Recent Submissions

  • Bovine milk fat globule epidermal growth factor Ⅷ activates PI3K/Akt signaling pathway and attenuates sarcopenia in rat model induced by D-galactose

    Li, He; Wang, Rongchun; Wang, Lifeng; Li, Lin; Ma, Ying; Zhou, Shaobo; Jiangsu Normal University; Harbin Institute of Technology; Northeast Agriculture University; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-12-17)
    To develop a more effective and safer treatment for sarcopenia, this research investigated the anti-sarcopenia mechanism of Milk Fat Globule Epidermal Growth Factor Ⅷ (MFG-E8) from the liver function and metabolism in sarcopenic model rat. After 4 weeks nutritional intervention experiment, MFG-E8 can significantly increase the gastrocnemius mass in rat. The mechanism of MFG-E8 in improving sarcopenia was related to its promotional capacity to the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity in serum, Glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (GOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (GPT) in liver. Meanwhile, MFG-E8 could also down-regulate obesity-related indicators, such as triglyceride (TG) and Non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA). The analysis of liver and gastrocnemius histopathology found that MFG-E8 could reduce the accumulation of fatty vesicles, improve liver function, thereby alleviating gastrocnemius tissue inflammation. In vitro experiments, myoblasts obtained from gastrocnemius tissue showed that MFG-E8 could reduce mitochondrial autophagy and inhibit cell apoptosis. In addition, MFG-E8 could up-regulate the phosphorylation level of PI3K via activating PI3K/Akt signaling pathway in gastrocnemius tissue, and promote the formation of muscle fibers, thereby increasing muscle mass. Moreover, MFG-E8 could also promote the formation of neuromuscular junctions by up-regulating the mRNA and protein expression of MusK in gastrocnemius.
  • Effect and mechanism of Ganoderma lucidum spores on alleviation diabetic cardiomyopathy in a pilot in vivo study

    Shaher, Fahmi; Wang, Shuqiu; Qiu, Hong-Bin; Hu, Yu; Zhang, Yu; Wang, Weiqun; AL-ward, Hisham; Abdulghani, Mahfoudh A. M.; Baldi, Salem; Zhou, Shaobo; et al. (Dove Press, 2020-12-07)
    Background: Ganoderma lucidum spores (GLS) exhibit disease prevention properties, but no study has been carried out on the anti-diabetic cardiomyopathy property of GLS. The aim of this study is to evaluate the hyperglycemia-mediated cardiomyopathy protection and mechanisms of GLS in diabetic rats induced by streptozotocin (STZ). Methods: Male SD rats were randomly divided into three groups. Two groups were given STZ (50 mg/kg, i.p.) treatment and when their fasting plasma glucose was above 16.7 mmol/L, one group was given placebo, as diabetic group; and another group was given GLS (300 mg/kg) treatment. The group without STZ treatment was given placebo as a control group. The experiment lasted 70 days. The histology of myocardium and biomarkers of antioxidant, myocardial injury, pro-inflammatory cytokines, pro-apoptotic proteins and phosphorylation of key proteins in PI3K/AKT pathway were assessed. Results: Biochemical analysis showed that GLS treatment significantly reduced the blood glucose (-20.3%) and triglyceride (-20.4%) levels compared to diabetic group without treatment. GLS treatment decreased the content of MDA (-25.6%) and activity of lactate dehydrogenase (-18.9%) but increased the activity of GSH-Px (65.4%). Western blot analysis showed that GLS treatment reduced the expression of both alpha-smooth muscle actin and brain natriuretic peptide. Histological analysis on the cardiac tissue micrographs showed that GLS treatment reduced the collagen fibroses and glycogen reactivity in myocardium. Both western blot and immunohistochemistry analyses showed that GLS treatment decreased the expression levels of pro-inflammatory factors (cytokines IL-1β, and TNF-α) as well as apoptosis regulatory proteins (Bax, caspase-3 and -9), but increased the Bcl-2. Moreover, GLS treatment significantly increased the phosphorylation of key proteins involved in PI3K/AKT pathway, e.g. p-AKT p-PI3K and mTOR. Conclusion: The results indicated that GLS treatment alleviates diabetic cardiomyopathy by reducing hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, inflammation, apoptosis and further attenuating the fibrosis and myocardial dysfunction induced by STZ through the stimulation of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway.
  • Lamellipodin promotes invasive 3D cancer cell migration via regulated interactions with Ena/VASP and SCAR/WAVE

