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Sample records for silk specific promoter

  1. Functional Analysis of Maize Silk-Specific ZmbZIP25 Promoter

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    Wanying Li

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available ZmbZIP25 (Zea mays bZIP (basic leucine zipper transcription factor 25 is a function-unknown protein that belongs to the D group of the bZIP transcription factor family. RNA-seq data showed that the expression of ZmbZIP25 was tissue-specific in maize silks, and this specificity was confirmed by RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. In situ RNA hybridization showed that ZmbZIP25 was expressed exclusively in the xylem of maize silks. A 5′ RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends assay identified an adenine residue as the transcription start site of the ZmbZIP25 gene. To characterize this silk-specific promoter, we isolated and analyzed a 2450 bp (from −2083 to +367 and a 2600 bp sequence of ZmbZIP25 (from −2083 to +517, the transcription start site was denoted +1. Stable expression assays in Arabidopsis showed that the expression of the reporter gene GUS driven by the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking fragment occurred exclusively in the papillae of Arabidopsis stigmas. Furthermore, transient expression assays in maize indicated that GUS and GFP expression driven by the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequences occurred only in maize silks and not in other tissues. However, no GUS or GFP expression was driven by the 2600 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequences in either stable or transient expression assays. A series of deletion analyses of the 2450 bp ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequence was performed in transgenic Arabidopsis plants, and probable elements prediction analysis revealed the possible presence of negative regulatory elements within the 161 bp region from −1117 to −957 that were responsible for the specificity of the ZmbZIP25 5′-flanking sequence.

  2. Expression of a maize Myb transcription factor driven by a putative silk-specific promoter significantly enhances resistance to Helicoverpa zea in transgenic maize.

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    Johnson, Eric T; Berhow, Mark A; Dowd, Patrick F

    2007-04-18

    Hi II maize (Zea mays) plants were engineered to express maize p1 cDNA, a Myb transcription factor, controlled by a putative silk specific promoter, for secondary metabolite production and corn earworm resistance. Transgene expression did not enhance silk color, but about half of the transformed plant silks displayed browning when cut, which indicated the presence of p1-produced secondary metabolites. Levels of maysin, a secondary metabolite with insect toxicity, were highest in newly emerged browning silks. The insect resistance of transgenic silks was also highest at emergence, regardless of maysin levels, which suggests that other unidentified p1-induced molecules likely contributed to larval mortality. Mean survivor weights of corn earworm larvae fed mature browning transgenic silks were significantly lower than weights of those fed mature nonbrowning transgenic silks. Some transgenic pericarps browned with drying and contained similar molecules found in pericarps expressing a dominant p1 allele, suggesting that the promoter may not be silk-specific.

  3. The influence of specific binding of collagen-silk chimeras to silk biomaterials on hMSC behavior.

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    An, Bo; DesRochers, Teresa M; Qin, Guokui; Xia, Xiaoxia; Thiagarajan, Geetha; Brodsky, Barbara; Kaplan, David L

    2013-01-01

    Collagen-like proteins in the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes adopt a triple-helix structure with a thermal stability similar to that of animal collagens, can be expressed in high yield in Escherichia coli and can be easily modified through molecular biology techniques. However, potential applications for such recombinant collagens are limited by their lack of higher order structure to achieve the physical properties needed for most biomaterials. To overcome this problem, the S. pyogenes collagen domain was fused to a repetitive Bombyx mori silk consensus sequence, as a strategy to direct specific non-covalent binding onto solid silk materials whose superior stability, mechanical and material properties have been previously established. This approach resulted in the successful binding of these new collagen-silk chimeric proteins to silk films and porous scaffolds, and the binding affinity could be controlled by varying the number of repeats in the silk sequence. To explore the potential of collagen-silk chimera for regulating biological activity, integrin (Int) and fibronectin (Fn) binding sequences from mammalian collagens were introduced into the bacterial collagen domain. The attachment of bioactive collagen-silk chimeras to solid silk biomaterials promoted hMSC spreading and proliferation substantially in comparison to the controls. The ability to combine the biomaterial features of silk with the biological activities of collagen allowed more rapid cell interactions with silk-based biomaterials, improved regulation of stem cell growth and differentiation, as well as the formation of artificial extracellular matrices useful for tissue engineering applications. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Silk-based biomaterials functionalized with fibronectin type II promotes cell adhesion.

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    Pereira, Ana Margarida; Machado, Raul; da Costa, André; Ribeiro, Artur; Collins, Tony; Gomes, Andreia C; Leonor, Isabel B; Kaplan, David L; Reis, Rui L; Casal, Margarida

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this work was to exploit the fibronectin type II (FNII) module from human matrix metalloproteinase-2 as a functional domain for the development of silk-based biopolymer blends that display enhanced cell adhesion properties. The DNA sequence of spider dragline silk protein (6mer) was genetically fused with the FNII coding sequence and expressed in Escherichia coli. The chimeric protein 6mer+FNII was purified by non-chromatographic methods. Films prepared from 6mer+FNII by solvent casting promoted only limited cell adhesion of human skin fibroblasts. However, the performance of the material in terms of cell adhesion was significantly improved when 6mer+FNII was combined with a silk-elastin-like protein in a concentration-dependent behavior. With this work we describe a novel class of biopolymer that promote cell adhesion and potentially useful as biomaterials for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. This work reports the development of biocompatible silk-based composites with enhanced cell adhesion properties suitable for biomedical applications in regenerative medicine. The biocomposites were produced by combining a genetically engineered silk-elastin-like protein with a genetically engineered spider-silk-based polypeptide carrying the three domains of the fibronectin type II module from human metalloproteinase-2. These composites were processed into free-standing films by solvent casting and characterized for their biological behavior. To our knowledge this is the first report of the exploitation of all three FNII domains as a functional domain for the development of bioinspired materials with improved biological performance. The present study highlights the potential of using genetically engineered protein-based composites as a platform for the development of new bioinspired biomaterials. Copyright © 2016 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Silk fibroin/chitosan thin film promotes osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

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    Li, Da-Wei; He, Jin; He, Feng-Li; Liu, Ya-Li; Liu, Yang-Yang; Ye, Ya-Jing; Deng, Xudong; Yin, Da-Chuan

    2018-04-01

    As a biodegradable polymer thin film, silk fibroin/chitosan composite film overcomes the defects of pure silk fibroin and chitosan films, respectively, and shows remarkable biocompatibility, appropriate hydrophilicity and mechanical properties. Silk fibroin/chitosan thin film can be used not only as metal implant coating for bone injury repair, but also as tissue engineering scaffold for skin, cornea, adipose, and other soft tissue injury repair. However, the biocompatibility of silk fibroin/chitosan thin film for mesenchymal stem cells, a kind of important seed cell of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, is rarely reported. In this study, silk fibroin/chitosan film was prepared by solvent casting method, and the rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were cultured on the silk fibroin/chitosan thin film. Osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were induced, respectively. The proliferation ability, osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation abilities of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells were systematically compared between silk fibroin/chitosan thin film and polystyrene tissue culture plates. The results showed that silk fibroin/chitosan thin film not only provided a comparable environment for the growth and proliferation of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells but also promoted their osteogenic and adipogenic differentiation. This work provided information of rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells behavior on silk fibroin/chitosan thin film and extended the application of silk fibroin/chitosan thin film. Based on the results, we suggested that the silk fibroin/chitosan thin film could be a promising material for tissue engineering of bone, cartilage, adipose, and skin.

  6. GEOINFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES IN THE PROMOTION OF TOURIST DESTINATIONS IN THE ZONE OF THE GREAT SILK ROAD

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    V. S. Tikunov

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available To date, travel portals represent the most promising tool for promoting tourist destinations. Compared to traditional print media, their main advantage is the ability to access a wealth of information, services, to make online reservations, to create package-tours, and to obtain interactive representation of tourist sites. The paper discusses tourism demand for destinations of the zone of the Great Silk Road applying key statistics of the Yandex search engine queries. A comparative analysis of tourist destinations portal data has been conducted based on the following criteria: availability of multilingual information, interactive maps, selfguided tour planners, and information about attractions, tours, and accommodation facilities. In order to attract a large number of tourists and to successfully implement the project “Silk Road,” it is necessary to establish a common trans-national tourism portal which would include information on tourism opportunities in all countries.

  7. Development of an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent-assay technique for accurate identification of poorly preserved silks unearthed in ancient tombs.

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    Zheng, Qin; Wu, Xiaofeng; Zheng, Hailing; Zhou, Yang

    2015-05-01

    We report the preparation of a specific fibroin antibody and its use for the identification of unearthed ancient silk relics. Based on the 12-amino-acid repeat sequence "GAGAGSGAGAGS", which is found in fibroin of the silkworm Bombyx mori, a specific antibody against fibroin was prepared in rabbits through peptide synthesis and carrier-protein coupling. This antibody was highly specific for fibroin found in silk. Using this antibody we have successfully identified four silk samples from different time periods. Our results reveal, for the first time, a method capable of detecting silk from a few milligrams of archaeological fabric that has been buried for thousands of years, confirming that the ancient practice of wearing silk products while praying for rebirth dated back to at least 400 BCE. This method also complements current approaches in silk detection, especially for the characterization of poorly preserved silks, promoting the investigation of silk origins and of ancient clothing cultures.

  8. Fast Setting Silk Fibroin Bioink for Bioprinting of Patient-Specific Memory-Shape Implants.

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    Costa, João B; Silva-Correia, Joana; Oliveira, Joaquim M; Reis, Rui L

    2017-11-01

    The pursuit for the "perfect" biomimetic and personalized implant for musculoskeletal tissue regeneration remains a big challenge. 3D printing technology that makes use of a novel and promising biomaterials can be part of the solution. In this study, a fast setting enzymatic-crosslinked silk fibroin (SF) bioink for 3D bioprinting is developed. Their properties are fine-tuned and different structures with good resolution, reproducibility, and reliability can be fabricated. Many potential applications exist for the SF bioinks including 3D bioprinted scaffolds and patient-specific implants exhibiting unique characteristics such as good mechanical properties, memory-shape feature, suitable degradation, and tunable pore architecture and morphology. © 2017 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  9. Multiscale mechanisms of nutritionally induced property variation in spider silks

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    Nobbs, Madeleine; Martens, Penny J.; Tso, I-Min; Chuang, Wei-Tsung; Chang, Chung-Kai; Sheu, Hwo-Shuenn

    2018-01-01

    Variability in spider major ampullate (MA) silk properties at different scales has proven difficult to determine and remains an obstacle to the development of synthetic fibers mimicking MA silk performance. A multitude of techniques may be used to measure multiscale aspects of silk properties. Here we fed five species of Araneoid spider solutions that either contained protein or were protein deprived and performed silk tensile tests, small and wide-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS/WAXS), amino acid composition analyses, and silk gene expression analyses, to resolve persistent questions about how nutrient deprivation induces variations in MA silk mechanical properties across scales. Our analyses found that the properties of each spider’s silk varied differently in response to variations in their protein intake. We found changes in the crystalline and non-crystalline nanostructures to play specific roles in inducing the property variations we found. Across treatment MaSp expression patterns differed in each of the five species. We found that in most species MaSp expression and amino acid composition variations did not conform with our predictions based on a traditional MaSp expression model. In general, changes to the silk’s alanine and proline compositions influenced the alignment of the proteins within the silk’s amorphous region, which influenced silk extensibility and toughness. Variations in structural alignment in the crystalline and non-crystalline regions influenced ultimate strength independent of genetic expression. Our study provides the deepest insights thus far into the mechanisms of how MA silk properties vary from gene expression to nanostructure formations to fiber mechanics. Such knowledge is imperative for promoting the production of synthetic silk fibers. PMID:29390013

  10. Analysis of tissue-specific region in sericin 1 gene promoter of Bombyx mori

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    Yan, Liu [College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrument Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Lian, Yu [College of Biomedical Engineering and Instrument Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027 (China); Zhejiang Province Key Laboratory of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029 (China); Xiuyang, Guo [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Tingqing, Guo [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Shengpeng, Wang [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China); Changde, Lu [Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031 (China)

    2006-03-31

    The gene encoding sericin 1 (Ser1) of silkworm (Bombyx mori) is specifically expressed in the middle silk gland cells. To identify element involved in this transcription-dependent spatial restriction, truncation of the 5' terminal from the sericin 1 (Ser1) promoter is studied in vivo. A 209 bp DNA sequence upstream of the transcriptional start site (-586 to -378) is found to be responsible for promoting tissue-specific transcription. Analysis of this 209 bp region by overlapping deletion studies showed that a 25 bp region (-500 to -476) suppresses the ectopic expression of the Ser1 promoter. An unknown factor abundant in fat body nuclear extracts is shown to bind to this 25 bp fragment. These results suggest that this 25 bp region and the unknown factor are necessary for determining the tissue-specificity of the Ser1 promoter.

  11. SPIDER SILK

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    PORAV Viorica

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The strengthness and toughness of spider fiber and its multifunctional nature is only surpassed in some cases by synthetic high performance fibers. In the world of natural fibers, spider silk has been long time recognized as a wonder fiber for its unique combination of high strength and rupture elongation. Scientists in civil military engineering reveal that the power of biological material (spider silk lies in the geometric configuration of structural protein, and the small cluster of week hydrogen bonds that works together to resist force and dissipate energy. Each spider and each type of silk has a set of mechanical properties optimized for their biological function. Most silks, in particular deagline silk, have exceptional mechanical properties. They exhibit a unique combination of high tensile strength and extensibility (ductility. This enables a silk fiber to absorb a lot of energy before breaking (toughness, the area under a stress- strain curve. A frequent mistake made in the mainstream media is to confuse strength and toughness when comparing silk to other materials. As shown below in detail, weight for weight, silk is stronger than steel, but not as strong as Kevlar. Silk is,however, tougher than both.This paper inform about overview on the today trend in the world of spider silk.

  12. A macroporous heparin-releasing silk fibroin scaffold improves islet transplantation outcome by promoting islet revascularisation and survival.

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    Mao, Duo; Zhu, Meifeng; Zhang, Xiuyuan; Ma, Rong; Yang, Xiaoqing; Ke, Tingyu; Wang, Lianyong; Li, Zongjin; Kong, Deling; Li, Chen

    2017-09-01

    Islet transplantation is considered the most promising therapeutic option with the potential to cure diabetes. However, efficacy of current clinical islet transplantation is limited by long-term graft dysfunction and attrition. We have investigated the therapeutic potential of a silk fibroin macroporous (SF) scaffold for syngeneic islet transplantation in diabetic mice. The SF scaffold was prepared via lyophilisation, which enables incorporation of active compounds including cytokines, peptide and growth factors without compromising their biological activity. For the present study, a heparin-releasing SF scaffold (H-SF) in order to evaluate the versatility of the SF scaffold for biological functionalisation. Islets were then co-transplanted with H-SF or SF scaffolds in the epididymal fat pad of diabetic mice. Mice from both H-SF and SF groups achieved 100% euglycaemia, which was maintained for 1year. More importantly, the H-SF-islets co-transplantation led to more rapid reversal of hyperglycaemia, complete normalisation of glucose responsiveness and lower long-term blood glucose levels. This superior transplantation outcome is attributable to H-SF-facilitated islet revascularisation and cell proliferation since significant increase of islet endocrine and endothelial cells proliferation was shown in grafts retrieved from H-SF-islets co-transplanted mice. Better intra-islet vascular reformation was also evident, accompanied by VEGF upregulation. In addition, when H-SF was co-transplanted with islets extracted from vegfr2-luc transgenic mice in vivo, sustained elevation of bioluminescent signal that corresponds to vegfr2 expression was collected, implicating a role of heparin-dependent activation of endogenous VEGF/VEGFR2 pathway in promoting islet revascularisation and proliferation. In summary, the SF scaffolds provide an open platform as scaffold development for islet transplantation. Furthermore, given the pro-angiogenic, pro-survival and minimal post

  13. The promotion of osseointegration of titanium surfaces by coating with silk protein sericin.

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    Nayak, Sunita; Dey, Tuli; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C

    2013-04-01

    A promising strategy to influence the osseointegration process around orthopaedic titanium implants is the immobilization of bioactive molecules. This recruits appropriate interaction between the surface and the tissue by directing cells adhesion, proliferation, differentiation and active matrix remodelling. In this study, we aimed to investigate the functionalization of metallic implant titanium with silk protein sericin. Titanium surface was immobilized with non-mulberry Antheraea mylitta sericin using glutaraldehyde as crosslinker. To analyse combinatorial effects the sericin immobilized titanium was further conjugated with integrin binding peptide sequence Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) using ethyl (dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide and N-hydroxysulfosuccinimide as coupling agents. The surface of sericin immobilized titanium was characterized biophysically. Osteoblast-like cells were cultured on sericin and sericin/RGD functionalized titanium and found to be more viable than those on pristine titanium. The enhanced adhesion, proliferation, and differentiation of osteoblast cells were observed. RT-PCR analysis showed that mRNA expressions of bone sialoprotein, osteocalcin and alkaline phosphatase were upregulated in osteoblast cells cultured on sericin and sericin/RGD immobilized titanium substrates. Additionally, no significant amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α, IL-1β and nitric oxide production were recorded when macrophages cells and osteoblast-macrophages co culture cells were grown on sericin immobilized titanium. The findings demonstrate that the sericin immobilized titanium surfaces are potentially useful bioactive coated materials for titanium-based medical implants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Electrospun silk fibroin scaffolds coated with reduced graphene promote neurite outgrowth of PC-12 cells under electrical stimulation.

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    Aznar-Cervantes, Salvador; Pagán, Ana; Martínez, Jose G; Bernabeu-Esclapez, Antonia; Otero, Toribio F; Meseguer-Olmo, Luis; Paredes, Juan I; Cenis, Jose L

    2017-10-01

    Novel approaches to neural research require biocompatible materials capable to act as electrode structures or scaffolds for tissue engineering in order to stimulate or restore the functionality of damaged tissues. This work offers promising results that indicate the potential use of electrospun silk fibroin (SF) scaffolds coated with reduced graphene oxide (rGO) in this sense. The coated material becomes conductor and electroactive. A complete characterisation of SF/rGO scaffolds is provided in terms of electrochemistry, mechanical behaviour and chemical conformation of fibroin. The excellent biocompatibility of this novel material is proved with cultures of PC-12 cells. The coating with rGO improved the adhesion of cells in comparison with cells growing onto the surface of pure SF scaffolds. Also, the use of SF/rGO scaffolds combined with electrical stimulation promoted the differentiation into neural phenotypes reaching comparable or even superior levels to those obtained by means of the traditional treatment with neural growth factor (NGF). Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Composing a Tumor Specific Bacterial Promoter.

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    Igor V Deyneko

    Full Text Available Systemically applied Salmonella enterica spp. have been shown to invade and colonize neoplastic tissues where it retards the growth of many tumors. This offers the possibility to use the bacteria as a vehicle for the tumor specific delivery of therapeutic molecules. Specificity of such delivery is solely depending on promoter sequences that control the production of a target molecule. We have established the functional structure of bacterial promoters that are transcriptionally active exclusively in tumor tissues after systemic application. We observed that the specific transcriptional activation is accomplished by a combination of a weak basal promoter and a strong FNR binding site. This represents a minimal set of control elements required for such activation. In natural promoters, additional DNA remodeling elements are found that alter the level of transcription quantitatively. Inefficiency of the basal promoter ensures the absence of transcription outside tumors. As a proof of concept, we compiled an artificial promoter sequence from individual motifs representing FNR and basal promoter and showed specific activation in a tumor microenvironment. Our results open possibilities for the generation of promoters with an adjusted level of expression of target proteins in particular for applications in bacterial tumor therapy.

  16. Tissue Specific Promoters in Colorectal Cancer

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    A. R. Rama

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Colorectal carcinoma is the third most prevalent cancer in the world. In the most advanced stages, the use of chemotherapy induces a poor response and is usually accompanied by other tissue damage. Significant progress based on suicide gene therapy has demonstrated that it may potentiate the classical cytotoxic effects in colorectal cancer. The inconvenience still rests with the targeting and the specificity efficiency. The main target of gene therapy is to achieve an effective vehicle to hand over therapeutic genes safely into specific cells. One possibility is the use of tumor-specific promoters overexpressed in cancers. They could induce a specific expression of therapeutic genes in a given tumor, increasing their localized activity. Several promoters have been assayed into direct suicide genes to cancer cells. This review discusses the current status of specific tumor-promoters and their great potential in colorectal carcinoma treatment.

  17. Thromboelastometric and platelet responses to silk biomaterials.

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    Kundu, Banani; Schlimp, Christoph J; Nürnberger, Sylvia; Redl, Heinz; Kundu, S C

    2014-05-13

    Silkworm's silk is natural biopolymer with unique properties including mechanical robustness, all aqueous base processing and ease in fabrication into different multifunctional templates. Additionally, the nonmulberry silks have cell adhesion promoting tri-peptide (RGD) sequences, which make it an immensely potential platform for regenerative medicine. The compatibility of nonmulberry silk with human blood is still elusive; thereby, restricts its further application as implants. The present study, therefore, evaluate the haematocompatibility of silk biomaterials in terms of platelet interaction after exposure to nonmulberry silk of Antheraea mylitta using thromboelastometry (ROTEM). The mulberry silk of Bombyx mori and clinically used Uni-Graft W biomaterial serve as references. Shortened clotting time, clot formation times as well as enhanced clot strength indicate the platelet mediated activation of blood coagulation cascade by tested biomaterials; which is comparable to controls.

  18. Silk nanoparticles—an emerging anticancer nanomedicine

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    F. Philipp Seib

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Silk is a sustainable and ecologically friendly biopolymer with a robust clinical track record in humans for load bearing applications, in part due to its excellent mechanical properties and biocompatibility. Our ability to take bottom-up and top-down approaches for the generation of silk (inspired biopolymers has been critical in supporting the evolution of silk materials and formats, including silk nanoparticles for drug delivery. Silk nanoparticles are emerging as interesting contenders for drug delivery and are well placed to advance the nanomedicine field. This review covers the use of Bombyx mori and recombinant silks as an anticancer nanomedicine, highlighting the emerging trends and developments as well as critically assessing the current opportunities and challenges by providing a context specific assessment of this multidisciplinary field.

  19. Silk-Fibroin and Graphene Oxide Composites Promote Human Periodontal Ligament Stem Cell Spontaneous Differentiation into Osteo/Cementoblast-Like Cells.

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    Vera-Sánchez, Mar; Aznar-Cervantes, Salvador; Jover, Eva; García-Bernal, David; Oñate-Sánchez, Ricardo E; Hernández-Romero, Diana; Moraleda, Jose M; Collado-González, Mar; Rodríguez-Lozano, Francisco Javier; Cenis, Jose Luis

    2016-11-15

    Graphene represents one of the most interesting additions to the tissue engineering toolbox. Novel graphene-based composites are required to improve the beneficial graphene properties in terms of tridimensional polymeric structure, conferring a higher mechanical strength and favoring the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Here, we have demonstrated in a wide range of composite combinations, the successful use of graphene and silk-fibroin constructs for future bioengineering applications in the field of clinical regenerative dentistry using human periodontal ligament stem cells. Our results provide exciting new data for the development of suitable scaffolds that allow good cell engrafting, preservation of cell viability and proliferation, promotion of spontaneous osteoblastic differentiation, and importantly, stimulation of a higher cementum physiological synthesis than using other different available biomaterials.

  20. KSHV Rta promoter specification and viral reactivation

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    Jonathan eGuito

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens whose biological success depends upon replication and packaging of viral genomes, and transmission of progeny viruses to new hosts. The biological success of herpesviruses is enhanced by their ability to reproduce their genomes without producing progeny viruses or killing the host cells, a process called latency. Latency permits a herpesvirus to remain undetected in its animal host for decades while maintaining the potential to reactivate, or switch, to a productive life cycle when host conditions are conducive to generating viral progeny. Direct interactions between many host and viral molecules are implicated in controlling herpesviral reactivation, suggesting complex biological networks that control the decision. One viral protein that is necessary and sufficient to switch latent KSHV into the lytic infection cycle is called K-Rta. Rta is a transcriptional activator that specifies promoters by binding direct DNA directly and interacting with cellular proteins. Among these cellular proteins, binding of K-Rta to RBP-Jk is essential for viral reactivation.. In contrast to the canonical model for Notch signaling, RBP-Jk is not uniformly and constitutively bound to the latent KSHV genome, but rather is recruited to DNA by interactions with K-Rta. Stimulation of RBP-Jk DNA binding requires high affinity binding of Rta to repetitive and palindromic CANT DNA repeats in promoters, and formation of ternary complexes with RBP-Jk. However, while K-Rta expression is necessary for initiating KSHV reactivation, K-Rta’s role as the switch is inefficient. Many factors modulate K-Rta’s function, suggesting that KSHV reactivation can be significantly regulated post-Rta expression and challenging the notion that herpesviral reactivation is bistable. This review analyzes rapidly evolving research on KSHV K-Rta to consider the role of K-Rta promoter specification in regulating the progression of KSHV reactivation.

  1. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

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    Takiya, Shigeharu; Tsubota, Takuya; Kimoto, Mai

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP) axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp) directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM)-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh) regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins. PMID:29615585

  2. Regulation of Silk Genes by Hox and Homeodomain Proteins in the Terminal Differentiated Silk Gland of the Silkworm Bombyx mori

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    Shigeharu Takiya

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The silk gland of the silkworm Bombyx mori is a long tubular organ that is divided into several subparts along its anteroposterior (AP axis. As a trait of terminal differentiation of the silk gland, several silk protein genes are expressed with unique regional specificities. Most of the Hox and some of the homeobox genes are also expressed in the differentiated silk gland with regional specificities. The expression patterns of Hox genes in the silk gland roughly correspond to those in embryogenesis showing “colinearity”. The central Hox class protein Antennapedia (Antp directly regulates the expression of several middle silk gland–specific silk genes, whereas the Lin-1/Isl-1/Mec3 (LIM-homeodomain transcriptional factor Arrowhead (Awh regulates the expression of posterior silk gland–specific genes for silk fiber proteins. We summarize our results and discuss the usefulness of the silk gland of Bombyx mori for analyzing the function of Hox genes. Further analyses of the regulatory mechanisms underlying the region-specific expression of silk genes will provide novel insights into the molecular bases for target-gene selection and regulation by Hox and homeodomain proteins.

  3. Transgenic Silk Moths to Produce Spider Silk

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Herrera, Rene J

    2008-01-01

    .... Other alternatives like production of the protein that yields same or similar mechanical properties of dragline silk in microorganisms or mammalian cells, in spinning fibers from concentrated protein...

  4. Biomechanics of Spider Silks

    Science.gov (United States)

    2006-03-02

    water and deformation conditions. Such fibres [Nexia ’ biosteel ’ silk ] were spun from recombinant silk ’cloned’ from Spidroin II and indeed show 67...SUBTITLE 5. FUNDING NUMBERS Biomechanics of Spider Silks F49620-03-1-0111 6. AUTHOR(S) Fritz Vollrath 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS(ES...Perform Pro, WHSIDIOR, Oct 94 COVER SHEET FINAL (3rd Year) Report to AFOSR on: BIOMECHANICS OF SPIDER SILKS Fritz Vollrath, Oxford University, England

  5. Radiation degradation of silk

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    Ishida, Kazushige; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2001-03-01

    Silk fibroin powder was prepared from irradiated silk fibroin fiber by means of only physical treatment. Silk fibroin fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam in the dose range of 250 - 1000 kGy was pulverized by using a ball mill. Unirradiated silk fibroin fiber was not pulverized at all. But the more irradiation was increased, the more the conversion efficiency from fiber to powder was increased. The conversion efficiency of silk fibroin fiber irradiated 1000 kGy in oxygen was 94%. Silk fibroin powder shows remarkable solubility, which dissolved 57% into water of ambient temperature. It is a very interesting phenomenon that silk fibroin which did not treat with chemicals gets solubility only being pulverized. In order to study mechanism of solubilization of silk fibroin powder, amino acid component of soluble part of silk fibroin powder was analyzed. The more irradiation dose up, the more glycine or alanine degraded, but degradation fraction reached bounds about 50%. Other amino acids were degraded only 20% even at the maximum. To consider crystal construction of silk fibroin, it is suggested that irradiation on silk fibroin fiber selectively degrades glycine and alanine in amorphous region, which makes it possible to pulverize and to dissolve silk fibroin powder. (author)

  6. Politics of contemporary "Silk Roads"

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrey I. Litvinov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Recently in mass media we can find the idea about a new Silk Road or the concept of "Silk Road Economic Belt" which has been formulated by the Chinese PresidentXi Jinping on September 7,2013, during his official visit to Kazakhstan. This project is not only the creation of a transport, power and trade corridor, and also the project which will promote development of tourism in the region and to strengthening of cultural exchanges of China with the countries of Central Asia, it also includes construction of a network of high-speed fiber-optical networks. The economic strip of the Silk Road will begin in China and pass across the Central and the Southern Asia, part of branches across the territory of the Russian Federation and to leave to Europe. This international investment project assumes creation of a continental transport way. For implementation of overland part of "A great Silk Road is a three railway corridors (northern, central have to be constructed and southern They have form a basis for development of other means of transport, including automobile subsequently. Construction of these three railway corridors acts as the most important and necessary stage of implementation of the project. The government of China declares that creation of an economic belt of the Silk way is a revival of once prospering trade-transport and cultural corridor from Asia to Europe which will promote activization of a friendly exchange between the people of the different countries. Further all this has to connect trade and economic space of Europe and Asia in a whole that has to serve implementation of deeper economic cooperation, between the countries participating in him, to increase in a trade turnover and expansion of scientific and technical exchanges between them.

  7. New application of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kamiishi, Youichi

    2000-01-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  8. New application of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Gunma prefecture is famous for sericulture and silk textile industry district in Japan. In Gunma prefecture, some kinds of new generation silk as high performance and high quality silk were developed. These silk are used not only for the new textile materials but also for new industrial materials. New application of silk protein, fibroin and sericin, is considered. (author)

  9. Comparative Study of Silk-Silk Alloy Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Ye; Jao, Dave; Hu, Wenbing; Wolf, Nathan; Rocks, Eva-Marie; Hu, Xiao

    Silk fibroin materials can be used for various kinds of biomedical applications. We report a comparative study of silk-silk blend materials using thermal analysis and infrared spectroscopy. Four groups of silk-silk blend films: Mori-Tussah, Mori-Muga, Mori-Eri and Mori-Thai, were fabricated from aqueous solutions and blended at different weight ratios, respectively. These silk-silk blend systems exploit the beneficial material properties of both silks. DSC and temperature-modulated DSC were used to measure the transition temperatures and heat capacity of these water-based silk-silk blend films. Fourier transform infrared spectrometer was used to characterize secondary structures of silk-silk blends. This study demonstrates that Mori silk are fully miscible with Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk at different weight ratios without phase separation. Glass transition temperatures, degradation temperatures and the contents of alpha-helix and random coils of those silk-silk blend films can be controlled by changing the contents of different silks in the blend system. The features of Mori silk combined with the attributes of Tussah, Muga, Eri and Thai silk offer a useful suite of materials for a variety of applications in the future.

  10. Curcumin-functionalized silk biomaterials for anti-aging utility.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Lei; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Qian, Cheng; Wu, Jianbing; Liu, Yawen; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Liu, Meng; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-15

    Curcumin is a natural antioxidant that is isolated from turmeric (Curcuma longa) and exhibits strong free radical scavenging activity, thus functional for anti-aging. However, poor stability and low solubility of curcumin in aqueous conditions limit its biomedical applications. Previous studies have shown that the anti-oxidation activity of curcumin embedded in silk fibroin films could be well preserved, resulting in the promoted adipogenesis from human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) cultured on the surface of the films. In the present study, curcumin was encapsulated in both silk fibroin films (silk/cur films) and nanoparticles (silk/cur NPs), and their anti-aging effects were compared with free curcumin in solution, with an aim to elucidate the mechanism of anti-aging of silk-associated curcumin and to better serve biomedical applications in the future. The morphology and structure of silk/cur film and silk/cur NP were characterized using SEM, FTIR and DSC, indicating characteristic stable beta-sheet structure formation in the materials. Strong binding of curcumin molecules to the beta-sheet domains of silk fibroin resulted in the slow release of curcumin with well-preserved activity from the materials. For cell aging studies, rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (rBMSCs) were cultured in the presence of free curcumin (FC), silk/cur film and silk/cur NP, and cell proliferation and markers of aging (P53, P16, HSP70 gene expression and β-Galactosidase activity) were examined. The results indicated that cell aging was retarded in all FC, silk/cur NP and silk/cur film samples, with the silk-associated curcumin superior to the FC. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Spider Silk as Guiding Biomaterial for Human Model Neurons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank Roloff

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Over the last years, a number of therapeutic strategies have emerged to promote axonal regeneration. An attractive strategy is the implantation of biodegradable and nonimmunogenic artificial scaffolds into injured peripheral nerves. In previous studies, transplantation of decellularized veins filled with spider silk for bridging critical size nerve defects resulted in axonal regeneration and remyelination by invading endogenous Schwann cells. Detailed interaction of elongating neurons and the spider silk as guidance material is unknown. To visualize direct cellular interactions between spider silk and neurons in vitro, we developed an in vitro crossed silk fiber array. Here, we describe in detail for the first time that human (NT2 model neurons attach to silk scaffolds. Extending neurites can bridge gaps between single silk fibers and elongate afterwards on the neighboring fiber. Culturing human neurons on the silk arrays led to an increasing migration and adhesion of neuronal cell bodies to the spider silk fibers. Within three to four weeks, clustered somata and extending neurites formed ganglion-like cell structures. Microscopic imaging of human neurons on the crossed fiber arrays in vitro will allow for a more efficient development of methods to maximize cell adhesion and neurite growth on spider silk prior to transplantation studies.

  12. Electrochemical immunoassay for the prostate specific antigen using a reduced graphene oxide functionalized with a high molecular-weight silk peptide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Yanying; Qu, Ying; Li, Chunya; Wu, Kangbing; Liu, Guishen; Hou, Xiaodong; Huang, Yina; Wu, Wangze

    2015-01-01

    High molecular-weight silk peptide (SP) was used to functionalize the surface of nanosheets of reduced graphene oxide (rGO). The SP-rGO nanocomposite was then mixed with mouse anti-human prostate specific antigen monoclonal antibody (anti-PSA) and coated onto a glassy carbon electrode to fabricate an immunosensor. By using the hexacyanoferrate redox system as electroactive probe, the immunosensor was characterized by voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The peak current, measured at the potential of 0.24 V (vs. SCE), is distinctly reduced after binding prostate specific antigen (PSA). Response (measured by differential pulse voltammetry) is linearly related to PSA concentration in the range from 0.1 to 5.0 ng · mL −1 and from 5.0 to 80.0 ng∙mL −1 , and the detection limit is 53 pg∙mL −1 (at an SNR of 3). The immunosensor was successfully applied to the determination of PSA in clinical serum samples, and the results were found to agree well with those obtained with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. (author)

  13. Differentiation of human endometrial stem cells into urothelial cells on a three-dimensional nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffold: an autologous cell resource for reconstruction of the urinary bladder wall.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoae-Hassani, Alireza; Mortazavi-Tabatabaei, Seyed Abdolreza; Sharif, Shiva; Seifalian, Alexander Marcus; Azimi, Alireza; Samadikuchaksaraei, Ali; Verdi, Javad

    2015-11-01

    Reconstruction of the bladder wall via in vitro differentiated stem cells on an appropriate scaffold could be used in such conditions as cancer and neurogenic urinary bladder. This study aimed to examine the potential of human endometrial stem cells (EnSCs) to form urinary bladder epithelial cells (urothelium) on nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds, for construction of the urinary bladder wall. After passage 4, EnSCs were induced by keratinocyte growth factor (KGF) and epidermal growth factor (EGF) and seeded on electrospun collagen-V, silk and silk-collagen nanofibres. Later we tested urothelium-specific genes and proteins (uroplakin-Ia, uroplakin-Ib, uroplakin-II, uroplakin-III and cytokeratin 20) by immunocytochemistry, RT-PCR and western blot analyses. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and histology were used to detect cell-matrix interactions. DMEM/F12 supplemented by KGF and EGF induced EnSCs to express urothelial cell-specific genes and proteins. Either collagen, silk or silk-collagen scaffolds promoted cell proliferation. The nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds provided a three-dimensional (3D) structure to maximize cell-matrix penetration and increase differentiation of the EnSCs. Human EnSCs seeded on 3D nanofibrous silk-collagen scaffolds and differentiated to urothelial cells provide a suitable source for potential use in bladder wall reconstruction in women. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  14. Water-insoluble Silk Films with Silk I Structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lu, Q.; Hu, X; Wang, X; Kluge, J; Lu, S; Cebe, P; Kaplan, D

    2010-01-01

    Water-insoluble regenerated silk materials are normally produced by increasing the {beta}-sheet content (silk II). In the present study water-insoluble silk films were prepared by controlling the very slow drying of Bombyx mori silk solutions, resulting in the formation of stable films with a predominant silk I instead of silk II structure. Wide angle X-ray scattering indicated that the silk films stabilized by slow drying were mainly composed of silk I rather than silk II, while water- and methanol-annealed silk films had a higher silk II content. The silk films prepared by slow drying had a globule-like structure at the core surrounded by nano-filaments. The core region was composed of silk I and silk II, surrounded by hydrophilic nano-filaments containing random turns and {alpha}-helix secondary structures. The insoluble silk films prepared by slow drying had unique thermal, mechanical and degradative properties. Differential scanning calorimetry results revealed that silk I crystals had stable thermal properties up to 250 C, without crystallization above the T{sub g}, but degraded at lower temperatures than silk II structure. Compared with water- and methanol-annealed films the films prepared by slow drying had better mechanical ductility and were more rapidly enzymatically degraded, reflecting the differences in secondary structure achieved via differences in post processing of the cast silk films. Importantly, the silk I structure, a key intermediate secondary structure for the formation of mechanically robust natural silk fibers, was successfully generated by the present approach of very slow drying, mimicking the natural process. The results also point to a new mode of generating new types of silk biomaterials with enhanced mechanical properties and increased degradation rates, while maintaining water insolubility, along with a low {beta}-sheet content.

  15. DNA preservation in silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yawen; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Gong, He; Liu, Meng; Guo, Shaozhe; Li, Gang; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L

    2017-06-27

    The structure of DNA is susceptible to alterations at high temperature and on changing pH, irradiation and exposure to DNase. Options to protect and preserve DNA during storage are important for applications in genetic diagnosis, identity authentication, drug development and bioresearch. In the present study, the stability of total DNA purified from human dermal fibroblast cells, as well as that of plasmid DNA, was studied in silk protein materials. The DNA/silk mixtures were stabilized on filter paper (silk/DNA + filter) or filter paper pre-coated with silk and treated with methanol (silk/DNA + PT-filter) as a route to practical utility. After air-drying and water extraction, 50-70% of the DNA and silk could be retrieved and showed a single band on electrophoretic gels. 6% silk/DNA + PT-filter samples provided improved stability in comparison with 3% silk/DNA + filter samples and DNA + filter samples for DNA preservation, with ∼40% of the band intensity remaining at 37 °C after 40 days and ∼10% after exposure to UV light for 10 hours. Quantitative analysis using the PicoGreen assay confirmed the results. The use of Tris/borate/EDTA (TBE) buffer enhanced the preservation and/or extraction of the DNA. The DNA extracted after storage maintained integrity and function based on serving as a functional template for PCR amplification of the gene for zinc finger protein 750 (ZNF750) and for transgene expression of red fluorescence protein (dsRed) in HEK293 cells. The high molecular weight and high content of a crystalline beta-sheet structure formed on the coated surfaces likely accounted for the preservation effects observed for the silk/DNA + PT-filter samples. Although similar preservation effects were also obtained for lyophilized silk/DNA samples, the rapid and simple processing available with the silk-DNA-filter membrane system makes it appealing for future applications.

  16. Study of cancer-specific chimeric promoters induced by irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xiong Jie; Zhou Yunfeng; Sun Wenjie; Wang Weifeng; Liao Zhengkai; Zhou Fuxiang; Xie Conghua

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To combine the radio-inducible CArG element with cancer-specific human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) gene promoter, and to construct the novel chimeric promoters. Methods: The synthetic hTERT promoters containing different number of radio-inducible CArG elements were constructed, and the activities of the promoters in the cancer cells (HeLa, A549, and MHCC97 cells) and nomal cells (hEL cells) were detected by using luciferase-reporter assays after the treatment of irradiation (a single or fractionated irradiation dose). Results: Synthetic promoter containing 6 repeated CArG units was better in radio-inducibility than any other promoters containing different number of CArG units, and nearly maximum levels obtained at 4-6 Gy. The very low activities of the chimeric promoters could be detected in normal hEL cells. A similar level of reporter gene expression was observed after 3 fractionated doses of 2 Gy compared with a single dose of 6 Gy in cancer cells. Conclusions: The cancer-specific chimeric promoter containing 6 CArG elements showes the best radio-response, and the chimeric promoter system has the potential in cancer gene therapy. (authors)

  17. Ultrasound-promoted coating of MOF-5 on silk fiber and study of adsorptive removal and recovery of hazardous anionic dye "congo red".

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khanjani, Somayeh; Morsali, Ali

    2014-07-01

    A metal-organic framework MOF-5 has been synthesized on silk fiber through electrostatic layer-by-layer assembly. The silk surface coating was formed via sequential dipping in an alternating bath of metal and ligand solutions at room temperature by direct mixing. SEM was used to investigate the growth of MOF-5 coating as materials for separation membrane due to their desirable properties in adsorptive removal of congo red (CR) from contaminated water. The adsorption capacity of MOF-5 is remarkable high in the liquid phase. The adsorption of CR at various concentration and contact time in spontaneous process were studied. The silk fibers containing MOF-5 open a wide field of possible applications, such as protection layers or membranes in pollution remediation wastewater and any effluent. Desorption of the dye can be carried out by using NaOH solution with more than about 50% recovery of congo red from MOF-5 coated on silk membrane filtration. In order to investigate the role of sonicating on the morphology of products, one of the reactions was performed with ultrasound irradiation and the crystal growth is completed more than other methods. The samples and adsorption of CR were characterized with SEM, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) and UV-visible spectroscopy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk scaffolds improves mammalian cell activity while reducing bacterial growth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stanley Chung

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Silk possesses many beneficial wound healing properties, and electrospun scaffolds are especially applicable for skin applications, due to their smaller interstices and higher surface areas compared to non-electrospun equivalents. However, purified silk promotes microbial growth. In contrast, selenium nanoparticles have excellent antibacterial properties and are a novel antimicrobial chemistry. Here, electrospun silk scaffolds were doped with selenium nanoparticles to impart antibacterial properties to the silk scaffolds. Results showed significantly improved bacterial inhibition and improvement in human dermal fibroblast metabolic activity. These results suggest that the addition of selenium nanoparticles to electrospun silk is a promising approach to improve wound healing with reduced infection, without relying on antibiotics.

  19. Silk-based biomaterials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altman, Gregory H; Diaz, Frank; Jakuba, Caroline; Calabro, Tara; Horan, Rebecca L; Chen, Jingsong; Lu, Helen; Richmond, John; Kaplan, David L

    2003-02-01

    Silk from the silkworm, Bombyx mori, has been used as biomedical suture material for centuries. The unique mechanical properties of these fibers provided important clinical repair options for many applications. During the past 20 years, some biocompatibility problems have been reported for silkworm silk; however, contamination from residual sericin (glue-like proteins) was the likely cause. More recent studies with well-defined silkworm silk fibers and films suggest that the core silk fibroin fibers exhibit comparable biocompatibility in vitro and in vivo with other commonly used biomaterials such as polylactic acid and collagen. Furthermore, the unique mechanical properties of the silk fibers, the diversity of side chain chemistries for 'decoration' with growth and adhesion factors, and the ability to genetically tailor the protein provide additional rationale for the exploration of this family of fibrous proteins for biomaterial applications. For example, in designing scaffolds for tissue engineering these properties are particularly relevant and recent results with bone and ligament formation in vitro support the potential role for this biomaterial in future applications. To date, studies with silks to address biomaterial and matrix scaffold needs have focused on silkworm silk. With the diversity of silk-like fibrous proteins from spiders and insects, a range of native or bioengineered variants can be expected for application to a diverse set of clinical needs.

  20. The construction of a library of synthetic promoters revealed some specific features of strong Streptomyces promoters

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Seghezzi, Nicolas; Amar, Patrick; Købmann, Brian

    2011-01-01

    Streptomyces are bacteria of industrial interest whose genome contains more than 73% of bases GC. In order to define, in these GC-rich bacteria, specific sequence features of strong promoters, a library of synthetic promoters of various sequence composition was constructed in Streptomyces. To do so...... cloned into the promoter-probe plasmid pIJ487 just upstream of the promoter-less aphII gene that confers resistance to neomycin. This synthetic promoter library was transformed into Streptomyces lividans, and the resulting transformants were screened for their ability to grow in the presence of different...... projects. Thirty-eight promoters were sequenced, and the sequences of the 14 weakest and 14 strongest promoters were compared using the WebLogo software with small sample correction. This comparison revealed that the −10 box, the −10 extended motif as well as the spacer of the strong Streptomyces promoters...

  1. 21 CFR 184.1262 - Corn silk and corn silk extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... specific limitations: Category of food Maximum level of use in food (as served) 1 Functional use Baked... chapter 10 Do. Soft candy, § 170.3(n)(38) of this chapter 20 Do. All other food categories 4 Do. 1 Parts... 21 Food and Drugs 3 2010-04-01 2009-04-01 true Corn silk and corn silk extract. 184.1262 Section...

  2. Clay-Enriched Silk Biomaterials for Bone Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mieszawska, Aneta J.; Llamas, Jabier Gallego; Vaiana, Christopher A.; Kadakia, Madhavi P.; Naik, Rajesh R.; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The formation of silk protein/clay composite biomaterials for bone tissue formation is described. Silk fibroin serves as an organic scaffolding material offering mechanical stability suitable for bone specific uses. Clay montmorillonite (Cloisite ® Na+) and sodium silicate are sources of osteoinductive silica-rich inorganic species, analogous to bioactive bioglass-like bone repair biomaterial systems. Different clay particle-silk composite biomaterial films were compared to silk films doped with sodium silicate as controls for support of human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) in osteogenic culture. The cells adhered and proliferated on the silk/clay composites over two weeks. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR analysis revealed increased transcript levels for alkaline phosphatase (ALP), bone sialoprotein (BSP), and collagen type 1 (Col I) osteogenic markers in the cells cultured on the silk/clay films in comparison to the controls. Early evidence for bone formation based on collagen deposition at the cell-biomaterial interface was also found, with more collagen observed for the silk films with higher contents of clay particles. The data suggest that the silk/clay composite systems may be useful for further study toward bone regenerative needs. PMID:21549864

  3. Tissue-type-specific transcriptome analysis identifies developing xylem-specific promoters in poplar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ko, Jae-Heung; Kim, Hyun-Tae; Hwang, Ildoo; Han, Kyung-Hwan

    2012-06-01

    Plant biotechnology offers a means to create novel phenotypes. However, commercial application of biotechnology in crop improvement programmes is severely hindered by the lack of utility promoters (or freedom to operate the existing ones) that can drive gene expression in a tissue-specific or temporally controlled manner. Woody biomass is gaining popularity as a source of fermentable sugars for liquid fuel production. To improve the quantity and quality of woody biomass, developing xylem (DX)-specific modification of the feedstock is highly desirable. To develop utility promoters that can drive transgene expression in a DX-specific manner, we used the Affymetrix Poplar Genome Arrays to obtain tissue-type-specific transcriptomes from poplar stems. Subsequent bioinformatics analysis identified 37 transcripts that are specifically or strongly expressed in DX cells of poplar. After further confirmation of their DX-specific expression using semi-quantitative PCR, we selected four genes (DX5, DX8, DX11 and DX15) for in vivo confirmation of their tissue-specific expression in transgenic poplars. The promoter regions of the selected DX genes were isolated and fused to a β-glucuronidase (GUS)-reported gene in a binary vector. This construct was used to produce transgenic poplars via Agrobacterium-mediated transformation. The GUS expression patterns of the resulting transgenic plants showed that these promoters were active in the xylem cells at early seedling growth and had strongest expression in the developing xylem cells at later growth stages of poplar. We conclude that these DX promoters can be used as a utility promoter for DX-specific biomass engineering. © 2012 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2012 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  4. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P.; Kaplan, David L.; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000 K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130–270 ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50% MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25 °C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50% MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37 °C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature Tm(II) = 351 ± 2.6 °C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at Tm(I) = 292 ± 3.8 °C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065 s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment.

  5. Silk fibroin film from golden-yellow Bombyx mori is a biocomposite that contains lutein and promotes axonal growth of primary neurons.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistone, Assunta; Sagnella, Anna; Chieco, Camilla; Bertazza, Gianpaolo; Varchi, Greta; Formaggio, Francesco; Posati, Tamara; Saracino, Emanuela; Caprini, Marco; Bonetti, Simone; Toffanin, Stefano; Di Virgilio, Nicola; Muccini, Michele; Rossi, Federica; Ruani, Giampiero; Zamboni, Roberto; Benfenati, Valentina

    2016-05-01

    The use of doped silk fibroin (SF) films and substrates from Bombyx mori cocoons for green nanotechnology and biomedical applications has been recently highlighted. Cocoons from coloured strains of B. mori, such as Golden-Yellow, contain high levels of pigments that could have a huge potential for the fabrication of SF based biomaterials targeted to photonics, optoelectronics and neuroregenerative medicine. However, the features of extracted and regenerated SF from cocoons of B. mori Golden-Yellow strain have never been reported. Here we provide a chemophysical characterization of regenerated silk fibroin (RSF) fibers, solution, and films obtained from cocoons of a Golden-Yellow strain of B. mori, by SEM, (1) H-NMR, HPLC, FT-IR, Raman and UV-Vis spectroscopy. We found that the extracted solution and films from B. mori Golden-Yellow fibroin displayed typical Raman spectroscopic and optical features of carotenoids. HPLC-analyses revealed that lutein was the carotenoid contained in the fiber and RSF biopolymer from yellow cocoons. Notably, primary neurons cultured on yellow SF displayed a threefold higher neurite length than those grown of white SF films. The results we report pave the way to expand the potential use of yellow SF in the field of neuroregenerative medicine and provide green chemistry approaches in biomedicine. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Silk Electrogel Rheology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tabatabai, A. P.; Urbach, J. S.; Blair, D. L.; Kaplan, D. L.

    2014-03-01

    We present experimental results on the rheology on electrogels derived from aqueous solutions of reconstituted Bombyx Mori silk fibroin protein. Through electrochemistry, the silk protein solution develops local pH changes resulting in the assembly of protein into a weak gel. We determine the physical properties of the electrogels by performing rheology and observe that they exhibit the characteristics of a crosslinked biopolymer network. Interestingly, we find that these silk gels exhibit linear elasticity over a range of up to two orders of magnitude larger than most crosslinked biopolymer networks. Moreover, the nonlinear rheology exhibits a strain-stiffening behavior that is fundamentally different than the strain-stiffening observed in crosslinked biopolymers. Through rheological techniques we aim to understand this distinctive material that cannot be explained by current polymeric models. This work is supported by a grant from the AFOSR FA9550-07-1-0130.

  7. Self-assembly of silk-elastinlike protein polymers into three-dimensional scaffolds for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Like

    scaffolds' biochemical input and matrix stiffness. It is reported herein that in the hybrid scaffolds, collagen provides essential biochemical cues needed to promote cell attachment and function while SELP imparts matrix stiffness tunability. To obtain tissue-specificity in matrix stiffness that spans over several orders of magnitude covering from soft brain to stiff cartilage, the hybrid SELP-Collagen scaffolds were crosslinked by transglutaminase at physiological conditions compatible for simultaneous cell encapsulation. The effect of the increase in matrix stiffness induced by such enzymatic crosslinking on cellular viability and proliferation was also evaluated using in vitro cell assays.

  8. Silk fibroin-chondroitin sulfate scaffold with immuno-inhibition property for articular cartilage repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Feifei; Zhang, Xianzhu; Cai, Dandan; Li, Jun; Mu, Qin; Zhang, Wei; Zhu, Shouan; Jiang, Yangzi; Shen, Weiliang; Zhang, Shufang; Ouyang, Hong Wei

    2017-11-01

    The demand of favorable scaffolds has increased for the emerging cartilage tissue engineering. Chondroitin sulfate (CS) and silk fibroin have been investigated and reported with safety and excellent biocompatibility as tissue engineering scaffolds. However, the rapid degradation rate of pure CS scaffolds presents a challenge to effectively recreate neo-tissue similar to natural articular cartilage. Meanwhile the silk fibroin is well used as a structural constituent material because its remarkable mechanical properties, long-lasting in vivo stability and hypoimmunity. The application of composite silk fibroin and CS scaffolds for joint cartilage repair has not been well studied. Here we report that the combination of silk fibroin and CS could synergistically promote articular cartilage defect repair. The silk fibroin (silk) and silk fibroin/CS (silk-CS) scaffolds were fabricated with salt-leaching, freeze-drying and crosslinking methodologies. The biocompatibility of the scaffolds was investigated in vitro by cell adhesion, proliferation and migration with human articular chondrocytes. We found that silk-CS scaffold maintained better chondrocyte phenotype than silk scaffold; moreover, the silk-CS scaffolds reduced chondrocyte inflammatory response that was induced by interleukin (IL)-1β, which is in consistent with the well-documented anti-inflammatory activities of CS. The in vivo cartilage repair was evaluated with a rabbit osteochondral defect model. Silk-CS scaffold induced more neo-tissue formation and better structural restoration than silk scaffold after 6 and 12weeks of implantation in ICRS histological evaluations. In conclusion, we have developed a silk fibroin/ chondroitin sulfate scaffold for cartilage tissue engineering that exhibits immuno-inhibition property and can improve the self-repair capacity of cartilage. Severe cartilage defect such as osteoarthritis (OA) is difficult to self-repair because of its avascular, aneural and alymphatic nature

  9. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang, Guangqiang; Yang, Yuhong; Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong; Chen, Xin

    2016-01-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  10. Formation of different gold nanostructures by silk nanofibrils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Guangqiang [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Yang, Yuhong [Research Centre for Analysis and Measurement, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433 (China); Yao, Jinrong; Shao, Zhengzhong [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China); Chen, Xin, E-mail: chenx@fudan.edu.cn [State Key Laboratory of Molecular Engineering of Polymers, Collaborative Innovation Center of Polymers and Polymer Composite Materials, Department of Macromolecular Science, Laboratory of Advanced Materials, Fudan University, Shanghai, 200433 (China)

    2016-07-01

    Metal nanostructures that have unique size- and shape-dependent electronic, optical and chemical properties gain more and more attention in modern science and technology. In this article, we show the possibility that we are able to obtain different gold nanostructures simply with the help of silk nanofibrils. We demonstrate that only by varying the pH of the reaction solution, we get gold nanoparticles, nano-icosahedrons, nanocubes, and even microplates. Particularly, we develop a practical method for the preparation of gold microplates in acid condition in the presence of silk nanofibrils, which is impossible by using other forms of silk protein. We attribute the role of silk nanofibrils in the formation of gold nanostructure to their reduction ability from several specific amino acid residues, and the suitable structural anisotropic features to sustain the crystal growth after the reduction process. Although the main purpose of this article is to demonstrate that silk nanofibrils are able to mediate the formation of different gold nanostructure, we show the potential applications of these resulting gold nanostructures, such as surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and photothermal transformation effect, as same as those produced by other methods. In conclusion, we present in this communication a facile and green synthesis route to prepare various gold nanostructures with silk nanofibrils by simply varying pH in the reaction system, which has remarkable advantages in future biomedical applications. - Highlights: • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained by a facile and green protein reduction method. • Silk nanofibrils serve as both reductant and template in the formation of Au nanostructures. • Different Au nanostructures can be obtained simply by regulating the pH in the medium. • Large Au microplates can be obtained with a cheap, abundant, sustainable silk protein. • Silk/Au hybrid nanocomposites show potential application in SERS and

  11. Surface modification of vascular endothelial growth factor-loaded silk fibroin to improve biological performance of ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene via promoting angiogenesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ai C

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Chengchong Ai, Dandan Sheng, Jun Chen, Jiangyu Cai, Siheng Wang, Jia Jiang, Shiyi Chen Department of Sports Medicine, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE has been applied in orthopedics, as the materials of joint prosthesis, artificial ligaments, and sutures due to its advantages such as high tensile strength, good wear resistance, and chemical stability. However, postoperative osteolysis induced by UHMWPE wear particles and poor bone–implant healing interface due to scarcity of osseointegration is a significant problem and should be solved imperatively. In order to enhance its affinity to bone tissue, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF was loaded on the surface of materials, the loading was performed by silk fibroin (SF coating to achieve a controlled-release delivery. Several techniques including field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM and attenuated total reflectance (ATR-Fourier transform infrared (FTIR and water contact angle measurement were used to validate the effectiveness of introduction of SF/VEGF. The result of ELISA demonstrated that the release of VEGF was well maintained up to 4 weeks. The modified UHMWPE was evaluated by both in vitro and in vivo experiments. According to the results of FESEM and cell counting kit-8 (CCK-8 assay, bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells cultured on the UHMWPE coated with SF/VEGF and SF exhibited a better proliferation performance than that of the pristine UHMWPE. The model rabbit of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction was used to observe the graft–bone healing process in vivo. The results of histological evaluation, microcomputed tomography (micro-CT analysis, and biomechanical tests performed at 6 and 12 weeks after surgery demonstrated that graft–bone healing could be significantly improved due to the effect of VEGF on angiogenesis, which was loaded on the surface by SF

  12. Wnt inhibition promotes vascular specification of embryonic cardiac progenitors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reichman, David E; Park, Laura; Man, Limor; Redmond, David; Chao, Kenny; Harvey, Richard P; Taketo, Makoto M; Rosenwaks, Zev; James, Daylon

    2018-01-08

    Several studies have demonstrated a multiphasic role for Wnt signaling during embryonic cardiogenesis and developed protocols that enrich for cardiac derivatives during in vitro differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). However, few studies have investigated the role of Wnt signaling in the specification of cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) toward downstream fates. Using transgenic mice and hPSCs, we tracked endothelial cells (ECs) that originated from CPCs expressing NKX2.5. Analysis of EC-fated CPCs at discrete phenotypic milestones during hPSC differentiation identified reduced Wnt activity as a hallmark of EC specification, and the enforced activation or inhibition of Wnt reduced or increased, respectively, the degree of vascular commitment within the CPC population during both hPSC differentiation and mouse embryogenesis. Wnt5a, which has been shown to exert an inhibitory influence on Wnt signaling during cardiac development, was dynamically expressed during vascular commitment of hPSC-derived CPCs, and ectopic Wnt5a promoted vascular specification of hPSC-derived and mouse embryonic CPCs. © 2018. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  13. Oxidative stress specifically downregulates survivin to promote breast tumour formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pervin, S; Tran, L; Urman, R; Braga, M; Parveen, M; Li, S A; Chaudhuri, G; Singh, R

    2013-03-05

    Breast cancer, a heterogeneous disease has been broadly classified into oestrogen receptor positive (ER+) or oestrogen receptor negative (ER-) tumour types. Each of these tumours is dependent on specific signalling pathways for their progression. While high levels of survivin, an anti-apoptotic protein, increases aggressive behaviour in ER- breast tumours, oxidative stress (OS) promotes the progression of ER+ breast tumours. Mechanisms and molecular targets by which OS promotes tumourigenesis remain poorly understood. DETA-NONOate, a nitric oxide (NO)-donor induces OS in breast cancer cell lines by early re-localisation and downregulation of cellular survivin. Using in vivo models of HMLE(HRAS) xenografts and E2-induced breast tumours in ACI rats, we demonstrate that high OS downregulates survivin during initiation of tumourigenesis. Overexpression of survivin in HMLE(HRAS) cells led to a significant delay in tumour initiation and tumour volume in nude mice. This inverse relationship between survivin and OS was also observed in ER+ human breast tumours. We also demonstrate an upregulation of NADPH oxidase-1 (NOX1) and its activating protein p67, which are novel markers of OS in E2-induced tumours in ACI rats and as well as in ER+ human breast tumours. Our data, therefore, suggest that downregulation of survivin could be an important early event by which OS initiates breast tumour formation.

  14. Specific expression of bioluminescence reporter gene in cardiomyocyte regulated by tissue specific promoter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nguyen, Vu Hong; Tae, Seong Ho; Le, Nguyen Uyen Chi; Min, Jung Joon [Chonnam National University Medical School, Gwangju (Korea, Republic of)

    2007-07-01

    As the human heart is not capable of regenerating the great numbers of cardiac cells that are lost after myocardial infarction, impaired cardiac function is the inevitable result of ischemic disease. Recently, human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have gained popularity as a potentially ideal cell candidate for tissue regeneration. In particular, hESCs are capable of cardiac lineage-specific differentiation and confer improvement of cardiac function following transplantation into animal models. Although such data are encouraging, the specific strategy for in vivo and non-invasive detection of differentiated cardiac lineage is still limited. Therefore, in the present study, we established the gene construction in which the optical reporter gene Firefly luciferase was controlled by Myosin Heavy Chain promoter for specific expressing in heart cells. The vector consisting of - MHC promoter and a firefly luciferase coding sequence flanked by full-length bovine growth hormone (BGH) 3'-polyadenylation sequence based on pcDNA3.1- vector backbone. To test the specific transcription of this promoter in g of MHC-Fluc or CMV-Flue (for control) plasmid DNA in myocardial tissue, 20 phosphate-buffered saline was directly injected into mouse myocardium through a midline sternotomy and liver. After 1 week of injection, MHC-Fluc expression was detected from heart region which was observed under cooled CCD camera of in vivo imaging system but not from liver. In control group injected with CMV-Flue, the bioluminescence was detected from all these organs. The expression of Flue under control of Myosin Heavy Chain promoter may become a suitable optical reporter gene for stem cell-derived cardiac lineage differentiation study.

  15. The Potential of Silk and Silk-Like Proteins as Natural Mucoadhesive Biopolymers for Controlled Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Amanda E

    2015-01-01

    Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1) deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2) promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3) prolong the drug's local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  16. The potential of silk and silk-like proteins as natural mucoadhesive biopolymers for controlled drug delivery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda E Brooks

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Drug delivery across mucus membranes is a particularly effective route of administration due to the large surface area. However, the unique environment present at the mucosa necessitates altered drug formulations designed to (1 deliver sensitive biologic molecules, (2 promote intimate contact between the mucosa and the drug, and (3 prolong the drug’s local residence time. Thus, the pharmaceutical industry has an interest in drug delivery systems formulated around the use of mucoadhesive polymers. Mucoadhesive polymers, both synthetic and biological, have a history of use in local drug delivery. Prominently featured in the literature are chitosan, alginate, and cellulose derivatives. More recently, silk and silk-like derivatives have been explored for their potential as mucoadhesive polymers. Both silkworms and spiders produce sticky silk-like glue substances, sericin and aggregate silk respectively, that may prove an effective, natural matrix for drug delivery to the mucosa. This mini review will explore the potential of silk and silk-like derivatives as a biocompatible mucoadhesive polymer matrix for local controlled drug delivery.

  17. Radiation processing of silk protein (Bilateral research cooperation OAEP and JAERI. December 1998 - December 2002)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    Thailand's production of silk, about 1,200 ton per year, also gives about 10% of silk waste which is expected to be recycled into new material (non-textile application) and to avoid environmental pollution. For this purpose, cooperative program 'radiation processing of silk protein' was conducted between OAEP (Thailand) and JAERI. Among the results already obtained are: radiation degradation of silk protein (fibroin) with gamma rays at 160 kGy, production of fine silk milled powder (<90 microns) by electron beam irradiation at 250-1000 kGy (dry method) using electron accelerator (1 MeV, 1 mA), use of antioxidant effect of silk protein on lipid peroxidation and antibacterial activity of irradiated silk protein powder, and wound dressing hydrogel mixed with silk protein and use of antibacterial activity of cross-linked silk protein/PVA hydrogel. Other topics of interest are gamma irradiation of anionic natural polymer solution for use as latex protein scavenger and gamma radiation degradation of chitosan for use as plant growth promoter and fungicide. (S. Ohno)

  18. Structural Origins of Silk Piezoelectricity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yucel, Tuna; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L

    2011-02-22

    Uniaxially oriented, piezoelectric silk films were prepared by a two-step method that involved: (1) air drying aqueous, regenerated silk fibroin solutions into films, and (2) drawing the silk films to a desired draw ratio. The utility of two different drawing techniques, zone drawing and water immersion drawing were investigated for processing the silk for piezoelectric studies. Silk films zone drawn to a ratio of λ= 2.7 displayed relatively high dynamic shear piezoelectric coefficients of d(14) = -1.5 pC/N, corresponding to over two orders of magnitude increase in d(14) due to film drawing. A strong correlation was observed between the increase in the silk II, β-sheet content with increasing draw ratio measured by FTIR spectroscopy (C(β)∝ e(2.5) (λ)), the concomitant increasing degree of orientation of β-sheet crystals detected via WAXD (FWHM = 0.22° for λ= 2.7), and the improvement in silk piezoelectricity (d(14)∝ e(2.4) (λ)). Water immersion drawing led to a predominantly silk I structure with a low degree of orientation (FWHM = 75°) and a much weaker piezoelectric response compared to zone drawing. Similarly, increasing the β-sheet crystallinity without inducing crystal alignment, e.g. by methanol treatment, did not result in a significant enhancement of silk piezoelectricity. Overall, a combination of a high degree of silk II, β-sheet crystallinity and crystalline orientation are prerequisites for a strong piezoelectric effect in silk. Further understanding of the structural origins of silk piezoelectricity will provide important options for future biotechnological and biomedical applications of this protein.

