ResearchPad - peptides https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The <i>G123</i> rice mutant, carrying a mutation in <i>SE13</i>, presents alterations in the expression patterns of photosynthetic and major flowering regulatory genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15737 Day length is a determinant of flowering time in rice. Phytochromes participate in flowering regulation by measuring the number of daylight hours to which the plant is exposed. Here we describe G123, a rice mutant generated by irradiation, which displays insensitivity to the photoperiod and early flowering under both long day and short day conditions. To detect the mutation responsible for the early flowering phenotype exhibited by G123, we generated an F2 population, derived from crossing with the wild-type, and used a pipeline to detect genomic structural variation, initially developed for human genomes. We detected a deletion in the G123 genome that affects the PHOTOPERIOD SENSITIVITY13 (SE13) gene, which encodes a phytochromobilin synthase, an enzyme implicated in phytochrome chromophore biosynthesis. The transcriptomic analysis, performed by RNA-seq, in the G123 plants indicated an alteration in photosynthesis and other processes related to response to light. The expression patterns of the main flowering regulatory genes, such as Ghd7, Ghd8 and PRR37, were altered in the plants grown under both long day and short day conditions. These findings indicate that phytochromes are also involved in the regulation of these genes under short day conditions, and extend the role of phytochromes in flowering regulation in rice.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic analysis of polyketide synthases in a highly ciguatoxic dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus polynesiensis and low toxicity Gambierdiscus pacificus, from French Polynesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca210627-69b7-4a50-96ce-ecb4ce1a2ae1

Marine dinoflagellates produce a diversity of polyketide toxins that are accumulated in marine food webs and are responsible for a variety of seafood poisonings. Reef-associated dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus produce toxins responsible for ciguatera poisoning (CP), which causes over 50,000 cases of illness annually worldwide. The biosynthetic machinery for dinoflagellate polyketides remains poorly understood. Recent transcriptomic and genomic sequencing projects have revealed the presence of Type I modular polyketide synthases in dinoflagellates, as well as a plethora of single domain transcripts with Type I sequence homology. The current transcriptome analysis compares polyketide synthase (PKS) gene transcripts expressed in two species of Gambierdiscus from French Polynesia: a highly toxic ciguatoxin producer, G. polynesiensis, versus a non-ciguatoxic species G. pacificus, each assembled from approximately 180 million Illumina 125 nt reads using Trinity, and compares their PKS content with previously published data from other Gambierdiscus species and more distantly related dinoflagellates. Both modular and single-domain PKS transcripts were present. Single domain β-ketoacyl synthase (KS) transcripts were highly amplified in both species (98 in G. polynesiensis, 99 in G. pacificus), with smaller numbers of standalone acyl transferase (AT), ketoacyl reductase (KR), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), and thioesterase (TE) domains. G. polynesiensis expressed both a larger number of multidomain PKSs, and larger numbers of modules per transcript, than the non-ciguatoxic G. pacificus. The largest PKS transcript in G. polynesiensis encoded a 10,516 aa, 7 module protein, predicted to synthesize part of the polyether backbone. Transcripts and gene models representing portions of this PKS are present in other species, suggesting that its function may be performed in those species by multiple interacting proteins. This study contributes to the building consensus that dinoflagellates utilize a combination of Type I modular and single domain PKS proteins, in an as yet undefined manner, to synthesize polyketides.

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<![CDATA[Production of a rabbit monoclonal antibody for highly sensitive detection of citrus mosaic virus and related viruses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nfb5e596f-2980-40fa-8fa6-576f474cd99c

