ca2+ channels in nerve terminals that can generate electrical activity on their own. The rarity of such behavior in nerve terminals may be associated with the rarity of presynaptic T-type Ca2

  6. Biochemistry Facility

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Biochemistry Facility provides expert services and consultation in biochemical enzyme assays and protein purification. The facility currently features 1) Liquid...

  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. 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 ...

  9. 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...

  10. Nutritional Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2010-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews some of the effects that space flight has on humans nutritional biochemistry. Particular attention is devoted to the study of protein breakdown, inflammation, hypercatabolism, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, urine, folate and nutrient stability of certain vitamins, the fluid shift and renal stone risk, acidosis, iron/hematology, and the effects on bone of dietary protein, potassium. inflammation, and omega-3 fatty acids

  11. Biochemistry engineering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jang, Ho Nam

    1993-01-01

    This deals with biochemistry engineering with nine chapters. It explains bionics on development and prospect, basics of life science on classification and structure, enzyme and metabolism, fundamentals of chemical engineering on viscosity, shear rate, PFR, CSTR, mixing, dispersion, measurement and response, Enzyme kinetics, competitive inhibition, pH profile, temperature profile, stoichiometry and fermentation kinetics, bio-reactor on Enzyme-reactor and microorganism-reactor, measurement and processing on data acquisition and data processing, separation and purification, waste water treatment and economics of bionics process.

  12. 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?

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Biochemistry Instrumentation Core Technology Center

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The UCLA-DOE Biochemistry Instrumentation Core Facility provides the UCLA biochemistry community with easy access to sophisticated instrumentation for a wide variety...

  17. Exocytosis: using amperometry to study presynaptic mechanisms of neurotoxicity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Westerink, R.H.S.

    2004-01-01

    The development of carbon fiber microelectrode amperometry enabled detailed investigation of the presynaptic response at the single cell level with single vesicle resolution. Consequently, amperometry allowed for detailed studies into the presynaptic mechanisms underlying neurotoxicity. This review

  18. Presynaptic proteoglycans: sweet organizers of synapse development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yoo Sung; Kim, Eunjoon

    2013-08-21

    Synaptic adhesion molecules control neuronal synapse development. In this issue of Neuron, Siddiqui et al. (2013) and de Wit et al. (2013) demonstrate that LRRTM4, a postsynaptic adhesion molecule, trans-synaptically interacts with presynaptic heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) to promote synapse development. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Reproduction, physiology and biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    This chapter summarizes fundamental knowledge and recent discoveries about the reproduction, physiology and biochemistry of plant-parasitic nematodes. Various types of reproduction are reviewed, including sexual reproduction and mitotic and meiotic parthenogenesis. Although much is known about the p...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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...

  4. Presynaptic calcium signalling in cerebellar mossy fibres

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Thomsen, Louiza Bohn; Jörntell, Henrik; Midtgaard, Jens

    2010-01-01

    Whole-cell recordings were obtained from mossy fibre terminals in adult turtles in order to characterize the basic membrane properties. Calcium imaging of presynaptic calcium signals was carried out in order to analyse calcium dynamics and presynaptic GABA B inhibition. A tetrodotoxin (TTX......)-sensitive fast Na(+) spike faithfully followed repetitive depolarizing pulses with little change in spike duration or amplitude, while a strong outward rectification dominated responses to long-lasting depolarizations. High-threshold calcium spikes were uncovered following addition of potassium channel blockers....... Calcium imaging using Calcium-Green dextran revealed a stimulus-evoked all-or-none TTX-sensitive calcium signal in simple and complex rosettes. All compartments of a complex rosette were activated during electrical activation of the mossy fibre, while individual simple and complex rosettes along an axon...

  5. Cellular mechanisms for presynaptic inhibition of sensory afferents

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perrier, Jean-Francois Marie; delgado-lezama, rodolfo; Christensen, Rasmus Kordt

    It is well established that presynaptic inhibition of primary afferents involves the activation of GABAA receptors located on presynaptic terminals. However, the source of GABA remains unknown. In an integrated preparation of the spinal cord of the adult turtle, we evoked dorsal root potentials...

  6. Presynaptic signal transduction pathways that modulate synaptic transmission

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, A.P.H.; Verhage, M.

    2009-01-01

    Presynaptic modulation is a crucial factor in the adaptive capacity of the nervous system. The coupling between incoming action potentials and neurotransmitter secretion is modulated by firstly, recent activity of the presynaptic axon that leads to the accumulation of residual calcium in the

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Thiol biochemistry of prokaryotes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fahey, Robert C.

    1986-01-01

    The present studies have shown that GSH metabolism arose in the purple bacteria and cyanobacteria where it functions to protect against oxygen toxicity. Evidence was obtained indicating that GSH metabolism was incorporated into eucaryotes via the endosymbiosis giving rise to mitochrondria and chloroplasts. Aerobic bacteria lacking GSH utilize other thiols for apparently similar functions, the thiol being coenzyme A in Gram positive bacteria and chi-glutamylcysteine in the halobacteria. The thiol biochemistry of prokaryotes is thus seen to be much more highly diversified than that of eucaryotes and much remains to be learned about this subject.

  11. PRESYNAPTIC DOPAMINE MODULATION BY STIMULANT SELF ADMINISTRATION

    Science.gov (United States)

    España, Rodrigo A.; Jones, Sara R.

    2013-01-01

    The mesolimbic dopamine system is an essential participant in the initiation and modulation of various forms of goal-directed behavior, including drug reinforcement and addiction processes. Dopamine neurotransmission is increased by acute administration of all drugs of abuse, including the stimulants cocaine and amphetamine. Chronic exposure to these drugs via voluntary self-administration provides a model of stimulant abuse that is useful in evaluating potential behavioral and neurochemical adaptations that occur during addiction. This review describes commonly used methodologies to measure dopamine and baseline parameters of presynaptic dopamine regulation, including exocytotic release and reuptake through the dopamine transporter in the nucleus accumbens core, as well as dramatic adaptations in dopamine neurotransmission and drug sensitivity that occur with acute non-contingent and chronic, contingent self-administration of cocaine and amphetamine. PMID:23277050

  12. The Biochemistry of Mitosis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wieser, Samuel; Pines, Jonathon

    2015-01-01

    In this article, we will discuss the biochemistry of mitosis in eukaryotic cells. We will focus on conserved principles that, importantly, are adapted to the biology of the organism. It is vital to bear in mind that the structural requirements for division in a rapidly dividing syncytial Drosophila embryo, for example, are markedly different from those in a unicellular yeast cell. Nevertheless, division in both systems is driven by conserved modules of antagonistic protein kinases and phosphatases, underpinned by ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis, which create molecular switches to drive each stage of division forward. These conserved control modules combine with the self-organizing properties of the subcellular architecture to meet the specific needs of the cell. Our discussion will draw on discoveries in several model systems that have been important in the long history of research on mitosis, and we will try to point out those principles that appear to apply to all cells, compared with those in which the biochemistry has been specifically adapted in a particular organism. PMID:25663668

  13. Facilitation of neocortical presynaptic terminal development by NMDA receptor activation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sceniak Michael P

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neocortical circuits are established through the formation of synapses between cortical neurons, but the molecular mechanisms of synapse formation are only beginning to be understood. The mechanisms that control synaptic vesicle (SV and active zone (AZ protein assembly at developing presynaptic terminals have not yet been defined. Similarly, the role of glutamate receptor activation in control of presynaptic development remains unclear. Results Here, we use confocal imaging to demonstrate that NMDA receptor (NMDAR activation regulates accumulation of multiple SV and AZ proteins at nascent presynaptic terminals of visual cortical neurons. NMDAR-dependent regulation of presynaptic assembly occurs even at synapses that lack postsynaptic NMDARs. We also provide evidence that this control of presynaptic terminal development is independent of glia. Conclusions Based on these data, we propose a novel NMDAR-dependent mechanism for control of presynaptic terminal development in excitatory neocortical neurons. Control of presynaptic development by NMDARs could ultimately contribute to activity-dependent development of cortical receptive fields.

  14. Learning Biochemistry by Chocolate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.C Guedes

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available Both sensations and biochemical reactions taken place or promoted during ingestion of chocolate were the motivation for  investigating  the  organic  compounds  present  in  this  source.  Cocoa  and  chocolate  are  composed  by  several substances , among them, aminoacids and alkaloids.The objective of this investigation was to purpose a contextured approach  of  biochemistry  through  the  sensations  and  reactions  involving  aminoacids,  theobromine  and  hormones. Methodology: 1. Theoretical part:  constituted  by theoretical  and tutorial classes  about aminoacids, theobromine and hormones  involved  at  the  metabolism;  2.  Questionary:  ten  questions  based  upon  theoretical  classes,  personal sensations  and  general  aspects  of chocolate;  3.Lecture:  Cientific  articles  searched  in  periodics  by  own  students  as well  as  newspaper  reports;  4.  Experimental:  Laboratory  experiments  including  extraction,  characterization, spectrometric quantification  after  specific reactions  and identification by  Rf  comparison with  standards  on TLC  from cocoa  almonds  and  both  powder  cocoa  and  chocolate.  The  study  was  applied  in  30  students  from  a  chemistry college. Results: The results pointed out to a higher frequency of the students and to a increased interest  from them by   biochemistry  issues  and  cientific  lectures,  as  well  as  a  satisfactory  acquirement  of  theoretical  and  practice knowledge of aminoacids and hormones, spectrometry and chromatography. Conclusion: A contextured approach is quite positive for learning biochemistry to chemists.

  15. Historical Perspectives and Guidelines for Botulinum Neurotoxin Subtype Nomenclature

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Chapter IV: ultrafast biochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chergui, M. [Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL), Lausanne (Switzerland); Kjelstrup, S. [Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim (Norway); Meuwly, M. [Universitaet Basel, Basel (Switzerland); Schuler, B. [University of Zuerich (ETH), Zurich (Switzerland); Thor, J. van [Imperial College London (IC), London (United Kingdom)

    2009-09-15

    The whole report issued by the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland takes a look at the scientific opportunities offered by the institute's SwissFEL X-ray Laser facility. In this sixth part, initial events and fluctuations in biochemical processes at the atomic scale are discussed. Sub-nanosecond processes are fundamental to biochemistry and will be accessible to the ultra-short pulses of the SwissFEL. Time and length scales of biochemical reactions are discussed, as is the photo-initiation of biochemical processes. Time-resolved measurement techniques are looked at. Fluorescence resonant energy transfer is discussed. As an example, the photo cycle of bacteriorhodopsin is examined. The dynamics of protein folding and catalytic action are also looked at. Mesoscopic non-equilibrium thermodynamics is discussed

  17. Biochemistry and radiopharmacy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendoza de G, M.

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews the historical development of the nuclear medicine in Colombia and the primordial role of the IAN in this field. The main objective of the Biochemistry and Radiopharmacy Area is go to give technical support for the application of the nuclear energy in the human and veterinary medicine. The department has laboratories for the production of radiopharmaceuticals to be labelled with Tc-99m and quality control of the same human and veterinary RIA. Each one of the laboratories develops its work in three different areas: research and development, production, training and teaching. An actualization of the programs, results and publications are analyzed in this review also. Some of these programs have the support of the IAEA

  18. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer H K; Luczak, Vincent; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-01-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and

  19. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jähne, Sebastian, E-mail: sebastian.jaehne1@stud.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Neurosciences, 37077 Göttingen (Germany); Rizzoli, Silvio O. [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); Helm, Martin S., E-mail: martin.helm@med.uni-goettingen.de [Department of Neuro- and Sensory Physiology, University of Göttingen Medical Center, Cluster of Excellence Nanoscale Microscopy and Molecular Physiology of the Brain, Humboldtallee 23, 37073 Göttingen (Germany); International Max Planck Research School for Molecular Biology, 37077 Göttingen (Germany)

    2015-07-15

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures.

  20. The structure and function of presynaptic endosomes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jähne, Sebastian; Rizzoli, Silvio O.; Helm, Martin S.

    2015-01-01

    The function of endosomes and of endosome-like structures in the presynaptic compartment is still controversial. This is in part due to the absence of a consensus on definitions and markers for these compartments. Synaptic endosomes are sometimes seen as stable organelles, permanently present in the synapse. Alternatively, they are seen as short-lived intermediates in synaptic vesicle recycling, arising from the endocytosis of large vesicles from the plasma membrane, or from homotypic fusion of small vesicles. In addition, the potential function of the endosome is largely unknown in the synapse. Some groups have proposed that the endosome is involved in the sorting of synaptic vesicle proteins, albeit others have produced data that deny this possibility. In this review, we present the existing evidence for synaptic endosomes, we discuss their potential functions, and we highlight frequent technical pitfalls in the analysis of this elusive compartment. We also sketch a roadmap to definitely determine the role of synaptic endosomes for the synaptic vesicle cycle. Finally, we propose a common definition of synaptic endosome-like structures

  1. Stereoselectivity of presynaptic autoreceptors modulating dopamine release

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arbilla, S.; Langer, S.Z.

    1981-01-01

    The effects of the (R)- and (S)-enantiomers of sulpiride and butaclamol were studied on the spontaneous and field stimulation-evoked release of total radioactivity from slices of rabbit caudate nucleus prelabelled with [ 3 H]dopamine. (S)-Sulpiride in concentrations ranging from 0.01-1μM enhanced the electrically evoked release of [ 3 H]dopamine while (R)-sulpiride was 10 times less potent than (S)-sulpiride. Exposure to (S)-butaclamol (0.1-1 μM) but not to (R)-butaclamol (0.1-10μM) enhanced the field-stimulated release of [ 3 H]dopamine. The facilitatory effects of (S)- and (R)-sulpiride and (S)-butaclamol on the stimulated release of the labelled neurotransmitter were observed under conditions in which these drugs did not modify the spontaneous outflow of radioactivity. Only the active enantiomers of sulpiride and butaclamol antagonized the inhibition by apomorphine (1μM) of the stimulated release of [ 3 H]dopamine. Our results indicate that the presynaptic inhibitory dopamine autoreceptors modulating the stimulation-evoked release of [ 3 H]dopamine in the caudate nucleus are, like the classical postsynaptic dopamine receptors, chemically stereoselective. (Auth.)

  2. A Glutamate Homeostat Controls the Presynaptic Inhibition of Neurotransmitter Release

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiling Li

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Summary: We have interrogated the synaptic dialog that enables the bi-directional, homeostatic control of presynaptic efficacy at the glutamatergic Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ. We find that homeostatic depression and potentiation use disparate genetic, induction, and expression mechanisms. Specifically, homeostatic potentiation is achieved through reduced CaMKII activity postsynaptically and increased abundance of active zone material presynaptically at one of the two neuronal subtypes innervating the NMJ, while homeostatic depression occurs without alterations in CaMKII activity and is expressed at both neuronal subtypes. Furthermore, homeostatic depression is only induced through excess presynaptic glutamate release and operates with disregard to the postsynaptic response. We propose that two independent homeostats modulate presynaptic efficacy at the Drosophila NMJ: one is an intercellular signaling system that potentiates synaptic strength following diminished postsynaptic excitability, while the other adaptively modulates presynaptic glutamate release through an autocrine mechanism without feedback from the postsynaptic compartment. : Homeostatic mechanisms stabilize synaptic strength, but the signaling systems remain enigmatic. Li et al. suggest the existence of a homeostat operating at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction that responds to excess glutamate through an autocrine mechanism to adaptively inhibit presynaptic neurotransmitter release. This system parallels forms of plasticity at central synapses. Keywords: homeostatic synaptic plasticity, glutamate homeostasis, synaptic depression, Drosophila neuromuscular junction

  3. American journal of biochemistry and biotechnology

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    2005-01-01

    .... Areas covered include: general biochemistry, patho-biochemistry, evolutionary biology, structural biology, molecular and cellular biology, molecular medicine, cancer research, virology, immunology, plant molecular biology...

  4. 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

  5. Wanderings in biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Peter

    2014-07-11

    My Ph.D. thesis in the laboratory of Severo Ochoa at New York University School of Medicine in 1962 included the determination of the nucleotide compositions of codons specifying amino acids. The experiments were based on the use of random copolyribonucleotides (synthesized by polynucleotide phosphorylase) as messenger RNA in a cell-free protein-synthesizing system. At Yale University, where I joined the faculty, my co-workers and I first studied the mechanisms of protein synthesis. Thereafter, we explored the interferons (IFNs), which were discovered as antiviral defense agents but were revealed to be components of a highly complex multifunctional system. We isolated pure IFNs and characterized IFN-activated genes, the proteins they encode, and their functions. We concentrated on a cluster of IFN-activated genes, the p200 cluster, which arose by repeated gene duplications and which encodes a large family of highly multifunctional proteins. For example, the murine protein p204 can be activated in numerous tissues by distinct transcription factors. It modulates cell proliferation and the differentiation of a variety of tissues by binding to many proteins. p204 also inhibits the activities of wild-type Ras proteins and Ras oncoproteins. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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.

  9. [Research activity in clinical biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, H.L.; Larsen, B.; Ingwersen, P.

    2008-01-01

    Clinical Biochemistry, 57 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Each of these 57 was matched according to medical title with two randomly chosen specialists from other specialities, totaling 114. Using Medline and the Web of Science, the number of publications and the number of citations were then ascertained......BACKGROUND: Quantitative bibliometric measurements of research activity are frequently used, e.g. for evaluating applicants for academic positions. The purpose of this investigation is to assess research activity within the medical speciality of Clinical Biochemistry by comparing it with a matched....... RESULTS: 25% of the 11,691 specialists held a PhD degree or doctoral degree, DMSci, (Clinical Biochemistry: 61%). The 171 specialists included in the study had 9,823 papers in Medline and 10,140 papers in the Web of Science. The number of Medline papers per specialist was 71 for Clinical Biochemistry...

  10. [Research activity in clinical biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jorgensen, H.L.; Larsen, B.; Ingwersen, P.

    2008-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Quantitative bibliometric measurements of research activity are frequently used, e.g. for evaluating applicants for academic positions. The purpose of this investigation is to assess research activity within the medical speciality of Clinical Biochemistry by comparing it with a matched...... Clinical Biochemistry, 57 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Each of these 57 was matched according to medical title with two randomly chosen specialists from other specialities, totaling 114. Using Medline and the Web of Science, the number of publications and the number of citations were then ascertained....... RESULTS: 25% of the 11,691 specialists held a PhD degree or doctoral degree, DMSci, (Clinical Biochemistry: 61%). The 171 specialists included in the study had 9,823 papers in Medline and 10,140 papers in the Web of Science. The number of Medline papers per specialist was 71 for Clinical Biochemistry...

  11. Postmortem Biochemistry and Toxicology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert Flanagan

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available The aim of postmortem biochemistry and toxicology is either to help establish the cause of death, or to gain information on events immediately before death. If self-poisoning is suspected, the diagnosis may be straightforward and all that could be required is confirmation of the agents involved. However, if the cause of death is not immediately obvious then suspicion of possible poisoning or of conditions such as alcoholic ketoacidosis is of course crucial. On the other hand, it may be important to investigate adherence to prescribed therapy, for example with anticonvulsants or antipsychotics, hence sensitive methods are required. Blood sampling (needle aspiration, peripheral vein, for example femoral, ideally after proximal ligation before opening the body minimizes the risk of sample contamination with, for example, gut contents or urine. Other specimens (stomach contents, urine, liver, vitreous humor may also be valuable and may be needed to corroborate unexpected or unusual findings in the absence of other evidence. The site of sampling should always be recorded. The availability of antemortem specimens should not necessarily preclude postmortem sampling. Appropriate sample preservation, transport, and storage are mandatory. Interpretation of analytical toxicology results must take into account what is known of the pharmacokinetics and toxicology of the agent(s in question, the circumstances under which death occurred including the mechanism of exposure, and other factors such as the stability of the analyte(s and the analytical methods used. It is important to realise that changes may occur in the composition of body fluids, even peripheral blood, after death. Such changes are likely to be greater after attempted resuscitation, and with centrally-acting drugs with large volumes of distribution given chronically, and may perhaps be minimised by prompt refrigeration of the body and performing the autopsy quickly.

  12. Neurotoxins from Marine Dinoflagellates: A Brief Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  13. [Research activity in clinical biochemistry].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jørgensen, Henrik L; Larsen, Birger; Ingwersen, Peter; Rehfeld, Jens F

    2008-09-01

    Quantitative bibliometric measurements of research activity are frequently used, e.g. for evaluating applicants for academic positions. The purpose of this investigation is to assess research activity within the medical speciality of Clinical Biochemistry by comparing it with a matched control group from other medical specialities in Denmark. A list of all physicians registered in Denmark (23,127 persons) was drawn from the database "Laeger.dk". Of these, 5,202 were generalists (not included) while 11,691 were from other specialities. Of the 126 specialists from Clinical Biochemistry, 57 fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Each of these 57 was matched according to medical title with two randomly chosen specialists from other specialities, totaling 114. Using Medline and the Web of Science, the number of publications and the number of citations were then ascertained. 25% of the 11,691 specialists held a PhD degree or doctoral degree, DMSci, (Clinical Biochemistry: 61%). The 171 specialists included in the study had 9,823 papers in Medline and 10,140 papers in the Web of Science. The number of Medline papers per specialist was 71 for Clinical Biochemistry compared to 51 for the control group. The number of citations per specialist was 1,844 for Clinical Biochemistry compared to 816 for the control group. The top ten H-indices (of which 8 were in Clinical Biochemistry) ranged from 30 to 69. Both the number of papers and the number of citations were higher for Clinical Biochemistry than for the control group. The difference was most pronounced among professors.

  14. Synapse-specific and compartmentalized expression of presynaptic homeostatic potentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiling; Goel, Pragya; Chen, Catherine; Angajala, Varun; Chen, Xun

    2018-01-01

    Postsynaptic compartments can be specifically modulated during various forms of synaptic plasticity, but it is unclear whether this precision is shared at presynaptic terminals. Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity (PHP) stabilizes neurotransmission at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction, where a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release compensates for diminished postsynaptic receptor functionality. To test the specificity of PHP induction and expression, we have developed a genetic manipulation to reduce postsynaptic receptor expression at one of the two muscles innervated by a single motor neuron. We find that PHP can be induced and expressed at a subset of synapses, over both acute and chronic time scales, without influencing transmission at adjacent release sites. Further, homeostatic modulations to CaMKII, vesicle pools, and functional release sites are compartmentalized and do not spread to neighboring pre- or post-synaptic structures. Thus, both PHP induction and expression mechanisms are locally transmitted and restricted to specific synaptic compartments. PMID:29620520

  15. Levetiracetam Affects Differentially Presynaptic Proteins in Rat Cerebral Cortex

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele Marcotulli

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Presynaptic proteins are potential therapeutic targets for epilepsy and other neurological diseases. We tested the hypothesis that chronic treatment with the SV2A ligand levetiracetam affects the expression of other presynaptic proteins. Results showed that in rat neocortex no significant difference was detected in SV2A protein levels in levetiracetam treated animals compared to controls, whereas levetiracetam post-transcriptionally decreased several vesicular proteins and increased LRRK2, without any change in mRNA levels. Analysis of SV2A interactome indicates that the presynaptic proteins regulation induced by levetiracetam reported here is mediated by this interactome, and suggests that LRRK2 plays a role in forging the pattern of effects.

  16. 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.

  17. Medical Biochemistry – Clinical Cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustavo Henrique Cavalcante

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The presentation of situations that exemplifies the practical application of the biochemical concepts is one of the main challenges in the development of didactic materials for the teaching of biochemistry. So far, there are a small number of materials, especially in Portuguese language, that present practical situations exemplifying the application of the several biochemical concepts in the area of human health. The Medical Biochemistry-Clinical Cases app/ebook is intended to enable the integrated vision of the basic knowledge in biochemistry and its practical application in day-to-day situations of human health professionals. The biochemical concepts are presented as clinical cases, making possible the exercise of the analytical attitude and decision-making to solve problems based on real situations. The app is available on the internet for free, facilitating both, the access and the use of the material as a supplementary source.

  18. Ultrasound Guidance for Botulinum Neurotoxin Chemodenervation Procedures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. A presynaptic role for PKA in synaptic tagging and memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Alan Jung; Havekes, Robbert; Choi, Jennifer Hk; Luczak, Vince; Nie, Ting; Huang, Ted; Abel, Ted

    2014-10-01

    Protein kinase A (PKA) and other signaling molecules are spatially restricted within neurons by A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs). Although studies on compartmentalized PKA signaling have focused on postsynaptic mechanisms, presynaptically anchored PKA may contribute to synaptic plasticity and memory because PKA also regulates presynaptic transmitter release. Here, we examine this issue using genetic and pharmacological application of Ht31, a PKA anchoring disrupting peptide. At the hippocampal Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, Ht31 treatment elicits a rapid decay of synaptic responses to repetitive stimuli, indicating a fast depletion of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. The interaction between PKA and proteins involved in producing this pool of synaptic vesicles is supported by biochemical assays showing that synaptic vesicle protein 2 (SV2), Rim1, and SNAP25 are components of a complex that interacts with cAMP. Moreover, acute treatment with Ht31 reduces the levels of SV2. Finally, experiments with transgenic mouse lines, which express Ht31 in excitatory neurons at the Schaffer collateral CA3-CA1 synapse, highlight a requirement for presynaptically anchored PKA in pathway-specific synaptic tagging and long-term contextual fear memory. These results suggest that a presynaptically compartmentalized PKA is critical for synaptic plasticity and memory by regulating the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Astrocytes regulate heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths in hippocampal networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Letellier, Mathieu; Park, Yun Kyung; Chater, Thomas E.; Chipman, Peter H.; Gautam, Sunita Ghimire; Oshima-Takago, Tomoko; Goda, Yukiko

    2016-01-01

    Dendrites are neuronal structures specialized for receiving and processing information through their many synaptic inputs. How input strengths are modified across dendrites in ways that are crucial for synaptic integration and plasticity remains unclear. We examined in single hippocampal neurons the mechanism of heterosynaptic interactions and the heterogeneity of synaptic strengths of pyramidal cell inputs. Heterosynaptic presynaptic plasticity that counterbalances input strengths requires N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) and astrocytes. Importantly, this mechanism is shared with the mechanism for maintaining highly heterogeneous basal presynaptic strengths, which requires astrocyte Ca2+ signaling involving NMDAR activation, astrocyte membrane depolarization, and L-type Ca2+ channels. Intracellular infusion of NMDARs or Ca2+-channel blockers into astrocytes, conditionally ablating the GluN1 NMDAR subunit, or optogenetically hyperpolarizing astrocytes with archaerhodopsin promotes homogenization of convergent presynaptic inputs. Our findings support the presence of an astrocyte-dependent cellular mechanism that enhances the heterogeneity of presynaptic strengths of convergent connections, which may help boost the computational power of dendrites. PMID:27118849

  1. Commentary: Biochemistry Re-Natured

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    In his last commentary on "Biochemistry Denatured," this author dealt with his perception that college students today have spent too little of their childhood years playing outside in nature and as a consequence have not learned basic things about the world from personal experience. This "nature-deficit disorder" removes many opportunities for…

  2. Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    The 4th edition of Soil Microbiology, Ecology, and Biochemistry Edited by Eldor Paul continues in the vein of the 3rd edition by providing an excellent, broad-reaching introduction to soil biology. The new edition improves on the previous by providing extensive supplementary materials, links to outs...

  3. Multitracers in chemistry and biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ambe, F.

    2000-01-01

    The multitracer technique using heavy-ion reactions has successfully developed in the last decade and is expected to widen its application in chemistry, biochemistry and other fields with technical improvement in future. Several examples of recent application are reviewed and development in the coming century is forecast. (author)

  4. Cytosolic Calcium Coordinates Mitochondrial Energy Metabolism with Presynaptic Activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chouhan, Amit K.; Ivannikov, Maxim V.; Lu, Zhongmin; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinas, Rodolfo R.; Macleod, Gregory T.

    2012-01-01

    Most neurons fire in bursts, imposing episodic energy demands, but how these demands are coordinated with oxidative phosphorylation is still unknown. Here, using fluorescence imaging techniques on presynaptic termini of Drosophila motor neurons (MNs), we show that mitochondrial matrix pH (pHm), inner membrane potential (Δψm), and NAD(P)H levels ([NAD(P)H]m) increase within seconds of nerve stimulation. The elevations of pHm, Δψm, and [NAD(P)H]m indicate an increased capacity for ATP production. Elevations in pHm were blocked by manipulations which blocked mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake, including replacement of extracellular Ca2+ with Sr2+, and application of either tetraphenylphosphonium chloride or KB-R7943, indicating that it is Ca2+ that stimulates presynaptic mitochondrial energy metabolism. To place this phenomenon within the context of endogenous neuronal activity, the firing rates of a number of individually identified MNs were determined during fictive locomotion. Surprisingly, although endogenous firing rates are significantly different, there was little difference in presynaptic cytosolic Ca2+ levels ([Ca2+]c) between MNs when each fires at its endogenous rate. The average [Ca2+]c level (329±11nM) was slightly above the average Ca2+ affinity of the mitochondria (281±13nM). In summary, we show that when MNs fire at endogenous rates [Ca2+]c is driven into a range where mitochondria rapidly acquire Ca2+. As we also show that Ca2+ stimulates presynaptic mitochondrial energy metabolism, we conclude that [Ca2+]c levels play an integral role in coordinating mitochondrial energy metabolism with presynaptic activity in Drosophila MNs. PMID:22279208

  5. 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

  6. 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].

  7. Does breast-feeding influence liver biochemistry?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jørgensen, M. H.; Ott, P.; Juul, A.

    2003-01-01

    It is assumed that early feeding can affect liver biochemistry because breast-fed infants have a higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia than formula-fed infants. The authors sought to determine how feeding mode affected liver biochemistry in healthy term infants.......It is assumed that early feeding can affect liver biochemistry because breast-fed infants have a higher risk of hyperbilirubinemia than formula-fed infants. The authors sought to determine how feeding mode affected liver biochemistry in healthy term infants....

  8. Clinical biochemistry education in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Queraltó, J M

    1994-12-31

    Clinical biochemistry in Spain was first established in 1978 as an independent specialty. It is one of several clinical laboratory sciences specialties, together with haematology, microbiology, immunology and general laboratory (Clinical analysis, análisis clinicos). Graduates in Medicine, Pharmacy, Chemistry and Biological Sciences can enter post-graduate training in Clinical Chemistry after a nation-wide examination. Training in an accredited Clinical Chemistry department is 4 years. A national committee for medical and pharmacist specialties advises the government on the number of trainees, program and educational units accreditation criteria. Technical staff includes nurses and specifically trained technologists. Accreditation of laboratories is developed at different regional levels. The Spanish Society for Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology (SECQ), the national representative in the IFCC, has 1600 members, currently publishes a scientific journal (Química Clinica) and a newsletter. It organizes a continuous education program, a quality control program and an annual Congress.

  9. Biochemistry: from supermarket to laboratory

    OpenAIRE

    F. R. Freitas-Rego; M. G. Pereira; S. O. Loureiro; M. T. de Santana; R.G. Garrido; F. de S.R.G Garrido

    2007-01-01

    After new campi as Instituto Multidisciplinar em Saúde (IMS/UFBA) startedworking, it was necessary to develop practical classes using domestic reagents atBiochemistry to Pharmacy (IMS078). Firstly, students visited a supermarket to readnutritional information at label and select possible products to be used in class. Moreover,chemical processes and fermentation were discussed as different foods and drinks wereanalysed. Some food were token to laboratories so that biomole cules qualitative ana...

  10. 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).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Presynaptic Active Zone Density during Development and Synaptic Plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Gwenaëlle L; Chen, Jie; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2012-01-01

    Neural circuits transmit information through synapses, and the efficiency of synaptic transmission is closely related to the density of presynaptic active zones, where synaptic vesicles are released. The goal of this review is to highlight recent insights into the molecular mechanisms that control the number of active zones per presynaptic terminal (active zone density) during developmental and stimulus-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy. At the neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), the active zone density is preserved across species, remains constant during development, and is the same between synapses with different activities. However, the NMJ active zones are not always stable, as exemplified by the change in active zone density during acute experimental manipulation or as a result of aging. Therefore, a mechanism must exist to maintain its density. In the central nervous system (CNS), active zones have restricted maximal size, exist in multiple numbers in larger presynaptic terminals, and maintain a constant density during development. These findings suggest that active zone density in the CNS is also controlled. However, in contrast to the NMJ, active zone density in the CNS can also be increased, as observed in hippocampal synapses in response to synaptic plasticity. Although the numbers of known active zone proteins and protein interactions have increased, less is known about the mechanism that controls the number or spacing of active zones. The following molecules are known to control active zone density and will be discussed herein: extracellular matrix laminins and voltage-dependent calcium channels, amyloid precursor proteins, the small GTPase Rab3, an endocytosis mechanism including synaptojanin, cytoskeleton protein spectrins and β-adducin, and a presynaptic web including spectrins. The molecular mechanisms that organize the active zone density are just beginning to be elucidated.

  15. Coupling of exocytosis and endocytosis at the presynaptic active zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maritzen, Tanja; Haucke, Volker

    2018-02-01

    Brain function depends on the ability of neurons to communicate with each other via the regulated exocytosis of neurotransmitter-containing synaptic vesicles (SVs) at specialized presynaptic release sites termed active zones (AZs). The presynaptic AZ comprises an assembly of large multidomain proteins that link the machinery for vesicle fusion to sites of voltage-dependent Ca 2+ entry. Following SV fusion at AZ release sites SV membranes are retrieved by compensatory endocytosis, and SVs are reformed. Recent data suggest that Ca 2+ -triggered SV exocytosis at AZs and endocytic retrieval of SVs may be functionally and physically linked. Here we discuss the evidence supporting such exo-endocytic coupling as well as possible modes and mechanisms that may underlie coupling of exocytosis and endocytosis at and around AZs in presynaptic nerve terminals. As components of the exo-endocytic machinery at synapses have been linked to neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, understanding the mechanisms that couple exocytosis and endocytosis at AZs may be of importance for developing novel therapies to treat these diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  16. 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...

  17. Biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, J.F.

    1975-01-01

    The contributions of the group consist of six reports. The first is concerned with recent developments in the isolation and characterization of subcellular components of mammalian cells: the inhibition by imipramine of digitonin-induced lysis of mitochondrial membranes; age-dependent changes in mitochondrial sedimentability; peroxisomal enzymes; and collaborative studies on near-uv effects on bacterial respiration, radiation effects on mouse heart mitochondria, and toxicity and distribution of liposome-encapsulated drugs. Plant physiology is the theme of the next two reports. The first describes progress in a NASA-supported program on the involvement of organelles, especially dictyosomes, in the georesponse of roots, and the second covers work principally supported by ERDA on the interaction of light and gravity on differential growth of corn roots. Progress in liposome encapsulation of drugs is presented in three contributions. The first deals with studies on the toxicity, distribution, therapeutic action, and mechanism of encapsulated cancer chemotherapeutic agents; the second with morphologic studies, based principally on electron microscopy; and the third with alteration of liposomal surface properties by varying the lipid composition, in order to modify tissue distribution

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Teaching Biochemistry to Medical Technology Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Silva, Benito; And Others

    1997-01-01

    Describes the biochemistry component of study to become a medical technologist in a Chilean university. Provides details of program structure, course content descriptions, and teaching strategies. (DDR)

  2. Evidence for presynaptically silent synapses in the immature hippocampus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Jae Young; Choi, Sukwoo

    2017-01-01

    Silent synapses show NMDA receptor (NMDAR)-mediated synaptic responses, but not AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses. A prevailing hypothesis states that silent synapses contain NMDARs, but not AMPARs. However, alternative presynaptic hypotheses, according to which AMPARs are present at silent synapses, have been proposed; silent synapses show slow glutamate release via a fusion pore, and glutamate spillover from the neighboring synaptic terminals. Consistent with these presynaptic hypotheses, the peak glutamate concentrations at silent synapses have been estimated to be ≪170 μM, much lower than those seen at functional synapses. Glutamate transients predicted based on the two presynaptic mechanisms have been shown to activate only high-affinity NMDARs, but not low-affinity AMPARs. Interestingly, a previous study has developed a new approach to distinguish between the two presynaptic mechanisms using dextran, an inert macromolecule that reduces the diffusivity of released glutamate: postsynaptic responses through the fusion pore mechanism, but not through the spillover mechanism, are potentiated by reduced glutamate diffusivity. Therefore, we reasoned that if the fusion pore mechanism underlies silent synapses, dextran application would reveal AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at silent synapses. In the present study, we recorded AMPAR-mediated synaptic responses at the CA3-CA1 synapses in neonatal rats in the presence of blockers for NMDARs and GABAARs. Bath application of dextran revealed synaptic responses at silent synapses. GYKI53655, a selective AMPAR-antagonist, completely inhibited the unsilenced synaptic responses, indicating that the unsilenced synaptic responses are mediated by AMPARs. The dextran-mediated reduction in glutamate diffusivity would also lead to the activation of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), which might induce unsilencing via the activation of unknown intracellular signaling. Hence, we determined whether mGluR-blockers alter

  3. 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.

  4. Sphingosine-1-Phosphate (S1P) Impacts Presynaptic Functions by Regulating Synapsin I Localization in the Presynaptic Compartment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riganti, Loredana; Antonucci, Flavia; Gabrielli, Martina; Prada, Ilaria; Giussani, Paola; Viani, Paola; Valtorta, Flavia; Menna, Elisabetta; Matteoli, Michela; Verderio, Claudia

    2016-04-20

    Growing evidence indicates that sphingosine-1-P (S1P) upregulates glutamate secretion in hippocampal neurons. However, the molecular mechanisms through which S1P enhances excitatory activity remain largely undefined. The aim of this study was to identify presynaptic targets of S1P action controlling exocytosis. Confocal analysis of rat hippocampal neurons showed that S1P applied at nanomolar concentration alters the distribution of Synapsin I (SynI), a presynaptic phosphoprotein that controls the availability of synaptic vesicles for exocytosis. S1P induced SynI relocation to extrasynaptic regions of mature neurons, as well as SynI dispersion from synaptic vesicle clusters present at axonal growth cones of developing neurons. S1P-induced SynI relocation occurred in a Ca(2+)-independent but ERK-dependent manner, likely through the activation of S1P3 receptors, as it was prevented by the S1P3 receptor selective antagonist CAY1044 and in neurons in which S1P3 receptor was silenced. Our recent evidence indicates that microvesicles (MVs) released by microglia enhance the metabolism of endogenous sphingolipids in neurons and stimulate excitatory transmission. We therefore investigated whether MVs affect SynI distribution and whether endogenous S1P could be involved in the process. Analysis of SynI immunoreactivity showed that exposure to microglial MVs induces SynI mobilization at presynaptic sites and growth cones, whereas the use of inhibitors of sphingolipid cascade identified S1P as the sphingolipid mediating SynI redistribution. Our data represent the first demonstration that S1P induces SynI mobilization from synapses, thereby indicating the phosphoprotein as a novel target through which S1P controls exocytosis. Growing evidence indicates that the bioactive lipid sphingosine and its metabolite sphingosine-1-P (S1P) stimulate excitatory transmission. While it has been recently clarified that sphingosine influences directly the exocytotic machinery by activating the

  5. Teaching Biochemistry Online at Oregon State University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahern, Kevin

    2017-01-01

    A strategy for growing online biochemistry courses is presented based on successes in ecampus at Oregon State University. Four free drawing cards were key to the effort--YouTube videos, iTunes U online free course content, an Open Educational Resource textbook--Biochemistry Free and Easy, and a fun set of educational songs known as the Metabolic…

  6. The effect of coniine on presynaptic nicotinic receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkent, Ulkem; Iskit, Alper B; Onur, Rustu; Ilhan, Mustafa

    2016-01-01

    Toxicity of coniine, an alkaloid of Conium maculatum (poison hemlock), is manifested by characteristic nicotinic clinical signs including excitement, depression, hypermetria, seizures, opisthotonos via postsynaptic nicotinic receptors. There is limited knowledge about the role of presynaptic nicotinic receptors on the pharmacological and toxicological effects of coniine in the literature. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the possible role of presynaptic nicotinic receptors on the pharmacological and toxicological effects of coniine. For this purpose, the rat anococcygeus muscle and guinea-pig atria were used in vitro. Nicotine (100 μM) elicited a biphasic response composed of a relaxation followed by contraction through the activation of nitrergic and noradrenergic nerve terminals in the phenylephrine-contracted rat anococcygeus muscle. Coniine inhibited both the nitrergic and noradrenergic response in the muscle (-logIC(50) = 3.79 ± 0.11 and -logIC(50) = 4.57 ± 0.12 M, respectively). The effect of coniine on nicotinic receptor-mediated noradrenergic transmission was also evaluated in the guinea-pig atrium (-logIC(50) = 4.47 ± 0.12 M) and did not differ from the -logIC(50) value obtained in the rat anococcygeus muscle. This study demonstrated that coniine exerts inhibitory effects on nicotinic receptor-mediated nitrergic and noradrenergic transmitter response.

