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.
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.
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.
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.
This paper presents the mechanical function and characterization of an artificial lightweight geopolymer aggregate (ALGA) using LUSI (Sidoarjo mud) and alkaline activator as source materials. LUSI stands for LU-Lumpur and SI-Sidoarjo, meaning mud from Sidoarjo which erupted near the Banjarpanji-1 exploration well in Sidoarjo, East Java, Indonesia on 27 May 2006. The effect of NaOH molarity, LUSI mud/Alkaline activator (LM/AA) ratio, and Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio to the ALGA are investigated at a sintering temperature of 950 °C. The results show that the optimum NaOH molarity found in this study is 12 M due to the highest strength (lowest AIV value) of 15.79% with lower water absorption and specific gravity. The optimum LUSI mud/Alkaline activator (LM/AA) ratio of 1.7 and the Na2SiO3/NaOH ratio of 0.4 gives the highest strength with AIV value of 15.42% with specific gravity of 1.10 g/cm3 and water absorption of 4.7%. The major synthesized crystalline phases were identified as sodalite, quartz and albite. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) image showed more complete geopolymer matrix which contributes to highest strength of ALGA produced.
Two bidentate NS ligands were synthesized by the condensation reaction of S-2-methylbenzyldithiocarbazate (S2MBDTC) with 2-methoxybenzaldehyde (2MB) and 3-methoxybenzaldehyde (3MB). The ligands were reacted separately with acetates of Cu(II), Ni(II) and Zn(II) yielding 1:2 (metal:ligand) complexes. The metal complexes formed were expected to have a general formula of [M(NS)2] where M = Cu2+, Ni2+, and Zn2+. These compounds were characterized by elemental analysis, molar conductivity, magnetic susceptibility and various spectroscopic techniques. The magnetic susceptibility measurements and spectral results supported the predicted coordination geometry in which the Schiff bases behaved as bidentate NS donor ligands coordinating via the azomethine nitrogen and thiolate sulfur. The molecular structures of the isomeric S2M2MBH (1) and S2M3MBH (2) were established by X-ray crystallography to have very similar l-shaped structures. The Schiff bases and their metal complexes were evaluated for their biological activities against estrogen receptor-positive (MCF-7) and estrogen receptor-negative (MDA-MB-231) breast cancer cell lines. Only the Cu(II) complexes showed marked cytotoxicity against the cancer cell lines. Both Schiff bases and other metal complexes were found to be inactive. In concordance with the cytotoxicity studies, the DNA binding studies indicated that Cu(II) complexes have a strong DNA binding affinity.
The programmed cell death 1 (PDCD1) gene encodes for the PD-1 (programmed death 1) molecule, which negatively regulates self-reactive T- and B-cells in the maintenance of peripheral tolerance. A previous report had shown the development of lupus-like phenotypes in PD-1-deficient C57BL/6 mice, was suggestive to the role of PDCD1 in predisposing to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Hence, we aimed to investigate the association between PDCD1 and SLE susceptibility in the Malaysian population. A TaqMan-based real-time PCR was employed to screen for PD1.1, PD1.3, PD1.5 and PD1.6 in both SLE and healthy control groups of 200 samples each. The observed frequency for PD1.5C/C genotype was significantly higher in Indian SLE patients and Malay controls (p < 0.01). On the other hand, the PD1.5C/T genotype might predispose the Malays to SLE, but confer a protective effect among the Indians (p < 0.01). The PD1.1, PD1.3 and PD1.6 were, however, not correlated to genetic predisposition of SLE in our Malaysian population. In conclusion, PD1.5 variant was significantly associated to SLE susceptibility in our Malaysian cohort. Our failure in replicating the association between other investigated PDCD1 variants and risk of getting SLE might due to ethnic and geographic variations in the distribution of these genetic variants.
Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) enhances cellular proliferation and reduces apoptosis during the early differentiation of bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) into neural progenitor-like cells (NPCs) in the presence of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF). BMSCs were differentiated in three groups of growth factors: (A) EGF + bFGF, (B) EGF + bFGF + IGF-1, and (C) without growth factor. To unravel the molecular mechanisms of the NPCs derivation, microarray analysis using GeneChip miRNA arrays was performed. The profiles were compared among the groups. Annotated microRNA fingerprints (GSE60060) delineated 46 microRNAs temporally up-regulated or down-regulated compared to group C. The expressions of selected microRNAs were validated by real-time PCR. Among the 46 microRNAs, 30 were consistently expressed for minimum of two consecutive time intervals. In Group B, only miR-496 was up-regulated and 12 microRNAs, including the let-7 family, miR-1224, miR-125a-3p, miR-214, miR-22, miR-320, miR-708, and miR-93, were down-regulated. Bioinformatics analysis reveals that some of these microRNAs (miR-22, miR-214, miR-125a-3p, miR-320 and let-7 family) are associated with reduction of apoptosis. Here, we summarize the roles of key microRNAs associated with IGF-1 in the differentiation of BMSCs into NPCs. These findings may provide clues to further our understanding of the mechanisms and roles of microRNAs as key regulators of BMSC-derived NPC maintenance.
