The use of nanoparticle delivery systems to enhance intracellular penetration of antibiotics and their retention time is becoming popular. The challenge, however, is that the interaction of nanoparticles with biological systems at the cellular level must be established prior to biomedical applications. Ciprofloxacin-cockle shells-derived calcium carbonate (aragonite) nanoparticles (C-CSCCAN) were developed and characterized. Antibacterial activity was determined using a modified disc diffusion protocol on Salmonella Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium). Biocompatibilittes with macrophage were evaluated using the 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) assays. Transcriptional regulation of interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) was determined using reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). C-CSCCAN were spherical in shape, with particle sizes ranging from 11.93 to 22.12 nm. Encapsulation efficiency (EE) and loading content (LC) were 99.5% and 5.9%, respectively, with negative ζ potential. X-ray diffraction patterns revealed strong crystallizations and purity in the formulations. The mean diameter of inhibition zone was 18.6 ± 0.5 mm, which was better than ciprofloxacin alone (11.7 ± 0.9 mm). Study of biocompatability established the cytocompatability of the delivery system without upregulation of IL-1β. The results indicated that ciprofloxacin-nanoparticles enhanced the antibacterial efficacy of the antibiotic, and could act as a suitable delivery system against intracellular infections.
Bacterial toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems have various cellular functions, including as part of the general stress response. The genome of the Gram-positive human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae harbors several putative TA systems, including yefM-yoeBSpn, which is one of four systems that had been demonstrated to be biologically functional. Overexpression of the yoeBSpn toxin gene resulted in cell stasis and eventually cell death in its native host, as well as in Escherichia coli. Our previous work showed that induced expression of a yoeBSpn toxin-Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) fusion gene apparently triggered apoptosis and was lethal in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana. In this study, we investigated the effects of co-expression of the yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic A. thaliana. When co-expressed in Arabidopsis, the YefMSpn antitoxin was found to neutralize the toxicity of YoeBSpn-GFP. Interestingly, the inducible expression of both yefMSpn antitoxin and yoeBSpn toxin-GFP fusion in transgenic hybrid Arabidopsis resulted in larger rosette leaves and taller plants with a higher number of inflorescence stems and increased silique production. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a prokaryotic antitoxin neutralizing its cognate toxin in plant cells.
The mammalian hyaluronidase degrades hyaluronic acid by the cleavage of the β-1,4-glycosidic bond furnishing a tetrasaccharide molecule as the main product which is a highly angiogenic and potent inducer of inflammatory cytokines. Ursolic acid 1, isolated from Prismatomeris tetrandra, was identified as having the potential to develop inhibitors of hyaluronidase. A series of ursolic acid analogues were either synthesized via structure modification of ursolic acid 1 or commercially obtained. The evaluation of the inhibitory activity of these compounds on the hyaluronidase enzyme was conducted. Several structural, topological and quantum chemical descriptors for these compounds were calculated using semi empirical quantum chemical methods. A quantitative structure activity relationship study (QSAR) was performed to correlate these descriptors with the hyaluronidase inhibitory activity. The statistical characteristics provided by the best multi linear model (BML) (R² = 0.9717, R²cv = 0.9506) indicated satisfactory stability and predictive ability of the developed model. The in silico molecular docking study which was used to determine the binding interactions revealed that the ursolic acid analog 22 had a strong affinity towards human hyaluronidase.
In recent years, food protein-derived hydrolysates have received considerable attention because of their numerous health benefits. Amongst the hydrolysates, those with anti-hypertensive and anti-oxidative activities are receiving special attention as both activities can play significant roles in preventing cardiovascular diseases. The present study investigated the angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities of Actinopyga lecanora (A. lecanora) hydrolysates, which had been prepared by alcalase, papain, bromelain, flavourzyme, pepsin, and trypsin under their optimum conditions. The alcalase hydrolysate showed the highest ACE inhibitory activity (69.8%) after 8 h of hydrolysis while the highest anti-oxidative activities measured by 2,2-diphenyl 1-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging (DPPH) (56.00%) and ferrous ion-chelating (FIC) (59.00%) methods were exhibited after 24 h and 8 h of hydrolysis, respectively. The ACE-inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities displayed dose-dependent trends, and increased with increasing protein hydrolysate concentrations. Moreover, strong positive correlations between angiotensin-I converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitory and anti-oxidative activities were also observed. This study indicates that A. lecanora hydrolysate can be exploited as a source of functional food owing to its anti-oxidant as well as anti-hypertension functions.
