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Sample records for activity assay revealed

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

    PubMed

    Cockburn, Darrell; 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

  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. Quantifying activity: a new assay reveals T-cell signalling in tiny skin biopsy samples.

    PubMed

    Dornmair, Klaus

    2014-06-01

    Tissue-invasive T cells are observed in many inflammatory dermatological diseases, but in most cases, it is not known how they were attracted, what they might recognize, and to which extent they are activated. Answering these questions is surely essential for understanding pathogeneses of the diseases. In a recent issue of Experimental Dermatology, Smith et al. showed that early signalling events in skin-resident T cells may be investigated by multiplex immunoprecipitation flow cytometry, even if only few T cells are available from skin biopsy samples. This new technology will most likely contribute to elucidating the role of skin-invasive T cells and to understanding the pathology of dermatological diseases. PMID:24665970

  5. 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. PMID:26851879

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

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:26121040

  7. Rubisco Activase Activity Assays

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) activase functions as a mechano-chemical motor protein using the energy from ATP hydrolysis to contort the structure of its target protein, Rubisco. This action modulates the activation state of Rubisco by removing tightly-bound inhibitory s...

  8. 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.

  9. The antioxidant activities of seasonings used in Asian cooking. Powerful antioxidant activity of dark soy sauce revealed using the ABTS assay.

    PubMed

    Long, L H; Kwee, D C; Halliwell, B

    2000-02-01

    Scavenging of the ABTS (2,2'-azinobis[3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulphonate])-derived nitrogen-centred radical cation (ABTS*+) was used to compare the total antioxidant activities of several seasonings used in Asian cooking. The results were expressed as Trolox equivalent antioxidant capacity (TEAC). The TEAC activities of dark soy sauces were found to be exceptionally high. In evaluating the TEAC of commercial products, attention must be paid to the addition of preservatives by manufacturers to the seasonings tested. Sodium benzoate (a preservative added to several seasonings) did not react significantly with ABTS*+, but the sulphite content of certain white wines may have led to an over-estimation of their TEAC. PMID:10653488

  10. Indirect conductimetric assay of antibacterial activities.

    PubMed

    Sawai, J; Doi, R; Maekawa, Y; Yoshikawa, T; Kojima, H

    2002-11-01

    The applicability of indirect conductimetric assays for evaluation of antibacterial activity was examined. The minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) obtained by the indirect method was consistent with that by the direct conductimetric assay and the turbidity method. The indirect assay allows use of growth media, which cannot be used in the direct conductimetric assay, making it possible to evaluate the antibacterial activity of insoluble or slightly soluble materials with high turbidity, such as antibacterial ceramic powders. PMID:12407467

  11. Regulation of ASIC activity by ASIC4--new insights into ASIC channel function revealed by a yeast two-hybrid assay.

    PubMed

    Donier, Emmanuelle; Rugiero, François; Jacob, Céline; Wood, John N

    2008-07-01

    ASIC4 is a member of the acid-sensing ion channel family that is broadly expressed in the mammalian nervous system, but has no known function. We demonstrate here that transfected ASIC4 is targeted to the plasma membrane in CHO-K1 cells, where it associates with ASIC1a and downregulates exogenous ASIC1a expression. This effect could also be observed on endogenous H+-gated currents in TSA-201 cells and ASIC3 currents in CHO-K1 cells, suggesting a physiological role for ASIC4 in regulating ASIC currents involved in pain mechanisms. Using a yeast two-hybrid assay we found that ASICs interact with proteins involved in diverse functions, including cytoskeletal proteins, enzymes, regulators of endocytosis and G-protein-coupled pathways. ASIC4 is the sole member of this ion channel class to interact strongly with polyubiquitin. The distinct functionally related sets of interacting proteins that bind individual ASICs identified in the yeast two-hybrid screen suggest potential roles for ASICs in a variety of cellular functions. PMID:18662336

  12. Distinct dendritic spine and nuclear phases of calcineurin activation after exposure to amyloid-β revealed by a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay.

    PubMed

    Wu, Hai-Yan; Hudry, Eloise; Hashimoto, Tadafumi; Uemura, Kengo; Fan, Zhan-Yun; Berezovska, Oksana; Grosskreutz, Cynthia L; Bacskai, Brian J; Hyman, Bradley T

    2012-04-11

    Calcineurin (CaN) activation is critically involved in the regulation of spine morphology in response to oligomeric amyloid-β (Aβ) as well as in synaptic plasticity in normal memory, but no existing techniques can monitor the spatiotemporal pattern of CaN activity. Here, we use a spectral fluorescence resonance energy transfer approach to monitor CaN activation dynamics in real time with subcellular resolution. When oligomeric Aβ derived from Tg2576 murine transgenic neurons or human AD brains were applied to wild-type murine primary cortical neurons, we observe a dynamic progression of CaN activation within minutes, first in dendritic spines, and then in the cytoplasm and, in hours, in the nucleus. CaN activation in spines leads to rapid but reversible morphological changes in spines and in postsynaptic proteins; longer exposure leads to NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) translocation to the nucleus and frank spine loss. These results provide a framework for understanding the role of calcineurin in synaptic alterations associated with AD pathogenesis. PMID:22496575

  13. 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

  14. Assaying nonspecific phospholipase C activity.

    PubMed

    Pejchar, Přemysl; Scherer, Günther F E; Martinec, Jan

    2013-01-01

    Plant nonspecific phospholipase C (NPC) is a recently described enzyme which plays a role in membrane rearrangement during phosphate starvation. It is also involved in responses of plants to brassinolide, abscisic acid (ABA), elicitors, and salt. The NPC activity is decreased in cells treated with aluminum. In the case of salt stress, the molecular mechanism of NPC action is based on accumulation of diacylglycerol (DAG) by hydrolysis of phospholipids and conversion of DAG, the product of NPC activity, to phosphatidic acid (PA) that participates in ABA signaling pathways. Here we describe a step-by-step protocol, which can be used to determine in situ or in vitro NPC activity. Determination is based on quantification of fluorescently labeled DAG as a product of cleavage of the fluorescently labeled substrate lipid, phosphatidylcholine. High-performance thin-layer chromatography is used for separation of fluorescent DAG. The spot is visualized with a laser scanner and the relative amounts of fluorescent DAG are quantified using imaging software. PMID:23681535

  15. Planarian Phototactic Assay Reveals Differential Behavioral Responses Based on Wavelength

    PubMed Central

    Paskin, Taylor R.; Jellies, John; Bacher, Jessica; Beane, Wendy S.

    2014-01-01

    Planarians are free-living aquatic flatworms that possess a well-documented photophobic response to light. With a true central nervous system and simple cerebral eyes (ocelli), planarians are an emerging model for regenerative eye research. However, comparatively little is known about the physiology of their photoreception or how their behavior is affected by various wavelengths. Most phototactic studies have examined planarian behavior using white light. Here, we describe a novel planarian behavioral assay to test responses to small ranges of visible wavelengths (red, blue, green), as well as ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) which have not previously been examined. Our data show that planarians display behavioral responses across a range of wavelengths. These responses occur in a hierarchy, with the shortest wavelengths (UV) causing the most intense photophobic responses while longer wavelengths produce no effect (red) or an apparent attraction (IR). In addition, our data reveals that planarian photophobia is comprised of both a general photophobic response (that drives planarians to escape the light source regardless of wavelength) and wavelength-specific responses that encompass specific behavioral reactions to individual wavelengths. Our results serve to improve the understanding of planarian phototaxis and suggest that behavioral studies performed with white light mask a complex behavioral interaction with the environment. PMID:25493551

  16. Assay of DAGLα/β Activity.

    PubMed

    Bisogno, Tiziana

    2016-01-01

    The endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) exerts its physiological action by binding to and functionally activating type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB2) cannabinoid receptors. It is thought to be produced through the action of sn-1 selective diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) that catalyzes 2-AG biosynthesis from sn-2-arachidonate-containing diacylglycerols. Since 2-AG biosynthetic enzymes have been identified only recently, little information on methodological approaches for measuring DAGL activity is as yet available. Here, a highly sensitive radiometric assay to measure DAGL activity by using 1-oleoyl[1-(14)C]-2-arachidonoylglycerol as the substrate is reported. All the steps needed to perform lipid extraction, fractionation by thin-layer chromatography (TLC), and quantification of radiolabeled [(14)C]-oleic acid via scintillation counting are described in detail. PMID:27245901

  17. 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.

  18. Analyte detection using an active assay

    DOEpatents

    Morozov, Victor; Bailey, Charles L.; Evanskey, Melissa R.

    2010-11-02

    Analytes using an active assay may be detected by introducing an analyte solution containing a plurality of analytes to a lacquered membrane. The lacquered membrane may be a membrane having at least one surface treated with a layer of polymers. The lacquered membrane may be semi-permeable to nonanalytes. The layer of polymers may include cross-linked polymers. A plurality of probe molecules may be arrayed and immobilized on the lacquered membrane. An external force may be applied to the analyte solution to move the analytes towards the lacquered membrane. Movement may cause some or all of the analytes to bind to the lacquered membrane. In cases where probe molecules are presented, some or all of the analytes may bind to probe molecules. The direction of the external force may be reversed to remove unbound or weakly bound analytes. Bound analytes may be detected using known detection types.

  19. The synchronous active neutron detection assay system

    SciTech Connect

    Pickrell, M.M.; Kendall, P.K.

    1994-08-01

    We have begun to develop a novel technique for active neutron assay of fissile material in spent nuclear fuel. This approach will exploit a 14-MeV neutron generator developed by Schlumberger. The technique, termed synchronous active neutron detection (SAND), follows a method used routinely in other branches of physics to detect very small signals in presence of large backgrounds. Synchronous detection instruments are widely available commercially and are termed ``lock-in`` amplifiers. We have implemented a digital lock-in amplifier in conjunction with the Schlumberger neutron generator to explore the possibility of synchronous detection with active neutrons. The Schlumberger system can operate at up to a 50% duty factor, in effect, a square wave of neutron yield. Results are preliminary but promising. The system is capable of resolving the fissile material contained in a small fraction of the fuel rods in a cold fuel assembly; it also appears resilient to background neutron interference. The interrogating neutrons appear to be non-thermal and penetrating. Work remains to fully explore relevant physics and optimize instrument design.

  20. The synchronous active neutron detection assay system

    SciTech Connect

    Pickrell, M.M.; Kendall, P.K.

    1994-09-01

    The authors have begun to develop a novel technique for active neutron assay of fissile material in spent nuclear fuel. They are using a Schlumberger neutron generator for the direct measurement of the fissile material content in spent fuel, in place of the indirect measures used at present. The technique they are investigating is termed synchronous active neutron detection (SAND). It closely follows a method that has been used routinely in other branches of physics for the detection of very small signals in the presence of large backgrounds. Synchronous detection instruments are widely available commercially and are termed ``lock-in`` amplifiers. They have implemented a digital lock-in amplifier in conjunction with the Schlumberger neutron generator to explore the possibility of synchronous detection with active neutrons. The results to data are preliminary but quite promising. The system is capable of resolving the fissile material contained in a small fraction of the fuel rods in a cold fuel assembly. It also appears to be quite resilient to background neutron interference.

  1. 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

  2. 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)

  3. Quantitative comparisons of in vitro assays for estrogenic activities.

    PubMed Central

    Fang, H; Tong, W; Perkins, R; Soto, A M; Prechtl, N V; Sheehan, D M

    2000-01-01

    Substances that may act as estrogens show a broad chemical structural diversity. To thoroughly address the question of possible adverse estrogenic effects, reliable methods are needed to detect and identify the chemicals of these diverse structural classes. We compared three assays--in vitro estrogen receptor competitive binding assays (ER binding assays), yeast-based reporter gene assays (yeast assays), and the MCF-7 cell proliferation assay (E-SCREEN assay)--to determine their quantitative agreement in identifying structurally diverse estrogens. We examined assay performance for relative sensitivity, detection of active/inactive chemicals, and estrogen/antiestrogen activities. In this examination, we combined individual data sets in a specific, quantitative data mining exercise. Data sets for at least 29 chemicals from five laboratories were analyzed pair-wise by X-Y plots. The ER binding assay was a good predictor for the other two assay results when the antiestrogens were excluded (r(2) is 0.78 for the yeast assays and 0.85 for the E-SCREEN assays). Additionally, the examination strongly suggests that biologic information that is not apparent from any of the individual assays can be discovered by quantitative pair-wise comparisons among assays. Antiestrogens are identified as outliers in the ER binding/yeast assay, while complete antagonists are identified in the ER binding and E-SCREEN assays. Furthermore, the presence of outliers may be explained by different mechanisms that induce an endocrine response, different impurities in different batches of chemicals, different species sensitivity, or limitations of the assay techniques. Although these assays involve different levels of biologic complexity, the major conclusion is that they generally provided consistent information in quantitatively determining estrogenic activity for the five data sets examined. The results should provide guidance for expanded data mining examinations and the selection of appropriate

  4. Different Cell Viability Assays Reveal Inconsistent Results After Bleomycin Electrotransfer In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Jakštys, Baltramiejus; Ruzgys, Paulius; Tamošiūnas, Mindaugas; Šatkauskas, Saulius

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this study was to compare different and commonly used cell viability assays after CHO cells treatment with anticancer drug bleomycin (20 nM), high voltage (HV) electric pulses (4 pulses, 1200 V/cm, 100 µs, 1 Hz), and combination of bleomycin and HV electric pulses. Cell viability was measured using clonogenic assay, propidium iodide (PI) assay, MTT assay, and employing flow cytometry modality to precisely count cells in definite volume of the sample (flow cytometry assay). Results showed that although clonogenic cell viability drastically decreased correspondingly to 57 and 3 % after cell treatment either with HV pulses or combination of bleomycin and HV pulses (bleomycin electrotransfer), PI assay performed ~15 min after the treatments indicated nearly 100 % cell viability. MTT assay performed at 6-72 h time points after these treatments revealed that MTT cell viability is highly dependent on evaluation time point and decreased with later evaluation time points. Nevertheless, in comparison to clonogenic cell viability, MTT cell viability after bleomycin electrotransfer at all testing time points was significantly higher. Flow cytometry assay if used at later times, 2-3 days after the treatment, allowed reliable evaluation of cell viability. In overall, our results showed that in order to estimate cell viability after cell treatment with combination of the bleomycin and electroporation the most reliable method is clonogenic assay. Improper use of PI and MTT assays can lead to misinterpretation of the experimental results. PMID:26077843

  5. 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.

  6. Recent Applications for in Vitro Antioxidant Activity Assay.

    PubMed

    Bunaciu, Andrei A; Danet, Andrei Florin; Fleschin, Şerban; Aboul-Enein, Hassan Y

    2016-09-01

    This review presents some of the most recent aspects related to antioxidants and the basic kinetic models of inhibited autoxidation and analyzes the chemical principles of antioxidant capacity assays. Taking into account the reactions involved, in the antioxidant activity determinations, the assays can be classified into two main types: hydrogen atom transfer reactions and electron transfer. This review focuses on analytical methods used for antioxidant activity assay, published in the period 2009-2014. PMID:26575594

  7. 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...

  8. An in vivo assay for chemoattractant activity.

    PubMed

    Zetter, B R; Rasmussen, N; Brown, L

    1985-09-01

    We have devised an implantable device for the study of leukocyte chemoattraction. The device consists of a 0.25-mm thick patch of Dacron fabric coupled to a disc of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymer. Such polymers can release biologically active molecules at a constant rate for at least 18 days. Attracted cells invade and are trapped within the Dacron fabric. Upon removal from the host, the fabric patches are sectioned and stained to reveal the distribution of attracted cells. Distinct patterns of cellular accumulation can be seen for different chemoattractant molecules. These include the attraction of eosinophils by histamine, monocytes by tuftsin, and mast cells by glycyl-histidyl-lysine. Maximal accumulation of specific cell types occurs at postimplantation days 1 to 2 for neutrophils, days 3 to 5 for monocytes, and days 5 to 6 for macrophages and eosinophils. Control polymers fail to cause significant leukocyte accumulation, indicating that neither the polymer nor the Dacron fabric provokes an inflammatory response. PMID:3162062

  9. An in vitro assay for entry into cilia reveals unique properties of the soluble diffusion barrier.

    PubMed

    Breslow, David K; Koslover, Elena F; Seydel, Federica; Spakowitz, Andrew J; Nachury, Maxence V

    2013-10-14

    Specific proteins are concentrated within primary cilia, whereas others remain excluded. To understand the mechanistic basis of entry into cilia, we developed an in vitro assay using cells in which the plasma membrane was permeabilized, but the ciliary membrane was left intact. Using a diffusion-to-capture system and quantitative analysis, we find that proteins >9 nm in diameter (∼100 kD) are restricted from entering cilia, and we confirm these findings in vivo. Interference with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) or the actin cytoskeleton in permeabilized cells demonstrated that the ciliary diffusion barrier is mechanistically distinct from those of the NPC or the axon initial segment. Moreover, applying a mass transport model to this system revealed diffusion coefficients for soluble and membrane proteins within cilia that are compatible with rapid exploration of the ciliary space in the absence of active transport. Our results indicate that large proteins require active transport for entry into cilia but not necessarily for movement inside cilia. PMID:24100294

  10. An in vitro assay for entry into cilia reveals unique properties of the soluble diffusion barrier

    PubMed Central

    Breslow, David K.; Koslover, Elena F.; Seydel, Federica; Spakowitz, Andrew J.

    2013-01-01

    Specific proteins are concentrated within primary cilia, whereas others remain excluded. To understand the mechanistic basis of entry into cilia, we developed an in vitro assay using cells in which the plasma membrane was permeabilized, but the ciliary membrane was left intact. Using a diffusion-to-capture system and quantitative analysis, we find that proteins >9 nm in diameter (∼100 kD) are restricted from entering cilia, and we confirm these findings in vivo. Interference with the nuclear pore complex (NPC) or the actin cytoskeleton in permeabilized cells demonstrated that the ciliary diffusion barrier is mechanistically distinct from those of the NPC or the axon initial segment. Moreover, applying a mass transport model to this system revealed diffusion coefficients for soluble and membrane proteins within cilia that are compatible with rapid exploration of the ciliary space in the absence of active transport. Our results indicate that large proteins require active transport for entry into cilia but not necessarily for movement inside cilia. PMID:24100294

  11. Complementary assays reveal a relationship between HIV-1 uncoating and reverse transcription.

    PubMed

    Hulme, Amy E; Perez, Omar; Hope, Thomas J

    2011-06-14

    During the early stages of HIV-1 replication the conical capsid composed of p24(CA) protein dissociates from the rest of the cytoplasmic viral complex by a process called uncoating. Although proper uncoating is known to be required for HIV-1 infection, many questions remain about the timing and factors involved in the process. Here we have used two complementary assays to study the process of uncoating in HIV-1-infected cells, specifically looking at the timing of uncoating and its relationship to reverse transcription. We developed a fluorescent microscopy-based uncoating assay that detects the association of p24(CA) with HIV-1 viral complexes in cells. We also used an owl monkey kidney (OMK) cell assay that is based on timed TRIM-CypA-mediated restriction of HIV-1 replication. Results from both assays indicate that uncoating is initiated within 1 h of viral fusion. In addition, treatment with the reverse transcriptase inhibitor nevirapine delayed uncoating in both assays. Analysis of reverse transcription products in OMK cells revealed that the generation of early reverse transcription products coincides with the timing of uncoating in these assays. Collectively, these results suggest that some aspect of reverse transcription has the ability to influence the kinetics of uncoating. PMID:21628558

  12. A DIRECT METHOD TO ASSAY NEUROTOXIC ESTERASE ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    A direct photometric method for assaying neurotoxic esterase (NTE) activity of chicken brain microsomal preparation has been developed using 4-nitrophenyl esters as substrates. Paired samples of the microsomal preparation were preincubated for 20 min. with paraoxon plus either (a...

  13. Improved assays for xenosensor activation based on reverse transfection.

    PubMed

    Küblbeck, Jenni; Anttila, Teemu; Pulkkinen, Juha T; Honkakoski, Paavo

    2015-10-01

    Discovery of receptor-dependent mechanisms for regulation of drug metabolism has provided a new way to evaluate the propensity of drug candidates to cause induction of cytochrome P450 enzymes. Therefore, receptor-based reporter assays have become common in early stages of drug development projects and in mechanistic studies. Here, we report a reverse transfection system to conduct activation assays for human xenosensors AhR, CAR and PXR. The assay format is based on long-term stability and uniformity of DNA/carrier complexes on culture plates, avoiding multiple stages and variation inherent in conventional transfection methods. Consequently, these improved assays are streamlined, reproducible and formally validated with Z' factors exceeding 0.5. This novel reverse transfection system is expected to find use in diverse areas of early drug development such prediction of CYP induction, evaluation of species differences and in mechanistic studies. PMID:26187274

  14. A Novel Flow Cytometric HTS Assay Reveals Functional Modulators of ATP Binding Cassette Transporter ABCB6

    PubMed Central

    Chavan, Hemantkumar; Young, Susan; Ma, Xiaochao; Waller, Anna; Garcia, Matthew; Perez, Dominique; Chavez, Stephanie; Strouse, Jacob J.; Haynes, Mark K.; Bologa, Cristian G.; Oprea, Tudor I.; Tegos, George P.; Sklar, Larry A.; Krishnamurthy, Partha

    2012-01-01

    ABCB6 is a member of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette family of transporter proteins that is increasingly recognized as a relevant physiological and therapeutic target. Evaluation of modulators of ABCB6 activity would pave the way toward a more complete understanding of the significance of this transport process in tumor cell growth, proliferation and therapy-related drug resistance. In addition, this effort would improve our understanding of the function of ABCB6 in normal physiology with respect to heme biosynthesis, and cellular adaptation to metabolic demand and stress responses. To search for modulators of ABCB6, we developed a novel cell-based approach that, in combination with flow cytometric high-throughput screening (HTS), can be used to identify functional modulators of ABCB6. Accumulation of protoporphyrin, a fluorescent molecule, in wild-type ABCB6 expressing K562 cells, forms the basis of the HTS assay. Screening the Prestwick Chemical Library employing the HTS assay identified four compounds, benzethonium chloride, verteporfin, tomatine hydrochloride and piperlongumine, that reduced ABCB6 mediated cellular porphyrin levels. Validation of the identified compounds employing the hemin-agarose affinity chromatography and mitochondrial transport assays demonstrated that three out of the four compounds were capable of inhibiting ABCB6 mediated hemin transport into isolated mitochondria. However, only verteporfin and tomatine hydrochloride inhibited ABCB6’s ability to compete with hemin as an ABCB6 substrate. This assay is therefore sensitive, robust, and suitable for automation in a high-throughput environment as demonstrated by our identification of selective functional modulators of ABCB6. Application of this assay to other libraries of synthetic compounds and natural products is expected to identify novel modulators of ABCB6 activity. PMID:22808084

  15. Leveraging a high resolution microfluidic assay reveals insights into pathogenic fungal spore germination.

    PubMed

    Barkal, Layla J; Walsh, Naomi M; Botts, Michael R; Beebe, David J; Hull, Christina M

    2016-05-16

    Germination of spores into actively growing cells is a process essential for survival and pathogenesis of many microbes. Molecular mechanisms governing germination, however, are poorly understood in part because few tools exist for evaluating and interrogating the process. Here, we introduce an assay that leverages developments in microfluidic technology and image processing to quantitatively measure germination with unprecedented resolution, assessing both individual cells and the population as a whole. Using spores from Cryptococcus neoformans, a leading cause of fatal fungal disease in humans, we developed a platform to evaluate spores as they undergo morphological changes during differentiation into vegetatively growing yeast. The assay uses pipet-accessible microdevices that can be arrayed for efficient testing of diverse microenvironmental variables, including temperature and nutrients. We discovered that temperature influences germination rate, a carbon source alone is sufficient to induce germination, and the addition of a nitrogen source sustains it. Using this information, we optimized the assay for use with fungal growth inhibitors to pinpoint stages of germination inhibition. Unexpectedly, the clinical antifungal drugs amphotericin B and fluconazole did not significantly alter the process or timing of the transition from spore to yeast, indicating that vegetative growth and germination are distinct processes in C. neoformans. Finally, we used the high temporal resolution of the assay to determine the precise defect in a slow-germination mutant. Combining advances in microfluidics with a robust fungal molecular genetic system allowed us to identify and alter key temporal, morphological, and molecular events that occur during fungal germination. PMID:27026574

  16. 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

  17. A Cell-Based Assay Reveals Nuclear Translocation of Intracellular Domains Released by SPPL Proteases.

    PubMed

    Mentrup, Torben; Häsler, Robert; Fluhrer, Regina; Saftig, Paul; Schröder, Bernd

    2015-08-01

    During regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP) a membrane-spanning substrate protein is cleaved by an ectodomain sheddase and an intramembrane cleaving protease. A cytoplasmic intracellular domain (ICD) is liberated, which can migrate to the nucleus thereby influencing transcriptional regulation. Signal peptide peptidase-like (SPPL) 2a and 2b have been implicated in RIP of type II transmembrane proteins. Even though SPPL2a might represent a potential pharmacological target for treatment of B-cell-mediated autoimmunity, no specific and potent inhibitors for this enzyme are currently available. We report here on the first quantitative cell-based assay for measurement of SPPL2a/b activity. Demonstrating the failure of standard Gal4/VP16 reporter assays for SPPL2a/b analysis, we have devised a novel system employing β-galactosidase (βGal) complementation. This is based on detecting nuclear translocation of the proteolytically released substrate ICDs, which results in specific restoration of βGal activity. Utilizing this potentially high-throughput compatible new setup, we demonstrate nuclear translocation of the ICDs from integral membrane protein 2B (ITM2B), tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and CD74 and identify secreted frizzled-related protein 2 (SFRP2) as potential transcriptional downstream target of the CD74 ICD. We show that the presented assay is easily adaptable to other intramembrane proteases and therefore represents a valuable tool for the functional analysis and development of new inhibitors of this class of enzymes. PMID:25824657

  18. Development of a new colorimetric assay for lipoxygenase activity.

    PubMed

    Lu, Weiqiang; Zhao, Xue; Xu, Zhongyu; Dong, Ningning; Zou, Shien; Shen, Xu; Huang, Jin

    2013-10-15

    Lipoxygenases (LOXs) are a family of non-heme iron-containing dioxygenases that catalyze the hydroperoxidation of lipids, containing a cis,cis-1,4-pentadiene structure. A rapid and reliable colorimetric assay for determination of the activity of three human functional lipoxygenase isoforms (5-lipoxygenase, platelet 12-lipoxygenase, and 15-lipoxygenase-1) is developed in this article. In the new assay, LOX-derived lipid hydroperoxides oxidize the ferrous ion (Fe²⁺) to the ferric ion (Fe³⁺), the latter of which binds with thiocyanate (SCN⁻) to generate a red ferrithiocyanate (FTC) complex. The absorbance of the FTC complex can be easily measured at 480 nm. Because 5-LOX can be stimulated by many cofactors, the effects of its cofactors (Ca²⁺, ATP, dithiothreitol, glutathione, L-α-phosphatidylcholine, and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid) on the color development of the FTC complex are also determined. The assay is adaptive for purified LOXs and cell lysates containing active LOXs. We use the new colorimetric assay in a 96-well format to evaluate several well-known LOX inhibitors, the IC₅₀ values of which are in good agreement with previously reported data. The reliability and reproducibility of the assay make it useful for in vitro screening for inhibitors of LOXs and, therefore, should accelerate drug discovery for clinical application. PMID:23811155

  19. 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.

  20. A new robust kinetic assay for DAP epimerase activity.

    PubMed

    Hor, Lilian; Peverelli, Martin G; Perugini, Matthew A; Hutton, Craig A

    2013-10-01

    DAP epimerase is the penultimate enzyme in the lysine biosynthesis pathway. The most versatile assay for DAP epimerase catalytic activity employs a coupled DAP epimerase-DAP dehydrogenase enzyme system with a commercial mixture of DAP isomers as substrate. DAP dehydrogenase converts meso-DAP to THDP with concomitant reduction of NADP(+) to NADPH. We show that at high concentrations, accumulation of NADPH results in inhibition of DAPDH, resulting in spurious kinetic data. A new assay has been developed employing DAP decarboxylase that allows the reliable characterisation of DAP epimerase enzyme kinetics. PMID:23838343

  1. A chromogenic assay for limit dextrinase and pullulanase activity.

    PubMed

    Bøjstrup, Marie; Christensen, Caspar Elo; Windahl, Michael Skovbo; Henriksen, Anette; Hindsgaul, Ole

    2014-03-15

    A new chromogenic substrate to assay the starch debranching enzymes limit dextrinase and pullulanase is described. The 2-chloro-4-nitrophenyl glycoside of a commercially available branched heptasaccharide (Glc-maltotriosyl-maltotriose) was found to be a suitable specific substrate for starch debranching enzymes and allows convenient assays of enzymatic activities in a format suited for high-throughput analysis. The kinetic parameters of these enzymes toward the synthesized substrate are determined, and the selectivity of the substrate in a complex cereal-based extract is established. PMID:24333247

  2. 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.

  3. Assay for Lipolytic and Proteolytic Activity Using Marine Substrates

    PubMed Central

    Tom, Raymond A.; Crisan, Eli V.

    1975-01-01

    Nondestructive assay procedures for determining microbial lipolytic and proteolytic activity on marine substrates were developed and tested with 287 isolates of bacteria, filamentous fungi, and yeasts. A definite substrate specificity was noted when the enzymatic activities on marine and nonmarine substrates was compared. Of 170 lipolytic isolates, 14 were only active on menhaden oil, 11 could hydrolyze menhaden oil and Tween 80 and/or tributyrin, and 145 isolates could only hydrolyze one or both of the nonmarine lipids. Of the 198 proteolytic isolates, 10 were specific for codfish extract, 152 were active against the marine substrate plus casein and/or gelatin, and 36 were specific for nonmarine substrates. PMID:1167775

  4. More insights into a human adipose tissue GPAT activity assay

    PubMed Central

    Morgan-Bathke, Maria; Chen, Liang; Oberschneider, Elisabeth; Harteneck, Debra; Jensen, Michael D

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Adipose tissue fatty acid storage varies according to sex, adipose tissue depot and degree of fat gain. However, the mechanism(s) for these variations is not completely understood. We recently published findings based on the glycerol 3-phosphate acyltransferase (GPAT) enzyme activity assay we optimized for use with human adipose tissue. These findings include a decrease in total GPAT and GPAT1 as a function of adipocyte size in both omental and subcutaneous adipose tissue and a strong, positive correlations between ACS, GPAT, and DGAT activities for both sexes and depots and between these storage factors and palmitate storage rates into TAG. The aim of this commentary is to expand upon the data from our recent publication. We describe here additional details on the optimization of the GPAT enzyme activity assay, a correlation between DGAT and percentage palmitate in the diacylglycerol fraction, and sex differences in fatty acid storage factors and storage rates into TAG at high palmitate concentrations. PMID:27144101

  5. An Ultra-High Fluorescence Enhancement and High Throughput Assay for Revealing Expression and Internalization of Chemokine Receptor CXCR4.

    PubMed

    He, Hua; Wang, Xiaojuan; Cheng, Tiantian; Xia, Yongqing; Lao, Jun; Ge, Baosheng; Ren, Hao; Khan, Naseer Ullah; Huang, Fang

    2016-04-18

    Revealing chemokine receptor CXCR4 expression, distribution, and internalization levels in different cancers helps to evaluate cancer progression or prognosis and to set personalized treatment strategy. We here describe a sensitive and high-throughput immunoassay for determining CXCR4 expression and distribution in cancer cells. The assay is accessible to a wide range of users in an ordinary lab only by dip-coating poly(styrene-co-N-isopropylacrylamide) spheres on the glass substrate. The self- assembled spheres form three-dimensional photonic colloidal crystals which enhance the fluorescence of CF647 and Alexa Fluor 647 by a factor of up to 1000. CXCR4 in cells is detected by using the sandwich immunoassay, where the primary antibody recognizes CXCR4 and the secondary antibody is labeled with CF647. With the newly established assay, we quantified the total expression of CXCR4, its distribution on the cell membrane and cytoplasm, and revealed their internalization level upon SDF-1α activation in various cancer cells, even for those with extremely low expression level. PMID:26879206

  6. 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

  7. Novel yeast cell dehydrogenase activity assay in situ.

    PubMed

    Berłowska, Joanna; Kregiel, Dorota; Klimek, Leszek; Orzeszyna, Bartosz; Ambroziak, Wojciech

    2006-01-01

    The aim of this research was to develop a suitable method of succinate dehydrogenase activity assay in situ for different industrial yeast strains. For this purpose different compounds: EDTA, Triton X-100, sodium deoxycholate, digitonin, nystatin and beta-mercaptoethanol were used. The permeabilization process was controlled microscopically by primuline staining. Enzyme assay was conducted in whole yeast cells with Na-succinate as substrate, phenazine methosulfate (PMS) as electron carrier and in the presence one of two different tetrazolium salts: tetrazolium blue chloride (BT) or cyanoditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC) reduced during the assay. In comparabile studies of yeast vitality the amount of intracellular ATP was determined according to luciferin/luciferase method. During the succinate dehydrogenase assay in intact yeast cells without permeabilization, BT formazans were partially visualized in the cells, but CTC formazans appeared to be totally extracellular or associated with the plasma membrane. Under these conditions there was no linear relationship between formazan color intensity signal and yeast cell density. From all chemical compounds tested, only digitonin was effective in membrane permeabilization without negative influence on cell morphology. Furthermore, with digitonin-treated cells a linear relationship between formazan color intensity signal and yeast cell number was noticed. Significant decreasing of succinate dehydrogenase activity and ATP content were observed during aging of the tested yeast strains. PMID:17419290

  8. Bacterial regrowth in water reclamation and distribution systems revealed by viable bacterial detection assays.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi-wen; Li, Dan; Gu, April Z; Zeng, Si-yu; He, Miao

    2016-02-01

    Microbial regrowth needs to be managed during water reclamation and distribution. The aim of present study was to investigate the removal and regrowth of Escherichia coli (E. coli) and Salmonella in water reclamation and distribution system by using membrane integrity assay (PMA-qPCR), reverse transcriptional activity assay (Q-RT-PCR) and culture-based assay, and also to evaluate the relationships among bacterial regrowth, and environmental factors in the distribution system. The results showed that most of the water reclamation processes potentially induced bacteria into VBNC state. The culturable E. coli and Salmonella regrew 1.8 and 0.7 log10 in distribution system, which included reactivation of bacteria in the viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state and reproduction of culturable bacteria. The regrowth of culturable E. coli and Salmonella in the distribution system mainly depended on the residual chlorine levels, with correlations (R(2)) of -0.598 and -0.660. The abundances of membrane integrity and reverse transcriptional activity bacteria in reclamation effluents had significant correlations with the culturable bacteria at the end point of the distribution system, demonstrating that PMA-qPCR and Q-RT-PCR are sensitive and accurate tools to determine and predict bacterial regrowth in water distribution systems. This study has improved our understanding of microbial removal and regrowth in reclaimed water treatment and distribution systems. And the results also recommended that more processes should be equipped to remove viable bacteria in water reclamation plants for the sake of inhibition microbial regrowth during water distribution and usages. PMID:26595310

  9. Dehydrogenase activity of forest soils depends on the assay used

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Januszek, Kazimierz; Długa, Joanna; Socha, Jarosław

    2015-01-01

    Dehydrogenases are exclusively intracellular enzymes, which play an important role in the initial stages of oxidation of soil organic matter. One of the most frequently used methods to estimate dehydrogenase activity in soil is based on the use of triphenyltetrazolium chloride as an artificial electron acceptor. The purpose of this study was to compare the activity of dehydrogenases of forest soils with varied physicochemical properties using different triphenyltetrazolium chloride assays. The determination was carried out using the original procedure by Casida et al., a modification of the procedure which involves the use of Ca(OH)2 instead of CaCO3, the Thalmann method, and the assay by Casida et al. without addition of buffer or any salt. Soil dehydrogenase activity depended on the assay used. Dehydrogenase determined by the Casida et al. method without addition of buffer or any salt correlated with the pH values of soils. The autoclaved strongly acidic samples of control soils showed high concentrations of triphenylformazan, probably due to chemical reduction of triphenyltetrazolium chloride. There is, therefore, a need for a sterilization method other than autoclaving, ie a process that results in significant changes in soil properties, thus helping to increase the chemical reduction of triphenyltetrazolium chloride.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. Assay of insulator enhancer-blocking activity with the use of transient transfection.

    PubMed

    Smirnov, N A; Didych, D A; Akopov, S B; Nikolaev, L G; Sverdlov, E D

    2013-08-01

    We used a transient transfection of cultured cells with linearized plasmids to analyze the enhancer-blocking activity of potential insulators including the standard cHS4 chicken beta-globin insulator and several DNA fragments selected from the human genome sequence. About 60-80% of the potential insulators do reveal the enhancer-blocking activity when probed by the transient transfection assay. The activity of different sequences is characterized by certain tissue specificity and by dependence on the orientation of the fragments relative to the promoter. Thus, the transfection model may be used for quantitative analysis of the enhancer-blocking activity of the potential insulators. PMID:24228877

  13. Lack of activity of cadmium in in vitro estrogenicity assays

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, Elisabete . E-mail: elisabete.silva@pharmacy.ac.uk; Lopez-Espinosa, Maria Jose; Molina-Molina, Jose-Manuel; Fernandez, Marieta; Olea, Nicolas; Kortenkamp, Andreas

    2006-10-01

    Prompted by reports about strong estrogenic effects of cadmium, attempts were made to reproduce these observations using the yeast estrogen screen (YES) and the E-Screen assays. For the first time, possible activation of the Src/MAPK pathway was also investigated. In the YES, only a slight activation (10% of a maximal effect) of the estrogen receptor alpha (ER{alpha}) was observed at cadmium concentrations between 5 x 10{sup -7} M and 5 x 10{sup -6} M. In the E-Screen assay, carried out by two laboratories, the heavy metal was without observable cell proliferative effects when tested in the range between 6 x 10{sup -11} M and 1 x 10{sup -5} M. However, in both assays, cadmium led to a reduction of the effects of 17{beta}-estradiol (E2). Treatment of MCF-7 human breast cancer cells with 1 x 10{sup -7} M cadmium failed to induce phosphorylation of Src and the MAP kinases Erk1 and Erk2-effects shown to occur with E2 and epidermal growth factor (EGF). In summary, we were unable to confirm the strong estrogenicity of cadmium reported recently by a number of laboratories. This apparent absence of effects in our hands is not due to a lack of uptake of the metal or to effective protection against cadmium by high levels of glutathione or metallothionein, since toxicity and an antagonism of E2 responses were observed both in the YES and the E-Screen.

  14. Selective activity of butyrylcholinesterase in serum by a chemiluminescent assay.

    PubMed

    Yavo, B; Brunetti, I L; da Fonseca, L M; Catalani, L H; Campa, A

    2001-01-01

    In a previous study, we showed that purified commercial esterase activity can be detected in a chemiluminescent assay based on the hydrolysis of 2-methyl-1-propenylbenzoate (MPB) to 2-methyl-1-propenol, which is subsequently oxidized by the horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-H(2)O(2) system. The purpose of this study was to verify the applicability of this assay to human serum. The existence of an esterase activity capable of hydrolysing MPB is indicated by the fact that the MPB-serum-HRP-H(2)O(2) system consumes oxygen and emits light. Both signals were abolished by prior serum heat inactivation and were preserved when serum was stored at < or =4 degrees C. Addition of aliesterase inhibitors, such as fluoride ion and trichlorfon or the cholinesterase inhibitor eserine, totally prevents light emission. The butyrylcholinesterase-specific substrate benzoylcholine causes a delay in both O(2) uptake and light emission, while the specific acetylcholinesterase substrate, acetyl-beta-methylcholine, had practically no effect. Purified butyrylcholinesterase, but not acetylcholinesterase, triggered light emission. The finding that butyrylcholinesterase is responsible for the hydrolysis of MPB in serum should serve as the basis for the development of a specific chemiluminescent assay for this enzyme. PMID:11590700

  15. 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

  16. Modulating temporal control of NF-kappaB activation: implications for therapeutic and assay selection.

    PubMed

    Klinke, David J; Ustyugova, Irina V; Brundage, Kathleen M; Barnett, John B

    2008-06-01

    The activation of transcription factor NF-kappaB (nuclear factor-kappaB) plays a central role in the induction of many inflammatory response genes. This process is characterized by either oscillations or stable induction of NF-kappaB nuclear binding. Changes in dynamics of binding result in the expression of distinct subsets of genes leading to different physiological outcomes. We examined NF-kappaB DNA binding activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated IC-21 cells by electromobility shift assay and nonradioactive transcription factor assay and interpreted the results using a kinetic model of NF-kappaB activation. Both assays detected damped oscillatory behavior of NF-kappaB with differences in sensitivity and reproducibility. 3,4-Dichloropropionaniline (DCPA) was used to modulate the oscillatory behavior of NF-kappaB after LPS stimulation. DCPA is known to inhibit the production of two NF-kappaB-inducible cytokines, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha, by reducing but not completely abrogating NF-kappaB-induced transcription. DCPA treatment resulted in a potentiation of early LPS-induced NF-kappaB activation. The nonradioactive transcription factor assay, which has a higher signal/noise ratio than the electromobility shift assay, combined with in silico modeling, produced results that revealed changes in NF-kappaB dynamics which, to the best of our knowledge, have never been previously reported. These results highlight the importance of cell type and stimulus specificity in transcription factor activity assessment. In addition, assay selection has important implications for network inference and drug discovery. PMID:18281385

  17. Modulating Temporal Control of NF-κB Activation: Implications for Therapeutic and Assay Selection

    PubMed Central

    Klinke, David J.; Ustyugova, Irina V.; Brundage, Kathleen M.; Barnett, John B.

    2008-01-01

    The activation of transcription factor NF-κB (nuclear factor-κB) plays a central role in the induction of many inflammatory response genes. This process is characterized by either oscillations or stable induction of NF-κB nuclear binding. Changes in dynamics of binding result in the expression of distinct subsets of genes leading to different physiological outcomes. We examined NF-κB DNA binding activity in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated IC-21 cells by electromobility shift assay and nonradioactive transcription factor assay and interpreted the results using a kinetic model of NF-κB activation. Both assays detected damped oscillatory behavior of NF-κB with differences in sensitivity and reproducibility. 3,4-Dichloropropionaniline (DCPA) was used to modulate the oscillatory behavior of NF-κB after LPS stimulation. DCPA is known to inhibit the production of two NF-κB-inducible cytokines, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor α, by reducing but not completely abrogating NF-κB-induced transcription. DCPA treatment resulted in a potentiation of early LPS-induced NF-κB activation. The nonradioactive transcription factor assay, which has a higher signal/noise ratio than the electromobility shift assay, combined with in silico modeling, produced results that revealed changes in NF-κB dynamics which, to the best of our knowledge, have never been previously reported. These results highlight the importance of cell type and stimulus specificity in transcription factor activity assessment. In addition, assay selection has important implications for network inference and drug discovery. PMID:18281385

  18. A Sensitive and Versatile Fluorescent Activity Assay for ABHD12.

    PubMed

    Savinainen, Juha R; Navia-Paldanius, Dina; Laitinen, Jarmo T

    2016-01-01

    Despite great progress in identifying and deorphanizing members of the human metabolic serine hydrolase (mSH) family, the fundamental role of numerous enzymes in this large protein class has remained unclear. One recently found mSH is α/β-hydrolase domain containing 12 (ABHD12) enzyme, whose natural substrate in vivo appears to be the lysophospholipid lysophosphatidylserine (LPS). In vitro, ABHD12 together with monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) and ABHD6 hydrolyzes also monoacylglycerols (MAGs) such as the primary endocannabinoid 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG). Traditional approaches for determining 2-AG hydrolase activity are rather laborious, and often utilize unnatural substrates. Here, we describe a sensitive fluorescent assay of ABHD12 activity in a 96-well-plate format that allows simultaneous testing of inhibitor activities of up to 40 compounds in a single assay. The method utilizes lysates of HEK293 cells transiently overexpressing human ABHD12 as the enzymatic source, and kinetically monitors glycerol liberated in the hydrolysis of 1(3)-AG, the preferred MAG substrate of this enzyme. Glycerol output is coupled to an enzymatic cascade generating the fluorescent end-product resorufin. This methodology has helped to identify the first class of inhibitors showing selectivity for ABHD12 over the other mSHs. PMID:27245904

  19. A Follicle Rupture Assay Reveals an Essential Role for Follicular Adrenergic Signaling in Drosophila Ovulation

    PubMed Central

    Deady, Lylah D.; Sun, Jianjun

    2015-01-01

    Ovulation is essential for the propagation of the species and involves a proteolytic degradation of the follicle wall for the release of the fertilizable oocyte. However, the precise mechanisms for regulating these proteolytic events are largely unknown. Work from our lab and others have shown that there are several parallels between Drosophila and mammalian ovulation at both the cellular and molecular levels. During ovulation in Drosophila, posterior follicle cells surrounding a mature oocyte are selectively degraded and the residual follicle cells remain in the ovary to form a corpus luteum after follicle rupture. Like in mammals, this rupturing process also depends on matrix metalloproteinase 2 (Mmp2) activity localized at the posterior end of mature follicles, where oocytes exit. In the present study, we show that Mmp2 activity is regulated by the octopaminergic signaling in mature follicle cells. Exogenous octopamine (OA; equivalent to norepinephrine, NE) is sufficient to induce follicle rupture when isolated mature follicles are cultured ex vivo, in the absence of the oviduct or ovarian muscle sheath. Knocking down the alpha-like adrenergic receptor Oamb (Octoampine receptor in mushroom bodies) in mature follicle cells prevents OA-induced follicle rupture ex vivo and ovulation in vivo. We also show that follicular OA-Oamb signaling induces Mmp2 enzymatic activation but not Mmp2 protein expression, likely via intracellular Ca2+ as the second messenger. Our work develops a novel ex vivo follicle rupture assay and demonstrates the role for follicular adrenergic signaling in Mmp2 activation and ovulation in Drosophila, which is likely conserved in other species. PMID:26473732

  20. 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.

