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Sample records for synthetic fxr agonist

  1. Synthetic FXR agonist GW4064 is a modulator of multiple G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Singh, Nidhi; Yadav, Manisha; Singh, Abhishek Kumar; Kumar, Harish; Dwivedi, Shailendra Kumar Dhar; Mishra, Jay Sharan; Gurjar, Anagha; Manhas, Amit; Chandra, Sharat; Yadav, Prem Narayan; Jagavelu, Kumaravelu; Siddiqi, Mohammad Imran; Trivedi, Arun Kumar; Chattopadhyay, Naibedya; Sanyal, Sabyasachi

    2014-05-01

    The synthetic nuclear bile acid receptor (farnesoid X receptor [FXR]) agonist GW4064 is extensively used as a specific pharmacological tool to illustrate FXR functions. We noticed that GW4064 activated empty luciferase reporters in FXR-deficient HEK-293T cells. We postulated that this activity of GW4064 might be routed through as yet unknown cellular targets and undertook an unbiased exploratory approach to identify these targets. Investigations revealed that GW4064 activated cAMP and nuclear factor for activated T-cell response elements (CRE and NFAT-RE, respectively) present on these empty reporters. Whereas GW4064-induced NFAT-RE activation involved rapid intracellular Ca(2+) accumulation and NFAT nuclear translocation, CRE activation involved soluble adenylyl cyclase-dependent cAMP accumulation and Ca(2+)-calcineurin-dependent nuclear translocation of transducers of regulated CRE-binding protein 2. Use of dominant negative heterotrimeric G-protein minigenes revealed that GW4064 caused activation of Gαi/o and Gq/11 G proteins. Sequential pharmacological inhibitor-based screening and radioligand-binding studies revealed that GW4064 interacted with multiple G protein-coupled receptors. Functional studies demonstrated that GW4064 robustly activated H1 and H4 and inhibited H2 histamine receptor signaling events. We also found that MCF-7 breast cancer cells, reported to undergo GW4064-induced apoptosis in an FXR-dependent manner, did not express FXR, and the GW4064-mediated apoptosis, also apparent in HEK-293T cells, could be blocked by selective histamine receptor regulators. Taken together, our results demonstrate identification of histamine receptors as alternate targets for GW4064, which not only necessitates cautious interpretation of the biological functions attributed to FXR using GW4064 as a pharmacological tool but also provides a basis for the rational designing of new pharmacophores for histamine receptor modulation.

  2. Exposure to the synthetic FXR agonist GW4064 causes alterations in gene expression and sublethal hepatotoxicity in eleutheroembryo medaka (Oryzias latipes)

    SciTech Connect

    Howarth, Deanna L.; Law, Sheran H.W.; Law, J. McHugh; Mondon, J.A.; Kullman, Seth W.; Hinton, David E.

    2010-02-15

    The small freshwater teleost, medaka (Oryzias latipes), has a history of usage in studies of chronic toxicity of liver and biliary system. Recent progress with this model has focused on defining the medaka hepatobiliary system. Here we investigate critical liver function and toxicity by examining the in vivo role and function of the farnesoid X receptor alpha (FXRalpha, NR1H4), a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily that plays an essential role in the regulation of bile acid homeostasis. Quantitative mRNA analysis of medaka FXRalpha demonstrates differential expression of two FXRalpha isoforms designated Fxralpha1 and Fxralpha2, in both free swimming medaka embryos with remaining yolk (eleutheroembryos, EEs) and adults. Activation of medaka Fxralpha in vivo with GW4064 (a strong FXRalpha agonist) resulted in modification of gene expression for defined FXRalpha gene targets including the bile salt export protein, small heterodimer partner, and cytochrome P450 7A1. Histological examination of medaka liver subsequent to GW4064 exposure demonstrated significant lipid accumulation, cellular and organelle alterations in both hepatocytes and biliary epithelial cells of the liver. This report of hepatobiliary injury following GW4064 exposure extends previous investigations of the intrahepatic biliary system in medaka, reveals sensitivity to toxicant exposure, and illustrates the need for added resolution in detection and interpretation of toxic responses in this vertebrate.

  3. Conformationally constrained farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists: Heteroaryl replacements of the naphthalene

    SciTech Connect

    Bass, Jonathan Y.; Caravella, Justin A.; Chen, Lihong; Creech, Katrina L.; Deaton, David N.; Madauss, Kevin P.; Marr, Harry B.; McFadyen, Robert B.; Miller, Aaron B.; Mills, Wendy Y.; Navas, III, Frank; Parks, Derek J.; Smalley, Jr., Terrence L.; Spearing, Paul K.; Todd, Dan; Williams, Shawn P.; Wisely, G. Bruce

    2014-08-13

    To improve on the drug properties of GSK8062 1b, a series of heteroaryl bicyclic naphthalene replacements were prepared. The quinoline 1c was an equipotent FXR agonist with improved drug developability parameters relative to 1b. In addition, analog 1c lowered body weight gain and serum glucose in a DIO mouse model of diabetes.

  4. Structural Investigation for Optimization of Anthranilic Acid Derivatives as Partial FXR Agonists by in Silico Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meimei; Yang, Xuemei; Lai, Xinmei; Kang, Jie; Gan, Huijuan; Gao, Yuxing

    2016-01-01

    In this paper, a three level in silico approach was applied to investigate some important structural and physicochemical aspects of a series of anthranilic acid derivatives (AAD) newly identified as potent partial farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists. Initially, both two and three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship (2D- and 3D-QSAR) studies were performed based on such AAD by a stepwise technology combined with multiple linear regression and comparative molecular field analysis. The obtained 2D-QSAR model gave a high predictive ability (R2train = 0.935, R2test = 0.902, Q2LOO = 0.899). It also uncovered that number of rotatable single bonds (b_rotN), relative negative partial charges (RPC−), oprea's lead-like (opr_leadlike), subdivided van der Waal’s surface area (SlogP_VSA2) and accessible surface area (ASA) were important features in defining activity. Additionally, the derived3D-QSAR model presented a higher predictive ability (R2train = 0.944, R2test = 0.892, Q2LOO = 0.802). Meanwhile, the derived contour maps from the 3D-QSAR model revealed the significant structural features (steric and electronic effects) required for improving FXR agonist activity. Finally, nine newly designed AAD with higher predicted EC50 values than the known template compound were docked into the FXR active site. The excellent molecular binding patterns of these molecules also suggested that they can be robust and potent partial FXR agonists in agreement with the QSAR results. Overall, these derived models may help to identify and design novel AAD with better FXR agonist activity. PMID:27070594

  5. FXR agonist obeticholic acid reduces hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in a rat model of toxic cirrhosis

    PubMed Central

    Verbeke, Len; Mannaerts, Inge; Schierwagen, Robert; Govaere, Olivier; Klein, Sabine; Vander Elst, Ingrid; Windmolders, Petra; Farre, Ricard; Wenes, Mathias; Mazzone, Massimiliano; Nevens, Frederik; van Grunsven, Leo A.; Trebicka, Jonel; Laleman, Wim

    2016-01-01

    Hepatic inflammation drives hepatic stellate cells (HSC), resulting in liver fibrosis. The Farnesoid-X receptor (FXR) antagonizes inflammation through NF-κB inhibition. We investigated preventive and therapeutic effects of FXR agonist obeticholic acid (OCA) on hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in toxic cirrhotic rats. Cirrhosis was induced by thioacetamide (TAA) intoxication. OCA was given during or after intoxication with vehicle-treated rats as controls. At sacrifice, fibrosis, hemodynamic and biochemical parameters were assessed. HSC activation, cell turn-over, hepatic NF-κB activation, pro-inflammatory and pro-fibrotic cytokines were determined. The effect of OCA was further evaluated in isolated HSC, Kupffer cells, hepatocytes and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC). OCA decreased hepatic inflammation and fibrogenesis during TAA-administration and reversed fibrosis in established cirrhosis. Portal pressure decreased through reduced intrahepatic vascular resistance. This was paralleled by decreased expression of pro-fibrotic cytokines (transforming growth-factor β, connective tissue growth factor, platelet-derived growth factor β-receptor) as well as markers of hepatic cell turn-over, by blunting effects of pro-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. monocyte chemo-attractant protein-1). In vitro, OCA inhibited both LSEC and Kupffer cell activation; while HSC remained unaffected. This related to NF-κB inhibition via up-regulated IκBα. In conclusion, OCA inhibits hepatic inflammation in toxic cirrhotic rats resulting in decreased HSC activation and fibrosis. PMID:27634375

  6. Pharmacophore modeling, 3D-QSAR and molecular docking studies of benzimidazole derivatives as potential FXR agonists.

    PubMed

    Sindhu, Thangaraj; Srinivasan, Pappu

    2014-08-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Atom-based three-dimensional quantitative structure activity relationship (3D-QSAR) models were developed for a series of 48 benzimidazole-based agonists of FXR. A total of five pharmacophore hypotheses were generated based on the survival score to build QSAR models. HHHRR was considered as a best model that consisted of three hydrophobic features (H) and two aromatic rings (R). The best hypothesis, HHHRR yielded a 3D-QSAR model with good statistical value (R(2)) of 0.8974 for a training set of 39 compounds and also showed good predictive power with correlation coefficient (Q(2)) of 0.7559 for a test set of nine compounds. Furthermore, molecular docking simulation was performed to understand the binding affinity of 48 benzimidazole-based compounds against the active site of human FXR protein. Docking results revealed that both the most active and least active compounds showed similar binding mode to the experimentally observed binding mode of co-crystallized ligand. The generated 3D contour maps revealed the structure activity relationship of the compounds. Substitution effects at different positions of benzimidazole derivatives would lead to the discovery of new agonists against human FXR protein.

  7. Activation of the nuclear receptor FXR improves hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia in diabetic mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yanqiao; Lee, Florence Ying; Barrera, Gabriel; Lee, Hans; Vales, Charisse; Gonzalez, Frank J.; Willson, Timothy M.; Edwards, Peter A.

    2006-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) plays an important role in maintaining bile acid and cholesterol homeostasis. Here we demonstrate that FXR also regulates glucose metabolism. Activation of FXR by the synthetic agonist GW4064 or hepatic overexpression of constitutively active FXR by adenovirus-mediated gene transfer significantly lowered blood glucose levels in both diabetic db/db and wild-type mice. Consistent with these data, FXR null mice exhibited glucose intolerance and insulin insensitivity. We further demonstrate that activation of FXR in db/db mice repressed hepatic gluconeogenic genes and increased hepatic glycogen synthesis and glycogen content by a mechanism that involves enhanced insulin sensitivity. In view of its central roles in coordinating regulation of both glucose and lipid metabolism, we propose that FXR agonists are promising therapeutic agents for treatment of diabetes mellitus. glucose | GW4064 | farnesoid X receptor-VP16 | triglyceride | cholesterol

  8. Optimization of a novel class of benzimidazole-based farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists to improve physicochemical and ADME properties.

    PubMed

    Richter, Hans G F; Benson, G M; Bleicher, K H; Blum, D; Chaput, E; Clemann, N; Feng, S; Gardes, C; Grether, U; Hartman, P; Kuhn, B; Martin, R E; Plancher, J-M; Rudolph, M G; Schuler, F; Taylor, S

    2011-02-15

    Structure-guided lead optimization of recently described benzimidazolyl acetamides addressed the key liabilities of the previous lead compound 1. These efforts culminated in the discovery of 4-{(S)-2-[2-(4-chloro-phenyl)-5,6-difluoro-benzoimidazol-1-yl]-2-cyclohexyl-acetylamino}-3-fluoro-benzoic acid 7g, a highly potent and selective FXR agonist with excellent physicochemical and ADME properties and potent lipid lowering activity after oral administration to LDL receptor deficient mice.

  9. FXR agonists enhance the sensitivity of biliary tract cancer cells to cisplatin via SHP dependent inhibition of Bcl-xL expression

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Zhan, Ming; Li, Qi; Chen, Wei; Chu, Huiling; Huang, Qihong; Hou, Zhaoyuan; Man, Mohan; Wang, Jian

    2016-01-01

    Chemoresistance is common in patients with biliary tract cancer (BTC) including gallbladder cancer (GBC) and cholangiocarcinoma (CC). Therefore, it is necessary to identify effective chemotherapeutic agents for BTC. In the present study, we for the first time tested the effect of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) agonists GW4064 and CDCA (chenodeoxycholic acid) in combination with cisplatin (CDDP) on increasing the chemosensitivity in BTC. Our results show that co-treatment of CDDP with FXR agonists remarkably enhance chemosensitivity of BTC cells. Mechanistically, we found that activation of FXR induced expression of small heterodimer partner (SHP), which in turn inhibited signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) phosphorylation and resulted in down-regulation of Bcl-xL expression in BTC cells, leading to increased susceptibility to CDDP. Moreover, the experiments on tumor-bearing mice showed that GW4064/CDDP co-treatment inhibited the tumor growth in vivo by up-regulating SHP expression and down-regulating STAT3 phosphorylation. These results suggest CDDP in combination with FXR agonists could be a potential new therapeutic strategy for BTC. PMID:27127878

  10. Pharmacophore-based discovery of FXR-agonists. Part II: identification of bioactive triterpenes from Ganoderma lucidum.

    PubMed

    Grienke, Ulrike; Mihály-Bison, Judit; Schuster, Daniela; Afonyushkin, Taras; Binder, Markus; Guan, Shu-hong; Cheng, Chun-ru; Wolber, Gerhard; Stuppner, Hermann; Guo, De-an; Bochkov, Valery N; Rollinger, Judith M

    2011-11-15

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) belonging to the metabolic subfamily of nuclear receptors is a ligand-induced transcriptional activator. Its central function is the physiological maintenance of bile acid homeostasis including the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism. Accessible structural information about its ligand-binding domain renders FXR an attractive target for in silico approaches. Integrated to natural product research these computational tools assist to find novel bioactive compounds showing beneficial effects in prevention and treatment of, for example, the metabolic syndrome, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and type 2 diabetes. Virtual screening experiments of our in-house Chinese Herbal Medicine database with structure-based pharmacophore models, previously generated and validated, revealed mainly lanostane-type triterpenes of the TCM fungus Ganoderma lucidum Karst. as putative FXR ligands. To verify the prediction of the in silico approach, two Ganoderma fruit body extracts and compounds isolated thereof were pharmacologically investigated. Pronounced FXR-inducing effects were observed for the extracts at a concentration of 100 μg/mL. Intriguingly, five lanostanes out of 25 secondary metabolites from G. lucidum, that is, ergosterol peroxide (2), lucidumol A (11), ganoderic acid TR (12), ganodermanontriol (13), and ganoderiol F (14), dose-dependently induced FXR in the low micromolar range in a reporter gene assay. To rationalize the binding interactions, additional pharmacophore profiling and molecular docking studies were performed, which allowed establishing a first structure-activity relationship of the investigated triterpenes.

  11. FXR Primes the Liver for Intestinal FGF15 Signaling by Transient Induction of β-Klotho

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Ting; Kim, Young-Chae; Byun, Sangwon; Kim, Dong-Hyun; Seok, Sunmi; Suino-Powell, Kelly; Xu, H. Eric; Kemper, Byron

    2016-01-01

    The bile acid (BA)-sensing nuclear receptor, farnesoid X receptor (FXR), regulates postprandial metabolic responses, including inhibition of BA synthesis, by inducing the intestinal hormone, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)15 (FGF19 in human). In this study, we tested a novel hypothesis that FXR not only induces intestinal FGF15 but also primes the liver for effectively responding to the signal by transcriptional induction of the obligate coreceptor for FGF15, β-Klotho (βKL). Activation of FXR by a synthetic agonist, GW4064, in mice increased occupancy of FXR and its DNA-binding partner, retinoid X receptor-α, at FGF15-signaling component genes, particularly βKL, and induced expression of these genes. Interestingly, mRNA levels of Fgfr4, the FGF15 receptor, were not increased by GW4064, but protein levels increased as a result of βKL-dependent increased protein stability. Both FGF receptor 4 and βKL protein levels were substantially decreased in FXR-knockout (KO) mice, and FGF19 signaling, monitored by phosphorylated ERK, was blunted in FXR-KO mice, FXR-KO mouse hepatocytes, and FXR-down-regulated human hepatocytes. Overexpression of βKL in FXR-lacking hepatocytes partially restored FGF19 signaling and inhibition by FGF19 of Cyp7a1, which encodes the rate-limiting BA biosynthetic enzyme. In mice, transient inductions of intestinal Fgf15 and hepatic βKL were temporally correlated after GW4064 treatment, and pretreatment of hepatocytes with GW4064 before FGF19 treatment enhanced FGF19 signaling, which was abolished by transcriptional inhibition or βKL down-regulation. This study identifies FXR as a gut-liver metabolic coordinator for FGF15/19 action that orchestrates transient induction of hepatic βKL and intestinal Fgf15/19 in a temporally correlated manner. PMID:26505219

  12. FXR Primes the Liver for Intestinal FGF15 Signaling by Transient Induction of β-Klotho.

    PubMed

    Fu, Ting; Kim, Young-Chae; Byun, Sangwon; Kim, Dong-Hyun; Seok, Sunmi; Suino-Powell, Kelly; Xu, H Eric; Kemper, Byron; Kemper, Jongsook Kim

    2016-01-01

    The bile acid (BA)-sensing nuclear receptor, farnesoid X receptor (FXR), regulates postprandial metabolic responses, including inhibition of BA synthesis, by inducing the intestinal hormone, fibroblast growth factor (FGF)15 (FGF19 in human). In this study, we tested a novel hypothesis that FXR not only induces intestinal FGF15 but also primes the liver for effectively responding to the signal by transcriptional induction of the obligate coreceptor for FGF15, β-Klotho (βKL). Activation of FXR by a synthetic agonist, GW4064, in mice increased occupancy of FXR and its DNA-binding partner, retinoid X receptor-α, at FGF15-signaling component genes, particularly βKL, and induced expression of these genes. Interestingly, mRNA levels of Fgfr4, the FGF15 receptor, were not increased by GW4064, but protein levels increased as a result of βKL-dependent increased protein stability. Both FGF receptor 4 and βKL protein levels were substantially decreased in FXR-knockout (KO) mice, and FGF19 signaling, monitored by phosphorylated ERK, was blunted in FXR-KO mice, FXR-KO mouse hepatocytes, and FXR-down-regulated human hepatocytes. Overexpression of βKL in FXR-lacking hepatocytes partially restored FGF19 signaling and inhibition by FGF19 of Cyp7a1, which encodes the rate-limiting BA biosynthetic enzyme. In mice, transient inductions of intestinal Fgf15 and hepatic βKL were temporally correlated after GW4064 treatment, and pretreatment of hepatocytes with GW4064 before FGF19 treatment enhanced FGF19 signaling, which was abolished by transcriptional inhibition or βKL down-regulation. This study identifies FXR as a gut-liver metabolic coordinator for FGF15/19 action that orchestrates transient induction of hepatic βKL and intestinal Fgf15/19 in a temporally correlated manner.

  13. BAR502, a dual FXR and GPBAR1 agonist, promotes browning of white adipose tissue and reverses liver steatosis and fibrosis

    PubMed Central

    Carino, Adriana; Cipriani, Sabrina; Marchianò, Silvia; Biagioli, Michele; Santorelli, Chiara; Donini, Annibale; Zampella, Angela; Monti, Maria Chiara; Fiorucci, Stefano

    2017-01-01

    Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a highly prevalent chronic liver disease. Here, we have investigated whether BAR502, a non-bile acid, steroidal dual ligand for FXR and GPBAR1, reverses steato-hepatitis in mice fed a high fat diet (HFD) and fructose. After 9 week, mice on HFD gained ≈30% of b.w (P < 0.01 versus naïve) and were insulin resistant. These overweighting and insulin resistant mice were randomized to receive HFD or HFD in combination with BAR502. After 18 weeks, HFD mice developed NASH like features with severe steato-hepatitis and fibrosis, increased hepatic content of triacylglycerol and cholesterol and expression of SREPB1c, FAS, ApoC2, PPARα and γ, α-SMA, α1 collagen and MCP1 mRNAs. Treatment with BAR502 caused a ≈10% reduction of b.w., increased insulin sensitivity and circulating levels of HDL, while reduced steatosis, inflammatory and fibrosis scores and liver expression of SREPB1c, FAS, PPARγ, CD36 and CYP7A1 mRNA. BAR502 increased the expression of SHP and ABCG5 in the liver and SHP, FGF15 and GLP1 in intestine. BAR502 promoted the browning of epWAT and reduced liver fibrosis induced by CCl4. In summary, BAR502, a dual FXR and GPBAR1 agonist, protects against liver damage caused by HFD by promoting the browning of adipose tissue. PMID:28202906

  14. FXR and its ligands inhibit the function of platelets

    PubMed Central

    Vaiyapuri, Sakthivel; Ali, Marfoua S.; Sasikumar, Parvathy; Sage, Tanya; Flora, Gagan D; Bye, Alex P; Kriek, Neline; Dorchies, Emilie; Molendi-Coste, Olivier; Dombrowicz, David; Staels, Bart; Bishop-Bailey, David

    2016-01-01

    Objective While initially seemingly paradoxical due to the lack of nucleus, platelets possess a number of transcription factors that regulate their function through DNA-independent mechanisms. These include the Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR), a member of the superfamily of ligand-activated transcription factors that has been identified as a bile acid receptor. In this study, we show that FXR is present in human platelets and FXR ligands, GW4064 and 6-ECDCA, modulate platelet activation nongenomically. Approach and Results FXR ligands inhibited the activation of platelets in response to stimulation of collagen or thrombin receptors, resulting in diminished intracellular calcium mobilization and secretion, fibrinogen binding and aggregation. Exposure to FXR ligands also reduced integrin αIIbβ3 outside-in signaling and thereby reduced the ability of platelets to spread and to stimulate clot retraction. FXR function in platelets was found to be associated with the modulation of cGMP levels in platelets and associated downstream inhibitory signaling. Platelets from FXR-deficient mice were refractory to the actions of FXR agonists on platelet function and cyclic nucleotide signaling, firmly linking the non-genomic actions of these ligands to the FXR receptor. Conclusion This study provides support for the ability of FXR ligands to modulate platelet activation. The athero-protective effects of GW4064, with its novel antiplatelet effects, indicate FXR as a potential target for prevention of athero-thrombotic disease. PMID:27758768

  15. Atorvastatin induces bile acid-synthetic enzyme Cyp7a1 by suppressing FXR signaling in both liver and intestine in mice.

    PubMed

    Fu, Zidong Donna; Cui, Julia Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D

    2014-12-01

    Statins are effective cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat CVDs. Bile acids (BAs), the end products of cholesterol metabolism in the liver, are important nutrient and energy regulators. The present study aims to investigate how statins affect BA homeostasis in the enterohepatic circulation. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with atorvastatin (100 mg/kg/day po) for 1 week, followed by BA profiling by ultra-performance LC-MS/MS. Atorvastatin decreased BA pool size, mainly due to less BA in the intestine. Surprisingly, atorvastatin did not alter total BAs in the serum or liver. Atorvastatin increased the ratio of 12α-OH/non12α-OH BAs. Atorvastatin increased the mRNAs of the BA-synthetic enzymes cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) (over 10-fold) and cytochrome P450 27a1, the BA uptake transporters Na⁺/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide and organic anion transporting polypeptide 1b2, and the efflux transporter multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 in the liver. Noticeably, atorvastatin suppressed the expression of BA nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) target genes, namely small heterodimer partner (liver) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (ileum). Furthermore, atorvastatin increased the mRNAs of the organic cation uptake transporter 1 and cholesterol efflux transporters Abcg5 and Abcg8 in the liver. The increased expression of BA-synthetic enzymes and BA transporters appear to be a compensatory response to maintain BA homeostasis after atorvastatin treatment. The Cyp7a1 induction by atorvastatin appears to be due to suppressed FXR signaling in both the liver and intestine.

  16. Atorvastatin induces bile acid-synthetic enzyme Cyp7a1 by suppressing FXR signaling in both liver and intestine in mice[S

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Zidong Donna; Cui, Julia Yue; Klaassen, Curtis D.

    2014-01-01

    Statins are effective cholesterol-lowering drugs to treat CVDs. Bile acids (BAs), the end products of cholesterol metabolism in the liver, are important nutrient and energy regulators. The present study aims to investigate how statins affect BA homeostasis in the enterohepatic circulation. Male C57BL/6 mice were treated with atorvastatin (100 mg/kg/day po) for 1 week, followed by BA profiling by ultra-performance LC-MS/MS. Atorvastatin decreased BA pool size, mainly due to less BA in the intestine. Surprisingly, atorvastatin did not alter total BAs in the serum or liver. Atorvastatin increased the ratio of 12α-OH/non12α-OH BAs. Atorvastatin increased the mRNAs of the BA-synthetic enzymes cholesterol 7α-hydroxylase (Cyp7a1) (over 10-fold) and cytochrome P450 27a1, the BA uptake transporters Na+/taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide and organic anion transporting polypeptide 1b2, and the efflux transporter multidrug resistance-associated protein 2 in the liver. Noticeably, atorvastatin suppressed the expression of BA nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) target genes, namely small heterodimer partner (liver) and fibroblast growth factor 15 (ileum). Furthermore, atorvastatin increased the mRNAs of the organic cation uptake transporter 1 and cholesterol efflux transporters Abcg5 and Abcg8 in the liver. The increased expression of BA-synthetic enzymes and BA transporters appear to be a compensatory response to maintain BA homeostasis after atorvastatin treatment. The Cyp7a1 induction by atorvastatin appears to be due to suppressed FXR signaling in both the liver and intestine. PMID:25278499

  17. Synthetic RORγ agonists regulate multiple pathways to enhance antitumor immunity

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Xiao; Liu, Xikui; Moisan, Jacques; Wang, Yahong; Lesch, Charles A.; Spooner, Chauncey; Morgan, Rodney W.; Zawidzka, Elizabeth M.; Mertz, David; Bousley, Dick; Majchrzak, Kinga; Kryczek, Ilona; Taylor, Clarke; Van Huis, Chad; Skalitzky, Don; Hurd, Alexander; Aicher, Thomas D.; Toogood, Peter L.; Glick, Gary D.; Paulos, Chrystal M.; Zou, Weiping; Carter, Laura L.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT RORγt is the key transcription factor controlling the development and function of CD4+ Th17 and CD8+ Tc17 cells. Across a range of human tumors, about 15% of the CD4+ T cell fraction in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes are RORγ+ cells. To evaluate the role of RORγ in antitumor immunity, we have identified synthetic, small molecule agonists that selectively activate RORγ to a greater extent than the endogenous agonist desmosterol. These RORγ agonists enhance effector function of Type 17 cells by increasing the production of cytokines/chemokines such as IL-17A and GM-CSF, augmenting expression of co-stimulatory receptors like CD137, CD226, and improving survival and cytotoxic activity. RORγ agonists also attenuate immunosuppressive mechanisms by curtailing Treg formation, diminishing CD39 and CD73 expression, and decreasing levels of co-inhibitory receptors including PD-1 and TIGIT on tumor-reactive lymphocytes. The effects of RORγ agonists were not observed in RORγ−/− T cells, underscoring the selective on-target activity of the compounds. In vitro treatment of tumor-specific T cells with RORγ agonists, followed by adoptive transfer to tumor-bearing mice is highly effective at controlling tumor growth while improving T cell survival and maintaining enhanced IL-17A and reduced PD-1 in vivo. The in vitro effects of RORγ agonists translate into single agent, immune system-dependent, antitumor efficacy when compounds are administered orally in syngeneic tumor models. RORγ agonists integrate multiple antitumor mechanisms into a single therapeutic that both increases immune activation and decreases immune suppression resulting in robust inhibition of tumor growth. Thus, RORγ agonists represent a novel immunotherapy approach for cancer. PMID:28123897

  18. Suppression of atherosclerosis by synthetic REV-ERB agonist

    SciTech Connect

    Sitaula, Sadichha; Billon, Cyrielle; Kamenecka, Theodore M.; Solt, Laura A.; Burris, Thomas P.

    2015-05-08

    The nuclear receptors for heme, REV-ERBα and REV-ERBβ, play important roles in the regulation of metabolism and inflammation. Recently it was demonstrated that reduced REV-ERBα expression in hematopoetic cells in LDL receptor null mice led to increased atherosclerosis. We sought to determine if synthetic REV-ERB agonists that we have developed might have the ability to suppress atherosclerosis in this model. A previously characterized synthetic REV-ERB agonist, SR9009, was used to determine if activation of REV-ERB activity would affect atherosclerosis in LDL receptor deficient mice. Atherosclerotic plaque size was significantly reduced (p < 0.05) in mice administered SR9009 (100 mg/kg) for seven weeks compared to control mice (n = 10 per group). SR9009 treatment of bone marrow-derived mouse macrophages (BMDM) reduced the polarization of BMDMs to proinflammatory M1 macrophage while increasing the polarization of BMDMs to anti-inflammatory M2 macrophages. Our results suggest that pharmacological targeting of REV-ERBs may be a viable therapeutic option for treatment of atherosclerosis. - Highlights: • Synthetic REV-ERB agonist treatment reduced atherosclerosis in a mouse model. • Pharmacological activation of REV-ERB decreased M1 macrophage polarization. • Pharmacological activation of REV-ERB increased M2 macrophage polarization.

  19. Metformin interferes with bile acid homeostasis through AMPK-FXR crosstalk

    PubMed Central

    Lien, Fleur; Berthier, Alexandre; Bouchaert, Emmanuel; Gheeraert, Céline; Alexandre, Jeremy; Porez, Geoffrey; Prawitt, Janne; Dehondt, Hélène; Ploton, Maheul; Colin, Sophie; Lucas, Anthony; Patrice, Alexandre; Pattou, François; Diemer, Hélène; Van Dorsselaer, Alain; Rachez, Christophe; Kamilic, Jelena; Groen, Albert K.; Staels, Bart; Lefebvre, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    The nuclear bile acid receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is an important transcriptional regulator of bile acid, lipid, and glucose metabolism. FXR is highly expressed in the liver and intestine and controls the synthesis and enterohepatic circulation of bile acids. However, little is known about FXR-associated proteins that contribute to metabolic regulation. Here, we performed a mass spectrometry–based search for FXR-interacting proteins in human hepatoma cells and identified AMPK as a coregulator of FXR. FXR interacted with the nutrient-sensitive kinase AMPK in the cytoplasm of target cells and was phosphorylated in its hinge domain. In cultured human and murine hepatocytes and enterocytes, pharmacological activation of AMPK inhibited FXR transcriptional activity and prevented FXR coactivator recruitment to promoters of FXR-regulated genes. Furthermore, treatment with AMPK activators, including the antidiabetic biguanide metformin, inhibited FXR agonist induction of FXR target genes in mouse liver and intestine. In a mouse model of intrahepatic cholestasis, metformin treatment induced FXR phosphorylation, perturbed bile acid homeostasis, and worsened liver injury. Together, our data indicate that AMPK directly phosphorylates and regulates FXR transcriptional activity to precipitate liver injury under conditions favoring cholestasis. PMID:24531544

  20. Activated FXR Inhibits Leptin Signaling and Counteracts Tumor-promoting Activities of Cancer-Associated Fibroblasts in Breast Malignancy

    PubMed Central

    Giordano, Cinzia; Barone, Ines; Vircillo, Valentina; Panza, Salvatore; Malivindi, Rocco; Gelsomino, Luca; Pellegrino, Michele; Rago, Vittoria; Mauro, Loredana; Lanzino, Marilena; Panno, Maria Luisa; Bonofiglio, Daniela; Catalano, Stefania; Andò, Sebastiano

    2016-01-01

    Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), the principal components of the tumor stroma, play a central role in cancer development and progression. As an important regulator of the crosstalk between breast cancer cells and CAFs, the cytokine leptin has been associated to breast carcinogenesis. The nuclear Farnesoid X Receptor-(FXR) seems to exert an oncosuppressive role in different tumors, including breast cancer. Herein, we demonstrated, for the first time, that the synthetic FXR agonist GW4064, inhibiting leptin signaling, affects the tumor-promoting activities of CAFs in breast malignancy. GW4064 inhibited growth, motility and invasiveness induced by leptin as well as by CAF-conditioned media in different breast cancer cell lines. These effects rely on the ability of activated FXR to increase the expression of the suppressor of the cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) leading to inhibition of leptin-activated signaling and downregulation of leptin-target genes. In vivo xenograft studies, using MCF-7 cells alone or co-injected with CAFs, showed that GW4064 administration markedly reduced tumor growth. Interestingly, GW4064-treated tumors exhibited decreased levels of leptin-regulated proteins along with a strong staining intensity for SOCS3. Thus, FXR ligands might represent an emerging potential anti-cancer therapy able to block the tumor supportive role of activated fibroblasts within the breast microenvironment. PMID:26899873

  1. Activation of FXR protects against renal fibrosis via suppressing Smad3 expression

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Kai; He, Jialin; Zhang, Yan; Xu, Zhizhen; Xiong, Haojun; Gong, Rujun; Li, Song; Chen, Shan; He, Fengtian

    2016-01-01

    Renal fibrosis is the common pathway of most chronic kidney disease progression to end-stage renal failure. The nuclear receptor FXR (farnesoid X receptor), a multiple functional transcription factor, plays an important role in protecting against fibrosis. The TGFβ-Smad signaling has a central role in kidney fibrosis. However, it remains unclear whether FXR plays direct anti-fibrotic effect in renal fibrosis via regulating TGFβ-Smad pathway. In this study, we found that the level of FXR was negatively correlated with that of Smad3 and fibronectin (a marker of fibrosis) in human fibrotic kidneys. Activation of FXR suppressed kidney fibrosis and downregulated Smad3 expression, which was markedly attenuated by FXR antagonist. Moreover, the FXR-mediated repression of fibrosis was significantly alleviated by ectopic expression of Smad3. Luciferase reporter assay revealed that FXR activation inhibited the transcriptional activity of Smad3 gene promoter. The in vivo experiments showed that FXR agonist protected against renal fibrosis and downregulated Smad3 expression in UUO mice. These results suggested that FXR may serve as an important negative regulator for manipulating Smad3 expression, and the FXR/Smad3 pathway may be a novel target for the treatment of renal fibrosis. PMID:27853248

  2. Bioenergetic cues shift FXR splicing towards FXRα2 to modulate hepatic lipolysis and fatty acid metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Correia, Jorge C.; Massart, Julie; de Boer, Jan Freark; Porsmyr-Palmertz, Margareta; Martínez-Redondo, Vicente; Agudelo, Leandro Z.; Sinha, Indranil; Meierhofer, David; Ribeiro, Vera; Björnholm, Marie; Sauer, Sascha; Dahlman-Wright, Karin; Zierath, Juleen R.; Groen, Albert K.; Ruas, Jorge L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) plays a prominent role in hepatic lipid metabolism. The FXR gene encodes four proteins with structural differences suggestive of discrete biological functions about which little is known. Methods We expressed each FXR variant in primary hepatocytes and evaluated global gene expression, lipid profile, and metabolic fluxes. Gene delivery of FXR variants to Fxr−/− mouse liver was performed to evaluate their role in vivo. The effects of fasting and physical exercise on hepatic Fxr splicing were determined. Results We show that FXR splice isoforms regulate largely different gene sets and have specific effects on hepatic metabolism. FXRα2 (but not α1) activates a broad transcriptional program in hepatocytes conducive to lipolysis, fatty acid oxidation, and ketogenesis. Consequently, FXRα2 decreases cellular lipid accumulation and improves cellular insulin signaling to AKT. FXRα2 expression in Fxr−/− mouse liver activates a similar gene program and robustly decreases hepatic triglyceride levels. On the other hand, FXRα1 reduces hepatic triglyceride content to a lesser extent and does so through regulation of lipogenic gene expression. Bioenergetic cues, such as fasting and exercise, dynamically regulate Fxr splicing in mouse liver to increase Fxrα2 expression. Conclusions Our results show that the main FXR variants in human liver (α1 and α2) reduce hepatic lipid accumulation through distinct mechanisms and to different degrees. Taking this novel mechanism into account could greatly improve the pharmacological targeting and therapeutic efficacy of FXR agonists. PMID:26909306

  3. Development of Time Resolved Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer-based Assay for FXR Antagonist Discovery

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Donna D.; Lin, Wenwei; Chen, Taosheng; Forman, Barry M.

    2013-01-01

    FXR (farnesoid X receptor, NRIH4), a nuclear receptor, plays a major role in the control of cholesterol metabolism. FXR ligands have been investigated in preclinical studies for targeted therapy against metabolic diseases, but have shown limitations. Therefore, there is a need for new agonist or antagonist ligands of FXR, both for potential clinical applications, as well as to further elucidate its biological functions. Here we describe the use of the X-ray crystal structure of FXR complexed with the potent small molecule agonist GW4064 to design and synthesize a novel fluorescent, high-affinity probe (DY246) for time resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assays. We then used the TR-FRET assay for high throughput screening of a library of over 5,000 bioactive compounds. From this library, we identified 13 compounds that act as putative FXR transcriptional antagonists. PMID:23688559

  4. Development of time resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based assay for FXR antagonist discovery.

    PubMed

    Yu, Donna D; Lin, Wenwei; Chen, Taosheng; Forman, Barry M

    2013-07-15

    FXR (farnesoid X receptor, NRIH4), a nuclear receptor, plays a major role in the control of cholesterol metabolism. FXR ligands have been investigated in preclinical studies for targeted therapy against metabolic diseases, but have shown limitations. Therefore, there is a need for new agonist or antagonist ligands of FXR, both for potential clinical applications, as well as to further elucidate its biological functions. Here we describe the use of the X-ray crystal structure of FXR complexed with the potent small molecule agonist GW4064 to design and synthesize a novel fluorescent, high-affinity probe (DY246) for time resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) assays. We then used the TR-FRET assay for high throughput screening of a library of over 5000 bioactive compounds. From this library, we identified 13 compounds that act as putative FXR transcriptional antagonists.

  5. A dysregulated acetyl/SUMO switch of FXR promotes hepatic inflammation in obesity

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dong-Hyun; Xiao, Zhen; Kwon, Sanghoon; Sun, Xiaoxiao; Ryerson, Daniel; Tkac, David; Ma, Ping; Wu, Shwu-Yuan; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Zhou, Edward; Xu, H Eric; Palvimo, Jorma J; Chen, Lin-Feng; Kemper, Byron; Kemper, Jongsook Kim

    2015-01-01

    Acetylation of transcriptional regulators is normally dynamically regulated by nutrient status but is often persistently elevated in nutrient-excessive obesity conditions. We investigated the functional consequences of such aberrantly elevated acetylation of the nuclear receptor FXR as a model. Proteomic studies identified K217 as the FXR acetylation site in diet-induced obese mice. In vivo studies utilizing acetylation-mimic and acetylation-defective K217 mutants and gene expression profiling revealed that FXR acetylation increased proinflammatory gene expression, macrophage infiltration, and liver cytokine and triglyceride levels, impaired insulin signaling, and increased glucose intolerance. Mechanistically, acetylation of FXR blocked its interaction with the SUMO ligase PIASy and inhibited SUMO2 modification at K277, resulting in activation of inflammatory genes. SUMOylation of agonist-activated FXR increased its interaction with NF-κB but blocked that with RXRα, so that SUMO2-modified FXR was selectively recruited to and trans-repressed inflammatory genes without affecting FXR/RXRα target genes. A dysregulated acetyl/SUMO switch of FXR in obesity may serve as a general mechanism for diminished anti-inflammatory response of other transcriptional regulators and provide potential therapeutic and diagnostic targets for obesity-related metabolic disorders. PMID:25425577

  6. Crystal Structures of the Nuclear Receptor, Liver Receptor Homolog 1, Bound to Synthetic Agonists.

    PubMed

    Mays, Suzanne G; Okafor, C Denise; Whitby, Richard J; Goswami, Devrishi; Stec, Józef; Flynn, Autumn R; Dugan, Michael C; Jui, Nathan T; Griffin, Patrick R; Ortlund, Eric A

    2016-12-02

    Liver receptor homolog 1 (NR5A2, LRH-1) is an orphan nuclear hormone receptor that regulates diverse biological processes, including metabolism, proliferation, and the resolution of endoplasmic reticulum stress. Although preclinical and cellular studies demonstrate that LRH-1 has great potential as a therapeutic target for metabolic diseases and cancer, development of LRH-1 modulators has been difficult. Recently, systematic modifications to one of the few known chemical scaffolds capable of activating LRH-1 failed to improve efficacy substantially. Moreover, mechanisms through which LRH-1 is activated by synthetic ligands are entirely unknown. Here, we use x-ray crystallography and other structural methods to explore conformational changes and receptor-ligand interactions associated with LRH-1 activation by a set of related agonists. Unlike phospholipid LRH-1 ligands, these agonists bind deep in the pocket and do not interact with residues near the mouth nor do they expand the pocket like phospholipids. Unexpectedly, two closely related agonists with similar efficacies (GSK8470 and RJW100) exhibit completely different binding modes. The dramatic repositioning is influenced by a differential ability to establish stable face-to-face π-π-stacking with the LRH-1 residue His-390, as well as by a novel polar interaction mediated by the RJW100 hydroxyl group. The differing binding modes result in distinct mechanisms of action for the two agonists. Finally, we identify a network of conserved water molecules near the ligand-binding site that are important for activation by both agonists. This work reveals a previously unappreciated complexity associated with LRH-1 agonist development and offers insights into rational design strategies.

  7. Initial performance parameters on FXR

    SciTech Connect

    Kulke, B.; Innes, T.G.; Kihara, R.; Scarpetti, R.D.

    1982-06-11

    Construction of the new flash x-ray induction LINAC (FXR) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been completed. Initial tuning of the machine has produced stable current pulses in excess of 2 kA at the design energy of 20 MeV, with an 80 ns FWHM pulse width, producing single-pulse radiation doses near 500 Roentgen at one meter from the target. The electronic spot size on the bremsstrahlung target is estimated at 3 to 5 mm. In this paper we will discuss the basic FXR design; running-in and tuning of the machine; emittance measurements; beam stability; switch gap synchronization; and measurements of the radiation dose and angular distribution.

  8. Characterization of a new synthetic isoflavonoid with inverse agonist activity at the central benzodiazepine receptor.

    PubMed

    Lopes, Daniele V S; Caruso, Rodrigo R B; Castro, Newton G; Costa, Paulo R R; da Silva, Alcides J M; Noël, François

    2004-07-14

    Research aimed at developing selective drugs acting on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptors introduced compounds from diverse chemical classes unrelated to the 1,4-benzodiazepines, including flavonoids. These studies also revealed the potential use of inverse agonists as cognition-enhancing agents. Here we report pharmacological properties of the novel synthetic isoflavonoid 2-methoxy-3,8,9-trihydroxy coumestan (PCALC36). PCALC36 displaced [3H]flunitrazepam binding to rat brain synaptosomes with an IC50 of 13.8 microM. Scatchard analysis of the effect of PCALC36 showed a concentration-dependent reduction of the Bmax of [3H]flunitrazepam, without a marked change in Kd. This effect could be reversed by diluting and washing the preparation. Addition of 20-microM GABA shifted to the right the inhibition curve of PCALC36 on [3H]flunitrazepam binding (IC50 ratio of 0.68), which is characteristic for inverse agonists. PCALC36 produced little change in the GABAergic tonic currents recorded by whole-cell patch clamp in cultured rat hippocampal neurones, but it caused a 20% reduction in miniature inhibitory postsynaptic current amplitude and completely antagonised the full (direct) agonist midazolam in a quickly reversible manner. The data suggest that the coumestan backbone can be useful for developing novel ligands at the GABAA receptor.

  9. GW4064, an Agonist of Farnesoid X Receptor, Represses CYP3A4 Expression in Human Hepatocytes by Inducing Small Heterodimer Partner Expression

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Shu; Pan, Xian

    2015-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) functions as a regulator of bile acid and lipid homeostasis and is recognized as a promising therapeutic target for metabolic diseases. The biologic function of FXR is mediated in part by a small heterodimer partner (SHP); ligand-activated FXR enhances SHP expression, and SHP in turn represses the activity of multiple transcription factors. This study aimed to investigate the effect of FXR activation on expression of the major drug-metabolizing enzyme CYP3A4. The effects of 3-(2,6-dichlorophenyl)-4-(3′-carboxy-2-chlorostilben-4-yl)oxymethyl-5-isopropylisoxazole (GW4064), a synthetic agonist of FXR, on the expression and activity of CYP3A4 were examined in primary human hepatocytes by using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and S9 phenotyping. In human hepatocytes, treatment of GW4064 (1 μM) for 48 hours resulted in a 75% decrease in CYP3A4 mRNA expression and a 25% decrease in CYP3A4 activity, accompanied by ∼3-fold increase in SHP mRNA expression. In HepG2 cells, SHP repressed transactivation of CYP3A4 promoter by pregnane X receptor (PXR), constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), and glucocorticoid receptor. Interestingly, GW4064 did not repress expression of CYP2B6, another target gene of PXR and CAR; GW4064 enhanced CYP2B6 promoter activity. In conclusion, GW4064 represses CYP3A4 expression in human hepatocytes, potentially through upregulation of SHP expression and subsequent repression of CYP3A4 promoter activity. Clinically significant drug-drug interaction involving FXR agonists and CYP3A4 substrates may occur. PMID:25725071

  10. Statins and transcriptional regulation: The FXR connection

    SciTech Connect

    Habeos, Ioannis; Ziros, Panos G.; Psyrogiannis, Agathoklis; Vagenakis, Apostolos G.; Papavassiliou, Athanasios G. . E-mail: papavas@med.upatras.gr

    2005-08-26

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor involved in lipoprotein as well as glucose metabolism. Statins are widely used hypolipidemic agents with many pleiotropic actions. It is known that statins affect other nuclear hormone receptors, but no reports are available on the effect of these drugs on FXR. Employing an animal model (Syrian hamsters), we hereby present evidence to demonstrate that Simvastatin, a broadly prescribed statin, decreases the expression of FXR at both the RNA and protein levels and down-regulates its DNA-binding activity. This novel property may have important implications on the mode statins influence on lipoprotein and carbohydrate homeostasis in the organism.

  11. FXR mediates a chromatin looping in the GR promoter thus promoting the resolution of colitis in rodents.

    PubMed

    Renga, Barbara; D'Amore, Claudio; Cipriani, Sabrina; Mencarelli, Andrea; Carino, Adriana; Sepe, Valentina; Zampella, Angela; Distrutti, Eleonora; Fiorucci, Stefano

    2013-11-01

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) are important endocrine regulators of a wide range of physiological processes ranging from immune function to glucose and lipid metabolism. For decades, synthetic glucocorticoids such as dexamethasone have been the cornerstone for the clinical treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). A previous study has shown that farnesoid X receptor (FXR) enhances the transcription of NR3C1 gene, which encodes for human GR, by binding to a conserved FXR response element (FXRE) in the distal promoter of this gene. In the present study we demonstrate that FXR promotes the resolution of colitis in rodents by enhancing Gr gene transcription. We used the chromatin conformation capture (3C) assay to demonstrate that this FXRE is functional in mediating a head-to-tail chromatin looping, thus increasing Gr transcription efficiency. These findings underscore the importance of FXR/GR axis in the control of intestinal inflammation.

  12. SUMOylation of the Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) Regulates the Expression of FXR Target Genes*

    PubMed Central

    Balasubramaniyan, Natarajan; Luo, Yuhuan; Sun, An-Qiang; Suchy, Frederick J.

    2013-01-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) belongs to a family of ligand-activated transcription factors that regulate many aspects of metabolism including bile acid homeostasis. Here we show that FXR is covalently modified by the small ubiquitin-like modifier (Sumo1), an important regulator of cell signaling and transcription. Well conserved consensus sites at lysine 122 and 275 in the AF-1 and ligand binding domains, respectively, of FXR were subject to SUMOylation in vitro and in vivo. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) analysis showed that Sumo1 was recruited to the bile salt export pump (BSEP), the small heterodimer partner (SHP), and the OSTα-OSTβ organic solute transporter loci in a ligand-dependent fashion. Sequential chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP-ReChIP) verified the concurrent binding of FXR and Sumo1 to the BSEP and SHP promoters. Overexpression of Sumo1 markedly decreased binding and/or recruitment of FXR to the BSEP and SHP promoters on ChIP-ReChIP. SUMOylation did not have an apparent effect on nuclear localization of FXR. Expression of Sumo1 markedly inhibited the ligand-dependent, transactivation of BSEP and SHP promoters by FXR/retinoid X receptor α (RXRα) in HepG2 cells. In contrast, mutations that abolished SUMOylation of FXR or siRNA knockdown of Sumo1 expression augmented the transactivation of BSEP and SHP promoters by FXR. Pathways for SUMOylation were significantly altered during obstructive cholestasis with differential Sumo1 recruitment to the promoters of FXR target genes. In conclusion, FXR is subject to SUMOylation that regulates its capacity to transactivate its target genes in normal liver and during obstructive cholestasis. PMID:23546875

  13. FXR signaling in the enterohepatic system

    PubMed Central

    Matsubara, Tsutomu; Li, Fei; Gonzalez, Frank J.

    2012-01-01

    Enterohepatic circulation serves to capture bile acids and other steroid metabolites produced in the liver and secreted to the intestine, for reabsorption back into the circulation and reuptake to the liver. This process is under tight regulation by nuclear receptor signaling. Bile acids, produced from cholesterol, can alter gene expression in the liver and small intestine via activating the nuclear receptors farnesoid X receptor (FXR; NR1H4), pregnane X receptor (PXR; NR1I2), vitamin D receptor (VDR; NR1I1), G protein coupled receptor TGR5, and other cell signaling pathways (JNK1/2, AKT and ERK1/2). Among these controls, FXR is known to be a major bile acid-responsive ligand-activated transcription factor and a crucial control element for maintaining bile acid homeostasis. FXR has a high affinity for several major endogenous bile acids, notably cholic acid, deoxycholic acid, chenodeoxycholic acid, and lithocholic acid. By responding to excess bile acids, FXR is a bridge between the liver and small intestine to control bile acid levels and regulate bile acid synthesis and enterohepatic flow. FXR is highly expressed in the liver and gut, relative to other tissues, and contributes to the maintenance of cholesterol/bile acid homeostasis by regulating a variety of metabolic enzymes and transporters. FXR activation also affects lipid and glucose metabolism, and can influence drug metabolism. PMID:22609541

  14. Methylglycol chitosan and a synthetic TLR4 agonist enhance immune responses to influenza vaccine administered sublingually

    PubMed Central

    Spinner, Justin L.; Oberoi, Hardeep S.; Yorgensen, Yvonne M.; Poirier, Danielle S.; Burkhart, David J.; Plante, Martin; Evans, Jay T.

    2015-01-01

    Influenza is a vaccine-preventable contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza (flu) viruses which can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Current flu vaccines delivered intramuscularly (IM) or intradermally (ID) are less effective at eliciting protective mucosal immune responses and vaccines delivered intranasally (IN) possess potential safety concerns. Sublingual (SL) vaccination is a promising alternative route for vaccine delivery which has been indicated as safe and effective at inducing protective immune responses in both systemic and mucosal compartments. We evaluated the efficacy of methylglycol chitosan (MGC) and a synthetic toll-like receptor 4 agonist (CRX-601), alone or in combination, for improving systemic and mucosal immune responses to a monovalent detergent-split flu virus vaccine delivered SL. SL vaccination of mice with split-flu vaccine formulated with either MGC or CRX-601 resulted in specific serum IgG and mucosal IgA titers that were significantly greater than titers from non-adjuvanted vaccination and equivalent to or greater than titers in mice vaccinated IM. Our results demonstrate that SL vaccination utilizing MGC or CRX-601 as adjuvants is a viable alternative route of vaccination for flu which can elicit systemic immune responses equivalent to or greater than IM vaccination with the added benefit of stimulating a robust specific mucosal immune response. PMID:26392012

  15. Methylglycol chitosan and a synthetic TLR4 agonist enhance immune responses to influenza vaccine administered sublingually.

    PubMed

    Spinner, Justin L; Oberoi, Hardeep S; Yorgensen, Yvonne M; Poirier, Danielle S; Burkhart, David J; Plante, Martin; Evans, Jay T

    2015-10-26

    Influenza is a vaccine-preventable contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza (flu) viruses which can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Current flu vaccines delivered intramuscularly (IM) or intradermally (ID) are less effective at eliciting protective mucosal immune responses and vaccines delivered intranasally (IN) possess potential safety concerns. Sublingual (SL) vaccination is a promising alternative route for vaccine delivery which has been indicated as safe and effective at inducing protective immune responses in both systemic and mucosal compartments. We evaluated the efficacy of methylglycol chitosan (MGC) and a synthetic toll-like receptor 4 agonist (CRX-601), alone or in combination, for improving systemic and mucosal immune responses to a monovalent detergent-split flu virus vaccine delivered SL. SL vaccination of mice with split-flu vaccine formulated with either MGC or CRX-601 resulted in specific serum IgG and mucosal IgA titers that were significantly greater than titers from non-adjuvanted vaccination and equivalent to or greater than titers in mice vaccinated IM. Our results demonstrate that SL vaccination utilizing MGC or CRX-601 as adjuvants is a viable alternative route of vaccination for flu which can elicit systemic immune responses equivalent to or greater than IM vaccination with the added benefit of stimulating a robust specific mucosal immune response.

  16. Structure-activity relationship study of betulinic acid, a novel and selective TGR5 agonist, and its synthetic derivatives: potential impact in diabetes.

    PubMed

    Genet, Cédric; Strehle, Axelle; Schmidt, Céline; Boudjelal, Geoffrey; Lobstein, Annelise; Schoonjans, Kristina; Souchet, Michel; Auwerx, Johan; Saladin, Régis; Wagner, Alain

    2010-01-14

    We describe here the biological screening of a collection of natural occurring triterpenoids against the G protein-coupled receptor TGR5, known to be activated by bile acids and which mediates some important cell functions. This work revealed that betulinic (1), oleanolic (2), and ursolic acid (3) exhibited TGR5 agonist activity in a selective manner compared to bile acids, which also activated FXR, the nuclear bile acid receptor. The most potent natural triterpenoid betulinic acid was chosen as a reference compound for an SAR study. Hemisyntheses were performed on the betulinic acid scaffold, and we focused on structural modifications of the C-3 alcohol, the C-17 carboxylic acid, and the C-20 alkene. In particular, structural variations around the C-3 position gave rise to major improvements of potency exemplified with derivatives 18 dia 2 (RG-239) and 19 dia 2. The best derivative was tested in vitro and in vivo, and its biological profile is discussed.

  17. Synthetic Toll-like receptor 4 agonist enhances vaccine efficacy in an experimental model of toxic shock syndrome.

    PubMed

    Morefield, Garry L; Hawkins, Lynn D; Ishizaka, Sally T; Kissner, Teri L; Ulrich, Robert G

    2007-11-01

    The development of new protein subunit vaccines has stimulated the search for improved adjuvants to replace traditional aluminum-containing products. We investigated the adjuvant effects of a synthetic Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist on vaccine efficacy in an experimental model of toxic shock syndrome. The TLR4 agonist E6020 has a simplified structure consisting of a hexa-acylated acyclic backbone. The vaccine examined is a recombinantly attenuated form of staphylococcal enterotoxin B (STEBVax). Using cells stably transfected with TLRs, E6020 transduced signals only through TLR4, suggesting monospecificity, while Escherichia coli 055:B5 lipopolysaccharide activated both the TLR2/6 heterodimer and TLR4. Coadministration of E6020 with STEBVax, by the intramuscular or intranasal route, induced significant levels of immunoglobulin G (IgG) in BALB/c mice. Further, increased IgG production resulted from the combination of E6020 with aluminum hydroxide adjuvant (AH). The antibody response to the vaccine coadministered with E6020 was a mixed Th1/Th2 response, as opposed to the Th2-biased response obtained with AH. Mice vaccinated with STEBVax coadministered with AH, TLR4 agonists, or a combination of both adjuvants were protected from toxic shock. Our data demonstrate the effectiveness of the synthetic TLR4 agonist E6020 as an alternative adjuvant for protein subunit vaccines that may also be used in combination with traditional aluminum-containing adjuvants.

  18. Receptors and Channels Targeted by Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists and Antagonists

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, R.G.

    2010-01-01

    It is widely accepted that non-endogenous compounds that target CB1 and/or CB2 receptors possess therapeutic potential for the clinical management of an ever growing number of disorders. Just a few of these disorders are already treated with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol or nabilone, both CB1/CB2 receptor agonists, and there is now considerable interest in expanding the clinical applications of such agonists and also in exploiting CB2-selective agonists, peripherally restricted CB1/CB2 receptor agonists and CB1/CB2 antagonists and inverse agonists as medicines. Already, numerous cannabinoid receptor ligands have been developed and their interactions with CB1 and CB2 receptors well characterized. This review describes what is currently known about the ability of such compounds to bind to, activate, inhibit or block non-CB1, non-CB2 G protein-coupled receptors such as GPR55, transmitter gated channels, ion channels and nuclear receptors in an orthosteric or allosteric manner. It begins with a brief description of how each of these ligands interacts with CB1 and/or CB2 receptors. PMID:20166927

  19. Direct methylation of FXR by Set7/9, a lysine methyltransferase, regulates the expression of FXR target genes

    PubMed Central

    Balasubramaniyan, Natarajan; Ananthanarayanan, Meena

    2012-01-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a ligand (bile acid)-dependent nuclear receptor that regulates target genes involved in every aspect of bile acid homeostasis. Upon binding of ligand, FXR recruits an array of coactivators and associated proteins, some of which have intrinsic enzymatic activity that modify histones or even components of the transcriptional complex. In this study, we show chromatin occupancy by the Set7/9 methyltransferase at the FXR response element (FXRE) and direct methylation of FXR in vivo and in vitro at lysine 206. siRNA depletion of Set7/9 in the Huh-7 liver cell line decreased endogenous mRNAs of the FXR target genes, the short heterodimer partner (SHP) and bile salt export pump (BSEP). Mutation of the methylation site at K206 of FXR to an arginine prevented methylation by Set7/9. A pan-methyllysine antibody recognized the wild-type FXR but not the K206R mutant form. An electromobility shift assay showed that methylation by Set7/9 enhanced binding of FXR/retinoic X receptor-α to the FXRE. Interaction between hinge domain of FXR (containing K206) and Set7/9 was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation, GST pull down, and mammalian two-hybrid experiments. Set7/9 overexpression in Huh-7 cells significantly enhanced transactivation of the SHP and BSEP promoters in a ligand-dependent fashion by wild-type FXR but not the K206R mutant FXR. A Set7/9 mutant deficient in methyltransferase activity was also not effective in increasing transactivation of the BSEP promoter. These studies demonstrate that posttranslational methylation of FXR by Set7/9 contributes to the transcriptional activation of FXR-target genes. PMID:22345554

  20. Synthetic ligands of death receptor 5 display a cell-selective agonistic effect at different oligomerization levels

    PubMed Central

    Beyrath, Julien; Chekkat, Neila; Smulski, Cristian R.; Lombardo, Caterina M.; Lechner, Marie-Charlotte; Seguin, Cendrine; Decossas, Marion; Spanedda, Maria Vittoria; Frisch, Benoît; Guichard, Gilles; Fournel, Sylvie

    2016-01-01

    DR4 (Death Receptor 4) and DR5 (Death Receptor 5) are two potential targets for cancer therapy due to their ability to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells, but not normal ones, when activated by their cognate ligand TRAIL (TNF related apoptosis-inducing ligand). Therapies based on soluble recombinant TRAIL or agonist antibodies directed against one of the receptors are currently under clinical trials. However, TRAIL-R positive tumor cells are frequently resistant to TRAIL induced apoptosis. The precise mechanisms of this resistance are still not entirely understood. We have previously reported on synthetic peptides that bind to DR5 (TRAILmim/DR5) and induce tumor cell apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Here, we showed that while hexameric soluble TRAIL is able to efficiently kill the DR5 positive lymphoma Jurkat or the carcinoma HCT116, these cells are resistant to apoptosis induced by the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 and are poorly sensitive to apoptosis induced by an anti-DR5 agonist monoclonal antibody. This resistance can be restored by the cross-linking of anti-DR5 agonist antibody but not by the cross-linking of the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5. Interestingly, the divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 that induced apoptosis of DR5 positive BJAB cells, acts as an inhibitor of TRAIL-induced apoptosis on Jurkat and HCT116 cells. The rapid internalization of DR5 observed when treated with divalent form of TRAILmim/DR5 could explain the antagonist activity of the ligand on Jurkat and HCT116 cells but also highlights the independence of the mechanisms responsible for internalization and activation when triggering the DR5 apoptotic cascade. PMID:27409341

  1. Impact of Global Fxr Deficiency on Experimental Acute Pancreatitis and Genetic Variation in the FXR Locus in Human Acute Pancreatitis

    PubMed Central

    Nijmeijer, Rian M.; Schaap, Frank G.; Smits, Alexander J. J.; Kremer, Andreas E.; Akkermans, Louis M. A.; Kroese, Alfons B. A.; Rijkers, Ger. T.; Schipper, Marguerite E. I.; Verheem, André; Wijmenga, Cisca; Gooszen, Hein G.; van Erpecum, Karel J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Infectious complications often occur in acute pancreatitis, related to impaired intestinal barrier function, with prolonged disease course and even mortality as a result. The bile salt nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which is expressed in the ileum, liver and other organs including the pancreas, exhibits anti-inflammatory effects by inhibiting NF-κB activation and is implicated in maintaining intestinal barrier integrity and preventing bacterial overgrowth and translocation. Here we explore, with the aid of complementary animal and human experiments, the potential role of FXR in acute pancreatitis. Methods Experimental acute pancreatitis was induced using the CCK-analogue cerulein in wild-type and Fxr-/- mice. Severity of acute pancreatitis was assessed using histology and a semi-quantitative scoring system. Ileal permeability was analyzed in vitro by Ussing chambers and an in vivo permeability assay. Gene expression of Fxr and Fxr target genes was studied by quantitative RT-PCR. Serum FGF19 levels were determined by ELISA in acute pancreatitis patients and healthy volunteers. A genetic association study in 387 acute pancreatitis patients and 853 controls was performed using 9 tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) covering the complete FXR gene and two additional functional SNPs. Results In wild-type mice with acute pancreatitis, ileal transepithelial resistance was reduced and ileal mRNA expression of Fxr target genes Fgf15, SHP, and IBABP was decreased. Nevertheless, Fxr-/- mice did not exhibit a more severe acute pancreatitis than wild-type mice. In patients with acute pancreatitis, FGF19 levels were lower than in controls. However, there were no associations of FXR SNPs or haplotypes with susceptibility to acute pancreatitis, or its course, outcome or etiology. Conclusion We found no evidence for a major role of FXR in acute human or murine pancreatitis. The observed altered Fxr activity during the course of disease may be a

  2. The bile acid sensor FXR regulates insulin transcription and secretion.

    PubMed

    Renga, Barbara; Mencarelli, Andrea; Vavassori, Piero; Brancaleone, Vincenzo; Fiorucci, Stefano

    2010-03-01

    Farnesoid X Receptor plays an important role in maintaining bile acid, cholesterol homeostasis and glucose metabolism. Here we investigated whether FXR is expressed by pancreatic beta-cells and regulates insulin signaling in pancreatic beta-cell line and human islets. We found that FXR activation induces positive regulatory effects on glucose-induced insulin transcription and secretion by genomic and non-genomic activities. Genomic effects of FXR activation relay on the induction of the glucose regulated transcription factor KLF11. Indeed, results from silencing experiments of KLF11 demonstrate that this transcription factor is essential for FXR activity on glucose-induced insulin gene transcription. In addition FXR regulates insulin secretion by non-genomic effects. Thus, activation of FXR in betaTC6 cells increases Akt phosphorylation and translocation of the glucose transporter GLUT2 at plasma membrane, increasing the glucose uptake by these cells. In vivo experiments on Non Obese Diabetic (NOD) mice demonstrated that FXR activation delays development of signs of diabetes, hyperglycemia and glycosuria, by enhancing insulin secretion and by stimulating glucose uptake by the liver. These data established that an FXR-KLF11 regulated pathway has an essential role in the regulation of insulin transcription and secretion induced by glucose.

  3. TLR4/MD-2 activation by a synthetic agonist with no similarity to LPS

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ying; Su, Lijing; Morin, Matthew D.; Jones, Brian T.; Whitby, Landon R.; Surakattula, Murali M. R. P.; Huang, Hua; Shi, Hexin; Choi, Jin Huk; Wang, Kuan-wen; Moresco, Eva Marie Y.; Berger, Michael; Zhan, Xiaoming; Zhang, Hong; Boger, Dale L.; Beutler, Bruce

    2016-01-01

    Structurally disparate molecules reportedly engage and activate Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and other TLRs, yet the interactions that mediate binding and activation by dissimilar ligands remain unknown. We describe Neoseptins, chemically synthesized peptidomimetics that bear no structural similarity to the established TLR4 ligand, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but productively engage the mouse TLR4 (mTLR4)/myeloid differentiation factor 2 (MD-2) complex. Neoseptin-3 activates mTLR4/MD-2 independently of CD14 and triggers canonical myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88)- and Toll-interleukin 1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF)-dependent signaling. The crystal structure mTLR4/MD-2/Neoseptin-3 at 2.57-Å resolution reveals that Neoseptin-3 binds as an asymmetrical dimer within the hydrophobic pocket of MD-2, inducing an active receptor complex similar to that induced by lipid A. However, Neoseptin-3 and lipid A form dissimilar molecular contacts to achieve receptor activation; hence strong TLR4/MD-2 agonists need not mimic LPS. PMID:26831104

  4. TLR4/MD-2 activation by a synthetic agonist with no similarity to LPS.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Su, Lijing; Morin, Matthew D; Jones, Brian T; Whitby, Landon R; Surakattula, Murali M R P; Huang, Hua; Shi, Hexin; Choi, Jin Huk; Wang, Kuan-wen; Moresco, Eva Marie Y; Berger, Michael; Zhan, Xiaoming; Zhang, Hong; Boger, Dale L; Beutler, Bruce

    2016-02-16

    Structurally disparate molecules reportedly engage and activate Toll-like receptor (TLR) 4 and other TLRs, yet the interactions that mediate binding and activation by dissimilar ligands remain unknown. We describe Neoseptins, chemically synthesized peptidomimetics that bear no structural similarity to the established TLR4 ligand, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but productively engage the mouse TLR4 (mTLR4)/myeloid differentiation factor 2 (MD-2) complex. Neoseptin-3 activates mTLR4/MD-2 independently of CD14 and triggers canonical myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MyD88)- and Toll-interleukin 1 receptor (TIR) domain-containing adaptor inducing IFN-beta (TRIF)-dependent signaling. The crystal structure mTLR4/MD-2/Neoseptin-3 at 2.57-Å resolution reveals that Neoseptin-3 binds as an asymmetrical dimer within the hydrophobic pocket of MD-2, inducing an active receptor complex similar to that induced by lipid A. However, Neoseptin-3 and lipid A form dissimilar molecular contacts to achieve receptor activation; hence strong TLR4/MD-2 agonists need not mimic LPS.

  5. Perioperative treatment with the new synthetic TLR-4 agonist GLA-SE reduces cancer metastasis without adverse effects.

    PubMed

    Matzner, Pini; Sorski, Liat; Shaashua, Lee; Elbaz, Ely; Lavon, Hagar; Melamed, Rivka; Rosenne, Ella; Gotlieb, Neta; Benbenishty, Amit; Reed, Steve G; Ben-Eliyahu, Shamgar

    2016-04-01

    The use of TLR agonists as an anti-cancer treatment is gaining momentum given their capacity to activate various host cellular responses through the secretion of inflammatory cytokines and type-I interferons. It is now also recognized that the perioperative period is a window of opportunity for various interventions aiming at reducing the risk of cancer metastases-the major cause of cancer related death. However, immune-stimulatory approach has not been used perioperatively given several contraindications to surgery. To overcome these obstacles, in this study, we used the newly introduced, fully synthetic TLR-4 agonist, Glucopyranosyl Lipid-A (GLA-SE), in various models of cancer metastases, and in the context of acute stress or surgery. Without exerting evident adverse effects, a single systemic administration of GLA-SE rapidly and dose dependently elevated both innate and adaptive immunity in the circulation, lungs and the lymphatic system. Importantly, GLA-SE treatment led to reduced metastatic development of a mammary adenocarcinoma and a colon carcinoma by approximately 40-75% in F344 rats and BALB/c mice, respectively, at least partly through elevating marginating-pulmonary NK cell cytotoxicity. GLA-SE is safe and well tolerated in humans, and currently is used as an adjuvant in phase-II clinical trials. Given that the TLR-4 receptor and its signaling cascade is highly conserved throughout evolution, our current results suggest that GLA-SE may be a promising immune stimulatory agent in the context of oncological surgeries, aiming to reduce long-term cancer recurrence.

  6. Transcriptional regulation of autophagy by an FXR/CREB axis

    PubMed Central

    Seok, Sunmi; Fu, Ting; Choi, Sung-E; Li, Yang; Zhu, Rong; Kumar, Subodh; Sun, Xiaoxiao; Yoon, Gyesoon; Kang, Yup; Zhong, Wenxuan; Ma, Jian; Kemper, Byron; Kemper, Jongsook Kim

    2014-01-01

    Lysosomal degradation of cytoplasmic components by autophagy is essential for cellular survival and homeostasis under nutrient-deprived conditions1–4. Acute regulation of autophagy by nutrient-sensing kinases is well defined3, 5–7, but longer-term transcriptional regulation is relatively unknown. Here we show that the fed-state sensing nuclear receptor FXR8, 9 and the fasting transcriptional activator CREB10, 11 coordinately regulate the hepatic autophagy gene network. Pharmacological activation of FXR repressed many autophagy genes and inhibited autophagy even in fasted mice and feeding-mediated inhibition of macroautophagy was attenuated in FXR-knockout mice. From mouse liver ChIP-seq data12–15, FXR and CREB binding peaks were detected at 178 and 112, respectively, of 230 autophagy-related genes, and 78 genes showed shared binding, mostly in their promoter regions. CREB promoted lipophagy, autophagic degradation of lipids16, under nutrient-deprived conditions, and FXR inhibited this response. Mechanistically, CREB upregulated autophagy genes, including Atg7, Ulk1, and Tfeb, by recruiting the coactivator CRTC2. After feeding or pharmacological activation, FXR trans-repressed these genes by disrupting the functional CREB/CRTC2 complex. This study identifies the novel FXR/CREB axis as a key physiological switch regulating autophagy, resulting in sustained nutrient regulation of autophagy during feeding/fasting cycles. PMID:25383523

  7. Repeated administration of a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist differentially affects cortical and accumbal neuronal morphology in adolescent and adult rats

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, A. F.; Reyes, B. A. S.; Ramalhosa, F.; Sousa, N.

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies demonstrate a differential trajectory for cannabinoid receptor expression in cortical and sub-cortical brain areas across postnatal development. In the present study, we sought to investigate whether chronic systemic exposure to a synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist causes morphological changes in the structure of dendrites and dendritic spines in adolescent and adult pyramidal neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and medium spiny neurons (MSN) in the nucleus accumbens (Acb). Following systemic administration of WIN 55,212-2 in adolescent (PN 37–40) and adult (P55–60) male rats, the neuronal architecture of pyramidal neurons and MSN was assessed using Golgi–Cox staining. While no structural changes were observed in WIN 55,212-2-treated adolescent subjects compared to control, exposure to WIN 55,212-2 significantly increased dendritic length, spine density and the number of dendritic branches in pyramidal neurons in the mPFC of adult subjects when compared to control and adolescent subjects. In the Acb, WIN 55,212-2 exposure significantly decreased dendritic length and number of branches in adult rat subjects while no changes were observed in the adolescent groups. In contrast, spine density was significantly decreased in both the adult and adolescent groups in the Acb. To determine whether regional developmental morphological changes translated into behavioral differences, WIN 55,212-2-induced aversion was evaluated in both groups using a conditioned place preference paradigm. In adult rats, WIN 55,212-2 administration readily induced conditioned place aversion as previously described. In contrast, adolescent rats did not exhibit aversion following WIN 55,212-2 exposure in the behavioral paradigm. The present results show that synthetic cannabinoid administration differentially impacts cortical and sub-cortical neuronal morphology in adult compared to adolescent subjects. Such differences may underlie the disparate development

  8. Model-Based Discovery of Synthetic Agonists for the Zn(2+)-Sensing G-Protein-Coupled Receptor 39 (GPR39) Reveals Novel Biological Functions.

    PubMed

    Frimurer, Thomas M; Mende, Franziska; Graae, Anne-Sofie; Engelstoft, Maja S; Egerod, Kristoffer L; Nygaard, Rie; Gerlach, Lars-Ole; Hansen, Jakob Bondo; Schwartz, Thue W; Holst, Birgitte

    2017-02-09

    The G-protein-coupled receptor 39 (GPR39) is a G-protein-coupled receptor activated by Zn(2+). We used a homology model-based approach to identify small-molecule pharmacological tool compounds for the receptor. The method focused on a putative binding site in GPR39 for synthetic ligands and knowledge of ligand binding to other receptors with similar binding pockets to select iterative series of minilibraries. These libraries were cherry-picked from all commercially available synthetic compounds. A total of only 520 compounds were tested in vitro, making this method broadly applicable for tool compound development. The compounds of the initial library were inactive when tested alone, but lead compounds were identified using Zn(2+) as an allosteric enhancer. Highly selective, highly potent Zn(2+)-independent GPR39 agonists were found in subsequent minilibraries. These agonists identified GPR39 as a novel regulator of gastric somatostatin secretion.