  7. Does human presynaptic striatal dopamine function predict social conformity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stokes, Paul R A; Benecke, Aaf; Puraite, Julita; Bloomfield, Michael A P; Shotbolt, Paul; Reeves, Suzanne J; Lingford-Hughes, Anne R; Howes, Oliver; Egerton, Alice

    2014-03-01

    Socially desirable responding (SDR) is a personality trait which reflects either a tendency to present oneself in an overly positive manner to others, consistent with social conformity (impression management (IM)), or the tendency to view one's own behaviour in an overly positive light (self-deceptive enhancement (SDE)). Neurochemical imaging studies report an inverse relationship between SDR and dorsal striatal dopamine D₂/₃ receptor availability. This may reflect an association between SDR and D₂/₃ receptor expression, synaptic dopamine levels or a combination of the two. In this study, we used a [¹⁸F]-DOPA positron emission tomography (PET) image database to investigate whether SDR is associated with presynaptic dopamine function. Striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA uptake, (k(i)(cer), min⁻¹), was determined in two independent healthy participant cohorts (n=27 and 19), by Patlak analysis using a cerebellar reference region. SDR was assessed using the revised Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R) Lie scale, and IM and SDE were measured using the Paulhus Deception Scales. No significant associations were detected between Lie, SDE or IM scores and striatal [¹⁸F]-DOPA k(i)(cer). These results indicate that presynaptic striatal dopamine function is not associated with social conformity and suggests that social conformity may be associated with striatal D₂/₃ receptor expression rather than with synaptic dopamine levels.

  8. Symposium 19: The contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bayardo Baptista Torres

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available K-Education(Portuguese Chair: V. Trindade Bayardo Torres; Clovis Wannmacher; Denise MacedoThe contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching.O ensino de Bioquímica nos últimos 20 anosBayardo B. TorresDepartamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, USP. São Paulo, Brazil.Among the contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP one must recall:1. Winter school for graduate studentsThis course, now at the ninth edition, is intended for students in the final stage of their Masters or PhD in Biochemistry or related areas from any institution of higher education.Modern and important techniques are offered as possible support to help the student’s projects.2. Summer courses for undergraduate studentsThe Department offers every year, since 1999, complementary courses for undergraduate students to extend their knowledge in biochemical subjects not ordinarily treated in introductory courses. Some examples:Plant Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Diseases, Biochemistry of Mind, Biochemistry of Ageing, Cancer Biochemistry, Nutrition and Sports, Biochemistry of Beauty, Biochemistry of the Envenomation Response, etc.3. Summer courses for high school teachers. Some examples:Biochemistry of Nutrition, DNA – Techniques and Applications, Biochemistry in the kitchen.4. Software developmentMany software for biochemistry teaching/learning were developed and are freely available at the Biblioteca Digital de Ciências [http://www.bdc.ib.unicamp.br/bdc/index.php]. Some examples:Oxygen consumption by mitochondria, Muscle contraction, Electron transport chain and oxidative phosphorylation, Free radicals, Enzyme kinetics, cAMP signalization, Interactive study of protein structure, Leptin, Insulin and Obesity.5. A Biochemistry textbook. 

  9. Intra-axonal Synthesis of SNAP25 Is Required for the Formation of Presynaptic Terminals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andreia F.R. Batista

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Localized protein synthesis is a mechanism for developing axons to react acutely and in a spatially restricted manner to extracellular signals. As such, it is important for many aspects of axonal development, but its role in the formation of presynapses remains poorly understood. We found that the induced assembly of presynaptic terminals required local protein synthesis. Newly synthesized proteins were detectable at nascent presynapses within 15 min of inducing synapse formation in isolated axons. The transcript for the t-SNARE protein SNAP25, which is required for the fusion of synaptic vesicles with the plasma membrane, was recruited to presynaptic sites and locally translated. Inhibition of intra-axonal SNAP25 synthesis affected the clustering of SNAP25 and other presynaptic proteins and interfered with the release of synaptic vesicles from presynaptic sites. This study reveals a critical role for the axonal synthesis of SNAP25 in the assembly of presynaptic terminals.

  10. Biochemistry of epidermal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckert, Richard L; Adhikary, Gautam; Balasubramanian, Sivaprakasam; Rorke, Ellen A; Vemuri, Mohan C; Boucher, Shayne E; Bickenbach, Jackie R; Kerr, Candace

    2013-02-01

    The epidermis is an important protective barrier that is essential for maintenance of life. Maintaining this barrier requires continuous cell proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, these processes must be balanced to produce a normal epidermis. The stem cells of the epidermis reside in specific locations in the basal epidermis, hair follicle and sebaceous glands and these cells are responsible for replenishment of this tissue. A great deal of effort has gone into identifying protein epitopes that mark stem cells, in identifying stem cell niche locations, and in understanding how stem cell populations are related. We discuss these studies as they apply to understanding normal epidermal homeostasis and skin cancer. An assortment of stem cell markers have been identified that permit assignment of stem cells to specific regions of the epidermis, and progress has been made in understanding the role of these cells in normal epidermal homeostasis and in conditions of tissue stress. A key finding is the multiple stem cell populations exist in epidermis that give rise to different structures, and that multiple stem cell types may contribute to repair in damaged epidermis. Understanding epidermal stem cell biology is likely to lead to important therapies for treating skin diseases and cancer, and will also contribute to our understanding of stem cells in other systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Biochemistry of epidermal stem cells☆

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eckert, Richard L.; Adhikary, Gautam; Balasubramanian, Sivaprakasam; Rorke, Ellen A.; Vemuri, Mohan C.; Boucher, Shayne E.; Bickenbach, Jackie R.; Kerr, Candace

    2014-01-01

    Background The epidermis is an important protective barrier that is essential for maintenance of life. Maintaining this barrier requires continuous cell proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, these processes must be balanced to produce a normal epidermis. The stem cells of the epidermis reside in specific locations in the basal epidermis, hair follicle and sebaceous glands and these cells are responsible for replenishment of this tissue. Scope of review A great deal of effort has gone into identifying protein epitopes that mark stem cells, in identifying stem cell niche locations, and in understanding how stem cell populations are related. We discuss these studies as they apply to understanding normal epidermal homeostasis and skin cancer. Major conclusions An assortment of stem cell markers have been identified that permit assignment of stem cells to specific regions of the epidermis, and progress has been made in understanding the role of these cells in normal epidermal homeostasis and in conditions of tissue stress. A key finding is the multiple stem cell populations exist in epidermis that give rise to different structures, and that multiple stem cell types may contribute to repair in damaged epidermis. General significance Understanding epidermal stem cell biology is likely to lead to important therapies for treating skin diseases and cancer, and will also contribute to our understanding of stem cells in other systems. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Biochemistry of Stem Cells. PMID:22820019

  12. Lateral presynaptic inhibition mediates gain control in an olfactory circuit.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Shawn R; Wilson, Rachel I

    2008-04-24

    Olfactory signals are transduced by a large family of odorant receptor proteins, each of which corresponds to a unique glomerulus in the first olfactory relay of the brain. Crosstalk between glomeruli has been proposed to be important in olfactory processing, but it is not clear how these interactions shape the odour responses of second-order neurons. In the Drosophila antennal lobe (a region analogous to the vertebrate olfactory bulb), we selectively removed most interglomerular input to genetically identified second-order olfactory neurons. Here we show that this broadens the odour tuning of these neurons, implying that interglomerular inhibition dominates over interglomerular excitation. The strength of this inhibitory signal scales with total feedforward input to the entire antennal lobe, and has similar tuning in different glomeruli. A substantial portion of this interglomerular inhibition acts at a presynaptic locus, and our results imply that this is mediated by both ionotropic and metabotropic receptors on the same nerve terminal.

  13. Synaptic transmission block by presynaptic injection of oligomeric amyloid beta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Herman; Yu, Eunah; Pigino, Gustavo; Hernandez, Alejandro I.; Kim, Natalia; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2009-01-01

    Early Alzheimer's disease (AD) pathophysiology is characterized by synaptic changes induced by degradation products of amyloid precursor protein (APP). The exact mechanisms of such modulation are unknown. Here, we report that nanomolar concentrations of intraaxonal oligomeric (o)Aβ42, but not oAβ40 or extracellular oAβ42, acutely inhibited synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse. Further characterization of this phenotype demonstrated that presynaptic calcium currents were unaffected. However, electron microscopy experiments revealed diminished docked synaptic vesicles in oAβ42-microinjected terminals, without affecting clathrin-coated vesicles. The molecular events of this modulation involved casein kinase 2 and the synaptic vesicle rapid endocytosis pathway. These findings open the possibility of a new therapeutic target aimed at ameliorating synaptic dysfunction in AD. PMID:19304802

  14. Antagonism of presynaptic dopamine receptors by phenothiazine drug metabolites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nowak, J.Z.; Arbilla, S.; Langer, S.Z.; Dahl, S.G.

    1990-01-01

    Electrically evoked release of dopamine from the caudate nucleus is reduced by the dopamine receptor agonists, apomorphine and bromocriptine, and facilitated by neuroleptic drugs, which act as dopamine autoreceptor antagonists. The potencies of chlorpromazine, fluphenazine, levomepromazine and their hydroxy-metabolites in modulating electrically evoked release of dopamine were examined by superfusion of rabbit caudate nucleus slices pre-incubated with 3 H-dopamine. O-Desmethyl levomepromazine, 3-hydroxy- and 7-hydroxy metabolites of chlorpromazine and levomepromazine facilitated electrically evoked release of 3 H-dopamine, having potencies similar to that of the parent compounds. 7-Hydroxy fluphenazine was less active than fluphenazine in this system. These results indicate that phenolic metabolites of chlorpromazine and levomepromazine, but not of fluphenazine, may contribute to effects of the drugs mediated by presynaptic dopamine receptors

  15. Presynaptic G Protein-Coupled Receptors: Gatekeepers of Addiction?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kari A Johnson

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Drug abuse and addiction cause widespread social and public health problems, and the neurobiology underlying drug actions and drug use and abuse is an area of intensive research. Drugs of abuse alter synaptic transmission, and these actions contribute to acute intoxication as well as the chronic effects of abused substances. Transmission at most mammalian synapses involves neurotransmitter activation of two receptor subtypes, ligand-gated ion channels that mediate fast synaptic responses, and G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs that have slower neuromodulatory actions. The GPCRs represent a large proportion of neurotransmitter receptors involved in almost all facets of nervous system function. In addition, these receptors are targets for many pharmacotherapeutic agents. Drugs of abuse directly or indirectly affect neuromodulation mediated by GPCRs, with important consequences for intoxication, drug taking and responses to prolonged drug exposure, withdrawal and addiction. Among the GPCRs are several subtypes involved in presynaptic inhibition, most of which are coupled to the Gi/o class of G protein. There is increasing evidence that these presynaptic Gi/o-coupled GPCRs have important roles in the actions of drugs of abuse, as well as behaviors related to these drugs. This topic will be reviewed, with particular emphasis on receptors for three neurotransmitters, dopamine (D1- and D2-like receptors, endocannabinoids (CB1 receptors and glutamate (group II metabotropic glutamate (mGlu receptors. The focus is on recent evidence from laboratory animal models (and some evidence in humans implicating these receptors in the acute and chronic effects of numerous abused drugs, as well as in the control of drug seeking and taking. The ability of drugs targeting these receptors to modify drug seeking behavior has raised the possibility of using compounds targeting these receptors for addiction pharmacotherapy. This topic is also discussed, with emphasis on

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. In vivo imaging of human biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hall, L.D.

    1983-01-01

    Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is an extremely powerful method for studying aspects of the biochemistry of defined regions of the human body, literally 'in-vivo' biochemistry. To place this technique in the broader perspective of medical diagnostic methods an introduction is given to some of the more important imaging methods which are already widely used clinically. A brief summary of the most recently developed imaging method, which is based on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, is also included

  3. Nutritional Biochemistry of Space Flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2000-01-01

    Adequate nutrition is critical for maintenance of crew health during and after extended-duration space flight. The impact of weightlessness on human physiology is profound, with effects on many systems related to nutrition, including bone, muscle, hematology, fluid and electrolyte regulation. Additionally, we have much to learn regarding the impact of weightlessness on absorption, mtabolism , and excretion of nutrients, and this will ultimately determine the nutrient requirements for extended-duration space flight. Existing nutritional requirements for extended-duration space flight have been formulated based on limited flight research, and extrapolation from ground-based research. NASA's Nutritional Biochemistry Laboratory is charged with defining the nutritional requirements for space flight. This is accomplished through both operational and research projects. A nutritional status assessment program is included operationally for all International Space Station astronauts. This medical requirement includes biochemical and dietary assessments, and is completed before, during, and after the missions. This program will provide information about crew health and nutritional status, and will also provide assessments of countermeasure efficacy. Ongoing research projects include studies of calcium and bone metabolism, and iron absorption and metabolism. The calcium studies include measurements of endocrine regulation of calcium homeostasis, biochemical marker of bone metabolism, and tracer kinetic studies of calcium movement in the body. These calcium kinetic studies allow for estimation of intestinal absorption, urinary excretion, and perhaps most importantly - deposition and resorption of calcium from bone. The Calcium Kinetics experiment is currently being prepared for flight on the Space Shuttle in 2001, and potentially for subsequent Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The iron study is intended to assess whether iron absorption is down-regulated dUl1ng

  4. Education in Medical Biochemistry in Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Majkic-Sing, Nada

    2010-06-01

    Medical biochemistry is the usual name for clinical biochemistry or clinical chemistry in Serbia. Medical biochemistry laboratories and medical biochemists as a profession are part of Health Care System and are regulated through: the Health Care Law and rules issued by the Chamber of Medical Biochemists of Serbia. The first continuous and organized education for Medical Biochemists in Serbia dates from 1945, when Department of Medical Biochemistry was established at Pharmaceutical Faculty in Belgrade. In 1987 at the same Faculty a five years undergraduate branch was established, educating Medical Biochemists under a special program. Since 2006 the new five year undergraduate (according to Bologna Declaration) and postgraduate program of four-year specialization according to EC4 European Syllabus for Post-Graduate Training in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has been established. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health accredits the programs. There are four requirements for practicing medical biochemistry in the Health Care System: University Diploma of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Medical Biochemistry), successful completion of the profession exam at the Ministry of Health after completion of one additional year of obligatory practical training in medical laboratories, membership in the Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists and licence for skilled work issued by Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists.

  5. 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.

  6. INTERNET ASSISTED LEARNING OF BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.M. Lima

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available The revolution  in information  technology  has included the INTERNET to the available  resources for biochemical  education.  There  is a great  deal of biochemical  information, and  the  amount is increas- ing rapidly,  indeed  exponentially.  The  aim of this work is to analyze  the  biochemical  issues cellular respiration, photosynthesis and membrane  transport available  in web pages, taking  into account con- tents  quality,  trustworthiness and effectiveness. Firstly  1st secondary level students were inquired by a questionnaire on their use of INTERNET resources.  More then 80 percent of them were regular users. The  results  confirm the  already  known  potential of INTERNET in education.  Fourteen sites  were analyzed  regarding  to contents, presence  of bibliographical, references,  authorship, titles  responsible and adequacy  to the target public.  In relation  to contents, presence of conceptual  errors, illustrations and other  stimulatory elements  were analyzed.  The great  majority  did not mention  bibliographic  ref- erences and target public.  Less than  half divulged responsible  names and/or their  graduation status. Some sites contained critical  conceptual  errors,  as the mention  of, as examples:  during  the cell active transport process, of energy (ATP waste (desperdício by the cell; the yeast is a pluricellular  fungal; and  the  oxygen is essential  for anaerobic  respiration.  However,  one of the  sites,  where  such  errors were found, was the only one to mention  enzymes and regulation  steps of cellular respiration. Half of the sites present identical  texts  and figures. None of the analyzed  sites thus  was considered excellent. Our data  strenghthen the need for rigorous evaluation concerning of scholarly research  of biochemical theme  on the web.INTERNET ASSISTED LEARNING OF  BIOCHEMISTRY

  7. BIOLUMINESCENCE: TEACHING BIOCHEMISTRY BEYOND THE UNIVERSITY WALLS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Paula Jesus de Almeida

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The use of video in teaching and learning processes provides a challenging environment, able to stimulate the intellect and facilitate understanding in life science studies. Videos can be of extraordinary importance in education and dissemination of knowledge, contributing to greater learning, but is rarely used and exploited properly, especially for teaching biochemistry. Biochemistry is considered complex because it involves many molecular structures and processes, especially considering the number of events and molecules involved in the metabolism. OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to introduce biochemistry for the students of basic education using the theme "Light, Science and Life" in a playful and fun way. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A video about bioluminescence was designed and prepared aiming to use it as a support for learning biochemistry by students of basic education of public schools located in Salvador, Bahia. In order to prepare the video, undergraduate students initially revised the literature in order to acquire proper knowledge, and along with their teacher advisor worked the elaboration of texts, textbook and questionnaire and applied at school. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: Analysis the qualitative results of the experiment on the preparation and use of the video about "Bioluminescence" focused mainly on the content of biochemistry linked to theme Light, Science and Life, and demonstrated the importance of such work in the teaching-learning process. The dynamics used allowed greater interaction between students and teacher, and the teaching of biochemistry in a fun way beyond the university walls. CONCLUSION: The teaching through recreational resources, e.g. videos and other educational strategies that foster learning should be encouraged from basic education, always bearing in order to transmit through these teaching methods the main concepts covered in biochemistry.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

    Presynaptic activation of the diacylglycerol (DAG)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway is a central event in short-term synaptic plasticity. Two substrates, Munc13-1 and Munc18-1, are essential for DAG-induced potentiation of vesicle priming, but the role of most presynaptic PKC substrates is not unde......Presynaptic activation of the diacylglycerol (DAG)/protein kinase C (PKC) pathway is a central event in short-term synaptic plasticity. Two substrates, Munc13-1 and Munc18-1, are essential for DAG-induced potentiation of vesicle priming, but the role of most presynaptic PKC substrates...... is not understood. Here, we show that a mutation in synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1(T112A)), which prevents its PKC-dependent phosphorylation, abolishes DAG-induced potentiation of synaptic transmission in hippocampal neurons. This mutant also reduces potentiation of spontaneous release, but only if alternative Ca(2+)sensors...

  9. The Biochemistry Tetrahedron and the Development of the Taxonomy of Biochemistry External Representations (TOBER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Towns, Marcy H.; Raker, Jeffrey R.; Becker, Nicole; Harle, Marissa; Sutcliffe, Jonathan

    2012-01-01

    Visual literacy, the ability to interpret and create external representations (ERs), is essential to success in biochemistry. Studies have been conducted that describe students' abilities to use and interpret specific types of ERs. However, a framework for describing ERs derived through a naturalistic inquiry of biochemistry classrooms has not…

  10. Pet measurements of presynaptic sympathetic nerve terminals in the heart

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwaiger, M.; Hutchins, G.D.; Wieland, D.M.

    1991-01-01

    [ 18 F]Metaraminol (FMR) and [ 11 C]hydroxyephedrine (HED) are catecholamine analogues that have been developed at the University of Michigan for the noninvasive characterization of the sympathetic nervous system of the heart using positron emission tomography (PET). Pharmacological studies employing neurotoxins and uptake inhibitors have demonstrated that both FMR and HED specifically trace the uptake and storage of catecholamines in sympathetic nerve terminals with little nonspecific tracer accumulation. These compounds exhibit excellent qualitative imaging characteristics with heart-to-blood ratios exceeding 6:1 as early as 15 min after intravenous injection in both animals (HED and FMR) and humans (HED). Tracer kinetic modeling techniques have been employed for the quantitative assessment of neuronal catecholamine uptake and storage. Indices of neuronal function, such as the volume of tracer distribution derived from the kinetic models, have been employed in preliminary human studies. Comparison of the tissue distribution volume of HED between normal (control subjects) and denervated (recent transplant patients) cardiac tissue demonstrates a dynamic range of approximately 5:1. This distribution volume is reduced by 60% from normal in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy, indicating dysfunction of the sympathetic system. These results show that HED used in combination with PET provides a sophisticated quantitative approach for studying the sympathetic nervous system of the normal and diseased human heart

  11. New Treatments for Drug-Resistant Epilepsy that Target Presynaptic Transmitter Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-07-01

    may become a key piece in the arsenal of antiepileptic drugs in mesial temporal lobe epilepsy . Thereby, screening for a presynaptic action site may be...neuronal damage, mesial temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) in ~30% of patients, and resistance to available anticonvulsant drugs. Therefore, it is of... temporal lobe epilepsy (MTLE) (months 1-12). Working hypothesis: Drugs acting on presynaptic Ca 2+ channels, autoreceptors, and SV2a will be more

  12. Protein dynamics during presynaptic complex assembly on individual ssDNA molecules

    OpenAIRE

    Gibb, Bryan; Ye, Ling F.; Kwon, YoungHo; Niu, Hengyao; Sung, Patrick; Greene, Eric C.

    2014-01-01

    Homologous recombination is a conserved pathway for repairing double?stranded breaks, which are processed to yield single?stranded DNA overhangs that serve as platforms for presynaptic complex assembly. Here we use single?molecule imaging to reveal the interplay between Saccharomyce cerevisiae RPA, Rad52, and Rad51 during presynaptic complex assembly. We show that Rad52 binds RPA?ssDNA and suppresses RPA turnover, highlighting an unanticipated regulatory influence on protein dynamics. Rad51 b...

  13. Strontium, barium, and manganese metabolism in isolated presynaptic nerve terminals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rasgado-Flores, H.; Sanchez-Armass, S.; Blaustein, M.P.; Nachshen, D.A.

    1987-01-01

    To gain insight into the mechanisms by which the divalent cations Sr, Ba, and Mn affect neurotransmitter release from presynaptic nerve terminals, the authors examined the sequestration of these cations, ion comparison to Ca, by mitochondrial and nonmitochondrial organelles and the extrusion of these cations from isolated nerve terminals. Sequestration was studied in synaptosomes made leaky to small ions by treatment with saponin; efflux was examined in intact synaptosomes that were preloaded with the divalent cations by incubation in depolarizing (K rich) media. The selectivity sequence for ATP-dependent mitochondrial uptake that they observed was Mn>>Ca>Sr>>Ba, whereas that for the SER was Ca ≥ Mn>Sr>>Ba. When synaptosomes that were preloaded with divalent cations were incubated in Na- and Ca-free media, there was little efflux of 45 Ca, 133 Ba, 85 Sr, or 54 Mn. When the incubation was carried out in media containing Na without Ca, there was substantial stimulation of Ca and Sr efflux, but only slight stimulation of Ba or Mn efflux. In Na-free media, the addition of 1 mM Ca promoted the efflux of all four divalent cations, probably via Ca-divalent cation exchange. In summary, the sequestration and extrusion data suggest that, with equal loads, Mn will be buffered to the greatest extent, whereas Ba will be least well buffered. These results may help to explain why Mn has a very long-lasting effect on transmitter release, while the effect of Sr is much briefer

  14. Presynaptic localization of histamine H3-receptors in rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fujimoto, K.; Mizuguchi, H.; Fukui, H.; Wada, H.

    1991-01-01

    The localization of histamine H3-receptors in subcellular fractions from the rat brain was examined in a [3H] (R) alpha-methylhistamine binding assay and compared with those of histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1- and alpha 2-receptors. Major [3H](R) alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities ([3H]ligand binding vs. protein amount) were recovered from the P2 fraction by differential centrifugation. Minor [3H](R)alpha-methylhistamine binding sites with increased specific activities were also detected in the P3 fraction. Further subfractionation of the P2 fraction by discontinuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation showed major recoveries of [3H](R)alpha-methylhistamine binding in myelin (MYE) and synaptic plasma membrane (SPM) fractions. A further increase in specific activity was observed in the MYE fraction, but the SPM fraction showed no significant increase in specific activity. Adrenaline alpha 2-receptors, the pre-synaptic autoreceptors, in a [3H] yohimbine binding assay showed distribution patterns similar to histamine H3-receptors. On the other hand, post-synaptic histamine H1- and adrenaline alpha 1-receptors were closely localized and distributed mainly in the SPM fraction with increased specific activity. Only a negligible amount was recovered in the MYE fraction, unlike the histamine H3- and adrenaline alpha 2-receptors

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of intensive mariculture on sediment biochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pusceddu, Antonio; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Mirto, Simone

    2007-01-01

    The exponential growth of off-shore mariculture that has occurred worldwide over the last 10 years has raised concern about the impact of the waste produced by this industry on the ecological integrity of the sea bottom. Investigations into this potential source of impact on the biochemistry...... of the sea floor have provided contrasting results, and no compelling explanations for these discrepancies have been provided to date. To quantify the impact of fish-farm activities on the biochemistry of sediments, we have investigated the quantity and biochemical composition of sediment organic matter...... regions, with the exception of seagrass sediments in Spain, the biochemistry of the sediments showed significant differences between the control and fish-farm locations. However, the variables explaining the differences observed varied among the regions and between habitats, suggesting idiosyncratic...

  1. BOREAS TE-9 NSA Canopy Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Forrest G. (Editor); Curd, Shelaine (Editor); Margolis, Hank; Charest, Martin; Sy, Mikailou

    2000-01-01

    The BOREAS TE-9 team collected several data sets related to chemical and photosynthetic properties of leaves. This data set contains canopy biochemistry data collected in 1994 in the NSA at the YJP, OJR, OBS, UBS, and OA sites, including biochemistry lignin, nitrogen, cellulose, starch, and fiber concentrations. These data were collected to study the spatial and temporal changes in the canopy biochemistry of boreal forest cover types and how a high-resolution radiative transfer model in the mid-infrared could be applied in an effort to obtain better estimates of canopy biochemical properties using remote sensing. The data are available in tabular ASCII files. The data files are available on a CD-ROM (see document number 20010000884), or from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC).

  2. Whereas Short-Term Facilitation Is Presynaptic, Intermediate-Term Facilitation Involves Both Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Protein Kinases and Protein Synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Iksung; Kandel, Eric R.; Hawkins, Robert D.

    2011-01-01

    Whereas short-term plasticity involves covalent modifications that are generally restricted to either presynaptic or postsynaptic structures, long-term plasticity involves the growth of new synapses, which by its nature involves both pre- and postsynaptic alterations. In addition, an intermediate-term stage of plasticity has been identified that…

  3. Symposium 19: The contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching

    OpenAIRE

    Baptista Torres, Bayardo; Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

    2014-01-01

    K-Education(Portuguese) Chair: V. Trindade Bayardo Torres; Clovis Wannmacher; Denise MacedoThe contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP towards Biochemistry teaching.O ensino de Bioquímica nos últimos 20 anosBayardo B. TorresDepartamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Química, USP. São Paulo, Brazil.Among the contributions of the Department of Biochemistry/USP one must recall:1. Winter school for graduate studentsThis course, now at the ninth edition, is intended for students in the f...

  4. The translational regulator Cup controls NMJ presynaptic terminal morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Menon, Kaushiki P; Carrillo, Robert A; Zinn, Kai

    2015-07-01

    During oogenesis and early embryonic development in Drosophila, translation of proteins from maternally deposited mRNAs is tightly controlled. We and others have previously shown that translational regulatory proteins that function during oogenesis also have essential roles in the nervous system. Here we examine the role of Cup in neuromuscular system development. Maternal Cup controls translation of localized mRNAs encoding the Oskar and Nanos proteins and binds to the general translation initiation factor eIF4E. In this paper, we show that zygotic Cup protein is localized to presynaptic terminals at larval neuromuscular junctions (NMJs). cup mutant NMJs have strong phenotypes characterized by the presence of small clustered boutons called satellite boutons. They also exhibit an increase in the frequency of spontaneous glutamate release events (mEPSPs). Reduction of eIF4E expression synergizes with partial loss of Cup expression to produce satellite bouton phenotypes. The presence of satellite boutons is often associated with increases in retrograde bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling, and we show that synaptic BMP signaling is elevated in cup mutants. cup genetically interacts with two genes, EndoA and Dap160, that encode proteins involved in endocytosis that are also neuronal modulators of the BMP pathway. Endophilin protein, encoded by the EndoA gene, is downregulated in a cup mutant. Our results are consistent with a model in which Cup and eIF4E work together to ensure efficient localization and translation of endocytosis proteins in motor neurons and control the strength of the retrograde BMP signal. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Human immunodeficiency virus-1 protein Tat induces excitotoxic loss of presynaptic terminals in hippocampal cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shin, Angela H; Thayer, Stanley A

    2013-05-01

    Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection of the CNS produces dendritic damage that correlates with cognitive decline in patients with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND). HIV-induced neurotoxicity results in part from viral proteins shed from infected cells, including the HIV transactivator of transcription (Tat). We previously showed that Tat binds to the low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP), resulting in overactivation of NMDA receptors, activation of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway, and subsequent loss of postsynaptic densities. Here, we show that Tat also induces a loss of presynaptic terminals. The number of presynaptic terminals was quantified using confocal imaging of synaptophysin fused to green fluorescent protein (Syn-GFP). Tat-induced loss of presynaptic terminals was secondary to excitatory postsynaptic mechanisms because treatment with an LRP antagonist or an NMDA receptor antagonist inhibited this loss. Treatment with nutlin-3, an E3 ligase inhibitor, prevented Tat-induced loss of presynaptic terminals. These data suggest that Tat-induced loss of presynaptic terminals is a consequence of excitotoxic postsynaptic activity. We previously found that ifenprodil, an NR2B subunit-selective NMDA receptor antagonist, induced recovery of postsynaptic densities. Here we show that Tat-induced loss of presynaptic terminals was reversed by ifenprodil treatment. Thus, Tat-induced loss of presynaptic terminals is reversible, and this recovery can be initiated by inhibiting a subset of postsynaptic NMDA receptors. Understanding the dynamics of synaptic changes in response to HIV infection of the CNS may lead to the design of improved pharmacotherapies for HAND patients. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Synapse Formation in Monosynaptic Sensory–Motor Connections Is Regulated by Presynaptic Rho GTPase Cdc42

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imai, Fumiyasu; Ladle, David R.; Leslie, Jennifer R.; Duan, Xin; Rizvi, Tilat A.; Ciraolo, Georgianne M.; Zheng, Yi

    2016-01-01

    Spinal reflex circuit development requires the precise regulation of axon trajectories, synaptic specificity, and synapse formation. Of these three crucial steps, the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation between group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons and motor neurons is the least understood. Here, we show that the Rho GTPase Cdc42 controls synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor connections in presynaptic, but not postsynaptic, neurons. In mice lacking Cdc42 in presynaptic sensory neurons, proprioceptive sensory axons appropriately reach the ventral spinal cord, but significantly fewer synapses are formed with motor neurons compared with wild-type mice. Concordantly, electrophysiological analyses show diminished EPSP amplitudes in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits in these mutants. Temporally targeted deletion of Cdc42 in sensory neurons after sensory–motor circuit establishment reveals that Cdc42 does not affect synaptic transmission. Furthermore, addition of the synaptic organizers, neuroligins, induces presynaptic differentiation of wild-type, but not Cdc42-deficient, proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro. Together, our findings demonstrate that Cdc42 in presynaptic neurons is required for synapse formation in monosynaptic sensory–motor circuits. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Group Ia proprioceptive sensory neurons form direct synapses with motor neurons, but the molecular mechanisms underlying synapse formation in these monosynaptic sensory–motor connections are unknown. We show that deleting Cdc42 in sensory neurons does not affect proprioceptive sensory axon targeting because axons reach the ventral spinal cord appropriately, but these neurons form significantly fewer presynaptic terminals on motor neurons. Electrophysiological analysis further shows that EPSPs are decreased in these mice. Finally, we demonstrate that Cdc42 is involved in neuroligin-dependent presynaptic differentiation of proprioceptive sensory neurons in vitro

  9. Blood biochemistry responses of chickens experimentally infected ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the blood biochemistry responses of cockerels experimentally infected with a velogenic Newcastle disease virus (NDV) strain, KUDU 113. One hundred Isa white cockerels were used for the study. The cockerels were obtained at day-old and randomly divided into groups A- vaccinated and infected, ...

  10. Jmol-Enhanced Biochemistry Research Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saderholm, Matthew; Reynolds, Anthony

    2011-01-01

    We developed a protein research project for a one-semester biochemistry lecture class to enhance learning and more effectively train students to understand protein structure and function. During this semester-long process, students select a protein with known structure and then research its structure, sequence, and function. This project…

  11. Modern trends in biochemistry and biotechnology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    On the conference 'Modern trends in biochemistry and biotechnology' several lectures concerned influence of ionizing radiation on the animal cells. Changes in the cell division caused by radiation induced DNA damage were discussed. Application of single cell gel electrophoresis assay (comet assay) in assessment of DNA damages was the subject of dedicated session

  12. Haematology, serum biochemistry and growth performance of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    High performing does have the tendency of producing healthy kids with reasonable weight at birth compared to least performing does. A study was conducted to investigate the haematology, serum biochemistry and growth performance of grazing pregnant Kalahari Red does fed concentrate diets at three protein levels.

  13. Identification of Threshold Concepts for Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loertscher, Jennifer; Green, David; Lewis, Jennifer E.; Lin, Sara; Minderhout, Vicky

    2014-01-01

    Threshold concepts (TCs) are concepts that, when mastered, represent a transformed understanding of a discipline without which the learner cannot progress. We have undertaken a process involving more than 75 faculty members and 50 undergraduate students to identify a working list of TCs for biochemistry. The process of identifying TCs for…

  14. A Kinetic Experiment for the Biochemistry Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palmer, Richard E.

    1986-01-01

    Discusses the use of specific reactions of metabolic pathways to make measurements in the laboratory. Describes an adaptation of an experiment used in undergraduate biochemistry laboratories involving the induction of an enzyme in E. coli, as well as its partial purification and characterization. (TW)

  15. There is No Overkill in Biochemistry

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Home; Journals; Resonance – Journal of Science Education; Volume 17; Issue 12. There is No Overkill in Biochemistry - Har Gobind Khorana, a Pioneer in Membrane Biology. Sadashiva Karnik Sriram Subramaniam. General Article Volume 17 Issue 12 December 2012 pp 1157-1164 ...

  16. Biochemistry in the idea of graduation students

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. F. Escoto et al

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVE: Biochemistry is an interdisciplinary area that allows us to study chemical phenomena in live organisms. That way, its study is of extreme importance, in all levels, to enlarge the comprehension of natural phenomena. However, it is barely explored in the basic education and often fragmented in the higher education, or in graduation degrees that contemplate this area. Especially in the teacher training, where the fragmentation of knowledge can contribute to form wrong concepts. Based on that, this work aims to identify the concept of Biochemistry according to the future teachers of Natural Science. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The work was developed with 3º, 5º and 9º semesters students of the natural science degree on Universidade Federal do Pampa. 50 students, from 18 to 56 years old, were interviewed. The data was obtained through a semi-structured questionnaire. The methodology of categorization and analysis of content with emergent categories of speech was chosen for the analysis. RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: Initially, 11 categories were chosen by content similarity. In descending order: chemical reactions in organisms, chemistry area, chemistry of life, cell metabolism, the study of living beings, origin of life, biology area, organic balance, chemical-biological study. The reports made possible to identify that most students do understand with clarity the goal of studying biochemistry. Although, we can see that there are some students that fragment the area, what means, they try to discriminate chemistry from biology. This way, they demonstrate a difficulty to comprehend biochemistry as interdisciplinary, what makes it hard to contextualize the built knowledge. It is important to develop strategies to overcome the fragmentation of knowledge, so that biochemistry can be comprehended in its fullness and help on the teaching processes that will be developed by the future teachers.

  17. Commentary: PhDs in Biochemistry Education--5 Years Later

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G.; Momsen, Jennifer L.; Osgood, Marcy

    2014-01-01

    In this commentary, the discussion of PhDs in biochemistry education research is expanded to explore a number of diverse pathways leading to a competitive research program in biochemistry education research.

  18. 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.

  19. Role of the Wnt receptor Frizzled-1 in presynaptic differentiation and function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alvarez Alejandra R

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Wnt signaling pathway regulates several fundamental developmental processes and recently has been shown to be involved in different aspects of synaptic differentiation and plasticity. Some Wnt signaling components are localized at central synapses, and it is thus possible that this pathway could be activated at the synapse. Results We examined the distribution of the Wnt receptor Frizzled-1 in cultured hippocampal neurons and determined that this receptor is located at synaptic contacts co-localizing with presynaptic proteins. Frizzled-1 was found in functional synapses detected with FM1-43 staining and in synaptic terminals from adult rat brain. Interestingly, overexpression of Frizzled-1 increased the number of clusters of Bassoon, a component of the active zone, while treatment with the extracellular cysteine-rich domain (CRD of Frizzled-1 decreased Bassoon clustering, suggesting a role for this receptor in presynaptic differentiation. Consistent with this, treatment with the Frizzled-1 ligand Wnt-3a induced presynaptic protein clustering and increased functional presynaptic recycling sites, and these effects were prevented by co-treatment with the CRD of Frizzled-1. Moreover, in synaptically mature neurons Wnt-3a was able to modulate the kinetics of neurotransmitter release. Conclusion Our results indicate that the activation of the Wnt pathway through Frizzled-1 occurs at the presynaptic level, and suggest that the synaptic effects of the Wnt signaling pathway could be modulated by local activation through synaptic Frizzled receptors.

  20. Presynaptic mechanisms of lead neurotoxicity: effects on vesicular release, vesicle clustering and mitochondria number.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiao-Lei; Guariglia, Sara R; McGlothan, Jennifer L; Stansfield, Kirstie H; Stanton, Patric K; Guilarte, Tomás R

    2015-01-01

    Childhood lead (Pb2+) intoxication is a global public health problem and accounts for 0.6% of the global burden of disease associated with intellectual disabilities. Despite the recognition that childhood Pb2+ intoxication contributes significantly to intellectual disabilities, there is a fundamental lack of knowledge on presynaptic mechanisms by which Pb2+ disrupts synaptic function. In this study, using a well-characterized rodent model of developmental Pb2+ neurotoxicity, we show that Pb2+ exposure markedly inhibits presynaptic vesicular release in hippocampal Schaffer collateral-CA1 synapses in young adult rats. This effect was associated with ultrastructural changes which revealed a reduction in vesicle number in the readily releasable/docked vesicle pool, disperse vesicle clusters in the resting pool, and a reduced number of presynaptic terminals with multiple mitochondria with no change in presynaptic calcium influx. These studies provide fundamental knowledge on mechanisms by which Pb2+ produces profound inhibition of presynaptic vesicular release that contribute to deficits in synaptic plasticity and intellectual development.

  1. Acetylcholine-induced inhibition of presynaptic calcium signals and transmitter release in the frog neuromuscular junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduard Khaziev

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Acetylcholine (ACh, released from axonal terminals of motor neurones in neuromuscular junctions regulates the efficacy of neurotransmission through activation of presynaptic nicotinic and muscarinic autoreceptors. Receptor-mediated presynaptic regulation could reflect either direct action on exocytotic machinery or modulation of Ca2+ entry and resulting intra-terminal Ca2+ dynamics. We have measured free intra-terminal cytosolic Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i using Oregon-Green 488 microfluorimetry, in parallel with voltage-clamp recordings of spontaneous (mEPC and evoked (EPC postsynaptic currents in post-junctional skeletal muscle fibre. Activation of presynaptic muscarinic and nicotinic receptors with exogenous acetylcholine and its non-hydrolized analogue carbachol reduced amplitude of the intra-terminal [Ca2+]i transients and decreased quantal content (calculated by dividing the area under EPC curve by the area under mEPC curve. Pharmacological analysis revealed the role of muscarinic receptors of M2 subtype as well as d-tubocurarine-sensitive nicotinic receptor in presynaptic modulation of [Ca2+]i transients. Modulation of synaptic transmission efficacy by ACh receptors was completely eliminated by pharmacological inhibition of N-type Ca2+ channels. We conclude that ACh receptor-mediated reduction of Ca2+ entry into the nerve terminal through N-type Ca2+ channels represents one of possible mechanism of presynaptic modulation in frog neuromuscular junction.