  19. Silk I and Silk II studied by fast scanning calorimetry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebe, Peggy; Partlow, Benjamin P; Kaplan, David L; Wurm, Andreas; Zhuravlev, Evgeny; Schick, Christoph

    2017-06-01

    Using fast scanning calorimetry (FSC), we investigated the glass transition and crystal melting of samples of B. mori silk fibroin containing Silk I and/or Silk II crystals. Due to the very short residence times at high temperatures during such measurements, thermal decomposition of silk protein can be significantly suppressed. FSC was performed at 2000K/s using the Mettler Flash DSC1 on fibroin films with masses around 130-270ng. Films were prepared with different crystalline fractions (ranging from 0.26 to 0.50) and with different crystal structures (Silk I, Silk II, or mixed) by varying the processing conditions. These included water annealing at different temperatures, exposure to 50%MeOH in water, or autoclaving. The resulting crystal structure was examined using wide angle X-ray scattering. Degree of crystallinity was evaluated from Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and from analysis of the heat capacity increment at the glass transition temperature. Silk fibroin films prepared by water annealing at 25°C were the least crystalline and had Silk I structure. FTIR and FSC studies showed that films prepared by autoclaving or 50%MeOH exposure were the most crystalline and had Silk II structure. Intermediate crystalline fraction and mixed Silk I/Silk II structures were found in films prepared by water annealing at 37°C. FSC results indicate that Silk II crystals exhibit endotherms of narrower width and have higher mean melting temperature T m (II)=351±2.6°C, compared to Silk I crystals which melt at T m (I)=292±3.8°C. Films containing mixed Silk I/Silk II structure showed two clearly separated endothermic peaks. Evidence suggests that the two types of crystals melt separately and do not thermally interconvert on the extremely short time scale (0.065s between onset and end of melting) of the FSC experiment. Silkworm silk is a naturally occurring biomaterial. The fibroin component of silk forms two types of crystals. Silk properties depend upon the

  20. Silk Film Embossing System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paquette, Mark S.

    New tools are often required to facilitate new discoveries and test new methods. Commercial offerings can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to customize. The development of ad-hoc tools provides the most flexibility and provides an opportunity to modify and refine a technology. An embossing system was developed for silk film imprinting and stamping in order to facilitate and add versatility to the efforts involving micro- and nanoscale device manufacturing in biopolymers. This system features temperature controlled embossing surfaces, adjustable embossing pressures, and variable embossing times. The device can also be fitted with interchangeable temperature controlled embossing and stamping tools. The design, development, fabrication, applications, and future improvements are explored for the system. This device may facilitate new discoveries in the realm of biopolymer micro- and nanomanufacturing and may provide a path towards high volume production of silk film based technologies.

  1. Silk scaffolds in bone tissue engineering: An overview.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Promita; Kundu, Banani; Naskar, Deboki; Kim, Hae-Won; Maiti, Tapas K; Bhattacharya, Debasis; Kundu, Subhas C

    2017-11-01

    Bone tissue plays multiple roles in our day-to-day functionality. The frequency of accidental bone damage and disorder is increasing worldwide. Moreover, as the world population continues to grow, the percentage of the elderly population continues to grow, which results in an increased number of bone degenerative diseases. This increased elderly population pushes the need for artificial bone implants that specifically employ biocompatible materials. A vast body of literature is available on the use of silk in bone tissue engineering. The current work presents an overview of this literature from materials and fabrication perspective. As silk is an easy-to-process biopolymer; this allows silk-based biomaterials to be molded into diverse forms and architectures, which further affects the degradability. This makes silk-based scaffolds suitable for treating a variety of bone reconstruction and regeneration objectives. Silk surfaces offer active sites that aid the mineralization and/or bonding of bioactive molecules that facilitate bone regeneration. Silk has also been blended with a variety of polymers and minerals to enhance its advantageous properties or introduce new ones. Several successful works, both in vitro and in vivo, have been reported using silk-based scaffolds to regenerate bone tissues or other parts of the skeletal system such as cartilage and ligament. A growing trend is observed toward the use of mineralized and nanofibrous scaffolds along with the development of technology that allows to control scaffold architecture, its biodegradability and the sustained releasing property of scaffolds. Further development of silk-based scaffolds for bone tissue engineering, taking them up to and beyond the stage of human trials, is hoped to be achieved in the near future through a cross-disciplinary coalition of tissue engineers, material scientists and manufacturing engineers. The state-of-art of silk biomaterials in bone tissue engineering, covering their wide

  2. Applicability of biotechnologically produced insect silks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herold, Heike M; Scheibel, Thomas

    2017-09-26

    Silks are structural proteins produced by arthropods. Besides the well-known cocoon silk, which is produced by larvae of the silk moth Bombyx mori to undergo metamorphosis inside their silken shelter (and which is also used for textile production by men since millennia), numerous further less known silk-producing animals exist. The ability to produce silk evolved multiple independent times during evolution, and the fact that silk was subject to convergent evolution gave rise to an abundant natural diversity of silk proteins. Silks are used in air, under water, or like honey bee silk in the hydrophobic, waxen environment of the bee hive. The good mechanical properties of insect silk fibres together with their non-toxic, biocompatible, and biodegradable nature renders these materials appealing for both technical and biomedical applications. Although nature provides a great diversity of material properties, the variation in quality inherent in materials from natural sources together with low availability (except from silkworm silk) impeded the development of applications of silks. To overcome these two drawbacks, in recent years, recombinant silks gained more and more interest, as the biotechnological production of silk proteins allows for a scalable production at constant quality. This review summarises recent developments in recombinant silk production as well as technical procedures to process recombinant silk proteins into fibres, films, and hydrogels.

  3. Nanoparticulate anatase TiO2 (TiO2 NPs) upregulates the expression of silkworm (Bombyx mori) neuropeptide receptor and promotes silkworm feeding, growth, and silking.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ni, Min; Zhang, Hua; Li, Fan Chi; Wang, Bin Bin; Xu, Kai Zun; Shen, Wei De; Li, Bing

    2015-06-01

    Bombyx mori orphan G protein-coupled receptor, BNGR-A4, is the specific receptor of B. mori neuropeptide F (BmNPFR, neuropeptide F designated NPF). BmNPFR binds specifically and efficiently to B. mori neuropeptides BmNPF1a and BmNPF1b, which activates the ERK1/2 signaling pathway to regulate B. mori food intake and growth. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles (TiO2 NPs) can promote B. mori growth. However, whether the mechanisms of TiO2 NPs' effects are correlated with BmNPFR remains unknown. In this study, the effects of TiO2 NPs (5mg/L) feeding and BmNPFR-dsRNA injection on B. mori food intake and growth were investigated; after TiO2 NPs treatments, B. mori food intake, body weight, and cocoon shell weight were 5.82%, 4.64%, and 9.30% higher, respectively, than those of controls. The food intake, body weight, and cocoon shell weight of the BmNPFR-dsRNA injection group were reduced by 8.05%, 6.28%, and 6.98%, respectively, compared to the control. After TiO2 NPs treatment for 72h, the transcriptional levels of BmNPFR, BmNPF1a, and BmNPF1b in the midgut were 1.58, 1.43, and 1.34-folds, respectively, of those of the control, but 1.99, 2.26, and 2.19-folds, respectively, of the BmNPFR-dsRNA injection group; the phosphorylation level of MAPK was 24.03% higher than the control, while the phosphorylation level of BmNPFR-dsRNA injection group was 71.00% of control. The results indicated that TiO2 NPs affect B. mori feeding and growth through increasing the expression of BmNPFR. This study helps clarify the roles of BmNPF/BmNPFR system in TiO2 NPs' effects on B. mori feeding, growth, and development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. The Political Economics of the New Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sárvári Balázs

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available What has now been coined the term XXI Century Silk Road had evolved from a speech given by Chinese premier Xi Jinping in Kazakhstan in 2013. It was initially a plan aimed at promoting the bilateral relations of China and its neighbors; however, the initiative had since then traversed the region’s borders and become a global project.

  5. Biomaterials Derived from Silk-Tropoelastin Protein Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao; Wang, Xiuli; Rnjak, Jelena; Weiss, Anthony S.; Kaplan, David L.

    2010-01-01

    A structural protein blend system based on silkworm silk fibroin and recombinant human tropoelastin is described. Silk fibroin, a semicrystalline fibrous protein with beta-sheet crystals provides mechanical strength and controllable biodegradation, while tropoelastin, a noncrystallizable elastic protein provides elasticity. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and temperature modulated DSC (TMDSC) indicated that silk becomes miscible with tropoelastin at different blend ratios, without macrophase separation. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) revealed secondary structural changes of the blend system (beta-sheet content) before and after methanol treatment. Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) nano-indentation demonstrated that blending silk and tropoelastin at different ratios resulted in modification of mechanical features, with resilience from ~68% to ~97%, and elastic modulus between 2~9Mpa, depending on the ratio of the two polymers. Some of these values are close to those of native aortic elastin or elastin-like polypeptides. Significantly, during blending and drying silk-tropoelastin form micro- and nano-scale porous morphologies which promote human mesenchymal stem cell attachment and proliferation. These blends offer a new protein biomaterial system for cell support and tailored biomaterial properties to match mechanical needs. PMID:20674969

  6. Invited review nonmulberry silk biopolymers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kundu, S C; Kundu, Banani; Talukdar, Sarmistha; Bano, Subia; Nayak, Sunita; Kundu, Joydip; Mandal, Biman B; Bhardwaj, Nandana; Botlagunta, Mahendran; Dash, Biraja C; Acharya, Chitrangada; Ghosh, Ananta K

    2012-06-01

    The silk produced by silkworms are biopolymers and can be classified into two types--mulberry and nonmulberry. Mulberry silk of silkworm Bombyx mori has been extensively explored and used for century old textiles and sutures. But for the last few decades it is being extensively exploited for biomedical applications. However, the transformation of nonmulberry silk from being a textile commodity to biomaterials is relatively new. Within a very short period of time, the combination of load bearing capability and tensile strength of nonmulberry silk has been equally envisioned for bone, cartilage, adipose, and other tissue regeneration. Adding to its advantage is its diverse morphology, including macro to nano architectures with controllable degradation and biocompatibility yields novel natural material systems in vitro. Its follow on applications involve sustained release of model compounds and anticancer drugs. Its 3D cancer models provide compatible microenvironment systems for better understanding of the cancer progression mechanism and screening of anticancer compounds. Diversely designed nonmulberry matrices thus provide an array of new cutting age technologies, which is unattainable with the current synthetic materials that lack biodegradability and biocompatibility. Scientific exploration of nonmulberry silk in tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, and biotechnological applications promises advancement of sericulture industries in India and China, largest nonmulberry silk producers of the world. This review discusses the prospective biomedical applications of nonmulberry silk proteins as natural biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Molecular mechanics of silk nanostructures under varied mechanical loading.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bratzel, Graham; Buehler, Markus J

    2012-06-01

    Spider dragline silk is a self-assembling tunable protein composite fiber that rivals many engineering fibers in tensile strength, extensibility, and toughness, making it one of the most versatile biocompatible materials and most inviting for synthetic mimicry. While experimental studies have shown that the peptide sequence and molecular structure of silk have a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness, and failure strength of silk, few molecular-level analyses of the nanostructure of silk assemblies, in particular, under variations of genetic sequences have been reported. In this study, atomistic-level structures of wildtype as well as modified MaSp1 protein from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequences, obtained using an in silico approach based on replica exchange molecular dynamics and explicit water molecular dynamics, are subjected to simulated nanomechanical testing using different force-control loading conditions including stretch, pull-out, and peel. The authors have explored the effects of the poly-alanine length of the N. clavipes MaSp1 peptide sequence and identify differences in nanomechanical loading conditions on the behavior of a unit cell of 15 strands with 840-990 total residues used to represent a cross-linking β-sheet crystal node in the network within a fibril of the dragline silk thread. The specific loading condition used, representing concepts derived from the protein network connectivity at larger scales, have a significant effect on the mechanical behavior. Our analysis incorporates stretching, pull-out, and peel testing to connect biochemical features to mechanical behavior. The method used in this study could find broad applications in de novo design of silk-like tunable materials for an array of applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Correlation between fibroin amino acid sequence and physical silk properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fedic, Robert; Zurovec, Michal; Sehnal, Frantisek

    2003-09-12

    The fiber properties of lepidopteran silk depend on the amino acid repeats that interact during H-fibroin polymerization. The aim of our research was to relate repeat composition to insect biology and fiber strength. Representative regions of the H-fibroin genes were sequenced and analyzed in three pyralid species: wax moth (Galleria mellonella), European flour moth (Ephestia kuehniella), and Indian meal moth (Plodia interpunctella). The amino acid repeats are species-specific, evidently a diversification of an ancestral region of 43 residues, and include three types of regularly dispersed motifs: modifications of GSSAASAA sequence, stretches of tripeptides GXZ where X and Z represent bulky residues, and sequences similar to PVIVIEE. No concatenations of GX dipeptide or alanine, which are typical for Bombyx silkworms and Antheraea silk moths, respectively, were found. Despite different repeat structure, the silks of G. mellonella and E. kuehniella exhibit similar tensile strength as the Bombyx and Antheraea silks. We suggest that in these latter two species, variations in the repeat length obstruct repeat alignment, but sufficiently long stretches of iterated residues get superposed to interact. In the pyralid H-fibroins, interactions of the widely separated and diverse motifs depend on the precision of repeat matching; silk is strong in G. mellonella and E. kuehniella, with 2-3 types of long homogeneous repeats, and nearly 10 times weaker in P. interpunctella, with seven types of shorter erratic repeats. The high proportion of large amino acids in the H-fibroin of pyralids has probably evolved in connection with the spinning habit of caterpillars that live in protective silk tubes and spin continuously, enlarging the tubes on one end and partly devouring the other one. The silk serves as a depot of energetically rich and essential amino acids that may be scarce in the diet.

  9. Highly specific expression of luciferase gene in lungs of naive nude mice directed by prostate-specific antigen promoter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Hongwei; Li Jinzhong; Helm, Gregory A.; Pan Dongfeng

    2005-01-01

    PSA promoter has been demonstrated the utility for tissue-specific toxic gene therapy in prostate cancer models. Characterization of foreign gene overexpression in normal animals elicited by PSA promoter should help evaluate therapy safety. Here we constructed an adenovirus vector (AdPSA-Luc), containing firefly luciferase gene under the control of the 5837 bp long prostate-specific antigen promoter. A charge coupled device video camera was used to non-invasively image expression of firefly luciferase in nude mice on days 3, 7, 11 after injection of 2 x 10 9 PFU of AdPSA-Luc virus via tail vein. The result showed highly specific expression of the luciferase gene in lungs of mice from day 7. The finding indicates the potential limitations of the suicide gene therapy of prostate cancer based on selectivity of PSA promoter. By contrary, it has encouraging implications for further development of vectors via PSA promoter to enable gene therapy for pulmonary diseases

  10. Morus planting and silk production in Oxus civilization (2000 BC), Transoxiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, X.; Li, X.; Wang, J.

    2017-12-01

    Silk is the most important luxury in ancient trade, which promoted communications between east and west civilizations that facilitated the development of them. Currently, probably more than 99% of the silk in commerce in the world today comes from a single species called the silkworm or mulberry silk moth, Bombyx mori (L.), of the family Bombycidae. At present, a list of occurrences of unearthed early silk thread, textile and terracotta figures of China suggests that wild silk has been widely used for weave in Yangtze river and Yellow River basin at least 5000 cal yr BP. On the other hand, the earliest silk fabric out China is from the earliest civilization Harappa site (4500-4000 cal a BP) that confirmed the early use of wild silkworms in South Asia.. In addition, in the Egyptian Deir al Medina relics site, the unearthed silk also as old as nearly 3000 cal a BP, and a serials of pre-han silk also unearthed 3000-2500 cal a BP in Europe. But, the appearance of these out-China silk is usually considered to be the result of the early trade or wild silkmoth products. Here we present a synthesis study of chronology, entomology, protein group, the paleoethnobotany form three Bronze Age site (Sapalli, Jarzgudan, Molleli) concerning on the paleo environment, agriculture gardening, and the possible mulberry silkworm utilization in Bronze Age Tensoxiana 4000 cal a BP. Together with archaeobotany and chronology data from Xinjiang, Hexi corridor and the Loess Plateau in China, we analysis the status of the mulberry silk factory in Bronze Age in Transoxiana and it possible connection to ancient China.

  11. Positional bias of general and tissue-specific regulatory motifs in mouse gene promoters

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Farré Domènec

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The arrangement of regulatory motifs in gene promoters, or promoter architecture, is the result of mutation and selection processes that have operated over many millions of years. In mammals, tissue-specific transcriptional regulation is related to the presence of specific protein-interacting DNA motifs in gene promoters. However, little is known about the relative location and spacing of these motifs. To fill this gap, we have performed a systematic search for motifs that show significant bias at specific promoter locations in a large collection of housekeeping and tissue-specific genes. Results We observe that promoters driving housekeeping gene expression are enriched in particular motifs with strong positional bias, such as YY1, which are of little relevance in promoters driving tissue-specific expression. We also identify a large number of motifs that show positional bias in genes expressed in a highly tissue-specific manner. They include well-known tissue-specific motifs, such as HNF1 and HNF4 motifs in liver, kidney and small intestine, or RFX motifs in testis, as well as many potentially novel regulatory motifs. Based on this analysis, we provide predictions for 559 tissue-specific motifs in mouse gene promoters. Conclusion The study shows that motif positional bias is an important feature of mammalian proximal promoters and that it affects both general and tissue-specific motifs. Motif positional constraints define very distinct promoter architectures depending on breadth of expression and type of tissue.

  12. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Radtke

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropods including spiders, caterpillars and mites. The silk fibers are secreted by the labial gland of the larvae of some orders of Holometabola (insects with pupa or the spinnerets of spiders. The majority of studies using silks for biomedical applications use materials from silkworms or spiders, mostly of the genus Nephila clavipes. Silk is one of the most promising biomaterials with effects not only in nerve regeneration, but in a number of regenerative applications. The development of silks for human biomedical applications is of high scientific and clinical interest. Biomaterials in use for biomedical applications have to meet a number of requirements such as biocompatibility and elicitation of no more than a minor inflammatory response, biodegradability in a reasonable time and specific structural properties. Here we present the current status in the field of silk-based conduit development for nerve repair and discuss current advances with regard to potential clinical transfer of an implantable nerve conduit for enhancement of nerve regeneration.

  13. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P. [Department of Physical Sciences, IISER Mohali, Sector 81, Manauli, Mohali 140306 (India)

    2013-11-11

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10{sup 2−3} rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices.

  14. Optically probing torsional superelasticity in spider silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kumar, Bhupesh; Thakur, Ashish; Panda, Biswajit; Singh, Kamal P.

    2013-01-01

    We investigate torsion mechanics of various spider silks using a sensitive optical technique. We find that spider silks are torsionally superelastic in that they can reversibly withstand great torsion strains of over 10 2−3 rotations per cm before failure. Among various silks from a spider, we find the failure twist-strain is greatest in the sticky capture silk followed by dragline and egg-case silk. Our in situ laser-diffraction measurements reveal that torsional strains on the silks induce a nano-scale transverse compression in its diameter that is linear and reversible. These unique torsional properties of the silks could find applications in silk-based materials and devices

  15. Corn silk induced cyclooxygenase-2 in murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung A; Shin, Hyun-Hee; Choi, Sang Kyu; Choi, Hye-Seon

    2005-10-01

    Stimulation of murine macrophages with corn silk induced cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 with secretion of PGE2. Expression of COX-2 was inhibited by pyrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC), and increased DNA binding by nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB), indicating that COX-2 induction proceeds also via the NF-kappaB signaling pathway. A specific inhibitor of COX-2 decreased the expression level of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) stimulated by corn silk. PGE2 elevated the expression level of iNOS, probably via EP2 and EP4 receptors on the surface of the macrophages.

  16. Influence of spider silk on refugia preferences of the recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa and Loxosceles laeta (Araneae: Sicariidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, Richard S; Rust, Michael K

    2010-06-01

    In a previous experimental study, recluse spiders Loxosceles reclusa Gertsch and Mulaik and Loxosceles laeta (Nicolet) (Araneae: Sicariidae) preferred small cardboard refugia covered with conspecific silk compared with never-occupied refugia. Herein, we investigated some factors that might be responsible for this preference using similar cardboard refugia. When the two Loxosceles species were given choices between refugia previously occupied by their own and by the congeneric species, neither showed a species-specific preference; however, each chose refugia coated with conspecific silk rather than those previously inhabited by a distantly related cribellate spider, Metaltella simoni (Keyserling). When L. laeta spiders were offered refugia that were freshly removed from silk donors compared with heated, aged refugia from the same silk donor, older refugia were preferred. Solvent extracts of L. laeta silk were chosen approximately as often as control refugia when a range of solvents (methylene chloride:methanol, water, and hexane) were used. However, when acetone was used on similar silk, there was a statistical preference for the control, indicating that there might be a mildly repellent aspect to acetone-washed silk. Considering the inability to show attraction to chemical aspects of fresh silk, it seems that physical attributes may be more important for selection and that there might be repellency to silk of a recently vacated spider. These findings are discussed in regard to pest management strategies to control recluse spiders.

  17. Nutrient Deprivation Induces Property Variations in Spider Gluey Silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali; Blackledge, Todd A.; Tso, I-Min

    2014-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms facilitating property variability in biological adhesives may promote biomimetic innovations. Spider gluey silks such as the spiral threads in orb webs and the gumfoot threads in cobwebs, both of which comprise of an axial thread coated by glue, are biological adhesives that have variable physical and chemical properties. Studies show that the physical and chemical properties of orb web gluey threads change when spiders are deprived of food. It is, however, unknown whether gumfoot threads undergo similar property variations when under nutritional stress. Here we tested whether protein deprivation induces similar variations in spiral and gumfoot thread morphology and stickiness. We manipulated protein intake for the orb web spider Nephila clavipes and the cobweb spider Latrodectus hesperus and measured the diameter, glue droplet volume, number of droplets per mm, axial thread width, thread stickiness and adhesive energy of their gluey silks. We found that the gluey silks of both species were stickier when the spiders were deprived of protein than when the spiders were fed protein. In N. clavipes a concomitant increase in glue droplet volume was found. Load-extension curves showed that protein deprivation induced glue property variations independent of the axial thread extensions in both species. We predicted that changes in salt composition of the glues were primarily responsible for the changes in stickiness of the silks, although changes in axial thread properties might also contribute. We, additionally, showed that N. clavipes' glue changes color under protein deprivation, probably as a consequence of changes to its biochemical composition. PMID:24523902

  18. Recombinant DNA production of spider silk proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Michalczechen-Lacerda, Valquíria A; Rech, Elíbio L; Kaplan, David L

    2013-11-01

    Spider dragline silk is considered to be the toughest biopolymer on Earth due to an extraordinary combination of strength and elasticity. Moreover, silks are biocompatible and biodegradable protein-based materials. Recent advances in genetic engineering make it possible to produce recombinant silks in heterologous hosts, opening up opportunities for large-scale production of recombinant silks for various biomedical and material science applications. We review the current strategies to produce recombinant spider silks. © 2013 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  19. China and megaregional integration: the New Maritime Silk Road in Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel de Jesús Rocha Pino

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available This article examines the China’s Belt and Road (B&R trade and investment initiative. The B&R concept is formed of two projects: the Silk Road Economic Belt and the New Maritime Silk Road. This study focusses, specifically, on the range of implementation of the New Maritime Silk Road in Africa. For this, two variables are analysed that could be decisive in this process: the current regionalism trend of establishing megaregional free trade agreements and the agenda for domestic economic reform in China.

  20. Curcumin-functionalized silk materials for enhancing adipogenic differentiation of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunmei; Luo, Tingting; Zheng, Zhaozhu; Murphy, Amanda R.; Wang, Xiaoqin; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    Curcumin, a natural phenolic compound derived from the plant Curcuma longa, was physically entrapped and stabilized in silk hydrogel films and its influence on human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) was assessed related to adipogenic differentiation. The presence of curcumin significantly reduced silk gelation time and changed the porous morphology of gel matrix, but did not change the formation of silk beta-sheet structure. Based on spectrofluorimetric analysis, curcumin likely interacted with hydrophobic residues in silk, interacting with the beta-sheet domains formed in the hydrogels. The antioxidant activity of silk film-associated curcumin remained functional over at least one month in both the dry and hydrated state. Negligible curcumin was released from silk hydrogel films over 48 hours incubation in aqueous solution. For hBMSCs cultured on silk films containing more than 0.25 mg/mL curcumin, cell proliferation was inhibited while adipogenesis was significantly promoted based on transcripts as well as oil red O staining. When hBMSCs were cultured in media containing free curcumin, both proliferation and adipogenesis of hBMSCs were inhibited when curcumin concentrations exceeded 5 μM, which is more than 1,000-times higher than the level of curcumin released from the films in aqueous solution. Thus, silk film-associated curcumin exhibited different effects on hBMSC proliferation and differentiation when compared to curcumin in solution. PMID:25132274

  1. Silk fibroin as biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melke, Johanna; Midha, Swati; Ghosh, Sourabh; Ito, Keita; Hofmann, Sandra

    2016-02-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a fibrous protein which is produced mainly by silkworms and spiders. Its unique mechanical properties, tunable biodegradation rate and the ability to support the differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells along the osteogenic lineage, have made SF a favorable scaffold material for bone tissue engineering. SF can be processed into various scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified, which provides an impressive toolbox and allows SF scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing SF, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Silk fibroin is a natural biomaterial with remarkable biomedical and mechanical properties which make it favorable for a broad range of bone tissue engineering applications. It can be processed into different scaffold forms, combined synergistically with other biomaterials to form composites and chemically modified which provides a unique toolbox and allows silk fibroin scaffolds to be tailored to specific applications. This review discusses and summarizes recent advancements in processing silk fibroin, focusing on different fabrication and functionalization methods and their application to grow bone tissue in vitro and in vivo. Potential areas for future research, current challenges, uncertainties and gaps in knowledge are highlighted. Copyright © 2015 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. An Understanding of The Maritime Silk Road International Strategic Importance

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Lin; Hongyu

    2015-01-01

    "The Maritime Silk Road"conception has a very significant international strategic importance,and to China,will certainly play a great role in promoting its economic development,which is only on the surface,and an in-depth reading is that it is a top-level strategic design,whose strategic role with the passage of time will be enlarged.In his address to Indonesian National Assembly in October 2013,President Xi

  3. DNA entropy reveals a significant difference in complexity between housekeeping and tissue specific gene promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, David; Finan, Chris; Newport, Melanie J; Jones, Susan

    2015-10-01

    The complexity of DNA can be quantified using estimates of entropy. Variation in DNA complexity is expected between the promoters of genes with different transcriptional mechanisms; namely housekeeping (HK) and tissue specific (TS). The former are transcribed constitutively to maintain general cellular functions, and the latter are transcribed in restricted tissue and cells types for specific molecular events. It is known that promoter features in the human genome are related to tissue specificity, but this has been difficult to quantify on a genomic scale. If entropy effectively quantifies DNA complexity, calculating the entropies of HK and TS gene promoters as profiles may reveal significant differences. Entropy profiles were calculated for a total dataset of 12,003 human gene promoters and for 501 housekeeping (HK) and 587 tissue specific (TS) human gene promoters. The mean profiles show the TS promoters have a significantly lower entropy (pentropy distributions for the 3 datasets show that promoter entropies could be used to identify novel HK genes. Functional features comprise DNA sequence patterns that are non-random and hence they have lower entropies. The lower entropy of TS gene promoters can be explained by a higher density of positive and negative regulatory elements, required for genes with complex spatial and temporary expression. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Cancer cell specific cytotoxic gene expression mediated by ARF tumor suppressor promoter constructs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kurayoshi, Kenta; Ozono, Eiko; Iwanaga, Ritsuko; Bradford, Andrew P.; Komori, Hideyuki; Ohtani, Kiyoshi

    2014-01-01

    Highlights: • ARF promoter showed higher responsiveness to deregulated E2F activity than the E2F1 promoter. • ARF promoter showed higher cancer cell-specificity than E2F1 promoter to drive gene expression. • HSV-TK driven by ARF promoter showed higher cancer cell-specific cytotoxicity than that driven by E2F1 promoter. - Abstract: In current cancer treatment protocols, such as radiation and chemotherapy, side effects on normal cells are major obstacles to radical therapy. To avoid these side effects, a cancer cell-specific approach is needed. One way to specifically target cancer cells is to utilize a cancer specific promoter to express a cytotoxic gene (suicide gene therapy) or a viral gene required for viral replication (oncolytic virotherapy). For this purpose, the selected promoter should have minimal activity in normal cells to avoid side effects, and high activity in a wide variety of cancers to obtain optimal therapeutic efficacy. In contrast to the AFP, CEA and PSA promoters, which have high activity only in a limited spectrum of tumors, the E2F1 promoter exhibits high activity in wide variety of cancers. This is based on the mechanism of carcinogenesis. Defects in the RB pathway and activation of the transcription factor E2F, the main target of the RB pathway, are observed in almost all cancers. Consequently, the E2F1 promoter, which is mainly regulated by E2F, has high activity in wide variety of cancers. However, E2F is also activated by growth stimulation in normal growing cells, suggesting that the E2F1 promoter may also be highly active in normal growing cells. In contrast, we found that the tumor suppressor ARF promoter is activated by deregulated E2F activity, induced by forced inactivation of pRB, but does not respond to physiological E2F activity induced by growth stimulation. We also found that the deregulated E2F activity, which activates the ARF promoter, is detected only in cancer cell lines. These observations suggest that ARF promoter

  5. Cancer cell specific cytotoxic gene expression mediated by ARF tumor suppressor promoter constructs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kurayoshi, Kenta [Department of Bioscience, School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1337 (Japan); Ozono, Eiko [Centre for Molecular Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary, University of London, John Vane Science Centre, Charterhouse Square, London EC1M 6BQ (United Kingdom); Iwanaga, Ritsuko; Bradford, Andrew P. [Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Anschutz Medical Campus, 12800 East 19th Avenue, Aurora, CO 80045 (United States); Komori, Hideyuki [Center for Stem Cell Biology, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 (United States); Ohtani, Kiyoshi, E-mail: btm88939@kwansei.ac.jp [Department of Bioscience, School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, 2-1 Gakuen, Sanda, Hyogo 669-1337 (Japan)

    2014-07-18

    Highlights: • ARF promoter showed higher responsiveness to deregulated E2F activity than the E2F1 promoter. • ARF promoter showed higher cancer cell-specificity than E2F1 promoter to drive gene expression. • HSV-TK driven by ARF promoter showed higher cancer cell-specific cytotoxicity than that driven by E2F1 promoter. - Abstract: In current cancer treatment protocols, such as radiation and chemotherapy, side effects on normal cells are major obstacles to radical therapy. To avoid these side effects, a cancer cell-specific approach is needed. One way to specifically target cancer cells is to utilize a cancer specific promoter to express a cytotoxic gene (suicide gene therapy) or a viral gene required for viral replication (oncolytic virotherapy). For this purpose, the selected promoter should have minimal activity in normal cells to avoid side effects, and high activity in a wide variety of cancers to obtain optimal therapeutic efficacy. In contrast to the AFP, CEA and PSA promoters, which have high activity only in a limited spectrum of tumors, the E2F1 promoter exhibits high activity in wide variety of cancers. This is based on the mechanism of carcinogenesis. Defects in the RB pathway and activation of the transcription factor E2F, the main target of the RB pathway, are observed in almost all cancers. Consequently, the E2F1 promoter, which is mainly regulated by E2F, has high activity in wide variety of cancers. However, E2F is also activated by growth stimulation in normal growing cells, suggesting that the E2F1 promoter may also be highly active in normal growing cells. In contrast, we found that the tumor suppressor ARF promoter is activated by deregulated E2F activity, induced by forced inactivation of pRB, but does not respond to physiological E2F activity induced by growth stimulation. We also found that the deregulated E2F activity, which activates the ARF promoter, is detected only in cancer cell lines. These observations suggest that ARF promoter

  6. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew J; Seib, F Philipp

    2015-11-09

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of "stealth" design principals is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential -56 ± 5.6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using clinically established and emerging anticancer drugs. Overall, PEGylated silk nanoparticles showed high encapsulation efficiency (>93%) and a pH-dependent release over 14 days. Finally, we demonstrated significant cytotoxicity of drug loaded silk nanoparticles applied as single and combination nanomedicines to human breast cancer cells. In conclusion, these results, taken together with prior silk nanoparticle data, support a viable future for silk-based nanomedicines.

  7. Nuclear factor ETF specifically stimulates transcription from promoters without a TATA box.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kageyama, R; Merlino, G T; Pastan, I

    1989-09-15

    Transcription factor ETF stimulates the expression of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene which does not have a TATA box in the promoter region. Here, we show that ETF recognizes various GC-rich sequences including stretches of deoxycytidine or deoxyguanosine residues and GC boxes with similar affinities. ETF also binds to TATA boxes but with a lower affinity. ETF stimulated in vitro transcription from several promoters without TATA boxes but had little or no effect on TATA box-containing promoters even though they had strong ETF-binding sites. These inactive ETF-binding sites became functional when placed upstream of the EGFR promoter whose own ETF-binding sites were removed. Furthermore, when a TATA box was introduced into the EGFR promoter, the responsiveness to ETF was abolished. These results indicate that ETF is a specific transcription factor for promoters which do not contain TATA elements.

  8. Effect of. gamma. -irradiation on the crystalline structure of silk fibroin and silk sericin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-02-01

    Changes in the crystalline structure of silk sericin and silk fibroin induced by gamma-irradiation in the atmosphere described. The crystalline structure of silk sericin which had been subjected to gamma-irradiation remained unchanged. However the decomposition temperature of the specimen decreased to about 230 deg C, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. The structure of the silk 1 type crystal of silk fibroin in the solid state, with a low degree of molecular orientation, changed into the silk 2 type crystal, when the total dose of ..gamma.. rays exceeded 4.6 Mrad. No changes in the crystalline structure were observed in the solid state of the silk 2 type crystal regardless of gamma-irradiation. The decrease in the decomposition temperature of the specimen was attributed to the decrease in the molecular orientation. However, the molecular conformation of silk fibroin with a randomly coiled structure remained unchanged even after gamma-irradiation.

  9. Osteoinductive recombinant silk fusion proteins for bone regeneration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinjaski, Nina; Plowright, Robyn; Zhou, Shun; Belton, David J; Perry, Carole C; Kaplan, David L

    2017-02-01

    Protein polymers provide a unique opportunity for tunable designs of material systems due to the genetic basis of sequence control. To address the challenge of biomineralization interfaces with protein based materials, we genetically engineered spider silks to design organic-inorganic hybrid systems. The spider silk inspired domain (SGRGGLGGQG AGAAAAAGGA GQGGYGGLGSQGT) 15 served as an organic scaffold to control material stability and to allow multiple modes of processing, whereas the hydroxyapatite binding domain VTKHLNQISQSY (VTK), provided control over osteogenesis. The VTK domain was fused either to the N-, C- or both terminals of the spider silk domain to understand the effect of position on material properties and mineralization. The addition of the VTK domain to silk did not affect the physical properties of the silk recombinant constructs, but it had a critical role in the induction of biomineralization. When the VTK domain was placed on both the C- and N-termini the formation of crystalline hydroxyapatite was significantly increased. In addition, all of the recombinant proteins in film format supported the growth and proliferation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs). Importantly, the presence of the VTK domain enhanced osteoinductive properties up to 3-fold compared to the control (silk alone without VTK). Therefore, silk-VTK fusion proteins have been shown suitable for mineralization and functionalization for specific biomedical applications. Organic-inorganic interfaces are integral to biomaterial functions in many areas of repair and regeneration. Several protein polymers have been investigated for this purpose. Despite their success the limited options to fine-tune their material properties, degradation patterns and functionalize them for each specific biomedical application limits their application. Various studies have shown that the biological performance of such proteins can be improved by genetic engineering. The present study provides data

  10. Isolation and sequencing analysis on the seed-specific promoter from soybean

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CAIYIN Qinggele; LI Mingchun; WEI Dongsheng; CAI Yi; XING Laijun

    2007-01-01

    The low level of foreign genes' expression in transgenic plants is a key factor that limits plant genetic engineering.Because of the critical regulatory activity of the promoters on gene transcription,they are studied extensively to improve the efficiency of the plant transgenic system.The constitutive promoters,such as CaMV 35S promoter,are usually used in plant genetic engineering.But those constitutive promoters continuously express their downstream genes during the whole life span in all the tissues of the host plants.This is not only wasteful to host plant's energy,but also harmful to host plants and usually affects their agronomic characteristics.In contrast,the seed-specific promoter only expresses its downstream genes from mid to late stage of seed maturation,and there is no expression or much lower expression in other tissues.So the seed-specific promoters are distinguished for their improvement and what they have brought to plant quality engineering.The aim of this article is to characterize a new seed-specific promoter and improve grain quality.The promoter region of β-conglycinin α-subunit gene was isolated from the genomic DNA of soybean Jilin 43 by PCR method,and successfully extended this fragment by TAIL PCR method and obtained the promoter fragment BCSP666.Sequencing analysis showed that the cloned fragment BCSP666 contained all of the motifs,such as RY repeat element,AG/CCCCA motif,TACACAT motif,ACGTmotif,A/T rich motif and E-box etc.,which constituted the seed-specific promoter activity.Based on this sequencing analysis,the seed-specific promoter activity of the fragment BCSP666 was predicted.And then the seed-specific expression vector pBI121-666,which contained GUS reporter gene,was constructed with the fragment BCSP666.Transformation of Arabidopsis thaliana plants by Agrobacterium-mediated floral-dip method with the recombined vector pBI121-666was conducted.The transgenic plants were selected on the kanamycin-resistant MS medium

  11. Improving the mechanical properties of collagen-based membranes using silk fibroin for corneal tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, Kai; Liu, Yang; Li, Weichang; Wang, Lin; Liu, Sa; Wang, Yingjun; Wang, Zhichong; Ren, Li

    2015-03-01

    Although collagen with outstanding biocompatibility has promising application in corneal tissue engineering, the mechanical properties of collagen-based scaffolds, especially suture retention strength, must be further improved to satisfy the requirements of clinical applications. This article describes a toughness reinforced collagen-based membrane using silk fibroin. The collagen-silk fibroin membranes based on collagen [silk fibroin (w/w) ratios of 100:5, 100:10, and 100:20] were prepared by using silk fibroin and cross-linking by 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide. These membranes were analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and their optical property, and NaCl and tryptophan diffusivity had been tested. The water content was found to be dependent on the content of silk fibroin, and CS10 membrane (loading 10 wt % of silk fibroin) performed the optimal mechanical properties. Also the suture experiments have proved CS10 has high suture retention strength, which can be sutured in rabbit eyes integrally. Moreover, the composite membrane proved good biocompatibility for the proliferation of human corneal epithelial cells in vitro. Lamellar keratoplasty shows that CS10 membrane promoted complete epithelialization in 35 ± 5 days, and their transparency is restored quickly in the first month. Corneal rejection reaction, neovascularization, and keratoconus are not observed. The composite films show potential for use in the field of corneal tissue engineering. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Duplication and concerted evolution of MiSp-encoding genes underlie the material properties of minor ampullate silks of cobweb weaving spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vienneau-Hathaway, Jannelle M; Brassfield, Elizabeth R; Lane, Amanda Kelly; Collin, Matthew A; Correa-Garhwal, Sandra M; Clarke, Thomas H; Schwager, Evelyn E; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2017-03-14

    Orb-web weaving spiders and their relatives use multiple types of task-specific silks. The majority of spider silk studies have focused on the ultra-tough dragline silk synthesized in major ampullate glands, but other silk types have impressive material properties. For instance, minor ampullate silks of orb-web weaving spiders are as tough as draglines, due to their higher extensibility despite lower strength. Differences in material properties between silk types result from differences in their component proteins, particularly members of the spidroin (spider fibroin) gene family. However, the extent to which variation in material properties within a single silk type can be explained by variation in spidroin sequences is unknown. Here, we compare the minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) of orb-weavers and cobweb weavers. Orb-web weavers use minor ampullate silk to form the auxiliary spiral of the orb-web while cobweb weavers use it to wrap prey, suggesting that selection pressures on minor ampullate spidroins (MiSp) may differ between the two groups. We report complete or nearly complete MiSp sequences from five cobweb weaving spider species and measure material properties of minor ampullate silks in a subset of these species. We also compare MiSp sequences and silk properties of our cobweb weavers to published data for orb-web weavers. We demonstrate that all our cobweb weavers possess multiple MiSp loci and that one locus is more highly expressed in at least two species. We also find that the proportion of β-spiral-forming amino acid motifs in MiSp positively correlates with minor ampullate silk extensibility across orb-web and cobweb weavers. MiSp sequences vary dramatically within and among spider species, and have likely been subject to multiple rounds of gene duplication and concerted evolution, which have contributed to the diverse material properties of minor ampullate silks. Our sequences also provide templates for recombinant silk proteins with tailored

  13. PEGylated Silk Nanoparticles for Anticancer Drug Delivery

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Uhlmann, Petra; Urquhart, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Silk has a robust clinical track record and is emerging as a promising biopolymer for drug delivery, including its use as nanomedicine. However, silk-based nanomedicines still require further refinements for full exploitation of their potential; the application of “stealth” design principals...... is especially necessary to support their evolution. The aim of this study was to develop and examine the potential of PEGylated silk nanoparticles as an anticancer drug delivery system. We first generated B. mori derived silk nanoparticles by driving β-sheet assembly (size 104 ± 1.7 nm, zeta potential −56 ± 5.......6 mV) using nanoprecipitation. We then surface grafted polyethylene glycol (PEG) to the fabricated silk nanoparticles and verified the aqueous stability and morphology of the resulting PEGylated silk nanoparticles. We assessed the drug loading and release behavior of these nanoparticles using...

  14. High Specificity of Quantitative Methylation-Specific PCR Analysis for MGMT Promoter Hypermethylation Detection in Gliomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paola Parrella

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Normal brain tissue from 28 individuals and 50 glioma samples were analyzed by real-time Quantitative Methylation-Specific PCR (QMSP. Data from this analysis were compared with results obtained on the same samples by MSP. QMSP analysis demonstrated a statistically significant difference in both methylation level (P=.000009 Mann Whitney Test and frequencies (P=.0000007, Z-test in tumour samples as compared with normal brain tissues. Although QMSP and MSP showed similar sensitivity, the specificity of QMSP analysis was significantly higher (93%; CI95%: 84%–100% as compared with MSP (64%; 95%CI: 46%–82%. Our results suggest that QMSP analysis may represent a powerful tool to identify glioma patients that will benefit from alkylating agents chemotherapy.

  15. Functional dissection of a napin gene promoter: identification of promoter elements required for embryo and endosperm-specific transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellerström, M; Stålberg, K; Ezcurra, I; Rask, L

    1996-12-01

    The promoter region (-309 to +44) of the Brassica napus storage protein gene napA was studied in transgenic tobacco by successive 5' as well as internal deletions fused to the reporter gene GUS (beta-glucuronidase). The expression in the two main tissues of the seed, the endosperm and the embryo, was shown to be differentially regulated. This tissue-specific regulation within the seed was found to affect the developmental expression during seed development. The region between -309 to -152, which has a large effect on quantitative expression, was shown to harbour four elements regulating embryo and one regulating endosperm expression. This region also displayed enhancer activity. Deletion of eight bp from position -152 to position -144 totally abolished the activity of the napA promoter. This deletion disrupted a cis element with similarity to an ABA-responsive element (ABRE) overlapping with an E-box, demonstrating its crucial importance for quantitative expression. An internal deletion of the region -133 to -120, resulted in increased activity in both leaves and endosperm and a decreased activity in the embryo. Within this region, a cis element similar to the (CA)n element, found in other storage protein promoters, was identified. This suggest that the (CA)n element is important for conferring seed specificity by serving both as an activator and a repressor element.

  16. Identification of circular RNA in the Bombyx mori silk gland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gan, Huaiyan; Feng, Tieshan; Wu, Yuqian; Liu, Chun; Xia, Qingyou; Cheng, Tingcai

    2017-10-01

    Bombyx mori is an economically important holometabolous lepidopteran insect. In B. mori endogenous noncoding RNAs such as microRNAs (miRNAs) and Piwi-interacting RNAs play crucial biological functions in metamorphosis and sex determination. In addition, circular RNAs (circRNAs) have been recently identified as noncoding RNAs in most common model organisms and show potential as gene regulators. However, to date, there have been few studies on the circRNAs present in the B. mori genome conducted to date. Here, we identified 3916 circRNAs by deep circular transcriptome sequencing using the silk gland of B. mori. 3155 circRNAs were found to be derived from 1727 parental genes. The circRNAs displayed tissue-specific expression between the middle silk gland (MSG) and posterior silk gland (PSG), with 2532 and 880 being upregulated circRNAs in the MSG and PSG, respectively. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathway analyses showed that the parental genes from the MSG and PSG were generally annotated to similar categories and pathways. The interaction network of circRNAs and miRNAs showed that circRNAs might act as miRNA sponges or interact with miRNAs in some other way. Overall, the results revealed the complicated patterns of circRNAs in the B. mori silk gland providing a new angle from which to explore the mechanisms of complex gene regulation and efficient silk protein synthesis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. The Use of Silk in Nanomedicine Applications

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chiasson, Raymond; Hasan, Moaraj; Al Nazer, Q.

    2016-01-01

    Biopolymers made up of silk proteins have been used in numerous drug delivery applications and represent an excellent source of natural biomaterials. In particular silk fibroin has proved valuable as a building block for nanomedicines and drug delivery implants, owing to its favorable...... biocompatibility, degradation, stabilization and controllability. In this chapter we will discuss the various sources of silk biomaterial and how this naturally occurring biopolymer has been utilized in the development of nanomedicines and implantable drug delivery systems, demonstrating how silk is a unique...

  18. The Silk Route from Land to Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jack Weatherford

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The Silk Route reached its historic and economic apogee under the Mongol Empire (1207–1368, as a direct result of the policies of Chinggis Khan (Genghis Khan and his successors. Because the land network proved inefficient for the amount of goods needing transport from one part of the empire to another, the Mongols expanded the Silk Route to ocean shipping and thus created the first Maritime Silk Route. The sea traffic initially expanded the land routes but soon strangled them. With the expansion of the Maritime Silk Route through the fourteenth century, the land connections reverted to local networks and lost their global importance.

  19. Discerning Silk Produced by Bombyx mori from Those Produced by Wild Species Using an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Combined with Conventional Methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    You, Qiushi; Li, Qingqing; Zheng, Hailing; Hu, Zhiwen; Zhou, Yang; Wang, Bing

    2017-09-06

    Recently, much interest has been paid to the separation of silk produced by Bombyx mori from silk produced by other species and tracing the beginnings of silk cultivation from wild silk exploitation. In this paper, significant differences between silks from Bombyx mori and other species were found by microscopy and spectroscopy, such as morphology, secondary structure, and amino acid composition. For further accurate identification, a diagnostic antibody was designed by comparing the peptide sequences of silks produced by Bombyx mori and other species. The results of the noncompetitive indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) indicated that the antibody that showed good sensitivity and high specificity can definitely discern silk produced by Bombyx mori from silk produced by wild species. Thus, the antibody-based immunoassay has the potential to be a powerful tool for tracing the beginnings of silk cultivation. In addition, combining the sensitive, specific, and convenient ELISA technology with other conventional methods can provide more in-depth and accurate information for species identification.

  20. Trends in World Silk Cocoons and Silk Production and Trade, 2007-2010

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    AGATHA AGATHA POPESCU

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper aimed to analyze world production and trade for fresh silk cocoons and raw silk using FAO Stat data for  the  period 2007-2010. The use of index, share and comparison methods allowed to identify the major trends in the analyzed period. Silk decline was determined by the increased importance of cotton and artificial fibres in textile and clothing industry. Important changes are taking place on silk cocoons and silk market. While, the European market decreased, the Asian market has mainly developed fresh cocoons and raw silk, while the European market became more interested of clothes. Silk consumption declined because of consumer’s preference for synthetic fibres, except traditional consumers from Asia.  China is the main producer and exporter of fresh and dry cocoons, while raw silk is produced and exported by China, Brazil and Italy and imported by India, Japan and Italy. In Europe, Bulgaria is the top producer of fresh cocoons and raw silk and Italy is the main raw silk importer and the top producer and exporter of textile and fashion clothes. Silk will remain an important raw material for producing high quality and luxury clothes.

  1. Titanium dioxide nanoparticles relieve silk gland damage and increase cocooning of Bombyx mori under phoxim-induced toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Bing; Yu, Xiaohong; Gui, Suxin; Xie, Yi; Hong, Jie; Zhao, Xiaoyang; Sheng, Lei; Sang, Xuezi; Sun, Qingqing; Wang, Ling; Shen, Weide; Hong, Fashui

    2013-12-18

    Organophosphate pesticides are applied widely in the world for agricultural purposes, and their exposures often resulted in non-cocooning of Bombyx mori in China. TiO2 nanoparticles have been demonstrated to increase pesticide resistance of Bombyx mori. While the toxicity of phoxim is well-documented, very limited information exists on the mechanisms of TiO2 nanoparticles improving the cocooning function of Bombyx mori following exposure to phoxim. The present study was, therefore, undertaken to determine whether TiO2 nanoparticles attenuate silk gland injury and elevate cocooning of B. mori following exposure to phoxim. The findings suggested that phoxim exposure resulted in severe damages of the silk gland structure and significantly decreased the cocooning in the silk gland of Bombyx mori. Furthermore, phoxim exposure significantly resulted in reductions of total protein concentrations and suppressed expressions of silk protein synthesis-related genes, including Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3, in the silk gland. TiO2 nanoparticle pretreatment, however, could significantly relieve silk gland injury of Bombyx mori. Importantly, TiO2 nanoparticles could remarkably elevate cocooning and total protein contents and promote expressions of Fib-L, Fib-H, P25, Ser-2, and Ser-3 in the silk gland following exposure to phoxim.

  2. Silk film biomaterials for ocular surface repair

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, Brian David

    Current biomaterial approaches for repairing the cornea's ocular surface upon injury are partially effective due to inherent material limitations. As a result there is a need to expand the biomaterial options available for use in the eye, which in turn will help to expand new clinical innovations and technology development. The studies illustrated here are a collection of work to further characterize silk film biomaterials for use on the ocular surface. Silk films were produced from regenerated fibroin protein solution derived from the Bombyx mori silkworm cocoon. Methods of silk film processing and production were developed to produce consistent biomaterials for in vitro and in vivo evaluation. A wide range of experiments was undertaken that spanned from in vitro silk film material characterization to in vivo evaluation. It was found that a variety of silk film properties could be controlled through a water-annealing process. Silk films were then generated that could be use in vitro to produce stratified corneal epithelial cell sheets comparable to tissue grown on the clinical standard substrate of amniotic membrane. This understanding was translated to produce a silk film design that enhanced corneal healing in vivo on a rabbit injury model. Further work produced silk films with varying surface topographies that were used as a simplified analog to the corneal basement membrane surface in vitro. These studies demonstrated that silk film surface topography is capable of directing corneal epithelial cell attachment, growth, and migration response. Most notably epithelial tissue development was controllably directed by the presence of the silk surface topography through increasing cell sheet migration efficiency at the individual cellular level. Taken together, the presented findings represent a comprehensive characterization of silk film biomaterials for use in ocular surface reconstruction, and indicate their utility as a potential material choice in the

  3. Punctuated evolution of viscid silk in spider orb webs supported by mechanical behavior of wet cribellate silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piorkowski, Dakota; Blackledge, Todd A.

    2017-08-01

    The origin of viscid capture silk in orb webs, from cribellate silk-spinning ancestors, is a key innovation correlated with significant diversification of web-building spiders. Ancestral cribellate silk consists of dry nanofibrils surrounding a stiff, axial fiber that adheres to prey through van der Waals interactions, capillary forces, and physical entanglement. In contrast, viscid silk uses chemically adhesive aqueous glue coated onto a highly compliant and extensible flagelliform core silk. The extensibility of the flagelliform fiber accounts for half of the total work of adhesion for viscid silk and is enabled by water in the aqueous coating. Recent cDNA libraries revealed the expression of flagelliform silk proteins in cribellate orb-weaving spiders. We hypothesized that the presence of flagelliform proteins in cribellate silk could have allowed for a gradual shift in mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, whose effect was masked by the dry nature of its adhesive. We measured supercontraction and mechanical performance of cribellate axial silk, in wet and dry states, for two species of cribellate orb web-weaving spiders to see if water enabled flagelliform silk-like performance. We found that compliance and extensibility of wet cribellate silk increased compared to dry state as expected. However, when compared to other silk types, the response to water was more similar to other web silks, like major and minor ampullate silk, than to viscid silk. These findings support the punctuated evolution of viscid silk mechanical performance.

  4. Identification and characterization of a liver stage-specific promoter region of the malaria parasite Plasmodium.

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    Susanne Helm

    Full Text Available During the blood meal of a Plasmodium-infected mosquito, 10 to 100 parasites are inoculated into the skin and a proportion of these migrate via the bloodstream to the liver where they infect hepatocytes. The Plasmodium liver stage, despite its clinical silence, represents a highly promising target for antimalarial drug and vaccine approaches. Successfully invaded parasites undergo a massive proliferation in hepatocytes, producing thousands of merozoites that are transported into a blood vessel to infect red blood cells. To successfully develop from the liver stage into infective merozoites, a tight regulation of gene expression is needed. Although this is a very interesting aspect in the biology of Plasmodium, little is known about gene regulation in Plasmodium parasites in general and in the liver stage in particular. We have functionally analyzed a novel promoter region of the rodent parasite Plasmodium berghei that is exclusively active during the liver stage of the parasite. To prove stage-specific activity of the promoter, GFP and luciferase reporter assays have been successfully established, allowing both qualitative and accurate quantitative analysis. To further characterize the promoter region, the transcription start site was mapped by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (5'-RACE. Using promoter truncation experiments and site-directed mutagenesis within potential transcription factor binding sites, we suggest that the minimal promoter contains more than one binding site for the recently identified parasite-specific ApiAP2 transcription factors. The identification of a liver stage-specific promoter in P. berghei confirms that the parasite is able to tightly regulate gene expression during its life cycle. The identified promoter region might now be used to study the biology of the Plasmodium liver stage, which has thus far proven problematic on a molecular level. Stage-specific expression of dominant-negative mutant proteins and

  5. Fabrication of elastomeric silk fibers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bradner, Sarah A; Partlow, Benjamin P; Cebe, Peggy; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2017-09-01

    Methods to generate fibers from hydrogels, with control over mechanical properties, fiber diameter, and crystallinity, while retaining cytocompatibility and degradability, would expand options for biomaterials. Here, we exploited features of silk fibroin protein for the formation of tunable silk hydrogel fibers. The biological, chemical, and morphological features inherent to silk were combined with elastomeric properties gained through enzymatic crosslinking of the protein. Postprocessing via methanol and autoclaving provided tunable control of fiber features. Mechanical, optical, and chemical analyses demonstrated control of fiber properties by exploiting the physical cross-links, and generating double network hydrogels consisting of chemical and physical cross-links. Structure and chemical analyses revealed crystallinity from 30 to 50%, modulus from 0.5 to 4 MPa, and ultimate strength 1-5 MPa depending on the processing method. Fabrication and postprocessing combined provided fibers with extensibility from 100 to 400% ultimate strain. Fibers strained to 100% exhibited fourth order birefringence, revealing macroscopic orientation driven by chain mobility. The physical cross-links were influenced in part by the drying rate of fabricated materials, where bound water, packing density, and microstructural homogeneity influenced cross-linking efficiency. The ability to generate robust and versatile hydrogel microfibers is desirable for bottom-up assembly of biological tissues and for broader biomaterial applications. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Self-assembly model, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for silk fibroin/chitosan scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    She Zhending; Feng Qingling; Liu Weiqiang

    2009-01-01

    Silk fibroin is an attractive natural fibrous protein for biomedical application due to its good biocompatibility and high tensile strength. Silk fibroin is apt to form a sheet-like structure during the freeze-drying process, which is not suitable for the scaffold of tissue engineering. In our former study, the adding of chitosan promoted the self-assembly of silk fibroin/chitosan (SFCS) into a three-dimensional (3D) homogeneous porous structure. In this study, a model of the self-assembly is proposed; furthermore, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for the SFCS scaffold were examined. The rigid chain of chitosan may be used as a template for β-sheet formation of silk fibroin, and this may break the sheet structure of the silk fibroin scaffold and promote the formation of a 3D porous structure of the SFCS scaffold. Compared with the polylactic glycolic acid scaffold, the SFCS scaffold further facilitates the attachment of hepatocytes. To investigate the inflammatory response, SFCS scaffolds were implanted into the greater omentum of rats. From the results of implantation, we could demonstrate in vivo that the implantation of SFCS scaffolds resulted in only slight inflammation. Keeping the good histocompatibility and combining the advantages of both fibroin and chitosan, the SFCS scaffold could be a prominent candidate for soft tissue engineering, for example, in the liver.

  7. Self-assembly model, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for silk fibroin/chitosan scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    She Zhending; Feng Qingling [State Key Laboratory of New Ceramics and Fine Processing, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084 (China); Liu Weiqiang, E-mail: biomater@mail.tsinghua.edu.c [Center for Advanced Materials and Biotechnology, Research Institute of Tsinghua University in Shenzhen, Shenzhen 518057 (China)

    2009-08-15

    Silk fibroin is an attractive natural fibrous protein for biomedical application due to its good biocompatibility and high tensile strength. Silk fibroin is apt to form a sheet-like structure during the freeze-drying process, which is not suitable for the scaffold of tissue engineering. In our former study, the adding of chitosan promoted the self-assembly of silk fibroin/chitosan (SFCS) into a three-dimensional (3D) homogeneous porous structure. In this study, a model of the self-assembly is proposed; furthermore, hepatocytes attachment and inflammatory response for the SFCS scaffold were examined. The rigid chain of chitosan may be used as a template for beta-sheet formation of silk fibroin, and this may break the sheet structure of the silk fibroin scaffold and promote the formation of a 3D porous structure of the SFCS scaffold. Compared with the polylactic glycolic acid scaffold, the SFCS scaffold further facilitates the attachment of hepatocytes. To investigate the inflammatory response, SFCS scaffolds were implanted into the greater omentum of rats. From the results of implantation, we could demonstrate in vivo that the implantation of SFCS scaffolds resulted in only slight inflammation. Keeping the good histocompatibility and combining the advantages of both fibroin and chitosan, the SFCS scaffold could be a prominent candidate for soft tissue engineering, for example, in the liver.

  8. Tissue specific promoters improve the localization of radiation-inducible gene expression

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hallahan, Dennis; Kataoka, Yasushi; Kuchibhotla, Jaya; Virudachalam, Subbu; Weichselbaum, Ralph

    1996-01-01

    Purpose: Site-specific activation of gene expression can be achieved by the use of a promoter that is induced by physical agents such as x-rays. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether site-specific activation of gene therapy can also be achieved within the vascular endothelium by use of radiation-inducible promoters. We studied induction of promoter-reporter gene constructs using previously identified radiation-promoters from c-jun, c-fos, Egr-1, ICAM-1, ELAM-1 after transfection into in the vascular endothelium. Methods: The following radiation-inducible genetic constructs were created: The ELAM-1 promoter fragment was cloned into pOGH to obtain the pE-sel(-587 +35)GH reporter construct. The ICAM-1 promoter fragment (-1162/+1) was cloned upstream of the CAT coding region of the pCAT-plasmid (Promega) after removal of the SV40 promoter by Bgl2/Stu1 digestion to create the pBS-CAT plasmid. The 132 to +170 bp segment of the 5' untranslated region of the c-jun promoter was cloned to the CAT reporter gene to create the -132/+170 cjun-CAT. The Egr-1 promoter fragment (-425/+75) was cloned upstream of the CAT coding region to create the pE425-CAT plasmid. Tandem repeats of the AP-1 binding site were cloned upstream of the CAT coding region (3 xTRE-CAT). Tandem repeats of the Egr binding site (EBS) were cloned upstream of the CAT coding region (EBS-CAT). Human vascular endothelial cells from both large vessel and small vessel origin (HUVEC and HMEC), as well as human tumor cell lines were transfected with plasmids -132/+170 cjun-CAT, pE425-CAT, 3 xTRE-CAT, EBS-CAT, pE-sel-GH and pBS-CAT by use of liposomes. Humor tumor cell lines included SQ20B (squamous), RIT3 (sarcoma), and HL525 (leukemia). Each plasmid was cotransfected with a plasmid containing a CMV promoter linked to the LacZ gene (1 μg). Transfected cells were treated with mock irradiation or x-rays. Cell extracts were assayed for reporter gene expression. Results: Radiation-induced gene

  9. Acellular bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds support tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of onlay urethroplasty.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeun Goo Chung

    Full Text Available Acellular scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori silk fibroin were investigated for their ability to support functional tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of urethra repair. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix was fabricated by a solvent-casting/salt leaching process in combination with silk fibroin film casting to generate porous foams buttressed by homogeneous silk fibroin films. Ventral onlay urethroplasty was performed with silk fibroin grafts (Group 1, N = 4 (Width × Length, 1 × 2 cm(2 in adult male rabbits for 3 m of implantation. Parallel control groups consisted of animals receiving small intestinal submucosa (SIS implants (Group 2, N = 4 or urethrotomy alone (Group 3, N = 3. Animals in all groups exhibited 100% survival prior to scheduled euthanasia and achieved voluntary voiding following 7 d of initial catheterization. Retrograde urethrography of each implant group at 3 m post-op revealed wide urethral calibers and preservation of organ continuity similar to pre-operative and urethrotomy controls with no evidence of contrast extravasation, strictures, fistulas, or stone formation. Histological (hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome, immunohistochemical, and histomorphometric analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and SIS scaffolds promoted similar extents of smooth muscle and epithelial tissue regeneration throughout the original defect sites with prominent contractile protein (α-smooth muscle actin and SM22α and cytokeratin expression, respectively. De novo innervation and vascularization were also evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by synaptophysin-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. Following 3 m post-op, minimal acute inflammatory reactions were elicited by silk fibroin scaffolds characterized by the presence of eosinophil granulocytes while SIS matrices promoted chronic inflammatory responses indicated by mobilization of mononuclear cell infiltrates. The results

  10. Acellular bi-layer silk fibroin scaffolds support tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of onlay urethroplasty.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chung, Yeun Goo; Tu, Duong; Franck, Debra; Gil, Eun Seok; Algarrahi, Khalid; Adam, Rosalyn M; Kaplan, David L; Estrada, Carlos R; Mauney, Joshua R

    2014-01-01

    Acellular scaffolds derived from Bombyx mori silk fibroin were investigated for their ability to support functional tissue regeneration in a rabbit model of urethra repair. A bi-layer silk fibroin matrix was fabricated by a solvent-casting/salt leaching process in combination with silk fibroin film casting to generate porous foams buttressed by homogeneous silk fibroin films. Ventral onlay urethroplasty was performed with silk fibroin grafts (Group 1, N = 4) (Width × Length, 1 × 2 cm(2)) in adult male rabbits for 3 m of implantation. Parallel control groups consisted of animals receiving small intestinal submucosa (SIS) implants (Group 2, N = 4) or urethrotomy alone (Group 3, N = 3). Animals in all groups exhibited 100% survival prior to scheduled euthanasia and achieved voluntary voiding following 7 d of initial catheterization. Retrograde urethrography of each implant group at 3 m post-op revealed wide urethral calibers and preservation of organ continuity similar to pre-operative and urethrotomy controls with no evidence of contrast extravasation, strictures, fistulas, or stone formation. Histological (hematoxylin and eosin and Masson's trichrome), immunohistochemical, and histomorphometric analyses demonstrated that both silk fibroin and SIS scaffolds promoted similar extents of smooth muscle and epithelial tissue regeneration throughout the original defect sites with prominent contractile protein (α-smooth muscle actin and SM22α) and cytokeratin expression, respectively. De novo innervation and vascularization were also evident in all regenerated tissues indicated by synaptophysin-positive neuronal cells and vessels lined with CD31 expressing endothelial cells. Following 3 m post-op, minimal acute inflammatory reactions were elicited by silk fibroin scaffolds characterized by the presence of eosinophil granulocytes while SIS matrices promoted chronic inflammatory responses indicated by mobilization of mononuclear cell infiltrates. The results of this study

  11. SILK FIBRE DEGRADATION AND ANALYSIS BY PROTEOMICS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    YUKSELOGLU S.Muge

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Silk is one of the promising natural fibres and has a long established history in textile production throughout the centuries. Silk is produced by cultured silk worms, spiders, scorpions, mites and flies. It is extracellular proteinaceous fibres which consist of highly crystalline and insoluble proteins, the fibroins glued with sericin and an amourphous protein. On the other hand, understanding and controlling the degradation of protein materials are important for determining quality and the value of appearance retention in textiles. Hence, for silk textiles, appearance retention is critical value for the quality. And this is one of the key properties directly related to the degree and nature of protein degradation. It is therefore necessary to understand the silk composition and damage to obtain good conservation treatments and long-term preservation especially for the historical silk fabrics. In this study, silk fibre and its properties are briefly introduced along with images on their fibre damages. Additionally, proteomics method which helps to understand the degradation at the molecular level in textiles is introduced. Finally, proteomic evaluation of silk is summarized according to the researchers carried out in the literature.

  12. CaMV-35S promoter sequence-specific DNA methylation in lettuce.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okumura, Azusa; Shimada, Asahi; Yamasaki, Satoshi; Horino, Takuya; Iwata, Yuji; Koizumi, Nozomu; Nishihara, Masahiro; Mishiba, Kei-ichiro

    2016-01-01

    We found 35S promoter sequence-specific DNA methylation in lettuce. Additionally, transgenic lettuce plants having a modified 35S promoter lost methylation, suggesting the modified sequence is subjected to the methylation machinery. We previously reported that cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter-specific DNA methylation in transgenic gentian (Gentiana triflora × G. scabra) plants occurs irrespective of the copy number and the genomic location of T-DNA, and causes strong gene silencing. To confirm whether 35S-specific methylation can occur in other plant species, transgenic lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) plants with a single copy of the 35S promoter-driven sGFP gene were produced and analyzed. Among 10 lines of transgenic plants, 3, 4, and 3 lines showed strong, weak, and no expression of sGFP mRNA, respectively. Bisulfite genomic sequencing of the 35S promoter region showed hypermethylation at CpG and CpWpG (where W is A or T) sites in 9 of 10 lines. Gentian-type de novo methylation pattern, consisting of methylated cytosines at CpHpH (where H is A, C, or T) sites, was also observed in the transgenic lettuce lines, suggesting that lettuce and gentian share similar methylation machinery. Four of five transgenic lettuce lines having a single copy of a modified 35S promoter, which was modified in the proposed core target of de novo methylation in gentian, exhibited 35S hypomethylation, indicating that the modified sequence may be the target of the 35S-specific methylation machinery.

