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Herein, excipients are investigated to ameliorate the deleterious effects of lyophilization on peptide-polymer nano-polyplex (NP) morphology, cellular uptake, and bioactivity. The NPs are a previously-described platform technology for intracellular peptide delivery and are formulated from a cationic therapeutic peptide and the anionic, pH-responsive, endosomolytic polymer poly(propylacrylic acid) (PPAA). These NPs are effective when formulated and immediately used for delivery into cells and tissue, but they are not amenable to reconstitution following storage as a lyophilized powder due to aggregation. To develop a lyophilized NP format that facilitates longer-term storage and ease of use, MAPKAP kinase 2 inhibitory peptide-based NPs (MK2i-NPs) were prepared in the presence of a range of concentrations of the excipients sucrose, trehalose, and lactosucrose prior to lyophilization and storage. All excipients improved particle morphology post-lyophilization and significantly improved MK2i-NP uptake in human coronary artery smooth muscle cells relative to lyophilized NPs without excipient. In particular, MK2i-NPs lyophilized with 300 mM lactosucrose as an excipient demonstrated a 5.23 fold increase in cellular uptake (p < 0.001), a 2.52 fold increase in endosomal disruption (p < 0.05), and a 2.39 fold increase in ex vivo bioactivity (p < 0.01) compared to MK2i-NPs lyophilized without excipients. In sum, these data suggest that addition of excipients, particularly lactosucrose, maintains and even improves the uptake and therapeutic efficacy of peptide-polymer NPs post-lyophilization relative to freshly-made formulations. Thus, the use of excipients as lyoprotectants is a promising approach for the long-term storage of biotherapeutic NPs and poises this NP platform for clinical translation.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Recent genetic analyses have provided evidence that clinical commonalities associated with different psychiatric diagnoses often have shared mechanistic underpinnings. The development of animal models expressing functional genetic variation attributed to multiple disorders offers a salient opportunity to capture molecular, circuit and behavioral alterations underlying this hypothesis. In keeping with studies suggesting dopaminergic contributions to attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), bipolar disorder (BPD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), subjects with these diagnoses have been found to express a rare, functional coding substitution in the dopamine (DA) transporter (DAT), Ala559Val. We developed DAT Val559 knock-in mice as a construct valid model of dopaminergic alterations that drive multiple clinical phenotypes, and here evaluate the impact of lifelong expression of the variant on impulsivity and motivation utilizing the 5- choice serial reaction time task (5-CSRTT) and Go/NoGo as well as tests of time estimation (peak interval analysis), reward salience (sucrose preference), and motivation (progressive ratio test). Our findings indicate that the DAT Val559 variant induces impulsivity behaviors that are dependent upon the reward context, with increased impulsive action observed when mice are required to delay responding for a reward, whereas mice are able to withhold responding if there is a probability of reward for a correct rejection. Utilizing peak interval and progressive ratio tests, we provide evidence that impulsivity is likely driven by an enhanced motivational phenotype that also may drive faster task acquisition in operant tasks. These data provide critical validation that DAT, and more generally, DA signaling perturbations can drive impulsivity that can manifest in specific contexts and not others, and may rely on motivational alterations, which may also drive increased maladaptive reward seeking.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Photorespiration is a central component of photosynthesis; however to better understand its role it should be viewed in the context of an integrated metabolic network rather than a series of individual reactions that operate independently. Isotopically nonstationary C metabolic flux analysis (INST-MFA), which is based on transient labeling studies at metabolic steady state, offers a comprehensive platform to quantify plant central metabolism. In this chapter, we describe the application of INST-MFA to investigate metabolism in leaves. Leaves are an autotrophic tissue, assimilating CO over a diurnal period implying that the metabolic steady state is limited to less than 12 h and thus requiring an INST-MFA approach. This strategy results in a comprehensive unified description of photorespiration, Calvin cycle, sucrose and starch synthesis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and amino acid biosynthetic fluxes. We present protocols of the experimental aspects for labeling studies: transient CO labeling of leaf tissue, sample quenching and extraction, mass spectrometry (MS) analysis of isotopic labeling data, measurement of sucrose and amino acids in vascular exudates, and provide details on the computational flux estimation using INST-MFA.
