Hussain, Tariq; Kaialy, Waseem; Deng, Tong; Bradley, Mike S A; Nokhodchi, Ali; Armour-Chélu, David (Elsevier, 2013-01-30)
Electrostatic charge is generated during powder handling due to particle-particle and particle-wall collisions, rubbing, sliding, and rolling. In case of bipolar charge generation, the electrostatic forces may significantly change the inner forces and increase powder adhesion and cause a serious problem in material handling process. Therefore, the knowledge of distribution of charge across the individual particles is helpful to identify the role of triboelectrification and the effects of various relevant variables especially change in the contact materials, environmental conditions during processing, etc. A novel approach based on inductive sensor has been developed to detect the either polarity of charged particle and to characterise the bipolar charge distribution in the population of particulate material. To achieve this, an amplification unit configured as a pure integrator and signal processing techniques has been used to de-noise and correct the baseline of signal and MATLAB algorithm developed for peak detection. The polarity of charged particles obtained by this method is calibrated with Faraday pail method and the results are promising. Experimental study has been carried out by using two distinct populations of oppositely charged particles (glass beads-PVC, olivine sand, and silica sand). The obtained results indicate that the method is able to detect the distribution of polarities of charged particles.
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.
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Non-transferrin bound iron (NTBI) is associated with increased morbidity in a number of transfusion-dependent disease states such as the severe haemoglobinopathies. We hypothesized that this may be related to excess NTBI present in plasma-depleted red blood cell units that are free of clear haemolysis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The level of NTBI was determined using the bleomycin assay in samples from 20 stored plasma-depleted red cell units, at approximate 5-day intervals up to day 33 after donation. Forty units of fresh-frozen plasma (FFP) and 40 units of platelet concentrates were used as negative controls, and samples from 12 units of FFP were also serially assessed. RESULTS: Median [interquartile range (IQR)] NTBI was 0 microm (0-0.35) in samples taken from units 3-10 days after donation. Thereafter, the levels of NTBI increased, becoming significant (median 3.05; IQR: 0.05-6.7 microm) 17-22 days after donation. After 30 days, NTBI was detectable in all red cell units. NTBI was undetectable in platelet concentrates and FFP. CONCLUSIONS: Increased levels of NTBI become detectable 17-22 days after donation and increase further with storage time. This excess NTBI may promote bacterial infection in iron-loaded individuals.
Nelson, Paul N.; Astley, S.J.; Roden, Denise A.; Waldron, E.E.; Baig, K.M.; Caforio, A.L.; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Perera, Shantha; Spry, C. (New Rochelle (NY): Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., 2005)
The characterization of monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) with regard to reactivity and specificity is important for the successful application as a molecular probe and/or diagnostic reagent. Furthermore, it is recognized that some monoclonal reagents perform well in some assay systems but not others. In this study, the reactivity profiles of two anti-myosin MAbs (H1 and DH2, raised against human cardiac myosin) were evaluated in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), slot-blotting, and immunocytochemistry. Both antibodies performed well in slot-blotting against myosin heavy chain preparations from cardiac and skeletal muscle and from non-human sources. In general, MAb H1 demonstrated strong to moderate reactivity in all assay systems, whilst MAb DH2 faired poorly in ELISA. MAb H1 also showed reactivity to synthetic peptides of myosin, one of which possessed a motif (ERRDA, single amino acid code) that was found in other human and nonhuman myosin protein sequences that could explain its cross-reactive profile. Intriguingly, this motif was found on viral and other pathogenic agents associated with myocarditis. Hence, it is speculated that this region could give some credence to the mechanism of molecular mimicry associated with some cardiac diseases. Overall, MAb H1 may serve as a useful probe of myosin structure.
Potter, N.; Poh, R.; Ward, Samantha; Phipps, Kim; Hayward, Richard; Harkness, William; Thompson, Dominic; Thomas, David G.; Rees, J.; Darling, John L.; et al. (Society for Neuro-Oncology and Duke University Press, 2006)
Brain tumors are the most frequently found solid tumor in children, 40% of which are astrocytomas. These are graded according to the WHO classification into the more common low-grade (I and II) and high-grade (III and IV) tumors. Little is known about the genetic basis underlying the development of pediatric astrocytomas. In this study, we have studied the correlation between abnormal gene expression in pediatric astrocytoma with genomic copy number changes. We used the Affymetrix HGU133A array to identify differentially expressed genes in a group of pediatric astrocytoma short-term cell cultures comprising 9 grade I, 11 grade II and 12 grade IV tumors. Data analysis was carried out using Genespring version 6.0 software. In addition, we used the Spectral Chip 2600 to generate array-comparative genomic hybridization (aCGH) profiles of each short-term cell culture. Chromosome regions of gain and loss were then compared with differential gene expression using Formatter software. Hierarchical clustering of the short-term cultures according to expression profile similarity showed that the tumors clustered into 3 clear groups that were independent of grade. Two groups were predominantly low-grade tumors, comprised of a mixture of grade I and II tumors with 3 grade IV tumors, and the third group contained predominantly high-grade tumors with 2 low-grade tumors. Genes involved in the phosphatidylinositol signaling system, the cell cycle pathway, and the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, were significantly differentially expressed between the 3 groups. Differential disruption of these cell pathways may be associated with subtypes of pediatric astrocytoma. Most tumors in the third group (including the low-grade tumors) showed copy number changes that can be correlated with changes in gene expression. In specific tumors, the downregulation of TSB1 (thrombospondin-1) correlated with loss at 15q15. This gene has previously been found to be downregulated in astrocytoma and is involved in cell adhesion. This finding suggests that gene expression in a subset of pediatric astrocytomas is influenced by gene dosage.