Single-cell analysis has become the interest of a wide range of biological and biomedical engineering research. It could provide precise information on individual cells, leading to important knowledge regarding human diseases. To perform single-cell analysis, it is crucial to isolate the individual cells before further manipulation is carried out. Recently, microfluidic biochips have been widely used for cell trapping and single cell analysis, such as mechanical and electrical detection. This work focuses on developing a finite element simulation model of single-cell trapping system for any types of cells or particles based on the hydrodynamic flow resistance (Rh) manipulations in the main channel and trap channel to achieve successful trapping. Analysis is carried out using finite element ABAQUS-FEA™ software. A guideline to design and optimize single-cell trapping model is proposed and the example of a thorough optimization analysis is carried out using a yeast cell model. The results show the finite element model is able to trap a single cell inside the fluidic environment. Fluid's velocity profile and streamline plots for successful and unsuccessful single yeast cell trapping are presented according to the hydrodynamic concept. The single-cell trapping model can be a significant important guideline in designing a new chip for biomedical applications.
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a cancer treatment modality that requires three components, namely light, dioxygen and a photosensitizing agent. After light excitation, the photosensitizer (PS) in its excited state transfers its energy to oxygen, which leads to photooxidation reactions. In order to improve the selectivity of the treatment, research has focused on the design of PS covalently attached to a tumor-targeting moiety. In this paper, we describe the synthesis and the physico-chemical and photophysical properties of six new peptide-conjugated photosensitizers designed for targeting the neuropilin-1 (NRP-1) receptor. We chose a TPC (5-(4-carboxyphenyl)-10,15, 20-triphenyl chlorine as photosensitizer, coupled via three different spacers (aminohexanoic acid, 1-amino-3,6-dioxaoctanoic acid, and 1-amino-9-aza-3,6,12,15-tetraoxa-10-on-heptadecanoic acid) to two different peptides (DKPPR and TKPRR). The affinity towards the NRP-1 receptor of the conjugated chlorins was evaluated along with in vitro and in vivo stability levels. The tissue concentration of the TPC-conjugates in animal model shows good distribution, especially for the DKPPR conjugates. The novel peptide-PS conjugates proposed in this study were proven to have potential to be further developed as future NRP-1 targeting photodynamic therapy agent.
Cell adhesion is essential in cell communication and regulation, and is of fundamental importance in the development and maintenance of tissues. The mechanical interactions between a cell and its extracellular matrix (ECM) can influence and control cell behavior and function. The essential function of cell adhesion has created tremendous interests in developing methods for measuring and studying cell adhesion properties. The study of cell adhesion could be categorized into cell adhesion attachment and detachment events. The study of cell adhesion has been widely explored via both events for many important purposes in cellular biology, biomedical, and engineering fields. Cell adhesion attachment and detachment events could be further grouped into the cell population and single cell approach. Various techniques to measure cell adhesion have been applied to many fields of study in order to gain understanding of cell signaling pathways, biomaterial studies for implantable sensors, artificial bone and tooth replacement, the development of tissue-on-a-chip and organ-on-a-chip in tissue engineering, the effects of biochemical treatments and environmental stimuli to the cell adhesion, the potential of drug treatments, cancer metastasis study, and the determination of the adhesion properties of normal and cancerous cells. This review discussed the overview of the available methods to study cell adhesion through attachment and detachment events.
The present study describes a real-time PCR approach with high resolution melting-curve (HRM) assay developed for the detection and differentiation of Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium in fecal and urine samples collected from rural Yemen. The samples were screened by microscopy and PCR for the Schistosoma species infection. A pair of degenerate primers were designed targeting partial regions in the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (cox1) gene of S. mansoni and S. haematobium using real-time PCR-HRM assay. The overall prevalence of schistosomiasis was 31.8%; 23.8% of the participants were infected with S. haematobium and 9.3% were infected with S. mansoni. With regards to the intensity of infections, 22.1% and 77.9% of S. haematobium infections were of heavy and light intensities, respectively. Likewise, 8.1%, 40.5% and 51.4% of S. mansoni infections were of heavy, moderate and light intensities, respectively. The melting points were distinctive for S. mansoni and S. haematobium, categorized by peaks of 76.49 ± 0.25 °C and 75.43 ± 0.26 °C, respectively. HRM analysis showed high detection capability through the amplification of Schistosoma DNA with as low as 0.0001 ng/µL. Significant negative correlations were reported between the real-time PCR-HRM cycle threshold (Ct) values and microscopic egg counts for both S. mansoni in stool and S. haematobium in urine (p < 0.01). In conclusion, this closed-tube HRM protocol provides a potentially powerful screening molecular tool for the detection of S. mansoni and S. haematobium. It is a simple, rapid, accurate, and cost-effective method. Hence, this method is a good alternative approach to probe-based PCR assays.