Citrus mosaic virus (CiMV) is one of the causal viruses of citrus mosaic disease in satsuma mandarins (Citrus unshiu). Prompt detection of trees infected with citrus mosaic disease is important for preventing the spread of this disease. Although rabbit monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) exhibit high specificity and affinity, their applicability is limited by technical difficulties associated with the hybridoma-based technology used for raising these mAbs. Here, we demonstrate a feasible CiMV detection system using a specific rabbit mAb against CiMV coat protein. A conserved peptide fragment of the small subunit of CiMV coat protein was designed and used to immunize rabbits. Antigen-specific antibody-producing cells were identified by the immunospot array assay on a chip method. After cloning of variable regions in heavy or light chain by RT-PCR from these cells, a gene set of 33 mAbs was constructed and these mAbs were produced using Expi293F cells. Screening with the AlphaScreen system revealed eight mAbs exhibiting strong interaction with the antigen peptide. From subsequent sequence analysis, they were grouped into three mAbs denoted as No. 4, 9, and 20. Surface plasmon resonance analysis demonstrated that the affinity of these mAbs for the antigen peptide ranged from 8.7 × 10−10 to 5.5 × 10−11 M. In addition to CiMV, mAb No. 9 and 20 could detect CiMV-related viruses in leaf extracts by ELISA. Further, mAb No. 20 showed a high sensitivity to CiMV and CiMV-related viruses, simply by dot blot analysis. The anti-CiMV rabbit mAbs obtained in this study are envisioned to be extremely useful for practical applications of CiMV detection, such as in a virus detection kit.

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<![CDATA[VPAC1 receptors play a dominant role in PACAP-induced vasorelaxation in female mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c79afecd5eed0c4841e3a63

Background

PACAP and VIP are closely related neuropeptides with wide distribution and potent effect in the vasculature. We previously reported vasomotor activity in peripheral vasculature of male wild type (WT) and PACAP-deficient (KO) mice. However, female vascular responses are still unexplored. We hypothesized that PACAP-like activity is maintained in female PACAP KO mice and the mechanism through which it is regulated differs from that of male PACAP KO animals.

Methods

We investigated the vasomotor effects of VIP and PACAP isoforms and their selective blockers in WT and PACAP KO female mice in carotid and femoral arteries. The expression and level of different PACAP receptors in the vessels were measured by RT-PCR and Western blot.

Results

In both carotid and femoral arteries of WT mice, PACAP1-38, PACAP1-27 or VIP induced relaxation, without pronounced differences between them. Reduced relaxation was recorded only in the carotid arteries of KO mice as compared to their WT controls. The specific VPAC1R antagonist completely blocked the PACAP/VIP-induced relaxation in both arteries of all mice, while PAC1R antagonist affected relaxation only in their femoral arteries.

Conclusion

In female WT mice, VPAC1 receptors appear to play a dominant role in PACAP-induced vasorelaxation both in carotid and in femoral arteries. In the PACAP KO group PAC1R activation exerts vasorelaxation in the femoral arteries but in carotid arteries there is no significant effect of the activation of this receptor. In the background of this regional difference, decreased PAC1R and increased VPAC1R availability in the carotid arteries was found.

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<![CDATA[Cell type-specific differences in redox regulation and proliferation after low UVA doses]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c57e6d0d5eed0c484ef3ec4

Ultraviolet A (UVA) radiation is harmful for living organisms but in low doses may stimulate cell proliferation. Our aim was to examine the relationships between exposure to different low UVA doses, cellular proliferation, and changes in cellular reactive oxygen species levels. In human colon cancer (HCT116) and melanoma (Me45) cells exposed to UVA doses comparable to environmental, the highest doses (30–50 kJ/m2) reduced clonogenic potential but some lower doses (1 and 10 kJ/m2) induced proliferation. This effect was cell type and dose specific. In both cell lines the levels of reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide fluctuated with dynamics which were influenced differently by UVA; in Me45 cells decreased proliferation accompanied the changes in the dynamics of H2O2 while in HCT116 cells those of superoxide. Genes coding for proteins engaged in redox systems were expressed differently in each cell line; transcripts for thioredoxin, peroxiredoxin and glutathione peroxidase showed higher expression in HCT116 cells whereas those for glutathione transferases and copper chaperone were more abundant in Me45 cells. We conclude that these two cell types utilize different pathways for regulating their redox status. Many mechanisms engaged in maintaining cellular redox balance have been described. Here we show that the different cellular responses to a stimulus such as a specific dose of UVA may be consequences of the use of different redox control pathways. Assays of superoxide and hydrogen peroxide level changes after exposure to UVA may clarify mechanisms of cellular redox regulation and help in understanding responses to stressing factors.

