ResearchPad - library-screening https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Host interactors of effector proteins of the lettuce downy mildew <i>Bremia lactucae</i> obtained by yeast two-hybrid screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13834 Plant pathogenic bacteria, fungi and oomycetes secrete effector proteins to manipulate host cell processes to establish a successful infection. Over the last decade the genomes and transcriptomes of many agriculturally important plant pathogens have been sequenced and vast candidate effector repertoires were identified using bioinformatic analyses. Elucidating the contribution of individual effectors to pathogenicity is the next major hurdle. To advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying lettuce susceptibility to the downy mildew Bremia lactucae, we mapped physical interactions between B. lactucae effectors and lettuce candidate target proteins. Using a lettuce cDNA library-based yeast-two-hybrid system, 61 protein-protein interactions were identified, involving 21 B. lactucae effectors and 46 unique lettuce proteins. The top ten interactors based on the number of independent colonies identified in the Y2H and two interactors that belong to gene families involved in plant immunity, were further characterized. We determined the subcellular localization of the fluorescently tagged lettuce proteins and their interacting effectors. Importantly, relocalization of effectors or their interactors to the nucleus was observed for four protein-pairs upon their co-expression, supporting their interaction in planta.

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<![CDATA[Host factors that promote retrotransposon integration are similar in distantly related eukaryotes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5ab4e87b463d7e0cbd0422e6

Retroviruses and Long Terminal Repeat (LTR)-retrotransposons have distinct patterns of integration sites. The oncogenic potential of retrovirus-based vectors used in gene therapy is dependent on the selection of integration sites associated with promoters. The LTR-retrotransposon Tf1 of Schizosaccharomyces pombe is studied as a model for oncogenic retroviruses because it integrates into the promoters of stress response genes. Although integrases (INs) encoded by retroviruses and LTR-retrotransposons are responsible for catalyzing the insertion of cDNA into the host genome, it is thought that distinct host factors are required for the efficiency and specificity of integration. We tested this hypothesis with a genome-wide screen of host factors that promote Tf1 integration. By combining an assay for transposition with a genetic assay that measures cDNA recombination we could identify factors that contribute differentially to integration. We utilized this assay to test a collection of 3,004 S. pombe strains with single gene deletions. Using these screens and immunoblot measures of Tf1 proteins, we identified a total of 61 genes that promote integration. The candidate integration factors participate in a range of processes including nuclear transport, transcription, mRNA processing, vesicle transport, chromatin structure and DNA repair. Two candidates, Rhp18 and the NineTeen complex were tested in two-hybrid assays and were found to interact with Tf1 IN. Surprisingly, a number of pathways we identified were found previously to promote integration of the LTR-retrotransposons Ty1 and Ty3 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, indicating the contribution of host factors to integration are common in distantly related organisms. The DNA repair factors are of particular interest because they may identify the pathways that repair the single stranded gaps flanking the sites of strand transfer following integration of LTR retroelements.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of mutational robustness of the intrinsically disordered viral protein VPg and of its interactor eIF4E]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f148fd5eed0c48467a2e5

Conformational intrinsic disorder is a feature present in many virus proteins. Intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) have weaker structural requirement than ordered regions and mutations in IDRs could have a lower impact on the virus fitness. This could favor its exploration of adaptive solutions. The potyviral protein VPg contains IDRs with determinants for adaptation to its host plant. To experimentally assess whether IDRs are more resistant to mutations than ordered regions, the biologically relevant interaction between mutant libraries of both VPg and the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) and their respective wild type partner was examined using yeast two hybrid assay. Our data shows that VPg is significantly more robust to mutations than eIF4E and as such belongs to a particular class of intrinsically disordered proteins. This result is discussed from the standpoint of IDRs involvement in the virus adaptive processes.