  13. BRAF mutation-specific promoter methylation of FOX genes in colorectal cancer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    E.H.J. van Roon (Eddy); A. Boot (Arnoud); A.A. Dihal (Ashwin); R.F. Ernst (Robert); T. van Wezel (Tom); H. Morreau (Hans); J.M. Boer (Judith)

    2013-01-01

    textabstractBackground: Cancer-specific hypermethylation of (promoter) CpG islands is common during the tumorigenesis of colon cancer. Although associations between certain genetic aberrations, such as BRAF mutation and microsatellite instability, and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP), have

  14. Novel strong tissue specific promoter for gene expression in human germ cells

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kuzmin Denis

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tissue specific promoters may be utilized for a variety of applications, including programmed gene expression in cell types, tissues and organs of interest, for developing different cell culture models or for use in gene therapy. We report a novel, tissue-specific promoter that was identified and engineered from the native upstream regulatory region of the human gene NDUFV1 containing an endogenous retroviral sequence. Results Among seven established human cell lines and five primary cultures, this modified NDUFV1 upstream sequence (mNUS was active only in human undifferentiated germ-derived cells (lines Tera-1 and EP2102, where it demonstrated high promoter activity (~twice greater than that of the SV40 early promoter, and comparable to the routinely used cytomegaloviral promoter. To investigate the potential applicability of the mNUS promoter for biotechnological needs, a construct carrying a recombinant cytosine deaminase (RCD suicide gene under the control of mNUS was tested in cell lines of different tissue origin. High cytotoxic effect of RCD with a cell-death rate ~60% was observed only in germ-derived cells (Tera-1, whereas no effect was seen in a somatic, kidney-derived control cell line (HEK293. In further experiments, we tested mNUS-driven expression of a hyperactive Sleeping Beauty transposase (SB100X. The mNUS-SB100X construct mediated stable transgene insertions exclusively in germ-derived cells, thereby providing further evidence of tissue-specificity of the mNUS promoter. Conclusions We conclude that mNUS may be used as an efficient promoter for tissue-specific gene expression in human germ-derived cells in many applications. Our data also suggest that the 91 bp-long sequence located exactly upstream NDUFV1 transcriptional start site plays a crucial role in the activity of this gene promoter in vitro in the majority of tested cell types (10/12, and an important role - in the rest two cell lines.

  15. Silkworms transformed with chimeric silkworm/spider silk genes spin composite silk fibers with improved mechanical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    The development of a spider silk manufacturing process is of great interest. piggyBac vectors were used to create transgenic silkworms encoding chimeric silkworm/spider silk proteins. The silk fibers produced by these animals were composite materials that included chimeric silkworm/spider silk prote...

  16. 'Silk Road', the virtual drug marketplace: a single case study of user experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hout, Marie Claire; Bingham, Tim

    2013-09-01

    The online promotion of 'drug shopping' and user information networks is of increasing public health and law enforcement concern. An online drug marketplace called 'Silk Road' has been operating on the 'Deep Web' since February 2011 and was designed to revolutionise contemporary drug consumerism. A single case study approach explored a 'Silk Road' user's motives for online drug purchasing, experiences of accessing and using the website, drug information sourcing, decision making and purchasing, outcomes and settings for use, and perspectives around security. The participant was recruited following a lengthy relationship building phase on the 'Silk Road' chat forum. The male participant described his motives, experiences of purchasing processes and drugs used from 'Silk Road'. Consumer experiences on 'Silk Road' were described as 'euphoric' due to the wide choice of drugs available, relatively easy once navigating the Tor Browser (encryption software) and using 'Bitcoins' for transactions, and perceived as safer than negotiating illicit drug markets. Online researching of drug outcomes, particularly for new psychoactive substances was reported. Relationships between vendors and consumers were described as based on cyber levels of trust and professionalism, and supported by 'stealth modes', user feedback and resolution modes. The reality of his drug use was described as covert and solitary with psychonautic characteristics, which contrasted with his membership, participation and feelings of safety within the 'Silk Road' community. 'Silk Road' as online drug marketplace presents an interesting displacement away from 'traditional' online and street sources of drug supply. Member support and harm reduction ethos within this virtual community maximises consumer decision-making and positive drug experiences, and minimises potential harms and consumer perceived risks. Future research is necessary to explore experiences and backgrounds of other users. Copyright © 2013

  17. Expression in Arabidopsis of a nucellus-specific promoter from watermelon (Citrullus lanatus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, Krishna K; Roche, Dominique; Carman, John G

    2010-11-01

    Though many tissue-specific promoters have been identified, few have been associated specifically with the angiospermous megasporangium (nucellus). In the present study the 2000-bp regulatory region upstream to the watermelon, Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai, gene WM403 (GenBank accession no. AF008925), which shows nucellus-specific expression, was cloned from watermelon gDNA and fused to the β-glucuronidase reporter gene (GUS). The resulting plasmid, WM403 Prom::GUS(+), which also contained NPTII, was transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana ecotype Co1-0. Seedlings were selected on kanamycin-containing medium, and transformants were confirmed by PCR. GUS assays of T(3) transformants revealed weak promoter activation in epidermal layers of the placenta and locule septum during premeiotic ovule development but strong activation in the nucellus, embryo sac and early embryo, from early embryo sac formation to early globular embryo formation. Expression in seeds was absent thereafter. These results indicate that the WM403 promoter may be useful in driving nucellus-specific gene expression in plants including candidate genes for important nucellus-specific traits such as apospory or adventitious embryony. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Effective delivery of a nematode-repellent peptide using a root-cap-specific promoter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lilley, Catherine J; Wang, Dong; Atkinson, Howard J; Urwin, Peter E

    2011-02-01

    The potential of the MDK4-20 promoter of Arabidopsis thaliana to direct effective transgenic expression of a secreted nematode-repellent peptide was investigated. Its expression pattern was studied in both transgenic Arabidopsis and Solanum tuberosum (potato) plants. It directed root-specific β-glucuronidase expression in both species that was chiefly localized to cells of the root cap. Use of the fluorescent timer protein dsRED-E5 established that the MDK4-20 promoter remains active for longer than the commonly used constitutive promoter CaMV35S in separated potato root border cells. Transgenic Arabidopsis lines that expressed the nematode-repellent peptide under the control of either AtMDK4-20 or CaMV35S reduced the establishment of the beet cyst nematode Heterodera schachtii. The best line using the AtMDK4-20 promoter displayed a level of resistance >80%, comparable to that of lines using the CaMV35S promoter. In transgenic potato plants, 94.9 ± 0.8% resistance to the potato cyst nematode Globodera pallida was achieved using the AtMDK4-20 promoter, compared with 34.4 ± 8.4% resistance displayed by a line expressing the repellent peptide from the CaMV35S promoter. These results establish the potential of the AtMDK4-20 promoter to limit expression of a repellent peptide whilst maintaining or even improving the efficacy of the cyst-nematode defence. © 2010 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal © 2010 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  19. Silk-Silk Interactions between Silkworm Fibroin and Recombinant Spider Silk Fusion Proteins Enable the Construction of Bioactive Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nilebäck, Linnea; Chouhan, Dimple; Jansson, Ronnie; Widhe, Mona; Mandal, Biman B; Hedhammar, My

    2017-09-20

    Natural silk is easily accessible from silkworms and can be processed into different formats suitable as biomaterials and cell culture matrixes. Recombinant DNA technology enables chemical-free functionalization of partial silk proteins through fusion with peptide motifs and protein domains, but this constitutes a less cost-effective production process. Herein, we show that natural silk fibroin (SF) can be used as a bulk material that can be top-coated with a thin layer of the recombinant spider silk protein 4RepCT in fusion with various bioactive motifs and domains. The coating process is based on a silk assembly to achieve stable interactions between the silk types under mild buffer conditions. The assembly process was studied in real time by quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation. Coatings, electrospun mats, and microporous scaffolds were constructed from Antheraea assama and Bombyx mori SFs. The morphology of the fibroin materials before and after coating with recombinant silk proteins was analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy. SF materials coated with various bioactive 4RepCT fusion proteins resulted in directed antibody capture, enzymatic activity, and improved cell attachment and spreading, respectively, compared to pristine SF materials. The herein-described procedure allows a fast and easy route for the construction of bioactive materials.

  20. Buyid Silk and the Tale of Bibi Shahrbanu: Identification of Biomarkers of Artificial Aging (Forgery) of Silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moini, Mehdi; Rollman, Christopher M

    2017-10-03

    Buyid silk forgery is one of the most famous silk forgeries in the world. In 1924-1925, excavation of the Bibi Shahrbanu site in Iran unearthed several silk textiles. The silks were thought to be of the Buyid period (934-1062 BCE) of the Persian Empire and have since been known as the "Buyid silks". In the 1930s, more silk appeared and was reported as being from the Buyid period as well. Controversy over the authenticity of these silks escalated after the purchase of the silks by museums throughout the world. Extensive investigations of several of these silks have been conducted over the years with respect to iconography, weaving patterns, dyes/mordant, style, and even radiocarbon dating. It was found that most of the silks are not from Buyid period. To test the authenticity of these silk fabrics, the recently developed silk dating technique using amino acid racemization (AAR) in conjunction with capillary electrophoresis mass spectrometry was applied to 13 Buyid silk specimens from the Textile Museum collections. Among these silk specimens, the AAR ratios of only one specimen were consistent with authentic silk fabrics collected from various museums. In addition, the aspartic acid racemization ratio of this specimen was also consistent with its 14 C dating. The other "Buyid silks" showed excessive levels of amino acid racemization not only for aspartic acid, but also for phenylalanine and tyrosine, inconsistent with racemization rates of these amino acids in authentic historical silk fabrics. Treatment of modern silk with a base at different pH and temperature reproduced the AAR pattern of the Buyid silks, implying that chemical treatment with a base at relatively high temperatures was perhaps the method used to artificially age these fabrics. The results imply that the racemization ratios of aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and tyrosine can be used as biomarkers for identification of naturally versus artificially aged silk.

  1. Gold nanoparticle-embedded silk protein-ZnO nanorod hybrids for flexible bio-photonic devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2017-04-01

    Silk protein has been used as a biopolymer substrate for flexible photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate ZnO nanorod array hybrid photodetectors on Au nanoparticle-embedded silk protein for flexible optoelectronics. Hybrid samples exhibit optical absorption at the band edge of ZnO as well as plasmonic energy due to Au nanoparticles, making them attractive for selective UV and visible wavelength detection. The device prepared on Au-silk protein shows a much lower dark current and a higher photo to dark-current ratio of ∼105 as compared to the control sample without Au nanoparticles. The hybrid device also exhibits a higher specific detectivity due to higher responsivity arising from the photo-generated hole trapping by Au nanoparticles. Sharp pulses in the transient photocurrent have been observed in devices prepared on glass and Au-silk protein substrates due to the light induced pyroelectric effect of ZnO, enabling the demonstration of self-powered photodetectors at zero bias. Flexible hybrid detectors have been demonstrated on Au-silk/polyethylene terephthalate substrates, exhibiting characteristics similar to those fabricated on rigid glass substrates. A study of the performance of photodetectors with different bending angles indicates very good mechanical stability of silk protein based flexible devices. This novel concept of ZnO nanorod array photodetectors on a natural silk protein platform provides an opportunity to realize integrated flexible and self-powered bio-photonic devices for medical applications in near future.

  2. Effect of gamma-rays on some technologic properties of cocoon and filament of the silk worm (Bombyx mori L.)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Binkh, T.T.; Petkov, N.; Malinova, K.

    1993-01-01

    The effect of irradiation of silk worm eggs with 1.00, 2.00, 3.00, 4.00, 5.00, 6.00 and 7.00 Gy gamma-rays on some major technologic properties of cocoons and filament of the mulbery silk worm was studied. Single irradiation of silk worm during the phase of highest lengthening of nucleus development causes both stimulating and inhibitory effect on the technologic properties of the cocoons and the filament. The degree of stimulation or inhibition is dependent on the irradiation dose, the specificity of technologic processes and biologic characteristics of silk worm species and hybrids. Gamma-irradiation with doses 2.00 and 3.00 Gy stimulates the increase in weight of silk covering by 2.07-8.28%, raw cocoon silkness by 0.38-3.21 points and length of cocoon filament by 40-151 m. Irradiation of silk worm eggs with 2.00-4.00 Gy gamma-rays decreases by 1.4-2.3 kg (12.61-21.91%) the quantity of raw cocoons, required for production of 1 kg grege. 9 refs., 4 tabs. (author)

  3. Superhydrophobic, Superoleophobic and Antimicrobial Coatings for the Protection of Silk Textiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitra Aslanidou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available A method to produce multifunctional coatings for the protection of silk is developed. Aqueous dispersion, free of any organic solvent, containing alkoxy silanes, organic fluoropolymer, silane quaternary ammonium salt, and silica nanoparticles (7 nm in mean diameter is sprayed onto silk which obtains (i superhydrophobic and superoleophobic properties, as evidenced by the high contact angles (>150° of water and oil drops and (ii antimicrobial properties. Potato dextrose agar is used as culture medium for the growth of microorganisms. The protective coating hinders the microbial growth on coated silk which remains almost free of contamination after extensive exposure to the microorganisms. Furthermore, the multifunctional coating induces a moderate reduction in vapor permeability of the treated silk, it shows very good durability against abrasion and has a minor visual effect on the aesthetic appearance of silk. The distinctive roles of the silica nanoparticles and the antimicrobial agent on the aforementioned properties of the coating are investigated. Silica nanoparticles induce surface structures at the micro/nano-meter scale and are therefore responsible for the achieved extreme wetting properties that promote the antimicrobial activity. The latter is further enhanced by adding the silane quaternary ammonium salt in the composition of the protective coating.

  4. Natural Non-Mulberry Silk Nanoparticles for Potential-Controlled Drug Release

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Juan; Yin, Zhuping; Xue, Xiang; Kundu, Subhas C.; Mo, Xiumei; Lu, Shenzhou

    2016-01-01

    Natural silk protein nanoparticles are a promising biomaterial for drug delivery due to their pleiotropic properties, including biocompatibility, high bioavailability, and biodegradability. Chinese oak tasar Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (ApF) nanoparticles are easily obtained using cations as reagents under mild conditions. The mild conditions are potentially advantageous for the encapsulation of sensitive drugs and therapeutic molecules. In the present study, silk fibroin protein nanoparticles are loaded with differently-charged small-molecule drugs, such as doxorubicin hydrochloride, ibuprofen, and ibuprofen-Na, by simple absorption based on electrostatic interactions. The structure, morphology and biocompatibility of the silk nanoparticles in vitro are investigated. In vitro release of the drugs from the nanoparticles depends on charge-charge interactions between the drugs and the nanoparticles. The release behavior of the compounds from the nanoparticles demonstrates that positively-charged molecules are released in a more prolonged or sustained manner. Cell viability studies with L929 demonstrated that the ApF nanoparticles significantly promoted cell growth. The results suggest that Chinese oak tasar Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin nanoparticles can be used as an alternative matrix for drug carrying and controlled release in diverse biomedical applications. PMID:27916946

  5. Production of silk sericin/silk fibroin blend nanofibers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhang Xianhua

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Silk sericin (SS/silk fibroin (SF blend nanofibers have been produced by electrospinning in a binary SS/SF trifluoroacetic acid (TFA solution system, which was prepared by mixing 20 wt.% SS TFA solution and 10 wt.% SF TFA solution to give different compositions. The diameters of the SS/SF nanofibers ranged from 33 to 837 nm, and they showed a round cross section. The surface of the SS/SF nanofibers was smooth, and the fibers possessed a bead-free structure. The average diameters of the SS/SF (75/25, 50/50, and 25/75 blend nanofibers were much thicker than that of SS and SF nanofibers. The SS/SF (100/0, 75/25, and 50/50 blend nanofibers were easily dissolved in water, while the SS/SF (25/75 and 0/100 blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in water. The SS/SF blend nanofibers could not be completely dissolved in methanol. The SS/SF blend nanofibers were characterized by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry, and differential thermal analysis. FTIR showed that the SS/SF blend nanofibers possessed a random coil conformation and ß-sheet structure.

  6. A 310-bp minimal promoter mediates smooth muscle cell-specific expression of telokin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, A F; Bigsby, R M; Word, R A; Herring, B P

    1998-05-01

    A cell-specific promoter located in an intron of the smooth muscle myosin light chain kinase gene directs transcription of telokin exclusively in smooth muscle cells. Transgenic mice were generated in which a 310-bp rabbit telokin promoter fragment, extending from -163 to +147, was used to drive expression of simian virus 40 large T antigen. Smooth muscle-specific expression of the T-antigen transgene paralleled that of the endogenous telokin gene in all smooth muscle tissues except uterus. The 310-bp promoter fragment resulted in very low levels of transgene expression in uterus; in contrast, a transgene driven by a 2.4-kb fragment (-2250 to +147) resulted in high levels of transgene expression in uterine smooth muscle. Telokin expression levels correlate with the estrogen status of human myometrial tissues, suggesting that deletion of an estrogen response element (ERE) may account for the low levels of transgene expression driven by the 310-bp rabbit telokin promoter in uterine smooth muscle. Experiments in A10 smooth muscle cells directly showed that reporter gene expression driven by the 2.4-kb, but not 310-bp, promoter fragment could be stimulated two- to threefold by estrogen. This stimulation was mediated through an ERE located between -1447 and -1474. Addition of the ERE to the 310-bp fragment restored estrogen responsiveness in A10 cells. These data demonstrate that in addition to a minimal 310-bp proximal promoter at least one distal cis-acting regulatory element is required for telokin expression in uterine smooth muscle. The distal element may include an ERE between -1447 and -1474.

  7. Silk Electrogel Based Gastroretentive Drug Delivery System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Qianrui

    Gastric cancer has become a global pandemic and there is imperative to develop efficient therapies. Oral dosing strategy is the preferred route to deliver drugs for treating the disease. Recent studies suggested silk electro hydrogel, which is pH sensitive and reversible, has potential as a vehicle to deliver the drug in the stomach environment. The aim of this study is to establish in vitro electrogelation e-gel based silk gel as a gastroretentive drug delivery system. We successfully extended the duration of silk e-gel in artificial gastric juice by mixing silk solution with glycerol at different ratios before the electrogelation. Structural analysis indicated the extended duration was due to the change of beta sheet content. The glycerol mixed silk e-gel had good doxorubicin loading capability and could release doxorubicin in a sustained-release profile. Doxorubicin loaded silk e-gels were applied to human gastric cancer cells. Significant cell viability decrease was observed. We believe that with further characterization as well as functional analysis, the silk e-gel system has the potential to become an effective vehicle for gastric drug delivery applications.

  8. Silk Spinning in Silkworms and Spiders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, Marlene; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna

    2016-08-09

    Spiders and silkworms spin silks that outcompete the toughness of all natural and manmade fibers. Herein, we compare and contrast the spinning of silk in silkworms and spiders, with the aim of identifying features that are important for fiber formation. Although spiders and silkworms are very distantly related, some features of spinning silk seem to be universal. Both spiders and silkworms produce large silk proteins that are highly repetitive and extremely soluble at high pH, likely due to the globular terminal domains that flank an intermediate repetitive region. The silk proteins are produced and stored at a very high concentration in glands, and then transported along a narrowing tube in which they change conformation in response primarily to a pH gradient generated by carbonic anhydrase and proton pumps, as well as to ions and shear forces. The silk proteins thereby convert from random coil and alpha helical soluble conformations to beta sheet fibers. We suggest that factors that need to be optimized for successful production of artificial silk proteins capable of forming tough fibers include protein solubility, pH sensitivity, and preservation of natively folded proteins throughout the purification and initial spinning processes.

  9. A Novel Collection of snRNA-Like Promoters with Tissue-Specific Transcription Properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aldo Pagano

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available We recently identified a novel dataset of snRNA-like trascriptional units in the human genome. The investigation of a subset of these elements showed that they play relevant roles in physiology and/or pathology. In this work we expand our collection of small RNAs taking advantage of a newly developed algorithm able to identify genome sequence stretches with RNA polymerase (pol III type 3 promoter features thus constituting putative pol III binding sites. The bioinformatic analysis of a subset of these elements that map in introns of protein-coding genes in antisense configuration suggest their association with alternative splicing, similarly to other recently characterized small RNAs. Interestingly, the analysis of the transcriptional activity of these novel promoters shows that they are active in a cell-type specific manner, in accordance with the emerging body of evidence of a tissue/cell-specific activity of pol III.

  10. Mid-market transformation programs: programs to promote best practices in system specification and installation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rosenberg, Mitchell

    2003-01-01

    This paper summarizes the experience of programs designed to promote the adoption of best practices in equipment specification and installation among distributors and installation contractors in the residential central air conditioning and industrial compressed air equipment markets. For each of those markets, the paper identifies the current understanding of best practices, characterizes energy savings available from their adoption, assesses the nature of barriers to their adoption, and describes the operations and accomplishments of programs designed to address those barriers

  11. Spider Silk Fibers Spun from Soluble Recombinant Silk Produced in Mammalian Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazaris, Anthoula; Arcidiacono, Steven; Huang, Yue; Zhou, Jiang-Feng; Duguay, François; Chretien, Nathalie; Welsh, Elizabeth A.; Soares, Jason W.; Karatzas, Costas N.

    2002-01-01

    Spider silks are protein-based ``biopolymer'' filaments or threads secreted by specialized epithelial cells as concentrated soluble precursors of highly repetitive primary sequences. Spider dragline silk is a flexible, lightweight fiber of extraordinary strength and toughness comparable to that of synthetic high-performance fibers. We sought to ``biomimic'' the process of spider silk production by expressing in mammalian cells the dragline silk genes (ADF-3/MaSpII and MaSpI) of two spider species. We produced soluble recombinant (rc)-dragline silk proteins with molecular masses of 60 to 140 kilodaltons. We demonstrated the wet spinning of silk monofilaments spun from a concentrated aqueous solution of soluble rc-spider silk protein (ADF-3; 60 kilodaltons) under modest shear and coagulation conditions. The spun fibers were water insoluble with a fine diameter (10 to 40 micrometers) and exhibited toughness and modulus values comparable to those of native dragline silks but with lower tenacity. Dope solutions with rc-silk protein concentrations >20% and postspinning draw were necessary to achieve improved mechanical properties of the spun fibers. Fiber properties correlated with finer fiber diameter and increased birefringence.

  12. Gel spinning of silk tubes for tissue engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovett, Michael; Cannizzaro, Christopher; Vunjak-Novakovic, Gordana; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Tubular vessels for tissue engineering are typically fabricated using a molding, dipping, or electrospinning technique. While these techniques provide some control over inner and outer diameters of the tube, they lack the ability to align the polymers or fibers of interest throughout the tube. This is an important aspect of biomaterial composite structure and function for mechanical and biological impact of tissue outcomes. We present a novel aqueous process system to spin tubes from biopolymers and proteins such as silk fibroin. Using silk as an example, this method of winding an aqueous solution around a reciprocating rotating mandrel offers substantial improvement in the control of the tube properties, specifically with regard to winding pattern, tube porosity, and composite features. Silk tube properties are further controlled via different post-spinning processing mechanisms such as methanol-treatment, air-drying, and lyophilization. This approach to tubular scaffold manufacture offers numerous tissue engineering applications such as complex composite biomaterial matrices, blood vessel grafts and nerve guides, among others. PMID:18801570

  13. Fabrication and Mechanical Characterization of Hydrogel Infused Network Silk Scaffolds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lakshminath Kundanati

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Development and characterization of porous scaffolds for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine is of great importance. In recent times, silk scaffolds were developed and successfully tested in tissue engineering and drug release applications. We developed a novel composite scaffold by mechanical infusion of silk hydrogel matrix into a highly porous network silk scaffold. The mechanical behaviour of these scaffolds was thoroughly examined for their possible use in load bearing applications. Firstly, unconfined compression experiments show that the denser composite scaffolds displayed significant enhancement in the elastic modulus as compared to either of the components. This effect was examined and further explained with the help of foam mechanics principles. Secondly, results from confined compression experiments that resemble loading of cartilage in confinement, showed nonlinear material responses for all scaffolds. Finally, the confined creep experiments were performed to calculate the hydraulic permeability of the scaffolds using soil mechanics principles. Our results show that composite scaffolds with some modifications can be a potential candidate for use of cartilage like applications. We hope such approaches help in developing novel scaffolds for tissue engineering by providing an understanding of the mechanics and can further be used to develop graded scaffolds by targeted infusion in specific regions.

  14. Processing Techniques and Applications of Silk Hydrogels in Bioengineering

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Floren

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hydrogels are an attractive class of tunable material platforms that, combined with their structural and functional likeness to biological environments, have a diversity of applications in bioengineering. Several polymers, natural and synthetic, can be used, the material selection being based on the required functional characteristics of the prepared hydrogels. Silk fibroin (SF is an attractive natural polymer for its excellent processability, biocompatibility, controlled degradation, mechanical properties and tunable formats and a good candidate for the fabrication of hydrogels. Tremendous effort has been made to control the structural and functional characteristic of silk hydrogels, integrating novel biological features with advanced processing techniques, to develop the next generation of functional SF hydrogels. Here, we review the several processing methods developed to prepare advanced SF hydrogel formats, emphasizing a bottom-up approach beginning with critical structural characteristics of silk proteins and their behavior under specific gelation environments. Additionally, the preparation of SF hydrogel blends and other advanced formats will also be discussed. We conclude with a brief description of the attractive utility of SF hydrogels in relevant bioengineering applications.

  15. Uncovering the structure-function relationship in spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yarger, Jeffery L.; Cherry, Brian R.; van der Vaart, Arjan

    2018-03-01

    All spiders produce protein-based biopolymer fibres that we call silk. The most studied of these silks is spider dragline silk, which is very tough and relatively abundant compared with other types of spider silks. Considerable research has been devoted to understanding the relationship between the molecular structure and mechanical properties of spider dragline silks. In this Review, we overview experimental and computational studies that have provided a wealth of detail at the molecular level on the highly conserved repetitive core and terminal regions of spider dragline silk. We also discuss the role of the nanocrystalline β-sheets and amorphous regions in determining the properties of spider silk fibres, endowing them with strength and elasticity. Additionally, we outline imaging techniques and modelling studies that elucidate the importance of the hierarchical structure of silk fibres at the molecular level. These insights into structure-function relationships can guide the reverse engineering of spider silk to enable the production of superior synthetic fibres.

  16. Dermatologic Diseases in Silk Workers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J S Pasricha

    1985-01-01

    Full Text Available A survey of 112 workers of a silk facory near Bangalore, for dermatologic diseases revealed (1 a characteristic wearing off of the medial halves of the distal free edges of the finger nail plates in 10 of the 15 cocoonsorters, (2 maceration of the palms in 58 workers of the boiling and reeling section, and (3 pitted keratolysis of the palms, in 42 workers, also from the boiling and reeling section. There was no clinical evidence of contact dermatitis, and patch tests with the silk thread from the cocoons in 25 workers showed a very mild reaction in 2 workers and a doubtful reaction in another two. In addition, one worker from the skeining section had crisscross superficial fissures on the finger tips caused by friction, two workers had paronychia ′of the fingers and four workers had dermatophytFNx01t fingers webs. As in the previous survey, these workers also had a high incidence of ichthyosis (92 workers and hyperketatosis of the palms (62 workers and soles (110 workers.

  17. The Effect of Salts in Promoting Specific and Competitive Interactions between Zinc Finger Proteins and Metals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Gongyu; Yuan, Siming; Zheng, Shihui; Chen, Yuting; Zheng, Zhen; Liu, Yangzhong; Huang, Guangming

    2017-12-01

    Specific protein-metal interactions (PMIs) fulfill essential functions in cells and organic bodies, and activation of these functions in vivo are mostly modulated by the complex environmental factors, including pH value, small biomolecules, and salts. Specifically, the role of salts in promoting specific PMIs and their competition among various metals has remained untapped mainly due to the difficulty to distinguish nonspecific PMIs from specific PMIs by classic spectroscopic techniques. Herein, we report Hofmeister salts differentially promote the specific PMIs by combining nanoelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry and spectroscopic techniques (fluorescence measurement and circular dichroism). Furthermore, to explore the influence of salts in competitive binding between metalloproteins and various metals, we designed a series of competitive experiments and applied to a well-defined model system, the competitive binding of zinc (II) and arsenic (III) to holo-promyelocytic leukemia protein (PML). These experiments not only provided new insights at the molecular scale as complementary to previous NMR and spectroscopic results, but also deduced the relative binding ability between zinc finger proteins and metals at the molecular scale, which avoids the mass spectrometric titration-based determination of binding constants that is frequently affected and often degraded by variable solution conditions including salt contents. [Figure not available: see fulltext.

  18. THE SPECIFIC CHARACTERISTICS OF PROMOTIONAL JOURNALISM – A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS WITH OTHER RELATED CONCEPTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    CRINA ANIŞOARA TRIFAN (LICA

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Purpose statement – This paper’s purpose is to contribute to the development of a specific know-how through the establishment of a theoretical framework of reference. This can facilitate the research steps which follow the identification; analysis; and interpretation of a new marketing instrument – promotional journalism. The objectives, of this study, relate not only to the establishment of theoretical but, also, to the practical characteristics, of promotional journalism. These are based on a comparative analysis with other related concepts and, also, on a qualitative analysis of the contents of the specific materials. Design – The research problem imposes a methodological interdisciplinary approach; this enables the identification; systematization; analysis; and theoretical interpretation of the fundamental concepts, theories and ideas, from the specialized literature, to be orientated towards studies and articles from separate fields. From the perspective of the research objectives and this interdisciplinary study of specilized literature, there was added a qualitative analysis of the content of the materials specific to promotional journalism found between 2002 and 2006, in the fashion magazine, Elle Romania. Overview - The specialized literature presented key-concepts; different terminologies; and meanings apparently for the same studied “reality“. This made the achievement of the process of conceptual delimitations even more difficult to the extent that promotional journalism was situated at the intersection of various sciences and the acknowledgment, of its related terms, were either similar or stated vaguely. Originality – This paper’s originality stems from the interdisciplinary perspective to the approach to the problematical aspect and the analysis and interpretitive complexity of the research results. These might prove useful both to the accomplishment of the studies in the field and for the practitioners and

  19. Transplantation of specific human astrocytes promotes functional recovery after spinal cord injury.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephen J A Davies

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Repairing trauma to the central nervous system by replacement of glial support cells is an increasingly attractive therapeutic strategy. We have focused on the less-studied replacement of astrocytes, the major support cell in the central nervous system, by generating astrocytes from embryonic human glial precursor cells using two different astrocyte differentiation inducing factors. The resulting astrocytes differed in expression of multiple proteins thought to either promote or inhibit central nervous system homeostasis and regeneration. When transplanted into acute transection injuries of the adult rat spinal cord, astrocytes generated by exposing human glial precursor cells to bone morphogenetic protein promoted significant recovery of volitional foot placement, axonal growth and notably robust increases in neuronal survival in multiple spinal cord laminae. In marked contrast, human glial precursor cells and astrocytes generated from these cells by exposure to ciliary neurotrophic factor both failed to promote significant behavioral recovery or similarly robust neuronal survival and support of axon growth at sites of injury. Our studies thus demonstrate functional differences between human astrocyte populations and suggest that pre-differentiation of precursor cells into a specific astrocyte subtype is required to optimize astrocyte replacement therapies. To our knowledge, this study is the first to show functional differences in ability to promote repair of the injured adult central nervous system between two distinct subtypes of human astrocytes derived from a common fetal glial precursor population. These findings are consistent with our previous studies of transplanting specific subtypes of rodent glial precursor derived astrocytes into sites of spinal cord injury, and indicate a remarkable conservation from rat to human of functional differences between astrocyte subtypes. In addition, our studies provide a specific population of human

  20. Degree of Biomimicry of Artificial Spider Silk Spinning Assessed by NMR Spectroscopy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otikovs, Martins; Andersson, Marlene; Jia, Qiupin; Nordling, Kerstin; Meng, Qing; Andreas, Loren B; Pintacuda, Guido; Johansson, Jan; Rising, Anna; Jaudzems, Kristaps

    2017-10-02

    Biomimetic spinning of artificial spider silk requires that the terminal domains of designed minispidroins undergo specific structural changes in concert with the β-sheet conversion of the repetitive region. Herein, we combine solution and solid-state NMR methods to probe domain-specific structural changes in the NT2RepCT minispidroin, which allows us to assess the degree of biomimicry of artificial silk spinning. In addition, we show that the structural effects of post-spinning procedures can be examined. By studying the impact of NT2RepCT fiber drying, we observed a reversible beta-to-alpha conversion. We think that this approach will be useful for guiding the optimization of artificial spider silk fibers. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  1. A Hox Gene, Antennapedia, Regulates Expression of Multiple Major Silk Protein Genes in the Silkworm Bombyx mori.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsubota, Takuya; Tomita, Shuichiro; Uchino, Keiro; Kimoto, Mai; Takiya, Shigeharu; Kajiwara, Hideyuki; Yamazaki, Toshimasa; Sezutsu, Hideki

    2016-03-25

    Hoxgenes play a pivotal role in the determination of anteroposterior axis specificity during bilaterian animal development. They do so by acting as a master control and regulating the expression of genes important for development. Recently, however, we showed that Hoxgenes can also function in terminally differentiated tissue of the lepidopteranBombyx mori In this species,Antennapedia(Antp) regulates expression of sericin-1, a major silk protein gene, in the silk gland. Here, we investigated whether Antpcan regulate expression of multiple genes in this tissue. By means of proteomic, RT-PCR, and in situ hybridization analyses, we demonstrate that misexpression of Antpin the posterior silk gland induced ectopic expression of major silk protein genes such assericin-3,fhxh4, and fhxh5 These genes are normally expressed specifically in the middle silk gland as is Antp Therefore, the evidence strongly suggests that Antpactivates these silk protein genes in the middle silk gland. The putativesericin-1 activator complex (middle silk gland-intermolt-specific complex) can bind to the upstream regions of these genes, suggesting that Antpdirectly activates their expression. We also found that the pattern of gene expression was well conserved between B. moriand the wild species Bombyx mandarina, indicating that the gene regulation mechanism identified here is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism and not an artifact of the domestication of B. mori We suggest that Hoxgenes have a role as a master control in terminally differentiated tissues, possibly acting as a primary regulator for a range of physiological processes. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  2. The effect of gamma irradiation on some morphological and quantitative changes of Bombyx mori L. silk gland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petkov, N.; Malinova, K.; Binkh, N.

    1996-01-01

    A study to determine the effect of gamma irradiation of silkworm eggs at doses of 1.00; 2.00 and 3.00 on silk gland weight, length and width is performed. It was found that gamma irradiation of eggs in the stage of embryo most intensive growth in length (B 2 ) at doses 2.00 and 3.00 Gy stimulates increasing of silk glands weight in silkworms on the fifth day instar by 12-25 mg, as well as the silk worm width - by 7-33 μm, which is of significant importance for the synthesis and secretion of silk proteins (fibroin and sericin). A breed specificity was also observed

  3. Characterization of Natural Dyes and Traditional Korean Silk Fabric by Surface Analytical Techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yeonhee Lee

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS are well established surface techniques that provide both elemental and organic information from several monolayers of a sample surface, while also allowing depth profiling or image mapping to be carried out. The static TOF-SIMS with improved performances has expanded the application of TOF-SIMS to the study of a variety of organic, polymeric and biological materials. In this work, TOF-SIMS, XPS and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR measurements were used to characterize commercial natural dyes and traditional silk fabric dyed with plant extracts dyes avoiding the time-consuming and destructive extraction procedures necessary for the spectrophotometric and chromatographic methods previously used. Silk textiles dyed with plant extracts were then analyzed for chemical and functional group identification of their dye components and mordants. TOF-SIMS spectra for the dyed silk fabric showed element ions from metallic mordants, specific fragment ions and molecular ions from plant-extracted dyes. The results of TOF-SIMS, XPS and FTIR are very useful as a reference database for comparison with data about traditional Korean silk fabric and to provide an understanding of traditional dyeing materials. Therefore, this study shows that surface techniques are useful for micro-destructive analysis of plant-extracted dyes and Korean dyed silk fabric.

  4. Characterization of Natural Dyes and Traditional Korean Silk Fabric by Surface Analytical Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jihye; Kang, Min Hwa; Lee, Kang-Bong; Lee, Yeonhee

    2013-01-01

    Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) are well established surface techniques that provide both elemental and organic information from several monolayers of a sample surface, while also allowing depth profiling or image mapping to be carried out. The static TOF-SIMS with improved performances has expanded the application of TOF-SIMS to the study of a variety of organic, polymeric and biological materials. In this work, TOF-SIMS, XPS and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) measurements were used to characterize commercial natural dyes and traditional silk fabric dyed with plant extracts dyes avoiding the time-consuming and destructive extraction procedures necessary for the spectrophotometric and chromatographic methods previously used. Silk textiles dyed with plant extracts were then analyzed for chemical and functional group identification of their dye components and mordants. TOF-SIMS spectra for the dyed silk fabric showed element ions from metallic mordants, specific fragment ions and molecular ions from plant-extracted dyes. The results of TOF-SIMS, XPS and FTIR are very useful as a reference database for comparison with data about traditional Korean silk fabric and to provide an understanding of traditional dyeing materials. Therefore, this study shows that surface techniques are useful for micro-destructive analysis of plant-extracted dyes and Korean dyed silk fabric. PMID:28809257

  5. In vitro chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells with silk scaffolds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Joo Kim

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Human adipose-derived stem cells have shown chondrogenic differentiation potential in cartilage tissue engineering in combination with natural and synthetic biomaterials. In the present study, we hypothesized that porous aqueous-derived silk protein scaffolds would be suitable for chondrogenic differentiation of human adipose-derived stem cells. Human adipose-derived stem cells were cultured up to 6 weeks, and cell proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation were investigated and compared with those in conventional micromass culture. Cell proliferation, glycosaminoglycan, and collagen levels in aqueous-derived silk scaffolds were significantly higher than in micromass culture. Transcript levels of SOX9 and type II collagen were also upregulated in the cell–silk constructs at 6 weeks. Histological examination revealed that the pores of the silk scaffolds were filled with cells uniformly distributed. In addition, chondrocyte-specific lacunae formation was evident and distributed in the both groups. The results suggest the biodegradable and biocompatible three-dimensional aqueous-derived silk scaffolds provided an improved environment for chondrogenic differentiation compared to micromass culture.

  6. Spider Transcriptomes Identify Ancient Large-Scale Gene Duplication Event Potentially Important in Silk Gland Evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clarke, Thomas H; Garb, Jessica E; Hayashi, Cheryl Y; Arensburger, Peter; Ayoub, Nadia A

    2015-06-08

    The evolution of specialized tissues with novel functions, such as the silk synthesizing glands in spiders, is likely an influential driver of adaptive success. Large-scale gene duplication events and subsequent paralog divergence are thought to be required for generating evolutionary novelty. Such an event has been proposed for spiders, but not tested. We de novo assembled transcriptomes from three cobweb weaving spider species. Based on phylogenetic analyses of gene families with representatives from each of the three species, we found numerous duplication events indicative of a whole genome or segmental duplication. We estimated the age of the gene duplications relative to several speciation events within spiders and arachnids and found that the duplications likely occurred after the divergence of scorpions (order Scorpionida) and spiders (order Araneae), but before the divergence of the spider suborders Mygalomorphae and Araneomorphae, near the evolutionary origin of spider silk glands. Transcripts that are expressed exclusively or primarily within black widow silk glands are more likely to have a paralog descended from the ancient duplication event and have elevated amino acid replacement rates compared with other transcripts. Thus, an ancient large-scale gene duplication event within the spider lineage was likely an important source of molecular novelty during the evolution of silk gland-specific expression. This duplication event may have provided genetic material for subsequent silk gland diversification in the true spiders (Araneomorphae). © The Author(s) 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  7. Manufacture and Drug Delivery Applications of Silk Nanoparticles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wongpinyochit, Thidarat; Johnston, Blair F; Seib, F Philipp

    2016-10-08

    Silk is a promising biopolymer for biomedical and pharmaceutical applications due to its outstanding mechanical properties, biocompatibility and biodegradability, as well its ability to protect and subsequently release its payload in response to a trigger. While silk can be formulated into various material formats, silk nanoparticles are emerging as promising drug delivery systems. Therefore, this article covers the procedures for reverse engineering silk cocoons to yield a regenerated silk solution that can be used to generate stable silk nanoparticles. These nanoparticles are subsequently characterized, drug loaded and explored as a potential anticancer drug delivery system. Briefly, silk cocoons are reverse engineered first by degumming the cocoons, followed by silk dissolution and clean up, to yield an aqueous silk solution. Next, the regenerated silk solution is subjected to nanoprecipitation to yield silk nanoparticles - a simple but powerful method that generates uniform nanoparticles. The silk nanoparticles are characterized according to their size, zeta potential, morphology and stability in aqueous media, as well as their ability to entrap a chemotherapeutic payload and kill human breast cancer cells. Overall, the described methodology yields uniform silk nanoparticles that can be readily explored for a myriad of applications, including their use as a potential nanomedicine.

  8. Silk fibers and silk-producing organs of Harpactea rubicunda (C. L. Koch 1838) (Araneae, Dysderidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajer, Jaromír; Malý, Jan; Reháková, Dana

    2013-01-01

    Scanning electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to study the silk spinning apparatus and silks of Harpactea rubicunda spiders. Three types of silk secretions that are produced by three kinds of silk spinning glands (ampullate, piriform, and pseudaciniform) and released through three types of spigots, were confirmed for both adult and juvenile spiders. Silk secretions for the construction of spider webs for shelter or retreat are produced by the pseudaciniform silk glands. Silk secretions that are released from spigots in the course of web construction are not processed by the legs during the subsequent process of hardening. Pairs of nanofibril bundles seemed to be part of the basic microarchitecture of the web silk fibers as revealed by AFM. These fiber bundles frequently not only overlap one another, but occasionally also interweave. This structural variability may strengthen the spider web. High-resolution AFM scans of individual nanofibrils show a distinctly segmented nanostructure. Each globular segment is ∼30-40 nm long along the longitudinal axis of the fiber, and resembles a nanosegment of artificial fibroin described by Perez-Rigueiro et al. (2007). Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Trait liabilities and specific promotive processes in psychopathology: The example of suicidal behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchman-Schmitt, Jennifer M; Brislin, Sarah J; Venables, Noah C; Joiner, Thomas E; Patrick, Christopher J

    2017-07-01

    The RDoC matrix framework calls for investigation of mental health problems through analysis of core biobehavioral processes quantified and studied across multiple domains of measurement. Critics have raised concerns about RDoC, including overemphasis on biological concepts/measures and disregard for the principle of multifinality, which holds that identical biological predispositions can give rise to differing behavioral outcomes. The current work illustrates an ontogenetic process approach to addressing these concerns, focusing on biobehavioral traits corresponding to RDoC constructs as predictors, and suicidal behavior as the outcome variable. Data were collected from a young adult sample (N=105), preselected to enhance rates of suicidality. Participants completed self-report measures of traits (threat sensitivity, response inhibition) and suicide-specific processes. We show that previously reported associations for traits of threat sensitivity and weak inhibitory control with suicidal behavior are mediated by more specific suicide-promoting processes-namely, thwarted belongingness, perceived burdensomeness, and capability for suicide. The sample was relatively small and the data were cross-sectional, limiting conclusions that can be drawn from the mediation analyses. Given prior research documenting neurophysiological as well as psychological bases to these trait dispositions, the current work sets the stage for an intensive RDoC-oriented investigation of suicidal tendencies in which both traits and suicide-promoting processes are quantified using indicators from different domains of measurement. More broadly, this work illustrates how an RDoC research approach can contribute to a nuanced understanding of specific clinical problems, through consideration of how general biobehavioral liabilities interface with distinct problem-promoting processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Cardiac-Specific Gene Expression Facilitated by an Enhanced Myosin Light Chain Promoter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wolfgang Boecker

    2004-04-01

    Full Text Available Background: Adenoviral gene transfer has been shown to be effective in cardiac myocytes in vitro and in vivo. A major limitation of myocardial gene therapy is the extracardiac transgene expression. Methods: To minimize extracardiac gene expression, we have constructed a tissue-specific promoter for cardiac gene transfer, namely, the 250-bp fragment of the myosin light chain-2v (MLC-2v gene, which is known to be expressed in a tissue-specific manner in ventricular myocardium followed by a luciferase (luc reporter gene (Ad.4 × MLC250.Luc. Rat cardiomyocytes, liver and kidney cells were infected with Ad.4 × MLC.Luc or control vectors. For in vivo testing, Ad.4 × MLC250.Luc was injected into the myocardium or in the liver of rats. Kinetics of promoter activity were monitored over 8 days using a cooled CCD camera. Results: In vitro: By infecting hepatic versus cardiomyocyte cells, we found that the promoter specificity ratio (luc activity in cardiomyocytes per liver cells was 20.4 versus 0.9 (Ad.4 × MLC250.Luc vs. Ad.CMV. In vivo: Ad.4 × MLC250.Luc significantly reduced luc activity in liver (38.4-fold, lung (16.1-fold, and kidney (21.8-fold versus Ad.CMV (p = .01; whereas activity in the heart was only 3.8-fold decreased. The gene expression rate of cardiomyocytes versus hepatocytes was 7:1 (Ad.4 × MLC.Luc versus 1:1.4 (Ad.CMV.Luc. Discussion: This new vector may be useful to validate therapeutic approaches in animal disease models and offers the perspective for selective expression of therapeutic genes in the diseased heart.

  11. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wachiraporn Pewlong; Boonya Sudatis [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-09-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated in the dose range up to 2500 kGy using an electron beam accelerator to apply the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The tensile strength of irradiated fibroin fiber decreased with increasing dose and the presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced the degradation. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: calcium chloride solution (CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O = 1 : 2 : 8 in mole ratio), hydrochloric acid (0.5N) and distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water-soluble protein was extracted by distilled water. (author)

  12. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pewlong, W.; Sudatis, B.; Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl 2 /C 2 H 5 OH/H 2 O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  13. Radiation degradation of silk protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pewlong, W; Sudatis, B [Office of Atomic Energy for Peace, Bangkok (Thailand); Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment

    2000-03-01

    Silk fibroin fiber from the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori was irradiated using an electron beam accelerator to investigate the application of the radiation degradation technique as a means to solubilize fibroin. The irradiation caused a significant degradation of the fiber. The tensile strength of fibroin fiber irradiated up to 2500 kGy decreased rapidly with increasing dose. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced degradation of the tensile strength. The solubilization of irradiated fibroin fiber was evaluated using the following three kinds of solutions: a calcium chloride solution(CaCl{sub 2}/C{sub 2}H{sub 5}OH/H{sub 2}O=1:2:8 in mole ratio), a hydrochloric acid (0.5 N) and a distilled water. Dissolution of fibroin fiber into these solutions was significantly enhanced by irradiation. Especially, an appreciable amount of water soluble proteins was extracted by a distilled water. (author)

  14. Tlx3 promotes glutamatergic neuronal subtype specification through direct interactions with the chromatin modifier CBP.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Shimomura

    Full Text Available Nervous system development relies on the generation of precise numbers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. The homeodomain transcription factor, T-cell leukemia 3 (Tlx3, functions as the master neuronal fate regulator by instructively promoting the specification of glutamatergic excitatory neurons and suppressing the specification of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic neurons. However, how Tlx3 promotes glutamatergic neuronal subtype specification is poorly understood. In this study, we found that Tlx3 directly interacts with the epigenetic co-activator cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP-response element-binding protein (CREB-binding protein (CBP and that the Tlx3 homeodomain is essential for this interaction. The interaction between Tlx3 and CBP was enhanced by the three amino acid loop extension (TALE-class homeodomain transcription factor, pre-B-cell leukemia transcription factor 3 (Pbx3. Using mouse embryonic stem (ES cells stably expressing Tlx3, we found that the interaction between Tlx3 and CBP became detectable only after these Tlx3-expressing ES cells were committed to a neural lineage, which coincided with increased Pbx3 expression during neural differentiation from ES cells. Forced expression of mutated Tlx3 lacking the homeodomain in ES cells undergoing neural differentiation resulted in significantly reduced expression of glutamatergic neuronal subtype markers, but had little effect on the expression on pan neural markers. Collectively, our results strongly suggest that functional interplay between Tlx3 and CBP plays a critical role in neuronal subtype specification, providing novel insights into the epigenetic regulatory mechanism that modulates the transcriptional efficacy of a selective set of neuronal subtype-specific genes during differentiation.

  15. A specific role of iron in promoting meristematic cell division during adventitious root formation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilo, Alexander; Shahinnia, Fahimeh; Druege, Uwe; Franken, Philipp; Melzer, Michael; Rutten, Twan; von Wirén, Nicolaus; Hajirezaei, Mohammad-Reza

    2017-07-10

    Adventitious root (AR) formation is characterized by a sequence of physiological and morphological processes and determined by external factors, including mineral nutrition, the impacts of which remain largely elusive. Morphological and anatomical evaluation of the effects of mineral elements on AR formation in leafy cuttings of Petunia hybrida revealed a striking stimulation by iron (Fe) and a promotive action of ammonium (NH4+). The optimal application period for these nutrients corresponded to early division of meristematic cells in the rooting zone and coincided with increased transcript levels of mitotic cyclins. Fe-localization studies revealed an enhanced allocation of Fe to the nuclei of meristematic cells in AR initials. NH4+ supply promoted AR formation to a lesser extent, most likely by favoring the availability of Fe. We conclude that Fe acts locally by promoting cell division in the meristematic cells of AR primordia. These results highlight a specific biological function of Fe in AR development and point to an unexploited importance of Fe for the vegetative propagation of plants from cuttings. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Experimental Biology.

  16. Facts and myths of antibacterial properties of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaur, Jasjeet; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Afrin, Tarannum; Tsuzuki, Takuya; Wang, Xungai

    2014-03-01

    Silk cocoons provide protection to silkworm from biotic and abiotic hazards during the immobile pupal phase of the lifecycle of silkworms. Protection is particularly important for the wild silk cocoons reared in an open and harsh environment. To understand whether some of the cocoon components resist growth of microorganisms, in vitro studies were performed using gram negative bacteria Escherichia coli (E. coli) to investigate antibacterial properties of silk fiber, silk gum, and calcium oxalate crystals embedded inside some cocoons. The results show that the previously reported antibacterial properties of silk cocoons are actually due to residues of chemicals used to isolate/purify cocoon elements, and properly isolated silk fiber, gum, and embedded crystals free from such residues do not have inherent resistance to E. coli. This study removes the uncertainty created by previous studies over the presence of antibacterial properties of silk cocoons, particularly the silk gum and sericin. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Structural analysis and application to biomaterials of the silk fibroins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nakazawa, Yasumoto

    2010-01-01

    Silk fibroin from Bombyx mori silkworm has outstanding mechanical properties despite being spun from aqueous solution. I have clarified two distinct structures in the solid state; silk I and silk II, which mean the structures before and after spinning, by using solid state NMR. Moreover, I have been developing several kinds of biomaterials, such as bone regeneration materials and vascular grafts. In this paper, I present two topics: one is the structural analyses of the silk fibroin in detail, the other is applications of silk fibroins to tissue engineering. In the case of vascular regeneration, I have developed the small diameter vascular grafts made by silk fibroins. The new grafts from silk fibroins have good patency, and these grafts were commonly covered with cells and platelets at 4 weeks after implantation. For bone tissue engineering, I performed structural analyses of a new silk-like peptide, E n (AGSGAG) 4 , in order to consider the molecular design of biomaterials for bone regeneration. (author)

  18. Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Protective effects of flavonoids from corn silk on oxidative stress induced by ... The present study aims at exploring the effects of flavonoids from corn silk (FCS) on oxidative stress induced by exhaustive exercise in mice. ... from 32 Countries:.

  19. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    OpenAIRE

    E. Khanpour*; M. Modarresi

    2017-01-01

    Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan). The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temper...

  20. In vitro and in vivo research on using Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffolds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fang Qian; Chen Denglong; Yang Zhiming; Li Min

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, the feasibility of using Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffold was investigated in vitro and in vivo, respectively, utilizing tenocytes and animal model. The animal model used here was an adult New Zealand White rabbit with a 15-mm gap defect in both sides of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon defects in one side of hind legs were repaired using the braided A. pernyi silk fibroin scaffold in experimental group (n = 24), while the other side left untreated as negative group (n = 24). The recovery of the defect tendons were evaluated postoperatively at the 2nd, 6th, 12th, and 16th week using macroscopic, histological, immunohistochemical, scanning electron micrograph and biomechanical test techniques. In vitro results examined by scanning electron micrograph showed that A. pernyi silk fibroin promote the adhesion and propagation of the tenocytes. In vivo, at 16 weeks after implantation, morphological results showed that neo-tendons were formed, and bundles of collagen fibers in the neo-tendons were uniform and well oriented. Immunohistochemical results showed that collagen type in the regenerated tendons was predominantly type I. The maximum load of regenerated tendon at 16 weeks reached 55.46% of the normal tendon values. Preliminary, we concluded that A. pernyi silk fibroin promoted the recovery of Achilles tendon defect of rabbit and the application of A. pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffold is feasible.

  1. In vitro and in vivo research on using Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffolds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang Qian [College of Life Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, Fujian350108 (China); Chen Denglong [College of Chemistry and Materials Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, Fujian350108 (China); Yang Zhiming [Division of Stem Cell and Tissue Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610041 (China); Li Min, E-mail: mli@fjnu.edu.cn [College of Life Sciences, Fujian Normal University, Fuzhou, Fujian350108 (China)

    2009-06-01

    In this paper, the feasibility of using Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffold was investigated in vitro and in vivo, respectively, utilizing tenocytes and animal model. The animal model used here was an adult New Zealand White rabbit with a 15-mm gap defect in both sides of the Achilles tendon. The Achilles tendon defects in one side of hind legs were repaired using the braided A. pernyi silk fibroin scaffold in experimental group (n = 24), while the other side left untreated as negative group (n = 24). The recovery of the defect tendons were evaluated postoperatively at the 2nd, 6th, 12th, and 16th week using macroscopic, histological, immunohistochemical, scanning electron micrograph and biomechanical test techniques. In vitro results examined by scanning electron micrograph showed that A. pernyi silk fibroin promote the adhesion and propagation of the tenocytes. In vivo, at 16 weeks after implantation, morphological results showed that neo-tendons were formed, and bundles of collagen fibers in the neo-tendons were uniform and well oriented. Immunohistochemical results showed that collagen type in the regenerated tendons was predominantly type I. The maximum load of regenerated tendon at 16 weeks reached 55.46% of the normal tendon values. Preliminary, we concluded that A. pernyi silk fibroin promoted the recovery of Achilles tendon defect of rabbit and the application of A. pernyi silk fibroin as tissue engineering tendon scaffold is feasible.

  2. Polymorphic regenerated silk fibers assembled through bioinspired spinning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ling, Shengjie; Qin, Zhao; Li, Chunmei; Huang, Wenwen; Kaplan, David L; Buehler, Markus J

    2017-11-09

    A variety of artificial spinning methods have been applied to produce regenerated silk fibers; however, how to spin regenerated silk fibers that retain the advantages of natural silks in terms of structural hierarchy and mechanical properties remains challenging. Here, we show a bioinspired approach to spin regenerated silk fibers. First, we develop a nematic silk microfibril solution, highly viscous and stable, by partially dissolving silk fibers into microfibrils. This solution maintains the hierarchical structures in natural silks and serves as spinning dope. It is then spun into regenerated silk fibers by direct extrusion in the air, offering a useful route to generate polymorphic and hierarchical regenerated silk fibers with physical properties beyond natural fiber construction. The materials maintain the structural hierarchy and mechanical properties of natural silks, including a modulus of 11 ± 4 GPa, even higher than natural spider silk. It can further be functionalized with a conductive silk/carbon nanotube coating, responsive to changes in humidity and temperature.

  3. Silk-ionomer and silk-tropoelastin hydrogels as charged three-dimensional culture platforms for the regulation of hMSC response.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calabrese, Rossella; Raia, Nicole; Huang, Wenwen; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Simon, Marc; Staii, Cristian; Weiss, Anthony S; Kaplan, David L

    2017-09-01

    The response of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) encapsulated in three-dimensional (3D) charged protein hydrogels was studied. Combining silk fibroin (S) with recombinant human tropoelastin (E) or silk ionomers (I) provided protein composite alloys with tunable physicochemical and biological features for regulating the bioactivity of encapsulated hMSCs. The effects of the biomaterial charges on hMSC viability, proliferation and chondrogenic or osteogenic differentiation were assessed. The silk-tropoelastin or silk-ionomers hydrogels supported hMSC viability, proliferation and differentiation. Gene expression of markers for chondrogenesis and osteogenesis, as well as biochemical and histological analysis, showed that hydrogels with different S/E and S/I ratios had different effects on cell fate. The negatively charged hydrogels upregulated hMSC chondrogenesis or osteogenesis, with or without specific differentiation media, and hydrogels with higher tropoelastin content inhibited the differentiation potential even in the presence of the differentiation media. The results provide insight on charge-tunable features of protein-based biomaterials to control hMSC differentiation in 3D hydrogels, as well as providing a new set of hydrogels for the compatible encapsulation and utility for cell functions. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  4. Hybrid Silk Fibers Dry-Spun from Regenerated Silk Fibroin/Graphene Oxide Aqueous Solutions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chao; Zhang, Yaopeng; Shao, Huili; Hu, Xuechao

    2016-02-10

    Regenerated silk fibroin (RSF)/graphene oxide (GO) hybrid silk fibers were dry-spun from a mixed dope of GO suspension and RSF aqueous solution. It was observed that the presence of GO greatly affect the viscosity of RSF solution. The RSF/GO hybrid fibers showed from FTIR result lower β-sheet content compared to that of pure RSF fibers. The result of synchrotron radiation wide-angle X-ray diffraction showed that the addition of GO confined the crystallization of silk fibroin (SF) leading to the decrease of crystallinity, smaller crystallite size, and new formation of interphase zones in the artificial silks. Synchrotron radiation small-angle X-ray scattering also proved that GO sheets in the hybrid silks and blended solutions were coated with a certain thickness of interphase zones due to the complex interaction between the two components. A low addition of GO, together with the mesophase zones formed between GO and RSF, enhanced the mechanical properties of hybrid fibers. The highest breaking stress of the hybrid fibers reached 435.5 ± 71.6 MPa, 23% improvement in comparison to that of degummed silk and 72% larger than that of pure RSF silk fiber. The hybrid RSF/GO materials with good biocompatibility and enhanced mechanical properties may have potential applications in tissue engineering, bioelectronic devices, or energy storage.

  5. Silk: a potential medium for tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobajo, Cassandra; Behzad, Farhad; Yuan, Xue-Feng; Bayat, Ardeshir

    2008-01-01

    Human skin is a complex bilayered organ that serves as a protective barrier against the environment. The loss of integrity of skin by traumatic experiences such as burns and ulcers may result in considerable disability or ultimately death. Therefore, in skin injuries, adequate dermal substitutes are among primary care targets, aimed at replacing the structural and functional properties of native skin. To date, there are very few single application tissue-engineered dermal constructs fulfilling this criterion. Silk produced by the domestic silkworm, Bombyx mori, has a long history of use in medicine. It has recently been increasingly investigated as a promising biomaterial for dermal constructs. Silk contains 2 fibrous proteins, sericin and fibroin. Each one exhibits unique mechanical and biological properties. Comprehensive review of randomized-controlled trials investigating current dermal constructs and the structures and properties of silk-based constructs on wound healing. This review revealed that silk-fibroin is regarded as the most promising biomaterial, providing options for the construction of tissue-engineered skin. The research available indicates that silk fibroin is a suitable biomaterial scaffold for the provision of adequate dermal constructs.

  6. Goat activin receptor type IIB knockdown by muscle specific promoter driven artificial microRNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patel, Amrutlal K; Shah, Ravi K; Patel, Utsav A; Tripathi, Ajai K; Joshi, Chaitanya G

    2014-10-10

    Activin receptor type IIB (ACVR2B) is a transmembrane receptor which mediates signaling of TGF beta superfamily ligands known to function in regulation of muscle mass, embryonic development and reproduction. ACVR2B antagonism has shown to enhance the muscle growth in several disease and transgenic models. Here, we show ACVR2B knockdown by RNA interference using muscle creatine kinase (MCK) promoter driven artificial microRNAs (amiRNAs). Among the various promoter elements tested, the ∼1.26 kb MCK promoter region showed maximum transcriptional activity in goat myoblasts cells. We observed up to 20% silencing in non-myogenic 293T cells and up to 32% silencing in myogenic goat myoblasts by MCK directed amiRNAs by transient transfection. Goat myoblasts stably integrated with MCK directed amiRNAs showed merely 8% silencing in proliferating myoblasts which was increased to 34% upon induction of differentiation at transcript level whereas up to 57% silencing at protein level. Knockdown of ACVR2B by 5'-UTR derived amiRNAs resulted in decreased SMAD2/3 signaling, increased expression of myogenic regulatory factors (MRFs) and enhanced proliferation and differentiation of myoblasts. Unexpectedly, knockdown of ACVR2B by 3'-UTR derived amiRNAs resulted in increased SMAD2/3 signaling, reduced expression of MRFs and suppression of myogenesis. Our study offers muscle specific knockdown of ACVR2B as a potential strategy to enhance muscle mass in the farm animal species. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Efficacy of Silk Channel Injections with Insecticides for Management of Lepidoptera Pests of Sweet Corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sparks, A N; Gadal, L; Ni, X

    2015-08-01

    The primary Lepidoptera pests of sweet corn (Zea mays L. convar. saccharata) in Georgia are the corn earworm, Helicoverpa zea (Boddie), and the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith). Management of these pests typically requires multiple insecticide applications from first silking until harvest, with commercial growers frequently spraying daily. This level of insecticide use presents problems for small growers, particularly for "pick-your-own" operations. Injection of oil into the corn ear silk channel 5-8 days after silking initiation has been used to suppress damage by these insects. Initial work with this technique in Georgia provided poor results. Subsequently, a series of experiments was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of silk channel injections as an application methodology for insecticides. A single application of synthetic insecticide, at greatly reduced per acre rates compared with common foliar applications, provided excellent control of Lepidoptera insects attacking the ear tip and suppressed damage by sap beetles (Nitidulidae). While this methodology is labor-intensive, it requires a single application of insecticide at reduced rates applied ∼2 wk prior to harvest, compared with potential daily applications at full rates up to the day of harvest with foliar insecticide applications. This methodology is not likely to eliminate the need for foliar applications because of other insect pests which do not enter through the silk channel or are not affected by the specific selective insecticide used in the silk channel injection, but would greatly reduce the number of applications required. This methodology may prove particularly useful for small acreage growers. © The Authors 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  8. Human amniotic epithelial cells combined with silk fibroin scaffold in the repair of spinal cord injury

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    Ting-gang Wang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Treatment and functional reconstruction after central nervous system injury is a major medical and social challenge. An increasing number of researchers are attempting to use neural stem cells combined with artificial scaffold materials, such as fibroin, for nerve repair. However, such approaches are challenged by ethical and practical issues. Amniotic tissue, a clinical waste product, is abundant, and amniotic epithelial cells are pluripotent, have low immunogenicity, and are not the subject of ethical debate. We hypothesized that amniotic epithelial cells combined with silk fibroin scaffolds would be conducive to the repair of spinal cord injury. To test this, we isolated and cultured amniotic epithelial cells, and constructed complexes of these cells and silk fibroin scaffolds. Implantation of the cell-scaffold complex into a rat model of spinal cord injury resulted in a smaller glial scar in the damaged cord tissue than in model rats that received a blank scaffold, or amniotic epithelial cells alone. In addition to a milder local immunological reaction, the rats showed less inflammatory cell infiltration at the transplant site, milder host-versus-graft reaction, and a marked improvement in motor function. These findings confirm that the transplantation of amniotic epithelial cells combined with silk fibroin scaffold can promote the repair of spinal cord injury. Silk fibroin scaffold can provide a good nerve regeneration microenvironment for amniotic epithelial cells.

  9. Development and silk production by silkworm larvae after topical application of methoprene

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    Miranda José Ednilson

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Juvenile hormone analogues have been tested as insect growth regulators in silkworm (Bombyx mori, seeking an increment of silk production. These chemical products, when applied in small or moderate rates, promote the extension of the last larval instar. To understand the physiologic consequences on silk production by the silkworm strain C115 x N108, the application of methoprene, a juvenile hormone analogue, was performed to evaluate its effects on larval development and silk production. Methoprene was topically applied 48h after the fourth larval ecdysis, on the dorsal integument of the 2nd thoracic segment of the insects, at seven rates between 0 and 20 ng a.i. Methoprene influenced positively the duration of the fifth instar and the weight gain of the insects. The application of 1ng methoprene resulted in the heaviest silkglands, cocoons, shell cocoons and pupae weights. Comparatively to the control, the increment on silk production (approximately 24% by the use of 1ng methoprene was more accentuated than the corresponding negative effects on the cocooning rate (approximately 12%.

  10. Regenerative potential of silk conduits in repair of peripheral nerve injury in adult rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, W; Begum, R; Barber, T; Ibba, V; Tee, N C H; Hussain, M; Arastoo, M; Yang, Q; Robson, L G; Lesage, S; Gheysens, T; Skaer, Nicholas J V; Knight, D P; Priestley, J V

    2012-01-01

    Various attempts have been made to develop artificial conduits for nerve repair, but with limited success. We describe here conduits made from Bombyx mori regenerated silk protein, and containing luminal fibres of Spidrex(®), a silk-based biomaterial with properties similar to those of spider silk. Assessment in vitro demonstrated that Spidrex(®) fibres support neurite outgrowth. For evaluation in vivo, silk conduits 10 mm in length and containing 0, 100, 200 or 300 luminal Spidrex(®) fibres, were implanted to bridge an 8 mm gap in the rat sciatic nerve. At 4 weeks, conduits containing 200 luminal Spidrex(®) fibres (PN200) supported 62% and 59% as much axon growth as autologous nerve graft controls at mid-conduit and distal nerve respectively. Furthermore, Spidrex(®) conduits displayed similar Schwann cell support and macrophage response to controls. At 12 weeks, animals implanted with PN200 conduits showed similar numbers of myelinated axons (81%) to controls, similar gastrocnemius muscle innervation, and similar hindpaw stance assessed by Catwalk footprint analysis. Plantar skin innervation was 73% of that of controls. PN200 Spidrex(®) conduits were also effective at bridging longer (11 and 13 mm) gaps. Our results show that Spidrex(®) conduits promote excellent axonal regeneration and function recovery, and may have potential for clinical application. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Synergistic Integration of Experimental and Simulation Approaches for the de Novo Design of Silk-Based Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenwen; Ebrahimi, Davoud; Dinjaski, Nina; Tarakanova, Anna; Buehler, Markus J; Wong, Joyce Y; Kaplan, David L

    2017-04-18

    Tailored biomaterials with tunable functional properties are crucial for a variety of task-specific applications ranging from healthcare to sustainable, novel bio-nanodevices. To generate polymeric materials with predictive functional outcomes, exploiting designs from nature while morphing them toward non-natural systems offers an important strategy. Silks are Nature's building blocks and are produced by arthropods for a variety of uses that are essential for their survival. Due to the genetic control of encoded protein sequence, mechanical properties, biocompatibility, and biodegradability, silk proteins have been selected as prototype models to emulate for the tunable designs of biomaterial systems. The bottom up strategy of material design opens important opportunities to create predictive functional outcomes, following the exquisite polymeric templates inspired by silks. Recombinant DNA technology provides a systematic approach to recapitulate, vary, and evaluate the core structure peptide motifs in silks and then biosynthesize silk-based polymers by design. Post-biosynthesis processing allows for another dimension of material design by controlled or assisted assembly. Multiscale modeling, from the theoretical prospective, provides strategies to explore interactions at different length scales, leading to selective material properties. Synergy among experimental and modeling approaches can provide new and more rapid insights into the most appropriate structure-function relationships to pursue while also furthering our understanding in terms of the range of silk-based systems that can be generated. This approach utilizes nature as a blueprint for initial polymer designs with useful functions (e.g., silk fibers) but also employs modeling-guided experiments to expand the initial polymer designs into new domains of functional materials that do not exist in nature. The overall path to these new functional outcomes is greatly accelerated via the integration of

  12. Effect of degumming ph value on electrospining of silk fibroin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Shen-Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Regenerated silk fibroin fibers show properties dependent on the molecular weight of fibroin. The cocoon-degumming approaches had great impact on the degradation of silk fibroin. The effect of degumming pH value to electrospining of fibroin was studied in this paper. The viscosity and molecular weight of regenerated silk fibroin were studied using rheometer and gel electrophoresis. The results showed that the weaker the alkalinity of degumming reagent, there was the milder the effect on silk fibroin molecular. The fibroin fibers can be prepared by electrospining with low concentration of regenerated silk fibroin solution.