Adult female mosquitoes rely on carbohydrate-rich plant nectars as their main source of energy. In the present study we tested whether the deprivation of a carbohydrate dietary source or the deprivation of both carbohydrate and water affects mosquito heart physiology. Intravital video imaging of Anopheles gambiae showed that, relative to sucrose fed mosquitoes, the deprivation of both sucrose and water for 24h, but not the deprivation of sucrose alone, reduces the heart contraction rate. Measurement of the protein, carbohydrate and lipid content of mosquitoes in the three treatment groups did not explain this cardiac phenotype. However, while the deprivation of sucrose reduced mosquito weight and abdominal width, the deprivation of both sucrose and water reduced mosquito weight even further without augmenting the change in abdominal width, indirectly suggesting that starvation and dehydration reduces hemolymph pressure. Analysis of the mRNA levels of crustacean cardioactive peptide (CCAP), FMRFamide, corazonin, neuropeptide F and short neuropeptide F then suggested that these neuropeptides do not regulate the cardiac phenotype observed. However, relative to sucrose fed and sucrose deprived mosquitoes, the mRNA level of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) was significantly elevated in mosquitoes that had been deprived of both sucrose and water. Given that nitric oxide suppresses the heart rate of vertebrates and invertebrates, these data suggest a role for this free radical in modulating mosquito heart physiology.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Energy and glucose homeostasis are regulated by central serotonin 2C receptors. These receptors are attractive pharmacological targets for the treatment of obesity; however, the identity of the serotonin 2C receptor-expressing neurons that mediate the effects of serotonin and serotonin 2C receptor agonists on energy and glucose homeostasis are unknown. Here, we show that mice lacking serotonin 2C receptors (Htr2c) specifically in pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons had normal body weight but developed glucoregulatory defects including hyperinsulinemia, hyperglucagonemia, hyperglycemia, and insulin resistance. Moreover, these mice did not show anorectic responses to serotonergic agents that suppress appetite and developed hyperphagia and obesity when they were fed a high-fat/high-sugar diet. A requirement of serotonin 2C receptors in POMC neurons for the maintenance of normal energy and glucose homeostasis was further demonstrated when Htr2c loss was induced in POMC neurons in adult mice using a tamoxifen-inducible POMC-cre system. These data demonstrate that serotonin 2C receptor-expressing POMC neurons are required to control energy and glucose homeostasis and implicate POMC neurons as the target for the effect of serotonin 2C receptor agonists on weight-loss induction and improved glycemic control.
Numerous studies in humans link a nonsynonymous genetic polymorphism (I148M) in adiponutrin (ADPN) to various forms of fatty liver disease and liver cirrhosis. Despite its high clinical relevance, the molecular function of ADPN and the mechanism by which I148M variant affects hepatic metabolism are unclear. Here we show that ADPN promotes cellular lipid synthesis by converting lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) into phosphatidic acid. The ADPN-catalyzed LPA acyltransferase (LPAAT) reaction is specific for LPA and long-chain acyl-CoAs. Wild-type mice receiving a high-sucrose diet exhibit substantial upregulation of Adpn in the liver and a concomitant increase in LPAAT activity. In Adpn-deficient mice, this diet-induced increase in hepatic LPAAT activity is reduced. Notably, the I148M variant of human ADPN exhibits increased LPAAT activity leading to increased cellular lipid accumulation. This gain of function provides a plausible biochemical mechanism for the development of liver steatosis in subjects carrying the I148M variant.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The genome of the retroviruses is encased in a capsid surrounded by a lipid envelope. For lentiviruses, such as HIV-1, the conical capsid shell is composed of CA protein arranged as a lattice of hexagon. The capsid is closed by 7 pentamers at the broad end and 5 at the narrow end of the cone(1, 2). Encased in this capsid shell is the viral ribonucleoprotein complex, and together they comprise the core. Following fusion of the viral membrane with the target cell membrane, the HIV-1 is released into the cytoplasm. The capsid then disassembles releasing free CA in the soluble form(3) in a process referred to as uncoating. The intracellular location and timing of HIV-1 uncoating are poorly understood. Single amino-acid substitutions in CA that alter the stability of the capsid also impair the ability of HIV-1 to infect cells(4). This indicates that the stability of the capsid is critical for HIV-1 infection. HIV-1 uncoating has been difficult to study due to lack of availability of sensitive and reliable assays for this process. Here we describe a quantitative method for studying uncoating in vitro using cores isolated from infectious HIV-1 particles. The approach involves isolation of cores by sedimentation of concentrated virions through a layer of detergent and into a linear sucrose gradient, in the cold. To quantify uncoating, the isolated cores are incubated at 37°C for various timed intervals and subsequently pelleted by ultracentrifugation. The extent of uncoating is analyzed by quantifying the fraction of CA in the supernatant. This approach has been employed to analyze effects of viral mutations on HIV-1 capsid stability(4, 5, 6). It should also be useful for studying the role of cellular factors in HIV-1 uncoating.
