ResearchPad - centrifugation Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Analytical performance of thrombospondin-1 and cathepsin D immunoassays part of a novel CE-IVD marked test as an aid in the diagnosis of prostate cancer]]> The Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test suffers from low specificity for the diagnosis of Prostate Cancer (PCa). We originally discovered two cancer-related proteins thrombospondin-1 (THBS1) and cathepsin D (CTSD) using a mass-spectrometry-based proteomics approach. The two serum proteins were shown to improve the diagnosis of high-grade PCa. Thus, we developed quantitative ELISAs for the determination of their concentration in human serum. Here we report their analytical performance in terms of limit of detection, specificity, precision, linearity and interferences, which were determined based on CLSI guidelines. Further, we investigated the influence of pre-analytical factors on concentration measurements. For this, blood from 4–6 donors was collected in different tubes and stored at room temperature for different times prior to centrifugation at different centrifugal forces and temperatures. Stability of THBS1 and CTSD under different storage temperatures was also evaluated. Our results show that the assays are specific, linear and sensitive enough to allow measurement of clinical samples. Precision in terms of repeatability and total within-laboratory coefficient of variation (CV) are 5.5% and 8.1% for THBS1 and 4.3% and 7.2% for CTSD, respectively. Relative laboratory-to-laboratory differences were -6.3% for THBS1 and -3% for CTSD. Both THBS1 and CTSD were stable in serum samples, with 80–120% recoveries of concentrations across donors, sample preparation and storage. In conclusion, the ELISAs as part of the novel commercial in vitro diagnostic test Proclarix are suitable for the use in clinical practice. THBS1 and CTSD can be accurately measured for their intended use independent of the lot and laboratory when conditions consistent with routine practice for PSA sampling and storage are used.

<![CDATA[Effects of amotosalen treatment on human platelet lysate bioactivity: A proof-of-concept study]]>


Clinical application of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) usually requires an in vitro expansion step to reach clinically relevant numbers. In vitro cell expansion necessitates supplementation of basal mammalian cell culture medium with growth factors. To avoid using supplements containing animal substances, human platelet lysates (hPL) produced from expired and pathogen inactivated platelet concentrates can be used in place of fetal bovine serum. However, globally, most transfusion units are currently not pathogen inactivated. As blood banks are the sole source of platelet concentrates for hPL production, it is important to ensure product safety and standardized production methods. In this proof-of-concept study we assessed the feasibility of producing hPL from expired platelet concentrates with pathogen inactivation applied after platelet lysis by evaluating the retention of growth factors, cytokines, and the ability to support MSC proliferation and tri-lineage differentiation.

Methodology/Principal findings

Bone marrow-derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) were expanded and differentiated using hPL derived from pathogen inactivated platelet lysates (hPL-PIPL), with pathogen inactivation by amotosalen/ultraviolet A treatment applied after lysis of expired platelets. Results were compared to those using hPL produced from conventional expired pathogen inactivated platelet concentrates (hPL-PIPC), with pathogen inactivation applied after blood donation. hPL-PIPL treatment had lower concentrations of soluble growth factors and cytokines than hPL-PIPC treatment. When used as supplementation in cell culture, BM-MSCs proliferated at a reduced rate, but more consistently, in hPL-PIPL than in hPL-PIPC. The ability to support tri-lineage differentiation was comparable between lysates.


These results suggest that functional hPL can be produced from expired and untreated platelet lysates by applying pathogen inactivation after platelet lysis. When carried out post-expiration, pathogen inactivation may provide a valuable solution for further standardizing global hPL production methods, increasing the pool of starting material, and meeting future demand for animal-free supplements in human cell culturing.

