One of the most significant conceptual changes brought about by the analysis of circadian clock-deficient mice is that abnormalities in the circadian clock are linked not only to sleep arousal disorder but also to a wide variety of common diseases, including hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and cancer. It has recently been shown that the disruption of the two cryptochrome genes Cry1 and Cry2—core elements of the circadian clock—induces salt-dependent hypertension due to abnormally high synthesis of the mineralocorticoid aldosterone by the adrenal gland. This adrenal disorder occurs as a result of increased expression of Hsd3b6, a newly identified steroidogenic enzyme that regulates aldosterone production within the adrenal zona glomerular cells. Importantly, this enzyme is functionally conserved in humans, and the pathophysiologic condition of human idiopathic hyperaldosteronism resembles that of Cry1/2-deficient mice. This review highlights the potential utility of circadian clock-deficient mice as a tool for exploring hitherto unknown disease etiology linked to the circadian clock.
To study biochemical events in tissues and cells, we have developed a novel proteomics approach, FD-LC-MS/MS, which consists of fluorogenic derivatization (FD), LC separation and detection/quantification of proteins in a biological sample, followed by the isolation and tryptic digestion of target proteins, and then their identification using nano-HPLC-MS/MS. Fluorogenic reagents such as 7-chloro-N-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]-2,1,3-benzoxadiazole-4-sulphonamide (DAABD-Cl) were designed to have high sensitivity for HPLC-fluorescence and -MS/MS detection and reactivity for cysteine residues in proteins. This comprehensive differential proteomics approach was applied to several tissues, such as mouse liver, mouse brain, horse muscle, breast cancer cell lines, and mouse heart, in order to study fluctuations in protein levels in tissues and cells.
Saliva has recently been attracting attention as a patient-friendly available bio-fluid and an alternative to serum/plasma for hormone tests. LC coupled with atmospheric pressure ionization-MS/MS, especially electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS/MS, has been recently valued as a highly specific method in the analysis of salivary hormones. In this article, LC/ESI-MS/MS assays for salivary hormones are overviewed according to the papers that have been published during the last 5 years. Practical derivatization to enhance the detectabilities of hormones in ESI-MS/MS is also discussed, because a major disadvantage of using saliva is low hormone concentrations.
In many diseases (e.g. autoimmune diseases, cancer), a humoral immune response is thought to be involved; therefore, identifying relevant antigens that trigger the humoral immune response is at the heart of current approaches for discovering biomarkers and designing therapeutic strategies. Although immunoblotting and protein array have been used for antigen profiling in several diseases, with the rapid progress in mass spectrometry (MS) and separation technologies, MS-based proteomic methods have become a promising tool for identifying disease-associated antigens. This review introduces MS-based antigen profiling methods (immunoproteomics and immune complexome analysis) and presents application examples of these techniques to the analysis of biological samples.
Recent advances in quantitative approaches to laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (LDI-MS) are selectively reviewed. Numerous efforts have been made to use matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) and related techniques for rapid screening and/or monitoring of biological events. Among the various mass ionization spectrometric analysis techniques, MALDI-MS has exceptional potential for high-throughput analysis. Although quantitative analysis with MALDI-MS is challenging, the expansion of its utility is inevitable. It is notable that practical improvement of MALDI-MS can be achieved by preparation of an uniform matrix using binary matrix systems. Broad applications have been established with a self-assembled monolayer for MALDI-MS, referred to as SAMDI-MS. The method could be an essential tool not only for rapid screening but also as a sensitive probe for surface sciences. Complementary to these approaches, labeling of molecules for LDI-MS is introduced as potential tool for the selective detection of specific target molecules.
We have developed a mass microscope in which a microscope is combined with high-resolution matrix assisted laser desorption/ionization-imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI-IMS). This technique is a powerful tool for investigating the spatial distribution of biomolecules without the need for any time-consuming extraction, purification, and labeling procedures for biological tissue sections. The mass microscope provides clear images with regards to the distribution of hundreds of biomolecules in a single measurement, and also helps in determining the cellular profile of the biological system. In this review, we focus on some of the recent developments in clinical applications and describe how the mass microscope can be employed to assess pathomorphology and pharmacokinetics.
Single-cell analysis has attracted attention in many fields of biological studies as a tool to survey the precise mechanisms of cellular and molecular behavior. The development of sensitive mass spectrometry allows the study of molecules in single cells or small regions. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry and secondary-ion mass spectrometry use in situ ionization of specimens on sample plates to visualize molecular distributions as images from mass spectra. Several single-cell mass spectrometry technologies that initially recover a single cell followed by ionization have been developed. Among them, only nanospray-mediated sampling and ionization named Live Single-cell Mass Spectrometry can be used for real-time analysis. This paper explains that method in detail.