  13. Investigation of specific interactions between T7 promoter and T7 RNA polymerase by force spectroscopy using atomic force microscope.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Xiaojuan; Yao, Zhixuan; Duan, Yanting; Zhang, Xiaomei; Shi, Jinsong; Xu, Zhenghong

    2018-01-11

    The specific recognition and binding of promoter and RNA polymerase is the first step of transcription initiation in bacteria and largely determines transcription activity. Therefore, direct analysis of the interaction between promoter and RNA polymerase in vitro may be a new strategy for promoter characterization, to avoid interference due to the cell's biophysical condition and other regulatory elements. In the present study, the specific interaction between T7 promoter and T7 RNA polymerase was studied as a model system using force spectroscopy based on atomic force microscope (AFM). The specific interaction between T7 promoter and T7 RNA polymerase was verified by control experiments, and the rupture force in this system was measured as 307.2 ± 6.7 pN. The binding between T7 promoter mutants with various promoter activities and T7 RNA polymerase was analyzed. Interaction information including rupture force, rupture distance and binding percentage were obtained in vitro , and reporter gene expression regulated by these promoters was also measured according to a traditional promoter activity characterization method in vivo Using correlation analysis, it was found that the promoter strength characterized by reporter gene expression was closely correlated with rupture force and the binding percentage by force spectroscopy. These results indicated that the analysis of the interaction between promoter and RNA polymerase using AFM-based force spectroscopy was an effective and valid approach for the quantitative characterization of promoters. © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  14. Reproductive organ and vascular specific promoter of the rice plasma membrane Ca2+ATPase mediates environmental stress responses in plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huda, Kazi Md Kamrul; Banu, Mst Sufara Akhter; Pathi, Krishna Mohan; Tuteja, Narendra

    2013-01-01

    Plasma membrane Ca(2+)ATPase is a transport protein in the plasma membrane of cells and helps in removal of calcium (Ca(2+)) from the cell, hence regulating Ca(2+) level within cells. Though plant Ca(2+)ATPases have been shown to be involved in plant stress responses but their promoter regions have not been well studied. The 1478 bp promoter sequence of rice plasma membrane Ca(2+)ATPase contains cis-acting elements responsive to stresses and plant hormones. To identify the functional region, serial deletions of the promoter were fused with the GUS sequence and four constructs were obtained. These were differentially activated under NaCl, PEG cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate treatments. We demonstrated that the rice plasma membrane Ca(2+)ATPase promoter is responsible for vascular-specific and multiple stress-inducible gene expression. Only full-length promoter showed specific GUS expression under stress conditions in floral parts. High GUS activity was observed in roots with all the promoter constructs. The -1478 to -886 bp flanking region responded well upon treatment with salt and drought. Only the full-length promoter presented cold-induced GUS expression in leaves, while in shoots slight expression was observed for -1210 and -886 bp flanking region. The -1210 bp deletion significantly responded to exogenous methyl viologen and abscisic acid induction. The -1210 and -886 bp flanking region resulted in increased GUS activity in leaves under methyl jasmonate treatments, whereas in shoots the -886 bp and -519 bp deletion gave higher expression. Salicylic acid failed to induce GUS activities in leaves for all the constructs. The rice plasma membrane Ca(2+)ATPase promoter is a reproductive organ-specific as well as vascular-specific. This promoter contains drought, salt, cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate related cis-elements, which regulated gene expression. Overall, the tissue-specificity and inducible nature of this

  15. Atomistic model of the spider silk nanostructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-04-01

    Spider silk is an ultrastrong and extensible self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms the mechanical characteristics of many synthetic materials including steel. Here we report atomic-level structures that represent aggregates of MaSp1 proteins from the N. Clavipes silk sequence based on a bottom-up computational approach using replica exchange molecular dynamics. We discover that poly-alanine regions predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains while disorderly structures are formed by poly-glycine repeats, resembling 31-helices. These could be the molecular source of the large semicrystalline fraction observed in silks, and also form the basis of the so-called "prestretched" molecular configuration. Our structures are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content.

  16. Silk industry and carbon footprint mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giacomin, A. M.; Garcia, J. B., Jr.; Zonatti, W. F.; Silva-Santos, M. C.; Laktim, M. C.; Baruque-Ramos, J.

    2017-10-01

    Currently there is a concern with issues related to sustainability and more conscious consumption habits. The carbon footprint measures the total amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions produced directly and indirectly by human activities and is usually expressed in tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents. The present study takes into account data collected in scientific literature regarding the carbon footprint, garments produced with silk fiber and the role of mulberry as a CO2 mitigation tool. There is an indication of a positive correlation between silk garments and carbon footprint mitigation when computed the cultivation of mulberry trees in this calculation. A field of them mitigates CO2 equivalents in a proportion of 735 times the weight of the produced silk fiber by the mulberry cultivated area. At the same time, additional researches are needed in order to identify and evaluate methods to advertise this positive correlation in order to contribute to a more sustainable fashion industry.

  17. Silk fibroin in tissue engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasoju, Naresh; Bora, Utpal

    2012-07-01

    Tissue engineering (TE) is a multidisciplinary field that aims at the in vitro engineering of tissues and organs by integrating science and technology of cells, materials and biochemical factors. Mimicking the natural extracellular matrix is one of the critical and challenging technological barriers, for which scaffold engineering has become a prime focus of research within the field of TE. Amongst the variety of materials tested, silk fibroin (SF) is increasingly being recognized as a promising material for scaffold fabrication. Ease of processing, excellent biocompatibility, remarkable mechanical properties and tailorable degradability of SF has been explored for fabrication of various articles such as films, porous matrices, hydrogels, nonwoven mats, etc., and has been investigated for use in various TE applications, including bone, tendon, ligament, cartilage, skin, liver, trachea, nerve, cornea, eardrum, dental, bladder, etc. The current review extensively covers the progress made in the SF-based in vitro engineering and regeneration of various human tissues and identifies opportunities for further development of this field. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  18. Multifunctional silk-heparin biomaterials for vascular tissue engineering applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seib, F. Philipp; Herklotz, Manuela; Burke, Kelly A.; Maitz, Manfred F.; Werner, Carsten; Kaplan, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Over the past 30 years, silk has been proposed for numerous biomedical applications that go beyond its traditional use as a suture material. Silk sutures are well tolerated in humans, but the use of silk for vascular engineering applications still requires extensive biocompatibility testing. Some studies have indicated a need to modify silk to yield a hemocompatible surface. This study examined the potential of low molecular weight heparin as a material for refining silk properties by acting as a carrier for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and improving silk hemocompatibility. Heparinized silk showed a controlled VEGF release over 6 days; the released VEGF was bioactive and supported the growth of human endothelial cells. Silk samples were then assessed using a humanized hemocompatibility system that employs whole blood and endothelial cells. The overall thrombogenic response for silk was very low and similar to the clinical reference material polytetrafluoroethylene. Despite an initial inflammatory response to silk, apparent as complement and leukocyte activation, the endothelium was maintained in a resting, anticoagulant state. The low thrombogenic response and the ability to control VEGF release support the further development of silk for vascular applications. PMID:24099708

  19. DOF-binding sites additively contribute to guard cell-specificity of AtMYB60 promoter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cominelli Eleonora

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background We previously demonstrated that the Arabidopsis thaliana AtMYB60 protein is an R2R3MYB transcription factor required for stomatal opening. AtMYB60 is specifically expressed in guard cells and down-regulated at the transcriptional levels by the phytohormone ABA. Results To investigate the molecular mechanisms governing AtMYB60 expression, its promoter was dissected through deletion and mutagenesis analyses. By studying different versions of AtMYB60 promoter::GUS reporter fusions in transgenic plants we were able to demonstrate a modular organization for the AtMYB60 promoter. Particularly we defined: a minimal promoter sufficient to confer guard cell-specific activity to the reporter gene; the distinct roles of different DOF-binding sites organised in a cluster in the minimal promoter in determining guard cell-specific expression; the promoter regions responsible for the enhancement of activity in guard cells; a promoter region responsible for the negative transcriptional regulation by ABA. Moreover from the analysis of single and multiple mutants we could rule out the involvement of a group of DOF proteins, known as CDFs, already characterised for their involvement in flowering time, in the regulation of AtMYB60 expression. Conclusions These findings shed light on the regulation of gene expression in guard cells and provide new promoter modules as useful tools for manipulating gene expression in guard cells, both for physiological studies and future biotechnological applications.

  20. Functional dissection of the promoter of the pollen-specific gene NTP303 reveals a novel pollen-specific, and conserved cis-regulatory element.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weterings, K; Schrauwen, J; Wullems, G; Twell, D

    1995-07-01

    Regulatory elements within the promoter of the pollen-specific NTP303 gene from tobacco were analysed by transient and stable expression analyses. Analysis of precisely targeted mutations showed that the NTP303 promoter is not regulated by any of the previously described pollen-specific cis-regulatory elements. However, two adjacent regions from -103 to -86 bp and from -86 to -59 bp were shown to contain sequences which positively regulated the NTP303 promoter. Both of these regions were capable of driving pollen-specific expression from a heterologous promoter, independent of orientation and in an additive manner. The boundaries of the minimal, functional NTP303 promoter were determined to lie within the region -86 to -51 bp. The sequence AAATGA localized from -94 to -89 bp was identified as a novel cis-acting element, of which the TGA triplet was shown to comprise an active part. This element was shown to be completely conserved in the similarly regulated promoter of the Bp 10 gene from Brassica napus encoding a homologue of the NTP303 gene.

  1. Proteomic identification of an embryo-specific 1Cys-Prx promoter and analysis of its activity in transgenic rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Je Hein; Jung, In Jung; Kim, Dool Yi; Fanata, Wahyu Indra; Son, Bo Hwa; Yoo, Jae Yong; Harmoko, Rikno; Ko, Ki Seong; Moon, Jeong Chan; Jang, Ho Hee; Kim, Woe Yeon; Kim, Jae-Yean; Lim, Chae Oh; Lee, Sang Yeol; Lee, Kyun Oh

    2011-04-29

    Proteomic analysis of a rice callus led to the identification of 10 abscisic acid (ABA)-induced proteins as putative products of the embryo-specific promoter candidates. 5'-flanking sequence of 1 Cys-Prx, a highly-induced protein gene, was cloned and analyzed. The transcription initiation site of 1 Cys-Prx maps 96 nucleotides upstream of the translation initiation codon and a TATA-box and putative seed-specific cis-acting elements, RYE and ABRE, are located 26, 115 and 124 bp upstream of the transcription site, respectively. β-glucuronidase (GUS) expression driven by the 1 Cys-Prx promoters was strong in the embryo and aleurone layer and the activity reached up to 24.9 ± 3.3 and 40.5 ± 2.1 pmol (4 MU/min/μg protein) in transgenic rice seeds and calluses, respectively. The activity of the 1 Cys-Prx promoters is much higher than that of the previously-identified embryo-specific promoters, and comparable to that of strong endosperm-specific promoters in rice. GUS expression driven by the 1 Cys-Prx promoters has been increased by ABA treatment and rapidly induced by wounding in callus and at the leaf of the transgenic plants, respectively. Furthermore, ectopic expression of the GUS construct in Arabidopsis suggested that the 1 Cys-Prx promoter also has strong activity in seeds of dicot plants. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Functionalized bioengineered spider silk spheres improve nuclease resistance and activity of oligonucleotide therapeutics providing a strategy for cancer treatment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozlowska, Anna Karolina; Florczak, Anna; Smialek, Maciej; Dondajewska, Ewelina; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Kortylewski, Marcin; Dams-Kozlowska, Hanna

    2017-09-01

    Cell-selective delivery and sensitivity to serum nucleases remain major hurdles to the clinical application of RNA-based oligonucleotide therapeutics, such as siRNA. Spider silk shows great potential as a biomaterial due to its biocompatibility and biodegradability. Self-assembling properties of silk proteins allow for processing into several different morphologies such as fibers, scaffolds, films, hydrogels, capsules and spheres. Moreover, bioengineering of spider silk protein sequences can functionalize silk by adding peptide moieties with specific features including binding or cell recognition domains. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel oligonucleotide delivery system that can be utilized to improve pharmacokinetics of RNA-based therapeutics, such as CpG-siRNA. The MS2 bioengineered silk was functionalized with poly-lysine domain (KN) to generate hybrid silk MS2KN. CpG-siRNA efficiently bound to MS2KN in contrary to control MS2. Both MS2KN complexes and spheres protected CpG-siRNA from degradation by serum nucleases. CpG-siRNA molecules encapsulated into MS2KN spheres were efficiently internalized and processed by TLR9-positive macrophages. Importantly, CpG-STAT3siRNA loaded in silk spheres showed delayed and extended target gene silencing compared to naked oligonucleotides. The prolonged Stat3 silencing resulted in the more pronounced downregulation of interleukin 6 (IL-6), a proinflammatory cytokine and upstream activator of STAT3, which limits the efficacy of TLR9 immunostimulation. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of using spider silk spheres as a carrier of therapeutic nucleic acids. Moreover, the modified kinetic and activity of the CpG-STAT3siRNA embedded into silk spheres is likely to improve immunotherapeutic effects in vivo. We demonstrated that modification of silk protein by adding the nucleic acid binding domain enabled the development of a novel

  3. Hypoxia promotes Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific up-regulation of granulysin in human T cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zenk, Sebastian F; Vollmer, Michael; Schercher, Esra; Kallert, Stephanie; Kubis, Jan; Stenger, Steffen

    2016-06-01

    Oxygen tension affects local immune responses in inflammation and infection. In tuberculosis mycobacteria avoid hypoxic areas and preferentially persist and reactivate in the oxygen-rich apex of the lung. Oxygen restriction activates antimicrobial effector mechanisms in macrophages and restricts growth of intracellular Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.Tb). The effect of oxygen restriction on T cell-mediated antimicrobial effector mechanisms is unknown. Therefore we determined the influence of hypoxia on the expression of granulysin, an antimicrobial peptide of lymphocytes. Hypoxia increased the antigen-specific up-regulation of granulysin mRNA and protein in human CD4(+) and CD8(+) T lymphocytes. This observation was functionally relevant, because oxygen restriction supported the growth-limiting effect of antigen-specific T cells against virulent M.Tb residing in primary human macrophages. Our results provide evidence that oxygen restriction promotes the expression of granulysin and suggest that this effect-in conjunction with additional T cell-mediated immune responses-supports protection against mycobacteria. The therapeutic modulation of oxygen availability may offer a new strategy for the host-directed therapy of infectious diseases with intracellular pathogens.

  4. Variation in Protein Intake Induces Variation in Spider Silk Expression

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blamires, Sean J.; Wu, Chun-Lin; Tso, I-Min

    2012-01-01

    Background It is energetically expensive to synthesize certain amino acids. The proteins (spidroins) of spider major ampullate (MA) silk, MaSp1 and MaSp2, differ in amino acid composition. Glutamine and proline are prevalent in MaSp2 and are expensive to synthesize. Since most orb web spiders express high proline silk they might preferentially attain the amino acids needed for silk from food and shift toward expressing more MaSp1 in their MA silk when starved. Methodology/Principal Findings We fed three spiders; Argiope aetherea, Cyrtophora moluccensis and Leucauge blanda, high protein, low protein or no protein solutions. A. aetherea and L. blanda MA silks are high in proline, while C. moluccesnsis MA silks are low in proline. After 10 days of feeding we determined the amino acid compositions and mechanical properties of each species' MA silk and compared them between species and treatments with pre-treatment samples, accounting for ancestry. We found that the proline and glutamine of A. aetherea and L. blanda silks were affected by protein intake; significantly decreasing under the low and no protein intake treatments. Glutmaine composition in C. moluccensis silk was likewise affected by protein intake. However, the composition of proline in their MA silk was not significantly affected by protein intake. Conclusions Our results suggest that protein limitation induces a shift toward different silk proteins with lower glutamine and/or proline content. Contradictions to the MaSp model lie in the findings that C. moluccensis MA silks did not experience a significant reduction in proline and A. aetherea did not experience a significant reduction in serine on low/no protein. The mechanical properties of the silks could not be explained by a MaSp1 expressional shift. Factors other than MaSp expression, such as the expression of spidroin-like orthologues, may impact on silk amino acid composition and spinning and glandular processes may impact mechanics. PMID:22363691

  5. Coaxial electrospun aligned tussah silk fibroin nanostructured fiber scaffolds embedded with hydroxyapatite–tussah silk fibroin nanoparticles for bone tissue engineering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shao, Weili [Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites, Ministry of Education, Institute of Textile Composites, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387 (China); He, Jianxin, E-mail: hejianxin771117@163.com [College of Textiles, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Textile and Garment Industry, Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Sang, Feng [Department of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Treatment and Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Ding, Bin [College of Textiles, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Textile and Garment Industry, Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Chen, Li, E-mail: chenli@tjpu.edu.cn [Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites, Ministry of Education, Institute of Textile Composites, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387 (China); Cui, Shizhong; Li, Kejing; Han, Qiming; Tan, Weilin [College of Textiles, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Collaborative Innovation Center of Textile and Garment Industry, Henan Province, Zhengzhou 450007 (China)

    2016-01-01

    The bone is a composite of inorganic and organic materials and possesses a complex hierarchical architecture consisting of mineralized fibrils formed by collagen molecules and coated with oriented hydroxyapatite. To regenerate bone tissue, it is necessary to provide a scaffold that mimics the architecture of the extracellular matrix in native bone. Here, we describe one such scaffold, a nanostructured composite with a core made of a composite of hydroxyapatite and tussah silk fibroin. The core is encased in a shell of tussah silk fibroin. The composite fibers were fabricated by coaxial electrospinning using green water solvent and were characterized using different techniques. In comparison to nanofibers of pure tussah silk, composite notably improved mechanical properties, with 90-fold and 2-fold higher initial modulus and breaking stress, respectively, obtained. Osteoblast-like MG-63 cells were cultivated on the composite to assess its suitability as a scaffold for bone tissue engineering. We found that the fiber scaffold supported cell adhesion and proliferation and functionally promoted alkaline phosphatase and mineral deposition relevant for biomineralization. In addition, the composite were more biocompatible than pure tussah silk fibroin or cover slip. Thus, the nanostructured composite has excellent biomimetic and mechanical properties and is a potential biocompatible scaffold for bone tissue engineering. - Highlights: • A designing scaffold strategy to imitate the mineralized collagen bundles in natural bone was presented. • Aligned nanostructured composite fibers were fabricated by coaxial electrospinning using green water solvent. • Mechanical properties of aligned TSF nanofiber had been significantly improved by embedding with composite nanoparticles. • Composite scaffolds effectively supported proliferation of MG-63 cells and promoted biomineralization.

  6. DNA Synthesis during Endomitosis Is Stimulated by Insulin via the PI3K/Akt and TOR Signaling Pathways in the Silk Gland Cells of Bombyx mori

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yaofeng Li

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Silk gland cells undergo multiple endomitotic cell cycles during silkworm larval ontogeny. Our previous study demonstrated that feeding is required for continued endomitosis in the silk gland cells of silkworm larvae. Furthermore, the insulin signaling pathway is closely related to nutritional signals. To investigate whether the insulin signaling pathway is involved in endomitosis in silk gland cells, in this study, we initially analyzed the effects of bovine insulin on DNA synthesis in endomitotic silk gland cells using 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU labeling technology, and found that bovine insulin can stimulate DNA synthesis. Insulin signal transduction is mainly mediated via phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K/Akt, the target of rapamycin (TOR and the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK pathways in vertebrates. We ascertained that these three pathways are involved in DNA synthesis in endomitotic silk gland cells using specific inhibitors against each pathway. Moreover, we investigated whether these three pathways are involved in insulin-stimulated DNA synthesis in endomitotic silk gland cells, and found that the PI3K/Akt and TOR pathways, but not the ERK pathway, are involved in this process. These results provide an important theoretical foundation for the further investigations of the mechanism underlying efficient endomitosis in silk gland cells.

  7. Research on Chinese Energy Investment in Turkey under the Silk Road Strategy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Yiling

    2017-11-01

    In the context of China’s peaceful rise, the Silk Road strategy will promote China participation in Global trade and investment. The Turkish government has announced a new incentive plan to attract investor. Therefore, Chinese energy investment in Turkey is facing some precious opportunities. However, cultural differences, Turkey’s domestic economic problems, political turmoil and other multiple factors bring severe challenges to China’s energy investment in Turkey, which requires a constructive response.

  8. Sex-specific effects of TLR9 promoter variants on spontaneous clearance of HCV infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Janett; Weber, Alexander N R; Böhm, Stephan; Dickhöfer, Sabine; El Maadidi, Souhayla; Deichsel, Danilo; Knop, Viola; Klinker, Hartwig; Möller, Bernd; Rasenack, Jens; Wang, Lisa; Sharma, Manu; Hinrichsen, Holger; Spengler, Ulrich; Buggisch, Peter; Sarrazin, Christoph; Pawlita, Michael; Waterboer, Tim; Wiese, Manfred; Probst-Müller, Elsbeth; Malinverni, Raffaele; Bochud, Pierre-Yves; Gardiner, Clair; O'Farrelly, Cliona; Berg, Thomas

    2017-10-01

    As pathogen sensors, Toll-like receptors (TLR) play a role in the first defence line during HCV infection. However, the impact of the DNA sensor TLR9 on the natural course of HCV infection is unknown. To address this, TLR9 promoter polymorphisms (single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)) rs187084 and rs5743836 were investigated for their effect on disease progression. Therefore, the TLR9 SNPs and the interferon lambda 4 ( IFNL4 ) rs12979860 were genotyped in chronically HCV type 1 infected (n=333), in patients who spontaneously cleared the infection (n=161), in the Swiss HCV cohort (n=1057) and the well-characterised German (n=305) and Irish (n=198) 'anti-D' cohorts. Functional analyses were done with promoter reporter constructs of human TLR9 in B cells and assessing TLR9 mRNA levels in whole blood of healthy volunteers. The TLR9 rs187084 C allele was associated with spontaneous virus clearance in women of the study cohort (OR=2.15 (95% CI 1.18 to 3.90) p=0.012), of the Swiss HCV cohort (OR=2.06 (95% CI 1.02 to 4.18) p=0.044) and in both 'anti-D' cohorts (German: OR=2.01 (95% CI 1.14 to 3.55) p=0.016; Irish: OR=1.93 (95% CI 1.10 to 3.68) p=0.047). Multivariate analysis in the combined study and Swiss HCV cohorts supported the results (OR=1.99 (95% CI 1.30 to 3.05) p=0.002). Functional analyses revealed higher transcriptional activities for both TLR9 variants and an association of the C allele of rs5743836 with allele-specific TLR9 mRNA regulation by oestrogens in women. TLR9 promoter SNPs are associated with the natural course of HCV infection and show higher transcriptional activities. Our results imply the DNA sensor TLR9 in natural immunity against the RNA virus, HCV. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://www.bmj.com/company/products-services/rights-and-licensing/.

  9. Cellular promoters incorporated into the adenovirus genome: effects of viral regulatory elements on transcription rates and cell specificity of albumin and beta-globin promoters.

    OpenAIRE

    Babiss, L E; Friedman, J M; Darnell, J E

    1986-01-01

    In the accompanying paper (Friedman et al., Mol. Cell. Biol. 6:3791-3797, 1986), hepatoma-specific expression of the rat albumin promoter within the adenovirus genome was demonstrated. However, the rate of transcription was very low compared with that of the endogenous chromosomal albumin gene. Here we show that in hepatoma cells the adenovirus E1A enhancer, especially in the presence of E1A protein, greatly stimulates transcription from the albumin promoter but not the mouse beta-globin prom...

  10. Enzymatically crosslinked silk-hyaluronic acid hydrogels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raia, Nicole R; Partlow, Benjamin P; McGill, Meghan; Kimmerling, Erica Palma; Ghezzi, Chiara E; Kaplan, David L

    2017-07-01

    In this study, silk fibroin and hyaluronic acid (HA) were enzymatically crosslinked to form biocompatible composite hydrogels with tunable mechanical properties similar to that of native tissues. The formation of di-tyrosine crosslinks between silk fibroin proteins via horseradish peroxidase has resulted in a highly elastic hydrogel but exhibits time-dependent stiffening related to silk self-assembly and crystallization. Utilizing the same method of crosslinking, tyramine-substituted HA forms hydrophilic and bioactive hydrogels that tend to have limited mechanics and degrade rapidly. To address the limitations of these singular component scaffolds, HA was covalently crosslinked with silk, forming a composite hydrogel that exhibited both mechanical integrity and hydrophilicity. The composite hydrogels were assessed using unconfined compression and infrared spectroscopy to reveal of the physical properties over time in relation to polymer concentration. In addition, the hydrogels were characterized by enzymatic degradation and for cytotoxicity. Results showed that increasing HA concentration, decreased gelation time, increased degradation rate, and reduced changes that were observed over time in mechanics, water retention, and crystallization. These hydrogel composites provide a biologically relevant system with controllable temporal stiffening and elasticity, thus offering enhanced tunable scaffolds for short or long term applications in tissue engineering. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Silks produced by insect labial glands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sehnal, František; Sutherland, T.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 2, č. 4 (2008), s. 145-153 ISSN 1933-6896 R&D Projects: GA MŠk ME 907 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk * proteinaceous polymers * alfa-helices Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.875, year: 2008 http://www.landesbioscience.com/journals/prion/article/7489

  12. Mud and silk in the dark

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    P. S. Reboleira, Ana Sofia; Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    chamber, using the available substrate reinforced by a silken web. We present the detailed ultrastructure of the moulting chamber and silk. It takes five days to build the moulting chamber and between 29 (female) and 35 (male) days to shed the exuviae. The male maturation moult is preceded...

  13. Solubilization of silk protein by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sudatis, Boonya; Pongpat, Suchada [Office of Atomic Energy of Peace, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2002-03-01

    Gamma irradiated silk fibroin at doses of 0, 5, 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, 100, 125, 250, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy were soaked in water for 1 hr. Silk fibroin solubilized percentage was investigated from lost weight of sample (dried at 105{sup 0}C), they were 0, 0, 0.7, 0, 0.11, 0.11, 0, 0.73, 0.77, 4.38, 8.32, 10.22 and 18.52 respectively. It showed that at the higher dose up to 250 kGy had direct effect to solubility, and increased with increasing dose. In addition, silk sericin dissolved 77.76, 82.22, 83.55, 84.31, 86.04, 86.67 and 87.37% after gamma irradiation at the doses of 0, 50, 100, 200, 500, 750 and 1000 kGy respectively. It presents that radiation can cause silk protein, fibroin and sericin dissolve because of their degradation. (author)

  14. A mitosis-specific and R loop-driven ATR pathway promotes faithful chromosome segregation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabeche, Lilian; Nguyen, Hai Dang; Buisson, Rémi; Zou, Lee

    2018-01-05

    The ataxia telangiectasia mutated and Rad3-related (ATR) kinase is crucial for DNA damage and replication stress responses. Here, we describe an unexpected role of ATR in mitosis. Acute inhibition or degradation of ATR in mitosis induces whole-chromosome missegregation. The effect of ATR ablation is not due to altered cyclin-dependent kinase 1 (CDK1) activity, DNA damage responses, or unscheduled DNA synthesis but to loss of an ATR function at centromeres. In mitosis, ATR localizes to centromeres through Aurora A-regulated association with centromere protein F (CENP-F), allowing ATR to engage replication protein A (RPA)-coated centromeric R loops. As ATR is activated at centromeres, it stimulates Aurora B through Chk1, preventing formation of lagging chromosomes. Thus, a mitosis-specific and R loop-driven ATR pathway acts at centromeres to promote faithful chromosome segregation, revealing functions of R loops and ATR in suppressing chromosome instability. Copyright © 2018, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  15. A bFGF-releasing silk/PLGA-based biohybrid scaffold for ligament/tendon tissue engineering using mesenchymal progenitor cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahoo, Sambit; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James C H

    2010-04-01

    An ideal scaffold that provides a combination of suitable mechanical properties along with biological signals is required for successful ligament/tendon regeneration in mesenchymal stem cell-based tissue engineering strategies. Among the various fibre-based scaffolds that have been used, hybrid fibrous scaffolds comprising both microfibres and nanofibres have been recently shown to be particularly promising. This study developed a biohybrid fibrous scaffold system by coating bioactive bFGF-releasing ultrafine PLGA fibres over mechanically robust slowly-degrading degummed knitted microfibrous silk scaffolds. On the ECM-like biomimetic architecture of ultrafine fibres, sustained release of bFGF mimicked the ECM in function, initially stimulating mesenchymal progenitor cell (MPC) proliferation, and subsequently, their tenogeneic differentiation. The biohybrid scaffold system not only facilitated MPC attachment and promoted cell proliferation, with cells growing both on ultrafine PLGA fibres and silk microfibres, but also stimulated tenogeneic differentiation of seeded MPCs. Upregulated gene expression of ligament/tendon-specific ECM proteins and increased collagen production likely contributed to enhancing mechanical properties of the constructs, generating a ligament/tendon analogue that has the potential to be used to repair injured ligaments/tendons. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Corn silk extract improves benign prostatic hyperplasia in experimental rat model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, So Ra; Ha, Ae Wha; Choi, Hyun Ji; Kim, Sun Lim; Kang, Hyeon Jung; Kim, Myung Hwan; Kim, Woo Kyoung

    2017-10-01

    This study was conducted to investigate the effect of a corn silk extract on improving benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The experimental animals, 6-week-old male Wistar rats, were divided into sham-operated control (Sham) and experimental groups. The experimental group, which underwent orchiectomy and received subcutaneous injection of 10 mg/kg of testosterone propionate to induce BPH, was divided into a Testo Only group that received only testosterone, a Testo+Fina group that received testosterone and 5 mg/kg finasteride, a Testo+CSE10 group that received testosterone and 10 mg/kg of corn silk extract, and a Testo+CSE100 group that received testosterone and 100 mg/kg of corn silk extract. Prostate weight and concentrations of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), 5α-reductase 2 (5α-R2), and prostate specific antigen (PSA) in serum or prostate tissue were determined. The mRNA expressions of 5α-R2 and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in prostate tissue were also measured. Compared to the Sham group, prostate weight was significantly higher in the Testo Only group and decreased significantly in the Testo+Fina, Testo+CSE10, and Testo+CSE100 groups ( P corn silk extract treatment improved BPH symptoms by inhibiting the mRNA expression of 5α-R2 and decreasing the amount of 5α-R2, DHT, and PSA in serum and prostate tissue.

  17. The potential of turmeric (Curcuma xanthorrhiza) in agroforestry system based on silk tree (Albizia chinensis)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purnomo, D.; Budiastuti, M. S.; Sakya, A. T.; Cholid, M. I.

    2018-03-01

    Turmeric (Curcuma xanthorrhiza Roxb.) is a traditional medicinal plant. In Indonesia, it is generally cultivated in village home gardens. Famers conducted very simpple cultivation method of turmeric, without specific maintenance and below varies tree. The experiment was conducted by cultivating turmeric below silk trees as in agroforetry system. The experiment was arranged split plot design, the first factor was three level of irradiation (turmeric monoculture/full irradiation, turmeric below silktree with pruning canopy, and turmeric below silk tree no pruning). The second factor was fertilizer NPK 15-15-15 with three levels of doses (100, 150, and 200 kg ha-1). Cultivating turmeric in agroforestry system based on silk tree which were one year old and not yet needed pruning, application of NPK 15-15-15 fertilizer 100 kg ha-1 was enough. The rhizome yield of turmeric 3 months age reaches 139 g per plant (fresh weight). Litter fall from a silk tree one year old in one year is 30 kg per tree per year.

  18. The importance of cigarette packaging in a 'dark' market: the 'Silk Cut' experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moodie, Crawford; Angus, Kathryn; Ford, Allison

    2014-05-01

    In a growing number of countries tobacco companies are severely restricted in how they can legally market their products. In these 'dark' markets the role of packaging as a promotional and communications tool becomes more pronounced. How packaging is used for the most expensive cigarette brands in dark markets has received limited attention however, even though these 'premium' cigarette brands significantly impact upon the profitability of tobacco companies. We outline, using retail trade press journals, how packaging was used for premium brand 'Silk Cut' in the UK from 2004 to 2011, following a comprehensive ban on tobacco advertising, promotions and sponsorship. From 2004 to 2008 packaging was used to help launch two new variants and during this period Silk Cut market share of the premium sector grew by 1.1%. Overall share of the cigarette market for the Silk Cut house (brand family) fell however due to the continuing decline of the premium sector. From 2008 to 2011 changes to the packaging were much more frequent, including the repeated use of limited-edition designs, and modifications to pack shape, texture, style of opening, cellophane, foil and inner frame. Silk Cut's share of the premium sector grew a further 2.9% from 2008 to 2011, and overall cigarette market share increased. That a premium brand can report any level of growth within such a hostile market, where most advertising, promotion and sponsorship is banned, taxation is among the highest in the world, and in the midst of a recession, is testament to the value of packaging.

  19. 3D freeform printing of silk fibroin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Maria J; Dixon, Thomas A; Cohen, Eliad; Huang, Wenwen; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Kaplan, David L

    2018-04-15

    Freeform fabrication has emerged as a key direction in printing biologically-relevant materials and structures. With this emerging technology, complex structures with microscale resolution can be created in arbitrary geometries and without the limitations found in traditional bottom-up or top-down additive manufacturing methods. Recent advances in freeform printing have used the physical properties of microparticle-based granular gels as a medium for the submerged extrusion of bioinks. However, most of these techniques require post-processing or crosslinking for the removal of the printed structures (Miller et al., 2015; Jin et al., 2016) [1,2]. In this communication, we introduce a novel method for the one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). Silk fibroin has been used as a biopolymer for bioprinting in several contexts, but chemical or enzymatic additives or bulking agents are needed to stabilize 3D structures. Our method requires no post-processing of printed structures and allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into arbitrary geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. 3D bioprinting has emerged as a technology that can produce biologically relevant structures in defined geometries with microscale resolution. Techniques for fabrication of free-standing structures by printing into granular gel media has been demonstrated previously, however, these methods require crosslinking agents and post-processing steps on printed structures. Our method utilizes one-step gelation of silk fibroin within a suspension of synthetic nanoclay (Laponite), with no need for additional crosslinking compounds or post processing of the material. This new method allows for in situ physical crosslinking of pure aqueous silk fibroin into defined geometries produced through freeform 3D printing. Copyright © 2018 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

  20. Cytocompatibility of a silk fibroin tubular scaffold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Jiannan; Wei, Yali; Yi, Honggen; Liu, Zhiwu; Sun, Dan; Zhao, Huanrong

    2014-01-01

    Regenerated silk fibroin (SF) materials are increasingly used for tissue engineering applications. In order to explore the feasibility of a novel biomimetic silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) crosslinked by poly(ethylene glycol) diglycidyl ether (PEG-DE), biocompatibility with cells was evaluated. The novel biomimetic design of the SFTS consisted of three distinct layers: a regenerated SF intima, a silk braided media and a regenerated SF adventitia. The SFTS exhibited even silk fibroin penetration throughout the braid, forming a porous layered tube with superior mechanical, permeable and cell adhesion properties that are beneficial to vascular regeneration. Cytotoxicity and cell compatibility were tested on L929 cells and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (EA.hy926). DNA content analysis, scanning electron and confocal microscopies and MTT assay showed no inhibitory effects on DNA replication. Cell morphology, viability and proliferation were good for L929 cells, and satisfactory for EA.hy926 cells. Furthermore, the suture retention strength of the SFTS was about 23 N and the Young's modulus was 0.2–0.3 MPa. Collectively, these data demonstrate that PEG-DE crosslinked SFTS possesses the appropriate cytocompatibility and mechanical properties for use as vascular scaffolds as an alternative to vascular autografts. - Highlights: • A PEG-DE cross-linked small caliber porous silk fibroin tubular scaffold (SFTS) • PEG-DE cross-linked SF film had no inhibitory effect on DNA replication of cells. • Cells cultured on the SFTS showed good morphology, cell viability and proliferative activity. • SFTS would be beneficial to endothelialization. • SFTS had good suture retention strength and flexibility

  1. Electrodeposited silk coatings for functionalized implant applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elia, Roberto

    The mechanical and morphological properties of titanium as well as its biocompatibility and osteoinductive characteristics have made it the material of choice for dental implant systems. Although the success rate of titanium implants exceeds 90% in healthy individuals, a large subset of the population has one or more risk factors that inhibit implant integration. Treatments and coatings have been developed to improve clinical outcomes via introduction of appropriate surface topography, texture and roughness or incorporation of bioactive molecules. It is essential that the coatings and associated deposition techniques are controllable and reproducible. Currently, methods of depositing functional coatings are dictated by numerous parameters (temperature, particle size distribution, pH and voltage), which result in variable coating thickness, strength, porosity and weight, and hinder or preclude biomolecule incorporation. Silk is a highly versatile protein with a unique combination of mechanical and physical properties, including tunable degradation, biocompatibility, drug stabilizing capabilities and mechanical properties. Most recently an electrogelation technique was developed which allows for the deposition of gels which dry seamlessly over the contoured topography of the conductive substrate. In this work we examine the potential use of silk electrogels as mechanically robust implant coatings capable of sequestering and releasing therapeutic agents. Electrodeposition of silk electrogels formed in uniform electric fields was characterized with respect to field intensity and deposition time. Gel formation kinetics were used to derive functions which allowed for the prediction of coating deposition over a range of process and solution parameters. Silk electrogel growth orientation was shown to be influenced by the applied electric field. Coatings were reproducible and tunable via intrinsic silk solution properties and extrinsic process parameters. Adhesion was

  2. Downstream Antisense Transcription Predicts Genomic Features That Define the Specific Chromatin Environment at Mammalian Promoters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher A Lavender

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Antisense transcription is a prevalent feature at mammalian promoters. Previous studies have primarily focused on antisense transcription initiating upstream of genes. Here, we characterize promoter-proximal antisense transcription downstream of gene transcription starts sites in human breast cancer cells, investigating the genomic context of downstream antisense transcription. We find extensive correlations between antisense transcription and features associated with the chromatin environment at gene promoters. Antisense transcription downstream of promoters is widespread, with antisense transcription initiation observed within 2 kb of 28% of gene transcription start sites. Antisense transcription initiates between nucleosomes regularly positioned downstream of these promoters. The nucleosomes between gene and downstream antisense transcription start sites carry histone modifications associated with active promoters, such as H3K4me3 and H3K27ac. This region is bound by chromatin remodeling and histone modifying complexes including SWI/SNF subunits and HDACs, suggesting that antisense transcription or resulting RNA transcripts contribute to the creation and maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment. Downstream antisense transcription overlays additional regulatory features, such as transcription factor binding, DNA accessibility, and the downstream edge of promoter-associated CpG islands. These features suggest an important role for antisense transcription in the regulation of gene expression and the maintenance of a promoter-associated chromatin environment.

  3. The other prey-capture silk: Fibres made by glow-worms (Diptera: Keroplatidae) comprise cross-β-sheet crystallites in an abundant amorphous fraction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Andrew A; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E; Merritt, David J; Sutherland, Tara D

    2015-09-01

    Glow-worms (larvae of dipteran genus Arachnocampa) are restricted to moist habitats where they capture flying prey using snares composed of highly extensible silk fibres and sticky mucus droplets. Little is known about the composition or structure of glow-worm snares, or the extent of possible convergence between glow-worm and arachnid capture silks. We characterised Arachnocampa richardsae silk and mucus using X-ray scattering, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis. Silk but not mucus contained crystallites of the cross-β-sheet type, which occur in unrelated insect silks but have not been reported previously in fibres used for prey capture. Mucus proteins were rich in Gly (28.5%) and existed in predominantly a random coil structure, typical of many adhesive proteins. In contrast, the silk fibres were unusually rich in charged and polar residues, particularly Lys (18.1%), which we propose is related to their use in a highly hydrated state. Comparison of X-ray scattering, infrared spectroscopy and amino acid analysis data suggests that silk fibres contain a high fraction of disordered protein. We suggest that in the native hydrated state, silk fibres are capable of extension via deformation of both disordered regions and cross-β-sheet crystallites, and that high extensibility is an adaptation promoting successful prey capture. This study illustrates the rich variety of protein motifs that are available for recruitment into biopolymers, and how convergently evolved materials can nevertheless be based on fundamentally different protein structures. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Spider Silk Processing for Spidroin Recovery from Crossopriza Lyoni Web

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohtar, J. A.; Ooi, W. L.; Yusuf, F.

    2018-03-01

    Spider silk is a potential biomaterial that can be used in various applications for its outstanding physicomechanical properties attributed by the spidroin composition. Efforts for commercializing spider silks have been mainly focused on the characterization of spidroins from the Entelegyne spiders for exceptional fibre construction. Hence, studies on silk proteins from the Haplogyne species remain neglected. The aim of this study is to isolate spidroin from Crossopriza lyoni web. Silk processing involved the pretreatment of fibres for the shell layer removal from the surface. A screening study was conducted to analyze the effect of temperature, incubation time and agitation speed on spidroin extraction using Ajisawa’s reagent by OFAT analysis followed by statistical optimization of the extraction process via RSM for maximal protein recovery. All parameters exerted significant effect on spidroin recovery (pspider silk to meet the demand for a variety of silk-based products in the near future.

  5. Reproductive organ and vascular specific promoter of the rice plasma membrane Ca2+ATPase mediates environmental stress responses in plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazi Md Kamrul Huda

    Full Text Available Plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase is a transport protein in the plasma membrane of cells and helps in removal of calcium (Ca(2+ from the cell, hence regulating Ca(2+ level within cells. Though plant Ca(2+ATPases have been shown to be involved in plant stress responses but their promoter regions have not been well studied.The 1478 bp promoter sequence of rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase contains cis-acting elements responsive to stresses and plant hormones. To identify the functional region, serial deletions of the promoter were fused with the GUS sequence and four constructs were obtained. These were differentially activated under NaCl, PEG cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate treatments. We demonstrated that the rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase promoter is responsible for vascular-specific and multiple stress-inducible gene expression. Only full-length promoter showed specific GUS expression under stress conditions in floral parts. High GUS activity was observed in roots with all the promoter constructs. The -1478 to -886 bp flanking region responded well upon treatment with salt and drought. Only the full-length promoter presented cold-induced GUS expression in leaves, while in shoots slight expression was observed for -1210 and -886 bp flanking region. The -1210 bp deletion significantly responded to exogenous methyl viologen and abscisic acid induction. The -1210 and -886 bp flanking region resulted in increased GUS activity in leaves under methyl jasmonate treatments, whereas in shoots the -886 bp and -519 bp deletion gave higher expression. Salicylic acid failed to induce GUS activities in leaves for all the constructs.The rice plasma membrane Ca(2+ATPase promoter is a reproductive organ-specific as well as vascular-specific. This promoter contains drought, salt, cold, methyl viologen, abscisic acid and methyl jasmonate related cis-elements, which regulated gene expression. Overall, the tissue-specificity and inducible

  6. Thin Film Assembly of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Shipley, N. H.; Lewis, R. V. Int. J. Biol.Macromol. 1999, 24, 271. (c) Thiel, B. L.; Guess, K. B.; Viney, C. Biopolymers 1997, 41, 703. (13) Silk ...Film Assembly of Spider Silk -like Block Copolymers Sreevidhya T. Krishnaji,†,‡ Wenwen Huang,§ Olena Rabotyagova,†,‡ Eugenia Kharlampieva, ) Ikjun Choi...Received November 26, 2010 We report the self-assembly of monolayers of spider silk -like block copolymers. Langmuir isotherms were obtained for a series of

  7. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    OpenAIRE

    Han Linna; Liu Tongjun; Guo Jianyou; Liu Yongmei

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk ...

  8. Ptychographic X-ray Tomography of Silk Fiber Hydration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Esmaeili, Morteza; Fløystad, Jostein B.; Diaz, Ana

    2013-01-01

    Studying noninvasively the internal nanoporous structure of a single Tussah silk fiber under different humidity conditions, we demonstrate for the first time the feasibility of in-situ ptychographic tomography. The resulting 3D images of the silk fiber interior, obtained at both dry and humid con...... normal to the fiber axis. Exploiting quantitative information on the fiber’s electron density, hydration was found to proceed through interaction with the silk protein rather than filling of pores....

  9. Mechanism of Stabilization of Labile Compounds by Silk Fibroin Proteins

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-04-05

    saliva, or urine , and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation protein biomarkers in... samples for long-term ambient storage and subsequent on-demand recovery and laboratory analysis. Air dried silks provide a protective barrier that...silk in the stabilization of a range of different analytes, including entrapment, storage and recovery. Here, we successfully used silk fibroin as a

  10. SilkDB: a knowledgebase for silkworm biology and genomics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wang, Jing; Xia, Qingyou; He, Ximiao

    2005-01-01

    The Silkworm Knowledgebase (SilkDB) is a web-based repository for the curation, integration and study of silkworm genetic and genomic data. With the recent accomplishment of a approximately 6X draft genome sequence of the domestic silkworm (Bombyx mori), SilkDB provides an integrated representati....... SilkDB is publicly accessible at http://silkworm.genomics.org.cn. Udgivelsesdato: 2005-Jan-1...

  11. Building Interfaces: Mechanisms, fabrication, and applications at the biotic/abiotic interface for silk fibroin based bioelectronic and biooptical devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brenckle, Mark

    Recent efforts in bioelectronics and biooptics have led to a shift in the materials and form factors used to make medical devices, including high performance, implantable, and wearable sensors. In this context, biopolymer-based devices must be processed to interface the soft, curvilinear biological world with the rigid, inorganic world of traditional electronics and optics. This poses new material-specific fabrication challenges in designing such devices, which in turn requires further understanding of the fundamental physical behaviors of the materials in question. As a biopolymer, silk fibroin protein has remarkable promise in this space, due to its bioresorbability, mechanical strength, optical clarity, ability to be reshaped on the micro- and nano-scale, and ability to stabilize labile compounds. Application of this material to devices at the biotic/abiotic interface will require the development of fabrication techniques for nano-patterning, lithography, multilayer adhesion, and transfer printing in silk materials. In this work, we address this need through fundamental study of the thermal and diffusional properties of silk protein as it relates to these fabrication strategies. We then leverage these properties to fabricate devices well suited to the biotic/abiotic interface in three areas: shelf-ready sensing, implantable transient electronics, and wearable biosensing. These example devices will illustrate the advantages of silk in this class of bioelectronic and biooptical devices, from fundamentals through application, and contribute to a silk platform for the development of future devices that combine biology with high technology.

  12. A comparison study of Agrobacterium-mediated transformation methods for root-specific promoter analysis in soybean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Caifeng; Zhang, Haiyan; Wang, Xiurong; Liao, Hong

    2014-11-01

    Both in vitro and in vivo hairy root transformation systems could not replace whole plant transformation for promoter analysis of root-specific and low-P induced genes in soybean. An efficient genetic transformation system is crucial for promoter analysis in plants. Agrobacterium-mediated transformation is the most popular method to produce transgenic hairy roots or plants. In the present study, first, we compared the two different Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated hairy root transformation methods using either constitutive CaMV35S or the promoters of root-preferential genes, GmEXPB2 and GmPAP21, in soybean, and found the efficiency of in vitro hairy root transformation was significantly higher than that of in vivo transformation. We compared Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated hairy root and Agrobacterium tumefaciens-mediated whole plant transformation systems. The results showed that low-phosphorous (P) inducible GmEXPB2 and GmPAP21 promoters could not induce the increased expression of the GUS reporter gene under low P stress in both in vivo and in vitro transgenic hairy roots. Conversely, GUS activity of GmPAP21 promoter was significantly higher at low P than high P in whole plant transformation. Therefore, both in vitro and in vivo hairy root transformation systems could not replace whole plant transformation for promoter analysis of root-specific and low-P induced genes in soybean.

  13. Synthetic spider silk sustainability verification by techno-economic and life cycle analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edlund, Alan

    Major ampullate spider silk represents a promising biomaterial with diverse commercial potential ranging from textiles to medical devices due to the excellent physical and thermal properties from the protein structure. Recent advancements in synthetic biology have facilitated the development of recombinant spider silk proteins from Escherichia coli (E. coli), alfalfa, and goats. This study specifically investigates the economic feasibility and environmental impact of synthetic spider silk manufacturing. Pilot scale data was used to validate an engineering process model that includes all of the required sub-processing steps for synthetic fiber manufacture: production, harvesting, purification, drying, and spinning. Modeling was constructed modularly to support assessment of alternative protein production methods (alfalfa and goats) as well as alternative down-stream processing technologies. The techno-economic analysis indicates a minimum sale price from pioneer and optimized E. coli plants at 761 kg-1 and 23 kg-1 with greenhouse gas emissions of 572 kg CO2-eq. kg-1 and 55 kg CO2-eq. kg-1, respectively. Spider silk sale price estimates from goat pioneer and optimized results are 730 kg-1 and 54 kg-1, respectively, with pioneer and optimized alfalfa plants are 207 kg-1 and 9.22 kg-1 respectively. Elevated costs and emissions from the pioneer plant can be directly tied to the high material consumption and low protein yield. Decreased production costs associated with the optimized plants include improved protein yield, process optimization, and an Nth plant assumption. Discussion focuses on the commercial potential of spider silk, the production performance requirements for commercialization, and impact of alternative technologies on the sustainability of the system.

  14. Metal nanoparticles triggered persistent negative photoconductivity in silk protein hydrogels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogurla, Narendar; Sinha, Arun K.; Naskar, Deboki; Kundu, Subhas C.; Ray, Samit K.

    2016-03-01

    Silk protein is a natural biopolymer with intriguing properties, which are attractive for next generation bio-integrated electronic and photonic devices. Here, we demonstrate the negative photoconductive response of Bombyx mori silk protein fibroin hydrogels, triggered by Au nanoparticles. The room temperature electrical conductivity of Au-silk hydrogels is found to be enhanced with the incorporation of Au nanoparticles over the control sample, due to the increased charge transporting networks within the hydrogel. Au-silk lateral photoconductor devices show a unique negative photoconductive response under an illumination of 325 nm, with excitation energy higher than the characteristic metal plasmon resonance band. The enhanced photoconductance yield in the hydrogels over the silk protein is attributed to the photo-oxidation of amino groups in the β-pleated sheets of the silk around the Au nanoparticles followed by the breaking of charge transport networks. The Au-silk nanocomposite does not show any photoresponse under visible illumination because of the localization of excited charges in Au nanoparticles. The negative photoconductive response of hybrid Au-silk under UV illumination may pave the way towards the utilization of silk for future bio-photonic devices using metal nanoparticle platforms.

  15. Structure-function-property-design interplay in biopolymers: spider silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tokareva, Olena; Jacobsen, Matthew; Buehler, Markus; Wong, Joyce; Kaplan, David L

    2014-04-01

    Spider silks have been a focus of research for almost two decades due to their outstanding mechanical and biophysical properties. Recent advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of recombinant spider silks, thus helping to unravel a fundamental understanding of structure-function-property relationships. The relationships between molecular composition, secondary structures and mechanical properties found in different types of spider silks are described, along with a discussion of artificial spinning of these proteins and their bioapplications, including the role of silks in biomineralization and fabrication of biomaterials with controlled properties. Copyright © 2013 Acta Materialia Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Fabrication and Biocompatibility of Electrospun Silk Biocomposites

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ick-Soo Kim

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Silk fibroin has attracted great interest in tissue engineering because of its outstanding biocompatibility, biodegradability and minimal inflammatory reaction. In this study, two kinds of biocomposites based on regenerated silk fibroin are fabricated by electrospinning and post-treatment processes, respectively. Firstly, regenerated silk fibroin/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS hybrid nanofibers with high hydrophilicity are prepared, which is superior for fibroblast attachment. The electrospinning process causes adjacent fibers to ‘weld’ at contact points, which can be proved by scanning electron microscope (SEM. The water contact angle of silk/tetramethoxysilane (TMOS composites shows a sharper decrease than pure regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber, which has a great effect on the early stage of cell attachment behavior. Secondly, a novel tissue engineering scaffold material based on electrospun silk fibroin/nano-hydroxyapatite (nHA biocomposites is prepared by means of an effective calcium and phosphate (Ca–P alternate soaking method. nHA is successfully produced on regenerated silk fibroin nanofiber within several min without any pre-treatments. The osteoblastic activities of this novel nanofibrous biocomposites are also investigated by employing osteoblastic-like MC3T3-E1 cell line. The cell functionality such as alkaline phosphatase (ALP activity is ameliorated on mineralized silk nanofibers. All these results indicate that this silk/nHA biocomposite scaffold material may be a promising biomaterial for bone tissue engineering.

  17. Silk elasticity as a potential constraint on spider body size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez-Gironés, Miguel A; Corcobado, Guadalupe; Moya-Laraño, Jordi

    2010-10-07

    Silk is known for its strength and extensibility and has played a key role in the radiation of spiders. Individual spiders use different glands to produce silk types with unique sets of proteins. Most research has studied the properties of major ampullate and capture spiral silks and their ecological implications, while little is known about minor ampullate silk, the type used by those spider species studied to date for bridging displacements. A biomechanical model parameterised with available data shows that the minimum radius of silk filaments required for efficient bridging grows with the square root of the spider's body mass, faster than the radius of minor ampullate silk filaments actually produced by spiders. Because the morphology of spiders adapted to walking along or under silk threads is ill suited for moving on a solid surface, for these species there is a negative relationship between body mass and displacement ability. As it stands, the model suggests that spiders that use silk for their displacements are prevented from attaining a large body size if they must track their resources in space. In particular, silk elasticity would favour sexual size dimorphism because males that must use bridging lines to search for females cannot grow large. 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Second-order nonlinear optical microscopy of spider silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Yue; Hien, Khuat Thi Thu; Mizutani, Goro; Rutt, Harvey N.

    2017-06-01

    Asymmetric β-sheet protein structures in spider silk should induce nonlinear optical interaction such as second harmonic generation (SHG) which is experimentally observed for a radial line and dragline spider silk using an imaging femtosecond laser SHG microscope. By comparing different spider silks, we found that the SHG signal correlates with the existence of the protein β-sheets. Measurements of the polarization dependence of SHG from the dragline indicated that the β-sheet has a nonlinear response depending on the direction of the incident electric field. We propose a model of what orientation the β-sheet takes in spider silk.

  19. Identification of a seed coat-specific promoter fragment from the Arabidopsis MUCILAGE-MODIFIED4 gene.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, Gillian H; Jin, Zhaoqing; Shi, Lin; Esfandiari, Elahe; McGee, Robert; Nabata, Kylie; Lee, Tiffany; Kunst, Ljerka; Western, Tamara L; Haughn, George W

    2017-09-01

    The Arabidopsis seed coat-specific promoter fragment described is an important tool for basic and applied research in Brassicaceae species. During differentiation, the epidermal cells of the Arabidopsis seed coat produce and secrete large quantities of mucilage. On hydration of mature seeds, this mucilage becomes easily accessible as it is extruded to form a tightly attached halo at the seed surface. Mucilage is composed mainly of pectin, and also contains the key cell wall components cellulose, hemicellulose, and proteins, making it a valuable model for studying numerous aspects of cell wall biology. Seed coat-specific promoters are an important tool that can be used to assess the effects of expressing biosynthetic enzymes and diverse cell wall-modifying proteins on mucilage structure and function. Additionally, they can be used for production of easily accessible recombinant proteins of commercial interest. The MUCILAGE-MODIFIED4 (MUM4) gene is expressed in a wide variety of plant tissues and is strongly up-regulated in the seed coat during mucilage synthesis, implying the presence of a seed coat-specific region in its promoter. Promoter deletion analysis facilitated isolation of a 308 base pair sequence (MUM4 0.3Pro ) that directs reporter gene expression in the seed coat cells of both Arabidopsis and Camelina sativa, and is regulated by the same transcription factor cascade as endogenous MUM4. Therefore, MUM4 0.3Pro is a promoter fragment that serves as a new tool for seed coat biology research.

  20. Mapping of cis-regulatory sites in the promoter of testis-specific stellate genes of Drosophila melanogaster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olenkina, O M; Egorova, K S; Aravin, A A; Naumova, N M; Gvozdev, V A; Olenina, L V

    2012-11-01

    Tandem Stellate genes organized into two clusters in heterochromatin and euchromatin of the X-chromosome are part of the Ste-Su(Ste) genetic system required for maintenance of male fertility and reproduction of Drosophila melanogaster. Stellate genes encode a regulatory subunit of protein kinase CK2 and are the main targets of germline-specific piRNA-silencing; their derepression leads to appearance of protein crystals in spermatocytes, meiotic disturbances, and male sterility. A short promoter region of 134 bp appears to be sufficient for testis-specific transcription of Stellate, and it contains three closely located cis-regulatory elements called E-boxes. By using reporter analysis, we confirmed a strong functionality of the E-boxes in the Stellate promoter for in vivo transcription. Using selective mutagenesis, we have shown that the presence of the central E-box 2 is preferable to maintain a high-level testis-specific transcription of the reporter gene under the Stellate promoter. The Stellate promoter provides transcription even in heterochromatin, and corresponding mRNAs are translated with the generation of full-size protein products in case of disturbances in the piRNA-silencing process. We have also shown for the first time that the activity of the Stellate promoter is determined by chromatin context of the X-chromosome in male germinal cells, and it increases at about twofold when relocating in autosomes.

  1. The role of germline promoters and I exons in cytokine-induced gene-specific class switch recombination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunnick, Wesley A; Shi, Jian; Holden, Victoria; Fontaine, Clinton; Collins, John T

    2011-01-01

    Germline transcription precedes class switch recombination (CSR). The promoter regions and I exons of these germline transcripts include binding sites for activation- and cytokine-induced transcription factors, and the promoter regions/I exons are essential for CSR. Therefore, it is a strong hypothesis that the promoter/I exons regions are responsible for much of cytokine-regulated, gene-specific CSR. We tested this hypothesis by swapping the germline promoter and I exons for the murine γ1 and γ2a H chain genes in a transgene of the entire H chain C-region locus. We found that the promoter/I exon for γ1 germline transcripts can direct robust IL-4-induced recombination to the γ2a gene. In contrast, the promoter/I exon for the γ2a germline transcripts works poorly in the context of the γ1 H chain gene, resulting in expression of γ1 H chains that is level. Nevertheless, the small amount of recombination to the chimeric γ1 gene is induced by IFN-γ. These results suggest that cytokine regulation of CSR, but not the magnitude of CSR, is regulated by the promoter/I exons.

  2. Expression analysis of four flower-specific promoters of Brassica spp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    STORAGESEVER

    2009-10-19

    Oct 19, 2009 ... power of the promoter. Besides, several enhancer and suppressor regions were also identified in the ... of the target gene and decrement of the burden of plant growth and ..... Meyerowitz's ABC model of flower development.

  3. Spatial and temporal activity of the foxtail millet (Setaria italica) seed-specific promoter pF128.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Yanlin; Ma, Xin; Liang, Hanwen; Zhao, Qian; Zhu, Dengyun; Yu, Jingjuan

    2015-01-01

    pF128 drives GUS specifically expressed in transgenic seeds of foxtail millet and Zea mays with higher activity than the constitutive CaMV35S promoter and the maize seed-specific 19Z promoter. Foxtail millet (Setaria italica), a member of the Poaceae family, is an important food and fodder crop in arid regions. Foxtail millet is an excellent C4 crop model owing to its small genome (~490 Mb), self-pollination and availability of a complete genome sequence. F128 was isolated from a cDNA library of foxtail millet immature seeds. Real-time PCR analysis revealed that F128 mRNA was specifically expressed in immature and mature seeds. The highest F128 mRNA level was observed 5 days after pollination and gradually decreased as the seed matured. Sequence analysis suggested that the protein encoded by F128 is likely a protease inhibitor/seed storage protein/lipid-transfer protein. The 1,053 bp 5' flanking sequence of F128 (pF128) was isolated and fused to the GUS reporter gene. The corresponding vector was then transformed into Arabidopsis thaliana, foxtail millet and Zea mays. GUS analysis revealed that pF128 drove GUS expression efficiently and specifically in the seeds of transgenic Arabidopsis, foxtail millet and Zea mays. GUS activity was also detected in Arabidopsis cotyledons. Activity of pF128 was higher than that observed for the constitutive CaMV35S promoter and the maize seed-specific 19 Zein (19Z) promoter. These results indicate that pF128 is a seed-specific promoter. Its application is expected to be of considerable value in plant genetic engineering.

  4. Potential applications of three-dimensional structure of silk fibroin/poly(ester-urethane) urea nanofibrous scaffold in heart valve tissue engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Juan; Zhu, Tonghe; Yu, Haiyan; Zhu, Jingjing; Sun, Changbing; Wang, Jincheng; Chen, Sihao; Wang, Jihu; Guo, Xuran

    2018-07-01

    Tissue engineering heart valves (TEHV) are thought to have many advantages in low immunogenicity, good histocompatibility, excellent mechanical properties. In this paper, we reported the fabrication and characterization of a novel composite nanofibrous scaffold consisting of silk fibroin (SF) and poly(ester-urethane) urea (LDI-PEUU) by using electrospinning. Chemical and physical properties of scaffolds were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared, X-ray diffraction, contact angle measurement, thermogravimetric analysis, biodegradation test and tensile strength analysis. We determined that the composite scaffolds supported the growth of human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC). The results of cell proliferation and cell morphology indicate that SF/LDI-PEUU nanofibers promoted cell viability, which supporting the application in tissue engineering. All results clarified that SF/LDI-PEUU (40:60) nanofibrous scaffolds meet the required specifications for tissue engineering and could be used as a promising construct for heart valve tissue engineering.

  5. Promoter Hypermethylation of the Eyes Absent 4 Gene is a Tumor-Specific Epigenetic Biomarker in Iranian Colorectal Cancer Patients

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matineh Barati Bagerabad

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate whether hypermethylation of Eyes Absent 4 (EYA4 is also implicated in Iranian Colorectal Cancer (CRC patients or not. From fresh frozen tissues, samples from 38 paired (cancer and normal CRC tissue specimens were used in this study, the DNA was isolated, sodium bisulfite treated and analyzed by methylation-specific polymerase (MSP chain reaction using primers specific for unmethylated or methylated promoter sequences of the EYA4 gene. We also analyzed EYA4 mRNA expression using real time RT-PCR. Demographic characteristics of these patients including age, sex, tumor grade, location, stage, and TNM classification were evaluated and the relationship between methylation status of the gene and clinicopathological features was analyzed. Current study indicated that EYA4 promoter hypermethylation has a sensitivity of 81.57% and specificity of 78.94%. Findings showed lower expression of EYA-4 in methylated samples in comparison with its normal adjacent tissue, although it was not significant (P>0.05. No significant associations were observed between EYA4 hypermethylation and the clinicopathological characteristics. Although the clinical patient outcome of our 38 CRC patients was not associated with EYA4 promoter hypermethylation, the high frequency of this methylation and its high sensitivity and specificity to neoplastic cells may qualify EYA4 promoter methylation as a potential candidate screening marker in Iranian population and may help to improve early detection of CRC.

  6. 21 CFR 862.2050 - General purpose laboratory equipment labeled or promoted for a specific medical use.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... 21 Food and Drugs 8 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false General purpose laboratory equipment labeled or... TOXICOLOGY DEVICES Clinical Laboratory Instruments § 862.2050 General purpose laboratory equipment labeled or promoted for a specific medical use. (a) Identification. General purpose laboratory equipment labeled or...

  7. A Smart Insole to Promote Healthy Aging for Frail Elderly Individuals: Specifications, Design, and Preliminary Results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piau, Antoine; Charlon, Yoann; Campo, Eric; Vellas, Bruno; Nourhashemi, Fati

    2015-05-25

    Older individuals frequently experience reversible "frailty syndrome,", increasing incidence of disability. Although physical exercise interventions may delay functional decline, there are difficulties in implementing them and performing seamless follow-up at home. Very few technological solutions attempt to address this challenge and improve individual participation. Our objectives are to (1) develop a technological solution designed to support active aging of frail older persons, (2) conduct a first laboratory evaluation of the device, and (3) design a multidimensional clinical trial to validate our solution. We conducted a first phase of multidisciplinary meetings to identify real end users and health professional's unmet needs, and to produce specifications for the architecture of the solution. In a second phase, we performed laboratory tests of the first proposed prototype (a smart insole) with 3 healthy volunteers. We then designed an ongoing clinical trial to finalize the multidimensional evaluation and improvement of the solution. To respond to the needs expressed by the stakeholders (frailty monitoring and adherence improvement), we developed a prototype of smart shoe insole to monitor key parameters of frailty during daily life and promote walking. It is a noninvasive wireless insole, which automatically measures gait parameters and transmits information to a remote terminal via a secure Internet connection. To ensure the solution's autonomy and transparency, we developed an original energy harvesting system, which transforms mechanical energy produced by the user's walking movement into electrical energy. The first laboratory tests of this technological solution showed good reliability measures and also a good acceptability for the users. We have planned an original iterative medical research protocol to validate our solution in real life. Our smart insole could support preventive strategies against disability in primary care by empowering the older

  8. Genome-scale portrait and evolutionary significance of human-specific core promoter tri- and tetranucleotide short tandem repeats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nazaripanah, N; Adelirad, F; Delbari, A; Sahaf, R; Abbasi-Asl, T; Ohadi, M

    2018-04-05

    While there is an ongoing trend to identify single nucleotide substitutions (SNSs) that are linked to inter/intra-species differences and disease phenotypes, short tandem repeats (STRs)/microsatellites may be of equal (if not more) importance in the above processes. Genes that contain STRs in their promoters have higher expression divergence compared to genes with fixed or no STRs in the gene promoters. In line with the above, recent reports indicate a role of repetitive sequences in the rise of young transcription start sites (TSSs) in human evolution. Following a comparative genomics study of all human protein-coding genes annotated in the GeneCards database, here we provide a genome-scale portrait of human-specific short- and medium-size (≥ 3-repeats) tri- and tetranucleotide STRs and STR motifs in the critical core promoter region between - 120 and + 1 to the TSS and evidence of skewing of this compartment in reference to the STRs that are not human-specific (Levene's test p human-specific transcripts was detected in the tri and tetra human-specific compartments (mid-p genome-scale skewing of STRs at a specific region of the human genome and a link between a number of these STRs and TSS selection/transcript specificity. The STRs and genes listed here may have a role in the evolution and development of characteristics and phenotypes that are unique to the human species.