  2. Television Medical Dramas as Case Studies in Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millard, Julie T.

    2009-01-01

    Several case studies from popular television medical dramas are described for use in an undergraduate biochemistry course. These cases, which illustrate fundamental principles of biochemistry, are used as the basis for problems that can be discussed further in small groups. Medical cases provide an interesting context for biochemistry with video…

  3. Commentary: PhDs in biochemistry education-5 years later.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Offerdahl, Erika G; Momsen, Jennifer L; Osgood, Marcy

    2014-01-01

    In this commentary, the discussion of PhDs in biochemistry education research is expanded to explore a number of diverse pathways leading to a competitive research program in biochemistry education research. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  4. Immobilization induces changes in presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in healthy humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Jesper Lundbye; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2008-01-01

    immobilized the left foot and ankle joint for 2 weeks in 12 able-bodied subjects. Disynaptic reciprocal inhibition of soleus (SOL) motoneurones and presynaptic control of SOL group Ia afferents was measured before and after the immobilization as well as following 2 weeks of recovery. Following immobilization...... maximal voluntary plantar- and dorsiflexion torque (MVC) was significantly reduced and the maximal SOL H-reflex amplitude increased with no changes in Mmax. Decreased presynaptic inhibition of the Ia afferents likely contributed to the increase of the H-reflex size, since we observed a significant...... decrease in the long-latency depression of the SOL H-reflex evoked by peroneal nerve stimulation (D2 inhibition) and an increase in the size of the monosynaptic Ia facilitation of the SOL H-reflex evoked by femoral nerve stimulation. These two measures provide independent evidence of changes in presynaptic...

  5. Phospho-dependent Accumulation of GABABRs at Presynaptic Terminals after NMDAR Activation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannan, Saad; Gerrow, Kim; Triller, Antoine; Smart, Trevor G

    2016-08-16

    Here, we uncover a mechanism for regulating the number of active presynaptic GABAB receptors (GABABRs) at nerve terminals, an important determinant of neurotransmitter release. We find that GABABRs gain access to axon terminals by lateral diffusion in the membrane. Their relative accumulation is dependent upon agonist activation and the presence of the two distinct sushi domains that are found only in alternatively spliced GABABR1a subunits. Following brief activation of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) using glutamate, GABABR diffusion is reduced, causing accumulation at presynaptic terminals in a Ca(2+)-dependent manner that involves phosphorylation of GABABR2 subunits at Ser783. This signaling cascade indicates how synaptically released glutamate can initiate, via a feedback mechanism, increased levels of presynaptic GABABRs that limit further glutamate release and excitotoxicity. Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. [Scientific and practical activity of the Department of Muscle Biochemistry of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vynogradova, R P; Danilova, V M; Yurasova, S P

    2017-01-01

    The article focuses on scientific and practical activity of the Department of Muscle Biochemistry of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine in the context of its foundation and development. Main findings and practical achievements in the area of muscle biochemistry are summarized and discussed.

  11. 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.

  12. Studies of biochemistry and clinical biochemistry. Studies at sample medical schools in 13 EU countries regarding biochemistry and clinical biochemistry teaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Petr; Sebesta, Ivan; Trnkova, Bohuslava; Zima, Tomas

    2008-07-01

    The study summarizes the results obtained during personal visits to 53 medical schools in the 13 original EU countries during 2004--2006. Data from the Czech Republic is shown for comparison. The possibilities of acquiring information from the websites of the medical schools in the local language and English are assessed. The admission process to medical schools and the organization of studies of medicine, dentistry, and non-medical healthcare fields are briefly characterized. Significant attention is paid to the forms of education in biochemistry and clinical (bio)chemistry in the medical study field. The position of these subjects in the studies of dentistry and non-medical healthcare fields is also noted. In addition, the course of subject exams is described. The methods of funding and postgraduate studies at the medical schools are also briefly addressed.

  13. Expression of presynaptic markers in a neurodevelopmental animal model with relevance to schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Karlsen, Anna S; Kaalund, Sanne Simone; Møller, Morten

    2013-01-01

    Administration of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist phencyclidine (PCP) to rat pups at postnatal day (PND) 7, 9, and 11 [neonatal PCP (neoPCP) model] induces cognitive deficits similar to those observed in schizophrenia. Expression of presynaptic SNARE protein, synaptosomal......-associated protein of 25 kDa (Snap25), has been shown to be downregulated in postmortem brains from patients with schizophrenia. The present study was designed to investigate the long-term effects of neoPCP administration on expression of presynaptic markers altered in schizophrenia. Using radioactive in...

  14. 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.

  15. Presynaptic mechanisms of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia: the findings, the debate, the therapeutic implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Angela eCenci

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The dopamine precursor L-DOPA has been the most effective treatment for Parkinson´s disease (PD for over 40 years. However, the response to this treatment changes during the progression of PD, and most patients develop dyskinesias (abnormal involuntary movements and motor fluctuations within a few years of L-DOPA therapy. There is wide consensus that these motor complications depend on both pre- and post-synaptic disturbances of nigrostriatal dopamine transmission. Several presynaptic mechanisms converge to generate large dopamine swings in the brain concomitant with the peaks-and-troughs of plasma L-DOPA levels, while post-synaptic changes engender abnormal functional responses in dopaminoceptive neurons. While this general picture is well-accepted, the relative contribution of different factors remains a matter of debate. A particularly animated debate has been growing around putative players on the presynaptic side of the cascade. To what extent do presynaptic disturbances in dopamine transmission depend on deficiency/dysfunction of the dopamine transporter, aberrant release of dopamine from serotonin neurons, or gliovascular mechanisms? And does noradrenaline (which is synthetized from dopamine play a role? This review article will summarize key findings, controversies, and pending questions regarding the presynaptic mechanisms of L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Intriguingly, the debate around these mechanisms has spurred research into previously unexplored facets of brain plasticity that have far-reaching implications to the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.

  16. A Presynaptic Role for FMRP during Protein Synthesis-Dependent Long-Term Plasticity in "Aplysia"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Till, Sally M.; Li, Hsiu-Ling; Miniaci, Maria Concetta; Kandel, Eric R.; Choi, Yun-Beom

    2011-01-01

    Loss of the Fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is associated with presumed postsynaptic deficits in mouse models of Fragile X syndrome. However, the possible presynaptic roles of FMRP in learning-related plasticity have received little attention. As a result, the mechanisms whereby FMRP influences synaptic function remain poorly…

  17. Presynaptic Glycine Receptors Increase GABAergic Neurotransmission in Rat Periaqueductal Gray Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwi-Hyung Choi

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The periaqueductal gray (PAG is involved in the central regulation of nociceptive transmission by affecting the descending inhibitory pathway. In the present study, we have addressed the functional role of presynaptic glycine receptors in spontaneous glutamatergic transmission. Spontaneous EPSCs (sEPSCs were recorded in mechanically dissociated rat PAG neurons using a conventional whole-cell patch recording technique under voltage-clamp conditions. The application of glycine (100 µM significantly increased the frequency of sEPSCs, without affecting the amplitude of sEPSCs. The glycine-induced increase in sEPSC frequency was blocked by 1 µM strychnine, a specific glycine receptor antagonist. The results suggest that glycine acts on presynaptic glycine receptors to increase the probability of glutamate release from excitatory nerve terminals. The glycine-induced increase in sEPSC frequency completely disappeared either in the presence of tetrodotoxin or Cd2+, voltage-gated Na+, or Ca2+ channel blockers, suggesting that the activation of presynaptic glycine receptors might depolarize excitatory nerve terminals. The present results suggest that presynaptic glycine receptors can regulate the excitability of PAG neurons by enhancing glutamatergic transmission and therefore play an important role in the regulation of various physiological functions mediated by the PAG.

  18. Selective synaptic targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers FGF22 and FGF7.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terauchi, Akiko; Timmons, Kendall M; Kikuma, Koto; Pechmann, Yvonne; Kneussel, Matthias; Umemori, Hisashi

    2015-01-15

    Specific formation of excitatory and inhibitory synapses is crucial for proper functioning of the brain. Fibroblast growth factor 22 (FGF22) and FGF7 are postsynaptic-cell-derived presynaptic organizers necessary for excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic differentiation, respectively, in the hippocampus. For the establishment of specific synaptic networks, these FGFs must localize to appropriate synaptic locations - FGF22 to excitatory and FGF7 to inhibitory postsynaptic sites. Here, we show that distinct motor and adaptor proteins contribute to intracellular microtubule transport of FGF22 and FGF7. Excitatory synaptic targeting of FGF22 requires the motor proteins KIF3A and KIF17 and the adaptor protein SAP102 (also known as DLG3). By contrast, inhibitory synaptic targeting of FGF7 requires the motor KIF5 and the adaptor gephyrin. Time-lapse imaging shows that FGF22 moves with SAP102, whereas FGF7 moves with gephyrin. These results reveal the basis of selective targeting of the excitatory and inhibitory presynaptic organizers that supports their different synaptogenic functions. Finally, we found that knockdown of SAP102 or PSD95 (also known as DLG4), which impairs the differentiation of excitatory synapses, alters FGF7 localization, suggesting that signals from excitatory synapses might regulate inhibitory synapse formation by controlling the distribution of the inhibitory presynaptic organizer. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  19. ATM protein is located on presynaptic vesicles and its deficit leads to failures in synaptic plasticity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vail, Graham; Cheng, Aifang; Han, Yu Ray; Zhao, Teng; Du, Shengwang; Loy, Michael M T; Herrup, Karl; Plummer, Mark R

    2016-07-01

    Ataxia telangiectasia is a multisystemic disorder that includes a devastating neurodegeneration phenotype. The ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated) protein is well-known for its role in the DNA damage response, yet ATM is also found in association with cytoplasmic vesicular structures: endosomes and lysosomes, as well as neuronal synaptic vesicles. In keeping with this latter association, electrical stimulation of the Schaffer collateral pathway in hippocampal slices from ATM-deficient mice does not elicit normal long-term potentiation (LTP). The current study was undertaken to assess the nature of this deficit. Theta burst-induced LTP was reduced in Atm(-/-) animals, with the reduction most pronounced at burst stimuli that included 6 or greater trains. To assess whether the deficit was associated with a pre- or postsynaptic failure, we analyzed paired-pulse facilitation and found that it too was significantly reduced in Atm(-/-) mice. This indicates a deficit in presynaptic function. As further evidence that these synaptic effects of ATM deficiency were presynaptic, we used stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy. Three-dimensional reconstruction revealed that ATM is significantly more closely associated with Piccolo (a presynaptic marker) than with Homer1 (a postsynaptic marker). These results underline how, in addition to its nuclear functions, ATM plays an important functional role in the neuronal synapse where it participates in the regulation of presynaptic vesicle physiology. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  20. Protein dynamics during presynaptic complex assembly on individual ssDNA molecules

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibb, Bryan; Ye, Ling F.; Kwon, YoungHo; Niu, Hengyao; Sung, Patrick; Greene, Eric C.

    2014-01-01

    Homologous recombination is a conserved pathway for repairing double–stranded breaks, which are processed to yield single–stranded DNA overhangs that serve as platforms for presynaptic complex assembly. Here we use single–molecule imaging to reveal the interplay between Saccharomyce cerevisiae RPA, Rad52, and Rad51 during presynaptic complex assembly. We show that Rad52 binds RPA–ssDNA and suppresses RPA turnover, highlighting an unanticipated regulatory influence on protein dynamics. Rad51 binding extends the ssDNA, and Rad52–RPA clusters remain interspersed along the presynaptic complex. These clusters promote additional binding of RPA and Rad52. Together, our work illustrates the spatial and temporal progression of RPA and Rad52 association with the presynaptic complex, and reveals a novel RPA–Rad52–Rad51–ssDNA intermediate, which has implications for understanding how the activities of Rad52 and RPA are coordinated with Rad51 during the later stages recombination. PMID:25195049

  1. G-protein-coupled inward rectifier potassium channels involved in corticostriatal presynaptic modulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meneses, David; Mateos, Verónica; Islas, Gustavo; Barral, Jaime

    2015-09-01

    Presynaptic modulation has been associated mainly with calcium channels but recent data suggests that inward rectifier potassium channels (K(IR)) also play a role. In this work we set to characterize the role of presynaptic K(IR) channels in corticostriatal synaptic transmission. We elicited synaptic potentials in striatum by stimulating cortical areas and then determined the synaptic responses of corticostriatal synapsis by using paired pulse ratio (PPR) in the presence and absence of several potassium channel blockers. Unspecific potassium channels blockers Ba(2+) and Cs(+) reduced the PPR, suggesting that these channels are presynaptically located. Further pharmacological characterization showed that application of tertiapin-Q, a specific K(IR)3 channel family blocker, also induced a reduction of PPR, suggesting that K(IR)3 channels are present at corticostriatal terminals. In contrast, exposure to Lq2, a specific K(IR)1.1 inward rectifier potassium channel, did not induce any change in PPR suggesting the absence of these channels in the presynaptic corticostriatal terminals. Our results indicate that K(IR)3 channels are functionally expressed at the corticostriatal synapses, since blockage of these channels result in PPR decrease. Our results also help to explain how synaptic activity may become sensitive to extracellular signals mediated by G-protein coupled receptors. A vast repertoire of receptors may influence neurotransmitter release in an indirect manner through regulation of K(IR)3 channels. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Presynaptic Mechanisms of l-DOPA-Induced Dyskinesia: The Findings, the Debate, and the Therapeutic Implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cenci, M Angela

    2014-01-01

    The dopamine (DA) precursor l-DOPA has been the most effective treatment for Parkinson's disease (PD) for over 40 years. However, the response to this treatment changes with disease progression, and most patients develop dyskinesias (abnormal involuntary movements) and motor fluctuations within a few years of l-DOPA therapy. There is wide consensus that these motor complications depend on both pre- and post-synaptic disturbances of nigrostriatal DA transmission. Several presynaptic mechanisms converge to generate large DA swings in the brain concomitant with the peaks-and-troughs of plasma l-DOPA levels, while post-synaptic changes engender abnormal functional responses in dopaminoceptive neurons. While this general picture is well-accepted, the relative contribution of different factors remains a matter of debate. A particularly animated debate has been growing around putative players on the presynaptic side of the cascade. To what extent do presynaptic disturbances in DA transmission depend on deficiency/dysfunction of the DA transporter, aberrant release of DA from serotonin neurons, or gliovascular mechanisms? And does noradrenaline (which is synthetized from DA) play a role? This review article will summarize key findings, controversies, and pending questions regarding the presynaptic mechanisms of l-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Intriguingly, the debate around these mechanisms has spurred research into previously unexplored facets of brain plasticity that have far-reaching implications to the treatment of neuropsychiatric disease.

  3. Writing throughout the biochemistry curriculum: Synergistic inquiry-based writing projects for biochemistry students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Pamela; Streu, Craig

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a synergistic two-semester writing sequence for biochemistry courses. In the first semester, students select a putative protein and are tasked with researching their protein largely through bioinformatics resources. In the second semester, students develop original ideas and present them in the form of a research grant proposal. Both projects involve multiple drafts and peer review. The complementarity of the projects increases student exposure to bioinformatics and literature resources, fosters higher-order thinking skills, and develops teamwork and communication skills. Student feedback and responses on perception surveys demonstrated that the students viewed both projects as favorable learning experiences. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  4. Study of axonal dystrophy. II Dystrophy and atrophy of the presynaptic boutons: a dual pathology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujisawa, K; Shiraki, H

    1980-01-01

    In succession to the previous quantitative work, a qualitative study has been carried out on the nature of a dual pathology affecting presynaptic boutons in the posterior tract nuclei of ageing rats. Based on the morphology of dystrophic boutons in early stage, it is concluded that the initial and therefore essential characteristic of dystrophic process is an abnormal increase of normal axonal components within the presynaptic boutons, and that various abnormal substructures of spheroids hitherto reported in the literature are probably the results of their secondary metamorphosis. The dystrophic process within the posterior tract nuclei is a selective one, involving presynaptic boutons and preterminal axons only of the posterior tract fibres. Comparison of the frequency of early dystrophic boutons and of fully grown-up spheroids indicates that a small percentage of boutons deriving from posterior tract fibres become dystrophic and of these dystrophic boutons only a small percentage again continue to develop unto large spheroids, throughout lifespan of the animals. On the other hand, in search of a morphological counterpart for the age-related decrease of volume ratio of presynaptic boutons to the neuropil, some dubious atrophic changes were also found in presynaptic boutons, which could have been easily missed from observation if studied qualitatively alone. Accordingly, no less numerous boutons other than dystrophic ones are supposed to atrophy 'independently' and to disappear 'silently' during the same period. The dystrophic and the atrophic changes involve different boutons (of different or the same terminal axons) within the same gray matter. This dual pathology of boutons needs further elucidation of its neurocytopathological as well as neurobiological background in the future.

  5. BIOCHEMISTRY TEACHING WITH VIRTUAL DYNAMIC METABOLIC DIAGRAMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. B. Lazzarotto

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available This work presents a game like educational software (courseware to study metabolic pathways, calledDiagrama Metabolico Din^amico Virtual (DMDV of Krebs Cycle. The experience acquired teachingwith the logical sequence tray games in the FFFCMPAs Biochemistry Course provides the beddingswith the use of this model as education method. With DMDV, students can assembly the sequenceof reactions that describe the desired metabolic pathway, create situational models which can guidehis/her choices, reduce the subject complexity of the scheme in knowledge construction presentingin a graphical way the current interrelations. Biochemistry teachers can use the present software inclassroom as well as distance classes. This product integrates multimedia resources extensively andis distributed in CD-ROM format. The virtual environment will make possible interaction of thestudent with the environment and with colleagues and teachers, through tools as chats and forum.Experience with the use of this method was carried through with two distinct groups of students.The rst group was composed by 11 students, who were more familiar with the content and answereda specic questionnaire to previously evaluate the software. The second group was formed by 24students regularly registered in the FFFCMPAs Biochemistry Course, who used the software as astudy method. The rst group considered DMDV of easy and pleasant navigation. The knowledgeevaluation of the second group students was made by a written test and the analysis of three conceptualmaps constructed by each one of them: one map before initiating the study with the DMDV, thesecond just after the study and the third one two months later. Every conceptual maps producedafter DMDV method showed an expansion of valid concepts if compared with the rst maps. Simplevisual comparison of maps shows that new elements where added. All students who passed throughthe experiment reached a greater than ve grade in the subjects written

  6. Radioactive isotopes in biochemistry (historical essay)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanko, M.A.; Shamin, A.N.

    1988-01-01

    A large volume of facts, including little-known biobibliographic data on the the first reserchers who applied the method, are used in the study. The main attention is paid to the use of the method of labelled atoms, when considering intermediate exchange of substances and creating metabolic ways maps (the end of 30-ies - beginning of 50-ies). Using as an example the history of creation of the labelled atom method and its introduction into biochemistry, the problem of the research methods transfer from one branch of science to another is considered

  7. The biochemistry of hematopoietic stem cell development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaimakis, P; Crisan, M; Dzierzak, E

    2013-02-01

    The cornerstone of the adult hematopoietic system and clinical treatments for blood-related disease is the cohort of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) that is harbored in the adult bone marrow microenvironment. Interestingly, this cohort of HSCs is generated only during a short window of developmental time. In mammalian embryos, hematopoietic progenitor and HSC generation occurs within several extra- and intraembryonic microenvironments, most notably from 'hemogenic' endothelial cells lining the major vasculature. HSCs are made through a remarkable transdifferentiation of endothelial cells to a hematopoietic fate that is long-lived and self-renewable. Recent studies are beginning to provide an understanding of the biochemical signaling pathways and transcription factors/complexes that promote their generation. The focus of this review is on the biochemistry behind the generation of these potent long-lived self-renewing stem cells of the blood system. Both the intrinsic (master transcription factors) and extrinsic regulators (morphogens and growth factors) that affect the generation, maintenance and expansion of HSCs in the embryo will be discussed. The generation of HSCs is a stepwise process involving many developmental signaling pathways, morphogens and cytokines. Pivotal hematopoietic transcription factors are required for their generation. Interestingly, whereas these factors are necessary for HSC generation, their expression in adult bone marrow HSCs is oftentimes not required. Thus, the biochemistry and molecular regulation of HSC development in the embryo are overlapping, but differ significantly from the regulation of HSCs in the adult. HSC numbers for clinical use are limiting, and despite much research into the molecular basis of HSC regulation in the adult bone marrow, no panel of growth factors, interleukins and/or morphogens has been found to sufficiently increase the number of these important stem cells. An understanding of the biochemistry of HSC

  8. Writing throughout the Biochemistry Curriculum: Synergistic Inquiry-Based Writing Projects for Biochemistry Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mertz, Pamela; Streu, Craig

    2015-01-01

    This article describes a synergistic two-semester writing sequence for biochemistry courses. In the first semester, students select a putative protein and are tasked with researching their protein largely through bioinformatics resources. In the second semester, students develop original ideas and present them in the form of a research grant…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Concept mapping enhances learning of biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surapaneni, Krishna M; Tekian, Ara

    2013-03-05

    Teaching basic science courses is challenging in undergraduate medical education because of the ubiquitous use of didactic lectures and reward for recall of factual information during examinations. The purpose of this study is to introduce concept maps with clinical cases (the innovative program) to improve learning of biochemistry course content. Participants were first year medical students (n=150) from Saveetha Medical College and Hospital (India); they were randomly divided into two groups of 75, one group attending the traditional program, the other the innovative program. Student performance was measured using three written knowledge tests (each with a maximum score of 20). The students also evaluated the relevance of the learning process using a 12-item questionnaire. Students in the innovative program using concept mapping outperformed those in the traditional didactic program (means of 7.13-8.28 vs. 12.33-13.93, pbiochemistry to clinical practice, and to enhance their reasoning and learning skills, as well as their deeper understanding for biochemistry.

  12. Concept mapping enhances learning of biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Surapaneni, KrishnaM; Tekian, Ara

    2013-01-01

    Teaching basic science courses is challenging in undergraduate medical education because of the ubiquitous use of didactic lectures and reward for recall of factual information during examinations. The purpose of this study is to introduce concept maps with clinical cases (the innovative program) to improve learning of biochemistry course content. Participants were first year medical students (n=150) from Saveetha Medical College and Hospital (India); they were randomly divided into two groups of 75, one group attending the traditional program, the other the innovative program. Student performance was measured using three written knowledge tests (each with a maximum score of 20). The students also evaluated the relevance of the learning process using a 12-item questionnaire. Students in the innovative program using concept mapping outperformed those in the traditional didactic program (means of 7.13-8.28 vs. 12.33-13.93, pbiochemistry to clinical practice, and to enhance their reasoning and learning skills, as well as their deeper understanding for biochemistry.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy in biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roberts, J.K.M.; Jardetzky, O.

    1985-01-01

    This chapter aims to provide an orienting overview of the main directions in which the field of biological application of NMR has developed, the kinds of biochemical or biological questions which can be studied by NMR, and the major specific NMR techniques useful for this purpose. This discussion is preceded by a brief exposition of the elementary concepts of NMR and supplemented by references to the literature that treats each topic in greater depth. Applications of NMR of interest in biochemistry are treated in three major categories: (1) determination of the structure of biologically active compounds - especially new natural products; (2) studies of biochemical reactions, or processes, especially in vivo; and (3) studies of macromolecular structure and dynamics. 122 refs.; 35 figs.; 3 tabs

  17. Presynaptic Ionotropic Receptors Controlling and Modulating the Rules for Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthijs B. Verhoog

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout life, activity-dependent changes in neuronal connection strength enable the brain to refine neural circuits and learn based on experience. In line with predictions made by Hebb, synapse strength can be modified depending on the millisecond timing of action potential firing (STDP. The sign of synaptic plasticity depends on the spike order of presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors, such as NMDA receptors and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, are intimately involved in setting the rules for synaptic strengthening and weakening. In addition, timing rules for STDP within synapses are not fixed. They can be altered by activation of ionotropic receptors located at, or close to, synapses. Here, we will highlight studies that uncovered how network actions control and modulate timing rules for STDP by activating presynaptic ionotropic receptors. Furthermore, we will discuss how interaction between different types of ionotropic receptors may create “timing” windows during which particular timing rules lead to synaptic changes.

  18. 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.

  19. Biochemistry for dietetic students: course content and format.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sirota, L H

    1984-12-01

    This article presents the results of a survey of the 251 undergraduate dietetic programs for course content and level of the biochemistry course most frequently used to satisfy competencies in biochemistry under Plan IV of the ADA in 1979-80. It showed that a common core of information was stressed by all biochemistry instructors, but there was great variability in content and level of material covered and the textbook chosen, depending on whether the biochemistry course was offered to dietetic majors only, in classes with other nonchemistry majors, or in classes with chemistry majors. Variability was also seen in the time allotted for biochemistry--39 to 280 hours (total lecture and required laboratory hours); laboratory requirements--only 71%; and departmental affiliation of the instructor--17 different departments, primarily of chemistry (80%), biology (8%), and home economics (4%). Topics given greatest emphasis were descriptive ones, such as definitions, simple structures, and reactions of intermediary metabolism in general terms. Topics given least emphasis were those involving mechanistic and quantitative biochemistry, such as respiratory quotient (RQ), enzyme kinetics, calculations of energy from fat and carbohydrates, and specific structures of vitamins, ketones, and metabolic intermediates. The lack of communication between biochemistry and nutrition instructors and the great differences in the preparation of dietetic majors in biochemistry are sources of concern.

  20. Using Pamphlets to Teach Biochemistry: A Service-Learning Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Melinda A.; Dunbar, David; Lopatto, David

    2013-01-01

    A service-learning project appropriate for a biochemistry or advanced biochemistry course was designed and implemented. The project involved students partnering with a homeless shelter to design informational pamphlets to be displayed at the shelter for the clients' use. The pamphlet topics were based on diseases studied within the course.…

  1. Commentary: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Educators Launch National Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Cheryl; Bell, Ellis; Johnson, Margaret; Mattos, Carla; Sears, Duane; White, Harold B.

    2010-01-01

    The American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) has launched an National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded 5 year project to support biochemistry and molecular biology educators learning what and how students learn. As a part of this initiative, hundreds of life scientists will plan and develop a rich central resource for…

  2. Blended Learning in Biochemistry Education: Analysis of Medical Students' Perceptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wardenski, Rosilaine de Fatima; de Espindola, Marina Bazzo; Struchiner, Miriam; Giannella, Tais Rabetti

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze first-year UFRJ medical students' perceptions about the implementation of a blended learning (BL) experience in their Biochemistry I course. During the first semester of 2009, three Biochemistry professors used the Constructore course management system to develop virtual learning environments (VLEs) for…

  3. Enhanced Podcasts for Teaching Biochemistry to Veterinary Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gough, Kevin C.

    2011-01-01

    The teaching of biochemistry within medical disciplines presents certain challenges; firstly to relay a large body of complex facts and abstract concepts, and secondly to motivate students that this relatively difficult topic is worth their time to study. Here, nutrient biochemistry was taught within a multidisciplinary module as part of an…

  4. A National Comparison of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Capstone Experiences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the "American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology" (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end,…

  5. Dyslipidemias as generating issue in Biochemistry classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. M. Lima

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The traditional didactic model is based on the transmission of the teacher's encyclopedic knowledge. In this model, the teaching of Science aims at the transmission of dominant values, regarded as absolute truths. The teacher is seen is an expert on scientific contents who transmits them to students without motivating them, and without taking into consideration their previous ideas and life experience. This model contributes to the formation of professionals who accept those values uncritically. An effective approach to break up this traditional teaching model in Biochemistry is the use of a generating issue. A Generating Issue is the starting point to the knowledge construction process which, in turn, replaces traditional models. Thus, this study aimed at developing a lesson for a 12th grade class at IF Fluminense on the following content: alcohol, carboxylic acid, ester, and esterification reaction, using dyslipidemias as the Generating Issue. To verify the value of such methodology in Biochemistry classroom, data was collected by applying a questionnaire and images with texts produced by students. In addition, they had a class based on the methodology known as Three Pedagogical Moments, proposed by Delizoicov et al. (2007. Several didactic resources designed by the authors were used, such as slide presentation, tridimensional molecular models, and a roulette game named “Bioquimicados”, based on the Facebook game “Perguntados” ("Trivia Crack". After this, students developed more grounded scientific concepts, making use of terms common in scientific language. This suggests that the use of the Generating Issue in a lesson based on problematization, and supported by a ludic activity, provided a meaningful contribution to improve the students' understanding of the scientific content. This type of non-traditional class promotes greater student motivation, resulting in meaningful learning.

  6. 123-I ioflupane (Datscan) presynaptic nigrostriatal imaging in patients with movement disorders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Soriano Castrejon, Angel; Garcia Vicente, Ana Maria; Cortes Romera, Montserrat; Rodado Marina, Sonia; Poblete Garcia, Victor Manuel; Ruiz Solis, Sebastian Ruiz; Talavera Rubio, Maria del Prado; Vaamonde Cano, Julia

    2005-01-01

    123-I Ioflupane (Datscan) presynaptic imaging has been shown to have a significant utility in the assessment of patients with movement disorders 123 I Ioflupane SPECT is able to distinguish between Parkinson's disease (PD) and other forms of parkinsonism without degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, including a common movement disorder such as essential tremor, and to assess disease progression in PD and other neuro degenerative disorders involving the substantia nigra. (author)

  7. Homeostatic Presynaptic Plasticity Is Specifically Regulated by P/Q-type Ca2+ Channels at Mammalian Hippocampal Synapses

    OpenAIRE

    Jeans, Alexander F.; van Heusden, Fran C.; Al-Mubarak, Bashayer; Padamsey, Zahid; Emptage, Nigel J.

    2017-01-01

    Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VGCC) represent the principal source of Ca2+ ions driving evoked neurotransmitter release at presynaptic boutons. In mammals, presynaptic Ca2+ influx is mediated mainly via P/Q-type and N-type VGCC, which differ in their properties. Changes in their relative contributions tune neurotransmission both during development and in Hebbian plasticity. However, whether this represents a functional motif also present in other forms of activity-dependent ...

  8. Presynaptic active zones of mammalian neuromuscular junctions: Nanoarchitecture and selective impairments in aging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badawi, Yomna; Nishimune, Hiroshi

    2018-02-01

    Neurotransmitter release occurs at active zones, which are specialized regions of the presynaptic membrane. A dense collection of proteins at the active zone provides a platform for molecular interactions that promote recruitment, docking, and priming of synaptic vesicles. At mammalian neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), muscle-derived laminin β2 interacts with presynaptic voltage-gated calcium channels to organize active zones. The molecular architecture of presynaptic active zones has been revealed using super-resolution microscopy techniques that combine nanoscale resolution and multiple molecular identification. Interestingly, the active zones of adult NMJs are not stable structures and thus become impaired during aging due to the selective degeneration of specific active zone proteins. This review will discuss recent progress in the understanding of active zone nanoarchitecture and the mechanisms underlying active zone organization in mammalian NMJs. Furthermore, we will summarize the age-related degeneration of active zones at NMJs, and the role of exercise in maintaining active zones. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd and Japan Neuroscience Society. All rights reserved.

  9. Slit2 as a β-catenin/Ctnnb1-dependent retrograde signal for presynaptic differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Haitao; Barik, Arnab; Lu, Yisheng; Shen, Chengyong; Bowman, Andrew; Li, Lei; Sathyamurthy, Anupama; Lin, Thiri W; Xiong, Wen-Cheng; Mei, Lin

    2015-01-01

    Neuromuscular junction formation requires proper interaction between motoneurons and muscle cells. β-Catenin (Ctnnb1) in muscle is critical for motoneuron differentiation; however, little is known about the relevant retrograde signal. In this paper, we dissected which functions of muscle Ctnnb1 are critical by an in vivo transgenic approach. We show that Ctnnb1 mutant without the transactivation domain was unable to rescue presynaptic deficits of Ctnnb1 mutation, indicating the involvement of transcription regulation. On the other hand, the cell-adhesion function of Ctnnb1 is dispensable. We screened for proteins that may serve as a Ctnnb1-directed retrograde factor and identified Slit2. Transgenic expression of Slit2 specifically in the muscle was able to diminish presynaptic deficits by Ctnnb1 mutation in mice. Slit2 immobilized on beads was able to induce synaptophysin puncta in axons of spinal cord explants. Together, these observations suggest that Slit2 serves as a factor utilized by muscle Ctnnb1 to direct presynaptic differentiation. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07266.001 PMID:26159615

  10. Regarding the unitary theory of agonist and antagonist action at presynaptic adrenoceptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalsner, S; Abdali, S A

    2001-06-01

    1. The linkage between potentiation of field stimulation-induced noradrenaline release and blockade of the presynaptic inhibitory effect of exogenous noradrenaline by a presynaptic antagonist was examined in superfused rabbit aorta preparations. 2. Rauwolscine clearly potentiated the release of noradrenaline in response to 100 pulses at 2 Hz but reduced the capacity of noradrenaline to inhibit transmitter release to a questionable extent, and then only when comparisons were made with untreated, rather then to rauwolscine-treated, controls. 3. Aortic preparations exposed for 60 min to rauwolscine followed by superfusion with antagonist-free Krebs for 60 min retained the potentiation of stimulation-induced transmitter release but no antagonism of the noradrenaline-induced inhibition could be detected at either of two noradrenaline concentrations when comparisons were made with rauwolscine treated controls. 4. Comparisons of the inhibitory effect of exogenous noradrenaline (1.8 x 10-6 M) on transmitter efflux in the presence and absence of rauwolscine pretreatment revealed that the antagonist enhanced rather than antagonized the presynaptic inhibition by noradrenaline. 5 It is concluded that the unitary hypothesis that asserts that antagonist enhancement of transmitter release and its blockade of noradrenaline induced inhibition are manifestations of a unitary event are not supportable.

  11. Localization of Presynaptic Plasticity Mechanisms Enables Functional Independence of Synaptic and Ectopic Transmission in the Cerebellum

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharine L. Dobson

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the cerebellar molecular layer parallel fibre terminals release glutamate from both the active zone and from extrasynaptic “ectopic” sites. Ectopic release mediates transmission to the Bergmann glia that ensheathe the synapse, activating Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptors and glutamate transporters. Parallel fibre terminals exhibit several forms of presynaptic plasticity, including cAMP-dependent long-term potentiation and endocannabinoid-dependent long-term depression, but it is not known whether these presynaptic forms of long-term plasticity also influence ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia. Stimulation of parallel fibre inputs at 16 Hz evoked LTP of synaptic transmission, but LTD of ectopic transmission. Pharmacological activation of adenylyl cyclase by forskolin caused LTP at Purkinje neurons, but only transient potentiation at Bergmann glia, reinforcing the concept that ectopic sites lack the capacity to express sustained cAMP-dependent potentiation. Activation of mGluR1 caused depression of synaptic transmission via retrograde endocannabinoid signalling but had no significant effect at ectopic sites. In contrast, activation of NMDA receptors suppressed both synaptic and ectopic transmission. The results suggest that the signalling mechanisms for presynaptic LTP and retrograde depression by endocannabinoids are restricted to the active zone at parallel fibre synapses, allowing independent modulation of synaptic transmission to Purkinje neurons and ectopic transmission to Bergmann glia.

  12. Distal axotomy enhances retrograde presynaptic excitability onto injured pyramidal neurons via trans-synaptic signaling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendran, Tharkika; Larsen, Rylan S; Bigler, Rebecca L; Frost, Shawn B; Philpot, Benjamin D; Nudo, Randolph J; Taylor, Anne Marion

    2017-09-20

    Injury of CNS nerve tracts remodels circuitry through dendritic spine loss and hyper-excitability, thus influencing recovery. Due to the complexity of the CNS, a mechanistic understanding of injury-induced synaptic remodeling remains unclear. Using microfluidic chambers to separate and injure distal axons, we show that axotomy causes retrograde dendritic spine loss at directly injured pyramidal neurons followed by retrograde presynaptic hyper-excitability. These remodeling events require activity at the site of injury, axon-to-soma signaling, and transcription. Similarly, directly injured corticospinal neurons in vivo also exhibit a specific increase in spiking following axon injury. Axotomy-induced hyper-excitability of cultured neurons coincides with elimination of inhibitory inputs onto injured neurons, including those formed onto dendritic spines. Netrin-1 downregulation occurs following axon injury and exogenous netrin-1 applied after injury normalizes spine density, presynaptic excitability, and inhibitory inputs at injured neurons. Our findings show that intrinsic signaling within damaged neurons regulates synaptic remodeling and involves netrin-1 signaling.Spinal cord injury can induce synaptic reorganization and remodeling in the brain. Here the authors study how severed distal axons signal back to the cell body to induce hyperexcitability, loss of inhibition and enhanced presynaptic release through netrin-1.

  13. [Inventive activity of the Department of Molecular Immunology of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danilova, V M; Vynogradova, R P; Torkhova, S G

    2016-01-01

    The article is devoted to the inventive activity of the Department of Molecular Immunology of the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry of NAS of Ukraine in the context of the history of its inception, development and in the context of scholarly and organizational activities of Sergii Vasyl’ovych Komisarenko. This autumn marks 50th anniversary since young Sergii Komisarenko (now – Academician of NAS and NAMS of Ukraine, Dr. Biol. Sci., Professor) has joined the Palladin Institute of Biochemistry, has completed all stages of the academic carrier from PhD student to Head of the Institute. He is the first in Ukraine who started the new branch of research – molecular immunology, created a strong scientific school, which earned worldwide acclaim and made significant contribution to finding solutions to current problems in human health sciences. S.V. Komisarenko was among those, who were first in the USSR to use immunoenzyme and flow cytofluometric assays, hybridoma technology for producing monoclonal antibodies and immunochemical assay of proteins, which became the basis for development of highly sensitive and highly specific immunodiagnostic systems, which are of high necessity in medicine, veterinary, development of immunotechnologies, environment monitoring, etc. Under his leadership the Department has made a series of important discoveries and developments including relating to antitumour immunotoxins, effects of low dose radiation on the immune system of Chernobyl liquidators, immunochemical structure of neurotoxin apamine, cytochrom c, fibrinogen and fibrin molecules at different stages of polymerization, diphtheria toxin and its receptor, tuberculosis causing micobacterium, roles of protease-activated receptors (PARs) and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors of lymphocytes, nature of polyreactive immunoglobulins (PRIGs), among other important scientific contributions. S.V. Komisarenko and his colleagues also hold numerous (more than 80) author’s certificates

  14. Online Communication Tools in Biochemistry Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. O. Ferreira

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available The  online  communication  tools  enable  new  ways  of  learning, especially  the  forums  in the context of online courses, and the understanding of interactions and collaborations in the  forums  can  improve  them.  The  study  aimed  to  analyze  the  online relationships,  as well  as  obtaining  evidence  of  the  use of  other  learning  tools in  a  biochemistry  subject, focusing on how students use the tool forum and its contribution to learning. The study was  carried  out  from  data  pre  and  post  course  questionnaires  as  well  as  log  of environment  access  and  discussion  forum.  The  forums  have  been  restructured  and systematized  for  analysis  and  creating  discursive  flows  between  statements.  The questionnaires showed the central role of forum and wiki for learning,  the importance of interactions, which was highlighted by the forum analysis. The results indicate that one of the ways to improve online biochemistry teaching is to stimulate interactive activities, participatory  moderation  and  pedagogical  support  by  tutors  and  mentors,  also encouraging  and  creating  strategies  to  collaboration  of  students  to  solve problems  and to collaborative knowledge construction.

  15. Optimal Learning for Efficient Experimentation in Nanotechnology and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-22

    AFRL-AFOSR-VA-TR-2016-0018 Optimal Learning for Efficient Experimentation in Nanotechnology, Biochemistry Warren Powell TRUSTEES OF PRINCETON... Biochemistry 5a.  CONTRACT NUMBER 5b.  GRANT NUMBER FA9550-12-1-0200 5c.  PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 61102F 6. AUTHOR(S) Warren Powell 5d.  PROJECT NUMBER 5e...scientists. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Biochemistry 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: 17. LIMITATION OF ABSTRACT 18. NUMBER OF 19a.  NAME OF RESPONSIBLE PERSON Warren

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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...