    Carmona, G.; Perera, U.; Gillett, C.; Naba, A.; Law, Ah-Lai; Sharma, V.P.; Wang, J.; Wyckoff, J.; Balsamo, M.; Mosis, F.; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2016-03-21)
    Cancer invasion is a hallmark of metastasis. The mesenchymal mode of cancer cell invasion is mediated by elongated membrane protrusions driven by the assembly of branched F-actin networks. How deregulation of actin regulators promotes cancer cell invasion is still enigmatic. We report that increased expression and membrane localization of the actin regulator Lamellipodin correlate with reduced metastasis-free survival and poor prognosis in breast cancer patients. In agreement, we find that Lamellipodin depletion reduced lung metastasis in an orthotopic mouse breast cancer model. Invasive 3D cancer cell migration as well as invadopodia formation and matrix degradation was impaired upon Lamellipodin depletion. Mechanistically, we show that Lamellipodin promotes invasive 3D cancer cell migration via both actin-elongating Ena/VASP proteins and the Scar/WAVE complex, which stimulates actin branching. In contrast, Lamellipodin interaction with Scar/WAVE but not with Ena/VASP is required for random 2D cell migration. We identified a phosphorylation-dependent mechanism that regulates selective recruitment of these effectors to Lamellipodin: Abl-mediated Lamellipodin phosphorylation promotes its association with both Scar/WAVE and Ena/VASP, whereas Src-dependent phosphorylation enhances binding to Scar/WAVE but not to Ena/VASP. Through these selective, regulated interactions Lamellipodin mediates directional sensing of epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients and invasive 3D migration of breast cancer cells. Our findings imply that increased Lamellipodin levels enhance Ena/VASP and Scar/WAVE activities at the plasma membrane to promote 3D invasion and metastasis.
  • Cleavage of mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) from the cell surface contributes to the regulation of retinal phagocytosis

    Law, Ah-Lai; Parinot, Celia; Chatagnon, Jonathan; Gravez, Basile; Sahel, Jose-Alain; Bhattacharya, Shomi S.; Nandrot, Emeline F.; ; Sorbonne Universite; University College London; et al. (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Inc., 2014-12-23)
    Background: The MerTK receptor is necessary for retinal phagocytosis and its daily rhythm. Results: MerTK is cleaved from the apical cell surface in vitro and in vivo, reducing the phagocytic capacity of RPE cells. Conclusion: MerTK cleavage might help control the duration of the daily phagocytic peak. Significance: Our data show that extracellular cleavage of MerTK partly regulates retinal phagocytosis.
  • Stimulation of GLP-1 secretion downstream of the ligand-gated ion channel TRPA1

    Emery, Edward C.; Diakogiannaki, Eleftheria; Gentry, Clive; Psichas, Arianna; Habib, Abdella M.; Bevan, Stuart; Fischer, Michael J.M.; Reimann, Frank; Gribble, Fiona M.; ; et al. (American Diabetes Association Inc., 2014-10-16)
    Stimulus-coupled incretin secretion from enteroendocrine cells plays a fundamental role in glucose homeostasis and could be targeted for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Here, we investigated the expression and function of transient receptor potential (TRP) ion channels in enteroendocrine L cells producing GLP-1. By microarray and quantitative PCR analysis, we identified trpa1 as an L cell-enriched transcript in the small intestine. Calcium imaging of primary L cells and the model cell line GLUTag revealed responses triggered by the TRPA1 agonists allyl-isothiocyanate (mustard oil), carvacrol, and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which were blocked by TRPA1 antagonists. Electrophysiology in GLUTag cells showed that carvacrol induced a current with characteristics typical of TRPA1 and triggered the firing of action potentials. TRPA1 activation caused an increase in GLP-1 secretion from primary murine intestinal cultures and GLUTag cells, an effect that was abolished in cultures from trpa1-/- mice or by pharmacological TRPA1 inhibition. These findings present TRPA1 as a novel sensory mechanism in enteroendocrine L cells, coupled to the facilitation of GLP-1 release, which may be exploitable as a target for treating diabetes.
  • Fbp17 and cip4 recruit ship2 and lamellipodin to prime the plasma membrane for fast endophilin-mediated endocytosis

