[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The 579-nucleotide 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) of the Rhopalosiphum padi virus (RhPV) possesses a cross-kingdom internal ribosome entry site (IRES) activity that functions in insect, mammalian, and plant-derived in vitro translation systems, and six TAAG motifs within the DNA fragment encoding the RhPV 5'UTR were previously found to confer the RhPV 5'UTR with late promoter activity in baculovirus. In the present study, various truncated RhPV 5'UTR sequences were produced, and among them, a fragment of 110 bp ranging from nucleotides 309 to 418 was identified to be the shortest fragment responsible for the late promoter activity in baculovirus infected Sf21 cells. This 110 bp fragment contains a TAAG tandem repeat that retains more than 60% of the late promoter activity of the full length RhPV 5'UTR sequence. Further, IRES activity remained unchanged in all truncated RhPV 5'UTR constructs. Taken together, this novel 110 bp fragment having late promoter activity in baculovirus as well as IRES activity in mammalian cell, renders it a useful tool for the development of a "shuttle" bi-cistronic baculovirus gene expression and/or delivery vector.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 07/2015; 16(7):16053-66. DOI:10.3390/ijms160716053 · 2.86 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IscR, an Fe-S cluster-containing transcriptional factor, regulates genes involved in various cellular processes. In response to environmental stimuli such as oxidative stress and iron levels, IscR switches between its holo and apo forms to regulate various targets. IscR binding sequences are classified into two types: the type 1 IscR box that is specific for holo-IscR binding, and the type 2 IscR box that binds holo- and apo-IscR. Studying Klebsiella pneumoniae CG43S3, we have previously shown that iron availability regulates capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis and iron-acquisition systems. The present study investigated whether IscR is involved in this regulation. Compared with that in CG43S3, the amount of CPS was decreased in AP001 (ΔiscR) or AP002 (iscR3CA), a CG43S3-derived strain expressing mutated IscR mimicked apo-IscR, suggesting that only holo-IscR activates CPS biosynthesis. Furthermore, a promoter-reporter assay verified that the transcription of cps genes was reduced in AP001 and AP002. Purified IscR::His6, but not IscR3CA::His6, was also found to bind the predicted type 1 IscR box specifically in the cps promoter. Furthermore, reduced siderophore production was observed in AP004 (Δfur-ΔiscR) but not in AP005 (Δfur-iscR3CA), implying that apo-IscR activates iron acquisition. Compared with those in AP004, mRNA levels of three putative iron acquisition systems (fhu, iuc, and sit) were increased in AP005, and both purified IscR::His6 and IscR3CA::His6 bound the predicted type 2 IscR box in the fhuA, iucA, and sitA promoters, whereas IscR3CA::His6 displayed a lower affinity. Finally, we analyzed the effect of external iron levels on iscR expression. The transcription of iscR was increased under iron-depleted conditions as well as in AP001 and AP002, suggesting an auto-repression exerted by apo-IscR. Our results show that in K. pneumoniae, IscR plays a dual role in the regulation of CPS biosynthesis and iron-acquisition systems in response to environmental iron availability.
PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e107812. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0107812 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim:
Lithospermate B (LSB) isolated from the traditional Chinese medicine danshen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) is an effective Na+/K+-ATPase inhibitor and used to treat congestive heart failure. The inhibition of LSB on Na+/K+-ATPase is potentiated by forming complexes with transition metal ions. Here we investigated the safety and metabolites of different transition metal-LSB complexes in rats.
LSB complexed with six different transition metal ions (Mg2+, Zn2+, Cr3+, Co2+, Ni2+ and Mn2+) were prepared. Adult male SD rats were injected with the different metal-LSB complexes (50 mg/kg, iv), and their bile and blood samples were collected. The metabolites of the metal-LSB complexes in the samples were analyzed using mass spectroscopy.
In rats injected with LSB complexed with Mg2+, Zn2+, Cr3+, Ni2+ or Mn2+, LSB and its four putative metabolites were equivalently detected in their bile samples. Mn2+-LSB exhibited distinct metabolite profiles compared with the other four metal-LSB complexes. The four putative metabolites were identified as 3-monomethyl-LSB, 3,3′′-dimethyl-LSB, 3,3′′′-dimethyl-LSB and 3,3′′,3′′′-trimethyl-LSB. The tracking of successive bile samples of rats injected with Mg2+-LSB, Zn2+-LSB and Mn2+-LSB concurrently demonstrated that LSB was firstly methylated at position 3, then at position 3′′, and, finally, the 3′′′ hydroxyl group. All rats injected with Co2+-LSB died.
