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Sample records for activity assay revealed

  1. Plasma inhibitory activity (PIA): a pharmacodynamic assay reveals insights into the basis for cytotoxic response to FLT3 inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Levis, Mark; Brown, Patrick; Smith, B. Douglas; Stine, Adam; Pham, Rosalyn; Stone, Richard; DeAngelo, Daniel; Galinsky, Ilene; Giles, Frank; Estey, Elihu; Kantarjian, Hagop; Cohen, Pamela; Wang, Yanfeng; Roesel, Johannes; Karp, Judith E.; Small, Donald

    2006-01-01

    We have developed a useful surrogate assay for monitoring the efficacy of FLT3 inhibition in patients treated with oral FLT3 inhibitors. The plasma inhibitory activity (PIA) for FLT3 correlates with clinical activity in patients treated with CEP-701 and PKC412. Using the PIA assay, along with in vitro phosphorylation and cytotoxicity assays in leukemia cells, we compared PKC412 and its metabolite, CGP52421, with CEP-701. While both drugs could effectively inhibit FLT3 in vitro, CEP-701 was more cytotoxic to primary samples at comparable levels of FLT3 inhibition. PKC412 appears to be more selective than CEP-701 and therefore less effective at inducing cytotoxicity in primary acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples in vitro. However, the PKC412 metabolite CGP52421 is less selective than its parent compound, PKC412, and is more cytotoxic against primary blast samples at comparable levels of FLT3 inhibition. The plasma inhibitory activity assay represents a useful correlative tool in the development of small-molecule inhibitors. Our application of this assay has revealed that the metabolite CGP52421 may contribute a significant portion of the antileukemia activity observed in patients receiving oral PKC412. Additionally, our results suggest that nonselectivity may constitute an important component of the cytotoxic effect of FLT3 inhibitors in FLT3-mutant AML. PMID:16857987

  2. Using Carbohydrate Interaction Assays to Reveal Novel Binding Sites in Carbohydrate Active Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Wilkens, Casper; Dilokpimol, Adiphol; Nakai, Hiroyuki; Lewińska, Anna; Abou Hachem, Maher; Svensson, Birte

    2016-01-01

    Carbohydrate active enzymes often contain auxiliary binding sites located either on independent domains termed carbohydrate binding modules (CBMs) or as so-called surface binding sites (SBSs) on the catalytic module at a certain distance from the active site. The SBSs are usually critical for the activity of their cognate enzyme, though they are not readily detected in the sequence of a protein, but normally require a crystal structure of a complex for their identification. A variety of methods, including affinity electrophoresis (AE), insoluble polysaccharide pulldown (IPP) and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) have been used to study auxiliary binding sites. These techniques are complementary as AE allows monitoring of binding to soluble polysaccharides, IPP to insoluble polysaccharides and SPR to oligosaccharides. Here we show that these methods are useful not only for analyzing known binding sites, but also for identifying new ones, even without structural data available. We further verify the chosen assays discriminate between known SBS/CBM containing enzymes and negative controls. Altogether 35 enzymes are screened for the presence of SBSs or CBMs and several novel binding sites are identified, including the first SBS ever reported in a cellulase. This work demonstrates that combinations of these methods can be used as a part of routine enzyme characterization to identify new binding sites and advance the study of SBSs and CBMs, allowing them to be detected in the absence of structural data. PMID:27504624

  3. Selective activation of SHP2 activity by cisplatin revealed by a novel chemical probe-based assay

    SciTech Connect

    Kuo, Chun-Chen; Chu, Chi-Yuan; Lin, Jing-Jer; Lo, Lee-Chiang

    2010-01-01

    Src homology-2 (SH2) domain-containing phosphatase 2 (SHP2) is known to participate in several different signaling pathways to mediate cell growth, survival, migration, and differentiation. However, due to the lack of proper analytical tools, it is unclear whether the phosphatase activity of SHP2 is activated in most studies. We have previously developed an activity-based probe LCL2 that formed covalent linkage with catalytically active protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Here, by combining LCL2 with a SHP2 specific antibody, we established an assay system that enables the direct monitoring of SHP2 activity upon cisplatin treatment of cancer cells. The protocol is advantageous over conventional colorimetric or in-gel PTP assays as it is specific and does not require the use of radioisotope reagents. Using this assay, we found SHP2 activity was selectively activated by cisplatin. Moreover, the activation of SHP2 appeared to be specific for cisplatin as other DNA damage agents failed to activate the activity. Although the role of SHP2 activation by cisplatin treatments is still unclear to us, our results provide the first direct evidence for the activation of SHP2 during cisplatin treatments. More importantly, the concept of using activity-based probe in conjunction with target-specific antibodies could be extended to other enzyme classes.

  4. Cadmium-transformed cells in the in vitro cell transformation assay reveal different proliferative behaviours and activated pathways.

    PubMed

    Forcella, M; Callegaro, G; Melchioretto, P; Gribaldo, L; Frattini, M; Stefanini, F M; Fusi, P; Urani, C

    2016-10-01

    The in vitro Cell Transformation Assay (CTA) is a powerful tool for mechanistic studies of carcinogenesis. The endpoint is the classification of transformed colonies (foci) by means of standard morphological features. To increase throughput and reliability of CTAs, one of the suggested follow-up activities is to exploit the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying cell transformation. To this end, we have performed CTAs testing CdCl2, a widespread environmental contaminant classified as a human carcinogen with the underlying mechanisms of action not completely understood. We have isolated and re-seeded the cells at the end (6weeks) of in vitro CTAs to further identify the biochemical pathways underlying the transformed phenotype of foci. Morphological evaluations and proliferative assays confirmed the loss of contact-inhibition and the higher proliferative rate of transformed clones. The biochemical analysis of EGFR pathway revealed that, despite the same initial carcinogenic stimulus (1μM CdCl2 for 24h), transformed clones are characterized by the activation of two different molecular pathways: proliferation (Erk activation) or survival (Akt activation). Our preliminary results on molecular characterization of cell clones from different foci could be exploited for CTAs improvement, supporting the comprehension of the in vivo process and complementing the morphological evaluation of foci.

  5. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1.

    PubMed

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-03-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling.

  6. Biophysical assay for tethered signaling reactions reveals tether-controlled activity for the phosphatase SHP-1

    PubMed Central

    Goyette, Jesse; Salas, Citlali Solis; Coker-Gordon, Nicola; Bridge, Marcus; Isaacson, Samuel A.; Allard, Jun; Dushek, Omer

    2017-01-01

    Tethered enzymatic reactions are ubiquitous in signaling networks but are poorly understood. A previously unreported mathematical analysis is established for tethered signaling reactions in surface plasmon resonance (SPR). Applying the method to the phosphatase SHP-1 interacting with a phosphorylated tether corresponding to an immune receptor cytoplasmic tail provides five biophysical/biochemical constants from a single SPR experiment: two binding rates, two catalytic rates, and a reach parameter. Tether binding increases the activity of SHP-1 by 900-fold through a binding-induced allosteric activation (20-fold) and a more significant increase in local substrate concentration (45-fold). The reach parameter indicates that this local substrate concentration is exquisitely sensitive to receptor clustering. We further show that truncation of the tether leads not only to a lower reach but also to lower binding and catalysis. This work establishes a new framework for studying tethered signaling processes and highlights the tether as a control parameter in clustered receptor signaling. PMID:28378014

  7. Zebrafish-based reporter gene assays reveal different estrogenic activities in river waters compared to a conventional human-derived assay.

    PubMed

    Sonavane, Manoj; Creusot, Nicolas; Maillot-Maréchal, Emmanuelle; Péry, Alexandre; Brion, François; Aїt-Aïssa, Selim

    2016-04-15

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) act on the endocrine system through multiple mechanisms of action, among them interaction with estrogen receptors (ERs) is a well-identified key event in the initiation of adverse outcomes. As the most commonly used estrogen screening assays are either yeast- or human-cell based systems, the question of their (eco)toxicological relevance when assessing risks for aquatic species can be raised. The present study addresses the use of zebrafish (zf) derived reporter gene assays, both in vitro (i.e. zf liver cell lines stably expressing zfERα, zfERβ1 and zfERβ2 subtypes) and in vivo (i.e. transgenic cyp19a1b-GFP zf embryos), to assess estrogenic contaminants in river waters. By investigating 20 French river sites using passive sampling, high frequencies of in vitro zfER-mediated activities in water extracts were measured. Among the different in vitro assays, zfERβ2 assay was the most sensitive and responsive one, enabling the detection of active compounds at all investigated sites. In addition, comparison with a conventional human-based in vitro assay highlighted sites that were able to active zfERs but not human ER, suggesting the occurrence of zf-specific ER ligands. Furthermore, a significant in vivo estrogenic activity was detected at the most active sites in vitro, with a good accordance between estradiol equivalent (E2-EQ) concentrations derived from both in vitro and in vivo assays. Overall, this study shows the relevance and usefulness of such novel zebrafish-based assays as screening tools to monitor estrogenic activities in complex mixtures such as water extracts. It also supports their preferred use compared to human-based assays to assess the potential risks caused by endocrine disruptive chemicals for aquatic species such as fish.

  8. A novel assay of biofilm antifungal activity reveals that amphotericin B and caspofungin lyse Candida albicans cells in biofilms.

    PubMed

    DiDone, Louis; Oga, Duana; Krysan, Damian J

    2011-08-01

    The ability of Candida albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms is an important factor in its contribution to human disease. Assays to identify and characterize molecules with activity against fungal biofilms are crucial for the development of drugs with improved anti-biofilm activity. Here we report the application of an adenylate kinase (AK)-based cytotoxicity assay of fungal cell lysis to the characterization of agents active against C. albicans biofilms. We have developed three protocols for the AK assay. The first measures AK activity in the supernatants of biofilms treated with antifungal drugs and can be performed in parallel with a standard 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-caboxanilide-based biofilm susceptibility assay; a second, more sensitive protocol measures the AK activity present within the biofilm matrix; and a third procedure allows the direct visualization of lytic activity toward biofilms formed on catheter material. Amphotericin B and caspofungin, the two most effective anti-biofilm drugs currently used to treat fungal infections, both directly lyse planktonic C. albicans cells in vitro, leading to the release of AK into the culture medium. These studies serve to validate the AK-based lysis assay as a useful addition to the methods for the characterization of antifungal agents active toward biofilms and provide insights into the mode of action of amphotericin B and caspofungin against C. albicans biofilms.

  9. Native Electrophoresis-Coupled Activity Assays Reveal Catalytically-Active Protein Aggregates of Escherichia coli β-Glucuronidase.

    PubMed

    Burchett, Gina G; Folsom, Charles G; Lane, Kimberly T

    2015-01-01

    β-glucuronidase is found as a functional homotetramer in a variety of organisms, including humans and other animals, as well as a number of bacteria. This enzyme is important in these organisms, catalyzing the hydrolytic removal of a glucuronide moiety from substrate molecules. This process serves to break down sugar conjugates in animals and provide sugars for metabolism in bacteria. While β-glucuronidase is primarily found as a homotetramer, previous studies have indicated that the human form of the protein is also catalytically active as a dimer. Here we present evidence for not only an active dimer of the E. coli form of the protein, but also for several larger active complexes, including an octomer and a 16-mer. Additionally, we propose a model for the structures of these large complexes, based on computationally-derived molecular modeling studies. These structures may have application in the study of human disease, as several diseases have been associated with the aggregation of proteins.

  10. Assay of FAAH Activity.

    PubMed

    Bari, Monica; Feole, Monica; Maccarrone, Mauro

    2016-01-01

    Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is an intracellular enzyme responsible for the hydrolysis of endogenous anandamide (AEA), a reaction that terminates the biological effects of this lipid mediator. The final products of this reaction are arachidonic acid and ethanolamine. In the method described herein, FAAH activity is measured through the use of a radioactive substrate by quantification of reaction products, that is, [(14)C]-ethanolamine from [(14)C-ethanolamine]-AEA.

  11. Preliminary assay reveals quality of Mars blend

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, A.K.

    1996-06-10

    Shell Oil Co. has assayed a preproduction well sample of Mars blend, from the Louisiana Gulf of Mexico. The assay shows the crude to have an API gravity of 31{degree} and a sulfur content of 2.0 wt%. Distillation data for the crude are shown in this paper. When partners Shell (71.5%) and BP (28.5%) begin commercial production in July, several producing zones will be tapped through a number of wells. Shell says the final sales quality of Mars Blend may vary from the qualities of this representative sample. The crude will be produced from a tension-leg platform (TLP) at a water depth of 2,940 ft (OGJ, Apr. 8, p. 23). The TLP is anchored in Mississippi Canyon block 807, about 130 miles southwest of New Orleans (map). Mars field will be the principal source of the crude initially. Shell says production will escalate to about 100,000 b/d crude and 110 MMcfd natural gas in 1997. Ultimate recovery is estimated to be 700 million BOE.

  12. Trend of telomerase activity change during human iPSC self-renewal and differentiation revealed by a quartz crystal microbalance based assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Yitian; Zhou, Ping; Xin, Yinqiang; Wang, Jie; Zhu, Zhiqiang; Hu, Ji; Wei, Shicheng; Ma, Hongwei

    2014-11-01

    Telomerase plays an important role in governing the life span of cells for its capacity to extend telomeres. As high activity of telomerase has been found in stem cells and cancer cells specifically, various methods have been developed for the evaluation of telomerase activity. To overcome the time-consuming procedures and complicated manipulations of existing methods, we developed a novel method named Telomeric Repeat Elongation Assay based on Quartz crystal microbalance (TREAQ) to monitor telomerase activity during the self-renewal and differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). TREAQ results indicated hiPSCs possess invariable telomerase activity for 11 passages on Matrigel and a steady decline of telomerase activity when differentiated for different periods, which is confirmed with existing golden standard method. The pluripotency of hiPSCs during differentiation could be estimated through monitoring telomerase activity and compared with the expression levels of markers of pluripotency gene via quantitative real time PCR. Regular assessment for factors associated with pluripotency or stemness was expensive and requires excessive sample consuming, thus TREAQ could be a promising alternative technology for routine monitoring of telomerase activity and estimate the pluripotency of stem cells.

  13. Hydrophobicity of diverse bacterial populations in activated sludge and biofilm revealed by microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons assay and high-throughput sequencing.

    PubMed

    Chao, Yuanqing; Guo, Feng; Fang, Herbert H P; Zhang, Tong

    2014-02-01

    Cell hydrophobicity is one of the key physicochemical properties of bacteria in activated sludge (AS) and biofilms can influence the efficient operation of wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In the present study the cell hydrophobicity of diverse bacterial populations in AS and biofilms from the Shatin and Stanley WWTPs of Hong Kong was characterized by combining the microbial adhesion to hydrocarbons (MATH) assay with the Illumina high-throughput sequencing. The results indicated that, at the phylum level, a majority of bacteria in AS and biofilms showed medium hydrophobicity. Most of the top 20 bacterial genera in the AS samples were hydrophilic. However, the top 20 genera in biofilms showed higher hydrophobicity than in the top 20 genera in AS samples, suggesting more hydrophobic bacteria existed in biofilms than in AS. Meanwhile, the hydrophobicity of two specific bacterial groups, including foaming and biosurfactant-producing bacteria, were also evaluated. The results demonstrated that, by combining the MATH assay with the Illumina sequencing approach, bacterial hydrophobicity could be evaluated with high efficiency and coverage in complex systems with high microbial diversity, e.g. AS and biofilms in WWTPs.

  14. Proteasomes: Isolation and Activity Assays

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yanjie; Tomko, Robert J.; Hochstrasser, Mark

    2015-01-01

    In eukaryotes, damaged or unneeded proteins are typically degraded by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. In this system, the protein substrate is often first covalently modified with a chain of ubiquitin polypeptides. This chain serves as a signal for delivery to the 26S proteasome, a 2.5 MDa, ATP-dependent multisubunit protease complex. The proteasome consists of a barrel-shaped 20S core particle (CP) that is capped on one or both of its ends by a 19S regulatory particle (RP). The RP is responsible for recognizing the substrate, unfolding it, and translocating it into the CP for destruction. Here we describe simple, one-step purifications scheme for isolating the 26S proteasome and its 19S RP and 20S CP subcomplexes from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as well as assays for measuring ubiquitin-dependent and ubiquitin-independent proteolytic activity in vitro. PMID:26061243

  15. DNA Methyltransferase Activity Assays: Advances and Challenges

    PubMed Central

    Poh, Wan Jun; Wee, Cayden Pang Pee; Gao, Zhiqiang

    2016-01-01

    DNA methyltransferases (MTases), a family of enzymes that catalyse the methylation of DNA, have a profound effect on gene regulation. A large body of evidence has indicated that DNA MTase is potentially a predictive biomarker closely associated with genetic disorders and genetic diseases like cancer. Given the attention bestowed onto DNA MTases in molecular biology and medicine, highly sensitive detection of DNA MTase activity is essential in determining gene regulation, epigenetic modification, clinical diagnosis and therapeutics. Conventional techniques such as isotope labelling are effective, but they often require laborious sample preparation, isotope labelling, sophisticated equipment and large amounts of DNA, rendering them unsuitable for uses at point-of-care. Simple, portable, highly sensitive and low-cost assays are urgently needed for DNA MTase activity screening. In most recent technological advances, many alternative DNA MTase activity assays such as fluorescent, electrochemical, colorimetric and chemiluminescent assays have been proposed. In addition, many of them are coupled with nanomaterials and/or enzymes to significantly enhance their sensitivity. Herein we review the progress in the development of DNA MTase activity assays with an emphasis on assay mechanism and performance with some discussion on challenges and perspectives. It is hoped that this article will provide a broad coverage of DNA MTase activity assays and their latest developments and open new perspectives toward the development of DNA MTase activity assays with much improved performance for uses in molecular biology and clinical practice. PMID:26909112

  16. A miniaturized fibrinolytic assay for plasminogen activators

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lewis, M. L.; Nachtwey, D. S.; Damron, K. L.

    1991-01-01

    This report describes a micro-clot lysis assay (MCLA) for evaluating fibrinolytic activity of plasminogen activators (PA). Fibrin clots were formed in wells of microtiter plates. Lysis of the clots by PA, indicated by change in turbidity (optical density, OD), was monitored with a microplate reader at five minutes intervals. Log-log plots of PA dilution versus endpoint, the time at which the OD value was halfway between the maximum and minimum value for each well, were linear over a broad range of PA concentrations (2-200 International units/ml). The MCLA is a modification and miniaturization of well established fibrinolytic methods. The significant practical advantages of the MCLA are that it is a simple, relatively sensitive, non-radioactive, quantitative, kinetic, fibrinolytic micro-technique which can be automated.

  17. Rho family and Rap GTPase activation assays.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Richard T; Knaus, Ulla G

    2014-01-01

    The detection of Ras superfamily GTPase activity in innate immune cells is important when studying signaling events elicited by various ligands and cellular processes. The development of high-affinity probes detecting the activated, GTP-bound form of small GTPases has significantly enhanced our understanding of initiation and termination of GTPase-regulated signaling pathways. These probes are created by fusing a high-affinity GTPase-binding domain derived from a specific downstream effector protein to glutathione S-transferase (GST). Such domains bind preferentially to the GTP-bound form of the upstream Rho or Ras GTPase. Coupling these probes to beads enables extraction of the complex and subsequent quantification of the active GTP-binding protein by immunoblotting. Although effector domains that discriminate efficiently between GDP- and GTP-bound states and highly specific antibodies are not yet available for every small GTPase, analysis of certain members of the Rho and Ras GTPase family is now routinely performed. Here, we describe affinity-based pulldown assays for detection of Rho GTPase (Rac1/2, Cdc42, RhoA/B) and Rap1/2 activity in stimulated neutrophils or macrophages.

  18. Clausmarin A, Potential Immunosuppressant Revealed by Yeast-Based Assay and Interleukin-2 Production Assay in Jurkat T Cells

    PubMed Central

    Suauam, Pitipreya; Yingyongnarongkul, Boon-ek; Palaga, Tanapat; Miyakawa, Tokichi; Yompakdee, Chulee

    2015-01-01

    Small-molecule inhibitors of Ca2+-signaling pathways are of medicinal importance, as exemplified by the immunosuppressants FK506 and cyclosporin A. Using a yeast-based assay devised for the specific detection of Ca2+-signaling inhibitors, clausmarin A, a previously reported terpenoid coumarin, was identified as an active substance. Here, we investigated the likely mechanism of clausmarin A action in yeast and Jurkat T-cells. In the presence of 100 mM CaCl2 in the growth medium of Ca2+-sensitive Δzds1 strain yeast, clausmarin A exhibited a dose-dependent alleviation of various defects due to hyperactivation of Ca2+ signaling, such as growth inhibition, polarized bud growth and G2 phase cell-cycle arrest. Furthermore, clausmarin A inhibited the growth of Δmpk1 (lacking the Mpk1 MAP kinase pathway) but not Δcnb1 (lacking the calcineurin pathway) strain, suggesting that clausmarin A inhibited the calcineurin pathway as presumed from the synthetic lethality of these pathways. Furthermore, clausmarin A alleviated the serious defects of a strain expressing a constitutively active form of calcineurin. In the human Jurkat T-cell line, clausmarin A exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of IL-2 production and IL-2 gene transcription, as well as an inhibition of NFAT dephosphorylation. The effects of clausmarin A observed in both yeast and Jurkat cells are basically similar to those of FK506. Our study revealed that clausmarin A is an inhibitor of the calcineurin pathway, and that this is probably mediated via inhibition of calcineurin phosphatase activity. As such, clausmarin A is a potential immunosuppressant. PMID:26313553

  19. Fluorescence-based retention assays reveals sustained release of vascular endothelial growth factor from bone grafts.

    PubMed

    Kang, Wonmo; Yun, Ye-Rang; Lee, Dong-Sung; Kim, Tae-Hyun; Kim, Joong-Hyun; Kim, Hae-Won; Jang, Jun-Hyeog

    2016-01-01

    The sustained release of growth factors following their implantation in vivo is essential for successful outcomes in bone tissue engineering. In this study, we evaluated the release kinetics and delivery efficacies of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a potent angiogenic growth factor, incorporated into calcium phosphate bone grafts (BGs). We evaluated the release profile of VEGF from BGs using a novel fluorescence-based retention assay, which revealed that VEGF loaded on BGs can be released in a sustained manner without an initial burst (near zero-order cumulative release) with a controlled release rate of 13.6% per week for up to 7 weeks. In contrast, an ELISA-based release assay showed VEGF to have an early burst-release profile for the first week. However, the biological activity of VEGF released from the BGs was preserved over the 7-week release period, which is consistent with the sustained-release profile observed in the fluorescence-based retention assay. Furthermore, the in vivo bone-forming action of the VEGF-loaded BGs was well demonstrated in a rat subcutaneous model. Taken together, the sustained release of VEGF loaded onto BGs was effective in stimulating proliferation, angiogenesis and osteogenesis, suggesting the ultimate value of VEGF-engineered BGs for bone tissue engineering.

  20. A Spectrophotometric Assay Optimizing Conditions for Pepsin Activity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harding, Ethelynda E.; Kimsey, R. Scott

    1998-01-01

    Describes a laboratory protocol optimizing the conditions for the assay of pepsin activity using the Coomasie Blue dye binding assay of protein concentration. The dye bonds through strong, noncovalent interactions to basic and aromatic amino acid residues. (DDR)

  1. Biochemical assays on plasminogen activators and hormones from kidney sources

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barlow, Grant H.; Lewis, Marian L.; Morrison, Dennis R.

    1988-01-01

    Investigations were established for the purpose of analyzing the conditioned media from human embryonic kidney cell subpopulations separated in space by electrophoresis. This data is based on the experiments performed on STS-8 on the continuous flow electrophoresis system. The primary biological activity that was analyzed was plasminogen activator activity, but some assays for erythropoeitin and human granulocyte colony stimulating activity were also performed. It is concluded that a battery of assays are required to completely define the plasminogen activator profile of a conditioned media from cell culture. Each type of assay measures different parts of the mixture and are influenced by different parameters. The functional role of each assay is given along with an indication of which combination of assays are required to answer specific questions. With this type of information it is possible by combinations of assays with mathematical analysis to pinpoint a specific component of the system.

  2. A Rapid and Quantitative Recombinase Activity Assay

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We present here a comparison between the recombinase systems FLP-FRT and Cre-loxP. A transient excision based dual luciferase expression assay is used for its rapid and repeatable nature. The detection system was designed within an intron to remove the remaining recombinase recognition site and no...

  3. Monkey Feeding Assay for Testing Emetic Activity of Staphylococcal Enterotoxin.

    PubMed

    Seo, Keun Seok

    2016-01-01

    Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) are unique bacterial toxins that cause gastrointestinal toxicity as well as superantigenic activity. Since systemic administration of SEs induces superantigenic activity leading to toxic shock syndrome that may mimic enterotoxic activity of SEs such as vomiting and diarrhea, oral administration of SEs in the monkey feeding assay is considered as a standard method to evaluate emetic activity of SEs. This chapter summarizes and discusses practical considerations of the monkey feeding assay used in studies characterizing classical and newly identified SEs.

  4. Slow-binding inhibition of peptide deformylase by cyclic peptidomimetics as revealed by a new spectrophotometric assay.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Kiet T; Hu, Xubo; Pei, Dehua

    2004-06-01

    A new spectrophotometric/fluorimetric assay for peptide deformylase (PDF) has been developed by coupling the PDF reaction with that of dipeptidyl peptidase I (DPPI) and using N-formyl-Met-Lys-AMC as substrate. Removal of the N-terminal formyl group by PDF renders the dipeptide an efficient substrate of DPPI, which subsequently removes the dipeptidyl units to release 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin as the chromophore/fluorophore. The PDF reaction is conveniently monitored on a UV-Vis spectrophotometer or a fluorimeter in a continuous fashion. The utility of the assay was demonstrated by determining the catalytic activity of PDF and the inhibition constants of PDF inhibitors. These studies revealed the slow-binding behavior of a previously reported macrocyclic PDF inhibitor. This method offers several advantages over the existing PDF assays and should be particularly useful for screening PDF inhibitors in the continuous fashion.

  5. What is Comet assay not telling us: AFLP reveals wider aspects of genotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Šrut, Maja; Štambuk, Anamaria; Klobučar, Göran I V

    2013-06-01

    DNA damage detected by genotoxicity biomarkers such as the Comet assay is not always a reliable indicator of the consequences that genotoxic agents can have on the genome integrity of the exposed organisms. Therefore, to reveal the existence of more permanent alterations of DNA structure after genotoxic stress, the RTG-2 rainbow trout cell line was exposed for 3 days to benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P, 0.1-10 μM) and ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS, 0.1-1mM) followed by 3 days of recovery period. Primary DNA damage was evaluated by the Comet assay and DNA alterations were assessed using AFLP (amplified fragment length polymorphism). Qualitative and quantitative modifications in AFLP profiles were analyzed in order to detect genetic alterations arising from mutation events and/or DNA damage. Significant induction in DNA damage measured by the Comet assay was noticed after B[a]P treatment at all concentrations but values returned to the control level after recovery. Exposure to EMS induced significant DNA damage only at the highest concentration and damage persisted after the recovery period. AFLP profiles detected DNA alterations even when Comet assay indicated complete DNA repair, revealing more persistent damage. Since such DNA damage can impair its structure and function, Comet assay results should preferably be supplemented with other methods in order to predict the consequences of genotoxic insult more accurately.

  6. Single-molecule peptide-lipid affinity assay reveals interplay between solution structure and partitioning.

    PubMed

    Matin, Tina R; Sigdel, Krishna P; Utjesanovic, Milica; Marsh, Brendan P; Gallazzi, Fabio; Smith, Virginia F; Kosztin, Ioan; King, Gavin M

    2017-03-27

    Interactions between short protein segments and phospholipid bilayers dictate fundamental aspects of cellular activity and have important applications in biotechnology. Yet, a lack of suitable methodology for directly probing these interactions has hindered mechanistic understanding. We developed a precision atomic force microscope (AFM)-based single-molecule force spectroscopy assay and probed partitioning into lipid bilayers by measuring the mechanical force experienced by a peptide. Protein segments were constructed from the peripheral membrane protein SecA, a key ATPase in bacterial secretion. We focused on the first 10 amino-terminal residues of SecA (SecA2-11) which are known to be lipophilic. In addition to the core SecA2-11 sequence, constructs with nearly identical chemical composition but with differing geometry were used: two copies of SecA2-11 linked in series, and two copies in parallel. Lipid bilayer partitioning interactions of peptides with differing structures were distinguished. To model the energetic landscape, a theory of diffusive barrier crossing was extended to incorporate a superposition of potential barriers with variable weights. Analysis revealed two dissociation pathways for the core SecA2-11 sequence with well-separated intrinsic dissociation rates. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that the three peptides had significant conformational differences in solution that correlated well with measured variations in the propensity to partition into the bilayer. The methodology is generalizable and can be applied to other peptide and lipid species.

  7. A non-isotopic assay for histone deacetylase activity.

    PubMed

    Hoffmann, K; Brosch, G; Loidl, P; Jung, M

    1999-05-01

    Inhibitors of histone deacetylase (HD) bear great potential as new drugs due to their ability to modulate transcription and to induce apoptosis or differentiation in cancer cells. To study the activity of HD and the effect of potential inhibitors in vitro so far only radio-active assays have existed. For the search of new inhibitors and for the use in HD identification and purification we established a simple, non-radioactive assay that allows screening of large numbers of compounds. The assay is based on an aminocoumarin derivative of an Omega-acetylated lysine as enzyme substrate.

  8. Factors Essential for Prostate Cancer Metastasis Revealed Through a Novel 3D Microtissue Assay

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-06-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-15-1-0058 TITLE: Factors Essential for Prostate Cancer Metastasis Revealed Through a Novel 3D Microtissue Assay PRINCIPAL...6 1 Introduction In the United States, prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and the second leading...cause of cancer -related death. Skeletal metastasis is a highly common route of prostate cancer dissemination that greatly diminishes the chance of cure

  9. A simple assay for measuring catalase activity: a visual approach.

    PubMed

    Iwase, Tadayuki; Tajima, Akiko; Sugimoto, Shinya; Okuda, Ken-ichi; Hironaka, Ippei; Kamata, Yuko; Takada, Koji; Mizunoe, Yoshimitsu

    2013-10-30

    In this study, an assay that combines the ease and simplicity of the qualitative approach for measuring catalase activity was developed. The assay reagents comprised only hydrogen peroxide and Triton X-100. The enzyme-generated oxygen bubbles trapped by Triton X-100 were visualized as foam, whose height was estimated. A calibration plot using the defined unit of catalase activity yielded the best linear fit over a range of 20-300 units (U) (y = 0.3794x - 2.0909, r(2) = 0.993). The assay precision and reproducibility at 100 U were 4.6% and 4.8%, respectively. The applicability of the assay for measuring the catalase activity of various samples was assessed using laboratory strains of Escherichia coli, catalase-deficient isogenic mutants, clinically isolated Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, and human cells. The assay generated reproducible results. In conclusion, this new assay can be used to measure the catalase activity of bacterial isolates and human cells.

  10. Sensitivity of two in vitro assays for evaluating plant activity against the infective stage of Haemonchus contortus strains.

    PubMed

    Al-Rofaai, A; Rahman, W A; Abdulghani, Mahfoudh

    2013-02-01

    The sensitivity of larval paralysis assay (LPA) and 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl tetrazolium bromide-formazan (MTT-formazan) assay was compared to evaluate the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts. In this study, the methanolic extract of Azadirachta indica (neem) was evaluated for its activity against the infective-stage larvae (L(3)) of susceptible and resistant Haemonchus contortus strains using the two aforementioned assays. In both in vitro assays, the same serial concentrations of the extract were used, and the median lethal concentrations were determined to compare the sensitivity of both assays. The results revealed a significant difference (P < 0.05) in the sensitivity of the LPA and the MTT-formazan assay. The MTT-formazan assay is more feasible for practical applications because it measured the L(3) mortality more accurately than LPA. This study may help find a suitable assay for investigating the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts against trichostrongylid nematodes.

  11. A homogenous luminescence assay reveals novel inhibitors for giardia lamblia carbamate kinase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Catherine Z; Southall, Noel; Galkin, Andrey; Lim, Kap; Marugan, Juan J; Kulakova, Liudmila; Shinn, Paul; van Leer, Danielle; Zheng, Wei; Herzberg, Osnat

    2012-01-01

    The human pathogen Giardia lamblia is an anaerobic protozoan parasite that causes giardiasis, one of the most common diarrheal diseases worldwide. Although several drugs are available for the treatment of giardisis, resistance to these drugs has been reported and is likely to increase. The Giardia carbamate kinase (glCK) plays an essential role in Giardia metabolism and has no homologs in humans, making it an attractive candidate for anti-Giardia drug development. We have developed a luminescent enzyme coupled assay to measure the activity of glCK by quantitating the amount of ATP produced by the enzyme. This assay is homogeneous and has been miniaturized into a 1536-well plate format. A pilot screen against 4,096 known compounds using this assay yielded a signal-to-basal ratio of 11.5 fold and Z' factor of 0.8 with a hit rate of 0.9 % of inhibitors of glCK. Therefore, this Giardia lamblia carbamate kinase assay is useful for high throughput screening of large compound collection for identification of the inhibitors for drug development.

  12. Cytokine Production Assays Reveal Discriminatory Immune Defects in Adults with Recurrent Infections and Noninfectious Inflammation

    PubMed Central

    van de Veerdonk, Frank L.; Joosten, Leo A. B.; Simon, Anna; van Crevel, Reinout; Kullberg, Bart-Jan; Gyssens, Inge C.; van der Meer, Jos W. M.; van Deuren, Marcel; Netea, Mihai G.

    2014-01-01

    Cytokine production assays have been primarily used in research settings studying novel immunodeficiencies. We sought to determine the diagnostic value of cytokine production assays in patients with recurrent and/or severe infectious diseases (IDs) without known immunodeficiencies and unclassified noninfectious inflammatory disorders (NIIDs). We retrospectively examined cytokine production in whole-blood and peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from 157 adult patients. A cytokine production rate of <5% of that of healthy controls was considered defective. While monocyte-derived cytokine (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-α], interleukin-1β [IL-1β], and IL-6) production was rarely affected, 30% of all included patients had deficient production of interferon gamma (IFN-γ), IL-17A, or IL-22. Twenty-five percent of the NIID patients displayed defective IFN-γ production, whereas IL-17A production was generally unaffected. In the group of ID patients, defective IFN-γ production was found in 19% and 14% of the patients with viral and bacterial infections, respectively, and in 38%, 24%, and 50% of patients with mycobacterial, mucocutaneous, and invasive fungal infections, respectively. Defective IL-17A and IL-22 production was mainly confined to ID patients with mucocutaneous fungal infections. In conclusion, cytokine production assays frequently detect defective Th1 responses in patients with mycobacterial or fungal infections, in contrast to patients with respiratory tract infections or isolated bacterial infections. Defective IL-17A and IL-22 production was primarily found in patients with fungal infections, while monocyte-derived cytokine production was unaffected. Thus, lymphocyte-derived cytokine production assays are helpful in the diagnostic workup of patients with recurrent infections and suspected immunodeficiencies and have the potential to reveal immune defects that might guide adjunctive immunomodulatory therapy. PMID:24872512

  13. A genetic assay for transcription errors reveals multilayer control of RNA polymerase II fidelity.

    PubMed

    Irvin, Jordan D; Kireeva, Maria L; Gotte, Deanna R; Shafer, Brenda K; Huang, Ingold; Kashlev, Mikhail; Strathern, Jeffrey N

    2014-09-01

    We developed a highly sensitive assay to detect transcription errors in vivo. The assay is based on suppression of a missense mutation in the active site tyrosine in the Cre recombinase. Because Cre acts as tetramer, background from translation errors are negligible. Functional Cre resulting from rare transcription errors that restore the tyrosine codon can be detected by Cre-dependent rearrangement of reporter genes. Hence, transient transcription errors are captured as stable genetic changes. We used this Cre-based reporter to screen for mutations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae RPB1 (RPO21) that increase the level of misincorporation during transcription. The mutations are in three domains of Rpb1, the trigger loop, the bridge helix, and in sites involved in binding to TFIIS. Biochemical characterization demonstrates that these variants have elevated misincorporation, and/or ability to extend mispaired bases, or defects in TFIIS mediated editing.

  14. Determination of estrogenic activity by LYES-assay (yeast estrogen screen-assay assisted by enzymatic digestion with lyticase).

    PubMed

    Schultis, T; Metzger, J W

    2004-12-01

    In order to enhance the sensitivity and the speed of the yeast estrogen screen (YES)-assay, which has been established in many laboratories for the determination of estrogenic activity of compounds and environmental samples, the LYES-assay, a modified version of the YES-assay including a digestion step with the enzyme lyticase, was developed. With the LYES-assay the estrogenic activities of natural (17beta-estradiol E2 and estrone), synthetic (17alpha-ethinylestradiol EE2) and pharmaceutical estrogens (diethylstilbestrol DES) as well as xenoestrogens (4-nonylphenol NP and five parabens) were determined and compared with the results obtained by other in vitro-assays namely the conventional YES-assay, the E-Screen-assay (MCF-7 breast tumor cell proliferation) and a receptor binding-assay (RB) with human estrogen receptors hER-alpha and hER-beta. In the case of E2 the LYES-assay had a significantly lower limit of quantification (LOQ) than the conventional YES-assay and even two orders of magnitude lower than the RB-assay. Compared to the E-Screen-assay the LOQ of the LYES-assay was almost one order of magnitude higher. The time required to perform the LYES-assay was as little as seven hours compared to three to five days for the conventional YES-assay. Thus, the LYES-assay is a very good alternative to existing estrogenic in vitro-assays, since it has a good sensitivity, is cheap and much faster than the other assays.

  15. Toxin activity assays, devices, methods and systems therefor

    DOEpatents

    Koh, Chung-Yan; Schaff, Ulrich Y.; Sommer, Gregory Jon

    2016-04-05

    Embodiments of the present invention are directed toward devices, system and method for conducting toxin activity assay using sedimentation. The toxin activity assay may include generating complexes which bind to a plurality of beads in a fluid sample. The complexes may include a target toxin and a labeling agent, or may be generated due to presence of active target toxin and/or labeling agent designed to be incorporated into complexes responsive to the presence of target active toxin. The plurality of beads including the complexes may be transported through a density media, wherein the density media has a lower density than a density of the beads and higher than a density of the fluid sample, and wherein the transporting occurs, at least in part, by sedimentation. Signal may be detected from the labeling agents of the complexes.

  16. Minor antigen graft-versus-host reactions revealed in irradiated spleen and popliteal lymph node assays

    SciTech Connect

    Claman, H.N.; Jaffee, B.D.

    1984-10-01

    The graft-versus-hot (GVH) reaction across minor (non-H-2) histocompatibility barriers was studied in mice, in vivo. To increase GVH potential and to mimic clinical bone marrow transplantation protocols, we modified the popliteal lymph node (PLN) and the splenomegaly assays by irradiating the recipients before they received allogeneic lymphoid cell suspensions. In several combinations across major (H-2), minor (non-H-2) and multiple minor (non-H-2 plus minor lymphocyte stimulation) barriers, increased recipient organ weight (a measure of GVH activity) was seen with irradiated F1 recipients of parental cells. The irradiated splenomegaly (x-splenomegaly) assay was more sensitive than the (x-PLN) assay, but both correlated with in vivo GVH experiments of the P----F1 variety. The x-splenomegaly test indicated histoincompatibility in a system (B10.D2----BALB/c) in which the primary in vitro mixed leukocyte reactions is nonreactive, but in which systemic GVH can be induced. The x-splenomegaly test should be useful in analyzing complex reactions involving minor histocompatibility antigens in vivo.

  17. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei

    2015-03-03

    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD(+) or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD(+)/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD(+)-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD(+) and NADH contents and the NAD(+)/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD(+), total NAD contents, and NAD(+)/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ.

  18. In vivo NAD assay reveals the intracellular NAD contents and redox state in healthy human brain and their age dependences

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Lu, Ming; Lee, Byeong-Yeul; Ugurbil, Kamil; Chen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    NAD is an essential metabolite that exists in NAD+ or NADH form in all living cells. Despite its critical roles in regulating mitochondrial energy production through the NAD+/NADH redox state and modulating cellular signaling processes through the activity of the NAD+-dependent enzymes, the method for quantifying intracellular NAD contents and redox state is limited to a few in vitro or ex vivo assays, which are not suitable for studying a living brain or organ. Here, we present a magnetic resonance (MR) -based in vivo NAD assay that uses the high-field MR scanner and is capable of noninvasively assessing NAD+ and NADH contents and the NAD+/NADH redox state in intact human brain. The results of this study provide the first insight, to our knowledge, into the cellular NAD concentrations and redox state in the brains of healthy volunteers. Furthermore, an age-dependent increase of intracellular NADH and age-dependent reductions in NAD+, total NAD contents, and NAD+/NADH redox potential of the healthy human brain were revealed in this study. The overall findings not only provide direct evidence of declined mitochondrial functions and altered NAD homeostasis that accompany the normal aging process but also, elucidate the merits and potentials of this new NAD assay for noninvasively studying the intracellular NAD metabolism and redox state in normal and diseased human brain or other organs in situ. PMID:25730862

  19. Mining Chemical Activity Status from High-Throughput Screening Assays.

    PubMed

    Soufan, Othman; Ba-alawi, Wail; Afeef, Moataz; Essack, Magbubah; Rodionov, Valentin; Kalnis, Panos; Bajic, Vladimir B

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) experiments provide a valuable resource that reports biological activity of numerous chemical compounds relative to their molecular targets. Building computational models that accurately predict such activity status (active vs. inactive) in specific assays is a challenging task given the large volume of data and frequently small proportion of active compounds relative to the inactive ones. We developed a method, DRAMOTE, to predict activity status of chemical compounds in HTP activity assays. For a class of HTP assays, our method achieves considerably better results than the current state-of-the-art-solutions. We achieved this by modification of a minority oversampling technique. To demonstrate that DRAMOTE is performing better than the other methods, we performed a comprehensive comparison analysis with several other methods and evaluated them on data from 11 PubChem assays through 1,350 experiments that involved approximately 500,000 interactions between chemicals and their target proteins. As an example of potential use, we applied DRAMOTE to develop robust models for predicting FDA approved drugs that have high probability to interact with the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) in humans. Our findings are further partially and indirectly supported by 3D docking results and literature information. The results based on approximately 500,000 interactions suggest that DRAMOTE has performed the best and that it can be used for developing robust virtual screening models. The datasets and implementation of all solutions are available as a MATLAB toolbox online at www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/dramote and can be found on Figshare.

  20. Mining Chemical Activity Status from High-Throughput Screening Assays

    PubMed Central

    Soufan, Othman; Ba-alawi, Wail; Afeef, Moataz; Essack, Magbubah; Rodionov, Valentin; Kalnis, Panos; Bajic, Vladimir B.

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) experiments provide a valuable resource that reports biological activity of numerous chemical compounds relative to their molecular targets. Building computational models that accurately predict such activity status (active vs. inactive) in specific assays is a challenging task given the large volume of data and frequently small proportion of active compounds relative to the inactive ones. We developed a method, DRAMOTE, to predict activity status of chemical compounds in HTP activity assays. For a class of HTP assays, our method achieves considerably better results than the current state-of-the-art-solutions. We achieved this by modification of a minority oversampling technique. To demonstrate that DRAMOTE is performing better than the other methods, we performed a comprehensive comparison analysis with several other methods and evaluated them on data from 11 PubChem assays through 1,350 experiments that involved approximately 500,000 interactions between chemicals and their target proteins. As an example of potential use, we applied DRAMOTE to develop robust models for predicting FDA approved drugs that have high probability to interact with the thyroid stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) in humans. Our findings are further partially and indirectly supported by 3D docking results and literature information. The results based on approximately 500,000 interactions suggest that DRAMOTE has performed the best and that it can be used for developing robust virtual screening models. The datasets and implementation of all solutions are available as a MATLAB toolbox online at www.cbrc.kaust.edu.sa/dramote and can be found on Figshare. PMID:26658480

  1. A cell-free biochemical complementation assay reveals complex and redundant cytosolic requirements for LRP endocytosis.

    PubMed

    Miwako, Ishido; Schmid, Sandra L

    2006-05-01

    The low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein (LRP) binds multiple, distinct ligands and participates in constitutive endocytosis and signal transduction. Using an in vitro reconstitution system and a new biochemical complementation assay, we have explored the limiting cytosolic requirements for endocytosis of LRP from isolated plasma membranes. We find that clathrin, AP2 and dynamin do not support efficient LRP uptake and that additional factors present in a 30% ammonium sulfate supernatant fraction of bovine brain cytosol (AS supt) are required. Fractionation of the AS supt revealed that multiple and redundant factors are required to support LRP endocytosis. Among these, we identified Hsc70, synaptojanin1 and CRMP-2 by mass spectrometry. Our data suggest that LRP, which bears several distinct endocytic motifs in its cytoplasmic domain, may use multiple pathways for endocytosis in vitro.

  2. A new assay system for guinea pig interferon biological activity.

    PubMed

    Yamamoto, Toshiko; Jeevan, Amminikutty; Ohishi, Kazue; Nojima, Yasuhiro; Umemori, Kiyoko; Yamamoto, Saburo; McMurray, David N

    2002-07-01

    We have developed an assay system for guinea pig interferon (IFN) based on reduction of viral cytopathic effect (CPE) in various cell lines. CPE inhibition was detected optimally in the guinea pig fibroblast cell line 104C1 infected with encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV). The amount of biologically active guinea pig IFN was quantified by estimating viable cell numbers colorimetrically by means of a tetrazolium compound, 2-(4-iodophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium monosodium salt (WST-1) and 1-methoxy-5-methylphenazinium methylsulfate (PMS). WST-1 color developed until stopped by the addition of sulfuric acid. This had no effect on the colorimetric assay, and the color was stable for at least 24 h. The acid also inactivated the EMCV and, thus, eliminated the viral hazard. Inhibition of CPE activity was highly correlated with the concentration of culture supernatants from BCG-vaccinated guinea pig splenocytes stimulated in vitro with tuberculin or an immunostimulatory oligoDNA. This assay detected guinea pig IFN and human IFN-alpha, but not IFN-gamma from human, mouse, rat, pig, or dog. This assay system has proved useful for the titration of guinea pig IFN, being easy to perform, free from viral hazard, relatively species specific, highly reproducible, and inexpensive.

  3. Active and passive computed tomography for nondestructive assay

    SciTech Connect

    Bernardi, R T; Camp, D E; Clard, D; Jackson, J A; Martz, H E, Decman, D J; Roberson, G P

    1998-10-28

    Traditional gamma-ray methods used to characterize nuclear waste introduce errors that are related to non-uniform measurement responses associated with unknown radioactive source and matrix material distributions. These errors can be reduced by applying an active and passive tomographic technique (A&PCT) developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The technique uses an external radioactive source and active tomography to map the attenuation within a waste barrel as a function of mono-energetic gamma-ray energy. Passive tomography is used to localize and identify specific radioactive waste within the same container. Reconstruction of the passive data using the attenuation maps at specific energies allows internal waste radioactivity to be corrected for any overlying heterogeneous materials, thus yielding an absolute assay of the waste activity. LLNL and Bio-Imaging Research, Inc. have collaborated in a technology transfer effort to integrate an A&PCT assay system into a mobile waste characterization trailer. This mobile system has participated in and passed several formal DOE-sponsored performance demonstrations, tests and evaluations. The system is currently being upgraded with multiple detectors to improve throughput, automated gamma-ray analysis code to simplify the assay, and a new emission reconstruction code to improve accuracy

  4. Enzymatic assay for calmodulins based on plant NAD kinase activity

    SciTech Connect

    Harmon, A.C.; Jarrett, H.W.; Cormier, M.J.

    1984-01-01

    NAD kinase with increased sensitivity to calmodulin was purified from pea seedlings (Pisum sativum L., Willet Wonder). Assays for calmodulin based on the activities of NAD kinase, bovine brain cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase, and human erythrocyte Ca/sup 2 -/-ATPase were compared for their sensitivities to calmodulin and for their abilities to discriminate between calmodulins from different sources. The activities of the three enzymes were determined in the presence of various concentrations of calmodulins from human erythrocyte, bovine brain, sea pansy (Renilla reniformis), mung bean seed (Vigna radiata L. Wilczek), mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), and Tetrahymena pyriformis. The concentrations of calmodulin required for 50% activation of the NAD kinase (K/sub 0.5/) ranged from 0.520 ng/ml for Tetrahymena to 2.20 ng/ml for bovine brain. The A/sub 0.5/ s ranged from 19.6 ng/ml for bovine brain calmodulin to 73.5 ng/ml for mushroom calmodulin for phosphodiesterase activation. The K/sub 0.5/'s for the activation of Ca/sup 2 +/-ATPase ranged from 36.3 ng/mol for erythrocyte calmodulin to 61.7 ng/ml for mushroom calmodulin. NAD kinase was not stimulated by phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylserine, cardiolipin, or palmitoleic acid in the absence or presence of Ca/sup 2 +/. Palmitic acid had a slightly stimulatory effect in the presence of Ca/sup 2 +/ (10% of maximum), but no effect in the absence of Ca/sup 2 +/. Palmitoleic acid inhibited the calmodulin-stimulated activity by 50%. Both the NAD kinase assay and radioimmunoassay were able to detect calmodulin in extracts containing low concentrations of calmodulin. Estimates of calmodulin contents of crude homogenates determined by the NAD kinase assay were consistent with amounts obtained by various purification procedures. 30 references, 1 figure, 4 tables.

  5. Synthesis and Assay of SIRT1-Activating Compounds.

    PubMed

    Dai, H; Ellis, J L; Sinclair, D A; Hubbard, B P

    2016-01-01

    The NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 plays key roles in numerous cellular processes including DNA repair, gene transcription, cell differentiation, and metabolism. Overexpression of SIRT1 protects against a number of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, overexpression of SIRT1 in the murine brain extends lifespan. A number of small-molecule sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs) that increase SIRT1 activity in vitro and in cells have been developed. While the mechanism for how these compounds act on SIRT1 was once controversial, it is becoming increasingly clear that they directly interact with SIRT1 and enhance its activity through an allosteric mechanism. Here, we present detailed chemical syntheses for four STACs, each from a distinct structural class. Also, we provide a general protocol for purifying active SIRT1 enzyme and outline two complementary enzymatic assays for characterizing the effects of STACs and similar compounds on SIRT1 activity.

  6. Synthesis and Assay of SIRT1-Activating Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Dai, H.; Ellis, J.L.; Sinclair, D.A.; Hubbard, B.P.

    2016-01-01

    The NAD+-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 plays key roles in numerous cellular processes including DNA repair, gene transcription, cell differentiation, and metabolism. Over-expression of SIRT1 protects against a number of age-related diseases including diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer's disease. Moreover, overexpression of SIRT1 in the murine brain extends lifespan. A number of small-molecule sirtuin-activating compounds (STACs) that increase SIRT1 activity in vitro and in cells have been developed. While the mechanism for how these compounds act on SIRT1 was once controversial, it is becoming increasingly clear that they directly interact with SIRT1 and enhance its activity through an allosteric mechanism. Here, we present detailed chemical syntheses for four STACs, each from a distinct structural class. Also, we provide a general protocol for purifying active SIRT1 enzyme and outline two complementary enzymatic assays for characterizing the effects of STACs and similar compounds on SIRT1 activity. PMID:27423864

  7. ABAP: antibody-based assay for peptidylarginine deiminase activity.

    PubMed

    Zendman, Albert J W; Raijmakers, Reinout; Nijenhuis, Suzanne; Vossenaar, Erik R; Tillaart, Marloes van den; Chirivi, Renato G S; Raats, Jos M H; van Venrooij, Walther J; Drijfhout, Jan W; Pruijn, Ger J M

    2007-10-15

    Members of the family of peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs, EC 3.5.3.15) catalyze the posttranslational modification of peptidylarginine into peptidylcitrulline. Citrulline-containing epitopes have been shown to be major and specific targets of autoantibodies produced by rheumatoid arthritis patients. Recently, the citrullination of histone proteins by PAD enzyme was reported to influence gene expression levels. These findings greatly increase the interest in the PAD enzymes and their activities. A few procedures to monitor PAD activity in biological samples have been described previously. However, these assays either have low sensitivity or are rather laborious. Here we describe a reliable and reproducible method for the determination of PAD activity in both purified and crude samples. The method is based on the quantification of PAD-dependent citrullination of peptides, immobilized in microtiter plates, using antibodies that are exclusively reactive with the reaction product(s). Our results demonstrate that this antibody-based assay for PAD activity, called ABAP, is very sensitive and can be applied to monitor PAD activity in biological samples.

  8. Fluorescence Assay for Evaluating Microbicidal Activity of Hand Antiseptics

    PubMed Central

    Lopez-Gigosos, Rosa M.; Mariscal-Lopez, Eloisa; Gutierrez-Bedmar, Mario; Fernandez, Joaquin

    2015-01-01

    We developed a fluorescent β-d-glucuronidase activity (BGA)-based assay for detecting and quantifying Escherichia coli in samples to assess the biocide efficacy of hand antiseptics. The fluorescence level is proportional to the number of viable E. coli organisms present. We compared our assay results to those of the E. coli plate count method specified by the European standard for testing hygienic hand rub disinfectant products (EN1500). The plate count method requires excessive handling and materials and is not valid if the number of organisms per plate is too low or high for counting in many of the samples. We optimized the fluorescent assay based on the cleavage of 4-methylumbelliferyl-β-d-glucuronide by adding 4-nitrophenyl-β-d-glucuronide, a nonfluorogenic BGA substrate, to induce glucuronidase activity and reduce assay time. Furthermore, our method can be automated and eliminates the need for multiple dilutions. Fluorescence was temporally monitored, and the time required to reach a specific value of fluorescence was correlated with the initial number of viable E. coli organisms on the samples. There was a positive correlation (P < 0.05) with a high correlation coefficient (R2 = 0.82) between the E. coli counts by plate count and fluorescence methods. Reported effects in fluorescent BGA were compared to the EN1500 plate count method with five hand disinfectants. We found our method more advantageous, because it was as sensitive as the EN1500 method, requires less time to complete, and is less expensive and less laborious than conventional plating techniques. PMID:26276114

  9. RAB21 Activity Assay Using GST-fused APPL1

    PubMed Central

    Jean, Steve; Kiger, Amy A.

    2016-01-01

    The Rab family of small GTPases are essential regulators of membrane trafficking events. As with other small GTPase families, Rab GTPases cycle between an inactive GDP-bound state and an active GTP-bound state. Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) promote Rab activation with the exchange of bound GDP for GTP, while GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) regulate Rab inactivation with GTP hydrolysis. Numerous methods have been established to monitor the activation status of Rab GTPases. Of those, FRET-based methods are used to identify when and where a Rab GTPase is activated in cells. Unfortunately, the generation of such probes is complex, and only a limited number of Rabs have been probed this way. Biochemical purification of activated Rabs from cell or tissue extracts is easily achievable through the use of a known Rab effector domain to pull down a specific GTP-bound Rab form. Although this method is not ideal for detailed subcellular localization, it can offer temporal resolution of Rab activity. The identification of a growing number of specific effectors now allows tests for activation levels of many Rab GTPases in specific conditions. Here, we described an affinity purification approach using GST fused APPL1 (a known RAB21 effector) to test RAB21 activation in mammalian cells. This method was successfully used to assay changes in RAB21 activation status under nutrient rich versus starved conditions and to test the requirement of the MTMR13 RAB21 GEF in this process. PMID:28251173

  10. Evaluation of estrogenic activity of parabens and their chlorinated derivatives by using the yeast two-hybrid assay and the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Terasaki, Masanori; Kamata, Ryo; Shiraishi, Fujio; Makino, Masakazu

    2009-01-01

    We assessed the estrogen agonist activities of 21 parabens and their chlorinated derivatives by using yeast two-hybrid assays incorporating either the human or medaka (Oryzias latipes) estrogen receptor alpha (hERalpha and medERalpha, respectively), and by using hERalpha competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ER-ELISA). In the two-hybrid assay with hERalpha, five parabens and three chlorinated derivatives exhibited estrogenic activity, and their relative activity (17beta-estradiol [E2] = 1) ranged from 2.0 x 10(-5) to 2.0 x 10(-4), with the highest activity observed in i-butylparaben. In the medERalpha assay, six parabens and six chlorinated derivatives exhibited estrogenic activity and their relative activity ranged from 2.7 x 10(-5) to 3.5 x 10(-3), with the highest activity observed in benzylparaben, its monochlorinated derivative, i-butylparaben, and n-butylparaben. Although medERalpha demonstrated an activity to E2 that was three times lower than that demonstrated by hERalpha, medERalpha has a higher sensitivity to parabens than hERa (1.3-8.9 times). Five parabens and two chlorinated derivatives exhibited a binding affinity to ERa in the ER-ELISA; of the parabens, i-butylparaben exhibited the strongest binding affinity. The yeast two-hybrid assay and the ER-ELISA also revealed that many of the assayed chlorinated parabens were much weaker than the parent compound. In addition, the results mainly showed that parabens with a bulk substituent (e.g., i-butyl and benzyl groups) had a higher activity than those with a sterically small substituent. It is considered that derivatization masks the apparent estrogenic activity of parabens, but the resulting chlorinated compounds may represent a potential hazard and therefore other toxicity tests should be performed to determine the toxicity of the chlorinated derivatives.

  11. Cell based assays for anti-Plasmodium activity evaluation.

    PubMed

    Mokgethi-Morule, Thabang; N'Da, David D

    2016-03-10

    Malaria remains one of the most common and deadly infectious diseases worldwide. The severity of this global public health challenge is reflected by the approximately 198 million people, who were reportedly infected in 2013 and by the more than 584,000 related deaths in that same year. The rising emergence of drug resistance towards the once effective artemisinin combination therapies (ACTs) has become a serious concern and warrants more robust drug development strategies, with the objective of eradicating malaria infections. The intricate biology and life cycle of Plasmodium parasites complicate the understanding of the disease in such a way that would enhance the development of more effective chemotherapies that would achieve radical clinical cure and that would prevent disease relapse. Phenotypic cell based assays have for long been a valuable approach and involve the screening and analysis of diverse compounds with regards to their activities towards whole Plasmodium parasites in vitro. To achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of malaria eradication by 2020, new generation drugs that are active against all parasite stages (erythrocytic (blood), exo-erythrocytic (liver stages and gametocytes)) are needed. Significant advances are being made in assay development to overcome some of the practical challenges of assessing drug efficacy, particularly in the liver and transmission stage Plasmodium models. This review discusses primary screening models and the fundamental progress being made in whole cell based efficacy screens of anti-malarial activity. Ongoing challenges and some opportunities for improvements in assay development that would assist in the discovery of effective, safe and affordable drugs for malaria treatments are also discussed.

  12. Novel assay for direct fluorescent imaging of sialidase activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tomin, A.; Shkandina, T.; Bilyy, R.

    2011-07-01

    Here we describe a novel approach to sialidase activity estimation. Sialidases (EC 3.2.1.18, exo-α-sialidases), also known as neuraminidases, are the group of enzymes, which hydrolyze the glycoside bound between terminal sialic acid and subsequent carbohydrate residue in glycoproteins and glycolipids. Sialic acids are the group of monosaccharides with acidic properties, since they are acetylated or glycolylated derivates of neuraminic acid. Flu and some other viruses use neuraminidase activity to infect host cells. The level of sialylation was shown to be tightly connected with tumor cell invasiveness and metastatic potential, sialylation level also determines the clearance of aged or virus-infected cells. Thus, detection of sialidase activity is of primary importance for clinical diagnostics as well as life science research. The authors developed the assay for both visualization and estimation of sialidase activity in living cells. Previously known methods for sialidase activity detection required destruction of cellular material, or were low-sensitive, or provided no information on the activity localization in certain intracellular compartment. To overcome these problems, a fluorogenic neuraminidase substrate, 4-MUNA was utilized, and the method for detection of neuraminidase activity using fluorescent microscopy was proposed, it provided a high signal level and information on cellular localization of the studied enzyme. By using this approach the increase of sialidase activity on apoptotic cells was demonstrated in comparison to viable and primary necrotic cells.

  13. Assay and characterization of the NO dioxygenase activity of flavohemoglobins.

    PubMed

    Gardner, Paul R

    2008-01-01

    A variety of hemoglobins, including several microbial flavohemoglobins, enzymatically dioxygenate the free radical nitric oxide (*NO) to form nitrate. Many of these *NO dioxygenases have been shown to control *NO toxicity and signaling. Furthermore, *NO dioxygenation appears to be an ancient and intrinsic function for members of the hemoglobin superfamily found in Archaea, eukaryotes, and bacteria. Yet for many hemoglobins, a function remains to be elucidated. Methods for the assay and characterization of the *NO dioxygenase (EC 1.14.12.17) activity and function of flavohemoglobins are described. The methods may also be applied to the discovery and design of inhibitors for use as antibiotics or as modulators of *NO signaling.

  14. [Crude extraction and activity assay of CEL I].

    PubMed

    Han, Suo-Yi; Yang, Ma-Li; Gai, Jun-Yi; Yu, De-Yue

    2006-09-01

    CEL I, extracted from celery, is the first known eukaryotic nuclease that cleaves DNA with high specificity at sites of base-substitution mismatch and DNA distortion. It is a key enzyme for TILLING research. Here we reported a crude extraction method and activity assay of CEL I. Incision at mismatches of single nucleotide suggested that CEL I can effectively detect DNA at G-->A base substitution and the result can be obtained from an ABI377 Sequencer. Therefore, the extracted enzyme can be used in TILLING.

  15. Hormonal activity of polycyclic musks evaluated by reporter gene assay.

    PubMed

    Mori, Taiki; Iida, Mitsuru; Ishibashi, Hiroshi; Kohra, Shinya; Takao, Yuji; Takemasa, Takehiro; Arizono, Koji

    2007-01-01

    Synthetic musk fragrance compounds, such as polycyclic musks (PCMs), are a group of chemicals used extensively as personal care products, and can be found in the environment and the human body. PCMs, such as 1,3,4,6,7,8-hexahydro-4,6,6,7,8,8-hexa-methylcyclopenta-gamma-2-benzopyran (HHCB) and 7-acetyl-1,1,3,4,4,6-hexamethyltetralin (AHTN), are known to have agonistic activities toward human estrogen receptor alpha (hERalpha) and hERbeta, and have antagonistic activity toward the human androgen receptor (hAR), as shown in several reporter gene assays. However, little is known about the interaction of PCMs with the human thyroid hormone receptor (hTR), and the hormonal effects of other PCMs except for HHCB and AHTN. In this study, we focus on the interactions of six PCMs, namely, HHCB, AHTN, 4-acetyl-1,1-dimethyl-6-tert-butyl-indan (ADBI), 6-acetyl-1,1,2,3,3,5-hexamethylindan (AHMI), 6,7-dihydro-1,1,2,3,3-pentamethyl-4(5H)-indanone (DPMI), and 5-acetyl-1,1,2,6-tetramethyl-3-isopropy-lindan (ATII) with hERalpha, hAR, and hTRbeta by in vitro reporter gene assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells. All the samples were found to be agonists toward hERalpha, whereas no agonistic activities of these PCMs for hAR and hTRbeta were observed. No antagonistic activities for hERalpha and hTRbeta were observed at the concentrations tested. However, several PCMs, namely, HHCB, AHTN, ATII, ADBI, and AHMI, showed dose-dependent antagonistic activities for hAR, and the IC50 values of these compounds were estimated to be 1.0 x 10(-7), 1.5 x 10(-7), 1.4 x 10(-7), 9.8 x 10(-6), and 1.4 x 10(-7) M, respectively. The results suggest that these PCMs interact with hERalpha and hAR but have no hormonal effect on hTRbeta. This is the first report on the agonistic and antagonistic activities of ATII, ADBI, AHMI, and DPMI for hERalpha and hAR as determined by in vitro reporter gene assay using stably transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells.

  16. Interference sources in ATP bioluminescence assay of silica nanoparticle toxicity to activated sludge.

    PubMed

    Sibag, Mark; Kim, Seung Hwan; Kim, Choah; Kim, Hee Jun; Cho, Jinwoo

    2015-06-01

    ATP measurement provides an overview of the general state of microbial activity, and thus it has proven useful for the evaluation of nanoparticle toxicity in activated sludge. ATP bioluminescence assay, however, is susceptible to interference by the components of activated sludge other than biomass. This paper presents the interference identified specific to the use of this assay after activated sludge respiration inhibition test of silica nanoparticles (OECD 209). We observed a high degree of interference (90%) in the presence of 100 mg/L silica nanoparticles and a low level of ATP being measured (0.01 μM); and 30% interference by the synthetic medium regardless of silica nanoparticle concentration and ATP level in the samples. ATP measurement in activated sludge with different MLSS concentrations revealed interference of high biomass content. In conclusion, silica nanoparticles, synthetic medium and activated sludge samples themselves interfere with ATP bioluminescence; this will need to be considered in the evaluation of silica nanoparticle toxicity to activated sludge when this type of assay is used.

  17. Agarose gel shift assay reveals that calreticulin favors substrates with a quaternary structure in solution.

    PubMed

    Boelt, Sanne Grundvad; Houen, Gunnar; Højrup, Peter

    2015-07-15

    Here we present an agarose gel shift assay that, in contrast to other electrophoresis approaches, is loaded in the center of the gel. This allows proteins to migrate in either direction according to their isoelectric points. Therefore, the presented assay enables a direct visualization, separation, and prefractionation of protein interactions in solution independent of isoelectric point. We demonstrate that this assay is compatible with immunochemical methods and mass spectrometry. The assay was used to investigate interactions with several potential substrates for calreticulin, a chaperone that is involved in different biological aspects through interaction with other proteins. The current analytical assays used to investigate these interactions are mainly spectroscopic aggregation assays or solid phase assays that do not provide a direct visualization of the stable protein complex but rather provide an indirect measure of interactions. Therefore, no interaction studies between calreticulin and substrates in solution have been investigated previously. The results presented here indicate that calreticulin has a preference for substrates with a quaternary structure and primarily β-sheets in their secondary structure. It is also demonstrated that the agarose gel shift assay is useful in the study of other protein interactions and can be used as an alternative method to native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis.

  18. Infection assays in Arabidopsis reveal candidate effectors from the poplar rust fungus that promote susceptibility to bacteria and oomycete pathogens.

    PubMed

    Germain, Hugo; Joly, David L; Mireault, Caroline; Plourde, Mélodie B; Letanneur, Claire; Stewart, Donald; Morency, Marie-Josée; Petre, Benjamin; Duplessis, Sébastien; Séguin, Armand

    2016-11-21

    Fungi of the Pucciniales order cause rust diseases which, altogether, affect thousands of plant species worldwide and pose a major threat to several crops. How rust effectors-virulence proteins delivered into infected tissues to modulate host functions-contribute to pathogen virulence remains poorly understood. Melampsora larici-populina is a devastating and widespread rust pathogen of poplar, and its genome encodes 1184 identified small secreted proteins that could potentially act as effectors. Here, following specific criteria, we selected 16 candidate effector proteins and characterized their virulence activities and subcellular localizations in the leaf cells of Arabidopsis thaliana. Infection assays using bacterial (Pseudomonas syringae) and oomycete (Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis) pathogens revealed subsets of candidate effectors that enhanced or decreased pathogen leaf colonization. Confocal imaging of green fluorescent protein-tagged candidate effectors constitutively expressed in stable transgenic plants revealed that some protein fusions specifically accumulate in nuclei, chloroplasts, plasmodesmata and punctate cytosolic structures. Altogether, our analysis suggests that rust fungal candidate effectors target distinct cellular components in host cells to promote parasitic growth.

  19. Activity-based assay for ricin-like toxins

    DOEpatents

    Keener, William K.; Ward, Thomas E.

    2007-02-06

    A method of detecting N-glycosylase activity in a sample involves incubating an oligodeoxyribonucleotide substrate containing a deoxyadenosine or deoxyuridine residue with the sample to be tested such that the N-glycosylase, if present, hydrolyzes the deoxyadenosine or deoxyuridine residue to result in an N-glycosylase product having an abasic site. A primer is annealed to the N-glycosylase product, and the primer is extended with a DNA polymerase, such as Taq DNA polymerase, that pauses at abasic sites. The resulting extension products are melted from the N-glycosylase product, allowed to form hairpins due to self-complementarity, and further extended in the presence of labeled precursors to result in labeled products. Extension products synthesized from undigested substrate as template do not result in labeled products. Thus, detection of labeled products results in detection of N-glycosylase activity. Oligodeoxyribonucleotide substrates, primer, and positive controls and a kit for N-glycosylase assay are also disclosed.

  20. Plasma drug activity assay for treatment optimization in tuberculosis patients.

    PubMed

    Heysell, Scott K; Mtabho, Charles; Mpagama, Stellah; Mwaigwisya, Solomon; Pholwat, Suporn; Ndusilo, Norah; Gratz, Jean; Aarnoutse, Rob E; Kibiki, Gibson S; Houpt, Eric R

    2011-12-01

    Low antituberculosis (TB) drug levels are common, but their clinical significance remains unclear, and methods of measurement are resource intensive. Subjects initiating treatment for sputum smear-positive pulmonary TB were enrolled from Kibong'oto National TB Hospital, Tanzania, and levels of isoniazid, rifampin, ethambutol, and pyrazinamide were measured at the time of typical peak plasma concentration (C(2 h)). To evaluate the significance of the effect of observed drug levels on Mycobacterium tuberculosis growth, a plasma TB drug activity (TDA) assay was developed using the Bactec MGIT system. Time to detection of plasma-cocultured M. tuberculosis versus time to detection of control growth was defined as a TDA ratio. TDA assays were later performed using the subject's own M. tuberculosis isolate and C(2 h) plasma from the Tanzanian cohort and compared to drug levels and clinical outcomes. Sixteen subjects with a mean age of 37.8 years ± 10.7 were enrolled. Fourteen (88%) had C(2 h) rifampin levels and 11 (69%) had isoniazid levels below 90% of the lower limit of the expected range. Plasma spiked with various concentrations of antituberculosis medications found TDA assay results to be unaffected by ethambutol or pyrazinamide. Yet with a range of isoniazid and rifampin concentrations, TDA exhibited a statistically significant correlation with drug level and drug MIC, and a TDA of ~1.0 indicated the presence of multidrug-resistant TB. In Tanzania, low (≤ 2.0) TDA was significantly associated with both lower isoniazid and rifampin C(2 h) levels, and very low (≤ 1.5) TDA corresponded to a trend toward lack of cure. Study of TDA compared to additional clinical outcomes and as a therapeutic management tool is warranted.