  1. Neutron coincidence imaging for active and passive neutron assays

    SciTech Connect

    Estep, R. J.; Brunson, G. S.; Melton, S. G.

    2001-01-01

    Neutron multiplicity assay algorithms for {sup 240}Pu assume a point source of fission neutrons that are detected in a single detector channel. The {sup 240}Pu in real waste, however, is more likely to be distributed throughout the container in some random way. For different reasons, this leads to significant errors when using either multiplicity or simpler coincidence analyses. Reduction of these errors can be achieved using tomographic imaging. In this talk we report on our results from using neutron singles and coincidence data between tagged detector pairs to provide enhanced tomographic imaging capabilities to a crate nondestructive assay system. Only simulated passive coincidence data is examined here, although the higher signal rates from active coincidence counting hold more promise for waste management. The active coincidence approach has significantly better sensitivity than the passive and is not significantly perturbed by (alpha,n) contributions. Our study was based primarily on simulated neutron pulse trains derived from the Los Alamos SIM3D software, which were subjected to analysis using the Los Alamos CTEN-FIT and TGS-FIT software. We found significantly improved imaging capability using the coincidence and singles rate data than could be obtained using the singles rate alone.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

    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

  5. Frantic activity revealed in dusty stellar factories

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    2009-01-01

    Thanks to the Very Large Telescope's acute and powerful near-infrared eye, astronomers have uncovered a host of new young, massive and dusty stellar nurseries in nearby galaxy NGC 253. The centre of this galaxy appears to harbour a twin of our own Milky Way's supermassive black hole. ESO PR Photo 02a/09 The Spiral Galaxy NGC 253 Astronomers from the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias (Spain) used NACO, a sharp-eyed adaptive optics instrument on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT), to study the fine detail in NGC 253, one of the brightest and dustiest spiral galaxies in the sky. Adaptive Optics (AO) corrects for the blurring effect introduced by the Earth's atmosphere. This turbulence causes the stars to twinkle in a way that delights poets, but frustrates astronomers, since it smears out the images. With AO in action the telescope can produce images that are as sharp as is theoretically possible, as if the telescope were in space. NACO revealed features in the galaxy that were only 11 light-years across. "Our observations provide us with so much spatially resolved detail that we can, for the first time, compare them with the finest radio maps for this galaxy -- maps that have existed for more than a decade," says Juan Antonio Fernández-Ontiveros, the lead author of the paper reporting the results [1]. Astronomers identified 37 distinct bright regions, a threefold increase on previous results, packed into a tiny region at the core of the galaxy, comprising just one percent of the galaxy's total size. The astronomers combined their NACO images with data from another VLT instrument, VISIR, as well as with images from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope and radio observations made by the Very Large Array and the Very Large Baseline Interferometer. Combining these observations, taken in different wavelength regimes, provided a clue to the nature of these regions. "We now think that these are probably very active nurseries that contain many stars bursting from their

  6. Single cell multiplexed assay for proteolytic activity using droplet microfluidics.

    PubMed

    Ng, Ee Xien; Miller, Miles A; Jing, Tengyang; Chen, Chia-Hung

    2016-07-15

    Cellular enzymes interact in a post-translationally regulated fashion to govern individual cell behaviors, yet current platform technologies are limited in their ability to measure multiple enzyme activities simultaneously in single cells. Here, we developed multi-color Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based enzymatic substrates and use them in a microfluidics platform to simultaneously measure multiple specific protease activities from water-in-oil droplets that contain single cells. By integrating the microfluidic platform with a computational analytical method, Proteolytic Activity Matrix Analysis (PrAMA), we are able to infer six different protease activity signals from individual cells in a high throughput manner (~100 cells/experimental run). We characterized protease activity profiles at single cell resolution for several cancer cell lines including breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231, lung cancer cell line PC-9, and leukemia cell line K-562 using both live-cell and in-situ cell lysis assay formats, with special focus on metalloproteinases important in metastasis. The ability to measure multiple proteases secreted from or expressed in individual cells allows us to characterize cell heterogeneity and has potential applications including systems biology, pharmacology, cancer diagnosis and stem cell biology. PMID:26995287

  7. A Transgenic Mouse Assay for Agouti Protein Activity

    PubMed Central

    Perry, W. L.; Hustad, C. M.; Swing, D. A.; Jenkins, N. A.; Copeland, N. G.

    1995-01-01

    The mouse agouti gene encodes an 131 amino acid paracrine signaling molecule that instructs hair follicle melanocytes to switch from making black to yellow pigment. Expression of agouti during the middle part of the hair growth cycle in wild-type mice produces a yellow band on an otherwise black hair. The ubiquitous unregulated expression of agouti in mice carrying dominant yellow alleles is associated with pleiotropic effects including increased yellow pigment in the coat, obesity, diabetes and increased tumor susceptibility. Agouti shows no significant homology to known genes, and the molecular analysis of agouti alleles has shed little new light on the important functional elements of the agouti protein. In this paper, we show that agouti expression driven by the human β-ACTIN promoter produces obese yellow transgenic mice and that this can be used as an assay for agouti activity. We used this assay to evaluate a point mutation associated with the a(16H) allele within the region encoding agouti's putative signal sequence and our results suggest that this mutation is sufficient to cause the a(16H) phenotype. Thus, in vitro mutagenesis followed by the generation of transgenic mice should allow us to identify important functional elements of the agouti protein. PMID:7635291

  8. 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

  9. Cell-free NADPH oxidase activation assays: "in vitro veritas".

    PubMed

    Pick, Edgar

    2014-01-01

    The superoxide (O2 (∙-))-generating NADPH oxidase complex of phagocytes comprises a membrane-imbedded heterodimeric flavocytochrome, known as cytochrome b 558 (consisting of Nox2 and p22 (phox) ) and four cytosolic regulatory proteins, p47 (phox) , p67 (phox) , p40 (phox) , and the small GTPase Rac. Under physiological conditions, in the resting phagocyte, O2 (∙-) generation is initiated by engagement of membrane receptors by a variety of stimuli, followed by specific signal transduction sequences leading to the translocation of the cytosolic components to the membrane and their association with the cytochrome. A consequent conformational change in Nox2 initiates the electron "flow" along a redox gradient, from NADPH to oxygen, leading to the one-electron reduction of molecular oxygen to O2 (∙-). Methodological difficulties in the dissection of this complex mechanism led to the design "cell-free" systems (also known as "broken cells" or in vitro systems). In these, membrane receptor stimulation and all or part of the signal transduction sequence are missing, the accent being placed on the actual process of "NADPH oxidase assembly," thus on the formation of the complex between cytochrome b 558 and the cytosolic components and the resulting O2 (∙-) generation. Cell-free assays consist of a mixture of the individual components of the NADPH oxidase complex, derived from resting phagocytes or in the form of purified recombinant proteins, exposed in vitro to an activating agent (distinct from and unrelated to whole cell stimulants), in the presence of NADPH and oxygen. Activation is commonly quantified by measuring the primary product of the reaction, O2 (∙-), trapped immediately after its generation by an appropriate acceptor in a kinetic assay, permitting the calculation of the linear rate of O2 (∙-) production, but numerous variations exist, based on the assessment of reaction products or the consumption of substrates. Cell-free assays played a paramount

  10. A high-content screening assay in transgenic zebrafish identifies two novel activators of fgf signaling.

    PubMed

    Saydmohammed, Manush; Vollmer, Laura L; Onuoha, Ezenwa Obi; Vogt, Andreas; Tsang, Michael

    2011-09-01

    Zebrafish have become an invaluable vertebrate animal model to interrogate small molecule libraries for modulators of complex biological pathways and phenotypes. We have recently described the implementation of a quantitative, high-content imaging assay in multi-well plates to analyze the effects of small molecules on Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) signaling in vivo. Here we have evaluated the capability of the assay to identify compounds that hyperactivate FGF signaling from a test cassette of agents with known biological activities. Using a transgenic zebrafish reporter line for FGF activity, we screened 1040 compounds from an annotated library of known bioactive agents, including FDA-approved drugs. The assay identified two molecules, 8-hydroxyquinoline sulfate and pyrithione zinc, that enhanced FGF signaling in specific areas of the brain. Subsequent studies revealed that both compounds specifically expanded FGF target gene expression. Furthermore, treatment of early stage embryos with either compound resulted in dorsalized phenotypes characteristic of hyperactivation of FGF signaling in early development. Documented activities for both agents included activation of extracellular signal-related kinase (ERK), consistent with FGF hyperactivation. To conclude, we demonstrate the power of automated quantitative high-content imaging to identify small molecule modulators of FGF. PMID:21932436

  11. The synchronous active neutron detection system for spent fuel assay

    SciTech Connect

    Pickrell, M.M.; Kendall, P.K.

    1994-10-01

    The authors have begun to develop a novel technique for active neutron assay of fissile material in spent nuclear fuel. This approach will exploit the unique operating features of a 14-MeV neutron generator developed by Schlumberger. This generator and a novel detection system will be applied to the direct measurement of the fissile material content in spent fuel in place of the indirect measures used at present. The technique they are investigating is termed synchronous active neutron detection (SAND). It closely follows a method that has been used routinely in other branches of physics to detect very small signals in the presence of large backgrounds. Synchronous detection instruments are widely available commercially and are termed {open_quotes}lock-in{close_quotes} amplifiers. The authors have implemented a digital lock-in amplifier in conjunction with the Schlumberger neutron generator to explore the possibility of synchronous detection with active neutrons. This approach is possible because the Schlumberger system can operate at up to a 50% duty factor, in effect, a square wave of neutron yield. The results to date are preliminary but quite promising. The system is capable of resolving the fissile material contained in a small fraction of the fuel rods in a cold fuel assembly. It also appears to be quite resilient to background neutron interference. The interrogating neutrons appear to be nonthermal and penetrating. Although a significant amount of work remains to fully explore the relevant physics and optimize the instrument design, the underlying concept appears sound.

  12. Estrogenic activity assessment of environmental chemicals using in vitro assays: identification of two new estrogenic compounds.

    PubMed Central

    Lascombe, I; Beffa, D; Rüegg, U; Tarradellas, J; Wahli, W

    2000-01-01

    Environmental chemicals with estrogenic activities have been suggested to be associated with deleterious effects in animals and humans. To characterize estrogenic chemicals and their mechanisms of action, we established in vitro and cell culture assays that detect human estrogen receptor [alpha] (hER[alpha])-mediated estrogenicity. First, we assayed chemicals to determine their ability to modulate direct interaction between the hER[alpha] and the steroid receptor coactivator-1 (SRC-1) and in a competition binding assay to displace 17ss-estradiol (E(2)). Second, we tested the chemicals for estrogen-associated transcriptional activity in the yeast estrogen screen and in the estrogen-responsive MCF-7 human breast cancer cell line. The chemicals investigated in this study were o,p'-DDT (racemic mixture and enantiomers), nonylphenol mixture (NPm), and two poorly analyzed compounds in the environment, namely, tris-4-(chlorophenyl)methane (Tris-H) and tris-4-(chlorophenyl)methanol (Tris-OH). In both yeast and MCF-7 cells, we determined estrogenic activity via the estrogen receptor (ER) for o,p'-DDT, NPm, and for the very first time, Tris-H and Tris-OH. However, unlike estrogens, none of these xenobiotics seemed to be able to induce ER/SRC-1 interactions, most likely because the conformation of the activated receptor would not allow direct contacts with this coactivator. However, these compounds were able to inhibit [(3)H]-E(2) binding to hER, which reveals a direct interaction with the receptor. In conclusion, the test compounds are estrogen mimics, but their molecular mechanism of action appears to be different from that of the natural hormone as revealed by the receptor/coactivator interaction analysis. Images Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 PMID:10903615

  13. Quantitative particle exclusion assays of the pericellular coat reveal changing mesh size

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Patrick; McLane, Louis; Kramer, Nolan; Curtis, Jennifer E.

    2013-03-01

    We present a quantitative assay of the pericellular coat, a tethered polymer matrix that decorates the surface of numerous cell types. In these assays, we look at how passivated microspheres of varying diameter penetrate the cell coat. Distinct spatial distributions correspond to different particle sizes. These measurements confirm that the cell coat (on the chondrocyte RCJ-P cell line) has a spatially varying mesh size, in agreement with our independent assays performed with optical force probe microscopy. The data indicate that particles with diameters of 500 nm or greater do not penetrate the inner layer of the matrix, while particles smaller than 500 nm reach different regions, with the smallest reaching the cell surface. In an ongoing effort, we are developing a model for the observed statistical distribution of the beads. These experiments show that accessibility of the cell surface is strongly mediated by the presence of the cell coat, and they have important implications regarding the transport of molecules to the cell surface, protection from bacterial infection, drug delivery, as well as the way the cell interacts and adheres to the surrounding extracellular matrix.

  14. Comparison of two methods for assaying reducing sugars in the determination of carbohydrase activities.

    PubMed

    Gusakov, Alexander V; Kondratyeva, Elena G; Sinitsyn, Arkady P

    2011-01-01

    The Nelson-Somogyi (NS) and 3,5-dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) assays for reducing sugars are widely used in measurements of carbohydrase activities against different polysaccharides. Using twelve commercial enzyme preparations, the comparison of the NS and DNS assays in determination of cellulase, β-glucanase, xylanase, and β-mannanase activities was carried out. When cellulase activities against CMC were measured, the DNS assay gave activity values, which were typically 40-50% higher than those obtained with the NS assay. In the analysis of the xylanase, β-mannanase, and β-glucanase activities, the overestimations by the DNS assay were much more pronounced (the observed differences in the activities were 3- to 13-fold). Reasons for preferential use of the NS assay for measuring activities of carbohydrases other than cellulases are discussed. PMID:21647284

  15. A Novel High-Throughput Assay for Islet Respiration Reveals Uncoupling of Rodent and Human Islets

    PubMed Central

    Wikstrom, Jakob D.; Sereda, Samuel B.; Stiles, Linsey; Elorza, Alvaro; Allister, Emma M.; Neilson, Andy; Ferrick, David A.; Wheeler, Michael B.; Shirihai, Orian S.

    2012-01-01

    Background The pancreatic beta cell is unique in its response to nutrient by increased fuel oxidation. Recent studies have demonstrated that oxygen consumption rate (OCR) may be a valuable predictor of islet quality and long term nutrient responsiveness. To date, high-throughput and user-friendly assays for islet respiration are lacking. The aim of this study was to develop such an assay and to examine bioenergetic efficiency of rodent and human islets. Methodology/Principal Findings The XF24 respirometer platform was adapted to islets by the development of a 24-well plate specifically designed to confine islets. The islet plate generated data with low inter-well variability and enabled stable measurement of oxygen consumption for hours. The F1F0 ATP synthase blocker oligomycin was used to assess uncoupling while rotenone together with myxothiazol/antimycin was used to measure the level of non-mitochondrial respiration. The use of oligomycin in islets was validated by reversing its effect in the presence of the uncoupler FCCP. Respiratory leak averaged to 59% and 49% of basal OCR in islets from C57Bl6/J and FVB/N mice, respectively. In comparison, respiratory leak of INS-1 cells and C2C12 myotubes was measured to 38% and 23% respectively. Islets from a cohort of human donors showed a respiratory leak of 38%, significantly lower than mouse islets. Conclusions/Significance The assay for islet respiration presented here provides a novel tool that can be used to study islet mitochondrial function in a relatively high-throughput manner. The data obtained in this study shows that rodent islets are less bioenergetically efficient than human islets as well as INS1 cells. PMID:22606219

  16. 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...

  17. A rapid dehydration leaf assay reveals stomatal response differences in grapevine genotypes

    PubMed Central

    Hopper, Daniel W; Ghan, Ryan; Cramer, Grant R

    2014-01-01

    A simple and reliable way of phenotyping plant responses to dehydration was developed. Fully-developed leaves were detached and placed in a closed plastic box containing a salt solution to control the atmospheric water potential in the container. Three hours of dehydration (weight loss of the leaf) was optimal for measuring changes in stomatal response to dehydration. Application of the plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) prior to leaf detachment decreased the amount of water loss, indicating that the assay was able to detect differences based on a stomatal response to dehydration. Five different Vitis genotypes (V. riparia, V. champinii, V. vinifera cv. Shiraz, V. vinifera cv. Grenache and V. vinifera cv. Cabernet Sauvignon) with known differences in drought tolerance were screened for their dehydration response and the results obtained corresponded to previous reports of stomatal responses in the vineyard. Significant differences in stomatal density along with differences in the amount and rate of water lost indicate differences in dehydration sensitivity among the genotypes screened. Differences in stomatal response to ABA were also detected. Shiraz had the lowest stomatal density and the highest ABA sensitivity among the genotypes screened, yet Shiraz lost the most amount of water, indicating that it was the least sensitive to dehydration. Despite having the highest stomatal density and intermediate stomatal sensitivity to ABA, V. riparia lost the smallest amount of water, indicating that it was the most sensitive to dehydration. The assay presented here represents a simple and reliable phenotyping method for plant responses to leaf dehydration. PMID:26504528

  18. Shocking Detail of Superstar's Activity Revealed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    1999-10-01

    NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has imaged Eta Carinae and revealed a hot inner core around this mysterious superstar. The new X-ray observation shows three distinct structures: an outer, horseshoe shaped ring about two light years in diameter, a hot inner core about 3 light months in diameter, and a hot central source less than a light month in diameter which may contain the superstar. All three structures are thought to represent shock waves produced by matter rushing away from the superstar at supersonic speeds. The temperature of the shock-heated gas ranges from 60 million degrees Celsius in the central regions to 3 million degrees Celsius on the outer structure. An earlier image of Eta Carinae by the Hubble Space Telescope revealed two spectacular bubbles of gas expanding in opposite directions away from a central bright region at speeds in excess of a million miles per hour. The inner region visible in the Chandra image has never been resolved before, and appears to be associated with a central disk of high velocity gas rushing out at much higher speeds perpendicular to the bipolar optical nebula. "It is not what I expected," said Dr. Fred Seward of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. "I expected to see a strong point source with a little diffuse emission cloud around it. Instead, we see just the opposite- a bright cloud of diffuse emission, and much less radiation from the center." "The Chandra image contains some puzzles for existing ideas of how a star can produce such hot and intense X-rays," agreed Prof. Kris Davidson of the University of Minnesota. "In the most popular theory, X-rays are made by colliding gas streams from two stars so close together that they'd look like a point source to us. But what happens to gas streams that escape to farther distances? The extended hot stuff in the middle of the new image gives demanding new conditions for any theory to meet." Eta Carinae is one of the most enigmatic and intriguing objects in our

  19. A novel assay revealed that ribonucleotide reductase is functionally important for interstrand DNA crosslink repair.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Naoaki; Evison, Benjamin J; Actis, Marcelo L; Inoue, Akira

    2015-11-01

    Cells have evolved complex biochemical pathways for DNA interstrand crosslink (ICL) removal. Despite the chemotherapeutic importance of ICL repair, there have been few attempts to identify which mechanistic DNA repair inhibitor actually inhibits ICL repair. To identify such compounds, a new and robust ICL repair assay was developed using a novel plasmid that contains synthetic ICLs between a CMV promoter region that drives transcription and a luciferase reporter gene, and an SV40 origin of replication and the large T antigen (LgT) gene that enables self-replication in mammalian cells. In a screen against compounds that are classified as inhibitors of DNA repair or synthesis, the reporter generation was exquisitely sensitive to ribonucleotide reductase (RNR) inhibitors such as gemcitabine and clofarabine, but not to inhibitors of PARP, ATR, ATM, Chk1, and others. The effect was observed also by siRNA downregulation of RNR. Moreover, the reporter generation was also particularly sensitive to 3-AP, a non-nucleoside RNR inhibitor, but not significantly sensitive to DNA replication stressors, suggesting that the involvement of RNR in ICL repair is independent of incorporation of a nucleotide RNR inhibitor into DNA to induce replication stress. The reporter generation from a modified version of the plasmid that lacks the LgT-SV40ori motif was also adversely affected by RNR inhibitors, further indicating a role for RNR in ICL repair that is independent of DNA replication. Intriguingly, unhooking of cisplatin-ICL from nuclear DNA was significantly inhibited by low doses of gemcitabine, suggesting an unidentified functional role for RNR in the process of ICL unhooking. The assay approach could identify other molecules essential for ICLR in quantitative and flexible manner. PMID:26462050

  20. Germ-line deletion in DICER1 revealed by a novel MLPA assay using synthetic oligonucleotides.

    PubMed

    Sabbaghian, Nelly; Srivastava, Archana; Hamel, Nancy; Plourde, François; Gajtko-Metera, Malgorzata; Niedziela, Marek; Foulkes, William D

    2014-04-01

    DICER1 is an endoribonuclease responsible for the production of mature microRNAs which are small, single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to mRNA and repressing the expression of target genes. Germ-line mutations in DICER1 are responsible for a rare cancer syndrome, including tumors that can co-occur with multinodular goiter (MNG). Using Sanger sequencing, we screened all DICER1 exons and intron boundaries in 20 suspected mutation carriers: nine with ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors (including Sertoli-Leydig cell tumors (SLCTs)), five with pleuropulmonary blastoma, one with cystic nephroma, one with nasal chondromesenchymal hamartoma and four with more than one manifestation suggestive of a germ-line DICER1 mutation. All were negative for any apparently deleterious variants. We developed a Multiplex Ligation-based Probe Amplification assay for DICER1 to screen for large deletions or duplications. Synthetic oligonucleotides were designed to cover all exons in three probe-mixes. In a child with a SLCT and MNG, and in her mother and brother (both diagnosed with MNG), we identified a heterozygous germ-line deletion of approximately 3 kilobases that eliminates exon 21 of DICER1 and two-thirds of intron 21, accompanied by an insertion of a G nucleotide at the 3' end of the deletion (c.3270-6_4051-1280delinsG). This allele is expressed in the patient's cDNA, creating an out-of-frame deletion predicted to result in a truncated protein (r.3270_4050del; p.Tyr1091Ser*28). Our novel finding of a disease-causing large deletion in DICER1 emphasizes the need to include assays that can detect rearrangements, duplications and deletions in any DICER1 screening protocol. PMID:24065110

  1. Germ-line deletion in DICER1 revealed by a novel MLPA assay using synthetic oligonucleotides

    PubMed Central

    Sabbaghian, Nelly; Srivastava, Archana; Hamel, Nancy; Plourde, François; Gajtko-Metera, Malgorzata; Niedziela, Marek; Foulkes, William D

    2014-01-01

    DICER1 is an endoribonuclease responsible for the production of mature microRNAs which are small, single-stranded RNA molecules that regulate gene expression post-transcriptionally by binding to mRNA and repressing the expression of target genes. Germ-line mutations in DICER1 are responsible for a rare cancer syndrome, including tumors that can co-occur with multinodular goiter (MNG). Using Sanger sequencing, we screened all DICER1 exons and intron boundaries in 20 suspected mutation carriers: nine with ovarian sex cord-stromal tumors (including Sertoli–Leydig cell tumors (SLCTs)), five with pleuropulmonary blastoma, one with cystic nephroma, one with nasal chondromesenchymal hamartoma and four with more than one manifestation suggestive of a germ-line DICER1 mutation. All were negative for any apparently deleterious variants. We developed a Multiplex Ligation-based Probe Amplification assay for DICER1 to screen for large deletions or duplications. Synthetic oligonucleotides were designed to cover all exons in three probe-mixes. In a child with a SLCT and MNG, and in her mother and brother (both diagnosed with MNG), we identified a heterozygous germ-line deletion of approximately 3 kilobases that eliminates exon 21 of DICER1 and two-thirds of intron 21, accompanied by an insertion of a G nucleotide at the 3′ end of the deletion (c.3270-6_4051-1280delinsG). This allele is expressed in the patient's cDNA, creating an out-of-frame deletion predicted to result in a truncated protein (r.3270_4050del; p.Tyr1091Ser*28). Our novel finding of a disease-causing large deletion in DICER1 emphasizes the need to include assays that can detect rearrangements, duplications and deletions in any DICER1 screening protocol. PMID:24065110

  2. Development of a fluorescent microsphere-based multiplexed high-throughput assay system for profiling of transcription factor activation.

    PubMed

    Yaoi, Takuro; Jiang, Xin; Li, Xianqiang

    2006-06-01

    Transcription factors (TFs), which play crucial roles in the regulation of gene expression in the human genome, are highly regulated by a variety of mechanisms. A single extracellular stimulus can trigger multiple signaling pathways, and these in turn can activate multiple TFs to mediate the inducible expression of target genes. Alterations in the activities of TFs are often associated with human diseases, such as altered activating factor 1, estrogen receptor, and p53 function in cancer, nuclear factor kappaB in inflammatory diseases, and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma in obesity. A systematic assay for profiling the activation of TFs will aid in elucidating the mechanisms of TF activation, reveal altered TFs associated with human diseases, and aid in developing assays for drug discovery. Here, we developed a 24-plex fluorescent microsphere-based TF activation assay system with a 96-well plate format. The assay system enabled high-throughput profiling of the DNA binding activity of TFs in multiple samples with high sensitivity. PMID:16834534

  3. 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.

  4. Single-molecule assay reveals strand switching and enhanced processivity of UvrD

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dessinges, Marie-Noëlle; Lionnet, Timothée; Xi, Xu Guang; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2004-04-01

    DNA helicases are enzymes capable of unwinding double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) to provide the single-stranded DNA template required in many biological processes. Among these, UvrD, an essential DNA repair enzyme, has been shown to unwind dsDNA while moving 3'-5' on one strand. Here, we use a single-molecule manipulation technique to monitor real-time changes in extension of a single, stretched, nicked dsDNA substrate as it is unwound by a single enzyme. This technique offers a means for measuring the rate, lifetime, and processivity of the enzymatic complex as a function of ATP, and for estimating the helicase step size. Strikingly, we observe a feature not seen in bulk assays: unwinding is preferentially followed by a slow, enzyme-translocation-limited rezipping of the separated strands rather than by dissociation of the enzymatic complex followed by quick rehybridization of the DNA strands. We address the mechanism underlying this phenomenon and propose a fully characterized model in which UvrD switches strands and translocates backwards on the other strand, allowing the DNA to reanneal in its wake. helicase | DNA replication | DNA repair | magnetic tweezers

  5. Single-molecule assay reveals strand switching and enhanced processivity of UvrD.

    PubMed

    Dessinges, Marie-Noëlle; Lionnet, Timothée; Xi, Xu Guang; Bensimon, David; Croquette, Vincent

    2004-04-27

    DNA helicases are enzymes capable of unwinding double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) to provide the single-stranded DNA template required in many biological processes. Among these, UvrD, an essential DNA repair enzyme, has been shown to unwind dsDNA while moving 3'-5' on one strand. Here, we use a single-molecule manipulation technique to monitor real-time changes in extension of a single, stretched, nicked dsDNA substrate as it is unwound by a single enzyme. This technique offers a means for measuring the rate, lifetime, and processivity of the enzymatic complex as a function of ATP, and for estimating the helicase step size. Strikingly, we observe a feature not seen in bulk assays: unwinding is preferentially followed by a slow, enzyme-translocation-limited rezipping of the separated strands rather than by dissociation of the enzymatic complex followed by quick rehybridization of the DNA strands. We address the mechanism underlying this phenomenon and propose a fully characterized model in which UvrD switches strands and translocates backwards on the other strand, allowing the DNA to reanneal in its wake. PMID:15079074

  6. 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.

  7. Assays to Measure PTEN Lipid Phosphatase Activity In Vitro from Purified Enzyme or Immunoprecipitates.

    PubMed

    Spinelli, Laura; Leslie, Nicholas R

    2016-01-01

    PTEN is a one of the most frequently mutated tumor suppressors in human cancers. It is essential for regulating diverse biological processes and through its lipid phosphatase activity regulates the PI 3-Kinase signaling pathway. Sensitive phosphatase assays are employed to study the catalytic activity of PTEN against phospholipid substrates. Here we describe protocols to assay PTEN lipid phosphatase activity using either purified enzyme (purified PTEN lipid phosphatase assay) or PTEN immunopurified from tissues or cultured cells (cellular IP PTEN lipid phosphatase assay) against vesicles containing radiolabeled PIP3 substrate. PMID:27514802

  8. Life table assay of field-caught Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata, reveals age bias

    PubMed Central

    Kouloussis, Nikos A.; Papadopoulos, Nikos T.; Müller, Hans-Georg; Wang, Jane-Ling; Mao, Meng; Katsoyannos, Byron I.; Duyck, Pierre-François; Carey, James R.

    2012-01-01

    Though traps are used widely to sample phytophagous insects for research or management purposes, and recently in aging research, possible bias stemming from differential response of individuals of various ages to traps has never been examined. In this paper, we tested the response of Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann) (Diptera: Tephritidae) males and females of four ages (spanning from 1 to 40 days) to McPhail-type traps baited with a synthetic food attractant in field cages and found that the probability of trapping was significantly influenced by age. The type of food on which flies were maintained before testing (sugar or protein) also had a strong effect and interacted with age. In another experiment, we collected wild C. capitata adults of unknown age using 1–3 methods and then reared them in the laboratory until death. The survival schedules of these flies were subsequently used in a life table assay to infer their age at the time of capture. Results showed that on a single sampling date, males captured in traps baited with a food attractant were younger compared with males aspirated from fruiting host trees, or males captured in traps baited with a sex attractant. Likewise, females captured in food-baited traps were younger compared with aspirated females. In addition to providing the first evidence of age-dependent sampling bias for a phytophagous insect species, this paper also provides a novel approach to estimate the differences in the age composition of samples collected with different techniques. These findings are of utmost importance for several categories of insects, medically important groups notwithstanding. PMID:22844133

  9. High-throughput screening assays for antibacterial and antifungal activities of Lactobacillus species.

    PubMed

    Inglin, Raffael C; Stevens, Marc J A; Meile, Lukas; Lacroix, Christophe; Meile, Leo

    2015-07-01

    We describe high-throughput screening techniques to rapidly detect either antimicrobial activity, using an agar-well diffusion assay in microtiter plates, or antifungal activity using an agar-spot assay in 24-well plates. 504 Lactobacillus isolates were screened with minimal laboratory equipment and screening rates of 2000-5000 individual antimicrobial interactions. PMID:25937247

  10. 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)

  11. Low immunoglobulin A levels detected via the tissue transglutaminase assay can reveal previously undetected monoclonal proteins.

    PubMed

    Wallage, M; Dutton, D; Lock, R J

    2016-05-01

    Increased awareness of coeliac disease and the 2009 NICE guidance has led to an increase in patients being screened for Immunoglobulin A deficiency. We have shown previously that this provides an opportunity for the early identification of other underlying primary immunodeficiency, e.g. common variable immunodeficiency. In this context, the underlying gastrointestinal problem appears to be related to bacterial overgrowth. Here, we demonstrate that in addition this also provides an opportunity to reveal underlying secondary immunodeficiency due to other causes in patients with gastrointestinal presentation, notably lymphoproliferative disorders. In one 3-month period, of 60 cases reviewed for low Immunoglobulin A, we found four new paraproteins through this testing route; one symptomatic multiple myeloma, one asymptomatic multiple myeloma, one monoclonal gammopathy of uncertain significance and one in a known chronic lymphocytic leukaemia patient. PMID:26684021

  12. Validation of FRET Assay for the Screening of Growth Inhibitors of Escherichia coli Reveals Elongasome Assembly Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    van der Ploeg, René; Goudelis, Spyridon Theodoros; den Blaauwen, Tanneke

    2015-01-01

    The increase in antibiotic resistant bacteria demands the development of new antibiotics against preferably new targets. The common approach is to test compounds for their ability to kill bacteria or to design molecules that inhibit essential protein activities in vitro. In the first case, the mode of action of the drug is unknown and in the second case, it is not known whether the compound will pass the impermeable barrier of the bacterial envelope. We developed an assay that detects the target of a compound, as well as its ability to pass the membrane(s) simultaneously. The Escherichia coli cytoskeletal protein MreB recruits protein complexes (elongasomes) that are essential for cell envelope growth. An in cell Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) assay was developed to detect the interaction between MreB molecules and between MreB and the elongasome proteins RodZ, RodA and PBP2. Inhibition of the polymerization of MreB by S-(3,4-dichlorobenzyl) isothiourea (A22) or of the activity of PBP2 by mecilinam resulted in loss or reduction of all measured interactions. This suggests that the interactions between the elongasome proteins are governed by a combination of weak affinities and substrate availability. This validated in cell FRET assay can be used to screen for cell envelope growth inhibitors. PMID:26263980

  13. A new dye uptake assay to test the activity of antibiotics against intracellular Francisella tularensis

    PubMed Central

    Sutera, Vivien; Caspar, Yvan; Boisset, Sandrine; Maurin, Max

    2014-01-01

    Francisella tularensis, a facultative intracellular bacterium, is the aetiological agent of tularaemia. Antibiotic treatment of this zoonosis is based on the administration of a fluoroquinolone or a tetracycline for cases with mild to moderate severity, whereas an aminoglycoside (streptomycin or gentamicin) is advocated for severe cases. However, treatment failures and relapses remain frequent, especially in patients suffering from chronic lymph node suppuration. Therefore, new treatment alternatives are needed. We have developed a dye uptake assay for determination of minimal inhibitory extracellular concentrations (MIECs) of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis, and validated the method by comparing the results obtained using a CFU-enumerating method. We also compared MIECs with MICs of the same compounds determined using a CLSI broth microdilution method. We tested the activity of 11 antibiotics against two clinical strains of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica isolated in France. Both strains displayed low MICs (≤1 μg/mL) to fluoroquinolones (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and moxifloxacin), gentamicin, doxycycline and rifampicin. Higher MICs (≥8 μg/mL) were found for carbapenems (imipenem and meropenem), daptomycin and linezolid. Erythromycin MICs were 4.0 and 16.0 μg/mL, respectively, for the two clinical strains. MIECs were almost the same with the two methods used. They were concordant with MICs, except for erythromycin and linezolid (respectively, four and eight times more active against intracellular F. tularensis) and gentamicin (four to eight times less active against intracellular F. tularensis). This study validated the dye uptake assay as a new tool for determination of the activity of a large panel of antibiotics against intracellular F. tularensis. This test confirmed the intracellular activity of first-line antibiotics used for tularaemia treatment, but also revealed significant activity of linezolid against intracellular F. tularensis

  14. 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...

  15. Electrochemical Assay for the Signal-on Detection of Human DNA Methyltransferase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Muren, Natalie B.; Barton, Jacqueline K.

    2013-01-01

    Strategies to detect human DNA methyltransferases are needed, given that aberrant methylation by these enzymes is associated with cancer initiation and progression. Here we describe a non-radioactive, antibody-free, electrochemical assay in which methyltransferase activity on DNA-modified electrodes confers protection from restriction for signal-on detection. We implement this assay with a multiplexed chip platform and show robust detection of both bacterial (SssI) and human (Dnmt1) methyltransferase activity. Essential to work with human methyltransferases, our unique assay design allows activity measurements on both unmethylated and hemimethylated DNA substrates. We validate this assay by comparison with a conventional radioactive method. The advantages of electrochemistry over radioactivity and fluorescence make this assay an accessible and promising new approach for the sensitive, label-free detection of human methyltransferase activity. PMID:24164112

  16. Freeze-dried activated substrate for factor VIII assays.

    PubMed

    Margolis, J

    1987-01-01

    Factor VIII-deficient plasma (natural or artificial) mixed with kaolin and phospholipid can be lyophilized to provide ready-to-use substrate which is stable for months at 4 degrees C and usable after many weeks at room temperature. Factor VIII assays are much simplified and more reproducible using this reagent and can be quantified with the aid of a programmable calculator according to the equation (formula; see text) as % of standard and X, S and B are clotting times of test, standard and blank samples respectively. The slope of the log/log function (k) is approximately--6.5. PMID:3111909

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  19. In Vitro Assay to Measure Phosphatidylethanolamine Methyltransferase Activity.

    PubMed

    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-(3)H]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-(3)H]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

  20. 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

  1. Novel Antibacterial Targets and Compounds Revealed by a High-Throughput Cell Wall Reporter Assay

    PubMed Central

    Nayar, Asha S.; Dougherty, Thomas J.; Ferguson, Keith E.; Granger, Brett A.; McWilliams, Lisa; Stacey, Clare; Leach, Lindsey J.; Narita, Shin-ichiro; Tokuda, Hajime; Miller, Alita A.; Brown, Dean G.

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT A high-throughput phenotypic screen based on a Citrobacter freundii AmpC reporter expressed in Escherichia coli was executed to discover novel inhibitors of bacterial cell wall synthesis, an attractive, well-validated target for antibiotic intervention. Here we describe the discovery and characterization of sulfonyl piperazine and pyrazole compounds, each with novel mechanisms of action. E. coli mutants resistant to these compounds display no cross-resistance to antibiotics of other classes. Resistance to the sulfonyl piperazine maps to LpxH, which catalyzes the fourth step in the synthesis of lipid A, the outer membrane anchor of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). To our knowledge, this compound is the first reported inhibitor of LpxH. Resistance to the pyrazole compound mapped to mutations in either LolC or LolE, components of the essential LolCDE transporter complex, which is required for trafficking of lipoproteins to the outer membrane. Biochemical experiments with E. coli spheroplasts showed that the pyrazole compound is capable of inhibiting the release of lipoproteins from the inner membrane. Both of these compounds have significant promise as chemical probes to further interrogate the potential of these novel cell wall components for antimicrobial therapy. IMPORTANCE The prevalence of antibacterial resistance, particularly among Gram-negative organisms, signals a need for novel antibacterial agents. A phenotypic screen using AmpC as a sensor for compounds that inhibit processes involved in Gram-negative envelope biogenesis led to the identification of two novel inhibitors with unique mechanisms of action targeting Escherichia coli outer membrane biogenesis. One compound inhibits the transport system for lipoprotein transport to the outer membrane, while the other compound inhibits synthesis of lipopolysaccharide. These results indicate that it is still possible to uncover new compounds with intrinsic antibacterial activity that inhibit novel targets

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

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Shu; Diamond, Scott L.

    2014-01-01

    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/μm2)/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. PMID:25303860

  3. 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.

  4. The GST-BHMT assay reveals a distinct mechanism underlying proteasome inhibition-induced macroautophagy in mammalian cells

    PubMed Central

    Rui, Yan-Ning; Xu, Zhen; Chen, Zhihua; Zhang, Sheng

    2015-01-01

    By monitoring the fragmentation of a GST-BHMT (a protein fusion of glutathionine S-transferase N-terminal to betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase) reporter in lysosomes, the GST-BHMT assay has previously been established as an endpoint, cargo-based assay for starvation-induced autophagy that is largely nonselective. Here, we demonstrate that under nutrient-rich conditions, proteasome inhibition by either pharmaceutical or genetic manipulations induces similar autophagy-dependent GST-BHMT processing. However, mechanistically this proteasome inhibition-induced autophagy is different from that induced by starvation as it does not rely on regulation by MTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin [serine/threonine kinase]) and PRKAA/AMPK (protein kinase, AMP-activated, α catalytic subunit), the upstream central sensors of cellular nutrition and energy status, but requires the presence of the cargo receptors SQSTM1/p62 (sequestosome 1) and NBR1 (neighbor of BRCA1 gene 1) that are normally involved in the selective autophagy pathway. Further, it depends on ER (endoplasmic reticulum) stress signaling, in particular ERN1/IRE1 (endoplasmic reticulum to nucleus signaling 1) and its main downstream effector MAPK8/JNK1 (mitogen-activated protein kinase 8), but not XBP1 (X-box binding protein 1), by regulating the phosphorylation-dependent disassociation of BCL2 (B-cell CLL/lymphoma 2) from BECN1 (Beclin 1, autophagy related). Moreover, the multimerization domain of GST-BHMT is required for its processing in response to proteasome inhibition, in contrast to its dispensable role in starvation-induced processing. Together, these findings support a model in which under nutrient-rich conditions, proteasome inactivation induces autophagy-dependent processing of the GST-BHMT reporter through a distinct mechanism that bears notable similarity with the yeast Cvt (cytoplasm-to-vacuole targeting) pathway, and suggest the GST-BHMT reporter might be employed as a convenient assay to study

  5. Functional Assays and Metagenomic Analyses Reveals Differences between the Microbial Communities Inhabiting the Soil Horizons of a Norway Spruce Plantation

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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

  7. POSSIBLE ERRORS IN ASSAY FOR B-GLYCOSIDASE ACTIVITY

    EPA Science Inventory

    Because intestinal B-glycosidase enzymes activate the toxicity and/or carcinogenicity of many environmental chemicals, accurate analysis of their activities is toxicologically important. owever, previous work in this lab indicated that widespread use of the glycosides of p-nitrop...

  8. 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. PMID:26108520

  9. Imaging techniques for assaying lymphocyte activation in action

    PubMed Central

    Balagopalan, Lakshmi; Sherman, Eilon; Barr, Valarie A.; Samelson, Lawrence E.

    2012-01-01

    Imaging techniques have greatly improved our understanding of lymphocyte activation. Technical advances in spatial and temporal resolution and new labelling tools have enabled researchers to directly observe the activation process. Consequently, research using imaging approaches to study lymphocyte activation has expanded, providing an unprecedented level of cellular and molecular detail in the field. As a result, certain models of lymphocyte activation have been verified, others have been revised and yet others have been replaced with new concepts. In this article, we review the current imaging techniques that are used to assess lymphocyte activation in different contexts, from whole animals to single molecules, and discuss the advantages and potential limitations of these methods. PMID:21179118

  10. 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. PMID:2730951

  11. A novel 96-well gel-based assay for determining antifungal activity against filamentous fungi.

    PubMed

    Troskie, Anscha Mari; Vlok, Nicolas Maré; Rautenbach, Marina

    2012-12-01

    In recent years the global rise in antibiotic resistance and environmental consciousness lead to a renewed fervour to find and develop novel antibiotics, including antifungals. However, the influence of the environment on antifungal activity is often disregarded and many in vitro assays may cause the activity of certain antifungals to be overestimated or underestimated. The general antifungal test assays that are economically accessible to the majority of scientists primarily rely on visual examination or on spectrophotometric analysis. The effect of certain morphogenic antifungals, which may lead to hyperbranching of filamentous fungi, unfortunately renders these methods unreliable. To minimise the difficulties experienced as a result of hyperbranching, we developed a straightforward, economical 96-well gel-based method, independent of spectrophotometric analysis, for highly repeatable determination of antifungal activity. For the calculation of inhibition parameters, this method relies on the visualisation of assay results by digitisation. The antifungal activity results from our novel micro-gel dilution assay are comparable to that of the micro-broth dilution assay used as standard reference test of The Clinical and Laboratory Standard Institute. Furthermore, our economical assay is multifunctional as it permits microscopic analysis of the preserved assay results, as well as rendering highly reliable data. PMID:23089670

  12. A new formula to calculate activity of superoxide dismutase in indirect assays.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chen; Bruins, Marieke E; Yang, Zhi-Qiang; Liu, Shu-Tao; Rao, Ping-Fan

    2016-06-15

    To calculate superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity rapidly and accurately by indirect SOD assays, a formula based on the ratio of the catalytic speed of SOD to the reaction speed of the indicator with superoxide anion was deduced. The accuracy of this formula was compared with the conventional formula based on inhibition in five indirect SOD assays. The new formula was validated in nearly the entire SOD activity range, whereas the conventional formula was validated only during inhibition of 40-60%. This formula might also be used for the assays of other enzymes. PMID:27033009

  13. A Bioluminescence Assay System for Imaging Metal Cationic Activities in Urban Aerosols.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sung-Bae; Naganawa, Ryuichi; Murata, Shingo; Nakayama, Takayoshi; Miller, Simon; Senda, Toshiya

    2016-01-01

    A bioluminescence-based assay system was fabricated for an efficient determination of the activities of air pollutants. The following four components were integrated into this assay system: (1) an 8-channel assay platform uniquely designed for simultaneously sensing multiple optical samples, (2) single-chain probes illuminating toxic chemicals or heavy metal cations from air pollutants, (3) a microfluidic system for circulating medium mimicking the human body, and (4) the software manimulating the above system. In the protocol, we briefly introduce how to integrate the components into the system and the application to the illumination of the metal cationic activities in air pollutants. PMID:27424913

  14. A SPECTROPHOTOMETRIC ASSAY TO MEASURE RUBISCO ACTIVASE ACTIVATION ACTIVITY UNDER VARYING ATP:ADP RATIOS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The ratio of ATP to ADP in the stroma is an important regulatory mechanism for controlling the activation state of Rubisco via Rubisco activase (activase). Understanding the response of activase to a varying ATP:ADP ratio should reveal insights into the regulation of photosynthesis. However, the cur...

  15. A Homogeneous Cell-Based Assay for Measurement of Endogenous PON1 Activity

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, Syed; Carter, Jade J.; Scott, John E.

    2010-01-01

    PON1 is a high density lipoprotein-associated enzyme that plays an important role in organophosphate detoxification and prevention of atherosclerosis. Thus, there is significant interest in identifying nutritional and pharmacological enhancers of PON1 activity. In order to identify such compounds, we developed a rapid homogeneous assay to detect endogenous cell-associated PON1 activity. PON1 activity was measured by the simple addition of fluorigenic PON1 substrate DEPFMU to live Huh7 cells in media and monitoring change in fluorescence. A specific PON1 inhibitor, 2-hydroxyquinoline, was used to confirm that the observed activity was due to PON1. The assay was optimized and characterized with regard to time course, substrate and sodium chloride concentration, number of cells and tolerance to DMSO and serum. Aspirin, quercetin and simvastatin are compounds reported to increase PON1 expression. Consistent with the literature and western blot data, these compounds enhanced PON1 activity in this assay with comparable efficacies and potencies. A known toxic compound did not increase assay signal. This assay method also detected PON1 activity in normal hepatocytes. Thus, a novel, homogenous assay for detection of endogenous PON1 expression has been developed and is amenable to high throughput screening for the identification of small molecules that enhance PON1 expression. PMID:20096260

  16. A simple and efficient diffusion technique for assay of endo β-1,4-xylanase activity

    PubMed Central

    Samanta, A.K.; Kolte, Atul P.; Senani, S.; Sridhar, Manpal.; Jayapal, Natasha.

