DNA damage induced by red food dyes orally administered to pregnant and male mice. (1/16)

We determined the genotoxicity of synthetic red tar dyes currently used as food color additives in many countries, including JAPAN: For the preliminary assessment, we treated groups of 4 pregnant mice (gestational day 11) once orally at the limit dose (2000 mg/kg) of amaranth (food red No. 2), allura red (food red No. 40), or acid red (food red No. 106), and we sampled brain, lung, liver, kidney, glandular stomach, colon, urinary bladder, and embryo 3, 6, and 24 h after treatment. We used the comet (alkaline single cell gel electrophoresis) assay to measure DNA damage. The assay was positive in the colon 3 h after the administration of amaranth and allura red and weakly positive in the lung 6 h after the administration of amaranth. Acid red did not induce DNA damage in any sample at any sampling time. None of the dyes damaged DNA in other organs or the embryo. We then tested male mice with amaranth, allura red, and a related color additive, new coccine (food red No. 18). The 3 dyes induced DNA damage in the colon starting at 10 mg/kg. Twenty ml/kg of soaking liquid from commercial red ginger pickles, which contained 6.5 mg/10 ml of new coccine, induced DNA damage in colon, glandular stomach, and bladder. The potencies were compared to those of other rodent carcinogens. The rodent hepatocarcinogen p-dimethylaminoazobenzene induced colon DNA damage at 1 mg/kg, whereas it damaged liver DNA only at 500 mg/kg. Although 1 mg/kg of N-nitrosodimethylamine induced DNA damage in liver and bladder, it did not induce colon DNA damage. N-nitrosodiethylamine at 14 mg/kg did not induce DNA damage in any organs examined. Because the 3 azo additives we examined induced colon DNA damage at a very low dose, more extensive assessment of azo additives is warranted.  (+info)

Solution structure of the main alpha-amylase inhibitor from amaranth seeds. (2/16)

The most abundant alpha-amylase inhibitor (AAI) present in the seeds of Amaranthus hypochondriacus, a variety of the Mexican crop plant amaranth, is the smallest polypeptide (32 residues) known to inhibit alpha-amylase activity of insect larvae while leaving that of mammals unaffected. In solution, 1H NMR reveals that AAI isolated from amaranth seeds adopts a major trans (70%) and minor cis (30%) conformation, resulting from slow cis-trans isomerization of the Val15-Pro16 peptide bond. Both solution structures have been determined using 2D 1H-NMR spectroscopy and XPLOR followed by restrained energy refinement in the consistent-valence force field. For the major isomer, a total of 563 distance restraints, including 55 medium-range and 173 long-range ones, were available from the NOESY spectra. This rather large number of constraints from a protein of such a small size results from a compact fold, imposed through three disulfide bridges arranged in a cysteine-knot motif. The structure of the minor cis isomer has also been determined using a smaller constraint set. It reveals a different backbone conformation in the Pro10-Pro20 segment, while preserving the overall global fold. The energy-refined ensemble of the major isomer, consisting of 20 low-energy conformers with an average backbone rmsd of 0.29 +/- 0.19 A and no violations larger than 0.4 A, represents a considerable improvement in precision over a previously reported and independently performed calculation on AAI obtained through solid-phase synthesis, which was determined with only half the number of medium-range and long-range restraints reported here, and featured the trans isomer only. The resulting differences in ensemble precision have been quantified locally and globally, indicating that, for regions of the backbone and a good fraction of the side chains, the conformation is better defined in the new solution structure. Structural comparison of the solution structure with the X-ray structure of the inhibitor when bound to its alpha-amylase target in Tenebrio molitor shows that the backbone conformation is only slightly adjusted on complexation, while that of the side chains involved in protein-protein contacts is similar to those present in solution. Therefore, the overall conformation of AAI appears to be predisposed to binding to its target alpha-amylase, confirming the view that it acts as a lid on top of the alpha-amylase active site.  (+info)

Excretory role of the midgut in larvae of the tobacco hornworm, Manduca sexta (L.). (3/16)