  1. Rapid, Semiquantitative Assay To Discriminate among Compounds with Activity against Replicating or Nonreplicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Julia; Ling, Yan; Quezada, Landys Lopez; Glasheen, Jou; Ballinger, Elaine; Somersan-Karakaya, Selin; Warrier, Thulasi; Warren, J. David; Nathan, Carl

    2015-01-01

    The search for drugs that can kill replicating and nonreplicating Mycobacterium tuberculosis faces practical bottlenecks. Measurement of CFU and discrimination of bacteriostatic from bactericidal activity are costly in compounds, supplies, labor, and time. Testing compounds against M. tuberculosis under conditions that prevent the replication of M. tuberculosis often involves a second phase of the test in which conditions are altered to permit the replication of bacteria that survived the first phase. False-positive determinations of activity against nonreplicating M. tuberculosis may arise from carryover of compounds from the nonreplicating stage of the assay that act in the replicating stage. We mitigate these problems by carrying out a 96-well microplate liquid MIC assay and then transferring an aliquot of each well to a second set of plates in which each well contains agar supplemented with activated charcoal. After 7 to 10 days—about 2 weeks sooner than required to count CFU—fluorometry reveals whether M. tuberculosis bacilli in each well have replicated extensively enough to reduce a resazurin dye added for the final hour. This charcoal agar resazurin assay (CARA) distinguishes between bacterial biomasses in any two wells that differ by 2 to 3 log10 CFU. The CARA thus serves as a pretest and semiquantitative surrogate for longer, more laborious, and expensive CFU-based assays, helps distinguish bactericidal from bacteriostatic activity, and identifies compounds that are active under replicating conditions, nonreplicating conditions, or both. Results for 14 antimycobacterial compounds, including tuberculosis (TB) drugs, revealed that PA-824 (pretomanid) and TMC207 (bedaquiline) are largely bacteriostatic. PMID:26239979

  2. A bioluminescent caspase-1 activity assay rapidly monitors inflammasome activation in cells.

    PubMed

    O'Brien, Martha; Moehring, Danielle; Muñoz-Planillo, Raúl; Núñez, Gabriel; Callaway, Justin; Ting, Jenny; Scurria, Mike; Ugo, Tim; Bernad, Laurent; Cali, James; Lazar, Dan

    2017-03-04

    Inflammasomes are protein complexes induced by diverse inflammatory stimuli that activate caspase-1, resulting in the processing and release of cytokines, IL-1β and IL-18, and pyroptosis, an immunogenic form of cell death. To provide a homogeneous method for detecting caspase-1 activity, we developed a bioluminescent, plate-based assay that combines a substrate, Z-WEHD-aminoluciferin, with a thermostable luciferase in an optimized lytic reagent added directly to cultured cells. Assay specificity for caspase-1 is conferred by inclusion of a proteasome inhibitor in the lytic reagent and by use of a caspase-1 inhibitor to confirm activity. This approach enables a specific and rapid determination of caspase-1 activation. Caspase-1 activity is stable in the reagent thereby providing assay convenience and flexibility. Using this assay system, caspase-1 activation has been determined in THP-1 cells following treatment with α-hemolysin, LPS, nigericin, gramicidin, MSU, R848, Pam3CSK4, and flagellin. Caspase-1 activation has also been demonstrated in treated J774A.1 mouse macrophages, bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) from mice, as well as in human primary monocytes. Caspase-1 activity was not detected in treated BMDMs derived from Casp1(-/-) mice, further confirming the specificity of the assay. Caspase-1 activity can be measured directly in cultured cells using the lytic reagent, or caspase-1 activity released into medium can be monitored by assay of transferred supernatant. The caspase-1 assay can be multiplexed with other assays to monitor additional parameters from the same cells, such as IL-1β release or cell death. The caspase-1 assay in combination with a sensitive real-time monitor of cell death allows one to accurately establish pyroptosis. This assay system provides a rapid, convenient, and flexible method to specifically and quantitatively monitor caspase-1 activation in cells in a plate-based format. This will allow a more efficient and effective

  3. Diosgenin does not express estrogenic activity: a uterotrophic assay.

    PubMed

    Medigović, Ivana; Ristić, Nataša; Živanović, Jasmina; Šošić-Jurjević, Branka; Filipović, Branko; Milošević, Verica; Nestorović, Nataša

    2014-04-01

    This study assessed the effects of diosgenin on estrogenic activity using a uterotrophic assay. Immature female rats received diosgenin orally at doses of 200, 100, or 20 mg/kg body mass; and 17α ethynylestradiol at doses of 1 or 0.3 μg/kg, daily, for 3 consecutive days from day 19 to day 21. Controls were distributed among 2 groups: an intact control group and a vehicle control group. Animals were sacrificed 24 h after the last application of diosgenin, estradiol, or vehicle (22nd day of life). Uterine wet weight, stereological and histomorphometrical changes, immunohistochemical expression of estrogen receptor alpha (ERα), progesterone receptor (PR), and the expression of lactoferrin (LF) were examined. Diosgenin did not affect the uterine wet weight, epithelium height, volume densities of endometrium, endometrial epithelia, number of endometrial glands, or histological appearance of vaginal epithelia. ERα, PR, and LF immunostaining intensity were not altered in the animals that received diosgenin. High-potency reference ER agonist 17α-ethynylestradiol induced a significant increase in all of the measured parameters, and as expected, decreased ERα immunostaining intensity. Based on these data, it can be concluded that diosgenin, at doses of 20-200 mg/kg, did not act as an estrogen agonist in the immature rat uterotrophic assay.

  4. Nondestructive assay using active and passive computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Roberson, G. P. ,LLNL

    1998-07-01

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has over 600,000 transuranic (TRU) waste drums temporarily stored at nearly 40 sites within the United States. Contents of these drums must be characterized before they are transported for permanent disposal. Traditional gamma-ray methods used to characterize nuclear waste introduce errors that are related to nonuniform measurement responses associated with unknown radioactive source and matrix material distributions. These errors can be reduced by application of tomographic techniques, that measure these distributions. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has developed two tomographic-based waste assay systems. They use external radioactive sources and tomography-protocol to map the attenuation within a waste drum as a function of mono-energetic gamma-ray energy in waste containers. Passive tomography is used to localize and identify specific radioactive waste contents within the same waste containers. Reconstruction of the passive data via the active images allows internal waste radioactivities in a drum to be corrected for any overlying heterogeneous materials, thus yielding an absolute assay of the waste radioactivities. Calibration of both systems requires only point source measurements and are independent of matrix materials. The first system is housed at LLNL and was developed to study and validate research concepts. The second system is being developed with Bioimaging Research, Inc. (BIR) and is housed within a mobile waste characterization trailer. This system has traveled to three DOE facilities to demonstrate the active and passive computed tomography capability. Both systems have participated in and successfully passed the requirements of formal DOE-sponsored intercomparison studies. The systems have measured approximately 1 to 100 grains of plutonium within a variety of waste matrix materials. Laboratory and field results from these two systems over the past several years show that both systems

  5. FRET-based optical assay for monitoring riboswitch activation.

    PubMed

    Harbaugh, Svetlana; Kelley-Loughnane, Nancy; Davidson, Molly; Narayanan, Latha; Trott, Sandra; Chushak, Yaroslav G; Stone, Morley O

    2009-05-11

    Riboswitches are regulatory RNAs located in the 5'-untranslated region of mRNA sequences that recognize and bind to small molecules and regulate the expression of downstream genes. Creation of synthetic riboswitches to novel ligands depends on the ability to monitor riboswitch activation in the presence of analyte. In our work, we have coupled a synthetic riboswitch to an optical reporter assay based on fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) between two genetically encoded fluorescent proteins. The theophylline-sensitive riboswitch was placed upstream of the Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV) protease coding sequence. Our FRET construct was composed of eGFP and a nonfluorescent yellow fluorescent protein mutant called REACh (for resonance energy-accepting chromoprotein) connected with a peptide linker containing a TEV protease cleavage site. Addition of theophylline to the E. coli cells activates the riboswitch and initiates the translation of mRNA. Synthesized protease cleaves the linker in the FRET-based fusion protein causing a change in the fluorescence signal. By this method, we observed an 11-fold increase in cellular extract fluorescence in the presence of theophylline. The advantage of using an eGFP-REACh pair is the elimination of acceptor fluorescence. This leads to an improved detection of FRET via better signal-to-noise ratio, allowing us to monitor riboswitch activation in a wide range of analyte concentrations from 0.01 to 2.5 mM.

  6. Interdependence of initial cell density, drug concentration and exposure time revealed by real-time impedance spectroscopic cytotoxicity assay.

    PubMed

    Caviglia, C; Zór, K; Canepa, S; Carminati, M; Larsen, L B; Raiteri, R; Andresen, T L; Heiskanen, A; Emnéus, J

    2015-05-21

    We investigated the combined effect of the initial cell density (12,500, 35,000, 75,000, and 100,000 cells cm(-2)) and concentration of the anti-cancer drug doxorubicin on HeLa cells by performing time-dependent cytotoxicity assays using real-time electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. A correlation between the rate of cell death and the initial cell seeding density was found at 2.5 μM doxorubicin concentration, whereas this was not observed at 5 or 100 μM. By sensing the changes in the cell-substrate interaction using impedance spectroscopy under static conditions, the onset of cytotoxicity was observed 5 h earlier than when using a standard colorimetric end-point assay (MTS) which measures changes in the mitochondrial metabolism. Furthermore, with the MTS assay no cytotoxicity was observed after 15 h of incubation with 2.5 μM doxorubicin, whereas the impedance showed at this time point cell viability that was below 25%. These results indicate that impedance detection reveals cytotoxic events undetectable when using the MTS assay, highlighting the importance of combining impedance detection with traditional drug toxicity assays towards a more in depth understanding of the effect of anti-cancer drugs on in vitro assays. Moreover, the detection of doxorubicin induced toxicity determined with impedance under static conditions proved to be 6 times faster than in perfusion culture.

  7. A Novel Entry/Uncoating Assay Reveals the Presence of at Least Two Species of Viral Capsids During Synchronized HIV-1 Infection

    PubMed Central

    Cimarelli, Andrea

    2016-01-01

    To better characterize the behavior of HIV-1 capsids we developed EURT, for Entry/Uncoating assay based on core-packaged RNA availability and Translation. EURT is an alternative to Blam-Vpr, but as reporter RNA translation relies on core opening, it can be used to study viral capsids behavior. Our study reveals the existence of two major capsid species, a dead end one in which the viral genome is readily exposed to the cytoplasm and a functional one in which such exposure requires artificial core destabilization. Although reverse transcription drives a faster loss of susceptibility of viral cores to high doses of PF74, it does not lead to higher exposure of the viral genome, implying that viral cores protect the genome irrespectively of reverse transcription. Lastly, IFNα drifts cores from functional to non-functional species, revealing a novel core-destabilizing activity. This assay sheds new light on the behavior of viral cores inside target cells. PMID:27690375

  8. A Flow Cytometric Clonogenic Assay Reveals the Single-Cell Potency of Doxorubicin.

    PubMed

    Maass, Katie F; Kulkarni, Chethana; Quadir, Mohiuddin A; Hammond, Paula T; Betts, Alison M; Wittrup, Karl Dane

    2015-12-01

    Standard cell proliferation assays use bulk media drug concentration to ascertain the potency of chemotherapeutic drugs; however, the relevant quantity is clearly the amount of drug actually taken up by the cell. To address this discrepancy, we have developed a flow cytometric clonogenic assay to correlate the amount of drug in a single cell with the cell's ability to proliferate using a cell tracing dye and doxorubicin, a naturally fluorescent chemotherapeutic drug. By varying doxorubicin concentration in the media, length of treatment time, and treatment with verapamil, an efflux pump inhibitor, we introduced 10(5) -10(10) doxorubicin molecules per cell; then used a dye-dilution assay to simultaneously assess the number of cell divisions. We find that a cell's ability to proliferate is a surprisingly conserved function of the number of intracellular doxorubicin molecules, resulting in single-cell IC50 values of 4-12 million intracellular doxorubicin molecules. The developed assay is a straightforward method for understanding a drug's single-cell potency and can be used for any fluorescent or fluorescently labeled drug, including nanoparticles or antibody-drug conjugates.

  9. GTP-specific fab fragment-based GTPase activity assay.

    PubMed

    Kopra, Kari; Rozwandowicz-Jansen, Anita; Syrjänpää, Markku; Blaževitš, Olga; Ligabue, Alessio; Veltel, Stefan; Lamminmäki, Urpo; Abankwa, Daniel; Härmä, Harri

    2015-03-17

    GTPases are central cellular signaling proteins, which cycle between a GDP-bound inactive and a GTP-bound active conformation in a controlled manner. Ras GTPases are frequently mutated in cancer and so far only few experimental inhibitors exist. The most common methods for monitoring GTP hydrolysis rely on luminescent GDP- or GTP-analogs. In this study, the first GTP-specific Fab fragment and its application are described. We selected Fab fragments using the phage display technology. Six Fab fragments were found against 2'/3'-GTP-biotin and 8-GTP-biotin. Selected antibody fragments allowed specific detection of endogenous, free GTP. The most potent Fab fragment (2A4(GTP)) showed over 100-fold GTP-specificity over GDP, ATP, or CTP and was used to develop a heterogeneous time-resolved luminescence based assay for the monitoring of GTP concentration. The method allows studying the GEF dependent H-Ras activation (GTP binding) and GAP-catalyzed H-Ras deactivation (GTP hydrolysis) at nanomolar protein concentrations.

  10. Mutagenic activity of isoxazolylnaphthoquinoneimines assayed by micronucleus bone marrow test.

    PubMed

    Sicardi, S M; Ferrato, E

    1995-05-01

    Studies were undertaken to evaluate the ability of various quinoneimines to induce micronuclei in bone marrow cells as a measure of their genotoxicity. Accordingly, 2-hydroxy-N-(3,4-dimethyl-5-isoxazolyl)-1,4-naphthoquinone-4-imine (I), its 2-acetyl derivative (II) and 2-[(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)amino]-N-(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)-1 ,4- naphthoquinone-4-imine (III), as well as two of their precursors, 2-hydroxynaphthoquinone (NQ-2-OH) and 3,4-dimethyl-5-aminoisoxazole (DMAI) were given by intraperitoneal injection at 5, 50, 100 and 200 mg/Kg doses to S.J.L. Swiss mice with 24 h sampling time. Compounds I and II displayed highly significant differences at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg doses (p < 0.01) and their mutagenic dose response curves correlated closely with an inverted U-shaped form whose interpretation is still the subject of controversy. NQ-2-OH only produced a significant increase in micronucleus frequency at 50 mg/kg, whereas no mutagenic activity was found for compound III and DMAI at the doses assayed. At 50 mg/kg the order of relative mutagenic potencies was I > II > NQ-2-OH. Mechanisms advanced to explain loss of drug activity at high doses include capture saturation, enzymatic induction during metabolism and participation of an independent defense system.

  11. Deuterium reveals the dynamics of notch activation.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kopan

    2011-04-13

    Notch activation requires unfolding of a juxtamembrane negative regulatory domain (NRR). Tiyanont et al. (2011) analyzed the dynamics of NRR unfolding in the presence of EGTA. As predicted from the crystal structure and deletion analyses, the lin-Notch repeats unfold first, facilitating access by ADAM proteases. Surprisingly, the heterodimerization domain remains stable.

  12. A Malachite Green-Based Assay to Assess Glucan Phosphatase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Sherwood, Amanda R.; Paasch, Bradley C.; Worby, Carolyn A.; Gentry, Matthew S.

    2012-01-01

    With the recent discovery of a unique class of dual-specificity phosphatases that dephosphorylate glucans, we report an in vitro assay tailored for the detection of phosphatase activity against phosphorylated glucans. We demonstrate that in contrast to a general phosphatase assay utilizing a synthetic substrate, only phosphatases that possess glucan phosphatase activity liberate phosphate from the phosphorylated glucan amylopectin using the described assay. This assay is simple and cost-effective, providing reproducible results that clearly establish the presence or absence of glucan phosphatase activity. The assay described will be a useful tool in characterizing emerging members of the glucan phosphatase family. PMID:23201267

  13. Antioxidant activity of puha (Sonchus oleraceus L.) as assessed by the cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay.

    PubMed

    McDowell, Arlene; Thompson, Scott; Stark, Mirjam; Ou, Zong-Quan; Gould, Kevin S

    2011-12-01

    There is considerable interest in antioxidant dietary components that can be protective against degenerative diseases in humans. Puha (Sonchus oleraceus L.) is a rich source of polyphenols, and exhibits strong antioxidant activity as measured by the 2,2-diphenylpicrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. However, the potential of puha to protect against degenerative diseases requires that low molecular weight antioxidants (LMWA) are absorbed by, and active in, human cells. The cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay was used to investigate the antioxidant activity of puha leaf extracts. Preparation methods of freezing and freeze-drying reduced the total polyphenolic content compared with fresh puha, but did not affect the LMWA potential as determined by the DPPH assay. The IC(50) values were 0.012 ± 0.003 mg/mL and 0.010 ± 0.005 mg/mL for freeze-dried and fresh puha leaves, respectively. Using the CAA assay, it was shown that LMWAs from foliar extracts of puha were effectively absorbed into HepG2 cells, and exerted antioxidant activity at levels comparable to those of extracts from blueberry fruits, the much-touted antioxidant superfood. Methylene blue staining of HepG2 cells indicated that puha extracts were not cytotoxic at concentrations below 100 mg DW/mL. The data indicate the potential of puha as a nutraceutical supplement for human health.

  14. Enhanced detection of lipid transfer inhibitor protein activity by an assay involving only low density lipoprotein.

    PubMed

    Morton, R E; Greene, D J

    1994-11-01

    Lipid transfer inhibitor protein (LTIP) activity has been typically quantitated by its ability to suppress lipid transfer protein-mediated lipid movement between low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL). In an attempt to establish an LTIP activity assay that is more sensitive, we have exploited the reported preference of the inhibitor protein to interact with LDL. A lipid transfer assay was established that involves LDL as both the donor and the acceptor; LDL in one of these two pools was biotinylated to facilitate its removal with immobilized avidin. Compared to the standard LDL to HDL assay, LTIP inhibited lipid transfer from radiolabeled LDL to biotin-LDL 7-fold more. In the absence of LTIP, lipid transfer activity was the same in both assays. An added benefit of this assay was the near linearity (up to 85%) of the inhibitory response, in contrast to the highly curvilinear response of LTIP in LDL to HDL transfer assays. The high sensitivity of the LDL to biotin-LDL transfer assay in measuring LTIP activity could not be duplicated by other transfer assays including assays containing only HDL (HDL to biotin-HDL), assays between liposomes and LDL, or assays between LDL and HDL where the concentration of lipoproteins was reduced 10-fold. Thus, LTIP activity is most effectively measured in homologous lipid transfer assays involving only LDL (and its biotin derivative). This increased sensitivity to LTIP suggests that the inhibitor binds more avidly to the LDL surface than does lipid transfer protein.

  15. A High-Throughput MALDI-TOF Mass Spectrometry-Based Assay of Chitinase Activity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A high-throughput MALDI-TOF mass spectrometric assay is described for assay of chitolytic enzyme activity. The assay uses unmodified chitin oligosaccharide substrates, and is readily achievable on a microliter scale (2 µL total volume, containing 2 µg of substrate and 1 ng of protein). The speed a...

  16. Comparison of in vivo and in vitro reporter gene assays for short-term screening of estrogenic activity.

    PubMed

    Legler, Juliette; Zeinstra, Laura M; Schuitemaker, Femke; Lanser, Peter H; Bogerd, Jan; Brouwer, Abraham; Vethaak, A Dick; De Voogt, Pim; Murk, Albertinka J; Van der Burg, Bart

    2002-10-15

    Functional in vitro and in vivo reporter gene assays have recently been developed for the rapid determination of exposure to (xeno)estrogens. The in vitro estrogen receptor (ER)-mediated chemically activated luciferase gene expression (ER-CALUX) assay uses T47D human breast cancer cells stably transfected with an ER-mediated luciferase gene construct. In the in vivo assay, transgenic zebrafish are used in which the same luciferase construct has been stably introduced. In both assays, luciferase reporter gene activity can be easily quantified following short-term exposure to chemicals activating endogenous estrogen receptors. The objective of this study was to compare responses by known (xeno)estrogenic compounds in both assays. Exposure to the (xeno)estrogens estradiol (E2), estrone, ethynylestradiol (EE2), o,p'-DDT, nonylphenol (NP), and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP) revealed that EE2 was the most potent (xeno)estrogen tested and was 100 times more potent than E2 in the transgenic zebrafish assay, whereas in the in vitro ER-CALUX assay, EE2 and E2 were equipotent Although the xenoestrogens o,p'-DDT and NP were full estrogen agonists in the in vitro ER-CALUX assay, only o,p'-DDT demonstrated weak dose-related estrogenic activity in vivo. To determine if differences in reporter gene activity may be explained by differential affinity of (xeno)estrogens to human and zebrafish ERs, full-length sequences of the zebrafish ER subtypes alpha, beta, and gamma were cloned, and transactivation by (xeno)estrogens was compared to human ERalpha and ERbeta. Using transiently transfected recombinant ER and reporter gene constructs, EE2 also showed relatively potent activation of zebrafish ERalpha and ERbeta compared to human ERalpha and ERbeta. Zebrafish ERbeta and ERgamma showed higher transactivation by (xeno)estrogens relative to E2 than human ERbeta.

  17. Profiling of multiple signal pathway activities by multiplexing antibody and GFP-based translocation assays.

    PubMed

    Henriksen, Ulla; Fog, Jacob; Loechel, Frosty; Praestegaard, Morten

    2008-08-01

    Multiplexing of GFP based and immunofluorescence translocation assays enables easy acquisition of multiple readouts from the same cell in a single assay run. Immunofluorescence assays monitor translocation, phosphorylation, and up/down regulation of endogenous proteins. GFP-based assays monitor translocation of stably expressed GFP-fusion proteins. Such assays may be multiplexed along (vertical), across (horizontal), and between (branch) signal pathways. Examples of these strategies are presented: 1) The MK2-GFP assay monitors translocation of MK2-GFP from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in response to stimulation of the p38 pathway. By applying different immunofluorescent assays to the MK2 assay, a multiplexed HCA system is created for deconvolution of p38 pathway activation including assay readouts for MK2, p38, NFkappaB, and c-Jun. 2) A method for evaluating GPCR activation and internalization in a single assay run has been established by multiplexing GFP-based internalization assays with immunofluorescence assays for downstream transducers of GPCR activity: pCREB (cAMP sensor), NFATc1 (Ca(2+) sensor), and ERK (G-protein activation). Activation of the AT1 receptor is given as an example. 3) Cell toxicity readouts can be linked to primary readouts of interest via acquisition of secondary parameters describing cellular morphology. This approach is used to flag cytotoxic compounds and deselect false positives. The ATF6 Redistribution assay is provided as an example. These multiplex strategies provide a unique opportunity to enhance HCA data quality and save time during drug discovery. From a single assay run, several assay readouts are obtained that help the user to deconvolute the mode of action of test compounds.

  18. Establishment of an In Vitro Transport Assay That Reveals Mechanistic Differences in Cytosolic Events Controlling Cholera Toxin and T-Cell Receptor α Retro-Translocation

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Paul; He, Kaiyu; Tsai, Billy

    2013-01-01

    Following retrograde trafficking to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), cholera toxin A1 (CTA1) subunit hijacks ER-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery and retro-translocates into the cytosol to induce toxicity. We previously established a cell-based in vivo assay to identify ER components that regulate this process. However, elucidating cytosolic events that govern CTA1 retro-translocation using this assay is difficult as manipulating cytosolic factors often perturbs toxin retrograde transport to the ER. To circumvent this problem, we developed an in vitro assay in semi-permeabilized cells that directly monitors CTA1 release from the ER into the cytosol. We demonstrate CTA1 is released into the cytosol as a folded molecule in a p97- and proteasome-independent manner. Release nonetheless involves a GTP-dependent reaction. Upon extending this assay to the canonical ERAD substrate T-cell receptor α (TCRα), we found the receptor is unfolded when released into the cytosol and degraded by membrane-associated proteasome. In this reaction, p97 initially extracts TCRα from the ER membrane, followed by TCRα discharge into the cytosol that requires additional energy-dependent cytosolic activities. Our results reveal mechanistic insights into cytosolic events controlling CTA1 and TCRα retro-translocation, and provide a reliable tool to further probe this process. PMID:24146777

  19. In Vitro Ubiquitination Activity Assays in Plant Immune Responses.

    PubMed

    Furlan, Giulia; Trujillo, Marco

    2017-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a central posttranslational modification that impinges on the fate of proteins. While attachment of K48-linked chains onto soluble proteins marks them for proteolysis via the 26S proteasome, mono-ubiquitination or K63-linked chains result in the endocytosis and sorting through the endomembrane system of integral membrane proteins, such as pattern recognition receptors. In vitro ubiquitination assays allow the biochemical analysis of all individual components of the ubiquitination machinery and its potential substrates. Here, we describe how to reconstitute the ubiquitination cascade in vitro and detail different variations of the assay, the required controls and how to interpret the obtained results.

  20. A reporter assay in lamprey embryos reveals both functional conservation and elaboration of vertebrate enhancers.

    PubMed

    Parker, Hugo J; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Bronner, Marianne; Elgar, Greg

    2014-01-01

    The sea lamprey is an important model organism for investigating the evolutionary origins of vertebrates. As more vertebrate genome sequences are obtained, evolutionary developmental biologists are becoming increasingly able to identify putative gene regulatory elements across the breadth of the vertebrate taxa. The identification of these regions makes it possible to address how changes at the genomic level have led to changes in developmental gene regulatory networks and ultimately to the evolution of morphological diversity. Comparative genomics approaches using sea lamprey have already predicted a number of such regulatory elements in the lamprey genome. Functional characterisation of these sequences and other similar elements requires efficient reporter assays in lamprey. In this report, we describe the development of a transient transgenesis method for lamprey embryos. Focusing on conserved non-coding elements (CNEs), we use this method to investigate their functional conservation across the vertebrate subphylum. We find instances of both functional conservation and lineage-specific functional evolution of CNEs across vertebrates, emphasising the utility of functionally testing homologous CNEs in their host species.

  1. Photoinduced Oxidative DNA Damage Revealed by an Agarose Gel Nicking Assay: A Biophysical Chemistry Laboratory Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shafirovich, Vladimir; Singh, Carolyn; Geacintov, Nicholas E.

    2003-11-01

    Oxidative damage of DNA molecules associated with electron-transfer reactions is an important phenomenon in living cells, which can lead to mutations and contribute to carcinogenesis and the aging processes. This article describes the design of several simple experiments to explore DNA damage initiated by photoinduced electron-transfer reactions sensitized by the acridine derivative, proflavine (PF). A supercoiled DNA agarose gel nicking assay is employed as a sensitive probe of DNA strand cleavage. A low-cost experimental and computer-interfaced imaging apparatus is described allowing for the digital recording and analysis of the gel electrophoresis results. The first experiment describes the formation of direct strand breaks in double-stranded DNA induced by photoexcitation of the intercalated PF molecules. The second experiment demonstrates that the addition of the well-known electron acceptor, methylviologen, gives rise to a significant enhancement of the photochemical DNA strand cleavage effect. This occurs by an electron transfer step to methylviologen that renders the inital photoinduced charge separation between photoexcited PF and DNA irreversible. The third experiment demonstrates that the action spectrum of the DNA photocleavage matches the absorption spectrum of DNA-bound, intercalated PF molecules, which differs from that of free PF molecules. This result demonstrates that the photoinduced DNA strand cleavage is initiated by intercalated rather than free PF molecules.

  2. Arginase activity in mitochondria - An interfering factor in nitric oxide synthase activity assays

    SciTech Connect

    Venkatakrishnan, Priya; Nakayasu, Ernesto S.; Almeida, Igor C.; Miller, R.T.

    2010-04-09

    Previously, in tightly controlled studies, using three independent, yet complementary techniques, we refuted the claim that a mitochondrial nitric oxide synthase (mtNOS) isoform exists within pure, rat liver mitochondria (MT). Of those techniques, the NOS-catalyzed [{sup 14}C]-L-arginine to [{sup 14}C]-L-citrulline conversion assay (NOS assay) with MT samples indicated a weak, radioactive signal that was NOS-independent . Aliquots of samples from the NOS assays were then extracted with acetone, separated by high performance thin-layer chromatography (HPTLC) and exposed to autoradiography. Results obtained from these samples showed no radioactive band for L-citrulline. However, a fast-migrating, diffuse, radioactive band was observed in the TLC lanes loaded with MT samples. In this manuscript, we identify and confirm that this radioactive signal in MT samples is due to the arginase-catalyzed conversion of [{sup 14}C]-L-arginine to [{sup 14}C]-urea. The current results, in addition to reconfirming the absence of NOS activity in rat liver MT, also show the need to include arginase inhibitors in studies using MT samples in order to avoid confounding results when using NOS activity assays.

  3. Evaluation of the estrogenic activity of the wild Pueraria mirifica by vaginal cornification assay.

    PubMed

    Cherdshewasart, Wichai; Kitsamai, Yosaporn; Malaivijitnond, Suchinda

    2007-04-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the estrogenic activity of tuberous samples of phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica collected from 25 of 76 provinces in Thailand by vaginal cornification assay. Tuberous powders were prepared and administered to ovariectomized rats for 14 consecutive days at dosages of 10, 100 and 1,000 mg/kg BW respectively, and were compared with a daily treatment with 2 mg/kg BW 17beta-estradiol (E(2)). Rats treated with 10 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica showed no vaginal cornification. Treatment with 100 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica from 13 out of 25 plant samples resulted in development of vaginal cornification. The cell count percentages of the vaginal smeared cells for the treatment with the 2 plant samples that exhibited the fastest vaginal cornification revealed large variation in their estrogenic activities. Treatment with 1,000 mg/kg BW Pueraria mirifica from all plant samples produced vaginal cornification with the mean value for the period (day) of first appearance of cornified cells being 4.08 days compared to 2 days with 2 mg/kg BW E(2). The overall appearance period (day) of cornified cells during the treatment and post-treatment period with 1,000 mg/kg BW per day Pueraria mirifica was shorter than treatment with 2 mg/kg BW E(2). The results demonstrate that the plant population shows differential estrogenic activity as evaluated by vaginal cornification assay.

  4. Fermentation assays reveal differences in sugar and (off-) flavor metabolism across different Brettanomyces bruxellensis strains.

    PubMed

    Crauwels, Sam; Van Opstaele, Filip; Jaskula-Goiris, Barbara; Steensels, Jan; Verreth, Christel; Bosmans, Lien; Paulussen, Caroline; Herrera-Malaver, Beatriz; de Jonge, Ronnie; De Clippeleer, Jessika; Marchal, Kathleen; De Samblanx, Gorik; Willems, Kris A; Verstrepen, Kevin J; Aerts, Guido; Lievens, Bart

    2017-01-01

    Brettanomyces (Dekkera) bruxellensis is an ascomycetous yeast of major importance in the food, beverage and biofuel industry. It has been isolated from various man-made ecological niches that are typically characterized by harsh environmental conditions such as wine, beer, soft drink, etc. Recent comparative genomics studies revealed an immense intraspecific diversity, but it is still unclear whether this genetic diversity also leads to systematic differences in fermentation performance and (off-)flavor production, and to what extent strains have evolved to match their ecological niche. Here, we present an evaluation of the fermentation properties of eight genetically diverse B. bruxellensis strains originating from beer, wine and soft drinks. We show that sugar consumption and aroma production during fermentation are determined by both the yeast strain and composition of the medium. Furthermore, our results indicate a strong niche adaptation of B. bruxellensis, most clearly for wine strains. For example, only strains originally isolated from wine were able to thrive well and produce the typical Brettanomyces-related phenolic off-flavors 4-ethylguaiacol and 4-ethylphenol when inoculated in red wine. Sulfite tolerance was found as a key factor explaining the observed differences in fermentation performance and off-flavor production. Sequence analysis of genes related to phenolic off-flavor production, however, revealed only marginal differences between the isolates tested, especially at the amino acid level. Altogether, our study provides novel insights in the Brettanomyces metabolism of flavor production, and is highly relevant for both the wine and beer industry.

  5. Microplate fluorescence protease assays test the inhibition of select North American snake venoms' activities with an anti-proteinase library.

    PubMed

    Price, Joseph A

    2015-09-01

    Snake envenomation is a relatively neglected significant world health problem, designated an orphan disease by the WHO. While often effective, antivenins are insufficient. Could another approach greatly aid inhibition of the venom toxins? New fluorescent substrates for measuring protease activity in microplate assays suitable for high throughput screening were tested and found reproducible with snake venom. Representative North American venoms showed relatively strong proteinase and collagenase, but weaker elastase activities. Caseinolytic activity is inhibited by the nonspecific proteinase inhibitor 1,10-phenanthroline and by EDTA, as is collagenase activity, consistent with the action of metalloproteinases. Both general protease and collagenase assays CV average 3%, and Km measured were above normal working conditions. Using a library of anti -proteinase compounds with multiple venoms revealed high inhibitor activity by three agents with known multiple metalloproteinase inhibitor activity (Actinonin, GM6001, and NNGH), which incidentally supports the concept that much of the degradative activity of certain venoms is due to metalloproteinases with collagenase activity. These results together support the use of microplate proteinase assays, particularly this collagenase assay, in future drug repurposing studies leading to the development of new treatments for those envenomations that have a major proteolytic component in their pathophysiology.

  6. Activity screening of environmental metagenomic libraries reveals novel carboxylesterase families

    PubMed Central

    Popovic, Ana; Hai, Tran; Tchigvintsev, Anatoly; Hajighasemi, Mahbod; Nocek, Boguslaw; Khusnutdinova, Anna N.; Brown, Greg; Glinos, Julia; Flick, Robert; Skarina, Tatiana; Chernikova, Tatyana N.; Yim, Veronica; Brüls, Thomas; Paslier, Denis Le; Yakimov, Michail M.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Ferrer, Manuel; Golyshina, Olga V.; Savchenko, Alexei; Golyshin, Peter N.; Yakunin, Alexander F.

    2017-01-01

    Metagenomics has made accessible an enormous reserve of global biochemical diversity. To tap into this vast resource of novel enzymes, we have screened over one million clones from metagenome DNA libraries derived from sixteen different environments for carboxylesterase activity and identified 714 positive hits. We have validated the esterase activity of 80 selected genes, which belong to 17 different protein families including unknown and cyclase-like proteins. Three metagenomic enzymes exhibited lipase activity, and seven proteins showed polyester depolymerization activity against polylactic acid and polycaprolactone. Detailed biochemical characterization of four new enzymes revealed their substrate preference, whereas their catalytic residues were identified using site-directed mutagenesis. The crystal structure of the metal-ion dependent esterase MGS0169 from the amidohydrolase superfamily revealed a novel active site with a bound unknown ligand. Thus, activity-centered metagenomics has revealed diverse enzymes and novel families of microbial carboxylesterases, whose activity could not have been predicted using bioinformatics tools. PMID:28272521

  7. Sensitive, coupled assay for plasminogen activator using a thiol ester substrate for plasmin

    SciTech Connect

    Coleman, P L; Green, G D.J.

    1980-01-01

    Several assays for plasminogen activator employ a direct assay method. These are remarkably sensitive methods, yet they suffer in comparison to the sensitivity of coupled methods. Coupling the assay with plasminogen not only amplifies the sensitivity by the multiplicative effect of plasmin, but insures that only those proteases specific for plasminogen are assayed. The choice of substrate for plasmin is critical. A thiol ester substrate, thiobenzyl benzyloxy-carbonyl-L-lysinate (Z-Lys-SBzl), has been synthesized which combines high k/sub cat/ with alkaline stability. In an effort to characterize the plasminogen activator from hepatoma tissue culture (HTC) and its hormonally-controlled inhibitor, Z-Lys-SBzl was used in a coupled approach providing an assay which is superior to the /sup 125/I-fibrinolytic assay. It is also extremely sensitive to plasminogen activator and can be used for routine analysis of purification as well as kinetic and binding studies. (ERB)

  8. A MEMBRANE FILTER PROCEDURE FOR ASSAYING CYTOTOXIC ACTIVITY IN HETEROTROPHIC BACTERIA ISOLATED FROM DRINKING WATER

    EPA Science Inventory

    Cytotoxic activity assays of Gram-negative, heterotrophic bacteria are often laborious and time consuming. The objective of this study was to develop in situ procedures for testing potential cytotoxic activities of heterotrophic bacteria isolated from drinking water systems. Wate...

  9. A spectrophotometric assay for routine measurement of mammalian target of rapamycin activity in cell lysates.

    PubMed

    Dekter, Hinke E; Romijn, Fred P H T M; Temmink, Wouter P M; van Pelt, Johannes; de Fijter, Johan W; Smit, Nico P M

    2010-08-01

    The mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) is an important mediator in the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway. mTOR is the target of immunosuppressive drugs, such as rapamycin and everolimus, that are used in transplant patients but also for the treatment of various cancers. We have developed a method for mTOR activity measurement in cell lysates that measures the phosphorylation of p70 S6 kinase by an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) protocol. Using an optimized lysis composition, activity could be measured in the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from blood. For the PBMCs, intra- and interassay variations of 7 and 10%, respectively, were found using one lot number of the kit. With different lot numbers, the interassay variation increased up to 21%. Activity remained constant for PBMC pool samples on storage for a period of more than 7 months. Activity could also be measured in CD3+ T-cells isolated from blood. In vitro experiments revealed maximum mTOR inhibition of 30% in PBMCs and 44% in T-cells. The in vitro inhibition in PBMCs could also be demonstrated by Western blotting. The mTOR activity measurements may be used to show in vivo inhibition in renal allograft patients during everolimus treatment and to study mTOR activity in various (tumor) cell types.

  10. In Vitro Assay to Measure Phosphatidylethanolamine Methyltransferase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Zufferey, Rachel

    2016-01-01

    Phosphatidylethanolamine methyltransferases are biosynthetic enzymes that catalyze the transfer of one or more methyl group(s) from S-adenosyl-L-methionine onto phosphatidylethanolamine, monomethyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, or dimethyl-phosphatidylethanolamine to give either monomethyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, dimethyl-phosphatidylethanolamine or phosphatidylcholine. These enzymes are ubiquitous in animal cells, fungi, and are also found in approximately 10% of bacteria. They fulfill various important functions in cell physiology beyond their direct role in lipid metabolism such as in insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis, cell growth, or virulence. The present manuscript reports on a simple cell-free enzymatic assay that measures the transfer of tritiated methyl group(s) from S-[Methyl-3H]adenosyl-L-methionine onto phosphatidylethanolamine using whole cell extracts as an enzyme source. The resulting methylated forms of phosphatidylethanolamine are hydrophobic and thus, can be separated from water soluble S-[Methyl-3H]adenosyl-L-methionine by organic extraction. This assay can potentially be applied to any other cell types and used to test inhibitors/drugs specific to a phosphatidylethanolamine methyltransferase of interest without the need to purify the enzyme. PMID:26780155

  11. Functional Stability of the Human Kappa Opioid Receptor Reconstituted in Nanodiscs Revealed by a Time-Resolved Scintillation Proximity Assay

    PubMed Central

    Hansen, Randi Westh; Wang, Xiaole; Golab, Agnieszka; Bornert, Olivier; Oswald, Christine; Wagner, Renaud; Martinez, Karen Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Long-term functional stability of isolated membrane proteins is crucial for many in vitro applications used to elucidate molecular mechanisms, and used for drug screening platforms in modern pharmaceutical industry. Compared to soluble proteins, the understanding at the molecular level of membrane proteins remains a challenge. This is partly due to the difficulty to isolate and simultaneously maintain their structural and functional stability, because of their hydrophobic nature. Here we show, how scintillation proximity assay can be used to analyze time-resolved high-affinity ligand binding to membrane proteins solubilized in various environments. The assay was used to establish conditions that preserved the biological function of isolated human kappa opioid receptor. In detergent solution the receptor lost high-affinity ligand binding to a radiolabelled ligand within minutes at room temperature. After reconstitution in Nanodiscs made of phospholipid bilayer the half-life of high-affinity ligand binding to the majority of receptors increased 70-fold compared to detergent solubilized receptors—a level of stability that is appropriate for further downstream applications. Time-resolved scintillation proximity assay has the potential to screen numerous conditions in parallel to obtain high levels of stable and active membrane proteins, which are intrinsically unstable in detergent solution, and with minimum material consumption. PMID:27035823

  12. Urolithins display both antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities depending on assay system and conditions.

    PubMed

    Kallio, Tuija; Kallio, Johanna; Jaakkola, Mari; Mäki, Marianne; Kilpeläinen, Pekka; Virtanen, Vesa

    2013-11-13

    The biological effects of polyphenolic ellagitannins are mediated by their intestinal metabolites, urolithins. This study investigated redox properties of urolithins A and B using ORAC assay, three cell-based assays, copper-initiated pro-oxidant activity (CIPA) assay, and cyclic voltammetry. Urolithins were strong antioxidants in the ORAC assay, but mostly pro-oxidants in cell-based assays, although urolithin A was an antioxidant in cell culture medium. Parent compound ellagic acid was a strong extracellular antioxidant, but showed no response in the intracellular assay. The CIPA assay confirmed the pro-oxidant activity of ellagitannin metabolites. In the cell proliferation assay, urolithins but not ellagic acid decreased growth and metabolism of HepG2 liver cells. In cyclic voltammetry, the oxidation of urolithin A was partly reversible, but that of urolithin B was irreversible. These results illustrate how strongly measured redox properties depend on the employed assay system and conditions and emphasize the importance of studying pro-oxidant and antioxidant activities in parallel.

  13. Enzyme activity assay of glycoprotein enzymes based on a boronate affinity molecularly imprinted 96-well microplate.

    PubMed

    Bi, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhen

    2014-12-16

    Enzyme activity assay is an important method in clinical diagnostics. However, conventional enzyme activity assay suffers from apparent interference from the sample matrix. Herein, we present a new format of enzyme activity assay that can effectively eliminate the effects of the sample matrix. The key is a 96-well microplate modified with molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) prepared according to a newly proposed method called boronate affinity-based oriented surface imprinting. Alkaline phosphatase (ALP), a glycoprotein enzyme that has been routinely used as an indicator for several diseases in clinical tests, was taken as a representative target enzyme. The prepared MIP exhibited strong affinity toward the template enzyme (with a dissociation constant of 10(-10) M) as well as superb tolerance for interference. Thus, the enzyme molecules in a complicated sample matrix could be specifically captured and cleaned up for enzyme activity assay, which eliminated the interference from the sample matrix. On the other hand, because the boronate affinity MIP could well retain the enzymatic activity of glycoprotein enzymes, the enzyme captured by the MIP was directly used for activity assay. Thus, additional assay time and possible enzyme or activity loss due to an enzyme release step required by other methods were avoided. Assay of ALP in human serum was successfully demonstrated, suggesting a promising prospect of the proposed method in real-world applications.

  14. Sensitive and selective colorimetric assay of alkaline phosphatase activity with Cu(II)-phenanthroline complex.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qiong; He, Minhui; Mei, Yaqi; Feng, Wenjie; Jing, Su; Kong, Jinming; Zhang, Xueji

    2017-01-15

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) plays a vital role in dephosphorylation- and phosphorylation-related cellular regulation and signaling processes. Accordingly, the development of efficient methods for ALP activity assay is of significant importance in clinical diagnosis. In this work, a simple and practical method is reported for the first time for the sensitive and selective colorimetric assay of ALP activity by exploiting a water-soluble Cu(II)-phenanthroline complex as the probe, on the basis of the distinctive metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) properties. This method is simply built on a two-step chromogenic reaction: the enzymatic hydrolysis of the substrate ascorbic acid 2-phosphate to ascorbic acid (AA), followed by the reduction of the colorimetric probe Cu(BPDS)2(2-) (BPDS=bathophenanthroline disulfonate) by AA to its cuprous form. The latter process triggers a turn-on spectral absorption at 424nm and a striking color change of the solution from colorless to blackish-green. Needless of complicated protocols and instrumentation, this method allows a sensitive readout of ALP activity within a wide linear range of 0-200mUmL(-)(1), with a detection limit down to 1.25mUmL(-1). Results also reveal that it is highly selective and holds great potential in ALP inhibitor efficiency evaluation. In addition, quantitative analysis of ALP activity in spiked serum samples has been realized successfully in the linear range of 0-200mUmL(-1), with a detection limit of 1.75mUmL(-1). Advantages of simplicity, wide linear range, high sensitivity and selectivity, low cost, and little background interference render this method great potential in practical applications.

  15. Contact activation of blood coagulation on a defined kaolin/collagen surface in a microfluidic assay.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu; Diamond, Scott L

    2014-12-01

    Generation of active Factor XII (FXIIa) triggers blood clotting on artificial surfaces and may also enhance intravascular thrombosis. We developed a patterned kaolin (0 to 0.3 pg/μm(2))/type 1 collagen fibril surface for controlled microfluidic clotting assays. Perfusion of whole blood (treated only with a low level of 4 μg/mL of the XIIa inhibitor, corn trypsin inhibitor) drove platelet deposition followed by fibrin formation. At venous wall shear rate (100 s(-1)), kaolin accelerated onset of fibrin formation by ~100 sec when compared to collagen alone (250 sec vs. 350 sec), with little effect on platelet deposition. Even with kaolin present, arterial wall shear rate (1000 s(-1)) delayed and suppressed fibrin formation compared to venous wall shear rate. A comparison of surfaces for extrinsic activation (tissue factor TF/collagen) versus contact activation (kaolin/collagen) that each generated equal platelet deposition at 100 s(-1) revealed: (1) TF surfaces promoted much faster fibrin onset (at 100 sec) and more endpoint fibrin at 600 sec at either 100 s(-1) or 1000 s(-1), and (2) kaolin and TF surfaces had a similar sensitivity for reduced fibrin deposition at 1000 s(-1) (compared to fibrin formed at 100 s(-1)) despite differing coagulation triggers. Anti-platelet drugs inhibiting P2Y1, P2Y12, cyclooxygenase-1 or activating IP-receptor or guanylate cyclase reduced platelet and fibrin deposition on kaolin/collagen. Since FXIIa or FXIa inhibition may offer safe antithrombotic therapy, especially for biomaterial thrombosis, these defined collagen/kaolin surfaces may prove useful in drug screening tests or in clinical diagnostic assays of blood under flow conditions.

  16. Functional assays and metagenomic analyses reveals differences between the microbial communities inhabiting the soil horizons of a Norway spruce plantation.

    PubMed

    Uroz, Stéphane; Ioannidis, Panos; Lengelle, Juliette; Cébron, Aurélie; Morin, Emmanuelle; Buée, Marc; Martin, Francis

    2013-01-01

    In temperate ecosystems, acidic forest soils are among the most nutrient-poor terrestrial environments. In this context, the long-term differentiation of the forest soils into horizons may impact the assembly and the functions of the soil microbial communities. To gain a more comprehensive understanding of the ecology and functional potentials of these microbial communities, a suite of analyses including comparative metagenomics was applied on independent soil samples from a spruce plantation (Breuil-Chenue, France). The objectives were to assess whether the decreasing nutrient bioavailability and pH variations that naturally occurs between the organic and mineral horizons affects the soil microbial functional biodiversity. The 14 Gbp of pyrosequencing and Illumina sequences generated in this study revealed complex microbial communities dominated by bacteria. Detailed analyses showed that the organic soil horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Bacteria, Chordata, Arthropoda and Ascomycota. On the contrary the mineral horizon was significantly enriched in sequences related to Archaea. Our analyses also highlighted that the microbial communities inhabiting the two soil horizons differed significantly in their functional potentials according to functional assays and MG-RAST analyses, suggesting a functional specialisation of these microbial communities. Consistent with this specialisation, our shotgun metagenomic approach revealed a significant increase in the relative abundance of sequences related glycoside hydrolases in the organic horizon compared to the mineral horizon that was significantly enriched in glycoside transferases. This functional stratification according to the soil horizon was also confirmed by a significant correlation between the functional assays performed in this study and the functional metagenomic analyses. Together, our results suggest that the soil stratification and particularly the soil resource availability impact the

  17. Multiplexed assays by high-content imaging for assessment of GPCR activity.

    PubMed

    Ross, D A; Lee, S; Reiser, V; Xue, J; Alves, K; Vaidya, S; Kreamer, A; Mull, R; Hudak, E; Hare, T; Detmers, P A; Lingham, R; Ferrer, M; Strulovici, B; Santini, F

    2008-07-01

    G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) participate in many disease pathways and represent the largest family of therapeutic targets. Thus, great investments are made to discover drugs modulating GPCR-mediated events. Among functional assays for screening GPCRs, the Transfluor imaging assay is based on redistribution of cytosolic beta-arrestin to an activated GPCR and has become widely used in high-content screening. However, assessing Transfluor alone has limitations: relying on a single mechanistic step of beta-arrestin redistribution during GPCR activation, providing no information on the stimulated GPCR's intracellular fate, and using only a single fluorescent color (green fluorescent protein). Taking full advantage of high-content imaging to screen approximately 2000 compounds, the authors multiplexed the Transfluor assay with an immunofluorescence-based quantification of GPCR internalization. This approach identified and classified 377 compounds interfering with agonist-induced activation of the Transfluor assay, receptor internalization, or both. In addition, a subset of compounds was analyzed for their performance across imaging, cell-based calcium release (fluorometric imaging plate reader [FLIPR]), and biochemical receptor binding assays (scintillation proximity assay). This indicated that the imaging assays have even better predictive power for direct inhibition of receptor binding than the FLIPR assay. In conclusion, compounds inducing unique responses can suggest novel mechanisms of action and be used as tools to study GPCR activation and internalization.

  18. Antiviral activity of a Rac GEF inhibitor characterized with a sensitive HIV/SIV fusion assay

    SciTech Connect

    Pontow, Suzanne; Harmon, Brooke; Campbell, Nancy; Ratner, Lee

    2007-11-10

    A virus-dependent fusion assay was utilized to examine the activity of a panel of HIV-1, -2, and SIV isolates of distinct coreceptor phenotypes. This assay allowed identification of entry inhibitors, and characterization of an antagonist of a Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factor, as an inhibitor of HIV-mediated fusion.

  19. CFU-GM assay for evaluation of drug myelotoxic activity.

    PubMed

    Pessina, Augusto; Bonomi, Arianna

    2007-11-01

    To study hematotoxicity of compounds on the myeloid cell compartment, the authors describe a standard procedure developed as a workable good laboratory practices-compliant protocol to determine the in vitro myelotoxic effect of drugs and chemicals. Specific protocols are presented to prepare human and murine myeloid progenitors (CFU-GM) for testing in a validated CFU-GM assay. Details are given for performing a screening test when toxicity data are not available and for passing on to an accurate inhibitory concentration-determination phase. To quantify the potential hematotoxicity of xenobiotics from their direct adverse effects on CFU-GM, the unit describes how to manage the results by means of an algorithm able to predict the acute xenobiotic exposure levels that cause maximum tolerated decreases (MTD) in absolute neutrophil count (ANC). A protocol describes a miniaturized application of the procedure in 96-well plates for high-throughput screening of compounds or for testing compounds that are available in very small quantities.

  20. Interlaboratory comparison of four in vitro assays for assessing androgenic and antiandrogenic activity of environmental chemicals.

    PubMed Central

    Körner, Wolfgang; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Térouanne, Béatrice; Ma, Risheng; Wieloch, Carise; Schlumpf, Margret; Sultan, Charles; Soto, Ana M

    2004-01-01

    We evaluated and compared four in vitro assays to detect androgen agonists and antagonists in an international interlaboratory study. Laboratory 1 used a cell proliferation assay (assay 1) with human mammary carcinoma cells stably transfected with human androgen receptor. The other laboratories used reporter gene assays, two based on stably transfected human prostate carcinoma cells (assay 2) or human mammary carcinoma cells (assay 4), and the third based on transient transfection of Chinese hamster ovary cells (assay 3). Four laboratories received four coded compounds and two controls: two steroidal androgens, two antiandrogens, an androgenic control, 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and an antiandrogenic control, bicalutamide (ICI 176,334). All laboratories correctly detected the androgenic activity of 4-androsten-3,17-dione and 17alpha-methyltestosterone. For both compounds, the calculated androgenic potencies relative to the positive control (RAPs) remained within one order of magnitude. However, laboratory 3 calculated a 50-fold higher RAP for 4-androsten-3,17-dione. All assays detected and quantified the antiandrogenic effect of vinclozolin [median inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 1.1 times symbol 10(-7) M to 4.7 times symbol 10(-7) M]. In assays 2 and 3, vinclozolin showed partial androgenic activity at the highest concentrations tested. For vinclozolin, calculated antiandrogenic potencies relative to bicalutamide (RAAPs) differed no more than a factor of 10, and IC50 values matched those of bicalutamide. Similarly, we found antiandrogenic activity for tris-(4-chlorophenyl)methanol. RAAP values were between 0.086 and 0.37. Three assays showed cytotoxicity for this compound at or above 1 times symbol 10(-5) M. In summary, all assays proved sensitive screening tools to detect and quantify androgen receptor-mediated androgenic and antiandrogenic effects of these chemicals accurately, with coefficients of variation between 8 and 90%. PMID

  1. Disk Diffusion Assay to Assess the Antimicrobial Activity of Marine Algal Extracts.

    PubMed

    Desbois, Andrew P; Smith, Valerie J

    2015-01-01

    Marine algae are a relatively untapped source of bioactive natural products, including those with antimicrobial activities. The ability to assess the antimicrobial activity of cell extracts derived from algal cultures is vital to identifying species that may produce useful novel antibiotics. One assay that is used widely for this purpose is the disk diffusion assay due to its simplicity, rapidity, and low cost. Moreover, this assay gives output data that are easy to interpret and can be used to screen many samples at once irrespective of the solvent used during preparation. In this chapter, a step-by-step protocol for performing a disk diffusion assay is described. The assay is particularly well suited to testing algal cell extracts and fractions resulting from separation through bioassay-guided approaches.

  2. An improvement of Barter's method for assaying plasma cholesterol ester transfer activity: experimental and clinical applications.

    PubMed

    Harvengt, C; Desager, J P; Mailleux, P; Heller, F R

    1989-01-01

    The use of a discontinuous density gradient and of a vertical rotor to separate plasma lipoproteins are modifications of Barter's described method for assaying cholesteryl ester transfer activity (CETA) in plasma. The original feature of our approach is the fast preparation of the labeled substrate by a physiologic-like process, which renders the assay easy and suitable for measurement of this activity in both man and animals.

  3. Anti-oxidative assays as markers for anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids.

    PubMed

    Chanput, Wasaporn; Krueyos, Narumol; Ritthiruangdej, Pitiporn

    2016-11-01

    The complexity of in vitro anti-inflammatory assays, the cost and time consumed, and the necessary skills can be a hurdle to apply to promising compounds in a high throughput setting. In this study, several antioxidative assays i.e. DPPH, ABTS, ORAC and xanthine oxidase (XO) were used to examine the antioxidative activity of three sub groups of flavonoids: (i) flavonol: quercetin, myricetin, (ii) flavanone: eriodictyol, naringenin (iii) flavone: luteolin, apigenin. A range of flavonoid concentrations was tested for their antioxidative activities and were found to be dose-dependent. However, the flavonoid concentrations over 50ppm were found to be toxic to the THP-1 monocytes. Therefore, 10, 20 and 50ppm of flavonoid concentrations were tested for their anti-inflammatory activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated THP-1 monocytes. Expression of inflammatory genes, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 and TNF-α was found to be sequentially decreased when flavonoid concentration increased. Principle component analysis (PCA) was used to investigate the relationship between the data sets of antioxidative assays and the expression of inflammatory genes. The results showed that DPPH, ABTS and ORAC assays have an opposite correlation with the reduction of inflammatory genes. Pearson correlation exhibited a relationship between the ABTS assay and the expression of three out of five analyzed genes; IL-1β, IL-6 and IL-8. Our findings indicate that ABTS assay can potentially be an assay marker for anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids.

  4. Enzyme activity assays within microstructured optical fibers enabled by automated alignment

    PubMed Central

    Warren-Smith, Stephen C.; Nie, Guiying; Schartner, Erik P.; Salamonsen, Lois A.; Monro, Tanya M.

    2012-01-01

    A fluorescence-based enzyme activity assay has been demonstrated within a small-core microstructured optical fiber (MOF) for the first time. To achieve this, a reflection-based automated alignment system has been developed, which uses feedback and piezoelectric actuators to maintain optical alignment. The auto-alignment system provides optical stability for the time required to perform an activity assay. The chosen assay is based on the enzyme proprotein convertase 5/6 (PC6) and has important applications in women’s health. PMID:23243579

  5. Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna Jacq.) extract exhibits atropine-sensitive activity in a cultured cardiomyocyte assay.

    PubMed

    Salehi, Satin; Long, Shannon R; Proteau, Philip J; Filtz, Theresa M

    2009-01-01

    Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) plant extract is used as a herbal alternative medicine for the prevention and treatment of various cardiovascular diseases. Recently, it was shown that hawthorn extract preparations caused negative chronotropic effects in a cultured neonatal murine cardiomyocyte assay, independent of beta-adrenergic receptor blockade. The aim of this study was to further characterize the effect of hawthorn extract to decrease the contraction rate of cultured cardiomyocytes. To test the hypothesis that hawthorn is acting via muscarinic receptors, the effect of hawthorn extract on atrial versus ventricular cardiomyocytes in culture was evaluated. As would be expected for activation of muscarinic receptors, hawthorn extract had a greater effect in atrial cells. Atrial and/or ventricular cardiomyocytes were then treated with hawthorn extract in the presence of atropine or himbacine. Changes in the contraction rate of cultured cardiomyocytes revealed that both muscarinic antagonists significantly attenuated the negative chronotropic activity of hawthorn extract. Using quinuclidinyl benzilate, L-[benzylic-4,4'-(3)H] ([(3)H]-QNB) as a radioligand antagonist, the effect of a partially purified hawthorn extract fraction to inhibit muscarinic receptor binding was quantified. Hawthorn extract fraction 3 dose-dependently inhibited [(3)H]-QNB binding to mouse heart membranes. Taken together, these findings suggest that decreased contraction frequency by hawthorn extracts in neonatal murine cardiomyocytes may be mediated via muscarinic receptor activation.

  6. A spectrophotometric assay for lipase activity utilizing immobilized triacylglycerols.

    PubMed

    Safarík, I

    1991-01-01

    New substrates for the determination of lipase activity have been developed. Triacylglycerols were immobilized by adsorption on an appropriate carrier or adsorbent yielding a lipase substrate in a powder form. The adsorbed triacylglycerols were easily hydrolyzed by lipases present in a reaction mixture. The released fatty acids were extracted with benzene and converted to the corresponding Cu (II) salts (copper soaps) which were measured spectrophotometrically.

  7. A Quantitative Toxicogenomics Assay Reveals the Evolution and Nature of Toxicity during the Transformation of Environmental Pollutants

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The incomplete mineralization of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) during the advanced oxidation processes can generate transformation products that exhibit toxicity comparable to or greater than that of the original contaminant. In this study, we demonstrated the application of a novel, fast, and cost-effective quantitative toxicogenomics-based approach for the evaluation of the evolution and nature of toxicity along the electro-Fenton oxidative degradation of three representative CECs whose oxidative degradation pathways have been relatively well studied, bisphenol A, triclosan, and ibuprofen. The evolution of toxicity as a result of the transformation of parent chemicals and production of intermediates during the course of degradation are monitored, and the quantitative toxicogenomics assay results revealed the dynamic toxicity changes and mechanisms, as well as their association with identified intermediates during the electro-Fenton oxidation process of the selected CECs. Although for the three CECs, a majority (>75%) of the parent compounds disappeared at the 15 min reaction time, the nearly complete elimination of toxicity required a minimal 30 min reaction time, and they seem to correspond to the disappearance of identified aromatic intermediates. Bisphenol A led to a wide range of stress responses, and some identified transformation products containing phenolic or quinone group, such as 1,4-benzoquinone and hydroquinone, likely contributed to the transit toxicity exhibited as DNA stress (genotoxicity) and membrane stress during the degradation. Triclosan is known to cause severe oxidative stress, and although the oxidative damage potential decreased concomitantly with the disappearance of triclosan after a 15 min reaction, the sustained toxicity associated with both membrane and protein stress was likely attributed at least partially to the production of 2,4-dichlorophenol that is known to cause the production of abnormal proteins and affect the cell

  8. A novel pyrogallol red-based assay to assess catalase activity: Optimization by response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Abderrahim, Mohamed; Arribas, Silvia M; Condezo-Hoyos, Luis

    2017-05-01

    Pyrogallol red (PGR) was identified as a novel optical probe for the detection of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) based on horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-catalyzed oxidation. Response surface methodology (RSM) was applied as a tool to optimize the concentrations of PGR (100µmolL(-1)), HRP (1UmL(-1)) and H2O2 (250µmolL(-1)) and used to develop a sensitive PGR-based catalase (CAT) activity assay (PGR-CAT assay). N-ethylmaleimide -NEM- (102mmolL(-1)) was used to avoid interference produced by thiol groups while protecting CAT activity. Incubation time (30min) for samples or CAT used as standard and H2O2 as well as signal stability (stable between 5 and 60min) were also evaluated. PGR-CAT assay was linear within the range of 0-4UmL(-1) (R(2)=0.993) and very sensitive with limits of detection (LOD) of 0.005UmL(-1) and quantitation (LOQ) of 0.01UmL(-1). PGR-CAT assay showed an adequate intra-day RSD=0.6-9.5% and inter-day RSD=2.4-8.9%. Bland-Altman analysis and Passing-Bablok and Pearson correlation analysis showed good agreement between CAT activity as measured by the PRG-CAT assay and the Amplex Red assay. The PGR-CAT assay is more sensitive than all the other colorimetric assays reported, particularly the Amplex Red assay, and the cost of PGR is a small fraction (about 1/1000) of that of an Amplex Red probe, so it can be expected to find wide use among scientists studying CAT activity in biological samples.

  9. [Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura --Pathophysiology and Assays of ADAMTS13 Activity].

    PubMed

    Kato, Seiji; Fujimura, Yoshihiro

    2015-10-01

    Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening disorder classified with a type of thrombotic microangiopathy (TMA). TTP is caused by a deficiency of von Willebrand factor-cleaving protease called ADAMTS13 (a disintegrin-like and metalloprotease with a thrombospondin type1 motif 13). Low ADAMTS13 levels result in increased ultra-large von Willebrand factor multimers (UL-VWFM), which induce platelet adhesion and thrombosis. Congenital TTP (Upshaw-Schulman syndrome: USS) is an inherited disorder of ADAMTS13, and the other more commonly is an acquired TTP caused by autoantibodies against ADAMTS13. This article reviews the progress of ADAMTS13 activity measurement and the resulting changes in the diagnosis and treatment of TTP.

  10. Active nondestructive assay of nuclear materials: principles and applications

    SciTech Connect

    Gozani, Tsahi

    1981-01-01

    The purpose of this book is to present, coherently and comprehensively, the wealth of available but scattered information on the principles and applications of active nondestructive analysis (ANDA). Chapters are devoted to the following: background and overview; interactions of neutrons with matter; interactions of ..gamma..-rays with matter; neutron production and sources; ..gamma..-ray production and sources; effects of neutron and ..gamma..-ray transport in bulk media; signatures of neutron- and photon-induced fissions; neutron and photon detection systems and electronics; representative ANDA systems; and instrument analysis, calibration, and measurement control for ANDA. Each chapter has an introductory section describing the relationship of the topic of that chapter to ANDA. Each chapter ends with a section that summarizes the main results and conclusions of the chapter, and a reference list.

  11. Computational Assay of H7N9 Influenza Neuraminidase Reveals R292K Mutation Reduces Drug Binding Affinity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woods, Christopher J.; Malaisree, Maturos; Long, Ben; McIntosh-Smith, Simon; Mulholland, Adrian J.

    2013-12-01

    The emergence of a novel H7N9 avian influenza that infects humans is a serious cause for concern. Of the genome sequences of H7N9 neuraminidase available, one contains a substitution of arginine to lysine at position 292, suggesting a potential for reduced drug binding efficacy. We have performed molecular dynamics simulations of oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir bound to H7N9, H7N9-R292K, and a structurally related H11N9 neuraminidase. They show that H7N9 neuraminidase is structurally homologous to H11N9, binding the drugs in identical modes. The simulations reveal that the R292K mutation disrupts drug binding in H7N9 in a comparable manner to that observed experimentally for H11N9-R292K. Absolute binding free energy calculations with the WaterSwap method confirm a reduction in binding affinity. This indicates that the efficacy of antiviral drugs against H7N9-R292K will be reduced. Simulations can assist in predicting disruption of binding caused by mutations in neuraminidase, thereby providing a computational `assay.'

  12. Laboratory aspects of von Willebrand disease: test repertoire and options for activity assays and genetic analysis.

    PubMed

    Castaman, G; Hillarp, A; Goodeve, A

    2014-05-01

    The deficiency or abnormal function of von Willebrand factor (VWF) causes von Willebrand disease (VWD), the most frequent inherited bleeding disorder. The laboratory diagnosis of VWD can be difficult as the disease is heterogeneous and an array of assays is required to describe the phenotype. Basic classification of quantitative (type 1 and 3) and qualitative (type 2) VWD variants requires determination of VWF antigenic (VWF:Ag) levels and assaying of VWF ristocetin cofactor (VWF:RCo) activity, determining the capacity of VWF to interact with the platelet GPIb-receptor. Knowing the VWF:RCo activity is essential for identifying, subtyping and monitoring VWD, but the assay is poorly standardized and many protocols do not fulfil the clinical need in all situations. This has led to the development of novel activity assays, independent of ristocetin, with enhanced assay characteristics. Results from the first independent clinical evaluations are promising, showing that they are reliable and suitable for VWD diagnosis. The qualitative type 2 VWF deficiency can be further divided into four different subtypes (A, B, M and N) using specific assays that explore other activities or the size distribution of VWF multimers. These methods are discussed herein. However, in a number of patients it may be difficult to correctly classify the VWD phenotype and genetic analysis may provide the best option to clarify the disorder, through mutation identification.

  13. New Insights into Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay: Serum Dilution Factor as a Crucial Parameter

    PubMed Central

    Jońca, Joanna; Żuk, Monika; Wasąg, Bartosz; Janaszak-Jasiecka, Anna; Lewandowski, Krzysztof; Wielgomas, Bartosz; Waleron, Krzysztof; Jasiecki, Jacek

    2015-01-01

    Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity assay and inhibitor phenotyping can help to identify patients at risk of prolonged paralysis following the administration of neuromuscular blocking agents. The assay plays an important role in clinical chemistry as a good diagnostic marker for intoxication with pesticides and nerve agents. Furthermore, the assay is also commonly used for in vitro characterization of cholinesterases, their toxins and drugs. There is still lack of standardized procedure for measurement of BChE activity and many laboratories use different substrates at various concentrations. The purpose of this study was to validate the BChE activity assay to determine the best dilution of human serum and the most optimal concentration of substrates and inhibitors. Serum BChE activity was measured using modified Ellman’s method applicable for a microplate reader. We present our experience and new insights into the protocol for high-throughput routine assays of human plasma cholinesterase activities adapted to a microplate reader. During our routine assays used for the determination of BChE activity, we have observed that serum dilution factor influences the results obtained. We show that a 400-fold dilution of serum and 5mM S-butyrylthiocholine iodide can be successfully used for the accurate measurement of BChE activity in human serum. We also discuss usage of various concentrations of dibucaine and fluoride in BChE phenotyping. This study indicates that some factors of such a multicomponent clinical material like serum can influence kinetic parameters of the BChE. The observed inhibitory effect is dependent on serum dilution factor used in the assay. PMID:26444431

  14. A novel microfluidic assay reveals a key role for protein kinase C δ in regulating human neutrophil-endothelium interaction.

    PubMed

    Soroush, Fariborz; Zhang, Ting; King, Devon J; Tang, Yuan; Deosarkar, Sudhir; Prabhakarpandian, Balabhaskar; Kilpatrick, Laurie E; Kiani, Mohammad F

    2016-11-01

    A key step in neutrophil-mediated tissue damage is the migration of activated neutrophils across the vascular endothelium. Previously, we identified protein kinase C δ as a critical regulator of neutrophil migration in sepsis but did not identify specific steps in migration. In this study, we used our novel biomimetic microfluidic assay to delineate systematically the mechanism by which protein kinase C δ regulates individual steps in human neutrophil-endothelial interaction during inflammation. The biomimetic microfluidic assay includes a network of vascular channels, produced from in vivo images connected to a tissue compartment through a porous barrier. HUVECs cultured in vascular channels formed a complete lumen under physiologic shear flow. HUVECs were pretreated with TNF-α ± a protein kinase C δ inhibitor, and the tissue compartment was filled with a chemoattractant (fMLP or IL-8). Under physiologic shear flow, the role of protein kinase C δ on spatial and temporal neutrophil adherence/migration was quantified. Protein kinase C δ inhibition significantly reduced neutrophil adhesion in response to fMLP and IL-8 only under low shear rate and near bifurcations. Protein kinase C δ inhibition also decreased adherence to nonactivated HUVECs in response to fMLP or IL-8. Protein kinase C δ inhibition reduced neutrophil migration into the tissue compartment in response to fMLP and to a lesser degree, to IL-8. Antibody-coated microparticles demonstrated that protein kinase C δ inhibition down-regulated E-selectin and ICAM-1 but not VCAM-1 expression. With the use of a physiologically relevant in vitro model system, we demonstrate that protein kinase C δ plays an important role in the regulation of neutrophil adherence/migration during inflammation and identifies key steps regulated by protein kinase C δ in neutrophil-endothelial interactions.

  15. The C-Circle Assay for alternative-lengthening-of-telomeres activity.

    PubMed

    Henson, Jeremy D; Lau, Loretta M; Koch, Sylvia; Martin La Rotta, Nancy; Dagg, Rebecca A; Reddel, Roger R

    2017-02-01

    The C-Circle Assay has satisfied the need for a rapid, robust and quantitative ALT assay that responds quickly to changes in ALT activity. The C-Circle Assay involves (i) extraction or simple preparation (Quick C-Circle Preparation) of the cell's DNA, which includes C-Circles (ii) amplification of the self-primed C-Circles with a rolling circle amplification reaction and (iii) sequence specific detection of the amplification products by native telomeric DNA dot blot or telomeric qPCR. Here we detail the protocols and considerations required to perform the C-Circle Assay and its controls, which include exonuclease removal of linear telomeric DNA, production of the synthetic C-Circle C96 and modulation of ALT activity by γ-irradiation.

  16. Time-resolved Förster-resonance-energy-transfer DNA assay on an active CMOS microarray

    PubMed Central

    Schwartz, David Eric; Gong, Ping; Shepard, Kenneth L.

    2008-01-01

    We present an active oligonucleotide microarray platform for time-resolved Förster resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assays. In these assays, immobilized probe is labeled with a donor fluorophore and analyte target is labeled with a fluorescence quencher. Changes in the fluorescence decay lifetime of the donor are measured to determine the extent of hybridization. In this work, we demonstrate that TR-FRET assays have reduced sensitivity to variances in probe surface density compared with standard fluorescence-based microarray assays. Use of an active array substrate, fabricated in a standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process, provides the additional benefits of reduced system complexity and cost. The array consists of 4096 independent single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) pixel sites and features on-chip time-to-digital conversion. We demonstrate the functionality of our system by measuring a DNA target concentration series using TR-FRET with semiconductor quantum dot donors. PMID:18515059

  17. Suggested improvements to the standard filter paper assay used to measure cellulase activity.

    PubMed

    Coward-Kelly, Guillermo; Aiello-Mazzari, Cateryna; Kim, Sehoon; Granda, Cesar; Holtzapple, Mark

    2003-06-20

    Two suggestions can be found in the literature to improve the reproducibility of the Mandels' filter paper assay: add supplemental cellobiase and increase the boiling time for color development. Here we provide data that strongly supports adding supplemental cellobiase. Adding supplemental cellobiase increased assay response by 56%. Cellulases from different sources have different cellobiase activities, which would cause significant variation in the assay response. There is no need for additional boiling time-5 minutes is sufficient. For maximum reproducibility, it is essential that the water bath vigorously boil so that temperature excursions are minimized.

  18. Nondestructive assay of TRU waste using gamma-ray active and passive computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Roberson, G.P.; Decman, D.; Martz, H.; Keto, E.R.; Johansson, E.M.

    1995-10-04

    The authors have developed an active and passive computed tomography (A and PCT) scanner for assaying radioactive waste drums. Here they describe the hardware components of their system and the software used for data acquisition, gamma-ray spectroscopy analysis, and image reconstruction. They have measured the performance of the system using ``mock`` waste drums and calibrated radioactive sources. They also describe the results of measurements using this system to assay a real TRU waste drum with relatively low Pu content. The results are compared with X-ray NDE studies of the same TRU waste drum as well as assay results from segmented gamma scanner (SGS) measurements.

  19. Nondestructive assay of spent boiling-water-reactor fuel by active neutron interrogation

    SciTech Connect

    Blakeman, E.D.; Ricker, C.W.; Ragan, G.L.; Difilippo, F.C.; Slaughter, G.G.

    1981-01-01

    Spent boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel from Dresden I was assayed for total fissile mass, using the active neutron interrogation method. The nondestructive assay (NDA) system used has four Sb-Be sources for interrogation of the fuels; the induced fission neutrons from the fuel are counted by four lead-shielded methane-filled proportional counters biased above the energy of the source neutrons. Results agreed with results from the chemical analyses to within 2 to 3%. Similar agreement was obtained when two combinations of canned spent fuel were used as standards for the nondestructive assays.

  20. Effects of β-glucan polysaccharide revealed by the dominant lethal assay and micronucleus assays, and reproductive performance of male mice exposed to cyclophosphamide.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, Rodrigo Juliano; Pesarini, João Renato; Sparça Salles, Maria José; Nakamura Kanno, Tatiane Yumi; Dos Santos Lourenço, Ana Carolina; da Silva Leite, Véssia; da Silva, Ariane Fernanda; Matiazi, Hevenilton José; Ribeiro, Lúcia Regina; Mantovani, Mário Sérgio

    2014-03-01

    β-glucan is a well-known polysaccharide for its chemopreventive effect. This study aimed to evaluate the chemopreventive ability of β-glucan in somatic and germ cells through the dominant lethal and micronucleus assays, and its influence on the reproductive performance of male mice exposed to cyclophosphamide. The results indicate that β-glucan is capable of preventing changes in DNA in both germ cells and somatic ones. Changes in germ cells were evaluated by the dominant lethal assay and showed damage reduction percentages of 46.46% and 43.79% for the doses of 100 and 150 mg/kg. For the somatic changes, evaluated by micronucleus assay in peripheral blood cells in the first week of treatment, damage reduction percentages from 80.63-116.32% were found. In the fifth and sixth weeks, the percentage ranged from 10.20-52.54% and -0.95-62.35%, respectively. Besides the chemopreventive efficiency it appears that the β-glucan, when combined with cyclophosphamide, is able to improve the reproductive performance of males verified by the significant reduction in rates of post-implantation losses and reabsorption in the mating of nulliparous females with males treated with cyclophosphamide.

