• Targeting cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein as a novel approach to the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma.

      Dutton, Amanda; Burns, Alan T. H.; Young, Lawrence S.; Murray, Paul G. (Future Drugs, 2006)
      Hodgkin's lymphoma is one of the most common lymphoid cancers, particularly among young adults. Although there have been dramatic improvements in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma, leading to high cure rates in some groups, current combination chemotherapy regimes are associated with significant secondary complications in long-term survivors. Furthermore, although a proportion of patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma will be cured, there still remains a significant rate of relapse and also a smaller proportion of poor responders who will go on to die of their disease. Therefore, developments in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma must be directed at improving cure rates and reducing the burden of secondary complications. In recent years, the underlying pathogenesis of Hodgkin's lymphoma has become better understood. In particular, it is emerging that a key pathogenic event in Hodgkin's lymphoma is protection from Fas-induced cell death. Recent studies by the authors' group, and others, have demonstrated that this is, in part, due to the expression by Hodgkin/Reed-Sternberg cells of the cellular Fas-associated death domain-like IL-1 converting enzyme (FLICE)-like inhibitory protein molecule, a potent inhibitor of Fas-induced death. In this review, the role of cellular FLICE-like inhibitory protein in the pathogenesis of Hodgkin's lymphoma will be explored and also the possibility of targeting this molecule in order to provide an alternative and potentially safe approach to the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma will be investigated.
    • The Chinese Quality Of Life Instrument: Development Of A New Health-Related Quality Of Life Instrument Using Factor Analysis And Structural Equation Modeling

      Zhao, Li; Chan, Kelvin C.; Leung, Kwok-fai; Liu, Feng-bin; Lang, Jian-ying; Fang, Ji-qian (The Berkeley Electronic Press, 2006)
      A new Chinese Quality of Life Instrument (ChQOL) based on the principles of diagnosis and practice in Chinese medicine has been developed. This paper describes the development of the ChQOL instrument using factor analysis and structural equation modeling. An initial pilot version of the 78 items instrument was field tested in a sample 273 subjects recruited from different areas in China. The objective of this study was to determine the factor structure and latent constructs of the ChQOL based on factor analysis. A series of confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation models were used to determine the final model of the ChQOL. The results showed that the application of factor analysis and structural equation modeling is an effective method to develop the new health-related quality of life instrument, ChQOL, even though the practice of Chinese medicine is quite different from the practice of conventional western medicine.
    • The effects of a Chinese medicinal suppository (Vitalliver) on insulin-like growth factor 1 and homocysteine in patients with hepatitis B infection.

      Chui, Siu-Hon; Chan, Kelvin C.; Chui, Albert K. K.; Shek, L.S.; Wong, Ricky N. S. (Wiley InterScience, 2005)
      The liver is the major organ for the metabolism of homocysteine (Hcy) and production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1). Hcy metabolism and IGF-1 synthesis may be impaired in chronic liver diseases. The study investigated the regulatory effect of a Chinese herbal suppository, Vitalliver, on Hcy and IGF-1, as well as their relationship in patients with hepatitis B infection. Forty patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection without cirrhosis, 25 males and 15 females, were observed for changes in Hcy and IGF-1 after the administration of Vitalliver (one nightly) for a period of 3 months. Serum levels of Hcy, IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 were measured at baseline, and at 1 month and 3 months after treatment. Vitalliver reduced Hcy levels significantly (p = 0.001) from 9.7 +/- 2.8 to 9.0 +/- 2.1 micromol/L after treatment of 3 months. Furthermore, the IGF-1 levels increased significantly (p < 0.001) from 170.2 +/- 81.8 to 212.8 +/- 80.9 ng/mL at 1 month and 187.5 +/- 72.3 ng/mL at 3 months (p = 0.001) after treatment. In conclusion, it is speculated Vitalliver may have a self-regulatory effect on the release of IGF-1 in HBV patients without liver cirrhosis.
    • The effects of sinomenine on intestinal absorption of paeoniflorin by the everted rat gut sac model.