Zn2+-LSB, Cr3+-LSB, Ni2+-LSB or Mn2+-LSB produces identical four methylated metabolites of LSB in rats, and seemed to be as safe as LSB or Mg2+-LSB.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Klebsiella pneumoniae is the predominant pathogen isolated from liver abscess of diabetic patients in Asian countries. With the spread of multiple-drug-resistant K. pneumoniae, there is an increasing need for the development of alternative bactericides and approaches to block the production of bacterial virulence factors. Capsular polysaccharide (CPS), especially from the K1 and K2 serotypes, is considered the major determinant for K. pneumoniae virulence. We found that extracts of the traditional Chinese medicine Fructus mume inhibited the growth of K. pneumoniae strains of both serotypes. Furthermore, Fructus mume decreased the mucoviscosity, and the CPS produced in a dose-dependent manner, thus reducing bacterial resistance to serum killing. Quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction analyses showed that Fructus mume downregulated the mRNA levels of cps biosynthesis genes in both serotypes, possibly by increasing the intracellular iron concentration in K. pneumoniae. Moreover, citric acid, a major organic acid in Fructus mume extracts, was found to have an inhibitory effect on growth and CPS biosynthesis in K. pneumoniae. Taken together, our results indicate that Fructus mume not only possesses antibacterial activity against highly virulent K. pneumoniae strains but also inhibits bacterial CPS biosynthesis, thereby facilitating pathogen clearance by the host immune system.
Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 08/2013; 2013:621701. DOI:10.1155/2013/621701 · 1.88 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: K. pneumoniae is the predominant pathogen isolated from liver abscesses of diabetic patients in Asian countries. Although elevated blood glucose levels cause various immune problems, its effects on K. pneumoniae virulence are unknown. This study investigated the regulation of capsular polysaccharide (CPS) biosynthesis, a major determinant for K. pneumoniae virulence, in response to exogenous glucose. We found that K. pneumoniae produce more CPS in glucose-rich medium via reduction in cyclic AMP (cAMP) levels. Individual deletion of cyaA or crp, which respectively encode adenylate cyclase and cAMP receptor protein in K. pneumoniae, markedly increased CPS production, while deletion of cpdA, which encodes cAMP phosphodiesterase, decreased CPS production. These results indicate that K. pneumoniae CPS biosynthesis is controlled by the cAMP-dependent carbon catabolite repression (CCR). To investigate the underlying mechanism, quantitative real-time PCR and promoter-reporter assays were used to verify that the transcription of CPS biosynthesis genes, which are organized into 3 transcription units (orf1-2, orf3-15, and orf16-17), were activated by the deletion of crp. Sequence analysis revealed putative CRP binding sites located on P(orf3-15) and P(orf16-17), suggesting direct CRP-cAMP regulation on the promoters. These results were then confirmed by electrophoretic mobility shift assay. In addition, we found putative CRP binding sites located in the promoter region of rcsA, which encodes a cps transcriptional activator, demonstrating a direct repression of CRP-cAMP and P(rcsA). The deletion of rcsA in mutation of crp partially reduced CPS biosynthesis and the transcription of orf1-2 but not of orf3-15 or orf16-17. These results suggest that RcsA participates in the CRP-cAMP regulation of orf1-2 transcription and influences CPS biosynthesis. Finally, the effect of glucose and CCR proteins on CPS biosynthesis also reflects bacterial resistance to serum killing. We here provide evidence that K. pneumoniae increases CPS biosynthesis for successful infection in response to exogenous glucose via cAMP-dependent CCR.