  9. Silk constructs for delivery of muskuloskeletal therapeutics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meinel, Lorenz; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Silk fibroin (SF) is a biopolymer with distinguishing features from many other bio- as well as synthetic polymers. From a biomechanical and drug delivery perspective, SF combines remarkable versatility for scaffolding (solid implants, hydrogels, threads, solutions), with advanced mechanical properties and good stabilization and controlled delivery of entrapped protein and small molecule drugs, respectively. It is this combination of mechanical and pharmaceutical features which render SF so exciting for biomedical applications. his pattern along with the versatility of this biopolymer have been translated into progress for musculoskeletal applications. We review the use and potential of silk fibroin for systemic and localized delivery of therapeutics in diseases affecting the musculoskeletal system. We also present future directions for this biopolymer as well as the necessary research and development steps for their achievement. PMID:22522139

  10. Methylation screening of the TGFBI promoter in human lung and prostate cancer by methylation-specific PCR

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shah, Jinesh N; Shao, Genze; Hei, Tom K; Zhao, Yongliang

    2008-01-01

    Hypermethylation of the TGFBI promoter has been shown to correlate with decreased expression of this gene in human tumor cell lines. In this study, we optimized a methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction (MSP) method and investigated the methylation status of the TGFBI promoter in human lung and prostate cancer specimens. Methylation-specific primers were designed based on the methylation profiles of the TGFBI promoter in human tumor cell lines, and MSP conditions were optimized for accurate and efficient amplification. Genomic DNA was isolated from lung tumors and prostatectomy tissues of prostate cancer patients, bisulfite-converted, and analyzed by MSP. Among 50 lung cancer samples, 44.0% (22/50) harbored methylated CpG sites in the TGFBI promoter. An analysis correlating gene methylation status with clinicopathological cancer features revealed that dense methylation of the TGFBI promoter was associated with a metastatic phenotype, with 42.9% (6/14) of metastatic lung cancer samples demonstrating dense methylation vs. only 5.6% (2/36) of primary lung cancer samples (p < 0.05). Similar to these lung cancer results, 82.0% (41/50) of prostate cancer samples harbored methylated CpG sites in the TGFBI promoter, and dense methylation of the promoter was present in 38.9% (7/18) of prostate cancer samples with the feature of locoregional invasiveness vs. only 19.4% (6/31) of prostate cancer samples without locoregional invasiveness (p < 0.05). Furthermore, promoter hypermethylation correlated with highly reduced expression of the TGFBI gene in human lung and prostate tumor cell lines. We successfully optimized a MSP method for the precise and efficient screening of TGFBI promoter methylation status. Dense methylation of the TGFBI promoter correlated with the extent of TGFBI gene silencing in tumor cell lines and was related to invasiveness of prostate tumors and metastatic status of lung cancer tumors. Thus, TGFBI promoter methylation can be used as a potential

  11. The wake-promoting drug modafinil stimulates specific hypothalamic circuits to promote adaptive stress responses in an animal model of PTSD.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, S; Ifergane, G; Vainer, E; Matar, M A; Kaplan, Z; Zohar, J; Mathé, A A; Cohen, H

    2016-10-11

    Pharmacotherapeutic intervention during traumatic memory consolidation has been suggested to alleviate or even prevent the development of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We recently reported that, in a controlled, prospective animal model, depriving rats of sleep following stress exposure prevents the development of a PTSD-like phenotype. Here, we report that administering the wake-promoting drug modafinil to rats in the aftermath of a stressogenic experience has a similar prophylactic effect, as it significantly reduces the prevalence of PTSD-like phenotype. Moreover, we show that the therapeutic value of modafinil appears to stem from its ability to stimulate a specific circuit within the hypothalamus, which ties together the neuropeptide Y, the orexin system and the HPA axis, to promote adaptive stress responses. The study not only confirms the value of sleep prevention and identifies the mechanism of action of a potential prophylactic treatment after traumatic exposure, but also contributes to understanding mechanisms underlying the shift towards adaptive behavioral response.

  12. Silk fibroin nanostructured materials for biomedical applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitropoulos, Alexander N.

    Nanostructured biopolymers have proven to be promising to develop novel biomedical applications where forming structures at the nanoscale normally occurs by self-assembly. However, synthesizing these structures can also occur by inducing materials to transition into other forms by adding chemical cross-linkers, changing pH, or changing ionic composition. Understanding the generation of nanostructures in fluid environments, such as liquid organic solvents or supercritical fluids, has not been thoroughly examined, particularly those that are based on protein-based block-copolymers. Here, we examine the transformation of reconstituted silk fibroin, which has emerged as a promising biopolymer due to its biocompatibility, biodegradability, and ease of functionalization, into submicron spheres and gel networks which offer applications in tissue engineering and advanced sensors. Two types of gel networks, hydrogels and aerogels, have small pores and large surface areas that are defined by their structure. We design and analyze silk nanoparticle formation using a microfluidic device while offering an application for drug delivery. Additionally, we provide a model and characterize hydrogel formation from micelles to nanoparticles, while investigating cellular response to the hydrogel in an in vitro cell culture model. Lastly, we provide a second model of nanofiber formation during near-critical and supercritical drying and characterize the silk fibroin properties at different drying pressures which, when acting as a stabilizing matrix, shows to improve the activity of entrapped enzymes dried at different pressures. This work has created new nanostructured silk fibroin forms to benefit biomedical applications that could be applied to other fibrous proteins.

  13. Gaochang Buddhism and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wang Xin

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available At the crossroads between the West and the East in ancient times, one point along the Silk Road was Gaochang (the Turpan basin in Xinjiang which played an important role in cultural exchange and the spread of Buddhism. The bidirectional influence of Buddhism in Gaochang was achieved as Buddhism spread eastward, and through its westward transmission which resulted in Gaochang’s unique and significant position in the history of cultural interaction.

  14. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Jianyou; Liu, Tongjun; Han, Linna; Liu, Yongmei

    2009-11-23

    Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic beta-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p corn silk extract 15 days later. Also, the body weight of the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice was increased gradually. However, ascension of blood glucose induced by adrenalin and gluconeogenesis induced by L-alanine were not inhibited by corn silk extract treatment (p > 0.05). Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05). Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured beta-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  15. Early events in the evolution of spider silk genes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James Starrett

    Full Text Available Silk spinning is essential to spider ecology and has had a key role in the expansive diversification of spiders. Silk is composed primarily of proteins called spidroins, which are encoded by a multi-gene family. Spidroins have been studied extensively in the derived clade, Orbiculariae (orb-weavers, from the suborder Araneomorphae ('true spiders'. Orbicularians produce a suite of different silks, and underlying this repertoire is a history of duplication and spidroin gene divergence. A second class of silk proteins, Egg Case Proteins (ECPs, is known only from the orbicularian species, Lactrodectus hesperus (Western black widow. In L. hesperus, ECPs bond with tubuliform spidroins to form egg case silk fibers. Because most of the phylogenetic diversity of spiders has not been sampled for their silk genes, there is limited understanding of spidroin gene family history and the prevalence of ECPs. Silk genes have not been reported from the suborder Mesothelae (segmented spiders, which diverged from all other spiders >380 million years ago, and sampling from Mygalomorphae (tarantulas, trapdoor spiders and basal araneomorph lineages is sparse. In comparison to orbicularians, mesotheles and mygalomorphs have a simpler silk biology and thus are hypothesized to have less diversity of silk genes. Here, we present cDNAs synthesized from the silk glands of six mygalomorph species, a mesothele, and a non-orbicularian araneomorph, and uncover a surprisingly rich silk gene diversity. In particular, we find ECP homologs in the mesothele, suggesting that ECPs were present in the common ancestor of extant spiders, and originally were not specialized to complex with tubuliform spidroins. Furthermore, gene-tree/species-tree reconciliation analysis reveals that numerous spidroin gene duplications occurred after the split between Mesothelae and Opisthothelae (Mygalomorphae plus Araneomorphae. We use the spidroin gene tree to reconstruct the evolution of amino acid

  16. Recombinant protein blends: silk beyond natural design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinjaski, Nina; Kaplan, David L

    2016-06-01

    Recombinant DNA technology and new material concepts are shaping future directions in biomaterial science for the design and production of the next-generation biomaterial platforms. Aside from conventionally used synthetic polymers, numerous natural biopolymers (e.g., silk, elastin, collagen, gelatin, alginate, cellulose, keratin, chitin, polyhydroxyalkanoates) have been investigated for properties and manipulation via bioengineering. Genetic engineering provides a path to increase structural and functional complexity of these biopolymers, and thereby expand the catalog of available biomaterials beyond that which exists in nature. In addition, the integration of experimental approaches with computational modeling to analyze sequence-structure-function relationships is starting to have an impact in the field by establishing predictive frameworks for determining material properties. Herein, we review advances in recombinant DNA-mediated protein production and functionalization approaches, with a focus on hybrids or combinations of proteins; recombinant protein blends or 'recombinamers'. We highlight the potential biomedical applications of fibrous protein recombinamers, such as Silk-Elastin Like Polypeptides (SELPs) and Silk-Bacterial Collagens (SBCs). We also discuss the possibility for the rationale design of fibrous proteins to build smart, stimuli-responsive biomaterials for diverse applications. We underline current limitations with production systems for these proteins and discuss the main trends in systems/synthetic biology that may improve recombinant fibrous protein design and production. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. IL-5 promotes induction of antigen-specific CD4+CD25+ T regulatory cells that suppress autoimmunity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Giang T; Hodgkinson, Suzanne J; Carter, Nicole M; Verma, Nirupama D; Plain, Karren M; Boyd, Rochelle; Robinson, Catherine M; Nomura, Masaru; Killingsworth, Murray; Hall, Bruce M

    2012-05-10

    Immune responses to foreign and self-Ags can be controlled by regulatory T cells (Tregs) expressing CD4 and IL-2Rα chain (CD25). Defects in Tregs lead to autoimmunity, whereas induction of Ag-specific CD4+CD25+ Tregs restores tolerance. Ag-specific CD4+CD25+ FOXP3+Tregs activated by the T helper type 2 (Th2) cytokine, IL-4, and specific alloantigen promote allograft tolerance. These Tregs expressed the specific IL-5Rα and in the presence of IL-5 proliferate to specific but not third-party Ag. These findings suggest that recombinant IL-5 (rIL-5) therapy may promote Ag-specific Tregs to mediate tolerance. This study showed normal CD4+CD25+ Tregs cultured with IL-4 and an autoantigen expressed Il-5rα. Treatment of experimental autoimmune neuritis with rIL-5 markedly reduced clinical paralysis, weight loss, demyelination, and infiltration of CD4+ (Th1 and Th17) CD8+ T cells and macrophages in nerves. Clinical improvement was associated with expansion of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ Tregs that expressed Il-5rα and proliferated only to specific autoantigen that was enhanced by rIL-5. Depletion of CD25+ Tregs or blocking of IL-4 abolished the benefits of rIL-5. Thus, rIL-5 promoted Ag-specific Tregs, activated by autoantigen and IL-4, to control autoimmunity. These findings may explain how Th2 responses, especially to parasitic infestation, induce immune tolerance. rIL-5 therapy may be able to induce Ag-specific tolerance in autoimmunity.

  18. Two negative cis-regulatory regions involved in fruit-specific promoter activity from watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris S.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Tao; Wu, Hanying; Zhang, Shanglong; Lu, Hongyu; Zhang, Lingxiao; Xu, Yong; Chen, Daming; Liu, Jingmei

    2009-01-01

    A 1.8 kb 5'-flanking region of the large subunit of ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase, isolated from watermelon (Citrullus vulgaris S.), has fruit-specific promoter activity in transgenic tomato plants. Two negative regulatory regions, from -986 to -959 and from -472 to -424, were identified in this promoter region by fine deletion analyses. Removal of both regions led to constitutive expression in epidermal cells. Gain-of-function experiments showed that these two regions were sufficient to inhibit RFP (red fluorescent protein) expression in transformed epidermal cells when fused to the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S minimal promoter. Gel mobility shift experiments demonstrated the presence of leaf nuclear factors that interact with these two elements. A TCCAAAA motif was identified in these two regions, as well as one in the reverse orientation, which was confirmed to be a novel specific cis-element. A quantitative beta-glucuronidase (GUS) activity assay of stable transgenic tomato plants showed that the activities of chimeric promoters harbouring only one of the two cis-elements, or both, were approximately 10-fold higher in fruits than in leaves. These data confirm that the TCCAAAA motif functions as a fruit-specific element by inhibiting gene expression in leaves.

  19. Expression analysis of four flower-specific promoters of Brassica spp ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The 5'-flanking region of ca. 1200 bp upstream of the translation start site (TSS) of a putative cell wall protein gene was cloned from Brassica campestris, B. chinensis, B. napus and B. oleracea, and transferred to tobacco via Agrobacterium-mediation after fused to promoter-less beta-glucuronidase (GUS) reporter gene.

  20. The zebrafish spi1 promoter drives myeloid-specific expression in stable transgenic fish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ward, AC; McPhee, DO; Condron, MM; Varma, S; Cody, SH; Onnebo, SMN; Paw, BH; Zon, LI; Lieschke, GJ

    2003-01-01

    The spi1 (pu.1) gene has recently been identified as a useful marker of early myeloid cells in zebrafish. To enhance the versatility of this organism as a model for studying myeloid development, the promoter of this gene has been isolated and characterized. Transient transgenesis revealed that a 5.3

  1. Multiple promoters drive tissue-specific expression of the human M2 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor gene

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krejčí, Alena; Bruce, A. W.; Doležal, Vladimír; Tuček, Stanislav; Buckley, N. J.

    2004-01-01

    Roč. 91, č. 1 (2004), s. 88-98 ISSN 0022-3042 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA5011306 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z5011922 Keywords : M2 muscarinic receptor * neuron-restrictive silence factor * promoter Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 4.824, year: 2004

  2. China: The Exchange of Goods and Ideas along the Silk Road. A Lesson for 7th Grade World History.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alton, Shelley; Bernstein-Potter, Gordon; Bohuchot, Aimee; Hott, Sheryl; Pisi, Frank

    This lesson plan focuses on China's Silk Road (300 B.C.-1300 A.D.), specifically the exchange of goods and ideas along its route. The lesson consists of four activities: (1) "Geography"; (2) "Matrix"; (3) "Advertisement"; and (4) "Oral Presentation." The lesson presents goals, provides background, and…

  3. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu

    2000-01-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  4. Acute and Subacute Toxicity Evaluation of Corn Silk Extract.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ha, Ae Wha; Kang, Hyeon Jung; Kim, Sun Lim; Kim, Myung Hwan; Kim, Woo Kyoung

    2018-03-01

    Many studies have reported therapeutic efficacy of corn silk extract. However, research on its toxicity and safe dose range is limited. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the acute and subacute toxicity of corn silk extract in ICR mice. To determine acute toxicity, corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was orally administered to mice at a dose of 0 or 2,000 mg/kg. Clinical symptoms, mortality, and body weight changes were recorded for 14 days. To determine subacute toxicity, corn silk extract was orally administered to mice over a 4-week period, and then body weight, water and food consumption, and organ weight were determined. In addition, urine and serum analyses were performed. In the acute toxicity study, no death or abnormal symptoms was observed in all treatment groups during the study period. Body weights did not show any significant change compared to those of the control group. Lethal dose of corn silk extract was estimated to be more than 2,000 mg/kg. In the 4-week subacute toxicity study, there was no corn silk extract related toxic effect on body weight, water intake, food consumption, urine parameters, clinical chemistry, or organ weight. Histopathological examination showed no abnormality related to the administration of corn silk extract at 500 mg/kg. The maximum non-toxic dose of corn silk extract containing high levels of maysin was found to be more than 500 mg/kg.

  5. Re-opening the silk road to transform Chinese trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    N. Mao (Ning); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China's traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  6. The failure mode of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eshkour, R A; Ariffin, A K; Zulkifli, R; Sulong, A B; Azhari, C H

    2012-01-01

    In this study the quasi static compression test over natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been carried out, the natural silk epoxy composite tubes consist of 24 layer of woven natural silk as reinforcement and thermoset epoxy resin as matrix which both of them i e natural silk and epoxy have excellent mechanical properties More over the natural silk have better moisture resistance in comparison with other natural reinforcements, the length of tubes are 50, 80 and 120 mm The natural silk epoxy composite tubes are associated with an external trigger which includes 4 steel pieces welded on downside flat plate fixture The hand lay up fabrication method has been used to make the natural silk epoxy composite tubes Instron universal testing machine with 250 KN load capacity has been employed to accomplish this investigation The failure modes of natural silk epoxy triggered composite tubes has been investigated by representative photographs which has been taken by a high resolution camera(12 2 Mp) during the quasi static compression test, from the photographs is observed the failure modes is progressive local buckling

  7. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The mechanism of silk formation in Apis mellifera salivary glands, during the 5th instar, was studied. Larval salivary glands were dissected and prepared for light and polarized light microscopy, as well as for scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The results showed that silk formation starts at the middle of the 5th ...

  8. Re-Opening the Silk Road to Transform Chinese Trade

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M. Ning (Mao); M.J. McAleer (Michael)

    2017-01-01

    textabstractUnder anti-globalization and isolationism, China is seeking to portray itself as a new leader for globalization under the banner of the Silk Road initiative. Meanwhile, China’s traditional and comparatively advantaged industry, silk, has faced dire predicaments and challenges for long

  9. Structure, composition and mechanical properties of the silk fibres of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    The silk egg case and orb web of spiders are elaborate structures that are assembled from a number of components. We analysed the structure, the amino acid and fibre compositions, and the tensile properties of the silk fibres of the egg case of Nephila clavata. SEM shows that the outer and inner covers of the egg case ...

  10. Silk formation mechanisms in the larval salivary glands of Apis ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unknown

    The mechanism of silk formation in Apis mellifera salivary glands, during the 5th instar, was studied. Larval salivary glands .... be used in the silk-manufacture industry. This paper analyses .... (figure 3C); and are highly birefringent (figure 3D).

  11. Production of fine powder from silk by radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Takeshita, Hidefumi; Yoshii, Fumio; Kume, Tamikazu [Japan Atomic Energy Research Inst., Takasaki, Gunma (Japan). Takasaki Radiation Chemistry Research Establishment; Ishida, Kazunari; Kamiishi, Youichi [Textile Research Institute of Gunma, Kiryu, Gunma (Japan)

    2000-03-01

    Silk fine power was prepared directly from silk fiber irradiated with an accelerated electron beam(EB). Irradiated silk fiber was well pulverized only by physical crushing using ball mill without any chemical pretreatment. Raw and degummed silk fibers were irradiated at ambient temperature in the dose range of 250-1000 kGy. Although unirradiated silk fibers were not pulverized at all, irradiated fibers were easily pulverized and showed higher conversion from fiber to powder for higher doses. The presence of oxygen in the irradiation atmosphere enhanced pulverization of silk fiber. Raw silk fibers were less pulverized compared to degummed ones. The electron microscope observation showed that the minimum particle size of silk powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen was less than 10 microns. It was found that fibroin powder obtained in this work dissolved remarkably into cold water, thought unirradiated fibroin fiber had little solubility even in hot water. A typical soluble fraction was about 60% for fibroin powder obtained from fiber irradiated by 1000 kGy in oxygen. (author)

  12. [Application of silk-based tissue engineering scaffold for tendon / ligament regeneration].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Yejun; Le, Huihui; Jin, Zhangchu; Chen, Xiao; Yin, Zi; Shen, Weiliang; Ouyang, Hongwei

    2016-03-01

    Tendon/ligament injury is one of the most common impairments in sports medicine. The traditional treatments of damaged tissue repair are unsatisfactory, especially for athletes, due to lack of donor and immune rejection. The strategy of tissue engineering may break through these limitations, and bring new hopes to tendon/ligament repair, even regeneration. Silk is a kind of natural biomaterials, which has good biocompatibility, wide range of mechanical properties and tunable physical structures; so it could be applied as tendon/ligament tissue engineering scaffolds. The silk-based scaffold has robust mechanical properties; combined with other biological ingredients, it could increase the surface area, promote more cell adhesion and improve the biocompatibility. The potential clinical application of silk-based scaffold has been confirmed by in vivo studies on tendon/ligament repairing, such as anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament, achilles tendon and rotator cuff. To develop novel biomechanically stable and host integrated tissue engineered tendon/ligament needs more further micro and macro studies, combined with product development and clinical application, which will give new hope to patients with tendon/ligament injury.

  13. Spatial Pattern and Regional Relevance Analysis of the Maritime Silk Road Shipping Network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naixia Mou

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Under the strategy of “One Belt and One Road”, this paper explores the spatial pattern and the status quo of regional trade relevance of the Maritime Silk Road shipping network. Based on complex network theory, a topological structure map of shipping networks for containers, tankers, and bulk carriers was constructed, and the spatial characteristics of shipping networks were analyzed. Using the mode of spatial arrangement and the Herfindahl–Hirschman Index, this paper further analyzes the traffic flow pattern of regional trade of three kinds of goods. It is shown that the shipping network of containers, tankers and bulk carriers are unevenly distributed and have regional agglomeration phenomena. There is a strong correlation between the interior of the region and the adjacent areas, and the port competition is fierce. Among them, the container ships network is the most competitive in the region, while the competitiveness of the tankers network is relatively the lowest. The inter-regional correlation is weak, and a few transit hub ports have obvious competitive advantages. The ports in Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia are the most significant. The research results combined with the Maritime Silk Road policy can provide reference for port construction, route optimization, and coordinated development of regional trade, which will help to save time and cost of marine transportation, reduce energy consumption, and promote the sustainable development of marine environment and regional trade on the Maritime Silk Road.

  14. Predicting Silk Fiber Mechanical Properties through Multiscale Simulation and Protein Design.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rim, Nae-Gyune; Roberts, Erin G; Ebrahimi, Davoud; Dinjaski, Nina; Jacobsen, Matthew M; Martín-Moldes, Zaira; Buehler, Markus J; Kaplan, David L; Wong, Joyce Y

    2017-08-14

    Silk is a promising material for biomedical applications, and much research is focused on how application-specific, mechanical properties of silk can be designed synthetically through proper amino acid sequences and processing parameters. This protocol describes an iterative process between research disciplines that combines simulation, genetic synthesis, and fiber analysis to better design silk fibers with specific mechanical properties. Computational methods are used to assess the protein polymer structure as it forms an interconnected fiber network through shearing and how this process affects fiber mechanical properties. Model outcomes are validated experimentally with the genetic design of protein polymers that match the simulation structures, fiber fabrication from these polymers, and mechanical testing of these fibers. Through iterative feedback between computation, genetic synthesis, and fiber mechanical testing, this protocol will enable a priori prediction capability of recombinant material mechanical properties via insights from the resulting molecular architecture of the fiber network based entirely on the initial protein monomer composition. This style of protocol may be applied to other fields where a research team seeks to design a biomaterial with biomedical application-specific properties. This protocol highlights when and how the three research groups (simulation, synthesis, and engineering) should be interacting to arrive at the most effective method for predictive design of their material.

  15. Self-assembly of silk fibroin under osmotic stress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sohn, Sungkyun

    The supramolecular self-assembly behavior of silk fibroin was investigated using osmotic stress technique. In Chapter 2, a ternary phase diagram of water-silk-LiBr was constructed based on X-ray results on the osmotically stressed regenerated silk fibroin of Bombyx mori silkworm. Microscopic data indicated that silk I is a hydrated structure and a rough estimate of the number of water molecules lost by the structure upon converting from silk I to silk II has been made, and found to be about 2.2 per [GAGAGS] hexapeptide. In Chapter 3, wet-spinning of osmotically stressed, regenerated silk fibroin was performed, based on the prediction that the enhanced control over structure and phase behavior using osmotic stress method helps improve the physical properties of wet-spun regenerated silk fibroin fibers. The osmotic stress was applied in order to pre-structure the regenerated silk fibroin molecule from its original random coil state to more oriented state, manipulating the phase of the silk solution in the phase diagram before the start of spinning. Monofilament fiber with a diameter of 20 microm was produced. In Chapter 4, we investigated if there is a noticeable synergistic osmotic pressure increase between co-existing polymeric osmolyte and salt when extremely highly concentrated salt molecules are present both at sample subphase and stressing subphase, as is the case of silk fibroin self-assembly. The equilibration method that measures osmotic pressure relative to a reference with known osmotic pressure was introduced. Osmotic pressure of aqueous LiBr solution up to 2.75M was measured and it was found that the synergistic effect was insignificant up to this salt concentration. Solution parameters of stressing solutions and Arrhenius kinetics based on time-temperature relationship for the equilibration process were derived as well. In Chapter 5, self-assembly behavior of natural silk fibroin within the gland of Bombyx mori silkworm was investigated using osmotic

  16. Tissue-specific interactions between nuclear proteins and the aminopeptidase N promoter

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kärnström, U; Sjöström, H; Norén, O

    1991-01-01

    Aminopeptidase N/CD13 is a metallopeptidase found in many tissues. Aminopeptidase N activity is high in the small intestinal mucosa, moderate in the liver, and low in the spleen. Using DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays with nuclear extracts from these tissues, three cis...... elements (DF, LF-B1, UF) were identified in the aminopeptidase N promoter. The DF region (-53 to -30) interacts with the ubiquitously expressed transcription factor Sp1. The LF-B1 region (-85 to -58) interacts with the liver transcription factor LF-B1 (HNF-1) which was detected as well in nuclei from small...... intestinal mucosa. The UF region (-112 to -90) interacts with nuclear factors which seem to be expressed differentially in the liver and the small intestine. Transfection of promoter deletions into HepG2 cells showed that the LF-B1 region is necessary for high expression of the aminopeptidase N gene in liver...

  17. Corn silk induces nitric oxide synthase in murine macrophages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyung A; Choi, Sang Kyu; Choi, Hye Seon

    2004-12-31

    Corn silk has been purified as an anticoagulant previously and the active component is a polysaccharide with a molecular mass of 135 kDa. It activates murine macrophages to induce nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and generate substantial amounts of NO in time and dose-dependent manners. It was detectable first at 15 h after stimulation by corn silk, peaked at 24 h, and undetectable by 48 h. Induction of NOS is inhibited by pyrolidine dithiocarbamate (PDTC) and genistein, an inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) and tyrosine kinase, respectively, indicating that iNOS stimulated by corn silk is associated with tyrosine kinase and NF-kappaB signaling pathways. IkappaB-alpha degradation was detectible at 10 min, and the level was restored at 120 min after treatment of corn silk. Corn silk induced nuclear translocation of NF-kappaB by phosphorylation and degradation of IkappaB-alpha.

  18. Study on silk yellowing induced by gamma-irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsukada, Masuhiro; Aoki, Akira

    1985-01-01

    The changes in the yellow color of silk threads with total dose of irradiation applied were described and studied by a colorimetric method and by monochrome photography. The change into a yellow color of the specimen in the course of irradiation was clearly detected in photographs using filters, 2B and SC 56 under light conditions at the wavelength of 366 nm. The b/L value measured by colorimetry in undegummed and degummed silk fibers sharply increased in the early stage of irradiation. Yellow color indices (b/L) of the specimen subjected to gamma-irradiation continued to increase and the yellow color of the silk threads became more pronounced above a total dose of irradiation of 21 Mrad. The b/L value of the undegummed silk fiber which had deen irradiated was about 2 times that of the degummed silk fiber. (author)

  19. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R [Department of Physics, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia); Herberstein, M E, E-mail: deb.kane@mq.edu.a [Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109 (Australia)

    2010-09-15

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  20. Optical surface profiling of orb-web spider capture silks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, D M; Joyce, A M; Staib, G R; Herberstein, M E

    2010-01-01

    Much spider silk research to date has focused on its mechanical properties. However, the webs of many orb-web spiders have evolved for over 136 million years to evade visual detection by insect prey. It is therefore a photonic device in addition to being a mechanical device. Herein we use optical surface profiling of capture silks from the webs of adult female St Andrews cross spiders (Argiope keyserlingi) to successfully measure the geometry of adhesive silk droplets and to show a bowing in the aqueous layer on the spider capture silk between adhesive droplets. Optical surface profiling shows geometric features of the capture silk that have not been previously measured and contributes to understanding the links between the physical form and biological function. The research also demonstrates non-standard use of an optical surface profiler to measure the maximum width of a transparent micro-sized droplet (microlens).

  1. Quantitative global and gene-specific promoter methylation in relation to biological properties of neuroblastomas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kiss Nimrod B

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In this study we aimed to quantify tumor suppressor gene (TSG promoter methylation densities levels in primary neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines. A subset of these TSGs is associated with a CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP in other tumor types. Methods The study panel consisted of 38 primary tumors, 7 established cell lines and 4 healthy references. Promoter methylation was determined by bisulphate Pyrosequencing for 14 TSGs; and LINE-1 repeat element methylation was used as an indicator of global methylation levels. Results Overall mean TSG Z-scores were significantly increased in cases with adverse outcome, but were unrelated to global LINE-1 methylation. CIMP with hypermethylation of three or more gene promoters was observed in 6/38 tumors and 7/7 cell lines. Hypermethylation of one or more TSG (comprising TSGs BLU, CASP8, DCR2, CDH1, RASSF1A and RASSF2 was evident in 30/38 tumors. By contrast only very low levels of promoter methylation were recorded for APC, DAPK1, NORE1A, P14, P16, TP73, PTEN and RARB. Similar involvements of methylation instability were revealed between cell line models and neuroblastoma tumors. Separate analysis of two proposed CASP8 regulatory regions revealed frequent and significant involvement of CpG sites between exon 4 and 5, but modest involvement of the exon 1 region. Conclusions/significance The results highlight the involvement of TSG methylation instability in neuroblastoma tumors and cell lines using quantitative methods, support the use of DNA methylation analyses as a prognostic tool for this tumor type, and underscore the relevance of developing demethylating therapies for its treatment.

  2. DNA methylation of specific CpG sites in the promoter region regulates the transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimrat Mamrut

    Full Text Available Oxytocin is a peptide hormone, well known for its role in labor and suckling, and most recently for its involvement in mammalian social behavior. All central and peripheral actions of oxytocin are mediated through the oxytocin receptor, which is the product of a single gene. Transcription of the oxytocin receptor is subject to regulation by gonadal steroid hormones, and is profoundly elevated in the uterus and mammary glands during parturition. DNA methylation is a major epigenetic mechanism that regulates gene transcription, and has been linked to reduced expression of the oxytocin receptor in individuals with autism. Here, we hypothesized that transcription of the mouse oxytocin receptor is regulated by DNA methylation of specific sites in its promoter, in a tissue-specific manner. Hypothalamus-derived GT1-7, and mammary-derived 4T1 murine cell lines displayed negative correlations between oxytocin receptor transcription and methylation of the gene promoter, and demethylation caused a significant enhancement of oxytocin receptor transcription in 4T1 cells. Using a reporter gene assay, we showed that methylation of specific sites in the gene promoter, including an estrogen response element, significantly inhibits transcription. Furthermore, methylation of the oxytocin receptor promoter was found to be differentially correlated with oxytocin receptor expression in mammary glands and the uterus of virgin and post-partum mice, suggesting that it plays a distinct role in oxytocin receptor transcription among tissues and under different physiological conditions. Together, these results support the hypothesis that the expression of the mouse oxytocin receptor gene is epigenetically regulated by DNA methylation of its promoter.

  3. Isolation and characterization of latex-specific promoters from Papaver somniferum L.

    OpenAIRE

    Raymond, Michelle Jean

    2004-01-01

    The pharmacologically important alkaloids morphine and codeine are found in latex of opium poppy (Papaver somniferum). Latex is harbored in laticifers, a specialized vascular cell-type. Isolation and characterization of latex-specific genes may provide a useful tool to metabolically engineer increased alkaloid production. Previous research in the Nessler laboratory identified genes that exhibit latex-specific gene expression. Latex-specific genes were an 2-oxoglutarate-dioxygense (DIOX), ...

  4. Effects of alkyl polyglycoside (APG) on Bombyx mori silk degumming and the mechanical properties of silk fibroin fibre

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Fei; Zhang, Yu-Qing, E-mail: sericult@suda.edu.cn

    2017-05-01

    Alkyl polyglycoside (APG), a nonionic surfactant, is often considered to be a green surfactant and is synthesized using glucose and long chain fatty alcohols. It is used as a degumming agent of Bombyx mori silk fibre in this study for the first time. We studied APG systematically in comparison to the traditional degumming methods, such as aqueous solutions of sodium carbonate (Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}) and neutral soap (NS). After repeatedly boiling silk fibres in an aqueous solution of 0.25% APG three times for 30 min and using a bath ratio of 1:90–120 (g/mL), sericin was completely removed from the fibre. SDS-PAGE showed that the degumming in APG did not induce an evident breakage of the silk fibroin peptide chains, including the light chain and P25 protein. The tensile properties, thermal analysis, and scanning electron microscopic (SEM) observation of the degummed fibroin fibre all show that APG is a degumming agent similar to NS and far superior to Na{sub 2}CO{sub 3}. These results indicate that APG is an environment-friendly silk degumming/refining agent in the silk textile industry and in the manufacture of silk floss quilts. - Graphical abstract: APG has potential uses as a green degumming/refining reagent for silkworm cocoons or silk fibres in the silk industry and for sericulture production. Display Omitted.

  5. Foundation of the Outstanding Toughness in Biomimetic and Natural Spider Silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anton, Arthur Markus; Heidebrecht, Aniela; Mahmood, Nasir; Beiner, Mario; Scheibel, Thomas; Kremer, Friedrich

    2017-12-11

    Spider dragline silk is distinguished through the highest toughness of all natural as well as artificial fiber materials. To unravel the toughness's molecular foundation and to enable manufacturing biomimetic analogues, we investigated the morphological and functional structure of recombinant fibers, which exhibit toughness similar to that of the natural template, on the molecular scale by means of vibrational spectroscopy and on the mesoscale by X-ray scattering. Whereas the former was used to identify protein secondary structures and their alignment in the natural as well as artificial silks, the latter revealed nanometer-sized crystallites on the higher structural level. Furthermore, a spectral red shift of a crystal-specific absorption band demonstrated that macroscopically applied stress is directly transferred to the molecular scale, where it is finally dissipated. Concerning this feature, both the natural as well as the biomimetic fibers are almost indistinguishable, giving rise to the toughness of both fiber materials.

  6. Personal use, social supply or redistribution? Cryptomarket demand on Silk Road 2 and Agora

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Demant, Jakob; Munksgaard, Rasmus; Houborg, Esben

    2016-01-01

    In 2011, Silk Road became the first black market, or "cryptomarket", for illicit drugs. This study examines two of the largest cryptomarkets which have operated, Silk Road 2.0 and Agora Marketplace. We hypothesize that cryptomarkets cater to buyers who intend to resell or redistribute the products......, specifically in the form of social drug dealing, and that larger quantities will be purchased on the cryptomarkets over time. We examine these hypotheses through a descriptive and qualitative assessment of the distribution of drugs sold, and an estimated trend line based on simple linear regression. Data...... 2.0 and Agora Marketplace. The results suggest that cryptomarkets resemble traditional drug markets in terms of the distribution and revenues. As such, it is relevant to include cryptomarkets in discussions about potential reductions of the harmful social consequences of drug markets, as well...

  7. Insulation and wiring specificity of BceR-like response regulators and their target promoters in Bacillus subtilis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Chong; Nagy-Staroń, Anna; Grafe, Martin; Heermann, Ralf; Jung, Kirsten; Gebhard, Susanne; Mascher, Thorsten

    2017-04-01

    BceRS and PsdRS are paralogous two-component systems in Bacillus subtilis controlling the response to antimicrobial peptides. In the presence of extracellular bacitracin and nisin, respectively, the two response regulators (RRs) bind their target promoters, P bceA or P psdA , resulting in a strong up-regulation of target gene expression and ultimately antibiotic resistance. Despite high sequence similarity between the RRs BceR and PsdR and their known binding sites, no cross-regulation has been observed between them. We therefore investigated the specificity determinants of P bceA and P psdA that ensure the insulation of these two paralogous pathways at the RR-promoter interface. In vivo and in vitro analyses demonstrate that the regulatory regions within these two promoters contain three important elements: in addition to the known (main) binding site, we identified a linker region and a secondary binding site that are crucial for functionality. Initial binding to the high-affinity, low-specificity main binding site is a prerequisite for the subsequent highly specific binding of a second RR dimer to the low-affinity secondary binding site. In addition to this hierarchical cooperative binding, discrimination requires a competition of the two RRs for their respective binding site mediated by only slight differences in binding affinities. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Guiding health promotion efforts with urban Inuit: a community-specific perspective on health information sources and dissemination strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McShane, Kelly E; Smylie, Janet K; Hastings, Paul D; Martin, Carmel M

    2006-01-01

    To develop a community-specific perspective of health information sources and dissemination strategies of urban Inuit to better guide health promotion efforts. Through a collaborative partnership with the Tungasuvvingat Inuit Family Resource Centre, a series of key informant interviews and focus groups were conducted to gather information on specific sources of health information, strategies of health information dissemination, and overall themes in health information processes. Distinct patterns of health information sources and dissemination strategies emerged from the data. Major themes included: the importance of visual learning, community Elders, and cultural interpreters; community cohesion; and the Inuit and non-Inuit distinction. The core sources of health information are family members and sources from within the Inuit community. The principal dissemination strategy for health information was direct communication, either through one-on-one interactions or in groups. This community-specific perspective of health information sources and dissemination strategies shows substantial differences from current mainstream models of health promotion and knowledge translation. Health promotion efforts need to acknowledge the distinct health information processes of this community, and should strive to integrate existing health information sources and strategies of dissemination with those of the community.

  9. Cross-species mapping of bidirectional promoters enables prediction of unannotated 5' UTRs and identification of species-specific transcripts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lewin Harris A

    2009-04-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bidirectional promoters are shared regulatory regions that influence the expression of two oppositely oriented genes. This type of regulatory architecture is found more frequently than expected by chance in the human genome, yet many specifics underlying the regulatory design are unknown. Given that the function of most orthologous genes is similar across species, we hypothesized that the architecture and regulation of bidirectional promoters might also be similar across species, representing a core regulatory structure and enabling annotation of these regions in additional mammalian genomes. Results By mapping the intergenic distances of genes in human, chimpanzee, bovine, murine, and rat, we show an enrichment for pairs of genes equal to or less than 1,000 bp between their adjacent 5' ends ("head-to-head" compared to pairs of genes that fall in the same orientation ("head-to-tail" or whose 3' ends are side-by-side ("tail-to-tail". A representative set of 1,369 human bidirectional promoters was mapped to orthologous sequences in other mammals. We confirmed predictions for 5' UTRs in nine of ten manual picks in bovine based on comparison to the orthologous human promoter set and in six of seven predictions in human based on comparison to the bovine dataset. The two predictions that did not have orthology as bidirectional promoters in the other species resulted from unique events that initiated transcription in the opposite direction in only those species. We found evidence supporting the independent emergence of bidirectional promoters from the family of five RecQ helicase genes, which gained their bidirectional promoters and partner genes independently rather than through a duplication process. Furthermore, by expanding our comparisons from pairwise to multispecies analyses we developed a map representing a core set of bidirectional promoters in mammals. Conclusion We show that the orthologous positions of bidirectional

  10. The hidden winners of renewable energy promotion: Insights into sector-specific wage differentials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Antoni, Manfred; Janser, Markus; Lehmer, Florian

    2015-01-01

    In light of Germany's energy system transformation, this paper examines differences in employment structures and wage differentials between renewable energy establishments and their sector peers. To do so, we have developed a novel data set by linking company-level information from the German Renewable Energy Federation with administrative establishment-level data from the Institute for Employment Research. Descriptive evidence shows significant differences in wages and several other characteristics between renewable energy establishments and their sector peers. Our estimates give evidence that human capital and other establishment-level characteristics mostly explain the wage differential among manufacturers and energy providers. However, we find a persistent ‘renewable energy wage premium' of more than ten percent in construction/installation activities and architectural/engineering services. We interpret this premium as a positive indirect effect of the promotion of renewable energies for the benefit of employees in renewable energy establishments within these two sectors. - Highlights: • Renewable energy (RE) firms pay considerably more than their non-RE sector peers. • In manufacturing and energy supply, firm attributes explain mainly the wage gap. • In installation, planning and project management one third remains unexplained. • This unexplained rest represents a ‘RE wage premium’ of around 10 percent. • The employees in both sectors are the ‘hidden winners’ of RE promotion.

  11. Tissue- and agonist-specific regulation of human and murine plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 promoters in transgenic mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eren, M; Painter, C A; Gleaves, L A; Schoenhard, J A; Atkinson, J B; Brown, N J; Vaughan, D E

    2003-11-01

    Numerous studies have described regulatory factors and sequences that control transcriptional responses in vitro. However, there is a paucity of information on the qualitative and quantitative regulation of heterologous promoters using transgenic strategies. In order to investigate the physiological regulation of human plasminogen activator inhibitor type-1 (hPAI-1) expression in vivo compared to murine PAI-1 (mPAI-1) and to test the physiological relevance of regulatory mechanisms described in vitro, we generated transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by the proximal -2.9 kb of the hPAI-1 promoter. Transgenic animals were treated with Ang II, TGF-beta1 and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to compare the relative activation of the human and murine PAI-1 promoters. Ang II increased EGFP expression most effectively in brain, kidney and spleen, while mPAI-1 expression was quantitatively enhanced most prominently in heart and spleen. TGF-beta1 failed to induce activation of the hPAI-1 promoter but potently stimulated mPAI-1 in kidney and spleen. LPS administration triggered robust expression of mPAI-1 in liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen and lung, while EGFP was induced only modestly in heart and kidney. These results indicate that the transcriptional response of the endogenous mPAI-1 promoter varies widely in terms of location and magnitude of response to specific stimuli. Moreover, the physiological regulation of PAI-1 expression likely involves a complex interaction of transcription factors and DNA sequences that are not adequately replicated by in vitro functional studies focused on the proximal -2.9 kb promoter.

  12. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence1[OPEN

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-01-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M. persicae-host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. PMID:28100451

  13. An Aphid Effector Targets Trafficking Protein VPS52 in a Host-Specific Manner to Promote Virulence.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Patricia A; Escudero-Martinez, Carmen; Bos, Jorunn I B

    2017-03-01

    Plant- and animal-feeding insects secrete saliva inside their hosts, containing effectors, which may promote nutrient release and suppress immunity. Although for plant pathogenic microbes it is well established that effectors target host proteins to modulate host cell processes and promote disease, the host cell targets of herbivorous insects remain elusive. Here, we show that the existing plant pathogenic microbe effector paradigm can be extended to herbivorous insects in that effector-target interactions inside host cells modify critical host processes to promote plant susceptibility. We showed that the effector Mp1 from Myzus persicae associates with the host Vacuolar Protein Sorting Associated Protein52 (VPS52). Using natural variants, we provide a strong link between effector virulence activity and association with VPS52, and show that the association is highly specific to M persicae -host interactions. Also, coexpression of Mp1, but not Mp1-like variants, specifically with host VPS52s resulted in effector relocalization to vesicle-like structures that associate with prevacuolar compartments. We show that high VPS52 levels negatively impact virulence, and that aphids are able to reduce VPS52 levels during infestation, indicating that VPS52 is an important virulence target. Our work is an important step forward in understanding, at the molecular level, how a major agricultural pest promotes susceptibility during infestation of crop plants. We give evidence that an herbivorous insect employs effectors that interact with host proteins as part of an effective virulence strategy, and that these effectors likely function in a species-specific manner. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Enhanced bone formation in electrospun poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid)–tussah silk fibroin ultrafine nanofiber scaffolds incorporated with graphene oxide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Weili; He, Jianxin; Sang, Feng; Wang, Qian; Chen, Li; Cui, Shizhong; Ding, Bin

    2016-01-01

    To engineer bone tissue, it is necessary to provide a biocompatible, mechanically robust scaffold. In this study, we fabricated an ultrafine nanofiber scaffold by electrospinning a blend of poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid), tussah silk fibroin, and graphene oxide (GO) and characterized its morphology, biocompatibility, mechanical properties, and biological activity. The data indicate that incorporation of 10 wt.% tussah silk and 1 wt.% graphene oxide into poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanofibers significantly decreased the fiber diameter from 280 to 130 nm. Furthermore, tussah silk and graphene oxide boosted the Young's modulus and tensile strength by nearly 4-fold and 3-fold, respectively, and significantly enhanced adhesion, proliferation in mouse mesenchymal stem cells and functionally promoted biomineralization-relevant alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and mineral deposition. The results indicate that composite nanofibers could be excellent and versatile scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. - Highlights: • GO-doped PLGA–tussah silk fibroin ultrafine nanofibers with diameter of about 130 nm were fabricated by electrospinning. • Incorporation of 10 wt.% tussah silk to the PLGA nanofibers accelerates osteoblast differentiation and formation of new bone. • Mechanical properties of composite nanofiber mats had been significantly improved after embedding with GO nanosheets. • Nanostructured composite scaffolds effectively accelerate mesenchymal stem cells differentiation and formation of new bone.

  15. Enhanced bone formation in electrospun poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid)–tussah silk fibroin ultrafine nanofiber scaffolds incorporated with graphene oxide

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shao, Weili [Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites (Ministry of Education), Institute of Textile Composites, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387 (China); Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Materials, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); He, Jianxin, E-mail: hejianxin771117@163.com [Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Materials, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Sang, Feng [Department of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome Treatment and Research Center, The First Affiliated Hospital of Henan University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Zhengzhou 450000 (China); Wang, Qian [Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Materials, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Chen, Li [Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites (Ministry of Education), Institute of Textile Composites, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387 (China); Cui, Shizhong [Key Laboratory of Advanced Textile Composites (Ministry of Education), Institute of Textile Composites, Tianjin Polytechnic University, Tianjin 300387 (China); Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Materials, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); Ding, Bin [Henan Provincial Key Laboratory of Functional Textile Materials, Zhongyuan University of Technology, Zhengzhou 450007 (China); State Key Laboratory for Modification of Chemical Fibers and Polymer Materials, College of Materials Science and Engineering, Donghua University, Shanghai 201600 (China)

    2016-05-01

    To engineer bone tissue, it is necessary to provide a biocompatible, mechanically robust scaffold. In this study, we fabricated an ultrafine nanofiber scaffold by electrospinning a blend of poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid), tussah silk fibroin, and graphene oxide (GO) and characterized its morphology, biocompatibility, mechanical properties, and biological activity. The data indicate that incorporation of 10 wt.% tussah silk and 1 wt.% graphene oxide into poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanofibers significantly decreased the fiber diameter from 280 to 130 nm. Furthermore, tussah silk and graphene oxide boosted the Young's modulus and tensile strength by nearly 4-fold and 3-fold, respectively, and significantly enhanced adhesion, proliferation in mouse mesenchymal stem cells and functionally promoted biomineralization-relevant alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and mineral deposition. The results indicate that composite nanofibers could be excellent and versatile scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. - Highlights: • GO-doped PLGA–tussah silk fibroin ultrafine nanofibers with diameter of about 130 nm were fabricated by electrospinning. • Incorporation of 10 wt.% tussah silk to the PLGA nanofibers accelerates osteoblast differentiation and formation of new bone. • Mechanical properties of composite nanofiber mats had been significantly improved after embedding with GO nanosheets. • Nanostructured composite scaffolds effectively accelerate mesenchymal stem cells differentiation and formation of new bone.

  16. Allele-Specific DNA Methylation and Its Interplay with Repressive Histone Marks at Promoter-Mutant TERT Genes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh Lewis Stern

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available A mutation in the promoter of the Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT gene is the most frequent noncoding mutation in cancer. The mutation drives unusual monoallelic expression of TERT, allowing immortalization. Here, we find that DNA methylation of the TERT CpG island (CGI is also allele-specific in multiple cancers. The expressed allele is hypomethylated, which is opposite to cancers without TERT promoter mutations. The continued presence of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2 on the inactive allele suggests that histone marks of repressed chromatin may be causally linked to high DNA methylation. Consistent with this hypothesis, TERT promoter DNA containing 5-methyl-CpG has much increased affinity for PRC2 in vitro. Thus, CpG methylation and histone marks appear to collaborate to maintain the two TERT alleles in different epigenetic states in TERT promoter mutant cancers. Finally, in several cancers, DNA methylation levels at the TERT CGI correlate with altered patient survival.

  17. Allele-Specific DNA Methylation and Its Interplay with Repressive Histone Marks at Promoter-Mutant TERT Genes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Josh Lewis; Paucek, Richard D; Huang, Franklin W; Ghandi, Mahmoud; Nwumeh, Ronald; Costello, James C; Cech, Thomas R

    2017-12-26

    A mutation in the promoter of the Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase (TERT) gene is the most frequent noncoding mutation in cancer. The mutation drives unusual monoallelic expression of TERT, allowing immortalization. Here, we find that DNA methylation of the TERT CpG island (CGI) is also allele-specific in multiple cancers. The expressed allele is hypomethylated, which is opposite to cancers without TERT promoter mutations. The continued presence of Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) on the inactive allele suggests that histone marks of repressed chromatin may be causally linked to high DNA methylation. Consistent with this hypothesis, TERT promoter DNA containing 5-methyl-CpG has much increased affinity for PRC2 in vitro. Thus, CpG methylation and histone marks appear to collaborate to maintain the two TERT alleles in different epigenetic states in TERT promoter mutant cancers. Finally, in several cancers, DNA methylation levels at the TERT CGI correlate with altered patient survival. Copyright © 2017 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Enhanced bone formation in electrospun poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid)-tussah silk fibroin ultrafine nanofiber scaffolds incorporated with graphene oxide.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shao, Weili; He, Jianxin; Sang, Feng; Wang, Qian; Chen, Li; Cui, Shizhong; Ding, Bin

    2016-05-01

    To engineer bone tissue, it is necessary to provide a biocompatible, mechanically robust scaffold. In this study, we fabricated an ultrafine nanofiber scaffold by electrospinning a blend of poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid), tussah silk fibroin, and graphene oxide (GO) and characterized its morphology, biocompatibility, mechanical properties, and biological activity. The data indicate that incorporation of 10 wt.% tussah silk and 1 wt.% graphene oxide into poly(L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanofibers significantly decreased the fiber diameter from 280 to 130 nm. Furthermore, tussah silk and graphene oxide boosted the Young's modulus and tensile strength by nearly 4-fold and 3-fold, respectively, and significantly enhanced adhesion, proliferation in mouse mesenchymal stem cells and functionally promoted biomineralization-relevant alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and mineral deposition. The results indicate that composite nanofibers could be excellent and versatile scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Comprehensive benchmarking reveals H2BK20 acetylation as a distinctive signature of cell-state-specific enhancers and promoters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, Vibhor; Rayan, Nirmala Arul; Muratani, Masafumi; Lim, Stefan; Elanggovan, Bavani; Xin, Lixia; Lu, Tess; Makhija, Harshyaa; Poschmann, Jeremie; Lufkin, Thomas; Ng, Huck Hui; Prabhakar, Shyam

    2016-05-01

    Although over 35 different histone acetylation marks have been described, the overwhelming majority of regulatory genomics studies focus exclusively on H3K27ac and H3K9ac. In order to identify novel epigenomic traits of regulatory elements, we constructed a benchmark set of validated enhancers by performing 140 enhancer assays in human T cells. We tested 40 chromatin signatures on this unbiased enhancer set and identified H2BK20ac, a little-studied histone modification, as the most predictive mark of active enhancers. Notably, we detected a novel class of functionally distinct enhancers enriched in H2BK20ac but lacking H3K27ac, which was present in all examined cell lines and also in embryonic forebrain tissue. H2BK20ac was also unique in highlighting cell-type-specific promoters. In contrast, other acetylation marks were present in all active promoters, regardless of cell-type specificity. In stimulated microglial cells, H2BK20ac was more correlated with cell-state-specific expression changes than H3K27ac, with TGF-beta signaling decoupling the two acetylation marks at a subset of regulatory elements. In summary, our study reveals a previously unknown connection between histone acetylation and cell-type-specific gene regulation and indicates that H2BK20ac profiling can be used to uncover new dimensions of gene regulation. © 2016 Kumar et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  20. Inhibitory effect of corn silk on skin pigmentation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Sang Yoon; Lee, Yeonmi; Kim, Sung Soo; Ju, Hyun Min; Baek, Ji Hwoon; Park, Chul-Soo; Lee, Dong-Hyuk

    2014-03-03

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  1. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sang Yoon Choi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin production inhibitory effect at the same concentration. The corn silk extract did not suppress tyrosinase activity but greatly reduced the expression of tyrosinase in Melan-A cells. In addition, corn silk extract was applied to the human face with hyperpigmentation, and skin color was measured to examine the degree of skin pigment reduction. The application of corn silk extract on faces with hyperpigmentation significantly reduced skin pigmentation without abnormal reactions. Based on the results above, corn silk has good prospects for use as a material for suppressing skin pigmentation.

  2. Effects of silk fibroin in murine dry eye

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Chae Eun; Lee, Ji Hyun; Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Chan Hum; Yang, Jaewook

    2017-03-01

    The study aimed to investigate the effects of silk fibroin in a mouse model of dry eye. The experimental dry eye mouse model was developed using more than twelve-weeks-old NOD.B10.H2b mice exposing them to 30-40% ambient humidity and injecting them with scopolamine hydrobromide for 10 days. Tear production and corneal irregularity score were measured by the instillation of phosphate buffered saline or silk fibroin. Corneal detachment and conjunctival goblet cell density were observed by hematoxylin and eosin or periodic acid Schiff staining in the cornea or conjunctiva. The expression of inflammatory markers was detected by immunohistochemistry in the lacrimal gland. The silk group tear production was increased, and corneal smoothness was improved. The corneal epithelial cells and conjunctival goblet cells were recovered in the silk groups. The expression of inflammatory factors was inhibited in the lacrimal gland of the silk group. These results show that silk fibroin improved the cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal gland in the mouse model of dry eye. These findings suggest that silk fibroin has anti-inflammatory effects in the experimental models of dry eye.

  3. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A [Department of Tissue Regeneration, University of Twente, PO Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede (Netherlands); Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan [Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, the Biomedical Centre, Box 575, 751 23 Uppsala (Sweden); Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus [Department of Engineering Sciences, Uppsala University, Box 534, S-751 21 Uppsala (Sweden)

    2010-08-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  4. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S.; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P.

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  5. The processing and heterostructuring of silk with light.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sidhu, Mehra S; Kumar, Bhupesh; Singh, Kamal P

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk is a tough, elastic and lightweight biomaterial, although there is a lack of tools available for non-invasive processing of silk structures. Here we show that nonlinear multiphoton interactions of silk with few-cycle femtosecond pulses allow the processing and heterostructuring of the material in ambient air. Two qualitatively different responses, bulging by multiphoton absorption and plasma-assisted ablation, are observed for low- and high-peak intensities, respectively. Plasma ablation allows us to make localized nanocuts, microrods, nanotips and periodic patterns with minimal damage while preserving molecular structure. The bulging regime facilitates confined bending and microwelding of silk with materials such as metal, glass and Kevlar with strengths comparable to pristine silk. Moreover, analysis of Raman bands of microwelded joints reveals that the polypeptide backbone remains intact while perturbing its weak hydrogen bonds. Using this approach, we fabricate silk-based functional topological microstructures, such as Mobiüs strips, chiral helices and silk-based sensors.

  6. Silk-microfluidics for advanced biotechnological applications: A progressive review.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Konwarh, Rocktotpal; Gupta, Prerak; Mandal, Biman B

    2016-01-01

    Silk based biomaterials have not only carved a unique niche in the domain of regenerative medicine but new avenues are also being explored for lab-on-a-chip applications. It is pertinent to note that biospinning of silk represents nature's signature microfluidic-maneuver. Elucidation of non-Newtonian flow of silk in the glands of spiders and silkworms has inspired researchers to fabricate devices for continuous extrusion and concentration of silk. Microfluidic channel networks within porous silk scaffolds ensure optimal nutrient and oxygen supply apart from serving as precursors for vascularization in tissue engineering applications. On the other hand, unique topographical features and surface wettability of natural silk fibers have inspired development of a number of simple and cost-effective devices for applications like blood typing and chemical sensing. This review mirrors the recent progress and challenges in the domain of silk-microfluidics for prospective avant-garde applications in the realm of biotechnology. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Binding Quantum Dots to Silk Biomaterials for Optical Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Disi Lu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Quantum dots (QDs, have great potential for fabricating optical sensing devices and imaging biomaterial degradation in vivo. In the present study, 2-mercaptoethylamine- (MEA- and mercaptopropionic acid- (MPA- capped CdTe-QDs were physically incorporated in silk films that contained a high content (>30% of crystalline beta-sheet structure. The beta-sheets were induced by the addition of glycerol, water annealing, glycerol/annealing, or treatment with methanol. Incorporation of QDs did not influence the formation of beta-sheets. When the films were extracted with water, most QDs remained associated with the silk, based on the retention of photoluminescence in the silk films and negligible photoluminescence in the extracts. Compared to the solution state, photoluminescence intensity significantly decreased for MEA-QDs but not for MPA-QDs in the silk films, while the emission maximum blue shifted (≈4 nm slightly for both. Further film digestion using protease XIV, alpha-chymotrypsin, and the combination of the two proteases suggested that QDs may be bound to the silk beta-sheet regions but not the amorphous regions. QDs photoluminescence in silk films was quenched when the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2 was above 0.2-0.3 mM, indicating the QDs-incorporated silk films can be used to report oxidation potential in solution.

  8. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Liang; Habibovic, Pamela; Van Blitterswijk, Clemens A; Hedhammar, My; Johansson, Jan; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently, artificial spider silk, with mechanical and structural characteristics similar to those of native spider silk, has been produced from recombinant minispidroins. In the present study, supersaturated simulated body fluid was used to deposit calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres. The mineralization process was followed in time using scanning electron microscopy equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) detector and Raman spectroscope. Focused ion beam technology was used to produce a cross section of a coated fibre, which was further analysed by EDX. Preliminary in vitro experiments using a culture of bone marrow-derived human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) on coated fibres were also performed. This study showed that recombinant spider silk fibres were successfully coated with a homogeneous and thick crystalline calcium phosphate layer. In the course of the mineralization process from modified simulated body fluid, sodium chloride crystals were first deposited on the silk surface, followed by the deposition of a calcium phosphate layer. The coated silk fibres supported the attachment and growth of hMSCs.

  9. Regulation of mRNA Levels by Decay-Promoting Introns that Recruit the Exosome Specificity Factor Mmi1

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cornelia Kilchert

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available In eukaryotic cells, inefficient splicing is surprisingly common and leads to the degradation of transcripts with retained introns. How pre-mRNAs are committed to nuclear decay is unknown. Here, we uncover a mechanism by which specific intron-containing transcripts are targeted for nuclear degradation in fission yeast. Sequence elements within these “decay-promoting” introns co-transcriptionally recruit the exosome specificity factor Mmi1, which induces degradation of the unspliced precursor and leads to a reduction in the levels of the spliced mRNA. This mechanism negatively regulates levels of the RNA helicase DDX5/Dbp2 to promote cell survival in response to stress. In contrast, fast removal of decay-promoting introns by co-transcriptional splicing precludes Mmi1 recruitment and relieves negative expression regulation. We propose that decay-promoting introns facilitate the regulation of gene expression. Based on the identification of multiple additional Mmi1 targets, including mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and sn/snoRNAs, we suggest a general role in RNA regulation for Mmi1 through transcript degradation.

  10. Identification of a functional element in the promoter of the silkworm (Bombyx mori) fat body-specific gene Bmlp3.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hanfu; Deng, Dangjun; Yuan, Lin; Wang, Yuancheng; Wang, Feng; Xia, Qingyou

    2014-08-01

    30K proteins are a group of structurally related proteins that play important roles in the life cycle of the silkworm Bombyx mori and are largely synthesized and regulated in a time-dependent manner in the fat body. Little is known about the upstream regulatory elements associated with the genes encoding these proteins. In the present study, the promoter of Bmlp3, a fat body-specific gene encoding a 30K protein family member, was characterized by joining sequences containing the Bmlp3 promoter with various amounts of 5' upstream sequences to a luciferase reporter gene. The results indicated that the sequences from -150 to -250bp and -597 to -675bp upstream of the Bmlp3 transcription start site were necessary for high levels of luciferase activity. Further analysis showed that a 21-bp sequence located between -230 and -250 was specifically recognized by nuclear factors from silkworm fat bodies and BmE cells, and could enhance luciferase reporter-gene expression 2.8-fold in BmE cells. This study provides new insights into the Bmlp3 promoter and contributes to the further clarification of the function and developmental regulation of Bmlp3. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  11. Selective nuclear export of specific classes of mRNA from mammalian nuclei is promoted by GANP

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickramasinghe, Vihandha O.; Andrews, Robert; Ellis, Peter; Langford, Cordelia; Gurdon, John B.; Stewart, Murray; Venkitaraman, Ashok R.; Laskey, Ronald A.

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear phase of the gene expression pathway culminates in the export of mature messenger RNAs (mRNAs) to the cytoplasm through nuclear pore complexes. GANP (germinal- centre associated nuclear protein) promotes the transfer of mRNAs bound to the transport factor NXF1 to nuclear pore complexes. Here, we demonstrate that GANP, subunit of the TRanscription-EXport-2 (TREX-2) mRNA export complex, promotes selective nuclear export of a specific subset of mRNAs whose transport depends on NXF1. Genome-wide gene expression profiling showed that half of the transcripts whose nuclear export was impaired following NXF1 depletion also showed reduced export when GANP was depleted. GANP-dependent transcripts were highly expressed, yet short-lived, and were highly enriched in those encoding central components of the gene expression machinery such as RNA synthesis and processing factors. After injection into Xenopus oocyte nuclei, representative GANP-dependent transcripts showed faster nuclear export kinetics than representative transcripts that were not influenced by GANP depletion. We propose that GANP promotes the nuclear export of specific classes of mRNAs that may facilitate rapid changes in gene expression. PMID:24510098

  12. Inflammation-induced reversible switch of the neuron-specific enolase promoter from Purkinje neurons to Bergmann glia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawada, Yusuke; Konno, Ayumu; Nagaoka, Jun; Hirai, Hirokazu

    2016-06-13

    Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) is a glycolytic isoenzyme found in mature neurons and cells of neuronal origin. Injecting adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) vectors carrying the NSE promoter into the cerebellar cortex is likely to cause the specific transduction of neuronal cells, such as Purkinje cells (PCs) and interneurons, but not Bergmann glia (BG). However, we found BG-predominant transduction without PC transduction along a traumatic needle tract for viral injection. The enhancement of neuroinflammation by the co-application of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) with AAV9 significantly expanded the BG-predominant area concurrently with the potentiated microglial activation. The BG-predominant transduction was gradually replaced by the PC-predominant transduction as the neuroinflammation dissipated. Experiments using glioma cell cultures revealed significant activation of the NSE promoter due to glucose deprivation, suggesting that intracellularly stored glycogen is metabolized through the glycolytic pathway for energy. Activation of the glycolytic enzyme promoter in BG concurrently with inactivation in PC may have pathophysiological significance for the production of lactate in activated BG and the utilization of lactate, which is provided by the BG-PC lactate shuttle, as a primary energy resource in injured PCs.

  13. Classroom Experiments: Teaching Specific Topics or Promoting the Economic Way of Thinking?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emerson, Tisha L. N.; English, Linda K.

    2016-01-01

    The authors' data contain inter- and intra-class variations in experiments to which students in a principles of microeconomics course were exposed. These variations allowed the estimation of the effect on student achievement from the experimental treatment generally, as well as effects associated with participation in specific experiments. The…

  14. Invariant TAD Boundaries Constrain Cell-Type-Specific Looping Interactions between Promoters and Distal Elements around the CFTR Locus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Emily M; Lajoie, Bryan R; Jain, Gaurav; Dekker, Job

    2016-01-07

    Three-dimensional genome structure plays an important role in gene regulation. Globally, chromosomes are organized into active and inactive compartments while, at the gene level, looping interactions connect promoters to regulatory elements. Topologically associating domains (TADs), typically several hundred kilobases in size, form an intermediate level of organization. Major questions include how TADs are formed and how they are related to looping interactions between genes and regulatory elements. Here we performed a focused 5C analysis of a 2.8 Mb chromosome 7 region surrounding CFTR in a panel of cell types. We find that the same TAD boundaries are present in all cell types, indicating that TADs represent a universal chromosome architecture. Furthermore, we find that these TAD boundaries are present irrespective of the expression and looping of genes located between them. In contrast, looping interactions between promoters and regulatory elements are cell-type specific and occur mostly within TADs. This is exemplified by the CFTR promoter that in different cell types interacts with distinct sets of distal cell-type-specific regulatory elements that are all located within the same TAD. Finally, we find that long-range associations between loci located in different TADs are also detected, but these display much lower interaction frequencies than looping interactions within TADs. Interestingly, interactions between TADs are also highly cell-type-specific and often involve loci clustered around TAD boundaries. These data point to key roles of invariant TAD boundaries in constraining as well as mediating cell-type-specific long-range interactions and gene regulation. Copyright © 2016 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. A novel electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ming, Jinfa; Zuo, Baoqi

    2012-01-01

    A novel electrospinning of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers with different composition ratios was performed with methanoic acid as a spinning solvent. The silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrids containing up to 30% hydroxyapatite nanoparticles could be electrospun into the continuous fibrous structure. The electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers showed bigger diameter and wider diameter distribution than pure silk fibroin nanofibers, and the average diameter gradually increased from 95 to 582 nm. At the same time, the secondary structure of silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite nanofibers was characterized by X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared analysis, and DSC measurement. Comparing with the pure silk fibroin nanofibers, the crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. X-ray diffraction results demonstrated the hydroxyapatite crystalline nature remained as evidenced from the diffraction planes (002), (211), (300), and (202) of the hydroxyapatite crystallites, which was also confirmed by Fourier transform infrared analysis. The thermal behavior of hybrid nanofibers exhibited the endothermic peak of moisture evaporation ranging from 86 to 113 °C, and the degradation peak at 286 °C appeared. The SF/HAp nanofibers mats containing 30% HAp nanoparticles showed higher breaking tenacity and extension at break for 1.1688 ± 0.0398 MPa and 6.55 ± 1.95%, respectively. Therefore, the electrospun silk fibroin/hydroxyapatite hybrid nanofibers should be provided potentially useful options for the fabrication of biomaterial scaffolds for bone tissue engineering. -- Highlights: ► The novel SF/HAp nanofibers were directly prepared by electrospinning method. ► The nanofiber diameter had significant related to the content of HAp. ► The crystal structure of silk fibroin was mainly amorphous structure in the hybrid nanofibers. ► The HAp crystals existing in the hybrid nanofibers were characterized

  16. The effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Han Linna

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Corn silk contains proteins, vitamins, carbohydrates, Ca, K, Mg and Na salts, fixed and volatile oils, steroids such as sitosterol and stigmasterol, alkaloids, saponins, tannins, and flavonoids. Base on folk remedies, corn silk has been used as an oral antidiabetic agent in China for decades. However, the hypoglycemic activity of it has not yet been understood in terms of modern pharmacological concepts. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of corn silk on glycaemic metabolism. Methods Alloxan and adrenalin induced hyperglycemic mice were used in the study. The effects of corn silk on blood glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c, insulin secretion, damaged pancreatic β-cells, hepatic glycogen and gluconeogenesis in hyperglycemic mice were studied respectively. Results After the mice were orally administered with corn silk extract, the blood glucose and the HbA1c were significantly decreased in alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice (p 0.05. Although corn silk extract increased the level of hepatic glycogen in the alloxan-induced hyperglycemic mice, there was no significant difference between them and that of the control group(p > 0.05. Conclusion Corn silk extract markedly reduced hyperglycemia in alloxan-induced diabetic mice. The action of corn silk extract on glycaemic metabolism is not via increasing glycogen and inhibiting gluconeogenesis but through increasing insulin level as well as recovering the injured β-cells. The results suggest that corn silk extract may be used as a hypoglycemic food or medicine for hyperglycemic people in terms of this modern pharmacological study.

