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(1/413) Selective delivery of herpes virus vectors to experimental brain tumors using RMP-7.

RMP-7, a bradykinin analog, has been shown to selectively open the blood-tumor barrier for the delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to brain tumors. In contrast to bradykinin, RMP-7 has no hypotensive effects and has been approved for human use. This study was initiated to determine whether RMP-7 would open the blood-tumor barrier to virus vectors encoding tumor-killing genes in an experimental model. The herpes virus vector used, hrR3, which encodes virus thymidine kinase gene and the lacZ reporter gene, is defective in a gene encoding ribonucleotide reductase, replicates selectively in dividing tumor cells and not in postmitotic neural cells. It was determined that an optimum dose of RMP-7 (1.5-3.0 microg/kg over 10-15 minutes) enhanced viral delivery to brain tumors in rats bearing intracranial 9 L gliosarcomas when infused through the carotid artery immediately prior to virus vector application. Maximum expression of the lacZ reporter gene occurred at 3 days after intracarotid infusion. By 8 days, transgene expression was largely confined to tumor foci away from the main tumor mass. Viral delivery was essentially specific to tumor cells, with little transgene expression elsewhere in the brain. Minimal uptake and pathology was noted in the kidney, spleen, and liver. These findings indicate that intracarotid delivery of RMP-7 can augment the selective delivery of virus vectors to brain tumors in an experimental rat model, with the potential for application to human brain tumors.  (+info)

(2/413) Thermal effects on an enzymatically latent conformation of coagulation factor VIIa.

Activation of the zymogen factor VII yields an enzyme form, factor VIIa, with only modest activity. The thermal effect on this low activity of factor VIIa and its enhancement by the cofactor tissue factor was investigated. Factor VIIa activity measured with a chromogenic peptide substrate is characterized by an unusual temperature dependency which indicates that the activated protease exists in an equilibrium between a latent (enzymatically inactive) and an active conformation. As shown by calorimetry and activity measurements the thermal effects on factor VIIa are fully reversible below the denaturation temperature of 58.1 degrees C. A model for factor VIIa has been proposed [Higashi, S., Nishimura, H., Aita, K. & Iwanaga, S. (1994) J. Biol. Chem. 269, 18891-18898] in which the protease is supposed to exist primarily as a latent enzyme form because of the poor incorporation into the protease structure of the N-terminal Ile153 released by proteolytic cleavage during activation of factor VII. Binding of tissue factor to factor VIIa is assumed to shift the equilibrium towards an active conformation in which the N-terminal Ile153 forms a salt bridge with Asp343. We corroborate the validity of this model by: (a) chemical modification of factor VIIa; this suggests that the thermal effect on the equilibrium between the active and inactive conformation is reflected in the relative accessibility of the active site and the N-terminal Ile153; (b) measurements of factor VIIa binding to tissue factor indicating that complex formation is favoured by stabilization of the active conformation; and (c) activity measurements of a cross-linked factor VIIa-tissue factor complex; this showed that cross-linking stabilized the active conformation of factor VIIa and essentially prevented its thermally-induced transformation into the inactive state.  (+info)

(3/413) Amino acid sequence of trocarin, a prothrombin activator from Tropidechis carinatus venom: its structural similarity to coagulation factor Xa.

Among snake venom procoagulant proteins, group II prothrombin activators are functionally similar to blood coagulation factor Xa. We have purified and partially characterized the enzymatic properties of trocarin, the group II prothrombin activator from the venom of the Australian elapid, Tropidechis carinatus (rough-scaled snake). Prothrombin activation by trocarin is enhanced by Ca2+, phospholipids, and factor Va, similar to that by factor Xa. However, its amidolytic activity on peptide substrate S-2222 is significantly lower. We have determined the complete amino acid sequence of trocarin. It is a 46,515-Dalton glycoprotein highly homologous to factor Xa and shares the same domain architecture. The light chain possesses an N-terminal Gla domain containing 11 gamma-carboxyglutamic acid residues, followed by two epidermal growth factor (EGF)-like domains; the heavy chain is a serine proteinase. Both chains are likely glycosylated: the light chain at Ser 52 and the heavy chain at Asn 45. Unlike other types of venom procoagulants, trocarin is the first true structural homologue of a coagulation factor. It clots snake plasma and thus may be similar, if not identical, to snake blood coagulation factor Xa. Unlike blood factor Xa, it is expressed in high quantities and in a nonhepatic tissue, making snake venom the richest source of factor Xa-like proteins. It induces cyanosis and death in mice at 1 mg/kg body weight. Thus, trocarin acts as a toxin in venom and a similar, if not identical, protein plays a critical role in hemostasis.  (+info)

