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This study reports the synthesis and testing of a family of rhodamine pro-fluorophores and an enzyme capable of converting pro-fluorophores to Rhodamine 110. We prepared a library of simple N,N'-diacyl rhodamines and investigated porcine liver esterase (PLE) as an enzyme to activate rhodamine-based pro-fluorophores. A PLE-expressing cell line generated an increase in fluorescence rapidly upon pro-fluorophore addition demonstrating the rhodamine pro-fluorophores are readily taken up and fluorescent upon PLE-mediated release. Rhodamine pro-fluorophore amides trifluoroacetamide (TFAm) and proponamide (PAm) appeared to be the best substrates using a cell-based assay using PLE expressing HEK293. Our pro-fluorophore series showed diffusion into live cells and resisted endogenous hydrolysis. The use of our engineered cell line containing the exogenous enzyme PLE demonstrated the rigorousness of amide masking when compared to cells not containing PLE. This simple and selective pro-fluorophore rhodamine pair with PLE offers the potential to be used in vitro and in vivo fluorescence based assays.
© 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
Before insulin can stimulate myocytes to take up glucose, it must first move from the circulation to the interstitial space. The continuous endothelium of skeletal muscle (SkM) capillaries restricts insulin's access to myocytes. The mechanism by which insulin crosses this continuous endothelium is critical to understand insulin action and insulin resistance; however, methodological obstacles have limited understanding of endothelial insulin transport in vivo. Here, we present an intravital microscopy technique to measure the rate of insulin efflux across the endothelium of SkM capillaries. This method involves development of a fully bioactive, fluorescent insulin probe, a gastrocnemius preparation for intravital microscopy, an automated vascular segmentation algorithm, and the use of mathematical models to estimate endothelial transport parameters. We combined direct visualization of insulin efflux from SkM capillaries with modeling of insulin efflux kinetics to identify fluid-phase transport as the major mode of transendothelial insulin efflux in mice. Model-independent experiments demonstrating that insulin movement is neither saturable nor affected by insulin receptor antagonism supported this result. Our finding that insulin enters the SkM interstitium by fluid-phase transport may have implications in the pathophysiology of SkM insulin resistance as well as in the treatment of diabetes with various insulin analogs.
Ocular angiogenesis is a blinding complication of age-related macular degeneration and other retinal vascular diseases. Clinical imaging approaches to detect inflammation prior to the onset of neovascularization in these diseases may enable early detection and timely therapeutic intervention. We demonstrate the feasibility of a previously developed cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) targeted molecular imaging probe, fluorocoxib A, for imaging retinal inflammation in a mouse model of laser-induced choroidal neovascularization. This imaging probe exhibited focal accumulation within laser-induced neovascular lesions, with minimal detection in proximal healthy tissue. The selectivity of the probe for COX-2 was validated
Cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is expressed in virtually all solid tumors and its overexpression is a hallmark of inflammation. Thus, it is a potentially powerful biomarker for the early clinical detection of inflammatory disease and human cancers. We report a reactive oxygen species (ROS) responsive micellar nanoparticle, PPS-b-POEGA, that solubilizes the first fluorescent COX-2-selective inhibitor fluorocoxib A (FA) for COX-2 visualization in vivo. Pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of FA-PPS-b-POEGA nanoparticles (FA-NPs) were assessed after a fully-aqueous intravenous (i.v.) administration in wild-type mice and revealed 4-8 h post-injection as an optimal fluorescent imaging window. Carrageenan-induced inflammation in the rat and mouse footpads and 1483 HNSCC tumor xenografts were successfully visualized by FA-NPs with fluorescence up to 10-fold higher than that of normal tissues. The targeted binding of the FA cargo was blocked by pretreatment with the COX-2 inhibitor indomethacin, confirming COX-2-specific binding and local retention of FA at pathological sites. Our collective data indicate that FA-NPs are the first i.v.-ready FA formulation, provide high signal-to-noise in inflamed, premalignant, and malignant tissues, and will uniquely enable clinical translation of the poorly water-soluble FA compound.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The integration of membrane proteins into "lipid raft" membrane domains influences many biochemical processes. The intrinsic structural properties of membrane proteins are thought to mediate their partitioning between membrane domains. However, whether membrane topology influences the targeting of proteins to rafts remains unclear. To address this question, we examined the domain preference of three putative raft-associated membrane proteins with widely different topologies: human caveolin-3, C99 (the 99 residue C-terminal domain of the amyloid precursor protein), and peripheral myelin protein 22. We find that each of these proteins are excluded from the ordered domains of giant unilamellar vesicles containing coexisting liquid-ordered and liquid-disordered phases. Thus, the intrinsic structural properties of these three topologically distinct disease-linked proteins are insufficient to confer affinity for synthetic raft-like domains.