Indoloquinoline alkaloids represent an important class of antimalarial, antibacterial and antiviral compounds. Indolo[2,3-b]quinolines are a family of DNA intercalators and inhibitors of topoisomerase II, synthetic analogs of neocryptolepine, an alkaloid traditionally used in African folk medicine. These cytotoxic substances are promising anticancer agents. Active representatives of indolo[2,3-b]quinolines affect model and natural membranes. The distinct structure and hydrophobicity of the compounds leads to marked differences in the disturbing effects on membrane organization and function. Our results also indicated a strong relationship between the presence of the chain and the Poct of the molecule as well as the capacity for incorporation into carboxyfluorescein-trapped liposomes in the 0.02–0.06 mM range. Moreover, a correlation between binding to neutral dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine (DMPC) or negative charged dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine : dimyristoylphosphatidylglycerol (DMPC : DMPG, 9 : 1 w/w) liposomes, as well as to erythrocyte ghosts and pKa, was also found. All the compounds cause hemolysis in isotonic conditions with concentration causing 50% hemolysis (HC50) in the 0.12–0.88 mM range. The concentration-dependent inhibitory effect of the tested agents on erythrocyte ghosts’ acetylcholinesterase activity was also studied.
Apigenin (5,7,4′-trihydroxyflavone) is a principal ingredient of Cirsium japonicum. These experiments were performed to determine whether apigenin has neuroprotective effects against kainic acid (KA)-induced excitotoxicity in vitro and in vivo. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of apigenin (25, 50 mg/kg) decreased the seizure scores induced by KA injection (40 mg/kg, i.p.) in mice. In addition, the convulsion onset time was significantly delayed by apigenin administration. Moreover, we found that apigenin blocked KA-induced seizure-form electroencephalogram (EEG) discharge activity in the brain cortex. In hippocampal cells, apigenin inhibited KA-induced excitotoxicity in a dose-dependent manner as measured by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. To study the possible mechanisms underlying the in vitro neuroprotective effects of apigenin against KA-induced cytotoxicity, we also examined the effect of apigenin on intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) elevations in cultured hippocampal neurons and found that apigenin treatment dose-dependently inhibited intracellular ROS elevation. The remarkable reduction of glutathione (GSH) levels induced by KA in hippocampal tissues was reversed by apigenin in a dose-dependent manner. In addition, similar results were obtained after pretreatment with free radical scavengers such as trolox and dimethylthiourea (DMTU). Finally, after confirming the protective effect of apigenin in hippocampal CA3 region, we found apigenin is an active compound in KA-induced neuroprotection. These results collectively indicate that apigenin alleviates KA-induced excitotoxicity by quenching ROS as well as inhibiting GSH depletion in hippocampal neurons.
Diabetic retinopathy is a common complication of diabetes mellitus (DM). The oxidative damage inflicted on retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by high glucose closely approximates the molecular basis for the loss of vision associated with this disease. We investigate a novel algae-derived polysaccharide compound for its role in protecting ARPE-19 cells from high glucose-induced oxidative damage. ARPE-19 cells were cultured for 4 d with normal concentration of D-glucose, and exposed to either normal or high concentrations of D-glucose in the presence or absence of the polysaccharide compound at variety of concentrations for another 48 h. Taurine was used as a positive control. Activity of super oxide dismutase (SOD) and concentration of glutathione (GSH) were measured as well as cytotoxicity of high glucose and the polysaccharide compound. To analyse cellular damage by high glucose, activation of Annexin V and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) were examined. Our results showed that a significant cellular damage on ARPE-19 cells after 48 h treatment with high glucose, accompanied by a decrease in SOD activity and GSH concentration; high glucose also caused ARPE-19 cell apoptosis and activation of p38MAPK and ERK. As the non-toxic polysaccharide compound protected ARPE-19 cells from high glucose-induced cellular damage, the compound recovered SOD activity and concentration of GSH in the cells. The compound also abrogated the cell apoptosis and activation of p38MAPK and ERK. Therefore, the polysaccharide compound derived from algae extracts could be unique candidate for a new class of anti-DM and anti-oxidative damage.
We studied the spontaneous increase in the fluorescence intensity of 4,5-diaminofluorescein. A slow, steady increase in fluorescence continued for at least 125 h, and this increase was accompanied by ca. 2 nm red shift in the peak of emission spectrum. The spontaneous increase also occurred to diaminorhodamine-4M and a fluorinated form of diaminofluorescein, which has been also used for the detection of nitric oxide (NO). We found that several factors (excitation light, pH etc.) did not alter the time course of this increase. Moreover, we found that this spontaneous increase can produce false-positive results when measuring low-rate nitric oxide production in human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and may confound the interpretation of results of NO production. We show that this adverse effect can be avoided by careful grouping of samples during measurement.
Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of Legionnaire’s disease, is an intracellular pathogen. It intervenes in the signal transduction of macrophages by secreting effector molecules through the Icm/Dot type IV secretion system (T4SS). There is a connection between signaling cascades that regulate phagocytosis and the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Class I phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3-K) and its product phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate (PI(3,4,5)P3) play key roles in the reorganization of cytoskeleton (phagocytosis) and activation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (ROS production). We investigated the production of PI(3,4,5)P3 and recruitment of class I PI3-K and Rac1 during phagocytosis of L. pneumophila by macrophages. Transient recruitment of class I PI3-K as well as PI(3,4,5)P3 production was observed around a phagocytosed T4SS mutant LELA3118 or avirulent mutant 25D in an early stage of infection. In contrast, class I PI3-K was recruited while accumulation of PI(3,4,5)P3 was not observed around wild type JR32. Immunoglobulin G (IgG)-opsonized live JR32, which would activate class I PI3-K through the Fcγ receptor pathway, did not induce PI(3,4,5)P3 production. Regardless of whether wild type or mutants were used, transient Rac1 accumulation was observed around bacteria. These results indicate that the phagocytosis of wild type L. pneumophila occurs via a special mechanism in which PI(3,4,5)P3 production is absent. This suggests that L. pneumophila may inhibit the production of PI(3,4,5)P3, but not the recruitment of class I PI3-K and Rac1, in a T4SS-dependent manner. L. pneumophila may start the modulation of host signaling cascade immediately after contact with host cells to evade the ROS-dependent bactericidal system while completing entry into macrophages.
Some azole antifungal agents induce long QT syndrome and arrhythmias. Although composite functions of ion channels in cardiomyocytes contribute to the shaping of action potentials, information on the effects of azole antifungal agents on ion currents, except human-ether-a-go-go-related gene (HERG) K+ currents, is largely lacking. Using the whole cell patch-clamp technique, we investigated the effects of four azole agents (miconazole, ketoconazole, fluconazole, and itraconazole) on inward rectifying K+ currents (IKir), voltage-gated L-type Ca2+ currents (ICaL), and delayed rectifier K+ currents (IKdr) in rat neonate ventricular myocytes. Strikingly, miconazole and ketoconazole strongly inhibited IKir, IKdr, and ICaL at clinically relevant concentrations. The IC50 values of miconazole for IKdr, IKir, and ICaL inhibition were 2.5, 10.4, and 3.0 µM, respectively. The IC50 values of ketoconazole for IKdr, IKir and ICaL inhibition were 3.2, 20.8, and 3.5 µM, respectively. Fluconazole and itraconazole had relatively little effect on ion currents. These findings indicate that miconazole and ketoconazole are multiple ion channel inhibitors in cardiomyocytes. We suggest that it is necessary to consider this inhibition of ion channels by azole agents when assessing cardiovascular side effects.
The aim of the present study was to quantitatively evaluate the skin permeation/penetration of nanomaterials and to consider their penetration pathway through skin. Firstly, penetration/permeation of a model fluorescent nanoparticle, Fluoresbrite®, was determined through intact rat skin and several damaged skins. Fluoresbrite® permeated through only needle-punctured skin. The permeation profiles of soluble high molecular compounds, fluorescein isothiocyanate-dextrans (FITC-dextrans, FDs), with different molecular weights were also measured for comparison. The effects of molecular sizes and different skin pretreatments on the skin barrier were determined on the skin penetration/permeation of Fluoresbrite® and FDs. Fluoresbrite® was not permeated the intact skin, but FDs were permeated the skin. The skin distribution of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide nanoparticles was also observed after topical application of commercial cosmetics. Nanoparticles in sunscreen cosmetics were easily distributed into the groove and hair follicles after their topical application, but seldom migrated from the groove or follicles to viable epidermis and dermis. The obtained results suggested that nanoparticles did not permeate intact skin, but permeated pore-created skin. No or little permeation was observed for these nanomaterials through the stratum corneum.
The incidence of hypersensitivity reaction (HR) to carboplatin has been reported to increase after repeated use of the drug. However, a reliable ex vivo test to predict HR to carboplatin is not currently available. We evaluated the clinical usefulness of measuring basophil CD203c to predict carboplatin-related HR in this prospective case-control study conducted at Mie University Hospital between October 2009 and September 2010. Eleven patients had history of carboplatin-related HR within the past 3 years, and 19 had no history of HR after receiving more than 5 courses of carboplatin therapy. Six of these 19 patients developed carboplatin-related HR during the study period. The CD203c+ basophils (%) and the mean fluorescence intensity (MFI) were analyzed on a flow cytometer and compared between patients with and without HR. Changes in the CD203c expression on basophils before and after HR were also assessed in patients who developed HR during the study period. The median CD203c+ basophils (%) and ΔMFI after 30-min exposure to 50 µg/mL carboplatin were significantly higher in patients with HR (3.5% and ΔMFI 9.0) compared with those without (2.2% and ΔMFI 0.4) (p<0.05). In particular, these values were significantly higher in patients with grade 4 anaphylaxis (10.6% and ΔMFI 22.0). All five patients who developed grade 2–4 anaphylaxis during the study period had high CD203c+ basophils (%) and/or increased ΔMFI on the day before HR. The results suggest that basophil CD203c may be a promising biomarker for the prediction of severe carboplatin-related anaphylaxis.
