(1/32616) High-throughput screening of small molecules in miniaturized mammalian cell-based assays involving post-translational modifications.

BACKGROUND: Fully adapting a forward genetic approach to mammalian systems requires efficient methods to alter systematically gene products without prior knowledge of gene sequences, while allowing for the subsequent characterization of these alterations. Ideally, these methods would also allow function to be altered in a temporally controlled manner. RESULTS: We report the development of a miniaturized cell-based assay format that enables a genetic-like approach to understanding cellular pathways in mammalian systems using small molecules, rather than mutations, as the source of gene-product alterations. This whole-cell immunodetection assay can sensitively detect changes in specific cellular macromolecules in high-density arrays of mammalian cells. Furthermore, it is compatible with screening large numbers of small molecules in nanoliter to microliter culture volumes. We refer to this assay format as a 'cytoblot', and demonstrate the use of cytoblotting to monitor biosynthetic processes such as DNA synthesis, and post-translational processes such as acetylation and phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of these assays to natural-product screening through the identification of marine sponge extracts exhibiting genotype-specific inhibition of 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and suppression of the anti-proliferative effect of rapamycin. CONCLUSIONS: We show that cytoblots can be used for high-throughput screening of small molecules in cell-based assays. Together with small-molecule libraries, the cytoblot assay can be used to perform chemical genetic screens analogous to those used in classical genetics and thus should be applicable to understanding a wide variety of cellular processes, especially those involving post-transitional modifications.  (+info)

(2/32616) Hybrid capture II, a new sensitive test for human papillomavirus detection. Comparison with hybrid capture I and PCR results in cervical lesions.

AIM: To test a new assay for the detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA, hybrid capture II (HC II), compared with the previous commercialized hybrid capture I (HC I) and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) results on cervical scrapes from fresh cone excision biopsy samples. METHODS: The three methods were used on cervical scrapes from 42 fresh cone excision biopsy samples. There were nine metaplastic and inflammatory lesions, five low grade lesions, and 28 high grade lesions. PCR was performed using the general primers GP5+/GP6+. The viral load of high risk HPV DNA was estimated by the ratio of relative light units to positive control values in the samples. RESULTS: The sensitivity of HC I for the detection of high grade lesions was 71.4%, while it was 92.8% for HC II and 96.4% for the PCR. Considering only the absence of detectable cervical in situ neoplasia, the specificity was 88.9% for HC I, 66.7% for HC II, and 66.7% for PCR. With HC II, for a ratio of cervical sample to normal control of > 200, the sensitivity for the detection of high grade lesion was only 34.6% with a specificity of 66.7%. CONCLUSIONS: HPV detection with the HC II assay is more sensitive than the previous HC I and represents a more convenient and easier test than PCR for routine use. Nevertheless the viral load estimated with this test cannot be a reliable predictive indicator of high grade lesions.  (+info)

(3/32616) Helicobacter pylori infection, garlic intake and precancerous lesions in a Chinese population at low risk of gastric cancer.

BACKGROUND: Cangshan County of Shandong Province has one of the lowest rates of gastric cancer (GC) in China. While intestinal metaplasia (IM) and dysplasia (DYS) are less common in Cangshan than in areas of Shandong at high risk of GC, these precursor lesions nevertheless affect about 20% of adults age > or = 55. SUBJECTS AND SETTING: In order to evaluate determinants of IM and DYS in Cangshan County, a low risk area of GC a survey was conducted among 214 adults who participated in a gastroscopic screening survey in Cangshan County in 1994. METHOD: A dietary interview and measurement of serum Helicobacter pylori antibodies were performed. RESULTS: The prevalence of H. pylori was lowest (19%) among those with normal gastric mucosa, rising steadily to 35% for superficial gastritis (SG), 56% for chronic atrophic gastritis (CAG), 80% for IM, and 100% for DYS. The prevalence odds of precancerous lesions were compared with the odds of normal histology or SG. The odds ratio (OR) or CAG associated with H. pylori positivity was 4.2 (95% confidence interval [CI] : 1.7-10.0), while the OR of IM/DYS associated with H. pylori positivity was 31.5 (95% CI: 5.2-187). After adjusting for H. pylori infection, drinking alcohol was a risk factor for CAG (OR = 3.2, 95% CI: 1.1-9.2) and IM/DYS (OR = 7.8, 95% CI: 1.3-47.7). On the other hand, consumption of garlic showed non-significant protective effects and an inverse association with H. pylori infection. CONCLUSIONS: The findings of this study suggest that infection with H. pylori is a risk factor and garlic may be protective, in the development and progression of advanced precancerous gastric lesions in an area of China at relatively low risk of GC.  (+info)