  1. Effects of β-glucan polysaccharide revealed by the dominant lethal assay and micronucleus assays, and reproductive performance of male mice exposed to cyclophosphamide

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Rodrigo Juliano; Pesarini, João Renato; Sparça Salles, Maria José; Nakamura Kanno, Tatiane Yumi; dos Santos Lourenço, Ana Carolina; da Silva Leite, Véssia; da Silva, Ariane Fernanda; Matiazi, Hevenilton José; Ribeiro, Lúcia Regina; Mantovani, Mário Sérgio

    2014-01-01

    β-glucan is a well-known polysaccharide for its chemopreventive effect. This study aimed to evaluate the chemopreventive ability of β-glucan in somatic and germ cells through the dominant lethal and micronucleus assays, and its influence on the reproductive performance of male mice exposed to cyclophosphamide. The results indicate that β-glucan is capable of preventing changes in DNA in both germ cells and somatic ones. Changes in germ cells were evaluated by the dominant lethal assay and showed damage reduction percentages of 46.46% and 43.79% for the doses of 100 and 150 mg/kg. For the somatic changes, evaluated by micronucleus assay in peripheral blood cells in the first week of treatment, damage reduction percentages from 80.63–116.32% were found. In the fifth and sixth weeks, the percentage ranged from 10.20–52.54% and −0.95–62.35%, respectively. Besides the chemopreventive efficiency it appears that the β-glucan, when combined with cyclophosphamide, is able to improve the reproductive performance of males verified by the significant reduction in rates of post-implantation losses and reabsorption in the mating of nulliparous females with males treated with cyclophosphamide. PMID:24688298

  2. Application of gamma-ray active and passive computed tomography to nondestructively assay TRU waste

    SciTech Connect

    Martz, H.E.; Decman, D.J.; Roberson, G.P.; Johansson, E.M.; Keto, E.R.

    1996-05-01

    The authors have developed an active and passive computed tomography scanner for assaying radioactive waste drums. They describe the hardware and software components of the system used for data acquisition, gamma-ray spectroscopy analysis, and image reconstruction. They have measured the performance of the system using mock waste drums and calibrated radioactive sources. They describe the results of measurements using this system to assay a real TRU waste drum with relatively low Pu content.

  3. Serum-induced platelet procoagulant activity: an assay for the characterization of prothrombotic disorders.

    PubMed

    Warner, M N; Pavord, S; Moore, J C; Warkentin, T E; Hayward, C P; Kelton, J G

    1999-02-01

    Platelets contribute to hemostasis by forming a platelet plug and by providing a procoagulant surface for the assembly and activation of the coagulation factors. The contribution of platelets to prothrombotic disorders has been difficult to analyze. Recently an assay was reported that measured the procoagulant activity of test platelets by making the platelet lipid surface the limiting factor in the production of thrombin. In this report we describe a novel technique, based on this assay, that we used to study patient serum factors that activate control platelets and in turn initiate measurable procoagulant activity. Using this assay we investigated a group of patients with prothrombotic disorders. The patient test serum was incubated with normal platelets in the presence of activated factor Xa. The resultant thrombin was measured in a chromogenic assay. The rate-limiting step was the presence of any potential platelet-activating factors, such as antibodies in the heat-treated test serum, that would allow the Xa to bind to the platelet phospholipid surface. Serum samples from patients with heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) and the anti-phospholipid antibody syndrome enhanced platelet procoagulant activity, while samples from patients with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) did not. HIT serum samples also induced platelet activation, as measured by platelet microparticle shedding, carbon 14-labeled serotonin release, and platelet aggregation. The measurement of serum-induced platelet procoagulant activity provides a method for the investigation of circulating platelet agonists in prothrombotic disorders.

  4. Artifactual prolongation of activated partial thromboplastin time with PEGylated compounds in silica-based assays.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Bethanne; Parrula, Maria C M; Perigard, Christopher J; Li, Jinze

    2014-12-01

    Conjugation of polyethylene glycol (PEG) to another molecule prolongs its half-life in the body, but has a potential to artifactually increase the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) as measured with certain assays. Studies conducted in-house at Bristol-Myers Squibb using the STA-PTT Automate 5 assay, the routine assay used to measure aPTT, demonstrated prolongation of aPTT in plasma samples spiked in vitro with 40-kDa branched PEG (PEG40) conjugated compounds or PEG40 alone, but not in samples spiked with vehicle or non-PEGylated compound, suggesting that the interference is because of the PEG40 moiety. To investigate the cause of this phenomenon, cynomolgus monkey and rat plasma samples were spiked with different concentrations of PEG40 and the aPTT was measured using different proprietary assays. With one exception, prolongation of aPTT was observed with all assays containing silica as the contact activator. No changes in aPTT were noted in assays using kaolin as a contact activator. The findings indicated that the observed prolongation of aPTT is largely because of interference of PEG40 with the silica, but other features of the reagent mixture may also influence aPTT times.

  5. EphB4 cellular kinase activity assayed using an enzymatic protein interaction system.

    PubMed

    Wehrman, Tom; Nguyen, Mimi; Feng, Wei; Bader, Benjamin

    2013-05-01

    Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are important players in various cellular processes, including proliferation, migration, metabolism, and neuronal development. EphB4 RTK is essential for the development of a functional arterial-venous network in embryonic and adult neoangiogenesis. To develop novel inhibitors of EphB4 that might have applications in severe diseases like cancer and retinopathies, assays need to be in place that resemble, in a most physiological fashion, the activation and downstream function of the kinase. In addition, such assays need to be amenable to high-throughput screening to serve efficiently the modern drug discovery processes in the pharmaceutical industry. The authors have developed an enzyme fragment complementation assay that measures the interaction of a downstream docking protein to the activated and phosphorylated full-length EphB4 kinase in cells. The assay is specific, robust, and amenable to miniaturization and high-throughput screening. It covers most steps in the activation process of EphB4, including ligand binding, autophosphorylation, and docking of a downstream interactor. This assay format can be transferred to other RTKs and adds an important cell-based kinase assay option to researchers in the field.

  6. A Robotic MCF-7:WS8 Cell Proliferation Assay to Detect Agonist and Antagonist Estrogenic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Casey, Warren

    2014-01-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA) or anti-EA (AEA) have been extensively reported to possibly have many adverse health effects. We have developed robotized assays using MCF-7:WS8 cell proliferation (or suppression) to detect EA (or AEA) of 78 test substances supplied by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods and the National Toxicology Program’s Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods for validation studies. We also assayed ICI 182,780, a strong estrogen antagonist. Chemicals to be assayed were initially examined for solubility and volatility to determine optimal assay conditions. For both EA and AEA determinations, a Range-Finder assay was conducted to determine the concentration range for testing, followed by a Comprehensive assay. Test substances with potentially positive results from an EA Comprehensive assay were subjected to an EA Confirmation assay that evaluated the ability of ICI 182,780 to reverse chemically induced MCF-7 cell proliferation. The AEA assays examined the ability of chemicals to decrease MCF-7 cell proliferation induced by nonsaturating concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2), relative to ICI or raloxifene, also a strong estrogen antagonist. To be classified as having AEA, a saturating concentration of E2 had to significantly reverse the decrease in cell proliferation produced by the test substance in nonsaturating E2. We conclude that our robotized MCF-7 EA and AEA assays have accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity values at least equivalent to validated test methods accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. PMID:24213142

  7. A robotic MCF-7:WS8 cell proliferation assay to detect agonist and antagonist estrogenic activity.

    PubMed

    Yang, Chun Z; Casey, Warren; Stoner, Matthew A; Kollessery, Gayathri J; Wong, Amy W; Bittner, George D

    2014-02-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals with estrogenic activity (EA) or anti-EA (AEA) have been extensively reported to possibly have many adverse health effects. We have developed robotized assays using MCF-7:WS8 cell proliferation (or suppression) to detect EA (or AEA) of 78 test substances supplied by the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods and the National Toxicology Program's Interagency Center for the Evaluation of Alternative Toxicological Methods for validation studies. We also assayed ICI 182,780, a strong estrogen antagonist. Chemicals to be assayed were initially examined for solubility and volatility to determine optimal assay conditions. For both EA and AEA determinations, a Range-Finder assay was conducted to determine the concentration range for testing, followed by a Comprehensive assay. Test substances with potentially positive results from an EA Comprehensive assay were subjected to an EA Confirmation assay that evaluated the ability of ICI 182,780 to reverse chemically induced MCF-7 cell proliferation. The AEA assays examined the ability of chemicals to decrease MCF-7 cell proliferation induced by nonsaturating concentrations of 17β-estradiol (E2), relative to ICI or raloxifene, also a strong estrogen antagonist. To be classified as having AEA, a saturating concentration of E2 had to significantly reverse the decrease in cell proliferation produced by the test substance in nonsaturating E2. We conclude that our robotized MCF-7 EA and AEA assays have accuracy, sensitivity, and specificity values at least equivalent to validated test methods accepted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

  8. A high-throughput assay of NK cell activity in whole blood and its clinical application

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, Saet-byul; Cha, Junhoe; Kim, Im-kyung; Yoon, Joo Chun; Lee, Hyo Joon; Park, Sang Woo; Cho, Sunjung; Youn, Dong-Ye; Lee, Heyja; Lee, Choong Hwan; Lee, Jae Myun; Lee, Kang Young; Kim, Jongsun

    2014-03-14

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • We demonstrated a simple assay of NK cell activity from whole blood. • The measurement of secreted IFN-γ from NK cell enables high-throughput screening. • The NKA assay was validated by clinical results of colorectal cancer patients. - Abstract: Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes of the innate immune system and have the ability to kill tumor cells and virus-infected cells without prior sensitization. Malignant tumors and viruses have developed, however, strategies to suppress NK cells to escape from their responses. Thus, the evaluation of NK cell activity (NKA) could be invaluable to estimate the status and the outcome of cancers, viral infections, and immune-mediated diseases. Established methods that measure NKA, such as {sup 51}Cr release assay and CD107a degranulation assay, may be used to determine NK cell function, but they are complicated and time-consuming because they require isolation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or NK cells. In some cases these assays require hazardous material such as radioactive isotopes. To overcome these difficulties, we developed a simple assay that uses whole blood instead of PBMC or isolated NK cells. This novel assay is suitable for high-throughput screening and the monitoring of diseases, because it employs serum of ex vivo stimulated whole blood to detect interferon (IFN)-γ secreted from NK cells as an indicator of NKA. After the stimulation of NK cells, the determination of IFNγ concentration in serum samples by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) provided a swift, uncomplicated, and high-throughput assay of NKA ex vivo. The NKA results microsatellite stable (MSS) colorectal cancer patients was showed significantly lower NKA, 263.6 ± 54.5 pg/mL compared with healthy subjects, 867.5 ± 50.2 pg/mL (p value <0.0001). Therefore, the NKA could be utilized as a supportive diagnostic marker for microsatellite stable (MSS) colorectal cancer.

  9. A demonstration of the uncertainty in predicting the estrogenic activity of individual chemicals and mixtures from an in vitro estrogen receptor transcriptional activation assay (T47D-KBluc) to the in vivo uterotrophic assay using oral exposure

    EPA Science Inventory

    In vitro estrogen receptor assays are valuable screening tools for identifying environmental samples and chemicals that display estrogenic activity. However, in vitro potency cannot necessarily be extrapolated to estimates of in vivo potency because in vitro assays are currently...

  10. How Do Detergents Work? A Qualitative Assay to Measure Amylase Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Novo, M. Teresa; Casanoves, Marina; Garcia-Vallvé, Santi; Pujadas, Gerard; Mulero, Miquel; Valls, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    We present a practical activity focusing on two main goals: to give learners the opportunity to experience how the scientific method works and to increase their knowledge about enzymes in everyday situations. The exercise consists of determining the amylase activity of commercial detergents. The methodology is based on a qualitative assay using a…

  11. [Techniques for assaying the activity of transcription factor NF-κB].

    PubMed

    Ling, Xiao-Qian; Wang, Jin-Ke

    2013-05-01

    NF-κB is a stimulatory transcription factor that is ubiquitous in almost all kinds of cells. When cells are under various stimuli, NF-κB is activated and regulates large numbers of target genes, and thus controls important cellular processes, ranging from cell growth and differentiation to apoptosis and cancer. Therefore, NF-κB is a forefront hotspot transcription factor that is intensively studied in virtually all fields of biomedical sciences, and becomes a promising target for disease therapy and drug screening. The activity detection is the first and inevitable step for the studies of NF-κB activation and function.Therefore, the techniques for detection of NF-κB activity have always been paid more attention and continuously developed. Especially in recent year, along with the development of each disciplines, various new techniques have been developed, including ELISA-like assays based on dsDNA-coupled plate, filter binding assays, FRET assays, fluorescence reporting and nucleic acids amplification assays based on exonuclease and endonuclease, MS and flow cytometry assays based on immunomicrobeads, and other biophysical and electrochemical assays. Some of these techniques have already played important roles in NF-κB studies. This paper reviewed new techniques developed in recent years by classification, in order to provide an overview of NF-κB activity assays, which may be helpful for researchers to select appropriate techniques used in their studies. Moreover, the learning and understanding of these techniques may inspire researchers to improve currently existing techniques and develop novel methods for the studies of NF-κB.

  12. Estrogenic and androgenic activity of PCBs, their chlorinated metabolites and other endocrine disruptors estimated with two in vitro yeast assays.

    PubMed

    Svobodová, K; Placková, M; Novotná, V; Cajthaml, T

    2009-11-01

    Investigations of environmental pollution by endocrine-disrupting chemicals are now in progress. Up to now, several in vitro bioassays have been developed for evaluation of the endocrine disruptive activity; however, there is still a lack of comparative studies of their sensitivity. In this work comparison of the estrogen screening assay based on beta-galactosidase expression and a bioluminescent estrogen screen revealed differences in the sensitivity and specificity of the two tests. With the beta-galactosidase screen a slight estrogen-like activity of Delor 103, a commercial mixture of PCB congeners, and a fungicide triclosan was measured whereas no activity was detected using the bioluminescent assay. A bioluminescent androgen test negated previously suggested androgenic potential of triclosan. Further, this work demonstrates the androgenic activity of Delor 103, with an EC(50) value of 2.29 x 10(-2)mg/L. On the other hand, chlorobenzoic acids (CBAs), representing potential PCB degradation metabolites, exhibited no androgenic activity but were slightly estrogenic. Their estrogenicity varied with their chemical structure, with 2,3-CBA, 2,3,6-CBA, 2,4,6-CBA and monochlorinated compounds exhibiting the highest activity. Thus the results indicated possible transitions of the hormonal activity of PCBs during bacterial degradation.

  13. A fast, sensitive and easy colorimetric assay for chitinase and cellulase activity detection

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Most of the current colorimetric methods for detection of chitinase or cellulase activities on the insoluble natural polymers chitin and cellulose depend on a chemical redox reaction. The reaction involves the reducing ends of the hydrolytic products. The Schales’ procedure and the 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) method are two examples that are commonly used. However, these methods lack sensitivity and present practical difficulties of usage in high-throughput screening assays as they require boiling or heating steps for color development. Results We report a novel method for colorimetric detection of chitinase and cellulase activity. The assay is based on the use of two oxidases: wild-type chito-oligosaccharide oxidase, ChitO, and a mutant thereof, ChitO-Q268R. ChitO was used for chitinase, while ChitO-Q268R was used for cellulase activity detection. These oxidases release hydrogen peroxide upon the oxidation of chitinase- or cellulase-produced hydrolytic products. The hydrogen peroxide produced can be monitored using a second enzyme, horseradish peroxidase (HRP), and a chromogenic peroxidase substrate. The developed ChitO-based assay can detect chitinase activity as low as 10 μU within 15 minutes of assay time. Similarly, cellulase activity can be detected in the range of 6 to 375 mU. A linear response was observed when applying the ChitO-based assay for detecting individual chito-oligosaccharides and cello-oligosaccharides. The detection limits for these compounds ranged from 5 to 25 μM. In contrast to the other commonly used methods, the Schales’ procedure and the DNS method, no boiling or heating is needed in the ChitO-based assays. The method was also evaluated for detecting hydrolytic activity on biomass-derived substrates, that is, wheat straw as a source of cellulose and shrimp shells as a source of chitin. Conclusion The ChitO-based assay has clear advantages for the detection of chitinase and cellulase activity over the conventional

  14. A rapid, quantitative assay for measuring alkaline phosphatase activity in osteoblastic cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Sabokbar, A; Millett, P J; Myer, B; Rushton, N

    1994-10-01

    Alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is the most widely recognized biochemical marker for osteoblast activity. Although its precise function is poorly understood, it is believed to play a role in skeletal mineralization. The aim of this study was to develop an assay suitable for measuring the activity of this enzyme in microtiter plate format. Using the well-characterized osteoblast-like cell line Saos-2, this paper describes an optimized biochemical assay suitable for measuring ALP activity in tissue culture samples. We have determined that a p-nitrophenyl phosphate substrate concentration of 9 mM provides highest enzyme activities. We have found that cell concentration, and hence enzyme concentration, affects both the kinetics and precision of the assay. We also tested several methods of enzyme solubilization and found that freeze-thawing the membrane fractions twice at -70 degrees C/37 degrees C or freeze-thawing once with sonication yielded highest enzyme activities. The activity of the enzyme decreased by 10% after 7 days storage. This assay provides a sensitive and reproducible method that is ideally suited for measuring ALP activity in isolated osteoblastic cells, although sample preparation and storage can influence results.

  15. Reporter gene assay for fish-killing activity produced by Pfiesteria piscicida.

    PubMed

    Fairey, E R; Edmunds, J S; Deamer-Melia, N J; Glasgow, H; Johnson, F M; Moeller, P R; Burkholder, J M; Ramsdell, J S

    1999-09-01

    Collaborative studies were performed to develop a functional assay for fish-killing activity produced by Pfiesteria piscicida. Eight cell lines were used to screen organic fractions and residual water fraction by using a 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-(2-4)]-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cytotoxicity assay. Diethyl ether and a residual water fraction were cytotoxic to several cell lines including rat pituitary (GH(4)C(1)) cells. Residual water as well as preextracted culture water containing P. piscicida cells induced c-fos-luciferase expressed in GH(4)C(1) cells with a rapid time course of induction and sensitive detection. The reporter gene assay detected activity in toxic isolates of P. piscicida from several North Carolina estuaries in 1997 and 1998 and may also be suitable for detecting toxic activity in human and animal serum.

  16. 96-Well plate assays for measuring collagenase activity using (3)H-acetylated collagen.

    PubMed

    Koshy, P J; Rowan, A D; Life, P F; Cawston, T E

    1999-11-15

    We describe two alternative assays for measuring collagenolytic activity using (3)H-acetylated collagen. Both assays have been developed for the 96-well plate format and measure the amount of radiolabeled collagen fragments released into the supernatant from an insoluble (3)H-acetylated collagen fibril preparation. The first method separates digested solubilized fragments from the intact fibril by sedimentation of the undigested collagen by centrifugation. The second method achieves this separation by filtration of the supernatant through the membrane of a 96-well filtration plate which retains the undigested collagen fibril. Both methods give linear dose- and time-dependent responses of collagenase activity > or = 70% of total collagen lysis. In addition, both assays can be simply modified to measure tissue inhibitors of metalloproteinases (TIMPs) inhibitory activity, which is also linear between 20 and 75% of total collagen lysis with the amount of TIMP added.

  17. Activities of the OECD/NEA Expert Group on Assay Data for Spent Nuclear Fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Gauld, Ian C; Rugama, Yolanda

    2009-01-01

    Management of spent nuclear fuel is a key issue for many NEA member countries. In nuclear criticality safety, the decision of many countries to advance burnup credit as part of their licensing strategy has heightened recent interest in experimental data needed to validate computer codes used in burnup credit calculations. This paper discusses recent activities of an Expert Group on assay data, formed under the OECD/NEA/NSC/WPNCS (Working Party on Nuclear Criticality Safety) to help coordinate isotopic assay data activities and facilitate international collaboration between NEA member countries developing or implementing burnup credit methodologies. Recent activities of the Expert Group are described, focusing on the planned expansion of the Spent Fuel Isotopic Composition Database (SFCOMPO), and preparation of a state-of-the-art report on assay data that includes sections on recommended radiochemical analysis methods, techniques, and lessons learned from previous experiments.

  18. Reporter gene assay for fish-killing activity produced by Pfiesteria piscicida.

    PubMed Central

    Fairey, E R; Edmunds, J S; Deamer-Melia, N J; Glasgow, H; Johnson, F M; Moeller, P R; Burkholder, J M; Ramsdell, J S

    1999-01-01

    Collaborative studies were performed to develop a functional assay for fish-killing activity produced by Pfiesteria piscicida. Eight cell lines were used to screen organic fractions and residual water fraction by using a 3-[4, 5-dimethylthiazol-(2-4)]-diphenyltetrazolium bromide cytotoxicity assay. Diethyl ether and a residual water fraction were cytotoxic to several cell lines including rat pituitary (GH(4)C(1)) cells. Residual water as well as preextracted culture water containing P. piscicida cells induced c-fos-luciferase expressed in GH(4)C(1) cells with a rapid time course of induction and sensitive detection. The reporter gene assay detected activity in toxic isolates of P. piscicida from several North Carolina estuaries in 1997 and 1998 and may also be suitable for detecting toxic activity in human and animal serum. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 PMID:10464070

  19. An improved 96-well turbidity assay for T4 lysozyme activity

    PubMed Central

    Toro, Tasha B.; Nguyen, Thao P.; Watt, Terry J.

    2015-01-01

    T4 lysozyme (T4L) is an important model system for investigating the relationship between protein structure and function. Despite being extensively studied, a reliable, quantitative activity assay for T4L has not been developed. Here, we present an improved T4L turbidity assay as well as an affinity-based T4L expression and purification protocol. This assay is designed for 96-well format and utilizes conditions amenable for both T4L and other lysozymes. This protocol enables easy, efficient, and quantitative characterization of T4L variants and allows comparison between different lysozymes. Our method: • Is applicable for all lysozymes, with enhanced sensitivity for T4 lysozyme compared to other 96-well plate turbidity assays; • Utilizes standardized conditions for comparing T4 lysozyme variants and other lysozymes; and • Incorporates a simplified expression and purification protocol for T4 lysozyme. PMID:26150996

  20. A quantitative multiplex nuclease protection assay reveals immunotoxicity gene expression profiles in the rabbit model for vaginal drug safety evaluation

    SciTech Connect

    Fichorova, Raina N.; Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S.; Murray, Ryan; Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F.

    2015-06-15

    Any vaginal product that alters the mucosal environment and impairs the immune barrier increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV infection, which thrives on mucosal damage and inflammation. The FDA-recommended rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model serves as a first line selection tool for vaginal products; however, for decades it has been limited to histopathology scoring, insufficient to select safe anti-HIV microbicides. In this study we incorporate to the RVI model a novel quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA) to quantify mRNA levels of 25 genes representing leukocyte differentiation markers, toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokines, chemokines, epithelial repair, microbicidal and vascular markers, by designing two multiplex arrays. Tissue sections were obtained from 36 rabbits (6 per treatment arm) after 14 daily applications of a placebo gel, saline, 4% nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and three combinations of the anti-HIV microbicides tenofovir (TFV) and UC781 in escalating concentrations (highest: 10% TFV + 2.5%UC781). Results showed that increased expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, interleukin (IL)-1β, CXCL8, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 (P < 0.05), and decreased levels of TLR2 (P < 0.05), TLR3 and bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI) (P < 0.001) were associated with cervicovaginal mucosal alteration (histopathology). Seven markers showed a significant linear trend predicting epithelial damage (up with CD4, IL-1β, CXCL8, CCL2, CCL21, EMP1 and down with BPI). Despite the low tissue damage RVI scores, the high-dose microbicide combination gel caused activation of HIV host cells (SLC and CD4) while N-9 caused proinflammatory gene upregulation (IL-8 and TLR4) suggesting a potential for increasing risk of HIV via different mechanisms depending on the chemical nature of the test product. - Highlights: • A transcriptome nuclease protection assay assessed microbicides for vaginal safety. • Biomarkers were

  1. High-throughput asparaginase activity assay in serum of children with leukemia

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez, Christian A; Cai, Xiangjun; Elozory, Allie; Liu, Chengcheng; Panetta, J Carl; Jeha, Sima; Molinelli, Alejandro R; Relling, Mary V

    2013-01-01

    Asparaginase is an antineoplastic agent used in combination therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The asparaginase activity measured in serum reflects the effectiveness of the drug. However, the wide inter-individual variability in the pharmacokinetics of asparaginase suggests that the serum activity should be closely monitored in patients during therapy. In order to identify patients with low asparaginase exposure during treatment, a fast, sensitive, and high-throughput assay is required for measuring asparaginase activity in patient sera. In this study, asparaginase activity was determined by monitoring the enzymatically-coupled oxidation of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) to NAD+ in a 96-well format. The rate of disappearance of NADH (ΔmOD/minute) was directly proportional to the activity of asparaginase, and the linear range of the assay was established from 0.025 to 2.2 IU/mL (R2 = 0.998) with a reportable range that was extended to 4.0 IU/mL by dilution with serum albumin. Inter-assay precision was established (low control CV% = 8.8, high control CV% = 9.0), as was intra-assay precision (low control CV% = 3.3, high control CV% = 2.7). The method is high-throughput and provides a broader linear range of detection compared to previously described assays. The speed, ease, and accuracy of the assay make it suitable for assessing serum asparaginase activity after standard doses of native E. coli, Erwinia, and PEGylated E. coli asparaginase given to children during the treatment of leukemia. PMID:23936585

  2. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation

    PubMed Central

    Brahmbhatt, Hetal; Uehling, David; Al-awar, Rima; Leber, Brian; Andrews, David

    2016-01-01

    The pro-apoptotic protein Bax commits a cell to death by permeabilizing the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM). To obtain small-molecule probes for elucidating the molecular mechanism(s) of Bax activation, we screened for compounds that induced Bax-mediated liposome permeabilization. We identified five structurally different small molecules that promoted both Bax targeting to and oligomerization at membranes. All five compounds initiated Bax oligomerization in the absence of membranes by a mechanism unlike Bax activation by Bcl-2 homology 3 domain (BH3) proteins. Some of the compounds induced Bax/Bak-dependent apoptosis in cells. Activation of Bax by the most active compound was poorly inhibited by the anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-XL and requires a cysteine residue at position 126 of Bax that is not required for activation by BH3 proteins. Our results reveal a novel pathway for Bax activation independent of pro-apoptotic BH3 proteins that may have important implications for the regulation of Bax activity in cells. PMID:26916338

  3. Measurement of equine myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity in synovial fluid by a modified MPO assay and evaluation of joint diseases - an initial case study.

    PubMed

    Fietz, S; Bondzio, A; Moschos, A; Hertsch, B; Einspanier, R

    2008-06-01

    The aim of this study was to develop a specific myeloperoxidase (MPO) activity assay in the synovial fluid of horses and investigate whether MPO activity is increased in different forms of joint diseases. Synovial fluid samples were taken from affected joints from horses with osteoarthritis, chronic non-septic arthritis and septic arthritis, and from healthy control horses. MPO activity was measured using a specific modified o-dianisidine-assay containing 4-aminobenzoic acid hydrazide as a potent and specific inhibitor of the MPO. This assay is characterized by high reproducibility. The results reveal only a slight elevation of MPO activity in the synovial fluid of horses with osteoarthritis and chronic non-septic arthritis. However, in the cases of septic arthritis a significant increase in MPO activity was found when compared to the controls. In conclusion the first field study suggests that synovial fluid MPO may be used as a marker for septic arthritis in horses.

  4. The capture proteasome assay: A method to measure proteasome activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Vigneron, Nathalie; Abi Habib, Joanna; Van den Eynde, Benoît J

    2015-08-01

    Because of its crucial role in various cellular processes, the proteasome is the focus of intensive research for the development of proteasome inhibitors to treat cancer and autoimmune diseases. Here, we describe a new and easy assay to measure the different proteasome activities in vitro (chymotrypsin-like, caspase-like, and trypsin-like) based on proteasome capture on antibody-coated plates, namely the capture proteasome assay (CAPA). Applying the CAPA to lysates from cells expressing standard proteasome, immunoproteasome, or intermediate proteasomes β5i or β1i-β5i, we can monitor the activity of the four proteasome subtypes. The CAPA provided similar results as the standard whole-cell proteasome-Glo assay without the problem of contaminating proteases requiring inhibitors. However, the profile of trypsin-like activity differed between the two assays. This could be partly explained by the presence of MgSO4 in the proteasome-Glo buffer, which inhibits the trypsin-like activity of the proteasome. The CAPA does not need MgSO4 and, therefore, provides a more precise measurement of the trypsin-like activity. The CAPA provides a quick and accurate method to measure proteasome activity in vitro in a very specific manner and should be useful for the development of proteasome inhibitors.

  5. A Sensitive Microplate Assay for Lipase Activity Measurement Using Olive Oil Emulsion Substrate: Modification of the Copper Soap Colorimetric Method.

    PubMed

    Mustafa, Ahmad; Karmali, Amin; Abdelmoez, Wael

    2016-01-01

    The present work involves a sensitive high-throughput microtiter plate based colorimetric assay for estimating lipase activity using cupric acetate pyridine reagent (CAPR). In the first approach, three factors two levels factorial design methodology was used to evaluate the interactive effect of different parameters on the sensitivity of the assay method. The optimization study revealed that the optimum CAPR concentration was 7.5% w/v, the optimum solvent was heptane and the optimum CAPR pH was 6. In the second approach, the optimized colorimetric microplate assay was used to measure lipase activity based on enzymatic hydrolysis of olive oil emulsion substrate at 37°C and 150 rpm. The emulsion substrates were formulated by using olive oil, triton X-100 (10% v/v in pH 8) and sodium phosphate buffer of pH 8 in ratio of 1:1:1 in the case of Candida sp. lipase. While in the case of immobilized lipozyme RMIM, The emulsion substrates were formulated by using olive oil, triton X-100 (1% v/v in pH 8) and sodium phosphate buffer of pH 8 in ratio of 2:1:1. Absorbance was measured at 655 nm. The stability of this assay (in terms of colored heptane phase absorbance readings) retained more than 92.5% after 24 h at 4°C compared to the absorbance readings measured at zero time. In comparison with other lipase assay methods, beside the developed sensitivity, the reproducibility and the lower limit of detection (LOD) of the proposed method, it permits analyzing of 96 samples at one time in a 96-well microplate. Furthermore, it consumes small quantities of chemicals and unit operations.

  6. New cell-based assay indicates dependence of antioxidant biological activity on the origin of reactive oxygen species.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Martin D; Pesheva, Margarita G; Venkov, Pencho V

    2013-05-08

    The mobility of the Ty1 transposon in Saccharomyces cerevisiae was found to vary proportionally with the level of ROS generated in cells, which provides the possibility to determine antioxidant activity by changes in a cellular process instead of using chemical reactions. The study of propolis, royal jelly, and honey with the newly developed Ty1antiROS test reveals an inverse exponential dependence of antioxidant activity on increased concentrations. This dependence can be transformed to proportional by changing the source of ROS: instead of cell-produced to applied as hydrogen peroxide. The different test responses are not due to excess of added hydrogen peroxide, as evidenced by the exponential dependence found by usage of yap1Δ tester cells accumulating cell-generated ROS. Results indicate that the activity of antioxidants to oxidative radicals depends on the origin of ROS, and this activity is elevated for cell-generated ROS compared to ROS added as reagents in the assay.

  7. Measurement of Separase Proteolytic Activity in Single Living Cells by a Fluorogenic Flow Cytometry Assay

    PubMed Central

    Haaß, Wiltrud; Kleiner, Helga; Müller, Martin C.; Hofmann, Wolf-Karsten; Fabarius, Alice; Seifarth, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    ESPL1/Separase, an endopeptidase, is required for centrosome duplication and separation of sister-chromatides in anaphase of mitosis. Overexpression and deregulated proteolytic activity of Separase as frequently observed in human cancers is associated with the occurrence of supernumerary centrosomes, chromosomal missegregation and aneuploidy. Recently, we have hypothesized that increased Separase proteolytic activity in a small subpopulation of tumor cells may serve as driver of tumor heterogeneity and clonal evolution in chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Currently, there is no quantitative assay to measure Separase activity levels in single cells. Therefore, we have designed a flow cytometry-based assay that utilizes a Cy5- and rhodamine 110 (Rh110)-biconjugated Rad21 cleavage site peptide ([Cy5-D-R-E-I-M-R]2-Rh110) as smart probe and intracellular substrate for detection of Separase enzyme activity in living cells. As measured by Cy5 fluorescence the cellular uptake of the fluorogenic peptide was fast and reached saturation after 210 min of incubation in human histiocytic lymphoma U937 cells. Separase activity was recorded as the intensity of Rh110 fluorescence released after intracellular peptide cleavage providing a linear signal gain within a 90–180 min time slot. Compared to conventional cell extract-based methods the flow cytometric assay delivers equivalent results but is more reliable, bypasses the problem of vague loading controls and unspecific proteolysis associated with whole cell extracts. Especially suited for the investigaton of blood- and bone marrow-derived hematopoietic cells the flow cytometric Separase assay allows generation of Separase activity profiles that tell about the number of Separase positive cells within a sample i.e. cells that currently progress through mitosis and about the range of intercellular variation in Separase activity levels within a cell population. The assay was used to quantify Separase proteolytic activity in leukemic

  8. A high throughput fluorescent assay for measuring the activity of fatty acid amide hydrolase.

    PubMed

    Kage, Karen L; Richardson, Paul L; Traphagen, Linda; Severin, Jean; Pereda-Lopez, Ana; Lubben, Thomas; Davis-Taber, Rachel; Vos, Melissa H; Bartley, Diane; Walter, Karl; Harlan, John; Solomon, Larry; Warrior, Usha; Holzman, Thomas F; Faltynek, Connie; Surowy, Carol S; Scott, Victoria E

    2007-03-30

    Fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH) is the enzyme responsible for the rapid degradation of fatty acid amides such as the endocannabinoid anandamide. Inhibition of FAAH activity has been suggested as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of chronic pain, depression and anxiety, through local activation of the cannabinoid receptor CB1. We have developed a high throughput screening assay for identification of FAAH inhibitors using a novel substrate, decanoyl 7-amino-4-methyl coumarin (D-AMC) that is cleaved by FAAH to release decanoic acid and the highly fluorescent molecule 7-amino-4-methyl coumarin (AMC). This assay gives an excellent signal window for measuring FAAH activity and, as a continuous assay, inherently offers improved sensitivity and accuracy over previously reported endpoint assays. The assay was validated using a panel of known FAAH inhibitors and purified recombinant human FAAH, then converted to a 384 well format and used to screen a large library of compounds (>600,000 compounds) to identify FAAH inhibitors. This screen identified numerous novel FAAH inhibitors of diverse chemotypes. These hits confirmed using a native FAAH substrate, anandamide, and had very similar rank order potency to that obtained using the D-AMC substrate. Collectively these data demonstrate that D-AMC can be successfully used to rapidly and effectively identify novel FAAH inhibitors for potential therapeutic use.

  9. A protein chip membrane-capture assay for botulinum neurotoxin activity

    SciTech Connect

    Marconi, Severine; Ferracci, Geraldine; Berthomieu, Maelys; Kozaki, Shunji; Miquelis, Raymond; Boucraut, Jose; Seagar, Michael

    2008-12-15

    Botulinum neurotoxins A and B (BoNT/A and B) are neuromuscular blocking agents which inhibit neurotransmission by cleaving the intra-cellular presynaptic SNARE proteins SNAP-25 and VAMP2, localized respectively in plasma membrane and synaptic vesicles. These neurotoxins are both dangerous pathogens and powerful therapeutic agents with numerous clinical and cosmetic applications. Consequently there is a need for in vitro assays of their biological activity to screen for potential inhibitors and to replace the widely used in vivo mouse assay. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) was used to measure membrane vesicle capture by antibodies against SNAP-25 and VAMP2. Substrate cleavage by BoNTs modified capture providing a method to assay toxin activity. Firstly using synaptic vesicles as a substrate, a comparison of the EC{sub 50}s for BoNT/B obtained by SPR, ELISA or flow cytometry indicated similar sensitivity although SPR assays were more rapid. Sonication of brain or neuronal cultures generated plasma membrane fragments with accessible intra-cellular epitopes adapted to measurement of BoNT/A activity. SPR responses were proportional to antigen concentration permitting detection of as little as 4 pM SNAP-25 in crude lysates. BoNT/A activity was assayed using monoclonal antibodies that specifically recognize a SNAP-25 epitope generated by the proteolytic action of the toxin. Incubation of intact primary cultured neurons with BoNT/A yielded an EC{sub 50} of 0.5 pM. The SPR biosensor method was sensitive enough to monitor BoNT/A and B activity in cells cultured in a 96-well format providing an alternative to experimental animals for toxicological assays.

  10. A nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry-based enzyme activity assay

    PubMed Central

    Northen, Trent R.; Lee, Jinq-Chyi; Hoang, Linh; Raymond, Jason; Hwang, Der-Ren; Yannone, Steven M.; Wong, Chi-Huey; Siuzdak, Gary

    2008-01-01

    We describe a Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) enzymatic (Nimzyme) assay in which enzyme substrates are immobilized on the mass spectrometry surface by using fluorous-phase interactions. This “soft” immobilization allows efficient desorption/ionization while also enabling the use of surface-washing steps to reduce signal suppression from complex biological samples, which results from the preferential retention of the tagged products and reactants. The Nimzyme assay is sensitive to subpicogram levels of enzyme, detects both addition and cleavage reactions (sialyltransferase and galactosidase), is applicable over a wide range of pHs and temperatures, and can measure activity directly from crude cell lysates. The ability of the Nimzyme assay to analyze complex mixtures is illustrated by identifying and directly characterizing β-1,4-galactosidase activity from a thermophilic microbial community lysate. The optimal enzyme temperature and pH were found to be 65°C and 5.5, respectively, and the activity was inhibited by both phenylethyl-β-d-thiogalactopyranoside and deoxygalactonojirimycin. Metagenomic analysis of the community suggests that the activity is from an uncultured, unsequenced γ-proteobacterium. In general, this assay provides an efficient method for detection and characterization of enzymatic activities in complex biological mixtures prior to sequencing or cloning efforts. More generally, this approach may have important applications for screening both enzymatic and inhibitor libraries, constructing and screening glycan microarrays, and complementing fluorous-phase organic synthesis. PMID:18319341

  11. [Detection of viable metabolically active yeast cells using a colorimetric assay].

    PubMed

    Růzicka, F; Holá, V

    2008-02-01

    The increasing concern of yeasts able to form biofilm brings about the need for susceptibility testing of both planktonic and biofilm cells. Detection of viability or metabolic activity of yeast cells after exposure to antimicrobials plays a key role in the assessment of susceptibility testing results. Colorimetric assays based on the color change of the medium in the presence of metabolically active cells proved suitable for this purpose. In this study, the usability of a colorimetric assay with the resazurin redox indicator for monitoring the effect of yeast inoculum density on the reduction rate was tested. As correlation between the color change rate and inoculum density was observed, approximate quantification of viable cells was possible. The assay would be of relevance to antifungal susceptibility testing in both planktonic and biofilm yeasts.

  12. A quantitative multiplex nuclease protection assay reveals immunotoxicity gene expression profiles in the rabbit model for vaginal drug safety evaluation.

    PubMed

    Fichorova, Raina N; Mendonca, Kevin; Yamamoto, Hidemi S; Murray, Ryan; Chandra, Neelima; Doncel, Gustavo F

    2015-06-15

    Any vaginal product that alters the mucosal environment and impairs the immune barrier increases the risk of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV infection, which thrives on mucosal damage and inflammation. The FDA-recommended rabbit vaginal irritation (RVI) model serves as a first line selection tool for vaginal products; however, for decades it has been limited to histopathology scoring, insufficient to select safe anti-HIV microbicides. In this study we incorporate to the RVI model a novel quantitative nuclease protection assay (qNPA) to quantify mRNA levels of 25 genes representing leukocyte differentiation markers, toll-like receptors (TLR), cytokines, chemokines, epithelial repair, microbicidal and vascular markers, by designing two multiplex arrays. Tissue sections were obtained from 36 rabbits (6 per treatment arm) after 14 daily applications of a placebo gel, saline, 4% nonoxynol-9 (N-9), and three combinations of the anti-HIV microbicides tenofovir (TFV) and UC781 in escalating concentrations (highest: 10% TFV+2.5%UC781). Results showed that increased expression levels of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4, interleukin (IL)-1β, CXCL8, epithelial membrane protein (EMP)-1 (P<0.05), and decreased levels of TLR2 (P<0.05), TLR3 and bactericidal permeability increasing protein (BPI) (P<0.001) were associated with cervicovaginal mucosal alteration (histopathology). Seven markers showed a significant linear trend predicting epithelial damage (up with CD4, IL-1β, CXCL8, CCL2, CCL21, EMP1 and down with BPI). Despite the low tissue damage RVI scores, the high-dose microbicide combination gel caused activation of HIV host cells (SLC and CD4) while N-9 caused proinflammatory gene upregulation (IL-8 and TLR4) suggesting a potential for increasing risk of HIV via different mechanisms depending on the chemical nature of the test product.

  13. Editor's Highlight: Analysis of the Effects of Cell Stress and Cytotoxicity on In Vitro Assay Activity Across a Diverse Chemical and Assay Space.

    PubMed

    Judson, Richard; Houck, Keith; Martin, Matt; Richard, Ann M; Knudsen, Thomas B; Shah, Imran; Little, Stephen; Wambaugh, John; Woodrow Setzer, R; Kothya, Parth; Phuong, Jimmy; Filer, Dayne; Smith, Doris; Reif, David; Rotroff, Daniel; Kleinstreuer, Nicole; Sipes, Nisha; Xia, Menghang; Huang, Ruili; Crofton, Kevin; Thomas, Russell S

    2016-08-01

    Chemical toxicity can arise from disruption of specific biomolecular functions or through more generalized cell stress and cytotoxicity-mediated processes. Here, responses of 1060 chemicals including pharmaceuticals, natural products, pesticidals, consumer, and industrial chemicals across a battery of 815 in vitro assay endpoints from 7 high-throughput assay technology platforms were analyzed in order to distinguish between these types of activities. Both cell-based and cell-free assays showed a rapid increase in the frequency of responses at concentrations where cell stress/cytotoxicity responses were observed in cell-based assays. Chemicals that were positive on at least 2 viability/cytotoxicity assays within the concentration range tested (typically up to 100 μM) activated a median of 12% of assay endpoints whereas those that were not cytotoxic in this concentration range activated 1.3% of the assays endpoints. The results suggest that activity can be broadly divided into: (1) specific biomolecular interactions against one or more targets (eg, receptors or enzymes) at concentrations below which overt cytotoxicity-associated activity is observed; and (2) activity associated with cell stress or cytotoxicity, which may result from triggering specific cell stress pathways, chemical reactivity, physico-chemical disruption of proteins or membranes, or broad low-affinity non-covalent interactions. Chemicals showing a greater number of specific biomolecular interactions are generally designed to be bioactive (pharmaceuticals or pesticidal active ingredients), whereas intentional food-use chemicals tended to show the fewest specific interactions. The analyses presented here provide context for use of these data in ongoing studies to predict in vivo toxicity from chemicals lacking extensive hazard assessment.

  14. Nondestructive assay of spent boiling water reactor fuel by active neutron interrogation

    SciTech Connect

    Blakeman, E.D.; Ricker, C.W.; Ragan, G.L.; Difilippo, F.C.; Slaughter, G.G.

    1981-01-01

    Spent boiling water reactor (BWR) fuel from Dresden I was assayed for total fissile mass, using the active neutron interrogation method. The nondestructive assay (NDA) system used has four Sb-Be sources for interrogation of the fuels; the induced fission neutrons from the fuel are counted by four lead-shielded methane-filled proportional counters biased above the energy of the source neutrons. Spent fuel rods containing 9 kg of heavy metal were chopped into 5-cm segments and loaded into three 1-liter cans. The three cans were assayed in seven combinations of one, two, or three cans, enabling an evaluation of the precision and accuracy of the NDA system for different amounts of fissile material. The fissile mass in each combination was determined by comparing the induced-fission-neutron counts with the counts obtained from a known standard comprising chopped segments of unirradiated Dresden fuel. These masses were compared to the masses determined by chemical analyses of the spent fuel. The results from the nondestructive assays agreed with results from the chemical analyses to within 2 to 3%. Similar agreement was obtained when two combinations of canned spent fuel were used as standards for the nondesctuctive assays. The assay of BWR spent fuel served as a test of the NDA system which was developed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the assay of spent liquid metal fast breeder reactor (LMFBR) fuel subassemblies at the heat-end of a reprocessing plant. Results of previous experiments and calculations reported earlier using simulated LMFBR fuel subassemblies indicated that the NDA system can measure the fissile masses of spent fuel subassemblies to within an accuracy of 3%. Results of the assays of spent BWR fuel reported herein support this conclusion.

  15. Rapid ester biosynthesis screening reveals a high activity alcohol-O-acyltransferase (AATase) from tomato fruit.

    PubMed

    Lin, Jyun-Liang; Zhu, Jie; Wheeldon, Ian

    2016-05-01

    Ethyl and acetate esters are naturally produced in various yeasts, plants, and bacteria. The biosynthetic pathways that produce these esters share a common reaction step, the condensation of acetyl/acyl-CoA with an alcohol by alcohol-O-acetyl/acyltransferase (AATase). Recent metabolic engineering efforts exploit AATase activity to produce fatty acid ethyl esters as potential diesel fuel replacements as well as short- and medium-chain volatile esters as fragrance and flavor compounds. These efforts have been limited by the lack of a rapid screen to quantify ester biosynthesis. Enzyme engineering efforts have also been limited by the lack of a high throughput screen for AATase activity. Here, we developed a high throughput assay for AATase activity and used this assay to discover a high activity AATase from tomato fruit, Solanum lycopersicum (Atf-S.l). Atf1-S.l exhibited broad specificity towards acyl-CoAs with chain length from C4 to C10 and was specific towards 1-pentanol. The AATase screen also revealed new acyl-CoA substrate specificities for Atf1, Atf2, Eht1, and Eeb1 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Atf-C.m from melon fruit, Cucumis melo, thus increasing the pool of characterized AATases that can be used in ester biosynthesis of ester-based fragrance and flavor compounds as well as fatty acid ethyl ester biofuels.

  16. Effect of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) crude extract and chromatographic fractions on multiple activities in a cultured cardiomyocyte assay.

    PubMed

    Long, S R; Carey, R A; Crofoot, K M; Proteau, P J; Filtz, T M

    2006-11-01

    Extracts of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) have become popular herbal supplements for their well-recognized cardiotonic effects. Many commercial preparations have been used successfully in the treatment of congestive heart failure, although the active principles within these extracts have yet to be conclusively identified. Several hawthorn preparations were studied and found to have negative chronotropic effects in a cultured neonatal murine cardiomyocyte assay using unpaced cells. As compared to conventional cardiac drugs (i.e., epinephrine, milrinone, ouabain, or propranolol), hawthorn extract has a unique activity profile. Hawthorn extract appears to be anti-arrhythmic and capable of inducing rhythmicity in quiescent cardiomyocytes. Hawthorn extract does not cause beta-adrenergic receptor blockade at concentrations which cause negative chronotropic effects. Commercial hawthorn preparations, extracts prepared from dried leaves and those made from dried berries have similar chronotropic activities. When crude extracts are separated using size-exclusion chromatography, several fractions retain multiple cardiac activities. Assays with chromatographic fractions reveal that multiple dissimilar cardioactive components may exist within the extract, making the identification of individual active constituents more challenging.

  17. A robust, high-throughput assay to determine the phagocytic activity of clinical antibody samples

    PubMed Central

    Ackerman, Margaret E.; Moldt, Brian; Wyatt, Richard T; Dugast, Anne-Sophie; McAndrew, Elizabeth; Tsoukas, Stephen; Jost, Stephanie; Berger, Christoph T.; Sciaranghella, Gaia; Liu, Qingquan; Irvine, Darrell J; Burton, Dennis R.; Alter, Galit

    2011-01-01

    Phagocytosis can be induced via the engagement of Fcγ receptors by antibody-opsonized material. Furthermore, the efficiency of antibody-induced effector functions has been shown to be dramatically modulated by changes in antibody glycosylation. Because infection can modulate antibody glycans, which in turn modulate antibody functions, assays capable of determining the induction of effector functions rather than neutralization or titer provide a valuable opportunity to more fully characterize the quality of the adaptive immune response. Here we describe a robust and high-throughput flow cytometric assay to define the phagocytic activity of antigen-specific antibodies from clinical samples. This assay employs a monocytic cell line that expresses numerous Fc receptors: including inhibitory and activating, and high and low affinity receptors—allowing complex phenotypes to be studied. We demonstrate the adaptability of this high-throughput, flow-based assay to measure antigen-specific antibody-mediated phagocytosis against an array of viruses, including influenza, HIV, and dengue. The phagocytosis assay format further allows for simultaneous analysis of cytokine release, as well as determination of the role of specific Fcγ-receptor subtypes, making it a highly useful system for parsing differences in the ability of clinical and vaccine induced antibody samples to recruit this critical effector function. PMID:21192942

  18. A Dual Read-Out Assay to Evaluate the Potency of Compounds Active against Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    PubMed Central

    Ollinger, Juliane; Bailey, Mai Ann; Moraski, Garrett C.; Casey, Allen; Florio, Stephanie; Alling, Torey; Miller, Marvin J.; Parish, Tanya

    2013-01-01

    Tuberculosis is a serious global health problem caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. There is an urgent need for discovery and development of new treatments, but this can only be accomplished through rapid and reproducible M. tuberculosis assays designed to identify potent inhibitors. We developed an automated 96-well assay utilizing a recombinant strain of M. tuberculosis expressing a far-red fluorescent reporter to determine the activity of novel compounds; this allowed us to measure growth by monitoring both optical density and fluorescence. We determined that optical density and fluorescence were correlated with cell number during logarithmic phase growth. Fluorescence was stably maintained without antibiotic selection over 5 days, during which time cells remained actively growing. We optimized parameters for the assay, with the final format being 5 days’ growth in 96-well plates in the presence of 2% w/v DMSO. We confirmed reproducibility using rifampicin and other antibiotics. The dual detection method allows for a reproducible calculation of the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC), at the same time detecting artefacts such as fluorescence quenching or compound precipitation. We used our assay to confirm anti-tubercular activity and establish the structure activity relationship (SAR) around the imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine-3-carboxamides, a promising series of M. tuberculosis inhibitors. PMID:23593234

  19. A barium based coordination polymer for the activity assay of deoxyribonuclease I.

    PubMed

    Song, Chan; Wang, Guan-Yao; Wang, Ya-Ling; Kong, De-Ming; Wang, Yong-Jian; Li, Yue; Ruan, Wen-Juan

    2014-10-04

    A new coordination polymer which shows an unusual 2D inorganic connectivity was constructed. This compound exhibits distinct fluorescence quenching ability to the dye-labeled single-stranded DNA probes with different lengths, based on which an analytical method was developed for the activity assay of deoxyribonuclease I.

  20. Reconciling apparent variability in effects of biochar amendment on soil enzyme activities by assay optimization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We studied the effects of a biochar made from switchgrass on four soil enzymes (ß- glucosidase, ß-N-acetylglucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine aminopeptidase) to determine if biochar would consistently modify soil biological activities. Inconsistent results from enzyme assays of char-amended soils s...

  1. Cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for assessing antioxidants, foods, and dietary supplements.

    PubMed

    Wolfe, Kelly L; Liu, Rui Hai

    2007-10-31

    A cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for quantifying the antioxidant activity of phytochemicals, food extracts, and dietary supplements has been developed. Dichlorofluorescin is a probe that is trapped within cells and is easily oxidized to fluorescent dichlorofluorescein (DCF). The method measures the ability of compounds to prevent the formation of DCF by 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dihydrochloride (ABAP)-generated peroxyl radicals in human hepatocarcinoma HepG2 cells. The decrease in cellular fluorescence when compared to the control cells indicates the antioxidant capacity of the compounds. The antioxidant activities of selected phytochemicals and fruit extracts were evaluated using the CAA assay, and the results were expressed in micromoles of quercetin equivalents per 100 micromol of phytochemical or micromoles of quercetin equivalents per 100 g of fresh fruit. Quercetin had the highest CAA value, followed by kaempferol, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), myricetin, and luteolin among the pure compounds tested. Among the selected fruits tested, blueberry had the highest CAA value, followed by cranberry > apple = red grape > green grape. The CAA assay is a more biologically relevant method than the popular chemistry antioxidant activity assays because it accounts for some aspects of uptake, metabolism, and location of antioxidant compounds within cells.

  2. In vitro peptide cleavage assay for detection of Botulinum Neurotoxin-A activity in food

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The gold standard assay for measuring the activity and typing of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins is the mouse bioassay. The mouse bioassay is sensitive, robust and does not require specialized equipment. However, the mouse bioassay is slow, not practical for many settings and results in the death ...

  3. Activity of the human carcinogen MeCCNU in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay

    SciTech Connect

    Tinwell, H.; Ashby, J. )

    1991-01-01

    The nitrosourea mustard MeCCNU is the most recent organic chemical to be classified as a human carcinogen by IARC. MeCCNU gave a strong positive response when tested in the mouse bone marrow micronucleus assay. Activity was evident using either ip injection or oral gavage of the test chemical. These results further support the correlation between human carcinogens and their genotoxicity.

  4. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins.

    PubMed

    Lin, Charles Y; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M; Jones, David T W; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V; Millen, Kathleen J; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O; Pfister, Stefan M; Bradner, James E; Northcott, Paul A

    2016-02-04

    Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Here, using H3K27ac and BRD4 chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing (ChIP-seq) coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-seq, that is responsible for subgroup divergence, and implicates candidate cells of origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins.

  5. Active medulloblastoma enhancers reveal subgroup-specific cellular origins

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Charles Y.; Erkek, Serap; Tong, Yiai; Yin, Linlin; Federation, Alexander J.; Zapatka, Marc; Haldipur, Parthiv; Kawauchi, Daisuke; Risch, Thomas; Warnatz, Hans-Jörg; Worst, Barbara C.; Ju, Bensheng; Orr, Brent A.; Zeid, Rhamy; Polaski, Donald R.; Segura-Wang, Maia; Waszak, Sebastian M.; Jones, David T.W.; Kool, Marcel; Hovestadt, Volker; Buchhalter, Ivo; Sieber, Laura; Johann, Pascal; Chavez, Lukas; Gröschel, Stefan; Ryzhova, Marina; Korshunov, Andrey; Chen, Wenbiao; Chizhikov, Victor V.; Millen, Kathleen J.; Amstislavskiy, Vyacheslav; Lehrach, Hans; Yaspo, Marie-Laure; Eils, Roland; Lichter, Peter; Korbel, Jan O.; Pfister, Stefan M.; Bradner, James E.; Northcott, Paul A.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Medulloblastoma is a highly malignant paediatric brain tumour, often inflicting devastating consequences on the developing child. Genomic studies have revealed four distinct molecular subgroups with divergent biology and clinical behaviour. An understanding of the regulatory circuitry governing the transcriptional landscapes of medulloblastoma subgroups, and how this relates to their respective developmental origins, is lacking. Using H3K27ac and BRD4 ChIP-Seq, coupled with tissue-matched DNA methylation and transcriptome data, we describe the active cis-regulatory landscape across 28 primary medulloblastoma specimens. Analysis of differentially regulated enhancers and super-enhancers reinforced inter-subgroup heterogeneity and revealed novel, clinically relevant insights into medulloblastoma biology. Computational reconstruction of core regulatory circuitry identified a master set of transcription factors, validated by ChIP-Seq, that are responsible for subgroup divergence and implicate candidate cells-of-origin for Group 4. Our integrated analysis of enhancer elements in a large series of primary tumour samples reveals insights into cis-regulatory architecture, unrecognized dependencies, and cellular origins. PMID:26814967

  6. A new effective assay to detect antimicrobial activity of filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Eric; Santos, Ana; Reis, Francisca; Tavares, Rui M; Baptista, Paula; Lino-Neto, Teresa; Almeida-Aguiar, Cristina

    2013-01-15

    The search for new antimicrobial compounds and the optimization of production methods turn the use of antimicrobial susceptibility tests a routine. The most frequently used methods are based on agar diffusion assays or on dilution in agar or broth. For filamentous fungi, the most common antimicrobial activity detection methods comprise the co-culture of two filamentous fungal strains or the use of fungal extracts to test against single-cell microorganisms. Here we report a rapid, effective and reproducible assay to detect fungal antimicrobial activity against single-cell microorganisms. This method allows an easy way of performing a fast antimicrobial screening of actively growing fungi directly against yeast. Because it makes use of an actively growing mycelium, this bioassay also provides a way for studying the production dynamics of antimicrobial compounds by filamentous fungi. The proposed assay is less time consuming and introduces the innovation of allowing the direct detection of fungal antimicrobial properties against single cell microorganisms without the prior isolation of the active substance(s). This is particularly useful when performing large screenings for fungal antimicrobial activity. With this bioassay, antimicrobial activity of Hypholoma fasciculare against yeast species was observed for the first time.

  7. Identification of ATP diphosphohydrolase activity in human term placenta using a novel assay for AMP.

    PubMed

    Papamarcaki, T; Tsolas, O

    1990-09-03

    Human term placenta contains an ATP diphosphohydrolase activity which hydrolyses ATP to ADP and inorganic phosphate and ADP to AMP and a second mole of inorganic phosphate. The activity has a pH optimum between 8.0 and 8.5. Magnesium or calcium ions are required for maximum activity. Other nucleoside phosphates, p-nitrophenyl phosphate or sodium pyrophosphate, are not hydrolysed. The activity is not due to ATPases, or to myokinase, as determined by the use of inhibitors. NaF and NaN3 were found to inhibit strongly the activity thus identifying it as an ATP diphosphohydrolase. A sensitive enzymatic assay for measurement of AMP, one of the products of the reaction, was established, based on the strong inhibition of muscle fructose 1,6-biphosphatase by AMP. The range of the assay was 0.05-0.8 microM AMP. ATP diphosphohydrolase was found to have a rate of AMP production from ADP twice the rate from ATP. Under the same conditions, the assay for Pi release, on the other hand, gave velocities similar to each other for the two substrates. The activity appears to be identical to the ADP-hydrolysing activity in placenta reported by others.

  8. Transactivation Assays to Assess Canine and Rodent Pregnane X Receptor (PXR) and Constitutive Androstane Receptor (CAR) Activation

    PubMed Central

    Pinne, Marija; Ponce, Elsa; Raucy, Judy L.

    2016-01-01

    The pregnane X receptor (PXR/SXR, NR1I2) and constitutive androstane receptor (CAR, NR1I3) are nuclear receptors (NRs) involved in the regulation of many genes including cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYPs) and transporters important in metabolism and uptake of both endogenous substrates and xenobiotics. Activation of these receptors can lead to adverse drug effects as well as drug-drug interactions. Depending on which nuclear receptor is activated will determine which adverse effect could occur, making identification important. Screening for NR activation by New Molecular Entities (NMEs) using cell-based transactivation assays is the singular high throughput method currently available for identifying the activation of a particular NR. Moreover, screening for species-specific NR activation can minimize the use of animals in drug development and toxicology studies. With this in mind, we have developed in vitro transactivation assays to identify compounds that activate canine and rat PXR and CAR3. We found differences in specificity for canine and rat PXR, with the best activator for canine PXR being 10 μM SR12813 (60.1 ± 3.1-fold) and for rat PXR, 10 μM dexamethasone (60.9 ± 8.4 fold). Of the 19 test agents examined, 10 and 9 significantly activated rat and canine PXR at varying degrees, respectively. In contrast, 5 compounds exhibited statistically significant activation of rat CAR3 and 4 activated the canine receptor. For canine CAR3, 50 μM artemisinin proved to be the best activator (7.3 ± 1.8 and 10.5 ± 2.2 fold) while clotrimazole (10 μM) was the primary activator of the rat variant (13.7 ± 0.8 and 26.9 ± 1.3 fold). Results from these studies demonstrated that cell-based transactivation assays can detect species-specific activators and revealed that PXR was activated by at least twice as many compounds as was CAR3, suggesting that there are many more agonists for PXR than CAR. PMID:27732639

  9. Data set of optimal parameters for colorimetric red assay of epoxide hydrolase activity.

    PubMed

    de Oliveira, Gabriel Stephani; Adriani, Patricia Pereira; Borges, Flavia Garcia; Lopes, Adriana Rios; Campana, Patricia T; Chambergo, Felipe S

    2016-09-01

    The data presented in this article are related to the research article entitled "Epoxide hydrolase of Trichoderma reesei: Biochemical properties and conformational characterization" [1]. Epoxide hydrolases (EHs) are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of epoxides to the corresponding vicinal diols. This article describes the optimal parameters for the colorimetric red assay to determine the enzymatic activity, with an emphasis on the characterization of the kinetic parameters, pH optimum and thermal stability of this enzyme. The effects of reagents that are not resistant to oxidation by sodium periodate on the reactions can generate false positives and interfere with the final results of the red assay.

  10. Active Mars Revealed through HiRISE DTMs and Orthoimages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattson, Sarah; McEwen, Alfred S.; Bridges, Nathan; Byrne, Shane; Chojnacki, Matthew; Daubar, Ingrid; Dundas, Colin; Russell, Patrick

    2014-11-01

    Before the arrival of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) with the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), the amount of surface activity on Mars was not well known. HiRISE repeat imaging (often at ~30 cm/pixel), combined with the ability to take stereo images and generate high resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTMs) reveals the many types of surface processes that are currently active on Mars. Examples of active processes on Mars studied with HiRISE data include aeolian activity [Bridges et al., 2012, Nature 485; Chojnacki et al., 2014, Icarus 232], Recurring Slope Lineae (RSL) [McEwen et al., 2011, Science 333; 2014, Nature Geoscience 7], active gullies [Dundas et al., 2012, Icarus 220], polar processes [Hansen et al., 2011, Science 331; Portyankina et al. 2013, AGU], new impacts [Byrne et al., 2009, Science 325; Daubar et al., 2013, Icarus 225; Dundas et al., 2014, JGR 119], and north polar scarp avalanches [Russell et al., 2008, GRL 35, 2014, LPSC]. These studies utilize images from multiple Mars years and seasons. We generate animated gifs with sequences of orthorectified images to analyze temporal changes (see http://www.uahirise.org/sim/). HiRISE DTMs and orthoimages can be used to quantitatively map and record changes in geospatial software. More than 200 DTMs and 400 orthoimages are available through the Planetary Data System (see http://uahirise.org/dtm). Three-band color (blue-green, red, and near infrared) orthoimages are also available in many cases. The ability to monitor the surface of Mars at high spatial and temporal resolution provides insight into seasonal and annual changes, further increasing our understanding of Mars as an active planet.

  11. Whole blood assay for trypsin activity using polyanionic focusing gel electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Lefkowitz, Roy B; Schmid-Schönbein, Geert W; Heller, Michael J

    2010-07-01

    The measurement of trypsin activity directly in blood is important for the development of novel diagnostics and for biomedical research. Presently, most degradative enzyme assays require sample preparation, making them time consuming, costly, and less accurate. We recently demonstrated a simple and rapid electrophoretic assay for the measurement of trypsin activity directly in whole blood. This assay utilizes a charge-changing fluorescent peptide substrate that produces a positively charged fluorescent product fragment upon cleavage by the target enzyme. This fragment is then rapidly separated from whole blood by electrophoresis and quantified with a fluorescent detector. In this study, we demonstrate that polyanionic poly-L-glutamic acid-doped polyacrylamide gels can focus the fluorescent cleavage product and markedly improve the LODs of the assay. A LOD of 2 pg in 6 microL (0.3 ng/mL) in whole human blood was achieved after a 1-h reaction of enzyme and substrate followed by 10 min of electrophoresis. This is 50- to 200-fold better than the estimated reference levels for trypsin (15-60 ng/mL) in blood. This straightforward technique now allows for the rapid measurement of clinically relevant levels of trypsin activity in microliter volumes of whole blood, providing a useful tool for the development of novel point-of-care diagnostics.

  12. Evaluation of plasma antioxidant activity in rats given excess EGCg with reference to endogenous antioxidants concentrations and assay methods.

    PubMed

    Yokotani, Kaori; Umegaki, Keizo

    2017-02-01

    The contribution of (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCg) intake to in vivo antioxidant activity is unclear, even with respect to plasma. In this study, we examined how administration of EGCg contributes to plasma antioxidant activity, relative to its concentration, endogenous antioxidants, and assay methods, namely oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) and ferric reducing/antioxidant power (FRAP). Administration of EGCg (500 mg/kg) to rats increased plasma EGCg (4μmol/L as free form) and ascorbic acid (1.7-fold), as well as ORAC (1.2-fold) and FRAP (3-fold) values. The increase in plasma ascorbic acid following EGCg administration was accompanied by its relocation from the adrenal glands and lymphocytes into plasma, and was related to the increase in FRAP. Plasma deproteinization and assays in plasma model solutions revealed that protein levels significantly contributed to ORAC values, where <3 μmol/L EGCg in the presence of protein exhibited minimal antioxidant activity, as measured by both FRAP and ORAC. As the concentration of plasma ascorbic acid was not influenced by deproteinization, differences in FRAP values with and without deproteinization were estimated to determine the contribution of enhanced ascorbic acid attributable to EGCg administration. These results will help to understand the points that should be considered when evaluating EGCg antioxidant activity in plasma.

  13. An optical assay of the transport activity of ClC-7.

    PubMed

    Zanardi, Ilaria; Zifarelli, Giovanni; Pusch, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Osteoporosis, characterized by excessive osteoclast mediated bone resorption, affects millions of people worldwide representing a major public health problem. ClC-7 is a chloride-proton exchanger localized in lysosomes and in the resorption lacuna in osteoclasts where it is essential for bone resorption. Thus, drugs targeted at ClC-7 have been proposed for ameliorating osteoporosis. However, functional assays suited for high throughput screening (HTS) of ClC-7 function are lacking. Here we describe two complementary variants of purely optical assays of the transport activity of ClC-7, redirected to the plasma membrane employing a genetically encoded fluorescent Cl⁻/pH indicator fused to the ClC-7 protein. These simple and robust functional assays of ClC-7 transport are well-suited to be applied in HTS of small-molecule inhibitors and may help to develop drugs suited for the treatment of osteoporosis.

  14. A Simple Luminescent Adenylate-Cyclase Functional Assay for Evaluation of Bacillus anthracis Edema Factor Activity

    PubMed Central

    Israeli, Ma’ayan; Rotem, Shahar; Elia, Uri; Bar-Haim, Erez; Cohen, Ofer; Chitlaru, Theodor

    2016-01-01

    Edema Factor (EF), the toxic sub-unit of the Bacillus anthracis Edema Toxin (ET) is a calmodulin-dependent adenylate cyclase whose detrimental activity in the infected host results in severe edema. EF is therefore a major virulence factor of B. anthracis. We describe a simple, rapid and reliable functional adenylate-cyclase assay based on inhibition of a luciferase-mediated luminescence reaction. The assay exploits the efficient adenylate cyclase-mediated depletion of adenosine tri-phosphate (ATP), and the strict dependence on ATP of the light-emitting luciferase-catalyzed luciferin-conversion to oxyluciferin, which can be easily visualized. The assay exhibits a robust EF-dose response decrease in luminescence, which may be specifically reverted by anti-EF antibodies. The application of the assay is exemplified in: (a) determining the presence of EF in B. anthracis cultures, or its absence in cultures of EF-defective strains; (b) evaluating the anti-EF humoral response in experimental animals infected/vaccinated with B. anthracis; and (c) rapid discrimination between EF producing and non-producing bacterial colonies. Furthermore, the assay may be amenable with high-throughput screening for EF inhibitory molecules. PMID:27548219

  15. Plant compounds enhance the assay sensitivity for detection of active Bacillus cereus toxin.

    PubMed

    Rasooly, Reuven; Hernlem, Bradley; He, Xiaohua; Friedman, Mendel

    2015-03-11

    Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety.

  16. Plant Compounds Enhance the Assay Sensitivity for Detection of Active Bacillus cereus Toxin

    PubMed Central

    Rasooly, Reuven; Hernlem, Bradley; He, Xiaohua; Friedman, Mendel

    2015-01-01

    Bacillus cereus is an important food pathogen, producing emetic and diarrheal syndromes, the latter mediated by enterotoxins. The ability to sensitively trace and identify this active toxin is important for food safety. This study evaluated a nonradioactive, sensitive, in vitro cell-based assay, based on B. cereus toxin inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis in transduced monkey kidney Vero cells, combined with plant extracts or plant compounds that reduce viable count of B. cereus in food. The assay exhibited a dose dependent GFP inhibition response with ~25% inhibition at 50 ng/mL toxin evaluated in culture media or soy milk, rice milk or infant formula, products associated with food poisonings outbreak. The plant extracts of green tea or bitter almond and the plant compounds epicatechin or carvacrol were found to amplify the assay response to ~90% inhibition at the 50 ng/mL toxin concentration greatly increasing the sensitivity of this assay. Additional studies showed that the test formulations also inhibited the growth of the B. cereus bacteria, likely through cell membrane disruption. The results suggest that the improved highly sensitive assay for the toxin and the rapid inactivation of the pathogen producing the toxin have the potential to enhance food safety. PMID:25767986

  17. An assay to measure poly(ADP ribose) glycohydrolase (PARG) activity in cells.

    PubMed

    James, Dominic I; Durant, Stephen; Eckersley, Kay; Fairweather, Emma; Griffiths, Louise A; Hamilton, Nicola; Kelly, Paul; O'Connor, Mark; Shea, Kerry; Waddell, Ian D; Ogilvie, Donald J

    2016-01-01

    After a DNA damage signal multiple polymers of ADP ribose attached to poly(ADP) ribose (PAR) polymerases (PARPs) are broken down by the enzyme poly(ADP) ribose glycohydrolase (PARG). Inhibition of PARG leads to a failure of DNA repair and small molecule inhibition of PARG has been a goal for many years. To determine whether biochemical inhibitors of PARG are active in cells we have designed an immunofluorescence assay to detect nuclear PAR after DNA damage. This 384-well assay is suitable for medium throughput high-content screening and can detect cell-permeable inhibitors of PARG from nM to µM potency. In addition, the assay has been shown to work in murine cells and in a variety of human cancer cells. Furthermore, the assay is suitable for detecting the DNA damage response induced by treatment with temozolomide and methylmethane sulfonate (MMS). Lastly, the assay has been shown to be robust over a period of several years.

  18. Chemiluminescence assay of lipase activity using a synthetic substrate as proenhancer for luminol chemiluminescence reaction.

    PubMed

    Ichibangase, Tomoko; Ohba, Yoshihito; Kishikawa, Naoya; Nakashima, Kenichiro; Kuroda, Naotaka

    2004-01-01

    A novel chemiluminescence (CL) assay method for lipase (triacylglycerol lipase, E.C.3.1.1.3) activity was developed by using the lauric acid ester of 2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-4,5-diphenylimidazole (HDI) as a substrate. The method is based on the enhanced CL reaction of luminol-hydrogen peroxide-horseradish peroxidase (HRP) with HDI that is liberated from the substrate by enzymatic hydrolysis. To simplify the assay procedure, both the hydrolysis of the substrate and the enhanced CL reaction were performed in the same reaction mixture. Lipases from Candida cylindracea and porcine pancreas were successfully determined with the detection limits (blank signal + 3 SD) of 0.05 and 50.0 mU/tube, respectively. The method is simple and rapid, permitting the completion of single assay within 5 min. The reproducibilities obtained with replicate assays were relative standard deviations (RSDs) of <=> 4.7% for within-day and <=> 6.0% for between-day assays.

  19. Solid-phase assay of lectin activity using HRP-conjugated glycoproteins.

    PubMed

    Kojima-Aikawa, Kyoko

    2014-01-01

    Various enzyme-conjugated probes have been widely used for detection of specific interactions between biomolecules. In the case of glycan-protein interaction, horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated glycoproteins (HRP-GPs) are useful for the detection of carbohydrate-binding activity of plant and animal lectins. In this chapter, a typical solid-phase assay of the carbohydrate-binding activity of Sophora japonica agglutinin I, a Gal/GalNAc-specific lectin, using HRP-conjugated asialofetuin is described. HRP-GPs are versatile tools for probing lectin activities in crude extracts, screening many samples at one time, and applicable not only for solid-phase binding assays but also samples which are dot- or Western-blotted onto the membrane.