    2011-01-01

    Endo-β-1, 4-xylanases is thought to be of great significance for several industries namely paper, pharmaceuticals, food, feed etc. in addition to better utilization of lignocellulosic biomass. The present investigation was aimed to develop an easy, simple and efficient assay technique for endo-β-1, 4-xylanases secreted by the aerobic fungi. Under the proposed protocol, 9 g/L xylan containing agar was prepared in 100 mM phosphate buffer at different pH (4.5, 5.5 and 6.5). The sterilized xylan agar was dispensed in 90 mm petri dishes. 100 µl of culture supernatant of 12 fungal isolates was added to the wells and left overnight at 31±10C. The petri dishes were observed for zone of clearance by naked eye and diameter was measured. Congo red solution (1 g/L) was applied over the petri dishes as per the established protocol and thereafter plates were flooded with 1M Sodium chloride solution for the appearance of zone of clearance. The diameter for zone of clearance by the proposed method and the established protocol was almost identical and ranged from 21 to 42 mm at different pH depending upon the activity of endo-β-1, 4-xylanases. Change of pH towards alkaline side enabled similar or marginal decrease of diameter for the zone of clearance in most of the fungal isolates. The specific activities of these fungal isolates varied from 1.85 to 11.47 IU/mg protein. The present investigation revealed that the proposed simple diffusion technique gave similar results as compared to the established Congo red assay for endo-β-1, 4-xylanases. Moreover, the present technique avoided the cumbersome steps of staining by Congo red and de-staining by sodium chloride. PMID:24031763

  17. Polarographic assay based on hydrogen peroxide scavenging in determination of antioxidant activity of strong alcohol beverages.

    PubMed

    Gorjanović, Stanislava Z; Novaković, Miroslav M; Vukosavljević, Predrag V; Pastor, Ferenc T; Tesević, Vele V; Suznjević, Desanka Z

    2010-07-28

    Total antioxidant (AO) activity of strong alcohol beverages such as wine and plum brandies, whiskeys, herbal and sweet fruit liqueurs have been assessed using a polarographic assay based on hydrogen peroxide scavenging (HPS). Rank of order of total AO activity, expressed as percentage of decrease of anodic oxidation current of hydrogen peroxide, was found analogous with total phenolic content estimated by Folin-Ciocalteau (FC) assay and radical scavenging capacity against the stable free radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH). Application of the assay for surveying of a quarter century long maturation of plum brandy in oak barrel was demonstrated. In addition, influence of different storage conditions on preservation of AO activity of some herbal liqueurs was surveyed. Wide area of application of this simple, fast, low cost and reliable assay in analysis and quality monitoring of various strong alcohol beverages was confirmed. PMID:20604507

  18. Identification of transglutaminase 2 kinase substrates using a novel on-chip activity assay.

    PubMed

    Jung, Se-Hui; Kong, Deok-Hoon; Jeon, Hye-Yoon; Ji, Su-Hyun; Han, Eun-Taek; Park, Won Sun; Hong, Seok-Ho; Kim, Min-Soo; Kim, Young-Myeong; Ha, Kwon-Soo

    2016-08-15

    Transglutaminase 2 (TG2) is an enzyme that plays a critical role in a wide variety of cellular processes through its multifunctional activities. TG2 kinase has emerged as an important regulator of apoptosis, as well as of chromatin structure and function. However, systematic investigation of TG2 kinase substrates is limited due to a lack of a suitable TG2 kinase activity assays. Thus, we developed a novel on-chip TG2 kinase activity assay for quantitative determination of TG2 kinase activity and for screening TG2 kinase substrate proteins in a high-throughput manner. Quantitative TG2 kinase activity was determined by selective detection of substrate protein phosphorylation on the surface of well-type amine arrays. The limit of detection (LOD) of this assay was 4.34μg/ml. We successfully applied this new activity assay to the kinetic analysis of 27 TG2-related proteins for TG2 kinase activity in a high-throughput manner and determined Michaelis-Menten constants (Km) of these proteins. We used the Km values and cellular locations of the TG2-related proteins to construct a substrate affinity map for TG2 kinase. Therefore, this on-chip TG2 kinase activity assay has a strong potential for the systematic investigation of substrate proteins and will be helpful for studying new physiological functions. PMID:27040940

  19. 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

  20. A quantitative toxicogenomics assay reveals the evolution and nature of toxicity during the transformation of environmental pollutants.

    PubMed

    Gou, Na; Yuan, Songhu; Lan, Jiaqi; Gao, Ce; Alshawabkeh, Akram N; Gu, April Z

    2014-01-01

    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

  1. Assay of Flippase Activity in Proteoliposomes Using Fluorescent Lipid Derivatives.

    PubMed

    Marek, Magdalena; Günther-Pomorski, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    Specific membrane proteins, termed lipid flippases, play a central role in facilitating the movement of lipids across cellular membranes. In this protocol, we describe the reconstitution of ATP-driven lipid flippases in liposomes and the analysis of their in vitro flippase activity based on the use of fluorescent lipid derivatives. Working with purified and reconstituted systems provides a well-defined experimental setup and allows to directly characterize these membrane proteins at the molecular level. PMID:26695033

  2. Carbohydrate active enzymes revealed in Coptotermes formosanus transcriptome

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A normalized cDNA library of Coptotermes formosanus was constructed using mixed RNA isolated from workers, soldiers, nymphs and alates of both sexes. Sequencing of this library generated 131,637 EST and 25,939 unigenes were assembled. Carbohydrate active enzymes (CAZymes) revealed in this library we...

  3. Phosphorylation of Parkin at Serine65 is essential for activation: elaboration of a Miro1 substrate-based assay of Parkin E3 ligase activity

    PubMed Central

    Kazlauskaite, Agne; Kelly, Van; Johnson, Clare; Baillie, Carla; Hastie, C. James; Peggie, Mark; Macartney, Thomas; Woodroof, Helen I.; Alessi, Dario R.; Pedrioli, Patrick G. A.; Muqit, Miratul M. K.

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in PINK1 and Parkin are associated with early-onset Parkinson's disease. We recently discovered that PINK1 phosphorylates Parkin at serine65 (Ser65) within its Ubl domain, leading to its activation in a substrate-free activity assay. We now demonstrate the critical requirement of Ser65 phosphorylation for substrate ubiquitylation through elaboration of a novel in vitro E3 ligase activity assay using full-length untagged Parkin and its putative substrate, the mitochondrial GTPase Miro1. We observe that Parkin efficiently ubiquitylates Miro1 at highly conserved lysine residues, 153, 230, 235, 330 and 572, upon phosphorylation by PINK1. We have further established an E2-ubiquitin discharge assay to assess Parkin activity and observe robust discharge of ubiquitin-loaded UbcH7 E2 ligase upon phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 by wild-type, but not kinase-inactive PINK1 or a Parkin Ser65Ala mutant, suggesting a possible mechanism of how Ser65 phosphorylation may activate Parkin E3 ligase activity. For the first time, to the best of our knowledge, we report the effect of Parkin disease-associated mutations in substrate-based assays using full-length untagged recombinant Parkin. Our mutation analysis indicates an essential role for the catalytic cysteine Cys431 and reveals fundamental new knowledge on how mutations may confer pathogenicity via disruption of Miro1 ubiquitylation, free ubiquitin chain formation or by impacting Parkin's ability to discharge ubiquitin from a loaded E2. This study provides further evidence that phosphorylation of Parkin at Ser65 is critical for its activation. It also provides evidence that Miro1 is a direct Parkin substrate. The assays and reagents developed in this study will be important to uncover new insights into Parkin biology as well as aid in the development of screens to identify small molecule Parkin activators for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. PMID:24647965

  4. A simplified assay for the quantification of circulating activated protein C.

    PubMed

    Martos, Laura; Bonanad, Santiago; Ramón, Luis A; Cid, Ana-Rosa; Bonet, Elena; Corral, Javier; Miralles, Manuel; España, Francisco; Navarro, Silvia; Medina, Pilar

    2016-08-01

    Available assays for circulating levels of activated protein C (APC) are either time-consuming or difficult to use in a routine laboratory, or have a detection limit above normal levels. We have developed a simplified assay that measures both the in vivo free APC and the in vivo APC complexed to PC inhibitor (PCI). We measured APC levels, with both assays, in 339 plasma samples, 165 from patients with venous thromboembolism (VTE) and 174 from healthy individuals. The mean APC level in the 339 samples was 0.038±0.010 nM, using a previous assay that measures only the in vivo APC level, and 0.041±0.010 nM with the present new assay. The coefficient of correlation between assays was r=0.954 (P<0.001). The mean APC level in VTE patients was 0.034±0.009 nM (previous assay) and 0.037±0.009 nM (new assay), significantly lower than those in controls (P<0.001). In both groups there was a significant correlation between the levels obtained by the two assays (P<0.001). These results show that both assays are equivalent, and confirm that the APC level is lower in VTE patients than in healthy individuals. Therefore, the new simplified assay, which measures the sum of circulating free APC and APC complexed to PCI, may be used to estimate the level of circulating APC, and will allow its use in routine laboratories. PMID:27262823

  5. Biochemical Assays for Analyzing Activities of ATP-dependent Chromatin Remodeling Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Lu; Ooi, Soon-Keat; Conaway, Joan W.; Conaway, Ronald C.

    2014-01-01

    Members of the SNF2 family of ATPases often function as components of multi-subunit chromatin remodeling complexes that regulate nucleosome dynamics and DNA accessibility by catalyzing ATP-dependent nucleosome remodeling. Biochemically dissecting the contributions of individual subunits of such complexes to the multi-step ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling reaction requires the use of assays that monitor the production of reaction products and measure the formation of reaction intermediates. This JOVE protocol describes assays that allow one to measure the biochemical activities of chromatin remodeling complexes or subcomplexes containing various combinations of subunits. Chromatin remodeling is measured using an ATP-dependent nucleosome sliding assay, which monitors the movement of a nucleosome on a DNA molecule using an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA)-based method. Nucleosome binding activity is measured by monitoring the formation of remodeling complex-bound mononucleosomes using a similar EMSA-based method, and DNA- or nucleosome-dependent ATPase activity is assayed using thin layer chromatography (TLC) to measure the rate of conversion of ATP to ADP and phosphate in the presence of either DNA or nucleosomes. Using these assays, one can examine the functions of subunits of a chromatin remodeling complex by comparing the activities of the complete complex to those lacking one or more subunits. The human INO80 chromatin remodeling complex is used as an example; however, the methods described here can be adapted to the study of other chromatin remodeling complexes. PMID:25407555

  6. Topological structure dynamics revealing collective evolution in active nematics

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Xia-qing; Ma, Yu-qiang

    2013-01-01

    Topological defects frequently emerge in active matter like bacterial colonies, cytoskeleton extracts on substrates, self-propelled granular or colloidal layers and so on, but their dynamical properties and the relations to large-scale organization and fluctuations in these active systems are seldom touched. Here we reveal, through a simple model for active nematics using self-driven hard elliptic rods, that the excitation, annihilation and transportation of topological defects differ markedly from those in non-active media. These dynamical processes exhibit strong irreversibility in active nematics in the absence of detailed balance. Moreover, topological defects are the key factors in organizing large-scale dynamic structures and collective flows, resulting in multi-spatial temporal effects. These findings allow us to control the self-organization of active matter through topological structures. PMID:24346733

  7. Nonradioactive GTP binding assay to monitor activation of g protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Frang, Heini; Mukkala, Veli-Matti; Syystö, Rita; Ollikka, Pia; Hurskainen, Pertti; Scheinin, Mika; Hemmilä, Ilkka

    2003-04-01

    GPCRs represent important targets for drug discovery because GPCRs participate in a wide range of cellular signaling pathways that play a role in a variety of pathological conditions. A large number of screening assays have been developed in HTS laboratories for the identification of hits or lead compounds acting on GPCRs. One type of assay that has found relatively widespread application, due to its at least in part generic nature, relies on the use of a radioactive GTP analogue, [(35)S]GTPgammaS. The G-protein alpha subunit is an essential part of the interaction between receptor and G proteins in transmembrane signaling, where the activated receptor catalyzes the release of GDP from Galpha, thereby enabling the subsequent binding of GTP or a GTP analogue. [(35)S]GTPgammaS allows the extent of this interaction to be followed quantitatively by determining the amount of radioactivity associated with cell membranes. However, with the increased desire to move assays to nonradioactive formats, there is a considerable need to develop a nonradioactive GTP binding assay to monitor ligand-induced changes in GPCR activity. The Eu-GTP binding assay described here is based on TRF that exploits the unique fluorescence properties of lanthanide chelates, and provides a powerful alternative to assays using radioisotopes. In this article, we have used the human alpha(2A)-AR as a model GPCR system to evaluate the usefulness of this Eu-GTP binding assay. PMID:15090192

  8. beta-Galactosidase activity assay using far-red-shifted fluorescent substrate DDAOG.

    PubMed

    Gong, Haibiao; Zhang, Bin; Little, Garrick; Kovar, Joy; Chen, Huaxian; Xie, Wen; Schutz-Geschwender, Amy; Olive, D Michael

    2009-03-01

    beta-Galactosidase (beta-gal) is commonly used as a reporter gene in biological research, and a wide variety of substrates have been developed to assay its activity. One substrate, 9H-(1,3-dichloro-9,9-dimethylacridin-2-one-7-yl) beta-d-galactopyranoside (DDAOG), can be cleaved by beta-gal to produce 7-hydroxy-9H(I,3-dichloro-9,9-dimethylacridin-2-one) (DDAO). On excitation, DDAO generates a far-red-shifted fluorescent signal. Using this substrate, we developed a beta-gal activity assay method. The DDAO signal was stable for at least 18h. The signal intensity was linearly related to both the enzyme amount and substrate concentration. An optimized buffer for the beta-gal/DDAOG assay was also formulated. When compared with the colorimetric substrate o-nitrophenyl-beta-d-galactopyranoside (ONPG), the signal-to-background ratio of the DDAOG method was approximately 12-fold higher. The beta-gal/DDAOG assay method was also tested in transiently transfected cells employing both pharmacologically and genetically inducible gene expression systems. The ability to detect signal induction is comparable to a similar assay using luciferase as the signal generating moiety. The beta-gal/DDAOG assay method should provide a fluorescent reporter assay system for the wide variety of beta-gal systems currently in use. PMID:19103143

  9. A highly sensitive telomerase activity assay that eliminates false-negative results caused by PCR inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Yaku, Hidenobu; Murashima, Takashi; Miyoshi, Daisuke; Sugimoto, Naoki

    2013-01-01

    An assay for telomerase activity based on asymmetric polymerase chain reaction (A-PCR) on magnetic beads (MBs) and subsequent application of cycling probe technology (CPT) is described. In this assay, the telomerase reaction products are immobilized on MBs, which are then washed to remove PCR inhibitors that are commonly found in clinical samples. The guanine-rich sequences (5'-(TTAGGG)n-3') of the telomerase reaction products are then preferentially amplified by A-PCR, and the amplified products are subsequently detected via CPT, where a probe RNA with a fluorophore at the 5' end and a quencher at the 3' end is hydrolyzed by RNase H in the presence of the target DNA. The catalyst-mediated cleavage of the probe RNA enhances fluorescence from the 5' end of the probe. The assay allowed us to successfully detect HeLa cells selectively over normal human dermal fibroblast (NHDF) cells. Importantly, this selectivity produced identical results with regard to detection of HeLa cells in the absence and presence of excess NHDF cells; therefore, this assay can be used for practical clinical applications. The lower limit of detection for HeLa cells was 50 cells, which is lower than that achieved with a conventional telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay. Our assay also eliminated false-negative results caused by PCR inhibitors. Furthermore, we show that this assay is appropriate for screening among G-quadruplex ligands to find those that inhibit telomerase activity. PMID:24071983

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  12. A rapid quantitative activity assay shows that the Vibrio cholerae colonization factor GbpA is an active lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase.

    PubMed

    Loose, Jennifer S M; Forsberg, Zarah; Fraaije, Marco W; Eijsink, Vincent G H; Vaaje-Kolstad, Gustav

    2014-09-17

    The discovery of the copper-dependent lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) has revealed new territory for chemical and biochemical analysis. These unique mononuclear copper enzymes are abundant, suggesting functional diversity beyond their established roles in the depolymerization of biomass polysaccharides. At the same time basic biochemical methods for characterizing LPMOs, such as activity assays are not well developed. Here we describe a method for quantification of C1-oxidized chitooligosaccharides (aldonic acids), and hence LPMO activity. The method was used to quantify the activity of a four-domain LPMO from Vibriocholerae, GbpA, which is a virulence factor with no obvious role in biomass processing. PMID:25109775

  13. 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.

  14. 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.'

  15. Heterogeneity of tumor chemosensitivity in ovarian epithelial cancer revealed using the adenosine triphosphate-tumor chemosensitivity assay

    PubMed Central

    ZHANG, JIN; LI, HONGXIA

    2015-01-01

    Ovarian cancer has a poor prognosis, primarily due to the heterogeneity in chemosensitivity among patients. In the present study, this heterogeneity was evaluated in ovarian epithelial cancer (OEC) using an in vitro adenosine triphosphate tumor chemosensitivity assay (ATP-TCA). Specimens were collected from 80 patients who underwent cytoreductive surgery. Viable ovarian cancer cells obtained from malignant tissues were tested for sensitivity to paclitaxel (PTX), carboplatin (CBP), topotecan (TPT), gemcitabine (GEM), docetaxel (TXT), etoposide, bleomycin and 4-hydroperoxycyclophosphamide using ATP-TCA. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value for the clinical chemotherapy sensitivity of OEC were 88.6, 77.8, 83 and 84.8%, respectively. PTX demonstrated the highest sensitivity of all agents tested (82.5% in all specimens, 85.7% in recurrent specimens), followed by CBP (58.8 and 60.7%, respectively). The sensitivities to PTX and docetaxel (P<0.001) were correlated, in addition to those of CBP, TPT and GEM (P<0.001). Early-stage (I/II) and high- to mildly-differentiated OEC specimens revealed a lower chemosensitivity than advanced-stage (III) or low-differentiated specimens, respectively. The present study indicated that ATP-TCA is an effective method for guiding the choice of chemotherapy drugs. Notable heterogeneity of chemosensitivity was observed in the OEC specimens. PMID:26137074

  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. PMID:12673775

  18. Radiometric assay of ghrelin hydrolase activity and 3H-ghrelin distribution into mouse tissues.

    PubMed

    Chen, Vicky Ping; Gao, Yang; Geng, Liyi; Brimijoin, Stephen

    2015-12-15

    A high-throughput radiometric assay was developed to characterize enzymatic hydrolysis of ghrelin and to track the peptide's fate in vivo. The assay is based on solvent partitioning of [(3)H]-octanoic acid liberated from [(3)H]-octanoyl ghrelin during enzymatic hydrolysis. This simple and cost-effective method facilitates kinetic analysis of ghrelin hydrolase activity of native and mutated butyrylcholinesterases or carboxylesterases from multiple species. In addition, the assay's high sensitivity facilitates ready evaluation of ghrelin's pharmacokinetics and tissue distribution in mice after i.v. bolus administration of radiolabeled peptide. PMID:26514871

  19. Optimized inhibition assays reveal different inhibitory responses of hydroxylamine oxidoreductases from beta- and gamma-proteobacterial ammonium-oxidizing bacteria.

    PubMed

    Nishigaya, Yuki; Fujimoto, Zui; Yamazaki, Toshimasa

    2016-07-29

    Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ubiquitous chemoautotrophic bacteria, convert ammonia (NH3) to nitrite (NO2(-)) via hydroxylamine as energy source. Excessive growth of AOB, enhanced by applying large amounts of ammonium-fertilizer to the farmland, leads to nitrogen leaching and nitrous oxide gas emission. To suppress these unfavorable phenomena, nitrification inhibitors, AOB specific bactericides, are widely used in fertilized farmland. However, new nitrification inhibitors are desired because of toxicity and weak-effects of currently used inhibitors. Toward development of novel nitrification inhibitors that target hydroxylamine oxidoreductase (HAO), a key enzyme of nitrification in AOB, we established inhibitor evaluation systems that include simplified HAO purification procedure and high-throughput HAO activity assays for the purified enzymes and for the live AOB cells. The new assay systems allowed us to observe distinct inhibitory responses of HAOs from beta-proteobacterial AOB (βAOB) Nitrosomonas europaea (NeHAO) and gamma-proteobacterial AOB (γAOB) Nitrosococcus oceani (NoHAO) against phenylhydrazine, a well-known suicide inhibitor for NeHAO. Consistently, the live cells of N. europaea, Nitrosomonas sp. JPCCT2 and Nitrosospira multiformis of βAOB displayed higher responses to phenylhydrazine than those of γAOB N. oceani. Our homology modeling studies suggest that different inhibitory responses of βAOB and γAOB are originated from different local environments around the substrate-binding sites of HAOs in these two classes of bacteria due to substitutions of two residues. The results reported herein strongly recommend inhibitor screenings against both NeHAO of βAOB and NoHAO of γAOB to develop HAO-targeting nitrification inhibitors with wide anti-AOB spectra. PMID:27173879

  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. PMID:24688298

  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. Development of a solid-phase assay for measurement of proteolytic enzyme activity

    SciTech Connect

    Varani, J.; Johnson, K.; Kaplan, J.

    1980-09-15

    A solid-phase, plate assay was developed for the measurement of proteolytic enzyme activity. In this assay procedure, radiolabeled substrates were dried onto the surface of microtiter wells. Following drying, the wells were washed two times with saline to remove the nonadherent substrate. When proteolytic enzymes were added to the wells, protein hydrolysis occurred, releasing radioactivity into the supernatant fluid. The amount of protein hydrolysis that occurred was reflected by the amount of radioactivity in the supernatant fluid. When /sup 125/I-hemoglobin was used as the substrate, it was as susceptible to hydrolysis by trypsin in the solid-phase assay as it was in solution in a standard assay procedure. Protease activity from a variety of sources (including from viable cells as well as from extracellular sources) were also able to hydrolyze the hemoglobin on the plate. /sup 125/I-Labeled serum albumen, fibrinogen, and rat pulmonary basement membrane were also susceptible to hydrolysis by trypsin in the solid phase. When (/sup 14/C)elastin was dried onto the plate, it behaved in a similar manner to elastin in solution. It was resistant to hydrolysis by nonspecific proteases such as trypsin and chymotrypsin but was highly susceptible to hydrolysis by elastase. The solid-phase plate assay has several features which recommended it for routine use. It is as sensitive as standard tube assays (and much more sensitive than routinely used colormetric assays). It is quick and convenient; there are no precipitation, centrifugation, or filtration steps. In addition, very small volumes of radioactive wastes are generated. Another advantage of the solid-phase plate assay is the resistance of the dried substrates to spontaneous breakdown and to microbial contamination. Finally, this assay is suitable for use with viable cells as well as for extracellular proteases.

  3. 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.

  4. New Details of HCV NS3/4A Proteinase Functionality Revealed by a High-Throughput Cleavage Assay

    PubMed Central

    Cieplak, Piotr; Chudin, Eugene; Cheltsov, Anton V.; Chee, Mark S.; Kozlov, Igor A.; Strongin, Alex Y.

    2012-01-01

    Background The hepatitis C virus (HCV) genome encodes a long polyprotein, which is processed by host cell and viral proteases to the individual structural and non-structural (NS) proteins. HCV NS3/4A serine proteinase (NS3/4A) is a non-covalent heterodimer of the N-terminal, ∼180-residue portion of the 631-residue NS3 protein with the NS4A co-factor. NS3/4A cleaves the polyprotein sequence at four specific regions. NS3/4A is essential for viral replication and has been considered an attractive drug target. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a novel multiplex cleavage assay and over 2,660 peptide sequences derived from the polyprotein and from introducing mutations into the known NS3/4A cleavage sites, we obtained the first detailed fingerprint of NS3/4A cleavage preferences. Our data identified structural requirements illuminating the importance of both the short-range (P1–P1′) and long-range (P6-P5) interactions in defining the NS3/4A substrate cleavage specificity. A newly observed feature of NS3/4A was a high frequency of either Asp or Glu at both P5 and P6 positions in a subset of the most efficient NS3/4A substrates. In turn, aberrations of this negatively charged sequence such as an insertion of a positively charged or hydrophobic residue between the negatively charged residues resulted in inefficient substrates. Because NS5B misincorporates bases at a high rate, HCV constantly mutates as it replicates. Our analysis revealed that mutations do not interfere with polyprotein processing in over 5,000 HCV isolates indicating a pivotal role of NS3/4A proteolysis in the virus life cycle. Conclusions/Significance Our multiplex assay technology in light of the growing appreciation of the role of proteolytic processes in human health and disease will likely have widespread applications in the proteolysis research field and provide new therapeutic opportunities. PMID:22558217

  5. The uronic acids assay: a method for the determination of chemical activity on biofilm EPS.

    PubMed

    Mojica, Kristina D A; Cooney, Michael J

    2010-01-01

    In this work, the uronic acids assay was evaluated for its potential to function as a bioassay to screen for antagonistic activity against the production of microbial biofilm exopolysaccharide (EPS). The assay was first applied to biofilms produced in the presence of two universal disinfectants (sodium hypochlorite and sodium dodecyl sulfate) known to inhibit microbial growth and biofilm formation. The performance of the assay was then characterized through statistical assessment of threshold concentrations for disinfection efficiency and consistency relative to values reported in the literature. The assay was then evaluated for its utility in screening for enzymatic or chemical inhibitors of biofilm formation (eg glycosidases, halogenated furanones, and semi-crude fractions extracted from minimally fouled marine plants) and its ability to distinguish between true anti-biofilm activity and simple disinfection. Activity was characterized as (i) no effect, (ii) a true positive effect (ie increased biofilm EPS), (iii) anti-bacterial activity (ie decreased biofilm EPS and analogous decrease in planktonic growth), and (iv) anti-biofilm EPS activity (ie decreased biofilm EPS, without analogous decrease in planktonic growth). Results demonstrate that the uronic acids assay can augment existing biofilm characterization methods by providing a quantitative measure of biofilm EPS. PMID:20087802

  6. 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…

  7. A novel live cell assay to measure diacylglycerol lipase α activity.

    PubMed

    Singh, Praveen K; Markwick, Rachel; Howell, Fiona V; Williams, Gareth; Doherty, Patrick

    2016-06-01

    Diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα) hydrolyses DAG to generate the principal endocannabinoid (eCB) 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the central nervous system. DAGLα dependent cannabinoid (CB) signalling has been implicated in numerous processes including axonal growth and guidance, adult neurogenesis and retrograde signalling at the synapse. Recent studies have implicated DAGLα as an emerging drug target for several conditions including pain and obesity. Activity assays are critical to the drug discovery process; however, measurement of diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) activity using its native substrate generally involves low-throughput MS techniques. Some relatively high-throughput membrane based assays utilizing surrogate substrates have been reported, but these do not take into account the rate-limiting effects often associated with the ability of a drug to cross the cell membrane. In the present study, we report the development of a live cell assay to measure DAGLα activity. Two previously reported DAGLα surrogate substrates, p-nitrophenyl butyrate (PNPB) and 6,8-difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl octanoate (DiFMUO), were evaluated for their ability to detect DAGLα activity in live cell assays using a human cell line stably expressing the human DAGLα transgene. Following optimization, the small molecule chromogenic substrate PNPB proved to be superior by providing lower background activity along with a larger signal window between transfected and parental cells when compared with the fluorogenic substrate DiFMUO. The assay was further validated using established DAGL inhibitors. In summary, the live cell DAGLα assay reported here offers an economical and convenient format to screen for novel inhibitors as part of drug discovery programmes and compliments previously reported high-throughput membrane based DAGL assays. PMID:27013337

  8. A novel live cell assay to measure diacylglycerol lipase α activity

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Praveen K.; Markwick, Rachel; Howell, Fiona V.; Williams, Gareth; Doherty, Patrick

    2016-01-01

    Diacylglycerol lipase α (DAGLα) hydrolyses DAG to generate the principal endocannabinoid (eCB) 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) in the central nervous system. DAGLα dependent cannabinoid (CB) signalling has been implicated in numerous processes including axonal growth and guidance, adult neurogenesis and retrograde signalling at the synapse. Recent studies have implicated DAGLα as an emerging drug target for several conditions including pain and obesity. Activity assays are critical to the drug discovery process; however, measurement of diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) activity using its native substrate generally involves low-throughput MS techniques. Some relatively high-throughput membrane based assays utilizing surrogate substrates have been reported, but these do not take into account the rate-limiting effects often associated with the ability of a drug to cross the cell membrane. In the present study, we report the development of a live cell assay to measure DAGLα activity. Two previously reported DAGLα surrogate substrates, p-nitrophenyl butyrate (PNPB) and 6,8-difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl octanoate (DiFMUO), were evaluated for their ability to detect DAGLα activity in live cell assays using a human cell line stably expressing the human DAGLα transgene. Following optimization, the small molecule chromogenic substrate PNPB proved to be superior by providing lower background activity along with a larger signal window between transfected and parental cells when compared with the fluorogenic substrate DiFMUO. The assay was further validated using established DAGL inhibitors. In summary, the live cell DAGLα assay reported here offers an economical and convenient format to screen for novel inhibitors as part of drug discovery programmes and compliments previously reported high-throughput membrane based DAGL assays. PMID:27013337

  9. 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

  10. Correlation of In Vivo and In Vitro Assay Results for Assessment of Free Radical Scavenging Activity of Green Tea Nutraceuticals.

    PubMed

    Abd-ElSalam, Heba-Alla H; Al-Ghobashy, Medhat A; Al-Shorbagy, Muhammad; Nassar, Noha; Zaazaa, Hala E; Ibrahim, Mohamed A

    2016-07-01

    Green tea (GT)-derived catechins; epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in particular are commonly used nutraceuticals for their free-radical scavenging activity (FRSA). The influence of photodegradation on the protective power of GT nutracenticals against oxidative stress was thoroughly explored. Photodegradation of GT extracts was carried out and monitored using orthogonal stability-indicating testing protocol; in vitro and in vivo assays. Total polyphenol content (TPC) and FRSA were determined spectrophotometrically while EGCG was selectively monitored using SPE-HPLC. In vivo assessment of photodegraded samples was investigated via measuring a number of biomarkers for hepatic oxidative stress and apoptosis (caspase-3, inducible nitric oxide synthase, nitric oxide, mitogen-activated protein kinase, glutathione, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, nuclear factor kappa beta, and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor) as well as liver damage (alanine transaminase and aspartate transaminase) in serum of rats previously subjected to oxidative stress. Results showed complete degradation of EGCG in photodegraded green tea samples with no correlation with either TPC or FRSA. On the other hand, in vivo assay results revealed not only loss of activity but formation of harmful pro-oxidants. Photostability was found crucial for the protective effect of GT extract against lead acetate insult. Results confirmed that careful design of quality control protocols requires correlation of chemical assays to bioassays to verify efficacy, stability, and most importantly safety of nutraceuticals. PMID:27275932

  11. A Rapid Method for Assaying Thiaminase I Activity in Diverse Biological Samples

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, Clifford E.; Gordon, Eric R. L.; Angert, Esther R.

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiencies can lead to neurological disorders, reproductive failure and death in wild and domestic animal populations. In some cases, disease is brought about by the consumption of foods high in thiaminase I activity. Levels of thiaminase activity in these foods are highly variable and the factors leading to production of this enzyme are poorly understood. Here we describe improvements in a spectrophotometric thiaminase I activity assay that measures the disappearance of 4-nitrothiophenol, a favored nucleophile co-substrate that replaces the thiazole portion of thiamine during the inactivation of thiamine by the enzyme. Scalable sample processing protocols and a 96-well microtiter plate format are presented that allow the rapid evaluation of multiple, replicated samples in the course of only a few hours. Observed levels of activity in bacterial culture supernatant, fish, ferns and molluscs using this colorimetric assay were similar to previously published reports that employed a radiometric method. Organisms devoid of thiaminase I, based upon previous work, showed no activity with this assay. In addition, activity was found in a variety of fishes and one fern species from which this enzyme had not previously been reported. Overall, we demonstrate the suitability of this technique for measuring thiaminase I activity within small amounts of tissue and environmental samples with replication levels that were heretofore prohibitive. The assay provides a considerable improvement in the ability to examine and understand the properties of an enzyme that has a substantial influence on organism and ecosystem health. PMID:24675843

  12. Measurement of filter paper activities of cellulase with microplate-based assay

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Yan; Cui, Yuxiao; Cheng, Qiyue; Zhang, Zaixiao; Lu, Jia Hui; Meng, Qingfan; Teng, Lirong; Ren, Xiaodong

    2015-01-01

    It is always a challenge to determine the total cellulase activity efficiently without reducing accuracy. The most common total cellulase activity assay is the filter paper assay (FPA) established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). A new procedure to measure the FPA with microplate-based assay was studied in this work, which followed the main idea of IUPAC to dilute cellulase preparation to get fixed glucose release. FPAs of six cellulase preparations were determined with the microplate-based assay. It is shown that FPAs of cellulase Youtell, RCconc, R-10, Lerkam, Yishui and Sinopharm were 67.9, 46.0, 46.1, 27.4, 7.6 and 8.0 IU/ml respectively. There was no significant difference at the 95% confidence level between the FPA determined with IUPAC and the microplate-based assay. It could be concluded that the FPA could be determined by the microplate-based assay with the same accuracy and much more efficiency compared with that by IUPAC. PMID:26858572

  13. Measurement of filter paper activities of cellulase with microplate-based assay.

    PubMed

    Yu, Xiaoxiao; Liu, Yan; Cui, Yuxiao; Cheng, Qiyue; Zhang, Zaixiao; Lu, Jia Hui; Meng, Qingfan; Teng, Lirong; Ren, Xiaodong

    2016-01-01

    It is always a challenge to determine the total cellulase activity efficiently without reducing accuracy. The most common total cellulase activity assay is the filter paper assay (FPA) established by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). A new procedure to measure the FPA with microplate-based assay was studied in this work, which followed the main idea of IUPAC to dilute cellulase preparation to get fixed glucose release. FPAs of six cellulase preparations were determined with the microplate-based assay. It is shown that FPAs of cellulase Youtell, RCconc, R-10, Lerkam, Yishui and Sinopharm were 67.9, 46.0, 46.1, 27.4, 7.6 and 8.0 IU/ml respectively. There was no significant difference at the 95% confidence level between the FPA determined with IUPAC and the microplate-based assay. It could be concluded that the FPA could be determined by the microplate-based assay with the same accuracy and much more efficiency compared with that by IUPAC. PMID:26858572

  14. Assaying ATE1 Activity in Yeast by β-Gal Degradation.

    PubMed

    Kashina, Anna S

    2015-01-01

    In 1980s it was found that addition of N-terminal Arg to proteins induces their ubiquitination and degradation by the N-end rule pathway. While this mechanism applies only to the proteins which also have other features of the N-degron (including a closely adjacent Lys that is accessible for ubiquitination), several test substrates have been found to follow this mechanism very efficiently after ATE1-dependent arginylation. Such property enabled researchers to test ATE1 activity in cells indirectly by assaying for the degradation of such arginylation-dependent substrates. The most commonly used substrate for this assay is E. coli beta galactosidase (beta-Gal) because its activity can be easily measured using standardized colorimetric assays. Here we describe this method, which has served as a quick and easy way to characterize ATE1 activity during identification of arginyltransferases in different species. PMID:26285881

  15. Improved sensitivity of an acid sphingomyelinase activity assay using a C6:0 sphingomyelin substrate.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Wei-Lien; Pacheco, Joshua; Cooper, Samantha; Kingsbury, Jonathan S; Hinds, John; Wolf, Pavlina; Oliva, Petra; Keutzer, Joan; Cox, Gerald F; Zhang, Kate

    2015-06-01

    Short-chain C6-sphingomyelin is an artificial substrate that was used in an acid sphingomyelinase activity assay for a pilot screening study of patients with Niemann-Pick disease types A and B. Using previously published multiplex and single assay conditions, normal acid sphingomyelinase activity levels (i.e. false negative results) were observed in two sisters with Niemann-Pick B who were compound heterozygotes for two missense mutations, p.C92W and p.P184L, in the SMPD1 gene. Increasing the sodium taurocholate detergent concentration in the assay buffer lowered the activity levels of these two patients into the range observed with other patients with clear separation from normal controls. PMID:26937397

  16. 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.

  17. Improved sensitivity of an acid sphingomyelinase activity assay using a C6:0 sphingomyelin substrate

    PubMed Central

    Chuang, Wei-Lien; Pacheco, Joshua; Cooper, Samantha; Kingsbury, Jonathan S.; Hinds, John; Wolf, Pavlina; Oliva, Petra; Keutzer, Joan; Cox, Gerald F.; Zhang, Kate

    2015-01-01

    Short-chain C6-sphingomyelin is an artificial substrate that was used in an acid sphingomyelinase activity assay for a pilot screening study of patients with Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Using previously published multiplex and single assay conditions, normal acid sphingomyelinase activity levels (i.e. false negative results) were observed in two sisters with Niemann–Pick B who were compound heterozygotes for two missense mutations, p.C92W and p.P184L, in the SMPD1 gene. Increasing the sodium taurocholate detergent concentration in the assay buffer lowered the activity levels of these two patients into the range observed with other patients with clear separation from normal controls. PMID:26937397

  18. In vitro and in vivo assays of protein kinase CK2 activity.

    PubMed

    Prudent, Renaud; Sautel, Céline F; Moucadel, Virginie; Laudet, Béatrice; Filhol, Odile; Cochet, Claude

    2010-01-01

    Protein kinase CK2 (formerly casein kinase 2) is recognized as a central component in the control of the cellular homeostasis; however, much remains unknown regarding its regulation and its implication in cellular transformation and carcinogenesis. Moreover, study of CK2 function and regulation in a cellular context is complicated by the dynamic multisubunit architecture of this protein kinase. Although a number of robust techniques are available to assay CK2 activity in vitro, there is a demand for sensitive and specific assays to evaluate its activity in living cells. We hereby provide a detailed description of several assays for monitoring the CK2 activity and its subunit interaction in living cells. The guidelines presented herein should enable researchers in the field to establish strategies for cellular screenings of CK2 inhibitors. PMID:21050938

  19. A modified ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange assay for lipoxygenase activity in rice grains.

    PubMed

    Timabud, Tarinee; Sanitchon, Jirawat; Pongdontri, Paweena

    2013-12-01

    Ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange assay reagent was reformulated by using spectral analysis of ferric-xylenol orange complex to detect low concentrations of lipoxygenase rice grain products. Reducing the levels of ferrous sulphate and xylenol orange in the FOX reagent enabled the detection of low concentrations of hydroperoxy fatty acid derived from lipoxygenase activity in the range of 0.1-1.5 μM. Protein, substrate and time courses of the modified FOX assay were studied to determine lipoxygenase activity in rice grain. The assay was also applicable as a high throughput technique for comparisons of lipoxygenase activity from various rice varieties. This has important implications for rapid screening for low-lipoxygenase containing rice cultivars in rice breeding program and grain quality during storage. PMID:23870974

  20. 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. PMID:27581492

  1. A continuous enzyme-coupled assay for triphosphohydrolase activity of HIV-1 restriction factor SAMHD1.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Laurence H; Kunzelmann, Simone; Webb, Martin R; Taylor, Ian A

    2015-01-01

    The development of deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP)-based drugs requires a quantitative understanding of any inhibition, activation, or hydrolysis by off-target cellular enzymes. SAMHD1 is a regulatory dNTP-triphosphohydrolase that inhibits HIV-1 replication in human myeloid cells. We describe here an enzyme-coupled assay for quantifying the activation, inhibition, and hydrolysis of dNTPs, nucleotide analogues, and nucleotide analogue inhibitors by triphosphohydrolase enzymes. The assay facilitates mechanistic studies of triphosphohydrolase enzymes and the quantification of off-target effects of nucleotide-based antiviral and chemotherapeutic agents. PMID:25331707

  2. 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

  3. Development of a spontaneously active dorsal root ganglia assay using multiwell multielectrode arrays.

    PubMed

    Newberry, Kim; Wang, Shuya; Hoque, Nina; Kiss, Laszlo; Ahlijanian, Michael K; Herrington, James; Graef, John D

    2016-06-01

    In vitro phenotypic assays of sensory neuron activity are important tools for identifying potential analgesic compounds. These assays are typically characterized by hyperexcitable and/or abnormally, spontaneously active cells. Whereas manual electrophysiology experiments provide high-resolution biophysical data to characterize both in vitro models and potential therapeutic modalities (e.g., action potential characteristics, the role of specific ion channels, and receptors), these techniques are hampered by their low throughput. We have established a spontaneously active dorsal root ganglia (DRG) platform using multiwell multielectrode arrays (MEAs) that greatly increase the ability to evaluate the effects of multiple compounds and conditions on DRG excitability within the context of a cellular network. We show that spontaneous DRG firing can be attenuated with selective Na(+) and Ca(2+) channel blockers, as well as enhanced with K(+) channel blockers. In addition, spontaneous activity can be augmented with both the transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 agonist capsaicin and the peptide bradykinin and completely blocked with neurokinin receptor antagonists. Finally, we validated the use of this assay by demonstrating that commonly used neuropathic pain therapeutics suppress DRG spontaneous activity. Overall, we have optimized primary rat DRG cells on a multiwell MEA platform to generate and characterize spontaneously active cultures that have the potential to be used as an in vitro phenotypic assay to evaluate potential therapeutics in rodent models of pain. PMID:27052585

  4. Memory activation reveals abnormal EEG in preclinical Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    van der Hiele, Karin; Jurgens, Caroline K; Vein, Alla A; Reijntjes, Robert H A M; Witjes-Ané, Marie-Noëlle W; Roos, Raymund A C; van Dijk, Gert; Middelkoop, Huub A M

    2007-04-15

    The EEG is potentially useful as a marker of early Huntington's disease (HD). In dementia, the EEG during a memory activation challenge showed abnormalities where the resting EEG did not. We investigated whether memory activation also reveals EEG abnormalities in preclinical HD. Sixteen mutation carriers for HD and 13 nonmutation carriers underwent neurological, neuropsychological, MRI and EEG investigations. The EEG was registered during a rest condition, i.e. eyes closed, and a working memory task. In each condition we determined absolute power in the theta (4-8 Hz) and alpha (8-13 Hz) bands and subsequently calculated relative alpha power. The EEG during eyes closed did not differ between groups. The EEG during memory activation showed less relative alpha power in mutation carriers as compared to nonmutation carriers, even though memory performance was similar [F (1,27) = 10.87; P = 0.003]. Absolute powers also showed less alpha power [F (1,27) = 7.02; P = 0.013] but similar theta power. No correlations were found between absolute and relative alpha power on the one hand and neuropsychological scores, motor scores or number of CAG repeats on the other. In conclusion, memory activation reveals functional brain changes in Huntington's disease before clinical signs become overt. PMID:17266047

  5. 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

  6. Small molecules reveal an alternative mechanism of Bax activation.

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    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

  7. Characterizing and improving passive-active shufflers for assays of 208-Liter waste drums

    SciTech Connect

    Rinard, P.M.; Adams, E.L.; Menlove, H.O.; Sprinkle, J.K. Jr.

    1992-06-01

    A passive and active neutron shuffler for 208-L waste drums has been used to perform over 1500 active and 500 passive measurements on uranium and plutonium samples in 28 different matrices. The shuffler is now better characterized and improvements have been implemented or suggested. An improved correction for the effects of the matrix material was devised from flux-monitor responses. The most important cause of inaccuracies in assays is a localized instead of a uniform distribution of fissile material in a drum; a technique for deducing the distribution from the assay data and then applying a correction is suggested and will be developed further. A technique is given to detect excessive amounts of moderator that could make hundreds of grams of {sup 235}U assay as zero grams. Sensitivities (minimum detectable masses) for {sup 235}U with active assays and for {sup 240}Pu{sub eff} with passive assays are presented and the effects of moderators and absorbers on sensitivities noted.

  8. 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

  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. Autotaxin Structure Activity Relationships Revealed through Lysophosphatidylcholine Analogs

    PubMed Central

    North, E. Jeffrey; Osborne, Daniel A.; Bridson, Peter K.; Baker, Daniel L.; Parrill, Abby L.

    2009-01-01

    Autotaxin (ATX) catalyzes the hydrolysis of lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) to form the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA). LPA stimulates cell proliferation, cell survival, and cell migration and is involved in obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, neuropathic pain, atherosclerosis and various cancers, suggesting that ATX inhibitors have broad therapeutic potential. Product feedback inhibition of ATX by LPA has stimulated structure activity studies focused on LPA analogs. However, LPA displays mixed mode inhibition, indicating it can bind to both the enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complex. This suggests that LPA may not interact solely with the catalytic site. In this report we have prepared LPC analogs to help map out substrate structure activity relationships. The structural variances include length and unsaturation of the fatty tail, choline and polar linker presence, acyl versus ether linkage of the hydrocarbon chain, and methylene and nitrogen replacement of the choline oxygen. All LPC analogs were assayed in competition with the synthetic substrate, FS-3, to show the preference ATX has for each alteration. Choline presence and methylene replacement of the choline oxygen were detrimental to ATX recognition. These findings provide insights into the structure of the enzyme in the vicinity of the catalytic site as well as suggesting that ATX produces rate enhancement, at least in part, by substrate destabilization. PMID:19345587

  11. 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. PMID:26814045

  12. [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. PMID:18318392

  13. Activity, assay and target data curation and quality in the ChEMBL database.

    PubMed

    Papadatos, George; Gaulton, Anna; Hersey, Anne; Overington, John P

    2015-09-01

    The emergence of a number of publicly available bioactivity databases, such as ChEMBL, PubChem BioAssay and BindingDB, has raised awareness about the topics of data curation, quality and integrity. Here we provide an overview and discussion of the current and future approaches to activity, assay and target data curation of the ChEMBL database. This curation process involves several manual and automated steps and aims to: (1) maximise data accessibility and comparability; (2) improve data integrity and flag outliers, ambiguities and potential errors; and (3) add further curated annotations and mappings thus increasing the usefulness and accuracy of the ChEMBL data for all users and modellers in particular. Issues related to activity, assay and target data curation and integrity along with their potential impact for users of the data are discussed, alongside robust selection and filter strategies in order to avoid or minimise these, depending on the desired application. PMID:26201396

  14. 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. PMID:27208079

  15. Inhibition of Microglia Activation as a Phenotypic Assay in Early Drug Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Figuera-Losada, Mariana; Rojas, Camilo; Slusher, Barbara S.