    Hak, Laura Chan Wah; Khan, Shaheen; Meglio, Ilaria Di; Law, Ah-Lai; Häsler, Safa Lucken-Ardjomande; Quintaneiro, Leonor M.; Ferreira, Antonio P.A.; Krause, Matthias; McMahon, Harvey T.; Boucrot, Emmanuel; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2018-07-30)
    Endocytosis mediates the cellular uptake of micronutrients and the turnover of plasma membrane proteins. Clathrin-mediated endocytosis is the major uptake pathway in resting cells 1 , but several clathrin-independent endocytic routes exist in parallel 2,3 . One such pathway, fast endophilin-mediated endocytosis (FEME), is not constitutive but triggered upon activation of certain receptors, including the β 1 adrenergic receptor 4 . FEME activates promptly following stimulation as endophilin is pre-enriched by the phosphatidylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate-binding protein lamellipodin 4,5 . However, in the absence of stimulation, endophilin foci abort and disassemble after a few seconds. Looking for additional proteins involved in FEME, we found that 20 out of 65 BAR domain-containing proteins tested colocalized with endophilin spots. Among them, FBP17 and CIP4 prime the membrane of resting cells for FEME by recruiting the 5′-lipid phosphatase SHIP2 and lamellipodin to mediate the local production of phosphati-dylinositol-3,4-bisphosphate and endophilin pre-enrichment. Membrane-bound GTP-loaded Cdc42 recruits FBP17 and CIP4, before being locally deactivated by RICH1 and SH3BP1 GTPase-activating proteins. This generates the transient assembly and disassembly of endophilin spots, which lasts 5–10 seconds. This mechanism periodically primes patches of the membrane for prompt responses upon FEME activation.
  • Lipid derivatives activate GPR119 and trigger GLP-1 secretion in primary murine L-cells

    Moss, Catherine E.; Glass, Leslie L.; Diakogiannaki, Eleftheria; Pais, Ramona; Lenaghan, Carol; Smith, David M.; Wedin, Marianne; Bohlooly-Y, Mohammad; Gribble, Fiona M.; Reimann, Frank; et al. (Elsevier Inc., 2015-07-02)
    Aims/hypothesis Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an incretin hormone derived from proglucagon, which is released from intestinal L-cells and increases insulin secretion in a glucose dependent manner. GPR119 is a lipid derivative receptor present in L-cells, believed to play a role in the detection of dietary fat. This study aimed to characterize the responses of primary murine L-cells to GPR119 agonism and assess the importance of GPR119 for the detection of ingested lipid. Methods GLP-1 secretion was measured from murine primary cell cultures stimulated with a panel of GPR119 ligands. Plasma GLP-1 levels were measured in mice lacking GPR119 in proglucagon-expressing cells and controls after lipid gavage. Intracellular cAMP responses to GPR119 agonists were measured in single primary L-cells using transgenic mice expressing a cAMP FRET sensor driven by the proglucagon promoter. Results L-cell specific knockout of GPR119 dramatically decreased plasma GLP-1 levels after a lipid gavage. GPR119 ligands triggered GLP-1 secretion in a GPR119 dependent manner in primary epithelial cultures from the colon, but were less effective in the upper small intestine. GPR119 agonists elevated cAMP in ∼70% of colonic L-cells and 50% of small intestinal L-cells. Conclusions/interpretation GPR119 ligands strongly enhanced GLP-1 release from colonic cultures, reflecting the high proportion of colonic L-cells that exhibited cAMP responses to GPR119 agonists. Less GPR119-dependence could be demonstrated in the upper small intestine. In vivo, GPR119 in L-cells plays a key role in oral lipid-triggered GLP-1 secretion.
  • Gut hormone regulation and secretion via FFA1 and FFA4