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<![CDATA[Contrasting patterns of gene expression indicate differing pyrethroid resistance mechanisms across the range of the New World malaria vector Anopheles albimanus]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b5298d5eed0c4842bcc50

Decades of unmanaged insecticide use and routine exposure to agrochemicals have left many populations of malaria vectors in the Americas resistant to multiple classes of insecticides, including pyrethroids. The molecular basis of pyrethroid resistance is relatively uncharacterised in American malaria vectors, preventing the design of suitable resistance management strategies. Using whole transcriptome sequencing, we characterized the mechanisms of pyrethroid resistance in Anopheles albimanus from Peru and Guatemala. An. albimanus were phenotyped as either deltamethrin or alpha-cypermethrin resistant. RNA from 1) resistant, 2) unexposed, and 3) a susceptible laboratory strain of An. albimanus was sequenced and analyzed using RNA-Seq. Expression profiles of the three groups were compared based on the current annotation of the An. albimanus reference genome. Several candidate genes associated with pyrethroid resistance in other malaria vectors were found to be overexpressed in resistant An. albimanus. In addition, gene ontology terms related to serine-type endopeptidase activity, extracellular activity and chitin metabolic process were also commonly overexpressed in the field caught resistant and unexposed samples from both Peru and Guatemala when compared to the susceptible strain. The cytochrome P450 CYP9K1 was overexpressed 14x in deltamethrin and 8x in alpha-cypermethrin-resistant samples from Peru and 2x in deltamethrin-resistant samples from Guatemala, relative to the susceptible laboratory strain. CYP6P5 was overexpressed 68x in deltamethrin-resistant samples from Peru but not in deltamethrin-resistant samples from Guatemala. When comparing overexpressed genes between deltamethrin-resistant and alpha-cypermethrin-resistant samples from Peru, a single P450 gene, CYP4C26, was overexpressed 9.8x (p<0.05) in alpha-cypermethrin-resistant samples. In Peruvian deltamethrin-resistant samples, the knockdown resistance mutation (kdr) variant alleles at position 1014 were rare, with approximately 5% frequency, but in the alpha-cypermethrin-resistant samples, the frequency of these alleles was approximately 15–30%. Functional validation of the candidate genes and the kdr mutation as a resistance marker for alpha-cypermethrin will confirm the role of these mechanisms in conferring pyrethroid resistance.

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<![CDATA[Injectable polypeptide hydrogel/inorganic nanoparticle composites for bone tissue engineering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c40f7a7d5eed0c48438653b

The general concept of tissue engineering is to restore biological function by replacing defective tissues with implantable, biocompatible, and easily handleable cell-laden scaffolds. In this study, osteoinductive and osteoconductive super paramagnetic Fe3O4 nanoparticles (MNP) and hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanoparticles were incorporated into a di-block copolymer based thermo-responsive hydrogel, methoxy(polyethylene glycol)-polyalanine (mPA), at various concentrations to afford composite, injectable hydrogels. Incorporating nanoparticles into the thermo-responsive hydrogel increased the complex viscosity and decreased the gelation temperature of the starting hydrogel. Functionally, the integration of inorganic nanoparticles modulated bio-markers of bone differentiation and enhanced bone mineralization. Moreover, this study adopted the emerging method of using either a supplementary static magnetic field (SMF) or a moving magnetic field to elicit biological response. These results demonstrate that combining external (magnet) and internal (scaffold) magnetisms is a promising approach for bone regeneration.

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<![CDATA[Longitudinal stability in cigarette smokers of urinary biomarkers of exposure to the toxicants acrylonitrile and acrolein]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c390bd9d5eed0c48491ea77

The urinary metabolites cyanoethyl mercapturic acid (CEMA) and 3-hydroxypropyl mercapturic acid (3-HPMA) have been widely used as biomarkers of exposure to acrylonitrile and acrolein, respectively, but there are no published data on their consistency over time in the urine of cigarette smokers. We provided, free of charge over a 20 week period, Spectrum NRC600/601 research cigarettes to cigarette smokers in the control arm of a randomized clinical trial of the reduced nicotine cigarette. Urine samples were collected at weeks 4, 8, 12, 16, and 20 and analyzed for CEMA and 3-HPMA, and total nicotine equivalents (TNE) using validated methods. Creatinine-corrected intra-class correlation coefficients for CEMA, 3-HPMA, and TNE were 0.67, 0.46, and 0.68, respectively, indicating good longitudinal consistency for CEMA, while that of 3-HPMA was fair. A strong correlation between CEMA and TNE values was observed. These data support the use of CEMA as a reliable biomarker of tobacco smoke exposure. This is the first report of the longitudinal stability of the biomarkers of acrylonitrile and acrolein exposure in smokers. The data indicate that CEMA, the biomarker of acrylonitrile exposure, is consistent over time in cigarette smokers, supporting its use. While 3-HPMA levels were less stable over time, this biomarker is nevertheless a useful monitor of human acrolein exposure because of its specificity to this toxicant.

