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Sample records for activity assays reveal

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

    The in vitro Cell Transformation Assay (CTA) is a powerful tool for mechanistic studies of carcinogenesis. The endpoint is the classification of transformed colonies (foci) by means of standard morphological features. To increase throughput and reliability of CTAs, one of the suggested follow-up activities is to exploit the comprehension of the mechanisms underlying cell transformation. To this end, we have performed CTAs testing CdCl2, a widespread environmental contaminant classified as a human carcinogen with the underlying mechanisms of action not completely understood. We have isolated and re-seeded the cells at the end (6weeks) of in vitro CTAs to further identify the biochemical pathways underlying the transformed phenotype of foci. Morphological evaluations and proliferative assays confirmed the loss of contact-inhibition and the higher proliferative rate of transformed clones. The biochemical analysis of EGFR pathway revealed that, despite the same initial carcinogenic stimulus (1μM CdCl2 for 24h), transformed clones are characterized by the activation of two different molecular pathways: proliferation (Erk activation) or survival (Akt activation). Our preliminary results on molecular characterization of cell clones from different foci could be exploited for CTAs improvement, supporting the comprehension of the in vivo process and complementing the morphological evaluation of foci. PMID:27432484

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    The ability of Candida albicans to form drug-resistant biofilms is an important factor in its contribution to human disease. Assays to identify and characterize molecules with activity against fungal biofilms are crucial for the development of drugs with improved anti-biofilm activity. Here we report the application of an adenylate kinase (AK)-based cytotoxicity assay of fungal cell lysis to the characterization of agents active against C. albicans biofilms. We have developed three protocols for the AK assay. The first measures AK activity in the supernatants of biofilms treated with antifungal drugs and can be performed in parallel with a standard 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulphophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-caboxanilide-based biofilm susceptibility assay; a second, more sensitive protocol measures the AK activity present within the biofilm matrix; and a third procedure allows the direct visualization of lytic activity toward biofilms formed on catheter material. Amphotericin B and caspofungin, the two most effective anti-biofilm drugs currently used to treat fungal infections, both directly lyse planktonic C. albicans cells in vitro, leading to the release of AK into the culture medium. These studies serve to validate the AK-based lysis assay as a useful addition to the methods for the characterization of antifungal agents active toward biofilms and provide insights into the mode of action of amphotericin B and caspofungin against C. albicans biofilms. PMID:21674619

  9. 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

  10. Distinct dendritic spine and nuclear phases of calcineurin activation after exposure to Amyloid β revealed by a novel FRET assay

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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 (FRET) 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, 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 translocation to the nucleus and frank spine loss. These results provide a framework for understanding calcineurin’s role in synaptic alterations associated with AD pathogenesis. PMID:22496575

  11. Preliminary assay reveals quality of Mars blend

    SciTech Connect

    Rhodes, A.K.

    1996-06-10

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  13. 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. DNA Methyltransferase Activity Assays: Advances and Challenges.

    PubMed

    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.

  15. A novel assay reveals hygrotactic behavior in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Ji, Feiteng; Zhu, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Humidity is one of the most important factors that determines the geographical distribution and survival of terrestrial animals. The ability to detect variation in humidity is conserved across many species. Here, we established a novel behavioral assay that revealed the thirsty Drosophila exhibits strong hygrotactic behavior, and it can locate water by detecting humidity gradient. In addition, exposure to high levels of moisture was sufficient to elicit proboscis extension reflex behavior in thirsty flies. Furthermore, we found that the third antennal segment was necessary for hygrotactic behavior in thirsty flies, while arista was required for the avoidance of moist air in hydrated flies. These results indicated that two types of hygroreceptor cells exist in Drosophila: one located in the third antennal segment that mediates hygrotactic behavior in thirst status, and the other located in arista which is responsible for the aversive behavior toward moist air in hydration status. Using a neural silencing screen, we demonstrated that synaptic output from the mushroom body α/β surface and posterior neurons was required for both hygrotactic behavior and moisture-aversive behavior.

  16. 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

  17. Assay and Inhibition of Diacylglycerol Lipase Activity

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Meghan; Bhatt, Shachi R.; Sikka, Surina; Mercier, Richard W.; West, Jay M.; Makriyannis, Alexandros; Gatley, S. John; Duclos, Richard I.

    2012-01-01

    A series of N-formyl-α-amino acid esters of β-lactone derivatives structurally related to tetrahydrolipstatin (THL) and O-3841 were synthesized that inhibit human and murine diacylglycerol lipase (DAGL) activities. New ether lipid reporter compounds were developed for an in vitro assay to efficiently screen inhibitors of 1,2-diacyl-sn-glycerol hydrolysis and related lipase activities using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET). A standardized thin layer chromatography (TLC) radioassay of diacylglycerol lipase activity utilizing the labeled endogenous substrate [1″-14C]1-stearoyl-2-arachidonoyl-sn-glycerol with phosphorimaging detection was used to quantify inhibition by following formation of the initial product [1″-14C]2-arachidonoylglycerol and further hydrolysis under the assay conditions to [1-14C]arachidonic acid. PMID:22738638

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Rho family and Rap GTPase activation assays.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Richard T; Knaus, Ulla G

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  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. A sensitive flow cytometry-based nucleotide excision repair assay unexpectedly reveals that mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling does not regulate the removal of UV-induced DNA damage in human cells.

    PubMed

    Rouget, Raphael; Auclair, Yannick; Loignon, Martin; Affar, El Bachir; Drobetsky, Elliot A

    2008-02-29

    In response to diverse genotoxic stimuli (e.g. UV and cisplatin), the mitogen-activated protein kinases ERK1/2, JNK1/2, and p38alpha/beta become rapidly phosphorylated and in turn activate multiple downstream effectors that modulate apoptosis and/or growth arrest. Furthermore, previous lines of evidence have strongly suggested that ERK1/2 and JNK1/2 participate in global-genomic nucleotide excision repair, a critical antineoplastic pathway that removes helix-distorting DNA adducts induced by a variety of mutagenic agents, including UV. To rigorously evaluate the potential role of mitogen-activated protein kinases in global-genomic nucleotide excision repair, various human cell strains (primary skin fibroblasts, primary lung fibroblasts, and HCT116 colon carcinoma cells) were treated with highly specific chemical inhibitors, which, following UV exposure, (i) abrogated the capacities of ERK1/2, JNK1/2, or p38alpha/beta to phosphorylate specific downstream effectors and (ii) characteristically modulated cellular proliferation, clonogenic survival, and/or apoptosis. A highly sensitive flow cytometry-based nucleotide excision repair assay recently optimized and validated in our laboratory was then employed to directly demonstrate that the kinetics of UV DNA photoadduct repair are highly similar in mock-treated versus mitogen-activated protein kinase inhibitor-treated cells. These data on primary and tumor cells treated with pharmacological inhibitors were fully corroborated by repair studies using (i) short hairpin RNA-mediated knockdown of ERK1/2 or JNK1/2 in human U2OS osteosarcoma cells and (ii) expression of a dominant negative p38alpha mutant in human primary lung fibroblasts. Our results provide solid evidence for the first time, in disaccord with a burgeoning perception, that mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling does not influence the efficiency of human global-genomic nucleotide excision repair.

  4. 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

  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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Seo, Keun Seok

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Assay of nitrogenase activity in intact plant systems.

    PubMed

    Jain, M K; Vlassak, K

    1975-01-01

    Nitrogenase activity was assayed in intact system of Cichorium intybus, a non-leguminous commercially cultivated crop, Dahlia pinnata and Helianthus annus, and Taraxacum officinale, a common weed plant. The assay was made in fabricated cylinders which could accomodate pot with plants. In such kind of assay along with rhizosphere microflora, the nitrogen fixed by phyllosphere nitrogen fixing microflora could also be accounted, which otherwise was difficult to be accounted for. PMID:1211718

  9. Nanochannel-based electrochemical assay for transglutaminase activity.

    PubMed

    Fernández, Iñigo; Sánchez, Alfredo; Díez, Paula; Martínez-Ruiz, Paloma; Di Pierro, Prospero; Porta, Raffaele; Villalonga, Reynaldo; Pingarrón, José M

    2014-11-11

    A novel electrochemical assay to quantify transglutaminase activity is reported. The assay is based on the enzyme-controlled diffusion of Fe(CN)6(3-/4-) through amino-functionalized nanochannels of a mesoporous silica thin film on a Au surface in the presence of N-benzyloxycarbonyl-L-glutaminylglycine.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-06-01

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

  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. Diced electrophoresis gel assay for screening enzymes with specified activities.

    PubMed

    Komatsu, Toru; Hanaoka, Kenjiro; Adibekian, Alexander; Yoshioka, Kentaro; Terai, Takuya; Ueno, Tasuku; Kawaguchi, Mitsuyasu; Cravatt, Benjamin F; Nagano, Tetsuo

    2013-04-24

    We have established the diced electrophoresis gel (DEG) assay as a proteome-wide screening tool to identify enzymes with activities of interest using turnover-based fluorescent substrates. The method utilizes the combination of native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) with a multiwell-plate-based fluorometric assay to find protein spots with the specified activity. By developing fluorescent substrates that mimic the structure of neutrophil chemoattractants, we could identify enzymes involved in metabolic inactivation of the chemoattractants.

  13. Measuring MAP kinase activity in immune complex assays.

    PubMed

    Cherkasova, Vera A

    2006-11-01

    I present an overview of published methods for measuring mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase activity on endogenous associated substrates, exogenously added substrates as well as determination of activation loop phosphorylation as a read-out of kinase activity in vivo. Detailed procedures for these assays are given for two MAP kinases (MAPKs) Fus3 and Kss1 and compared with other published protocols, including the protocols for Hog1 and Mpk1 MAPKs. Measuring kinase activity in immune complex assays can serve as an approach for identification of potential substrates of protein kinases as well as for detecting other kinase-associated proteins. PMID:16890454

  14. Pitfalls in the assay of carboxymethylcellulase activity. [Sclerotium rolfsii

    SciTech Connect

    Lindner, W.A.; Dennison, C.; Quicke, G.V.

    1983-02-01

    A purified endocellulase from Sclerotium rolfsii and a crude cellulase preparation from Trichoderma reesei are used to illustrate several pitfalls associated with the assay of carboxymethylcellulase activity and the subsequent attainment of linear enzyme dilution curves. It is shown that the nature of both the enzymes and the substrate make the assay unsuitable for use in the calculation of enzyme recovery and purity. (Refs. 16).

  15. A novel flow cytometric HTS assay reveals functional modulators of ATP binding cassette transporter ABCB6.

    PubMed

    Polireddy, Kishore; Khan, Mohiuddin Md Taimur; 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

  16. 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

  17. A Homogenous Luminescence Assay Reveals Novel Inhibitors for Giardia Lamblia Carbamate Kinase

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    The human pathogen Giardia lamblia is an anaerobic protozoan parasite that causes giardiasis, one of the most common diarrheal diseases worldwide. Although several drugs are available for the treatment of giardisis, resistance to these drugs has been reported and is likely to increase. The Giardia carbamate kinase (glCK) plays an essential role in Giardia metabolism and has no homologs in humans, making it an attractive candidate for anti-Giardia drug development. We have developed a luminescent enzyme coupled assay to measure the activity of glCK by quantitating the amount of ATP produced by the enzyme. This assay is homogeneous and has been miniaturized into a 1536-well plate format. A pilot screen against 4,096 known compounds using this assay yielded a signal-to-basal ratio of 11.5 fold and Z’ factor of 0.8 with a hit rate of 0.9 % of inhibitors of glCK. Therefore, this Giardia lamblia carbamate kinase assay is useful for high throughput screening of large compound collection for identification of the inhibitors for drug development. PMID:23400734

  18. Sensitive Detection Assays for Influenza RNA Do Not Reveal Viremia in US Blood Donors

    PubMed Central

    Stramer, Susan L.; Collins, Cynthia; Nugent, Thomas; Wang, Xue; Fuschino, Meghan; Heitman, John W.; Law, Jacqueline; Krysztof, David E.; Kiely, Nancy; Todd, Deborah; Vermeulen, Nicolaas M. J.; Harrington, Karen; Kamel, Hany; Kelvin, David J.; Busch, Michael P.; St. George, Kirsten; Hewlett, Indira K.; Linnen, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    (See the article by Delwart et al, on pages 875–85, and see the editorial commentary by Katz, on pages 867–9.) Background. There have been anecdotal reports of influenza viremia since the 1960s. We present an assessment of the prevalence of seasonal and 2009 H1N1 influenza viremia (via RNA testing) in blood donor populations using multiple sensitive detection assays. Methods. Several influenza RNA amplification assays, including transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) and 2 reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays, were evaluated and used to test donor samples. Retrospective samples from 478 subjects drawn at sites with high influenza activity were tested. Prospective samples were collected from 1004 blood donors who called their donation center within 3 days of donation complaining of influenza-like illness (ILI). The plasma collected on the day of donation for these subjects was tested. Results. Of the repository samples, 2 of 478 plasma samples were initially reactive but not repeat reactive by influenza TMA. Of blood donors reporting ILI symptoms postdonation, 1 of 1004 samples was TMA initially reactive but not repeat reactive; all samples were nonreactive by RT-PCR testing. Conclusions. Targeting blood donor populations most likely to have influenza infection, we failed to detect influenza RNA in 1482 donor samples, with most tested by 3 different RNA assays. Seasonal influenza does not appear to pose a significant contamination threat to the blood supply. PMID:22293429

  19. Comparison of the luminescent ADP-Glo assay to a standard radiometric assay for measurement of protein kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Sanghera, Jasbinder; Li, Rick; Yan, Jun

    2009-12-01

    Many assay technologies have been developed and utilized to efficiently assay and screen against protein kinase targets. The radiometric assay format for assaying the protein kinase targets has been considered the "Gold Standard" format since it allows the direct readout of kinase functional activity and is a universal assay that is highly sensitive. However, the hazardous nature of the radiometric assay together with the regulatory hurdles has led to the development of alternative assay formats for assessing protein kinase activity measurements. The luminescent ADP-Glo assay has been developed as an alternative to radiometric format for assaying protein kinase targets. This assay allows the measurement of the ADP product formed during the kinase reaction. Therefore, the luminescent ADP-Glo assay is similar to the radiometric format in that it measures the direct product of the protein kinase reaction. Furthermore, since the ADP product is generated by all protein kinase reactions, this is a universal format that can be used for assaying any given protein kinase target. Analysis of data generated with multiple protein kinase targets and the luminescent ADP-Glo technology shows comparable results to the radiometric assay format. Therefore, the luminescent ADP-Glo assay is a robust new technology for evaluating catalytic function of protein kinases as well as other ATPases.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. A calibration curve for immobilized dihydrofolate reductase activity assay.

    PubMed

    Singh, Priyanka; Morris, Holly; Tivanski, Alexei V; Kohen, Amnon

    2015-09-01

    An assay was developed for measuring the active-site concentration, activity, and thereby the catalytic turnover rate (k cat) of an immobilized dihydrofolate reductase model system (Singh et al., (2015), Anal. Biochem). This data article contains a calibration plot for the developed assay. In the calibration plot rate is plotted as a function of DHFR concentration and shows linear relationship. The concentration of immobilized enzyme was varied by using 5 different size mica chips. The dsDNA concentration was the same for all chips, assuming that the surface area of the mica chip dictates the resulting amount of bound enzyme (i.e. larger sized chip would have more bound DHFR). The activity and concentration of each chip was measured.

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-07-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A kinetic fluorescence assay reveals unusual features of Ca++ uptake in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background To facilitate development within erythrocytes, malaria parasites increase their host cell uptake of diverse solutes including Ca++. The mechanism and molecular basis of increased Ca++ permeability remains less well studied than that of other solutes. Methods Based on an appropriate Ca++ affinity and its greater brightness than related fluorophores, Fluo-8 was selected and used to develop a robust fluorescence-based assay for Ca++ uptake by human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum. Results Both uninfected and infected cells exhibited a large Ca++-dependent fluorescence signal after loading with the Fluo-8 dye. Probenecid, an inhibitor of erythrocyte organic anion transporters, abolished the fluorescence signal in uninfected cells; in infected cells, this agent increased fluorescence via mechanisms that depend on parasite genotype. Kinetic fluorescence measurements in 384-well microplates revealed that the infected cell Ca++ uptake is not mediated by the plasmodial surface anion channel (PSAC), a parasite nutrient channel at the host membrane; it also appears to be distinct from mammalian Ca++ channels. Imaging studies confirmed a low intracellular Ca++ in uninfected cells and higher levels in both the host and parasite compartments of infected cells. Parasite growth inhibition studies revealed a conserved requirement for extracellular Ca++. Conclusions Nondestructive loading of Fluo-8 into human erythrocytes permits measurement of Ca++ uptake kinetics. The greater Ca++ permeability of cells infected with malaria parasites is apparent when probenecid is used to inhibit Fluo-8 efflux at the host membrane. This permeability is mediated by a distinct pathway and may be essential for intracellular parasite development. The miniaturized assay presented here should help clarify the precise transport mechanism and may identify inhibitors suitable for antimalarial drug development. PMID:24885754

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. A molecular beacon assay for measuring base excision repair activities.

    PubMed

    Maksimenko, Andrei; Ishchenko, Alexander A; Sanz, Guenhaël; Laval, Jacques; Elder, Rhoderick H; Saparbaev, Murat K

    2004-06-18

    The base excision repair (BER) pathway plays a key role in protecting the genome from endogenous DNA damage. Current methods to measure BER activities are indirect and cumbersome. Here, we introduce a direct method to assay DNA excision repair that is suitable for automation and industrial use, based on the fluorescence quenching mechanism of molecular beacons. We designed a single-stranded DNA oligonucleotide labelled with a 5'-fluorescein (F) and a 3'-Dabcyl (D) in which the fluorophore, F, is held in close proximity to the quencher, D, by the stem-loop structure design of the oligonucleotide. Following removal of the modified base or incision of the oligonucleotide, the fluorophore is separated from the quencher and fluorescence can be detected as a function of time. Several modified beacons have been used to validate the assay on both cell-free extracts and purified proteins. We have further developed the method to analyze BER in cultured cells. As described, the molecular beacon-based assay can be applied to all DNA modifications processed by DNA excision/incision repair pathways. Possible applications of the assay are discussed, including high-throughput real-time DNA repair measurements both in vitro and in living cells.

  14. 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.

  15. Synthesis and Assay of SIRT1-Activating Compounds.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Nonoisotopic Assay for the Presynaptic Choline Transporter Reveals Capacity for Allosteric Modulation of Choline Uptake

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Current therapies to enhance CNS cholinergic function rely primarily on extracellular acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibition, a pharmacotherapeutic strategy that produces dose-limiting side effects. The Na+-dependent, high-affinity choline transporter (CHT) is an unexplored target for cholinergic medication development. Although functional at the plasma membrane, CHT at steady-state is localized to synaptic vesicles such that vesicular fusion can support a biosynthetic response to neuronal excitation. To identify allosteric potentiators of CHT activity, we mapped endocytic sequences in the C-terminus of human CHT, identifying transporter mutants that exhibit significantly increased transport function. A stable HEK-293 cell line was generated from one of these mutants (CHT LV-AA) and used to establish a high-throughput screen (HTS) compatible assay based on the electrogenic nature of the transporter. We established that the addition of choline to these cells, at concentrations appropriate for high-affinity choline transport at presynaptic terminals, generates a hemicholinium-3 (HC-3)-sensitive, membrane depolarization that can be used for the screening of CHT inhibitors and activators. Using this assay, we discovered that staurosporine increased CHT LV-AA choline uptake activity, an effect mediated by a decrease in choline KM with no change in Vmax. As staurosporine did not change surface levels of CHT, nor inhibit HC-3 binding, we propose that its action is directly or indirectly allosteric in nature. Surprisingly, staurosporine reduced choline-induced membrane depolarization, suggesting that increased substrate coupling to ion gradients, arising at the expense of nonstoichiometric ion flow, accompanies a shift of CHT to a higher-affinity state. Our findings provide a new approach for the identification of CHT modulators that is compatible with high-throughput screening approaches and presents a novel model by which small molecules can enhance substrate flux

  17. 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

  18. Kinetic assays for determining in vitro APS reductase activity in plants without the use of radioactive substances.

    PubMed

    Brychkova, Galina; Yarmolinsky, Dmitry; Sagi, Moshe

    2012-09-01

    Adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate (APS) reductase (APR; EC 1.8.4.9) catalyzes the two-electron reduction of APS to sulfite and AMP, a key step in the sulfate assimilation pathway in higher plants. In spite of the importance of this enzyme, methods currently available for detection of APR activity rely on radioactive labeling and can only be performed in a very few specially equipped laboratories. Here we present two novel kinetic assays for detecting in vitro APR activity that do not require radioactive labeling. In the first assay, APS is used as substrate and reduced glutathione (GSH) as electron donor, while in the second assay APS is replaced by an APS-regenerating system in which ATP sulfurylase catalyzes APS in the reaction medium, which employs sulfate and ATP as substrates. Both kinetic assays rely on fuchsin colorimetric detection of sulfite, the final product of APR activity. Incubation of the desalted protein extract, prior to assay initiation, with tungstate that inhibits the oxidation of sulfite by sulfite oxidase activity, resulted in enhancement of the actual APR activity. The reliability of the two methods was confirmed by assaying leaf extract from Arabidopsis wild-type and APR mutants with impaired or overexpressed APR2 protein, the former lacking APR activity and the latter exhibiting much higher activity than the wild type. The assays were further tested on tomato leaves, which revealed a higher APR activity than Arabidopsis. The proposed APR assays are highly specific, technically simple and readily performed in any laboratory.

  19. Fluorescence assay for evaluating microbicidal activity of hand antiseptics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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 (R(2) = 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.

  20. Fluorescence assay for evaluating microbicidal activity of hand antiseptics.

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

    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 (R(2) = 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Automated conductimetric assay of human serum cholinesterase activity.

    PubMed

    Duffy, P; Wallach, J M

    1989-01-01

    Serum cholinesterase activity was determined by conductimetry using samples in the microliter range. Butyrylcholine iodide was demonstrated to be a convenient substrate for the conductimetric assay. Validation of the microassay was made by using either purified enzyme or control serum. In the range of 0-60 U/l, a linear relationship was demonstrated. Correlation with a reference spectrophotometric method was obtained with a slope of 1.18. An explanation of this value is proposed, as different hydrolysis rates were obtained with human sera, depending on the substrate used (butyrylthio- or butyryl-choline ester).

  5. 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.

  6. Assaying the Kinase Activity of LRRK2 in vitro

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Patrick A.

    2012-01-01

    Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a 2527 amino acid member of the ROCO family of proteins, possessing a complex, multidomain structure including a GTPase domain (termed ROC, for Ras of Complex proteins) and a kinase domain1. The discovery in 2004 of mutations in LRRK2 that cause Parkinson's disease (PD) resulted in LRRK2 being the focus of a huge volume of research into its normal function and how the protein goes awry in the disease state2,3. Initial investigations into the function of LRRK2 focused on its enzymatic activities4-6. Although a clear picture has yet to emerge of a consistent alteration in these due to mutations, data from a number of groups has highlighted the importance of the kinase activity of LRRK2 in cell death linked to mutations7,8. Recent publications have reported inhibitors targeting the kinase activity of LRRK2, providing a key experimental tool9-11. In light of these data, it is likely that the enzymatic properties of LRRK2 afford us an important window into the biology of this protein, although whether they are potential drug targets for Parkinson's is open to debate. A number of different approaches have been used to assay the kinase activity of LRRK2. Initially, assays were carried out using epitope tagged protein overexpressed in mammalian cell lines and immunoprecipitated, with the assays carried out using this protein immobilised on agarose beads4,5,7. Subsequently, purified recombinant fragments of LRRK2 in solution have also been used, for example a GST tagged fragment purified from insect cells containing residues 970 to 2527 of LRRK212. Recently, Daniëls et al. reported the isolation of full length LRRK2 in solution from human embryonic kidney cells, however this protein is not widely available13. In contrast, the GST fusion truncated form of LRRK2 is commercially available (from Invitrogen, see table 1 for details), and provides a convenient tool for demonstrating an assay for LRRK2 kinase activity. Several different

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

    PubMed

    Deady, Lylah D; Sun, Jianjun

    2015-10-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    ATP measurement provides an overview of the general state of microbial activity, and thus it has proven useful for the evaluation of nanoparticle toxicity in activated sludge. ATP bioluminescence assay, however, is susceptible to interference by the components of activated sludge other than biomass. This paper presents the interference identified specific to the use of this assay after activated sludge respiration inhibition test of silica nanoparticles (OECD 209). We observed a high degree of interference (90%) in the presence of 100 mg/L silica nanoparticles and a low level of ATP being measured (0.01 μM); and 30% interference by the synthetic medium regardless of silica nanoparticle concentration and ATP level in the samples. ATP measurement in activated sludge with different MLSS concentrations revealed interference of high biomass content. In conclusion, silica nanoparticles, synthetic medium and activated sludge samples themselves interfere with ATP bioluminescence; this will need to be considered in the evaluation of silica nanoparticle toxicity to activated sludge when this type of assay is used. PMID:25892589

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Automated filter paper assay for determination of cellulase activity.

    PubMed

    Decker, Stephen R; Adney, William S; Jennings, Edward; Vinzant, Todd B; Himmel, Michael E

    2003-01-01

    Recent developments in molecular breeding and directed evolution have promised great developments in industrial enzymes as demonstrated by exponential improvements in beta-lactamase and green fluorescent protein (GFP). Detection of and screening for improved enzymes are relatively easy if the target enzyme is expressible in a suitable high-throughput screening host and a clearly defined and usable screen or selection is available, as with GFP and beta-lactamase. Fungal cellulases, however, are difficult to measure and have limited expressibility in heterologous hosts. Furthermore, traditional cellulase assays are tedious and time-consuming. Multiple enzyme components, an insoluble substrate, and generally slow reaction rates have plagued cellulase researchers interested in creating cellulase mixtures with increased activities and/or enhanced biochemical properties. Although the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemists standard measure of cellulase activity, the filter paper assay (FPA), can be reproduced in most laboratories with some effort, this method has long been recognized for its complexity and susceptibility to operator error. Our current automated FPA method is based on a Cyberlabs C400 robotics deck equipped with customized incubation, reagent storage, and plate-reading capabilities that allow rapid evaluation of cellulases acting on cellulose and has a maximum throughput of 84 enzyme samples per day when performing the automated FPA.

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluation of immunostimulatory activity of Chyawanprash using in vitro assays.

    PubMed

    Madaan, Alka; Kanjilal, Satyajyoti; Gupta, Arun; Sastry, J L N; Verma, Ritu; Singh, Anu T; Jaggi, Manu

    2015-03-01

    Chyawanprash is an ayurvedic formulation used in Indian traditional medicinal system for its beneficial effect on human health. We investigated the immunostimulatory effects of Chyawanprash (CHY) using in vitro assays evaluating the secretion of cytokines such as Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNF-α), Interleukin-1beta (IL-1β) and Macrophage Inflammatory Protein-1-alpha (MIP-1-α) from murine bone marrow derived Dendritic Cells (DC) which play pivotal role in immunostimulation. The effects of CHY on phagocytosis in murine macrophages (RAW264.7) and Natural Killer (NK) cell activity were also investigated. At non-cytotoxic concentrations (20-500 μg/ml), CHY enhanced the secretion of all the three cytokines from DC. CHY also stimulated both, macrophage (RAW264.7) as well as NK cell activity, in vitro. In conclusion, the data substantiates the immunoprotective role of CHY at cellular level mediated by immunostimulation in key immune cells viz. dendritic Cells, macrophages and NK cells.

  14. A Fluorescence-based Assay of Phospholipid Scramblase Activity.

    PubMed

    Ploier, Birgit; Menon, Anant K

    2016-01-01

    Scramblases translocate phospholipids across the membrane bilayer bidirectionally in an ATP-independent manner. The first scramblase to be identified and biochemically verified was opsin, the apoprotein of the photoreceptor rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is a G protein-coupled receptor localized in rod photoreceptor disc membranes of the retina where it is responsible for the perception of light. Rhodopsin's scramblase activity does not depend on its ligand 11-cis-retinal, i.e., the apoprotein opsin is also active as a scramblase. Although constitutive and regulated phospholipid scrambling play an important role in cell physiology, only a few phospholipid scramblases have been identified so far besides opsin. Here we describe a fluorescence-based assay of opsin's scramblase activity. Opsin is reconstituted into large unilamellar liposomes composed of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylglycerol and a trace quantity of fluorescent NBD-labeled PC (1-palmitoyl-2-{6-[7-nitro-2-1,3-benzoxadiazole-4-yl)amino]hexanoyl}-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine). Scramblase activity is determined by measuring the extent to which NBD-PC molecules located in the inner leaflet of the vesicle are able to access the outer leaflet where their fluorescence is chemically eliminated by a reducing agent that cannot cross the membrane. The methods we describe have general applicability and can be used to identify and characterize scramblase activities of other membrane proteins. PMID:27684510

  15. Cell-based flow cytometry assay to measure cytotoxic activity.

    PubMed

    Noto, Alessandra; Ngauv, Pearline; Trautmann, Lydie

    2013-12-17

    Cytolytic activity of CD8+ T cells is rarely evaluated. We describe here a new cell-based assay to measure the capacity of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells to kill CD4+ T cells loaded with their cognate peptide. Target CD4+ T cells are divided into two populations, labeled with two different concentrations of CFSE. One population is pulsed with the peptide of interest (CFSE-low) while the other remains un-pulsed (CFSE-high). Pulsed and un-pulsed CD4+ T cells are mixed at an equal ratio and incubated with an increasing number of purified CD8+ T cells. The specific killing of autologous target CD4+ T cells is analyzed by flow cytometry after coculture with CD8+ T cells containing the antigen-specific effector CD8+ T cells detected by peptide/MHCI tetramer staining. The specific lysis of target CD4+ T cells measured at different effector versus target ratios, allows for the calculation of lytic units, LU₃₀/10(6) cells. This simple and straightforward assay allows for the accurate measurement of the intrinsic capacity of CD8+ T cells to kill target CD4+ T cells.

