ResearchPad - sodium-azides Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Effective coupling of rapid freeze-quench to high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance]]> We report an easy, efficient and reproducible way to prepare Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples in sub-millimeter capillaries and load these into the probe head of a 275 GHz Electron Paramagnetic Resonance spectrometer. Kinetic data obtained for the binding reaction of azide to myoglobin demonstrate the feasibility of the method for high-frequency EPR. Experiments on the same samples at 9.5 GHz show that only a single series of Rapid-Freeze-Quench samples is required for studies at multiple microwave frequencies.

<![CDATA[Acquisition and transfer of antibiotic resistance genes in association with conjugative plasmid or class 1 integrons of Acinetobacter baumannii]]>

Conjugation is a type of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) that serves as the primary mechanism responsible for accelerating the spread of antibiotic resistance genes in Gram-negative bacteria. The present study aimed to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the conjugation-mediated gene transfer from the extensively drug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii (XDR-AB) and New Delhi Metallo-beta-lactamase-1-producing Acinetobacter baumannii (NDM-AB) to environmental isolates of Acinetobacter spp. Conjugation experiments demonstrated that resistance to ticarcillin and kanamycin could be transferred from four donors to two sodium azide-resistant A. baumannii strains, namely, NU013R and NU015R. No transconjugants were detected on Mueller-Hinton Agar (MHA) plates containing tetracycline. Plasmids obtained from donors as well as successful transconjugants were characterized by PCR-based replicon typing and S1-nuclease pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (S1-PFGE). Detection of antibiotic resistance genes and integrase genes (int) was performed using PCR. Results revealed that the donor AB364 strain can transfer the blaOXA-23 and blaPER-1 genes to both recipients in association with int1. A 240-kb plasmid was successfully transferred from the donor AB364 to recipients. In addition, the aphA6 and blaPER-1 genes were co-transferred with the int1 gene from the donor strains AB352 and AB405. The transfer of a 220-kb plasmid from the donors to recipient was detected. The GR6 plasmid containing the kanamycin resistance gene (aphA6) was successfully transferred from the donor strain AB140 to both recipient strains. However, the blaNDM-1 and tet(B) genes were not detected in all transconjugants. Our study is the first to demonstrate successful in vitro conjugation, which indicated that XDR-AB contained combination mechanisms of the co-transfer of antimicrobial resistance elements with integron cassettes or with the plasmid group GR6. Thus, conjugation could be responsible for the emergence of new types of antibiotic-resistant strains.

<![CDATA[Absence of genotoxic effects of the chalcone (E)-1-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-3-(4-methylphenyl)-prop-2-en-1-one) and its potential chemoprevention against DNA damage using in vitro and in vivo assays]]>

The chalcone (E)-1-(2-hydroxyphenyl)-3-(4-methylphenyl)-prop-2-en-1-one), or 2HMC, displays antileishmanial, antimalarial, and antioxidant activities. The aim of this study was to investigate the cytotoxic, genotoxic, mutagenic, and protective effects of 2HMC using the Ames mutagenicity test, the mouse bone marrow micronucleus test, and the comet assay in mice. In the assessment using the Ames test, 2HMC did not increase the number of His+ revertants in Salmonella typhimurium strains, demonstrating lack of mutagenicity. 2HMC showed no significant increase in micronucleated polychromatic erythrocyte frequency (MNPCE) in the micronucleus test, or in DNA strand breaks using the comet assay, evidencing absence of genotoxicity. Regarding cytotoxicity, 2HMC exhibited moderate cytotoxicity in mouse bone marrow cells by micronucleus test. 2HMC showed antimutagenic action in co-administration with the positive controls, sodium azide (SA) and 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO), in the Ames test. Co-administered and mainly pre-administered with cyclophosphamide (CPA), 2HMC caused a decrease in the frequency of MNPCE using the micronucleus test and in DNA strand breaks using the comet assay. Thus, 2HMC exhibited antimutagenic and antigenotoxic effects, displaying a DNA-protective effect against CPA, SA, and 4NQO carcinogens. In conclusion, 2HMC presented antimutagenic, antigenotoxic and moderate cytotoxic effects; therefore it is a promising molecule for cancer prevention.

<![CDATA[The Inhibitory Effect of Natural Products on Protein Fibrillation May Be Caused by Degradation Products – A Study Using Aloin and Insulin]]>

Protein fibrillation is the pathological hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases and also complicates the manufacturing and use of protein drugs. As a case study, the inhibitory activity of the natural compound aloin against insulin fibrillation was investigated. Based on Thioflavin T assays, high-performance liquid chromatography and transmission electron microscopy it was found that a degradation product of aloin, formed over weeks of storage, was able to significantly inhibit insulin fibrillation. The activity of the stored aloin was significantly reduced in the presence of small amounts of sodium azide or ascorbic acid, suggesting the active compound to be an oxidation product. A high-performance liquid chromatography method and a liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry method were developed to investigate the degradation products in the aged aloin solution. We found that the major compounds in the solution were aloin A and aloin B. In addition, 10-hydroxy aloin and elgonica dimers were detected in smaller amounts. The identified compounds were isolated and tested for activity by means of Thioflavin T assays, but no activity was observed. Thus, the actual fibrillation inhibitor is an as yet unidentified and potentially metastable degradation product of aloin. These results suggest that degradation products, and in particular oxidation products, are to be considered thoroughly when natural products are investigated for activity against protein fibrillation.

<![CDATA[Probing the Catalytic Mechanism of Vibrio harveyi GH20 β-N-Acetylglucosaminidase by Chemical Rescue]]>


Vibrio harveyi GH20 β-N-acetylglucosaminidase (VhGlcNAcase) is a chitinolytic enzyme responsible for the successive degradation of chitin fragments to GlcNAc monomers, activating the onset of the chitin catabolic cascade in marine Vibrios.


Two invariant acidic pairs (Asp303-Asp304 and Asp437-Glu438) of VhGlcNAcase were mutated using a site-directed mutagenesis strategy. The effects of these mutations were examined and the catalytic roles of these active-site residues were elucidated using a chemical rescue approach. Enhancement of the enzymic activity of the VhGlcNAcase mutants was evaluated by a colorimetric assay using pNP-GlcNAc as substrate.


Substitution of Asp303, Asp304, Asp437 or Glu438 with Ala/Asn/Gln produced a dramatic loss of the GlcNAcase activity. However, the activity of the inactive D437A mutant was recovered in the presence of sodium formate. Our kinetic data suggest that formate ion plays a nucleophilic role by mimicking the β-COO-side chain of Asp437, thereby stabilizing the reaction intermediate during both the glycosylation and the deglycosylation steps.


Chemical rescue of the inactive D437A mutant of VhGlcNAcase by an added nucleophile helped to identify Asp437 as the catalytic nucleophile/base, and hence its acidic partner Glu438 as the catalytic proton donor/acceptor.

General Significance

Identification of the catalytic nucleophile of VhGlcNAcases supports the proposal of a substrate-assisted mechanism of GH20 GlcNAcases, requiring the catalytic pair Asp437-Glu438 for catalysis. The results suggest the mechanistic basis of the participation of β-N-acetylglucosaminidase in the chitin catabolic pathway of marine Vibrios.