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<![CDATA[Characteristics of interactions at protein segments without non-local intramolecular contacts in the Protein Data Bank]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c1966f9d5eed0c484b537eb

The principle of three-dimensional protein structure formation is a long-standing conundrum in structural biology. A globular domain of a soluble protein is formed by a network of atomic contacts among amino acid residues, but regions without intramolecular non-local contacts are often observed in the protein structure, especially in loop, linker, and peripheral segments with secondary structures. Although these regions can play key roles for protein function as interfaces for intermolecular interactions, their nature remains unclear. Here, we termed protein segments without non-local contacts as floating segments and sought them in tens of thousands of entries in the Protein Data Bank. As a result, we found that 0.72% of residues are in floating segments. Regarding secondary structural elements, coil structures are enriched in floating segments, especially for long segments. Interactions with polypeptides and polynucleotides, but not chemical compounds, are enriched in floating segments. The amino acid preferences of floating segments are similar to those of surface residues, with exceptions; the small side chain amino acids, Gly and Ala, are preferred, and some charged side chains, Arg and His, are disfavored for floating segments compared to surface residues. Our comprehensive characterization of floating segments may provide insights into understanding protein sequence-structure-function relationships.

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<![CDATA[Identification and binding mode of a novel Leishmania Trypanothione reductase inhibitor from high throughput screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c059ddcd5eed0c4849c9578

Trypanothione reductase (TR) is considered to be one of the best targets to find new drugs against Leishmaniasis. This enzyme is fundamental for parasite survival in the host since it reduces trypanothione, a molecule used by the tryparedoxin/tryparedoxin peroxidase system of Leishmania to neutralize hydrogen peroxide produced by host macrophages during infection. In order to identify new lead compounds against Leishmania we developed and validated a new luminescence-based high-throughput screening (HTS) assay that allowed us to screen a library of 120,000 compounds. We identified a novel chemical class of TR inhibitors, able to kill parasites with an IC50 in the low micromolar range. The X-ray crystal structure of TR in complex with a compound from this class (compound 3) allowed the identification of its binding site in a pocket at the entrance of the NADPH binding site. Since the binding site of compound 3 identified by the X-ray structure is unique, and is not present in human homologs such as glutathione reductase (hGR), it represents a new target for drug discovery efforts.

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<![CDATA[A set of conformationally well-defined L/D-peptide epitopes provides a serological bar code for autoantibody subtypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b6dda0f463d7e7491b405e9

Which conformational parameters lead to an antibody-affine peptide antigen? And in how many different conformations can we actually present the respective conformational epitope? To provide answers from a chemical point of view, we direct the bending and tethering of peptide backbones by the utilisation of a hydrophobic cluster, disulfides, and d-amino acids. Each mutation is employed pairwise on directly opposite sides of a β-hairpin. In combination, these synthetic modules guide the formation of complementary β-sheet-like structures, whereby the oppositely configured (l/d-)bi-disulfide pairs form with high regioselectivity. The conformational properties of the peptides are assessed by NMR spectroscopy and correlated with their antibody affinity in ELISA. From a pool of thus designed peptide antigens with distinctive complementary affinities against known rheumatoid arthritis (RA) autoantibodies, we select a set of epitopes for an immunoassay with sera of RA patients. We want to put emphasis on the idea, that the different conformational properties of the chosen antigens, containing the same epitope sequence, are mirrored in the distribution of autoantibody subtypes (or of the antibody polyclonality, respectively). Such directly comparable information can only be delivered by a set of peptides, rather than a single one. The hairpin-restriction technology of l/d-configured bi-disulfide amino acid pairs is not limited to RA but applicable to other shape-persistent hairpin motifs which are supposed to identify subgroups of protein receptors.