    2014-01-01

    Complex biological processes such as inflammation, cell death, migration, proliferation, and the release of biologically active molecules can be used as outcomes in phenotypic assays during early stages of drug discovery. Although target-based approaches have been widely used over the past decades, a disproportionate number of first-in-class drugs have been identified using phenotypic screening. This review details phenotypic assays based on inhibition of microglial activation and their utility in primary and secondary screening, target validation, and pathway elucidation. The role of microglia, both in normal as well as in pathological conditions such as chronic neurodegenerative diseases, is reviewed. Methodologies to assess microglia activation in vitro are discussed in detail, and classes of therapeutic drugs known to decrease the proinflammatory and cytotoxic responses of activated microglia are appraised, including inhibitors of glutaminase, cystine/glutamate antiporter, nuclear factor κB, and mitogen-activated protein kinases. PMID:23945875

  16. Fluorescence-quenching-based homogeneous caspase-3 activity assay using photon upconversion.

    PubMed

    Vuojola, Johanna; Riuttamäki, Terhi; Kulta, Essi; Arppe, Riikka; Soukka, Tero

    2012-05-01

    Caspase proteases are key mediators in apoptosis and thus of great interest in pharmaceutical industry. Enzyme-activity assays are commonly employed in the screening of protease inhibitors that are potential drug candidates. Conventional homogeneous fluorescence-based assays are susceptible to autofluorescence originating from biological material. This background autofluorescence can be eliminated by using upconverting phosphors (UCPs) that emit visible light upon excitation at near-infrared. In the assay energy was transferred from a UCP-donor to a conventional fluorophore acceptor that resided at one end of a caspase-3-specific substrate peptide. Attached to the other end was a quencher molecule that was used to attenuate the acceptor emission through intramolecular energy transfer in an intact peptide. In non-inhibitory conditions the enzyme reaction separated the fluorophore from the quencher and the emission of the fluorophore was recovered. The method was applied for the detection and characterization of a known caspase-3 inhibitor Z-DEVD-FMK, and the assay gave IC(50) values of approximately 13 nM for this inhibitor. We have demonstrated the applicability of UCPs on a fluorescence-quenching-based homogeneous enzyme-activity assay for the detection of caspase-3 inhibitors. The use of near-infrared excitable UCPs enables inexpensive instrumentation and total elimination of autofluorescence, while the use of an internally quenched substrate molecule diminishes the background resulting from radiatively excited acceptor molecules. The reduction of autofluorescence and radiative background result in high signal-to-background ratios (ratios of approximately 100 were obtained). By further utilizing assay miniaturization and signal enhancement in a white microtitration plate, a significant reduction in the reagent consumption can be achieved rendering the assay applicable for high-throughput screening. PMID:22502613

  17. A Chromogenic Assay Suitable for High-Throughput Determination of Limit Dextrinase Activity in Barley Malt Extracts.

    PubMed

    Bøjstrup, Marie; Marri, Lucia; Lok, Finn; Hindsgaul, Ole

    2015-12-23

    Twenty-four malt samples were assayed for limit dextrinase activity using a chromogenic assay developed recently in our group. The assay utilizes a small soluble chromogenic substrate which is hydrolyzed selectively by limit dextrinase in a coupled assay to release the chromophore 2-chloro-4-nitrophenol. The release of the chromophore, corresponding to the activity of limit dextrinase, can be followed by measuring the UV absorption at 405 nm. The 24 malt samples represented a wide variation of limit dextrinase activities, and these activities could be clearly differentiated by the assay. The results obtained were comparable with the results obtained from a commercially available assay, Limit-Dextrizyme from Megazyme International Ireland. Furthermore, the improved assay uses a soluble substrate. That makes it well suited for high-throughput screening as it can be handled in a 96-well plate format. PMID:26615836

  18. 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. PMID:25818602

  19. Antioxidant activity evaluation by physiologically relevant assays based on haemoglobin peroxidase activity and cytochrome c-induced oxidation of liposomes.

    PubMed

    Mot, Augustin C; Bischin, Cristina; Muresan, Bianca; Parvu, Marcel; Damian, Grigore; Vlase, Laurian; Silaghi-Dumitrescu, Radu

    2016-06-01

    Two new protocols for exploring antioxidant-related chemical composition and reactivity are described: one based on a chronometric variation of a haemoglobin ascorbate peroxidase assay and one based on cytochrome c-induced oxidation of lecithin liposomes. Detailed accounts are given on their design, application, critical correlations with established methods and mechanisms. These assays are proposed to be physiologically relevant and bring new information regarding a real sample, both qualitative and quantitative. The well-known assays used for evaluation of antioxidant (re)activity are revisited and compared with these new methods. Extracts of the Hedera helix L. are examined as test case, with focus on seasonal variation and on leaf, fruit and flower with respect to chromatographic, spectroscopic and reactivity properties. According to the set of assays performed, winter are the most antioxidant, followed by summer leaves, and then by flowers and fruits. PMID:26208459

  20. Standardization of a micro-cytotoxicity assay for human natural killer cell lytic activity.

    PubMed

    Mariani, E; Monaco, M C; Sgobbi, S; de Zwart, J F; Mariani, A R; Facchini, A

    1994-06-24

    Cytotoxicity assays are widely used to evaluate the functional activity of NK and T cells against tumour target cells and the release of radioactive sodium chromate from labelled target cells is still the most commonly used marker of target lysis in culture supernatants. We describe here the standardization of a micro-cytotoxicity test in which the number of cytolytic effector and tumour target cells have been decreased by a factor of 10. The release obtained by 500 tumour target cells was compared with the release obtained by 5000 target cells in the standard cytotoxicity assay for target:effector cell ratios from 1:1 to 1:100. Both gamma and beta emissions of the 51Cr isotope were evaluated to determine the assay release. The results obtained by the micro-cytotoxicity assay (500 target cells) were comparable to those of the standard assay (5000 target cells) and 51Cr release evaluation using the gamma counter was the most sensitive method of determining lytic activity using 500 tumour target cells. beta counter evaluation using solid phase scintillation was found to be a reproducible alternative method, even if the lytic curves cannot be compared with those obtained using the traditional method. PMID:8034970

  1. Development and utilization of activated STAT3 detection assays for screening a library of secreted proteins.

    PubMed

    Fursov, Natalie; Gates, Irina V; Panavas, Tadas; Giles-Komar, Jill; Powers, Gordon

    2011-08-01

    Interleukin-6 (IL-6) family of cytokines are multifunctional proteins that play an important role in host defenses, acute phase reactions, immune responses, hematopoiesis, and tumorigenesis. The cytokines are produced by various lymphoid and nonlymphoid cells and mediate their biological activity through initial low-affinity binding to cell surface receptors, which are specific for their respective ligands. Ligand-specific receptor binding results in the receptor heterodimerization with ubiquitously expressed signal-transducing transmembrane component gp130 followed by activation of the gp130-associated Janus kinase, which, in turn, phosphorylates signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3). Phosphorylated STAT3 (pSTAT3) dimerizes and translocates to the nucleus, where it activates gene transcription. Activation of STAT3 is essential to IL-6 family-associated physiological effects. Therefore, the ability to assess STAT3 phosphorylation is important for drug discovery efforts targeting IL-6 family cytokines. Various reagents and technologies are available to detect the effect of IL-6 type cytokines in treated cells. The present study describes the development of two pSTAT3 detection assays: the high-throughput screening assay based on Meso-Scale Discovery technology, which utilizes electrochemoluminescent signal measurements for the detection of pSTAT3 in treated cell extracts, and the secondary characterization assay based on fluorescent imaging analysis, which monitors pSTAT3 nuclear translocation in cells after activation. We have successfully utilized these assays to screen a small library of secreted proteins and identified inducers of STAT3 phosphorylation. The results obtained in this study demonstrate that both assays are robust, reliable, and amenable to high-throughput screening applications. PMID:21294636

  2. VAPORIZATION TECHNIQUE TO MEASURE MUTAGENIC ACTIVITY OF VOLATILE ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN THE AMES/'SALOMELLA' ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of the research was to develop and characterize a sensitive test method to detect mutagenic activity of volatile liquid organic chemicals (i.e., volatiles) in the Ames/Salmonella assay. A Tedlar bag vaporization technique was developed which increased contact time bet...

  3. 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...

  4. A sensitive method to assay the xanthine oxidase activity in primary cultures of cerebellar granule cells.

    PubMed

    Atlante, A; Valenti, D; Gagliardi, S; Passarella, S

    2000-11-01

    Since xanthine oxidase (XO, Xanthine:oxidoreductase, E.C.1.2.3.22) is a key enzyme in reactive oxygen specie formation which plays a major role in cell oxidative stress, the availability of a sensitive and simple assay useful to detect its activity in monolayer cell cultures is worthwhile. In order to achieve this, we developed a method in which the conversion of pterine into isoxanthopterin is monitored fluorimetrically. Temperature assay was 50 degrees C. The activity of XO was detected in cerebellar granule cells exposed to glutamate. Since XO is formed from protease-dependent xanthine dehydrogenase processing, its activity appearance was found to be prevented by the protease inhibitor, leupeptin, as well as the glutamate NMDA-receptor inhibitor, MK-801, and the Ca(++) complexing agent, EGTA. The reported novel protocol, at variance with a conventional method, is shown to be a simple, fast, sensitive and relatively cheap method to assay XO activity. In addition, the reported assay can be applied to any cell type in culture. PMID:11086257

  5. 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 ...

  6. Antioxidant Activity/Capacity Measurement. 3. Reactive Oxygen and Nitrogen Species (ROS/RNS) Scavenging Assays, Oxidative Stress Biomarkers, and Chromatographic/Chemometric Assays.

    PubMed

    Apak, Reşat; Özyürek, Mustafa; Güçlü, Kubilay; Çapanoğlu, Esra

    2016-02-10

    There are many studies in which the antioxidant potential of different foods have been analyzed. However, there are still conflicting results and lack of information as a result of unstandardized assay techniques and differences between the principles of the methods applied. The measurement of antioxidant activity, especially in the case of mixtures, multifunctional or complex multiphase systems, cannot be evaluated satisfactorily using a simple antioxidant test due to the many variables influencing the results. In the literature, there are many antioxidant assays that are used to measure the total antioxidant activity/capacity of food materials. In this review, reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) scavenging assays are evaluated with respect to their mechanism, advantages, disadvantages, and potential use in food systems. On the other hand, in vivo antioxidant activity (AOA) assays including oxidative stress biomarkers and cellular-based assays are covered within the scope of this review. Finally, chromatographic and chemometric assays are reviewed, focusing on their benefits especially with respect to their time saving, cost-effective, and sensitive nature. PMID:26689748

  7. A TR-FRET-based functional assay for screening activators of CARM1.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Hao; Wu, Jiacai; Bedford, Mark T; Sbardella, Gianluca; Hoffmann, F Michael; Bi, Kun; Xu, Wei

    2013-05-10

    Epigenetics is an emerging field that demands selective cell-permeable chemical probes to perturb, especially in vivo, the activity of specific enzymes involved in modulating the epigenetic codes. Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase 1 (CARM1) is a coactivator of estrogen receptor α (ERα), the main target in human breast cancer. We previously showed that twofold overexpression of CARM1 in MCF7 breast cancer cells increased the expression of ERα-target genes involved in differentiation and reduced cell proliferation, thus leading to the hypothesis that activating CARM1 by chemical activators might be therapeutically effective in breast cancer. Selective, potent, cell-permeable CARM1 activators will be essential to test this hypothesis. Here we report the development of a cell-based, time-resolved (TR) FRET assay that uses poly(A) binding protein 1 (PABP1) methylation to monitor cellular activity of CARM1. The LanthaScreen TR-FRET assay uses MCF7 cells expressing GFP-PABP1 fusion protein through BacMam gene delivery system, methyl-PABP1 specific antibody, and terbium-labeled secondary antibody. This assay has been validated as reflecting the expression and/or activity of CARM1 and optimized for high throughput screening to identify CARM1 allosteric activators. This TR-FRET platform serves as a generic tool for functional screening of cell-permeable, chemical modulators of CARM1 for elucidation of its in vivo functions. PMID:23585185

  8. Silver nanoclusters-based fluorescence assay of protein kinase activity and inhibition.

    PubMed

    Shen, Congcong; Xia, Xiaodong; Hu, Shengqiang; Yang, Minghui; Wang, Jianxiu

    2015-01-01

    A simple and sensitive fluorescence method for monitoring the activity and inhibition of protein kinase (PKA) has been developed using polycytosine oligonucleotide (dC12)-templated silver nanoclusters (Ag NCs). Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) was found to enhance the fluorescence of Ag NCs, while the hydrolysis of ATP to adenosine diphosphate (ADP) by PKA decreased the fluorescence of Ag NCs. Compared to the existing methods for kinase activity assay, the developed method does not involve phosphorylation of the substrate peptides, which significantly simplifies the detection procedures. The method exhibits high sensitivity, good selectivity, and wide linear range toward PKA detection. The inhibition effect of kinase inhibitor H-89 on the activity of PKA was also studied. The sensing protocol was also applied to the assay of drug-stimulated activation of PKA in HeLa cell lysates. PMID:25517425

  9. The Peptide Microarray-Based Resonance Light Scattering Assay for Sensitively Detecting Intracellular Kinase Activity.

    PubMed

    Li, Tao; Liu, Xia; Liu, Dianjun; Wang, Zhenxin

    2016-01-01

    The peptide microarray technology is a robust, reliable, and efficient technique for large-scale determination of enzyme activities, and high-throughput profiling of substrate/inhibitor specificities of enzymes. Here, the activities of cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase A (PKA) in different cell lysates have been detected by a peptide microarray-based resonance light scattering (RLS) assay with gold nanoparticle (GNP) probes. Highly sensitive detection of PKA activity in 0.1 μg total cell proteins of SHG-44 (human glioma cell) cell lysate (corresponding to 200 cells) is achieved by a selected peptide substrate. The experimental results also demonstrate that the RLS assay can be employed to evaluate the chemical regulation of intracellular kinase activity. PMID:26490469

  10. 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. PMID:27366781

  11. Aberrant Activity in Degenerated Retinas Revealed by Electrical Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Zeck, Günther

    2016-01-01

    In this review, I present and discuss the current understanding of aberrant electrical activity found in the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of rod-degenerated (rd) mouse retinas. The reported electrophysiological properties revealed by electrical imaging using high-density microelectrode arrays can be subdivided between spiking activity originating from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and local field potentials (LFPs) reflecting strong trans-membrane currents within the GCL. RGCs in rd retinas show increased and rhythmic spiking compared to age-matched wild-type retinas. Fundamental spiking frequencies range from 5 to 15 Hz in various mouse models. The rhythmic RGC spiking is driven by a presynaptic network comprising AII amacrine and bipolar cells. In the healthy retina this rhythm-generating circuit is inhibited by photoreceptor input. A unique physiological feature of rd retinas is rhythmic LFP manifested as spatially-restricted low-frequency (5–15 Hz) voltage changes. Their spatiotemporal characterization revealed propagation and correlation with RGC spiking. LFPs rely on gap-junctional coupling and are shaped by glycinergic and by GABAergic transmission. The aberrant RGC spiking and LFPs provide a simple readout of the functionality of the remaining retinal circuitry which can be used in the development of improved vision restoration strategies. PMID:26903810

  12. Inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 activity by purified human breast milk mucin (MUC1) in an inhibition assay.

    PubMed

    Habte, Habtom H; de Beer, Corena; Lotz, Zoë E; Tyler, Marilyn G; Kahn, Delawir; Mall, Anwar S

    2008-01-01

    It has been reported that breast-feeding is responsible for approximately 40% of the HIV transmissions from HIV-positive mothers to children. Human breast milk, however, is known to contain numerous biologically active components which protect breast-fed infants against bacteria, viruses, and toxins. The purpose of this study was to purify and characterize breast milk mucin and to determine its anti-HIV-1 activity in an HIV inhibition assay. Sepharose CL-4B column chromatography and caesium chloride isopycnic density gradient purification were used to isolate and purify the mucin. Following Western blotting and amino acid analysis, an HIV-1 inhibition assay was carried out to determine the anti-HIV-1 activity of crude breast milk and purified milk mucin (MUC1) by incubating them with HIV-1 prior to infection of the human T lymphoblastoid cell line (CEM SS cells). SDS-PAGE analysis of the mucin, together with its amino acid composition and Western blotting, suggested that this purified mucin from human breast milk was MUC1. The HIV inhibition assay revealed that while the purified milk mucin (MUC1) inhibited the HIV-1 activity by approximately 97%, there was no inhibition of the HIV-1 activity by crude breast milk. Although the reason for this is not clear, it is likely that because the MUC1 in crude milk is enclosed by fat globules, there may not be any physical contact between the mucin and the virus in the crude breast milk. Thus, there is a need to free the mucin from the fat globules for it to be effective against the virus. PMID:17878743

  13. Adaptation of a 2D in-gel kinase assay to trace phosphotransferase activities in the human pathogen Leishmania donovani.

    PubMed

    Schmidt-Arras, Dirk; Leclercq, Olivier; Gherardini, Pier Federico; Helmer-Citterich, Manuela; Faigle, Wolfgang; Loew, Damarys; Späth, Gerald F

    2011-08-24

    The protozoan parasite Leishmania donovani undergoes various developmental transitions during its infectious cycle that are triggered by environmental signals encountered inside insect and vertebrate hosts. Intracellular differentiation of the pathogenic amastigote stage is induced by pH and temperature shifts that affect protein kinase activities and downstream protein phosphorylation. Identification of parasite proteins with phosphotransferase activity during intracellular infection may reveal new targets for pharmacological intervention. Here we describe an improved protocol to trace this activity in L. donovani extracts at high resolution combining in-gel kinase assay and two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. This 2D procedure allowed us to identify proteins that are associated with amastigote ATP-binding, ATPase, and phosphotransferase activities. The 2D in-gel kinase assay, in combination with recombinant phospho-protein substrates previously identified by phospho-proteomics analyses, provides a novel tool to establish specific protein kinase-substrate relationships thus improving our understanding of Leishmania signal transduction with relevance for future drug development. PMID:21443974

  14. High-content screening assay for identification of chemicals impacting spontaneous activity in zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Raftery, Tara D; Isales, Gregory M; Yozzo, Krystle L; Volz, David C

    2014-01-01

    Although cell-based assays exist, rapid and cost-efficient high-content screening (HCS) assays within intact organisms are needed to support prioritization for developmental neurotoxicity testing in rodents. During zebrafish embryogenesis, spontaneous tail contractions occur from late-segmentation (∼19 h postfertilization, hpf) through early pharyngula (∼29 hpf) and represent the first sign of locomotion. Using transgenic zebrafish (fli1:egfp) that stably express eGFP beginning at ∼14 hpf, we have developed and optimized a 384-well-based HCS assay that quantifies spontaneous activity within single zebrafish embryos after exposure to test chemicals in a concentration-response format. Following static exposure of one embryo per well from 5 to 25 hpf, automated image acquisition procedures and custom analysis protocols were used to quantify total body area and spontaneous activity in live embryos. Survival and imaging success rates across control plates ranged from 87.5 to 100% and 93.3-100%, respectively. Using our optimized procedures, we screened 16 chemicals within the US EPA's ToxCast Phase-I library, and found that exposure to abamectin and emamectin benzoate-both potent avermectins-abolished spontaneous activity in the absence of gross malformations. Overall, compared to existing locomotion-based zebrafish assays conducted later in development, this method provides a simpler discovery platform for identifying potential developmental neurotoxicants. PMID:24328182

  15. Application of the E-screen assay to test for oestrogenically active substances in swine feed.

    PubMed

    Bitsch, N; Körner, W; Postupka, S; Brunn, H

    2001-12-01

    A pig breeder in central Hesse (Germany) noticed the occurrence of enlarged vulvae in female piglets. Intoxication with oestrogenically active substances by contamination of two feed mixes ingested by the mother sows appeared to be a possible cause. Using a combined technique of the DFG analytical method S19 and the E-screen assay, two feed samples were found to contain powerful oestrogenically active compounds. By co-incubation with the anti-oestrogen tamoxifen it could be clearly demonstrated that the oestrogenic activity was mediated by the oestrogen receptor. These results demonstrate that use of the E-screen assay in combination with the DFG analytical method S19 provides a simple and readily usable prescreening method for the routine detection of oestrogenically active compounds in animal feed. The results from the E-screen assay show that the sows ingested 10-80 microg oestradiol equivalents per day in their feed. Because of the bioavailability of these substances, the oestrogenic active compounds seem to be transferred into the milk and passed to the piglets via suckling. The milk of the dam appears to contain this substance in biologically active form and at such high concentrations that the female piglets had enlarged vulvae. PMID:11906561

  16. Miniaturizable homogenous time-resolved fluorescence assay for carboxypeptidase B activity.

    PubMed

    Ferrer, Marc; Zuck, Paul; Kolodin, Garrett; Mao, Shi Shan; Peltier, Richard R; Bailey, Carolyn; Gardell, Stephen J; Strulovici, Berta; Inglese, James

    2003-06-01

    An epitope-unmasking, homogeneous time-resolved fluorescence (HTRF) assay has been developed for measuring carboxypeptidase B (CPB) activity in a miniaturized high-throughput screening format. The enzyme substrate (biotin-RYRGLMVGGVVR-OH) is cleaved by CPB at the C terminus, causing release of the C-terminal Arg residue. The product (biotin-RYRGLMVGGVV-OH) is recognized specifically by a monoclonal antibody (G2-10) which is labeled with Eu(3+)-cryptate ([Eu(3+)]G2-10 mAb), and the complex is detected by fluorescence resonance energy transfer using streptavidin labeled with allophycocyanin ([XL665]SA). The CPB HTRF assay is readily adapted from 96- to 1536-well format as a robust (Z(')>0.5) assay for high-throughput screening. PMID:12729605

  17. 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.

  18. Detection of DNA polymerase activities associated with purified duck hepatitis B virus core particles by using an activity gel assay.

    PubMed Central

    Oberhaus, S M; Newbold, J E

    1993-01-01

    Replication of hepadnaviruses involves reverse transcription of an intermediate RNA molecule. It is generally accepted that this replication scheme is carried out by a virally encoded, multifunctional polymerase which has DNA-dependent DNA polymerase, reverse transcriptase, and RNase H activities. Biochemical studies of the polymerase protein(s) have been limited by the inability to purify useful quantities of functional enzyme from virus particles and, until recently, to express enzymatically active polymerase proteins in heterologous systems. An activity gel assay which detects in situ catalytic activities of DNA polymerases after electrophoresis in partially denaturing polyacrylamide gels was used by M.R. Bavand and O. Laub (J. Virol. 62:626-628, 1988) to show the presence of DNA- and RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activities associated with hepatitis B virus particles produced in vitro. This assay has provided the only means by which hepadnavirus polymerase proteins have been detected in association with enzymatic activities. Since conventional methods have not allowed purification of useful quantities of enzymatically active polymerase protein(s), we have devised a protocol for purifying large quantities of duck hepatitis B virus (DHBV) core particles to near homogeneity. These immature virus particles contain DNA- and RNA-dependent DNA polymerase activities, as shown in the endogenous DNA polymerase assay. We have used the activity gel assay to detect multiple DNA- and RNA-dependent DNA polymerase proteins associated with these purified DHBV core particles. These enzymatically active proteins appear larger than, approximately the same size as, and smaller than an unmodified DHBV polymerase protein predicted from the polymerase open reading frame. This is the first report of the detection of active hepadnavirus core-associated DNA polymerase proteins derived from a natural host. Images PMID:8411359

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

  1. 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. PMID:27610220

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Colorimetric assay for heterogeneous-catalyzed lipase activity: enzyme-regulated gold nanoparticle aggregation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Tang, Yan; Liu, Jia; Jiang, Ling; Huang, Wei; Huo, Feng-Wei; Tian, Danbi

    2015-01-14

    Lipase is a neglected enzyme in the field of gold nanoparticle-based enzyme assays. This paper reports a novel colorimetric probe to rapidly visualize lipase activities by using Tween 20 functioned GNPs (Tween 20-GNPs) as a reporter. The present strategy hence could overcome the limitations caused by the heterogeneous interface in lipase assay. Catalytic hydrolytic cleavage of the ester bond in Tween 20-GNPs by lipase will trigger the rapid aggregation of GNPs at a high salt solution. The color change from red to purple could be used to sense the activity of lipase. The detection limit (3σ) is as low as 2.8 × 10-2 mg/mL. A preliminary enzyme activity screening was carried out for seven commercially purchased lipase samples. It also has been successfully applied to detecting lipase in fermentation broth of Bacillus subtilis without any pretreatment. PMID:25516269

  7. Application of a hemolysis assay for analysis of complement activation by perfluorocarbon nanoparticles

    PubMed Central

    Pham, Christine T.N.; Thomas, Dennis G.; Beiser, Julia; Mitchell, Lynne M.; Huang, Jennifer L.; Senpan, Angana; Hu, Grace; Gordon, Mae; Baker, Nathan A.; Pan, Dipanjan; Lanza, Gregory M.; Hourcade, Dennis E.

    2013-01-01

    Nanoparticles offer new options for medical diagnosis and therapeutics with their capacity to specifically target cells and tissues with imaging agents and/or drug payloads. The unique physical aspects of nanoparticles present new challenges for this promising technology. Studies indicate that nanoparticles often elicit moderate to severe complement activation. Using human in vitro assays that corroborated the mouse in vivo results we previously presented mechanistic studies that define the pathway and key components involved in modulating complement interactions with several gadolinium-functionalized perfluorocarbon nanoparticles (PFOB). Here we employ a modified in vitro hemolysis-based assay developed in conjunction with the mouse in vivo model to broaden our analysis to include PFOBs of varying size, charge and surface chemistry and examine the variations in nanoparticle-mediated complement activity between individuals. This approach may provide the tools for an in-depth structure-activity relationship study that will guide the eventual development of biocompatible nanoparticles. PMID:24211337

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    2002-07-01

    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. PMID:12109482

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Optimized DPPH assay in a detergent-based buffer system for measuring antioxidant activity of proteins

    PubMed Central

    Nicklisch, Sascha C.T.; Waite, J. Herbert

    2014-01-01

    The free radical method using 1,1-diphenyl-2-picryl-hydrazyl (DPPH) is a well established assay for the in vitro determination of antioxidant activity in food and biological extracts. The standard DPPH assay uses methanol or ethanol as solvents, or buffered alcoholic solutions in a ratio of 40%/60% (buffer/alcohol, v/v) to keep the hydrophobic hydrazyl radical and phenolic test compounds soluble while offering sufficient buffering capacity at different pHs tested. Following this protocol, we were unable to keep proteinaceous antioxidants soluble at different pHs to test for their antioxidant activity. Thus, the assay protocol was modified as follows to improve its utility:•Non-ionic detergents were added to keep the DPPH radical soluble and to provide a mild and non-denaturing environment for the antioxidant protein.•Maximal concentration of DPPH was limited to 100 μM to stay within the sensitivity range of the detector at the given wavelength (515 nm) and to increase the dynamic range of the assay.•0.1 M citrate phosphate buffer was introduced to prevent experimental artifacts due to changing buffer compositions at different pHs. PMID:25530949

  13. 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

  14. Determining antioxidant activities of lactobacilli cell-free supernatants by cellular antioxidant assay: a comparison with traditional methods.

    PubMed

    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

  15. Antioxidant activity by DPPH assay of potential solutions to be applied on bleached teeth.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Eugenio José; Oldoni, Tatiane Luiza Cadorin; Alencar, Severino Matias de; Reis, Alessandra; Loguercio, Alessandro D; Grande, Rosa Helena Miranda

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess, using the DPPH assay, the antioxidant activity of several substances that could be proposed to immediately revert the problems caused by bleaching procedures. The percentage of antioxidant activity (AA%) of 10% ascorbic acid solution (AAcidS), 10% ascorbic acid gel (AAcidG), 10% sodium ascorbate solution (SodAsS), 10% sodium ascorbate gel (SodAsG), 10% sodium bicarbonate (Bicarb), Neutralize(®) (NE), Desensibilize(®) (DES), catalase C-40 at 10 mg/mL (CAT), 10% alcohol solution of alpha-tocopherol (VitE), Listerine(®) (LIS), 0.12% chlorhexidine (CHX), Croton Lechleri (CL), 10 % aqueous solution of Uncaria Tomentosa (UT), artificial saliva (ArtS) and 0.05% sodium fluoride (NaF) was assessed in triplicate by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl-hydrazyl-hydrate (DPPH) free radical assay. All substances exhibited antioxidant activity, except for CL. AAcidS, AAcidG and VitE exhibited the highest AA% (p<0.05). On the contrary, CHX, NE, LIS and NaF showed the lowest AA% (p<0.05). In conclusion, AAcidS, AAcidG, SodAsS, SodAsG and VitE presented the highest antioxidant activity among substances tested in this study. The DPPH assay provides an easy and rapid way to evaluate potential antioxidants. PMID:22460310

  16. 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

  17. A continuous spectrophotometric assay that distinguishes between phospholipase A1 and A2 activities.

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

    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

  18. A description of an HPLC assay of coproporphyrinogen III oxidase activity in mononuclear cells.

    PubMed

    Gross, U; Gerlach, R; Kühnel, A; Seifert, V; Doss, M O

    2003-01-01

    Coproporphyrinogen III oxidase is deficient in hereditary coproporphyria. An activity assay for this enzyme in mononuclear cells, besides the preparation of the substrate, are presented. The separation conditions for the product of the test protoporphyrin IX by gradient, reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography are given. The normal value from mononuclear cells of healthy volunteers was 138 +/- 21 pkat/g total soluble protein (mean +/- SD). The enzyme activity of a family with hereditary coproporphyria was measured. The gene carriers exhibit a specific coproporphyrinogen III oxidase activity of 61-90 pkat/g total soluble protein. PMID:14605502

  19. Characterisation of lysozyme activity in the in situ pellicle using a fluorimetric assay.

    PubMed

    Hannig, Christian; Spitzmüller, Bettina; Hannig, Matthias

    2009-03-01

    Lysozyme is among the most protective enzymes in the pellicle layer. The aim of the present study was to establish a precise fluorimetric assay for determination and characterisation of lysozyme activity immobilised in the initial in situ formed pellicle. For in situ pellicle formation, bovine enamel slabs were fixed on maxillary splints and carried by six subjects for different times (3, 30 min) on buccal and palatal sites. The enzymatic assay was based on hydrolysis of cell walls from Micrococcus lysodeicticus linked to a fluorogenic substance. When the substrate is hydrolysed, a fluorescing product is released. Furthermore, the effects of chlorhexidine and black tea on lysozyme in the in situ pellicle were investigated. The fluorimetric method allowed direct determination of the enzyme activity with the slab inside the well of a microtiter plate. The mean immobilised activity over all samples amounted to 68.67 +/- 27.35 U/cm(2) (desorbed activity = 46.76 +/- 21.18 U/cm(2)). The enzyme activity exposed at the pellicles' surfaces increased in a time-dependant manner and showed a Michaelis-Menten kinetic. Chlorhexidine and black tea reduced lysozyme activity of the in situ pellicle significantly. After rinsing with tea or chlorhexidine, V(max) was reduced, whereas K(m) remained unaffected indicating a negative allosteric effect of the V type. The fluorimetric method is appropriate for determination of pellicle lysozyme activity. The influence of effectors on immobilised lysozyme activity can be monitored. PMID:18810509

  20. Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) and Proximity Ligation Assays Reveal Functionally Relevant Homo- and Heteromeric Complexes among Hyaluronan Synthases HAS1, HAS2, and HAS3*

    PubMed Central

    Bart, Geneviève; Vico, Nuria Ortega; Hassinen, Antti; Pujol, Francois M.; Deen, Ashik Jawahar; Ruusala, Aino; Tammi, Raija H.; Squire, Anthony; Heldin, Paraskevi; Kellokumpu, Sakari; Tammi, Markku I.

    2015-01-01

    In vertebrates, hyaluronan is produced in the plasma membrane from cytosolic UDP-sugar substrates by hyaluronan synthase 1–3 (HAS1–3) isoenzymes that transfer N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) and glucuronic acid (GlcUA) in alternative positions in the growing polysaccharide chain during its simultaneous extrusion into the extracellular space. It has been shown that HAS2 immunoprecipitates contain functional HAS2 homomers and also heteromers with HAS3 (Karousou, E., Kamiryo, M., Skandalis, S. S., Ruusala, A., Asteriou, T., Passi, A., Yamashita, H., Hellman, U., Heldin, C. H., and Heldin, P. (2010) The activity of hyaluronan synthase 2 is regulated by dimerization and ubiquitination. J. Biol. Chem. 285, 23647–23654). Here we have systematically screened in live cells, potential interactions among the HAS isoenzymes using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and flow cytometric quantification. We show that all HAS isoenzymes form homomeric and also heteromeric complexes with each other. The same complexes were detected both in Golgi apparatus and plasma membrane by using FRET microscopy and the acceptor photobleaching method. Proximity ligation assays with HAS antibodies confirmed the presence of HAS1-HAS2, HAS2-HAS2, and HAS2-HAS3 complexes between endogenously expressed HASs. C-terminal deletions revealed that the enzymes interact mainly via uncharacterized N-terminal 86-amino acid domain(s), but additional binding site(s) probably exist in their C-terminal parts. Of all the homomeric complexes HAS1 had the lowest and HAS3 the highest synthetic activity. Interestingly, HAS1 transfection reduced the synthesis of hyaluronan obtained by HAS2 and HAS3, suggesting functional cooperation between the isoenzymes. These data indicate a general tendency of HAS isoenzymes to form both homomeric and heteromeric complexes with potentially important functional consequences on hyaluronan synthesis. PMID:25795779

  1. 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. PMID:25550040

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Fluorescence polarization-based assays for detecting compounds binding to inactive c-Jun N-terminal kinase 3 and p38α mitogen-activated protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Ansideri, Francesco; Lange, Andreas; El-Gokha, Ahmed; Boeckler, Frank M; Koch, Pierre

    2016-06-15

    Two fluorescein-labeled pyridinylimidazoles were synthesized and evaluated as probes for the binding affinity determination of potential kinase inhibitors to the c-Jun N-terminal kinase 3 (JNK3) and p38α mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK). Fluorescence polarization (FP)-based competition binding assays were developed for both enzymes using 1-(3',6'-dihydroxy-3-oxo-3H-spiro[isobenzofuran-1,9'-xanthen]-5-yl)-3-(4-((4-(4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(methylthio)-1H-imidazol-5-yl)pyridin-2-yl)amino)phenyl)thiourea (5) as an FP probe (JNK3: Kd = 3.0 nM; p38α MAPK: Kd = 5.7 nM). The validation of the assays with known inhibitors of JNK3 and p38α MAPK revealed that both FP assays correlate very well with inhibition data received by the activity assays. This, in addition to the viability of both FP-based binding assays for the high-throughput screening procedure, makes the assays suitable as inexpensive prescreening protocols for JNK3 and p38α MAPK inhibitors. PMID:26954235

  5. Highly sensitive assay for acetylcholinesterase activity and inhibition based on a specifically reactive photonic nanostructure.

    PubMed

    Tian, Tian; Li, Xuesong; Cui, Jiecheng; Li, Jian; Lan, Yue; Wang, Chen; Zhang, Meng; Wang, Hui; Li, Guangtao

    2014-09-10

    Assays for acetylcholinesterase (AChE) with high sensitivity and high selectivity as well as facile manipulation have been urgently required in various fields. In this work, a reaction-based photonic strategy was developed for the efficient assay of AChE activity and inhibition based on the synergetic combination of the specific thiol-maleimide addition reaction with photonic porous structure. It was found that various applications including detection of AChE activity, measurement of the related enzymatic kinetics, and screening of inhibitors could be efficiently implemented using such strategy. Remarkably, the unique photonic nanostructure endows the constructed sensing platform with high sensitivity with a limit of detection (LOD) of 5 mU/mL for AChE activity, high selectivity, and self-reporting signaling. Moreover, the label-free solid film-based sensing approach described here has advantages of facile manipulation and bare-eye readout, compared with conventional liquid-phase methods, exhibiting promising potential in practical application for the AChE assay. PMID:25130420

  6. 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

  7. Lack of biological activity of preproendothelin (110-130) in several endothelin assays

    SciTech Connect

    Cade, C.; Lumma, W.C. Jr.; Mohan, R.; Rubanyi, G.M.; Parker-Botelho, L.H. )

    1990-01-01

    A 21 amino acid peptide containing the prepropendothelin sequence from amino acids 110 to 130 and two intrachain disulfide bonds was synthesized and tested for biological activity in the following endothelin assays: (1) a competition binding assay using ({sup 125}I)ET-1 and dog heart membranes, (2) three RIA's using {sup 125}-ET-1, -2 and -3 and the respective anti-ET rabbit antisera; and (3) a contractile activity bioassay using hamster aortic rings. The synthetic peptide which has been referred to as the endothelin-like peptide occurs 36 amino acids C-terminal to endothelin in the prepro-protein sequence. It contains only 40% sequence homology to the three endothelin isoforms, but has the same sequence and cyclization pattern of cysteines at positions 1, 3, 11 and 15. Despite the overall similarity in secondary structure to the three isoforms of endothelin and sarafotoxin S6b, preproendothelin (110-130) had no activity in any of the assays when tested at concentrations of 10{sup {minus}10}M to 10{sup {minus}5}M.

  8. Reproducible quantification of osteoclastic activity: characterization of a biomimetic calcium phosphate assay.

    PubMed

    Maria, Salwa M; Prukner, Christiane; Sheikh, Zeeshan; Mueller, Frank; Barralet, Jake E; Komarova, Svetlana V

    2014-07-01

    Osteoclasts are responsible for bone and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis, and osteoporosis. Animal tusk slice assays are standard for evaluating the effect of therapeutics on these cells. However, in addition to batch-to-batch variability inherent to animal tusks, their use is clearly not sustainable. Our objective was to develop and characterize a biomimetic calcium phosphate assay based on the use of phase pure hydroxyapatite coated as a thin film on the surface of culture plates, to facilitate the reproducible quantification of osteoclast resorptive activity. Osteoclasts were formed from RAW 264.7 mouse monocyte cell line using a pro-resorptive cytokine RANKL (50 ng/mL). No change in substrate appearance was noted after culture with media without cells, or undifferentiated monocytes. Only in the presence of osteoclasts localized areas of calcium phosphate dissolution were observed. The total area resorbed positively correlated with the osteoclast numbers (R(2) = 0.99). The resorbed area was significantly increased by the addition of RANKL, and decreased after application of known inhibitors of osteoclast resorptive activity, calcitonin (10 μM), or alendronate (100 μM). Thus, calcium phosphate coated substrates allow reliable monitoring of osteoclast resorptive activity and offer an alternative to animal tusk slice assays. PMID:24259122

  9. Assessment of estrogenic activity in Tunisian water and wastewater by E-screen assay.

    PubMed

    Limam, Atef; Talorete, Terence P N; Ali, Mourad Ben Sik; Kawano, Mitsuko; Jenhani, Amel Ben Rejeb; Abe, Yukuo; Ghrabi, Ahmed; Isoda, Hiroko

    2007-01-01

    Wastewater and surface water samples from three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and three rivers in Tunisia were assayed for estrogenic activity using the E-screen assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results showed that all the Tunisian raw wastewater samples as well as the Roriche river water sample induced a strong proliferative response in human MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Tunisian raw wastewater had an average 17beta-estradiol content of 2,705.4 pg/ml, whereas that of the Roriche river was 36.7 pg/ml, which is sufficient for inducing endocrine-mediated responses in aquatic organisms. Results further showed that the Mornag WWTP, which uses the activated-sludge treatment system, has a higher estrogen removal efficiency than the stabilization ponds of the Gammart and pilot WWTPs. This study, which is the first of such studies in Tunisia, and probably the first in the North African region, underscores the need to detect and monitor the estrogenic activity of water and wastewater, given the scarcity of water in Tunisia and the detrimental impact of endocrine-disrupting compounds on the physiology of both animals and humans. PMID:18382414

  10. Estimation of the dermal carcinogenic activity of petroleum fractions using a modified Ames assay.

    PubMed

    Blackburn, G R; Deitch, R A; Schreiner, C A; Mehlman, M A; Mackerer, C R

    1984-10-01

    The Ames Salmonella/microsomal activation mutagenesis assay has been adapted to improve sensitivity to complex hydrocarbon mixtures produced by the refining of petroleum. Extraction of oil samples with dimethyl sulfoxide produces aqueous-compatible solutions that more easily interact with the tester bacteria. These extracts, therefore, produce higher revertant values than do equivalent volumes of oil delivered neat or dissolved in organic solvent. Parallel increases in the liver microsomal S-9 concentration further improve the sensitivity of the assay, allowing detection of mutagenicity in otherwise inactive samples. The effect of increased microsomal fraction from rodent liver is apparently attributable to the higher levels of activating enzymes rather than to the concomitant increase in the overall hydrophobicity of the test system. The modified assay has been used to rank thirteen petroleum-derived oils and a corn oil control for relative mutagenic activity. This ranking closely correlates (r = 0.97) with potency rankings of the same samples previously determined from dermal carcinogenicity bioassays. PMID:6401126

  11. Is there a role for estrogen activity assays? Recombinant cell bioassay for estrogen: Development and applications.

    PubMed

    Klein, Karen Oerter

    2015-07-01

    There are many questions which cannot be answered without a very sensitive estradiol assay. A recombinant cell bioassay (RCBA) for estradiol was developed in 1994. The sensitivity of the bioassay is 0.02-0.2 pg/ml (0.07-0.7 pmol/L), more than 20 times more sensitive than commercial RIAs and 10 times more sensitive than newer mass spectrometry assays. The RCBA for estradiol opened the door to study low levels of estradiol equivalents (EE) across the physiological spectrum of life from prepubertal children through menopause and across the spectrum from normal physiology, in boys as well as girls, to pathology, including: premature thelarche; estradiol suppression in children treated with GnRH analogues for precocious puberty; aromatase inhibition in boys with growth hormone deficiency; the differences between oral and transdermal routes of estrogen administration in girls with Turner's syndrome; women with breast cancer treated with aromatase inhibitors; and women with urogenital atrophy treated with low dose vaginal estrogen. A bioassay also allows study of endocrine disruptors, like phytoestrogens and other environmental compounds, which are relevant to public health and alternative medicine options. This paper reviews the assay and the last 20 years of applications. A bioassay for estrogen has a role because measuring biological effect is theoretically useful, increasing the understanding of physiology in addition to biochemical levels, giving different information than other assays, and opening the door to measure very low levels of estrogen activity in both humans and the environment. PMID:25159103

  12. Are the Opsonophagocytic Activities of Antibodies in Infant Sera Measured by Different Pneumococcal Phagocytosis Assays Comparable?

    PubMed Central

    Väkeväinen, Merja; Jansen, Wouter; Saeland, Eirikur; Jonsdottir, Ingileif; Snippe, Harm; Verheul, Andre; Käyhty, Helena

    2001-01-01

    Host protection against Streptococcus pneumoniae is mainly mediated by opsonin-dependent phagocytosis. Several techniques for measuring opsonophagocytic activity (OPA) of antibodies to S. pneumoniae have been standardized and used. These include the viable cell-assay, flow-cytometric assays, and an assay utilizing radiolabeled bacteria. Using these different methods, we measured the OPA of antibodies to S. pneumoniae types 6B and 19F from the sera of infants immunized with a pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, PncCRM. Generally, the results obtained by the various techniques correlated well, although serotype-specific differences were found (6B, r = 0.78 to 0.95, P < 0.001; 19F, r = 0.50 to 0.84, P < 0.001). The same serotype-specific differences were observed for the relationship between the concentrations of specific immunoglobulin G antibodies measured by enzyme immunoassay and the OPA. Since the sensitivities of the OPA assays differed, the most prominent discrepancies between the techniques were found at low antibody concentrations. PMID:11238223

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

    PubMed

    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

  14. 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

  15. Complexes between tissue-type plasminogen activator and proteinase inhibitors in human plasma, identified with an immunoradiometric assay

    SciTech Connect

    Rijken, D.C.; Juhan-Vague, I.; Collen, D.