  17. CRISPR/Cas9 Promotes Functional Study of Testis Specific X-Linked Gene In Vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Minyan Li

    Full Text Available Mammalian spermatogenesis is a highly regulated multistage process of sperm generation. It is hard to uncover the real function of a testis specific gene in vitro since the in vitro model is not yet mature. With the development of the CRISPR/Cas9 (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats/CRISPR-associated 9 system, we can now rapidly generate knockout mouse models of testis specific genes to study the process of spermatogenesis in vivo. SYCP3-like X-linked 2 (SLX2 is a germ cell specific component, which contains a Cor1 domain and belongs to the XLR (X-linked, lymphocyte regulated family. Previous studies suggested that SLX2 might play an important role in mouse spermatogenesis based on its subcellular localization and interacting proteins. However, the function of SLX2 in vivo is still elusive. Here, to investigate the functions of SLX2 in spermatogenesis, we disrupted the Slx2 gene by using the CRISPR/Cas9 system. Since Slx2 is a testis specific X-linked gene, we obtained knockout male mice in the first generation and accelerated the study process. Compared with wild-type mice, Slx2 knockout mice have normal testis and epididymis. Histological observation of testes sections showed that Slx2 knockout affected none of the three main stages of spermatogenesis: mitosis, meiosis and spermiogenesis. In addition, we further confirmed that disruption of Slx2 did not affect the number of spermatogonial stem cells, meiosis progression or XY body formation by immunofluorescence analysis. As spermatogenesis was normal in Slx2 knockout mice, these mice were fertile. Taken together, we showed that Slx2 itself is not an essential gene for mouse spermatogenesis and CRISPR/Cas9 technique could speed up the functional study of testis specific X-linked gene in vivo.

  18. Inhibitory Effect of Corn Silk on Skin Pigmentation

    OpenAIRE

    Sang Yoon Choi; Yeonmi Lee; Sung Soo Kim; Hyun Min Ju; Ji Hwoon Baek; Chul-Soo Park; Dong-Hyuk Lee

    2014-01-01

    In this study, the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production was evaluated. This study was performed to investigate the inhibitory effect of corn silk on melanin production in Melan-A cells by measuring melanin production and protein expression. The corn silk extract applied on Melan-A cells at a concentration of 100 ppm decreased melanin production by 37.2% without cytotoxicity. This was a better result than arbutin, a positive whitening agent, which exhibited a 26.8% melanin prod...

  19. Spider silk reinforced by graphene or carbon nanotubes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lepore, Emiliano; Bosia, Federico; Bonaccorso, Francesco; Bruna, Matteo; Taioli, Simone; Garberoglio, Giovanni; Ferrari, Andrea C.; Pugno, Nicola Maria

    2017-09-01

    Spider silk has promising mechanical properties, since it conjugates high strength (~1.5 GPa) and toughness (~150 J g-1). Here, we report the production of silk incorporating graphene and carbon nanotubes by spider spinning, after feeding spiders with the corresponding aqueous dispersions. We observe an increment of the mechanical properties with respect to pristine silk, up to a fracture strength ~5.4 GPa and a toughness modulus ~1570 J g-1. This approach could be extended to other biological systems and lead to a new class of artificially modified biological, or ‘bionic’, materials.

  20. Tissue-specific production of limonene in Camelina sativa with the Arabidopsis promoters of genes BANYULS and FRUITFULL.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borghi, Monica; Xie, De-Yu

    2016-02-01

    Arabidopsis promoters of genes BANYULS and FRUITFULL are transcribed in Camelina. They triggered the transcription of limonene synthase and induced higher limonene production in seeds and fruits than CaMV 35S promoter. Camelina sativa (Camelina) is an oilseed crop of relevance for the production of biofuels and the plant has been target of a recent and intense program of genetic manipulation aimed to increase performance, seed yield and to modify the fatty acid composition of the oil. Here, we have explored the performance of two Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis) promoters in triggering transgene expression in Camelina. The promoters of two genes BANYULS (AtBAN pro ) and FRUITFULL (AtFUL pro ), which are expressed in seed coat and valves of Arabidopsis, respectively, have been chosen to induce the expression of limonene synthase (LS) from Citrus limon. In addition, the constitutive CaMV 35S promoter was utilized to overexpress LS in Camelina . The results of experiments revealed that AtBAN pro and AtFUL pro are actively transcribed in Camelina where they also retain specificity of expression in seeds and valves as previously observed in Arabidopsis. LS induced by AtBAN pro and AtFUL pro leads to higher limonene production in seeds and fruits than when the CaMV 35S was used to trigger the expression. In conclusion, the results of experiments indicate that AtBAN pro and AtFUL pro can be successfully utilized to induce the expression of the transgenes of interest in seeds and fruits of Camelina.

  1. Silk as a biocohesive sacrificial binder in the fabrication of hydroxyapatite load bearing scaffolds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNamara, Stephanie L; Rnjak-Kovacina, Jelena; Schmidt, Daniel F; Lo, Tim J; Kaplan, David L

    2014-08-01

    Limitations of current clinical methods for bone repair continue to fuel the demand for a high strength, bioactive bone replacement material. Recent attempts to produce porous scaffolds for bone regeneration have been limited by the intrinsic weakness associated with high porosity materials. In this study, ceramic scaffold fabrication techniques for potential use in load-bearing bone repairs have been developed using naturally derived silk from Bombyx mori. Silk was first employed for ceramic grain consolidation during green body formation, and later as a sacrificial polymer to impart porosity during sintering. These techniques allowed preparation of hydroxyapatite (HA) scaffolds that exhibited a wide range of mechanical and porosity profiles, with some displaying unusually high compressive strength up to 152.4 ± 9.1 MPa. Results showed that the scaffolds exhibited a wide range of compressive strengths and moduli (8.7 ± 2.7 MPa to 152.4 ± 9.1 MPa and 0.3 ± 0.1 GPa to 8.6 ± 0.3 GPa) with total porosities of up to 62.9 ± 2.7% depending on the parameters used for fabrication. Moreover, HA-silk scaffolds could be molded into large, complex shapes, and further machined post-sinter to generate specific three-dimensional geometries. Scaffolds supported bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cell attachment and proliferation, with no signs of cytotoxicity. Therefore, silk-fabricated HA scaffolds show promise for load bearing bone repair and regeneration needs. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Action research to promote medical students' motivation in an English for Specific Purposes class.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dehnad, Afsaneh; Nasser, Hayedeh

    2014-01-01

    Action research is an attempt to seek immediate solutions to the problems experienced in educational settings. In this type of research, teachers are the researchers who intend to make instant reforms to develop, and improve their teaching styles and reflect on pedagogical practices. The purpose of this study was to conduct an action research to tackle the problem of students' low motivation in English classes at the medical school of Iran University of Medical Sciences in fall 2010. Participants of this study were 98 third-semester ESP students of medicine. To reform the situation and promote students' motivation to participate in classes more actively and eagerly, the researchers changed the syllabus by applying Kemmis and McTaggart's (1988) cyclical model of action research, and adopting task-based teaching. Data was collected by means of interviews with both teachers and students to determine the changes to be made in the syllabus, classroom observations to monitor students' behavioral changes, and a questionnaire to assess students' attitudes towards the changes. This research study had a number of valuable outcomes the most important of which was a change in classroom behavior of the students.

  3. Action research to promote medical students' motivation in an English for Specific Purposes class.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Afsaneh Dehnad

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Action research is an attempt to seek immediate solutions to the problems experienced in educational settings. In this type of research, teachers are the researchers who intend to make instant reforms to develop, and improve their teaching styles and reflect on pedagogical practices. The purpose of this study was to conduct an action research to tackle the problem of students' low motivation in English classes at the medical school of Iran University of Medical Sciences in fall 2010. Participants of this study were 98 third-semester ESP students of medicine. To reform the situation and promote students' motivation to participate in classes more actively and eagerly, the researchers changed the syllabus by applying Kemmis and McTaggart's (1988 cyclical model of action research, and adopting task-based teaching. Data was collected by means of interviews with both teachers and students to determine the changes to be made in the syllabus, classroom observations to monitor students' behavioral changes, and a questionnaire to assess students' attitudes towards the changes. This research study had a number of valuable outcomes the most important of which was a change in classroom behavior of the students.

  4. Self-enhancement of hepatitis C virus replication by promotion of specific sphingolipid biosynthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuichi Hirata

    Full Text Available Lipids are key components in the viral life cycle that affect host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we investigated the effect of HCV infection on sphingolipid metabolism, especially on endogenous SM levels, and the relationship between HCV replication and endogenous SM molecular species. We demonstrated that HCV induces the expression of the genes (SGMS1 and 2 encoding human SM synthases 1 and 2. We observed associated increases of both total and individual sphingolipid molecular species, as assessed in human hepatocytes and in the detergent-resistant membrane (DRM fraction in which HCV replicates. SGMS1 expression had a correlation with HCV replication. Inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis with a hepatotropic serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT inhibitor, NA808, suppressed HCV-RNA production while also interfering with sphingolipid metabolism. Further, we identified the SM molecular species that comprise the DRM fraction and demonstrated that these endogenous SM species interacted with HCV nonstructural 5B polymerase to enhance viral replication. Our results reveal that HCV alters sphingolipid metabolism to promote viral replication, providing new insights into the formation of the HCV replication complex and the involvement of host lipids in the HCV life cycle.

  5. Self-enhancement of hepatitis C virus replication by promotion of specific sphingolipid biosynthesis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirata, Yuichi; Ikeda, Kazutaka; Sudoh, Masayuki; Tokunaga, Yuko; Suzuki, Akemi; Weng, Leiyun; Ohta, Masatoshi; Tobita, Yoshimi; Okano, Ken; Ozeki, Kazuhisa; Kawasaki, Kenichi; Tsukuda, Takuo; Katsume, Asao; Aoki, Yuko; Umehara, Takuya; Sekiguchi, Satoshi; Toyoda, Tetsuya; Shimotohno, Kunitada; Soga, Tomoyoshi; Nishijima, Masahiro; Taguchi, Ryo; Kohara, Michinori

    2012-01-01

    Lipids are key components in the viral life cycle that affect host-pathogen interactions. In this study, we investigated the effect of HCV infection on sphingolipid metabolism, especially on endogenous SM levels, and the relationship between HCV replication and endogenous SM molecular species. We demonstrated that HCV induces the expression of the genes (SGMS1 and 2) encoding human SM synthases 1 and 2. We observed associated increases of both total and individual sphingolipid molecular species, as assessed in human hepatocytes and in the detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) fraction in which HCV replicates. SGMS1 expression had a correlation with HCV replication. Inhibition of sphingolipid biosynthesis with a hepatotropic serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) inhibitor, NA808, suppressed HCV-RNA production while also interfering with sphingolipid metabolism. Further, we identified the SM molecular species that comprise the DRM fraction and demonstrated that these endogenous SM species interacted with HCV nonstructural 5B polymerase to enhance viral replication. Our results reveal that HCV alters sphingolipid metabolism to promote viral replication, providing new insights into the formation of the HCV replication complex and the involvement of host lipids in the HCV life cycle.

  6. Plasticity in Major Ampullate Silk Production in Relation to Spider Phylogeny and Ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutry, Cecilia; Řezáč, Milan; Blackledge, Todd Alan

    2011-01-01

    Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions) between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve. PMID:21818328

  7. Plasticity in major ampullate silk production in relation to spider phylogeny and ecology.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cecilia Boutry

    Full Text Available Spider major ampullate silk is a high-performance biomaterial that has received much attention. However, most studies ignore plasticity in silk properties. A better understanding of silk plasticity could clarify the relative importance of chemical composition versus processing of silk dope for silk properties. It could also provide insight into how control of silk properties relates to spider ecology and silk uses. We compared silk plasticity (defined as variation in the properties of silk spun by a spider under different conditions between three spider clades in relation to their anatomy and silk biochemistry. We found that silk plasticity exists in RTA clade and orbicularian spiders, two clades that differ in their silk biochemistry. Orbiculariae seem less dependent on external spinning conditions. They probably use a valve in their spinning duct to control friction forces and speed during spinning. Our results suggest that plasticity results from different processing of the silk dope in the spinning duct. Orbicularian spiders seem to display better control of silk properties, perhaps in relation to their more complex spinning duct valve.

  8. PCR Primer Specific CaMV 35S Promoter to Detect Transgenic Soybean in Indonesia Commercial Soy Bean and Tempeh

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tri Joko Raharjo

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available In the framework of the supervision and enforcement of the regulation regarding the content of soybean transgenic in food and processed foods such as tempeh, a reliable testing method is indispensable. Performance specific primer PCR amplification with promoter of CaMV 35S tested to detect the presence of GMOs. The parameters tested were specificity, precision and cut off detection using CRM transgenic soybean. The method is reliable to detect transgenic soybean specifically and has the annealing temperature at 59 °C during the 30 cycle standard PCR condition. The method did not show any false positive and false negative results meaning good precision. The cut off the methods is up to 2 copies total DNA of soybean or less than 104 copies of the CaMV 35S promoter. Observation to the commercial soybeans and tempeh found that most of the commercially available soybean in Indonesia are transgenic (8 of 10 sample while all tested tempeh sample were detected have been fermented from transgenic soybeans.

  9. Cell-type specific oxytocin gene expression from AAV delivered promoter deletion constructs into the rat supraoptic nucleus in vivo.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raymond L Fields

    Full Text Available The magnocellular neurons (MCNs in the hypothalamus selectively express either oxytocin (OXT or vasopressin (AVP neuropeptide genes, a property that defines their phenotypes. Here we examine the molecular basis of this selectivity in the OXT MCNs by stereotaxic microinjections of adeno-associated virus (AAV vectors that contain various OXT gene promoter deletion constructs using EGFP as the reporter into the rat supraoptic nucleus (SON. Two weeks following injection of the AAVs, immunohistochemical assays of EGFP expression from these constructs were done to determine whether the EGFP reporter co-localizes with either the OXT- or AVP-immunoreactivity in the MCNs. The results show that the key elements in the OT gene promoter that regulate the cell-type specific expression the SON are located -216 to -100 bp upstream of the transcription start site. We hypothesize that within this 116 bp domain a repressor exists that inhibits expression specifically in AVP MCNs, thereby leading to the cell-type specific expression of the OXT gene only in the OXT MCNs.

  10. Thermal Analysis, Structural Studies and Morphology of Spider Silk-like Block Copolymers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wenwen

    Spider silk is a remarkable natural block copolymer, which offers a unique combination of low density, excellent mechanical properties, and thermal stability over a wide range of temperature, along with biocompatibility and biodegrability. The dragline silk of Nephila clavipes, is one of the most well understood and the best characterized spider silk, in which alanine-rich hydrophobic blocks and glycine-rich hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating a functional block copolymer with potential uses in biomedical applications such as guided tissue repair and drug delivery. To provide further insight into the relationships among peptide amino acid sequence, block length, and physical properties, in this thesis, we studied synthetic proteins inspired by the genetic sequences found in spider dragline silks, and used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study thermal, structural and morphological features. To obtain a fuller understanding of the thermal dynamic properties of these novel materials, we use a model to calculate the heat capacity of spider silk block copolymer in the solid or liquid state, below or above the glass transition temperature, respectively. We characterize the thermal phase transitions by temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry (TMDSC) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA). We also determined the crystallinity by TMDSC and compared the result with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and wide angle X-ray diffraction (WAXD). To understand the protein-water interactions with respect to the protein amino acid sequence, we also modeled the specific reversing heat capacity of the protein-water system, Cp(T), based on the vibrational, rotational and translational motions of protein amino acid residues and water molecules. Advanced thermal analysis methods using TMDSC and TGA show two glass transitions were observed in all samples during heating. The low temperature glass transition, Tg(1), is related to

  11. Putative storage root specific promoters from cassava and yam: cloning and evaluation in transgenic carrots as a model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arango, Jacobo; Salazar, Bertha; Welsch, Ralf; Sarmiento, Felipe; Beyer, Peter; Al-Babili, Salim

    2010-06-01

    A prerequisite for biotechnological improvements of storage roots is the availability of tissue-specific promoters enabling high expression of transgenes. In this work, we cloned two genomic fragments, pMe1 and pDJ3S, controlling the expression of a gene with unknown function from cassava (Manihot esculenta) and of the storage protein dioscorin 3 small subunit gene from yam (Dioscorea japonica), respectively. Using beta-glucuronidase as a reporter, the activities of pMe1 and pDJ3S were evaluated in independent transgenic carrot lines and compared to the constitutive CaMV35S and the previously described cassava p15 promoters. Activities of pMe1 and pDJ3S in storage roots were assessed using quantitative GUS assays that showed pDJ3S as the most active one. To determine organ specificities, uidA transcript levels in leaves, stems and roots were measured by real-time RT-PCR analyses showing highest storage root specificity for pDJ3S. Root cross sections revealed that pMe1 was highly active in secondary xylem. In contrast, pDJ3S was active in all root tissues except for the central xylem. The expression patterns caused by the cassava p15 promoter in carrot storage roots were consistent with its previously described activities for the original storage organ. Our data demonstrate that the pDJ3S and, to a lesser extent, the pMe1 regulatory sequences represent feasible candidates to drive high and preferential expression of genes in carrot storage roots.

  12. Internal radiotherapy of liver cancer with rat hepato-carcinoma-intestine-pancreas gene as a liver tumor-specific promoter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herve, J.; Cunha, A. Sa; Liu, B.; Valogne, Y.; Longuet, M.; Bregerie, O.; Guettier, C.; Samuel, D.; Brechot, C.; Faivre, J. [Hop Paul Brousse, INSERM, Hepatobiliary Ctr, U785, F-94800 Villejuif (France); Herve, J.; Cunha, A. Sa; Liu, B.; Valogne, Y.; Longuet, M.; Bregerie, O.; Guettier, C.; Samuel, D.; Brechot, C.; Faivre, J. [Univ Paris Sud, Fac Med, F-94800 Villejuif (France); Boisgard, R.; Tavitian, B. [INSERM, U803, F-91400 Orsay (France); Boisgard, R.; Tavitian, B. [CEA, Serv Hosp Frederic Joliot, Lab Imagerie Mol Expt, F-91400 Orsay (France); Roux, J.; Cales, P. [Univ Angers, UPRES EA 3859, Lab Hemodynam Interact Fibrose et Invas Tumorale H, Angers (France); Clerc, J. [Hop Cochin, AP HP, Dept Nucl Med, F-75014 Paris (France)

    2008-07-01

    The hepato-carcinoma-intestine-pancreas (HIP) gene, also called pancreatitis-associated protein-1 (PAP1) or Reg III {alpha}, is activated in most human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) but not in normal liver, which suggests that HIP regulatory sequence could be used as efficient liver tumor-specific promoters to express a therapeutic polynucleotide in liver cancer. The sodium iodide sym-porter (NIS), which has recognized therapeutic and reporter gene properties, is appropriate to evaluate the transcriptional strength and specificity of the HIP promoter in HCC. For this purpose, we constructed a recombinant rat HIP-NIS adeno-viral vector (AdrHIP-NIS), and evaluated its performance as a mediator of selective radio-iodide uptake in tumor hepatocytes. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and iodide uptake assays were performed in AdrHIP-NIS-infected primary hepatocytes and transformed hepatic and non-hepatic cells. Nuclear imaging, tissue counting and immuno-histo-chemistry were performed in normal and HCC-bearing Wistar rats infected with AdrHIP-NIS intra-tumorally or via the hepatic artery. In AdrHIP-NIS-infected transformed hepatic cells, functional NIS was strongly expressed, as in cells infected with a cytomegalovirus-NIS vector. No NIS expression was found in AdrHIP-NIS-infected normal hepatocytes or transformed non-hepatic cells. In rats bearing multi-nodular HCC, AdrHIP-NIS triggered functional NIS expression that was preferential in tumor hepatocytes. Administration of 18 mCi of {sup 131}I resulted in the destruction of AdrHIP-NIS-injected nodules. This study has identified the rHIP regulatory sequence as a potent liver tumor-specific promoter for the transfer of therapeutic genes, and AdrHIP-NIS-mediated. {sup 131}I therapy as a valuable option for the treatment of multi-nodular HCC. (authors)

  13. Internal radiotherapy of liver cancer with rat hepato-carcinoma-intestine-pancreas gene as a liver tumor-specific promoter

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Herve, J.; Cunha, A. Sa; Liu, B.; Valogne, Y.; Longuet, M.; Bregerie, O.; Guettier, C.; Samuel, D.; Brechot, C.; Faivre, J.; Herve, J.; Cunha, A. Sa; Liu, B.; Valogne, Y.; Longuet, M.; Bregerie, O.; Guettier, C.; Samuel, D.; Brechot, C.; Faivre, J.; Boisgard, R.; Tavitian, B.; Boisgard, R.; Tavitian, B.; Roux, J.; Cales, P.; Clerc, J.

    2008-01-01

    The hepato-carcinoma-intestine-pancreas (HIP) gene, also called pancreatitis-associated protein-1 (PAP1) or Reg III α, is activated in most human hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) but not in normal liver, which suggests that HIP regulatory sequence could be used as efficient liver tumor-specific promoters to express a therapeutic polynucleotide in liver cancer. The sodium iodide sym-porter (NIS), which has recognized therapeutic and reporter gene properties, is appropriate to evaluate the transcriptional strength and specificity of the HIP promoter in HCC. For this purpose, we constructed a recombinant rat HIP-NIS adeno-viral vector (AdrHIP-NIS), and evaluated its performance as a mediator of selective radio-iodide uptake in tumor hepatocytes. Western blot, immunofluorescence, and iodide uptake assays were performed in AdrHIP-NIS-infected primary hepatocytes and transformed hepatic and non-hepatic cells. Nuclear imaging, tissue counting and immuno-histo-chemistry were performed in normal and HCC-bearing Wistar rats infected with AdrHIP-NIS intra-tumorally or via the hepatic artery. In AdrHIP-NIS-infected transformed hepatic cells, functional NIS was strongly expressed, as in cells infected with a cytomegalovirus-NIS vector. No NIS expression was found in AdrHIP-NIS-infected normal hepatocytes or transformed non-hepatic cells. In rats bearing multi-nodular HCC, AdrHIP-NIS triggered functional NIS expression that was preferential in tumor hepatocytes. Administration of 18 mCi of 131 I resulted in the destruction of AdrHIP-NIS-injected nodules. This study has identified the rHIP regulatory sequence as a potent liver tumor-specific promoter for the transfer of therapeutic genes, and AdrHIP-NIS-mediated. 131 I therapy as a valuable option for the treatment of multi-nodular HCC. (authors)

  14. Specific interactions between transcription factors and the promoter-regulatory region of the human cytomegalovirus major immediate-early gene

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ghazal, P.; Lubon, H.; Hennighausen, L.

    1988-01-01

    Repeat sequence motifs as well as unique sequences between nucleotides -150 and -22 of the human cytomegalovirus immediate-early 1 gene interact in vitro with nuclear proteins. The authors show that a transcriptional element between nucleotides -91 and -65 stimulated promoter activity in vivo and in vitro by binding specific cellular transcription factors. Finally, a common sequence motif, (T)TGG/AC, present in 15 of the determined binding sites suggests a particular class of nuclear factors associated with the immediate-early 1 gene

  15. Promotion Strategy Specific to Organizations Participating in “Back to School” Program

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina SUSANU

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Romania’s stationery market records a growth rhythm of about 10-15percent per year. For the beginning of school year 2007-2008, organizations ofthe type forecast a growth of 25%. During the top period, stationery sales growgenerally with about 800-1000 % in comparison with a habitual period of theyear. For distributors, the season of school stationery lasts from July toSeptember, a period where it is accomplished 20-25% of the entire yearturnover. All these events unfold rapidly in a relatively short period of time, 2-3months for distributors and a month for retailers, producing a real storm in theframe of their management. In order to deal with “shopping fury” specific to thetime before the school beginning, organizations of the field are in the positionof applying a series of communication strategies. The purpose of this work is tohighlight a practical example of communication plan specific to organizationsinvolved in “back to school” program.

  16. Multifactor dimensionality reduction analysis identifies specific nucleotide patterns promoting genetic polymorphisms

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arehart Eric

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The fidelity of DNA replication serves as the nidus for both genetic evolution and genomic instability fostering disease. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs constitute greater than 80% of the genetic variation between individuals. A new theory regarding DNA replication fidelity has emerged in which selectivity is governed by base-pair geometry through interactions between the selected nucleotide, the complementary strand, and the polymerase active site. We hypothesize that specific nucleotide combinations in the flanking regions of SNP fragments are associated with mutation. Results We modeled the relationship between DNA sequence and observed polymorphisms using the novel multifactor dimensionality reduction (MDR approach. MDR was originally developed to detect synergistic interactions between multiple SNPs that are predictive of disease susceptibility. We initially assembled data from the Broad Institute as a pilot test for the hypothesis that flanking region patterns associate with mutagenesis (n = 2194. We then confirmed and expanded our inquiry with human SNPs within coding regions and their flanking sequences collected from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI database (n = 29967 and a control set of sequences (coding region not associated with SNP sites randomly selected from the NCBI database (n = 29967. We discovered seven flanking region pattern associations in the Broad dataset which reached a minimum significance level of p ≤ 0.05. Significant models (p Conclusion The present study represents the first use of this computational methodology for modeling nonlinear patterns in molecular genetics. MDR was able to identify distinct nucleotide patterning around sites of mutations dependent upon the observed nucleotide change. We discovered one flanking region set that included five nucleotides clustered around a specific type of SNP site. Based on the strongly associated patterns identified in

  17. Conductive Au nanowires regulated by silk fibroin nanofibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Bo-Ju; Lu, Qiang

    2014-03-01

    Conductive Au-biopolymer composites have promising applications in tissue engineering such as nerve tissue regeneration. In this study, silk fibroin nanofibers were formed in aqueous solution by regulating silk self-assembly process and then used as template for Au nanowire fabrication. We performed the synthesis of Au seeds by repeating the seeding cycles for several times in order to increase the density of Au seeds on the nanofibers. After electroless plating, densely decorated Au seeds grew into irregularly shaped particles following silk nanofiber to fill the gaps between particles and finally form uniform continuous nanowires. The conductive property of the Au-silk fibroin nanowires was studied with current-voltage ( I-V) measurement. A typical ohmic behavior was observed, which highlighted their potential applications in nerve tissue regeneration.

  18. Silk-polypyrrole biocompatible actuator performance under biologically relevant conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagler, Jo'elen; Peterson, Ben; Murphy, Amanda; Leger, Janelle

    Biocompatible actuators that are capable of controlled movement and can function under biologically relevant conditions are of significant interest in biomedical fields. Previously, we have demonstrated that a composite material of silk biopolymer and the conducting polymer polypyrrole (PPy) can be formed into a bilayer device that can bend under applied voltage. Further, these silk-PPy composites can generate forces comparable to human muscle (>0.1 MPa) making them ideal candidates for interfacing with biological tissues. Here silk-PPy composite films are tested for performance under biologically relevant conditions including exposure to a complex protein serum and biologically relevant temperatures. Free-end bending actuation performance, current response, force generation and, mass degradation were investigated . Preliminary results show that when exposed to proteins and biologically relevant temperatures, these silk-PPy composites show minimal degradation and are able to generate forces and conduct currents comparable to devices tested under standard conditions. NSF.

  19. Native Silk Feedstock as a Model Biopolymer: A Rheological Perspective.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laity, Peter R; Holland, Chris

    2016-08-08

    Variability in silk's rheology is often regarded as an impediment to understanding or successfully copying the natural spinning process. We have previously reported such variability in unspun native silk extracted straight from the gland of the domesticated silkworm Bombyx mori and discounted classical explanations such as differences in molecular weight and concentration. We now report that variability in oscillatory measurements can be reduced onto a simple master-curve through normalizing with respect to the crossover. This remarkable result suggests that differences between silk feedstocks are rheologically simple and not as complex as originally thought. By comparison, solutions of poly(ethylene-oxide) and hydroxypropyl-methyl-cellulose showed similar normalization behavior; however, the resulting curves were broader than for silk, suggesting greater polydispersity in the (semi)synthetic materials. Thus, we conclude Nature may in fact produce polymer feedstocks that are more consistent than typical man-made counterparts as a model for future rheological investigations.

  20. Synthetic Adhesive Attachment Discs based on Spider Pyriform Silk Architecture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, Dharamdeep; Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2014-03-01

    Among the variety of silks produced by spiders, pyriform silk is used in conjunction with the dragline silk to attach webs to different surfaces. Cob weaver spiders employ different architectural patterns to utilize the pyriform silk and form attachment joints with each pattern having a characteristic adhesive performance. The staple pin architecture is a one of the strongest attachment designs employed by spiders to attach their webs. Here we use a synthetic approach to create the a similar patterned architecture attachment discs on aluminum substrate using thermoplastic polyurethane. Measurable pull off forces are generated when the synthetic discs are peeled off a surface. This innovative adhesive strategy can be a source of design in various biomedical applications. Financial Support from National Science Foundation.

  1. Biomimetic calcium phosphate coatings on recombinant spider silk fibres

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yang, Liang; Hedhammar, My; Blom, Tobias; Leifer, Klaus; Johansson, Jan; Habibovic, Pamela; van Blitterswijk, Clemens

    2010-01-01

    Calcium phosphate ceramic coatings, applied on surfaces of metallic and polymeric biomaterials, can improve their performance in bone repair and regeneration. Spider silk is biocompatible, strong and elastic, and hence an attractive biomaterial for applications in connective tissue repair. Recently,

  2. Genetic variation in the proximal promoter of ABC and SLC superfamilies: liver and kidney specific expression and promoter activity predict variation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stephanie E Hesselson

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Membrane transporters play crucial roles in the cellular uptake and efflux of an array of small molecules including nutrients, environmental toxins, and many clinically used drugs. We hypothesized that common genetic variation in the proximal promoter regions of transporter genes contribute to observed variation in drug response. A total of 579 polymorphisms were identified in the proximal promoters (-250 to +50 bp and flanking 5' sequence of 107 transporters in the ATP Binding Cassette (ABC and Solute Carrier (SLC superfamilies in 272 DNA samples from ethnically diverse populations. Many transporter promoters contained multiple common polymorphisms. Using a sliding window analysis, we observed that, on average, nucleotide diversity (pi was lowest at approximately 300 bp upstream of the transcription start site, suggesting that this region may harbor important functional elements. The proximal promoters of transporters that were highly expressed in the liver had greater nucleotide diversity than those that were highly expressed in the kidney consistent with greater negative selective pressure on the promoters of kidney transporters. Twenty-one promoters were evaluated for activity using reporter assays. Greater nucleotide diversity was observed in promoters with strong activity compared to promoters with weak activity, suggesting that weak promoters are under more negative selective pressure than promoters with high activity. Collectively, these results suggest that the proximal promoter region of membrane transporters is rich in variation and that variants in these regions may play a role in interindividual variation in drug disposition and response.

  3. Silk fibroin/gelatin-chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronic acid effectively enhances in vitro chondrogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sawatjui, Nopporn; Damrongrungruang, Teerasak; Leeanansaksiri, Wilairat; Jearanaikoon, Patcharee; Hongeng, Suradej; Limpaiboon, Temduang

    2015-01-01

    Tissue engineering is becoming promising for cartilage repair due to the limited self-repair capacity of cartilage tissue. We previously fabricated and characterized a three-dimensional silk fibroin/gelatin-chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronic acid (SF-GCH) scaffold and showed that it could promote proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). This study aimed to evaluate its biological performance as a new biomimetic material for chondrogenic induction of BM-MSCs in comparison to an SF scaffold and conventional pellet culture. We found that the SF-GCH scaffold significantly enhanced the proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs compared to the SF scaffold and pellet culture in which the production of sulfated glycoaminoglycan was increased in concordance with the up-regulation of chondrogenic-specific gene markers. Our findings indicate the significant role of SF-GCH by providing a supportive structure and the mimetic cartilage environment for chondrogenesis which enables cartilage regeneration. Thus, our fabricated SF-GCH scaffold may serve as a potential biomimetic material for cartilage tissue engineering. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Silk fibroin/gelatin–chondroitin sulfate–hyaluronic acid effectively enhances in vitro chondrogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sawatjui, Nopporn; Damrongrungruang, Teerasak; Leeanansaksiri, Wilairat; Jearanaikoon, Patcharee; Hongeng, Suradej; Limpaiboon, Temduang

    2015-01-01

    Tissue engineering is becoming promising for cartilage repair due to the limited self-repair capacity of cartilage tissue. We previously fabricated and characterized a three-dimensional silk fibroin/gelatin–chondroitin sulfate–hyaluronic acid (SF–GCH) scaffold and showed that it could promote proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). This study aimed to evaluate its biological performance as a new biomimetic material for chondrogenic induction of BM-MSCs in comparison to an SF scaffold and conventional pellet culture. We found that the SF–GCH scaffold significantly enhanced the proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs compared to the SF scaffold and pellet culture in which the production of sulfated glycoaminoglycan was increased in concordance with the up-regulation of chondrogenic-specific gene markers. Our findings indicate the significant role of SF–GCH by providing a supportive structure and the mimetic cartilage environment for chondrogenesis which enables cartilage regeneration. Thus, our fabricated SF–GCH scaffold may serve as a potential biomimetic material for cartilage tissue engineering. - Highlights: • SF–GCH scaffold enhances proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs. • SF–GCH acts as a supportive and biomimetic material for BM-MSC chondrogenesis. • SF–GCH is a potential biomimetic scaffold suitable for cartilage tissue engineering

  5. Silk fibroin/gelatin–chondroitin sulfate–hyaluronic acid effectively enhances in vitro chondrogenesis of bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sawatjui, Nopporn [Biomedical Sciences, Graduate School, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002 (Thailand); Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002 (Thailand); Damrongrungruang, Teerasak [Department of Oral Diagnosis, Faculty of Dentistry, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002 (Thailand); Leeanansaksiri, Wilairat [Stem Cell Therapy and Transplantation Research Group, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000 (Thailand); School of Microbiology, Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima 30000 (Thailand); Jearanaikoon, Patcharee [Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002 (Thailand); Hongeng, Suradej [Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400 (Thailand); Limpaiboon, Temduang, E-mail: temduang@kku.ac.th [Centre for Research and Development of Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002 (Thailand)

    2015-07-01

    Tissue engineering is becoming promising for cartilage repair due to the limited self-repair capacity of cartilage tissue. We previously fabricated and characterized a three-dimensional silk fibroin/gelatin–chondroitin sulfate–hyaluronic acid (SF–GCH) scaffold and showed that it could promote proliferation of human bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs). This study aimed to evaluate its biological performance as a new biomimetic material for chondrogenic induction of BM-MSCs in comparison to an SF scaffold and conventional pellet culture. We found that the SF–GCH scaffold significantly enhanced the proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs compared to the SF scaffold and pellet culture in which the production of sulfated glycoaminoglycan was increased in concordance with the up-regulation of chondrogenic-specific gene markers. Our findings indicate the significant role of SF–GCH by providing a supportive structure and the mimetic cartilage environment for chondrogenesis which enables cartilage regeneration. Thus, our fabricated SF–GCH scaffold may serve as a potential biomimetic material for cartilage tissue engineering. - Highlights: • SF–GCH scaffold enhances proliferation and chondrogenic differentiation of BM-MSCs. • SF–GCH acts as a supportive and biomimetic material for BM-MSC chondrogenesis. • SF–GCH is a potential biomimetic scaffold suitable for cartilage tissue engineering.

  6. Ectopic expression of specific GA2 oxidase mutants promotes yield and stress tolerance in rice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lo, Shuen-Fang; Ho, Tuan-Hua David; Liu, Yi-Lun; Jiang, Mirng-Jier; Hsieh, Kun-Ting; Chen, Ku-Ting; Yu, Lin-Chih; Lee, Miin-Huey; Chen, Chi-Yu; Huang, Tzu-Pi; Kojima, Mikiko; Sakakibara, Hitoshi; Chen, Liang-Jwu; Yu, Su-May

    2017-07-01

    A major challenge of modern agricultural biotechnology is the optimization of plant architecture for enhanced productivity, stress tolerance and water use efficiency (WUE). To optimize plant height and tillering that directly link to grain yield in cereals and are known to be tightly regulated by gibberellins (GAs), we attenuated the endogenous levels of GAs in rice via its degradation. GA 2-oxidase (GA2ox) is a key enzyme that inactivates endogenous GAs and their precursors. We identified three conserved domains in a unique class of C 20 GA2ox, GA2ox6, which is known to regulate the architecture and function of rice plants. We mutated nine specific amino acids in these conserved domains and observed a gradient of effects on plant height. Ectopic expression of some of these GA2ox6 mutants moderately lowered GA levels and reprogrammed transcriptional networks, leading to reduced plant height, more productive tillers, expanded root system, higher WUE and photosynthesis rate, and elevated abiotic and biotic stress tolerance in transgenic rice. Combinations of these beneficial traits conferred not only drought and disease tolerance but also increased grain yield by 10-30% in field trials. Our studies hold the promise of manipulating GA levels to substantially improve plant architecture, stress tolerance and grain yield in rice and possibly in other major crops. © 2016 The Authors. Plant Biotechnology Journal published by Society for Experimental Biology and The Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Motoneuron survival is promoted by specific exercise in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deforges, Séverine; Branchu, Julien; Biondi, Olivier; Grondard, Clément; Pariset, Claude; Lécolle, Sylvie; Lopes, Philippe; Vidal, Pierre-Paul; Chanoine, Christophe; Charbonnier, Frédéric

    2009-07-15

    Several studies using transgenic mouse models of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have reported a life span increase in exercised animals, as long as animals are submitted to a moderate-intensity training protocol. However, the neuroprotective potential of exercise is still questionable. To gain further insight into the cellular basis of the exercise-induced effects in neuroprotection, we compared the efficiency of a swimming-based training, a high-frequency and -amplitude exercise that preferentially recruits the fast motor units, and of a moderate running-based training, that preferentially triggers the slow motor units, in an ALS mouse model. Surprisingly, we found that the swimming-induced benefits sustained the motor function and increased the ALS mouse life span by about 25 days. The magnitude of this beneficial effect is one of the highest among those induced by any therapeutic strategy in this disease. We have shown that, unlike running, swimming significantly delays spinal motoneuron death and, more specifically, the motoneurons of large soma area. Analysis of the muscular phenotype revealed a swimming-induced relative maintenance of the fast phenotype in fast-twitch muscles. Furthermore, the swimming programme preserved astrocyte and oligodendrocyte populations in ALS spinal cord. As a whole, these data are highly suggestive of a causal relationship not only linking motoneuron activation and protection, but also motoneuron protection and the maintenance of the motoneuron surrounding environment. Basically, exercise-induced neuroprotective mechanisms provide an example of the molecular adaptation of activated motoneurons.

  8. Human DNA ligase III bridges two DNA ends to promote specific intermolecular DNA end joining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukshal, Vandna; Kim, In-Kwon; Hura, Gregory L.; Tomkinson, Alan E.; Tainer, John A.; Ellenberger, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian DNA ligase III (LigIII) functions in both nuclear and mitochondrial DNA metabolism. In the nucleus, LigIII has functional redundancy with DNA ligase I whereas LigIII is the only mitochondrial DNA ligase and is essential for the survival of cells dependent upon oxidative respiration. The unique LigIII zinc finger (ZnF) domain is not required for catalytic activity but senses DNA strand breaks and stimulates intermolecular ligation of two DNAs by an unknown mechanism. Consistent with this activity, LigIII acts in an alternative pathway of DNA double strand break repair that buttresses canonical non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and is manifest in NHEJ-defective cancer cells, but how LigIII acts in joining intermolecular DNA ends versus nick ligation is unclear. To investigate how LigIII efficiently joins two DNAs, we developed a real-time, fluorescence-based assay of DNA bridging suitable for high-throughput screening. On a nicked duplex DNA substrate, the results reveal binding competition between the ZnF and the oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding domain, one of three domains constituting the LigIII catalytic core. In contrast, these domains collaborate and are essential for formation of a DNA-bridging intermediate by adenylated LigIII that positions a pair of blunt-ended duplex DNAs for efficient and specific intermolecular ligation. PMID:26130724

  9. Herpes simplex virus latency-associated transcript sequence downstream of the promoter influences type-specific reactivation and viral neurotropism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertke, Andrea S; Patel, Amita; Krause, Philip R

    2007-06-01

    Herpes simplex virus (HSV) establishes latency in sensory nerve ganglia during acute infection and may later periodically reactivate to cause recurrent disease. HSV type 1 (HSV-1) reactivates more efficiently than HSV-2 from trigeminal ganglia while HSV-2 reactivates more efficiently than HSV-1 from lumbosacral dorsal root ganglia (DRG) to cause recurrent orofacial and genital herpes, respectively. In a previous study, a chimeric HSV-2 that expressed the latency-associated transcript (LAT) from HSV-1 reactivated similarly to wild-type HSV-1, suggesting that the LAT influences the type-specific reactivation phenotype of HSV-2. To further define the LAT region essential for type-specific reactivation, we constructed additional chimeric HSV-2 viruses by replacing the HSV-2 LAT promoter (HSV2-LAT-P1) or 2.5 kb of the HSV-2 LAT sequence (HSV2-LAT-S1) with the corresponding regions from HSV-1. HSV2-LAT-S1 was impaired for reactivation in the guinea pig genital model, while its rescuant and HSV2-LAT-P1 reactivated with a wild-type HSV-2 phenotype. Moreover, recurrences of HSV-2-LAT-S1 were frequently fatal, in contrast to the relatively mild recurrences of the other viruses. During recurrences, HSV2-LAT-S1 DNA increased more in the sacral cord compared to its rescuant or HSV-2. Thus, the LAT sequence region, not the LAT promoter region, provides essential elements for type-specific reactivation of HSV-2 and also plays a role in viral neurotropism. HSV-1 DNA, as quantified by real-time PCR, was more abundant in the lumbar spinal cord, while HSV-2 DNA was more abundant in the sacral spinal cord, which may provide insights into the mechanism for type-specific reactivation and different patterns of central nervous system infection of HSV-1 and HSV-2.

  10. Thymosin β10 expression driven by the human TERT promoter induces ovarian cancer-specific apoptosis through ROS production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Young-Chae Kim

    Full Text Available Thymosin β(10 (Tβ(10 regulates actin dynamics as a cytoplasm G-actin sequestering protein. Previously, we have shown that Tβ(10 diminishes tumor growth, angiogenesis, and proliferation by disrupting actin and by inhibiting Ras. However, little is known about its mechanism of action and biological function. In the present study, we establish a new gene therapy model using a genetically modified adenovirus, referred to as Ad.TERT.Tβ(10, that can overexpress the Tβ(10 gene in cancer cells. This was accomplished by replacing the native Tβ(10 gene promoter with the human TERT promoter in Ad.TERT.Tβ(10. We investigated the cancer suppression activity of Tβ(10 and found that Ad.TERT.Tβ(10 strikingly induced cancer-specific expression of Tβ(10 as well as apoptosis in a co-culture model of human primary ovarian cancer cells and normal fibroblasts. Additionally, Ad.TERT.Tβ(10 decreased mitochondrial membrane potential and increased reactive oxygen species (ROS production. These effects were amplified by co-treatment with anticancer drugs, such as paclitaxel and cisplatin. These findings indicate that the rise in ROS production due to actin disruption by Tβ(10 overexpression increases apoptosis of human ovarian cancer cells. Indeed, the cancer-specific overexpression of Tβ(10 by Ad.TERT.Tβ(10 could be a valuable anti-cancer therapeutic for the treatment of ovarian cancer without toxicity to normal cells.

  11. Direct transfer of subwavelength plasmonic nanostructures on bioactive silk films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Dianmin; Tao, Hu; Trevino, Jacob; Mondia, Jessica P; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G; Dal Negro, Luca

    2012-11-27

    By a reusable transfer fabrication technique, we demonstrate high-fidelity fabrication of metal nanoparticles, optical nanoantennas, and nanohole arrays directly on a functional silk biopolymer. The ability to reproducibly pattern silk biopolymers with arbitrarily complex plasmonic arrays is of importance for a variety of applications in optical biosensing, tissue engineering, cell biology, and the development of novel bio-optoelectronic medical devices. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  12. [Study on the chemical constituents of flavones from corn silk].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hui-en; Xu, De-ping

    2007-02-01

    The three flavones were isolated from water extracts of corn silk by chromatography on macroporous resin, polyamide, ODS and Sephadex LH-20. Three compounds were identified as formononetin (7-hydroxy-4'-methoxyisoflavone) ( I ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rham-nosyl-6-C-( 3-deoxyglucosyl) -3 '-methoxyluteolin( II ) ,2"-O-alpha-L-rhamnosyl-6-C-( 6-deoxy-ax-5-methyl-xylo-hexos-4-ulosyl) -3'-methoxyluteolin( II ). Compounds ( I ) and ( II ) were isolated from the corn silk for the first time.

  13. Nanostructure and molecular mechanics of spider dragline silk protein assemblies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keten, Sinan; Buehler, Markus J.

    2010-01-01

    Spider silk is a self-assembling biopolymer that outperforms most known materials in terms of its mechanical performance, despite its underlying weak chemical bonding based on H-bonds. While experimental studies have shown that the molecular structure of silk proteins has a direct influence on the stiffness, toughness and failure strength of silk, no molecular-level analysis of the nanostructure and associated mechanical properties of silk assemblies have been reported. Here, we report atomic-level structures of MaSp1 and MaSp2 proteins from the Nephila clavipes spider dragline silk sequence, obtained using replica exchange molecular dynamics, and subject these structures to mechanical loading for a detailed nanomechanical analysis. The structural analysis reveals that poly-alanine regions in silk predominantly form distinct and orderly beta-sheet crystal domains, while disorderly regions are formed by glycine-rich repeats that consist of 31-helix type structures and beta-turns. Our structural predictions are validated against experimental data based on dihedral angle pair calculations presented in Ramachandran plots, alpha-carbon atomic distances, as well as secondary structure content. Mechanical shearing simulations on selected structures illustrate that the nanoscale behaviour of silk protein assemblies is controlled by the distinctly different secondary structure content and hydrogen bonding in the crystalline and semi-amorphous regions. Both structural and mechanical characterization results show excellent agreement with available experimental evidence. Our findings set the stage for extensive atomistic investigations of silk, which may contribute towards an improved understanding of the source of the strength and toughness of this biological superfibre. PMID:20519206

  14. Muscle type-specific responses to NAD+ salvage biosynthesis promote muscle function in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vrablik, Tracy L; Wang, Wenqing; Upadhyay, Awani; Hanna-Rose, Wendy

    2011-01-15

    Salvage biosynthesis of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)) from nicotinamide (NAM) lowers NAM levels and replenishes the critical molecule NAD(+) after it is hydrolyzed. This pathway is emerging as a regulator of multiple biological processes. Here we probe the contribution of the NAM-NAD(+) salvage pathway to muscle development and function using Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans males with mutations in the nicotinamidase pnc-1, which catalyzes the first step of this NAD(+) salvage pathway, cannot mate due to a spicule muscle defect. Multiple muscle types are impaired in the hermaphrodites, including body wall muscles, pharyngeal muscles and vulval muscles. An active NAD(+) salvage pathway is required for optimal function of each muscle cell type. However, we found surprising muscle-cell-type specificity in terms of both the timing and relative sensitivity to perturbation of NAD(+) production or NAM levels. Active NAD(+) biosynthesis during development is critical for function of the male spicule protractor muscles during adulthood, but these muscles can surprisingly do without salvage biosynthesis in adulthood under the conditions examined. The body wall muscles require ongoing NAD(+) salvage biosynthesis both during development and adulthood for maximum function. The vulval muscles do not function in the presence of elevated NAM concentrations, but NAM supplementation is only slightly deleterious to body wall muscles during development or upon acute application in adults. Thus, the pathway plays distinct roles in different tissues. As NAM-NAD(+) biosynthesis also impacts muscle differentiation in vertebrates, we propose that similar complexities may be found among vertebrate muscle cell types. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. The effect of gamma irradiation on some morphological and quantitative changes of Bombyx mori L. silk gland; Vliyanie na gama lychite vyrhu nykoi morfologichni i kolichestveni izmeneniya na koprinenootdelitelnata zhleza na Bombyx mori L

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Petkov, N; Malinova, K [Institute of Animal Breeding, Kostinbrod (Bulgaria); Binkh, N [National Centre of Sericulture, Hanoj (Viet Nam)

    1997-12-31

    A study to determine the effect of gamma irradiation of silkworm eggs at doses of 1.00; 2.00 and 3.00 on silk gland weight, length and width is performed. It was found that gamma irradiation of eggs in the stage of embryo most intensive growth in length (B{sub 2}) at doses 2.00 and 3.00 Gy stimulates increasing of silk glands weight in silkworms on the fifth day instar by 12-25 mg, as well as the silk worm width - by 7-33 {mu}m, which is of significant importance for the synthesis and secretion of silk proteins (fibroin and sericin). A breed specificity was also observed. 4 refs.

  16. T Helper 17 Promotes Induction of Antigen-Specific Gut-Mucosal Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes following Adenovirus Vector Vaccination

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    Masahisa Hemmi

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Few current vaccines can establish antigen (Ag-specific immune responses in both mucosal and systemic compartments. Therefore, development of vaccines providing defense against diverse infectious agents in both compartments is of high priority in global health. Intramuscular vaccination of an adenovirus vector (Adv has been shown to induce Ag-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs in both systemic and gut-mucosal compartments. We previously found that type I interferon (IFN signaling is required for induction of gut-mucosal, but not systemic, CTLs following vaccination; however, the molecular mechanism involving type I IFN signaling remains unknown. Here, we found that T helper 17 (Th17-polarizing cytokine expression was down-regulated in the inguinal lymph nodes (iLNs of Ifnar2−/− mice, resulting in the reduction of Ag-specific Th17 cells in the iLNs and gut mucosa of the mice. We also found that prior transfer of Th17 cells reversed the decrease in the number of Ag-specific gut-mucosal CTLs in Ifnar2−/− mice following Adv vaccination. Additionally, prior transfer of Th17 cells into wild-type mice enhanced the induction of Ag-specific CTLs in the gut mucosa, but not in systemic compartments, suggesting a gut mucosa-specific mechanism where Th17 cells regulate the magnitude of vaccine-elicited Ag-specific CTL responses. These data suggest that Th17 cells translate systemic type I IFN signaling into a gut-mucosal CTL response following vaccination, which could promote the development of promising Adv vaccines capable of establishing both systemic and gut-mucosal protective immunity.

  17. Flexible and wearable electronic silk fabrics for human physiological monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Cuiping; Zhang, Huihui; Lu, Zhisong

    2017-09-01

    The development of textile-based devices for human physiological monitoring has attracted tremendous interest in recent years. However, flexible physiological sensing elements based on silk fabrics have not been realized. In this paper, ZnO nanorod arrays are grown in situ on reduced graphene oxide-coated silk fabrics via a facile electro-deposition method for the fabrication of silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing devices. The data show that well-aligned ZnO nanorods with hexagonal wurtzite crystalline structures are synthesized on the conductive silk fabric surface. After magnetron sputtering of gold electrodes, silk-fabric-based devices are produced and applied to detect periodic bending and twisting. Based on the electric signals, the deformation and release processes can be easily differentiated. Human arterial pulse and respiration can also be real-time monitored to calculate the pulse rate and respiration frequency, respectively. Throat vibrations during coughing and singing are detected to demonstrate the voice recognition capability. This work may not only help develop silk-fabric-based mechanical sensing elements for potential applications in clinical diagnosis, daily healthcare monitoring and voice recognition, but also provide a versatile method for fabricating textile-based flexible electronic devices.

  18. Compliant threads maximize spider silk connection strength and toughness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Avery; Pugno, Nicola M.; Cranford, Steven W.

    2014-01-01

    Millions of years of evolution have adapted spider webs to achieve a range of functionalities, including the well-known capture of prey, with efficient use of material. One feature that has escaped extensive investigation is the silk-on-silk connection joints within spider webs, particularly from a structural mechanics perspective. We report a joint theoretical and computational analysis of an idealized silk-on-silk fibre junction. By modifying the theory of multiple peeling, we quantitatively compare the performance of the system while systematically increasing the rigidity of the anchor thread, by both scaling the stress–strain response and the introduction of an applied pre-strain. The results of our study indicate that compliance is a virtue—the more extensible the anchorage, the tougher and stronger the connection becomes. In consideration of the theoretical model, in comparison with rigid substrates, a compliant anchorage enormously increases the effective adhesion strength (work required to detach), independent of the adhered thread itself, attributed to a nonlinear alignment between thread and anchor (contact peeling angle). The results can direct novel engineering design principles to achieve possible load transfer from compliant fibre-to-fibre anchorages, be they silk-on-silk or another, as-yet undeveloped, system. PMID:25008083

  19. Transmission Electron Microscopy of Bombyx Mori Silk Fibers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, Y.; Martin, D. C.

    1997-03-01

    The microstructure of B. Mori silk fibers before and after degumming was examined by TEM, selected area electron diffraction (SAED), WAXS and low voltage SEM. SEM micrographs of the neat cocoon revealed a network of pairs of twisting filaments. After degumming, there were only individual filaments showing a surface texture consistent with an oriented fibrillar structure in the fiber interior. WAXS patterns confirmed the oriented beta-sheet crystal structure common to silkworm and spider silks. Low dose SAED results were fully consistent with the WAXS data, and revealed that the crystallographic texture did not vary significantly across the fiber diameter. TEM observations of microtomed fiber cross sections indicated a somewhat irregular shape, and also revealed a 0.5-2 micron sericin coating which was removed by the degumming process. TEM observations of the degummed silk fiber showed banded features with a characteristic spacing of nominally 600 nm along the fiber axis. These bands were oriented in a roughly parabolic or V-shape pointing along one axis within a given fiber. We hypothesize that this orientation is induced by the extrusion during the spinning process. Equatorial DF images revealed that axial and lateral sizes of the β-sheet crystallites in silk fibroin ranged from 20 to 170 nm and from 1 to 24 nm, respectively. Crazes developed in the degummed silk fiber parallel to the fiber direction. The formation of these crazes suggests that there are significant lateral interactions between fibrils in silk fibers.

  20. Engagement and contestation: The entangled imagery of the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timur Dadabaev

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable debate over how and in what form Central Asian (CA states should conduct relations among each other and with other post-Soviet states. The notion of the “Silk Road” has become one of the symbols of extended economic and political cooperation. Notably, however, Japan (Silk Road Diplomacy, 1996–1999, China (One Belt, One Road [OBOR] or the Belt and Road initiative [BRI] and South Korea (Silk Road Strategy, 2011 have used the rhetoric of reviving the Silk Road to imply closer engagement with the CA region but with different connotations. This paper focuses on the formation of this discourse of engagement with the CA region through the notion of the Silk Road in China, South Korea and Japan and raises the following questions: What are the approaches that facilitate the most effective ways of engaging CA states under this “Silk Road” rhetoric? What are the principles that have detrimental effects on the successes and failures of the engagement of China, Japan and South Korea? The primary objective of this paper is to address these questions and to stimulate debate among both academics and policy makers on the formats of engagement and cooperation in Eurasia.

  1. Development and Evaluation of Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microsphere

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    Narinder Singh

    Full Text Available Aim: Current experimental investigation is dedicated to prepare microspheres with small size and good sphericity by Phase Separation method using Isoniazid (INH as model drug. Silk fibroin has unique intrinsic qualities like biodegradability, biocompatibility or release properties and their tunable drug loading capacity. The delivery loading proficiency of the drug molecules in silk spheres be contingent on their charge, and hydrophobicity or subsequent in altered drug release profiles. Methods: In the present work Isoniazid loaded silk fibroin microsphere was prepared by using phase separation method. Microsphere was evaluated for Ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, Fourier Transform infrared spectroscopy, Entrapment efficiency, Scanning electron microscopy Studies. Results: Scanning electron microscopy studies revealed that Isoniazid Loaded Silk Fibroin Microspheres were spherical. Entrapment Efficiency of Isoniazid loaded Microspheres of different Formulation from F1 to F5 was in range of 53 to 68 %. F3 showed 68.47 % entrapment Efficiency and the optimized formulation drug release was 93.56 % at 24 hours. Conclusion: Experimental report disclosed a new aqueous based formulation method for silk spheres with controllable shape or size and sphere. Isoniazid loaded silk microspheres may act as ideal nano formulation with elaborated studies.

  2. Recombinant spider silk genetically functionalized with affinity domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansson, Ronnie; Thatikonda, Naresh; Lindberg, Diana; Rising, Anna; Johansson, Jan; Nygren, Per-Åke; Hedhammar, My

    2014-05-12

    Functionalization of biocompatible materials for presentation of active protein domains is an area of growing interest. Herein, we describe a strategy for functionalization of recombinant spider silk via gene fusion to affinity domains of broad biotechnological use. Four affinity domains of different origin and structure; the IgG-binding domains Z and C2, the albumin-binding domain ABD, and the biotin-binding domain M4, were all successfully produced as soluble silk fusion proteins under nondenaturing purification conditions. Silk films and fibers produced from the fusion proteins were demonstrated to be chemically and thermally stable. Still, the bioactive domains are concluded to be folded and accessible, since their respective targets could be selectively captured from complex samples, including rabbit serum and human plasma. Interestingly, materials produced from mixtures of two different silk fusion proteins displayed combined binding properties, suggesting that tailor-made materials with desired stoichiometry and surface distributions of several binding domains can be produced. Further, use of the IgG binding ability as a general mean for presentation of desired biomolecules could be demonstrated for a human vascular endothelial growth factor (hVEGF) model system, via a first capture of anti-VEGF IgG to silk containing the Z-domain, followed by incubation with hVEGF. Taken together, this study demonstrates the potential of recombinant silk, genetically functionalized with affinity domains, for construction of biomaterials capable of presentation of almost any desired biomolecule.

  3. Immobilized Lentivirus Vector on Chondroitin Sulfate-Hyaluronate Acid-Silk Fibroin Hybrid Scaffold for Tissue-Engineered Ligament-Bone Junction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liguo Sun

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The lack of a fibrocartilage layer between graft and bone remains the leading cause of graft failure after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL reconstruction. The objective of this study was to develop a gene-modified silk cable-reinforced chondroitin sulfate-hyaluronate acid-silk fibroin (CHS hybrid scaffold for reconstructing the fibrocartilage layer. The scaffold was fabricated by lyophilizing the CHS mixture with braided silk cables. The scanning electronic microscopy (SEM showed that microporous CHS sponges were formed around silk cables. Each end of scaffold was modified with lentiviral-mediated transforming growth factor-β3 (TGF-β3 gene. The cells on scaffold were transfected by bonded lentivirus. In vitro culture demonstrated that mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs on scaffolds proliferated vigorously and produced abundant collagen. The transcription levels of cartilage-specific genes also increased with culture time. After 2 weeks, the MSCs were distributed uniformly throughout scaffold. Deposited collagen was also found to increase. The chondral differentiation of MSCs was verified by expressions of collagen II and TGF-β3 genes in mRNA and protein level. Histology also confirmed the production of cartilage extracellular matrix (ECM components. The results demonstrated that gene-modified silk cable-reinforced CHS scaffold was capable of supporting cell proliferation and differentiation to reconstruct the cartilage layer of interface.

  4. Determination of Na, Mn and Cu in cocoon, raw silk and degummed silk by nondestructive activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maki, Y; Ishiguro, Y [Industrial Research Inst. of Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama (Japan)

    1976-01-01

    The sodium, manganese and copper contained in cocoons, raw silk and degummed silk thread were determined by the nondestructive activation analysis. After each sample was irradiated with the thermal neutron flux of 5 x 10/sup 11/n/cm/sup 2/.sec, its ..gamma..-ray spectrum was measured with a NaI(Tl) detector. With the photoelectric peaks at 511 keV (/sup 64/Cu), 1368 keV (/sup 24/Na) and 847 keV (/sup 56/Mn), each element was quantitatively determined and its content was obtained. The measurement of the ..gamma..-ray spectra of samples with a Ge (Li) detector proved the presence of An, Sb, Fe, Zn, Cr, Sc, Co, etc. Large amounts of Na and Cu were detected in the sericin portion of cocoons, and the adhesion of Cu from a reeling-off machine to raw silk was also observed during the process of degumming cocoons to make raw silk.

  5. New concept of 3D printed bone clip (polylactic acid/hydroxyapatite/silk composite) for internal fixation of bone fractures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeon, Yeung Kyu; Park, Hae Sang; Lee, Jung Min; Lee, Ji Seung; Lee, Young Jin; Sultan, Md Tipu; Seo, Ye Bin; Lee, Ok Joo; Kim, Soon Hee; Park, Chan Hum

    Open reduction with internal fixation is commonly used for the treatment of bone fractures. However, postoperative infection associated with internal fixation devices (intramedullary nails, plates, and screws) remains a significant complication, and it is technically difficult to fix multiple fragmented bony fractures using internal fixation devices. In addition, drilling in the bone to install devices can lead to secondary fracture, bone necrosis associated with postoperative infection. In this study, we developed bone clip type internal fixation device using three- dimensional (3D) printing technology. Standard 3D model of the bone clip was generated based on computed tomography (CT) scan of the femur in the rat. Polylacticacid (PLA), hydroxyapatite (HA), and silk were used for bone clip material. The purpose of this study was to characterize 3D printed PLA, PLA/HA, and PLA/HA/Silk composite bone clip and evaluate the feasibility of these bone clips as an internal fixation device. Based on the results, PLA/HA/Silk composite bone clip showed similar mechanical property, and superior biocompatibility compared to other types of the bone clip. PLA/HA/Silk composite bone clip demonstrated excellent alignment of the bony segments across the femur fracture site with well-positioned bone clip in an animal study. Our 3D printed bone clips have several advantages: (1) relatively noninvasive (drilling in the bone is not necessary), (2) patient-specific design (3) mechanically stable device, and (4) it provides high biocompatibility. Therefore, we suggest that our 3D printed PLA/HA/Silk composite bone clip is a possible internal fixation device.

  6. Artificial skin--culturing of different skin cell lines for generating an artificial skin substitute on cross-weaved spider silk fibres.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanna Wendt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: In the field of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery the development of new innovative matrices for skin repair is in urgent need. The ideal biomaterial should promote attachment, proliferation and growth of cells. Additionally, it should degrade in an appropriate time period without releasing harmful substances, but not exert a pathological immune response. Spider dragline silk from Nephila spp meets these demands to a large extent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Native spider dragline silk, harvested directly out of Nephila spp spiders, was woven on steel frames. Constructs were sterilized and seeded with fibroblasts. After two weeks of cultivating single fibroblasts, keratinocytes were added to generate a bilayered skin model, consisting of dermis and epidermis equivalents. For the next three weeks, constructs in co-culture were lifted on an originally designed setup for air/liquid interface cultivation. After the culturing period, constructs were embedded in paraffin with an especially developed program for spidersilk to avoid supercontraction. Paraffin cross-sections were stained in Haematoxylin & Eosin (H&E for microscopic analyses. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Native spider dragline silk woven on steel frames provides a suitable matrix for 3 dimensional skin cell culturing. Both fibroblasts and keratinocytes cell lines adhere to the spider silk fibres and proliferate. Guided by the spider silk fibres, they sprout into the meshes and reach confluence in at most one week. A well-balanced, bilayered cocultivation in two continuously separated strata can be achieved by serum reduction, changing the medium conditions and the cultivation period at the air/liquid interphase. Therefore spider silk appears to be a promising biomaterial for the enhancement of skin regeneration.

  7. Electricity from the Silk Cocoon Membrane

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tulachan, Brindan; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Rai, Ratan Kumar; Mallick, Chandrakant; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Teotia, Arun Kumar; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Bhargava, Kalpana; Bhattacharya, Shantanu; Kumar, Ashok; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Sinha, Neeraj; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Das, Mainak

    2014-01-01

    Silk cocoon membrane (SCM) is an insect engineered structure. We studied the electrical properties of mulberry (Bombyx mori) and non-mulberry (Tussar, Antheraea mylitta) SCM. When dry, SCM behaves like an insulator. On absorbing moisture, it generates electrical current, which is modulated by temperature. The current flowing across the SCM is possibly ionic and protonic in nature. We exploited the electrical properties of SCM to develop simple energy harvesting devices, which could operate low power electronic systems. Based on our findings, we propose that the temperature and humidity dependent electrical properties of the SCM could find applications in battery technology, bio-sensor, humidity sensor, steam engines and waste heat management. PMID:24961354

  8. Silla Art and the Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kwangshik Choe

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Western and Indian features found in Silla art, whether they came from the Western border regions of China or through a connection with China, it is recognized that there was both a direct and indirect a relationship between Silla, the West, and India. Many scholars have been interested in these aspects, conducting various studies as these factors played a large part in defining the origin of ancient culture and the process of harmonization between cultures. Through the Silk Road scholars are able to identify how Western cultures and civilizations were introduced to the Silla Dynasty. As the Korean peninsula has been a nexus for exchange between the East and the West, this paper aims to understand the meaning of the “Silk Road” and examines the actual state of cultural exchange at this historical site. Through artifacts excavated from Hwangnamdae-ch’ong (especially glass products, it has been determined that the Western and Western bordering countries of China culturally influenced the art of Silla. They also clearly prove that Buddhist sculptures from India and the Western bordering countries of China had a great impact on Silla art as well. Through these findings, it can be confirmed that from ancient times the influence of many cultures including China, the West, and the Western bordering countries of China had an impact on Korean culture. Particularly, Indian Buddhism which flowed into China and the Korea peninsula participated in the development of Silla culture and also played a significant role in the formation of traditional Korean culture.