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<![CDATA[Selected HLA-B allotypes are resistant to inhibition or deficiency of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b5fed7b463d7e1703b809c2

Major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules present antigenic peptides to CD8+ T cells, and are also important for natural killer (NK) cell immune surveillance against infections and cancers. MHC-I molecules are assembled via a complex assembly pathway in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of cells. Peptides present in the cytosol of cells are transported into the ER via the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP). In the ER, peptides are assembled with MHC-I molecules via the peptide-loading complex (PLC). Components of the MHC-I assembly pathway are frequently targeted by viruses, in order to evade host immunity. Many viruses encode inhibitors of TAP, which is thought to be a central source of peptides for the assembly of MHC-I molecules. However, human MHC-I (HLA-I) genes are highly polymorphic, and it is conceivable that several variants can acquire peptides via TAP-independent pathways, thereby conferring resistance to pathogen-derived inhibitors of TAP. To broadly assess TAP-independent expression within the HLA-B locus, expression levels of 27 frequent HLA-B alleles were tested in cells with deficiencies in TAP. Approximately 15% of tested HLA-B allotypes are expressed at relatively high levels on the surface of TAP1 or TAP2-deficient cells and occur in partially peptide-receptive forms and Endoglycosidase H sensitive forms on the cell surface. Synergy between high peptide loading efficiency, broad specificity for peptides prevalent within unconventional sources and high intrinsic stability of the empty form allows for deviations from the conventional HLA-I assembly pathway for some HLA-B*35, HLA-B*57 and HLA-B*15 alleles. Allotypes that display higher expression in TAP-deficient cells are more resistant to viral TAP inhibitor-induced HLA-I down-modulation, and HLA-I down-modulation-induced NK cell activation. Conversely, the same allotypes are expected to mediate stronger CD8+ T cell responses under TAP-inhibited conditions. Thus, the degree of resistance to TAP inhibition functionally separates specific HLA-B allotypes.

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<![CDATA[HCMV triggers frequent and persistent UL40-specific unconventional HLA-E-restricted CD8 T-cell responses with potential autologous and allogeneic peptide recognition]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5af106cc463d7e336df9e542

Immune response against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) includes a set of persistent cytotoxic NK and CD8 T cells devoted to eliminate infected cells and to prevent reactivation. CD8 T cells against HCMV antigens (pp65, IE1) presented by HLA class-I molecules are well characterized and they associate with efficient virus control. HLA-E-restricted CD8 T cells targeting HCMV UL40 signal peptides (HLA-EUL40) have recently emerged as a non-conventional T-cell response also observed in some hosts. The occurrence, specificity and features of HLA-EUL40 CD8 T-cell responses remain mostly unknown. Here, we detected and quantified these responses in blood samples from healthy blood donors (n = 25) and kidney transplant recipients (n = 121) and we investigated the biological determinants involved in their occurrence. Longitudinal and phenotype ex vivo analyses were performed in comparison to HLA-A*02/pp65-specific CD8 T cells. Using a set of 11 HLA-E/UL40 peptide tetramers we demonstrated the presence of HLA-EUL40 CD8 αβT cells in up to 32% of seropositive HCMV+ hosts that may represent up to 38% of total circulating CD8 T-cells at a time point suggesting a strong expansion post-infection. Host’s HLA-A*02 allele, HLA-E *01:01/*01:03 genotype and sequence of the UL40 peptide from the infecting strain are major factors affecting the incidence of HLA-EUL40 CD8 T cells. These cells are effector memory CD8 (CD45RAhighROlow, CCR7-, CD27-, CD28-) characterized by a low level of PD-1 expression. HLA-EUL40 responses appear early post-infection and display a broad, unbiased, Vβ repertoire. Although induced in HCMV strain-dependent, UL4015-23-specific manner, HLA-EUL40 CD8 T cells are reactive toward a broader set of nonapeptides varying in 1–3 residues including most HLA-I signal peptides. Thus, HCMV induces strong and life-long lasting HLA-EUL40 CD8 T cells with potential allogeneic or/and autologous reactivity that take place selectively in at least a third of infections according to virus strain and host HLA concordance.