  16. Quantitative detection of RT activity by PERT assay: feasibility and limits to a standardized screening assay for human vaccines.

    PubMed

    André, M; Morgeaux, S; Fuchs, F

    2000-06-01

    The detection of adventitious retroviruses has always been critical for assessing the safety concerns associated with viral vaccines. Assays for the enzymatic activity of reverse transcriptase (RT) are used as general methods for the detection of both known and unknown retroviruses. Several studies using newly-developed ultrasensitive PCR-based RT assays reported RT activity in viral vaccines grown in chicken cells. Here, we have assessed the performances of such a PCR-based RT assay--PERT assay--for the quantitative detection of RT activity in vaccines. Sensitivity, linearity and reproducibility of the method were studied on purified RT and viral vaccines treated to release RT from potentially contaminant retroviruses. The level of RT activity detected in chicken cell-derived vaccines was higher for live attenuated vaccines compared to inactivated ones. Contrary to other studies, RT activity was found in some mammalian cell-derived vaccines. AZT-TP sensitivity of RT activities detected in these vaccines and discrimination between retroviral and RT-like activities was further investigated. Feasibility and limits of PERT assay as a broad-spectrum retroviruses detection method in vaccines are discussed.

  17. 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

  18. A passive-active neutron device for assaying remote-handled transuranic waste

    SciTech Connect

    Estep, R.J.; Coop, K.L.; Deane, T.M.; Lujan, J.E.

    1989-01-01

    A combined passive-active neutron assay device was constructed for assaying remote-handled transuranic waste. A study of matrix and source position effects in active assays showed that a knowledge of the source position alone is not sufficient to correct for position-related errors in highly moderating or absorbing matrices. An alternate function for the active assay of solid fuel pellets was derived, although the efficacy of this approach remains to be established. 4 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.

  19. High-Throughput FRET Assay Yields Allosteric SERCA Activators

    PubMed Central

    Cornea, Razvan L.; Lockamy, Elizabeth L.; Gruber, Simon J.; Muretta, Joseph M.; Jin, Dongzhu; Chen, Jiqiu; Dahl, Russell; Bartfai, Tamas; Zsebo, Krisztina M.; Gillispie, Gregory D.; Thomas, David D.

    2013-01-01

    Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), we performed a high-throughput screen (HTS) in a reconstituted membrane system, seeking compounds that reverse inhibition of sarco-/endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA) by its endogenous regulator, phospholamban (PLB). Such compounds have long been sought to correct aberrant Ca2+ regulation in heart failure. Donor-SERCA was reconstituted in phospholipid membranes with or without acceptor-PLB, and FRET was measured in a steady-state fluorescence microplate reader. A 20,000-compound library was tested in duplicate. Compounds that decreased FRET by more than three standard deviations were considered hits. From 43 primary hits (0.2%), 31 (72%) were found to be false positives upon more thorough testing. The remaining 12 hits were tested in assays of Ca-ATPase activity, and six of these activated SERCA significantly, by as much as 60%, and several also enhanced cardiomyocyte contractility. These compounds directly activated SERCA from heart and other tissues. These results validate our FRET approach and set the stage for medicinal chemistry and pre-clinical testing. We were concerned about the high rate of false positives, resulting from the low precision of steady-state fluorescence. Preliminary studies with a novel fluorescence lifetime plate reader show 20-fold higher precision. This instrument can dramatically increase the quality of future HT. PMID:22923787

  20. High-throughput FRET assay yields allosteric SERCA activators.

    PubMed

    Cornea, Razvan L; Gruber, Simon J; Lockamy, Elizabeth L; Muretta, Joseph M; Jin, Dongzhu; Chen, Jiqiu; Dahl, Russell; Bartfai, Tamas; Zsebo, Krisztina M; Gillispie, Gregory D; Thomas, David D

    2013-01-01

    Using fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), we performed a high-throughput screen (HTS) in a reconstituted membrane system, seeking compounds that reverse inhibition of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase (SERCA) by its cardiac regulator, phospholamban (PLB). Such compounds have long been sought to correct aberrant Ca(2+) regulation in heart failure. Donor-SERCA was reconstituted in phospholipid membranes with or without acceptor-PLB, and FRET was measured in a steady-state fluorescence microplate reader. A 20 000-compound library was tested in duplicate. Compounds that decreased FRET by more than three standard deviations were considered hits. From 43 hits (0.2%), 31 (72%) were found to be false-positives upon more thorough FRET testing. The remaining 12 hits were tested in assays of Ca-ATPase activity, and six of these activated SERCA significantly, by as much as 60%, and several also enhanced cardiomyocyte contractility. These compounds directly activated SERCA from heart and other tissues. These results validate our FRET approach and set the stage for medicinal chemistry and preclinical testing. We were concerned about the high rate of false-positives, resulting from the low precision of steady-state fluorescence. Preliminary studies with a novel fluorescence lifetime plate reader show 20-fold higher precision. This instrument can dramatically increase the quality of future HTS.

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Cimarelli, Andrea

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Immunomodulatory assays to study structure-activity relationships of thalidomide.

    PubMed

    Shannon, E J; Morales, M J; Sandoval, F

    1997-01-01

    Thalidomide, which has a long history of tragedy because of its ability to cause severe birth defects, is very effective in alleviating erythema nodosum leprosum in leprosy patients and aphthous ulcers in AIDS patients. The causes of these inflammatory diseases and the mechanism by which thalidomide diminishes them are unknown. It has been suggested that modulation of the immune response plays an important role. We found that thalidomide exerts immunomodulatory activity in three bioassays. It suppresses an IgM plaque forming cell response in mice injected with sheep erythrocytes: it inhibits TNF-alpha production by LPS stimulated human mononuclear cells: and it enhances IL-2 production by Con-A stimulated human mononuclear cells. We employed these bioassays to compare the activity of 15 analogs of thalidomide with thalidomide itself. Eight of the compounds were derivatives of the glutarimide moiety of thalidomide and the others were phthalimide or derivatives of the phthalimide moiety of thalidomide. N-hydroxyphthalimide, a simple derivative of phthalimide, was more effective than thalidomide and was also the most effective of the compounds assayed in suppressing the IgM plaque and TNF-alpha responses, but it did not enhance the IL-2 response, instead, it significantly suppressed it.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-17

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

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

    PubMed

    Sicardi, S M; Ferrato, E

    1995-05-01

    Studies were undertaken to evaluate the ability of various quinoneimines to induce micronuclei in bone marrow cells as a measure of their genotoxicity. Accordingly, 2-hydroxy-N-(3,4-dimethyl-5-isoxazolyl)-1,4-naphthoquinone-4-imine (I), its 2-acetyl derivative (II) and 2-[(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)amino]-N-(5-methyl-3-isoxazolyl)-1 ,4- naphthoquinone-4-imine (III), as well as two of their precursors, 2-hydroxynaphthoquinone (NQ-2-OH) and 3,4-dimethyl-5-aminoisoxazole (DMAI) were given by intraperitoneal injection at 5, 50, 100 and 200 mg/Kg doses to S.J.L. Swiss mice with 24 h sampling time. Compounds I and II displayed highly significant differences at 50, 100 and 200 mg/kg doses (p < 0.01) and their mutagenic dose response curves correlated closely with an inverted U-shaped form whose interpretation is still the subject of controversy. NQ-2-OH only produced a significant increase in micronucleus frequency at 50 mg/kg, whereas no mutagenic activity was found for compound III and DMAI at the doses assayed. At 50 mg/kg the order of relative mutagenic potencies was I > II > NQ-2-OH. Mechanisms advanced to explain loss of drug activity at high doses include capture saturation, enzymatic induction during metabolism and participation of an independent defense system. PMID:7753107

  6. Development of a sensitive multi-well colorimetric assay for active NFκB

    PubMed Central

    Renard, Patricia; Ernest, Isabelle; Houbion, Andrée; Art, Muriel; Le Calvez, Hervé; Raes, Martine; Remacle, José

    2001-01-01

    The transcription factor nuclear factor κB (NFκB) is a key factor in the immune response triggered by a wide variety of molecules such as inflammatory cytokines, or some bacterial and viral products. This transcription factor represents a new target for the development of anti-inflammatory molecules, but this type of research is currently hampered by the lack of a convenient and rapid screening assay for NFκB activation. Indeed, NFκB DNA-binding capacity is traditionally estimated by radioactive gel shift assay. Here we propose a new DNA-binding assay based on the use of multi-well plates coated with a cold oligonucleotide containing the consensus binding site for NFκB. The presence of the DNA-bound transcription factor is then detected by anti-NFκB antibodies and revealed by colorimetry. This assay is easy to use, non-radioactive, highly reproducible, specific for NFκB, more sensitive than regular radioactive gel shift and very convenient for high throughput screening. PMID:11160941

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  9. Deuterium reveals the dynamics of notch activation.

    PubMed

    Raphael, Kopan

    2011-04-13

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

  10. Cytokinesis blocked micronucleus assay of peripheral lymphocytes revealing the genotoxic effect of formaldehyde exposure.

    PubMed

    Souza, Anne D; Devi, Rema

    2014-04-01

    Formaldehyde (FA), which is said to be a carcinogenic agent, is commonly used in anatomy laboratories. This study used the cytokinesis blocked micronucleus assay (CBMN) to assess DNA damage due to FA exposure by measuring the frequency of micronuclei (MN) in lymphocytes. The extent of DNA damage was assessed with respect to the duration of exposure. Thirty male anatomy laboratory workers from various medical colleges involved with storing specimens and embalming were included in the study. Thirty males who were not exposed to FA were included as a comparison group. Blood samples were collected after informed consent was given. Information regarding age, duration of FA exposure and smoking habits was obtained by a questionnaire. The CBMN assay was conducted on cultured isolated lymphocytes stained with Giemsa. MN were counted in a total of 1000 binucleated lymphocytes. The effect of smoking was assessed using appropriate statistical tests. The frequency of MN in lymphocytes was significantly higher in the exposed group (P < 0.001). The duration of exposure correlated positively with the frequency of MN (r = 0.5, P = 0.02). Neither aging nor smoking correlated significantly with the formation of MN. The present study highlights significant DNA damage in people exposed to FA. The extent of damage was directly proportional to the duration of exposure.

  11. Comet assay reveals no genotoxicity risk of cationic solid lipid nanoparticles.

    PubMed

    Doktorovova, Slavomira; Silva, Amélia M; Gaivão, Isabel; Souto, Eliana B; Teixeira, João P; Martins-Lopes, Paula

    2014-04-01

    Cationic solid lipid nanoparticles (cSLN) are colloidal carriers for genes or drugs, particularly lipophilic drugs. Several reports exist on their high efficiency, but only a few studies report the effect of cSLNs on living cells. In the present work, internalization, cell viability (alamar blue assay) and genotoxic potential (alkaline comet assay) of three cSLN formulations (A-C) were evaluated in HepG2 and Caco-2 cells. cSLN showed an average hydrodynamic diameter (z-ave) of 141-222 nm, zeta-potential of 55.0-72.5 mV and polidispersity indices (PdI) of 0.336-0.421. Dispersion in physiological buffers increased z-ave and PdI. 0.01 mg ml(-1) cSLN unaffected cell viability, but 1.0 mg ml(-1) significantly decreased it, being cSLN-C (Compritol-based) the most toxic and HepG2 the most affected. DNA damage was not significantly increased by 0.1 mg ml(-1) cSLN but damage was observed at 1.0 mg ml(-1) cSLN-C. Thus, no genotoxicity is to be expected at concentrations that do not reduce cell viability.

  12. 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

  13. Arginase Activity in Mitochondria - an Interfering Factor in Nitric Oxide Synthase Activity Assays

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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 [14C]-L-arginine to [14C]-L-citrulline conversion assay (NOS assay) with MT samples indicated a weak, radioactive signal that was NOS-independent [1]. 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 [14C]-L-arginine to [14C]-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. (Supported by ES 011982 & 2G12RR008124 to RTM & UTEP, respectively). PMID:19896461

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. TR-FRET Assays of Huntingtin Protein Fragments Reveal Temperature and PolyQ Length-Dependent Conformational Changes

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Xiaotian; Liang, Qingnan; Liang, Yijian; Lu, Mingxing; Ding, Yu; Lu, Boxun

    2014-01-01

    Time-Resolved Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (TR-FRET) technology is a widely used immunoassay that enables high-throughput quantitative measurements of proteins of interest. One of the well established examples is the TR-FRET assay for mutant huntingtin protein (HTT), which is the major cause of the neurodegenerative Huntington's disease (HD). To measure the mutant HTT protein, the published assays utilize a polyQ antibody, MW1, paired with HTT N-terminal antibodies. MW1 has much higher apparent affinity to mutant HTT with expanded polyQ stretch than to wild-type HTT with shorter polyQ, and thus the assays detect mutant HTT preferentially. Here we report a reversible temperature dependent change of TR-FRET signals for HTT N-terminal fragments: the signals become higher when the temperature is lowered from room temperature to 4°C. Interestingly, the temperature sensitivity of the TR-FRET signals is much higher for the Q25 (wild-type) than for the Q72 (mutant) protein. We further revealed that it is likely due to a temperature and polyQ length-dependent structural or spatial change of HTT, which is potentially useful for understanding polyQ structure and toxicity. PMID:24998512

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. Enzymatic MPG DNA repair assays for two different oxidative DNA lesions reveal associations with increased lung cancer risk.

    PubMed

    Leitner-Dagan, Yael; Sevilya, Ziv; Pinchev, Mila; Kremer, Ran; Elinger, Dalia; Rennert, Hedy S; Schechtman, Edna; Freedman, Laurence; Rennert, Gad; Livneh, Zvi; Paz-Elizur, Tamar

    2014-12-01

    DNA repair is a major mechanism for minimizing mutations and reducing cancer risk. Here, we present the development of reproducible and specific enzymatic assays for methylpurine DNA glycosylase (MPG) repairing the oxidative lesions 1,N6-ethenoadenine (εA) and hypoxanthine (Hx) in peripheral blood mononuclear cells protein extracts. Association of these DNA repair activities 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 MPG-εA in case patients was 15.8 units/μg protein (95% CI 15.3-16.3), significantly higher than in control subjects-15.1 (14.6-15.5), *P = 0.011. The adjusted odds ratio for lung cancer associated with a one SD increase in MPG-εA activity (2.48 units) was significantly bigger than 1 (OR = 1.6, 95% CI = 1.1-2.4; *P = 0.013). When activity of OGG1, a different DNA repair enzyme for oxidative damage, was included in the model, the estimated odds ratio/SD for a combined MPG-εA-OGG1 score was 2.6 (95% CI 1.6-4.2) *P = 0.0001, higher than the odds ratio for each single assay. The MPG enzyme activity assays described provide robust functional risk biomarkers, with increased MPG-εA activity being associated with increased lung cancer risk, similar to the behavior of MPG-Hx. This underscores the notion that imbalances in DNA repair, including high DNA repair, usually perceived as beneficial, can cause cancer risk. Such DNA repair risk biomarkers may be useful for risk assessment of lung cancer and perhaps other cancer types, and for early detection techniques such as low-dose CT.

  3. 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

  4. A microsystem to assay lysosomal enzyme activities in cultured retinal pigment epithelial cells.

    PubMed

    Cabral, L; Unger, W; Boulton, M; Marshall, J

    1988-11-01

    A microsystem to assay the activity of lysosomal enzymes in a small number of cultured RPE cells is described. The activities of acid phosphatase, a-mannosidase, B-glucuronidase and N-acetyl-B-glucosaminidase were estimated in different human RPE cultures of varying passages. Some biochemical characteristics for each of the enzyme assays were studied including the effect of pH, the saturating concentrations of the appropriate substrates and the relationship between the enzyme activity and the number of cells assayed. The method presented is straightforward, avoids complicated tissue fractionation procedures and is able to estimate enzyme activities in as few as 10(4) cells. PMID:3243083

  5. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-13

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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    Bi, Xiaodong; Liu, Zhen

    2014-12-16

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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu; Diamond, Scott L

    2014-12-01

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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Zhu, Shu; Diamond, Scott L

    2014-12-01

    Generation of active Factor XII (FXIIa) triggers blood clotting on artificial surfaces and may also enhance intravascular thrombosis. We developed a patterned kaolin (0 to 0.3 pg/μm(2))/type 1 collagen fibril surface for controlled microfluidic clotting assays. Perfusion of whole blood (treated only with a low level of 4 μg/mL of the XIIa inhibitor, corn trypsin inhibitor) drove platelet deposition followed by fibrin formation. At venous wall shear rate (100 s(-1)), kaolin accelerated onset of fibrin formation by ~100 sec when compared to collagen alone (250 sec vs. 350 sec), with little effect on platelet deposition. Even with kaolin present, arterial wall shear rate (1000 s(-1)) delayed and suppressed fibrin formation compared to venous wall shear rate. A comparison of surfaces for extrinsic activation (tissue factor TF/collagen) versus contact activation (kaolin/collagen) that each generated equal platelet deposition at 100 s(-1) revealed: (1) TF surfaces promoted much faster fibrin onset (at 100 sec) and more endpoint fibrin at 600 sec at either 100 s(-1) or 1000 s(-1), and (2) kaolin and TF surfaces had a similar sensitivity for reduced fibrin deposition at 1000 s(-1) (compared to fibrin formed at 100 s(-1)) despite differing coagulation triggers. Anti-platelet drugs inhibiting P2Y1, P2Y12, cyclooxygenase-1 or activating IP-receptor or guanylate cyclase reduced platelet and fibrin deposition on kaolin/collagen. Since FXIIa or FXIa inhibition may offer safe antithrombotic therapy, especially for biomaterial thrombosis, these defined collagen/kaolin surfaces may prove useful in drug screening tests or in clinical diagnostic assays of blood under flow conditions. PMID:25303860

  13. 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.

  14. Assays to measure the activation of membrane tyrosine kinase receptors: focus on cellular methods.

    PubMed

    Minor, Lisa K

    2003-09-01

    Many methods have been explored as means to measure the activation and inhibition of tyrosine kinase receptors, in vitro using the isolated kinase domain, and in living cells. Kinase activity has been measured in enzyme assays using a peptide substrate, but with different detection systems. These include the radioactive FlashPlate assay, the fluorescent resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay, the dissociation-enhance lanthanide fluorescence immunoassay (DELFIA) and other formats. These methods have successfully identified inhibitors of receptor activity. Cell-based assays have recently emerged to measure receptor activation and inhibition. When membrane tyrosine kinase receptors become activated, they increase their state of phosphorylation. This phosphorylation may lead to an increase in tyrosine kinase-specific activity. Methods have been developed that take advantage of these properties. These include measuring the ligand-stimulated total tyrosine phosphorylation of the receptor using a DELFIA or an ELISA assay, measuring ligand-stimulated enzyme activation of the receptor by quantifying enzyme activity, and dimerization of the activated receptor using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). Although cell-based assays are still in their infancy, these techniques may prove a valuable addition to the receptor screening strategy.

  15. Evaluation of potential endocrine activity of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid using in vitro assays.

    PubMed

    Coady, Katherine K; Kan, H Lynn; Schisler, Melissa R; Gollapudi, B Bhaskar; Neal, Barbara; Williams, Amy; LeBaron, Matthew J

    2014-08-01

    The herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) was evaluated in five in vitro screening assays to assess the potential for interaction with the androgen, estrogen and steroidogenesis pathways in the endocrine system. The assays were conducted to meet the requirements of the in vitro component of Tier 1 of the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program (EDSP), and included assays for estrogen receptor (ER) binding (rat uterine cytosol ER binding assay), ER-mediated transcriptional activation (HeLa-9903-ERα transactivation assay), androgen receptor (AR) binding (rat prostate cytosol AR binding assay), aromatase enzymatic activity inhibition (recombinant human CYP19 aromatase inhibition assay), and interference with steroidogenesis (H295R steroidogenesis assay). Results from these five assays demonstrated that 2,4-D does not have the potential to interact in vitro with the estrogen, androgen, or steroidogenesis pathways. These in vitro data are consistent with a corresponding lack of endocrine effects observed in apical in vivo animal studies, and thus provide important supporting data valuable in a comprehensive weight of evidence evaluation indicating a low potential of 2,4-D to interact with the endocrine system.

  16. 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

  17. [Methods of hygromycin B phosphotransferase activity assay in transgenic plant].

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Qin; Yang, Xiaoguang

    2004-07-01

    Hygromycin B phosphotransferase (HPT) is a widely used selectable marker protein of transgenic plant. Detection of its activity is critical to studies on the development of various transgenic plants, silence of inserted gene, marker-free system development and safety assessment of transgenic food. In this paper, several methods for detecting the activity of this enzyme were reviewed.

  18. 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

  19. Measurement of factor v activity in human plasma using a microplate coagulation assay.

    PubMed

    Tilley, Derek; Levit, Irina; Samis, John A

    2012-09-09

    In response to injury, blood coagulation is activated and results in generation of the clotting protease, thrombin. Thrombin cleaves fibrinogen to fibrin which forms an insoluble clot that stops hemorrhage. Factor V (FV) in its activated form, FVa, is a critical cofactor for the protease FXa and accelerator of thrombin generation during fibrin clot formation as part of prothrombinase (1, 2). Manual FV assays have been described (3, 4), but they are time consuming and subjective. Automated FV assays have been reported (5-7), but the analyzer and reagents are expensive and generally provide only the clot time, not the rate and extent of fibrin formation. The microplate platform is preferred for measuring enzyme-catalyzed events because of convenience, time, cost, small volume, continuous monitoring, and high-throughput (8, 9). Microplate assays have been reported for clot lysis (10), platelet aggregation (11), and coagulation Factors (12), but not for FV activity in human plasma. The goal of the method was to develop a microplate assay that measures FV activity during fibrin formation in human plasma. This novel microplate method outlines a simple, inexpensive, and rapid assay of FV activity in human plasma. The assay utilizes a kinetic microplate reader to monitor the absorbance change at 405 nm during fibrin formation in human plasma (Figure 1) (13). The assay accurately measures the time, initial rate, and extent of fibrin clot formation. It requires only μl quantities of plasma, is complete in 6 min, has high-throughput, is sensitive to 24-80 pM FV, and measures the amount of unintentionally activated (1-stage activity) and thrombin-activated FV (2-stage activity) to obtain a complete assessment of its total functional activity (2-stage activity - 1-stage activity). Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is an acquired coagulopathy that most often develops from pre-existing infections (14). DIC is associated with a poor prognosis and increases mortality

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. Genetic and Biochemical Assays Reveal a Key Role for Replication Restart Proteins in Group II Intron Retrohoming

    PubMed Central

    Yao, Jun; Truong, David M.; Lambowitz, Alan M.

    2013-01-01

    Mobile group II introns retrohome by an RNP-based mechanism in which the intron RNA reverse splices into a DNA site and is reverse transcribed by the associated intron-encoded protein. The resulting intron cDNA is then integrated into the genome by cellular mechanisms that have remained unclear. Here, we used an Escherichia coli genetic screen and Taqman qPCR assay that mitigate indirect effects to identify host factors that function in retrohoming. We then analyzed mutants identified in these and previous genetic screens by using a new biochemical assay that combines group II intron RNPs with cellular extracts to reconstitute the complete retrohoming reaction in vitro. The genetic and biochemical analyses indicate a retrohoming pathway involving degradation of the intron RNA template by a host RNase H and second-strand DNA synthesis by the host replicative DNA polymerase. Our results reveal ATP-dependent steps in both cDNA and second-strand synthesis and a surprising role for replication restart proteins in initiating second-strand synthesis in the absence of DNA replication. We also find an unsuspected requirement for host factors in initiating reverse transcription and a new RNA degradation pathway that suppresses retrohoming. Key features of the retrohoming mechanism may be used by human LINEs and other non-LTR-retrotransposons, which are related evolutionarily to mobile group II introns. Our findings highlight a new role for replication restart proteins, which function not only to repair DNA damage caused by mobile element insertion, but have also been co-opted to become an integral part of the group II intron retrohoming mechanism. PMID:23637634

  5. A sensitive and facile assay for the measurement of activated protein C activity levels in vivo.

    PubMed

    Orthner, C L; Kolen, B; Drohan, W N

    1993-05-01

    Activated protein C (APC) is a serine protease which plays an important role as a naturally occurring antithrombotic enzyme. APC, which is formed by thrombin-catalyzed limited proteolysis of the zymogen protein C, functions as an anticoagulant by proteolytic inactivation of the coagulation cofactors VIIIa and Va: APC is inhibited by several members of the serpin family as well a by alpha 2-macroglobulin. APC is being developed as a therapeutic for the prevention and treatment of thrombosis. We have developed an assay to quantify circulating levels of enzymatically active APC during its administration to patients, in healthy individuals, and in various disease states. This assay utilizes an EDTA-dependent anti-protein C monoclonal antibody (Mab) 7D7B10 to capture both APC and protein C from plasma, prepared from blood collected in an anticoagulant supplemented with the reversible inhibitor p-aminobenzamidine. Mab 7D7B10-derivatized agarose beads are added to the wells of a 96-well filtration plate, equilibrated with Tris-buffered saline, and incubated for 10 min with 200 microliters of plasma. After washing, APC and protein C are eluted from the immunosorbent beads with a calcium-containing buffer into the wells of a 96-well microtiter plate containing antithrombin III (ATIII) and heparin. The amidolytic activity of APC is then measured on a kinetic plate reader following the addition of L-pyroglutamyl-L-prolyl-L-arginine-p-nitroanilide (S-2366) substrate. The rate of substrate hydrolysis was proportional to APC concentration over a 200-fold concentration range (5.0 to 1,000 ng/ml) when measured continuously over a 15 to 30 min time period.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

  6. Assessing Kinase Activity in Plants with In-Gel Kinase Assays.

    PubMed

    Wang, Pengcheng; Zhu, Jian-Kang

    2016-01-01

    The in-gel protein kinase assay is a powerful method to measure the protein phosphorylation activity of specific protein kinases. Any protein substrate can be embedded in polyacrylamide gels where they can be phosphorylated by protein kinases that are separated in the gel under denaturing conditions and then renatured. The kinase activity can be visualized in situ in the gels by autoradiography. This method has been used to compare the activities of protein kinases in parallel samples or to identify their potential substrates. Here, we describe in detail an in-gel kinase assay to measure the activity of some protein kinases in plants.

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

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. A novel prothrombin time assay for assessing the anticoagulant activity of oral factor Xa inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Yu Chen; Wang, Zhaoqing; Knabb, Robert M

    2013-09-01

    Conventional prothrombin time (PT) assays have limited sensitivity and dynamic range in monitoring the anticoagulant activity of direct factor Xa inhibitors. Hence, new assays are needed. We modified a PT assay by adding calcium chloride (CaCl2) to the thromboplastin reagent to increase assay dynamic range and improve sensitivity. Effects of calcium and sodium ion concentrations, and sample handling, were evaluated to optimize assay performance. Increasing concentrations of calcium ions produced progressive increases in PT across the factor Xa inhibitor concentrations of 0 to 2500 nmol/L for razaxaban and apixaban. The greatest effect was seen when the thromboplastin reagent was diluted 1:2.25 with 100 mmol/L CaCl2 (thus selected for routine use). The optimized assay showed an interassay precision of 1.5 to 9.3 percentage coefficient of variation (%CV) for razaxaban and 3.1 to 4.6 %CV for apixaban. We conclude that the modified PT assay is likely to be suitable as a pharmacodynamic marker for activity at therapeutic concentrations of factor Xa inhibitors.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. New immunocapture enzyme (ICE) assay for quantification of cancer procoagulant activity: studies of inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Mielicki, W P; Tagawa, M; Gordon, S G

    1994-04-01

    A new, sensitive and specific immunocapture enzyme (ICE) assay for quantitation of the enzymatic activity of cancer procoagulant (CP) has been developed. The assay had good reproducibility (inter- and intra-assay CV were 6.4% and 5.7% respectively) and was linear for concentrations of CP from 0.5 microgram/ml to 10 micrograms/ml (r2 = 0.995). Using this assay the inhibition of CP by iodoacetamide, mercuric chloride, E-64, leupeptin and antipain was demonstrated. There was no significant effect of cystatin and natural plasma proteinase inhibitors alpha 1-antitrypsin, alpha 1-antichymotrypsin, alpha 2-macroglobulin and antithrombin-III/heparin, on the activity of the CP.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  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. Heavy metal impurities impair the spectrophotometric assay of ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase activity.