PLoS ONE 02/2013; 8(2):e54430. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0054430 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fip-gts, a fungal immunomodulatory protein (Fip) isolated from Ganoderma tsugae (gts), has been reported to possess therapeutic effects in the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disease. To cost-effectively produce Fip-gts and bypass the bottleneck involved in its time-consuming purification from G. tsugae, in this study, we incorporated the SP(bbx) secretion signal into recombinant baculovirus for expressing glycosylated and bioactive rFip-gts in baculovirus-infected insect cells and Trichoplusia ni larva. This is the first study to employ the aerosol infecting T. ni larva with recombinant baculovirus for economical and high-level production of foreign proteins. In this study, one purification could yield 10 mg of rFip-gts protein merely from ∼100 infected T. ni larvae by aerosol inoculation, corresponding to 5 L (5 × 10(9) cells) of the infected Sf21 culture. In addition, the rFip-gts purified from T. ni larvae could induce the expression of interleukin-2 in murine splenocytes with an immunoresponsive level similar to that induced by LZ-8 (a known potent immunomodulatory protein purified from Ling zhi, Ganoderma lucidum). Thus, our results demonstrated that the larva-based baculovirus expression system can successfully express rFip-gts with the assembling capability required for maintaining immunomodulatory and anticancer activity. Our approach will open a new avenue for the production of rFip-gts and facilitate the immunoregulatory activity of rFip-gts available in the future.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chloroacetic acid (CA), a toxic chlorinated analog of acetic acid, is widely used in chemical industries as an herbicide, detergent, and disinfectant, and chemical intermediates that are formed during the synthesis of various products. In addition, CA has been found as a by-product of chlorination disinfection of drinking water. However, there is little known about neurotoxic injuries of CA on the mammalian, the toxic effects and molecular mechanisms of CA-induced in neuronal cells are mostly unknown. In this study, we examined the cytotoxicity of CA on cultured Neuro-2a cells and investigated the possible mechanisms of CA-induced neurotoxicity. Treatment of Neuro-2a cells with CA significantly reduced the number of viable cells (in a dose-dependent manner with a range from 0.1 to 3mM), increased the generation of ROS, and reduced the intracellular levels of glutathione depletion. CA also increased the number of sub-G1 hypodiploid cells; increased mitochondrial dysfunction (loss of MMP, cytochrome c release, and accompanied by Bcl-2 and Mcl-1 down-regulation and Bax up-regulation), and activated the caspase cascades activations, which displayed features of mitochondria-dependent apoptosis pathway. These CA-induced apoptosis-related signals were markedly prevented by the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine (NAC). Moreover, CA activated the JNK and p38-MAPK pathways, but did not that ERK1/2 pathway, in treated Neuro-2a cells. Pretreatment with NAC and specific p38-MAPK inhibitor (SB203580), but not JNK inhibitor (SP600125) effectively abrogated the phosphorylation of p38-MAPK and attenuated the apoptotic signals (including: decrease in cytotoxicity, caspase-3/-7 activation, the cytosolic cytochrome c release, and the reversed alteration of Bcl-2 and Bax mRNA) in CA-treated Neuro-2a cells. Taken together, these data suggest that oxidative stress-induced p38-MAPK activated pathway-regulated mitochondria-dependent apoptosis plays an important role in CA-caused neuronal cell death.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The inhibition of Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase by versatile steroid-like compounds contributes to the putative therapeutic effects of many Chinese medicinal cardiac products via the same molecular mechanism triggered by cardiac glycosides. Five major steroid-like compounds, antcin A, B, C, H, and K were isolated from Niuchangchih (Antrodia camphorata), a unique Taiwan mushroom, and all inhibited Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase. Antcin A exhibited significantly higher inhibitory potency than the other four antcins, though weaker than ginsenoside Rh2 . In contrast, cortisone (an analogous steroid with anti-inflammatory effects stronger than antcin A) showed no detectable inhibitory potency. Molecular modeling has shown that antcins bind to Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase with the steroidal skeleton structurally upside-down in comparison with ginsenoside Rh2 . The inhibitory potency of antcin A is attributed to steroidal hydrophobic interaction within the binding pocket and the formation of three hydrogen bonds between its carboxyl group and two cationic residues around the cavity entrance of Na(+)/K(+) -ATPase. The presence of an additional carbonyl or hydroxyl group at C7 of the other four antcins leads to severe repulsion in the hydrophobic pocket, and thus significantly reduces inhibitory potency. It is proposed that antcin A is a bi-functional compound that exerts anti-inflammatory effects and that enhances blood circulation via two different molecular mechanisms.