(4/413) Comparison and recovery of Escherichia coli and thermotolerant coliforms in water with a chromogenic medium incubated at 41 and 44.5 degrees C.

This study compared the performance of a commercial chromogenic medium, CHROMagarECC (CECC), and CECC supplemented with sodium pyruvate (CECCP) with the membrane filtration lauryl sulfate-based medium (mLSA) for enumeration of Escherichia coli and non-E. coli thermotolerant coliforms (KEC). To establish that we could recover the maximum KEC and E. coli population, we compared two incubation temperature regimens, 41 and 44.5 degrees C. Statistical analysis by the Fisher test of data did not demonstrate any statistically significant differences (P = 0.05) in the enumeration of E. coli for the different media (CECC and CECCP) and incubation temperatures. Variance analysis of data performed on KEC counts showed significant differences (P = 0.01) between KEC counts at 41 and 44.5 degrees C on both CECC and CECCP. Analysis of variance demonstrated statistically significant differences (P = 0.05) in the enumeration of total thermotolerant coliforms (TTCs) on CECC and CECCP compared with mLSA. Target colonies were confirmed to be E. coli at a rate of 91.5% and KEC of likely fecal origin at a rate of 77.4% when using CECCP incubated at 41 degrees C. The results of this study showed that CECCP agar incubated at 41 degrees C is efficient for the simultaneous enumeration of E. coli and KEC from river and marine waters.  (+info)

(5/413) Thrombin mutants with altered enzymatic activity have an impaired mitogenic effect on mouse fibroblasts and are inefficient modulators of stellation of rat cortical astrocytes.

We produced recombinant human thrombin mutants to investigate the correlation between the thrombin enzyme and mitogenic activity. Single amino acid substitutions were introduced in the catalytic triad (H43N, D99N, S205A, S205T), in the oxy-anion binding site (G203A) and in the anion binding exosite-1 region (R73E). Proteins were produced as prethrombin-2 mutants secreted in the culture medium of DXB11-derived cell lines. All mutants were activated by ecarin to the corresponding thrombin mutants; the enzymatic activity was assayed on a chromogenic substrate and on the procoagulant substrate fibrinogen. Mutations S205A and G203A completely abolished the enzyme activity. Mutations H43N, D99N and S205T dramatically impaired the enzyme activity toward both substrates. The R73E mutation dissociated the amidolytic activity and the clotting activity of the protein. The ability of thrombin mutants to induce proliferation was investigated in NIH3T3 mouse fibroblasts and rat cortical astrocytes. The ability of the thrombin mutants to revert astrocyte stellation was also studied. The mitogenic activity and the effect on the astrocyte stellation of the thrombin mutants correlated with their enzymatic activity. Furthermore the receptor occupancy by the inactive S205A mutant prevented the thrombin effects providing strong evidence that a proteolytically activated receptor is involved in cellular responses to thrombin.  (+info)

(6/413) Requirement for a different hydrophobic moiety and reliable chromogenic substrate for endo-type glycosylceramidases.