    1983-02-01

    Extrinsic (tissue-type) plasminogen activator antigen in human plasma, as measured by a two-site immunoradiometric assay, is composed of a fibrin-adsorbable and a nonadsorbable fraction. Gel filtration on Ultrogel AcA 44 in 1.6M KSCN of the fibrin-adsorbable fraction showed a peak with M/sub r/ approx. =70,000, which contained plasminogen activator activity and was assumed to represent free extrinsic plasminogen activator. The nonadsorbable fraction showed a broad peak with M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 without plasminogen activator activity. Overnight incubation at 37/sup 0/C of postexercise plasma revealed a shift of the M/sub r/ approx. =70,000 peak to the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 position, suggesting that the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 peak consists of extrinsic plasminogen activator-protease inhibitor complex(es). ..cap alpha../sub 2/-Antiplasmin is the main inhibitor of extrinsic plasminogen activator in plasma and is probably responsible for the generation of the M/sub r/ approx. =140,000 component. A possible involvement of other plasma proteinase inhibitors was explored by incubation of /sup 125/I-labeled extrinsic plasminogen activator in ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin-depleted plasma. A complex was formed with a t1/2 of about 1 hr, which was identified by immunoprecipitation as extrinsic plasminogen activator-..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin complex. Additional evidence for the presence of extrinsic plasminogen activator complexes with ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin and ..cap alpha../sub 1/-antitrypsin in plasma was obtained from two-site immunoradiometric assays. It was concluded that plasma contains both free extrinsic plasminogen activator and plasminogen activator complexes with ..cap alpha../sub 2/-antiplasmin and ..cap alpha../sub 1/-antitrypsin. These complexes are also present in plasma collected on the active site inhibitor, D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH/sub 2/Cl, at rest and after exercise and are therefore assumed to circulate in vivo. (JMT)

  16. Sensitive assay of glycogen phosphorylase activity by analysing the chain-lengthening action on a Fluorogenic [corrected] maltooligosaccharide derivative.

    PubMed

    Makino, Yasushi; Omichi, Kaoru

    2009-07-01

    The action of glycogen phosphorylase (GP) is essentially reversible, although GP is generally classified as a glycogen-degrading enzyme. In this study, we developed a highly sensitive and convenient assay for GP activity by analysing its chain-lengthening action on a fluorogenic maltooligosaccharide derivative in a glucose-1-phosphate-rich medium. Characterization of the substrate specificity of GP using pyridylaminated (PA-) maltooligosaccharides of various sizes revealed that a maltotetraosyl (Glc(4)) residue comprising the non-reducing-end of a PA-maltooligosaccharide is indispensable for the chain-lengthening action of GP, and PA-maltohexaose is the most suitable substrate for the purpose of this study. By using a high-performance liquid chromatograph equipped with a fluorescence spectrophotometer, PA-maltoheptaose produced by the chain elongation of PA-maltohexaose could be isolated and quantified at 10 fmol. This method was used to measure the GP activities of crude and purified GP preparations, and was demonstrated to have about 1,000 times greater sensitivity than the spectrophotometric orthophosphate assay. PMID:19279194

  17. 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. PMID:26617034

  18. Sensitive assay of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity in rat and human tissues using radioimmunoassay of neopterin

    SciTech Connect

    Sawada, M.; Horikoshi, T.; Masada, M.; Akino, M.; Sugimoto, T.; Matsuura, S.; Nagatsu, T.

    1986-04-01

    A highly sensitive and simple assay for the activity of GTP cyclohydrolase I (EC 3.5.4.16) was established using a newly developed radioimmunoassay. D-erythro-7,8-Dihydroneopterin triphosphate formed from GTP by GTP cyclohydrolase I was oxidized by iodine and dephosphorylated by alkaline phosphatase to D-erythro-neopterin, and quantified by a radioimmunoassay for D-erythro-neopterin. This method was highly sensitive and required only 0.2 mg of rat liver tissues for the measurement of the activity. It was reproducible and can be applied for the simultaneous assay of many samples. The activity of GTP cyclohydrolase I was measured in several rat tissues. For example, the enzyme activity in rat striatum (n = 5) was 13.7 +/- 1.5 pmol/mg protein per hour (mean +/- SE), and agreed well with those obtained by high-performance liquid chromatography with fluorescence detection. The activity in the autopsy human brains (caudate nucleus) was measured by this new method for the first time. The activity in the caudate nucleus from parkinsonian patients (n = 6) was 0.82 +/- 0.56 pmol/mg protein per hour which was significantly lower than the control value, 4.22 +/- 0.43 pmol/mg protein per hour (n = 10).

  19. [Detection of endotoxin activity in water environment and analysis of influence factors for TAL assay].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Can; Liu, Wen-jun; Zhang, Ming-lu; Tian, Fang; Sun, Wen; Qian, Ling-jia; Zhan, Rui

    2013-09-01

    Endotoxins, derived from cell walls of most Gram-negative bacteria and some cyanobacteria, are common pyrogen and highly immunogenic molecules, and related to many diseases. In this paper, a detection method for endotoxin activity in water environment using kinetic-turbid assay of Tachypleus Amebocyte Lysate (TAL) was established, the influence of pH and salts on TAL assay was investigated. Results showed that it was favorable for TAL assay in the pH range of 6.0-8.4, at low pHs, inhibition results were observed and opposite results were obtained at high pHs. The pH should be adjusted by Tris-HCl (pH = 7.4) buffer before the endotoxin detection. No significant interference was shown in the detection of water containing NaCl, Na2SO4, CaCl2, MgCl2 and KCl with a concentration of less than 50 mg x L(-1), however, the inhibition occurred at the concentration up to 1000-10,000 mg x L(-1). Only 2. 5 mg x L(-1) of FeCl, Fe2(SO4)3, AlCl3 and Al2 (SO4)3 caused significant inhibition. Endotoxin activities of ultrapure water, tap water and recreational water were detected by TAL assay, and their endotoxin activities were < 0.06 EU x mL(-1), 0.46 EU x mL(-1) and 432. 68 EU x mL(-1), respectively. PMID:24288979

  20. "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. PMID:26412058

  1. 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

  2. Genetic evidence for gonochoristic reproduction in gynogenetic silver crucian carp (Carassius auratus gibelio bloch) as revealed by RAPD assays.

    PubMed

    Zhou, L; Wang, Y; Gui, J F

    2000-11-01

    Sex evolution has been a debating focus in evolutionary genetics. In lower vertebrates of reptiles, amphibians, and fish, a species or a bioform reproduces either sexually or asexually but never both. A few species were found to consist of all females in fish. These all-female species can propagate by asexual reproduction modes, such as gynogenesis and hybridogenesis. However, the coexistence of sexuality and asexuality in a single species was recently noted only in a cyprinid fish silver crucian carp, Carassius auratus gibelio. This fish had been demonstrated to be capable of gynogenesis stimulated by sperm from other related species. Surprisingly, natural populations of this fish consist of a minor but significant portion (approx. 20%) of males. As different clones with specific phenotypic and genetic characteristics have been found, and RAPD markers specific to each clone have recently been identified, this fish offers many advantages for analyzing whether or not genetic recombination occurs between different clones. In this study, artificial propagation was performed in clone F and clone D. Ovulated eggs from clone F were divided into two parts and respectively inseminated with sperm from a clone D male and from a red common carp (Cyprinus carpio) male. The control clone D individuals were selected from gynogenetic offspring of clone D activated by sperm of red common carp. The phenotype and sex ratio in the experimental groups were also observed. Using RAPD molecular markers, which allow for reliable discrimination and genetic analysis of different clones, we have revealed direct molecular evidence for gonochoristic reproduction in the gynogenetic silver crucian carp and confirmed a previous hypothesis that the silver crucian carp might reproduce both gynogenetically and gonochoristically. Therefore, we conclude that the silver crucian carp possesses two reproductive modes, i.e., gynogenetic and gonochoristic reproduction. The response mechanism of two

  3. 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.

  4. 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

    1998-05-01

    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. PMID:9600060

  5. 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. PMID:26547558

  6. 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

  7. A fluorescence-based assay for Core 1 β3galactosyltransferase (T-synthase) activity.

    PubMed

    Ju, Tongzhong; Cummings, Richard D

    2013-01-01

    Mucin-type O-glycans on glycoproteins in animal cells play important roles in many biological processes. Core 1 β3galactosyltransferase (Core 1 β3GalT, T-synthase) is a key enzyme in the O-glycan biosynthetic pathway. Emerging evidence has shown the importance of O-glycans and the absolute requirement of T-synthase in this pathway. The assessment of the T-synthase activity has historically been conducted using a radioactive method. Here we describe a fluorescence-based assay procedure for T-synthase activity. T-synthase utilizes the acceptor substrate 4-methylumbelliferone-α-GalNAc (GalNAcα-(4-MU)) and the donor substrate UDP-Gal to synthesize the disaccharide product Galβ1,3GalNAcα-(4-MU) structure. This product is specifically hydrolyzed by endo-α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (O-glycosidase) releasing free 4-MU. Free 4-MU is highly fluorescent at pH 9.6-10 and can be easily measured by a fluorescent detector (Ex: 355 nm; Em: 460 nm). This fluorescence-based T-synthase assay is simple, sensitive, reproducible, not affected by enzyme source, and adaptable for high-throughput assays. PMID:23765650

  8. Visualizing repetitive diffusion activity of double-strand RNA binding proteins by single molecule fluorescence assays.

    PubMed

    Koh, Hye Ran; Wang, Xinlei; Myong, Sua

    2016-08-01

    TRBP, one of double strand RNA binding proteins (dsRBPs), is an essential cofactor of Dicer in the RNA interference pathway. Previously we reported that TRBP exhibits repetitive diffusion activity on double strand (ds)RNA in an ATP independent manner. In the TRBP-Dicer complex, the diffusion mobility of TRBP facilitates Dicer-mediated RNA cleavage. Such repetitive diffusion of dsRBPs on a nucleic acid at the nanometer scale can be appropriately captured by several single molecule detection techniques. Here, we provide a step-by-step guide to four different single molecule fluorescence assays by which the diffusion activity of dsRBPs on dsRNA can be detected. One color assay, termed protein induced fluorescence enhancement enables detection of unlabeled protein binding and diffusion on a singly labeled RNA. Two-color Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) in which labeled dsRBPs is applied to labeled RNA, allows for probing the motion of protein along the RNA axis. Three color FRET reports on the diffusion movement of dsRBPs from one to the other end of RNA. The single molecule pull down assay provides an opportunity to collect dsRBPs from mammalian cells and examine the protein-RNA interaction at single molecule platform. PMID:27012177

  9. Expression of human endostatin in larvae of silkworm (Bombyx mori) and in vitro activity assays.

    PubMed

    Yongfeng, Jin; Yingfei, Wang; Zhenhong, Zhu; Yaozhou, Zhang

    2002-08-01

    Human endostatin is a novel antiangiogenic molecule, which can inhibit the proliferation and development of new blood vessels, and experimentally can cause nearly complete regression of established tumors. In this paper, the cDNA encoding human endostatin was cloned into a baculovirus shuttle vector pBacPAK8 and co-infected with linearized Bm-BacPAK6 DNA into and BmN cells. The recombinant virus was screened and identified by PCR, DNA and RNA dot hybridization, and ELISA assay. The recombinant endostatin was expressed in culture cells, and the larvae and pupa of silkworm by inoculation of recombinant virus. The biological activity assay showed that the expression product in larvae was over 150 microg/ml, about 50-fold higher than that expressed in cultured cells. SDS-PAGE and Western blotting analysis showed a pattern of molecular weight of about 20 kDa. The bio-activity of the protein product was determined by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (ECV304) proliferation test in vitro and the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) vascular inhibition test. Endostatin showed significant inhibitory effect on endothelial cells in a dose-dependent manner. Silkworm-produced endostatin induced apoptosis of endothelial cells and also inhibited angiogenesis in the CAM assay. Combination regimen using angiostatin and endostatin showed more than additive effect in angiogenic inhibition and increasing apoptosis when compared with treatment with the individual antiangiogenic protein. PMID:12186748

  10. A Fluorometric Activity Assay for Light-Regulated Cyclic-Nucleotide-Monophosphate Actuators.

    PubMed

    Schumacher, Charlotte Helene; Körschen, Heinz G; Nicol, Christopher; Gasser, Carlos; Seifert, Reinhard; Schwärzel, Martin; Möglich, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    As a transformative approach in neuroscience and cell biology, optogenetics grants control over manifold cellular events with unprecedented spatiotemporal definition, reversibility, and noninvasiveness. Sensory photoreceptors serve as genetically encoded, light-regulated actuators and hence embody the cornerstone of optogenetics. To expand the scope of optogenetics, ever more naturally occurring photoreceptors are being characterized, and synthetic photoreceptors with customized, light-regulated function are being engineered. Perturbational control over intracellular cyclic-nucleotide-monophosphate (cNMP) levels is achieved via sensory photoreceptors that catalyze the making and breaking of these second messengers in response to light. To facilitate discovery, engineering and quantitative characterization of such light-regulated cNMP actuators, we have developed an efficient fluorometric assay. Both the formation and the hydrolysis of cNMPs are accompanied by proton release which can be quantified with the fluorescent pH indicator 2',7'-bis-(2-carboxyethyl)-5-(and-6)-carboxyfluorescein (BCECF). This assay equally applies to nucleotide cyclases, e.g., blue-light-activated bPAC, and to cNMP phosphodiesterases, e.g., red-light-activated LAPD. Key benefits include potential for parallelization and automation, as well as suitability for both purified enzymes and crude cell lysates. The BCECF assay hence stands to accelerate discovery and characterization of light-regulated actuators of cNMP metabolism. PMID:26965118

  11. 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.

  12. A novel protease activity assay using a protease-responsive chaperone protein

    SciTech Connect

    Sao, Kentaro; Murata, Masaharu; Fujisaki, Yuri; Umezaki, Kaori; Mori, Takeshi; Niidome, Takuro; Katayama, Yoshiki; Hashizume, Makoto

    2009-06-05

    Protease activity assays are important for elucidating protease function and for developing new therapeutic agents. In this study, a novel turbidimetric method for determining the protease activity using a protease-responsive chaperone protein is described. For this purpose, a recombinant small heat-shock protein (sHSP) with an introduced Factor Xa protease recognition site was synthesized in bacteria. This recombinant mutant, FXa-HSP, exhibited chaperone-like activity at high temperatures in cell lysates. However, the chaperone-like activity of FXa-HSP decreased dramatically following treatment with Factor Xa. Protein precipitation was subsequently observed in the cell lysates. The reaction was Factor Xa concentration-dependent and was quantitatively suppressed by a specific inhibitor for Factor Xa. Protein aggregation was detected by a simple method based on turbidimetry. The results clearly demonstrate that this assay is an effective, easy-to-use method for determining protease activities without the requirement of labeling procedures and the use of radioisotopes.

  13. A high-throughput assay format for determination of nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase enzyme activities

    SciTech Connect

    McNally, N.; Liu, Xiang Yang; Choudary, P.V.

    1997-01-01

    The authors describe a microplate-based high-throughput procedure for rapid assay of the enzyme activities of nitrate reductase and nitrite reductase, using extremely small volumes of reagents. The new procedure offers the advantages of rapidity, small sample size-nanoliter volumes, low cost, and a dramatic increase in the throughput sample number that can be analyzed simultaneously. Additional advantages can be accessed by using microplate reader application software packages that permit assigning a group type to the wells, recording of the data on exportable data files and exercising the option of using the kinetic or endpoint reading modes. The assay can also be used independently for detecting nitrite residues/contamination in environmental/food samples. 10 refs., 2 figs.

  14. A broadly applicable continuous spectrophotometric assay for measuring aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase activity.

    PubMed Central

    Lloyd, A J; Thomann, H U; Ibba, M; Söll, D

    1995-01-01

    We describe a convenient, simple and novel continuous spectrophotometric method for the determination of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase activity. The assay relies upon the measurement of inorganic pyrophosphate generated in the first step of the aminoacylation of a tRNA. Pyrophosphate release is coupled to inorganic pyrophosphatase, to generate phosphate, which in turn is used as the substrate of purine nucleoside phosphorylase to catalyze the N-glycosidic cleavage of 2-amino 6-mercapto 7-methylpurine ribonucleoside. Of the reaction products, ribose 1-phosphate and 2-amino 6-mercapto 7-methylpurine, the latter has a high absorbance at 360 nm relative to the nucleoside and hence provides a spectrophotometric signal that can be continuously followed. The non-destructive nature of the spectrophotometric assay allowed the re-use of the tRNAs in question in successive experiments. The usefulness of this method was demonstrated for glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase (GlnRS) and tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase. Initial velocities measured using this assay correlate closely with those assayed by quantitation of [3H]Gln-tRNA or [14C]Trp-tRNA formation respectively. In both cases amino acid transfer from the aminoacyl adenylate to the tRNA represents the rate determining step. In addition, aminoacyl adenylate formation by aspartyl-tRNA synthetase was followed and provided a more sensitive means of active site titration than existing techniques. Finally, this novel method was used to provide direct evidence for the cooperativity of tRNA and ATP binding to GlnRS. PMID:7659511

  15. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed CREB and serine 133 phospho-CREB binding to the CART gene proximal promoter

    PubMed Central

    Rogge, George A; Shen, Li-Ling; Kuhar, Michael J.

    2010-01-01

    Both over expression of cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), and intra-accumbal injection of cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptides, have been shown to decrease cocaine reward. Also, over expression of CREB in the rat NAc increased CART mRNA and peptide levels, but it is not known if this was due to a direct action of P-CREB on the CART gene promoter. The goal of this study was to test if CREB and P-CREB bound directly to the CRE site in the CART promoter, using chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assays. ChIP assay with anti-CREB antibodies showed an enrichment of the CART promoter fragment containing the CRE region over IgG precipitated material, a non-specific control. Forskolin, which was known to increase CART mRNA levels in GH3 cells, was utilized to show that the drug increased levels of P-CREB protein and P-CREB binding to the CART promoter CRE-containing region. A region of the c-Fos promoter containing a CRE cis-regulatory element was previously shown to bind P-CREB, and it was used here as a positive control. These data suggest that the effects of CREB over expression on blunting cocaine reward could be, at least in part, attributed to the increased expression of the CART gene by direct interaction of P-CREB with the CART promoter CRE site, rather than by some indirect action. PMID:20451507

  16. Determination of Rab5 activity in the cell by effector pull-down assay.

    PubMed

    Qi, Yaoyao; Liang, Zhimin; Wang, Zonghua; Lu, Guodong; Li, Guangpu

    2015-01-01

    Rab5 targets to early endosomes and is a master regulator of early endosome fusion and endocytosis in all eukaryotic cells. Like other GTPases, Rab5 functions as a molecular switch by alternating between GTP-bound and GDP-bound forms, with the former being biologically active via interactions with multiple effector proteins. Thus the Rab5-GTP level in the cell reflects Rab5 activity in promoting endosome fusion and endocytosis and is indicative of cellular endocytic activity. In this chapter, we describe a Rab5 activity assay by using GST fusion proteins with the Rab5 effectors such as Rabaptin-5, Rabenosyn-5, and EEA1 that specifically bind to GTP-bound Rab5. We compare the efficiencies of the three GST fusion proteins in the pull-down of mammalian and fungal Rab5 proteins. PMID:25800849

  17. Research on the chemical inactivation of antibiotic activity in assays of sterility and contamination of pharmaceuticals.

    PubMed

    Negretti, F; Casetta, P

    1991-01-01

    Membrane filtration, frequently used for removing antibacterial activity in assays of sterility and contamination of the antibiotics, presents the drawback of adsorption of antibiotic to membrane. The washing with large volumes of peptone water removes partially interferences with microbial growth. We evaluated the inactivating action of some chemical substances (albumin, calcium pantothenate, heparin, hydroxylamine, tri-valent iron) on the antimicrobial activity of membranes employed for antibiotic filtration. The results are not positive for the use of chemical substances in the antibiotic activity neutralization. In fact the per cent reduction of inhibition zones ranges from -61.5% to +20.0% and the inhibiting activity on the growth of colony forming units (CFU) oscillates from 89.6% to 100%. Discovery of new neutralizing substances and severe measures of asepsis in pharmaceutical production are recommended. PMID:12041793

  18. 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

  19. Dynamic Transcription Factor Activity Profiles Reveal Key Regulatory Interactions During Megakaryocytic and Erythroid Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Mark T.; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J.; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M.; Shea, Lonnie D.

    2014-01-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  20. Dynamic transcription factor activity profiles reveal key regulatory interactions during megakaryocytic and erythroid differentiation.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Mark T; Shin, Seungjin; Wu, Jia J; Mays, Zachary; Weng, Stanley; Bagheri, Neda; Miller, William M; Shea, Lonnie D

    2014-10-01

    The directed differentiation toward erythroid (E) or megakaryocytic (MK) lineages by the MK-E progenitor (MEP) could enhance the ex vivo generation of red blood cells and platelets for therapeutic transfusions. The lineage choice at the MEP bifurcation is controlled in large part by activity within the intracellular signal transduction network, the output of which determines the activity of transcription factors (TFs) and ultimately gene expression. Although many TFs have been implicated, E or MK differentiation is a complex process requiring multiple days, and the dynamics of TF activities during commitment and terminal maturation are relatively unexplored. Herein, we applied a living cell array for the large-scale, dynamic quantification of TF activities during MEP bifurcation. A panel of hematopoietic TFs (GATA-1, GATA-2, SCL/TAL1, FLI-1, NF-E2, PU.1, c-Myb) was characterized during E and MK differentiation of bipotent K562 cells. Dynamic TF activity profiles associated with differentiation towards each lineage were identified, and validated with previous reports. From these activity profiles, we show that GATA-1 is an important hub during early hemin- and PMA-induced differentiation, and reveal several characteristic TF interactions for E and MK differentiation that confirm regulatory mechanisms documented in the literature. Additionally, we highlight several novel TF interactions at various stages of E and MK differentiation. Furthermore, we investigated the mechanism by which nicotinamide (NIC) promoted terminal MK maturation using an MK-committed cell line, CHRF-288-11 (CHRF). Concomitant with its enhancement of ploidy, NIC strongly enhanced the activity of three TFs with known involvement in terminal MK maturation: FLI-1, NF-E2, and p53. Dynamic profiling of TF activity represents a novel tool to complement traditional assays focused on mRNA and protein expression levels to understand progenitor cell differentiation. PMID:24853077

  1. A Simple Assay to Screen Antimicrobial Compounds Potentiating the Activity of Current Antibiotics

    PubMed Central

    Iqbal, Junaid; Kazmi, Shahana Urooj; Khan, Naveed Ahmed

    2013-01-01

    Antibiotic resistance continues to pose a significant problem in the management of bacterial infections, despite advances in antimicrobial chemotherapy and supportive care. Here, we suggest a simple, inexpensive, and easy-to-perform assay to screen antimicrobial compounds from natural products or synthetic chemical libraries for their potential to work in tandem with the available antibiotics against multiple drug-resistant bacteria. The aqueous extract of Juglans regia tree bark was tested against representative multiple drug-resistant bacteria in the aforementioned assay to determine whether it potentiates the activity of selected antibiotics. The aqueous extract of J. regia bark was added to Mueller-Hinton agar, followed by a lawn of multiple drug-resistant bacteria, Salmonella typhi or enteropathogenic E. coli. Next, filter paper discs impregnated with different classes of antibiotics were placed on the agar surface. Bacteria incubated with extract or antibiotics alone were used as controls. The results showed a significant increase (>30%) in the zone of inhibition around the aztreonam, cefuroxime, and ampicillin discs compared with bacteria incubated with the antibiotics/extract alone. In conclusion, our assay is able to detect either synergistic or additive action of J. regia extract against multiple drug-resistant bacteria when tested with a range of antibiotics. PMID:23865073

  2. Static Adhesion Assay for the Study of Integrin Activation in T Lymphocytes

    PubMed Central

    Strazza, Marianne; Azoulay-Alfaguter, Inbar; Pedoeem, Ariel; Mor, Adam

    2014-01-01

    T lymphocyte adhesion is required for multiple T cell functions, including migration to sites of inflammation and formation of immunological synapses with antigen presenting cells. T cells accomplish regulated adhesion by controlling the adhesive properties of integrins, a class of cell adhesion molecules consisting of heterodimeric pairs of transmembrane proteins that interact with target molecules on partner cells or extracellular matrix. The most prominent T cell integrin is lymphocyte function associated antigen (LFA)-1, composed of subunits αL and β2, whose target is the intracellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1. The ability of a T cell to control adhesion derives from the ability to regulate the affinity states of individual integrins. Inside-out signaling describes the process whereby signals inside a cell cause the external domains of integrins to assume an activated state. Much of our knowledge of these complex phenomena is based on mechanistic studies performed in simplified in vitro model systems. The T lymphocyte adhesion assay described here is an excellent tool that allows T cells to adhere to target molecules, under static conditions, and then utilizes a fluorescent plate reader to quantify adhesiveness. This assay has been useful in defining adhesion-stimulatory or inhibitory substances that act on lymphocytes, as well as characterizing the signaling events involved. Although described here for LFA-1 - ICAM-1 mediated adhesion; this assay can be readily adapted to allow for the study of other adhesive interactions (e.g. VLA-4 - fibronectin). PMID:24961998

  3. A fluorometric assay for measurement of mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    Klebl, B M; Pette, D

    1996-08-01

    Using 1,N6-etheno NAD, a fluorescent analog of NAD, we extended an existing assay for NAD glycohydrolase to the measurement of mono-ADP-ribosyltransferase (mADP-RT) activity using agmatine as acceptor for ADP-ribose. The reaction products were analyzed by reversed-phase chromatography. In the presence of agmatine two newly formed fluorescent products were tentatively identified as ADP-ribosylagmatine anomers. Fluorescence intensity increased upon splitting the N-glycoside bondage of 1,N6-etheno NAD. Therefore, 1, N6-etheno AMP could be used for calibration. The nonradioactive assay yielded values nearly identical to those obtained with the [carbonyl-14C]NAD method. It proved to be highly reproducible, rapid, and suitable for an improved purification protocol yielding a 76,000-fold enriched mADP-RT preparation from rabbit skeletal muscle. The identity and high purity of the enzyme were confirmed immunochemically. The assay served to determine the pH optimum of the enzyme (pH 9.0) and its KM for 1,N6-etheno NAD (287 microM). PMID:8811894

  4. A Cell-Based Fluorescent Assay to Detect the Activity of Shiga Toxin and Other Toxins That Inhibit Protein Synthesis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Escherichia coli O157:H7, a major cause of food-borne illness, produces Shiga toxins that block protein synthesis by inactivating the ribosome. In this chapter we describe a simple cell-based fluorescent assay to detect Shiga toxins and inhibitors of toxin activity. The assay can also be used to d...

  5. Quantifying microbial activity in deep subsurface sediments using a tritium based hydrognease enzyme assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, R.; Nickel, J.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-12-01

    Microbial life is widespread in Earth's subsurface and estimated to represent a significant fraction of Earth's total living biomass. However, very little is known about subsurface microbial activity and its fundamental role in biogeochemical cycles of carbon and other biologically important elements. Hydrogen is one of the most important elements in subsurface anaerobic microbial metabolism. Heterotrophic and chemoautotrophic microorganisms use hydrogen in their metabolic pathways. They either consume or produce protons for ATP synthesis. Hydrogenase (H2ase) is a ubiquitous intracellular enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion of molecular hydrogen and/or water into protons and electrons. The protons are used for the synthesis of ATP, thereby coupling energy generating metabolic processes to electron acceptors such as CO2 or sulfate. H2ase enzyme targets a key metabolic compound in cellular metabolism therefore the assay can be used as a measure for total microbial activity without the need to identify any specific metabolic process. Using the highly sensitive tritium assay we measured H2ase enzyme activity in the organic-rich sediments of Lake Van, a saline, alkaline lake in eastern Turkey, in marine sediments of the Barents Sea and in deep subseafloor sediments from the Nankai Trough. H2ase activity could be quantified at all depths of all sites but the activity distribution varied widely with depth and between sites. At the Lake Van sites H2ase activity ranged from ca. 20 mmol H2 cm-3d-1 close to the sediment-water interface to 0.5 mmol H2 cm-3d-1 at a depth of 0.8 m. In samples from the Barents Sea H2ase activity ranged between 0.1 to 2.5 mmol H2 cm-3d-1 down to a depth of 1.60 m. At all sites the sulfate reduction rate profile followed the upper part of the H2ase activity profile until sulfate reduction reached the minimum detection limit (ca. 10 pmol cm-3d-1). H2ase activity could still be quantified after the decline of sulfate reduction, indicating that

  6. An improved thyroid hormone reporter assay to determine the thyroid hormone-like activity of amiodarone, bithionol, closantel and rafoxanide.

    PubMed

    Matsubara, Kana; Sanoh, Seigo; Ohta, Shigeru; Kitamura, Shigeyuki; Sugihara, Kazumi; Fujimoto, Nariaki

    2012-01-01

    A number of environmental chemicals have been reported to exhibit thyroid hormone-like activity. Since thyroid hormones play a crucial role in development, it is important to identify chemicals in the environment that are capable of endocrine disruption of thyroid hormone homeostasis. In order to detect thyroid hormone-like activity, the growth of pituitary cell lines has been commonly used as a sensitive marker, albeit with limited specificity to thyroid hormones. Reporter gene assays using the thyroid hormone responsive element (TRE) connected to the luciferase reporter gene have also been developed. Thus far however, this type of assay appears to have limited sensitivity compared to cell growth assays. In the present study, we developed a highly sensitive TRE reporter gene assay by using a pituitary cell line, MtT/E-2, and by culturing cells in a serum-free medium. Our assay was developed in order to detect T3 activity at a concentration of 10(-11)M. This assay identified thyroid hormone-like activity from the antiarrhythmic drug, amiodarone, and from three anti-parasitic drugs, bithionol, closantel and rafoxanide, all commonly used in veterinary medicine. Thyroid hormone-like activity of these compounds was further confirmed by the induction of BCL3 gene expression in MtT/E-2, which is known to be regulated by thyroid hormones. Our improved assay was proved to be a sensitive tool for assessing thyroid hormone-like activity of environmental chemicals. PMID:22015988

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

    PubMed

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

    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 2.2nmol/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. PMID:23415678

  8. Multiplexed homogeneous assays of proteolytic activity using a smartphone and quantum dots.

    PubMed

    Petryayeva, Eleonora; Algar, W Russ

    2014-03-18

    Semiconductor quantum dot (QD) bioconjugates, with their unique and highly advantageous physicochemical and optical properties, have been extensively utilized as probes for bioanalysis and continue to generate widespread interest for these applications. An important consideration for expanding the utility of QDs and making their use routine is to make assays with QDs more accessible for laboratories that do not specialize in nanomaterials. Here, we show that digital color imaging of QD photoluminescence (PL) with a smartphone camera is a viable, easily accessible readout platform for quantitative, multiplexed, and real-time bioanalyses. Red-, green-, and blue-emitting CdSeS/ZnS QDs were conjugated with peptides that were labeled with a deep-red fluorescent dye, Alexa Fluor 647, and the dark quenchers, QSY9 and QSY35, respectively, to generate Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) pairs sensitive to proteolytic activity. Changes in QD PL caused by the activity of picomolar to nanomolar concentrations of protease were detected as changes in the red-green-blue (RGB) channel intensities in digital color images. Importantly, measurements of replicate samples made with smartphone imaging and a sophisticated fluorescence plate reader yielded the same quantitative results, including initial proteolytic rates and specificity constants. Homogeneous two-plex and three-plex assays for the activity of trypsin, chymotrypsin, and enterokinase were demonstrated with RGB imaging. Given the ubiquity of smartphones, this work largely removes any instrumental impediments to the adoption of QDs as routine tools for bioanalysis in research laboratories and is a critical step toward the use of QDs for point-of-care diagnostics. This work also adds to the growing utility of smartphones in analytical methods by enabling multiplexed fluorimetric assays within a single sample volume and across multiple samples in parallel. PMID:24571675

  9. In vitro Assay for Cytidine Deaminase Activity of APOBEC3 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Smita; Rein, Alan

    2016-01-01

    Cytidine deaminases are enzymes that catalyze the removal of an amino group from cytidine, forming uridine. APOBEC3 (ApolipoproteinB mRNA editing enzyme, catalytic polypeptide like) proteins are cytidine deaminases that deaminate cytidines in polynucleotides (RNA/DNA), resulting in editing of their target substrates. Mammalian APOBEC3 proteins are an important element in cellular defenses against retrovirus replication, and this “restriction” of retroviral infections is partially due to the cytidine deaminase activity of the APOBEC3. The present protocol (Nair et al., 2014) describes the assay to detect the deaminase activity of mouse APOBEC3 protein, which targets cytidines present in TCC or TTC motifs in a single-stranded DNA substrate. In brief, the protein preparation to be assayed is incubated with a fluorophore-labeled oligodeoxynucleotide containing the deamination target motif (radiolabeled oligonucleotide substrates have also been successfully used by other groups). Cytidines in the oligonucleotide are deaminated to uridines; the addition of Uracil DNA Glycosylase (UDG) catalyzes the hydrolysis of the N-glycosylic bond between uracil and sugar, generating an abasic (AB) site in the oligonucleotide. Mild alkali treatment cleaves the substrate oligonucleotide at the AB site; cleaved products are resolved from uncleaved substrate by denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and visualized on a fluorescence scanner. The protocol described here is mainly adapted from that described by Iwatani et al. (2006) with modifications. The assay can, of course, be used to detect the activity of other APOBEC3 deaminases targeting DNA substrates, using oligonucleotides containing the cytidine-containing target sequence for the deaminase.

  10. A Microbead Supported Membrane-Based Fluorescence Imaging Assay Reveals Intermembrane Receptor-Ligand Complex Dimension with Nanometer Precision.

    PubMed

    Biswas, Kabir H; Groves, Jay T

    2016-07-01

    Receptor-ligand complexes spanning a cell-cell interface inevitably establish a preferred intermembrane spacing based on the molecular dimensions and orientation of the complexes. This couples molecular binding events to membrane mechanics and large-scale spatial organization of receptors on the cell surface. Here, we describe a straightforward, epi-fluorescence-based method to precisely determine intermembrane receptor-ligand dimension at adhesions established by receptor-ligand binding between apposed membranes in vitro. Adhesions were reconstituted between planar and silica microbead supported membranes via specific interaction between cognate receptor/ligand pairs (EphA2/EphrinA1 and E-cadherin/anti-E-cadherin antibody). Epi-fluorescence imaging of the ligand enrichment zone in the supported membrane beneath the adhering microbead, combined with a simple geometrical interpretation, proves sufficient to estimate intermembrane receptor-ligand dimension with better than 1 nm precision. An advantage of this assay is that no specialized equipment or imaging methods are required. PMID:27264296

  11. A yeast-based assay reveals a functional defect of the Q488H polymorphism in human Hsp90{alpha}

    SciTech Connect

    MacLean, Morag J.; Martinez Llordella, Marc; Bot, Nathalie; Picard, Didier . E-mail: picard@cellbio.unige.ch

    2005-11-11

    It has been argued that the molecular chaperone Hsp90 guards the organism against genetic variations by stabilizing variant Hsp90 substrate proteins. However, little is known about polymorphisms affecting its own functions. We have followed up on a recent study describing two polymorphisms that alter the amino acid sequences of the two Hsp90 isoforms Hsp90{alpha} and Hsp90{beta}. Hsp90 is essential for cell proliferation in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, but the human proteins can replace the endogenous ones. In this growth assay, the variant V656M of Hsp90{beta} was indistinguishable from wild-type. In contrast, the Hsp90{alpha} variant Q488H, which carries an alteration of a very highly conserved residue, was severely defective for growth compared to wild-type Hsp90{alpha}. Hence, the characteristics of this yeast-based system-simplicity, rapidity, low cost-make it ideal for phenotype screening of polymorphisms in HSP90 and possibly many other human genes.

  12. A Plaque Assay for Malignant Catarrhal Fever Virus and Virus Neutralizing Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hazlett, D. T. G.

    1980-01-01

    A cell-free strain of malignant catarrhal fever virus which produced a readily recognizable cytopathic effect was obtained by serial passage of the virus in a rabbit kidney cell line. Plaque assay of the virus was more rapid and gave higher titres 11 days postinoculation than tube titration, but the latter advantage decreased with a longer incubation period. Plaques were clear with sharp edges and measured 0.5 to 2 mm in diameter after 15 days. A plaque neutralization test was developed and successfully employed for the titration of malignant catarrhal fever virus neutralizing activity in the sera and nasal secretions of blue wildebeest. PMID:7427840

  13. 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. PMID:19300800

  14. Serum acetaminophen assay using activated charcoal adsorption and gas chromatography without derivatization.

    PubMed

    Jeevanandam, M; Novic, B; Savich, R; Wagman, E

    1980-01-01

    A quantitative assay of acetaminophen in serum has been developed. The drug, together with an internal standard 2-acetamidophenol, is adsorbed on activated charcoal and then extracted into a mixture of ethyl acetate and isopropanol. This extract is then analyzed, without any derivatization, by gas chromatography. The isothermal analysis yielded a good, highly reproducible separation. The drug peak was symmetrical and without any tailing. The peak height response ratio was found to be linear with concentrations ranging from 25-500 ng/L. No interference was observed with the various drugs or metabolites which are commonly encountered in human serum. PMID:7421146

  15. A chromism-based assay (CHROBA) technique for in situ detection of protein kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Tomizaki, Kin-ya; Jie, Xu; Mihara, Hisakazu

    2005-03-15

    A unique chromism-based assay technique (CHROBA) using photochromic spiropyran-containing peptides has been firstly established for detection of protein kinase A-catalyzed phosphorylation. The alternative method has advantages that avoid isolation and/or immobilization of kinase substrates to remove excess reagents including nonreactive isotope-labeled ATP or fluorescently-labeled anti-phosphoamino acid antibodies from the reaction mixture. Such a novel protocol based on thermocoloration of the spiropyran moiety in the peptide can offer not only an efficient screening method of potent kinase substrates but also a versatile analytical tool for monitoring other post-translational modification activities. PMID:15745830

  16. A simple assay for determining activities of phosphopentomutase from a hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima.

    PubMed

    Moustafa, Hanan M A; Zaghloul, Taha I; Zhang, Y-H Percival

    2016-05-15

    Phosphopentomutase (PPM) catalyzes the interconversion of α-D-(deoxy)-ribose 1-phosphate and α-D-(deoxy)-ribose 5-phosphate. We developed a coupled or uncoupled enzymatic assay with an enzyme nucleoside phosphorylase for determining PPM activities on D-ribose 5-phosphate at a broad temperature range from 30 to 90 °C. This assay not only is simple and highly sensitive but also does not require any costly special instrument. Via this technology, an open reading frame TM0167 from a thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima putatively encoding PPM was cloned. The recombinant PPM was overexpressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta. This enzyme has the highest activity at 90 °C. MnCl2 (0.1 mM) and 50 μM α-D-glucose 1,6-bisphosphate are cofactors. The kinetic parameters of Km and kcat are 1.2 mM and 185 s(-1) at 90 °C, respectively. The enzyme has a half-life time of up to 156 min at 90 °C. This enzyme is the most active and thermostable PPM reported to date. PMID:26924489

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Three‐dimensional myocardial scarring along myofibers after coronary ischemia–reperfusion revealed by computerized images of histological assays

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Monica Y.; Kusakari, Yoichiro; Aoyagi, Hiroko; Higa, Jason K.; Xiao, Chun‐Yang; Abdelkarim, Ahmed Z.; Marh, Karra; Aoyagi, Toshinori; Rosenzweig, Anthony; Lozanoff, Scott; Matsui, Takashi

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Adverse left ventricular (LV) remodeling after acute myocardial infarction is characterized by LV dilatation and development of a fibrotic scar, and is a critical factor for the prognosis of subsequent development of heart failure. Although myofiber organization is recognized as being important for preserving physiological cardiac function and structure, the anatomical features of injured myofibers during LV remodeling have not been fully defined. In a mouse model of ischemia–reperfusion (I/R) injury induced by left anterior descending coronary artery ligation, our previous histological assays demonstrated that broad fibrotic scarring extended from the initial infarct zone to the remote zone, and was clearly demarcated along midcircumferential myofibers. Additionally, no fibrosis was observed in longitudinal myofibers in the subendocardium and subepicardium. However, a histological analysis of tissue sections does not adequately indicate myofiber injury distribution throughout the entire heart. To address this, we investigated patterns of scar formation along myofibers using three‐dimensional (3D) images obtained from multiple tissue sections from mouse hearts subjected to I/R injury. The fibrotic scar area observed in the 3D images was consistent with the distribution of the midcircumferential myofibers. At the apex, the scar formation tracked along the myofibers in an incomplete C‐shaped ring that converged to a triangular shape toward the end. Our findings suggest that myocyte injury after transient coronary ligation extends along myofibers, rather than following the path of coronary arteries penetrating the myocardium. The injury pattern observed along myofibers after I/R injury could be used to predict prognoses for patients with myocardial infarction. PMID:25347856

  20. 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).

  1. Covalent immobilization of porcine pancreatic lipase on carboxyl-activated magnetic nanoparticles: characterization and application for enzymatic inhibition assays.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Yuan-Ting; Ren, Xiao-Yun; Liu, Yi-Ming; Wei, Ying; Qing, Lin-Sen; Liao, Xun

    2014-05-01

    Using carboxyl functionalized silica-coated magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) as carrier, a novel immobilized porcine pancreatic lipase (PPL) was prepared through the 1-ethyl-3-[3-dimethylaminopropyl] carbodiimide hydrochloride/N-hydroxysuccinimide (EDC/NHS) coupling reaction. Transmission electron microscopic images showed that the synthesized nanoparticles (Fe3O4-SiO2) possessed three dimensional core-shell structures with an average diameter of ~20 nm. The effective enzyme immobilization onto the nanocomposite was confirmed by atomic force microscopic (AFM) analysis. Results from Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR), Bradford protein assay, and thermo-gravimetric analysis (TGA) indicated that PPL was covalently attached to the surface of magnetic nanoparticles with a PPL immobilization yield of 50mg enzyme/g MNPs. Vibrating sample magnetometer (VSM) analysis revealed that the MNPs-PPL nanocomposite had a high saturation magnetization of 42.25 emu·g(-1). The properties of the immobilized PPL were investigated in comparison with the free enzyme counterpart. Enzymatic activity, reusability, thermo-stability, and storage stability of the immobilized PPL were found significantly superior to those of the free one. The Km and the Vmax values (0.02 mM, 6.40 U·mg(-1) enzyme) indicated the enhanced activity of the immobilized PPL compared to those of the free enzyme (0.29 mM, 3.16 U·mg(-1) enzyme). Furthermore, at an elevated temperature of 70 °C, immobilized PPL retained 60% of its initial activity. The PPL-MNPs nanocomposite was applied in the enzyme inhibition assays using orlistat, and two natural products isolated from oolong tea (i.e., EGCG and EGC) as the test compounds. PMID:24656379

  2. Large scale integration of drug-target information reveals poly-pharmacological drug action mechanisms in tumor cell line growth inhibition assays

    PubMed Central

    Knight, Richard A.; Gostev, Mikhail; Ilisavskii, Sergei; Willis, Anne E.; Melino, Gerry; Antonov, Alexey V.

    2014-01-01

    Understanding therapeutic mechanisms of drug anticancer cytotoxicity represents a key challenge in preclinical testing. Here we have performed a meta-analysis of publicly available tumor cell line growth inhibition assays (~ 70 assays from 6 independent experimental groups covering ~ 500 000 molecules) with the primary goal of understanding molecular therapeutic mechanisms of cancer cytotoxicity. To implement this we have collected currently available information on protein targets for molecules that were tested in the assays. We used a statistical methodology to identify protein targets overrepresented among molecules exhibiting cancer cytotoxicity with the particular focus of identifying overrepresented patterns consisting of several proteins (i.e. proteins “A” and “B” and “C”). Our analysis demonstrates that targeting individual proteins can result in a significant increase (up to 50-fold) of the observed odds for a molecule to be an efficient inhibitor of tumour cell line growth. However, further insight into potential molecular mechanisms reveals a multi-target mode of action: targeting a pattern of several proteins drastically increases the observed odds (up to 500-fold) for a molecule to be tumour cytotoxic. In contrast, molecules targeting only one protein but not targeting an additional set of proteins tend to be nontoxic. Our findings support a poly-pharmacology drug discovery paradigm, demonstrating that anticancer cytotoxicity is a product, in most cases, of multi-target mode of drug action PMID:24553133

  3. 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. PMID:26873730

  4. 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.

  5. Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) glucuronidation in vitro: assay development, human liver microsome activities and species differences.

    PubMed

    Krishnaswamy, S; Duan, S X; Von Moltke, L L; Greenblatt, D J; Sudmeier, J L; Bachovchin, W W; Court, M H

    2003-02-01

    1. The main purpose was to develop a high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)-based method to assay serotonin glucuronidation activity using liver microsomal fractions. Application of this method was then demonstrated by determining serotonin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) enzyme kinetics using human liver microsomes and recombinant human UGT1A6. Interspecies differences were also evaluated using liver microsomes from 10 different mammalian species. 2. Incubation of liver microsomes with serotonin, UDP-glucuronic acid and magnesium resulted in the formation of a single product peak using HPLC with fluorescence and ultraviolet absorbance detection. This peak was confirmed as serotonin glucuronide based on sensitivity to beta-glucuronidase and by obtaining the expected mass of 352 with positive-ion mass spectrometry. 3. Following a preparative HPLC isolation, the structure of this metabolite was established as serotonin-5-O-glucuronide by (1)H-NMR spectroscopy. 4. Enzyme kinetic studies showed apparent K(m) and V(max) of 8.8 +/- 0.3 mM and 43.4 +/- 0.4 nmoles min(-1) mg(-1) protein, respectively, for human liver microsomes, and 5.9 +/- 0.2 mM and 15.8 +/- 0.2 nmoles min(-1) mg(-1), respectively, for recombinant UGT1A6. 5. The order of serotonin-UGT activities in animal liver microsomes was rat > mouse > human > cow > pig > horse > dog > rabbit > monkey > ferret. Cat livers showed no serotonin-UGT activity. Heterozygous and homozygous mutant Gunn rat livers had 40 and 13%, respectively, of the activity of the normal Wistar rat, indicating a significant contribution by a rat UGT1A isoform to serotonin glucuronidation. 6. This assay provides a novel sensitive and specific technique for the measurement of serotonin-UGT activity in vitro. PMID:12623759

  6. ASSESSMENT OF STANDARD REFERENCE COMPOUNDS FOR COMPARATIVE STUDIES USING THE SALMONELLA TYPHIMURIUM MUTAGENICITY ASSAY: II. WITH EXOGENOUS ACTIVATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    The purpose of this project was to evaluate the variability in the mutagenic response of potential standard reference chemicals that require exogenous metabolic activation in the standard plate; incorporation Salmonella mutagenicity assay, and to develop ranking criteria for muta...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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. PMID:24316230

  10. A label-free impedance-based whole cell assay revealed a new G protein-coupled receptor ligand for mouse microglial cell migration.