Fraley, Cresson D.; Rashid, M. Harunur; Lee, Sam S. K.; Gottschalk, Rebecca; Harrison, Janine; Wood, Pauline J.; Brown, Michael R. W.; Kornberg, Arthur (National Academy of Sciences, 2007)
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, of medical, environmental, and industrial importance, depends on inorganic polyphosphate (poly P) for a wide range of functions, especially survival. Mutants of PAO1 lacking poly P kinase 1, PPK1, the enzyme responsible for most poly P synthesis in Escherichia coli and other bacteria, are defective in motility, quorum sensing, biofilm formation, and virulence. We describe here multiple defects in the ppk1 mutant PAOM5, including a striking compaction of the nucleoid, distortion of the cell envelope, lack of planktonic motility and exopolymer production, and susceptibility to the beta-lactam antibiotic carbenicillin as well as desiccation. We propose that P. aeruginosa with reduced poly P levels undergoes ultrastructural changes that contribute to profound deficiencies in cellular functions.
Dennison, Sarah R.; Baker, Rachael D.; Nicholl, Iain D.; Phoenix, David A. (Elsevier Science Direct, 2007)
The protein transduction domain of the HIV-1 transactivator of transcription, Tat (Tat((48-60))), has been shown to transport P10, a cytotoxic peptide mimic of the cyclin dependent kinase inhibitor p21WAF1/CIP1, into the nucleus of cancerous cells and induce apoptosis. Here, monolayer studies were used to investigate the membrane interactions of Tat((48-60)), P10 and the construct Tat((48-60))P10. It was found that Tat((48-60)) showed no significant surface activity but that both P10 and Tat((48-60))P10, were highly surface active, inducing surface pressure changes of 9.7 and 8.9mNm(-1), respectively, with DMPS monolayers. The comparison of Tat((48-60))P10 and P10 surface interactions would be consistent with a hypothesis that the cargo attachment influences the capacity of the Tat-protein transduction domain to mediate transport across membranes either directly or via localisation of the construct at the membrane interface.
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.
Ha, Wai-Yan; Lau, Chi-Chiu; Yue, Patrick Y. K.; Hung, Kaman K. M.; Chan, Kelvin C.; Chui, Siu-Hon; Chui, Albert K. K.; Yam, Wing-Cheong; Wong, Ricky N. S. (Adis, 2006)
BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B is a major disease that causes serious public health problems worldwide. The loss of HBeAg expression due to point mutations or single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the precore/basal core promoter region of the hepatitis B virus (HBV) is associated with hepatocellular cirrhosis and carcinoma. Simultaneous screening for these mutations is strongly advocated for monitoring disease development in HBV-infected patients. The aim of this study is to apply arrayed primer extension (APEX) for the detection of HBV SNPs at the precore/basal core promoter. METHODS AND RESULTS: We optimized APEX for simultaneous detection of eight potential sites of SNPs in the precore/basal core promoter region of HBV. The precore/basal core promoter regions of HBV from 36 HBV-infected patients were amplified by PCR. After purification and DNA fragmentation, the short, single-stranded HBV DNA fragments were allowed to hybridize with the oligonucleotides corresponding to the sites of SNPs immobilized on glass slides, followed by incorporation of different fluorescently labeled dideoxynucleotides. This allows fast and unequivocal discrimination between wild-type and mutant genotypes with high dideoxy-nucleotide incorporation efficiency, sensitivity, and specificity. The coexistence of both genotypes was also detected; this was undetected by DNA sequencing. CONCLUSION: The simultaneous detection of SNPs in HBV precore/basal core promoter by APEX enables large-scale diagnostic analysis, which can be extended to the whole HBV genome.
Armesilla, Angel Luis; Williams, Judith C.; Buch, Mamta H.; Pickard, Adam; Emerson, Michael; Cartwright, Elizabeth J.; Oceandy, Delvac; Vos, Michele D.; Gillies, Sheona; Clark, Geoffrey J.; et al. (American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 2004)
Plasma membrane calmodulin-dependent calcium ATPases (PMCAs) are enzymatic systems implicated in the extrusion of calcium from the cell. We and others have previously identified molecular interactions between the cytoplasmic COOH-terminal end of PMCA and PDZ domain-containing proteins. These interactions suggested a new role for PMCA as a modulator of signal transduction pathways. The existence of other intracellular regions in the PMCA molecule prompted us to investigate the possible participation of other domains in interactions with different partner proteins. A two-hybrid screen of a human fetal heart cDNA library, using the region 652-840 of human PMCA4b (located in the catalytic, second intracellular loop) as bait, revealed a novel interaction between PMCA4b and the tumor suppressor RASSF1, a Ras effector protein involved in H-Ras-mediated apoptosis. Immunofluorescence co-localization, immunoprecipitation, and glutathione S-transferase pull-down experiments performed in mammalian cells provided further confirmation of the physical interaction between the two proteins. The interaction domain has been narrowed down to region 74-123 of RASSF1C (144-193 in RASSF1A) and 652-748 of human PMCA4b. The functionality of this interaction was demonstrated by the inhibition of the epidermal growth factor-dependent activation of the Erk pathway when PMCA4b and RASSF1 were co-expressed. This inhibition was abolished by blocking PMCA/RASSSF1 association with an excess of a green fluorescent protein fusion protein containing the region 50-123 of RASSF1C. This work describes a novel protein-protein interaction involving a domain of PMCA other than the COOH terminus. It suggests a function for PMCA4b as an organizer of macromolecular protein complexes, where PMCA4b could recruit diverse proteins through interaction with different domains. Furthermore, the functional association with RASSF1 indicates a role for PMCA4b in the modulation of Ras-mediated signaling.
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