  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. Computational Biochemistry-Enzyme Mechanisms Explored.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Culka, Martin; Gisdon, Florian J; Ullmann, G Matthias

    2017-01-01

    Understanding enzyme mechanisms is a major task to achieve in order to comprehend how living cells work. Recent advances in biomolecular research provide huge amount of data on enzyme kinetics and structure. The analysis of diverse experimental results and their combination into an overall picture is, however, often challenging. Microscopic details of the enzymatic processes are often anticipated based on several hints from macroscopic experimental data. Computational biochemistry aims at creation of a computational model of an enzyme in order to explain microscopic details of the catalytic process and reproduce or predict macroscopic experimental findings. Results of such computations are in part complementary to experimental data and provide an explanation of a biochemical process at the microscopic level. In order to evaluate the mechanism of an enzyme, a structural model is constructed which can be analyzed by several theoretical approaches. Several simulation methods can and should be combined to get a reliable picture of the process of interest. Furthermore, abstract models of biological systems can be constructed combining computational and experimental data. In this review, we discuss structural computational models of enzymatic systems. We first discuss various models to simulate enzyme catalysis. Furthermore, we review various approaches how to characterize the enzyme mechanism both qualitatively and quantitatively using different modeling approaches. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. Hobby with Biochemistry: Use of active learning methodology in Biochemistry at the Medical School

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. R.T. Prado

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction and objectives: The learning of Biochemistry is generally considered difficult by the graduates, because studies the molecular level the metabolism of living and it demands a great capacity for abstraction by students. Thus, researchers have tried alternative methods to provid an alternative study method. Materials and methods: 178 students of the School of Medicine, PUC-PR, that course the disciplines of Medical Biochemistry I and II, were divided into 50 groups, each with 3-4 students, and were have to draw up a hobby activity with a specific theme of the Biochemistry. The selected topics were, amino acids and proteins, enzymes, cellular respiration, glycogen metabolism, gluconeogenesis, lipid metabolism, metabolic integration, dyslipidemia and atherogenesis, pathophysiology of diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome, mechanisms of diabetes mellitus complications. The hobby activities chosen were direct, duplex, self-defined, cryptogram, bugs game. Both issues such as the type of hobby was drawn between groups. The groups had to: elaborate hobby; presents it to class orally, applying the questions prepared; printing and expose the hobby at the wall in the University; answer an evaluation regarding the preparation of work; and all groups should get together and organize one titled magazine "Hobby with Biochemistry" and deliver it printed. Results and conclusions: According the groups, the greatest difficulty was the adequacy of the questions posed in the required format, once they had only one issue and restricted space for the responses. Furthermore, the formatting was also identified as a point very difficult in activity elaboration. On the topic of learning through the development of work, and/or a new skill groups assigned grades ranging between 7.0 and 10.0 and about 90% of the groups attributed note 10 on satisfaction of seeing the work done and its ability to produce it. According to the results, the activity proved to be

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Biochemistry graduate student selected to meet with Nobel Laureates

    OpenAIRE

    Trulove, Susan

    2006-01-01

    January Haile of Athens, Tenn., a Ph.D. student in biochemistry at Virginia Tech has been selected by Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) to attend a meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany, in June.

  14. Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - Vol 32, No ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. ... Therapeutic Impacts of Almond Oil and Olive Oil on Cholesterol Dynamics and ... Multidrug Resistance Proteins in Pancreatic Carcinoma · EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT

  15. Can biochemistry drive drug discovery beyond simple potency measurements?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chène, Patrick

    2012-04-01

    Among the fields of expertise required to develop drugs successfully, biochemistry holds a key position in drug discovery at the interface between chemistry, structural biology and cell biology. However, taking the example of protein kinases, it appears that biochemical assays are mostly used in the pharmaceutical industry to measure compound potency and/or selectivity. This limited use of biochemistry is surprising, given that detailed biochemical analyses are commonly used in academia to unravel molecular recognition processes. In this article, I show that biochemistry can provide invaluable information on the dynamics and energetics of compound-target interactions that cannot be obtained on the basis of potency measurements and structural data. Therefore, an extensive use of biochemistry in drug discovery could facilitate the identification and/or development of new drugs. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Lactation performance and serum biochemistry of dairy cows fed ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Serum biochemistry concentrations (serum glucose, cholesterol, triglyceride, total protein, and cortisol and insulin concentration) and blood hematology (red blood cell, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentration and percentage neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, basophiles, eosinophils and ratio of neutrophils to ...

  17. Personalized System of Instruction (Keller Method) for Medical School Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisman, Robert A.; Shapiro, David M.

    1973-01-01

    The Keller Method requires abolishing lectures as a vehicle of information transfer in favor of a study guide and breaking the biochemistry course into a number of units each to be mastered at the student's own pace. (Editor)

  18. Medical Biochemistry as Subdiscipline of Laboratory Medicine in Serbia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jovičić, Snežana; Majkić-Singh, Nada

    2017-04-01

    Medical biochemistry is the usual name for clinical biochemistry or clinical chemistry in Serbia, and medical biochemist is the official name for the clinical chemist (or clinical biochemist). This is the largest sub-discipline of the laboratory medicine in Serbia. It includes all aspects of clinical chemistry, and also laboratory hematology with coagulation, immunology, etc. Medical biochemistry laboratories in Serbia and medical biochemists as a profession are part of Health Care System and their activities are regulated through: the Health Care Law and rules issued by the Chamber of Medical Biochemists of Serbia. The first continuous and organized education for Medical Biochemists (Clinical Chemists) in Serbia dates from 1945, when the Department of Medical Biochemistry was established at the Pharmaceutical Faculty in Belgrade. In 1987 at the same Faculty a five years undergraduate study program was established, educating Medical Biochemists under a special program. Since the academic year 2006/2007 the new five year undergraduate (according to Bologna Declaration) and four-year postgraduate program according to EC4 European Syllabus for Postgraduate Training in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine has been established. The Ministry of Education and Ministry of Public Health accredited these programs. There are four requirements for practicing medical biochemistry in the Health Care System: University Diploma of the Faculty of Pharmacy (Study of Medical Biochemistry), successful completion of the professional exam at the Ministry of Health after completion of one additional year of obligatory practical training in the medical biochemistry laboratories, membership in the Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists and licence for skilled work issued by the Serbian Chamber of Medical Biochemists. In order to present laboratory medical biochemistry practice in Serbia this paper will be focused on the following: Serbian national legislation, healthcare services

  19. Region-specific changes in presynaptic agmatine and glutamate levels in the aged rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jing, Y; Liu, P; Leitch, B

    2016-01-15

    During the normal aging process, the brain undergoes a range of biochemical and structural alterations, which may contribute to deterioration of sensory and cognitive functions. Age-related deficits are associated with altered efficacy of synaptic neurotransmission. Emerging evidence indicates that levels of agmatine, a putative neurotransmitter in the mammalian brain, are altered in a region-specific manner during the aging process. The gross tissue content of agmatine in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) of aged rat brains is decreased whereas levels in the temporal cortex (TE) are increased. However, it is not known whether these changes in gross tissue levels are also mirrored by changes in agmatine levels at synapses and thus could potentially contribute to altered synaptic function with age. In the present study, agmatine levels in presynaptic terminals in the PFC and TE regions (300 terminals/region) of young (3month; n=3) and aged (24month; n=3) brains of male Sprague-Dawley rats were compared using quantitative post-embedding immunogold electron-microscopy. Presynaptic levels of agmatine were significantly increased in the TE region (60%; pagmatine and glutamate were co-localized in the same synaptic terminals, and quantitative analyses revealed significantly reduced glutamate levels in agmatine-immunopositive synaptic terminals in both regions in aged rats compared to young animals. This study, for the first time, demonstrates differential effects of aging on agmatine and glutamate in the presynaptic terminals of PFC and TE. Future research is required to understand the functional significance of these changes and the underlying mechanisms. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Age-dependent changes of presynaptic neuromodulation via A1-adenosine receptors in rat hippocampal slices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperlágh, B; Zsilla, G; Baranyi, M; Kékes-Szabó, A; Vizi, E S

    1997-10-01

    The presynaptic neuromodulation of stimulation-evoked release of [3H]-acetylcholine by endogenous adenosine, via A1-adenosine receptors, was studied in superfused hippocampal slices taken from 4-, 12- and 24-month-old rats. 8-Cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine (0.25 microM), a selective A1-receptor antagonist, increased significantly the electrical field stimulation-induced release of [3H]-acetylcholine in slices prepared from 4- and 12-month-old rats, showing a tonic inhibitory action of endogenous adenosine via stimulation of presynaptic A1-adenosine receptors. In contrast, 8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine had no effect in 24-month-old rats. 2-Chloroadenosine (10 microM), an adenosine receptor agonist decreased the release of [3H]-acetylcholine in slices taken from 4- and 12-month-old rats, and no significant change was observed in slices taken from 24-month-old rats. In order to show whether the number/or affinity of the A1-receptors was affected in aged rats, [3H]-8-cyclopentyl-1,3-dimethylxanthine binding was studied in hippocampal membranes prepared from rats of different ages. Whereas the Bmax value was significantly lower in 2-year-old rats than in younger counterparts, the dissociation constant (Kd) was not affected by aging, indicating that the density rather than the affinity of adenosine receptors was altered. Endogenous adenosine levels present in the extracellular space were also measured in the superfusate by high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with ultraviolet detection, and an age-related increase in the adenosine level was found. In summary, our results indicate that during aging the level of adenosine in the extracellular fluid is increased in the hippocampus. There is a downregulation and reduced responsiveness of presynaptic adenosine A1-receptors, and it seems likely that these changes are due to the enhanced adenosine level in the extracellular space.

  1. Presynaptic dystroglycan-pikachurin complex regulates the proper synaptic connection between retinal photoreceptor and bipolar cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omori, Yoshihiro; Araki, Fumiyuki; Chaya, Taro; Kajimura, Naoko; Irie, Shoichi; Terada, Koji; Muranishi, Yuki; Tsujii, Toshinori; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Kondo, Mineo; Amano, Shiro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2012-05-02

    Dystroglycan (DG) is a key component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC) at the neuromuscular junction postsynapse. In the mouse retina, the DGC is localized at the presynapse of photoreceptor cells, however, the function of presynaptic DGC is poorly understood. Here, we developed and analyzed retinal photoreceptor-specific DG conditional knock-out (DG CKO) mice. We found that the DG CKO retina showed a reduced amplitude and a prolonged implicit time of the ERG b-wave. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that bipolar dendrite invagination into the photoreceptor terminus is perturbed in the DG CKO retina. In the DG CKO retina, pikachurin, a DG ligand in the retina, is markedly decreased at photoreceptor synapses. Interestingly, in the Pikachurin(-/-) retina, the DG signal at the ribbon synaptic terminus was severely reduced, suggesting that pikachurin is required for the presynaptic accumulation of DG at the photoreceptor synaptic terminus, and conversely DG is required for pikachurin accumulation. Furthermore, we found that overexpression of pikachurin induces formation and clustering of a DG-pikachurin complex on the cell surface. The Laminin G repeats of pikachurin, which are critical for its oligomerization and interaction with DG, were essential for the clustering of the DG-pikachurin complex as well. These results suggest that oligomerization of pikachurin and its interaction with DG causes DG assembly on the synapse surface of the photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Our results reveal that the presynaptic interaction of pikachurin with DG at photoreceptor terminals is essential for both the formation of proper photoreceptor ribbon synaptic structures and normal retinal electrophysiology.

  2. Negative modulation of presynaptic activity by zinc released from Schaffer collaterals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takeda, Atsushi; Fuke, Sayuri; Tsutsumi, Wataru; Oku, Naoto

    2007-12-01

    The role of zinc in excitation of Schaffer collateral-CA1 pyramidal cell synapses is poorly understood. Schaffer collaterals stained with ZnAF-2 or ZnAF-2DA, a membrane-impermeable or a membrane-permeable zinc indicator, respectively, were treated by tetanic stimulation (200 Hz, 1 sec). Extracellular and intracellular ZnAF-2 signals were increased in the stratum radiatum of the CA1, in which Schaffer collateral synapses exist. Both the increases were completely blocked in the presence of 1 mM CaEDAT, a membrane-impermeable zinc chelator, suggesting that 1 mM CaEDTA is effective for chelating zinc released from Schaffer collaterals. The role of Schaffer collateral zinc in presynaptic activity was examined by using FM4-64, a fluorescent indicator for vesicular exocytosis. The decrease in FM4-64 signal during tetanic stimulation (10 Hz, 180 sec) was enhanced in Schaffer collaterals in the presence of 1 mM CaEDTA but suppressed in the presence of 5 microM ZnC1(2), suggesting that zinc released from Schaffer collaterals suppresses presynaptic activity during tetanic stimulation. When Schaffer collateral synapses stained with calcium orange AM, a membrane-permeable calcium indicator, were regionally stimulated with 1 mM glutamate, calcium orange signal was increased in the CA1 pyramidal cell layer. This increase was enhanced in the presence of CaEDTA and attenuated in the presence of zinc. These results suggest that zinc attenuates excitation of Schaffer collateral synapses elicited with glutamate via suppression of presynaptic activity. (c) 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  3. Assessment of learning gains in a flipped biochemistry classroom.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojennus, Deanna Dahlke

    2016-01-01

    The flipped classroom has become an increasingly popular pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. In this study, learning gains were assessed in a flipped biochemistry course and compared to gains in a traditional lecture. Although measured learning gains were not significantly different between the two courses, student perception of learning gains did differ and indicates a higher level of satisfaction with the flipped lecture format. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  4. THE USE OF MULTIPLE TOOLS FOR TEACHING MEDICAL BIOCHEMISTRY

    OpenAIRE

    Sé, A.B.; Oxyradical Research Group, CEL, UnB; FM-UnB, Brasília, Brazil.; Passos, R.M.; Oxyradical Research Group, CEL, UnB; 2FM-UnB, Brasília, Brazil.; Rochadel, A.D; FM-UnB, Brasília, Brazil; Ono, A.H.; FM-UnB, Brasília, Brazil; Hermes-Lima, M.; Oxyradical Research Group, CEL, UnB

    2007-01-01

    The pros and cons of Problem Based Learning (PBL) have been extensivelydiscussed in the literature. We describe PBL-like strategies used at UnB (some ofthem since 1999) that may be useful elsewhere to improve undergraduatebiochemistry teaching with clinical applications. The main activities are: (i) aseminar/poster system, (ii) a true-or-false applied biochemistry exam (prepared bypeer tutors), (iii) a 9-hour-exam on metabolism (based in actual papers), (iv) anAdvanced Biochemistry course (di...

  5. A biochemistry discipline designed for the nutrition course

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.A.G. Bianco

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry is widely considered an essential background in a Nutrition Course framework. At theFaculdade de Saude Publica, USP, it is a direct requirement to eight disciplines of the syllabus and anindirect requirement to another nine disciplines. Nevertheless, a previous interview study involvingNutrition students and Nutritionists revealed a contradictory image of Biochemistry. Although stu-dents and Nutritionists admitted the important role played by Biochemistry, most of the respondentsdeclared that they could not foresee any application of Biochemical contents in their professional life.Aiming to change this situation, a deep intervention in the Biochemistry discipline was carried on.The discipline was planned in such a way that all the contents to be taught was directly derived fromsubjects or situations matching the interests of nutrition students. Instead of a classical lecture basedcourse, collaborative learning was the methodological choice, taking advantage of practical activitiesinvolving educational software and laboratory work as well. The course was carried on in 180 hoursand a variety of strategies were employed, especially small group discussion and problem solving. Thestudents were given a booklet containing all the exercises and problems, which acted as course guide.At the end of the course, an evaluation survey was carried out. It is noticeable that, according tostudents answers: 100% agreed that Biochemistry was intimately linked to Nutrition; 83% appreciatedthe didactical methodologies employed; 89% would like to continue studying Biochemistry in a furtherdiscipline; 96% declared that the discipline has raised their interest in Biochemistry. In respect tothe assessment of the students, these results are in accordance with the opinion of teachers and TAsengaged in restructuring Biochemistry courses.

  6. Can Polyphosphate Biochemistry Affect Biological Apatite Saturation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omelon, S. J.; Matsuura, N.; Gorelikov, I.; Wynnyckyj, C.; Grynpas, M. D.

    2010-12-01

    Phosphorus (P) is an important and limiting element for life. One strategy for storing ortho phosphates (Pi) is polymerization. Polymerized Pi's (polyphosphates: (PO3-)n: polyPs) serve as a Pi bank, as well as a catiion chelator, energy source, & regulator of responses to stresses in the stationary phase of culture growth and development1. PolyP biochemistry has been investigated in yeasts, bacteria & plants2. Bigeochemical cycling of P includes the condensation of Pi into pyro (P2O7-4), & polyPs, & the release of Pi from these compounds by the hydrolytic degradation of Pi from phosphomonoester bonds. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is one of the predominate enzymes for regenerating Pi in aquatic systems3, & it cleaves Pi from polyPs. ALP is also the enzyme associated with apatite biomineralization in vertebrates4. PolyP was proposed to be the ALP substrate in bone mineralization5. Where calcium ions are plentiful in many aquatic environments, there is no requirement for aquatic life to generate Ca-stores. However, terrestrial vertebrates benefit from a bioavailable Ca-store such as apatite. The Pi storage strategy of polymerizing PO4-3 into polyPs dovetails well with Ca-banking, as polyPs sequester Ca, forming a neutral calcium polyphosphate (Ca-polyP: (Ca(PO3)2)n) complex. This neutral complex represents a high total [Ca+2] & [PO4-3], without the threat of inadvertent apatite precipitation, as the free [Ca+2] & [PO4-3], and therefore apatite saturation, are zero. Recent identification of polyP in regions of bone resorption & calcifying cartilage5 suggests that vertebrates may use polyP chemistry to bank Ca+2 and PO4-3. In vitro experiments with nanoparticulate Ca-polyP & ALP were undertaken to determine if carbonated apatite could precipitate from 1M Ca-polyP in Pi-free “physiological fluid” (0.1 M NaCl, 2 mM Ca+2, 0.8 mM Mg+2, pH ~8.0 ±0.5, 37 °C), as this is estimated to generate the [Ca+2] & [PO4-3] required to form the apatite content of bone tissue

  7. LKB1 Regulates Mitochondria-Dependent Presynaptic Calcium Clearance and Neurotransmitter Release Properties at Excitatory Synapses along Cortical Axons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Seok-Kyu; Sando, Richard; Lewis, Tommy L; Hirabayashi, Yusuke; Maximov, Anton; Polleux, Franck

    2016-07-01

    Individual synapses vary significantly in their neurotransmitter release properties, which underlie complex information processing in neural circuits. Presynaptic Ca2+ homeostasis plays a critical role in specifying neurotransmitter release properties, but the mechanisms regulating synapse-specific Ca2+ homeostasis in the mammalian brain are still poorly understood. Using electrophysiology and genetically encoded Ca2+ sensors targeted to the mitochondrial matrix or to presynaptic boutons of cortical pyramidal neurons, we demonstrate that the presence or absence of mitochondria at presynaptic boutons dictates neurotransmitter release properties through Mitochondrial Calcium Uniporter (MCU)-dependent Ca2+ clearance. We demonstrate that the serine/threonine kinase LKB1 regulates MCU expression, mitochondria-dependent Ca2+ clearance, and thereby, presynaptic release properties. Re-establishment of MCU-dependent mitochondrial Ca2+ uptake at glutamatergic synapses rescues the altered neurotransmitter release properties characterizing LKB1-null cortical axons. Our results provide novel insights into the cellular and molecular mechanisms whereby mitochondria control neurotransmitter release properties in a bouton-specific way through presynaptic Ca2+ clearance.

  8. Using 3DClass To Flip Biochemistry Classroom

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Silva

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The flipped classroom inverts traditional teaching methods, in order to have studentsprepared for topics and techniques covered in the following meeting. This approach wasadopted in a biochemistry course taught to biology freshmen students at the University ofCampinas, using a Virtual Learning Environment called 3DClass. Before each classroomsession, a quiz was delivered covering the following topic and students were allowed totake quizzes as many times as they wanted. This approach was utilized in order to betterprepare students in classes and to perform lab experiments. Every student attempt wasrecorded in a database. Before each classroom session, the instructors were provided witha summary of the class answers, highlighting questions where students had more difficultyand the ones that scored higher. This kind of information was helpful to design activities tocover the topics where students had more difficulties. Based on the 3DClass records thestudents behaviors were mapped, such as students taking the quizzes seriously, studentsguessing, students answering a quiz until scoring 100%, students that continue answeringafter scoring 100% in order to increase their grades, students that never score 100%.However, the most relevant information 3DClass brought us was the possibility to identifystudent’s confidence in their answers, which could be observed by the analysis of theirattempts for each question. If they had made different choices each try, it would haveindicated a low confidence level, while always providing the same answer indicated ahigher confidence level, even whilst picking incorrect answers. This experiment haverevealed that students coming to the classroom better prepared reflected positively on thedeveloped activities, but the number of students taking the quizzes seriously were not asgreat as we had expected, indicating that more actions should be taken to improvestudents engagement with these activities.

  9. Collective Construction of Knowledge in Clinical Biochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S.B. Barreto

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available The collective construction of knowledge occurs by the convergence of ideas and semantic. This paper was made for a graduation discipline, in 2009-2, with 240students who were separated into 4 groups: morning period (M1,M2 and night period (N1,N2. This study aims the collective construction of a abstract-manual of clinical biochemistry tests, due the difficulty in comprehension of certain concepts by the students; it intends to help them in the process of knowledge acquirement. The constructivist approach was adopted and the matters of the discipline were available in a “Student Group e-mail account”, a functional communication tool. The instructions were reachable on the web. M1,M2 and N1 made one part of the study at the first period. N2 did not conclude the study at the same time period of the other groups; therefore they received a new responsibility: they were supposed to conclude and correct the manual and its application which included 90 different kinds of labor exams. A textbook has been defined containing illustrative pictures of blood collection and biosecurity. Three banners were exposed inside the hall of the institution. Collective work is important for the effective arrangement in health area. In the process of teaching/learning, the teacher must proceed on practices and methodologies aiming the development of the student competences and skills which represent its professional identity.

  10. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vulfius, Catherine A; Kasheverov, Igor E; Kryukova, Elena V; Spirova, Ekaterina N; Shelukhina, Irina V; Starkov, Vladislav G; Andreeva, Tatyana V; Faure, Grazyna; Zouridakis, Marios; Tsetlin, Victor I; Utkin, Yuri N

    2017-01-01

    Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s) are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which should be proved by

  11. H-reflex amplitude depression as a marker of presynaptic inhibition in Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Asmedi

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Painful Diabetic Neuropathy (PDN is a common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM. Disruption in presynaptic inhibition in dorsal horn of the spinal cord has been proposed as one of the pathomechanism of PDN. Previous research showed that presynaptic inhibition can be detected by H-reflex examination. The aim of this study was to know whether the reduction of presynaptic inhibition in spinal dorsal horn of PDN patients really exist, and detectable by H-reflex examination. It was cohort prospective involving 141 (58 men, 83 women patients with DM and impaired glucose tolerance (IGT between the ages of 40 and 61 years from several health facilities in Yogyakarta. All patients underwent clinical, laboratory and electrodiagnostic examination. Demographic, clinical and electrodiagnostic data were collected and analyzed. By survival analysis there were 25 new cases of PDN (12.12% cumulative incidence. Using survival Kaplan Meier analysis, the significant hazard ratio for PDN were 12.81 for median motor nerve amplitude, 5.74 for median nerve distal latency, 3.71 for median sensory nerve amplitude, 6.33 for median sensory latency, 3.4 for tibial nerve amplitude, 3.48 for tibial nerve distal latency, 2.29 for sural nerve amplitude, 4.47 for sural nerve latency, 3.99 for H-reflex latency, 5.88 for H-reflex amplitude, and 17.83 for Diabetic Neuropathy (DN status. Using hazard proportional cox analysis, only H amplitude and DN status (DNS score were significantly correlated with PDN (p= 0.026; hazard ratio = 15.450; CI 95%= 1.39 – 171.62 for H amplitude and p= 0.030; hazard ratio = 10.766; CI 95%=1.26 – 92.09 for DN status. This study showed that depression of H-reflex amplitude was correlated with the occurrence of PDN. This result proves that there was presynaptic inhibition process in PDN that manifests as low H-reflex amplitude.

  12. 'Fractional recovery' analysis of a presynaptic synaptotagmin 1-anchored endocytic protein complex.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rajesh Khanna

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The integral synaptic vesicle protein and putative calcium sensor, synaptotagmin 1 (STG, has also been implicated in synaptic vesicle (SV recovery. However, proteins with which STG interacts during SV endocytosis remain poorly understood. We have isolated an STG-associated endocytic complex (SAE from presynaptic nerve terminals and have used a novel fractional recovery (FR assay based on electrostatic dissociation to identify SAE components and map the complex structure. The location of SAE in the presynaptic terminal was determined by high-resolution quantitative immunocytochemistry at the chick ciliary ganglion giant calyx-type synapse. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPLE FINDINGS: The first step in FR analysis was to immunoprecipitate (IP the complex with an antibody against one protein component (the IP-protein. The immobilized complex was then exposed to a high salt (1150 mM stress-test that caused shedding of co-immunoprecipitated proteins (co-IP-proteins. A Fractional Recovery ratio (FR: recovery after high salt/recovery with control salt as assayed by Western blot was calculated for each co-IP-protein. These FR values reflect complex structure since an easily dissociated protein, with a low FR value, cannot be intermediary between the IP-protein and a salt-resistant protein. The structure of the complex was mapped and a blueprint generated with a pair of FR analyses generated using two different IP-proteins. The blueprint of SAE contains an AP180/X/STG/stonin 2/intersectin/epsin core (X is unknown and epsin is hypothesized, and an AP2 adaptor, H-/L-clathrin coat and dynamin scission protein perimeter. Quantitative immunocytochemistry (ICA/ICQ method at an isolated calyx-type presynaptic terminal indicates that this complex is associated with STG at the presynaptic transmitter release face but not with STG on intracellular synaptic vesicles. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We hypothesize that the SAE serves as a recognition site and also as a

  13. Pancreatic and snake venom presynaptically active phospholipases A2 inhibit nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Catherine A Vulfius

    Full Text Available Phospholipases A2 (PLA2s are enzymes found throughout the animal kingdom. They hydrolyze phospholipids in the sn-2 position producing lysophospholipids and unsaturated fatty acids, agents that can damage membranes. PLA2s from snake venoms have numerous toxic effects, not all of which can be explained by phospholipid hydrolysis, and each enzyme has a specific effect. We have earlier demonstrated the capability of several snake venom PLA2s with different enzymatic, cytotoxic, anticoagulant and antiproliferative properties, to decrease acetylcholine-induced currents in Lymnaea stagnalis neurons, and to compete with α-bungarotoxin for binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs and acetylcholine binding protein. Since nAChRs are implicated in postsynaptic and presynaptic activities, in this work we probe those PLA2s known to have strong presynaptic effects, namely β-bungarotoxin from Bungarus multicinctus and crotoxin from Crotalus durissus terrificus. We also wished to explore whether mammalian PLA2s interact with nAChRs, and have examined non-toxic PLA2 from porcine pancreas. It was found that porcine pancreatic PLA2 and presynaptic β-bungarotoxin blocked currents mediated by nAChRs in Lymnaea neurons with IC50s of 2.5 and 4.8 μM, respectively. Crotoxin competed with radioactive α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo and human α7 nAChRs and to the acetylcholine binding protein. Pancreatic PLA2 interacted similarly with these targets; moreover, it inhibited radioactive α-bungarotoxin binding to the water-soluble extracellular domain of human α9 nAChR, and blocked acetylcholine induced currents in human α9α10 nAChRs heterologously expressed in Xenopus oocytes. These and our earlier results show that all snake PLA2s, including presynaptically active crotoxin and β-bungarotoxin, as well as mammalian pancreatic PLA2, interact with nAChRs. The data obtained suggest that this interaction may be a general property of all PLA2s, which

  14. Effective Laboratory Work in Biochemistry Subject: Students' and Lecturers' Perspective in Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anwar, Yunita Arian Sani; Senam; Laksono F. X., Endang Widjajanti

    2017-01-01

    Biochemistry subject had problem in learning and teaching, especially in laboratory work. We explored laboratory learning implementation in Biochemistry subject. Participants of this research were 195 students who took biochemistry subject and 4 lecturers of biochemistry in three universities in Indonesia. We obtained data using questionnaires and…

  15. 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.

  16. The Biochemistry Over 20 Years In The High School Textbooks

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    C. E.S. Rocha

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available   The Biochemistry Over 20 Years In The High School Textbooks   Rocha, C. E. S.1; Büttenbender, M. D.1; Denardin, E.L.G.2, Roehrs, R.1,2 1Grupo Interdisciplinar de Pesquisa em Práticas de Ensino, UNIPAMPA, RS. 2Laboratório de Estudos Físico Químicos e Produtos Naturais, UNIPAMPA, RS.   INTRODUCTION: Many teachers make use of textbook to lead content in the classroom. The chemistry books introduce concepts that should relate biochemistry to students in schools. It is important that this first contact turns out into an encouraging experience for the students, because once it worked as expected it arouses interest and makes the students see themselves curious to delve into the subject. The research aims to evaluate the presence of related concepts in biochemistry textbooks in chemistry in high school, over 20 years. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In order to perform this study, we analyzed the following content related to biochemistry: proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in the books "Chemistry - Structure of Matter and Organic Chemistry" of the year 1993 and the book "Chemistry in approach to daily life" of the year 2012 with the purpose of verifying the changes in the content of biochemistry in the last 20 years. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: In the 90s, as used in the book, concepts and explanations are introduced in a very objective approach, making a total of 22 pages. The current largest is 23 pages with experiments and curiosities. Through analysis we found that current textbooks present the same issues related to biochemistry, however, a greater amount of data, bringing students to more examples and applications in everyday life. Today we see that the contents and processes are most exploited and that there is a concern on the importance of the study of issues that relate to biochemistry. CONCLUSIONS: The study of the biochemistry textbooks has been more attractive in recent years, contextualizing content with the daily life of

  17. The Biochemistry Show: a new and fun tool for learning

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    A.H Ono

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The traditional methods to teach biochemistry in most universities are based on the memorization of chemical structures,  biochemical  pathways  and  reagent  names,  which  is  many  times  dismotivating  for  the  students.  We presently describe an innovative, interactive and alternative method for teaching biochemistry to medical and nutrition undergraduate students, called the Biochemistry Show (BioBio Show.The Biobio show is based on active participation of the students. They are divided in groups and the groups face each other. One group faces another one group at a time, in a game based on true or false questions that involve subjects of applied biochemistry (exercise, obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, free radicals, among others. The questions of the Show are previously elaborated by senior students. The Biobio Show has four phases, the first one is a selection exam, and from the second to the fourth phase, eliminatory confrontations happen. On a confrontation, the first group must select a certain quantity of questions for the opponent to answer.  The group who choses the questions must know how to answer and justify the selected questions. This procedure is repeated on all phases of the show. On the last phase, the questions used are taken from an exam previously performed by the students: either the 9-hour biochemistry exam (Sé et al. A 9-hour biochemistry exam. An iron man competition or a good way of evaluating undergraduate students? SBBq 2005, abstract K-6 or the True-or-False exam (TFE (Sé et al. Are tutor-students capable of writing good biochemistry exams? SBBq 2004, abstract K-18. The winner group receives an extra 0,5 point on the final grade. Over 70% of the students informed on a questionnaire that the Biobio Show is a valuable tool for learning biochemistry.    That is a new way to enrich the discussion of biochemistry in the classroom without the students getting bored. Moreover, learning

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Deformation of attractor landscape via cholinergic presynaptic modulations: a computational study using a phase neuron model.

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    Takashi Kanamaru

    Full Text Available Corticopetal acetylcholine (ACh is released transiently from the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM into the cortical layers and is associated with top-down attention. Recent experimental data suggest that this release of ACh disinhibits layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons (PYRs via muscarinic presynaptic effects on inhibitory synapses. Together with other possible presynaptic cholinergic effects on excitatory synapses, this may result in dynamic and temporal modifications of synapses associated with top-down attention. However, the system-level consequences and cognitive relevance of such disinhibitions are poorly understood. Herein, we propose a theoretical possibility that such transient modifications of connectivity associated with ACh release, in addition to top-down glutamatergic input, may provide a neural mechanism for the temporal reactivation of attractors as neural correlates of memories. With baseline levels of ACh, the brain returns to quasi-attractor states, exhibiting transitive dynamics between several intrinsic internal states. This suggests that top-down attention may cause the attention-induced deformations between two types of attractor landscapes: the quasi-attractor landscape (Q-landscape, present under low-ACh, non-attentional conditions and the attractor landscape (A-landscape, present under high-ACh, top-down attentional conditions. We present a conceptual computational model based on experimental knowledge of the structure of PYRs and interneurons (INs in cortical layers 1 and 2/3 and discuss the possible physiological implications of our results.

  1. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca2+ Channels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A.; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-01-01

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo. PMID:27573697

  2. Presynaptic DLG regulates synaptic function through the localization of voltage-activated Ca(2+) Channels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astorga, César; Jorquera, Ramón A; Ramírez, Mauricio; Kohler, Andrés; López, Estefanía; Delgado, Ricardo; Córdova, Alex; Olguín, Patricio; Sierralta, Jimena

    2016-08-30

    The DLG-MAGUK subfamily of proteins plays a role on the recycling and clustering of glutamate receptors (GLUR) at the postsynaptic density. discs-large1 (dlg) is the only DLG-MAGUK gene in Drosophila and originates two main products, DLGA and DLGS97 which differ by the presence of an L27 domain. Combining electrophysiology, immunostaining and genetic manipulation at the pre and postsynaptic compartments we study the DLG contribution to the basal synaptic-function at the Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction. Our results reveal a specific function of DLGS97 in the regulation of the size of GLUR fields and their subunit composition. Strikingly the absence of any of DLG proteins at the presynaptic terminal disrupts the clustering and localization of the calcium channel DmCa1A subunit (Cacophony), decreases the action potential-evoked release probability and alters short-term plasticity. Our results show for the first time a crucial role of DLG proteins in the presynaptic function in vivo.

  3. Drosophila Atlastin in motor neurons is required for locomotion and presynaptic function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Gregorio, Cristian; Delgado, Ricardo; Ibacache, Andrés; Sierralta, Jimena; Couve, Andrés

    2017-10-15

    Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are characterized by spasticity and weakness of the lower limbs, resulting from length-dependent axonopathy of the corticospinal tracts. In humans, the HSP-related atlastin genes ATL1 - ATL3 catalyze homotypic membrane fusion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) tubules. How defects in neuronal Atlastin contribute to axonal degeneration has not been explained satisfactorily. Using Drosophila , we demonstrate that downregulation or overexpression of Atlastin in motor neurons results in decreased crawling speed and contraction frequency in larvae, while adult flies show progressive decline in climbing ability. Broad expression in the nervous system is required to rescue the atlastin -null Drosophila mutant ( atl 2 ) phenotype. Importantly, both spontaneous release and the reserve pool of synaptic vesicles are affected. Additionally, axonal secretory organelles are abnormally distributed, whereas presynaptic proteins diminish at terminals and accumulate in distal axons, possibly in lysosomes. Our findings suggest that trafficking defects produced by Atlastin dysfunction in motor neurons result in redistribution of presynaptic components and aberrant mobilization of synaptic vesicles, stressing the importance of ER-shaping proteins and the susceptibility of motor neurons to their mutations or depletion. © 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. G protein betagamma-subunits activated by serotonin mediate presynaptic inhibition by regulating vesicle fusion properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Photowala, Huzefa; Blackmer, Trillium; Schwartz, Eric; Hamm, Heidi E; Alford, Simon

    2006-03-14

    Neurotransmitters are thought to be released as quanta, where synaptic vesicles deliver packets of neurotransmitter to the synaptic cleft by fusion with the plasma membrane. However, synaptic vesicles may undergo incomplete fusion. We provide evidence that G protein-coupled receptors inhibit release by causing such incomplete fusion. 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) receptor signaling potently inhibits excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) between lamprey reticulospinal axons and their postsynaptic targets by a direct action on the vesicle fusion machinery. We show that 5-HT receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition, at this synapse, involves a reduction in EPSC quantal size. Quantal size was measured directly by comparing unitary quantal amplitudes of paired EPSCs before and during 5-HT application and indirectly by determining the effect of 5-HT on the relationship between mean-evoked EPSC amplitude and variance. Results from FM dye-labeling experiments indicate that 5-HT prevents full fusion of vesicles. 5-HT reduces FM1-43 staining of vesicles with a similar efficacy to its effect on the EPSC. However, destaining of FM1-43-labeled vesicles is abolished by lower concentrations of 5-HT that leave a substantial EPSC. The use of a water-soluble membrane impermeant quenching agent in the extracellular space reduced FM1-43 fluorescence during stimulation in 5-HT. Thus vesicles contact the extracellular space during inhibition of synaptic transmission by 5-HT. We conclude that 5-HT, via free Gbetagamma, prevents the collapse of synaptic vesicles into the presynaptic membrane.

  5. Visualizing presynaptic calcium dynamics and vesicle fusion with a single genetically encoded reporter at individual synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel E Jackson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic transmission depends on the influx of calcium into the presynaptic compartment, which drives neurotransmitter release. Genetically encoded reporters are widely used tools to understand these processes, particularly pHluorin-based reporters that report vesicle exocytosis and endocytosis through pH dependent changes in fluorescence, and genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs that exhibit changes in fluorescence upon binding to calcium. The recent expansion of the color palette of available indicators has made it possible to image multiple probes simultaneously within a cell. We have constructed a single molecule reporter capable of concurrent imaging of both presynaptic calcium influx and exocytosis, by fusion of sypHy, the vesicle associated protein synaptophysin containing a GFP-based pHluorin sensor, with the red-shifted GECI R-GECO1. Due to the fixed stoichiometry of the two probes, the ratio of the two responses can also be measured, providing an all optical correlate of the calcium dependence of release. Here, we have characterized stimulus-evoked sypHy-RGECO responses of hippocampal synapses in vitro, exploring the effects of different stimulus strengths and frequencies as well as variations in external calcium concentrations. By combining live sypHy-RGECO imaging with post-hoc fixation and immunofluorescence, we have also investigated correlations between structural and functional properties of synapses.

  6. Crimpy enables discrimination of presynaptic and postsynaptic pools of a BMP at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Rebecca E; Hoover, Kendall M; Bulgari, Dinara; McLaughlin, Colleen N; Wilson, Christopher G; Wharton, Kristi A; Levitan, Edwin S; Broihier, Heather T

    2014-12-08

    Distinct pools of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) Glass bottom boat (Gbb) control structure and function of the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Specifically, motoneuron-derived Gbb regulates baseline neurotransmitter release, whereas muscle-derived Gbb regulates neuromuscular junction growth. Yet how cells differentiate between these ligand pools is not known. Here we present evidence that the neuronal Gbb-binding protein Crimpy (Cmpy) permits discrimination of pre- and postsynaptic ligand by serving sequential functions in Gbb signaling. Cmpy first delivers Gbb to dense core vesicles (DCVs) for activity-dependent release from presynaptic terminals. In the absence of Cmpy, Gbb is no longer associated with DCVs and is not released by activity. Electrophysiological analyses demonstrate that Cmpy promotes Gbb's proneurotransmission function. Surprisingly, the Cmpy ectodomain is itself released upon DCV exocytosis, arguing that Cmpy serves a second function in BMP signaling. In addition to trafficking Gbb to DCVs, we propose that Gbb/Cmpy corelease from presynaptic terminals defines a neuronal protransmission signal. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Pre-synaptic control of remote fear extinction in the neocortex

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    Gisella eVetere

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Consolidation of remote memory enhances immediate early genes induction (IEGs, augments the expression of the presynaptic growth associated protein 43 (GAP-43, and increases the density and size of dendritic spines in anterior cingulate (aCC and infra-limbic (ILC cortices. Remote memory extinction, however, does not uniformly alter consolidation-induced structural changes. In the aCC, the density, but not the size, of spines is reset to pseudo-conditioning levels while novel thin spines are formed in the ILC. Whether IEGs and GAP-43 also undergo region-specific changes upon remote memory extinction is undetermined. Here we confirm in the same batch of mice that c-Fos induction and GAP-43 expression are increased in both the aCC and the ILC 36 days after contextual fear conditioning. We then show that, in both regions, remote memory extinction is associated with decrease of c-Fos induction but no change in GAP-43 expression thus revealing similar, although protein-specific, pre-synaptic adaptations in aCC and ILC neurons. These observations, in addition to our previous report of region-specific post-synaptic structural changes, disclose a complex pattern of extinction-driven neocortical alterations suitable to support erasure or reinstatement of fear according to the environment demand.

  8. Translating neuronal activity at the synapse: presynaptic calcium sensors in short-term plasticity

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    Arthur P.H. De Jong

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The complex manner in which patterns of presynaptic neural activity are translated into short-term plasticity (STP suggests the existence of multiple presynaptic calcium (Ca2+ sensors, which regulate the amplitude and time-course of STP and are the focus of this review. We describe two canonical Ca2+-binding protein domains (C2 domains and EF-hands and define criteria that need to be met for a protein to qualify as a Ca2+ sensor mediating STP. With these criteria in mind, we discuss various forms of STP and identify established and putative Ca2+ sensors. We find that despite the multitude of proposed sensors, only three are well established in STP: Munc13, protein kinase C and synaptotagmin-7. For putative sensors, we pinpoint open questions and potential pitfalls. Finally, we discuss how the molecular properties and modes of action of Ca2+ sensors can explain their differential involvement in STP and shape net synaptic output.