The interaction of simple and ternary Cu(II) complexes of 1,10-phenanthrolines with DNA has been studied extensively because of their various interesting and important functions such as DNA cleavage activity, cytotoxicity towards cancer cells, and DNA based asymmetric catalysis. Such functions are closely related to the DNA binding modes of the complexes such as intercalation, groove binding, and electrostatic surface binding. A variety of spectroscopic methods have been used to study the DNA binding mode of the Cu(II) complexes. Of all these methods, DNA-fiber electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy affords unique information on the DNA binding structures of the complexes. In this review we summarize the results of our DNA-fiber EPR studies on the DNA binding structure of the complexes and discuss them together with the data accumulated by using other measurements.
Dietary omega-3 fatty acids have been recognized to improve brain cognitive function. Deficiency leads to dysfunctional zinc metabolism associated with learning and memory impairment. The objective of this study is to explore the effect of short-term dietary omega-3 fatty acids on hippocampus gene expression at the molecular level in relation to spatial recognition memory in mice. A total of 24 male BALB/c mice were randomly divided into four groups and fed a standard pellet as a control group (CTL, n = 6), standard pellet added with 10% (w/w) fish oil (FO, n = 6), 10% (w/w) soybean oil (SO, n = 6) and 10% (w/w) butter (BT, n = 6). After 3 weeks on the treatment diets, spatial-recognition memory was tested on a Y-maze. The hippocampus gene expression was determined using a real-time PCR. The results showed that 3 weeks of dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation improved cognitive performance along with the up-regulation of α-synuclein, calmodulin and transthyretin genes expression. In addition, dietary omega-3 fatty acid deficiency increased the level of ZnT3 gene and subsequently reduced cognitive performance in mice. These results indicate that the increased the ZnT3 levels caused by the deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids produced an abnormal zinc metabolism that in turn impaired the brain cognitive performance in mice.
Annona muricata is a member of the Annonaceae family and is a fruit tree with a long history of traditional use. A. muricata, also known as soursop, graviola and guanabana, is an evergreen plant that is mostly distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. The fruits of A. muricata are extensively used to prepare syrups, candies, beverages, ice creams and shakes. A wide array of ethnomedicinal activities is contributed to different parts of A. muricata, and indigenous communities in Africa and South America extensively use this plant in their folk medicine. Numerous investigations have substantiated these activities, including anticancer, anticonvulsant, anti-arthritic, antiparasitic, antimalarial, hepatoprotective and antidiabetic activities. Phytochemical studies reveal that annonaceous acetogenins are the major constituents of A. muricata. More than 100 annonaceous acetogenins have been isolated from leaves, barks, seeds, roots and fruits of A. muricata. In view of the immense studies on A. muricata, this review strives to unite available information regarding its phytochemistry, traditional uses and biological activities.
Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women worldwide. Several signaling pathways have been implicated as causative and progression agents. The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α protein plays a dual role in promoting and inhibiting cancer depending largely on the pathway initiated by the binding of the protein to its receptor. Zerumbone, an active constituent of Zingiber zerumbet, Smith, is known to act on the tumor necrosis factor pathway upregulating tumour necrosis factor related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL) death receptors and inducing apoptosis in cancer cells. Zerumbone is a sesquiterpene that is able to penetrate into the hydrophobic pockets of proteins to exert its inhibiting activity with several proteins. We found a good binding with the tumor necrosis factor, kinase κB (IKKβ) and the Nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) component proteins along the TNF pathway. Our results suggest that zerumbone can exert its apoptotic activities by inhibiting the cytoplasmic proteins. It inhibits the IKKβ kinase that activates the NF-κB and also binds to the NF-κB complex in the TNF pathway. Blocking both proteins can lead to inhibition of cell proliferating proteins to be downregulated and possibly ultimate induction of apoptosis.