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<![CDATA[Expression optimization, purification, and functional characterization of cholesterol oxidase from Chromobacterium sp. DS1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9e1d5eed0c48452a3da

Cholesterol oxidase is a bifunctional bacterial flavoenzyme which catalyzes oxidation and isomerization of cholesterol. This valuable enzyme has attracted a great deal of attention because of its wide application in the clinical laboratory, synthesis of steroid derived drugs, food industries, and its potentially insecticidal activity. Therefore, development of an efficient protocol for overproduction of cholesterol oxidase could be valuable and beneficial in this regard. The present study examined the role of various parameters (host strain, culture media, induction time, isopropyl ß-D-1-thiogalactopyranoside concentration, as well as post-induction incubation time and temperature) on over-expression of cholesterol oxidase from Chromobacterium sp. DS1. Applying the optimized protocol, the yield of recombinant cholesterol oxidase significantly increased from 92 U/L to 2115 U/L. Under the optimized conditions, the enzyme was produced on a large-scale, and overexpressed cholesterol oxidase was purified from cell lysate by column nickel affinity chromatography. Km and Vmax values of the purified enzyme for cholesterol were estimated using Lineweaver-Burk plot. Further, the optimum pH and optimum temperature for the enzyme activity were determined. This study reports a straightforward protocol for cholesterol oxidase production which can be performed in any laboratory.

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<![CDATA[Screening-based approach to discover effective platinum-based chemotherapies for cancers with poor prognosis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c59ff02d5eed0c4841358d8

Drug combinations are extensively used to treat cancer and are often selected according to complementary mechanisms. Here, we describe a cell-based high-throughput screening assay for identification of synergistic combinations between broadly applied platinum-based chemotherapeutics and drugs from a library composed of 1280 chemically and pharmacologically diverse (mostly FDA approved) compounds. The assay was performed on chemoresistant cell lines derived from lung (A549) and pancreatic (PANC-1) carcinoma, where platinum-based combination regimens are currently applied though with limited success. The synergistic combinations identified during the screening were validated by synergy quantification using the combination index method and via high content fluorescent microscopy analysis. New promising synergistic combinations discovered using this approach include compounds currently not used as anticancer drugs, such as cisplatin or carboplatin with hycanthone and cisplatin with spironolactone in pancreatic carcinoma, and carboplatin and deferoxamine in non-small cell lung cancer. Strong synergy between cisplatin or carboplatin and topotecan in PANC-1 cells, compared to A549 cells, suggests that this combination, currently used in lung cancer treatment regimens, could be applied to pancreatic carcinoma as well. Several drugs used to treat diseases other than cancer, including pyrvinium pamoate, auranofin, terfenadine and haloprogin, showed strong cytotoxicity on their own and synergistic interactions with platinum drugs. This study demonstrates that non-obvious drug combinations that would not be selected based on complementary mechanisms can be identified via high-throughput screening.

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<![CDATA[The molecular biology and HPV drug responsiveness of cynomolgus macaque papillomaviruses support their use in the development of a relevant in vivo model for antiviral drug testing]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6c2d5eed0c484ef3d31

Due to the extreme tissue and species restriction of the papillomaviruses (PVs), there is a great need for animal models that accurately mimic PV infection in humans for testing therapeutic strategies against human papillomaviruses (HPVs). In this study, we present data that demonstrate that in terms of gene expression during initial viral DNA amplification, Macaca fascicularis PV (MfPV) types 5 and 8 appear to be similar to mucosal oncogenic HPVs, while MfPV1 (isolated from skin) resembles most high-risk cutaneous beta HPVs (HPV5). Similarities were also observed in replication properties during the initial amplification phase of the MfPV genomes. We demonstrate that high-risk mucosal HPV-specific inhibitors target the transient replication of the MfPV8 genomes, which indicates that similar pathways are used by the high-risk HPVs and MfPVs during their genome replication. Taking all into account, we propose that Macaca fascicularis may serve as a highly relevant model for preclinical tests designed to evaluate therapeutic strategies against HPV-associated lesions.

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<![CDATA[Functional screening for triclosan resistance in a wastewater metagenome and isolates of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. from a large Canadian healthcare region]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c536bccd5eed0c484a49249

