(1/431) Stabilization of poly-L-lysine/DNA polyplexes for in vivo gene delivery to the liver.

We are developing a self-assembling non-viral in vivo gene delivery vehicle based on poly-l-lysine and plasmid DNA. We have characterized poly-l-lysines of different chain lengths for DNA condensation and strength of DNA binding. Poly-l-lysine chains >20 residues bound DNA efficiently in physiological saline, while shorter chains did not. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid to PLL increased the PLL chain length required for efficient DNA binding in saline and for efficient DNA condensation. By electron microscopy, poly-l-lysine/DNA polyplexes appeared as toroids 25-50 nm in diameter or rods 40-80 nm long; conjugation of asialoorosomucoid to the polylysine component increased the size of resulting polyplexes to 50-90 nm. In water, poly-l-lysine and asialoorosomucoid-PLL polyplexes have effective diameters of 46 and 87.6 nm, respectively. Polyplexes containing only poly-l-lysine and DNA aggregated in physiological saline at all charge ratios and aggregated at neutral charge ratios in water. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid lessened, but did not eliminate, the aggregation of PLL polyplexes, and did not result in efficient delivery of polyplexes to hepatocytes. Conjugation of polyethylene glycol to poly-l-lysine sterically stabilized resulting polyplexes at neutral charge ratios by shielding the surfaces. For efficient in vivo gene delivery, polyplexes will need to be sterically stabilized to prevent aggregation and interaction with serum components.  (+info)

(2/431) Nucleotide exchange in genomic DNA of rat hepatocytes using RNA/DNA oligonucleotides. Targeted delivery of liposomes and polyethyleneimine to the asialoglycoprotein receptor.

Chimeric RNA/DNA oligonucleotides have been shown to promote single nucleotide exchange in genomic DNA. A chimeric molecule was designed to introduce an A to C nucleotide conversion at the Ser365 position of the rat factor IX gene. The oligonucleotides were encapsulated in positive, neutral, and negatively charged liposomes containing galactocerebroside or complexed with lactosylated polyethyleneimine. The formulations were evaluated for stability and efficiency in targeting hepatocytes via the asialoglycoprotein receptor. Physical characterization and electron microscopy revealed that the oligonucleotides were efficiently encapsulated within the liposomes, with the positive and negative formulations remaining stable for at least 1 month. Transfection efficiencies in isolated rat hepatocytes approached 100% with each of the formulations. However, the negative liposomes and 25-kDa lactosylated polyethyleneimine provided the most intense nuclear fluorescence with the fluorescein-labeled oligonucleotides. The lactosylated polyethyleneimine and the three different liposomal formulations resulted in A to C conversion efficiencies of 19-24%. In addition, lactosylated polyethyleneimine was also highly effective in transfecting plasmid DNA into isolated hepatocytes. The results suggest that both the liposomal and polyethyleneimine formulations are simple to prepare and stable and give reliable, reproducible results. They provide efficient delivery systems to hepatocytes for the introduction or repair of genetic mutations by the chimeric RNA/DNA oligonucleotides.  (+info)

(3/431) Copper and zinc ions differentially block asialoglycoprotein receptor-mediated endocytosis in isolated rat hepatocytes.

Asialoglycoprotein receptors on hepatocytes lose endocytic and ligand binding activity when hepatocytes are exposed to iron ions. Here, we report the effects of zinc and copper ions on the endocytic and ligand binding activity of asialoglycoprotein receptors on isolated rat hepatocytes. Treatment of cells at 37 degrees C for 2 h with ZnCl2 (0-220 microM) or CuCl2 (0-225 microM) reversibly blocked sustained endocytosis of 125I-asialoorosomucoid by up to 93% (t1/2 = 62 min) and 99% (t1/2 = 54 min), respectively. Cells remained viable during such treatments. Zinc- and copper-treated cells lost approximately 50% of their surface asialoglycoprotein receptor ligand binding activity; zinc-treated cells accumulated inactive asialoglycoprotein receptors intracellularly, whereas copper-treated cells accumulated inactive receptors on their surfaces. Cells treated at 4 degrees C with metal did not lose surface asialoglycoprotein receptor activity. Exposure of cells to copper ions, but not to zinc ions, blocked internalization of prebound 125I-asialoorosomucoid, but degradation of internalized ligand and pinocytosis of the fluid-phase marker Lucifer Yellow were not blocked by metal treatment. Zinc ions reduced diferric transferrin binding and endocytosis on hepatocytes by approximately 33%; copper ions had no inhibitory effects. These findings are the first demonstration of a specific inhibition of receptor-mediated endocytosis by non-iron transition metals.  (+info)

