Katarzyna Ulanowska

University of Gdansk, Gdańsk, Pomeranian Voivodeship, Poland

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Publications (9)16.8 Total impact

  • Katarzyna Ulanowska · Jacek Piosik · Anna Gwizdek-Wiśniewska · Grzegorz Wegrzyn ·
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    ABSTRACT: MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) is a neurotoxin causing symptoms that resemble those observed in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. However, in animal or human organisms, MPTP is converted to MPDP(+) (1-methyl-4-phenyl-2,3-dihydropyridinium) and further to MPP(+) (1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium); the latter compound is the actual neurotoxin. In this report, we demonstrate that MPDP(+) and MPP(+) can form stacking complexes with methylxanthines (caffeine and penthoxifylline), which leads to significant impairment of the biological activity of these toxins (as measured by their mutagenicity).
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry 09/2007; 15(15):5150-7. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2007.05.025 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibacterial activities of various flavonoids, a group of natural plant substances, have been reported previously, however, there are contradictory data, published by various authors, regarding sensitivity of particular bacterial species to these compounds. These problems arose apparently because of using different methods by various researchers. Here we tested sensitivity of several bacterial species (Gram-positive: Bacillus subtilis, Micrococcus luteus, Sarcina sp. and Staphylococcus aureus; and Gram-negative: Citrobacter freundii, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Salmonella enterica, Serratia marcescens and Vibrio harveyi) to various flavonoids: genistein and daidzein (isoflavones), apigenin (a flavone), naringenin (a flavanone) and kaempferol (a flavonol) by measurement of generation times of bacteria in liquid cultures. The presented results indicate that this simple method is adequate for unambiguous assessment of sensitivity of bacterial strains to flavonoids.
    Biologia 04/2007; 62(2):132-135. DOI:10.2478/s11756-007-0042-3 · 0.83 Impact Factor
  • Katarzyna Ulanowska · Grzegorz Wegrzyn ·
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    ABSTRACT: MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) is a neurotoxin, which can damage dopaminergic neurons. It causes symptoms resembling those observed in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease, and hence this toxin is widely used in studies on animal models of this disorder. Mutagenicity of MPTP was also reported by some authors, but results obtained by others suggested that this compound is not mutagenic. Interestingly, those contrasting results were based on the same assay (the Ames test). Therefore, we aimed to test MPTP mutagenicity by employing a recently developed Vibrio harveyi assay, which was demonstrated previously to be more sensitive than the Ames test, at least for some mutagens. We found that MPTP showed a significant mutagenic activity. Moreover, MPTP mutagenicity was attenuated by methylxanthines, compounds that are known to form complexes with aromatic mutagens.
    Journal of applied genetics 02/2006; 47(1):85-7. DOI:10.1007/BF03194604 · 1.48 Impact Factor
  • Katarzyna Ulanowska · Aleksandra Tkaczyk · Grazyna Konopa · Grzegorz Wegrzyn ·
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    ABSTRACT: Antibacterial activities of various flavonoids have been reported previously, but mechanism(s) of their action on bacterial cells remain(s) largely unknown. Here, we investigated effects of genistein, an isoflavone, and representatives of other flavonoids: daidzein (another isoflavone), apigenin (a flavone), naringenin (a flavanone) and kaempferol (a flavonol), on commonly used laboratory strains of model bacterial species: Escherichia coli, Vibrio harveyi and Bacillus subtilis. We found that E. coli was resistant to all tested flavonoids at concentrations up to 0.1 mM, while high sensitivity of V. harveyi to most of them (except daidzein, which exhibited significantly less pronounced effect) was observed. Effects of the flavonoids on B. subtilis were relatively intermediate to the two extremes, i.e., E. coli and V. harveyi. Action of genistein on bacterial cells was investigated in more detail to indicate changed cell morphology (formation of filamentous cells) of V. harveyi and drastic inhibition of global synthesis of DNA and RNA as shortly as 15 min after addition of this isoflavone to a bacterial culture to a final concentration of 0.1 mM. Protein synthesis inhibition was also apparent, but delayed. Both cell morphology and synthesis of nucleic acids and proteins were unaffected in E. coli cultures under analogous conditions. Studies on cell survival suggest that genistein is a bacteriostatic agent rather than a bactericidal compound.
    Archives of Microbiology 02/2006; 184(5):271-8. DOI:10.1007/s00203-005-0063-7 · 1.67 Impact Factor
  • Katarzyna Ulanowska · Jacek Piosik · Anna Gwizdek-Wiśniewska · Grzegorz We Grzyn ·
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    ABSTRACT: 1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) is a neurotoxin causing symptoms that may resemble those observed in patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Therefore, MPTP-treated laboratory animals are currently the most favored models to study therapeutic intervention strategies in this disease. It was demonstrated recently that caffeine (1,2,3-trimethylxanthine) intake decreases the risk of Parkinson's disease in various human populations and attenuates MPTP-induced neurological effects in animal models. Since the effects of caffeine on MPTP-treated animals were mimicked by several antagonists of the adenosine A(2A) receptor, it was suggested that caffeine attenuates MPTP toxicity by blocking this receptor. Here, using microcalorimetry and molecular modeling, we demonstrate that caffeine can form stacking (pi-pi) complexes with MPTP. We found that a biological activity of MPTP (induction of mutations in a microbiological mutagenicity assay), which is completely independent on the A(2A) receptor blockade, is significantly reduced by caffeine. Therefore, we suggest that caffeine may attenuate neurotoxicity of MPTP (and possibly other polycyclic aromatic toxins) and reveal its protective effects on the risk of Parkinson's disease not only by blocking the A(2A) receptor but also by sequestering neurotoxin molecules in mixed complexes, especially in stomach.