<![CDATA[A Centrifugal Microfluidic Platform That Separates Whole Blood Samples into Multiple Removable Fractions Due to Several Discrete but Continuous Density Gradient Sections]]>

We present a miniaturized centrifugal platform that uses density centrifugation for separation and analysis of biological components in small volume samples (~5 μL). We demonstrate the ability to enrich leukocytes for on-disk visualization via microscopy, as well as recovery of viable cells from each of the gradient partitions. In addition, we simplified the traditional Modified Wright-Giemsa staining by decreasing the time, volume, and expertise involved in the procedure. From a whole blood sample, we were able to extract 95.15% of leukocytes while excluding 99.8% of red blood cells. This platform has great potential in both medical diagnostics and research applications as it offers a simpler, automated, and inexpensive method for biological sample separation, analysis, and downstream culturing.

<![CDATA[Differential Responses of Pattern Recognition Receptors to Outer Membrane Vesicles of Three Periodontal Pathogens]]>

Highly purified outer membrane vesicles (OMVs) of the periodontal pathogens, Porphyromonas gingivalis, Treponema denticola and Tannerella forsythia were produced using tangential flow ultrafiltration, ultracentrifugation and Optiprep density gradient separation. Cryo-TEM and light scattering showed OMVs to be single lipid-bilayers with modal diameters of 75 to 158 nm. Enumeration of OMVs by nanoparticle flow-cytometry at the same stage of late exponential culture indicated that P. gingivalis was the most prolific OMV producer. P. gingivalis OMVs induced strong TLR2 and TLR4-specific responses and moderate responses in TLR7, TLR8, TLR9, NOD1 and NOD2 expressing-HEK-Blue cells. Responses to T. forsythia OMVs were less than those of P. gingivalis and T. denticola OMVs induced only weak responses. Compositional analyses of OMVs from the three pathogens demonstrated differences in protein, fatty acids, lipopolysaccharide, peptidoglycan fragments and nucleic acids. Periodontal pathogen OMVs induced differential pattern recognition receptor responses that have implications for their role in chronic periodontitis.

<![CDATA[Partial Purification of a Megadalton DNA Replication Complex by Free Flow Electrophoresis]]>

We describe a gentle and rapid method to purify the intact multiprotein DNA replication complex using free flow electrophoresis (FFE). In particular, we applied FFE to purify the human cell DNA synthesome, which is a multiprotein complex that is fully competent to carry-out all phases of the DNA replication process in vitro using a plasmid containing the simian virus 40 (SV40) origin of DNA replication and the viral large tumor antigen (T-antigen) protein. The isolated native DNA synthesome can be of use in studying the mechanism by which mammalian DNA replication is carried-out and how anti-cancer drugs disrupt the DNA replication or repair process. Partially purified extracts from HeLa cells were fractionated in a native, liquid based separation by FFE. Dot blot analysis showed co-elution of many proteins identified as part of the DNA synthesome, including proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), DNA topoisomerase I (topo I), DNA polymerase δ (Pol δ), DNA polymerase ɛ (Pol ɛ), replication protein A (RPA) and replication factor C (RFC). Previously identified DNA synthesome proteins co-eluted with T-antigen dependent and SV40 origin-specific DNA polymerase activity at the same FFE fractions. Native gels show a multiprotein PCNA containing complex migrating with an apparent relative mobility in the megadalton range. When PCNA containing bands were excised from the native gel, mass spectrometric sequencing analysis identified 23 known DNA synthesome associated proteins or protein subunits.

<![CDATA[Pycnosomes: Condensed Endosomal Structures Secreted by Dictyostelium Amoebae]]>

Dictyostelium discoideum has been used largely as a model organism to study the organization and function of the endocytic pathway. Here we describe dense structures present in D. discoideum endocytic compartments, which we named pycnosomes. Pycnosomes are constitutively secreted in the extracellular medium, from which they can be recovered by differential centrifugation. We identified the most abundant protein present in secreted pycnosomes, that we designated SctA. SctA defines a new family of proteins with four members in D. discoideum, and homologous proteins in other protists and eumetazoa. We developed a monoclonal antibody specific for SctA and used it to further characterize secreted and intracellular pycnosomes. Within cells, immunofluorescence as well as electron microscopy identified pycnosomes as SctA-enriched dense structures in the lumen of endocytic compartments. Pycnosomes are occasionally seen in continuity with intra-endosomal membranes, particularly in U18666A-treated cells where intraluminal budding is highly enhanced. While the exact nature, origin and cellular function of pycnosomes remain to be established, this study provides a first description of these structures as well as a characterization of reagents that can be used for further studies.