    Gribble, Fiona M.; Diakogiannaki, Eleftheria; Reimann, Frank (Springer New York LLC, 2016-11-22)
    The digestion, absorption and utilisation of dietary triglycerides are controlled by gut hormones, released from enteroendocrine cells along the length of the gastrointestinal tract. Major players in the detection of ingested lipids are the free fatty acid receptors FFA1 and FFA4, which are highly expressed on enteroendocrine cells. These receptors are activated when free fatty acids (FFA) are absorbed across the intestinal epithelium, and provide a dynamic hormonal signal indicating that lipids are arriving in the bloodstream from the gut. This review addresses our current knowledge of how ingested triglycerides modulate gut hormone release via FFA1 and FFA4.
  • A novel orvinol analog, BU08028, as a safe opioid analgesic without abuse liability in primates

    Ding, Huiping; Czoty, Paul W.; Kiguchi, Norikazu; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Sukhtankar, Devki D.; Nader, Michael A.; Husbands, Stephen M.; Ko, Mei-Chuan; ; Wake Forest University; et al. (National Academy of Sciences, 2016-08-29)
    Despite the critical need, no previous research has substantiated safe opioid analgesics without abuse liability in primates. Recent advances in medicinal chemistry have led to the development of ligands with mixed mu opioid peptide (MOP)/nociceptin-orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptor agonist activity to achieve this objective. BU08028 is a novel orvinol analog that displays a similar binding profile to buprenorphine with improved affinity and efficacy at NOP receptors. The aim of this preclinical study was to establish the functional profile of BU08028 in monkeys using clinically used MOP receptor agonists for side-by-side comparisons in various wellhoned behavioral and physiological assays. Systemic BU08028 (0.001-0.01 mg/kg) produced potent long-lasting (i.e., >24 h) antinociceptive and antiallodynic effects, which were blocked by MOP or NOP receptor antagonists. More importantly, the reinforcing strength of BU08028 was significantly lower than that of cocaine, remifentanil, or buprenorphine in monkeys responding under a progressive-ratio schedule of drug self-administration. Unlike MOP receptor agonists, BU08028 at antinociceptive doses and ?10-to 30-fold higher doses did not cause respiratory depression or cardiovascular adverse events as measured by telemetry devices. After repeated administration, the monkeys developed acute physical dependence on morphine, as manifested by precipitated withdrawal signs, such as increased respiratory rate, heart rate, and blood pressure. In contrast, monkeys did not show physical dependence on BU08028. These in vivo findings in primates not only document the efficacy and tolerability profile of bifunctional MOP/NOP receptor agonists, but also provide a means of translating such ligands into therapies as safe and potentially abusefree opioid analgesics.
  • Conservation of inner nuclear membrane targeting sequences in mammalian Pom121 and yeast Heh2 membrane proteins

    Kralt, Annemarie; Basheer, Noorjahan Jagalur; Van Den Boom, Vincent; Lokareddy, Ravi K.; Steen, Anton; Cingolani, Gino; Fornerod, Maarten; Veenhoff, Liesbeth M.; ; University of Groningen; et al. (American Society for Cell Biology, 2015-07-15)
    Endoplasmic reticulum-synthesized membrane proteins traffic through the nuclear pore complex (NPC) en route to the inner nuclear membrane (INM). Although many membrane proteins pass the NPC by simple diffusion, two yeast proteins, ScSrc1/ScHeh1 and ScHeh2, are actively imported. In these proteins, a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and an intrinsically disordered linker encode the sorting signal for recruiting the transport factors for FG-Nup and RanGTP-dependent transport through the NPC. Here we address whether a similar import mechanism applies in metazoans. We show that the (putative) NLSs of metazoan HsSun2, MmLem2, HsLBR, and HsLap2β are not sufficient to drive nuclear accumulation of a membrane protein in yeast, but the NLS from RnPom121 is. This NLS of Pom121 adapts a similar fold as the NLS of Heh2 when transport factor bound and rescues the subcellular localization and synthetic sickness of Heh2ΔNLS mutants. Consistent with the conservation of these NLSs, the NLS and linker of Heh2 support INM localization in HEK293T cells. The conserved features of the NLSs of ScHeh1, ScHeh2, and RnPom121 and the effective sorting of Heh2-derived reporters in human cells suggest that active import is conserved but confined to a small subset of INM proteins.
  • Mastermind-Like 3 controls proliferation and differentiation in neuroblastoma