The purpose of this research is improvement of therapeutic treatment for periodontitis by using lipophilic and/or hydrophilic zinc materials. The sample suspension injections were prepared from zinc octanate (C8Zn), zinc stearate (C18Zn), zinc sulfate hepta-hydrate (ZnSO4) and tricalcium phosphate (ZnTCP) containing 6.17w/w% zinc. After administrating of all injections to around alveolar bone of zinc-deficient osteoporosis rats, plasma Zn concentration, bone mineral content (BMC) of jawbone, BMC and bone mechanical strength (BMS) of femur and permeability tests for hairless rat stripped skin were measured as therapeutic scores. BMC and BMS were measured by using an X-ray computing tomography and the three-point bending method, respectively. The body weight, plasma Zn concentrations and the area under curve (AUC) for Zn of C8Zn, C18Zn and ZnTCP group rats were higher than those of control group, but those of ZnSO4 group were not changed. BMC of alveolar bone and femur and BMS of femur for C8Zn and C18Zn groups for 12 weeks were significantly higher than those of the control group, but those of ZnSO4 group were not changed. Stripped rat skin permeability treated by the hydrophilic creams containing C8Zn was 5-times higher than that of ZnTCP.
The objectives of the present study were to investigate the pharmacokinetics (PK) of tacrine analogue octahydrogenacridine (OHA) succinate tablets in healthy Chinese subjects. A single-center, randomized, open-label, dose-escalation study was conducted in 42 healthy Chinese subjects. Part I of the study (n=30, 16 male and 14 female) evaluated the PK profiles of OHA in healthy Chinese subjects (aged 18–45 years) after single and multiple doses of 2 mg, 4 mg and 8 mg. Part II (n=10) assessed food effect on PK characteristics of OHA. The 10 participants of 4 mg dose group in part I were given another single dose of 4 mg OHA under fed condition. Part III (n=12, 7 male and 5 female) investigate PK behavior of OHA in elderly (aged 65–75 years) Chinese healthy subjects. In Part I, following a single- and multiple-dose, octahydrogenacridine succinate was rapidly absorbed with a median tmax of 0.67 to 1.00 h, and was eliminated with a mean t1/2 of 2.27 to 2.98 h in all dose groups and did not appear to be dose dependent. In Part II, there were no significant differences in Cmax, AUC0–tn or tmax between 4 mg single dose fasting group and fed group (p=0.257, 0.153, 0.098, respectively). In Part III, both in single-dose and multiple-dose treatment, the main PK parameters of OHA in the elderly healthy Chinese subjects showed no statistical difference with those of non-elderly group. All these results indicated that OHA might be a promising drug under development for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) therapy.
The effect of fibrates (clofibric acid, bezafibrate and fenofibrate) on the gene expression and activity of 1-acylglycerophosphocholine acyltransferase (LPCAT) was investigated. The administration of 0.1% (w/w) clofibric acid, bezafibrate or fenofibrate in diet for 14 d to rats induced LPCAT activity in hepatic microsomes in the following order: fenofibrate>bezafibrate>clofibric acid. The LPCAT induced by fenofibrate preferred to arachidonoyl-CoA and linoleoyl-CoA to a greater extent than did LPCAT in control microsomes. The treatment with the fibrates resulted in upregulation of the relative expression of mRNAs encoding LPCAT3 and LPCAT4 in the following order: fenofibrate>bezafibrate>clofibric acid. The administration of fibrates did not change the expression of genes encoding either LPCAT1 or LPCAT2. The treatment with fibrates elevated relative levels of both mRNAs encoding Δ6 desaturase (Fads2) and Δ5 desaturase (Fads1) in the order of fenofibrate>bezafibrate>clofibric acid, and the extent of the increase in the level of Δ6 desaturase mRNA was greater than that of Δ5 desaturase. Fatty acid profile in hepatic phosphatidylcholine (PC) was significantly changed by the treatments with fibrates. These results suggest (i) that fibrates induce LPCAT activity in hepatic microsomes by elevating the expression of genes encoding LPCAT3 and LPCAT4, (ii) that the changes in fatty acid profile of hepatic PC are, in part, due to the elevated expression of two isoforms, LPCAT3 and LPCAT4, and (iii) that the ability of fibrates to induce these changes are in the order of fenofibrate>bezafibrate>clofibric acid.