Non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) is the most common form of cancer in the US and its incidence is increasing. The current standard of care is visual inspection by physicians and/or dermatologists, followed by skin biopsy and pathologic confirmation. We have investigated the use of in vivo fluorescence imaging using fluorocoxib A as a molecular probe for early detection and assessment of skin tumors in mouse models of NMSC. Fluorocoxib A targets the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme that is preferentially expressed by inflamed and tumor tissue, and therefore has potential to be an effective broadly active molecular biomarker for cancer detection. We tested the sensitivity of fluorocoxib A in a BCC allograft SCID hairless mouse model using a wide-field fluorescence imaging system. Subcutaneous allografts comprised of 1000 BCC cells were detectable above background. These BCC allograft mice were imaged over time and a linear correlation (R(2) = 0.8) between tumor volume and fluorocoxib A signal levels was observed. We also tested fluorocoxib A in a genetically engineered spontaneous BCC mouse model (Ptch1(+/-) K14-Cre-ER2 p53(fl/fl)), where sequential imaging of the same animals over time demonstrated that early, microscopic lesions (100 μm size) developed into visible macroscopic tumor masses over 11 to 17 days. Overall, for macroscopic tumors, the sensitivity was 88% and the specificity was 100%. For microscopic tumors, the sensitivity was 85% and specificity was 56%. These results demonstrate the potential of fluorocoxib A as an in vivo imaging agent for early detection, margin delineation and guided biopsies of NMSCs.
Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The enzyme COX-2 is induced at high levels in tumors but not in surrounding normal tissues, which makes it an attractive target for molecular imaging of cancer. We evaluated the ability of novel optical imaging agent, fluorocoxib A to detect urinary bladder canine transitional cell carcinomas (K9TCC). Here, we show that fluorocoxib A uptake overlapped with COX-2 expression in primary K9TCC cells in vitro. Using subcutaneously implanted primary K9TCC in athymic mice, we show specific uptake of fluorocoxib A by COX-2-expressing K9TCC xenograft tumors in vivo. Fluorocoxib A uptake by COX-2-expressing xenograft tumors was blocked by 70% (P < 0.005) when pretreated with the COX-2 selective inhibitor, celecoxib (10 mg/kg), 4 hours before intravenous administration of fluorocoxib A (1 mg/kg). Fluorocoxib A was taken up by COX-2-expressing tumors but not by COX-2-negative human UMUC-3 xenograft tumors. UMUC-3 xenograft tumors with no expression of COX-2 showed no uptake of fluorocoxib A. In addition, fluorocoxib A uptake was evaluated in five dogs diagnosed with TCC. Fluorocoxib A specifically detected COX-2-expressing K9TCC during cystoscopy in vivo but was not detected in normal urothelium. Taken together, our findings show that fluorocoxib A selectively bound to COX-2-expressing primary K9TCC cells in vitro, COX-2-expressing K9TCC xenografts tumors in nude mice, and heterogeneous canine TCC during cystoscopy in vivo. Spontaneous cancers in companion animals offer a unique translational model for evaluation of novel imaging and therapeutic agents using primary cancer cells in vitro and in heterogeneous cancers in vivo.
We evaluated preclinical single-dose safety, pharmacokinetic properties, and specific uptake of the new optical imaging agent fluorocoxib A in dogs. Fluorocoxib A, N-[(5-carboxy-X-rhodaminyl)but-4-yl]-2-[1-(4-chlorobenzoyl)-5-methoxy-2-methyl-1H-indol-3-yl]acetamide, selectively binds and inhibits the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) enzyme, which is overexpressed in many cancers. Safety pilot studies were performed in research dogs following intravenous (i.v.) administration of 0.1 and 1 mg/kg fluorocoxib A. Blood and urine samples collected three days after administration of each dose of fluorocoxib A revealed no evidence of toxicity, and no clinically relevant adverse events were noted on physical examination of exposed dogs over that time period. Pharmacokinetic parameters were assessed in additional research dogs from plasma collected at several time points after i.v. administration of fluorocoxib A using high-performance liquid chromatography analysis. The pharmacokinetic studies using 1 mg/kg showed a peak of fluorocoxib A (92±28 ng/ml) in plasma collected at 0.5 h. Tumor specific uptake of fluorocoxib A was demonstrated using a dog diagnosed with colorectal cancer expressing COX-2. Our data support the safe single-dose administration and in vivo efficacy of fluorocoxib A, suggesting a high potential for successful translation to clinical use as an imaging agent for improved tumor detection in humans.
An efficient enzymatic synthesis of 6-chloropurine-2'-deoxyriboside from the reaction of 6-chloropurine with 2'-deoxycytidine catalyzed by nucleoside-2'-deoxyribosyltransferase (E.C. 184.108.40.206) followed by chemical conversion into the 5'-dimethoxytrityl 3'-(2-cyanoethyl-N,N-diisopropylamino) phosphoramidite derivative is described. The phosphoramidite derivative was incorporated site-specifically into an oligonucleotide and used for the introduction of a tethered tetramethylrhodamine-cadaverine conjugate. The availability of an efficient route to 6-chloropurine-2'-deoxyriboside 5'-dimethoxytrityl 3'-(2-cyanoethyl-N,N-diisopropylamino)phosphoramidite enables the facile synthesis of oligonucleotides containing a range of functional groups tethered to deoxyadenosine residues.
An efficient route is reported to 5- and 6-carboxy-X-rhodamines (compounds 1 and 2) that contain multiple n-propylene or gamma,gamma-dimethylpropylene groups bridging terminal nitrogen atoms and the central xanthene core. Gram quantities of these dyes are synthesized from inexpensive starting materials. The isolated products are activated by selective transformation of the carboxylic acid group into N-hydroxysuccinimidyl esters in situ and then conjugated with an amino group of a molecule of interest.