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ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE - Among amphibians, 15 of the 47 species reported to be used in traditional medicines belong to the family Bufonidae, which demonstrates their potential in pharmacological and natural products research. For example, Asian and American tribes use the skin and the parotoid gland secretions of some common toads in the treatment of hemorrhages, bites and stings from venomous animals, skin and stomach disorders, as well as several types of cancers.
OVERARCHING OBJECTIVE - In addition to reviewing the occurrence of chemical constituents present in the family Bufonidae, the cytotoxic and biomedical potential of the active compounds produced by different taxa are presented.
METHODOLOGY - Available information on bioactive compounds isolated from species of the family Bufonidae was obtained from ACS Publications, Google, Google Scholar, Pubmed, Sciendirect and Springer. Papers written in Chinese, English, German and Spanish were considered.
RESULTS - Recent reports show more than 30% of amphibians are in decline and some of bufonid species are considered to be extinct. For centuries, bufonids have been used as traditional folk remedies to treat allergies, inflammation, cancer, infections and other ailments, highlighting their importance as a prolific source for novel drugs and therapies. Toxins and bioactive chemical constituents from skin and parotid gland secretions of bufonid species can be grouped in five families, the guanidine alkaloids isolated and characterized from Atelopus, the lipophilic alkaloids isolated from Melanophryniscus, the indole alkaloids and bufadienolides known to be synthesized by species of bufonids, and peptides and proteins isolated from the skin and gastrointestinal extracts of some common toads. Overall, the bioactive secretions of this family of anurans may have antimicrobial, protease inhibitor and anticancer properties, as well as being active at the neuromuscular level.
CONCLUSION - In this article, the traditional uses, toxicity and pharmacological potential of chemical compounds from bufonids have been summarized. In spite of being reported to be used to treat several diseases, neither extracts nor metabolites from bufonids have been tested in such illness like acne, osteoporosis, arthritis and other illnesses. However, the cytotoxicity of these metabolites needs to be evaluated on adequate animal models due to the limited conditions of in vitro assays. Novel qualitative and quantitative tools based on MS spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy is now available to study the complex secretions of bufonids.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Phosphoproteomics-based platforms have been widely used to identify post translational dynamics of cellular proteins in response to viral infection. The present study was undertaken to assess differential tyrosine phosphorylation during early hours of rotavirus (RV) SA11 infection. Heat shock proteins (Hsp60) were found to be enriched in the data set of RV-SA11 induced differentially tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins at 2 hr post infection (hpi). Hsp60 was further found to be phosphorylated by an activated form of Src kinase on 227th tyrosine residue, and tyrosine phosphorylation of mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60 correlated with its proteasomal degradation at 2-2.5hpi. Interestingly, mitochondrial Hsp60 positively influenced translocation of the rotaviral nonstructural protein 4 to mitochondria during RV infections. Phosphorylation and subsequent transient degradation of mitochondrial Hsp60 during early hours of RV-SA11 infection resulted in inhibition of premature import of nonstructural protein 4 into mitochondria, thereby delaying early apoptosis. Overall, the study highlighted one of the many strategies rotavirus undertakes to prevent early apoptosis and subsequent reduced viral progeny yield.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
To devise successful imaging and therapeutic strategies, the identification of β-cell surface markers is one of the challenges in diabetes research that has to be resolved. We previously showed that IC2, a rat monoclonal IgM antibody, can be used for ex vivo determination of β-cell mass by imaging. Further progress toward the development of an antibody-based imaging agent was hampered by the lack of knowledge regarding the nature and composition of the IC2 antigen. Here, we show a series of systematic experiments involving classical lipid extraction and chromatography techniques combined with immunochemistry, which led to the identification of sphingomyelin as the target antigen assembled in the form of patches on the β-cell surface. Our findings were verified by modulating SM by enzymatic cleavage, downregulation, upregulation, and perturbation of membrane SM and observation of corresponding changes in IC2 binding. Cholesterol participates in stabilization of these patches, as its removal results in loss of IC2 binding. We believe that these findings have implications for identifying future ligands for the proposed antigen for imaging purposes as well as for potential therapy, as sphingomyelin has been shown to play a role in the apoptotic cascade in pancreatic β cells.
Helicobacter pylori VacA is a pore-forming toxin that causes multiple alterations in human cells and contributes to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease and gastric cancer. The toxin is secreted by H. pylori as an 88 kDa monomer (p88) consisting of two domains (p33 and p55). While an X-ray crystal structure for p55 exists and p88 oligomers have been visualized by cryo-electron microscopy, a detailed analysis of p33 has been hindered by an inability to purify this domain in an active form. In this study, we expressed and purified a recombinant form of p33 under denaturing conditions and optimized conditions for the refolding of the soluble protein. We show that refolded p33 can be added to purified p55 in trans to cause vacuolation of HeLa cells and inhibition of IL-2 production by Jurkat cells, effects identical to those produced by the p88 toxin from H. pylori. The p33 protein markedly enhances the cell binding properties of p55. Size exclusion chromatography experiments suggest that p33 and p55 assemble into a complex consistent with the size of a p88 monomer. Electron microscopy of these p33/p55 complexes reveals small rod-shaped structures that can convert to oligomeric flower-shaped structures in the presence of detergent. We propose that the oligomerization observed in these experiments mimics the process by which VacA oligomerizes when in contact with membranes of host cells.
BACKGROUND - Of 5 clinical trials testing dose response of continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) in acute kidney injury, 2 showed a benefit, 2 showed none, and 1 appeared equivocal. However, blood-membrane interactions may dominate macromolecule transport in continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration, reducing the impact of dose adjustment. The dosing arms in the Acute Renal Failure Trial Network (ATN) study may have delivered similar clearances for middle molecules.