  9. Structural Studies of the Tandem Tudor Domains of Fragile X Mental Retardation Related Proteins FXR1 and FXR2

    SciTech Connect

    Adams-Cioaba, Melanie A.; Guo, Yahong; Bian, ChuanBing; Amaya, Maria F.; Lam, Robert; Wasney, Gregory A.; Vedadi, Masoud; Xu, Chao; Min, Jinrong

    2011-11-23

    Expansion of the CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5'-untranslated region of the FMR1, fragile X mental retardation 1, gene results in suppression of protein expression for this gene and is the underlying cause of Fragile X syndrome. In unaffected individuals, the FMRP protein, together with two additional paralogues (Fragile X Mental Retardation Syndrome-related Protein 1 and 2), associates with mRNA to form a ribonucleoprotein complex in the nucleus that is transported to dendrites and spines of neuronal cells. It is thought that the fragile X family of proteins contributes to the regulation of protein synthesis at sites where mRNAs are locally translated in response to stimuli. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structures of the non-canonical nuclear localization signals of the FXR1 and FXR2 autosomal paralogues of FMRP, which were determined at 2.50 and 1.92 {angstrom}, respectively. The nuclear localization signals of the FXR1 and FXR2 comprise tandem Tudor domain architectures, closely resembling that of UHRF1, which is proposed to bind methylated histone H3K9. The FMRP, FXR1 and FXR2 proteins comprise a small family of highly conserved proteins that appear to be important in translational regulation, particularly in neuronal cells. The crystal structures of the N-terminal tandem Tudor domains of FXR1 and FXR2 revealed a conserved architecture with that of FMRP. Biochemical analysis of the tandem Tudor doamins reveals their ability to preferentially recognize trimethylated peptides in a sequence-specific manner.

  10. Nortestosterone-derived synthetic progestogens do not activate the progestogen receptor of Murray-Darling rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) but are potent agonists of androgen receptors alpha and beta.

    PubMed

    Bain, Peter A; Kumar, Anu; Ogino, Yukiko; Iguchi, Taisen

    2015-06-01

    Synthetic progestogens derived from 19-nortestosterone can elicit a number of adverse effects in fish including decreased fecundity, altered hormone levels, disruption of normal breeding cycles, expression in females of male-specific biomarkers, development of male secondary sexual characteristics in females, and changes in the expression of steroidogenic genes. A recent in vitro study showed that a number of representatives from this class of progestins were potent agonists of fathead minnow androgen receptor (AR) and only weak agonists of progesterone receptor (PR) from the same species. This confirms that synthetic progestogens derived from 19-nortestosterone function as AR agonists in otomorphs, which express a single AR subtype. However, numerous perciformes are known to express two AR subtypes. We have recently shown that ARα and ARβ from Murray-Darling rainbowfish (Melanotaenia fluviatilis) respond differently to certain androgens and anti-androgens. The goal of the present study was to determine concentration-response profiles for selected progestins in transactivation assays driven by rainbowfish ARα, ARβ and PR in order to ascertain the relative potency of progestins against these receptors. As a means of confirming the expected activity of the progestins and reference compounds used in the study against human-derived receptors, we also established concentration-response relationships using transactivation assays driven by human PR and AR. We found that all five 19-nortestosterone-derived progestins tested were highly potent agonists of rainbowfish ARα, but that only four of the five progestins were potent agonists of rainbowfish ARβ, with norgestimate exhibiting only weak activity against rainbowfish ARβ. The spironolactone-derived progestin, drospirenone, was not an agonist of rainbowfish ARα or ARβ but was a weak agonist of rainbowfish PR. None of the 19-nortestosterone-progestins activated rainbowfish PR. These findings confirm that the

  11. DAX1 suppresses FXR transactivity as a novel co-repressor

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Jin; Lu, Yan; Liu, Ruya; Xiong, Xuelian; Zhang, Zhijian; Zhang, Xianfeng; Ning, Guang; Li, Xiaoying

    2011-09-09

    Highlights: {yields} DAX1 is co-localized with FXR and interacts with FXR. {yields} DAX1 acts as a negative regulator of FXR. {yields} Three LXXLL motifs in the N-terminus of DAX1 were required. {yields} DAX1 suppresses FXR transactivation by competing with co-activators. -- Abstract: Bile acid receptor FXR (farnesoid X receptor) is a key regulator of hepatic bile acid, glucose and lipid homeostasis through regulation of numerous genes involved in the process of bile acid, triglyceride and glucose metabolism. DAX1 (dosage-sensitive sex reversal adrenal hypoplasia congenital critical region on X chromosome, gene 1) is an atypical member of the nuclear receptor family due to lack of classical DNA-binding domains and acts primarily as a co-repressor of many nuclear receptors. Here, we demonstrated that DAX1 is co-localized with FXR in the nucleus and acted as a negative regulator of FXR through a physical interaction with FXR. Our study showed that over-expression of DAX1 down-regulated the expression of FXR target genes, whereas knockdown of DAX1 led to their up-regulation. Furthermore, three LXXLL motifs in the N-terminus of DAX1 were required for the full repression of FXR transactivation. In addition, our study characterized that DAX1 suppresses FXR transactivation via competing with co-activators such as SRC-1 and PGC-1{alpha}. In conclusion, DAX1 acts as a co-repressor to negatively modulate FXR transactivity.

  12. FXR acetylation is normally dynamically regulated by p300 and SIRT1 but constitutively elevated in metabolic disease states.

    PubMed

    Kemper, Jongsook Kim; Xiao, Zhen; Ponugoti, Bhaskar; Miao, Ji; Fang, Sungsoon; Kanamaluru, Deepthi; Tsang, Stephanie; Wu, Shwu-Yuan; Chiang, Cheng-Ming; Veenstra, Timothy D

    2009-11-01

    The nuclear bile acid receptor FXR is critical for regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. Here, we report that FXR is a target of SIRT1, a deacetylase that mediates nutritional and hormonal modulation of hepatic metabolism. Lysine 217 of FXR is the major acetylation site targeted by p300 and SIRT1. Acetylation of FXR increases its stability but inhibits heterodimerization with RXRalpha, DNA binding, and transactivation activity. Downregulation of hepatic SIRT1 increased FXR acetylation with deleterious metabolic outcomes. Surprisingly, in mouse models of metabolic disease, FXR interaction with SIRT1 and p300 was dramatically altered, FXR acetylation levels were elevated, and overexpression of SIRT1 or resveratrol treatment reduced acetylated FXR levels. Our data demonstrate that FXR acetylation is normally dynamically regulated by p300 and SIRT1 but is constitutively elevated in metabolic disease states. Small molecules that inhibit FXR acetylation by targeting SIRT1 or p300 may be promising therapeutic agents for metabolic disorders.

  13. Upregulation of decorin by FXR in vascular smooth muscle cells

    SciTech Connect

    He Fengtian; Zhang Qiuhong; Kuruba, Ramalinga; Gao Xiang; Li Jiang; Li Yong; Gong Wei; Jiang, Yu; Xie Wen; Li Song

    2008-08-08

    Decorin is a member of the family of small leucine-rich proteoglycans that are present in blood vessels and synthesized by vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Decorin plays complex roles in both normal vascular physiology and the pathogenesis of various types of vascular disorders. However, the mechanisms of regulation of decorin expression in vasculature are not clearly understood. Particularly little information is available about a role of nuclear receptors in the regulation of decorin expression. In the present study, we report that activation of vascular FXR by a specific ligand resulted in upregulation of decorin at the levels of both mRNA and protein. FXR appears to induce decorin expression at a transcriptional level because (1) upregulation of decorin mRNA expression was abolished by the treatment of a transcription inhibitor, actinomycin D; and (2) decorin promoter activity was significantly increased by activation of FXR. Functional analysis of human decorin promoter identified an imperfect inverted repeat DNA motif, IR8 (-2313TGGTCAtagtgtcaTGACCT-2294), as a likely FXR-responsive element that is involved in decorin regulation.

  14. Effect of bombesin receptor subtype-3 and its synthetic agonist on signaling, glucose transport and metabolism in myocytes from patients with obesity and type 2 diabetes

    PubMed Central

    GONZÁLEZ, NIEVES; MARTÍN-DUCE, ANTONIO; MARTÍNEZ-ARRIETA, FÉLIX; MORENO-VILLEGAS, ZAIDA; PORTAL-NÚÑEZ, SERGIO; SANZ, RAÚL; EGIDO, JESÚS

    2015-01-01

    Bombesin receptor subtype-3 (BRS-3) is an orphan G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) member of the bombesin receptor family. Several studies have suggested an association between obesity, alterations in glucose metabolism, diabetes and the BRS-3 receptor. In this study, we focused on patients simultaneously diagnosed with obesity and type 2 diabetes (OB/T2D). The analysis of BRS-3 expression in the skeletal muscle of these patients revealed a marked decrease in the expression of BRS-3 at the mRNA (23.6±1.3-fold downregulation, p<0.0001) and protein level (49±7% decrease, p<0.05) compared to the normal patients (no obesity and diabetes). Moreover, in cultured primary myocytes from patients with OB/T2D, the synthetic BRS-3 agonist, [D-Try6,β-Ala11,Phe13,Nle14]bombesin6–14, significantly increased the phosphorylation levels of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), p90RSK1, protein kinase B (PKB) and p70s6K. Specifically, the ligand at 10−11 M induced the maximal phosphorylation of MAPKs (p42, 159±15% of the control; p44, 166±11% of the control; p<0.0001) and p90RSK1 (148±2% of the control, p<0.0001). The basal phosphorylation levels of all kinases were reduced (p<0.05) in the patients with OB/T2D compared to the normal patients. Furthermore, the BRS-3 agonist stimulated glucose transport, which was already detected at 10−12 M (133±9% of the control), reached maximal levels at 10−11 M (160±9%, p<0.0001) and was maintained at up to 10−8 M (overall mean, 153±7%; p<0.007). This effect was less promiment than that attained with 10−8 M insulin (202±9%, p=0.009). The effect of the agonist on glycogen synthase a activity achieved the maximum effect at 10−11 M (165±16% of the control; p<0.0001), which did not differ from that observed with higher concentrations of the agonist. These results suggest that muscle cells isolated from patients with OB/T2D have extremely high sensitivity to the synthetic ligand, and the effects are particularly observed on

  15. Regulation of FXR transcriptional activity in health and disease: Emerging roles of FXR cofactors and post-translational modifications.

    PubMed

    Kemper, Jongsook Kim

    2011-08-01

    Abnormally elevated lipid and glucose levels due to the disruption of metabolic homeostasis play causative roles in the development of metabolic diseases. A cluster of metabolic conditions, including dyslipidemia, abdominal obesity, and insulin resistance, is referred to as metabolic syndrome, which has been increasing globally at an alarming rate. The primary nuclear bile acid receptor, Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR, NR1H4), plays important roles in controlling lipid and glucose levels by regulating expression of target genes in response to bile acid signaling in enterohepatic tissues. In this review, I discuss how signal-dependent FXR transcriptional activity is dynamically regulated under normal physiological conditions and how it is dysregulated in metabolic disease states. I focus on the emerging roles of post-translational modifications (PTMs) and transcriptional cofactors in modulating FXR transcriptional activity and pathways. Dysregulation of nuclear receptor transcriptional signaling due to aberrant PTMs and cofactor interactions are key determinants in the development of metabolic diseases. Therefore, targeting such abnormal PTMs and transcriptional cofactors of FXR in disease states may provide a new molecular strategy for development of pharmacological agents to treat metabolic syndrome. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Translating nuclear receptors from health to disease.

  16. Human metabolites of synthetic cannabinoids JWH-018 and JWH-073 bind with high affinity and act as potent agonists at cannabinoid type-2 receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Rajasekaran, Maheswari; Brents, Lisa K.; Franks, Lirit N.; Moran, Jeffery H.; Prather, Paul L.

    2013-06-01

    K2 or Spice is an emerging drug of abuse that contains synthetic cannabinoids, including JWH-018 and JWH-073. Recent reports indicate that monohydroxylated metabolites of JWH-018 and JWH-073 retain high affinity and activity at cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB{sub 1}Rs), potentially contributing to the enhanced toxicity of K2 compared to marijuana. Since the parent compounds also bind to cannabinoid type-2 receptors (CB{sub 2}Rs), this study investigated the affinity and intrinsic activity of JWH-018, JWH-073 and several monohydroxylated metabolites at human CB{sub 2}Rs (hCB{sub 2}Rs). The affinity of cannabinoids for hCB{sub 2}Rs was determined by competition binding studies employing CHO-hCB{sub 2} membranes. Intrinsic activity of compounds was assessed by G-protein activation and adenylyl cyclase (AC)-inhibition in CHO-hCB{sub 2} cells. JWH-073, JWH-018 and several of their human metabolites exhibit nanomolar affinity and act as potent agonists at hCB{sub 2}Rs. Furthermore, a major omega hydroxyl metabolite of JWH-073 (JWH-073-M5) binds to CB{sub 2}Rs with 10-fold less affinity than the parent molecule, but unexpectedly, is equipotent in regulating AC-activity when compared to the parent molecule. Finally, when compared to CP-55,940 and Δ{sup 9}-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ{sup 9}-THC), JWH-018, JWH-018-M5 and JWH-073-M5 require significantly less CB{sub 2}R occupancy to produce similar levels of AC-inhibition, indicating that these compounds may more efficiently couple CB{sub 2}Rs to AC than the well characterized cannabinoid agonists examined. These results indicate that JWH-018, JWH-073 and several major human metabolites of these compounds exhibit high affinity and demonstrate distinctive signaling properties at CB{sub 2}Rs. Therefore, future studies examining pharmacological and toxicological properties of synthetic cannabinoids present in K2 products should consider potential actions of these drugs at both CB{sub 1} and CB{sub 2}Rs. - Highlights: • JWH-018

  17. Glucopyranosyl Lipid Adjuvant (GLA), a Synthetic TLR4 agonist, promotes potent systemic and mucosal responses to intranasal immunization with HIVgp140.

    PubMed

    Arias, Mauricio A; Van Roey, Griet A; Tregoning, John S; Moutaftsi, Magdalini; Coler, Rhea N; Windish, Hillarie P; Reed, Steven G; Carter, Darrick; Shattock, Robin J

    2012-01-01

    Successful vaccine development against HIV will likely require the induction of strong, long-lasting humoral and cellular immune responses in both the systemic and mucosal compartments. Based on the known immunological linkage between the upper-respiratory and urogenital tracts, we explored the potential of nasal adjuvants to boost immunization for the induction of vaginal and systemic immune responses to gp140. Mice were immunized intranasally with HIV gp140 together with micellar and emulsion formulations of a synthetic TLR4 agonist, Glucopyranosyl Lipid Adjuvant (GLA) and responses were compared to R848, a TLR7/8 agonist, or chitosan, a non TLR adjuvant. GLA and chitosan but not R848 greatly enhanced serum immunoglobulin levels when compared to antigen alone. Both GLA and chitosan induced high IgG and IgA titers in nasal and vaginal lavage and feces. The high IgA and IgG titers in vaginal lavage were associated with high numbers of gp140-specific antibody secreting cells in the genital tract. Whilst both GLA and chitosan induced T cell responses to immunization, GLA induced a stronger Th17 response and chitosan induced a more Th2 skewed response. Our results show that GLA is a highly potent intranasal adjuvant greatly enhancing humoral and cellular immune responses, both systemically and mucosally.

  18. Skin scarification with Plasmodium falciparum peptide vaccine using synthetic TLR agonists as adjuvants elicits malaria sporozoite neutralizing immunity

    PubMed Central

    Mitchell, Robert A.; Altszuler, Rita; Frevert, Ute; Nardin, Elizabeth H.

    2016-01-01

    Malaria eradication will require a combination of vector control, chemotherapy and an easily administered vaccine. Sterile immunity can be elicited in humans by immunization with sporozoites, the infective stage injected by bite of the mosquito vector, however, whole parasite vaccines present formidable logistical challenges for production, storage and administration. The “gold standard” for infectious disease eradiation, the Smallpox Eradication Programme, utilized mass immunization using the skin scarification (SS) route. SS may more closely mimic the natural route of malaria infection initiated by sporozoites injected by mosquito bite which elicits both neutralizing antibodies and protective cell mediated immunity. We investigated the potential of SS immunization using a malaria repeat peptide containing a protective B cell epitope of Plasmodium falciparum, the most lethal human species, and delivery vehicles containing TLR agonists as adjuvants. In a murine model, SS immunization with peptide in combination with TLR-7/8 and -9 agonists elicited high levels of systemic sporozoite neutralizing antibody, Th1- type CD4+ T cells and resistance to challenge by bites of infected mosquitoes. SS provides the potential to elicit humoral immunity to target Plasmodium at multiple stages of its complex life cycle. PMID:27624667

  19. New approaches in the management of insomnia: weighing the advantages of prolonged-release melatonin and synthetic melatoninergic agonists

    PubMed Central

    Hardeland, Rüdiger

    2009-01-01

    Hypnotic effects of melatonin and melatoninergic drugs are mediated via MT1 and MT2 receptors, especially those in the circadian pacemaker, the suprachiasmatic nucleus, which acts on the hypothalamic sleep switch. Therefore, they differ fundamentally from GABAergic hypnotics. Melatoninergic agonists primarily favor sleep initiation and reset the circadian clock to phases allowing persistent sleep, as required in circadian rhythm sleep disorders. A major obstacle for the use of melatonin to support sleep maintenance in primary insomnia results from its short half-life in the circulation. Solutions to this problem have been sought by developing prolonged-release formulations of the natural hormone, or melatoninergic drugs of longer half-life, such as ramelteon, tasimelteon and agomelatine. With all these drugs, improvements of sleep are statistically demonstrable, but remain limited, especially in primary chronic insomnia, so that GABAergic drugs may be indicated. Melatoninergic agonists do not cause next-day hangover and withdrawal effects, or dependence. They do not induce behavioral changes, as sometimes observed with z-drugs. Despite otherwise good tolerability, the use of melatoninergic drugs in children, adolescents, and during pregnancy has been a matter of concern, and should be avoided in autoimmune diseases and Parkinsonism. Problems and limits of melatoninergic hypnotics are compared. PMID:19557144

  20. The Synthetic Tie2 Agonist Peptide Vasculotide Protects Renal Vascular Barrier Function In Experimental Acute Kidney Injury

    PubMed Central

    Rübig, Eva; Stypmann, Jörg; Van Slyke, Paul; Dumont, Daniel J; Spieker, Tilmann; Buscher, Konrad; Reuter, Stefan; Goerge, Tobias; Pavenstädt, Hermann; Kümpers, Philipp

    2016-01-01

    Microvascular barrier dysfunction plays a major role in the pathophysiology of acute kidney injury (AKI). Angiopoietin-1, the natural agonist ligand for the endothelial-specific Tie2 receptor, is a non-redundant endothelial survival and vascular stabilization factor. Here we evaluate the efficacy of a polyethylene glycol-clustered Tie2 agonist peptide, vasculotide (VT), to protect against endothelial-cell activation with subsequent microvascular dysfunction in a murine model of ischemic AKI. Renal ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) was induced by clamping of the renal arteries for 35 minutes. Mice were treated with VT or PEGylated cysteine before IRI. Sham-operated animals served as time-matched controls. Treatment with VT significantly reduced transcapillary albumin flux and renal tissue edema after IRI. The protective effects of VT were associated with activation of Tie2 and stabilization of its downstream effector, VE-cadherin in renal vasculature. VT abolished the decline in renal tissue blood flow, attenuated the increase of serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen after IRI, improved recovery of renal function and markedly reduced mortality compared to PEG [HR 0.14 (95% CI 0.05–0.78) P < 0.05]. VT is inexpensive to produce, chemically stable and unrelated to any Tie2 ligands. Thus, VT may represent a novel therapy to prevent AKI in patients. PMID:26911791

  1. FXR silencing in human colon cancer by DNA methylation and KRAS signaling.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Ann M; Zhan, Le; Maru, Dipen; Shureiqi, Imad; Pickering, Curtis R; Kiriakova, Galina; Izzo, Julie; He, Nan; Wei, Caimiao; Baladandayuthapani, Veerabhadran; Liang, Han; Kopetz, Scott; Powis, Garth; Guo, Grace L

    2014-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a bile acid nuclear receptor described through mouse knockout studies as a tumor suppressor for the development of colon adenocarcinomas. This study investigates the regulation of FXR in the development of human colon cancer. We used immunohistochemistry of FXR in normal tissue (n = 238), polyps (n = 32), and adenocarcinomas, staged I-IV (n = 43, 39, 68, and 9), of the colon; RT-quantitative PCR, reverse-phase protein array, and Western blot analysis in 15 colon cancer cell lines; NR1H4 promoter methylation and mRNA expression in colon cancer samples from The Cancer Genome Atlas; DNA methyltransferase inhibition; methyl-DNA immunoprecipitation (MeDIP); bisulfite sequencing; and V-Ki-ras2 Kirsten rat sarcoma viral oncogene homolog (KRAS) knockdown assessment to investigate FXR regulation in colon cancer development. Immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR revealed that expression and function of FXR was reduced in precancerous lesions and silenced in a majority of stage I-IV tumors. FXR expression negatively correlated with phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate 3 kinase signaling and the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. The NR1H4 promoter is methylated in ~12% colon cancer The Cancer Genome Atlas samples, and methylation patterns segregate with tumor subtypes. Inhibition of DNA methylation and KRAS silencing both increased FXR expression. FXR expression is decreased early in human colon cancer progression, and both DNA methylation and KRAS signaling may be contributing factors to FXR silencing. FXR potentially suppresses epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition and other oncogenic signaling cascades, and restoration of FXR activity, by blocking silencing mechanisms or increasing residual FXR activity, represents promising therapeutic options for the treatment of colon cancer.

  2. A new synthetic TLR4 agonist, GLA, allows dendritic cells targeted with antigen to elicit Th1 T-cell immunity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Pantel, Austin; Cheong, Cheolho; Dandamudi, Durga; Shrestha, Elina; Mehandru, Saurabh; Brane, Luke; Ruane, Darren; Teixeira, Angela; Bozzacco, Leonia; Steinman, Ralph M; Longhi, M Paula

    2012-01-01

    Protein-based vaccines offer safety and cost advantages but require adjuvants to induce immunity. Here we examined the adjuvant capacity of glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA), a new synthetic non-toxic analogue of lipopolysaccharide. In mice, in comparison with non-formulated LPS and monophosphoryl lipid A, formulated GLA induced higher antibody titers and generated Type 1 T-cell responses to HIV gag-p24 protein in spleen and lymph nodes, which was dependent on TLR4 expression. Immunization was greatly improved by targeting HIV gag p24 to DCs with an antibody to DEC-205, a DC receptor for antigen uptake and processing. Subcutaneous immunization induced antigen-specific T-cell responses in the intestinal lamina propria. Immunity did not develop in mice transiently depleted of DCs. To understand how GLA works, we studied DCs directly from vaccinated mice. Within 4 h, GLA caused DCs to upregulate CD86 and CD40 and produce cytokines including IL-12p70 in vivo. Importantly, DCs removed from mice 4 h after vaccination became immunogenic, capable of inducing T-cell immunity upon injection into naïve mice. These data indicate that a synthetic and clinically feasible TLR4 agonist rapidly stimulates full maturation of DCs in vivo, allowing for adaptive immunity to develop many weeks to months later.

  3. Deletion of mouse FXR gene disturbs multiple neurotransmitter systems and alters neurobehavior

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Fei; Wang, Tingting; Lan, Yunyi; Yang, Li; Pan, Weihong; Zhu, Yonghui; Lv, Boyang; Wei, Yuting; Shi, Hailian; Wu, Hui; Zhang, Beibei; Wang, Jie; Duan, Xiaofeng; Hu, Zhibi; Wu, Xiaojun

    2015-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear hormone receptor involved in bile acid synthesis and homeostasis. Dysfunction of FXR is involved in cholestasis and atherosclerosis. FXR is prevalent in liver, gallbladder, and intestine, but it is not yet clear whether it modulates neurobehavior. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that mouse FXR deficiency affects a specific subset of neurotransmitters and results in an unique behavioral phenotype. The FXR knockout mice showed less depressive-like and anxiety-related behavior, but increased motor activity. They had impaired memory and reduced motor coordination. There were changes of glutamatergic, GABAergic, serotoninergic, and norepinephrinergic neurotransmission in either hippocampus or cerebellum. FXR deletion decreased the amount of the GABA synthesis enzyme GAD65 in hippocampus but increased GABA transporter GAT1 in cerebral cortex. FXR deletion increased serum concentrations of many bile acids, including taurodehydrocholic acid, taurocholic acid, deoxycholic acid (DCA), glycocholic acid (GCA), tauro-α-muricholic acid, tauro-ω-muricholic acid, and hyodeoxycholic acid (HDCA). There were also changes in brain concentrations of taurocholic acid, taurodehydrocholic acid, tauro-ω-muricholic acid, tauro-β-muricholic acid, deoxycholic acid, and lithocholic acid (LCA). Taken together, the results from studies with FXR knockout mice suggest that FXR contributes to the homeostasis of multiple neurotransmitter systems in different brain regions and modulates neurobehavior. The effect appears to be at least partially mediated by bile acids that are known to cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) inducing potential neurotoxicity. PMID:25870546

  4. Effects of the synthetic liver X receptor agonist T0901317 on the growth hormone and thyroid hormone axes in male rats.

    PubMed

    Davies, Jeffrey S; Kotokorpi, Pia; Lindahl, Ulrika; Oscarsson, Jan; Wells, Timothy; Mode, Agneta

    2008-04-01

    Liver X receptors (LXRs), activated by oxysterols, play an important role in the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism, which is also markedly dependent on thyroid hormone and growth hormone (GH) status. Here, we investigated how a 1-week exposure to the synthetic LXR agonist T0901317 affected GH secretion and thyroid hormone status in male rats. While the pulse frequency of GH secretion was marginally affected there was a highly significant decrease in the triiodo-L-thyronine/thyroxine (T3/T4) ratio in plasma. This effect was associated with decreased expression of deiodinase 1 (DIO1) and 2 (DIO2) mRNA in the liver and thyroid gland, respectively. Expression of sterol regulatory element binding protein-1c (SREBP-1c), the hallmark of stimulated lipogenesis, was markedly increased in both thyroid and pituitary implying that protracted pharmacological LXR activation may promote lipid accumulation in these endocrine tissues. These findings suggest that attention must be given to pituitary hormone dependent axes when developing therapeutic strategies based on agonism of the LXRs, e.g. for treatment of atherosclerosis.

  5. New paradigms in the treatment of hepatic cholestasis: from UDCA to FXR, PXR and beyond.

    PubMed

    Beuers, Ulrich; Trauner, Michael; Jansen, Peter; Poupon, Raoul

    2015-04-01

    Cholestasis is an impairment of bile formation/flow at the level of the hepatocyte and/or cholangiocyte. The first, and for the moment, most established medical treatment is the natural bile acid (BA) ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). This secretagogue improves, e.g. in intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy or early stage primary biliary cirrhosis, impaired hepatocellular and cholangiocellular bile formation mainly by complex post-transcriptional mechanisms. The limited efficacy of UDCA in various cholestatic conditions urges for development of novel therapeutic approaches. These include nuclear and membrane receptor agonists and BA derivatives. The nuclear receptors farnesoid X receptor (FXR), retinoid X receptor (RXR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor α (PPARα), and pregnane X receptor (PXR) are transcriptional modifiers of bile formation and at present are under investigation as promising targets for therapeutic interventions in cholestatic disorders. The membrane receptors fibroblast growth factor receptor 4 (FGFR4) and apical sodium BA transporter (ASBT) deserve attention as additional therapeutic targets, as does the potential therapeutic agent norUDCA, a 23-C homologue of UDCA. Here, we provide an overview on established and future promising therapeutic agents and their potential molecular mechanisms and sites of action in cholestatic diseases.

  6. The LLNL Flash X-Ray Induction Linear Accelerator (FXR)

    SciTech Connect

    Multhauf, L G

    2002-09-19

    The FXR is an induction linear accelerator used for high-speed radiography at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Experimental Test Site. It was designed specifically for the radiography of very thick explosive objects. Since its completion in 1982, it has been very actively used for a large variety of explosives tests, and has been periodically upgraded to achieve higher performance. Upgrades have addressed machine reliability, radiographic sensitivity and resolution, two-frame imaging by double pulsing improvements that are described in detail in the paper. At the same time, the facility in which it was installed has also been extensively upgraded, first by adding space for optical and interferometric diagnostics, and more recently by adding a containment chamber to prevent the environmental dispersal of hazardous and radioactive materials. The containment addition also further expands space for new non-radiographic diagnostics. The new Contained Firing Facility is still in the process of activation. At the same time, FXR is continuing to undergo modifications aimed primarily at further increasing radiographic resolution and sensitivity, and at improving double-pulsed performance.

  7. A formulation-enabled preclinical efficacy assessment of a farnesoid X receptor agonist, GW4064, in hamsters and cynomolgus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Po-Chang; Thompson, David C; Ghosh, Sarbani; Heitmeier, Monique R

    2011-11-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) belongs to one of the human nuclear receptor superfamilies that regulate gene transcription. FXR is widely expressed in liver, gall bladder, intestine, kidney, and adrenal glands. It serves as a key controller of bile acid homeostasis through its regulation of bile acid synthesis, conjugation, secretion, and absorption. FXR is also known to play a role in lipid regulation, triglyceride synthesis, and lipoprotein metabolism and clearance. We used a commercially available FXR agonist, GW4064, as a model compound to assess preclinical efficacy in two species (hamster and cynomolgus monkey). The crystalline GW4064, however, was found to have limited solubility, which resulted in poor oral bioavailability. This made it difficult to assess in vivo efficacy at the exposure levels desired. The physiochemical properties of GW4064 were assessed and both salt and self-emulsifying drug delivery system (SEDDS) formulation were developed and tested. The SEDDS formulation was found to greatly improve the oral bioavailability of GW4064, and permitted the evaluation of FXR agonist target efficacy.

  8. Urinary metabolomics in Fxr-null mice reveals activated adaptive metabolic pathways upon bile acid challenge.

    PubMed

    Cho, Joo-Youn; Matsubara, Tsutomu; Kang, Dong Wook; Ahn, Sung-Hoon; Krausz, Kristopher W; Idle, Jeffrey R; Luecke, Hans; Gonzalez, Frank J

    2010-05-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a nuclear receptor that regulates genes involved in synthesis, metabolism, and transport of bile acids and thus plays a major role in maintaining bile acid homeostasis. In this study, metabolomic responses were investigated in urine of wild-type and Fxr-null mice fed cholic acid, an FXR ligand, using ultra-performance liquid chromatography (UPLC) coupled with electrospray time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). Multivariate data analysis between wild-type and Fxr-null mice on a cholic acid diet revealed that the most increased ions were metabolites of p-cresol (4-methylphenol), corticosterone, and cholic acid in Fxr-null mice. The structural identities of the above metabolites were confirmed by chemical synthesis and by comparing retention time (RT) and/or tandem mass fragmentation patterns of the urinary metabolites with the authentic standards. Tauro-3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrol (3alpha,6,7alpha,12alpha-tetrahydroxy-5beta-cholestan-26-oyltaurine), one of the most increased metabolites in Fxr-null mice on a CA diet, is a marker for efficient hydroxylation of toxic bile acids possibly through induction of Cyp3a11. A cholestatic model induced by lithocholic acid revealed that enhanced expression of Cyp3a11 is the major defense mechanism to detoxify cholestatic bile acids in Fxr-null mice. These results will be useful for identification of biomarkers for cholestasis and for determination of adaptive molecular mechanisms in cholestasis.

  9. Prevention and mitigation of acute radiation syndrome in mice by synthetic lipopeptide agonists of Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2).

    PubMed

    Shakhov, Alexander N; Singh, Vijay K; Bone, Frederick; Cheney, Alec; Kononov, Yevgeniy; Krasnov, Peter; Bratanova-Toshkova, Troitza K; Shakhova, Vera V; Young, Jason; Weil, Michael M; Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Angela; Orschell, Christie M; Baker, Patricia S; Gudkov, Andrei; Feinstein, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins (BLP) induce innate immune responses in mammals by activating heterodimeric receptor complexes containing Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). TLR2 signaling results in nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB)-dependent upregulation of anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidants and cytokines, all of which have been implicated in radiation protection. Here we demonstrate that synthetic lipopeptides (sLP) that mimic the structure of naturally occurring mycoplasmal BLP significantly increase mouse survival following lethal total body irradiation (TBI) when administered between 48 hours before and 24 hours after irradiation. The TBI dose ranges against which sLP are effective indicate that sLP primarily impact the hematopoietic (HP) component of acute radiation syndrome. Indeed, sLP treatment accelerated recovery of bone marrow (BM) and spleen cellularity and ameliorated thrombocytopenia of irradiated mice. sLP did not improve survival of irradiated TLR2-knockout mice, confirming that sLP-mediated radioprotection requires TLR2. However, sLP was radioprotective in chimeric mice containing TLR2-null BM on a wild type background, indicating that radioprotection of the HP system by sLP is, at least in part, indirect and initiated in non-BM cells. sLP injection resulted in strong transient induction of multiple cytokines with known roles in hematopoiesis, including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). sLP-induced cytokines, particularly G-CSF, are likely mediators of the radioprotective/mitigative activity of sLP. This study illustrates the strong potential of LP-based TLR2 agonists for anti-radiation prophylaxis and therapy in defense and medical scenarios.

  10. Prevention and Mitigation of Acute Radiation Syndrome in Mice by Synthetic Lipopeptide Agonists of Toll-Like Receptor 2 (TLR2)

    PubMed Central

    Shakhov, Alexander N.; Singh, Vijay K.; Bone, Frederick; Cheney, Alec; Kononov, Yevgeniy; Krasnov, Peter; Bratanova-Toshkova, Troitza K.; Shakhova, Vera V.; Young, Jason; Weil, Michael M.; Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Angela; Orschell, Christie M.; Baker, Patricia S.; Gudkov, Andrei; Feinstein, Elena

    2012-01-01

    Bacterial lipoproteins (BLP) induce innate immune responses in mammals by activating heterodimeric receptor complexes containing Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2). TLR2 signaling results in nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB)-dependent upregulation of anti-apoptotic factors, anti-oxidants and cytokines, all of which have been implicated in radiation protection. Here we demonstrate that synthetic lipopeptides (sLP) that mimic the structure of naturally occurring mycoplasmal BLP significantly increase mouse survival following lethal total body irradiation (TBI) when administered between 48 hours before and 24 hours after irradiation. The TBI dose ranges against which sLP are effective indicate that sLP primarily impact the hematopoietic (HP) component of acute radiation syndrome. Indeed, sLP treatment accelerated recovery of bone marrow (BM) and spleen cellularity and ameliorated thrombocytopenia of irradiated mice. sLP did not improve survival of irradiated TLR2-knockout mice, confirming that sLP-mediated radioprotection requires TLR2. However, sLP was radioprotective in chimeric mice containing TLR2-null BM on a wild type background, indicating that radioprotection of the HP system by sLP is, at least in part, indirect and initiated in non-BM cells. sLP injection resulted in strong transient induction of multiple cytokines with known roles in hematopoiesis, including granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), keratinocyte chemoattractant (KC) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). sLP-induced cytokines, particularly G-CSF, are likely mediators of the radioprotective/mitigative activity of sLP. This study illustrates the strong potential of LP-based TLR2 agonists for anti-radiation prophylaxis and therapy in defense and medical scenarios. PMID:22479357

  11. Systematic Analyses of the Cytotoxic Effects of Compound 11a, a Putative Synthetic Agonist of Photoreceptor-Specific Nuclear Receptor (PNR), in Cancer Cell Lines

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Zibo; Wang, Lu; Wen, Zhi; Ayaz-guner, Serife; Wang, Yidan; Ahlquist, Paul; Xu, Wei

    2013-01-01

    Photoreceptor cell-specific receptor (PNR/NR2E3) is an orphan nuclear receptor that plays a critical role in retinal development and photoreceptor maintenance. The disease-causing mutations in PNR have a pleiotropic effect resulting in varying retinal diseases. Recently, PNR has been implicated in control of cellular functions in cancer cells. PNR was reported to be a novel regulator of ERα expression in breast cancer cells, and high PNR expression correlates with favorable response to tamoxifen treatment. Moreover, PNR was shown to increase p53 stability in HeLa cells, implying that PNR may be a therapeutic target in this and other cancers that retain a wild type p53 gene. To facilitate further understanding of PNR functions in cancer, we characterized compound 11a, a synthetic, putative PNR agonist in several cell-based assays. Interestingly, we showed that 11a failed to activate PNR and its cytotoxicity was independent of PNR expression, excluding PNR as a mediator for 11a cytotoxicity. Systematic analyses of the cytotoxic effects of 11a in NCI-60 cell lines revealed a strong positive correlation of cytotoxicity with p53 status, i.e., p53 wild type cell lines were significantly more sensitive to 11a than p53 mutated or null cell lines. Furthermore, using HCT116 p53+/+ and p53-/- isogenic cell lines we revealed that the mechanism of 11a-induced cytotoxicity occurred through G1/S phase cell cycle arrest rather than apoptosis. In conclusion, we observed a correlation of 11a sensitivity with p53 status but not with PNR expression, suggesting that tumors expressing wild type p53 might be responsive to this compound. PMID:24066170

  12. Synthesis and biological evaluations of chalcones, flavones and chromenes as farnesoid x receptor (FXR) antagonists.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guoning; Liu, Shuainan; Tan, Wenjuan; Verma, Ruchi; Chen, Yuan; Sun, Deyang; Huan, Yi; Jiang, Qian; Wang, Xing; Wang, Na; Xu, Yang; Wong, Chiwai; Shen, Zhufang; Deng, Ruitang; Liu, Jinsong; Zhang, Yanqiao; Fang, Weishuo

    2017-03-31

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a nuclear receptor mainly distributed in liver and intestine, has been regarded as a potential target for the treatment of various metabolic diseases, cancer and infectious diseases related to liver. Starting from two previously identified chalcone-based FXR antagonists, we tried to increase the activity through the design and synthesis of a library containing chalcones, flavones and chromenes, based on substitution manipulation and conformation (ring closure) restriction strategy. Many chalcones and four chromenes were identified as microM potent FXR antagonists, among which chromene 11c significantly decreased the plasma and hepatic triglyceride level in KKay mice.

  13. Bile Acids, FXR, and Metabolic Effects of Bariatric Surgery

    PubMed Central

    Noel, Olivier F.; Still, Christopher D.; Argyropoulos, George; Edwards, Michael; Gerhard, Glenn S.

    2016-01-01

    Overweight and obesity represent major risk factors for diabetes and related metabolic diseases. Obesity is associated with a chronic and progressive inflammatory response leading to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D) mellitus, although the precise mechanism mediating this inflammatory process remains poorly understood. The most effective intervention for the treatment of obesity, bariatric surgery, leads to glucose normalization and remission of T2D. Recent work in both clinical studies and animal models supports bile acids (BAs) as key mediators of these effects. BAs are involved in lipid and glucose homeostasis primarily via the farnesoid X receptor (FXR) transcription factor. BAs are also involved in regulating genes involved in inflammation, obesity, and lipid metabolism. Here, we review the novel role of BAs in bariatric surgery and the intersection between BAs and immune, obesity, weight loss, and lipid metabolism genes. PMID:27006824

  14. FXR1P is a GSK3β substrate regulating mood and emotion processing

    PubMed Central

    Del’Guidice, Thomas; Latapy, Camille; Rampino, Antonio; Khlghatyan, Jivan; Lemasson, Morgane; Gelao, Barbara; Quarto, Tiziana; Rizzo, Giuseppe; Barbeau, Annie; Lamarre, Claude; Bertolino, Alessandro; Blasi, Giuseppe; Beaulieu, Jean-Martin

    2015-01-01

    Inhibition of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) is a shared action believed to be involved in the regulation of behavior by psychoactive drugs such as antipsychotics and mood stabilizers. However, little is known about the identity of the substrates through which GSK3β affects behavior. We identified fragile X mental retardation-related protein 1 (FXR1P), a RNA binding protein associated to genetic risk for schizophrenia, as a substrate for GSK3β. Phosphorylation of FXR1P by GSK3β is facilitated by prior phosphorylation by ERK2 and leads to its down-regulation. In contrast, behaviorally effective chronic mood stabilizer treatments in mice inhibit GSK3β and increase FXR1P levels. In line with this, overexpression of FXR1P in the mouse prefrontal cortex also leads to comparable mood-related responses. Furthermore, functional genetic polymorphisms affecting either FXR1P or GSK3β gene expression interact to regulate emotional brain responsiveness and stability in humans. These observations uncovered a GSK3β/FXR1P signaling pathway that contributes to regulating mood and emotion processing. Regulation of FXR1P by GSK3β also provides a mechanistic framework that may explain how inhibition of GSK3β can contribute to the regulation of mood by psychoactive drugs in mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder. Moreover, this pathway could potentially be implicated in other biological functions, such as inflammation and cell proliferation, in which FXR1P and GSK3 are known to play a role. PMID:26240334

  15. Nutrient-sensing nuclear receptors PPARα and FXR control liver energy balance.

    PubMed

    Preidis, Geoffrey A; Kim, Kang Ho; Moore, David D

    2017-04-03

    The nuclear receptors PPARα (encoded by NR1C1) and farnesoid X receptor (FXR, encoded by NR1H4) are activated in the liver in the fasted and fed state, respectively. PPARα activation induces fatty acid oxidation, while FXR controls bile acid homeostasis, but both nuclear receptors also regulate numerous other metabolic pathways relevant to liver energy balance. Here we review evidence that they function coordinately to control key nutrient pathways, including fatty acid oxidation and gluconeogenesis in the fasted state and lipogenesis and glycolysis in the fed state. We have also recently reported that these receptors have mutually antagonistic impacts on autophagy, which is induced by PPARα but suppressed by FXR. Secretion of multiple blood proteins is a major drain on liver energy and nutrient resources, and we present preliminary evidence that the liver secretome may be directly suppressed by PPARα, but induced by FXR. Finally, previous studies demonstrated a striking deficiency in bile acid levels in malnourished mice that is consistent with results in malnourished children. We present evidence that hepatic targets of PPARα and FXR are dysregulated in chronic undernutrition. We conclude that PPARα and FXR function coordinately to integrate liver energy balance.

  16. Recent advances in the development of farnesoid X receptor agonists

    PubMed Central

    Carey, Elizabeth J.; Lindor, Keith D.

    2015-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptors (FXRs) are nuclear hormone receptors expressed in high amounts in body tissues that participate in bilirubin metabolism including the liver, intestines, and kidneys. Bile acids (BAs) are the natural ligands of the FXRs. FXRs regulate the expression of the gene encoding for cholesterol 7 alpha-hydroxylase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme in BA synthesis. In addition, FXRs play a critical role in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism and regulation of insulin sensitivity. FXRs also modulate live growth and regeneration during liver injury. Preclinical studies have shown that FXR activation protects against cholestasis-induced liver injury. Moreover, FXR activation protects against fatty liver injury in animal models of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), and improved hyperlipidemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin sensitivity. Obeticholic acid (OCA), a 6α-ethyl derivative of the natural human BA chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) is the first-in-class selective FXR agonist that is ~100-fold more potent than CDCA. Preliminary human clinical trials have shown that OCA is safe and effective. In a phase II clinical trial, administration of OCA was well-tolerated, increased insulin sensitivity and reduced markers of liver inflammation and fibrosis in patients with type II diabetes mellitus and NAFLD. In two clinical trials of OCA in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), a progressive cholestatic liver disease, OCA significantly reduced serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, an important disease marker that correlates well with clinical outcomes of patients with PBC. Together, these studies suggest that FXR agonists could potentially be used as therapeutic tools in patients suffering from nonalcoholic fatty and cholestatic liver diseases. Larger and Longer-term studies are currently ongoing. PMID:25705637

  17. Monohydroxylated metabolites of the K2 synthetic cannabinoid JWH-073 retain intermediate to high cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) affinity and exhibit neutral antagonist to partial agonist activity

    PubMed Central

    Brents, Lisa K.; Gallus-Zawada, Anna; Radominska-Pandya, Anna; Vasiljevik, Tamara; Prisinzano, Thomas E.; Fantegrossi, William E.; Moran, Jeffery H.; Prather, Paul L.

    2012-01-01

    K2 and several similar purported “incense products” spiked with synthetic cannabinoids are abused as cannabis substitutes. We hypothesized that metabolism of JWH-073, a prevalent cannabinoid found in K2, contributes to toxicity associated with K2 use. Competition receptor binding studies and G-protein activation assays, both performed by employing mouse brain homogenates, were used to determine the affinity and intrinsic activity, respectively, of potential monohydroxylated (M1, M3–M5) and monocarboxylated (M6) metabolites at cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs). Surprisingly, M1, M4 and M5 retain nanomolar affinity for CB1Rs, while M3 displays micromolar affinity and M6 does not bind to CB1Rs. JWH-073 displays equivalent efficacy to that of the CB1R full agonist CP-55,940, while M1, M3, and M5 act as CB1R partial agonists, and M4 shows little or no intrinsic activity. Further in vitro investigation by Schild analysis revealed that M4 acts as a competitive neutral CB1R antagonist (Kb~40nM). In agreement with in vitro studies, M4 also demonstrates CB1R antagonism in vivo by blunting cannabinoid-induced hypothermia in mice. Interestingly, M4 does not block agonist-mediated responses of other measures in the cannabinoid tetrad (e.g., locomotor suppression, catalepsy or analgesia). Finally, also as predicted by in vitro results, M1 exhibits agonist activity in vivo by inducing significant hypothermia and suppression of locomotor activity in mice. In conclusion, the present study indicates that further work examining the physiological effects of synthetic cannabinoid metabolism is warranted. Such a complex mix of metabolically produced CB1R ligands may contribute to the adverse effect profile of JWH-073-containing products. PMID:22266354

  18. Monohydroxylated metabolites of the K2 synthetic cannabinoid JWH-073 retain intermediate to high cannabinoid 1 receptor (CB1R) affinity and exhibit neutral antagonist to partial agonist activity.

    PubMed

    Brents, Lisa K; Gallus-Zawada, Anna; Radominska-Pandya, Anna; Vasiljevik, Tamara; Prisinzano, Thomas E; Fantegrossi, William E; Moran, Jeffery H; Prather, Paul L

    2012-04-01

    K2 and several similar purported "incense products" spiked with synthetic cannabinoids are abused as cannabis substitutes. We hypothesized that metabolism of JWH-073, a prevalent cannabinoid found in K2, contributes to toxicity associated with K2 use. Competition receptor binding studies and G-protein activation assays, both performed by employing mouse brain homogenates, were used to determine the affinity and intrinsic activity, respectively, of potential monohydroxylated (M1, M3-M5) and monocarboxylated (M6) metabolites at cannabinoid 1 receptors (CB1Rs). Surprisingly, M1, M4 and M5 retain nanomolar affinity for CB1Rs, while M3 displays micromolar affinity and M6 does not bind to CB1Rs. JWH-073 displays equivalent efficacy to that of the CB1R full agonist CP-55,940, while M1, M3, and M5 act as CB1R partial agonists, and M4 shows little or no intrinsic activity. Further in vitro investigation by Schild analysis revealed that M4 acts as a competitive neutral CB1R antagonist (K(b)∼40nM). In agreement with in vitro studies, M4 also demonstrates CB1R antagonism in vivo by blunting cannabinoid-induced hypothermia in mice. Interestingly, M4 does not block agonist-mediated responses of other measures in the cannabinoid tetrad (e.g., locomotor suppression, catalepsy or analgesia). Finally, also as predicted by in vitro results, M1 exhibits agonist activity in vivo by inducing significant hypothermia and suppression of locomotor activity in mice. In conclusion, the present study indicates that further work examining the physiological effects of synthetic cannabinoid metabolism is warranted. Such a complex mix of metabolically produced CB1R ligands may contribute to the adverse effect profile of JWH-073-containing products.

  19. Involvement of multiple elements in FXR-mediated transcriptional activation of FGF19.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Masaaki; Hata, Tatsuya; Yamakawa, Hiroki; Kagawa, Tatehiro; Yoshinari, Kouichi; Yamazoe, Yasushi

    2012-10-01

    The intestinal endocrine hormone human fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) is involved in the regulation of not only hepatic bile acid metabolism but also carbohydrate and lipid metabolism. In the present study, bile acid/farnesoid X receptor (FXR) responsiveness in the FGF19 promoter region was investigated by a reporter assay using the human colon carcinoma cell line LS174T. The assay revealed the presence of bile acid/FXR-responsive elements in the 5'-flanking region up to 8.8 kb of FGF19. Deletion analysis indicated that regions from -1866 to -1833, from -1427 to -1353, and from -75 to +262 were involved in FXR responsiveness. Four, four, and two consecutive half-sites of nuclear receptors were observed in the three regions, respectively. An electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay revealed FXR/retinoid X receptor α (RXRα) heterodimer binding in these three regions. EMSA and reporter assays using mutated constructs indicated that the nuclear receptor IR1, ER2, and DR8 motifs in the 5'-flanking region were involved in FXR responsiveness of FGF19. Lithocholic acid (LCA) (10 μM), chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA) (10 μM), or GW4064 (0.1 μM) treatment increased reporter activity in a construct including the three motifs under FXR-expressing conditions whereas LCA and not CDCA or GW4064 treatment increased the reporter activity under pregnane X receptor (PXR)-expressing conditions. These results suggest that FGF19 is transcriptionally activated through multiple FXR-responsive elements in the promoter region.

  20. SIRT1 controls liver regeneration by regulating BA metabolism through FXR and mTOR signaling

    PubMed Central

    García-Rodríguez, Juan L.; Barbier-Torres, Lucía; Fernández-Álvarez, Sara; Juan, Virginia Gutiérrez-de; Monte, María J.; Halilbasic, Emina; Herranz, Daniel; Álvarez, Luis; Aspichueta, Patricia; Marín, Jose J. G.; Trauner, Michael; Mato, Jose M.; Serrano, Manuel; Beraza, Naiara; Martínez-Chantar, María Luz

    2014-01-01

    Sirtuin1 (SIRT1) regulates central metabolic functions such as lipogenesis, protein synthesis, gluconeogenesis and bile acid (BA) homeostasis through deacetylation. Here, we describe that SIRT1 tightly controls the regenerative response of the liver. We performed partial hepatectomy (PH) to transgenic mice that overexpress SIRT1 (SIRT). SIRT mice showed increased mortality, impaired hepatocyte proliferation, BA accumulation and profuse liver injury after surgery. The damaging phenotype in SIRT mice correlated with impaired FXR activity due to persistent deacetylation and lower protein expression that led to decreased FXR-target gene expression; SHP, BSEP and increased Cyp7A1. Next, we convincingly show that 24-norUrsodeoxycholic acid (NorUDCA) attenuates SIRT protein expression, increases the acetylation of FXR and neighboring histones, restores trimethylation of H3K4 and H3K9 and increases miR34a expression, thus re-establishing BA homeostasis. Consequently, NorUDCA restored liver regeneration in SIRT mice, which showed increased survival and hepatocyte proliferation. Furthermore, a Leucine-enriched diet restored mTOR activation, acetylation of FXR and histones, leading to an overall lower BA production through SHP-inhibition of Cyp7A1 and higher transport (BSEP) and detoxification (Sult2a1) leading to an improved liver regeneration. Finally, we found that human HCC samples have increased presence of SIRT1, which correlated with absence of FXR suggesting its oncogenic potential. Conclusions Overall, we define SIRT1 as a key regulator of the regenerative response in the liver through post-transcriptional modifications that regulate the activity of FXR, histones and mTOR. Moreover, our data suggest that SIRT1 contributes to liver tumorigenesis through dysregulation of BA homeostasis by persistent FXR deacetylation. PMID:24338587

  1. Upgrades to the LLNL flash x-ray induction linear accelerator (FXR)

    SciTech Connect

    Scarpetti, R. D., LLNL

    1997-06-30

    The FXR is an induction linear accelerator used for flash radiography at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Site 300 Test Facility. The FXR was originally completed in 1982 and has been in continuous use as a radiographic tool. At that time the FXR produced a 17MeV, 2.2 kA burst of electrons for a duration of 65 ns. An upgrade of the FXR was recently completed. The purpose of this upgrade was to improve the performance of the FXR by increasing the energy of the electron injector from 1.2 MeV to 2.5 MeV and the beam current from 2.2 kA to 3 kA, improving the magnetic transport system by redesigning the solenoidal transport focus coils, reducing the rf coupling of the electron beam to the accelerator cells, and by adding additional beam diagnostics. We will describe the injector upgrades and performance as well as our efforts to tune the accelerator by minimizing beam corkscrew motion and the impact of Beam Breakup Instability on beam centroid motion throughout the beam line as the current is increased to 3 kA.

  2. Mechanisms of STAT3 activation in the liver of FXR knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Li, Guodong; Zhu, Yan; Tawfik, Ossama; Kong, Bo; Williams, Jessica A.; Zhan, Le; Kassel, Karen M.; Luyendyk, James P.; Wang, Li

    2013-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR, Nr1h4) is a ligand-activated transcription factor belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. FXR is essential in maintaining bile acid (BA) homeostasis, and FXR−/− mice develop cholestasis, inflammation, and spontaneous liver tumors. The signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) is well known to regulate liver growth, and STAT3 is feedback inhibited by its target gene, the suppressor of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3). Strong activation of STAT3 was detected in FXR−/− mouse livers. However, the mechanism of STAT3 activation with FXR deficiency remains elusive. Wild-type (WT) and FXR−/− mice were used to detect STAT3 pathway activation in the liver. In vivo BA feeding or deprivation was used to determine the role of BAs in STAT3 activation, and in vitro molecular approaches were used to determine the direct transcriptional regulation of SOCS3 by FXR. STAT3 was activated in FXR−/− but not WT mice. BA feeding increased, but deprivation by cholestyramine reduced, serum inflammatory markers and STAT3 activation. Furthermore, the Socs3 gene was determined as a direct FXR target gene. The elevated BAs and inflammation, along with reduced SOCS3, collectively contribute to the activation of the STAT3 signaling pathway in the liver of FXR−/− mice. This study suggests that the constitutive activation of STAT3 may be a mechanism of liver carcinogenesis in FXR−/− mice. PMID:24091600

  3. Fragile X mental retardation protein has a unique, evolutionarily conserved neuronal function not shared with FXR1P or FXR2P.

    PubMed

    Coffee, R Lane; Tessier, Charles R; Woodruff, Elvin A; Broadie, Kendal

    2010-01-01

    Fragile X syndrome (FXS), resulting solely from the loss of function of the human fragile X mental retardation 1 (hFMR1) gene, is the most common heritable cause of mental retardation and autism disorders, with syndromic defects also in non-neuronal tissues. In addition, the human genome encodes two closely related hFMR1 paralogs: hFXR1 and hFXR2. The Drosophila genome, by contrast, encodes a single dFMR1 gene with close sequence homology to all three human genes. Drosophila that lack the dFMR1 gene (dfmr1 null mutants) recapitulate FXS-associated molecular, cellular and behavioral phenotypes, suggesting that FMR1 function has been conserved, albeit with specific functions possibly sub-served by the expanded human gene family. To test evolutionary conservation, we used tissue-targeted transgenic expression of all three human genes in the Drosophila disease model to investigate function at (1) molecular, (2) neuronal and (3) non-neuronal levels. In neurons, dfmr1 null mutants exhibit elevated protein levels that alter the central brain and neuromuscular junction (NMJ) synaptic architecture, including an increase in synapse area, branching and bouton numbers. Importantly, hFMR1 can, comparably to dFMR1, fully rescue both the molecular and cellular defects in neurons, whereas hFXR1 and hFXR2 provide absolutely no rescue. For non-neuronal requirements, we assayed male fecundity and testes function. dfmr1 null mutants are effectively sterile owing to disruption of the 9+2 microtubule organization in the sperm tail. Importantly, all three human genes fully and equally rescue mutant fecundity and spermatogenesis defects. These results indicate that FMR1 gene function is evolutionarily conserved in neural mechanisms and cannot be compensated by either FXR1 or FXR2, but that all three proteins can substitute for each other in non-neuronal requirements. We conclude that FMR1 has a neural-specific function that is distinct from its paralogs, and that the unique FMR1 function

  4. Partial Agonist and Biased Signaling Properties of the Synthetic Enantiomers J113863/UCB35625 at Chemokine Receptors CCR2 and CCR5.

    PubMed

    Corbisier, Jenny; Huszagh, Alexandre; Galés, Céline; Parmentier, Marc; Springael, Jean-Yves

    2017-01-13

    Biased agonism at G protein-coupled receptors constitutes a promising area of research for the identification of new therapeutic molecules. In this study we identified two novel biased ligands for the chemokine receptors CCR2 and CCR5 and characterized their functional properties. We showed that J113863 and its enantiomer UCB35625, initially identified as high affinity antagonists for CCR1 and CCR3, also bind with low affinity to the closely related receptors CCR2 and CCR5. Binding of J113863 and UCB35625 to CCR2 or CCR5 resulted in the full or partial activation of the three Gi proteins and the two Go isoforms. Unlike chemokines, the compounds did not activate G12 Binding of J113863 to CCR2 or CCR5 also induced the recruitment of β-arrestin 2, whereas UCB35625 did not. UCB35625 induced the chemotaxis of L1.2 cells expressing CCR2 or CCR5. In contrast, J113863 induced the migration of L1.2-CCR2 cells but antagonized the chemokine-induced migration of L1.2-CCR5 cells. We also showed that replacing the phenylalanine 3.33 in CCR5 TM3 by the corresponding histidine of CCR2 converts J113863 from an antagonist for cell migration and a partial agonist in other assays to a full agonist in all assays. Further analyses indicated that F3.33H substitution strongly increased the activation of G proteins and β-arrestin 2 by J113863. These results highlight the biased nature of the J113863 and UCB35625 that act either as antagonist, partial agonist, or full agonist according to the receptor, the enantiomer, and the signaling pathway investigated.

  5. Effects of MHY908, a New Synthetic PPARα/γ Dual Agonist, on Inflammatory Responses and Insulin Resistance in Aged Rats.

    PubMed

    Park, Min Hi; Kim, Dae Hyun; Kim, Min Jo; Lee, Eun Kyeong; An, Hye Jin; Jeong, Ji Won; Kim, Hye Rim; Kim, Seong Jin; Yu, Byung Pal; Moon, Hyung Ryong; Chung, Hae Young

    2016-03-01

    Insulin resistance is common with aging and is associated with the inflammatory response in both humans and rodents. A number of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) α/γ dual agonists have been tested for their abilities to attenuate insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, there is no study on the effects of PPARα/γ dual agonists on inflammation and insulin resistance during aging. In the present study, we investigated the ability of 2-[4-(5-chlorobenzothiazothiazol-2-yl)phenoxy]-2-methyl-propionic acid (MHY908), a newly synthesized novel PPARα/γ dual agonist, to suppress the inflammatory response and attenuate insulin resistance in aged rats. Twenty-month-old rats were divided into four groups: ad libitum fed, ad libitum fed supplemented with MHY908 (1 mg and 3 mg/kg/day for 4 weeks), and 40% calorie restricted. Six-month-old ad libitum fed rats were used as an age control. The aged rats supplemented with MHY908 showed reduced serum glucose, triglyceride, and insulin levels, as well as reduced liver triglyceride levels. MHY908 brought about a reduction in endoplasmic reticulum stress and activation of the c-Jun N-terminal kinase in the livers of aged rats, which consequently improved insulin signaling. In the kidneys of aged rats, the efficacy of MHY908 as a potent anti-inflammatory agent was shown by its suppression of NF-κB activation through inhibition of the Akt/IκB kinase signaling pathway. Therefore, the major finding of this study is that MHY908 acts as a therapeutic agent against age-related inflammation associated with insulin resistance by activating PPARα and PPARγ, thus attenuating endoplasmic reticulum stress.

  6. [Plants' materials and synthetic agonists of cannabinoid receptors use as a substitute of Marihuana, appearing in a current forensic toxicology practice of evidence materials].

    PubMed

    Geppert, Bogna; Tezyk, Artur; Florek, Ewa; Zaba, Czesław

    2010-01-01

    Cannabis sativa species Indica (Marihuana) is nowadays one of the most common plant drug, with psychoactive activity, presently appearing on the illegal market in Poland. It is reported that frequency of securing evidential materials so called substitute of Marihuana, is growing rapidly during the last few years. The substitutes of Marihuana occurring on the market are of natural or synthetic origins, for example different species of raw plants' materials having action similar to Cannabis or raw plants' materials with no psychoactive properities but with an addition of components so called synthetic cannabinoids. The review presents recent developments in drug market and current problems of forensic toxicology on the example of Marihuana.

  7. Structural Basis for Native Agonist and Synthetic Inhibitor Recognition by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa Quorum Sensing Regulator PqsR (MvfR)

    PubMed Central

    Ilangovan, Aravindan; Fletcher, Matthew; Rampioni, Giordano; Pustelny, Christian; Rumbaugh, Kendra; Heeb, Stephan; Cámara, Miguel; Truman, Alex; Chhabra, Siri Ram; Emsley, Jonas; Williams, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial populations co-ordinate gene expression collectively through quorum sensing (QS), a cell-to-cell communication mechanism employing diffusible signal molecules. The LysR-type transcriptional regulator (LTTR) protein PqsR (MvfR) is a key component of alkyl-quinolone (AQ)-dependent QS in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PqsR is activated by 2-alkyl-4-quinolones including the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS; 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone), its precursor 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline (HHQ) and their C9 congeners, 2-nonyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone (C9-PQS) and 2-nonyl-4-hydroxyquinoline (NHQ). These drive the autoinduction of AQ biosynthesis and the up-regulation of key virulence determinants as a function of bacterial population density. Consequently, PqsR constitutes a potential target for novel antibacterial agents which attenuate infection through the blockade of virulence. Here we present the crystal structures of the PqsR co-inducer binding domain (CBD) and a complex with the native agonist NHQ. We show that the structure of the PqsR CBD has an unusually large ligand-binding pocket in which a native AQ agonist is stabilized entirely by hydrophobic interactions. Through a ligand-based design strategy we synthesized and evaluated a series of 50 AQ and novel quinazolinone (QZN) analogues and measured the impact on AQ biosynthesis, virulence gene expression and biofilm development. The simple exchange of two isosteres (OH for NH2) switches a QZN agonist to an antagonist with a concomitant impact on the induction of bacterial virulence factor production. We also determined the complex crystal structure of a QZN antagonist bound to PqsR revealing a similar orientation in the ligand binding pocket to the native agonist NHQ. This structure represents the first description of an LTTR-antagonist complex. Overall these studies present novel insights into LTTR ligand binding and ligand-based drug design and provide a chemical scaffold for further anti-P. aeruginosa

  8. Structural basis for native agonist and synthetic inhibitor recognition by the Pseudomonas aeruginosa quorum sensing regulator PqsR (MvfR).

    PubMed

    Ilangovan, Aravindan; Fletcher, Matthew; Rampioni, Giordano; Pustelny, Christian; Rumbaugh, Kendra; Heeb, Stephan; Cámara, Miguel; Truman, Alex; Chhabra, Siri Ram; Emsley, Jonas; Williams, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Bacterial populations co-ordinate gene expression collectively through quorum sensing (QS), a cell-to-cell communication mechanism employing diffusible signal molecules. The LysR-type transcriptional regulator (LTTR) protein PqsR (MvfR) is a key component of alkyl-quinolone (AQ)-dependent QS in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. PqsR is activated by 2-alkyl-4-quinolones including the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS; 2-heptyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone), its precursor 2-heptyl-4-hydroxyquinoline (HHQ) and their C9 congeners, 2-nonyl-3-hydroxy-4(1H)-quinolone (C9-PQS) and 2-nonyl-4-hydroxyquinoline (NHQ). These drive the autoinduction of AQ biosynthesis and the up-regulation of key virulence determinants as a function of bacterial population density. Consequently, PqsR constitutes a potential target for novel antibacterial agents which attenuate infection through the blockade of virulence. Here we present the crystal structures of the PqsR co-inducer binding domain (CBD) and a complex with the native agonist NHQ. We show that the structure of the PqsR CBD has an unusually large ligand-binding pocket in which a native AQ agonist is stabilized entirely by hydrophobic interactions. Through a ligand-based design strategy we synthesized and evaluated a series of 50 AQ and novel quinazolinone (QZN) analogues and measured the impact on AQ biosynthesis, virulence gene expression and biofilm development. The simple exchange of two isosteres (OH for NH₂) switches a QZN agonist to an antagonist with a concomitant impact on the induction of bacterial virulence factor production. We also determined the complex crystal structure of a QZN antagonist bound to PqsR revealing a similar orientation in the ligand binding pocket to the native agonist NHQ. This structure represents the first description of an LTTR-antagonist complex. Overall these studies present novel insights into LTTR ligand binding and ligand-based drug design and provide a chemical scaffold for further anti-P. aeruginosa

  9. Evolution of the bile salt nuclear receptor FXR in vertebrates*s⃞

    PubMed Central

    Reschly, Erica J.; Ai, Ni; Ekins, Sean; Welsh, William J.; Hagey, Lee R.; Hofmann, Alan F.; Krasowski, Matthew D.

    2008-01-01

    Bile salts, the major end metabolites of cholesterol, vary significantly in structure across vertebrate species, suggesting that nuclear receptors binding these molecules may show adaptive evolutionary changes. We compared across species the bile salt specificity of the major transcriptional regulator of bile salt synthesis, the farnesoid X receptor (FXR). We found that FXRs have changed specificity for primary bile salts across species by altering the shape and size of the ligand binding pocket. In particular, the ligand binding pockets of sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and zebrafish (Danio rerio) FXRs, as predicted by homology models, are flat and ideal for binding planar, evolutionarily early bile alcohols. In contrast, human FXR has a curved binding pocket best suited for the bent steroid ring configuration typical of evolutionarily more recent bile acids. We also found that the putative FXR from the sea squirt Ciona intestinalis, a chordate invertebrate, was completely insensitive to activation by bile salts but was activated by sulfated pregnane steroids, suggesting that the endogenous ligands of this receptor may be steroidal in nature. Our observations present an integrated picture of the coevolution of bile salt structure and of the binding pocket of their target nuclear receptor FXR. PMID:18362391

  10. Bile acids regulate intestinal cell proliferation by modulating EGFR and FXR signaling

    PubMed Central

    Dossa, Avafia Y.; Escobar, Oswaldo; Golden, Jamie; Frey, Mark R.; Ford, Henri R.

    2015-01-01

    Bile acids (BAs) are synthesized in the liver and secreted into the intestine. In the lumen, enteric bacteria metabolize BAs from conjugated, primary forms into more toxic unconjugated, secondary metabolites. Secondary BAs can be injurious to the intestine and may contribute to disease. The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and the nuclear farnesoid X receptor (FXR) are known to interact with BAs. In this study we examined the effects of BAs on intestinal epithelial cell proliferation and investigated the possible roles for EGFR and FXR in these effects. We report that taurine-conjugated cholic acid (TCA) induced proliferation, while its unconjugated secondary counterpart deoxycholic acid (DCA) inhibited proliferation. TCA stimulated phosphorylation of Src, EGFR, and ERK 1/2. Pharmacological blockade of any of these pathways or genetic ablation of EGFR abrogated TCA-stimulated proliferation. Interestingly, Src or EGFR inhibitors eliminated TCA-induced phosphorylation of both molecules, suggesting that their activation is interdependent. In contrast to TCA, DCA exposure diminished EGFR phosphorylation, and pharmacological or siRNA blockade of FXR abolished DCA-induced inhibition of proliferation. Taken together, these results suggest that TCA induces intestinal cell proliferation via Src, EGFR, and ERK activation. In contrast, DCA inhibits proliferation via an FXR-dependent mechanism that may include downstream inactivation of the EGFR/Src/ERK pathway. Since elevated secondary BA levels are the result of specific bacterial modification, this may provide a mechanism through which an altered microbiota contributes to normal or abnormal intestinal epithelial cell proliferation. PMID:26608185

  11. Estimating The Reliability of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) Flash X-ray (FXR) Machine

    SciTech Connect

    Ong, M M; Kihara, R; Zentler, J M; Kreitzer, B R; DeHope, W J

    2007-06-27

    At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), our flash X-ray accelerator (FXR) is used on multi-million dollar hydrodynamic experiments. Because of the importance of the radiographs, FXR must be ultra-reliable. Flash linear accelerators that can generate a 3 kA beam at 18 MeV are very complex. They have thousands, if not millions, of critical components that could prevent the machine from performing correctly. For the last five years, we have quantified and are tracking component failures. From this data, we have determined that the reliability of the high-voltage gas-switches that initiate the pulses, which drive the accelerator cells, dominates the statistics. The failure mode is a single-switch pre-fire that reduces the energy of the beam and degrades the X-ray spot-size. The unfortunate result is a lower resolution radiograph. FXR is a production machine that allows only a modest number of pulses for testing. Therefore, reliability switch testing that requires thousands of shots is performed on our test stand. Study of representative switches has produced pre-fire statistical information and probability distribution curves. This information is applied to FXR to develop test procedures and determine individual switch reliability using a minimal number of accelerator pulses.

  12. SREBP-2 negatively regulates FXR-dependent transcription of FGF19 in human intestinal cells.

    PubMed

    Miyata, Masaaki; Hata, Tatsuya; Yamazoe, Yasushi; Yoshinari, Kouichi

    2014-01-10

    Sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2 (SREBP-2) is a basic helix-loop-helix-leucine zipper transcription factor that positively regulates transcription of target genes involved in cholesterol metabolism. In the present study, we have investigated a possible involvement of SREBP-2 in human intestinal expression of fibroblast growth factor (FGF)19, which is an endocrine hormone involved in the regulation of lipid and glucose metabolism. Overexpression of constitutively active SREBP-2 decreased FGF19 mRNA levels in human colon-derived LS174T cells. In reporter assays, active SREBP-2 overexpression suppressed GW4064/FXR-mediated increase in reporter activities in regions containing the IR-1 motif (+848 to +5200) in the FGF19 gene. The suppressive effect disappeared in reporter activities in the region containing the IR-1 motif when the mutation was introduced into the IR-1 motif. In electrophoretic mobility shift assays, binding of the FXR/retinoid X receptor α heterodimer to the IR-1 motif was attenuated by adding active SREBP-2, but SREBP-2 binding to the IR-1 motif was not observed. In chromatin immunoprecipitation assays, specific binding of FXR to the IR-1-containing region of the FGF19 gene (+3214 to +3404) was increased in LS174T cells by treatment with cholesterol and 25-hydroxycholesterol. Specific binding of SREBP-2 to FXR was observed in glutathione-S-transferase (GST) pull-down assays. These results suggest that SREBP-2 negatively regulates the FXR-mediated transcriptional activation of the FGF19 gene in human intestinal cells.

  13. A tea catechin, epigallocatechin-3-gallate, is a unique modulator of the farnesoid X receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Guodong; Lin, Wenwei; Araya, Juan J.; Chen, Taosheng; Timmermann, Barbara N.; Guo, Grace L.

    2012-01-15

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a ligand-activated nuclear receptor and serves as a key regulator to maintain health of the liver and intestine. Bile acids are endogenous ligands of FXR, and there are increasing efforts to identify FXR modulators to serve as biological probes and/or pharmaceutical agents. Natural FXR ligands isolated from plants may serve as models to synthesize novel FXR modulators. In this study, we demonstrated that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a major tea catechin, specifically and dose-dependently activates FXR. In addition, EGCG induced FXR target gene expression in vitro. Surprisingly, in a co-activator (SRC2) recruitment assay, we found that EGCG does not recruit SRC2 to FXR, but it dose-dependently inhibits recruitment of SRC2 to FXR (IC{sub 50}, 1 μM) by GW6064, which is a potent FXR synthetic ligand. In addition, EGCG suppressed FXR target gene expression induced by either GW4064 or chenodeoxycholic acid in vitro. Furthermore, wild-type and FXR knockout mice treated with an acute dose of EGCG had induced mRNA expression in a subset of FXR target genes in the intestine but not in the liver. In conclusion, EGCG is a unique modulator of FXR in the intestine and may serve as an important model for future development of FXR modulators. -- Highlights: ► Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a unique farnesoid X receptor (FXR) modulator. ► EGCG activates FXR by itself, but inhibits FXR transactivation by other agonists. ► Low concentration of EGCG activates FXR in mouse intestine but not liver. ► EGCG activates FXR to induce a subset of FXR target genes in mouse intestine.

  14. Orally Administered Berberine Modulates Hepatic Lipid Metabolism by Altering Microbial Bile Acid Metabolism and the Intestinal FXR Signaling Pathway.

    PubMed

    Sun, Runbin; Yang, Na; Kong, Bo; Cao, Bei; Feng, Dong; Yu, Xiaoyi; Ge, Chun; Huang, Jingqiu; Shen, Jianliang; Wang, Pei; Feng, Siqi; Fei, Fei; Guo, Jiahua; He, Jun; Aa, Nan; Chen, Qiang; Pan, Yang; Schumacher, Justin D; Yang, Chung S; Guo, Grace L; Aa, Jiye; Wang, Guangji

    2017-02-01

    Previous studies suggest that the lipid-lowering effect of berberine (BBR) involves actions on the low-density lipoprotein receptor and the AMP-activated protein kinase signaling pathways. However, the implication of these mechanisms is unclear because of the low bioavailability of BBR. Because the main action site of BBR is the gut and intestinal farnesoid X receptor (FXR) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of lipid metabolism, we hypothesized that the effects of BBR on intestinal FXR signaling pathway might account for its pharmacological effectiveness. Using wild type (WT) and intestine-specific FXR knockout (FXR(int-/-)) mice, we found that BBR prevented the development of high-fat-diet-induced obesity and ameliorated triglyceride accumulation in livers of WT, but not FXR(int-/-) mice. BBR increased conjugated bile acids in serum and their excretion in feces. Furthermore, BBR inhibited bile salt hydrolase (BSH) activity in gut microbiota, and significantly increased the levels of tauro-conjugated bile acids, especially tauro-cholic acid(TCA), in the intestine. Both BBR and TCA treatment activated the intestinal FXR pathway and reduced the expression of fatty-acid translocase Cd36 in the liver. These results indicate that BBR may exert its lipid-lowering effect primarily in the gut by modulating the turnover of bile acids and subsequently the ileal FXR signaling pathway. In summary, we provide the first evidence to suggest a new mechanism of BBR action in the intestine that involves, sequentially, inhibiting BSH, elevating TCA, and activating FXR, which lead to the suppression of hepatic expression of Cd36 that results in reduced uptake of long-chain fatty acids in the liver.