    PubMed

    Walbot, V

    1977-01-01

    An inverse relationship between the concentration of ribose 5-phosphate and apparent ribulose bisphosphate carboxylase activity was observed. The Lilley-Walker assay spectrophotometric assay, in which the 3-phosphoglyceric acid-dependent oxidation of reduced pyridine nucleotide is measured, is shown to be highly sensitive to inhibition by heavy metals. Analysis of the purity of reagents showed that ribose 5-phosphate is often contaminated with lead in sufficient quantity to impair the assay. This noncompetitive inhibition by ribose 5-phosphate is independent of the competitive inhibition of this substrate as an ATP sink as described by Slabas and Walker. A method for checking reagent purity and removing heavy metal contaminants is described.

  19. 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

  20. 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.'

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  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 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

  8. 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.

  9. Determination of Pulmozyme (dornase alpha) stability using a kinetic colorimetric DNase I activity assay.

    PubMed

    Lichtinghagen, Ralf

    2006-07-01

    An enzymatic activity assay was developed for the determination of dornase alpha human recombinant desoxyribonuclease (DNase I) stability. The method was adapted from a colorimetric endpoint enzyme activity assay for DNase I based on the degradation of a DNA/methyl green complex. With the described modifications the kinetic measurement of enzyme activity is feasible on an automated analyzer system within a rather short time. The development of this assay was based on the need for reliable detection of a possible loss of enzyme activity after transferring the commercial therapeutic agent into sealed glass vials required for a placebo-controlled study. The measuring range of this stability test was from 0 to 3000 U/L corresponding to 0-120% of the original enzyme activity; CV values of control solutions inside the measuring range were between 3% and 5%. The enzyme activity decreased less than 15% during the observation period of 180 days. In conclusion the current kinetic assay is a reliable method for a simple time-saving determination of DNase I activity to test Pulmozyme stability as required for quality control. As dornase alpha is used for inhalation, this method also proved its reliability in testing DNase stability during aerosolization with new inhalation devices (e-flow). PMID:16682175

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Characterization of the DNA-binding activity of HIV-1 integrase using a filter binding assay.

    PubMed

    Haugan, I R; Nilsen, B M; Worland, S; Olsen, L; Helland, D E

    1995-12-26

    Based on the selective binding of proteins and DNA to distinct filter materials a double-layered dot blot radio assay was developed to evaluate the binding of DNA to HIV-1 integrase. In this assay the DNA-binding was found to be independent of Mn2+ concentration, inhibited by concentrations of Mg2+ above 5 mM, abolished by zinc chelation and inhibited by monoclonal antibodies reacting with either the N-terminal or C-terminal regions of integrase. Atomic absorption spectroscopy revealed the molar ratio between integrase and zinc to be close to 1. It is concluded that both the N-terminal and the C-terminal regions of integrase are involved in DNA-binding and that the reported double-layered dot blot radio assay is well suited for further characterization of the integrase.

  18. Chimeric RNA-DNA molecular beacon assay for ribonuclease H activity.

    PubMed

    Rizzo, J; Gifford, L K; Zhang, X; Gewirtz, A M; Lu, P

    2002-08-01

    Current methods to detect and assay ribonuclease H (RNase H) activity are indirect and time-consuming. Here we introduce a direct and sensitive method, based on the fluorescence quenching mechanism of molecular beacons, to assay RNA cleavage in RNA:DNA hybrids. An RNA-DNA chimeric beacon assay for RNase H enzymatic activity was developed. The substrate is a single-stranded RNA-DNA chimeric oligonucleotide labeled with a 5'-fluorescein and a 3'-DABCYL. The fluorophore (fluorescein) of the probe is held in close proximity to the quencher (DABCYL) by the RNA:DNA stem-loop structure. When the RNA sequence of the RNA:DNA hybrid stem is cleaved, the fluorophore is separated from the quencher and fluorescence can be detected as a function of time. Chimeric beacons with different stem lengths and sequences have been surveyed for this assay with E. coli RNase H. We found that the beacon kinetic parameters are in qualitative agreement with previously reported values using more cumbersome assays. This method permits real-time detection of RNase H activity and a convenient approach to RNase H kinetic and mechanistic study.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Mechanism of PTC124 activity in cell-based luciferase assays of nonsense codon suppression.

    PubMed

    Auld, Douglas S; Thorne, Natasha; Maguire, William F; Inglese, James

    2009-03-01

    High-throughput screening (HTS) assays used in drug discovery frequently use reporter enzymes such as firefly luciferase (FLuc) as indicators of target activity. An important caveat to consider, however, is that compounds can directly affect the reporter, leading to nonspecific but highly reproducible assay signal modulation. In rare cases, this activity appears counterintuitive; for example, some FLuc inhibitors, acting through posttranslational Fluc reporter stabilization, appear to activate gene expression. Previous efforts to characterize molecules that influence luciferase activity identified a subset of 3,5-diaryl-oxadiazole-containing compounds as FLuc inhibitors. Here, we evaluate a number of compounds with this structural motif for activity against FLuc. One such compound is PTC124 {3-[5-(2-fluorophenyl)-1,2,4-oxadiazol-3-yl]benzoic acid}, a molecule originally identified in a cell-based FLuc assay as having nonsense codon suppression activity [Welch EM, et al., Nature (2007) 447:87-91]. We find that the potency of FLuc inhibition for the tested compounds strictly correlates with their activity in a FLuc reporter cell-based nonsense codon assay, with PTC124 emerging as the most potent FLuc inhibitor (IC(50) = 7 +/- 1 nM). However, these compounds, including PTC124, fail to show nonsense codon suppression activity when Renilla reniformis luciferase (RLuc) is used as a reporter and are inactive against the RLuc enzyme. This suggests that the initial discovery of PTC124 may have been biased by its direct effect on the FLuc reporter, implicating firefly luciferase as a molecular target of PTC124. Our results demonstrate the value of understanding potential interactions between reporter enzymes and chemical compounds and emphasize the importance of implementing the appropriate control assays before interpreting HTS results.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. [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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. A chemiluminescent microtiter plate assay for sensitive detection of protein kinase activity.

    PubMed

    Lehel, C; Daniel-Issakani, S; Brasseur, M; Strulovici, B

    1997-01-15

    A chemiluminescent protein kinase assay using biotinylated substrate peptides captured on a streptavidin-coated microtiter plate and monoclonal antibodies to detect their phosphorylation is described. Assay conditions were optimized and validated for sensitive measurement of protein kinase A, protein kinase C, Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CAM-KII), receptor interacting protein, and src activities. The newly developed chemiluminescent assay has several advantages over currently used radioactive or colorimetric methods. It is highly sensitive at low enzyme and substrate concentrations and high, close to physiological ATP levels. It is fast, simple to perform and amenable to automation and high-throughput drug screening. The assay is also robust, exhibiting minimum interference from solvents and test substances from various sources. Overall, among the presently available methods for the detection of protein kinase activity, chemiluminescence was found to provide the highest sensitivity under conditions most closely mimicking the intracellular environment. This assay is expected to be useful in both academic and industrial laboratories, especially in identifying novel classes of protein kinase inhibitors.

  10. 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

  11. A fluorescence-based assay to monitor transcriptional activity of NFAT in living cells.

    PubMed

    Rinne, Andreas; Blatter, Lothar A

    2010-09-01

    Ca(2+)-sensitive NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T-cells) transcription factors are implicated in many pathophysiological processes in different cell types. The precise control of activation varies with NFAT isoform and cell type. Here we present feasibility of an in vivo assay (NFAT-RFP) that reports transcriptional activity of NFAT via expression of red fluorescent protein (RFP) in individual cells. This new tool allows continuous monitoring of transcriptional activity of NFAT in a physiological context in living cells. Furthermore, NFAT-RFP can be used simultaneously with NFAT-GFP fusion proteins to monitor transcriptional activity and subcellular localization of NFAT in the same cell.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. A chip-based assay for botulinum neurotoxin A activity in pharmaceutical preparations.

    PubMed

    Lévêque, Christian; Ferracci, Géraldine; Maulet, Yves; Grand-Masson, Chloé; Seagar, Michael; El Far, Oussama

    2015-05-01

    The production of botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) for therapeutic and cosmetic applications requires precise determination of batch potency, and the enzymatic activity of BoNT/A light chain is a crucial index that can be measured in vitro. We previously established a SNAP-25 chip-based assay using surface plasmon resonance (SPR) that is more sensitive than the standard mouse bioassay for the quantification of BoNT/A activity. We have now adapted this procedure for pharmaceutical preparations. The optimized SPR assay allowed multiple measurements on a single chip, including the kinetics of substrate cleavage. The activity of five different batches of a pharmaceutical BoNT/A preparation was determined in a blind study by SPR and found to be in agreement with data from the in vivo mouse lethality assay. Biosensor detection of specific proteolytic products has the potential to accurately monitor the activity of pharmaceutical BoNT/A preparations, and a single chip can be used to assay more than 100 samples.

  16. A specific mechanism for nonspecific activation in reporter-gene assays.

    PubMed

    Auld, Douglas S; Thorne, Natasha; Nguyen, Dac-Trung; Inglese, James

    2008-08-15

    The importance of bioluminescence in enabling a broad range of high-throughput screening (HTS) assay formats is evidenced by widespread use in industry and academia. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms by which reporter enzyme activity can be modulated by small molecules is critical to the interpretation of HTS data. In this Perspective, we provide evidence for stabilization of luciferase by inhibitors in cell-based luciferase reporter-gene assays resulting in the counterintuitive phenomenon of signal activation. These data were derived from our analysis of luciferase inhibitor compound structures and their prevalence in the Molecular Libraries Small Molecule Repository using 100 HTS experiments available in PubChem. Accordingly, we found an enrichment of luciferase inhibitors in luciferase reporter-gene activation assays but not in assays using other reporters. In addition, for several luciferase inhibitor chemotypes, we measured reporter stabilization and signal activation in cells that paralleled the inhibition determined using purified luciferase to provide further experimental support for these contrasting effects.

  17. 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.

  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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. HPLC-MTT assay: anticancer activity of aqueous garlic extract is from allicin.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jenny; Gupta, Shalini; Huang, Jin-Sheng; Jayathilaka, Lasanthi P; Lee, Bao-Shiang

    2013-05-15

    A strategy using reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), thin layer chromatography (TLC), mass spectrometry (MS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), chemical synthesis, and MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) cell viability assay to identify allicin as the active anticancer compound in aqueous garlic extract (AGE) is described. Changing the pH of AGE from 7.0 to 5.0 eliminated interfering molecules and enabled a clean HPLC separation of the constituents in AGE. MTT assay of the HPLC fractions identified an active fraction. Further analysis by TLC, MS, and NMR verified the active HPLC fraction as allicin. Chemically synthesized allicin was used to provide further confirmation. The results clearly identify the active compound in AGE as allicin.

  2. 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

  3. Estimation of specific activity of 177Lu by 'saturation assay' principle using DOTA as ligand.

    PubMed

    Pillai, Ambikalmajan M R; Chakraborty, Sudipta; Das, Tapas

    2015-01-01

    Lutetium-177 is a widely used therapeutic radionuclide in targeted therapy and it is important to know its specific activity at the time of radiopharmaceutical preparation, especially for radiolabeling peptides. However, there are no direct methods for the experimental determination of the specific activity which can be readily applied in a hospital radiopharmacy. A new technique based on the 'saturation assay' principle using DOTA as the binding agent for the estimation of specific activity of (177)Lu is reported. The studies demonstrate the proof of principle of this new assay technique. The method is general and can be modified and applied for the estimation of specific activity of other metallic radionuclides by using DOTA or other suitable chelating agents.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Capability and limitation study of the DDT passive-active neutron waste assay instrument

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholas, N.J.; Coop, K.L.; Estep, R.J.

    1992-05-01

    The differential-dieaway-technique passive-active neutron assay system is widely used by transuranic waste generators to certify their drummed waste for eventual shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Stricter criteria being established for waste emplacement at the WIPP site has led to a renewed interest in improvements to and a better understanding of current nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques. Our study includes the effects of source position, extreme matrices, high neutron backgrounds, and source self-shielding to explore the system`s capabilities and limitations and to establish a basis for comparison with other NDA systems. 11 refs.

  6. Capability and limitation study of the DDT passive-active neutron waste assay instrument

    SciTech Connect

    Nicholas, N.J.; Coop, K.L.; Estep, R.J.

    1992-05-01

    The differential-dieaway-technique passive-active neutron assay system is widely used by transuranic waste generators to certify their drummed waste for eventual shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Stricter criteria being established for waste emplacement at the WIPP site has led to a renewed interest in improvements to and a better understanding of current nondestructive assay (NDA) techniques. Our study includes the effects of source position, extreme matrices, high neutron backgrounds, and source self-shielding to explore the system's capabilities and limitations and to establish a basis for comparison with other NDA systems. 11 refs.

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  9. A New Schizosaccharomyces pombe Chronological Lifespan Assay Reveals that Caloric Restriction Promotes Efficient Cell Cycle Exit and Extends Longevity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Bo-Ruei; Runge, Kurt W.

    2009-01-01

    We describe a new chronological lifespan (CLS) assay for the yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Yeast CLS assays monitor the loss of cell viability in a culture over time, and this new assay shows a continuous decline in viability without detectable regrowth until all cells in the culture are dead. Thus, the survival curve is not altered by the generation of mutants that can grow during the experiments, and one can monitor the entire lifespan of a strain until the number of viable cells has decreased over 106-fold. This CLS assay recapitulates the evolutionarily conserved features of lifespan shortening by over nutrition, lifespan extension by caloric restriction, increased stress resistance of calorically restricted cells and lifespan control by the AKT kinases. Both S. pombe AKT kinase orthologs regulate CLS: loss of sck1+ extended lifespan in over nutrition conditions, loss of sck2+ extended lifespan under both normal and over nutrition conditions, and loss of both genes showed that sck1+ and sck2+ control different longevity pathways. The longest-lived S. pombe cells showed the most efficient cell cycle exit, demonstrating that caloric restriction links these two processes. This new S. pombe CLS assay will provide a valuable tool for aging research. PMID:19409973

  10. 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

  11. Development and validation of an assay for urinary tissue factor activity.

    PubMed Central

    Lwaleed, B A; Chisholm, M; Francis, J L

    1999-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Activation of blood coagulation is a common complication of cancer and inflammation in both humans and experimental animals. Increased production of tissue factor--the principal initiator of the coagulation process--by endothelial cells, monocytes, and macrophages has been implicated in these conditions. AIM: To investigate whether urinary tissue factor (uTF) might reflect the state of monocyte/macrophage activation and be a useful diagnostic test. METHODS: Urine was centrifuged at 51,000 g to sediment tissue factor containing membrane vesicles. The tissue factor was then solubilised in beta-octyl-glucopyranoside and assayed in a specific chromogenic assay adapted for use in microtitre plates. RESULTS: The assay proved to be sensitive, specific, and reproducible. The normal range of uTF was relatively narrow and unaffected by age, sex, or cigarette smoking. Levels were not significantly influenced by storage of urine samples before assay or by the presence of fresh blood in the urine sample. CONCLUSIONS: This method may have diagnostic application in the study of haemostatic activation in patients with cancer and other disease states. Images PMID:10450183

  12. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Zanardi, Ilaria; Zifarelli, Giovanni; Pusch, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Osteoporosis, characterized by excessive osteoclast mediated bone resorption, affects millions of people worldwide representing a major public health problem. ClC-7 is a chloride-proton exchanger localized in lysosomes and in the resorption lacuna in osteoclasts where it is essential for bone resorption. Thus, drugs targeted at ClC-7 have been proposed for ameliorating osteoporosis. However, functional assays suited for high throughput screening (HTS) of ClC-7 function are lacking. Here we describe two complementary variants of purely optical assays of the transport activity of ClC-7, redirected to the plasma membrane employing a genetically encoded fluorescent Cl−/pH indicator fused to the ClC-7 protein. These simple and robust functional assays of ClC-7 transport are well-suited to be applied in HTS of small-molecule inhibitors and may help to develop drugs suited for the treatment of osteoporosis. PMID:23390581

  14. In vitro activity assays for MYST histone acetyltransferases and adaptation for high-throughput inhibitor screening

    PubMed Central

    McCullough, Cheryl E.; Marmorstein, Ronen

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation is a post-translational modification that is carried out by acetyltransferases. The MYST proteins form the largest and most diverse family of acetyltransferases, which regulate gene expression, DNA repair, and cell cycle homeostasis, among other activities, by acetylating both histone and non-histone proteins. This chapter will describe methods for the preparation and biochemical characterization of MYST family acetyltransferases, including protocols for the preparation of recombinant protein, enzyme assays for measuring steady state parameters and binding assays to measure cofactor and inhibitor binding. We also provide details on adapting these assays for high throughput screening for small molecule MYST inhibitors. This chapter seeks to prepare researchers for some hurdles that they may encounter when studying the MYST proteins so that there may be better opportunity to plan appropriate controls and obtain high quality data. PMID:27372752

  15. A Cell Surface Biotinylation Assay to Reveal Membrane-associated Neuronal Cues: Negr1 Regulates Dendritic Arborization*

    PubMed Central

    Pischedda, Francesca; Szczurkowska, Joanna; Cirnaru, Maria Daniela; Giesert, Florian; Vezzoli, Elena; Ueffing, Marius; Sala, Carlo; Francolini, Maura; Hauck, Stefanie M.; Cancedda, Laura; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-01-01

    A complex and still not comprehensively resolved panel of transmembrane proteins regulates the outgrowth and the subsequent morphological and functional development of neuronal processes. In order to gain a more detailed description of these events at the molecular level, we have developed a cell surface biotinylation assay to isolate, detect, and quantify neuronal membrane proteins. When we applied our assay to investigate neuron maturation in vitro, we identified 439 differentially expressed proteins, including 20 members of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Among these candidates, we focused on Negr1, a poorly described cell adhesion molecule. We demonstrated that Negr1 controls the development of neurite arborization in vitro and in vivo. Given the tight correlation existing among synaptic cell adhesion molecules, neuron maturation, and a number of neurological disorders, our assay results are a useful tool that can be used to support the understanding of the molecular bases of physiological and pathological brain function. PMID:24382801

  16. A cell surface biotinylation assay to reveal membrane-associated neuronal cues: Negr1 regulates dendritic arborization.

    PubMed

    Pischedda, Francesca; Szczurkowska, Joanna; Cirnaru, Maria Daniela; Giesert, Florian; Vezzoli, Elena; Ueffing, Marius; Sala, Carlo; Francolini, Maura; Hauck, Stefanie M; Cancedda, Laura; Piccoli, Giovanni

    2014-03-01

    A complex and still not comprehensively resolved panel of transmembrane proteins regulates the outgrowth and the subsequent morphological and functional development of neuronal processes. In order to gain a more detailed description of these events at the molecular level, we have developed a cell surface biotinylation assay to isolate, detect, and quantify neuronal membrane proteins. When we applied our assay to investigate neuron maturation in vitro, we identified 439 differentially expressed proteins, including 20 members of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Among these candidates, we focused on Negr1, a poorly described cell adhesion molecule. We demonstrated that Negr1 controls the development of neurite arborization in vitro and in vivo. Given the tight correlation existing among synaptic cell adhesion molecules, neuron maturation, and a number of neurological disorders, our assay results are a useful tool that can be used to support the understanding of the molecular bases of physiological and pathological brain function.

  17. 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

  18. Transactivation and Coactivator Recruitment Assays for Measuring Farnesoid X Receptor Activity.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chia-Wen Amy; Zhao, Jinghua; Xia, Menghang

    2016-01-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor responsible for homeostasis of bile acids, lipids, and glucose. Compounds that alter endogenous FXR signaling can be used as therapeutic candidates or identified as potentially hazardous compounds depending on exposure doses and health states. Therefore, there is an increasing need for high-throughput screening assays of FXR activity to profile large numbers of environmental chemicals and drugs. This chapter describes a workflow of FXR modulator identification and characterization. To identify compounds that modulate FXR transactivation at the cellular level, we first screen compounds from the Tox21 10 K compound library in an FXR-driven beta-lactamase reporter gene assay multiplexed with a cell viability assay in the same well of the 1536-well plates. The selected compounds are then tested biochemically for their ability to modulate FXR-coactivator binding interactions using a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) coactivator assay. The assay results from the workflow can be used to prioritize compounds for more extensive investigations. PMID:27518622

  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

    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

  1. Direct assay of glutathione peroxidase activity using high-performance capillary electrophoresis.

    PubMed

    Pascual, P; Martinez-Lara, E; Bárcena, J A; López-Barea, J; Toribio, F

    1992-10-01

    A fast, sensitive and direct method has been developed for the determination of glutathione peroxidase activity (both selenium- and non-selenium-dependent) in cell-free preparations. The assay is based on the separation and quantitation of reduced and oxidized glutathione by capillary electrophoresis. The electrophoretic separation buffer was 100 mM sodium tetraborate (pH 8.2) containing 100 mM sodium dodecylsulphate. A micellar electrokinetic mechanism took place under these conditions, and a total mass recovery was observed for both peptides. The reproducibility of migration times was excellent (less than 3% variability). A linear detector response range was observed in the range 5-50 U/ml, and both the reproducibility and accuracy were satisfied. Samples out of this linear range could be analysed by either increasing the reaction time or diluting the enzyme preparation. The results obtained with the new direct capillary electrophoresis assay were compared with those derived from a reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatographic and spectrophotometric coupled assay. A very good agreement was found between the two direct assay methods in all samples. Capillary electrophoresis is a versatile technique that allows the automation of the glutathione peroxidase assay in a reproducible manner and within a relatively short time with sufficient accuracy and precision. PMID:1430007

  2. Transactivation and Coactivator Recruitment Assays for Measuring Farnesoid X Receptor Activity.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Chia-Wen Amy; Zhao, Jinghua; Xia, Menghang

    2016-01-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor responsible for homeostasis of bile acids, lipids, and glucose. Compounds that alter endogenous FXR signaling can be used as therapeutic candidates or identified as potentially hazardous compounds depending on exposure doses and health states. Therefore, there is an increasing need for high-throughput screening assays of FXR activity to profile large numbers of environmental chemicals and drugs. This chapter describes a workflow of FXR modulator identification and characterization. To identify compounds that modulate FXR transactivation at the cellular level, we first screen compounds from the Tox21 10 K compound library in an FXR-driven beta-lactamase reporter gene assay multiplexed with a cell viability assay in the same well of the 1536-well plates. The selected compounds are then tested biochemically for their ability to modulate FXR-coactivator binding interactions using a time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) coactivator assay. The assay results from the workflow can be used to prioritize compounds for more extensive investigations.

  3. 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. PMID:27610220

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Complementary non-radioactive assays for investigation of human flap endonuclease 1 activity

    PubMed Central

    Dorjsuren, Dorjbal; Kim, Daemyung; Maloney, David J.; Wilson, David M.; Simeonov, Anton

    2011-01-01

    FEN1, a key participant in DNA replication and repair, is the major human flap endonuclease that recognizes and cleaves flap DNA structures. Deficiencies in FEN1 function or deletion of the fen1 gene have profound biological effects, including the suppression of repair of DNA damage incurred from the action of various genotoxic agents. Given the importance of FEN1 in resolving abnormal DNA structures, inhibitors of the enzyme carry a potential as enhancers of DNA-interactive anticancer drugs. To facilitate the studies of FEN1 activity and the search for novel inhibitors, we developed a pair of complementary-readout homogeneous assays utilizing fluorogenic donor/quencher and AlphaScreen chemiluminescence strategies. A previously reported FEN1 inhibitor 3-hydroxy-5-methyl-1-phenylthieno[2,3-d]pyrimidine-2,4(1H,3H)-dione displayed equal potency in the new assays, in agreement with its published IC50. The assays were optimized to a low 4 µl volume and used to investigate a set of small molecules, leading to the identification of previously-unreported FEN1 inhibitors, among which aurintricarboxylic acid and NSC-13755 (an arylstibonic derivative) displayed submicromolar potency (average IC50 of 0.59 and 0.93 µM, respectively). The availability of these simple complementary assays obviates the need for undesirable radiotracer-based assays and should facilitate efforts to develop novel inhibitors for this key biological target. PMID:21062821

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-11

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Kojima-Aikawa, Kyoko

    2014-01-01

    Various enzyme-conjugated probes have been widely used for detection of specific interactions between biomolecules. In the case of glycan-protein interaction, horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-conjugated glycoproteins (HRP-GPs) are useful for the detection of carbohydrate-binding activity of plant and animal lectins. In this chapter, a typical solid-phase assay of the carbohydrate-binding activity of Sophora japonica agglutinin I, a Gal/GalNAc-specific lectin, using HRP-conjugated asialofetuin is described. HRP-GPs are versatile tools for probing lectin activities in crude extracts, screening many samples at one time, and applicable not only for solid-phase binding assays but also samples which are dot- or Western-blotted onto the membrane. PMID:25117228

  10. 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.

  11. Considerations for an active and passive scanner to assay nuclear waste drums

    SciTech Connect

    Martz, H.E.; Azevedo, S.G.; Roberson, G.P.; Schneberk, D.J.; Koenig, Z.M.; Camp, D.C. )

    1990-06-08

    Radioactive wastes are generated at many DOE laboratories, military facilities, fuel fabrication and enrichment plants, reactors, hospitals, and university research facilities. At all of these sites, wastes must be separated, packaged, categorized, and packed into some sort of container--usually 208-L (55-gal) drums--for shipment to waste-storage sites. Prior to shipment, the containers must be labeled, assayed, and certified; the assay value determines the ultimate disposition of the waste containers. An accurate nondestructive assay (NDA) method would identify all the radioisotopes present and provide a quantitative measurement of their activity in the drum. In this way, waste containers could be routed in the most cost-effective manner and without having to reopen them. Currently, the most common gamma-ray method used to assay nuclear waste drums is segmented gamma-ray scanning (SGS) spectrometer that crudely measures only the amount of {sup 235}U or {sup 239}Pu present in the drum. This method uses a spatially-averaged, integrated, emitted gamma-ray-intensity value. The emitted intensity value is corrected by an assumed constant-attenuation value determined by a spatially-averaged, transmission (or active) measurement. Unfortunately, this typically results in an inaccurate determination of the radioactive activities within a waste drum because this measurement technique is valid only for homogeneous-attenuation or known drum matrices. However, since homogeneous-attenuation matrices are not common and may be unknown, other NDA techniques based on active and Passive CT (A PCT) are under development. The active measurement (ACT) yields a better attenuation matrix for the drum, while the passive measurement (PCT) more accurately determines the identity of the radioisotopes present and their activities. 9 refs., 2 figs.

  12. Thiopurine methyl transferase activity: new extraction conditions for high-performance liquid chromatographic assay.

    PubMed

    Ganiere-Monteil, C; Pineau, A; Kergueris, M F; Azoulay, C; Bourin, M

    1999-04-30

    A new liquid-liquid extraction is described for thiopurine methyl transferase (TPMT, EC 2.1.1.67) activity determination: the use of a pH 9.5 NH4Cl buffer solution, before adding the solvent mixture, allows more rapid extraction, avoiding a centrifugation step, and reduces the global cost of analysis. After the extraction step, 6-methylmercaptopurine, synthesised during the enzymatic reaction, is determined by a liquid chromatographic assay. Analytical performance of the assay was tested on spiked erythrocyte lysates. The linear concentration range was 5-250 ng ml(-1) (r> or =0.997, slope=1.497, intercept=-0.367). The recoveries were 82.8, 89.9 and 82.2% for 75, 125 and 225 ng ml(-1), respectively. The coefficients of variation were < or =6.1% for within-day assay (n=6) and < or =9.5% for between-day assay precision (n=6; 14 days). TPMT activity was determined in a French adult Caucasian population (7 =70). The results ranged from 7.8 to 27.8 nmol h(-1) ml(-1) packed red blood cells and the frequency distribution histogram is similar to that previously published.

  13. Nuclear protein accumulation in cellular senescence and organismal aging revealed with a novel single-cell resolution fluorescence microscopy assay

    PubMed Central

    De Cecco, Marco; Jeyapalan, Jessie; Zhao, Xiaoai; Tamamori-Adachi, Mimi; Sedivy, John M.

    2011-01-01

    Replicative cellular senescence was discovered some 50 years ago. The phenotypes of senescent cells have been investigated extensively in cell culture, and found to affect essentially all aspects of cellular physiology. The relevance of cellular senescence in the context of age-associated pathologies as well as normal aging is a topic of active and ongoing interest. Considerable effort has been devoted to biomarker discovery to enable the microscopic detection of single senescent cells in tissues. One characteristic of senescent cells documented very early in cell culture studies was an increase in cell size and total protein content, but whether this occurs in vivo is not known. A limiting factor for studies of protein content and localization has been the lack of suitable fluorescence microscopy tools. We have developed an easy and flexible method, based on the merocyanine dye known as NanoOrange, to visualize and quantitatively measure total protein levels by high resolution fluorescence microscopy. NanoOrange staining can be combined with antibody-based immunofluorescence, thus providing both specific target and total protein information in the same specimen. These methods are optimally combined with automated image analysis platforms for high throughput analysis. We document here increasing protein content and density in nuclei of senescent human and mouse fibroblasts in vitro, and in liver nuclei of aged mice in vivo. Additionally, in aged liver nuclei NanoOrange revealed protein-dense foci that colocalize with centromeric heterochromatin. PMID:22006542

  14. 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.