      Chan, Kelvin C.; Liu, Zhong Qiu; Jiang, Zhi-Hong; Zhou, Hua; Wong, Yuen Fan; Xu, Hong-Xi; Liu, Liang (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006)
      Paeoniflorin and sinomenine, derived from the root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall. (family Ranunculaceae) and the stem of Sinomenium acutum Rehder & Wilson (family Menispermaceae), respectively, have been, and are currently, widely used for treatment of rheumatic and arthritic diseases in China and Japan. Our previous studies demonstrated that sinomenine could significantly improve the bioavailability of paeoniflorin in rats, but the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. The present study aims to investigate the intestinal kinetic absorptive characteristics of paeoniflorin as well as the absorptive behavior influenced by co-administration of sinomenine using an in vitro everted rat gut sac model. The results showed a good linear correlation between the paeoniflorin absorption in sac contents and the incubation time from 0 to 90 min. However, the concentration dependence showed that a non-linear correlation exists between the paeoniflorin absorption and its concentrations from 10 to 160 microM, and the absorption was saturated at about 80 microM of the drug. Sinomenine at 16 and 136 microM concentrations could significantly enhance the absorption of paeoniflorin (20 microM) by 1.5- and 2.5-fold, respectively. Moreover, two well-known P-glycoprotein inhibitors, verapamil and quinidine, could significantly elevate the absorption of paeoniflorin by 2.1- and 1.5-fold, respectively. Furthermore, sinomenine in a pattern, which influenced paeoniflorin's absorption, manifested as similar to that of P-glycoprotein inhibitors. In conclusion, sinomenine significantly enhance the intestinal absorption of paeoniflorin, subsequently improve the bioavailability of paeoniflorin. The mechanism underlying the improvement of paeoniflorin's bioavailability was proposed that sinomenine could decrease the efflux transport of paeoniflorin by P-glycoprotein.
    • The enhanced aerosol performance of salbutamol from dry powders containing engineered mannitol as excipient.

      Kaialy, Waseem; Martin, Gary P; Ticehurst, Martyn D; Momin, Mohammed N; Nokhodchi, Ali (el, 2010-06-15)
      The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of crystallising mannitol from different binary mixtures of acetone/water on the resultant physical properties and to determine the effects of any changes on in vitro aerosolisation performance, when the different mannitol crystals were used as a carrier in dry powder inhaler formulations containing salbutamol sulphate. Mannitol particles were crystallised under controlled conditions by dissolving the sugar in water and precipitating the sugar using binary mixtures of acetone/water in different percentages as anti-solvent media. For comparison purposes the physical properties and deposition behaviour of commercially available mannitol were also studied. SEM showed that all crystallised mannitol particles were more elongated than the commercial mannitol. Solid state studies revealed that commercial mannitol and mannitol crystallised using acetone in the presence of 10-25% v/v water as anti-solvent was beta-polymorphic form whereas mannitol crystallised in the presence of a small amount of water (0-7.5%) was the alpha-form. All the crystallised mannitol samples showed poor flowability. Nevertheless, the powdered crystallised mannitol and commercial samples were blended with salbutamol in the ratio 67.5:1. The aerosolisation performance of the formulations containing the engineered mannitol (evaluated using Multi Stage Liquid Impinger) was considerably better than that of the commercial mannitol formulation (the fine particle fraction was increased from 15.42% to 33.07-43.99%, for the formulations containing crystallised mannitol). Generally, carriers having a high tapped density and high fraction of fine carrier particles produced a high FPF. The improvement in the DPI performance could be attributed to the presence of elongated carrier particles with smooth surfaces since these are believed to have less adhesive forces between carrier and the drug resulting in easier detachment of the drug during the inhalation.
    • The genetics and molecular biology of marine fungi

      Hooley, Paul; Whitehead, Michael P. (Elsevier Science Direct, 2006)
      Interest in the genetics of marine fungi has focused upon the basis of stress adaptation and the control of the production of secondary metabolites and enzymes. Analysis by molecular genetics has been applied to marine fungal taxonomy, phylogeny and species identification. The advent of the Debaryomyces hansenii genome project and the influence of climate change on this research are discussed.
    • The hepatitis B virus X protein activates nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT) by a cyclosporin A-sensitive pathway.