    Heynen, Guus J.J.E.; Nevedomskaya, Ekaterina; Palit, Sander; Basheer, Noorjahan Jagalur; Lieftink, Cor; Schlicker, Andreas; Zwart, Wilbert; Bernards, René; Bajpe, Prashanth Kumar; ; et al. (American Association for Cancer Research Inc., 2016-01-19)
    Neuroblastoma cell lines can differentiate upon treatment with retinoic acid (RA), a finding that provided the basis for the clinical use of RA to treat neuroblastoma. However, resistance to RA is often observed, which limits its clinical utility. Using a gain-of-function genetic screen, we identified an unexpected link between RA signaling and mastermindlike 3 (MAML3), a known transcriptional coactivator for NOTCH. Our findings indicate that MAML3 expression leads to the loss of activation of a subset of RA target genes, which hampers RA-induced differentiation and promotes resistance to RA. The regulatory DNA elements of this subset of RA target genes show overlap in binding of MAML3 and the RA receptor, suggesting a direct role for MAML3 in the regulation of these genes. In addition, MAML3 has RA-independent functions, including the activation of IGF1R and downstream AKT signaling via upregulation of IGF2, resulting in increased proliferation. These results demonstrate an important mechanistic role for MAML3 in proliferation and RA-mediated differentiation.
  • BU08073 a buprenorphine analogue with partial agonist activity at μ-receptors in vitro but long-lasting opioid antagonist activity in vivo in mice

    Khroyan, Taline V.; Wu, J.; Polgar, Willma E.; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Fotaki, N.; Husbands, Stephen M.; Toll, Lawrence; (John Wiley and Sons Inc., 2014-11-05)
    Background and Purpose Buprenorphine is a potent analgesic with high affinity at μ, δ and κ and moderate affinity at nociceptin opioid (NOP) receptors. Nevertheless, NOP receptor activation modulates the in vivo activity of buprenorphine. Structure activity studies were conducted to design buprenorphine analogues with high affinity at each of these receptors and to characterize them in in vitro and in vivo assays. Experimental Approach Compounds were tested for binding affinity and functional activity using [35S]GTPγS binding at each receptor and a whole‐cell fluorescent assay at μ receptors. BU08073 was evaluated for antinociceptive agonist and antagonist activity and for its effects on anxiety in mice. Key Results BU08073 bound with high affinity to all opioid receptors. It had virtually no efficacy at δ, κ and NOP receptors, whereas at μ receptors, BU08073 has similar efficacy as buprenorphine in both functional assays. Alone, BU08073 has anxiogenic activity and produces very little antinociception. However, BU08073 blocks morphine and U50,488‐mediated antinociception. This blockade was not evident at 1 h post‐treatment, but is present at 6 h and remains for up to 3–6 days. Conclusions and Implications These studies provide structural requirements for synthesis of ‘universal’ opioid ligands. BU08073 had high affinity for all the opioid receptors, with moderate efficacy at μ receptors and reduced efficacy at NOP receptors, a profile suggesting potential analgesic activity. However, in vivo, BU08073 had long‐lasting antagonist activity, indicating that its pharmacokinetics determined both the time course of its effects and what receptor‐mediated effects were observed.
  • Effects of stimulation of mu opioid and nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptors on alcohol drinking in rhesus monkeys