The American Journal of Chinese Medicine 08/2012; 40(5):953-65. DOI:10.1142/S0192415X1250070X · 2.76 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Oxygen-base (O-base) oxidation in protein backbone is important in the protein backbone fragmentation due to the attack from reactive oxygen species (ROS). In this study, an alanine peptide was used model system to investigate this O-base oxidation by employing density functional theory (DFT) calculations combining with continuum solvent model. Detailed reaction steps were analyzed along with their reaction rate constants.
Most of the O-base oxidation reactions for this alanine peptide are exothermic except for the bond-breakage of the Cα-N bond to form hydroperoxy alanine radical. Among the reactions investigated in this study, the activated energy of OH α-H abstraction is the lowest one, while the generation of alkylperoxy peptide radical must overcome the highest energy barrier. The aqueous situation facilitates the oxidation reactions to generate hydroxyl alanine peptide derivatives except for the fragmentations of alkoxyl alanine peptide radical. The Cα-Cβ bond of the alkoxyl alanine peptide radical is more labile than the peptide bond.
the rate-determining step of oxidation in protein backbone is the generation of hydroperoxy peptide radical via the reaction of alkylperoxy peptide radical with HO2. The stabilities of alkylperoxy peptide radical and complex of alkylperoxy peptide radical with HO2 are crucial in this O-base oxidation reaction.
Chemistry Central Journal 04/2012; 6(1):33. DOI:10.1186/1752-153X-6-33 · 2.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The maturation of mastoparan B, the major toxin peptide in the venom of Vespa basalis, requires enzymatic cleavage of its prosequence presumably via sequential liberation of dipeptides. The putative processing enzyme, dipeptidyl peptidase IV, was expressed as a glycosylated His-tag fusion protein (rDPP-IV) via the baculovirus expression system. rDPP-IV purified by one-step nickel-affinity chromatography was verified by Western blot and LC-MS/MS analysis. The k(cat)/K(m) of rDPP-IV was determined to be in the range of 10-500 mM(-1)·S(-1) for five synthetic substrates. The optimal temperature and pH for rDPP-IV were determined to be 50 °C and pH 9. Enzymatic activity of rDPP-IV was significantly reduced by 80 and 60% in the presence of sitagliptin and phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride respectively.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chikungunya virus infection has emerged in many countries over the past decade. There are no effective drugs for controlling the disease. To develop cell-based system for screening anti-virus drugs, a bi-cistronic baculovirus expression system was utilized to co-express viral structural proteins C (capsid), E2 and E1 and the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) in Spodoptera frugiperda insect cells (Sf21). The EGFP-positive Sf21 cells fused with each other and with uninfected cells to form a syncytium, allowing characterization of cholesterol and low pH requirements for syncytium formation. Western blot analysis showed three structural proteins were expressed in baculovirus infected cells. The structural proteins of Chikungunya virus that is required for cell fusion was determined with various recombinant baculoviruses bearing different lengths of the viral structural protein genes. Protein E1 was required for cell fusion and indicating that Chikungunya viral membrane fusion was a class II membrane fusion. It was also demonstrated that the heterologous expression of alphavirus monomeric E1 can induce insect cell fusions. Furthermore, this cell-based system provides a model for studying class II viral membrane fusion.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A bi-cistronic baculovirus-insect/larval system containing a polyhedron promoter, an internal ribosome entry site (IRES), and an egfp gene was developed as a cost-effective platform for the production of recombinant human interferon gamma (rhIFN-γ). There was no significant difference between the amounts of rhIFN-γ produced in the baculovirus-infected Spodoptera frugiferda 21 cells grown in serum-free medium and the serum-supplemented medium, while the Trichoplusia ni (T. ni) and Spodoptera exigua (S. exigua) larvae afforded rhIFN-γ amounting to 1.08±0.04 and 9.74±0.35 µg/mg protein respectively. The presence of non-glycosylated and glycosylated rhIFN-γ was confirmed by immunoblot and lectin blot. The immunological activity of purified rhIFN-γ, with 96% purity by Nickel (II)-nitrilotriacetic acid (Ni-NTA) affinity chromatography, was similar to that commercially available. Moreover, the rhIFN-γ protein from T. ni had more potent antiviral activity. These findings suggest that this IRES-based expression system is a simple and inexpensive alternative for large-scale protein production in anti-viral research.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Traditional Chinese medicines have been widely investigated for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease (AD) because none of the current therapies-either the cholinesterase inhibitors or antagonist of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors-has profound effects on halting the progression of AD. In recent years, scientists have isolated many active compounds from herbs, which can alleviate dementia and neurodegenerative syndrome with fewer side effects than conventional drugs and, thus, are regarded as promising drug candidates for AD therapy. In this review, we summarize the latest research progress on six herbs for AD therapy-Huperzia serrata, Amaryllidaceae family, Ginkgo biloba, Uncaria rhynchophylla, Polygala tenuifolia, and Salvia officinalis-and focus on the analysis of their active components and possible mechanisms of pharmacological actions on AD.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the active ingredient of Niuchangchih (Antrodia camphorata) responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects and the relevant molecular mechanisms.