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  17. 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

  18. Electrochemical cells for voltammetry, coulometry, and protein activity assays of small-volume biological samples.

    PubMed

    Feldman, B J; Gheller, S F; Bailey, G F; Newton, W E; Schultz, F A

    1990-02-15

    Cell designs, experimental protocols, and results for electrochemical investigation of small quantitites of biological materials under anaerobic conditions are reported. Three types of electrochemical experiments are considered: (i) cyclic voltammetry of 20- to 100-microliters samples; (ii) direct coulometry of 0.5- to 1.5-ml samples; and (iii) an electrochemically initiated protein activity assay which includes provision for analysis of gaseous reaction products and correlation with electron flux. The first two procedures are illustrated by measurement of the formal electrode potential (E0') and number of electrons transferred (n) in redox reactions of small quantities of biological and inorganic materials. The third procedure is illustrated by assaying the activity of the MoFe protein plus Fe protein complex from Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase for reduction of C2H2 to C2H4.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    We describe a rapid assay for measuring the cellular activity of small GTPases in response to a specific stimulus. Effector functionalized beads are used to quantify in parallel multiple, GTP-bound GTPases in the same cell lysate by flow cytometry. In a biologically relevant example, five different Ras family GTPases are shown for the first time to be involved in a concerted signaling cascade downstream of receptor ligation by Sin Nombre hantavirus. PMID:23928044

  1. Gold nanorods-based FRET assay for ultrasensitive detection of DNA methylation and DNA methyltransferase activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Gang Lin; Luo, Hong Qun; Li, Nian Bing

    2014-09-21

    A fluorescence method for the detection of DNA methylation and the assay of methyltransferase activity is proposed using gold nanorods as a fluorescence quencher on the basis of fluorescence resonance energy transfer. It is demonstrated that this method is capable of detecting methyltransferase with a detection limit of 0.25 U mL(-1), which might make this method a good candidate for monitoring DNA methylation in the future. PMID:25028809

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-10

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-10

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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).

  13. Progress in high-throughput assays of MGMT and APE1 activities in cell extracts.

    PubMed

    Georgiadis, Panagiotis; Polychronaki, Nektaria; Kyrtopoulos, Soterios A

    2012-08-01

    DNA repair activity is of interest as a potential biomarker of individual susceptibility to genotoxic agents. In view of the current trend for exploitation of large cohorts in molecular epidemiology projects, there is a pressing need for the development of phenotypic DNA repair assays that are high-throughput, very sensitive, inexpensive and reliable. Towards this goal we have developed and validated two phenotypic assays for the measurement of two DNA repair enzymes in cell extracts: (1) O(6)-methylguanine-DNA-methyltransferase (MGMT), which repairs the O(6)-alkylguanine-type of adducts induced in DNA by alkylating genotoxins; and (2) apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE 1), which participates in base excision repair (BER) by causing a rate-limiting DNA strand cleavage 5' to the abasic sites. The MGMT assay makes use of the fact that: (a) the enzyme works by irreversibly transferring the alkyl group from the O(6) position of guanine to a cystein residue in its active site and thereby becomes inactivated and (b) that the free base O(6)-benzylguanine (BG) is a very good substrate for MGMT. In the new assay, cell extracts are incubated with BG tagged with biotin and the resulting MGMT-BG-biotin complex is immobilized on anti-MGMT-coated microtiter plates, followed by quantitation using streptavidin-conjugated alkaline phosphatase and a chemiluminescence-producing substrate. A one-step/one-tube phenotypic assay for APE1 activity has been developed based on the use of a fluorescent molecular beacon (partially self-complementary oligonucleotide with a hairpin-loop structure carrying a fluorophore and a quencher at each end). It also contains a single tetrahydrofuran residue (THF) which is recognized and cleaved by APE1, and the subsequently formed single-stranded oligomer becomes a fluorescence signal emitter. Both assays are highly sensitive, require very small amounts of protein extracts, are relatively inexpensive and can be easily automated. They have been

  14. [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

  15. "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.

  16. "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

  17. Development of a QPatch Automated Electrophysiology Assay for Identifying KCa3.1 Inhibitors and Activators

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Abstract The intermediate-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel KCa3.1 (also known as KCNN4, IK1, or the Gárdos channel) plays an important role in the activation of T and B cells, mast cells, macrophages, and microglia by regulating membrane potential, cellular volume, and calcium signaling. KCa3.1 is further involved in the proliferation of dedifferentiated vascular smooth muscle cells and fibroblast and endothelium-derived hyperpolarization responses in the vascular endothelium. Accordingly, KCa3.1 inhibitors are therapeutically interesting as immunosuppressants and for the treatment of a wide range of fibroproliferative disorders, whereas KCa3.1 activators constitute a potential new class of endothelial function preserving antihypertensives. Here, we report the development of QPatch assays for both KCa3.1 inhibitors and activators. During assay optimization, the Ca2+ sensitivity of KCa3.1 was studied using varying intracellular Ca2+ concentrations. A free Ca2+ concentration of 1 μM was chosen to optimally test inhibitors. To identify activators, which generally act as positive gating modulators, a lower Ca2+ concentration (∼200 nM) was used. The QPatch results were benchmarked against manual patch-clamp electrophysiology by determining the potency of several commonly used KCa3.1 inhibitors (TRAM-34, NS6180, ChTX) and activators (EBIO, riluzole, SKA-31). Collectively, our results demonstrate that the QPatch provides a comparable but much faster approach to study compound interactions with KCa3.1 channels in a robust and reliable assay. PMID:24351043

  18. 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.

  19. An easy-to-perform photometric assay for methyltransferase activity measurements.

    PubMed

    Schäberle, Till F; Siba, Christian; Höver, Thomas; König, Gabriele M

    2013-01-01

    Methyltransferases (MTs) catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) to a suitable substrate. Such methylations are important modifications in secondary metabolisms, especially on natural products produced by polyketide synthases and nonribosomal peptide synthetases, many of which are of special interest due to their prominent pharmacological activities (e.g., lovastatin, cyclosporin). To gain basic biochemical knowledge on the methylation process, it is of immense relevance to simplify methods concerning experimental problems caused by a large variety in substrates. Here, we present a photometric method to analyze MT activity by measuring SAM consumption in a coupled enzyme assay.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-05-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Slattery, Scott D; Hahn, Klaus M

    2014-12-01

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

  2. A continuous assay for foot-and-mouth disease virus 3C protease activity.

    PubMed

    Jaulent, Agnès M; Fahy, Aodhnait S; Knox, Stephen R; Birtley, James R; Roqué-Rosell, Núria; Curry, Stephen; Leatherbarrow, Robin J

    2007-09-15

    Foot-and-mouth disease virus is a highly contagious pathogen that spreads rapidly among livestock and is capable of causing widespread agricultural and economic devastation. The virus genome is translated to produce a single polypeptide chain that subsequently is cleaved by viral proteases into mature protein products, with one protease, 3C(pro), carrying out the majority of the cleavages. The highly conserved nature of this protease across different viral strains and its crucial role in viral maturation and replication make it a very desirable target for inhibitor design. However, the lack of a convenient and high-throughput assay has been a hindrance in the characterization of potential inhibitors. In this article, we report the development of a continuous assay with potential for high throughput using fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based peptide substrates. Several peptide substrates containing the 3C-specific cleavage site were synthesized, varying both the positions and separation of the fluorescent donor and quencher groups. The best substrate, with a specificity constant k(cat)/K(M) of 57.6+/-2.0M(-1) s(-1), was used in inhibition assays to further characterize the protease's activity against a range of commercially available inhibitors. The inhibition profile of the enzyme showed characteristics of both cysteine and serine proteases, with the chymotrypsin inhibitor TPCK giving stoichiometric inhibition of the enzyme and allowing active site titration of the 3C(pro).

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Development of a protease activity assay using heat-sensitive Tus-GFP fusion protein substrates.

    PubMed

    Askin, Samuel P; Morin, Isabelle; Schaeffer, Patrick M

    2011-08-15

    Proteases are implicated in various diseases and several have been identified as potential drug targets or biomarkers. As a result, protease activity assays that can be performed in high throughput are essential for the screening of inhibitors in drug discovery programs. Here we describe the development of a simple, general method for the characterization of protease activity and its use for inhibitor screening. GFP was genetically fused to a comparatively unstable Tus protein through an interdomain linker containing a specially designed protease site, which can be proteolyzed. When this Tus-GFP fusion protein substrate is proteolyzed it releases GFP, which remains in solution after a short heat denaturation and centrifugation step used to eliminate uncleaved Tus-GFP. Thus, the increase in GFP fluorescence is directly proportional to protease activity. We validated the protease activity assay with three different proteases, i.e., trypsin, caspase 3, and neutrophil elastase, and demonstrated that it can be used to determine protease activity and the effect of inhibitors with small sample volumes in just a few simple steps using a fluorescence plate reader.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. A high-throughput assay for modulators of NNT activity in permeabilized yeast cells.

    PubMed

    Meadows, Nicholas A; Saxty, Barbara; Albury, Mary S; Kettleborough, Catherine A; Ashcroft, Frances M; Moore, Anthony L; Cox, Roger D

    2011-08-01

    Nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (NNT) mutant mice show glucose intolerance with impaired insulin secretion during glucose tolerance tests. Uncoupling of the β cell mitochondrial metabolism due to such mutations makes NNT a novel target for therapeutics in the treatment of pathologies such as type 2 diabetes. The authors propose that increasing NNT activity would help reduce deleterious buildup of reactive oxygen species in the inner mitochondrial matrix. They have expressed human Nnt cDNA for the first time in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and transhydrogenase activity in mitochondria isolated from these cells is six times greater than is seen in wild-type mitochondria. The same mitochondria have partially uncoupled respiration, and the cells have slower growth rates compared to cells that do not express NNT. The authors have used NNT's role as a redox-driven proton pump to develop a robust fluorimetric assay in permeabilized yeast. Screening in parallel a library of known pharmacologically active compounds (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke collection) against NNT ± cells, they demonstrate a robust and reproducible assay suitable for expansion into larger and more diverse compound sets. The identification of NNT activators may help in the elucidation of the role of NNT in mammalian cells and assessing its potential as a therapeutic target for insulin secretion disorders.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  13. Hepatitis C Virus Heteroduplex Tracking Assay for Genotype Determination Reveals Diverging Genotype 2 Isolates in Italian Hemodialysis Patients

    PubMed Central

    Calvo, Pier Luigi; Kansopon, Joe; Sra, Kuldip; Quan, Stella; DiNello, Robert; Guaschino, Roberto; Calabrese, Giovanni; Danielle, Franca; Brunetto, Mauizia Rossana; Bonino, Ferruccio; Massaro, Anna Lucia; Polito, Alan; Houghton, Michael; Weiner, Amy J.

    1998-01-01

    A heteroduplex tracking assay (HTA) was developed for genetic analyses of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) using single-stranded probes from the core (C)/E1 region. Nucleotide sequencing of reverse transcriptase (RT)-PCR products from 15 Italian dialysis patients confirmed the specificity and accuracy of the HTA genotyping method, which identified 5 of 15 (33.3%) 1b, 7 of 15 (46.7%) 3a, and 3 of 15 (20%) type 2 infections. The genotypes of an additional 12 HCV antibody-positive blood donors from different geographical locations were also in agreement with the genotypes determined by the Inno-LiPA HCV II kit (Innogenetics) and/or restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Isolates which had between 35 to 40% nucleotide divergence from control subtype 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, or 3a standards could be typed. Surprisingly, HTA detected one 1b-2 coinfection which was missed by DNA sequencing. Three samples that were designated non-2a or 2b type 2 by HTA were found to be type 2a by both RFLP and direct nucleotide sequencing of the 5′ untranslated region. The genetic distance between patient type 2 and control 2a, 2b, and 2c isolates indicated that a new subtype was present in the population being studied. Serotyping (RIBA serotyping strip immunoblot assay kit) of 23 dialysis patients showed that the genotype could be determined in 6 of 8 (75%) C/E1 RT-PCR-negative and 15 of 23 (65.2%) RT-PCR-positive samples, indicating that the two tests complement each other. PMID:9431953

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2009-12-01

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

  19. The antioxidant activity of sulphurous thermal water protects against oxidative DNA damage: a comet assay investigation.

    PubMed

    Braga, P C; Ceci, C; Marabini, L; Nappi, G

    2013-04-01

    Various studies have recently shown that sulphurous waters acts against the oxidants released during respiratory bursts of human neutrophils, and free radicals such as HO•, O2¯•, Tempol and Fremy's salt. However, there is still a lack of data concerning their direct protection of DNA. The aim of this study was to investigate the antigenotoxicity effects of sulphurous water, which has never been previously investigated for this purpose, using the alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE) approach (comet assay). The comet assay is a sensitive method for assessing DNA fragmentation in individual cells in genotoxicity studies but can also be used to investigate the activity of agents that protect against DNA damage. The extent of migration was measured by means of SCGE, and DNA damage was expressed as tail moment. All of these assays were made using natural sulphurous water, degassed sulphurous water (no detectable HS), and reconstituted sulphurous water (degassed plus NaHS). DNA damages was significantly inhibited by natural water with HS concentrations of 5.0 and 2.5 μg/mL. The use of degassed water did not lead to any significant differences from baseline values, whereas the reconstituted water led to significant results overlapping those obtained using natural water. These findings confirm the importance of the presence of an HS group (reductive activity) and indicate that, in addition to their known mucolytic activity and trophic effects on respiratory mucosa, HS groups in sulphurous water also protect against oxidative DNA damage and contribute to the water's therapeutic effects on upper and lower airway inflammatory diseases.

  20. Utility of an appropriate reporter assay: Heliotrine interferes with GAL4/upstream activation sequence-driven reporter gene systems.

    PubMed

    Luckert, Claudia; Hessel, Stefanie; Lampen, Alfonso; Braeuning, Albert

    2015-10-15

    Reporter gene assays are widely used for the assessment of transcription factor activation following xenobiotic exposure of cells. A critical issue with such assays is the possibility of interference of test compounds with the test system, for example, by direct inhibition of the reporter enzyme. Here we show that the pyrrolizidine alkaloid heliotrine interferes with reporter signals derived from GAL4-based nuclear receptor transactivation assays by a mechanism independent of luciferase enzyme inhibition. These data highlight the necessity to conduct proper control experiments in order to avoid perturbation of reporter assays by test chemicals.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Improved assay for cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase activity using phospholipid liposome solubilized substrate

    SciTech Connect

    Junker, L.H.; Story, J.A.

    1985-10-01

    A persistent problem in measurement of cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase (7 alpha-OHase) activity by isotope incorporation has been solubilization of cholesterol substrate. Solubilization with Tween 20, for example, resulted in a 75% reduction in 7 alpha-OHase activity after a 60 min incubation of substrate with microsomes. Incorporation of cholesterol substrate into small, unilamellar phospholipid vesicles (liposomes) prevented this effect, resulting in a 50% increase in activity over the same 60 min incubation at optimal concentrations. Using cholesterol in liposomes as substrate, standard assay conditions were determined to be: preparation of liposomes with 180 microM cholesterol substrate and 0.5 mg phospholipid/assay; incubation of these liposomes with 0.5 mg microsomal protein at 37 C for 60 min; addition of a NADPH generating system to start the reaction, and incubation at 37 C for 30 min before stopping the reaction and determining the amount of 7 alpha-hydroxycholesterol formed. This method provides a sensitive and reliable alternative to methods which require more sophisticated equipment and allows total control of substrate concentration in a form readily accessible to the enzyme.

  6. A plaque assay for malignant catarrhal fever virus and virus neutralizing activity.

    PubMed

    Hazlett, D T

    1980-05-01

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Allosteric modulators of the hERG K(+) channel: radioligand binding assays reveal allosteric characteristics of dofetilide analogs.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhiyi; Klaasse, Elisabeth; Heitman, Laura H; Ijzerman, Adriaan P

    2014-01-01

    Drugs that block the cardiac K(+) channel encoded by the human ether-à-go-go gene (hERG) have been associated with QT interval prolongation leading to proarrhythmia, and in some cases, sudden cardiac death. Because of special structural features of the hERG K(+) channel, it has become a promiscuous target that interacts with pharmaceuticals of widely varying chemical structures and a reason for concern in the pharmaceutical industry. The structural diversity suggests that multiple binding sites are available on the channel with possible allosteric interactions between them. In the present study, three reference compounds and nine compounds of a previously disclosed series were evaluated for their allosteric effects on the binding of [(3)H]astemizole and [(3)H]dofetilide to the hERG K(+) channel. LUF6200 was identified as an allosteric inhibitor in dissociation assays with both radioligands, yielding similar EC50 values in the low micromolar range. However, potassium ions increased the binding of the two radioligands in a concentration-dependent manner, and their EC50 values were not significantly different, indicating that potassium ions behaved as allosteric enhancers. Furthermore, addition of potassium ions resulted in a concentration-dependent leftward shift of the LUF6200 response curve, suggesting positive cooperativity and distinct allosteric sites for them. In conclusion, our investigations provide evidence for allosteric modulation of the hERG K(+) channel, which is discussed in the light of findings on other ion channels. PMID:24200993

  10. Radioligand-binding assay reveals distinct autoantibody preferences for type I interferons in APS I and myasthenia gravis subgroups.

    PubMed

    Hapnes, Liv; Willcox, Nick; Oftedal, Bergithe E V; Owe, Jone F; Gilhus, Nils Erik; Meager, Anthony; Husebye, Eystein S; Wolff, Anette S Bøe

    2012-04-01

    Patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I (APS I) or acquired thymoma-associated myasthenia gravis (MG) surprisingly share several common features, including defective expression of the transcription factor AIRE and autoantibodies against type I interferons. Here, we have adapted and validated the radioligand-binding assay we recently developed against (35)S-Met-interferon-ω, for rapid and specific screening for autoantibodies against interferons-α2 and -α8. We then investigated their potential for diagnosis and for predicting clinical manifestations in patients with APS I and different subgroups of MG. Autoantibodies against interferons-ω, -α2, and -α8 occurred more often in patients with APS I (100%) and MG with thymoma (73%) than in late-onset MG (39%) and early-onset MG (5%). These autoantibodies showed preferences for interferon-ω in APS I and for the interferon-αs in MG, hinting at thymic aberrations in both groups. The exact profile of type I interferon antibodies may indicate MG subtype and may hint at thymoma recurrence.

  11. The microfluidic multitrap nanophysiometer for hematologic cancer cell characterization reveals temporal sensitivity of the calcein-AM efflux assay.

    PubMed

    Byrd, Thomas F; Hoang, Loi T; Kim, Eric G; Pfister, Matthew E; Werner, Erik M; Arndt, Stephen E; Chamberlain, Jeffrey W; Hughey, Jacob J; Nguyen, Bao A; Schneibel, Erik J; Wertz, Laura L; Whitfield, Jonathan S; Wikswo, John P; Seale, Kevin T

    2014-01-01

    Cytometric studies utilizing flow cytometry or multi-well culture plate fluorometry are often limited by a deficit in temporal resolution and a lack of single cell consideration. Unfortunately, many cellular processes, including signaling, motility, and molecular transport, occur transiently over relatively short periods of time and at different magnitudes between cells. Here we demonstrate the multitrap nanophysiometer (MTNP), a low-volume microfluidic platform housing an array of cell traps, as an effective tool that can be used to study individual unattached cells over time with precise control over the intercellular microenvironment. We show how the MTNP platform can be used for hematologic cancer cell characterization by measuring single T cell levels of CRAC channel modulation, non-translational motility, and ABC-transporter inhibition via a calcein-AM efflux assay. The transporter data indicate that Jurkat T cells exposed to indomethacin continue to accumulate fluorescent calcein for over 60 minutes after calcein-AM is removed from the extracellular space. PMID:24873950

  12. Comparison of in vitro hormone activities of selected phthalates using reporter gene assays.

    PubMed

    Shen, Ouxi; Du, Guizhen; Sun, Hong; Wu, Wei; Jiang, Yi; Song, Ling; Wang, Xinru

    2009-12-01

    Phthalates are widely used in the plastic industry and food packaging, imparting softness and flexibility to normally rigid plastic medical devices and children's toys. Even though phthalates display low general toxicity, there is increasing concern on the effects of endocrine system induced by some of phthalate compounds. The hormone activity of dibutyl phthalate (DBP), mono-n-butyl phthalate (MBP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) were assessed using the luciferase reporter gene assays. The results showed that DBP, MBP and DEHP, not only exhibited potent antiandrogenic activity, with IC(50) value of 1.05x10(-6), 1.22x10(-7)M and exceeding 1x10(-4)M respectively, but also showed the androgenic activity with EC(50) value of 6.17x10(-6), 1.13x10(-5)M and exceeding 1x10(-4)M. We also found that all the three related chemicals possessed thyroid receptor (TR) antagonist activity with IC(50) of 1.31x10(-5), 2.77x10(-6)M and exceeding 1x10(-4)M respectively, and none showed TR agonist activity. These results indicate that TR might be the targets of industrial chemicals. In the ER mediate reporter gene assay, three chemicals showed no agonistic activity except for DBP, which appeared weakly estrogenic at the concentration of 1.0x10(-4)M. Together, the findings demonstrate that the three phthalates could simultaneously disrupt the function of two or more hormonal receptors. Therefore, these phthalates should be considered in risk assessments for human health.

  13. 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.

  14. Chemical models for cytochrome P450 as a biomimetic metabolic activation system in mutation assays.

    PubMed

    Inami, Keiko; Mochizuki, Masataka

    2002-08-26

    DNA damage is a critical factor in carcinogenesis. The Ames assay is a short-term test that screens for DNA-damaging agents. To be detected in the assay, most carcinogens require oxidation by cytochrome P450, a component of the liver homogenate preparation (S9 mix) that is traditionally used to metabolize promutagens to an active form in vitro. A combination of iron(III) porphyrin plus an oxidant activates many promutagens by mimicking cytochrome P450 metabolism. We previously reported that the mutagenicity of the N-nitrosodialkylamines was detected following reaction with tetrakis(pentafluorophenyl)porphyrinatoiron(III) chloride (Fe(F(5)P)Cl) plus tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BuOOH), which yielded the same alcohols and aldehydes as the enzymatic reaction. In the present study, to extend the scope of biomimetic models, we tested the mutagenicity of other carcinogens exposed to chemical oxidation systems.We investigated the optimal assay conditions for the models in Salmonella typhimurium TA1538, a strain sensitive to frame-shift mutagens. We activated 2-aminofluorene (AF), benzo[a]pyrene (B[a]P), a tryptophane pyrolysate 3-amino-1-methyl-5H-pyrido[4,3-b]indole (Trp-P-2), and 2-acetylaminofluorene (AAF) with Fe(F(5)P)Cl plus an oxidant-t-BuOOH, m-chloroperoxybenzoic acid (mCPBA), or magnesium monoperoxyphthalate (MPPT)-and we noted the effect of three solvents-acetonitrile (CH(3)CN),1,4-dioxane, and N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF)-on AF activation. All the promutagens became mutagenic in the presence of Fe(F(5)P)Cl plus an oxidant, with the effectiveness of the oxidant varying with the chemical. Aromatic amines, for example, showed the strongest mutagenicity with t-BuOOH whereas polycyclic hydrocarbons showed the strongest mutagenicity with mCPBA. All the promutagens were mutagenic in the presence of Fe(F(5)P)Cl plus MPPT. For AF activation, the order of effectiveness of the solvents was CH(3)CN>1,4-dioxane>DMF. The results suggested that these systems would serve as

  15. 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).

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Advantages and limitations of different p62-based assays for estimating autophagic activity in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Pircs, Karolina; Nagy, Peter; Varga, Agnes; Venkei, Zsolt; Erdi, Balazs; Hegedus, Krisztina; Juhasz, Gabor

    2012-01-01

    Levels of the selective autophagy substrate p62 have been established in recent years as a specific readout for basal autophagic activity. Here we compared different experimental approaches for using this assay in Drosophila larvae. Similar to the more commonly used western blots, quantifying p62 dots in immunostained fat body cells of L3 stage larvae detected a strong accumulation of endogenous p62 aggregates in null mutants for Atg genes and S6K. Importantly, genes whose mutation or silencing results in early stage lethality can only be analyzed by microscopy using clonal analysis. The loss of numerous general housekeeping genes show a phenotype in large-scale screens including autophagy, and the p62 assay was potentially suitable for distinguishing bona fide autophagy regulators from silencing of a DNA polymerase subunit or a ribosomal gene that likely has a non-specific effect on autophagy. p62 accumulation upon RNAi silencing of known autophagy regulators was dependent on the duration of the knockdown effect, unlike in the case of starvation-induced autophagy. The endogenous p62 assay was more sensitive than a constitutively overexpressed p62-GFP reporter, which showed self-aggregation and large-scale accumulation even in control cells. We recommend western blots for following the conversion of overexpressed p62-GFP reporters to estimate autophagic activity if sample collection from mutant larvae or adults is possible. In addition, we also showed that overexpressed p62 or Atg8 reporters can strongly influence the phenotypes of each other, potentially giving rise to false or contradicting results. Overexpressed p62 aggregates also incorporated Atg8 reporter molecules that might lead to a wrong conclusion of strongly enhanced autophagy, whereas expression of an Atg8 reporter transgene rescued the inhibitory effect of a dominant-negative Atg4 mutant on basal and starvation-induced autophagy. PMID:22952930

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Evaluation and analysis of dengue virus enhancing and neutralizing activities using simple high-throughput assays.

    PubMed

    Li, Xiao-Quan; Chen, Jing; Huang, Yan-Fen; Ding, Xi-Xia; Liu, Li-Dong; Qiu, Li-Wen; Pan, Yu-Xian; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Hu, Dong-Mei; Di, Biao; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Che, Xiao-Yan

    2013-07-01

    The risk of antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of dengue virus (DENV) infection is a major obstacle for the development of dengue vaccine candidates. Here, we described a novel approach for assessment of ADE by measuring DENV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) production in culture supernatants with Fcγ receptor-expressing K562 cells in ELISA format (ELISA-ADE). Enhancing activities quantified by measurement of kinetics of NS1 production were in a good agreement with the results of the virus titration assay. In conjunction with the previously established enzyme-linked immunospot-based micro-neutralization test (ELISPOT-MNT) in 96-well format, the observable dose-response profiles of enhancing and neutralizing activities against all four DENV serotypes were produced with two flaviviral envelope cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies and four primary DENV-1-infected human sera. The simple high-throughput ELISA-ADE assay offers advantages for quantitative measurement of infection enhancement that can potentially be applied to large-scale seroepidemiological studies of DENV infection and vaccination.

  1. A sensitive hydroosmotic toad bladder assay. Affinity and intrinsic activity of neurohypophyseal peptides.

    PubMed

    Eggena, P; Schwartz, I L; Walter, R

    1968-09-01

    A sensitive and precise method for assaying the water permeability response evoked by neurohypophyseal hormones and their synthetic analogues on the isolated urinary bladder of the toad (Bufo marinus L.) is described. The method permits detection of 8-arginine-vasotocin at concentrations as low as 10(-12)M. This sensitivity, not achieved heretofore with this tissue, results largely from minimizing interference of inhibitory substances by means of an "in vitro circulation assembly." The precision of the method derives from a direct comparison between the cumulative dose-response curve of an agonist of unknown potency acting on one hemibladder and that of a reference compound acting on the contralateral hemibladder. Crystalline deamino-oxytocin is used as the reference standard in this assay. The intrinsic activity of 2-(O-methyltyrosine)-oxytocin, as defined by the maximal response, is 12% lower than that of deamino-oxytocin. All other hormonal peptides investigated have the same intrinsic activity as deamino-oxytocin, even 5-valine-oxytocin, in spite of its extremely low affinity. A comparison of the potencies of 8-arginine-vasotocin vs. 8-arginine-vasopressin, 8-ornithine-vasotocin vs. 8-ornithine-vasopressin, 8-alanine-oxytocin vs. 8-alanine-oxypressin, and deamino-8-alanine-oxytocin vs. deamino-8-alanine-oxypressin suggests that an isoleucine residue in position 3 imparts a higher specificity for binding of the hormonal peptide molecule to the bladder receptor than a phenylalanine residue in this locus.

  2. 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...

