The fertility of zebu cattle (Bos indicus) is higher than that of the European purebred (Bos taurus) and crossbred (Bos taurus × Bos indicus) cattle in tropical areas. To identify proteins related to the higher thermo-tolerance and fertility of Zebu cattle, this study was undertaken to identify differences in sperm proteome between the high fertile Malaysian indigenous zebu cattle (Kedah Kelantan) and the sub-fertile crossbred cattle (Mafriwal). Frozen semen from three high performance bulls from each breed were processed to obtain live and pure sperm. Sperm proteins were then extracted, and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis performed to compare proteome profiles. Gel image analysis identified protein spots of interest which were then identified by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry quadrupole time-of-flight (LC MS/MS Q-TOF). STRING network analysis predicted interactions between at least 20 of the identified proteins. Among the identified proteins, a number of motility and energy related proteins were present in greater abundance in Kedah Kelantan. Sperm motility evaluation by Computer Assisted Semen Analysis (CASA) confirmed significantly higher motility in Kedah Kelantan. While results from this study do identify proteins that may be responsible for the higher fertility of Kedah Kelantan, functional characterization of these proteins is warranted to reinforce our understanding of their roles in sperm fertility.
Leptin is known as the adipose peptide hormone. It plays an important role in the regulation of body fat and inhibits food intake by its action. Moreover, it is believed that leptin level deductions might be the cause of obesity and may play an important role in the development of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), as well as in cardiovascular diseases (CVD). The Leptin Receptor (LEPR) gene and its polymorphisms have not been extensively studied in relation to the T2DM and its complications in various populations. In this study, we have determined the association of Gln223Agr loci of LEPR gene in three ethnic groups of Malaysia, namely: Malays, Chinese and Indians. A total of 284 T2DM subjects and 281 healthy individuals were recruited based on International Diabetes Federation (IDF) criteria. Genomic DNA was extracted from the buccal specimens of the subjects. The commercial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method was carried out by proper restriction enzyme MSP I to both amplify and digest the Gln223Agr polymorphism. The p-value among the three studied races was 0.057, 0.011 and 0.095, respectively. The values such as age, WHR, FPG, HbA1C, LDL, HDL, Chol and Family History were significantly different among the subjects with Gln223Agr polymorphism of LEPR (p < 0.05).
Seeding is a versatile method for optimizing crystal growth. Coupling this technique with capillary counter diffusion crystallization enhances the size and diffraction quality of the crystals. In this article, crystals for organic solvent-tolerant recombinant elastase strain K were successfully produced through microseeding with capillary counter-diffusion crystallization. This technique improved the nucleation success rate with a low protein concentration (3.00 mg/mL). The crystal was grown in 1 M ammonium phosphate monobasic and 0.1 M sodium citrate tribasic dihydrate pH 5.6. The optimized crystal size was 1 × 0.1 × 0.05 mm³. Elastase strain K successfully diffracted up to 1.39 Å at SPring-8, Japan, using synchrotron radiation for preliminary data diffraction analysis. The space group was determined to be monoclinic space group P12(1)1 with unit cell parameters of a = 38.99 Ǻ, b = 90.173 Å and c = 40.60 Å.
Hertwig's epithelial root sheath (HERS) cells play a pivotal role during root formation of the tooth and are able to form cementum-like tissue. The aim of the present study was to establish a HERS cell line for molecular and biochemical studies using a selective digestion method. Selective digestion was performed by the application of trypsin-EDTA for 2 min, which led to the detachment of fibroblast-like-cells, with the rounded cells attached to the culture plate. The HERS cells displayed a typical cuboidal/squamous-shaped appearance. Characterization of the HERS cells using immunofluorescence staining and flow cytometry analysis showed that these cells expressed pan-cytokeratin, E-cadherin, and p63 as epithelial markers. Moreover, RT-PCR confirmed that these cells expressed epithelial-related genes, such as cytokeratin 14, E-cadherin, and ΔNp63. Additionally, HERS cells showed low expression of CD44 and CD105 with absence of CD34 and amelogenin expressions. In conclusion, HERS cells have been successfully isolated using a selective digestion method, thus enabling future studies on the roles of these cells in the formation of cementum-like tissue in vitro.