(4/32616) Functional activities and epitope specificity of human and murine antibodies against the class 4 outer membrane protein (Rmp) of Neisseria meningitidis.

Antibodies against the class 4 outer membrane protein (OMP) from Neisseria meningitidis have been purified from sera from vaccinees immunized with the Norwegian meningococcal group B outer membrane vesicle vaccine. The human sera and purified antibodies reacted strongly with the class 4 OMP in immunoblots, whereas experiments with whole bacteria showed only weak reactions, indicating that the antibodies mainly reacted with parts of the class 4 molecule that were not exposed. The purified human anti-class 4 OMP antibodies and the monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were neither bactericidal nor opsonic against live meningococci. Three new MAbs against the class 4 OMP were generated and compared with other, previously described MAbs. Three linear epitopes in different regions of the class 4 OMP were identified by the reaction of MAbs with synthetic peptides. The MAbs showed no blocking effect on bactericidal activity of MAbs against other OMPs. However, one of the eight purified human anti-class 4 OMP antibody preparations, selected from immunoblot reactions among sera from 27 vaccinees, inhibited at high concentrations the bactericidal effect of a MAb against the class 1 OMP. However, these antibodies were not vaccine induced, as they were present also before vaccination. Therefore, this study gave no evidence that vaccination with a meningococcal outer membrane vesicle vaccine containing the class 4 OMP induces blocking antibodies. Our data indicated that the structure of class 4 OMP does not correspond to standard beta-barrel structures of integral OMPs and that no substantial portion of the OmpA-like C-terminal region of this protein is located at the surface of the outer membrane.  (+info)

(5/32616) Characterization of human bactericidal antibodies to Bordetella pertussis.

The Bordetella pertussis BrkA protein protects against the bactericidal activity of complement and antibody; however, some individuals mount an immune response that overcomes this bacterial defense. To further characterize this process, the bactericidal activities of sera from 13 adults with different modes of exposure to B. pertussis (infected as adults, occupational exposure, immunized with an acellular vaccine, or no identified exposure) against a wild-type strain and a BrkA complement-sensitive mutant were evaluated. All of the sera killed the BrkA mutant, suggesting past exposure to B. pertussis or cross-reactive organisms. Several samples had no or minimal activity against the wild type. All of the sera collected from the infected and occupationally exposed individuals but not all of the sera from vaccinated individuals had bactericidal activity against the wild-type strain, suggesting that some types of exposure can induce an immune response that can overcome the BrkA resistance mechanism. Adsorbing serum with the wild-type strain removed the bactericidal antibodies; however, adsorbing the serum with a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) mutant or an avirulent (bvg mutant) strain did not always result in loss of bactericidal activity, suggesting that antibodies to either LPS or bvg-regulated proteins could be bactericidal. All the samples, including those that lacked bactericidal activity, contained antibodies that recognized the LPS of B. pertussis. Bactericidal activity correlated best with the presence of the immunoglobulin G3 (IgG3) antibodies to LPS, the IgG subtype that is most effective at fixing complement.  (+info)

(6/32616) Overexpression of human homologs of the bacterial DnaJ chaperone in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