  20. An Alternative Procedure for the Glucose Oxidase Assay of Glucose as Applied to the Lactase Activity Assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corbin Mullis, T.; Winge, Jeffery T.; Deal, S. Todd

    1999-12-01

    The glucose oxidase assay of glucose has been modified to eliminate the use of micropipets. The modification involves the use of disposable Pasteur pipets and a specified number of drops of each reagent. This simplified technique gives accurate and reproducible results.

  1. Detection of estrogenic activity in sediment-associated compounds using in vitro reporter gene assays.

    PubMed

    Legler, Juliette; Dennekamp, Martine; Vethaak, A Dick; Brouwer, Abraham; Koeman, Jan H; van der Burg, Bart; Murk, Albertinka J

    2002-07-03

    Sediments may be the ultimate sink for persistent (xeno-)estrogenic compounds released into the aquatic environment. Sediment-associated estrogenic potency was measured with an estrogen receptor-mediated luciferase reporter gene (ER-CALUX) assay and compared with a recombinant yeast screen. The ER-CALUX assay was more sensitive to 17beta-estradiol (E2) than the recombinant yeast screen, with an EC50 of 6 pM E2 compared to 100 pM in the yeast screen. Yeast cells were unable to distinguish the anti-estrogens ICI 182,780 and (4-hydroxy)tamoxifen, which were agonistic in the yeast. Acetone-soluble fractions of hexane/acetone extracts of sediments showed higher estrogenic potency than hexane-soluble extracts in the ER-CALUX assay. Sediments obtained from industrialized areas such as the Port of Rotterdam showed the highest estrogenic potency of the 12 marine sediments tested (up to 40 pmol estradiol equivalents per gram sediment). The estrogenic activity of individual chemicals that can be found in sediments including: alkylphenol ethoxylates and carboxylates; phthalates; and pesticides, was tested. Increasing sidechain length of various nonylphenol ethoxylates resulted in decreased estrogenic activity. Of the phthalates tested, butylbenzylphthalate was the most estrogenic, though with a potency approximately 100,000 times less than E2. The organochlorine herbicides atrazine and simazine failed to induce reporter gene activity. As metabolic activation may be required to induce estrogenic activity, a metabolic transformation step was added to the ER-CALUX assay using incubation of compounds with liver microsomes obtained from PCB-treated rats. Results indicate that metabolites of E2, NP and bisphenol A were less active than the parent compounds, while metabolites of methoxychlor were more estrogenic following microsomal incubations.

  2. Rapid Cell-Based Assay for Detection and Quantification of Active Staphylococcal Enterotoxin Type D.

    PubMed

    Rasooly, Reuven; Do, Paula M; Hernlem, Bradley J

    2017-03-01

    Food poisoning by Staphylococcus aureus is a result of ingestion of Staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs) produced by this bacterium and is a major source of foodborne illness. Staphylococcal enterotoxin D (SED) is one of the predominant enterotoxins recovered in Staphylococcal food poisoning incidences, including a recent outbreak in Guam affecting 300 children. Current immunology methods for SED detection cannot distinguish between the biologically active form of the toxin, which poses a threat, from the inactive form, which poses no threat. In vivo bioassays that measure emetic activity in kitten and monkeys have been used, but these methods rely upon expensive procedures using live animals and raising ethical concerns. A rapid (5 h) quantitative bioluminescence assay, using a genetically engineered T-cell Jurkat cell line expressing luciferase under regulation of nuclear factor of activated T cells response elements, in combination with the lymphoblastoid B-cell line Raji for antigen presentation, was developed. In this assay, the detection limit of biologically active SED is 100 ng/mL, which is 10 times more sensitive than the splenocyte proliferation assay, and 10(5) times more sensitive than monkey or kitten bioassay. Pasteurization or repeated freeze-thaw cycles had no effect on SED activity, but reduction in SED activity was shown with heat treatment at 100°C for 5 min. It was also shown that milk exhibits a protective effect on SED. This bioluminescence assay may also be used to rapidly evaluate antibodies to SED for potential therapeutic application as a measurement of neutralizing biological effects of SED.

  3. Nondestructive assay of fluorine in geological and other materials by instrumental photon activation analysis with a microtron

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krausová, Ivana; Mizera, Jiří; Řanda, Zdeněk; Chvátil, David; Krist, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Reliable determination of low concentrations of fluorine in geological and coal samples is difficult. It usually requires tedious decomposition and dissolution of the sample followed by chemical conversion of fluorine into its anionic form. The present paper examines possibilities of non-destructive determination of fluorine, mainly in minerals, rocks and coal, by instrumental photon activation analysis (IPAA) using the MT-25 microtron. The fluorine assay consists of counting the positron-electron annihilation line of 18F at 511 keV, which is a product of the photonuclear reaction 19F(γ, n)18F and a pure positron emitter. The assay is complicated by the simultaneous formation of other positron emitters. The main contributors to interference in geological samples are from 45Ti and 34mCl, whereas those from 44Sc and 89Zr are minor. Optimizing beam energy and irradiation-decay-counting times, together with using interfering element calibration standards, allowed reliable IPAA determination of fluorine in selected USGS and CRPG geochemical reference materials, NIST coal reference materials, and NIST RM 8414 Bovine Muscle. In agreement with the published data obtained by PIGE, the results of the F assay by IPAA have revealed erroneous reference values provided for the NIST reference materials SRM 1632 Bituminous Coal and RM 8414 Bovine Muscle. The detection limits in rock and coal samples are in the range of 10-100 μg g-1.

  4. Crystal structure of an avian influenza polymerase PA[subscript N] reveals an endonuclease active site

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan, Puwei; Bartlam, Mark; Lou, Zhiyong; Chen, Shoudeng; Zhou, Jie; He, Xiaojing; Lv, Zongyang; Ge, Ruowen; Li, Xuemei; Deng, Tao; Fodor, Ervin; Rao, Zihe; Liu, Yingfang

    2009-11-10

    The heterotrimeric influenza virus polymerase, containing the PA, PB1 and PB2 proteins, catalyses viral RNA replication and transcription in the nucleus of infected cells. PB1 holds the polymerase active site and reportedly harbours endonuclease activity, whereas PB2 is responsible for cap binding. The PA amino terminus is understood to be the major functional part of the PA protein and has been implicated in several roles, including endonuclease and protease activities as well as viral RNA/complementary RNA promoter binding. Here we report the 2.2 angstrom (A) crystal structure of the N-terminal 197 residues of PA, termed PA(N), from an avian influenza H5N1 virus. The PA(N) structure has an alpha/beta architecture and reveals a bound magnesium ion coordinated by a motif similar to the (P)DX(N)(D/E)XK motif characteristic of many endonucleases. Structural comparisons and mutagenesis analysis of the motif identified in PA(N) provide further evidence that PA(N) holds an endonuclease active site. Furthermore, functional analysis with in vivo ribonucleoprotein reconstitution and direct in vitro endonuclease assays strongly suggest that PA(N) holds the endonuclease active site and has critical roles in endonuclease activity of the influenza virus polymerase, rather than PB1. The high conservation of this endonuclease active site among influenza strains indicates that PA(N) is an important target for the design of new anti-influenza therapeutics.

  5. A Continuous Spectrophotometric Assay for APS Reductase Activity with Sulfite-Selective Probes

    PubMed Central

    Paritala, Hanumantharao; Carroll, Kate S.

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) adenosine 5′-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (EC number 1.8.4.10), (APR) catalyzes the first committed step in sulfate reduction for the biosynthesis of essential reduced sulfur-containing biomolecules, such as cysteine, and is essential for survival in the latent phase of TB infection. Despite the importance of APR to Mtb, and other bacterial pathogens, current assay methods depend on use of [35S]-labeled APS or shunt AMP to a coupled-enzyme system. Both methods are cumbersome and require the use of expensive reagents. Here we report the development of a continuous spectrophotometric method for measuring APR activity by using novel sulfite-selective colorimetric or “off-on” fluorescent levulinate-based probes. The APR activity can thus be followed by monitoring the increase in absorbance or fluorescence of the resulting phenolate product. Using this assay, we determined Michelis-Menten kinetic constants (Km, kcat, kcat/Km) and apparent inhibition constant (Ki) for adenosine 5′-diphosphate (ADP), which compared favorably to values obtained in the gold-standard radioactive assay. The newly developed assay is robust and easy to perform with a simple spectrophotometer. PMID:23711725

  6. Evaluation of estrogenic activity in diets for experimental animals using in vitro assay.

    PubMed

    Kato, Hideo; Iwata, Toshio; Katsu, Yoshinao; Watanabe, Hajime; Ohta, Yasuhiko; Iguchi, Taisen

    2004-03-10

    We used a modified yeast-based human estrogen receptor alpha (ER alpha) bioassay to determine the estrogenic activity in 22 kinds of diets for experimental animals. The estrogenic activity of each diet was reevaluated by comparison with a calibration curve of 17 beta-estradiol. Almost all of the diets had estrogenic activity. The diets for rabbits and guinea pigs had the highest estrogenic activity compared to any other diets, including those for rats and mice. Estrogenic activity was found in dried skim milk, fishmeal, soybean meal, and alfalfa meal. In the NIH-07 diet opened for the ingredients, estrogenic activity was nearly all derived from the alfalfa meal. Multiple assays were performed to evaluate potential seasonal variations in the estrogenic potency in the raw materials of the rat and mouse diets. We found that the estrogenic activity in these raw materials changed throughout the year.

  7. Stably transfected human cell lines as fluorescent screening assay for nuclear factor KB activation dependent gene expression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hellweg, Christine E.; Baumstark-Khan, Christa; Horneck, Gerda

    2004-06-01

    Activation of the Nuclear Factor kappaB (NF-kappaB) pathway as a possible antiapoptotic route represents one important cellular stress response. For identifying conditions which are capable to modify this pathway, a screening assay for detection of NF-kappaB-dependent gene activation using the reporter proteins Enhanced Green Fluorescent Protein (EGFP) and its destabilized variant (d2EGFP) has been developed. Human Embryonic Kidney (HEK/293) cells were stably transfected with a vector carrying EGFP or d2EGFP under control of a synthetic promoter containing four copies of the NF-kappaB response element. Treatment with tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) gave rise to substantial EGFP / d2EGFP expression in up to 90 % of the cells and was therefore used to screen different stably transfected clones for induction of NF-kappaB dependent gene expression. The time course of d2EGFP expression after treatment with TNF-alpha or phorbol ester was measured using flow cytometry. Cellular response to TNF-alpha was faster than to phorbol ester. Treatment of cells with TNF-alpha and DMSO revealed antagonistic interactions of these substances in the activation NF-kappaB dependent gene expression. The detection of d2EGFP expression required FACS analysis or fluorescence microscopy, while EGFP could also be measured in the microplate reader, rendering the assay useful for high-throughput screening.

  8. Determining Antioxidant Activities of Lactobacilli Cell-Free Supernatants by Cellular Antioxidant Assay: A Comparison with Traditional Methods

    PubMed Central

    Xing, Jiali; Wang, Gang; Zhang, Qiuxiang; Liu, Xiaoming; Gu, Zhennan; Zhang, Hao; Chen, Yong Q.; Chen, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Antioxidant activity of lactic acid bacteria is associated with multiple health-protective effects. Traditional indexes of chemical antioxidant activities poorly reflect the antioxidant effects of these bacteria in vivo. Cellular antioxidant activity (CAA) assay was used in this study to determine the antioxidant activity of cell-free supernatants (CFSs) of 10 Lactobacillus strains. The performance of the CAA assay was compared with that of four chemical antioxidant activity assays, namely, DPPH radical scavenging, hydroxyl radical scavenging (HRS), reducing power (RP), and inhibition of linoleic acid peroxidation (ILAP). Results of the CAA assay were associated with those of DPPH and ILAP assays, but not with those of RP and HRS assays. The inter- and intra-specific antioxidant activities of CFS were characterized by chemical and CAA assays. L. rhamnosus CCFM 1107 displayed a high antioxidative effect similar to positive control L. rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 in all of the assays. The CAA assay is a potential method for the detection of antioxidant activities of lactobacilli CFSs. PMID:25789875

  9. A continuous spectrophotometric assay that distinguishes between phospholipase A1 and A2 activities[S

    PubMed Central

    El Alaoui, Meddy; Soulère, Laurent; Noiriel, Alexandre; Popowycz, Florence; Khatib, Abdallah; Queneau, Yves; Abousalham, Abdelkarim

    2016-01-01

    A new spectrophotometric assay was developed to measure, continuously and specifically, phospholipase A1 (PLA1) or phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activities using synthetic glycerophosphatidylcholines (PCs) containing α-eleostearic acid, either at the sn-1 position [1-α-eleostearoyl-2-octadecyl-rac-glycero-3-phosphocholine (EOPC)] or at the sn-2 position [1-octadecyl-2-α-eleostearoyl-rac-glycero-3-phosphocholine (OEPC)]. The substrates were coated onto the wells of microtiter plates. A nonhydrolyzable ether bond, with a non-UV-absorbing alkyl chain, was introduced at the other sn position to prevent acyl chain migration during lipolysis. Upon enzyme action, α-eleostearic acid is liberated and then solubilized into the micellar phase. The PLA1 or PLA2 activity was measured by the increase in absorbance at 272 nm due to the transition of α-eleostearic acid from the adsorbed to the soluble state. EOPC and OEPC differentiate, with excellent accuracy, between PLA1 and PLA2 activity. Lecitase®, guinea pig pancreatic lipase-related protein 2 (known to be a PLA1 enzyme), bee venom PLA2, and porcine pancreatic PLA2 were all used to validate the assay. Compared with current assays used for continuously measuring PLA1 or PLA2 activities and/or their inhibitors, the development of this sensitive enzymatic method, using coated PC substrate analogs to natural lipids and based on the UV spectroscopic properties of α-eleostearic acid, is a significant improvement. PMID:27194811

  10. Active and passive CT for waste assay using LaBr3(Ce) detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roy, Tushar; More, M. R.; Ratheesh, Jilju; Sinha, Amar

    2017-01-01

    An active and passive computed tomography system has been developed that localizes and quantifies 239Pu in a waste drum. The active (transmission) measurement uses an external gamma source and LaBr3(Ce) detector to determine the attenuation map of waste drum contents at different selected energies. The passive (emission) measurement uses multiple LaBr3(Ce) detectors to record the spectra of gamma-rays emitted from within the drum. The active and passive data sets are then coupled to quantitatively assay drum contents for 239Pu.

  11. Genotoxicity of Thermopsis turcica on Allium cepa L. roots revealed by alkaline comet and random amplified polymorphic DNA assays.

    PubMed

    Ciğerci, İbrahim Hakkı; Cenkci, Süleyman; Kargıoğlu, Mustafa; Konuk, Muhsin

    2016-08-01

    This study was undertaken to evaluate genotoxic potential of Thermopsis turcica aqueous extracts on the roots of onion bulb (Allium cepa L.) by comet assay and random amplified polymorphic DNA technique. The Allium root growth inhibition test indicated that the EC50 and 2×EC50 values were 8 and 16 mg/ml concentrations of T. turcica aqueous extracts, respectively. The negative control (distilled water), positive control (methyl methane sulfonate, 10 mg/l) and 8 and 16 mg/ml concentrations of T. turcica extracts were introduced to the roots of onion bulbs for 24 and 96 h. The root growth, DNA damage in root cells and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles of root tissue were used as endpoints of the genotoxicity. The comet assay clearly indicated that dose-dependent single strand DNA breaks in the root nuclei of onions were determined for the treatment concentrations of T. turcica extracts. In comparison to RAPD profile of negative control group, RAPD polymorphisms became evident as disappearance and/or appearance of RAPD bands in treated roots. The diagnostic and phenetic numerical analyses of RAPD profiles obviously indicated dose-dependent genotoxicity induced by Thermopsis extracts. In conclusion, the results clearly indicated that water extract of T. turcica has genotoxic potential on the roots of onion bulbs as shown by comet assay and RAPD technique.

  12. Covert Waking Brain Activity Reveals Instantaneous Sleep Depth

    PubMed Central

    McKinney, Scott M.; Dang-Vu, Thien Thanh; Buxton, Orfeu M.; Solet, Jo M.; Ellenbogen, Jeffrey M.

    2011-01-01

    The neural correlates of the wake-sleep continuum remain incompletely understood, limiting the development of adaptive drug delivery systems for promoting sleep maintenance. The most useful measure for resolving early positions along this continuum is the alpha oscillation, an 8–13 Hz electroencephalographic rhythm prominent over posterior scalp locations. The brain activation signature of wakefulness, alpha expression discloses immediate levels of alertness and dissipates in concert with fading awareness as sleep begins. This brain activity pattern, however, is largely ignored once sleep begins. Here we show that the intensity of spectral power in the alpha band actually continues to disclose instantaneous responsiveness to noise—a measure of sleep depth—throughout a night of sleep. By systematically challenging sleep with realistic and varied acoustic disruption, we found that sleepers exhibited markedly greater sensitivity to sounds during moments of elevated alpha expression. This result demonstrates that alpha power is not a binary marker of the transition between sleep and wakefulness, but carries rich information about immediate sleep stability. Further, it shows that an empirical and ecologically relevant form of sleep depth is revealed in real-time by EEG spectral content in the alpha band, a measure that affords prediction on the order of minutes. This signal, which transcends the boundaries of classical sleep stages, could potentially be used for real-time feedback to novel, adaptive drug delivery systems for inducing sleep. PMID:21408616

  13. Estrogenic and mutagenic activities of Crotalaria pallida measured by recombinant yeast assay and Ames test

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Crotalaria pallida Ailton is a plant belonging to the Fabaceae family, popularly known as “rattle or rattlesnake” and used in traditional medicine to treat swelling of the joints and as a vermifuge. Previous pharmacological studies have also reported anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antifungal activities. Nevertheless, scientific information regarding this species is scarce, and there are no reports related to its possible estrogenic and mutagenic effects. Thus, the purpose of the present study was to investigate the estrogenic potential of C. pallida leaves by means of the Recombinant Yeast Assay (RYA), seeking an alternative for estrogen replacement therapy during menopause; and to reflect on the safe use of natural products to assess the mutagenic activity of the crude extract from C. pallida leaves, the dichloromethane fraction and stigmasterol by means of the Ames test. Methods The recombinant yeast assay with the strain BY4741 of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, was performed with the ethanolic extract, dichloromethane fraction and stigmasterol isolated from the leaves of C. pallida. Mutagenic activity was evaluated by the Salmonella/microsome assay (Ames test), using the Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA100, TA98, TA97 and TA102, with (+S9) and without (-S9) metabolization, by the preincubation method. Results All samples showed estrogenic activity, mainly stigmasterol. The ethanolic extract from C. pallida leaves showed mutagenic activity in the TA98 strain (-S9), whereas dichloromethane fraction and stigmasterol were found devoid of activity. Conclusion Considering the excellent estrogenic activity performed by stigmasterol in the RYA associated with the absence of mutagenic activity when evaluated by the Ames test, stigmasterol becomes a strong candidate to be used in hormone replacement therapy during menopause. PMID:24134316

  14. Reconciling Apparent Variability in Effects of Biochar Amendment on Soil Enzyme Activities by Assay Optimization

    SciTech Connect

    Bailey, Vanessa L.; Fansler, Sarah J.; Smith, Jeffery L.; Bolton, Harvey

    2011-02-01

    Applying biochar to soils as an ameliorative substance and mechanism for C sequestration has received a great deal of interest in light of the sustained fertility observed in the Terra Preta soils of Brazil. The effects of synthetic biochars on biochemical processes needs to be better understood in order to determine if this is a reasonable practice in managed systems. The biochar studied was formed from the fast-pyrolysis of a switchgrass feedstock. Four soil enzymes were studied: β-glucosidase, β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, lipase, and leucine aminopeptidase. Both colorimetric and fluorescent assays were used for β-glucosidase and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase. Seven days after biochar was added to microcosms of a Palouse silt loam, the fluorescence-based assays indicated increased activities of the four enzymes, compared to non-amended soil. To clarify the mechanisms of the observed effects,in the absence of soil, purified enzymes or substrates were briefly exposed to biochar and then assayed. Except for β-N-acetylglucosaminidase, the exposure of substrate to biochar reduced the apparent activity of the remaining three enzymes in vitro, suggesting that sorption reactions between the substrate and biochar either removed the substrate from the assays or impeded the enzyme binding. The activity of purified β-N-acetylglucosaminidase increased significantly following biochar exposure, suggesting a chemical stimulation of enzyme functioning. We conclude that biochar added to soil acts as a substrate that can stimulate the soil microbial biomass and its activity. Our in vitro study suggests that biochar is not biochemically inert. Biochar amendments are likely to have effects that are currently difficult to predict, and that could impact overall soil function.

  15. Rapid parallel flow cytometry assays of active GTPases using effector beads.

    PubMed

    Buranda, Tione; BasuRay, Soumik; Swanson, Scarlett; Agola, Jacob; Bondu, Virginie; Wandinger-Ness, Angela

    2013-11-15

    We describe a rapid assay for measuring the cellular activity of small guanine triphosphatases (GTPases) in response to a specific stimulus. Effector-functionalized beads are used to quantify in parallel multiple GTP-bound GTPases in the same cell lysate by flow cytometry. In a biologically relevant example, five different Ras family GTPases are shown for the first time to be involved in a concerted signaling cascade downstream of receptor ligation by Sin Nombre hantavirus.

  16. A high-throughput, modified ALS activity assay for Cyperus difformis and Schoenoplectus mucronatus seedlings.

    PubMed

    Pedroso, Rafael M; Al-Khatib, Kassim; Hanson, Bradley D; Fischer, Albert J

    2017-01-01

    Cyperus difformis L. (CYPDI) and Schoenoplectus mucronatus (L.) Palla (SCHMU) are major weeds of California (CA) rice, where resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS)-inhibitors was identified in several CYPDI and SCHMU populations that have also evolved resistance to photosystem II (PSII)-inhibiting herbicides. The mechanism of ALS resistance in these populations remains to be clarified but this information is crucial in a weed management program, especially in a scenario where resistance to multiple herbicides has been identified. ALS activity assays are commonly used to diagnose resistance to ALS-inhibitors, but protocols currently available are burdensome for the study of CYPDI and SCHMU, as they require large amounts of plant material from young seedlings and have low yields. Our objective was to investigate the ALS resistance mechanism in suspected ALS-resistant (R) CYPDI and SCHMU biotypes using a modified ALS activity assay that requires less plant material. ALS enzymes from suspected R biotypes were at least 10,000-fold less sensitive to bensulfuron-methyl than susceptible (S) cohorts, indicating ALS resistance that is likely due to an altered target-site. Protein concentration (mgg(-1) tissue) did not differ between R and S biotypes within each species, suggesting that R biotypes do not over produce ALS enzymes. CYPDI biotypes had up to 4-fold more protein per mg of tissue than SCHMU biotypes, but up to 7-fold more acetoin per mg(-1) protein was quantified in SCHMU, suggesting greater ALS catalytic ability in SCHMU biotypes, regardless of their herbicide resistance status. Our optimized protocol to measure ALS activity allowed for up to a 3-fold increase in the number of assays performed per g of leaf tissue. The modified assay may be useful for measuring ALS activity in other weed species that also produce small amount of foliage in early growth stages when protein in tissue is most abundant.

  17. Comparative field study: impact of laboratory assay variability on the assessment of recombinant factor IX Fc fusion protein (rFIXFc) activity.

    PubMed

    Sommer, Jurg M; Buyue, Yang; Bardan, Sara; Peters, Robert T; Jiang, Haiyan; Kamphaus, George D; Gray, Elaine; Pierce, Glenn F

    2014-11-01

    Due to variability in the one-stage clotting assay, the performance of new factor IX (FIX) products should be assessed in this assay. The objective of this field study was to evaluate the accuracy of measuring recombinant FIX Fc fusion protein (rFIXFc) activity in clinical haemostasis laboratories using the one-stage clotting assay. Human haemophilic donor plasma was spiked with rFIXFc or BeneFIX® at 0.80, 0.20, or 0.05 IU/ml based on label potency. Laboratories tested blinded samples using their routine one-stage assay and in-house FIX plasma standard. The mean spike recoveries for BeneFIX (n=30 laboratories) were 121 %, 144 %, and 168 % of expected at nominal 0.80, 0.20, and 0.05 IU/ml concentrations, respectively. Corresponding rFIXFc spike recoveries were 88 %, 107 %, and 132 % of expected, respectively. All BeneFIX concentrations were consistently overestimated by most laboratories. rFIXFc activity was reagent-dependent; ellagic acid and silica gave higher values than kaolin, which underestimated rFIXFc. BeneFIX demonstrated significantly reduced chromogenic assay activity relative to one-stage assay results and nominal activity, while rFIXFc activity was close to nominal activity at three concentrations with better dilution linearity than the typical one-stage assay. In conclusion, laboratory- and reagent-specific assay variabilities were revealed, with progressively higher variability at lower FIX concentrations. Non-parallelism against the FIX plasma standard was observed in all one-stage assays with rFIXFc and BeneFIX, leading to significant overestimation of FIX activity at lower levels and generally high inter-laboratory variability. Compared to the accuracy currently achieved in clinical laboratories when measuring other rFIX products, most laboratories measured rFIXFc activity with acceptable accuracy and reliability using routine one-stage assay methods and commercially available plasma standards.

  18. Rapid and Quantitative Assay of Amyloid-Seeding Activity in Human Brains Affected with Prion Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Takatsuki, Hanae; Satoh, Katsuya; Sano, Kazunori; Fuse, Takayuki; Nakagaki, Takehiro; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Ishibashi, Daisuke; Mihara, Ban; Takao, Masaki; Iwasaki, Yasushi; Yoshida, Mari; Atarashi, Ryuichiro; Nishida, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    The infectious agents of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are composed of amyloidogenic prion protein, PrPSc. Real-time quaking-induced conversion can amplify very small amounts of PrPSc seeds in tissues/body fluids of patients or animals. Using this in vitro PrP-amyloid amplification assay, we quantitated the seeding activity of affected human brains. End-point assay using serially diluted brain homogenates of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease patients demonstrated that 50% seeding dose (SD50) is reached approximately 1010/g brain (values varies 108.79–10.63/g). A genetic case (GSS-P102L) yielded a similar level of seeding activity in an autopsy brain sample. The range of PrPSc concentrations in the samples, determined by dot-blot assay, was 0.6–5.4 μg/g brain; therefore, we estimated that 1 SD50 unit was equivalent to 0.06–0.27 fg of PrPSc. The SD50 values of the affected brains dropped more than three orders of magnitude after autoclaving at 121°C. This new method for quantitation of human prion activity provides a new way to reduce the risk of iatrogenic prion transmission. PMID:26070208

  19. Heme polymerization inhibition activity (HPIA) assay of synthesized xanthone derivative as antimalarial compound

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitriastuti, Dhina; Jumina, Priatmoko

    2017-03-01

    Xanthone is a phenolic secondary metabolite of Garcinia and Calophyllum herbs which has been clinically proven to display anti malaria activity. In the present paper, 2,3,4-trihydroxy-5-methyl xanthone which has been synthesized from gallic acid and o-cresol in Eaton's reagent was tested for its activity as antimalarial. Thus, HPIA assay of the synthesized xanthones was successfully conducted. The HPIA assay was carried out towards the xanthone, chloroquine diphosphate as positive control and distilled water as negative control in various concentration. The samples were reacted with hematin (ferriprotoporphyrin IX hydroxide) and the absorbance of the precipitate was observed by using Elisa reader. The results of HPIA assay showed that 2,3,4-trihydroxy-5-methyl xanthone and chloroquine have IC50 values of 0.755 and 1.462 mg/mL or 2.92 and 4.57 mM, respectively. 2,3,4-Trihydroxy-5-methyl xanthone displayed better antimalarial activity than chloroquine.

  20. A rapid bioluminescence assay for measuring myeloperoxidase activity in human plasma

    PubMed Central

    Goiffon, Reece J.; Martinez, Sara C.; Piwnica-Worms, David

    2015-01-01

    Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is a circulating cardiovascular disease (CVD) biomarker used to estimate clinical risk and patient prognosis. Current enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for MPO concentration are costly and time-intensive. Here we report a novel bioluminescence assay, designated MPO activity on a polymer surface (MAPS), for measuring MPO activity in human plasma samples using the bioluminescent substrate L-012. The method delivers a result in under an hour and is resistant to confounding effects from endogenous MPO inhibitors. In a pilot clinical study, we compared MAPS and two clinical ELISAs using 72 plasma samples from cardiac catheterization patients. Results from parallel MAPS and ELISAs were concordant within 2±11 μg l−1 MPO with similar uncertainty and reproducibility. Results between parallel MAPS and ELISA were in better agreement than those between independent ELISAs. MAPS may provide an inexpensive and rapid assay for determining MPO activity in plasma samples from patients with CVD or potentially other immune and inflammatory disorders. PMID:25666092

  1. A high-throughput colorimetric assay to measure the activity of glutamate decarboxylase.

    PubMed

    Yu, Kai; Hu, Sheng; Huang, Jun; Mei, Le-He

    2011-08-10

    A pH-sensitive colorimetric assay has been established to quantitatively measure glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) activity in bacterial cell extracts using a microplate format. GAD catalyzes the irreversible α-decarboxylation of L-glutamate to γ-aminobutyrate. The assay is based on the color change of bromocresol green due to an increase in pH as protons are consumed during the enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Bromocresol green was chosen as the indicator because it has a similar pK(a) to the acetate buffer used. The corresponding absorbance change at 620 nm was recorded with a microplate reader as the reaction proceeded. A difference in the enzyme preparation pH and optimal pH for GAD activity of 2.5 did not prevent this method from successfully allowing the determination of reaction kinetic parameters and the detection of improvements in enzymatic activity with a low coefficient of variance. Our assay is simple, rapid, requires minimal sample concentration and can be carried out in robotic high-throughput devices used as standard in directed evolution experiments. In addition, it is also applicable to other reactions that involve a change in pH.

  2. Comparison of various assays to quantitate macrophage activation by biological response modifiers

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, R.M.; Nanda, S.; Altom, M.G.

    1984-01-01

    Macrophages treated with various compounds that enhance host antitumor resistance exhibit measurable changes in metabolism, function, and surface antigens. In this study, murine peptone-induced peritoneal macrophages were stimulated in vitro by bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), muramyl dipeptide (MDP), and poly I.poly C. They were subsequently compared in their ability to release superoxide and act as tumoristatic and tumoricidal effector cells. Superoxide generation was assayed by the reduction of ferricytochrome C. All three compounds failed to induce significant O/sub 2/- release, unless the cells were also treated with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA). MDP was most active in potentiating the PMA response. In the tumor growth inhibition assay, cytostatic activity was comparable for all three compounds and did not exceed 32 percent. The combination of subthreshold levels of these compounds and hybridoma-derived MAF acted synergistically to induce potent cytostatic activity. In the chromium release assay, LPS and poly I.poly C rendered macrophages cytolytic for P815 target cells at concentrations greater than or equal to 1 microgram/ml. In contrast, significant cytolysis was observed with MDP only at 100 micrograms/ml. Defining precisely the effect of various biological response modifiers on several parameters of macrophage function may facilitate use of these agents in cancer therapy.

  3. Real-time fluorescence assays to monitor duplex unwinding and ATPase activities of helicases.

    PubMed

    Özeş, Ali R; Feoktistova, Kateryna; Avanzino, Brian C; Baldwin, Enoch P; Fraser, Christopher S

    2014-07-01

    Many physiological functions of helicases are dependent on their ability to unwind nucleic acid duplexes in an ATP-dependent fashion. Determining the kinetic frameworks of these processes is crucial to understanding how these proteins function. We recently developed a fluorescence assay to monitor RNA duplex unwinding by DEAD-box helicases in real time. In this assay, two fluorescently modified short reporter oligonucleotides are annealed to an unmodified RNA loading strand of any length so that the fluorescent moieties of the two reporters find themselves in close proximity to each other and fluorescence is quenched. One reporter is modified with cyanine 3 (Cy3), whereas the other is modified with a spectrally paired black-hole quencher (BHQ). As the helicase unwinds the loading strand, the enzyme displaces the Cy3-modified reporter, which will bind to a capture or competitor DNA strand, permanently separating it from the BHQ-modified reporter. Complete separation of the Cy3-modified reporter strand is thus detected as an increase in total fluorescence. This assay is compatible with reagentless biosensors to monitor ATPase activity so that the coupling between ATP hydrolysis and duplex unwinding can be determined. With the protocol described, obtaining data and analyzing results of unwinding and ATPase assays takes ∼4 h.

  4. A Cell-Based Assay for Measuring Endogenous BcrAbl Kinase Activity and Inhibitor Resistance

    PubMed Central

    Ouellette, Steven B.; Noel, Brett M.; Parker, Laurie L.

    2016-01-01

    Kinase enzymes are an important class of drug targets, particularly in cancer. Cell-based kinase assays are needed to understand how potential kinase inhibitors act on their targets in a physiologically relevant context. Current cell-based kinase assays rely on antibody-based detection of endogenous substrates, inaccurate disease models, or indirect measurements of drug action. Here we expand on previous work from our lab to introduce a 96-well plate compatible approach for measuring cell-based kinase activity in disease-relevant human chronic myeloid leukemia cell lines using an exogenously added, multi-functional peptide substrate. Our cellular models natively express the BcrAbl oncogene and are either sensitive or have acquired resistance to well-characterized BcrAbl tyrosine kinase inhibitors. This approach measures IC50 values comparable to established methods of assessing drug potency, and its robustness indicates that it can be employed in drug discovery applications. This medium-throughput assay could bridge the gap between single target focused, high-throughput in vitro assays and lower-throughput cell-based follow-up experiments. PMID:27598410

  5. A nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry-based enzyme activity assay

    SciTech Connect

    Siuzdak, Gary; Northen, Trent R.; Lee, Jinq-Chyi; Hoang, Linh; Raymond, Jason; Hwang, Der-Ren; Yannone, Steven M.; Wong, Chi-Huey; Siuzdak, Gary

    2008-03-10

    We describe a Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) enzymatic (Nimzyme) assay in which enzyme substrates are immobilized on the mass spectrometry surface by using fluorous-phase interactions. This 'soft' immobilization allows efficient desorption/ionization while also enabling the use of surface-washing steps to reduce signal suppression from complex biological samples, which results from the preferential retention of the tagged products and reactants. The Nimzyme assay is sensitive to subpicogram levels of enzyme, detects both addition and cleavage reactions (sialyltransferase and galactosidase), is applicable over a wide range of pHs and temperatures, and can measure activity directly from crude cell lysates. The ability of the Nimzyme assay to analyze complex mixtures is illustrated by identifying and directly characterizing {beta}-1,4-galactosidase activity from a thermophilic microbial community lysate. The optimal enzyme temperature and pH were found to be 65 C and 5.5, respectively, and the activity was inhibited by both phenylethyl-{beta}-d-thiogalactopyranoside and deoxygalactonojirimycin. Metagenomic analysis of the community suggests that the activity is from an uncultured, unsequenced {gamma}-proteobacterium. In general, this assay provides an efficient method for detection and characterization of enzymatic activities in complex biological mixtures prior to sequencing or cloning efforts. More generally, this approach may have important applications for screening both enzymatic and inhibitor libraries, constructing and screening glycan microarrays, and complementing fluorous-phase organic synthesis. The interest in leveraging mass spectrometry for studying enzyme activities in complex biological samples derives from its high sensitivity and specificity; however, signal suppression and significant sample preparation requirements limit its overall utility (1). Here we describe a Nanostructure-Initiator Mass Spectrometry (NIMS) enzymatic (Nimzyme

  6. A simple liposome assay for the screening of zinc ionophore activity of polyphenols.

    PubMed

    Clergeaud, Gael; Dabbagh-Bazarbachi, Husam; Ortiz, Mayreli; Fernández-Larrea, Juan B; O'Sullivan, Ciara K

    2016-04-15

    An efficient liposomal system for screening the zinc ionophore activity of a selected library consisting of the most relevant dietary polyphenols is presented. The zinc ionophore activity was demonstrated by exploring the use of zinc-specific fluorophore FluoZin-3 loaded liposomes as simple membrane tools that mimic the cell membrane. The zinc ionophore activity was demonstrated as the capacity of polyphenols to transport zinc cations across the liposome membrane and increase the zinc-specific fluorescence of the encapsulated fluorophore FluoZin-3. In addition, the zinc chelation strength of the polyphenols was also tested in a competition assay based on the fluorescence quenching of zinc-dependent fluorescence emitted by zinc-FluoZin-3 complex. Finally, the correlation between the chelation capacity and ionophore activity is demonstrated, thus underlining the sequestering or ionophoric activity that the phenolic compounds can display, thus, providing better knowledge of the importance of the structural conformation versus their biological activity. Furthermore, the assays developed can be used as tools for rapid, high-throughput screening of families of polyphenols towards different biometals.

  7. Development of a QPatch automated electrophysiology assay for identifying KCa3.1 inhibitors and activators.

    PubMed

    Jenkins, David Paul; Yu, Weifeng; Brown, Brandon M; Løjkner, Lars Damgaard; Wulff, Heike

    2013-01-01

    The intermediate-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel KCa3.1 (also known as KCNN4, IK1, or the Gárdos channel) plays an important role in the activation of T and B cells, mast cells, macrophages, and microglia by regulating membrane potential, cellular volume, and calcium signaling. KCa3.1 is further involved in the proliferation of dedifferentiated vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblast and endothelium-derived hyperpolarization responses in the vascular endothelium. Accordingly, KCa3.1 inhibitors are therapeutically interesting as immunosuppressants and for the treatment of a wide range of fibroproliferative disorders, whereas KCa3.1 activators constitute a potential new class of endothelial function preserving antihypertensives. Here, we report the development of QPatch assays for both KCa3.1 inhibitors and activators. During assay optimization, the Ca(2+) sensitivity of KCa3.1 was studied using varying intracellular Ca(2+) concentrations. A free Ca(2+) concentration of 1 μM was chosen to optimally test inhibitors. To identify activators, which generally act as positive gating modulators, a lower Ca(2+) concentration (∼200 nM) was used. The QPatch results were benchmarked against manual patch-clamp electrophysiology by determining the potency of several commonly used KCa3.1 inhibitors (TRAM-34, NS6180, ChTX) and activators (EBIO, riluzole, SKA-31). Collectively, our results demonstrate that the QPatch provides a comparable but much faster approach to study compound interactions with KCa3.1 channels in a robust and reliable assay.

  8. A Fluorescence-Based Thermal Shift Assay Identifies Inhibitors of Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase Kinase 4

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Sankar N.; Luan, Chi-Hao; Mishra, Rama K.; Xu, Li; Scheidt, Karl A.; Anderson, Wayne F.; Bergan, Raymond C.

    2013-01-01

    Prostate cancer (PCa) is the second highest cause of cancer death in United States males. If the metastatic movement of PCa cells could be inhibited, then mortality from PCa could be greatly reduced. Mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase 4 (MAP2K4) has previously been shown to activate pro-invasion signaling pathways in human PCa. Recognizing that MAP2K4 represents a novel and validated therapeutic target, we sought to develop and characterize an efficient process for the identification of small molecules that target MAP2K4. Using a fluorescence-based thermal shift assay (FTS) assay, we first evaluated an 80 compound library of known kinase inhibitors, thereby identifying 8 hits that thermally stabilized MAP2K4 in a concentration dependent manner. We then developed an in vitro MAP2K4 kinase assay employing the biologically relevant downstream substrates, JNK1 and p38 MAPK, to evaluate kinase inhibitory function. In this manner, we validated the performance of our initial FTS screen. We next applied this approach to a 2000 compound chemically diverse library, identified 7 hits, and confirmed them in the in vitro kinase assay. Finally, by coupling our structure-activity relationship data to MAP2K4's crystal structure, we constructed a model for ligand binding. It predicts binding of our identified inhibitory compounds to the ATP binding pocket. Herein we report the creation of a robust inhibitor-screening platform with the ability to inform the discovery and design of new and potent MAP2K4 inhibitors. PMID:24339940

  9. "Singing in the Tube"--audiovisual assay of plant oil repellent activity against mosquitoes (Culex pipiens).

    PubMed

    Adams, Temitope F; Wongchai, Chatchawal; Chaidee, Anchalee; Pfeiffer, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    Plant essential oils have been suggested as a promising alternative to the established mosquito repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide). Searching for an assay with generally available equipment, we designed a new audiovisual assay of repellent activity against mosquitoes "Singing in the Tube," testing single mosquitoes in Drosophila cultivation tubes. Statistics with regression analysis should compensate for limitations of simple hardware. The assay was established with female Culex pipiens mosquitoes in 60 experiments, 120-h audio recording, and 2580 estimations of the distance between mosquito sitting position and the chemical. Correlations between parameters of sitting position, flight activity pattern, and flight tone spectrum were analyzed. Regression analysis of psycho-acoustic data of audio files (dB[A]) used a squared and modified sinus function determining wing beat frequency WBF ± SD (357 ± 47 Hz). Application of logistic regression defined the repelling velocity constant. The repelling velocity constant showed a decreasing order of efficiency of plant essential oils: rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), clove (Syzygium aromaticum), lemon (Citrus limon), patchouli (Pogostemon cablin), DEET, cedar wood (Cedrus atlantica). In conclusion, we suggest (1) disease vector control (e.g., impregnation of bed nets) by eight plant essential oils with repelling velocity superior to DEET, (2) simple mosquito repellency testing in Drosophila cultivation tubes, (3) automated approaches and room surveillance by generally available audio equipment (dB[A]: ISO standard 226), and (4) quantification of repellent activity by parameters of the audiovisual assay defined by correlation and regression analyses.

  10. Cassava root membrane proteome reveals activities during storage root maturation.

    PubMed

    Naconsie, Maliwan; Lertpanyasampatha, Manassawe; Viboonjun, Unchera; Netrphan, Supatcharee; Kuwano, Masayoshi; Ogasawara, Naotake; Narangajavana, Jarunya

    2016-01-01

    Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is one of the most important crops of Thailand. Its storage roots are used as food, feed, starch production, and be the important source for biofuel and biodegradable plastic production. Despite the importance of cassava storage roots, little is known about the mechanisms involved in their formation. This present study has focused on comparison of the expression profiles of cassava root proteome at various developmental stages using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS. Based on an anatomical study using Toluidine Blue, the secondary growth was confirmed to be essential during the development of cassava storage root. To investigate biochemical processes occurring during storage root maturation, soluble and membrane proteins were isolated from storage roots harvested from 3-, 6-, 9-, and 12-month-old cassava plants. The proteins with differential expression pattern were analysed and identified to be associated with 8 functional groups: protein folding and degradation, energy, metabolism, secondary metabolism, stress response, transport facilitation, cytoskeleton, and unclassified function. The expression profiling of membrane proteins revealed the proteins involved in protein folding and degradation, energy, and cell structure were highly expressed during early stages of development. Integration of these data along with the information available in genome and transcriptome databases is critical to expand knowledge obtained solely from the field of proteomics. Possible role of identified proteins were discussed in relation with the activities during storage root maturation in cassava.

  11. Fe65 does not stabilize AICD during activation of transcription in a luciferase assay

    SciTech Connect

    Huysseune, Sandra; Kienlen-Campard, Pascal; Octave, Jean-Noel . E-mail: octave@nchm.ucl.ac.be

    2007-09-21

    The APP intracellular domain (AICD) could be involved in signaling via interaction with the adaptor protein Fe65, and with the histone acetyl transferase Tip60. However, the real function of AICD and Fe65 in regulation of transcription remains controversial. In this study, the human APPGal4 fusion protein was expressed in CHO cells and the transcriptional activity of AICDGal4 was measured in a luciferase-based reporter assay. AICDGal4 was stabilized by expression of Fe65 and levels of AICDGal4 controlled luciferase activity. On the contrary, when human APP was expressed in CHO cells, coexpression of Fe65 increased luciferase activity without affecting the amount of AICD fragment. AICD produced from APP was protected from degradation by orthophenanthroline, but not by lactacystine, indicating that AICD is not a substrate of the chymotryptic activity of the proteasome. It is concluded that Fe65 can control luciferase activity without stabilizing the labile AICD fragment.

  12. Prompt activation of telomerase by chemical carcinogens in rats detected with a modified TRAP assay.

    PubMed

    Miura, M; Karasaki, Y; Abe, T; Higashi, K; Ikemura, K; Gotoh, S

    1998-05-08

    The maintenance of telomere length is crucial for survival of cells. Telomerase is an RNA-containing reverse transcriptase, which is responsible for elongation of shortened telomeres. Telomerase reactivation has been suggested to be involved in malignant progressions. To study on the involvement of telomerase activation in in vivo carcinogenesis, we first modified the original TRAP assay by changing the primer designs and the labeling method of PCR products to an end-labeling method. Second, we investigated the activation of telomerase in different organs after treatments of rats with various chemical carcinogens. Very early after the beginning of the treatment, telomerase activity in the liver, kidney, and lung was increased. In most cases, telomerase activation occurred in the primary or favorite target organs. The present results suggest that telomerase activation occurs promptly when animals are exposed to chemical carcinogens, which may contribute to in vivo chemical carcinogenesis.

  13. Detection of Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Activation by Some Chemicals in Food Using a Reporter Gene Assay

    PubMed Central

    Amakura, Yoshiaki; Tsutsumi, Tomoaki; Yoshimura, Morio; Nakamura, Masafumi; Handa, Hiroshi; Matsuda, Rieko; Teshima, Reiko; Watanabe, Takahiro

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine whether a simple bioassay used for the detection of dioxins (DXNs) could be applied to detect trace amounts of harmful DXN-like substances in food products. To identify substances with possible DXN-like activity, we assessed the ability of various compounds in the environment to bind the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) that binds specifically to DXNs. The compounds tested included 19 polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), 20 PAH derivatives (nitrated, halogenated, and aminated derivatives), 23 pesticides, six amino acids, and eight amino acid metabolites. The AhR binding activities (AhR activity) of these compounds were measured using the chemical activated luciferase gene expression (CALUX) reporter gene assay system. The majority of the PAHs exhibited marked AhR activity that increased in a concentration-dependent manner. Furthermore, there was a positive link between AhR activity and the number of aromatic rings in the PAH derivatives. Conversely, there appeared to be a negative correlation between AhR activity and the number of chlorine residues present on halogenated PAH derivatives. However, there was no correlation between AhR activity and the number and position of substituents among nitrated and aminated derivatives. Among the pesticides tested, the indole-type compounds carbendazim and thiabendazole showed high levels of activity. Similarly, the indole compound tryptamine was the only amino acid metabolite to induce AhR activity. The results are useful in understanding the identification and characterization of AhR ligands in the CALUX assay. PMID:28231110

  14. In Vitro Assay for the Rap GTPase-Activating Protein Activity of the Purified Cytoplasmic Domain of Plexin.

    PubMed

    Pascoe, Heath G; Wang, Yuxiao; Zhang, Xuewu

    2017-01-01

    Plexins are cell surface receptors that bind semaphorins and regulate essential processes such as axon guidance and angiogenesis. The cytoplasmic regions of plexins contain a functionally essential GTPase-activating protein (GAP) domain, which initiates downstream signaling by specifically inactivating the Rap GTPase. Here we describe the methods for expression and purification of the plexin cytoplasmic region in E. coli, and characterization of its GAP activity using a photometric assay. We also provide a protocol for measuring GAP activity of single-chain constructs with Rap covalently linked to the plexin cytoplasmic region.

  15. Topoisomerase Assays

    PubMed Central

    Nitiss, John L.; Soans, Eroica; Rogojina, Anna; Seth, Aman; Mishina, Margarita

    2012-01-01

    Topoisomerases are nuclear enzymes that play essential roles in DNA replication, transcription, chromosome segregation, and recombination. All cells have two major forms of topoisomerases: type I, which makes single-stranded cuts in DNA, and type II enzymes, which cut and pass double-stranded DNA. DNA topoisomerases are important targets of approved and experimental anti-cancer agents. The protocols described in this unit are of assays used to assess new chemical entities for their ability to inhibit both forms of DNA topoisomerase. Included are an in vitro assay for topoisomerase I activity based on relaxation of supercoiled DNA and an assay for topoisomerase II based on the decatenation of double-stranded DNA. The preparation of mammalian cell extracts for assaying topoisomerase activity is described, along with a protocol for an ICE assay for examining topoisomerase covalent complexes in vivo and an assay for measuring DNA cleavage in vitro. PMID:22684721

  16. New functional assays to selectively quantify the activated protein C- and tissue factor pathway inhibitor-cofactor activities of protein S in plasma.

    PubMed

    Alshaikh, N A; Rosing, J; Thomassen, M C L G D; Castoldi, E; Simioni, P; Hackeng, T M

    2017-02-17

    Essentials Protein S is a cofactor of activated protein C (APC) and tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI). There are no assays to quantify separate APC and TFPI cofactor activities of protein S in plasma. We developed assays to measure the APC- and TFPI-cofactor activities of protein S in plasma. The assays were sensitive to protein S deficiency, and not affected by the Factor V Leiden mutation.

  17. Research resource: modulators of glucocorticoid receptor activity identified by a new high-throughput screening assay.

    PubMed

    Blackford, John A; Brimacombe, Kyle R; Dougherty, Edward J; Pradhan, Madhumita; Shen, Min; Li, Zhuyin; Auld, Douglas S; Chow, Carson C; Austin, Christopher P; Simons, S Stoney

    2014-07-01

    Glucocorticoid steroids affect almost every type of tissue and thus are widely used to treat a variety of human pathological conditions. However, the severity of numerous side effects limits the frequency and duration of glucocorticoid treatments. Of the numerous approaches to control off-target responses to glucocorticoids, small molecules and pharmaceuticals offer several advantages. Here we describe a new, extended high-throughput screen in intact cells to identify small molecule modulators of dexamethasone-induced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) transcriptional activity. The novelty of this assay is that it monitors changes in both GR maximal activity (A(max)) and EC(50) (the position of the dexamethasone dose-response curve). Upon screening 1280 chemicals, 10 with the greatest changes in the absolute value of A(max) or EC(50) were selected for further examination. Qualitatively identical behaviors for 60% to 90% of the chemicals were observed in a completely different system, suggesting that other systems will be similarly affected by these chemicals. Additional analysis of the 10 chemicals in a recently described competition assay determined their kinetically defined mechanism and site of action. Some chemicals had similar mechanisms of action despite divergent effects on the level of the GR-induced product. These combined assays offer a straightforward method of identifying numerous new pharmaceuticals that can alter GR transactivation in ways that could be clinically useful.

  18. Activation of chemical promutagens by Selenastrum capricornutum in the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay

    SciTech Connect

    Gentile, J.M.; Lippert, M.; Johnson, P.; Shafer, T. )

    1990-05-01

    The critical balance of organisms living in aquatic environments is influenced by the presence and relationship of plants to those environments. However, even though plants occupy a fundamental trophic level within aquatic ecosystems, few studies have focused upon the effect of xenobiotics on aquatic plants, and even fewer studies have dealt with xenobiotic metabolism by aquatic plants. It is well established that plants can metabolize chemicals into mutagens. The impact of these unique plant-activated chemical mutagens on ecosystems, food chains and, ultimately, human health is an important question that will require intensive and integrative investigation. The plant cell/microbe coincubation assay is particularly advantageous for use with unicellular algae. The conditions of this assay are such that chemical metabolism and subsequent mutagen detection can be followed in intact algal cells under simulated field conditions. The purpose of this research was to demonstrate that a unicellular algal species could be used effectively in the plant cell/microbe coincubation assay to activate model chemical mutagens.

  19. A high content assay for biosensor validation and for examining stimuli that affect biosensor activity

    PubMed Central

    Slattery, Scott D.; Hahn, Klaus M.

    2015-01-01

    Biosensors are valuable tools used to monitor many different protein behaviors in vivo. Demand for new biosensors is high, but their development and characterization can be difficult. During biosensor design, it is necessary to evaluate the effects of different biosensor structures on specificity, brightness, and fluorescence responses. By co-expressing the biosensor with upstream proteins that either stimulate or inhibit the activity reported by the biosensor, one can determine the difference between the biosensor’s maximally activated and inactivated state, and examine response to specific proteins. This involves considerable labor and expense, as expression conditions must be optimized to saturate the biosensor with the regulator, and multiple replicates and controls are required. We describe here a protocol for biosensor validation in a 96-well plate format using an automated microscope. This protocol produces dose-response curves, enables efficient examination of many parameters, and unlike cell suspension assays allows visual inspection (eg for cell health and biosensor or regulator localization). Optimization of single chain and dual chain Rho GTPase biosensors is addressed, but the assay is applicable to any biosensor that can be expressed or otherwise loaded in adherent cells. The assay can also be used for purposes other than biosensor validation, using a well-characterized biosensor as a readout for variations in upstream molecules. PMID:25447074

  20. A real-time fluorescence polarization activity assay to screen for inhibitors of bacterial ribonuclease P

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xin; Chen, Yu; Fierke, Carol A.

    2014-01-01

    Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is an essential endonuclease that catalyzes the 5′ end maturation of precursor tRNA (pre-tRNA). Bacterial RNase P is an attractive potential antibacterial target because it is essential for cell survival and has a distinct subunit composition compared to the eukaryal counterparts. To accelerate both structure-function studies and discovery of inhibitors of RNase P, we developed the first real-time RNase P activity assay using fluorescence polarization/anisotropy (FP/FA) with a 5′ end fluorescein-labeled pre-tRNAAsp substrate. This FP/FA assay also detects binding of small molecules to pre-tRNA. Neomycin B and kanamycin B bind to pre-tRNAAsp with a Kd value that is comparable to their IC50 value for inhibition of RNase P, suggesting that binding of these antibiotics to the pre-tRNA substrate contributes to the inhibitory activity. This assay was optimized for high-throughput screening (HTS) to identify specific inhibitors of RNase P from a 2880 compound library. A natural product derivative, iriginol hexaacetate, was identified as a new inhibitor of Bacillus subtilis RNase P. The FP/FA methodology and inhibitors reported here will further our understanding of RNase P molecular recognition and facilitate discovery of antibacterial compounds that target RNase P. PMID:25249623

  1. A High-Content Assay for Biosensor Validation and for Examining Stimuli that Affect Biosensor Activity.

    PubMed

    Slattery, Scott D; Hahn, Klaus M

    2014-12-01

    Biosensors are valuable tools used to monitor many different protein behaviors in vivo. Demand for new biosensors is high, but their development and characterization can be difficult. During biosensor design, it is necessary to evaluate the effects of different biosensor structures on specificity, brightness, and fluorescence responses. By co-expressing the biosensor with upstream proteins that either stimulate or inhibit the activity reported by the biosensor, one can determine the difference between the biosensor's maximally activated and inactivated state, and examine response to specific proteins. We describe here a method for biosensor validation in a 96-well plate format using an automated microscope. This protocol produces dose-response curves, enables efficient examination of many parameters, and unlike cell suspension assays, allows visual inspection (e.g., for cell health and biosensor or regulator localization). Optimization of single-chain and dual-chain Rho GTPase biosensors is addressed, but the assay is applicable to any biosensor that can be expressed or otherwise loaded in adherent cells. The assay can also be used for purposes other than biosensor validation, using a well-characterized biosensor as a readout for effects of upstream molecules.

  2. A Caco-2 cell-based quantitative antioxidant activity assay for antioxidants.

    PubMed

    Wan, Hongxia; Liu, Dong; Yu, Xiangying; Sun, Haiyan; Li, Yan

    2015-05-15

    A Caco-2 cell-based antioxidant activity (CAA) assay for quantitative evaluation of antioxidants was developed by optimizing seeding density and culture time of Caco-2 cells, incubation time and concentration of fluorescent probe (2',7'-dichlorofluorescin diacetate, DCFH-DA), incubation way and incubation time of antioxidants (pure phytochemicals) and DCFH-DA with cells, and detection time of fluorescence. Results showed that the CAA assay was of good reproducibility and could be used to evaluate the antioxidant activity of antioxidants at the following conditions: seeding density of 5 × 10(4)/well, cell culture time of 24h, co-incubation of 60 μM DCFH-DA and pure phytochemicals with Caco-2 cells for 20 min and fluorescence recorded for 90 min. Additionally, a significant correlation was observed between CAA values and rat plasma ORAC values following the intake of antioxidants for selected pure phytochemicals (R(2) = 0.815, p < 0.01), demonstrating the good biological relevance of CAA assay.

  3. Development of a keratinase activity assay using recombinant chicken feather keratin substrates

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Hyeon-Su; Park, Seon Yeong; Kim, Kyungmin; Lee, Yong-Jik; Nam, Gae-Won; Kang, Nam Joo; Lee, Dong-Woo

    2017-01-01

    Poultry feathers consist mainly of the protein keratin, which is rich in β-pleated sheets and consequently resistant to proteolysis. Although many keratinases have been identified, the reasons for their substrate specificity towards β-keratin remain unclear due to difficulties in preparing a soluble feather keratin substrate for use in activity assays. In the present study, we overexpressed Gallus gallus chromosomes 2 and 27 β-keratin-encoding genes in Escherichia coli, purified denatured recombinant proteins by Ni2+ affinity chromatography, and refolded by stepwise dialysis to yield soluble keratins. To assess the keratinolytic activity, we compared the proteolytic activity of crude extracts from the feather- degrading bacterium Fervidobacterium islandicum AW-1 with proteinase K, trypsin, and papain using purified recombinant keratin and casein as substrates. All tested proteases showed strong proteolytic activities for casein, whereas only F. islandicum AW-1 crude extracts and proteinase K exhibited pronounced keratinolytic activity for the recombinant keratin. Moreover, LC-MS/MS analysis of keratin hydrolysates allowed us to predict the P1 sites of keratinolytic enzymes in the F. islandicum AW-1 extracts, thereby qualifying and quantifying the extent of keratinolysis. The soluble keratin-based assay has clear therapeutic and industrial potential for the development of a high-throughput screening system for proteases hydrolyzing disease-related protein aggregates, as well as mechanically resilient keratin-based polymers. PMID:28231319

  4. Survey of estrogenic activity in fish feed by yeast estrogen-screen assay.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Takeru; Kobayashi, Makito; Moriwaki, Toshihisa; Kawai, Shin'ichiro; Watabe, Shugo

    2004-10-01

    Fishes have been used as laboratory animal for research of estrogenic endocrine disrupters by many researchers. However, much less attention was paid to the possibility that compounds with estrogenic activity are present in fish diets. In order to examine this possibility, we measured the estrogenic activity in commercial fish feed by in vitro yeast estrogen-screen (YES) assay based on the binding ability of tested compounds to estrogen receptors. Estrogenic activity was detected in all the commercial fish feed examined (0.2-6.2 ng estradiol equivalent/g fish feed), some phytoestrogens (genistein, formononetin, equol and coumestrol; relative activity to estradiol, 8.6 x 10(-6)-1.1 x 10(-4) by giving a value of 1.0 to estradiol) and some androgens (testosterone, 11-ketotestosterone and 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone; relative activity to estradiol, 3.0 x 10(-6)-1.2 x 10(-4)). Therefore, it is possible that these compounds could affect the results of in vivo estrogen assay, such as vitellogenin production in male fish, especially when fish are fed commercial feed.

  5. High-content fluorescent-based assay for screening activators of DNA damage checkpoint pathways.

    PubMed

    Bin Zhang; Xiubin Gu; Uppalapati, Uma; Ashwell, Mark A; Leggett, David S; Li, Chiang J

    2008-07-01

    Activation of DNA damage checkpoint pathways, including Chk2, serves as an anticancer barrier in precancerous lesions. In an effort to identify small-molecule activators of Chk2, the authors developed a quantitative cell-based assay using a high-content analysis (HCA) platform. Induction of phosphorylated Chk2 was evaluated using several different parameters, including fold induction, Kolmogorov-Smirnov score, and percentage of positively stained cells. These measurements were highly correlated and provided an accurate method for compound ranking/binning, structure-activity relationship studies, and lead identification. Screening for Chk2 activators was undertaken with a target-focused library and a diversified library from ArQule chemical space. Several compounds exhibited submicromolar EC( 50) values for phosphorylated Chk2 induction. These compounds were further analyzed for Chk2-dependent cytotoxicity, as assessed through a high-content cell death assay in combination with siRNA silencing of Chk2 expression. Several compounds were identified and showed specific inhibition or lethality in a target-dependent manner. Therefore, identification of DNA damage checkpoint pathway activators by HCA is an attractive approach for discovering the next generation of targeted cancer therapeutics.

  6. Estrogenic activity of constituents of underarm deodorants determined by E-Screen assay.

    PubMed

    Lange, Claudia; Kuch, Bertram; Metzger, Jörg W

    2014-08-01

    The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether different kinds of underarm deodorants commercially available in Germany might contain substances with estrogenic potential which after use enter the aquatic environment via wastewater. Twenty five deodorants produced by ten different manufacturers in the form of sprays, roll-ons and sticks were investigated using an in vitro-test system (E-Screen assay) for the determination of estrogenic activity based on the human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Seven out of ten spray deodorant samples showed a quantifiable estrogenic activity. In the case of the sticks and roll-ons it was only one out of six and one out of nine, respectively. The 17β-estradiol equivalent concentrations (EEQs) of the samples ranged from 0.1 ng g(-1) to 9 ng g(-1) deodorant. Spray deodorant samples showed the highest activities in the E-Screen assay compared to the stick and roll-on deodorants. In order to identify substances possibly contributing to the observed biological activity the samples were additionally analyzed by GC/MS. The obtained results of this non-target screening led to the selection of 62 single substances present in the deodorants which for their part were analyzed by E-Screen assay. Eight of these single substances, all of them fragrances, showed estrogenic effects with estradiol equivalence factors (EEFs) similar to parabens, a group of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid esters commonly used as preservatives in personal care products, which are known to have a slight estrogenic effect. Thus, these fragrances are obviously responsible to a substantial degree for the observed estrogenic activity of the deodorants.

  7. A peptide array-based serological protein kinase A activity assay and its application in cancer diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Kong, Deok-Hoon; Jung, Se-Hui; Jeon, Hye-Yoon; Kim, Woo-Jin; Kim, Young-Myeong; Ha, Kwon-Soo

    2015-10-07

    Protein kinase A (PKA) plays a crucial role in several biological processes; however, there is no assay with sufficient sensitivity and specificity to determine serological PKA (sPKA) activity. Here we present an on-chip activity assay that employs cysteine-modified kemptide arrays to determine specific sPKA activity in human sera that eliminates the potential contributions of other kinases with a protein kinase peptide inhibitor. The sensitivity of the on-chip sPKA activity assay was greatly enhanced by Triton X-100, with a 0.01 U mL(-1) detection limit. sPKA activity was determined by subtracting nonspecific sPK activity from total sPK activity. Our assay provided greater sensitivity and specificity and more accurate area under the curve values for gastric cancer compared to the total sPK activity assay. sPKA activities in human sera from patients with hepatic (n = 30), gastric (n = 30), lung (n = 30), and colorectal (n = 30) cancers were significantly higher than those in controls (n = 30, p < 10(-4)), but no significant difference in sPKA activities between normal and inflammation groups was observed. These results demonstrate that the on-chip assay accurately measures sPKA activity in human sera and that the sPKA activity may be a potential biomarker for cancer diagnosis.

  8. Effects of currently used pesticides in assays for estrogenicity, androgenicity, and aromatase activity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Andersen, Helle Raun; Vinggaard, Anne Marie; Rasmussen, Thomas Hoj; Gjermandsen, Irene Marianne; Bonefeld-Jørgensen, Eva Cecilie

    2002-02-15

    Twenty-four pesticides were tested for interactions with the estrogen receptor (ER) and the androgen receptor (AR) in transactivation assays. Estrogen-like effects on MCF-7 cell proliferation and effects on CYP19 aromatase activity in human placental microsomes were also investigated. Pesticides (endosulfan, methiocarb, methomyl, pirimicarb, propamocarb, deltamethrin, fenpropathrin, dimethoate, chlorpyriphos, dichlorvos, tolchlofos-methyl, vinclozolin, iprodion, fenarimol, prochloraz, fosetyl-aluminum, chlorothalonil, daminozid, paclobutrazol, chlormequat chlorid, and ethephon) were selected according to their frequent use in Danish greenhouses. In addition, the metabolite mercaptodimethur sulfoxide, the herbicide tribenuron-methyl, and the organochlorine dieldrin, were included. Several of the pesticides, dieldrin, endosulfan, methiocarb, and fenarimol, acted both as estrogen agonists and androgen antagonists. Prochloraz reacted as both an estrogen and an androgen antagonist. Furthermore, fenarimol and prochloraz were potent aromatase inhibitors while endosulfan was a weak inhibitor. Hence, these three pesticides possess at least three different ways to potentially disturb sex hormone actions. In addition, chlorpyrifos, deltamethrin, tolclofos-methyl, and tribenuron-methyl induced weak responses in one or both estrogenicity assays. Upon cotreatment with 17beta-estradiol, the response was potentiated by endosulfan in the proliferation assay and by pirimicarb, propamocarb, and daminozid in the ER transactivation assay. Vinclozolin reacted as a potent AR antagonist and dichlorvos as a very weak one. Methomyl, pirimicarb, propamocarb, and iprodion weakly stimulated aromatase activity. Although the potencies of the pesticides to react as hormone agonists or antagonists are low compared to the natural ligands, the integrated response in the organism might be amplified by the ability of the pesticides to act via several mechanism and the frequent simultaneous exposure to

  9. Comparative analysis of cholinesterase activities in food animals using modified Ellman and Michel assays

    PubMed Central

    Askar, Kasim Abass; Kudi, A. Caleb; Moody, A. John

    2011-01-01

    This study investigated correlations between modified Ellman and Michel assay methods for measuring cholinesterase (ChE) activities. It also established a foundation for the applicability of measuring ChE activities in food animal species as biochemical biomarkers for evaluating exposure to and effects of organophosphorus and carbamate pesticides. Measuring ChE activities in blood and tissue is currently the most important method of confirming the diagnosis of such exposure. The study also characterized the level of ChE activity in the selected organs/tissues of these animals and determined the best organ/tissue in which to measure ChE activity. The ChE activities were found to be higher in cattle than in sheep and higher in erythrocytes than in plasma and serum. The anticoagulant heparin significantly affects AChE activity in plasma compared with ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA). Of the different tissues tested, the mean of ChE activities was found to be highest in tissue from liver, followed by lung, muscle, kidney, and heart for sheep and cattle. In pigs, the ChE activities tested higher in kidney, liver, lung, muscle, and heart. The highest activities of ChE were found in pigs, followed by cattle and sheep. There was no significant difference between the modified Ellman and Michel method, but the percentage coefficient of variance (%CV) values were higher when the Michel method was used. PMID:22468023

  10. Activity-based probes for rhomboid proteases discovered in a mass spectrometry-based assay

    PubMed Central

    Vosyka, Oliver; Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Wolf, Eliane V.; Brouwer, Arwin J.; Liskamp, Rob M. J.; Verhelst, Steven H. L.

    2013-01-01

    Rhomboid proteases are evolutionary conserved intramembrane serine proteases. Because of their emerging role in many important biological pathways, rhomboids are potential drug targets. Unfortunately, few chemical tools are available for their study. Here, we describe a mass spectrometry-based assay to measure rhomboid substrate cleavage and inhibition. We have identified isocoumarin inhibitors and developed activity-based probes for rhomboid proteases. The probes can distinguish between active and inactive rhomboids due to covalent, reversible binding of the active-site serine and stable modification of a histidine residue. Finally, the structure of an isocoumarin-based inhibitor with Escherichia coli rhomboid GlpG uncovers an unusual mode of binding at the active site and suggests that the interactions between the 3-substituent on the isocoumarin inhibitor and hydrophobic residues on the protease reflect S′ subsite binding. Overall, these probes represent valuable tools for rhomboid study, and the structural insights may facilitate future inhibitor design. PMID:23359682

  11. Detecting kinase activities from single cell lysate using concentration-enhanced mobility shift assay.

    PubMed

    Cheow, Lih Feng; Sarkar, Aniruddh; Kolitz, Sarah; Lauffenburger, Douglas; Han, Jongyoon

    2014-08-05

    Electrokinetic preconcentration coupled with mobility shift assays can give rise to very high detection sensitivities. We describe a microfluidic device that utilizes this principle to detect cellular kinase activities by simultaneously concentrating and separating substrate peptides with different phosphorylation states. This platform is capable of reliably measuring kinase activities of single adherent cells cultured in nanoliter volume microwells. We also describe a novel method utilizing spacer peptides that significantly increase separation resolution while maintaining high concentration factors in this device. Thus, multiplexed kinase measurements can be implemented with single cell sensitivity. Multiple kinase activity profiling from single cell lysate could potentially allow us to study heterogeneous activation of signaling pathways that can lead to multiple cell fates.

  12. Mutagenic activity of sweepings and pigments from a household-wax factory assayed with Salmonella typhimurium.

    PubMed

    Varella, S D; Pozetti, G L; Vilegas, W; Varanda, E A

    2004-12-01

    The mutagenic activity of garbage originating from a household wax industry was determined by the Salmonella/microsome assay, using the bacterial strains TA100, TA98 and YG1024. The garbage was obtained by sweeping the floor of the factory at the end of the work shift. Organic compounds were extracted by ultrasound for 30 min in dichloromethane or 70% ethanol. After evaporation of solvent, these extracts (HFS: household-wax factory sweepings) were dissolved in DMSO, and were tested for the mutagenic activity at varying concentrations (HFS-ET: 0.08-0.68 mg/plate, HFS-DCM: 0.60-7.31 mg/plate). The colouring agents (pigments) used in the production of the wax were also dissolved in DMSO and tested with the assay. The concentrations tested for each pigment were: Amaranth: 0.46-3.65 mg/plate, Auramine: 0.15-1.2 mg/plate and Rhodamine B: 0.22-1.82 mg/plate. Both ET and DCM organic extracts had mutagenic activity, especially in the YG1024 strain. The pigments behaved in a similar way, demonstrating that YG1024 was the most sensitive strain for the detection of mutagenicity, and that metabolization increased the activity. Human exposure (occupational and non-occupational) to industrial residues generated during the household-wax manufacturing and packaging process should be monitored, since this type of garbage is normally deposited in the environment without any control.

  13. Fluorescent assay based on resazurin for detection of activity of disinfectants against bacterial biofilm.

    PubMed

    Mariscal, Alberto; Lopez-Gigosos, Rosa M; Carnero-Varo, Manuel; Fernandez-Crehuet, Joaquin

    2009-03-01

    A new, quick method, using the resazurin dye test as a bacterial respiration indicator, has been developed to assay the antibacterial activity of various substances used as disinfectants against bacterial biofilm growth on clinical devices. Resazurin was used to measure the presence of active biofilm bacteria, after adding disinfectant, in relation to a standard curve generated from inocula in suspension of the same organism used to grow the biofilm. The biofilm was quantified indirectly by measuring the fluorescent, water-soluble resorufin product produced when resazurin is reduced by reactions associated with respiration. Four products used as disinfectants and the biofilm growth of five bacterial species on carriers made of materials commonly found in clinical devices were studied. Under test conditions, chlorhexidine, NaOCl, ethanol, and Perasafe at concentrations of 0.2, 0.01, 350, and 0.16 mg/ml, respectively, all produced 5-log reductions in biofilm cell numbers on the three different carriers. The redox-driven test depends on bacterial catabolism, for which reason resazurin reduction produces an analytic signal of the bacterial activity in whole cells, and therefore could be used for determining disinfectant efficacy in an assay based on the metabolic activity of microorganisms grown as biofilm or in suspension.

  14. SNPs altering ammonium transport activity of human Rhesus factors characterized by a yeast-based functional assay.

    PubMed

    Deschuyteneer, Aude; Boeckstaens, Mélanie; De Mees, Christelle; Van Vooren, Pascale; Wintjens, René; Marini, Anna Maria

    2013-01-01

    Proteins of the conserved Mep-Amt-Rh family, including mammalian Rhesus factors, mediate transmembrane ammonium transport. Ammonium is an important nitrogen source for the biosynthesis of amino acids but is also a metabolic waste product. Its disposal in urine plays a critical role in the regulation of the acid/base homeostasis, especially with an acid diet, a trait of Western countries. Ammonium accumulation above a certain concentration is however pathologic, the cytotoxicity causing fatal cerebral paralysis in acute cases. Alteration in ammonium transport via human Rh proteins could have clinical outcomes. We used a yeast-based expression assay to characterize human Rh variants resulting from non synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) with known or unknown clinical phenotypes and assessed their ammonium transport efficiency, protein level, localization and potential trans-dominant impact. The HsRhAG variants (I61R, F65S) associated to overhydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (OHSt), a disease affecting erythrocytes, proved affected in intrinsic bidirectional ammonium transport. Moreover, this study reveals that the R202C variant of HsRhCG, the orthologue of mouse MmRhcg required for optimal urinary ammonium excretion and blood pH control, shows an impaired inherent ammonium transport activity. Urinary ammonium excretion was RHcg gene-dose dependent in mouse, highlighting MmRhcg as a limiting factor. HsRhCG(R202C) may confer susceptibility to disorders leading to metabolic acidosis for instance. Finally, the analogous R211C mutation in the yeast ScMep2 homologue also impaired intrinsic activity consistent with a conserved functional role of the preserved arginine residue. The yeast expression assay used here constitutes an inexpensive, fast and easy tool to screen nsSNPs reported by high throughput sequencing or individual cases for functional alterations in Rh factors revealing potential causal variants.