Cancer is known to induce or alter the O-glycosylation of selective proteins that may eventually be excreted in the patients' urine. The present study was performed to identify O-glycosylated proteins that are aberrantly excreted in the urine of patients with early stage ovarian cancer (OCa). These urinary glycoproteins are potential biomarkers for early detection of OCa. In this study, urinary proteins of patients with early stage OCa and age-matched OCa negative women were subjected to two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and detection using a lectin that binds to the O-glycosylated proteins. Our analysis demonstrated significant enhanced expression of clusterin and leucine-rich alpha-2-glycoprotein, but lower levels of kininogen in the urine of the OCa patients compared to the controls. The different altered levels of these urinary glycoproteins were further confirmed using competitive ELISA. Our data are suggestive of the potential use of the aberrantly excreted urinary O-glycosylated proteins as biomarkers for the early detection of OCa, although this requires further validation in a large clinically representative population.
Size-controlled and monodispersed silver nanoparticles were synthesized from an aqueous solution containing silver nitrate as a metal precursor, polyvinyl alcohol as a capping agent, isopropyl alcohol as hydrogen and hydroxyl radical scavengers, and deionized water as a solvent with a simple radiolytic method. The average particle size decreased with an increase in dose due to the domination of nucleation over ion association in the formation of the nanoparticles by gamma reduction. The silver nanoparticles exhibit a very sharp and strong absorption spectrum with the absorption maximum λmax blue shifting with an increased dose, owing to a decrease in particle size. The absorption spectra of silver nanoparticles of various particle sizes were also calculated using a quantum physics treatment and an agreement was obtained with the experimental absorption data. The results suggest that the absorption spectrum of silver nanoparticles possibly derived from the intra-band excitations of conduction electrons from the lowest energy state (n = 5, l = 0) to higher energy states (n ≥ 6; Δl = 0, ±1; Δs = 0, ±1), allowed by the quantum numbers principle. This demonstrates that the absorption phenomenon of metal nanoparticles based on a quantum physics description could be exploited to be added into the fundamentals of metal nanoparticles and the related fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology.
Physiological and ecological constraints that cause the slow growth and depleted production of crops have raised a major concern in the agriculture industry as they represent a possible threat of short food supply in the future. The key feature that regulates the stress signaling pathway is always related to the reactive oxygen species (ROS). The accumulation of ROS in plant cells would leave traces of biomarkers at the genome, proteome, and metabolome levels, which could be identified with the recent technological breakthrough coupled with improved performance of bioinformatics. This review highlights the recent breakthrough in molecular strategies (comprising transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics) in identifying oxidative stress biomarkers and the arising opportunities and obstacles observed in research on biomarkers in rice. The major issue in incorporating bioinformatics to validate the biomarkers from different omic platforms for the use of rice-breeding programs is also discussed. The development of powerful techniques for identification of oxidative stress-related biomarkers and the integration of data from different disciplines shed light on the oxidative response pathways in plants.
1,5-Dimethyl-4-((2-methylbenzylidene)amino)-2-phenyl-1H-pyrazol-3(2H)-one (DMPO) was synthesized to be evaluated as a corrosion inhibitor. The corrosion inhibitory effects of DMPO on mild steel in 1.0 M HCl were investigated using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), potentiodynamic polarization, open circuit potential (OCP) and electrochemical frequency modulation (EFM). The results showed that DMPO inhibited mild steel corrosion in acid solution and indicated that the inhibition efficiency increased with increasing inhibitor concentration. Changes in the impedance parameters suggested an adsorption of DMPO onto the mild steel surface, leading to the formation of protective films. The novel synthesized corrosion inhibitor was characterized using UV-Vis, FT-IR and NMR spectral analyses. Electronic properties such as highest occupied molecular orbital energy, lowest unoccupied molecular orbital energy (EHOMO and ELUMO, respectively) and dipole moment (μ) were calculated and discussed. The results showed that the corrosion inhibition efficiency increased with an increase in the EHOMO values but with a decrease in the ELUMO value.
