While a group of oral commensals have been implicated in the aetiology of chronic periodontitis; the asaccharolytic Gram negative anaerobe Porphyromonas gingivalis is most commonly reported to be associated with severe forms of the disease. Although a variety of human tissues can produce a number of peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD), enzymes that convert peptide bound arginine residues to citrulline, P. gingivalis is one of the few prokaryotes known to express PAD. Protein and peptide citrullination are important in the development of rheumatoid arthritis and in recent years a number of authors have suggested a possible link between periodontitis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Indeed, some have linked P. gingivalis directly to RA via the action of PAD. Accordingly, the prime purpose of this study was to further characterise PAD in P. gingivalis cells particular emphasis on substrate specificity, using arginine containing peptides and RA relevant proteins.
The development of accurate computational models of biological processes is fundamental to computational systems biology. These models are usually represented by mathematical expressions that rely heavily on the system parameters. The measurement of these parameters is often difficult. Therefore, they are commonly estimated by fitting the predicted model to the experimental data using optimization methods. The complexity and nonlinearity of the biological processes pose a significant challenge, however, to the development of accurate and fast optimization methods. We introduce a new hybrid optimization method incorporating the Firefly Algorithm and the evolutionary operation of the Differential Evolution method. The proposed method improves solutions by neighbourhood search using evolutionary procedures. Testing our method on models for the arginine catabolism and the negative feedback loop of the p53 signalling pathway, we found that it estimated the parameters with high accuracy and within a reasonable computation time compared to well-known approaches, including Particle Swarm Optimization, Nelder-Mead, and Firefly Algorithm. We have also verified the reliability of the parameters estimated by the method using an a posteriori practical identifiability test.
Accumulating evidence suggests that altered arginine metabolism is involved in the aging and neurodegenerative processes. This study sought to determine the effects of age and vitamin E supplementation in the form of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on brain arginine metabolism. Male Wistar rats at ages of 3 and 21 months were supplemented with TRF orally for 3 months prior to the dissection of tissue from five brain regions. The tissue concentrations of L-arginine and its nine downstream metabolites were quantified using high-performance liquid chromatography and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry. We found age-related alterations in L-arginine metabolites in the chemical- and region-specific manners. Moreover, TRF supplementation reversed age-associated changes in arginine metabolites in the entorhinal cortex and cerebellum. Multiple regression analysis revealed a number of significant neurochemical-behavioral correlations, indicating the beneficial effects of TRF supplementation on memory and motor function.
Novosphingobium sp. strain Rr 2-17 is an N-acyl homoserine lactone (AHL)-producing bacterium isolated from the crown gall tumor of a grapevine. To our knowledge, this is the first draft genome announcement of a plant-associated strain from the genus Novosphingobium.
Protein-ligand binding free energy values of wild-type and mutant C-terminal domain of Escherichia coli arginine repressor (ArgRc) protein systems bound to L-arginine or L-citrulline molecules were calculated using the linear interaction energy (LIE) method by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. The binding behaviour predicted by the dissociation constant (K(d)) calculations from the binding free energy values showed preferences for binding of L-arginine to the wild-type ArgRc but not to the mutant ArgRc(D128N). On the other hand, L-citrulline do not favour binding to wild-type ArgRc but prefer binding to mutant ArgRc(D128N). The dissociation constant for the wild-type ArgRc-L-arginine complex obtained in this study is in agreement with reported experimental results. Our results also support the experimental data for the binding of L-citrulline to the mutant ArgRc(D128N). These showed that LIE method for protein-ligand binding free energy calculation could be applied to the wild-type and the mutant E. coli ArgRc-L-arginine and ArgRc-L-citrulline protein-ligand complexes and possibly to other transcriptional repressor-co-repressor systems as well.
Comparative proteomic profiling between 2 vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (VISA) strains, Mu50Ω-vraSm and Mu50Ω-vraSm-graRm, and vancomycin-susceptible S. aureus (VSSA) strain Mu50Ω revealed upregulated levels of catabolic ornithine carbamoyltransferase (ArcB) of the arginine catabolism pathway in VISA strains. Subsequent analyses showed that the VISA strains have higher levels of cellular ATP and ammonia, which are by-products of arginine catabolism, and displayed thicker cell walls. We postulate that elevated cytoplasmic ammonia and ATP molecules, resulting from activated arginine catabolism upon acquisition of vraS and graR mutations, are important requirements facilitating cell wall biosynthesis, thereby contributing to thickened cell wall and consequently reduced vancomycin susceptibility in VISA strains.