    Flynn, Shawn M.; Epperly, Phillip M.; Davenport, April T.; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Husbands, Stephen M.; Ko, Mei-Chuan; Czoty, Paul W. (Nature Publishing Group, 2019-04-10)
    Alcohol use disorder (AUD) persists as a devastating public health problem; widely effective pharmacological treatments are needed. Evidence from rodent models suggests that stimulating brain receptors for the neuropeptide nociceptin/orphanin FQ (NOP) can decrease ethanol drinking. We characterized the effects of the mu opioid peptide (MOP) receptor agonist buprenorphine and the buprenorphine analog (2S)-2-[(5R,6R,7R,14S)-N-cyclopropylmethyl-4,5-epoxy-6,14-ethano-3-hydroxy-6 methoxymorphinan-7-yl]-3,3-dimethylpentan-2-ol (BU08028), which stimulates MOP and NOP receptors, in a translational nonhuman primate model of AUD. Rhesus monkeys drank a 4% ethanol solution 6 h per day, 5 days per week via an operant behavioral panel in their home cages. To assess behavioral selectivity, monkeys responded via a photo-optic switch to earn food pellets. After characterizing the acute effects of BU08028 (0.001–0.01 mg/kg, i.m.) and buprenorphine (0.003–0.056 mg/kg, i.m.), the drugs were administered chronically using a model of pharmacotherapy assessment that incorporates clinical aspects of AUD and treatment. Acutely, both drugs decreased ethanol drinking at doses that did not affect food-maintained responding. During chronic treatment, effects of BU08028 and buprenorphine were maintained for several weeks without development of tolerance or emergence of adverse effects. BU08028 was ~0.5 and 1.0 log units more potent in acute and chronic studies, respectively. The selective NOP receptor agonist SCH 221510 also selectively decreased ethanol intakes when given acutely (0.03–1.0 mg/kg, i.m.), whereas the MOP antagonist naltrexone (1.7–5.6 mg/kg, i.m.) decreased both ethanol intake and food pellets delivered. These data demonstrate that bifunctional MOP/NOP agonists, which may have therapeutic advantages to MOP-selective drugs, can decrease alcohol drinking in nonhuman primates.
  • Synthesis, biological evaluation, and SAR studies of 14β-phenylacetyl substituted 17-cyclopropylmethyl-7, 8-dihydronoroxymorphinones derivatives: Ligands with mixed NOP and opioid receptor profile

    Kumar, Vinod; Polgar, Willma E.; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Thomas, Mark P.; Khroyan, Taline V.; Toll, Lawrence; Husbands, Stephen M.; ; Central University of Punjab; SRI International; et al. (Frontiers Media S.A., 2018-09-19)
    A series of 14β-acyl substituted 17-cyclopropylmethyl-7,8-dihydronoroxymorphinone compounds has been synthesized and evaluated for affinity and efficacy for mu (MOP), kappa (KOP), and delta (DOP) opioid receptors and nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptors. The majority of the new ligands displayed high binding affinities for the three opioid receptors, and moderate affinity for NOP receptors. The affinities for NOP receptors are of particular interest as most classical opioid ligands do not bind to NOP receptors. The predominant activity in the [35S]GTPγS assay was partial agonism at each receptor. The results are consistent with our prediction that an appropriate 14β side chain would access a binding site within the NOP receptor and result in substantially higher affinity than displayed by the parent compound naltrexone. Molecular modeling studies, utilizing the recently reported structure of the NOP receptor, are also consistent with this interpretation.
  • BU10038 as a safe opioid analgesic with fewer side-effects after systemic and intrathecal administration in primates

    Kiguchi, Norikazu; Ding, Huiping; Cami-Kobeci, Gerta; Sukhtankar, Devki D.; Czoty, Paul W.; DeLoid, Heather B.; Hsu, Fang-Chi; Toll, Lawrence; Husbands, Stephen M.; Ko, Mei-Chuan; et al. (Elsevier Ltd, 2019-03-01)
    Background: The marked increase in mis-use of prescription opioids has greatly affected our society. One potential solution is to develop improved analgesics which have agonist action at both mu opioid peptide (MOP) and nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide (NOP) receptors. BU10038 is a recently identified bifunctional MOP/NOP partial agonist. The aim of this study was to determine the functional profile of systemic or spinal delivery of BU10038 in primates after acute and chronic administration. Methods: A series of behavioural and physiological assays have been established specifically to reflect the therapeutic (analgesia) and side-effects (abuse potential, respiratory depression, itch, physical dependence, and tolerance) of opioid analgesics in rhesus monkeys. Results: After systemic administration, BU10038 (0.001–0.01 mg kg−1) dose-dependently produced long-lasting antinociceptive and antihypersensitive effects. Unlike the MOP agonist oxycodone, BU10038 lacked reinforcing effects (i.e. little or no abuse liability), and BU10038 did not compromise the physiological functions of primates including respiration, cardiovascular activities, and body temperature at antinociceptive doses and a 10–30-fold higher dose (0.01–0.1 mg kg−1). After intrathecal administration, BU10038 (3 μg) exerted morphine-comparable antinociception and antihypersensitivity without itch scratching responses. Unlike morphine, BU10038 did not cause the development of physical dependence and tolerance after repeated and chronic administration. Conclusions: These in vivo findings demonstrate the translational potential of bifunctional MOP/NOP receptor agonists such as BU10038 as a safe, non-addictive analgesic with fewer side-effects in primates. This study strongly supports that bifunctional MOP/NOP agonists may provide improved analgesics and an alternative solution for the ongoing prescription opioid crisis.
  • Architecture and self-assembly of Clostridium sporogenes and Clostridium botulinum spore surfaces illustrate a general protective strategy across spore formers