  15. Tuberatolides, potent FXR antagonists from the Korean marine tunicate Botryllus tuberatus.

    PubMed

    Choi, Hyukjae; Hwang, Hoosang; Chin, Jungwook; Kim, Euno; Lee, Jaehwan; Nam, Sang-Jip; Lee, Byoung Chan; Rho, Boon Jo; Kang, Heonjoong

    2011-01-28

    One isoprenoid, tuberatolide A (1), meroterpenoids tuberatolide B (2) and 2'-epi-tuberatolide B (3), and the known meroterpenoids yezoquinolide (4), (R)-sargachromenol (5), and (S)-sargachromenol (6) were isolated from the Korean marine tunicate Botryllus tuberatus. The structures of these compounds were elucidated by NMR, MS, and CD spectroscopic analyses. These terpenoids antagonized the chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA)-activated human farnesoid X receptor (hFXR) in a cell-based co-transfection assay with IC(50) values as low as 1.5 μM without significant effect on steroid receptors. Furthermore, they released the co-activator peptide from the CDCA-bound hFXR ligand binding domain in cell-free surface plasmon resonance experiments.

  16. Mutations in the nuclear bile acid receptor FXR cause progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis

    PubMed Central

    Gomez-Ospina, Natalia; Potter, Carol J.; Xiao, Rui; Manickam, Kandamurugu; Kim, Mi-Sun; Kim, Kang Ho; Shneider, Benjamin L.; Picarsic, Jennifer L.; Jacobson, Theodora A.; Zhang, Jing; He, Weimin; Liu, Pengfei; Knisely, A. S.; Finegold, Milton J.; Muzny, Donna M.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Lupski, James R.; Plon, Sharon E.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Eng, Christine M.; Yang, Yaping; Washington, Gabriel C.; Porteus, Matthew H.; Berquist, William E.; Kambham, Neeraja; Singh, Ravinder J.; Xia, Fan; Enns, Gregory M.; Moore, David D.

    2016-01-01

    Neonatal cholestasis is a potentially life-threatening condition requiring prompt diagnosis. Mutations in several different genes can cause progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis, but known genes cannot account for all familial cases. Here we report four individuals from two unrelated families with neonatal cholestasis and mutations in NR1H4, which encodes the farnesoid X receptor (FXR), a bile acid-activated nuclear hormone receptor that regulates bile acid metabolism. Clinical features of severe, persistent NR1H4-related cholestasis include neonatal onset with rapid progression to end-stage liver disease, vitamin K-independent coagulopathy, low-to-normal serum gamma-glutamyl transferase activity, elevated serum alpha-fetoprotein and undetectable liver bile salt export pump (ABCB11) expression. Our findings demonstrate a pivotal function for FXR in bile acid homeostasis and liver protection. PMID:26888176

  17. Immunogenicity of a reduced-dose whole killed rabies vaccine is significantly enhanced by ISCOMATRIX™ adjuvant, Merck amorphous aluminum hydroxylphosphate sulfate (MAA) or a synthetic TLR9 agonist in rhesus macaques.

    PubMed

    DiStefano, Daniel; Antonello, Joseph M; Bett, Andrew J; Medi, Muneeswara B; Casimiro, Danilo R; ter Meulen, Jan

    2013-10-01

    There is a need for novel rabies vaccines suitable for short course, pre- and post-exposure prophylactic regimens which require reduced doses of antigen to address the current worldwide supply issue. We evaluated in rhesus macaques the immunogenicity of a quarter-dose of a standard rabies vaccine formulated with Merck's amorphous aluminum hydroxylphosphate sulfate adjuvant, the saponin-based ISCOMATRIX™ adjuvant, or a synthetic TLR9 agonist. All adjuvants significantly increased the magnitude and durability of the humoral immune response as measured by rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test (RFFIT). Several three-dose vaccine regimens resulted in adequate neutralizing antibody of ≥ 0.5 IU/ml earlier than the critical day seven post the first dose. Rabies vaccine with ISCOMATRIX™ adjuvant given at days 0 and 3 resulted in neutralizing antibody titers which developed faster and were up to one log10 higher compared to WHO-recommended intramuscular and intradermal regimens and furthermore, passive administration of human rabies immunoglobulin did not interfere with immunogenicity of this reduced dose, short course vaccine regimen. Adjuvantation of whole-killed rabies vaccine for intramuscular injection may therefore be a viable alternative to intradermal application of non-adjuvanted vaccine for both pre- and post-exposure regimens.

  18. Dissociation of Intestinal and Hepatic Activities of FXR and LXRα Supports Metabolic Effects of Terminal Ileum Interposition in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Mencarelli, Andrea; Renga, Barbara; D’Amore, Claudio; Santorelli, Chiara; Graziosi, Luigina; Bruno, Angela; Monti, Maria Chiara; Distrutti, Eleonora; Cipriani, Sabrina; Donini, Annibale; Fiorucci, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and the liver x receptors (LXRs) are bile acid–activated receptors that are highly expressed in the enterohepatic tissues. The mechanisms that support the beneficial effects of bariatric surgery are only partially defined. We have investigated the effects of ileal interposition (IT), a surgical relocation of the distal ileum into the proximal jejunum, on FXR and LXRs in rats. Seven months after surgery, blood concentrations of total bile acids, taurocholic acid, an FXR ligand, and taurohyocholic acid, an LXRα ligand, were significantly increased by IT (P < 0.05). In contrast, liver and intestinal concentrations of conjugated and nonconjugated bile acids were decreased (P < 0.05). These changes were associated with a robust induction of FXR and FXR-regulated genes in the intestine, including Fgf15, a negative regulator of bile acid synthesis. IT repressed the liver expression of glucose-6-phosphatase (G6PC) and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase (Pepck), two gluconeogenetic genes, along with the expression of LXRα and its target genes sterol regulatory element-binding protein (Srebp) 1c and fatty acid synthase (Fas) in the liver. Treating IT rats with chenodeoxycholic acid ameliorated insulin signaling in the liver. Whether confirmed in human settings, these results support the association of pharmacological therapies with bariatric surgeries to exploit the selective activation of intestinal nuclear receptors. PMID:23835330

  19. The region of CQQQKPQRRP of PGC-1{alpha} interacts with the DNA-binding complex of FXR/RXR{alpha}

    SciTech Connect

    Kanaya, Eiko; Jingami, Hisato . E-mail: jingami@mfour.med.kyoto-u.ac.jp

    2006-04-14

    PGC-1{alpha} co-activates transcription by several nuclear receptors. To study the interaction among PGC-1{alpha}, RXR{alpha}/FXR, and DNA, we performed electrophoresis mobility shift assays. The RXR{alpha}/FXR proteins specifically bound to DNA containing the IR-1 sequence in the absence of ligand. When the fusion protein of GST-PGC-1{alpha} was added to the mixture of RXR{alpha}/FXR/DNA, the ligand-influenced retardation of the mobility was observed. The ligand for RXR{alpha} (9-cis-retinoic acid) was necessary for this retardation, whereas, the ligand for FXR, chenodeoxycholic acid, barely had an effect. The results obtained using truncated PGC-1{alpha} proteins suggested that two regions are necessary for PGC-1{alpha} to interact with the DNA-binding complex of RXR{alpha}/FXR. One is the region of the second leucine-rich motif, and the other is that of the amino acid sequence CQQQKPQRRP, present between the second and third leucine-rich motifs. The results obtained with the SPQSS mutation for KPQRR suggested that the basic amino acids are important for the interaction.

  20. RNA-Binding Protein FXR1 Regulates p21 and TERC RNA to Bypass p53-Mediated Cellular Senescence in OSCC

    PubMed Central

    Majumder, Mrinmoyee; House, Reniqua; Palanisamy, Nallasivam; Qie, Shuo; Day, Terrence A.; Neskey, David; Diehl, J. Alan

    2016-01-01

    RNA-binding proteins (RBP) regulate numerous aspects of co- and post-transcriptional gene expression in cancer cells. Here, we demonstrate that RBP, fragile X-related protein 1 (FXR1), plays an essential role in cellular senescence by utilizing mRNA turnover pathway. We report that overexpressed FXR1 in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma targets (G-quadruplex (G4) RNA structure within) both mRNA encoding p21 (Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor 1A (CDKN1A, Cip1) and the non-coding RNA Telomerase RNA Component (TERC), and regulates their turnover to avoid senescence. Silencing of FXR1 in cancer cells triggers the activation of Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitors, p53, increases DNA damage, and ultimately, cellular senescence. Overexpressed FXR1 binds and destabilizes p21 mRNA, subsequently reduces p21 protein expression in oral cancer cells. In addition, FXR1 also binds and stabilizes TERC RNA and suppresses the cellular senescence possibly through telomerase activity. Finally, we report that FXR1-regulated senescence is irreversible and FXR1-depleted cells fail to form colonies to re-enter cellular proliferation. Collectively, FXR1 displays a novel mechanism of controlling the expression of p21 through p53-dependent manner to bypass cellular senescence in oral cancer cells. PMID:27606879

  1. Chenodeoxycholic acid, an endogenous FXR ligand alters adipokines and reverses insulin resistance.

    PubMed

    Shihabudeen, Mohamed Sham; Roy, Debasish; James, Joel; Thirumurugan, Kavitha

    2015-10-15

    Adipose tissue secretes adipokines that regulate insulin sensitivity in adipocytes and other peripheral tissues critical to glucose metabolism. Insulin resistance is associated with severe alterations in adipokines characterized by release of increased pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreased anti-inflammatory cytokines from adipose tissue. The role of Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) activation on adipokines in relation to adipose tissue inflammation and insulin resistance is not completely explored. For the first time, we have evaluated the ability of Chenodeoxycholic acid (CDCA), an endogenous FXR ligand, in restoring the disturbance in adipokine secretion and insulin resistance in palmitate treated 3T3-L1 cells and adipose tissues of High fat diet (HFD) rats. CDCA suppressed several of the tested pro-inflammatory adipokines (TNF-α, MCP-1, IL-6, Chemerin, PAI, RBP4, resistin, vaspin), and enhanced the major anti-inflammatory and insulin sensitizing adipokines (adiponectin, leptin). CDCA suppressed the activation of critical inflammatory regulators such as NF-κB and IKKβ which are activated by palmitate treatment in differentiated cells and HFD in rats. We show the altered adipokines in insulin resistance, its association with inflammatory regulators, and the role of CDCA in amelioration of insulin resistance by modulation of adipokines.

  2. FLASH X-RAY (FXR) LINEAR INDUCTION ACCELERATOR (LIA) OPTIMIZATION Upgrade of the OTR Emittance Diagnostic

    SciTech Connect

    Houck, T L; Wargo, P E

    2006-12-01

    Knowing the electron beam parameters at the exit of an accelerator is critical for several reasons. Foremost is to optimize the application of the beam, which is flash radiography in the case of the FXR accelerator. The beam parameters not only determine the theoretical dose, x-ray spectrum, and radiograph resolution (spot size), they are required to calculate the final transport magnetic fields that focus the beam on the bremsstrahlung converter to achieve the theoretical limits. Equally important is the comparison of beam parameters to the design specifications. This comparison indicates the ''health'' of the accelerator, warning the operator when systems are deteriorating or failing. For an accelerator of the size and complexity of FXR, a large suite of diagnostics is normally employed to measure and/or infer beam parameters. These diagnostics are distributed throughout the accelerator and can require a large number of ''shots'' (measurements) to calculate a specific beam parameter. The OTR Emittance Diagnostic, however, has the potential to measure all but one of the beam parameters simultaneous at a specific location. Using measurements from a scan of a few shots, this final parameter can also be determined. Since first deployment, the OTR Emittance Diagnostic has been limited to measuring only one of the seven desired parameters, the beam's divergence. This report describes recent upgrades to the diagnostic that permit full realization of its potential.

  3. Plakophilins 1 and 3 Bind to FXR1 and Thereby Influence the mRNA Stability of Desmosomal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fischer-Kešo, Regina; Breuninger, Sonja; Hofmann, Sarah; Henn, Manuela; Röhrig, Theresa; Ströbel, Philipp; Stoecklin, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Plakophilins 1 and 3 (PKP1/3) are members of the arm repeat family of catenin proteins and serve as structural components of desmosomes, which are important for cell-cell-adhesion. In addition, PKP1/3 occur as soluble proteins outside desmosomes, yet their role in the cytoplasm is not known. We found that cytoplasmic PKP1/3 coprecipitated with the RNA-binding proteins FXR1, G3BP, PABPC1, and UPF1, and these PKP1/3 complexes also comprised desmoplakin and PKP2 mRNAs. Moreover, we showed that the interaction of PKP1/3 with G3BP, PABPC1, and UPF1 but not with FXR1 was RNase sensitive. To address the cytoplasmic function of PKP1/3, we performed gain-and-loss-of-function studies. Both PKP1 and PKP3 knockdown cell lines showed reduced protein and mRNA levels for desmoplakin and PKP2. Whereas global rates of translation were unaffected, desmoplakin and PKP2 mRNA were destabilized. Furthermore, binding of PKP1/3 to FXR1 was RNA independent, and both PKP3 and FXR1 stabilized PKP2 mRNA. Our results demonstrate that cytoplasmic PKP1/3 are components of mRNA ribonucleoprotein particles and act as posttranscriptional regulators of gene expression. PMID:25225333

  4. Waltonitone inhibits proliferation of hepatoma cells and tumorigenesis via FXR-miR-22-CCNA2 signaling pathway

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Fan; Gong, Junting; Wang, Guangyun; Chen, Peng; Yang, Li; Wang, Zhengtao

    2016-01-01

    Waltonitone (WA), an ursane-type pentacyclic triterpene extracted from Gentiana waltonii Burkill, was recently appeared to exert anti-tumor effect. However, the biological underpinnings underlying the role of WA in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells have not been completely elucidated. Our previous report indicated that the FXR-regulated miR-22-CCNA2 pathway contributed to the progression and development of HCC. Besides, a wide spectrum of microRNAs (miRNAs) could be up- or down-regulated upon WA treatment, including miR-22. Hence, we aimed to determine whether WA inhibited HCC cell proliferation via the FXR-miR-22-CCNA2 axis. In this study, we observed a significant downregulation of FXR and miR-22, along with upregulation of CCNA2 in 80 paired tumors relative to adjacent normal tissues of HCC subjects, which were obtained from the available GEO database in NCBI (GSE22058). Furthermore, we validated the expression patterns of these three targets in another set of HCC samples and found the highly correlation within each other. Additionally, our data demonstrated that WA induced miR-22 and repressed CCNA2 in HCC cells, which contributed to the cell proliferation arrest. In addition, evidence suggested that either miR-22 silencing or FXR knockdown reversed the diminished CCNA2 expression as well as cell proliferation inhibition caused by WA treatment and WA inhibited tumor masses in vivo in a subcutaneous xenograft mouse model of HCC. Overall, our data indicated that WA inhibited HCC cell proliferation and tumorigenesis through miR-22-regulated CCNA2 repression, which was at least partially through FXR modulation. PMID:27738335

  5. Modification on ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) scaffold. discovery of bile acid derivatives as selective agonists of cell-surface G-protein coupled bile acid receptor 1 (GP-BAR1).

    PubMed

    Sepe, Valentina; Renga, Barbara; Festa, Carmen; D'Amore, Claudio; Masullo, Dario; Cipriani, Sabrina; Di Leva, Francesco Saverio; Monti, Maria Chiara; Novellino, Ettore; Limongelli, Vittorio; Zampella, Angela; Fiorucci, Stefano

    2014-09-25

    Bile acids are signaling molecules interacting with the nuclear receptor FXR and the G-protein coupled receptor 1 (GP-BAR1/TGR5). GP-BAR1 is a promising pharmacological target for the treatment of steatohepatitis, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Endogenous bile acids and currently available semisynthetic bile acids are poorly selective toward GP-BAR1 and FXR. Thus, in the present study we have investigated around the structure of UDCA, a clinically used bile acid devoid of FXR agonist activity, to develop a large family of side chain modified 3α,7β-dihydroxyl cholanoids that selectively activate GP-BAR1. In vivo and in vitro pharmacological evaluation demonstrated that administration of compound 16 selectively increases the expression of pro-glucagon 1, a GP-BAR1 target, in the small intestine, while it had no effect on FXR target genes in the liver. Further, compound 16 results in a significant reshaping of bile acid pool in a rodent model of cholestasis. These data demonstrate that UDCA is a useful scaffold to generate novel and selective steroidal ligands for GP-BAR1.

  6. FXR-mediated down-regulation of CYP7A1 dominates LXRalpha in long-term cholesterol-fed NZW rabbits.

    PubMed

    Xu, Guorong; Li, Hai; Pan, Lu-Xing; Shang, Quan; Honda, Akira; Ananthanarayanan, M; Erickson, Sandra K; Shneider, Benjamin L; Shefer, Sarah; Bollineni, Jaya; Forman, Barry M; Matsuzaki, Yasushi; Suchy, Frederick J; Tint, G Stephen; Salen, Gerald

    2003-10-01

    We investigated how cholesterol feeding regulates cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) via the nuclear receptors farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha) in New Zealand white rabbits. After 1 day of 2% cholesterol feeding, when the bile acid pool size had not expanded, mRNA levels of the FXR target genes short-heterodimer partner (SHP) and sterol 12alpha-hydroxylase (CYP8B) were unchanged, indicating that FXR activation remained constant. In contrast, the mRNA levels of the LXRalpha target genes ATP binding cassette transporter A1 (ABCA1) and cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) increased 5-fold and 2.3-fold, respectively, associated with significant increases in hepatic concentrations of oxysterols. Activity and mRNA levels of CYP7A1 increased 2.4 times and 2.2 times, respectively. After 10 days of cholesterol feeding, the bile acid pool size increased nearly 2-fold. SHP mRNA levels increased 4.1-fold while CYP8B declined 64%. ABCA1 mRNA rose 8-fold and CETP mRNA remained elevated. Activity and mRNA of CYP7A1 decreased 60% and 90%, respectively. Feeding cholesterol for 1 day did not enlarge the ligand pool size or change FXR activation, while LXRalpha was activated highly secondary to increased hepatic oxysterols. As a result, CYP7A1 was up-regulated. After 10 days of cholesterol feeding, the bile acid (FXR ligand) pool size increased, which activated FXR and inhibited CYP7A1 despite continued activation of LXRalpha. Thus, in rabbits, when FXR and LXRalpha are activated simultaneously, the inhibitory effect of FXR overrides the stimulatory effect of LXRalpha to suppress CYP7A1 mRNA expression.

  7. The structural basis for agonist and partial agonist action on a β(1)-adrenergic receptor.

    PubMed

    Warne, Tony; Moukhametzianov, Rouslan; Baker, Jillian G; Nehmé, Rony; Edwards, Patricia C; Leslie, Andrew G W; Schertler, Gebhard F X; Tate, Christopher G

    2011-01-13

    β-adrenergic receptors (βARs) are G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) that activate intracellular G proteins upon binding catecholamine agonist ligands such as adrenaline and noradrenaline. Synthetic ligands have been developed that either activate or inhibit βARs for the treatment of asthma, hypertension or cardiac dysfunction. These ligands are classified as either full agonists, partial agonists or antagonists, depending on whether the cellular response is similar to that of the native ligand, reduced or inhibited, respectively. However, the structural basis for these different ligand efficacies is unknown. Here we present four crystal structures of the thermostabilized turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) β(1)-adrenergic receptor (β(1)AR-m23) bound to the full agonists carmoterol and isoprenaline and the partial agonists salbutamol and dobutamine. In each case, agonist binding induces a 1 Å contraction of the catecholamine-binding pocket relative to the antagonist bound receptor. Full agonists can form hydrogen bonds with two conserved serine residues in transmembrane helix 5 (Ser(5.42) and Ser(5.46)), but partial agonists only interact with Ser(5.42) (superscripts refer to Ballesteros-Weinstein numbering). The structures provide an understanding of the pharmacological differences between different ligand classes, illuminating how GPCRs function and providing a solid foundation for the structure-based design of novel ligands with predictable efficacies.

  8. "Real-Life" Pulse Flattening on the LLNL Flash X-ray (FXR) Machine

    SciTech Connect

    DeHope, W J; Jacob, J S; Kihara, R; Ong, M; Zentler, J M

    2007-06-25

    High-resolution radiography using high-current electron accelerators based on the linear induction accelerator principle requires the linac's final spot on the X-ray target to be millimeter-sized. The requisite final focusing solenoid is adjusted for a specific beam energy at its entrance, hence, temporal variation of entrance beam energy results in a less than optimal time-averaged spot size. The FXR (Flash X-Ray) induction linac facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory will be briefly described with an emphasis on its pulsed power system. In principle, the pulsed Blumleins at the heart of the system output a square pulse when discharged at the peak of their charging waveform so that, with correct cell timing synchronization, the effective beam output into the final focusing solenoid should be optimally flat. We have found that real-life consideration of transmission line and pulse power details in both the injector and accelerator sections of the machine results in significant energy variations in the final beam. We have implemented methods of measurement and analysis that permits this situation to be quantified and improved upon. The improvement will be linked to final beam spot size and enhancement in expected radiographic resolution.

  9. Beam tests on the 4-kA, 1. 5-MeV injector for FXR

    SciTech Connect

    Kulke, B.; Kihara, R.; Ravenscroft, D.; Scarpetti, R.; Vogtlin, G.

    1981-01-01

    The new flash x-ray machine (FXR) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is scheduled for completion in late 1981. This is a 54 module, linear induction accelertor, designed to deliver 500 Roentgen at 1 m as bremsstrahlung from a 20 MeV, 4 kA, 60 ns pulsed electron beam. The 9 cm diameter, cold-cathode electron source generates a 15 kA emitted beam at 1.5 MeV, and collimation is being used to reduce the transmitted current to 3.5 kA, with an emittance of 70 mr-cm. The collimated beam diameter is 4 cm. Six ferrite-loaded cavities are used in tandem to energize the injector. The high voltage performance of the injector cavities and other pulsed-power conditioning elements was tested earlier in a series of 10/sup 5/ shots at 400 kV per cavity. An overview of the injector design and of the beam test results is given.

  10. Retinoic acid represses CYP7A1 expression in human hepatocytes and HepG2 cells by FXR/RXR-dependent and independent mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Cai, Shi-Ying; He, Hongwei; Nguyen, Trong; Mennone, Albert; Boyer, James L

    2010-08-01

    Cholesterol 7alpha-hydroxylase (CYP7A1) plays a key role in maintaining lipid and bile salt homeostasis as it is the rate-limiting enzyme converting cholesterol to bile acids. Deficiency of CYP7A1 leads to hyperlipidemia in man and mouse. Hyperlipidemia is often seen in patients when treated with high-dose retinoic acid (RA), but the molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Our present study revealed that CYP7A1 mRNA expression is greatly repressed by RA in both human hepatocytes and HepG2 cells where increased fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) and small heterodimer partner (SHP) expressions were also observed, suggesting farnesoid X receptor (FXR) and retinoid X receptor (RXR) were activated. Promoter reporter assays demonstrate that all-trans RA (atRA) specifically activated FXR/RXR. However, detailed molecular analyses indicate that this activation is through RXR, whose ligand is 9-cis RA. Knocking down of FXR or RXRalpha by small interference RNA (siRNA) in human hepatocytes increased CYP7A1 basal expression, but the repressive effect of atRA persisted, suggesting there are also FXR/RXR-independent mechanisms mediating atRA repression of CYP7A1 expression. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) assay and cell transfection results indicate that PGC-1alpha plays a role in the FXR/RXR-independent mechanism. Our findings may provide a potential explanation for hyperlipidemic side effects observed in some patients treated with high-dose RA.

  11. Lithocholic acid decreases expression of bile salt export pump through farnesoid X receptor antagonist activity.

    PubMed

    Yu, Jinghua; Lo, Jane-L; Huang, Li; Zhao, Annie; Metzger, Edward; Adams, Alan; Meinke, Peter T; Wright, Samuel D; Cui, Jisong

    2002-08-30

    Bile salt export pump (BSEP) is a major bile acid transporter in the liver. Mutations in BSEP result in progressive intrahepatic cholestasis, a severe liver disease that impairs bile flow and causes irreversible liver damage. BSEP is a target for inhibition and down-regulation by drugs and abnormal bile salt metabolites, and such inhibition and down-regulation may result in bile acid retention and intrahepatic cholestasis. In this study, we quantitatively analyzed the regulation of BSEP expression by FXR ligands in primary human hepatocytes and HepG2 cells. We demonstrate that BSEP expression is dramatically regulated by ligands of the nuclear receptor farnesoid X receptor (FXR). Both the endogenous FXR agonist chenodeoxycholate (CDCA) and synthetic FXR ligand GW4064 effectively increased BSEP mRNA in both cell types. This up-regulation was readily detectable at as early as 3 h, and the ligand potency for BSEP regulation correlates with the intrinsic activity on FXR. These results suggest BSEP as a direct target of FXR and support the recent report that the BSEP promoter is transactivated by FXR. In contrast to CDCA and GW4064, lithocholate (LCA), a hydrophobic bile acid and a potent inducer of cholestasis, strongly decreased BSEP expression. Previous studies did not identify LCA as an FXR antagonist ligand in cells, but we show here that LCA is an FXR antagonist with partial agonist activity in cells. In an in vitro co-activator association assay, LCA decreased CDCA- and GW4064-induced FXR activation with an IC(50) of 1 microm. In HepG2 cells, LCA also effectively antagonized GW4064-enhanced FXR transactivation. These data suggest that the toxic and cholestatic effect of LCA in animals may result from its down-regulation of BSEP through FXR. Taken together, these observations indicate that FXR plays an important role in BSEP gene expression and that FXR ligands may be potential therapeutic drugs for intrahepatic cholestasis.

  12. Regulation of membrane cholecystokinin-2 receptor by agonists enables classification of partial agonists as biased agonists.

    PubMed

    Magnan, Rémi; Masri, Bernard; Escrieut, Chantal; Foucaud, Magali; Cordelier, Pierre; Fourmy, Daniel

    2011-02-25

    Given the importance of G-protein-coupled receptors as pharmacological targets in medicine, efforts directed at understanding the molecular mechanism by which pharmacological compounds regulate their presence at the cell surface is of paramount importance. In this context, using confocal microscopy and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, we have investigated internalization and intracellular trafficking of the cholecystokinin-2 receptor (CCK2R) in response to both natural and synthetic ligands with different pharmacological features. We found that CCK and gastrin, which are full agonists on CCK2R-induced inositol phosphate production, rapidly and abundantly stimulate internalization. Internalized CCK2R did not rapidly recycle to plasma membrane but instead was directed to late endosomes/lysosomes. CCK2R endocytosis involves clathrin-coated pits and dynamin and high affinity and prolonged binding of β-arrestin1 or -2. Partial agonists and antagonists on CCK2R-induced inositol phosphate formation and ERK1/2 phosphorylation did not stimulate CCK2R internalization or β-arrestin recruitment to the CCK2R but blocked full agonist-induced internalization and β-arrestin recruitment. The extreme C-terminal region of the CCK2R (and more precisely phosphorylatable residues Ser(437)-Xaa(438)-Thr(439)-Thr(440)-Xaa(441)-Ser(442)-Thr(443)) were critical for β-arrestin recruitment. However, this region and β-arrestins were dispensable for CCK2R internalization. In conclusion, this study allowed us to classify the human CCK2R as a member of class B G-protein-coupled receptors with regard to its endocytosis features and identified biased agonists of the CCK2R. These new important insights will allow us to investigate the role of internalized CCK2R·β-arrestin complexes in cancers expressing this receptor and to develop new diagnosis and therapeutic strategies targeting this receptor.

  13. Modulation of farnesoid X receptor results in post-translational modification of poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 in the liver

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Yan; Li, Guodong; Dong, Yafeng; Zhou, Helen H.; Kong, Bo; Aleksunes, Lauren M.; Richardson, Jason R.; Li, Fei; Guo, Grace L.

    2013-01-15

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a bile acid-activated transcription factor belonging to the nuclear receptor superfamily. FXR deficiency in mice results in cholestasis, metabolic disorders, and tumorigenesis in liver and intestine. FXR is known to contribute to pathogenesis by regulating gene transcription; however, changes in the post-transcriptional modification of proteins associated with FXR modulation have not been determined. In the current study, proteomic analysis of the livers of wild-type (WT) and FXR knockout (FXR-KO) mice treated with a FXR synthetic ligand or vehicle was performed. The results identified five proteins as novel FXR targets. Since FXR deficiency in mice leads to liver tumorigenesis, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase family, member 1 (Parp1) that is important for DNA repair, was validated in the current study by quantitative real-time PCR, and 1- and 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis/western blot. The results showed that Parp1 mRNA levels were not altered by FXR genetic status or by agonist treatment. However, total Parp1 protein levels were increased in FXR-KO mice as early as 3 month old. Interestingly, total Parp1 protein levels were increased in WT mice in an age-dependent manner (from 3 to 18 months), but not in FXR-KO mice. Finally, activation of FXR in WT mice resulted in reduction of phosporylated Parp1 protein in the liver without affecting total Parp1 protein levels. In conclusion, this study reveals that FXR genetic status and agonist treatment affects basal levels and phosphorylation state of Parp1, respectively. These alterations, in turn, may be associated with the hepatobiliary alterations observed in FXR-KO mice and participate in FXR agonist-induced protection in the liver. -- Highlights: ► Proteomic analysis identified novel FXR targets. ► FXR modification altered post-translational modification of the Parp1 protein. ► Altered Parp1 function may contribute to mechanisms of FXR regulation of liver functions.

  14. [Histrelin acetate--the first once yearly LHRH agonist].

    PubMed

    Altarac, Silvio

    2011-01-01

    Long-acting synthetic luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonists have become the mainstay for androgen-deprivation therapy, because they avoid the physical and psychological discomfort associated with orchidectomy and lack the potential cardiotoxicity associated with estrogens such as diethylstilbestrol. Currently available luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist analogues include leuprolide, goserelin, triptorelin, degarelix and buserelin were administered as either intramuscular or subcutaneous depot injections on a 1, 2, 3 or 6 months basis. Histrelin acetate is the first long-acting luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist available as a once-yearly subcutaneous implant.

  15. A Specialized Mechanism of Translation Mediated by FXR1a-Associated MicroRNP in Cellular Quiescence.

    PubMed

    Bukhari, Syed I A; Truesdell, Samuel S; Lee, Sooncheol; Kollu, Swapna; Classon, Anthony; Boukhali, Myriam; Jain, Esha; Mortensen, Richard D; Yanagiya, Akiko; Sadreyev, Ruslan I; Haas, Wilhelm; Vasudevan, Shobha

    2016-03-03

    MicroRNAs predominantly decrease gene expression; however, specific mRNAs are translationally upregulated in quiescent (G0) mammalian cells and immature Xenopus laevis oocytes by an FXR1a-associated microRNA-protein complex (microRNP) that lacks the microRNP repressor, GW182. Their mechanism in these conditions of decreased mTOR signaling, and therefore reduced canonical (cap-and-poly(A)-tail-mediated) translation, remains undiscovered. Our data reveal that mTOR inhibition in human THP1 cells enables microRNA-mediated activation. Activation requires shortened/no poly(A)-tail targets; polyadenylated mRNAs are partially activated upon PAIP2 overexpression, which interferes with poly(A)-bound PABP, precluding PABP-enhanced microRNA-mediated inhibition and canonical translation. Consistently, inhibition of PARN deadenylase prevents activation. P97/DAP5, a homolog of canonical translation factor, eIF4G, which lacks PABP- and cap binding complex-interacting domains, is required for activation, and thereby for the oocyte immature state. P97 interacts with 3' UTR-binding FXR1a-associated microRNPs and with PARN, which binds mRNA 5' caps, forming a specialized complex to translate recruited mRNAs in these altered canonical translation conditions.

  16. Curcumin protects ANIT-induced cholestasis through signaling pathway of FXR-regulated bile acid and inflammation

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Fan; Tang, Xiaowen; Ding, Lili; zhou, Yue; Yang, Qiaoling; Gong, Junting; Wang, Guangyun; Wang, Zhengtao; Yang, Li

    2016-01-01

    Cholestasis is a clinically significant symptom and widely associated with liver diseases, however, there are very few effective therapies for cholestasis. Danning tablet (DNT, a Chinese patent medicine preparation) has been clinically used to treat human liver and gallbladder diseases for more than 20 years in China. However, which ingredients of DNT contributed to this beneficial effect and their mechanistic underpinnings have been largely unknown. In the present study, we discovered that DNT not only demonstrated greater benefits for cholecystitis patients after cholecystectomy surgery in clinic but also showed protective effect against alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT)-induced cholestasis model in rodent. Curcumin, one major compound derived from DNT, exerted the protective effect against cholestasis through farnesoid X receptor (FXR), which has been focused as potential therapeutic targets for treating cholestasis. The underlying mechanism of curcumin against cholestasis was restoring bile acid homeostasis and antagonizing inflammatory responses in a FXR-dependent manner and in turn contributed to overall cholestasis attenuation. Collectively, curcumin can be served as a potential treatment option for liver injury with cholestasis. PMID:27624003

  17. Induction of systemic TH1-like innate immunity in normal volunteers following subcutaneous but not intravenous administration of CPG 7909, a synthetic B-class CpG oligodeoxynucleotide TLR9 agonist.

    PubMed

    Krieg, Arthur M; Efler, Susan M; Wittpoth, Michael; Al Adhami, Mohammed J; Davis, Heather L

    2004-01-01

    Subcutaneous injection of normal human volunteers with a B-class CpG oligodeoxynucleotide (ODN) TLR9 agonist, CPG 7909, induced a TH1-like pattern of systemic innate immune activation manifested by expression of IL-6, IL-12p40, IFN-alpha, and IFN-inducible chemokines. Serum IP-10 was found to be the most sensitive assay for subcutaneous CPG 7909 stimulation; its level was significantly increased in all subjects at all dose levels, including the lowest tested dose of just 0.0025 mg/kg. This pattern of chemokine and cytokine induction was markedly different from that previously reported to be induced by TLR9 stimulation in rodents, most likely reflecting species-specific differences in the cell types expressing TLR9. Subcutaneous CPG 7909 injection induced transient shifts in blood neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes, consistent with the increased chemokine expression. Levels of acute phase reactants such as C-reactive protein were also increased. A second subcutaneous CPG 7909 injection administered 2 weeks after the first elicited similar immune responses, showing little or no tolerance to the effects of repeated in vivo TLR9 stimulation. Subjects developed dose-dependent transient injection site reactions and flu-like symptoms but otherwise tolerated injection well, with no evidence of organ toxicity or systemic autoimmunity. The activation of innate immunity was dependent on the route of ODN administration, since intravenous injection caused no such effects. These studies indicate that in vivo activation of TLR9 by subcutaneous administration of CPG 7909 could be a well-tolerated immunotherapeutic approach for induction of TH1 innate immune activation.

  18. The Synthetic Cannabinoids Phenomenon.

    PubMed

    Karila, Laurent; Benyamina, Amine; Blecha, Lisa; Cottencin, Olivier; Billieux, Joël

    2016-01-01

    « Spice » is generally used to describe the diverse types of herbal blends that encompass synthetic cannabinoids on the market. The emergence of smokable herbal products containing synthetic cannabinoids, which mimic the effects of cannabis, appears to become increasingly popular, in the new psychoactive substances landscape. In 2014, the existence of 134 different types of synthetic cannabinoids were reported by the European Union Early Warning System. These drugs are mainly sold online as an alternative to controlled and regulated psychoactive substances. They appear to have a life cycle of about 1-2 years before being replaced by a next wave of products. Legislation controlling these designer drugs has been introduced in many countries with the objective to limit the spread of existing drugs and control potential new analogs. The majority of the synthetic cannabinoids are full agonists at the CB1 receptor and do not contain tobacco or cannabis. They are becoming increasingly popular in adolescents, students and clubbers as an abused substance. Relatively high incidence of adverse effects associated with synthetic cannabinoids use has been documented in the literature. Numerous fatalities linked with their use and abuse have been reported. In this paper, we will review the available data regarding the use and effects of synthetic cannabinoids in humans in order to highlight their impact on public health. To reach this objective, a literature search was performed on two representative databases (Pubmed, Google Scholar), the Erowid Center website (a US non-profit educational organization that provides information about psychoactive plants and chemicals), and various governmental websites. The terms used for the database search were: "synthetic cannabinoids", "spice", "new psychoactive substances", and/or "substance use disorder", and/or "adverse effects", and/or "fatalities". The search was limited to years 2005 to 2016 due to emerging scientific literature at

  19. [Melatonin receptor agonist].

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, Makoto

    2015-06-01

    Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland and is involved in the regulation of human sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms. The melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus in the hypothalamus play a pivotal role in the sleep-wake regulation. Based on the fact that MT1 receptors are involved in human sleep onset process, melatonin receptor agonists have been developed to treat insomnia. In this article, we first reviewed functions of melatonin receptors with special reference to MT1 and MT2, and properties and clinical application of melatonin receptor agonists as hypnotics.

  20. Spicing thing up: Synthetic cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Spaderna, Max; Addy, Peter H; D’Souza, Deepak Cyril

    2013-01-01

    Rationale Recently, products containing synthetic cannabinoids, collectively referred to as Spice, are increasingly being used recreationally. Objectives The availability, acute subjective effects—including self-reports posted on Erowid—laboratory detection, addictive potential, and regulatory challenges of the Spice phenomenon are reviewed. Results Spice is sold under the guise of potpourri or incense. Unlike THC, the synthetic cannabinoids present in Spice are high-potency, high-efficacy, cannabinoid-receptor full agonists. Since standard urine toxicology does not test for the synthetic cannabinoids in Spice, it is often used by those who want to avoid detection of drug use. These compounds have not yet been subjected to rigorous testing in humans. Acute psychoactive effects include changes in mood, anxiety, perception, thinking, memory, and attention. Adverse effects include anxiety, agitation, panic, dysphoria, psychosis, and bizarre behavior. Psychosis outcomes associated with Spice provide additional data linking cannabinoids and psychosis. Adverse events necessitating intervention by Poison Control Centers, law enforcement, emergency responders, and hospitals are increasing. Despite statutes prohibiting the manufacture, distribution, and sale of Spice products, manufacturers are replacing banned compounds with newer synthetic cannabinoids that are not banned. Conclusions There is an urgent need for better research on the effects of synthetic cannabinoids to help clinicians manage adverse events and to better understand cannabinoid pharmacology in humans. The reported psychosis outcomes associated with synthetic cannabinoids contribute to the ongoing debate on the association between cannabinoids and psychosis. Finally, drug-detection tests for synthetic cannabinoids need to become clinically available. PMID:23836028

  1. Melatonin agonists and insomnia.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Sally A; Rajaratnam, Shantha M W; Dawson, Drew

    2010-02-01

    The ability of melatonin to shift biological rhythms is well known. As a result, melatonin has been used in the treatment of various circadian rhythm sleep disorders, such as advanced and delayed sleep phase disorders, jet lag and shiftwork disorder. The current evidence for melatonin being efficacious in the treatment of primary insomnia is less compelling. The development of agents that are selective for melatonin receptors provides opportunity to further elucidate the actions of melatonin and its receptors and to develop novel treatments for specific types of sleep disorders. The agonists reviewed here - ramelteon, tasimelteon and agomelatine - all appear to be efficacious in the treatment of circadian rhythm sleep disorders and some types of insomnia. However, further studies are required to understand the mechanisms of action, particularly for insomnia. Clinical application of the agonists requires a good understanding of their phase-dependent properties. Long-term effects of melatonin should be evaluated in large-scale, independent randomized controlled trials.

  2. Beta-Adrenergic Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Barisione, Giovanni; Baroffio, Michele; Crimi, Emanuele; Brusasco, Vito

    2010-01-01

    Inhaled β2-adrenoceptor (β2-AR) agonists are considered essential bronchodilator drugs in the treatment of bronchial asthma, both as symptoms-relievers and, in combination with inhaled corticosteroids, as disease-controllers. In this article, we first review the basic mechanisms by which the β2-adrenergic system contributes to the control of airway smooth muscle tone. Then, we go on describing the structural characteristics of β2-AR and the molecular basis of G-protein-coupled receptor signaling and mechanisms of its desensitization/ dysfunction. In particular, phosphorylation mediated by protein kinase A and β-adrenergic receptor kinase are examined in detail. Finally, we discuss the pivotal role of inhaled β2-AR agonists in the treatment of asthma and the concerns about their safety that have been recently raised. PMID:27713285

  3. SYNTHETIC OIL,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    The patent concerns a dicarboxylate-base synthetic oil with antiwear and antioxidation additives. The oil is prepared from the esterification of 2- or 3-methylcyclohexanol and 2-ethylhexanol with adipic acid. (Author)

  4. Synthetic oils

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hatton, R. E.

    1973-01-01

    Synthetic lubricants are discussed by chemical class and their general strengths and weaknesses in terms of lubrication properties are analyzed. Comparative ratings are given for 14 chemical classes and are used as a guide for lubricant selection. The effects of chemical structure on the properties of the lubricant are described with special emphasis on thermal stability. The diversity of synthetic lubricants which is provided by the wide range of properties permits many applications, some of which are reported.

  5. Alisol B 23-acetate protects against ANIT-induced hepatotoxity and cholestasis, due to FXR-mediated regulation of transporters and enzymes involved in bile acid homeostasis

    SciTech Connect

    Meng, Qiang; Chen, Xin-li; Wang, Chang-yuan; Liu, Qi; Sun, Hui-jun; Sun, Peng-yuan; Huo, Xiao-kui; Liu, Zhi-hao; Yao, Ji-hong; Liu, Ke-xin

    2015-03-15

    Intrahepatic cholestasis is a clinical syndrome with systemic and intrahepatic accumulation of excessive toxic bile acids that ultimately cause hepatobiliary injury. Appropriate regulation of bile acids in hepatocytes is critically important for protection against liver injury. In the present study, we characterized the protective effect of alisol B 23-acetate (AB23A), a natural triterpenoid, on alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT)-induced liver injury and intrahepatic cholestasis in mice and further elucidated the mechanisms in vivo and in vitro. AB23A treatment dose-dependently protected against liver injury induced by ANIT through reducing hepatic uptake and increasing efflux of bile acid via down-regulation of hepatic uptake transporters (Ntcp) and up-regulation of efflux transporter (Bsep, Mrp2 and Mdr2) expression. Furthermore, AB23A reduced bile acid synthesis through repressing Cyp7a1 and Cyp8b1, increased bile acid conjugation through inducing Bal, Baat and bile acid metabolism through an induction in gene expression of Sult2a1. We further demonstrate the involvement of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) in the hepatoprotective effect of AB23A. The changes in transporters and enzymes, as well as ameliorative liver histology in AB23A-treated mice were abrogated by FXR antagonist guggulsterone in vivo. In vitro evidences also directly demonstrated the effect of AB23A on FXR activation in a dose-dependent manner using luciferase reporter assay in HepG2 cells. In conclusion, AB23A produces protective effect against ANIT-induced hepatotoxity and cholestasis, due to FXR-mediated regulation of transporters and enzymes. - Highlights: • AB23A has at least three roles in protection against ANIT-induced liver injury. • AB23A decreases Ntcp, and increases Bsep, Mrp2 and Mdr2 expression. • AB23A represses Cyp7a1 and Cyp8b1 through inducing Shp and Fgf15 expression. • AB23A increases bile acid metabolism through inducing Sult2a1 expression. • FXR activation is involved

  6. Design of a High Field Stress, Velvet Cathode for the Flash X-Ray (FXR) Induction Accelerator

    SciTech Connect

    Houck, T; Brown, C; Fleming, D; Kreitzer, B; Lewis, K; Ong, M; Zentler, J

    2007-06-08

    A new cathode design has been proposed for the Flash X-Ray (FXR) induction linear accelerator with the goal of lowering the beam emittance. The original design uses a conventional Pierce geometry and applies a peak field of 134 kV/cm (no beam) to the velvet emission surface. Voltage/current measurements indicate that the velvet begins emitting near this peak field value and images of the cathode show a very non-uniform distribution of plasma light. The new design has a flat cathode/shroud profile that allows for a peak field stress of 230 kV/cm on the velvet. The emission area is reduced by about a factor of four to generate the same total current due to the greater field stress. The relatively fast acceleration of the beam, approximately 2.5 MeV in 10 cm, reduces space charge forces that tend to hollow the beam for a flat, non-Pierce geometry. The higher field stress achieved with the same rise time is expected to lead to an earlier and more uniform plasma formation over the velvet surface. Simulations and initial testing are presented.

  7. Synthetic multicellularity.

    PubMed

    Maharbiz, Michel M

    2012-12-01

    The ability to synthesize biological constructs on the scale of the organisms we observe unaided is probably one of the more outlandish, yet recurring, dreams humans have had since they began to modify genes. This review brings together recent developments in synthetic biology, cell and developmental biology, computation, and technological development to provide context and direction for the engineering of rudimentary, autonomous multicellular ensembles.

  8. Synthetic DNA

    PubMed Central

    O’ Driscoll, Aisling; Sleator, Roy D.

    2013-01-01

    With world wide data predicted to exceed 40 trillion gigabytes by 2020, big data storage is a very real and escalating problem. Herein, we discuss the utility of synthetic DNA as a robust and eco-friendly archival data storage solution of the future. PMID:23514938

  9. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  10. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  11. PPAR agonists reduce steatosis in oleic acid-overloaded HepaRG cells

    SciTech Connect

    Rogue, Alexandra; Anthérieu, Sébastien; Vluggens, Aurore; Umbdenstock, Thierry; Claude, Nancy; Moureyre-Spire, Catherine de la; Weaver, Richard J.; Guillouzo, André

    2014-04-01

    Although non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently the most common form of chronic liver disease there is no pharmacological agent approved for its treatment. Since peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are closely associated with hepatic lipid metabolism, they seem to play important roles in NAFLD. However, the effects of PPAR agonists on steatosis that is a common pathology associated with NAFLD, remain largely controversial. In this study, the effects of various PPAR agonists, i.e. fenofibrate, bezafibrate, troglitazone, rosiglitazone, muraglitazar and tesaglitazar on oleic acid-induced steatotic HepaRG cells were investigated after a single 24-hour or 2-week repeat treatment. Lipid vesicles stained by Oil-Red O and triglycerides accumulation caused by oleic acid overload, were decreased, by up to 50%, while fatty acid oxidation was induced after 2-week co-treatment with PPAR agonists. The greatest effects on reduction of steatosis were obtained with the dual PPARα/γ agonist muraglitazar. Such improvement of steatosis was associated with up-regulation of genes related to fatty acid oxidation activity and down-regulation of many genes involved in lipogenesis. Moreover, modulation of expression of some nuclear receptor genes, such as FXR, LXRα and CAR, which are potent actors in the control of lipogenesis, was observed and might explain repression of de novo lipogenesis. Conclusion: Altogether, our in vitro data on steatotic HepaRG cells treated with PPAR agonists correlated well with clinical investigations, bringing a proof of concept that drug-induced reversal of steatosis in human can be evaluated in in vitro before conducting long-term and costly in vivo studies in animals and patients. - Highlights: • There is no pharmacological agent approved for the treatment of NAFLD. • This study demonstrates that PPAR agonists can reduce fatty acid-induced steatosis. • Some nuclear receptors appear to be potent actors in the control

  12. Dehydroepiandrosterone Derivatives as Potent Antiandrogens with Marginal Agonist Activity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-07-01

    or 9), although these compounds still showed anti-DHT effects (lanes 2 vs. 6, 8, or 10). Figure 4 . The effects of DHEA derivatives on PSA...2009 - 30 JUN 2010 4 . TITLE AND SUBTITLE Dehydroepiandrosterone Derivatives as Potent Antiandrogens 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER with Marginal Agonist...words) We hypothesized that dehydroepiandrosterone ( DHEA ) metabolites or their synthetic derivatives are able to bind to the androgen receptor with

  13. Synthetic chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Daniel; Waldminghaus, Torsten

    2015-11-01

    What a living organism looks like and how it works and what are its components-all this is encoded on DNA, the genetic blueprint. Consequently, the way to change an organism is to change its genetic information. Since the first pieces of recombinant DNA have been used to transform cells in the 1970s, this approach has been enormously extended. Bigger and bigger parts of the genetic information have been exchanged or added over the years. Now we are at a point where the construction of entire chromosomes becomes a reachable goal and first examples appear. This development leads to fundamental new questions, for example, about what is possible and desirable to build or what construction rules one needs to follow when building synthetic chromosomes. Here we review the recent progress in the field, discuss current challenges and speculate on the appearance of future synthetic chromosomes.

  14. SYNTHETIC LUBRICANTS

    DTIC Science & Technology

    of synthetic lubricants for use at low and high temperatures. The diesters of straight-chain dibasic acids lead the field of esters mutable as...lubricants for use at both low and high temperatures, because of their desirable combinations of properties and potentially good availability. Adipic ...azelaic, and sebacic acids are the most readily available dibasic acids suitable for ester lubricant production, while the petroleum derived Oxo alcohols

  15. Flash X-Ray (FXR) Accelerator Optimization Electronic Time-Resolved Measurement of X-Ray Source Size

    SciTech Connect

    Jacob, J; Ong, M; Wargo, P

    2005-07-21

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is currently investigating various approaches to minimize the x-ray source size on the Flash X-Ray (FXR) linear induction accelerator in order to improve x-ray flux and increase resolution for hydrodynamic radiography experiments. In order to effectively gauge improvements to final x-ray source size, a fast, robust, and accurate system for measuring the spot size is required. Timely feedback on x-ray source size allows new and improved accelerator tunes to be deployed and optimized within the limited run-time constraints of a production facility with a busy experimental schedule; in addition, time-resolved measurement capability allows the investigation of not only the time-averaged source size, but also the evolution of the source size, centroid position, and x-ray dose throughout the 70 ns beam pulse. Combined with time-resolved measurements of electron beam parameters such as emittance, energy, and current, key limiting factors can be identified, modeled, and optimized for the best possible spot size. Roll-bar techniques are a widely used method for x-ray source size measurement, and have been the method of choice at FXR for many years. A thick bar of tungsten or other dense metal with a sharp edge is inserted into the path of the x-ray beam so as to heavily attenuate the lower half of the beam, resulting in a half-light, half-dark image as seen downstream of the roll-bar; by measuring the width of the transition from light to dark across the edge of the roll-bar, the source size can be deduced. For many years, film has been the imaging medium of choice for roll-bar measurements thanks to its high resolution, linear response, and excellent contrast ratio. Film measurements, however, are fairly cumbersome and require considerable setup and analysis time; moreover, with the continuing trend towards all-electronic measurement systems, film is becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to procure. Here, we shall

  16. Synthetic wisdom.

    PubMed

    Kitcher, Philip

    2016-11-01

    Wisdom is a special kind of virtue. It is not to be identified with any outstanding cognitive ability-like having a prodigious memory or knowing a lot. Rather it consists in seeing what is most important and most valuable, either within a particular domain or in life as a whole. In the life of a wise person, that insight should be accompanied by traits of character, enabling the person to pursue what is seen as valuable. Viewing wisdom as a capacity for synthetic understanding, I argue for the need for philosophy, even at a time when all of us have much to learn from the sciences.

  17. Synthetic chloroplasts

    SciTech Connect

    Calvin, M.

    1980-06-01

    The principal function of the chloroplast is to capture solar quanta and to store them in some stable form. We are in the process of trying to construct a totally synthetic system that would simulate some of the reactions of the two photosystems which occur in natural chloroplasts. Toward this end, we have demonstrated a number of the reactions required in separated systems. We have shown that it is possible to transfer electrons across an insulating membrane barrier with a surfactant photosensitizer. Others have shown, and we have confirmed, that it is possible to collect the two electrons necessary for the generation of molecular hydrogen on a heterogeneous catalyst suspended in water and similarly to collect the four holes on another heterogeneous catalyst suspended in water for the generation of molecular oxygen. A synthesis of some of these molecular catalysts for both these purposes is underway, with some partial success. When these partial reactions are assembled in a system, the resulting synthetic chloroplasts will not resemble the natural entity in detailed construction as they will contain no protein.

  18. An overlapping binding site in the CYP7A1 promoter allows activation of FXR to override the stimulation by LXRalpha.

    PubMed

    Shang, Quan; Pan, Luxing; Saumoy, Monica; Chiang, John Y L; Tint, G Stephen; Salen, Gerald; Xu, Guorong

    2007-10-01

    The aim of this study was to explore why in rabbits activation of farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is dominant over activated liver X receptor-alpha (LXRalpha) in the regulation of CYP7A1. We cloned the rabbit CYP7A1 promoter and found a fetoprotein transcription factor (FTF) binding element embedded within the LXRalpha binding site (LXRE). Gel shift assays demonstrated that FTF competes with LXRalpha for binding to LXRE. Short heterodimer partner (SHP) enhances the competitive ability of FTF. Studies in HepG2 cells showed that SHP combined with FTF had more powerful effect to offset the stimulation of CYP7A1 by LXRalpha. Gel shift and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays demonstrated that SHP with FTF diminished LXRalpha binding to the CYP7A1 promoter. In vivo studies in rabbits fed cholesterol for 10 days showed that hepatic expression of SHP but not FTF rose and LXRalpha-bound LXRE decreased. We propose that the SHP/FTF heterodimer occupies LXRE via the embedded FTF binding element and blocks LXRalpha from recruiting to LXRE. Therefore, activation of FXR, which upregulates SHP expression, will eliminate the stimulatory effect of LXRalpha on the CYP7A1 promoter because increased levels of SHP combined with FTF diminish the recruitment of LXRalpha to CYP7A1 promoter.

  19. Agonist-activated ion channels

    PubMed Central

    Colquhoun, David

    2006-01-01

    This paper looks at ion channels as an example of the pharmacologist's stock in trade, the action of an agonist on a receptor to produce a response. Looked at in this way, ion channels have been helpful because they are still the only system which is simple enough for quantitative investigation of transduction mechanisms. A short history is given of attempts to elucidate what happens between the time when agonist first binds, and the time when the channel opens. PMID:16402101

  20. Synthetic Brainbows

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Y.; Otsuna, H.; Hansen, C.

    2014-01-01

    Brainbow is a genetic engineering technique that randomly colorizes cells. Biological samples processed with this technique and imaged with confocal microscopy have distinctive colors for individual cells. Complex cellular structures can then be easily visualized. However, the complexity of the Brainbow technique limits its applications. In practice, most confocal microscopy scans use different florescence staining with typically at most three distinct cellular structures. These structures are often packed and obscure each other in rendered images making analysis difficult. In this paper, we leverage a process known as GPU framebuffer feedback loops to synthesize Brainbow-like images. In addition, we incorporate ID shuffing and Monte-Carlo sampling into our technique, so that it can be applied to single-channel confocal microscopy data. The synthesized Brainbow images are presented to domain experts with positive feedback. A user survey demonstrates that our synthetic Brainbow technique improves visualizations of volume data with complex structures for biologists. PMID:25018576

  1. Synthetic Botany.

    PubMed

    Boehm, Christian R; Pollak, Bernardo; Purswani, Nuri; Patron, Nicola; Haseloff, Jim

    2017-02-28

    Plants are attractive platforms for synthetic biology and metabolic engineering. Plants' modular and plastic body plans, capacity for photosynthesis, extensive secondary metabolism, and agronomic systems for large-scale production make them ideal targets for genetic reprogramming. However, efforts in this area have been constrained by slow growth, long life cycles, the requirement for specialized facilities, a paucity of efficient tools for genetic manipulation, and the complexity of multicellularity. There is a need for better experimental and theoretical frameworks to understand the way genetic networks, cellular populations, and tissue-wide physical processes interact at different scales. We highlight new approaches to the DNA-based manipulation of plants and the use of advanced quantitative imaging techniques in simple plant models such as Marchantia polymorpha. These offer the prospects of improved understanding of plant dynamics and new approaches to rational engineering of plant traits.

  2. Covalent agonists for studying G protein-coupled receptor activation

    PubMed Central

    Weichert, Dietmar; Kruse, Andrew C.; Manglik, Aashish; Hiller, Christine; Zhang, Cheng; Hübner, Harald; Kobilka, Brian K.; Gmeiner, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Structural studies on G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) provide important insights into the architecture and function of these important drug targets. However, the crystallization of GPCRs in active states is particularly challenging, requiring the formation of stable and conformationally homogeneous ligand-receptor complexes. Native hormones, neurotransmitters, and synthetic agonists that bind with low affinity are ineffective at stabilizing an active state for crystallogenesis. To promote structural studies on the pharmacologically highly relevant class of aminergic GPCRs, we here present the development of covalently binding molecular tools activating Gs-, Gi-, and Gq-coupled receptors. The covalent agonists are derived from the monoamine neurotransmitters noradrenaline, dopamine, serotonin, and histamine, and they were accessed using a general and versatile synthetic strategy. We demonstrate that the tool compounds presented herein display an efficient covalent binding mode and that the respective covalent ligand-receptor complexes activate G proteins comparable to the natural neurotransmitters. A crystal structure of the β2-adrenoreceptor in complex with a covalent noradrenaline analog and a conformationally selective antibody (nanobody) verified that these agonists can be used to facilitate crystallogenesis. PMID:25006259

  3. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2017-01-01

    "Are we alone?" is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  4. Synthetic Astrobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2015-01-01

    'Are we alone?' is one of the primary questions of astrobiology, and whose answer defines our significance in the universe. Unfortunately, this quest is hindered by the fact that we have only one confirmed example of life, that of earth. While this is enormously helpful in helping to define the minimum envelope for life, it strains credulity to imagine that life, if it arose multiple times, has not taken other routes. To help fill this gap, our lab has begun using synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - as an enabling technology. One theme, the "Hell Cell" project, focuses on creating artificial extremophiles in order to push the limits for Earth life, and to understand how difficult it is for life to evolve into extreme niches. In another project, we are re-evolving biotic functions using only the most thermodynamically stable amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids.

  5. New World and Old World Alphaviruses Have Evolved to Exploit Different Components of Stress Granules, FXR and G3BP Proteins, for Assembly of Viral Replication Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Dal Young; Reynaud, Josephine M.; Rasalouskaya, Aliaksandra; Akhrymuk, Ivan; Mobley, James A.; Frolov, Ilya; Frolova, Elena I.

    2016-01-01

    The positive-strand RNA viruses initiate their amplification in the cell from a single genome delivered by virion. This single RNA molecule needs to become involved in replication process before it is recognized and degraded by cellular machinery. In this study, we show that distantly related New World and Old World alphaviruses have independently evolved to utilize different cellular stress granule-related proteins for assembly of complexes, which recruit viral genomic RNA and facilitate formation of viral replication complexes (vRCs). Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) utilizes all members of the Fragile X syndrome (FXR) family, while chikungunya and Sindbis viruses exploit both members of the G3BP family. Despite being in different families, these proteins share common characteristics, which determine their role in alphavirus replication, namely, the abilities for RNA-binding and for self-assembly into large structures. Both FXR and G3BP proteins interact with virus-specific, repeating amino acid sequences located in the C-termini of hypervariable, intrinsically disordered domains (HVDs) of viral nonstructural protein nsP3. We demonstrate that these host factors orchestrate assembly of vRCs and play key roles in RNA and virus replication. Only knockout of all of the homologs results in either pronounced or complete inhibition of replication of different alphaviruses. The use of multiple homologous proteins with redundant functions mediates highly efficient recruitment of viral RNA into the replication process. This independently evolved acquisition of different families of cellular proteins by the disordered protein fragment to support alphavirus replication suggests that other RNA viruses may utilize a similar mechanism of host factor recruitment for vRC assembly. The use of different host factors by alphavirus species may be one of the important determinants of their pathogenesis. PMID:27509095

  6. Retinoic Acid Receptor β2 Agonists Restore Glycemic Control In Diabetes and Reduce Steatosis

    PubMed Central

    Trasino, Steven E.; Tang, Xiao-Han; Jessurun, Jose; Gudas, Lorraine J.

    2016-01-01

    Aims Retinoids (vitamin A (retinol), and structurally related molecules) possess metabolic modulating properties, prompting new interest in their role in the treatment of diabetes and fatty liver disease, but little is known about the effects of specific retinoic acid receptor (RAR) agonists in these diseases. Materials and Methods Synthetic agonists for retinoic acid receptor RARβ2 were administered to wild type (wt) mice in a model of high fat diet (HFD)-induced type 2 diabetes (T2D) and to ob/ob and db/db mice (genetic models of obesity-associated T2D). Results We demonstrate that administration of synthetic agonists for the retinoic acid receptor RARβ2 to either wild type (wt) mice in a model of high fat diet (HFD)-induced type 2 diabetes (T2D) or to ob/ob and db/db mice (genetic models of obesity-associated T2D) reduces hyperglycemia, peripheral insulin resistance, and body weight. Furthermore, RARβ2 agonists dramatically reduce steatosis, lipid peroxidation, and oxidative stress in the liver, pancreas, and kidneys of obese, diabetic mice. RARβ2 agonists also lower levels of mRNAs involved in lipogenesis, such as SREBP1 and FASN (fatty acid synthase), and increase mRNAs that mediate mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation, such as CPT1α, in these organs. RARβ2 agonists lower triglyceride levels in these organs, and in muscle. Conclusions Collectively, our data show that orally active, rapidly acting, high affinity pharmacological agonists for RARβ2 improve the diabetic phenotype while reducing lipid levels in key insulin target tissues. We suggest that RARβ2 agonists should be useful drugs for T2D therapy and for treatment of hepatic steatosis. PMID:26462866

  7. Dopamine agonist therapy in hyperprolactinemia.

    PubMed

    Webster, J

    1999-12-01

    Introduction of the dopamine agonist bromocriptine heralded a major advance in the management of hyperprolactinemic disorders. Although its side effects of nausea, dizziness and headache and its short elimination half-life are limiting factors, its efficacy established it as a reference compound against the activity of which several dopamine agonists, like pergolide, lysuride, metergoline, terguride and dihydroergocristine, fell by the wayside. More recently, two new agents, cabergoline and quinagolide, have been introduced and appear to offer considerable advantages over bromocriptine. Cabergoline, an ergoline D2 agonist, has a long plasma half-life that enables once- or twice-weekly administration. Quinagolide, in contrast, is a nonergot D2 agonist with an elimination half-life intermediate between those of bromocriptine and cabergoline, allowing the drug to be administered once daily. Comparative studies indicate that cabergoline is clearly superior to bromocriptine in efficacy (prolactin suppression, restoration of gonadal function) and in tolerability. In similar studies, quinagolide appeared to have similar efficacy and superior tolerability to that of bromocriptine. Results of a small crossover study indicate that cabergoline is better tolerated, with a trend toward activity superior to that of quinagolide. In hyperprolactinemic men and in women not seeking to become pregnant, cabergoline may be regarded as the treatment of choice.

  8. Extraction Efficacy of Synthetic Cannabinoids From Damiana Leaf Substrates Utilizing Electrolytic Solvents

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-01

    cannabis , delta-9-tetrahdyrocannabinol (THC) (1–5). Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists comprise a diverse group of chemically unrelated substances...further tested, they have been found to contain neither tobacco nor cannabis , but still produce cannabimimetic effects. As a result, these herbal...mixtures doped with synthetic cannabinoids have become widely abused as a supposed legal alternative to cannabis (12–14). Unfortunately, synthetic

  9. Structure-Activity Relationship and Signaling of New Chimeric CXCR4 Agonists.

    PubMed

    Mona, Christine E; Besserer-Offroy, Élie; Cabana, Jérôme; Lefrançois, Marilou; Boulais, Philip E; Lefebvre, Marie-Reine; Leduc, Richard; Lavigne, Pierre; Heveker, Nikolaus; Marsault, Éric; Escher, Emanuel

    2016-08-25

    The CXCR4 receptor binds with meaningful affinities only CXCL12 and synthetic antagonists/inverse agonists. We recently described high affinity synthetic agonists for this chemokine receptor, obtained by grafting the CXCL12 N-terminus onto the inverse agonist T140. While those chimeric molecules behave as agonists for CXCR4, their binding and activation mode are unknown. The present SAR of those CXCL12-oligopeptide grafts reveals the key determinants involved in CXCR4 activation. Position 3 (Val) controls affinity, whereas position 7 (Tyr) acts as an efficacy switch. Chimeric molecules bearing aromatic residues in position 3 possess high binding affinities for CXCR4 and are Gαi full agonists with robust chemotactic properties. Fine-tuning of electron-poor aromatic rings in position 7 enhances receptor activation. To rationalize these results, a homology model of a receptor-ligand complex was built using the published crystal structures of CXCR4. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal further details accounting for the observed SAR for this series.

  10. Novel diazabicycloalkane delta opioid agonists.

    PubMed

    Loriga, Giovanni; Lazzari, Paolo; Manca, Ilaria; Ruiu, Stefania; Falzoi, Matteo; Murineddu, Gabriele; Bottazzi, Mirko Emilio Heiner; Pinna, Giovanni; Pinna, Gérard Aimè

    2015-09-01

    Here we report the investigation of diazabicycloalkane cores as potential new scaffolds for the development of novel analogues of the previously reported diazatricyclodecane selective delta (δ) opioid agonists, as conformationally constrained homologues of the reference δ agonist (+)-4-[(αR)-α((2S,5R)-4-allyl-2,5-dimethyl-1-piperazinyl)-3-methoxybenzyl]-N,N-diethylbenzamide (SNC80). In particular, we have simplified the diazatricyclodecane motif of δ opioid agonist prototype 1a with bridged bicyclic cores. 3,6-diazabicyclo[3.1.1]heptane, 3,8-diazabicyclo[3.2.1]octane, 3,9-diazabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane, 3,9-diazabicyclo[4.2.1]nonane, and 3,10-diazabicyclo[4.3.1]decane were adopted as core motifs of the novel derivatives. The compounds were synthesized and biologically assayed as racemic (3-5) or diastereoisomeric (6,7) mixtures. All the novel compounds 3-7 showed δ agonism behaviour and remarkable affinity to δ receptors. Amongst the novel derivatives, 3,8-diazabicyclo[3.2.1]octane based compound 4 evidenced improved δ affinity and selectivity relative to SNC80.

  11. Detection of glucocorticoid receptor agonists in effluents from sewage treatment plants in Japan.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Go; Sato, Kentaro; Isobe, Tomohiko; Takigami, Hidetaka; Brouwer, Abraham; Nakayama, Kei

    2015-09-15

    Glucocorticoids (GCs) are widely used as anti-inflammatory drugs. Our previous study demonstrated that several GCs such as cortisol and dexamethasone (Dex) were frequently detected in effluents collected from Japanese sewage treatment plants (STPs) in 2012. In this study, we used the GC-Responsive Chemical-Activated LUciferase gene eXpression (GR-CALUX) assay to elucidate GC receptor (GR) agonistic activities of ten pure synthetic GCs and selected STP effluents in Japan for assessment of the risks associated with the presence of GR agonists. The tested GCs demonstrated dose-dependent agonistic effects in the GR-CALUX assay and their EC50 values were calculated for estimation of relative potencies (REPs) compared to Dex. The GR agonistic potency was in the rank of: clobetasol propionate > clobetasone butyrate > betamethasone 17-valerate > difluprednate > betamethasone 17,21-dipropionate > Dex > betamethasone > 6α-methylprednisolone > prednisolone > cortisol. The GR agonistic activity in STP effluents as measured in Dex-equivalent (Dex-EQ) activities ranged from < 3.0-78 ng L(-1) (median: 29 ng L(-1), n = 50). To evaluate the contribution of the target GCs, theoretical Dex-EQs were calculated by multiplying the concentrations of each GC by its respective REP. Our calculation of Dex-EQ contribution for individual GR agonists indicated that the well-known GCs cortisol and Dex should not be given priority for subsequent in vivo testing, monitoring and removal experiments, but rather the highly potent synthetic GCs clobetasol propionate and betamethasone 17-valerate (REP = 28 and 3.1) as well as other unidentified compounds are important GR agonists in STP effluents in Japan.

  12. Synthetic biology, inspired by synthetic chemistry.

    PubMed

    Malinova, V; Nallani, M; Meier, W P; Sinner, E K

    2012-07-16

    The topic synthetic biology appears still as an 'empty basket to be filled'. However, there is already plenty of claims and visions, as well as convincing research strategies about the theme of synthetic biology. First of all, synthetic biology seems to be about the engineering of biology - about bottom-up and top-down approaches, compromising complexity versus stability of artificial architectures, relevant in biology. Synthetic biology accounts for heterogeneous approaches towards minimal and even artificial life, the engineering of biochemical pathways on the organismic level, the modelling of molecular processes and finally, the combination of synthetic with nature-derived materials and architectural concepts, such as a cellular membrane. Still, synthetic biology is a discipline, which embraces interdisciplinary attempts in order to have a profound, scientific base to enable the re-design of nature and to compose architectures and processes with man-made matter. We like to give an overview about the developments in the field of synthetic biology, regarding polymer-based analogs of cellular membranes and what questions can be answered by applying synthetic polymer science towards the smallest unit in life, namely a cell.

  13. Differential regulation of bile acid and cholesterol metabolism by the farnesoid X receptor in Ldlr -/- mice versus hamsters.

    PubMed

    Gardès, Christophe; Chaput, Evelyne; Staempfli, Andreas; Blum, Denise; Richter, Hans; Benson, G Martin

    2013-05-01

    Modulating bile acid synthesis has long been considered a good strategy by which to improve cholesterol homeostasis in humans. The farnesoid X receptor (FXR), the key regulator of bile acid synthesis, was, therefore, identified as an interesting target for drug discovery. We compared the effect of four, structurally unrelated, synthetic FXR agonists in two fat-fed rodent species and observed that the three most potent and selective agonists decreased plasma cholesterol in LDL receptor-deficient (Ldlr (-/-)) mice, but none did so in hamsters. Detailed investigation revealed increases in the expression of small heterodimer partner (Shp) in their livers and of intestinal fibroblast growth factor 15 or 19 (Fgf15/19) in mice only. Cyp7a1 expression and fecal bile acid (BA) excretion were strongly reduced in mice and hamsters by all four FXR agonists, whereas bile acid pool sizes were reduced in both species by all but the X-Ceptor compound in hamsters. In Ldlr (-/-) mice, the predominant bile acid changed from cholate to the more hydrophilic β-muricholate due to a strong repression of Cyp8b1 and increase in Cyp3a11 expression. However, FXR agonists caused only minor changes in the expression of Cyp8b1 and in bile acid profiles in hamsters. In summary, FXR agonist-induced decreases in bile acid pool size and lipophilicity and in cholesterol absorption and synthesis could explain the decreased plasma cholesterol in Ldlr (-/-) mice. In hamsters, FXR agonists reduced bile acid pool size to a smaller extent with minor changes in bile acid profile and reductions in sterol absorption, and consequently, plasma cholesterol was unchanged.

  14. Plant synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Wusheng; Stewart, C Neal

    2015-05-01

    Plant synthetic biology is an emerging field that combines engineering principles with plant biology toward the design and production of new devices. This emerging field should play an important role in future agriculture for traditional crop improvement, but also in enabling novel bioproduction in plants. In this review we discuss the design cycles of synthetic biology as well as key engineering principles, genetic parts, and computational tools that can be utilized in plant synthetic biology. Some pioneering examples are offered as a demonstration of how synthetic biology can be used to modify plants for specific purposes. These include synthetic sensors, synthetic metabolic pathways, and synthetic genomes. We also speculate about the future of synthetic biology of plants.

  15. [SYNTHETIC PEPTIDE VACCINES].

    PubMed

    Sergeyev, O V; Barinsky, I F

    2016-01-01

    An update on the development and trials of synthetic peptide vaccines is reviewed. The review considers the successful examples of specific protection as a result of immunization with synthetic peptides using various protocols. The importance of conformation for the immunogenicity of the peptide is pointed out. An alternative strategy of the protection of the organism against the infection using synthetic peptides is suggested.

  16. Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist and Brain Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Chunhua, Chen; Chunhua, Xi; Megumi, Sugita; Renyu, Liu

    2014-01-01

    Opioid receptors, especially Kappa opioid receptor (KOR) play an important role in the pathophysiological process of cerebral ischemia reperfusion injury. Previously accepted KOR agonists activity has included anti-nociception, cardiovascular, anti-pruritic, diuretic, and antitussive effects, while compelling evidence from various ischemic animal models indicate that KOR agonist have neuroprotective effects through various mechanisms. In this review, we aimed to demonstrate the property of KOR agonist and its role in global and focal cerebral ischemia. Based on current preclinical research, the KOR agonists may be useful as a neuroprotective agent. The recent discovery of salvinorin A, highly selective non-opioid KOR agonist, offers a new tool to study the role of KOR in brain HI injury and the protective effects of KOR agonist. The unique pharmacological profile of salvinorin A along with the long history of human usage provides its high candidacy as a potential alternative medication for brain HI injury. PMID:25574482

  17. [From synthetic biology to synthetic humankind].

    PubMed

    Nouvel, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    In this paper, we propose an historical survey of the expression "synthetic biology" in order to identify its main philosophical components. The result of the analysis is then used to investigate the meaning of the notion of "synthetic man". It is shown that both notions share a common philosophical background that can be summed up by the short but meaningful assertion: "biology is technology". The analysis allows us to distinguish two notions that are often confused in transhumanist literature: the notion of synthetic man and the notion of renewed man. The consequences of this crucial distinction are discussed.

  18. A Synthetic 7,8-Dihydroxyflavone Derivative Promotes Neurogenesis and Exhibits Potent Antidepressant Effect

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xia; Chan, Chi-Bun; Jang, Sung-Wuk; Pradoldej, Sompol; Huang, Junjian; He, Kunyan; Phun, Lien H.; France, Stefan; Xiao, Ge; Jia, Yonghui; Luo, Hongbo R.; Ye, Keqiang

    2011-01-01

    7,8-Dihydroxyflavone is a recently identified small molecular tropomyosin-receptor-kinase B (TrkB) agonist. Our preliminary structural activity relationship (SAR) study showed that the 7,8-dihydroxy groups are essential for the agonistic effect. To improve the lead compound's agonistic activity, we have conducted an extensive SAR study and synthesized numerous derivatives. We have successfully identified 4'-dimethylamino-7,8-dihydroxyflavone that displays higher TrkB agonistic activity than the lead. This novel compound also exhibits a more robust and longer TrkB activation effect in animals. Consequently, this new compound reveals more potent anti-apoptotic activity. Interestingly, chronic oral administration of 4'-dimethylamino-7,8-dihydroxyflavone and its lead strongly promotes neurogenesis in dentate gyrus and demonstrates marked antidepressant effects. Hence, our data support that the synthetic 4'-dimethylamino-7,8-dihydroxyflavone and its lead both are orally bioavailable TrkB agonists and possess potent antidepressant effects. PMID:21073191

  19. Dopamine receptor agonists, partial agonists and psychostimulant addiction.

    PubMed

    Pulvirenti, L; Koob, G F

    1994-10-01

    Despite the epidemic growth of psychostimulant addiction over the past years, few pharmacological means of intervention are available to date for clinical treatment. This is of importance since the withdrawal syndrome that follows abstinence from drugs such as cocaine and the amphetamines is characterized, among other symptoms, by intense craving for the abused drug, and this is considered a critical factor leading into relapse of drug use. In this article, Luigi Pulvirenti and George Koob focus on the modulatory role shown by drugs acting at the dopamine receptor on the various phases of psychostimulant dependence in preclinical models and in human studies, and suggest that a class of compounds with partial agonist properties at the dopamine receptor may have therapeutic potential.