<![CDATA[Pili-like proteins of Akkermansia muciniphila modulate host immune responses and gut barrier function]]>

Gut barrier function is key in maintaining a balanced response between the host and its microbiome. The microbiota can modulate changes in gut barrier as well as metabolic and inflammatory responses. This highly complex system involves numerous microbiota-derived factors. The gut symbiont Akkermansia muciniphila is positively correlated with a lean phenotype, reduced body weight gain, amelioration of metabolic responses and restoration of gut barrier function by modulation of mucus layer thickness. However, the molecular mechanisms behind its metabolic and immunological regulatory properties are unexplored. Herein, we identify a highly abundant outer membrane pili-like protein of A. muciniphila MucT that is directly involved in immune regulation and enhancement of trans-epithelial resistance. The purified Amuc_1100 protein and enrichments containing all its associated proteins induced production of specific cytokines through activation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4. This mainly leads to high levels of IL-10 similar to those induced by the other beneficial immune suppressive microorganisms such as Faecalibacterium prausnitzii A2-165 and Lactobacillus plantarum WCFS1. Together these results indicate that outer membrane protein composition and particularly the newly identified highly abundant pili-like protein Amuc_1100 of A. muciniphila are involved in host immunological homeostasis at the gut mucosa, and improvement of gut barrier function.

<![CDATA[Microvesicles from Mesenchymal Stromal Cells Are Involved in HPC-Microenvironment Crosstalk in Myelodysplastic Patients]]>

Exosomes/microvesicles (MVs) provide a mechanism of intercellular communication. Our hypothesis was that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) from myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) patients could modify CD34+ cells properties by MVs. They were isolated from MSC from MDS patients and healthy donors (HD). MVs from 30 low-risk MDS patients and 27 HD were purified by ExoQuick-TC™ or ultracentrifugation and identified by transmission electron microscopy, flow cytometry (FC) and western blot for CD63. Incorporation of MVs into CD34+ cells was analyzed by FC, and confocal and fluorescence microscopy. Changes in hematopoietic progenitor cell (HPC) properties were assessed from modifications in microRNAs and gene expression in CD34+ cells as well as viability and clonogenic assays of CD34+ cells after MVs incorporation. Some microRNAs were overexpressed in MVs from patients MSC and two of them, miR-10a and miR-15a, were confirmed by RT-PCR. These microRNAs were transferred to CD34+ cells, modifying the expression of MDM2 and P53 genes, which was evaluated by RT-PCR and western blot. Finally, examining CD34+ cells properties after incorporation, higher cell viability (p = 0.025) and clonogenic capacity (p = 0.037) were observed when MVs from MDS patients were incorporated. In summary, we show that BM-MSC release MVs with a different cargo in MDS patients compared with HD. These structures are incorporated into HPC and modify their properties.

<![CDATA[Reduction of reactive red 241 by oxygen insensitive azoreductase purified from a novel strain Staphylococcus KU898286]]>

An oxygen insensitive azoreductase was purified from a novel bacterial strain (Staphylococcus sp. KU898286) that was isolated from an abandoned site of the textile waste discharge unit. The isolated enzyme had efficiently cleaved the azo-bonds through reductive transformation under aerobic conditions. Initial phenotypic characterization and final construction of phylogenetic tree on the basis of 16s rDNA demonstrated 99% resemblance of the isolate to Staphylococcus aureus. The purified azoreductase was found to have a broad spectrum activity that reduced RR241 at a concentration of 50mg/L with pH between 6–8 and 30°C temperature). Besides, the reactive red 241 (RR241) was reduced at extracellular level as well as NADH dependent intracellular level. Complete reduction/ decolourization of RR241 were achieved after 18 hrs of exposure. The final degradation product observed to be 2-nephthol was purified by High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) and the molecular mass was computed by Gas Chromatography-Mass spectroscopy (GC-MS). The study revealed a cost effective and eco-friendly approach to degrade the toxic dyes into less toxic products by Staphylococcus sp. KU898286.