Human pluripotent stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), hold promise as novel therapeutic tools for diabetes treatment because of their self-renewal capacity and ability to differentiate into beta (β)-cells. Small and large molecules play important roles in each stage of β-cell differentiation from both hESCs and hiPSCs. The small and large molecules that are described in this review have significantly advanced efforts to cure diabetic disease. Lately, effective protocols have been implemented to induce hESCs and human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) to differentiate into functional β-cells. Several small molecules, proteins, and growth factors promote pancreatic differentiation from hESCs and hMSCs. These small molecules (e.g., cyclopamine, wortmannin, retinoic acid, and sodium butyrate) and large molecules (e.g. activin A, betacellulin, bone morphogentic protein (BMP4), epidermal growth factor (EGF), fibroblast growth factor (FGF), keratinocyte growth factor (KGF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), noggin, transforming growth factor (TGF-α), and WNT3A) are thought to contribute from the initial stages of definitive endoderm formation to the final stages of maturation of functional endocrine cells. We discuss the importance of such small and large molecules in uniquely optimized protocols of β-cell differentiation from stem cells. A global understanding of various small and large molecules and their functions will help to establish an efficient protocol for β-cell differentiation.
Malaria is caused by parasitic protozoans of the genus Plasmodium and is one of the most prevalent infectious diseases in tropical and subtropical regions. For this reason, effective and practical diagnostic methods are urgently needed to control the spread of malaria. The aim of the current study was to identify a panel of new malarial markers, which could be used to diagnose patients infected with various Plasmodium species, including P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. Sera from malaria-infected patients were pooled and compared to control sera obtained from healthy individuals using the isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantitation (iTRAQ) technique. Mass spectrometry was used to identify serum proteins and quantify their relative abundance. We found that the levels of several proteins were increased in pooled serum from infected patients, including cell adhesion molecule-4 and C-reactive protein. In contrast, the serum concentration of haptoglobin was reduced in malaria-infected individuals, which we verified by western blot assay. Therefore, these proteins might represent infectious markers of malaria, which could be used to develop novel diagnostic tools for detecting P. knowlesi, P. vivax and P. falciparum. However, these potential malarial markers will need to be validated in a larger population of infected individuals.
Modified rice straw/Fe3O4/polycaprolactone nanocomposites (ORS/Fe3O4/ PCL-NCs) have been prepared for the first time using a solution casting method. The RS/Fe3O4-NCs were modified with octadecylamine (ODA) as an organic modifier. The prepared NCs were characterized by using X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR). The XRD results showed that as the intensity of the peaks decreased with the increase of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs content in comparison with PCL peaks, the Fe3O4-NPs peaks increased from 1.0 to 60.0 wt. %. The TEM and SEM results showed a good dispersion of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs in the PCL matrix and the spherical shape of the NPs. The TGA analysis indicated thermal stability of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs increased after incorporation with PCL but the thermal stability of ORS/Fe3O4/PCL-NCs decreased with the increase of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs content. Tensile strength was improved with the addition of 5.0 wt. % of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs. The antibacterial activities of the ORS/Fe3O4/PCL-NC films were examined against Gram-negative bacteria (Escherichia coli) and Gram-positive bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) by diffusion method using nutrient agar. The results indicated that ORS/Fe3O4/PCL-NC films possessed a strong antibacterial activity with the increase in the percentage of ORS/Fe3O4-NCs in the PCL.
Breast cancer has become a global health issue requiring huge expenditures for care and treatment of patients. There is a need to discover newer cost-effective alternatives for current therapeutic regimes. Mango kernel is a waste product with potential as a source of anti-cancer phytochemicals, especially since it is non-toxic towards normal breast cell lines at concentrations for which it induces cell death in breast cancer cells. In this study, the anti-cancer effect of mango kernel extract was determined on estrogen receptor-positive human breast carcinoma (MCF-7) cells. The MCF-7 cells were cultured and treated with 5, 10 and 50 μg/mL of mango kernel extract for 12 and 24 h. In response to treatment, there were time- and dose-dependent increases in oxidative stress markers and pro-apoptotic factors; Bcl-2-like protein 4 (BAX), p53, cytochrome c and caspases (7, 8 and 9) in the MCF-7 cells treated with the extract. At the same time, there were decreases in pro-survival markers (Bcl-2 and glutathione) as the result of the treatments. The changes induced in the MCF-7 cells by mango kernel extract treatment suggest that the extract can induce cancer cell apoptosis, likely via the activation of oxidative stress. These findings need to be evaluated further to determine whether mango kernel extract can be developed as an anti-breast cancer agent.
The molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) based on methacrylic acid functionalized β-cyclodextrin (MAA-β-CD) monomer was synthesized for the purpose of selective recognition of benzylparaben (BzP). The MAA-β-CD monomer was produced by bridging a methacrylic acid (MAA) and β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) using toluene-2,4-diisocyanate (TDI) by reacting the -OH group of MAA and one of the primary -OH groups of β-CD. This monomer comprised of triple interactions that included an inclusion complex, π-π interaction, and hydrogen bonding. To demonstrate β-CD performance in MIPs, two MIPs were prepared; molecularly imprinted polymer-methacrylic acid functionalized β-cyclodextrin, MIP(MAA-β-CD), and molecularly imprinted polymer-methacrylic acid, MIP(MAA); both prepared by a reversible addition fragmentation chain transfer polymerization (RAFT) in the bulk polymerization process. Both MIPs were characterized using the Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscopy (FESEM), and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET). The presence of β-CD not only influenced the morphological structure, it also affected the specific surface area, average pore diameter, and total pore volume of the MIP. The rebinding of the imprinting effect was evaluated in binding experiments, which proved that the β-CD contributed significantly to the enhancement of the recognition affinity and selective adsorption of the MIP.
A growing body of evidence suggests that activation of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathways is among the inflammatory mechanism involved in the development of insulin resistance and chronic low-grade inflammation in adipose tissues derived from obese animal and human subjects. Nevertheless, little is known about the roles of NF-κB pathways in regulating mitochondrial function of the adipose tissues. In the present study, we sought to investigate the direct effects of celastrol (potent NF-κB inhibitor) upon mitochondrial dysfunction-induced insulin resistance in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. Celastrol ameliorates mitochondrial dysfunction by altering mitochondrial fusion and fission in adipocytes. The levels of oxidative DNA damage, protein carbonylation and lipid peroxidation were down-regulated. Further, the morphology and quantification of intracellular lipid droplets revealed the decrease of intracellular lipid accumulation with reduced lipolysis. Moreover, massive production of the pro-inflammatory mediators tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) were markedly depleted. Insulin-stimulated glucose uptake activity was restored with the enhancement of insulin signaling pathways. This study signified that the treatments modulated towards knockdown of NF-κB transcription factor may counteract these metabolic insults exacerbated in our model of synergy between mitochondrial dysfunction and inflammation. These results demonstrate for the first time that NF-κB inhibition modulates mitochondrial dysfunction induced insulin resistance in 3T3-L1 adipocytes.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNTs) were prepared via chemical vapor deposition (CVD) using a series of different catalysts, derived from FeCoNiAl, CoNiAl and FeNiAl layered double hydroxides (LDHs). Catalyst-active particles were obtained by calcination of LDHs at 800 °C for 5 h. Nitrogen and hexane were used as the carrier gas and carbon source respectively, for preparation of MWCNTs using CVD methods at 800 °C. MWCNTs were allowed to grow for 30 min on the catalyst spread on an alumina boat in a quartz tube. The materials were subsequently characterized through X-ray diffraction, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, surface area analysis, field emission scanning electron microscopy and transmission electron microscopy. It was determined that size and yield of MWCNTs varied depending on the type of LDH catalyst precursor that is used during synthesis. MWCNTs obtained using CoNiAl-LDH as the catalyst precursor showed smaller diameter and higher yield compared to FeCoNiAl and FeNiAl LDHs.
Recent advances in microRNAome have made microRNAs (miRNAs) a compelling novel class of biomarker in cancer biology. In the present study, the role of miR-23a in the carcinogenesis of colorectal cancer (CRC) was investigated. Cell viability, apoptosis, and caspase 3/7 activation analyses were conducted to determine the potentiality of apoptosis resistance function of miR-23a in CRC. Luciferase assay was performed to verify a putative target site of miR-23a in the 3'-UTR of apoptosis protease activating factor 1 (APAF1) mRNA. The expression levels of miR-23a and APAF1 in CRC cell lines (SW480 and SW620) and clinical samples were assessed using reverse transcription-quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) and Western blot. We found that the inhibition of miR-23a in SW480 and SW620 cell lines resulted in significant reduction of cell viability and promotion of cell apoptosis. Moreover, miR-23a up-regulation was coupled with APAF1 down-regulation in CRC tissue samples. Taken together, miR-23a was identified to regulate apoptosis in CRC. Our study highlights the potential application of miR-23a/APAF1 regulation axis in miRNA-based therapy and prognostication.