A series of synthetic lactosides with aglycones that differed in length and structure were used to determine the substrate specificity of endo-type glycosylceramidases. Endoglycoceramidases (EGCase) from bacteria preferred lactosides with an acylamide structure over simple n-alkyl lactosides. While ceramide glycanase (CGase) from leech did not show preference. N -Acylaminoethyl beta-lactosides and n -alkyl lactosides were substrates for both EGCase and CGase, but N-acylaminobutyl beta-lactosides, whose acylamide residue differs from that in ceramide, were not hydrolyzed by EGCases. Thus, EGCases, but not CGase, appear to require an N-acyl group at the same position as that of intact glycosphingolipid for substrate recognition. A p-nitrophenyl lactoside derivative possessing an N-acyl chain was degraded by both EGCases and CGase and this chromogenic substrate may be an alternative substrate for endo-type glycosylceramidase activity. Km of the chromogenic lactoside for CGase and Rhodococcus EGCase were 28 microM and 2.9 mM, respectively.  (+info)

(7/413) Ultrastructural localization of light-induced lipid peroxides in the rat retina.

PURPOSE: Localization of light-induced lipid peroxides in the rat retina at an ultrastructural level as benzidine-reactive substances. METHODS: Long-Evans rats with nondilated pupils were exposed to intense light of 6000 lux for 12 or 24 hours. Control animals were kept under physiological light conditions. Rats with dilated pupils were exposed to a light intensity of 50 lux or 150,000 lux for 1 hour. For ultrastructural localization the enucleated eyes were fixed in a 0.1-M cacodylate buffer (pH 7.4) containing 2% glutaraldehyde for 2 hours. Pieces of the superior part of the central eyecup were incubated overnight with tetramethylbenzidine (TMB; pH 3.0) at 4 degrees C, postfixed with 1.5% OSO4, and embedded for electron microscopy. RESULTS: In animals exposed to intense light, electron-dense structures appeared exclusively throughout the rod outer segments after an irradiation of 6000 lux for 24 hours or 150,000 lux for 1 hour and were absent in animals with nondilated pupils kept at physiological light conditions. Dilation of the pupils leads to the appearance of electron-dense structures after just 1 hour of 50 lux, whereas rats with nondilated pupils withstand even a 12-hour irradiation with 6000 lux. No electron-dense structures were found when no TMB was used in incubation. CONCLUSIONS: The appearance of electron-dense structures in the rod outer segments depends on the incubation with TMB and intensive light exposure of the rat. Dilation of the pupils lowers the threshold for the emergence of electron-dense structures significantly. This strongly supports the view that light-induced lipid peroxides in the rat retina are localized at an ultrastructural level as benzidine-reactive substances. This protocol presents a tool for the generation and ultrastructural localization of lipid peroxides in rat retinas.  (+info)

(8/413) Inhibition of rat vascular smooth muscle cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo by recombinant replication-competent herpes simplex virus.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) is a common feature associated with vascular proliferative disorders such as atherosclerosis and restenosis after balloon angioplasty. We examined the antiproliferative effects of recombinant replication-competent herpes simplex virus (HSV), hrR3, to proliferative VSMCs both in vitro and in vivo. METHODS: Early passages of Sprague-Dawley rat VSMCs were infected with hrR3 at a low multiplicity of infection (0.01 to 1.0) to examine the in vitro cytotoxic activity of this recombinant HSV to VSMCs in a proliferative state. Sprague-Dawley rats underwent balloon dilatation injury of the left carotid artery to induce neointimal formation. The injured carotid arteries were infected with hrR3 five days after balloon injury. Two weeks after injury, the left carotid arteries were fixed, and the areas of the neointimal and medial layers were analyzed microscopically. Because the reporter Escherichia coli lacZ gene in hrR3 is expressed only in infected cells in which the virus is actively replicating, virus replication was confirmed by X-gal staining. RESULTS: A morphometric analysis revealed that there were significant differences in the intima/media ratio between the HSV-treated group and mock-infected group (0. 354+/-0.068 and 1.08+/-0.055, respectively). In the histological study (X-gal staining), positive X-gal staining was observed chiefly in the VSMCs in the medial layer just beneath the internal elastic lamina, indicating active viral replication. CONCLUSIONS: Virus-mediated cytocidal therapy using recombinant HSV vector is a promising modality for the treatment of the restenosis after balloon angioplasty.  (+info)