<![CDATA[Heterologous expression of a thermophilic diacylglycerol acyltransferase triggers triglyceride accumulation in Escherichia coli]]>

Triglycerides (TAGs), the major storage molecules of metabolic energy and source of fatty acids, are produced as single cell oil by some oleogenic microorganisms. However, these microorganisms require strict culture conditions, show low carbon source flexibilities, lack efficient genetic modification tools and in some cases pose safety concerns. TAGs have essential applications such as behaving as a source for added-value fatty acids or giving rise to the production of biodiesel. Hence, new alternative methods are urgently required for obtaining these oils. In this work we describe TAG accumulation in the industrially appropriate microorganism Escherichia coli expressing the heterologous enzyme tDGAT, a wax ester synthase/triacylglycerol:acylCoA acyltranferase (WS/DGAT). With this purpose, we introduce a codon-optimized gene from the thermophilic actinomycete Thermomonospora curvata coding for a WS/DGAT into different E. coli strains, describe the metabolic effects associated to the expression of this protein and evaluate neutral lipid accumulation. We observe a direct relation between the expression of this WS/DGAT and TAG production within a wide range of culture conditions. More than 30% TAGs were detected within the bacterial neutral lipids in 90 minutes after induction. TAGs were observed to be associated with the hydrophobic enzyme while forming round intracytoplasmic bodies, which could represent a bottleneck for lipid accumulation in E. coli. We detected an increase of almost 3-fold in the monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) occurring in the recombinant strains. These MUFA were predominant in the accumulated TAGs achieving 46% of the TAG fatty acids. These results set the basis for further research on the achievement of a suitable method towards the sustainable production of these neutral lipids.

<![CDATA[Optimised Pre-Analytical Methods Improve KRAS Mutation Detection in Circulating Tumour DNA (ctDNA) from Patients with Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC)]]>


Non-invasive mutation testing using circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) is an attractive premise. This could enable patients without available tumour sample to access more treatment options.

Materials & Methods

Peripheral blood and matched tumours were analysed from 45 NSCLC patients. We investigated the impact of pre-analytical variables on DNA yield and/or KRAS mutation detection: sample collection tube type, incubation time, centrifugation steps, plasma input volume and DNA extraction kits.


2 hr incubation time and double plasma centrifugation (2000 x g) reduced overall DNA yield resulting in lowered levels of contaminating genomic DNA (gDNA). Reduced “contamination” and increased KRAS mutation detection was observed using cell-free DNA Blood Collection Tubes (cfDNA BCT) (Streck), after 72 hrs following blood draw compared to EDTA tubes. Plasma input volume and use of different DNA extraction kits impacted DNA yield.


This study demonstrated that successful ctDNA recovery for mutation detection in NSCLC is dependent on pre-analytical steps. Development of standardised methods for the detection of KRAS mutations from ctDNA specimens is recommended to minimise the impact of pre-analytical steps on mutation detection rates. Where rapid sample processing is not possible the use of cfDNA BCT tubes would be advantageous.