  15. SNPs Altering Ammonium Transport Activity of Human Rhesus Factors Characterized by a Yeast-Based Functional Assay

    PubMed Central

    Deschuyteneer, Aude; Boeckstaens, Mélanie; De Mees, Christelle; Van Vooren, Pascale; Wintjens, René; Marini, Anna Maria

    2013-01-01

    Proteins of the conserved Mep-Amt-Rh family, including mammalian Rhesus factors, mediate transmembrane ammonium transport. Ammonium is an important nitrogen source for the biosynthesis of amino acids but is also a metabolic waste product. Its disposal in urine plays a critical role in the regulation of the acid/base homeostasis, especially with an acid diet, a trait of Western countries. Ammonium accumulation above a certain concentration is however pathologic, the cytotoxicity causing fatal cerebral paralysis in acute cases. Alteration in ammonium transport via human Rh proteins could have clinical outcomes. We used a yeast-based expression assay to characterize human Rh variants resulting from non synonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (nsSNPs) with known or unknown clinical phenotypes and assessed their ammonium transport efficiency, protein level, localization and potential trans-dominant impact. The HsRhAG variants (I61R, F65S) associated to overhydrated hereditary stomatocytosis (OHSt), a disease affecting erythrocytes, proved affected in intrinsic bidirectional ammonium transport. Moreover, this study reveals that the R202C variant of HsRhCG, the orthologue of mouse MmRhcg required for optimal urinary ammonium excretion and blood pH control, shows an impaired inherent ammonium transport activity. Urinary ammonium excretion was RHcg gene-dose dependent in mouse, highlighting MmRhcg as a limiting factor. HsRhCGR202C may confer susceptibility to disorders leading to metabolic acidosis for instance. Finally, the analogous R211C mutation in the yeast ScMep2 homologue also impaired intrinsic activity consistent with a conserved functional role of the preserved arginine residue. The yeast expression assay used here constitutes an inexpensive, fast and easy tool to screen nsSNPs reported by high throughput sequencing or individual cases for functional alterations in Rh factors revealing potential causal variants. PMID:23967154

  16. An in vitro adherence assay reveals that Helicobacter pylori exhibits cell lineage-specific tropism in the human gastric epithelium.

    PubMed Central

    Falk, P; Roth, K A; Borén, T; Westblom, T U; Gordon, J I; Normark, S

    1993-01-01

    Helicobacter pylori is a microaerophilic bacterium found in the stomach of asymptomatic humans as well as patients with acid peptic disease and gastric adenocarcinoma. We have developed an in situ adherence assay to examine the cell lineage-specific nature of binding of this organism and to characterize the nature of cell surface receptors that recognize its adhesin. Fluorescein isothiocyanate-labeled H. pylori strains were bound to surface mucous cells present in the pit region of human and rat gastric units but not to mucous neck, parietal, or chief cell lineages present in the glandular domains of these units. Binding was abolished by proteinase K treatment of tissue sections and by pretreatment of the bacteria with bovine submaxillary gland mucin, a rich source of fucosylated and sialylated carbohydrates. Several lines of evidence suggest that binding to surface mucous cells is not dependent upon terminal nonsubstituted alpha 2,3- and alpha 2,6-linked sialic acids in the adhesin receptor: (i) binding was not inhibited by incubating H. pylori strains with sialylated glycoconjugates such as fetuin and free sialyllactose; (ii) immunohistochemical stainings using the sialic acid-specific Sambucus nigra and Maackia amurensis lectins and the cholera toxin B subunit did not detect any sialylated glycoconjugates in these epithelial cells; and (iii) binding was not sensitive to metaperiodate under conditions that selectively cleaved carbons 8 and 9 of terminal nonmodified sialic acids. A role for fucosylated epitopes in the glycoprotein(s) that mediate binding of H. pylori to surface mucous cells was suggested by the facts that this lineage coexpresses the adhesin receptor and major fucosylated histo-blood group antigens, that monoclonal antibodies specific for histo-blood group antigens H, B, and Leb block binding, and that the lectin Ulex europaeus type 1 agglutinin, which is specific for alpha-L-fucose, also bound to the same cells that bound the bacteria

  17. A real-time fluorogenic assay for the visualization of glycoside hydrolase activity in planta.

    PubMed

    Ibatullin, Farid M; Banasiak, Alicja; Baumann, Martin J; Greffe, Lionel; Takahashi, Junko; Mellerowicz, Ewa J; Brumer, Harry

    2009-12-01

    There currently exists a diverse array of molecular probes for the in situ localization of polysaccharides, nucleic acids, and proteins in plant cells, including reporter enzyme strategies (e.g. protein-glucuronidase fusions). In contrast, however, there is a paucity of methods for the direct analysis of endogenous glycoside hydrolases and transglycosidases responsible for cell wall remodeling. To exemplify the potential of fluorogenic resorufin glycosides to address this issue, a resorufin beta-glycoside of a xylogluco-oligosaccharide (XXXG-beta-Res) was synthesized as a specific substrate for in planta analysis of XEH activity. The resorufin aglycone is particularly distinguished for high sensitivity in muro assays due to a low pK(a) (5.8) and large extinction coefficient (epsilon 62,000 M(-1) cm(-1)), long-wavelength fluorescence (excitation 571 nm/emission 585 nm), and high quantum yield (0.74) of the corresponding anion. In vitro analyses demonstrated that XXXG-beta-Res is hydrolyzed by the archetypal plant XEH, nasturtium (Tropaeolum majus) NXG1, with classical Michaelis-Menten substrate saturation kinetics and a linear dependence on both enzyme concentration and incubation time. Further, XEH activity could be visualized in real time by observing the localized increase in fluorescence in germinating nasturtium seeds and Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) inflorescent stems by confocal microscopy. Importantly, this new in situ XEH assay provides an essential complement to the in situ xyloglucan endotransglycosylase assay, thus allowing delineation of the disparate activities encoded by xyloglucan endotransglycosylase/hydrolase genes directly in plant tissues. The observation that XXXG-beta-Res is also hydrolyzed by diverse microbial XEHs indicates that this substrate, and resorufin glycosides in general, may find broad applicability for the analysis of wall restructuring by polysaccharide hydrolases during morphogenesis and plant-microbe interactions.

  18. Herpes Murine Model as a Biological Assay to Test Dialyzable Leukocyte Extracts Activity

    PubMed Central

    Salinas-Jazmín, Nohemí; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Becerril-García, Miguel Angel; Limón-Flores, Alberto Yairh; Vázquez-Leyva, Said; Pavón, Lenin; Velasco-Velázquez, Marco Antonio; Pérez-Tapia, Sonia Mayra

    2015-01-01

    Human dialyzable leukocyte extracts (DLEs) are heterogeneous mixtures of low-molecular-weight peptides that are released on disruption of peripheral blood leukocytes from healthy donors. DLEs improve clinical responses in infections, allergies, cancer, and immunodeficiencies. Transferon is a human DLE that has been registered as a hemoderivate by Mexican health authorities and commercialized nationally. To develop an animal model that could be used routinely as a quality control assay for Transferon, we standardized and validated a murine model of cutaneous HSV-1 infection. Using this model, we evaluated the activity of 27 Transferon batches. All batches improved the survival of HSV-1-infected mice, wherein average survival rose from 20.9% in control mice to 59.6% in Transferon-treated mice. The activity of Transferon correlated with increased serum levels of IFN-γ and reduced IL-6 and TNF-α concentrations. Our results demonstrate that (i) this mouse model of cutaneous herpes can be used to examine the activity of DLEs, such as Transferon; (ii) the assay can be used as a routine test for batch release; (iii) Transferon is produced with high homogeneity between batches; (iv) Transferon does not have direct virucidal, cytoprotective, or antireplicative effects; and (v) the protective effect of Transferon in vivo correlates with changes in serum cytokines. PMID:25984538

  19. In vitro osteogenesis assays: influence of the primary cell source on alkaline phosphatase activity and mineralization.

    PubMed

    Hoemann, C D; El-Gabalawy, H; McKee, M D

    2009-06-01

    In trabecular bone fracture repair in vivo, osteogenesis occurs through endochondral ossification under hypoxic conditions, or through woven bone deposition in the vicinity of blood vessels. In vitro osteogenesis assays are routinely used to test osteoblastic responses to drugs, hormones, and biomaterials for bone and cartilage repair applications. These cell culture models recapitulate events that occur in woven bone synthesis, and are carried out using primary osteoblasts, osteoblast precursors such as bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (BMSCs), or various osteoblast cell lines. With time in culture, cell differentiation is typically assessed by examining levels of alkaline phosphatase activity (an early osteoblast marker) and by evaluating the assembly of a collagen (type I)-containing fibrillar extracellular matrix that mineralizes. In this review, we have made a comparative analysis of published osteogenic assays using calvarial cells, calvaria-derived cell lines, and bone marrow stromal cells. In all of these cell types, alkaline phosphatase activity shows similar progression over time using a variety of osteogenic and mineralizing media conditions; however, levels of alkaline phosphatase activity are not proportional to observed mineralization levels.

  20. Herpes murine model as a biological assay to test dialyzable leukocyte extracts activity.

    PubMed

    Salinas-Jazmín, Nohemí; Estrada-Parra, Sergio; Becerril-García, Miguel Angel; Limón-Flores, Alberto Yairh; Vázquez-Leyva, Said; Medina-Rivero, Emilio; Pavón, Lenin; Velasco-Velázquez, Marco Antonio; Pérez-Tapia, Sonia Mayra

    2015-01-01

    Human dialyzable leukocyte extracts (DLEs) are heterogeneous mixtures of low-molecular-weight peptides that are released on disruption of peripheral blood leukocytes from healthy donors. DLEs improve clinical responses in infections, allergies, cancer, and immunodeficiencies. Transferon is a human DLE that has been registered as a hemoderivate by Mexican health authorities and commercialized nationally. To develop an animal model that could be used routinely as a quality control assay for Transferon, we standardized and validated a murine model of cutaneous HSV-1 infection. Using this model, we evaluated the activity of 27 Transferon batches. All batches improved the survival of HSV-1-infected mice, wherein average survival rose from 20.9% in control mice to 59.6% in Transferon-treated mice. The activity of Transferon correlated with increased serum levels of IFN-γ and reduced IL-6 and TNF-α concentrations. Our results demonstrate that (i) this mouse model of cutaneous herpes can be used to examine the activity of DLEs, such as Transferon; (ii) the assay can be used as a routine test for batch release; (iii) Transferon is produced with high homogeneity between batches; (iv) Transferon does not have direct virucidal, cytoprotective, or antireplicative effects; and (v) the protective effect of Transferon in vivo correlates with changes in serum cytokines.

  1. A fluorescent assay to quantitatively measure in vitro acyl CoA:diacylglycerol acyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    McFie, Pamela J; Stone, Scot J

    2011-09-01

    Triacylglycerols (TG) are the major storage form of energy in eukaryotic organisms and are synthesized primarily by acyl CoA:1,2-diacylglycerol acyltransferase (DGAT) enzymes. In vitro DGAT activity has previously been quantified by measuring the incorporation of either radiolabeled fatty acyl CoA or diacylglycerol (DG) into TG. We developed a modified acyltransferase assay using a fluorescent fatty acyl CoA substrate to accurately quantify in vitro DGAT activity. In the modified assay, radioactive fatty acyl CoA is replaced with fluorescent NBD-palmitoyl CoA, which is used as a substrate by DGAT with DG to produce NBD-TG. After extraction with organic solvents and separation by thin layer chromatography, NBD-TG formation can be detected and accurately quantified using a fluorescent imaging system. We demonstrate that this method can be adapted to detect other acyltransferase activities. Because NBD-palmitoyl CoA is commercially available at a much lower cost compared with radioactive acyl CoA substrates, it is a more economical alternative to radioactive tracers. In addition, the exposure of laboratory personnel to radioactivity is greatly reduced.

  2. Evaluation of estrogenic activities of pesticides using an in vitro reporter gene assay.

    PubMed

    Kojima, Mihoko; Fukunaga, Kenji; Sasaki, Mari; Nakamura, Masafumi; Tsuji, Motohiro; Nishiyama, Toshimasa

    2005-08-01

    The estrogenic activities of 32 pesticides in agricultural products were evaluated using the E-CALUX assay system developed by Xenobiotic Detection Systems Inc (North Carolina, USA). This system utilizes human ovarian carcinoma cells (BG1) stably transfected with an estrogen-responsive luciferase reporter gene plasmid. It was found that tolclofos-methyl, prothiofos, diazinon, Thiabenclazole (TBZ) and pyriproxyfen had estrogenic activity. Several pesticides are often present in agricultural products. Therefore the estrogenicity of the mixtures of two kinds of pesticides was evaluated. The activity of diazinon/tolclofos-methyl, pyriproxyfen/prothiofos and TBZ/o-phenylphenol (OPP) was increased up to 1.2-5.3 fold. On the other hand, chlorfluazuron, imazalil and chlorfenapyr had anti-estrogenic activity. Further, to evaluate the change in the estrogenic activity of pesticide metabolites, an experimental system was established using a rat S9 mixture. Metabolites of permethrin and OPP had no estrogenic activity, but they had weak activity after the metabolism. On the other hand, the metabolites of TBZ exhibited less estrogenic activity than the original compounds.

  3. Evaluation of beta-naphthoxyacetic acid for mutagenic activity in the Salmonella/mammalian microsome assay.

    PubMed

    Rashid, K A; Mumma, R O

    1986-06-01

    Beta-naphthoxyacetic acid (BNOA) is used as a plant growth regulator on tomatoes and strawberries. It is the active ingredient in Blossom-Set and Berry-Set, two plant hormone sprays for fruit-set. The mutagenic activity of BNOA was evaluated in four strains of Salmonella typhimurium (TA97, TA98, TA100 and TA1535) in the presence and absence of liver microsomal and cytosolic enzymes derived from Aroclor induced rats. BNOA did not produce any significant increase (p less than 0.05) in the reversion of any of the four tester strains in the standard plate incorporation assay. Results of the agar overlay toxicity tests indicates that the chemical shows toxic effects at concentrations above 500 micrograms/plate. It was concluded that under the conditions of these tests, BNOA did not exhibit any mutagenic activity.

  4. Method for the assay of glucose isomerase activity in complex fermentation mixtures

    SciTech Connect

    Boguslawski, G.; Bertch, S.W.

    1980-10-01

    A method for the determination of glucose isomerase activity is described. The method employs D-sorbitol dehydrogenase for conversion of fructose, formed in the glucose isomerase reaction, to sorbitol, with the concomitant oxidation of reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. The assay technique is simple, sensitive, and accurate. The few interferences by some sugars and components of a complex fermentation medium are easily corrected for. The method compares favorably with such alternative procedures as the cysteine--H/sub 2/SO/sub 4/ or hydrochloric acid methods of fructose determination.

  5. Evaluation of the enzyme activity of protozoan protein kinases by using an in vitro kinase assay.

    PubMed

    Kato, Kentaro

    2016-10-01

    The life cycles of parasites are more complicated than those of other biological species. Protein kinases (PKs) encoded by parasites are the main triggers of life stage conversions. Phosphorylation by cellular PKs regulates important cellular processes, and the protozoan genome contains many PKs. Some PK inhibitors inhibit specific parasite life cycle event. In this report, I present a practical approach to expressing and purifying protozoan PKs by using a wheat germ cell-free protein synthesis system and I assess the phosphorylation activities of protozoan PKs by using an in vitro kinase assay.

  6. A Soil-free System for Assaying Nematicidal Activity of Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Preiser, F A; Babu, J R; Haidri, A A

    1981-10-01

    A biological assay system for studying the nematicidal activity of chemicals has been devised using a model consisting of cucumber (Cucumis sativus L. cv. Long Marketer) seedlings growing in the diSPo(R) growth-pouch apparatus. Meloidogyne incognita was used as the test organism. The response was quantified in terms of the numbers of galls produced. Statistical procedures were applied to estimate the ED(50) values of currently available nematicides. This system permits accurate quantification of galling and requires much less space and effort than the currently used methods.

  7. AKT1, LKB1, and YAP1 revealed as MYC interactors with NanoLuc-based protein-fragment complementation assay. | Office of Cancer Genomics

    Cancer.gov

    The c-Myc (MYC) transcription factor is a major cancer driver and a well-validated therapeutic target. However, directly targeting MYC has been challenging. Thus, identifying proteins that interact with and regulate MYC may provide alternative strategies to inhibit its oncogenic activity. Here we report the development of a NanoLuc®-based protein-fragment complementation assay (NanoPCA) and mapping of the MYC protein interaction hub in live mammalian cells.

  8. Serine transhydroxymethylase: a simplified radioactive assay; purification and stabilization of enzyme activity employing Affi-Gel Blue.

    PubMed

    Braman, J C; Black, M J; Mangum, J H

    1981-01-01

    An improved radioactive assay has been developed for serine transhydroxymethylase. This assay involves the direct measurement of the [14C]HCHO which is generated when [3- 14C]-serine is employed as the substrate. The new assay eliminates the need for a solvent extraction of a [14C]HCHO-dimedon adduct which is the basis of the assay devised by Taylor and Weissbach. The enzyme has been purified employing Affi-Gel Blue. The purified enzyme retains full activity when bound to this affinity chromatography matrix and can be stored in this state at 4 degrees indefinitely.

  9. Comparative antimicrobial activities of aerosolized sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and electrochemically activated solutions evaluated using a novel standardized assay.

    PubMed

    Thorn, R M S; Robinson, G M; Reynolds, D M

    2013-05-01

    The main aim of this study was to develop a standardized experimental assay to enable differential antimicrobial comparisons of test biocidal aerosols. This study represents the first chlorine-matched comparative assessment of the antimicrobial activities of aerosolized sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and electrochemically activated solution (ECAS) to determine their relative abilities to decontaminate various surface-associated health care-relevant microbial challenges. Standard microbiological challenges were developed by surface-associating typed Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis spores, or a clinical methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain on stainless steel, polypropylene, or fabric. All test coupons were subjected to 20-min biocidal aerosols of chlorine-matched (100 ppm) sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, or ECAS within a standard aerosolization chamber using a commercial humidifier under defined conditions. Biocidal treatment type and material surface had a significant effect on the number of microorganisms recovered from various material surfaces following treatment exposure. Under the conditions of the assay, the order of antimicrobial efficacy of biocidal aerosol treatment was as follows: ECAS > chlorine dioxide > sodium hypochlorite. For all biocides, greater antimicrobial reductions were seen when treating stainless steel and fabric than when treating plastic-associated microorganisms. The experimental fogging system and assay protocol designed within this study were shown capable of differentiating the comparative efficacies of multiple chlorine-matched biocidal aerosols against a spectrum of target organisms on a range of test surface materials and would be appropriate for testing other biocidal aerosol treatments or material surfaces.

  10. Comparative Antimicrobial Activities of Aerosolized Sodium Hypochlorite, Chlorine Dioxide, and Electrochemically Activated Solutions Evaluated Using a Novel Standardized Assay

    PubMed Central

    Thorn, R. M. S.; Robinson, G. M.

    2013-01-01

    The main aim of this study was to develop a standardized experimental assay to enable differential antimicrobial comparisons of test biocidal aerosols. This study represents the first chlorine-matched comparative assessment of the antimicrobial activities of aerosolized sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, and electrochemically activated solution (ECAS) to determine their relative abilities to decontaminate various surface-associated health care-relevant microbial challenges. Standard microbiological challenges were developed by surface-associating typed Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus subtilis spores, or a clinical methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) strain on stainless steel, polypropylene, or fabric. All test coupons were subjected to 20-min biocidal aerosols of chlorine-matched (100 ppm) sodium hypochlorite, chlorine dioxide, or ECAS within a standard aerosolization chamber using a commercial humidifier under defined conditions. Biocidal treatment type and material surface had a significant effect on the number of microorganisms recovered from various material surfaces following treatment exposure. Under the conditions of the assay, the order of antimicrobial efficacy of biocidal aerosol treatment was as follows: ECAS > chlorine dioxide > sodium hypochlorite. For all biocides, greater antimicrobial reductions were seen when treating stainless steel and fabric than when treating plastic-associated microorganisms. The experimental fogging system and assay protocol designed within this study were shown capable of differentiating the comparative efficacies of multiple chlorine-matched biocidal aerosols against a spectrum of target organisms on a range of test surface materials and would be appropriate for testing other biocidal aerosol treatments or material surfaces. PMID:23459480

  11. A dual-color luciferase assay system reveals circadian resetting of cultured fibroblasts by co-cultured adrenal glands.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Takako; Ikeda, Masaaki; Ohmiya, Yoshihiro; Nakajima, Yoshihiro

    2012-01-01

    In mammals, circadian rhythms of various organs and tissues are synchronized by pacemaker neurons in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus. Glucocorticoids released from the adrenal glands can synchronize circadian rhythms in other tissues. Many hormones show circadian rhythms in their plasma concentrations; however, whether organs outside the SCN can serve as master synchronizers to entrain circadian rhythms in target tissues is not well understood. To further delineate the function of the adrenal glands and the interactions of circadian rhythms in putative master synchronizing organs and their target tissues, here we report a simple co-culture system using a dual-color luciferase assay to monitor circadian rhythms separately in various explanted tissues and fibroblasts. In this system, circadian rhythms of organs and target cells were simultaneously tracked by the green-emitting beetle luciferase from Pyrearinus termitilluminans (ELuc) and the red-emitting beetle luciferase from Phrixothrix hirtus (SLR), respectively. We obtained tissues from the adrenal glands, thyroid glands, and lungs of transgenic mice that expressed ELuc under control of the promoter from a canonical clock gene, mBmal1. The tissues were co-cultured with Rat-1 fibroblasts as representative target cells expressing SLR under control of the mBmal1 promoter. Amplitudes of the circadian rhythms of Rat-1 fibroblasts were potentiated when the fibroblasts were co-cultured with adrenal gland tissue, but not when co-cultured with thyroid gland or lung tissue. The phases of Rat-1 fibroblasts were reset by application of adrenal gland tissue, whereas the phases of adrenal gland tissue were not influenced by Rat-1 fibroblasts. Furthermore, the effect of the adrenal gland tissue on the fibroblasts was blocked by application of a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist. These results demonstrate that glucocorticoids are strong circadian synchronizers for fibroblasts and that this co

  12. A chimera embryo assay reveals a decrease in embryonic cellular proliferation induced by sperm from X-irradiated male mice

    SciTech Connect

    Obasaju, M.F.; Wiley, L.M.; Oudiz, D.J.; Raabe, O.; Overstreet, J.W.

    1989-05-01

    Male mice were divided into three experimental groups and a control group. Mice in the experimental groups received one of three doses of acute X irradiation (1.73, 0.29, and 0.05 Gy) and together with the control unirradiated mice were then mated weekly to unirradiated female mice for a 9-week experimental period. Embryos were recovered from the weekly matings at the four-cell stage and examined by the chimera assay for proliferative disadvantage. Aggregation chimeras were constructed of embryos from female mice mated to irradiated males (experimental embryos) and embryos from females mated to unexposed males (control embryos) and contained either one experimental embryo and one control embryo (heterologous chimera) or two control embryos (control chimera). The control embryo in heterologous chimeras and either embryo in control chimeras were prelabeled with the vital dye fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC), and the chimeras were cultured for 40 h and viewed under phase-contrast and epifluorescence microscopy to obtain total embryo cell number and the cellular contribution from the FITC-labeled embryo. Experimental and control embryos that were cultured singly were also examined for embryo cell number at the end of the 40-h culture period. In control chimeras, the mean ratio of the unlabeled cells:total chimera cell number (henceforth referred to as ''mean ratio'') was 0.50 with little or no weekly variation over the 9-week experimental period. During Weeks 4-7, the mean ratios of heterologous chimeras differed significantly from the mean ratio of control chimeras with the greatest differences occurring during Week 7 (0.41 for chimeras of 0.05 Gy dose group, 0.40 for chimeras of the 0.29 Gy dose group, and 0.17 for chimeras of the 1.73 Gy dose group).

  13. Acrosin activity in turkey spermatozoa: assay by clinical method and effect of zinc and benzamidine on the activity.

    PubMed

    Glogowski, J; Jankowski, J; Faruga, A; Ottobre, J S; Ciereszko, A

    2001-09-15

    We optimized a clinical assay developed for measuring total acrosin activity for mammalian and fish semen for use in turkey spermatozoa. The main modifications included dilution of semen to a final concentration of 25 to 1000 x 10(3) spermatozoa, an increase of Triton X-100 concentration to 0.05% and 1 hr preincubation without substrate, Acrosin activity in turkey spermatozoa was much higher than in human spermatozoa (about 100-times) but similar to that of boar sperm. To optimize this assay for turkey spermatozoa, it was necessary to use higher Triton X-100 concentrations in the reaction mixture. There was a better catalytic efficiency at higher temperatures and a special requirement for a preincubation period for proacrosin activation. We observed high inhibition of acrosin activity by zinc added during preincubation (90% at 0.01 mM of zinc chloride). Benzamidine also inhibited turkey acrosin, and the extent of inhibition was similar for the incubation or preincubation period. When zinc ions were added during incubation, this inhibition was lower (24%). The results suggest that zinc influences proacrosin activation of turkey spermatozoa. This influence may be important for successful long-term storage of spermatozoa in the hen's oviduct.

  14. Mutagenicity and antimutagenicity testing of six chemicals associated with the pungent properties of specific spices as revealed by the Ames Salmonella/microsomal assay.

    PubMed

    Azizan, A; Blevins, R D

    1995-02-01

    Three compounds, capsaicin, thymol and borneol, were initially screened for mutagenic activity using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA97, TA98 and TA100, with and without S9 metabolic activation, and 20 min standard preincubation time. Three other compounds, allyl isothiocyanate, eugenol and cinnamaldehyde, were screened for mutagenic activity as above, but with a prolonged, nonstandard preincubation time of up to 120 minutes. All six test compounds used in the assays are associated with the pungent properties of some specific spices in which the test compounds can be found to exist naturally. The first objective of this study was to observe if mutagenic activity can be correlated to the pungent properties of these six test compounds. However, due to toxicity and the observation that only capsaicin was mutagenic, using strain TA100 in the presence of S9 metabolic activation, it was not possible to deduce any relationship between mutagenicity and the test chemicals' pungent properties. Naturally occurring capsaicin, found in the spice Capsicum annum, was detected and quantified using thin layer and gas chromatographic techniques. The final objective was to detect the presence of antimutagenic factor(s) in C. annum that would suppress the mutagenicity of capsaicin. When the mutagenic capsaicin and 2-aminoanthracene were assayed in the presence of C. annum acetone extract, using strain TA100 with S9 metabolic activation, the mutagenic response of both the mutagens were reduced by approximately 50%. Assaying capsaicin and 2-aminoanthracene in the presence of chlorophyll, the mutagenic response of the two mutagens was reduced by less than 40%. From this observation it was inferred that chlorophyll can successfully suppress the mutagenicity activities of capsaicin and 2-aminoanthracene, together with other antimutagenic factors that were present in the acetone extract of C. annum.

  15. SYBR Green II Dye-Based Real-Time Assay for Measuring Inhibitor Activity Against HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase.

    PubMed

    Kokkula, Chakradhar; Palanisamy, Navaneethan; Ericstam, Malin; Lennerstrand, Johan

    2016-10-01

    There are arrays of in vitro assays to quantify the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT). These assays utilize either chemically customized/labelled nucleotides, or TaqMan probes, or radiolabeled nucleotides/primers. Although several real-time PCR assays exist commercially for measuring the RT activity, which are usually used for quantifying the viral titres, these assays are not optimized for measuring the inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of HIV-1 RT inhibitors. Moreover, a recently established inorganic pyrophosphate-coupled enzyme assay cannot be employed for studying nonphosphorylated nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs). In the present study, we have developed a novel one-step assay with native nucleotide substrates and SYBR Green II dye to determine IC50 values of triphosphorylated NRTIs against HIV-1 RT. Using exact batches of wild-type and mutant RT, and triphosphorylated NRTIs, we showed that our method gave IC50 values for inhibitors similar to that of an earlier published colorimetric assay with BrdUTP substrate (CABS). Our assay should be suitable for high-throughput screening of antiretroviral drugs and could also be suitable for studying drug resistance profiles. Additionally, we also used our assay to study inhibition by AZT in its nonphosphorylated form by supplementing the reaction mixture with necessary kinases and ATP.

  16. An enzymatic assay based on luciferase Ebola virus-like particles for evaluation of virolytic activity of antimicrobial peptides.

    PubMed

    Peskova, Marie; Heger, Zbynek; Janda, Petr; Adam, Vojtech; Pekarik, Vladimir

    2017-02-01

    Antimicrobial peptides are currently considered as promising antiviral compounds. Current assays to evaluate the effectivity of peptides against enveloped viruses based on liposomes or hemolysis are encumbered by the artificial nature of liposomes or distinctive membrane composition of used erythrocytes. We propose a novel assay system based on enzymatic Ebola virus-like particles containing sensitive luciferase reporter. The assay was validated with several cationic and anionic peptides and compared with lentivirus inactivation and hemolytic assays. The assay is sensitive and easy to perform in standard biosafety level laboratory with potential for high-throughput screens. The use of virus-like particles in the assay provides a system as closely related to the native viruses as possible eliminating some issues associated with other more artificial set ups. We have identified CAM-W (KWKLWKKIEKWGQGIGAVLKWLTTWL) as a peptide with the greatest antiviral activity against infectious lentiviral vectors and filoviral virus-like particles.

  17. Lysozyme activity in earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) coelomic fluid and coelomocytes: Enzyme assay for immunotoxicity of xenobiotics

    SciTech Connect

    Goven, A.J.; Chen, S.C.; Fitzpatrick, L.C. . Dept. of Biological Sciences); Venables, B.J. . Dept. of Biological Sciences TRAC Laboratories Inc., Denton, TX )

    1994-04-01

    Lysozyme activity in earthworm (Lumbricus terrestris) coelomic fluid and coelomocytes appears sufficiently sensitive for use as a nonmammalian biomarker to detect toxic effects of sublethal body burdens of Cu[sup 2+]. Lysozyme, a phylogenetically conserved enzyme, is capable of bactericidal activity via action on peptidoglycan of gram-positive bacterial cell walls and functions as a component of an organism's innate antimicrobial defense mechanism. Coelomic fluid and coelomocyte lysozyme activities, which exhibit temperature-response patterns similar to those of human saliva, plasma, serum and leukocyte extracts, were sensitive to Cu[sup 2+] exposure. Lysozyme activity of coelomic fluid and coelomocyte extracts from earthworms exposed for 5 d to CuSO[sub 4], using filter paper contact exposure, decreased with increasing sublethal Cu[sup 2+] concentrations of 0.05 and 0.1 [mu]g/cm[sup 2]. Compared to controls, coelomic fluid lysozyme activity was suppressed significantly at both exposure concentrations, whereas coelomocyte extract lysozyme activity was suppressed significantly at the 0.1-[mu]g/cm[sup 2] exposure concentration. Low inherent natural variability and sensitivity to sublethal Cu[sup 2+] body burdens indicate that lysozyme activity has potential as a biomarker for assaying immunotoxicity of metals.

  18. 3-Dimensional Patient-Derived Lung Cancer Assays Reveal Resistance to Standards-of-Care Promoted by Stromal Cells but Sensitivity to Histone Deacetylase Inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Onion, David; Argent, Richard H; Reece-Smith, Alexander M; Craze, Madeleine L; Pineda, Robert G; Clarke, Philip A; Ratan, Hari L; Parsons, Simon L; Lobo, Dileep N; Duffy, John P; Atherton, John C; McKenzie, Andrew J; Kumari, Rajendra; King, Peter; Hall, Brett M; Grabowska, Anna M

    2016-04-01

    There is a growing recognition that current preclinical models do not reflect the tumor microenvironment in cellular, biological, and biophysical content and this may have a profound effect on drug efficacy testing, especially in the era of molecular-targeted agents. Here, we describe a method to directly embed low-passage patient tumor-derived tissue into basement membrane extract, ensuring a low proportion of cell death to anoikis and growth complementation by coculture with patient-derived cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF). A range of solid tumors proved amenable to growth and pharmacologic testing in this 3D assay. A study of 30 early-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) specimens revealed high levels of de novo resistance to a large range of standard-of-care agents, while histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors and their combination with antineoplastic drugs displayed high levels of efficacy. Increased resistance was seen in the presence of patient-derived CAFs for many agents, highlighting the utility of the assay for tumor microenvironment-educated drug testing. Standard-of-care agents showed similar responses in the 3D ex vivo and patient-matched in vivo models validating the 3D-Tumor Growth Assay (3D-TGA) as a high-throughput screen for close-to-patient tumors using significantly reduced animal numbers. Mol Cancer Ther; 15(4); 753-63. ©2016 AACR.

  19. A rapid quantitative assay for the detection of mammalian heparanase activity.

    PubMed Central

    Freeman, C; Parish, C R

    1997-01-01

    Heparan sulphate (HS) is an important component of the extracellular matrix and the vasculature basal laminar which functions as a barrier to the extravasation of metastatic and inflammatory cells. Cleavage of HS by endoglycosidase or heparanase activity produced by invading cells may assist in the disassembly of the extracellular matrix and basal laminar, and thereby facilitate cell migration. Heparanase activity has previously been shown to be related to the metastatic potential of murine and human melanoma cell lines [Nakajima, Irimura and Nicolson (1988) J. Cell. Biochem. 36, 157-167]. To determine heparanase activity, porcine mucosal HS was partially de-N-acetylated and re-N-acetylated with [3H]acetic anhydride to yield a radiolabelled substrate. This procedure prevented the masking of, or possible formation of, new heparanase-sensitive cleavage sites as has been observed with previous methods of radiolabelling. Heparanase activity in a variety of tissues and cell homogenates including human platelets, colonic carcinoma cells, umbilical vein endothelial cells and rat mammary adenocarcinoma cells (both metastatic and non-metastatic variants) and liver homogenates all degraded the substrate in a stepwise fashion from 18.5 to approximately 13, 8 and finally to 4.5 kDa fragments, as assessed by gel-filtration analysis, confirming the substrate as suitable for the detection of heparanase activity present in a variety of cells and tissues. A rapid quantitative assay was developed with the HS substrate using a novel method for separating degradation products from the substrate by taking advantage of the decreased affinity of the heparanase-cleaved products for the HS-binding plasma protein chicken histidine-rich glycoprotein (cHRG). Incubation mixtures were applied to cHRG-Sepharose columns, with unbound material corresponding to heparanase-degradation products. Heparanase activity was determined for a variety of human, rat and murine cell and tissue homogenates. The

  20. EC50 estimation of antioxidant activity in DPPH· assay using several statistical programs.

    PubMed

    Chen, Zheng; Bertin, Riccardo; Froldi, Guglielmina

    2013-05-01

    DPPH(·) assay is a reliable method to determine the antioxidant capacity of biological substrates. The DPPH(·) radical scavenging activity is generally quantified in terms of inhibition percentage of the pre-formed free radical by antioxidants, and the EC(50) (concentration required to obtain a 50% antioxidant effect) is a typically employed parameter to express the antioxidant capacity and to compare the activity of different compounds. In this study, the EC(50) estimation was performed using a comparative approach based on various regression models implemented in six specialized computer programs: GraphPad Prism® version 5.01, BLeSq, OriginPro® 8.5.1, SigmaPlot® 12, BioDataFit® 1.02, and IBM SPSS Statistics® Desktop 19.0. For this project, quercetin, catechin, ascorbic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid and acetylcysteine were screened as antioxidant standards with DPPH(·) assay to define the EC(50) parameters. All the statistical programs gave similar EC(50) values, but GraphPad Prism® five-parameter analysis pointed out a best performance, also showing a minor variance in relation to the actual EC(50).

  1. Sensitive colorimetric assays for α-glucosidase activity and inhibitor screening based on unmodified gold nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Chen, Hongxia; Zhang, Jiangjiang; Wu, Heng; Koh, Kwangnak; Yin, Yongmei

    2015-05-22

    A colorimetric sensor has been developed in this work to sensitively detect α-glucosidase activity and screen α-glucosidase inhibitors (AGIs) utilizing unmodified gold nanoparticles (AuNPs). The sensing strategy is based on triple-catalytic reaction triggered by α-glucosidase. In the presence of α-glucosidase, aggregation of AuNPs is prohibited due to the oxidation of cysteine to cystine in the system. However, with addition of AGIs, cysteine induced aggregation of AuNPs occurs. Thus, a new method for α-glucosidase activity detection and AGIs screening is developed by measuring the UV-vis absorption or visually distinguishing. A well linear relation is presented in a range of 0.0025-0.05 U mL(-1). The detection limit is found to be 0.001 U mL(-1) for α-glucosidase assay, which is one order of magnitude lower than other reports. The IC50 values of four kinds of inhibitors observed with this method are in accordance with other reports. The using of unmodified AuNPs in this work avoids the complicated and time-consuming modification procedure. This simple and efficient colorimetric method can also be extended to other enzymes assays.

  2. A continuous sirtuin activity assay without any coupling to enzymatic or chemical reactions

    PubMed Central

    Schuster, Sabine; Roessler, Claudia; Meleshin, Marat; Zimmermann, Philipp; Simic, Zeljko; Kambach, Christian; Schiene-Fischer, Cordelia; Steegborn, Clemens; Hottiger, Michael O.; Schutkowski, Mike

    2016-01-01

    Sirtuins are NAD+ dependent lysine deacylases involved in many regulatory processes such as control of metabolic pathways, DNA repair and stress response. Modulators of sirtuin activity are required as tools for uncovering the biological function of these enzymes and as potential therapeutic agents. Systematic discovery of such modulators is hampered by the lack of direct and continuous activity assays. The present study describes a novel continuous assay based on the increase of a fluorescence signal subsequent to sirtuin mediated removal of a fluorescent acyl chain from a modified TNFα-derived peptide. This substrate is well recognized by human sirtuins 1–6 and represents the best sirtuin 2 substrate described so far with a kcat/KM-value of 176 000 M−1s−1. These extraordinary substrate properties allow the first determination of Ki-values for the specific Sirt2 inhibitory peptide S2iL5 (600 nM) and for the quasi-universal sirtuin inhibitor peptide thioxo myristoyl TNFα (80 nM). PMID:26940860

  3. "Reagent-free" L-asparaginase activity assay based on CD spectroscopy and conductometry.

    PubMed

    Kudryashova, Elena V; Sukhoverkov, Kirill V

    2016-02-01

    A new method to determine the catalytic parameters of L-asparaginase using circular dichroism spectroscopy (CD spectroscopy) has been developed. The assay is based on the difference in CD signal between the substrate (L-asparagine) and the product (L-aspartic acid) of enzymatic reaction. CD spectroscopy, being a direct method, enables continuous measurement, and thus differentiates from multistage and laborious approach based on Nessler's method, and overcomes limitations of conjugated enzymatic reaction methods. In this work, we show robust measurements of L-asparaginase activity in conjugates with PEG-chitosan copolymers, which otherwise would not have been possible. The main limitation associated with the CD method is that the analysis should be performed at substrate saturation conditions (V max regime). For K M measurement, the conductometry method is suggested, which can serve as a complimentary method to CD spectroscopy. The activity assay based on CD spectroscopy and conductometry was successfully implicated to examine the catalytic parameters of L-asparaginase conjugates with chitosan and its derivatives, and for optimization of the molecular architecture and composition of such conjugates for improving biocatalytic properties of the enzyme in the physiological conditions. The approach developed is potentially applicable to other enzymatic reactions where the spectroscopic properties of substrate and product do not enable direct measurement with absorption or fluorescence spectroscopy. This may include a number of amino acid or glycoside-transforming enzymes.

  4. A MULTIPLEXED ASSAY FOR DETERMINATION OF NEUROTOXICANT EFFECTS ON SPONTANEOUS NETWORK ACTIVITY AND CELL VIABILITY FROM MICROELECTRODE ARRAYS

    EPA Science Inventory

    AbstractTITLE: A MULTIPLEXED ASSAY FOR DETERMINATION OF NEUROTOXICANT EFFECTS ON SPONTANEOUS NETWORK ACTIVITY AND CELL VIABILITY FROM MICROELECTRODE ARRAYSABSTRACT BODY: Microelectrode array (MEA) recordings are increasingly being used as an in vitro method to detect and characte...

  5. Multi-tiered Approach to Development of Increased Throughput Assay Models to Assess Endocrine-Disrupting Activity of Chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Screening for endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) requires sensitive, scalable assays. Current high-throughput screening (HTPS) approaches for estrogenic and androgenic activity yield rapid results, but many are not sensitive to physiological hormone concentrations, suggesting ...

  6. Characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab (Scylla olivacea) revealed phenoloxidase activity.

    PubMed

    Mangkalanan, Seksan; Sanguanrat, Piyachat; Utairangsri, Tanatchaporn; Sritunyalucksana, Kallaya; Krittanai, Chartchai

    2014-05-01

    This study focused on an isolation and characterization of the circulating hemocytes in mud crab, Scylla olivacea. Isolation of specific cell types of hemocytes from crab hemolymph was accomplished by using 60% Percoll density gradient centrifugation. Four separated bands of the hemocytes were successfully obtained. Characterization of these isolated hemocytes by light microscope using trypan blue-rose bengal staining, rose bengal-hematoxilin staining, and phase contrast revealed four distinct types of hemocyte cells. Using their specific morphology and granularity, they were identified as hyaline cell (HC), small granular cell (SGC), large granular cell (LGC) and mixed granular cell (MGC). Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) revealed more details on specific cell size, size of cytoplasmic granule, and nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio, and confirmed the classification. Relative abundance of these cells types in the hemolymph of an adult crab were 15.50±8.22% for HC, 55.50±7.15% for SGC, 13.50±5.28% for LGC, and 15.50±3.50% for MGC. Proteomic analysis of protein expression for each specific cell types by two-dimensional electrophoresis identified two highly abundant proteins, prophenoloxidase (ProPO) and peroxinectin in LGC. Determination of phenoloxidase (PO) activity in each isolated cell types using in vitro and in situ chemical assays confirmed the presence of PO activity only in LGC. Based on an increased PO activity of crab hemolymph during the course of White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) infection, these results suggest that prophenoloxidase pathway was employed for host defense mechanism against WSSV and it may link to the role of large granular hemocyte.

  7. Development and evaluation of an ELIME assay to reveal the presence of Salmonella in irrigation water: Comparison with Real-Time PCR and the Standard Culture Method.

    PubMed

    Volpe, G; Delibato, E; Fabiani, L; Pucci, E; Piermarini, S; D'Angelo, A; Capuano, F; De Medici, D; Palleschi, G

    2016-01-01

    A reliable, low-cost and easy-to-use ELIME (Enzyme-Linked-Immuno-Magnetic-Electrochemical) assay for detection of Salmonella enterica in irrigation water is presented. Magnetic beads (MBs), coupled to a strip of eight-magnetized screen-printed electrodes localized at the bottom of eight wells (8-well/SPE strip), effectively supported a sandwich immunological chain. Enzymatic by-product is quickly measured by chronoamperometry, using a portable instrument. With the goal of developing a method able to detect a wide range of Salmonella serotypes, including S. Napoli and S. Thompson strains responsible for various community alerts, different kinds of MBs, antibodies and blocking agents were tested. The final system employs MBs coated with a broad reactivity monoclonal antibody anti-salmonella and blocked with dry milk. For a simple and rapid assay these two steps were performed in a preliminary phase, while the two sequential incubations for the immuno-recognition events were merged in a single step of 1h. In parallel a Real-Time PCR (RTi-PCR) method, based on a specific locked nucleic acid (LNA) fluorescent probe and an internal amplification control (IAC), was carried out. The selectivity of the ELIME and RTi-PCR assays was proved by inclusivity and exclusivity tests performed analyzing different Salmonella serotypes and non-target microorganisms, most commonly isolated from environmental sources. Furthermore, both methods were applied to experimentally and not experimentally contaminated irrigation water samples. Results confirmed by the ISO culture method, demonstrated the effectiveness of ELIME and RTi-PCR assays to detect a low number of salmonella cells (1-10 CFU/L) reducing drastically the long analysis time usually required to reveal this pathogen.

  8. The antimutagenic activity of Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) essential oil in the bacterial reverse mutation assay.

    PubMed

    Evandri, M G; Battinelli, L; Daniele, C; Mastrangelo, S; Bolle, P; Mazzanti, G

    2005-09-01

    Essential oils from Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree oil) and Lavandula angustifolia (lavender oil) are commonly used to treat minor health problems. Tea-tree oil possesses broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and is increasingly used for skin problems. Lavender oil, traditionally used as an antiseptic agent, is now predominantly used as a relaxant, carminative, and sedative in aromatherapy. Despite their growing use no data are available on their mutagenic potential. In this study, after determining the chemical composition of tea-tree oil and lavender oil, by gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry, we investigated their mutagenic and antimutagenic activities by the bacterial reverse mutation assay in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and TA100 strains and in Escherichia coli WP2 uvrA strain, with and without an extrinsic metabolic activation system. Neither essential oil had mutagenic activity on the two tested Salmonella strains or on E. coli, with or without the metabolic activation system. Conversely, lavender oil exerted strong antimutagenic activity, reducing mutant colonies in the TA98 strain exposed to the direct mutagen 2-nitrofluorene. Antimutagenicity was concentration-dependent: the maximal concentration (0.80 mg/plate) reduced the number of histidine-independent revertant colonies by 66.4%. Lavender oil (0.80 mg/plate) also showed moderate antimutagenicity against the TA98 strain exposed to the direct mutagen 1-nitropyrene. Its antimutagenic property makes lavender oil a promising candidate for new applications in human healthcare.

  9. Chlorosulfonation of polystyrene substrates for bioanalytical assays: distribution of activated groups at the surface.

    PubMed

    del Prado, Anselmo; Briz, Nerea; Navarro, Rodrigo; Pérez, Mónica; Gallardo, Alberto; Reinecke, Helmut

    2012-12-07

    In this work the activation of transparent PS substrates by chlorosulfonation is described and their distribution in the subsurface region is analyzed. For this purpose XPS, FTIR-ATR and colorimetry have been used. It is shown that the electrophilic aromatic substitution of polystyrene in pure chlorosulfonic acid is extremely quick with complete surface coverage by chlorosulfonic groups achieved after only a 10 minute reaction time at -10 °C. It is further demonstrated that the reaction is very surface selective and that even after reaction times as long as 3 hours, the modification is limited to a layer with a thickness of less than one micron. The activated PS substrates can be further functionalized in a second step with carboxylic groups. Due to the excellent optical transparency that the samples maintain upon modification, the modified systems were successfully probed for use in ELISA assays.

  10. The effects of residual platelets in plasma on plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1-related assays

    PubMed Central

    Barnard, Sunelle A.; Loots, Du Toit; Rijken, Dingeman C.

    2017-01-01

    Due to controversial evidence in the literature pertaining to the activity of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 in platelets, we examined the effects of residual platelets present in plasma (a potential pre-analytical variable) on various plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1-related assays. Blood samples were collected from 151 individuals and centrifuged at 352 and 1500 g to obtain plasma with varying numbers of platelet. In a follow-up study, blood samples were collected from an additional 23 individuals, from whom platelet-poor (2000 g), platelet-containing (352 g) and platelet-rich plasma (200 g) were prepared and analysed as fresh-frozen and after five defrost-refreeze cycles (to determine the contribution of in vitro platelet degradation). Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen, tissue plasminogen activator/plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 complex, plasma clot lysis time, β-thromboglobulin and plasma platelet count were analysed. Platelet α-granule release (plasma β-thromboglobulin) showed a significant association with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen levels but weak associations with plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity and a functional marker of fibrinolysis, clot lysis time. Upon dividing the study population into quartiles based on β-thromboglobulin levels, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen increased significantly across the quartiles while plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 activity and clot lysis time tended to increase in the 4th quartile only. In the follow-up study, plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen was also significantly influenced by platelet count in a concentration-dependent manner. Plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen levels increased further after complete platelet degradation. Residual platelets in plasma significantly influence plasma plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 antigen levels mainly through release of

  11. Estrogenic and androgenic activities of TBBA and TBMEPH, metabolites of novel brominated flame retardants, and selected bisphenols, using the XenoScreen XL YES/YAS assay.

    PubMed

    Fic, Anja; Žegura, Bojana; Gramec, Darja; Mašič, Lucija Peterlin

    2014-10-01

    The present study investigated and compared the estrogenic and androgenic activities of the three different classes of environmental pollutants and their metabolites using the XenoScreen XL YES/YAS assay, which has advantages compared with the original YES/YAS protocol. Contrary to the parent brominated flame retardants TBB and TBPH, which demonstrated no or very weak (anti)estrogenic or (anti)androgenic activities, their metabolites, TBBA and TBMEPH, exhibited anti-estrogenic (IC50 for TBBA=31.75 μM and IC50 for TBMEPH=0.265 μM) and anti-androgenic (IC50 for TBBA=73.95 μM and IC50 for TBMEPH=2.92 μM) activities. These results reveal that metabolism can enhance the anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic effects of these two novel brominated flame retardants. Based on the activities of BPAF, BPF, BPA and MBP, we can conclude that the XenoScreen XL YES/YAS assay gives comparable results to the (anti)estrogenic or (anti)androgenic assays that are reported in the literature. For BPA, it was confirmed previously that the metabolite formed after an ipso-reaction (hydroxycumyl alcohol) exhibited higher estrogenic activity compared with the parent BPA, but this was not confirmed for BPAF and BPF ipso-metabolites, which were not active in the XenoScreen YES/YAS assay. Among the substituted BPA analogues, bis-GMA exhibited weak anti-estrogenic activity, BADGE demonstrated weak anti-estrogenic and anti-androgenic activities (IC50=13.73 μM), and the hydrolysed product BADGE·2H2O demonstrated no (anti)estrogenic or (anti)androgenic activities.

  12. Succession patterns of fungi associated to wound-induced agarwood in wild Aquilaria malaccensis revealed from quantitative PCR assay.

    PubMed

    Mohamed, Rozi; Jong, Phai Lee; Nurul Irdayu, Ismail

    2014-09-01

    Aquilaria malaccensis produces agarwood in response to wounding and fungal attack. However, information is limited regarding Aquilaria's interaction with its diverse fungal community. In this study, time-related changes of three natural fungal colonizers in two wounded wild A. malaccensis were tracked, beginning a few hours after wounding up to 12 months. Using species-specific primers derived from their nrITS sequences in quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), we quantified the amount of Cunninghamella bainieri, Fusarium solani and Lasiodiplodia theobromae. Because time is a major factor affecting agarwood quantity and quality, 14 wood samples were collected at different time points, i.e., 0-18 h, 2-13 days, 2-18 weeks, and 6-12 months after wounding. qPCR data revealed that the abundance of the three species decreased over time. The fungi were detected in high numbers during the first few hours and days after wounding (40- to 25,000-fold higher levels compared with initial counts) and in low numbers (<1- to 3,200-fold higher than initially) many months later. Consistent with its role in defense response, the accumulation of secondary metabolites at the wounding site could have caused the decline in fungal abundance. Succession patterns of the two trees were not identical, indicating that fungal populations may have been affected by tree environment and wound microclimate. Our results are important for understanding the diversity of microbial community in wild Aquilaria species and their association to wound-induced agarwood formation. Fungi could be secondary triggers to agarwood production in situations where trees are wounded in attempt to induce agarwood.

  13. 5-Benzylidene-hydantoin is a new scaffold for SIRT inhibition: From virtual screening to activity assays.

    PubMed

    Sacconnay, Lionel; Ryckewaert, Lucie; Randazzo, Giuseppe Marco; Petit, Charlotte; Passos, Carolina Dos Santos; Jachno, Jelena; Michailovienė, Vilma; Zubrienė, Asta; Matulis, Daumantas; Carrupt, Pierre-Alain; Simões-Pires, Claudia Avello; Nurisso, Alessandra

    2016-03-31

    Sirtuins (SIRTs) are a family of enzymes able to catalyze the deacetylation of the N-acetyl lysines of both histone and non-histone substrates. Inhibition of SIRTs catalytic activity was recently reported in the literature as being beneficial in human diseases, with very promising applications in cancer therapy and enzymatic neurodegeneration. By combining a structure-based virtual screening of the Specs database with cell-based assays, we identified the 5-benzylidene-hydantoin as new scaffold for the inhibition of SIRT2 catalytic activity. Compound 97 (Specs ID AH-487/41657829), active in the low μM range against SIRT2, showed the optimal physicochemical properties for passive absorption as well as relatively low cytotoxicity in vitro. Further studies revealed non-competitive and mixed-type kinetics toward acetyl-lysine substrates and NAD(+), respectively, and a non-selective profile for SIRT inhibition. A binding mode consistent with the experimental evidence was proposed by molecular modeling. Additionally, the levels of acetyl-p53 were shown to be increased in HeLa cells treated with 97. Taken together, these results encourage further investigation of 5-benzylidene-hydantoin derivatives for their SIRT-related therapeutic effects.

  14. Determination of the estrogenic activity of wild phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica by MCF-7 proliferation assay.

    PubMed

    Cherdshewasart, Wichai; Traisup, Virasinee; Picha, Porntipa

    2008-02-01

    The aim of this study was to evaluate the estrogenic activity of tuberous samples of wild, phytoestrogen-rich Pueraria mirifica collected from 28 out of 76 provinces of Thailand by MCF-7 proliferation assay. The plant extracts were administered to MCF-7, ER alpha positive human mammary adenocarcinoma cell cultures, for 3 days at dosages of 0.1, 1, 10, 100 and 1,000 microg/ml and were compared with 17 beta-estradiol at concentrations of 10(-12)-10(-6) M. The mean P. mirifica population at 1 mug/ml exhibited significant proliferation. Two plant samples exhibited levels of proliferation in MCF-7 that were similar to 17beta-estradiol. The mean P. mirifica populations at 100 and 1,000 microg/ml exhibited significant cytotoxicity in MCF-7. Analysis of the estrogenic activity of puerarin, representative of major isoflavonoids in P. mirifica tubers, revealed proliferation in MCF-7 only at the highest dose (10(-6) M) that was 10(2)-10(5) times less active than 17 beta-estradiol. Puerarin and 17 beta-estradiol at concentration of 10(-12)-10(-6) M exhibited no cytotoxicity in MCF-7.

  15. Detection and characterisation of Complement protein activity in bovine milk by bactericidal sequestration assay.

    PubMed

    Maye, Susan; Stanton, Catherine; Fitzgerald, Gerald F; Kelly, Philip M

    2015-08-01

    While the Complement protein system in human milk is well characterised, there is little information on its presence and activity in bovine milk. Complement forms part of the innate immune system, hence the importance of its contribution during milk ingestion to the overall defences of the neonate. A bactericidal sequestration assay, featuring a Complement sensitive strain, Escherichia coli 0111, originally used to characterise Complement activity in human milk was successfully applied to freshly drawn bovine milk samples, thus, providing an opportunity to compare Complement activities in both human and bovine milks. Although not identical in response, the levels of Complement activity in bovine milk were found to be closely comparable with that of human milk. Differential counts of Esch. coli 0111 after 2 h incubation were 6.20 and 6.06 log CFU/ml, for raw bovine and human milks, respectively - the lower value representing a stronger Complement response. Exposing bovine milk to a range of thermal treatments e.g. 42, 45, 65, 72, 85 or 95 °C for 10 min, progressively inhibited Complement activity by increasing temperature, thus confirming the heat labile nature of this immune protein system. Low level Complement activity was found, however, in 65 and 72 °C heat treated samples and in retailed pasteurised milk which highlights the outer limit to which high temperature, short time (HTST) industrial thermal processes should be applied if retention of activity is a priority. Concentration of Complement in the fat phase was evident following cream separation, and this was also reflected in the further loss of activity recorded in low fat variants of retailed pasteurised milk. Laboratory-based churning of the cream during simulated buttermaking generated an aqueous (buttermilk) phase with higher levels of Complement activity than the fat phase, thus pointing to a likely association with the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) layer.

  16. The relevance of chemical interactions with CYP17 enzyme activity: Assessment using a novel in vitro assay

    SciTech Connect

    Roelofs, Maarke J.E.; Piersma, Aldert H.; Berg, Martin van den; Duursen, Majorie B.M. van

    2013-05-01

    The steroidogenic cytochrome P450 17 (CYP17) enzyme produces dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), which is the most abundant circulating endogenous sex steroid precursor. DHEA plays a key role in e.g. sexual functioning and development. To date, no rapid screening assay for effects on CYP17 is available. In this study, a novel assay using porcine adrenal cortex microsomes (PACMs) was described. Effects of twenty-eight suggested endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) on CYP17 activity were compared with effects in the US EPA validated H295R (human adrenocorticocarcinoma cell line) steroidogenesis assay. In the PACM assay DHEA production was higher compared with the H295R assay (4.4 versus 2.2 nmol/h/mg protein). To determine the additional value of a CYP17 assay, all compounds were also tested for interaction with CYP19 (aromatase) using human placental microsomes (HPMs) and H295R cells. 62.5% of the compounds showed enzyme inhibition in at least one of the microsomal assays. Only the cAMP inducer forskolin induced CYP17 activity, while CYP19 was induced by four test compounds in the H295R assay. These effects remained unnoticed in the PACM and HPM assays. Diethylstilbestrol and tetrabromobisphenol A inhibited CYP17 but not CYP19 activity, indicating different mechanisms for the inhibition of these enzymes. From our results it becomes apparent that CYP17 can be a target for EDCs and that this interaction differs from interactions with CYP19. Our data strongly suggest that research attention should focus on validating a specific assay for CYP17 activity, such as the PACM assay, that can be included in the EDC screening battery. - Highlights: ► DHEA, produced by CYP17, plays a key role in sexual functioning and development. ► No rapid screening assay for effects on CYP17 is available yet. ► A novel assay using porcine adrenal cortex microsomes (PACMs) was described. ► Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) targeting CYP17 interact differently with CYP19. ► A

  17. Effect of Lead stress on phosphatase activity and reducing power assay of Triticum aestivum.

    PubMed

    Gubrelay, U; Agnihotri, R K; Shrotriya, S; Sharma, R

    2015-06-24

    Lead (Pb) is a highly toxic heavy metal for both plants and animals; the environment is increasingly polluted with heavy metals and reduces crop productivity. Plants possess homeostatic mechanisms that allow them to keep correct concentrations of essential metal ions in cellular compartments and to minimize the damaging effects of an excess of nonessential ones. One of their adverse effects on plants are the generation of harmful active oxygen species, leading to oxidative stress and the antioxidative activity seems to be of fundamental importance for adaptive response of plant against environmental stress. The present study explores the effects of lead (soil treated twice/ week) with (10, 30 and 60 mM) on the specific activities of phosphatases which might lead to reducing power assay in (Triticum aestivum PBW344) seedling. A significant decrease in the redox potential of shoot compared to root was observed at the similar concentration of lead. A similar trend on leaves was also noted. Acid and alkaline phosphatase activities were significantly higher in roots than in shoot at all the three concentration of lead i.e. 10, 30 and 60 mM, compared to controls. The above mentioned changes were more pronounced at 60 mM concentration of lead than two other concentrations. These results lead us to suggest that increased lead concentration in soil might lead to adverse effects on plant growth and phosphatase activities.

  18. Activation of AMP-activated protein kinase revealed by hydrogen/deuterium exchange Mass Spectrometry

    PubMed Central

    Landgraf, Rachelle R.; Goswami, Devrishi; Rajamohan, Francis; Harris, Melissa S.; Calabrese, Matthew; Hoth, Lise R.; Magyar, Rachelle; Pascal, Bruce D.; Chalmers, Michael J.; Busby, Scott A.; Kurumbail, Ravi; Griffin, Patrick R.

    2013-01-01

    Summary AMP-Activated protein kinase (AMPK) monitors cellular energy, regulates genes involved in ATP synthesis and consumption, and is allosterically activated by nucleotides and synthetic ligands. Analysis of the intact enzyme by hydrogen/deuterium exchange mass spectrometry reveals conformational perturbations of AMPK in response to binding of nucleotides, cyclodextrin and a synthetic small molecule activator, A769662. Results from this analysis clearly show that binding of AMP leads to conformational changes primarily in the γ subunit of AMPK and subtle changes in the α and β subunits. In contrast, A769662 causes profound conformational changes in the glycogen binding module of the β subunit and in the kinase domain of the α subunit suggesting that the molecular binding site of latter resides between the α and β subunits. The distinct short and long-range perturbations induced upon binding of AMP and A769662 suggest fundamentally different molecular mechanisms for activation of AMPK by these two ligands. PMID:24076403

  19. Quantitation of odor-active compounds in rye flour and rye sourdough using stable isotope dilution assays.

    PubMed

    Kirchhoff, Eva; Schieberle, Peter

    2002-09-11

    Application of the aroma extract dilution analysis on a flavor distillate prepared from freshly ground rye flour (type 1150) revealed 1-octen-3-one (mushroom-like), methional (cooked potato), and (E)-2-nonenal (fatty, green) with the highest flavor dilution (FD) factors among the 26 odor-active volatiles identified. Quantitative measurements performed by stable isotope dilution assays and a comparison to the odor thresholds of selected odorants in starch suggested methional, (E)-2-nonenal, and hexanal as contributors to the flour aroma, because their concentrations exceeded their odor thresholds by factors >100. Application of the same approach on a rye sourdough prepared from the same batch of flour revealed 3-methylbutanal, vanillin, 3-methylbutanoic acid, methional, (E,E)-2,4-decadienal, 2,3-butanedione, and acetic acid as important odorants; their concentrations exceeded their odor thresholds in water and starch by factors >100. A comparison of the concentrations of 20 odorants in rye flour and the sourdough made therefrom indicated that flour, besides the fermentation process, is an important source of aroma compounds in dough. However, 3-methylbutanol, acetic acid, and 2,3-butanedione were much increased during fermentation, whereas (E,E)-2,4-decadienal and 2-methylbutanal were decreased. Similar results were obtained for five different flours and sourdoughs, respectively, although the amounts of some odorants in the flour and the sourdough differed significantly within batches.

  20. Sequencing the extrachromosomal circular mobilome reveals retrotransposon activity in plants

    PubMed Central

    Llauro, Christel; Jobet, Edouard; Robakowska-Hyzorek, Dagmara; Lasserre, Eric; Ghesquière, Alain; Panaud, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Retrotransposons are mobile genetic elements abundant in plant and animal genomes. While efficiently silenced by the epigenetic machinery, they can be reactivated upon stress or during development. Their level of transcription not reflecting their transposition ability, it is thus difficult to evaluate their contribution to the active mobilome. Here we applied a simple methodology based on the high throughput sequencing of extrachromosomal circular DNA (eccDNA) forms of active retrotransposons to characterize the repertoire of mobile retrotransposons in plants. This method successfully identified known active retrotransposons in both Arabidopsis and rice material where the epigenome is destabilized. When applying mobilome-seq to developmental stages in wild type rice, we identified PopRice as a highly active retrotransposon producing eccDNA forms in the wild type endosperm. The mobilome-seq strategy opens new routes for the characterization of a yet unexplored fraction of plant genomes. PMID:28212378

  1. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity.

    PubMed

    Bobrovsky, Pavel; Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-07-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection.

  2. Recombinant Human Peptidoglycan Recognition Proteins Reveal Antichlamydial Activity

    PubMed Central

    Manuvera, Valentin; Polina, Nadezhda; Podgorny, Oleg; Prusakov, Kirill; Govorun, Vadim; Lazarev, Vassili

    2016-01-01

    Peptidoglycan recognition proteins (PGLYRPs) are innate immune components that recognize the peptidoglycan and lipopolysaccharides of bacteria and exhibit antibacterial activity. Recently, the obligate intracellular parasite Chlamydia trachomatis was shown to have peptidoglycan. However, the antichlamydial activity of PGLYRPs has not yet been demonstrated. The aim of our study was to test whether PGLYRPs exhibit antibacterial activity against C. trachomatis. Thus, we cloned the regions containing the human Pglyrp1, Pglyrp2, Pglyrp3, and Pglyrp4 genes for subsequent expression in human cell lines. We obtained stable HeLa cell lines that secrete recombinant human PGLYRPs into culture medium. We also generated purified recombinant PGLYRP1, -2, and -4 and confirmed their activities against Gram-positive (Bacillus subtilis) and Gram-negative (Escherichia coli) bacteria. Furthermore, we examined the activities of recombinant PGLYRPs against C. trachomatis and determined their MICs. We also observed a decrease in the infectious ability of chlamydial elementary bodies in the next generation after a single exposure to PGLYRPs. Finally, we demonstrated that PGLYRPs attach to C. trachomatis elementary bodies and activate the expression of the chlamydial two-component stress response system. Thus, PGLYRPs inhibit the development of chlamydial infection. PMID:27160295

  3. Evaluation of the oxidase like activity of nanoceria and its application in colorimetric assays.

    PubMed

    Hayat, Akhtar; Cunningham, Jessica; Bulbul, Gonca; Andreescu, Silvana

    2015-07-23

    Nanomaterial-based enzyme mimics have attracted considerable interest in chemical analysis as alternative catalysts to natural enzymes. However, the conditions in which such particles can replace biological catalysts and their selectivity and reactivity profiles are not well defined. This work explored the oxidase like properties of nanoceria particles in the development of colorimetric assays for the detection of dopamine and catechol. Selectivity of the system with respect to several phenolic compounds, the effect of interferences and real sample analysis are discussed. The conditions of use such as buffer composition, selectivity, pH, reaction time and particle type are defined. Detection limits of 1.5 and 0.2μM were obtained with nanoceria for dopamine and catechol. The same assay could be used as a general sensing platform for the detection of other phenolics. However, the sensitivity of the method varies significantly with the particle type, buffer composition, pH and with the structure of the phenolic compound. The results demonstrate that nanoceria particles can be used for the development of cost effective and sensitive methods for the detection of these compounds. However, the selection of the particle system and experimental conditions is critical for achieving high sensitivity. Recommendations are provided on the selection of the particle system and reaction conditions to maximize the oxidase like activity of nanoceria.

  4. Fluorescence-based blood coagulation assay device for measuring activated partial thromboplastin time.

    PubMed

    Dudek, Magdalena M; Kent, Nigel; Gustafsson, Kerstin M; Lindahl, Tomas L; Killard, Anthony J

    2011-01-01

    The measurement of blood clotting time is important in a range of clinical applications such as assessing coagulation disorders and controlling the effect of various anticoagulant drug therapies. Clotting time tests essentially measure the onset of clot formation which results from the formation of fibrin fibers in the blood sample. However, such assays are inherently imprecise due to the highly variable nature of the clot formation process and the sample matrix. This work describes a clotting time measurement assay which uses a fluorescent probe to very precisely detect the onset of fibrin clot formation. It uses a microstructured surface which enhances the formation of multiple localized clot loci and which results in the abrupt redistribution of the fluorescent label at the onset of clot formation in both whole blood and plasma. This methodology was applied to the development of an activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) test in a lateral flow microfluidic platform and used to monitor the effect of heparin dosage where it showed linearity from 0 to 2 U/mL in spiked plasma samples (R(2)=0.996, n = 3), correlation against gold standard coagulometry of 0.9986, and correlation against standard hospital aPTT in 32 patient samples of 0.78.

  5. A rapid, sensitive, simple plate assay for detection of microbial alginate lyase activity.

    PubMed

    Sawant, Shailesh S; Salunke, Bipinchandra K; Kim, Beom Soo

    2015-09-01

    Screening of microorganisms capable of producing alginate lyase enzyme is commonly carried out by investigating their abilities to grow on alginate-containing solid media plates and occurrence of a clearance zone after flooding the plates with agents such as 10% (w/v) cetyl pyridinium chloride (CPC), which can form complexes with alginate. Although the CPC method is good, advantageous, and routinely used, the agar in the media interferes with the action of CPC, which makes judgment about clearance zones very difficult. In addition, this method takes a minimum of 30 min to obtain the zone of hydrolysis after flooding and the hydrolyzed area is not sharply discernible. An improved plate assay is reported herein for the detection of extracellular alginate lyase production by microorganisms. In this method, alginate-containing agar plates are flooded with Gram's iodine instead of CPC. Gram's iodine forms a bluish black complex with alginate but not with hydrolyzed alginate, giving sharp, distinct zones around the alginate lyase producing microbial colonies within 2-3 min. Gram's iodine method was found to be more effective than the CPC method in terms of visualization and measurement of zone size. The alginate-lyase-activity area indicated using the Gram's iodine method was found to be larger than that indicated by the CPC method. Both methods (CPC and Gram's iodine) showed the largest alginate lyase activity area for Saccharophagus degradans (ATCC 43961) followed by Microbulbifer mangrovi (KCTC 23483), Bacillus cereus (KF801505) and Paracoccus sp. LL1 (KP288668) grown on minimal sea salt medium. The rate of growth and metabolite production in alginate-containing minimal sea salt liquid medium, followed trends similar to that of the zone activity areas for the four bacteria under study. These results suggested that the assay developed in this study of Gram's iodine could be useful to predict the potential of microorganisms to produce alginate lyase. The method also

  6. Development and evaluation of a new kinetic assay for the quantitation of fibronectin gelatin-binding activity.

    PubMed

    Gelder, F B; Brown, S T; Moore, C A

    1985-10-01

    A new rapid and sensitive kinetic assay that measures the gelatin-binding activity of fibronectin has been developed. This assay is based on the rate of fibronectin-mediated aggregation of covalently coupled latex-gelatin particles. The addition of human plasma and serum resulted in aggregation rates proportional to the concentration of fibronectin in the test sample. This assay was inhibited by the addition of gelatin, demonstrating substrate specificity. This new assay requires 50 microliter of sample and can be performed within 5 minutes. Particle aggregation rates were affected by pH, heparin, and coupled gelatin concentration per milligram of latex. Maximum aggregation rates were observed at pH 8.0. Heparin was not an absolute requirement for particle aggregation but enhanced rates up to 1 U heparin/ml with little additive effect at greater concentrations. Heparin had a relatively greater effect on assays performed in acidic buffers. The concentration of gelatin per milligram of latex was rate limiting up to approximately 50 micrograms gelatin/mg latex with little change in aggregation rates at higher concentrations. Good correlation between total antigenic fibronectin (electroimmunoassay) and fibronectin gelatin-binding activity (latex-gelatin kinetic aggregation assay) was demonstrated in plasma from normal blood donors. This new assay will allow further definition of the relationship between fibronectin gelatin-binding activity and antigenic fibronectin in normal and pathophysiologic states.

  7. Evaluation of anti-Zika virus activities of broad-spectrum antivirals and NIH clinical collection compounds using a cell-based, high-throughput screen assay.

    PubMed

    Adcock, Robert S; Chu, Yong-Kyu; Golden, Jennifer E; Chung, Dong-Hoon

    2017-02-01

    virus). From these assays, we discovered that brequinar has potent anti-ZIKV activity. Our results show that a broad anti-ZIKV screen of compound libraries with our CPE-based HTS assay will reveal multiple chemotypes that could be pursued as lead compounds for therapies to treat ZIKV-associated diseases or as molecular probes to study the biology of the ZIKV replication mechanism.

  8. The Hydra regeneration assay reveals ecological risks in running waters: a new proposal to detect environmental teratogenic threats.

    PubMed

    Traversetti, Lorenzo; Del Grosso, Floriano; Malafoglia, Valentina; Colasanti, Marco; Ceschin, Simona; Larsen, Stefano; Scalici, Massimiliano

    2017-03-01

    The regenerative ability of Hydra vulgaris was tested as potential biomarker for the development of a new eco-toxicological index. The test is based on the regeneration rate and the aberration frequency of the columna (body and adhesive foot) after separation from head and tentacles by a bistoury. Particularly, 45 columnae were submerged in the rearing solution (that is Hydra medium) to have control, and 285 in potential contaminated waters to have treatments, collected from 19 sites along 10 rivers in central Italy. ANCOVA and chi-square tests were used to compare values from each site to a laboratory control. Subsequently the values on regeneration rate and aberration frequency were inserted in a double entry matrix, where the match of the two entries in the matrix provides the score of the proposed Teratogenic Risk Index (TRI). Each score corresponded to one of the 5 teratogenic risk classes, to which a risk level was associated: from 1 (no risk) to 5 (very high risk). On the whole, 32% of the studied sites were classified as no teratogenic risk while the remaining showed a variable risk level from low to very high. This study proposed for the first time an early warning system to detect the presence of teratogens in running waters, providing a rapid and cost-effective evaluation method. Therefore, TRI may contribute to initiate adequate measures to manage riverine habitats, and to monitor the running water teratogenic status. Specifically, this index may provide the opportunity to identify the disturbance sources and then to drive the decisions, together with competent authorities, on the catchment and landscape management and on the possible use of waters for urban, agricultural, and industrial activities, since they may show significant effects on the human health.