  3. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

    Essential oils from Melaleuca alternifolia (tea-tree oil) and Lavandula angustifolia (lavender oil) are commonly used to treat minor health problems. Tea-tree oil possesses broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity, and is increasingly used for skin problems. Lavender oil, traditionally used as an antiseptic agent, is now predominantly used as a relaxant, carminative, and sedative in aromatherapy. Despite their growing use no data are available on their mutagenic potential. In this study, after determining the chemical composition of tea-tree oil and lavender oil, by gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry, we investigated their mutagenic and antimutagenic activities by the bacterial reverse mutation assay in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and TA100 strains and in Escherichia coli WP2 uvrA strain, with and without an extrinsic metabolic activation system. Neither essential oil had mutagenic activity on the two tested Salmonella strains or on E. coli, with or without the metabolic activation system. Conversely, lavender oil exerted strong antimutagenic activity, reducing mutant colonies in the TA98 strain exposed to the direct mutagen 2-nitrofluorene. Antimutagenicity was concentration-dependent: the maximal concentration (0.80 mg/plate) reduced the number of histidine-independent revertant colonies by 66.4%. Lavender oil (0.80 mg/plate) also showed moderate antimutagenicity against the TA98 strain exposed to the direct mutagen 1-nitropyrene. Its antimutagenic property makes lavender oil a promising candidate for new applications in human healthcare. PMID:15907354

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-09-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Rapid reverse phase-HPLC assay of HMG-CoA reductase activity

    PubMed Central

    Mozzicafreddo, Matteo; Cuccioloni, Massimiliano; Eleuteri, Anna Maria; Angeletti, Mauro

    2010-01-01

    Radioisotope-based and mass spectrometry coupled to chromatographic techniques are the conventional methods for monitoring HMG-CoA reductase (HMGR) activity. Irrespective of offering adequate sensitivity, these methods are often cumbersome and time-consuming, requiring the handling of radiolabeled chemicals or elaborate ad-hoc derivatizing procedures. We propose a rapid and versatile reverse phase-HPLC method for assaying HMGR activity capable of monitoring the levels of both substrates (HMG-CoA and NADPH) and products (CoA, mevalonate, and NADP+) in a single 20 min run with no pretreatment required. The linear dynamic range was 10–26 pmol for HMG-CoA, 7–27 nmol for NADPH, 0.5–40 pmol for CoA and mevalonate, and 2–27 nmol for NADP+, and limit of detection values were 2.67 pmol, 2.77 nmol, 0.27 pmol, and 1.3 nmol, respectively. PMID:20418539

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

  9. A continuous spectrophotometric assay method for peptidylarginine deiminase type 4 activity.

    PubMed

    Liao, Ya-Fan; Hsieh, Hui-Chieh; Liu, Guang-Yaw; Hung, Hui-Chih

    2005-12-15

    A simple, continuous spectrophotometric assay for peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) is described. Deimination of peptidylarginine results in the formation of peptidylcitrulline and ammonia. The ammonia released during peptidylarginine hydrolysis is coupled to the glutamate-dehydrogenase-catalyzed reductive amination of alpha-ketoglutarate to glutamate and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) oxidation. The disappearance of absorbance at 340nm due to NADH oxidation is continuously measured. The specific activity obtained by this new protocol for highly purified human PAD is comparable to that obtained by a commonly used colorimetric procedure, which measures the ureido group of peptidylcitrulline by coupling with diacetyl monoxime. The present continuous spectrophotometric method is highly sensitive and accurate and is thus suitable for enzyme kinetic analysis of PAD. The Ca(2+) concentration for half-maximal activity of PAD obtained by this method is comparable to that previously obtained by the colorimetric procedure.

  10. A rapid fluorescence assay for hSMUG1 activity based on modified molecular beacon.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xue; Tong, Chunyi; Long, Ying; Liu, Bin

    2011-01-01

    A new method for assay of hSMUG1 in real-time using molecular beacon is reported. hSMUG1 could be detected linearly in the range from 0.67 nM to 10.05 nM and the detection limit is 0.168 nM. In addition, this method was applied to detect the activity of hSMUG1 in tumor cells and study kinetics. The probe with low background signal has been shown to be suitable for the real-time monitoring of hSMUG1 activity, making this a promising method of high-throughput clinical sample analysis.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Antimutagenic activity of extracts of natural substances in the Salmonella/microsome assay.

    PubMed

    Horn, Rubem Cesar; Vargas, Vera Maria Ferrão

    2003-03-01

    Scientific information regarding plants used in folk medicine in the form of teas and their effect on human health or on genetic material has been the subject of many different types of investigation. The antimutagenic activity of two plants Maytenus ilicifolia and Peltastes peltatus, both rich in compounds of the flavonoid and tannin groups and frequently employed in folk medicine, was studied. Antimutagenicity was determined against known mutagenic substances (4-oxide-1-nitroquinoline, sodium azide, 2-nitrofluorene, aflatoxin B(1), 2-aminofluorene and 2-aminoanthracene), using the Salmonella/microsome assay. Infusions of P.peltatus showed high cytotoxicity and a co-mutagenic effect for induction of base pair substitution mutations with 4-oxide-1-nitroquinoline (-S9 mix). Infusions of M.ilicifolia produced similar effects for frameshift and base pair substitution mutations. With the mutagens 2-nitrofluorene (TA98) and sodium azide (TA100) no significant enhancement effects (co-mutagenic effects) were observed and inhibition of mutagenic activity and cytotoxicity were also diminished. In assays evaluating antimutagenic activity in the presence of metabolic activation utilizing S9 mix, high and significant inhibition of aflatoxin B(1)-, 2-aminofluorene- and 2-aminoanthracene-induced mutagenicity was observed in the presence of the infusions using both TA98 and TA100 and employing doses ranging from 25 to 500 mg/plate. Seventy-five percent of the doses tested exhibited a significant or suggestive decrease in induced mutagenicity with the infusion of M.ilicifolia. With the infusion of P.peltatus significant or suggestive antimutagenic responses were observed with 50% of the doses evaluated. Complexity was clearly noted in the responses observed in the interaction of aqueous extracts of M.ilicifolia and P.peltastes with the genetic material and metabolites generated by the S9 mix played an important role in the protection of DNA. PMID:12621065

  15. 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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Activity of nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in the sister chromatid exchange assay with and without metabolic activation.

    PubMed

    Nachtman, J P; Wolff, S

    1982-01-01

    Nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are found in diesel particulates. These compounds are potent mutagens in the Ames test. To determine whether nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are active in a mammalian cell assay, 1-nitropyrene, 1,8-dinitropyrene, 2-nitrofluorene, and 4-nitrobiphenyl were incubated with cultures of Chinese hamster ovary cells. The frequency of sister chromatid exchange (SCE) was measured in the presence and absence of rat liver S-9 mix. The addition of S-9 mix resulted in a large increase in the SCEs induced by all four compounds. PMID:7067667

  1. Activity of nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons in the sister chromatid exchange assay with and without metabolic activation. [Hamsters

    SciTech Connect

    Nachtman, J.P.; Wolff, S.

    1982-01-01

    Nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are found in diesel particulates.These compounds are potent mutagens in the Ames test. To determine whether nitro-polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons are active in a mammalian cell assay, 1-nitropyrene, 1,8-dinitropyrene, 2-nitrofluorene, and 4-nitrobiphenyl were incubated with cultures of Chinese hamster ovary cells. The frequency of sister chromatic exchange (SCE) was measured in the presence and absence of rat liver S-9 mix. The addition of S-9 mix resulted in a large increase in the SCEs induced by all four compounds.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Metabolic activation by hamster and rat hepatocytes in the Salmonella mutagenicity assay.

    PubMed

    Poiley, J A; Raineri, R; Andrews, A W; Cavanaugh, D M; Pienta, R J

    1980-12-01

    Intact and homogenized hepatocytes from untreated or Aroclor 1254-treated male and female noninbred Sprague-Dawley rats and noninbred Syrian golden hamsters were compared for their ability to metabolize chemicals in the Salmonella-mammalian microsome mutagenesis assay. The following chemicals were used: two aromatic amines, 2-amino-anthracene and N-2-fluorenylacetamide; two polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, 3-methylcholanthrene and benzo[a]pyrene (BP); and one nitrosamine, diethylnitrosamine (DENA). With one exception, hepatocytes from hamsters were more active than were hepatocytes from rats in the activation of these mutagens. The homogenized preparations from Aroclor 1254-treated rats were slightly more active with BP than was the equivalent hamster preparation. Intact hepatocytes from Aroclor 1254-treated hamsters were more efficient at metabolizing the aromatic amines and DENA, whereas homogenates were more effective with the hydrocarbons. Results were similar with the rat preparations, except that only large quantities of Aroclor 1254-treated intact male rat hepatocytes appeared to activate DENA. These results suggest that, in the choice of an activation system, the kind of chemical being evaluated should be considered.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Fluorometric cell-based assay for β-galactosidase activity in probiotic gram-positive bacterial cells - Lactobacillus helveticus.

    PubMed

    Watson, Amanda L; Chiu, Norman H L

    2016-09-01

    Although methods for measuring β-galactosidase activity in intact gram-negative bacterial cells have been reported, the methods may not be applicable to measuring β-galactosidase activity in gram-positive bacterial cells. This report focuses on the development of a fluorometric cell-based assay for measuring β-galactosidase activity in gram-positive cells.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-07-23

    Nanomaterial-based enzyme mimics have attracted considerable interest in chemical analysis as alternative catalysts to natural enzymes. However, the conditions in which such particles can replace biological catalysts and their selectivity and reactivity profiles are not well defined. This work explored the oxidase like properties of nanoceria particles in the development of colorimetric assays for the detection of dopamine and catechol. Selectivity of the system with respect to several phenolic compounds, the effect of interferences and real sample analysis are discussed. The conditions of use such as buffer composition, selectivity, pH, reaction time and particle type are defined. Detection limits of 1.5 and 0.2μM were obtained with nanoceria for dopamine and catechol. The same assay could be used as a general sensing platform for the detection of other phenolics. However, the sensitivity of the method varies significantly with the particle type, buffer composition, pH and with the structure of the phenolic compound. The results demonstrate that nanoceria particles can be used for the development of cost effective and sensitive methods for the detection of these compounds. However, the selection of the particle system and experimental conditions is critical for achieving high sensitivity. Recommendations are provided on the selection of the particle system and reaction conditions to maximize the oxidase like activity of nanoceria. PMID:26231899

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. A zebrafish scale assay to monitor dioxin-like activity in surface water samples.

    PubMed

    Pelayo, Sergi; López-Roldán, Ramón; González, Susana; Casado, Marta; Raldúa, Demetrio; Cortina, Jose Luis; Piña, Benjamin

    2011-10-01

    New regulations on water quality require a close control of the possible biological activities known or unexpected pollutants may bring about. We present here a protocol based on the direct exposure of zebrafish to river water and the analysis of expression of specific genes in their scales to determine the presence of compounds with dioxin-like biological activity. The method does not require the killing of animals and allows detection of the biological activity after a single day of exposure. When tested, the method with real samples from the Llobregat River, clear temporal and spatial variations were observed, demonstrating its suitability for monitoring natural variations in water quality linked to specific discharges. High biological activities were unrelated to the currently checked water quality parameters (macropollutants, turbidity, TOC, etc.), but they did correlate with the presence of micropollutants (estrogens, detergents, etc.) related to domestic and/or industrial runoffs. The scale assay therefore provides a new tool to evaluate water quality changes that cannot be easily derived from the existing standard analytical procedures. It ranks among the very few described protocols able to detect biological effects from natural water samples, without a pre-concentration step, and after only 24 h of exposure. PMID:21822775

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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 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

  1. Symmetry, asymmetry, and kinetics of silencing establishment in Saccharomyces cerevisiae revealed by single-cell optical assays.

    PubMed

    Osborne, Erin A; Hiraoka, Yasushi; Rine, Jasper

    2011-01-25

    In Saccharomyces cerevisiae, silent chromatin inhibits the expression of genes at the HML, HMR, and telomeric loci. When silent chromatin forms de novo, the rate of its establishment is influenced by different chromatin states. In particular, loss of the enzyme Dot1, an H3 K79 methyltransferase, leads to rapid silencing establishment. We tested whether silencing establishment was antagonized by H3 K79 methylation or by the Dot1 protein itself competing with Sir3 for binding sites on nucleosomes. To do so, we monitored fluorescence activity in cells containing a GFP gene within the HML locus during silencing establishment in a series of dot1 and histone mutant backgrounds. Silencing establishment rate was correlated with Dot1's enzymatic function rather than with the Dot1 protein itself. In addition, histone mutants that mimicked the conformation of unmethylated H3 K79 increased the rate of silencing establishment, indicating that the H3 K79 residue affected silencing independently of Dot1 abundance. Using fluorophore-based reporters, we confirmed that mother and daughter cells often silence in concert, but in instances where asymmetric silencing occurs, daughter cells established silencing earlier than their mothers. This noninvasive technique enabled us to demonstrate an asymmetry in silencing establishment of a key regulatory locus controlling cell fate. PMID:21262833

  2. Cohesin's role as an active chromatin domain anchorage revealed.

    PubMed

    Feig, Christine; Odom, Duncan T

    2013-12-11

    Cohesin is a conserved protein complex indispensible for proper cell division, because it secures sister-chromatid cohesion following DNA replication until segregation is required at the onset of anaphase. Recent studies have revealed functions beyond this, showing that cohesin binds to interphase chromatin regulating gene expression at select loci via long-range chromosomal interactions. In this issue of The EMBO Journal, Sofueva et al (2013) use a combination of chromatin conformation capture methods, classical FISH imaging, and loss-of-function studies to elegantly demonstrate how cohesin controls the 3D architectural organization of the genome.

  3. Development of an activity assay for discovery of inhibitors of lipopolysaccharide transport.

    PubMed

    Gronenberg, Luisa S; Kahne, Daniel

    2010-03-01

    The outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria contains an outer leaflet composed of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) that is transported to this location by a pathway that is essential for viability. It has been suggested that inhibitors of this pathway could be useful antibiotics. Herein we reconstitute the activity of the ATPase component (LptB) of the ABC transporter that initiates LPS transport and assembly. We developed a high-throughput assay and screened a library of kinase inhibitors against LptB. We identified two classes of ATP-competitive inhibitors. These are the first inhibitors of the ATPase component of any bacterial ABC transporter. The small-molecule inhibitors will be very useful tools for further biochemical studies of the proteins involved in LPS transport and assembly.

  4. Antiviral activities of 15 dengue NS2B-NS3 protease inhibitors using a human cell-based viral quantification assay.

    PubMed

    Chu, Justin Jang Hann; Lee, Regina Ching Hua; Ang, Melgious Jin Yan; Wang, Wei-Ling; Lim, Huichang Annie; Wee, John Liang Kuan; Joy, Joma; Hill, Jeffrey; Brian Chia, C S

    2015-06-01

    The dengue virus is a mosquito-borne pathogen responsible for an estimated 50-100 million human dengue infections annually. There are currently no approved drugs against this disease, resulting in a major unmet clinical need. The dengue viral NS2B-NS3 protease has been identified as a plausible drug target due to its involvement in viral replication in mammalian host cells. In the past decade, at least 20 dengue NS2B-NS3 protease inhibitors have been reported in the literature with a range of inhibitory activities in protease assays. However, such assays do not shed light on an inhibitor's ability to penetrate human cell membranes where the viral protease resides. In this study, we investigated the antiviral activities of 15 small-molecule and peptide-based NS2B-NS3 inhibitors on dengue serotype 2-infected HuH-7 human hepatocarcinoma cells. Experimental results revealed anthraquinone ARDP0006 (compound 5) to be the most potent inhibitor which reduced dengue viral titer by more than 1 log PFU/mL at 1 μM in our cell-based assays involving HuH-7 and K562 cell lines, suggesting that its scaffold could serve as a lead for further medicinal chemistry studies. Compound 5 was also found to be non-cytotoxic at 1 μM over 3 days incubation on HuH-7 cells using the Alamar Blue cellular toxicity assay.

  5. Conjugated polyelectrolyte based fluorescence turn-on assay for real-time monitoring of protease activity.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yanyan; Zhang, Yong; Liu, Bin

    2010-10-15

    A fluorescence "turn-on" assay for monitoring protease activity is developed on the basis of a water-soluble carboxylated polyfluorene derivative, PFP-CO₂Na, and its different fluorescence response toward cytochrome c (cyt c) and its fragments. PFP-CO₂Na is synthesized via Suzuki coupling polymerization between 2,7-dibromo-9,9-bis(3'-tert-butyl propanoate)fluorene and 1,4-bis(4,4,5,5-tetramethyl-1,3,2-dioxaborolan-2-yl)-benzene, followed by treatment with trifluoroacetic acid and Na₂CO₃. The fluorescence of PFP-CO₂Na can be significantly quenched by cyt c due to complexation-mediated electron transfer between the polymer and protein. Using the complex of PFP-CO₂Na/cyt c as a substrate, a real-time fluorescence turn-on assay for trypsin activity study has been developed. Addition of trypsin to the substrate solution induces gradual recovery of the fluorescence intensity for PFP-CO₂Na due to trypsin-catalyzed hydrolysis of cyt c, which dissociates the heme moiety from the polymer vicinity. The time-dependent fluorescence intensity increase of PFP-CO₂Na in the presence of trypsin allows us to derive the initial reaction rates and k(cat)/K(m) (5350 M⁻¹ s⁻¹) for trypsin-catalyzed hydrolysis. Addition of trypsin inhibitor efficiently inhibits trypsin-catalyzed hydrolysis reaction of cyt c, which leads to a decreased fluorescence turn-on response of PFP-CO₂Na.

  6. Validation of a high throughput flow cytometric in vitro micronucleus assay including assessment of metabolic activation in TK6 cells.

    PubMed

    Thougaard, Annemette V; Christiansen, Joan; Mow, Tomas; Hornberg, Jorrit J

    2014-12-01

    Genotoxicity is an unacceptable property for new drug candidates and we employ three screening assays during the drug discovery process to identify genotoxicity early and optimize chemical series. One of these methods is the flow cytometric in vitro micronucleus assay for which protocol optimizations have been described recently. Here, we report further validation of the assay in TK6 cells including assessment of metabolic activation. We first optimized assay conditions to allow for testing with and without metabolic activation in parallel in a 96-well plate format. Then, we tested a set of 48 compounds carefully selected to contain known in vivo genotoxins, nongenotoxins and drugs. Avoidance of irrelevant positives, a known issue with mammalian cell-based genotoxicity assays, is important to prevent early deselection of potentially promising compounds. Therefore, we enriched the validation set with compounds that were previously reported to produce irrelevant positive results in mammalian cell-based genotoxicity assays. The resulting dataset was used to set the relevant cut-off values for scoring a compound positive or negative, such that we obtained an optimal balance of high sensitivity (88%) and high specificity (87%). Finally, we tested an additional set of 16 drugs to further probe assay performance and 14 of them were classified correctly. To our knowledge, the present study is the most comprehensive validation of the in vitro flow cytometric micronucleus assay and the first to report parallel assessment with metabolic activation in reasonable throughput. The assay allows for rapidly screening novel compounds for genotoxicity and is therefore well-suited for use in early drug discovery projects. Environ.

  7. 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...

  8. Determining estrogenic activity in serum from ovariectomized rats treated with environmental compounds using an in vitro estrogen-mediated transcriptional activation assay (T47D-KBluc).

    EPA Science Inventory

    The use of cell-based assays to quantify low levels of estrogen in human serum is an accepted method. These assays are more sensitive but less specific than radioimmunoassays (RIA). Thus, we hypothesized that estrogen responsive T47D-KBluc cells would detect estrogenic activity i...

  9. Census of cytosolic aminopeptidase activity reveals two novel cytosolic aminopeptidases.

    PubMed

    Akkad, Nadja; Schatz, Mark; Dengjel, Jörn; Tenzer, Stefan; Schild, Hansjörg

    2012-11-01

    Activation of CD8(+) cytotoxic T cells is crucial for the adaptive immune response against viral infections and the control of malignant transformed cells. Together with activation of costimulatory molecules like CD3 and CD28, CD8(+) T cells need activation of their unique T cell receptor via recognition of foreign peptide epitopes in combination with major histocompatibility complexes class I on the cell surface of professional antigen-presenting cells. Presentation of pathogen-associated proteins is the result of a complex proteolytic process. It starts with the breakdown of proteins by a cytosolic endopeptidase, the proteasome, and is continued by subsequent N-terminal trimming events in the cytosol and/or the endoplasmic reticulum. Analysis of the proteolytic aminopeptidase activity in the former cellular compartment showed that the cytosol harbors a multitude of aminopeptidases that have singular specificities, but on the other hand also show redundancy in the trimming of N-terminal residues. The observed pattern of the overall trimming in the cytosol is reflected by the activity of the four identified aminopeptidases, and the administration of protease inhibitors made it possible to assign specificity of cleaving of proteinogenic amino acids to one or more identified aminopeptidase. The only exception was the cleavage of aspartic acid, which is performed by one yet unidentified enzyme.

  10. Inhibition of Cathepsin Activity in a Cell-Based Assay by a Light-Activated Ruthenium Compound

    PubMed Central

    Respondek, Tomasz; Sharma, Rajgopal; Herroon, Mackenzie K.; Garner, Robert N.; Knoll, Jessica D.; Cueny, Eric; Turro, Claudia; Podgorski, Izabela; Kodanko, Jeremy J.

    2014-01-01

    Light-activated inhibition of cathepsin activity was demonstrated with in a cell-based assay. Inhibitors of cathepsin K, Cbz-Leu-NHCH2CN (2) and Cbz-Leu-Ser(OBn)-CN (3), were caged within the complexes cis-[Ru(bpy)2(2)2]Cl2 (4) and cis-[Ru(bpy)2(3)2](BF4)2 (5), where bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine, as 1:1 mixtures of Δ- and Λ stereoisomers. Complexes 4 and 5 were characterized by 1H NMR, IR and UV-vis spectroscopies and electrospray mass spectrometry. Photochemical experiments confirm that 4 releases two molecules of 2 upon exposure to visible light for 15 min, whereas release of 3 by 5 requires longer irradiation times. IC50 determinations against purified cathepsin K under light and dark conditions with 4 and 5 confirm that inhibition is enhanced from 35 to 88-fold, respectively, upon irradiation with visible light. No apparent toxicity was observed for 4 in the absence or presence of irradiation in bone marrow macrophage (BMM) or PC-3 cells, as judged by the MTT assay, at concentrations up to 10 μM. Compound 5 is well tolerated at lower concentrations (<1 μM) but does show growth inhibitory effects at higher concentrations. Confocal microscopy experiments show that 4 reduces intracellular cathepsin activity in osteoclasts with light activation. These results support further development of caged nitrile-based inhibitors as chemical tools for investigating spatial aspects of proteolysis within living systems. PMID:24729544

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Suramin inhibits helicase activity of NS3 protein of dengue virus in a fluorescence-based high throughput assay format.

    PubMed

    Basavannacharya, Chandrakala; Vasudevan, Subhash G

    2014-10-24

    Dengue fever is a major health concern worldwide. The virus encoded non-structural protein 3 (NS3) is a multifunctional protein endowed with protease, helicase, nucleoside triphosphatase (NTPase) and RNA 5' triphosphatase (RTPase) activities. Helicase activity of NS3 catalyzes the unwinding of double stranded polynucleotides by utilizing the energy released from ATP hydrolysis. As this activity is essential for replication, NS3 helicase represents an attractive drug target for developing a dengue antiviral drug. Here, we report fluorescence based molecular beacon helicase assay using a duplex RNA substrate that contains a fluorophore on the 5' end and a quencher on the 3' end of one of the strands. The assay was optimized with respect to several parameters and adapted to 384-well high-throughput screening format, with an average Z' factor of 0.65. Assay validation with a small diverse set library of 1600 compounds identified, suramin as a significant inhibitor of the helicase activity of NS3. Helicase activity deficient NS3 K199A was used in a counter-screen to identify compounds interfering with the assay. Suramin inhibited DENV (dengue virus) NS3 helicase activity with a Ki of 0.75±0.03μM as a non-competitive inhibitor. The molecular beacon helicase assay together with the counter screen and suramin as a tool compound can be used to identify novel inhibitors of DENV helicase.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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…

  19. Assays of physical stability and antioxidant activity of a topical formulation added with different plant extracts.

    PubMed

    Di Mambro, Valéria M; Fonseca, Maria J V

    2005-02-23

    In the present investigation the changes on physical stability (pH, viscosity, flow index and tixotropy) of topical formulations were evaluated following inclusion of different plant extracts containing flavonoids. Also, the antioxidant effect of these plant extracts alone and after addition in the formulation was evaluated using chemiluminescence and the stable free radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH(.-)) assays, as well as the inhibition of lipid peroxidation. Formulation added with dl-alpha-tocopherol was used to compare the physical stability and antioxidant activity. Formulations with plant extracts showed pseudoplastic behavior with decreasing on viscosity and tixotropy. The Glycyrrhiza glabra (GG) and Ginkgo biloba (GB) extracts alone and the formulations containing these extracts showed great antioxidant and free radical scavenging activities while the other extracts studied (mixture of Glycyrrhiza glabra, Symphytum officinale L and Arctium majus root, Nelumbium speciosum and soybean) showed lower activity. The results suggest that GG and GB extracts may be used in topical formulations in order to protect skin against damage caused by free radical and reactive oxygen species. PMID:15708669

  20. A yeast-based assay identifies drugs active against human mitochondrial disorders.

    PubMed

    Couplan, Elodie; Aiyar, Raeka S; Kucharczyk, Roza; Kabala, Anna; Ezkurdia, Nahia; Gagneur, Julien; St Onge, Robert P; Salin, Bénédicte; Soubigou, Flavie; Le Cann, Marie; Steinmetz, Lars M; di Rago, Jean-Paul; Blondel, Marc

    2011-07-19

    Due to the lack of relevant animal models, development of effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases has been limited. Here we establish a rapid, yeast-based assay to screen for drugs active against human inherited mitochondrial diseases affecting ATP synthase, in particular NARP (neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa) syndrome. This method is based on the conservation of mitochondrial function from yeast to human, on the unique ability of yeast to survive without production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, and on the amenability of the yeast mitochondrial genome to site-directed mutagenesis. Our method identifies chlorhexidine by screening a chemical library and oleate through a candidate approach. We show that these molecules rescue a number of phenotypes resulting from mutations affecting ATP synthase in yeast. These compounds are also active on human cybrid cells derived from NARP patients. These results validate our method as an effective high-throughput screening approach to identify drugs active in the treatment of human ATP synthase disorders and suggest that this type of method could be applied to other mitochondrial diseases.

  1. A yeast-based assay identifies drugs active against human mitochondrial disorders

    PubMed Central

    Couplan, Elodie; Aiyar, Raeka S.; Kucharczyk, Roza; Kabala, Anna; Ezkurdia, Nahia; Gagneur, Julien; St. Onge, Robert P.; Salin, Bénédicte; Soubigou, Flavie; Le Cann, Marie; Steinmetz, Lars M.; di Rago, Jean-Paul; Blondel, Marc

    2011-01-01

    Due to the lack of relevant animal models, development of effective treatments for human mitochondrial diseases has been limited. Here we establish a rapid, yeast-based assay to screen for drugs active against human inherited mitochondrial diseases affecting ATP synthase, in particular NARP (neuropathy, ataxia, and retinitis pigmentosa) syndrome. This method is based on the conservation of mitochondrial function from yeast to human, on the unique ability of yeast to survive without production of ATP by oxidative phosphorylation, and on the amenability of the yeast mitochondrial genome to site-directed mutagenesis. Our method identifies chlorhexidine by screening a chemical library and oleate through a candidate approach. We show that these molecules rescue a number of phenotypes resulting from mutations affecting ATP synthase in yeast. These compounds are also active on human cybrid cells derived from NARP patients. These results validate our method as an effective high-throughput screening approach to identify drugs active in the treatment of human ATP synthase disorders and suggest that this type of method could be applied to other mitochondrial diseases. PMID:21715656

  2. FRET-based protein-DNA binding assay for detection of active NF-kappa B

    SciTech Connect

    Giannetti, Ambra; Baldini, Francesco; Wabuyele, Musundi B; Vo Dinh, Tuan

    2006-01-01

    A novel method to detect the active form of NF-{kappa}B, a transcription factor regulating a battery of inflammatory genes and playing a fundamental role in the development of numerous pathological states, has been developed. In the present work, we used fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study DNA-protein binding interaction taking place between double-strand (ds) DNA immobilized in a glass capillary wall and p50 proteins. For this purpose, we developed a regenerable FRET-based system comprising of a single-strand (ss) DNA with auto-complementary sequence that is end-labeled with Cy5 dye and is highly specific for p50 proteins. The proteins were labeled with a Black Hole Quencher (BHQ-3) to be used as FRET pair. The interaction of p50/p50 homodimer active form with its DNA binding site was demonstrated by both electrophoretic mobility shift assays and FRET studies. These preliminary results demonstrated the feasibility of the FRET-based DNA technique to detect the active form of NF-{kappa}B protein with 90% detection efficiency. In addition, we show that the system is stable and highly regenerable.

  3. Antimutagenic and mutagenic activities of some terpenes in the bacterial reverse mutation assay.

    PubMed

    Di Sotto, Antonella; Evandri, Maria Grazia; Mazzanti, Gabriela

    2008-05-31

    The mutagenic and antimutagenic effects of linalool, linalyl acetate and beta-caryophyllene were evaluated by the bacterial reverse mutation assay on Salmonella typhimurium TA 98 and TA 100, and on Escherichia coli WP2uvrA strains. Neither linalool nor beta-caryophyllene showed mutagenicity, but linalyl acetate induced a statistically significant increase in the number of revertant colonies in WP2uvrA, both with and without S9 mixture. Linalool was devoid of antimutagenic activity against 2-nitrofluorene (2NF), sodium azide (SA), methyl methane sulfonate (MMS) and 2-aminoanthracene (2AA). In contrast, beta-caryophyllene showed a strong antimutagenic activity against 2NF: at the maximum concentration tested (6.40mg/plate) the number of 2NF-induced revertant colonies was reduced by 83.9%. beta-Caryophyllene also showed to counteract the mutagenicity of SA (in TA 100), MMS and 2AA (in WP2uvrA): the effect was weak against SA (inhibition lower than 25%) and moderate against MMS and 2AA (up to 30.5%). The antimutagenic activity of beta-caryophyllene observed here suggests further studies to evaluate its possible chemopreventive properties. PMID:18514567

  4. Spectrophotometric assays for the enzymatic hydrolysis of the active metabolites of chlorpyrifos and parathion by plasma paraoxonase/arylesterase.

