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(1/4528) Analysis of gabapentin in serum and plasma by solid-phase extraction and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry for therapeutic drug monitoring.

A simple method for the determination of gabapentin (Neurontin) is described. The method uses solid-phase extraction by disk column and derivatization followed by gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric analysis. The single-step derivatization with MTBSTFA produces a t-BDMS derivative of both the carboxylic and amine moieties of the molecule. Each step of the procedure was optimized to assure reliable performance of the method. The assay limit of detection was 0.1 microg/mL with a linear range from 1.0 to 35 microg/mL. Within-run (n = 3) and between-run (n = 40) coefficients of variation were less than 8.2 and 15.9%, respectively. The method has proven reliable in routine production for more than a year, producing clean chromatography with unique ion fragments, consistent ion mass ratios, and no interferences. Statistical analysis of the gabapentin concentrations measured in 1020 random specimens over a 2-month period showed a mean concentration of 6.07 microg/mL with a standard deviation of 5.28.  (+info)

(2/4528) Nuclear location of mammalian DNA polymerase activities.

Nuclei were isolated from monolayer cultures of mouse and human cells using a nonaqueous procedure of cell fractionation in which lyophilized cells were homogenized and centrifuged in 100% glycerol. In previous work we have shown that the nuclear pellet and cytoplasmic supernatant fraction contained 10% or less of the nucleic acids characteristic of the other cell fraction. Aqueous extracts made from fresh cultures and from nonaqueous material at each step of the fractionation procedure were assayed fro DNA polymerase activity. Activities were normalized to DNA contents of extracted material. Specific activity was preserved quantitatively through freezing and drying the cells, but was found to be unstable in glycerol suspensions with approximate half-lives and 1 h at 23 degrees and 4 h at 0-4 degrees. Activities were relatively stable at -25 degrees, however, so that by homogenizing only 15 min at 4 degrees and centrifuging at -25 degrees we preserved approximately 85% of the specific activity of fresh cultures in the nonaqueous nuclear fraction. Sedimentation analyses showed that the nuclear fraction contained both DNA polymerase-alpha and-beta in approximately the proportions expected if all polymerase activities were confined to the nucleus in living cells. DNA polymerase-alpha was found to be more unstable in glycerol suspensions than DNA polymerase-beta. Nuclear location of both activities was found in exponential cultures and in 3T3 mouse cultures synchronized in the G1 and S phases of the cell division cycle. We found no evidence for cytoplasmic factors affecting nuclear polymerase activities. We have concluded that the two major DNA polymerases are nuclear although one, DNA polymerase-alpha, frequently is present as a weakly bound nuclear protein.  (+info)

(3/4528) Native display of complete foreign protein domains on the surface of hepatitis B virus capsids.

The nucleocapsid of hepatitis B virus (HBV), or HBcAg, is a highly symmetric structure formed by multiple dimers of a single core protein that contains potent T helper epitopes in its 183-aa sequence. Both factors make HBcAg an unusually strong immunogen and an attractive candidate as a carrier for foreign epitopes. The immunodominant c/e1 epitope on the capsid has been suggested as a superior location to convey high immunogenicity to a heterologous sequence. Because of its central position, however, any c/e1 insert disrupts the core protein's primary sequence; hence, only peptides, or rather small protein fragments seemed to be compatible with particle formation. According to recent structural data, the epitope is located at the tips of prominent surface spikes formed by the very stable dimer interfaces. We therefore reasoned that much larger inserts might be tolerated, provided the individual parts of a corresponding fusion protein could fold independently. Using the green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a model insert, we show that the chimeric protein efficiently forms fluorescent particles; hence, all of its structurally important parts must be properly folded. We also demonstrate that the GFP domains are surface-exposed and that the chimeric particles elicit a potent humoral response against native GFP. Hence, proteins of at least up to 238 aa can be natively displayed on the surface of HBV core particles. Such chimeras may not only be useful as vaccines but may also open the way for high resolution structural analyses of nonassembling proteins by electron microscopy.  (+info)

(4/4528) Specificity of native-like interhelical hydrophobic contacts in the apomyoglobin intermediate.