  9. A Simple and Fast Kinetic Assay for the Determination of Fructan Exohydrolase Activity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.).

    PubMed

    Gasperl, Anna; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud'homme, Marie-Pascale; van der Graaff, Eric; Roitsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that fructans are the main constituent of water-soluble carbohydrates in forage grasses and cereal crops of temperate climates, little knowledge is available on the regulation of the enzymes involved in fructan metabolism. The analysis of enzyme activities involved in this process has been hampered by the low affinity of the fructan enzymes for sucrose and fructans used as fructosyl donor. Further, the analysis of fructan composition and enzyme activities is restricted to specialized labs with access to suited HPLC equipment and appropriate fructan standards. The degradation of fructan polymers with high degree of polymerization (DP) by fructan exohydrolases (FEHs) to fructosyloligomers is important to liberate energy in the form of fructan, but also under conditions where the generation of low DP polymers is required. Based on published protocols employing enzyme coupled endpoint reactions in single cuvettes, we developed a simple and fast kinetic 1-FEH assay. This assay can be performed in multi-well plate format using plate readers to determine the activity of 1-FEH against 1-kestotriose, resulting in a significant time reduction. Kinetic assays allow an optimal and more precise determination of enzyme activities compared to endpoint assays, and enable to check the quality of any reaction with respect to linearity of the assay. The enzyme coupled kinetic 1-FEH assay was validated in a case study showing the expected increase in 1-FEH activity during cold treatment. This assay is cost effective and could be performed by any lab with access to a plate reader suited for kinetic measurements and readings at 340 nm, and is highly suited to assess temporal changes and relative differences in 1-FEH activities. Thus, this enzyme coupled kinetic 1-FEH assay is of high importance both to the field of basic fructan research and plant breeding.

  10. A Simple and Fast Kinetic Assay for the Determination of Fructan Exohydrolase Activity in Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.)

    PubMed Central

    Gasperl, Anna; Morvan-Bertrand, Annette; Prud’homme, Marie-Pascale; Roitsch, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Despite the fact that fructans are the main constituent of water-soluble carbohydrates in forage grasses and cereal crops of temperate climates, little knowledge is available on the regulation of the enzymes involved in fructan metabolism. The analysis of enzyme activities involved in this process has been hampered by the low affinity of the fructan enzymes for sucrose and fructans used as fructosyl donor. Further, the analysis of fructan composition and enzyme activities is restricted to specialized labs with access to suited HPLC equipment and appropriate fructan standards. The degradation of fructan polymers with high degree of polymerization (DP) by fructan exohydrolases (FEHs) to fructosyloligomers is important to liberate energy in the form of fructan, but also under conditions where the generation of low DP polymers is required. Based on published protocols employing enzyme coupled endpoint reactions in single cuvettes, we developed a simple and fast kinetic 1-FEH assay. This assay can be performed in multi-well plate format using plate readers to determine the activity of 1-FEH against 1-kestotriose, resulting in a significant time reduction. Kinetic assays allow an optimal and more precise determination of enzyme activities compared to endpoint assays, and enable to check the quality of any reaction with respect to linearity of the assay. The enzyme coupled kinetic 1-FEH assay was validated in a case study showing the expected increase in 1-FEH activity during cold treatment. This assay is cost effective and could be performed by any lab with access to a plate reader suited for kinetic measurements and readings at 340 nm, and is highly suited to assess temporal changes and relative differences in 1-FEH activities. Thus, this enzyme coupled kinetic 1-FEH assay is of high importance both to the field of basic fructan research and plant breeding. PMID:26734049

  11. T-screen and yeast assay for the detection of the thyroid-disrupting activities of cadmium, mercury, and zinc.

    PubMed

    Li, Jian; Liu, Yun; Kong, Dongdong; Ren, Shujuan; Li, Na

    2016-05-01

    In the present study, a two-hybrid yeast bioassay and a T-screen were used to screen for the thyroid receptor (TR)-disrupting activity of select metallic compounds (CdCl2, ZnCl2, HgCl2, CuSO4, MnSO4, and MgSO4). The results reveal that none of the tested metallic compounds showed TR-agonistic activity, whereas ZnCl2, HgCl2, and CdCl2 demonstrated TR antagonism. For the yeast assay, the dose-response relationship of these metallic compounds was established, and the concentrations producing 20 % of the maximum effect of ZnCl2, HgCl2, and CdCl2 were 9.1 × 10(-5), 3.2 × 10(-6), and 1.2 × 10(-6) mol/L, respectively. The T-screen also supported the finding that ZnCl2, HgCl2, and CdCl2 decreased the cell proliferation at concentrations ranging from 10(-6) to 10(-4) mol/L. Furthermore, the thyroid-disrupting activity of metallic compounds in environmental water samples collected from the Guanting Reservoir, Beijing, China was evaluated. Solid-phase extraction was used to separate the organic extracts, and a modified two-hybrid yeast bioassay revealed that the metallic compounds in the water samples could affect thyroid hormone-induced signaling by decreasing the binding of the thyroid hormone. The addition of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (30 mg/L) could eliminate the effects. Thus, the cause(s) of the thyroid toxicity in the water samples appeared to be partly related to the metallic compounds.

  12. PERKINSUS-"CIDAL" ACTIVITY OF OYSTER HEMOCYTES USING A TETRAZOLIUM DYE REDUCTION ASSAY: OPTIMIZATION AND APPLICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    A bactericidal assay developed to assess the ability of oyster (Crassostrea virginica) hemocytes to kill the human pathogen Vibrio parahaemolyticus was optimized to estimate killing of the oyster parasite Perkinsus marinus. Assay variables, temperature, hemocyte:parasite ratio, i...

  13. Biologically active mutants with deletions in the v-mos oncogene assayed with retroviral vectors.

    PubMed Central

    Bold, R J; Donoghue, D J

    1985-01-01

    We have constructed retroviral expression vectors by manipulation of the Moloney murine leukemia virus genome such that an exogenous DNA sequence may be inserted and subsequently expressed when introduced into mammalian cells. A series of N-terminal deletions of the v-mos oncogene was constructed and assayed for biological activity with these retroviral expression vectors. The results of the deletion analysis demonstrate that the region of p37mos coding region upstream of the third methionine codon is dispensable with respect to transformation. However, deletion mutants of v-mos which allow initiation of translation at the fourth methionine codon have lost the biological activity of the parental v-mos gene. Furthermore, experiments were also carried out to define the C-terminal limit of the active region of p37mos by the construction of premature termination mutants by the insertion of a termination oligonucleotide. Insertion of the oligonucleotide just 69 base pairs upstream from the wild-type termination site abolished the focus-forming ability of v-mos. Thus, we have shown the N-terminal limit of the active region of p37mos to be between the third and fourth methionines, while the C-terminal limit is within the last 23 amino acids of the protein. PMID:3018503

  14. Aptamer-mediated universal enzyme assay based on target-triggered DNA polymerase activity.

    PubMed

    Park, Ki Soo; Lee, Chang Yeol; Kang, Kyoung Suk; Park, Hyun Gyu

    2017-02-15

    We herein describe an innovative method for a universal fluorescence turn-on enzyme assay, which relies on the target enzyme-triggered DNA polymerase activity. In the first target recognition step, the target enzyme is designed to destabilize detection probe derived from an aptamer specific to DNA polymerase containing the overhang sequence and the complementary blocker DNA, which consequently leads to the recovery of DNA polymerase activity inhibited by the detection probe. This target-triggered polymerase activity is monitored in the second signal transduction step based on primer extension reaction coupled with TaqMan probe. Utilizing this design principle, we have successfully detected the activities of two model enzymes, exonuclease I and uracil DNA glycosylase with high sensitivity and selectivity. Since this strategy is composed of separated target recognition and signal transduction modules, it could be universally employed for the sensitive determination of numerous different target enzymes by simply redesigning the overhang sequence of detection probe, while keeping TaqMan probe-based signal transduction module as a universal signaling tool.

  15. A superstructure-based electrochemical assay for signal-amplified detection of DNA methyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hui; Yang, Yin; Dong, Huilei; Cai, Chenxin

    2016-12-15

    DNA methyltransferase (MTase) activity is highly correlated with the occurrence and development of cancer. This work reports a superstructure-based electrochemical assay for signal-amplified detection of DNA MTase activity using M.SssI as an example. First, low-density coverage of DNA duplexes on the surface of the gold electrode was achieved by immobilized mercaptohexanol, followed by immobilization of DNA duplexes. The duplex can be cleaved by BstUI endonuclease in the absence of DNA superstructures. However, the cleavage is blocked after the DNA is methylated by M.SssI. The DNA superstructures are formed with the addition of helper DNA. By using an electroactive complex, RuHex, which can bind to DNA double strands, the activity of M.SssI can be quantitatively detected by differential pulse voltammetry. Due to the high site-specific cleavage by BstUI and signal amplification by the DNA superstructure, the biosensor can achieve ultrasensitive detection of DNA MTase activity down to 0.025U/mL. The method can be used for evaluation and screening of the inhibitors of MTase, and thus has potential in the discovery of methylation-related anticancer drugs.

  16. IKK Kinase Assay for Assessment of Canonical NF-κB Activation in Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Mihalas, Anca B.; Meffert, Mollie K.

    2017-01-01

    Nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) is a potent transcription factor highly expressed in the central nervous system (CNS) where it has been shown to be required for multiple behavioral paradigms of learning and memory in both mammalian and invertebrate systems. NF-κB dimers are found in neuronal cell bodies, are also present at synapses, and can participate in the activity-dependent regulation of gene expression in response to excitatory neurotransmission. Multiple serine-directed phosphorylation events are critical in the canonical NF-κB activation pathway, including activation of the IκB kinase complex (IKK) and phosphorylation and degradation of the inhibitor of NF-κB (IκB). In this chapter, we describe methods for immunoprecipitation (IP) of the IKK complex from dissociated cultured murine hippocampal neurons, followed by in vitro kinase assay to evaluate excitatory neurotransmission-induced IKK activation by monitoring phosphorylation of a GST-IκBα substrate. These methods can also be successfully implemented in subcellular-reduced brain preparations, such as biochemically isolated synapses. PMID:25736744

  17. Enceladus's activity as revealed by Cassini-Huygens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmidt, Juergen

    2015-08-01

    The activity of Enceladus has been monitored by Cassini for nearly one decade after its discovery (see Science, 2006, 311, special issue). Thus, crucial properties of the vapor and dust plumes, heat output, surface properties, and the gravity field of the satellite are constrained in a fairly detailed manner. In this paper I review key observational facts and discuss implications for the vent geometries as well as interior structure and composition. Special emphasize I will give to data recorded by the Cassini Cosmic Dust Analyzer, and the conclusions drawn from it, concerning the number, size, and composition of grains ejected by the plumes associated with the south polar activity.

  18. A Selective Glutathione Probe based on AIE Fluorogen and its Application in Enzymatic Activity Assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lou, Xiaoding; Hong, Yuning; Chen, Sijie; Leung, Chris Wai Tung; Zhao, Na; Situ, Bo; Lam, Jacky Wing Yip; Tang, Ben Zhong

    2014-03-01

    In this work, we design and synthesize a malonitrile-functionalized TPE derivative (TPE-DCV), which can react with thiol group through thiol-ene click reaction, leading to the fluorescence change of the system. Combined with the unique AIE property, TPE-DCV can selectively detect glutathione (GSH) but not cysteine or homocysteine. As the cleavage of GSSG with the aid of glutathione reductase produces GSH, which turns on the fluorescence of TPE-DCV, the ensemble of TPE-DCV and GSSG can thus serve as a label-free sensor for enzymatic activity assay of glutathione reductase. We also apply TPE-DCV for the detection of intracellular GSH in living cells.

  19. Miniaturized Growth Inhibition Assay to Assess the Anti-blood Stage Activity of Antibodies.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Elizabeth H; Bergmann-Leitner, Elke S

    2015-01-01

    While no immune correlate for blood-stage specific immunity against Plasmodium falciparum malaria has been identified, there is strong evidence that antibodies directed to various malarial antigens play a crucial role. In an effort to evaluate the role of antibodies in inhibiting growth and/or invasion of erythrocytic stages of the malaria parasite it will be necessary to test large sample sets from Phase 2a/b trials as well as epidemiological studies. The major constraints for such analyses are (1) availability of sufficient sample quantities (especially from infants and small children) and (2) the throughput of standard growth inhibition assays. The method described here assesses growth- and invasion inhibition by measuring the metabolic activity and viability of the parasite (by using a parasite lactate dehydrogenase-specific substrate) in a 384-microtiter plate format. This culture method can be extended beyond the described detection system to accommodate other techniques commonly used for growth/invasion-inhibition.

  20. EL4 cell-based colorimetric toxin neutralization activity assays for determination of neutralizing anti-ricin antibodies.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Changhong Y; Brown, J Edward; Torabazar, Nahid R; Smith, Leonard A

    2013-01-01

    A recombinant ricin toxin A-chain 1-33/44-198 vaccine (RVEc), developed at the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases as a vaccine candidate, is under investigation in a phase 1 clinical study. To effectively evaluate the immunogenicity of this ricin vaccine and to eliminate the use of radioactive material, an EL4 cell-based colorimetric toxin neutralization activity (TNA) assay using a CellTiter 96 AQueous One Solution Cell Proliferation Assay Reagent has been developed, optimized, and applied in the vaccine efficacy studies. The TNA assay measures the protective neutralizing anti-ricin antibodies in animal sera by determining the cell viability after ricin exposure in the assay system and comparing it to a purified mouse polyclonal antiricin IgG standard curve. The standard curve of the anti-ricin TNA assay closely fits a four-parameter logistic regression model. The unknown test sample concentration was expressed as microg/mL, but not the 50% effective concentration (EC50), which was determined by most TNA assays. The neutralizing endpoint titers, not the 50% effective dilution (ED50), of human specimens were measured with the TNA assay in support of the clinical study of the RVEc vaccine. The optimal amount of ricin toxin, EL4 cells, and concentration of standards used in the assay system was established to minimize false-negative and false-positive results of serum specimens from the nonclinical and clinical studies of RVEc. The testing conditions were adjusted to optimize assay performance. The colorimetric TNA assay replaced a radioactive TNA assay previously used in the ricin vaccine studies.

  1. Revealing Student Blogging Activities Using RSS Feeds and LMS Logs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Derntl, Michael

    2010-01-01

    Blogs are an easy-to-use, free alternative to classic means of computer-mediated communication. Moreover, they are authentically aligned with web activity patterns of today's students. The body of studies on integrating and implementing blogs in various educational settings has grown rapidly recently; however, it is often difficult to distill…

  2. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J; Adams, David J; Leung, Hing Y

    2016-07-19

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition.

  3. Sleeping Beauty screen reveals Pparg activation in metastatic prostate cancer

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Imran; Mui, Ernest; Galbraith, Laura; Patel, Rachana; Tan, Ee Hong; Salji, Mark; Rust, Alistair G.; Repiscak, Peter; Hedley, Ann; Markert, Elke; Loveridge, Carolyn; van der Weyden, Louise; Edwards, Joanne; Sansom, Owen J.; Adams, David J.; Leung, Hing Y.

    2016-01-01

    Prostate cancer (CaP) is the most common adult male cancer in the developed world. The paucity of biomarkers to predict prostate tumor biology makes it important to identify key pathways that confer poor prognosis and guide potential targeted therapy. Using a murine forward mutagenesis screen in a Pten-null background, we identified peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg), encoding a ligand-activated transcription factor, as a promoter of metastatic CaP through activation of lipid signaling pathways, including up-regulation of lipid synthesis enzymes [fatty acid synthase (FASN), acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC), ATP citrate lyase (ACLY)]. Importantly, inhibition of PPARG suppressed tumor growth in vivo, with down-regulation of the lipid synthesis program. We show that elevated levels of PPARG strongly correlate with elevation of FASN in human CaP and that high levels of PPARG/FASN and PI3K/pAKT pathway activation confer a poor prognosis. These data suggest that CaP patients could be stratified in terms of PPARG/FASN and PTEN levels to identify patients with aggressive CaP who may respond favorably to PPARG/FASN inhibition. PMID:27357679

  4. Shear-mediated platelet activation in patients implanted with continuous flow LVADs: A preliminary study utilizing the platelet activity state (PAS) assay.

    PubMed

    Valerio, Lorenzo; Consolo, Filippo; Bluestein, Danny; Tran, Phat; Slepian, Marvin; Redaelli, Alberto; Pappalardo, Federico

    2015-08-01

    Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have emerged as vital life-saving therapeutic systems for patients with advanced and end-stage heart failure (HF). Despite their efficacy, VAD systems remain limited by post-implantation thrombotic complications. Shear-mediated platelet activation is the major driver of such complications in these devices. Nowadays few platelet function assays are routinely utilized in assessing the degree of platelet activation in VAD implanted patients. No assays exist that specifically target shear-mediated platelet activation. The platelet activity state (PAS) is a novel assay that has been well validated in vitro, measuring thrombin release as a surrogate for shear-mediated platelet activation. To date limited data exist as to the utility of this assay in the clinical setting. In the present study we evaluated eight LVAD patients' platelet activation level using the PAS assay. Simultaneous measurements of conventional prothrombotic and hemolysis markers, - i.e. fibrinogen and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) - were also performed. Trends as to alteration from baseline were studied. We observed that the PAS assay allowed detection of an abnormal level of platelet activation in one patient in our series who suffered from an overt thrombosis. Interestingly in the same patient no signal of major abnormality in fibrinogen or LDH was detected. Further for 7/8 patients who were free of thrombosis, no significant level of platelet activation was detected via PAS assay, while elevation in fibrinogen and LDH were observed. As such, from our observational series it appears that the PAS assay is a sensitive and specific indicator of shear-mediated platelet activation. Further patients' experience will help elucidate the role of this promising assay in the management of LVAD implanted patients.

  5. Detection, quantification, and glycotyping of prion protein in specifically activated enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay plates.

    PubMed

    Triantaphyllidou, I E; Sklaviadis, T; Vynios, D H

    2006-12-15

    The conversion of a normal glycoprotein, prion protein (PrP(C)), to its abnormal protease-resistant isoform (PrP(Sc)) seems to be one of the main factors underlying the pathogenesis of spongiform encephalopathies. There are many studies indicating that PrP interacts with glycosaminoglycans, and we exploited this interaction to develop a sensitive solid phase assay for detection of both PrP forms. Glycosaminoglycans, such as chondroitin sulfate and heparin, were immobilized by their negative charge to enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) plate wells activated by glutaraldehyde and spermine. PrP in the samples examined (recombinant PrP or tissue homogenate) was allowed to interact with glycans. The interaction of recombinant PrP was more efficient against immobilized chondroitin sulfate of type A, and a linear correlation with concentration was demonstrated. From this curve, the concentration of each one of the PrP isoforms in biological samples can be determined. In addition, and taking into account that glycosylation of prion protein is species specific, we used similarly activated ELISA plate wells to determine different PrP glycoforms. A monoclonal antibody against PrP was immobilized, and PrP present in the samples (brain homogenates) was bound and visualized by various lectins. The most interesting outcome of the study is the differential binding of ricinus communis agglutinin I to the normal and scrapie brain homogenates. Dattura stramonium lectin and wheat germ agglutinin seem to bind almost equally to both samples, and all three have an increased sensitivity to PrP(Sc) after proteinase K digestion.

  6. A novel cell-based assay to measure activity of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus nsP2 protease

    SciTech Connect

    Campos-Gomez, Javier; Ahmad, Fahim; Rodriguez, Efrain; Saeed, Mohammad F.

    2016-09-15

    The encephalitic alphaviruses encode nsP2 protease (nsP2pro), which because of its vital role in virus replication, represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. To facilitate the discovery of nsP2 inhibitors we have developed a novel assay for quantitative measurement of nsP2pro activity in a cell-based format. The assay is based on a substrate fusion protein consisting of eGFP and Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) linked together by a small peptide containing a VEEV nsp2pro cleavage sequence. The expression of the substrate protein in cells along with recombinant nsP2pro results in cleavage of the substrate protein resulting in extracellular release of free Gluc. The Gluc activity in supernatants corresponds to intracellular nsP2pro-mediated substrate cleavage; thus, providing a simple and convenient way to quantify nsP2pro activity. Here, we demonstrate potential utility of the assay in identification of nsP2pro inhibitors, as well as in investigations related to molecular characterization of nsP2pro. - Highlights: • A novel cell-based assay to measure VEEV nsP2 protease activity was developed. • Assay utility was demonstrated for antiviral screening. • .The assay also proved to be useful in basic mechanistic studies of nsP2 protease.

  7. Enzyme assays.

    PubMed

    Reymond, Jean-Louis; Fluxà, Viviana S; Maillard, Noélie

    2009-01-07

    Enzyme assays are analytical tools to visualize enzyme activities. In recent years a large variety of enzyme assays have been developed to assist the discovery and optimization of industrial enzymes, in particular for "white biotechnology" where selective enzymes are used with great success for economically viable, mild and environmentally benign production processes. The present article highlights the aspects of fluorogenic and chromogenic substrates, sensors, and enzyme fingerprinting, which are our particular areas of interest.

  8. Determining estrogenic activity in serum from ovariectomized rats treated with environmental compounds using an in vitro estrogen-mediated transcriptional activation assay (T47D-KBluc)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of cell-based assays to quantify low levels of estrogen in human serum is an accepted method. These assays are more sensitive but less specific than radioimmunoassays (RIA). Thus, we hypothesized that estrogen responsive T47D-KBluc cells would detect estrogenic activity i...

  9. Determining estrogenic activity in serum from ovariectomized rats treated with environmental compounds using an in vitro estrogen-mediated transcriptional activation assay (T47D-KBluc).

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of cell-based assays to quantify low levels of estrogen in human serum is an accepted method. These assays are more sensitive but less specific than radioimmunoassays (RIA). Thus, we hypothesized that estrogen responsive T47D-KBluc cells would detect estrogenic activity i...

  10. Erythrocytes and cell line-based assays to evaluate the cytoprotective activity of antioxidant components obtained from natural sources.

    PubMed

    Botta, Albert; Martínez, Verónica; Mitjans, Montserrat; Balboa, Elena; Conde, Enma; Vinardell, M Pilar

    2014-02-01

    Oxidative stress can damage cellular components including DNA, proteins or lipids, and may cause several skin diseases. To protect from this damage and addressing consumer's appeal to natural products, antioxidants obtained from algal and vegetal extracts are being proposed as antioxidants to be incorporated into formulations. Thus, the development of reliable, quick and economic in vitro methods to study the cytoactivity of these products is a meaningful requirement. A combination of erythrocyte and cell line-based assays was performed on two extracts from Sargassum muticum, one from Ulva lactuca, and one from Castanea sativa. Antioxidant properties were assessed in erythrocytes by the TBARS and AAPH assays, and cytotoxicity and antioxidant cytoprotection were assessed in HaCaT and 3T3 cells by the MTT assay. The extracts showed no antioxidant activity on the TBARS assay, whereas their antioxidant capacity in the AAPH assay was demonstrated. On the cytotoxicity assays, extracts showed low toxicity, with IC50 values higher than 200μg/mL. C. sativa extract showed the most favourable antioxidant properties on the antioxidant cytoprotection assays; while S. muticum and U. lactuca extracts showed a slight antioxidant activity. This battery of methods was useful to characterise the biological antioxidant properties of these natural extracts.

  11. Evolution of DNA strand-breaks in cultured spermatocytes: the Comet Assay reveals differences in normal and gamma-irradiated germ cells.

    PubMed

    Perrin, J; Lussato, D; De Méo, M; Durand, P; Grillo, J-M; Guichaoua, M-R; Botta, A; Bergé-Lefranc, J-L

    2007-02-01

    In reproductive toxicity assessment, in vitro systems can be used to determine mechanisms of action of toxicants. However, they generally investigate the immediate effects of toxicants, on isolated germ cells or spermatozoa. We report here the usefulness of in vitro cultures of rat spermatocytes and Sertoli cells, in conjunction with the Comet Assay to analyze the evolution of DNA strand-breaks and thus to determine DNA damage in germ cells. We compared cultures of normal and gamma-irradiated germ cells. In non-irradiated spermatocytes, the Comet Assay revealed the presence of DNA strand-breaks, which numbers decreased with the duration of the culture, suggesting the involvement of DNA repair mechanisms related to the meiotic recombination. In irradiated cells, the evolution of DNA strand-breaks was strongly modified. Thus our model is able to detect genotoxic lesions and/or DNA repair impairment in cultured spermatocytes. We propose this model as an in vitro tool for the study of genotoxic injuries on spermatocytes.

  12. Metaproteomic analysis reveals microbial metabolic activities in the deep ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Da-Zhi; Xie, Zhang-Xian; Zhang, Shu-Feng; Wang, Ming-Hua; Zhang, Hao; Kong, Ling-Fen; Lin, Lin

    2016-04-01

    The deep sea is the largest habitat on earth and holds many and varied microbial life forms. However, little is known about their metabolic activities in the deep ocean. Here, we characterized protein profiles of particulate (>0.22 μm) and dissolved (between 10 kDa and 0.22 μm) fractions collected from the deep South China Sea using a shotgun proteomic approach. SAR324, Alteromonadales and SAR11 were the most abundant groups, while Prasinophyte contributed most to eukaryotes and cyanophage to viruses. The dominant heterotrophic activity was evidenced by the abundant transporters (33%). Proteins participating in nitrification, methanogenesis, methyltrophy and CO2 fixation were detected. Notably, the predominance of unique cellular proteins in dissolved fraction suggested the presence of membrane structures. Moreover, the detection of translation proteins related to phytoplankton indicated that other process rather than sinking particles might be the downward export of living cells. Our study implied that novel extracellular activities and the interaction of deep water with its overlying water could be crucial to the microbial world of deep sea.

  13. FRET-based protein-DNA binding assay for detection of active NF-kappa B

    SciTech Connect

    Giannetti, Ambra; Baldini, Francesco; Wabuyele, Musundi B; Vo Dinh, Tuan

    2006-01-01

    A novel method to detect the active form of NF-{kappa}B, a transcription factor regulating a battery of inflammatory genes and playing a fundamental role in the development of numerous pathological states, has been developed. In the present work, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study DNA-protein binding interaction taking place between double-strand (ds) DNA immobilized in a glass capillary wall and p50 proteins. For this purpose, we developed a regenerable FRET-based system comprising of a single-strand (ss) DNA with auto-complementary sequence that is end-labeled with Cy5 dye and is highly specific for p50 proteins. The proteins were labeled with a Black Hole Quencher (BHQ-3) to be used as FRET pair. The interaction of p50/p50 homodimer active form with its DNA binding site was demonstrated by both electrophoretic mobility shift assays and FRET studies. These preliminary results demonstrated the feasibility of the FRET-based DNA technique to detect the active form of NF-{kappa}B protein with 90% detection efficiency. In addition, we show that the system is stable and highly regenerable.

  14. Metatranscriptomics reveals overall active bacterial composition in caries lesions

    PubMed Central

    Simón-Soro, Aurea; Guillen-Navarro, Miriam; Mira, Alex

    2014-01-01

    Background Identifying the microbial species in caries lesions is instrumental to determine the etiology of dental caries. However, a significant proportion of bacteria in carious lesions have not been cultured, and the use of molecular methods has been limited to DNA-based approaches, which detect both active and inactive or dead microorganisms. Objective To identify the RNA-based, metabolically active bacterial composition of caries lesions at different stages of disease progression in order to provide a list of potential etiological agents of tooth decay. Design Non-cavitated enamel caries lesions (n=15) and dentin caries lesions samples (n=12) were collected from 13 individuals. RNA was extracted and cDNA was constructed, which was used to amplify the 16S rRNA gene. The resulting 780 bp polymerase chain reaction products were pyrosequenced using Titanium-plus chemistry, and the sequences obtained were used to determine the bacterial composition. Results A mean of 4,900 sequences of the 16S rRNA gene with an average read length of 661 bp was obtained per sample, giving a comprehensive view of the active bacterial communities in caries lesions. Estimates of bacterial diversity indicate that the microbiota of cavities is highly complex, each sample containing between 70 and 400 metabolically active species. The composition of these bacterial consortia varied among individuals and between caries lesions of the same individuals. In addition, enamel and dentin lesions had a different bacterial makeup. Lactobacilli were found almost exclusively in dentin cavities. Streptococci accounted for 40% of the total active community in enamel caries, and 20% in dentin caries. However, Streptococcus mutans represented only 0.02–0.73% of the total bacterial community. Conclusions The data indicate that the etiology of dental caries is tissue dependent and that the disease has a clear polymicrobial origin. The low proportion of mutans streptococci detected confirms that they

  15. Assessment of in vitro lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cell activity against renal cancer cell lines and its suppression by serum factor using crystal violet assay.

    PubMed

    Kanamaru, H; Yoshida, O

    1989-01-01

    Lymphokine activated killer (LAK) cell activity against renal cancer cell lines was assessed in vitro using a crystal violet assay. A standard 4-h 51chromium release assay and a 48-h crystal violet assay showed that both natural killer-susceptible (NC65) and -resistant (ACHN) renal cancer cell lines were sensitive to LAK cells which had been generated by a 3-day incubation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) with recombinant interleukin 2 (rIL-2). Optimal LAK activity was generated by a 5-day culture of PBMC with 1 U rIL-2/ml. LAK activity was enhanced by the presence of IL-2 in the crystal violet assay system, while it was suppressed by fresh autologous serum. The suppressive effect was found in serum from both normal donors and patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma, suggesting that non-specific suppressive factor(s) affecting LAK cell activity were present in human sera.

  16. Angiogenesis Interactome and Time Course Microarray Data Reveal the Distinct Activation Patterns in Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Chu, Liang-Hui; Lee, Esak; Bader, Joel S.; Popel, Aleksander S.

    2014-01-01

    Angiogenesis involves stimulation of endothelial cells (EC) by various cytokines and growth factors, but the signaling mechanisms are not completely understood. Combining dynamic gene expression time-course data for stimulated EC with protein-protein interactions associated with angiogenesis (the “angiome”) could reveal how different stimuli result in different patterns of network activation and could implicate signaling intermediates as points for control or intervention. We constructed the protein-protein interaction networks of positive and negative regulation of angiogenesis comprising 367 and 245 proteins, respectively. We used five published gene expression datasets derived from in vitro assays using different types of blood endothelial cells stimulated by VEGFA (vascular endothelial growth factor A). We used the Short Time-series Expression Miner (STEM) to identify significant temporal gene expression profiles. The statistically significant patterns between 2D fibronectin and 3D type I collagen substrates for telomerase-immortalized EC (TIME) show that different substrates could influence the temporal gene activation patterns in the same cell line. We investigated the different activation patterns among 18 transmembrane tyrosine kinase receptors, and experimentally measured the protein level of the tyrosine-kinase receptors VEGFR1, VEGFR2 and VEGFR3 in human umbilical vein EC (HUVEC) and human microvascular EC (MEC). The results show that VEGFR1–VEGFR2 levels are more closely coupled than VEGFR1–VEGFR3 or VEGFR2–VEGFR3 in HUVEC and MEC. This computational methodology can be extended to investigate other molecules or biological processes such as cell cycle. PMID:25329517

  17. Revealing phosphoproteins playing role in tobacco pollen activated in vitro.

    PubMed

    Fíla, Jan; Matros, Andrea; Radau, Sonja; Zahedi, René Peiman; Capková, Věra; Mock, Hans-Peter; Honys, David

    2012-11-01

    The transition between the quiescent mature and the metabolically active germinating pollen grain most probably involves changes in protein phosphorylation status, since phosphorylation has been implicated in the regulation of many cellular processes. Given that, only a minor proportion of cellular proteins are phosphorylated at any one time, and that phosphorylated and nonphosphorylated forms of many proteins can co-exist within a cell, the identification of phosphoproteins requires some prior enrichment from a crude protein extract. Here, we have used metal oxide/hydroxide affinity chromatography (MOAC) based on an aluminum hydroxide matrix for this purpose, and have generated a population of phosphoprotein candidates from both mature and in vitro activated tobacco pollen grains. Both electrophoretic and nonelectrophoretic methods, allied to MS, were applied to these extracts to identify a set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates. In vitro phosphorylation was also used to validate the spectrum of phosphoprotein candidates obtained by the MOAC phosphoprotein enrichment. Since only one phosphorylation site was detected by the above approach, titanium dioxide phosphopeptide enrichment of trypsinized mature pollen crude extract was performed as well. It resulted in a detection of additional 51 phosphorylation sites giving a total of 52 identified phosphosites in this set of 139 phosphoprotein candidates.

  18. Active Interaction Mapping Reveals the Hierarchical Organization of Autophagy.

    PubMed

    Kramer, Michael H; Farré, Jean-Claude; Mitra, Koyel; Yu, Michael Ku; Ono, Keiichiro; Demchak, Barry; Licon, Katherine; Flagg, Mitchell; Balakrishnan, Rama; Cherry, J Michael; Subramani, Suresh; Ideker, Trey

    2017-02-16

    We have developed a general progressive procedure, Active Interaction Mapping, to guide assembly of the hierarchy of functions encoding any biological system. Using this process, we assemble an ontology of functions comprising autophagy, a central recycling process implicated in numerous diseases. A first-generation model, built from existing gene networks in Saccharomyces, captures most known autophagy components in broad relation to vesicle transport, cell cycle, and stress response. Systematic analysis identifies synthetic-lethal interactions as most informative for further experiments; consequently, we saturate the model with 156,364 such measurements across autophagy-activating conditions. These targeted interactions provide more information about autophagy than all previous datasets, producing a second-generation ontology of 220 functions. Approximately half are previously unknown; we confirm roles for Gyp1 at the phagophore-assembly site, Atg24 in cargo engulfment, Atg26 in cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting, and Ssd1, Did4, and others in selective and non-selective autophagy. The procedure and autophagy hierarchy are at http://atgo.ucsd.edu/.

  19. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McGlynn, Shawn E.; Chadwick, Grayson L.; Kempes, Christopher P.; Orphan, Victoria J.

    2015-10-01

    Multicellular assemblages of microorganisms are ubiquitous in nature, and the proximity afforded by aggregation is thought to permit intercellular metabolic coupling that can accommodate otherwise unfavourable reactions. Consortia of methane-oxidizing archaea and sulphate-reducing bacteria are a well-known environmental example of microbial co-aggregation; however, the coupling mechanisms between these paired organisms is not well understood, despite the attention given them because of the global significance of anaerobic methane oxidation. Here we examined the influence of interspecies spatial positioning as it relates to biosynthetic activity within structurally diverse uncultured methane-oxidizing consortia by measuring stable isotope incorporation for individual archaeal and bacterial cells to constrain their potential metabolic interactions. In contrast to conventional models of syntrophy based on the passage of molecular intermediates, cellular activities were found to be independent of both species intermixing and distance between syntrophic partners within consortia. A generalized model of electric conductivity between co-associated archaea and bacteria best fit the empirical data. Combined with the detection of large multi-haem cytochromes in the genomes of methanotrophic archaea and the demonstration of redox-dependent staining of the matrix between cells in consortia, these results provide evidence for syntrophic coupling through direct electron transfer.

  20. Oscillatory Brain Activity Reveals Linguistic Prints in the Quantity Code

    PubMed Central

    Salillas, Elena; Barraza, Paulo; Carreiras, Manuel

    2015-01-01

    Number representations change through education, although it is currently unclear whether and how language could impact the magnitude representation that we share with other species. The most prominent view is that language does not play any role in modulating the core numeric representation involved in the contrast of quantities. Nevertheless, possible cultural hints on the numerical magnitude representation are currently on discussion focus. In fact, the acquisition of number words provides linguistic input that the quantity system may not ignore. Bilingualism offers a window to the study of this question, especially in bilinguals where the two number wording systems imply also two different numerical systems, such as in Basque-Spanish bilinguals. The present study evidences linguistic prints in the core number representational system through the analysis of EEG oscillatory activity during a simple number comparison task. Gamma band synchronization appears when Basque-Spanish bilinguals compare pairs of Arabic numbers linked through the Basque base-20 wording system, but it does not if the pairs are related through the base-10 system. Crucially, this gamma activity, originated in a left fronto-parietal network, only appears in bilinguals who learned math in Basque and not in equivalent proficiency bilinguals who learned math in Spanish. Thus, this neural index reflected in gamma band synchrony appears to be triggered by early learning experience with the base-20 numerical associations in Basque number words. PMID:25875210

  1. Chick Heart Invasion Assay for Testing the Invasiveness of Cancer Cells and the Activity of Potentially Anti-invasive Compounds.

    PubMed

    Bracke, Marc E; Roman, Bart I; Stevens, Christian V; Mus, Liselot M; Parmar, Virinder S; De Wever, Olivier; Mareel, Marc M

    2015-06-06

    The goal of the chick heart assay is to offer a relevant organ culture method to study tumor invasion in three dimensions. The assay can distinguish between invasive and non-invasive cells, and enables study of the effects of test compounds on tumor invasion. Cancer cells - either as aggregates or single cells - are confronted with fragments of embryonic chick heart. After organ culture in suspension for a few days or weeks the confronting cultures are fixed and embedded in paraffin for histological analysis. The three-dimensional interaction between the cancer cells and the normal tissue is then reconstructed from serial sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin or after immunohistochemical staining for epitopes in the heart tissue or the confronting cancer cells. The assay is consistent with the recent concept that cancer invasion is the result of molecular interactions between the cancer cells and their neighbouring stromal host elements (myofibroblasts, endothelial cells, extracellular matrix components, etc.). Here, this stromal environment is offered to the cancer cells as a living tissue fragment. Supporting aspects to the relevance of the assay are multiple. Invasion in the assay is in accordance with the criteria of cancer invasion: progressive occupation and replacement in time and space of the host tissue, and invasiveness and non-invasiveness in vivo of the confronting cells generally correlates with the outcome of the assay. Furthermore, the invasion pattern of cells in vivo, as defined by pathologists, is reflected in the histological images in the assay. Quantitative structure-activity relation (QSAR) analysis of the results obtained with numerous potentially anti-invasive organic congener compounds allowed the study of structure-activity relations for flavonoids and chalcones, and known anti-metastatic drugs used in the clinic (e.g., microtubule inhibitors) inhibit invasion in the assay as well. However, the assay does not take into account

  2. Metatranscriptomic Analysis of Groundwater Reveals an Active Anammox Bacterial Population

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jewell, T. N. M.; Karaoz, U.; Thomas, B. C.; Banfield, J. F.; Brodie, E.; Williams, K. H.; Beller, H. R.

    2014-12-01

    Groundwater is a major natural resource, yet little is known about the contribution of microbial anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) activity to subsurface nitrogen cycling. During anammox, energy is generated as ammonium is oxidized under anaerobic conditions to dinitrogen gas, using nitrite as the final electron acceptor. This process is a global sink for fixed nitrogen. Only a narrow range of monophyletic bacteria within the Planctomycetes carries out anammox, and the full extent of their metabolism, and subsequent impact on nitrogen cycling and microbial community structure, is still unknown. Here, we employ a metatranscriptomic analysis on enriched mRNA to identify the abundance and activity of a population of anammox bacteria within an aquifer at Rifle, CO. Planktonic biomass was collected over a two-month period after injection of up to 1.5 mM nitrate. Illumina-generated sequences were mapped to a phylogenetically binned Rifle metagenome database. We identified transcripts for genes with high protein sequence identities (81-98%) to those of anammox strain KSU-1 and to two of the five anammox bacteria genera, Brocadia and Kuenenia, suggesting an active, if not diverse, anammox population. Many of the most abundant anammox transcripts mapped to a single scaffold, indicative of a single dominant anammox species. Transcripts of the genes necessary for the anammox pathway were present, including an ammonium transporter (amtB), nitrite/formate transporter, nitrite reductase (nirK), and hydrazine oxidoreductase (hzoB). The form of nitrite reductase encoded by anammox is species-dependent, and we only identified nirK, with no evidence of anammox nirS. In addition to the anammox pathway we saw evidence of the anammox bacterial dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium pathway (narH, putative nrfA, and nrfB), which provides an alternate means of generating substrates for anammox from nitrate, rather than relying on an external pool. Transcripts for hydroxylamine

  3. Activities on Facebook Reveal the Depressive State of Users

    PubMed Central

    Kwak, Jinah

    2013-01-01

    Background As online social media have become prominent, much effort has been spent on identifying users with depressive symptoms in order to aim at early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention by using various online social media. In this paper, we focused on Facebook to discern any correlations between the platform’s features and users’ depressive symptoms. This work may be helpful in trying to reach and detect large numbers of depressed individuals more easily. Objective Our goal was to develop a Web application and identify depressive symptom–related features from users of Facebook, a popular social networking platform. Methods 55 Facebook users (male=40, female=15, mean age 24.43, SD 3.90) were recruited through advertisement fliers distributed to students in a large university in Korea. Using EmotionDiary, the Facebook application we developed, we evaluated depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression (CES-D) scale. We also provided tips and facts about depression to participants and measured their responses using EmotionDiary. To identify the Facebook features related to depression, correlation analyses were performed between CES-D and participants’ responses to tips and facts or Facebook social features. Last, we interviewed depressed participants (CES-D≥25) to assess their depressive symptoms by a psychiatrist. Results Facebook activities had predictive power in distinguishing depressed and nondepressed individuals. Participants’ response to tips and facts, which can be explained by the number of app tips viewed and app points, had a positive correlation (P=.04 for both cases), whereas the number of friends and location tags had a negative correlation with the CES-D scale (P=.08 and P=.045 respectively). Furthermore, in finding group differences in Facebook social activities, app tips viewed and app points resulted in significant differences (P=.01 and P=.03 respectively) between probably depressed and

  4. Neural activity reveals perceptual grouping in working memory.

    PubMed

    Rabbitt, Laura R; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G; Peterson, Matthew S

    2017-03-01

    There is extensive evidence that the contralateral delay activity (CDA), a scalp recorded event-related brain potential, provides a reliable index of the number of objects held in visual working memory. Here we present evidence that the CDA not only indexes visual object working memory, but also the number of locations held in spatial working memory. In addition, we demonstrate that the CDA can be predictably modulated by the type of encoding strategy employed. When individual locations were held in working memory, the pattern of CDA modulation mimicked previous findings for visual object working memory. Specifically, CDA amplitude increased monotonically until working memory capacity was reached. However, when participants were instructed to group individual locations to form a constellation, the CDA was prolonged and reached an asymptote at two locations. This result provides neural evidence for the formation of a unitary representation of multiple spatial locations.

  5. Comparison of the presence of Shiga toxin 1 in food matrices as determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a biological activity assay.

    PubMed

    Lumor, Stephen E; Fredrickson, Neal R; Ronningen, Ian; Deen, Bronwyn D; Smith, Kenneth; Diez-Gonzalez, Francisco; Labuza, Theodore P

    2012-06-01

    This study was conducted to compare the identification of Shiga toxin 1 (Stx1) based on its specific biological activity and based on results of a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit. Stx1 was thermally treated for various periods in phosphate-buffered saline, milk, and orange juice. The residual Stx1 concentration was determined with the commercial ELISA kit, and its residual enzymatic activity (amount of adenine released from a 2,551-bp DNA substrate) was determined with a biological activity assay (BAA). Regression analysis indicated that the inactivation of Stx1 as a function of time followed first-order kinetics. The half-lives determined at 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, and 85°C were 9.96, 3.19, 2.67, 0.72, 0.47, and 0.29 min, respectively, using the BAA. The half-lives determined by the ELISA with thermal treatments at 70, 75, 80, and 85°C were 40.47, 11.03, 3.64, and 1.40 min, respectively. The Z, Q(10), and Arrhenius activation energy values derived by both assays were dissimilar, indicating that the rate of inactivation of the active site of Stx1 was less sensitive to temperature change than was denaturation of the epitope(s) used in the ELISA. These values were 10.28°C and 9.40 and 54.70 kcal/mol, respectively, with the ELISA and 16°C and 4.11 and 34 kcal/mol, respectively, with the BAA. Orange juice enhanced Stx1 inactivation as a function of increasing temperature, whereas inactivation in 2% milk was not very much different from that in phosphate-buffered saline. Our investigation indicates that the ELISA would be a reliable method for detecting the residual toxicity of heat-treated Stx1 because the half-lives determined with the ELISA were greater than those determined with the BAA (faster degradation) at all temperatures and were highly correlated (R(2) = 0.994) with those determined with the BAA.

  6. In situ fabrication of cleavable peptide arrays on polydimethylsiloxane and applications for kinase activity assays.

    PubMed

    Chen, Huang-Han; Hsiao, Yu-Chieh; Li, Jie-Ren; Chen, Shu-Hui

    2015-03-20

    Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) is widely used for microfabrication and bioanalysis; however, its surface functionalization is limited due to the lack of active functional groups and incompatibility with many solvents. We presented a novel approach for in situ fabrication of cleavable peptide arrays on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) viatert-butyloxycarbonyl (t-Boc)/trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) chemistry using gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) as the anchor and a disulfide/amine terminated hetero-polyethylene glycol as the cleavable linker. The method was fine tuned to use reagents compatible with the PDMS. Using 5-mer pentapeptide, Trp5, as a model, step-by-step covalent coupling during the reaction cycles was monitored by Attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectrometer (ATR-FTIR), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), or atomic force microscopy (AFM), and further confirmed by mass spectrometry (MS) detection of the cleaved peptides. Using such a method, heptapeptides of the PKA substrate, LRRASLG (Kemptide), and its point mutated analogs were fabricated in an array format for comparative studies of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) activity. Based on on-chip detection, Kemptide sequence exhibited the highest phosphorylation activity, which was detected to a 1.5-time lesser extent for the point mutated sequence (LRRGSLG) containing the recognition motif (RRXS), and was nearly undetectable for another point mutated sequence (LRLASLG) that lacked the recognition motif. These results indicate that the reported fabrication method is able to yield highly specific peptide sequences on PDMS, leading to a highly motif-sensitive enzyme activity assay.

  7. Methodology to assay CYP2E1 mixed function oxidase catalytic activity and its induction

    PubMed Central

    Cederbaum, Arthur I.

    2014-01-01

    The cytochrome P450 mixed function oxidase enzymes are the major catalysts involved in drug metabolism. There are many forms of P450. CYP2E1 metabolizes many toxicologically important compounds including ethanol and is active in generating reactive oxygen species. Since several of the contributions in the common theme series “Role of CYP2E1 and Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress in the Hepatotoxic Actions of Alcohol” discuss CYP2E1, this methodology review describes assays on how CYP2E1 catalytic activity and its induction by ethanol and other inducers can be measured using substrate probes such as the oxidation of para-nitrophenol to para-nitrocatechol and the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde. Approaches to validate that a particular reaction e.g. oxidation of a drug or toxin is catalyzed by CYP2E1 or that induction of that reaction is due to induction of CYP2E1 are important and specific examples using inhibitors of CYP2E1, anti-CYP2E1 IgG or CYP2E1 knockout and knockin mice will be discussed. PMID:25454746

  8. Liquid crystal based sensors monitoring lipase activity: a new rapid and sensitive method for cytotoxicity assays.

    PubMed

    Hussain, Zakir; Zafiu, Christian; Küpcü, Seta; Pivetta, Lucineia; Hollfelder, Nadine; Masutani, Akira; Kilickiran, Pinar; Sinner, Eva-Kathrin

    2014-06-15

    In this work we present liquid crystal (LC) based sensor devices to monitor cell viability. The sensing layer is composed by the LC and a planar monolayer of phospholipids. In the presence of minute traces of phospholipases, which hydrolyze enzymatically phospholipids, the LC-lipid interface is disintegrated. This event causes a change in orientation of the LC, which was followed in a polarized microscope. The lipase activity can be used to measure the cell viability, since members of this enzyme family are released by cells, as they undergo necrosis. The described sensor was used to monitor the presence of the lipases released from three different cell lines, which were either exposed to highly cytotoxic model compounds (sodium azide and paracetamol) or subjected to freeze-thaw cycles to induce cell death by a non-chemical based inducer for apoptosis, such as temperature. Finally, the comparison of lipase activity detected by a state-of-the-art fluorescence assay to the LC based system resulted in the superiority of the LC system concerning incubation time and sensitivity.

  9. A rapid and simple assay for growth hormone-binding protein activity in human plasma.

    PubMed

    Baumann, G; Shaw, M A; Amburn, K

    1988-12-01

    The newly discovered circulating growth hormone binding proteins dictate a re-evaluation of the state of GH in plasma in health and disease as the binding proteins are known to affect GH metabolism and action. We describe a rapid and simple GH-binding assay that allows determination of free and complexed plasma GH, as well as GH-binding protein activity as an index of GH-binding protein levels, with relative ease. The method is based on incubation of plasma with 125I-GH and separation of bound from free GH on small DEAE-cellulose columns; it can be used on a large scale for routine determinations. The results obtained by this method are comparable to those obtained with the previously used slow and more cumbersome gel filtration technique. Initial data obtained in normal subjects and certain disease states show that the bound fraction of plasma GH is similar in men, women and children, is unaffected by pregnancy or acute infection, but is marginally decreased in liver cirrhosis. In acromegaly, binding protein activity also appears normal when allowance is made for partial saturation of the binding proteins by the high prevailing GH levels. The technique we describe should facilitate investigations of normal and abnormal regulation of the GH binding proteins.

  10. Origanum majorana Essential Oil Lacks Mutagenic Activity in the Salmonella/Microsome and Micronucleus Assays.

    PubMed

    Dantas, Andrea Dos Santos; Klein-Júnior, Luiz Carlos; Machado, Miriana S; Guecheva, Temenouga N; Dos Santos, Luciana D; Zanette, Régis A; de Mello, Fernanda B; Pêgas Henriques, João Antonio; de Mello, João Roberto Braga

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro mutagenic activity of Origanum majorana essential oil. The most abundant compounds identified by GC-MS were γ-terpinene (25.73%), α-terpinene (17.35%), terpinen-4-ol (17.24%), and sabinene (10.8%). Mutagenicity was evaluated by the Salmonella/microsome test using the preincubation procedure on TA98, TA97a, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 Salmonella typhimurium strains, in the absence or in the presence of metabolic activation. Cytotoxicity was detected at concentrations higher than 0.04 μL/plate in the absence of S9 mix and higher than 0.08 μL/plate in the presence of S9 mix and no gene mutation increase was observed. For the in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus test, V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts were used. Cytotoxicity was only observed at concentrations higher than or equal to 0.05 μg/mL. Moreover, when tested in noncytotoxic concentrations, O. majorana essential oil was not able to induce chromosome mutation. The results from this study therefore suggest that O. majorana essential oil is not mutagenic at the concentrations tested in the Salmonella/microsome and micronucleus assays.

  11. Origanum majorana Essential Oil Lacks Mutagenic Activity in the Salmonella/Microsome and Micronucleus Assays

    PubMed Central

    Klein-Júnior, Luiz Carlos; Guecheva, Temenouga N.; dos Santos, Luciana D.; Zanette, Régis A.; de Mello, Fernanda B.; de Mello, João Roberto Braga

    2016-01-01

    The present study aimed to investigate the in vitro mutagenic activity of Origanum majorana essential oil. The most abundant compounds identified by GC-MS were γ-terpinene (25.73%), α-terpinene (17.35%), terpinen-4-ol (17.24%), and sabinene (10.8%). Mutagenicity was evaluated by the Salmonella/microsome test using the preincubation procedure on TA98, TA97a, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 Salmonella typhimurium strains, in the absence or in the presence of metabolic activation. Cytotoxicity was detected at concentrations higher than 0.04 μL/plate in the absence of S9 mix and higher than 0.08 μL/plate in the presence of S9 mix and no gene mutation increase was observed. For the in vitro mammalian cell micronucleus test, V79 Chinese hamster lung fibroblasts were used. Cytotoxicity was only observed at concentrations higher than or equal to 0.05 μg/mL. Moreover, when tested in noncytotoxic concentrations, O. majorana essential oil was not able to induce chromosome mutation. The results from this study therefore suggest that O. majorana essential oil is not mutagenic at the concentrations tested in the Salmonella/microsome and micronucleus assays. PMID:27891531

  12. Towards a Better Understanding of the Psychopharmacology of Nutmeg: Activities in the Mouse Tetrad Assay

    PubMed Central

    El-Alfy, Abir; Wilson, Lisa; ElSohly, Mahmoud A.; Abourashed, Ehab A.

    2009-01-01

    Ethnopharmacological relevance Nutmeg, the seeds of Myritica fragrans (family Myristicaceae), is a well known kitchen spice with a long-standing reputation as a psychoactive herb. Nutmeg at high doses is considered a cheap substitute to several drugs of abuse. Earlier reports have attributed amphetamine-like activities to nutmeg. Aim of the study To characterize the neuropharmacological effects of different nutmeg extracts, administered orally and intraperitoneally, in comparison to Δ9-terahydrocannabinol, amphetamine, and morphine. Materials and methods Methanolic (ME), dichloromethane (DE), and hexane (HE) extracts were obtained from a chromatographically fingerprinted batch of nutmeg. Biological evaluation was conducted in sets of 6–8 mice in the tetrad assay at doses ranging from 100–500 and 500–1000 mg/kg for i.p. and oral administration, respectively. Results While oral administration of all the nutmeg extracts at 500 mg/kg caused a significant increase in locomotor activity, the i.p. administration of DE showed significant reduction in rectal temperature along with a significant increase in tail flick latency at 300 mg/kg. A significant decrease in core body temperature was observed with HE at 100 mg/kg, while higher doses caused significant increases in hot plate latency. Conclusion Different behavioral effects were observed that varied by the type of extract as well as by the route of administration. PMID:19703539

  13. Telomerase Activity Detection with Amplification-Free Single Molecule Stochastic Binding Assay.

    PubMed

    Su, Xin; Li, Zehao; Yan, Xinzhong; Wang, Lei; Zhou, Xu; Wei, Lin; Xiao, Lehui; Yu, Changyuan

    2017-03-21

    Because the elongation of telomeres has been associated with tumorigenesis, it is of great interest to develop rapid and high-confidence telomerase activity detection methods for disease diagnosis. Currently, amplification-based strategies have been extensively explored for telomerase detection in vitro and in vivo. However, amplification is typically associated with poor reproducibility and high background, which hamper further applications of the strategies, particularly for real sample assays. Here, we demonstrate a new amplification-free single molecule imaging method for telomerase activity detection in vitro based on nucleic acid stochastic binding with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy. The dynamic stochastic binding of a short fluorescent DNA probe with a genuine target yields a distinct kinetic signature from the background noise, allowing us to identify telomerase reaction products (TRPs) at the single molecule level. A limit-of-detection as low as 0.5 fM and a dynamic range of 0.5-500 fM for TRP detection were readily achieved. With this method, telomerase extracted from cancer cells was determined with sensitivity down to 10 cells. Moreover, the length distribution of TRPs was also determined by multiple stochastic probing, which could provide deep insight into the mechanistic study of telomerase catalysis.

  14. Electrochemical assay of α-glucosidase activity and the inhibitor screening in cell medium.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Juan; Liu, Ying; Wang, Xiaonan; Chen, Yangyang; Li, Genxi

    2015-12-15

    An electrochemical method is established in this work for the assay of α-glucosidase activity and the inhibitor screening through one-step displacement reaction, which can be directly used in cell medium. The displacement reaction can be achieved via strong binding of 4-aminophenyl-α-D-glucopyranoside (pAPG)/magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to pyrene boric acid (PBA) immobilized on the surface of graphite electrode (GE), compared to that of dopamine (DA)/sliver nanoparticles (AgNPs). Since α-glucosidase can specifically catalyze MNPs/pAPG into MNPs/pAP which has no binding capacity with PBA, the activity of both isolated and membrane bound enzyme can be well evaluated by using this proposed method. Meanwhile, signal amplification can be accomplished via the immobilization of DA at the outer layer of AgNPs, and the accuracy can be strengthened through magnetic separation. Moreover, this method can also be utilized for inhibitor screening not only in the medium containing the enzyme but also in cell medium. With good precision and accuracy, it may be extended to other proteases and their inhibitors as well.

  15. Microplate assay for screening the antibacterial activity of Schiff bases derived from substituted benzopyran-4-one.

    PubMed

    Amin, Rehab M; Abdel-Kader, Nora S; El-Ansary, Aida L

    2012-09-01

    Schiff bases (SB(1)-SB(3)) were synthesized from the condensation of 6-formyl-7-hydroxy-5-methoxy-2-methylbenzopyran-4-one with 2-aminopyridine (SB(1)), p-phenylenediamine (SB(2)) and o-phenylenediamine (SB(3)), while Schiff bases (SB(4)-SB(6)) were synthesized by condensation of 5,7-dihydroxy-6-formyl-2-methylbenzopyran-4-one with 2-aminopyridine (SB(4)), p-phenylenediamine (SB(5)) and o-phenylenediamine (SB(6)). Schiff bases were characterized using elemental analysis, IR, UV-Vis, (1)H NMR, (13)C NMR and mass spectroscopy. These compounds were screened for antibacterial activities by micro-plate assay technique. Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus capitis were exposed to different concentrations of the Schiff bases. Results showed that the antibacterial effect of these Schiff bases on Gram-negative bacteria were higher than that on Gram-positive bacteria moreover, the Schiff bases containing substituent OCH(3) on position five have higher antibacterial activity than that containing hydroxy group on the same position.

  16. High specific activity enantiomerically enriched juvenile hormones: synthesis and binding assay.

    PubMed Central

    Prestwich, G D; Wawrzeńczyk, C

    1985-01-01

    A stereoselective total synthesis of chiral juvenile hormone I is described that allows stoichiometric introduction of two tritium atoms in the final step. Both optical antipodes of the pivotal epoxy alcohol intermediate were prepared in 95% enantiomeric excess by the Sharpless epoxidation of a (Z)-allylic alcohol. Elaboration of the hydroxy-methyl group to a vinyl group followed by selective homogeneous tritiation affords optically active juvenile hormone I analogs at 58 Ci/mmol. Competitive binding of the labeled 10R, 11S and 10S,11R enantiomers with unlabeled enantiomers to the hemolymph binding protein of Manduca sexta larvae was determined by using a dextran-coated charcoal assay. The natural 10R,11S enantiomer has twice the relative binding affinity of the 10S,11R enantiomer. The availability of such high specific activity optically pure hormones will contribute substantially to the search for high-affinity receptors for juvenile hormones in the nuclei of cells. Moreover, the chiral 12-hydroxy-(10R,11S)-epoxy intermediate allows modification of juvenile hormone for solid-phase biochemical and radioimmunochemical work without altering either the biologically important carbomethoxy or epoxy recognition sites. PMID:3860862

  17. High specific activity enantiomerically enriched juvenile hormones: synthesis and binding assay.

    PubMed

    Prestwich, G D; Wawrzeńczyk, C

    1985-08-01

    A stereoselective total synthesis of chiral juvenile hormone I is described that allows stoichiometric introduction of two tritium atoms in the final step. Both optical antipodes of the pivotal epoxy alcohol intermediate were prepared in 95% enantiomeric excess by the Sharpless epoxidation of a (Z)-allylic alcohol. Elaboration of the hydroxy-methyl group to a vinyl group followed by selective homogeneous tritiation affords optically active juvenile hormone I analogs at 58 Ci/mmol. Competitive binding of the labeled 10R, 11S and 10S,11R enantiomers with unlabeled enantiomers to the hemolymph binding protein of Manduca sexta larvae was determined by using a dextran-coated charcoal assay. The natural 10R,11S enantiomer has twice the relative binding affinity of the 10S,11R enantiomer. The availability of such high specific activity optically pure hormones will contribute substantially to the search for high-affinity receptors for juvenile hormones in the nuclei of cells. Moreover, the chiral 12-hydroxy-(10R,11S)-epoxy intermediate allows modification of juvenile hormone for solid-phase biochemical and radioimmunochemical work without altering either the biologically important carbomethoxy or epoxy recognition sites.

  18. Structure-activity relationships in carbohydrates revealed by their hydration.

    PubMed

    Maugeri, Laura; Busch, Sebastian; McLain, Sylvia E; Pardo, Luis Carlos; Bruni, Fabio; Ricci, Maria Antonietta

    2016-12-21

    One of the more intriguing aspects of carbohydrate chemistry is that despite having very similar molecular structures, sugars have very different properties. For instance, there is a sensible difference in sweet taste between glucose and trehalose, even though trehalose is a disaccharide that comprised two glucose units, suggesting a different ability of these two carbohydrates to bind to sweet receptors. Here we have looked at the hydration of specific sites and at the three-dimensional configuration of water molecules around three carbohydrates (glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose), combining neutron diffraction data with computer modelling. Results indicate that identical chemical groups can have radically different hydration patterns depending on their location on a given molecule. These differences can be linked with the specific activity of glucose, cellobiose, and trehalose as a sweet substance, as building block of cellulose fiber, and as a bioprotective agent, respectively. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Recent Advances in Bionanomaterials" Guest Editors: Dr. Marie-Louise Saboungi and Dr. Samuel D. Bader.

  19. Comparison of the sensitivities of common in vitro and in vivo assays of estrogenic activity: application of chemical toxicity distributions.

    PubMed

    Dobbins, Laura L; Brain, Richard A; Brooks, Bryan W

    2008-12-01

    A number of contaminants in municipal effluent discharges are estrogen agonists to fish. Whereas several in vitro and in vivo techniques have been developed to assess the estrogenic activity of these compounds or ambient environmental samples, previous comparisons of the relative sensitivities of these approaches remain inconclusive. We employed a probabilistic hazard assessment approach using chemical toxicity distributions (CTDs) to perform a novel evaluation of relative sensitivities of six common in vitro and in vivo assays. We predicted that there was an 8.3% (human breast ademocarcinoma cell line, MCF-7, assay), 6.3% (yeast estrogen screen assay), or 1.9% (fish hepatocyte vitellogenin, VTG, assay) probability of detecting a compound in aquatic systems that will elicit an estrogenic response at concentrations at or below 0.1 microg/L, suggesting that the MCF-7 assay was the most sensitive in vitro assay evaluated in this study. The probabilities of eliciting the estrogenic response of VTG induction at a concentration less than 0.1 microg/L in rainbow trout, fathead minnow, and Japanese medaka were determined at 29.9, 26.2, and 18.8%, respectively. Thus, rainbow trout VTG induction was the most sensitive in vivo assay assessed. Subsequently, CTDs may provide a useful technique for hazard assessment of chemical classes for which exposure data are limited and for chemicals with common toxicological mechanisms and modes of action.

  20. FRETS-VWF73 rather than CBA assay reflects ADAMTS13 proteolytic activity in acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura patients.

    PubMed

    Mancini, I; Valsecchi, C; Lotta, L A; Deforche, L; Pontiggia, S; Bajetta, M; Palla, R; Vanhoorelbeke, K; Peyvandi, F

    2014-08-01

    Collagen-binding activity (CBA) and FRETS-VWF73 assays are widely adopted methods for the measurement of the plasmatic activity of ADAMTS13, the von Willebrand factor (VWF) cleaving-protease. Accurately assessing the severe deficiency of ADAMTS13 is important in the management of thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP). However, non-concordant results between the two assays have been reported in a small but relevant percentage of TTP cases. We investigated whether CBA or FRETS-VWF73 assay reflects ADAMTS13 proteolytic activity in acquired TTP patients with non-concordant measurements. Twenty plasma samples with non-concordant ADAMTS13 activity results, <10% using FRETS-VWF73 and ≥20% using CBA, and 11 samples with concordant results, <10% using either FRETS-VWF73 and CBA assays, were analysed. FRETS-VWF73 was performed in the presence of 1.5 M urea. ADAMTS13 activities were also measured under flow conditions and the VWF multimer pattern was defined in order to verify the presence of ultra-large VWF due to ADAMTS13 deficiency. In FRETS-VWF73 assay with 1.5 M urea, ADAMTS13 activity significantly increased in roughly 50% of the samples with non-concordant results, whereas it remained undetectable in all samples with concordant measurements. Under flow conditions, all tested samples showed reduced ADAMTS13 activity. Finally, samples with non-concordant results showed a ratio of high molecular weight VWF multimers higher than normal. Our results support the use of FRETS-VWF73 over CBA assay for the assessment of ADAMTS13 severe deficiency and indicate urea as one cause of the observed differences.

  1. An assay for human erythrocyte catechol-O-methyltransferase activity using a catechol estrogen as the substrate.

    PubMed

    Bates, G W; Edman, C D; Porter, J C; Johnston, J M; MacDonald, P C

    1979-05-16

    A radiometric assay for catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity in human erythrocytes is described that employs 2-hydroxy[3H]estrone, and non-radiolabeled S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as the cosubstrates. The ease of separation of the product of the reaction, 2-methoxy[3H]estrone from 2-hydroxy[3H]estrone makes it possible to achieve low reaction blanks. The assay is very sensitive, and only 200 microliter of whole blood are used per determination. The assay is highly reproducible. The interassay variability (coefficient of variation) was 6.5% for 24 assays of COMT activity in red blood cells in blood obtained daily for 24 days from one person. In incubations conducted at 37 degrees C for 30 min, the catechol-O-methyltransferase activity was a linear function of enzyme concentration (equivalent to 11 to 180 microliter of packed red blood cells). Employing this assay, we evaluated the catalytic conversion of 2-hydroxyestrone to 2-methoxyestrone by catechol-O-methyltransferase from human red blood cells and found that the apparent Michaelis constant and the apparent maximal rate of reaction were 3 x 10(-7) M and 6.7 x 10(-9) mol . ml-1 erythrocytes . h-1, respectively. The catechol-O-methyltransferase activity measured in erythrocytes obtained from 100 healthy subjects (men and nonpregnant women) was 8.2 +/- 0.17 (mean +/- S.E.) nmol 2-methoxyestrone . ml-1 erythrocytes . h-1.

  2. An in vitro peptide complementation assay for CYT-18-dependent group I intron splicing reveals a new role for the N-terminus.

    PubMed

    Geng, Chun; Paukstelis, Paul J

    2014-03-04

    The mitochondrial tyrosyl tRNA synthetase from Neurospora crassa (CYT-18 protein) is a bifunctional group I intron splicing cofactor. CYT-18 is capable of splicing multiple group I introns from a wide variety of sources by stabilizing the catalytically active intron structures. CYT-18 and mt TyrRSs from related fungal species have evolved to assist in group I intron splicing in part by the accumulation of three N-terminal domain insertions. Biochemical and structural analysis indicate that the N-terminal insertions serve primarily to create a structure-stabilizing scaffold for critical tertiary interactions between the two major RNA domains of group I introns. Previous studies concluded that the primarily α-helical N-terminal insertion, H0, contributes to protein stability and is necessary for splicing the N. crassa ND1 intron but is dispensable for splicing the N. crassa mitochondrial LSU intron. Here, we show that CYT-18 with a complete H0 deletion retains residual ND1 intron splicing activity and that addition of the missing N-terminus in trans is capable of restoring a significant portion of its splicing activity. The development of this peptide complementation assay has allowed us to explore important characteristics of the CYT-18/group I intron interaction including the stoichiometry of H0 in intron splicing and the importance of specific H0 residues. Evaluation of truncated H0 peptides in this assay and a re-examination of the CYT-18 crystal structure suggest a previously unknown structural role of the first five N-terminal residues of CYT-18. These residues interact directly with another splicing insertion, making H0 a central structural element responsible for connecting all three N-terminal splicing insertions.

  3. Analysis of Flavonoids in Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) Leaves and Their Antioxidant Activity Using Macroporous Resin Chromatography Coupled with LC-MS/MS and Antioxidant Biochemical Assays.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ming-Zhi; Wu, Wei; Jiao, Li-Li; Yang, Ping-Fang; Guo, Ming-Quan

    2015-06-08

    Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) leaves, a traditional Chinese medicinal herb, are rich in flavonoids. In an effort to thoroughly analyze their flavonoid components, macroporous resin chromatography coupled with HPLC-MS/MS was employed to simultaneously enrich and identify flavonoids from lotus leaves. Flavonoids extracted from lotus leaves were selectively enriched in the macroporous resin column, eluted subsequently as fraction II, and successively subjected to analysis with the HPLC-MS/MS and bioactivity assays. Altogether, fourteen flavonoids were identified, four of which were identified from lotus leaves for the first time, including quercetin 3-O-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-glucopyranoside, quercetin 3-O-arabinoside, diosmetin 7-O-hexose, and isorhamnetin 3-O-arabino- pyranosyl-(1→2)-glucopyranoside. Further bioactivity assays revealed that these flavonoids from lotus leaves possess strong antioxidant activity, and demonstrate very good potential to be explored as food supplements or even pharmaceutical products to improve human health.

  4. A Link between ORC-Origin Binding Mechanisms and Origin Activation Time Revealed in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Hoggard, Timothy; Shor, Erika; Müller, Carolin A.; Nieduszynski, Conrad A.; Fox, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic DNA replication origins are selected in G1-phase when the origin recognition complex (ORC) binds chromosomal positions and triggers molecular events culminating in the initiation of DNA replication (a.k.a. origin firing) during S-phase. Each chromosome uses multiple origins for its duplication, and each origin fires at a characteristic time during S-phase, creating a cell-type specific genome replication pattern relevant to differentiation and genome stability. It is unclear whether ORC-origin interactions are relevant to origin activation time. We applied a novel genome-wide strategy to classify origins in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on the types of molecular interactions used for ORC-origin binding. Specifically, origins were classified as DNA-dependent when the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo could be explained by the affinity of ORC for origin DNA in vitro, and, conversely, as ‘chromatin-dependent’ when the ORC-DNA interaction in vitro was insufficient to explain the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo. These two origin classes differed in terms of nucleosome architecture and dependence on origin-flanking sequences in plasmid replication assays, consistent with local features of chromatin promoting ORC binding at ‘chromatin-dependent’ origins. Finally, the ‘chromatin-dependent’ class was enriched for origins that fire early in S-phase, while the DNA-dependent class was enriched for later firing origins. Conversely, the latest firing origins showed a positive association with the ORC-origin DNA paradigm for normal levels of ORC binding, whereas the earliest firing origins did not. These data reveal a novel association between ORC-origin binding mechanisms and the regulation of origin activation time. PMID:24068963

  5. Facile colorimetric assay of alkaline phosphatase activity using Fe(II)-phenanthroline reporter.

    PubMed

    Hu, Qiong; Zhou, Baojing; Dang, Pengyun; Li, Lianzhi; Kong, Jinming; Zhang, Xueji

    2017-01-15

    We report a versatile approach for the colorimetric assay of alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity based on the distinctive metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) absorption properties of Fe(II)-phenanthroline reporter. In the presence of ALP, the applied substrate ascorbic acid 2-phosphate is enzymatically hydrolyzed to produce ascorbic acid, which then reduces Fe(3+) to Fe(2+). The complexation of Fe(2+) with the bathophenanthroline disulfonate (BPS) ligand generates a blood-red Fe(BPS)3(4-) reporter, which is characterized by an intense MLCT absorption band at 535 nm in the visible range. Under optimal conditions, the spectral output exhibits a good quantitative relationship with ALP activity over the range of 0-220 mU mL(-1) with a detection limit of 0.94 mU mL(-1). Moreover, the activity of ALP can also be conveniently judged through naked-eye observations. Results indicate that it is highly selective and can be applied to the screening of ALP inhibitors. In addition, it has been successfully employed to detect the endogenous ALP level of undiluted human serum samples, with a detection limit of 1.05 mU mL(-1) being achieved. This approach avoids any elaborately designed substrates and holds considerable simplicity and flexibility for reporter design. This study broadens the horizon of the applications of phenanthroline-based transition metal complexes. Furthermore, an efficient and practical method like this has the potential to be widely used in clinical applications and in the point-of-care testing.

  6. Revealing the nature of the active site on the carbon catalyst for C-H bond activation.

    PubMed

    Sun, XiaoYing; Li, Bo; Su, Dangsheng

    2014-09-28

    A reactivity descriptor for the C-H bond activation on the nanostructured carbon catalyst is proposed. Furthermore the calculations reveal that the single ketone group can be an active site in ODH reaction.