Caterpillars of Manduca sexta use two distinct transport mechanisms for the excretion of dyes. One pump (Type A) has a high affinity for acid (anionic) dyes and occurs in the midgut and medial Malpighian tubules. Acid dyes accumulate rapidly in the lumen of the midgut while the Malpighian tubules appear to play only a minor role in the excretion of these dyes. The other pump (Type B) excretes basic (cationic) dyes and is located primarily in the proximal Malpighian tubules. Evidence is presented that hippuric acid competes with acid dyes for excretion by both midgut and Malpighian tubules. After the final-instar larva purges its gut the ability of the midgut and Malpighian tubules to excrete dyes gradually decreases. Sixty hours after the purge only the Malpighian tubules retain some dye excreting activity.  (+info)

The action of the excretory apparatus of Calliphora vomitoria in handling injected sugar solution. (4/16)

Recent evidence suggests that the isolated Malpighian tubules of Calliphora possess mechanisms which restrict the loss of glucose and trehalose from the insect. This report establishes that the intact, diuresing fly does not excrete glucose or trehalose when solutions of these sugars are injected. When solutions of non-metabolized sugars such as sorbose and xylose are injected into the fly, these sugars are rapidly excreted. High concentrations of sorbose and xylose are found in the urine, suggesting that rapid reabsorption of fluid occurs in the excretory apparatus even during the diuresis which the injections provoke. However, injected sucrose is apparently not excreted in large amounts and it is possible that the Malpighian tubules when functioning in vivo are impermeable to disaccharides.  (+info)

Respiration and growth of Shewanella decolorationis S12 with an Azo compound as the sole electron acceptor. (5/16)

The ability of Shewanella decolorationis S12 to obtain energy for growth by coupling the oxidation of various electron donors to dissimilatory azoreduction was investigated. This microorganism can reduce a variety of azo dyes by use of formate, lactate, pyruvate, or H(2) as the electron donor. Furthermore, strain S12 grew to a maximal density of 3.0 x 10(7) cells per ml after compete reduction of 2.0 mM amaranth in a defined medium. This was accompanied by a stoichiometric consumption of 4.0 mM formate over time when amaranth and formate were supplied as the sole electron acceptor and donor, respectively, suggesting that microbial azoreduction is an electron transport process and that this electron transport can yield energy to support growth. Purified membranous, periplasmic, and cytoplasmic fractions from S12 were analyzed, but only the membranous fraction was capable of reducing azo dyes with formate, lactate, pyruvate, or H(2) as the electron donor. The presence of 5 microM Cu(2+) ions, 200 microM dicumarol, 100 microM stigmatellin, and 100 microM metyrapone inhibited anaerobic azoreduction activity by both whole cells and the purified membrane fraction, showing that dehydrogenases, cytochromes, and menaquinone are essential electron transfer components for azoreduction. These results provide evidence that the microbial anaerobic azoreduction is linked to the electron transport chain and suggest that the dissimilatory azoreduction is a form of microbial anaerobic respiration. These findings not only expand the number of potential electron acceptors known for microbial energy conservation but also elucidate the mechanisms of microbial anaerobic azoreduction.  (+info)

Energy generation coupled to azoreduction by membranous vesicles from Shewanella decolorationis S12. (6/16)

Previous studies have demonstrated that Shewanella decolorationis S12 can grow on the azo compound amaranth as the sole electron acceptor. Thus, to explore the mechanism of energy generation in this metabolism, membranous vesicles (MVs) were prepared and the mechanism of energy generation investigated. The membrane, which was fragmentized during preparation, automatically formed vesicles ranging from 37.5-112.5 nm in diameter under electron micrograph observation. Energy was conserved when coupling the azoreduction by the MVs of an azo compound or Fe(III) as the sole electron acceptor with H2, formate, or lactate as the electron donor. The amaranth reduction by the vesicles was found to be inhibited by specific respiratory inhibitors, including Cu(2+) ions, dicumarol, stigmatellin, and metyrapone, indicating that the azoreduction was indeed a respiration reaction. This finding was further confirmed by the fact that the ATP synthesis was repressed by the ATPase inhibitor N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD). Therefore, this study offers solid evidence of a mechanism of microbial dissimilatory azoreduction on a subcell level.  (+info)

Toxicity of xanthene food dyes by inhibition of human drug-metabolizing enzymes in a noncompetitive manner. (7/16)


Development of a membrane-less dynamic field gradient focusing device for the separation of low-molecular-weight molecules. (8/16)