The biocide triclosan is in many consumer products and is a frequent contaminant of wastewater (WW) such that there is concern that triclosan promotes resistance to important antibiotics. This study identified functional mechanisms of triclosan resistance (TCSR) in WW metagenomes, and assessed the frequency of TCSR in WW-derived and clinical isolates of Escherichia coli and Enterococcus spp. Metagenomic DNA extracted from WW was used to profile the microbiome and construct large-insert cosmid libraries, which were screened for TCSR. Resistant cosmids were sequenced and the TCSR determinant identified by transposon mutagenesis. Wastewater Enterococcus spp. (N = 94) and E. coli (N = 99) and clinical Enterococcus spp. (N = 146) and vancomycin-resistant E. faecium (VRE; N = 149) were collected and tested for resistance to triclosan and a comprehensive drug panel. Functional metagenomic screening revealed diverse FabV homologs as major WW TCSR determinants. Resistant clones harboured sequences likely originating from Aeromonas spp., a common WW microbe. The triclosan MIC90s for E. coli, E. faecalis, and E. faecium isolates were 0.125, 32, and 32 mg/L, respectively. For E. coli, there was no correlation between the triclosan MIC and any drug tested. Negative correlations were detected between the triclosan MIC and levofloxacin resistance for E. faecalis, and between triclosan and vancomycin, teicoplanin, and ampicillin resistance for E. faecium. Thus, FabV homologs were the major contributor to the WW triclosan resistome and high-level TCSR was not observed in WW or clinical isolates. Elevated triclosan MICs were not positively correlated with antimicrobial resistance to any drug tested.

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<![CDATA[Identification of transthyretin as a novel interacting partner for the δ subunit of GABAA receptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3d014cd5eed0c48403a038

GABAA receptors (GABAA-Rs) play critical roles in brain development and synchronization of neural network activity. While synaptic GABAA-Rs can exert rapid inhibition, the extrasynaptic GABAA-Rs can tonically inhibit neuronal activity due to constant activation by ambient GABA. The δ subunit-containing GABAA-Rs are expressed abundantly in the cerebellum, hippocampus and thalamus to mediate the major tonic inhibition in the brain. While electrophysiological and pharmacological properties of the δ-GABAA-Rs have been well characterized, the molecular interacting partners of the δ-GABAA-Rs are not clearly defined. Here, using a yeast two-hybrid screening assay, we identified transthyretin (TTR) as a novel regulatory molecule for the δ-GABAA-Rs. Knockdown of TTR in cultured cerebellar granule neurons significantly decreased the δ receptor expression; whereas overexpressing TTR in cortical neurons increased the δ receptor expression. Electrophysiological analysis confirmed that knockdown or overexpression of TTR in cultured neurons resulted in a corresponding decrease or increase of tonic currents. Furthermore, in vivo analysis of TTR-/- mice revealed a significant decrease of the surface expression of the δ-GABAA-Rs in cerebellar granule neurons. Together, our studies identified TTR as a novel regulator of the δ-GABAA-Rs.

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<![CDATA[A high-throughput screen to identify novel small molecule inhibitors of the Werner Syndrome Helicase-Nuclease (WRN)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c3fa55ed5eed0c484ca3891

Werner syndrome (WS), an autosomal recessive genetic disorder, displays accelerated clinical symptoms of aging leading to a mean lifespan less than 50 years. The WS helicase-nuclease (WRN) is involved in many important pathways including DNA replication, recombination and repair. Replicating cells are dependent on helicase activity, leading to the pursuit of human helicases as potential therapeutic targets for cancer treatment. Small molecule inhibitors of DNA helicases can be used to induce synthetic lethality, which attempts to target helicase-dependent compensatory DNA repair pathways in tumor cells that are already genetically deficient in a specific pathway of DNA repair. Alternatively, helicase inhibitors may be useful as tools to study the specialized roles of helicases in replication and DNA repair. In this study, approximately 350,000 small molecules were screened based on their ability to inhibit duplex DNA unwinding by a catalytically active WRN helicase domain fragment in a high-throughput fluorometric assay to discover new non-covalent small molecule inhibitors of the WRN helicase. Select compounds were screened to exclude ones that inhibited DNA unwinding by other helicases in the screen, bound non-specifically to DNA, acted as irreversible inhibitors, or possessed unfavorable chemical properties. Several compounds were tested for their ability to impair proliferation of cultured tumor cells. We observed that two of the newly identified WRN helicase inhibitors inhibited proliferation of cancer cells in a lineage-dependent manner. These studies represent the first high-throughput screen for WRN helicase inhibitors and the results have implications for anti-cancer strategies targeting WRN in different cancer cells and genetic backgrounds.