    PubMed

    Fukano, Yasufumi; Okino, Nozomu; Furuya, Shigeki; Ito, Makoto

    2016-09-16

    We report the usefulness of an impedance-based label-free whole cell assay to identify new ligands for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) involved in microglial cell migration. Authentic GPCR ligands were subjected to the impedance-based cell assay in order to examine the responses of ligands for MG5 mouse microglial cells. Complement component 5 (C5a), adenosine 5'-diphosphate (ADP), uridine 5'-triphosphate (UTP), lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), and lysophosphatidylserine (LysoPS) were found to elicit different cellular impedance patterns, i.e. C5a, ADP, and UTP caused a transient increase in cellular impedance, while LPA and LysoPS decreased it. The responses for C5a and ADP were abolished by pertussis toxin (PTX), but not rho-associated protein kinase inhibitor, Y-27632, indicating that C5a and ADP elicited responses through the Gαi pathway. On the other hand, the response for UTP, LPA or LysoPS was not cancelled by PTX or Y-27632. In a modified Boyden chamber assay, C5a and ADP, but not UTP, LPA, or LysoPS, induced the migration of MG5 cells. These results suggest that PTX-sensitive increase in cellular impedance with the assay is characteristic for ligands of GPCRs involved in microglial cell migration. We found using this assay that 5-oxo-6E,8Z,11Z,14Z-eicosatetraenoic acid (5-oxo-ETE) is a new chemoattractant inducing microglial cell migration through the activation of Gαi. PMID:27480930

  11. 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

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26717832

  12. A direct fluorescence-based assay for RGS domain GTPase accelerating activity.

    PubMed

    Willard, Francis S; Kimple, Adam J; Johnston, Christopher A; Siderovski, David P

    2005-05-15

    Diverse extracellular signals regulate seven transmembrane-spanning receptors to modulate cellular physiology. These receptors signal primarily through activation of heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide binding proteins (G proteins). A major determinant of heterotrimeric G protein signaling in vivo and in vitro is the intrinsic GTPase activity of the Galpha subunit. RGS (regulator of G protein signaling) domain-containing proteins are GTPase accelerating proteins specific for Galpha subunits. In this article, we describe the use of the ribose-conjugated fluorescent guanine nucleotide analog BODIPYFL-GTP as a spectroscopic probe to measure intrinsic and RGS protein-catalyzed nucleotide hydrolysis by Galphao. BODIPYFL-GTP bound to Galphao exhibits a 200% increase in fluorescence quantum yield. Hydrolysis of BODIPYFL-GTP to BODIPYFL-GDP reduces the quantum yield to 27% above its unbound value. We demonstrate that BODIPYFL-GTP can be used as a rapid real-time probe for measuring RGS domain-catalyzed GTP hydrolysis by Galphao. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this assay in the analysis of loss-of-function point mutants of both Galphao and RGS12. This assay should be useful in screening for and analyzing RGS protein inhibitory compounds. PMID:15840508

  13. 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

  14. 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). PMID:23265506

  15. Conjugated polyelectrolyte supported bead based assays for phospholipase A2 activity.

    PubMed

    Chemburu, Sireesha; Ji, Eunkyung; Casana, Yosune; Wu, Yang; Buranda, Tione; Schanze, Kirk S; Lopez, Gabriel P; Whitten, David G

    2008-11-20

    A fluorescence based assay for human serum-derived phospholipase activity has been developed in which cationic conjugated polyelectrolytes are supported on silica microspheres. The polymer-coated beads are overcoated with an anionic phospholipid (1,2-dimyristoyl-sn-glycero-3-[phospho- rac-(1-glycerol)) (DMPG) to provide "lipobeads" that serve as a sensor for PLA2. The lipid serves a dual role as a substrate for PLA2 and an agent to attenuate quenching of the polymer fluorescence by the external electron transfer quencher 9,10-anthraquinone-2,6-disulfonic acid (AQS). In this case quenching of the polymer fluorescence by AQS increases as the PLA2 digests the lipid. The lipid can also be used itself as a quencher and substrate by employing a small amount of energy transfer quencher substituted lipid in the DMPG. In this case the fluorescence of the polymer is quenched when the lipid layer is intact; as the enzyme digests the lipid, the fluorescence of the polymer is restored. The sensing of PLA2 activity has been studied both by monitoring fluorescence changes in a multiwell plate reader and by flow cytometry. The assay exhibits good sensitivity with EC50 values in the nanomolar range. PMID:18808092

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

    PubMed

    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(-1)s(-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

  17. 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. PMID:25048928

  18. Enzymatic Activity Assays for Base Excision Repair Enzymes in Cell Extracts from Vertebrate Cells

    PubMed Central

    Çağlayan, Melike; Horton, Julie K.; Wilson, Samuel H.

    2016-01-01

    We previously reported enzymatic activity assays for the base excision repair (BER) enzymes DNA polymerase β (pol β), aprataxin (APTX), and flap endonuclease 1 (FEN1) in cell extracts from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Çağlayan and Wilson, 2014). Here, we describe a method to prepare cell extracts from vertebrate cells to investigate these enzymatic activities for the processing of the 5′-adenylated-sugar phosphate-containing BER intermediate. This new protocol complements our previous publication. The cell lines used are wild-type and APTX-deficient human lymphoblast cells from an Ataxia with Oculomotor Apraxia Type 1 (AOA1) disease patient, wild-type and APTX-null DT40 chicken B cells, and mouse embryonic fibroblast (MEF) cells. This protocol is a quick and efficient way to make vertebrate cell extracts without using commercial kits. PMID:27390764

  19. Immobilization and activity assay of cytochrome P450 on patterned lipid membranes

    SciTech Connect

    Ueda, Yoshihiro; Morigaki, Kenichi . E-mail: morigaki-kenichi@aist.go.jp; Tatsu, Yoshiro; Yumoto, Noboru; Imaishi, Hiromasa . E-mail: himaish@kobe-u.ac.jp

    2007-04-20

    We report on a methodology for immobilizing cytochrome P450 on the surface of micropatterned lipid bilayer membranes and measuring the enzymatic activity. The patterned bilayer comprised a matrix of polymeric lipid bilayers and embedded fluid lipid bilayers. The polymeric lipid bilayer domains act as a barrier to confine fluid lipid bilayers in defined areas and as a framework to stabilize embedded membranes. The fluid bilayer domains, on the other hand, can contain lipid compositions that facilitate the fusion between lipid membranes, and are intended to be used as the binding agent of microsomes containing rat CYP1A1. By optimizing the membrane compositions of the fluid bilayers, we could selectively immobilize microsomal membranes on these domains. The enzymatic activity was significantly higher on lipid bilayer substrates compared with direct adsorption on glass. Furthermore, competitive assay experiment between two fluorogenic substrates demonstrated the feasibility of bioassays based on immobilized P450s.

  20. Immobilization and activity assay of cytochrome P450 on patterned lipid membranes.

    PubMed

    Ueda, Yoshihiro; Morigaki, Kenichi; Tatsu, Yoshiro; Yumoto, Noboru; Imaishi, Hiromasa

    2007-04-20

    We report on a methodology for immobilizing cytochrome P450 on the surface of micropatterned lipid bilayer membranes and measuring the enzymatic activity. The patterned bilayer comprised a matrix of polymeric lipid bilayers and embedded fluid lipid bilayers. The polymeric lipid bilayer domains act as a barrier to confine fluid lipid bilayers in defined areas and as a framework to stabilize embedded membranes. The fluid bilayer domains, on the other hand, can contain lipid compositions that facilitate the fusion between lipid membranes, and are intended to be used as the binding agent of microsomes containing rat CYP1A1. By optimizing the membrane compositions of the fluid bilayers, we could selectively immobilize microsomal membranes on these domains. The enzymatic activity was significantly higher on lipid bilayer substrates compared with direct adsorption on glass. Furthermore, competitive assay experiment between two fluorogenic substrates demonstrated the feasibility of bioassays based on immobilized P450s. PMID:17335776

  1. mRNA 5'-cap binding activity in purified influenza virus detected by simple, rapid assay.

    PubMed Central

    Kroath, H; Shatkin, A J

    1982-01-01

    Reovirus mRNA 5'-terminal caps were 3'-radiolabeled with pCp and as affinity probes for proteins with cap binding activity. A rapid, simple, and sensitive blot assay was devised that could detect cellular cap binding protein in a complex polypeptide mixture. By using this method, cap binding activity was found in detergent-treated influenza virus but not in reovirus or vaccinia virus. Preincubation of capped reovirus mRNA with purified cellular cap binding protein reduced its primer effect on influenza transcriptase, whereas priming by ApG was not affected. The results indicate that influenza transcriptase complexes include cap-recognizing proteins that are involved in the formation of chimeric mRNAs. Images PMID:7097854

  2. 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

  3. Quantification of microbial activity in subsurface environments using a hydrogenase enzyme assay

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adhikari, R. R.; Nickel, J.; Kallmeyer, J.

    2012-04-01

    The subsurface biosphere is the largest microbial ecosystem on Earth. Despite its large size and extensive industrial exploitation, very little is known about the role of microbial activity in the subsurface. Subsurface microbial activity plays a fundamental role in geochemical cycles of carbon and other biologically important elements. How the indigenous microbial communities are supplied with energy is one of the most fundamental questions in subsurface research. It is still an enigma how these communities can survive with such recalcitrant carbon over geological time scales. Despite its usually very low concentration, hydrogen is an important element in subsurface environments. Heterotrophic and chemoautotrophic microorganisms use hydrogen in their metabolic pathways; they either obtain protons from the radiolysis of water and/or cleavage of hydrogen generated by the alteration of basaltic crust, or they dispose of protons by formation of water. Hydrogenase (H2ase) is a ubiquitous intracellular enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion of molecular hydrogen and/or water into protons and electrons. The protons are used for the synthesis of ATP, thereby coupling energy-generating metabolic processes to electron acceptors such as carbon dioxide or sulfate. H2ase activity can therefore be used as a measure for total microbial activity as it targets a key metabolic compound rather than a specific turnover process. Using a highly sensitive tritium assay we measured H2ase enzyme activity in the organic-rich sediments of Lake Van, a saline, alkaline lake in eastern Turkey and in marine subsurface sediments of the Barents Sea. Additionally, sulfate reduction rates (SRRs) were measured to compare the results of the H2ase enzyme assay with the quantitatively most important electron acceptor process. H2ase activity was found at all sites, measured values and distribution of activity varied widely with depth and between sites. At the Lake Van sites H2ase activity ranged from

  4. 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. PMID:26119290

  5. Paraoxonase-1 Enzyme Activity Assay for Clinical Samples: Validation and Correlation Studies

    PubMed Central

    Garelnabi, Mahdi; Younis, Abdelmoneim

    2015-01-01

    Background Paraoxonase-1 (PON1) enzyme is reported in various types of tissues and linked to numerous pathophysiological disorders. It is a potential biomarker in many pathological conditions such as cardiovascular diseases. Material/Methods We conducted several small-scale studies to evaluate PON1 performance as affected by sample types, storage, and interferences. We also carried out short-term studies to compare the performance of the widely used PON1 assay to the similar commercially available PON1 kit assay method; sample size for the method comparison was N=40, and the number varied for other validation experiments. Results Our studies using various types of anticoagulants show that samples collected in tubes with NaF, citrate, EDTA, clot activator, and sodium heparin have increased PON1 levels that are 49%, 24.5%, 19.8%, 11.4%, and 8%, respectively, higher compared to serum samples collected in plain tubes. However, samples collected in lithium heparin tubes demonstrated 10.4% lower PON1 levels compared to serum collected in plain tubes. Biological interference such as hemolysis has little effect on PON1 levels; however, samples spiked with lipids have shown 13% lower PON 1 levels. Our studies comparing the PON1 method commonly available for PON1 assay and a similar non-ELISA commercially available PON1 kit method showed a weak Spearman correlation coefficient of R2=0.40 for the range of 104.9–245.6 U/L. Conclusions The current study provides new validation data on enzyme PON1 performance. While no appreciable change was seen with storage, samples type affects the enzyme performance. Our results should encourage additional clinical studies to investigate other aspects of factors known to affect PON1 enzyme function and performance. PMID:25814092

  6. Structure-Based Simulations Reveal Concerted Dynamics of GPCR Activation

    PubMed Central

    Leioatts, Nicholas; Suresh, Pooja; Romo, Tod D.; Grossfield, Alan

    2014-01-01

    G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are a vital class of proteins that transduce biological signals across the cell membrane. However, their allosteric activation mechanism is not fully understood; crystal structures of active and inactive receptors have been reported, but the functional pathway between these two states remains elusive. Here, we employ structure-based (Gō-like) models to simulate activation of two GPCRs, rhodopsin and the β2 adrenergic receptor (β2AR). We used data-derived reaction coordinates that capture the activation mechanism for both proteins, showing that activation proceeds through quantitatively different paths in the two systems. Both reaction coordinates are determined from the dominant concerted motions in the simulations so the technique is broadly applicable. There were two surprising results. First, the main structural changes in the simulations were distributed throughout the transmembrane bundle, and not localized to the obvious areas of interest, such as the intracellular portion of helix 6. Second, the activation (and deactivation) paths were distinctly non-monotonic, populating states that were not simply interpolations between the inactive and active structures. These transitions also suggest a functional explanation for β2AR’s basal activity: it can proceed through a more broadly defined path during the observed transitions. PMID:24889093

  7. Subcellular integrities in Chroococcidiopsis sp. CCMEE 029 survivors after prolonged desiccation revealed by molecular probes and genome stability assays.

    PubMed

    Billi, Daniela

    2009-01-01

    Desiccation-tolerant cells must either protect their cellular components from desiccation-induced damage and/or repair it upon rewetting. Subcellular damage to the anhydrobiotic cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis sp. CCMEE 029 stored in the desiccated state for 4 years was evaluated at the single-cell level using fluorescent DNA strand breakage labelling, membrane integrity and potential related molecular probes, oxidant-sensing fluorochrome and redox dye. Covalent modifications of dried genomes were assessed by testing their suitability as PCR template. Results suggest that desiccation survivors avoid/and or limit genome fragmentation and genome covalent modifications, preserve intact plasma membranes and phycobiliprotein autofluorescence, exhibit spatially-reduced ROS accumulation and dehydrogenase activity upon rewetting. Damaged cells undergo genome fragmentation, loss of plasma membrane potential and integrity, phycobiliprotein bleaching, whole-cell ROS accumulation and lack respiratory activity upon rewetting. The co-occurrence of live and dead cells within dried aggregates of Chroococcidiopsis confirms that desiccation resistance is not a simple process and that subtle modifications to the cellular milieu are required to dry without dying. It rises also intriguing questions about the triggers of dead cells in response to drying. The capability of desiccation survivors to avoid and/or reduce subcellular damage, shows that protection mechanisms are relevant in the desiccation tolerance of this cyanobacterium. PMID:18931823

  8. 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. PMID:24840100

  9. Assaying lipase activity from oil palm fruit (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) mesocarp.

    PubMed

    Ngando Ebongue, G F; Dhouib, R; Carrière, F; Amvam Zollo, P-H; Arondel, V

    2006-10-01

    The mesocarp of mature oil palm fruit undergoes intensive triglycerides hydrolysis upon abscission and bruising. This generates such a high amount of free fatty acids that the oil might become unfit for human consumption without appropriate refining. The lipase (EC 3.1.1.3) involved in the breakdown of the oil is not stable after homogenization of the tissue in aqueous buffers. In this study, we have devised a solvent-based procedure that allowed us to obtain fractions with stable lipase activity. Using these fractions, we have determined the optimal conditions for assaying mesocarp lipase activity. The activity was highest at a temperature of 35 degrees C and a pH of 9. The lipase was found to be strictly calcium dependent. The specific activity of the lipase measured in optimal conditions was found to be 33 mumol fatty acids released min(-1) mg(-1) protein using olive oil as substrate. The mesocarp contains about 190 U of lipase g(-1) fresh weight. This activity was found to be inhibited by the lipase inhibitor tetrahydrolipstatin (THL), suggesting that the lipase is a serine hydrolase. PMID:17064925

  10. Fluorometric microplate assay to measure glutathione S-transferase activity in insects and mites using monochlorobimane.

    PubMed

    Nauen, Ralf; Stumpf, Natascha

    2002-04-15

    Elevated levels of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) play a major role as a mechanism of resistance to insecticides and acaricides in resistant pest insects and mites, respectively. Such compounds are either detoxicated directly via phase I metabolism or detoxicated by phase II metabolism of metabolites as formed by microsomal monooxygenases. Here we used monochlorobimane (MCB) as an artificial substrate and glutathione to determine total GST activity in equivalents of single pest insects and spider mites in a sensitive 96-well plate-based assay system by measuring the enzymatic conversion of MCB to its fluorescent bimane-glutathione adduct. The differentiation by their GST activity between several strains of the two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae), with different degrees of resistance to numerous acaricides was more sensitive with MCB compared to the commonly used substrate 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB). Compared to an acaricide-susceptible reference strain, one field population of T. urticae showed a more than 10-fold higher GST activity measured with MCB, in contrast to a less than 2-fold higher activity when CDNB was used. Furthermore, we showed that GST activity can be sensitively assessed with MCB in homogenates of pest insects such as Heliothis virescens, Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Yponomeutidae), and Myzus persicae (Hemiptera: Aphididae). PMID:11950219

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26107501

  12. Crocin bleaching antioxidant assay revisited: application to microplate to analyse antioxidant and pro-oxidant activities.

    PubMed

    Prieto, M A; Vázquez, J A; Murado, M A

    2015-01-15

    The crocin bleaching assay (CBA) is a common method for evaluating the antioxidant activity of hydrosoluble samples. It is criticised due to its low reproducibility, problematic quantification of results, differences in reagent preparation, doubtful need for a preheating phase and sensitivity to factors such as temperature, pH, solvents and metals. Here, the critical points of the method were extensively revised, and a highly reproducible procedure for microplate readers redeveloped. The problems of using quantification procedures, disregarding kinetic considerations, are discussed in detail and a model is proposed for quantifying simultaneously anti- and pro-oxidant activities as function of concentration and time. Thus, the combined use of a reproducible procedure and robust mathematical modeling produced consistent and meaningful criteria for comparative characterization of any oxidation modifier, taking into account the dose-time-dependent behaviour. The method was verified by characterising several commercial antioxidants and some metal compounds using the parametric values of the proposed models. The activity of the tested antioxidants decreased in the order ETX>TR>PG>AA>TBHQ>BHA. Others, such as the lipophilic antioxidants of BHT and α-Tocopherol did not show any activity. Interference from metals were for Fe(2+), Fe(3+), Cd(2+), Ni(2+), Mg(2+), Zn(2+) and Sr(2+), slightly antioxidant for Cu(1+) and Cu(2+), and strongly antioxidant for Mn(2+). None of the tested metals showed a pro-oxidant activity. PMID:25148992

  13. Enhancement of antioxidant activity of green tea epicatechins in β-cyclodextrin cavity: Single-crystal X-ray analysis, DFT calculation and DPPH assay.

    PubMed

    Aree, Thammarat; Jongrungruangchok, Suchada

    2016-10-20

    Green tea catechins are potent antioxidant for prevention of various free radical-related diseases. Their antioxidant properties can be improved by encapsulation in cyclodextrins (CDs). Four inclusion complexes of β-CD with (-)-epicatechin (EC), (-)-epigallocatechin (EGC), (-)-epicatechin gallate (ECG) and (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) have been investigated using single-crystal X-ray diffraction analysis combined with full geometry optimization by DFT/B3LYP calculation and the DPPH assay, aiming to deepen the understanding on their structure-antioxidant activity relationship. Scrutinizing the inclusion structures and conformational changes of the four encapsulated epicatechins reveals the common host-guest stabilization scheme and the epicatechin conformational flexibility facilitating the enhancement of activity. Thermodynamic stability order derived from DFT calculation in vacuum fairly agrees with the order of improved antioxidant capacity deduced from the DPPH assay, β-CD-EGCG>β-CD-ECG>β-CD-EGC≈β-CD-EC. PMID:27474665

  14. Sensors at Centrosomes Reveal Determinants of Local Separase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Agircan, Fikret Gurkan; Schiebel, Elmar

    2014-01-01

    Separase is best known for its function in sister chromatid separation at the metaphase-anaphase transition. It also has a role in centriole disengagement in late mitosis/G1. To gain insight into the activity of separase at centrosomes, we developed two separase activity sensors: mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-ΔNLS-eGFP-PACT and mCherry-kendrin(2059-2398)-eGFP-PACT. Both localize to the centrosomes and enabled us to monitor local separase activity at the centrosome in real time. Both centrosomal sensors were cleaved by separase before anaphase onset, earlier than the corresponding H2B-mCherry-Scc1(142-467)-eGFP sensor at chromosomes. This indicates that substrate cleavage by separase is not synchronous in the cells. Depletion of the proteins astrin or Aki1, which have been described as inhibitors of centrosomal separase, did not led to a significant activation of separase at centrosomes, emphasizing the importance of direct separase activity measurements at the centrosomes. Inhibition of polo-like kinase Plk1, on the other hand, decreased the separase activity towards the Scc1 but not the kendrin reporter. Together these findings indicate that Plk1 regulates separase activity at the level of substrate affinity at centrosomes and may explain in part the role of Plk1 in centriole disengagement. PMID:25299182

  15. 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

  16. Modified procedure for labelling target cells in a europium release assay of natural killer cell activity.

    PubMed

    Pacifici, R; Di Carlo, S; Bacosi, A; Altieri, I; Pichini, S; Zuccaro, P

    1993-05-01

    Lanthanide europium chelated to diethylenetriaminopentaacetate (EuDTPA) can be used to label target cells such as tumor cells and lymphocytes (Blomberg et al., 1986a,b; Granberg et al., 1988). This procedure has permitted the development of new non-radioactive methods for the detection of target cell cytolysis by natural killer (NK) cells (Blomberg et al., 1986a,b), cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) (Granberg et al., 1988) or complement-mediated cytolysis (Cui et al., 1992). However, we had no success with this method because of a lack of comparability between human NK cell activity simultaneously measured by a classical 51Cr release assay (Seaman et al., 1981) and EuDTPA release assay (Blomberg et al., 1986a). Furthermore, cell division and cell viability were significantly impaired by the suggested concentrations of EuCl3. In this paper, we present a modified non-cytotoxic method for target cell labelling with EuDTPA while cells are growing in culture medium. PMID:8486925

  17. 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. PMID:26856863

  18. 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...

  19. 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. PMID:27160295

  20. Are fish and standardized FETAX assays protective enough for amphibians? A case study on Xenopus laevis larvae assay with biologically active substances present in livestock wastes.

    PubMed

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V; Pablos, M Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC(50)) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  1. Are Fish and Standardized FETAX Assays Protective Enough for Amphibians? A Case Study on Xenopus laevis Larvae Assay with Biologically Active Substances Present in Livestock Wastes

    PubMed Central

    Martini, Federica; Tarazona, José V.; Pablos, M. Victoria

    2012-01-01

    Biologically active substances could reach the aquatic compartment when livestock wastes are considered for recycling. Recently, the standardized FETAX assay has been questioned, and some researchers have considered that the risk assessment performed on fish could not be protective enough to cover amphibians. In the present study a Xenopus laevis acute assay was developed in order to compare the sensitivity of larvae relative to fish or FETAX assays; veterinary medicines (ivermectin, oxytetracycline, tetracycline, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim) and essential metals (zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium) that may be found in livestock wastes were used for the larvae exposure. Lethal (LC50) and sublethal effects were estimated. Available data in both, fish and FETAX studies, were in general more protective than values found out in the current study, but not in all cases. Moreover, the presence of nonlethal effects, caused by ivermectin, zinc, and copper, suggested that several physiological mechanisms could be affected. Thus, this kind of effects should be deeply investigated. The results obtained in the present study could expand the information about micropollutants from livestock wastes on amphibians. PMID:22629159

  2. Fluorometric assay using naphthylamide substrates for assessing novel venom peptidase activities.

    PubMed

    Gasparello-Clemente, Elaine; Silveira, Paulo Flávio

    2002-11-01

    In the present study we examined the feasibility of using the fluorometry of naphthylamine derivatives for revealing peptidase activities in venoms of the snakes Bothrops jararaca, Bothrops alternatus, Bothrops atrox, Bothrops moojeni, Bothrops insularis, Crotalus durissus terrificus and Bitis arietans, of the scorpions Tityus serrulatus and Tityus bahiensis, and of the spiders Phoneutria nigriventer and Loxosceles intermedia. Neutral aminopeptidase (APN) and prolyl-dipeptidyl aminopeptidase IV (DPP IV) activities were presented in all snake venoms, with the highest levels in B. alternatus. Although all examined peptidase activities showed relatively low levels in arthropod venoms, basic aminopeptidase (APB) activity from P. nigriventer venom was the exception. Compared to the other peptidase activities, relatively high levels of acid aminopeptidase (APA) activity were restricted to B. arietans venom. B. arietans also exhibited a prominent content of APB activity which was lower in other venoms. Relatively low prolyl endopeptidase and proline iminopeptidase activities were, respectively, detectable only in T. bahiensis and B. insularis. Pyroglutamate aminopeptidase activity was undetectable in all venoms. All examined peptidase activities were undetectable in T. serrulatus venom. In this study, the specificities of a diverse array of peptidase activities from representative venoms were demonstrated for the first time, with a description of their distribution which may contribute to guiding further investigations. The expressive difference between snake and arthropod venoms was indicated by APN and DPP IV activities while APA and APB activities distinguished the venom of B. arietans from those of Brazilian snakes. The data reflected the relatively uniform qualitative distribution of the peptidase activities investigated, together with their unequal quantitative distribution, indicating the evolutionary divergence in the processing of peptides in these different

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24603274

  6. 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.

  7. 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. PMID:24134852

  8. Combined Amplicon Pyrosequencing Assays Reveal Presence of the Apicomplexan “type-N” (cf. Gemmocystis cylindrus) and Chromera velia on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Šlapeta, Jan; Linares, Marjorie C.

    2013-01-01

    Background The coral is predominantly composed of the metabolically dependent coral host and the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. The system as a whole interacts with symbiotic eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Gemmocystiscylindrus (cf. “type-N” symbiont) belonging to the obligatory parasitic phylum Apicomplexa (Alveolata) is ubiquitous in the Caribbean coral, but its presence in the Great Barrier Reef coral has yet to be documented. Approaches allowing identification of the healthy community from the pathogenic or saprobic organisms are needed for sustainable coral reef monitoring. Methods & Principal Findings We investigated the diversity of eukaryotes associated with a common reef-building corals from the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used three tag encoded 454 amplicon pyrosequencing assays targeting eukaryote small-subunit rRNA gene to demonstrate the presence of the apicomplexan type-N and a photosynthetic sister species to Apicomplexa - Chromeravelia. Amplicon pyrosequencing revealed presence of the small-subunit rRNA genes of known eukaryotic pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Cryptococcus). We therefore conducted bacterial tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assay for small-subunit rRNA gene to support effluent exposure of the coral. Bacteria of faecal origin (Enterobacteriales) formed 41% of total sequences in contrast to 0-2% of the coral-associated bacterial communities with and without C. velia, respectively. Significance This is the first time apicomplexan type-N has been detected in the Great Barrier Reef. Eukaryote tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assays demonstrate presence of apicomplexan type-N and C. Velia in total coral DNA. The data highlight the need for combined approaches for eukaryotic diversity studies coupled with bacterial community assessment to achieve a more realistic goals of defining the holobiont community and assessing coral disease. With increasing evidence of Apicomplexa in coral reef environments, it is

  9. 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. PMID:27357679

  10. 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

  11. 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…

  12. Gamma interferon release assay for monitoring of treatment response for active tuberculosis: an explosion in the spaghetti factory.

    PubMed

    Denkinger, Claudia M; Pai, Madhukar; Patel, Meena; Menzies, Dick

    2013-02-01

    Few studies have correlated the results of interferon (gamma interferon) release assays (IGRAs) with known markers of tuberculosis (TB) treatment response. We report the results of serial QuantiFERON-TB gold in-tube assay (QFT) testing on 149 patients with active tuberculosis and correlate the results with smear and culture conversion. We show that QFT results do not offer much value for treatment monitoring of TB disease. PMID:23175268

  13. Generation of recombinant rabies viruses encoding NanoLuc luciferase for antiviral activity assays.

    PubMed

    Anindita, Paulina Duhita; Sasaki, Michihito; Nobori, Haruaki; Sato, Akihiko; Carr, Michael; Ito, Naoto; Sugiyama, Makoto; Orba, Yasuko; Sawa, Hirofumi

    2016-04-01

    Rabies is an invariably fatal disease caused by Rabies virus (RABV), a member of the family Rhabdoviridae, genus Lyssavirus. Once central nervous infection occurs and symptoms develop, the case fatality rate approaches 100% despite availability of post-exposure prophylaxis. Therefore, new antiviral therapies for rabies are urgently required. Antivirals which can inhibit virus replication can be identified through screening of small compounds, however, as RABV infection does not generate easily discernible cytopathic effects in vitro, cell viability assays may not be feasible to observe antiviral activity of small compounds against RABV. In this study, recombinant RABVs (rRABVs) encoding NanoLuc luciferase (NanoLuc) were generated to facilitate the screening of small compound libraries. NanoLuc expression was confirmed in single-step growth cures of virus infection and showed that the rRABVs were capable of viral replication without decrease of luciferase activity through ten serial passages. Furthermore, the rRABVs were able to quantify the antiviral activity of the nucleoside analogue ribavirin against RABV in vitro. These findings confirm the potential of the rRABV encoding NanoLuc system to facilitate screening of small compounds to inhibit RABV infection. PMID:26869397

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Chromogenic assay for the prothrombin activator ecarin from the venom of the saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus).

    PubMed

    Stocker, K; Fischer, H; Brogli, M

    1986-01-01

    Ecarin, by limited proteolysis and subsequent autocatalytic reactions, causes the conversion of prothrombin into three products with amidolytic activity: meizothrombin, meizothrombin 1 and lpha-thrombin. Ecarin action may be abolished by ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid and the activity of alpha-thrombin can, with a high degree of selectivity, be inhibited by heparin. Thus, ecarin potency may be assayed by measuring the meizothrombin activity generated by ecarin action on human plasma in the presence of heparin. The chromogenic substrate Tosyl-glycyl-L-prolyl-L-arginine-p-nitroanilide (Chromozym TH) is used in this assay. PMID:3082039

  18. Comparison of In Vitro Activities of 17 Antifungal Drugs against a Panel of 20 Dermatophytes by Using a Microdilution Assay

    PubMed Central

    Favre, Bertrand; Hofbauer, Bettina; Hildering, Kwang-Soo; Ryder, Neil S.

    2003-01-01

    The in vitro activities of 17 antifungal drugs against a panel of 20 dermatophytes comprising 6 different species were determined using a microdilution assay according to the NCCLS M38-P method with some modifications. Terbinafine was the most potent systemic drug while tolnaftate and amorolfine were the most active topical agents. PMID:14532230

  19. Single cell activity reveals direct electron transfer in methanotrophic consortia.

    PubMed

    McGlynn, Shawn E; Chadwick, Grayson L; Kempes, Christopher P; Orphan, Victoria J

    2015-10-22

    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. PMID:26375009

  20. Oscillatory brain activity reveals linguistic prints in the quantity code.

    PubMed

    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. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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

  5. Hidden Stages of Cognition Revealed in Patterns of Brain Activation.

    PubMed

    Anderson, John R; Pyke, Aryn A; Fincham, Jon M

    2016-09-01

    To advance cognitive theory, researchers must be able to parse the performance of a task into its significant mental stages. In this article, we describe a new method that uses functional MRI brain activation to identify when participants are engaged in different cognitive stages on individual trials. The method combines multivoxel pattern analysis to identify cognitive stages and hidden semi-Markov models to identify their durations. This method, applied to a problem-solving task, identified four distinct stages: encoding, planning, solving, and responding. We examined whether these stages corresponded to their ascribed functions by testing whether they are affected by appropriate factors. Planning-stage duration increased as the method for solving the problem became less obvious, whereas solving-stage duration increased as the number of calculations to produce the answer increased. Responding-stage duration increased with the difficulty of the motor actions required to produce the answer. PMID:27440808

  6. 19th century auroral observations reveal solar activity patterns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silverman, Sam

    Growing interest in the aurora in the early part of the eighteenth century, which resulted from the spectacular reappearance of the aurora in 1707 and 1716, followed a relative scarcity of great auroras during the Maunder minimum, a period of prolonged reduced solar activity from about 1645-1715. Observations in the early eighteenth century led to questions about the geographical extent, nature, and temporal variability of the auroras. Typically, such observations were included as part of recorded meteorological notations, though occasionally early astronomers, such as Tycho Brahe in the 1590s, included auroras in their observations. Meteorological observations were important because of the effects of weather and climate on agriculture, and, according to the belief at the time, on disease.

  7. Targeted massively parallel sequencing of angiosarcomas reveals frequent activation of the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway

    PubMed Central

    Murali, Rajmohan; Chandramohan, Raghu; Möller, Inga; Scholz, Simone L.; Berger, Michael; Huberman, Kety; Viale, Agnes; Pirun, Mono; Socci, Nicholas D.; Bouvier, Nancy; Bauer, Sebastian; Artl, Monika; Schilling, Bastian; Schimming, Tobias; Sucker, Antje; Schwindenhammer, Benjamin; Grabellus, Florian; Speicher, Michael R.; Schaller, Jörg; Hillen, Uwe; Schadendorf, Dirk; Mentzel, Thomas; Cheng, Donavan T.; Wiesner, Thomas; Griewank, Klaus G.

    2015-01-01

    Angiosarcomas are rare malignant mesenchymal tumors of endothelial differentiation. The clinical behavior is usually aggressive and the prognosis for patients with advanced disease is poor with no effective therapies. The genetic bases of these tumors have been partially revealed in recent studies reporting genetic alterations such as amplifications of MYC (primarily in radiation-associated angiosarcomas), inactivating mutations in PTPRB and R707Q hotspot mutations of PLCG1. Here, we performed a comprehensive genomic analysis of 34 angiosarcomas using a clinically-approved, hybridization-based targeted next-generation sequencing assay for 341 well-established oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes. Over half of the angiosarcomas (n = 18, 53%) harbored genetic alterations affecting the MAPK pathway, involving mutations in KRAS, HRAS, NRAS, BRAF, MAPK1 and NF1, or amplifications in MAPK1/CRKL, CRAF or BRAF. The most frequently detected genetic aberrations were mutations in TP53 in 12 tumors (35%) and losses of CDKN2A in 9 tumors (26%). MYC amplifications were generally mutually exclusive of TP53 alterations and CDKN2A loss and were identified in 8 tumors (24%), most of which (n = 7, 88%) arose post-irradiation. Previously reported mutations in PTPRB (n = 10, 29%) and one (3%) PLCG1 R707Q mutation were also identified. Our results demonstrate that angiosarcomas are a genetically heterogeneous group of tumors, harboring a wide range of genetic alterations. The high frequency of genetic events affecting the MAPK pathway suggests that targeted therapies inhibiting MAPK signaling may be promising therapeutic avenues in patients with advanced angiosarcomas. PMID:26440310

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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. PMID:26201984

  11. Urinary metabolites of isorhynchophylline in rats and their neuroprotective activities in the HT22 cell assay

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Fangfang; Qi, Wen; Sun, Jiahong; Simpkins, James W.; Yuan, Dan

    2015-01-01

    Isorhynchophylline is one of the major alkaloids from the Uncaria hook possessing the effects of lowered blood pressure, vasodilatation and protection against ischemia-induced neuronal damage. However, the metabolic pathway of isorhynchophylline has not been fully reported yet. In this paper, the metabolism of isorhynchophylline was investigated in rats. Five metabolites were isolated by using solvent extraction and repeated chromatographic methods, and identified by spectroscopic methods including UV, MS, NMR and CD experiments. Three new compounds were identified as 5-oxoisorhynchophyllic acid-22-O-β-D-glucuronide (M1), 17-O-demethyl-16,17-dihydro isorhynchophylline (M2) and 5-oxoisorhynchophyllic acid (M4) together with two known compounds isorhynchophylline (M0) and rhynchophylline (M3). Possible metabolic pathways of isorhynchophylline are proposed. Furthermore, the activity assay for all the metabolites showed that isorhynchophylline (M0) exhibited potent neuroprotective effects against glutamate-induced HT22 cell death. However, little or weak neuroprotective activities were observed for M1–M4. Our present study is important to further understand its metabolic fate and disposition in humans. PMID:24910000

  12. High specific activity enantiomerically enriched juvenile hormones: synthesis and binding assay

    SciTech Connect

    Prestwich, G.D.; Wawrzenczyk, 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.

  13. Assays for Hepatitis B Virus DNA-and RNA-Dependent DNA Polymerase Activities.

    PubMed

    Shaw, T; Locarnini, S A

    2000-01-01

    Genomes of the hepatitis B viruses (HBVs) consist of approx 3.2 kb of partly double-stranded DNA containing three or four overlapping open reading frames, the largest of which encodes the viral polymerase (Pol) protein. After entry into the cell and uncoating, the viral genome is transported to the nucleus where it is converted into a covalently closed circular (CCC) or supercoiled molecule by cellular repair mechanisms. The viral CCC DNA is transcribed, presumably by host cell RNA polymerase II, into unspliced, capped polyadenylated mRNA species from which viral proteins are transcribed. In addition, terminally redundant 3.5-kb RNA transcripts, which function as pregenomes, are produced and exported to the cytoplasm where they are packaged into viral core particles in which reverse transcription, pregenome degradation, and duplication occurs, reproducing the partly double-stranded HBV genome (for recent review, see ref. 1). Besides its essential role in HBV genome replication, HBV Pol is also involved in virus assembly, and because hepadnaviruses do not encode enzymes functionally equivalent to deoxynucleoside kinases (2), functions associated with HBV Pol are probably the only virus-specific targets for antiviral activity of nucleoside analogs. In vitro assays for inhibition of HBV Pol functions by deoxynucleoside triphosphate (dNTP) analogs are useful indicators but, because of restrictions imposed by hepatocyte enzymology, provide no guarantee of potential anti-HBV activity of the parent (deoxy)nucleoside analogs in intact cells (2). PMID:21331902

  14. 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. PMID:24508543

  15. A simple purification and activity assay of the coagulant protein from Moringa oleifera seed.

    PubMed

    Ghebremichael, Kebreab A; Gunaratna, K R; Henriksson, Hongbin; Brumer, Harry; Dalhammar, Gunnel

    2005-06-01

    Use of extracts from Moringa oleifera (MO) is of great interest for low-cost water treatment. This paper discusses water and salt extraction of a coagulant protein from the seed, purification using ion exchange, its chemical characteristics, coagulation and antimicrobial properties. The coagulant from both extracts is a cationic protein with pI greater than 9.6 and molecular mass less than 6.5 kDa. Mass spectrometric analysis of the purified water extract indicated that it contained at least four homologous proteins, based on MS/MS peptide sequence data. The protein is thermoresistant and remained active after 5h heat treatment at 95 degrees C. The coagulant protein showed both flocculating and antibacterial effects of 1.1--4 log reduction. With samples of high turbidity, the MO extract showed similar coagulation activity as alum. Cecropin A and MO extract were found to have similar flocculation effects for clay and microorganisms. Simple methods for both the purification and assay of MO coagulating proteins are presented, which are necessary for large-scale water treatment applications. PMID:15921719

  16. Urinary metabolites of isorhynchophylline in rats and their neuroprotective activities in the HT22 cell assay.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fangfang; Qi, Wen; Sun, Jiahong; Simpkins, James W; Yuan, Dan

    2014-09-01

    Isorhynchophylline is one of the major alkaloids from the Uncaria hook possessing the effects of lowered blood pressure, vasodilatation and protection against ischemia-induced neuronal damage. However, the metabolic pathway of isorhynchophylline has not been fully reported yet. In this paper, the metabolism of isorhynchophylline was investigated in rats. Five metabolites were isolated by using solvent extraction and repeated chromatographic methods, and identified by spectroscopic methods including UV, MS, NMR and CD experiments. Three new compounds were identified as 5-oxoisorhynchophyllic acid-22-O-β-D-glucuronide (M1), 17-O-demethyl-16,17-dihydro isorhynchophylline (M2) and 5-oxoisorhynchophyllic acid (M4) together with two known compounds isorhynchophylline (M0) and rhynchophylline (M3). Possible metabolic pathways of isorhynchophylline are proposed. Furthermore, the activity assay for all the metabolites showed that isorhynchophylline (M0) exhibited potent neuroprotective effects against glutamate-induced HT22 cell death. However, little or weak neuroprotective activities were observed for M1-M4. Our present study is important to further understand its metabolic fate and disposition in humans. PMID:24910000

  17. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26060918

  18. Automation of o-dianisidine assay for ceruloplasmin activity analyses: usefulness of investigation in Wilson's disease and in hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Siotto, Mariacristina; Pasqualetti, Patrizio; Marano, Massimo; Squitti, Rosanna

    2014-10-01

    Ceruloplasmin (Cp) is a serum ferroxidase that plays an essential role in iron metabolism. It is routinely tested by immunoturbidimetric assays that quantify the concentration of the protein both in its active and inactive forms. Cp activity is generally analyzed manually; the process is time-consuming, has a limited repeatability, and is not suitable for a clinical setting. To overcome these inconveniences, we have set the automation of the o-dianisidine Cp activity assay on a Cobas Mira Plus apparatus. The automation was rapid and repeatable, and the data were provided in terms of IU/L. The assay was adapted for human sera and showed a good precision [coefficient of variation (CV) 3.7 %] and low limit of detection (LoD 11.58 IU/L). The simultaneous analysis of Cp concentration and activity in the same run allowed us to calculate the Cp-specific activity that provides a better index of the overall Cp status. To test the usefulness of this automation, we tested this assay on 104 healthy volunteers and 36 patients with Wilson's disease, hepatic encephalopathy, and chronic liver disease. Cp activity and specific activity distinguished better patients between groups with respect to Cp concentration alone, and providing support for the clinical investigation of neurological diseases in which liver failure is one of the clinical hallmarks. PMID:24663495

  19. Assaying Bcr-Abl kinase activity and inhibition in whole cell extracts by phosphorylation of substrates immobilized on agarose beads

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Ding; Nair-Gill, Evan; Sher, Dorie A.; Parker, Laurie L.; Campbell, Jennifer M.; Siddiqui, Mariah; Stock, Wendy; Kron, Stephen J.

    2015-01-01

    There is a current and increasing demand for simple, robust, nonradioactive assays of protein tyrosine kinase activity with applications for clinical diagnosis and high-throughput screening of potential molecularly targeted therapeutic agents. One significant challenge is to detect and measure the activity of specific kinases with key roles in cell signaling as an approach to distinguish normal cells from cancer cells and as a means of evaluating targeted drug efficacy and resistance in cancer cells. Here, we describe a method in which kinase substrates fused to glutathione-S-transferase and immobilized on glutathione agarose beads are phosphorylated, eluted, and then assayed to detect kinase activity. The activity of recombinant, purified c-Abl kinase or Bcr-Abl kinase in whole cell extracts can be detected with equivalent specificity, sensitivity, and reproducibility. Similarly, inhibition of recombinant c-Abl or Bcr-Abl in cells or cell extracts by imatinib mesylate and other Bcr-Abl targeted kinase inhibitors is readily assayed. This simple kinase assay is sufficiently straightforward and robust for use in clinical laboratories and is potentially adaptable to high-throughput assay formats. PMID:16236241

  20. A novel protease activity assay method based on an engineered autoinhibited protein using an enzyme-linked immunoassay.

    PubMed

    Yoon, Hyun Kyung; Yoo, Tae Hyeon

    2013-12-01

    Proteases are involved in various biological phenomena, and their aberrant activity can be an important indicator of disease. Thus, various methods have been developed to analyze the activities of proteases, but their wide application has been hampered because each method has drawbacks. In this report, we propose a new protease assay method based on an engineered autoinhibited protein and enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) in which a protease of interest activates the autoinhibited protein and the signal is amplified via ELISA. Using this concept a sensitive assay method for MMP2 and caspase-3 was developed. The limit of detection for the two proteases was as low as 7 pM for MMP2 and 0.1 pM for caspase-3. The autoinhibited protein is designed modularly, and the new platform is general enough for the development of assay methods for other proteases with minimal modification. PMID:24106734

  1. Establishment of a New Cell-Based Assay To Measure the Activity of Sweeteners in Fluorescent Food Extracts

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Taste receptors have been defined at the molecular level in the past decade, and cell-based assays have been developed using cultured cells heterologously expressing these receptors. The most popular approach to detecting the cellular response to a tastant is to measure changes in intracellular Ca2+ concentration using Ca2+-sensitive fluorescent dyes. However, this method cannot be applied to food-derived samples that contain fluorescent substances. To establish an assay system that would be applicable to fluorescent samples, we tested the use of Ca2+-sensitive photoproteins, such as aequorin and mitochondrial clytin-II, as Ca2+ indicators in a human sweet taste receptor assay. Using these systems, we successfully detected receptor activation in response to sweetener, even when fluorescent compounds coexisted. This luminescence-based assay will be a powerful tool to objectively evaluate the sweetness of food-derived samples even at an industry level. PMID:21981007

  2. Establishment of a new cell-based assay to measure the activity of sweeteners in fluorescent food extracts.

    PubMed

    Toda, Yasuka; Okada, Shinji; Misaka, Takumi

    2011-11-23

    Taste receptors have been defined at the molecular level in the past decade, and cell-based assays have been developed using cultured cells heterologously expressing these receptors. The most popular approach to detecting the cellular response to a tastant is to measure changes in intracellular Ca(2+) concentration using Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent dyes. However, this method cannot be applied to food-derived samples that contain fluorescent substances. To establish an assay system that would be applicable to fluorescent samples, we tested the use of Ca(2+)-sensitive photoproteins, such as aequorin and mitochondrial clytin-II, as Ca(2+) indicators in a human sweet taste receptor assay. Using these systems, we successfully detected receptor activation in response to sweetener, even when fluorescent compounds coexisted. This luminescence-based assay will be a powerful tool to objectively evaluate the sweetness of food-derived samples even at an industry level. PMID:21981007

  3. Microparticle-associated tissue factor activity measured with the Zymuphen MP-TF kit and the calibrated automated thrombogram assay.