In India, Azadirachta indica is typically known as ‘neem tree’ and its leaves has long been used in the ayurvedic medical tradition as a treatment for diabetes mellitus. In-depth chromatographic investigation on chloroform extract resulted in identification of one new tetranortriterpenoid. Structural elucidation was established on the basis of spectral data as 24,25,26,27-tetranor-apotirucalla-(apoeupha)-1α-senecioyloxy-3α,7α-dihydroxy-14,20,22-trien-21,23-epoxy named by us as meliacinolin (1). The present study investigated the effect hypoglycaemic, hypolipidemic, oxidative stress, insulin resistance, α-glucosidase and α-amylase of 1 from A. indica. Diabetic rats were treated with 1 for 28 d and a set of biochemical parameters were studied including: glucose level, total cholesterol, triglycerides, lipid peroxidation, liver and muscle glycogen, superoxide dismutase, catalase, glutathione peroxidase and glutathione reductase. We also looked into liver function by determining glucose-6-phosphatase, glucokinase and hexokinase activities, and the effect on insulin level. While in vitro inhibition of α-glucosidase and α-amylase enzyme activities were used as indices of effect on glucose absorption. As a result we found that blood glucose level, serum biochemical parameters, hepatic enzymes, thiobarbituric acid reactive substances, and insulin level were restored in streptozotocin (STZ)-diabetic mice to normal levels with 1. Meliacinolin inhibited α-glucosidase and α-amylase activities. We conclude that meliacinolin can efficiently inhibit insulin resistance, improvement of renal function, lipid abnormalities, and oxidative stress, indicating that its therapeutic properties may be due to the interaction of meliacinolin with multiple targets involved in diabetes pathogenesis. α-Glucosidase and α-amylase inhibitors offer an effective strategy to lower the levels of post prandial hyperglycemia prevents the digestion of carbohydrates.
Rhizoma Polygonati falcatum (RPF) has been used as a traditional herbal medicine in Asia, because of its anti-hyperglycemic, anti-triglycemic, and anti-tumor activity. In this study, we determined the anti-adipogenic potential of RPF extract and its component kaempferol in 3T3-L1 adipocytes, and the underlying molecular mechanism(s) using microarray analysis. Adipocyte differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells was significantly impaired by RPF extract and kaempferol as monitored by Oil Red O staining and quantitative measurement of lipid accumulation. Additionally, the mRNA expression of adipogenesis genes decreased on treatment with kaempferol. The role of kaempferol at the genome-wide level was further assessed by a microarray approach. Our analysis indicated that kaempferol decreased the expression of adipogenic transcription factors (Pparγ, Cebpβ, Srebp1, Rxrβ, Lxrβ, Rorα) and genes involved in triglyceride biosynthesis (Gpd1, Agpat2, Dgat2), while increasing lipolysis-related genes, such as Tnfα, Lsr, and Cel. Finally, co-transfection assays using luciferase reporter gene and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis using peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) target genes indicated that kaempferol significantly repressed rosiglitazone-induced PPARγ transcriptional activity. Overall, our data suggests that kaempferol, a major component of RPF, may be beneficial in obesity, by reducing adipogenesis and balancing lipid homeostasis partly through the down-regulation of PPARγ.
A positive feedback system, using GAL4-vp16 (a fusion protein of yeast GAL4 and herpes simplex virus vp16) as an activator and firefly luciferase as a reporter, maintained luciferase expression for 7 d in mice. However, the luciferase expression decreased after 7 d, and this phenomenon could be caused by immunoreactions against these exogenous proteins. This hypothesis was examined by the following three strategies, designed to avoid the putative immunoreactions: (i) use of the endogenous secreted alkaline phosphatase (SEAP) protein as a reporter, (ii) replacement of vp16 with endogenous transcription factors, and (iii) insertion of the target sequence of microRNA expressed in cells of hematopoietic origin, to suppress GAL4-vp16 expression in antigen-presenting cells. The results obtained in this study suggested that silencing would be induced by mechanism(s) besides immunoreactions against reporter and activator proteins.
B-cell translocation gene 1 and 2 (BTG1 and BTG2) are members of the BTG/Tob antiproliferative protein family, which is able to regulate the cell cycle and cell proliferation. We previously reported that BTG1, BTG2, Tob, and Tob2 are degraded via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of polyubiquitination of BTG1 and BTG2. Since the Skp1-Cdc53/Cullin 1-F-box protein (SCF) complex functions as one of the major ubiquitin ligases for cell cycle regulation, we first examined interactions between BTG proteins and components of the SCF complex, and found that BTG1 and BTG2 were capable of interacting with the SCF complex containing Cullin-1 (a scaffold protein) and Skp1 (a linker protein). As the SCF complex can ubiquitinate various target proteins by substituting different F-box proteins as subunits that recognize different target proteins, we next examined which F-box proteins could bind the two BTG proteins, and found that Skp2, β-transducin repeat-containing protein 1 (βTrCP1), and βTrCP2 were able to associate with both BTG1 and BTG2. Furthermore, we obtained evidence showing that βTrCP1 enhanced the polyubiquitination of both BTG1 and BTG2 more efficiently than Skp2 did, and that an F-box truncated mutant of βTrCP1 had a dominant negative effect on this polyubiquitination. Thus, we propose that BTG1 and BTG2 are subjected to polyubiquitination, more efficiently when it is mediated by SCFβTrCP than by SCFSkp2.