      Lara-Pezzi, Enrique; Armesilla, Angel Luis; Majano, Pedro L.; Redondo, Juan Miguel; López-Cabrera, Manuel (Nature Publishing Group, 1998)
      The X gene product of the human hepatitis B virus (HBx) is a transcriptional activator of various viral and cellular genes. We recently have determined that the production of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) by HBV-infected hepatocytes is transcriptionally up-regulated by HBx, involving nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT)-dependent activation of the TNF-alpha gene promoter. Here we show that HBx activates NF-AT by a cyclosporin A-sensitive mechanism involving dephosphorylation and nuclear translocation of the transcription factor. Luciferase gene expression assays demonstrated that HBx transactivates transcription through NF-AT-binding sites and activates a Gal4-NF-AT chimeric protein. DNA-protein interaction assays revealed that HBx induces the formation of NF-AT-containing DNA-binding complexes. Immunofluorescence analysis demonstrated that HBx induces the nuclear translocation of NF-AT, which can be blocked by the immunosuppressive drug cyclosporin A. Furthermore, immunoblot analysis showed that the HBx-induced activation and translocation of NF-AT are associated with its dephosphorylation. Thus, HBx may play a relevant role in the intrahepatic inflammatory processes by inducing locally the expression of cytokines that are regulated by NF-AT.
    • The identification of a novel alternatively spliced form of the MBD4 DNA glycosylase.

      Owen, Rhiannon M.; Baker, Rachael D.; Bader, Scott; Dunlop, Malcolm G.; Nicholl, Iain D. (Spandidos Publications Ltd, 2007)
      Methyl-CpG binding protein 4 (MBD4) is a mismatch-specific G:T and G:U DNA glycosylase. During an analysis of MBD4 expression in HeLa cells we noted the presence of an unexpectedly short reverse transcribed product. This cDNA lacked the region encoding the methyl-binding domain and exon 3 of MBD4 but retained the glycosylase domain. Sequence comparison indicates the existence of a previously unreported cryptic splice site in the MBD4 genomic sequence thus illuminating a mechanism whereby a glycosylase acquired a methyl-binding capacity, thus targeting potential mutagenic CpG sites. In vitro assays of this highly purified species, refolded in arginine rich conditions, confirmed that this unique, short version of MBD4 possessed uracil DNA glycosylase but not thymine DNA glycosylase activity. We conclude that the identification of a transcript encoding a short version of MBD4 indicates that MBD4 expression may be more complex than previously reported, and is worthy of further investigation.
    • The influence of agitation sequence and ionic strength on in vitro drug release from hypromellose (E4M and K4M) ER matrices--the use of the USP III apparatus.