This study aims to investigate potential diabetic retinopathy (DR) risk factors by evaluating the circulating levels of pentosidine, soluble receptor for advanced glycation end-product (sRAGE), advanced oxidation protein product (AOPP) as well as glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities in DR patients. A total of 235 healthy controls, 171 type 2 diabetic without retinopathy (DNR) and 200 diabetic retinopathy (DR) patients were recruited. Plasma was extracted for the estimation of pentosidine, sRAGE, AOPP levels and GPx activity whereas peripheral blood mononuclear cells were disrupted for SOD activity measurement. DNR and DR patients showed significantly higher levels of plasma pentosidine, sRAGE and AOPP but lower GPx and SOD activities when compared to healthy controls. The sRAGE/pentosidine ratio in DR patients was significantly lower than the ratio detected in DNR patients. Proliferative DR patients had significantly higher levels of plasma pentosidine, sRAGE, AOPP and sRAGE/pentosidine ratio than non-proliferative DR patients. High HbA1c level, long duration of diabetes and low sRAGE/pentosidine ratio were determined as the risk factors for DR. This study suggests that sRAGE/pentosidine ratio could serve as a risk factor determinant for type 2 DR as it has a positive correlation with the severity of DR.
An amylopullulanase of the thermophilic Anoxybacillus sp. SK3-4 (ApuASK) was purified to homogeneity and characterized. Though amylopullulanases larger than 200 kDa are rare, the molecular mass of purified ApuASK appears to be approximately 225 kDa, on both SDS-PAGE analyses and native-PAGE analyses. ApuASK was stable between pH 6.0 and pH 8.0 and exhibited optimal activity at pH 7.5. The optimal temperature for ApuASK enzyme activity was 60 °C, and it retained 54% of its total activity for 240 min at 65 °C. ApuASK reacts with pullulan, starch, glycogen, and dextrin, yielding glucose, maltose, and maltotriose. Interestingly, most of the previously described amylopullulanases are unable to produce glucose and maltose from these substrates. Thus, ApuASK is a novel, high molecular-mass amylopullulanase able to produce glucose, maltose, and maltotriose from pullulan and starch. Based on whole genome sequencing data, ApuASK appeared to be the largest protein present in Anoxybacillus sp. SK3-4. The α-amylase catalytic domain present in all of the amylase superfamily members is present in ApuASK, located between the cyclodextrin (CD)-pullulan-degrading N-terminus and the α-amylase catalytic C-terminus (amyC) domains. In addition, the existence of a S-layer homology (SLH) domain indicates that ApuASK might function as a cell-anchoring enzyme and be important for carbohydrate utilization in a streaming hot spring.
The main objective of this research was to appraise the changes in mineral content and antioxidant attributes of Portulaca oleracea over different growth stages. The antioxidant activity was measured using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH), ferric-reducing antioxidant power (FRAP) assays. The iodine titration method was used to determine the ascorbic acid content (AAC). DPPH scavenging (IC(50)) capacity ranged from 1.30 ± 0.04 to 1.71 ± 0.04 mg/mL, while the ascorbic acid equivalent antioxidant activity (AEAC) values were 229.5 ± 7.9 to 319.3 ± 8.7 mg AA/100 g, total phenol content (TPC) varied from 174.5 ± 8.5 to 348.5 ± 7.9 mg GAE/100 g. AAC 60.5 ± 2.1 to 86.5 ± 3.9 mg/100 g and FRAP 1.8 ± 0.1 to 4.3 ± 0.1 mg GAE/g. There was good correlation between the results of TPC and AEAC, and between IC(50) and FRAP assays (r(2) > 0.9). The concentrations of Ca, Mg, K, Fe and Zn increased with plant maturity. Calcium (Ca) was negatively correlated with sodium (Na) and chloride (Cl), but positively correlated with magnesium (Mg), potassium (K), iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn). Portulaca olerecea cultivars could be used as a source of minerals and antioxidants, especially for functional food and nutraceutical applications.
The neuroprotective and antioxidative effects of germinated brown rice (GBR), brown rice (BR) and commercially available γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) against cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells have been investigated. Results show that GBR suppressed H(2)O(2)-mediated cytotoxicity and induced G0/G1 phase cell cycle arrest in SH-SY5Y cells. Moreover, GBR reduced mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) and prevented phosphatidylserine (PS) translocation in SH-SY5Y cells, key features of apoptosis, and subsequent cell death. GBR exhibited better neuroprotective and antioxidative activities as compared to BR and GABA. These results indicate that GBR possesses high antioxidative activities and suppressed cell death in SH-SY5Y cells by blocking the cell cycle re-entry and apoptotic mechanisms. Therefore, GBR could be developed as a value added functional food to prevent neurodegenerative diseases caused by oxidative stress and apoptosis.