    Janganan, Thamarai K.; Mullin, Nic; Dafis-Sagarmendi, Ainhoa; Brunt, Jason; Tzokov, Svetomir B.; Stringer, Sandra; Moir, Anne; Chaudhuri, Roy R.; Fagan, Robert P.; Hobbs, Jamie K.; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-07-01)
    Spores, the infectious agents of many Firmicutes, are remarkably resilient cell forms. Even distant relatives can have similar spore architectures although some display unique features; they all incorporate protective proteinaceous envelopes. We previously found that Bacillus spores can achieve these protective properties through extensive disulfide cross-linking of self-assembled arrays of cysteine-rich proteins. We predicted that this could be a mechanism employed by spore formers in general, even those from other genera. Here, we tested this by revealing in nanometer detail how the outer envelope (exosporium) in Clostridium sporogenes (surrogate for C. botulinum group I), and in other clostridial relatives, forms a hexagonally symmetric semipermeable array. A cysteine-rich protein, CsxA, when expressed in Escherichia coli, self-assembles into a highly thermally stable structure identical to that of the native exosporium. Like the exosporium, CsxA arrays require harsh “reducing” conditions for disassembly. We conclude that in vivo, CsxA self-organizes into a highly resilient, disulfide cross-linked array decorated with additional protein appendages enveloping the forespore. This pattern is remarkably similar to that in Bacillus spores, despite a lack of protein homology. In both cases, intracellular disulfide formation is favored by the high lattice symmetry. We have identified cysteine-rich proteins in many distantly related spore formers and propose that they may adopt a similar strategy for intracellular assembly of robust protective structures.
  • Spatial genetic and epigenetic structure of Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress) in China

    Guan, Yabin; Qu, Peng; Lu, Shugang; Crabbe, M. James C.; Zhang, Ti-Cao; Geng, Yu-peng; Yunnan University; Oxford University; Shanxi University; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Genetics Society of Japan, 2020-11-11)
    (Received 13 May 2020, accepted 15 July 2020; J-STAGE Advance published date: 11 November 2020) Thlaspi arvense (field pennycress) is widespread in temperate regions of the northern hemisphere. We estimated the genetic and epigenetic structure of eight T. arvense populations (131 individuals) in China using amplified fragment length polymorphism and methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism molecularmarker techniques. We detected low diversity at both genetic (mean = 0.03; total = 0.07) and epigenetic (mean = 0.04; total = 0.07) levels, while significant genetic (FST = 0.42, P < 0.001) and epigenetic (FST = 0.32, P < 0.001) divergence was found across the distribution range. Using Mantel testing, we found spatial genetic and epigenetic differentiation, consistent with isolation-by-distance models. We also identified a strong correlation between genetic and epigenetic differentiation (r = 0.7438, P < 0.001), suggesting genetic control of the epigenetic variation. Our results indicate that mating system, natural selection and gene flow events jointly structure spatial patterns of genetic and epigenetic variation. Moreover, epigenetic variation may serve as a basis of natural selection and ecological evolution to enable species to adapt to heterogeneous habitats. Our study provides novel clues for the adaptation of T. arvense.
  • Establishment of a stable complex formed from whey protein isolate and chitosan and its stability under environmental stresses