  9. Presynaptic (Type III) cells in mouse taste buds sense sour (acid) taste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yijen A; Maruyama, Yutaka; Stimac, Robert; Roper, Stephen D

    2008-06-15

    Taste buds contain two types of cells that directly participate in taste transduction - receptor (Type II) cells and presynaptic (Type III) cells. Receptor cells respond to sweet, bitter and umami taste stimulation but until recently the identity of cells that respond directly to sour (acid) tastants has only been inferred from recordings in situ, from behavioural studies, and from immunostaining for putative sour transduction molecules. Using calcium imaging on single isolated taste cells and with biosensor cells to identify neurotransmitter release, we show that presynaptic (Type III) cells specifically respond to acid taste stimulation and release serotonin. By recording responses in cells isolated from taste buds and in taste cells in lingual slices to acetic acid titrated to different acid levels (pH), we also show that the active stimulus for acid taste is the membrane-permeant, uncharged acetic acid moiety (CH(3)COOH), not free protons (H(+)). That observation is consistent with the proximate stimulus for acid taste being intracellular acidification, not extracellular protons per se. These findings may also have implications for other sensory receptors that respond to acids, such as nociceptors.

  10. Inhibition of presynaptic activity by zinc released from mossy fiber terminals during tetanic stimulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minami, Akira; Sakurada, Naomi; Fuke, Sayuri; Kikuchi, Kazuya; Nagano, Tetsuo; Oku, Naoto; Takeda, Atsushi

    2006-01-01

    Zinc exists in high densities in the giant boutons of hippocampal mossy fibers. On the basis of the evidence that zinc decreases extracellular glutamate concentration in the hippocampus, the presynaptic action of zinc released from mossy fibers during high-frequency (tetanic) stimulation was examined using hippocampal slices. The increase in zinc-specific fluorescent signals was observed in both extracellular and intracellular compartments in the mossy fiber terminals during the delivery of tetanic stimuli (100 Hz, 1 sec) to the dentate granule cell layer, suggesting that zinc released from mossy fibers is immediately retaken up by mossy fibers. When mossy fiber terminals were preferentially double-stained with zinc and calcium indicators and tetanic stimuli (100 Hz, 1 sec) were delivered to the dentate granule cell layer, the increase in calcium orange signal during the stimulation was enhanced in mossy fiber terminals by addition of CaEDTA, a membrane-impermeable zinc chelator, and was suppressed by addition of zinc. The decrease in FM4-64 signal (vesicular exocytosis) during tetanic stimulation (10 Hz, 180 sec), which induced mossy fiber long-term potentiation, was also enhanced in mossy fiber terminals by addition of CaEDTA and was suppressed by addition of zinc. The present study demonstrates that zinc released from mossy fibers may be a negative-feedback factor against presynaptic activity during tetanic stimulation.

  11. An Integrated Biochemistry Laboratory, Including Molecular Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Adele J. Wolfson Mona L.; Branham, Thomas R.

    1996-11-01

    The dilemma of designing an advanced undergraduate laboratory lies in the desire to teach and reinforce basic principles and techniques while at the same time exposing students to the excitement of research. We report here on a one-semester, project-based biochemistry laboratory that combines the best features of a cookbook approach (high success rate, achievement of defined goals) with those of an investigative, discovery-based approach (student involvement in the experimental design, excitement of real research). Individual modules may be selected and combined to meet the needs of different courses and different institutions. The central theme of this lab is protein purification and design. This laboratory accompanies the first semester of biochemistry (Structure and Function of Macromolecules, a course taken mainly by junior and senior chemistry and biological chemistry majors). The protein chosen as the object of study is the enzyme lysozyme, which is utilized in all projects. It is suitable for a student lab because it is easily and inexpensively obtained from egg white and is extremely stable, and its high isoelectric point (pI = 11) allows for efficient separation from other proteins by ion-exchange chromatography. Furthermore, a literature search conducted by the resourceful student reveals a wealth of information, since lysozyme has been the subject of numerous studies. It was the first enzyme whose structure was determined by crystallography (1). Hendrickson et al. (2) have previously described an intensive one-month laboratory course centered around lysozyme, although their emphasis is on protein stability rather than purification and engineering. Lysozyme continues to be the focus of much exciting new work on protein folding and dynamics, structure and activity (3 - 5). This lab course includes the following features: (i) reinforcement of basic techniques, such as preparation of buffers, simple enzyme kinetics, and absorption spectroscopy; (ii

  12. Raising environmental awareness through applied biochemistry laboratory experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salman Ashraf, S

    2013-01-01

    Our environment is under constant pressure and threat from various sources of pollution. Science students, in particular chemistry students, must not only be made aware of these issues, but also be taught that chemistry (and science) can provide solutions to such real-life issues. To this end, a newly developed biochemistry laboratory experiment is described that guides students to learn about the applicability of peroxidase enzymes to degrade organic dyes (as model pollutants) in simulated waste water. In addition to showing how enzymes can potentially be used for waste water remediation, various factors than can affect enzyme-based reactions such as pH, temperature, concentration of substrates/enzymes, and denaturants can also be tested. This "applied biotechnology" experiment was successfully implemented in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory course to enhance students' learning of environmental issues as well important biochemistry concepts. Student survey confirmed that this laboratory experiment was successful in achieving the objectives of raising environmental awareness in students and illustrating the usefulness of chemistry in solving real-life problems. This experiment can be easily adopted in an introductory biochemistry laboratory course and taught as an inquiry-guided exercise. © 2013 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  13. FACEBOOK AS A MEDIATION TOOL IN BIOCHEMISTRY DISCIPLINE

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    P. X. Gomes

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: The current students generation are daily connected to the Internet, wich encourages the use of mobile tools in education. Many of the students of Biochemistry feel apprehensive about the discipline and the use of facebook may contribute, among other factors, motivating them. Objectives: It was analyzed the use of facebook as a mediator and motivator in the discipline of Biochemistry, basing on socioconstrutivist interventions. Material and methods: This work was developed in the action-research perspective, using the quali-quantitative method. An investigative questionnaire was used, using Likert scale and open questions, to investigate the facebook use, as well as the preferences of students, focusing on Biochemistry group in the Biomedicine course.  The posts were analyzed identifying: frequency of the interaction`s types (post, comment, likes;  interaction's categories (question, answer, motivational; and the content itself of the post. Results: It was highlighted students' interest to search materials, answering questions, and especially seeking information about the discipline. It was emphasized that the group was motivating for learning Biochemistry, encouragement the group to study, with quick and easy access to the professor by chat. Conclusions: The results indicate a preference for students at facebook, with a great motivational potential, is at easy access to colleagues, professor and monitor, or even the ease of obtaining the materials and ask questions in real time, indicating that this tool as a possible way, still little explored, to enhance the teaching of Biochemistry.

  14. Identifying Opportunities for Vertical Integration of Biochemistry and Clinical Medicine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wendelberger, Karen J.; Burke, Rebecca; Haas, Arthur L.; Harenwattananon, Marisa; Simpson, Deborah

    1998-01-01

    Objectives: Retention of basic science knowledge, as judged by National Board of Medical Examiners' (NBME) data, suffers due to lack of apparent relevance and isolation of instruction from clinical application, especially in biochemistry. However, the literature reveals no systematic process for identifying key biochemical concepts and associated clinical conditions. This study systematically identified difficult biochemical concepts and their common clinical conditions as a critical step towards enhancing relevance and retention of biochemistry.Methods: A multi-step/ multiple stakeholder process was used to: (1) identify important biochemistry concepts; (2) determine students' perceptions of concept difficulty; (3) assess biochemistry faculty, student, and clinical teaching scholars' perceived relevance of identified concepts; and (4) identify associated common clinical conditions for relevant and difficult concepts. Surveys and a modified Delphi process were used to gather data, subsequently analyzed using SPSS for Windows.Results: Sixteen key biochemical concepts were identified. Second year medical students rated 14/16 concepts as extremely difficult while fourth year students rated nine concepts as moderately to extremely difficult. On average, each teaching scholar generated common clinical conditions for 6.2 of the 16 concepts, yielding a set of seven critical concepts and associated clinical conditions.Conclusions: Key stakeholders in the instructional process struggle to identify biochemistry concepts that are critical, difficult to learn and associated with common clinical conditions. However, through a systematic process beginning with identification of concepts and associated clinical conditions, relevance of basic science instruction can be enhanced.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Presynaptic CRF1 Receptors Mediate the Ethanol Enhancement of GABAergic Transmission in the Mouse Central Amygdala

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhiguo Nie

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF is a 41-amino-acid neuropeptide involved in stress responses initiated from several brain areas, including the amygdala formation. Research shows a strong relationship between stress, brain CRF, and excessive alcohol consumption. Behavioral studies suggest that the central amygdala (CeA is significantly involved in alcohol reward and dependence. We recently reported that the ethanol augmentation of GABAergic synaptic transmission in rat CeA involves CRF1 receptors, because both CRF and ethanol significantly enhanced the amplitude of evoked GABAergic inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs in CeA neurons from wild-type (WT and CRF2 knockout (KO mice, but not in neurons of CRF1 KO mice. The present study extends these findings using selective CRF receptor ligands, gene KO models, and miniature IPSC (mIPSC analysis to assess further a presynaptic role for the CRF receptors in mediating ethanol effects in the CeA. In whole-cell patch recordings of pharmacologically isolated GABAAergic IPSCs from slices of mouse CeA, both CRF and ethanol augmented evoked IPSCs in a concentration-dependent manner, with low EC50s. A CRF1 (but not CRF2 KO construct and the CRF1-selective nonpeptide antagonist NIH-3 (LWH-63 blocked the augmenting effect of both CRF and ethanol on evoked IPSCs. Furthermore, the new selective CRF1 agonist stressin1, but not the CRF2 agonist urocortin 3, also increased evoked IPSC amplitudes. Both CRF and ethanol decreased paired-pulse facilitation (PPF of evoked IPSCs and significantly enhanced the frequency, but not the amplitude, of spontaneous miniature GABAergic mIPSCs in CeA neurons of WT mice, suggesting a presynaptic site of action. The PPF effect of ethanol was abolished in CeA neurons of CRF1 KO mice. The CRF1 antagonist NIH-3 blocked the CRF- and ethanol-induced enhancement of mIPSC frequency in CeA neurons. These data indicate that presynaptic CRF1 receptors play a critical role in permitting

  20. My Lifelong Passion for Biochemistry and Anaerobic Microorganisms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thauer, Rudolf Kurt

    2015-01-01

    Early parental influence led me first to medical school, but after developing a passion for biochemistry and sensing the need for a deeper foundation, I changed to chemistry. During breaks between semesters, I worked in various biochemistry labs to acquire a feeling for the different areas of investigation. The scientific puzzle that fascinated me most was the metabolism of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium kluyveri, which I took on in 1965 in Karl Decker's lab in Freiburg, Germany. I quickly realized that little was known about the biochemistry of strict anaerobes such as clostridia, methanogens, acetogens, and sulfate-reducing bacteria and that these were ideal model organisms to study fundamental questions of energy conservation, CO2 fixation, and the evolution of metabolic pathways. My passion for anaerobes was born then and is unabated even after 50 years of study.

  1. Blended learning in biochemistry education: analysis of medical students' perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Fátima Wardenski, Rosilaine; de Espíndola, Marina Bazzo; Struchiner, Miriam; Giannella, Taís Rabetti

    2012-07-01

    The objective of this study was to analyze first-year UFRJ medical students' perceptions about the implementation of a blended learning (BL) experience in their Biochemistry I course. During the first semester of 2009, three Biochemistry professors used the Constructore course management system to develop virtual learning environments (VLEs) for complementing course Modules I, II, and IV, using different resources and activities. Forty-nine students (46%) took part in the study. Results show that, in general, students gave positive evaluations to their experiences with BL, indicating that the VLEs have not only motivated but also facilitated learning. Most of the students reported that access to resources in the three modules provided a more in-depth approach to Biochemistry education and greater study autonomy. Students suggested that the VLEs could be better used for promoting greater communication among participants. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. Using augmented reality to teach and learn biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Garzón, Juan Carlos; Magrini, Marcio Luiz; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-09-01

    Understanding metabolism and metabolic pathways constitutes one of the central aims for students of biological sciences. Learning metabolic pathways should be focused on the understanding of general concepts and core principles. New technologies such Augmented Reality (AR) have shown potential to improve assimilation of biochemistry abstract concepts because students can manipulate 3D molecules in real time. Here we describe an application named Augmented Reality Metabolic Pathways (ARMET), which allowed students to visualize the 3D molecular structure of substrates and products, thus perceiving changes in each molecule. The structural modification of molecules shows students the flow and exchange of compounds and energy through metabolism. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):417-420, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  3. 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...

  4. The use of multiple tools for teaching medical biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sé, Alexandre B; Passos, Renato M; Ono, André H; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2008-03-01

    In this work, we describe the use of several strategies employing the philosophies of active learning and problem-based learning (PBL) that may be used to improve the teaching of metabolic biochemistry to medical and nutritional undergraduate students. The main activities are as follows: 1) a seminar/poster system in a mini-congress format (using topics of applied biochemistry); 2) a true/false applied biochemistry exam (written by peer tutors); 3) a 9-h exam on metabolism (based in real publications); 4) the Advanced Biochemistry course (directed to peer tutors, where students learn how to read and criticize real medical papers); 5) experiments about nutrition and metabolism, using students as volunteers, and about free radicals (real science for students); 6) the BioBio blog (taking advantage of the "web age," this enhances out of class exchanges of information between the professor, students, and peer tutors); 7) student lectures on public health issues and metabolic disorders directed to the community and lay people; and 8) the BioBio quiz show. The main objective of these activities is to provide students with a more practical and interesting approach to biochemistry, such as the application of theoretical knowledge to real situations (diseases, experiments, media information, and scientific discoveries). In addition, we emphasize the importance of peer tutor activities for optimized learning of both students and peer tutors, the importance of a closer interaction between students and teaching staff, and the necessity to initiate students precociously in two broad fields of medical activity: "real" basic science and contact with the public (also helping students--future doctors and nutritionists--to be able to communicate with lay people). Most activities were evaluated by the students through written questionnaires and informal conversations, along various semesters, indicating good acceptance and approval of these methods. Good student scores in the

  5. Effects of thyroid status on presynaptic. cap alpha. 2-adrenoceptor and. beta. -adrenoceptor binding in the rat brain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atterwill, C.K.; Bunn, S.J.; Atkinson, D.J. (Development Neurobiology Unit, London (UK). Inst. of Neurology); Smith, S.L.; Heal, D.J. (Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford (UK))

    1984-01-01

    The effect of thyroid status on noradrenergic synaptic function in the mature brain was examined by measuring presynaptic ..cap alpha..2- and postsynaptic ..beta..-adrenoceptors. Repeated triiodothyronine (T/sub 3/) administration to rats (100..mu..g/kg x 14 days hyperthyroid) caused an 18% increase in striatal ..beta..-adrenoceptors as shown by (/sup 3/H)-dihydroalprenolol binding with no change in membranes from cerebral cortex or hypothalamus. In contrast, hypothyroidism (propylthiouracil, PTU x 14 days) produced significant 12% and 30% reductions in striatal and hypothalamic ..beta..-adrenoceptors respectively with no change in the cerebral cortex. Presynaptic ..cap alpha..2-adrenoceptor function was measured in the two dysthyroid states using the clonidine-induced hypoactivity model. Experimental hyperthyroidism increased the degree of clonidine-induced hypoactivity, and suggests increased presynaptic ..cap alpha..2-adrenoceptor function compared with control rats, whereas hypothyroidism suppressed presynaptic ..cap alpha..2-adrenoceptor function. These results show firstly that changes of thyroid status in the mature rat may produce homeostatic alterations at central noradrenergic synapses as reflected by changes in pre- and postsynaptic adrenoceptor function. Secondly, there appear to be T/sub 3/-induced changes in ..beta..-adrenoceptors in the striatum where changes in dopaminergic neuronal activity have previously been demonstrated.

  6. Effects of thyroid status on presynaptic α2-adrenoceptor and β-adrenoceptor binding in the rat brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Atterwill, C.K.; Bunn, S.J.; Atkinson, D.J.

    1984-01-01

    The effect of thyroid status on noradrenergic synaptic function in the mature brain was examined by measuring presynaptic α2- and postsynaptic β-adrenoceptors. Repeated triiodothyronine (T 3 ) administration to rats (100μg/kg X 14 days hyperthyroid) caused an 18% increase in striatal β-adrenoceptors as shown by [ 3 H]-dihydroalprenolol binding with no change in membranes from cerebral cortex or hypothalamus. In contrast, hypothyroidism (propylthiouracil, PTU X 14 days) produced significant 12% and 30% reductions in striatal and hypothalamic β-adrenoceptors respectively with no change in the cerebral cortex. Presynaptic α2-adrenoceptor function was measured in the two dysthyroid states using the clonidine-induced hypoactivity model. Experimtal hyperthyroidism increased the degree of clonidine-induced hypoactivity, and suggests increased presynaptic α2-adrenoceptor function compared with control rats, whereas hypothyroidism suppressed presynaptic α2-adrenoceptor function. These results show firstly that changes of thyroid status in the mature rat may produce homeostatic alterations at central noradrenergic synapses as reflected by changes in pre- and postsynaptic adrenoceptor function. Secondly, there appear to be T 3 -induced changes in β-adrenoceptors in the striatum where changes in dopaminergic neuronal activity have previously been demonstrated. (Author)

  7. Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Research Report 1996-1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    Scientific interests of the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences have evolved from classical biochemistry, biophysics and physiological chemistry to up-to-date molecular biology. Research interests are focussed on replication, mutagenesis and repair of DNA; regulation of gene expression at various levels; biosynthesis and post-translational modifications of proteins; gene sequencing and functional analysis of open reading frames; structure, function and regulation of enzymes; conformation of proteins and peptides; modelling of structures and prediction of functions of proteins; mechanisms of electron transfer in polypeptides

  8. Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics. Research Report 1996-1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-07-01

    Scientific interests of the Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics of the Polish Academy of Sciences have evolved from classical biochemistry, biophysics and physiological chemistry to up-to-date molecular biology. Research interests are focussed on replication, mutagenesis and repair of DNA; regulation of gene expression at various levels; biosynthesis and post-translational modifications of proteins; gene sequencing and functional analysis of open reading frames; structure, function and regulation of enzymes; conformation of proteins and peptides; modelling of structures and prediction of functions of proteins; mechanisms of electron transfer in polypeptides.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Learning and retrieval behavior in recurrent neural networks with pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mizusaki, Beatriz E. P.; Agnes, Everton J.; Erichsen, Rubem; Brunnet, Leonardo G.

    2017-08-01

    The plastic character of brain synapses is considered to be one of the foundations for the formation of memories. There are numerous kinds of such phenomenon currently described in the literature, but their role in the development of information pathways in neural networks with recurrent architectures is still not completely clear. In this paper we study the role of an activity-based process, called pre-synaptic dependent homeostatic scaling, in the organization of networks that yield precise-timed spiking patterns. It encodes spatio-temporal information in the synaptic weights as it associates a learned input with a specific response. We introduce a correlation measure to evaluate the precision of the spiking patterns and explore the effects of different inhibitory interactions and learning parameters. We find that large learning periods are important in order to improve the network learning capacity and discuss this ability in the presence of distinct inhibitory currents.

  12. Presynaptic inhibition of spontaneous acetylcholine release induced by adenosine at the mouse neuromuscular junction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Lorenzo, Silvana; Veggetti, Mariela; Muchnik, Salomón; Losavio, Adriana

    2004-05-01

    1. At the mouse neuromuscular junction, adenosine (AD) and the A(1) agonist 2-chloro-N(6)-cyclopentyl-adenosine (CCPA) induce presynaptic inhibition of spontaneous acetylcholine (ACh) release by activation of A(1) AD receptors through a mechanism that is still unknown. To evaluate whether the inhibition is mediated by modulation of the voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) associated with tonic secretion (L- and N-type VDCCs), we measured the miniature end-plate potential (mepp) frequency in mouse diaphragm muscles. 2. Blockade of VDCCs by Cd(2+) prevented the effect of the CCPA. Nitrendipine (an L-type VDCC antagonist) but not omega-conotoxin GVIA (an N-type VDCC antagonist) blocked the action of CCPA, suggesting that the decrease in spontaneous mepp frequency by CCPA is associated with an action on L-type VDCCs only. 3. As A(1) receptors are coupled to a G(i/o) protein, we investigated whether the inhibition of PKA or the activation of PKC is involved in the presynaptic inhibition mechanism. Neither N-(2[p-bromocinnamylamino]-ethyl)-5-isoquinolinesulfonamide (H-89, a PKA inhibitor), nor 1-(5-isoquinolinesulfonyl)-2-methyl-piperazine (H-7, a PKC antagonist), nor phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PHA, a PKC activator) modified CCPA-induced presynaptic inhibition, suggesting that these second messenger pathways are not involved. 4. The effect of CCPA was eliminated by the calmodulin antagonist N-(6-aminohexil)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulfonamide hydrochloride (W-7) and by ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether)-N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid-acetoxymethyl ester epsilon6TDelta-BM, which suggests that the action of CCPA to modulate L-type VDCCs may involve Ca(2+)-calmodulin. 5. To investigate the action of CCPA on diverse degrees of nerve terminal depolarization, we studied its effect at different external K(+) concentrations. The effect of CCPA on ACh secretion evoked by 10 mm K(+) was prevented by the P/Q-type VDCC antagonist omega-agatoxin IVA. 6. CCPA failed to

  13. Presynaptic inhibition of GABAergic synaptic transmission by adenosine in mouse hypothalamic hypocretin neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, J X; Xiong, J X; Wang, H K; Duan, S M; Ye, J N; Hu, Z A

    2012-01-10

    Hypocretin neurons in the lateral hypothalamus, a new wakefulness-promoting center, have been recently regarded as an important target involved in endogenous adenosine-regulating sleep homeostasis. The GABAergic synaptic transmissions are the main inhibitory afferents to hypocretin neurons, which play an important role in the regulation of excitability of these neurons. The inhibitory effect of adenosine, a homeostatic sleep-promoting factor, on the excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmissions in hypocretin neurons has been well documented, whether adenosine also modulates these inhibitory GABAergic synaptic transmissions in these neurons has not been investigated. In this study, the effect of adenosine on inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in hypocretin neurons was examined by using perforated patch-clamp recordings in the acute hypothalamic slices. The findings demonstrated that adenosine suppressed the amplitude of evoked IPSCs in a dose-dependent manner, which was completely abolished by 8-cyclopentyltheophylline (CPT), a selective antagonist of adenosine A1 receptor but not adenosine A2 receptor antagonist 3,7-dimethyl-1-(2-propynyl) xanthine. A presynaptic origin was suggested as following: adenosine increased paired-pulse ratio as well as reduced GABAergic miniature IPSC frequency without affecting the miniature IPSC amplitude. Further findings demonstrated that when the frequency of electrical stimulation was raised to 10 Hz, but not 1 Hz, a time-dependent depression of evoked IPSC amplitude was detected in hypocretin neurons, which could be partially blocked by CPT. However, under a higher frequency at 100 Hz stimulation, CPT had no action on the depressed GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by such tetanic stimulation in these hypocretin neurons. These results suggest that endogenous adenosine generated under certain stronger activities of synaptic transmissions exerts an inhibitory effect on GABAergic synaptic transmission in hypocretin

  14. Contribution of presynaptic HCN channels to excitatory inputs of spinal substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peng, S-C; Wu, J; Zhang, D-Y; Jiang, C-Y; Xie, C-N; Liu, T

    2017-09-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels are pathological pain-associated voltage-gated ion channels. They are widely expressed in central nervous system including spinal lamina II (also named the substantia gelatinosa, SG). Here, we examined the distribution of HCN channels in glutamatergic synaptic terminals as well as their role in the modulation of synaptic transmission in SG neurons from SD rats and glutamic acid decarboxylase-67 (GAD67)-GFP mice. We found that the expression of the HCN channel isoforms was varied in SG. The HCN4 isoform showed the highest level of co-localization with VGLUT2 (23±3%). In 53% (n=21/40 neurons) of the SG neurons examined in SD rats, application of HCN channel blocker, ZD7288 (10μM), decreased the frequency of spontaneous (s) and miniature (m) excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) by 37±4% and 33±4%, respectively. Consistently, forskolin (FSK) (an activator of adenylate cyclase) significantly increased the frequency of mEPSCs by 225±34%, which could be partially inhibited by ZD7288. Interestingly, the effects of ZD7288 and FSK on sEPSC frequency were replicated in non-GFP-expressing neurons, but not in GFP-expressing GABAergic SG neurons, in GAD67-GFP transgenic C57/BL6 mice. In summary, our results represent a previously unknown cellular mechanism by which presynaptic HCN channels, especially HCN4, regulate the glutamate release from presynaptic terminals that target excitatory, but not inhibitory SG interneurons. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Trapping of Syntaxin1a in Presynaptic Nanoclusters by a Clinically Relevant General Anesthetic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adekunle T. Bademosi

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Summary: Propofol is the most commonly used general anesthetic in humans. Our understanding of its mechanism of action has focused on its capacity to potentiate inhibitory systems in the brain. However, it is unknown whether other neural mechanisms are involved in general anesthesia. Here, we demonstrate that the synaptic release machinery is also a target. Using single-particle tracking photoactivation localization microscopy, we show that clinically relevant concentrations of propofol and etomidate restrict syntaxin1A mobility on the plasma membrane, whereas non-anesthetic analogs produce the opposite effect and increase syntaxin1A mobility. Removing the interaction with the t-SNARE partner SNAP-25 abolishes propofol-induced syntaxin1A confinement, indicating that syntaxin1A and SNAP-25 together form an emergent drug target. Impaired syntaxin1A mobility and exocytosis under propofol are both rescued by co-expressing a truncated syntaxin1A construct that interacts with SNAP-25. Our results suggest that propofol interferes with a step in SNARE complex formation, resulting in non-functional syntaxin1A nanoclusters. : Bademosi et al. use single-molecule imaging microscopy to understand how general anesthetics might affect presynaptic release mechanisms. They find that a clinically relevant concentration of propofol targets the presynaptic release machinery by specifically restricting syntaxin1A mobility on the plasma membrane. This suggests an alternate target process for these drugs. Keywords: super-resolution microscopy, sptPALM, propofol, etomidate, SNARE, Drosophila melanogaster, PC12, syntaxin1A, SNAP-25, neurotransmission

  16. Myocardial pre-synaptic sympathetic function correlates with glucose uptake in the failing human heart

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mongillo, Marco; Leccisotti, Lucia; John, Anna S.; Pennell, Dudley J.; Camici, Paolo G.

    2007-01-01

    We have previously shown that the myocardium of patients with heart failure (HF) is insulin resistant. Chronic β-adrenergic stimulation has been implicated in insulin resistance in cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro, where sustained noradrenaline stimulation inhibited insulin-modulated glucose uptake. As the failing heart is characterized by increased sympathetic drive, we hypothesized that there is a correlation between pre-synaptic sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity in the myocardium of patients with HF. Eight patients (aged 67 ± 7 years) with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction 44 ± 10%) underwent function and viability assessment with cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Myocardial glucose utilization (MGU) was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) with 18 F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Pre-synaptic noradrenaline re-uptake was measured by calculating [ 11 C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine (HED) volume of distribution (V d ) with PET. Two groups of healthy volunteers served as controls for the FDG (n = 8, aged 52 ± 4 years, p -1 .g -1 ) and dysfunctional (0.49 ± 0.14 μmol.min -1 .g -1 ) segments compared with controls (0.61 ± 0.7 μmol.min -1 .g -1 ; p d was reduced in dysfunctional segments of patients (38.9 ± 21.2 ml.g -1 ) compared with normal segments (52.2 ± 19.6 ml.g -1 ) and compared with controls (62.7 ± 11.3 ml.g -1 ). In patients, regional MGU was correlated with HED V d . The results of this study provide novel evidence of a correlation between cardiac sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity, which may represent one of the mechanisms contributing to insulin resistance in failing human hearts. (orig.)

  17. Super-resolution microscopy reveals presynaptic localization of the ALS / FTD related protein FUS in hippocampal neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael eSchoen

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Fused in Sarcoma (FUS is a multifunctional RNA- / DNA-binding protein, which is involved in the pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative disorders amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD. A common hallmark of these disorders is the abnormal accumulation of mutated FUS protein in the cytoplasm. Under normal conditions FUS is confined to the nuclear compartment, in neurons however, additional somatodendritic localization can be observed. In this study, we carefully analyzed the subcellular localization of endogenous FUS at synaptic sites of hippocampal neurons which are among the most affected cell types in frontotemporal dementia with FUS pathology. We could confirm a strong nuclear localization of FUS as well as its prominent and widespread neuronal expression throughout the adult and developing rat brain, particularly in the hippocampus, the cerebellum and the outer layers of the cortex. Intriguingly, FUS was also consistently observed at synaptic sites as detected by neuronal subcellular fractionation as well as by immunolabeling. To define a pre- and / or postsynaptic localization of FUS, we employed super-resolution fluorescence localization microscopy. FUS was found to be localized within the axon terminal in close proximity to the presynaptic vesicle protein Synaptophysin1 and adjacent to the active zone protein Bassoon, but well separated from the postsynaptic protein PSD-95. Having shown the presynaptic localization of FUS in the nervous system, a novel extranuclear role of FUS at neuronal contact sites has to be considered. Since there is growing evidence that local presynaptic translation might also be an important mechanism for plasticity, FUS - like the fragile X mental retardation protein FMRP - might act as one of the presynaptic RNA-binding proteins regulating this machinery. Our observation of presynaptic FUS should foster further investigations to determine its role in neurodegenerative diseases such as

  18. Presynaptic selectivity of a ligand for serotonin 1A receptors revealed by in vivo PET assays of rat brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Takeaki Saijo

    Full Text Available A novel investigational antidepressant with high affinity for the serotonin transporter and the serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A receptor, called Wf-516 (structural formula: (2S-1-[4-(3,4-dichlorophenylpiperidin-1-yl]-3-[2-(5-methyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-ylbenzo[b]furan-4-yloxy]propan-2-ol monohydrochloride, has been found to exert a rapid therapeutic effect, although the mechanistic basis for this potential advantage remains undetermined. We comparatively investigated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Wf-516 and pindolol by positron emission tomographic (PET and autoradiographic assays of rat brains in order to elucidate their molecular interactions with presynaptic and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A receptors. In contrast to the full receptor occupancy by pindolol in PET measurements, the binding of Wf-516 to 5-HT(1A receptors displayed limited capacity, with relatively high receptor occupancy being achieved in regions predominantly containing presynaptic receptors. This selectivity was further proven by PET scans of neurotoxicant-treated rats deficient in presynaptic 5-HT(1A receptors. In addition, [(35S]guanosine 5'-O-[γ-thio]triphosphate autoradiography indicated a partial agonistic ability of Wf-516 for 5-HT(1A receptors. This finding has lent support to reports that diverse partial agonists for 5-HT(1A receptors exert high sensitivity for presynaptic components. Thus, the present PET data suggest a relatively high capacity of presynaptic binding sites for partial agonists. Since our in vitro and ex vivo autoradiographies failed to illustrate these distinct features of Wf-516, in vivo PET imaging is considered to be, thus far, the sole method capable of pharmacokinetically demonstrating the unique actions of Wf-516 and similar new-generation antidepressants.

  19. Presynaptic selectivity of a ligand for serotonin 1A receptors revealed by in vivo PET assays of rat brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saijo, Takeaki; Maeda, Jun; Okauchi, Takashi; Maeda, Jun-ichi; Morio, Yasunori; Kuwahara, Yasuhiro; Suzuki, Masayuki; Goto, Nobuharu; Fukumura, Toshimitsu; Suhara, Tetsuya; Higuchi, Makoto

    2012-01-01

    A novel investigational antidepressant with high affinity for the serotonin transporter and the serotonin 1A (5-HT(1A)) receptor, called Wf-516 (structural formula: (2S)-1-[4-(3,4-dichlorophenyl)piperidin-1-yl]-3-[2-(5-methyl-1,3,4-oxadiazol-2-yl)benzo[b]furan-4-yloxy]propan-2-ol monohydrochloride), has been found to exert a rapid therapeutic effect, although the mechanistic basis for this potential advantage remains undetermined. We comparatively investigated the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of Wf-516 and pindolol by positron emission tomographic (PET) and autoradiographic assays of rat brains in order to elucidate their molecular interactions with presynaptic and postsynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors. In contrast to the full receptor occupancy by pindolol in PET measurements, the binding of Wf-516 to 5-HT(1A) receptors displayed limited capacity, with relatively high receptor occupancy being achieved in regions predominantly containing presynaptic receptors. This selectivity was further proven by PET scans of neurotoxicant-treated rats deficient in presynaptic 5-HT(1A) receptors. In addition, [(35)S]guanosine 5'-O-[γ-thio]triphosphate autoradiography indicated a partial agonistic ability of Wf-516 for 5-HT(1A) receptors. This finding has lent support to reports that diverse partial agonists for 5-HT(1A) receptors exert high sensitivity for presynaptic components. Thus, the present PET data suggest a relatively high capacity of presynaptic binding sites for partial agonists. Since our in vitro and ex vivo autoradiographies failed to illustrate these distinct features of Wf-516, in vivo PET imaging is considered to be, thus far, the sole method capable of pharmacokinetically demonstrating the unique actions of Wf-516 and similar new-generation antidepressants.

  20. Teaching of biochemistry: analyze of works presented in Congress the Society Brazilian Biochemistry and Molecular Biology - SBBq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.F. Escoto

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: In recent decades the strategies to improve science education has grown exponentially. Thus, the scientific production in the area is also growing, with the purpose of identifying parameters and methodologies that contribute to their qualification. The teaching of biochemistry is intimately linked to that context. However, it is still little explored in basic education and with character technicist in higher education. The aim of this study was identify areas that received most attention in the scientific literature about teaching and education in biochemistry that were presented at the Congress of the Brazilian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from 2004 to 2012. Material and Methods: To conduct the survey were analyzed summaries available on the website of the Brazilian Journal of Education for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology published in the proceedings of the event, where they were encontrados176 summaries. For expression of results was used categorization from the content analysis. Results and Discussion: The results observed to establish nine categories based on the analysis of the titles and content of the work, which, in descending order, were: information and communication technologies, alternative methods teaching and learning, biochemistry in Elementary Education and / or Medium, experiential activities, teacher training, dissemination of science, proposition and evaluation of content and / or science curricular and History and Philosophy. It is noticed that the three most important categories were consolidated along editions. In education, however, there was a significant decrease in the number of abstracts submitted abstracts for the past five years. Conclusions: We conclude that all categories listed seeking alternatives to improve teaching practices and promote education of biochemistry in different contexts.

  1. Haematology, serum biochemistry and organ weight changes of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A total of fifty Wistar albino rats weighing 50-60g were randomly allocated to five dietary treatments in a completely randomized design to investigate the haematology, serum biochemistry and organ weight changes on diets containing processed dehulled jack bean. Four diets containing 10% crude protein were formulated ...

  2. Haematology and serum biochemistry of laying hens fed red pepper ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The hematology and serum biochemistry of ISA brown laying hens fed red pepper (Capsicum annum. L.) as feed additive in their diet was studied. Sixty (60) laying birds (in their 32nd week) were randomly allotted to four different dietary treatments with graded levels of red pepper (Capsicum annum. L.) as additive.

  3. Imaging spectroscopy of foliar biochemistry in forestry environments ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Remote sensing estimates of leaf biochemicals provide valuable information on ecosystem functioning, vitality and state at local to global spatial scales. This paper aims to give an overview of the state of the art of foliar biochemistry assessment in general and, where possible, attention is given to: (1) Eucalyptus forest ...

  4. Blood and serum biochemistry of omentopexed West African Dwarf ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated the blood and serum biochemistry following peritoneum sutured and not sutured techniques of laparotomy sutures in omentopexed WAD goats. Twentyfive male WAD goats were randomly divided into 5 groups (A – E). In group A, peritoneum was not sutured, while in group B, the peritoneum was ...

  5. Aspects of the serum biochemistry, carcass quality and organoleptic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effects of feeding alkaline treated date pits (TDP) on serum biochemistry, carcass quality and organoleptic characteristics were investigated in 396 commercial broiler chicks of the Hybro strain. The values of glucose, albumin, protein, calcium, pH and GPT and GOT showed no significance difference when compared ...

  6. Semen quality, biochemistry and mineral content of five strains of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted to evaluate the genetic effect on semen quality, biochemistry and mineral content of three strains of Nigerian indigenous and two exotic cocks. One hundred (100) adult local breeding cocks comprising 20 normal, 20 frizzle and 20 naked necks, 20 dominant black and 20 dominant blue feather were ...

  7. A 13-week research-based biochemistry laboratory curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lefurgy, Scott T; Mundorff, Emily C

    2017-09-01

    Here, we present a 13-week research-based biochemistry laboratory curriculum designed to provide the students with the experience of engaging in original research while introducing foundational biochemistry laboratory techniques. The laboratory experience has been developed around the directed evolution of an enzyme chosen by the instructor, with mutations designed by the students. Ideal enzymes for this curriculum are able to be structurally modeled, solubly expressed, and monitored for activity by UV/Vis spectroscopy, and an example curriculum for haloalkane dehalogenase is given. Unique to this curriculum is a successful implementation of saturation mutagenesis and high-throughput screening of enzyme function, along with bioinformatics analysis, homology modeling, structural analysis, protein expression and purification, polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, UV/Vis spectroscopy, and enzyme kinetics. Each of these techniques is carried out using a novel student-designed mutant library or enzyme variant unique to the lab team and, importantly, not described previously in the literature. Use of a well-established set of protocols promotes student data quality. Publication may result from the original student-generated hypotheses and data, either from the class as a whole or individual students that continue their independent projects upon course completion. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(5):437-448, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  8. Phosphinic acid compounds in biochemistry, biology and medicine

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Collinsová, Michaela; Jiráček, Jiří

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 7, - (2000), s. 629-647 ISSN 0929-8673 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/97/0039; GA AV ČR KSK2055603 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z4055905 Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 4.909, year: 2000

  9. Assessment of Learning Gains in a Flipped Biochemistry Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ojennus, Deanna Dahlke

    2016-01-01

    The flipped classroom has become an increasingly popular pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. In this study, learning gains were assessed in a flipped biochemistry course and compared to gains in a traditional lecture. Although measured learning gains were not significantly different between the two courses, student perception of…

  10. Raising Environmental Awareness through Applied Biochemistry Laboratory Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salman Ashraf, S.

    2013-01-01

    Our environment is under constant pressure and threat from various sources of pollution. Science students, in particular chemistry students, must not only be made aware of these issues, but also be taught that chemistry (and science) can provide solutions to such real-life issues. To this end, a newly developed biochemistry laboratory experiment…

  11. Using Augmented Reality to Teach and Learn Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vega Garzón, Juan Carlos; Magrini, Marcio Luiz; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Understanding metabolism and metabolic pathways constitutes one of the central aims for students of biological sciences. Learning metabolic pathways should be focused on the understanding of general concepts and core principles. New technologies such Augmented Reality (AR) have shown potential to improve assimilation of biochemistry abstract…

  12. Biochemistry Instructors' Perceptions of Analogies and Their Classroom Use

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orgill, MaryKay; Bussey, Thomas J.; Bodner, George M.

    2015-01-01

    Biochemistry education relies heavily on students' abilities to conceptualize abstract cellular and molecular processes, mechanisms, and components. From a constructivist standpoint, students build their understandings of these abstract processes by connecting, expanding, or revising their prior conceptions and experiences. As such, biochemistry…

  13. Estimating foliar biochemistry from hyperspectral data in mixed forest canopy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Huber Gharib, Silvia; Kneubühler, Mathias; Psomas, Achilleas

    2008-01-01

    data to estimate the foliar concentration of nitrogen, carbon and water in three mixed forest canopies in Switzerland. With multiple linear regression models, continuum-removed and normalized HyMap spectra were related to foliar biochemistry on an individual tree level. The six spectral wavebands used...

  14. Differentiating Biochemistry Course Laboratories Based on Student Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakubowski, Henry V.

    2011-01-01

    Content and emphases in undergraduate biochemistry courses can be readily tailored to accommodate the standards of the department in which they are housed, as well as the backgrounds of the students in the courses. A more challenging issue is how to construct laboratory experiences for a class with both chemistry majors, who usually have little or…

  15. Undergraduate Performance in Solving Ill-Defined Biochemistry Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sensibaugh, Cheryl A.; Madrid, Nathaniel J.; Choi, Hye-Jeong; Anderson, William L.; Osgood, Marcy P.