The excess accumulation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) contributes to the chronic complications of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and renal failure. Biopsy specimens (n = 184) of arterial (n = 92) and venous (n = 92) tissues were obtained (radial artery and cephalic vein) from end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients with or without DM and normal healthy subjects (n = 12) requiring surgery (trauma patients). Immunohistochemical assessment of the blood vessels revealed the presence of pentosidine (AGE marker) in both veins and arteries in 72% of the ESRD patients. The percentage of arteries and veins that showed positive pentosidine staining in ESRD patients with type 2 DM alone was 100% and 92% respectively, in the non-diabetic ESRD patients it was < 70% (for arteries and veins), and in the ESRD patients with hypertension as an additional co-morbidity to type 2 DM it was 70% and 82%, respectively. The veins of ESRD patients with DM showed a strong (+++) positive staining and very strong (++++) positive staining was observed in the patients with DM and hypertension. Only mild (+) or moderate (++) pentosidine staining intensity was observed in the arteries of ESRD patients without or with comorbidities, respectively. The accumulation of AGE in the vein rather than the artery may be a better reflection of the extent of complications of ESRD.
The present study investigates the involvement of the l-arginine-Nitric Oxide-cGMP-K⁺ ATP pathways responsible for the action of anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic activities of zerumbone in chronic constriction injury (CCI) induced neuropathic pain in mice. The role of l-arginine-NO-cGMP-K⁺ was assessed by the von Frey and the Randall-Selitto tests. Both allodynia and hyperalgesia assessments were carried out on the 14th day post CCI, 30 min after treatments were given for each respective pathway. Anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic effects of zerumbone (10 mg/kg, i.p) were significantly reversed by the pre-treatment of l-arginine (10 mg/kg), 1H [1,2,4]Oxadiazole[4,3a]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), a soluble guanosyl cyclase blocker (2 mg/kg i.p.) and glibenclamide (ATP-sensitive potassium channel blocker) (10 mg/kg i.p.) (p < 0.05). Taken together, these results indicate that systemic administration of zerumbone produces significant anti-allodynic and antihyperalgesic activities in neuropathic pain in mice possibly due to involvement of the l-arginine-NO-cGMP-PKG-K⁺ ATP channel pathways in CCI model.
Receptor for advanced glycation end-product (RAGE) gene polymorphism 2245G/A is associated with diabetic retinopathy (DR). However, the mechanism on how it affects the disease development is still unclear.
This study investigated the antinociceptive effects of zerumbone in chemical behavioural models of nociception in mice. Zerumbone given through intraperitoneal route (i.p.) produced dose-related antinociception when assessed on acetic acid-induced abdominal writhing test in mice. In addition, the i.p. administration of zerumbone exhibited significant inhibition of the neurogenic pain induced by intraplantar (i.pl.) injection of capsaicin and bradykinin. Likewise, zerumbone given by i.p. route reduced the nociception produced by i.pl. injection of glutamate and phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). The antinociception caused by zerumbone in the acetic acid test was significantly attenuated by i.p. pre-treatment of mice with l-arginine (nitric oxide precursor) and glibenclamide (ATP-sensitive K(+) channel inhibitor). However, the antinociception of zerumbone was enhanced by methylene blue (non-specific gyanylyl cyclase inhibitor). Together, these results indicate that zerumbone produces pronounced antinociception against chemical models of nociception in mice. It also strongly suggests that the l-arginine-nitric oxide-cGMP-PKC-K(+) ATP channel pathways, the TRPV1 and kinin B2 receptors play an important role in the zerumbone-induced antinociception.
