[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.
Applied biochemistry and biotechnology 01/2013; · 1.94 Impact Factor
[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 01/2013; 2013:621701. · 1.72 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 01/2013; 8(2):e54430. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[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: 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. · 1.31 Impact Factor
[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 01/2012; 40(5):953-65. · 2.28 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.
Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 12/2011; 75(12):2371-5. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[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.
Journal of virological methods 08/2011; 175(2):206-15. · 2.13 Impact Factor
[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.
Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 07/2011; 75(7):1342-8. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[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.
Taiwanese journal of obstetrics & gynecology 06/2011; 50(2):131-5.
[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.
Taiwanese journal of obstetrics & gynecology 12/2010; 49(4):468-72.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine if magnesium lithospermate B (MLB), a potent inhibitor of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, leads to the elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) level as observed in cells treated with cardiac glycosides.
Viability of SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cells treated with various concentrations of ouabain or MLB was measured. Intracellular Ca(2+) levels were visualized using Fluo4-AM (fluorescent dye) when cells were treated with ouabain or MLB in the presence or absence of KB-R7943 (Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger inhibitor) and 2-APB (IP(3) receptor antagonist). Molecular modeling was conducted for the docking of ouabain or MLB to Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Changes of cell body and dendrite morphology were monitored under a microscope.
severe toxicity was observed in cells treated with ouabain of concentration higher than 1 micromol/L for 24 h while no apparent toxicity was observed in those treated with MLB. Intracellular Ca(2+) levels were substantially elevated by MLB (1 micromol/L) and ouabain (1 micromol/L) in similar patterns, and significantly reduced in the presence of KB-R7943 (10 micromol/L) or 2-APB (100 micromol/L). Equivalent interaction with the binding cavity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase was simulated for ouabain and MLB by forming five hydrogen bonds, respectively. Treatment of ouabain (1 micromol/L), but not MLB (1 mumol/L), induced dendritic shrink of SH-SY5Y cells.
Comparable to ouabain, MLB leads to the elevation of intracellular Ca(2+) level presumably via the same mechanism by inhibiting Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. The elevated Ca(2+) levels seem to be supplied by Ca(2+) influx through the reversed mode of the Na(+)/Ca(2+) exchanger and intracellular release from endoplasmic reticulum.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To examine if steroid-like compounds found in many Chinese medicinal products conventionally used for the promotion of blood circulation may act as active components via the same molecular mechanism triggered by cardiac glycosides, such as ouabain.
The inhibitory potency of ouabain and the identified steroid-like compounds on Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase activity was examined and compared. Molecular modeling was exhibited for the docking of these compounds to Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase.
All the examined steroid-like compounds displayed more or less inhibition on Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, with bufalin (structurally almost equivalent to ouabain) exhibiting significantly higher inhibitory potency than the others. In the pentacyclic triterpenoids examined, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid were moderate inhibitors of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase, and their inhibitory potency was comparable to that of ginsenoside Rh2. The relatively high inhibitory potency of ursolic acid or oleanolic acid was due to the formation of a hydrogen bond between its carboxyl group and the Ile322 residue in the deep cavity close to two K(+) binding sites of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase. Moreover, the drastic difference observed in the inhibitory potency of ouabain, bufalin, ginsenoside Rh2, and pentacyclic triterpenoids is ascribed mainly to the number of hydrogen bonds and partially to the strength of hydrophobic interaction between the compounds and residues around the deep cavity of Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase.
Steroid-like compounds seem to contribute to therapeutic effects of many cardioactive Chinese medicinal products. Chinese herbs, such as Prunella vulgaris L, rich in ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and their glycoside derivatives may be adequate sources for cardiac therapy via effective inhibition on Na(+)/K(+)-ATPase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To develop an economical, easy technique for producing recombinant E2 glycoprotein (rE2) of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) as a candidate immunogen, a bi-cistronic baculovirus/larvae expression vector was constructed using p10 promoter, an internal ribosome entry site, and the gfp gene. Trichoplusia ni larvae were successfully infected with the occluded recombinant baculovirus via feed, and the characteristics of rE2 were confirmed by immunoblot and glycosylation stain. rE2 at a concentration of 0.6-0.8 mg/ml without degradation was obtained from hemolymphs of infected larvae that emitted high levels of green fluorescence. Immunization assays indicated that mice and piglets immunized with rE2-containing hemolymph elicited high titers of anti-CSFV E2 antibodies with virus-neutralizing activity. This is the first study to indicate that baculovirus/T. ni larvae-expressed rE2 can be served as a vaccine candidate. This system provides an economical alternative for the production of vaccine components in the veterinary industry.
Bioscience Biotechnology and Biochemistry 01/2010; 74(7):1343-9. · 1.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The baculovirus-insect expression system is a popular tool for recombinant protein production. The standard method for infecting insect larvae with recombinant baculovirus for protein production involves either feeding occlusion bodies or injecting budded virus into the cuticle. In this study, we showed that the recombinant Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) at titers >10(8) pfu/mL efficiently infected Trichoplusia ni (T. ni) larvae through aerosol inoculation of budded virus at a pressure of 5.5 x 10(4) Pa. The dipping T. ni larvae in virus-containing solution efficiently infected them. These results indicate that surface contamination, either by aerosol or dipping, lead to infection via spiracles. The aerosol infection route for AcMNPV was restricted to T. ni and Plutella xylostella larvae, whereas Spodoptera litura and Helicoverpa armigera larvae were resistant to this inoculation process. The yields of the reporter proteins DsRed and EGFP from T. ni larvae following aerosol infection were nearly identical to those following oral feeding or injection. This alternative baculovirus infection strategy facilitates recombinant protein and virus production by insect larvae.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A recombinant red fluorescent protein, DsRed, was chosen as a model protein to prepare a protein-encapsulated bioaerogel, DsRed-SAG. It was prepared using sol-gel polymerization of tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS) with an ionic liquid as the solvent and pore-forming agent. The DsRed-SAG bioaerogel was characterized by Fourier transformation infrared, scanning electron microscopy and Brunauer-Emmett-Teller measurements. It was found that the as-prepared bioaerogel had high porosity, and the silica network exhibited little shrinkage during the drying process. The stability of the bioaerogel was monitored by fluorescence spectroscopy and confirmed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. In addition, the protection of the encapsulated proteins by the silica network was further investigated using the degradation test by a protease. The results indicated that the as-prepared protein was quite stable during formation of the protein-containing wet gel and extraction of the ionic liquid, demonstrating that the new method can be extended to prepare other protein-encapsulated bioaerogels.