On exposure to mildly acidic conditions, apomyoglobin forms a partially folded intermediate, I. The A, B, G, and H helices are significantly structured in this equilibrium intermediate, whereas the remainder of the protein is largely unfolded. We report here the effects of mutations at helix pairing sites on the stability of I in three classes of mutants that: (i) truncate hydrophobic side chains in native helix packing sites, (ii) truncate hydrophobic side chains not involved in interhelical contacts, and (iii) extend hydrophobic side chains at residues not involved in interhelical contacts. Class I mutants significantly decrease the stability and cooperativity of folding of the intermediate. Class II and III mutants show smaller effects on stability and have little effect on cooperativity. Qualitatively similar results to those found in I were obtained for all three classes of mutants in native myoglobin (N), demonstrating that hydrophobic burial is fairly specific to native helix packing sites in I as well as in N. These results suggest that hydrophobic burial along native-like interhelical contacts is important for the formation of the cooperatively folded intermediate.  (+info)

(5/4528) Stretching lattice models of protein folding.

A new class of experiments that probe folding of individual protein domains uses mechanical stretching to cause the transition. We show how stretching forces can be incorporated in lattice models of folding. For fast folding proteins, the analysis suggests a complex relation between the force dependence and the reaction coordinate for folding.  (+info)

(6/4528) Stabilization of L-ascorbic acid by superoxide dismutase and catalase.

The effects of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase on the autoxidation rate of L-ascorbic acid (ASA) in the absence of metal ion catalysts were examined. The stabilization of ASA by SOD was confirmed, and the enzyme activity of SOD, which scavenges the superoxide anion formed during the autoxidation of ASA, contributed strongly to this stabilization. The stabilization of ASA by catalase was observed for the first time; however, the specific enzyme ability of catalase would not have been involved in the stabilization of ASA. Such proteins as bovine serum albumin (BSA) and ovalbumin also inhibited the autoxidation of ASA, therefore it seems that non-specific interaction between ASA and such proteins as catalase and BSA might stabilize ASA and that the non-enzymatic superoxide anion scavenging ability of proteins might be involved.  (+info)

(7/4528) Incorporation rates, stabilities, cytotoxicities and release of liposomal tetracycline and doxycycline in human serum.

Tetracycline and doxycycline were encapsulated in cationic, anionic and neutral liposomes. The amounts of antibiotic encapsulated, the stability of each preparation at 4 degrees C for 4 weeks, and the kinetics of the release of entrapped drug into human sera were assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. The toxicities of the liposome preparations on human erythrocytes and HeLa 229 cells were evaluated in vitro. The results showed that doxycycline was entrapped more efficiently than tetracycline, and that doxycycline-entrapped liposomes were more stable at 4 degrees C and in human sera, and less cytotoxic than tetracycline-entrapped liposomes.  (+info)

(8/4528) Interaction of asparagine and EGF in the regulation of ornithine decarboxylase in IEC-6 cells.

Our laboratory has shown that asparagine (ASN) stimulates both ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity and gene expression in an intestinal epithelial cell line (IEC-6). The effect of ASN is specific, and other A- and N-system amino acids are almost as effective as ASN when added alone. In the present study, epidermal growth factor (EGF) was unable to increase ODC activity in cells maintained in a salt-glucose solution (Earle's balanced salt solution). However, the addition of ASN (10 mM) in the presence of EGF (30 ng/ml) increased the activity of ODC 0.5- to 4-fold over that stimulated by ASN alone. EGF also showed induction of ODC with glutamine and alpha-aminoisobutyric acid, but ODC induction was maximum with ASN and EGF. Thus the mechanism of the interaction between ASN and EGF is important for understanding the regulation of ODC under physiological conditions. Therefore, we examined the expression of the ODC gene and those for several protooncogenes under the same conditions. Increased expression of the genes for c-Jun and c-Fos but not for ODC occurred with EGF alone. The addition of ASN did not further increase the expression of the protooncogenes, but the combination of EGF and ASN further increased the expression of ODC over that of ASN alone. Western analysis showed no significant difference in the level of ODC protein in Earle's balanced salt solution, ASN, EGF, or EGF plus ASN. Addition of cycloheximide during ASN and ASN plus EGF treatment completely inhibited ODC activity without affecting the level of ODC protein. These results indicated that 1) the increased expression of protooncogenes in response to EGF is independent of increases in ODC activity and 2) potentiation between EGF and ASN on ODC activity may not be due to increased gene transcription but to posttranslational regulation and the requirement of ongoing protein synthesis involving a specific factor dependent on ASN.  (+info)