  20. Beta-agonists and animal welfare

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The use of beta-agonists in animal feed is a high profile topic within the U.S. as consumers and activist groups continue to question its safety. The only beta-agonist currently available for use in swine is ractopamine hydrochloride (RAC). This is available as Paylean™ (Elanco Animal Health – FDA a...

  1. Small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists.

    PubMed

    Nelson, James W; Plummer, Mark S; Blount, Kenneth F; Ames, Tyler D; Breaker, Ronald R

    2015-04-23

    Fluoride is a ubiquitous anion that inhibits a wide variety of metabolic processes. Here, we report the identification of a series of compounds that enhance fluoride toxicity in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus mutans. These molecules were isolated by using a high-throughput screen (HTS) for compounds that increase intracellular fluoride levels as determined via a fluoride riboswitch reporter fusion construct. A series of derivatives were synthesized to examine structure-activity relationships, leading to the identification of compounds with improved activity. Thus, we demonstrate that small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists can be identified by HTS from existing chemical libraries by exploiting a natural fluoride riboswitch. In addition, our findings suggest that some molecules might be further optimized to function as binary antibacterial agents when combined with fluoride.

  2. Small Molecule Fluoride Toxicity Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Nelson1, James W.; Plummer, Mark S.; Blount, Kenneth F.; Ames, Tyler D.; Breaker, Ronald R.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Fluoride is a ubiquitous anion that inhibits a wide variety of metabolic processes. Here we report the identification of a series of compounds that enhance fluoride toxicity in Escherichia coli and Streptococcus mutans. These molecules were isolated by using a high-throughput screen (HTS) for compounds that increase intracellular fluoride levels as determined via a fluoride riboswitch-reporter fusion construct. A series of derivatives were synthesized to examine structure-activity relationships, leading to the identification of compounds with improved activity. Thus, we demonstrate that small molecule fluoride toxicity agonists can be identified by HTS from existing chemical libraries by exploiting a natural fluoride riboswitch. In addition, our findings suggest that some molecules might be further optimized to function as binary antibacterial agents when combined with fluoride. PMID:25910244

  3. TLR8 agonists stimulate newly recruited monocyte-derived cells into potent APCs that enhance HBsAg immunogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Du, Jun; Wu, Zhiyuan; Ren, Shurong; Wei, Yong; Gao, Meihua; Randolph, Gwendalyn J.; Qu, Chunfeng

    2011-01-01

    We previously reported that synthetic or natural Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7/8 agonists present within dead cells enhanced cell-associated antigen presentation both in vitro and in vivo. Here, we investigated the immunopotency of different chemically synthesized TLR7/8 agonists, Resiquimod, Gardiquimod, CL075, and CL097, on HBsAg immunogenicity. These agonists stimulated inflammatory monocyte-derived cells to become potent antigen-presenting dendritic cells (DCs), which augmented HBsAg specific T cell proliferation after they were conditioned with HBsAg. The TLR8 agonist CL075 and the TLR7/8 dual agonist CL097 showed more potent effects than the TLR7 agonist. Compared with alum adjuvant, when HBsAg mixed with CL075 was injected intramuscularly into mice, more monocyte-derived DCs carried antigens into draining lymph nodes and spleens. Specific Abs, particularly IgG2a, were significantly increased, and more IL-5 and IFN-γ were produced by splenocytes and intrahepatic immunocytes in mice that received HBsAg mixed with CL075 and CL097. These results suggest that TLR8 agonists are good candidates to enhance recombinant HBsAg immunogenicity to induce specific humoral and cellular immune responses. PMID:20637759

  4. 2-Dialkynyl derivatives of (N)-methanocarba nucleosides: 'Clickable' A(3) adenosine receptor-selective agonists.

    PubMed

    Tosh, Dilip K; Chinn, Moshe; Yoo, Lena S; Kang, Dong Wook; Luecke, Hans; Gao, Zhan-Guo; Jacobson, Kenneth A

    2010-01-15

    We modified a series of (N)-methanocarba nucleoside 5'-uronamides to contain dialkyne groups on an extended adenine C2 substituent, as synthetic intermediates leading to potent and selective A(3) adenosine receptor (AR) agonists. The proximal alkyne was intended to promote receptor recognition, and the distal alkyne reacted with azides to form triazole derivatives (click cycloaddition). Click chemistry was utilized to couple an octadiynyl A(3)AR agonist to azido-containing fluorescent, chemically reactive, biotinylated, and other moieties with retention of selective binding to the A(3)AR. A bifunctional thiol-reactive crosslinking reagent was introduced. The most potent and selective novel compound was a 1-adamantyl derivative (K(i) 6.5nM), although some of the click products had K(i) values in the range of 200-400nM. Other potent, selective derivatives (K(i) at A(3)AR innM) were intended as possible receptor affinity labels: 3-nitro-4-fluorophenyl (10.6), alpha-bromophenacyl (9.6), thiol-reactive isothiazolone (102), and arylisothiocyanate (37.5) derivatives. The maximal functional effects in inhibition of forskolin-stimulated cAMP were measured, indicating that this class of click adducts varied from partial to full A(3)AR agonist compared to other widely used agonists. Thus, this strategy provides a general chemical approach to linking potent and selective A(3)AR agonists to reporter groups of diverse structure and to carrier moieties.

  5. Functional selectivity of dopamine D1 receptor agonists in regulating the fate of internalized receptors *

    PubMed Central

    Ryman-Rasmussen, Jessica P.; Griffith, Adam; Oloff, Scott; Vaidehi, Nagarajan; Brown, Justin T.; Goddard, William A.; Mailman, Richard B.

    2007-01-01

    Recently, we demonstrated that D1 agonists can cause functionally selective effects when the endpoints of receptor internalization and adenylate cyclase activation are compared. The present study was designed to probe the phenomenon of functional selectivity at the D1 receptor further by testing the hypothesis that structurally dissimilar agonists with efficacies at these endpoints that equal or exceed those of dopamine would differ in ability to influence receptor fate after internalization, a functional endpoint largely unexplored for the D1 receptor. We selected two novel agonists of therapeutic interest that meet these criteria (the isochroman A-77636, and the isoquinoline dinapsoline), and compared the fates of the D1 receptor after internalization in response to these two compounds with that of dopamine. We found that dopamine caused the receptor to be rapidly recycled to the cell surface within 1 h of removal. Conversely, A-77636 caused the receptor to be retained intracellularly up to 48 h after agonist removal. Most surprisingly, the D1 receptor recovered to the cell surface 48 h after removal of dinapsoline. Taken together, these data indicate that these agonists target the D1 receptor to different intracellular trafficking pathways, demonstrating that the phenomenon of functional selectivity at the D1 receptor is operative for cellular events that are temporally downstream of immediate receptor activation. We hypothesize that these differential effects result from interactions of the synthetic ligands with aspects of the D1 receptor that are distal from the ligand binding domain. PMID:17067639

  6. Evolvable synthetic neural system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Curtis, Steven A. (Inventor)

    2009-01-01

    An evolvable synthetic neural system includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to at least one neural basis function. Each neural basis function includes an evolvable neural interface operably coupled to a heuristic neural system to perform high-level functions and an autonomic neural system to perform low-level functions. In some embodiments, the evolvable synthetic neural system is operably coupled to one or more evolvable synthetic neural systems in a hierarchy.

  7. Synthetic cathinone abuse

    PubMed Central

    Capriola, Michael

    2013-01-01

    The abuse of synthetic cathinones, widely known as bath salts, has been increasing since the mid-2000s. These substances are derivatives of the naturally occurring compound cathinone, which is the primary psychoactive component of khat. The toxicity of synthetic cathinones includes significant sympathomimetic effects, as well as psychosis, agitation, aggression, and sometimes violent and bizarre behavior. Mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone are currently the predominantly abused synthetic cathinones. PMID:23869180

  8. Intestine-specific Deletion of Sirt1 in Mice Impairs DCoH2–HNF1α–FXR Signaling and Alters Systemic Bile Acid Homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Kazgan, Nevzat; Metukuri, Mallikarjuna R.; Purushotham, Aparna; Lu, Jing; Rao, Anuradha; Lee, Sangkyu; Pratt-Hyatt, Matthew; Lickteig, Andrew; Csanaky, Ivan; Zhao, Yingming; Dawson, Paul A.; Li, Xiaoling

    2014-01-01

    Background & Aims Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), the most conserved mammalian NAD+-dependent protein deacetylase, is an important metabolic sensor in many tissues. However, little is known about its role in the small intestine, which absorbs and senses nutrients. We investigated the functions of intestinal Sirt1 in systemic bile acid and cholesterol metabolism in mice. Methods Sirt1 was specifically deleted from intestines of mice using the Flox-villin-Cre system (Sirt1 iKO mice). Intestinal and heptic tissues were collected, and bile acid absorption was analyzed using the everted gut sac experiment. Systemic bile acid metabolism was studied in Sirt1 iKO and Flox control mice placed on standard diets, diets containing 0.5% cholic acid or 1.25% cholesterol, or lithogenic diets. Results Sirt1 iKO mice had reduced intestinal Fxr signaling via Hnf1a compared with controls, which reduced expression of the bile acid transporter genes Asbt and Mcf2l (encodes Ost) and absorption of ileal bile acids. Sirt1 regulated Hnf1α–Fxr signaling partially through Dcoh2, which increases dimerization of Hnf1α. Sirt1 was found to deacetylate DCoH2, promoting its interaction with Hnf1α and inducing DNA binding by Hnf1α. Intestine-specific deletion of Sirt1 increased hepatic bile acid biosynthesis, reduced hepatic accumulation of bile acids, and protected animals from liver damage from high-bile acid diets. Conclusions Intestinal Sirt1, a key nutrient sensor, is required for ileal bile acid absorption and systemic bile acid homeostasis in mice. We delineated the mechanism of metabolic regulation of Hnf1α–Fxr signaling. Reagents designed to inhibit intestinal SIRT1 might be developed to treat bile acid-related diseases such as cholestasis. PMID:24389307

  9. Biased signaling by peptide agonists of protease activated receptor 2.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuhong; Yau, Mei-Kwan; Kok, W Mei; Lim, Junxian; Wu, Kai-Chen; Liu, Ligong; Hill, Timothy A; Suen, Jacky Y; Fairlie, David P

    2017-02-07

    Protease activated receptor 2 (PAR2) is associated with metabolism, obesity, inflammatory, respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders, pain, cancer and other diseases. The extracellular N-terminus of PAR2 is a common target for multiple proteases, which cleave it at different sites to generate different N-termini that activate different PAR2-mediated intracellular signaling pathways. There are no synthetic PAR2 ligands that reproduce the same signaling profiles and potencies as proteases. Structure-activity relationships here for 26 compounds spanned a signaling bias over 3 log units, culminating in three small ligands as biased agonist tools for interrogating PAR2 functions. DF253 (2f-LAAAAI-NH2) triggered PAR2-mediated calcium release (EC50 2 μM) but not ERK1/2 phosphorylation (EC50 > 100 μM) in CHO cells transfected with hPAR2. AY77 (Isox-Cha-Chg-NH2) was a more potent calcium-biased agonist (EC50 40 nM, Ca2+; EC50 2 μM, ERK1/2), while its analogue AY254 (Isox-Cha-Chg-A-R-NH2) was an ERK-biased agonist (EC50 2 nM, ERK1/2; EC50 80 nM, Ca2+). Signaling bias led to different functional responses in human colorectal carcinoma cells (HT29). AY254, but not AY77 or DF253, attenuated cytokine-induced caspase 3/8 activation, promoted scratch-wound healing and induced IL-8 secretion, all via PAR2-ERK1/2 signaling. Different ligand components were responsible for different PAR2 signaling and functions, clues that can potentially lead to drugs that modulate different pathway-selective cellular and physiological responses.

  10. Trial Watch: Toll-like receptor agonists in oncological indications.

    PubMed

    Aranda, Fernando; Vacchelli, Erika; Obrist, Florine; Eggermont, Alexander; Galon, Jérôme; Sautès-Fridman, Catherine; Cremer, Isabelle; Henrik Ter Meulen, Jan; Zitvogel, Laurence; Kroemer, Guido; Galluzzi, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are an evolutionarily conserved group of enzymatically inactive, single membrane-spanning proteins that recognize a wide panel of exogenous and endogenous danger signals. Besides constituting a crucial component of the innate immune response to bacterial and viral pathogens, TLRs appear to play a major role in anticancer immunosurveillance. In line with this notion, several natural and synthetic TLR ligands have been intensively investigated for their ability to boost tumor-targeting immune responses elicited by a variety of immunotherapeutic and chemotherapeutic interventions. Three of these agents are currently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or equivalent regulatory agencies for use in cancer patients: the so-called bacillus Calmette-Guérin, monophosphoryl lipid A, and imiquimod. However, the number of clinical trials testing the therapeutic potential of both FDA-approved and experimental TLR agonists in cancer patients is stably decreasing, suggesting that drug developers and oncologists are refocusing their interest on alternative immunostimulatory agents. Here, we summarize recent findings on the use of TLR agonists in cancer patients and discuss how the clinical evaluation of FDA-approved and experimental TLR ligands has evolved since the publication of our first Trial Watch dealing with this topic.

  11. Pharmacology and toxicology of Cannabis derivatives and endocannabinoid agonists.

    PubMed

    Gerra, Gilberto; Zaimovic, Amir; Gerra, Maria L; Ciccocioppo, Roberto; Cippitelli, Andrea; Serpelloni, Giovanni; Somaini, Lorenzo

    2010-01-01

    For centuries Cannabis sativa and cannabis extracts have been used in natural medicine. Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the main active ingredient of Cannabis. THC seems to be responsible for most of the pharmacological and therapeutic actions of cannabis. In a few countries THC extracts (i.e. Sativex) or THC derivatives such as nabilone, and dronabinol are used in the clinic for the treatment of several pathological conditions like chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma. On the other hand the severe side effects and the high abuse liability of these agents represent a serious limitation in their medical use. In addition, diversion in the use of these active ingredients for recreational purpose is a concern. Over recent years, alternative approaches using synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists or agents acting as activators of the endocannabinoid systems are under scrutiny with the hope to develop more effective and safer clinical applications. Likely, in the near future few of these new molecules will be available for clinical use. The present article review recent study and patents with focus on the cannabinoid system as a target for the treatment of central nervous system disorders with emphasis on agonists.

  12. Investigation of the mechanism of agonist and inverse agonist action at D2 dopamine receptors.

    PubMed

    Roberts, David J; Lin, Hong; Strange, Philip G

    2004-05-01

    This study investigated, for the D2 dopamine receptor, the relation between the ability of agonists and inverse agonists to stabilise different states of the receptor and their relative efficacies. Ki values for agonists were determined in competition versus the binding of the antagonist [3H]spiperone. Competition data were fitted best by a two-binding site model (with the exception of bromocriptine, for which a one-binding site model provided the best fit) and agonist affinities for the higher (Kh) (G protein-coupled) and lower affinity (Kl) (G protein-uncoupled) sites determined. Ki values for agonists were also determined in competition versus the binding of the agonist [3H]N-propylnorapomorphine (NPA) to provide a second estimate of Kh. Maximal agonist effects (Emax) and their potencies (EC50) were determined from concentration-response curves for agonist stimulation of guanosine-5'-O-(3-[32S]thiotriphosphate) ([35S]GTPgammaS) binding. The ability of agonists to stabilise the G protein-coupled state of the receptor (Kl/Kh determined from ligand-binding assays) did not correlate with either of two measures of relative efficacy (relative Emax, Kl/EC50) of agonists determined in [35S]GTPgammaS-binding assays, when the data for all of the compounds tested were analysed. For a subset of compounds, however, there was a relation between Kl/Kh and Emax. Competition-binding data versus [3H]spiperone and [3H]NPA for a range of inverse agonists were fitted best by a one-binding site model. Ki values for the inverse agonists tested were slightly lower in competition versus [3H]NPA compared to [3H]spiperone. These data do not provide support for the idea that inverse agonists act by binding preferentially to the ground state of the receptor.

  13. Designing synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Agapakis, Christina M

    2014-03-21

    Synthetic biology is frequently defined as the application of engineering design principles to biology. Such principles are intended to streamline the practice of biological engineering, to shorten the time required to design, build, and test synthetic gene networks. This streamlining of iterative design cycles can facilitate the future construction of biological systems for a range of applications in the production of fuels, foods, materials, and medicines. The promise of these potential applications as well as the emphasis on design has prompted critical reflection on synthetic biology from design theorists and practicing designers from many fields, who can bring valuable perspectives to the discipline. While interdisciplinary connections between biologists and engineers have built synthetic biology via the science and the technology of biology, interdisciplinary collaboration with artists, designers, and social theorists can provide insight on the connections between technology and society. Such collaborations can open up new avenues and new principles for research and design, as well as shed new light on the challenging context-dependence-both biological and social-that face living technologies at many scales. This review is inspired by the session titled "Design and Synthetic Biology: Connecting People and Technology" at Synthetic Biology 6.0 and covers a range of literature on design practice in synthetic biology and beyond. Critical engagement with how design is used to shape the discipline opens up new possibilities for how we might design the future of synthetic biology.

  14. [Safety of beta-agonists in asthma].

    PubMed

    Oscanoa, Teodoro J

    2014-01-01

    Beta 2 agonist bronchodilators (β2A) are very important part in the pharmacotherapy of bronchial asthma, a disease that progresses in the world in an epidemic way. The β2A are prescribed to millions of people around the world, therefore the safety aspects is of public interest. Short-Acting β2 Agonists (SABAs), such as albuterol inhaler, according to current evidence, confirming its safety when used as a quick-relief or rescue medication. The long-acting β2 agonists (LABAs) The long-acting bronchodilators β2A (Long acting β2 Agonists or LABAs) are used associated with inhaled corticosteroids as controller drugs for asthma exacerbationsaccess, for safety reasons LABAs are not recommended for use as monotherapy.

  15. Synthetic biological networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Archer, Eric; Süel, Gürol M.

    2013-09-01

    Despite their obvious relationship and overlap, the field of physics is blessed with many insightful laws, while such laws are sadly absent in biology. Here we aim to discuss how the rise of a more recent field known as synthetic biology may allow us to more directly test hypotheses regarding the possible design principles of natural biological networks and systems. In particular, this review focuses on synthetic gene regulatory networks engineered to perform specific functions or exhibit particular dynamic behaviors. Advances in synthetic biology may set the stage to uncover the relationship of potential biological principles to those developed in physics.

  16. PPAR Agonists and Cardiovascular Disease in Diabetes

    PubMed Central

    Calkin, Anna C.; Thomas, Merlin C.

    2008-01-01

    Peroxisome proliferators activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated nuclear transcription factors that play important roles in lipid and glucose homeostasis. To the extent that PPAR agonists improve diabetic dyslipidaemia and insulin resistance, these agents have been considered to reduce cardiovascular risk. However, data from murine models suggests that PPAR agonists also have independent anti-atherosclerotic actions, including the suppression of vascular inflammation, oxidative stress, and activation of the renin angiotensin system. Many of these potentially anti-atherosclerotic effects are thought to be mediated by transrepression of nuclear factor-kB, STAT, and activator protein-1 dependent pathways. In recent clinical trials, PPARα agonists have been shown to be effective in the primary prevention of cardiovascular events, while their cardiovascular benefit in patients with established cardiovascular disease remains equivocal. However, the use of PPARγ agonists, and more recently dual PPARα/γ coagonists, has been associated with an excess in cardiovascular events, possibly reflecting unrecognised fluid retention with potent agonists of the PPARγ receptor. Newer pan agonists, which retain their anti-atherosclerotic activity without weight gain, may provide one solution to this problem. However, the complex biologic effects of the PPARs may mean that only vascular targeted agents or pure transrepressors will realise the goal of preventing atherosclerotic vascular disease. PMID:18288280

  17. Long-term studies of dopamine agonists.

    PubMed

    Hubble, Jean P

    2002-02-26

    Dopamine agonists have long been used as adjunctive therapy for the treatment of Parkinson's disease (PD). In more recent years these drugs have also been proved safe and effective as initial therapy in lieu of levodopa in the treatment of PD. Long-term levodopa therapy is associated with motor complications, including fluctuating response patterns and dyskinesia. By initially introducing a dopamine agonist as symptomatic drug therapy, it may be possible to postpone the use of levodopa and delay or prevent the development of motor complications. Recently, four clinical trials have explored this hypothesis by comparing the long-term response and side effects of levodopa with dopamine agonist therapy. The drugs studied have included ropinirole, pramipexole, cabergoline, and pergolide. In each of these projects, the occurrence of motor complications, such as wearing off and dyskinesia, was significantly less in the subjects assigned to initiation of therapy with a dopamine agonist. The addition of levodopa could be postponed by many months or even several years. Therefore, these long-term studies of dopamine agonists support the initiation of a dopamine agonist instead of levodopa in an effort to postpone levodopa-related motor complications. This therapeutic approach may be particularly appropriate in PD patients with a long treatment horizon on the basis of age and general good health. The extension phase of the long-term study comparing pramipexole with levodopa is ongoing, and follow-up information may help to establish the value of this treatment strategy.

  18. What Are Synthetic Cannabinoids?

    MedlinePlus

    ... Alerts Alcohol Club Drugs Cocaine Hallucinogens Heroin Inhalants Marijuana MDMA (Ecstasy/Molly) Methamphetamine Opioids Prescription Drugs & Cold ... they are related to chemicals found in the marijuana plant. Because of this similarity, synthetic cannabinoids are ...

  19. Synthetic Vision Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Prinzel, L.J.; Kramer, L.J.

    2009-01-01

    A synthetic vision system is an aircraft cockpit display technology that presents the visual environment external to the aircraft using computer-generated imagery in a manner analogous to how it would appear to the pilot if forward visibility were not restricted. The purpose of this chapter is to review the state of synthetic vision systems, and discuss selected human factors issues that should be considered when designing such displays.

  20. Active synthetic soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Inventor); Henninger, Donald L. (Inventor); Allen, Earl R. (Inventor); Golden, Dadigamuwage C. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    A synthetic soil/fertilizer for horticultural application having all the agronutrients essential for plant growth is disclosed. The soil comprises a synthetic apatite fertilizer having sulfur, magnesium and micronutrients dispersed in a calcium phosphate matrix, a zeolite cation exchange medium saturated with a charge of potassium and nitrogen cations, and an optional pH buffer. Moisture dissolves the apatite and mobilizes the nutrient elements from the apatite matrix and the zeolite charge sites.

  1. Active synthetic soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W. (Inventor); Henninger, Donald L. (Inventor); Allen, Earl R. (Inventor); Golden, Dadigamuwage C. (Inventor)

    1995-01-01

    A synthetic soil/fertilizer for horticultural application having all the agronutrients essential for plant growth is disclosed. The soil comprises a synthetic apatite fertilizer having sulfur, magnesium, and micronutrients dispersed in a calcium phosphate matrix, a zeolite cation exchange medium saturated with a charge of potassium and nitrogen cations, and an optional pH buffer. Moisture dissolves the apatite and mobilizes the nutrient elements from the apatite matrix and the zeolite charge sites.

  2. Nanoparticles Containing a Liver X Receptor Agonist Inhibit Inflammation and Atherosclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xue-Qing; Even-Or, Orli; Xu, Xiaoyang; van Rosmalen, Mariska; Lim, Lucas; Gadde, Suresh

    2015-01-01

    Liver X receptor (LXR) signaling pathways regulate lipid metabolism and inflammation, which has generated widespread interest in developing synthetic LXR agonists as potential therapeutics for the management of atherosclerosis. In this study, we demonstrate that nanoparticles (NPs) containing the synthetic LXR agonist GW3965 (NP-LXR) exert anti-inflammatory effects and inhibit the development of atherosclerosis without causing hepatic steatosis. These NPs were engineered through self-assembly of a biodegradable diblock poly(lactide-co-glycolide)-b-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLGA-b-PEG) copolymer. NP-LXR was significantly more effective than free GW3965 at inducing LXR target gene expression and suppressing inflammatory factors in macrophages in vitro and in vivo. Addtionally, the NPs elicited negligible lipogenic gene stimulation in the liver. Using the Ldlr−/− mouse model of atherosclerosis, we saw abundant co-localization of fluorescently labeled NPs within plaque macrophages following systemic administration. Notably, six intravenous injections of NP-LXR over two weeks markedly reduced the CD68-positive cell (macrophage) content of plaques (by 50%) without increasing total cholesterol or triglycerides in the liver and plasma. Together, these findings identify GW3965-encapsulated PLGA-b-PEG NPs as a promising nanotherapeutic approach to combat atherosclerosis, providing the benefits of LXR agonists without their adverse effects on hepatic and plasma lipid metabolism. PMID:25156796

  3. A Novel Method for Screening Adenosine Receptor Specific Agonists for Use in Adenosine Drug Development

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Karlie R.; Choi, Uimook; Gao, Ji-Liang; Thompson, Robert D.; Rodman, Larry E.; Malech, Harry L.; Kang, Elizabeth M.

    2017-01-01

    Agonists that target the A1, A2A, A2B and A3 adenosine receptors have potential to be potent treatment options for a number of diseases, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer. Because each of these adenosine receptors plays a distinct role throughout the body, obtaining highly specific receptor agonists is essential. Of these receptors, the adenosine A2AR and A2BR share many sequence and structural similarities but highly differ in their responses to inflammatory stimuli. Our laboratory, using a combination of specially developed cell lines and calcium release analysis hardware, has created a new and faster method for determining specificity of synthetic adenosine agonist compounds for the A2A and A2B receptors in human cells. A2A receptor expression was effectively removed from K562 cells, resulting in the development of a distinct null line. Using HIV-lentivector and plasmid DNA transfection, we also developed A2A and A2B receptor over-expressing lines. As adenosine is known to cause changes in intracellular calcium levels upon addition to cell culture, calcium release can be determined in these cell lines upon compound addition, providing a functional readout of receptor activation and allowing us to isolate the most specific adenosine agonist compounds. PMID:28317879

  4. Effects of salvinorin A on locomotor sensitization to D2/D3 dopamine agonist quinpirole.

    PubMed

    Beerepoot, Pieter; Lam, Vincent; Luu, Alice; Tsoi, Bernice; Siebert, Daniel; Szechtman, Henry

    2008-12-03

    Locomotor sensitization induced by the dopamine agonist quinpirole can be potentiated by co-treatment with the synthetic kappa opioid agonist U69593. The identification of salvinorin A, an active component of the psychotropic sage Salvia divinorum, as a structurally different agonist of kappa-opioid receptors raised the question of whether this compound would similarly potentiate sensitization to quinpirole. Rats were co-treated with 0.5 mg/kg quinpirole and either salvinorin A (0.04, 0.4 or 2.0 mg/kg) or U69593 (0.3 mg/kg). Control groups were co-treated with vehicle and saline, vehicle and quinpirole (0.5 mg/kg), or saline and salvinorin A (0.4 mg/kg). Rats were injected biweekly for a total of 10 injections and locomotor activity measured after each treatment. Results showed that the highest dose of salvinorin A potentiated sensitization to quinpirole as did U69593, the middle salvinorin A dose had no effect on quinpirole sensitization, and the lowest dose of salvinorin A attenuated sensitization to quinpirole. These findings indicate that structural differences between salvinorin A and U69593 do not affect the potentiation of quinpirole sensitization. Moreover, the opposite effects of high and low salvinorin A doses suggest that salvinorin A can produce bidirectional modulation of sensitization to dopamine agonists.

  5. Differential Synthetic Aperture Ladar

    SciTech Connect

    Stappaerts, E A; Scharlemann, E

    2005-02-07

    We report a differential synthetic aperture ladar (DSAL) concept that relaxes platform and laser requirements compared to conventional SAL. Line-of-sight translation/vibration constraints are reduced by several orders of magnitude, while laser frequency stability is typically relaxed by an order of magnitude. The technique is most advantageous for shorter laser wavelengths, ultraviolet to mid-infrared. Analytical and modeling results, including the effect of speckle and atmospheric turbulence, are presented. Synthetic aperture ladars are of growing interest, and several theoretical and experimental papers have been published on the subject. Compared to RF synthetic aperture radar (SAR), platform/ladar motion and transmitter bandwidth constraints are especially demanding at optical wavelengths. For mid-IR and shorter wavelengths, deviations from a linear trajectory along the synthetic aperture length have to be submicron, or their magnitude must be measured to that precision for compensation. The laser coherence time has to be the synthetic aperture transit time, or transmitter phase has to be recorded and a correction applied on detection.

  6. Novel Oxazolidinone-Based Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptor Agonists: Molecular Modeling, Synthesis, and Biological Evaluation.

    PubMed

    Fresno, N; Macías-González, M; Torres-Zaguirre, A; Romero-Cuevas, M; Sanz-Camacho, P; Elguero, J; Pavón, F J; Rodríguez de Fonseca, F; Goya, P; Pérez-Fernández, R

    2015-08-27

    A series of new peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) chiral ligands have been designed following the accepted three-module structure comprising a polar head, linker, and hydrophobic tail. The majority of the ligands incorporate the oxazolidinone moiety as a novel polar head, and the nature of the hydrophobic tail has also been varied. Docking studies using the crystal structure of an agonist bound to the ligand binding domain of the PPARα receptor have been performed as a tool for their design. Suitable synthetic procedures have been developed, and compounds with different stereochemistries have been prepared. Evaluation of basal and ligand-induced activity proved that several compounds showed agonist activity at the PPARα receptor, thus validating the oxazolidinone template for PPAR activity. In addition, two compounds, 2 and 4, showed dual PPARα/PPARγ agonism and interesting food intake reduction in rats.

  7. Synthetic carbon precursor materials

    SciTech Connect

    Frame, B.J.

    1986-03-01

    Synthetic carbon precursor systems offer advantages over natural petroleum and coal-tar pitch precursors in that they can reproducibly provide a material with a known and uniform composition. They also permit controlled modifications of the derived carbon's properties through variations in the precursor's properties and processing conditions. Extensive research efforts at Oak Ridge have been directed toward the production and characterization of synthetic carbon precursors and the correlations that exist between carbon precursor properties and the properties of the ultimate carbon. This report describes how synthetic carbon precursors can be used to tailor and develop reproducible carbon structures for advanced materials applications. The potential and capability for performing carbon material development at Oak Ridge is also described.

  8. Gamma synthetic hydrographs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Croley, Thomas E.

    1980-05-01

    The two-parameter Gamma distribution is presented as a basis for synthetic hydrographs with a review of existing applications and non-feasible applications are identified. Several approaches for fitting this function to practical boundary condition parameters are identified and presented in a unified treatment. They are especially designed for use on small programmable calculators since the synthetic hydrograph is extremely sensitive to the Gamma distribution parameters. Nomographs would give large errors in the fit for small errors in the boundary condition parameters. Although non-dimensionalization of the synthetic hydrograph is possible with the Gamma distribution, it is shown to be unnecessary. Current uses of "standard" non-dimensional hydrographs are shown to be in error.

  9. Nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor agonists attenuate L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias.

    PubMed

    Marti, Matteo; Rodi, Donata; Li, Qin; Guerrini, Remo; Fasano, Stefania; Morella, Ilaria; Tozzi, Alessandro; Brambilla, Riccardo; Calabresi, Paolo; Simonato, Michele; Bezard, Erwan; Morari, Michele

    2012-11-14

    In the present study we investigated whether the neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ), previously implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease, also affects L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. In striatal slices of naive rodents, N/OFQ (0.1-1 μm) prevented the increase of ERK phosphorylation and the loss of depotentiation of synaptic plasticity induced by the D1 receptor agonist SKF38393 in spiny neurons. In vivo, exogenous N/OFQ (0.03-1 nmol, i.c.v.) or a synthetic N/OFQ receptor agonist given systemically (0.01-1 mg/Kg) attenuated dyskinesias expression in 6-hydroxydopamine hemilesioned rats primed with L-DOPA, without causing primary hypolocomotive effects. Conversely, N/OFQ receptor antagonists worsened dyskinesia expression. In vivo microdialysis revealed that N/OFQ prevented dyskinesias simultaneously with its neurochemical correlates such as the surge of nigral GABA and glutamate, and the reduction of thalamic GABA. Regional microinjections revealed that N/OFQ attenuated dyskinesias more potently and effectively when microinjected in striatum than substantia nigra (SN) reticulata, whereas N/OFQ receptor antagonists were ineffective in striatum but worsened dyskinesias when given in SN. Quantitative autoradiography showed an increase in N/OFQ receptor binding in striatum and a reduction in SN of both unprimed and dyskinetic 6-hydroxydopamine rats, consistent with opposite adaptive changes of N/OFQ transmission. Finally, the N/OFQ receptor synthetic agonist also reduced dyskinesia expression in 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine-treated dyskinetic macaques without affecting the global parkinsonian score. We conclude that N/OFQ receptor agonists may represent a novel strategy to counteract L-DOPA-induced dyskinesias. Their action is possibly mediated by upregulated striatal N/OFQ receptors opposing the D1 receptor-mediated overactivation of the striatonigral direct pathway.

  10. Muscimol as an ionotropic GABA receptor agonist.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Graham A R

    2014-10-01

    Muscimol, a psychoactive isoxazole from Amanita muscaria and related mushrooms, has proved to be a remarkably selective agonist at ionotropic receptors for the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. This historic overview highlights the discovery and development of muscimol and related compounds as a GABA agonist by Danish and Australian neurochemists. Muscimol is widely used as a ligand to probe GABA receptors and was the lead compound in the development of a range of GABAergic agents including nipecotic acid, tiagabine, 4,5,6,7-tetrahydroisoxazolo(5,4-c)pyridin-3-ol, (Gaboxadol(®)) and 4-PIOL.

  11. Synthetic guide star generation

    DOEpatents

    Payne, Stephen A [Castro Valley, CA; Page, Ralph H [Castro Valley, CA; Ebbers, Christopher A [Livermore, CA; Beach, Raymond J [Livermore, CA

    2008-06-10

    A system for assisting in observing a celestial object and providing synthetic guide star generation. A lasing system provides radiation at a frequency at or near 938 nm and radiation at a frequency at or near 1583 nm. The lasing system includes a fiber laser operating between 880 nm and 960 nm and a fiber laser operating between 1524 nm and 1650 nm. A frequency-conversion system mixes the radiation and generates light at a frequency at or near 589 nm. A system directs the light at a frequency at or near 589 nm toward the celestial object and provides synthetic guide star generation.

  12. Synthetic guide star generation

    DOEpatents

    Payne, Stephen A.; Page, Ralph H.; Ebbers, Christopher A.; Beach, Raymond J.

    2004-03-09

    A system for assisting in observing a celestial object and providing synthetic guide star generation. A lasing system provides radiation at a frequency at or near 938 nm and radiation at a frequency at or near 1583 nm. The lasing system includes a fiber laser operating between 880 nm and 960 nm and a fiber laser operating between 1524 nm and 1650 nm. A frequency-conversion system mixes the radiation and generates light at a frequency at or near 589 nm. A system directs the light at a frequency at or near 589 nm toward the celestial object and provides synthetic guide star generation.

  13. Effects of RXR Agonists on Cell Proliferation/Apoptosis and ACTH Secretion/Pomc Expression

    PubMed Central

    Saito-Hakoda, Akiko; Uruno, Akira; Yokoyama, Atsushi; Shimizu, Kyoko; Parvin, Rehana; Kudo, Masataka; Saito-Ito, Takako; Sato, Ikuko; Kogure, Naotaka; Suzuki, Dai; Shimada, Hiroki; Yoshikawa, Takeo; Fujiwara, Ikuma; Kagechika, Hiroyuki; Iwasaki, Yasumasa; Kure, Shigeo; Ito, Sadayoshi; Sugawara, Akira

    2015-01-01

    Various retinoid X receptor (RXR) agonists have recently been developed, and some of them have shown anti-tumor effects both in vivo and in vitro. However, there has been no report showing the effects of RXR agonists on Cushing’s disease, which is caused by excessive ACTH secretion in a corticotroph tumor of the pituitary gland. Therefore, we examined the effects of synthetic RXR pan-agonists HX630 and PA024 on the proliferation, apoptosis, ACTH secretion, and pro-opiomelanocortin (Pomc) gene expression of murine pituitary corticotroph tumor AtT20 cells. We demonstrated that both RXR agonists induced apoptosis dose-dependently in AtT20 cells, and inhibited their proliferation at their higher doses. Microarray analysis identified a significant gene network associated with caspase 3 induced by high dose HX630. On the other hand, HX630, but not PA024, inhibited Pomc transcription, Pomc mRNA expression, and ACTH secretion dose-dependently. Furthermore, we provide new evidence that HX630 negatively regulates the Pomc promoter activity at the transcriptional level due to the suppression of the transcription factor Nur77 and Nurr1 mRNA expression and the reduction of Nur77/Nurr1 heterodimer recruiting to the Pomc promoter region. We also demonstrated that the HX630-mediated suppression of the Pomc gene expression was exerted via RXRα. Furthermore, HX630 inhibited tumor growth and decreased Pomc mRNA expression in corticotroph tumor cells in female nude mice in vivo. Thus, these results indicate that RXR agonists, especially HX630, could be a new therapeutic candidate for Cushing’s disease. PMID:26714014

  14. Biodegradable synthetic bone composites

    SciTech Connect

    Liu, Gao; Zhao, Dacheng; Saiz, Eduardo; Tomsia, Antoni P.

    2013-01-01

    The invention provides for a biodegradable synthetic bone composition comprising a biodegradable hydrogel polymer scaffold comprising a plurality of hydrolytically unstable linkages, and an inorganic component; such as a biodegradable poly(hydroxyethylmethacrylate)/hydroxyapatite (pHEMA/HA) hydrogel composite possessing mineral content approximately that of human bone.

  15. Synthetic Bursae for Robots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lovchik, Christopher S.

    2005-01-01

    Synthetic bursae are under development for incorporation into robot joints that are actuated by motor-driven cables in a manner similar to that of arthropod joints actuated by muscle-driven tendons. Like natural bursae, the synthetic bursae would serve as cushions and friction reducers. A natural bursa is a thin bladder filled with synovial fluid, which serves to reduce friction and provide a cushion between a bone and a muscle or a tendon. A synthetic bursa would be similar in form and function: It would be, essentially, a compact, soft roller consisting of a bladder filled with a non-Newtonian fluid. The bladder would be constrained to approximately constant volume. The synthetic bursa would cushion an actuator cable against one of the members of a robot joint and would reduce the friction between the cable and the member. Under load, the pressure in the bladder would hold the opposite walls of the bladder apart, making it possible for them to move freely past each other without rubbing.

  16. Synthetic Aperture Radar Interferometry

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosen, P. A.; Hensley, S.; Joughin, I. R.; Li, F.; Madsen, S. N.; Rodriguez, E.; Goldstein, R. M.

    1998-01-01

    Synthetic aperture radar interferometry is an imaging technique for measuring the topography of a surface, its changes over time, and other changes in the detailed characteristics of the surface. This paper reviews the techniques of interferometry, systems and limitations, and applications in a rapidly growing area of science and engineering.

  17. Synthetic Cathinones ("Bath Salts")

    MedlinePlus

    ... Adolescent Brain Comorbidity College-Age & Young Adults Criminal Justice Drugged Driving Drug Testing Drugs and the Brain ... europa.eu/publications/drug-profiles/synthetic-cathinones www.justice.gov/archive/ndic/pubs44/44571/44571p.pdf For ...

  18. Synthetic Confrontation Therapy.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gilliam, Larry

    After initially dispelling predictable fears that his paper might suggest that computers can be equated with man, the author states the problem: what part, if any, might computers play in counseling. Specifically, the possibilities for therapeutic synthetic (artificial) counseling encounters are discussed. Two propositions are significant: (1) the…

  19. Adaptive synthetic vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Julier, Simon J.; Brown, Dennis; Livingston, Mark A.; Thomas, Justin

    2006-05-01

    Through their ability to safely collect video and imagery from remote and potentially dangerous locations, UAVs have already transformed the battlespace. The effectiveness of this information can be greatly enhanced through synthetic vision. Given knowledge of the extrinsic and intrinsic parameters of the camera, synthetic vision superimposes spatially-registered computer graphics over the video feed from the UAV. This technique can be used to show many types of data such as landmarks, air corridors, and the locations of friendly and enemy forces. However, the effectiveness of a synthetic vision system strongly depends on the accuracy of the registration - if the graphics are poorly aligned with the real world they can be confusing, annoying, and even misleading. In this paper, we describe an adaptive approach to synthetic vision that modifies the way in which information is displayed depending upon the registration error. We describe an integrated software architecture that has two main components. The first component automatically calculates registration error based on information about the uncertainty in the camera parameters. The second component uses this information to modify, aggregate, and label annotations to make their interpretation as clear as possible. We demonstrate the use of this approach on some sample datasets.

  20. Synthetic hydrophilic polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rajasekharan Pillai, V. N.; Mutter, Manfred

    1981-11-01

    Synthetic hydrophilic polymers find promising applications in pharmacology, biotechnology and chemistry. The biocompatibility, biodegradability and pharmacological activity of these polymers depend much on their hydrophilic nature. This article summarizes the recent developments in the utilization of the different classes of these hydrophilic polymers as pharmacologically active agents, for enzyme modification and as catalysts and supports for chemical reactions.

  1. Synthetic Vision Workshop 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kramer, Lynda J. (Compiler)

    1999-01-01

    The second NASA sponsored Workshop on Synthetic/Enhanced Vision (S/EV) Display Systems was conducted January 27-29, 1998 at the NASA Langley Research Center. The purpose of this workshop was to provide a forum for interested parties to discuss topics in the Synthetic Vision (SV) element of the NASA Aviation Safety Program and to encourage those interested parties to participate in the development, prototyping, and implementation of S/EV systems that enhance aviation safety. The SV element addresses the potential safety benefits of synthetic/enhanced vision display systems for low-end general aviation aircraft, high-end general aviation aircraft (business jets), and commercial transports. Attendance at this workshop consisted of about 112 persons including representatives from industry, the FAA, and other government organizations (NOAA, NIMA, etc.). The workshop provided opportunities for interested individuals to give presentations on the state of the art in potentially applicable systems, as well as to discuss areas of research that might be considered for inclusion within the Synthetic Vision Element program to contribute to the reduction of the fatal aircraft accident rate. Panel discussions on topical areas such as databases, displays, certification issues, and sensors were conducted, with time allowed for audience participation.

  2. Corepressors of agonist-bound nuclear receptors

    SciTech Connect

    Gurevich, Igor; Aneskievich, Brian J.

    2007-09-15

    Nuclear receptors (NRs) rely on coregulator proteins to modulate transcription of target genes. NR coregulators can be broadly subdivided into coactivators which potentiate transcription and corepressors which silence gene expression. The prevailing view of coregulator action holds that in the absence of agonist the receptor interacts with a corepressor via the corepressor nuclear receptor (CoRNR, 'corner') box motifs within the corepressor. Upon agonist binding, a conformational change in the receptor causes the shedding of corepressor and the binding of a coactivator which interacts with the receptor via NR boxes within the coregulator. This view was challenged with the discovery of RIP140 which acts as a NR corepressor in the presence of agonist and utilizes NR boxes. Since then a number of other corepressors of agonist-bound NRs have been discovered. Among them are LCoR, PRAME, REA, MTA1, NSD1, and COPR1 Although they exhibit a great diversity of structure, mechanism of repression and pathophysiological function, these corepressors frequently have one or more NR boxes and often recruit histone deacetylases to exert their repressive effects. This review highlights these more recently discovered corepressors and addresses their potential functions in transcription regulation, disease pharmacologic responses and xenobiotic metabolism.

  3. Multiple tyrosine metabolites are GPR35 agonists

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Huayun; Hu, Haibei; Fang, Ye

    2012-01-01

    Both kynurenic acid and 2-acyl lysophosphatidic acid have been postulated to be the endogenous agonists of GPR35. However, controversy remains whether alternative endogenous agonists exist. The molecular targets accounted for many nongenomic actions of thyroid hormones are mostly unknown. Here we report the agonist activity of multiple tyrosine metabolites at the GPR35. Tyrosine metabolism intermediates that contain carboxylic acid and/or catechol functional groups were first selected. Whole cell dynamic mass redistribution (DMR) assays enabled by label-free optical biosensor were then used to characterize their agonist activity in native HT-29. Molecular assays including β-arrestin translocation, ERK phosphorylation and receptor internalization confirmed that GPR35 functions as a receptor for 5,6-dihydroxyindole-2-carboxylic acid, 3,3′,5′-triiodothyronine, 3,3′,5-triiodothyronine, gentisate, rosmarinate, and 3-nitrotyrosine. These results suggest that multiple tyrosine metabolites are alternative endogenous ligands of GPR35, and GPR35 may represent a druggable target for treating certain diseases associated with abnormality of tyrosine metabolism. PMID:22523636

  4. Synthetic River Valleys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, R.; Pasternack, G. B.

    2011-12-01

    The description of fluvial form has evolved from anecdotal descriptions to artistic renderings to 2D plots of cross section or longitudinal profiles and more recently 3D digital models. Synthetic river valleys, artificial 3D topographic models of river topography, have a plethora of potential applications in fluvial geomorphology, and the earth sciences in general, as well as in computer science and ecology. Synthetic river channels have existed implicitly since approximately the 1970s and can be simulated from a variety of approaches spanning the artistic and numerical. An objective method of synthesizing 3D stream topography based on reach scale attributes would be valuable for sizing 3D flumes in the physical and numerical realms, as initial input topography for morphodynamic models, stream restoration design, historical reconstruction, and mechanistic testing of interactions of channel geometric elements. Quite simply - simulation of synthetic channel geometry of prescribed conditions can allow systematic evaluation of the dominant relationships between river flow and geometry. A new model, the control curve method, is presented that uses hierarchically scaled parametric curves in over-lapping 2D planes to create synthetic river valleys. The approach is able to simulate 3D stream geometry from paired 2D descriptions and can allow experimental insight into form-process relationships in addition to visualizing past measurements of channel form that are limited to two dimension descriptions. Results are presented that illustrate the models ability to simulate fluvial topography representative of real world rivers as well as how channel geometric elements can be adjusted. The testing of synthetic river valleys would open up a wealth of knowledge as to why some 3D attributes of river channels are more prevalent than others as well as bridging the gap between the 2D descriptions that have dominated fluvial geomorphology the past century and modern, more complete, 3D

  5. Synthetic plant defense elicitors

    PubMed Central

    Bektas, Yasemin; Eulgem, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    To defend themselves against invading pathogens plants utilize a complex regulatory network that coordinates extensive transcriptional and metabolic reprogramming. Although many of the key players of this immunity-associated network are known, the details of its topology and dynamics are still poorly understood. As an alternative to forward and reverse genetic studies, chemical genetics-related approaches based on bioactive small molecules have gained substantial popularity in the analysis of biological pathways and networks. Use of such molecular probes can allow researchers to access biological space that was previously inaccessible to genetic analyses due to gene redundancy or lethality of mutations. Synthetic elicitors are small drug-like molecules that induce plant defense responses, but are distinct from known natural elicitors of plant immunity. While the discovery of some synthetic elicitors had already been reported in the 1970s, recent breakthroughs in combinatorial chemical synthesis now allow for inexpensive high-throughput screens for bioactive plant defense-inducing compounds. Along with powerful reverse genetics tools and resources available for model plants and crop systems, comprehensive collections of new synthetic elicitors will likely allow plant scientists to study the intricacies of plant defense signaling pathways and networks in an unparalleled fashion. As synthetic elicitors can protect crops from diseases, without the need to be directly toxic for pathogenic organisms, they may also serve as promising alternatives to conventional biocidal pesticides, which often are harmful for the environment, farmers and consumers. Here we are discussing various types of synthetic elicitors that have been used for studies on the plant immune system, their modes-of-action as well as their application in crop protection. PMID:25674095

  6. Synthetic plant defense elicitors.

    PubMed

    Bektas, Yasemin; Eulgem, Thomas

    2014-01-01

    To defend themselves against invading pathogens plants utilize a complex regulatory network that coordinates extensive transcriptional and metabolic reprogramming. Although many of the key players of this immunity-associated network are known, the details of its topology and dynamics are still poorly understood. As an alternative to forward and reverse genetic studies, chemical genetics-related approaches based on bioactive small molecules have gained substantial popularity in the analysis of biological pathways and networks. Use of such molecular probes can allow researchers to access biological space that was previously inaccessible to genetic analyses due to gene redundancy or lethality of mutations. Synthetic elicitors are small drug-like molecules that induce plant defense responses, but are distinct from known natural elicitors of plant immunity. While the discovery of some synthetic elicitors had already been reported in the 1970s, recent breakthroughs in combinatorial chemical synthesis now allow for inexpensive high-throughput screens for bioactive plant defense-inducing compounds. Along with powerful reverse genetics tools and resources available for model plants and crop systems, comprehensive collections of new synthetic elicitors will likely allow plant scientists to study the intricacies of plant defense signaling pathways and networks in an unparalleled fashion. As synthetic elicitors can protect crops from diseases, without the need to be directly toxic for pathogenic organisms, they may also serve as promising alternatives to conventional biocidal pesticides, which often are harmful for the environment, farmers and consumers. Here we are discussing various types of synthetic elicitors that have been used for studies on the plant immune system, their modes-of-action as well as their application in crop protection.

  7. A new class of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists with a novel binding epitope shows antidiabetic effects.

    PubMed

    Ostberg, Tove; Svensson, Stefan; Selén, Göran; Uppenberg, Jonas; Thor, Markus; Sundbom, Maj; Sydow-Bäckman, Mona; Gustavsson, Anna-Lena; Jendeberg, Lena

    2004-09-24

    The peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are ligand-activated transcription factors belonging to the NR1 subfamily of nuclear receptors. The PPARs play key roles in the control of glucose and lipid homeostasis, and the synthetic isoform-specific PPAR agonists are used clinically to improve insulin sensitivity and to lower serum triglyceride levels. All of the previously reported PPAR agonists form the same characteristic interactions with the receptor, which have been postulated to be important for the induction of agonistic activity. Here we describe a new class of PPARalpha/gamma modulators, the 5-substituted 2-benzoylaminobenzoic acids (2-BABAs). As shown by x-ray crystallography, the representative compounds BVT.13, BVT.762, and BVT.763, utilize a novel binding epitope and lack the agonist-characteristic interactions. Despite this, some compounds within the 2-BABA family are potent agonists in a cell-based reporter gene assay. Furthermore, BVT.13 displays antidiabetic effects in ob/ob mice. We concluded that the 2-BABA binding mode can be used to design isoform-specific PPAR modulators with biological activity in vivo.

  8. Serotonergic agonists behave as partial agonists at the dopamine D2 receptor.

    PubMed

    Rinken, A; Ferré, S; Terasmaa, A; Owman, C; Fuxe, K

    1999-02-25

    RAT dopamine D2short receptors expressed in CHO cells were characterized by activation of [35S]GTPgammaS binding. There were no significant differences between the maximal effects seen in activation of [35S]GTPgammaS binding caused by dopaminergic agonists, but the effects of 5-HT, 8OH-DPAT and 5-methoxytryptamine amounted to 47 +/- 7%, 43 +/- 5% and 70 +/- 7% of the dopamine effect, respectively. The dopaminergic antagonist (+)butaclamol inhibited activations of both types of ligands with equal potency (pA2 = 8.9 +/- 0.1), indicating that only one type of receptor is involved. In competition with [3H]raclopride binding, dopaminergic agonists showed 53 +/- 2% of the binding sites in the GTP-dependent high-affinity state, whereas 5-HT showed only 20 +/- 3%. Taken together, the results indicate that serotonergic agonists behave as typical partial agonists for D2 receptors with potential antiparkinsonian activity.

  9. EXPEDITIOUS SYNTHETIC TRANSFORMATIONS USING MICROWAVES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Microwave-expedited solvent-free synthetic processes will be described for the synthesis of a variety of industrially significant compounds and intermediates namely, enamines, nitroalkenes, enones, oxidized sulfur compounds and ionic liquids. This solvent-free synthetic methodolo...

  10. Synthetic Foveal Imaging Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Monacos, Steve P. (Inventor); Hoenk, Michael E. (Inventor); Nikzad, Shouleh (Inventor)

    2013-01-01

    Apparatuses and methods are disclosed that create a synthetic fovea in order to identify and highlight interesting portions of an image for further processing and rapid response. Synthetic foveal imaging implements a parallel processing architecture that uses reprogrammable logic to implement embedded, distributed, real-time foveal image processing from different sensor types while simultaneously allowing for lossless storage and retrieval of raw image data. Real-time, distributed, adaptive processing of multi-tap image sensors with coordinated processing hardware used for each output tap is enabled. In mosaic focal planes, a parallel-processing network can be implemented that treats the mosaic focal plane as a single ensemble rather than a set of isolated sensors. Various applications are enabled for imaging and robotic vision where processing and responding to enormous amounts of data quickly and efficiently is important.

  11. Thromboxane agonist (U46619) potentiates norepinephrine efflux from adrenergic nerves

    SciTech Connect

    Trachte, G.J.

    1986-05-01

    The effect of the synthetic thromboxane/prostaglandin (PG) H2 agonist U46619 on the electrically stimulated rabbit isolated vas deferens was examined to test for thromboxane influences on adrenergic nerves. U46619 effects on force generation, (/sup 3/H) norepinephrine release and norepinephrine-induced contractions were assessed to determine the mechanism of action. U46619 maximally enhanced adrenergic force generation 135 +/- 24% at a concentration of 100 nM. U46619 potentiated maximal contractile effects of exogenously administered norepinephrine 16 +/- 4% and augmented (/sup 3/H)norepinephrine release from electrically stimulated preparations 142 +/- 44%. A competitive thromboxane/PGH2 receptor antagonist, SQ29548, significantly shifted the concentration-response curve for U46619 to the right in a concentration-dependent manner and blocked U46619-induced tritium release. Thus, U46619 appears to potentiate neurotransmitter release by interacting with thromboxane/PGH2 receptors. Because SQ29548 did not prevent the potentiation of norepinephrine contractions by U46619, the postjunctional effect may be independent of thromboxane/PGH2 receptors. We interpret these results to be indicative of both pre- and postjunctional sites of action of U46619. The physiological importance of these thromboxane effects is unknown currently.

  12. Synthetic Porphyrins and Metalloporphyrins

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-12-10

    last type of complexes to be considered are the sterically hindered macrocycles . Examples of this class of complexes exe the capped" or "crow henhe...group IV metalloporphyrins, phthalocyanines and correspond- log Ru"l and Reol complexes induce smaller shifts than the lanthanides (about 8 ppm vs 25...ROLE W1r ROLE wTr ROLE Wt * ~Synthe tic Porphyrins Synthetic lMetalloporphyrinsj tetrapyrrole macrocycles "Inatural" porphyrins * j meso

  13. Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-11-16

    SECURITY CLASSIFICATION OF: The overall goal of the grant is to create a synthetic biology platform based on solar energy that can be used on a local...Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2211 Synthetic biology , photosynthesis, solar energy, biofuels REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S...Synthetic Biological Engineering of Photosynthesis Report Title The overall goal of the grant is to create a synthetic biology platform based on solar

  14. Synthetic biology in plastids.

    PubMed

    Scharff, Lars B; Bock, Ralph

    2014-06-01

    Plastids (chloroplasts) harbor a small gene-dense genome that is amenable to genetic manipulation by transformation. During 1 billion years of evolution from the cyanobacterial endosymbiont to present-day chloroplasts, the plastid genome has undergone a dramatic size reduction, mainly as a result of gene losses and the large-scale transfer of genes to the nuclear genome. Thus the plastid genome can be regarded as a naturally evolved miniature genome, the gradual size reduction and compaction of which has provided a blueprint for the design of minimum genomes. Furthermore, because of the largely prokaryotic genome structure and gene expression machinery, the high transgene expression levels attainable in transgenic chloroplasts and the very low production costs in plant systems, the chloroplast lends itself to synthetic biology applications that are directed towards the efficient synthesis of green chemicals, biopharmaceuticals and other metabolites of commercial interest. This review describes recent progress with the engineering of plastid genomes with large constructs of foreign or synthetic DNA, and highlights the potential of the chloroplast as a model system in bottom-up and top-down synthetic biology approaches.

  15. Agonistic and reproductive interactions in Betta splendens.

    PubMed

    Bronstein, P M

    1984-12-01

    Reproductive and agonistic behaviors in Siamese fighting fish were investigated in eight experiments, and some consequences and determinants of these sequences were isolated. First, fights and the formation of dominance-subordinancy relations were studied. Second, it was determined that large body size as well as males' prior residency in a tank produced an agonistic advantage; the magnitude of this advantage was positively related to the duration of residency. Third, the prior-residency effect in Bettas was determined by males' familiarity with visual and/or tactile cues in their home tanks. Fourth, dominant males had greater access to living space and were more likely to display at a mirror, build nests, and approach females than were subordinates. Finally, it was discovered that chemical cues associated with presumedly inert plastic tank dividers influence Bettas' social behavior.

  16. Agonists block currents through acetylcholine receptor channels.

    PubMed Central

    Sine, S M; Steinbach, J H

    1984-01-01

    We have examined the effects of high concentrations of cholinergic agonists on currents through single acetylcholine receptor (AChR) channels on clonal BC3H1 cells. We find that raised concentrations of acetylcholine (ACh; above 300 microM) or carbamylcholine (Carb; above 1,000 microM) produce a voltage- and concentration-dependent reduction in the mean single-channel current. Raised concentrations of suberyldicholine (Sub; above 3 microM) produce a voltage- and concentration-dependent increase in the number of brief duration low-conductance interruptions of open-channel currents. These observations can be quantitatively described by a model in which agonist molecules enter and transiently occlude the ion-channel of the AChR. PMID:6478036

  17. Ropinirole, a non-ergoline dopamine agonist.

    PubMed

    Jost, Wolfgang H; Angersbach, Dieter

    2005-01-01

    Dopamine agonists have become indispensable in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. In every-day practice, however, the decision to select the best compound for an individual patient is rendered difficult because of the large number of substances available on the market. This review article provides a closer look at the experimental and clinical studies with ropinirole published so far. Ropinirole is a non-ergoline dopamine agonist which has been proven to be effective in both, monotherapy and combination therapy of idiopathic Parkinson's disease. In addition to ameliorating bradykinesia, rigor, and tremor, ropinirole facilitates the daily life and improves depressive moods of patients with Parkinson's disease. The long-term complications of levodopa are avoided, and problems commonly associated with levodopa treatment are reduced. Ropinirole appears to have a neuroprotective effect. In addition to Parkinson's disease, ropinirole has also been used successfully in the treatment of restless legs syndrome.

  18. The identification of orally bioavailable thrombopoietin agonists.

    PubMed

    Munchhof, Michael J; Antipas, Amy S; Blumberg, Laura C; Brissette, William H; Brown, Matthew F; Casavant, Jeffrey M; Doty, Jonathan L; Driscoll, James; Harris, Thomas M; Wolf-Gouveia, Lilli A; Jones, Christopher S; Li, Qifang; Linde, Robert G; Lira, Paul D; Marfat, Anthony; McElroy, Eric; Mitton-Fry, Mark; McCurdy, Sandra P; Reiter, Lawrence A; Ripp, Sharon L; Shavnya, Andrei; Thomasco, Lisa M; Trevena, Kristen A

    2009-03-01

    Recently, we disclosed a series of potent pyrimidine benzamide-based thrombopoietin receptor agonists. Unfortunately, the structural features required for the desired activity conferred physicochemical properties that were not favorable for the development of an oral agent. The physical properties of the series were improved by replacing the aminopyrimidinyl group with a piperidine-4-carboxylic acid moiety. The resulting compounds possessed favorable in vivo pharmacokinetic properties, including good bioavailability.

  19. Monascin and ankaflavin act as natural AMPK activators with PPARα agonist activity to down-regulate nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in high-fat diet-fed C57BL/6 mice.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Wei-Hsuan; Chen, Ting-Hung; Lee, Bao-Hong; Hsu, Ya-Wen; Pan, Tzu-Ming

    2014-02-01

    Yellow pigments monascin (MS) and ankaflavin (AK) are secondary metabolites derived from Monascus-fermented products. The hypolipidemic and anti-inflammatory effects of MS and AK indicate that they have potential on preventing or curing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Oleic acid (OA) and high-fat diet were used to induce steatosis in FL83B hepatocytes and NAFLD in mice, respectively. We found that both MS and AK prevented fatty acid accumulation in hepatocytes by inhibiting fatty acid uptake, lipogenesis, and promoting fatty acid beta-oxidation mediated by activating peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-α and AMP-activated kinase (AMPK). Furthermore, MS and AK significantly attenuated high-fat diet-induced elevation of total cholesterol (TC), triaceylglycerol (TG), free fatty acid (FFA), and low density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) in plasma. MS and AK promoted AMPK phosphorylation, suppressed the steatosis-related mRNA expression and inflammatory cytokines secretion, as well as upregulated farnesoid X receptor (FXR), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma co-activator (PGC)-1α, and PPARα expression to induce fatty acid oxidation in the liver of mice. We provided evidence that MS and AK act as PPARα agonists to upregulate AMPK activity and attenuate NAFLD. MS and AK may be supplied in food supplements or developed as functional foods to reduce the risk of diabetes and obesity.

  20. Opportunities in plant synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Cook, Charis; Martin, Lisa; Bastow, Ruth

    2014-05-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging field uniting scientists from all disciplines with the aim of designing or re-designing biological processes. Initially, synthetic biology breakthroughs came from microbiology, chemistry, physics, computer science, materials science, mathematics, and engineering disciplines. A transition to multicellular systems is the next logical step for synthetic biologists and plants will provide an ideal platform for this new phase of research. This meeting report highlights some of the exciting plant synthetic biology projects, and tools and resources, presented and discussed at the 2013 GARNet workshop on plant synthetic biology.

  1. Signal Use by Octopuses in Agonistic Interactions.

    PubMed

    Scheel, David; Godfrey-Smith, Peter; Lawrence, Matthew

    2016-02-08

    Cephalopods show behavioral parallels to birds and mammals despite considerable evolutionary distance [1, 2]. Many cephalopods produce complex body patterns and visual signals, documented especially in cuttlefish and squid, where they are used both in camouflage and a range of interspecific interactions [1, 3-5]. Octopuses, in contrast, are usually seen as solitary and asocial [6, 7]; their body patterns and color changes have primarily been interpreted as camouflage and anti-predator tactics [8-12], though the familiar view of the solitary octopus faces a growing list of exceptions. Here, we show by field observation that in a shallow-water octopus, Octopus tetricus, a range of visible displays are produced during agonistic interactions, and these displays correlate with the outcome of those interactions. Interactions in which dark body color by an approaching octopus was matched by similar color in the reacting octopus were more likely to escalate to grappling. Darkness in an approaching octopus met by paler color in the reacting octopus accompanied retreat of the paler octopus. Octopuses also displayed on high ground and stood with spread web and elevated mantle, often producing these behaviors in combinations. This study is the first to document the systematic use of signals during agonistic interactions among octopuses. We show prima facie conformity of our results to an influential model of agonistic signaling [13]. These results suggest that interactions have a greater influence on octopus evolution than has been recognized and show the importance of convergent evolution in behavioral traits.

  2. Synthetic passive margin stratigraphy

    SciTech Connect

    Turcotte, D.L.; Kenyon, P.M.

    1984-06-01

    Synthetic stratigraphic cross sections are derived mathematically for a variety of simple conditions. The variables considered in the mathematical model include variations in sea level, rate of tectonic subsidence, rate of sedimentation, and rate of erosion. Derived stratigraphic relationships include unconformities, correlative conformities and disconformities, coastal onlap, coastal toplap, erosional truncation, pinch-out, and sigmoidal progradational clinoforms. An important conclusion is that the rate of erosion is a dominant variable in determining the type of stratigraphic section observed. The proposed approach may provide the basis for either a forward or inverse modeling of seismic stratigraphic sections.

  3. Identification of a Novel Non-retinoid Pan Inverse Agonist of the Retinoic Acid Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Busby, Scott A.; Kumar, Naresh; Kuruvilla, Dana S.; Istrate, Monica A.; Conkright, Juliana J.; Wang, Yongjun; Kamenecka, Theodore M.; Cameron, Michael D.; Roush, William R.; Burris, Thomas P.; Griffin, Patrick R.

    2011-01-01

    Retinoids are potent forms of vitamin A and are involved in a broad range of physiological processes and the pharmacological effects of retinoids are primarily mediated by the retinoic acid receptors (RARs) and the retinoid X receptors (RXRs). Several natural and synthetic RAR modulators have proven to be clinically useful for a number of therapeutic indications including cancer, psoriasis, and diabetes. Unfortunately, these agents lead to a number of significant side effects. Most synthetic retinoid ligands are based on the retinoid scaffold and thus have similarities to the natural ligand with all previously disclosed RAR ligands having a carboxylic acid that makes a critical ionic bridge within the ligand binding domain of the receptors. The potential therapeutic value offered from RAR modulation provides the impetus to identify novel ligands based on unique scaffolds that may offer improved toxicity and pharmacokinetic profiles. Here we describe the identification of an atypical RAR inverse agonist that represents the first non-acid, non-retinoid direct modulator of RAR receptor subfamily. SR-0065 functions as a pan-RAR inverse agonist suppressing the basal activity of RARα, RARβ, and RARγ as well as inhibiting agonist induced RAR activity. SR-0065 treatment enhanced receptor interaction with a peptide representative of the corepressor SMRT and in cells SR-0065 enhances recruitment of SMRT to RARγ. The acid form of SR-0065, SR-1758, was inactive in all assays. Thus, SR-0065 represents a new class of non-acid, non-retinoid RAR modulator that may be used as a point to initiate development of improved RAR-targeted drugs. PMID:21381756

  4. Identification of Trisubstituted-pyrazol Carboxamide Analogs as Novel and Potent Antagonists of Farnesoid X Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Donna D.; Lin, Wenwei; Forman, Barry M.; Chen, Taosheng

    2014-01-01

    Farnesoid X receptor (FXR, NRIH4) plays a major role in the control of cholesterol metabolism. This suggests that antagonizing the transcriptional activity of FXR is a potential means to treat cholestasis and related metabolic disorders. Here we describe the synthesis, biological evaluation, and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of trisubstituted-pyrazol carboxamides as novel and potent FXR antagonists. One of these novel FXR antagonists, 4j has an IC50 of 7.5 nM in an FXR binding assay and 468.5 nM in a cell-based FXR antagonistic assay. Compound 4j has no detectable FXR agonistic activity or cytotoxicity. Notably, 4j is the most potent FXR antagonist identified to date; it has a promising in vitro profile and could serve as an excellent chemical tool to elucidate the biological function of FXR. PMID:24775917

  5. A Structural Switch between Agonist and Antagonist Bound Conformations for a Ligand-Optimized Model of the Human Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor Ligand Binding Domain

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Arden; Phillips, Jessica L.; Kerkvliet, Nancy I.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Perdew, Gary H.; Kolluri, Siva K.; Bisson, William H.

    2014-01-01

    The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is a ligand-activated transcription factor that regulates the expression of a diverse group of genes. Exogenous AHR ligands include the environmental contaminant 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD), which is a potent agonist, and the synthetic AHR antagonist N-2-(1H-indol-3yl)ethyl)-9-isopropyl-2-(5-methylpyridin-3-yl)-9H-purin-6-amine (GNF351). As no experimentally determined structure of the ligand binding domain exists, homology models have been utilized for virtual ligand screening (VLS) to search for novel ligands. Here, we have developed an “agonist-optimized” homology model of the human AHR ligand binding domain, and this model aided in the discovery of two human AHR agonists by VLS. In addition, we performed molecular dynamics simulations of an agonist TCDD-bound and antagonist GNF351-bound version of this model in order to gain insights into the mechanics of the AHR ligand-binding pocket. These simulations identified residues 307–329 as a flexible segment of the AHR ligand pocket that adopts discrete conformations upon agonist or antagonist binding. This flexible segment of the AHR may act as a structural switch that determines the agonist or antagonist activity of a given AHR ligand. PMID:25329374

  6. Design, synthesis, and functional activity of labeled CD1d glycolipid agonists.

    PubMed

    Jervis, Peter J; Polzella, Paolo; Wojno, Justyna; Jukes, John-Paul; Ghadbane, Hemza; Garcia Diaz, Yoel R; Besra, Gurdyal S; Cerundolo, Vincenzo; Cox, Liam R

    2013-04-17

    a label to a range of CD1d agonists. The flexibility of the synthetic strategy, and late-stage incorporation of the label, opens up the possibility of using this labeling approach to study the in vivo behavior of a wide range of CD1d agonists.

  7. Design, Synthesis, and Functional Activity of Labeled CD1d Glycolipid Agonists

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    attaching a label to a range of CD1d agonists. The flexibility of the synthetic strategy, and late-stage incorporation of the label, opens up the possibility of using this labeling approach to study the in vivo behavior of a wide range of CD1d agonists. PMID:23458425

  8. Synthetic Fence Jets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sigurdson, Lorenz; Apps, Christopher

    2000-11-01

    "Synthetic Jets" have previously been produced where an oscillating flow with zero net mass flux acts on the edges of an orifice. The resulting flow is similar to a normal jet. We have proposed and verified that another type of jet called a "Synthetic Fence Jet" (SFJ or "fe-je") can also be created. We introduced a fence perpendicular to both a wall and an oscillating velocity field. Under certain conditions a jet was formed by vortices of alternating sign. The vortices were shed from the fence and they induced each other away from it. This phenomenon could be used as a method of flow control. The objective of this project was to use flow visualization to prove the existence of and characterize this jet. A test rig was used which incorporates smoke-wire flow visualization; independent oscillation level and frequency control; and computer- controlled data acquisition. It has been discovered that the jet direction can be vectored by altering the forcing waveform shape. To explain this a theory was developed that is based on the Biot-Savart law of vortex dynamics.

  9. Analog synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Sarpeshkar, R

    2014-03-28

    We analyse the pros and cons of analog versus digital computation in living cells. Our analysis is based on fundamental laws of noise in gene and protein expression, which set limits on the energy, time, space, molecular count and part-count resources needed to compute at a given level of precision. We conclude that analog computation is significantly more efficient in its use of resources than deterministic digital computation even at relatively high levels of precision in the cell. Based on this analysis, we conclude that synthetic biology must use analog, collective analog, probabilistic and hybrid analog-digital computational approaches; otherwise, even relatively simple synthetic computations in cells such as addition will exceed energy and molecular-count budgets. We present schematics for efficiently representing analog DNA-protein computation in cells. Analog electronic flow in subthreshold transistors and analog molecular flux in chemical reactions obey Boltzmann exponential laws of thermodynamics and are described by astoundingly similar logarithmic electrochemical potentials. Therefore, cytomorphic circuits can help to map circuit designs between electronic and biochemical domains. We review recent work that uses positive-feedback linearization circuits to architect wide-dynamic-range logarithmic analog computation in Escherichia coli using three transcription factors, nearly two orders of magnitude more efficient in parts than prior digital implementations.

  10. Synthetic collective intelligence.

    PubMed

    Solé, Ricard; Amor, Daniel R; Duran-Nebreda, Salva; Conde-Pueyo, Núria; Carbonell-Ballestero, Max; Montañez, Raúl

    2016-10-01

    Intelligent systems have emerged in our biosphere in different contexts and achieving different levels of complexity. The requirement of communication in a social context has been in all cases a determinant. The human brain, probably co-evolving with language, is an exceedingly successful example. Similarly, social insects complex collective decisions emerge from information exchanges between many agents. The difference is that such processing is obtained out of a limited individual cognitive power. Computational models and embodied versions using non-living systems, particularly involving robot swarms, have been used to explore the potentiality of collective intelligence. Here we suggest a novel approach to the problem grounded in the genetic engineering of unicellular systems, which can be modified in order to interact, store memories or adapt to external stimuli in collective ways. What we label as Synthetic Swarm Intelligence defines a parallel approach to the evolution of computation and swarm intelligence and allows to explore potential embodied scenarios for decision making at the microscale. Here, we consider several relevant examples of collective intelligence and their synthetic organism counterparts.

  11. Synthetic biology and genetic causation.

    PubMed

    Oftedal, Gry; Parkkinen, Veli-Pekka

    2013-06-01

    Synthetic biology research is often described in terms of programming cells through the introduction of synthetic genes. Genetic material is seemingly attributed with a high level of causal responsibility. We discuss genetic causation in synthetic biology and distinguish three gene concepts differing in their assumptions of genetic control. We argue that synthetic biology generally employs a difference-making approach to establishing genetic causes, and that this approach does not commit to a specific notion of genetic program or genetic control. Still, we suggest that a strong program concept of genetic material can be used as a successful heuristic in certain areas of synthetic biology. Its application requires control of causal context, and may stand in need of a modular decomposition of the target system. We relate different modularity concepts to the discussion of genetic causation and point to possible advantages of and important limitations to seeking modularity in synthetic biology systems.