    2017-01-01

    With growing interest in promoting skills related to the scientific process, we studied performance in solving ill-defined problems demonstrated by graduating biochemistry majors at a public, minority-serving university. As adoption of techniques for facilitating the attainment of higher-order learning objectives broadens, so too does the need to…

  16. The Use of Multiple Tools for Teaching Medical Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Se, Alexandre B.; Passos, Renato M.; Ono, Andre H.; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2008-01-01

    In this work, we describe the use of several strategies employing the philosophies of active learning and problem-based learning (PBL) that may be used to improve the teaching of metabolic biochemistry to medical and nutritional undergraduate students. The main activities are as follows: 1) a seminar/poster system in a mini-congress format (using…

  17. Using Assessment to Improve Learning in the Biochemistry Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loertscher, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    In recent years, major drivers of undergraduate science education reform including the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have called on college and university instructors to take a more scientific approach to their teaching. Although many biochemistry instructors are gaining confidence in using…

  18. The New Biochemistry: Blending the Traditional with the Other.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyer, Rodney

    2000-01-01

    Points out the difficulties in designing and presenting a modern chemistry course with an overabundance of topics to cover in a limited amount of class time. Presents a model syllabi for biochemistry majors and the shorter survey course for non-majors, usually consisting of health professionals and biological science majors. (Contains 24…

  19. Blog Construction as an Effective Tool in Biochemistry Active Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cubas Rolim, Estêvão; Martins de Oliveira, Julia; Dalvi, Luana T.; Moreira, Daniel C.; Garcia Caldas, Natasha; Fernandes Lobo, Felipe; André Polli, Démerson; Campos, Élida G.; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo

    2017-01-01

    To boost active learning in undergraduate students, they were given the task of preparing blogs on topics of clinical biochemistry. This "experiment" lasted for 12 teaching-semesters (from 2008 to 2013), and included a survey on the blogs' usefulness at the end of each semester. The survey (applied in the 2008-2010 period) used a…

  20. A Laboratory Course in Clinical Biochemistry Emphasizing Interest and Relevance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schwartz, Peter L.

    1975-01-01

    Ten laboratory experiments are described which are used in a successful clinical biochemistry laboratory course (e.g. blood alcohol, glucose tolerance, plasma triglycerides, coronary risk index, gastric analysis, vitamin C and E). Most of the experiments are performed on the students themselves using simple equipment with emphasis on useful…

  1. An "in Silico" DNA Cloning Experiment for the Biochemistry Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elkins, Kelly M.

    2011-01-01

    This laboratory exercise introduces students to concepts in recombinant DNA technology while accommodating a major semester project in protein purification, structure, and function in a biochemistry laboratory for junior- and senior-level undergraduate students. It is also suitable for forensic science courses focused in DNA biology and advanced…

  2. Retraction 2 | Shafik | Egyptian Journal of Biochemistry and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Value of co-peptin/ plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 axis in early diagnosis of preterm labor risk among pre-eclamptic Egyptian women. Noha M. Shafik1, Soha S. Zakaria1, Ahmed M. Hagras2 and Ghada M. Abou-Fard3 Departments of Medical Biochemistry1, Gynecology2 and Physiology3, Faculty of Medicine, Tanta ...

  3. An Integrated Approach to Teaching Biochemistry for Pharmacy Students.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, Therese I.; Borke, Mitchell L.

    1982-01-01

    A Duquesne course integrating biochemistry lectures, clinical applications lectures, and laboratory sessions has the objectives of (1) making the course more relevant to students' perceived needs; (2) enhancing the learning process; (3) introducing clinical applications early in the students' program; and (4) demonstrating additional…

  4. Differences in serum biochemistry between breast-fed and formula-fed infants

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tzee-Chung Wu

    2011-11-01

    Conclusion: Different sources of nutrition may result in different metabolic responses; these differences are reflected by different serum biochemistries. The reference values for serum biochemistry levels also differ according to the infant’s postnatal age.

  5. Macroglia-derived thrombospondin 2 regulates alterations of presynaptic proteins of retinal neurons following elevated hydrostatic pressure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shuchao; Hu, Tu; Wang, Zhen; Li, Na; Zhou, Lihong; Liao, Lvshuang; Wang, Mi; Liao, Libin; Wang, Hui; Zeng, Leping; Fan, Chunling; Zhou, Hongkang; Xiong, Kun; Huang, Jufang; Chen, Dan

    2017-01-01

    Many studies on retinal injury and repair following elevated intraocular pressure suggest that the survival ratio of retinal neurons has been improved by various measures. However, the visual function recovery is far lower than expected. The homeostasis of retinal synapses in the visual signal pathway is the key structural basis for the delivery of visual signals. Our previous studies found that complicated changes in the synaptic structure between retinal neurons occurred much earlier than obvious degeneration of retinal ganglion cells in rat retinae. The lack of consideration of these earlier retinal synaptic changes in the rescue strategy may be partly responsible for the limited visual function recovery with the types of protective methods for retinal neurons used following elevated intraocular pressure. Thus, research on the modulatory mechanisms of the synaptic changes after elevated intraocular pressure injury may give new light to visual function rescue. In this study, we found that thrombospondin 2, an important regulator of synaptogenesis in central nervous system development, was distributed in retinal macroglia cells, and its receptor α2δ-1 was in retinal neurons. Cell cultures including mixed retinal macroglia cells/neuron cultures and retinal neuron cultures were exposed to elevated hydrostatic pressure for 2 h. The expression levels of glial fibrillary acidic protein (the marker of activated macroglia cells), thrombospondin 2, α2δ-1 and presynaptic proteins were increased following elevated hydrostatic pressure in mixed cultures, but the expression levels of postsynaptic proteins were not changed. SiRNA targeting thrombospondin 2 could decrease the upregulation of presynaptic proteins induced by the elevated hydrostatic pressure. However, in retinal neuron cultures, elevated hydrostatic pressure did not affect the expression of presynaptic or postsynaptic proteins. Rather, the retinal neuron cultures with added recombinant thrombospondin 2

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Biochemistry Students' Ideas about Shape and Charge in Enzyme-Substrate Interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery

    2014-01-01

    Biochemistry is a visual discipline that requires students to develop an understanding of numerous representations. However, there is very little known about what students actually understand about the representations that are used to communicate ideas in biochemistry. This study investigated biochemistry students' understanding of multiple…

  10. Biochemistry - Open TG-GATEs | LSDB Archive [Life Science Database Archive metadata

    Lifescience Database Archive (English)

    Full Text Available tests. Data file File name: open_tggates_biochemistry.zip File URL: ftp://ftp.biosciencedbc.jp/archive/open-...tggates/LATEST/open_tggates_biochemistry.zip File size: 666 KB Simple search URL ...http://togodb.biosciencedbc.jp/togodb/view/open_tggates_biochemistry#en Data acquisition method - Data analy

  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. Myocardial pre-synaptic sympathetic function correlates with glucose uptake in the failing human heart

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mongillo, Marco; Leccisotti, Lucia [Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London (United Kingdom); John, Anna S. [Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Pennell, Dudley J. [Royal Brompton Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom); Camici, Paolo G. [Hammersmith Hospital, Medical Research Council Clinical Sciences Centre, Imperial College Faculty of Medicine, London (United Kingdom); Hammersmith Hospital, National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College, London (United Kingdom)

    2007-08-15

    We have previously shown that the myocardium of patients with heart failure (HF) is insulin resistant. Chronic {beta}-adrenergic stimulation has been implicated in insulin resistance in cultured cardiomyocytes in vitro, where sustained noradrenaline stimulation inhibited insulin-modulated glucose uptake. As the failing heart is characterized by increased sympathetic drive, we hypothesized that there is a correlation between pre-synaptic sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity in the myocardium of patients with HF. Eight patients (aged 67 {+-} 7 years) with coronary artery disease and left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction 44 {+-} 10%) underwent function and viability assessment with cardiovascular magnetic resonance. Myocardial glucose utilization (MGU) was measured using positron emission tomography (PET) with {sup 18}F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG). Pre-synaptic noradrenaline re-uptake was measured by calculating [{sup 11}C]meta-hydroxy-ephedrine (HED) volume of distribution (V{sub d}) with PET. Two groups of healthy volunteers served as controls for the FDG (n = 8, aged 52 {+-} 4 years, p < 0.01 vs patients) and HED (n = 8, aged 40 {+-} 6 years, p < 0.01 vs patients) data. MGU in patients was reduced in both normal remote (0.44 {+-} 0.14 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}) and dysfunctional (0.49 {+-} 0.14 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}) segments compared with controls (0.61 {+-} 0.7 {mu}mol.min{sup -1}.g{sup -1}; p < 0.001 vs both). HED V{sub d} was reduced in dysfunctional segments of patients (38.9 {+-} 21.2 ml.g{sup -1}) compared with normal segments (52.2 {+-} 19.6 ml.g{sup -1}) and compared with controls (62.7 {+-} 11.3 ml.g{sup -1}). In patients, regional MGU was correlated with HED V{sub d}. The results of this study provide novel evidence of a correlation between cardiac sympathetic function and insulin sensitivity, which may represent one of the mechanisms contributing to insulin resistance in failing human hearts. (orig.)

  13. 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...

  14. Presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in relation to acquisition of a visuo-motor skill in healthy humans

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez, Monica A.; Lungholt, Bjarke K.S.; Nielsen, Jens Bo

    2005-01-01

    Sensory information continuously converges on the spinal cord during a variety of motor behaviours. Here, we examined presynaptic control of group Ia afferents in relation to acquisition of a novel motor skill. We tested whether repetition of two motor tasks with different degrees of difficulty......, a novel visuo-motor task involving the ankle muscles, and a control task involving simple voluntary ankle movements, would induce changes in the size of the soleus H-reflex. The slope of the H-reflex recruitment curve and the H-max/M-max ratio were depressed after repetition of the visuo-motor skill task...... of the monosynaptic Ia facilitation of the soleus H-reflex evoked by femoral nerve stimulation. The D1 inhibition was increased and the femoral nerve facilitation was decreased following the visuo-motor skill task, suggesting an increase in presynaptic inhibition of Ia afferents. No changes were observed...

  15. Abnormal presynaptic short-term plasticity and information processing in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deng, Pan-Yue; Sojka, David; Klyachko, Vitaly A

    2011-07-27

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS) is the most common inherited form of intellectual disability and the leading genetic cause of autism. It is associated with the lack of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP), a regulator of protein synthesis in axons and dendrites. Studies on FXS have extensively focused on the postsynaptic changes underlying dysfunctions in long-term plasticity. In contrast, the presynaptic mechanisms of FXS have garnered relatively little attention and are poorly understood. Activity-dependent presynaptic processes give rise to several forms of short-term plasticity (STP), which is believed to control some of essential neural functions, including information processing, working memory, and decision making. The extent of STP defects and their contributions to the pathophysiology of FXS remain essentially unknown, however. Here we report marked presynaptic abnormalities at excitatory hippocampal synapses in Fmr1 knock-out (KO) mice leading to defects in STP and information processing. Loss of FMRP led to enhanced responses to high-frequency stimulation. Fmr1 KO mice also exhibited abnormal synaptic processing of natural stimulus trains, specifically excessive enhancement during the high-frequency spike discharges associated with hippocampal place fields. Analysis of individual STP components revealed strongly increased augmentation and reduced short-term depression attributable to loss of FMRP. These changes were associated with exaggerated calcium influx in presynaptic neurons during high-frequency stimulation, enhanced synaptic vesicle recycling, and enlarged readily-releasable and reserved vesicle pools. These data suggest that loss of FMRP causes abnormal STP and information processing, which may represent a novel mechanism contributing to cognitive impairments in FXS.

  16. SAD-B kinase regulates pre-synaptic vesicular dynamics at hippocampal Schaffer collateral synapses and affects contextual fear memory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watabe, Ayako M; Nagase, Masashi; Hagiwara, Akari; Hida, Yamato; Tsuji, Megumi; Ochiai, Toshitaka; Kato, Fusao; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa

    2016-01-01

    Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, such as axon specifications and maturation in central and peripheral nervous systems. At mature pre-synaptic terminals, SAD-B is associated with synaptic vesicles and the active zone cytomatrix; however, how SAD-B regulates neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in vivo remains unclear. Thus, we used SAD-B knockout (KO) mice to study the function of this pre-synaptic kinase in the brain. We found that the paired-pulse ratio was significantly enhanced at Shaffer collateral synapses in the hippocampal CA1 region in SAD-B KO mice compared with wild-type littermates. We also found that the frequency of the miniature excitatory post-synaptic current was decreased in SAD-B KO mice. Moreover, synaptic depression following prolonged low-frequency synaptic stimulation was significantly enhanced in SAD-B KO mice. These results suggest that SAD-B kinase regulates vesicular release probability at pre-synaptic terminals and is involved in vesicular trafficking and/or regulation of the readily releasable pool size. Finally, we found that hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice. These observations suggest that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. Synapses of amphids defective (SAD)-A/B kinases control various steps in neuronal development and differentiation, but their roles in mature brains were only partially known. Here, we demonstrated, at mature pre-synaptic terminals, that SAD-B regulates vesicular release probability and synaptic plasticity. Moreover, hippocampus-dependent contextual fear learning was significantly impaired in SAD-B KO mice, suggesting that SAD-B kinase plays pivotal roles in controlling vesicular release properties and regulating hippocampal function in the mature brain. © 2015 International

  17. Myoglobin structure and function: A multiweek biochemistry laboratory project.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverstein, Todd P; Kirk, Sarah R; Meyer, Scott C; Holman, Karen L McFarlane

    2015-01-01

    We have developed a multiweek laboratory project in which students isolate myoglobin and characterize its structure, function, and redox state. The important laboratory techniques covered in this project include size-exclusion chromatography, electrophoresis, spectrophotometric titration, and FTIR spectroscopy. Regarding protein structure, students work with computer modeling and visualization of myoglobin and its homologues, after which they spectroscopically characterize its thermal denaturation. Students also study protein function (ligand binding equilibrium) and are instructed on topics in data analysis (calibration curves, nonlinear vs. linear regression). This upper division biochemistry laboratory project is a challenging and rewarding one that not only exposes students to a wide variety of important biochemical laboratory techniques but also ties those techniques together to work with a single readily available and easily characterized protein, myoglobin. © 2015 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. How to Search for Life by the Detection of Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKay, C. P.; Davila, A.; Sun, H. J.

    2013-12-01

    We consider how to search for life by the detection of biochemistry in three relevance case: 1) in samples returned to Earth, 2) In situ in the organic rich plume of Enceladus, and 3) On Mars, following the discovery of organics. A search for organic biomarkers can address several questions including: 1) Evidence for present or past life, 2) Evidence for a second genesis of life, 3) Hazard assessment for human explorers and sample return and 4) Detection of bioload from Earth. Some useful analogs for the search for organic biomarkers on other worlds include 1) Ancient Earth sediment record, an example of a poorly preserved ancient biochemistry, 2) Modern environments including anoxic Antarctic sediments 3)Extreme cold desert surfaces in the High Antarctic Dry Valleys 4) Extremely dry soils such as the Atacama Desert 5) Evaporites. Sample preparation is a key issue, often unappreciated in past. Illustrated by the interference of perchlorate with organic detection on Viking and SAM.

  19. MicroRNA-22 Gates Long-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity in Aplysia through Presynaptic Regulation of CPEB and Downstream Targets

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ferdinando Fiumara

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The maintenance phase of memory-related long-term facilitation (LTF of synapses between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia depends on a serotonin (5-HT-triggered presynaptic upregulation of CPEB, a functional prion that regulates local protein synthesis at the synapse. The mechanisms whereby serotonin regulates CPEB levels in presynaptic sensory neurons are not known. Here, we describe a sensory neuron-specific microRNA 22 (miR-22 that has multiple binding sites on the mRNA of CPEB and inhibits it in the basal state. Serotonin triggers MAPK/Erk-dependent downregulation of miR-22, thereby upregulating the expression of CPEB, which in turn regulates, through functional CPE elements, the presynaptic expression of atypical PKC (aPKC, another candidate regulator of memory maintenance. Our findings support a model in which the neurotransmitter-triggered downregulation of miR-22 coordinates the regulation of genes contributing synergistically to the long-term maintenance of memory-related synaptic plasticity.

  20. MicroRNA-22 Gates Long-Term Heterosynaptic Plasticity in Aplysia through Presynaptic Regulation of CPEB and Downstream Targets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiumara, Ferdinando; Rajasethupathy, Priyamvada; Antonov, Igor; Kosmidis, Stylianos; Sossin, Wayne S; Kandel, Eric R

    2015-06-30

    The maintenance phase of memory-related long-term facilitation (LTF) of synapses between sensory and motor neurons of the gill-withdrawal reflex of Aplysia depends on a serotonin (5-HT)-triggered presynaptic upregulation of CPEB, a functional prion that regulates local protein synthesis at the synapse. The mechanisms whereby serotonin regulates CPEB levels in presynaptic sensory neurons are not known. Here, we describe a sensory neuron-specific microRNA 22 (miR-22) that has multiple binding sites on the mRNA of CPEB and inhibits it in the basal state. Serotonin triggers MAPK/Erk-dependent downregulation of miR-22, thereby upregulating the expression of CPEB, which in turn regulates, through functional CPE elements, the presynaptic expression of atypical PKC (aPKC), another candidate regulator of memory maintenance. Our findings support a model in which the neurotransmitter-triggered downregulation of miR-22 coordinates the regulation of genes contributing synergistically to the long-term maintenance of memory-related synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Dopamine synapse is a neuroligin-2–mediated contact between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchigashima, Motokazu; Ohtsuka, Toshihisa; Kobayashi, Kazuto; Watanabe, Masahiko

    2016-01-01

    Midbrain dopamine neurons project densely to the striatum and form so-called dopamine synapses on medium spiny neurons (MSNs), principal neurons in the striatum. Because dopamine receptors are widely expressed away from dopamine synapses, it remains unclear how dopamine synapses are involved in dopaminergic transmission. Here we demonstrate that dopamine synapses are contacts formed between dopaminergic presynaptic and GABAergic postsynaptic structures. The presynaptic structure expressed tyrosine hydroxylase, vesicular monoamine transporter-2, and plasmalemmal dopamine transporter, which are essential for dopamine synthesis, vesicular filling, and recycling, but was below the detection threshold for molecules involving GABA synthesis and vesicular filling or for GABA itself. In contrast, the postsynaptic structure of dopamine synapses expressed GABAergic molecules, including postsynaptic adhesion molecule neuroligin-2, postsynaptic scaffolding molecule gephyrin, and GABAA receptor α1, without any specific clustering of dopamine receptors. Of these, neuroligin-2 promoted presynaptic differentiation in axons of midbrain dopamine neurons and striatal GABAergic neurons in culture. After neuroligin-2 knockdown in the striatum, a significant decrease of dopamine synapses coupled with a reciprocal increase of GABAergic synapses was observed on MSN dendrites. This finding suggests that neuroligin-2 controls striatal synapse formation by giving competitive advantage to heterologous dopamine synapses over conventional GABAergic synapses. Considering that MSN dendrites are preferential targets of dopamine synapses and express high levels of dopamine receptors, dopamine synapse formation may serve to increase the specificity and potency of dopaminergic modulation of striatal outputs by anchoring dopamine release sites to dopamine-sensing targets. PMID:27035941

  2. Current research in Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tarachand, U.; Singh, B.B.

    1995-01-01

    The Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay has been engaged in research in the frontier areas of (i) radiation biology related to tumour therapy and injury caused by free radicals; (ii) molecular basis of diseases of physiological origin; (iii) molecular aspects of chemical carcinogenesis and (iv) structure of genome and genome related functions. The gist of research and development activities carried out in the Division during the last two years are documented

  3. A biochemistry laboratory course designed to enhance students autonomy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Silva

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Laboratory sessions are responsible for promoting instrumentation skills desirable in biochemistry and biochemistry related careers. They are traditionally based on experimental protocols that lead to the expected results, and students usually have not autonomy to plan and execute their experiments. GOALS: This work aimed to enhance a traditional biochemistry lab course, applying pre-lab quizzes on protein biochemistry and lab techniques in order to have students better prepared to plan, execute and interpret experiments. This approach also aims to bring the laboratory sessions into an inquiry-based environment capable to improve students’ independent capabilities in 2 autonomy domains: learning and communication. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Online quizzes are delivered one week before each laboratory session, containing questions regarding the experimental techniques and theoretical basis related to them. Laboratory activities are presented in an inquiry-based approach where the first class of each activity is dedicated to plan experiments in order to answer the research questions presented by instructors. Activities are also organized in order to enhance students’ autonomy. The first activity is the simplest and more instructor-controlled and the last one is the most complex and less driven, transferring gradually to students the responsibility for their decisions in laboratory, supporting students’ autonomy. RESULTS: Online quizzes allowed instructors to identify students’ difficulties and to timely intervene. Scientific reports presented by students at the end of each activity showed that they performed better on less driven activities in which autonomy support were more complex than in the instructor controlled activities. CONCLUSIONS: Scientific reports analysis reveals students capabilities related to different scopes of autonomy, such as: discuss different strategies; find multiple solutions to solve problems; make their

  4. Current research in Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tarachand, U; Singh, B B [eds.; Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay (India). Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Div.

    1996-12-31

    The Radiation Biology and Biochemistry Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Bombay has been engaged in research in the frontier areas of (i) radiation biology related to tumour therapy and injury caused by free radicals; (ii) molecular basis of diseases of physiological origin; (iii) molecular aspects of chemical carcinogenesis and (iv) structure of genome and genome related functions. The gist of research and development activities carried out in the Division during the last two years are documented.

  5. A postsynaptic PI3K-cII dependent signaling controller for presynaptic homeostatic plasticity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauswirth, Anna G; Ford, Kevin J; Wang, Tingting; Fetter, Richard D; Tong, Amy

    2018-01-01

    Presynaptic homeostatic plasticity stabilizes information transfer at synaptic connections in organisms ranging from insect to human. By analogy with principles of engineering and control theory, the molecular implementation of PHP is thought to require postsynaptic signaling modules that encode homeostatic sensors, a set point, and a controller that regulates transsynaptic negative feedback. The molecular basis for these postsynaptic, homeostatic signaling elements remains unknown. Here, an electrophysiology-based screen of the Drosophila kinome and phosphatome defines a postsynaptic signaling platform that includes a required function for PI3K-cII, PI3K-cIII and the small GTPase Rab11 during the rapid and sustained expression of PHP. We present evidence that PI3K-cII localizes to Golgi-derived, clathrin-positive vesicles and is necessary to generate an endosomal pool of PI(3)P that recruits Rab11 to recycling endosomal membranes. A morphologically distinct subdivision of this platform concentrates postsynaptically where we propose it functions as a homeostatic controller for retrograde, trans-synaptic signaling. PMID:29303480

  6. 123-I ioflupane (Datscan® presynaptic nigrostriatal imaging in patients with movement disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Soriano Castrejón

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available 123-I Ioflupane (Datscan® presynaptic imaging has been shown to have a significant utility in the assessment of patients with movement disorders 123-I Ioflupane SPECT is able to distinguish between Parkinson’s disease (PD and other forms of parkinsonism without degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway, including a common movement disorder such as essential tremor, and to assess disease progression in PD and other neurodegenerative disorders involving the substantia nigra.A imagem pré-sináptica através de 123-I Ioflupane (Datscan® tem mostrado um papel significante na avaliação de pacientes com distúrbios do movimento. 123-I Ioflupane SPECT é capaz de distinguir entre Mal de Parkinson (MP e outras formas de parkinsonismo sem degenerações da via nigroestriatal incluindo um distúrbio comum de movimento parecido com o tremor essencial e para medir a evolução da doença no Mal de Parkinson e outros distúrbios neurodegenerativos envolvendo a substantia nigra.

  7. Presynaptic protein synthesis required for NT-3-induced long-term synaptic modulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Je H

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Neurotrophins elicit both acute and long-term modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity. Previously, we demonstrated that the long-term synaptic modulation requires the endocytosis of neurotrophin-receptor complex, the activation of PI3K and Akt, and mTOR mediated protein synthesis. However, it is unclear whether the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins depends on protein synthesis in pre- or post-synaptic cells. Results Here we have developed an inducible protein translation blocker, in which the kinase domain of protein kinase R (PKR is fused with bacterial gyrase B domain (GyrB-PKR, which could be dimerized upon treatment with a cell permeable drug, coumermycin. By genetically targeting GyrB-PKR to specific cell types, we show that NT-3 induced long-term synaptic modulation requires presynaptic, but not postsynaptic protein synthesis. Conclusions Our results provide mechanistic insights into the cell-specific requirement for protein synthesis in the long-term synaptic modulation by neurotrophins. The GyrB-PKR system may be useful tool to study protein synthesis in a cell-specific manner.

  8. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Santafé, Manel M; Tomàs, Marta; Nadal, Laura; Hurtado, Erica; Simó, Anna; Cilleros, Víctor

    2017-01-01

    During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ) are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR), adenosine autoreceptors (AR) and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  9. Presynaptic Membrane Receptors Modulate ACh Release, Axonal Competition and Synapse Elimination during Neuromuscular Junction Development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josep Tomàs

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available During the histogenesis of the nervous system a lush production of neurons, which establish an excessive number of synapses, is followed by a drop in both neurons and synaptic contacts as maturation proceeds. Hebbian competition between axons with different activities leads to the loss of roughly half of the neurons initially produced so connectivity is refined and specificity gained. The skeletal muscle fibers in the newborn neuromuscular junction (NMJ are polyinnervated but by the end of the competition, 2 weeks later, the NMJ are innervated by only one axon. This peripheral synapse has long been used as a convenient model for synapse development. In the last few years, we have studied transmitter release and the local involvement of the presynaptic muscarinic acetylcholine autoreceptors (mAChR, adenosine autoreceptors (AR and trophic factor receptors (TFR, for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines during the development of NMJ and in the adult. This review article brings together previously published data and proposes a molecular background for developmental axonal competition and loss. At the end of the first week postnatal, these receptors modulate transmitter release in the various nerve terminals on polyinnervated NMJ and contribute to axonal competition and synapse elimination.

  10. Tracers tor the investigation of cerebral presynaptic dopaminergic function with positron emission tomography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Firnau, G.; Chirakal, R.; Nahmias, C.; Garnett, E.S.

    1991-01-01

    Two pharmacologic concepts, open-quotes metabolic precursorsclose quotes and open-quotes enzyme inhibitorsclose quotes have been applied to the design of PET tracers for the metabolic aspects of the neurotransmitter dopamine. As the result, highly useful, positron-emitting radiotracers have been developed with which to visualize and measure the cerebral distribution and metabolism of dopaminergic neurons. Positron emitter-labeled DOPA, particularly 6-[ 18 F]fluoro-L-DOPA, is being used to obtain information about the neurochemical anatomy of the dopamine system, and potentially, the rate constant of dopamine biosynthesis. 6-[ 18 F]Fluoro-L- meta-tyrosine delineates the dopaminergic structures even better than 6-[ 18 F]fluoro-L-DOPA but cannot provide kinetic information about dopamine biosynthesis. The in vivo activity of the enzyme aromatic L-aminoacid decarboxylase and that of monoamine oxidase types A and B can be measured with a-fluoro-methyl-6-[ 18 F]fluoro-L-DOPA, [ 11 C]clorgyline and L-[ 11 C]deprenyl, respectively. Thus, neuropharmacologic investigations of human presynaptic dopamine pharmacology are now possible in vivo

  11. In vivo and in vitro studies on a muscarinic presynaptic antagonist and postsynaptic agonist: BM-5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nordstrom, O.; Bartafi, T.; Frieder, B.; Grimm, V.; Ladinsky, H.; Unden, A.

    1986-01-01

    This paper reports on in vitro and in vivo studies with compound BM-5 which, at proper dosage, could have great potential since it could enhance cholinergic transmission by being a presynaptic antagonist and postsynaptic agonist. Binding studies are described in which tritium-4-NMPB, a muscarinic antagonist, was displaced by compound BM-5 in membranes from striatum, cerebral cortex, cerebellum and hippocampus. The binding data are summarized, which for each brain area involved 86-92 data points evaluated by means of nonlinear regression methods. Compound BM-5 recognized in each brain region a population of high and a population of low affinity binding sites; both of which were labelled with tritium-4-NMPB. It is shown that compound BM-5 causes muscarinic cholinergic agonist-like effects such as redness of the eye, increased motility in the gut, and impairment of locomotor behavior. It also produces muscarinic super-sensitivity upon chronic treatment, and decreases rat striatial ACh content by acute treatment

  12. Calcium microdomains near R-type calcium channels control the induction of presynaptic LTP at parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Myoga, Michael H.; Regehr, Wade G.

    2011-01-01

    R-type calcium channels in postsynaptic spines signal through functional calcium microdomains to regulate a calcium-calmodulin sensitive potassium channel that in turn regulates postsynaptic hippocampal LTP. Here we ask whether R-type calcium channels in presynaptic terminals also signal through calcium microdomains to control presynaptic LTP. We focus on presynaptic LTP at parallel fiber to Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum (PF-LTP), which is mediated by calcium/calmodulin-stimulated adenylyl cyclases. Although most presynaptic calcium influx is through N-type and P/Q-type calcium channels, blocking these channels does not disrupt PF-LTP, but blocking R-type calcium channels does. Moreover, global calcium signaling cannot account for the calcium dependence of PF-LTP because R-type channels contribute modestly to overall calcium entry. These findings indicate that within presynaptic terminals, R-type calcium channels produce calcium microdomains that evoke presynaptic LTP at moderate frequencies that do not greatly increase global calcium levels,. PMID:21471358

  13. 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.

  14. 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/).

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  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. Game Development as Didactic Strategy for Biochemistry Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G.G. Hornink

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available It is well known that students and teachers have difficulties in learning and teaching Biochemistry due to its abstract and interconnected contents. This work proposes a didactic strategy in order to facilitate teaching and learning process in Biochemistry. The strategy was implemented with biological science undergraduate students. At first, the students were divided into groups with a specific topic to develop a game. During the semester, problem based learning cases, online activities like crossword puzzle, essay questions and educational softwares were used to present the content of each topic. The groups were oriented in classroom and online, to choose and organize contents and create ways to approach them in games. At the end of the course the groups played each other games, which were evaluated by teacher and students following some criteria like: creativity, content organization, interdisciplinarity, proposal coherence, instructions clarity, specific content. The game elaboration contributed to the development of social and cognitive functions, such as teamwork and troubleshooting, providing an interesting perspective to the student about knowledge construction process. The strategy showed up students' creativity and ability to reorganize their knowledge to a different education level. In an overview, the results indicate that the proposed didactic strategy is an effective way to enhance learning and to motivate students into Biochemistry topics.

  2. THE USE OF MULTIPLE TOOLS FOR TEACHING MEDICAL BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.B. Sé

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The pros and cons of Problem Based Learning (PBL have been extensivelydiscussed in the literature. We describe PBL-like strategies used at UnB (some ofthem since 1999 that may be useful elsewhere to improve undergraduatebiochemistry teaching with clinical applications. The main activities are: (i aseminar/poster system, (ii a true-or-false applied biochemistry exam (prepared bypeer tutors, (iii a 9-hour-exam on metabolism (based in actual papers, (iv anAdvanced Biochemistry course (directed to peer tutors, (v pizza-and-pasta (formetabolism teaching and free radicals (real science for students experiments,(vi the BioBio blog (http://www.biobio-unb.blogspot.com, (vii student lectures onhealth issues directed to the community, and (viii the BioBio Show. The mainobjective of these activities is providing students with a more practical andentertaining approach to biochemistry using philosophic PBL principles such asthe application of basic knowledge to real situations (diseases, experiments andscientific discoveries. We also emphasize (a the importance of peer-tutor activityfor optimized learning of students and peer tutors, (b the relevance of a closerinteraction between students and professors, and (c the necessity to initiatestudents precociously in actual basic/medical science and contact with the public.Most activities have been evaluated by the students through written questionnairesand informal conversations, for several semesters, indicating good acceptanceand approval of these methods.

  3. Lecture-free biochemistry: A Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minderhout, Vicky; Loertscher, Jennifer

    2007-05-01

    Biochemistry courses at Seattle University have been taught exclusively using process oriented guided inquiry learning (POGIL) without any traditional lecture component since 1997. In these courses, students participate in a structured learning environment, which includes a preparatory assignment, an in-class activity, and a follow-up skill exercise. Instructor-designed learning activities provide the content of the course while the cooperative learning structure provides the content-free procedures that promote development of critical process skills needed for learning. This format enables students to initially explore a topic independently, work together in groups to construct and refine knowledge, and eventually develop deep understanding of the essential concepts. These stages of exploration and concept development form the foundation for application to high level biochemical problems. At the end of this course, most students report feeling confident in their knowledge of biochemistry and report substantial gains in independence, critical thinking, and respect for others. Copyright © 2007 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. 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

  5. Are tutor-students capable of writing good biochemistry exams?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sé Alexandre B.

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available In a previous article we described the relevance of student seminars for the learning process of appliedbiochemistry for medical and nutrition students (Hermes-Lima et al., Biochem. Mol.Biol.Educ. 30:30-34,2002. First semester students of a basic biochemistry course (BioBio are divided in 10 groupsof 5 members, and each group is assigned to a specic topic (diabetes, cholesterol, etc under thesupervision of a tutor-student. The tutors have already coursed BioBio and are currently undertakingan advanced biochemistry course. In order to evaluate the learning of applied biochemistry for BioBiostudents a true or false exam (TFE is performed. This exam is made of 50 questions (5 on eachtopic elaborated by the tutors under the supervision of the teacher. The TFE corresponds to 10percent of the grade of BioBio and focus on clinical and/or applied biochemistry situations. At theend of the exam, BioBio students were asked to share their opinions about TFEs (n = 401, from2001/1 to 2003/2. When asked to give a 0-to-4 score regarding (a the diculty level of the test,(b the technical quality and (c if the exam makes an appropriate evaluation of applied biochemistryknowledge, the scores were 2.9, 3.4 and 2.9, respectively. BioBio students were also asked if they ndvalid to be evaluated by a tutor-made exam and if they would like to participate in the making ofTFEs; 96 and 58 percent answered yes, respectively.In another survey, we interviewed former BioBio students from the 2nd to the 7th semesters (n=95about TFEs (since 1999-1 regarding technical aspects, which included (1 clarity of questions, (2 levelof diculty, (3 clinical application and (4 thinking (as opposed to memorizing abilities demanded;the 0-to-4 scores were 3.1, 2.9, 2.6, and 2.5, respectively. Other four questions were on the validityof tutors writing TFEs and their capacity to perform such a task; the average score was 3.2. Oursurveys show the students good acceptance of the seminar system

  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. 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

  8. Ubiquitin–Synaptobrevin Fusion Protein Causes Degeneration of Presynaptic Motor Terminals in Mice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yun; Li, Hongqiao; Sugiura, Yoshie; Han, Weiping; Gallardo, Gilbert; Khvotchev, Mikhail; Zhang, Yinan; Kavalali, Ege T.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2015-01-01

    Protein aggregates containing ubiquitin (Ub) are commonly observed in neurodegenerative disorders, implicating the involvement of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in their pathogenesis. Here, we aimed to generate a mouse model for monitoring UPS function using a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based substrate that carries a “noncleavable” N-terminal ubiquitin moiety (UbG76V). We engineered transgenic mice expressing a fusion protein, consisting of the following: (1) UbG76V, GFP, and a synaptic vesicle protein synaptobrevin-2 (UbG76V-GFP-Syb2); (2) GFP-Syb2; or (3) UbG76V-GFP-Syntaxin1, all under the control of a neuron-specific Thy-1 promoter. As expected, UbG76V-GFP-Syb2, GFP-Syb2, and UbG76V-GFP-Sytaxin1 were highly expressed in neurons, such as motoneurons and motor nerve terminals of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). Surprisingly, UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice developed progressive adult-onset degeneration of motor nerve terminals, whereas GFP-Syb2 and UbG76V-GFP-Syntaxin1 mice were normal. The degeneration of nerve terminals in UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice was preceded by a progressive impairment of synaptic transmission at the NMJs. Biochemical analyses demonstrated that UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 interacted with SNAP-25 and Syntaxin1, the SNARE partners of synaptobrevin. Ultrastructural analyses revealed a marked reduction in synaptic vesicle density, accompanying an accumulation of tubulovesicular structures at presynaptic nerve terminals. These morphological defects were largely restricted to motor nerve terminals, as the ultrastructure of motoneuron somata appeared to be normal at the stages when synaptic nerve terminals degenerated. Furthermore, synaptic vesicle endocytosis and membrane trafficking were impaired in UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 mice. These findings indicate that UbG76V-GFP-Syb2 may compete with endogenous synaptobrevin, acting as a gain-of-function mutation that impedes SNARE function, resulting in the depletion of synaptic vesicles and degeneration of the nerve

  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. Cortical Presynaptic Control of Dorsal Horn C–Afferents in the Rat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Lorenzana, Guadalupe; Condés-Lara, Miguel; Rojas-Piloni, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Lamina 5 sensorimotor cortex pyramidal neurons project to the spinal cord, participating in the modulation of several modalities of information transmission. A well-studied mechanism by which the corticospinal projection modulates sensory information is primary afferent depolarization, which has been characterized in fast muscular and cutaneous, but not in slow-conducting nociceptive skin afferents. Here we investigated whether the inhibition of nociceptive sensory information, produced by activation of the sensorimotor cortex, involves a direct presynaptic modulation of C primary afferents. In anaesthetized male Wistar rats, we analyzed the effects of sensorimotor cortex activation on post tetanic potentiation (PTP) and the paired pulse ratio (PPR) of dorsal horn field potentials evoked by C–fiber stimulation in the sural (SU) and sciatic (SC) nerves. We also explored the time course of the excitability changes in nociceptive afferents produced by cortical stimulation. We observed that the development of PTP was completely blocked when C-fiber tetanic stimulation was paired with cortex stimulation. In addition, sensorimotor cortex activation by topical administration of bicuculline (BIC) produced a reduction in the amplitude of C–fiber responses, as well as an increase in the PPR. Furthermore, increases in the intraspinal excitability of slow-conducting fiber terminals, produced by sensorimotor cortex stimulation, were indicative of primary afferent depolarization. Topical administration of BIC in the spinal cord blocked the inhibition of C–fiber neuronal responses produced by cortical stimulation. Dorsal horn neurons responding to sensorimotor cortex stimulation also exhibited a peripheral receptive field and responded to stimulation of fast cutaneous myelinated fibers. Our results suggest that corticospinal inhibition of nociceptive responses is due in part to a modulation of the excitability of primary C–fibers by means of GABAergic inhibitory

  11. Presynaptic plasticity as a hallmark of rat stress susceptibility and antidepressant response.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Nieto-Gonzalez

    Full Text Available Two main questions are important for understanding and treating affective disorders: why are certain individuals susceptible or resilient to stress, and what are the features of treatment response and resistance? To address these questions, we used a chronic mild stress (CMS rat model of depression. When exposed to stress, a fraction of rats develops anhedonic-like behavior, a core symptom of major depression, while another subgroup of rats is resilient to CMS. Furthermore, the anhedonic-like state is reversed in about half the animals in response to chronic escitalopram treatment (responders, while the remaining animals are resistant (non-responder animals. Electrophysiology in hippocampal brain slices was used to identify a synaptic hallmark characterizing these groups of animals. Presynaptic properties were investigated at GABAergic synapses onto single dentate gyrus granule cells. Stress-susceptible rats displayed a reduced probability of GABA release judged by an altered paired-pulse ratio of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs (1.48 ± 0.25 compared with control (0.81 ± 0.05 and stress-resilient rats (0.78 ± 0.03. Spontaneous IPSCs (sIPSCs occurred less frequently in stress-susceptible rats compared with control and resilient rats. Finally, a subset of stress-susceptible rats responding to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI treatment showed a normalization of the paired-pulse ratio (0.73 ± 0.06 whereas non-responder rats showed no normalization (1.2 ± 0.2. No changes in the number of parvalbumin-positive interneurons were observed. Thus, we provide evidence for a distinct GABAergic synaptopathy which associates closely with stress-susceptibility and treatment-resistance in an animal model of depression.

  12. APP Is a Context-Sensitive Regulator of the Hippocampal Presynaptic Active Zone.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Laßek

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD are characterized by cognitive decline and behavioral changes. The most prominent brain region affected by the progression of AD is the hippocampal formation. The pathogenesis involves a successive loss of hippocampal neurons accompanied by a decline in learning and memory consolidation mainly attributed to an accumulation of senile plaques. The amyloid precursor protein (APP has been identified as precursor of Aβ-peptides, the main constituents of senile plaques. Until now, little is known about the physiological function of APP within the central nervous system. The allocation of APP to the proteome of the highly dynamic presynaptic active zone (PAZ highlights APP as a yet unknown player in neuronal communication and signaling. In this study, we analyze the impact of APP deletion on the hippocampal PAZ proteome. The native hippocampal PAZ derived from APP mouse mutants (APP-KOs and NexCreAPP/APLP2-cDKOs was isolated by subcellular fractionation and immunopurification. Subsequently, an isobaric labeling was performed using TMT6 for protein identification and quantification by high-resolution mass spectrometry. We combine bioinformatics tools and biochemical approaches to address the proteomics dataset and to understand the role of individual proteins. The impact of APP deletion on the hippocampal PAZ proteome was visualized by creating protein-protein interaction (PPI networks that incorporated APP into the synaptic vesicle cycle, cytoskeletal organization, and calcium-homeostasis. The combination of subcellular fractionation, immunopurification, proteomic analysis, and bioinformatics allowed us to identify APP as structural and functional regulator in a context-sensitive manner within the hippocampal active zone network.