(4/431) Asialoglycoprotein receptor scintigraphy in evaluation of auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate asialoglycoprotein receptor scintigraphy in the post-transplant monitoring of liver graft and native liver functions in recipients of auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplantation (APOLT) from living donors. METHODS: We performed 36 asialoglycoprotein receptor scintigraphies on 13 patients who had undergone APOLT for noncirrhotic metabolic liver diseases or for small-for-size grafts. The portal vein of the native liver was separated in 12 patients. Anterior dynamic images including the heart and both livers were obtained for 16 min after intravenous injection of 99mTc-diethylenetriamine pentaacetic acid-galactosyl human serum albumin (GSA), and thereafter static SPECT images of both livers were obtained. Uptake rates from the blood to the graft and to the native liver were determined separately by Patlak plot graphical analysis. Relative uptake of GSA by the graft was calculated from transverse SPECT images. The relative volume of the graft liver was determined by CT. RESULTS: The relative uptake of GSA by the graft was higher or increased more rapidly than the relative volume of the graft in 8 of 11 patients with no severe complications concerning the graft. The relative uptake by severely damaged graft liver in 2 patients was much lower than the relative volume. The uptake rate of GSA by the graft was low in these 2 patients. The uptake rate by the native liver decreased when the portal vein was separated. CONCLUSION: The relative uptake of GSA was a better indicator of graft liver function than was anatomic volume. The uptake rate provided additional independent information of each liver. Asialoglycoprotein receptor scintigraphy is useful for distinguishing and monitoring the graft and native liver functions in patients who had undergone APOLT.  (+info)

(5/431) Molecular cloning and expression of Galbeta1,3GalNAc alpha2, 3-sialyltransferase from human fetal liver.

Based on the sequences of the highly conserved segments in the previously cloned sialyltransferases, a cDNA encoding Galbeta1, 3GalNAc alpha2,3-sialyltransferase (SIATFL) has been isolated from human fetal liver. Expression analysis of the gene has been performed with various carcinoma cell lines, fetal tissues, fetal and adult liver and both hepatoma and the surrounding tissue from the same liver. The SIATFL gene was expressed poorly in fetal liver and in adult liver, slightly in hepatoma and highly in the surrounding tissue of hepatoma. The cDNA encoding the putative active domain was expressed in COS-1, Escherichia coli, and Pichia pastoris. The recombinant protein expressed in COS-1 could catalyse the transfer of NeuAc from CMP-NeuAc to asialo-fetuin. No enzyme activity was detected with a 32-kDa protein in E. coli and both 32-kDa and 41-kDa proteins in P. pastoris. These results suggested that correct glycosylation of the enzyme might play a key role in its folding that may be directly related to the enzymatic activity.  (+info)

(6/431) Characterization of recombinant and plant-derived mistletoe lectin and their B-chains.

Mistletoe lectin I (pML) and its isoforms ML II and III constitute the active principle in extract preparations from mistletoe, commonly used as immunomodulator in adjuvant tumour therapy. The heterodimeric disulfide-linked cytotoxic protein is classified as type II ribosome inactivating protein (RIP). Recently, the sequence coding for the mistletoe lectin prepro-protein was identified and the existence of a single intron-free gene was shown [Eck, J., Langer, M., Mockel, B., Baur, A., Rothe, M., Zinke, H. & Lentzen, H. (1999) Eur. J. Biochem. 264, 775-784]. The aim of this study was to prepare pure and homogeneous rMLB-chain as well as rML heterodimer for studying the carbohydrate binding specificity of recombinant versus natural protein and its contribution to the observed cytotoxic effect. Expression in E. coli resulted in the production of insoluble protein (inclusion bodies). A procedure for generating correctly folded, biochemically and biologically active rMLB was established starting from the insoluble single chain. Carbohydrate binding and specificity of pMLB and rMLB were analysed by a competitive enzyme linked lectin assay (ELLA). Asialofetuin was able to compete with binding of both chains (50% at 0.8 microM). The specificity of the B-chains to lactose was more distinct with halfmaximal competition at 4.9 mM (pMLB) and > 90 mM (rMLB), respectively. Furthermore, in a coassociation process rMLA- and rMLB inclusion bodies were associated in one step by defined dilution yielding active rML-heterodimer. The activities of recombinant (rML) and plant derived mistletoe lectin (pML) were compared. Cytotoxicity was determined using MOLT-4 cells and enzymatic rRNA N-glycosidase activity was measured in a coupled transcription/translation assay. The IC50 values of the two heterodimers were similar in both assays; rMLB-chain did not show any cytotoxic effect. In the ELLA with lactose as a competitor 50% competition of binding to asialofetuin was achieved at 1.6 mM (rML) and 1.8 mM (pML). Hence, using three different assays we found no significant differences between the recombinant protein and the glycosylated form of ML. Comparing the biological activities of the single chains with those of the heterodimer we conclude, that both, lectin activity and the rRNA N-glycosidase activity, are prerequisites for the cytotoxic effects on target cells.  (+info)

(7/431) Evaluation of the components of the chylomicron remnant removal mechanism by use of the isolated perfused mouse liver.