    PubMed

    Furlong, C E; Richter, R J; Seidel, S L; Costa, L G; Motulsky, A G

    1989-08-01

    Human serum plasma paraoxonase/arylesterase exhibits a genetic polymorphism for the hydrolysis of paraoxon. One allelic form of the enzyme hydrolyzes paraoxon slowly with a low turnover number and the other(s) hydrolyzes paraoxon rapidly with a high turnover number. Chlorpyrifos-oxon, the active metabolite of the insecticide chlorpyrifos (Dursban), is also hydrolyzed by plasma arylesterase/paraoxonase. A specific assay for measuring hydrolysis of this compound is described. This assay is not subject to interference by the esterase activity of serum albumin. The Km for chlorpyrifos-oxon hydrolysis was 75 microM. Hydrolysis was inhibited by phenyl acetate, EDTA, and organic solvents. Enzyme activity required calcium ions and was stimulated by sodium chloride. Hydrolysis was optimized by using methanol instead of acetone to dissolve substrate. Unlike the multimodal distribution of paraoxonase, the distribution of chlorpyrifos-oxonase activity failed to show clear multimodality. An improvement in the assay for hydrolysis of paraoxon by plasma arylesterase/paraoxonase was achieved by elimination of organic solvents. Plotting chlorpyrifos-oxonase activity vs paraoxonase activity for a human population using the new assay conditions provided an excellent resolution of low activity homozygotes from heterozygotes for this allele. A greater than 40-fold difference in rates of chlorpyrifosoxon hydrolysis observed between rat (low activity) and rabbit sera (high activity) correlated well with the reported large differences in LD50 values for chlorpyrifos in these two animals, consistent with an important role of serum paraoxonase in detoxification of organophosphorus pesticides in vivo.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Chick Heart Invasion Assay for Testing the Invasiveness of Cancer Cells and the Activity of Potentially Anti-invasive Compounds.

    PubMed

    Bracke, Marc E; Roman, Bart I; Stevens, Christian V; Mus, Liselot M; Parmar, Virinder S; De Wever, Olivier; Mareel, Marc M

    2015-01-01

    The goal of the chick heart assay is to offer a relevant organ culture method to study tumor invasion in three dimensions. The assay can distinguish between invasive and non-invasive cells, and enables study of the effects of test compounds on tumor invasion. Cancer cells - either as aggregates or single cells - are confronted with fragments of embryonic chick heart. After organ culture in suspension for a few days or weeks the confronting cultures are fixed and embedded in paraffin for histological analysis. The three-dimensional interaction between the cancer cells and the normal tissue is then reconstructed from serial sections stained with hematoxylin-eosin or after immunohistochemical staining for epitopes in the heart tissue or the confronting cancer cells. The assay is consistent with the recent concept that cancer invasion is the result of molecular interactions between the cancer cells and their neighbouring stromal host elements (myofibroblasts, endothelial cells, extracellular matrix components, etc.). Here, this stromal environment is offered to the cancer cells as a living tissue fragment. Supporting aspects to the relevance of the assay are multiple. Invasion in the assay is in accordance with the criteria of cancer invasion: progressive occupation and replacement in time and space of the host tissue, and invasiveness and non-invasiveness in vivo of the confronting cells generally correlates with the outcome of the assay. Furthermore, the invasion pattern of cells in vivo, as defined by pathologists, is reflected in the histological images in the assay. Quantitative structure-activity relation (QSAR) analysis of the results obtained with numerous potentially anti-invasive organic congener compounds allowed the study of structure-activity relations for flavonoids and chalcones, and known anti-metastatic drugs used in the clinic (e.g., microtubule inhibitors) inhibit invasion in the assay as well. However, the assay does not take into account

  8. 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

  9. Evaluation of mutagenic and antimutagenic activities of alpha-bisabolol in the Salmonella/microsome assay.

    PubMed

    Gomes-Carneiro, M R; Dias, Daniela M M; De-Oliveira, A C A X; Paumgartten, Francisco J R

    2005-08-01

    alpha-Bisabolol (BISA) is a sesquiterpene alcohol found in the oils of chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) and other plants. BISA has been widely used in dermatological and cosmetic formulations. This study was undertaken to investigate the mutagenicity and antimutagenicity of BISA in the Salmonella/microsome assay. Mutagenicity of BISA was evaluated with TA100, TA98, TA97a and TA1535 Salmonella typhimurium strains, without and with addition of S9 mixture. No increase in the number of his+ revertant colonies over the negative (solvent) control values was observed with any of the four tester strains. In the antimutagenicity assays, BISA was tested up to the highest nontoxic dose (i.e. 50 and 150 microg/plate, with and without S9 mix, respectively) against direct-acting (sodium azide, SA; 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide, 4-NQNO; 2-nitrofluorene, 2-NF; and nitro-o-phenylenediamine, NPD) as well as indirect-acting (cyclophosphamide, CP; benzo[a]pyrene, B[a]P; aflatoxin B1, AFB1; 2-aminoanthracene, 2-AA; and 2-aminofluorene, 2-AF) mutagens. BISA did not alter mutagenic activity of SA and of NPD, and showed only a weak inhibitory effect on the mutagenicity induced by 4-NQNO and 2-NF. The mutagenic effects of AFB1, CP, B[a]P, 2-AA and 2-AF, on the other hand, were all markedly and dose-dependently reduced by BISA. It was also found that BISA inhibited pentoxyresorufin-o-depentylase (PROD, IC50 2.76 microM) and ethoxyresorufin-o-deethylase (EROD, 33.67 microM), which are markers for cytochromes CYP2B1 and 1A1 in rat liver microsomes. Since CYP2B1 converts AFB1 and CP into mutagenic metabolites, and CYP1A1 activates B[a]P, 2-AA and 2-AF, results suggest that BISA-induced antimutagenicity could be mediated by an inhibitory effect on the metabolic activation of these promutagens. PMID:15936245

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Methodology to assay CYP2E1 mixed function oxidase catalytic activity and its induction

    PubMed Central

    Cederbaum, Arthur I.

    2014-01-01

    The cytochrome P450 mixed function oxidase enzymes are the major catalysts involved in drug metabolism. There are many forms of P450. CYP2E1 metabolizes many toxicologically important compounds including ethanol and is active in generating reactive oxygen species. Since several of the contributions in the common theme series “Role of CYP2E1 and Oxidative/Nitrosative Stress in the Hepatotoxic Actions of Alcohol” discuss CYP2E1, this methodology review describes assays on how CYP2E1 catalytic activity and its induction by ethanol and other inducers can be measured using substrate probes such as the oxidation of para-nitrophenol to para-nitrocatechol and the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde. Approaches to validate that a particular reaction e.g. oxidation of a drug or toxin is catalyzed by CYP2E1 or that induction of that reaction is due to induction of CYP2E1 are important and specific examples using inhibitors of CYP2E1, anti-CYP2E1 IgG or CYP2E1 knockout and knockin mice will be discussed. PMID:25454746

  18. Detection of sodium channel activators by a rapid fluorimetric microplate assay.

    PubMed

    Louzao, M C; Vieytes, M R; Yasumoto, T; Botana, L M

    2004-04-01

    Marine toxins such as brevetoxins and ciguatoxins are produced by dinoflagellates and can accumulate in seafood. These toxins affect humans through seafood consumption. Intoxication is mainly characterized by gastrointestinal and neurological disorders and, in most severe cases, by cardiovascular problems. To prevent the consumption of food contaminated with these toxins, shellfish have been tested by mouse bioassay. However, this method is expensive, time-consuming, and ethically questionable. The objective of this study was to use a recently developed fluorimetric microplate assay to rapidly detect brevetoxins and ciguatoxins. The method is based on the pharmacological effect of brevetoxins and ciguatoxins known to activate sodium channels and involves (i). the incubation of excitable cells in 96 well microtiter plates with the fluorescent dye bis-oxonol, whose distribution across the membrane is potential-dependent, and (ii). dose-dependent cell depolarization by the toxins. Our findings demonstrate that measuring changes in membrane potential induced by brevetoxins and ciguatoxins allowed their quantitation. Active toxins could be reliably detected at concentrations in the nanomolar range. The simplicity, sensitivity, and possibility of being automated provide the basis for development of a practical alternative to conventional testing for brevetoxins and ciguatoxins.

  19. 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

  20. Exonuclease I manipulating primer-modified gold nanoparticles for colorimetric telomerase activity assay.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Lei; Zhang, Sijin; Pan, Wei; Liang, Qingcheng; Song, Xingyu

    2016-03-15

    Telomerase is a widely accepted cancer biomarker. The conventional method for telomerase activity assay, the telomeric repeat amplification protocol (TRAP), is time-consuming and susceptible to contaminants. Therefore, development of simple and sensitive strategies for telomerase detection is still a challenging subject. Here we develop a highly sensitive method for telomerase detection based on primer-modified gold nanoparticles (GNPs) manipulated by exonuclease I (Exo I). In the absence of telomerase, Exo I digests the substrate nucleic acid on the surface of GNPs, inducing the GNPs' aggregation. In the presence of telomerase, the telomerase elongation products which fold into G-quadruplex are resistant to the digestion of Exo I, and protect the GNPs from aggregation. By using this method, we can detect telomerase activity in 100 HL-60 cancer cells mL(-1) by naked eyes, and the detection limit is 29 HL-60 cells mL(-1). This method is very simple and reliable, without any separation and amplification procedure. We also demonstrate the feasibility of this protocol for screening of telomerase inhibitors as anticancer agents. This method is promising to be applied in early clinical diagnosis and drug discovery. PMID:26402592

  1. 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

  2. Nondestructive assay of fission products in spent-fuel assemblies using gamma and photoneutron activation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lakosi, L.; Veres, Á.

    1990-12-01

    Hard γ-radiation (above 1.078 MeV) from spent reactor fuel was detected by means of excitation of 115In to its 4.5 h half-life metastable state induced by the (γ, γ') reaction and subsequent counting of the 336 keV isomeric transition. Resonance-energy quanta were produced by Compton scattering in the source, i.e. the spent fuel itself. The sensitivity of the activation method above 1.67 MeV γ-energy was enhanced by introducing a Be photoneutron converter in order to produce neutrons for exploiting their much larger activation cross sections. For short cooling times (10-40 d) the hard-γ signature of the fuel was due to the fission product 140Ba 140La, detection of which facilitated monitoring of the reactor power which existed in the core just before reactor shutdown. A linear relationship was found between the γ-signal and the fissile content in the fuel. For 100-1000 d cooled fuel the 144Ce 144Pr content could be detected, which was only sensitive to the cooling time. Spent-fuel assemblies of both a research and a power reactor were assayed by these novel methods for reactor operational and nuclear-material safeguard purposes.

  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. 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

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-12-01

    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.

  9. High throughput quantitative reverse transcription PCR assays revealing over-expression of cancer testis antigen genes in multiple myeloma stem cell-like side population cells.

    PubMed

    Wen, Jianguo; Li, Hangwen; Tao, Wenjing; Savoldo, Barbara; Foglesong, Jessica A; King, Lauren C; Zu, Youli; Chang, Chung-Che

    2014-09-01

    Multiple myeloma (MM) stem cells, proposed to be responsible for the tumourigenesis, drug resistance and recurrence of this disease, are enriched in the cancer stem cell-like side population (SP). Cancer testis antigens (CTA) are attractive targets for immunotherapy because they are widely expressed in cancers but only in limited types of normal tissues. We designed a high throughput assay, which allowed simultaneous relative quantifying expression of 90 CTA genes associated with MM. In the three MM cell lines tested, six CTA genes were over-expressed in two and LUZP4 and ODF1 were universally up-regulated in all three cell lines. Subsequent study of primary bone marrow (BM) from eight MM patients and four healthy donors revealed that 19 CTA genes were up-regulated in SP of MM compared with mature plasma cells. In contrast, only two CTA genes showed a moderate increase in SP cells of healthy BM. Furthermore, knockdown using small interfering RNA (siRNA) revealed that LUZP4 expression is required for colony-forming ability and drug resistance in MM cells. Our findings indicate that multiple CTA have unique expression profiles in MM SP, suggesting that CTA may serve as targets for immunotherapy that it specific for MM stem cells and which may lead to the long-term cure of MM.

  10. AroER Tri-Screen Is a Biologically Relevant Assay for Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals Modulating the Activity of Aromatase and/or the Estrogen Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shiuan; Zhou, Dujin; Hsin, Li-Yu; Kanaya, Noriko; Wong, Cynthie; Yip, Richard; Sakamuru, Srilatha; Xia, Menghang; Yuan, Yate-Ching; Witt, Kristine; Teng, Christina

    2014-01-01

    Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) interfere with the biosynthesis, metabolism, and functions of steroid hormones, including estrogens and androgens. Aromatase enzyme converts androgen to estrogen. Thus, EDCs against aromatase significantly impact estrogen- and/or androgen-dependent functions, including the development of breast cancer. The current study aimed to develop a biologically relevant cell-based high-throughput screening assay to identify EDCs that act as aromatase inhibitors (AIs), estrogen receptor (ER) agonists, and/or ER antagonists. The AroER tri-screen assay was developed by stable transfection of ER-positive, aromatase-expressing MCF-7 breast cancer cells with an estrogen responsive element (ERE) driven luciferase reporter plasmid. The AroER tri-screen can identify: estrogenic EDCs, which increase luciferase signal without 17β-estradiol (E2); anti-estrogenic EDCs, which inhibit the E2-induced luciferase signal; and AI-like EDCs, which suppress a testosterone-induced luciferase signal. The assay was first optimized in a 96-well plate format and then miniaturized into a 1536-well plate format. The AroER tri-screen was demonstrated to be suitable for high-throughput screening in the 1536-well plate format, with a 6.9-fold signal-to-background ratio, a 5.4% coefficient of variation, and a screening window coefficient (Z-factor) of 0.78. The assay suggested that bisphenol A (BPA) functions mainly as an ER agonist. Results from screening the 446 drugs in the National Institutes of Health Clinical Collection revealed 106 compounds that modulated ER and/or aromatase activities. Among these, two AIs (bifonazole and oxiconazole) and one ER agonist (paroxetine) were confirmed through alternative aromatase and ER activity assays. These findings indicate that AroER tri-screen is a useful high-throughput screening system for identifying ER ligands and aromatase-inhibiting chemicals. PMID:24496634

  11. Development and validation of a simple cell-based fluorescence assay for dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1) activity.

    PubMed

    Thong, Bob; Pilling, James; Ainscow, Edward; Beri, Raj; Unitt, John

    2011-01-01

    Dipeptidyl peptidase 1 (DPP1) (EC 3.4.14.1; also known as cathepsin C, cathepsin J, dipeptidyl aminopeptidase, and dipeptidyl aminotransferase) is a lysosomal cysteinyl protease of the papain family involved in the intracellular degradation of proteins. Isolated enzyme assays for DPP1 activity using a variety of synthetic substrates such as dipeptide or peptide linked to amino-methyl-coumarin (AMC) or other fluorophores are well established. There is, however, no report of a simple whole-cell-based assay for measuring lysosomal DPP1 activity other than the use of flow cytometry (fluorescence-activated cell sorting) or the use of invasive activity-based probes or the production of physiological products such as neutrophil elastase. The authors investigated a number of DPP1 fluorogenic substrates that have the potential to access the lysosome and enable the measurement of DPP1 enzyme activity in situ. They describe the development and evaluation of a simple noninvasive fluorescence assay for measuring DPP1 activity in fresh or cryopreserved human THP-1 cells using the substrate H-Gly-Phe-AFC (amino-fluoro-coumarin). This cell-based fluorescence assay can be performed in a 96-well plate format and is ideally suited for determining the cell potency of potential DPP1 enzyme inhibitors.

  12. A Link between ORC-Origin Binding Mechanisms and Origin Activation Time Revealed in Budding Yeast

    PubMed Central

    Hoggard, Timothy; Shor, Erika; Müller, Carolin A.; Nieduszynski, Conrad A.; Fox, Catherine A.

    2013-01-01

    Eukaryotic DNA replication origins are selected in G1-phase when the origin recognition complex (ORC) binds chromosomal positions and triggers molecular events culminating in the initiation of DNA replication (a.k.a. origin firing) during S-phase. Each chromosome uses multiple origins for its duplication, and each origin fires at a characteristic time during S-phase, creating a cell-type specific genome replication pattern relevant to differentiation and genome stability. It is unclear whether ORC-origin interactions are relevant to origin activation time. We applied a novel genome-wide strategy to classify origins in the model eukaryote Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on the types of molecular interactions used for ORC-origin binding. Specifically, origins were classified as DNA-dependent when the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo could be explained by the affinity of ORC for origin DNA in vitro, and, conversely, as ‘chromatin-dependent’ when the ORC-DNA interaction in vitro was insufficient to explain the strength of ORC-origin binding in vivo. These two origin classes differed in terms of nucleosome architecture and dependence on origin-flanking sequences in plasmid replication assays, consistent with local features of chromatin promoting ORC binding at ‘chromatin-dependent’ origins. Finally, the ‘chromatin-dependent’ class was enriched for origins that fire early in S-phase, while the DNA-dependent class was enriched for later firing origins. Conversely, the latest firing origins showed a positive association with the ORC-origin DNA paradigm for normal levels of ORC binding, whereas the earliest firing origins did not. These data reveal a novel association between ORC-origin binding mechanisms and the regulation of origin activation time. PMID:24068963

  13. An in vitro peptide complementation assay for CYT-18-dependent group I intron splicing reveals a new role for the N-terminus.

    PubMed

    Geng, Chun; Paukstelis, Paul J

    2014-03-01

    The mitochondrial tyrosyl tRNA synthetase from Neurospora crassa (CYT-18 protein) is a bifunctional group I intron splicing cofactor. CYT-18 is capable of splicing multiple group I introns from a wide variety of sources by stabilizing the catalytically active intron structures. CYT-18 and mt TyrRSs from related fungal species have evolved to assist in group I intron splicing in part by the accumulation of three N-terminal domain insertions. Biochemical and structural analysis indicate that the N-terminal insertions serve primarily to create a structure-stabilizing scaffold for critical tertiary interactions between the two major RNA domains of group I introns. Previous studies concluded that the primarily α-helical N-terminal insertion, H0, contributes to protein stability and is necessary for splicing the N. crassa ND1 intron but is dispensable for splicing the N. crassa mitochondrial LSU intron. Here, we show that CYT-18 with a complete H0 deletion retains residual ND1 intron splicing activity and that addition of the missing N-terminus in trans is capable of restoring a significant portion of its splicing activity. The development of this peptide complementation assay has allowed us to explore important characteristics of the CYT-18/group I intron interaction including the stoichiometry of H0 in intron splicing and the importance of specific H0 residues. Evaluation of truncated H0 peptides in this assay and a re-examination of the CYT-18 crystal structure suggest a previously unknown structural role of the first five N-terminal residues of CYT-18. These residues interact directly with another splicing insertion, making H0 a central structural element responsible for connecting all three N-terminal splicing insertions.

  14. Three-stage chromogenic assay for the analysis of activation properties of factor X by cancer procoagulant.

    PubMed

    Mielicki, W P; Gordon, S G

    1993-06-01

    The cysteine proteinase, cancer procoagulant (CP; EC 3.4.22.26) was isolated from human amnion-chorion and purified by precipitation with polyethylene glycol and either ion exchange or immunoaffinity chromatography. A new, sensitive, three-stage chromogenic assay was developed for determination of CP factor X-activating activity. Using this assay some properties including dose-response, effect of calcium, phospholipid and pH on the activation of factor X by CP was determined. There was an excellent linear correlation (r2 = 0.99) between concentration and the enzymatic activity of CP. The activation of factor X by purified CP was calcium dependent with an optimum calcium concentration of 7 mM. CP was not phospholipid dependent. There was a rather broad pH optimum between pH 6.9 and 7.25 for the activation of factor X by CP.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Development of a new catalase activity assay for biological samples using optical CUPRAC sensor.

    PubMed

    Bekdeşer, Burcu; Özyürek, Mustafa; Güçlü, Kubilay; Alkan, Fulya Üstün; Apak, Reşat

    2014-11-11

    A novel catalase activity assay was developed for biological samples (liver and kidney tissue homogenates) using a rapid and low-cost optical sensor-based 'cupric reducing antioxidant capacity' (CUPRAC) method. The reagent, copper(II)-neocuproine (Cu(II)-Nc) complex, was immobilized onto a cation-exchanger film of Nafion, and the absorbance changes associated with the formation of the highly-colored Cu(I)-Nc chelate as a result of reaction with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) was measured at 450 nm. When catalase was absent, H2O2 produced the CUPRAC chromophore, whereas catalase, being an effective H2O2 scavenger, completely annihilated the CUPRAC signal due to H2O2. Thus, the CUPRAC absorbance due to H2O2 oxidation concomitant with Cu(I)-Nc formation decreased proportionally with catalase. The developed sensor gave a linear response over a wide concentration range of H2O2 (0.68-78.6 μM). This optical sensor-based method applicable to tissue homogenates proved to be efficient for low hydrogen peroxide concentrations (physiological and nontoxic levels) to which the widely used UV method is not accurately responsive. Thus, conventional problems of the UV method arising from relatively low sensitivity and selectivity, and absorbance disturbance due to gaseous oxygen evolution were overcome. The catalase findings of the proposed method for tissue homogenates were statistically alike with those of HPLC.

  19. 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

  20. Evaluation of the antioxidants activities of four Slovene medicinal plant species by traditional and novel biosensory assays.

    PubMed

    Kintzios, Spiridon; Papageorgiou, Katerina; Yiakoumettis, Iakovos; Baricevic, Dea; Kusar, Anita

    2010-11-01

    We investigated the antioxidant activity of methanolic and water extracts of Slovene accessions of four medicinal plant species (Salvia officinalis, Achillea millefolium, Origanum vulgare subsp. vulgare and Gentiana lutea). Their free radical-scavenging activity against the DPPH. free radical was studied with a spectrophotometric assay, while their biological activity with the help of a laboratory-made biosensor based on immobilized fibroblast cells (assay duration: 3 min). The observed antioxidant activity of the extracts from the four investigated medicinal plant species was dependent on both the solvent used for extraction and the assay method (conventional or biosensor-based). Independently from the assay method and the solvent used for extraction, the lowest scavenging activity was observed in root extracts of G. lutea. Treatment of the immobilized cells with the plant extracts resulted in an increase of the cell membrane potential (membrane hyperpolarization), possibly due to the reduction of membrane damage due to oxidation. The novel cell biosensor could be utilized as a rapid, high throughput tool for screening the antioxidant properties of plant-derived compounds.

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

    PubMed

    Pohanka, Miroslav

    2015-06-11

    Smartphones are popular devices frequently equipped with sensitive sensors and great computational ability. Despite the widespread availability of smartphones, practical uses in analytical chemistry are limited, though some papers have proposed promising applications. In the present paper, a smartphone is used as a tool for the determination of cholinesterasemia i.e., the determination of a biochemical marker butyrylcholinesterase (BChE). The work should demonstrate suitability of a smartphone-integrated camera for analytical purposes. Paper strips soaked with indoxylacetate were used for the determination of BChE activity, while the standard Ellman's assay was used as a reference measurement. In the smartphone-based assay, BChE converted indoxylacetate to indigo blue and coloration was photographed using the phone's integrated camera. A RGB color model was analyzed and color values for the individual color channels were determined. The assay was verified using plasma samples and samples containing pure BChE, and validated using Ellmans's assay. The smartphone assay was proved to be reliable and applicable for routine diagnoses where BChE serves as a marker (liver function tests; some poisonings, etc.). It can be concluded that the assay is expected to be of practical applicability because of the results' relevance.

  2. 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

  3. A novel, non-radioactive eukaryotic in vitro transcription assay for sensitive quantification of RNA polymerase II activity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Many studies of the eukaryotic transcription mechanism and its regulation rely on in vitro assays. Conventional RNA polymerase II transcription assays are based on radioactive labelling of the newly synthesized RNA. Due to the inefficient in vitro transcription, the detection of the RNA involving purification and gel electrophoresis is laborious and not always quantitative. Results Herein, we describe a new, non-radioactive, robust and reproducible eukaryotic in vitro transcription assay that has been established in our laboratory. Upon transcription, the newly synthesized RNA is directly detected and quantified using the QuantiGene assay. Alternatively, the RNA can be purified and a primer extension followed by PCR detection or qPCR quantification can be performed. When applied to assess the activity of RNA polymerase II inhibitors, this new method allowed an accurate estimation of their relative potency. Conclusions Our novel assay provides a non-radioactive alternative to a standard in vitro transcription assay that allows for sensitive detection and precise quantification of the newly transcribed, unlabelled RNA and is particularly useful for quantification of strong transcriptional inhibitors like α-amanitin. Moreover, the method can be easily adapted to quantify the reaction yield and the transcription efficiency of other eukaryotic in vitro systems, thus providing a complementary tool for the field of transcriptional research. PMID:24694320

  4. Thiopurine methyltransferase activity in a French population: h.p.l.c. assay conditions and effects of drugs and inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Jacqz-Aigrain, E; Bessa, E; Medard, Y; Mircheva, Y; Vilmer, E

    1994-07-01

    1. Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) is a cytosolic enzyme involved in the catabolism of thiopurine drugs, which are used to treat cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. Because TPMT activity is polymorphic and under genetic control, large interindividual variations in the immunosuppressive activity and toxicity of these drugs may, at least in part, be inherited. 2. We have developed a specific h.p.l.c. method for measuring 6-methyl mercaptopurine formed from 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) in red blood cell lysates during the TPMT assay procedure. In blinded assays of 55 samples from adult blood donors, the results of the h.p.l.c. method correlated with those of the radiochemical reference method (r = 0.83, P < 0.001). 3. Using this h.p.l.c. assay, we tested the effect of known inhibitors of TPMT activity (syringic acid, p-anisic acid and tropolone) in vitro and showed that they were highly inhibitory. We also found that drugs often administered concomitantly with 6-MP (prednisone, prednisolone, 6-methylprednisolone, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole) had little or no effect on TPMT activity in vitro. 4. In a group of 300 French individuals, TMPT activity was highly variable, ranging from 4.7 to 35.3 nmol h-1 ml-1 of packed red blood cells (nmol h-1 ml-1 PRBC) with a mean value of 19.3 +/- 4.9. TMPT activity was not influenced by sex. 5. This sensitive and reproducible h.p.l.c. assay for TPMT activity in red blood cells may prove useful for prospective clinical studies designed to optimise dosage regimens of thiopurine drugs (detection limit for 6-methyl mercaptopurine is 5 ng ml-1, intra- and inter-assay variations are 6.8 and 8.2%, respectively).

  5. Thiopurine methyltransferase activity in a French population: h.p.l.c. assay conditions and effects of drugs and inhibitors.

    PubMed Central

    Jacqz-Aigrain, E; Bessa, E; Medard, Y; Mircheva, Y; Vilmer, E

    1994-01-01

    1. Thiopurine methyltransferase (TPMT) is a cytosolic enzyme involved in the catabolism of thiopurine drugs, which are used to treat cancer patients and organ transplant recipients. Because TPMT activity is polymorphic and under genetic control, large interindividual variations in the immunosuppressive activity and toxicity of these drugs may, at least in part, be inherited. 2. We have developed a specific h.p.l.c. method for measuring 6-methyl mercaptopurine formed from 6-mercaptopurine (6-MP) in red blood cell lysates during the TPMT assay procedure. In blinded assays of 55 samples from adult blood donors, the results of the h.p.l.c. method correlated with those of the radiochemical reference method (r = 0.83, P < 0.001). 3. Using this h.p.l.c. assay, we tested the effect of known inhibitors of TPMT activity (syringic acid, p-anisic acid and tropolone) in vitro and showed that they were highly inhibitory. We also found that drugs often administered concomitantly with 6-MP (prednisone, prednisolone, 6-methylprednisolone, cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole) had little or no effect on TPMT activity in vitro. 4. In a group of 300 French individuals, TMPT activity was highly variable, ranging from 4.7 to 35.3 nmol h-1 ml-1 of packed red blood cells (nmol h-1 ml-1 PRBC) with a mean value of 19.3 +/- 4.9. TMPT activity was not influenced by sex. 5. This sensitive and reproducible h.p.l.c. assay for TPMT activity in red blood cells may prove useful for prospective clinical studies designed to optimise dosage regimens of thiopurine drugs (detection limit for 6-methyl mercaptopurine is 5 ng ml-1, intra- and inter-assay variations are 6.8 and 8.2%, respectively). PMID:7946931

  6. 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

  7. Depolarization after resonance energy transfer (DARET): a sensitive fluorescence-based assay for botulinum neurotoxin protease activity.

    PubMed

    Gilmore, Marcella A; Williams, Dudley; Okawa, Yumiko; Holguin, Bret; James, Nicholas G; Ross, Justin A; Roger Aoki, K; Jameson, David M; Steward, Lance E

    2011-06-01

    The DARET (depolarization after resonance energy transfer) assay is a coupled Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)-fluorescence polarization assay for botulinum neurotoxin type A or E (BoNT/A or BoNT/E) proteolytic activity that relies on a fully recombinant substrate. The substrate consists of blue fluorescent protein (BFP) and green fluorescent protein (GFP) flanking SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25 kDa) residues 134-206. In this assay, the substrate is excited with polarized light at 387 nm, which primarily excites the BFP, whereas emission from the GFP is monitored at 509 nm. Energy transfer from the BFP to the GFP in the intact substrate results in a substantial depolarization of the GFP emission. The energy transfer is eliminated when the fluorescent domains separate on cleavage by the endopeptidase, and emission from the directly excited GFP product fragment is then highly polarized, resulting in an overall increase in polarization. This increase in polarization can be monitored to assay the proteolytic activity of BoNT/A and BoNT/E in real time. It allows determination of the turnover rate of the substrate and the kinetic constants (V(max) and k(cat)) based on the concentration of cleaved substrate determined directly from the measurements using the additivity properties of polarization. The assay is amenable to high-throughput applications.