Neuroinflammation, characterized by activation of microglia and expression of major inflammatory mediators, contributes to neuronal damage in addition to acute and chronic central nervous system (CNS) disease progression. The present study investigated the immune modulatory effects of ginsenoside Rg3, a principle active ingredient in Panax ginseng, on pro-inflammatory cytokines and microglia activation in brain tissue induced by systemic lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment in C57BL/6 mice. Systemic LPS treatment induces immediate microglia activation in the brain. Based on this information, ginsenoside Rg3 was treated orally with 10, 20, and 30 mg/kg 1 h prior to the LPS (3 mg/kg, intraperitoneally (i.p.)) injection. Ginsenoside Rg3 at 20 and 30 mg/kg oral doses significantly attenuated up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) and IL-6 mRNA in brain tissue at 4 h after LPS injection. Morphological activation of microglia and Iba1 protein expression by systemic LPS injection were reduced with ginsenoside Rg3 (30 mg/kg) treatment. In addition, inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression in brain tissue were also attenuated with oral treatment of ginsenoside Rg3 at 30 mg/kg. These results indicate that ginsenoside Rg3 plays a modulatory role in neuroinflammation. This study shows that ginsenoside Rg3 attenuates microglia activation using an in vivo animal model.
We previously reported that sarpogrelate, a selective 5-HT2A antagonist, showed a potent inverse agonist activity to constitutively active mutant (C322K) of human 5-HT2A receptor (5-HT2AR). However, it remains to be unknown about the actual mechanism of this mutant for its constitutive activation as well as inverse agonist activity of sarpogrelate. Our model shows that mutation (C322K) of 5-HT2AR causes electronic repulsion between positively charged Arg173(3.50) and Lys322(6.34) residues resulting outward movement of the C-terminus of transmembrane helix (TMH) III. This motion of TMH III leads to a partially active structure of the receptor, which may be a key step in receptor activation. The structural model of the partially active receptor also indicates that the binding of sarpogrelate to the constitutively active receptor causes an inward swing of TMH III to an inactive receptor structure. Therefore, the present study may suggest that the electronic repulsion causing outward movement of the C-terminus of TMH III may be the key step for constitutive activation of mutant C322K of 5-HT2AR and the inward movement of TMH III causes the inverse agonist activity of sarpogrelate.
Oakmoss is a natural fragrance ingredient exhibiting highly specific, potent antibacterial activity against Legionella pneumophila, a causative agent of severe water-bone pneumonia. In the present study, the antibacterial activity of individual compounds isolated from oakmoss was investigated against L. pneumophila and other Legionella spp. A total of 18 known compounds and two minor novel compounds (i.e., 3-methoxy-5-methylphenyl-2,4-dihydroxy-6-methylbenzoate (compound 9) and 8-(2,4-dihydroxy-6-(2-oxoheptyl)-phenoxy)-6-hydroxy-3-pentyl-1H-isochromen-1-one (compound 20)) were purified from oakmoss. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) against clinical and environmental isolates of L. pneumophila, L. bozemanii, L. micdadei, L. longbeachae, and L. dumoffii for 11 of the 20 compounds were less than 100 µg/mL (range 0.8–64.0 µg/mL). Novel compounds 9 and 20 exhibited potent antibacterial activity against L. pneumophila strains (MIC ranges of 1.3–8.0 µg/mL and 3.3–13.3 µg/mL, respectively) and also against four other Legionella species (MIC ranges of 0.8–8.0 µg/mL and 3.3–21.3 µg/mL, respectively). Time–kill assays indicated that compounds 9 and 20 kill bacteria at a concentration equivalent to 2×MIC after 1 h and 6 h co-incubations, respectively. While oakmoss and the purified components exhibited antibacterial activity against Legionella spp., they were not active against other Gram-negative and -positive bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus.
Apoptosis is the main form of β-cell death in diabetes. Ginseng has been used as an anti-diabetic herb for several thousand years in Asia with ginsenoside Rg1 and ginsenoside Rb1 as important active ingredients. In this study, we demonstrated ginsenoside Rg1 and Rb1 protect β-cells from high glucose/cytokine-induced pancreatic β-cell apoptosis via inhibiting nitric oxide (NO) production and regulating apoptosis-related genes. Among these genes, Bax, Fas and Caspase-3 gene expressions were up-regulated by high glucose, whereas only Bax and Caspase-3 gene expression were elevated by cytokines. In these two stimuli-induced apoptotic cells, Rg1 down-regulated Fas gene expression, while Rb1 decreased Caspase-3 gene expression. As a conclusion, Fas signal pathway and mitochondria stress is mostly related to anti-diabetes function of ginsenoside Rg1, while Caspase-3 pathway is essential when Rb1 is present.