  9. Specific interactions between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and plant growth-promoting bacteria--as revealed by different combinations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaderlund, Lotta; Arthurson, Veronica; Granhall, Ulf; Jansson, Janet K.

    2008-05-15

    The interactions between two plant growth promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR), Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25 and Paenibacillus brasilensis PB177, two arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi (Glomus mosseae and G. intraradices) and one pathogenic fungus (Microdochium nivale) were investigated on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum cultivar Tarso) in a greenhouse trial. PB177, but not SBW25, had strong inhibitory effects on M. nivale in dual culture plate assays. The results from the greenhouse experiment show very specific interactions; e.g. the two AM fungi react differently when interacting with the same bacteria on plants. G. intraradices (single inoculation or together with SBW25) increased plant dry weight on M. nivale infested plants, suggesting that the pathogenic fungus is counteracted by G. intraradices, but PB177 inhibited this positive effect. This is an example of two completely different reactions between the same AM fungus and two species of bacteria, previously known to enhance plant growth and inhibit pathogens. When searching for plant growth promoting microorganisms it is therefore important to test for the most suitable combination of plant, bacteria and fungi in order to get satisfactory plant growth benefits.

  10. RNA helicase HEL-1 promotes longevity by specifically activating DAF-16/FOXO transcription factor signaling in Caenorhabditis elegans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Mihwa; Seo, Keunhee; Hwang, Wooseon; Koo, Hee Jung; Hahm, Jeong-Hoon; Yang, Jae-Seong; Han, Seong Kyu; Hwang, Daehee; Kim, Sanguk; Jang, Sung Key; Lee, Yoontae; Nam, Hong Gil; Lee, Seung-Jae V.

    2015-01-01

    The homeostatic maintenance of the genomic DNA is crucial for regulating aging processes. However, the role of RNA homeostasis in aging processes remains unknown. RNA helicases are a large family of enzymes that regulate the biogenesis and homeostasis of RNA. However, the functional significance of RNA helicases in aging has not been explored. Here, we report that a large fraction of RNA helicases regulate the lifespan of Caenorhabditis elegans. In particular, we show that a DEAD-box RNA helicase, helicase 1 (HEL-1), promotes longevity by specifically activating the DAF-16/forkhead box O (FOXO) transcription factor signaling pathway. We find that HEL-1 is required for the longevity conferred by reduced insulin/insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) signaling (IIS) and is sufficient for extending lifespan. We further show that the expression of HEL-1 in the intestine and neurons contributes to longevity. HEL-1 enhances the induction of a large fraction of DAF-16 target genes. Thus, the RNA helicase HEL-1 appears to promote longevity in response to decreased IIS as a transcription coregulator of DAF-16. Because HEL-1 and IIS are evolutionarily well conserved, a similar mechanism for longevity regulation via an RNA helicase-dependent regulation of FOXO signaling may operate in mammals, including humans. PMID:26195740

  11. siRNAs targeted to certain polyadenylation sites promote specific, RISC-independent degradation of messenger RNAs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickers, Timothy A; Crooke, Stanley T

    2012-07-01

    While most siRNAs induce sequence-specific target mRNA cleavage and degradation in a process mediated by Ago2/RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC), certain siRNAs have also been demonstrated to direct target RNA reduction through deadenylation and subsequent degradation of target transcripts in a process which involves Ago1/RISC and P-bodies. In the current study, we present data suggesting that a third class of siRNA exist, which are capable of promoting target RNA reduction that is independent of both Ago and RISC. These siRNAs bind the target messenger RNA at the polyA signal and are capable of redirecting a small amount of polyadenylation to downstream polyA sites when present, however, the majority of the activity appears to be due to inhibition of polyadenylation or deadenylation of the transcript, followed by exosomal degradation of the immature mRNA.

  12. Natural Silk as a Photonics Component: a Study on Its Light Guiding and Nonlinear Optical Properties

    OpenAIRE

    Kujala, Sami; Mannila, Anna; Karvonen, Lasse; Kieu, Khanh; Sun, Zhipei

    2016-01-01

    Silk fibers are expected to become a pathway to biocompatible and bioresorbable waveguides, which could be used to deliver localized optical power for various applications, e.g., optical therapy or imaging inside living tissue. Here, for the first time, the linear and nonlinear optical properties of natural silk fibers have been studied. The waveguiding properties of silk fibroin of largely unprocessed Bombyx mori silkworm silk are assessed using two complementary methods, and found to be on ...

  13. Traveling the Silk Road: A Measurement of a Large Anonymous Online Marketplace

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-11-28

    Silk Road, an anonymous, international online marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We gather...analysis of Silk Road, an anonymous, international on- line marketplace that operates as a Tor hidden service and uses Bitcoin as its exchange currency. We...anonymity, Silk Road needs to also preserve payment anonymity. To that effect, Silk Road only supports Bitcoin (BTC, [30]) as a trading currency

  14. Multifunctional surface modification of silk fabric via graphene oxide repeatedly coating and chemical reduction method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Jiliang; Wang, Chaoxia

    2017-05-01

    Multifunctional silk fabrics with electrical conductive, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent were successfully prepared by surface modification with graphene oxide (GO). The yellow-brown GO deposited on the surface of silk fabric was converted into graphitic black reduced graphene (RGO) by sodium hydrosulfite. The surface properties of silk fabrics were changed by repeatedly RGO coating process, which have been proved by SEM and XPS. The SEM results showed that the RGO sheets were successive form a continuously thin film on the surface of silk fabrics, and the deposition of GO or RGO also can be proved by XPS. The electrical conductivity was tested by electrical surface resistance value of the silk fabric, the surface resistance decreased with increasing of RGO surface modification times, and a low surface resistance value reached to 3.24 KΩ cm-1 after 9 times of modification, indicating the silk obtained excellent conductivity. The UPF value of one time GO modification silk fabric (silk-1RGO) was enhanced significantly to 24.45 in comparison to 10.40 of original silk. The contact angle of RGO coating silk samples was all above of 120°. The durability of RGO coated silk fabrics was tested by laundering. The electrical surface resistance of silk-4RGO (65.74 KΩ cm-1), silk-6RGO (15.54 KΩ cm-1) and silk-8RGO (3.86 KΩ cm-1) fabrics was up to 86.82, 22.30 and 6.57 KΩ cm-1 after 10 times of standard washing, respectively. The UPF value, contact angle and color differences of RGO modified silk fabric slightly changed before and after 10 times of standard washing. Therefore, the washing fastness of electric conduction, anti-ultraviolet and water repellent multifunctional silk fabrics was excellent.

  15. Solubilization of spider silk proteins and its structural analysis using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osbin, K.; Jayan, Manuel; Bhadrakumari, S.; Predeep, P.

    2017-06-01

    This study investigates the presence of various amide bands present in different spider silk species, which provides extraordinary physical properties. Three different spider silks were collected from Western Ghats region. The collected spider silks samples belonging to the spider Heteropoda venatoria (species 1), Hersilia savignyi (species 2) and Pholcus phalangioides (species 3). Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra reveals the protein peaks in the amide I, II, and III regions in all the three types of spider silk species.

  16. Hyper-IL-15 suppresses metastatic and autochthonous liver cancer by promoting tumour-specific CD8+ T cell responses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Liang; Du, Xuexiang; Wang, Zheng; Ju, Jianqi; Jia, Mingming; Huang, Qibin; Xing, Qiao; Xu, Meng; Tan, Yi; Liu, Mingyue; Du, Peishuang; Su, Lishan; Wang, Shengdian

    2014-12-01

    Liver cancer has a very dismal prognosis due to lack of effective therapy. Here, we studied the therapeutic effects of hyper-interleukin15 (hyper-IL-15), which is composed of IL-15 and the sushi domain of the IL-15 receptor α chain, on metastatic and autochthonous liver cancers. Liver metastatic tumour models were established by intraportally injecting syngeneic mice with murine CT26 colon carcinoma cells or B16-OVA melanoma cells. Primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) was induced by diethylnitrosamine (DEN). A hydrodynamics-based gene delivery method was used to achieve sustained hyper-IL-15 expression in the liver. Liver gene delivery of hyper-IL-15 robustly expanded CD8(+) T and NK cells, leading to a long-term (more than 40 days) accumulation of CD8(+) T cells in vivo, especially in the liver. Hyper-IL-15 treatment exerted remarkable therapeutic effects on well-established liver metastatic tumours and even on DEN-induced autochthonous HCC, and these effects were abolished by depletion of CD8(+) T cells but not NK cells. Hyper-IL-15 triggered IL-12 and interferon-γ production and reduced the expression of co-inhibitory molecules on dendritic cells in the liver. Adoptive transfer of T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic OT-1 cells showed that hyper-IL-15 preferentially expanded tumour-specific CD8(+) T cells and promoted their interferon-γ synthesis and cytotoxicity. Liver delivery of hyper-IL-15 provides an effective therapy against well-established metastatic and autochthonous liver cancers in mouse models by preferentially expanding tumour-specific CD8(+) T cells and promoting their anti-tumour effects. Copyright © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Chinese Investments in Serbia—A Joint Pledge for the Future of the New Silk Road

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrijević Duško

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Following the political changes in 2000, Serbia has rapidly started to catch up with the countries of Central and Eastern Europe in various aspects of the transition process. One of these very important aspects were foreign investments, both ‘direct’ and ‘portfolio’ ones, that had a significant impact on the development of Serbian economy by recovering economic structure and raising competitiveness in world markets, followed by improving the balance of payments and technological, scientific and managerial base. Foreign investments as an “economic engine” enable accelerated realization of national economic goals which include re-industrialization and renewal of industrial capacity. The openness of the Serbian market and the lack of financial resources allow China and other states concerned under favourable conditions invest in the development of Serbian economy. In this way, Chinese investments have become a driving force for the promotion of economic and other relations between the two countries. On the other hand, however, Chinese investments have proven to be an ideal test for the realization of the objectives of the development strategy of the ‘New Silk Road’ which among other things include the improvement of China’s position on world markets, including the EU market. For the proper understanding of Sino-Serbian relations, this study first gives a short explanation of the Chinese strategy of the New Silk Road. Then, it includes an analysis of Serbia’s position towards China. Analysis of the development of Serbian-Chinese economic relations, especially in the field of foreign investment and within the framework of multilateral cooperation mechanism ‘16+1’, occupies the central part of the study. The study concludes with an evaluation of comparative advantages and certain disadvantages for the Chinese foreign investment in Serbian economy, which in itself has certain significance for the realization of the New Silk Road

  18. Synthetic Spider Silk Production on a Laboratory Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsia, Yang; Gnesa, Eric; Pacheco, Ryan; Kohler, Kristin; Jeffery, Felicia; Vierra, Craig

    2012-01-01

    As society progresses and resources become scarcer, it is becoming increasingly important to cultivate new technologies that engineer next generation biomaterials with high performance properties. The development of these new structural materials must be rapid, cost-efficient and involve processing methodologies and products that are environmentally friendly and sustainable. Spiders spin a multitude of different fiber types with diverse mechanical properties, offering a rich source of next generation engineering materials for biomimicry that rival the best manmade and natural materials. Since the collection of large quantities of natural spider silk is impractical, synthetic silk production has the ability to provide scientists with access to an unlimited supply of threads. Therefore, if the spinning process can be streamlined and perfected, artificial spider fibers have the potential use for a broad range of applications ranging from body armor, surgical sutures, ropes and cables, tires, strings for musical instruments, and composites for aviation and aerospace technology. In order to advance the synthetic silk production process and to yield fibers that display low variance in their material properties from spin to spin, we developed a wet-spinning protocol that integrates expression of recombinant spider silk proteins in bacteria, purification and concentration of the proteins, followed by fiber extrusion and a mechanical post-spin treatment. This is the first visual representation that reveals a step-by-step process to spin and analyze artificial silk fibers on a laboratory scale. It also provides details to minimize the introduction of variability among fibers spun from the same spinning dope. Collectively, these methods will propel the process of artificial silk production, leading to higher quality fibers that surpass natural spider silks. PMID:22847722

  19. 'Surfing the Silk Road': a study of users' experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hout, Marie Claire; Bingham, Tim

    2013-11-01

    The online drug marketplace called 'Silk Road' has operated anonymously on the 'Deep Web' since 2011. It is accessible through computer encrypting software (Tor) and is supported by online transactions using peer to peer anonymous and untraceable crypto-currency (Bit Coins). The study aimed to describe user motives and realities of accessing, navigating and purchasing on the 'Silk Road' marketplace. Systematic online observations, monitoring of discussion threads on the site during four months of fieldwork and analysis of anonymous online interviews (n=20) with a convenience sample of adult 'Silk Road' users was conducted. The majority of participants were male, in professional employment or in tertiary education. Drug trajectories ranged from 18 months to 25 years, with favourite drugs including MDMA, 2C-B, mephedrone, nitrous oxide, ketamine, cannabis and cocaine. Few reported prior experience of online drug sourcing. Reasons for utilizing 'Silk Road' included curiosity, concerns for street drug quality and personal safety, variety of products, anonymous transactioning, and ease of product delivery. Vendor selection appeared to be based on trust, speed of transaction, stealth modes and quality of product. Forums on the site provided user advice, trip reports, product and transaction reviews. Some users reported solitary drug use for psychonautic and introspective purposes. A minority reported customs seizures, and in general a displacement away from traditional drug sourcing (street and closed markets) was described. Several reported intentions to commence vending on the site. The study provides an insight into 'Silk Road' purchasing motives and processes, the interplay between traditional and 'Silk Road' drug markets, the 'Silk Road' online community and its communication networks. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. [Engineered spider silk: the intelligent biomaterial of the future. Part I].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Florczak, Anna; Piekoś, Konrad; Kaźmierska, Katarzyna; Mackiewicz, Andrzej; Dams-Kozłowska, Hanna

    2011-06-17

    The unique properties of spider silk such as strength, extensibility, toughness, biocompatibility and biodegradability are the reasons for the recent development in silk biomaterial technology. For a long time scientific progress was impeded by limited access to spider silk. However, the development of the molecular biology strategy was a breaking point in synthetic spider silk protein design. The sequences of engineered spider silk are based on the consensus motives of the corresponding natural equivalents. Moreover, the engineered silk proteins may be modified in order to gain a new function. The strategy of the hybrid proteins constructed on the DNA level combines the sequence of engineered silk, which is responsible for the biomaterial structure, with the sequence of polypeptide which allows functionalization of the silk biomaterial. The functional domains may comprise receptor binding sites, enzymes, metal or sugar binding sites and others. Currently, advanced research is being conducted, which on the one hand focuses on establishing the particular silk structure and understanding the process of silk thread formation in nature. On the other hand, there are attempts to improve methods of engineered spider silk protein production. Due to acquired knowledge and recent progress in synthetic protein technology, the engineered silk will turn into intelligent biomaterial of the future, while its industrial production scale will trigger a biotechnological revolution.

  1. Effects of Japanese beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) and silk clipping in field corn.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steckel, Sandy; Stewart, S D; Tindall, K V

    2013-10-01

    Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica Newman) is an emerging silk-feeding insect found in fields in the lower Corn Belt and Midsouthern United States. Studies were conducted in 2010 and 2011 to evaluate how silk clipping in corn affects pollination and yield parameters. Manually clipping silks once daily had modest effects on yield parameters. Sustained clipping by either manually clipping silks three times per day or by caging Japanese beetles onto ears affected total kernel weight if it occurred during early silking (R1 growth stage). Manually clipping silks three times per day for the first 5 d of silking affected the number of kernels per ear, total kernel weight, and the weight of individual kernels. Caged beetles fed on silks and, depending on the number of beetles caged per ear, reduced the number of kernels per ear. Caging eight beetles per ear significantly reduced total kernel weight compared with noninfested ears. Drought stress before anthesis appeared to magnify the impact of silk clipping by Japanese beetles. There was evidence of some compensation for reduced pollination by increasing the size of pollinated kernels within the ear. Our results showed that it requires sustained silk clipping during the first week of silking to have substantial impacts on pollination and yield parameters, at least under good growing conditions. Some states recommend treating for Japanese beetle when three Japanese beetles per ear are found, silks are clipped to < 13 mm, and pollination is < 50% complete, and that recommendation appears to be adequate.

  2. The inflammatory responses to silk films in vitro and in vivo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meinel, L.; Hofmann, S.; Karageorgiou, V.; Kirker-Head, C.; McCool, J.; Gronowicz, G.; Zichner, L.; Langer, R.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.

    2005-01-01

    Silks have a long history of biomedical use as sutures. Silk can be purified, chemically modified to attach RGD sequences and processed into highly porous scaffolds for tissue engineering. We report biocompatibility studies of silk films (with or without covalently bound RGD) that were seeded with

  3. The effect of thyroxine on silk gland and the effect of two thyroxine ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The influence of feeding mulberry leaves treated with thyroxine to the growth of the silk gland, and the effect of two different mulberry species, that is, Morus nigra and Morus multicaulis treated with thyroxine on silk quality in the silkworm were studied. The silk glands from thyroxine treated Bombyx mori larvae weighed ...

  4. Quantification of the physiochemical constraints on the export of spider silk proteins by Salmonella type III secretion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Voigt Christopher A

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The type III secretion system (T3SS is a molecular machine in gram negative bacteria that exports proteins through both membranes to the extracellular environment. It has been previously demonstrated that the T3SS encoded in Salmonella Pathogenicity Island 1 (SPI-1 can be harnessed to export recombinant proteins. Here, we demonstrate the secretion of a variety of unfolded spider silk proteins and use these data to quantify the constraints of this system with respect to the export of recombinant protein. Results To test how the timing and level of protein expression affects secretion, we designed a hybrid promoter that combines an IPTG-inducible system with a natural genetic circuit that controls effector expression in Salmonella (psicA. LacO operators are placed in various locations in the psicA promoter and the optimal induction occurs when a single operator is placed at the +5nt (234-fold and a lower basal level of expression is achieved when a second operator is placed at -63nt to take advantage of DNA looping. Using this tool, we find that the secretion efficiency (protein secreted divided by total expressed is constant as a function of total expressed. We also demonstrate that the secretion flux peaks at 8 hours. We then use whole gene DNA synthesis to construct codon optimized spider silk genes for full-length (3129 amino acids Latrodectus hesperus dragline silk, Bombyx mori cocoon silk, and Nephila clavipes flagelliform silk and PCR is used to create eight truncations of these genes. These proteins are all unfolded polypeptides and they encompass a variety of length, charge, and amino acid compositions. We find those proteins fewer than 550 amino acids reliably secrete and the probability declines significantly after ~700 amino acids. There also is a charge optimum at -2.4, and secretion efficiency declines for very positively or negatively charged proteins. There is no significant correlation with hydrophobicity

  5. Non-Mulberry and Mulberry Silk Protein Sericins as Potential Media Supplement for Animal Cell Culture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neety Sahu

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk protein sericins, in the recent years, find application in cosmetics and pharmaceuticals and as biomaterials. We investigate the potential of sericin, extracted from both mulberry Bombyx mori and different non-mulberry sources, namely, tropical tasar, Antheraea mylitta; muga, Antheraea assama; and eri, Samia ricini, as growth supplement in serum-free culture medium. Sericin supplemented media containing different concentrations of sericins from the different species are examined for attachment, growth, proliferation, and morphology of fibrosarcoma cells. The optimum sericin supplementation seems to vary with the source of sericins. The results indicate that all the sericins promote the growth of L929 cells in serum-free culture media; however, S. ricini sericin seems to promote better growth of cells amongst other non-mulberry sericins.

  6. Progesterone promotes maternal–fetal tolerance by reducing human maternal T‐cell polyfunctionality and inducing a specific cytokine profile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eldershaw, Suzy A.; Inman, Charlotte F.; Coomarasamy, Aravinthan; Moss, Paul A. H.; Kilby, Mark D.

    2015-01-01

    Progesterone is a steroid hormone essential for the maintenance of human pregnancy, and its actions are thought to include promoting maternal immune tolerance of the semiallogenic fetus. We report that exposure of maternal T cells to progesterone at physiological doses induced a unique skewing of the cytokine production profile of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, with reductions not only in potentially deleterious IFN‐γ and TNF‐α production but also in IL‐10 and IL‐5. Conversely, production of IL‐4 was increased. Maternal T cells also became less polyfunctional, focussing cytokine production toward profiles including IL‐4. This was accompanied by reduced T‐cell proliferation. Using fetal and viral antigen‐specific CD8+ T‐cell clones, we confirmed that this as a direct, nonantigen‐specific effect. Yet human T cells lacked conventional nuclear progesterone receptors, implicating a membrane progesterone receptor. CD4+ and CD8+ T cells responded to progesterone in a dose‐dependent manner, with subtle effects at concentrations comparable to those in maternal blood, but profound effects at concentrations similar to those at the maternal–fetal interface. This characterization of how progesterone modulates T‐cell function is important in understanding the normal biology of pregnancy and informing the rational use of progesterone therapy in pregnancies at risk of fetal loss. PMID:26249148

  7. Progesterone promotes maternal-fetal tolerance by reducing human maternal T-cell polyfunctionality and inducing a specific cytokine profile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lissauer, David; Eldershaw, Suzy A; Inman, Charlotte F; Coomarasamy, Aravinthan; Moss, Paul A H; Kilby, Mark D

    2015-10-01

    Progesterone is a steroid hormone essential for the maintenance of human pregnancy, and its actions are thought to include promoting maternal immune tolerance of the semiallogenic fetus. We report that exposure of maternal T cells to progesterone at physiological doses induced a unique skewing of the cytokine production profile of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells, with reductions not only in potentially deleterious IFN-γ and TNF-α production but also in IL-10 and IL-5. Conversely, production of IL-4 was increased. Maternal T cells also became less polyfunctional, focussing cytokine production toward profiles including IL-4. This was accompanied by reduced T-cell proliferation. Using fetal and viral antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cell clones, we confirmed that this as a direct, nonantigen-specific effect. Yet human T cells lacked conventional nuclear progesterone receptors, implicating a membrane progesterone receptor. CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells responded to progesterone in a dose-dependent manner, with subtle effects at concentrations comparable to those in maternal blood, but profound effects at concentrations similar to those at the maternal-fetal interface. This characterization of how progesterone modulates T-cell function is important in understanding the normal biology of pregnancy and informing the rational use of progesterone therapy in pregnancies at risk of fetal loss. © 2015 The Authors. European Journal of Immunology published by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  8. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eden Steven, Jin Gyu Park, Anant Paravastu, Elsa Branco Lopes, James S Brooks, Ongi Englander, Theo Siegrist, Papatya Kaner and Rufina G Alamo

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline and amorphous (helical structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 °C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size, on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain. The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  9. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S [Department of Physics and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Park, Jin Gyu [FAMU-FSU Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, High-Performance Materials Institute, Florida State University, 2005 Levy Ave., Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G [FAMU-FSU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, FL 32310 (United States); Branco Lopes, Elsa [Departamento de Quimica, Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear/CFMC-UL, P-2686-953 Sacavem (Portugal); Englander, Ongi, E-mail: esteven@magnet.fsu.edu [FAMU-FSU Department of Mechanical Engineering and National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Florida State University, 1800 East Paul Dirac, Tallahassee, Florida 32310 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of {beta}-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and {beta}-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of {beta}-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof

  10. Physical characterization of functionalized spider silk: electronic and sensing properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Steven, Eden; Brooks, James S; Park, Jin Gyu; Paravastu, Anant; Siegrist, Theo; Kaner, Papatya; Alamo, Rufina G; Branco Lopes, Elsa; Englander, Ongi

    2011-01-01

    This work explores functional, fundamental and applied aspects of naturally harvested spider silk fibers. Natural silk is a protein polymer where different amino acids control the physical properties of fibroin bundles, producing, for example, combinations of β-sheet (crystalline) and amorphous (helical) structural regions. This complexity presents opportunities for functional modification to obtain new types of material properties. Electrical conductivity is the starting point of this investigation, where the insulating nature of neat silk under ambient conditions is described first. Modification of the conductivity by humidity, exposure to polar solvents, iodine doping, pyrolization and deposition of a thin metallic film are explored next. The conductivity increases exponentially with relative humidity and/or solvent, whereas only an incremental increase occurs after iodine doping. In contrast, iodine doping, optimal at 70 deg. C, has a strong effect on the morphology of silk bundles (increasing their size), on the process of pyrolization (suppressing mass loss rates) and on the resulting carbonized fiber structure (that becomes more robust against bending and strain). The effects of iodine doping and other functional parameters (vacuum and thin film coating) motivated an investigation with magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance (MAS-NMR) to monitor doping-induced changes in the amino acid-protein backbone signature. MAS-NMR revealed a moderate effect of iodine on the helical and β-sheet structures, and a lesser effect of gold sputtering. The effects of iodine doping were further probed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, revealing a partial transformation of β-sheet-to-amorphous constituency. A model is proposed, based on the findings from the MAS-NMR and FTIR, which involves iodine-induced changes in the silk fibroin bundle environment that can account for the altered physical properties. Finally, proof-of-concept applications of

  11. Quantitative trait loci for maysin synthesis in maize (Zea mays L.) lines selected for high silk maysin content.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, J D F; Snook, M E; Houchins, K E; Rector, B G; Widstrom, N W; McMullen, M D

    2007-06-01

    Maysin is a naturally occurring C-glycosyl flavone found in maize (Zea mays L.) silk tissue that confers resistance to corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea, Boddie). Recently, two new maize populations were derived for high silk maysin. The two populations were named the exotic populations of maize (EPM) and the southern inbreds of maize (SIM). Quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was employed to determine which loci were responsible for elevated maysin levels in inbred lines derived from the EPM and SIM populations. The candidate genes consistent with QTL position included the p (pericarp color), c2 (colorless2), whp1 (white pollen1) and in1 (intensifier1) loci. The role of these loci in controlling high maysin levels in silks was tested by expression analysis and use of the loci as genetic markers onto the QTL populations. These studies support p, c2 and whp1, but not in1, as loci controlling maysin. Through this study, we determined that the p locus regulates whp1 transcription and that increased maysin in these inbred lines was primarily due to alleles at both structural and regulatory loci promoting increased flux through the flavone pathway by increasing chalcone synthase activity.

  12. Subchronic toxicity study of corn silk with rats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Cuina; Zhang, Tiehua; Liu, Jun; Lu, Shuang; Zhang, Cheng; Wang, Erlei; Wang, Zuozhao; Zhang, Yan; Liu, Jingbo

    2011-09-01

    Corn silk is a traditional herbal medicine in China, which has been used in many parts of the world for the treatment of edema as well as for cystitis, gout, kidney stones, nephritis, prostatitis and similar ailments. However, there is little scientific evidence about its safety. As a part of its safety assessment, a subchronic toxicity was performed in this paper. The subchronic toxicity was investigated in male and female Wistar rats by dietary administration at concentrations of 0.5%, 2.0% and 8.0% (w/w) for 90 days. Overall health, body weight, food consumption, hematology, blood chemistry, organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were compared between test and control groups. A number of significant differences were seen between groups, but none of them was considered to be adverse. Based on the present study, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of corn silk is at least 8.0% which corresponds to a mean daily corn silk intake of approximately 9.354 and 10.308 g/day/kg body weight for males and females, respectively. The results obtained in the present study suggest that consumption of corn silk has no adverse effects and support the safety of corn silk for humans. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Adsorption Properties of Lac Dyes on Wool, Silk, and Nylon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bo Wei

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available There has been growing interest in the dyeing of textiles with natural dyes. The research about the adsorption properties of natural dyes can help to understand their adsorption mechanism and to control their dyeing process. This study is concerned with the kinetics and isotherms of adsorption of lac dyes on wool, silk, and nylon fibers. It was found that the adsorption kinetics of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the pseudosecond-order kinetic model, and the adsorption rate of lac dyes was the fastest for silk and the slowest for wool. The activation energies for the adsorption process on wool, silk, and nylon were found to be 107.15, 87.85, and 45.31 kJ/mol, respectively. The adsorption of lac dyes on the three fibers followed the Langmuir mechanism, indicating that the electrostatic interactions between lac dyes and those fibers occurred. The saturation values for lac adsorption on the three fibers decreased in the order of wool > silk > nylon; the Langmuir affinity constant of lac adsorption on nylon was much higher than those on wool and silk.

  14. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree; Kerdchoechuen, Orapin

    2011-06-01

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25 C for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10 C with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks

  15. Extracted sericin from silk waste for film formation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rungsinee Sothornvit

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Sericin is the second main component in cocoons, which are removed in the silk reeling process of the raw silk industry and in the silk waste degumming of the spun silk industry. The main amino acid of sericin, serine, exhibits a skin moisturing and antiwrinkle action, which is interesting to use for film formation in this study. The extraction conditions of sericin from two silk wastes, pieced cocoon and inferior knubbs were studied to find the optimum extraction conditions. Boiling water extraction was considered based on the response surface methodology (RSM in order to identify the important factors for the sericin extraction. The two factors considered were time and temperature. Both factors were needed to be independent parameters in the predicted equation in order to improve the model fit with R2 = 0.84. The components ofextracted sericin were 18.24% serine, 9.83% aspatate, and 5.51% glycine with a molecular weight of 132 kDa. Film formationfrom extracted sericin was carried out to find the optimum conditions. Extracted sericin could not form a stand-alonefilm. Therefore, polysaccharide polymers, such as glucomannan, were incorporated with glycerol to form a flexible film.Sericin-based films were characterized for its properties in terms of solubility and permeability before application. It wasfound that sericin-based films showed a film flexibility and solubility without an increasing film water vapor permeability.

  16. The Effects of Silk Protein Solution on Quality of Mangosteen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phadvibulya, Valailak; Sudatis, Boonya; Panyarum, Kanyarat; Junsaithong, Mayuree [Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology, Nakhon Nayok, (Thailand); Kerdchoechuen, Orapin [School of Bioresources and Technology, King Mongkuts University, Bangkok (Thailand)

    2011-06-15

    Full text: Sericin silk protein solution prepared from irradiated silk waste was applied as a wax coating on mangosteen fruits but was found not appropriate. Nonetheless, when the solution was sprayed onto fruits from the setting stage till maturity, it enhanced the fruit quality. Fruits showed a bigger stalk and greener, thicker and larger-angled calyx than untreated ones. They were edible after being kept at 25{sup C} for 3 to 4 weeks. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution and untreated fruits were separately harvested and packed for export. A half of them were irradiated with gamma radiation for insect eradication and then kept at 10{sup C} with 80 percents relative humidity. The unirradiated half was stored similarly. Results showed that rind color of irradiated fruits changed slower than unirradiated ones. However, silk protein solution spraying and irradiation did not affect fruit firmness and total soluble solids of mangosteen flesh. For sensory evaluation, it was found that sprayed and irradiated fruits showed no differences from the untreated ones in their physical properties, color, taste and odor. Fruits sprayed with the silk protein solution without irradiation had the longest shelf life of 6 weeks.

  17. Galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane promoted liver-specific functions of HepG2 cells in vitro

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Yan, E-mail: zhang_yan@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Zhang, Yi [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China); Chen, Min; Zhou, Yan [The State Key Laboratory of Bioreactor Engineering, School of Bioengineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, 200237 (China); Lang, Meidong, E-mail: mdlang@ecust.edu.cn [The Key Laboratory for Ultrafine Materials of Ministry of Education, School of Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai 200237 (China)

    2014-08-01

    The lack of pendant functional groups on the PCL backbone has been a great challenge for surface bioactivation of poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL). In the present study, covalently galactosylated PCL (GPCL) was developed through coupling between the amino-functionalized PCL (NPCL) and the lactobionic acid (LA) and its potential application in maintenance of physiological functions of HepG2 cells was further evaluated. The structure and properties of GPCL were explored by {sup 1}H NMR, FT-IR, GPC and DSC. Moreover, the incorporation of galactose ligands onto GPCL membranes not only promoted higher wettability, but also radically changed surface morphology in comparison with PCL and NPCL according to the contact angle measurement and atomic force microscopy. When HepG2 cells were seeded onto these membranes, the cells on GPCL membranes showed more pronounced cell adhesion and tended to form aggregates during the initial adhesion stage and then progressively grew into multi-layer structures compared to those without galactose ligands by the observation with fluorescence microscope and scanning electron microscopy. Furthermore, live–dead assay and functional tests demonstrated that HepG2 cells on GPCL membranes had superior viability and maintained better liver-specific functions. Collectively, GPCL has great potential for hepatic tissue engineering scaffolds. - Graphical abstract: The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction. The galactosylated functionalized PCL scaffold is a potential candidate for liver tissue engineering. - Highlights: • The specific recognition between the galactose ligands on the galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membrane and the ASGPR on the HepG2 cell surface. • The galactosylated poly(ε-caprolactone) membranes improved the cell-matrix interaction.

  18. Cycling Hypoxia Induces a Specific Amplified Inflammatory Phenotype in Endothelial Cells and Enhances Tumor-Promoting Inflammation In Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Céline Tellier

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Abnormal architecture of the tumor blood network, as well as heterogeneous erythrocyte flow, leads to temporal fluctuations in tissue oxygen tension exposing tumor and stromal cells to cycling hypoxia. Inflammation is another feature of tumor microenvironment and is considered as a new enabling characteristic of tumor progression. As cycling hypoxia is known to participate in tumor aggressiveness, the purpose of this study was to evaluate its role in tumor-promoting inflammation. Firstly, we assessed the impact of cycling hypoxia in vitro on endothelial inflammatory response induced by tumor necrosis factor α. Results showed that endothelial cells exposed to cycling hypoxia displayed an amplified proinflammatory phenotype, characterized by an increased expression of inflammatory cytokines, namely, interleukin (IL-6 and IL-8; by an increased expression of adhesion molecules, in particular intercellular adhesion molecule–1 (ICAM-1; and consequently by an increase in THP-1 monocyte adhesion. This exacerbation of endothelial inflammatory phenotype occurs through nuclear factor–κB overactivation. Secondly, the role of cycling hypoxia was studied on overall tumor inflammation in vivo in tumor-bearing mice. Results showed that cycling hypoxia led to an enhanced inflammation in tumors as prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2 (PTGS2, IL-6, CXCL1 (C-X-C motif ligand 1, and macrophage inflammatory protein 2 (murine IL-8 functional homologs mRNA expression was increased and as a higher leukocyte infiltration was evidenced. Furthermore, cycling hypoxia–specific inflammatory phenotype, characterized by a simultaneous (baculoviral inhibitor of apoptosis repeat-containing 5low/PTGS2high/ICAM-1high/IL-6high/IL-8high expression, is associated with a poor prognosis in human colon cancer. This new phenotype could thus be used in clinic to more precisely define prognosis for colon cancer patients. In conclusion, our findings evidenced for the first time the

  19. Cell-type specific expression of constitutively-active Rheb promotes regeneration of bulbospinal respiratory axons following cervical SCI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban, Mark W; Ghosh, Biswarup; Strojny, Laura R; Block, Cole G; Blazejewski, Sara M; Wright, Megan C; Smith, George M; Lepore, Angelo C

    2018-05-01

    Damage to respiratory neural circuitry and consequent loss of diaphragm function is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in individuals suffering from traumatic cervical spinal cord injury (SCI). Repair of CNS axons after SCI remains a therapeutic challenge, despite current efforts. SCI disrupts inspiratory signals originating in the rostral ventral respiratory group (rVRG) of the medulla from their phrenic motor neuron (PhMN) targets, resulting in loss of diaphragm function. Using a rat model of cervical hemisection SCI, we aimed to restore rVRG-PhMN-diaphragm circuitry by stimulating regeneration of injured rVRG axons via targeted induction of Rheb (ras homolog enriched in brain), a signaling molecule that regulates neuronal-intrinsic axon growth potential. Following C2 hemisection, we performed intra-rVRG injection of an adeno-associated virus serotype-2 (AAV2) vector that drives expression of a constitutively-active form of Rheb (cRheb). rVRG neuron-specific cRheb expression robustly increased mTOR pathway activity within the transduced rVRG neuron population ipsilateral to the hemisection, as assessed by levels of phosphorylated ribosomal S6 kinase. By co-injecting our novel AAV2-mCherry/WGA anterograde/trans-synaptic axonal tracer into rVRG, we found that cRheb expression promoted regeneration of injured rVRG axons into the lesion site, while we observed no rVRG axon regrowth with AAV2-GFP control. AAV2-cRheb also significantly reduced rVRG axonal dieback within the intact spinal cord rostral to the lesion. However, cRheb expression did not promote any recovery of ipsilateral hemi-diaphragm function, as assessed by inspiratory electromyography (EMG) burst amplitudes. This lack of functional recovery was likely because regrowing rVRG fibers did not extend back into the caudal spinal cord to synaptically reinnervate PhMNs that we retrogradely-labeled with cholera toxin B from the ipsilateral hemi-diaphragm. Our findings demonstrate that enhancing neuronal

  20. High maysin corn silk extract reduces body weight and fat deposition in C57BL/6J mice fed high-fat diets.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Eun Young; Kim, Sun Lim; Kang, Hyeon Jung; Kim, Myung Hwan; Ha, Ae Wha; Kim, Woo Kyoung

    2016-12-01

    The study was performed to investigate the effects and mechanisms of action of high maysin corn silk extract on body weight and fat deposition in experimental animals. A total of 30 male C57BL/6J mice, 4-weeks-old, were purchased and divided into three groups by weight using a randomized block design. The normal-fat (NF) group received 7% fat (diet weight basis), the high-fat (HF) group received 25% fat and 0.5% cholesterol, and the high-fat corn silk (HFCS) group received high-fat diet and high maysin corn silk extract at 100 mg/kg body weight through daily oral administration. Body weight and body fat were measured, and mRNA expression levels of proteins involved in adipocyte differentiation, fat accumulation, fat synthesis, lipolysis, and fat oxidation in adipose tissue and the liver were measured. After experimental diet intake for 8 weeks, body weight was significantly lower in the HFCS group compared to the HF group ( P corn silk extract inhibits expression of genes involved in adipocyte differentiation, fat accumulation, and fat synthesis as well as promotes expression of genes involved in lipolysis and fat oxidation, further inhibiting body fat accumulation and body weight elevation in experimental animals.

  1. Electrospun Collagen/Silk Tissue Engineering Scaffolds: Fiber Fabrication, Post-Treatment Optimization, and Application in Neural Differentiation of Stem Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Bofan

    Biocompatible scaffolds mimicking the locally aligned fibrous structure of native extracellular matrix (ECM) are in high demand in tissue engineering. In this thesis research, unidirectionally aligned fibers were generated via a home-built electrospinning system. Collagen type I, as a major ECM component, was chosen in this study due to its support of cell proliferation and promotion of neuroectodermal commitment in stem cell differentiation. Synthetic dragline silk proteins, as biopolymers with remarkable tensile strength and superior elasticity, were also used as a model material. Good alignment, controllable fiber size and morphology, as well as a desirable deposition density of fibers were achieved via the optimization of solution and electrospinning parameters. The incorporation of silk proteins into collagen was found to significantly enhance mechanical properties and stability of electrospun fibers. Glutaraldehyde (GA) vapor post-treatment was demonstrated as a simple and effective way to tune the properties of collagen/silk fibers without changing their chemical composition. With 6-12 hours GA treatment, electrospun collagen/silk fibers were not only biocompatible, but could also effectively induce the polarization and neural commitment of stem cells, which were optimized on collagen rich fibers due to the unique combination of biochemical and biophysical cues imposed to cells. Taken together, electrospun collagen rich composite fibers are mechanically strong, stable and provide excellent cell adhesion. The unidirectionally aligned fibers can accelerate neural differentiation of stem cells, representing a promising therapy for neural tissue degenerative diseases and nerve injuries.

  2. Rapid nano impact printing of silk biopolymer thin films

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Robert D.; Gray, Caprice; Mandelup, Ethan; Amsden, Jason J.; Kaplan, David L.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.

    2011-11-01

    In this paper, nano impact printing of silk biopolymer films is described. An indenter is rapidly accelerated and transfers the nanopattern from a silicon master into the silk film during an impact event that occurs in less than 1 ms. Contact stresses of greater than 100 MPa can be achieved during the short impact period with low power and inexpensive hardware. Ring shaped features with a diameter of 2 µm and a ring width of 100-200 nm were successfully transferred into untreated silk films using this method at room temperature. Mechanical modeling was carried out to determine the contact stress distribution, and demonstrates that imprinting can occur for contact stresses of less than 2 MPa. Thermal characterization at the impact location shows that raising the temperature to 70 °C has only a limited effect on pattern transfer. Contact stresses of greater than approximately 100 MPa result in excessive deformation of the film and poor pattern transfer.

  3. Rapid nano impact printing of silk biopolymer thin films

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    White, Robert D; Gray, Caprice; Mandelup, Ethan; Amsden, Jason J; Kaplan, David L; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, nano impact printing of silk biopolymer films is described. An indenter is rapidly accelerated and transfers the nanopattern from a silicon master into the silk film during an impact event that occurs in less than 1 ms. Contact stresses of greater than 100 MPa can be achieved during the short impact period with low power and inexpensive hardware. Ring shaped features with a diameter of 2 µm and a ring width of 100–200 nm were successfully transferred into untreated silk films using this method at room temperature. Mechanical modeling was carried out to determine the contact stress distribution, and demonstrates that imprinting can occur for contact stresses of less than 2 MPa. Thermal characterization at the impact location shows that raising the temperature to 70 °C has only a limited effect on pattern transfer. Contact stresses of greater than approximately 100 MPa result in excessive deformation of the film and poor pattern transfer.

  4. Beneficial Effects of Corn Silk on Metabolic Syndrome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bing; Xiao, Tiegang; Ruan, Jun; Liu, Wensheng

    2017-01-01

    Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a very common medical problem worldwide. It includes obesity, hypertension, hyperglycemia, and abnormal levels of triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. It is closely associated with insulin resistance and may lead to diabetes mellitus, liver diseases, or cardiovascular diseases. Corn silk (CS), a traditional Chinese medicine, has been reported to have multiple beneficial effects, including hypotensive, anti-diabetic, and hypolipidemic properties. This suggests that corn silk could be used to treat or prevent metabolic syndrome. In this review, we will discuss the potential role of corn silk in different components of metabolic syndrome. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  5. Evaluation of silk biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix coatings for bladder tissue engineering with primary and pluripotent cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franck, Debra; Gil, Eun Seok; Adam, Rosalyn M; Kaplan, David L; Chung, Yeun Goo; Estrada, Carlos R; Mauney, Joshua R

    2013-01-01

    Silk-based biomaterials in combination with extracellular matrix (ECM) coatings were assessed as templates for cell-seeded bladder tissue engineering approaches. Two structurally diverse groups of silk scaffolds were produced by a gel spinning process and consisted of either smooth, compact multi-laminates (Group 1) or rough, porous lamellar-like sheets (Group 2). Scaffolds alone or coated with collagen types I or IV or fibronectin were assessed independently for their ability to support attachment, proliferation, and differentiation of primary cell lines including human bladder smooth muscle cells (SMC) and urothelial cells as well as pluripotent cell populations, such as murine embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. AlamarBlue evaluations revealed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest degree of primary SMC and urothelial cell attachment in comparison to uncoated Group 2 controls and all Group 1 scaffold variants. Real time RT-PCR and immunohistochemical (IHC) analyses demonstrated that both fibronectin-coated silk groups were permissive for SMC contractile differentiation as determined by significant upregulation of α-actin and SM22α mRNA and protein expression levels following TGFβ1 stimulation. Prominent expression of epithelial differentiation markers, cytokeratins, was observed in urothelial cells cultured on both control and fibronectin-coated groups following IHC analysis. Evaluation of silk matrices for ESC and iPS cell attachment by alamarBlue showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds promoted the highest levels in comparison to all other scaffold formulations. In addition, real time RT-PCR and IHC analyses showed that fibronectin-coated Group 2 scaffolds facilitated ESC and iPS cell differentiation toward both urothelial and smooth muscle lineages in response to all trans retinoic acid as assessed by induction of uroplakin and contractile gene and protein expression. These results

  6. Fabrication and characterization of biomaterial film from gland silk of muga and eri silkworms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dutta, Saranga; Talukdar, Bijit; Bharali, Rupjyoti; Rajkhowa, Rangam; Devi, Dipali

    2013-05-01

    This study discusses the possibilities of liquid silk (Silk gland silk) of Muga and Eri silk, the indigenous non mulberry silkworms of North Eastern region of India, as potential biomaterials. Silk protein fibroin of Bombyx mori, commonly known as mulberry silkworm, has been extensively studied as a versatile biomaterial. As properties of different silk-based biomaterials vary significantly, it is important to characterize the non mulberry silkworms also in this aspect. Fibroin was extracted from the posterior silk gland of full grown fifth instars larvae, and 2D film was fabricated using standard methods. The films were characterized using SEM, Dynamic contact angle test, FTIR, XRD, DSC, and TGA and compared with respective silk fibers. SEM images of films reveal presence of some globules and filamentous structure. Films of both the silkworms were found to be amorphous with random coil conformation, hydrophobic in nature, and resistant to organic solvents. Non mulberry silk films had higher thermal resistance than mulberry silk. Fibers were thermally more stable than the films. This study provides insight into the new arena of research in application of liquid silk of non mulberry silkworms as biomaterials. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang Xiao; Qiu Yiwei; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  8. Improved human tenocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro by optimized silk degumming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xiao, Wang; Yiwei, Qiu; Carr, Andrew J; Triffitt, James T; Sabokbar, Afsie; Xia Zhidao, E-mail: z.xia@swansea.ac.uk [Botnar Research Centre, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford (United Kingdom)

    2011-06-15

    Tendon disorders are common clinical conditions. Tendon tissue engineering provides a new approach for tendon repair by integrating engineered substitutes with their native counterparts. Silk is considered to be a promising candidate for tendon engineering because of its biological and mechanical properties. However, a major concern with using silk for biomedical applications is the immune responses generated by sericin, a glue-like protein that coats the silk fibres. This study improves the existing protocols for silk 'degumming' which removes sericin and enables preparation of silk that is suitable for tendon regeneration. Bombyx mori silks were treated by sequential treatments with different proteases. The efficiency of degumming was determined by measuring weight loss, picric acid and carmine staining and scanning electron microscopy. To evaluate the cellular responses after degumming, the growth and differentiation of human tenocytes on silks were examined. The results showed that sequential protease treatment effectively degummed raw silks. The sequentially degummed silks showed enhanced tenocyte proliferation and upregulated mRNA levels of tendon markers. Thick cell multilayers formed on the treated silks, with cells and collagen fibres penetrating into the spaces in individual silk filaments, resulting in a structure resembling human tendon.

  9. The osteogenic potential of mesoporous bioglasses/silk and non-mesoporous bioglasses/silk scaffolds in ovariectomized rats: in vitro and in vivo evaluation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ning Cheng

    Full Text Available Silk-based scaffolds have been introduced to bone tissue regeneration for years, however, their local therapeutic efficiency in bone metabolic disease condition has been seldom reported. According to our previous report, mesoporous bioactive glass (MBG/silk scaffolds exhibits superior in vitro bioactivity and in vivo osteogenic properties compared to non-mesoporous bioactive glass (BG/silk scaffolds, but no information could be found about their efficiency in osteoporotic (OVX environment. This study investigated a biomaterial-based approach for improving MSCs behavior in vitro, and accelerating OVX defect healing by using 3D BG/silk and MBG/silk scaffolds, and pure silk scaffolds as control. The results of SEM, CCK-8 assay and quantitative ALP activity showed that MBG/silk scaffolds can improve attachment, proliferation and osteogenic differentiation of both O-MSCs and sham control. In vivo therapeutic efficiency was evaluated by μCT analysis, hematoxylin and eosin staining, safranin O staining and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, indicating accelerated bone formation with compatible scaffold degradation and reduced osteoclastic response of defect healing in OVX rats after 2 and 4 weeks treatment, with a rank order of MBG/silk > BG/silk > silk group. Immunohistochemical markers of COL I, OPN, BSP and OCN also revealed that MBG/silk scaffolds can better induce accelerated collagen and non-collagen matrix production. The findings of this study suggest that MBG/silk scaffolds provide a better environment for cell attachment, proliferation and differentiation, and act as potential substitute for treating local osteoporotic defects.

  10. Quantitative analysis of allantoin in Iranian corn silk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Khanpour*

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background and objectives: Zea mays is cultivated in different parts of Iran and corn silk is used in traditional medicine. Allantoin is one of the major compounds in corn silk. The purpose of this research was the quantitatve analysis of allantoin in corn silks belonging to several regions of Iran. Methods: The samples of corn silk were prepared from three provinces of Iran (Kermanshah, Fars and Razavi Khorasan. The dried plant materials were infused in boiling distilled water with a temperature of 90-95 °C on magnetic stirrer for 30 min. The levels of allantoin in aqueous extracts were determined by HPLC. Quantification was achieved using an C18 column (250×4.6 mm, 5 µm under isocratic conditions and phosphate buffer solution (pH 3.0 as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 0.5 mL/min. Column effluent was monitored at 210 nm. The calibration curve of allantoin standard was plotted with concentrations from 6.25 to 100 µg/mL. Results: The calibration curve of standard was linear over the concentration range used (R2=0.9999. The results showed that the amount of allantoin in samples was between 205 and 374 mg/100g of dry plant material. The corn silk samples of Razavi Khorasan and Fars provinces showed the lowest and highest amount of allantoin, respectively. Conclusion: The levels of allantoin obtained in this study were higher than the values reported in other studies; therefore, the researchers of this project are investigating the wound healing effect of corn silk.

  11. Design and Optimization of Resorbable Silk Internal Fixation Devices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haas, Dylan S.

    Limitations of current material options for internal fracture fixation devices have resulted in a large gap between user needs and hardware function. Metal systems offer robust mechanical strength and ease of implantation but require secondary surgery for removal and/or result in long-term complications (infection, palpability, sensitivity, etc.). Current resorbable devices eliminate the need for second surgery and long-term complications but are still associated with negative host response as well as limited functionality and more difficult implantation. There is a definitive need for orthopedic hardware that is mechanically capable of immediate fracture stabilization and fracture fixation during healing, can safely biodegrade while allowing complete bone remodeling, can be resterilized for reuse, and is easily implantable (self-tapping). Previous work investigated the use of silk protein to produce resorbable orthopedic hardware for non- load bearing fracture fixation. In this study, silk orthopedic hardware was further investigated and optimized in order to better understand the ability of silk as a fracture fixation system and more closely meet the unfulfilled market needs. Solvent-based and aqueous-based silk processing formulations were cross-linked with methanol to induce beta sheet structure, dried, autoclaved and then machined to the desired device/geometry. Silk hardware was evaluated for dry, hydrated and fatigued (cyclic) mechanical properties, in vitro degradation, resterilization, functionalization with osteoinductive molecules and implantation technique for fracture fixation. Mechanical strength showed minor improvements from previous results, but remains comparable to current resorbable fixation systems with the advantages of self-tapping ability for ease of implantation, full degradation in 10 months, ability to be resterilized and reused, and ability to release molecules for osteoinudction. In vivo assessment confirmed biocompatibility, showed

  12. Enhanced combined tumor-specific oncolysis and suicide gene therapy for prostate cancer using M6 promoter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahn, M; Lee, S-J; Li, X; Jiménez, J A; Zhang, Y-P; Bae, K-H; Mohammadi, Y; Kao, C; Gardner, T A

    2009-01-01

    Enzyme pro-drug suicide gene therapy has been hindered by inefficient viral delivery and gene transduction. To further explore the potential of this approach, we have developed AdIU1, a prostate-restricted replicative adenovirus (PRRA) armed with the herpes simplex virus thymidine kinase (HSV-TK). In our previous Ad-OC-TK/ACV phase I clinical trial, we demonstrated safety and proof of principle with a tissue-specific promoter-based TK/pro-drug therapy using a replication-defective adenovirus for the treatment of prostate cancer metastases. In this study, we aimed to inhibit the growth of androgen-independent (AI), PSA/PSMA-positive prostate cancer cells by AdIU1. In vitro the viability of an AI- PSA/PSMA-expressing prostate cancer cell line, CWR22rv, was significantly inhibited by treatment with AdIU1 plus GCV (10 microg ml(-1)), compared with AdIU1 treatment alone and also cytotoxicity was observed following treatment with AdIU1 plus GCV only in PSA/PSMA-positive CWR22rv and C4-2 cells, but not in the PSA/PSMA-negative cell line, DU-145. In vivo assessment of AdIU1 plus GCV treatment revealed a stronger therapeutic effect against CWR22rv tumors in nude mice than treatment with AdIU1 alone, AdE4PSESE1a alone or in combination with GCV. Our results demonstrate the therapeutic potential of specific-oncolysis and suicide gene therapy for AI-PSA/PSMA-positive prostate cancer gene therapy.

  13. Phosphate steering by Flap Endonuclease 1 promotes 5′-flap specificity and incision to prevent genome instability

    KAUST Repository

    Tsutakawa, Susan E.

    2017-06-27

    DNA replication and repair enzyme Flap Endonuclease 1 (FEN1) is vital for genome integrity, and FEN1 mutations arise in multiple cancers. FEN1 precisely cleaves single-stranded (ss) 5\\'-flaps one nucleotide into duplex (ds) DNA. Yet, how FEN1 selects for but does not incise the ss 5\\'-flap was enigmatic. Here we combine crystallographic, biochemical and genetic analyses to show that two dsDNA binding sites set the 5\\'polarity and to reveal unexpected control of the DNA phosphodiester backbone by electrostatic interactions. Via phosphate steering\\', basic residues energetically steer an inverted ss 5\\'-flap through a gateway over FEN1\\'s active site and shift dsDNA for catalysis. Mutations of these residues cause an 18,000-fold reduction in catalytic rate in vitro and large-scale trinucleotide (GAA) repeat expansions in vivo, implying failed phosphate-steering promotes an unanticipated lagging-strand template-switch mechanism during replication. Thus, phosphate steering is an unappreciated FEN1 function that enforces 5\\'-flap specificity and catalysis, preventing genomic instability.

  14. Tissue-Specific Control of the Endocycle by the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome Inhibitors UVI4 and DEL1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heyman, Jefri; Polyn, Stefanie; Eekhout, Thomas; De Veylder, Lieven

    2017-09-01

    The endocycle represents a modified mitotic cell cycle that in plants is often coupled to cell enlargement and differentiation. Endocycle onset is controlled by activity of the Anaphase Promoting Complex/Cyclosome (APC/C), a multisubunit E3 ubiquitin ligase targeting cell-cycle factors for destruction. CELL CYCLE SWITCH52 (CCS52) proteins represent rate-limiting activator subunits of the APC/C. In Arabidopsis ( Arabidopsis thaliana ), mutations in either CCS52A1 or CCS52A2 activators result in a delayed endocycle onset, whereas their overexpression triggers increased DNA ploidy levels. Here, the relative contribution of the APC/C CCS52A1 and APC/C CCS52A2 complexes to different developmental processes was studied through analysis of their negative regulators, being the ULTRAVIOLET-B-INSENSITIVE4 protein and the DP-E2F-Like1 transcriptional repressor, respectively. Our data illustrate cooperative activity of the APC/C CCS52A1 and APC/C CCS52A2 complexes during root and trichome development, but functional interdependency during leaf development. Furthermore, we found APC/C CCS52A1 activity to control CCS52A2 expression. We conclude that interdependency of CCS52A-controlled APC/C activity is controlled in a tissue-specific manner. © 2017 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved.

  15. Characterizing the Secondary Protein Structure of Black Widow Dragline Silk Using Solid-State NMR & X-ray Diffraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jenkins, Janelle E.; Sampath, Sujatha; Butler, Emily; Kim, Jihyun; Henning, Robert W.; Holland, Gregory P.; Yarger, Jeffery L.

    2013-01-01

    This study provides a detailed secondary structural characterization of major ampullate dragline silk from Latrodectus hesperus (black widow) spiders. X-ray diffraction results show that the structure of black widow major ampullate silk fibers is comprised of stacked β-sheet nanocrystallites oriented parallel to the fiber axis and an amorphous region with oriented (anisotropic) and isotropic components. The combination of two-dimensional (2D) 13C-13C through-space and through-bond solid-state NMR experiments provide chemical shifts that are used to determine detailed information about amino acid motif secondary structure in black widow spider dragline silk. Individual amino acids are incorporated into different repetitive motifs that make up the majority of this protein-based biopolymer. From the solid-state NMR measurements, we assign distinct secondary conformations to each repetitive amino acid motif and hence to the amino acids that make up the motifs. Specifically, alanine is incorporated in β-sheet (poly(Alan) and poly(Gly-Ala)), 31-helix (poly(Gly-Gly-Xaa), and α-helix (poly(Gln-Gln-Ala-Tyr)) components. Glycine is determined to be in β-sheet (poly(Gly-Ala)) and 31-helical (poly(Gly-Gly-Xaa)) regions, while serine is present in β-sheet (poly(Gly-Ala-Ser)), 31-helix (poly(Gly-Gly-Ser)), and β-turn (poly(Gly-Pro-Ser)) structures. These various motif-specific secondary structural elements are quantitatively correlated to the primary amino acid sequence of major ampullate spidroin 1 and 2 (MaSp1 and MaSp2) and are shown to form a self-consistent model for black widow dragline silk. PMID:24024617

  16. Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behavior

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-02

    inert  atmosphere  (N2   gas   flow  rate  of  100  mL/min).  Changes   in  weight  percentage  during   temperature...Performance 3. DATES COVERED (From - To) 01-06-2012 to 31-05-2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Silk-Quality, Spinnability and Low Temperature Behaviour 5a...deploy the huge range in mechanical behaviour between different silk species and intra-species varieties. In particular, I set out to formulate a

  17. Untangling spider silk evolution with spidroin terminal domains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garb Jessica E

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Spidroins are a unique family of large, structural proteins that make up the bulk of spider silk fibers. Due to the highly variable nature of their repetitive sequences, spidroin evolutionary relationships have principally been determined from their non-repetitive carboxy (C-terminal domains, though they offer limited character data. The few known spidroin amino (N-terminal domains have been difficult to obtain, but potentially contain critical phylogenetic information for reconstructing the diversification of spider silks. Here we used silk gland expression data (ESTs from highly divergent species to evaluate the functional significance and phylogenetic utility of spidroin N-terminal domains. Results We report 11 additional spidroin N-termini found by sequencing ~1,900 silk gland cDNAs from nine spider species that shared a common ancestor > 240 million years ago. In contrast to their hyper-variable repetitive regions, spidroin N-terminal domains have retained striking similarities in sequence identity, predicted secondary structure, and hydrophobicity. Through separate and combined phylogenetic analyses of N-terminal domains and their corresponding C-termini, we find that combined analysis produces the most resolved trees and that N-termini contribute more support and less conflict than the C-termini. These analyses show that paralogs largely group by silk gland type, except for the major ampullate spidroins. Moreover, spidroin structural motifs associated with superior tensile strength arose early in the history of this gene family, whereas a motif conferring greater extensibility convergently evolved in two distantly related paralogs. Conclusions A non-repetitive N-terminal domain appears to be a universal attribute of spidroin proteins, likely retained from the origin of spider silk production. Since this time, spidroin N-termini have maintained several features, consistent with this domain playing a key role in silk

  18. Structure determination of spider silk from X-ray images

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ulrich, Stephan; Zippelius, Annette [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Theoretische Physik (Germany); Meling, Martin [Max-Planck-Institut fuer biophysikalische Chemie, Goettingen (Germany); Glisovic, Anja; Salditt, Tim [Universitaet Goettingen, Institut fuer Roentgenphysik (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    Spider silk consists of interconnected crystallites, which are typically aligned along the fiber axis. We present a method to systematically determine the structure of these crystallites. Hereby we introduce a model that calculates the scattering function G(q) which is fitted to the measured X-ray image (silk from nephila clavipes). With it, the crystallites' size, the constitution and dimensions of their unit cell, as well as their tilt with respect to the fiber axis is identified, and furthermore the effect of coherent scattering from different crystallites is investigated. The shown methods and the presented model can easily be generalized to a wide class of composite materials.

  19. Professional competencies in health promotion and public health: what is common and what is specific? Review of the European debate and perspectives for professional development.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mereu, Alessandra; Sotgiu, Alessandra; Buja, Alessandra; Casuccio, Alessandra; Cecconi, Rosaria; Fabiani, Leila; Guberti, Emilia; Lorini, Chiara; Minelli, Liliana; Pocetta, Giancarlo; Contu, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    According to the Nairobi Call to Action, the growth of practitioners' skills can be favoured by setting accreditation standards and by reorienting professional competencies of current and future health workers. This will make it possible to develop a critical mass of competent practitioners, foster training, and increase visibility of the professional field. Through a review of the literature, the authors offer an overview of competency-based strategies for professional development in health promotion. The main research questions discussed were as follows: Is there a shared definition of public health?; Is there a shared definition of health promotion?; Who are the main stakeholders for public health and health promotion in Europe?; What is the meaning of professional competencies in education and practice for public health and health promotion?; Is there a shared system of professional core competencies in public health and health promotion?;What is common and what is specific between the two systems of professional competencies?; Is it useful and feasible to create specific strategies of professional development for public health and health promotion? A transformative use of competencies makes it possible to inform students, professionals, employers, and political decision-makers about what is expected from a specific profession and its values.

  20. Structure to function: Spider silk and human collagen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.

    Nature has the ability to assemble a variety of simple molecules into complex functional structures with diverse properties. Collagens, silks and muscles fibers are some examples of fibrous proteins with self-assembling properties. One of the great challenges facing Science is to mimic these designs in Nature to find a way to construct molecules that are capable of organizing into functional supra-structures by self-assembly. In order to do so, a construction kit consisting of molecular building blocks along with a complete understanding on how to form functional materials is required. In this current research, the focus is on spider silk and collagen as fibrous protein-based biopolymers that can shed light on how to generate nanostructures through the complex process of self-assembly. Spider silk in fiber form offers a unique combination of high elasticity, toughness, and mechanical strength, along with biological compatibility and biodegrability. Spider silk is an example of a natural block copolymer, in which hydrophobic and hydrophilic blocks are linked together generating polymers that organize into functional materials with extraordinary properties. Since silks resemble synthetic block copolymer systems, we adopted the principles of block copolymer design from the synthetic polymer literature to build block copolymers based on spider silk sequences. Moreover, we consider spider silk to be an important model with which to study the relationships between structure and properties in our system. Thus, the first part of this work was dedicated to a novel family of spider silk block copolymers, where we generated a new family of functional spider silk-like block copolymers through recombinant DNA technology. To provide fundamental insight into relationships between peptide primary sequence, block composition, and block length and observed morphological and structural features, we used these bioengineered spider silk block copolymers to study secondary structure

  1. Enhancing analysis of cells and proteins by fluorescence imaging on silk-based biomaterials: modulating the autofluorescence of silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neo, Puay Yong; Tan, Daryl Jian-An; Shi, Pujiang; Toh, Siew Lok; Goh, James Cho-Hong

    2015-02-01

    Silk is a versatile and established biomaterial for various tissue engineering purposes. However, it also exhibits strong autofluorescence signals-thereby hindering fluorescence imaging analysis of cells and proteins on silk-derived biomaterials. Sudan Black B (SB) is a lysochrome dye commonly used to stain lipids in histology. It has also been reported to be able to quench autofluorescence of tissues in histology and has been tested on artificial biomedical polymers in recent years. It was hypothesized that SB would exert similar quenching effects on silk, modulating the autofluorescence signals, and thereby enabling improved imaging analysis of cells and molecules of interests. The quenching effect of SB on the intrinsic fluorescence properties of silk and on commercial fluorescent dyes were first investigated in this study. SB was then incorporated into typical fluorescence-based staining protocols to study its effectiveness in improving fluorescence-based imaging of the cells and proteins residing with the silk-based biomaterials. Silk processed into various forms of biomaterials (e.g., films, sponges, fibers, and electrospun mats) was seeded with cells and cultured in vitro. At sacrificial time points, specimens were harvested, fixed, and prepared for fluorescence staining. SB, available commercially as a powder, was dissolved in 70% ethanol (0.3% [w/v]) to form staining solutions. SB treatment was introduced at the last step of typical immunofluorescence staining protocols for 15-120 min. For actin staining protocols by phalloidin toxin, SB staining solutions were added before and after permeabilization with Triton-X for 15-30 min. Results showed that ideal SB treatment duration is about 15 min. Apart from being able to suppress the autofluorescence of silk, this treatment duration was also not too long to adversely affect the fluorescent labeling probes used. The relative improvement brought about by SB treatment was most evident in the blue and green

  2. Overexpression of Cardiac-Specific Kinase TNNI3K Promotes Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Differentiation into Cardiomyocytes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yin; Wang, Shi-Qiang; Wang, Li-Peng; Yao, Yu-Hong; Ma, Chun-Yan; Ding, Jin-Feng; Ye, Jue; Meng, Xian-Min; Li, Jian-Jun; Xu, Rui-Xia

    2017-01-01

    Backgroud/Aims: The biological function of cardiac troponin I-interacting kinase (TNNI3K), a cardiac-specific functional kinase, is largely unknown. We investigated the effect of human TNNI3K (hTNNI3K) on the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) into cardiomyocytes. First, the time-space expression of endogenous Tnni3k was detected by real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and western blotting at 16 different time-points over a period of 28 days. Further, action potentials and calcium current with/without 5 µM nifedipine were measured by patch clamp for mESC-derived cardiomyocytes. HTNNI3K and mouse-derived siRNA were transfected into mESC using lentivirus vector to induce hTNNI3K overexpression and knock-down, respectively. The number of troponin-T (cTnT) positive cells was greater in the group with TNNI3K overexpression as compared to that in control group, while less such cells were detected in the mTnni3k knock-down group as evaluated on flow cytometry (FCM) and ImageXpress Micro system. After upregulation of connexin43, cardiac troponin-I (Ctni), Ctni, Gata4 were detected in mESCs with TNNI3K overexpression; however, overexpression of α-Actinin and Mlc2v was not detected. Interestingly, Ctnt, connexin40 and connexin45, the markers of ventricular, atrial, and pacemaker cells, respectively, were detected in by real-time PCR in TNNI3K overexpression group. our study indicated that TNNI3K overexpression promoted mESC differentiating into beating cardiomyocytes and induced up-regulating expression of cTnT by PKCε signal pathway, which suggested a modulation of TNNI3K activity as a potential therapeutic approach for ischemic cardiac disease. © 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. The X-linked 1.688 Satellite in Drosophila melanogaster Promotes Specific Targeting by Painting of Fourth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Maria; Ekhteraei-Tousi, Samaneh; Lewerentz, Jacob; Larsson, Jan

    2018-02-01

    Repetitive DNA, represented by transposons and satellite DNA, constitutes a large portion of eukaryotic genomes, being the major component of constitutive heterochromatin. There is a growing body of evidence that it regulates several nuclear functions including chromatin state and the proper functioning of centromeres and telomeres. The 1.688 satellite is one of the most abundant repetitive sequences in Drosophila melanogaster , with the longest array being located in the pericentromeric region of the X-chromosome. Short arrays of 1.688 repeats are widespread within the euchromatic part of the X-chromosome, and these arrays were recently suggested to assist in recognition of the X-chromosome by the dosage compensation male-specific lethal complex. We discovered that a short array of 1.688 satellite repeats is essential for recruitment of the protein POF to a previously described site on the X-chromosome ( PoX2 ) and to various transgenic constructs. On an isolated target, i.e. , an autosomic transgene consisting of a gene upstream of 1.688 satellite repeats, POF is recruited to the transgene in both males and females. The sequence of the satellite, as well as its length and position within the recruitment element, are the major determinants of targeting. Moreover, the 1.688 array promotes POF targeting to the roX1 -proximal PoX1 site in trans Finally, binding of POF to the 1.688-related satellite-enriched sequences is conserved in evolution. We hypothesize that the 1.688 satellite functioned in an ancient dosage compensation system involving POF targeting to the X-chromosome. Copyright © 2018 by the Genetics Society of America.