      Asare-Addo, Kofi; Kaialy, Waseem; Levina, Marina; Rajabi-Siahboomi, Ali; Ghori, Mohammed U; Supuk, Enes; Laity, Peter R; Conway, Barbara R; Nokhodchi, Ali (Elsevier, 2013-04-01)
      Theophylline extended release (ER) matrices containing hypromellose (hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) E4M and K4M were evaluated in media with a pH range of 1.2-7.5, using an automated USP type III, Bio-Dis dissolution apparatus. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of systematic agitation, ionic strength and pH on the release of theophylline from the gel forming hydrophilic polymeric matrices with different methoxyl substitution levels. Tribo-electric charging of hypromellose, theophylline and their formulated blends containing E4M and K4M grades has been characterised, along with quantitative observations of flow, compression behaviour and particle morphology. Agitations were studied at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 dips per minute (dpm) and also in the ascending and descending order in the dissolution vials. The ionic concentration strength of the media was also varied over a range of 0-0.4M to simulate the gastrointestinal fed and fasted states and various physiological pH conditions. To study the effect of ionic strength on the hydrophilic matrices, agitation was set at 20 dpm. The charge results on individual components imply that the positively charged particles have coupled with the negatively charged particles to form a stable ordered mixture which is believed to result in a more homogeneous and stable system. The particle shape analysis showed the HPMC K4M polymer to have a more irregular morphology and a rougher surface texture in comparison to the HPMC E4M polymer, possibly a contributory factor to the gelation process. The results showed gelation occurred quicker for the K4M tablet matrices. Drug release increased with increased agitation. This was more pronounced for the E4M tablet matrices. The ionic strength also had more of an effect on the drug release from the E4M matrices. The experiments highlighted the resilience of the K4M matrices in comparison with the E4M matrices. The results thus show that despite similar viscosities of E4M and K4M, the methoxyl substitution makes a difference to their control of drug release and as such care and consideration should be given to the choice of polymer used for extended release. The use of systematic change of agitation method and ionic strength may indicate potential fed and fasted effects on drug release from hydrophilic matrices.
    • The influence of physical properties and morphology of crystallised lactose on delivery of salbutamol sulphate from dry powder inhalers.

      Kaialy, Waseem; Martin, Gary P; Larhrib, Hassan; Ticehurst, Martyn D; Kolosionek, Ewa; Nokhodchi, Ali (Elsevier, 2012-01-01)
      The aim of this work was to investigate the mechanistic evaluation of physicochemical properties of new engineered lactose on aerosolisation performance of salbutamol sulphate (SS) delivered from dry powder inhaler (DPI). Different crystallised lactose particles were obtained from binary mixtures of butanol:acetone. The sieved fractions (63-90 μm) of crystallised lactose were characterised in terms of size, shape, flowability, true density and aerosolisation performance (using multiple twin stage impinger (MSLI), Aerolizer(®) inhaler device, and salbutamol sulphate as a model drug). Compared to commercial lactose, crystallised lactose particles were less elongated, covered with fine lactose particles, and had a rougher surface morphology. The crystallised lactose powders had a considerably lower bulk and tap density and poorer flow when compared to commercial lactose. Engineered carrier with better flow showed improved drug content homogeneity, reduced amounts of drug "deposited" on the inhaler device and throat, and a smaller drug aerodynamic diameter upon inhalation. Aerodynamic diameter of salbutamol sulphate increased as lactose aerodynamic diameter decreased (linear, R(2)=0.9191) and/or as fine particle lactose content increased (linear, R(2)=0.8653). Improved drug aerosolisation performance in the case of crystallised lactose particles was attributed to lower drug-carrier adhesion forces due to a rougher surface and higher fine particle content. In conclusion, this work proved that using binary combinations of solvents in crystallisation medium is vital in modification of the physicochemical and micromeritic properties of carriers to achieve a desirable aerosolisation performance from DPI formulations. Among all lactose samples, lactose particles crystallised from pure butanol generated the highest overall DPI formulations desirability.
    • The influence of vitamin E succinate on the stability of polyethylene oxide PEO controlled release matrix tablets.