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<![CDATA[Novel high–throughput myofibroblast assays identify agonists with therapeutic potential in pulmonary fibrosis that act via EP2 and EP4 receptors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c08419ad5eed0c484fca2cf

Pathological features of pulmonary fibrosis include accumulation of myofibroblasts and increased extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition in lung tissue. Contractile α–smooth muscle actin (α–SMA)–expressing myofibroblasts that produce and secrete ECM are key effector cells of the disease and therefore represent a viable target for potential novel anti–fibrotic treatments. We used primary normal human lung fibroblasts (NHLF) in two novel high–throughput screening assays to discover molecules that inhibit or revert fibroblast–to–myofibroblast differentiation. A phenotypic high–content assay (HCA) quantified the degree of myofibroblast differentiation, whereas an impedance–based assay, multiplexed with MS / MS quantification of α–SMA and collagen 1 alpha 1 (COL1) protein, provided a measure of contractility and ECM formation. The synthetic prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) alprostadil, which very effectively and potently attenuated and even reversed TGF–β1–induced myofibroblast differentiation, was identified by screening a library of approved drugs. In TGF–β1–induced myofibroblasts the effect of alprostadil was attributed to activation of prostanoid receptor 2 and 4 (EP2 and EP4, respectively). However, selective activation of the EP2 or the EP4 receptor was already sufficient to prevent or reverse TGF–β1–induced NHLF myofibroblast transition. Our high–throughput assays identified chemical structures with potent anti–fibrotic properties acting through potentially novel mechanisms.

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<![CDATA[Peak emission wavelength and fluorescence lifetime are coupled in far-red, GFP-like fluorescent proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c084205d5eed0c484fcb81a

The discovery and use of fluorescent proteins revolutionized cell biology by allowing the visualization of proteins in living cells. Advances in fluorescent proteins, primarily through genetic engineering, have enabled more advanced analyses, including Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM) and the development of genetically encoded fluorescent biosensors. These fluorescence protein-based sensors are highly effective in cells grown in monolayer cultures. However, it is often desirable to use more complex models including tissue explants, organoids, xenografts, and whole animals. These types of samples have poor light penetration owing to high scattering and absorption of light by tissue. Far-red light with a wavelength between 650-900nm is less prone to scatter, and absorption by tissues and can thus penetrate more deeply. Unfortunately, there are few fluorescent proteins in this region of the spectrum, and they have sub-optimal fluorescent properties including low brightness and short fluorescence lifetimes. Understanding the relationships between the amino-acid sequences of far-red fluorescence proteins and their photophysical properties including peak emission wavelengths and fluorescence lifetimes would be useful in the design of new fluorescence proteins for this region of the spectrum. We used both site-directed mutagenesis and gene-shuffling between mScarlet and mCardinal fluorescence proteins to create new variants and assess their properties systematically. We discovered that for far-red, GFP-like proteins the emission maxima and fluorescence lifetime have a strong inverse correlation.

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<![CDATA[GapBlaster—A Graphical Gap Filler for Prokaryote Genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb598e

The advent of NGS (Next Generation Sequencing) technologies has resulted in an exponential increase in the number of complete genomes available in biological databases. This advance has allowed the development of several computational tools enabling analyses of large amounts of data in each of the various steps, from processing and quality filtering to gap filling and manual curation. The tools developed for gap closure are very useful as they result in more complete genomes, which will influence downstream analyses of genomic plasticity and comparative genomics. However, the gap filling step remains a challenge for genome assembly, often requiring manual intervention. Here, we present GapBlaster, a graphical application to evaluate and close gaps. GapBlaster was developed via Java programming language. The software uses contigs obtained in the assembly of the genome to perform an alignment against a draft of the genome/scaffold, using BLAST or Mummer to close gaps. Then, all identified alignments of contigs that extend through the gaps in the draft sequence are presented to the user for further evaluation via the GapBlaster graphical interface. GapBlaster presents significant results compared to other similar software and has the advantage of offering a graphical interface for manual curation of the gaps. GapBlaster program, the user guide and the test datasets are freely available at https://sourceforge.net/projects/gapblaster2015/. It requires Sun JDK 8 and Blast or Mummer.

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<![CDATA[A High-Content Larval Zebrafish Brain Imaging Method for Small Molecule Drug Discovery]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daa4ab0ee8fa60ba6e02

Drug discovery in whole-organisms such as zebrafish is a promising approach for identifying biologically-relevant lead compounds. However, high content imaging of zebrafish at cellular resolution is challenging due to the difficulty in orienting larvae en masse such that the cell type of interest is in clear view. We report the development of the multi-pose imaging method, which uses 96-well round bottom plates combined with a standard liquid handler to repose the larvae within each well multiple times, such that an image in a specific orientation can be acquired. We have validated this method in a chemo-genetic zebrafish model of dopaminergic neuron degeneration. For this purpose, we have developed an analysis pipeline that identifies the larval brain in each image and then quantifies neuronal health in CellProfiler. Our method achieves a SSMD* score of 6.96 (robust Z’-factor of 0.56) and is suitable for screening libraries up to 105 compounds in size.