  12. Synthetic Self-Adjuvanting Glycopeptide Cancer Vaccines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Payne, Richard; McDonald, David; Byrne, Scott

    2015-10-01

    Due to changes in glycosyltransferase expression during tumorigenesis, the glycoproteins of cancer cells often carry highly truncated carbohydrate chains compared to those on healthy cells. These glycans are known as tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens, and are prime targets for use in vaccines for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Herein, we review the state-of-the-art in targeting the immune system towards tumor-associated glycopeptide antigens via synthetic self adjuvanting vaccines, in which the antigenic and adjuvanting moieties of the vaccines are present in the same molecule. The majority of the self-adjuvanting glycopeptide cancer vaccines reported to date employ antigens from mucin 1, a protein which is highly over-expressed and aberrantly glycosylated in many forms of cancer. The adjuvants used in these vaccines predominantly include lipopeptide- or lipoamino acid-based TLR2 agonists, although studies investigating stimulation of TLR9 and TLR4 are also discussed. Most of these adjuvants are highly lipophilic, and, upon conjugation to antigenic peptides, provide amphiphilic vaccine molecules. The amphiphilic nature of these vaccine constructs can lead to the formation of higher-order structures by vaccines in solution, which are likely to be important for their efficacy in vivo.

  13. Salvinorin A, a kappa-opioid receptor agonist hallucinogen: pharmacology and potential template for novel pharmacotherapeutic agents in neuropsychiatric disorders

    PubMed Central

    Butelman, Eduardo R.; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2015-01-01

    Salvinorin A is a potent hallucinogen, isolated from the ethnomedical plant Salvia divinorum. Salvinorin A is a selective high efficacy kappa-opioid receptor (KOPr) agonist, and thus implicates the KOPr system and its endogenous agonist ligands (the dynorphins) in higher functions, including cognition and perceptual effects. Salvinorin A is the only selective KOPr ligand to be widely available outside research or medical settings, and salvinorin A-containing products have undergone frequent non-medical use. KOPr/dynorphin systems in the brain are known to be powerful counter-modulatory mechanisms to dopaminergic function, which is important in mood and reward engendered by natural and chemical reinforcers (including drugs of abuse). KOPr activation (including by salvinorin A) can thus cause aversion and anhedonia in preclinical models. Salvinorin A is also a completely new scaffold for medicinal chemistry approaches, since it is a non-nitrogenous neoclerodane, unlike other known opioid ligands. Ongoing efforts have the goal of discovering novel semi-synthetic salvinorin analogs with potential KOPr-mediated pharmacotherapeutic effects (including partial agonist or biased agonist effects), with a reduced burden of undesirable effects associated with salvinorin A. PMID:26441647

  14. Salvinorin A, a kappa-opioid receptor agonist hallucinogen: pharmacology and potential template for novel pharmacotherapeutic agents in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Butelman, Eduardo R; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2015-01-01

    Salvinorin A is a potent hallucinogen, isolated from the ethnomedical plant Salvia divinorum. Salvinorin A is a selective high efficacy kappa-opioid receptor (KOPr) agonist, and thus implicates the KOPr system and its endogenous agonist ligands (the dynorphins) in higher functions, including cognition and perceptual effects. Salvinorin A is the only selective KOPr ligand to be widely available outside research or medical settings, and salvinorin A-containing products have undergone frequent non-medical use. KOPr/dynorphin systems in the brain are known to be powerful counter-modulatory mechanisms to dopaminergic function, which is important in mood and reward engendered by natural and chemical reinforcers (including drugs of abuse). KOPr activation (including by salvinorin A) can thus cause aversion and anhedonia in preclinical models. Salvinorin A is also a completely new scaffold for medicinal chemistry approaches, since it is a non-nitrogenous neoclerodane, unlike other known opioid ligands. Ongoing efforts have the goal of discovering novel semi-synthetic salvinorin analogs with potential KOPr-mediated pharmacotherapeutic effects (including partial agonist or biased agonist effects), with a reduced burden of undesirable effects associated with salvinorin A.

  15. Cannabinoid receptor agonists reduce the short-term mitochondrial dysfunction and oxidative stress linked to excitotoxicity in the rat brain.

    PubMed

    Rangel-López, E; Colín-González, A L; Paz-Loyola, A L; Pinzón, E; Torres, I; Serratos, I N; Castellanos, P; Wajner, M; Souza, D O; Santamaría, A

    2015-01-29

    The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in a considerable number of physiological processes in the Central Nervous System. Recently, a modulatory role of cannabinoid receptors (CBr) and CBr agonists on the reduction of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAr) activation has been demonstrated. Quinolinic acid (QUIN), an endogenous analog of glutamate and excitotoxic metabolite produced in the kynurenine pathway (KP), selectively activates NMDAr and has been shown to participate in different neurodegenerative disorders. Since the early pattern of toxicity exerted by this metabolite is relevant to explain the extent of damage that it can produce in the brain, in this work we investigated the effects of the synthetic CBr agonist WIN 55,212-2 (WIN) and other agonists (anandamide or AEA, and CP 55,940 or CP) on early markers of QUIN-induced toxicity in rat striatal cultured cells and rat brain synaptosomes. WIN, AEA and CP exerted protective effects on the QUIN-induced loss of cell viability. WIN also preserved the immunofluorescent signals for neurons and CBr labeling that were decreased by QUIN. The QUIN-induced early mitochondrial dysfunction, lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species (ROS) formation were also partially or completely prevented by WIN pretreatment, but not when this CBr agonist was added simultaneously with QUIN to brain synaptosomes. These findings support a neuroprotective and modulatory role of cannabinoids in the early toxic events elicited by agents inducing excitotoxic processes.

  16. Intrathecal administration of nociceptin/orphanin FQ receptor agonists in rats: A strategy to relieve chemotherapy-induced neuropathic hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Micheli, Laura; Di Cesare Mannelli, Lorenzo; Rizzi, Anna; Guerrini, Remo; Trapella, Claudio; Calò, Girolamo; Ghelardini, Carla

    2015-11-05

    Oxaliplatin and paclitaxel are considered central components in the treatment of colorectal and breast cancer, respectively. The development of neuropathy during chronic treatment represents the major dose-limiting side effect that leads to discontinuation or interruption of therapies. The management of neuropathy is a challenge to individuate innovative therapeutic strategies based on new targets and correct routes of administration. We evaluated the hypersensitivity reliever effect of different opioid receptor agonists in rat models of oxaliplatin and paclitaxel-induced neuropathy. Compounds were spinally infused by intrathecal catheter. In oxaliplatin-treated rats, 0.3 nmol morphine induced the reversion of the mechanical hypersensitivity (Paw-pressure test), nociceptin/orphanin FQ (N/OFQ; 0.3-3 nmol) significantly increased the pain threshold without reaching the values of the control animals. The N/OFQ peptide (NOP) receptor full agonist UFP-112 reverted pain threshold alterations at lower dosage (0.1 nmol) vs morphine and N/OFQ, the partial agonist UFP-113 (0.1-1 nmol) was similar to N/OFQ. The higher efficacy of morphine vs N/OFQ was highlighted also in paclitaxel-treated rats. The mechanical hypersensitivity was fully reverted by 0.1 nmol UFP-112 and UFP-113. In conclusion, intrathecal μ opioid peptide (MOP) and NOP receptor agonists relieved chemotherapy-induced neuropathic pain. The synthetic peptides showed valuable potency and efficacy suggesting the NOP system as an exploitable target.

  17. Synthetic and Alternate Fuels Characterization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-02-01

    e-e AD-A197 531 AD_ m iI ORNL/TM-10706 OAK RIDGE NATIONAL Synthetic and Alternate LABORATORY Fuels Characterization •_ _ __ _ _Final Report February...21701-5012 62787A 2787A878 CA 294 11 TITLE (Include Security Classification) Synthetic and Alternate Fuels Characterization 12 PERSONAL AUTHOR(S) W. H...results suggest that highly refined and finished mobility fuels from synthetic or alternate sources will not pose a significantly greater toxicological

  18. Discovery of G Protein-Biased EP2 Receptor Agonists

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    To identify G protein-biased and highly subtype-selective EP2 receptor agonists, a series of bicyclic prostaglandin analogues were designed and synthesized. Structural hybridization of EP2/4 dual agonist 5 and prostacyclin analogue 6, followed by simplification of the ω chain enabled us to discover novel EP2 agonists with a unique prostacyclin-like scaffold. Further optimization of the ω chain was performed to improve EP2 agonist activity and subtype selectivity. Phenoxy derivative 18a showed potent agonist activity and excellent subtype selectivity. Furthermore, a series of compounds were identified as G protein-biased EP2 receptor agonists. These are the first examples of biased ligands of prostanoid receptors. PMID:26985320

  19. Sports doping: emerging designer and therapeutic β2-agonists.

    PubMed

    Fragkaki, A G; Georgakopoulos, C; Sterk, S; Nielen, M W F

    2013-10-21

    Beta2-adrenergic agonists, or β2-agonists, are considered essential bronchodilator drugs in the treatment of bronchial asthma, both as symptom-relievers and, in combination with inhaled corticosteroids, as disease-controllers. The use of β2-agonists is prohibited in sports by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) due to claimed anabolic effects, and also, is prohibited as growth promoters in cattle fattening in the European Union. This paper reviews the last seven-year (2006-2012) literature concerning the development of novel β2-agonists molecules either by modifying the molecule of known β2-agonists or by introducing moieties producing indole-, adamantyl- or phenyl urea derivatives. New emerging β2-agonists molecules for future therapeutic use are also presented, intending to emphasize their potential use for doping purposes or as growth promoters in the near future.

  20. Entraining synthetic genetic oscillators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wagemakers, Alexandre; Buldú, Javier M.; Sanjuán, Miguel A. F.; de Luis, Oscar; Izquierdo, Adriana; Coloma, Antonio

    2009-09-01

    We propose a new approach for synchronizing a population of synthetic genetic oscillators, which consists in the entrainment of a colony of repressilators by external modulation. We present a model where the repressilator dynamics is affected by periodic changes in temperature. We introduce an additional plasmid in the bacteria in order to correlate the temperature variations with the enhancement of the transcription rate of a certain gene. This can be done by introducing a promoter that is related to the heat shock response. This way, the expression of that gene results in a protein that enhances the overall oscillations. Numerical results show coherent oscillations of the population for a certain range of the external frequency, which is in turn related to the natural oscillation frequency of the modified repressilator. Finally we study the transient times related with the loss of synchronization and we discuss possible applications in biotechnology of large-scale production coupled to synchronization events induced by heat shock.

  1. Synthetic quantum systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, Reginald T.

    2002-10-01

    So far proposed quantum computers use fragile and environmentally sensitive natural quantum systems. Here we explore the new notion that synthetic quantum systems suitable for quantum computation may be fabricated from smart nanostructures using topological excitations of a stochastic neural-type network that can mimic natural quantum systems. These developments are a technological application of process physics which is an information theory of reality in which space and quantum phenomena are emergent, and so indicates the deep origins of quantum phenomena. Analogous complex stochastic dynamical systems have recently been proposed within neurobiology to deal with the emergent complexity of biosystems, particularly the biodynamics of higher brain function. The reasons for analogous discoveries in fundamental physics and neurobiology are discussed.

  2. Evolutionary synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Peisajovich, Sergio G

    2012-06-15

    Signaling networks process vast amounts of environmental information to generate specific cellular responses. As cellular environments change, signaling networks adapt accordingly. Here, I will discuss how the integration of synthetic biology and directed evolution approaches is shedding light on the molecular mechanisms that guide the evolution of signaling networks. In particular, I will review studies that demonstrate how different types of mutations, from the replacement of individual amino acids to the shuffling of modular domains, lead to markedly different evolutionary trajectories and consequently to diverse network rewiring. Moreover, I will argue that intrinsic evolutionary properties of signaling proteins, such as the robustness of wild type functions, the promiscuous nature of evolutionary intermediates, and the modular decoupling between binding and catalysis, play important roles in the evolution of signaling networks. Finally, I will argue that rapid advances in our ability to synthesize DNA will radically alter how we study signaling network evolution at the genome-wide level.

  3. Synthetic biology and occupational risk.

    PubMed

    Howard, John; Murashov, Vladimir; Schulte, Paul

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging interdisciplinary field of biotechnology that involves applying the principles of engineering and chemical design to biological systems. Biosafety professionals have done an excellent job in addressing research laboratory safety as synthetic biology and gene editing have emerged from the larger field of biotechnology. Despite these efforts, risks posed by synthetic biology are of increasing concern as research procedures scale up to industrial processes in the larger bioeconomy. A greater number and variety of workers will be exposed to commercial synthetic biology risks in the future, including risks to a variety of workers from the use of lentiviral vectors as gene transfer devices. There is a need to review and enhance current protection measures in the field of synthetic biology, whether in experimental laboratories where new advances are being researched, in health care settings where treatments using viral vectors as gene delivery systems are increasingly being used, or in the industrial bioeconomy. Enhanced worker protection measures should include increased injury and illness surveillance of the synthetic biology workforce; proactive risk assessment and management of synthetic biology products; research on the relative effectiveness of extrinsic and intrinsic biocontainment methods; specific safety guidance for synthetic biology industrial processes; determination of appropriate medical mitigation measures for lentiviral vector exposure incidents; and greater awareness and involvement in synthetic biology safety by the general occupational safety and health community as well as by government occupational safety and health research and regulatory agencies.

  4. Agonist-receptor-arrestin, an alternative ternary complex with high agonist affinity.

    PubMed

    Gurevich, V V; Pals-Rylaarsdam, R; Benovic, J L; Hosey, M M; Onorato, J J

    1997-11-14

    The rapid decrease of a response to a persistent stimulus, often termed desensitization, is a widespread biological phenomenon. Signal transduction by numerous G protein-coupled receptors appears to be terminated by a strikingly uniform two-step mechanism, most extensively characterized for the beta2-adrenergic receptor (beta2AR), m2 muscarinic cholinergic receptor (m2 mAChR), and rhodopsin. The model predicts that activated receptor is initially phosphorylated and then tightly binds an arrestin protein that effectively blocks further G protein interaction. Here we report that complexes of beta2AR-arrestin and m2 mAChR-arrestin have a higher affinity for agonists (but not antagonists) than do receptors not complexed with arrestin. The percentage of phosphorylated beta2AR in this high affinity state in the presence of full agonists varied with different arrestins and was enhanced by selective mutations in arrestins. The percentage of high affinity sites also was proportional to the intrinsic activity of an agonist, and the coefficient of proportionality varies for different arrestin proteins. Certain mutant arrestins can form these high affinity complexes with unphosphorylated receptors. Mutations that enhance formation of the agonist-receptor-arrestin complexes should provide useful tools for manipulating both the efficiency of signaling and rate and specificity of receptor internalization.

  5. Synthetic Genomics and Synthetic Biology Applications Between Hopes and Concerns

    PubMed Central

    König, Harald; Frank, Daniel; Heil, Reinhard; Coenen, Christopher

    2013-01-01

    New organisms and biological systems designed to satisfy human needs are among the aims of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology. Synthetic biology seeks to model and construct biological components, functions and organisms that do not exist in nature or to redesign existing biological systems to perform new functions. Synthetic genomics, on the other hand, encompasses technologies for the generation of chemically-synthesized whole genomes or larger parts of genomes, allowing to simultaneously engineer a myriad of changes to the genetic material of organisms. Engineering complex functions or new organisms in synthetic biology are thus progressively becoming dependent on and converging with synthetic genomics. While applications from both areas have been predicted to offer great benefits by making possible new drugs, renewable chemicals or clean energy, they have also given rise to concerns about new safety, environmental and socio-economic risks – stirring an increasingly polarizing debate. Here we intend to provide an overview on recent progress in biomedical and biotechnological applications of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology as well as on arguments and evidence related to their possible benefits, risks and governance implications. PMID:23997647

  6. Synthetic genomics and synthetic biology applications between hopes and concerns.

    PubMed

    König, Harald; Frank, Daniel; Heil, Reinhard; Coenen, Christopher

    2013-03-01

    New organisms and biological systems designed to satisfy human needs are among the aims of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology. Synthetic biology seeks to model and construct biological components, functions and organisms that do not exist in nature or to redesign existing biological systems to perform new functions. Synthetic genomics, on the other hand, encompasses technologies for the generation of chemically-synthesized whole genomes or larger parts of genomes, allowing to simultaneously engineer a myriad of changes to the genetic material of organisms. Engineering complex functions or new organisms in synthetic biology are thus progressively becoming dependent on and converging with synthetic genomics. While applications from both areas have been predicted to offer great benefits by making possible new drugs, renewable chemicals or clean energy, they have also given rise to concerns about new safety, environmental and socio-economic risks - stirring an increasingly polarizing debate. Here we intend to provide an overview on recent progress in biomedical and biotechnological applications of synthetic genomics and synthetic biology as well as on arguments and evidence related to their possible benefits, risks and governance implications.

  7. Agonistic behavior in food animals: review of research and techniques.

    PubMed

    McGlone, J J

    1986-04-01

    One type of social behavior--agonistic behavior--is commonly observed among food animals. Agonistic behaviors are those behaviors which cause, threaten to cause or seek to reduce physical damage. Agonistic behavior is comprised of threats, aggression and submission. While any one of these divisions of agonistic behavior may be observed alone, they usually are found, in sequence, from the start to the end of an interaction. Food animals may show interspecific or intraspecific agonistic behaviors. Interspecific agonistic behavior has not been extensively studied but it is agriculturally important because farm workers may become injured or killed by aggressive food animals. Types of intraspecific agonistic behavior are: when animals are brought together, intermale fighting, resource defense, inter-gender fighting and aberrant aggression. Common pitfalls in research on agonistic behavior among food animals include too few replicates to detect a biological difference, the assumptions of the analysis are not met, only aggression and not submission or other agonistic behavior components are measured, incomplete description of the behaviors are reported and a complete, quantitive ethogram did not form the basis for selecting behavioral measures.

  8. Computational modeling toward understanding agonist binding on dopamine 3.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yaxue; Lu, Xuefeng; Yang, Chao-Yie; Huang, Zhimin; Fu, Wei; Hou, Tingjun; Zhang, Jian

    2010-09-27

    The dopamine 3 (D3) receptor is a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson's disease, and current research interests primarily focus on the discovery/design of potent D3 agonists. Herein, a well-designed computational protocol, which combines pharmacophore identification, homology modeling, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, was employed to understand the agonist binding on D3 aiming to provide insights into the development of novel potent D3 agonists. We (1) identified the chemical features required in effective D3 agonists by pharmacophore modeling based upon 18 known diverse D3 agonists; (2) constructed the three-dimensional (3D) structure of D3 based on homology modeling and the pharmacophore hypothesis; (3) identified the binding modes of the agonists to D3 by the correlation between the predicted binding free energies and the experimental values; and (4) investigated the induced fit of D3 upon agonist binding through MD simulations. The pharmacophore models of the D3 agonists and the 3D structure of D3 can be used for either ligand- or receptor-based drug design. Furthermore, the MD simulations further give the insight that the long and flexible EL2 acts as a "door" for agonist binding, and the "ionic lock" at the bottom of TM3 and TM6 is essential to transduce the activation signal.

  9. Radiolabelled D2 agonists as prolactinoma imaging agents

    SciTech Connect

    Otto, C.A.

    1989-08-01

    During the past year, further studies on mAChR were conducted. These studies included verification of the difference in pituitary distribution based on ligand charge. The pituitary localization of TRB. A neutral mAChR ligand, was verified. The lack of QNB blockade of TRB uptake was tested by blockage with scopolamine, another mAChR antagonist and by testing the effect in a different strain of rat. Neither scopolamine or change of rat strain had any effect. We concluded that TRB uptake in pituitary is not a receptor-mediated process. Further studies were conducted with an additional quaternized mAChR ligand: MQNB. Pituitary localization of MQNB, like MTRB, could be blocked by pretreatment with QNB. We have tentatively concluded that permanent charge on a mAChR antagonist changes the mechanism of uptake in the pituitary. Time course studies and the effects of DES on myocardial uptake are reported. A brief report on preliminary results of evaluation of quaternized mAChR ligands in the heart is included. In a limited series of such ligands, we have observed a single binding site and a difference in B{sub max} values: QNB competition studies yield larger B{sub max} values than studies with {sup 3}H-NMS. Progress in the synthesis of D{sub 2} agonists includes solving a synthetic problem and preparation of the cold'' analogue of N-0437 using procedures applicable to eventual synthesis with {sup 11}C-CH{sub 3}I. 2 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab.

  10. D-Cycloserine: Agonist turned antagonist.

    PubMed

    Lanthorn, T H

    1994-10-01

    D-Cycloserine can enhance activation of the NMDA receptor complex and could enhance the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP). In animals and humans, D-cycloserine can enhance performance in learning and memory tasks. This enhancing effect can disappear during repeated administration. The enhancing effects are also lost when higher doses are used, and replaced by behavioral and biochemical effects like those produced by NMDA antagonists. It has been reported that NMDA agonists, applied before or after tetanic stimulation, can block the induction of LTP. This may be the result of feedback inhibition of second messenger pathways stimulated by receptor activation. This may explain the antagonist-like effects of glycine partial agonists like D-cycloserine. In clinical trials of D-cycloserine in age-associated memory impairment (AAMI) and Alzheimer's disease, chronic treatment provided few positive effects on learning and memory. This may be due to inhibition of second messenger pathways following chronic stimulation of the receptor complex.

  11. Inverse agonist properties of atypical antipsychotic drugs.

    PubMed

    Akam, Elizabeth; Strange, Philip G

    2004-06-01

    Mechanisms of action of several atypical antipsychotic drugs have been examined at the D(2) dopamine receptor expressed in CHO cells. The drugs tested were found to exhibit inverse agonist activity at the D(2) dopamine receptor based on their effects to potentiate forskolin-stimulated cyclic AMP (cAMP) accumulation. Each of the antipsychotic drugs tested (clozapine, olanzapine, quetiapine and risperidone) increased cAMP accumulation to the same extent. The increase in cAMP was also similar to that seen with typical antipsychotic drugs. Inverse agonism at the D(2) dopamine receptor seems, therefore, to be a property common to all classes of antipsychotic drugs. The effect of sodium ions on the binding of the drugs to the receptor was also assessed. Each of the atypical antipsychotic drugs tested here bound with higher affinity in the absence of sodium ions. Previous studies have shown that some antipsychotic drugs are insensitive to sodium ions and some bind with higher affinity in the presence of sodium ions. Given that all of these antipsychotic drugs are inverse agonists, it may be concluded that this sodium ion sensitivity is unrelated to mechanisms of inverse agonism.

  12. Activation of farnesoid X receptor attenuates hepatic injury in a murine model of alcoholic liver disease

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Weibin; Zhu, Bo; Peng, Xiaomin; Zhou, Meiling; Jia, Dongwei; Gu, Jianxin

    2014-01-03

    Highlights: •FXR activity was impaired by chronic ethanol ingestion in a murine model of ALD. •Activation of FXR attenuated alcohol-induced liver injury and steatosis. •Activation of FXR attenuated cholestasis and oxidative stress in mouse liver. -- Abstract: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a common cause of advanced liver disease, and considered as a major risk factor of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Hepatic cholestasis is a pathophysiological feature observed in all stages of ALD. The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a member of the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily, and plays an essential role in the regulation of bile acid, lipid and glucose homeostasis. However, the role of FXR in the pathogenesis and progression of ALD remains largely unknown. Mice were fed Lieber-DeCarli ethanol diet or an isocaloric control diet. We used a specific agonist of FXR WAY-362450 to study the effect of pharmacological activation of FXR in alcoholic liver disease. In this study, we demonstrated that FXR activity was impaired by chronic ethanol ingestion in a murine model of ALD. Activation of FXR by specific agonist WAY-362450 protected mice from the development of ALD. We also found that WAY-362450 treatment rescued FXR activity, suppressed ethanol-induced Cyp2e1 up-regulation and attenuated oxidative stress in liver. Our results highlight a key role of FXR in the modulation of ALD development, and propose specific FXR agonists for the treatment of ALD patients.

  13. Holographically Correcting Synthetic Aperture Aberrations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-12-01

    Malacara (20:105-148). The synthetic aperture was aligned in accordance with the synthetic-aperture alignment technique of Gill (8:61-64). The...1987. 20. Malacara , Daniel, ed. Optical Shop Testing. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1978. 21. Marciniak, Capt Michael. Tutorial Presentation of mV

  14. Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering.

    PubMed

    Stephanopoulos, Gregory

    2012-11-16

    Metabolic engineering emerged 20 years ago as the discipline occupied with the directed modification of metabolic pathways for the microbial synthesis of various products. As such, it deals with the engineering (design, construction, and optimization) of native as well as non-natural routes of product synthesis, aided in this task by the availability of synthetic DNA, the core enabling technology of synthetic biology. The two fields, however, only partially overlap in their interest in pathway engineering. While fabrication of biobricks, synthetic cells, genetic circuits, and nonlinear cell dynamics, along with pathway engineering, have occupied researchers in the field of synthetic biology, the sum total of these areas does not constitute a coherent definition of synthetic biology with a distinct intellectual foundation and well-defined areas of application. This paper reviews the origins of the two fields and advances two distinct paradigms for each of them: that of unit operations for metabolic engineering and electronic circuits for synthetic biology. In this context, metabolic engineering is about engineering cell factories for the biological manufacturing of chemical and pharmaceutical products, whereas the main focus of synthetic biology is fundamental biological research facilitated by the use of synthetic DNA and genetic circuits.

  15. Synthetic Foveal Imaging Technology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hoenk, Michael; Monacos, Steve; Nikzad, Shouleh

    2009-01-01

    Synthetic Foveal imaging Technology (SyFT) is an emerging discipline of image capture and image-data processing that offers the prospect of greatly increased capabilities for real-time processing of large, high-resolution images (including mosaic images) for such purposes as automated recognition and tracking of moving objects of interest. SyFT offers a solution to the image-data processing problem arising from the proposed development of gigapixel mosaic focal-plane image-detector assemblies for very wide field-of-view imaging with high resolution for detecting and tracking sparse objects or events within narrow subfields of view. In order to identify and track the objects or events without the means of dynamic adaptation to be afforded by SyFT, it would be necessary to post-process data from an image-data space consisting of terabytes of data. Such post-processing would be time-consuming and, as a consequence, could result in missing significant events that could not be observed at all due to the time evolution of such events or could not be observed at required levels of fidelity without such real-time adaptations as adjusting focal-plane operating conditions or aiming of the focal plane in different directions to track such events. The basic concept of foveal imaging is straightforward: In imitation of a natural eye, a foveal-vision image sensor is designed to offer higher resolution in a small region of interest (ROI) within its field of view. Foveal vision reduces the amount of unwanted information that must be transferred from the image sensor to external image-data-processing circuitry. The aforementioned basic concept is not new in itself: indeed, image sensors based on these concepts have been described in several previous NASA Tech Briefs articles. Active-pixel integrated-circuit image sensors that can be programmed in real time to effect foveal artificial vision on demand are one such example. What is new in SyFT is a synergistic combination of recent

  16. Recent advances in synthetic biosafety

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Anna J.; Ellington, Andrew D.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetically engineered organisms hold promise for a broad range of medical, environmental, and industrial applications. Organisms can potentially be designed, for example, for the inexpensive and environmentally benign synthesis of pharmaceuticals and industrial chemicals, for the cleanup of environmental pollutants, and potentially even for biomedical applications such as the targeting of specific diseases or tissues. However, the use of synthetically engineered organisms comes with several reasonable safety concerns, one of which is that the organisms or their genes could escape their intended habitats and cause environmental disruption. Here we review key recent developments in this emerging field of synthetic biocontainment and discuss further developments that might be necessary for the widespread use of synthetic organisms. Specifically, we discuss the history and modern development of three strategies for the containment of synthetic microbes: addiction to an exogenously supplied ligand; self-killing outside of a designated environment; and self-destroying encoded DNA circuitry outside of a designated environment. PMID:27635235

  17. Fates of endocytosed somatostatin sst2 receptors and associated agonists.

    PubMed Central

    Koenig, J A; Kaur, R; Dodgeon, I; Edwardson, J M; Humphrey, P P

    1998-01-01

    Somatostatin agonists are rapidly and efficiently internalized with the somatostatin sst2 receptor. The fate of internalized agonists and receptors is of critical importance because the rate of ligand recycling back to the cell surface can limit the amount of radioligand accumulated inside the cells, whereas receptor recycling might be of vital importance in providing the cell surface with dephosphorylated, resensitized receptors. Furthermore the accumulation of radioisotope-conjugated somatostatin agonists inside cancer cells resulting from receptor-mediated internalization has been used as a treatment for cancers that overexpress somatostatin receptors. In the present study, radio-iodinated agonists at the sst2 somatostatin receptor were employed to allow quantitative analysis of the fate of endocytosed agonist. After endocytosis, recycling back to the cell surface was the main pathway for both 125I-labelled somatostatin-14 (SRIF-14) and the more stable agonist 125I-labelled cyclo(N-Me-Ala-Tyr-d-Trp-Lys-Abu-Phe) (BIM-23027; Abu stands for aminobutyric acid), accounting for 75-85% of internalized ligand when re-endocytosis of radioligand was prevented. We have shown that there is a dynamic cycling of both somatostatin agonist ligands and receptors between the cell surface and internal compartments both during agonist treatment and after surface-bound agonist has been removed, unless steps are taken to prevent the re-activation of receptors by recycled agonist. Internalization leads to increased degradation of 125I-labelled SRIF-14 but not 125I-labelled BIM-23027. The concentration of recycled agonist accumulating in the extracellular medium was sufficient to re-activate the receptor, as measured both by the inhibition of forskolin-stimulated adenylate cyclase and the recovery of surface receptor number after internalization. PMID:9820803

  18. Synthetic retinoids in dermatology

    PubMed Central

    Heller, Elizabeth H.; Shiffman, Norman J.

    1985-01-01

    The potential of vitamin A, or retinol, in the treatment of a variety of skin diseases has long been recognized, but because of serious toxic effects this substance generally could not be used. The recent development and marketing of two relatively nontoxic synthetic analogues, which are known as retinoids, has made it possible to treat some of the diseases that are resistant to standard forms of therapy. Isotretinoin is very effective in cystic and conglobate acne, while etretinate is especially useful in the more severe forms of psoriasis. Good results have also been obtained in other disorders of keratinization. Vitamin A and its derivatives apparently have an antineoplastic effect as well and may come to be used in both the prevention and the treatment of epithelial cancer. In many of these diseases the retinoids act by enhancing the normal differentiation and proliferation of epidermal tissues, but the exact mechanisms are not well understood. Their influence on the intracellular polyamines that control the synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins may be an important factor. Although the retinoids have few serious systemic effects, they are teratogenic, and because they persist in the body their use in women of childbearing potential is limited. ImagesFig. 3 PMID:3158386

  19. Synthetic aperture hitchhiker imaging.

    PubMed

    Yarman, Can Evren; Yazici, Birsen

    2008-11-01

    We introduce a novel synthetic-aperture imaging method for radar systems that rely on sources of opportunity. We consider receivers that fly along arbitrary, but known, flight trajectories and develop a spatio-temporal correlation-based filtered-backprojection-type image reconstruction method. The method involves first correlating the measurements from two different receiver locations. This leads to a forward model where the radiance of the target scene is projected onto the intersection of certain hyperboloids with the surface topography. We next use microlocal techniques to develop a filtered-backprojection-type inversion method to recover the scene radiance. The method is applicable to both stationary and mobile, and cooperative and noncooperative sources of opportunity. Additionally, it is applicable to nonideal imaging scenarios such as those involving arbitrary flight trajectories, and has the desirable property of preserving the visible edges of the scene radiance. We present an analysis of the computational complexity of the image reconstruction method and demonstrate its performance in numerical simulations for single and multiple transmitters of opportunity.

  20. Synthetic carriers of oxygen.

    PubMed

    Dellacherie, E; Labrude, P; Vigneron, C; Riess, J G

    1987-01-01

    During the last decade, construction of artificial carriers of oxygen for transfusion purposes has evolved in three main directions, which can be reviewed as follows. The first approach consists of modifying hemoglobin (Hb), the natural oxygen carrier, in order to lower its oxygen affinity and increase its intravascular persistence. To achieve this aim, two basic procedures have been used: molecular and environmental modification. In the first case, Hb is modified with chemical reagents; the second requires encapsulation of Hb to obtain artificial erythrocytes. The second approach is based on the use of synthetic oxygen-carrying chelates that mimic the oxygenation function of Hb. The main products in this class are metalloporphyrins, whose chemical environment is designed to render them efficient as reversible carriers of oxygen in vivo. Finally, the third approach deals with the perfluorochemicals used in emulsified form. Perfluorochemical liquids are excellent gas solvents, but some problems remain unsolved with regard to their development as oxygen carriers in vivo: low O2 dissolving capacity, toxicity, and excretion.

  1. Computing with synthetic protocells.

    PubMed

    Courbet, Alexis; Molina, Franck; Amar, Patrick

    2015-09-01

    In this article we present a new kind of computing device that uses biochemical reactions networks as building blocks to implement logic gates. The architecture of a computing machine relies on these generic and composable building blocks, computation units, that can be used in multiple instances to perform complex boolean functions. Standard logical operations are implemented by biochemical networks, encapsulated and insulated within synthetic vesicles called protocells. These protocells are capable of exchanging energy and information with each other through transmembrane electron transfer. In the paradigm of computation we propose, protoputing, a machine can solve only one problem and therefore has to be built specifically. Thus, the programming phase in the standard computing paradigm is represented in our approach by the set of assembly instructions (specific attachments) that directs the wiring of the protocells that constitute the machine itself. To demonstrate the computing power of protocellular machines, we apply it to solve a NP-complete problem, known to be very demanding in computing power, the 3-SAT problem. We show how to program the assembly of a machine that can verify the satisfiability of a given boolean formula. Then we show how to use the massive parallelism of these machines to verify in less than 20 min all the valuations of the input variables and output a fluorescent signal when the formula is satisfiable or no signal at all otherwise.

  2. Synthetic biology: Understanding biological design from synthetic circuits

    PubMed Central

    Mukherji, Shankar; van Oudenaarden, Alexander

    2011-01-01

    An important aim of synthetic biology is to uncover the design principles of natural biological systems through the rational design of gene and protein circuits. Here we highlight how the process of engineering biological systems — from synthetic promoters to the control of cell–cell interactions — has contributed to our understanding of how endogenous systems are put together and function. Synthetic biological devices allow us to intuitively grasp the ranges of behavior generated by simple biological circuits, such as linear cascades and interlocking feedback loops, as well as to exert control over natural processes such as gene expression and population dynamics. PMID:19898500

  3. TLR9 agonist acts by different mechanisms synergizing with bevacizumab in sensitive and cetuximab-resistant colon cancer xenografts

    PubMed Central

    Damiano, Vincenzo; Caputo, Rosa; Garofalo, Sonia; Bianco, Roberto; Rosa, Roberta; Merola, Gerardina; Gelardi, Teresa; Racioppi, Luigi; Fontanini, Gabriella; De Placido, Sabino; Kandimalla, Ekambar R.; Agrawal, Sudhir; Ciardiello, Fortunato; Tortora, Giampaolo

    2007-01-01

    Synthetic agonists of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), a class of agents that induce specific immune response, exhibit antitumor activity and are currently being investigated in cancer patients. Intriguingly, their mechanisms of action on tumor growth and angiogenesis are still incompletely understood. We recently discovered that a synthetic agonist of TLR9, immune modulatory oligonucleotide (IMO), acts by impairing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling and potently synergizes with anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab in GEO human colon cancer xenografts, whereas it is ineffective in VEGF-overexpressing cetuximab-resistant GEO cetuximab-resistant (GEO-CR) tumors. VEGF is activated by EGFR, and its overexpression causes resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Therefore, we used IMO and the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab as tools to study IMO's role on EGFR and angiogenesis and to explore its therapeutic potential in GEO, LS174T, and GEO-CR cancer xenografts. We found that IMO enhances the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity of cetuximab, that bevacizumab has no ADCC, and IMO is unable to enhance it. Nevertheless, the IMO-plus-bevacizumab combination synergistically inhibits the growth of GEO and LS174T as well as of GEO-CR tumors, preceded by inhibition of signaling protein expression, microvessel formation, and human, but not murine, VEGF secretion. Moreover, IMO inhibited the growth, adhesion, migration, and capillary formation of VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells. The antitumor activity was irrespective of the TLR9 expression on tumor cells. These studies demonstrate that synthetic agonists of TLR9 interfere with growth and angiogenesis also by EGFR- and ADCC-independent mechanisms affecting endothelial cell functions and provide a strong rationale to combine IMO with bevacizumab and EGFR inhibitory drugs in colon cancer patients. PMID:17636117

  4. TLR9 agonist acts by different mechanisms synergizing with bevacizumab in sensitive and cetuximab-resistant colon cancer xenografts.

    PubMed

    Damiano, Vincenzo; Caputo, Rosa; Garofalo, Sonia; Bianco, Roberto; Rosa, Roberta; Merola, Gerardina; Gelardi, Teresa; Racioppi, Luigi; Fontanini, Gabriella; De Placido, Sabino; Kandimalla, Ekambar R; Agrawal, Sudhir; Ciardiello, Fortunato; Tortora, Giampaolo

    2007-07-24

    Synthetic agonists of Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9), a class of agents that induce specific immune response, exhibit antitumor activity and are currently being investigated in cancer patients. Intriguingly, their mechanisms of action on tumor growth and angiogenesis are still incompletely understood. We recently discovered that a synthetic agonist of TLR9, immune modulatory oligonucleotide (IMO), acts by impairing epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling and potently synergizes with anti-EGFR antibody cetuximab in GEO human colon cancer xenografts, whereas it is ineffective in VEGF-overexpressing cetuximab-resistant GEO cetuximab-resistant (GEO-CR) tumors. VEGF is activated by EGFR, and its overexpression causes resistance to EGFR inhibitors. Therefore, we used IMO and the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab as tools to study IMO's role on EGFR and angiogenesis and to explore its therapeutic potential in GEO, LS174T, and GEO-CR cancer xenografts. We found that IMO enhances the antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) activity of cetuximab, that bevacizumab has no ADCC, and IMO is unable to enhance it. Nevertheless, the IMO-plus-bevacizumab combination synergistically inhibits the growth of GEO and LS174T as well as of GEO-CR tumors, preceded by inhibition of signaling protein expression, microvessel formation, and human, but not murine, VEGF secretion. Moreover, IMO inhibited the growth, adhesion, migration, and capillary formation of VEGF-stimulated endothelial cells. The antitumor activity was irrespective of the TLR9 expression on tumor cells. These studies demonstrate that synthetic agonists of TLR9 interfere with growth and angiogenesis also by EGFR- and ADCC-independent mechanisms affecting endothelial cell functions and provide a strong rationale to combine IMO with bevacizumab and EGFR inhibitory drugs in colon cancer patients.

  5. Estrogen receptor agonists for attenuation of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Chakrabarti, Mrinmay; Haque, Azizul; Banik, Naren L.; Nagarkatti, Prakash; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Ray, Swapan K.

    2014-01-01

    Recent results from laboratory investigations and clinical trials indicate important roles for estrogen receptor (ER) agonists in protecting the central nervous system (CNS) from noxious consequences of neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Neurodegenerative processes in several CNS disorders including spinal cord injury (SCI), multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD) are associated with activation of microglia and astrocytes, which drive the resident neuroinflammatory response. During neurodegenerative processes, activated microglia and astrocytes cause deleterious effects on surrounding neurons. The inhibitory activity of ER agonists on microglia activation might be a beneficial therapeutic option for delaying the onset or progression of neurodegenerative injuries and diseases. Recent studies suggest that ER agonists can provide neuroprotection by modulation of cell survival mechanisms, synaptic reorganization, regenerative responses to axonal injury, and neurogenesis process. The anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective actions of ER agonists are mediated mainly via two ERs known as ERα and ERβ. Although some studies have suggested that ER agonists may be deleterious to some neuronal populations, the potential clinical benefits of ER agonists for augmenting cognitive function may triumph over the associated side effects. Also, understanding the modulatory activities of ER agonists on inflammatory pathways will possibly lead to the development of selective anti-inflammatory molecules with neuroprotective roles in different CNS disorders such as SCI, MS, PD, and AD in humans. Future studies should be concentrated on finding the most plausible molecular pathways for enhancing protective functions of ER agonists in treating neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative injuries and diseases in the CNS. PMID:25245209

  6. TOXICITY OF AHR AGONISTS TO FISH EARLY LIFE STAGES

    EPA Science Inventory

    Fish early life stages are exceptionally sensitive to the lethal toxicity of chemicals that act as arylhydrocarbon receptor (AhR) agonists. Toxicity characterizations based on 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, generally the most potent AhR agonist, support the toxicity equiva...

  7. Physical Chemistry to the Rescue: Differentiating Nicotinic and Cholinergic Agonists

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Angela G.

    2005-01-01

    Researches suggest that two agonists can bind to the same binding site of an important transmembrane protein and elicit a biological response through strikingly different binding interactions. Evidence is provided which suggests two possible types of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist binding like acetlycholine (cholinergic) or like nicotine…

  8. Synthetic biology and personalized medicine.

    PubMed

    Jain, K K

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology, application of synthetic chemistry to biology, is a broad term that covers the engineering of biological systems with structures and functions not found in nature to process information, manipulate chemicals, produce energy, maintain cell environment and enhance human health. Synthetic biology devices contribute not only to improve our understanding of disease mechanisms, but also provide novel diagnostic tools. Methods based on synthetic biology enable the design of novel strategies for the treatment of cancer, immune diseases metabolic disorders and infectious diseases as well as the production of cheap drugs. The potential of synthetic genome, using an expanded genetic code that is designed for specific drug synthesis as well as delivery and activation of the drug in vivo by a pathological signal, was already pointed out during a lecture delivered at Kuwait University in 2005. Of two approaches to synthetic biology, top-down and bottom-up, the latter is more relevant to the development of personalized medicines as it provides more flexibility in constructing a partially synthetic cell from basic building blocks for a desired task.

  9. Distributed and collaborative synthetic environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bajaj, Chandrajit L.; Bernardini, Fausto

    1995-01-01

    Fast graphics workstations and increased computing power, together with improved interface technologies, have created new and diverse possibilities for developing and interacting with synthetic environments. A synthetic environment system is generally characterized by input/output devices that constitute the interface between the human senses and the synthetic environment generated by the computer; and a computation system running a real-time simulation of the environment. A basic need of a synthetic environment system is that of giving the user a plausible reproduction of the visual aspect of the objects with which he is interacting. The goal of our Shastra research project is to provide a substrate of geometric data structures and algorithms which allow the distributed construction and modification of the environment, efficient querying of objects attributes, collaborative interaction with the environment, fast computation of collision detection and visibility information for efficient dynamic simulation and real-time scene display. In particular, we address the following issues: (1) A geometric framework for modeling and visualizing synthetic environments and interacting with them. We highlight the functions required for the geometric engine of a synthetic environment system. (2) A distribution and collaboration substrate that supports construction, modification, and interaction with synthetic environments on networked desktop machines.

  10. Neuroprotection by Alpha 2-Adrenergic Agonists in Cerebral Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yonghua; Kimelberg, Harold K.

    2005-01-01

    Ischemic brain injury is implicated in the pathophysiology of stroke and brain trauma, which are among the top killers worldwide, and intensive studies have been performed to reduce neural cell death after cerebral ischemia. Alpha 2-adrenergic agonists have been shown to improve the histomorphological and neurological outcome after cerebral ischemic injury when administered during ischemia, and recent studies have provided considerable evidence that alpha 2-adrenergic agonists can protect the brain from ischemia/reperfusion injury. Thus, alpha 2-adrenergic agonists are promising potential drugs in preventing cerebral ischemic injury, but the mechanisms by which alpha 2-adrenergic agonists exert their neuroprotective effect are unclear. Activation of both the alpha 2-adrenergic receptor and imidazoline receptor may be involved. This mini review examines the recent progress in alpha 2-adrenergic agonists - induced neuroprotection and its proposed mechanisms in cerebral ischemic injury. PMID:18369397

  11. Bistatic synthetic aperture radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yates, Gillian

    Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) allows all-weather, day and night, surface surveillance and has the ability to detect, classify and geolocate objects at long stand-off ranges. Bistatic SAR, where the transmitter and the receiver are on separate platforms, is seen as a potential means of countering the vulnerability of conventional monostatic SAR to electronic countermeasures, particularly directional jamming, and avoiding physical attack of the imaging platform. As the receiving platform can be totally passive, it does not advertise its position by RF emissions. The transmitter is not susceptible to jamming and can, for example, operate at long stand-off ranges to reduce its vulnerability to physical attack. This thesis examines some of the complications involved in producing high-resolution bistatic SAR imagery. The effect of bistatic operation on resolution is examined from a theoretical viewpoint and analytical expressions for resolution are developed. These expressions are verified by simulation work using a simple 'point by point' processor. This work is extended to look at using modern practical processing engines for bistatic geometries. Adaptations of the polar format algorithm and range migration algorithm are considered. The principal achievement of this work is a fully airborne demonstration of bistatic SAR. The route taken in reaching this is given, along with some results. The bistatic SAR imagery is analysed and compared to the monostatic imagery collected at the same time. Demonstrating high-resolution bistatic SAR imagery using two airborne platforms represents what I believe to be a European first and is likely to be the first time that this has been achieved outside the US (the UK has very little insight into US work on this topic). Bistatic target characteristics are examined through the use of simulations. This also compares bistatic imagery with monostatic and gives further insight into the utility of bistatic SAR.

  12. Synthetic biology for therapeutic applications.

    PubMed

    Abil, Zhanar; Xiong, Xiong; Zhao, Huimin

    2015-02-02

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new field with the key aim of designing and constructing biological systems with novel functionalities. Today, synthetic biology devices are making their first steps in contributing new solutions to a number of biomedical challenges, such as emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer therapy. This review discusses some synthetic biology approaches and applications that were recently used in disease mechanism investigation and disease modeling, drug discovery and production, as well as vaccine development and treatment of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders.

  13. Synthetic Biology for Therapeutic Applications

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is a relatively new field with the key aim of designing and constructing biological systems with novel functionalities. Today, synthetic biology devices are making their first steps in contributing new solutions to a number of biomedical challenges, such as emerging bacterial antibiotic resistance and cancer therapy. This review discusses some synthetic biology approaches and applications that were recently used in disease mechanism investigation and disease modeling, drug discovery and production, as well as vaccine development and treatment of infectious diseases, cancer, and metabolic disorders. PMID:25098838

  14. Apoptotic effect of the selective PPARβ/δ agonist GW501516 in invasive bladder cancer cells.

    PubMed

    Péchery, Adeline; Fauconnet, Sylvie; Bittard, Hugues; Lascombe, Isabelle

    2016-11-01

    GW501516 is a selective and high-affinity synthetic agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor β/δ (PPARβ/δ). This molecule promoted the inhibition of proliferation and apoptosis in few cancer cell lines, but its anticancer action has never been investigated in bladder tumor cells. Thus, this study was undertaken to determine whether GW501516 had antiproliferative and/or apoptotic effects on RT4 and T24 urothelial cancer cells and to explore the molecular mechanisms involved. Our results indicated that, in RT4 cells (derived from a low-grade papillary tumor), GW501516 did not induce cell death. On the other hand, in T24 cells (derived from an undifferentiated high-grade carcinoma), this PPARβ/δ agonist induced cytotoxic effects including cell morphological changes, a decrease of cell viability, a G2/M cell cycle arrest, and the cell death as evidenced by the increase of the sub-G1 cell population. Furthermore, GW501516 triggered T24 cell apoptosis in a caspase-dependent manner including both extrinsic and intrinsic apoptotic pathways through Bid cleavage. In addition, the drug led to an increase of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, a mitochondrial dysfunction associated with the dissipation of ΔΨm, and the release of cytochrome c from the mitochondria to the cytosol. GW501516 induced also ROS generation which was not responsible for T24 cell death since NAC did not rescue cells upon PPARβ/δ agonist exposure. For the first time, our data highlight the capacity of GW501516 to induce apoptosis in invasive bladder cancer cells. This molecule could be relevant as a therapeutic drug for high-grade urothelial cancers.

  15. Agonist selectivity in the oxytocin/vasopressin receptor family: new insights and challenges.

    PubMed

    Chini, B; Manning, M

    2007-08-01

    The design and development of selective agonists acting at the OT (oxytocin)/AVP (vasopressin) receptors has been and continues to be a difficult task because of the great similarity among the different receptor subtypes as well as the high degree of chemical similarity between the active ligands. In recent decades, at least a thousand synthetic peptides have been synthesized and examined for their ability to bind to and activate the different OT/AVP receptors; an effort that has led to the identification of several receptor subtype-selective agonists in the rat. However, owing to species differences between rat and human AVP/OT receptors, these peptides do not exhibit the same selectivities in human receptor assays. Furthermore, the discovery of receptor promiscuity, which is the ability of a single receptor subtype to couple to several different G-proteins, has led to the definition of a completely new class of compounds, referred to here as coupling-selective ligands, which may activate, within a single receptor subtype, only a specific signalling pathway. Finally, the accumulating evidence that GPCRs (G-protein-coupled receptors) do not function as monomers, but as dimers/oligomers, opens up the design of another class of specific ligands, bivalent ligands, in which two agonist and/or antagonist moieties are joined by a spacer of the appropriate length to allow the simultaneous binding at the two subunits within the dimer. The pharmacological properties and selectivity profiles of these bivalent ligands, which remain to be investigated, could lead to highly novel research tools and potential therapeutic agents.

  16. Quantifying agonist activity at G protein-coupled receptors.

    PubMed

    Ehlert, Frederick J; Suga, Hinako; Griffin, Michael T

    2011-12-26

    When an agonist activates a population of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), it elicits a signaling pathway that culminates in the response of the cell or tissue. This process can be analyzed at the level of a single receptor, a population of receptors, or a downstream response. Here we describe how to analyze the downstream response to obtain an estimate of the agonist affinity constant for the active state of single receptors. Receptors behave as quantal switches that alternate between active and inactive states (Figure 1). The active state interacts with specific G proteins or other signaling partners. In the absence of ligands, the inactive state predominates. The binding of agonist increases the probability that the receptor will switch into the active state because its affinity constant for the active state (K(b)) is much greater than that for the inactive state (K(a)). The summation of the random outputs of all of the receptors in the population yields a constant level of receptor activation in time. The reciprocal of the concentration of agonist eliciting half-maximal receptor activation is equivalent to the observed affinity constant (K(obs)), and the fraction of agonist-receptor complexes in the active state is defined as efficacy (ε) (Figure 2). Methods for analyzing the downstream responses of GPCRs have been developed that enable the estimation of the K(obs) and relative efficacy of an agonist. In this report, we show how to modify this analysis to estimate the agonist K(b) value relative to that of another agonist. For assays that exhibit constitutive activity, we show how to estimate K(b) in absolute units of M(-1). Our method of analyzing agonist concentration-response curves consists of global nonlinear regression using the operational model. We describe a procedure using the software application, Prism (GraphPad Software, Inc., San Diego, CA). The analysis yields an estimate of the product of K(obs) and a parameter proportional to efficacy (

  17. Synthetic Turf Multiplies Stadium Use.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leach, Richard

    1979-01-01

    The high school stadium in Flint, Michigan, once was used only for varsity football games. After the installation of synthetic turf, an average of 332 events have been staged there each year. (Author/MLF)

  18. A Course on Synthetic Fuels.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kimmel, Howard S.; Tomkins, Reginald P. T.

    1985-01-01

    A senior-level, elective course on synthetic fuels was developed for chemistry and chemical engineering majors. The topics covered in this course, instructional strategies used, and independent student projects are described. (JN)

  19. Is synthetic biology mechanical biology?

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune

    2015-12-01

    A widespread and influential characterization of synthetic biology emphasizes that synthetic biology is the application of engineering principles to living systems. Furthermore, there is a strong tendency to express the engineering approach to organisms in terms of what seems to be an ontological claim: organisms are machines. In the paper I investigate the ontological and heuristic significance of the machine analogy in synthetic biology. I argue that the use of the machine analogy and the aim of producing rationally designed organisms does not necessarily imply a commitment to mechanical biology. The ideal of applying engineering principles to biology is best understood as expressing recognition of the machine-unlikeness of natural organisms and the limits of human cognition. The paper suggests an interpretation of the identification of organisms with machines in synthetic biology according to which it expresses a strategy for representing, understanding, and constructing living systems that are more machine-like than natural organisms.

  20. Toward Engineering Synthetic Microbial Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    McArthur, George H.; Fong, Stephen S.

    2010-01-01

    The generation of well-characterized parts and the formulation of biological design principles in synthetic biology are laying the foundation for more complex and advanced microbial metabolic engineering. Improvements in de novo DNA synthesis and codon-optimization alone are already contributing to the manufacturing of pathway enzymes with improved or novel function. Further development of analytical and computer-aided design tools should accelerate the forward engineering of precisely regulated synthetic pathways by providing a standard framework for the predictable design of biological systems from well-characterized parts. In this review we discuss the current state of synthetic biology within a four-stage framework (design, modeling, synthesis, analysis) and highlight areas requiring further advancement to facilitate true engineering of synthetic microbial metabolism. PMID:20037734

  1. Synthetic Biology for Specialty Chemicals.

    PubMed

    Markham, Kelly A; Alper, Hal S

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we address recent advances in the field of synthetic biology and describe how those tools have been applied to produce a wide variety of chemicals in microorganisms. Here we classify the expansion of the synthetic biology toolbox into three different categories based on their primary function in strain engineering-for design, for construction, and for optimization. Next, focusing on recent years, we look at how chemicals have been produced using these new synthetic biology tools. Advances in producing fuels are briefly described, followed by a more thorough treatment of commodity chemicals, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and nutraceuticals. Throughout this review, an emphasis is placed on how synthetic biology tools are applied to strain engineering. Finally, we discuss organism and host strain diversity and provide a future outlook in the field.

  2. Approaches to chemical synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Chiarabelli, Cristiano; Stano, Pasquale; Anella, Fabrizio; Carrara, Paolo; Luisi, Pier Luigi

    2012-07-16

    Synthetic biology is first represented in terms of two complementary aspects, the bio-engineering one, based on the genetic manipulation of extant microbial forms in order to obtain forms of life which do not exist in nature; and the chemical synthetic biology, an approach mostly based on chemical manipulation for the laboratory synthesis of biological structures that do not exist in nature. The paper is mostly devoted to shortly review chemical synthetic biology projects currently carried out in our laboratory. In particular, we describe: the minimal cell project, then the "Never Born Proteins" and lastly the Never Born RNAs. We describe and critically analyze the main results, emphasizing the possible relevance of chemical synthetic biology for the progress in basic science and biotechnology.

  3. Programming languages for synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Umesh, P; Naveen, F; Rao, Chanchala Uma Maheswara; Nair, Achuthsankar S

    2010-12-01

    In the backdrop of accelerated efforts for creating synthetic organisms, the nature and scope of an ideal programming language for scripting synthetic organism in-silico has been receiving increasing attention. A few programming languages for synthetic biology capable of defining, constructing, networking, editing and delivering genome scale models of cellular processes have been recently attempted. All these represent important points in a spectrum of possibilities. This paper introduces Kera, a state of the art programming language for synthetic biology which is arguably ahead of similar languages or tools such as GEC, Antimony and GenoCAD. Kera is a full-fledged object oriented programming language which is tempered by biopart rule library named Samhita which captures the knowledge regarding the interaction of genome components and catalytic molecules. Prominent feature of the language are demonstrated through a toy example and the road map for the future development of Kera is also presented.

  4. AVE 0991, a non-peptide Mas-receptor agonist, facilitates penile erection.

    PubMed

    da Costa Gonçalves, Andrey C; Fraga-Silva, Rodrigo A; Leite, Romulo; Santos, Robson A S

    2013-03-01

    The renin-angiotensin system plays a crucial role in erectile function. It has been shown that elevated levels of angiotensin II contribute to the development of erectile dysfunction both in humans and in aminals. On the contrary, the heptapeptide angiotensin-(1-7) appears to mediate penile erection by activation of the Mas receptor. Recently, we have shown that the erectile function of Mas gene-deleted mice was substantially reduced, which was associated with a marked increase in fibrous tissue in the corpus cavernosum. We have hypothesized that the synthetic non-peptide Mas agonist, AVE 0991, would potentiate penile erectile function. We showed that intracavernosal injection of AVE 0991 potentiated the erectile response of anaesthetized Wistar rats, measured as the ratio between corpus cavernosum pressure and mean arterial pressure, upon electrical stimulation of the major pelvic ganglion. The facilitatory effect of AVE 0991 on erectile function was dose dependent and completely blunted by the nitric oxide synthesis inhibitor, l-NAME. Importantly, concomitant intracavernosal infusion of the specific Mas receptor blocker, A-779, abolished the effect of AVE 0991. We demonstrated that AVE 0991 potentiates the penile erectile response through Mas in an NO-dependent manner. Importantly, these results suggest that Mas agonists, such as AVE 0991, might have significant therapeutic benefits for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

  5. Central administration of GPR55 receptor agonist and antagonist modulates anxiety-related behaviors in rats.

    PubMed

    Rahimi, Abbasali; Hajizadeh Moghaddam, Akbar; Roohbakhsh, Ali

    2015-04-01

    G-protein-coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) has been proposed as an atypical cannabinoid receptor, which is activated by lysophosphatidylinositols and some synthetic or endogenous cannabinoid molecules. The exact role of GPR55 receptors in the central nervous system especially in anxiety needs to be evaluated. In this study, the effects of intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of agonist and antagonist of GPR55 receptor on anxiety-related behaviors in rats were investigated. Here, O-1602 (GPR55 agonist) at the doses of 0.2, 1, and 5 μg/rat increased %OAT and %OAE but not the locomotor activity, showing an anxiolytic response, whereas i.c.v. injection of ML193 (GPR55 antagonist) at the doses of 0.1 and 1 μg/rat increased anxiety-like behaviors while causing locomotor impairment. The antagonistic effect of ML193 on the anxiolytic-like effect of O-1602 was also evaluated. The results showed that ML193 decreased the anxiolytic-like effect of O-1602. Based on these results, it may be concluded that central GPR55 may have a role in modulation of anxiety-like behaviors in rats. Further experiments are needed to elucidate the exact role of these receptors in anxiety.

  6. Agonistic behavior in males and females: effects of an estrogen receptor beta agonist in gonadectomized and gonadally intact mice

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Amy E. Clipperton; Cragg, Cheryl L.; Wood, Alexis J.; Pfaff, Donald W.; Choleris, Elena

    2010-01-01

    Summary Affiliative and agonistic social interactions are mediated by gonadal hormones. Research with estrogen receptor alpha (ERα) or beta (ERβ) knockout (KO) mice show that long-term inactivation of ERα decreases, while inactivation of ERβ increases, male aggression. Opposite effects were found in female αERKO and βERKO mice. The role of acute activation of ERα or ERβ in the agonistic responses of adult non-KO mice is unknown. We report here the effects of the ERβ selective agonist WAY-200070 on agonistic and social behavior in gonadally intact and gonadectomized (gonadex) male and female CD-1 mice towards a gonadex, same-sex intruder. All 15 min resident-intruder tests were videotaped for comprehensive behavioral analysis. Separate analyses assessed: 1) effects of WAY-200070 on each sex and gonadal condition; 2) differences between sexes, and between gonadally intact and gonadex mice, in untreated animals. Results show that in gonadally intact male and female mice WAY-200070 increased agonistic behaviors such as pushing down and aggressive grooming, while leaving attacks unaffected. In untreated mice, males attacked more than females, and gonadex animals showed less agonistic behavior than same-sex, gonadally intact mice. Overall, our detailed behavioral analysis suggested that in gonadally intact male and female mice, ERβ mediates patterns of agonistic behavior that are not directly involved in attacks. This suggests that specific aspects of aggressive behavior are acutely mediated by ERβ in adult mice. Our results also showed that, in resident-intruder tests, female mice spend as much time in intrasexual agonistic interactions as males, but use agonistic behaviors that involve extremely low levels of direct attacks. This non-attack aggression in females is increased by acute activation of ERβ. Thus, acute activation of ERβ similarly mediates agonistic behavior in adult male and female CD-1 mice. PMID:20129736

  7. Synthetic biology as red herring.

    PubMed

    Preston, Beth

    2013-12-01

    It has become commonplace to say that with the advent of technologies like synthetic biology the line between artifacts and living organisms, policed by metaphysicians since antiquity, is beginning to blur. But that line began to blur 10,000 years ago when plants and animals were first domesticated; and has been thoroughly blurred at least since agriculture became the dominant human subsistence pattern many millennia ago. Synthetic biology is ultimately only a late and unexceptional offshoot of this prehistoric development. From this perspective, then, synthetic biology is a red herring, distracting us from more thorough philosophical consideration of the most truly revolutionary human practice-agriculture. In the first section of this paper I will make this case with regard to ontology, arguing that synthetic biology crosses no ontological lines that were not crossed already in the Neolithic. In the second section I will construct a parallel case with regard to cognition, arguing that synthetic biology as biological engineering represents no cognitive advance over what was required for domestication and the new agricultural subsistence pattern it grounds. In the final section I will make the case with regard to human existence, arguing that synthetic biology, even if wildly successful, is not in a position to cause significant existential change in what it is to be human over and above the massive existential change caused by the transition to agriculture. I conclude that a longer historical perspective casts new light on some important issues in philosophy of technology and environmental philosophy.

  8. The cardiovascular effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Friedland, Sayuri N; Leong, Aaron; Filion, Kristian B; Genest, Jacques; Lega, Iliana C; Mottillo, Salvatore; Poirier, Paul; Reoch, Jennifer; Eisenberg, Mark J

    2012-02-01

    Although peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists are prescribed to improve cardiovascular risk factors, their cardiovascular safety is controversial. We therefore reviewed the literature to identify landmark randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma agonists (pioglitazone and rosiglitazone), alpha agonists (fenofibrate and gemfibrozil), and pan agonists (bezafibrate, muraglitazar, ragaglitazar, tesaglitazar, and aleglitazar) on cardiovascular outcomes. Pioglitazone may modestly reduce cardiovascular events but also may increase the risk of bladder cancer. Rosiglitazone increases the risk of myocardial infarction and has been withdrawn in European and restricted in the United States. Fibrates improve cardiovascular outcomes only in select subgroups: fenofibrate in diabetic patients with metabolic syndrome, gemfibrozil in patients with dyslipidemia, and bezafibrate in patients with diabetes or metabolic syndrome. The cardiovascular safety of the new pan agonist aleglitazar, currently in phase II trials, remains to be determined. The heterogenous effects of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists to date highlight the importance of postmarketing surveillance. The critical question of why peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor agonists seem to improve cardiovascular risk factors without significantly improving cardiovascular outcomes requires further investigation.

  9. Synthetic Eelgrass Oil Barrier

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curtis, T. G.

    2013-05-01

    Although surviving in situ micro-organisms eventually consume spilled oil, extensive inundation of shore biota by oil requires cleanup to enable ecological recovery within normal time scales. Although effective in calm seas and quiet waters, oil is advected over and under conventional curtain oil booms by wave actions and currents when seas are running. Most sorbent booms are not reusable, and are usually disposed of in landfills, creating excessive waste. A new concept is proposed for a floating oil barrier, to be positioned off vulnerable coasts, to interdict, contain, and sequester spilled oil, which can then be recovered and the barrier reused. While conventional oil boom designs rely principally on the immiscibility of oil in water and its relative buoyancy, the new concept barrier avoids the pitfalls of the former by taking advantage of the synergistic benefits of numerous fluid and material properties, including: density, buoyancy, elasticity, polarity, and surface area to volume ratio. Modeled after Zostera marina, commonly called eelgrass, the new barrier, referred to as synthetic eelgrass (SE), behaves analogously. Eelgrass has very long narrow, ribbon-like, leaves which support periphyton, a complex matrix of algae and heterotrophic microbes, which position themselves there to extract nutrients from the seawater flowing past them. In an analogous fashion, oil on, or in, seawater, which comes in contact with SE, is adsorbed on the surface and sequestered there. Secured to the bottom, in shoal waters, SE rises to the surface, and, if the tide is low enough, floats on the sea surface down wind, or down current to snare floating oil. The leaves of SE, called filaments, consist of intrinsically buoyant strips of ethylene methyl acrylate, aka EMA. EMA, made of long chain, saturated, hydrocarbon molecules with nearly homogeneous electron charge distributions, is a non-polar material which is oleophilic and hydrophobic. Oil must be in close proximity to the

  10. Freedom and Responsibility in Synthetic Genomics: The Synthetic Yeast Project

    PubMed Central

    Sliva, Anna; Yang, Huanming; Boeke, Jef D.; Mathews, Debra J. H.

    2015-01-01

    First introduced in 2011, the Synthetic Yeast Genome (Sc2.0) Project is a large international synthetic genomics project that will culminate in the first eukaryotic cell (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) with a fully synthetic genome. With collaborators from across the globe and from a range of institutions spanning from do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio) to commercial enterprises, it is important that all scientists working on this project are cognizant of the ethical and policy issues associated with this field of research and operate under a common set of principles. In this commentary, we survey the current ethics and regulatory landscape of synthetic biology and present the Sc2.0 Statement of Ethics and Governance to which all members of the project adhere. This statement focuses on four aspects of the Sc2.0 Project: societal benefit, intellectual property, safety, and self-governance. We propose that such project-level agreements are an important, valuable, and flexible model of self-regulation for similar global, large-scale synthetic biology projects in order to maximize the benefits and minimize potential harms. PMID:26272997

  11. Toll-like receptor agonists in cancer therapy

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Sylvia

    2010-01-01

    Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are pattern-recognition receptors related to the Drosophila Toll protein. TLR activation alerts the immune system to microbial products and initiates innate and adaptive immune responses. The naturally powerful immunostimulatory property of TLR agonists can be exploited for active immunotherapy against cancer. Antitumor activity has been demonstrated in several cancers, and TLR agonists are now undergoing extensive clinical investigation. This review discusses recent advances in the field and highlights potential opportunities for the clinical development of TLR agonists as single agent immunomodulators, vaccine adjuvants and in combination with conventional cancer therapies. PMID:20563267

  12. Activation of farnesoid X receptor induces RECK expression in mouse liver

    SciTech Connect

    Peng, Xiaomin; Wu, Weibin; Zhu, Bo; Sun, Zhichao; Ji, Lingling; Ruan, Yuanyuan; Zhou, Meiling; Zhou, Lei; Gu, Jianxin

    2014-01-03

    Highlights: •RECK is a novel transcriptional target gene of FXR in mouse liver. •The FXR response element is located within the intron 1 of RECK gene. •FXR agonist reverses the down-regulation of RECK in the liver in mouse NASH model. -- Abstract: Farnesoid X receptor (FXR) belongs to the ligand-activated nuclear receptor superfamily, and functions as a transcription factor regulating the transcription of numerous genes involved in bile acid homeostasis, lipoprotein and glucose metabolism. In the present study, we identified RECK, a membrane-anchored inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases, as a novel target gene of FXR in mouse liver. We found that FXR agonist substantially augmented hepatic RECK mRNA and protein expression in vivo and in vitro. FXR regulated the transcription of RECK through directly binding to FXR response element located within intron 1 of the mouse RECK gene. Moreover, FXR agonist reversed the down-regulation of RECK in the livers from mice fed a methionine and choline deficient diet. In summary, our data suggest that RECK is a novel transcriptional target of FXR in mouse liver, and provide clues to better understanding the function of FXR in liver.

  13. Synthetic genomics and the construction of a synthetic bacterial cell.

    PubMed

    Glass, John I

    2012-01-01

    The first synthetic cellular organism was created in 2010 and based on a very small, very simple bacterium called Mycoplasma mycoides. The bacterium was called synthetic because its DNA genome was chemically synthesized rather than replicated from an existing template DNA, as occurs in all other known cellular life on Earth. The experiment was undertaken in order to develop a system that would allow creation of a minimal bacterial cell that could lead to a better understand of the first principles of cellular life. The effort resulted in new synthetic genomics techniques called genome assembly and genome transplantation. The ability of scientists to design and build bacteria opens new possibilities for creating microbes to solve human problems.

  14. SERCA2a controls the mode of agonist-induced intracellular Ca2+ signal, transcription factor NFAT and proliferation in human vascular smooth muscle cells

    PubMed Central

    Bobe, Regis; Hadri, Lahouaria; Lopez, Jose J.; Sassi, Yassine; Atassi, Fabrice; Karakikes, Ioannis; Liang, Lifan; Limon, Isabelle; Lompré, Anne-Marie; Hatem, Stephane N.; Hajjar, Roger J.; Lipskaia, Larissa

    2011-01-01

    In blood vessels, tone is maintained by agonist-induced cytosolic Ca2+ oscillations of quiescent/contractile vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). However, in synthetic/proliferative VSMCs, Gq/phosphoinositide receptor-coupled agonists trigger a steady-state increase in cytosolic Ca2+ followed by a Store Operated Calcium Entry (SOCE) which translates into activation of the proliferation-associated transcription factor NFAT. Here, we report that in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells (hCASMCs), the sarco/endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase type 2a (SERCA2a) expressed in the contractile form of the hCASMCs, controls the nature of the agonist-induced Ca2+ transient and the resulting down-stream signaling pathway. Indeed, restoring SERCA2a expression by gene transfer in synthetic hCASMCs 1) increased Ca2+ storage capacity; 2) modified agonist-induced IP3R Ca2+ release from steady-state to oscillatory mode (the frequency of agonist-induced IP3R Ca2+ signal was 11.66 ± 1.40/100 sec in SERCA2a-expressing cells (n=39) vs 1.37 ± 0.20/100 sec in control cell (n=45), p<0.01); 3) suppressed SOCE by preventing interactions between SR calcium sensor STIM1 and pore forming unit ORAI1; 4) inhibited calcium regulated transcription factor NFAT and its down-stream physiological function such as proliferation and migration. This study provides evidence for the first time that oscillatory and steady-state patterns of Ca2+ transients have different effects on calcium-dependent physiological functions in smooth muscle cells. PMID:21195084

  15. Characterization of a novel bivalent morphinan possessing kappa agonist and micro agonist/antagonist properties.

    PubMed

    Mathews, Jennifer L; Peng, Xuemei; Xiong, Wennan; Zhang, Ao; Negus, S Stevens; Neumeyer, John L; Bidlack, Jean M

    2005-11-01

    Previous research has shown that compounds with mixed kappa and mu activity may have utility for the treatment of cocaine abuse and dependence. The present study characterizes the pharmacological profile of a bivalent morphinan that was shown to be a kappa opioid receptor agonist and a mu opioid receptor agonist/antagonist. MCL-145 [bis(N-cyclobutylmethylmorphinan) fumarate] is related to the morphinan cyclorphan and its N-cyclobutylmethyl derivative MCL-101 [3-hydroxy-N-cyclobutylmethyl morphinan S-(+)-mandelate]. MCL-145 consists of two morphinans connected by a spacer at the 3-hydroxy position. This compound had K(i) values of 0.078 and 0.20 nM for the kappa and mu opioid receptors, respectively, using radioligand binding assays as shown by Neumeyer et al. in 2003. In the guanosine 5'-O -(3-[(35) S]thiotriphosphate) binding assay, MCL-145 produced an E(max) value of 80% for the kappa opioid receptor and 42% for the mu opioid receptor. The EC(50) values obtained for this compound were 4.3 and 3.1 nM for the kappa and mu opioid receptors, respectively. In vivo MCL-145 produced a full dose-response curve in the 55 degrees C warm water tail-flick test and was equipotent to morphine. The agonist properties of MCL-145 were antagonized by the mu-selective antagonist beta-funaltrexamine and the kappa-selective antagonist nor-binaltorphimine. MCL-145 also acted as a mu antagonist, as measured by the inhibition of morphine-induced antinociception.

  16. Conformational Restriction and Enantioseparation Increase Potency and Selectivity of Cyanoguanidine-Type Histamine H4 Receptor Agonists.

    PubMed

    Geyer, Roland; Nordemann, Uwe; Strasser, Andrea; Wittmann, Hans-Joachim; Buschauer, Armin

    2016-04-14

    2-Cyano-1-[4-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)butyl]-3-[2-(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]guanidine (UR-PI376, 1) is a potent and selective agonist of the human histamine H4 receptor (hH4R). To gain information on the active conformation, we synthesized analogues of 1 with a cyclopentane-1,3-diyl linker. Affinities and functional activities were determined at recombinant hHxR (x: 1-4) subtypes on Sf9 cell membranes (radioligand binding, [(35)S]GTPγS, or GTPase assays) and in part in luciferase assays on human or mouse H4R (HEK-293 cells). The most potent H4R agonists among 14 racemates were separated by chiral HPLC, yielding eight enantiomerically pure compounds. Configurations were assigned based on X-ray structures of intermediates and a stereocontrolled synthetic pathway. (+)-2-Cyano-1-{[trans-(1S,3S)-3-(1H-imidazol-4-yl)cyclopentyl]methyl}-3-[2-(phenylsulfanyl)ethyl]guanidine ((1S,3S)-UR-RG98, 39a) was the most potent H4R agonist in this series (EC50 11 nM; H4R vs H3R, >100-fold selectivity; H1R, H2R, negligible activities), whereas the optical antipode proved to be an H4R antagonist ([(35)S]GTPγS assay). MD simulations confirmed differential stabilization of the active and inactive H4R state by the enantiomers.

  17. Effect Of α2-Adrenergic Agonists And Antagonists On Cytokine Release From Human Lung Macrophages Cultured In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Piazza, O.; Staiano, R.I.; De Robertis, E.; Conti, G.; Di Crescenzo, V.; Loffredo, S.; Marone, G.; Marinosci, G. Zito; Cataldi, M. M.