      Shojaee, Saeed; Cumming, Iain; Kaialy, Waseem; Nokhodchi, Ali (Elsevier, 2013-11-01)
      Hydrophilic matrices are a principal technology used for extended release (ER) oral dosage forms and a recent review concluded that their development is currently one of the most important challenges in pharmaceutical research. High molecular weight polyethylene oxides (PEOs) have been proposed as an alternative to hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) for the manufacture of controlled release matrix tablets. It is known that PEO's are prone to oxidative degradation which can occur by chain scission and can be catalyzed by metal ions. In this study, we investigated the stability of PEO matrix tablets, of different molecular weight, containing diltiazem hydrochloride, when stored at 40 °C. The results show that there were dramatic increases in the release rate of the diltiazem following storage over only a few weeks, resulting in immediate release profiles after eight weeks, even for the highest molecular weight grade. We employed Gel permeation chromatography (GPC), viscosity and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) techniques to try and determine the underlying causes of these dramatic shifts in dissolution profiles on storage. The results showed that there were significant decreases in the molecular weight of the PEO's during storage. The second part of the study looked at the addition of three different levels of vitamin E succinate to the tablets. The results clearly demonstrate the ability of the added antioxidant to reverse the significant reductions in molecular weight seen using GPC, viscosity and DSC. Importantly the addition of the antioxidant was able to stabilize the release profile of the diltiazem especially when present at a 1% level. Researchers and those working in pharmaceutical development should be aware of the potential stability risks when making matrix tablets containing PEO's and may wish to consider the addition of an antioxidant to the tablet formulation.
    • The isolation, identification and determination of dehydrotumulosic acid in Poria cocos.

      Song, Zonghua; Bi, Kaishun; Luo, Xu; Chan, Kelvin C. (The Japan Society for Analytical Chemistry, 2002)
      Poria cocos (Fuling), a popular Chinese medicinal (CM) herb of fungal origin, has been included in many combinations with other CM herbs for its traditionally claimed activities of inducing diuresis, excreting dampness, invigorating the spleen and tranquilizing the mind and its modern pharmacological use of modulating the immune system of the body. Dehydrotumulosic acid, one of the effective constituents of Fuling, was isolated from the chloroform-soluble material of ethanol extract of the fungus. After further purification by a high-performance liquid chromatographic method on a C18 column, the purified constituent was identified using modern analytical techniques, such as UV, 13C-NMR and EI-MS. A reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatographic method has been developed for the determination of dehydrotumulosic acid in Poria cocos. The determination can be accomplished in less than 50 min using methanol-acetonitrile-2% glacial acetic acid as the mobile phase at a flow rate of 1.0 mL/min, with a UV detector setting at 242 nm and testosterone propionate used as an internal standard. This assay for dehydrotumulosic acid is simple, rapid and with good reproducibility.
    • The many futures for cell-penetrating peptides: how soon is now?

      Howl, John D.; Nicholl, Iain D.; Jones, Sarah (Portland Press on behalf of the Biochemical Society, 2007)
      Studies of CPPs (cell-penetrating peptides), sequences that are also commonly designated as protein transduction domains, now extend to a second decade of exciting and far-reaching discoveries. CPPs are proven vehicles for the intracellular delivery of macromolecules that include oligonucleotides, peptides and proteins, low-molecular-mass drugs, nanoparticles and liposomes. The biochemical properties of different classes of CPP, including various sequences derived from the HIV-1 Tat (transactivator of transcription) [e.g. Tat-(48-60), GRKKRRQRRRPPQ], and the homeodomain of the Drosophila homeoprotein Antennapaedia (residues 43-58, commonly named penetratin, RQIKIWFQNRRMKWKK), also provide novel insights into the fundamental mechanisms of translocation across biological membranes. Thus the efficacy of CPP-mediated cargo delivery continues to provide valuable tools for biomedical research and, as witnessed in 2007, candidate and emerging therapeutics. Thus it is anticipated that the further refinement of CPP technologies will provide drug-delivery vectors, cellular imaging tools, nanoparticulate devices and molecular therapeutics that will have a positive impact on the healthcare arena. The intention of this article is to provide both a succinct overview of current developments and applications of CPP technologies, and to illustrate key developments that the concerted efforts of the many researchers contributing to the Biochemical Society's Focused Meeting in Telford predict for the future. The accompanying papers in this issue of Biochemical Society Transactions provide additional details and appropriate references. Hopefully, the important and eagerly anticipated biomedical and clinical developments within the CPP field will occur sooner rather than later.
    • The physicochemical properties and the in vivo AChE inhibition of two potential anti-Alzheimer agents, bis(12)-hupyridone and bis(7)-tacrine.