This study was designed to investigate the protective effects of the polysaccharide isolated from Tarphochlamys affinis (PTA) against CCl4-induced hepatotoxicity in rats. Liver injury was induced in rats by the administration of CCl4 twice a week for 2 weeks. During the experiment, the model group received CCl4 only; the treatment groups received various drugs plus CCl4, whereas the normal control group received an equal volume of saline. Compared with the CCl4 group, PTA significantly decreased the activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) in the serum and increased the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in the liver. Moreover, the content of hepatic malondialdehyde (MDA) was reduced. Histological findings also confirmed the anti-hepatotoxic characterisation. In addition, PTA significantly inhibited the proinflammatory mediators, such as prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Further investigation showed that the inhibitory effect of PTA on the pro-inflammatory cytokines was associated with the down-regulation of nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB). In brief, our results show that the protective effect of PTA against CCl4-induced hepatic injury may rely on its ability to reduce oxidative stress and suppress inflammatory responses.
The 70% ethanol extract of the rhizome of Alisma orientale (Alismatis rhizome) (AOE) was prepared and found to significantly inhibit 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-catalyzed leukotriene (LT) production from rat basophilic leukemia (RBL)-1 cells and β-hexosaminidase release by antigen-stimulated RBL-2H3 cells. It also attenuated delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) reaction in mice. Among the three major triterpene constituents isolated (i.e., alisol B, alisol B 23-acetate, alisol C 23-acetate) as active principles, alisol B and its 23-acetate strongly and significantly inhibited LT production and β-hexosaminidase release between 1–10 µM. On the other hand, all these alisol derivatives significantly and strongly inhibited DTH response after oral administration. In addition, AOE (200 mg/kg/d) was for the first time found to considerably alleviate hapten-induced dermatitis symptoms in NC/Nga mice, an animal model of atopic dermatitis. These results indicate that alisol derivatives possess inhibitory activities on immediate-type as well as delayed-type hypersensitivity reactions and may contribute to the anti-allergic action of AOE.
Steroid sulfatase (STS) plays an important role in steroid metabolism in which estrogens and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) are produced from their sulfates. However, little is known about the transcriptional regulation of the STS gene in keratinocytes. Since keratinocytes are thought to be a primary target of interferon gamma (IFNγ) in inflammatory and immune responses, we assessed the effects of this cytokine upon STS gene expression in the human keratinocyte cell line SVHK and in normal human keratinocytes (NHEK). Stimulation of SVHK cells with 50 ng/mL of IFNγ for 24 h induced an approximately three-fold increase in STS activity and in its mRNA levels compared to non-treated cells. IFNγ treatment also induced an approximately 1.5-fold increase in STS mRNA levels in NHEK cells. This induction was completely inhibited by treatment with phosphatidylinositol (PI) 3-kinase inhibitors such as LY294002 or wortmannin, and by the nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) inhibitor, dehydroxymethylepoxyquinomicin (DHMEQ). These data suggest that activation of the PI 3-kinase signal transduction pathway mediates induction of STS gene expression by IFNγ through activation of NF-κB. The anti-inflammatory agent dexamethasone inhibited IFNγ induction of STS gene expression, suggesting involvement of a glucocorticoid receptor in the regulation of STS gene expression in keratinocytes. Regulation of STS gene expression in skin as a novel target of drugs for therapy of psoriasis in the skin is discussed.
The effects of 21-hydroxypregnenolone and related steroids such as deoxycorticosterone (DOC; 21-hydroxyprogesterone), cortisol, and corticosterone on progesterone 17α-hydroxylase activity by steroidogenic cytochrome P450 c17 (CYP17) were investigated. 21-Hydroxypregnenolone contains a hydroxyl group at C3 in the A cyclic hydrocarbon ring and a double bond at C5 in the B cyclic hydrocarbon ring, whereas DOC, cortisol, and corticosterone contain a ketone group at C3 and a double bond at C4 in the A cyclic hydrocarbon ring. No marked inhibition was observed for DOC, cortisol, and corticosterone at 100 μM concentration. Nonetheless, 21-hydroxypregnenolone exhibited competitive inhibition of progesterone 17α-hydroxylation activity by CYP17 with a Ki value of 36.4 µM. These results suggest that a hydroxyl group at C3 in the A ring and a double bond at C5 in the B ring in steroid hormones are important for the substrate recognition of CYP17.