    2016-01-01

    The most trusted hypothesis to explain how α2-adrenergic agonists may preserve pulmonary functions in critically ill patients is that they directly act on macrophages by interfering with an autocrine/paracrine adrenergic system that controls cytokine release through locally synthetized noradrenaline and α1- and α2-adrenoreceptors. We tested this hypothesis in primary cultures of resident macrophages from human lung (HLMs). HLMs were isolated by centrifugation on percoll gradients from macroscopically healthy human lung tissue obtained from four different patients at the time of lung resection for cancer. HLMs from these patients showed a significant expression of α2A, α2B and α2C adrenoreceptors both at the mRNA and at the protein level. To evaluate whether α2 adrenoreceptors controlled cytokine release from HMLs, we measured IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-α concentrations in the culture medium in basal conditions and after preincubation with several α2-adrenergic agonists or antagonists. Neither the pretreatment with the α2-adrenergic agonists clonidine, medetomidine or dexdemetomidine or with the α2-adrenergic antagonist yohimbine caused significant changes in the response of any of these cytokines to LPS. These results show that, different from what reported in rodents, clonidine and dexdemetomidine do not directly suppress cytokine release from human pulmonary macrophages. This suggests that alternative mechanisms such as effects on immune cells activation or the modulation of autonomic neurotransmission could be responsible for the beneficial effects of these drugs on lung function in critical patients. PMID:27896229

  18. Meeting Report: Synthetic Biology Jamboree for Undergraduates

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, A. Malcolm

    2005-01-01

    The field of synthetic biology (the name is derived from an analogy to synthetic chemistry) has recognized itself as a "field" only since about 2002. Synthetic biology has gotten some high-profile attention recently, but most people are not aware the field even exists. Synthetic biologists apply engineering principles to genomic circuits to…

  19. Control theory meets synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Del Vecchio, Domitilla; Dy, Aaron J; Qian, Yili

    2016-07-01

    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology.

  20. Control theory meets synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The past several years have witnessed an increased presence of control theoretic concepts in synthetic biology. This review presents an organized summary of how these control design concepts have been applied to tackle a variety of problems faced when building synthetic biomolecular circuits in living cells. In particular, we describe success stories that demonstrate how simple or more elaborate control design methods can be used to make the behaviour of synthetic genetic circuits within a single cell or across a cell population more reliable, predictable and robust to perturbations. The description especially highlights technical challenges that uniquely arise from the need to implement control designs within a new hardware setting, along with implemented or proposed solutions. Some engineering solutions employing complex feedback control schemes are also described, which, however, still require a deeper theoretical analysis of stability, performance and robustness properties. Overall, this paper should help synthetic biologists become familiar with feedback control concepts as they can be used in their application area. At the same time, it should provide some domain knowledge to control theorists who wish to enter the rising and exciting field of synthetic biology. PMID:27440256

  1. Potentiation of the teratogenic effects induced by coadministration of retinoic acid or phytanic acid/phytol with synthetic retinoid receptor ligands.

    PubMed

    Elmazar, M M A; Nau, H

    2004-11-01

    Previous studies in our laboratory identified retinoid-induced defects that are mediated by RAR-RXR heterodimerization using interaction of synthetic ligands selective for the retinoid receptors RAR and RXR in mice (Elmazar et al. 1997, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 146:21-28; Elmazar et al. 2001, Toxicol Appl Pharmacol 170:2-9; Nau and Elmazar 1999, Handbook of experimental pharmacology, vol 139, Retinoids, Springer-Verlag, pp 465-487). The present study was designed to investigate whether these RAR-RXR heterodimer-mediated defects can be also induced by interactions of natural and synthetic ligands for retinoid receptors. A non-teratogenic dose of the natural RXR agonist phytanic acid (100 mg/kg orally) or its precursor phytol (500 mg/kg orally) was coadministered with a synthetic RARalpha-agonist (Am580; 5 mg/kg orally) to NMRI mice on day 8.25 of gestation (GD8.25). Furthermore, a non-teratogenic dose of the synthetic RXR agonist LGD1069 (20 mg/kg orally) was also coadministered with the natural RAR agonist, all- trans-retinoic acid (atRA, 20 mg/kg orally) or its precursor retinol (ROH, 50 mg/kg orally) to NMRI mice on GD8.25. The teratogenic outcome was scored in day-18 fetuses. The incidence of Am580-induced resorptions, spina bifida aperta, micrognathia, anotia, kidney hypoplasia, dilated bladder, undescended testis, atresia ani, short and absent tail, fused ribs and fetal weight retardation were potentiated by coadministration of phytanic acid or its precursor phytol. Am580-induced exencephaly and cleft palate, which were not potentiated by coadministration with the synthetic RXR agonists, were also not potentiated by coadministration with either phytanic acid or its precursor phytol. LGD1069 potentiated atRA- and ROH-induced resorption, exencephaly, spina bifida, aperta, ear anotia and microtia, macroglossia, kidney hypoplasia, undescended testis, atresia ani, tail defects and fetal weight retardation, but not cleft palate. These results suggest that synergistic

  2. Structural insight into the MC4R conformational changes via different agonist-mediated receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yingkui; Chen, Min; Dimmitt, Reed; Harmon, Carroll M

    2014-11-18

    The melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) plays a key role in the regulation of food intake and body weight. Previous studies indicate that α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) binds to MC4R and activates three signal pathways (cAMP, calcium, and mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways), whereas MC4R synthetic agonist THIQ can activate only the cAMP pathway. The molecular basis of the MC4R responsible for different ligand-mediated signaling is unknown. We hypothesize that different MC4R agonists can stabilize different MC4R conformations and result in ligand-mediated signal transduction. In this study, we examined the effect of the MC4R conformational change in cAMP signaling pathways mediated by different agonists by cross-linking two transmembrane helices (TM3 and TM6). We generated and tested 11 single and 8 double mutations that are located at the end of TM3 and beginning of TM6 in MC4R. Our results indicate that (1) single or double mutations of the MC4R did not significantly alter cAMP production induced by NDP-MSH compared to that of wild-type MC4R except single mutation 243H (the mutation 243H significantly decreased cAMP production mediated by NDP-MSH or THIQ due to a low level of receptor expression at the cell surface), (2) the mutation 247H significantly decreased THIQ-mediated cAMP production but not NDP-MSH, and (3) the receptor cAMP signaling pathway activation by THIQ is blocked in the presence of Zn(2+) with the double mutation I150/242H but activation by NDP-MSH is not, suggesting that the activated conformation of MC4R mediated by NDP-MSH and THIQ is different. This study provides insight into the molecular basis of MC4R responsible for receptor signaling mediated by different agonists.

  3. Octopaminergic agonists for the cockroach neuronal octopamine receptor.

    PubMed

    Hirashima, Akinori; Morimoto, Masako; Kuwano, Eiichi; Eto, Morifusa

    2003-01-01

    The compounds 1-(2,6-diethylphenyl)imidazolidine-2-thione and 2-(2,6-diethylphenyl)imidazolidine showed the almost same activity as octopamine in stimulating adenylate cyclase of cockroach thoracic nervous system among 70 octopamine agonists, suggesting that only these compounds are full octopamine agonists and other compounds are partial octopamine agonists. The quantitative structure-activity relationship of a set of 22 octopamine agonists against receptor 2 in cockroach nervous tissue, was analyzed using receptor surface modeling. Three-dimensional energetics descriptors were calculated from receptor surface model/ligand interaction and these three-dimensional descriptors were used in quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis. A receptor surface model was generated using some subset of the most active structures and the results provided useful information in the characterization and differentiation of octopaminergic receptor.

  4. (R)-(-)-10-methyl-11-hydroxyaporphine: a highly selective serotonergic agonist.

    PubMed

    Cannon, J G; Mohan, P; Bojarski, J; Long, J P; Bhatnagar, R K; Leonard, P A; Flynn, J R; Chatterjee, T K

    1988-02-01

    Prior work in these laboratories identified (+/-)-5-hydroxy-6-methyl-2- (di-n-propylamino)tetralin as a dopaminergic agonist prodrug. The ortho methyl hydroxy aromatic substitution pattern in this molecule has now been incorporated into the aporphine ring system to give a congener of the dopaminergic agonist apomorphine in which the position 10 OH group has been replaced by methyl. Preparation of the target compound involved acid-catalyzed rearrangement of the 3-(1-phenyltetrazolyl) ether of morphine and subsequent molecular modification of the product, the 10-(1-phenyltetrazolyl) ether of (R)-(-)-apomorphine. Surprisingly, the target compound elicited no responses in any assays for effects at dopamine receptors, but rather it displayed pharmacological properties consistent with its being a serotonergic agonist with a high degree of selectivity for 5-HT1A receptors similar to the serotonergic agonist 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino)tetralin.

  5. Partial agonist therapy in schizophrenia: relevance to diminished criminal responsibility.

    PubMed

    Gavaudan, Gilles; Magalon, David; Cohen, Julien; Lançon, Christophe; Léonetti, Georges; Pélissier-Alicot, Anne-Laure

    2010-11-01

    Pathological gambling (PG), classified in the DSM-IV among impulse control disorders, is defined as inappropriate, persistent gaming for money with serious personal, family, and social consequences. Offenses are frequently committed to obtain money for gambling. Pathological gambling, a planned and structured behavioral disorder, has often been described as a complication of dopamine agonist treatment in patients with Parkinson's disease. It has never been described in patients with schizophrenia receiving dopamine agonists. We present two patients with schizophrenia, previously treated with antipsychotic drugs without any suggestion of PG, who a short time after starting aripiprazole, a dopamine partial agonist, developed PG and criminal behavior, which totally resolved when aripiprazole was discontinued. Based on recent advances in research on PG and adverse drug reactions to dopamine agonists in Parkinson's disease, we postulate a link between aripiprazole and PG in both our patients with schizophrenia and raise the question of criminal responsibility.

  6. Agonist Replacement for Stimulant Dependence: A Review of Clinical Research

    PubMed Central

    Stoops, William W.; Rush, Craig R.

    2013-01-01

    Stimulant use disorders are an unrelenting public health concern worldwide. Agonist replacement therapy is among the most effective strategies for managing substance use disorders including nicotine and opioid dependence. The present paper reviewed clinical data from human laboratory self-administration studies and clinical trials to determine whether agonist replacement therapy is a viable strategy for managing cocaine and/or amphetamine use disorders. The extant literature suggests that agonist replacement therapy may be effective for managing stimulant use disorders, however, the clinical selection of an agonist replacement medication likely needs to be based on the pharmacological mechanism of the medication and the stimulant abused by patients. Specifically, dopamine releasers appear most effective for reducing cocaine use whereas dopamine reuptake inhibitors appear most effective for reducing amphetamine use. PMID:23574440

  7. Selecting agonists from single cells infected with combinatorial antibody libraries.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hongkai; Yea, Kyungmoo; Xie, Jia; Ruiz, Diana; Wilson, Ian A; Lerner, Richard A

    2013-05-23

    We describe a system for direct selection of antibodies that are receptor agonists. Combinatorial antibody libraries in lentiviruses are used to infect eukaryotic cells that contain a fluorescent reporter system coupled to the receptor for which receptor agonist antibodies are sought. In this embodiment of the method, very large numbers of candidate antibodies expressing lentivirus and eukaryotic reporter cells are packaged together in a format where each is capable of replication, thereby forging a direct link between genotype and phenotype. Following infection, cells that fluoresce are sorted and the integrated genes encoding the agonist antibodies recovered. We validated the system by illustrating its ability to generate rapidly potent antibody agonists that are complete thrombopoietin phenocopies. The system should be generalizable to any pathway where its activation can be linked to production of a selectable phenotype.

  8. Agonist pharmacology of two Drosophila GABA receptor splice variants.

    PubMed Central

    Hosie, A. M.; Sattelle, D. B.

    1996-01-01

    1. The Drosophila melanogaster gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor subunits, RDLac and DRC 17-1-2, form functional homo-oligomeric receptors when heterologously expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. The subunits differ in only 17 amino acids, principally in regions of the N-terminal domain which determine agonist pharmacology in vertebrate ionotropic neurotransmitter receptors. A range of conformationally restricted GABA analogues were tested on the two homo-oligomers and their agonists pharmacology compared with that of insect and vertebrate iontropic GABA receptors. 2. The actions of GABA, isoguvacine and isonipecotic acid on RDLac and DRC 17-1-2 homo-oligomers were compared, by use of two-electrode voltage-clamp. All three compounds were full agonists of both receptors, but were 4-6 fold less potent agonists of DRC 17-1-2 homo-oligomers than of RDLac. However, the relative potencies of these agonists on each receptor were very similar. 3. A more complete agonist profile was established for RDLac homo-oligomers. The most potent agonists of these receptors were GABA, muscimol and trans-aminocrotonic acid (TACA), which were approximately equipotent. RDLac homo-oligomers were fully activated by a range of GABA analogues, with the order of potency: GABA > ZAPA ((Z)-3-[(aminoiminomethyl)thio]prop-2-enoic acid) > isoguvacine > imidazole-4-acetic acid > or = isonipecotic acid > or = cis-aminocrotonic acid (CACA) > beta-alanine. 3-Aminopropane sulphonic acid (3-APS), a partial agonist of RDLac homo-oligomers, was the weakest agonist tested and 100 fold less potent than GABA. 4. SR95531, an antagonist of vertebrate GABAA receptors, competitively inhibited the GABA responses of RDLac homo-oligomers, which have previously been found to insensitive to bicuculline. However, its potency (IC50 500 microM) was much reduced when compared to GABAA receptors. 5. The agonist pharmacology of Drosophila RDLac homo-oligomers exhibits aspects of the characteristic pharmacology of

  9. Beta2-agonists and exercise-induced asthma.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Sandra D; Caillaud, Corinne; Brannan, John D

    2006-01-01

    Beta2-agonists taken immediately before exercise provide significant protection against exercise- induced asthma (EIA) in most patients. However, when they are taken daily, there are some negative aspects regarding severity, control, and recovery from EIA. First, there is a significant minority (15-20%) of asthmatics whose EIA is not prevented by beta2-agonists, even when inhaled corticosteroids are used concomitantly. Second, with daily use, there is a decline in duration of the protective effect of long-acting beta2-agonists. Third, if breakthrough EIA occurs, recovery of lung function is slower in response to a beta2-agonist, and additional doses are often required to achieve pre-exercise values. If a person who takes a beta2-agonist daily experiences problems with exercise, then the physician should consider changing the treatment regimen to achieve better control of EIA. These problems likely result from desensitization of the beta2-receptor on the mast cell, which enhances mediator release, and on the bronchial smooth muscle, which enhances the bronchoconstrictor response and delays recovery from EIA. These effects are reversed within 72 h after cessation of a beta2-agonists. The important clinical question is: Are we actually compromising the beneficial effects of beta2-agonists on the prevention and recovery from EIA by prescribing them daily? Patients with EIA need to ensure that their doses of inhaled corticosteroid or other anti-inflammatory therapy are optimized so that, if necessary, a beta2-agonist can be used intermittently as prophylactic medication with greater confidence in the outcome.

  10. [Effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists on carbohydrate metabolism control].

    PubMed

    Fernández-García, José Carlos; Colomo, Natalia; Tinahones, Francisco José

    2014-09-01

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are a new group of drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). In the present article, we review the available evidence on the efficacy of GLP-1 receptor agonists as glucose-lowering agents, their place in therapeutic algorithms, and the clinical factors associated with a favorable treatment response. Finally, we describe the clinical characteristics of patients who may benefit from these drugs.

  11. [Effects of GLP-1 receptor agonists on carbohydrate metabolism control].

    PubMed

    Fernández-García, José Carlos; Colomo, Natalia; Tinahones, Francisco José

    2014-01-01

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonists are a new group of drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM2). In the present article, we review the available evidence on the efficacy of GLP-1 receptor agonists as glucose-lowering agents, their place in therapeutic algorithms, and the clinical factors associated with a favorable treatment response. Finally, we describe the clinical characteristics of patients who may benefit from these drugs.

  12. Identification of M-CSF agonists and antagonists

    DOEpatents

    Pandit, Jayvardhan; Jancarik, Jarmila; Kim, Sung-Hou; Koths, Kirston; Halenbeck, Robert; Fear, Anna Lisa; Taylor, Eric; Yamamoto, Ralph; Bohm, Andrew

    2000-02-15

    The present invention is directed to methods for crystallizing macrophage colony stimulating factor. The present invention is also directed to methods for designing and producing M-CSF agonists and antagonists using information derived from the crystallographic structure of M-CSF. The invention is also directed to methods for screening M-CSF agonists and antagonists. In addition, the present invention is directed to an isolated, purified, soluble and functional M-CSF receptor.

  13. Opioid receptor agonists reduce brain edema in stroke.

    PubMed

    Yang, Li; Wang, Hezhen; Shah, Kaushik; Karamyan, Vardan T; Abbruscato, Thomas J

    2011-04-06

    Cerebral edema is a leading cause of mortality in stroke patients. The purpose of this study was to assess a non-selective opioid receptor agonist, biphalin, in decreasing reducing brain edema formation using both in vitro and in vivo models of stroke. For the in situ model of ischemia, hippocampal slices were exposed to oxygen glucose deprivation (OGD) conditions and we observed that hippocampal water content was increased, compared to normoxia. Treatment with the mu agonist, Tyr-D-Ala', N-CH, -Phe4, Glyol-Enkephalin (DAMGO), delta opioid agonists, D-pen(2), D-phe(5) enkephalin (DPDPE), and kappa agonist, U50 488, all significantly decreased brain slice water gain. Interestingly, the non-selective agonist, biphalin, exhibited a statistically significant (P<0.01) greater effect in decreasing water content in OGD-exposed hippocampal slices, compared with mu, delta, and kappa selective opioid agonists. Moreover, biphalin exhibited anti-edematous effects in a dose responsive manner. The non-selective opioid antagonist, naloxone, returned the water content nearly back to original OGD values for all opioid agonist treatments, supporting that these effects were mediated by an opioid receptor pathway. Furthermore, biphalin significantly decreased edema (53%) and infarct (48%) ratios, and neuronal recovery from stroke, compared with the vehicle-treated groups in a 12h permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) model of focal ischemia. Biphalin also significantly decreased the cell volume increase in primary neuronal cells exposed to OGD condition. These data suggest that opioid receptor activation may provide neuroprotection during stroke and further investigations are needed in the development of novel opioid agonist as efficacious treatments for brain ischemia.

  14. Synthetic Peptides as Protein Mimics

    PubMed Central

    Groß, Andrea; Hashimoto, Chie; Sticht, Heinrich; Eichler, Jutta

    2016-01-01

    The design and generation of molecules capable of mimicking the binding and/or functional sites of proteins represents a promising strategy for the exploration and modulation of protein function through controlled interference with the underlying molecular interactions. Synthetic peptides have proven an excellent type of molecule for the mimicry of protein sites because such peptides can be generated as exact copies of protein fragments, as well as in diverse chemical modifications, which includes the incorporation of a large range of non-proteinogenic amino acids as well as the modification of the peptide backbone. Apart from extending the chemical and structural diversity presented by peptides, such modifications also increase the proteolytic stability of the molecules, enhancing their utility for biological applications. This article reviews recent advances by this and other laboratories in the use of synthetic protein mimics to modulate protein function, as well as to provide building blocks for synthetic biology. PMID:26835447

  15. Designer Drugs: A Synthetic Catastrophe.

    PubMed

    Fratantonio, James; Andrade, Lawrence; Febo, Marcelo

    Synthetic stimulants can cause hallucinations, aggressive behaviors, death and are sometimes legal. These substances are sold as plant food and bath salts that are "Not for Human Consumption", therefore skirting the 1986 Federal Analogue Act and giving a false pretense of safety. Studies have proved that these substances are toxic, have a high abuse potential, and are becoming extremely prevalent in the United States. This creates a dilemma for law enforcement agents, hospitals, and substance use disorder treatment centers. Urine Drug Testing is utilized as a clinical diagnostic tool in substance use disorder treatment centers, and the furious pace at which new synthetic stimulants are introduced to the black market are making the detection via urine increasingly difficult. This article will discuss the prevalence, pharmacology and difficulty developing laboratory assays to detect synthetic stimulants.

  16. Synthetic neurosteroids on brain protection

    PubMed Central

    Rey, Mariana; Coirini, Héctor

    2015-01-01

    Neurosteroids, like allopregnanolone and pregnanolone, are endogenous regulators of neuronal excitability. Inside the brain, they are highly selective and potent modulators of GABAA receptor activity. Their anticonvulsant, anesthetics and anxiolytic properties are useful for the treatments of several neurological and psychiatric disorders via reducing the risks of side effects obtained with the commercial drugs. The principal disadvantages of endogenous neurosteroids administration are their rapid metabolism and their low oral bioavailability. Synthetic steroids analogues with major stability or endogenous neurosteroids stimulation synthesis might constitute promising novel strategies for the treatment of several disorders. Numerous studies indicate that the 3α-hydroxyl configuration is the key for binding and activity, but modifications in the steroid nucleus may emphasize different pharmacophores. So far, several synthetic steroids have been developed with successful neurosteroid-like effects. In this work, we summarize the properties of various synthetic steroids probed in trials throughout the analysis of several neurosteroids-like actions. PMID:25788907

  17. Differential Optical Synthetic Aperture Radar

    DOEpatents

    Stappaerts, Eddy A.

    2005-04-12

    A new differential technique for forming optical images using a synthetic aperture is introduced. This differential technique utilizes a single aperture to obtain unique (N) phases that can be processed to produce a synthetic aperture image at points along a trajectory. This is accomplished by dividing the aperture into two equal "subapertures", each having a width that is less than the actual aperture, along the direction of flight. As the platform flies along a given trajectory, a source illuminates objects and the two subapertures are configured to collect return signals. The techniques of the invention is designed to cancel common-mode errors, trajectory deviations from a straight line, and laser phase noise to provide the set of resultant (N) phases that can produce an image having a spatial resolution corresponding to a synthetic aperture.

  18. Designer Drugs: A Synthetic Catastrophe

    PubMed Central

    Fratantonio, James; Andrade, Lawrence; Febo, Marcelo

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic stimulants can cause hallucinations, aggressive behaviors, death and are sometimes legal. These substances are sold as plant food and bath salts that are “Not for Human Consumption”, therefore skirting the 1986 Federal Analogue Act and giving a false pretense of safety. Studies have proved that these substances are toxic, have a high abuse potential, and are becoming extremely prevalent in the United States. This creates a dilemma for law enforcement agents, hospitals, and substance use disorder treatment centers. Urine Drug Testing is utilized as a clinical diagnostic tool in substance use disorder treatment centers, and the furious pace at which new synthetic stimulants are introduced to the black market are making the detection via urine increasingly difficult. This article will discuss the prevalence, pharmacology and difficulty developing laboratory assays to detect synthetic stimulants. PMID:27617301

  19. Behavioural effects of selective tachykinin agonists in midbrain dopamine regions.

    PubMed

    Stoessl, A J; Szczutkowski, E; Glenn, B; Watson, I

    1991-11-29

    The effects of selective NK-1, NK-2 and NK-3 tachykinin agonists in midbrain dopamine cell containing regions were investigated in the rat. The NK-3 agonist senktide induced locomotion, rearing and sniffing following infusion into the substantia nigra pars compacta, and to a lesser extent in the ventral tegmental area. These behavioural responses were not seen following infusion of the selective NK-1 agonist [Sar9,Met (O2)11]SP or the NK-2 agonist [N1e10]NKA4-10. In contrast, grooming was induced only by the NK-1 agonist administered into the substantia nigra. Yawning, chewing mouth movements and wet dog shakes were all seen following infusion of senktide into the ventral tegmental area. These findings suggest that (i) dopamine-mediated behavioural responses seen following tachykinin administration into the midbrain are dependent upon stimulation of NK-3 tachykinin receptors, (ii) tachykinin-induced grooming is mediated by stimulation of NK-1 receptors and (iii) some of the previously described 5-HT mediated behaviours seen following administration of NK-3 tachykinin agonists are probably generated by stimulation of 5-HT cell bodies in the ventral tegmental area.

  20. Histamine H3-receptor inverse agonists as novel antipsychotics.

    PubMed

    Ito, Chihiro

    2009-06-01

    Schizophrenia (SZ) that is resistant to treatment with dopamine (DA) D2 antagonists may involve changes other than those in the dopaminergic system. Recently, histamine (HA), which regulates arousal and cognitive functions, has been suggested to act as a neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Four HA receptors-H1, H2, H3, and H4-have been identified. Our recent basic and clinical studies revealed that brain HA improved the symptoms of SZ. The H3 receptor is primarily localized in the central nervous system, and it acts not only as a presynaptic autoreceptor that modulates the HA release but also as a presynaptic heteroreceptor that regulates the release of other neurotransmitters such as monoamines and amino acids. H3-receptor inverse agonists have been considered to improve cognitive functions. Many atypical antipsychotics are H3-receptor antagonists. Imidazole-containing H3-receptor inverse agonists inhibit not only cytochrome P450 but also hERG potassium channels (encoded by the human ether-a-go-go-related gene). Several imidazole H3-receptor inverse agonists also have high affinity for H4 receptors, which are expressed at high levels in mast cells and leukocytes. Clozapine is an H4-receptor agonist; this agonist activity may be related to the serious side effect of agranulocytosis caused by clozapine. Therefore, selective non-imidazole H3-receptor inverse agonists can be considered as novel antipsychotics that may improve refractory SZ.

  1. Synthetic maternal pheromone stimulates feeding behavior and weight gain in weaned pigs.

    PubMed

    McGlone, J J; Anderson, D L

    2002-12-01

    One hundred and forty-four pigs were used to determine the effects of a putative synthetic maternal pheromone on behavior and performance of weanling pigs. Each pen of weaned pigs contained three pigs that were given free access to water and feed. Pigs were videotaped in time lapse for 48 h after weaning and weekly body weights and feed disappearances were recorded for 4 wk. Treatments included: a) control (vehicle applied), b) 30 mL of synthetic pheromone applied to the feeder, or c) 10 mL of synthetic pheromone applied to each of three pigs' snouts. Pigs exposed to the synthetic pheromone spent more (P < 0.05) time with their heads in the feeder and less (P < 0.05) time drinking, lying down, or engaged in agonistic behaviors than control pigs. Pigs exposed to the synthetic pheromone were more (P < 0.05) active during the 48-h period of video taping than control pigs. Pigs exposed to the synthetic pheromone (either on the feeder or their snout) had increased (P < 0.01) average daily gain (ADG) and better (P < 0.01) feed:gain ratio than control pigs over the 28-d postweaning period. In conclusion, the putative synthetic pheromone, applied once at weaning, stimulated apparent feeding behaviors, and reduced fighting and apparent drinking behaviors during the first 48 h after weaning. ADG and feed:gain ratio were improved by application of the putative synthetic pheromone either directly on the feeder or when painted on the pigs' snouts. Olfactory signals can modulate adaptation to the postweaning environment in ways that may improve pig performance and welfare.

  2. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Gronvall, Gigi Kwik

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative--additional investments will expand markets--but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized.

  3. US Competitiveness in Synthetic Biology

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Synthetic biology is an emerging technical field that aims to make biology easier to engineer; the field has applications in strategically important sectors for the US economy. While the United States currently leads in synthetic biology R&D, other nations are heavily investing in order to boost their economies, which will inevitably diminish the US leadership position. This outcome is not entirely negative—additional investments will expand markets—but it is critical that the US government take steps to remain competitive: There are applications from which the US population and economy may benefit; there are specific applications with importance for national defense; and US technical leadership will ensure that US experts have a leading role in synthetic biology governance, regulation, and oversight. Measures to increase competitiveness in S&T generally are broadly applicable for synthetic biology and should be pursued. However, the US government will also need to take action on fundamental issues that will affect the field's development, such as countering anti-GMO (genetically modified organism) sentiments and anti-GMO legislation. The United States should maintain its regulatory approach so that it is the product that is regulated, not the method used to create a product. At the same time, the United States needs to ensure that the regulatory framework is updated so that synthetic biology products do not fall into regulatory gaps. Finally, the United States needs to pay close attention to how synthetic biology applications may be governed internationally, such as through the Nagoya Protocol of the Convention on Biological Diversity, so that beneficial applications may be realized. PMID:26690379

  4. Design Automation in Synthetic Biology.

    PubMed

    Appleton, Evan; Madsen, Curtis; Roehner, Nicholas; Densmore, Douglas

    2017-04-03

    Design automation refers to a category of software tools for designing systems that work together in a workflow for designing, building, testing, and analyzing systems with a target behavior. In synthetic biology, these tools are called bio-design automation (BDA) tools. In this review, we discuss the BDA tools areas-specify, design, build, test, and learn-and introduce the existing software tools designed to solve problems in these areas. We then detail the functionality of some of these tools and show how they can be used together to create the desired behavior of two types of modern synthetic genetic regulatory networks.

  5. Synthetic Aperture Radar Oceanographic Investigations.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-03-01

    Shuchman, P.G. Teleki, S.V. Hsiao, O.H. Shemdin , and W.E. Brown, Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging of Ocean Waves : Comparison with Wave Measurements, J... Shemdin , Synthetic Aperture Radar Imaging of Ocean Waves during the Marineland Experiment, IEEE J. Oceanic Eg., OE-8, pp. 83-90, 1983. 12. R.A...If the surface reflectivity is assumed to be spatially un- section. are computed from the wave height spectrum as correlated, i.e. follows . (x. Y. t

  6. Synthetic biology in cellular immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Chakravarti, Deboki; Wong, Wilson W.

    2015-01-01

    The adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T cells with cancer-targeting receptors has shown tremendous promise for eradicating tumors in clinical trials. This form of cellular immunotherapy presents a unique opportunity to incorporate advanced systems and synthetic biology approaches to create cancer therapeutics with novel functions. Here, we first review the development of synthetic receptors, switches, and circuits to control the location, duration, and strength of T cell activity against tumors. In addition, we discuss the cellular engineering and genome editing of host cells (or the chassis) to improve the efficacy of cell-based cancer therapeutics, and to reduce the time and cost of manufacturing. PMID:26088008

  7. Novel chiral-diazepines function as specific, selective receptor agonists with variable coupling and species variability in human, mouse and rat BRS-3 receptor cells.

    PubMed

    Ramos-Álvarez, Irene; Nakamura, Taichi; Mantey, Samuel A; Moreno, Paola; Nuche-Berenguer, Bernardo; Jensen, Robert T

    2016-01-01

    Bombesin receptor subtype-3 (BRS-3) is an orphan G-protein coupled receptor which is classified in the bombesin receptor (BnR) family with which it shares high homology. It is present widely in the central nervous system and peripheral tissues and primarily receptor-knockout studies suggest it is involved in metabolic-glucose-insulin homeostasis, feeding and other CNS behaviors, gastrointestinal motility and cancer growth. However, the role of BRS-3 physiologically or in pathologic disorders has been not well defined because the natural ligand is unknown. Until recently, no selective agonists/antagonists were available; however, recently synthetic high-affinity agonists, chiral-diazepines nonpeptide-analogs (3F, 9D, 9F, 9G) with low CNS penetrance, were described, but are not well-categorized pharmacologically or in different labarotory species. The present study characterizes the affinities, potencies, selectivities of the chiral-diazepine BRS-3 agonists in human and rodents (mice,rat). In human BRS-3 receptors, the relative affinities of the chiral-diazepines was 9G>9D>9F>3F; each was selective for BRS-3. For stimulating PLC activity, in h-BRS-3 each of the four chiral diazepine analogs was fully efficacious and their relative potencies were: 9G (EC50: 9 nM)>9D (EC50: 9.4 nM)>9F (EC50: 39 nM)>3F (EC50: 48 nM). None of the four chiral diazepine analogs activated r,m,h-GRPR/NMBR. The nonpeptide agonists showed marked differences from each other and a peptide agonist in receptor-coupling-stiochiometry and in affinities/potencies in different species. These results demonstrate that chiral diazepine analogs (9G, 9D, 9F, 3F) have high/affinity/potency for the BRS-3 receptor in human and rodent cells, but different coupling-relationships and species differences from a peptide agonist.

  8. RM-493, a Melanocortin-4 Receptor (MC4R) Agonist, Increases Resting Energy Expenditure in Obese Individuals

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kong Y.; Muniyappa, Ranganath; Abel, Brent S.; Mullins, Katherine P.; Staker, Pamela; Brychta, Robert J.; Zhao, Xiongce; Ring, Michael; Psota, Tricia L.; Cone, Roger D.; Panaro, Brandon L.; Gottesdiener, Keith M.; Van der Ploeg, Lex H.T.; Reitman, Marc L.

    2015-01-01

    Context: Activation of the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R) with the synthetic agonist RM-493 decreases body weight and increases energy expenditure (EE) in nonhuman primates. The effects of MC4R agonists on EE in humans have not been examined to date. Objective, Design, and Setting: In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study, we examined the effects of the MC4R agonist RM-493 on resting energy expenditure (REE) in obese subjects in an inpatient setting. Study Participants and Methods: Twelve healthy adults (6 men and 6 women) with body mass index of 35.7 ± 2.9 kg/m2 (mean ± SD) received RM-493 (1 mg/24 h) or placebo by continuous subcutaneous infusion over 72 hours, followed immediately by crossover to the alternate treatment. All subjects received a weight-maintenance diet (50% carbohydrate, 30% fat, and 20% protein) and performed 30 minutes of standardized exercise daily. Continuous EE was measured on the third treatment day in a room calorimeter, and REE in the fasting state was defined as the mean of 2 30-minute resting periods. Results: RM-493 increased REE vs placebo by 6.4% (95% confidence interval, 0.68–13.02%), on average by 111 kcal/24 h (95% confidence interval, 15–207 kcal, P = .03). Total daily EE trended higher, whereas the thermic effect of a test meal and exercise EE did not differ significantly. The 23-hour nonexercise respiratory quotient was lower during RM-493 treatment (0.833 ± 0.021 vs 0.848 ± 0.022, P = .02). No adverse effect on heart rate or blood pressure was observed. Conclusions: Short-term administration of the MC4R agonist RM-493 increases REE and shifts substrate oxidation to fat in obese individuals. PMID:25675384

  9. Identification of Determinants Required for Agonistic and Inverse Agonistic Ligand Properties at the ADP Receptor P2Y12

    PubMed Central

    Schmidt, Philipp; Ritscher, Lars; Dong, Elizabeth N.; Hermsdorf, Thomas; Cöster, Maxi; Wittkopf, Doreen; Meiler, Jens

    2013-01-01

    The ADP receptor P2Y12 belongs to the superfamily of G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs), and its activation triggers platelet aggregation. Therefore, potent antagonists, such as clopidogrel, are of high clinical relevance in prophylaxis and treatment of thromboembolic events. P2Y12 displays an elevated basal activity in vitro, and as such, inverse agonists may be therapeutically beneficial compared with antagonists. Only a few inverse agonists of P2Y12 have been described. To expand this limited chemical space and improve understanding of structural determinants of inverse agonist-receptor interaction, this study screened a purine compound library for lead structures using wild-type (WT) human P2Y12 and 28 constitutively active mutants. Results showed that ATP and ATP derivatives are agonists at P2Y12. The potency at P2Y12 was 2-(methylthio)-ADP > 2-(methylthio)-ATP > ADP > ATP. Determinants required for agonistic ligand activity were identified. Molecular docking studies revealed a binding pocket for the ATP derivatives that is bordered by transmembrane helices 3, 5, 6, and 7 in human P2Y12, with Y105, E188, R256, Y259, and K280 playing a particularly important role in ligand interaction. N-Methyl-anthraniloyl modification at the 3′-OH of the 2′-deoxyribose leads to ligands (mant-deoxy-ATP [dATP], mant-deoxy-ADP) with inverse agonist activity. Inverse agonist activity of mant-dATP was found at the WT human P2Y12 and half of the constitutive active P2Y12 mutants. This study showed that, in addition to ADP and ATP, other ATP derivatives are not only ligands of P2Y12 but also agonists. Modification of the ribose within ATP can result in inverse activity of ATP-derived ligands. PMID:23093496

  10. Human and mouse monocytes display distinct signalling and cytokine profiles upon stimulation with FFAR2/FFAR3 short-chain fatty acid receptor agonists

    PubMed Central

    Ang, Zhiwei; Er, Jun Zhi; Tan, Nguan Soon; Lu, Jinhua; Liou, Yih-Cherng; Grosse, Johannes; Ding, Jeak Ling

    2016-01-01

    Knockout mice studies implicate the mammalian short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) receptors, FFAR2 and FFAR3– in colitis, arthritis and asthma. However, the correlation with human biology is uncertain. Here, we detected FFAR2 and FFAR3 expression in human monocytes via immunohistochemistry. Upon treatment with acetate SCFA or FFAR2- and FFAR3-specific synthetic agonists, human monocytes displayed elevated p38 phosphorylation and attenuated C5, CCL1, CCL2, GM-CSF, IL-1α, IL-1β and ICAM-1 inflammatory cytokine expression. Acetate and FFAR2 agonist treatment also repressed Akt and ERK2 signalling. Surprisingly, mouse monocytes displayed a distinct response to acetate treatment, elevating GM-CSF, IL-1α, and IL-1β cytokine expression. This effect persisted in FFAR2/3-knockout mouse monocytes and was not reproduced by synthetic agonists, suggesting a FFAR2/3 independent mechanism in mice. Collectively, we show that SCFAs act via FFAR2/3 to modulate human monocyte inflammatory responses– a pathway that is absent in mouse monocytes. PMID:27667443

  11. CB2 Receptor Agonists Protect Human Dopaminergic Neurons against Damage from HIV-1 gp120

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shuxian; Sheng, Wen S.; Rock, R. Bryan

    2013-01-01

    Despite the therapeutic impact of anti-retroviral therapy, HIV-1-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) remains a serious threat to AIDS patients, and there currently remains no specific therapy for the neurological manifestations of HIV-1. Recent work suggests that the nigrostriatal dopaminergic area is a critical brain region for the neuronal dysfunction and death seen in HAND and that human dopaminergic neurons have a particular sensitivity to gp120-induced damage, manifested as reduced function (decreased dopamine uptake), morphological changes, and reduced viability. Synthetic cannabinoids inhibit HIV-1 expression in human microglia, suppress production of inflammatory mediators in human astrocytes, and there is substantial literature demonstrating the neuroprotective properties of cannabinoids in other neuropathogenic processes. Based on these data, experiments were designed to test the hypothesis that synthetic cannabinoids will protect dopaminergic neurons against the toxic effects of the HIV-1 protein gp120. Using a human mesencephalic neuronal/glial culture model, which contains dopaminergic neurons, microglia, and astrocytes, we were able to show that the CB1/CB2 agonist WIN55,212-2 blunts gp120-induced neuronal damage as measured by dopamine transporter function, apoptosis and lipid peroxidation; these actions were mediated principally by the CB2 receptor. Adding supplementary human microglia to our cultures enhances gp120-induced damage; WIN55,212-2 is able to alleviate this enhanced damage. Additionally, WIN55,212-2 inhibits gp120-induced superoxide production by purified human microglial cells, inhibits migration of human microglia towards supernatants generated from gp120-stimulated human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures and reduces chemokine and cytokine production from the human mesencephalic neuronal/glial cultures. These data suggest that synthetic cannabinoids are capable of protecting human dopaminergic neurons from gp120 in a variety

  12. Synthetic substrates for enzyme analysis

    DOEpatents

    Bissell, Eugene R.; Mitchell, Alexander R.; Pearson, Karen W.; Smith, Robert E.

    1983-01-01

    Synthetic substrates are provided which may be represented as A-D. The A moiety thereof includes an amino acid, polypeptide, or derivative thereof. The D moiety thereof includes 7-amino coumarin derivatives having an electron withdrawing substituent group at the 3 position carbon or fused between the 3 and 4 position carbons.

  13. Synthetic stellar libraries for Gaia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sordo, R.

    A large database of synthetic stellar libraries has been collected for the Gaia mission. I will present the libraries in the context of their usage in APSIS, the system of algorithms developed to deal with the automated classification and parameter determination of the observed sources.

  14. Synthetic biology meets tissue engineering

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Jamie A.; Cachat, Elise

    2016-01-01

    Classical tissue engineering is aimed mainly at producing anatomically and physiologically realistic replacements for normal human tissues. It is done either by encouraging cellular colonization of manufactured matrices or cellular recolonization of decellularized natural extracellular matrices from donor organs, or by allowing cells to self-organize into organs as they do during fetal life. For repair of normal bodies, this will be adequate but there are reasons for making unusual, non-evolved tissues (repair of unusual bodies, interface to electromechanical prostheses, incorporating living cells into life-support machines). Synthetic biology is aimed mainly at engineering cells so that they can perform custom functions: applying synthetic biological approaches to tissue engineering may be one way of engineering custom structures. In this article, we outline the ‘embryological cycle’ of patterning, differentiation and morphogenesis and review progress that has been made in constructing synthetic biological systems to reproduce these processes in new ways. The state-of-the-art remains a long way from making truly synthetic tissues, but there are now at least foundations for future work. PMID:27284030

  15. Modeling Transport Through Synthetic Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    Aksimentiev, Aleksei; Brunner, Robert K.; Cruz-Chú, Eduardo; Comer, Jeffrey; Schulten, Klaus

    2011-01-01

    Nanopores in thin synthetic membranes have emerged as convenient tools for high-throughput single-molecule manipulation and analysis. Because of their small sizes and their ability to selectively transport solutes through otherwise impermeable membranes, nanopores have numerous potential applications in nanobiotechnology. For most applications, properties of the nanopore systems have to be characterize at the atomic level, which is currently beyond the limit of experimental methods. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations can provide the desired information, however several technical challenges have to be met before this method can be applied to synthetic nanopore systems. Here, we highlight our recent work on modeling synthetic nanopores of the most common types. First, we describe a novel graphical tool for setting up all-atom systems incorporating inorganic materials and biomolecules. Next, we illustrate the application of the MD method for silica, silicon nitride, and polyethylene terephthalate nanopores. Following that, we describe a method for modeling synthetic surfaces using a bias potential. Future directions for tool development and nanopore modeling are briefly discussed at the end of this article. PMID:21909347

  16. Where Synthetic Biology Meets ET

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rothschild, Lynn J.

    2016-01-01

    Synthetic biology - the design and construction of new biological parts and systems and the redesign of existing ones for useful purposes - has the potential to transform fields from pharmaceuticals to fuels. Our lab has focused on the potential of synthetic biology to revolutionize all three major parts of astrobiology: Where do we come from? Where are we going? and Are we alone? For the first and third, synthetic biology is allowing us to answer whether the evolutionary narrative that has played out on planet earth is likely to have been unique or universal. For example, in our lab we are re-evolving the biosynthetic pathways of amino acids in order to understand potential capabilities of an early organism with a limited repertoire of amino acids and developing techniques for the recovery of metals from spent electronics on other planetary bodies. And what about the limits for life? Can we create organisms that expand the envelope for life? In the future synthetic biology will play an increasing role in human activities both on earth, in fields as diverse as human health and the industrial production of novel bio-composites. Beyond earth, we will rely increasingly on biologically-provided life support, as we have throughout our evolutionary history. In order to do this, the field will build on two of the great contributions of astrobiology: studies of the origin of life and life in extreme environments.

  17. SEASAT Synthetic Aperture Radar Data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Henderson, F. M.

    1981-01-01

    The potential of radar imagery from space altitudes is discussed and the advantages of radar over passive sensor systems are outlined. Specific reference is made to the SEASAT synthetic aperture radar. Possible applications include oil spill monitoring, snow and ice reconnaissance, mineral exploration, and monitoring phenomena in the urban environment.

  18. Synthetic substrates for enzyme analysis

    DOEpatents

    Bissell, E.R.; Mitchell, A.R.; Pearson, K.W.; Smith, R.E.

    1983-06-14

    Synthetic substrates are provided which may be represented as A-D. The A moiety includes an amino acid, polypeptide, or derivative. The D moiety includes 7-amino coumarin derivatives having an electron withdrawing substituent group at the 3 position carbon or fused between the 3 and 4 position carbons. No Drawings

  19. Leaching behaviour of synthetic aggregates.

    PubMed

    van der Sloot, H A; Hoede, D; Cresswell, D J; Barton, J R

    2001-01-01

    In the framework of EU project "Utilising innovative kiln technology to recycle waste into synthetic aggregate" (BRST-CT98-5234), the leaching behaviour of synthetic aggregates has been studied to assess its environmental compatibility in the various stages of its use. Since the conditions are very different for the different uses, the assessment calls for a variety of different leaching conditions. The pH dependence test is used to cover important differences in pH environment to which the materials are exposed to as well as for an assessment of the buffering capacity of the material. Synthetic aggregate features a low buffer capacity, which makes it sensitive to externally imposed pH conditions. Utilisation and storage exposed to acidic conditions needs to be avoided. The results of the pH dependence test and column leaching test are mutually consistent. The CEN TC 154 method appears to provide systematically low values due to the arbitrary selection of test conditions. Synthetic aggregate studied to date will not adversely affect the concrete in its service life. The main issue for aggregate use is the recycling and the "end of life" condition, when the material becomes construction debris. Not metals, but oxyanions, such as Cr VI and Mo are most relevant under these conditions. A concise test has been applied to assess crucial aspects of leaching for different production mixes.

  20. Future of synthetic aperture radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Barath, F. T.

    1978-01-01

    The present status of the applications of Synthetic Aperture Radars (SARs) is reviewed, and the technology state-of-the art as represented by the Seasat-A and SIR-A SARs examined. The potential of SAR applications, and the near- and longer-term technology trends are assessed.

  1. The synthetic biology open language.

    PubMed

    Myers, Chris; Clancy, Kevin; Misirli, Goksel; Oberortner, Ernst; Pocock, Matthew; Quinn, Jacqueline; Roehner, Nicholas; Sauro, Herbert M

    2015-01-01

    The design and construction of engineered organisms is an emerging new discipline called synthetic biology and holds considerable promise as a new technological platform. The design of biologically engineered systems is however nontrivial, requiring contributions from a wide array of disciplines. One particular issue that confronts synthetic biologists is the ability to unambiguously describe novel designs such that they can be reengineered by a third-party. For this reason, the synthetic biology open language (SBOL) was developed as a community wide standard for formally representing biological designs. A design created by one engineering team can be transmitted electronically to another who can then use this design to reproduce the experimental results. The development and the community of the SBOL standard started in 2008 and has since grown in use with now over 80 participants, including international, academic, and industrial interests. SBOL has stimulated the development of repositories and software tools to help synthetic biologists in their design efforts. This chapter summarizes the latest developments and future of the SBOL standard and its supporting infrastructure.

  2. Stereoscopy in cinematographic synthetic imagery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eisenmann, Jonathan; Parent, Rick

    2009-02-01

    In this paper we present experiments and results pertaining to the perception of depth in stereoscopic viewing of synthetic imagery. In computer animation, typical synthetic imagery is highly textured and uses stylized illumination of abstracted material models by abstracted light source models. While there have been numerous studies concerning stereoscopic capabilities, conventions for staging and cinematography in stereoscopic movies have not yet been well-established. Our long-term goal is to measure the effectiveness of various cinematography techniques on the human visual system in a theatrical viewing environment. We would like to identify the elements of stereoscopic cinema that are important in terms of enhancing the viewer's understanding of a scene as well as providing guidelines for the cinematographer relating to storytelling. In these experiments we isolated stereoscopic effects by eliminating as many other visual cues as is reasonable. In particular, we aim to empirically determine what types of movement in synthetic imagery affect the perceptual depth sensing capabilities of our viewers. Using synthetic imagery, we created several viewing scenarios in which the viewer is asked to locate a target object's depth in a simple environment. The scenarios were specifically designed to compare the effectiveness of stereo viewing, camera movement, and object motion in aiding depth perception. Data were collected showing the error between the choice of the user and the actual depth value, and patterns were identified that relate the test variables to the viewer's perceptual depth accuracy in our theatrical viewing environment.

  3. Dihydrocodeine/Agonists for Alcohol Dependents

    PubMed Central

    Ulmer, Albrecht; Müller, Markus; Frietsch, Bernhard

    2012-01-01

    Objective: Alcohol addiction too often remains insufficiently treated. It shows the same profile as severe chronic diseases, but no comparable, effective basic treatment has been established up to now. Especially patients with repeated relapses, despite all therapeutic approaches, and patients who are not able to attain an essential abstinence to alcohol, need a basic medication. It seems necessary to acknowledge that parts of them need any agonistic substance, for years, possibly lifelong. For >14 years, we have prescribed such substances with own addictive character for these patients. Methods: We present a documented best possible practice, no designed study. Since 1997, we prescribed Dihydrocodeine (DHC) to 102 heavily alcohol addicted patients, later, also Buprenorphine, Clomethiazole (>6 weeks), Baclofen, and in one case Amphetamine, each on individual indication. This paper focuses on the data with DHC, especially. The Clomethiazole-data has been submitted to a German journal. The number of treatments with the other substances is still low. Results: The 102 patients with the DHC treatment had 1367 medically assisted detoxifications and specialized therapies before! The 4 years-retention rate was 26.4%, including 2.8% successfully terminated treatments. In our 12-steps scale on clinical impression, we noticed a significant improvement from mean 3.7 to 8.4 after 2 years. The demand for medically assisted detoxifications in the 2 years remaining patients was reduced by 65.5%. Mean GGT improved from 206.6 U/l at baseline to 66.8 U/l after 2 years. Experiences with the other substances are similar but different in details. Conclusion: Similar to the Italian studies with GHB and Baclofen, we present a new approach, not only with new substances, but also with a new setting and much more trusting attitude. We observe a huge improvement, reaching an almost optimal, stable, long term status in around 1/4 of the patients already. Many further

  4. Anti-nociception mediated by a κ opioid receptor agonist is blocked by a δ receptor agonist

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, A M W; Roberts, K W; Pradhan, A A; Akbari, H A; Walwyn, W; Lutfy, K; Carroll, F I; Cahill, C M; Evans, C J

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The opioid receptor family comprises four structurally homologous but functionally distinct sub-groups, the μ (MOP), δ (DOP), κ (KOP) and nociceptin (NOP) receptors. As most opioid agonists are selective but not specific, a broad spectrum of behaviours due to activation of different opioid receptors is expected. In this study, we examine whether other opioid receptor systems influenced KOP-mediated antinociception. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH We used a tail withdrawal assay in C57Bl/6 mice to assay the antinociceptive effect of systemically administered opioid agonists with varying selectivity at KOP receptors. Pharmacological and genetic approaches were used to analyse the interactions of the other opioid receptors in modulating KOP-mediated antinociception. KEY RESULTS Etorphine, a potent agonist at all four opioid receptors, was not anti-nociceptive in MOP knockout (KO) mice, although etorphine is an efficacious KOP receptor agonist and specific KOP receptor agonists remain analgesic in MOP KO mice. As KOP receptor agonists are aversive, we considered KOP-mediated antinociception might be a form of stress-induced analgesia that is blocked by the anxiolytic effects of DOP receptor agonists. In support of this hypothesis, pretreatment with the DOP antagonist, naltrindole (10 mg·kg−1), unmasked etorphine (3 mg·kg−1) antinociception in MOP KO mice. Further, in wild-type mice, KOP-mediated antinociception by systemic U50,488H (10 mg·kg−1) was blocked by pretreatment with the DOP agonist SNC80 (5 mg·kg−1) and diazepam (1 mg·kg−1). CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS Systemic DOP receptor agonists blocked systemic KOP antinociception, and these results identify DOP receptor agonists as potential agents for reversing stress-driven addictive and depressive behaviours mediated through KOP receptor activation. LINKED ARTICLES This article is part of a themed section on Opioids: New Pathways to Functional Selectivity. To view the other articles

  5. GABA receptor agonists: pharmacological spectrum and therapeutic actions.

    PubMed

    Bartholini, G

    1985-01-01

    From the data discussed in this review it appears that GABA receptor agonists exhibit a variety of actions in the central nervous system, some of which are therapeutically useful (Table V). GABA receptor agonists, by changing the firing rate of the corresponding neurons accelerate noradrenaline turnover without changes in postsynaptic receptor density and diminish serotonin liberation with an up-regulation of 5HT2 receptors. These effects differ from those of tricyclic antidepressants which primarily block monoamine re-uptake and cause down-regulation of beta-adrenergic and 5HT2 receptors. The GABA receptor agonist progabide has been shown to exert an antidepressant action which is indistinguishable from that of imipramine in patients with major affective disorders. The fact that: (a) GABA receptor agonists and tricyclic antidepressants affect noradrenergic and serotonergic transmission differently; and (b) tricyclic antidepressants alter GABA-related parameters challenges the classical monoamine hypothesis of depression and suggests that GABA-mediated mechanisms play a role in mood disorders. Decreases in cellular excitability produced by GABAergic stimulation leads to control of seizures in practically all animal models of epilepsy. GABA receptor agonists have a wide spectrum as they antagonize not only seizures which are dependent on decreased GABA synaptic activity but also convulsant states which are apparently independent of alterations in GABA-mediated events. These results in animals are confirmed in a wide range of human epileptic syndromes. GABA receptor agonists decrease dopamine turnover in the basal ganglia and antagonize neuroleptic-induced increase in dopamine release. On repeated treatment, progabide prevents or reverses the neuroleptic-induced up-regulation of dopamine receptors in the rat striatum and antagonizes the concomitant supersensitivity to dopaminomimetics. Behaviorally, GABA receptor agonists diminish the stereotypies induced by

  6. Benzodiazepine agonist and inverse agonist actions on GABAA receptor-operated chloride channels. II. Chronic effects of ethanol

    SciTech Connect

    Buck, K.J.; Harris, R.A. )

    1990-05-01

    Mice were made tolerant to and dependent on ethanol by administration of a liquid diet. Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptor-dependent uptake of 36Cl- by mouse cortical microsacs was used to study the actions of benzodiazepine (BZ) agonists and inverse agonists. Chronic exposure to ethanol attenuated the ability of a BZ agonist, flunitrazepam, to augment muscimol-stimulated uptake of 36Cl- and enhanced the actions of BZ inverse agonists, Ro15-4513 (ethyl-8-azido-5,6-dihydro-5-methyl-6-oxo-4H-imidazo(1,4)-benzodiazepine - 3-carboxylate) and DMCM (methyl-6,7-dimethoxy-4-ethyl-beta-carboline-3-carboxylate), to inhibit GABAA receptor-operated chloride channels. Augmentation of chloride flux by pentobarbital was not reduced by chronic ethanol exposure. Attenuation of flunitrazepam efficacy was transient and returned to control levels within 6 to 24 hr after withdrawal from ethanol, but increased sensitivity to Ro15-4513 was observed as long as 8 days after withdrawal. Chronic exposure to ethanol did not alter (3H)SR 95531 (2-(3'-carbethoxy-2'propyl)-3-amino-6-p-methoxyphenylpyridazinium bromide) binding to low-affinity GABAA receptors or muscimol stimulation of chloride flux; and did not alter (3H)Ro15-4513 or (3H)flunitrazepam binding to central BZ receptors or allosteric modulation of this binding by muscimol (i.e., muscimol-shift). These results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol reduces coupling between BZ agonist sites and the chloride channel, and may be responsible for the development of cross-tolerance between ethanol and BZ agonists. In contrast, coupling between BZ inverse agonist sites and the chloride channel is increased.

  7. Intracerebroventricular administration of kappa-agonists induces convulsions in mice.

    PubMed

    Bansinath, M; Ramabadran, K; Turndorf, H; Shukla, V K

    1991-07-01

    Intracerebroventricular (ICV) administration of kappa-agonists (PD 117302, U-50488H and U-69593) induced convulsions in a dose-related manner in mice. The dose at which 50% of animals convulsed (CD50) was in nmol ranges for all opioids. Among the opioids used, PD 117302 was the most potent convulsant. ICV administration of either vehicle alone or U-53445E, a non-kappa-opioid (+) enantiomer of U-50488H did not induce convulsions. The convulsive response of kappa-agonists was differentially susceptible for antagonism by naloxone and/or MR 2266. Collectively, these findings support the view that convulsions induced by kappa-agonists in mice involve stereospecific opioid receptor mechanisms. Furthermore, the convulsant effect of kappa-agonists could not be modified by pretreatment with MK-801, ketamine, muscimol or baclofen. It is concluded that kappa-opioid but not NMDA or GABA receptor mechanisms are involved in convulsions induced by kappa-agonists. These results are the first experimental evidence implicating stereospecific kappa-receptor mechanisms in opioid-induced convulsions in mice.

  8. Modification of opiate agonist binding by pertussis toxin

    SciTech Connect

    Abood, M.E.; Lee, N.M.; Loh, H.H.

    1986-03-05

    Opiate agonist binding is decreased by GTP, suggesting the possible involvement of GTP binding proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding. This possibility was addressed by asking whether pertussis toxin treatment, which results in ADP-ribosylation and modification of G proteins, would alter opiate agonist binding. The striatum was chosen for the initial brain area to be studied, since regulation of opiate action in this area had been shown to be modified by pertussis toxin. Treatment of striatal membranes with pertussis toxin results in up to a 55% decrease in /sup 3/(H)-DADLE binding as compared with membranes treated identically without toxin. This corresponds to a near complete ADP-ribosylation of both G proteins in the striatal membrane. The decrease in agonist binding appears to be due to an altered affinity of the receptor for agonist as opposed to a decrease in the number of sites. This effect of pertussis toxin on opiate agonist binding demonstrates the actual involvement of G proteins in regulation of opiate receptor binding.

  9. CB2 cannabinoid receptor agonist, JWH-015 triggers apoptosis in immune cells: Potential role for CB2 selective ligands as immunosuppressive agents

    PubMed Central

    Lombard, Catherine; Nagarkatti, Mitzi; Nagarkatti, Prakash

    2007-01-01

    Cannabinoids are known to interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors expressed in the nervous and immune system, respectively and mediate a wide range of effects, including anti-inflammatory properties. However, cannabinoids that bind CB1 are also psychoactive thereby limiting their clinical use. In this study, we investigated the immunosuppressive properties of JWH-015, a synthetic CB2-selective agonist. We found that JWH-015 triggered apoptosis in thymocytes in vitro and inhibited the proliferative response of T and B cells to mitogens through induction of apoptosis. JWH-015 induced cross-talk between extrinsic and intrinsic pathways of apoptosis involving caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 as well as loss of mitochondrial membrane potential. Finally, administration of JWH-015 in vivo caused thymic atrophy, apoptosis, and decreased peripheral T cell response to mitogens. Together, this study suggests that CB2 selective agonists, devoid of psychotropic effect, may serve as novel anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive agents. PMID:17185040

  10. Designing synthetic vaccines for HIV

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Summary Despite three decades of intensive research efforts, the development of an effective prophylactic vaccine against HIV remains an unrealized goal in the global campaign to contain the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Recent characterization of novel epitopes for inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies (BnAbs) has fueled research in the design and synthesis of new, well-defined antigenic constructs for the development of HIV envelope-directed vaccines. The present review will cover previous and recent efforts toward the design of synthetic vaccines based on the HIV viral envelope (Env) glycoproteins, with special emphasis on examples from our own laboratories. The biological evaluation of some of the most representative vaccine candidates, in terms of their antigenicity and immunogenicity, will also be discussed to illustrate the current state-of-the-art toward the development of fully synthetic HIV vaccines. PMID:25824661

  11. Synthetic microbial ecosystems for biotechnology.

    PubMed

    Pandhal, Jagroop; Noirel, Josselin

    2014-06-01

    Most highly controlled and specific applications of microorganisms in biotechnology involve pure cultures. Maintaining single strain cultures is important for industry as contaminants can reduce productivity and lead to longer "down-times" during sterilisation. However, microbes working together provide distinct advantages over pure cultures. They can undertake more metabolically complex tasks, improve efficiency and even expand applications to open systems. By combining rapidly advancing technologies with ecological theory, the use of microbial ecosystems in biotechnology will inevitably increase. This review provides insight into the use of synthetic microbial communities in biotechnology by applying the engineering paradigm of measure, model, manipulate and manufacture, and illustrate the emerging wider potential of the synthetic ecology field. Systems to improve biofuel production using microalgae are also discussed.

  12. Developing technologies for synthetic fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sprow, F. B.

    1981-05-01

    After consideration of a likely timetable for the development of a synthetic fuels industry and its necessary supporting technology, the large variety of such fuels and their potential roles is assessed along with their commercialization outlook. Among the fuel production methods considered are: (1) above-ground retorting of oil shale; (2) in-situ shale retorting; (3) open pit mining of tar sands; (4) in-situ steam stimulation of tar sands; (5) coal gasification; (6) methanol synthesis from carbon monoxide and hydrogen; and (7) direct coal liquefaction by the hydrogenation of coal. It is shown that while the U.S. has very limited resource bases for tar sands and heavy crudes, the abundance of shale in the western states and the abundance and greater geographical dispersion of coal will make these the two most important resources of a future synthetic fuels industry.

  13. Designing synthetic vaccines for HIV.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Tejada, Alberto; Haynes, Barton F; Danishefsky, Samuel J

    2015-06-01

    Despite three decades of intensive research efforts, the development of an effective prophylactic vaccine against HIV remains an unrealized goal in the global campaign to contain the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Recent characterization of novel epitopes for inducing broadly neutralizing antibodies has fueled research in the design and synthesis of new, well-defined antigenic constructs for the development of HIV envelope-directed vaccines. The present review will cover previous and recent efforts toward the design of synthetic vaccines based on the HIV viral envelope glycoproteins, with special emphasis on examples from our own laboratories. The biological evaluation of some of the most representative vaccine candidates, in terms of their antigenicity and immunogenicity, will also be discussed to illustrate the current state-of-the-art toward the development of fully synthetic HIV vaccines.

  14. Synthetic approaches to multifunctional indenes

    PubMed Central

    López-Pérez, Sara; Dinarès, Immaculada

    2011-01-01

    Summary The synthesis of multifunctional indenes with at least two different functional groups has not yet been extensively explored. Among the plausible synthetic routes to 3,5-disubstituted indenes bearing two different functional groups, such as the [3-(aminoethyl)inden-5-yl)]amines, a reasonable pathway involves the (5-nitro-3-indenyl)acetamides as key intermediates. Although several multistep synthetic approaches can be applied to obtain these advanced intermediates, we describe herein their preparation by an aldol-type reaction between 5-nitroindan-1-ones and the lithium salt of N,N-disubstituted acetamides, followed immediately by dehydration with acid. This classical condensation process, which is neither simple nor trivial despite its apparent directness, permits an efficient entry to a variety of indene-based molecular modules, which could be adapted to a range of functionalized indanones. PMID:22238553

  15. Engineering Ecosystems and Synthetic Ecologies#

    PubMed Central

    Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    2012-01-01

    Microbial ecosystems play an important role in nature. Engineering these systems for industrial, medical, or biotechnological purposes are important pursuits for synthetic biologists and biological engineers moving forward. Here, we provide a review of recent progress in engineering natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems. We highlight important forward engineering design principles, theoretical and quantitative models, new experimental and manipulation tools, and possible applications of microbial ecosystem engineering. We argue that simply engineering individual microbes will lead to fragile homogenous populations that are difficult to sustain, especially in highly heterogeneous and unpredictable environments. Instead, engineered microbial ecosystems are likely to be more robust and able to achieve complex tasks at the spatial and temporal resolution needed for truly programmable biology. PMID:22722235

  16. Synthetic cannabinoids: analysis and metabolites.

    PubMed

    Elsohly, Mahmoud A; Gul, Waseem; Wanas, Amira S; Radwan, Mohamed M

    2014-02-27

    Cannabimimetics (commonly referred to as synthetic cannabinoids), a group of compounds encompassing a wide range of chemical structures, have been developed by scientists with the hope of achieving selectivity toward one or the other of the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2. The goal was to have compounds that could possess high therapeutic activity without many side effects. However, underground laboratories have used the information generated by the scientific community to develop these compounds for illicit use as marijuana substitutes. This chapter reviews the different classes of these "synthetic cannabinoids" with particular emphasis on the methods used for their identification in the herbal products with which they are mixed and identification of their metabolites in biological specimens.

  17. Synthetic Aperture Radar Simulation Study

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1984-03-01

    multilook are discussed. A chapter is devoted to elevation and planimetric data bases. In addition, six- teen pictures of SAR images from Hughes Aircraft, as...scans. Figure 5.4-1 is a photograph ot two SAR displays. The tirst display is made up ot six subscans and has a multilook ot one. Note that tading is...dentfi by block number) * Synthetic Aperture Radar ( SAR ) Simulation Study Radar Simulation Data Bases 5/~t. 4th.- Computer Image Generation Display 20

  18. Novel nonsecosteroidal VDR agonists with phenyl-pyrrolyl pentane skeleton.

    PubMed

    Shen, Wei; Xue, Jingwei; Zhao, Zekai; Zhang, Can

    2013-11-01

    In order to find the vitamin D receptor (VDR) ligand whose VDR agonistic activity is separated from the calcemic activity sufficiently, novel nonsecosteroidal analogs with phenyl-pyrrolyl pentane skeleton were synthesized and evaluated for the VDR binding affinity, antiproliferative activity in vitro and serum calcium raising ability in vivo (tacalcitol used as control). Among them, several compounds showed varying degrees of VDR agonistic and growth inhibition activities of the tested cell lines. The most effective compound 2g (EC₅₀: 1.06 nM) exhibited stronger VDR agonistic activity than tacalcitol (EC₅₀: 7.05 nM), inhibited the proliferations of HaCaT and MCF-7 cells with IC₅₀ of 2.06 μM and 0.307 μM (tacalcitol: 2.07 μM and 0.057 μM) and showed no significant effect on serum calcium.

  19. Compulsive eating and weight gain related to dopamine agonist use.

    PubMed

    Nirenberg, Melissa J; Waters, Cheryl

    2006-04-01

    Dopamine agonists have been implicated in causing compulsive behaviors in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). These have included gambling, hypersexuality, hobbyism, and other repetitive, purposeless behaviors ("punding"). In this report, we describe 7 patients in whom compulsive eating developed in the context of pramipexole use. All of the affected patients had significant, undesired weight gain; 4 had other comorbid compulsive behaviors. In the 5 patients who lowered the dose of pramipexole or discontinued dopamine agonist treatment, the behavior remitted and no further weight gain occurred. Physicians should be aware that compulsive eating resulting in significant weight gain may occur in PD as a side-effect of dopamine agonist medications such as pramipexole. Given the known risks of the associated weight gain and obesity, further investigation is warranted.

  20. Synthetic LDL as targeted drug delivery vehicle

    SciTech Connect

    Forte, Trudy M; Nikanjam, Mina

    2012-08-28

    The present invention provides a synthetic LDL nanoparticle comprising a lipid moiety and a synthetic chimeric peptide so as to be capable of binding the LDL receptor. The synthetic LDL nanoparticle of the present invention is capable of incorporating and targeting therapeutics to cells expressing the LDL receptor for diseases associated with the expression of the LDL receptor such as central nervous system diseases. The invention further provides methods of using such synthetic LDL nanoparticles.

  1. Activation of the Farnesoid X-receptor in breast cancer cell lines results in cytotoxicity but not increased migration potential.

    PubMed

    Alasmael, Noura; Mohan, Rati; Meira, Lisiane B; Swales, Karen E; Plant, Nick J

    2016-01-28

    Breast cancer is the commonest form of cancer in women, but successful treatment is confounded by the heterogeneous nature of breast tumours: Effective treatments exist for hormone-sensitive tumours, but triple-negative breast cancer results in poor survival. An area of increasing interest is metabolic reprogramming, whereby drug-induced alterations in the metabolic landscape of a tumour slow tumour growth and/or increase sensitivity to existing therapeutics. Nuclear receptors are transcription factors central to the expression of metabolic and transport proteins, and thus represent potential targets for metabolic reprogramming. We show that activation of the nuclear receptor FXR, either by its endogenous ligand CDCA or the synthetic GW4064, leads to cell death in four breast cancer cell lines with distinct phenotypes: MCF-10A (normal), MCF-7 (receptor positive), MDA-MB-231 and MDA-MB-468 (triple negative). Furthermore, we show that the mechanism of cell death is predominantly through the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. Finally, we demonstrate that FXR agonists do not stimulate migration in breast cancer cell lines, an important potential adverse effect. Together, our data support the continued examination of FXR agonists as a novel class of therapeutics for the treatment of breast cancer.

  2. Cell microencapsulation with synthetic polymers

    PubMed Central

    Olabisi, Ronke M

    2015-01-01

    The encapsulation of cells into polymeric microspheres or microcapsules has permitted the transplantation of cells into human and animal subjects without the need for immunosuppressants. Cell-based therapies use donor cells to provide sustained release of a therapeutic product, such as insulin, and have shown promise in treating a variety of diseases. Immunoisolation of these cells via microencapsulation is a hotly investigated field, and the preferred material of choice has been alginate, a natural polymer derived from seaweed due to its gelling conditions. Although many natural polymers tend to gel in conditions favorable to mammalian cell encapsulation, there remain challenges such as batch to batch variability and residual components from the original source that can lead to an immune response when implanted into a recipient. Synthetic materials have the potential to avoid these issues; however, historically they have required harsh polymerization conditions that are not favorable to mammalian cells. As research into microencapsulation grows, more investigators are exploring methods to microencapsulate cells into synthetic polymers. This review describes a variety of synthetic polymers used to microencapsulate cells. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 103A: 846–859, 2015. PMID:24771675

  3. Hydrogen speciation in synthetic quartz

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Aines, R.D.; Kirby, S.H.; Rossman, G.R.

    1984-01-01

    The dominant hydrogen impurity in synthetic quartz is molecular H2O. H-OH groups also occur, but there is no direct evidence for the hydrolysis of Si-O-Si bonds to yield Si-OH HO-Si groups. Molecular H2O concentrations in the synthetic quartz crystals studied range from less than 10 to 3,300 ppm (H/Si), and decrease smoothly by up to an order of magnitude with distance away from the seed. OH- concentrations range from 96 to 715 ppm, and rise smoothly with distance away from the seed by up to a factor of three. The observed OH- is probably all associated with cationic impurities, as in natural quartz. Molecular H2O is the dominant initial hydrogen impurity in weak quartz. The hydrolytic weakening of quartz may be caused by the transformation H2O + Si-O-Si ??? 2SiOH, but this may be a transitory change with the SiOH groups recombining to form H2O, and the average SiOH concentration remaining very low. Synthetic quartz is strengthened when the H2O is accumulated into fluid inclusions and cannot react with the quartz framework. ?? 1984 Springer-Verlag.

  4. Strategies for protein synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Grünberg, Raik; Serrano, Luis

    2010-01-01

    Proteins are the most versatile among the various biological building blocks and a mature field of protein engineering has lead to many industrial and biomedical applications. But the strength of proteins—their versatility, dynamics and interactions—also complicates and hinders systems engineering. Therefore, the design of more sophisticated, multi-component protein systems appears to lag behind, in particular, when compared to the engineering of gene regulatory networks. Yet, synthetic biologists have started to tinker with the information flow through natural signaling networks or integrated protein switches. A successful strategy common to most of these experiments is their focus on modular interactions between protein domains or domains and peptide motifs. Such modular interaction swapping has rewired signaling in yeast, put mammalian cell morphology under the control of light, or increased the flux through a synthetic metabolic pathway. Based on this experience, we outline an engineering framework for the connection of reusable protein interaction devices into self-sufficient circuits. Such a framework should help to ‘refacture’ protein complexity into well-defined exchangeable devices for predictive engineering. We review the foundations and initial success stories of protein synthetic biology and discuss the challenges and promises on the way from protein- to protein systems design. PMID:20385577

  5. Captive female gorilla agonistic relationships with clumped defendable food resources.

    PubMed

    Scott, Jennifer; Lockard, Joan S

    2006-07-01

    Minimal feeding competition among female mountain gorillas (Gorilla gorilla beringei) has resulted in egalitarian social relationships with poorly defined agonistic dominance hierarchies. Thus, gorillas are generally viewed as non-competitive egalitarian folivores that have had little need to develop effective competitive strategies to access food resources. However, this generalization is inconsistent with more recent research indicating that most gorillas are frugivorous, feeding on patchily distributed food resources. The current study at Howletts Wild Animal Park, Kent, England, explores the effects of clumped and defendable foods on female gorilla agonistic relationships among three groups of western lowland gorillas (G. g. gorilla), conditions that are predicted to lead to well-differentiated agonistic dominance hierarchies among female primates. The Howletts gorillas foraged all day on low-energy/-nutrient, high-fiber foods widely distributed around their enclosure by the keepers. However, they also had periodic access to high-energy foods (e.g., nuts, raisins, strawberries, etc.) that the keepers would spread in a clumped and defendable patch. Frequencies of agonistic and submissive behaviors between females and proximity data were gathered. High-status females were found to monopolize the food patch and kept the low-status females at bay with cough-grunt threat vocalizations or by chasing them away. Agonistic interactions were initiated mostly by females of high status; these were directed towards females of low status and were generally not reciprocal. In addition, females of low status engaged in submissive behaviors the most often, which they directed primarily at females of high status, especially in response to aggression by the latter. Agonistic interactions between high- and low-status females had decided outcomes more often than not, with low-status females the losers. Competition over highly desirable foods distributed in defendable clumps at

  6. Synthetic-aperture chirp confocal imaging.

    PubMed

    Chien, Wei-Chen; Dilworth, D S; Liu, Elson; Leith, E N

    2006-01-20

    An imaging system that combines synthetic-aperture imaging, holography, and an optical chirp with confocal imaging is described and analyzed. Comparisons are made with synthetic-aperture radar systems. Adaptation of several synthetic-aperture radar techniques to the optical counterparts is suggested.

  7. Synthetic Cannabinoids and Cathinones: Prevalence and Markets.

    PubMed

    Bretteville-Jensen, A L; Tuv, S S; Bilgrei, O R; Fjeld, B; Bachs, L

    2013-03-01

    Over the past few years, the phenomenon of new designer drugs has attracted much attention. Synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones are the two main classes of these drugs. Both are potent drugs of abuse, and several cases of severe toxicity and deaths are reported. The present work is based on a systematic review of studies that have assessed the market and prevalence of synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones, and integrates pharmacological, sociological, and epidemiological aspects of these two groups of emerging synthetic drugs. The review reflects that the Internet has made synthetic cannabinoids and cathinones widely available. Furthermore, aggressive and widespread marketing, as well as the low price level of these drugs, their juridical status and their lack of detection on standard drug tests may serve as major motivations for drug use. The number of prevalence studies is small and derived from a limited number of countries. In spite of the many methodological shortcomings, some conclusions may be cautiously drawn. Taken together, the results point toward higher prevalence of use for synthetic cathinones than for synthetic cannabinoids. In the general population, the prevalence of use of synthetic cathinones is reported to be around 4% compared to figures lower than 1% for synthetic cannabinoids. Among students, the prevalence varies from 1-20% for synthetic cathinones and 2-10% for synthetic cannabinoids. Among groups with high rates of drug use, the prevalence varies between 4% to more than 60% for synthetic cathinones and around 10% for synthetic cannabinoids.