      Yu, Hua; Li, Wen-Ming; Kan, Kelvin K.; Ho, Jason; Carlier, Paul; Pang, Yuan-Ping; Gu, Zhe-Ming; Zhong, Zuo; Chan, Kelvin C.; Wang, Yi-Tao; et al. (Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2008)
      The lipophilicity and solubility profiles of bis(12)-hupyridone (B12H) and bis(7)-tacrine (B7T), two novel acetylcholinesterase inhibitors dimerized from huperzine A fragments and tacrine, respectively, were investigated over a broad pH range. Lipophilicity was assessed by both shake flask method with 1-octanol-water system and a reverse-phase HPLC system with methanol-water as mobile phase. The former method was used for determining the lipophilicities of the ionized forms (log D) of the dimers while the latter method was used for that of the neutral forms (log P). The log P values for B12H and B7T were found to be 5.4 and 8.2, respectively, indicating that the two dimers are highly lipophilic. The solubilities of both dimers were found to be affected by pH. The solubility of B12H was >1.41 mg/ml when the pH was <7, but <0.06 mg/ml when the pH was >8. The solubility of B7T was >0.26 mg/ml when the pH was <9, but <0.005 mg/ml when the pH was >12. The ionic strength of a solution could affect the solubilities considerably (11.16 mg/ml for B12H and 12.71 mg/ml for B7T in water; 2.07 mg/ml for B12H and 0.36 mg/ml for B7T in saline). The ionization constants (pK(a)) of the two dimers were determined by UV spectrophotometry. Both dimers were found to have two pK(a) values: 7.5+/-0.1 (pK(a1)) and 10.0+/-0.2 (pK(a2)) for B12H; and 8.7+/-0.1 (pK(a1)) and 10.7+/-0.4 (pK(a2)) for B7T. Furthermore, an in vivo pharmacological assay conducted in mice showed that a maximum AChE inhibition occurred 15 min after the single-dose and intraperitoneal administration of either dimer. This indicates that the two dimers may easily cross the blood-brain barrier. In summary, these physiochemical characteristics suggest that the two dimers may be promising candidates for the development of better drugs for Alzheimer's disease.
    • The potential role of human endogenous retrovirus K10 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis: a preliminary study.

      Ejtehadi, H. Davari; Freimanis, Graham L.; Ali, H.A.; Bowman, S.J.; Alavi, A.; Axford, J.; Callaghan, R.; Nelson, Paul N. (BMJ Publishing, 2006)
      OBJECTIVE: To examine whether human endogenous retrovirus K10 is associated with autoimmune rheumatic disease. DESIGN: A novel multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) system was developed to investigate HERV-K10 mRNA expression in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. METHODS: 40 patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 17 with osteoarthritis, and 27 healthy individuals were recruited and total RNA was extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and analysed using multiplex RT-PCR for the level of HERV-K10 gag mRNA expression. Southern blot and DNA sequencing confirmed the authenticity of the PCR products. RESULTS: Using the histidyl tRNA synthetase (HtRNAS) gene as a housekeeping gene in the optimised multiplex RT-PCR, a significantly higher level of HERV-K10 gag mRNA expression was found in rheumatoid arthritis than in osteoarthritis (p = 0.01) or in the healthy controls (p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: There is enhanced mRNA expression of the HERV-K10 gag region in rheumatoid arthritis compared with osteoarthritis or healthy controls. This could contribute to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
    • The prevalence and clinical significance of autoantibodies to plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 in systemic lupus erythematosus.