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<![CDATA[How γ-secretase hits a moving target]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da83ab0ee8fa60b9b794

An improved understanding of the ways that amyloid-beta peptides are formed could help efforts to find a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease.

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<![CDATA[Antifeedant Activity of Ginkgo biloba Secondary Metabolites against Hyphantria cunea Larvae: Mechanisms and Applications]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dacfab0ee8fa60bb5a35

Ginkgo biloba is a typical relic plant that rarely suffers from pest hazards. This study analyzed the pattern of G. biloba pest hazards in Beijing; tested the antifeedant activity of G. biloba extracts, including ginkgo flavonoids, ginkgolide, and bilobalide, against Hyphantria cunea larvae; determined the activities of glutathione transferase (GSTs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), carboxylesterase (CarE) and mixed-functional oxidase (MFO), in larvae after feeding on these G. biloba secondary metabolites; and screened for effective botanical antifeedants in the field. In this study, no indicators of insect infestation were found for any of the examined leaves of G. biloba; all tested secondary metabolites showed significant antifeedant activity and affected the activity of the four larval detoxifying enzymes. Ginkgolide had the highest antifeedant activity and the most significant effect on the detoxifying enzymes (P<0.05). Spraying leaves with G. biloba extracts or ginkgolide both significantly repelled H. cunea larvae in the field (P<0.05), although the former is more economical and practical. This study investigated the antifeedant activity of G. biloba secondary metabolites against H. cunea larvae, and the results provide new insights into the mechanism of G. biloba pest resistance. This study also developed new applications of G. biloba secondary metabolites for effective pest control.

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<![CDATA[Inflammation and Vascular Effects after Repeated Intratracheal Instillations of Carbon Black and Lipopolysaccharide]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f7ab0ee8fa60b70774

Inflammation and oxidative stress are considered the main drivers of vasomotor dysfunction and progression of atherosclerosis after inhalation of particulate matter. In addition, new studies have shown that particle exposure can induce the level of bioactive mediators in serum, driving vascular- and systemic toxicity. We aimed to investigate if pulmonary inflammation would accelerate nanoparticle-induced atherosclerotic plaque progression in Apolipoprotein E knockout (ApoE-/-) mice. ApoE -/- mice were exposed to vehicle, 8.53 or 25.6 μg nanosized carbon black (CB) alone or spiked with LPS (0.2 μg/mouse/exposure; once a week for 10 weeks). Inflammation was determined by counting cells in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. Serum Amyloid A3 (Saa3) expression and glutathione status were determined in lung tissue. Plaque progression was assessed in the aorta and the brachiocephalic artery. The effect of vasoactive mediators in plasma of exposed ApoE-/- mice was assessed in aorta rings isolated from naïve C57BL/6 mice. Pulmonary exposure to CB and/or LPS resulted in pulmonary inflammation with a robust influx of neutrophils. The CB exposure did not promote plaque progression in aorta or BCA. Incubation with 0.5% plasma extracted from CB-exposed ApoE-/- mice caused vasoconstriction in aorta rings isolated from naïve mice; this effect was abolished by the treatment with the serotonin receptor antagonist Ketanserin. In conclusion, repeated pulmonary exposure to nanosized CB and LPS caused lung inflammation without progression of atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice. Nevertheless, plasma extracted from mice exposed to nanosized CB induced vasoconstriction in aortas of naïve wild-type mice, an effect possibly related to increased plasma serotonin.

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<![CDATA[Effective Design of Multifunctional Peptides by Combining Compatible Functions]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da89ab0ee8fa60b9d6aa

Multifunctionality is a common trait of many natural proteins and peptides, yet the rules to generate such multifunctionality remain unclear. We propose that the rules defining some protein/peptide functions are compatible. To explore this hypothesis, we trained a computational method to predict cell-penetrating peptides at the sequence level and learned that antimicrobial peptides and DNA-binding proteins are compatible with the rules of our predictor. Based on this finding, we expected that designing peptides for CPP activity may render AMP and DNA-binding activities. To test this prediction, we designed peptides that embedded two independent functional domains (nuclear localization and yeast pheromone activity), linked by optimizing their composition to fit the rules characterizing cell-penetrating peptides. These peptides presented effective cell penetration, DNA-binding, pheromone and antimicrobial activities, thus confirming the effectiveness of our computational approach to design multifunctional peptides with potential therapeutic uses. Our computational implementation is available at http://bis.ifc.unam.mx/en/software/dcf.