  8. 63 FR 41290 - Synthetic Methionine From Japan

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    1998-08-03

    ... COMMISSION Synthetic Methionine From Japan AGENCY: United States International Trade Commission. ACTION: Institution of a five-year review concerning the antidumping duty order on synthetic methionine from Japan... antidumping duty order on synthetic methionine from Japan would be likely to lead to continuation...

  9. Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals

    DOEpatents

    El-Kady, Ihab F; Olsson, Roy H; Hopkins, Patrick; Reinke, Charles; Kim, Bongsang

    2013-08-13

    Synthetic thermoelectric materials comprising phononic crystals can simultaneously have a large Seebeck coefficient, high electrical conductivity, and low thermal conductivity. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials can enable improved thermoelectric devices, such as thermoelectric generators and coolers, with improved performance. Such synthetic thermoelectric materials and devices can be fabricated using techniques that are compatible with standard microelectronics.

  10. Intradermally administered TLR4 agonist GLA-SE enhances the capacity of human skin DCs to activate T cells and promotes emigration of Langerhans cells.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Laura P; Schoonderwoerd, Antoinet J; Moutaftsi, Magdalini; Howard, Randall F; Reed, Steven G; de Jong, Esther C; Teunissen, Marcel B M

    2012-06-13

    The natural TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) has notable adjuvant activity. However, it is not useful as a vaccine adjuvant due to its toxicity. Glucopyranosyl lipid A (GLA) is a synthetic derivative of the lipid A tail of LPS with limited cytotoxicity, but strong potential to induce immune responses in mice, guinea pigs, non-human primates, and humans. In this study we determined how this synthetic TLR4 agonist affects the function of different subsets of human skin dendritic cells (DCs). The effect of GLA in an aqueous formulation (GLA-AF) or in an oil-in-water emulsion (GLA-SE) was compared to that of LPS and TLR3 agonist poly(I:C) using a human skin explant model with intradermal injections for the administration of the agonists. Intradermal injection of GLA-SE or LPS, but not GLA-AF, enhanced the emigration of CD1a(high)/langerin(+) Langerhans cells (LCs), but not dermal DCs (DDCs). LCs and CD14(-) DDCs exhibited an enhanced mature phenotype following intradermal administration of either of the two GLA formulations tested, similar to DCs that emigrated from LPS-injected skin. However, only injection of GLA-SE resulted in a significant increase in the production of the wide range of cytokines that is observed with LPS. Moreover, DCs that emigrated from GLA-SE-injected skin induced stronger CD4(+) T-cell activation, as indicated by a more pronounced T-cell proliferation, than DCs from skin injected with GLA-AF or LPS. Altogether, our data show that GLA-SE has a notable potency to stimulate the function of skin DCs, indicating that GLA-SE may be a good candidate as adjuvant for vaccines administered via the intradermal route.

  11. Switching cannabinoid response from CB(2) agonists to FAAH inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Tourteau, Aurélien; Leleu-Chavain, Natascha; Body-Malapel, Mathilde; Andrzejak, Virginie; Barczyk, Amélie; Djouina, Madjid; Rigo, Benoit; Desreumaux, Pierre; Chavatte, Philippe; Millet, Régis

    2014-03-01

    A series of 3-carboxamido-5-aryl-isoxazoles designed as CB2 agonists were evaluated as FAAH inhibitors. The pharmacological results led to identify structure-activity relationships enabling to switch cannabinoid response from CB2 agonists to FAAH inhibitors. Two compounds were selected for their FAAH and/or CB2 activity, and evaluated in a colitis model for their anti-inflammatory activity. Results showed that compounds 10 and 11 inhibit the development of DSS-induced acute colitis in mice and then, are interesting leads to explore new drug candidates for IBD.

  12. Partial agonistic action of endomorphins in the mouse spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Mizoguchi, H; Wu, H E; Narita, M

    2001-09-07

    The partial agonistic properties of endogenous mu-opioid peptides endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 for G-protein activation were determined in the mouse spinal cord, monitoring the increases in guanosine-5'-o-(3-[35S]thio)triphosphate binding. The G-protein activation induced by endogenous opioid peptide beta-endorphin in the spinal cord was significantly, but partially, attenuated by co-incubation with endomorphin-1 or endomorphin-2. The data indicates that endomorphin-1 and endomorphin-2 are endogenous partial agonists for mu-opioid receptor in the mouse spinal cord.

  13. Synthesis and activity of small molecule GPR40 agonists.

    PubMed

    Garrido, Dulce M; Corbett, David F; Dwornik, Kate A; Goetz, Aaron S; Littleton, Thomas R; McKeown, Steve C; Mills, Wendy Y; Smalley, Terrence L; Briscoe, Celia P; Peat, Andrew J

    2006-04-01

    The first report on the identification and structure-activity relationships of a novel series of GPR40 agonists based on a 3-(4-{[N-alkyl]amino}phenyl)propanoic acid template is described. Structural modifications to the original screening hit yielded compounds with a 100-fold increase in potency at the human GPR40 receptor and pEC(50)s in the low nanomolar range. The carboxylic acid moiety is not critical for activity but typically elicits an agonistic response higher than those observed with carboxamide replacements. These compounds may prove useful in unraveling the therapeutic potential of this receptor for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

  14. Agonist-dependent cannabinoid receptor signalling in human trabecular meshwork cells

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, B T; Hudson, B; Yegorova, S; Jollimore, C A B; Kelly, M E M

    2007-01-01

    Background and purpose: Trabecular meshwork (TM) is an ocular tissue involved in the regulation of aqueous humour outflow and intraocular pressure (IOP). CB1 receptors (CB1) are present in TM and cannabinoid administration decreases IOP. CB1 signalling was investigated in a cell line derived from human TM (hTM). Experimental approach: CB1 signalling was investigated using ratiometric Ca2+ imaging, western blotting and infrared In-Cell Western analysis. Key results: WIN55212-2, a synthetic aminoalkylindole cannabinoid receptor agonist (10–100 μM) increased intracellular Ca2+ in hTM cells. WIN55,212-2-mediated Ca2+ increases were blocked by AM251, a CB1 antagonist, but were unaffected by the CB2 antagonist, AM630. The WIN55,212-2-mediated increase in [Ca2+]i was pertussis toxin (PTX)-insensitive, therefore, independent of Gi/o coupling, but was attenuated by a dominant negative Gαq/11 subunit, implicating a Gq/11 signalling pathway. The increase in [Ca2+]i was dependent upon PLC activation and mobilization of intracellular Ca2+ stores. A PTX-sensitive increase in extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) phosphorylation was also observed in response to WIN55,212-2, indicative of a Gi/o signalling pathway. CB1-Gq/11 coupling to activate PLC-dependent increases in Ca2+ appeared to be specific to WIN55,212-2 and were not observed with other CB1 agonists, including CP55,940 and methanandamide. CP55940 produced PTX-sensitive increases in [Ca2+]i at concentrations ≥15 μM, and PTX-sensitive increases in ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Conclusions and implications: This study demonstrates that endogenous CB1 couples to both Gq/11 and Gi/o in hTM cells in an agonist-dependent manner. Cannabinoid activation of multiple CB1 signalling pathways in TM tissue could lead to differential changes in aqueous humour outflow and IOP. PMID:17922024

  15. Pyrrolo- and pyridomorphinans: non-selective opioid antagonists and delta opioid agonists/mu opioid partial agonists.

    PubMed

    Kumar, V; Clark, M J; Traynor, J R; Lewis, J W; Husbands, S M

    2014-08-01

    Opioid ligands have found use in a number of therapeutic areas, including for the treatment of pain and opiate addiction (using agonists) and alcohol addiction (using antagonists such as naltrexone and nalmefene). The reaction of imines, derived from the opioid ligands oxymorphone and naltrexone, with Michael acceptors leads to pyridomorphinans with structures similar to known pyrrolo- and indolomorphinans. One of the synthesized compounds, 5e, derived from oxymorphone had substantial agonist activity at delta opioid receptors but not at mu and/or kappa opioid receptors and in that sense profiled as a selective delta opioid receptor agonist. The pyridomorphinans derived from naltrexone and naloxone were all found to be non-selective potent antagonists and as such could have utility as treatments for alcohol abuse.

  16. The adverse health effects of synthetic cannabinoids with emphasis on psychosis-like effects.

    PubMed

    van Amsterdam, Jan; Brunt, Tibor; van den Brink, Wim

    2015-03-01

    Cannabis use is associated with an increased risk of psychosis in vulnerable individuals. Cannabis containing high levels of the partial cannabinoid receptor subtype 1 (CB1) agonist tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is associated with the induction of psychosis in susceptible subjects and with the development of schizophrenia, whereas the use of cannabis variants with relatively high levels of cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with fewer psychotic experiences. Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) are full agonists and often more potent than THC. Moreover, in contrast to natural cannabis, SCRAs preparations contain no CBD so that these drugs may have a higher psychosis-inducing potential than cannabis. This paper reviews the general toxicity profile and the adverse effects of SCRAs with special emphasis on their psychosis-inducing risk. The review shows that, compared with the use of natural cannabis, the use of SCRAs may cause more frequent and more severe unwanted negative effects, especially in younger, inexperienced users. Psychosis and psychosis-like conditions seem to occur relatively often following the use of SCRAs, presumably due to their high potency and the absence of CBD in the preparations. Studies on the relative risk of SCRAs compared with natural cannabis to induce or evoke psychosis are urgently needed.

  17. The Agonistic Approach: Reframing Resistance in Qualitative Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vitus, Kathrine

    2008-01-01

    The agonistic approach--aimed at embracing opposing perspectives as part of a qualitative research process and acknowledging that process as fundamentally political--sheds light on both the construction of and the resistance to research identities. This approach involves reflexively embedding interview situations into the ethnographic context as a…

  18. Once-weekly glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists.

    PubMed

    Kalra, Sanjay; Gupta, Yashdeep

    2015-07-01

    The once-weekly glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (QW GLP1RA) represent a major advancement in diabetes pharmaco-therapeutics. This review describes the basic, clinical, and comparative pharmacology of this novel class of drugs. It highlights the clinical placement and posology of these drugs.

  19. Use of ß-adrenergic agonists in hybrid catfish

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ractopamine hydrochloride (RH) is a potent ß-adrenergic agonist that has been used in some species of fish to improve growth performance and dress out characteristics. While this metabolic modifier has been shown to have positive effects on growth of fish, little research has focused on the mechani...

  20. Dopamine agonists in prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kasum, Miro; Vrčić, Hrvoje; Stanić, Patrik; Ježek, Davor; Orešković, Slavko; Beketić-Orešković, Lidija; Pekez, Marijeta

    2014-01-01

    The aim of this review is to analyze the efficacy of different dopamine agonists in the prevention of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome (OHSS). Cabergoline, quinagolide and bromocriptine are the most common dopamine agonists used. There are wide clinical variations among the trials in the starting time (from the day of human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) to the day following oocyte retrieval); the duration of the treatment (4-21 days), the dose of cabergoline (0.5 mg or 0.25 mg orally) and in the regimens used. At present, the best known effective regimen is 0.5 mg of cabergoline for 8 days or rectal bromocriptine at a daily dose of 2.5 mg for 16 days. Dopamine agonists have shown significant evidences of their efficacy in the prevention of moderate and early-onset OHSS (9.41%), compared with a placebo (21.45%), which cannot be confirmed for the treatment of late OHSS. It would be advisable to start with the treatment on the day of hCG injection or preferably a few hours earlier. The use of dopamine agonists should be indicated in patients at high risk of OHSS, as well as in patients with a history of previous OHSS even without evident signs of the syndrome.

  1. [Alpha 2-adrenoceptor agonists for the treatment of chronic pain].

    PubMed

    Kulka, P J

    1996-04-25

    The antinociceptive effect of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonists is mediated by activation of descending inhibiting noradrenergic systems, which modulates 'wide-dynamic-range' neurones. Furthermore, they inhibit the liberation of substance P and endorphines and activate serotoninergic neurones. Despite this variety of antinociceptive actions, there is still little experience with alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonists as therapeutic agents for use in chronic pain syndromes. Studies in animals and patients have shown that the transdermal, epidural and intravenous administration of the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine reduces pain intensity in neuropathic pain syndromes for periods varying from some hours up to 1 month. Patients suffering from lancinating or sharp pain respond best to this therapy. Topically applied clonidine (200-300 microg) relieves hyperalgesia in sympathetically maintained pain. Epidural administration of 300 microg clonidine dissolved in 5 ml NaCl 0.9 % has also been shown to be effective. In patients suffering from cancer pain tolerant to opioids, pain control has proved possible again with combinations of opioids and clonidine. In isolated cases clonidine has been administered epidurally at a dose of 1500 microg/day for almost 5 months without evidence for any histotoxic property of clonidine. Side effects often observed during administration of alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonists are dry mouth, sedation, hypotension and bradycardia. Therapeutic interventions are usually not required.

  2. Role of nicotine receptor partial agonists in tobacco cessation

    PubMed Central

    Maity, Nivedita; Chand, Prabhat; Murthy, Pratima

    2014-01-01

    One in three adults in India uses tobacco, a highly addictive substance in one or other form. In addition to prevention of tobacco use, offering evidence-based cessation services to dependent tobacco users constitutes an important approach in addressing this serious public health problem. A combination of behavioral methods and pharmacotherapy has shown the most optimal results in tobacco dependence treatment. Among currently available pharmacological agents, drugs that preferentially act on the α4 β2-nicotinic acetyl choline receptor like varenicline and cytisine appear to have relatively better cessation outcomes. These drugs are in general well tolerated and have minimal drug interactions. The odds of quitting tobacco use are at the very least doubled with the use of partial agonists compared with placebo and the outcomes are also superior when compared to nicotine replacement therapy and bupropion. The poor availability of partial agonists and specifically the cost of varenicline, as well as the lack of safety data for cytisine has limited their use world over, particularly in developing countries. Evidence for the benefit of partial agonists is more robust for smoking rather than smokeless forms of tobacco. Although more studies are needed to demonstrate their effectiveness in different populations of tobacco users, present literature supports the use of partial agonists in addition to behavioral methods for optimal outcome in tobacco dependence. PMID:24574554

  3. Dopamine receptor agonists for protection and repair in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Ferrari-Toninelli, Giulia; Bonini, Sara A; Cenini, Giovanna; Maccarinelli, Giuseppina; Grilli, Mariagrazia; Uberti, Daniela; Memo, Maurizio

    2008-01-01

    Dopamine agonists have been usually used as adjunctive therapy for the cure of Parkinson's disease. It is generally believed that treatment with these drugs is symptomatic rather than curative and it does not stop or delay the progression of neuronal degeneration. However, several dopamine agonists of the D2-receptor family have recently been shown to possess neuroprotective properties in different in vitro and in vivo experimental Parkinson's disease models. Here we summarize some recent molecular evidences underlining the wide pharmacological spectrum of dopamine agonists currently used for treating Parkinson's disease patients. In particular, the mechanism of action of different dopamine agonists does not always appear to be restricted to the stimulation of selective dopamine receptor subtypes since at least some of these drugs are endowed with antioxidant, antiapoptotic or neurotrophic properties. These neuroprotective activities are molecule-specific and may contribute to the clinical efficacy of these drugs for the treatment of chronic and progressive neurodegenerative diseases in which oxidative injury and/or protein misfolding and aggregation exert a primary role.

  4. Amylin and Amylin Agonists for Treating Psychiatric Diseases and Disorders

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Methods and compositions for treating psychiatric diseases and disorders are disclosed. The methods provided generally involve the administration of an amylin or an amylin agonist to a subject in order to treat psychiatric diseases and disorders, and conditions associated with psychiatric diseases a...

  5. Synthetic cornea: biocompatibility and optics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parel, Jean-Marie A.; Kaminski, Stefan; Fernandez, Viviana; Alfonso, E.; Lamar, Peggy; Lacombe, Emmanuel; Duchesne, Bernard; Dubovy, Sander; Manns, Fabrice; Rol, Pascal O.

    2002-06-01

    Purpose. Experimentally find a method to provide a safe surgical technique and an inexpensive and long lasting mesoplant for the restoration of vision in patients with bilateral corneal blindness due to ocular surface and stromal diseases. Methods. Identify the least invasive and the safest surgical technique for synthetic cornea implantation. Identify the most compatible biomaterials and the optimal shape a synthetic cornea must have to last a long time when implanted in vivo. Results. Penetrating procedures were deemed too invasive, time consuming, difficult and prone to long term complications. Therefore a non-penetrating delamination technique with central trephination was developed to preserve the integrity of Descemet's membrane and the anterior segment. Even though this approach limits the number of indications, it is acceptable since the majority of patients only have opacities in the stroma. The prosthesis was designed to fit in the removed tissue plane with its skirt fitted under the delaminated stroma. To improve retention, the trephination wall was made conical with the smallest opening on the anterior surface and a hat-shaped mesoplant was made to fit. The skirt was perforated in its perimeter to allow passage of nutrients and tissues ingrowths. To simplify the fabrication procedure, the haptic and optic were made of the same polymer. The intrastromal biocompatibility of several hydrogels was found superior to current clinically used PMMA and PTFE materials. Monobloc mesoplants made of 4 different materials were implanted in rabbits and followed weekly until extrusion occurred. Some remained optically clear allowing for fundus photography. Conclusions. Hydrogel synthetic corneas can be made to survive for periods longer than 1 year. ArF excimer laser photoablation studies are needed to determine the refractive correction potential of these mesoplants. A pilot FDA clinical trial is needed to assess the mesoplant efficacy and very long-term stability.

  6. Synthetic networks in microbial communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suel, Gurol

    2015-03-01

    While bacteria are single celled organisms, they predominantly reside in structured communities known as biofilms. Cells in biofilms are encapsulated and protected by the extracellular matrix (ECM), which also confines cells in space. During biofilm development, microbial cells are organized in space and over time. Little is known regarding the processes that drive the spatio-temporal organization of microbial communities. Here I will present our latest efforts that utilize synthetic biology approaches to uncover the organizational principles that drive biofilm development. I will also discuss the possible implications of our recent findings in terms of the cost and benefit to biofilm cells.

  7. Synthetic carbonaceous fuels and feedstocks

    DOEpatents

    Steinberg, Meyer

    1980-01-01

    This invention relates to the use of a three compartment electrolytic cell in the production of synthetic carbonaceous fuels and chemical feedstocks such as gasoline, methane and methanol by electrolyzing an aqueous sodium carbonate/bicarbonate solution, obtained from scrubbing atmospheric carbon dioxide with an aqueous sodium hydroxide solution, whereby the hydrogen generated at the cathode and the carbon dioxide liberated in the center compartment are combined thermocatalytically into methanol and gasoline blends. The oxygen generated at the anode is preferably vented into the atmosphere, and the regenerated sodium hydroxide produced at the cathode is reused for scrubbing the CO.sub.2 from the atmosphere.

  8. Synthetic Fourier transform light scattering.

    PubMed

    Lee, Kyeoreh; Kim, Hyeon-Don; Kim, Kyoohyun; Kim, Youngchan; Hillman, Timothy R; Min, Bumki; Park, Yongkeun

    2013-09-23

    We present synthetic Fourier transform light scattering, a method for measuring extended angle-resolved light scattering (ARLS) from individual microscopic samples. By measuring the light fields scattered from the sample plane and numerically synthesizing them in Fourier space, the angle range of the ARLS patterns is extended up to twice the numerical aperture of the imaging system with unprecedented sensitivity and precision. Extended ARLS patterns of individual microscopic polystyrene beads, healthy human red blood cells (RBCs), and Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized RBCs are presented.

  9. Clustered Carbohydrates in Synthetic Vaccines†

    PubMed Central

    Peri, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    Are there general rules to achieve efficient immunization against carbohydrate antigens? Thanks to technological advances in glycobiology and glycochemistry we entered in a new era in which the rational design of carbohydrate vaccines has become an achievable goal. Aim of this Tutorial Review is to present the most recent achievements in the field of semi and fully synthetic carbohydrate vaccines against viruses, bacteria and cancer. It is also pointed out that the understanding of the chemical and biochemical processes related to immunization allows the modern chemist to rationally design carbohydrate vaccines with improved efficiency. PMID:23250562

  10. Synthetic Studies in Phytochrome Chemistry

    PubMed Central

    Jacobi, Peter A.; Adel Odeh, Imad M.; Buddhu, Subhas C.; Cai, Guolin; Rajeswari, Sundaramoorthi; Fry, Douglas; Zheng, Wanjun; DeSimone, Robert W.; Guo, Jiasheng; Coutts, Lisa D.; Hauck, Sheila I.; Leung, Sam H.; Ghosh, Indranath; Pippin., Douglas

    2008-01-01

    An account is given of the author’s several approaches to the synthesis of the parent chromophore of phytochrome (1), a protein-bound linear tetrapyrrole derivative that controls photomorphogenesis in higher plants. These studies culminated in enantioselective syntheses of both 2R- and 2S-phytochromobilin (4), as well as several 13C-labeled derivatives designed to probe the site of Z,E-isomerization during photoexcitation. When reacted in vitro, synthetic 2R-4 and recombinant-derived phytochrome apoprotein N-C produced a protein-bound chromophore with identical difference spectra to naturally occurring 1. PMID:18633455

  11. Dynamic microcompartmentation in synthetic cells

    PubMed Central

    Long, M. Scott; Jones, Clinton D.; Helfrich, Marcus R.; Mangeney-Slavin, Lauren K.; Keating, Christine D.

    2005-01-01

    An experimental model for cytoplasmic organization is presented. We demonstrate dynamic control over protein distribution within synthetic cells comprising a lipid bilayer membrane surrounding an aqueous polymer solution. This polymer solution generally exists as two immiscible aqueous phases. Protein partitioning between these phases leads to microcompartmentation, or heterogeneous protein distribution within the “cell” interior. This model cytoplasm can be reversibly converted to a single phase by slight changes in temperature or osmolarity, such that local protein concentrations can be manipulated within the vesicle interior. PMID:15788532

  12. Synthetic Biology Guides Biofuel Production

    PubMed Central

    Connor, Michael R.; Atsumi, Shota

    2010-01-01

    The advancement of microbial processes for the production of renewable liquid fuels has increased with concerns about the current fuel economy. The development of advanced biofuels in particular has risen to address some of the shortcomings of ethanol. These advanced fuels have chemical properties similar to petroleum-based liquid fuels, thus removing the need for engine modification or infrastructure redesign. While the productivity and titers of each of these processes remains to be improved, progress in synthetic biology has provided tools to guide the engineering of these processes through present and future challenges. PMID:20827393

  13. Melatonin receptor agonists: new options for insomnia and depression treatment.

    PubMed

    Spadoni, Gilberto; Bedini, Annalida; Rivara, Silvia; Mor, Marco

    2011-12-01

    The circadian nature of melatonin (MLT) secretion, coupled with the localization of MLT receptors to the suprachiasmatic nucleus, has led to numerous studies of the role of MLT in modulation of the sleep-wake cycle and circadian rhythms in humans. Although much more needs to be understood about the various functions exerted by MLT and its mechanisms of action, three therapeutic agents (ramelteon, prolonged-release MLT, and agomelatine) are already in use, and MLT receptor agonists are now appearing as new promising treatment options for sleep and circadian-rhythm related disorders. In this review, emphasis has been placed on medicinal chemistry strategies leading to MLT receptor agonists, and on the evidence supporting therapeutic efficacy of compounds undergoing clinical evaluation. A wide range of clinical trials demonstrated that ramelteon, prolonged-release MLT and tasimelteon have sleep-promoting effects, providing an important treatment option for insomnia and transient insomnia, even if the improvements of sleep maintenance appear moderate. Well-documented effects of agomelatine suggest that this MLT agonist offers an attractive alternative for the treatment of depression, combining efficacy with a favorable side effect profile. Despite a large number of high affinity nonselective MLT receptor agonists, only limited data on MT₁ or MT₂ subtype-selective compounds are available up to now. Administration of the MT₂-selective agonist IIK7 to rats has proved to decrease NREM sleep onset latency, suggesting that MT₂ receptor subtype is involved in the acute sleep-promoting action of MLT; rigorous clinical studies are needed to demonstrate this hypothesis. Further clinical candidates based on selective activation of MT₁ or MT₂ receptors are expected in coming years.

  14. Identification of raloxifene as a novel CB2 inverse agonist.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Pritesh; Song, Zhao-Hui

    2013-05-24

    The purpose of the current study was to apply a high throughput assay to systematically screen a library of food and drug administration (FDA)-approved drugs as potential ligands for the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2). A cell-based, homogenous time resolved fluorescence (HTRF) method for measuring changes in intracellular cAMP levels was validated and found to be suitable for testing ligands that may act on CB2. Among the 640 FDA-approved drugs screened, raloxifene, a drug used to treat/prevent post-menopausal osteoporosis, was identified for the first time to be a novel CB2 inverse agonist. Our results demonstrated that by acting on CB2, raloxifene enhances forskolin-stimulated cAMP accumulation in a concentration-dependant manner. Furthermore, our data showed that raloxifene competes concentration-dependently for specific [(3)H]CP-55,940 binding to CB2. In addition, raloxifene pretreatment caused a rightward shift of the concentration-response curves of the cannabinoid agonists CP-55,940, HU-210, and WIN55,212-2. Raloxifene antagonism is most likely competitive in nature, as these rightward shifts were parallel and were not associated with any changes in the efficacy of cannabinoid agonists on CB2. Our discovery that raloxfiene is an inverse agonist for CB2 suggests that it might be possible to repurpose this FDA-approved drug for novel therapeutic indications for which CB2 is a target. Furthermore, identifying raloxifene as a CB2 inverse agonist also provides important novel mechanisms of actions to explain the known therapeutic effects of raloxifene.

  15. 5{alpha}-Bile alcohols function as farnesoid X receptor antagonists

    SciTech Connect

    Nishimaki-Mogami, Tomoko . E-mail: mogami@nihs.go.jp; Kawahara, Yosuke; Tamehiro, Norimasa; Yoshida, Takemi; Inoue, Kazuhide; Ohno, Yasuo; Nagao, Taku; Une, Mizuho

    2006-01-06

    The farnesoid X receptor (FXR) is a bile acid/alcohol-activated nuclear receptor that regulates lipid homeostasis. Unlike other steroid receptors, FXR binds bile acids in an orientation that allows the steroid nucleus A to face helix 12 in the receptor, a crucial domain for coactivator-recruitment. Because most naturally occurring bile acids and alcohols contain a cis-oriented A, which is distinct from that of other steroids and cholesterol metabolites, we investigated the role of this 5{beta}-configuration in FXR activation. The results showed that the 5{beta}-(A/B cis) bile alcohols 5{beta}-cyprinol and bufol are potent FXR agonists, whereas their 5{alpha}-(A/B trans) counterparts antagonize FXR transactivation and target gene expression. Both isomers bound to FXR, but their ability to induce coactivator-recruitment and thereby induce transactivation differed. These findings suggest a critical role for the A orientation of bile salts in agonist/antagonist function.

  16. Teaghrelins, unique acylated flavonoid tetraglycosides in Chin-shin oolong tea, are putative oral agonists of the ghrelin receptor.

    PubMed

    Lo, Yuan-Hao; Chen, Ying-Jie; Chang, Chi-I; Lin, Yi-Wen; Chen, Chung-Yu; Lee, Maw-Rong; Lee, Viola S Y; Tzen, Jason T C

    2014-06-04

    Chin-shin oolong tea, a popular tea in Taiwan, was empirically perceived to induce hunger and accelerate gastric emptying in a manner similar to the physiological effects of ghrelin, an endogenous acylated peptide known as the hunger hormone. Two unique acylated flavonoid tetraglycosides previously identified in Chin-shin oolong tea were demonstrated to induce hunger of rats in a food intake assay and, thus, named teaghrelin-1 and teaghrelin-2. Similar to GHRP-6, a synthetic analogue of ghrelin, teaghrelin-1 stimulated growth hormone secretion of rat primary anterior pituitary cells in a dose-dependent manner, and the stimulation was inhibited by [D-Arg(1),D-Phe(5),D-Trp(7,9),Leu(11)]-substance P, an antagonist of the ghrelin receptor. While teaghrelin-2 remained unmodified, a meta-O-methylated metabolite of teaghrelin-1 was detected in bile of rats after intravenous injection. Presumably, teaghrelins are promising oral agonists of the ghrelin receptor.

  17. Radiolabelled D/sub 2/ agonists as prolactinoma imaging agents: Progress report for period February 1, 1987-January 31, 1988

    SciTech Connect

    Otto, C.A.

    1987-11-07

    Three D/sub 2/ agonists, /sup 3/H-DHEC, /sup 3/H-BrCr and /sup 3/H-ADTN, were evaluated with /sup 3/H-DHEC showing the most promise as a potential prolactinoma imaging agent. Concentration vs time plots for all three compounds in normal and in DES-treated pituitary tissue are reported. The exceptional D/sub 2/ receptor affinity of N-0437 has prompted synthetic efforts towards preparation of iodo-N-0437 in spite of a lack of preliminary tissue distribution data. An evaluation of /sup 18/F-FDG uptake in the prolactinoma model and as a muscarinic ligand in control animals were evaluated. 2 refs., 3 figs.

  18. Leuprolide acetate, a GnRH agonist, improves experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis: a possible therapy for multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Guzmán-Soto, Irene; Salinas, Eva; Hernández-Jasso, Irma; Quintanar, J Luis

    2012-10-01

    Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH), a well known hypothalamic neuropeptide, has been reported to possess neurotrophic properties. Leuprolide acetate, a synthetic analogue of GnRH is considered to be a very safe and tolerable drug and it has been used for diverse clinical applications, including the treatment of prostate cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, central precocious puberty and in vitro fertilization techniques. The present study was designed to determine whether Leuprolide acetate administration, exerts neurotrophic effects on clinical signs, body weight gain, neurofilaments (NFs) and myelin basic protein (MBP) expression, axonal morphometry and cell infiltration in spinal cord of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) rats. In this work, we have found that Leuprolide acetate treatment decreases the severity of clinical signs of locomotion, induces a significantly greater body weight gain, increases the MBP and NFs expression, axonal area and cell infiltration in EAE animals. These results suggest the use of this agonist as a potential therapeutic approach for multiple sclerosis.

  19. Structural basis for constitutive activity and agonist-induced activation of the enteroendocrine fat sensor GPR119

    PubMed Central

    Engelstoft, M S; Norn, C; Hauge, M; Holliday, N D; Elster, L; Lehmann, J; Jones, R M; Frimurer, T M; Schwartz, T W

    2014-01-01

    Background and Purpose GPR119 is a Gαs-coupled 7TM receptor activated by endogenous lipids such as oleoylethanolamide (OEA) and by the dietary triglyceride metabolite 2-monoacylglycerol. GPR119 stimulates enteroendocrine hormone and insulin secretion. But despite massive drug discovery efforts in the field, very little is known about the basic molecular pharmacology of GPR119. Experimental Approach GPR119 receptor signalling was studied in transfected cells. Mutational mapping (30 mutations in 23 positions) was performed on residues required for ligand-independent and agonist-induced GPR119 activation (AR231453 and OEA). Novel Rosetta-based receptor modelling was applied, using a composite template approach with segments from different X-ray structures and fully flexible ligand docking. Key Results The increased signalling induced by increasing the cell surface expression of GPR119 in the absence of agonist and the inhibitory effect of two synthetic inverse agonists demonstrated that GRP119 signals with a high degree of constitutive activity through the Gαs pathway. The mutational maps for AR231453 and OEA were very similar and, surprisingly, also similar to the mutational map for residues affecting the constitutive signalling – albeit with key differences. Surprisingly, almost all residues in extracellular loop-2b were important for the constitutive activity. The molecular modelling and docking demonstrated that AR231453 binds in a ‘vertical’ pocket in between mutational hits reaching from the centre of the receptor out to extracellular loop-2b. Conclusions and Implications The high constitutive activity of GPR119 should be taken into account in future drug discovery efforts, which can now be guided by the detailed knowledge of the physiochemical properties of the extended ligand-binding pocket. PMID:25117266

  20. Enzymatic biotransformation of synthetic dyes.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Couto, S

    2009-11-01

    Environmental pollution by discharge of dye-containing effluents represents a serious ecological concern in many countries. Public demands for colour-free discharges to receiving waters have made decolouration of a variety of industrial wastewater a top priority. The current existing techniques for dye removal have several drawbacks such as high cost, low efficiency, use of large amounts of chemicals and formation of toxic sub-products. This has impelled the search for alternative methods such as those based on oxidative enzymes. This approach is believed to be a promising technology since it is cost-effective, environmentally friendly and does not produce sludge. Enzymatic transformation of synthetic dyes can be described as the conversion of dye molecules by enzymes into simpler and generally colourless molecules. Detailed characterisation of the metabolites produced during enzymatic transformation of synthetic dyes as well as ecotoxicity studies is of great importance to assess the effectiveness of the biodegradation process. However, most reports on the biotreatment of dyes mainly deal with decolouration and there are few reports on the reduction in toxicity or on the identification of the biodegradation products. This implies a limitation to assess their true technical potential.

  1. Synthetic population system user guide

    SciTech Connect

    Roberts, D.J.

    1998-03-01

    The Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) TRansportation Analysis SIMulatiuon System (TRANSIMS) synthetic population system (SYN) is designed to produce populations (family households, non-family households, and group quarters) that are statistically equivalent to actual populations when compared at the level of block group or higher. The methodology used by this system is described in a report entitled Creating Synthetic Baseline Populations. The inputs to the system are US Census Bureau data (STF3A and PUMS) and MABLE/GEOCORR data. Census Bureau STF3A and PUMS data formats are commonly used and are available on CD-ROM from the Census Bureau. These data inputs will not be described in any detail in this guide. The primary function of MABLE/GEOCORR data is to cross-reference STF3 block group data to PUMS areas. The outputs of the system are files that contain family household, non-family household, and group quarters data in the form of household and person records. SYN will run on a variety of Unix platforms.

  2. Synthetic vision display evaluation studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Regal, David M.; Whittington, David H.

    1994-01-01

    The goal of this research was to help us understand the display requirements for a synthetic vision system for the High Speed Civil Transport (HSCT). Four experiments were conducted to examine the effects of different levels of perceptual cue complexity in displays used by pilots in a flare and landing task. Increased levels of texture mapping of terrain and runway produced mixed results, including harder but shorter landings and a lower flare initiation altitude. Under higher workload conditions, increased texture resulted in an improvement in performance. An increase in familiar size cues did not result in improved performance. Only a small difference was found between displays using two patterns of high resolution texture mapping. The effects of increased perceptual cue complexity on performance was not as strong as would be predicted from the pilot's subjective reports or from related literature. A description of the role of a synthetic vision system in the High Speed Civil Transport is provide along with a literature review covering applied research related to perceptual cue usage in aircraft displays.

  3. Multiple arrested synthetic aperture radar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shuster, J. S.

    1981-05-01

    This report contains the formulation and analysis of an airborne synthetic aperture rate scheme which employs a multiplicity of antennas with the displaced phase center antenna technique to detect slowly moving targets embedded in a severe clutter environment. The radar is evaluated using the target to clutter power ratio as the measure of performance. Noise is ignored in the analysis. An optimization scheme which maximizes this ratio is employed to obtain the optimum processor weighting. The performance of the MASAR processor with optimum weights is compared against that using target weights (composed of the target signal) and that using binomial weights (which, effectively, form an n-pulse canceller). Both the target and the clutter are modeled with the electric field backscattering coefficient. The target is modeled simply as a deterministically moving point scatterer with the same albedo as a point of clutter. The clutter is modeled as a homogeneous, isotropic, two dimensional, spatiotemporal random field for which only the correlation properties are required. The analysis shows that this radar, with its optimum weighting scheme, is a promising synthetic aperture concept for the detection of slowly moving targets immersed in strong clutter environments.

  4. CFIT Prevention Using Synthetic Vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arthur, Jarvis J., III; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Kramer, Lynda J.; Bailey, Randall E.; Parrish, Russell V.

    2003-01-01

    In commercial aviation, over 30-percent of all fatal accidents worldwide are categorized as Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) accidents where a fully functioning airplane is inadvertently flown into the ground, water, or an obstacle. An experiment was conducted at NASA Langley Research Center investigating the presentation of a synthetic terrain database scene to the pilot on a Primary Flight Display (PFD). The major hypothesis for the experiment is that a synthetic vision system (SVS) will improve the pilot s ability to detect and avoid a potential CFIT compared to conventional flight instrumentation. All display conditions, including the baseline, contained a Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) and Vertical Situation Display (VSD) enhanced Navigation Display (ND). Sixteen pilots each flew 22 approach - departure maneuvers in Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC) to the terrain challenged Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) in Colorado. For the final run, the flight guidance cues were altered such that the departure path went into the terrain. All pilots with a SVS enhanced PFD (12 of 16 pilots) noticed and avoided the potential CFIT situation. All of the pilots who flew the anomaly with the baseline display configuration (which included a TAWS and VSD enhanced ND) had a CFIT event.

  5. Microbial synthetic biology for human therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Jain, Aastha; Bhatia, Pooja; Chugh, Archana

    2012-06-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology holds tremendous potential for developing novel drugs to treat various human conditions. The current study discusses the scope of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach. In this context, synthetic biology aims at designing, engineering and building new microbial synthetic cells that do not pre-exist in nature as well as re-engineer existing microbes for synthesis of therapeutic products. It is expected that the construction of novel microbial genetic circuitry for human therapeutics will greatly benefit from the data generated by 'omics' approaches and multidisciplinary nature of synthetic biology. Development of novel antimicrobial drugs and vaccines by engineering microbial systems are a promising area of research in the field of synthetic biology for human theragnostics. Expression of plant based medicinal compounds in the microbial system using synthetic biology tools is another avenue dealt in the present study. Additionally, the study suggest that the traditional medicinal knowledge can do value addition for developing novel drugs in the microbial systems using synthetic biology tools. The presented work envisions the success of synthetic biology for human therapeutics via microbial approach in a holistic manner. Keeping this in view, various legal and socio-ethical concerns emerging from the use of synthetic biology via microbial approach such as patenting, biosafety and biosecurity issues have been touched upon in the later sections.

  6. [Development of agonists/antagonists for protease-activated receptors (PARs) and the possible therapeutic application to gastrointestinal diseases].

    PubMed

    Sekiguchi, Fumiko

    2005-06-01

    Protease-activated receptors (PARs), a family of G-protein-coupled seven-transmembrane-domain receptors, are activated by proteolytic unmasking of the N-terminal cryptic tethered ligand by certain serine proteases. Among four PAR family members cloned to date, PAR-1, PAR-2, and PAR-4 can also be activated through a non-enzymatic mechanism, which is achieved by direct binding of exogenously applied synthetic peptides based on the tethered ligand sequence, known as PARs-activating peptides, to the body of the receptor. Various peptide mimetics have been synthesized as agonists for PARs with improved potency, selectivity, and stability. Some peptide mimetics and/or nonpeptide compounds have also been developed as antagonists for PAR-1 and PAR-4. PARs are widely distributed in the mammalian body, especially throughout the alimentary systems, and play various roles in physiological/pathophysiological conditions, i.e., modulation of salivary, gastric, or pancreatic glandular exocrine secretion, gastrointestinal smooth muscle motility, gastric mucosal cytoprotection, suppression/facilitation of visceral pain and inflammation, etc. Thus PARs are now considered novel therapeutic targets, and development of selective agonists and/or antagonists for PARs might provide a novel strategy for the treatment of various diseases that are resistant to current therapeutics.

  7. Discovery of new dual PPARγ-GPR40 agonists with robust antidiabetic activity: Design, synthesis and in combo drug evaluation.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo-Figueroa, Sergio; Navarrete-Vázquez, Gabriel; Estrada-Soto, Samuel; Giles-Rivas, Diana; Alarcón-Aguilar, Francisco J; León-Rivera, Ismael; Giacoman-Martínez, Abraham; Miranda Pérez, Elizabeth; Almanza-Pérez, Julio C

    2017-03-22

    The design of compounds 1 and 2 was based on the similar scaffold of pharmacophoric groups for PPARγ and GPR40 agonists. In order to find new compounds with improved biological activity, the current manuscript describes a new dual PPARγ-GPR40 agonist. We synthesized two compounds, which were prepared following a multistep synthetic route, and the relative mRNA expression levels of PPARγ, GLUT4, and GPR40 were quantified in cell culture, as well as insulin secretion and [Ca(2+)] intracellular levels. Compound 1 showed a 7-times increase in the mRNA expression of PPARγ, which in turn enhanced the expression levels of GLUT4 respect to control and pioglitazone. It also showed an increase of 2-fold in the [Ca(2+)]i level allowing an increment on insulin release, being as active as the positive control (glibenclamide), causing also an increase of 2-fold in mRNA expression of GPR40. Furthermore, the compound 2 showed lower activity than the compound 1. The ester of 1 showed antidiabetic activity at a 50mg/kg single dose in streptozotocin-nicotinamide-induced diabetic mice model. In addition, we achieved a molecular docking study of compound 1 on PPARγ and GPR40 receptors, showing a great affinity for both targets. We observed important polar interactions between the carboxylic group and main residues into the binding pocket. Therefore, the compound 1 has a potential for the development of antidiabetic agents with newfangled dual action.

  8. Identification of Thyroid Receptor Ant/Agonists in Water Sources Using Mass Balance Analysis and Monte Carlo Simulation

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Wei; Wei, Si; Hu, Xin-xin; Hu, Guan-jiu; Chen, Cu-lan; Wang, Xin-ru; Giesy, John P.; Yu, Hong-xia

    2013-01-01

    Some synthetic chemicals, which have been shown to disrupt thyroid hormone (TH) function, have been detected in surface waters and people have the potential to be exposed through water-drinking. Here, the presence of thyroid-active chemicals and their toxic potential in drinking water sources in Yangtze River Delta were investigated by use of instrumental analysis combined with cell-based reporter gene assay. A novel approach was developed to use Monte Carlo simulation, for evaluation of the potential risks of measured concentrations of TH agonists and antagonists and to determine the major contributors to observed thyroid receptor (TR) antagonist potency. None of the extracts exhibited TR agonist potency, while 12 of 14 water samples exhibited TR antagonistic potency. The most probable observed antagonist equivalents ranged from 1.4 to 5.6 µg di-n-butyl phthalate (DNBP)/L, which posed potential risk in water sources. Based on Monte Carlo simulation related mass balance analysis, DNBP accounted for 64.4% for the entire observed antagonist toxic unit in water sources, while diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), di-n-octyl phthalate (DNOP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) also contributed. The most probable observed equivalent and most probable relative potency (REP) derived from Monte Carlo simulation is useful for potency comparison and responsible chemicals screening. PMID:24204563

  9. Synthesis and SAR of potent LXR agonists containing an indole pharmacophore

    SciTech Connect

    Washburn, David G.; Hoang, Tram H.; Campobasso, Nino; Smallwood, Angela; Parks, Derek J.; Webb, Christine L.; Frank, Kelly A.; Nord, Melanie; Duraiswami, Chaya; Evans, Christopher; Jaye, Michael; Thompson, Scott K.

    2009-03-27

    A novel series of 1H-indol-1-yl tertiary amine LXR agonists has been designed. Compounds from this series were potent agonists with good rat pharmacokinetic parameters. In addition, the crystal structure of an LXR agonist bound to LXR{alpha} will be disclosed.

  10. Effects of an intrathecally administered benzodiazepine receptor agonist, antagonist and inverse agonist on morphine-induced inhibition of a spinal nociceptive reflex.

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, J. L.; Pieri, L.

    1988-01-01

    1. The effects of an intrathecally administered benzodiazepine receptor (BZR) agonist (midazolam, up to 50 micrograms), antagonist (flumazenil, Ro 15-1788, 5 micrograms) and inverse agonist (Ro 19-4603, 15 micrograms) on nociception and on morphine-induced antinociception were studied in rats. 2. By themselves, none of these compounds significantly altered pain threshold. 3. The BZR agonist midazolam enhanced the morphine-induced antinociceptive effect whereas the antagonist flumazenil did not alter it. In contrast, the BZR inverse agonist Ro 19-4603 decreased the morphine-induced antinociceptive effect. 4. Naloxone (1 mg kg-1 i.p.) completely reversed all these effects. 5. These results demonstrate that BZR agonists and inverse agonists are able to affect, by allosteric up- or down-modulation of gamma-aminobutyric acidA (GABAA)-receptors, the transmission of nociceptive information at the spinal cord level, when this transmission is depressed by mu-opioid receptor activation. PMID:2898960

  11. PGE2 receptor agonist misoprostol protects brain against intracerebral hemorrhage in mice

    PubMed Central

    Wu, He; Wu, Tao; Hua, Wei; Dong, Xianghui; Gao, Yufeng; Zhao, Xiaochun; Chen, Wenwu; Cao, Wangsen; Yang, Qingwu; Qi, Jiping; Zhou, Jin; Wang, Jian

    2015-01-01

    Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating form of stroke. Misoprostol, a synthetic PGE1 analog and PGE2 receptor agonist, has shown protection against cerebral ischemia. In this study, we tested the efficacy of misoprostol in 12-month-old mice subjected to one of two complementary ICH models, the collagenase model (primary study) and blood model (secondary study, performed in an independent laboratory). We also investigated its potential mechanism of action. Misoprostol post-treatment decreased brain lesion volume, edema, and brain atrophy and improved long-term functional outcomes. In the collagenase-induced ICH model, misoprostol decreased cellular inflammatory response; attenuated oxidative brain damage and gelatinolytic activity; and decreased HMGB1 expression, Src kinase activity, and interleukin-1β expression without affecting cyclooxygenase-2 expression. Further, HMGB1 inhibition with glycyrrhizin decreased Src kinase activity, gelatinolytic activity, neuronal death, and brain lesion volume. Src kinase inhibition with PP2 decreased gelatinolytic activity and brain edema and improved neurologic function, but did not decrease HMGB1 protein level. These results indicate that misoprostol protects brain against ICH injury through mechanisms that may involve the HMGB1, Src kinase, and MMP-2/9 pathway. PMID:25623334

  12. Novel leukocyte agonists are released by endothelial cells exposed to peroxide.

    PubMed

    Patel, K D; Zimmerman, G A; Prescott, S M; McIntyre, T M

    1992-07-25

    Reactive oxygen species do not activate isolated neutrophils, yet in vivo, such oxidants promote their adhesion to, and subsequent migration through, the vascular wall. We show human endothelial cells exposed to t-butylhydroperoxide shed large, sealed membrane vesicles that contained potent neutrophil agonists. This activity migrated on TLC like platelet-activating factor (PAF). Since neutrophils have a receptor for this phospholipid, which recognizes its unique characteristics including the short sn-2 acetyl residue, we examined the effect of PAF receptor antagonists and PAF acetylhydrolase on this activity. Structurally unrelated PAF receptor antagonists blocked neutrophil stimulation by vesicular phospholipids, and digestion with PAF acetylhydrolase, which is specific for short sn-2 residues, destroyed this activity. However, metabolic labeling, inhibition of synthesis, phospholipase A1 digestion, and high performance liquid chromatographic studies demonstrated that the vesicles did not contain PAF. Instead, the bioactivity migrated on high performance liquid chromatography like the phospholipids generated by oxidative fragmentation of synthetic arachidonoyl phosphatidylcholine that we have shown previously (Smiley, P. L., Stremler, K. E., Prescott, S. M., Zimmerman, G. A., and McIntyre, T. M. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 11104-11110) to stimulate neutrophils through their receptor for PAF. Thus, peroxide treatment of endothelial cells fragments cellular phosphatidylcholines, forming novel PAF-like phospholipids, and induces the shedding of membrane vesicles that contain these bioactive phospholipids.

  13. Appeasing pheromone inhibits cortisol augmentation and agonistic behaviors during social stress in adult miniature pigs.

    PubMed

    Yonezawa, Tomohiro; Koori, Miyuki; Kikusui, Takefumi; Mori, Yuji

    2009-11-01

    Pairing and physical confrontation In adult sows causes social stress reactions and aggressive behaviors. Recently, maternal pig skin secretions were Isolated and a mixture containing several fatty acids, now called pig appeasing pheromone (PAP), was synthesized. In this study, we Investigated the effects of PAP on social and Immune stress response In adult female miniature pigs. PAP or vehicle solvents were sprayed Into the pens of Individually housed adult sows. A two-week exposure to the pheromone did not alter basal salivary Cortisol levels or clrcadlan rhythms. Following this treatment, the animals were paired and placed In a new pen that was divided with a wire-mesh fence. Although salivary cortisol Increased markedly In the vehicle-treated group, the PAP-treated group exhibited a drastic Inhibition of cortisol secretion. This effect was sustained even after they were allowed to physically Interact following fence removal. Moreover, the latency time of agonistic behaviors, such as escaping or biting, was significantly extended after PAP exposure. When lipopolysaccharide was Injected Intramuscularly, Cortisol levels, rectal temperatures, and lying time lengths Increased substantially. No differences were observed between the pheromone-treated and untreated groups. These results suggest that this synthetic pheromone alleviates social stress In adult pigs, although It does not affect Immune stress responses. Our findings demonstrate the potential benefit of this pheromone In field applications and clinical disciplines relating to adult female pigs.

  14. Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes by Free Fatty Acid Receptor Agonists

    PubMed Central

    Watterson, Kenneth R.; Hudson, Brian D.; Ulven, Trond; Milligan, Graeme

    2014-01-01

    Dietary free fatty acids (FFAs), such as ω-3 fatty acids, regulate metabolic and anti-inflammatory processes, with many of these effects attributed to FFAs interacting with a family of G protein-coupled receptors. Selective synthetic ligands for free fatty acid receptors (FFA1-4) have consequently been developed as potential treatments for type 2 diabetes (T2D). In particular, clinical studies show that Fasiglifam, an agonist of the long-chain FFA receptor, FFA1, improved glycemic control and reduced HbA1c levels in T2D patients, with a reduced risk of hypoglycemia. However, this ligand was removed from clinical trials due to potential liver toxicity and determining if this is a target or a ligand-specific feature is now of major importance. Pre-clinical studies also show that FFA4 agonism increases insulin sensitivity, induces weight loss, and reduces inflammation and the metabolic and anti-inflammatory effects of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are linked with FFA2 and FFA3 activation. In this review, we therefore show that FFA receptor agonism is a potential clinical target for T2D treatment and discuss ongoing drug development programs within industry and academia aimed at improving the safety and effectiveness of these potential treatments. PMID:25221541

  15. Effects of a glucocorticoid receptor agonist, dexamethasone, on fathead minnow reproduction, growth, and development.

    PubMed

    LaLone, Carlie A; Villeneuve, Daniel L; Olmstead, Allen W; Medlock, Elizabeth K; Kahl, Michael D; Jensen, Kathleen M; Durhan, Elizabeth J; Makynen, Elizabeth A; Blanksma, Chad A; Cavallin, Jenna E; Thomas, Linnea M; Seidl, Sara M; Skolness, Sarah Y; Wehmas, Leah C; Johnson, Rodney D; Ankley, Gerald T

    2012-03-01

    Synthetic glucocorticoids are pharmaceutical compounds prescribed in human and veterinary medicine as anti-inflammatory agents and have the potential to contaminate natural watersheds via inputs from wastewater treatment facilities and confined animal-feeding operations. Despite this, few studies have examined the effects of this class of chemicals on aquatic vertebrates. To generate data to assess potential risk to the aquatic environment, we used fathead minnow 21-d reproduction and 29-d embryo-larvae assays to determine reproductive toxicity and early-life-stage effects of dexamethasone. Exposure to 500 µg dexamethasone/L in the 21-d test caused reductions in fathead minnow fecundity and female plasma estradiol concentrations and increased the occurrence of abnormally hatched fry. Female fish exposed to 500 µg dexamethasone/L also displayed a significant increase in plasma vitellogenin protein levels, possibly because of decreased spawning. A decrease in vitellogenin messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) expression in liver tissue from females exposed to the high dexamethasone concentration lends support to this hypothesis. Histological results indicate that a 29-d embryo-larval exposure to 500 µg dexamethasone/L caused a significant increase in deformed gill opercula. Fry exposed to 500 µg dexamethasone/L for 29 d also exhibited a significant reduction in weight and length compared with control fry. Taken together, these results indicate that nonlethal concentrations of a model glucocorticoid receptor agonist can impair fish reproduction, growth, and development.

  16. Identification of novel peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) agonists using molecular modeling method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gee, Veronica M. W.; Wong, Fiona S. L.; Ramachandran, Lalitha; Sethi, Gautam; Kumar, Alan Prem; Yap, Chun Wei

    2014-11-01

    Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) plays a critical role in lipid and glucose homeostasis. It is the target of many drug discovery studies, because of its role in various disease states including diabetes and cancer. Thiazolidinediones, a synthetic class of agents that work by activation of PPARγ, have been used extensively as insulin-sensitizers for the management of type 2 diabetes. In this study, a combination of QSAR and docking methods were utilised to perform virtual screening of more than 25 million compounds in the ZINC library. The QSAR model was developed using 1,517 compounds and it identified 42,378 potential PPARγ agonists from the ZINC library, and 10,000 of these were selected for docking with PPARγ based on their diversity. Several steps were used to refine the docking results, and finally 30 potentially highly active ligands were identified. Four compounds were subsequently tested for their in vitro activity, and one compound was found to have a K i values of <5 μM.

  17. The Toll-Like Receptor Agonist Imiquimod Is Active against Prions

    PubMed Central

    Beringue, Vincent; Soubigou, Flavie; Pang, Yanhong; Desban, Nathalie; Massacrier, Catherine; Morel, Yannis; Paturel, Carine; Contesse, Marie-Astrid; Bouaziz, Serge; Sanyal, Suparna; Galons, Hervé; Blondel, Marc; Voisset, Cécile

    2013-01-01

    Using a yeast-based assay, a previously unsuspected antiprion activity was found for imiquimod (IQ), a potent Toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) agonist already used for clinical applications. The antiprion activity of IQ was first detected against yeast prions [PSI+] and [URE3], and then against mammalian prion both ex vivo in a cell-based assay and in vivo in a transgenic mouse model for prion diseases. In order to facilitate structure-activity relationship studies, we conducted a new synthetic pathway which provides a more efficient means of producing new IQ chemical derivatives, the activity of which was tested against both yeast and mammalian prions. The comparable antiprion activity of IQ and its chemical derivatives in the above life forms further emphasizes the conservation of prion controlling mechanisms throughout evolution. Interestingly, this study also demonstrated that the antiprion activity of IQ and IQ-derived compounds is independent from their ability to stimulate TLRs. Furthermore, we found that IQ and its active chemical derivatives inhibit the protein folding activity of the ribosome (PFAR) in vitro. PMID:23977222

  18. Liver X receptor agonist prevents LPS-induced mastitis in mice.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yunhe; Tian, Yuan; Wei, Zhengkai; Liu, Hui; Song, Xiaojing; Liu, Wenbo; Zhang, Wenlong; Wang, Wei; Cao, Yongguo; Zhang, Naisheng

    2014-10-01

    Liver X receptor-α (LXR-α) which belongs to the nuclear receptor superfamily, is a ligand-activated transcription factor. Best known for its ability to regulate lipid metabolism and transport, LXRs have recently also been implicated in regulation of inflammatory response. The aim of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of synthetic LXR-α agonist T0901317 on LPS-induced mastitis in mice. The mouse model of mastitis was induced by injection of LPS through the duct of mammary gland. T0901317 was injected 1h before and 12h after induction of LPS intraperitoneally. The results showed that T0901317 significantly attenuated the infiltration of neutrophilic granulocytes, and the activation of myeloperoxidase (MPO); down-regulated the level of pro-inflammatory mediators including TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6, COX-2 and PEG2; inhibited the phosphorylation of IκB-α and NF-κB p65, caused by LPS. Moreover, we report for the first time that LXR-α activation impaired LPS-induced mastitis. Taken together, these data indicated that T0901317 had protective effect on mastitis and the anti-inflammatory mechanism of T0901317 on LPS induced mastitis in mice may be due to its ability to inhibit NF-κB signaling pathway. LXR-α activation can be used as a therapeutic approach to treat mastitis.

  19. Effects of PPAR-γ agonist treatment on LPS-induced mastitis in rats.

    PubMed

    Mingfeng, Ding; Xiaodong, Ming; Yue, Liu; Taikui, Piao; Lei, Xiao; Ming, Liu

    2014-12-01

    PPAR-γ, a member of the nuclear receptor superfamily, plays an important role in lipid metabolism and inflammation. The aim of this study was to investigate the preventive effects of synthetic PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced mastitis in rats. The mouse model of mastitis was induced by the injection of LPS through the duct of the mammary gland. Rosiglitazone was injected 1 h before the induction of LPS intraperitoneally. The results showed that rosiglitazone attenuated the infiltration of inflammatory cells, the activity of myeloperoxidase (MPO), and the production of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, Western blotting showed that rosiglitazone inhibited the phosphorylation of IκB-α and NF-κB p65. These results indicated that rosiglitazone has a protective effect on mastitis, and the anti-inflammatory mechanism of rosiglitazone on LPS-induced mastitis in rats may be due to its ability to inhibit NF-κB signaling pathways. PPAR-γ may be a potential therapeutic target against mastitis.

  20. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Brianna; Snell, Sam; Bye-Nagel, Kyri; Tonidandel, Scott; Heyer, Laurie J; Campbell, A Malcolm

    2011-07-21

    Members of the synthetic biology community have discussed the significance of word selection when describing synthetic biology to the general public. In particular, many leaders proposed the word "create" was laden with negative connotations. We found that word choice and framing does affect public perception of synthetic biology. In a controlled experiment, participants perceived synthetic biology more negatively when "create" was used to describe the field compared to "construct" (p = 0.008). Contrary to popular opinion among synthetic biologists, however, low religiosity individuals were more influenced negatively by the framing manipulation than high religiosity people. Our results suggest that synthetic biologists directly influence public perception of their field through avoidance of the word "create".

  1. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, MaryJoe K.; Ruder, Warren C.

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  2. Nature's chemicals and synthetic chemicals: comparative toxicology.

    PubMed Central

    Ames, B N; Profet, M; Gold, L S

    1990-01-01

    The toxicology of synthetic chemicals is compared to that of natural chemicals, which represent the vast bulk of the chemicals to which humans are exposed. It is argued that animals have a broad array of inducible general defenses to combat the changing array of toxic chemicals in plant food (nature's pesticides) and that these defenses are effective against both natural and synthetic toxins. Synthetic toxins such as dioxin are compared to natural chemicals, such as indole carbinol (in broccoli) and ethanol. Trade-offs between synthetic and natural pesticides are discussed. The finding that in high-dose tests, a high proportion of both natural and synthetic chemicals are carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, and clastogens (30-50% for each group) undermines current regulatory efforts to protect public health from synthetic chemicals based on these tests. PMID:2217211

  3. Word selection affects perceptions of synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Members of the synthetic biology community have discussed the significance of word selection when describing synthetic biology to the general public. In particular, many leaders proposed the word "create" was laden with negative connotations. We found that word choice and framing does affect public perception of synthetic biology. In a controlled experiment, participants perceived synthetic biology more negatively when "create" was used to describe the field compared to "construct" (p = 0.008). Contrary to popular opinion among synthetic biologists, however, low religiosity individuals were more influenced negatively by the framing manipulation than high religiosity people. Our results suggest that synthetic biologists directly influence public perception of their field through avoidance of the word "create". PMID:21777466

  4. Creating biological nanomaterials using synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Rice, MaryJoe K; Ruder, Warren C

    2014-02-01

    Synthetic biology is a new discipline that combines science and engineering approaches to precisely control biological networks. These signaling networks are especially important in fields such as biomedicine and biochemical engineering. Additionally, biological networks can also be critical to the production of naturally occurring biological nanomaterials, and as a result, synthetic biology holds tremendous potential in creating new materials. This review introduces the field of synthetic biology, discusses how biological systems naturally produce materials, and then presents examples and strategies for incorporating synthetic biology approaches in the development of new materials. In particular, strategies for using synthetic biology to produce both organic and inorganic nanomaterials are discussed. Ultimately, synthetic biology holds the potential to dramatically impact biological materials science with significant potential applications in medical systems.

  5. Nature's chemicals and synthetic chemicals: Comparative toxicology

    SciTech Connect

    Ames, B.N.; Profet, M.; Gold, L.S. )

    1990-10-01

    The toxicology of synthetic chemicals is compared to that of natural chemicals, which represent the vast bulk of the chemicals to which humans are exposed. It is argued that animals have a broad array of inducible general defenses to combat the changing array of toxic chemicals in plant food (nature's pesticides) and that these defenses are effective against both natural and synthetic toxins. Synthetic toxins such as dioxin are compared to natural chemicals, such as indole carbinol (in broccoli) and ethanol. Trade-offs between synthetic and natural pesticides are discussed. The finding that in high-dose tests, a high proportion of both natural and synthetic chemicals are carcinogens, mutagens, teratogens, and clastogens (30-50{percent} for each group) undermines current regulatory efforts to protect public health from synthetic chemicals based on these tests.

  6. Synthetic biology - the state of play.

    PubMed

    Kitney, Richard; Freemont, Paul

    2012-07-16

    Just over two years ago there was an article in Nature entitled "Five Hard Truths for Synthetic Biology". Since then, the field has moved on considerably. A number of economic commentators have shown that synthetic biology very significant industrial potential. This paper addresses key issues in relation to the state of play regarding synthetic biology. It first considers the current background to synthetic biology, whether it is a legitimate field and how it relates to foundational biological sciences. The fact that synthetic biology is a translational field is discussed and placed in the context of the industrial translation process. An important aspect of synthetic biology is platform technology, this topic is also discussed in some detail. Finally, examples of application areas are described.

  7. Emerging drugs of abuse: current perspectives on synthetic cannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Debruyne, Danièle; Le Boisselier, Reynald

    2015-01-01

    New psychoactive drugs that have appeared over the last decade are typically dominated by cathinones and synthetic cannabinoids (SCs). SCs have been emerging as recreational drugs because they mimic the euphoria effect of cannabis while still being legal. Sprayed on natural herb mixtures, SCs have been primarily sold as “herbal smoking blends” or “herbal incense” under brand names like “Spice” or “K2”. Currently, SCs pure compounds are available from websites for the combination with herbal materials or for the use in e-cigarettes. For the past 5 years, an ever increasing number of compounds, representative of different chemical classes, have been promoted and now represent a large assortment of new popular drugs of abuse, which are difficult to properly identify. Their legal status varies by country with many government institutions currently pushing for their control. The in vitro binding to CB1/CB2 receptors is usually well-known and considerable differences have been found in the CB1 versus CB2 selectivity and potency within the different SCs, with several structure-activity relations being evident. Desired effects by CB1 agonist users are relaxation/recreative, however, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, or psychiatric/neurological side effects are commonly reported. At present there is no specific antidote existing if an overdose of designer drugs was to occur, and no curative treatment has been approved by health authorities. Management of acute toxic effects is mainly symptomatic and extrapolated from experience with cannabis. PMID:26543389

  8. A synthetic zero air standard

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pearce, Ruth

    2016-04-01

    A Synthetic Zero Air Standard R. E. Hill-Pearce, K. V. Resner, D. R. Worton, P. J. Brewer The National Physical Laboratory Teddington, Middlesex TW11 0LW UK We present work towards providing traceability for measurements of high impact greenhouse gases identified by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) as critical for global monitoring. Standards for these components are required with challengingly low uncertainties to improve the quality assurance and control processes used for the global networks to better assess climate trends. Currently the WMO compatibility goals require reference standards with uncertainties of < 100 nmolmol-1 for CO2 (northern hemisphere) and < 2 nmolmol-1 for CH4 and CO. High purity zero gas is required for both the balance gas in the preparation of reference standards and for baseline calibrations of instrumentation. Quantification of the amount fraction of the target components in the zero gas is a significant contributor to the uncertainty and is challenging due to limited availability of reference standard at the amount fraction of the measurand and limited analytical techniques with sufficient detection limits. A novel dilutor was used to blend NPL Primary Reference Gas Mixtures containing CO2, CH4 and CO at atmospheric amount fractions with a zero gas under test. Several mixtures were generated with nominal dilution ratios ranging from 2000:1 to 350:1. The baseline of two cavity ring down spectrometers was calibrated using the zero gas under test after purification by oxidative removal of CO and hydrocarbons to < 1 nmolmol-1 (SAES PS15-GC50) followed by the removal of CO2 and water vapour to < 100 pmolmol-1 (SAES MC190). Using the standard addition method.[1] we have quantified the amount fraction of CO, CO2, and CH4 in scrubbed whole air (Scott Marrin) and NPL synthetic zero air. This is the first synthetic zero air standard with a matrix of N2, O2 and Ar closely matching ambient composition with gravimetrically assigned

  9. Broadband synthetic aperture geoacoustic inversion.

    PubMed

    Tan, Bien Aik; Gerstoft, Peter; Yardim, Caglar; Hodgkiss, William S

    2013-07-01

    A typical geoacoustic inversion procedure involves powerful source transmissions received on a large-aperture receiver array. A more practical approach is to use a single moving source and/or receiver in a low signal to noise ratio (SNR) setting. This paper uses single-receiver, broadband, frequency coherent matched-field inversion and exploits coherently repeated transmissions to improve estimation of the geoacoustic parameters. The long observation time creates a synthetic aperture due to relative source-receiver motion. This approach is illustrated by studying the transmission of multiple linear frequency modulated (LFM) pulses which results in a multi-tonal comb spectrum that is Doppler sensitive. To correlate well with the measured field across a receiver trajectory and to incorporate transmission from a source trajectory, waveguide Doppler and normal mode theory is applied. The method is demonstrated with low SNR, 100-900 Hz LFM pulse data from the Shallow Water 2006 experiment.

  10. Synthetic biology of antimicrobial discovery

    PubMed Central

    Zakeri, Bijan; Lu, Timothy K.

    2012-01-01

    Antibiotic discovery has a storied history. From the discovery of penicillin by Sir Alexander Fleming to the relentless quest for antibiotics by Selman Waksman, the stories have become like folklore, used to inspire future generations of scientists. However, recent discovery pipelines have run dry at a time when multidrug resistant pathogens are on the rise. Nature has proven to be a valuable reservoir of antimicrobial agents, which are primarily produced by modularized biochemical pathways. Such modularization is well suited to remodeling by an interdisciplinary approach that spans science and engineering. Herein, we discuss the biological engineering of small molecules, peptides, and non-traditional antimicrobials and provide an overview of the growing applicability of synthetic biology to antimicrobials discovery. PMID:23654251

  11. Synthetic Jets in Quiescent Air

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yao, C. S.; Chen, F. J.; Neuhart, D.; Harris, J.

    2007-01-01

    An oscillatory jet with zero net mass flow is generated by a cavity-pumping actuator. Among the three test cases selected for the Langley CFD validation workshop to assess the current CFD capabilities to predict unsteady flow fields, this basic oscillating jet flow field is the least complex and is selected as the first test case. Increasing in complexity, two more cases studied include jet in cross flow boundary layer and unsteady flow induced by suction and oscillatory blowing with separation control geometries. In this experiment, velocity measurements from three different techniques, hot-wire anemometry, Laser Doppler Velocimetry (LDV) and Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV), documented the synthetic jet flow field. To provide boundary conditions for computations, the experiment also monitored the actuator operating parameters including diaphragm displacement, internal cavity pressure, and internal cavity temperature.

  12. Synthetically simple, highly resilient hydrogels.

    PubMed

    Cui, Jun; Lackey, Melissa A; Madkour, Ahmad E; Saffer, Erika M; Griffin, David M; Bhatia, Surita R; Crosby, Alfred J; Tew, Gregory N

    2012-03-12

    Highly resilient synthetic hydrogels were synthesized by using the efficient thiol-norbornene chemistry to cross-link hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and hydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer chains. The swelling and mechanical properties of the hydrogels were controlled by the relative amounts of PEG and PDMS. The fracture toughness (G(c)) was increased to 80 J/m(2) as the water content of the hydrogel decreased from 95% to 82%. In addition, the mechanical energy storage efficiency (resilience) was more than 97% at strains up to 300%. This is comparable with one of the most resilient materials known: natural resilin, an elastic protein found in many insects, such as in the tendons of fleas and the wings of dragonflies. The high resilience of these hydrogels can be attributed to the well-defined network structure provided by the versatile chemistry, low cross-link density, and lack of secondary structure in the polymer chains.

  13. Synthetic CA II Triplet Lines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erdelyi, M. M.; Barbuy, B.

    1990-11-01

    RESUMEN. Se hicieron calculos de sintesis del espectro en el ititervalo de longitud de onda - 8700 A, ara ? oder verificar el comporta- mien to de diferentes lineas moleculares y at5micas como funci5n de los parametros esteldres de temperatura, gravedad y metalicidad. El espec- tro sintetico ha sido generado para:(a) todas las , (b) solamente de CN, (c) solamente de TiO, y (d) solamente lineas at6micas. Abstract. Spectrum synthesis calculations are carried out in the wavelength interval X 8300 - 8700 A, in order to verify the behaviour of different molecular and atomic lines as a function of the stellar para meters temperature, gravity and metallicity. Synthetic spectra were ge nerated for: (a) all lines, (b) only CN lines, (c) only TiO lines, and (d) only atomic lines Key `td6: LINE-PROFILE - ST S-AThOSPHERES

  14. Nanostructures from Synthetic Genetic Polymers.

    PubMed

    Taylor, Alexander I; Beuron, Fabienne; Peak-Chew, Sew-Yeu; Morris, Edward P; Herdewijn, Piet; Holliger, Philipp

    2016-06-16

    Nanoscale objects of increasing complexity can be constructed from DNA or RNA. However, the scope of potential applications could be enhanced by expanding beyond the moderate chemical diversity of natural nucleic acids. Here, we explore the construction of nano-objects made entirely from alternative building blocks: synthetic genetic polymers not found in nature, also called xeno nucleic acids (XNAs). Specifically, we describe assembly of 70 kDa tetrahedra elaborated in four different XNA chemistries (2'-fluro-2'-deoxy-ribofuranose nucleic acid (2'F-RNA), 2'-fluoroarabino nucleic acids (FANA), hexitol nucleic acids (HNA), and cyclohexene nucleic acids (CeNA)), as well as mixed designs, and a ∼600 kDa all-FANA octahedron, visualised by electron microscopy. Our results extend the chemical scope for programmable nanostructure assembly, with implications for the design of nano-objects and materials with an expanded range of structural and physicochemical properties, including enhanced biostability.

  15. Multifocal interferometric synthetic aperture microscopy

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Yang; Chng, Xiong Kai Benjamin; Adie, Steven G.; Boppart, Stephen A.; Scott Carney, P.

    2014-01-01

    There is an inherent trade-off between transverse resolution and depth of field (DOF) in optical coherence tomography (OCT) which becomes a limiting factor for certain applications. Multifocal OCT and interferometric synthetic aperture microscopy (ISAM) each provide a distinct solution to the trade-off through modification to the experiment or via post-processing, respectively. In this paper, we have solved the inverse problem of multifocal OCT and present a general algorithm for combining multiple ISAM datasets. Multifocal ISAM (MISAM) uses a regularized combination of the resampled datasets to bring advantages of both multifocal OCT and ISAM to achieve optimal transverse resolution, extended effective DOF and improved signal-to-noise ratio. We present theory, simulation and experimental results. PMID:24977909

  16. Jet fuels from synthetic crudes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antoine, A. C.; Gallagher, J. P.

    1977-01-01

    An investigation was conducted to determine the technical problems in the conversion of a significant portion of a barrel of either a shale oil or a coal synthetic crude oil into a suitable aviation turbine fuel. Three syncrudes were used, one from shale and two from coal, chosen as representative of typical crudes from future commercial production. The material was used to produce jet fuels of varying specifications by distillation, hydrotreating, and hydrocracking. Attention is given to process requirements, hydrotreating process conditions, the methods used to analyze the final products, the conditions for shale oil processing, and the coal liquid processing conditions. The results of the investigation show that jet fuels of defined specifications can be made from oil shale and coal syncrudes using readily available commercial processes.

  17. Synthetically Simple, Highly Resilient Hydrogels

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Jun; Lackey, Melissa A.; Madkour, Ahmad E.; Saffer, Erika M.; Griffin, David M.; Bhatia, Surita R.; Crosby, Alfred J.; Tew, Gregory N.

    2014-01-01

    Highly resilient synthetic hydrogels were synthesized by using the efficient thiol-norbornene chemistry to cross-link hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and hydrophobic polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) polymer chains. The swelling and mechanical properties of the hydrogels were well-controlled by the relative amounts of PEG and PDMS. In addition, the mechanical energy storage efficiency (resilience) was more than 97% at strains up to 300%. This is comparable with one of the most resilient materials known: natural resilin, an elastic protein found in many insects, such as in the tendons of fleas and the wings of dragonflies. The high resilience of these hydrogels can be attributed to the well-defined network structure provided by the versatile chemistry, low cross-link density, and lack of secondary structure in the polymer chains. PMID:22372639

  18. Microorganism Utilization for Synthetic Milk

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morford, Megan A.; Khodadad, Christina L.; Caro, Janicce I.; Spencer, LaShelle E.; Richards, Jeffery T.; Strayer, Richard F.; Birmele, Michele N.; Wheeler, Raymond M.