    PubMed

    Hellum, Marit; Øvstebø, Reidun; Trøseid, Anne-Marie S; Berg, Jens P; Brandtzaeg, Petter; Henriksson, Carola E

    2012-09-01

    There is increasing clinical interest for measuring microparticle (MP)-associated tissue factor (TF) activity owing to its possible role as a prothrombotic biomarker in a variety of diseases. However, the methods used are to various extents hampered by lack of (pre)analytical standardization as well as limited published documentation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of the Zymuphen MP-TF kit and the calibrated automated thrombogram (CAT) assay in measuring MP-associated TF activity in plasma using a Neisseria meningitidis (Nm)-stimulated whole blood model. In addition, (pre)analytical variables like centrifugation procedures, freezing/thawing and the effect of addition of exogenous phosphatidylserine in plasma were evaluated in the CAT assay. Citrate-anticoagulated blood was stimulated with Nm bacteria for 4 h before platelet-poor plasma (PPP) or platelet-free plasma (PFP) were prepared and assayed with either of the two methods. Nm dose-dependently (10-10 bacteria/ml) induced TF-specific activity, measured as decreased lagtimes, in the CAT assay. The Zymuphen MP-TF kit also detected TF activity, although much higher Nm doses (10 bacteria/ml) were required to achieve measurable levels. Neither freezing/thawing nor the use of PPP vs. PFP influenced the TF activity, measured over a broad range of lagtimes, in the CAT assay. In conclusion, changes in lagtime in the CAT assay reflected levels of MP-associated TF activity in a more sensitive manner than the Zymuphen MP-TF kit did, in our Nm-stimulated whole blood system. PMID:22732249

  4. A novel, sensitive assay for high-throughput molecular detection of plasmodia for active screening of malaria for elimination.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Zhibin; Sun, Xiaodong; Yang, Ye; Wang, Heng; Zheng, Zhi

    2013-01-01

    Although malaria remains one of the leading infectious diseases in the world, the decline in malaria transmission in some area makes it possible to consider elimination of the disease. As countries approach elimination, malaria diagnosis needs to change from diagnosing ill patients to actively detecting infections in all carriers, including asymptomatic and low-parasite-load patients. However, few of the current diagnostic methods have both the throughput and the sensitivity required. We adopted a sandwich RNA hybridization assay to detect genus Plasmodium 18S rRNA directly from whole-blood samples from Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax patients without RNA isolation. We tested the assay with 202 febrile patients from areas where malaria is endemic, using 20 μl of each blood sample in a 96-well plate format with a 2-day enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-like work flow. The results were compared with diagnoses obtained using microscopy, a rapid diagnostic test (RDT), and genus-specific real-time PCR. Our assay identified all 66 positive samples diagnosed by microscopy, including 49 poorly stored samples that underwent multiple freeze-thaw cycles due to resource limitation. The assay uncovered three false-negative samples by microscopy and four false-negative samples by RDT and agreed completely with real-time PCR diagnosis. There was no negative sample by our assay that would show a positive result when tested with other methods. The detection limit of our assay for P. falciparum was 0.04 parasite/μl. The assay's simple work flow, high throughput, and sensitivity make it suitable for active malaria screening. PMID:23100347

  5. KiC assay: a quantitative mass spectrometry-based approach for kinase client screening and activity analysis [corrected].

    PubMed

    Huang, Yadong; Thelen, Jay J

    2012-01-01

    Protein phosphorylation is one of the most important posttranslational modifications (PTMs) involved in the transduction of cellular signals. The number of kinases in eukaryotic genomes ranges from several hundred to over one thousand. And with rapidly evolving mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches, thousands to tens of thousands of phosphorylation sites (phosphosites) have been reported from various eukaryotic organisms, from man to plants. In this relative context, few bona fide kinase-client relationships have been identified to date. To merge the gap between these phosphosites and the cognate kinases that beget these events, comparable large-scale methodologies are required. We describe in detail a MS-based method for identifying kinase-client interactions and quantifying kinase activity. We term this novel Kinase-Client assay, the KiC assay. The KiC assay relies upon the fact that substrate specificities of many kinases are largely determined by primary amino acid sequence or phosphorylation motifs, which consist of key amino acids surrounding the phosphorylation sites. The workflow for detecting kinase-substrate interactions includes four major steps: (1) preparation of purified kinases and synthetic peptide library, (2) in vitro kinase peptide library assay, (3) liquid chromatography (LC)-tandem MS (MS/MS) analysis, and (4) data processing and interpretation. Kinase activity is quantified with the KiC assay by monitoring spectral counts of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated peptides as the readout from LC-tandem mass spectrometry. The KiC assay can be applied as a discovery assay to screen kinases against a synthetic peptide library to find kinase-client relationships or as a targeted assay to characterize kinase kinetics. PMID:22665311

  6. Evaluation of bioluminescence-based assays of anti-malarial drug activity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Transgenic Plasmodium falciparum expressing luciferase offers an attractive bioluminescence-based assay platform for the investigation of the pharmacological properties of anti-malarial drugs. Here a side-by-side comparison of bioluminescence and fluorescence-based assays, utilizing a luciferase reporter cassette that confers a strong temporal pattern of luciferase expression during the S-phase of intraerythrocytic development, is reported. Methods Key assay parameters for a range of commercially available luminogenic substrates are determined and compared to those measured using a Malaria Sybr Green I fluorescence assay. In addition, the short-term temporal effects of anti-malarial compounds are evaluated using both bioluminescent and fluorescent assay platforms. Results The Z’, % coefficient of variation and 50% inhibition concentrations are essentially the same for bioluminescent and fluorescent assays in transgenic parasites generated in both chloroquine-sensitive and -resistant genetic backgrounds. Bioluminescent assays, irrespective of the luminogenic agent employed, do, however, offer significantly enhanced signal-to-noise ratios. Moreover, the bioluminescent assay is more dynamic in terms of determining temporal effects immediately following drug perturbation. Conclusion This study suggests that opportunities for bioluminescence-based assays lie not in the measurement of 50% inhibition concentrations, where the cheaper fluorescence assay performs excellently and is not restricted by the need to genetically modify the parasite clone under investigation. Instead, assays that use the dynamic response of the luciferase reporter for semi-automated screening of additional pharmacological properties, such as relative rate-of-kill and lethal dose estimation, are a more attractive development opportunity. PMID:23394077

  7. Measurement of membrane-bound human heme oxygenase-1 activity using a chemically defined assay system.

    PubMed

    Huber, Warren J; Marohnic, Christopher C; Peters, Michelle; Alam, Jawed; Reed, James R; Masters, Bettie Sue Siler; Backes, Wayne L

    2009-04-01

    Heme oxygenase (HO) catalyzes heme degradation in a reaction requiring NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR). Although most studies with HO used a soluble 30-kDa form, lacking the C-terminal membrane-binding region, recent reports show that the catalytic behavior of this enzyme is very different if this domain is retained; the overall activity was elevated 5-fold, and the K(m) for CPR decreased approximately 50-fold. The goal of these studies was to accurately measure HO activity using a coupled assay containing purified biliverdin reductase (BVR). This allows measurement of bilirubin formation after incorporation of full-length CPR and heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) into a membrane environment. When rat liver cytosol was used as the source of partially purified BVR, the reaction remained linear for 2 to 3 min; however, the reaction was only linear for 10 to 30 s when an equivalent amount of purified, human BVR (hBVR) was used. This lack of linearity was not observed with soluble HO-1. Optimal formation of bilirubin was achieved with concentrations of bovine serum albumin (0.25 mg/ml) and hBVR (0.025-0.05 microM), but neither supplement increased the time that the reaction remained linear. Various concentrations of superoxide dismutase had no effect on the reaction; however, when catalase was included, the reactions were linear for at least 4 to 5 min, even at high CPR levels. These results not only show that HO-1-generated hydrogen peroxide leads to a decrease in HO-1 activity but also provide for a chemically defined system to be used to examine the function of full-length HO-1 in a membrane environment. PMID:19131520

  8. A sensitive assay for the biosynthesis and secretion of MANF using NanoLuc activity.

    PubMed

    Norisada, Junpei; Hirata, Yoko; Amaya, Fumimasa; Kiuchi, Kazutoshi; Oh-hashi, Kentaro

    2014-07-11

    Mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF) has been reported to prevent neuronal cell death caused by certain stimuli. Accordingly, the molecular features of MANF have been intensively investigated since the reporting of its cytoprotective actions. In addition to the characterization of the transcriptional regulation of MANF under pathophysiological conditions, it is important to understand its intracellular transport and secretion after translation. In this study, we developed a convenient and quantitative assay to evaluate the post-translational regulation of MANF using NanoLuc, a highly active and small luciferase. We inserted NanoLuc after the putative signal peptide sequence (SP) of MANF to construct NanoLuc-tagged MANF (SP-NL-MANF). Similar to wild-type (wt) MANF, SP-NL-MANF was secreted from transiently transfected HEK293 cells in a time-dependent manner. The overexpression of mutant Sar1 or wild-type GRP78, which has been reported to decrease wt MANF secretion, also attenuated the secretion of SP-NL-MANF. Using INS-1 cells stably expressing SP-NL-MANF, we found that the biosynthesis and secretion of SP-NL-MANF can be evaluated quantitatively using only a small number of cells. We further investigated the effects of several stimuli responsible for the expression of ER stress-induced genes on the secretion of SP-NL-MANF from INS-1 cells. Treatment with thapsigargin and high potassium significantly increased NanoLuc activity in the culture medium, but serum withdrawal dramatically down-regulated luciferase activity both inside and outside of the cells. Collectively, these results demonstrate that our method for measuring NanoLuc-tagged MANF as a secretory factor is highly sensitive and convenient not only for characterizing post-translational regulation but also for screening useful compounds that may be used to treat ER stress-related diseases such as neurodegenerative disease, ischemia and diabetes. PMID:24845376

  9. Reporter Phage and Breath Tests: Emerging Phenotypic Assays for Diagnosing Active Tuberculosis, Antibiotic Resistance, and Treatment Efficacy

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Paras; Thaler, David S.; Maiga, Mamoudou; Timmins, Graham S.; Bishai, William R.; Hatfull, Graham F.; Larsen, Michelle H.; Jacobs, William R.

    2011-01-01

    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. PMID:21996696

  10. An assay to monitor the activity of DNA transposition complexes yields a general quality control measure for transpositional recombination reactions

    PubMed Central

    Pulkkinen, Elsi; Haapa-Paananen, Saija; Savilahti, Harri

    2014-01-01

    Transposon-based technologies have many applications in molecular biology and can be used for gene delivery into prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. Common transpositional activity measurement assays suitable for many types of transposons would be beneficial, as diverse transposon systems could be compared for their performance attributes. Therefore, we developed a general-purpose assay to enable and standardize the activity measurement for DNA transposition complexes (transpososomes), using phage Mu transposition as a test platform. This assay quantifies transpositional recombination efficiency and is based on an in vitro transposition reaction with a target plasmid carrying a lethal ccdB gene. If transposition targets ccdB, this gene becomes inactivated, enabling plasmid-receiving Escherichia coli cells to survive and to be scored as colonies on selection plates. The assay was validated with 3 mini-Mu transposons varying in size and differing in their marker gene constitution. Tests with different amounts of transposon DNA provided a linear response and yielded a 10-fold operational range for the assay. The colony formation capacity was linearly correlated with the competence status of the E.coli cells, enabling normalization of experimental data obtained with different batches of recipient cells. The developed assay can now be used to directly compare transpososome activities with all types of mini-Mu transposons, regardless of their aimed use. Furthermore, the assay should be directly applicable to other transposition-based systems with a functional in vitro reaction, and it provides a dependable quality control measure that previously has been lacking but is highly important for the evaluation of current and emerging transposon-based applications. PMID:26442171

  11. Telomerase Activity in the Various Regions of Mouse Brain: Non-Radioactive Telomerase Repeat Amplification Protocol (TRAP) Assay

    PubMed Central

    Grin, Yossi; Admoni, Tamar; Priel, Esther

    2014-01-01

    Telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein, is responsible for maintaining the telomere length and therefore promoting genomic integrity, proliferation, and lifespan. In addition, telomerase protects the mitochondria from oxidative stress and confers resistance to apoptosis, suggesting its possible importance for the surviving of non-mitotic, highly active cells such as neurons. We previously demonstrated the ability of novel telomerase activators to increase telomerase activity and expression in the various mouse brain regions and to protect motor neurons cells from oxidative stress. These results strengthen the notion that telomerase is involved in the protection of neurons from various lesions. To underline the role of telomerase in the brain, we here compare the activity of telomerase in male and female mouse brain and its dependence on age. TRAP assay is a standard method for detecting telomerase activity in various tissues or cell lines. Here we demonstrate the analysis of telomerase activity in three regions of the mouse brain by non-denaturing protein extraction using CHAPS lysis buffer followed by modification of the standard TRAP assay. In this 2-step assay, endogenous telomerase elongates a specific telomerase substrate (TS primer) by adding TTAGGG 6 bp repeats (telomerase reaction). The telomerase reaction products are amplified by PCR reaction creating a DNA ladder of 6 bp increments. The analysis of the DNA ladder is made by 4.5% high resolution agarose gel electrophoresis followed by staining with highly sensitive nucleic acid stain. Compared to the traditional TRAP assay that utilize 32P labeled radioactive dCTP's for DNA detection and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for resolving the DNA ladder, this protocol offers a non-toxic time saving TRAP assay for evaluating telomerase activity in the mouse brain, demonstrating the ability to detect differences in telomerase activity in the various female and male mouse brain region. PMID:25225832

  12. Telomerase activity in the various regions of mouse brain: non-radioactive telomerase repeat amplification protocol (TRAP) assay.

    PubMed

    Grin, Yossi; Admoni, Tamar; Priel, Esther

    2014-01-01

    Telomerase, a ribonucleoprotein, is responsible for maintaining the telomere length and therefore promoting genomic integrity, proliferation, and lifespan. In addition, telomerase protects the mitochondria from oxidative stress and confers resistance to apoptosis, suggesting its possible importance for the surviving of non-mitotic, highly active cells such as neurons. We previously demonstrated the ability of novel telomerase activators to increase telomerase activity and expression in the various mouse brain regions and to protect motor neurons cells from oxidative stress. These results strengthen the notion that telomerase is involved in the protection of neurons from various lesions. To underline the role of telomerase in the brain, we here compare the activity of telomerase in male and female mouse brain and its dependence on age. TRAP assay is a standard method for detecting telomerase activity in various tissues or cell lines. Here we demonstrate the analysis of telomerase activity in three regions of the mouse brain by non-denaturing protein extraction using CHAPS lysis buffer followed by modification of the standard TRAP assay. In this 2-step assay, endogenous telomerase elongates a specific telomerase substrate (TS primer) by adding TTAGGG 6 bp repeats (telomerase reaction). The telomerase reaction products are amplified by PCR reaction creating a DNA ladder of 6 bp increments. The analysis of the DNA ladder is made by 4.5% high resolution agarose gel electrophoresis followed by staining with highly sensitive nucleic acid stain. Compared to the traditional TRAP assay that utilize (32)P labeled radioactive dCTP's for DNA detection and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for resolving the DNA ladder, this protocol offers a non-toxic time saving TRAP assay for evaluating telomerase activity in the mouse brain, demonstrating the ability to detect differences in telomerase activity in the various female and male mouse brain region. PMID:25225832

  13. Fluorescent assay for alkaline phosphatase activity based on graphene oxide integrating with λ exonuclease.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xue-Guo; Xing, Xiao-Jing; Li, Bo; Guo, Yong-Ming; Zhang, Ye-Zhen; Yang, Yan; Zhang, Lian-Feng

    2016-07-15

    A novel fluorescence turn-on strategy for the alkaline phosphatase (ALP) assay is developed based on the preferential binding of graphene oxide (GO) to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) over double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) coupled with λ exonuclease (λ exo) cleavage. Specifically, in the absence of ALP, the substrate-dsDNA constructed by one oligonucleotide with a fluorophore at the 3'-end (F-DNA) and its complementary sequence modified with a 5'-phosphoryl termini (p-DNA), is promptly cleaved by λ exo, and the resulting F-DNA is adsorbed on GO surface, allowing fluorescence quenching. Whereas the introduction of ALP leads to the hydrolysis of the P-DNA, and the yielding 5'-hydroxyl end product hampers the λ exo cleavage, inducing significant fluorescence enhancement due to the weak binding of dsDNA with GO. Under the optimized conditions, the approach exhibits high sensitivity and specificity to ALP with a detection limit of 0.19 U/L, and the determination of ALP in spiked human serum samples has also been realized. Notably, this new approach not only provides a novel and sensitive platform for the ALP activity detection but also promotes the exploitation of the GO-based biosensing for the detection of the protein with no specific binding element, and thus extending the GO-based sensing applications into a new field. PMID:27015149

  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. 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. PMID:27041274

  16. A Method of Permeabilization of Drosophila Embryos for Assays of Small Molecule Activity

    PubMed Central

    Rand, Matthew D.

    2014-01-01

    The Drosophila embryo has long been a powerful laboratory model for elucidating molecular and genetic mechanisms that control development. The ease of genetic manipulations with this model has supplanted pharmacological approaches that are commonplace in other animal models and cell-based assays. Here we describe recent advances in a protocol that enables application of small molecules to the developing fruit fly embryo. The method details steps to overcome the impermeability of the eggshell while maintaining embryo viability. Eggshell permeabilization across a broad range of developmental stages is achieved by application of a previously described d-limonene embryo permeabilization solvent (EPS1) and by aging embryos at reduced temperature (18 °C) prior to treatments. In addition, use of a far-red dye (CY5) as a permeabilization indicator is described, which is compatible with downstream applications involving standard red and green fluorescent dyes in live and fixed preparations. This protocol is applicable to studies using bioactive compounds to probe developmental mechanisms as well as for studies aimed at evaluating teratogenic or pharmacologic activity of uncharacterized small molecules. PMID:25046169

  17. Metabolic activation of organic extracts from diesel, coke oven, roofing tar, and cigarette smoke emissions in the Ames Assay

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, K.; Lewtas, J.

    1985-01-01

    Four environmental emissions samples were ranked by their genotoxic potency in several bioassays. Although the relative potency of a series of automotive emissions (diesel and gasoline) in the Ames assay correlated well with the relative potency in mammalian cell and mouse skin, this was not the case for the coke oven, roofing tar, and cigarette smoke condensate (CSC) emissions. This study examines the role of metabolic activation in determining the difference between a microbial and a mammalian bioassay in ranking the genotoxic potency of these environmental emissions. Uninduced and Aroclor 1254-induced S9 from both rat and hamster liver were compared as the metabolic activator in the Ames assay with Salmonella typhimurium TA98. The diesel emissions sample was direct-acting while the other samples required activation. The standard S9 concentration also produced the maximum mutagenic activity. The relative potency of these four samples was not significantly different between the microbial (Ames), mammalian cell (mouse lymphoma), and tumor initiation (mouse skin) assays. These results suggest that the differences observed between the relative mutagenic activity of these emissions in the mammalian cell and microbial assays was not due to a lack of optimization of the S9 system but may be inherent in the different response of the indicator cells to different chemical classes.

  18. An assay for 26S proteasome activity based on fluorescence anisotropy measurements of dye-labeled protein substrates.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharyya, Sucharita; Renn, Jonathan P; Yu, Houqing; Marko, John F; Matouschek, Andreas

    2016-09-15

    The 26S proteasome is the molecular machine at the center of the ubiquitin proteasome system and is responsible for adjusting the concentrations of many cellular proteins. It is a drug target in several human diseases, and assays for the characterization of modulators of its activity are valuable. The 26S proteasome consists of two components: a core particle, which contains the proteolytic sites, and regulatory caps, which contain substrate receptors and substrate processing enzymes, including six ATPases. Current high-throughput assays of proteasome activity use synthetic fluorogenic peptide substrates that report directly on the proteolytic activity of the proteasome, but not on the activities of the proteasome caps that are responsible for protein recognition and unfolding. Here, we describe a simple and robust assay for the activity of the entire 26S proteasome using fluorescence anisotropy to follow the degradation of fluorescently labeled protein substrates. We describe two implementations of the assay in a high-throughput format and show that it meets the expected requirement of ATP hydrolysis and the presence of a canonical degradation signal or degron in the target protein. PMID:27296635

  19. 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. PMID:18973283

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:25981449

  2. Photography by Cameras Integrated in Smartphones as a Tool for Analytical Chemistry Represented by an Butyrylcholinesterase Activity Assay.

    PubMed

    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

  3. Targeted mutagenesis of the human papillomavirus type 16 E2 transactivation domain reveals separable transcriptional activation and DNA replication functions.

    PubMed

    Sakai, H; Yasugi, T; Benson, J D; Dowhanick, J J; Howley, P M

    1996-03-01

    The E2 gene products of papillomavirus play key roles in viral replication, both as regulators of viral transcription and as auxiliary factors that act with E1 in viral DNA replication. We have carried out a detailed structure-function analysis of conserved amino acids within the N-terminal domain of the human papillomavirus type 16 (HPV16) E2 protein. These mutants were tested for their transcriptional activation activities as well as transient DNA replication and E1 binding activities. Analysis of the stably expressed mutants revealed that the transcriptional activation and replication activities of HPV16 E2 could be dissociated. The 173A mutant was defective for the transcriptional activation function but retained wild-type DNA replication activity, whereas the E39A mutant wild-type transcriptional activation function but was defective in transient DNA replication assays. The E39A mutant was also defective for HPV16 E1 binding in vitro, suggesting that the ability of E2 protein to form a complex with E1 appears to be essential for its function as an auxiliary replication factor. PMID:8627680

  4. Xanthine oxidoreductase activity assay in tissues using stable isotope-labeled substrate and liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Murase, Takayo; Nampei, Mai; Oka, Mitsuru; Ashizawa, Naoki; Matsumoto, Koji; Miyachi, Atsushi; Nakamura, Takashi

    2016-01-01

    Studies of pathological mechanisms and XOR inhibitor characterization, such as allopurinol, febuxostat, and topiroxostat, require accurate and sensitive measurements of XOR activity. However, the established assays have some disadvantages such as susceptibility to endogenous substances such as uric acid (UA), xanthine, or hypoxanthine. Here, we aimed to develop a novel XOR activity assay utilizing a combination of high-performance liquid chromatography (LC) and high-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) for tissues such as the liver, kidney, and plasma. Stable isotope-labeled [(15)N2]-xanthine was utilized as substrate and the production of [(15)N2]-uric acid was determined. [(15)N2]-UA production by XOR was dependent on the amounts of [(15)N2]-xanthine and enzyme and the time of reaction. Because high concentrations of endogenous xanthine and hypoxanthine affect XOR activities, we employed a multi-component analysis using LC/HRMS to improve the accuracy of XOR activity assay. Quantification of [(15)N2]-UA was validated and showed good linearity, accuracy, and precision. We measured the XOR activities of retired ICR mice using [(15)N2]-xanthine and LC/MS. The XOR activities in plasma, kidney, and liver samples were 38.1±0.7, 158±5, 928±25pmol/min/mg of protein, respectively (mean±SD, n=5). Furthermore, we measured the XOR activities in the same samples using the LC/ultraviolet and LC/fluorescence (FL) methods. The level of [(15)N2]-xanthine oxidation by XOR was equal to that of xanthine oxidation and approximately 7.9-8.9 times higher than that of pterin oxidation. We found a good correlation between XOR activities examined using LC/MS assay with [(15)N2]-xanthine and those examined using LC/FL assay with pterin. This result suggested that although both the LC/MS assay with [(15)N2]-xanthine and the LC/FL assay with pterin were useful, the former provided information regarding XOR activities that more directly reflected the physiological condition than the latter

  5. In Vitro Activity of Ceftazidime-Avibactam Combination in In Vitro Checkerboard Assays

    PubMed Central

    Melchers, Maria J.; van Mil, Anita C.; Nichols, Wright W.

    2014-01-01

    To evaluate the in vitro effects of the combination of ceftazidime and avibactam on the MICs of both compounds, checkerboard assays were performed for 81 clinical strains, including 55 Enterobacteriaceae strains (32 Klebsiella pneumoniae, 19 Escherichia coli, 1 Citrobacter freundii, and 3 Enterobacter cloacae) and 26 strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, all with known resistance mechanisms such as extended-spectrum β-lactamases (ESBLs) and carbapenemases, phenotypically or molecularly determined. Phenotypically ceftazidime-resistant strains (n = 69) were analyzed in more detail. For the Enterobacteriaceae strains, a concentration-dependent effect of avibactam was found for most strains with a maximum effect of avibactam at a concentration of 4 mg/liter, which decreased all ceftazidime MICs to ≤4 mg/liter. Avibactam alone also showed antibacterial activity (the MIC50 and MIC90 being 8 and 16 mg/liter, respectively). For the ceftazidime-resistant P. aeruginosa strains, considerable inhibition of β-lactamases by avibactam was acquired at a concentration of 4 mg/liter, which decreased all ceftazidime MICs except one to ≤8 mg/liter (the CLSI and EUCAST susceptible breakpoint). Increasing the concentration of avibactam further decreased the MICs, resulting in a maximum effect for most strains at 8 to 16 mg/liter. In summary, for most strains, the tested addition of avibactam of 4 mg/liter restored the antibacterial activity of ceftazidime to a level comparable to that of wild-type strains, indicating full inhibition, and strains became susceptible according to the EUCAST and CLSI criteria. Based on these in vitro data, avibactam is a promising inhibitor of different β-lactamases, including ESBLs and carbapenemases. PMID:25487794

  6. Colorimetrical rate assay for urinary dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV) activity using a new substrate.

    PubMed

    Shibuya-Saruta, H; Sugiyama, M; Kasahara, Y

    1995-01-01

    We synthesized a new substrate glycyl-L-proline 3,5-dibromo-4-hydroxyanilide (Gly-Pro-DBAP), for dipeptidyl peptidase IV (DPPIV). Its hydrolysis by DPPIV resulted in the formation of a chromophore, 2,6-dibromophenol-indo-p-xylenol, and its maximal absorption wavelength (600 nm) was longer than that of p-nitroaniline (415 nm) released from conventional substrate, glycyl-L-proline p-nitroanilide (Gly-Pro-pNA). We also established the rate assay for urinary DPPIV activity using Gly-Pro-DBAP. The optimum pH was between 8.5 and 9.0. The apparent Km was 1.1 mmol/1. The detectable range was 2.5-350 U/l. No changes in blank values occurred throughout the enzyme reaction in the optimum pH. Its value was also much lower than Gly-Pro-pNA. CVs for within-run and between-run were 1.1% (n = 10) and 3.0% (n = 10), respectively. Among tested peptidases, only DPPIV could hydrolyze Gly-Pro-DBAP. Among the protease inhibitors, only two, diprotin-A and phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride (PMSA), could inhibit DPPIV activity. The present method did not interfere with urinary ingredients such as hemoglobin. The correlation between the present (y) and conventional (x) methods is presented by the equation y = 1.121x + 0.096 (r = 0.993). Thus the present method provides practical advantages over the conventional method for routine laboratory use. PMID:7714663

  7. The inhibition of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 activity by crude and purified human pregnancy plug mucus and mucins in an inhibition assay

    PubMed Central

    Habte, Habtom H; de Beer, Corena; Lotz, Zoë E; Tyler, Marilyn G; Schoeman, Leann; Kahn, Delawir; Mall, Anwar S

    2008-01-01

    Background The female reproductive tract is amongst the main routes for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) transmission. Cervical mucus however is known to protect the female reproductive tract from bacterial invasion and fluid loss and regulates and facilitates sperm transport to the upper reproductive tract. The purpose of this study was to purify and characterize pregnancy plug mucins and determine their anti-HIV-1 activity in an HIV inhibition assay. Methods Pregnancy plug mucins were purified by caesium chloride density-gradient ultra-centrifugation and characterized by Western blotting analysis. The anti-HIV-1 activities of the crude pregnancy plug mucus and purified pregnancy plug mucins was determined by incubating them with HIV-1 prior to infection of the human T lymphoblastoid cell line (CEM SS cells). Results The pregnancy plug mucus had MUC1, MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC5B. The HIV inhibition assay revealed that while the purified pregnancy plug mucins inhibit HIV-1 activity by approximately 97.5%, the crude pregnancy plug mucus failed to inhibit HIV-1 activity. Conclusion Although it is not clear why the crude sample did not inhibit HIV-1 activity, it may be that the amount of mucins in the crude pregnancy plug mucus (which contains water, mucins, lipids, nucleic acids, lactoferrin, lysozyme, immunoglobulins and ions), is insufficient to cause viral inhibition or aggregation. PMID:18489743

  8. Total esterase activity in human saliva: Validation of an automated assay, characterization and behaviour after physical stress.

    PubMed

    Tecles, Fernando; Tvarijonaviciute, Asta; De Torre, Carlos; Carrillo, José M; Rubio, Mónica; García, Montserrat; Cugat, Ramón; Cerón, José J

    2016-07-01

    Although saliva has esterase activity, this activity has not been characterized or studied in individuals subjected to physical stress. The aim of this report was to develop and validate an automated spectrophotometric assay for total esterase activity measurement in human saliva, as well as to study the contribution of different enzymes on this activity and its behaviour under physical stress in healthy subjects. The assay used 4-nitrophenyl acetate as substrate and was precise, accurate and provided low limits of detection and quantification. Inhibition with diisopropylfluorophosphate showed that cholinesterase, carboxylesterase and cholesterol esterase contributions not represented more than 20% of total esterase. Addition of standards of lipase and albumin to saliva samples showed that both proteins significantly contributed to esterase activity only when equal or higher than 11.6 IU/L and 250 μg/mL, respectively. Western blot analyses showed absence of paraoxonase-1 and high amount of carbonic anhydrase-VI. The high affinity of purified carbonic anhydrase-VI for the substrate supported a major contribution of this enzyme. Total esterase activity and alpha-amylase was measured in saliva samples from 12 healthy male students before and after participation in an indoor football match. The activity significantly increased after match and positively correlated with salivary alpha-amylase. This method could be used as a biomarker of physical stress in humans, with carbonic anhydrase-VI being the esterase that contributed more to the activity of the assay. PMID:27045801

  9. A rapid, comprehensive system for assaying DNA repair activity and cytotoxic effects of DNA-damaging reagents.

    PubMed

    Jia, Nan; Nakazawa, Yuka; Guo, Chaowan; Shimada, Mayuko; Sethi, Mieran; Takahashi, Yoshito; Ueda, Hiroshi; Nagayama, Yuji; Ogi, Tomoo

    2015-01-01

    DNA repair systems protect cells from genomic instability and carcinogenesis. Therefore, assays for measuring DNA repair activity are valuable, not only for clinical diagnoses of DNA repair deficiency disorders but also for basic research and anticancer drug development. Two commonly used assays are UDS (unscheduled DNA synthesis, requiring a precise measurement of an extremely small amount of repair DNA synthesis) and RRS (recovery of RNA synthesis after DNA damage). Both UDS and RRS are major endpoints for assessing the activity of nucleotide excision repair (NER), the most versatile DNA repair process. Conventional UDS and RRS assays are laborious and time-consuming, as they measure the incorporation of radiolabeled nucleosides associated with NER. Here we describe a comprehensive protocol for monitoring nonradioactive UDS and RRS by studying the incorporation of alkyne-conjugated nucleoside analogs followed by a fluorescent azide-coupling click-chemistry reaction. The system is also suitable for quick measurement of cell sensitivity to DNA-damaging reagents and for lentivirus-based complementation assays, which can be used to systematically determine the pathogenic genes associated with DNA repair deficiency disorders. A typical UDS or RRS assay using primary fibroblasts, including a virus complementation test, takes 1 week to complete. PMID:25474029

  10. 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. PMID:23723081

  11. A sensitive, accurate assay for extrinsic pathway inhibitor (EPI) activity in rabbit plasma: Paradoxical effect of excess exogenous factor X

    SciTech Connect

    Warr, T.A.; Rao, L.V.; Rapaport, S.I. )

    1990-08-15

    A sensitive assay is described for the measurement of rabbit plasma EPI activity in experimental studies of induced hypercoagulable states in this species. It is based upon the ability of a dilution of rabbit plasma to inhibit human factor VIIa/rabbit brain tissue factor (TF) catalyzed activation of human factor IX (tritiated activation peptide release assay). Addition of {sup 3}H-factor IX to the reaction mixture is delayed for 45 minutes to allow full inhibition by EPI/factor Xa complex before the residual catalytic activity of factor VIIa/TF is measured. Although the diluted rabbit plasma test sample contains both EPI and factor X, supplemental factor X is added to the reaction mixture to assure that only EPI content of the test sample affects the assay result. However, the final concentration of factor X in the reaction mixture is critical. Too high a concentration of factor X diminishes the sensitivity of the assay. The reason for this phenomenon, which was observed with both human and rabbit factor X preparations, is unknown.

  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. METABOLIC ACTIVATION OF ORGANIC EXTRACTS FROM DIESEL, COKE OVEN, ROOFING TAR, AND CIGARETTE SMOKE EMISSIONS IN THE AMES ASSAY

    EPA Science Inventory

    The role of metabolic activation in the difference between a microbial and mammalian bioassays in the ranking of genotoxic potency of several environmental emissions was investigated. Although the relative potency in the Ames assay correlated well with the relative potency in mam...

  14. Ultrasensitive detection of protease activity of anthrax and botulinum toxins by a new PCR-based assay.

    PubMed

    Kolesnikov, Alexander V; Kozyr, Arina V; Ryabko, Alyona K; Shemyakin, Igor G

    2016-02-01

    Anthrax and botulism are dangerous infectious diseases that can be fatal unless detected and treated quickly. Fatalities from these diseases are primarily due to endopeptidase toxins secreted by the pathogens. Rapid and sensitive detection of the presence of active toxins is the key element for protection from natural outbreaks of anthrax and botulism, as well as from the threat of bioterrorism. We describe an ultrasensitive polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assay for detecting proteolytic activity of anthrax and botulinum toxins using composite probes consisting of covalent peptide-DNA conjugate for the detection of anthrax, and noncovalent protein-aptamer assembly to assay botulinum toxin activity. Probes immobilized on the solid-phase support are cleaved by toxins to release DNA, which is detected by real-time PCR. Both assays can detect subpicogram quantities of active toxins isolated from composite matrices. Special procedures were developed to isolate intact toxins from the matrices under mild conditions. The assay is rapid, uses proven technologies, and can be modified to detect other proteolytic and biopolymer-degrading enzymes. PMID:26620058

  15. 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. PMID:21729692

  16. A comet assay study reveals that aluminium induces DNA damage and inhibits the repair of radiation-induced lesions in human peripheral blood lymphocytes.

    PubMed

    Lankoff, Anna; Banasik, Anna; Duma, Anna; Ochniak, Edyta; Lisowska, Halina; Kuszewski, Tomasz; Góźdź, Stanisław; Wojcik, Andrzej

    2006-02-01

    Although it is known that many metals induce DNA damage and inhibit DNA repair, information regarding aluminium (Al) is scarce. The aim of this study was to analyze the level of DNA damage in human peripheral blood lymphocytes treated with Al and the impact of Al on the repair of DNA damage induced by ionizing radiation. Cells were treated with different doses of aluminium chloride (1, 2, 5, 10 and 25 microg/ml AlCl(3)) for 72 h. The level of DNA damage and of apoptosis was determined by the comet assay. The level of oxidative damage was determined by the application of endonuclease III and formamidopyrimidine DNA glycosylase. The results on apoptosis were confirmed by flow cytometry. Based on the fluorescence intensity, cells were divided into cohorts of different relative DNA content that corresponds to G(1), S and G(2) phases of the cell cycle. Our results revealed that Al induces DNA damage in a dose-dependent manner, however, at the dose of 25 microg/ml the level of damage declined. This decline was accompanied by a high level of apoptosis indicating selective elimination of damaged cells. Cells pre-treated with Al showed a decreased repair capacity indicating that Al inhibits DNA repair. The possible mechanisms by which Al induces DNA damage and inhibits the repair are discussed. PMID:16139969

  17. 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...

  18. Chemical quantification and antioxidant assay of four active components in Ficus hirta root using UPLC-PAD-MS fingerprinting combined with cluster analysis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Root of Ficus hirta (RFH) is widely consumed in China as a plant-derived popular food. However, contents of the active constituents of RFH are unknown, and the chemical as well as bioactive properties of RFH may be affected by growing area. In order to ensure the standard efficacy of health products made with RFH, its active constituents should firstly be determined and, secondly, a means of assessing samples for their contents of these constituents is needed. Results Four active components, including two coumarins, namely psoralen and bergapten, and two flavonoids, namely luteolin and apigenin, in twenty RFH samples were quantified using a new ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with photodiode array detector and mass spectrometry (UPLC-PAD-MS) method, and the content level in descending order was psoralen > bergapten > luteolin > apigenin. Chromatographic fingerprint similarity evaluation and cluster analysis were used to assess geographical origin of RFH, and the results revealed a high level of similarity for the tested RFH samples obtained from Hainan, Guangdong, Guangxi provinces and Hong Kong. 2, 2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) radical scavenging assay was conducted to evaluate the antioxidant potencies of the four components, and the results clearly demonstrated that luteolin was most effective; apigenin exhibited a moderate potency, whereas psoralen and bergapten possessed little effect against free radical reactions. Structure-activity relationship of the components was elucidated, and the 3′-hydroxyl group of luteolin was found to be directly responsible for its antioxidant activity. Conclusion The present UPLC-PAD-MS method and DPPH radical scavenging assay performed well for the purpose of constituent quantification and antioxidant assay. Global profiles were highly similar for RFH samples from different origins. Both the coumarins and flavonoids were involved in the health benefit of RFH. PMID:23835498

  19. Renal adenylate cyclase assay for biologically active parathyroid hormone: clinical utility and physiological significance.

    PubMed

    Auf'mkolk, B; Hesch, R D

    1986-01-01

    The stimulation of cyclic AMP production by human renal cortical membranes in the presence of the GTP analogue 5'-guanylimidodiphosphate and a calcium chelator represents a homologous assay system for the evaluation of biologically active parathyroid hormone (bioPTH) in human serum. Bioactive PTH was raised above normal (normal range: undetectable to 4.6 pmol human PTH(1-34) per 1) in 13/17 (76%) patients with primary hyperparathyroidism, in 5/6 (83%) patients with surgically proven hyperparathyroidism secondary to chronic renal failure, in 4/5 (80%) patients with hyperparathyroidism secondary to hypocalcaemia, in all three patients with pseudohypoparathyroidism, in 5/17 (29%) patients with osteoporosis and in 1/9 (11%) patients with renal stones and/or hypercalciuria. Bioactive PTH correlated positively with immunoreactive PTH (iPTH) measured with a radioimmunoassay predominantly recognizing the middle- and carboxyl-terminal region of the PTH molecule (r = 0.503, P less than 0.001). A positive correlation (r = 0.572, P less than 0.05) was found between values of serum calcium and bioPTH in the group with primary hyperparathyroidism. Immunoreactive PTH did not correlate significantly with calcium in this group. In the other patients except those who had chronic renal failure, a negative correlation between serum calcium and both bioPTH and iPTH was observed (P less than 0.01). When alkaline phosphatase was compared with bioPTH in all patients, the correlation was positive (r = 0.390, P less than 0.01); no significant correlation existed between iPTH and alkaline phosphatase in the patients studied.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:3944539

  20. Toxicogenomic analysis of mainstream tobacco smoke-exposed mice reveals repression of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 gene in heart.

    PubMed

    Halappanavar, Sabina; Stampfli, Martin R; Berndt-Weis, Lynn; Williams, Andrew; Douglas, George R; Yauk, Carole L

    2009-01-01

    Tobacco smoking is associated with cardiovascular pathology. However, the molecular mechanisms of tobacco smoke exposure that lead to initiation or exacerbation of cardiovascular disease are unclear. In this study, the effects of mainstream tobacco smoke (MTS) on global transcription in the heart were investigated. Male C57B1/CBA mice were exposed to MTS from 2 cigarettes daily, 5 days/wk for 6 or 12 wk. Mice were sacrificed immediately, or 6 wk following the last cigarette. High-density DNA microarrays were used to characterize global gene expression changes in whole heart. Fifteen genes were significantly differentially expressed following exposure to MTS. Among these genes, cytochrome P-450 1A1 (Cyp1A1) was upregulated by 12-fold, and Serpine-1 (plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, PAI-1) was downregulated by 1.7-fold. Concomitant increase in Cyp1A1 protein levels and decrease in total and active PAI-1 protein was observed in tissue extracts by Western blot assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), respectively. Observed changes were transient and were partially reversed during break periods. Thus, gene expression profiling of heart tissue revealed a novel cardiovascular mechanism operating in response to MTS. Our results suggest a potential role for PAI-1 in MTS-induced cardiovascular pathology. PMID:18925475

  1. 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 Central

    Ishii, Yoshiko; Kakizawa, Shigeyuki; Oshima, Kenro

    2013-01-01

    Abstract 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 σ70 and σ28, 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. Phytoplasma, an unculturable plant pathogen, could infect plant and insect cells, and dramatically changes their genes upon the response to these hosts. By a new system developed in this study, interactions between phytoplasma promoters and sigma factors were

  2. 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

  3. Substrate conditions that influence the assays used for determining the beta-glucosidase activity of cellulolytic microorganisms.

    PubMed

    Breuil, C; Mayers, P; Saddler, J N

    1986-11-01

    Culture filtrates from Trichoderma harzianum E58, T. reesei CL 847 and Penicillium sp. C 462 were assayed for beta-glucosidase activity using a range of substrates and sugar analysis methods. Although sugar analyses by the dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) and Nelson-Somogyi methods gave a similar profile, when increasing concentrations of salicin were assayed, considerably higher values were obtained with the DNS assay. The salicin concentration used for the assay greatly influenced the final beta-glucosidase values with higher values obtained for T. harzianum E58 and T. reesei CL 847 at substrate concentrations of 1 mg/mL while optimum values for Penicillium sp. C 462 were obtained at substrate concentrations greater than 3 mg/mL. Low concentrations of salicin and p-nitro-phenyl-beta-D-glucopyranoside (PNPG) gave the same response as cellobiose. Cellobiose should be used at concentrations greater than 3.74 mg/mL to avoid substrate limitation of the beta-glucosidase assay. PMID:18555279

  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. PMID:25516828

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:22324908

  7. A western blot assay to measure cyclin dependent kinase activity in cells or in vitro without the use of radioisotopes.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Cody W; Taylor, Ryan G; Kubara, Philip M; Marshall, Kris; Meijer, Laurent; Golsteyn, Roy M

    2013-09-17

    We developed a quantitative method to measure the activity of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks) by western blotting, without radioisotopes. We prepared a recombinant protein substrate based upon the natural Cdk1 substrate, PP1Cα. By combining this substrate in a western blot method using fluorochrome based antibodies and phospho-imager analysis, we measured the Km of ATP binding to Cdk1 to be 3.5 μM. We then measured Cdk1 activity in cell extracts from interphase or mitotic cells, and demonstrated that previously identified Cdk inhibitors could be detected by this assay. Our data show that we have a safe, reliable assay to identify Cdk1 inhibitors and measure Cdk1 activity. PMID:23954627

  8. Electromobility Shift Assay Reveals Evidence in Favor of Allele-Specific Binding of RUNX1 to the 5' Hypersensitive Site 4-Locus Control Region.

    PubMed

    Dehghani, Hossein; Ghobakhloo, Sepideh; Neishabury, Maryam

    2016-08-01

    In our previous studies on the Iranian β-thalassemia (β-thal) patients, we identified an association between the severity of the β-thal phenotype and the polymorphic palindromic site at the 5' hypersensitive site 4-locus control region (5'HS4-LCR) of the β-globin gene cluster. Furthermore, a linkage disequilibrium was observed between this region and XmnI-HBG2 in the patient population. Based on this data, it was suggested that the well-recognized phenotype-ameliorating role assigned to positive XmnI could be associated with its linked elements in the LCR. To investigate the functional significance of polymorphisms at the 5'HS4-LCR, we studied its influence on binding of transcription factors. Web-based predictions of transcription factor binding revealed a binding site for runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1), when the allele at the center of the palindrome (TGGGG(A/G)CCCCA) was A but not when it was G. Furthermore, electromobility shift assay (EMSA) presented evidence in support of allele-specific binding of RUNX1 to 5'HS4. Considering that RUNX1 is a well-known regulator of hematopoiesis, these preliminary data suggest the importance of further studies to confirm this interaction and consequently investigate its functional and phenotypical relevance. These studies could help us to understand the molecular mechanism behind the phenotype modifying role of the 5'HS4-LCR polymorphic palindromic region (rs16912979), which has been observed in previous studies. PMID:27492765

  9. Heterogeneous Antibody-Based Activity Assay for Lysine Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1) on a Histone Peptide Substrate.