  13. Presynaptic membrane receptors in acetylcholine release modulation in the neuromuscular synapse.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomàs, Josep; Santafé, Manel M; Garcia, Neus; Lanuza, Maria A; Tomàs, Marta; Besalduch, Núria; Obis, Teresa; Priego, Mercedes; Hurtado, Erica

    2014-05-01

    Over the past few years, we have studied, in the mammalian neuromuscular junction (NMJ), the local involvement in transmitter release of the presynaptic muscarinic ACh autoreceptors (mAChRs), purinergic adenosine autoreceptors (P1Rs), and trophic factor receptors (TFRs; for neurotrophins and trophic cytokines) during development and in the adult. At any given moment, the way in which a synapse works is largely the logical outcome of the confluence of these (and other) metabotropic signalling pathways on intracellular kinases, which phosphorylate protein targets and materialize adaptive changes. We propose an integrated interpretation of the complementary function of these receptors in the adult NMJ. The activity of a given receptor group can modulate a given combination of spontaneous, evoked, and activity-dependent release characteristics. For instance, P1Rs can conserve resources by limiting spontaneous quantal leak of ACh (an A1 R action) and protect synapse function, because stimulation with adenosine reduces the magnitude of depression during repetitive activity. The overall outcome of the mAChRs seems to contribute to upkeep of spontaneous quantal output of ACh, save synapse function by decreasing the extent of evoked release (mainly an M2 action), and reduce depression. We have also identified several links among P1Rs, mAChRs, and TFRs. We found a close dependence between mAChR and some TFRs and observed that the muscarinic group has to operate correctly if the tropomyosin-related kinase B receptor (trkB) is also to operate correctly, and vice versa. Likewise, the functional integrity of mAChRs depends on P1Rs operating normally. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Distinct presynaptic control of dopamine release in striosomal and matrix areas of the cat caudate nucleus

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kemel, M.L.; Desban, M.; Glowinski, J.; Gauchy, C.

    1989-01-01

    By use of a sensitive in vitro microsuperfusion method, the cholinergic presynaptic control of dopamine release was investigated in a prominent striosome (areas poor in acetylcholinesterase activity) located within the core of cat caudate nucleus and also in adjacent matrix area. The spontaneous release of [ 3 H]dopamine continuously synthesized from [ 3 H]tyrosine in the matrix area was found to be twice that in the striosomal area; the spontaneous and potassium-evoked releases of [ 3 H]dopamine were calcium-dependent in both compartments. With 10 -6 M tetrodotoxin, 5 x 10 -5 M acetylcholine stimulated [ 3 H]dopamine release in both striosomal and matrix areas, effects completely antagonized by atropine, thus showing the involvement of muscarinic receptors located on dopaminergic nerve terminals. Experiments without tetrodotoxin revealed a more complex regulation of dopamine release in the matrix: (i) in contrast to results seen in the striosome, acetylcholine induced only a transient stimulatory effect on matrix dopamine release. (ii) Although 10 -6 M atropine completely abolished the cholinergic stimulatory effect on [ 3 H]dopamine release in striosomal area, delayed and prolonged stimulation of [ 3 H] dopamine release was seen with atropine in the matrix. The latter effect was completely abolished by the nicotinic antagonist pempidine. Therefore, in the matrix, in addition to its direct (tetrodotoxin-insensitive) facilitatory action on [ 3 H]dopamine release, acetylcholine exerts two indirect (tetrodotoxin-sensitive) opposing effects: an inhibition and a stimulation of [ 3 H]dopamine release mediated by muscarinic and nicotinic receptors, respectively

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. TEACHING BIOCHEMISTRY USING EDUCATIONAL GAMES AND GAMIFICATION STRATEGIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Rafael de Oliveira Silva

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Biotechnology is a new bachelor degree in UFPA, and has been stablished with excellency in the state of Pará. However, there is the need to promote comprehension and learning in Biochemistry, as well as interdisciplinarity, that is an essential part of biotechnology. OBJECTIVES:  To increase learning and interdisciplinarity, educational games were used as tools. The students were instigated to develop educational games in different topics of energy metabolism. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The games were developed to be used in any teaching environment, since they were made with low-cost and accessible materials. This strategy was applied in three semesters in different Biochemistry classes, between 2012 and 2014. The best games in each class were used in following semesters. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: Since the first semester, the failing rates dropped 15% compared to the previous semester, in which educational games were not used. An increase in learning (by observation could be noticed, including comprehension of metabolic pathways and their conections. Twenty games were developed in three semesters, and four of them are still being improved and used in other classes. The participant students answered a questionnaire, in which 47% defined the games as “Relaxing and Instigating”, 33% said the games “Accomplished their didactic and educational role” and 54% said they would recommend the use of these games as a reviewing activity. At the moment, another approach is being used to teach Biochemistry – Gamification, which uses elements found in games, as conflict, cooperation, rules and fun, to improve students’ motivation and engagement. CONCLUSION: As a partial result, there was greater in-class interest and engagement, better comprehension of the course content and the activities gave the students the opportunity to work in groups, to think critically about the themes and to develop opinions based on interdisciplinar and formal

  20. A national comparison of biochemistry and molecular biology capstone experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguanno, Ann; Mertz, Pamela; Martin, Debra; Bell, Ellis

    2015-01-01

    Recognizing the increasingly integrative nature of the molecular life sciences, the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) recommends that Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BMB) programs develop curricula based on concepts, content, topics, and expected student outcomes, rather than courses. To that end, ASBMB conducted a series of regional workshops to build a BMB Concept Inventory containing validated assessment tools, based on foundational and discipline-specific knowledge and essential skills, for the community to use. A culminating activity, which integrates the educational experience, is often part of undergraduate molecular life science programs. These "capstone" experiences are commonly defined as an attempt to measure student ability to synthesize and integrate acquired knowledge. However, the format, implementation, and approach to outcome assessment of these experiences are quite varied across the nation. Here we report the results of a nation-wide survey on BMB capstone experiences and discuss this in the context of published reports about capstones and the findings of the workshops driving the development of the BMB Concept Inventory. Both the survey results and the published reports reveal that, although capstone practices do vary, certain formats for the experience are used more frequently and similarities in learning objectives were identified. The use of rubrics to measure student learning is also regularly reported, but details about these assessment instruments are sparse in the literature and were not a focus of our survey. Finally, we outline commonalities in the current practice of capstones and suggest the next steps needed to elucidate best practices. © 2015 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  1. Comparative analysis of the biochemistry undergraduate courses in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Granjeiro

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The economic and social development of Brazil during the recent decades has contributed to the installation of several new undergraduate and graduate study programs, as is the case of the undergraduate biochemistry programs at UFV, UFSJ and UEM. The new biochemical professionals are being prepared to work mainly in Industries, research Institutes, government agencies and Universities in all fields that involve Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The aim of this study was to conduct a comparative analysis of the courses in Biochemistry in Brazil. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Comparative analysis of the course units of the UFV, UFSJ and UEM programs, centered on the curricula contents and organization and on the profiles of the students in terms of parameters such as the number of admissions and the graduation completion rates. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The UFV and UEM programs present a very similar distribution of workload over the biological, exact sciences, humanities, biochemical specialties and technological applications. The UFSJ program presents higher workloads in the areas of biological sciences and technological applications. No significant differences in the distribution of the workloads of mandatory and optional disciplines, complementary activities and supervised activities were detected. Over the past five years there was a decrease in the number of students that abandoned the programs, despite the increased retention time in the three courses. Most graduated students at both UFV and UFSJ continue their academic career toward the Master or Doctor degrees. CONCLUSION: Little difference between the study programs analyzed. This is somewhat surprising if one considers the fact that individual conception of each program was based on different local conditions and needs, which indeed justify small differences. The similarity of the programs, on the other hand, reflects the universality of the biochemical sciences and their broad

  2. The applied biochemistry of PEDF and implications for tissue homeostasis

    Science.gov (United States)

    BROADHEAD, MATTHEW L.; BECERRA, S. PATRICIA; CHOONG, PETER F. M.; DASS, CRISPIN R.

    2012-01-01

    Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) is an endogenously produced glycoprotein with a spectrum of biological roles across diverse pathologies. Recent research has focused on the biochemical properties of PEDF and its associated receptors. This review discusses the recent developments in PEDF biochemistry and how this new knowledge will help progress our understanding of PEDF as a molecular mediator for anti-angiogenesis and -tumorigenesis. Additionally, pathophysiological roles for PEDF in healing and tissue homeostasis are being revealed and our enhanced understanding of the interactions between PEDF and its receptors may yet prove useful in propelling PEDF towards clinical application. PMID:20166889

  3. Effect of irradiation on biochemistry properties of shrimp allergen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gu Kefei; Gao Meixu; Li Chunhong; Li Shurong; Pan Jiarong

    2007-01-01

    Study on the effects of 60 Co γ-rays irradiation at the dose of 0,3,5,7,10 kGy on shrimp allergen biochemistry properties was conducted. The results indicated that the allergen protein molecule can be broken down to smaller molecules or coagulated to larger molecules by irradiation. The hydrophobicity and turbidity of irradiated allergen increased with the increase of absorbed dose. The results also show that allergen solution is more sensitive to irradiation than allergen in solid state or in the whole shrimp. (authors)

  4. Cell complexes of transition metals in biochemistry and medicine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voloshin, Ya.Z.; Varzatskij, O.A.; Bubnov, Yu.N.

    2007-01-01

    Basic directions and prospects of use of cell complexes of transition metals in medicine and biochemistry are considered: incapsulation of radioactive metal ions for radiotherapy and diagnostics; preparation of contrast compounds for magnetic resonance tomography, antidotes and pharmaceutical preparation of prolonged effect, preparations for boron-neutron-capture therapy of neoplasms, antioxidants; membrane transport of metal ions; study of interaction of cell metal complexes with nucleic acids; possibility of use of self-assembly of cell complexes for imitation of ligases and use of clathrochelates as linkers; design of inhibitors of viruses for AIDS therapy [ru

  5. Hartmut Lichtenthaler: an authority on chloroplast structure and isoprenoid biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharkey, Thomas D; Govindjee

    2016-05-01

    We pay tribute to Hartmut Lichtenthaler for making important contributions to the field of photosynthesis research. He was recently recognized for ground-breaking discoveries in chloroplast structure and isoprenoid biochemistry by the Rebeiz Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR; http://vlpbp.org/ ), receiving a 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award for Photosynthesis. The ceremony, held in Champaign, Illinois, was attended by many prominent researchers in the photosynthesis field. We provide below a brief note on his education, and then describe some of the areas in which Hartmut Lichtenthaler has been a pioneer.

  6. Construction of concept maps as tool for Biochemistry learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Lopes de Menezes

    2006-07-01

    Full Text Available The use of concept maps on the teaching of sciences has been object of worldwide research with different purposes: to detect the previous knowledge of the students on certain topics or to evaluate learning, among others. Based on Ausubel´s cognitive psychology, concept maps assume that the learning is accomplished by assimilation of new concepts and propositions to the students´ cognitive structure, contributing to establish links between the previous and new knowledge. It is especially interesting on the approach of interdisciplinary issues, as many studied in Biochemistry.The relevance of the use of concept maps on biochemistry learning was evaluated on a thirty-hour undergraduation optional course, with interdisciplinary topics, which are not usually included on introductory Biochemistry courses. The course Biochemistry of Animal Venoms was structured in seven module where the biochemical action mechanisms of the venoms of Crotalus sp (south american rattlesnake, Bothrops sp (jararaca, Loxosceles sp (brown spider, Tityus sp (yellow scorpion, Phoneutria sp (armed spider, Apis mellifera (honey bee and Latrodectus sp (black widowwere discussed. The students worked in small groups and, at each module, there were (1 an oriented study, guided by questions, texts and schemes, supervised by the teachers, (2 the construction of individual concept maps, where the local and systemic effects of the venoms should be predicted by their biochemical composition and (3 the construction of a new map by the group, incorporating the information of the individual maps. The difficulty level of these tasks was gradually increased throughout the course, with lesser time to carry out the tasks, lesser assistance during the oriented study and even lesser information on the venom effects.The course assessment was given by the number, quality and correction of the concepts relationship present in the concept maps, through a questionnaire and by the

  7. Construction of Hypertexts in a Biochemistry Pos- Graduation Discipline

    OpenAIRE

    W.B. Maia; B.S. dos Santos; J.M. Martins; B.C. Araujo; A.A. Pimenta Filho; T.G. Araújo; M.C. Martins; C.R.F.C. Mota; A.L. Castro- Neto; V.L.M. Lima,

    2009-01-01

    Virtual reality is an innovating manner of comprehending and acting on how the world is and, also, considered a new way of intellectual exercise.  This work took place in a  biochemistry masters discipline (Advanced Formation in ScientificEducation) and had as its observation context the forum (on-line tool) viability, intending the construction of hypertexts (active  collaborative writing ) by the 15 registered students in the  discipline in 2008. The discipline was available on the web, in ...

  8. Are tutor-students capable of writing good biochemistry exams?

    OpenAIRE

    Alexandre B., Sé; Depto. Biologia Celular, UnB, Brasília, DF, 70910-900; Passos, Renato M.; Depto. Biologia Celular, UnB, Brasília, DF, 70910-900; Hermes-Lima, Marcelo; Depto. Biologia Celular, UnB, Brasília, DF, 70910-900

    2004-01-01

    In a previous article we described the relevance of student seminars for the learning process of appliedbiochemistry for medical and nutrition students (Hermes-Lima et al., Biochem. Mol.Biol.Educ. 30:30-34,2002). First semester students of a basic biochemistry course (BioBio) are divided in 10 groupsof 5 members, and each group is assigned to a specic topic (diabetes, cholesterol, etc) under thesupervision of a tutor-student. The tutors have already coursed BioBio and are currently undertakin...

  9. A guide on instrument of biochemistry and molecular biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-10-01

    This book is about instrument on biochemistry and molecular biology, which consists of six chapters. It deals with introduction of advanced bio-instrument, common utilization and maintain, explanation of each instrument like capillary electrophoresis, interactive laser cytometer, personal computer and software, an electron microscope and DNA/RNS synthesis instrument, large equipment and special system like information system and network, analysis system for genome and large spectro graph, outside donation, examples for common utilization and appendix on data like application form for use.

  10. 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.

  11. [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

  12. [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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. CUREs in biochemistry-where we are and where we should go.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Jessica K; Eckdahl, Todd T; Hecht, David A; Killion, Patrick J; Latzer, Joachim; Mans, Tamara L; Provost, Joseph J; Rakus, John F; Siebrasse, Erica A; Ellis Bell, J

    2017-01-02

    Integration of research experience into classroom is an important and vital experience for all undergraduates. These course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have grown from independent instructor lead projects to large consortium driven experiences. The impact and importance of CUREs on students at all levels in biochemistry was the focus of a National Science Foundation funded think tank. The state of biochemistry CUREs and suggestions for moving biochemistry forward as well as a practical guide (supplementary material) are reported here. © 2016 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(1):7-12, 2017. © 2016 The Authors Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  6. CUREs in biochemistry?where we are and where we should go

    OpenAIRE

    Bell, Jessica K.; Eckdahl, Todd T.; Hecht, David A.; Killion, Patrick J.; Latzer, Joachim; Mans, Tamara L.; Provost, Joseph J.; Rakus, John F.; Siebrasse, Erica A.; Ellis Bell, J.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Integration of research experience into classroom is an important and vital experience for all undergraduates. These course?based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have grown from independent instructor lead projects to large consortium driven experiences. The impact and importance of CUREs on students at all levels in biochemistry was the focus of a National Science Foundation funded think tank. The state of biochemistry CUREs and suggestions for moving biochemistry forward...

  7. Biochemistry of Microbial Degradation of Hexachlorocyclohexane and Prospects for Bioremediation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lal, Rup; Pandey, Gunjan; Sharma, Pooja; Kumari, Kirti; Malhotra, Shweta; Pandey, Rinku; Raina, Vishakha; Kohler, Hans-Peter E.; Holliger, Christof; Jackson, Colin; Oakeshott, John G.

    2010-01-01

    Summary: Lindane, the γ-isomer of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), is a potent insecticide. Purified lindane or unpurified mixtures of this and α-, β-, and δ-isomers of HCH were widely used as commercial insecticides in the last half of the 20th century. Large dumps of unused HCH isomers now constitute a major hazard because of their long residence times in soil and high nontarget toxicities. The major pathway for the aerobic degradation of HCH isomers in soil is the Lin pathway, and variants of this pathway will degrade all four of the HCH isomers although only slowly. Sequence differences in the primary LinA and LinB enzymes in the pathway play a key role in determining their ability to degrade the different isomers. LinA is a dehydrochlorinase, but little is known of its biochemistry. LinB is a hydrolytic dechlorinase that has been heterologously expressed and crystallized, and there is some understanding of the sequence-structure-function relationships underlying its substrate specificity and kinetics, although there are also some significant anomalies. The kinetics of some LinB variants are reported to be slow even for their preferred isomers. It is important to develop a better understanding of the biochemistries of the LinA and LinB variants and to use that knowledge to build better variants, because field trials of some bioremediation strategies based on the Lin pathway have yielded promising results but would not yet achieve economic levels of remediation. PMID:20197499

  8. The potential of fluorinated surfactants in membrane biochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shepherd, F H; Holzenburg, A

    1995-01-01

    Detergents are important reagents in membrane biochemistry. Since each membrane system studied places different demands on the detergent in terms of desirous physicochemical properties, detergents new to biochemistry must continuously be sought. Ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO) was investigated, as representative of fluorinated surfactants, in terms of its suitability as a "biological detergent." It did not interfere with the Markwell modification of the Lowry procedure at detergent concentrations of up to 2% (w/v). Critical micellization concentration (cmc) values (0.013-0.0275 M) for this detergent were determined in a number of buffers of biological interest. It was demonstrated that the detergent can be removed by dialysis, albeit slowly. This slow removal may be particularly useful for reconstitution/crystallization studies. Solubilization studies on several membrane systems containing the proteins listed (the major protein of the membrane sector of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (16 kDa protein); photosystem II; equine herpes virus (EHV) envelope proteins) indicate that it is a potent solubilizing agent, likely to enhance the yield in cases where solubilization has already been demonstrated, and, in other cases, to solubilize proteins formerly recalcitrant to solubilization. The removal of APFO from solubilized 16-kDa protein by means of Extracti-Gel D resin as a means of exchanging detergents quickly and with a minimum requirement for second detergent was investigated.

  9. Medical biochemistry: Is it time to change the teaching style?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palocaren, Jeeji; Pillai, Lekha S; Celine, T M

    2016-01-01

    The Medical Council of India (MCI) recommendations on medical education suggest a shift from didactic lectures to more interactive lectures. This study assessed the effectiveness of different pedagogical methods in biochemistry and the perceptions of students and teachers about the shift from didactic to interactive lectures. An interventional crossover study was done with the topic divided into three biochemical modules and one clinical module. The students were divided into two batches, one of which was given didactic and the other, interactive lectures. They were assessed immediately after the lecture and four months later. Anonymous feedback was obtained to gauge the students' perceptions regarding the mode of teaching. The teachers' feedback on the use of both pedagogical styles was also obtained. There was no significant difference between the performance of the two groups in either examination in three of the modules. However, there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups' performance in the module that had clinical applications, with students from the interactive lecture group performing better. All students preferred interactive classes, irrespective of the topic taught. The teachers indicated that, although at the outset the interactive lectures were difficult to manage, both in terms of content and time, these drawbacks could be overcome with time and practice. Interactive lectures are an effective teaching method in biochemistry, especially in topics involving clinical application.

  10. Learning needs in clinical biochemistry for doctors in foundation years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khromova, Victoria; Gray, Trevor A

    2008-01-01

    Most medical school curricula have reduced the amount of time available for teaching in pathology despite the fact that junior staff in the early stages of their training were responsible for requesting the majority of pathology tests on acutely ill hospital patients. So, the lack of specific training in this area means that test requesting may be poorly performed and the results ill understood by these staff. This paper describes a questionnaire, which was designed to assist laboratory staff providing targeted teaching in this area. Doctors in Foundation year 1 (F1) and Foundation year 2 (F2) in Sheffield teaching hospitals were given a questionnaire to ascertain how confident they were in requesting and interpreting the results of clinical biochemistry tests. The doctors were also asked about which areas of laboratory medicine they would like to be taught. Responses were received from 82 doctors, about half those in F1 and F2. The survey revealed areas where juniors are less confident in requesting tests and interpreting results. Despite lack of confidence in interpreting the result, 18% were confident about requesting tests. Doctors were also unsure of the effects of common problems like haemolysis on the interpretation of results. More than 70% of the doctors requested specific teaching in these areas. Foundation doctors have learning needs in clinical biochemistry, addressing which would assist them in patient care. While better training in medical school may help in future, there are specific needs for those on the wards now that require targeted teaching.

  11. Abstracts of the 27. Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    This meeting was about biochemistry and molecular biology. It was discussed topics related to bio energetic, channels, transports, biotechnology, metabolism, cellular biology, immunology, toxicology, photobiology and pharmacology

  12. Abstracts of the 26. Annual meeting of the Brazilian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

    This meeting was about biochemistry and molecular biology. It was discussed topics related to bio energetic, channels, transports, biotechnology, metabolism, cellular biology, immunology, toxicology, photobiology and pharmacology

  13. Protective Effects of Testosterone on Presynaptic Terminals against Oligomeric β-Amyloid Peptide in Primary Culture of Hippocampal Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chi-Fai Lau

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing lines of evidence support that testosterone may have neuroprotective effects. While observational studies reported an association between higher bioavailable testosterone or brain testosterone levels and reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD, there is limited understanding of the underlying neuroprotective mechanisms. Previous studies demonstrated that testosterone could alleviate neurotoxicity induced by β-amyloid (Aβ, but these findings mainly focused on neuronal apoptosis. Since synaptic dysfunction and degeneration are early events during the pathogenesis of AD, we aim to investigate the effects of testosterone on oligomeric Aβ-induced synaptic changes. Our data suggested that exposure of primary cultured hippocampal neurons to oligomeric Aβ could reduce the length of neurites and decrease the expression of presynaptic proteins including synaptophysin, synaptotagmin, and synapsin-1. Aβ also disrupted synaptic vesicle recycling and protein folding machinery. Testosterone preserved the integrity of neurites and the expression of presynaptic proteins. It also attenuated Aβ-induced impairment of synaptic exocytosis. By using letrozole as an aromatase antagonist, we further demonstrated that the effects of testosterone on exocytosis were unlikely to be mediated through the estrogen receptor pathway. Furthermore, we showed that testosterone could attenuate Aβ-induced reduction of HSP70, which suggests a novel mechanism that links testosterone and its protective function on Aβ-induced synaptic damage. Taken together, our data provide further evidence on the beneficial effects of testosterone, which may be useful for future drug development for AD.

  14. Homeostatic Presynaptic Plasticity Is Specifically Regulated by P/Q-type Ca2+ Channels at Mammalian Hippocampal Synapses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeans, Alexander F; van Heusden, Fran C; Al-Mubarak, Bashayer; Padamsey, Zahid; Emptage, Nigel J

    2017-10-10

    Voltage-dependent Ca 2+ channels (VGCC) represent the principal source of Ca 2+ ions driving evoked neurotransmitter release at presynaptic boutons. In mammals, presynaptic Ca 2+ influx is mediated mainly via P/Q-type and N-type VGCC, which differ in their properties. Changes in their relative contributions tune neurotransmission both during development and in Hebbian plasticity. However, whether this represents a functional motif also present in other forms of activity-dependent regulation is unknown. Here, we study the role of VGCC in homeostatic plasticity (HSP) in mammalian hippocampal neurons using optical techniques. We find that changes in evoked Ca 2+ currents specifically through P/Q-type, but not N-type, VGCC mediate bidirectional homeostatic regulation of both neurotransmitter release efficacy and the size of the major synaptic vesicle pools. Selective dependence of HSP on P/Q-type VGCC in mammalian terminals has important implications for phenotypes associated with P/Q-type channelopathies, including migraine and epilepsy. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Homeostatic Presynaptic Plasticity Is Specifically Regulated by P/Q-type Ca2+ Channels at Mammalian Hippocampal Synapses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander F. Jeans

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VGCC represent the principal source of Ca2+ ions driving evoked neurotransmitter release at presynaptic boutons. In mammals, presynaptic Ca2+ influx is mediated mainly via P/Q-type and N-type VGCC, which differ in their properties. Changes in their relative contributions tune neurotransmission both during development and in Hebbian plasticity. However, whether this represents a functional motif also present in other forms of activity-dependent regulation is unknown. Here, we study the role of VGCC in homeostatic plasticity (HSP in mammalian hippocampal neurons using optical techniques. We find that changes in evoked Ca2+ currents specifically through P/Q-type, but not N-type, VGCC mediate bidirectional homeostatic regulation of both neurotransmitter release efficacy and the size of the major synaptic vesicle pools. Selective dependence of HSP on P/Q-type VGCC in mammalian terminals has important implications for phenotypes associated with P/Q-type channelopathies, including migraine and epilepsy.

  16. Release properties of individual presynaptic boutons expressed during homosynaptic depression and heterosynaptic facilitation of the Aplysia sensorimotor synapse

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guy eMalkinson

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Much of what we know about the mechanisms underlying Homosynaptic Depression (HSD and heterosynaptic facilitation is based on intracellular recordings of integrated postsynaptic potentials. This methodological approach views the presynaptic apparatus as a single compartment rather than taking a more realistic representation reflecting the fact that it is made up of tens to hundreds of individual and independent Presynaptic Release Boutons (PRBs. Using cultured Aplysia sensorimotor synapses, we reexamined HSD and its dishabituation by imaging the release properties of individual PRBs. We find that the PRB population is heterogeneous and can be clustered into three groups: approximately 25% of the PRBs consistently release neurotransmitter throughout the entire habituation paradigm (35 stimuli, 0.05Hz and have a relatively high quantal content, 36% of the PRBs display intermittent failures only after the tenth stimulation, and 39% are low quantal-content PRBs that exhibit intermittent release failures from the onset of the habituation paradigm. 5HT-induced synaptic dishabituation by a single 5HT application was generated by the enhanced recovery of the quantal content of the habituated PRBs and did not involve the recruitment of new release boutons. The characterization of the PRB population as heterogeneous in terms of its temporal pattern of release-probability and quantal content provides new insights into the mechanisms underlying HSD and its dishabituation.

  17. Poster Display as an Alternative Evaluation Method to Biochemistry Teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silas P. Rodrigues

    2004-05-01

    Full Text Available Biochemistry is present in dierent professional under gradation courses in which it seeks to attendseveral objectives. The discipline oered to the students of Biology Science Course at UFES is tra-ditionally organized in a series of lectures to the basic information, a laboratory class related to eachtopic and a three written tests. Our students, as many from other courses, study biochemistry justbecause they have to. The teacher can alter the student behavior by changing the way in which theyexamine them. This work describes and analyses the experience of using poster display as an assess-ment and includes feedback from the students and teachers. At the beginning of the term the activityis explained to the class and groups are formed. They are oriented to search a full research paper, with\\metabolism as a key word. During the students presentation, teachers and graduation studentsevaluate the production of a self-explanatory poster, assurance in the chosen work and involvementof all components of the group. A multiple-choice questionnaire was applied to 15-30 students fromthe ve classes that had already done the activity. The teachers and the graduation students also hadtheir opinions heard. 62.3 % of the students agreed that the activity accomplishes its objective tostimulate the integration of general knowledge and comprehension of a specic scientic work, while itpromotes the practice of presentation at seminars. 62.2 % believed that it allows the learner to showits knowledge in a better way and 51 % of the students were very much motivated within the activity.For 91.2 % of the students, they should choose the article, as it allows a better correlation betweenbiochemistry and personal anities (42.7 %. Also, 98 % believed that the activity should be carriedout in groups, because it allows a deeper discussion (53.6 %, stimulate group activities (20 % orpermits the materials costs division (22 %. Only 1.8 % of the learners thought that the

  18. Complementing theoretical biochemistry with the uso of computer aids (Symposium

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R Herrera

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Teaching  biochemistry  in  the  current  state  of  science  and  society  requires  a  special motivation for learning, especially for students where Biochemistry is one of the courses on  their  careers.  The  traditional  way  of  teaching,  based  on  the  teacher-student relationship,  mostly  unidirectional,  does  not  fulfil  the  needs  imposed  in  this  era. Considering  the  current  situation,  University  students  require  new  abilities  in  their training  and  the  use  of  computers  can  be  a  facility  for  discovering  and  research, enabling the experience of new and  diverse situations. The design of teaching material for undergraduate students who take biochemistry as complementary course should be seen  as  an  opportunity  to  complement  theoretical  aspect  on  the  current  courses.  We have used three different approaches: (I Modelling proteins indicating key motifs at the three-dimensional structure and residues where inhibitors can be attach. (II Generation of  activities  by  the  use  of  sensors.  And  (III  elaborating  active  quizzes  where  students can  be  drive  on  their  learning.  Building  knowledge  based  on  practical  experience  can improve  student’s  competence  on  basic  science  and  the  learning  process  can  be complemented in the use of dynamics models.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. The clinical benefit of imaging striatal dopamine transporters with [123I]FP-CIT SPET in differentiating patients with presynaptic parkinsonism from those with other forms of parkinsonism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Booij, J.; Speelman, J.DE.; Horstink, M. W.I.M.; Wolters, E.C.

    2001-01-01

    [ 123 I]FP-CIT (N-ω-fluoropropyl-2β-carbomethoxy-3β-(4-iodophenyl)nortropane) has been developed successfully as a radioligand for single-photon emission tomography (SPET) imaging of dopamine transporters, which are situated in the membrane of dopaminergic neurons. Imaging of these transporters has shown promise as a clinical tool to detect degeneration of the dopaminergic nigrostriatal pathway. Several ''presynaptic parkinsonian'' syndromes, such as Parkinson's disease or multiple system atrophy, are characterised by degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway. [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET imaging studies have shown the ability to detect loss of striatal dopamine transporters in such syndromes. However, in clinical practice it is sometimes difficult, but important, to discriminate patients with ''presynaptic parkinsonism'' from those with other forms of parkinsonism not characterised by loss of presynaptic dopaminergic cells (e.g. psychogenic parkinsonism or drug-induced postsynaptic parkinsonism). In these inconclusive cases, it may be of value to confirm or exclude the existence of degeneration of nigrostriatal dopaminergic cells by using imaging techniques such as [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET. Using [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET, we have imaged the striatal dopamine transporters in a group of patients with inconclusive forms of parkinsonism, and, moreover, have been able to perform clinical follow-up of these patients 2-4 years after imaging. In 33 inconclusive cases, ratios of specific to non-specific binding were calculated for the caudate nucleus and putamen following [ 123 I]FP-CIT SPET imaging and compared with ratios obtained in healthy controls. In nine of the patients, degeneration of the nigrostriatal pathway was found scintigraphically and in all these cases, presynaptic parkinsonism was confirmed by clinical follow-up. In the other 24 subjects no degeneration was found scintigraphically. Forms of parkinsonism other than the presynaptic were confirmed at follow-up in 19 cases

  5. 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.

  6. $^{31}$Mg $\\beta$-NMR applied in chemistry and biochemistry

    CERN Multimedia

    Magnesium ions, Mg$^{2+}$, are essential in biological systems, taking part in practically all phosphate chemistry, in photosynthesis as an integral component of chlorophyll, and they are regulated via transport through selective membrane proteins. Nonetheless, the function of magnesium ions in biochemistry is difficult to characterize, as it is practically invisible to current experimental techniques. With this proposal we aim to advance the use of $^{31}$Mg $\\beta$-NMR to liquid samples, building on the experience from the successful Letter of Intent INTC-I-088 “$\\beta$-NMR as a novel technique for biological applications”. Initially a series of experiments will be conducted aiming to characterize the coordination chemistry of Mg$^{2+}$ in ionic liquids (ILs), demonstrating that it is possible within the lifetime of the radioisotope to achieve binding of Mg$^{2+}$ to a molecule dissolved in the IL. ILs are chosen as they display a very low vapor pressure, and are thus straightforwardly compatible with t...

  7. The construction and application of didactic models in Biochemistry teaching

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maximiliano de Souza Zierer

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This work describes how to build and use didactic models as a teaching resource to a more creative teaching in Biochemistry. Students are organized into groups to discuss the creation, planning and execution of models. Previously, the teacher guides the use of various materials for preparation and encourages the use of low cost materials. The day of the activity, held in the classroom, students build their models and are evaluated orally by the teacher about the functions or processes represented. At the end of class, we propose the presentation by each group, plus a general discussion about them. We find that that this methodology makes the classroom an environment highly conducive to creative expression, allowing students to develop their potential and making them effective learning, meaningful and longer lasting when compared to traditional teaching methods.

  8. Development of a virtual classroom to teach biochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.S. Rodrigues

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowing  the  difficulties to  teach  some biochemistry concepts  because  of their  dynamic  and  spatial characteristics, computers  have been adopted  to help in these  visualizations.  Pictures, three  dimen- sional structures and animations were built and used to display in classes and distributed to students. Behind  these  specific illustrations, an  informatics  environment has  been  developed  to  support bio- chemistry  teaching.    Based  in  free software,  it fits  in  a single CD  that works  independent of any software installed  on the computer, even the operating  system, and is compatible  with most hardware configurations.This technique is called live-CD. It is based on Linux architecture, which is not only free software but also more flexible to be configured.  After some tests with Linux distributions, Slackware has been chosen because of its easy manipulation and  because it makes the  best use of the hardware  allowing to be installed  in old or limited  equipments. It has been configured to make the best optimization of the computer  and have all software needed for most biochemistry classrooms.It  was installed:   an  Internet browser  compatible  with  a 3D molecule visualization plug-in,  text editor,  presentation editor,  picture  editor  and  some didactic  material  specific for biochemistry.  The interface was configured for people with no experience in the Linux environment.The  system  can  also work in an  intranet, where  a computer  would  be operated  by the  teacher and it would have some special control configurations  as: web site access control, power control of the others  machines  and  even an option  that would bring  the  desktop  of other  machine  to the  teacher´s what  allows him to make a straight orientation for a student from his screen.This new system,  which is a common platform  for other

  9. Comparative biochemistry of renins and angiotensins in the vertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakajima, T; Khosla, M C; Sakakibara, S

    1978-09-01

    Comparative biochemistry of renins and angiotensins was discussed. Renin extracted from hog kidney was different from that from mouse submaxillary glands in immunoreactivity and carbohydrate content. Rat kidney renin was also different from hog kidney renin in the amino acid composition. The presence of big and big-big renins was pointed out immunochemically. These big renins were considered to be precursors of kidney renin. Angiotensins in mammalian and nonmammalian species produced by renal or extrarenal renin have been differentiated by some biochemical and pharmacological criteria. Some of these angiotensins were analyzed sequentially. The replacements of amino acid residues at positions 1, 5, and/or 9 of angiotensin I have been demonstrated in nonmammalian species. Specific pressor activities have been determined using synthetic angiotensins by a 4 point assay in rat. Specific pressor activities of various angiotensins were obtained from the dose-blood pressure-response curves using a single angiotensin sample per assay rat.

  10. Glycobiology, How to Sugar-Coat an Undergraduate Advanced Biochemistry Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    McReynolds, Katherine D.

    2006-01-01

    A second semester biochemistry laboratory has been implemented as an independent projects course at California State University, Sacramento since 1999. To incorporate aspects of carbohydrate biochemistry, or glycobiology, into our curriculum, projects in lectin isolation and purification were undertaken over the course of two semesters. Through…

  11. Reactivity II: A Second Foundation-Level Course in Integrated Organic, Inorganic, and Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaller, Chris P.; Graham, Kate J.; McIntee, Edward J.; Jones, T. Nicholas; Johnson, Brian J.

    2016-01-01

    A foundation-level course is described that integrates material related to reactivity in organic, inorganic, and biochemistry. Designed for second-year students, the course serves majors in chemistry, biochemistry, and biology, as well as prehealth-professions students. Building on an earlier course that developed concepts of nucleophiles and…

  12. Lignin biochemistry and soil N determine crop residue decomposition and soil priming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cropping history can affect soil properties, including available N, but little is known about the interactive effects of residue biochemistry, temperature and cropping history on residue decomposition. A laboratory incubation examined the role of residue biochemistry and temperature on the decomposi...

  13. Teaching Arrangements of Carbohydrate Metabolism in Biochemistry Curriculum in Peking University Health Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hao; Ni, Ju-Hua

    2013-01-01

    Biochemistry occupies a unique place in the medical school curricula, but the teaching of biochemistry presents certain challenges. One of these challenges is facilitating students' interest in and mastery of metabolism. The many pathways and modes of regulation can be overwhelming for students to learn and difficult for professors to teach in an…

  14. Developing and Supporting Students' Autonomy to Plan, Perform, and Interpret Inquiry-Based Biochemistry Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Thanuci; Galembeck, Eduardo

    2017-01-01

    Laboratory sessions are designed to develop the experimental skills and the acquaintance with instruments that may contribute to a successful career in Biochemistry and associated fields. This study is a report on improving a traditional Biochemistry course by devising the laboratory sessions as an inquiry-based environment to develop the…

  15. Combining Content and Elements of Communication into an Upper-Level Biochemistry Course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittington, Carli P.; Pellock, Samuel J.; Cunningham, Rebecca L.; Cox, James R.

    2014-01-01

    This report describes how a science communication module was incorporated into an advanced biochemistry course. Elements of communication were taught synergistically with biochemistry content in this course in an effort to expose students to a variety of effective oral communication strategies. Students were trained to use these established…

  16. Vertical Integration of Biochemistry and Clinical Medicine Using a Near-Peer Learning Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallan, Alexander J.; Offner, Gwynneth D.; Symes, Karen

    2016-01-01

    Vertical integration has been extensively implemented across medical school curricula but has not been widely attempted in the field of biochemistry. We describe a novel curricular innovation in which a near-peer learning model was used to implement vertical integration in our medical school biochemistry course. Senior medical students developed…

  17. Biochemistry Instructors' Views toward Developing and Assessing Visual Literacy in Their Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Holme, Thomas A.

    2015-01-01

    Biochemistry instructors are inundated with various representations from which to choose to depict biochemical phenomena. Because of the immense amount of visual know-how needed to be an expert biochemist in the 21st century, there have been calls for instructors to develop biochemistry students' visual literacy. However, visual literacy has…

  18. Biochemistry Students' Ideas about How an Enzyme Interacts with a Substrate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J.; Bretz, Stacey Lowery

    2015-01-01

    Enzyme-substrate interactions are a fundamental concept of biochemistry that is built upon throughout multiple biochemistry courses. Central to understanding enzyme-substrate interactions is specific knowledge of exactly how an enzyme and substrate interact. Within this narrower topic, students must understand the various binding sites on an…

  19. Learning Effectiveness and Satisfaction of International Medical Students: Introducing a Hybrid-PBL Curriculum in Biochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Qiu; Ma, Li; Zhu, Lina; Zhang, Wenli

    2017-01-01

    A biochemistry course is a fundamental but important subject in medical education in China. In recent years, the number of international medical students has increased. Curriculum reform in biochemistry teaching is needed because of the knowledge limitations of students, a close linkage of biochemical content with clinics, the shortcomings of…

  20. Case Study of How Turkish University Students Improve Their Biochemistry Achievement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadi, Özlem

    2013-01-01

    Biochemistry courses have an important place as a common subject in faculties of medicine, food engineering, biology and chemistry. MSLQ, Metacognitive Awareness Inventory and Learning Approach Questionnaire were used. The study also involves repeated observations of the same instructor in a biochemistry class over eight weeks to describe…

  1. Experiences from introduction of peer-to-peer teaching methods in Advanced Biochemistry E2010

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brodersen, Ditlev; Etzerodt, Michael; Rasmussen, Jan Trige

    2012-01-01

    During the autumn semester 2010, we experimented with a range of active teaching methods on the course, Advanced Biochemistry, at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics.......During the autumn semester 2010, we experimented with a range of active teaching methods on the course, Advanced Biochemistry, at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics....