<![CDATA[Low-Density Granulocytes Are Elevated in Mycobacterial Infection and Associated with the Severity of Tuberculosis]]>

Tuberculosis remains a global health problem caused by infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Numerous studies have established a close correlation between the development of tuberculosis and the roles of neutrophils. Recently, a distinct population of CD15+ granulocytes was found to be present in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) fraction in humans. This population of granulocytes, termed low-density granulocytes (LDGs), was reported to be elevated and associated with disease activity or severity in a number of different conditions including SLE, asthma and HIV infection. However, both the frequency and clinical significance of LDGs associated with tuberculosis are unclear. Here we determined LDG levels and made comparisons between subjects with active pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) and healthy controls, between PTB patients with mild-to-moderate disease and patients with advanced disease, and among PTB patients following anti-tuberculous therapy of varying durations. The direct correlation between M. tuberculosis infection and LDG levels was confirmed by in vitro infection of whole peripheral blood and isolated granulocytes with mycobacteria. Our results demonstrated that PBMCs in PTB patients contained significantly elevated percentages of LDGs compared with control subjects. LDGs in tuberculosis expressed higher levels of activation markers compared to normal-density granulocytes (NDGs). M. tuberculosis induced the generation of LDGs in both whole blood and isolated NDGs from control subjects, which suggests that LDGs associated with M. tuberculosis infection are likely to originate from in situ activation. Furthermore, our results revealed that the frequency of LDGs is associated with the severity of tuberculosis.

<![CDATA[Kinase Screening in Pichia pastoris Identified Promising Targets Involved in Cell Growth and Alcohol Oxidase 1 Promoter (PAOX1) Regulation]]>

As one of the most commonly used eukaryotic recombinant protein expression systems, P. pastoris relies heavily on the AOX1 promoter (PAOX1), which is strongly induced by methanol but strictly repressed by glycerol and glucose. However, the complicated signaling pathways involved in PAOX1 regulation when supplemented with different carbon sources are poorly understood. Here we constructed a kinase deletion library in P. pastoris and identified 27 mutants which showed peculiar phenotypes in cell growth or PAOX1 regulation. We analyzed both annotations and possible functions of these 27 targets, and then focused on the MAP kinase Hog1. In order to locate its potential downstream components, we performed the phosphoproteome analysis on glycerol cultured WT and Δhog1 strains and identified 157 differentially phosphorylated proteins. Our results identified important kinases involved in P. pastoris cell growth and PAOX1 regulation, which could serve as valuable targets for further mechanistic studies.

<![CDATA[Methods for Isolation and Purification of Murine Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells: A Systematic Review]]>

To study the biological functions of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSEC) and to identify their interplay with blood or liver cells, techniques allowing for the isolation and purification of LSEC have been developed over the last decades. The objective of the present review is to summarize and to compare the efficiency of existing methods for isolating murine LSEC. Toward this end, the MEDLINE database was searched for all original articles describing LSEC isolation from rat and mouse livers. Out of the 489 publications identified, 23 reported the main steps and outcomes of the procedure and were included in our review. Here, we report and analyse the technical details of the essential steps of the techniques used for LSEC isolation. The correlations between the prevalence of some steps and the efficiency of LSEC isolation were also identified. We found that centrifugal elutriation, selective adherence and, more recently, magnetic-activated cell sorting were used for LSEC purification. Centrifugal elutriation procured high yields of pure LSEC (for rats 30–141.9 million cells for 85–98% purities; for mice 9–9.25 million cells for >95% purities), but the use of this method remained limited due to its high technical requirements. Selective adherence showed inconsistent results in terms of cell yields and purities in rats (5–100 million cells for 73.7–95% purities). In contrast, magnetic-activated cell sorting allowed for the isolation of highly pure LSEC, but overall lower cell yields were reported (for rats 10.7 million cells with 97.6% purity; for mice 0.5–9 million cells with 90–98% purities). Notably, the controversies regarding the accuracy of several phenotypic markers for LSEC should be considered and their use for both magnetic sorting and characterization remain doubtful. It appears that more effort is needed to refine and standardize the procedure for LSEC isolation, with a focus on the identification of specific antigens. Such a procedure is required to identify the molecular mechanisms regulating the function of LSEC and to improve our understanding of their role in complex cellular processes in the liver.