  7. Factor Activity Assays for Monitoring Extended Half-Life FVIII and Factor IX Replacement Therapies.

    PubMed

    Kitchen, Steve; Tiefenbacher, Stefan; Gosselin, Robert

    2017-04-01

    The advent of modified factor VIII (FVIII) and factor IX (FIX) molecules with extended half-lives (EHLs) compared with native FVIII and FIX represents a major advance in the field of hemophilia care, with the potential to reduce the frequency of prophylactic injections and/or to increase the trough level prior to subsequent injections. Monitoring treatment through laboratory assays will be an important part of ensuring patient safety, including any tailoring of prophylaxis. Several approaches have been used to extend half-lives, including PEGylation, and fusion to albumin or immunoglobulin. Some of these modifications affect factor assays as routinely performed in hemophilia centers; so, laboratories will need to use FVIII and FIX assays which have been shown to be suitable on a product-by-product basis. For some products, there are marked differences between results obtained using one-stage or chromogenic assays and results obtained using different reagents in the one-stage assay. The laboratory should use an assay in which the recovery of the product closely aligns with the assay used by the pharmaceutical company to assign potency to the product, so that the units reported by the laboratory agree with those used to demonstrate efficacy of the product during clinical trials. Reported assay differences in relation to several of the EHL FVIII and FIX molecules will be reviewed in this article.

  8. Catalytic contributions of key residues in the adenine glycosylase MutY revealed by pH dependent kinetics and cellular repair assays

    PubMed Central

    Brinkmeyer, Megan K.; Pope, Mary Ann Miles; David, Sheila S.

    2012-01-01

    Summary MutY enzymes prevent mutations in DNA associated with 8-oxoguanine (OG) by catalyzing the removal of adenines opposite OG. pH dependence analyses of the adenine glycosylase activity establish that Asp 138 of MutY must be deprotonated for maximal catalytic activity consistent with the role of this residue in stabilizing the oxacarbenium ion transition state in an SN1 mechanism. Use of a cellular OG:A repair assay allowed further validation of the critical role of Asp 138. Conservative substitutions of the catalytic residues Asp 138 and Glu 37 resulted in enzymes with a range of activity that were used to correlate the efficiency of adenine excision with overall OG:A repair and suppression of DNA mutations in vivo. The results indicate that MutY variations that reduce glycosylase activity as a consequence of reduced mismatch affinity result in more dramatic reductions in cellular OG:A repair than those that only compromise adenine excision catalysis. PMID:22365610

  9. Structural and functional assays of AtTLP18.3 identify its novel acid phosphatase activity in thylakoid lumen.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hsin-Yi; Liu, Mao-Sen; Lin, Tsan-Piao; Cheng, Yi-Sheng

    2011-11-01

    The membrane protein AtTLP18.3 of Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) contains a domain of unknown function, DUF477; it forms a polysome with photosynthetic apparatuses in the thylakoid lumen. To explore the molecular function of AtTLP18.3, we resolved its crystal structures with residues 83 to 260, the DUF477 only, and performed a series of biochemical analyses to discover its function. The gene expression of AtTLP18.3 followed a circadian rhythm. X-ray crystallography revealed the folding of AtTLP18.3 as a three-layer sandwich with three α-helices in the upper layer, four β-sheets in the middle layer, and two α-helices in the lower layer, which resembles a Rossmann fold. Structural comparison suggested that AtTLP18.3 might be a phosphatase. The enzymatic activity of AtTLP18.3 was further confirmed by phosphatase assay with various substrates (e.g. p-nitrophenyl phosphate, 6,8-difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate, O-phospho-L-serine, and several synthetic phosphopeptides). Furthermore, we obtained the structure of AtTLP18.3 in complex with O-phospho-L-serine to identify the binding site of AtTLP18.3. Our structural and biochemical studies revealed that AtTLP18.3 has the molecular function of a novel acid phosphatase in the thylakoid lumen. DUF477 is accordingly renamed the thylakoid acid phosphatase domain.

  10. AroER tri-screen is a biologically relevant assay for endocrine disrupting chemicals modulating the activity of aromatase and/or the estrogen receptor.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shiuan; Zhou, Dujin; Hsin, Li-Yu; Kanaya, Noriko; Wong, Cynthie; Yip, Richard; Sakamuru, Srilatha; Xia, Menghang; Yuan, Yate-Ching; Witt, Kristine; Teng, Christina

    2014-05-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the biosynthesis, metabolism, and functions of steroid hormones, including estrogens and androgens. Aromatase enzyme converts androgen to estrogen. Thus, EDCs against aromatase significantly impact estrogen- and/or androgen-dependent functions, including the development of breast cancer. The current study aimed to develop a biologically relevant cell-based high-throughput screening assay to identify EDCs that act as aromatase inhibitors (AIs), estrogen receptor (ER) agonists, and/or ER antagonists. The AroER tri-screen assay was developed by stable transfection of ER-positive, aromatase-expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells with an estrogen responsive element (ERE) driven luciferase reporter plasmid. The AroER tri-screen can identify: estrogenic EDCs, which increase luciferase signal without 17β-estradiol (E2); anti-estrogenic EDCs, which inhibit the E2-induced luciferase signal; and AI-like EDCs, which suppress a testosterone-induced luciferase signal. The assay was first optimized in a 96-well plate format and then miniaturized into a 1536-well plate format. The AroER tri-screen was demonstrated to be suitable for high-throughput screening in the 1536-well plate format, with a 6.9-fold signal-to-background ratio, a 5.4% coefficient of variation, and a screening window coefficient (Z-factor) of 0.78. The assay suggested that bisphenol A (BPA) functions mainly as an ER agonist. Results from screening the 446 drugs in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Collection revealed 106 compounds that modulated ER and/or aromatase activities. Among these, two AIs (bifonazole and oxiconazole) and one ER agonist (paroxetine) were confirmed through alternative aromatase and ER activity assays. These findings indicate that AroER tri-screen is a useful high-throughput screening system for identifying ER ligands and aromatase-inhibiting chemicals.

  11. Liposome as a delivery system for carotenoids: comparative antioxidant activity of carotenoids as measured by ferric reducing antioxidant power, DPPH assay and lipid peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Tan, Chen; Xue, Jin; Abbas, Shabbar; Feng, Biao; Zhang, Xiaoming; Xia, Shuqin

    2014-07-16

    This study was conducted to understand how carotenoids exerted antioxidant activity after encapsulation in a liposome delivery system, for food application. Three assays were selected to achieve a wide range of technical principles, including 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging, ferric reducing antioxidant powder (FRAP), and lipid peroxidation inhibition capacity (LPIC) during liposome preparation, auto-oxidation, or when induced by ferric iron/ascorbate. The antioxidant activity of carotenoids was measured either after they were mixed with preformed liposomes or after their incorporation into the liposomal system. Whatever the antioxidant model was, carotenoids displayed different antioxidant activities in suspension and in liposomes. The encapsulation could enhance the DPPH scavenging and FRAP activities of carotenoids. The strongest antioxidant activity was observed with lutein, followed by β-carotene, lycopene, and canthaxanthin. Furthermore, lipid peroxidation assay revealed a mutually protective relationship: the incorporation of either lutein or β-carotene not only exerts strong LPIC, but also protects them against pro-oxidation elements; however, the LPIC of lycopene and canthaxanthin on liposomes was weak or a pro-oxidation effect even appeared, concomitantly leading to the considerable depletion of these encapsulated carotenoids. The antioxidant activity of carotenoids after liposome encapsulation was not only related to their chemical reactivity, but also to their incorporation efficiencies into liposomal membrane and modulating effects on the membrane properties.

  12. Reporter phage and breath tests: emerging phenotypic assays for diagnosing active tuberculosis, antibiotic resistance, and treatment efficacy.

    PubMed

    Jain, Paras; Thaler, David S; Maiga, Mamoudou; Timmins, Graham S; Bishai, William R; Hatfull, Graham F; Larsen, Michelle H; Jacobs, William R

    2011-11-15

    The rapid and accurate diagnosis of active tuberculosis (TB) and its drug susceptibility remain a challenge. Phenotypic assays allow determination of antibiotic susceptibilities even if sequence data are not available or informative. We review 2 emerging diagnostic approaches, reporter phage and breath tests, both of which assay mycobacterial metabolism. The reporter phage signal, Green fluorescent protein (GFP) or β-galactosidase, indicates transcription and translation inside the recipient bacilli and its attenuation by antibiotics. Different breath tests assay, (1) exhaled antigen 85, (2) mycobacterial urease activity, and (3) detection by trained rats of disease-specific odor in sputum, have also been developed. When compared with culture, reporter phage assays shorten the time for initial diagnosis of drug susceptibility by several days. Both reporter phage and breath tests have promise as early markers to determine the efficacy of treatment. While sputum often remains smear and Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA positive early in the course of efficacious antituberculous treatment, we predict that both breath and phage tests will rapidly become negative. If this hypothesis proves correct, phage assays and breath tests could become important surrogate markers in early bactericidal activity (EBA) studies of new antibiotics.

  13. Development of a new catalase activity assay for biological samples using optical CUPRAC sensor.

    PubMed

    Bekdeşer, Burcu; Özyürek, Mustafa; Güçlü, Kubilay; Alkan, Fulya Üstün; Apak, Reşat

    2014-11-11

    A novel catalase activity assay was developed for biological samples (liver and kidney tissue homogenates) using a rapid and low-cost optical sensor-based 'cupric reducing antioxidant capacity' (CUPRAC) method. The reagent, copper(II)-neocuproine (Cu(II)-Nc) complex, was immobilized onto a cation-exchanger film of Nafion, and the absorbance changes associated with the formation of the highly-colored Cu(I)-Nc chelate as a result of reaction with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was measured at 450 nm. When catalase was absent, H2O2 produced the CUPRAC chromophore, whereas catalase, being an effective H2O2 scavenger, completely annihilated the CUPRAC signal due to H2O2. Thus, the CUPRAC absorbance due to H2O2 oxidation concomitant with Cu(I)-Nc formation decreased proportionally with catalase. The developed sensor gave a linear response over a wide concentration range of H2O2 (0.68-78.6 μM). This optical sensor-based method applicable to tissue homogenates proved to be efficient for low hydrogen peroxide concentrations (physiological and nontoxic levels) to which the widely used UV method is not accurately responsive. Thus, conventional problems of the UV method arising from relatively low sensitivity and selectivity, and absorbance disturbance due to gaseous oxygen evolution were overcome. The catalase findings of the proposed method for tissue homogenates were statistically alike with those of HPLC.

  14. Development of a new catalase activity assay for biological samples using optical CUPRAC sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bekdeşer, Burcu; Özyürek, Mustafa; Güçlü, Kubilay; Alkan, Fulya Üstün; Apak, Reşat

    2014-11-01

    A novel catalase activity assay was developed for biological samples (liver and kidney tissue homogenates) using a rapid and low-cost optical sensor-based ‘cupric reducing antioxidant capacity' (CUPRAC) method. The reagent, copper(II)-neocuproine (Cu(II)-Nc) complex, was immobilized onto a cation-exchanger film of Nafion, and the absorbance changes associated with the formation of the highly-colored Cu(I)-Nc chelate as a result of reaction with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was measured at 450 nm. When catalase was absent, H2O2 produced the CUPRAC chromophore, whereas catalase, being an effective H2O2 scavenger, completely annihilated the CUPRAC signal due to H2O2. Thus, the CUPRAC absorbance due to H2O2 oxidation concomitant with Cu(I)-Nc formation decreased proportionally with catalase. The developed sensor gave a linear response over a wide concentration range of H2O2 (0.68-78.6 μM). This optical sensor-based method applicable to tissue homogenates proved to be efficient for low hydrogen peroxide concentrations (physiological and nontoxic levels) to which the widely used UV method is not accurately responsive. Thus, conventional problems of the UV method arising from relatively low sensitivity and selectivity, and absorbance disturbance due to gaseous oxygen evolution were overcome. The catalase findings of the proposed method for tissue homogenates were statistically alike with those of HPLC.

  15. Label-free, turn-on fluorescent sensor for trypsin activity assay and inhibitor screening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lufeng; Qin, Haiyan; Cui, Wanwan; Zhou, Yang; Du, Jianxiu

    2016-12-01

    The development of new detection methods for proteases activity assay is important in clinical diagnostics and drug development. In this work, a simple, label-free, and turn-on fluorescent sensor was fabricated for trypsin, a protease produced in the pancreas. Cytochrome c, a natural substance of trypsin, could be selectively cleaved by trypsin into heme-peptide fragment. The produced heme-peptide fragment exhibited an intensive catalytic role on the H2O2-mediated the oxidation of thiamine to form strong fluorescent thiochrome. The fluorescence intensity was closely dependent on the amount of trypsin presented. The procedure allowed the measurement of trypsin over the range of 0.5-20.0μg/mL with a detection limit of 0.125μg/mL. The sensor showed better precision with a relative standard deviation of 1.6% for the measurement of 1.0μg/mL trypsin solution (n=11). This sensing system was applied to screen the inhibitor of trypsin, the IC50 values were calculated to be 12.71ng/mL for the trypsin inhibitor from soybean and 2.0μg/mL for benzamidine hydrochloride, respectively, demonstrating its potential application in drug development and related diseases treatment.

  16. Colorimetric Glucose Assay Based on Magnetic Particles Having Pseudo-peroxidase Activity and Immobilized Glucose Oxidase.

    PubMed

    Martinkova, Pavla; Opatrilova, Radka; Kruzliak, Peter; Styriak, Igor; Pohanka, Miroslav

    2016-05-01

    Magnetic particles (MPs) are currently used as a suitable alternative for peroxidase in the construction of novel biosensors, analytic and diagnostic methods. Their better chemical and thermal stabilities predestine them as appropriate pseudo-enzymatic catalysts. In this point of view, our research was focused on preparation of simply and fast method for immobilization of glucose oxidase onto surface of MPs with peroxidase-like activity. Spectrophotometric method (wavelength 450 nm) optimized for glucose determination using modified MPs has been successfully developed. Concentration curve for optimization of method was assayed, and Michaelis-Menten constant (K m) calculated, maximum reaction rate (V max), limit of detection, and correlation coefficient were determined to be 0.13 mmol/l (2.34 mg/dl), 1.79 pkat, 3.74 µmol/l (0.067 mg/dl), and 0.996, respectively. Interferences of other sugars such as sucrose, sorbitol, deoxyribose, maltose, and fructose were determined as well as effect of substances presenting in plasma (ascorbic acid, reduced glutathione, trolox, and urea). Results in comparison with positive and negative controls showed no interferences of the other sugars and no influence of plasma substances to measuring of glucose. The constructed method showed corresponding results with linear dependence and a correlation coefficient of 0.997. Possibility of repeated use of modified MPs was successfully proved.

  17. Active neutron coincidence counting for the assay of MTR fuel elements

    SciTech Connect

    Sher, R.

    1983-02-01

    The active well coincidence counter (AWCC) and the neutron coincidence collar (CC) were investigated for their suitability to assay materials testing reactor (MTR) fuel elements. The AWCC was used with its special insert to hold the fuel element and interrogation source. The CC was modified by the addition of polyethylene liners 2.5 cm (1 in.) thick on the sides. For a typical MTR element (approx. 220 g /sup 235/U) and 1000-s count times, statistical errors were approx. 1.6% for the CC and approx. 0.6% for AWCC. For either instrument, the change in count rate corresponding to the removal or addition of one fuel plate (with an 18-plate element) was approx. 3.8%; thus, either instrument can detect removal of one plate. The AWCC can also detect removal of one plate in count times that are considerably less than 1000 s. Various functions were investigated to fit the coincidence count rate vs /sup 235/U mass curve for the AWCC. Programs have been written for the Hewlett-Packard HP-97 calculator to calculate the calibration constants of these functions by a least-squares technique. Coincidence count rates in the AWCC depend on the orientation of the plates of the fuel elements because of the counting efficiency variation in the insert. To lessen this dependence, the MTR element should be counted with its plates positioned vertically, that is, parallel to the radius of the device. For the collar, the effect of plate orientation is much smaller.

  18. Investigation of the estrogenic activities of pesticides from Pal-dang reservoir by in vitro assay.

    PubMed

    Oh, Young Jin; Jung, Yeon Jung; Kang, Joon-Wun; Yoo, Young Sook

    2007-12-15

    Endocrine disruptors, when absorbed into the body, interfere with the normal function by mimicking or blocking the hormone system. To investigate compounds mimicking estrogen in the drinking water source of the residence of Seoul, the Pal-dang reservoir was monitored over a period of 5 years, between 2000 and 2004. Nine kinds of pesticide (carbaryl, DBCP, diazinon, fenitrothion, fenobucarb, flutolanil, iprobenphos, isoprothiolane and parathion) were found to exist in the river water sample. These compounds were detected at low concentrations in the water samples. The total concentration and those of each of these pesticides were below the permissible limits of the National Institute of Environmental Research (NIER), Korea. The estrogenic potencies of the nine pesticides were examined using an E-screen assay with MCF-7 BUS estrogen receptor (ER)-positive human breast cancer cells, with ER-negative MDA MB 231 cell lines also used to compare the results. From this, flutolanil and isoprothiolane were confirmed to have estrogenic activities as shown by the increasing MCF-7 BUS cell growth on their addition. In addition, the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) protein, estrogen receptor-regulated progesterone receptor (PR) and pS2 mRNA levels on the addition of flutolanil and isoprothiolane were measured with MCF-7 BUS cells. It was observed that the levels of ERalpha protein decreased and those of the PR and pS2 genes increased on the addition of either flutolanil or isoprothiolane at concentrations of 10(-4) M, in the same manner as with the addition of 17beta-estradiol, which was used as the positive control. From these results, it was confirmed that flutolanil and isoprothiolane exhibit estrogenic activities, suggesting they might act through estrogen receptors.

  19. Qualitative analysis of sequence specific binding of flavones to DNA using restriction endonuclease activity assays.

    PubMed

    Duran, Elizabeth; Ramsauer, Victoria P; Ballester, Maria; Torrenegra, Ruben D; Rodriguez, Oscar E; Winkle, Stephen A

    2013-08-01

    Flavones, found in nature as secondary plant metabolites, have shown efficacy as anti-cancer agents. We have examined the binding of two flavones, 5,7-dihydroxy-3,6,8-trimethoxy-2-phenyl-4H-chromen-4-one (5,7-dihydroxy-3,6,8-trimethoxy flavone; FlavA) and 3,5-dihydroxy-6,7,8-trimethoxy-2-phenyl-4H-chromen-4-one (3,5-dihydroxy-6,7,8-trimethoxy flavone; FlavB), to phiX174 RF DNA using restriction enzyme activity assays employing the restriction enzymes Alw44, AvaII, BssHII, DraI, MluI, NarI, NciI, NruI, PstI, and XhoI. These enzymes possess differing target and flanking sequences allowing for observation of sequence specificity analysis. Using restriction enzymes that cleave once with a mixture of supercoiled and relaxed DNA substrates provides for observation of topological effects on binding. FlavA and FlavB show differing sequence specificities in their respective binding to phiX. For example, with relaxed DNA, FlavA shows inhibition of cleavage with DraI (reaction site (5') TTTAAA) but not BssHII ((5') GCGCGC) while FlavB shows the opposite results. Evidence for tolological specificity is also observed, Molecular modeling and conformational analysis of the flavones suggests that the phenyl ring of FlavB is coplanar with the flavonoid ring while the phenyl ring of FlavA is at an angle relative to the flavonoid ring. This may account for aspects of the observed sequence and topological specificities in the effects on restriction enzyme activity.

  20. Thiopurine methyltransferase activity in a French population: h.p.l.c. assay conditions and effects of drugs and inhibitors.

    PubMed Central

    Jacqz-Aigrain, E; Bessa, E; Medard, Y; Mircheva, Y; Vilmer, E

    1994-01-01

    1. Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) is a cytosolic enzyme involved in the catabolism of thiopurine drugs, which are used to treat cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. Because TPMT activity is polymorphic and under genetic control, large interindividual variations in the immunosuppressive activity and toxicity of these drugs may, at least in part, be inherited. 2. We have developed a specific h.p.l.c. method for measuring 6-methyl mercaptopurine formed from 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) in red blood cell lysates during the TPMT assay procedure. In blinded assays of 55 samples from adult blood donors, the results of the h.p.l.c. method correlated with those of the radiochemical reference method (r = 0.83, P < 0.001). 3. Using this h.p.l.c. assay, we tested the effect of known inhibitors of TPMT activity (syringic acid, p-anisic acid and tropolone) in vitro and showed that they were highly inhibitory. We also found that drugs often administered concomitantly with 6-MP (prednisone, prednisolone, 6-methylprednisolone, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole) had little or no effect on TPMT activity in vitro. 4. In a group of 300 French individuals, TMPT activity was highly variable, ranging from 4.7 to 35.3 nmol h-1 ml-1 of packed red blood cells (nmol h-1 ml-1 PRBC) with a mean value of 19.3 +/- 4.9. TMPT activity was not influenced by sex. 5. This sensitive and reproducible h.p.l.c. assay for TPMT activity in red blood cells may prove useful for prospective clinical studies designed to optimise dosage regimens of thiopurine drugs (detection limit for 6-methyl mercaptopurine is 5 ng ml-1, intra- and inter-assay variations are 6.8 and 8.2%, respectively). PMID:7946931

  1. An optimized microplate assay system for quantitative evaluation of plant cell wall-degrading enzyme activity of fungal culture extracts.

    PubMed

    King, Brian C; Donnelly, Marie K; Bergstrom, Gary C; Walker, Larry P; Gibson, Donna M

    2009-03-01

    Developing enzyme cocktails for cellulosic biomass hydrolysis complementary to current cellulase systems is a critical step needed for economically viable biofuels production. Recent genomic analysis indicates that some plant pathogenic fungi are likely a largely untapped resource in which to prospect for novel hydrolytic enzymes for biomass conversion. In order to develop high throughput screening assays for enzyme bioprospecting, a standardized microplate assay was developed for rapid analysis of polysaccharide hydrolysis by fungal extracts, incorporating biomass substrates. Fungi were grown for 10 days on cellulose- or switchgrass-containing media to produce enzyme extracts for analysis. Reducing sugar released from filter paper, Avicel, corn stalk, switchgrass, carboxymethylcellulose, and arabinoxylan was quantified using a miniaturized colorimetric assay based on 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid. Significant interactions were identified among fungal species, growth media composition, assay substrate, and temperature. Within a small sampling of plant pathogenic fungi, some extracts had crude activities comparable to or greater than T. reesei, particularly when assayed at lower temperatures and on biomass substrates. This microplate assay system should prove useful for high-throughput bioprospecting for new sources of novel enzymes for biofuel production.

  2. Photography by Cameras Integrated in Smartphones as a Tool for Analytical Chemistry Represented by an Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay.

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav

    2015-06-11

    Smartphones are popular devices frequently equipped with sensitive sensors and great computational ability. Despite the widespread availability of smartphones, practical uses in analytical chemistry are limited, though some papers have proposed promising applications. In the present paper, a smartphone is used as a tool for the determination of cholinesterasemia i.e., the determination of a biochemical marker butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). The work should demonstrate suitability of a smartphone-integrated camera for analytical purposes. Paper strips soaked with indoxylacetate were used for the determination of BChE activity, while the standard Ellman's assay was used as a reference measurement. In the smartphone-based assay, BChE converted indoxylacetate to indigo blue and coloration was photographed using the phone's integrated camera. A RGB color model was analyzed and color values for the individual color channels were determined. The assay was verified using plasma samples and samples containing pure BChE, and validated using Ellmans's assay. The smartphone assay was proved to be reliable and applicable for routine diagnoses where BChE serves as a marker (liver function tests; some poisonings, etc.). It can be concluded that the assay is expected to be of practical applicability because of the results' relevance.

  3. Application of the KeratinoSens™ assay for assessing the skin sensitization potential of agrochemical active ingredients and formulations.

    PubMed

    Settivari, Raja S; Gehen, Sean C; Amado, Ricardo Acosta; Visconti, Nicolo R; Boverhof, Darrell R; Carney, Edward W

    2015-07-01

    Assessment of skin sensitization potential is an important component of the safety evaluation process for agrochemical products. Recently, non-animal approaches including the KeratinoSens™ assay have been developed for predicting skin sensitization potential. Assessing the utility of the KeratinoSens™ assay for use with multi-component mixtures such as agrochemical formulations has not been previously evaluated and is a significant need. This study was undertaken to evaluate the KeratinoSens™ assay prediction potential for agrochemical formulations. The assay was conducted for 8 agrochemical active ingredients (AIs) including 3 sensitizers (acetochlor, meptyldinocap, triclopyr), 5 non-sensitizers (aminopyralid, clopyralid, florasulam, methoxyfenozide, oxyfluorfen) and 10 formulations for which in vivo sensitization data were available. The KeratinoSens™ correctly predicted the sensitization potential of all the AIs. For agrochemical formulations it was necessary to modify the standard assay procedure whereby the formulation was assumed to have a common molecular weight. The resultant approach correctly predicted the sensitization potential for 3 of 4 sensitizing formulations and all 6 non-sensitizing formulations when compared to in vivo data. Only the meptyldinocap-containing formulation was misclassified, as a result of high cytotoxicity. These results demonstrate the promising utility of the KeratinoSens™ assay for evaluating the skin sensitization potential of agrochemical AIs and formulations.

  4. Nondestructive Waste Assay Using Gamma-Ray Active & Passive Computed Tomography. Mixed Waste Focus Area. OST Reference Number 2123

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    1999-09-01

    This project was supported by the Mixed Waste Focus Area (MWFA) and the Federal Environmental Technology Center (FETC) to develop an improved nondestructive assay (NDA) capability that uses gamma-ray computed tomography and gamma-energy spectral analysis techniques to perform waste assay measurements. It was the intent of the Gamma-Ray Active & Passive Computed Tomography (A&PCT) development and demonstration project to enhance the overall utility of waste assay through the implementation of techniques that can accommodate known measurement complications, e.g., waste matrix and radioactive material distribution heterogeneities. This technology can measure the radionuclide content in all types of waste regardless of their classification as low level (LLW), transuranic (TRU) or mixed (MLLW or MTRU). The nondestructive waste assay capability needed to support Department of Energy (DOE) mixed waste characterization needs is necessarily a function of the waste form configurations in inventory. These waste form configurations exhibit a number of variables impacting assay system response that must be accounted for to ensure valid measurement data. Such variables include: matrix density, matrix elemental composition, matrix density distribution, radioactive material radionuclidic/isotopic composition, radioactive material physical/chemical form, and physical distribution in the waste matrix. Existing nondestructive assay technologies have identified capability limits with respect to these variables. Certain combinations of these variables result in waste configurations within the capability of one or more of the existing systems. Other combinations that are prevalent in the inventory are outside of the capability of such systems.

  5. Photography by Cameras Integrated in Smartphones as a Tool for Analytical Chemistry Represented by an Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay

    PubMed Central

    Pohanka, Miroslav

    2015-01-01

    Smartphones are popular devices frequently equipped with sensitive sensors and great computational ability. Despite the widespread availability of smartphones, practical uses in analytical chemistry are limited, though some papers have proposed promising applications. In the present paper, a smartphone is used as a tool for the determination of cholinesterasemia i.e., the determination of a biochemical marker butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). The work should demonstrate suitability of a smartphone-integrated camera for analytical purposes. Paper strips soaked with indoxylacetate were used for the determination of BChE activity, while the standard Ellman’s assay was used as a reference measurement. In the smartphone-based assay, BChE converted indoxylacetate to indigo blue and coloration was photographed using the phone’s integrated camera. A RGB color model was analyzed and color values for the individual color channels were determined. The assay was verified using plasma samples and samples containing pure BChE, and validated using Ellmans’s assay. The smartphone assay was proved to be reliable and applicable for routine diagnoses where BChE serves as a marker (liver function tests; some poisonings, etc.). It can be concluded that the assay is expected to be of practical applicability because of the results’ relevance. PMID:26110404

  6. Targeting Anti-Cancer Active Compounds: Affinity-Based Chromatographic Assays

    PubMed Central

    de Moraes, Marcela Cristina; Cardoso, Carmen Lucia; Seidl, Claudia; Moaddel, Ruin; Cass, Quezia Bezerra

    2016-01-01

    Affinity-based chromatography assays encompass the use of solid supports containing immobilized biological targets to monitor binding events in the isolation , identification and/or characterization of bioactive compounds. This powerful bioanalytical technique allows the screening of potential binders through fast analyses that can be directly performed using isolated substances or complex matrices. An overview of the recent researches in frontal and zonal affinity-based chromatography screening assays, which has been used as a tool in the identification and characterization of new anti-cancer agents, is discussed. In addition, a critical evaluation of the recently emerged ligands fishing assays in complex mixtures is also discussed. PMID:27306095

  7. New ex vivo reporter assay system reveals that σ factors of an unculturable pathogen control gene regulation involved in the host switching between insects and plants.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Yoshiko; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Oshima, Kenro

    2013-08-01

    Analysis of the environmental regulation of bacterial gene expression is important for understanding the nature, pathogenicity, and infection route of many pathogens. "Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris", onion yellows strain M (OY-M), is a phytopathogenic bacterium that is able to adapt to quite different host environments, including plants and insects, with a relatively small ~850 kb genome. The OY-M genome encodes two sigma (σ) factors, RpoD and FliA, that are homologous to Escherichia coli σ(70) and σ(28) , respectively. Previous studies show that gene expression of OY-M dramatically changes upon the response to insect and plant hosts. However, very little is known about the relationship between the two σ factors and gene regulatory systems in OY-M, because phytoplasma cannot currently be cultured in vitro. Here, we developed an Escherichia coli-based ex vivo reporter assay (EcERA) system to evaluate the transcriptional induction of phytoplasmal genes by the OY-M-derived σ factors. EcERA revealed that highly expressed genes in insect and plant hosts were regulated by RpoD and FliA, respectively. We also demonstrated that rpoD expression was significantly higher in insect than in plant hosts and fliA expression was similar between the hosts. These data indicate that phytoplasma-derived RpoD and FliA play key roles in the transcriptional switching mechanism during host switching between insects and plants. Our study will be invaluable to understand phytoplasmal transmission, virulence expression in plants, and the effect of infection on insect fitness. In addition, the novel EcERA system could be broadly applied to reveal transcriptional regulation mechanisms in other unculturable bacteria.

  8. Evaluation of estrogenic activity in animal diets using in vitro assay.

    PubMed

    Wozniak, Barbara; Minta, Maria; Stypula-Trebas, Sylwia; Radko, Lidia; Zmudzki, Jan

    2014-02-01

    A yeast estrogen bioassay (RIKILT REA) was in-house validated for feed on the 5μg 17β-estradiol-equivalents per kg level according to EC Decision 2002/657/EC. All the performance characteristics met the criteria as defined in the Decision and the REA is able to detect 17β-estradiol in animal feed at a low level of 1.15-2μgkg(-1). Subsequently, the developed and validated procedure was applied to determine the estrogenic activity in 24 feed samples intended for food producing animals, pets and laboratory animals. Two batches of rodent diet Murigran and one dog feed have been presented as a suspect, i.e. gave responses above the determined decision limit (CCα) and detection capability (CCβ). In assessing the performance of the estrogenic activity in these diets evaluated by comparison with the 17β-estradiol calibration curve, 17β-estradiol-equivalence levels of 7.07μg EEQkg(-1) and 9.54μg EEQkg(-1) in two batches of rodent diet and 5.3μg EEQkg(-1) in dog feed have been established. The activities observed in the rodent feed could be explained by chemical analysis, revealing high amounts of genistein, daidzein and trace amounts of zearalenone. In addition, the estrogenic activity in one of rodent feed was above the established CCα, but below the CCβ values established and all other samples showed no estrogenic activity with responses below the CCα value, which corresponds to levels below 2μg EEQkg(-1).

  9. Depolarization after resonance energy transfer (DARET): a sensitive fluorescence-based assay for botulinum neurotoxin protease activity.

    PubMed

    Gilmore, Marcella A; Williams, Dudley; Okawa, Yumiko; Holguin, Bret; James, Nicholas G; Ross, Justin A; Roger Aoki, K; Jameson, David M; Steward, Lance E

    2011-06-01

    The DARET (depolarization after resonance energy transfer) assay is a coupled Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-fluorescence polarization assay for botulinum neurotoxin type A or E (BoNT/A or BoNT/E) proteolytic activity that relies on a fully recombinant substrate. The substrate consists of blue fluorescent protein (BFP) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) flanking SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa) residues 134-206. In this assay, the substrate is excited with polarized light at 387 nm, which primarily excites the BFP, whereas emission from the GFP is monitored at 509 nm. Energy transfer from the BFP to the GFP in the intact substrate results in a substantial depolarization of the GFP emission. The energy transfer is eliminated when the fluorescent domains separate on cleavage by the endopeptidase, and emission from the directly excited GFP product fragment is then highly polarized, resulting in an overall increase in polarization. This increase in polarization can be monitored to assay the proteolytic activity of BoNT/A and BoNT/E in real time. It allows determination of the turnover rate of the substrate and the kinetic constants (V(max) and k(cat)) based on the concentration of cleaved substrate determined directly from the measurements using the additivity properties of polarization. The assay is amenable to high-throughput applications.

  10. Thyroid Histopathology Assessments for the Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay to Detect Thyroid-active Substances

    EPA Science Inventory

    In support of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Amphibian Metamorphosis Assay (AMA) Test Guideline for the detection of substances that interact with the hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis, a document was developed that provides a standardized appro...

  11. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities of the natural food colorant purpurin and related anthraquinones in chemical and cell assays

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Anthraquinone (9,10-anthraquinone) and its hydroxy derivatives including purpurin (1,2,4-trihydroxyanthraquinone), anthrarufin (1,5-dihydroxyanthraquinone), and chrysazin (1,8-dihydroxy-9,10-anthracenedione) were evaluated for antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities in chemical assays and mam...

  12. In Vitro Assays for Assessment of Androgenic and Estrogenic Activity of Defined Mixtures and Complex Environmental Samples

    EPA Science Inventory

    Point sources of endocrine active compounds to aquatic environments such as waste water treatment plants, pulp and paper mills, and animal feeding operations invariably contain complex mixtures of chemicals. The current study investigates the use of targeted in vitro assays des...

  13. A limitation of the continuous spectrophotometric assay for the measurement of myo-inositol-1-phosphate synthase activity.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xinyi; Hernick, Marcy

    2011-10-15

    Myo-inositol-1-phosphate synthase (MIPS) catalyzes the conversion of glucose-6-phosphate to myo-inositol-1-phosphate. The reaction catalyzed by MIPS is the first step in the biosynthesis of inositol and inositol-containing molecules that serve important roles in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Consequently, MIPS is a target for the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of infectious diseases and bipolar disorder. We recently reported a continuous spectrophotometric method for measuring MIPS activity using a coupled assay that allows the rapid characterization of MIPS in a multiwell plate format. Here we validate the continuous assay as a high-throughput alternative for measuring MIPS activity and report on one limitation of this assay-the inability to examine the effect of divalent metal ions (at high concentrations) on MIPS activity. In addition, we demonstrate that the activity of MIPS from Arabidopsis thaliana is moderately enhanced by the addition Mg(2+) and is not enhanced by other divalent metal ions (Zn(2+) and Mn(2+)), consistent with what has been observed for other eukaryotic MIPS enzymes. Our findings suggest that the continuous assay is better suited for characterizing eukaryotic MIPS enzymes that require monovalent cations as cofactors than for characterizing bacterial or archeal MIPS enzymes that require divalent metal ions as cofactors.

  14. Enhancing protease activity assay in droplet-based microfluidics using a biomolecule concentrator.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chia-Hung; Sarkar, Aniruddh; Song, Yong-Ak; Miller, Miles A; Kim, Sung Jae; Griffith, Linda G; Lauffenburger, Douglas A; Han, Jongyoon

    2011-07-13

    We introduce an integrated microfluidic device consisting of a biomolecule concentrator and a microdroplet generator, which enhances the limited sensitivity of low-abundance enzyme assays by concentrating biomolecules before encapsulating them into droplet microreactors. We used this platform to detect ultralow levels of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) from diluted cellular supernatant and showed that it significantly (~10-fold) reduced the time required to complete the assay and the sample volume used.

  15. Development of a highly sensitive cytotoxicity assay system for CYP3A4-mediated metabolic activation.

    PubMed

    Hosomi, Hiroko; Fukami, Tatsuki; Iwamura, Atsushi; Nakajima, Miki; Yokoi, Tsuyoshi

    2011-08-01

    Drug-induced hepatotoxicity, which is a rare but serious adverse reaction to a large number of pharmaceutical drugs, is sometimes associated with reactive metabolites produced by drug-metabolizing enzymes. In the present study, we constructed a cell-based system to evaluate the cytotoxicity of reactive metabolites produced by CYP3A4 using human hepatoma cells infected with an adenovirus vector expressing human CYP3A4 (AdCYP3A4). When seven hepatoma cell lines (HepG2, Hep3B, HLE, HLF, Huh6, Huh7, and Fa2N4 cells) were infected with AdCYP3A4, HepG2 cells showed the highest CYP3A4 protein expression and testosterone 6β-hydroxylase activity (670 pmol · min(-1) · mg(-1)). With the use of AdCYP3A4-infected HepG2 cells, the cytotoxicities of 23 drugs were evaluated by the 2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium monosodium salt assay, and the cell viability when treated with 11 drugs (amiodarone, desipramine, felbamate, isoniazid, labetalol, leflunomide, nefazodone, nitrofurantoin, tacrine, terbinafine, and tolcapone) was significantly decreased. Moreover, the transfection of siRNA for nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2) to decrease the cellular expression level of Nrf2 exacerbated the cytotoxicity of some drugs (troglitazone, flutamide, acetaminophen, clozapine, terbinafine, and desipramine), suggesting that the genes regulated by Nrf2 are associated with the detoxification of the cytotoxicities mediated by CYP3A4. We constructed a highly sensitive cell-based system to detect the drug-induced cytotoxicity mediated by CYP3A4. This system would be beneficial in preclinical screening in drug development and increase our understanding of the drug-induced cytotoxicity associated with CYP3A4.

  16. An aptamer based competition assay for protein detection using CNT activated gold-interdigitated capacitor arrays.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Anjum; Roci, Irena; Gurbuz, Yasar; Niazi, Javed H

    2012-04-15

    An aptamer can specifically bind to its target molecule, or hybridize with its complementary strand. A target bound aptamer complex has difficulty to hybridize with its complementary strand. It is possible to determine the concentration of target based on affinity separation system for the protein detection. Here, we exploited this property using C-reactive protein (CRP) specific RNA aptamers as probes that were immobilized by physical adsorption on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) activated gold interdigitated electrodes of capacitors. The selective binding ability of RNA aptamer with its target molecule was determined by change in capacitance after allowing competitive binding with CRP and complementary RNA (cRNA) strands in pure form and co-mixtures (CRP:cRNA=0:1, 1:0, 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1). The sensor showed significant capacitance change with pure forms of CRP/cRNA while responses reduced considerably in presence of CRP:cRNA in co-mixtures (1:1 and 1:2) because of the binding competition. At a critical CRP:cRNA ratio of 2:1, the capacitance response was dramatically lost because of the dissociation of adsorbed aptamers from the sensor surface to bind when excess CRP. Binding assays showed that the immobilized aptamers had strong affinity for cRNA (K(d)=1.98 μM) and CRP molecules (K(d)=2.4 μM) in pure forms, but low affinity for CRP:cRNA ratio of 2:1 (K(d)=8.58 μM). The dynamic detection range for CRP was determined to be 1-8 μM (0.58-4.6 μg/capacitor). The approach described in this study is a sensitive label-free method to detect proteins based on affinity separation of target molecules that can potentially be used for probing molecular interactions.

  17. HPLC-Analysis of Polyphenolic Compounds in Gardenia jasminoides and Determination of Antioxidant Activity by Using Free Radical Scavenging Assays

    PubMed Central

    Uddin, Riaz; Saha, Moni Rani; Subhan, Nusrat; Hossain, Hemayet; Jahan, Ismet Ara; Akter, Raushanara; Alam, Ashraful

    2014-01-01

    Purpose: Gardenia jasminoides is a traditional medicinal plant rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids and phenolic compounds and used for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and pain. In this present study, antioxidant potential of Gardenia jasminoides leaves extract was evaluated by using various antioxidant assays. Methods: Various antioxidant assays such as 1, 1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay, reducing power and total antioxidant capacity expressed as equivalent to ascorbic acid were employed. Moreover, phenolic compounds were detected by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) coupled with diode-array detection. Results: The methanol extract showed significant free radical scavenging activities in DPPH radical scavenging antioxidant assays compared to the reference antioxidant ascorbic acid. Total antioxidant activity was increased in a dose dependent manner. The extract also showed strong reducing power. The total phenolic content was determined as 190.97 mg/g of gallic acid equivalent. HPLC coupled with diode-array detection was used to identify and quantify the phenolic compounds in the extracts. Gallic acid, (+)-catechin, rutin hydrate and quercetin have been identified in the plant extracts. Among the phenolic compounds, catechin and rutin hydrate are present predominantly in the extract. The accuracy and precision of the presented method were corroborated by low intra- and inter-day variations in quantitative results in leaves extract. Conclusion: These results suggest that phenolic compounds and flavonoids might contribute to high antioxidant activities of Gardenia jasminoides leaves. PMID:24754012

  18. Accuracy of the Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting Assay for the Aquaporin-4 Antibody (AQP4-Ab): Comparison with the Commercial AQP4-Ab Assay Kit

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoo-Jin; Cheon, So Young; Kim, Boram; Jung, Kyeong Cheon; Park, Kyung Seok

    2016-01-01

    Background The aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab) is a disease-specific autoantibody to neuromyelitis optica (NMO). We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the FACS assay in detecting the AQP4-Ab compared with the commercial cell-based assay (C-CBA) kit. Methods Human embryonic kidney-293 cells were transfected with human aquaporin-4 (M23) cDNA. The optimal cut off values of FACS assay was tested using 1123 serum samples from patients with clinically definite NMO, those at high risk for NMO, patients with multiple sclerosis, patients with other idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases, and negative controls. The accuracy of FACS assay and C-CBA were compared in consecutive 225 samples that were collected between January 2014 and June 2014. Results With a cut-off value of MFIi of 3.5 and MFIr of 2.0, the receiver operating characteristic curve for the FACS assay showed an area under the curve of 0.876. Among 225 consecutive sera, the FACS assay and C-CBA had a sensitivity of 77.3% and 69.7%, respectively, in differentiating the sera of definite NMO patients from sera of controls without IDD or of MS. Both assay had a good specificity of 100% in it. The overall positivity of the C-CBA among FACS-positive sera was 81.5%; moreover, its positivity was low as 50% among FACS-positive sera with relatively low MFIis. Conclusions Both the FACS assay and C-CBA are sensitive and highly specific assays in detecting AQP4-Ab. However, in some sera with relatively low antibody titer, FACS-assay can be a more sensitive assay option. In real practice, complementary use of FACS assay and C-CBA will benefit the diagnosis of NMO patients, because the former can be more sensitive among low titer sera and the latter are easier to use therefore can be widely used. PMID:27658059

  19. Heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons show estrogenic activity upon metabolization in a recombinant transactivation assay.

    PubMed

    Brinkmann, Markus; Maletz, Sibylle; Krauss, Martin; Bluhm, Kerstin; Schiwy, Sabrina; Kuckelkorn, Jochen; Tiehm, Andreas; Brack, Werner; Hollert, Henner

    2014-05-20

    Heterocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (hetero-PAHs) are increasingly studied at contaminated sites; especially at former industrial facilities where coal tar-oil was handled, e.g., wood treatment plants, high concentrations of hetero-PAHs are frequently detected in groundwater plumes. In previous studies, fractions of groundwater with high estrogenic activity contained hetero-PAHs and their hydroxylated metabolites. To evaluate this preliminary evidence, selected hetero-PAHs were screened for their estrogenic activity in lyticase yeast estrogen screen (LYES) and ER CALUX. All tested substances were inactive in the LYES. Hetero-PAHs such as acridine, xanthene, indole, 2-methylbenzofuran, 2,3-dimethylbenzofuran, dibenzofuran, dibenzothiophene, quinoline, and 6-methylquinoline were positive in the ER CALUX, with estradiol equivalence factors (EEFs) from 2.85 × 10(-7) to 3.18 × 10(-5). The EEF values of these substances were comparable to those of other xenoestrogens (e.g., alkylphenols or bisphenol A) that are sometimes found in surface water. Chemical analyses revealed that T47Dluc cells could metabolize most of the substances. Among the metabolites (tentatively) identified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) were hydroxides and their keto tautomers, sulfates, sulfoxides, and N-oxides. Because of their high concentrations measured in groundwater, we conclude that hetero-PAHs and metabolites may be a potential risk and should be the subject of further research.

  20. Cell-based assays to support the profiling of small molecules with histone methyltransferase and demethylase modulatory activity

    PubMed Central

    Martinez, Natalia J.; Simeonov, Anton

    2015-01-01

    Histone methylation is a prevalent and dynamic chromatin modification, executed by the action of histone methyltransferases (HMTs) and demethylases (HDMs). Aberrant activity of many of these enzymes is associated with human disease, hence, there is a growing interest in identifying corresponding small molecule inhibitors with therapeutic potential. To date, most of the technologies supporting the identification of these inhibitors constitute in vitro biochemical assays which, although robust and sensitive, do not study HMTs and HDMs in their native cellular state nor provide information of inhibitor’s cell permeability and toxicity. The evident need for complementary cellular approaches has recently propelled the development of cell-based assays that enable screening of HMT and HDM enzymes in a more relevant environment. Here, we highlight current cellular methodologies for HMT and HDM drug discovery support. We anticipate that implementation of these cell-based assays will positively impact the discovery of pharmacologically potent HMT and HDM inhibitors. PMID:26723887

  1. An evaluation of a genotoxicity assay with liver s9 for activation and luminescent bacteria for detection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, B. Thomas

    1992-01-01

    A new short-term in vitro genotoxicity assay with marine bioluminescent bacteria was evaluated for sensitivity and cost. Known under the trade name of Mutatox™, this assay is a simple and rapid screening tool that detects DNA-damaging substances (genotoxins) by measuring light output from an isolated dark mutant strain of the luminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. A positive response indicates the ability of the test chemical to restore the luminescent state in the dark mutant strain; the degree of light increase indicates the relative genotoxicity of the sample. In this study, the Mutatox assay with rat hepatic fractions (S9) as an exogenous metabolic activation system detected genotoxic activity with known progenotoxins: 2-acetamidofluorene, aflatoxin B1, 2-aminoanthracene, 2-aminofluorene, 2-aminonaphthalene, benzo[a]pyrene, 3-methyl-cholanthrene, and pyrene. Each chemical clearly demonstrated a dose response between 5.0 and 0.6 μg per tube. Known nongenotoxic controls carbofuran, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, malathion, simazine, and permethrin showed no genotoxic responses. The optimum assay conditions were determined to be rat S9 concentration of 0.4 mg/ml, preincubation at 37°C for 30 min, and 18 h incubation at 23°C. Genotoxicity data were obtained in <24 h. The Mutatox assay compared favorably in sensitivity with the Ames test; it was easier and more rapid to perform and, as a result, cost less. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value suggested that the Mutatox assay could be a valuable screening tool to monitor complex environmental samples for genotoxins.

  2. A high throughput Cre–lox activated viral membrane fusion assay identifies pharmacological inhibitors of HIV entry

    SciTech Connect

    Esposito, Anthony M.; Cheung, Pamela; Swartz, Talia H.; Li, Hongru; Tsibane, Tshidi; Durham, Natasha D.; Basler, Christopher F.; Felsenfeld, Dan P.; Chen, Benjamin K.

    2016-03-15

    Enveloped virus entry occurs when viral and cellular membranes fuse releasing particle contents into the target cell. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry occurs by cell-free virus or virus transferred between infected and uninfected cells through structures called virological synapses. We developed a high-throughput cell-based assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of cell-free or virological synapse-mediated entry. An HIV clone carrying Cre recombinase as a Gag-internal gene fusion releases active Cre into cells upon viral entry activating a recombinatorial gene switch changing dsRed to GFP-expression. A screen of a 1998 known-biological profile small molecule library identified pharmacological HIV entry inhibitors that block both cell-free and cell-to-cell infection. Many top hits were noted as HIV inhibitors in prior studies, but not previously recognized as entry antagonists. Modest therapeutic indices for simvastatin and nigericin were observed in confirmatory HIV infection assays. This robust assay is adaptable to study HIV and heterologous viral pseudotypes. - Highlights: • Cre recombinase viral fusion assay screens cell-free or cell–cell entry inhibitors. • This Gag-iCre based assay is specific for the entry step of HIV replication. • Screened a library of known pharmacologic compounds for HIV fusion antagonists. • Many top hits were previously noted as HIV inhibitors, but here are classified as entry antagonists. Many top hits were previously noted as HIV inhibitors, but not as entry antagonists. • The assay is compatible with pseudotyping with HIV and heterologous viruses.

  3. A quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR assay for the assessment of drug activities against intracellular Theileria annulata schizonts

    PubMed Central

    Hostettler, Isabel; Müller, Joachim; Stephens, Chad E.; Haynes, Richard; Hemphill, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Intracellular schizonts of the apicomplexans Theileria annulata and Theileria parva immortalize bovine leucocytes thereby causing fatal immunoproliferative diseases. Buparvaquone, a hydroxynaphthoquinone related to parvaquone, is the only drug available against Theileria. The drug is only effective at the onset of infection and emerging resistance underlines the need for identifying alternative compounds. Current drug assays employ monitoring of proliferation of infected cells, with apoptosis of the infected host cell as a read-out, but it is often unclear whether active compounds directly impair the viability of the parasite or primarily induce host cell death. We here report on the development of a quantitative reverse transcriptase real time PCR method based on two Theileria genes, tasp and tap104, which are both expressed in schizonts. Upon in vitro treatment of T. annulata infected bovine monocytes with buparvaquone, TaSP and Tap104 mRNA expression levels significantly decreased in relation to host cell actin already within 4 h of drug exposure, while significant differences in host cell proliferation were detectable only after 48–72 h. TEM revealed marked alterations of the schizont ultrastructure already after 2 h of buparvaquone treatment, while the host cell remained unaffected. Expression of TaSP and Tap104 proteins showed a marked decrease only after 24 h. Therefore, the analysis of expression levels of mRNA coding for TaSP and Tap104 allows to directly measuring impairment of parasite viability. We subsequently applied this method using a series of compounds affecting different targets in other apicomplexan parasites, and show that monitoring of TaSP- and Tap104 mRNA levels constitutes a suitable tool for anti-theilerial drug development. PMID:25516828

  4. A quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR assay for the assessment of drug activities against intracellular Theileria annulata schizonts.

    PubMed

    Hostettler, Isabel; Müller, Joachim; Stephens, Chad E; Haynes, Richard; Hemphill, Andrew

    2014-12-01

    Intracellular schizonts of the apicomplexans Theileria annulata and Theileria parva immortalize bovine leucocytes thereby causing fatal immunoproliferative diseases. Buparvaquone, a hydroxynaphthoquinone related to parvaquone, is the only drug available against Theileria. The drug is only effective at the onset of infection and emerging resistance underlines the need for identifying alternative compounds. Current drug assays employ monitoring of proliferation of infected cells, with apoptosis of the infected host cell as a read-out, but it is often unclear whether active compounds directly impair the viability of the parasite or primarily induce host cell death. We here report on the development of a quantitative reverse transcriptase real time PCR method based on two Theileria genes, tasp and tap104, which are both expressed in schizonts. Upon in vitro treatment of T. annulata infected bovine monocytes with buparvaquone, TaSP and Tap104 mRNA expression levels significantly decreased in relation to host cell actin already within 4 h of drug exposure, while significant differences in host cell proliferation were detectable only after 48-72 h. TEM revealed marked alterations of the schizont ultrastructure already after 2 h of buparvaquone treatment, while the host cell remained unaffected. Expression of TaSP and Tap104 proteins showed a marked decrease only after 24 h. Therefore, the analysis of expression levels of mRNA coding for TaSP and Tap104 allows to directly measuring impairment of parasite viability. We subsequently applied this method using a series of compounds affecting different targets in other apicomplexan parasites, and show that monitoring of TaSP- and Tap104 mRNA levels constitutes a suitable tool for anti-theilerial drug development.

  5. Activity, polypeptide and gene identification of thylakoid Ndh complex in trees: potential physiological relevance of fluorescence assays.

    PubMed

    Serrot, Patricia H; Sabater, Bartolomé; Martín, Mercedes

    2012-09-01

    Three evergreen (Laurus nobilis, Viburnum tinus and Thuja plicata) and two autumnal abscission deciduous trees (Cydonia oblonga and Prunus domestica) have been investigated for the presence (zymogram and immunodetection) and functionality (post-illumination chlorophyll fluorescence) of the thylakoid Ndh complex. The presence of encoding ndh genes has also been investigated in T. plicata. Western assays allowed tentative identification of zymogram NADH dehydrogenase bands corresponding to the Ndh complex after native electrophoresis of solubilized fractions from L. nobilis, V. tinus, C. oblonga and P. domestica leaves, but not in those of T. plicata. However, Ndh subunits were detected after SDS-PAGE of thylakoid solubilized proteins of T. plicata. The leaves of the five plants showed the post-illumination chlorophyll fluorescence increase dependent on the presence of active Ndh complex. The fluorescence increase was higher in autumn in deciduous, but not in evergreen trees, which suggests that the thylakoid Ndh complex could be involved in autumnal leaf senescence. Two ndhB genes were sequenced from T. plicata that differ at the 350 bp 3' end sequence. Comparison with the mRNA revealed that ndhB genes have a 707-bp type II intron between exons 1 (723 bp) and 2 (729 bp) and that the UCA 259th codon is edited to UUA in mRNA. Phylogenetically, the ndhB genes of T. plicata group close to those of Metasequoia, Cryptomeria, Taxodium, Juniperus and Widdringtonia in the cupresaceae branch and are 5' end shortened by 18 codons with respect to that of angiosperms.

  6. Activity, polypeptide and gene identification of thylakoid Ndh complex in trees: potential physiological relevance of fluorescence assays

    PubMed Central

    Serrot, Patricia H; Sabater, Bartolomé; Martín, Mercedes

    2012-01-01

    Three evergreen (Laurus nobilis, Viburnum tinus and Thuja plicata) and two autumnal abscission deciduous trees (Cydonia oblonga and Prunus domestica) have been investigated for the presence (zymogram and immunodetection) and functionality (post-illumination chlorophyll fluorescence) of the thylakoid Ndh complex. The presence of encoding ndh genes has also been investigated in T. plicata. Western assays allowed tentative identification of zymogram NADH dehydrogenase bands corresponding to the Ndh complex after native electrophoresis of solubilized fractions from L. nobilis, V. tinus, C. oblonga and P. domestica leaves, but not in those of T. plicata. However, Ndh subunits were detected after SDS-PAGE of thylakoid solubilized proteins of T. plicata. The leaves of the five plants showed the post-illumination chlorophyll fluorescence increase dependent on the presence of active Ndh complex. The fluorescence increase was higher in autumn in deciduous, but not in evergreen trees, which suggests that the thylakoid Ndh complex could be involved in autumnal leaf senescence. Two ndhB genes were sequenced from T. plicata that differ at the 350 bp 3′ end sequence. Comparison with the mRNA revealed that ndhB genes have a 707-bp type II intron between exons 1 (723 bp) and 2 (729 bp) and that the UCA 259th codon is edited to UUA in mRNA. Phylogenetically, the ndhB genes of T. plicata group close to those of Metasequoia, Cryptomeria, Taxodium, Juniperus and Widdringtonia in the cupresaceae branch and are 5′ end shortened by 18 codons with respect to that of angiosperms. PMID:22324908

  7. Evaluating the anti Mycobacterium tuberculosis activity of Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd. axenically under reducing oxygen conditions and in intracellular assays

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In tuberculosis (TB), the steadily increasing bacterial resistance to existing drugs and latent TB continue to be major concerns. A combination of conventional drugs and plant derived therapeutics can serve to expand the antimicrobial spectrum, prevent the emergence of drug resistant mutants and minimize toxicity. Alpinia galanga, used in various traditional medicines, possesses broad spectrum antibacterial properties. The study was undertaken to assess the antimycobacterial potential of A. galanga in axenic (under aerobic and anaerobic conditions) and intracellular assays. Methods Phytochemical analysis was done using HPTLC. The acetone, aqueous and ethanolic extracts (1, 10, 25, 50 and 100 μg/ml) of A. galanga were tested axenically using Microplate Alamar Blue Assay (MABA) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) H37Rv and three drug sensitive and three multi drug resistant clinical isolates. The activity of the extracts was also evaluated intracellularly in A549 cell line against these strains. The extracts active under intracellular conditions were further tested in an axenic setup under reducing oxygen concentrations using only H37Rv. Results 1´ acetoxychavicol acetate, the reference standard used, was present in all the three extracts. The acetone and ethanolic extracts were active in axenic (aerobic and anaerobic) and intracellular assays. The aqueous extract did not demonstrate activity under the defined assay parameters. Conclusion A. galanga exhibits anti M.tb activity with multiple modes of action. Since the activity of the extracts was observed under reducing oxygen concentrations, it may be effective in treating the dormant and non-replicating bacteria of latent TB. Though the hypothesis needs further testing, A. galanga being a regular dietary component may be utilized in combination with the conventional TB therapy for enhanced efficacy. PMID:24592852

  8. Relation between dabigatran concentration, as assessed using the direct thrombin inhibitor assay, and activated clotting time/activated partial thromboplastin time in patients with atrial fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Okubo, Kenji; Kuwahara, Taishi; Takagi, Katsumasa; Takigawa, Masateru; Nakajima, Jun; Watari, Yuji; Nakashima, Emiko; Yamao, Kazuya; Fujino, Tadashi; Tsutsui, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Atsushi

    2015-06-15

    Dabigatran is a direct thrombin inhibitor that has been approved for preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. In this study, we aimed to assess the associations between the dabigatran concentration (calculated through plasma-diluted thrombin time, as assessed using the Hemoclot assay) and the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and activated clotting time (ACT). We recruited 137 patients with atrial fibrillation who were receiving a normal dose of dabigatran (300 mg/d) or a reduced dose of dabigatran (220 mg/d, usually administered to patients who were elderly, had moderate renal dysfunction, or who were also receiving verapamil). We then assessed the aPTT, ACT, and Hemoclot results of the patients and calculated the plasma dabigatran concentration. The mean plasma concentration of dabigatran was 127 ± 88 ng/ml, although no significant differences in dabigatran concentration, ACT, or aPTT were observed when we compared the 2 doses of dabigatran (300 or 220 mg/d). The dabigatran concentration was within the therapeutic levels in most patients, although a high value (>300 ng/ml) was observed in several patients, which indicated a high risk of bleeding. The dabigatran concentration was strongly and positively correlated with ACT and aPTT (r = 0.87, p <0.001; and r = 0.76, p <0.001; respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that verapamil use was independently associated with elevated dabigatran concentrations (p <0.001). Therefore, ACT and aPTT may be useful for bedside assessment of the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran, and verapamil use may be a risk factor for elevated dabigatran concentrations.

  9. Evaluation of estrogenic activities of aquatic herbicides and surfactants using an rainbow trout vitellogenin assay.

    PubMed

    Xie, Lingtian; Thrippleton, Kelly; Irwin, Mary Ann; Siemering, Geoffrey S; Mekebri, Abdou; Crane, David; Berry, Kevin; Schlenk, Daniel

    2005-10-01

    Estrogenic potencies of four herbicides (triclopyr, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), diquat dibromide, glyphosate), two alkylphenol ethoxylate-containing surfactants (R-11 and Target Prospreader Activator (TPA)), and the binary mixture of surfactants with the herbicides were evaluated using an in vivo rainbow trout vitellogenin assay. Juvenile rainbow trout exposed to 2,4-D (1.64 mg/l) for 7 days had a 93-fold increase in plasma vitellogenin (Vtg) levels compared with untreated fish, while rainbow trout exposed to other pesticides alone did not show elevated vitellogenin levels compared to the control fish. When combined with surfactants, trends indicated enhanced estrogenicity for all combinations, but only 2,4-D and triclopyr caused significant induction of Vtg. Concentration-response studies demonstrated that the lowest observed effect concentrations (LOECs) for 2,4-D and triclopyr were 0.164 mg/l and 1 mg/l, respectively. In terms of measured 4-nonylphenol (4-NP), the LOECs of R-11 and TPA were 20 micro/l and 9.5 microg/l, respectively. Binary mixtures of TPA and 2,4-D showed a greater than additive estrogenic response at the lowest concentrations tested, but a less than additive response at the highest combined concentrations. Binary mixtures of TPA with triclopyr also caused greater than additive Vtg responses in two middle concentrations when compared to TPA or triclopyr alone. When trout were exposed to water collected from a site where triclopyr was used in combination with TPA, a concentration-dependent increase in Vtg expression was observed. Measured values of 4-NP were 3.7 microg/l, and triclopyr concentrations were below detection (<5 ng/l). Estradiol equivalents (EEQs) of the lake water were calculated from an estradiol concentration-response curve and were similar (8.5 +/- 7.7 ng/l) to the mean values for the combined triclopyr + TPA treatments (9.9-12.2 ng/l) in the laboratory, suggesting the estrogenicity of the water may have been due to

  10. 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzodioxin in fish from the Pigeon river of Eastern Tennessee: Its toxicity and mutagenicity as revealed by the Ames Salmonella Assay

    SciTech Connect

    Blevins, R.D. )

    1990-04-01

    Levels of 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD)were determined in both striated muscle (fillets) and whole body extracts of fish specimens harvested during a two year period (1987-1989) from the Pigeon River (between Hartford and Newport) of Eastern Tennessee. Whole body (wet weight) fish extract levels as high as 117 {mu}g/kg body weight and composite fish fillet (wet weight) extract levels as high 87 {mu}g/kg fillet weight were observed. Pure TCDD was found to be highly toxic to the Salmonella typhimurium strains TA97, TA98, TA100, TA102 and TA1535 at TCDD dosages which exceeded 825 ng/ml in the top agar of the Ames Salmonella assay. An 825 ng/ml TCDD dosage was not mutagenic to any of the tested Salmonella strains, (both with and without metabolic activation (S9) mix). However, when both acidic and alcohol fish extracts from the Pigeon River were tested for mutagenicity, several of the fish extracts were found to be mutagenic to Salmonella strains TA97, TA98, and TA100 (having mutagenic ratios which greatly exceeded the 2.5 {times} spontaneous ratio). These mutagenic extracts also demonstrated mutagenic dose-response curves. Other chemicals within the extracts as well as synergistic effects may account for the mutagenicity.

  11. The anti-estrogenic activity of sediments from agriculturally intense watersheds: assessment using in vivo and in vitro assays.

    PubMed

    Sellin Jeffries, Marlo K; Conoan, Nicholas H; Cox, Marc B; Sangster, Jodi L; Balsiger, Heather A; Bridges, Andrew A; Cowman, Tim; Knight, Lindsey A; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L; Kolok, Alan S

    2011-09-01

    The goal of the current study was to determine whether sediments from agriculturally intense watersheds can act as a potential source of anti-estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds. The specific objectives of the current study were to determine (1) whether female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) experience alterations in endocrine function when exposed to sediments collected from agriculturally intense watersheds and (2) if these sediments display anti-estrogenic activity in an in vitro assay. In addition, sediment samples were analyzed for the presence of steroid hormones and pesticides associated with local agricultural practices. To accomplish this, sediments and water were collected from three sites within two agriculturally intense Nebraska watersheds (Bow Creek and the Elkhorn River). In 2009, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water collected from the two Bow Creek sites (East Bow Creek and the Confluence) in the laboratory, while in 2010, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water from East Bow Creek, the Confluence and the Elkhorn River. Following the 7-day exposure period, the hepatic mRNA expression of two-estrogen responsive genes, estrogen receptor α (ERα) and vitellogenin (Vtg) was determined. In 2009, females exposed to Confluence sediments, in the presence of laboratory water or Confluence water, experienced significant reductions in ERα expression relative to unexposed and Confluence water-exposed females. The defeminization of these females suggests the presence of a biologically available anti-estrogenic compound in sediments collected from this site. In 2010, sediments were assessed for anti-estrogenic activity on days 0 and 7 of the exposure period using a 4-h yeast estrogen screen. Lipophilic extracts (LEs) of day 0 sediments collected from the Confluence and the Elkhorn River induced significant reductions in the estrogenic reporter activity of treated yeast cultures suggesting the presence of a lipophilic anti

  12. The anti-estrogenic activity of sediments from agriculturally-intense watersheds: Assessment using in vivo and in vitro assays

    PubMed Central

    Sellin Jeffries, Marlo K.; Conoan, Nicholas H.; Cox, Marc B.; Sangster, Jodi L.; Balsiger, Heather A.; Bridges, Andrew A.; Cowman, Tim; Knight, Lindsey A.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L.; Kolok, Alan S.

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the current study was to determine whether sediments from agriculturally-intense watersheds can act as a potential source of anti-estrogenic endocrine-disrupting compounds. The specific objectives of the current study were to determine 1) whether female fathead minnows (Pimephales promelas) experience alterations in endocrine function when exposed to sediments collected from agriculturally-intense watersheds and 2) if these sediments display anti-estrogenic activity in an in vitro assay. In addition, sediment samples were analyzed for the presence of steroid hormones and pesticides associated with local agricultural practices. To accomplish this, sediments and water were collected from three sites within two agriculturally-intense Nebraska watersheds (Bow Creek and the Elkhorn River). In 2009, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water collected from the two Bow Creek sites (East Bow Creek and the Confluence) in the laboratory, while in 2010, minnows were exposed to sediment and/or water from East Bow Creek, the Confluence and the Elkhorn River. Following the 7-d exposure period, the hepatic mRNA expression of two-estrogen responsive genes, estrogen receptor α (ERα) and vitellogenin (Vtg) was determined. In 2009, females exposed to Confluence sediments, in the presence of laboratory water or Confluence water, experienced significant reductions in ERα expression relative to unexposed and Confluence water-exposed females. The defeminization of these females suggests the presence of a biologically-available anti-estrogenic compound in sediments collected from this site. In 2010, sediments were assessed for anti-estrogenic activity on days 0 and 7 of the exposure period using a four-hour yeast estrogen screen. Lipophilic extracts (LEs) of day 0 sediments collected from the Confluence and the Elkhorn River induced significant reductions in the estrogenic reporter activity of treated yeast cultures suggesting the presence of a lipophilic anti

  13. Convenient microtiter plate-based, oxygen-independent activity assays for flavin-dependent oxidoreductases based on different redox dyes

    PubMed Central

    Brugger, Dagmar; Krondorfer, Iris; Zahma, Kawah; Stoisser, Thomas; Bolivar, Juan M; Nidetzky, Bernd; Peterbauer, Clemens K; Haltrich, Dietmar

    2014-01-01

    Flavin-dependent oxidoreductases are increasingly recognized as important biocatalysts for various industrial applications. In order to identify novel activities and to improve these enzymes in engineering approaches, suitable screening methods are necessary. We developed novel microtiter-plate-based assays for flavin-dependent oxidases and dehydrogenases using redox dyes as electron acceptors for these enzymes. 2,6-dichlorophenol-indophenol, methylene green, and thionine show absorption changes between their oxidized and reduced forms in the visible range, making it easy to judge visually changes in activity. A sample set of enzymes containing both flavoprotein oxidases and dehydrogenases – pyranose 2-oxidase, pyranose dehydrogenase, cellobiose dehydrogenase, d-amino acid oxidase, and l-lactate oxidase – was selected. Assays for these enzymes are based on a direct enzymatic reduction of the redox dyes and not on the coupled detection of a reaction product as in the frequently used assays based on hydrogen peroxide formation. The different flavoproteins show low Michaelis constants with these electron acceptor substrates, and therefore these dyes need to be added in only low concentrations to assure substrate saturation. In conclusion, these electron acceptors are useful in selective, reliable and cheap MTP-based screening assays for a range of flavin-dependent oxidoreductases, and offer a robust method for library screening, which could find applications in enzyme engineering programs. PMID:24376171

  14. A novel high-throughput activity assay for the Trypanosoma brucei editosome enzyme REL1 and other RNA ligases

    PubMed Central

    Zimmermann, Stephan; Hall, Laurence; Riley, Sean; Sørensen, Jesper; Amaro, Rommie E.; Schnaufer, Achim

    2016-01-01

    The protist parasite Trypanosoma brucei causes Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), which threatens millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa. Without treatment the infection is almost always lethal. Current drugs for HAT are difficult to administer and have severe side effects. Together with increasing drug resistance this results in urgent need for new treatments. T. brucei and other trypanosomatid pathogens require a distinct form of post-transcriptional mRNA modification for mitochondrial gene expression. A multi-protein complex called the editosome cleaves mitochondrial mRNA, inserts or deletes uridine nucleotides at specific positions and re-ligates the mRNA. RNA editing ligase 1 (REL1) is essential for the re-ligation step and has no close homolog in the mammalian host, making it a promising target for drug discovery. However, traditional assays for RELs use radioactive substrates coupled with gel analysis and are not suitable for high-throughput screening of compound libraries. Here we describe a fluorescence-based REL activity assay. This assay is compatible with a 384-well microplate format and sensitive, satisfies statistical criteria for high-throughput methods and is readily adaptable for other polynucleotide ligases. We validated the assay by determining kinetic properties of REL1 and by identifying REL1 inhibitors in a library of small, pharmacologically active compounds. PMID:26400159

  15. A cell-free enzymatic activity assay for the evaluation of HIV-1 drug resistance to protease inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Matsunaga, Satoko; Masaoka, Takashi; Sawasaki, Tatsuya; Morishita, Ryo; Iwatani, Yasumasa; Tatsumi, Masashi; Endo, Yaeta; Yamamoto, Naoki; Sugiura, Wataru; Ryo, Akihide

    2015-01-01

    Due to their high frequency of genomic mutations, human retroviruses often develop resistance to antiretroviral drugs. The emergence of drug-resistant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is a significant obstacle to the effective long-term treatment of HIV infection. The development of a rapid and versatile drug-susceptibility assay would enable acquisition of phenotypic information and facilitate determination of the appropriate choice of antiretroviral agents. In this study, we developed a novel in vitro method, termed the Cell-free drug susceptibility assay (CFDSA), for monitoring phenotypic information regarding the drug resistance of HIV-1 protease (PR). The CFDSA utilizes a wheat germ cell-free protein production system to synthesize enzymatically active HIV-1 PRs directly from PCR products amplified from HIV-1 molecular clones or clinical isolates in a rapid one-step procedure. Enzymatic activity of PRs can be readily measured by AlphaScreen (Amplified Luminescent Proximity Homogeneous Assay Screen) in the presence or absence of clinically used protease inhibitors (PIs). CFDSA measurement of drug resistance was based on the fold resistance to the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of various PIs. The CFDSA could serve as a non-infectious, rapid, accessible, and reliable alternative to infectious cell-based phenotypic assays for evaluation of PI-resistant HIV-1. PMID:26583013

  16. Inhibitory Activity of Human Immunodeficiency Virus Aspartyl Protease Inhibitors against Encephalitozoon intestinalis Evaluated by Cell Culture-Quantitative PCR Assay

    PubMed Central

    Menotti, Jean; Santillana-Hayat, Maud; Cassinat, Bruno; Sarfati, Claudine; Derouin, Francis; Molina, Jean-Michel

    2005-01-01

    Immune reconstitution might not be the only factor contributing to the low prevalence of microsporidiosis in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients treated with protease inhibitors, as these drugs may exert a direct inhibitory effect against fungi and protozoa. In this study, we developed a cell culture-quantitative PCR assay to quantify Encephalitozoon intestinalis growth in U-373-MG human glioblastoma cells and used this assay to evaluate the activities of six HIV aspartyl protease inhibitors against E. intestinalis. A real-time quantitative PCR assay targeted the E. intestinalis small-subunit rRNA gene. HIV aspartyl protease inhibitors were tested over serial concentrations ranging from 0.2 to 10 mg/liter, with albendazole used as a control. Ritonavir, lopinavir, and saquinavir were able to inhibit E. intestinalis growth, with 50% inhibitory concentrations of 1.5, 2.2, and 4.6 mg/liter, respectively, whereas amprenavir, indinavir, and nelfinavir had no inhibitory effect. Pepstatin A, a reference aspartyl protease inhibitor, could also inhibit E. intestinalis growth, suggesting that HIV protease inhibitors may act through the inhibition of an E. intestinalis-encoded aspartyl protease. These results showed that some HIV protease inhibitors can inhibit E. intestinalis growth at concentrations that are achievable in vivo and that the real-time quantitative PCR assay that we used is a valuable tool for the in vitro assessment of the activities of drugs against E. intestinalis. PMID:15917534

  17. Specific detection of RT activity in culture supernantants of retrovirus-producing cells, using synthetic DNA as competitor in polymerase enhanced reverse transcriptase assay.

    PubMed

    Voisset, C; Tönjes, R R; Breyton, P; Mandrand, B; Paranhos-Baccalà, G

    2001-05-01

    The polymerase enhanced reverse transcriptase (PERT) assay is a highly sensitive assay for the detection of reverse transcriptase (RT) activity in culture supernatants of retrovirus-producing cells. However, some cellular DNA-dependent DNA polymerases exhibit RT-like activities in this assay. A synthetic DNA competitor which suppresses the RT-like activities of cellular DNA-dependent DNA polymerases was used in a modified PERT assay technique for specific detection of RT activity in culture supernatants of retrovirus-producing cells. We determined the optimum condition of the assay and evaluated its specificity. This improved PERT assay is easy to perform and is able to detect minute amounts of purified RT, as well as RT in crude cell lysates and concentrated culture supernatants.