  2. 75 FR 8147 - Notice of Consideration of Amendment Request for Decommissioning of Analytical Bio-Chemistry...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION [Docket No. 030-05154; NRC-2010-0056] Notice of Consideration of Amendment Request for Decommissioning of Analytical Bio-Chemistry Laboratories, Inc. Sanitary Lagoon... license amendment to Byproduct Material License No. 24- 13365-01 issued to Analytical Bio-Chemistry...

  3. DIABETES MELLITUS: GENERATING ISSUES FOR THE TEACHING OF BIOCHEMISTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Maciel Lima

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: Current education has been grounded on traditional teaching practices; in other words, learning is regarded as an accumulation of knowledge given by the teachers. Use of resources such as videos and games can raise the interest of teachers since they are an attractive and less traditional alternative. Nevertheless, the use of generating issues stands out as it may help teachers to develop contextualized lessons. According to Freire (1987, this is the starting point in the process of constructing knowledge, replacing traditional practices and questioning the student’s previous knowledge of Biochemistry. OBJECTIVES: Thus, the aim of this study was to prepare and present a lesson to a 12th grade class at IF Fluminense on carbohydrates, diabetes mellitus, and isomerism based on the theme “Diabetes Mellitus”. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to collect data and check the validity of the use of such methodology in classes of Biochemistry, we used procedures such as: presentation of a video made by the authors about diabetes, a styrofoam model of a hepatic cell and biscuit models to show its metabolic functioning regarding metabolism of carbohydrates, styrofoam and toothpick molecular models aimed at explaining isomerism among main hexoses and, to finish the process, a roulette game named “Spinning with Biochemistry”, adapted from the television show Roda a Roda Jequiti, presented by SBT network. In addition, students had a class based on the “Three Pedagogical Moments” methodology proposed by Delizoicov et al. (2007. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: After this, students developed more grounded scientific concepts, making use of terms common in scientific language. This suggests that the use of a Generating Issues, in a class based on problem-solving methods supported by playful strategies, was a meaningful contribution to improve the understanding of scientific knowledge. CONCLUSION: This type of class grounded on less traditional

  4. SPECT 123-I-[FP-CIT] diagnostic in the presynaptic parkinsonism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Piperkova, E.; Georgiev, R.; Dimitrova, M.; Daskalov, M.; Orosova, M.; Milanova, M.; Danon, S.

    2005-01-01

    were normal. Results: Visually, the striatal radiopharmaceutical activity was found to be lower on the left striatum in 5 patients with tremor, rigidity or other movement disorders on the right extremities. In 2 patients with motor impairment on the left part of the body the [ 123 I] FP-CIT hypofixation was found on the right striatum and in one female the scintigraphic changes involved the striatum bilaterally. In all these patients the [ 123 I] FP-CIT uptake ratio was lower in the contralateral striatum of the clinical symptoms. In these patients good L - Dopa treatment effect was established in the clinical follow-up. In one female without DaTSCAN brain SPECT abnormality and 99mTc-HMPAO perfusion changes, essential tremor and arteriosclerotic pseodoparkinsonism was accepted. To achieve good quality of the images it is recommended that the filters should be individually selected for each case. We consider that Butterworth filter of 3 th -5 th order and normalised cutoff frequency of 0.25-0.45 and Low Pass Cosine filter with normalised cutoff frequency of 0.25 are most effective at the image processing step. Conclusion: 123 I - Ioflupane SPECT can be very useful for early diagnostics of patients with clinically uncertain Parkinsonism. It could contribute to initial diagnosis, differential diagnosis between presynaptic parkinsonian syndromes (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy and Multiple System Atrophy) and ET and better subsequent therapeutic management

  5. Neglected issues concerning teaching human adrenal steroidogenesis in popular biochemistry textbooks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Zhiyong; Elliott, Mark S

    2017-11-01

    In the human body, the adrenal steroids collectively regulate a plethora of fundamental functions, including electrolyte and water balance, blood pressure, stress response, intermediary metabolism, inflammation, and immunity. Therefore, adrenal steroidogenesis is an important biochemistry topic for students to learn in order for them to understand health consequences caused by deficiencies of enzymes in the adrenal steroidogenic pathways. However, popular biochemistry textbooks contain insufficient information and may sometimes give students a misimpression about certain aspects of human adrenal steroidogenesis. This article highlights two neglected issues in teaching human adrenal steroidogenesis in popular biochemistry textbooks. The purpose of this article is to draw attention to these issues. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(6):469-474, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

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

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    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

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    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.

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. /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.

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

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    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  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. Presynaptic learning and memory with a persistent firing neuron and a habituating synapse: a model of short term persistent habituation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramanathan, Kiruthika; Ning, Ning; Dhanasekar, Dhiviya; Li, Guoqi; Shi, Luping; Vadakkepat, Prahlad

    2012-08-01

    Our paper explores the interaction of persistent firing axonal and presynaptic processes in the generation of short term memory for habituation. We first propose a model of a sensory neuron whose axon is able to switch between passive conduction and persistent firing states, thereby triggering short term retention to the stimulus. Then we propose a model of a habituating synapse and explore all nine of the behavioral characteristics of short term habituation in a two neuron circuit. We couple the persistent firing neuron to the habituation synapse and investigate the behavior of short term retention of habituating response. Simulations show that, depending on the amount of synaptic resources, persistent firing either results in continued habituation or maintains the response, both leading to longer recovery times. The effectiveness of the model as an element in a bio-inspired memory system is discussed.

  12. THE CYBERSPACE IN THE CONTINUED CLINICAL BIOCHEMISTRY EDUCATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J.M. Martins

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available The cybernetic spaces simulate the real world with interactive multimedia. This work  has been applied since January, 2007 on the curricular student’s apprenticeship at high school and graduation, in the site “bioq.educacao.biz/ULAB-HC-UFPE”. It has been developed to provide continuity to the technical-scientific learning of students and professionals, and also to improve their human social relations on the  labour  environment.  It’s comprises a virtual space, destined to communication and collective building of knowledge on the clinical biochemistry.   It’s about an interactive environment which allows the users registered as coordinator professor (professional  or the scientist student (trainee,  unlimited access to  posting contents (classes, texts, presentations, animations, consultations, non-synchronic discussions (on orkut, forums, e-mail and synchronic discussions (on chats, videoconferences. After a few live tutorials  about new  input in this environment, and the use of the new learning tool,  the collective building of knowledge on cyberspace begins. As a trainee’s program task, the scientist student would have to build a space of his own, under guidance and supervision of the coordinator teachers.  The cyberspace efficiency was evaluated from reports collected in February, 2008: the adherence to this  work was satisfactory, regarding this period, with 68 registered users, 870 accesses and 52 contents available on the several sections of the virtual laboratory. Our work is still being applied, and new adhesions are  happening everyday. We intend to amplify this cyber environment in order to make it a  permanent  continued education site on the health area.  From interest contracts and common knowledge,  the technological interfaces constitute an interaction, in which everyone is a potential author.  Keywords: Cyberspace, online biochemistry education, continued education.

  13. The use of software in Biochemistry teaching classes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.B. Büttenbender

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available INTRODUCTION: The rising of new technologies meant  to improve education could be considered a high advance to pedagogic methodologies. Software is defined as computer programs and may be considered educative when they present a methodology which assists and contextualizes the teaching-learning process. Specifically regarding Biochemistry, a knowledge area which explains physiological and pathological phenomena that occur in human beings, applying the use of software would turn out an easy way to observe suchphenomena. MATERIAL AND METHODS: In order to carry out this work, two free software designed to be used in Biochemistry area and developed at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (“Síntese Proteica” (Protein Synthesisand “A cinética da reação enzimática” (Kinetics of enzymatic reaction, were compared. Interface, how to work contents, advantages and disadvantages in the use of such kind of technology inside classroom were some of the evaluated parameters. DISCUSSION AND RESULTS: Both programs present a fine graphic design, allowing easy command comprehension. At the beginning the objectives of the programs and the contents they hold are presented, showing also a brief introduction to the topic. The programs also  present instruction manuals that explain how the experiments work. They are small basic and simple programs that run easily where they are placed, not needing internet access after their download. “Kinetics of enzymatic reaction” presented more interactive options than the other, and its operation could be considered more intuitive. CONCLUSION: We considered “Kinetics of enzymatic reaction” a better software,cause it allows the student to observe the experiment and perform the calculationsproposed, improving the learning process in a significantly way. The use ofnew technologies inside classrooms should be encouraged as a way to attractthe attention and interest of students, since they are

  14. Predictors of performance of students in biochemistry in a doctor of chiropractic curriculum.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Kathy; Rabatsky, Ali; Dishman, Veronica; Meseke, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Objective : This study investigated the effect of completion of course prerequisites, undergraduate grade point average (GPA), undergraduate degree, and study habits on the performance of students in the biochemistry course at Palmer College of Chiropractic Florida. Methods : Students self-reported information regarding academic preparation at the beginning of the semester using a questionnaire. Final exam grade and final course grade were noted and used as measures of performance. Multivariate analysis of variance was used to determine if number of prerequisites completed, undergraduate GPA, undergraduate degree, hours spent studying in undergraduate study, and hours spent studying in the first quarter of the chiropractic program were associated significantly with the biochemistry final exam grade or the final grade for the biochemistry course. Results : The number of prerequisites completed, undergraduate degree, hours spent studying in undergraduate study, and hours spent studying in the first quarter of the chiropractic program did not significantly affect the biochemistry final exam grade or the final grade for the biochemistry course, but undergraduate GPA did. Subsequent univariate analysis and Tukey's post hoc comparisons revealed that students with an undergraduate GPA in the 3.5 to 3.99 range earned significantly higher final course grades than students with an undergraduate GPA in the 2.5 to 2.99 range. Conclusion : No single variable was determined to be a factor that determines student success in biochemistry. The interrelationship between the factors examined warrants further investigation to understand fully how to predict the success of a student in the biochemistry course.

  15. Presynaptic dopamine depletion determines the timing of levodopa-induced dyskinesia onset in Parkinson's disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoo, Han Soo; Chung, Seok Jong; Chung, Su Jin; Ye, Byoung Seok; Sohn, Young Ho; Lee, Phil Hyu; Moon, Hyojeong; Oh, Jung Su; Kim, Jae Seung; Hong, Jin Yong

    2018-01-01

    Reduced presynaptic dopaminergic activity plays an important role in the development of levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in Parkinson's disease (PD). In this study, we investigated whether dopaminergic function in the nigrostriatal system is associated with the timing of LID onset. From among 412 drug-naive PD patients who underwent a dopamine transporter (DAT) PET scan during their baseline evaluation, we enrolled 65 patients who developed LID during a follow-up period of >2 years. Based on the time from PD onset, LID was classified as early, intermediate or late onset. We then compared DAT availability in the striatal subregions of the patients in the three groups. The demographic characteristics did not differ among the three patient groups except for earlier intervention of levodopa therapy in the early LID onset group (p = 0.001). After adjusting for age at PD onset, gender, timing of levodopa therapy from PD onset, and the severity of PD motor symptoms, DAT activity in the posterior putamen was found to be significantly lower in the early LID onset group than in the late LID onset group (p = 0.017). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that low DAT activity in the posterior putamen was significantly associated with the early appearance of LID in the early LID onset group (β = 16.039, p = 0.033). This study demonstrated that low DAT activity in the posterior putamen at baseline is a major risk factor for the early onset of LID in patients with PD, suggesting that the degree of presynaptic dopaminergic denervation plays an important role in determining the timing of LID onset. (orig.)

  16. Regulation of presynaptic Ca2+, synaptic plasticity and contextual fear conditioning by a N-terminal β-amyloid fragment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, James L M; Tong, Mei; Alfulaij, Naghum; Sherrin, Tessi; Contarino, Mark; White, Michael M; Bellinger, Frederick P; Todorovic, Cedomir; Nichols, Robert A

    2014-10-22

    Soluble β-amyloid has been shown to regulate presynaptic Ca(2+) and synaptic plasticity. In particular, picomolar β-amyloid was found to have an agonist-like action on presynaptic nicotinic receptors and to augment long-term potentiation (LTP) in a manner dependent upon nicotinic receptors. Here, we report that a functional N-terminal domain exists within β-amyloid for its agonist-like activity. This sequence corresponds to a N-terminal fragment generated by the combined action of α- and β-secretases, and resident carboxypeptidase. The N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is present in the brains and CSF of healthy adults as well as in Alzheimer's patients. Unlike full-length β-amyloid, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment is monomeric and nontoxic. In Ca(2+) imaging studies using a model reconstituted rodent neuroblastoma cell line and isolated mouse nerve terminals, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment proved to be highly potent and more effective than full-length β-amyloid in its agonist-like action on nicotinic receptors. In addition, the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment augmented theta burst-induced post-tetanic potentiation and LTP in mouse hippocampal slices. The N-terminal fragment also rescued LTP inhibited by elevated levels of full-length β-amyloid. Contextual fear conditioning was also strongly augmented following bilateral injection of N-terminal β-amyloid fragment into the dorsal hippocampi of intact mice. The fragment-induced augmentation of fear conditioning was attenuated by coadministration of nicotinic antagonist. The activity of the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment appears to reside largely in a sequence surrounding a putative metal binding site, YEVHHQ. These findings suggest that the N-terminal β-amyloid fragment may serve as a potent and effective endogenous neuromodulator. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3414210-09$15.00/0.

  17. Bortezomib induces neuropathic pain through protein kinase C-mediated activation of presynaptic NMDA receptors in the spinal cord.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Jing-Dun; Chen, Shao-Rui; Chen, Hong; Pan, Hui-Lin

    2017-09-01

    Chemotherapeutic drugs, including bortezomib, often cause painful peripheral neuropathy, which is a severe dose-limiting adverse effect experienced by many cancer patients. The glutamate N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) at the spinal cord level are critically involved in the synaptic plasticity associated with neuropathic pain. In this study, we determined whether treatment with bortezomib, a proteasome inhibitor, affects the NMDAR activity of spinal dorsal horn neurons. Systemic treatment with bortezomib in rats did not significantly affect postsynaptic NMDAR currents elicited by puff application of NMDA directly to dorsal horn neurons. Bortezomib treatment markedly increased the baseline frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), which was completely normalized by the NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (AP5). AP5 also reduced the amplitude of monosynaptic EPSCs evoked by dorsal root stimulation in bortezomib-treated, but not vehicle-treated, rats. Furthermore, inhibition of protein kinase C (PKC) with chelerythrine fully reversed the increased frequency of miniature EPSCs and the amplitude of evoked EPSCs in bortezomib-treated rats. Intrathecal injection of AP5 and chelerythrine both profoundly attenuated mechanical allodynia and hyperalgesia induced by systemic treatment with bortezomib. In addition, treatment with bortezomib induced striking membrane translocation of PKC-βII, PKC-δ, and PKC-ε in the dorsal root ganglion. Our findings indicate that bortezomib treatment potentiates nociceptive input from primary afferent nerves via PKC-mediated tonic activation of presynaptic NMDARs. Targeting presynaptic NMDARs and PKC at the spinal cord level may be an effective strategy for treating chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Rosiglitazone Suppresses In Vitro Seizures in Hippocampal Slice by Inhibiting Presynaptic Glutamate Release in a Model of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shi-Bing Wong

    Full Text Available Peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ is a nuclear hormone receptor whose agonist, rosiglitazone has a neuroprotective effect to hippocampal neurons in pilocarpine-induced seizures. Hippocampal slice preparations treated in Mg2+ free medium can induce ictal and interictal-like epileptiform discharges, which is regarded as an in vitro model of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA receptor-mediated temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE. We applied rosiglitazone in hippocampal slices treated in Mg2+ free medium. The effects of rosiglitazone on hippocampal CA1-Schaffer collateral synaptic transmission were tested. We also examined the neuroprotective effect of rosiglitazone toward NMDA excitotoxicity on cultured hippocampal slices. Application of 10 μM rosiglitazone significantly suppressed amplitude and frequency of epileptiform discharges in CA1 neurons. Pretreatment with the PPARγ antagonist GW9662 did not block the effect of rosiglitazone on suppressing discharge frequency, but reverse the effect on suppressing discharge amplitude. Application of rosiglitazone suppressed synaptic transmission in the CA1-Schaffer collateral pathway. By miniature excitatory-potential synaptic current (mEPSC analysis, rosiglitazone significantly suppressed presynaptic neurotransmitter release. This phenomenon can be reversed by pretreating PPARγ antagonist GW9662. Also, rosiglitazone protected cultured hippocampal slices from NMDA-induced excitotoxicity. The protective effect of 10 μM rosiglitazone was partially antagonized by concomitant high dose GW9662 treatment, indicating that this effect is partially mediated by PPARγ receptors. In conclusion, rosiglitazone suppressed NMDA receptor-mediated epileptiform discharges by inhibition of presynaptic neurotransmitter release. Rosiglitazone protected hippocampal slice from NMDA excitotoxicity partially by PPARγ activation. We suggest that rosiglitazone could be a potential agent to treat patients with TLE.

  19. Presynaptic dopamine depletion determines the timing of levodopa-induced dyskinesia onset in Parkinson's disease

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yoo, Han Soo; Chung, Seok Jong; Chung, Su Jin; Ye, Byoung Seok; Sohn, Young Ho; Lee, Phil Hyu [Yonsei University College of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Moon, Hyojeong; Oh, Jung Su; Kim, Jae Seung [University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Department of Nuclear Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Hong, Jin Yong [Yonsei University Wonju College of Medicine, Wonju (Korea, Republic of)

    2018-03-15

    Reduced presynaptic dopaminergic activity plays an important role in the development of levodopa-induced dyskinesia (LID) in Parkinson's disease (PD). In this study, we investigated whether dopaminergic function in the nigrostriatal system is associated with the timing of LID onset. From among 412 drug-naive PD patients who underwent a dopamine transporter (DAT) PET scan during their baseline evaluation, we enrolled 65 patients who developed LID during a follow-up period of >2 years. Based on the time from PD onset, LID was classified as early, intermediate or late onset. We then compared DAT availability in the striatal subregions of the patients in the three groups. The demographic characteristics did not differ among the three patient groups except for earlier intervention of levodopa therapy in the early LID onset group (p = 0.001). After adjusting for age at PD onset, gender, timing of levodopa therapy from PD onset, and the severity of PD motor symptoms, DAT activity in the posterior putamen was found to be significantly lower in the early LID onset group than in the late LID onset group (p = 0.017). Multivariate linear regression analysis showed that low DAT activity in the posterior putamen was significantly associated with the early appearance of LID in the early LID onset group (β = 16.039, p = 0.033). This study demonstrated that low DAT activity in the posterior putamen at baseline is a major risk factor for the early onset of LID in patients with PD, suggesting that the degree of presynaptic dopaminergic denervation plays an important role in determining the timing of LID onset. (orig.)

  20. Presynaptic D2 dopamine receptors control long-term depression expression and memory processes in the temporal hippocampus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocchetti, Jill; Isingrini, Elsa; Dal Bo, Gregory; Sagheby, Sara; Menegaux, Aurore; Tronche, François; Levesque, Daniel; Moquin, Luc; Gratton, Alain; Wong, Tak Pan; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Giros, Bruno

    2015-03-15

    Dysfunctional mesocorticolimbic dopamine signaling has been linked to alterations in motor and reward-based functions associated with psychiatric disorders. Converging evidence from patients with psychiatric disorders and use of antipsychotics suggests that imbalance of dopamine signaling deeply alters hippocampal functions. However, given the lack of full characterization of a functional mesohippocampal pathway, the precise role of dopamine transmission in memory deficits associated with these disorders and their dedicated therapies is unknown. In particular, the positive outcome of antipsychotic treatments, commonly antagonizing D2 dopamine receptors (D2Rs), on cognitive deficits and memory impairments remains questionable. Following pharmacologic and genetic manipulation of dopamine transmission, we performed anatomic, neurochemical, electrophysiologic, and behavioral investigations to uncover the role of D2Rs in hippocampal-dependent plasticity and learning. Naïve mice (n = 4-21) were used in the different procedures. Dopamine modulated both long-term potentiation and long-term depression in the temporal hippocampus as well as spatial and recognition learning and memory in mice through D2Rs. Although genetic deletion or pharmacologic blockade of D2Rs led to the loss of long-term potentiation expression, the specific genetic removal of presynaptic D2Rs impaired long-term depression and performances on spatial memory tasks. Presynaptic D2Rs in dopamine fibers of the temporal hippocampus tightly modulate long-term depression expression and play a major role in the regulation of hippocampal learning and memory. This direct role of mesohippocampal dopamine input as uncovered here adds a new dimension to dopamine involvement in the physiology underlying deficits associated with neuropsychiatric disorders. Copyright © 2015 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Effects of Levetiracetam, Carbamazepine, Phenytoin, Valproate, Lamotrigine, Oxcarbazepine, Topiramate, Vinpocetine and Sertraline on Presynaptic Hippocampal Na(+) and Ca(2+) Channels Permeability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitges, María; Chiu, Luz María; Reed, Ronald C

    2016-04-01

    Ion channels are targets of various antiepileptic drugs. In cerebral presynaptic nerve endings Na(+) and Ca(2+) channels are particularly abundant, as they control neurotransmitter release, including the release of glutamate (Glu), the most concentrated excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter in the brain. Several pre-synaptic channels are implicated in the mechanism of action of the pro-convulsive agent, 4-aminopyridine (4-AP). In the present study the effects of levetiracetam and other established and newer (vinpocetine) anti-epileptic drugs, as well as of the anti-depressant, sertraline on the increase in Ca(2+) induced by 4-AP in hippocampal isolated nerve endings were investigated. Also the effects of some of the anti-seizure drugs on the selective increase in Ca(2+) induced by high K(+), or on the selective increase in Na(+) induced by veratridine were tested. Sertraline and vinpocetine effectively inhibited the rise in Ca(2+) induced by 4-AP, which was dependent on the out-in Na(+) gradient and tetrodotoxin sensitive. Carbamazepine, phenytoin, lamotrigine and oxcarbazepine inhibited the rise in Ca(2+) induced by 4-AP too, but at higher concentrations than sertraline and vinpocetine, whereas levetiracetam, valproic acid and topiramate did not. The three latter antiepileptic drugs also failed in modifying other responses mediated by the activation of brain presynaptic Na(+) or Ca(2+) channels, including Glu release. This indicates that levetiracetam, valproic acid and topiramate mechanisms of action are unrelated with a decrease in presynaptic Na(+) or Ca(2+) channels permeability. It is concluded that depolarized cerebral isolated nerve endings represent a useful tool to unmask potential antiepileptic drugs targeting presynaptic Na(+) and/or Ca(2+) channels in the brain; such as vinpocetine or the anti-depressant sertraline, which high effectiveness to control seizures in the animal in vivo has been demonstrated.

  2. Single cocaine exposure does not alter striatal pre-synaptic dopamine function in mice: an [18 F]-FDOPA PET study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonsall, David R; Kokkinou, Michelle; Veronese, Mattia; Coello, Christopher; Wells, Lisa A; Howes, Oliver D

    2017-12-01

    Cocaine is a recreational drug of abuse that binds to the dopamine transporter, preventing reuptake of dopamine into pre-synaptic terminals. The increased presence of synaptic dopamine results in stimulation of both pre- and post-synaptic dopamine receptors, considered an important mechanism by which cocaine elicits its reinforcing properties. However, the effects of acute cocaine administration on pre-synaptic dopamine function remain unclear. Non-invasive imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography have revealed impaired pre-synaptic dopamine function in chronic cocaine users. Similar impairments have been seen in animal studies, with microdialysis experiments indicating decreased basal dopamine release. Here we use micro positron emission tomography imaging techniques in mice to measure dopamine synthesis capacity and determine the effect of acute cocaine administration of pre-synaptic dopamine function. We show that a dose of 20 mg/kg cocaine is sufficient to elicit hyperlocomotor activity, peaking 15-20 min post treatment (p dopamine synthesis capacity in the striatum was not significantly altered by acute cocaine treatment (KiCer: 0.0097 per min vs. 0.0112 per min in vehicle controls, p > 0.05). Furthermore, expression levels of two key enzymes related to dopamine synthesis, tyrosine hydroxylase and aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase, within the striatum of scanned mice were not significantly affected by acute cocaine pre-treatment (p > 0.05). Our findings suggest that while the regulation of dopamine synthesis and release in the striatum have been shown to change with chronic cocaine use, leading to a reduced basal tone, these adaptations to pre-synaptic dopaminergic neurons are not initiated following a single exposure to the drug. © 2017 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  3. Biochemistry and physiology of anabolic androgenic steroids doping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lippi, G; Franchini, M; Banfi, G

    2011-05-01

    Anabolic Androgenic Steroids (AASs) are chemical and pharmacological derivatives of the male hormone testosterone which are widely used for increasing burst and sprinting activities in sports. Although AASs are thought to be transversal to the plurality of sports disciplines, they are principally misused by bodybuilders, weightlifters, shot, hammer, discus or javelin throwers, rugby and American football players as well as by swimmers and runners. AAS exert a kaleidoscope of effects on human biology, principally through the 5-α-reductase-mediated conversion into dihydrotestosterone, the aromatase-mediated conversion into female sex hormones, a competitive antagonism to the glucocorticoid receptors, the potential stimulation of erythropoietin secretion as well as psychoactive effects on the brain. The influence of AASs on physical performance is still undefined, since the large number of studies published so far have described discordant and often contradictory outcomes. Nevertheless, animal and human investigations support the hypothesis that the administration of AASs might increase lean body mass, muscle mass, and maximal voluntary strength especially in men, so that they would represent an appealing form of doping for increasing power capacity, sustaining intensive training periods and, last but not least, as a cosmetic muscle makeover. The aim of this article is to review the biochemistry, physiology and the ergogenic effects of AASs.

  4. Virtual Biochemistry – pH effect on enzyme activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.N. Heidrich

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Protocols of laboratory experiments, followed by teacher's explanation, not always clearly translate to the student the dynamics to beadopted for the implementation of the proposed practice. One of these cases is related to the study of the effect of pH on enzyme activity. For better help the understanding of the technical procedure, a hypermedia was built based on a protocol adopted at the Department of Biochemistry, UFSC. The hypermedia shows how theeffect of variations in pH can be observed  in vitro. Taking as example salivary amylase and the consumption of starch (substrate by means of iodine staining, a set of pH buffers was tested to identify the best pH for this enzyme  activity. This hypermedia as introductory tool for such practice was tested on aNutrition course classroom. Students agree that the hypermedia provided a better understanding of the proposed activities. Teachers also notice a smallerreagents consumption and reduction of the time spent by the students in the achievement of the experiment.

  5. Exercise redox biochemistry: Conceptual, methodological and technical recommendations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James N. Cobley

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Exercise redox biochemistry is of considerable interest owing to its translational value in health and disease. However, unaddressed conceptual, methodological and technical issues complicate attempts to unravel how exercise alters redox homeostasis in health and disease. Conceptual issues relate to misunderstandings that arise when the chemical heterogeneity of redox biology is disregarded: which often complicates attempts to use redox-active compounds and assess redox signalling. Further, that oxidised macromolecule adduct levels reflect formation and repair is seldom considered. Methodological and technical issues relate to the use of out-dated assays and/or inappropriate sample preparation techniques that confound biochemical redox analysis. After considering each of the aforementioned issues, we outline how each issue can be resolved and provide a unifying set of recommendations. We specifically recommend that investigators: consider chemical heterogeneity, use redox-active compounds judiciously, abandon flawed assays, carefully prepare samples and assay buffers, consider repair/metabolism, use multiple biomarkers to assess oxidative damage and redox signalling. Keywords: Exercise, Oxidative stress, Free radical, Antioxidants, Redox signalling

  6. Contributions of nuclear magnetic resonance to renal biochemistry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.; Freeman, D.; Chan, L.

    1986-01-01

    31 P NMR as a descriptive technique is of interest to nephrologists. Particular contributions of 31 P NMR to our understanding of renal function may be enumerated.: Free metabolite levels are different from those classically accepted; in particular, ADP and Pi are low with implications for the control of renal metabolism and Pi transport, and, via the phosphorylation potential, for Na+ transport. Renal pH is heterogeneous; between cortex, outer medulla, and papilla, and between cell and lumen, a large pH gradient exists. Also, quantitation between cytosol and mitochondrion of the pH gradient is now feasible. In acute renal failure of either ischemic or nonischemic origin, both ATP depletion and acidification of the renal cell result in damage, with increasing evidence for the importance of the latter. Measurements of renal metabolic rate in vivo suggest the existence of a prodromal phase of acute renal failure, which could lead to its detection at an earlier and possibly reversible stage. Human renal cancers show a unique 31 P NMR spectrum and a very acidic environment. Cancer chemotherapy may alter this and detection of such changes with NMR offers a method of therapeutic monitoring with significance beyond nephrology. Renal cortex and medulla have a different T1 relaxation time, possibly due to differences in lipid composition. It seems that NMR spectroscopy has much to offer to the future understanding of the relationship between renal biochemistry and function. 56 references

  7. The Next Frontier: Quantitative Biochemistry in Living Cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honigmann, Alf; Nadler, André

    2018-01-09

    Researchers striving to convert biology into an exact science foremost rely on structural biology and biochemical reconstitution approaches to obtain quantitative data. However, cell biological research is moving at an ever-accelerating speed into areas where these approaches lose much of their edge. Intrinsically unstructured proteins and biochemical interaction networks composed of interchangeable, multivalent, and unspecific interactions pose unique challenges to quantitative biology, as do processes that occur in discrete cellular microenvironments. Here we argue that a conceptual change in our way of conducting biochemical experiments is required to take on these new challenges. We propose that reconstitution of cellular processes in vitro should be much more focused on mimicking the cellular environment in vivo, an approach that requires detailed knowledge of the material properties of cellular compartments, essentially requiring a material science of the cell. In a similar vein, we suggest that quantitative biochemical experiments in vitro should be accompanied by corresponding experiments in vivo, as many newly relevant cellular processes are highly context-dependent. In essence, this constitutes a call for chemical biologists to convert their discipline from a proof-of-principle science to an area that could rightfully be called quantitative biochemistry in living cells. In this essay, we discuss novel techniques and experimental strategies with regard to their potential to fulfill such ambitious aims.

  8. Collaborating with Undergraduates To Contribute to Biochemistry Community Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Kathryn L; Heemstra, Jennifer M; Medema, Marnix H; Charkoudian, Louise K

    2018-01-30

    Course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) have gained traction as effective ways to expand the impact of undergraduate research while fulfilling pedagogical goals. In this Perspective, we present innovative ways to incorporate fundamental benefits and principles of CUREs into a classroom environment through information/technology-based research projects that lead to student-generated contributions to digital community resources (CoRes). These projects represent an attractive class of CUREs because they are less resource-intensive than laboratory-based CUREs, and the projects align with the expectations of today's students to create rapid and publicly accessible contributions to society. We provide a detailed discussion of two example types of CoRe projects that can be implemented in courses to impact research and education at the chemistry-biology interface: bioinformatics annotations and development of educational tools. Finally, we present current resources available for faculty interested in incorporating CUREs or CoRe projects into their pedagogical practices. In sharing these stories and resources, we hope to lower the barrier for widespread adoption of CURE and CoRe approaches and generate discussions about how to utilize the classroom experience to make a positive impact on our students and the future of the field of biochemistry.

  9. Tryptophan Biochemistry: Structural, Nutritional, Metabolic, and Medical Aspects in Humans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palego, Lionella; Betti, Laura; Rossi, Alessandra; Giannaccini, Gino

    2016-01-01

    L-Tryptophan is the unique protein amino acid (AA) bearing an indole ring: its biotransformation in living organisms contributes either to keeping this chemical group in cells and tissues or to breaking it, by generating in both cases a variety of bioactive molecules. Investigations on the biology of Trp highlight the pleiotropic effects of its small derivatives on homeostasis processes. In addition to protein turn-over, in humans the pathways of Trp indole derivatives cover the synthesis of the neurotransmitter/hormone serotonin (5-HT), the pineal gland melatonin (MLT), and the trace amine tryptamine. The breakdown of the Trp indole ring defines instead the "kynurenine shunt" which produces cell-response adapters as L-kynurenine, kynurenic and quinolinic acids, or the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). This review aims therefore at tracing a "map" of the main molecular effectors in human tryptophan (Trp) research, starting from the chemistry of this AA, dealing then with its biosphere distribution and nutritional value for humans, also focusing on some proteins responsible for its tissue-dependent uptake and biotransformation. We will thus underscore the role of Trp biochemistry in the pathogenesis of human complex diseases/syndromes primarily involving the gut, neuroimmunoendocrine/stress responses, and the CNS, supporting the use of -Omics approaches in this field.

  10. Visual Literacy and Biochemistry Learning: The role of external representations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V.J.S.V. Santos

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Visual Literacy can bedefined as people’s ability to understand, use, think, learn and express themselves through external representations (ER in a given subject. This research aims to investigate the development of abilities of ERs reading and interpretation by students from a Biochemistry graduate course of theFederal University of São João Del-Rei. In this way, Visual Literacy level was  assessed using a questionnaire validatedin a previous educational research. This diagnosis questionnaire was elaborated according to six visual abilitiesidentified as essential for the study of the metabolic pathways. The initial statistical analysis of data collectedin this study was carried out using ANOVA method. Results obtained showed that the questionnaire used is adequate for the research and indicated that the level of Visual Literacy related to the metabolic processes increased significantly with the progress of the students in the graduation course. There was also an indication of a possible interference in the student’s performancedetermined by the cutoff punctuation in the university selection process.

  11. Some applications of radiation chemistry to biochemistry and radiobiology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wardman, P.

    1987-01-01

    In this chapter illustrate the use of radiation chemistry as a tool in investigating biologically important radical reactions, and also outline some studies of models for radiobiological damage. Because aqueous solutions usually offer the most important matrix, an appreciation of the main features of water radiolysis will be essential. Most of the illustrations involve pulse radiolysis, and some familiarity with chemical kinetics is assumed. In addition to these and other chapters in this book, readers find the proceedings of a recent NATO Advanced Study Institute most useful. The authors shall not try to review here all the applications of radiation chemistry to biochemistry and biology, but they will illustrate, using selected examples, the main principles and practical advantages and problems. Another recent volume covers the main contributions of flash photolysis and pulse radiolysis to the chemistry of biology and medicine, complementing earlier reviews. Papers from symposia on radical processes in radiobiology and carcinogenesis, and on super-oxide dismutases, and proceedings of recent international congresses of radiation research, together with the other publications referred to above will enable the reader to gain a comprehensive overview of the role of radicals in biological processes and the contributions of radiation chemistry

  12. The physical basis of biochemistry the foundations of molecular biophysics

    CERN Document Server

    Bergethon, Peter R

    1998-01-01

    The objective of this book is to provide a unifying approach to the study of biophysical chemistry for the advanced undergraduate who has had a year of physics, organic chem­ istry, calculus, and biology. This book began as a revised edition of Biophysical Chemistry: Molecules to Membranes, which Elizabeth Simons and I coauthored. That short volume was written in an attempt to provide a concise text for a one-semester course in biophysical chemistry at the graduate level. The experience of teaching biophysical chemistry to bi­ ologically oriented students over the last decade has made it clear that the subject requires a more fundamental text that unifies the many threads of modem science: physics, chem­ istry, biology, mathematics, and statistics. This book represents that effort. This volume is not a treatment of modem biophysical chemistry with its rich history and many contro­ versies, although a book on that topic is also needed. The Physical Basis of Biochemistry is an introduction to the philosophy...

  13. Current status of verification practices in clinical biochemistry in Spain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez-Rioja, Rubén; Alvarez, Virtudes; Ventura, Montserrat; Alsina, M Jesús; Barba, Núria; Cortés, Mariano; Llopis, María Antonia; Martínez, Cecilia; Ibarz, Mercè

    2013-09-01

    Verification uses logical algorithms to detect potential errors before laboratory results are released to the clinician. Even though verification is one of the main processes in all laboratories, there is a lack of standardization mainly in the algorithms used and the criteria and verification limits applied. A survey in clinical laboratories in Spain was conducted in order to assess the verification process, particularly the use of autoverification. Questionnaires were sent to the laboratories involved in the External Quality Assurance Program organized by the Spanish Society of Clinical Biochemistry and Molecular Pathology. Seven common biochemical parameters were included (glucose, cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, potassium, calcium, and alanine aminotransferase). Completed questionnaires were received from 85 laboratories. Nearly all the laboratories reported using the following seven verification criteria: internal quality control, instrument warnings, sample deterioration, reference limits, clinical data, concordance between parameters, and verification of results. The use of all verification criteria varied according to the type of verification (automatic, technical, or medical). Verification limits for these parameters are similar to biological reference ranges. Delta Check was used in 24% of laboratories. Most laboratories (64%) reported using autoverification systems. Autoverification use was related to laboratory size, ownership, and type of laboratory information system, but amount of use (percentage of test autoverified) was not related to laboratory size. A total of 36% of Spanish laboratories do not use autoverification, despite the general implementation of laboratory information systems, most of them, with autoverification ability. Criteria and rules for seven routine biochemical tests were obtained.

  14. Exercise redox biochemistry: Conceptual, methodological and technical recommendations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobley, James N; Close, Graeme L; Bailey, Damian M; Davison, Gareth W

    2017-08-01

    Exercise redox biochemistry is of considerable interest owing to its translational value in health and disease. However, unaddressed conceptual, methodological and technical issues complicate attempts to unravel how exercise alters redox homeostasis in health and disease. Conceptual issues relate to misunderstandings that arise when the chemical heterogeneity of redox biology is disregarded: which often complicates attempts to use redox-active compounds and assess redox signalling. Further, that oxidised macromolecule adduct levels reflect formation and repair is seldom considered. Methodological and technical issues relate to the use of out-dated assays and/or inappropriate sample preparation techniques that confound biochemical redox analysis. After considering each of the aforementioned issues, we outline how each issue can be resolved and provide a unifying set of recommendations. We specifically recommend that investigators: consider chemical heterogeneity, use redox-active compounds judiciously, abandon flawed assays, carefully prepare samples and assay buffers, consider repair/metabolism, use multiple biomarkers to assess oxidative damage and redox signalling. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

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    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.

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

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    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. 

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

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  14. 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.

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

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    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.

  16. An Experiment Using Sucrose Density Gradients in the Undergraduate Biochemistry Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turchi, Sandra L.; Weiss, Monica

    1988-01-01

    Describes an experiment to be performed in an undergraduate biochemistry laboratory that is based on a gradient centrifugation system employing a simple bench top centrifuge, a freezer, and frozen surcose gradient solution to separate macromolecules and subcellular components. (CW)

  17. Biochemistry students' ideas about shape and charge in enzyme-substrate interactions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linenberger, Kimberly J; Bretz, Stacey Lowery

    2014-01-01

    Biochemistry is a visual discipline that requires students to develop an understanding of numerous representations. However, there is very little known about what students actually understand about the representations that are used to communicate ideas in biochemistry. This study investigated biochemistry students' understanding of multiple representations of enzyme-substrate interactions through both student interviews (N = 25) and responses by a national sample (N = 707) to the Enzyme-Substrate Interactions Concept Inventory. This manuscript reports the findings regarding one category of misconceptions measured by the concept inventory, namely, students' understandings of shape and charge in the context of enzyme-substrate interactions. Students interpret molecular representations depicting such interactions by determining the complementarity between enzyme and substrate by focusing upon charge and hydrogen bonding, but with a disregard for stereochemistry. Copyright © 2014 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  18. Approaches to enhance the teaching quality of experimental biochemistry for MBBS students in TSMU, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Lijuan; Yi, Shuying; Zhai, Jing; Wang, Zhaojin

    2017-07-08

    With the internationalization of medical education in China, the importance of international students' education in medical schools is also increasing. Except foreign students majoring in Chinese language, English Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBSS) students are the largest group of international students. Based on problems in the teaching process for experimental biochemistry, we designed teaching models adapted to the background of international students and strengthened teachers' teaching ability at Taishan Medical University. Several approaches were used in combination to promote teaching effects and increase the benefit of teaching to teachers. The primary data showed an increased passion for basic medical biochemistry and an improved theoretical background for MBSS students, which will be helpful for their later clinical medicine studies. © 2017 by The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 45(4):360-364, 2017. © 2017 The International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  19. Biochemistry for Medical Students: A Flexible Student-Oriented Approach. AMEE Case Study No. 3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macqueen, D.; And Others

    1976-01-01

    A personalized account of some experiences in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Dundee during a radical revision of the course for medical students is offered. Innovations of the course are described in detail. (LBH)

  20. Polish Academy of Sciences Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics research report 1994-1995

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    NONE

    1997-12-31

    Scientific interests of Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics Polish Academy of Sciences are focused on DNA replication and repair, gene expression, gene sequencing and molecular biophysics. The work reviews research projects of the Institute in 1994-1995.