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<![CDATA[Antagonistic Effect of a Salivary Proline-Rich Peptide on the Cytosolic Ca2+ Mobilization Induced by Progesterone in Oral Squamous Cancer Cells]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daebab0ee8fa60bbf540

A salivary proline-rich peptide of 1932 Da showed a dose-dependent antagonistic effect on the cytosolic Ca2+ mobilization induced by progesterone in a tongue squamous carcinoma cell line. Structure-activity studies showed that the activity of the peptide resides in the C-terminal region characterized by a proline stretch flanked by basic residues. Furthermore, lack of activity of the retro-inverso peptide analogue suggested the involvement of stereospecific recognition. Mass spectrometry-based shotgun analysis, combined with Western blotting tests and biochemical data obtained with the Progesterone Receptor Membrane Component 1 (PGRMC1) inhibitor AG205, showed strong evidence that p1932 performs its modulatory action through an interaction with the progesterone receptor PGRMC1, which is predominantly expressed in this cell line and, clearly, plays a role in progesterone induced Ca2+ response. Thus, our results point to p1932 as a modulator of the transduction signal pathway mediated by this protein and, given a well-established involvement of PGRMC1 in tumorigenesis, highlight a possible therapeutic potential of p1932 for the treatment of oral cancer.

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<![CDATA[Maintenance of Stem Cell Niche Integrity by a Novel Activator of Integrin Signaling]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dae1ab0ee8fa60bbc1c4

Stem cells depend critically on the surrounding microenvironment, or niche, for their maintenance and self-renewal. While much is known about how the niche regulates stem cell self-renewal and differentiation, mechanisms for how the niche is maintained over time are not well understood. At the apical tip of the Drosophila testes, germline stem cells (GSCs) and somatic stem cells share a common niche formed by hub cells. Here we demonstrate that a novel protein named Shriveled (Shv) is necessary for the maintenance of hub/niche integrity. Depletion of Shv protein results in age-dependent deterioration of the hub structure and loss of GSCs, whereas upregulation of Shv preserves the niche during aging. We find Shv is a secreted protein that modulates DE-cadherin levels through extracellular activation of integrin signaling. Our work identifies Shv as a novel activator of integrin signaling and suggests a new integration model in which crosstalk between integrin and DE-cadherin in niche cells promote their own preservation by maintaining the niche architecture.

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<![CDATA[Cell Surface Protein Disulfide Isomerase Regulates Natriuretic Peptide Generation of Cyclic Guanosine Monophosphate]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9e8b

Rationale

The family of natriuretic peptides (NPs), including atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), B-type natriuretic peptide (BNP), and C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP), exert important and diverse actions for cardiovascular and renal homeostasis. The autocrine and paracrine functions of the NPs are primarily mediated through the cellular membrane bound guanylyl cyclase-linked receptors GC-A (NPR-A) and GC-B (NPR-B). As the ligands and receptors each contain disulfide bonds, a regulatory role for the cell surface protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) was investigated.

Objective

We utilized complementary in vitro and in vivo models to determine the potential role of PDI in regulating the ability of the NPs to generate its second messenger, cyclic guanosine monophosphate.

Methods and Results

Inhibition of PDI attenuated the ability of ANP, BNP and CNP to generate cGMP in human mesangial cells (HMCs), human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs), and human aortic smooth muscle cells (HASMCs), each of which were shown to express PDI. In LLC-PK1 cells, where PDI expression was undetectable by immunoblotting, PDI inhibition had a minimal effect on cGMP generation. Addition of PDI to cultured LLC-PK1 cells increased intracellular cGMP generation mediated by ANP. Inhibition of PDI in vivo attenuated NP-mediated generation of cGMP by ANP. Surface Plasmon Resonance demonstrated modest and differential binding of the natriuretic peptides with immobilized PDI in a cell free system. However, PDI was shown to co-localize on the surface of cells with GC-A and GC-B by co-immunoprecpitation and immunohistochemistry.

Conclusion

These data demonstrate for the first time that cell surface PDI expression and function regulate the capacity of natriuretic peptides to generate cGMP through interaction with their receptors.

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