METHODS - We simulated the 2 CRRT doses in the ATN study using a synthetic polydisperse macromolecular probe in bovine blood. Clearance of tracers between 10 and 100 kDa molecular weight was measured during 6 h of therapy.
RESULTS - Middle-molecule clearance differed by less than 2 ml/min between the 2 dosing arms.
CONCLUSION - The CRRT prescription used in the ATN study appears to have achieved dose separation for small molecules while holding middle-molecule clearance nearly constant. This may explain the outcome difference between the ATN study and earlier studies, and suggests subsequent trial designs.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Defects in the development of the brain have a profound impact on mature brain functions and underlying psychopathology. Classical neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, such as dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, acetylcholine, glutamate and GABA, have pleiotropic effects during brain development. In other words, these molecules produce multiple diverse effects to serve as regulators of distinct cellular functions at different times in neurodevelopment. These systems are impacted upon by abuse of a variety of illicit drugs, neurotherapeutics and environmental contaminants. In this review, we describe the impact of drugs and chemicals on brain formation and function in animal models and in human populations, highlighting sensitive periods and effects that may not emerge until later in life.
2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.
Draft genome sequences have been determined for the soybean pathogen Phytophthora sojae and the sudden oak death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Oömycetes such as these Phytophthora species share the kingdom Stramenopila with photosynthetic algae such as diatoms, and the presence of many Phytophthora genes of probable phototroph origin supports a photosynthetic ancestry for the stramenopiles. Comparison of the two species' genomes reveals a rapid expansion and diversification of many protein families associated with plant infection such as hydrolases, ABC transporters, protein toxins, proteinase inhibitors, and, in particular, a superfamily of 700 proteins with similarity to known oömycete avirulence genes.
Bacterial pore-forming toxins have traditionally been thought to function either by causing an essentially unrestricted flux of ions and molecules across a membrane or by effecting the transmembrane transport of an enzymatically active bacterial peptide. However, the Helicobacter pylori pore-forming toxin, VacA, does not appear to function by either of these mechanisms, even though at least some of its effects in cells are dependent on its pore-forming ability. Here we show that the VacA channel exhibits two of the most characteristic electrophysiological properties of a specific family of cellular channels, the ClC channels: an open probability dependent on the molar ratio of permeable ions and single channel events resolvable as two independent, voltage-dependent transitions. The sharing of such peculiar properties by VacA and host ClC channels, together with their similar magnitudes of conductance, ion selectivities, and localization within eukaryotic cells, suggests a novel mechanism of toxin action in which the VacA pore largely mimics the electrophysiological behavior of a host channel, differing only in the membrane potential at which it closes. As a result, VacA can perturb, but not necessarily abolish, the homeostatic ionic imbalance across a membrane and so change cellular physiology without necessarily jeopardizing vitality.
Helicobacter pylori VacA is a secreted protein toxin that may contribute to the pathogenesis of peptic ulcer disease and gastric adenocarcinoma. When added to cultured mammalian cells in the presence of weak bases (e.g., ammonium chloride), VacA induces the formation of large cytoplasmic vacuoles. Here, we report a previously unrecognized capacity of VacA to induce clustering and perinuclear redistribution of late endocytic compartments. In contrast to VacA-induced cell vacuolation, VacA-induced clustering and redistribution of late endocytic compartments are not dependent on the presence of weak bases and are not inhibited by bafilomycin A1. VacA mutant toxins defective in the capacity to form anion-selective membrane channels fail to cause clustering and redistribution. VacA-induced clusters of late endocytic compartments undergo transformation into vacuoles after the addition of ammonium chloride. VacA-induced clustering and redistribution of late endocytic compartments occur in cells expressing wild-type or constitutively active Rab7, but not in cells expressing dominant-negative mutant Rab7. In VacA-treated cells containing clustered late endocytic compartments, overexpression of dominant-negative Rab7 causes reversion to a nonclustered distribution. Redistribution of late endocytic compartments to the perinuclear region requires a functional microtubule cytoskeleton, whereas clustering of these compartments and vacuole formation do not. These data provide evidence that clustering of late endocytic compartments is a critical mechanistic step in the process of VacA-induced cell vacuolation. We speculate that VacA-induced alterations in late endocytic membrane traffic contribute to the capacity of H. pylori to persistently colonize the human gastric mucosa.
The rotavirus NSP4 protein is cytotoxic when transiently expressed in cells and is capable of inducing secretory diarrhea in neonatal mice. NSP4 consists of 175 amino acids, and sequences important for its toxic effects have been mapped to the carboxy-terminal half of the protein. In this report, we compared NSP4-encoding nucleotide sequences recovered from cell lines engineered to express NSP4 from human rotavirus strain Wa with NSP4 sequences recovered from cells persistently infected with either Wa or simian rotavirus strain SA11. In cells stably transfected with Wa NSP4, we found that proline(138) was changed to either serine or threonine. However, in cells persistently infected with SA11, we found that phenylalanine(33) was changed to leucine, and in cells persistently infected with Wa, no changes were observed in NSP4. Expression of Wa NSP4 in Caco-2 cells resulted in increased cell-doubling times and decreased cell viability in comparison to cells expressing NSP4-serine(138) or NSP4-threonine(138). This result suggests that sequence polymorphism at residue 138 in Wa NSP4 influences the cytotoxicity of the protein. Therefore, mutations in the carboxy-terminal half of NSP4 are selected when NSP4 is expressed in cells in the absence of other viral proteins, but not in the context of viral replication. These findings suggest that cytotoxic functions of NSP4 are not operant during natural rotavirus infection.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.