The thermal effusivity of Al(2)O(3) and CuO nanofluids in different base fluids, i.e., deionized water, ethylene glycol and olive oil were investigated. The nanofluids, nanoparticles dispersed in base fluids; were prepared by mixing Al(2)O(3), CuO nanopowder and the base fluids using sonication with high-powered pulses to ensure a good uniform dispersion of nanoparticles in the base fluids. The morphology of the particles in the base fluids was investigated by transmission electron microscopy (TEM). In this study, a phase frequency scan of the front pyroelectric configuration technique, with a thermally thick PVDF pyroelectric sensor and sample, was used to measure the thermal effusivity of the prepared nanofluids. The experimental results of the thermal effusivity of the studied solvents (deionized water, ethylene glycol and olive oil) showed good agreement with literature values, and were reduced in the presence of nanoparticles. The thermal effusivity of the nanofluid was found to be particularly sensitive to its base fluid and the type of nanoparticles.
Photocatalytic degradation of p-cresol was carried out using ZnO under UV irradiation. The amount of photocatalyst, concentration of p-cresol and pH were studied as variables. The residual concentration and mineralization of p-cresol was monitored using a UV-visible spectrophotometer and total organic carbon (TOC) analyzer, respectively. The intermediates were detected by ultra high pressure liquid chromatography (UPLC). The highest photodegradation of p-cresol was observed at 2.5 g/L of ZnO and 100 ppm of p-cresol. P-cresol photocatalytic degradation was favorable in the pH range of 6-9. The detected intermediates were 4-hydroxy-benzaldehyde and 4-methyl-1,2-benzodiol. TOC studies show that 93% of total organic carbon was removed from solution during irradiation time. Reusability shows no significant reduction in photocatalytic performance in photodegrading p-cresol.
In the present study, we aimed to preincubate MCF-10A cells with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media and to determine adhesive and non-adhesive interactions of the preincubated MCF-10A cells with BT-474 cells. For this purpose, the MCF-10A cells were preincubated with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media, at appropriate concentrations, for 1 week. The MCF-10A cells preincubated with pioglitazone and/or serum-rich growth media were then co-cultured adhesively and non-adhesively with BT-474 cells for another week. Co-culture of BT-474 cells with the preincubated MCF-10A cells, both adhesively and non-adhesively, reduced the growth of the cancer cells. The inhibitory effect of the preincubated MCF-10A cells against the growth of BT-474 cells was likely produced by increasing levels of soluble factors secreted by the preincubated MCF-10A cells into the conditioned medium, as immunoassayed by ELISA. However, only an elevated level of a soluble factor distinguished the conditioned medium collected from the MCF-10A cells preincubated with pioglitazone and serum-rich growth medium than that with pioglitazone alone. This finding was further confirmed by the induction of the soluble factor transcript expression in the preincubated MCF-10A cells, as determined using real-time PCR, for the above phenomenon. Furthermore, modification of the MCF-10A cells through preincubation did not change the morphology of the cells, indicating that the preincubated cells may potentially be injected into mammary fat pads to reduce cancer growth in patients or to be used for others cell-mediated therapy.
l-glutamaic acid is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in the brain and an important intermediate in metabolism. In the present study, lactic acid bacteria (218) were isolated from six different fermented foods as potent sources of glutamic acid producers. The presumptive bacteria were tested for their ability to synthesize glutamic acid. Out of the 35 strains showing this capability, strain MNZ was determined as the highest glutamic-acid producer. Identification tests including 16S rRNA gene sequencing and sugar assimilation ability identified the strain MNZ as Lactobacillus plantarum. The characteristics of this microorganism related to its glutamic acid-producing ability, growth rate, glucose consumption and pH profile were studied. Results revealed that glutamic acid was formed inside the cell and excreted into the extracellular medium. Glutamic acid production was found to be growth-associated and glucose significantly enhanced glutamic acid production (1.032 mmol/L) compared to other carbon sources. A concentration of 0.7% ammonium nitrate as a nitrogen source effectively enhanced glutamic acid production. To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of glutamic acid production by lactic acid bacteria. The results of this study can be further applied for developing functional foods enriched in glutamic acid and subsequently γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) as a bioactive compound.