<![CDATA[The 9aaTAD Transactivation Domains: From Gal4 to p53]]>

The family of the Nine amino acid Transactivation Domain, 9aaTAD family, comprises currently over 40 members. The 9aaTAD domains are universally recognized by the transcriptional machinery from yeast to man. We had identified the 9aaTAD domains in the p53, Msn2, Pdr1 and B42 activators by our prediction algorithm. In this study, their competence to activate transcription as small peptides was proven. Not surprisingly, we elicited immense 9aaTAD divergence in hundreds of identified orthologs and numerous examples of the 9aaTAD species' convergence. We found unforeseen similarity of the mammalian p53 with yeast Gal4 9aaTAD domains. Furthermore, we identified artificial 9aaTAD domains generated accidentally by others. From an evolutionary perspective, the observed easiness to generate 9aaTAD transactivation domains indicates the natural advantage for spontaneous generation of transcription factors from DNA binding precursors.

<![CDATA[Identification of Novel Smoothened Ligands Using Structure-Based Docking]]>

The seven transmembrane protein Smoothened is required for Hedgehog signaling during embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Inappropriate activation of the Hedgehog signalling pathway leads to cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and medulloblastoma, and Smoothened inhibitors are now available clinically to treat these diseases. However, resistance to these inhibitors rapidly develops thereby limiting their efficacy. The determination of Smoothened crystal structures enables structure-based discovery of new ligands with new chemotypes that will be critical to combat resistance. In this study, we docked 3.2 million available, lead-like molecules against Smoothened, looking for those with high physical complementarity to its structure; this represents the first such campaign against the class Frizzled G-protein coupled receptor family. Twenty-one high-ranking compounds were selected for experimental testing, and four, representing three different chemotypes, were identified to antagonize Smoothened with IC50 values better than 50 μM. A screen for analogs revealed another six molecules, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Importantly, one of the most active of the new antagonists continued to be efficacious at the D473H mutant of Smoothened, which confers clinical resistance to the antagonist vismodegib in cancer treatment.

<![CDATA[An Optimized Method for Quantification of Pathogenic Leptospira in Environmental Water Samples]]>

Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease usually acquired by contact with water contaminated with urine of infected animals. However, few molecular methods have been used to monitor or quantify pathogenic Leptospira in environmental water samples. Here we optimized a DNA extraction method for the quantification of leptospires using a previously described Taqman-based qPCR method targeting lipL32, a gene unique to and highly conserved in pathogenic Leptospira. QIAamp DNA mini, MO BIO PowerWater DNA and PowerSoil DNA Isolation kits were evaluated to extract DNA from sewage, pond, river and ultrapure water samples spiked with leptospires. Performance of each kit varied with sample type. Sample processing methods were further evaluated and optimized using the PowerSoil DNA kit due to its performance on turbid water samples and reproducibility. Centrifugation speeds, water volumes and use of Escherichia coli as a carrier were compared to improve DNA recovery. All matrices showed a strong linearity in a range of concentrations from 106 to 10° leptospires/mL and lower limits of detection ranging from <1 cell /ml for river water to 36 cells/mL for ultrapure water with E. coli as a carrier. In conclusion, we optimized a method to quantify pathogenic Leptospira in environmental waters (river, pond and sewage) which consists of the concentration of 40 mL samples by centrifugation at 15,000×g for 20 minutes at 4°C, followed by DNA extraction with the PowerSoil DNA Isolation kit. Although the method described herein needs to be validated in environmental studies, it potentially provides the opportunity for effective, timely and sensitive assessment of environmental leptospiral burden.