Electrical properties of living cells have been proven to play significant roles in understanding of various biological activities including disease progression both at the cellular and molecular levels. Since two decades ago, many researchers have developed tools to analyze the cell's electrical states especially in single cell analysis (SCA). In depth analysis and more fully described activities of cell differentiation and cancer can only be accomplished with single cell analysis. This growing interest was supported by the emergence of various microfluidic techniques to fulfill high precisions screening, reduced equipment cost and low analysis time for characterization of the single cell's electrical properties, as compared to classical bulky technique. This paper presents a historical review of single cell electrical properties analysis development from classical techniques to recent advances in microfluidic techniques. Technical details of the different microfluidic techniques are highlighted, and the advantages and limitations of various microfluidic devices are discussed.
In recent years, molecularly-imprinted polymers (MIPs) have attracted the attention of several researchers due to their capability for molecular recognition, easiness of preparation, stability and cost-effective production. By taking advantage of these facts, Hg(II) imprinted and non-imprinted copolymers were prepared by polymerizing mercury nitrate stock solution (or without it) with methacrylic acid (MAA), 2-hydroxyl ethyl methacrylate (HEMA), methanol and ethylene glycol dimethacrylate (EGDMA) as the monomer, co-monomer solvent (porogen) and cross-linker, respectively. Thus, the formed Hg(II) imprinted polymer was characterized by using Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA). The separation and preconcentration characteristics of Hg(II) imprinted polymer were investigated by solid phase extraction (SPE) procedures, and an optimal pH of 7 was investigated as ideal. The specific surface area of the Hg(II) imprinted polymer was found to be 19.45 m2/g with a size range from 100 to 140 µm in diameter. The maximum adsorption capacity was observed to be 1.11 mg/g of Hg(II) imprinted beads with 87.54% removal of Hg(II) ions within the first 5 min. The results of the study therefore confirm that the Hg(II) imprinted polymer can be used multiple times without significantly losing its adsorption capacity.
A series of 21 compounds isolated from Curcuma zedoaria was subjected to cytotoxicity test against MCF7; Ca Ski; PC3 and HT-29 cancer cell lines; and a normal HUVEC cell line. To rationalize the structure-activity relationships of the isolated compounds; a set of electronic; steric and hydrophobic descriptors were calculated using density functional theory (DFT) method. Statistical analyses were carried out using simple and multiple linear regressions (SLR; MLR); principal component analysis (PCA); and hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA). SLR analyses showed that the cytotoxicity of the isolated compounds against a given cell line depend on certain descriptors; and the corresponding correlation coefficients (R2) vary from 0%-55%. MLR results revealed that the best models can be achieved with a limited number of specific descriptors applicable for compounds having a similar basic skeleton. Based on PCA; HCA and MLR analyses; active compounds were classified into subgroups; which was in agreement with the cell based cytotoxicity assay.
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.
Genetic structure and biodiversity of the medicinal plant Ficus deltoidea have rarely been scrutinized. To fill these lacunae, five varieties, consisting of 30 F. deltoidea accessions were collected across the country and studied on the basis of molecular and morphological data. Molecular analysis of the accessions was performed using nine Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) markers, seven of which were detected as polymorphic markers. ISSR-based clustering generated four clusters supporting the geographical distribution of the accessions to some extent. The Jaccard's similarity coefficient implied the existence of low diversity (0.50-0.75) in the studied population. STRUCTURE analysis showed a low differentiation among the sampling sites, while a moderate varietal differentiation was unveiled with two main populations of F. deltoidea. Our observations confirmed the occurrence of gene flow among the accessions; however, the highest degree of this genetic interference was related to the three accessions of FDDJ10, FDTT16 and FDKT25. These three accessions may be the genetic intervarietal fusion points of the plant's population. Principal Components Analysis (PCA) relying on quantitative morphological characteristics resulted in two principal components with Eigenvalue >1 which made up 89.96% of the total variation. The cluster analysis performed by the eight quantitative characteristics led to grouping the accessions into four clusters with a Euclidean distance ranged between 0.06 and 1.10. Similarly, a four-cluster dendrogram was generated using qualitative traits. The qualitative characteristics were found to be more discriminating in the cluster and PCA analyses, while ISSRs were more informative on the evolution and genetic structure of the population.
Taxonomic confusion exists within the genus Epinephelus due to the lack of morphological specializations and the overwhelming number of species reported in several studies. The homogenous nature of the morphology has created confusion in the Malaysian Marine fish species Epinephelus fuscoguttatus and Epinephelus hexagonatus. In this study, the partial DNA sequence of the 16S gene and mitochondrial nucleotide sequences of two gene regions, Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit I and III were used to investigate the phylogenetic relationship between them. In the phylogenetic trees, E. fuscoguttatus was monophyletic with E. hexagonatus species and morphology examination shows that no significant differences were found in the morphometric features between these two taxa. This suggests that E. fuscoguttatus is not distinguishable from E. hexagonatus species, and that E. fuscoguttatus have been identified to be E. hexagonatus species is likely attributed to differences in environment and ability to camouflage themselves under certain conditions. Interestingly, this finding was also supported by Principal Component Analysis on Attenuated Total Reflectance-Fourier-transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR) data analysis. Molecular, morphological and meristic characteristics were combined with ATR-FTIR analysis used in this study offer new perspectives in fish species identification. To our knowledge, this is the first report of an extensive genetic population study of E. fuscoguttatus in Malaysia and this understanding will play an important role in informing genetic stock-specific strategies for the management and conservation of this highly valued fish.
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.