  18. Development of APE1 enzymatic DNA repair assays: low APE1 activity is associated with increase lung cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Sevilya, Ziv; Leitner-Dagan, Yael; Pinchev, Mila; Kremer, Ran; Elinger, Dalia; Lejbkowicz, Flavio; Rennert, Hedy S; Freedman, Laurence S; Rennert, Gad; Paz-Elizur, Tamar; Livneh, Zvi

    2015-09-01

    The key role of DNA repair in removing DNA damage and minimizing mutations makes it an attractive target for cancer risk assessment and prevention. Here we describe the development of a robust assay for apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease 1 (APE1; APEX1), an essential enzyme involved in the repair of oxidative DNA damage. APE1 DNA repair enzymatic activity was measured in peripheral blood mononuclear cell protein extracts using a radioactivity-based assay, and its association with lung cancer was determined using conditional logistic regression with specimens from a population-based case-control study with 96 lung cancer cases and 96 matched control subjects. The mean APE1 enzyme activity in case patients was 691 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 655-727] units/ng protein, significantly lower than in control subjects (mean = 793, 95% CI = 751-834 units/ng protein, P = 0.0006). The adjusted odds ratio for lung cancer associated with 1 SD (211 units) decrease in APE1 activity was 2.0 (95% CI = 1.3-3.1; P = 0.002). Comparison of radioactivity- and fluorescence-based assays showed that the two are equivalent, indicating no interference by the fluorescent tag. The APE1Asp148Glu SNP was associated neither with APE1 enzyme activity nor with lung cancer risk. Taken together, our results indicate that low APE1 activity is associated with lung cancer risk, consistent with the hypothesis that 'bad DNA repair', rather than 'bad luck', is involved in cancer etiology. Such assays may be useful, along with additional DNA repair biomarkers, for risk assessment of lung cancer and perhaps other cancers, and for selecting individuals to undergo early detection techniques such as low-dose CT.

  19. Real-time ratiometric fluorescent assay for alkaline phosphatase activity with stimulus responsive infinite coordination polymer nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Deng, Jingjing; Yu, Ping; Wang, Yuexiang; Mao, Lanqun

    2015-03-03

    This study demonstrates a novel ratiometric fluorescent method for real-time alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity assay with stimulus responsive infinite coordination polymer (ICP) nanoparticles as the probe. The ICP nanoparticles used in this study are composed of two components; one is the supramolecular ICP network formed with guanine monophosphate (GMP) as the ligand and Tb(3+) as the central metal ion, and the other is a fluorescent dye, i.e., 7-amino-4-methyl coumarin (coumarin) encapsulated into the ICP network. Upon being excited at 315 nm, the ICP network itself emits green fluorescence at 552 nm. Coumarin dye encapsulated in the ICP network emits weak fluorescence at 450 nm upon excitation at the same wavelength (315 nm), and this fluorescence emission becomes strong when the encapsulated dye is released from the network into the solution phase. Hence, we develop a ratiometric fluorescent assay based on the ALP-induced destruction of the supramolecular ICP network and the release of coumarin. This mechanism can be used for real-time ratiometric fluorescent monitoring of ALP activity by continuously measuring the ratio of fluorescent intensity at the wavelength of 552 nm (F552) to that at 450 nm (F450) (F552/F450) in the time-dependent fluorescent spectra of the coumarin@Tb-GMP suspension containing ALP with different activities. Under the experimental conditions employed here, the F552/F450 value is linear with the ALP activity within a range from 0.025 U/mL to 0.2 U/mL. The detection limit is down to 0.010 U/mL (S/N = 3). Moreover, the assay developed here is employed for ALP inhibitor evaluation. This study offers a simple yet sensitive method for real-time ALP activity assay.

  20. Radiation inactivation analysis of influenza virus reveals different target sizes for fusion, leakage, and neuraminidase activities

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S.; Jung, C.Y.; Takahashi, M.; Lenard, J.

    1986-10-07

    The size of the functional units responsible for several activities carried out by the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was determined by radiation inactivation analysis. Neuraminidase activity, which resides in the glycoprotein NA, was inactivated exponentially with an increasing radiation dose, yielding a target size of 94 +/- 5 kilodaltons (kDa), in reasonable agreement with that of the disulfide-bonded dimer (120 kDa). All the other activities studied are properties of the HA glycoprotein and were normalized to the known molecular weight of the neuraminidase dimer. Virus-induced fusion activity was measured by two phospholipid dilution assays: relief of energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)dipalmitoyl-L-alpha- phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl)-dioleoyl-L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine (N-Rh-PE) in target liposomes and relief of self-quenching of N-Rh-PE in target liposomes. Radiation inactivation of fusion activity proceeded exponentially with radiation dose, yielding normalized target sizes of 68 +/- 6 kDa by assay i and 70 +/- 4 kDa by assay ii. These values are close to the molecular weight of a single disulfide-bonded (HA1 + HA2) unit (75 kDa), the monomer of the HA trimer. A single monomer is thus inactivated by each radiation event, and each monomer (or some part of it) constitutes a minimal functional unit capable of mediating fusion. Virus-induced leakage of calcein from target liposomes and virus-induced leakage of hemoglobin from erythrocytes (hemolysis) both showed more complex inactivation behavior: a pronounced shoulder was present in both inactivation curves, followed by a steep drop in activity at higher radiation levels.

  1. A nonradioactive assay method for determination of enzymatic activity of D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco).

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Subhra; Bhattacharya, Sumana; Bhattacharya, Sanjoy K

    2002-01-01

    A sensitive and nonradioactive assay method for activity determination of Rubisco is described. The method is based on thin-layer chromatographic separation of 3-phosphoglycerate (3-PGA) and D-ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP). This assay method allows the quantitative determination of Rubisco activity. Rates of carbon dioxide fixation on RuBP determined by this method were comparable to those obtained independently by other methods. This assay method is reproducible and relatively free from interference.

  2. Simple enzymatic assays for the in vitro motor activity of transcription termination factor Rho from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Boudvillain, Marc; Walmacq, Céline; Schwartz, Annie; Jacquinot, Frédérique

    2010-01-01

    The transcription termination factor Rho from Escherichia coli is a ring-shaped homo-hexameric protein that preferentially interacts with naked cytosine-rich Rut (Rho utilization) regions of nascent RNA transcripts. Once bound to the RNA chain, Rho uses ATP as an energy source to produce mechanical work and disruptive forces that ultimately lead to the dissociation of the ternary transcription complex. Although transcription termination assays have been useful to study Rho activity in various experimental contexts, they do not report directly on Rho mechanisms and kinetics. Here, we describe complementary ATP-dependent RNA-DNA helicase and streptavidin displacement assays that can be used to monitor in vitro Rho's motor activity in a more direct and quantitative manner.

  3. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase.

    PubMed

    Irani, Seema; Yogesha, S D; Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-03-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families.

  4. Structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 reveals an active site for an atypical phosphatase

    PubMed Central

    Mayfield, Joshua; Zhang, Mengmeng; Zhang, Yong; Matthews, Wendy L.; Nie, Grace; Prescott, Nicholas A.; Zhang, Yan Jessie

    2016-01-01

    Changes in the phosphorylation status of the carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) correlate with the process of eukaryotic transcription. The yeast protein regulator of transcription 1 (Rtr1) and the human homolog RNAPII-associated protein 2 (RPAP2) may function as CTD phosphatases; however, crystal structures of Kluyveromyces lactis Rtr1 lack a consensus active site. We identified a phosphoryl transfer domain in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Rtr1 by obtaining and characterizing a 2.6 Å resolution crystal structure. We identified a putative substrate-binding pocket in a deep groove between the zinc finger domain and a pair of helices that contained a trapped sulfate ion. Because sulfate mimics the chemistry of a phosphate group, this structural data suggested that this groove represents the phosphoryl transfer active site. Mutagenesis of the residues lining this groove disrupted catalytic activity of the enzyme assayed in vitro with a fluorescent chemical substrate, and expression of the mutated Rtr1 failed to rescue growth of yeast lacking Rtr1. Characterization of the phosphatase activity of RPAP2 and a mutant of the conserved putative catalytic site in the same chemical assay indicated a conserved reaction mechanism. Our data indicated that the structure of the phosphoryl transfer domain and reaction mechanism for the phosphoryl transfer activity of Rtr1 is distinct from those of other phosphatase families. PMID:26933063

  5. Detection of Plasma Protease Activity Using Microsphere-Cytometry Assays with E. coli Derived Substrates: VWF Proteolysis by ADAMTS13

    PubMed Central

    Gogia, Shobhit; Lo, Chi Y.; Neelamegham, Sriram

    2015-01-01

    Protease levels in human blood are often prognostic indicators of inflammatory, thrombotic or oncogenic disorders. The measurement of such enzyme activities in substrate-based assays is complicated due to the low prevalence of these enzymes and steric hindrance of the substrates by the more abundant blood proteins. To address these limitations, we developed a molecular construct that is suitable for microsphere-cytometer based assays in the milieu of human blood plasma. In this proof of principle study, we demonstrate the utility of this substrate to measure metalloprotease ADAMTS13 activity. The substrate, expressed in E. coli as a fusion protein, contains the partial A2-domain of von Willebrand factor (VWF amino acids 1594–1670) that is mutated to include a single primary amine at the N-terminus and free cysteines at the C-terminus. N-terminus fluorescence conjugation was possible using NHS (N-hydroxysuccinimide) chemistry. Maleimide-PEG(Polyethylene glycol)n-biotin coupling at the C-terminus allowed biotinylation with variable PEG spacer lengths. Once bound to streptavidin-bearing microspheres, the substrate fluorescence signal decreased in proportion with ADAMTS13 concentration. Whereas recombinant ADAMTS13 activity could be quantified using substrates with all PEG repeat-lengths, only the construct with the longer 77 PEG-unit could quantify proteolysis in blood plasma. Using this longer substrate, plasma ADAMTS13 down to 5% of normal levels could be detected within 30 min. Such measurements could also be readily performed under conditions resembling hyperbilirubinemia. Enzyme catalytic activity was tuned by varying buffer calcium, with lower divalent ion concentrations enhancing cleavage. Overall, the study highlights the substrate design features important for the creation of efficient proteolysis assays in the setting of human plasma. In particular, it emphasizes the need to introduce PEG spacers in plasma-based experiments, a design attribute commonly

  6. RAS - Screens & Assays

    Cancer.gov

    A primary goal of the RAS Initiative is to develop assays for RAS activity, localization, and signaling and adapt those assays so they can be used for finding new drug candidates. Explore the work leading to highly validated screening protocols.

  7. Polyclonal B-cell activation reveals antibodies against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) in HIV-1-seronegative individuals.

    PubMed Central

    Jehuda-Cohen, T; Slade, B A; Powell, J D; Villinger, F; De, B; Folks, T M; McClure, H M; Sell, K W; Ahmed-Ansari, A

    1990-01-01

    Identification of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)-infected individuals is of paramount importance for the control of the spread of AIDS worldwide. Currently, the vast majority of screening centers throughout the world rely on serological techniques. As such, clinically asymptomatic but HIV-infected, seronegative individuals are rarely identified. In this report we show that 18% (30/165) of seronegative individuals who were considered to be a unique cohort of patients at high risk for HIV infection had circulating B cells that, upon in vitro polyclonal activation with pokeweed mitogen, produced antibodies reactive with HIV. Furthermore, polymerase chain reaction analysis of DNA obtained from aliquots of the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from these seronegative but pokeweed mitogen assay-positive individuals tested revealed the presence of HIV-specific sequences in a significant number of samples. In addition, depletion of CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of HIV-1-seronegative individuals prior to in vitro culture with pokeweed mitogen resulted in increased sensitivity for detecting HIV-reactive antibodies. This assay has obvious epidemiological implications, especially in the case of high-risk groups, and also provides a simple technique to enhance detection of HIV-infected individuals. Of further interest is the determination of the mechanisms related to the lack of HIV-specific antibodies in the serum of these infected individuals. Images PMID:2111024

  8. Towards predicting the lung fibrogenic activity of nanomaterials: experimental validation of an in vitro fibroblast proliferation assay

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Carbon nanotubes (CNT) can induce lung inflammation and fibrosis in rodents. Several studies have identified the capacity of CNT to stimulate the proliferation of fibroblasts. We developed and validated experimentally here a simple and rapid in vitro assay to evaluate the capacity of a nanomaterial to exert a direct pro-fibrotic effect on fibroblasts. Methods The activity of several multi-wall (MW)CNT samples (NM400, the crushed form of NM400 named NM400c, NM402 and MWCNTg 2400) and asbestos (crocidolite) was investigated in vitro and in vivo. The proliferative response to MWCNT was assessed on mouse primary lung fibroblasts, human fetal lung fibroblasts (HFL-1), mouse embryonic fibroblasts (BALB-3T3) and mouse lung fibroblasts (MLg) by using different assays (cell counting, WST-1 assay and propidium iodide PI staining) and dispersion media (fetal bovine serum, FBS and bovine serum albumin, BSA). C57BL/6 mice were pharyngeally aspirated with the same materials and lung fibrosis was assessed after 2 months by histopathology, quantification of total collagen lung content and pro-fibrotic cytokines in broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF). Results MWCNT (NM400 and NM402) directly stimulated fibroblast proliferation in vitro in a dose-dependent manner and induced lung fibrosis in vivo. NM400 stimulated the proliferation of all tested fibroblast types, independently of FBS- or BSA- dispersion. Results obtained by WST1 cell activity were confirmed with cell counting and cell cycle (PI staining) assays. Crocidolite also stimulated fibroblast proliferation and induced pulmonary fibrosis, although to a lesser extent than NM400 and NM402. In contrast, shorter CNT (NM400c and MWCNTg 2400) did not induce any fibroblast proliferation or collagen accumulation in vivo, supporting the idea that CNT structure is an important parameter for inducing lung fibrosis. Conclusions In this study, an optimized proliferation assay using BSA as a dispersant, MLg cells as targets

  9. Transcriptional profiling of Chinese medicinal formula Si-Wu-Tang on breast cancer cells reveals phytoestrogenic activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Si-Wu-Tang (SWT), comprising the combination of four herbs, Paeoniae, Angelicae, Chuanxiong and Rehmanniae, is one of the most popular traditional oriental medicines for women’s diseases. In our previous study, the microarray gene expression profiles of SWT on breast cancer cell line MCF-7 were found similar to the effect of β-estradiol (E2) on MCF-7 cells in the Connectivity Map database. Methods Further data analysis was conducted to find the main similarities and differences between the effects of SWT and E2 on MCF-7 gene expression. The cell proliferation assay on MCF-7 (ER-positive) and MDA-MB-231 (ER-negative) cells were used to examine such estrogenic activity. The estrogenic potency of SWT was further confirmed by estrogen-responsive element (ERE) luciferase reporter assay in MCF-7 cells. Results Many estrogen regulated genes strongly up-regulated by E2 were similarly up-regulated by SWT, e.g., GREB1, PGR and EGR3. Of interest with regard to safety of SWT, the oncogenes MYBL1 and RET were strongly induced by E2 but not by SWT. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis revealed a highly concordant expression change in selected genes with data obtained by microarrays. Further supporting SWT’s estrogenic activity, in MCF-7 but not in MDA-MB-231 cells, SWT stimulated cell growth at lower concentrations (< 3.0 mg/ml), while at high concentrations, it inhibits the growth of both cell lines. The growth inhibitory potency of SWT was significantly higher in MDA-MB-231 than in MCF-7 cells. The SWT-induced cell growth of MCF-7 could be blocked by addition of the estrogen receptor antagonist tamoxifen. In addition, SWT was able to activate the ERE activity at lower concentrations. The herbal components Angelicae, Chuanxiong and Rehmanniae at lower concentrations (< 3.0 mg/ml) also showed growth-inducing and ERE-activating activity in MCF-7 cells. Conclusions These results revealed a new mechanism to support the clinical use of SWT for estrogen related diseases

  10. Radiometric macrophage culture assay for rapid evaluation of antileprosy activity of rifampin

    SciTech Connect

    Mittal, A.; Seshadri, P.S.; Prasad, H.K.; Sathish, M.; Nath, I.

    1983-10-01

    The antileprosy effect of rifampin was evaluated by a newly developed rapid in vitro assay wherein 31 human-derived strains and 1 armadillo-derived strain of Mycobacterium leprae were maintained for 2 and 3 weeks, respectively, in murine and human macrophages in the presence of (3H)thymidine. Of these strains, 27 showed significant incorporation of the radiolabel in cultures of live bacilli as compared with control cultures of heat-killed bacilli of the same strain. Consistent and significant inhibition of (3H)thymidine uptake was observed in M. leprae resident cultures with 3 to 200 ng of rifampin per ml as compared with similar cultures without the drug. In general, an increase in percent inhibition was seen from 3 to 20 ng/ml, with marginal increases at 40, 50, and 100 ng/ml. M. leprae strains appear to be remarkably susceptible to this drug in the in vitro assay.

  11. The Fibrin slide assay for detecting urokinase activity in human fetal kidney cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sedor, K.

    1985-01-01

    The Fibrin Slide Technique of Hau C. Kwaan and Tage Astrup is discussed. This relatively simple assay involves two steps: the formation of an artificial clot and then the addition of an enzyme (UKOKINASE) to dissolve the clot. The actual dissolving away of the clot is detected by the appearance of holes (lysis zones) in the stained clot. The procedure of Kwaan and Astrup is repeated, along with modifications and suggestions for improvements based on experience with the technique.

  12. Optimization of Assays to Assess Dendritic Cell Activation and/or Anergy in Ebola Infection.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-09-01

    infection and the correlates of protective immunity in vaccinated macaques are not well understood. This study sought to develop assays that can predict...responses during lethal filovirus infection and the correlates of protective immunity in vaccinated macaques are not well understood. This study aims to...Points indicate values for individual macaques; cells were stained with antibodies to T-cell markers CD3, CD8, and CD4 and analyzed by flow

  13. Highly Sensitive and Multiple Enzyme Activity Assay Using Reagent-release Capillary-Isoelectric Focusing with Rhodamine 110-based Substrates.

    PubMed

    Sueyoshi, Kenji; Nogawa, Yuto; Sugawara, Kasumi; Endo, Tatsuro; Hisamoto, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a simple and highly sensitive enzyme activity assay based on reagent-release capillary-isoelectric focusing is described. Reagent-release capillaries containing a fluorescent substrate, which produces fluorescent products possessing an isoelectric point after reaction with enzymes, provides a simple procedure. This is because it allows to spontaneously inject a sample solution into the capillary by capillary action, mixing reagents, and subsequently concentrating the fluorescent products based on isoelectric focusing. Fluorescent rhodamine 110 and its monoamide derivative, which were generated as a final product and an intermediate, respectively, were then focused and separated by reagent-release capillary-isoelectric focusing. After 30 min of enzyme reactions, two focused fluorescent bands were clearly isolated along the prepared capillaries. Employing the focused band of rhodamine 110 monoamide allowed for highly sensitive detection of enzyme activity in the 10 pg mL(-1) order, while that of the conventional assay using a microplate was in the ng mL(-1) order. Furthermore, arraying reagent-release capillaries of different substrates on a chip allowed for simultaneous multi-assay of enzyme activity with good sensitivity in the pg mL(-1) order for each protein.

  14. In vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation of xenoestrogens using an estrogen responsive in vitro transcriptional activation assay and the in vivo uterotrophic assay

    EPA Science Inventory

    Widespread contamination of waters with both natural and synthetic estrogens is a concern for potential adverse ecological and human health effects. In vitro assays are valuable screening tools for identifying contaminated environmental samples and chemical specific mechanisms o...

  15. In vitro-to-in vivo extrapolation of xenoestrogens using an estrogen responsive in vitro transcriptional activation assay and the in vivo uterotrophic assay##

    EPA Science Inventory

    Widespread contamination of waters with both natural and synthetic estrogens is a concern for potential adverse ecological and human health effects. In vitro assays are valuable screening tools for identifying contaminated environmental samples and chemical specific mechanisms of...

  16. Hyperthermostable binding molecules on phage: Assay components for point-of-care diagnostics for active tuberculosis infection.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ning; Spencer, John; Schmitt, Margaret A; Fisk, John D

    2017-03-15

    Tuberculosis is the leading cause of death from infectious disease worldwide. The low sensitivity, extended processing time, and high expense of current diagnostics are major challenges to the detection and treatment of tuberculosis. Mycobacterium tuberculosis ornithine transcarbamylase (Mtb OTC, Rv1656) has been identified in the urine of patients with active TB infection and is a promising target for point-of-care diagnostics. Specific binding proteins with low nanomolar affinities for Mtb OTC were selected from a phage display library built upon a hyperthermostable Sso7d scaffold. Phage particles displaying Sso7d variants were utilized to generate a sandwich ELISA-based assay for Mtb OTC. The assay response is linear between 2 ng/mL and 125 ng/mL recombinant Mtb OTC and has a limit of detection of 400 pg/mL recombinant Mtb OTC. The assay employing a phage-based detection reagent is comparable to commercially-available antibody-based biosensors. Importantly, the assay maintains functionality at both neutral and basic pH in presence of salt and urea over the range of concentrations typical for human urine. Phage-based diagnostic systems may feature improved physical stability and cost of production relative to traditional antibody-based reagents, without sacrificing specificity and sensitivity.

  17. A Simple Colorimetric Assay for Specific Detection of Glutathione-S Transferase Activity Associated with DDT Resistance in Mosquitoes

    PubMed Central

    Rajatileka, Shavanti; Steven, Andrew; Hemingway, Janet; Ranson, Hilary; Paine, Mark; Vontas, John

    2010-01-01

    Background Insecticide-based methods represent the most effective means of blocking the transmission of vector borne diseases. However, insecticide resistance poses a serious threat and there is a need for tools, such as diagnostic tests for resistance detection, that will improve the sustainability of control interventions. The development of such tools for metabolism-based resistance in mosquito vectors lags behind those for target site resistance mutations. Methodology/Principal Findings We have developed and validated a simple colorimetric assay for the detection of Epsilon class Glutathione transferases (GST)-based DDT resistance in mosquito species, such as Aedes aegypti, the major vector of dengue and yellow fever worldwide. The colorimetric assay is based on the specific alkyl transferase activity of Epsilon GSTs for the haloalkene substrate iodoethane, which produces a dark blue colour highly correlated with AaGSTE2-2-overexpression in individual mosquitoes. The colour can be measured visually and spectrophotometrically. Conclusions/Significance The novel assay is substantially more sensitive compared to the gold standard CDNB assay and allows the discrimination of moderate resistance phenotypes. We anticipate that it will have direct application in routine vector monitoring as a resistance indicator and possibly an important impact on disease vector control. PMID:20824165

  18. An in vitro larval migration assay for assessing anthelmintic activity of different drug classes against Ascaris suum.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jianguo; Williams, Andrew R; Hansen, Tina Vicky Alstrup; Thamsborg, Stig M; Cai, Jianping; Song, Shuaibao; Chen, Gang; Kang, Ming; Zhang, Zhuangzhi; Liu, Qun; Han, Qian

    2017-03-18

    In vitro methods have been developed for the detection of anthelmintic resistance in a range of nematode species. However, the life cycle of Ascaris suum renders the commonly used egg hatch assay and larval development assay unusable. In this study we developed a combined multi-well culture and agar gel larval migration assay to test the effect of benzimidazole and tetrahydropyrimidin/imidazothiazole anthelmintics against nine isolates of A. suum collected from locations in China and Denmark. Drugs tested were thiabendazole, fenbendazole, mebendazole, levamisole, and pyrantel. The percentages of larvae that migrated to the surface of each treated and control well were used to calculate the drug concentration which inhibits 50% of the larvae migration (EC50). The values of EC50 of thiabendazole, fenbendazole, mebendazole, levamisole, and pyrantel against A. suum isolates ranged 74-150, 4.9-13.9, 2.3-4.3, 358-1150 and 1100-4000nM, respectively. This combined multi-well culture and agar gel larval migration assay was a sensitive bioassay for anthelmintic activity and could serve as an in vitro method to detect for lowered drug efficacy against A. suum or possibly to screen for anthelmintic drug candidates.

  19. Development of radiometric assays for quantification of enzyme activities of the key enzymes of thyroid hormones metabolism.

    PubMed

    Pavelka, S

    2014-01-01

    We newly elaborated and adapted several radiometric enzyme assays for the determination of activities of the key enzymes engaged in the biosynthesis (thyroid peroxidase, TPO) and metabolic transformations (conjugating enzymes and iodothyronine deiodinases, IDs) of thyroid hormones (THs) in the thyroid gland and in peripheral tissues, especially in white adipose tissue (WAT). We also elaborated novel, reliable radiometric methods for extremely sensitive determination of enzyme activities of IDs of types 1, 2 and 3 in microsomal fractions of different rat and human tissues, as well as in homogenates of cultured mammalian cells. The use of optimized TLC separation of radioactive products from the unconsumed substrates and film-less autoradiography of radiochromatograms, taking advantage of storage phosphor screens, enabled us to determine IDs enzyme activities as low as 10(-18) katals. In studies of the interaction of fluoxetine (Fluox) with the metabolism of THs, we applied adapted radiometric enzyme assays for iodothyronine sulfotransferases (ST) and uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronyltransferase (UDP-GT). Fluox is the most frequently used representative of a new group of non-tricyclic antidepressant drugs--selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. We used the elaborated assays for quantification the effects of Fluox and for the assessment of the degree of potential induction of rat liver ST and/or UDP-GT enzyme activities by Fluox alone or in combination with T(3). Furthermore, we studied possible changes in IDs activities in murine adipose tissue under the conditions that promoted either tissue hypertrophy (obesogenic treatment) or involution (caloric restriction), and in response to leptin, using our newly developed radiometric enzyme assays for IDs. Our results suggest that deiodinase D1 has a functional role in WAT, with D1 possibly being involved in the control of adipose tissue metabolism and/or accumulation of the tissue. Significant positive correlation between

  20. Tb3+-Cleavage Assays Reveal Specific Mg2+ Binding Sites Necessary to Pre-fold the btuB Riboswitch for AdoCbl Binding

    PubMed Central

    Choudhary, Pallavi K.; Gallo, Sofia; Sigel, Roland K. O.

    2017-01-01

    Riboswitches are RNA elements that bind specific metabolites in order to regulate the gene expression involved in controlling the cellular concentration of the respective molecule or ion. Ligand recognition is mostly facilitated by Mg2+ mediated pre-organization of the riboswitch to an active tertiary fold. To predict these specific Mg2+ induced tertiary interactions of the btuB riboswitch from E. coli, we here report Mg2+ binding pockets in its aptameric part in both, the ligand-free and the ligand-bound form. An ensemble of weak and strong metal ion binding sites distributed over the entire aptamer was detected by terbium(III) cleavage assays, Tb3+ being an established Mg2+ mimic. Interestingly many of the Mn+ (n = 2 or 3) binding sites involve conserved bases within the class of coenzyme B12-binding riboswitches. Comparison with the published crystal structure of the coenzyme B12 riboswitch of S. thermophilum aided in identifying a common set of Mn+ binding sites that might be crucial for tertiary interactions involved in the organization of the aptamer. Our results suggest that Mn+ binding at strategic locations of the btuB riboswitch indeed facilitates the assembly of the binding pocket needed for ligand recognition. Binding of the specific ligand, coenzyme B12 (AdoCbl), to the btuB aptamer does however not lead to drastic alterations of these Mn+ binding cores, indicating the lack of a major rearrangement within the three-dimensional structure of the RNA. This finding is strengthened by Tb3+ mediated footprints of the riboswitch's structure in its ligand-free and ligand-bound state indicating that AdoCbl indeed induces local changes rather than a global structural rearrangement. PMID:28377919

  1. Lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay for detecting active tuberculosis in Hiv-positive adults

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Maunank; Hanrahan, Colleen; Wang, Zhuo Yu; Dendukuri, Nandini; Lawn, Stephen D; Denkinger, Claudia M; Steingart, Karen R

    2016-01-01

    Background Rapid detection of tuberculosis (TB) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a global health priority. HIV-associated TB may have different clinical presentations and is challenging to diagnose. Conventional sputum tests have reduced sensitivity in HIV-positive individuals, who have higher rates of extrapulmonary TB compared with HIV-negative individuals. The lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay (LF-LAM) is a new, commercially available point-of-care test that detects lipoarabinomannan (LAM), a lipopolysaccharide present in mycobacterial cell walls, in people with active TB disease. Objectives To assess the accuracy of LF-LAM for the diagnosis of active TB disease in HIV-positive adults who have signs and symptoms suggestive of TB (TB diagnosis).To assess the accuracy of LF-LAM as a screening test for active TB disease in HIV-positive adults irrespective of signs and symptoms suggestive of TB (TB screening). Search methods We searched the following databases without language restriction on 5 February 2015: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE (PubMed,1966); EMBASE (OVID, from 1980); Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED, from 1900), Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science (CPCI-S, from 1900), and BIOSIS Previews (from 1926) (all three using the Web of Science platform; MEDION; LILACS (BIREME, from 1982); SCOPUS (from 1995); the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); the search portal of the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP); and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&l (from 1861). Selection criteria Eligible study types included randomized controlled trials, cross-sectional studies, and cohort studies that determined LF-LAM accuracy for TB against a microbiological reference standard (culture or nucleic acid amplification test from any body site). A higher quality reference standard was one in which two or more specimen types were

  2. A fluorescence-based hydrolytic enzyme activity assay for quantifying toxic effects of Roundup® to Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Ørsted, Michael; Roslev, Peter

    2015-08-01

    Daphnia magna is a widely used model organism for aquatic toxicity testing. In the present study, the authors investigated the hydrolytic enzyme activity of D. magna after exposure to toxicant stress. In vivo enzyme activity was quantified using 15 fluorogenic enzyme probes based on 4-methylumbelliferyl or 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin. Probing D. magna enzyme activity was evaluated using short-term exposure (24-48 h) to the reference chemical K2 Cr2 O7 or the herbicide formulation Roundup®. Toxicant-induced changes in hydrolytic enzyme activity were compared with changes in mobility (International Organization for Standardization standard 6341). The results showed that hydrolytic enzyme activity was quantifiable as a combination of whole body fluorescence of D. magna and the fluorescence of the surrounding water. Exposure of D. magna to lethal and sublethal concentrations of Roundup resulted in loss of whole body enzyme activity and release of cell constituents, including enzymes and DNA. Roundup caused comparable inhibition of mobility and alkaline phosphatase activity with median effective concentration values at 20 °C of 8.7 mg active ingredient (a.i.)/L to 11.7 mg a.i./L. Inhibition of alkaline phosphatase activity by Roundup was lowest at 14 °C and greater at 20 °C and 26 °C. The results suggest that the fluorescence-based hydrolytic enzyme activity assay (FLEA assay) can be used as an index of D. magna stress. Combining enzyme activity with fluorescence measurements may be applied as a simple and quantitative supplement for toxicity testing with D. magna.

  3. Increasing AIP Macrocycle Size Reveals Key Features of agr Activation in Staphylococcus aureus.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Jeffrey G; Wang, Boyuan; Debelouchina, Galia T; Novick, Richard P; Muir, Tom W

    2015-05-04

    The agr locus in the commensal human pathogen, Staphylococcus aureus, is a two-promoter regulon with allelic variability that produces a quorum-sensing circuit involved in regulating virulence within the bacterium. Secretion of unique autoinducing peptides (AIPs) and detection of their concentrations by AgrC, a transmembrane receptor histidine kinase, coordinates local bacterial population density with global changes in gene expression. The finding that staphylococcal virulence can be inhibited through antagonism of this quorum-sensing pathway has fueled tremendous interest in understanding the structure-activity relationships underlying the AIP-AgrC interaction. The defining structural feature of the AIP is a 16-membered, thiolactone-containing macrocycle. Surprisingly, the importance of ring size on agr activation or inhibition has not been explored. In this study, we address this deficiency through the synthesis and functional analysis of AIP analogues featuring enlarged and reduced macrocycles. Notably, this study is the first to interrogate AIP function by using both established cell-based reporter gene assays and newly developed in vitro AgrC-I binding and autophosphorylation activity assays. Based on our data, we present a model for robust agr activation involving a cooperative, three-points-of-contact interaction between the AIP macrocycle and AgrC.

  4. Evaluation of quantitative assays for the identification of direct signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Furtek, Steffanie L; Matheson, Christopher J; Backos, Donald S; Reigan, Philip

    2016-11-22

    In many forms of cancer the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) transcription factor remains constitutively active, driving cancer survival and progression. The critical role of STAT3 in tumorigenesis has prompted a campaign of drug discovery programs to identify small molecules that disrupt the function of STAT3, with more recent efforts focusing on direct STAT3 inhibition. There are two target binding sites for direct STAT3 inhibitors: the SH2 dimerization domain and the DNA-binding domain. An in vitro fluorescence polarization assay, using recombinant STAT3 protein, has successfully identified compounds that target the SH2 domain; however, no assay has been reported to identify inhibitors that bind the DNA-binding domain. The lack of such a quantitative assay has limited the identification and development of STAT3 DNA-binding domain inhibitors. Here, we report a modified DNA-binding ELISA to incorporate recombinant STAT3 protein to evaluate small molecules that prevent STAT3-DNA binding. The concomitant use of the ELISA and fluorescence polarization assay enables the classification of direct STAT3 inhibitors by their site of action. Our data provide further support that niclosamide inhibits STAT3 through interaction with the DNA-binding domain. Furthermore, the ELISA can support medicinal chemistry efforts by identifying DNA-binding domain inhibitors and allowing the determination of an IC50 value, supporting the ranking of inhibitors and development of structure-activity relationships. Therefore, we propose a tandem evaluation approach to identify small molecules that target the SH2 domain or the DNA-binding domain of STAT3, which allows for quantitative evaluation of candidate STAT3 inhibitors.

  5. Evaluation of quantitative assays for the identification of direct signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Furtek, Steffanie L.; Matheson, Christopher J.; Backos, Donald S.; Reigan, Philip

    2016-01-01

    In many forms of cancer the signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) transcription factor remains constitutively active, driving cancer survival and progression. The critical role of STAT3 in tumorigenesis has prompted a campaign of drug discovery programs to identify small molecules that disrupt the function of STAT3, with more recent efforts focusing on direct STAT3 inhibition. There are two target binding sites for direct STAT3 inhibitors: the SH2 dimerization domain and the DNA-binding domain. An in vitro fluorescence polarization assay, using recombinant STAT3 protein, has successfully identified compounds that target the SH2 domain; however, no assay has been reported to identify inhibitors that bind the DNA-binding domain. The lack of such a quantitative assay has limited the identification and development of STAT3 DNA-binding domain inhibitors. Here, we report a modified DNA-binding ELISA to incorporate recombinant STAT3 protein to evaluate small molecules that prevent STAT3-DNA binding. The concomitant use of the ELISA and fluorescence polarization assay enables the classification of direct STAT3 inhibitors by their site of action. Our data provide further support that niclosamide inhibits STAT3 through interaction with the DNA-binding domain. Furthermore, the ELISA can support medicinal chemistry efforts by identifying DNA-binding domain inhibitors and allowing the determination of an IC50 value, supporting the ranking of inhibitors and development of structure-activity relationships. Therefore, we propose a tandem evaluation approach to identify small molecules that target the SH2 domain or the DNA-binding domain of STAT3, which allows for quantitative evaluation of candidate STAT3 inhibitors. PMID:27793003

  6. Genotoxicity of a thiosulfonate compound derived from Allium sp. intended to be used in active food packaging: In vivo comet assay and micronucleus test.

    PubMed

    Mellado-García, Pilar; Puerto, María; Prieto, Ana I; Pichardo, Silvia; Martín-Cameán, Ana; Moyano, Rosario; Blanco, Alfonso; Cameán, Ana M

    2016-04-01

    Components of Allium species have antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. A commercial Allium sp. extract (Proallium AP(®)), of which the main constituent is propyl thiosulphinate oxide (PTSO), is being used in the development of active food packaging. In previous in vitro genotoxicity studies, PTSO, in the presence of metabolic activation, increased the appearance of micronuclei (MN). We assessed the genotoxicity PTSO in rats following oral administration (doses: 5.5, 17.4, and 55mg/kg). The comet assay in liver and stomach (OECD 489) and the MN assay in bone marrow (OECD 474) were carried out. After necropsy, histopathological examinations of the liver and the stomach were performed. The results revealed no in vivo genotoxicity and the histopathological analysis showed only slight modifications, such as increased glycogen storage in the liver and a degenerative process in stomach, with vacuolization of cell membranes, only at the highest dose. Therefore, the present work confirms that this compound is not genotoxic and could be considered as a natural alternative to synthetic preservatives used in the food packaging industry.

  7. Development of a simple and rapid assay for methylase activity based on DNA hairpin probe and Sybr Green I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Yi; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2012-03-01

    Methylase is vital for a large number of biological reactions. Here we developed a new method for DNA methylase activity analysis. In this paper, a DNA hairpin probe with a sequence of 5'-GATC-3' in the stem region was designed. The 5'-GATC-3' sequence was targeted by Dam MTase and was methylated. Subsequently, restriction enzyme Dpnl recognized the site and cut it. Then the haipin probe was transformed into three single stranded DNA. This enzymatic process can be monitored by the change of SYBR green I fluorescence. The current label free assay is an useful tool for DNA methylase activity analysis due to its simplicity, speedability, and low cost.

  8. Development of a simple and rapid assay for methylase activity based on DNA hairpin probe and Sybr Green I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Yi; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2011-11-01

    Methylase is vital for a large number of biological reactions. Here we developed a new method for DNA methylase activity analysis. In this paper, a DNA hairpin probe with a sequence of 5'-GATC-3' in the stem region was designed. The 5'-GATC-3' sequence was targeted by Dam MTase and was methylated. Subsequently, restriction enzyme Dpnl recognized the site and cut it. Then the haipin probe was transformed into three single stranded DNA. This enzymatic process can be monitored by the change of SYBR green I fluorescence. The current label free assay is an useful tool for DNA methylase activity analysis due to its simplicity, speedability, and low cost.

  9. Parallel Functional Activity Profiling Reveals Valvulopathogens Are Potent 5-Hydroxytryptamine2B Receptor Agonists: Implications for Drug Safety Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xi-Ping; Setola, Vincent; Yadav, Prem N.; Allen, John A.; Rogan, Sarah C.; Hanson, Bonnie J.; Revankar, Chetana; Robers, Matt; Doucette, Chris

    2009-01-01

    Drug-induced valvular heart disease (VHD) is a serious side effect of a few medications, including some that are on the market. Pharmacological studies of VHD-associated medications (e.g., fenfluramine, pergolide, methysergide, and cabergoline) have revealed that they and/or their metabolites are potent 5-hydroxytryptamine2B (5-HT2B) receptor agonists. We have shown that activation of 5-HT2B receptors on human heart valve interstitial cells in vitro induces a proliferative response reminiscent of the fibrosis that typifies VHD. To identify current or future drugs that might induce VHD, we screened approximately 2200 U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved or investigational medications to identify 5-HT2B receptor agonists, using calcium-based high-throughput screening. Of these 2200 compounds, 27 were 5-HT2B receptor agonists (hits); 14 of these had previously been identified as 5-HT2B receptor agonists, including seven bona fide valvulopathogens. Six of the hits (guanfacine, quinidine, xylometazoline, oxymetazoline, fenoldopam, and ropinirole) are approved medications. Twenty-three of the hits were then “functionally profiled” (i.e., assayed in parallel for 5-HT2B receptor agonism using multiple readouts to test for functional selectivity). In these assays, the known valvulopathogens were efficacious at concentrations as low as 30 nM, whereas the other compounds were less so. Hierarchical clustering analysis of the pEC50 data revealed that ropinirole (which is not associated with valvulopathy) was clearly segregated from known valvulopathogens. Taken together, our data demonstrate that patterns of 5-HT2B receptor functional selectivity might be useful for identifying compounds likely to induce valvular heart disease. PMID:19570945

  10. Integrative Proteomics and Phosphoproteomics Profiling Reveals Dynamic Signaling Networks and Bioenergetics Pathways Underlying T Cell Activation.

    PubMed

    Tan, Haiyan; Yang, Kai; Li, Yuxin; Shaw, Timothy I; Wang, Yanyan; Blanco, Daniel Bastardo; Wang, Xusheng; Cho, Ji-Hoon; Wang, Hong; Rankin, Sherri; Guy, Cliff; Peng, Junmin; Chi, Hongbo

    2017-03-21

    The molecular circuits by which antigens activate quiescent T cells remain poorly understood. We combined temporal profiling of the whole proteome and phosphoproteome via multiplexed isobaric labeling proteomics technology, computational pipelines for integrating multi-omics datasets, and functional perturbation to systemically reconstruct regulatory networks underlying T cell activation. T cell receptors activated the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome with discrete kinetics, marked by early dynamics of phosphorylation and delayed ribosome biogenesis and mitochondrial activation. Systems biology analyses identified multiple functional modules, active kinases, transcription factors and connectivity between them, and mitochondrial pathways including mitoribosomes and complex IV. Genetic perturbation revealed physiological roles for mitochondrial enzyme COX10-mediated oxidative phosphorylation in T cell quiescence exit. Our multi-layer proteomics profiling, integrative network analysis, and functional studies define landscapes of the T cell proteome and phosphoproteome and reveal signaling and bioenergetics pathways that mediate lymphocyte exit from quiescence.

  11. A high throughput Cre-lox activated viral membrane fusion assay identifies pharmacological inhibitors of HIV entry.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Anthony M; Cheung, Pamela; Swartz, Talia H; Li, Hongru; Tsibane, Tshidi; Durham, Natasha D; Basler, Christopher F; Felsenfeld, Dan P; Chen, Benjamin K

    2016-03-01

    Enveloped virus entry occurs when viral and cellular membranes fuse releasing particle contents into the target cell. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry occurs by cell-free virus or virus transferred between infected and uninfected cells through structures called virological synapses. We developed a high-throughput cell-based assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of cell-free or virological synapse-mediated entry. An HIV clone carrying Cre recombinase as a Gag-internal gene fusion releases active Cre into cells upon viral entry activating a recombinatorial gene switch changing dsRed to GFP-expression. A screen of a 1998 known-biological profile small molecule library identified pharmacological HIV entry inhibitors that block both cell-free and cell-to-cell infection. Many top hits were noted as HIV inhibitors in prior studies, but not previously recognized as entry antagonists. Modest therapeutic indices for simvastatin and nigericin were observed in confirmatory HIV infection assays. This robust assay is adaptable to study HIV and heterologous viral pseudotypes.

  12. DNA-conjugated gold nanoparticles based colorimetric assay to assess helicase activity: a novel route to screen potential helicase inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Deka, Jashmini; Mojumdar, Aditya; Parisse, Pietro; Onesti, Silvia; Casalis, Loredana

    2017-01-01

    Helicase are essential enzymes which are widespread in all life-forms. Due to their central role in nucleic acid metabolism, they are emerging as important targets for anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-cancer drugs. The development of easy, cheap, fast and robust biochemical assays to measure helicase activity, overcoming the limitations of the current methods, is a pre-requisite for the discovery of helicase inhibitors through high-throughput screenings. We have developed a method which exploits the optical properties of DNA-conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and meets the required criteria. The method was tested with the catalytic domain of the human RecQ4 helicase and compared with a conventional FRET-based assay. The AuNP-based assay produced similar results but is simpler, more robust and cheaper than FRET. Therefore, our nanotechnology-based platform shows the potential to provide a useful alternative to the existing conventional methods for following helicase activity and to screen small-molecule libraries as potential helicase inhibitors. PMID:28287182

  13. A high throughput Cre–lox activated viral membrane fusion assay identifies pharmacological inhibitors of HIV entry

    PubMed Central

    Esposito, Anthony M.; Cheung, Pamela; Swartz, Talia H.; Li, Hongru; Tsibane, Tshidi; Durham, Natasha D.; Basler, Christopher F.; Felsenfeld, Dan P.; Chen, Benjamin K.

    2016-01-01

    Enveloped virus entry occurs when viral and cellular membranes fuse releasing particle contents into the target cell. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry occurs by cell-free virus or virus transferred between infected and uninfected cells through structures called virological synapses. We developed a high-throughput cell-based assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of cell-free or virological synapse-mediated entry. An HIV clone carrying Cre recombinase as a Gag-internal gene fusion releases active Cre into cells upon viral entry activating a recombinatorial gene switch changing dsRed to GFP-expression. A screen of a 1998 known-biological profile small molecule library identified pharmacological HIV entry inhibitors that block both cell-free and cell-to-cell infection. Many top hits were noted as HIV inhibitors in prior studies, but not previously recognized as entry antagonists. Modest therapeutic indices for simvastatin and nigericin were observed in confirmatory HIV infection assays. This robust assay is adaptable to study HIV and heterologous viral pseudotypes. PMID:26803470

  14. DNA-conjugated gold nanoparticles based colorimetric assay to assess helicase activity: a novel route to screen potential helicase inhibitors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deka, Jashmini; Mojumdar, Aditya; Parisse, Pietro; Onesti, Silvia; Casalis, Loredana

    2017-03-01

    Helicase are essential enzymes which are widespread in all life-forms. Due to their central role in nucleic acid metabolism, they are emerging as important targets for anti-viral, antibacterial and anti-cancer drugs. The development of easy, cheap, fast and robust biochemical assays to measure helicase activity, overcoming the limitations of the current methods, is a pre-requisite for the discovery of helicase inhibitors through high-throughput screenings. We have developed a method which exploits the optical properties of DNA-conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNP) and meets the required criteria. The method was tested with the catalytic domain of the human RecQ4 helicase and compared with a conventional FRET-based assay. The AuNP-based assay produced similar results but is simpler, more robust and cheaper than FRET. Therefore, our nanotechnology-based platform shows the potential to provide a useful alternative to the existing conventional methods for following helicase activity and to screen small-molecule libraries as potential helicase inhibitors.

  15. Inhibitor screening and enzymatic activity determination for autophagy target Atg4B using a gel electrophoresis-based assay.

    PubMed

    Cleenewerck, Matthias; Grootaert, Mandy O J; Gladysz, Rafaela; Adriaenssens, Yves; Roelandt, Ria; Joossens, Jurgen; Lambeir, Anne-Marie; De Meyer, Guido R Y; Declercq, Wim; Augustyns, Koen; Martinet, Wim; Van der Veken, Pieter

    2016-11-10

    Atg4B is a cysteine hydrolase that plays a key role in autophagy. Although it has been proposed as an attractive drug target, inhibitor discovery has proven highly challenging. The absence of a standardized, easily implementable enzyme activity/inhibition assay for Atg4B most likely contributes to this situation. Therefore, three different assay types for Atg4B activity/inhibition quantification were first compared: (1) an approach using fluorogenic Atg4B-substrates, (2) an in-gel densitometric quantification assay and (3) a thermal shift protocol. The gel-based approach showed the most promising results and was validated for screening of potential Atg4B inhibitors. A set of 8 literature inhibitors was included. Remarkably, in our hands only 2 literature references were found to have measurable Atg4B affinity. Furthermore, a fragment library (n = 182) was tested for Atg4B inhibition. One library member showed inhibition at high micromolar concentration and was found fit for further, fragment-based inhibitor design.

  16. A Colorimetric Microplate Assay for DNA-Binding Activity of His-Tagged MutS Protein.

    PubMed

    Banasik, Michał; Sachadyn, Paweł

    2016-09-01

    A simple microplate method was designed for rapid testing DNA-binding activity of proteins. The principle of the assay involves binding of tested DNA by his-tagged protein immobilized on a nickel-coated ELISA plate, following colorimetric detection of biotinylated DNA with avidin conjugated to horseradish peroxidase. The method was used to compare DNA mismatch binding activities of MutS proteins from three bacterial species. The assay required relatively low amounts of tested protein (approximately 0.5-10 pmol) and DNA (0.1-10 pmol) and a relatively short time of analysis (up to 60 min). The method is very simple to apply and convenient to test different buffer conditions of DNA-protein binding. Sensitive colorimetric detection enables naked eye observations and quantitation with an ELISA reader. The performance of the assay, which we believe is a distinguishing trait of the method, is based on two strong and specific molecular interactions: binding of a his-tagged protein to a nickel-coated microplate and binding of biotinylated DNA to avidin. In the reported experiments, the solution was used to optimize the conditions for DNA mismatch binding by MutS protein; however, the approach could be implemented to test nucleic acids interactions with any protein of interest.

  17. Ricin Activity Assay by Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry Detection of Adenine Release

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-02-01

    direct analysis in real time mass spectrometry. The release of adenine from the inhomo- geneous substrate herring sperm DNA by ricin was determined to...chain catalyzes cleavage at adenosine 4324 (in rat RNA) of 28S rRNA to release adenine.10 This action inhibits protein synthesis, leading to cell...death. In addition to RNA, herring sperm DNA (hsDNA) is a substrate for ricin.11 We chose to employ hsDNA for this assay because it is relatively stable

  18. Development of a selected reaction monitoring mass spectrometry-based assay to detect asparaginyl endopeptidase activity in biological fluids

    PubMed Central

    Walker, Michael J.; Gray, Oliver J.; Parker, Catriona; Holland, Mark; Williamson, Andrew J.K.; Pierce, Andrew; Unwin, Richard D.; Krishnan, Shekhar

    2016-01-01

    Cancer Biomarkers have the capability to improve patient outcomes. They have potential applications in diagnosis, prognosis, monitoring of disease progression and measuring response to treatment. This type of information is particularly useful in the individualisation of treatment regimens. Biomarkers may take many forms but considerable effort has been made to identify and quantify proteins in biological fluids. However, a major challenge in measuring protein in biological fluids, such as plasma, is the sensitivity of the assay and the complex matrix of proteins present. Furthermore, determining the effect of proteases in disease requires measurement of their activity in biological fluids as quantification of the protein itself may not provide sufficient information. To date little progress has been made towards monitoring activity of proteases in plasma. The protease asparaginyl endopeptidase has been implicated in diseases such as breast cancer, leukaemia and dementia. Here we describe a new approach to sensitively and in a targeted fashion quantify asparaginyl endopeptidase activity in plasma using a synthetic substrate peptide protected from nonspecific hydrolysis using D-amino acids within the structure. Our selected reaction monitoring approach enabled asparaginyl endopeptidase activity to be measured in human plasma with both a high dynamic range and sensitivity. This manuscript describes a paradigm for future development of assays to measure protease activities in biological fluids as biomarkers of disease. PMID:27683124

  19. Hairpin DNA probe based surface plasmon resonance biosensor used for the activity assay of E. coli DNA ligase.

    PubMed

    Luan, Qingfen; Xue, Ying; Yao, Xin; Lu, Wu

    2010-02-01

    Using hairpin DNA probe self-structure change during DNA ligation process, a sensitive, label-free and simple method of E. coli DNA ligase assay via a home-built high-resolution surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instrument was developed. The DNA ligation process was monitored in real-time and the effects of single-base mutation on the DNA ligation process were investigated. Then an assay of E. coli DNA ligase was completed with a lower detection limit (0.6 nM), wider concentration range and better reproducibility. Moreover, the influence of Quinacrine on the activity of E. coli DNA ligase was also studied, which demonstrated that our method was useful for drug screening.

  20. Enhanced Stability of Blood Matrices Using a Dried Sample Spot Assay to Measure Human Butyrylcholinesterase Activity and Nerve Agent Adducts

    PubMed Central

    Perez, Jonas W.; Pantazides, Brooke G.; Watson, Caroline M.; Thomas, Jerry D.; Blake, Thomas A.; Johnson, Rudolph C.

    2015-01-01

    Dried matrix spots are safer to handle and easier to store than wet blood products, but factors such as intra-spot variability and unknown sample volumes have limited their appeal as a sampling format for quantitative analyses. In this work, we introduce a dried spot activity assay for quantifying butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) specific activity which is BChE activity normalized to the total protein content in a sample spot. The method was demonstrated with blood, serum, and plasma spotted on specimen collection devices (cards) which were extracted to measure total protein and BChE activity using a modified Ellman assay. Activity recovered from dried spots was ∼80% of the initial spotted activity for blood and >90% for plasma and serum. Measuring total protein in the sample and calculating specific activity substantially improved quantification and reduced intra-spot variability. Analyte stability of nerve agent adducts was also evaluated, and the results obtained via BChE-specific activity measurements were confirmed by quantification of BChE adducts using a previously established LC-MS/MS method. The spotted samples were up to 10-times more resistant to degradation compared to unspotted control samples when measuring BChE inhibition by the nerve agents sarin and VX. Using this method, both BChE activity and adducts can be accurately measured from a dried sample spot. This use of a dried sample spot with normalization to total protein is robust, demonstrates decreased intra-spot variability without the need to control for initial sample volume, and enhances analyte stability. PMID:25955132

  1. Antigenotoxic activity of watercress extract in an in vitro mammalian system using comet assay.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Natalia A; Carballo, Marta A

    2011-12-01

    Watercress (Cruciferae), an integral part of Mediterranean diets, is a nutritive food which is used in the treatment of several diseases. Oxidative DNA damage seems to play a crucial role in chronic, aging-related diseases and it is considered an important and probably carcinogenic factor. The aim of this work was to determine the impact of watercress extract on cell viability and its potential antigenotoxic properties against induced oxidative damage, using a comet assay and peripheral blood cells as an in vitro model. An aqueous extract of the leaves was prepared using a juice processor, centrifuged, filtered and preserved at -20 °C. Two concentrations of the aqueous extract (13.2 and 26.4 mg/mL) were assayed. No differences were found in cell viability between the control and treated groups at any time. Significant antigenotoxic effects were observed for both concentrations, expressed as the damage index (p = 0.005 at 30 min; p < 0.001 at 60 and 90 min), the percentage reductions in damage being similar between them (67.1-75.2% respectively). These results suggest that the consumption watercress in the diet is a powerful tool for improving health and the quality of life.

  2. Development of a high-throughput rubella virus infectivity assay based on viral activation of caspases.

    PubMed

    Bose, Pulkit S; Naspinski, Jennifer; Kartha, Girish; Bennett, Philip S; Wang, Christopher J; Haynes, John I; Benetti, Luca

    2010-08-01

    Rubella virus (RV, German measles) is a teratogenic agent that can lead to serious congenital defects after maternal infection during early pregnancy. Currently, the disease can be prevented effectively by available live attenuated vaccines. An important requisite for the manufacture and release of a safe and potent live virus vaccine is the measurement of the vaccine titer (potency), to ensure the correct dose and efficacy of the vaccine. One historical method for measuring potency is the endpoint dilution TCID(50) assay. Traditionally, RV TCID(50) titers are calculated after visual inspection of cells for presence of cytopathic effect (CPE). Such visual scoring is tedious and labor intensive. The development of a new TCID(50) readout method, based on a fluorescent molecular marker of RV-induced apoptosis, is described in this report. Further, in order to calculate TCID(50) potency a novel mathematical model was established to convert the numerical fluorescence measurements into categorical data. Finally, the assay parameters such as signal-to-noise ratio, robustness, variability and bias were optimized. This new readout method demonstrated strong concordance with the standard manual scoring of CPE, and therefore can provide a practical, objective and higher-throughput alternative to the traditional TCID(50) readout used for calculating titers of rubella virus.

  3. Plant membrane assays with cytokinin receptors underpin the unique role of free cytokinin bases as biologically active ligands.

    PubMed

    Lomin, Sergey N; Krivosheev, Dmitry M; Steklov, Mikhail Yu; Arkhipov, Dmitry V; Osolodkin, Dmitry I; Schmülling, Thomas; Romanov, Georgy A

    2015-04-01

    Cytokinin receptors play a key role in cytokinin-dependent processes regulating plant growth, development, and adaptation; therefore, the functional properties of these receptors are of great importance. Previously the properties of cytokinin receptors were investigated in heterologous assay systems using unicellular microorganisms, mainly bacteria, expressing receptor proteins. However, within microorganisms receptors reside in an alien environment that might distort the receptor properties. Therefore, a new assay system has been developed allowing studies of individual receptors within plant membranes (i.e. closer to their natural environment). The main ligand-binding characteristics of receptors from Arabidopsis [AHK2, AHK3, and AHK4] and maize (ZmHK1) were refined in this new system, and the properties of full-length Arabidopsis receptor AHK2 were characterized for the first time. Ligand specificity profiles of receptors towards cytokinin bases were comparable with the profiles retrieved in bacterial assay systems. In contrast, cytokinin-9-ribosides displayed a strongly reduced affinity for receptors in the plant assay system, indicating that ribosides as the common transport form of cytokinins have no or very weak cytokinin activity. This underpins the central role of free bases as the sole biologically active cytokinin compounds. According to molecular modelling and docking studies, N (9)-ribosylation alters the bonding pattern in cytokinin-receptor interaction and prevents β6-β7 loop movement important for tight hormone binding. A common feature of all receptors was a greatly reduced ligand binding at low (5.0-5.5) pH. The particularly high sensitivity of ZmHK1 to pH changes leads to the suggestion that some cytokinin receptors may play an additional role as pH sensors in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum.

  4. Evaluation of Estrogenic Activity of Wastewater: Comparison Among In Vitro ERα Reporter Gene Assay, In Vivo Vitellogenin Induction, and Chemical Analysis.

    PubMed

    Ihara, Masaru; Kitamura, Tomokazu; Kumar, Vimal; Park, Chang-Beom; Ihara, Mariko O; Lee, Sang-Jung; Yamashita, Naoyuki; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Iguchi, Taisen; Okamoto, Seiichiro; Suzuki, Yutaka; Tanaka, Hiroaki

    2015-05-19

    The in vitro estrogen receptor (ER) reporter gene assay has long been used to measure estrogenic activity in wastewater. In a previous study, we demonstrated that the assay represents net estrogenic activity in the balance between estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities in wastewater. However, it remained unclear whether the net estrogenic activity measured by the in vitro ERα reporter gene assay can predict the in vivo estrogenic effect of wastewater. To determine this, we measured the following: estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities of wastewater and reclaimed water by the in vitro ERα reporter gene assay, expression of vitellogenin-1 (vtg1) and choriogenin-H (chgH) in male medaka (Oryzias latipes) by quantitative real-time PCR, and estrone, 17β-estradiol, estriol, and 17α-ethynylestradiol concentrations chemically to predict estrogenic activity. The net estrogenic activity measured by the in vitro medaka ERα reporter gene assay predicted the in vivo vtg1/chgH expression in male medaka more accurately than the concentrations of estrogens. These results also mean that in vivo vtg1/chgH expression in male medaka is determined by the balance between estrogenic and antiestrogenic activities. The in vitro medaka ERα reporter gene assay also predicted in vivo vtg1/chgH expression on male medaka better than the human ERα reporter gene assay.

  5. Comparative Proteomics Analysis Reveals L-Arginine Activates Ethanol Degradation Pathways in HepG2 Cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Guokai; Lestari, Retno; Long, Baisheng; Fan, Qiwen; Wang, Zhichang; Guo, Xiaozhen; Yu, Jie; Hu, Jun; Yang, Xingya; Chen, Changqing; Liu, Lu; Li, Xiuzhi; Purnomoadi, Agung; Achmadi, Joelal; Yan, Xianghua

    2016-01-01

    L-Arginine (Arg) is a versatile amino acid that plays crucial roles in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. In this study, to investigate the alteration induced by Arg supplementation in proteome scale, isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) based proteomic approach was employed to comparatively characterize the differentially expressed proteins between Arg deprivation (Ctrl) and Arg supplementation (+Arg) treated human liver hepatocellular carcinoma (HepG2) cells. A total of 21 proteins were identified as differentially expressed proteins and these 21 proteins were all up-regulated by Arg supplementation. Six amino acid metabolism-related proteins, mostly metabolic enzymes, showed differential expressions. Intriguingly, Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) based pathway analysis suggested that the three ethanol degradation pathways were significantly altered between Ctrl and +Arg. Western blotting and enzymatic activity assays validated that the key enzymes ADH1C, ALDH1A1, and ALDH2, which are mainly involved in ethanol degradation pathways, were highly differentially expressed, and activated between Ctrl and +Arg in HepG2 cells. Furthermore, 10 mM Arg significantly attenuated the cytotoxicity induced by 100 mM ethanol treatment (P < 0.0001). This study is the first time to reveal that Arg activates ethanol degradation pathways in HepG2 cells. PMID:26983598

  6. A Global Genomic Screening Strategy Reveals Diverse Activators of Constitutive Activated Receptor (CAR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    A comprehensive survey of conditions that activate CAR in the mouse liver has not been carried out but would be useful in understanding their impact on CAR-dependent liver tumor induction. A gene signature dependent on CAR activation was identified by comparing the transcript pr...

  7. Evaluation of in vitro screening system for estrogenicity: comparison of stably transfected human estrogen receptor-α transcriptional activation (OECD TG455) assay and estrogen receptor (ER) binding assay.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hae Kyung; Kim, Tae Sung; Kim, Chang Yeong; Kang, Il Hyun; Kim, Mi Gyeong; Jung, Ki Kyung; Kim, Hyung Sik; Han, Soon Young; Yoon, Hae Jung; Rhee, Gyu Seek

    2012-01-01

    The estrogenic activity of industrial chemicals, di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), di(n-butyl) phthalate (DBP), benzylbutyl phthalate (BBP), diethyl phthalate (DEP), tetrabromobisphenol A (TBBPA), bisphenol A (BPA), and nonylphenol (NP), was compared using OECD test guideline 455(TG455), stably transfected transcriptional activation (STTA) and estrogen receptor (ER) binding assays. The estrogenic activity of BBP, BPA and NP were approximately 180,000-fold (PC(50), 4.32 x 10(-6 )M), 5,000-fold (PC(50), 1.26 x 10(-7) M) and 120,000-fold (PC(50), 2.92 x 10(-6 )M) less than 17β-estradiol (PC(50), 2.43 x 10(-11)M), whereas DEHP, DBP and DEP did not show any estrogenicity activity in the STTA assay. Moreover, binding affinities to human ERα of BBP, BPA, and NP were approximately 200,000-fold (IC(50), 4.91 x 10(-4) M), 8000-fold (IC(50), 1.92 x 10(-5) M) and 1400-fold (IC(50), 3.34 x 10(-6) M) less than 17β-estradiol (IC(50), 2.45 x 10(-9) M) in competitive human ERα binding assay. The relative potencies of STTA assay were very similar to ER binding, E-screen, and Yeast screening assays. Therefore, our results suggested that OECD test guideline TG455 may be useful as a screening test for potential endocrine disruptors.

  8. Synthesis and anticancer activity of new flavonoid analogs and inconsistencies in assays related to proliferation and viability measurements.

    PubMed

    Forbes, Alaina M; Lin, Huimin; Meadows, Gary G; Meier, G Patrick

    2014-08-01

    Flavonoids have been studied intensely for their ability to act as anti-carcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-aging agents and are often marketed as supplements related to their anti-inflammatory activity. Previous studies have primarily focused on the effects of polar natural flavonoids. We examined the activity of novel hydrophobic and lipophilic flavonols against human DU-145 and PC-3 prostate cancer cell lines. All flavonol analogs were more active than the naturally occurring flavonols quercetin, kaempferol, kaempferide and galangin. The most potent analogs were 6.5-fold more active against DU-145 and PC-3 cells than quercetin and fell within the biologically relevant concentration range (low micromolar). We also evaluated the potential toxic effects of flavonol analogs on normal cells, an assessment that has frequently been ignored when studying the anticancer effects of flavonoids. During these analyses, we discovered that various metabolic and DNA staining assays were unreliable methods for assessing cell viability of flavonoids. Flavonoids reduce colorimetric dyes such as MTT and Alamar Blue in the absence of cells. We showed that flavonol-treated prostate cancer cells were stained less intensely with crystal violet than untreated cells at non-toxic concentrations. The trypan blue exclusion assay was selected as a reliable alternative for measuring cell viability.

  9. Fibrinolytic Activity and Dose-Dependent Effect of Incubating Human Blood Clots in Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester: In Vitro Assays

    PubMed Central

    Elnager, Abuzar; Hassan, Rosline; Idris, Zamzuri; Mustafa, Zulkifli; Wan-Arfah, Nadiah; Sulaiman, S. A.; Gan, Siew Hua; Abdullah, Wan Zaidah

    2015-01-01

    Background. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) has been reported to possess time-dependent fibrinolytic activity by in vitro assay. This study is aimed at investigating fibrinolytic dose-dependent activity of CAPE using in vitro assays. Methods. Standardized human whole blood (WB) clots were incubated in either blank controls or different concentrations of CAPE (3.75, 7.50, 15.00, 22.50, and 30.00 mM). After 3 hours, D-dimer (DD) levels and WB clot weights were measured for each concentration. Thromboelastography (TEG) parameters were recorded following CAPE incubation, and fibrin morphology was examined under a confocal microscope. Results. Overall, mean DD (μg/mL) levels were significantly different across samples incubated with different CAPE concentrations, and the median pre- and postincubation WB clot weights (grams) were significantly decreased for each CAPE concentration. Fibrin removal was observed microscopically and indicated dose-dependent effects. Based on the TEG test, the Ly30 fibrinolytic parameter was significantly different between samples incubated with two different CAPE concentrations (15.0 and 22.50 mM). The 50% effective dose (ED50) of CAPE (based on DD) was 1.99 mg/mL. Conclusions. This study suggests that CAPE possesses fibrinolytic activity following in vitro incubation and that it has dose-dependent activities. Therefore, further investigation into CAPE as a potential alternative thrombolytic agent should be conducted. PMID:25664321

  10. High-throughput Screening of ToxCast™ Phase I Chemicals in a Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell (mESC) Assay Reveals Disruption of Potential Toxicity Pathways

    EPA Science Inventory

    Little information is available regarding the potential for many commercial chemicals to induce developmental toxicity. The mESC Adherent Cell Differentiation and Cytoxicity (ACDC) assay is a high-throughput screen used to close this data gap. Thus, ToxCast™ Phase I chemicals wer...

  11. Use of a human plaque-forming cell assay to study peripheral blood bursa-equivalent cell activation and excessive suppressor cell activity in humoral immunodeficiency.

    PubMed Central

    Herrod, H G; Buckley, R H

    1979-01-01

    A plaque assay that detects human mononuclear blood cells producing immunoglobulin (Ig)M antibody to sheep erythrocytes was investigated for its usefulness in studying B-cell activation and regulation in 24 patients with humoral immunodeficiency. Cells from 3 of 15 patients with common variable agammaglobulinemia produced some plaques (range 40--160/10(6) cells; normal range 80--1240/10(6)), but those from the other 12, from all 7 with x-linked agammaglobulinemia and from the 2 with x-linked immunodeficiency with hyper-IgM failed to produce any detectable plaques. In co-cultures of patient and normal cells a very good correlation was seen between results of the plaque assay and an IgM biosynthesis assay in detecting excessive suppressor cell activity. Cells from 7 of 15 common variable agammaglobulinemics, from 3 of 7 x-linked agammaglobulinemics, and from both patients with hyper-IgM caused significant suppression of IgM biosynthesis and(or) plaque formation by normal cells. The observations in the last two groups and discordance for excess suppressor activity in identical twins with common variable agammaglobulinemia suggest that the activity develops secondarily to whatever their primary defects may be. Culturing non-T cells from common variable agammaglobulinemics exhibiting excessive suppressor cell activity with normal T cells resulted in plaque formation in four of five patients so studied; in all five the suppressor activity was found in the T-cell population. The availability of a plaque assay for the study of blood cells from immunodeficient patients provides a new probe to examine the cellular nature of such defects. PMID:376549

  12. Hexosaminidase assays.

    PubMed

    Wendeler, Michaela; Sandhoff, Konrad

    2009-11-01

    beta-Hexosaminidases (EC 3.2.1.52) are lysosomal enzymes that remove terminal beta-glycosidically bound N-acetylglucosamine and N-acetylgalactosamine residues from a number of glycoconjugates. Reliable assay systems are particularly important for the diagnosis of a family of lysosomal storage disorders, the GM2 gangliosidoses that result from inherited beta-hexosaminidase deficiency. More recently, aberrant hexosaminidase levels have also been found to be associated with a variety of inflammatory diseases. Apart from patient testing and carrier screening, practical in vitro assays are indispensable for the characterization of knock-out mice with potentially altered hexosaminidase activities, for detailed structure-function studies aimed at elucidating the enzymatic mechanism, and to characterize newly described enzyme variants from other organisms. The purpose of this article is to discuss convenient hexosaminidase assay procedures for these and other applications, using fluorogenic or chromogenic artificial substrates as well as the physiological glycolipid substrate GM2. Attempts are also made to provide an overview of less commonly used alternative techniques and to introduce recent developments enabling high-throughput screening for enzyme inhibitors.

  13. Photochemiluminescent detection of antiradical activity; III: A simple assay of ascorbate in blood plasma.

    PubMed

    Lewin, G; Popov, I

    1994-06-01

    A simple procedure to determine the ascorbate in blood plasma was elaborated based on a temporary inhibition of the photo-induced, O(-.)2-mediated, chemiluminescence emanating from oxidation of luminol. To remove the interferences, mainly from urate, a simple enzyme-free one-step method for plasma sample preparation by means of a gel filtration was combined with the photochemiluminescent investigation of the eluate. The results of the photochemiluminescent assay of ascorbate coincide well (r = 0.994) with a photometric method with ascorbate oxidase. The mean value of ascorbate in human blood plasma, obtained from 37 healthy volunteers, was 59.6 +/- 25.8 mumol/l. Patients with atherosclerosis having a myocardial infarction in their anamnesis displayed significantly lower values: 27.2 +/- 12.8 mumol/l (n = 32), P < 0.001.

  14. FRET and Flow Cytometry Assays to Measure Proteopathic Seeding Activity in Biological Samples.

    PubMed

    Furman, Jennifer L; Diamond, Marc I

    2017-01-01

    Transcellular propagation of protein aggregates-or seeds-is increasingly implicated as a mechanism for disease progression in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and the related tauopathies. While neuropathology generally originates in one discrete brain region, pathology progresses as disease severity advances, often along discrete neural networks. The stereotypical spread of tau pathology suggests that cell-to-cell transfer of toxic protein aggregates could underlie disease progression, and recent studies implicate seeding as a proximal marker of disease, as compared to standard histological and biochemical analyses. Commonly used metrics for protein aggregation detection, however, lack sensitivity, are not quantitative, and/or undergo subjective classification. Here, we describe a FRET and flow cytometry cell-based assay that allows for rapid and quantitative detection of protein aggregates from human and rodent biological specimens.

  15. Double-face activity of resveratrol in voluntary runners: assessment of DNA damage by comet assay.

    PubMed

    Tomasello, Barbara; Grasso, Salvatore; Malfa, Giuseppe; Stella, Stefania; Favetta, Marco; Renis, Marcella

    2012-05-01

    Voluntary runners are subjected to a massive increase in reactive oxygen/nitrogen species production, which can promote different oxidative stress-related diseases such as premature aging, neurodegenerative disorders, and cancer. The aims of this work were to evaluate the following in peripheral blood cells of voluntary runners: (i) DNA status; (ii) susceptibility to the in vitro insult induced by hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) as a breaking agent; (iii) capabilities of 3,5,4'-trihydroxystilbene (RESV) in counteracting DNA damage. Twenty-five male voluntary runners were compared with 20 sedentary men, as age-matched controls, and DNA status was evaluated with different versions of comet assay: alkaline, neutral, and Fpg enzyme-modified version to measure 8-OH-deoxyguanosine (8-oxo-dG) levels. The H(2)O(2) and/or RESV treatments were performed directly on agarose-embedded cells (atypical comet assay). The results evidenced DNA damage and levels of 8-oxo-dG higher in runners than in sedentary control subjects. The runners' DNA was more prone to the in vitro-induced oxidative insult (200 μM H(2)O(2)) than that of the control group. Resveratrol (100 μM), depending on the individual basal DNA status, was able to switch from antioxidant to pro-oxidant. Our results, on the one hand, validated the proposed in vitro experimental protocol in order to measure individual DNA status. On the other hand, our data point out the importance of monitoring the athletes' redox status before subjecting them to dietary supplementation treatment.

  16. Development of a photometric assay for activated partial thromboplastin time and its application to the Cobas Bio centrifugal analyzer.

    PubMed

    Becker, U; Bartl, K; Lill, H; Wahlefeld, A W

    1985-12-15

    We describe a two-step procedure for APTT that can be performed on photometric devices. It includes preincubation of diluted plasma with ellagic acid and phospholipids and a starting reagent that contains calcium and a chromogenic peptide substrate for thrombin, Tos-Gly-Pro-Arg-pNA. Reaction time is recorded from addition of the starting reagent until thrombin formation occurs, and a prefixed amount of subs