      Bates, Ruth L.; Payne, Sarah J.; Drury, S.L.; Nelson, Paul N.; Isenberg, D.A.; Murphy, John J.; Frampton, Geoffrey (SAGE Publications, 2003)
      We have recently described the novel autoantigen plasminogen activator inhibitor (PAI-1) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and clinical significance of anti-PAI-1 autoantibodies in patients with SLE. Autoantibodies to recombinant PAI-1 were measured in retrospective sera of 48 lupus patients by immunoassay in order to assess their clinical significance. This showed that 71% of sera from 48 lupus patients had significantly elevated anti-PAI-1 autoantibodies as compared with normal control subjects (P < 0.0001). There was a weak but significant (P < 0.043) correlation with anti-dsDNA autoantibodies. In longitudinal studies, autoantibodies against PAI-1 correlated with clinical parameters measured by the BILAG disease activity index including global clinical score. Our study demonstrates the high frequency of novel autoantibodies to PAI-1 in patients with lupus. The serial clinical correlations with anti-PAI-1 autoantibodies also support the hypothesis that these autoantibodies may play a pathogenic role in lupus.
    • The sarcolemmal calcium pump inhibits the calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell pathway via interaction with the calcineurin A catalytic subunit.

      Buch, Mamta H.; Pickard, Adam; Rodriguez, Antonio; Gillies, Sheona; Maass, Alexander H.; Emerson, Michael; Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Williams, Judith C.; Oceandy, Delvac; Redondo, Juan Miguel; et al. (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2005)
      The calcineurin/nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) pathway represents a crucial transducer of cellular function. There is increasing evidence placing the sarcolemmal calcium pump, or plasma membrane calcium/calmodulin ATPase pump (PMCA), as a potential modulator of signal transduction pathways. We demonstrate a novel interaction between PMCA and the calcium/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, calcineurin, in mammalian cells. The interaction domains were located to the catalytic domain of PMCA4b and the catalytic domain of the calcineurin A subunit. Endogenous calcineurin activity, assessed by measuring the transcriptional activity of its best characterized substrate, NFAT, was significantly inhibited by 60% in the presence of ectopic PMCA4b. This inhibition was notably reversed by the co-expression of the PMCA4b interaction domain, demonstrating the functional significance of this interaction. PMCA4b was, however, unable to confer its inhibitory effect in the presence of a calcium/calmodulin-independent constitutively active mutant calcineurin A suggesting a calcium/calmodulin-dependent mechanism. The modulatory function of PMCA4b is further supported by the observation that endogenous calcineurin moves from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane when PMCA4b is overexpressed. We suggest recruitment by PMCA4b of calcineurin to a low calcium environment as a possible explanation for these findings. In summary, our results offer strong evidence for a novel functional interaction between PMCA and calcineurin, suggesting a role for PMCA as a negative modulator of calcineurin-mediated signaling pathways in mammalian cells. This study reinforces the emerging role of PMCA as a molecular organizer and regulator of signaling transduction pathways.
    • The sarcolemmal calcium pump, alpha-1 syntrophin, and neuronal nitric-oxide synthase are parts of a macromolecular protein complex.

      Williams, Judith C.; Armesilla, Angel Luis; Mohamed, Tamer M. A.; Hagarty, Cassandra L.; McIntyre, Fiona H.; Schomburg, Sybille; Zaki, Aly O.; Oceandy, Delvac; Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Buch, Mamta H.; et al. (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2006)
      The main role of the plasma membrane Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent ATPase (PMCA) is in the removal of Ca2+ from the cytosol. Recently, we and others have suggested a new function for PMCA as a modulator of signal transduction pathways. This paper shows the physical interaction between PMCA (isoforms 1 and 4) and alpha-1 syntrophin and proposes a ternary complex of interaction between endogenous PMCA, alpha-1 syntrophin, and NOS-1 in cardiac cells. We have identified that the linker region between the pleckstrin homology 2 (PH2) and the syntrophin unique (SU) domains, corresponding to amino acids 399-447 of alpha-1 syntrophin, is crucial for interaction with PMCA1 and -4. The PH2 and the SU domains alone failed to interact with PMCA. The functionality of the interaction was demonstrated by investigating the inhibition of neuronal nitric-oxide synthase-1 (NOS-1); PMCA is a negative regulator of NOS-1-dependent NO production, and overexpression of alpha-1 syntrophin and PMCA4 resulted in strongly increased inhibition of NO production. Analysis of the expression levels of alpha-1 syntrophin protein in the heart, skeletal muscle, brain, uterus, kidney, or liver of PMCA4-/- mice, did not reveal any differences when compared with those found in the same tissues of wild-type mice. These results suggest that PMCA4 is tethered to the syntrophin complex as a regulator of NOS-1, but its absence does not cause collapse of the complex, contrary to what has been reported for other proteins within the complex, such as dystrophin. In conclusion, the present data demonstrate for the first time the localization of PMCA1b and -4b to the syntrophin.dystrophin complex in the heart and provide a specific molecular mechanism of interaction as well as functionality.
    • The use of freeze-dried mannitol to enhance the in vitro aerosolization behaviour of budesonide from the Aerolizer®