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<![CDATA[Identification of a Small Molecule Inhibitor of RAD52 by Structure-Based Selection]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0eab0ee8fa60bcb240

It has been reported that inhibition of RAD52 either by specific shRNA or a small peptide aptamer induced synthetic lethality in tumor cell lines carrying BRCA1 and BRCA2 inactivating mutations. Molecular docking was used to screen two chemical libraries: 1) 1,217 FDA approved drugs, and 2) 139,735 drug-like compounds to identify candidates for interacting with DNA binding domain of human RAD52. Thirty six lead candidate compounds were identified that were predicted to interfere with RAD52 –DNA binding. Further biological testing confirmed that 9 of 36 candidate compounds were able to inhibit the binding of RAD52 to single-stranded DNA in vitro. Based on molecular binding combined with functional assays, we propose a model in which the active compounds bind to a critical “hotspot” in RAD52 DNA binding domain 1. In addition, one of the 9 active compounds, adenosine 5’-monophosphate (A5MP), and also its mimic 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR) 5’ phosphate (ZMP) inhibited RAD52 activity in vivo and exerted synthetic lethality against BRCA1 and BRCA2–mutated carcinomas. These data suggest that active, inhibitory RAD52 binding compounds could be further refined for efficacy and safety to develop drugs inducing synthetic lethality in tumors displaying deficiencies in BRCA1/2-mediated homologous recombination.

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<![CDATA[Fragment library screening identifies hits that bind to the non-catalytic surface of Pseudomonas aeruginosa DsbA1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdc9bf

At a time when the antibiotic drug discovery pipeline has stalled, antibiotic resistance is accelerating with catastrophic implications for our ability to treat bacterial infections. Globally we face the prospect of a future when common infections can once again kill. Anti-virulence approaches that target the capacity of the bacterium to cause disease rather than the growth or survival of the bacterium itself offer a tantalizing prospect of novel antimicrobials. They may also reduce the propensity to induce resistance by removing the strong selection pressure imparted by bactericidal or bacteriostatic agents. In the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, disulfide bond protein A (PaDsbA1) plays a central role in the oxidative folding of virulence factors and is therefore an attractive target for the development of new anti-virulence antimicrobials. Using a fragment-based approach we have identified small molecules that bind to PaDsbA1. The fragment hits show selective binding to PaDsbA1 over the DsbA protein from Escherichia coli, suggesting that developing species-specific narrow-spectrum inhibitors of DsbA enzymes may be feasible. Structures of a co-complex of PaDsbA1 with the highest affinity fragment identified in the screen reveal that the fragment binds on the non-catalytic surface of the protein at a domain interface. This biophysical and structural data represent a starting point in the development of higher affinity compounds, which will be assessed for their potential as selective PaDsbA1 inhibitors.

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<![CDATA[Identification of small molecules that disrupt vacuolar function in the pathogen Candida albicans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc421

The fungal vacuole is a large acidified organelle that performs a variety of cellular functions. At least a sub-set of these functions are crucial for pathogenic species of fungi, such as Candida albicans, to survive within and invade mammalian tissue as mutants with severe defects in vacuolar biogenesis are avirulent. We therefore sought to identify chemical probes that disrupt the normal function and/or integrity of the fungal vacuole to provide tools for the functional analysis of this organelle as well as potential experimental therapeutics. A convenient indicator of vacuolar integrity based upon the intracellular accumulation of an endogenously produced pigment was adapted to identify Vacuole Disrupting chemical Agents (VDAs). Several chemical libraries were screened and a set of 29 compounds demonstrated to reproducibly cause loss of pigmentation, including 9 azole antifungals, a statin and 3 NSAIDs. Quantitative analysis of vacuolar morphology revealed that (excluding the azoles) a sub-set of 14 VDAs significantly alter vacuolar number, size and/or shape. Many C. albicans mutants with impaired vacuolar function are deficient in the formation of hyphal elements, a process essential for its pathogenicity. Accordingly, all 14 VDAs negatively impact C. albicans hyphal morphogenesis. Fungal selectivity was observed for approximately half of the VDA compounds identified, since they did not alter the morphology of the equivalent mammalian organelle, the lysosome. Collectively, these compounds comprise of a new collection of chemical probes that directly or indirectly perturb normal vacuolar function in C. albicans.