    Xu, Weili; Tang, Yinzhao; Yang, Yang; Wang, Guijie; Zhou, Shaobo; Harbin Institute of Technology; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2020-10-22)
    This study aimed to investigate the stability of a complex formed with whey protein isolate (WPI) and chitosan under environmental stress. The optical density, particle size, zeta potential, chemical characteristics, electrostatic interactions, and surface morphology were evaluated for the stable complexes; the optimum conditions for the generation of the stable complex were 0.2% (wt/wt) whey protein with 0.05% (wt/wt) chitosan at pH 5.7. Under these conditions, the complex particle size was 217.8 ± 11.3 nm and the zeta potential was 16.7 ± 0.92 mV. The complex was formed through electrostatic interactions between the amine groups of chitosan (-NH3+) and carboxyl groups of whey protein (-COO−), and contained a porous network interspaced by heterogeneously sized vacuoles. The complex displayed stable physiochemical characteristics under environmental stresses including NaCl (0–75 mM) or sugar (0–5%) at ambient temperature and upon heating for 15 min at 25–65 °C, up to 65 °C for 30 min. Moreover, the complex could be stably stored for 30 d at 4 °C and for 20 d at 25 °C. The present results provide theoretical insights into the industrial production of chitosan-protein complexes and for microencapsulation of sensitive food or medicinal ingredients to increase their intestinal absorption.
  • Inhibition effects of paeonol on mice bearing EMT6 breast cancer through inducing tumor cell apoptosis

    Song, Hanjun; Wang, Jianjie; Li, Lijiang; Wang, Molin; Dong, Hang; Luo, Wenzhe; Zhou, Shaobo; ; Jiamusi University; University of Bedfordshire (2014-01-01)
    Paeonol, a phenolic component from the root bark of Paeonia moutan, has been identified to possess antitumor effects on mice bearing EMT6 breast cancer in our previous studies. However, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. In the present study the molecular mechanisms of paeonol were further investigated in EMT6 mice model. The results showed that treatment of mice with 175 and 350 mg/kg/day of paeonol significantly inhibited the growth of the EMT6 tumor in mice, and induced tumor cell apoptosis which were demonstrated by light microscopy after hematoxylin and eosin staining and apoptosis analysis by flow cytometry. In addition, compared with the control group, paeonol increased the number of tumor cells in G0/G1 phase but decreased the number of cells in S and G2/M phase. Paeonol treatment (350 mg/kg body weight) also resulted in a decrease of Bcl-2 and an increase in Bax and caspase-3 expressions, which were demonstrated by immunohistochemical and western blot analysis. These results indicate that the antitumor effects of paeonol might be associated with arresting tumor cells in the G0/G1 phase, inducing cell apoptosis and regulation of the expression of Bcl-2, Bax and activation of caspase-3.
  • Antitumor effects of saponin extract from Patrinia villosa (Thunb.) Juss on mice bearing U14 cervical cancer

    Zhang, Tao; Li, Qingwang; Li, Kun; Li, Yurong; Li, Jian; Wang, Guijie; Zhou, Shaobo; (Wiley, 2008-04-29)
    Saponin extracted from Patrinia villosa (Thunb.) Juss (SPVJ) is a Chinese medicine which is used widely by traditional medicine doctors. In this study, the antitumor effects and the possible mechanisms of SPVJ were investigated in mice bearing U14 cervical cancer. The results showed that SPVJ (50 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg) effectively reduced the weight of U14 cervical tumor (35.1% and 57.1%, respectively). Compared with the control group, SPVJ (100 mg/kg) significantly increased tumor cells in the G0/G1 phase (38.1% vs 68.5%), increased the number of cells in apoptosis (9.4% vs 28.9%) and G0/G1 phase and decreased the number of cells in S phase (41% vs 26.2%) and G2/M (20.9% vs 5.3%), inhibited proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) of tumor cell (80.6% vs 21.8%), decreased the expression of mutant p53 (66.4% vs 33.5%) and bcl-2 protein (78.2% vs 20.3%). The mechanism of the SPVJ antitumor effect might be associated with inhibition of tumor cells in G0/G1 phase, inducing apoptosis and inhibiting the expression of PCNA, mutant P53 and Bcl-2 protein.

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