    2014-01-01

    A desired architecture for long duration spaceflight, like aboard the International Space Station or for future missions to Mars, is to provide a supply of fresh food crops for the astronauts. However, some crops can create a high proportion of inedible plant waste. The main goal of the Synthetic Biology project, Cow in a Column, was to produce the components of milk (sugar, lipid, protein) from inedible plant waste by utilizing microorganisms (fungi, yeast, bacteria). Of particular interest was utilizing the valuable polysaccharide, cellulose, found in plant waste, to naturally fuel-through microorganism cellular metabolism- the creation of sugar (glucose), lipid (milk fat), and protein (casein) in order to produce a synthetic edible food product. Environmental conditions such as pH, temperature, carbon source, aeration, and choice microorganisms were optimized in the laboratory and the desired end-products, sugars and lipids, were analyzed. Trichoderma reesei, a known cellulolytic fungus, was utilized to drive the production of glucose, with the intent that the produced glucose would serve as the carbon source for milk fat production and be a substitute for the milk sugar lactose. Lipid production would be carried out by Rhodosporidium toruloides, yeast known to accumulate those lipids that are typically found in milk fat. Results showed that glucose and total lipid content were below what was expected during this phase of experimentation. In addition, individual analysis of six fatty acids revealed that the percentage of each fatty acid was lower than naturally produced bovine milk. Overall, this research indicates that microorganisms could be utilized to breakdown inedible solid waste to produce useable products. For future work, the production of the casein protein for milk would require the development of a genetically modified organism, which was beyond the scope of the original project. Additional trials would be needed to further refine the required

  19. A Potent and Site-Selective Agonist of TRPA1.

    PubMed

    Takaya, Junichiro; Mio, Kazuhiro; Shiraishi, Takuya; Kurokawa, Tatsuki; Otsuka, Shinya; Mori, Yasuo; Uesugi, Motonari

    2015-12-23

    TRPA1 is a member of the transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel family that is expressed primarily on sensory neurons. This chemosensor is activated through covalent modification of multiple cysteine residues with a wide range of reactive compounds including allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), a spicy component of wasabi. The present study reports on potent and selective agonists of TRPA1, discovered through screening 1657 electrophilic molecules. In an effort to validate the mode of action of hit molecules, we noted a new TRPA1-selective agonist, JT010 (molecule 1), which opens the TRPA1 channel by covalently and site-selectively binding to Cys621 (EC50 = 0.65 nM). The results suggest that a single modification of Cys621 is sufficient to open the TRPA1 channel. The TRPA1-selective probe described herein might be useful for further mechanistic studies of TRPA1 activation.

  20. Agonist-antagonist combinations in opioid dependence: a translational approach

    PubMed Central

    Mannelli, P.

    2011-01-01

    Summary The potential therapeutic benefits of co-administering opiate agonist and antagonist agents remain largely to be investigated. This paper focuses on the mechanisms of very low doses of naltrexone that help modulate the effects of methadone withdrawal and review pharmacological properties of the buprenorphine/naltrexone combination that support its clinical investigation. The bench-to-bedside development of the very low dose naltrexone treatment can serve as a translational paradigm to investigate and treat drug addiction. Further research on putative mechanisms elicited by the use of opioid agonist-antagonist combinations may lead to effective pharmacological alternatives to the gold standard methadone treatment, also useful for the management of the abuse of non opioid drugs and alcohol. PMID:22448305

  1. β2-Adrenoceptor agonists in the regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Yuri K; Cameron, Robert B; Wills, Lauren P; Trager, Richard E; Lindsey, Chris C; Beeson, Craig C; Schnellmann, Rick G

    2013-10-01

    The stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis (MB) via cell surface G-protein coupled receptors is a promising strategy for cell repair and regeneration. Here we report the specificity and chemical rationale of a panel of β2-adrenoceptor agonists with regards to MB. Using primary cultures of renal cells, a diverse panel of β2-adrenoceptor agonists elicited three distinct phenotypes: full MB, partial MB, and non-MB. Full MB compounds had efficacy in the low nanomolar range and represent two chemical scaffolds containing three distinct chemical clusters. Interestingly, the MB phenotype did not correlate with reported receptor affinity or chemical similarity. Chemical clusters were then subjected to pharmacophore modeling creating two models with unique and distinct features, consisting of five conserved amongst full MB compounds were identified. The two discrete pharmacophore models were coalesced into a consensus pharmacophore with four unique features elucidating the spatial and chemical characteristics required to stimulate MB.

  2. Integrating costimulatory agonists to optimize immune-based cancer therapies.

    PubMed

    Pardee, Angela D; Wesa, Amy K; Storkus, Walter J

    2009-03-01

    While immunotherapy for cancer has become increasingly popular, clinical benefits for such approaches remain limited. This is likely due to tumor-associated immune suppression, particularly in the advanced-disease setting. Thus, a major goal of novel immunotherapeutic design has become the coordinate reversal of existing immune dysfunction and promotion of specific tumoricidal T-cell function. Costimulatory members of the TNF-receptor family are important regulators of T-cell-mediated immunity. Notably, agonist ligation of these receptors restores potent antitumor immunity in the tumor-bearing host. Current Phase I/II evaluation of TNF-receptor agonists as single-modality therapies will illuminate their safety, mechanism(s) of action, and best use in prospective combinational immunotherapy approaches capable of yielding superior benefits to cancer patients.

  3. Integrating costimulatory agonists to optimize immune-based cancer therapies

    PubMed Central

    Pardee, Angela D; Wesa, Amy K

    2009-01-01

    While immunotherapy for cancer has become increasingly popular, clinical benefits for such approaches remain limited. This is likely due to tumor-associated immune suppression, particularly in the advanced-disease setting. Thus, a major goal of novel immunotherapeutic design has become the coordinate reversal of existing immune dysfunction and promotion of specific tumoricidal T-cell function. Costimulatory members of the TNF-receptor family are important regulators of T-cell-mediated immunity. Notably, agonist ligation of these receptors restores potent antitumor immunity in the tumor-bearing host. Current Phase I/II evaluation of TNF-receptor agonists as single-modality therapies will illuminate their safety, mechanism(s) of action, and best use in prospective combinational immunotherapy approaches capable of yielding superior benefits to cancer patients. PMID:20046961

  4. On the effects of CP 55-940 and other cannabinoid receptor agonists in C6 and U373 cell lines.

    PubMed

    Ortega, A; Rangel-López, E; Hidalgo-Miranda, A; Morales, A; Ruiz-García, E; Meneses-García, A; Herrera-Gómez, A; Aguilar-Ponce, J L; González-Herrera, I G; Guevara-Salazar, P; Prospero-García, O; Del Angel, S A

    2015-10-01

    Cannabinoid receptor (CBs) agonists affect the growth of tumor cells via activation of deadly cascades. The spectrum of action of these agents and the precise role of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) on oncogenic processes remain elusive. Herein we compared the effects of synthetic (CP 55-940 and WIN 55,212-2) and endogenous (anandamide or AEA) CBs agonists (10-20 μM) on morphological changes, cell viability, and induction of apoptosis in primary astrocytes and in two glioblastoma cell lines (C6 and U373 cells) in order to characterize their possible differential actions on brain tumor cells. None of the CBs agonist tested induced changes in cell viability or morphology in primary astrocytes. In contrast, CP 55-940 significantly decreased cell viability in C6 and U373 cells at 5 days of treatment, whereas AEA and WIN 55,212-2 moderately decreased cell viability in both cell lines. Treatment of U373 and C6 for 3 and 5 days with AEA or WIN 55,212-2 produced discrete morphological changes in cell bodies, whereas the exposure to CP 55-940 induced soma degradation. CP 55-940 also induced apoptosis in both C6 and U373 cell lines. Our results support a more effective action of CP 55-940 to produce cell death of both cell lines through apoptotic mechanisms. Comparative aspects between cannabinoids with different profiles are necessary for the design of potential treatments against glial tumors.

  5. Squalene emulsion potentiates the adjuvant activity of the TLR4 agonist, GLA, via inflammatory caspases, IL-18, and IFN-γ.

    PubMed

    Desbien, Anthony L; Reed, Steven J; Bailor, Hilton R; Dubois Cauwelaert, Natasha; Laurance, John D; Orr, Mark T; Fox, Christopher B; Carter, Darrick; Reed, Steven G; Duthie, Malcolm S

    2015-02-01

    The synthetic TLR4 agonist glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA) is a potent Th1-response-inducing adjuvant when formulated in a squalene oil-in-water emulsion (SE). While the innate signals triggered by TLR4 engagement are well studied, the contribution of SE remains unclear. To better understand the effect of SE on the adjuvant properties of GLA-SE, we compared the innate and adaptive immune responses elicited by immunization with different formulations: GLA without oil, SE alone or the combination, GLA-SE, in mice. Within the innate response to adjuvants, only GLA-SE displayed features of inflammasome activation, evidenced by early IL-18 secretion and IFN-γ production in memory CD8(+) T cells and neutrophils. Such early IFN-γ production was ablated in caspase-1/11(-/-) mice and in IL-18R1(-/-) mice. Furthermore, caspase-1/11 and IL-18 were also required for full Th1 CD4(+) T-cell induction via GLA-SE. Thus, we demonstrate that IL-18 and caspase-1/11 are components of the response to immunization with the TLR4 agonist/squalene oil-in-water based adjuvant, GLA-SE, providing implications for other adjuvants that combine oils with TLR agonists.

  6. Development of 4-Heteroarylamino-1'-azaspiro[oxazole-5,3'-bicyclo[2.2.2]octanes] as α7 Nicotinic Receptor Agonists.

    PubMed

    Hill, Matthew D; Fang, Haiquan; King, H Dalton; Iwuagwu, Christiana I; McDonald, Ivar M; Cook, James; Zusi, F Christopher; Mate, Robert A; Knox, Ronald J; Post-Munson, Debra; Easton, Amy; Miller, Regina; Lentz, Kimberley; Clarke, Wendy; Benitex, Yulia; Lodge, Nicholas; Zaczek, Robert; Denton, Rex; Morgan, Daniel; Bristow, Linda; Macor, John E; Olson, Richard

    2017-01-12

    We describe the synthesis of quinuclidine-containing spiroimidates and their utility as α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) partial agonists. A convergent synthetic route allowed for rapid SAR investigation and provided a diverse set of fused 6,5-heteroaryl analogs. Two potent and selective α7 nAChR partial agonists, (1'S,3'R,4'S)-N-(7-bromopyrrolo[2,1-f][1,2,4]triazin-4-yl)-4H-1'-azaspiro[oxazole-5,3'-bicyclo[2.2.2]octan]-2-amine (20) and (1'S,3'R,4'S)-N-(7-chloropyrrolo[2,1-f][1,2,4]triazin-4-yl)-4H-1'-azaspiro[oxazole-5,3'-bicyclo[2.2.2]octan]-2-amine (21), were identified. Both agonists improved cognition in a preclinical rodent model of learning and memory. Additionally, 5-HT3A receptor SAR suggested the presence of a steric site that when engaged led to significant loss of affinity at that receptor.

  7. The antilipolytic agent 3,5-dimethylpyrazole inhibits insulin release in response to both nutrient secretagogues and cyclic adenosine monophosphate agonists in isolated rat islets.

    PubMed

    Masiello, P; Novelli, M; Bombara, M; Fierabracci, V; Vittorini, S; Prentki, M; Bergamini, E

    2002-01-01

    This study intended to test the hypothesis that intracellular lipolysis in the pancreatic beta cells is implicated in the regulation of insulin secretion stimulated by nutrient secretagogues or cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) agonists. Indeed, although lipid signaling molecules were repeatedly reported to influence beta-cell function, the contribution of intracellular triglycerides to the generation of these molecules has remained elusive. Thus, we have studied insulin secretion of isolated rat pancreatic islets in response to various secretagogues in the presence or absence of 3,5-dimethylpyrazole (DMP), a water-soluble and highly effective antilipolytic agent, as previously shown in vivo. In vitro exposure of islets to DMP resulted in an inhibition (by approximately 50%) of the insulin release stimulated not only by high glucose, but also by another nutrient secretagogue, 2-ketoisocaproate, as well as the cAMP agonists 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and glucagon. The inhibitory effect of DMP, which was not due to alteration of islet glucose oxidation, could be reversed upon addition of sn-1,2-dioctanoylglycerol, a synthetic diglyceride, which activates protein kinase C. The results provide direct pharmacologic evidence supporting the concept that endogenous beta-cell lipolysis plays an important role in the generation of lipid signaling molecules involved in the control of insulin secretion in response to both fuel stimuli and cAMP agonists.

  8. 6-(4-Amino-2-butyl-imidazoquinolyl)-norleucine: Toll-like receptor 7 and 8 agonist amino acid for self-adjuvanting peptide vaccine.

    PubMed

    Fujita, Yoshio; Hirai, Kazuyuki; Nishida, Keigo; Taguchi, Hiroaki

    2016-05-01

    Generally, small peptides by themselves are weak to induce antibody responses. Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands are attractive candidates of vaccine adjuvants to improve their antigenicity. The covalent conjugation of TLR ligands with antigens to produce self-adjuvanting peptide vaccine is a promising approach. Based on the structure of TLR7/8 ligands, a series of synthetic amino acids 6-imidazoquinolyl-norleucines were synthesized, wherein an imidazoquinoline structure as the TLR7/8 agonistic pharmacophores was constructed on the ε-NH2 group of Lys. Of them, 6-(4-amino-2-butyl-imidazoquinolyl)-norleucine showed the most potent TLR7 and TLR8 agonistic activities with EC50 values of 8.55 and 106 μM, respectively. Subsequently, mice were immunized with the influenza A virus M2e antigen mixed with or covalently conjugated to the TLR7/8 agonist amino acid, which led to induction of M2e specific antibody productions in the absence of other adjuvant. We successfully developed a novel efficient tool for self-adjuvanting peptide vaccines targeting TLR7/8.

  9. In vivo brain dopaminergic receptor site mapping using /sup 75/Se-labeled pergolide analogs: the effects of various dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists

    SciTech Connect

    Weaver, A.

    1986-01-01

    Perogolide mesylate is a new synthetic ergoline derivative which is reported to possess agonistic activity at central dopamine receptor sites in the brain. The authors have synthesized a (/sup 75/Se)-radiolabeled pergolide mesylate derivative, (/sup 75/Se)-pergolide tartrate, which, after i.v. administration to mature male rats, showed a time course differentiation in the uptake of this radiolabeled compound in isolated peripheral and central (brain) tissues that are known to be rich in dopamine receptor sites. Further studies were conducted in which the animals were preexposed to the dopamine receptor agonist SKF-38393, as well as the dopamine receptor antagonists (+)-butaclamol, (-)-butaclamol, (+/-)-butaclamol and (-)-chloroethylnorapomorphine, to substantiate the specific peripheral and central localization patterns of (/sup 75/Se)-pergolide tartrate. Further investigations were also conducted in which the animals received an i.v. administration of N-isopropyl-l-123-p-iodoamphetamine ((/sup 123/I)-iodoamphetamine). However, (/sup 123/I)-iodoamphetamine did not demonstrate a specific affinity for any type of receptor site in the brain. These investigations further substantiated the fact that (/sup 75/Se)-pergolide tartrate does cross the blood-brain barrier is quickly localized at specific dopamine receptor sites in the intact rat brain and that this localization pattern can be affected by preexposure to different dopamine receptor agonists and antagonists. Therefore, these investigations provided further evidence that (/sup 75/Se)-pergolide tartrate and other radiolabeled ergoline analogs might be useful as brain dopamine receptor localization radiopharmaceuticals.

  10. Confirmation of β-agonist residues in bovine retina and liver using HPLC-MS/MS and evaluation of matrix-dependent problems.

    PubMed

    Regal, Patricia; Díaz-Bao, Mónica; Barreiro, Rocío; Vázquez, Beatriz I; Cepeda, Alberto

    2017-04-01

    β-Agonists or β-adrenergic agonists are synthetic drugs sometimes used for therapeutic purposes in veterinary medicine. However, these compounds also belong to a class of illegal growth promoters that decrease the fat content in farm animals. The purpose of this study was to develop an analytical LC-MS/MS confirmatory method for the detection of nine β-agonists in bovine retina and liver tissues. The obtained CCα values ranged from 0.29 to 1.54 µg kg(-)(1) in retina and from 0.03 to 0.18 µg kg(-)(1) in liver, and CCβ values from 0.50 to 2.63 µg kg(-)(1) and from 0.05 to 0.30 µg kg(-)(1), respectively. Additionally, the importance of a matrix effect in these two tissues for the achievement of accurate detection of non-compliant samples was studied and discussed. It was concluded that the main characteristic of this phenomena is its considerable variability from one animal to another. Also, the total amount of matrix in the final extract can provide differences in the matrix-matched calibration line.

  11. Dopamine agonists and the suppression of impulsive motor actions in Parkinson disease.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Scott A; Claassen, Daniel O; Huizenga, Hilde M; Schewel, Kerilyn D; Ridderinkhof, K Richard; Bashore, Theodore R; van den Wildenberg, Wery P M

    2012-08-01

    The suppression of spontaneous motor impulses is an essential facet of cognitive control that is linked to frontal-BG circuitry. BG dysfunction caused by Parkinson disease (PD) disrupts the proficiency of action suppression, but how pharmacotherapy for PD impacts impulsive motor control is poorly understood. Dopamine agonists improve motor symptoms of PD but can also provoke impulsive-compulsive behaviors (ICB). We investigated whether dopamine agonist medication has a beneficial or detrimental effect on impulsive action control in 38 PD patients, half of whom had current ICB. Participants performed the Simon conflict task, which measures susceptibility to acting on spontaneous action impulses as well as the proficiency of suppressing these impulses. Compared with an off-agonist state, patients on their agonists were no more susceptible to reacting impulsively but were less proficient at suppressing the interference from the activation of impulsive actions. Importantly, agonist effects depended on baseline performance in the off-agonist state; more proficient suppressors off agonist experienced a reduction in suppression on agonist, whereas less-proficient suppressors off agonist showed improved suppression on agonist. Patients with active ICB were actually less susceptible to making fast, impulsive response errors than patients without ICB, suggesting that behavioral problems in this subset of patients may be less related to impulsivity in motor control. Our findings provide further evidence that dopamine agonist medication impacts specific cognitive control processes and that the direction of its effects depends on individual differences in performance off medication.

  12. Improving the developability profile of pyrrolidine progesterone receptor partial agonists

    SciTech Connect

    Kallander, Lara S.; Washburn, David G.; Hoang, Tram H.; Frazee, James S.; Stoy, Patrick; Johnson, Latisha; Lu, Qing; Hammond, Marlys; Barton, Linda S.; Patterson, Jaclyn R.; Azzarano, Leonard M.; Nagilla, Rakesh; Madauss, Kevin P.; Williams, Shawn P.; Stewart, Eugene L.; Duraiswami, Chaya; Grygielko, Eugene T.; Xu, Xiaoping; Laping, Nicholas J.; Bray, Jeffrey D.; Thompson, Scott K.

    2010-09-17

    The previously reported pyrrolidine class of progesterone receptor partial agonists demonstrated excellent potency but suffered from serious liabilities including hERG blockade and high volume of distribution in the rat. The basic pyrrolidine amine was intentionally converted to a sulfonamide, carbamate, or amide to address these liabilities. The evaluation of the degree of partial agonism for these non-basic pyrrolidine derivatives and demonstration of their efficacy in an in vivo model of endometriosis is disclosed herein.

  13. Newspapers and newspaper ink contain agonists for the ah receptor.

    PubMed

    Bohonowych, Jessica E S; Zhao, Bin; Timme-Laragy, Alicia; Jung, Dawoon; Di Giulio, Richard T; Denison, Michael S

    2008-04-01

    Ligand-dependent activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway leads to a diverse array of biological and toxicological effects. The best-studied ligands for the AhR include polycyclic and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, the most potent of which is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). However, as new AhR ligands are identified and characterized, their structural and physiochemical diversity continues to expand. Our identification of AhR agonists in crude extracts from diverse materials raises questions as to the magnitude and extent of human exposure to AhR ligands through normal daily activities. We have found that solvent extracts of newspapers from countries around the world stimulate the AhR signaling pathway. AhR agonist activity was observed for dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethanol, and water extracts of printed newspaper, unprinted virgin paper, and black printing ink, where activation of luciferase reporter gene expression was transient, suggesting that the AhR active chemical(s) was metabolically labile. DMSO and ethanol extracts also stimulated AhR transformation and DNA binding, and also competed with [(3)H]TCDD for binding to the AhR. In addition, DMSO extracts of printed newspaper induced cytochrome P450 1A associated 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Although the responsible bioactive chemical(s) remain to be identified, our results demonstrate that newspapers and printing ink contain relatively potent metabolically labile agonists of the AhR. Given the large amount of recycling and reprocessing of newspapers throughout the world, release of these easily extractable AhR agonists into the environment should be examined and their potential effects on aquatic organisms assessed.

  14. Newspapers and Newspaper Ink Contain Agonists for the Ah Receptor

    PubMed Central

    Bohonowych, Jessica E. S.; Zhao, Bin; Timme-Laragy, Alicia; Jung, Dawoon; Di Giulio, Richard T.; Denison, Michael S.

    2010-01-01

    Ligand-dependent activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) pathway leads to a diverse array of biological and toxicological effects. The best-studied ligands for the AhR include polycyclic and halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, the most potent of which is 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). However, as new AhR ligands are identified and characterized, their structural and physiochemical diversity continues to expand. Our identification of AhR agonists in crude extracts from diverse materials raises questions as to the magnitude and extent of human exposure to AhR ligands through normal daily activities. We have found that solvent extracts of newspapers from countries around the world stimulate the AhR signaling pathway. AhR agonist activity was observed for dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO), ethanol, and water extracts of printed newspaper, unprinted virgin paper, and black printing ink, where activation of luciferase reporter gene expression was transient, suggesting that the AhR active chemical(s) was metabolically labile. DMSO and ethanol extracts also stimulated AhR transformation and DNA binding, and also competed with [3H]TCDD for binding to the AhR. In addition, DMSO extracts of printed newspaper induced cytochrome P450 1A associated 7-ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activity in zebrafish embryos in vivo. Although the responsible bioactive chemical(s) remain to be identified, our results demonstrate that newspapers and printing ink contain relatively potent metabolically labile agonists of the AhR. Given the large amount of recycling and reprocessing of newspapers throughout the world, release of these easily extractable AhR agonists into the environment should be examined and their potential effects on aquatic organisms assessed. PMID:18203687

  15. Antipsychotic Induced Symptomatic Hyperprolactinemia: Are Dopamine Agonists Safe?

    PubMed

    Lertxundi, Unax; Domingo-Echaburu, Saioa; Peral, Javier; García, Montserrat

    2011-09-15

    Published literature shows that dopamine agonists can reverse antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia without worsening psychotic symptoms in the majority of schizophrenic patients. However, psychiatrists have been reluctant to use drugs with dopaminergic properties for fear of exacerbating psychiatric symptoms. There are reported cases of psychosis worsening published for both cabergoline and bromocriptine. Cabergoline has proven to be more effective and safe when used to treat hyperprolactinemia, but whether cabergoline is also safer than bromocriptine in antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinemia remains unproven.

  16. Antipsychotic Induced Symptomatic Hyperprolactinemia: Are Dopamine Agonists Safe?

    PubMed Central

    Lertxundi, Unax; Domingo-Echaburu, Saioa; Peral, Javier; García, Montserrat

    2011-01-01

    Published literature shows that dopamine agonists can reverse antipsychotic-induced hyperprolactinemia without worsening psychotic symptoms in the majority of schizophrenic patients. However, psychiatrists have been reluctant to use drugs with dopaminergic properties for fear of exacerbating psychiatric symptoms. There are reported cases of psychosis worsening published for both cabergoline and bromocriptine. Cabergoline has proven to be more effective and safe when used to treat hyperprolactinemia, but whether cabergoline is also safer than bromocriptine in antipsychotic induced hyperprolactinemia remains unproven. PMID:27738363

  17. Angiotensin receptor agonistic autoantibodies and hypertension: preeclampsia and beyond.

    PubMed

    Xia, Yang; Kellems, Rodney E

    2013-06-21

    Hypertensive disorders are life-threatening diseases with high morbidity and mortality, affecting billions of individuals worldwide. A multitude of underlying conditions may contribute to hypertension, thus the need for a plethora of treatment options to identify the approach that best meets the needs of individual patients. A growing body of evidence indicates that (1) autoantibodies that bind to and activate the major angiotensin II type I (AT₁) receptor exist in the circulation of patients with hypertensive disorders, (2) these autoantibodies contribute to disease pathophysiology, (3) antibody titers correlate to the severity of the disease, and (4) efforts to block or remove these pathogenic autoantibodies have therapeutic potential. These autoantibodies, termed AT₁ agonistic autoantibodies have been extensively characterized in preeclampsia, a life-threatening hypertensive condition of pregnancy. As reviewed here, these autoantibodies cause symptoms of preeclampsia when injected into pregnant mice. Somewhat surprisingly, these auto antibodies also appear in 3 animal models of preeclampsia. However, the occurrence of AT₁ agonistic autoantibodies is not restricted to pregnancy. These autoantibodies are prevalent among kidney transplant recipients who develop severe transplant rejection and malignant hypertension during the first week after transplantation. AT₁ agonistic autoantibodies are also highly abundant among a group of patients with essential hypertension that are refractory to standard therapy. More recently these autoantibodies have been seen in patients with the autoimmune disease, systemic sclerosis. These 3 examples extend the clinical impact of AT₁ agonistic autoantibodies beyond pregnancy. Research reviewed here raises the intriguing possibility that preeclampsia and other hypertensive conditions are autoimmune diseases characterized by the presence of pathogenic autoantibodies that activate the major angiotensin receptor, AT₁. These

  18. Glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors agonists (GLP1 RA).

    PubMed

    Kalra, Sanjay

    2013-10-01

    The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptors agonists (GLP1RA) are a relatively new class of drugs, used for management of type 2 diabetes. This review studies the characteristics of these drugs, focusing upon their mechanism of action, intra-class differences, and utility in clinical practice. It compares them with other incretin based therapies, the dipeptidyl peptidase-IV inhibitors, and predicts future developments in the use of these molecules, while highlighting the robust indications for the use of these drugs.

  19. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist-induced pituitary apoplexy

    PubMed Central

    Keane, Fergus; Navin, Patrick; Brett, Francesca; Dennedy, Michael C

    2016-01-01

    Summary Pituitary apoplexy represents an uncommon endocrine emergency with potentially life-threatening consequences. Drug-induced pituitary apoplexy is a rare but important consideration when evaluating patients with this presentation. We describe an unusual case of a patient with a known pituitary macroadenoma presenting with acute-onset third nerve palsy and headache secondary to tumour enlargement and apoplexy. This followed gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH) agonist therapy used to treat metastatic prostate carcinoma. Following acute management, the patient underwent transphenoidal debulking of his pituitary gland with resolution of his third nerve palsy. Subsequent retrospective data interpretation revealed that this had been a secretory gonadotropinoma and GNRH agonist therapy resulted in raised gonadotropins and testosterone. Hence, further management of his prostate carcinoma required GNRH antagonist therapy and external beam radiotherapy. This case demonstrates an uncommon complication of GNRH agonist therapy in the setting of a pituitary macroadenoma. It also highlights the importance of careful, serial data interpretation in patients with pituitary adenomas. Finally, this case presents a unique insight into the challenges of managing a hormonal-dependent prostate cancer in a patient with a secretory pituitary tumour. Learning points While non-functioning gonadotropinomas represent the most common form of pituitary macroadenoma, functioning gonadotropinomas are exceedingly rare. Acute tumour enlargement, with potential pituitary apoplexy, is a rare but important adverse effect arising from GNRH agonist therapy in the presence of both functioning and non-functioning pituitary gonadotropinomas. GNRH antagonist therapy represents an alternative treatment option for patients with hormonal therapy-requiring prostate cancer, who also have diagnosed with a pituitary gonadotropinoma. PMID:27284452

  20. Thermodynamic analysis of antagonist and agonist interactions with dopamine receptors.

    PubMed

    Duarte, E P; Oliveira, C R; Carvalho, A P

    1988-03-01

    The binding of [3H]spiperone to dopamine D-2 receptors and its inhibition by antagonists and agonists were examined in microsomes derived from the sheep caudate nucleus, at temperatures between 37 and 1 degree C, and the thermodynamic parameters of the binding were evaluated. The affinity of the receptor for the antagonists, spiperone and (+)-butaclamol, decreased as the incubation temperature decreased; the affinity for haloperidol did not further decrease at temperatures below 15 degrees C. The binding of the antagonists was associated with very large increases in entropy, as expected for hydrophobic interactions. The enthalpy and entropy changes associated with haloperidol binding were dependent on temperature, in contrast to those associated with spiperone and (+)-butaclamol. The magnitude of the entropy increase associated with the specific binding of the antagonists did not correlate with the degree of lipophilicity of these drugs. The data suggest that, in addition to hydrophobic forces, other forces are also involved in the antagonist-dopamine receptor interactions, and that a conformational change of the receptor could occur when the antagonist binds. Agonist binding data are consistent with a two-state model of the receptor, a high-affinity state (RH) and a low-affinity state (RL). The affinity of dopamine binding to the RH decreased with decreasing temperatures below 20 degrees C, whereas the affinity for the RL increased at low temperatures. In contrast, the affinity of apomorphine for both states of receptor decreased as the temperature decreased from 30 to 8 degrees C. A clear distinction between the energetics of high-affinity and low-affinity agonist binding was observed. The formation of the high-affinity complex was associated with larger increases in enthalpy and entropy than the interaction with the low-affinity state was. The results suggest that the interaction of the receptor with the G-proteins, induced or stabilized by the binding of

  1. Neuroprotective effects mediated by dopamine receptor agonists against malonate-induced lesion in the rat striatum.

    PubMed

    Fancellu, R; Armentero, M-T; Nappi, G; Blandini, F

    2003-10-01

    In rats, intrastriatal injection of malonate, a reversible inhibitor of the mitochondrial enzyme succinate dehydrogenase, induces a lesion similar to that observed following focal ischemia or in Huntington's disease. In this study we used the malonate model to explore the neuroprotective potential of dopamine agonists. Rats were injected intraperitoneally with increasing concentrations of D1, D2, or mixed D1/D2 dopamine agonists prior to intrastriatal injection of malonate. Administration of increasing doses of the D2-specific agonist quinpirole resulted in increased protection against malonate toxicity. Conversely, the D1-specific agonist SKF-38393, as well as the mixed D1/D2 agonist apomorphine, conferred higher neuroprotection at lower than at higher drug concentrations. Our data suggest that malonate- induced striatal toxicity can be attenuated by systemic administration of dopamine agonists, with D1 and D2 agonists showing different profiles of efficacy.

  2. The Next Generation of Synthetic Biology Chassis: Moving Synthetic Biology from the Laboratory to the Field

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-09-26

    ARL-RP-0579 ● OCT 2016 US Army Research Laboratory The Next Generation of Synthetic Biology Chassis: Moving Synthetic Biology ...Do not return it to the originator. ARL-RP-0579 ● OCT 2016 US Army Research Laboratory The Next Generation of Synthetic Biology ...Chassis: Moving Synthetic Biology from the Laboratory to the Field by Bryn L Adams Sensors and Electron Devices Directorate, ARL A

  3. Agonistic sounds signal male quality in the Lusitanian toadfish.

    PubMed

    Amorim, M Clara P; Conti, Carlotta; Modesto, Teresa; Gonçalves, Amparo; Fonseca, Paulo J

    2015-10-01

    Acoustic communication during agonistic behaviour is widespread in fishes. Yet, compared to other taxa, little is known on the information content of fish agonistic calls and their effect on territorial defence. Lusitanian toadfish males (Halobatrachus didactylus) are highly territorial during the breeding season and use sounds (boatwhistles, BW) to defend nests from intruders. BW present most energy in either the fundamental frequency, set by the contraction rate of the sonic muscles attached to the swimbladder, or in the harmonics, which are multiples of the fundamental frequency. Here we investigated if temporal and spectral features of BW produced during territorial defence reflect aspects of male quality that may be important in resolving disputes. We found that higher mean pulse period (i.e. lower fundamental frequency) reflected higher levels of 11-ketotestosterone (11KT), the main teleost androgen which, in turn, was significantly related with male condition (relative body mass and glycogen content). BW dominant harmonic mean and variability decreased with sonic muscle lipid content. We found no association between BW duration and male quality. Taken together, these results suggest that the spectral content of fish agonistic sounds may signal male features that are key in fight outcome.

  4. Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines.

    PubMed

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2009-02-01

    Medicines that activate cannabinoid CB(1) and CB(2) receptor are already in the clinic. These are Cesamet (nabilone), Marinol (dronabinol; Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Sativex (Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol with cannabidiol). The first two of these medicines can be prescribed to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Marinol can also be prescribed to stimulate appetite, while Sativex is prescribed for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adults with multiple sclerosis and as an adjunctive analgesic treatment for adult patients with advanced cancer. One challenge now is to identify additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a number of potential clinical applications for such agonists are mentioned in this review. A second challenge is to develop strategies that will improve the efficacy and/or the benefit-to-risk ratio of a cannabinoid receptor agonist. This review focuses on five strategies that have the potential to meet either or both of these objectives. These are strategies that involve: (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier; (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue; (iii) targeting up-regulated cannabinoid receptors; (iv) targeting cannabinoid CB(2) receptors; or (v) 'multi-targeting'. Preclinical data that justify additional research directed at evaluating the clinical importance of each of these strategies are also discussed.

  5. Contact- and agonist-regulated microvesiculation of human platelets.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yanjun; Liu, Xiao; Liu, Li; Zaske, Ana-Maria; Zhou, Zhou; Fu, Yuanyuan; Yang, Xi; Conyers, Jodie L; Li, Min; Dong, Jing-fei; Zhang, Jianning

    2013-08-01

    After exposure to an agonist, platelets are activated and become aggregated. They also shed membrane microparticles that participate in the pathogenesis of thrombosis, hyper-coagulation and inflammation. However, microvesiculation can potentially disrupt the integrity of platelet aggregation by shedding the membrane receptors and phosphatidylserine critical for forming and stabilising a platelet clot. We tested the hypothesis that adhesion and microvesiculation are functions of different subsets of platelets at the time of haemostasis by real-time monitoring of agonist-induced morphological changes and microvesiculation of human platelets.We identified two types of platelets that are adherent to fibrinogen: a high density bubble shape (HDBS) and low-density spread shape (LDSS). Adenosine diphosphate (ADP) predominantly induced HDBS platelets to vesiculate, whereas LDSS platelets were highly resistant to such vesiculation. Thrombin-receptor activating peptide (TRAP) stabilised platelets against microvesiculation by promoting a rapid HDBS-to-LDSS morphological transition. These activities of ADP and TRAP were reversed for platelets in suspension, independent of an engagement integrin αIIbβ3. As the result of membrane contact, LDSS platelets inhibited the microvesiculation of HDBS platelets in response to ADP. Aspirin and clopidogrel inhibited ADP-induced microvesiculation through different mechanisms. These results suggest that platelet aggregation and microvesiculation occur in different subsets of platelets and are differently regulated by agonists, platelet-platelets and platelet-fibrinogen interactions.

  6. Pharmacophore-driven identification of PPARγ agonists from natural sources

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Petersen, Rasmus K.; Christensen, Kathrine B.; Assimopoulou, Andreana N.; Fretté, Xavier; Papageorgiou, Vassilios P.; Kristiansen, Karsten; Kouskoumvekaki, Irene

    2011-02-01

    In a search for more effective and safe anti-diabetic compounds, we developed a pharmacophore model based on partial agonists of PPARγ. The model was used for the virtual screening of the Chinese Natural Product Database (CNPD), a library of plant-derived natural products primarily used in folk medicine. From the resulting hits, we selected methyl oleanonate, a compound found, among others, in Pistacia lentiscus var. Chia oleoresin (Chios mastic gum). The acid of methyl oleanonate, oleanonic acid, was identified as a PPARγ agonist through bioassay-guided chromatographic fractionations of Chios mastic gum fractions, whereas some other sub-fractions exhibited also biological activity towards PPARγ. The results from the present work are two-fold: on the one hand we demonstrate that the pharmacophore model we developed is able to select novel ligand scaffolds that act as PPARγ agonists; while at the same time it manifests that natural products are highly relevant for use in virtual screening-based drug discovery.

  7. Emerging strategies for exploiting cannabinoid receptor agonists as medicines

    PubMed Central

    Pertwee, Roger G

    2009-01-01

    Medicines that activate cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptor are already in the clinic. These are Cesamet® (nabilone), Marinol® (dronabinol; Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and Sativex® (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol with cannabidiol). The first two of these medicines can be prescribed to reduce chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Marinol® can also be prescribed to stimulate appetite, while Sativex® is prescribed for the symptomatic relief of neuropathic pain in adults with multiple sclerosis and as an adjunctive analgesic treatment for adult patients with advanced cancer. One challenge now is to identify additional therapeutic targets for cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a number of potential clinical applications for such agonists are mentioned in this review. A second challenge is to develop strategies that will improve the efficacy and/or the benefit-to-risk ratio of a cannabinoid receptor agonist. This review focuses on five strategies that have the potential to meet either or both of these objectives. These are strategies that involve: (i) targeting cannabinoid receptors located outside the blood-brain barrier; (ii) targeting cannabinoid receptors expressed by a particular tissue; (iii) targeting up-regulated cannabinoid receptors; (iv) targeting cannabinoid CB2 receptors; or (v) ‘multi-targeting’. Preclinical data that justify additional research directed at evaluating the clinical importance of each of these strategies are also discussed. PMID:19226257

  8. LHRH Agonists for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer: 2012

    PubMed Central

    Lepor, Herbert; Shore, Neal D

    2012-01-01

    The most recent guidelines on prostate cancer screening from the American Urological Association (2009), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2011), and the European Association of Urology (2011), as well as treatment and advances in disease monitoring, have increased the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) population and the duration of ADT usage as the first-line treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. According to the European Association of Urology, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists have become the leading therapeutic option for ADT because they avoid the physical and psychological discomforts associated with orchiectomy. However, GnRH agonists display several shortcomings, including testosterone (T) surge (“clinical flare”) and microsurges. T surge delays the intended serologic endpoint of T suppression and may exacerbate clinical symptoms. Furthermore, ADT manifests an adverse-event spectrum that can impact quality of life with its attendant well-documented morbidities. Strategies to improve ADT tolerability include a holistic management approach, improved diet and exercise, and more specific monitoring to detect and prevent T depletion toxicities. Intermittent ADT, which allows hormonal recovery between treatment periods, has become increasingly utilized as a methodology for improving quality of life while not diminishing chronic ADT efficacy, and may also provide healthcare cost savings. This review assesses the present and potential future role of GnRH agonists in prostate cancer and explores strategies to minimize the adverse-event profile for patients receiving ADT. PMID:23172994

  9. PPARgamma agonists as therapeutics for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Landreth, Gary; Jiang, Qingguang; Mandrekar, Shweta; Heneka, Michael

    2008-07-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by the deposition of beta-amyloid within the brain parenchyma and is accompanied by the impairment of neuronal metabolism and function, leading to extensive neuronal loss. The disease involves the perturbation of synaptic function, energy, and lipid metabolism. The development of amyloid plaques results in the induction of a microglial-mediated inflammatory response. The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) is a ligand-activated transcription factor whose biological actions are to regulate glucose and lipid metabolism and suppress inflammatory gene expression. Thus, agonists of this receptor represent an attractive therapeutic target for AD. There is now an extensive body of evidence that has demonstrated the efficacy of PPARgamma agonists in ameliorating disease-related pathology and improved learning and memory in animal models of AD. Recent clinical trials of the PPARgamma agonist rosiglitazone have shown significant improvement in memory and cognition in AD patients. Thus, PPARgamma represents an important new therapeutic target in treating AD.

  10. Molecular impact of juvenile hormone agonists on neonatal Daphnia magna.

    PubMed

    Toyota, Kenji; Kato, Yasuhiko; Miyakawa, Hitoshi; Yatsu, Ryohei; Mizutani, Takeshi; Ogino, Yukiko; Miyagawa, Shinichi; Watanabe, Hajime; Nishide, Hiroyo; Uchiyama, Ikuo; Tatarazako, Norihisa; Iguchi, Taisen

    2014-05-01

    Daphnia magna has been used extensively to evaluate organism- and population-level responses to pollutants in acute toxicity and reproductive toxicity tests. We have previously reported that exposure to juvenile hormone (JH) agonists results in a reduction of reproductive function and production of male offspring in a cyclic parthenogenesis, D. magna. Recent advances in molecular techniques have provided tools to understand better the responses to pollutants in aquatic organisms, including D. magna. DNA microarray was used to evaluate gene expression profiles of neonatal daphnids exposed to JH agonists: methoprene (125, 250 and 500 ppb), fenoxycarb (0.5, 1 and 2 ppb) and epofenonane (50, 100 and 200 ppb). Exposure to these JH analogs resulted in chemical-specific patterns of gene expression. The heat map analyses based on hierarchical clustering revealed a similar pattern between treatments with a high dose of methoprene and with epofenonane. In contrast, treatment with low to middle doses of methoprene resulted in similar profiles to fenoxycarb treatments. Hemoglobin and JH epoxide hydrolase genes were clustered as JH-responsive genes. These data suggest that fenoxycarb has high activity as a JH agonist, methoprene shows high toxicity and epofenonane works through a different mechanism compared with other JH analogs, agreeing with data of previously reported toxicity tests. In conclusion, D. magna DNA microarray is useful for the classification of JH analogs and identification of JH-responsive genes.

  11. TLR agonists: our best frenemy in cancer immunotherapy

    PubMed Central

    Kaczanowska, Sabina; Joseph, Ann Mary; Davila, Eduardo

    2013-01-01

    Various TLR agonists are currently under investigation in clinical trials for their ability to orchestrate antitumor immunity. The antitumor responses are largely attributed to their aptitude to stimulate APCs such as DCs which in turn, activate tumor-specific T cell responses. However, there is a potential for TLR signaling to occur on cells other than professional APCs that could negate antitumor responses or even worse, promote tumor growth. The impetus for this review is twofold. First, there is accumulating data demonstrating that the engagement of TLRs on different T cell subsets and different cancer types could promote tumor growth or conversely, contribute to antitumor responses. Second, the efficacy of TLR agonists as monotherapies to treat cancer patients has been limited. In this review, we discuss how TLR signaling within different T cell subsets and cancer cells can potentially impact the generation of antitumor responses. Based on evidence from preclinical models and clinical trials, we draw attention to several criteria that we believe must be considered when selecting TLR agonists for developing effective immunotherapeutic strategies against cancer. PMID:23475577

  12. LHRH Agonists for the Treatment of Prostate Cancer: 2012.

    PubMed

    Lepor, Herbert; Shore, Neal D

    2012-01-01

    The most recent guidelines on prostate cancer screening from the American Urological Association (2009), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (2011), and the European Association of Urology (2011), as well as treatment and advances in disease monitoring, have increased the androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) population and the duration of ADT usage as the first-line treatment for metastatic prostate cancer. According to the European Association of Urology, gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonists have become the leading therapeutic option for ADT because they avoid the physical and psychological discomforts associated with orchiectomy. However, GnRH agonists display several shortcomings, including testosterone (T) surge ("clinical flare") and microsurges. T surge delays the intended serologic endpoint of T suppression and may exacerbate clinical symptoms. Furthermore, ADT manifests an adverse-event spectrum that can impact quality of life with its attendant well-documented morbidities. Strategies to improve ADT tolerability include a holistic management approach, improved diet and exercise, and more specific monitoring to detect and prevent T depletion toxicities. Intermittent ADT, which allows hormonal recovery between treatment periods, has become increasingly utilized as a methodology for improving quality of life while not diminishing chronic ADT efficacy, and may also provide healthcare cost savings. This review assesses the present and potential future role of GnRH agonists in prostate cancer and explores strategies to minimize the adverse-event profile for patients receiving ADT.

  13. Pregnane X receptor agonists impair postprandial glucose tolerance.

    PubMed

    Rysä, J; Buler, M; Savolainen, M J; Ruskoaho, H; Hakkola, J; Hukkanen, J

    2013-06-01

    We conducted a randomized, open, placebo-controlled crossover trial to investigate the effects of the pregnane X receptor (PXR) agonist rifampin on an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) in 12 healthy volunteers. The subjects were administered 600 mg rifampin or placebo once daily for 7 days, and OGTT was performed on the eighth day. The mean incremental glucose and insulin areas under the plasma concentration-time curves (AUC(incr)) increased by 192% (P = 0.008) and 45% (P = 0.031), respectively. The fasting glucose, insulin, and C-peptide, and the homeostasis model assessment for insulin resistance, were not affected. The glucose AUC(incr) during OGTT was significantly increased in rats after 4-day treatment with pregnenolone 16α-carbonitrile (PCN), an agonist of the rat PXR. The hepatic level of glucose transporter 2 (Glut2) mRNA was downregulated by PCN. In conclusion, both human and rat PXR agonists elicited postprandial hyperglycemia, suggesting a detrimental role of PXR activation on glucose tolerance.

  14. Beta2-Agonist Doping Control and Optical Isomer Challenges.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Glenn A; Fawcett, J Paul

    2016-12-01

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) currently allows therapeutic use of the beta2-agonists salbutamol, formoterol and salmeterol when delivered via inhalation despite some evidence suggesting these anti-asthma drugs may be performance enhancing. Beta2-agonists are usually administered as 50:50 racemic mixtures of two enantiomers (non-superimposable mirror images), one of which demonstrates significant beta2-adrenoceptor-mediated bronchodilation while the other appears to have little or no pharmacological activity. For salbutamol and formoterol, urine thresholds have been adopted to limit supratherapeutic dosing and to discriminate between inhaled (permitted) and oral (prohibited) use. However, chiral switches have led to the availability of enantiopure (active enantiomer only) preparations of salbutamol and formoterol, which effectively doubles their urine thresholds and provides a means for athletes to take supratherapeutic doses for doping purposes. Given the availability of these enantiopure beta2-agonists, the analysis of these drugs using enantioselective assays should now become routine. For salmeterol, there is currently only a therapeutic dose threshold and adoption of a urinary threshold should be a high priority for doping control.

  15. Disruption of hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term potentiation by psychoactive synthetic cannabinoid 'Spice' compounds: comparison with Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Alexander F; Lycas, Matthew D; Kaczmarzyk, Jakub R; Spivak, Charles E; Baumann, Michael H; Lupica, Carl R

    2017-03-01

    There has been a marked increase in the availability of synthetic drugs designed to mimic the effects of marijuana. These cannabimimetic drugs, sold illicitly as 'Spice' and related products, are associated with serious medical complications in some users. In vitro studies suggest that synthetic cannabinoids in these preparations are potent agonists at central cannabinoid CB1 receptors (CB1Rs), but few investigations have delineated their cellular effects, particularly in comparison with the psychoactive component of marijuana, Δ(9) -tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ(9) -THC). We compared the ability of three widely abused synthetic cannabinoids and Δ(9) -THC to alter glutamate release and long-term potentiation in the mouse hippocampus. JWH-018 was the most potent inhibitor of hippocampal synaptic transmission (EC50 ~15 nM), whereas its fluoropentyl derivative, AM2201, inhibited synaptic transmission with slightly lower potency (EC50 ~60 nM). The newer synthetic cannabinoid, XLR-11, displayed much lower potency (EC50 ~900 nM) that was similar to Δ(9) -THC (EC50 ~700 nM). The effects of all compounds occurred via activation of CB1Rs, as demonstrated by reversal with the selective antagonist/inverse agonist AM251 or the neutral CB1R antagonist PIMSR1. Moreover, AM2201 was without effect in the hippocampus of transgenic mice lacking the CB1R. Hippocampal slices exposed to either synthetic cannabinoids or Δ(9) -THC exhibited significantly impaired long-term potentiation (LTP). We find that, compared with Δ(9) -THC, the first-generation cannabinoids found in Spice preparations display higher potency, whereas a recent synthetic cannabinoid is roughly equipotent with Δ(9) -THC. The disruption of synaptic function by these synthetic cannabinoids is likely to lead to profound impairments in cognitive and behavioral function.

  16. Synthetic studies of neoclerodane diterpenes from Salvia divinorum: role of the furan in affinity for opioid receptors.

    PubMed

    Simpson, Denise S; Lovell, Kimberly M; Lozama, Anthony; Han, Nina; Day, Victor W; Dersch, Christina M; Rothman, Richard B; Prisinzano, Thomas E

    2009-09-21

    Further synthetic modification of the furan ring of salvinorin A (1), the major active component of Salvia divinorum, has resulted in novel neoclerodane diterpenes with opioid receptor affinity and activity. A computational study has predicted 1 to be a reproductive toxicant in mammals and is suggestive that use of 1 may be associated with adverse effects. We report in this study that piperidine 21 and thiomorpholine 23 have been identified as selective partial agonists at kappa opioid receptors. This indicates that additional structural modifications of 1 may provide ligands with good selectivity for opioid receptors but with reduced potential for toxicity.

  17. World synthetic rubber consumption is growing

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1987-03-04

    Worldwide consumption of new rubber, both synthetic and natural, has increased. This report includes a prediction of even more growth in the rubber market which was made by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers (IISRP), based in Houston. Figures are given for worldwide consumption.

  18. Opportunities for microfluidic technologies in synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Gulati, Shelly; Rouilly, Vincent; Niu, Xize; Chappell, James; Kitney, Richard I.; Edel, Joshua B.; Freemont, Paul S.; deMello, Andrew J.

    2009-01-01

    We introduce microfluidics technologies as a key foundational technology for synthetic biology experimentation. Recent advances in the field of microfluidics are reviewed and the potential of such a technological platform to support the rapid development of synthetic biology solutions is discussed. PMID:19474079

  19. 78 FR 22209 - Additional Synthetic Drug Testing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-15

    ... COMMISSION 10 CFR Part 26 Additional Synthetic Drug Testing AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION... NRC amend its Fitness for Duty program regulations to amend drug testing requirements to test for additional synthetic drugs currently not included in the regulations. The NRC determined that the...

  20. Synthetic biology: programming cells for biomedical applications.

    PubMed

    Hörner, Maximilian; Reischmann, Nadine; Weber, Wilfried

    2012-01-01

    The emerging field of synthetic biology is a novel biological discipline at the interface between traditional biology, chemistry, and engineering sciences. Synthetic biology aims at the rational design of complex synthetic biological devices and systems with desired properties by combining compatible, modular biological parts in a systematic manner. While the first engineered systems were mainly proof-of-principle studies to demonstrate the power of the modular engineering approach of synthetic biology, subsequent systems focus on applications in the health, environmental, and energy sectors. This review describes recent approaches for biomedical applications that were developed along the synthetic biology design hierarchy, at the level of individual parts, of devices, and of complex multicellular systems. It describes how synthetic biological parts can be used for the synthesis of drug-delivery tools, how synthetic biological devices can facilitate the discovery of novel drugs, and how multicellular synthetic ecosystems can give insight into population dynamics of parasites and hosts. These examples demonstrate how this new discipline could contribute to novel solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry.

  1. Synergistic Synthetic Biology: Units in Concert.

    PubMed

    Trosset, Jean-Yves; Carbonell, Pablo

    2013-01-01

    Synthetic biology aims at translating the methods and strategies from engineering into biology in order to streamline the design and construction of biological devices through standardized parts. Modular synthetic biology devices are designed by means of an adequate elimination of cross-talk that makes circuits orthogonal and specific. To that end, synthetic constructs need to be adequately optimized through in silico modeling by choosing the right complement of genetic parts and by experimental tuning through directed evolution and craftsmanship. In this review, we consider an additional and complementary tool available to the synthetic biologist for innovative design and successful construction of desired circuit functionalities: biological synergies. Synergy is a prevalent emergent property in biological systems that arises from the concerted action of multiple factors producing an amplification or cancelation effect compared with individual actions alone. Synergies appear in domains as diverse as those involved in chemical and protein activity, polypharmacology, and metabolic pathway complementarity. In conventional synthetic biology designs, synergistic cross-talk between parts and modules is generally attenuated in order to verify their orthogonality. Synergistic interactions, however, can induce emergent behavior that might prove useful for synthetic biology applications, like in functional circuit design, multi-drug treatment, or in sensing and delivery devices. Synergistic design principles are therefore complementary to those coming from orthogonal design and may provide added value to synthetic biology applications. The appropriate modeling, characterization, and design of synergies between biological parts and units will allow the discovery of yet unforeseeable, novel synthetic biology applications.

  2. Synthetic biology: from mainstream to counterculture.

    PubMed

    Sleator, Roy D

    2016-09-01

    Existing at the interface of science and engineering, synthetic biology represents a new and emerging field of mainstream biology. However, there also exists a counterculture of Do-It-Yourself biologists, citizen scientists, who have made significant inroads, particularly in the design and development of new tools and techniques. Herein, I review the development and convergence of synthetic biology's mainstream and countercultures.

  3. [Preparation technique of Cremastra appendiculata synthetic seed].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Mingsheng; Peng, Siwen; Yang, Xiaorui; Xu, Li

    2009-08-01

    The protocorm-suspension-system of Cremastra appendiculata was founded by liquid-suspension culture. The factors to effect germination rate and seedling conversion rate of C. appendiculata synthetic seeds, such as synthetic coating materials, synthetic endosperm components, storing conditions and germination materials, etc. were studied. The result showed that the germination rate and seedling conversion rate of synthetic seeds were the highest on the MS solid-medium while using 4% sodium alginate + 2% CaCl2 + 2% chitosan as synthetic coating materials, with 1/2 MS liquid-medium + 0.2 mg x L(-1) NAA + 0.1 mg x L(-1) GA3 + 0.5 mg L(-1) BA + 0.4 mg x L(-1) penicillin + 10.0 mg x L(-1) endophyte extract +0.3% carbendazim powder + 0.2% sodium benzoate + 1.0% sucrose as synthetic endosperm. And the germination rate and seedling conversion rate of synthetic seeds could attain to 68% and 65% after 20 days storing at 4 degrees C. The germination rate and seedling conversion rate of synthetic seeds decreased to a great extent with increasing the storing temperature and prolonging storing time.

  4. The β2-adrenoceptor agonist formoterol stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis.

    PubMed

    Wills, Lauren P; Trager, Richard E; Beeson, Gyda C; Lindsey, Christopher C; Peterson, Yuri K; Beeson, Craig C; Schnellmann, Rick G

    2012-07-01

    Mitochondrial dysfunction is a common mediator of disease and organ injury. Although recent studies show that inducing mitochondrial biogenesis (MB) stimulates cell repair and regeneration, only a limited number of chemicals are known to induce MB. To examine the impact of the β-adrenoceptor (β-AR) signaling pathway on MB, primary renal proximal tubule cells (RPTC) and adult feline cardiomyocytes were exposed for 24 h to multiple β-AR agonists: isoproterenol (nonselective β-AR agonist), (±)-(R*,R*)-[4-[2-[[2-(3-chlorophenyl)-2-hydroxyethyl]amino]propyl]phenoxy] acetic acid sodium hydrate (BRL 37344) (selective β(3)-AR agonist), and formoterol (selective β(2)-AR agonist). The Seahorse Biosciences (North Billerica, MA) extracellular flux analyzer was used to quantify carbonylcyanide p-trifluoromethoxyphenylhydrazone (FCCP)-uncoupled oxygen consumption rate (OCR), a marker of maximal electron transport chain activity. Isoproterenol and BRL 37244 did not alter mitochondrial respiration at any of the concentrations examined. Formoterol exposure resulted in increases in both FCCP-uncoupled OCR and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) copy number. The effect of formoterol on OCR in RPTC was inhibited by the β-AR antagonist propranolol and the β(2)-AR inverse agonist 3-(isopropylamino)-1-[(7-methyl-4-indanyl)oxy]butan-2-ol hydrochloride (ICI-118,551). Mice exposed to formoterol for 24 or 72 h exhibited increases in kidney and heart mtDNA copy number, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ coactivator 1α, and multiple genes involved in the mitochondrial electron transport chain (F0 subunit 6 of transmembrane F-type ATP synthase, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1, NADH dehydrogenase subunit 6, and NADH dehydrogenase [ubiquinone] 1β subcomplex subunit 8). Cheminformatic modeling, virtual chemical library screening, and experimental validation identified nisoxetine from the Sigma Library of Pharmacologically Active Compounds and two compounds from the ChemBridge DIVERSet

  5. Different skeletal effects of the peroxisome proliferator activated receptor (PPAR)α agonist fenofibrate and the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone

    PubMed Central

    Syversen, Unni; Stunes, Astrid K; Gustafsson, Björn I; Obrant, Karl J; Nordsletten, Lars; Berge, Rolf; Thommesen, Liv; Reseland, Janne E

    2009-01-01

    Background All the peroxisome proliferator activated receptors (PPARs) are found to be expressed in bone cells. The PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone has been shown to decrease bone mass in mice and thiazolidinediones (TZDs) have recently been found to increase bone loss and fracture risk in humans treated for type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of the study was to examine the effect of the PPARα agonist fenofibrate (FENO) and the PPARγ agonist pioglitazone (PIO) on bone in intact female rats. Methods Rats were given methylcellulose (vehicle), fenofibrate or pioglitazone (35 mg/kg body weight/day) by gavage for 4 months. BMC, BMD, and body composition were measured by DXA. Histomorphometry and biomechanical testing of excised femurs were performed. Effects of the compounds on bone cells were studied. Results The FENO group had higher femoral BMD and smaller medullary area at the distal femur; while trabecular bone volume was similar to controls. Whole body BMD, BMC, and trabecular bone volume were lower, while medullary area was increased in PIO rats compared to controls. Ultimate bending moment and energy absorption of the femoral shafts were reduced in the PIO group, while similar to controls in the FENO group. Plasma osteocalcin was higher in the FENO group than in the other groups. FENO stimulated proliferation and differentiation of, and OPG release from, the preosteoblast cell line MC3T3-E1. Conclusion We show opposite skeletal effects of PPARα and γ agonists in intact female rats. FENO resulted in significantly higher femoral BMD and lower medullary area, while PIO induced bone loss and impairment of the mechanical strength. This represents a novel effect of PPARα activation. PMID:19331671

  6. Synthetic diagnostics platform for fusion plasmas (invited)

    DOE PAGES

    Shi, L.; Valeo, E. J.; Tobias, B. J.; ...

    2016-08-26

    A Synthetic Diagnostics Platform (SDP) for fusion plasmas has been developed which provides state of the art synthetic reflectometry, beam emission spectroscopy, and Electron Cyclotron Emission (ECE) diagnostics. Interfaces to the plasma simulation codes GTC, XGC-1, GTS, and M3D-C-1 are provided, enabling detailed validation of these codes. In this paper, we give an overview of SDP's capabilities, and introduce the synthetic diagnostic modules. A recently developed synthetic ECE Imaging module which self-consistently includes refraction, diffraction, emission, and absorption effects is discussed in detail. Its capabilities are demonstrated on two model plasmas. Finally, the importance of synthetic diagnostics in validation ismore » shown by applying the SDP to M3D-C1 output and comparing it with measurements from an edge harmonic oscillation mode on DIII-D.« less

  7. Development of synthetic lethality anticancer therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Fang, Bingliang

    2014-10-09

    The concept of synthetic lethality (the creation of a lethal phenotype from the combined effects of mutations in two or more genes) has recently been exploited in various efforts to develop new genotype-selective anticancer therapeutics. These efforts include screening for novel anticancer agents, identifying novel therapeutic targets, characterizing mechanisms of resistance to targeted therapy, and improving efficacies through the rational design of combination therapy. This review discusses recent developments in synthetic lethality anticancer therapeutics, including poly ADP-ribose polymerase inhibitors for BRCA1- and BRCA2-mutant cancers, checkpoint inhibitors for p53 mutant cancers, and small molecule agents targeting RAS gene mutant cancers. Because cancers are caused by mutations in multiple genes and abnormalities in multiple signaling pathways, synthetic lethality for a specific tumor suppressor gene or oncogene is likely cell context-dependent. Delineation of the mechanisms underlying synthetic lethality and identification of treatment response biomarkers will be critical for the success of synthetic lethality anticancer therapy.

  8. Synthetic diagnostics platform for fusion plasmas (invited)

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, L.; Valeo, E. J.; Tobias, B. J.; Kramer, G. J.; Hausammann, L.; Tang, W. M.; Chen, M.

    2016-08-26

    A Synthetic Diagnostics Platform (SDP) for fusion plasmas has been developed which provides state of the art synthetic reflectometry, beam emission spectroscopy, and Electron Cyclotron Emission (ECE) diagnostics. Interfaces to the plasma simulation codes GTC, XGC-1, GTS, and M3D-C-1 are provided, enabling detailed validation of these codes. In this paper, we give an overview of SDP's capabilities, and introduce the synthetic diagnostic modules. A recently developed synthetic ECE Imaging module which self-consistently includes refraction, diffraction, emission, and absorption effects is discussed in detail. Its capabilities are demonstrated on two model plasmas. Finally, the importance of synthetic diagnostics in validation is shown by applying the SDP to M3D-C1 output and comparing it with measurements from an edge harmonic oscillation mode on DIII-D.

  9. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications.

    PubMed

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M; Krams, Rob

    2015-05-06

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON-OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes.

  10. Applications of synthetic carbohydrates to chemical biology.

    PubMed

    Lepenies, Bernd; Yin, Jian; Seeberger, Peter H

    2010-06-01

    Access to synthetic carbohydrates is an urgent need for the development of carbohydrate-based drugs, vaccines, adjuvants as well as novel drug delivery systems. Besides traditional synthesis in solution, synthetic carbohydrates have been generated by chemoenzymatic methods as well as automated solid-phase synthesis. Synthetic oligosaccharides have proven to be useful for identifying ligands of carbohydrate-binding proteins such as C-type lectins and siglecs using glycan arrays. Furthermore, glyconanoparticles and glycodendrimers have been used for specific targeting of lectins of the immune system such as selectins, DC-SIGN, and CD22. This review focuses on how diverse carbohydrate structures can be synthetically derived and highlights the benefit of synthetic carbohydrates for glycobiology.

  11. Synthetic diagnostics platform for fusion plasmas (invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shi, L.; Valeo, E. J.; Tobias, B. J.; Kramer, G. J.; Hausammann, L.; Tang, W. M.; Chen, M.

    2016-11-01

    A Synthetic Diagnostics Platform (SDP) for fusion plasmas has been developed which provides state of the art synthetic reflectometry, beam emission spectroscopy, and Electron Cyclotron Emission (ECE) diagnostics. Interfaces to the plasma simulation codes GTC, XGC-1, GTS, and M3D-C1 are provided, enabling detailed validation of these codes. In this paper, we give an overview of SDP's capabilities, and introduce the synthetic diagnostic modules. A recently developed synthetic ECE Imaging module which self-consistently includes refraction, diffraction, emission, and absorption effects is discussed in detail. Its capabilities are demonstrated on two model plasmas. The importance of synthetic diagnostics in validation is shown by applying the SDP to M3D-C1 output and comparing it with measurements from an edge harmonic oscillation mode on DIII-D.

  12. Mammalian synthetic biology: emerging medical applications

    PubMed Central

    Kis, Zoltán; Pereira, Hugo Sant'Ana; Homma, Takayuki; Pedrigi, Ryan M.; Krams, Rob

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we discuss new emerging medical applications of the rapidly evolving field of mammalian synthetic biology. We start with simple mammalian synthetic biological components and move towards more complex and therapy-oriented gene circuits. A comprehensive list of ON–OFF switches, categorized into transcriptional, post-transcriptional, translational and post-translational, is presented in the first sections. Subsequently, Boolean logic gates, synthetic mammalian oscillators and toggle switches will be described. Several synthetic gene networks are further reviewed in the medical applications section, including cancer therapy gene circuits, immuno-regulatory networks, among others. The final sections focus on the applicability of synthetic gene networks to drug discovery, drug delivery, receptor-activating gene circuits and mammalian biomanufacturing processes. PMID:25808341

  13. Superagonist, Full Agonist, Partial Agonist, and Antagonist Actions of Arylguanidines at 5-Hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT3) Subunit A Receptors.

    PubMed

    Alix, Katie; Khatri, Shailesh; Mosier, Philip D; Casterlow, Samantha; Yan, Dong; Nyce, Heather L; White, Michael M; Schulte, Marvin K; Dukat, Małgorzata

    2016-11-16

    Introduction of minor variations to the substitution pattern of arylguanidine 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 (5-HT3) receptor ligands resulted in a broad spectrum of functionally-active ligands from antagonist to superagonist. For example, (i) introduction of an additional Cl-substituent(s) to our lead full agonist N-(3-chlorophenyl)guanidine (mCPG, 2; efficacy % = 106) yielded superagonists 7-9 (efficacy % = 186, 139, and 129, respectively), (ii) a positional isomer of 2, p-Cl analog 11, displayed partial agonist actions (efficacy % = 12), and (iii) replacing the halogen atom at the meta or para position with an electron donating OCH3 group or a stronger electron withdrawing (i.e., CF3) group resulted in antagonists 13-16. We posit based on combined mutagenesis, crystallographic, and computational analyses that for the 5-HT3 receptor, the arylguanidines that are better able to simultaneously engage the primary and complementary subunits, thus keeping them in close proximity, have greater agonist character while those that are deficient in this ability are antagonists.

  14. Virtual screening of CB(2) receptor agonists from bayesian network and high-throughput docking: structural insights into agonist-modulated GPCR features.

    PubMed

    Renault, Nicolas; Laurent, Xavier; Farce, Amaury; El Bakali, Jamal; Mansouri, Roxane; Gervois, Philippe; Millet, Régis; Desreumaux, Pierre; Furman, Christophe; Chavatte, Philippe

    2013-04-01

    The relevance of CB(2)-mediated therapeutics is well established in the treatment of pain, neurodegenerative and gastrointestinal tract disorders. Recent works such as the crystallization of class-A G-protein-coupled receptors in a range of active states and the identification of specific anchoring sites for CB(2) agonists challenged us to design a reliable agonist-bound homology model of CB(2) receptor. Docking-scoring enrichment tests of a high-throughput virtual screening of 140 compounds led to 13 hits within the micromolar affinity range. Most of these hits behaved as CB(2) agonists, among which two novel full agonists emerged. Although the main challenge was a high-throughput docking run targeting an agonist-bound state of a CB(2) model, a prior 2D ligand-based Bayesian network was computed to enrich the input commercial library for 3D screening. The exclusive discovery of agonists illustrates the reliability of this agonist-bound state model for the identification of polar and aromatic amino acids as new agonist-modulated CB(2) features to be integrated in the wide activation pathway of G-protein-coupled receptors.

  15. Disease, dysfunction, and synthetic biology.

    PubMed

    Holm, Sune

    2014-08-01

    Theorists analyzing the concept of disease on the basis of the notion of dysfunction consider disease to be dysfunction requiring. More specifically, dysfunction-requiring theories of disease claim that for an individual to be diseased certain biological facts about it must be the case. Disease is not wholly a matter of evaluative attitudes. In this paper, I consider the dysfunction-requiring component of Wakefield's hybrid account of disease in light of the artifactual organisms envisioned by current research in synthetic biology. In particular, I argue that the possibility of artifactual organisms and the case of oncomice and other bred or genetically modified strains of organism constitute a significant objection to Wakefield's etiological account of the dysfunction requirement. I then develop a new alternative understanding of the dysfunction requirement that builds on the organizational theory of function. I conclude that my suggestion is superior to Wakefield's theory because it (a) can accommodate both artifactual and naturally evolved organisms, (b) avoids the possibility of there being a conflict between what an organismic part is supposed to do and the health of the organism, and (c) provides a nonarbitrary and practical way of determining whether dysfunction occurs.

  16. Synthetic Landau levels for photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schine, Nathan; Ryou, Albert; Gromov, Andrey; Sommer, Ariel; Simon, Jonathan

    2016-06-01

    Synthetic photonic materials are an emerging platform for exploring the interface between microscopic quantum dynamics and macroscopic material properties. Photons experiencing a Lorentz force develop handedness, providing opportunities to study quantum Hall physics and topological quantum science. Here we present an experimental realization of a magnetic field for continuum photons. We trap optical photons in a multimode ring resonator to make a two-dimensional gas of massive bosons, and then employ a non-planar geometry to induce an image rotation on each round-trip. This results in photonic Coriolis/Lorentz and centrifugal forces and so realizes the Fock-Darwin Hamiltonian for photons in a magnetic field and harmonic trap. Using spatial- and energy-resolved spectroscopy, we track the resulting photonic eigenstates as radial trapping is reduced, finally observing a photonic Landau level at degeneracy. To circumvent the challenge of trap instability at the centrifugal limit, we constrain the photons to move on a cone. Spectroscopic probes demonstrate flat space (zero curvature) away from the cone tip. At the cone tip, we observe that spatial curvature increases the local density of states, and we measure fractional state number excess consistent with the Wen-Zee theory, providing an experimental test of this theory of electrons in both a magnetic field and curved space. This work opens the door to exploration of the interplay of geometry and topology, and in conjunction with Rydberg electromagnetically induced transparency, enables studies of photonic fractional quantum Hall fluids and direct detection of anyons.

  17. MONITORING SYNTHETIC MUSK COMPOUNDS IN ...

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    Synthetic musk compounds are manufactured as fragrance materials for consumer products and are consumed in very large quantities worldwide. The research focused on in the subtasks is the development and application of state-of the-art technologies to meet the needs of the public, Office of Water, and ORD in the area of Water Quality. Located In the subtasks are the various research projects being performed in support of this Task and more in-depth coverage of each project. Briefly, each project's objective is stated below.Subtask 1: To integrate state-of-the-art technologies (polar organic chemical integrative samplers, advanced solid-phase extraction methodologies with liquid chromatography/electrospray/mass spectrometry) and apply them to studying the sources and fate of a select list of PPCPs. Application and improvement of analytical methodologies that can detect non-volatile, polar, water-soluble pharmaceuticals in source waters at levels that could be environmentally significant (at concentrations less than parts per billion, ppb). IAG with USGS ends in FY05. APM 20 due in FY05.Subtask 2: Coordination of interagency research and public outreach activities for PPCPs. Participate on NSTC Health and Environment subcommittee working group on PPCPs. Web site maintenance and expansion, invited technical presentations, invited articles for peer-reviewed journals, interviews for media, responding to public inquiries. Subtask 3: To apply state-of-the-art envir

  18. Electrospun Synthetic Polypeptide Nanofibrous Biomaterials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khadka, Dhan; Haynie, Donald

    2011-03-01

    Water-insoluble nanofiber mats of synthetic polypeptides of defined composition have been prepared from fibers electrospun from aqueous solution in the absence of organic co-solvents. 20-50 kDa poly(L-glutamate, L-tyrosine) 4:1 (PLGY) but not 15-50 kDa or 50-100 kDa poly(L-glutamate) was spinnable at 20-55% (w/v) polymer in water. Applied voltage and needle-collector distance were crucial for spinnability. Attractive fibers were obtained at 50% polymer. Fiber diameter and mat morphology have been characterized by electron microscopy. Exposure of spun fiber mats to 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl) carbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC), which reacts with carboxylate, decreased fiber solubility. Fluorescein-conjugated poly(L-lysine) (FITC-PLL) but not the fluorophore alone was able bind PLGY fiber mats electrostatically, judging by fluorescence microscopy. Key advances of this work are the avoidance of an animal source of peptides and of an inorganic co-solvent to achieve polypeptide spinnability. Polypeptide fiber mats are a promising type of nano-structured biomaterial for applications in biomedicine and biotechnology.

  19. The major synthetic evolutionary transitions

    PubMed Central

    Solé, Ricard

    2016-01-01

    Evolution is marked by well-defined events involving profound innovations that are known as ‘major evolutionary transitions'. They involve the integration of autonomous elements into a new, higher-level organization whereby the former isolated units interact in novel ways, losing their original autonomy. All major transitions, which include the origin of life, cells, multicellular systems, societies or language (among other examples), took place millions of years ago. Are these transitions unique, rare events? Have they instead universal traits that make them almost inevitable when the right pieces are in place? Are there general laws of evolutionary innovation? In order to approach this problem under a novel perspective, we argue that a parallel class of evolutionary transitions can be explored involving the use of artificial evolutionary experiments where alternative paths to innovation can be explored. These ‘synthetic’ transitions include, for example, the artificial evolution of multicellular systems or the emergence of language in evolved communicating robots. These alternative scenarios could help us to understand the underlying laws that predate the rise of major innovations and the possibility for general laws of evolved complexity. Several key examples and theoretical approaches are summarized and future challenges are outlined. This article is part of the themed issue ‘The major synthetic evolutionary transitions’. PMID:27431528

  20. Molecular basis for agonist selectivity and activation of the orphan BRS-3-receptor

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez, Nieves; Hocart, Simon J.; Portal-Nuñez, Sergio; Mantey, Samuel A.; Nakagawa, Tomoo; Zudaire, Enrique; Coy, David H.; Jensen, Robert T.

    2008-01-01

    Bombesin receptor subtype-3(BRS-3), a G protein-coupled orphan receptor, shares 51% identity with the mammalian bombesin(Bn) receptor for gastrin-releasing peptide(GRPR). There is increasing interest in BRS-3 because it is important in energy metabolism, glucose control,motility and tumor-growth. BRS-3 has low affinity for all Bn-related peptides, however, recently synthetic high-affinity agonists[D-Tyr6/D-Phe6,βAla11,Phe13,Nle14]Bn-(6–14) were described, but they are nonselective for BRS-3 over other Bn-receptors. Based on these peptides, three BRS-3 selective-ligands were developed: peptide#2,[D-Tyr6(R)-Apa11,Phe13,Nle14]Bn(6–14); peptide#3,[D-Tyr6,(R)-Apa11,4Cl-Phe13,Nle14]Bn(6–14); peptide #4,Ac-Phe-Trp-Ala-His(tBzl)-Nip-Gly-Arg-NH2. Their molecular determinants of selectivity/high affinity for BRS-3 are unknown. To address this we used a chimeric/site-mutagenesis approach. Substitution of extracellular domain2(EC2) of BRS-3 by the comparable GRPR domain decreased 26-,4,0-fold affinity for peptides#4,3,2. Substitution of EC3 decreased affinity 4-,11-,0-fold affinity for peptides#2,3,4. Ten point mutations in the EC2 and adjacent transmembrane regions (TM2) 2 and 3 of BRS-3 were made. His107(EC2-BRS-3) for lysine(H107K)(EC2-GRPR), decreased affinity(25-,0-fold) for peptide#4,1; however it could not be activated by either peptide. Its combination with Val101(TM2),Gly112(EC2),Arg127(TM3) resulted in complete loss-of-affinity of peptide#4. Receptor-modeling showed that each of these residues face inward and are within 4Å of the binding-pocket. These results demonstrate [Val101,His107,Gly112,Arg127] in the EC2/adjacent upper TMs of BRS-3 are critical for the high BRS3-selectivity of peptide#4. His107 in EC2 is essential for BRS-3 activation, suggesting amino-aromatic ligand/receptor interactions with peptide#4 are critical for both binding/ activation. Furthermore, these result demonstrate that even though these three BRS-3 selective agonists were developed