<![CDATA[Biochemical Preparation of Cell Extract for Cell-Free Protein Synthesis without Physical Disruption]]>

Cell-free protein synthesis (CFPS) is a powerful tool for the preparation of toxic proteins, directed protein evolution, and bottom-up synthetic biology. The transcription-translation machinery for CFPS is provided by cell extracts, which usually contain 20–30 mg/mL of proteins. In general, these cell extracts are prepared by physical disruption; however, this requires technical experience and special machinery. Here, we report a method to prepare cell extracts for CFPS using a biochemical method, which disrupts cells through the combination of lysozyme treatment, osmotic shock, and freeze-thaw cycles. The resulting cell extracts showed similar features to those obtained by physical disruption, and was able to synthesize active green fluorescent proteins in the presence of appropriate chemicals to a concentration of 20 μM (0.5 mg/mL).

<![CDATA[Human Chitotriosidase Is an Endo-Processive Enzyme]]>

Human chitotriosidase (HCHT) is involved in immune response to chitin-containing pathogens in humans. The enzyme is able to degrade chitooligosaccharides as well as crystalline chitin. The catalytic domain of HCHT is connected to the carbohydrate binding module (CBM) through a flexible hinge region. In humans, two active isoforms of HCHT are found–the full length enzyme and its truncated version lacking CBM and the hinge region. The active site architecture of HCHT is reminiscent to that of the reducing-end exo-acting processive chitinase ChiA from bacterium Serratia marcescens (SmChiA). However, the presence of flexible hinge region and occurrence of two active isoforms are reminiscent to that of non-processive endo-chitinase from S. marcescens, SmChiC. Although the studies on soluble chitin derivatives suggest the endo-character of HCHT, the mode of action of the enzyme on crystalline chitin is not known. Here, we made a thorough characterization of HCHT in terms of the mode of action, processivity, binding, and rate constants for the catalysis and dissociation using α-chitin as substrate. HCHT efficiently released the end-label from reducing-end labelled chitin and had also high probability (95%) of endo-mode initiation of processive run. These results qualify HCHT as an endo-processive enzyme. Processivity and the rate constant of dissociation of HCHT were found to be in-between those, characteristic to processive exo-enzymes, like SmChiA and randomly acting non-processive endo-enzymes, like SmChiC. Apart from increasing the affinity for chitin, CBM had no major effect on kinetic properties of HCHT.

<![CDATA[Evaluation of Existing Methods for Human Blood mRNA Isolation and Analysis for Large Studies]]>


Prior to implementing gene expression analyses from blood to a larger cohort study, an evaluation to set up a reliable and reproducible method is mandatory but challenging due to the specific characteristics of the samples as well as their collection methods. In this pilot study we optimized a combination of blood sampling and RNA isolation methods and present reproducible gene expression results from human blood samples.


The established PAXgeneTM blood collection method (Qiagen) was compared with the more recent TempusTM collection and storing system. RNA from blood samples collected by both systems was extracted on columns with the corresponding Norgen and PAX RNA extraction Kits. RNA quantity and quality was compared photometrically, with Ribogreen and by Real-Time PCR analyses of various reference genes (PPIA, β-ACTIN and TUBULIN) and exemplary of SIGLEC-7.


Combining different sampling methods and extraction kits caused strong variations in gene expression. The use of PAXgeneTM and TempusTM collection systems resulted in RNA of good quality and quantity for the respective RNA isolation system. No large inter-donor variations could be detected for both systems. However, it was not possible to extract sufficient RNA of good quality with the PAXgeneTM RNA extraction system from samples collected by TempusTM collection tubes. Comparing only the Norgen RNA extraction methods, RNA from blood collected either by the TempusTM or PAXgeneTM collection system delivered sufficient amount and quality of RNA, but the TempusTM collection delivered higher RNA concentration compared to the PAXTM collection system. The established Pre-analytix PAXgeneTM RNA extraction system together with the PAXgeneTM blood collection system showed lowest CT-values, i.e. highest RNA concentration of good quality. Expression levels of all tested genes were stable and reproducible.


This study confirms that it is not possible to mix or change sampling or extraction strategies during the same study because of large variations of RNA yield and expression levels.