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Publications (3)7.39 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Acidic mammalian chitinase (AMCase) is an enzyme that selectively degrades the biopolymer chitin. Several chitinase enzymes are utilized by mammals to hydrolyze chitin encountered by inhalation and ingestion. AMCase is distinct from other mammalian chitinases as its activity is retained in strongly acidic conditions (pH <2.0). AMCase expression is induced by antigen-induced mouse models of allergic lung inflammation. This protein has also been implicated in the pathogenesis of asthma although its precise role is poorly defined. We describe a novel way to express and purify active murine AMCase. This material retains properties observed in mouse bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid with regard to pH preference of activity and its inhibition by cyclic peptide inhibitors argifin and argadin. We found that chitinase in BAL from both antigen-challenged and control animals have similar properties in this regard. This strongly supports the notion the same enzyme (AMCase) gives rise to chitinase activity in both challenged and unchallenged animals. We also describe expression of active human AMCase. The methods described in this paper provide a reliable source of recombinant AMCase that can be utilized to expand understanding of AMCase's role in regulating allergic inflammation.
    Protein Expression and Purification 01/2011; 75(1):55-62. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Structure-function studies of antibody-antigen systems include the identification of amino acid residues in the antigen that interact with an antibody and elucidation of their individual contributions to binding affinity. We used fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS) and alanine-scanning mutagenesis to characterize the interactions of brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) with two monoclonal antibodies. Human BNP is a 32 amino acid residue long cyclic polypeptide with the ring structure confined between cysteines in positions 10 and 26. It is an important cardiovascular hormone and a valuable diagnostic cardiac marker. We compare the binding strength of the N-terminus Alexa488-labeled BNP, native cyclic BNP, BNP alanine-substituted mutants, linear BNP, and its short fragments to determine the individual contributions of amino acid residues included in the continuous antigenic epitopes that are recognized by two different monoclonal antibodies raised toward BNP. Implementation of FCS for these studies offers all of the advantages of solution phase measurements, including high sensitivity, simplicity of manipulation with reagents, and elimination of solid phase interferences or separation steps. Significant differences in the molecular masses of the free and antibody bound BNP results in a substantial ( approximately 2.5-times) increase in the diffusion rates. Determination of the binding constants and inhibition effects by measuring the diffusion rates of the ligand at the single molecule level introduces the ultimate opportunity for researching systems where the fluorescence intensity and/or fluorescence anisotropy do not change upon interaction of the ligand with the protein. Monoclonal antibodies 106.3 and BC203 demonstrate high affinities to BNP and bind two distant epitopes forming robust antibody sandwiches. Both antibodies are used in Abbott diagnostic assays on AxSYM, IMx, and Architect platforms.
    Biochemistry 12/2006; 45(47):14155-65. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Peptidyl prolyl cis/trans isomerase cyclophilin A (CypA) serves as a cellular receptor for the important immunosuppressant drug, cyclosporin A. In addition, CypA and its enzyme family have been found to play critical roles in a variety of biological processes, including protein trafficking, HIV and HCV infection/replication, and Ca(2+)-mediated intracellular signaling. For these reasons, cyclophilins have emerged as potential drug targets for several diseases. Therefore, it is extremely important to screen for novel small molecule cyclophilin inhibitors. Unfortunately, the biochemical assays reported so far are not adaptable to a high-throughput screening format. Here, we report a fluorescence polarization-based assay for human CypA that can be adapted to high-throughput screening for drug discovery. The technique is based on competition and uses a fluorescein-labeled cyclosporin A analog and purified human CypA to quantitatively measure the binding capacity of unlabeled inhibitors. Detection by fluorescence polarization allows real-time measurement of binding ratios without separation steps. The results obtained demonstrated significant correlation among assay procedures, suggesting that the application of fluorescence polarization in combination with CypA is highly advantageous for the accurate assessment of inhibitor binding.
    Analytical Biochemistry 10/2006; 356(1):100-7. · 2.58 Impact Factor