The isolated perfused mouse liver was utilized to evaluate the relative contribution of various molecules believed to participate in the removal of chylomicron remnants by the liver. Sixty percent of asialofetuin was removed from the perfusate per pass; bovine serum albumin was not removed. Normal mouse livers removed chylomicron remnants more efficiently (40-50%/pass) than nascent chylomicrons (10-20%/pass). The fractional removal rate of remnants decreased as their concentration in the perfusate increased demonstrating saturability. Remnant removal by livers of low density lipoprotein receptor-deficient (LDLRD) mice paralleled that of normal mice at low remnant concentrations (0.05, 0.2 microg protein/ml); as concentration increased (4-16 microg protein/ml), removal by LDLRD livers was reduced. About 50% of the capacity to remove remnants was due to the LDL receptor. The role of the LDLR-related protein (LRP) was estimated using the receptor-associated protein (RAP). Four microg/ml of RAP inhibited only LRP; it reduced the removal of remnants by 30-40% in normal livers. When RAP was included in the perfusate of LDLRD livers, remnant removal persisted but was diminished, particularly late in the perfusion; the capacity was approximately 30% of controls. The present study has established that there is more than one mechanism operating for the removal of chylomicron remnants by the liver, provides estimates of the concentration of each to the removal of remnants, and indicates a method for further studies. It is concluded that in normal livers, the LDL receptor has the greatest capacity for removing chylomicron remnants. The LRP contributes to the process as well and a third component, perhaps "sequestration," accounts for up to 30% of the capacity for the initial removal of chylomicron remnants.  (+info)

(8/431) Fluid phase endocytosis and galactosyl receptor-mediated endocytosis employ different early endosomes.

Endocytosis may originate both in coated pits and in uncoated regions of the plasma membrane. In hepatocytes it has been shown that fluid phase endocytosis (here defined as 'pinocytosis') is unaffected by treatments that arrest coated pit-mediated endocytosis, indicating that pinocytosis is primarily a clathrin-independent process. In this study we have tried to determine possible connections between pinocytosis and clathrin-dependent endocytosis in rat hepatocytes by means of subcellular fractionation, electron microscopy, and by assessing the influence of inhibitors of clathrin-dependent endocytosis on pinocytosis. As marker for clathrin-dependent endocytosis was used asialoorosomucoid (AOM) labelled with [(125)I]tyramine cellobiose ([(125)I]TC). [(125)I]TC-labelled bovine serum albumin ([(125)I]TC-BSA) was found to be a useful marker for pinocytosis. Its uptake in the cells is not saturable, and any remnants of [(125)I]TC-BSA associated with the cell surface could be removed by incubating the cells with 0.3% pronase at 0 degrees C for 60 min. The data obtained by electron microscopy and by subcellular fractionation suggested that early after initiation of uptake (<15 min) [(125)I]TC-BSA and [(125)I]TC-AOM were present in different endocytic vesicles. The two probes probably join prior to their entrance in the lysosomal compartment. The relation between endocytosis via coated pits and pinocytosis was also studied with techniques that induced a selective density shift either in the clathrin-dependent pathway (by AOM-HRP) or in the pinocytic pathway (by allowing uptake of AuBSA). Both treatments indicated that the two probes ([(125)I]TC-AOM and [(125)I]TC-BSA) were early after uptake, at least partly, in separate endocytic compartments. The different distribution of the fluid phase marker and the ligand (internalised via coated pits) was not due to a difference in the rate at which they enter a later compartment, since a lowering of the incubation temperature to 18 degrees C, which should keep the probes in the early endosomes, did not affect their early density distribution. Incubation of cells in a hypertonic medium reduced uptake both of [(125)I]TC-AOM and [(125)I]TC-BSA; the uptake of [(125)I]TC-AOM was, however, reduced much more than that of the fluid phase marker. This finding supports the notion that the two probes enter the cells via different routes.  (+info)