The possible mechanisms of action in the antinociceptive activity induced by systemic administration (intraperitoneal, i.p.) of flavokawin B (FKB) were analysed using chemical models of nociception in mice. It was demonstrated that i.p. administration of FKB to the mice at 0.3, 1.0, 3.0 and 10 mg/kg produced significant dose-related reduction in the number of abdominal constrictions. The antinociception induced by FKB in the acetic acid test was significantly attenuated by i.p. pre-treatment of mice with L-arginine, the substrate for nitric oxide synthase or glibenclamide, the ATP-sensitive K(+) channel inhibitor, but was enhanced by methylene blue, the non-specific guanylyl cyclase inhibitor. FKB also produced dose-dependent inhibition of licking response caused by intraplantar injection of phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a protein kinase C activator (PKC). Together, these data indicate that the NO/cyclic guanosine monophosphate/PKC/ATP-sensitive K(+) channel pathway possibly participated in the antinociceptive action induced by FKB.
The present study was carried out to investigate on the possible involvement of L-arginine/nitric oxide/cyclic guanosine monophosphate (L-arginine/NO/cGMP) pathway in the aqueous extract of Muntingia calabura (AEMC) leaves antinociception in mice assessed by abdominal constriction test. The AEMC, obtained by soaking the dried leaves in distilled water (DH(2)O) (1 : 2; w/v) for 24 h, was prepared in concentrations of 10%, 50% and 100% that were approximately equivalent to doses of 27, 135 and 270 mg/kg, and administered subcutaneously (s.c.) 5 min after pre-treatment (s.c.) of mice with DH(2)O, L-arginine (20 mg/kg), N(G)-monomethyl-L-arginine acetate (L-NMMA; 20 mg/kg), N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methyl esters (L-NAME; 20 mg/kg), methylene blue (MB) (20 mg/kg), respectively. The AEMC was found to exhibit a concentration-dependent antinociception after pre-challenge with DH(2)O. Interestingly, pre-treatment with L-arginine was found to block significantly (P < 0.05) the AEMC antinociception but only at the highest concentration (100%) of AEMC used. On the other hand, pre-treatment with L-NAME was found to significantly (P < 0.05) enhance the low concentration but inhibit the high concentration AEMC antinociception. MB was found to significantly (P < 0.05) enhance AEMC antinociception at all concentrations used. Except for the higher concentration of AEMC used, co-treatment with L-NAME was found to insignificantly and significantly (P < 0.05) reverse the L-arginine effect when given alone or with low concentration AEMC, respectively. In addition, co-treatment with MB significantly (P < 0.05) reversed the L-arginine effect when given alone or with 10% concentration AEMC but failed to affect the activity of the rest of concentrations used. As a conclusion, this study has demonstrated the involvement of L-arginine/NO/cGMP pathway in AEMC antinociception.
Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) significantly attenuates the increase in skeletal muscle glucose uptake during contraction/exercise, and a greater attenuation is observed in individuals with Type 2 diabetes compared with healthy individuals. Therefore, NO appears to play an important role in mediating muscle glucose uptake during contraction. In this study, we investigated the involvement of neuronal NOSμ (nNOSμ), the main NOS isoform activated during contraction, on skeletal muscle glucose uptake during ex vivo contraction. Extensor digitorum longus muscles were isolated from nNOSμ(-/-) and nNOSμ(+/+) mice. Muscles were contracted ex vivo in a temperature-controlled (30°C) organ bath with or without the presence of the NOS inhibitor N(G)-monomethyl-l-arginine (L-NMMA) and the NOS substrate L-arginine. Glucose uptake was determined by radioactive tracers. Skeletal muscle glucose uptake increased approximately fourfold during contraction in muscles from both nNOSμ(-/-) and nNOSμ(+/+) mice. L-NMMA significantly attenuated the increase in muscle glucose uptake during contraction in both genotypes. This attenuation was reversed by L-arginine, suggesting that L-NMMA attenuated the increase in muscle glucose uptake during contraction by inhibiting NOS and not via a nonspecific effect of the inhibitor. Low levels of NOS activity (~4%) were detected in muscles from nNOSμ(-/-) mice, and there was no evidence of compensation from other NOS isoform or AMP-activated protein kinase which is also involved in mediating muscle glucose uptake during contraction. These results indicate that NO regulates skeletal muscle glucose uptake during ex vivo contraction independently of nNOSμ.
Zingiber zerumbet (L.) Smith, a wild edible ginger species or locally known as "lempoyang", commonly used in the Malays traditional medicine as an appetizer or to treat stomachache, toothache, muscle sprain and as a cure for swelling sores and cuts.