Glutamate and N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dysfunction is strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of mood and anxiety disorders. Treatment with NMDAR antagonists has antidepressant efficacy in treatment-resistant depressives. In preclinical rodent models, NMDAR antagonist administration reduces anxiety- and stress-related behaviors in concert with increases in prefrontal cortical (PFC) dendritic spinogenesis and synaptic proteins. While these effects have been attributed to actions at the NMDAR GluN2B subunit, the precise role of cortical GluN2B in mediating emotional behaviors and stress-responsivity is not fully understood. Here, we employed a novel mutant model in which the GluN2B subunit is postnatally deleted in principal neurons in the cortex and the dorsal CA1 subregion of the hippocampus. GluN2BKO mice were phenotyped on a battery of tests for anxiety-related (light/dark exploration, stress-induced hyperthermia) and antidepressant-sensitive (sucrose preference, novelty-induced hypophagia, single-trial forced swim) behaviors. A novel repeated inescapable forced swim paradigm (riFS) was developed to assess behavioral responses to repeated stress in the GluN2BKO mice. For comparison, non-mutant C57BL/6J mice were tested for single-trial forced swim behavior after systemic Ro 25-6981 treatment and for riFS behavior after lesions of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. riFS-induced alterations in corticolimbic GluN2B expression were also examined in C57BL/6J mice. We found that GluN2BKO mice reduced "despair-like" behavior in the riFS procedure, as compared to GluN2BFLOX controls. By contrast, GluN2BKO mice showed minimal alterations on anxiety-like or antidepressant-sensitive assays, including the single-trial forced swim test. In C57BL/6J mice, induction of "despair-like" responses in the riFS test was attenuated by vmPFC lesions, and was associated with changes in limbic GluN2B expression. Collectively, these data suggest that cortical GluN2B plays a major role in modulating adaptive responses to stress. Current findings provide further support for GluN2B as a key mechanism underlying stress responsivity, and a novel pharmacotherapeutic target for stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders.
Published by Elsevier Ltd.
Glucose metabolism was compared in dogs consuming a chow/meat diet throughout pregnancy (P group, n = 6) and dogs switched to a high-fat/high-fructose (HFF) diet during the 4th-5th gestational week (gestation ≃9 wk; P-HFF group; n = 6). An oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT; 0.9 g/kg) was administered in the 6th-7th gestational week, and a hyperinsulinemic [0-120 min: 1.8 pmol·kg(-1)·min(-1) (low insulin); 120-240 min: 9 pmol·kg(-1)·min(-1) (high insulin)] euglycemic clamp was performed the following week. Nonpregnant (NP) female dogs underwent OGTTs but not clamp studies. All P-HFF dogs exhibited impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or gestational diabetes (GDM), but only one P dog had IGT. Insulin concentrations in P and P-HFF dogs were significantly lower than in NP dogs 30 and 60 min after the OGTT. Therefore, mean islet size and area were evaluated in P and NP dogs. These values did not differ between groups, and proliferating endocrine cells were rare in pregnancy. During exposure to high insulin, glucose infusion rate and hindlimb glucose uptake were ∼30% greater (P < 0.05) and net hepatic glucose output was more suppressed (-5.5 ± 6.1 vs. 7.8 ± 2.8 mg·100 g liver(-1)·min(-1), P < 0.05) in P than in P-HFF dogs. In conclusion, in the 2nd trimester the canine pancreas does not exhibit islet hypertrophy, hyperplasia, or neogenesis. Combined with the lack of pancreatic adaptation, a HFF diet during late pregnancy produces a canine model of IGT and GDM without hyperinsulinemia but exhibiting liver and muscle insulin resistance.
Inactivation of thrombin (T) by the serpins heparin cofactor II (HCII) and antithrombin (AT) is accelerated by a heparin template between the serpin and thrombin exosite II. Unlike AT, HCII also uses an allosteric interaction of its NH(2)-terminal segment with exosite I. Sucrose octasulfate (SOS) accelerated thrombin inactivation by HCII but not AT by 2000-fold. SOS bound to two sites on thrombin, with dissociation constants (K(D)) of 10 +/- 4 microm and 400 +/- 300 microm that were not kinetically resolvable, as evidenced by single hyperbolic SOS concentration dependences of the inactivation rate (k(obs)). SOS bound HCII with K(D) 1.45 +/- 0.30 mm, and this binding was tightened in the T.SOS.HCII complex, characterized by K(complex) of approximately 0.20 microm. Inactivation data were incompatible with a model solely depending on HCII.SOS but fit an equilibrium linkage model employing T.SOS binding in the pathway to higher order complex formation. Hirudin-(54-65)(SO(3)(-)) caused a hyperbolic decrease of the inactivation rates, suggesting partial competitive binding of hirudin-(54-65)(SO(3)(-)) and HCII to exosite I. Meizothrombin(des-fragment 1), binding SOS with K(D) = 1600 +/- 300 microm, and thrombin were inactivated at comparable rates, and an exosite II aptamer had no effect on the inactivation, suggesting limited exosite II involvement. SOS accelerated inactivation of meizothrombin 1000-fold, reflecting the contribution of direct exosite I interaction with HCII. Thrombin generation in plasma was suppressed by SOS, both in HCII-dependent and -independent processes. The ex vivo HCII-dependent process may utilize the proposed model and suggests a potential for oversulfated disaccharides in controlling HCII-regulated thrombin generation.