    Bioorganic Chemistry 11/2005; 33(5):402-13. DOI:10.1016/j.bioorg.2005.07.004 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previously performed experiments showed that methylxanthines, especially caffeine, may protect cells against cytostatic or cytotoxic effects of several aromatic compounds. One of the proposed mechanisms of this protection is based on stacking interactions between pi electron systems of polycyclic aromatic molecules. In this work, we demonstrate that caffeine and other methylxanthines--pentoxifylline and theophylline--significantly decrease mutagenicity of the anticancer aromatic drugs daunomycin, doxorubicin and mitoxantrone. The spectrophotometric titration of these aromatic compounds by methylxanthines indicated formation of mixed aggregates. The concentrations of free active forms of the drugs decreased when the concentrations of methylxanthines increased in the mixture. Therefore, likely methylxanthines may play a role of scavengers of the free active forms of daunomycin, doxorubicin and mitoxantrone.
    Acta biochimica Polonica 02/2005; 52(4):923-6. · 1.15 Impact Factor
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    Beata Podgórska · Ewa Chec · Katarzyna Ulanowska · Grzegorz Wegrzyn ·
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we have developed a novel assay designed for detection of mutagenic pollution of the marine environment. This assay is based on the use of a series of genetically modified strains (named BB7, BB7M, BB7X and BB7XM) of a marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi. Sensitivity of the V. harveyi mutagenicity assay was found to be similar to, or even somewhat higher than, that of the commonly used Ames test. Subsequent studies indicated that this assay may be useful in assessment of mutagenic contamination of the marine environment. Nevertheless, we assumed that improvement of this assay is still possible, and thus we aimed to optimise its procedures. Here we present our research on the optimisation of the V. harveyi mutagenicity assay, which indicated that different tester strains used in this assay give the best results depending upon the experimental conditions employed. Incubation of bacteria in a buffer, rather than in a nutrient broth, containing a mutagen, increased the efficiency of the assay with BB7 and BB7M strains, but had a deleterious effect in the case of BB7X and BB7XM. The latter couple of strains revealed higher mutagenicity in the plate assay, as compared to the liquid medium assay. However, the opposite effect was observed for BB7 and BB7M. Low-dose (1 J m(-2)) UV irradiation, as well as 30 min incubation in 0.1 M CaCl2, had no significant effect on the efficiency of the assay when using BB7 and BB7M, whereas the number of mutagen-induced mutants of BB7X and BB7XM strains increased about two times under these conditions. Our previous experiments indicated that various tester strains revealed different sensitivity to particular mutagens. Thus, a series of strains should be used in the assay. Results presented in this report show that different conditions should be used for two pairs of the tester strains: BB7 and BB7M, and BB7X and BB7XM.
    Journal of applied genetics 02/2005; 46(2):241-6. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Previous studies performed by others indicated that apart from its other biological effects, caffeine (CAF) may have a role in protection of organisms against cancer. However, biological mechanism of this phenomenon remained unknown. Recent studies suggested that caffeine can form stacking (pi-pi) complexes with polycyclic aromatic chemicals. Therefore, one might speculate that effective concentrations of polycyclic aromatic mutagens could be reduced in the presence of caffeine. Here we demonstrate that caffeine and another xanthine, pentoxifylline (PTX), effectively alleviate mutagenic action of polycyclic aromatic agents (exemplified by quinacrine mustard (QM), 2-methoxy-6-chloro-9-(3-(2-chloroethyl)aminopropylamino)acridine.2HCl (ICR-191) and 1,3,7-propanediamine-N-(2-chloroethyl)-N'-(6-chloro-2-methoxy-9-acridinyl)-N-ethyl.2HCl (ICR-170)), but not of aliphatic mutagens (exemplified by mechlorethamine), in the recently developed mutagenicity test based on bacterium Vibrio harveyi. Biophysical studies indicated that caffeine and pentoxifylline can form stacking complexes with the aromatic agents mentioned above. Molecular modeling also confirmed a possibility of stacking interactions between examined molecules.
    Mutation Research/Fundamental and Molecular Mechanisms of Mutagenesis 10/2003; 530(1-2):47-57. DOI:10.1016/S0027-5107(03)00136-2 · 3.68 Impact Factor
  • Katarzyna Ulanowska · Aleksandra Sikora · Grzegorz Wegrzyn · Agata Czyz ·
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    ABSTRACT: The cgtA gene codes for a common GTP-binding protein whose homologues were found in all prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms investigated so far. Although cgtA is an essential gene in most bacterial species, its precise functions in the regulation of cellular processes are largely unknown. In Escherichia coli, dysfunction or overexpression of the cgtA gene causes problems in various chromosomal functions, like synchronization of DNA replication initiation and partitioning of daughter chromosomes after a replication round. It is not know how the cgtA gene product regulates these processes. Here we investigated effects of cgtA dysfunction on replication of plasmid and phage replicons. We found that replication of some plasmids (e.g., ColE1-like) is not affected in the cgtA mutant. On the other hand, dysfunction of the cgtA gene caused a strong inhibition of lambda plasmid DNA replication. Bacteriophage lambda development was severely impaired in the cgtA mutant. Replication of other plasmid replicons (derivatives of F, R1, R6K, and RK2) was influenced by the cgtA mutation moderately. It seems that DNA synthesis per se is not affected by CgtA, and that this protein might control replication initiation indirectly, by regulation of function(s) or production of one or more replication factors. In fact, we found that level of the host-encoded replication protein DnaA is significantly decreased in the cgtA mutant. This indicates that CgtA is involved in the regulation of dnaA gene expression.
    Plasmid 08/2003; 50(1):45-52. DOI:10.1016/S0147-619X(03)00021-0 · 1.58 Impact Factor