Five major antcins (A, B, C, H, and K) were isolated from fruiting bodies of Niuchangchih. Structural similarity between the antcins and 2 glucocorticoids (cortisone and dexamethasone) was compared. After incubation with each compound, the cytosolic glucocorticoid receptor (GR) was examined for its migration into the nucleus. Mo lecular docking was performed to model the tertiary structure of GR associated with antcins.
Incubation with cortisone, dexamethasone or antcin A (but not antcins B, C, H, and K) led to the migration of glucocorticoid receptor into the nucleus. The minimal concentration of antcin A, cortisone and dexamethasone to induce nuclear migration of glucocorticoid receptor was 10, 1, and 0.1 mol/L, respectively. The results are in agreement with the simulated binding affinity scores of these three ligands docking to the glucocorticoid receptor. Molecular modeling indicates that C-7 of antcin A or glucocorticoids is exposed to a hydrophobic region in the binding cavity of the glucocorticoid receptor, and the attachment of a hydrophilic group to C-7 of the other four antcins presumably results in their being expelled when docking to the cavity.
The anti-inflammatory effect of Niuchangchih is, at least, partly attributed to antcin A that mimics glucocorticoids and triggers translocation of glucocorticoid receptor into nucleus to initiate the suppressing inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The positive inotropic effect of cardiac glycosides lies in their reversible inhibition on the membrane-bound Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in human myocardium. Steroid-like compounds containing a core structure similar to cardiac glycosides are found in many Chinese medicines conventionally used for promoting blood circulation. Some of them are demonstrated to be Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase inhibitors and thus putatively responsible for their therapeutic effects via the same molecular mechanism as cardiac glycosides. On the other hand, magnesium lithospermate B of danshen is also proposed to exert its cardiac therapeutic effect by effectively inhibiting Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Theoretical modeling suggests that the number of hydrogen bonds and the strength of hydrophobic interaction between the effective ingredients of various medicines and residues around the binding pocket of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase are crucial for the inhibitory potency of these active ingredients. Ginsenosides, the active ingredients in ginseng and sanqi, substantially inhibit Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase when sugar moieties are attached only to the C-3 position of their steroid-like structure, equivalent to the sugar position in cardiac glycosides. Their inhibitory potency is abolished, however, when sugar moieties are linked to C-6 or C-20 position of the steroid nucleus; presumably, these sugar attachments lead to steric hindrance for the entrance of ginsenosides into the binding pocket of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Neuroprotective effects of cardiac glycosides, several steroid-like compounds, and magnesium lithospermate B against ischemic stroke have been accordingly observed in a cortical brain slice-based assay model, and cumulative data support that effective inhibitors of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase in the brain could be potential drugs for the treatment of ischemic stroke.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. Severe memory loss, confusion, and impaired cognitive abilities characterize AD. It was only a century after Alzheimer's discovery that scientists were able to shed light on the mystery of its cause, but AD has also become a globally important health issue and the treatment of AD is a challenge for modern medicine. At present, there are five drugs approved in the United States for the treatment of AD, namely, donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine, and tacrine (which are all cholinesterase inhibitors); and memantine (which is a glutamate receptor antagonist). However, these drugs show only modest effects on AD patients. Thus, new investigations are necessary for pharmacological development in AD. This brief review focuses on new studies that demonstrate the link between epigenetics and AD, and explores the possibility that insomnia may be one factor that effects AD.