      Kaialy, Waseem; Nokhodchi, Ali (Elsevier B.V., 2016-01)
      The efficiency of drug delivery from drug-carrier dry powder inhaler (DPI) systems is typically low. The purpose of this study was to examine the aerosolization performance of a hydrophobic drug, budesonide (BUD), from DPI formulations containing a promising carrier, freeze-dried mannitol (FDM), and to compare the results to those obtained previously with a hydrophilic drug, salbutamol sulphate (SS). The results showed that, in comparison to the formulation containing commercial BUD and commercial lactose, a total of 3.8-fold increase in the fine particle fraction (FPF) was obtained from the formulation containing FDM (FPF: 7.5% versus 29%) whereas a total of 4.6-fold increase in the FPF was obtained from the formulation containing FDM and leucine additive (FPF: 35%). Regression analysis showed DPI formulations containing carrier particles with a more elongated/less spherical shape, a higher content of fine particulates (< 5 μm) and a higher porosity to produce higher FPFs of BUD. FDM promoted the aerosolization of budesonide intended for pulmonary delivery. The addition of leucine (by 4.8%, w/w) has further improved the flow and the aerosolization properties of FDM. FDM produced higher aerodynamic diameters and smaller FPFs of BUD as compared to SS, attributable to BUD having a higher electrostatic charge density and a higher agglomeration tendency than SS.
    • Thermal energy storage using metal–organic framework materials

      Elsayed, Ahmed; Elsayed, Eman; AL-Dadah, Raya; Mahmoud, Saad; Elshaer, Amr; Kaialy, Waseem (Applied Energy, 2016-04-05)
      Metal–organic framework (MOF) materials are new adsorbent materials that have high surface area and pore volume and hence high adsorption uptake. The previous exceptional properties make this class of materials have a great potential in many applications like cooling, gas separation and energy storage. However, there is very limited information on the performance of metal–organic framework materials in energy storage applications and their performance compared to conventional adsorbents. This paper aims to present an experimental characterisation of CPO-27(Ni) MOF material for water adsorption and to investigate its viability for energy storage. CPO-27(Ni) (known as MOF-74(Ni)), which is a MOF material that has high water adsorption capabilities of 0.47 gH2O gads−1 and hydrothermally stable and can be supplied in large quantities. Firstly, the material water adsorption isotherms were predicated using Materials Studio software via the material structure information and then compared to the experimentally measured isotherms. The experimentally measured isotherms and kinetics were used to model a double bed adsorption system for energy storage application using Simulink–Matlab software coupled with Nist RefProp thermophysical routines. Finally, the performance of CPO-27(Ni) was then compared with silica gel. The CPO-27(Ni) was found to outperform silica gel at long half cycle time (more than 30 min) at low evaporating temperature making it suitable for energy storage applications. The energy stored in the condenser and the adsorption bed was found to be dependent mostly on the regeneration and the cooling temperatures. The potential of the energy recovered from the adsorption bed can be double the one recovered from the condenser. Also, the energy recovery during condensation and adsorption was found to be independent of the reactor conductance except at small conductance ratio. Finally, the adsorption unit cooling water flow strategy was found to affect the amount of the energy recovered as recirculating the cooling water through the adsorption bed and then condenser was found to decrease the recovered energy from the condenser by 4%.