Persistent inhalation of diesel exhaust particles results in damaged lung cells through formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), but the details of the toxicity mechanism against monocytes are poorly understood. In this study, we used human promyelomonocytic U937 cells as surrogates of monocytes and investigated the toxicity mechanism initiated by exposure to 9,10-phenanthrenequinone (9,10-PQ), a major quinone component in diesel exhaust particles. A 24-h incubation with 9,10-PQ provoked apoptotic cell death, which was due to signaling through the enhanced ROS generation and concomitant caspase activation. Flow cytometric analyses of U937 cells after long-term exposure to 9,10-PQ revealed induction of differentiation that was evidenced by increasing expression of CD11b/CD18, a cell-surface marker for monocytic differentiation into macrophages. The 9,10-PQ-induced differentiation was significantly abolished by ROS inhibitors, suggesting that ROS generation contributes to cell differentiation. The 9,10-PQ treatment increased the expression of aldo-keto reductase (AKR) 1C3, which reached a peak at 1 to 2 d post-treatment and then declined. The bell-shaped curve of the AKR1C3 expression by 9,10-PQ resembled that caused by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, a differentiation inducer. Additionally, the concomitant treatment with tolfenamic acid, a selective AKR1C3 inhibitor, sensitized the differentiation induced by 9,10-PQ. These results suggest that ROS formation during 9,10-PQ treatment acutely leads to apoptosis of U937 cells and the initiation of monocytic differentiation, which proceeds after the provisional overexpression of AKR1C3.
Several useful spin trap agents have been identified for the identification and quantification of biological oxygen radicals. Among them, 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline N-oxide (DMPO) has been used most frequently as a spin trap agent. The function of DMPO in vivo, however, is still unclear. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of DMPO in an in vivo model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Rats were microinjected with 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA, 32 nmol) in the presence or absence of DMPO (0.4, 4 nmol). We investigated behavioral and histochemical parameters in this rat model of PD. In addition, to examine the effect of DMPO against oxidative stress, we performed an electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis. Intranigral injection of 6-OHDA alone caused behavioral dysfunction and a massive loss of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta (SNpc). Co-microinjection of 4 nmol DMPO, but not 0.4 nmol, significantly prevented 6-OHDA-induced behavioral impairments and dopaminergic neurodegeneration. In ESR analysis, DMPO directly trapped hydroxyl radical (·OH) generated from 6-OHDA and Fe2+ in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that DMPO attenuates 6-OHDA-induced dopaminergic neurodegeneration in a rat model of PD via scavenging ·OH, and is a useful tool for biological research of oxidative stresses.
The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway is frequently activated in human cancers by gain-of-function mutations of phosphoinositide-3-kinase, catalytic, alpha polypeptide (PIK3CA) or dysfunction of phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN). Therefore PI3K is thought to be a promising target for cancer therapy. Many agents targeting PI3K have been developed and some of them have been evaluated in clinical trials. In recent years, development of predictive biomarkers as companion diagnostics for molecular targeted drugs has become an important requirement for clinical development; however, no clinically established biomarkers that predict the efficacy of PI3K inhibitors have been found. We previously reported that expression of phosphorylated Akt determined by immunoblot analysis correlated with the antitumor efficacy of a PI3K inhibitor ZSTK474 in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that it might be used as a predictive biomarker. In this study, to evaluate biomarker candidates in in vivo tumor samples, we developed an immunohistochemical protein detection/quantification system in conjunction with the tissue microarray technology using a panel of 24 human tumor xenografts (JFCR24). We have clearly demonstrated that expression levels of phosphorylated v-akt murine thymoma viral oncogene homolog (Akt) and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) determined by this system significantly correlated with those determined by immunoblot analysis. As expected, PTEN status correlated with expression of phosphorylated Akt but not MAPK. Finally, we confirmed that phosphorylated Akt levels determined using this system correlated with the in vivo efficacy of ZSTK474. The present results indicate that the immunohistochemical protein detection/quantification system could be used to quantify expression of biomarker proteins in xenografted tumor tissues as well as in human tumor specimens to predict drug efficacy in future clinical trials.
Colon cancer is the third most common malignancy around the world. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy are generally used to treat colon cancer, but no effective therapy for advanced colon carcinoma is available. Therefore, there is a need to identify other therapeutic agents against this disease. Magnolol, a hydroxylated biphenyl compound present in Magnolia officinalis, exerts anticancer potential and low toxicity. Emerging evidence has suggested that activation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a potential cancer therapeutic target is involved in apoptosis in colon cancer cells. However, the effects of magnolol on human colon cancer through activation of AMPK remain unexplored. In this study, we explored whether magnolol exerts an antiproliferative effect, and induces apoptosis in HCT-116 human colon cancer cells. Magnolol displayed several apoptotic features, including propidium iodide labeling, DNA fragmentation, and caspase-3 and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavages. We showed that magnolol induced the phosphorylation of AMPK in dose- and time-dependent manners. The selective AMPK inhibitor compound C abrogated the effect of magnolol on AMPK activation, suppression of proliferation, and caspase-3 cleavage. Magnolol downregulated expression of the antiapoptotic protein Bcl2, upregulated expression of pro-apoptotic protein p53 and Bax, and caused the release of mitochondrial cytochrome c. Magnolol-induced p53 and Bcl2 expression was abolished in the presence of compound C. Magnolol inhibited migration and invasion of HCT-116 cells through AMPK activation. These findings demonstrate that AMPK mediates the anticancer effects of magnolol through apoptosis in HCT-116 cells.