    PubMed

    Schmitt, Martin L; Ladwein, Kathrin I; Carlino, Luca; Schulz-Fincke, Johannes; Willmann, Dominica; Metzger, Eric; Schilcher, Pierre; Imhof, Axel; Schüle, Roland; Sippl, Wolfgang; Jung, Manfred

    2014-07-01

    Posttranslational modifications of histone tails are very important for epigenetic gene regulation. The lysine-specific demethylase LSD1 (KDM1A/AOF2) demethylates in vitro predominantly mono- and dimethylated lysine 4 on histone 3 (H3K4) and is a promising target for drug discovery. We report a heterogeneous antibody-based assay, using dissociation-enhanced lanthanide fluorescent immunoassay (DELFIA) for the detection of LSD1 activity. We used a biotinylated histone 3 peptide (amino acids 1-21) with monomethylated lysine 4 (H3K4me) as the substrate for the detection of LSD1 activity with antibody-mediated quantitation of the demethylated product. We have successfully used the assay to measure the potency of reference inhibitors. The advantage of the heterogeneous format is shown with cumarin-based LSD1 inhibitor candidates that we have identified using virtual screening. They had shown good potency in an established LSD1 screening assay. The new heterogeneous assay identified them as false positives, which was verified using mass spectrometry. PMID:24687155

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. A fluorescence-coupled assay for gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) reveals metabolic stress-induced modulation of GABA content in neuroendocrine cancer.

    PubMed

    Ippolito, Joseph E; Piwnica-Worms, David

    2014-01-01

    Pathways involved in the synthesis of the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of high grade neuroendocrine (NE) neoplasms as well as neoplasms from a non-NE lineage. Using The Cancer Genome Atlas, overexpression of the GABA synthetic enzyme, glutamate decarboxylase 1 (GAD1), was found to be associated with decreased disease free-survival in prostate adenocarcinoma and decreased overall survival in clear cell renal cell carcinomas. Furthermore, GAD1 was found to be expressed in castrate-resistant prostate cancer cell lines, but not androgen-responsive cell lines. Using a novel fluorescence-coupled enzymatic microplate assay for GABA mediated through reduction of resazurin in a prostate neuroendocrine carcinoma (PNEC) cell line, acid microenvironment-induced stress increased GABA levels while alkaline microenvironment-induced stress decreased GABA through modulation of GAD1 and glutamine synthetase (GLUL) activities. Moreover, glutamine but not glucose deprivation decreased GABA through modulation of GLUL. Consistent with evidence in prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms that GABA synthesis mediated through GAD1 may play a crucial role in surviving stress, GABA may be an important mediator of stress survival in neoplasms. These findings identify GABA synthesis and metabolism as a potentially important pathway for regulating cancer cell stress response as well as a potential target for therapeutic strategies. PMID:24551133

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Rapid in vitro biocompatibility assay of endovascular stents by flow cytometry using platelet activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregation.

    PubMed

    Tárnok, A; Mahnke, A; Müller, M; Zotz, R J

    1999-02-15

    Clinical studies suggest that stent design and surface texture are responsible for differences in biocompatibility of metallic endovascular stents. A simple in vitro experimental setup was established to test stent-induced degree of platelet and leukocyte activation and platelet-leukocyte aggregation by flow cytometry. Heparin-coated tantalum stents and gold-coated and uncoated stainless steel stents were tested. Stents were implanted into silicone tubes and exposed to blood from healthy volunteers. Platelet and leukocyte activation and percentage of leukocyte-platelet aggregates were determined in a whole-blood assay by subsequent staining for activation-associated antigens (CD41a, CD42b, CD62p, and fibrinogen binding) and leukocyte antigens (CD14 and CD45) and flow cytometric analysis. Blood taken directly after venous puncture or exposed to the silicone tube alone was used as negative controls. Positive control was in vitro stimulation with thrombin receptor activating peptide (TRAP-6). Low degree of platelet activation and significant increase in monocyte- and neutrophil-platelet aggregation were observed in blood exposed to stents (P < 0.05). In addition, leukocyte activation was induced as measured by increased CD45 and CD14 expression. Heparin coated stents continuously induced less platelet activation and leukocyte-platelet aggregation than uncoated stainless steel stents of the same length and shorter stents of the same structure. Stent surface coating and texture plays a role in platelet and leukocyte activation and leukocyte-platelet aggregation. Using this simple in vitro assay and whole blood and flow cytometry, it seems possible to differentiate stents by their potency to activate platelets and/or leukocytes. This assay could be applied for improving the biocompatibility of coronary stents. PMID:10088974

  17. 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. PMID:26045303

  18. Activity-based assay of matrix metalloproteinase on nonbiofouling surfaces using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Kim, Young-Pil; Lee, Bong Soo; Kim, Eunkyung; Choi, Insung S; Moon, Dae Won; Lee, Tae Geol; Kim, Hak-Sung

    2008-07-01

    A label-free, activity-based assay of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) and its inhibition was demonstrated on peptide-conjugated gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) with nonbiofouling poly(oligo(ethylene glycol) methacrylate) (pOEGMA) films using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS). Following surface-initiated atom-transfer radical polymerization of OEGMA on a Si/SiO2 substrate, the MMP activity was determined by analyzing the cleaved peptide fragments using TOF-SIMS on the peptide-conjugated AuNPs. The use of nonbiofouling pOEGMA films in conjunction with AuNPs synergistically enhanced the sensitivity of assays for MMP activity and its inhibition in human serum. The detection sensitivity of MMP-7 in serum was as low as 20 ng mL(-1) (1 pmol mL(-1)), and the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of minocycline, which is a MMP-7 inhibitor, was estimated to be 450 nM. It is anticipated that the developed system will be broadly useful for conducting activity-based assays of serum proteases, as well as for screening of their inhibitors, with high sensitivity in a high-throughput manner. PMID:18505270

  19. Identification of β-hematin inhibitors in a high-throughput screening effort reveals scaffolds with in vitro antimalarial activity

    PubMed Central

    Sandlin, Rebecca D.; Fong, Kim Y.; Wicht, Kathryn J.; Carrell, Holly M.; Egan, Timothy J.; Wright, David W.

    2014-01-01

    The emergence of drug resistant strains of Plasmodium spp. creates a critical need for the development of novel antimalarials. Formation of hemozoin, a crystalline heme detoxification process vital to parasite survival serves as an important drug target. The quinoline antimalarials including chloroquine and amodiaquine owe their antimalarial activity to inhibition of hemozoin formation. Though in vivo formation of hemozoin occurs within the presence of neutral lipids, the lipophilic detergent NP-40 was previously shown to serve as a surrogate in the β-hematin (synthetic hemozoin) formation process. Consequently, an NP-40 mediated β-hematin formation assay was developed for use in high-throughput screening. Here, the assay was utilized to screen 144,330 compounds for the identification of inhibitors of crystallization, resulting in 530 hits. To establish the effectiveness of these target-based β-hematin inhibitors against Plasmodiumfalciparum, each hit was further tested in cultures of parasitized red blood cells. This effort revealed that 171 of the β-hematin inhibitors are also active against the parasite. Dose–response data identified 73 of these β-hematin inhibitors have IC50 values ⩽5 μM, including 25 compounds with nanomolar activity against P. falciparum. A scaffold-based analysis of this data identified 14 primary scaffolds that represent 46% of the 530 total hits. Representative compounds from each of the classes were further assessed for hemozoin inhibitory activity in P. falciparum infected human erythrocytes. Each of the hit compounds tested were found to be positive inhibitors, while a negative control did not perturb this biological pathway in culture. PMID:25516843

  20. Comparison of Tuberculin Activity in the Interferon-gamma Assay for the Diagnosis of Bovine Tuberculosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis still represent a serious regulatory and health concern in a variety of countries. Early diagnosis using the in vitro interferon gamma (IFN-gamma) assay has been applied for more than a decade. Briefly, IFN-gamma responses in whole blood cultures stimulated w...

  1. Comparison of Tuberculin Activity in the Interferon-gamma Assay for the Diagnosis of Bovine Tuberculosis

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cattle infected with bovine tuberculosis still represent a serious regulatory and health concern in a variety of countries. Early diagnosis using the in vitro interferon gamma (IFN-g) assay has been applied for more than a decade. Briefly, IFN-g responses in whole blood cultures stimulated with puri...

  2. Laboratory Assay of Soil Microbial Activities is Congruent with In Situ Conditions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We used microtiter plates loaded with an oxygen-sensitive fluorophore to assay respiration of organic substrates by soil microbial communities. The respiration of soil slurries was measured at low substrate concentrations (0.5 mg substrate per g soil) with no additional nutrients over a short seven...

  3. 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

  4. A high-throughput, multiplexed assay for superfamily-wide profiling of enzyme activity.

    PubMed

    Bachovchin, Daniel A; Koblan, Luke W; Wu, Wengen; Liu, Yuxin; Li, Youhua; Zhao, Peng; Woznica, Iwona; Shu, Ying; Lai, Jack H; Poplawski, Sarah E; Kiritsy, Christopher P; Healey, Sarah E; DiMare, Matthew; Sanford, David G; Munford, Robert S; Bachovchin, William W; Golub, Todd R

    2014-08-01

    The selectivity of an enzyme inhibitor is a key determinant of its usefulness as a tool compound or its safety as a drug. Yet selectivity is never assessed comprehensively in the early stages of the drug discovery process, and only rarely in the later stages, because technical limitations prohibit doing otherwise. Here, we report EnPlex, an efficient, high-throughput method for simultaneously assessing inhibitor potency and specificity, and pilot its application to 96 serine hydrolases. EnPlex analysis of widely used serine hydrolase inhibitors revealed numerous previously unrecognized off-target interactions, some of which may help to explain previously confounding adverse effects. In addition, EnPlex screening of a hydrolase-directed library of boronic acid- and nitrile-containing compounds provided structure-activity relationships in both potency and selectivity dimensions from which lead candidates could be more effectively prioritized. Follow-up of a series of dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitors showed that EnPlex indeed predicted efficacy and safety in animal models. These results demonstrate the feasibility and value of high-throughput, superfamily-wide selectivity profiling and suggest that such profiling can be incorporated into the earliest stages of drug discovery. PMID:24997602

  5. Development of a high-throughput liquid state assay for lipase activity using natural substrates and rhodamine B.

    PubMed

    Zottig, Ximena; Meddeb-Mouelhi, Fatma; Beauregard, Marc

    2016-03-01

    A fluorescence-based assay for the determination of lipase activity using rhodamine B as an indicator, and natural substrates such as olive oil, is described. It is based on the use of a rhodamine B-natural substrate emulsion in liquid state, which is advantageous over agar plate assays. This high-throughput method is simple and rapid and can be automated, making it suitable for screening and metagenomics application. Reaction conditions such as pH and temperature can be varied and controlled. Using triolein or olive oil as a natural substrate allows monitoring of lipase activity in reaction conditions that are closer to those used in industrial settings. The described method is sensitive over a wide range of product concentrations and offers good reproducibility. PMID:26706798

  6. Effect of metals and other inorganic ions on soil microbial activity: soil dehydrogenase assay as a simple toxicity test

    SciTech Connect

    Rogers, J.E.; Li, S.W.

    1985-06-01

    The purpose of this report is to illustrate the utility of the soil dehydrogenase assay as an effective primary test for assessing the potential toxicity of chemicals to soil microbial activity. In this manuscript the authors describe their use of the soil dehydrogenase assay in determining the effects of a number of potential toxic inorganic ions on soil microbial activity. The ions include Cu/sup 2 +/, Mg/sup 2 +/, Ni/sup 2 +/, Zn/sup 2 +/, NH/sub 4//sup +/, Cd/sup 2 +/, Cr/sup 32/, F/sup -/, AsO/sub 4//sup 3 -/, BO/sub 3//sup 3 -/, and SO/sub 4//sup 2 -/.

  7. Detection of Plasma Protease Activity Using Microsphere-Cytometry Assays with E. coli Derived Substrates: VWF Proteolysis by ADAMTS13.

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Spectrophotometric method for the assay of steroid 5α-reductase activity of rat liver and prostate microsomes.

    PubMed

    Iwai, Atsushi; Yoshimura, Teruki; Wada, Keiji; Watabe, Satoshi; Sakamoto, Yuki; Ito, Etsuro; Miura, Toshiaki

    2013-01-01

    A simple spectrophotometric method for the assay of steroid 5α-reductase (5α-SR) was developed in which 5α-dihydrotestosterone (5α-DHT) and 5α-androstane-3α,17β-diol (5α-diol), metabolites formed in the NADPH-dependent reduction of testosterone with enzyme sources of 5α-SR, were measured by enzymatic cycling using 3α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in the presence of excess thionicotinamide-adenine dinucleotide (thio-NAD) and NADH. It was found that 5α-SR activity was proportional to the accumulated thio-NADH having an absorption maximum at 400 nm. Because of the high cycling rate (> 600 cycle per min) and no interference from testosterone, enzymatic cycling can determine the sum of 5α-DHT and 5α-diol at the picomole level without separation from excess testosterone. The present method was readily applicable to the assay of 5α-SR activity of rat liver and prostate microsomes as well as to the assay of inhibitory activity of finasteride, a synthetic inhibitor of 5α-SR. PMID:23574674

  11. A novel cell-based assay to measure activity of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus nsP2 protease.

    PubMed

    Campos-Gomez, Javier; Ahmad, Fahim; Rodriguez, Efrain; Saeed, Mohammad F

    2016-09-01

    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. PMID:27261892

  12. Toxicity of 8-Hydroxyquinoline in Cryprinus carpio Using the Acute Toxicity Test, Hepatase Activity Analysis and the Comet Assay.

    PubMed

    Yan, Shuaiguo; Chen, Lili; Dou, Xiaofei; Qi, Meng; Du, Qiyan; He, Qiaoqiao; Nan, Mingge; Chang, Zhongjie; Nan, Ping

    2015-08-01

    To evaluate the environmental toxicity of 8-hydroxyquinoline (8-HOQ), an important industrial raw material found in China's major ornamental fish, Cryprinus carpio, using the acute toxicity test, hepatase activity analysis and the comet assay. The results indicated that 8-HOQ had significant acute toxicity in adult C. carpio with a 96 h-LC50 of 1.15 and 0.22 mg L(-1) hepatic quinoline residues as assessed by HPLC. 8-HOQ also induced genotoxicity in the form of strand breaks in the DNA of hepatic cells as shown by the comet assay. With regard to physiological toxicity, 8-HOQ induced a decrease in the activities of hepatic GOT and GPT with increased exposure concentration and time. These data suggest that 8-HOQ may be toxic to the health of aquatic organisms when accidentally released into aquatic ecosystems. The data also suggest that the comet assay may be used in biomonitoring to determine 8-HOQ genotoxicity and hepatic GPT and GOT activities may be potential biomarkers of physiological toxicity. PMID:26067700

  13. Direct spectrophotometric assay of monooxygenase and oxidase activities of mushroom tyrosinase in the presence of synthetic and natural substrates.

    PubMed

    Haghbeen, Kamahldin; Wue Tan, Eng

    2003-01-01

    Alternative substrates were synthesized to allow direct and continuous spectrophotometric assay of both monooxygenase (cresolase) and oxidase (catecholase) activities of mushroom tyrosinase (MT). Using diazo derivatives of phenol, 4-[(4-methoxybenzo)azo]-phenol, 4-[(4-methylphenyl)azo]-phenol, 4-(phenylazo)-phenol, and 4-[(4-hydroxyphenyl)azo]-benzenesulfonamide, and diazo derivatives of catechol 4-[(4-methylbenzo)azo]-1,2-benzenediol, 4-(phenylazo)-1,2-benzenediol, and 4-[(4-sulfonamido)azo]-1,2 benzenediol (SACat), as substrates allows measurement of the rates of the corresponding enzymatic reactions through recording of the depletion rates of substrates at their lambda(max)(s) with the least interference of the intermediates' or products' absorption. Parallel attempts using natural compounds, p-coumaric acid and caffeic acid, as substrates for assaying both activities of MT were comparable approaches. Based on the ensuing data, the electronic effect of the substituent on the substrate activity and the affinity of the enzyme for the substrate are reviewed. Kinetic parameters extracted from the corresponding Lineweaver-Burk plots and advantages of these substrates over the previously used substrates in similar assays of tyrosinases are also presented. PMID:12479831

  14. 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

  15. Application of non-radioactive europium (Eu3+) release assay to a measurement of human natural killer activity of healthy and patient populations.

    PubMed

    Nagao, F; Yabe, T; Xu, M; Yokoyama, K; Saito, K; Okumura, K

    1996-01-01

    Europium (Eu3+) release assay is a non-radioactive method for a measurement of cytotoxicity of lymphocytes and has several advantages compared with a conventional 51Cr release assay. However, the Eu3+ release assay has not been applied to a natural killer (NK) activity measurement of a large number of the human population mainly due to a lack of comparability with the 51Cr release assay. With some modifications of the procedures and careful manipulation of cells, constant and reproducible results were obtained by the Eu3+ release assay. NK activity of several individuals was measured by the Eu3+ release assay and was compared with data obtained by 51Cr release assay performed simultaneously. The obtained values by the two methods were almost identical. We applied the Eu3+ method to measure NK activity of a large number of individuals, including 68 apparently healthy donors and 36 autoimmune and 21 cancer patients. Some of these diseases are known to show abnormal NK activity. The obtained cytotoxicities were mostly consistent with the previously reported data obtained by the 51Cr release assay. These results indicated that the Eu3+ release assay could be used as an alternative method for a measurement of human NK activity of mass population including patients. PMID:8915687

  16. Mathematical Model of the Firefly Luciferase Complementation Assay Reveals a Non-Linear Relationship between the Detected Luminescence and the Affinity of the Protein Pair Being Analyzed.

    PubMed

    Dale, Renee; Ohmuro-Matsuyama, Yuki; Ueda, Hiroshi; Kato, Naohiro

    2016-01-01

    The firefly luciferase complementation assay is widely used as a bioluminescent reporter technology to detect protein-protein interactions in vitro, in cellulo, and in vivo. Upon the interaction of a protein pair, complemented firefly luciferase emits light through the adenylation and oxidation of its substrate, luciferin. Although it has been suggested that kinetics of light production in the firefly luciferase complementation assay is different from that in full length luciferase, the mechanism behind this is still not understood. To quantitatively understand the different kinetics and how changes in affinity of a protein pair affect the light emission in the assay, a mathematical model of the in vitro firefly luciferase complementation assay was constructed. Analysis of the model finds that the change in kinetics is caused by rapid dissociation of the protein pair, low adenylation rate of luciferin, and increased affinity of adenylated luciferin to the enzyme. The model suggests that the affinity of the protein pair has an exponential relationship with the light detected in the assay. This relationship causes the change of affinity in a protein pair to be underestimated. This study underlines the importance of understanding the molecular mechanism of the firefly luciferase complementation assay in order to analyze protein pair affinities quantitatively. PMID:26886551

  17. Mathematical Model of the Firefly Luciferase Complementation Assay Reveals a Non-Linear Relationship between the Detected Luminescence and the Affinity of the Protein Pair Being Analyzed

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Renee; Ohmuro-Matsuyama, Yuki; Ueda, Hiroshi; Kato, Naohiro

    2016-01-01

    The firefly luciferase complementation assay is widely used as a bioluminescent reporter technology to detect protein-protein interactions in vitro, in cellulo, and in vivo. Upon the interaction of a protein pair, complemented firefly luciferase emits light through the adenylation and oxidation of its substrate, luciferin. Although it has been suggested that kinetics of light production in the firefly luciferase complementation assay is different from that in full length luciferase, the mechanism behind this is still not understood. To quantitatively understand the different kinetics and how changes in affinity of a protein pair affect the light emission in the assay, a mathematical model of the in vitro firefly luciferase complementation assay was constructed. Analysis of the model finds that the change in kinetics is caused by rapid dissociation of the protein pair, low adenylation rate of luciferin, and increased affinity of adenylated luciferin to the enzyme. The model suggests that the affinity of the protein pair has an exponential relationship with the light detected in the assay. This relationship causes the change of affinity in a protein pair to be underestimated. This study underlines the importance of understanding the molecular mechanism of the firefly luciferase complementation assay in order to analyze protein pair affinities quantitatively. PMID:26886551

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. A new autoinhibited kinase conformation reveals a salt-bridge switch in kinase activation

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Qiang; Yang, Shaoyuan; Li, Dan; Zhang, Xiaoying; Zheng, Jimin; Jia, Zongchao

    2016-01-01

    In the structure of autoinhibited EphA2 tyrosine kinase reported herein, we have captured the entire activation segment, revealing a previously unknown role of the conserved Arg762 in kinase autoinhibition by interacting with the essential Mg2+-chelating Asp757. While it is well known that this Arg residue is involved in an electrostatic interaction with the phospho-residue of the activation loop to stabilize the active conformation, our structure determination revealed a new role for the Arg, acting as a switch between the autoinhibited and activated conformations. Mutation of Arg762 to Ala in EphA2 sensitized Mg2+ response, resulting in enhanced kinase catalytic activity and Mg2+ cooperativity. Furthermore, mutation of the corresponding Arg/Lys to Ala in PKA and p38MAPK also exhibited similar behavior. This new salt bridge-mediated switch may thus be an important mechanism of activation on a broader scope for kinases which utilize autophosphorylation. PMID:27324091

  2. 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.

  3. 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. PMID:27085469

  4. Helicase Assays

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xin; Li, Jing; Diaz, Jason; You, Jianxin

    2016-01-01

    Helicases are a class of enzymes which are motor proteins using energy derived from ATP hydrolysis to move directionally along a nucliec acid phosphodiester backbone (such as DNA, RNA and DNA-RNA hybrids) and separate two annealed nucleic acid strands. Many cellular processes, such as transcription, DNA replication, recombination and DNA repair involve helicase activity. Here, we provide a protocol to analyze helicase activities in vitro. In this protocol, the DNA helicase protein Merkel cell polyomavirus large T-antigen was expressed in the mammalian cell line HEK293 and immoblized on an IgG resin. The helicase assay is performing while the protein is immoblized on IgG resin.

  5. Parallel functional activity profiling reveals valvulopathogens are potent 5-hydroxytryptamine(2B) receptor agonists: implications for drug safety assessment.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xi-Ping; Setola, Vincent; Yadav, Prem N; Allen, John A; Rogan, Sarah C; Hanson, Bonnie J; Revankar, Chetana; Robers, Matt; Doucette, Chris; Roth, Bryan L

    2009-10-01

    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-hydroxytryptamine(2B) (5-HT(2B)) receptor agonists. We have shown that activation of 5-HT(2B) 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-HT(2B) receptor agonists, using calcium-based high-throughput screening. Of these 2200 compounds, 27 were 5-HT(2B) receptor agonists (hits); 14 of these had previously been identified as 5-HT(2B) 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-HT(2B) 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 pEC(50) 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-HT(2B) receptor functional selectivity might be useful for identifying compounds likely to induce valvular heart disease. PMID:19570945

  6. 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. PMID:25809520

  7. 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

  8. Development of a high-throughput assay for measuring lipase activity using natural triacylglycerols coated on microtiter plates.

    PubMed

    Serveau-Avesque, Carole; Verger, Robert; Rodriguez, Jorge A; Abousalham, Abdelkarim

    2013-09-21

    We have designed a convenient, specific, sensitive and continuous lipase assay based on the use of natural triacylglycerols (TAGs) from the Aleurites fordii seed oil which contains α-eleostearic acid (9,11,13,cis,trans,trans-octadecatrienoic acid) and which was coated in the wells of microtiter plates. The coated TAG film cannot be desorbed by the various buffers used during the lipase assay. Upon lipase action, α-eleostearic acid is liberated and desorbed from the interface and then solubilized into the micellar phase. Consequently, the UV absorbance of the α-eleostearic acid is considerably enhanced due to the transformation from an adsorbed to a water soluble state. The lipase activity can be measured continuously by recording the variations with time of the UV absorption spectra. The rate of lipolysis was monitored by measuring the increase of OD at 272 nm, which was found to be linear with time and directly proportional to the amount of added lipase. This microtiter plate lipase assay, based on coated TAGs, presents various advantages as compared to the classical systems: (i) coated TAGs on the microtiter plates could be stored for a long-time at 4 °C, (ii) higher sensitivity in lipase detection, (iii) good reproducibility, and (iv) increase of signal to noise ratio due to high UV absorption after transfer of α-eleostearic acid from an adsorbed to a soluble state. Low concentrations, down to 1 pg mL(-1) of pure Thermomyces lanuginosus or human pancreatic lipase, could be detected under standard assay conditions. The detection sensitivity of this coated method is around 1000 times higher as compared to those obtained with the classical emulsified systems. This continuous high throughput lipase assay could be used to screen new lipases and/or lipase inhibitors present in various biological samples. PMID:23851449

  9. Transferability study of CHO cell clustering assays for monitoring of pertussis toxin activity in acellular pertussis vaccines.

    PubMed

    Isbrucker, R; Daas, A; Wagner, L; Costanzo, A

    2016-01-01

    Current regulations for acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines require that they are tested for the presence of residual or reversion-derived pertussis toxin (PTx) activity using the mouse histamine sensitisation test (HIST). Although a CHO cell clustering assay can be used by manufacturers to verify if sufficient inactivation of the substance has occurred in-process, this assay cannot be used at present for the final product due to the presence of aluminium adjuvants which interfere with mammalian cell cultures. Recently, 2 modified CHO cell clustering assays which accommodate for the adjuvant effects have been proposed as alternatives to the HIST. These modified assays eliminate the adjuvant-induced cytotoxicity either through dilution of the vaccine (called the Direct Method) or by introducing a porous barrier between the adjuvant and the cells (the Indirect Method). Transferability and suitability of these methods for testing of products present on the European market were investigated during a collaborative study organised by the European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM). Thirteen laboratories participated in this study which included 4 aP-containing vaccines spiked by addition of PTx. This study also assessed the transferability of a standardised CHO cell clustering assay protocol for use with non-adjuvanted PTx preparations. Results showed that the majority of laboratories were able to detect the PTx spike in all 4 vaccines at concentrations of 4 IU/mL or lower using the Indirect Method. This sensitivity is in the range of the theoretical sensitivity of the HIST. The Direct Method however did not show the expected results and would need additional development work. PMID:27506252

  10. 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. PMID:27241123

  11. Cryo-EM structure of the activated NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome reveals nucleated polymerization.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liman; Chen, Shuobing; Ruan, Jianbin; Wu, Jiayi; Tong, Alexander B; Yin, Qian; Li, Yang; David, Liron; Lu, Alvin; Wang, Wei Li; Marks, Carolyn; Ouyang, Qi; Zhang, Xinzheng; Mao, Youdong; Wu, Hao

    2015-10-23

    The NLR family apoptosis inhibitory proteins (NAIPs) bind conserved bacterial ligands, such as the bacterial rod protein PrgJ, and recruit NLR family CARD-containing protein 4 (NLRC4) as the inflammasome adapter to activate innate immunity. We found that the PrgJ-NAIP2-NLRC4 inflammasome is assembled into multisubunit disk-like structures through a unidirectional adenosine triphosphatase polymerization, primed with a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 per disk. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) reconstruction at subnanometer resolution revealed a ~90° hinge rotation accompanying NLRC4 activation. Unlike in the related heptameric Apaf-1 apoptosome, in which each subunit needs to be conformationally activated by its ligand before assembly, a single PrgJ-activated NAIP2 initiates NLRC4 polymerization in a domino-like reaction to promote the disk assembly. These insights reveal the mechanism of signal amplification in NAIP-NLRC4 inflammasomes. PMID:26449474

  12. High-throughput micro plate assays for screening flavonoid content and DPPH-scavenging activity in sorghum bran and flour

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Rapid, 96-well microtiter assays were compared to conventional assays for quantifying total phenolic content, flavonoid content, and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) in sorghum grain. The 96-well assays exhibited a correlation of >0.9 to the conventional assays. The 96-well assays allowed for ...

  13. In vitro bioassays for anticancer drug screening: effects of cell concentration and other assay parameters on growth inhibitory activity.

    PubMed

    Lieberman, M M; Patterson, G M; Moore, R E

    2001-11-01

    In vitro growth inhibition assays were performed using human cancer cell lines at various concentrations with experimental anticancer drugs such as the cryptophycins and other cytotoxins. The effect of variations in assay parameters on the observed growth inhibition of these anticancer therapeutic agents was determined. The results demonstrated that the observed inhibitory activity of these compounds varied inversely with the cell concentrations used. The observed differences in activity between different cytotoxins were not necessarily proportionate. Thus, the relative activities of two toxins also varied with cell concentration. Furthermore, the sensitivity of these cell lines to the cytostatic purine analog, 6-mercaptopurine (used as a control), varied with cell concentration as well. The activity of this compound was dependent on the medium used for cell growth, yielding good activity in Eagle's minimum essential medium, but not in Ham's F-12 (Kaigin) medium. Moreover, growth inhibition by cryptophycin as well as 6-mercaptopurine was also dependent on the serum concentration in the medium. Finally, the sensitivity of the cancer cell lines to various organic solvents commonly used as drug vehicles for in vitro testing, such as ethanol, dimethylformamide, and dimethylsulfoxide, was likewise found to vary inversely with cell concentration. PMID:11578805

  14. A minimally invasive assay for individual assessment of the ATM/CHEK2/p53 pathway activity

    PubMed Central

    Kabacik, Sylwia; Ortega-Molina, Ana; Efeyan, Alejo; Finnon, Paul; Bouffler, Simon; Serrano, Manuel

    2011-01-01

    Ionizing radiation induces DNA Double-Strand Breaks (DSBs), which activate the ATM/CHEK2/p53 pathway leading to cell cycle arrest and apoptosis through transcription of genes including CDKN1A (p21) and BBC3 (PUMA). This pathway prevents genomic instability and tumorigenesis as demonstrated in heritable syndromes [e.g., Ataxia Telangiectasia (AT); Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS)]. Here, a simple assay based on gene expression in peripheral blood to measure accurately ATM/CHEK2/p53 pathway activity is described. The expression of p21, Puma and Sesn2 was determined in blood from mice with different gene copy numbers of Atm, Trp53 (p53), Chek2 or Arf and in human blood and mitogen stimulated T-lymphocyte (MSTL) cultures from AT, AT carriers, LFS patients and controls, both before and after ex vivo ionizing irradiation. Mouse Atm/Chek2/p53 activity was highly dependent on the copy number of each gene except Arf. In human MSTL, an AT case, AT carriers and LFS patients showed responses distinct from healthy donors. The relationship between gene copy number and transcriptional induction upon radiation was linear for p21 and Puma and correlated well with cancer incidence in p53 variant mice. This reliable blood test provides an assay to determine ATM/CHEK2/p53 pathway activity and demonstrates the feasibility of assessing the activity of this essential cancer protection pathway in simple assays. These findings may have implications for the individualized prediction of cancer susceptibility. PMID:21389785

  15. Fluorescent Single-Stranded DNA Binding Protein as a Probe for Sensitive, Real-Time Assays of Helicase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Dillingham, Mark S.; Tibbles, Katherine L.; Hunter, Jackie L.; Bell, Jason C.; Kowalczykowski, Stephen C.; Webb, Martin R.

    2008-01-01

    The formation and maintenance of single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) are essential parts of many processes involving DNA. For example, strand separation of double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) is catalyzed by helicases, and this exposure of the bases on the DNA allows further processing, such as replication, recombination, or repair. Assays of helicase activity and probes for their mechanism are essential for understanding related biological processes. Here we describe the development and use of a fluorescent probe to measure ssDNA formation specifically and in real time, with high sensitivity and time resolution. The reagentless biosensor is based on the ssDNA binding protein (SSB) from Escherichia coli, labeled at a specific site with a coumarin fluorophore. Its use in the study of DNA manipulations involving ssDNA intermediates is demonstrated in assays for DNA unwinding, catalyzed by DNA helicases. PMID:18599625

  16. Using constitutive activity to define appropriate high-throughput screening assays for orphan g protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Ngo, Tony; Coleman, James L J; Smith, Nicola J

    2015-01-01

    Orphan G protein-coupled receptors represent an underexploited resource for drug discovery but pose a considerable challenge for assay development because their cognate G protein signaling pathways are often unknown. In this methodological chapter, we describe the use of constitutive activity, that is, the inherent ability of receptors to couple to their cognate G proteins in the absence of ligand, to inform the development of high-throughput screening assays for a particular orphan receptor. We specifically focus on a two-step process, whereby constitutive G protein coupling is first determined using yeast Gpa1/human G protein chimeras linked to growth and β-galactosidase generation. Coupling selectivity is then confirmed in mammalian cells expressing endogenous G proteins and driving accumulation of transcription factor-fused luciferase reporters specific to each of the classes of G protein. Based on these findings, high-throughput screening campaigns can be performed on the already miniaturized mammalian reporter system. PMID:25563179

  17. Simplification of the DPPH assay for estimating the antioxidant activity of wine and wine by-products.

    PubMed

    Carmona-Jiménez, Yolanda; García-Moreno, M Valme; Igartuburu, Jose M; Garcia Barroso, Carmelo

    2014-12-15

    The DPPH assay is one of the most commonly employed methods for measuring antioxidant activity. Even though this method is considered very simple and efficient, it does present various limitations which make it complicated to perform. The range of linearity between the DPPH inhibition percentage and sample concentration has been studied with a view to simplifying the method for characterising samples of wine origin. It has been concluded that all the samples are linear in a range of inhibition below 40%, which allows the analysis to be simplified. A new parameter more appropriate for the simplification, the EC20, has been proposed to express the assay results. Additionally, the reaction time was analysed with the object of avoiding the need for kinetic studies in the method. The simplifications considered offer a more functional method, without significant errors, which could be used for routine analysis. PMID:25038667

  18. Interactions between the budding yeast IQGAP homologue Iqg1p and its targets revealed by a split-EGFP bimolecular fluorescence complementation assay.

    PubMed

    Pathmanathan, Sevvel; Barnard, Emma; Timson, David J

    2008-10-01

    A split-EGFP based bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) assay has been used to detect interactions between the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cytoskeletal scaffolding protein Iqg1p and three targets: myosin essential light chain (Mlc1p), calmodulin (Cmd1p) and the small GTPase Cdc42p. The format of the BiFC assay used ensures that the proteins are expressed at wild type levels thereby avoiding artefacts due to overexpression. This is the first direct in vivo detection of these interactions; in each case, the complex is localised to discrete regions of the yeast cytoplasm. The labelling with EGFP fragments results in changes in growth kinetics, cell size and budding frequency. This is partly due to the reassembled EGFP locking the complexes into essentially permanent interactions. The consequences of this for Iqg1p interactions and BiFC assays in general are discussed. PMID:18675924

  19. A caspase active site probe reveals high fractional inhibition needed to block DNA fragmentation.

    PubMed

    Méthot, Nathalie; Vaillancourt, John P; Huang, JingQi; Colucci, John; Han, Yongxin; Ménard, Stéphane; Zamboni, Robert; Toulmond, Sylvie; Nicholson, Donald W; Roy, Sophie

    2004-07-01

    Apoptotic markers consist of either caspase substrate cleavage products or phenotypic changes that manifest themselves as a consequence of caspase-mediated substrate cleavage. We have shown recently that pharmacological inhibitors of caspase activity prevent the appearance of two such apoptotic manifestations, alphaII-spectrin cleavage and DNA fragmentation, but that blockade of the latter required a significantly higher concentration of inhibitor. We investigated this phenomenon through the use of a novel radiolabeled caspase inhibitor, [(125)I]M808, which acts as a caspase active site probe. [(125)I]M808 bound to active caspases irreversibly and with high sensitivity in apoptotic cell extracts, in tissue extracts from several commonly used animal models of cellular injury, and in living cells. Moreover, [(125)I]M808 detected active caspases in septic mice when injected intravenously. Using this caspase probe, an active site occupancy assay was developed and used to measure the fractional inhibition required to block apoptosis-induced DNA fragmentation. In thymocytes, occupancy of up to 40% of caspase active sites had no effect on DNA fragmentation, whereas inhibition of half of the DNA cleaving activity required between 65 and 75% of active site occupancy. These results suggest that a high and persistent fractional inhibition will be required for successful caspase inhibition-based therapies. PMID:15067000

  20. 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

  1. Ribonuclease activity of vaccinia DNA topoisomerase IB: kinetic and high-throughput inhibition studies using a robust continuous fluorescence assay.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Keehwan; Nagarajan, Rajesh; Stivers, James T

    2004-11-30

    Vaccinia type I DNA topoisomerase exhibits a strong site-specific ribonuclease activity when provided a DNA substrate that contains a single uridine ribonucleotide within a duplex DNA containing the sequence 5' CCCTU 3'. The reaction involves two steps: attack of the active site tyrosine nucleophile of topo I at the 3' phosphodiester of the uridine nucleotide to generate a covalent enzyme-DNA adduct, followed by nucleophilic attack of the uridine 2'-hydroxyl to release the covalently tethered enzyme. Here we report the first continuous spectroscopic assay for topoisomerase that allows monitoring of the ribonuclease reaction under multiple-turnover conditions. The assay is especially robust for high-throughput screening applications because sensitive molecular beacon technology is utilized, and the topoisomerase is released during the reaction to allow turnover of multiple substrate molecules by a single molecule of enzyme. Direct computer simulation of the fluorescence time courses was used to obtain the rate constants for substrate binding and release, covalent complex formation, and formation of the 2',3'-cyclic phosphodiester product of the ribonuclease reaction. The assay allowed rapid screening of a 500 member chemical library from which several new inhibitors of topo I were identified with IC(50) values in the range of 2-100 microM. Three of the most potent hits from the high-throughput screening were also found to inhibit plasmid supercoil relaxation by the enzyme, establishing the utility of the assay in identifying inhibitors of the biologically relevant DNA relaxation reaction. One of the most potent inhibitors of the vaccinia enzyme, 3-benzo[1,3]dioxol-5-yl-2-oxoproprionic acid, did not inhibit the closely related human enzyme. The inhibitory mechanism of this compound is unique and involves a step required for recycling the enzyme for steady-state turnover. PMID:15554707

  2. 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

  3. Patterns of Activity Revealed by a Time Lag Analysis of a Model Active Region

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bradshaw, Stephen; Viall, Nicholeen

    2016-05-01

    We investigate the global activity patterns predicted from a model active region heated by distributions of nanoflares that have a range of average frequencies. The activity patterns are manifested in time lag maps of narrow-band instrument channel pairs. We combine an extrapolated magnetic skeleton with hydrodynamic and forward modeling codes to create a model active region, and apply the time lag method to synthetic observations. Our aim is to recover some typical properties and patterns of activity observed in active regions. Our key findings are: 1. Cooling dominates the time lag signature and the time lags between the channel pairs are generally consistent with observed values. 2. Shorter coronal loops in the core cool more quickly than longer loops at the periphery. 3. All channel pairs show zero time lag when the line-of-sight passes through coronal loop foot-points. 4. There is strong evidence that plasma must be re-energized on a time scale comparable to the cooling timescale to reproduce the observed coronal activity, but it is likely that a relatively broad spectrum of heating frequencies operates across active regions. 5. Due to their highly dynamic nature, we find nanoflare trains produce zero time lags along entire flux tubes in our model active region that are seen between the same channel pairs in observed active regions.

  4. Crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment reveals the mechanism for its molecular chaperone activity in UPR

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Jiahui; Petrova, Kseniya; Ron, David; Sha, Bingdong

    2010-05-25

    P58(IPK) might function as an endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperone to maintain protein folding homeostasis during unfolded protein responses. P58(IPK) contains nine tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) motifs and a C-terminal J-domain within its primary sequence. To investigate the mechanism by which P58(IPK) functions to promote protein folding within the endoplasmic reticulum, we have determined the crystal structure of P58(IPK) TPR fragment to 2.5 {angstrom} resolution by the SAD method. The crystal structure of P58(IPK) revealed three domains (I-III) with similar folds and each domain contains three TPR motifs. An ELISA assay indicated that P58(IPK) acts as a molecular chaperone by interacting with misfolded proteins such as luciferase and rhodanese. The P58(IPK) structure reveals a conserved hydrophobic patch located in domain I that might be involved in binding the misfolded polypeptides. Structure-based mutagenesis for the conserved hydrophobic residues located in domain I significantly reduced the molecular chaperone activity of P58(IPK).

  5. Exploring potential contributors to endocrine disrupting activities in Taiwan's surface waters using yeast assays and chemical analysis.

    PubMed

    Chou, Pei-Hsin; Lin, Yi-Ling; Liu, Tong-Cun; Chen, Kuang-Yu

    2015-11-01

    Surface waters serve as sinks for anthropogenic contaminants, including naturally occurring hormones and a variety of synthetic endocrine active substances. To investigate the presence of endocrine active contaminants in the aquatic environment in Taiwan, river water and suspended solids were analyzed by yeast assays to examine the distribution of estrogenic, androgenic, and aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist activities. The results showed that dry-season river samples exhibited strong estrogenic and aryl hydrocarbon receptor agonist activities, but no androgenic activity was detected. Owing to the ubiquitous detection of estrogenic activities in Taiwan's surface waters, samples were further subjected to liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analysis for quantification of selected estrogenic compounds. LC-MS/MS results indicated that natural estrogens, such as estrone and 17β-estradiol were often the most contributing compounds for the bioassay-derived estrogenic activities due to their strong estrogenic potencies and high detection frequencies, whereas high concentrations of bisphenol A and nonylphenol also posed a threat to the aquatic ecosystems in Taiwan. Water samples eliciting strong estrogenic activities were further fractionated using high performance liquid chromatography, and significant estrogenic activities were detected in fractions containing estrone, 17β-estradiol, 17α-ethynylestradiol, and bisphenol A. Also, the presence of unidentified estrogenic compounds was found in few river water samples. Further identification of unknown endocrine active substances is necessary to better protect the aquatic environment in Taiwan. PMID:26295540

  6. 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

  7. Synthesis and anticancer activity of new flavonoid analogs and inconsistencies in assays related to proliferation and viability measurements

    PubMed Central

    FORBES, ALAINA M.; LIN, HUIMIN; MEADOWS, GARY G.; MEIER, G. PATRICK

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24859601

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. ASSAY OF CHICKEN BRAIN NEUROTOXIC ESTERASE ACTIVITY USING LEPTOPHOSOXON AS THE SELECTIVE NEUROTOXIC INHIBITOR

    EPA Science Inventory

    Hen brain microsomal preparation has phenyl valeratehydrolyzing activity associated with neurotoxic esterase activity. Part of that activity is due to paraoxon-insensitive esterases and a sub-part of this is sensitive to neurotoxic organophosphates, i.e., mipafox and leptophosoxo...

  11. An electrochemical one-step system for assaying methyltransferase activity based on transport of a quantum dot signaling tracer.

    PubMed

    Baek, Songyi; Won, Byoung Yeon; Park, Ki Soo; Park, Hyun Gyu

    2013-11-15

    A one-step, electrochemical method for assaying methyltransferase (MTase) activity, based on the convective transport of a quantum dot (QD) signaling tracer, has been developed. The assay chip used in this system was prepared by modifying a gold matrix with CdSe/ZnS QD-tagged dsDNA, which contains a specific methylation site (5'-GATC-3') recognized by MTase. Treatment of the chip with DNA adenine methylation (Dam) MTase, generates a methylated sequence (5'-GAmTC-3') within the dsDNA. The methylated dsDNA is then subjected to a cleavage reaction, induced by DpnI, which leads to release from the gold matrix of a DNA fragment tethered to a QD. Detection of the released QD, using square wave anodic stripping voltammetry (SWASV) on a glassy carbon (GC) electrode, enables the reliable quantitation of the methylated DNA. Because it is accomplished in a simple and convenient one step and does not require any complicated secondary or tedious washing steps, the new assay method holds great promise for epigenetic analysis in facility-limited environments or point-of-care testing (POCT) applications. PMID:23777705

  12. A continuous coupled spectrophotometric assay for debranching enzyme activity using reducing end-specific α-glucosidase.

    PubMed

    Do, Viet Ha; Tran, Phuong Lan; Ni, Li; Park, Kwan Hwa

    2016-01-01

    A novel continuous spectrophotometric assay to measure the activity of the debranching enzyme and α-amylase has been developed. The assay mixture comprises the debranching enzyme (GlgX from Escherichia coli) or α-amylase (PPA from porcine pancreas), a reducing end-specific α-glucosidase (MalZ), maltodextrin-branched β-cyclodextrin (Glcn-β-CD) as the substrate, and the glucose oxidase/peroxidase system (GOPOD). Due to its high reducing end specificity, the branch chains of the substrates are not hydrolyzed by MalZ. After hydrolysis by GlgX or PPA, the released maltodextrins are immediately hydrolyzed into glucose from the reducing end by MalZ, whose concentration is continuously measured by GOPOD at 510 nm in a thermostat spectrophotometer. The kinetic constants determined for GlgX (Km = 0.66 ± 0.02 mM and kcat = 76.7 ± 1.5 s(-1)) are within a reasonable range compared with those measured using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography (HPAEC). The assay procedure is convenient and sensitive, and it requires lower concentrations of enzymes and substrate compared with dinitrosalicylic acid (DNS) and HPAEC analysis. PMID:26403601

  13. Determination of fission neutron transmission through waste matrix material using neutron signal correlation from active assay of {sup 239}Pu

    SciTech Connect

    Hollas, C.L.; Arnone, G.; Brunson, G.; Coop, K.

    1996-09-01

    The accuracy of TRU (transuranic) waste assay using the differential die-away technique depends upon significant corrections to compensate for the effects of the matrix material in which the TRU waste is located. The authors have used a new instrument, the Combined Thermal/Epithermal Neutron (CTEN) instrument for the assay of TRU waste, to develop methods to improve the accuracy of these corrections. Neutrons from a pulsed 14-MeV neutron generator are moderated in the walls of the CTEN cavity and induce fission in the TRU material. The prompt neutrons from these fission events are detected in cadmium-wrapped {sup 3}He neutron detectors. They report new methods of data acquisition and analysis to extract correlation in the neutron signals resulting form fission during active interrogation. They use the correlation information in conjunction with the total number of neutrons to determine the fraction of fission neutrons transmitted through the matrix material into the {sup 3}He detectors. This determination allows them to cleanly separate the matrix effects into two processes: matrix modification upon the neutron interrogating flux and matrix modification upon the fraction of fission neutrons transmitted to the neutron detectors. This transmission information is also directly applied in a neutron multiplicity analysis in the passive assay of {sup 240}Pu.

  14. ACTIVITY OF 1,