OBJECTIVE: To study the expression of the chaperone family of J proteins in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis. METHODS: Rabbit antibodies specific for a synthetic peptide (pHSJ1: EAYEVLSDKHKREIYD), representing the most conserved part of all J domains thus far identified--among them the Drosophila tumor suppressor Tid56--were used in immunohistochemical analyses of frozen sections of synovial tissue and immunoblotting of protein extracts of adherent synovial cells. IgG specific for Tid56 was also used. RESULTS: Both antisera predominantly and intensely stained synovial lining cells from RA patients; other cells did not stain or stained only faintly. In immunoblots, anti-pHSJ1 specifically detected several bands with molecular weights of >74 kd (type I), 57-64 kd (type II), 41-48 kd (type III), and < or =36 kd (type IV). The strongest band detected in RA adherent synovial cells was the type II band, whereas in a B cell line, a type I band was prominent. CONCLUSION: Several potentially new members of the J family are described. The type II band represents the human homolog of the Drosophila Tid56 protein and is strongly expressed in RA synovial tissue.  (+info)

(7/32616) Interferon-alpha does not improve outcome at one year in patients with diffuse cutaneous scleroderma: results of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether interferon-alpha (IFNalpha) reduces the severity of skin involvement in early (<3 years) diffuse scleroderma. METHODS: In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 35 patients with early scleroderma received subcutaneous injections of either IFNalpha (13.5 x 10(6) units per week in divided doses) or indistinguishable placebo. Outcomes assessed were the modified Rodnan skin score, as determined by a single observer at baseline, 6 months, and 12 months, as well as data on renal, cardiac, and lung function. Pre- and posttreatment skin biopsy samples were analyzed and blood was obtained for assessment of procollagen peptide levels. RESULTS: There were 11 withdrawals from the IFNalpha group and 3 from the placebo group due to either toxicity, lack of efficacy, or death. In the intent-to-treat analysis, there was a greater improvement in the skin score in the placebo group between 0 and 12 months (mean change IFNalpha -4.7 versus placebo -7.5; P = 0.36). There was also a greater deterioration in lung function in patients receiving active therapy, as assessed by either the forced vital capacity (mean change IFNalpha -8.2 versus placebo +1.3; P = 0.01) or the diffusing capacity for carbon monoxide (mean change IFNalpha -9.3 versus placebo +4.7; P = 0.002). Skin biopsy showed no significant decrease in collagen synthesis in the IFNalpha group, and no significant differences in the levels of procollagen peptides were seen between the 2 groups. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that IFNalpha is of no value in the treatment of scleroderma, and that it may in fact be deleterious.  (+info)

(8/32616) Familial antiphospholipid antibody syndrome: criteria for disease and evidence for autosomal dominant inheritance.

OBJECTIVE: To develop diagnostic criteria for a familial form of antiphospholipid antibody syndrome (APS), identify families with >1 affected member, examine possible modes of inheritance, and determine linkage to potential candidate genes. METHODS: Family members of probands with primary APS were analyzed for clinical and laboratory abnormalities associated with APS. Families with > or =2 affected members were analyzed by segregation analysis and typed for candidate genetic markers. RESULTS: Seven families were identified. Thirty of 101 family members met diagnostic criteria for APS. Segregation studies rejected both environmental and autosomal recessive models, and the data were best fit by either a dominant or codominant model. Linkage analysis showed independent segregation of APS and several candidate genes. CONCLUSION: Clinical and laboratory criteria are essential to identify the spectrum of disease associated with APS. We believe a set of criteria was developed that can precisely define affected family members with APS. Modeling studies utilizing these criteria strongly support a genetic basis for disease in families with APS and suggest that a susceptibility gene is inherited in an autosomal dominant pattern. However, in these families, APS was not linked with HLA, Fas, or other candidate genes, including beta2-glycoprotein 1, HLA, T cell receptor beta chain, Ig heavy chain, antithrombin III, Fas ligand, factor V, complement factor H, IgK, and Fas.  (+info)