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<![CDATA[Reducing DNA context dependence in bacterial promoters]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc862

Variation in the DNA sequence upstream of bacterial promoters is known to affect the expression levels of the products they regulate, sometimes dramatically. While neutral synthetic insulator sequences have been found to buffer promoters from upstream DNA context, there are no established methods for designing effective insulator sequences with predictable effects on expression levels. We address this problem with Degenerate Insulation Screening (DIS), a novel method based on a randomized 36-nucleotide insulator library and a simple, high-throughput, flow-cytometry-based screen that randomly samples from a library of 436 potential insulated promoters. The results of this screen can then be compared against a reference uninsulated device to select a set of insulated promoters providing a precise level of expression. We verify this method by insulating the constitutive, inducible, and repressible promotors of a four transcriptional-unit inverter (NOT-gate) circuit, finding both that order dependence is largely eliminated by insulation and that circuit performance is also significantly improved, with a 5.8-fold mean improvement in on/off ratio.

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<![CDATA[A High-Throughput Small Molecule Screen for C. elegans Linker Cell Death Inhibitors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9feab0ee8fa60b72f62

Programmed cell death is a ubiquitous process in metazoan development. Apoptosis, one cell death form, has been studied extensively. However, mutations inactivating key mammalian apoptosis regulators do not block most developmental cell culling, suggesting that other cell death pathways are likely important. Recent work in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans identified a non-apoptotic cell death form mediating the demise of the male-specific linker cell. This cell death process (LCD, linker cell-type death) is morphologically conserved, and its molecular effectors also mediate axon degeneration in mammals and Drosophila. To develop reagents to manipulate LCD, we established a simple high-throughput screening protocol for interrogating the effects of small molecules on C. elegans linker cell death in vivo. From 23,797 compounds assayed, 11 reproducibly block linker cell death onset. Of these, five induce animal lethality, and six promote a reversible developmental delay. These results provide proof-of principle validation of our screening protocol, demonstrate that developmental progression is required for linker cell death, and suggest that larger scale screens may identify LCD-specific small-molecule regulators that target the LCD execution machinery.

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<![CDATA[Synthesis and biological evaluation of dihydropyrano-[2,3-c]pyrazoles as a new class of PPARγ partial agonists]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdcad4

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a well-known target for thiazolidinedione antidiabetic drugs. In this paper, we present the synthesis and biological evaluation of a series of dihydropyrano[2,3-c]pyrazole derivatives as a novel family of PPARγ partial agonists. Two analogues were found to display high affinity for PPARγ with potencies in the micro molar range. Both of these hits were selective against PPARγ, since no activity was measured when tested against PPARα, PPARδ and RXRα. In addition, a novel modelling approach based on multiple individual flexible alignments was developed for the identification of ligand binding interactions in PPARγ. In combination with cell-based transactivation experiments, the flexible alignment model provides an excellent analytical tool to evaluate and visualize the effect of ligand chemical structure with respect to receptor binding mode and biological activity.

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<![CDATA[Long-Lasting WNT-TCF Response Blocking and Epigenetic Modifying Activities of Withanolide F in Human Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db22ab0ee8fa60bcf7ac

The WNT-TCF signaling pathway participates in adult tissue homeostasis and repair, and is hyperactive in a number of human diseases including cancers of the colon. Whereas to date there are no antagonists approved for patient use, a potential problem for their sustained use is the blockade of WNT signaling in healthy tissues, thus provoking potentially serious co-lateral damage. Here we have screened a library of plant and microorganism small molecules for novel WNT signaling antagonists and describe withanolide F as a potent WNT-TCF response blocker. This steroidal lactone inhibits TCF-dependent colon cancer xenograft growth and mimics the effects of genetic blockade of TCF and of ivermectin, a previously reported WNT-TCF blocker. However, withanolide F is unique in that it imposes a long-lasting repression of tumor growth, WNT-TCF targets and cancer stem cell clonogenicity after drug treatment. These findings are paralleled by its modulation of chromatin regulators and its alteration of overall H3K4me1 levels. Our results open up the possibility to permanently repress essential signaling responses in cancer cells through limited treatments with small molecules.

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