  8. Novel pro-oxidant activity assay for polyphenols, vitamins C and E using a modified CUPRAC method.

    PubMed

    Kondakçı, Esin; Özyürek, Mustafa; Güçlü, Kubilay; Apak, Reşat

    2013-10-15

    In this study, a direct assay, a modified CUPRAC (Cupric Ion Reducing Antioxidant Capacity) method, is developed to determine transition metal ion (Cu(II))-catalyzed pro-oxidant activity of polyphenolic compounds, vitamins C and E, and herbal samples in the presence of proteins containing thiol groups. Since transition metal ion-catalyzed pro-oxidant activity of phenolics is usually initiated with the reduction of the metal to lower oxidation states (as a prerequisite of Fenton-type reactions), this method involves the reduction of copper(II) ions to copper(I) by polyphenolic compounds (simultaneously giving rise to reactive species), binding of the formed Cu(I) to egg white protein -SH groups, and liberation of copper(I)-neocuproine (Cu(I)-Nc) chelate (showing maximum absorbance at 450 nm) by treating the incubation product with a neocuproine-ammonium acetate mixture. The proposed method is validated against atomic absorption spectrometric (AAS) determination of protein-bound copper and protein carbonyl assay of oxidative stress. The proposed assay is faster and more specific than the carbonyl assay, and uses low-cost reagents and equipment. Pro-oxidant activity (i.e. proportional to absorbance) varies linearly over a relatively wide range with concentration, as opposed to the reciprocal correlations (i.e. linear regression of 1/(pro-oxidant activity) versus 1/concentration) of other similar assays. The pro-oxidant activity order of the tested antioxidant compounds in terms of 'Quercetin Equivalent Pro-oxidant Activity' (QREPA) coefficients is: gallic acid > epicatechin > quercetin ≈ catechin > α-tocopherol > rosmarinic acid > trolox > caffeic acid > ascorbic acid.

  9. Dual-readout fluorescent assay of protein kinase activity by use of TiO2-coated magnetic microspheres.

    PubMed

    Bai, Jie; Zhao, Yunjie; Wang, Zhibin; Liu, Chenghui; Wang, Yucong; Li, Zhengping

    2013-05-01

    A simple, highly sensitive, and dual-readout fluorescent assay is developed for the detection of protein kinase activity based on the specific recognition utility of TiO2-coated Fe3O4/SiO2 magnetic microspheres (TMSPs) for kinase-induced phosphopeptides. When the fluorophore-labeled substrate peptides are phosphorylated by the kinase reaction, they can bind specifically to the TiO2 layer of TMSPs by means of phosphate groups, resulting in fluorophore enrichment on the TMSP surfaces. The accumulated fluorophores on the TMSPs are proportional to the kinase activity, and the fluorescence signal readout could be run through either direct fluorescent imaging of the TMSPs or measurement of the fluorescence intensity by simply detaching the fluorescent phosphopeptides into the solution. The TMSPs exhibit extremely high selectivity for capturing phosphorylated peptides over the nonphosphorylated ones, resulting in an ultrahigh fluorescence signal-to-background ratio of 42, which is the highest fluorescence change thus far in fluorescent assays for detection of protein kinase activities. Therefore, the proposed fluorescent assay presents high sensitivity, low detection limit of 0.1 milliunit/μL, and wide dynamic range from 0.5 milliunit/μL to 0.5 unit/μL with protein kinase A (PKA) as a model target. Moreover, the TMSP-based fluorescent assay can simultaneously quantify multiple kinase activities with their specific peptides labeled with different dyes. This new strategy is also successfully applied to monitoring drug-triggered PKA activation in cell lysates. Therefore, the TMSP-based fluorescent assay is very promising in high-throughput screening of kinase inhibitors and in highly sensitive detection of kinase activity, and thus it is a valuable tool for development of targeted therapy, clinical diagnosis, and studies of fundamental life science. PMID:23581884

  10. 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...

  11. Lack of DNA-damaging activity of five non-nutritive sweeteners in the rat hepatocyte/DNA repair assay.

    PubMed

    Jeffrey, A M; Williams, G M

    2000-04-01

    The non-nutritive sweeteners acesulfame-K, aspartame, cyclamate, saccharin and sucralose were tested for DNA damaging activity in the rat hepatocyte/DNA repair assay. Using hepatocytes from F344 and Sprague-Dawley male rats, all were inactive despite strong responses for the positive control, 2-aminofluorene.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. Comparison of tetrazolium salt assays for evaluation of drug activity against Leishmania spp.

    PubMed

    Ginouves, Marine; Carme, Bernard; Couppie, Pierre; Prevot, Ghislaine

    2014-06-01

    In French Guiana, leishmaniasis is an essentially cutaneous infection. It constitutes a major public health problem, with a real incidence of 0.2 to 0.3%. Leishmania guyanensis is the causal species most frequently encountered in French Guiana. The treatment of leishmaniasis is essentially drug based, but the therapeutic compounds available have major side effects (e.g., liver damage and diabetes) and must be administered parenterally or are costly. The efficacy of some of these agents has declined due to the emergence of resistance in certain strains of Leishmania. There is currently no vaccine against leishmaniasis, and it is therefore both necessary and urgent to identify new compounds effective against Leishmania. The search for new drugs requires effective tests for evaluations of the leishmanicidal activity of a particular molecule or extract. Microculture tetrazolium assays (MTAs) are colorimetric tests based on the use of tetrazolium salts. We compared the efficacies of three tetrazolium salts-3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT), and 2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (WST-8)-for quantification of the promastigotes of various species of Leishmania. We found that the capacity of Leishmania to metabolize a tetrazolium salt depended on the salt used and the species of Leishmania. WST-8 was the tetrazolium salt best metabolized by L. guyanensis and gave the best sensitivity. PMID:24719447

  17. Comparison of Tetrazolium Salt Assays for Evaluation of Drug Activity against Leishmania spp.

    PubMed Central

    Ginouves, Marine; Carme, Bernard; Couppie, Pierre

    2014-01-01

    In French Guiana, leishmaniasis is an essentially cutaneous infection. It constitutes a major public health problem, with a real incidence of 0.2 to 0.3%. Leishmania guyanensis is the causal species most frequently encountered in French Guiana. The treatment of leishmaniasis is essentially drug based, but the therapeutic compounds available have major side effects (e.g., liver damage and diabetes) and must be administered parenterally or are costly. The efficacy of some of these agents has declined due to the emergence of resistance in certain strains of Leishmania. There is currently no vaccine against leishmaniasis, and it is therefore both necessary and urgent to identify new compounds effective against Leishmania. The search for new drugs requires effective tests for evaluations of the leishmanicidal activity of a particular molecule or extract. Microculture tetrazolium assays (MTAs) are colorimetric tests based on the use of tetrazolium salts. We compared the efficacies of three tetrazolium salts—3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT), 2,3-bis-(2-methoxy-4-nitro-5-sulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium-5-carboxanilide (XTT), and 2-(2-methoxy-4-nitrophenyl)-3-(4-nitrophenyl)-5-(2,4-disulfophenyl)-2H-tetrazolium (WST-8)—for quantification of the promastigotes of various species of Leishmania. We found that the capacity of Leishmania to metabolize a tetrazolium salt depended on the salt used and the species of Leishmania. WST-8 was the tetrazolium salt best metabolized by L. guyanensis and gave the best sensitivity. PMID:24719447

  18. An aptamer based competition assay for protein detection using CNT activated gold-interdigitated capacitor arrays.

    PubMed

    Qureshi, Anjum; Roci, Irena; Gurbuz, Yasar; Niazi, Javed H

    2012-04-15

    An aptamer can specifically bind to its target molecule, or hybridize with its complementary strand. A target bound aptamer complex has difficulty to hybridize with its complementary strand. It is possible to determine the concentration of target based on affinity separation system for the protein detection. Here, we exploited this property using C-reactive protein (CRP) specific RNA aptamers as probes that were immobilized by physical adsorption on carbon nanotubes (CNTs) activated gold interdigitated electrodes of capacitors. The selective binding ability of RNA aptamer with its target molecule was determined by change in capacitance after allowing competitive binding with CRP and complementary RNA (cRNA) strands in pure form and co-mixtures (CRP:cRNA=0:1, 1:0, 1:1, 1:2 and 2:1). The sensor showed significant capacitance change with pure forms of CRP/cRNA while responses reduced considerably in presence of CRP:cRNA in co-mixtures (1:1 and 1:2) because of the binding competition. At a critical CRP:cRNA ratio of 2:1, the capacitance response was dramatically lost because of the dissociation of adsorbed aptamers from the sensor surface to bind when excess CRP. Binding assays showed that the immobilized aptamers had strong affinity for cRNA (K(d)=1.98 μM) and CRP molecules (K(d)=2.4 μM) in pure forms, but low affinity for CRP:cRNA ratio of 2:1 (K(d)=8.58 μM). The dynamic detection range for CRP was determined to be 1-8 μM (0.58-4.6 μg/capacitor). The approach described in this study is a sensitive label-free method to detect proteins based on affinity separation of target molecules that can potentially be used for probing molecular interactions.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Accuracy of the Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting Assay for the Aquaporin-4 Antibody (AQP4-Ab): Comparison with the Commercial AQP4-Ab Assay Kit

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoo-Jin; Cheon, So Young; Kim, Boram; Jung, Kyeong Cheon; Park, Kyung Seok

    2016-01-01

    Background The aquaporin-4 antibody (AQP4-Ab) is a disease-specific autoantibody to neuromyelitis optica (NMO). We aimed to evaluate the accuracy of the FACS assay in detecting the AQP4-Ab compared with the commercial cell-based assay (C-CBA) kit. Methods Human embryonic kidney-293 cells were transfected with human aquaporin-4 (M23) cDNA. The optimal cut off values of FACS assay was tested using 1123 serum samples from patients with clinically definite NMO, those at high risk for NMO, patients with multiple sclerosis, patients with other idiopathic inflammatory demyelinating diseases, and negative controls. The accuracy of FACS assay and C-CBA were compared in consecutive 225 samples that were collected between January 2014 and June 2014. Results With a cut-off value of MFIi of 3.5 and MFIr of 2.0, the receiver operating characteristic curve for the FACS assay showed an area under the curve of 0.876. Among 225 consecutive sera, the FACS assay and C-CBA had a sensitivity of 77.3% and 69.7%, respectively, in differentiating the sera of definite NMO patients from sera of controls without IDD or of MS. Both assay had a good specificity of 100% in it. The overall positivity of the C-CBA among FACS-positive sera was 81.5%; moreover, its positivity was low as 50% among FACS-positive sera with relatively low MFIis. Conclusions Both the FACS assay and C-CBA are sensitive and highly specific assays in detecting AQP4-Ab. However, in some sera with relatively low antibody titer, FACS-assay can be a more sensitive assay option. In real practice, complementary use of FACS assay and C-CBA will benefit the diagnosis of NMO patients, because the former can be more sensitive among low titer sera and the latter are easier to use therefore can be widely used. PMID:27658059

  2. TRI12 based quantitative real-time PCR assays reveal the distribution of trichothecene genotypes of F. graminearum and F. culmorum isolates in Danish small grain cereals.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, L K; Jensen, J D; Rodríguez, A; Jørgensen, L N; Justesen, A F

    2012-07-16

    Quantitative real-time PCR assays, based on polymorphisms in the TRI12 gene of the trichothecene pathway, were developed to identify and quantify the trichothecene genotypes producing 3-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (3ADON), 15-acetyl-deoxynivalenol (15ADON) or nivalenol (NIV) in the Fusarium graminearum species complex, Fusarium culmorum, Fusarium cerealis and Fusarium pseudograminearum. These assays were applied on a total of 378 field samples of cereal grain of wheat, barley, triticale, rye and oats collected from 2003 to 2007 to study the trichothecene genotype composition in Danish cereals. The three genotypes, 3ADON, 15ADON and NIV were found in all five cereal species, great annual variation in the occurrence of the trichothecene genotypes was evident with considerable variation between the samples. 3ADON was the dominant genotype in barley, triticale, rye and oats while 15ADON was most dominant in wheat. The NIV genotype was found at low levels in most samples. Study of genotype composition within the Danish F. graminearum and F. culmorum population was based on principal component analysis (PCA). PCA revealed that the dominating genotype of F. graminearum in wheat is 15ADON. For barley, the PCA analysis indicated that the F. graminearum population consisted of all three genotypes, and in triticale, the F. graminearum population consisted mainly of 15ADON genotype. F. culmorum/F. cerealis showed correlation to the NIV genotype in wheat and triticale but not in barley. F. culmorum/F. cerealis also showed some correlation to 3ADON especially in wheat and triticale. Selected wheat and barley samples from 1957 to 2000 showed low amounts of F. graminearum and F. culmorum in general but with a dominance of the 3ADON genotype. 15ADON was not detected in these samples, except for very low amounts in the sample representing the years from 1997 to 2000. Detection of low amounts of the 15ADON genotype in these historical samples and the relatively high amounts of 15ADON

  3. An evaluation of a genotoxicity assay with liver s9 for activation and luminescent bacteria for detection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, B. Thomas

    1992-01-01

    A new short-term in vitro genotoxicity assay with marine bioluminescent bacteria was evaluated for sensitivity and cost. Known under the trade name of Mutatox™, this assay is a simple and rapid screening tool that detects DNA-damaging substances (genotoxins) by measuring light output from an isolated dark mutant strain of the luminescent bacterium Photobacterium phosphoreum. A positive response indicates the ability of the test chemical to restore the luminescent state in the dark mutant strain; the degree of light increase indicates the relative genotoxicity of the sample. In this study, the Mutatox assay with rat hepatic fractions (S9) as an exogenous metabolic activation system detected genotoxic activity with known progenotoxins: 2-acetamidofluorene, aflatoxin B1, 2-aminoanthracene, 2-aminofluorene, 2-aminonaphthalene, benzo[a]pyrene, 3-methyl-cholanthrene, and pyrene. Each chemical clearly demonstrated a dose response between 5.0 and 0.6 μg per tube. Known nongenotoxic controls carbofuran, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, malathion, simazine, and permethrin showed no genotoxic responses. The optimum assay conditions were determined to be rat S9 concentration of 0.4 mg/ml, preincubation at 37°C for 30 min, and 18 h incubation at 23°C. Genotoxicity data were obtained in <24 h. The Mutatox assay compared favorably in sensitivity with the Ames test; it was easier and more rapid to perform and, as a result, cost less. The sensitivity, specificity, and predictive value suggested that the Mutatox assay could be a valuable screening tool to monitor complex environmental samples for genotoxins.

  4. 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

  5. Relation between dabigatran concentration, as assessed using the direct thrombin inhibitor assay, and activated clotting time/activated partial thromboplastin time in patients with atrial fibrillation.

    PubMed

    Okubo, Kenji; Kuwahara, Taishi; Takagi, Katsumasa; Takigawa, Masateru; Nakajima, Jun; Watari, Yuji; Nakashima, Emiko; Yamao, Kazuya; Fujino, Tadashi; Tsutsui, Hiroyuki; Takahashi, Atsushi

    2015-06-15

    Dabigatran is a direct thrombin inhibitor that has been approved for preventing stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation. In this study, we aimed to assess the associations between the dabigatran concentration (calculated through plasma-diluted thrombin time, as assessed using the Hemoclot assay) and the activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT) and activated clotting time (ACT). We recruited 137 patients with atrial fibrillation who were receiving a normal dose of dabigatran (300 mg/d) or a reduced dose of dabigatran (220 mg/d, usually administered to patients who were elderly, had moderate renal dysfunction, or who were also receiving verapamil). We then assessed the aPTT, ACT, and Hemoclot results of the patients and calculated the plasma dabigatran concentration. The mean plasma concentration of dabigatran was 127 ± 88 ng/ml, although no significant differences in dabigatran concentration, ACT, or aPTT were observed when we compared the 2 doses of dabigatran (300 or 220 mg/d). The dabigatran concentration was within the therapeutic levels in most patients, although a high value (>300 ng/ml) was observed in several patients, which indicated a high risk of bleeding. The dabigatran concentration was strongly and positively correlated with ACT and aPTT (r = 0.87, p <0.001; and r = 0.76, p <0.001; respectively). Multivariate analysis revealed that verapamil use was independently associated with elevated dabigatran concentrations (p <0.001). Therefore, ACT and aPTT may be useful for bedside assessment of the anticoagulant activity of dabigatran, and verapamil use may be a risk factor for elevated dabigatran concentrations.

  6. Evaluating the anti Mycobacterium tuberculosis activity of Alpinia galanga (L.) Willd. axenically under reducing oxygen conditions and in intracellular assays

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In tuberculosis (TB), the steadily increasing bacterial resistance to existing drugs and latent TB continue to be major concerns. A combination of conventional drugs and plant derived therapeutics can serve to expand the antimicrobial spectrum, prevent the emergence of drug resistant mutants and minimize toxicity. Alpinia galanga, used in various traditional medicines, possesses broad spectrum antibacterial properties. The study was undertaken to assess the antimycobacterial potential of A. galanga in axenic (under aerobic and anaerobic conditions) and intracellular assays. Methods Phytochemical analysis was done using HPTLC. The acetone, aqueous and ethanolic extracts (1, 10, 25, 50 and 100 μg/ml) of A. galanga were tested axenically using Microplate Alamar Blue Assay (MABA) against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) H37Rv and three drug sensitive and three multi drug resistant clinical isolates. The activity of the extracts was also evaluated intracellularly in A549 cell line against these strains. The extracts active under intracellular conditions were further tested in an axenic setup under reducing oxygen concentrations using only H37Rv. Results 1´ acetoxychavicol acetate, the reference standard used, was present in all the three extracts. The acetone and ethanolic extracts were active in axenic (aerobic and anaerobic) and intracellular assays. The aqueous extract did not demonstrate activity under the defined assay parameters. Conclusion A. galanga exhibits anti M.tb activity with multiple modes of action. Since the activity of the extracts was observed under reducing oxygen concentrations, it may be effective in treating the dormant and non-replicating bacteria of latent TB. Though the hypothesis needs further testing, A. galanga being a regular dietary component may be utilized in combination with the conventional TB therapy for enhanced efficacy. PMID:24592852

  7. 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

  8. Convenient microtiter plate-based, oxygen-independent activity assays for flavin-dependent oxidoreductases based on different redox dyes.

    PubMed

    Brugger, Dagmar; Krondorfer, Iris; Zahma, Kawah; Stoisser, Thomas; Bolivar, Juan M; Nidetzky, Bernd; Peterbauer, Clemens K; Haltrich, Dietmar

    2014-04-01

    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

  9. Mitogenic hormone-induced intracellular message: assay and partial characterization of an activator of DNA replication induced by epidermal growth factor.

    PubMed Central

    Das, M

    1980-01-01

    This paper explores the pathway from nuclear quiescence to mitogenesis. It describes an in vitro assay for an activator of DNA replication induced by epidermal growth factor (EGF) in responsive cells. Cytoplasmic extracts from EGF-treated 3T3 cells were found to contain substances that can stimulate DNA synthesis in isolated nuclei from spleen cells of adult frogs. Extracts from untreated resting 3T3 cells lack this activity, and EGF itself is incapable of stimulating DNA synthesis in these cell-free systems. The extract-induced stimulation of incorporation of [3H]dTTP into nuclear DNA is ATP dependent and requires the presence of the four deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates, suggesting the occurrence of replication rather than repair synthesis. This cell-free assay has been used to obtain some initial insights into the mechanism of induction and biochemical characterization of the intermediate in EGF action. Half-maximal induction of the active intracellular substance is achieved at about 0.08 nM EGF, a concentration that correlates well with the concentration required for half-maximal mitogenesis. Studies on the biochemical characteristics of this active substance strongly suggest that the activity is associated with a protein. The activity is nondialyzable and sensitive to trypsin and heat. Sucrose gradient centrifugation of the extract revealed three peaks of activity with molecular weights of 46,000, 110,000, and 270,000 (sedimentation coefficients: 3.7 S, 6.6 S, and 12 S, respectively). These results indicate that receptor-EGF interaction at the cell surface leads to the intracellular generation of protein that are capable of stimulating quiescent nuclei into activity. PMID:6965791

  10. Activation of mutagens by hepatocytes and liver 9000 X g supernatant from human origin in the Salmonella typhimurium mutagenicity assay. Comparison with rat liver preparations.

    PubMed

    Neis, J M; Yap, S H; van Gemert, P J; Roelofs, H M; Bos, R P; Henderson, P T

    1986-02-01

    The mutagenicity of 10 known genotoxic compounds, of several chemical classes, was measured in Salmonella typhimurium mutagenicity assays comprising isolated human hepatocytes or human liver 9000 X g supernatant (S9) from 4 different individuals, as activating system. The mutagenic activity of several compounds as determined with the Salmonella/hepatocyte suspension assay showed obvious differences when compared with the values obtained in the Salmonella/S9 plate assay. For instance, the mutagenic activity of BZ, DMN and DEN appeared to be much higher in the hepatocyte assay than in the S9 assay. However, 2-AF and 2-AAF were activated more effectively into mutagens in the S9 assay than in the hepatocyte assay. 2-AF was slightly more mutagenic than 2-AAF in the hepatocyte assay, whereas it was far more mutagenic than 2-AAF in the S9 assay. DMN was found more mutagenic than DEN in the hepatocyte assay, whereas in the S9 assay DEN appeared to be slightly more mutagenic. Furthermore, great interindividual differences in the metabolic activation of certain compounds, e.g. BZ and DMN, were observed in the hepatocyte suspension assay, whereas these variations were less evident in the S9 plate assay. Comparison of the mutagenicity data obtained with the human liver preparations, with those obtained with rat liver preparations, showed great interspecies differences in the capacity to activate certain chemicals into mutagens. The use of human liver preparations, in particular isolated human hepatocytes, may be of great value in studies on inter- and intraspecies variations in metabolic activation of genotoxic agents.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Conductimetric assays for the hydrolase and transferase activities of phospholipase D enzymes.

    PubMed

    Mezna, M; Lawrence, A J

    1994-05-01

    Measurement of solution electrical conductance (conductimetry) is a simple direct assay method for the protogenic, hydrolytic reactions catalyzed by all phospholipase enzymes. The technique is especially suitable for assay of phospholipase D (PLD) enzymes where cleavage of zwitterionic substrates reinforces the pH dependent conductance change and allows the method to be used over a much wider pH range than the equivalent titrimetric assay. The ability to detect zwitterion cleavage enables the method to assay reactions in which phospholipase D transfers neutral, or anionic, alcohol species to the zwitterionic substrates phosphatidyl choline and phosphatidyl ethanolamine. The method can follow the sequential attack by different phospholipases and provides a simple technique for investigating the effect of substrate structure on susceptibility to various phospholipase enzymes. The results confirm that PLD from Streptomyces chromofuscus can attack lysophospholipids, but cannot transfer primary alcohols to the phosphatidyl residue, while the PLD from savoy cabbage is an efficient transferase, but cannot attack lysophospholipids. The data suggest that the bacterial PLD fails to act as a transferase because it hydrolyzes the transphosphatidylation products. Some phosphatidyl alcohols are more highly susceptible to PLA2 attack than the parent phosphatidyl choline derivatives.

  15. 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.

  16. A Fluorescence-Coupled Assay for Gamma Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Reveals Metabolic Stress-Induced Modulation of GABA Content in Neuroendocrine Cancer

    PubMed Central

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Rules of donor preference in saccharomyces mating-type gene switching revealed by a competition assay involving two types of recombination.

    PubMed

    Wu, X; Wu, C; Haber, J E

    1997-10-01

    Mating type (MAT) switching in Saccharomyces cerevisiae is initiated by a double-strand break (DSB) created at MAT by HO endonuclease. MATa cells activate the entire left arm of chromosome III; thus MATa preferentially recombines with the silent donor HML. In contrast, MAT alpha cells inactivate the left arm, including HML, and thus preferentially recombine with HMR, 100 kb to the right of MAT. We present a novel competition assay, in which the DSB at MAT can be repaired either by MAT switching or by single-strand annealing (SSA) between two URA3 genes flanking MAT. With preferred donors, MATa or MAT alpha switching occurs 65-70% of the time in competition with SSA. When HML is deleted, 40% of MATa cells recombine with the "wrong" donor HMR; however, when HMR is deleted, only 18% of MAT alpha cells recombine with HML. In interchromosomal switching, with donors on chromosome III and MAT on chromosome V, MATa retains its strong preference for HML and switching is efficient, when the chromosome III recombination enhancer is present. However, MAT alpha donor preference is lost and interchromosomal switching is very inefficient. These experiments demonstrate the utility of using competition between two outcomes to measure the relative efficiency of recombination.

  20. The promoter competition assay (PCA): a new approach to identify motifs involved in the transcriptional activity of reporter genes.

    PubMed

    Hube, Florent; Myal, Yvonne; Leygue, Etienne

    2006-05-01

    Identifying particular motifs responsible for promoter activity is a crucial step toward the development of new gene-based preventive and therapeutic strategies. However, to date, experimental methods to study promoter activity remain limited. We present in this report a promoter competition assay designed to identify, within a given promoter region, motifs critical for its activity. This assay consists in co-transfecting the promoter to be analyzed and double-stranded oligonucleotides which will compete for the binding of transcription factors. Using the recently characterized SBEM promoter as model, we first delineated the feasibility of the method and optimized the experimental conditions. We then identified, within an 87-bp region responsible for a strong expression of the reporter gene, an octamer-binding site essential for its transcriptional regulation. The importance of this motif has been confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. The promoter competition assay appears to be a fast and efficient approach to identify, within a given promoter sequence, sites critical for its activity.

  1. "BINACLE" assay for in vitro detection of active tetanus neurotoxin in toxoids.

    PubMed

    Behrensdorf-Nicol, Heike A; Weisser, Karin; Krämer, Beate

    2015-01-01

    Tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) consists of two protein chains connected by a disulfide linkage: The heavy chain mediates the toxin binding and uptake by neurons, whereas the light chain cleaves synaptobrevin and thus blocks neurotransmitter release.Chemically inactivated TeNT (tetanus toxoid) is utilized for the production of tetanus vaccines. For safety reasons, each toxoid bulk has to be tested for the "absence of toxin and irreversibility of toxoid". To date, these mandatory tests are performed as toxicity tests in guinea pigs. A replacement by an animal-free method for the detection of TeNT would be desirable. The BINACLE (BINding And CLEavage) assay takes into account the receptor-binding as well as the proteolytic characteristics of TeNT: The toxin is bound to immobilized receptor molecules, the light chains are then released by reduction and transferred to a microplate containing synaptobrevin, and the fragment resulting from TeNT-induced cleavage is finally detected. This assay offers a higher specificity for discriminating between toxic TeNT and inactivated toxoid molecules than other published assays. Validation studies have shown that the BINACLE assay allows the sensitive and robust detection of TeNT in toxoids, and thus may indeed represent a suitable alternative to the prescribed animal safety tests for toxoids from several European vaccine manufacturers. Product-specific validations (and possibly adaptations) of the assay protocol will be required. A European collaborative study is currently being initiated to further examine the applicability of the method for toxoid testing. The final aim is the inclusion of the method into the European Pharmacopoeia.

  2. Roles of bovine serum albumin and copper in the assay and stability of ammonia monooxygenase activity in vitro.

    PubMed Central

    Juliette, L Y; Hyman, M R; Arp, D J

    1995-01-01

    We investigated the effects of bovine serum albumin (BSA) on both the assay and the stability of ammonia-oxidizing activity in cell extracts of Nitrosomonas europaea. Ammonia-dependent O2 uptake activity of freshly prepared extracts did not require BSA. However, a dependence on BSA developed in extracts within a short time. The role of BSA in the assay of ammonia-oxidizing activity apparently is to absorb endogenous free fatty acids which are present in the extracts, because (i) only proteins which bind fatty acids, e.g., BSA or beta-lactoglobulin, supported ammonia-oxidizing activity; (ii) exogenous palmitoleic acid completely inhibited ammonia-dependent O2 uptake activity; (iii) the inhibition caused by palmitoleic acid was reversed only by proteins which bind fatty acids; and (iv) the concentration of endogenous free palmitoleic acid increased during aging of cell extracts. Additionally, the presence of BSA (10 mg/ml) or CuCl2 (500 microM) stabilized ammonia-dependent O2 uptake activity for 2 to 3 days at 4 degrees C. The stabilizing effect of BSA or CuCl2 was apparently due to an inhibition of lipolysis, because both additives inhibited the increase in concentrations of free palmitoleic acid in aging extracts. Other additives which are known to modify lipase activity were also found to stabilize ammonia-oxidizing activity. These additives included HgCl2, lecithin, and phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride. PMID:7665467

  3. Evaluation of radioimmunoassay and in vitro colony assay techniques for determination of colony-stimulating factor and inhibitory activity in murine serum and tissue

    SciTech Connect

    Boegel, F.; Waheed, A.; Shadduck, R.K.