The polymorphisms of Waxy (Wx) microsatellite and G-T single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the Wx gene region were analyzed using simplified techniques in fifteen rice varieties. A rapid and reliable electrophoresis method, MetaPhor agarose gel electrophoresis (MAGE), was effectively employed as an alternative to polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) for separating Wx microsatellite alleles. The amplified products containing the Wx microsatellite ranged from 100 to 130 bp in length. Five Wx microsatellite alleles, namely (CT)(10), (CT)(11), (CT)(16), (CT)(17), and (CT)(18) were identified. Of these, (CT)(11) and (CT)(17) were the predominant classes among the tested varieties. All varieties with an apparent amylose content higher than 24% were associated with the shorter repeat alleles; (CT)(10) and (CT)(11), while varieties with 24% or less amylose were associated with the longer repeat alleles. All varieties with intermediate and high amylose content had the sequence AGGTATA at the 5'-leader intron splice site, while varieties with low amylose content had the sequence AGTTATA. The G-T polymorphism was further verified by the PCR-AccI cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) method, in which only genotypes containing the AGGTATA sequence were cleaved by AccI. Hence, varieties with desirable amylose levels can be developed rapidly using the Wx microsatellite and G-T SNP, along with MAGE.
The intercalation of cetirizine into two types of layered double hydroxides, Zn/Al and Mg/Al, has been investigated by the ion exchange method to form CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites, respectively. The basal spacing of the nanocomposites were expanded to 31.9 Å for CTZAN and 31.2 Å for CTMAN, suggesting that cetirizine anion was intercalated into Layered double hydroxides (LDHs) and arranged in a tilted bilayer fashion. A Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) study supported the formation of both the nanocomposites, and the intercalated cetirizine is thermally more stable than its counterpart in free state. The loading of cetirizine in the nanocomposite was estimated to be about 57.2% for CTZAN and 60.7% CTMAN. The cetirizine release from the nanocomposites show sustained release manner and the release rate of cetirizine from CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites at pH 7.4 is remarkably lower than that at pH 4.8, presumably due to the different release mechanism. The inhibition of histamine release from RBL2H3 cells by the free cetirizine is higher than the intercalated cetirizine both in CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites. The viability in human Chang liver cells at 1000 μg/mL for CTZAN and CTMAN nanocomposites are 74.5 and 91.9%, respectively.
Studies related to the engineering of calcium binding sites of CGTase are limited. The calcium binding regions that are known for thermostability function were subjected to site-directed mutagenesis in this study. The starting gene-protein is a variant of CGTase Bacillus sp. G1, reported earlier and denoted as "parent CGTase" herein. Four CGTase variants (S182G, S182E, N132R and N28R) were constructed. The two variants with a mutation at residue 182, located adjacent to the Ca-I site and the active site cleft, possessed an enhanced thermostability characteristic. The activity half-life of variant S182G at 60 °C was increased to 94 min, while the parent CGTase was only 22 min. This improvement may be attributed to the formation of a shorter α-helix and the alleviation of unfavorable steric strains by glycine at the corresponding region. For the variant S182E, an extra ionic interaction at the A/B domain interface increased the half-life to 31 min, yet it reduced CGTase activity. The introduction of an ionic interaction at the Ca-I site via the mutation N132R disrupted CGTase catalytic activity. Conversely, the variant N28R, which has an additional ionic interaction at the Ca-II site, displayed increased cyclization activity. However, thermostability was not affected.
A randomized complete block design experiment was designed to characterize the relationship between production of total flavonoids and phenolics, anthocyanin, photosynthesis, maximum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm), electron transfer rate (Fm/Fo), phenyl alanine lyase activity (PAL) and antioxidant (DPPH) in Labisia pumila var. alata, under four levels of irradiance (225, 500, 625 and 900 μmol/m(2)/s) for 16 weeks. As irradiance levels increased from 225 to 900 μmol/m(2)/s, the production of plant secondary metabolites (total flavonoids, phenolics and antocyanin) was found to decrease steadily. Production of total flavonoids and phenolics reached their peaks under 225 followed by 500, 625 and 900 μmol/m(2)/s irradiances. Significant positive correlation of production of total phenolics, flavonoids and antocyanin content with Fv/Fm, Fm/Fo and photosynthesis indicated up-regulation of carbon-based secondary metabolites (CBSM) under reduced photoinhibition on the under low light levels condition. At the lowest irradiance levels, Labisia pumila extracts also exhibited a significantly higher antioxidant activity (DPPH) than under high irradiance. The improved antioxidative activity under low light levels might be due to high availability of total flavonoids, phenolics and anthocyanin content in the plant extract. It was also found that an increase in the production of CBSM was due to high PAL activity under low light, probably signifying more availability of phenylalanine (Phe) under this condition.