  4. Identification, Validation and Utilization of Novel Nematode-Responsive Root-Specific Promoters in Arabidopsis for Inducing Host-Delivered RNAi Mediated Root-Knot Nematode Resistance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atul Kakrana

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The root-knot nematode (RKN, Meloidogyne incognita, is an obligate, sedentary endoparasite that infects a large number of crops and severely affects productivity. The commonly used nematode control strategies have their own limitations. Of late, RNA interference (RNAi has become a popular approach for the development of nematode resistance in plants. Transgenic crops capable of expressing dsRNAs, specifically in roots for disrupting the parasitic process, offer an effective and efficient means of producing resistant crops. We identified nematode-responsive and root-specific (NRRS promoters by using microarray data from the public domain and known conserved cis-elements. A set of 51 NRRS genes was identified which was narrowed down further on the basis of presence of cis-elements combined with minimal expression in the absence of nematode infection. The comparative analysis of promoters from the enriched NRRS set, along with earlier reported nematode-responsive genes, led to the identification of specific cis-elements. The promoters of two candidate genes were used to generate transgenic plants harboring promoter GUS constructs and tested in planta against nematodes. Both promoters showed preferential expression upon nematode infection, exclusively in the root in one and galls in the other. One of these NRRS promoters was used to drive the expression of splicing factor, a nematode-specific gene, for generating host-delivered RNAi-mediated nematode-resistant plants. Transgenic lines expressing dsRNA of splicing factor under the NRRS promoter exhibited upto a 32% reduction in number of galls compared to control plants.

  5. Bioprospecting finds the toughest biological material: extraordinary silk from a giant riverine orb spider.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ingi Agnarsson

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Combining high strength and elasticity, spider silks are exceptionally tough, i.e., able to absorb massive kinetic energy before breaking. Spider silk is therefore a model polymer for development of high performance biomimetic fibers. There are over 41,000 described species of spiders, most spinning multiple types of silk. Thus we have available some 200,000+ unique silks that may cover an amazing breadth of material properties. To date, however, silks from only a few tens of species have been characterized, most chosen haphazardly as model organisms (Nephila or simply from researchers' backyards. Are we limited to 'blindly fishing' in efforts to discover extraordinary silks? Or, could scientists use ecology to predict which species are likely to spin silks exhibiting exceptional performance properties? METHODOLOGY: We examined the biomechanical properties of silk produced by the remarkable Malagasy 'Darwin's bark spider' (Caerostris darwini, which we predicted would produce exceptional silk based upon its amazing web. The spider constructs its giant orb web (up to 2.8 m(2 suspended above streams, rivers, and lakes. It attaches the web to substrates on each riverbank by anchor threads as long as 25 meters. Dragline silk from both Caerostris webs and forcibly pulled silk, exhibits an extraordinary combination of high tensile strength and elasticity previously unknown for spider silk. The toughness of forcibly silked fibers averages 350 MJ/m(3, with some samples reaching 520 MJ/m(3. Thus, C. darwini silk is more than twice tougher than any previously described silk, and over 10 times better than Kevlar®. Caerostris capture spiral silk is similarly exceptionally tough. CONCLUSIONS: Caerostris darwini produces the toughest known biomaterial. We hypothesize that this extraordinary toughness coevolved with the unusual ecology and web architecture of these spiders, decreasing the likelihood of bridgelines breaking and collapsing the web

  6. Phase Behaviour and Miscibility Studies of Collagen/Silk Fibroin Macromolecular System in Dilute Solutions and Solid State.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghaeli, Ima; de Moraes, Mariana A; Beppu, Marisa M; Lewandowska, Katarzyna; Sionkowska, Alina; Ferreira-da-Silva, Frederico; Ferraz, Maria P; Monteiro, Fernando J

    2017-08-18

    Miscibility is an important issue in biopolymer blends for analysis of the behavior of polymer pairs through the detection of phase separation and improvement of the mechanical and physical properties of the blend. This study presents the formulation of a stable and one-phase mixture of collagen and regenerated silk fibroin (RSF), with the highest miscibility ratio between these two macromolecules, through inducing electrostatic interactions, using salt ions. For this aim, a ternary phase diagram was experimentally built for the mixtures, based on observations of phase behavior of blend solutions with various ratios. The miscibility behavior of the blend solutions in the miscible zones of the phase diagram was confirmed quantitatively by viscosimetric measurements. Assessing the effects of biopolymer mixing ratio and salt ions, before and after dialysis of blend solutions, revealed the importance of ion-specific interactions in the formation of coacervate-based materials containing collagen and RSF blends that can be used in pharmaceutical, drug delivery, and biomedical applications. Moreover, the conformational change of silk fibroin from random coil to beta sheet, in solution and in the final solid films, was detected by circular dichroism (CD) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), respectively. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) exhibited alterations of surface morphology for the biocomposite films with different ratios. Surface contact angle measurement illustrated different hydrophobic properties for the blended film surfaces. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) showed that the formation of the beta sheet structure of silk fibroin enhances the thermal stability of the final blend films. Therefore, the novel method presented in this study resulted in the formation of biocomposite films whose physico-chemical properties can be tuned by silk fibroin conformational changes by applying different component mixing ratios.

  7. Response of human corneal fibroblasts on silk film surface patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gil, Eun Seok; Park, Sang-Hyug; Marchant, Jeff; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L

    2010-06-11

    Transparent, biodegradable, mechanically robust, and surface-patterned silk films were evaluated for the effect of surface morphology on human corneal fibroblast (hCF) cell proliferation, orientation, and ECM deposition and alignment. A series of dimensionally different surface groove patterns were prepared from optically graded glass substrates followed by casting poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) replica molds. The features on the patterned silk films showed an array of asymmetric triangles and displayed 37-342 nm depths and 445-3 582 nm widths. hCF DNA content on all patterned films were not significantly different from that on flat silk films after 4 d in culture. However, the depth and width of the grooves influenced cell alignment, while the depth differences affected cell orientation; overall, deeper and narrower grooves induced more hCF orientation. Over 14 d in culture, cell layers and actin filament organization demonstrated that confluent hCFs and their cytoskeletal filaments were oriented along the direction of the silk film patterned groove axis. Collagen type V and proteoglycans (decorin and biglycan), important markers of corneal stromal tissue, were highly expressed with alignment. Understanding corneal stromal fibroblast responses to surface features on a protein-based biomaterial applicable in vivo for corneal repair potential suggests options to improve corneal tissue mimics. Further, the approaches provide fundamental biomaterial designs useful for bioengineering oriented tissue layers, an endemic feature in most biological tissue structures that lead to critical tissue functions.

  8. Visual responses of corn silk flies (Diptera: Ulidiidae)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corn silk flies are major pests impacting fresh market sweet corn production in Florida and Georgia. Control depends solely on well-times applications of insecticides to protect corn ear development. Surveillance depends on visual inspection of ears with no effective trapping methods currently ava...

  9. Antibiotic-Releasing Silk Biomaterials for Infection Prevention and Treatment

    OpenAIRE

    Pritchard, Eleanor M.; Valentin, Thomas; Panilaitis, Bruce; Omenetto, Fiorenzo; Kaplan, David L.

    2012-01-01

    Effective treatment of infections in avascular and necrotic tissues can be challenging due to limited penetration into the target tissue and systemic toxicities. Controlled release polymer implants have the potential to achieve the high local concentrations needed while also minimizing systemic exposure. Silk biomaterials possess unique characteristics for antibiotic delivery including biocompatibility, tunable biodegradation, stabilizing effects, water-based processing and diverse material f...

  10. Differential scanning fluorimetry illuminates silk feedstock stability and processability

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dicko, C.; Kasoju, Naresh; Hawkins, N.; Vollrath, F.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 12, č. 1 (2016), s. 255-262 ISSN 1744-683X R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0029 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : differential scanning fluorimetry * biomaterials * silk fibroin Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.889, year: 2016

  11. Silk cocoon drying in forced convection type solar dryer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Panna Lal

    2011-01-01

    The thin layer silk cocoon drying was studied in a forced convection type solar dryer. The drying chamber was provided with several trays on which the cocoons loaded in thin layer. The hot air generated in the solar air heater was forced into drying chamber to avoid the direct exposure of sunlight and UV radiation on cocoons. The drying air temperature varied from 50 to 75 o C. The cocoon was dried from the initial moisture content of about 60-12% (wb). The drying data was fitted to thin layer drying models. Drying behaviour of the silk cocoon was best fitted with the Wang and Singh drying model. Good agreement was obtained between predicted and experimental values. Quality of the cocoons dried in the solar dryer was at par with the cocoons dried in the conventional electrical oven dryer in term of the silk yield and strength of the silk. Saving of electrical energy was about 0.75 kWh/kg cocoons dried. Economic analysis indicated that the NPV of the solar dryer was higher and more stable (against escalation rate of electricity) as compare to the same for electrical oven dryer. Due to simplicity in design and construction and significant saving of operational electrical energy, solar cocoon dryer seems to be a viable option.

  12. Silk for silver : Dutch-Vietnamese relations, 1637-1700

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoang Anh Tuan,

    2006-01-01

    Against the background of a regional crisis caused by dynastic change in China and the closure of Japan in the middle of the seventeenth century, the Vietnamese kingdom of Tonkin rose to the fore as the major silk producing and exporting region in East Asia. Based on a wealth of so far unused

  13. Redoable Tie-Over Dressing Using Multiple Loop Silk Threads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Jong Jo

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available After skin grafting, to prevent hematoma or seroma collection at the graft site, a tie-over dressing has been commonly used. However, although the conventional tie-over dressing by suture is a useful method for securing a graft site, refixation is difficult when repeated tie-over dressing is needed. Therefore, we recommend a redoable tie-over dressing technique with multiple loops threads and connecting silk threads. After the raw surface of each of our cases was covered with a skin graft, multiple loop silk thread attached with nylon at the skin graft margin. We applied the ointment gauze and wet cotton/fluffy gauze over the skin graft, then fixed the dressing by connecting cross-counter multiple loop thread with connecting silk threads. When we opened the tie-over dressing by cutting the connecting silk threads, we repeated the tie-over dressing with the same method. The skin graft was taken successfully without hematoma or seroma collection or any other complications. In conclusion, we report a novel tie-over dressing enabling simple fixation of the dressing to maintain proper tension for wounds that require repetitive fixation. Further, with this reliable method, the skin grafts were well taken.

  14. Redoable Tie-Over Dressing Using Multiple Loop Silk Threads

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeon Jong Jo

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available After skin grafting, to prevent hematoma or seroma collection at the graft site, a tie-over dressing has been commonly used. However, although the conventional tie-over dressing by suture is a useful method for securing a graft site, refixation is difficult when repeated tieover dressing is needed. Therefore, we recommend a redoable tie-over dressing technique with multiple loops threads and connecting silk threads. After the raw surface of each of our cases was covered with a skin graft, multiple loop silk thread attached with nylon at the skin graft margin. We applied the ointment gauze and wet cotton/fluffy gauze over the skin graft, then fixed the dressing by connecting cross-counter multiple loop thread with connecting silk threads. When we opened the tie-over dressing by cutting the connecting silk threads, we repeated the tie-over dressing with the same method. The skin graft was taken successfully without hematoma or seroma collection or any other complications. In conclusion, we report a novel tie-over dressing enabling simple fixation of the dressing to maintain proper tension for wounds that require repetitive fixation. Further, with this reliable method, the skin grafts were well taken.

  15. Silk fibroin as an organic polymer for controlled drug delivery

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hofmann, S.; Foo, S.; Rossetti, F.; Textor, M.; Vunjak-Novakovic, G.; Kaplan, D.L.; Merkle, H.P.; Meinel, L.

    2006-01-01

    The pharmaceutical utility of silk fibroin (SF) materials for drug delivery was investigated. SF films were prepared from aqueous solutions of the fibroin protein polymer and crystallinity was induced and controlled by methanol treatment. Dextrans of different molecular weights, as well as proteins,

  16. Conservation of silk genes in Trichoptera and Lepidoptera

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Yonemura, N.; Mita, K.; Tamura, T.; Sehnal, František

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 68, č. 6 (2009), s. 641-653 ISSN 0022-2844 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA5007402 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : silk evolution * Trichoptera * Lepidoptera Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology Impact factor: 2.323, year: 2009

  17. Effect of polyamines on mechanical and structural properties of Bombyx mori silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yerra, Aparna; Mysarla, Danti Kumari; Siripurapu, Prasanthi; Jha, Anjali; Valluri, Satyavathi V; Mamillapalli, Anitha

    2017-01-01

    Silkworm, Bombyx mori (B. mori) belongs to the Lepidoptera family. The silk produced from this insect, mulberry silk, gained lot of importance as a fabric. Silk is being exploited as a biomaterial due to its surprising strength and biocompatibility. Polyamines (PA) are important cell growth regulators. In the present work the effect of treatment of polyamines, putrescine (Put), spermidine (Spd), and spermine (Spm) on the quantity and quality of silk produced was assessed. Results showed that exogenous feeding of Spd at a concentration of 50 µM increased fiber length significantly. Analysis by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) on the properties of silk obtained from Spd treated silkworms revealed an increase in percentage of absorption with no difference in peak positions of amide I and amide III groups. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) revealed an increase in diameter of silk. Further, analysis at molecular level showed an increase in fibroin expression in Spd treated silk glands. However, the Spd treatment showed no significant difference with respect to fibroin to sericin ratio per unit weight of cocoon, silk tenacity, and percent elongation. Thus, the present results show that polyamine treatment would influence silk quality at structural, mechanical, and molecular level in the Bombyx mori, which can be exploited in silk biomaterial production. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Co-effect of silk and amniotic membrane for tendon repair.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seo, Young-Kwon; Kim, Jun-Hyung; Eo, Su-Rak

    2016-08-01

    The objective of the present study was to determine the feasibility and biocompatibility of a silk scaffold and a composite silk scaffold in terms of new tendon generation using a rabbit Achilles tendon model. The silk scaffold was constructed using a weaving machine, then soaked in a 1% collagen-hyaluronan (HA) solution and air-dried, whereas the composite silk scaffold was composed of a silk scaffold containing a lyophilized collagen-HA substrate. Tenocytes were cultured in vitro to compare cell populations in the two groups. The cellular densities on composite silk scaffolds were 40% higher on average than those on silk scaffolds in 30-day tenocyte cultures. The tendon scaffolds had implanted into Achilles tendon defects in 16 white New Zealand rabbits. Rabbits were randomly divided into the following three groups: group I, silk scaffold alone; group II, composite silk scaffold; and group III, composite silk scaffold wrapped by an amniotic membrane. Implants were harvested 2, 8, and 12 weeks post-implantation. Histological examinations were conducted using hematoxylin-eosin (H&E), Masson's trichrome, and by performing immunohistochemical staining for CD34. After 12 weeks, the three groups were distinguishable based on gross examination. The histological examination revealed more organized collagen fibrils in groups III, which showed a dense, parallel, linear organization of collagen bundles. CD34 staining revealed neoangiogenesis in groups III. The results of this research showed that collagen-HA substrates with amniotic membrane accelerate cellular migration and angiogenesis in neotendons.

  19. Analysis of proteome dynamics inside the silk gland lumen of Bombyx mori

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Zhaoming; Zhao, Ping; Zhang, Yan; Song, Qianru; Zhang, Xiaolu; Guo, Pengchao; Wang, Dandan; Xia, Qingyou

    2016-01-01

    The silk gland is the only organ where silk proteins are synthesized and secreted in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Silk proteins are stored in the lumen of the silk gland for around eight days during the fifth instar. Determining their dynamic changes is helpful for clarifying the secretion mechanism of silk proteins. Here, we identified the proteome in the silk gland lumen using liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry, and demonstrated its changes during two key stages. From day 5 of the fifth instar to day 1 of wandering, the abundances of fibroins, sericins, seroins, and proteins of unknown functions increased significantly in different compartments of the silk gland lumen. As a result, these accumulated proteins constituted the major cocoon components. In contrast, the abundances of enzymes and extracellular matrix proteins decreased in the silk gland lumen, suggesting that they were not the structural constituents of silk. Twenty-five enzymes may be involved in the regulation of hormone metabolism for proper silk gland function. In addition, the metabolism of other non-proteinous components such as chitin and pigment were also discussed in this study. PMID:27102218

  20. Thermal Performance Testing of Cryogenic Multilayer Insulation with Silk Net Spacers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, W L; Frank, D J; Nast, T C; Fesmire, J E

    2015-01-01

    Early comprehensive testing of cryogenic multilayer insulation focused on the use of silk netting as a spacer material. Silk netting was used for multiple test campaigns that were designed to provide baseline thermal performance estimates for cryogenic insulation systems. As more focus was put on larger systems, the cost of silk netting became a deterrent and most aerospace insulation firms were using Dacron (or polyester) netting spacers by the early 1970s. In the midst of the switch away from silk netting there was no attempt to understand the difference between silk and polyester netting, though it was widely believed that the silk netting provided slightly better performance. Without any better reference for thermal performance data, the silk netting performance correlations continued to be used. In order to attempt to quantify the difference between the silk netting and polyester netting, a brief test program was developed. The silk netting material was obtained from Lockheed Martin and was tested on the Cryostat-100 instrument in three different configurations, 20 layers with both single and double netting and 10 layers with single netting only. The data show agreement within 15 - 30% with the historical silk netting based correlations and show a substantial performance improvement when compared to previous testing performed using polyester netting and aluminum foil/fiberglass paper multilayer insulation. Additionally, the data further reinforce a recently observed trend that the heat flux is not directly proportional to the number of layers installed on a system. (paper)

  1. Improved strength of silk fibers in Bombyx mori trimolters induced by an anti-juvenile hormone compound.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Kaiyu; Dong, Zhaoming; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Dandan; Tang, Muya; Zhang, Xiaolu; Xia, Qingyou; Zhao, Ping

    2018-05-01

    Bombyx mori silk fibers with thin diameters have advantages of lightness and crease-resistance. Many studies have used anti-juvenile hormones to induce trimolters in order to generate thin silk; however, there has been comparatively little analysis of the morphology, structure and mechanical properties of trimolter silk. This study induced two kinds of trimolters by appling topically anti-juvenile hormones and obtained thin diameter silk. Scanning electron microscope (SEM), FTIR analysis, tensile mechanical testing, chitin staining were used to reveal that the morphology, conformation and mechanical property of the trimolter silk. Cocoon of trimolters were highly densely packed by thinner fibers and thus had small apertures. We found that the conformation of trimolter silk fibroin changed and formed more β-sheet structures. In addition, analysis of mechanical parameters yielded a higher Young's modulus and strength in trimolter silk than in the control. By chitin staining of silk gland, we postulated that the mechanical properties of trimolters' silk was enhanced greatly during to the structural changes of silk gland. We induced trimolters by anti-juvenile hormones and the resulting cocoons were more closely packed and had smaller silk fiber diameters. We found that the conformation of trimolters silk fibroin had a higher content of β-sheet structures and better mechanical properties. Our study revealed the structures and mechanical properties of trimolter silk, and provided a valuable reference to improve silk quality by influencing molting in silkworms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Genetic engineered color silk: fabrication of a photonics material through a bioassisted technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Katsuhiko

    2018-05-15

    Silk produced by the silkworm Bombyx mori is an attractive material because of its luster, smooth and soft texture, conspicuous mechanical strength, good biocompatibility, slow biodegradation, and carbon neutral synthesis. Silkworms have been domesticated and bred for production of better quality and quantity of silk, resulting in the development of sericulture and the textile industry. Silk is generally white, so dyeing is required to obtain colored fiber. However, the dyeing process involves harsh conditions and generates a large volume of waste water, which have environmentally and economically negative impacts. Although some strains produce cocoons that contain pigments derived from the mulberry leaves that they eat, the pigments are distributed in the sericin layer and are lost during gumming. In trials for production of colored silk by feeding silkworms on diets containing dyes, only limited species of dye molecules were incorporated into the silk threads. A method for the generation of transgenic silkworm was established in conjunction with the discovery of green fluorescent protein (GFP), and silkworms carrying the GFP gene spun silk threads that formed cocoons that glowed bright green and still retained the original properties of silk. A wide range of color variation of silk threads has been obtained by replacing the GFP gene with the genes of other fluorescent proteins chosen from the fluorescent protein palette. The genetically modified silk with photonic properties can be processed to form various products including linear threads, 2D fabrics, and 3D materials. The transgenic colored silk could be economically advantageous due to addition of a new value to silk and reduction of cost for water waste, and environmentally preferable for saving water. Here, I review the literature regarding the production methods of fluorescent silk from transgenic silkworms and present examples of genetically modified color silk.

  3. Characterization of Silk Fibroin Modified Surface: A Proteomic View of Cellular Response Proteins Induced by Biomaterials

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming-Hui Yang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to develop the pathway of silk fibroin (SF biopolymer surface induced cell membrane protein activation. Fibroblasts were used as an experimental model to evaluate the responses of cellular proteins induced by biopolymer material using a mass spectrometry-based profiling system. The surface was covered by multiwalled carbon nanotubes (CNTs and SF to increase the surface area, enhance the adhesion of biopolymer, and promote the rate of cell proliferation. The amount of adhered fibroblasts on CNTs/SF electrodes of quartz crystal microbalance (QCM greatly exceeded those on other surfaces. Moreover, analyzing differential protein expressions of adhered fibroblasts on the biopolymer surface by proteomic approaches indicated that CD44 may be a key protein. Through this study, utilization of mass spectrometry-based proteomics in evaluation of cell adhesion on biopolymer was proposed.

  4. Exploring the Properties of Genetically Engineered Silk-Elastin-Like Protein Films.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Machado, Raul; da Costa, André; Sencadas, Vitor; Pereira, Ana Margarida; Collins, Tony; Rodríguez-Cabello, José Carlos; Lanceros-Méndez, Senentxu; Casal, Margarida

    2015-12-01

    Free standing films of a genetically engineered silk-elastin-like protein (SELP) were prepared using water and formic acid as solvents. Exposure to methanol-saturated air promoted the formation of aggregated β-strands rendering aqueous insolubility and improved the mechanical properties leading to a 10-fold increase in strain-to-failure. The films were optically clear with resistivity values similar to natural rubber and thermally stable up to 180 °C. Addition of glycerol showed to enhance the flexibility of SELP/glycerol films by interacting with SELP molecules through hydrogen bonding, interpenetrating between the polymer chains and granting more conformational freedom. This detailed characterization provides cues for future and unique applications using SELP based biopolymers. © 2015 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  5. A Novel Nanocomposite Particle of Hydroxyapatite and Silk Fibroin: Biomimetic Synthesis and Its Biocompatibility

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Niu

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available A novel bone-like biomaterial of hydroxyapatite (HAP and silk fibroin (SF composite was developed by biomimetic synthesis. The composite was precipitated from drops of Ca(OH2 suspension and H3PO4 solution with SF. With this method, the HAP nanocrystals were obtained by self-assembling on a SF surface whose c-axis was aligned with the long-axis direction of SF in microstructures; this shares the same misconstrues of collagen and HAP with that in the natural bone. The HAP/SF composite then demonstrated that it could promote osteoblast proliferation in vitro and new bone formation in vivo. The novel biomaterial is a promising material for bone replacement and regeneration.

  6. Phosphate steering by Flap Endonuclease 1 promotes 5′-flap specificity and incision to prevent genome instability

    KAUST Repository

    Tsutakawa, Susan E.; Thompson, Mark J.; Arvai, Andrew S.; Neil, Alexander J.; Shaw, Steven J.; Algasaier, Sana I.; Kim, Jane C.; Finger, L. David; Jardine, Emma; Gotham, Victoria J.B.; Sarker, Altaf H.; Her, Mai Z.; Rashid, Fahad; Hamdan, Samir; Mirkin, Sergei M.; Grasby, Jane A.; Tainer, John A.

    2017-01-01

    and large-scale trinucleotide (GAA) repeat expansions in vivo, implying failed phosphate-steering promotes an unanticipated lagging-strand template-switch mechanism during replication. Thus, phosphate steering is an unappreciated FEN1 function that enforces

  7. From Nano to Micro: Importance of Structure and Architecture in Spider Silk Adhesives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahni, Vasav; Dhinojwala, Ali

    2012-02-01

    Spiders have developed outstanding adhesives over millions of years of evolution for prey capture and locomotion. We show that the structure and architecture of these adhesives play an important role in the adhesion. The adhesive produced by orb-weaving spiders to capture prey (viscid glue) is laid on a pair of silk fibers as micron-size glue drops composed of salts and glycoproteins. By stretching single drops, we show that viscid glue behaves like a viscoelastic solid and that elasticity is critical in enhancing adhesion caused by specific adhesive ligands by over 100 times. Comparing viscid glue with gumfoot glue, the glue produced by cob-weavers, the evolutionary descendants of orb-weavers, showed that, in spite of being produced in homologous aggregate glands, gumfoot glue behaves like a viscoelastic liquid. Moreover, gumfoot glue is humidity-resistant and viscid glue is humidity-sensitive. We use a synthetic strategy to spin beads-on-a-string (BOAS) architecture to mimic the adhesive properties of spider silk. Using these mimic threads, we show that the BOAS structure adheres more than a cylindrical structure during contact (collision of prey) and during separation (escape attempt of prey). These results inspire design of novel tunable adhesives.

  8. Adult-type myogenesis of the frog Xenopus laevis specifically suppressed by notochord cells but promoted by spinal cord cells in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamane, Hitomi; Ihara, Setsunosuke; Kuroda, Masaaki; Nishikawa, Akio

    2011-08-01

    Larval-to-adult myogenic conversion occurs in the dorsal muscle but not in the tail muscle during Xenopus laevis metamorphosis. To know the mechanism for tail-specific suppression of adult myogenesis, response character was compared between adult myogenic cells (Ad-cells) and larval tail myogenic cells (La-cells) to a Sonic hedgehog (Shh) inhibitor, notochord (Nc) cells, and spinal cord (SC) cells in vitro. Cyclopamine, an Shh inhibitor, suppressed the differentiation of cultured Ad (but not La) cells, suggesting the significance of Shh signaling in promoting adult myogenesis. To test the possibility that Shh-producing axial elements (notochord and spinal cord) regulate adult myogenesis, Ad-cells or La-cells were co-cultured with Nc or SC cells. The results showed that differentiation of Ad-cells were strongly inhibited by Nc cells but promoted by SC cells. If Ad-cells were "separately" co-cultured with Nc cells without direct cell-cell interactions, adult differentiation was not inhibited but rather promoted, suggesting that Nc cells have two roles, one is a short-range suppression and another is a long-range promotion for adult myogenesis. Immunohistochemical analysis showed both notochord and spinal cord express the N-terminal Shh fragment throughout metamorphosis. The "spinal cord-promotion" and long-range effect by Nc cells on adult myogenesis is thus involved in Shh signaling, while the signaling concerning the short-range "Nc suppression" will be determined by future studies. Interestingly, these effects, "Nc suppression" and "SC promotion" were not observed for La-cells. Situation where the spinal cord/notochord cross-sectional ratio is quite larger in tadpole trunk than in the tail seems to contribute to trunk-specific promotion and tail-specific suppression of adult myogenesis during Xenopus metamorphosis.

  9. Petunia AGAMOUS enhancer-derived chimeric promoters specify a carpel-, stamen- and petal-specific expression pattern sufficient for engineering male and female sterility in tobacco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Previous studies have shown that the AtAGIP promoter derived from the Arabidopsis AGAMOUS (AG) second intron/enhancer specifies a carpel- and stamen-specific pattern of expression in its native host species but not in heterologous species, such as tobacco which restricts its application in the engin...

  10. Morphological changes in different populations of bladder afferent neurons detected by herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors with cell-type-specific promoters in mice with spinal cord injury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimizu, Nobutaka; Doyal, Mark F; Goins, William F; Kadekawa, Katsumi; Wada, Naoki; Kanai, Anthony J; de Groat, William C; Hirayama, Akihide; Uemura, Hirotsugu; Glorioso, Joseph C; Yoshimura, Naoki

    2017-11-19

    Functional and morphological changes in C-fiber bladder afferent pathways are reportedly involved in neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) after spinal cord injury (SCI). This study examined the morphological changes in different populations of bladder afferent neurons after SCI using replication-defective herpes simplex virus (HSV) vectors encoding the mCherry reporter driven by neuronal cell-type-specific promoters. Spinal intact (SI) and SCI mice were injected into the bladder wall with HSV mCherry vectors driven by the cytomegalovirus (CMV) promoter, CGRP promoter, TRPV1 promoter or neurofilament 200 (NF200) promoter. Two weeks after vector inoculation into the bladder wall, L1 and L6 dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were removed bilaterally for immunofluorescent staining using anti-mCherry antibody. The number of CMV promoter vector-labeled neurons was not altered after SCI. The number of CGRP and TRPV1 promoter vector-labeled neurons was significantly increased whereas the number of NF200 vector-labeled neurons was decreased in L6 DRG after SCI. The median size of CGRP promoter-labeled C-fiber neurons was increased from 247.0 in SI mice to 271.3μm 2 in SCI mice whereas the median cell size of TRPV1 promoter vector-labeled neurons was decreased from 245.2 in SI mice to 216.5μm 2 in SCI mice. CGRP and TRPV1 mRNA levels of laser-captured bladder afferent neurons labeled with Fast Blue were significantly increased in SCI mice compared to SI mice. Thus, using a novel HSV vector-mediated neuronal labeling technique, we found that SCI induces expansion of the CGRP- and TRPV1-expressing C-fiber cell population, which could contribute to C-fiber afferent hyperexcitability and NDO after SCI. Copyright © 2017 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Functional promoter upstream p53 regulatory sequence of IGFBP3 that is silenced by tumor specific methylation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanafusa, Tadashi; Shinji, Toshiyuki; Shiraha, Hidenori; Nouso, Kazuhiro; Iwasaki, Yoshiaki; Yumoto, Eichiro; Ono, Toshiro; Koide, Norio

    2005-01-01

    Insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP)-3 functions as a carrier of insulin-like growth factors (IGFs) in circulation and a mediator of the growth suppression signal in cells. There are two reported p53 regulatory regions in the IGFBP3 gene; one upstream of the promoter and one intronic. We previously reported a hot spot of promoter hypermethylation of IGFBP-3 in human hepatocellular carcinomas and derivative cell lines. As the hot spot locates at the putative upstream p53 consensus sequences, these p53 consensus sequences are really functional is a question to be answered. In this study, we examined the p53 consensus sequences upstream of the IGFBP-3 promoter for the p53 induced expression of IGFBP-3. Deletion, mutagenesis, and methylation constructs of IGFBP-3 promoter were assessed in the human hepatoblastoma cell line HepG2 for promoter activity. Deletions and mutations of these sequences completely abolished the expression of IGFBP-3 in the presence of p53 overexpression. In vitro methylation of these p53 consensus sequences also suppressed IGFBP-3 expression. In contrast, the expression of IGFBP-3 was not affected in the absence of p53 overexpression. Further, we observed by electrophoresis mobility shift assay that p53 binding to the promoter region was diminished when methylated. From these observations, we conclude that four out of eleven p53 consensus sequences upstream of the IGFBP-3 promoter are essential for the p53 induced expression of IGFBP-3, and hypermethylation of these sequences selectively suppresses p53 induced IGFBP-3 expression in HepG2 cells

  12. Sample selection, preparation methods, and the apparent tensile properties of silkworm (B. mori) cocoon silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, Emily J; Bianchini, Lindsay L; Viney, Christopher

    2012-06-01

    Reported literature values of the tensile properties of natural silk cover a wide range. While much of this inconsistency is the result of variability that is intrinsic to silk, some is also a consequence of differences in the way that silk is prepared for tensile tests. Here we explore how measured mechanical properties of Bombyx mori cocoon silk are affected by two intrinsic factors (the location from which the silk is collected within the cocoon, and the color of the silk), and two extrinsic factors (the storage conditions prior to testing, and different styles of reeling the fiber). We find that extrinsic and therefore controllable factors can affect the properties more than the intrinsic ones studied. Our results suggest that enhanced inter-laboratory collaborations, that lead to standardized sample collection, handling, and storage protocols prior to mechanical testing, would help to decrease unnecessary (and complicating) variation in reported tensile properties. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Concentration state dependence of the rheological and structural properties of reconstituted silk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Chunli; Holland, Chris; Porter, David; Shao, Zhengzhong; Vollrath, Fritz

    2009-10-12

    The ability to control the processing of artificial silk is key to the successful application of this important and high performance biopolymer. Understanding where our current reconstitution process can be improved will not only aid us in the creation of better materials, but will also provide insight into the natural material along the way. This study aims to understand what proportion of reconstituted silk contributes to its rheological properties and what conformational state the silk proteins are in. It shows, for the first time, that a change in rheological properties can be related to a change in silk structures present in solution and reveals a low concentration gel state for silk that may have important implications for future successful artificial processing of silk.

  14. Invited review current progress and limitations of spider silk for biomedical applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Widhe, Mona; Johansson, Jan; Hedhammar, My; Rising, Anna

    2012-06-01

    Spider silk is a fascinating material combining remarkable mechanical properties with low density and biodegradability. Because of these properties and historical descriptions of medical applications, spider silk has been proposed to be the ideal biomaterial. However, overcoming the obstacles to produce spider silk in sufficient quantities and in a manner that meets regulatory demands has proven to be a difficult task. Also, there are relatively few studies of spider silk in biomedical applications available, and the methods and materials used vary a lot. Herein we summarize cell culture- and in vivo implantation studies of natural and synthetic spider silk, and also review the current status and future challenges in the quest for a large scale production of spider silk for medical applications. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Investigation of synthetic spider silk crystallinity and alignment via electrothermal, pyroelectric, literature XRD, and tensile techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munro, Troy; Putzeys, Tristan; Copeland, Cameron G; Xing, Changhu; Lewis, Randolph V; Ban, Heng; Glorieux, Christ; Wubbenhorst, Michael

    2017-04-01

    The processes used to create synthetic spider silk greatly affect the properties of the produced fibers. This paper investigates the effect of process variations during artificial spinning on the thermal and mechanical properties of the produced silk. Property values are also compared to the ones of the natural dragline silk of the N. clavipes spider, and to unprocessed (as-spun) synthetic silk. Structural characterization by scanning pyroelectric microscopy is employed to provide insight into the axial orientation of the crystalline regions of the fiber and is supported by XRD data. The results show that stretching and passage through liquid baths induce crystal formation and axial alignment in synthetic fibers, but with different structural organization than natural silks. Furthermore, an increase in thermal diffusivity and elastic modulus is observed with decreasing fiber diameter, trending towards properties of natural fiber. This effect seems to be related to silk fibers being subjected to a radial gradient during production.

  16. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  17. DNMT 1 maintains hypermethylation of CAG promoter specific region and prevents expression of exogenous gene in fat-1 transgenic sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Chunrong; Shang, Xueying; Cheng, Lei; Yang, Lei; Liu, Xuefei; Bai, Chunling; Wei, Zhuying; Hua, Jinlian; Li, Guangpeng

    2017-01-01

    Methylation is an important issue in gene expression regulation and also in the fields of genetics and reproduction. In this study, we created fat-1 transgenic sheep, investigated the fine-mapping and the modulatory mechanisms of promoter methylation. Sheep fetal fibroblasts were transfected by pCAG-fat1-IRES-EGFP. Monoclonal cell line was screened as nuclear donor and carried out nuclear transfer (441 transgenic cloned embryos, 52 synchronism recipient sheep). Six offsprings were obtained. Expressions of exogenous genes fat-1 and EGFP were detectable in 10 examined tissues and upregulated omega-3 fatty acid content. Interestingly, more or less EGFP negative cells were detectable in the positive transgenic fetal skin cells. EGFP negative and positive cells were sorted by flow cytometry, and their methylation status in the whole promoter region (1701 nt) were investigated by bisulphate sequencing. The fine-mapping of methylation in CAG promoter were proposed. The results suggested that exogenous gene expression was determined by the methylation status from 721-1346 nt and modulated by methylation levels at 101, 108 and 115 nt sites in CAG promoter. To clarify the regulatory mechanism of methylation, examination of four DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) demonstrated that hypermethylation of CAG promoter is mainly maintained by DNMT 1 in EGFP negative cells. Furthermore, investigation of the cell surface antigen CD34, CD45 and CD166 indicated that EGFP positive and negative cells belong to different types. The present study systematically clarified methylation status of CAG promoter in transgenic sheep and regulatory mechanism, which will provide research strategies for gene expression regulation in transgenic animals.

  18. ERalpha and AP-1 interact in vivo with a specific sequence of the F promoter of the human ERalpha gene in osteoblasts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambertini, Elisabetta; Tavanti, Elisa; Torreggiani, Elena; Penolazzi, Letizia; Gambari, Roberto; Piva, Roberta

    2008-07-01

    Estrogen-responsive genes often have an estrogen response element (ERE) positioned next to activator protein-1 (AP-1) binding sites. Considering that the interaction between ERE and AP-1 elements has been described for the modulation of bone-specific genes, we investigated the 17-beta-estradiol responsiveness and the role of these cis-elements present in the F promoter of the human estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) gene. The F promoter, containing the sequence analyzed here, is one of the multiple promoters of the human ERalpha gene and is the only active promoter in bone tissue. Through electrophoretic mobility shift (EMSA), chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and re-ChIP assays, we investigated the binding of ERalpha and four members of the AP-1 family (c-Jun, c-fos, Fra-2, and ATF2) to a region located approximately 800 bp upstream of the transcriptional start site of exon F of the human ERalpha gene in SaOS-2 osteoblast-like cells. Reporter gene assay experiments in combination with DNA binding assays demonstrated that F promoter activity is under the control of upstream cis-acting elements which are recognized by specific combinations of ERalpha, c-Jun, c-fos, and ATF2 homo- and heterodimers. Moreover, ChIP and re-ChIP experiments showed that these nuclear factors bind the F promoter in vivo with a simultaneous occupancy stimulated by 17-beta-estradiol. Taken together, our findings support a model in which ERalpha/AP-1 complexes modulate F promoter activity under conditions of 17-beta-estradiol stimulation. (c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  19. Dissolvable Films of Silk Fibroin for Ultrathin Conformal Bio-Integrated Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-06-01

    implantation. *A full list of authors and their affiliations appears at the end of the paper. Silk is an appealing biopolymer as a temporary, soluble...18 APR 2010 2. REPORT TYPE 3. DATES COVERED 00-00-2010 to 00-00-2010 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin...10.1038/NMAT2745 Dissolvable films of silk fibroin for ultrathin conformal bio-integrated electronics Dae-Hyeong Kim and Jonathan Viventi et al

  20. Graphene oxide from silk cocoon: a novel magnetic fluorophore for multi-photon imaging

    OpenAIRE

    Roy, Manas; Kusurkar, Tejas Sanjeev; Maurya, Sandeep Kumar; Meena, Sunil Kumar; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Sethy, Niroj; Bhargava, Kalpana; Sharma, Raj Kishore; Goswami, Debabrata; Sarkar, Sabyasachi; Das, Mainak

    2013-01-01

    In this work, we synthesized graphene oxide from silk cocoon embarking its new dimension as a magnetic fluorophore when compared with its present technical status, which at best is for extracting silk as a biomaterial for tissue engineering applications. We produced graphene oxide by pyrolysing the silk cocoon in an inert atmosphere. The collected raw carbon is oxidized by nitric acid that readily produces multilayer graphene oxide with nano carbon particulates. Structural properties of the g...

  1. Physico-chemical study of flavonoids from different matureness corn silk material

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Peng; Lapčík, Lubomír; Lapčíková, Barbora; Kalytchuk, Sergii

    2018-01-01

    There was tested a simple extraction procedure of flavonoids separation from the original corn silk (CS) material. It was found, that the total flavonoids content differs with the extraction time and extraction temperature. There were found different flavonoids contents in extracts prepared from different maturity stages of the original corn silk material (silking stage (CS-S), milky stage (CS-M)). Extracted flavonoids content was quantified by the lutin standardization method by means of col...

  2. Evaluating drug trafficking on the Tor Network: Silk Road 2, the sequel.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolliver, Diana S

    2015-11-01

    Housing an illicit, online drug retail market generating sales in the millions of USD, the Silk Road was a profitable marketplace with a growing and loyal consumer base. Following its FBI-forced shut down in October 2013, the Silk Road enjoyed newfound fame that contributed to an increase in new users downloading and accessing the Tor Network; however, with this particular marketplace out of order, Silk Road 2 was launched to fill the void. The goals of this study were to (1) compare the metrics of Silk Road 2 to the original site, and to (2) determine if there were any indications of the presence of more sophisticated drug trafficking operations. Data were collected from Silk Road 2 during the months of August and September 2014 using webcrawling software. Silk Road 2 was a much smaller marketplace than the original Silk Road. Of the 1834 unique items for sale, 348 were drug items sold by 145 distinct vendors shipping from 19 countries. Of the drug items advertised, most were stimulants and hallucinogens. The United States is both the number one country of origin for drug sales on Silk Road 2 and the number one destination country. Interestingly, 73% of all vendor accounts on Silk Road 2 advertised drug items, even though drugs only constituted 19% of all items advertised. This study was the first to research Silk Road 2, the replacement illicit marketplace to the original virtual Silk Road. This study was also the first to examine indications of the presence of more coordinated drug trafficking efforts in an online setting. The findings indicated that while Silk Road 2 was not primarily a drug market, there were indications that some vendor accounts may have connections reaching beyond a base retail market. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Natural Occurring Silks and Their Analogues as Materials for Nerve Conduits

    OpenAIRE

    Christine Radtke

    2016-01-01

    Spider silk and its synthetic derivatives have a light weight in combination with good strength and elasticity. Their high cytocompatibility and low immunogenicity make them well suited for biomaterial products such as nerve conduits. Silk proteins slowly degrade enzymatically in vivo, thus allowing for an initial therapeutic effect such as in nerve scaffolding to facilitate endogenous repair processes, and then are removed. Silks are biopolymers naturally produced by many species of arthropo...

  4. The Macrophage-Specific Promoter mfap4 Allows Live, Long-Term Analysis of Macrophage Behavior during Mycobacterial Infection in Zebrafish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric M Walton

    Full Text Available Transgenic labeling of innate immune cell lineages within the larval zebrafish allows for real-time, in vivo analyses of microbial pathogenesis within a vertebrate host. To date, labeling of zebrafish macrophages has been relatively limited, with the most specific expression coming from the mpeg1 promoter. However, mpeg1 transcription at both endogenous and transgenic loci becomes attenuated in the presence of intracellular pathogens, including Salmonella typhimurium and Mycobacterium marinum. Here, we describe mfap4 as a macrophage-specific promoter capable of producing transgenic lines in which transgene expression within larval macrophages remains stable throughout several days of infection. Additionally, we have developed a novel macrophage-specific Cre transgenic line under the control of mfap4, enabling macrophage-specific expression using existing floxed transgenic lines. These tools enrich the repertoire of transgenic lines and promoters available for studying zebrafish macrophage dynamics during infection and inflammation and add flexibility to the design of future macrophage-specific transgenic lines.

  5. Triple helix-forming oligonucleotide corresponding to the polypyrimidine sequence in the rat alpha 1(I) collagen promoter specifically inhibits factor binding and transcription.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kovacs, A; Kandala, J C; Weber, K T; Guntaka, R V

    1996-01-19

    Type I and III fibrillar collagens are the major structural proteins of the extracellular matrix found in various organs including the myocardium. Abnormal and progressive accumulation of fibrillar type I collagen in the interstitial spaces compromises organ function and therefore, the study of transcriptional regulation of this gene and specific targeting of its expression is of major interest. Transient transfection of adult cardiac fibroblasts indicate that the polypurine-polypyrimidine sequence of alpha 1(I) collagen promoter between nucleotides - 200 and -140 represents an overall positive regulatory element. DNase I footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays suggest that multiple factors bind to different elements of this promoter region. We further demonstrate that the unique polypyrimidine sequence between -172 and -138 of the promoter represents a suitable target for a single-stranded polypurine oligonucleotide (TFO) to form a triple helix DNA structure. Modified electrophoretic mobility shift assays show that this TFO specifically inhibits the protein-DNA interaction within the target region. In vitro transcription assays and transient transfection experiments demonstrate that the transcriptional activity of the promoter is inhibited by this oligonucleotide. We propose that TFOs represent a therapeutic potential to specifically influence the expression of alpha 1(I) collagen gene in various disease states where abnormal type I collagen accumulation is known to occur.

  6. A Quantitative Examination of Perceived Promotability of Information Security Professionals with Vendor-Specific Certifications versus Vendor-Neutral Certifications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gleghorn, Gregory D.

    2011-01-01

    Human capital theory suggests the knowledge, skills, and abilities one obtains through experience, on-the-job training, or education enhances one's productivity. This research was based on human capital theory and promotability (i.e., upward mobility). The research offered in this dissertation shows what effect obtaining information security…

  7. Promoting Psychological Well-Being in an Urban School Using the Participatory Culture-Specific Intervention Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Patrick B.; Summerville, Meredith A.; Nastasi, Bonnie K.; Patterson, Julie; Earnshaw, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    School psychology has recently reconceptualized its service provision model to include multitiered systems of academic and psychosocial promotion, prevention, and intervention. The availability of evidence-based programs and advances in school consultation theory accompany the paradigm shift of the field. Despite these advances, implementing…

  8. (E)-Specific direct Julia-olefination of aryl alcohols without extra reducing agents promoted by bases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Chuan-Zhi; Li, Qiang-Qiang; Wang, Mei-Mei; Ning, Xiao-Shan; Kang, Yan-Biao

    2015-05-04

    An unprecedented base-promoted direct olefination of aryl alcohols with sulfones via a Julia-type reaction has been described. No extra reductants are needed for Julia reaction since alcohols work as double sources of aldehydes and the hydride. Generally high yields were given for both terminal and highly (E)-selective internal olefins.

  9. Tissue-specific production of limonene in Camelina sativa with the Arabidopsis promoters of genes BANYULS and FRUITFULL

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Borghi, Monica; Xie, De Yu

    2016-01-01

    Main conclusion: Arabidopsis promoters of genesBANYULSandFRUITFULLare transcribed in Camelina. They triggered the transcription oflimonene synthaseand induced higher limonene production in seeds and fruits thanCaMV 35Spromoter.Camelina sativa (Camelina) is an oilseed crop of relevance for the

  10. Characterization and assembly of a GFP-tagged cylindriform silk into hexameric complexes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Öster, Carl; Svensson Bonde, Johan; Bülow, Leif; Dicko, Cedric

    2014-04-01

    Spider silk has been studied extensively for its attractive mechanical properties and potential applications in medicine and industry. The production of spider silk, however, has been lagging behind for lack of suitable systems. Our approach focuses on solving the production of spider silk by designing, expressing, purifying and characterizing the silk from cylindriform glands. We show that the cylindriform silk protein, in contrast to the commonly used dragline silk protein, is fully folded and stable in solution. With the help of GFP as a fusion tag we enhanced the expression of the silk protein in Escherichia coli and could optimize the downstream processing. Secondary structures analysis by circular dichroism and FTIR shows that the GFP-silk fusion protein is predominantly α-helical, and that pH can trigger a α- to β-transition resulting in aggregation. Structural analysis by small angle X-ray scattering suggests that the GFP-Silk exists in the form of a hexamer in solution. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Silk Composite with a Fluoropolymer as a Water-Resistant Protein-Based Material

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keiji Numata

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Silk-based materials are water-sensitive and show different physical properties at different humidities and under wet/dry conditions. To overcome the water sensitivity of silk-based materials, we developed a silk composite material with a fluoropolymer. Blending and coating the silk protein-based materials, such as films and textiles, with the fluoropolymer enhanced the surface hydrophobicity, water vapor barrier properties, and size stability during shrinkage tests. This material design with a protein biopolymer and a fluoropolymer is expected to broaden the applicability of protein-based materials.

  12. Flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance of silk fabric coated by graphene oxide

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Yi-Min

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Silk fabrics were coated by graphene oxide hydrosol in order to improve its flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance. In addition, montmorillonoid was doped into the graphene oxide hydrosol to further improve the flame retardancy of silk fabrics. The flame retardancy and ultraviolet resistance were mainly characterized by limiting oxygen index, vertical flame test, smoke density test, and ultraviolet protection factor. The synergistic effect of graphene oxide and montmorillonoid on the thermal stabilization property of the treated silk fabrics was also investigated. The results show that the treated silk fabrics have excellent flame retardancy, thermal stability, smoke suppression, and ultraviolet resistance simultaneously.

  13. Nutritional compositions and antioxidative capacity of the silk obtained from immature and mature corn

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nurhanan Abdul Rahman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available The silks of immature and mature corn were evaluated for their variations in nutritional compositions, mineral content and antioxidant capacity. Both immature and mature silks were good source of nutritional compositions. Immature silks contained significantly higher moisture (89.31% (fresh basis, lipid (1.27% and protein (12.96% content than the mature silk. Mature silks contained higher composition of ash (5.51%, carbohydrate (29.74% and total dietary fiber (51.25 g/100 g, than the immature silk, but the difference was not significant. In mineral determination, immature silk was rich source of Ca (1087.08 μg/g, Mg (1219.17 μg/g, Cu (5.60 μg/g and Zn (46.37 μg/g than the mature silks. In contrast, other minerals such as K (35671.67 μg/g, Na (266.67 μg/g, Fe (4.50 μg/g and Mn (35.57 μg/g were found higher in the mature silk. The silks were extracted with ethyl acetate, ethanol and water using the Soxhlet extraction method to determine the polyphenol and ABTS radical scavenging capacity. From this study, the highest content of total polyphenol of immature silks was exhibited by ethanol extract (92.21 mg GAE/g while water extract (64.22 mg GAE/g had the highest polyphenol content among mature silk extracts. Total flavonoid content of both immature and mature silks was higher in the water extract at 8.40 mg CAE/g and 2.31 mg CAE/g, respectively. In the ABTS free radical assay method, all immature silk extracts had higher percentage of inhibition compared to the mature silks. Among all three crude extracts, the ethanol extract of immature (EC50 = 0.478 mg/ml and mature silk (EC50 = 0.799 mg/ml exhibited the strongest antioxidant capacity followed by the water and ethyl acetate extract.

  14. A highly divergent gene cluster in honey bees encodes a novel silk family

    OpenAIRE

    Sutherland, Tara D.; Campbell, Peter M.; Weisman, Sarah; Trueman, Holly E.; Sriskantha, Alagacone; Wanjura, Wolfgang J.; Haritos, Victoria S.

    2006-01-01

    The pupal cocoon of the domesticated silk moth Bombyx mori is the best known and most extensively studied insect silk. It is not widely known that Apis mellifera larvae also produce silk. We have used a combination of genomic and proteomic techniques to identify four honey bee fiber genes (AmelFibroin1–4) and two silk-associated genes (AmelSA1 and 2). The four fiber genes are small, comprise a single exon each, and are clustered on a short genomic region where the open reading frames are GC-r...

  15. Biobased silver nanocolloid coating on silk fibers for prevention of post-surgical wound infections

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dhas SP

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Sindhu Priya Dhas, Suruthi Anbarasan, Amitava Mukherjee, Natarajan Chandrasekaran Center for Nanobiotechnology, VIT University, Vellore, India Abstract: Bombyx mori silk fibers are an important biomaterial and are used in surgical sutures due to their remarkable biocompatibility. The major drawback to the application of biomaterials is the risk of bacterial invasion, leading to clinical complications. We have developed an easy and cost-effective method for fabrication of antibacterial silk fibers loaded with silver nanoparticles (AgNPs by an in situ and ex situ process using an aqueous extract of Rhizophora apiculata leaf. Scanning electron microscopy revealed that well dispersed nanoparticles impregnated the silk fibers both in situ and ex situ. The crystalline nature of the AgNPs in the silk fibers was demonstrated by X-ray diffraction. The thermal and mechanical properties of the silk fibers were enhanced after they were impregnated with AgNPs. The silver-coated silk fibers fabricated by the in situ and ex situ method exhibited more than 90% inhibition against Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Silk fibers doped with AgNPs were found to be biocompatible with 3T3 fibroblasts. The results obtained represent an important advance towards the clinical application of biocompatible AgNP-loaded silk fibers for prevention of surgical wound infections. Keywords: silk fibers, silver nanoparticles, antibacterial activity, wound infections, cytotoxicity, 3T3 fibroblast cells

  16. Structural and thermal properties of silk fibroin - Silver nanoparticles composite films

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shivananda, C. S.; Rao B, B. Lakshmeesha; Shetty, G. Rajesh; Sangappa, Y.

    2018-05-01

    In this work, silk fibroin-silver nanoparticles (SF-AgNPs) composite films have been prepared by simple solution casting method. The composite films were examined for structural and thermal properties using X-ray diffraction (XRD), thermogravimatric (TGA) and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) analysis. The XRD results showed that with the introduction of AgNPs in the silk fibroin matrix the amorphous nature of the silk fibroin decreases with increasing nanoparticles concentration. The silk fibroin films possess good thermal stability with the presence of AgNPs.

  17. Fabrication and characterization of drug-loaded nano-hydroxyapatite/polyamide 66 scaffolds modified with carbon nanotubes and silk fibroin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yao MZ

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Meng-Zhu Yao,1 Ming-Yi Huang-Fu,1 Hui-Na Liu,1 Xia-Rong Wang,1 Xiaoxia Sheng,2 Jian-Qing Gao1 1Institute of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhejiang University, 2Hangzhou SoliPharma Co., Ltd, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, People’s Republic of China Abstract: Nano-hydroxyapatite/polyamide 66 (nHA/PA66 porous scaffolds were fabricated by a phase inversion method. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs and silk fibroin (SF were used to modify the surface of the nHA/PA66 scaffolds by freeze-drying and cross-linking. Dexamethasone was absorbed to the CNTs to promote the osteogenic differentiation of bone mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs. The cell viability of BMSCs was investigated by changing the concentration of the CNT dispersion, and the most biocompatible scaffold was selected. In addition, the morphology and mechanical property of the scaffolds were investigated. The results showed that the nHA/PA66 scaffolds modified with CNTs and SF met the requirements of bone tissue engineering scaffolds. The dexamethasone-loaded CNT/SF-nHA/PA66 composite scaffold promoted the osteogenic differentiation of BMSCs, and the drug-loaded scaffolds are expected to function as effective bone tissue engineering scaffolds. Keywords: BMSCs, tissue engineering, porous scaffold, carbon nanotubes, silk fibroin, surface modification, dexamethasone

  18. Cytokines affecting CD4+T regulatory cells in transplant tolerance. III. Interleukin-5 (IL-5) promotes survival of alloantigen-specific CD4+ T regulatory cells.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Bruce M; Plain, Karren M; Tran, Giang T; Verma, Nirupama D; Robinson, Catherine M; Nomura, Masaru; Boyd, Rochelle; Hodgkinson, Suzanne J

    2017-08-01

    CD4 + T cells mediate antigen-specific allograft tolerance, but die in culture without activated lymphocyte derived cytokines. Supplementation of the media with cytokine rich supernatant, from ConA activated spleen cells, preserves the capacity of tolerant cells to transfer tolerance and suppress rejection. rIL-2 or rIL-4 alone are insufficient to maintain these cells, however. We observed that activation of naïve CD4 + CD25 + FOXP3 + Treg with alloantigen and the Th2 cytokine rIL-4 induces them to express interleukin-5 specific receptor alpha (IL-5Rα) suggesting that IL-5, a Th2 cytokine that is produced later in the immune response may promote tolerance mediating Treg. This study examined if recombinant IL-5(rIL-5) promoted survival of tolerant CD4 + , especially CD4 + CD25 + T cells. CD4 + T cells, from DA rats tolerant to fully allogeneic PVG heart allografts surviving over 100days without on-going immunosuppression, were cultured with PVG alloantigen and rIL-5. The ability of these cells to adoptively transfer tolerance to specific-donor allograft and suppress normal CD4 + T cell mediated rejection in adoptive DA hosts was examined. Tolerant CD4 + CD25 + T cells' response to rIL-5 and expression of IL-5Rα was also assessed. rIL-5 was sufficient to promote transplant tolerance mediating CD4 + T cells' survival in culture with specific-donor alloantigen. Tolerant CD4 + T cells cultured with rIL-5 retained the capacity to transfer alloantigen-specific tolerance and inhibited naïve CD4 + T cells' capacity to effect specific-donor graft rejection. rIL-5 promoted tolerant CD4 + CD25 + T cells' proliferation in vitro when stimulated with specific-donor but not third-party stimulator cells. Tolerant CD4 + CD25 + T cells expressed IL-5Rα. This study demonstrated that IL-5 promoted the survival of alloantigen-specific CD4 + CD25 + T cells that mediate transplant tolerance. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Promoter- and cell-specific epigenetic regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN by Methyl-CpG binding proteins and histone modifications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schwarzenbach Heidi

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The aim of the current study was to analyze the involvement of methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBDs and histone modifications on the regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN in different cellular contexts such as the prostate cancer cells DU145 and LNCaP, and the breast cancer cells MCF-7. Since global chromatin changes have been shown to occur in tumours and regions of tumour-associated genes are affected by epigenetic modifications, these may constitute important regulatory mechanisms for the pathogenesis of malignant transformation. Methods In DU145, LNCaP and MCF-7 cells mRNA expression levels of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN were determined by quantitative RT-PCR at the basal status as well as after treatment with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A. Furthermore, genomic DNA was bisulfite-converted and sequenced. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed with the stimulated and unstimulated cells using antibodies for MBD1, MBD2 and MeCP2 as well as 17 different histone antibodies. Results Comparison of the different promoters showed that MeCP2 and MBD2a repressed promoter-specifically Cyclin D2 in all cell lines, whereas in MCF-7 cells MeCP2 repressed cell-specifically all methylated promoters. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that all methylated promoters associated with at least one MBD. Treatment of the cells by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR caused dissociation of the MBDs from the promoters. Only MBD1v1 bound and repressed methylation-independently all promoters. Real-time amplification of DNA immunoprecipitated by 17 different antibodies showed a preferential enrichment for methylated lysine of histone H3 (H3K4me1, H3K4me2 and H3K4me3 at the particular promoters. Notably, the silent promoters were associated with unmodified histones which were acetylated following treatment by 5-aza-CdR. Conclusions This study is one

  20. Promoter- and cell-specific epigenetic regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN by Methyl-CpG binding proteins and histone modifications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Müller, Imke; Wischnewski, Frank; Pantel, Klaus; Schwarzenbach, Heidi

    2010-01-01

    The aim of the current study was to analyze the involvement of methyl-CpG binding proteins (MBDs) and histone modifications on the regulation of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN in different cellular contexts such as the prostate cancer cells DU145 and LNCaP, and the breast cancer cells MCF-7. Since global chromatin changes have been shown to occur in tumours and regions of tumour-associated genes are affected by epigenetic modifications, these may constitute important regulatory mechanisms for the pathogenesis of malignant transformation. In DU145, LNCaP and MCF-7 cells mRNA expression levels of CD44, Cyclin D2, GLIPR1 and PTEN were determined by quantitative RT-PCR at the basal status as well as after treatment with demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine and/or histone deacetylase inhibitor Trichostatin A. Furthermore, genomic DNA was bisulfite-converted and sequenced. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed with the stimulated and unstimulated cells using antibodies for MBD1, MBD2 and MeCP2 as well as 17 different histone antibodies. Comparison of the different promoters showed that MeCP2 and MBD2a repressed promoter-specifically Cyclin D2 in all cell lines, whereas in MCF-7 cells MeCP2 repressed cell-specifically all methylated promoters. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that all methylated promoters associated with at least one MBD. Treatment of the cells by the demethylating agent 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine (5-aza-CdR) caused dissociation of the MBDs from the promoters. Only MBD1v1 bound and repressed methylation-independently all promoters. Real-time amplification of DNA immunoprecipitated by 17 different antibodies showed a preferential enrichment for methylated lysine of histone H3 (H3K4me1, H3K4me2 and H3K4me3) at the particular promoters. Notably, the silent promoters were associated with unmodified histones which were acetylated following treatment by 5-aza-CdR. This study is one of the first to reveal the histone code and MBD profile

  1. Electrospun silk-elastin-like fibre mats for tissue engineering applications

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Machado, Raul; Da Costa, André; Padrão, Jorge; Gomes, Andreia; Casal, Margarida; Sencadas, Vitor; Costa, Carlos M; Lanceros-Méndez, Senentxu; Garcia-Arévalo, Carmen; Rodríguez-Cabello, José Carlos

    2013-01-01

    Protein-based polymers are present in a wide variety of organisms fulfilling structural and mechanical roles. Advances in protein engineering and recombinant DNA technology allow the design and production of recombinant protein-based polymers (rPBPs) with an absolute control of its composition. Although the application of recombinant proteins as biomaterials is still an emerging technology, the possibilities are limitless and far superior to natural or synthetic materials, as the complexity of the structural design can be fully customized. In this work, we report the electrospinning of two new genetically engineered silk-elastin-like proteins (SELPs) consisting of alternate silk- and elastin-like blocks. Electrospinning was performed with formic acid and aqueous solutions at different concentrations without addition of further agents. The size and morphology of the electrospun structures was characterized by scanning electron microscopy showing its dependence on the concentration and solvent used. Treatment with methanol-saturated air was employed to stabilize the structure and promote water insolubility through a time-dependent conversion of random coils into β-sheets (FTIR). The resultant methanol-treated electrospun mats were characterized for swelling degree (570–720%), water vapour transmission rate (1083 g/m 2 /day) and mechanical properties (modulus of elasticity ∼126 MPa). Furthermore, the methanol-treated SELP fibre mats showed no cytotoxicity and were able to support adhesion and proliferation of normal human skin fibroblasts. Adhesion was characterized by a filopodia-mediated mechanism. These results demonstrate that SELP fibre mats can provide promising solutions for the development of novel biomaterials suitable for tissue engineering applications. (paper)

  2. Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene; Marasco, Ramona; Rolli, Eleonora; Ferjani, Raoudha; Fusi, Marco; Soussi, Asma; Mapelli, Francesca; Blilou, Ikram; Borin, Sara; Boudabous, Abdellatif; Cherif, Ameur; Daffonchio, Daniele; Ouzari, Hadda

    2015-01-01

    Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Oasis desert farming selects environment-specific date palm root endophytic communities and cultivable bacteria that promote resistance to drought

    KAUST Repository

    Cherif, Hanene

    2015-07-21

    Oases are desert-farming agro-ecosystems, where date palm (Phoenix dactyliferaL.) plays a keystone role in offsetting the effects of drought and maintaining a suitable microclimate for agriculture. At present, abundance, diversity and plant growth promotion (PGP) of date palm root-associated bacteria remain unknown. Considering the environmental pressure determined by the water scarcity in the desert environments, we hypothesized that bacteria associated with date palm roots improve plant resistance to drought. Here, the ecology of date palm root endophytes from oases in the Tunisian Sahara was studied with emphasis on their capacity to promote growth under drought. Endophytic communities segregated along a north-south gradient in correlation with geo-climatic parameters. Screening of 120 endophytes indicated that date palm roots select for bacteria with multiple PGP traits. Bacteria rapidly cross-colonized the root tissues of different species of plants, including the original Tunisian date palm cultivar, Saudi Arabian cultivars and Arabidopsis. Selected endophytes significantly increased the biomass of date palms exposed to repeated drought stress periods during a 9-month greenhouse experiment. Overall, results indicate that date palm roots shape endophytic communities that are capable to promote plant growth under drought conditions, thereby contributing an essential ecological service to the entire oasis ecosystem. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Silk Film Topography Directs Collective Epithelial Cell Migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenblatt, Mark I.

    2012-01-01

    The following study provides new insight into how surface topography dictates directed collective epithelial cell sheet growth through the guidance of individual cell movement. Collective cell behavior of migrating human corneal limbal-epithelial cell sheets were studied on highly biocompatible flat and micro-patterned silk film surfaces. The silk film edge topography guided the migratory direction of individual cells making up the collective epithelial sheet, which resulted in a 75% increase in total culture elongation. This was due to a 3-fold decrease in cell sheet migration rate efficiency for movement perpendicular to the topography edge. Individual cell migration direction is preferred in the parallel approach to the edge topography where localization of cytoskeletal proteins to the topography’s edge region is reduced, which results in the directed growth of the collective epithelial sheet. Findings indicate customized biomaterial surfaces may be created to direct both the migration rate and direction of tissue epithelialization. PMID:23185573

  5. SILK ROAD DISEASE: FROM LEGENDS TO THE 21st CENTURY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. S. Alekberova

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper considers the historical and geographical aspects of Behcet’s disease (BD. As is known, the geographical distribution of this disease is associated with the ancient caravan route called the Silk Road: it was in these areas along which the latter once ran there have been predominantly cases of BD so far. There are discrepancies in the literature regarding whether the Silk Road was across the North Caucasus, along the coast of the Caspian Sea in particular. In support of this conjecture, there is interesting evidence: stone-cutting images that have been retained on the houses of the Dagestani settlement of Kubachi. All give an answer why the natives of the North Caucasus constitute one-fourth of the total number of BD patients followed up at the V.A. Nasonova Research Institute of Rheumatology 

  6. Peculiar torsion dynamical response of spider dragline silk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Dabiao; Yu, Longteng; He, Yuming; Peng, Kai; Liu, Jie; Guan, Juan; Dunstan, D. J.

    2017-07-01

    The torsional properties of spider dragline silks from Nephila edulis and Nephila pilipes spiders are investigated by using a torsion pendulum technique. A permanent torsional deformation is observed after even small torsional strain. This behaviour is quite different from that of the other materials tested here, i.e., carbon fiber, thin metallic wires, Kevlar fiber, and human hair. The spider dragline thus displays a strong energy dissipation upon the initial excitation (around 75% for small strains and more for a larger strain), which correspondingly reduces the amplitude of subsequent oscillations around the new equilibrium position. The variation of torsional stiffness in relaxation dynamics of