    1981-12-01

    These studies have evaluated a newly developed radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the measurement of colony-stimulating factor (CSF) in murine serum and other biological fluids. The routine in vitro agar gel bioassay for CSF is influenced by high molecular weight serum lipoproteins and low molecular weight tissue-derived materials that are inhibitory to colony formation. Studies with normal serum revealed that in all cases, the levels of CSF detected by the RIA were equal to or greater than levels measured by the bioassay. Dose curves with varying quantities of serum had linear responses in the RIA but not the colony assay. Using Sephadex G-150 chromatography, the murine serum was separated into CSF active and CSF inhibitory peaks as determined by bioassay. Evaluation of these fractions by RIA indicated that the assay was unaffected by the serum inhibitors. Likewise, experiments with tissue lysates indicated that the RIA was not influenced by the low molecular weight tissue inhibitors. Instead, the radioimmunoassay revealed low levels of CSF that were not detectable by bioassay. These observations indicate that the RIA is superior to the bioassay for the estimation of CSF in murine serum and other biologic materials.

  4. In silico studies and fluorescence binding assays of potential anti-prion compounds reveal an important binding site for prion inhibition from PrP(C) to PrP(Sc).

    PubMed

    Pagadala, Nataraj S; Perez-Pineiro, Rolando; Wishart, David S; Tuszynski, Jack A

    2015-02-16

    To understand the pharmacophore properties of 2-aminothiazoles and design novel inhibitors against the prion protein, a highly predictive 3D quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSAR) has been developed by performing comparative molecular field analysis (CoMFA) and comparative similarity analysis (CoMSIA). Both CoMFA and CoMSIA maps reveal the presence of the oxymethyl groups in meta and para positions on the phenyl ring of compound 17 (N-[4-(3,4-dimethoxyphenyl)-1,3-thiazol-2-yl]quinolin-2-amine), is necessary for activity while electro-negative nitrogen of quinoline is highly favorable to enhance activity. The blind docking results for these compounds show that the compound with quinoline binds with higher affinity than isoquinoline and naphthalene groups. Out of 150 novel compounds retrieved using finger print analysis by pharmacophoric model predicted based on five test sets of compounds, five compounds with diverse scaffolds were selected for biological evaluation as possible PrP inhibitors. Molecular docking combined with fluorescence quenching studies show that these compounds bind to pocket-D of SHaPrP near Trp145. The new antiprion compounds 3 and 6, which bind with the interaction energies of -12.1 and -13.2 kcal/mol, respectively, show fluorescence quenching with binding constant (Kd) values of 15.5 and 44.14 μM, respectively. Further fluorescence binding assays with compound 5, which is similar to 2-aminothiazole as a positive control, also show that the molecule binds to the pocket-D with the binding constant (Kd) value of 84.7 μM. Finally, both molecular docking and a fluorescence binding assay of noscapine as a negative control reveals the same binding site on the surface of pocket-A near a rigid loop between β2 and α2 interacting with Arg164. This high level of correlation between molecular docking and fluorescence quenching studies confirm that these five compounds are likely to act as inhibitors for prion propagation while

  5. Radiation inactivation analysis of influenza virus reveals different target sizes for fusion, leakage, and neuraminidase activities

    SciTech Connect

    Gibson, S.; Jung, C.Y.; Takahashi, M.; Lenard, J.

    1986-10-07

    The size of the functional units responsible for several activities carried out by the influenza virus envelope glycoproteins was determined by radiation inactivation analysis. Neuraminidase activity, which resides in the glycoprotein NA, was inactivated exponentially with an increasing radiation dose, yielding a target size of 94 +/- 5 kilodaltons (kDa), in reasonable agreement with that of the disulfide-bonded dimer (120 kDa). All the other activities studied are properties of the HA glycoprotein and were normalized to the known molecular weight of the neuraminidase dimer. Virus-induced fusion activity was measured by two phospholipid dilution assays: relief of energy transfer between N-(7-nitro-2,1,3-benzoxadiazol-4-yl)dipalmitoyl-L-alpha- phosphatidylethanolamine (N-NBD-PE) and N-(lissamine rhodamine B sulfonyl)-dioleoyl-L-alpha-phosphatidylethanolamine (N-Rh-PE) in target liposomes and relief of self-quenching of N-Rh-PE in target liposomes. Radiation inactivation of fusion activity proceeded exponentially with radiation dose, yielding normalized target sizes of 68 +/- 6 kDa by assay i and 70 +/- 4 kDa by assay ii. These values are close to the molecular weight of a single disulfide-bonded (HA1 + HA2) unit (75 kDa), the monomer of the HA trimer. A single monomer is thus inactivated by each radiation event, and each monomer (or some part of it) constitutes a minimal functional unit capable of mediating fusion. Virus-induced leakage of calcein from target liposomes and virus-induced leakage of hemoglobin from erythrocytes (hemolysis) both showed more complex inactivation behavior: a pronounced shoulder was present in both inactivation curves, followed by a steep drop in activity at higher radiation levels.

  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. Simple enzymatic assays for the in vitro motor activity of transcription termination factor Rho from Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Boudvillain, Marc; Walmacq, Céline; Schwartz, Annie; Jacquinot, Frédérique

    2010-01-01

    The transcription termination factor Rho from Escherichia coli is a ring-shaped homo-hexameric protein that preferentially interacts with naked cytosine-rich Rut (Rho utilization) regions of nascent RNA transcripts. Once bound to the RNA chain, Rho uses ATP as an energy source to produce mechanical work and disruptive forces that ultimately lead to the dissociation of the ternary transcription complex. Although transcription termination assays have been useful to study Rho activity in various experimental contexts, they do not report directly on Rho mechanisms and kinetics. Here, we describe complementary ATP-dependent RNA-DNA helicase and streptavidin displacement assays that can be used to monitor in vitro Rho's motor activity in a more direct and quantitative manner.

  8. Evaluation of chemicals requiring metabolic activation in the EpiDerm™ 3D human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay.

    PubMed

    Aardema, Marilyn J; Barnett, Brenda B; Mun, Greg C; Dahl, Erica L; Curren, Rodger D; Hewitt, Nicola J; Pfuhler, Stefan

    2013-01-20

    The in vitro human reconstructed skin micronucleus (RSMN) assay in EpiDerm™ is a promising new assay for evaluating genotoxicity of dermally applied chemicals. A global pre-validation project sponsored by the European Cosmetics Association (Cosmetics Europe - formerly known as COLIPA), and the European Center for Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM), is underway. Results to date demonstrate international inter-laboratory and inter-experimental reproducibility of the assay for chemicals that do not require metabolism [Aardema et al., Mutat. Res. 701 (2010) 123-131]. We have expanded these studies to investigate chemicals that do require metabolic activation: 4-nitroquinoline-N-oxide (4NQO), cyclophosphamide (CP), dimethylbenzanthracene (DMBA), dimethylnitrosamine (DMN), dibenzanthracene (DBA) and benzo(a)pyrene (BaP). In this study, the standard protocol of two applications over 48h was compared with an extended protocol involving three applications over 72h. Extending the treatment period to 72h changed the result significantly only for 4NQO, which was negative in the standard 48h dosing regimen, but positive with the 72h treatment. DMBA and CP were positive in the standard 48h assay (CP induced a more reproducible response with the 72h treatment) and BaP gave mixed results; DBA and DMN were negative in both the 48h and the 72h dosing regimens. While further work with chemicals that require metabolism is needed, it appears that the RMSN assay detects some chemicals that require metabolic activation (4 out of 6 chemicals were positive in one or both protocols). At this point in time, for general testing, the use of a longer treatment period in situations where the standard 48h treatment is negative or questionable is recommended.

  9. Image-based ELISA on an activated polypropylene microtest plate--a spectrophotometer-free low cost assay technique.

    PubMed

    Parween, Shahila; Nahar, Pradip

    2013-10-15

    In this communication, we report ELISA technique on an activated polypropylene microtest plate (APPµTP) as an illustrative example of a low cost diagnostic assay. Activated test zone in APPµTP binds a capture biomolecule through covalent linkage thereby, eliminating non-specific binding often prevalent in absorption based techniques. Efficacy of APPµTP is demonstrated by detecting human immunoglobulin G (IgG), human immunoglobulin E (IgE) and Aspergillus fumigatus antibody in patient's sera. Detection is done by taking the image of the assay solution by a desktop scanner and analyzing the color of the image. Human IgE quantification by color saturation in the image-based assay shows excellent correlation with absorbance-based assay (Pearson correlation coefficient, r=0.992). Significance of the relationship is seen from its p value which is 4.087e-11. Performance of APPµTP is also checked with respect to microtiter plate and paper-based ELISA. APPµTP can quantify an analyte as precisely as in microtiter plate with insignificant non-specific binding, a necessary prerequisite for ELISA assay. In contrast, paper-ELISA shows high non-specific binding in control sera (false positive). Finally, we have carried out ELISA steps on APPµTP by ultrasound waves on a sonicator bath and the results show that even in 8 min, it can convincingly differentiate a test sample from a control sample. In short, spectrophotometer-free image-based miniaturized ELISA on APPµTP is precise, reliable, rapid, and sensitive and could be a good substitute for conventional immunoassay procedures widely used in clinical and research laboratories.

  10. RAS - Screens & Assays

    Cancer.gov

    A primary goal of the RAS Initiative is to develop assays for RAS activity, localization, and signaling and adapt those assays so they can be used for finding new drug candidates. Explore the work leading to highly validated screening protocols.

  11. 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

  12. Highly Sensitive and Multiple Enzyme Activity Assay Using Reagent-release Capillary-Isoelectric Focusing with Rhodamine 110-based Substrates.

    PubMed

    Sueyoshi, Kenji; Nogawa, Yuto; Sugawara, Kasumi; Endo, Tatsuro; Hisamoto, Hideaki

    2015-01-01

    In this study, a simple and highly sensitive enzyme activity assay based on reagent-release capillary-isoelectric focusing is described. Reagent-release capillaries containing a fluorescent substrate, which produces fluorescent products possessing an isoelectric point after reaction with enzymes, provides a simple procedure. This is because it allows to spontaneously inject a sample solution into the capillary by capillary action, mixing reagents, and subsequently concentrating the fluorescent products based on isoelectric focusing. Fluorescent rhodamine 110 and its monoamide derivative, which were generated as a final product and an intermediate, respectively, were then focused and separated by reagent-release capillary-isoelectric focusing. After 30 min of enzyme reactions, two focused fluorescent bands were clearly isolated along the prepared capillaries. Employing the focused band of rhodamine 110 monoamide allowed for highly sensitive detection of enzyme activity in the 10 pg mL(-1) order, while that of the conventional assay using a microplate was in the ng mL(-1) order. Furthermore, arraying reagent-release capillaries of different substrates on a chip allowed for simultaneous multi-assay of enzyme activity with good sensitivity in the pg mL(-1) order for each protein.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. A novel thrombelastograph tissue factor/kaolin assay of activated clotting times for monitoring heparin anticoagulation during cardiopulmonary bypass.

    PubMed

    Chavez, Jack J; Foley, Donald E; Snider, Carolyn C; Howell, James C; Cohen, Eli; Muenchen, Robert A; Carroll, Roger C

    2004-11-01

    We used a thrombelastograph (TEG) assay with tissue factor and kaolin (TEG TF/K) to measure activated clotting time (ACT) in 31 patients during cardiopulmonary bypass. For comparison, ACTs were also determined by a Hemochron Jr. Signature and a Hepcon HMS. The TEG TF/K correlated with both the Hepcon (r(2) = 0.789) and Hemochron (r(2) = 0.743) ACTs. The average ACT after heparin was 319 +/- 119 s (mean +/- sd) for the TEG TF/K compared with 624 +/- 118 s for the Hepcon instrument. To evaluate the effects of hemodilution on TEG TF/K and Hemochron assays, ACT assays were performed on blood diluted to 50% and titrated with heparin from 0 to 6 U/mL. Both instruments showed significant (P < 0.01) changes in the ACT-versus-heparin slope, but the 0 heparin intercept for the TEG TF/K ACTs was not significantly changed (P = 0.292), in contrast to that for the Hemochron device (P = 0.041). Both instruments also indicated the same 1.3:1 ratio of protamine to heparin for optimum heparin neutralization, with increasing ACTs at ratios >2.6:1. The TEG TF/K ACT assay rapidly monitors heparin anticoagulation, in addition to the capabilities of this instrument to monitor platelet function, clotting factors, and fibrinolysis.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  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 of...

  20. Development of radiometric assays for quantification of enzyme activities of the key enzymes of thyroid hormones metabolism.

    PubMed

    Pavelka, S

    2014-01-01

    We newly elaborated and adapted several radiometric enzyme assays for the determination of activities of the key enzymes engaged in the biosynthesis (thyroid peroxidase, TPO) and metabolic transformations (conjugating enzymes and iodothyronine deiodinases, IDs) of thyroid hormones (THs) in the thyroid gland and in peripheral tissues, especially in white adipose tissue (WAT). We also elaborated novel, reliable radiometric methods for extremely sensitive determination of enzyme activities of IDs of types 1, 2 and 3 in microsomal fractions of different rat and human tissues, as well as in homogenates of cultured mammalian cells. The use of optimized TLC separation of radioactive products from the unconsumed substrates and film-less autoradiography of radiochromatograms, taking advantage of storage phosphor screens, enabled us to determine IDs enzyme activities as low as 10(-18) katals. In studies of the interaction of fluoxetine (Fluox) with the metabolism of THs, we applied adapted radiometric enzyme assays for iodothyronine sulfotransferases (ST) and uridine 5'-diphospho-glucuronyltransferase (UDP-GT). Fluox is the most frequently used representative of a new group of non-tricyclic antidepressant drugs--selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. We used the elaborated assays for quantification the effects of Fluox and for the assessment of the degree of potential induction of rat liver ST and/or UDP-GT enzyme activities by Fluox alone or in combination with T(3). Furthermore, we studied possible changes in IDs activities in murine adipose tissue under the conditions that promoted either tissue hypertrophy (obesogenic treatment) or involution (caloric restriction), and in response to leptin, using our newly developed radiometric enzyme assays for IDs. Our results suggest that deiodinase D1 has a functional role in WAT, with D1 possibly being involved in the control of adipose tissue metabolism and/or accumulation of the tissue. Significant positive correlation between

  1. Lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay for detecting active tuberculosis in Hiv-positive adults

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Maunank; Hanrahan, Colleen; Wang, Zhuo Yu; Dendukuri, Nandini; Lawn, Stephen D; Denkinger, Claudia M; Steingart, Karen R

    2016-01-01

    Background Rapid detection of tuberculosis (TB) among people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a global health priority. HIV-associated TB may have different clinical presentations and is challenging to diagnose. Conventional sputum tests have reduced sensitivity in HIV-positive individuals, who have higher rates of extrapulmonary TB compared with HIV-negative individuals. The lateral flow urine lipoarabinomannan assay (LF-LAM) is a new, commercially available point-of-care test that detects lipoarabinomannan (LAM), a lipopolysaccharide present in mycobacterial cell walls, in people with active TB disease. Objectives To assess the accuracy of LF-LAM for the diagnosis of active TB disease in HIV-positive adults who have signs and symptoms suggestive of TB (TB diagnosis).To assess the accuracy of LF-LAM as a screening test for active TB disease in HIV-positive adults irrespective of signs and symptoms suggestive of TB (TB screening). Search methods We searched the following databases without language restriction on 5 February 2015: the Cochrane Infectious Diseases Group Specialized Register; MEDLINE (PubMed,1966); EMBASE (OVID, from 1980); Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED, from 1900), Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science (CPCI-S, from 1900), and BIOSIS Previews (from 1926) (all three using the Web of Science platform; MEDION; LILACS (BIREME, from 1982); SCOPUS (from 1995); the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT); the search portal of the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (WHO ICTRP); and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&l (from 1861). Selection criteria Eligible study types included randomized controlled trials, cross-sectional studies, and cohort studies that determined LF-LAM accuracy for TB against a microbiological reference standard (culture or nucleic acid amplification test from any body site). A higher quality reference standard was one in which two or more specimen types were

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. A Demonstration of the Uncertainty in Predicting the Estrogenic Activity of Individual Chemicals and Mixtures From an In Vitro Estrogen Receptor Transcriptional Activation Assay (T47D-KBluc) to the In Vivo Uterotrophic Assay Using Oral Exposure.

    PubMed

    Conley, Justin M; Hannas, Bethany R; Furr, Johnathan R; Wilson, Vickie S; Gray, L Earl

    2016-10-01

    In vitro estrogen receptor assays are valuable tools for identifying environmental samples and chemicals that display estrogenic activity. However, in vitro potency cannot necessarily be extrapolated to estimates of in vivo potency because in vitro assays are currently unable to fully account for absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion. To explore this issue, we calculated relative potency factors (RPF), using 17α-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) as the reference compound, for several chemicals and mixtures in the T47D-KBluc estrogen receptor transactivation assay. In vitro RPFs were used to predict rat oral uterotrophic assay responses for these chemicals and mixtures. EE2, 17β-estradiol (E2), benzyl-butyl phthalate (BBP), bisphenol-A (BPA), bisphenol-AF (BPAF), bisphenol-C (BPC), bisphenol-S (BPS), and methoxychlor (MET) were tested individually, while BPS + MET, BPAF + MET, and BPAF + BPC + BPS + EE2 + MET were tested as equipotent mixtures. In vivo ED50 values for BPA, BPAF, and BPC were accurately predicted using in vitro data; however, E2 was less potent than predicted, BBP was a false positive, and BPS and MET were 76.6 and 368.3-fold more active in vivo than predicted from the in vitro potency, respectively. Further, mixture ED50 values were more accurately predicted by the dose addition model using individual chemical in vivo uterotrophic data (0.7-1.5-fold difference from observed) than in vitro data (1.4-86.8-fold). Overall, these data illustrate the potential for both underestimating and overestimating in vivo potency from predictions made with in vitro data for compounds that undergo substantial disposition following oral administration. Accounting for aspects of toxicokinetics, notably metabolism, in in vitro models will be necessary for accurate in vitro-to-in vivo extrapolations.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Development of a simple and rapid assay for methylase activity based on DNA hairpin probe and Sybr Green I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Yi; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2012-03-01

    Methylase is vital for a large number of biological reactions. Here we developed a new method for DNA methylase activity analysis. In this paper, a DNA hairpin probe with a sequence of 5'-GATC-3' in the stem region was designed. The 5'-GATC-3' sequence was targeted by Dam MTase and was methylated. Subsequently, restriction enzyme Dpnl recognized the site and cut it. Then the haipin probe was transformed into three single stranded DNA. This enzymatic process can be monitored by the change of SYBR green I fluorescence. The current label free assay is an useful tool for DNA methylase activity analysis due to its simplicity, speedability, and low cost.

  10. Development of a simple and rapid assay for methylase activity based on DNA hairpin probe and Sybr Green I

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Long, Yi; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2011-11-01

    Methylase is vital for a large number of biological reactions. Here we developed a new method for DNA methylase activity analysis. In this paper, a DNA hairpin probe with a sequence of 5'-GATC-3' in the stem region was designed. The 5'-GATC-3' sequence was targeted by Dam MTase and was methylated. Subsequently, restriction enzyme Dpnl recognized the site and cut it. Then the haipin probe was transformed into three single stranded DNA. This enzymatic process can be monitored by the change of SYBR green I fluorescence. The current label free assay is an useful tool for DNA methylase activity analysis due to its simplicity, speedability, and low cost.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. A high throughput Cre-lox activated viral membrane fusion assay identifies pharmacological inhibitors of HIV entry.

    PubMed

    Esposito, Anthony M; Cheung, Pamela; Swartz, Talia H; Li, Hongru; Tsibane, Tshidi; Durham, Natasha D; Basler, Christopher F; Felsenfeld, Dan P; Chen, Benjamin K

    2016-03-01

    Enveloped virus entry occurs when viral and cellular membranes fuse releasing particle contents into the target cell. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) entry occurs by cell-free virus or virus transferred between infected and uninfected cells through structures called virological synapses. We developed a high-throughput cell-based assay to identify small molecule inhibitors of cell-free or virological synapse-mediated entry. An HIV clone carrying Cre recombinase as a Gag-internal gene fusion releases active Cre into cells upon viral entry activating a recombinatorial gene switch changing dsRed to GFP-expression. A screen of a 1998 known-biological profile small molecule library identified pharmacological HIV entry inhibitors that block both cell-free and cell-to-cell infection. Many top hits were noted as HIV inhibitors in prior studies, but not previously recognized as entry antagonists. Modest therapeutic indices for simvastatin and nigericin were observed in confirmatory HIV infection assays. This robust assay is adaptable to study HIV and heterologous viral pseudotypes.

  16. 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

  17. Fluorometric assay of oleate-activated phospholipase D isoenzyme in membranes of rat nervous tissue and human platelets.

    PubMed

    Krzystanek, Marek; Trzeciak, Henryk I; Krzystanek, Ewa; Małecki, Andrzej

    2010-01-01

    Phospholipase D plays a key role in the biosynthesis of phosphatidic acid, a second messenger involved in essential cellular processes. Oleate-activated phospholipase D was the first mammalian phospholipase D isoform to be discovered but is the least known. The study was aimed to test a fluorometric method of assessment of oleate-activated phospholipase D activity in different biological materials. The brain cortex of male Wistar rats, cultured rat brain astrocytes, and human platelets were processed to yield plasmatic membranes for experiments. To assess phospholipase D activity the modified fluorometric method was used. Previously, the method was used only to determine H₂O₂. In this enzyme-coupled assay phospholipase D activity is monitored indirectly using 10-acetyl-3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine. First, phospholipase D cleaves exogenous phosphatidylcholine to yield choline and phosphatidic acid. Second, choline is oxidized by choline oxidase to betaine and H₂O₂. Finally, in the presence of horseradish peroxidase, H₂O₂ reacts with 10-acetyl-3,7-dihydroxyphenoxazine to generate the highly fluorescent product, resorufin. The concentration of resorufin was measured using excitation and emission at 560 nm and 590 nm, respectively. The proposed optimal parameters of the tested assay are 25 µg of rat brain cortex protein, 50 µg of rat brain astrocyte protein, and 50 µg of human platelet protein in a reaction volume of 200 µL, and 2 min enzymatic reaction at 37°C. The fluorometric method may be applied to assay phospholipase D in different biological materials. PMID:20835407

  18. 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 ...

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Plant membrane assays with cytokinin receptors underpin the unique role of free cytokinin bases as biologically active ligands.

    PubMed

    Lomin, Sergey N; Krivosheev, Dmitry M; Steklov, Mikhail Yu; Arkhipov, Dmitry V; Osolodkin, Dmitry I; Schmülling, Thomas; Romanov, Georgy A

    2015-04-01

    Cytokinin receptors play a key role in cytokinin-dependent processes regulating plant growth, development, and adaptation; therefore, the functional properties of these receptors are of great importance. Previously the properties of cytokinin receptors were investigated in heterologous assay systems using unicellular microorganisms, mainly bacteria, expressing receptor proteins. However, within microorganisms receptors reside in an alien environment that might distort the receptor properties. Therefore, a new assay system has been developed allowing studies of individual receptors within plant membranes (i.e. closer to their natural environment). The main ligand-binding characteristics of receptors from Arabidopsis [AHK2, AHK3, and AHK4] and maize (ZmHK1) were refined in this new system, and the properties of full-length Arabidopsis receptor AHK2 were characterized for the first time. Ligand specificity profiles of receptors towards cytokinin bases were comparable with the profiles retrieved in bacterial assay systems. In contrast, cytokinin-9-ribosides displayed a strongly reduced affinity for receptors in the plant assay system, indicating that ribosides as the common transport form of cytokinins have no or very weak cytokinin activity. This underpins the central role of free bases as the sole biologically active cytokinin compounds. According to molecular modelling and docking studies, N (9)-ribosylation alters the bonding pattern in cytokinin-receptor interaction and prevents β6-β7 loop movement important for tight hormone binding. A common feature of all receptors was a greatly reduced ligand binding at low (5.0-5.5) pH. The particularly high sensitivity of ZmHK1 to pH changes leads to the suggestion that some cytokinin receptors may play an additional role as pH sensors in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum.

  3. 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.

  4. Antigenotoxic activity of watercress extract in an in vitro mammalian system using comet assay.

    PubMed

    Casanova, Natalia A; Carballo, Marta A

    2011-12-01

    Watercress (Cruciferae), an integral part of Mediterranean diets, is a nutritive food which is used in the treatment of several diseases. Oxidative DNA damage seems to play a crucial role in chronic, aging-related diseases and it is considered an important and probably carcinogenic factor. The aim of this work was to determine the impact of watercress extract on cell viability and its potential antigenotoxic properties against induced oxidative damage, using a comet assay and peripheral blood cells as an in vitro model. An aqueous extract of the leaves was prepared using a juice processor, centrifuged, filtered and preserved at -20 °C. Two concentrations of the aqueous extract (13.2 and 26.4 mg/mL) were assayed. No differences were found in cell viability between the control and treated groups at any time. Significant antigenotoxic effects were observed for both concentrations, expressed as the damage index (p = 0.005 at 30 min; p < 0.001 at 60 and 90 min), the percentage reductions in damage being similar between them (67.1-75.2% respectively). These results suggest that the consumption watercress in the diet is a powerful tool for improving health and the quality of life.

  5. Improvement of a sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for screening estrogen receptor binding activity.

    PubMed

    Koda, Tomoko; Soya, Yoshihiro; Negishi, Harumi; Shiraishi, Fujio; Morita, Masatoshi

    2002-12-01

    A competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) with estrogen receptor (alpha) and a fluorescence depolarization method with Full-Range Beacon were examined as estrogen receptor binding assays to prescreen endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). In this study, because it is difficult to measure the receptor binding ability of sparingly water-soluble chemicals using these methods, the competitive enzyme immunoassay was further modified for improved sensitivity by changing the operational parameters, such as receptor concentration, ligand concentration, and the reaction temperature. The method was applied to 10 test chemicals, including alkylphenols and bisphenol A (BPA). The diethylstilbestrol (DES) relative binding affinity (RBA) of ELISA kit was set equal to 1 (RBA = IC50/IC50 of DES). The RBAs of BPA, 4-nonylphenol (p-NP), and 4-t-octylphenol (p-t-OP) are 5386, 8619. and 8121 before using the improved competitive enzyme immunoassay and 883, 699, and 2832 using improved it respectively. Mixtures of BPA, p-NP, and p-t-OP gave results that the estrogen binding affinities of these chemicals are additive or slightly more than additive.

  6. 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.

  7. New Assays to Characterise Growth-Related Phenotypes of Plasmodium falciparum Reveal Variation in Density-Dependent Growth Inhibition between Parasite Lines

    PubMed Central

    Rovira-Graells, Núria; Aguilera-Simón, Sara; Tintó-Font, Elisabet

    2016-01-01

    The growth phenotype of asexual blood stage malaria parasites can influence their virulence and also their ability to survive and achieve transmission to the next host, but there are few methods available to characterise parasite growth parameters in detail. We developed a new assay to measure growth rates at different starting parasitaemias in a 96-well format and applied it to characterise the growth of Plasmodium falciparum lines 3D7-A and 3D7-B, previously shown to have different invasion rates and to use different invasion pathways. Using this simple and accurate assay we found that 3D7-B is more sensitive to high initial parasitaemia than 3D7-A. This result indicates that different parasite lines show variation in their levels of density-dependent growth inhibition. We also developed a new assay to compare the duration of the asexual blood cycle between different parasite lines. The assay is based on the tight synchronisation of cultures to a 1 h parasite age window and the subsequent monitoring of schizont bursting and formation of new rings by flow cytometry. Using this assay we observed differences in the duration of the asexual blood cycle between parasite lines 3D7 and HB3. These two new assays will be useful to characterise variation in growth-related parameters and to identify growth phenotypes associated with the targeted deletion of specific genes or with particular genomic, transcriptomic or proteomic patterns. Furthermore, the identification of density-dependent growth inhibition as an intrinsic parasite property that varies between parasite lines expands the repertoire of measurable growth-related phenotypic traits that have the potential to influence the outcome of a malarial blood infection. PMID:27780272

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Indole-based assay to assess the effect of ethanol on Pseudomonas putida F1 dioxygenase activity.

    PubMed

    da Silva, Márcio Luis Busi; Alvarez, Pedro J J

    2010-06-01

    Toluene dioxygenase (TDO) is ubiquitous in nature and has a broad substrate range, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX). Pseudomonas putida F1 (PpF1) induced on toluene is known to produce indigo from indole through the activity of TDO. In this work, a spectrophotometric assay previously developed to measure indole to indigo production rates was modified to characterize the effects of various ethanol concentrations on toluene aerobic biodegradation activity and assess catabolite repression of TDO. Indigo production rate by cells induced on toluene alone was 0.0012 +/- 0.0006 OD(610) min(-1). The presence of ethanol did not fully repress TDO activity when toluene was also available as a carbon source. However, indigo production rates by PpF1 grown on ethanol:toluene mixtures (3:1 w/w) decreased by approximately 50%. Overall, the proposed spectrophotometric assay is a simple approach to quantify TDO activity, and demonstrates how the presence of ethanol in groundwater contaminated with reformulated gasoline is likely to interfere with naturally occurring microorganisms from fully expressing their aerobic catabolic potential towards hydrocarbons bioremediation.

  11. An octaethylene glycol monododecyl ether-based mixed micellar assay for determining the lipid acyl hydrolase activity of patatin.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, M; Escribano, J; Pérez-Gilabert, M; Chazarra, S; Cabanes, J; García-Carmona, F

    2001-10-01

    Patatin was extracted from potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum L. cv. Spunta) and purified to homogeneity by ammonium sulfate salt fractionation and one sole chromatographic step. A spectrophotometric mixed micellar assay for patatin lipid acyl hydro