(1/6763) 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)

(2/6763) Partial purification and properties of porcine thymus lactosylceramide beta-galactosidase.

Porcine thymus lactosylceramide beta-galactosidase was purified by a simple procedure. In the final step of isoelectric focusing the enzyme was separated into two peaks of pI 6.3 (peak I) and 7.0 (peak II), which showed 3,600- and 4,000-fold enhancement of lactosylceramide-hydrolysing activity, respectively. The two peaks had identical mobility on polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The apparent molecular weight was 34,000. Neither monosialoganglioside (GM1) nor galactosylceramide was hydrolysed by the purified enzyme fractions. The optimal pH was at 4.6, and sodium taurocholate was essential for the reaction. The apparent Km was 2.3 x 10-5 M. The reaction was stimulated by sodium chloride and linoleic acid, while it was strongly inhibited by Triton X-100 and bovine serum albumin. Galactosylceramide, p-nitrophenyl beta-galactoside, and p-nitrophenol were weak inhibitors. No effects of GM1 and galactose were observed on the hydrolysis of lactosylceramide.  (+info)

(3/6763) Further studies on the mechanism of adrenaline-induced lipolysis in lipid micelles.

Lipase [EC] depleted lipid micelles, in which lipolysis was not elicited by adrenaline, were prepared from lipid micelles. When these lipase-depleted lipid micelles incubated with adipose tissue extract containing lipase activity, adrenaline-induced lipolysis was restored to almost the same level as that of native lipid micelles. Adrenaline-induced lipolysis was not restored when the lipase-depleted lipid micelles were homogenized or sonicated. Various tissue extracts from kidney, lung, liver, and pancreas, and post-heparin plasma, which contained lipase activity, restored adrenaline-induced lipolysis in lipase-depleted lipid micelles.  (+info)

(4/6763) A lipid modified ubiquitin is packaged into particles of several enveloped viruses.

An anti-ubiquitin cross-reactive protein which migrates more slowly (6.5 kDa) by SDS-PAGE than ubiquitin was identified in African swine fever virus particles. This protein was extracted into the detergent phase in Triton X-114 phase separations, showing that it is hydrophobic, and was radiolabelled with both [3H]palmitic acid and [32P]orthophosphate. This indicates that the protein has a similar structure to the membrane associated phosphatidyl ubiquitin described in baculovirus particles. A similar molecule was found in vaccinia virus and herpes simplex virus particles, suggesting that it may be a component of uninfected cell membranes, which is incorporated into membrane layers in virions during morphogenesis.  (+info)

(5/6763) Structural and functional consequences of antigenic modulation of red blood cells with methoxypoly(ethylene glycol).

We previously showed that the covalent modification of the red blood cell (RBC) surface with methoxypoly(ethylene glycol) [mPEG; MW approximately 5 kD] could significantly attenuate the immunologic recognition of surface antigens. However, to make these antigenically silent RBC a clinically viable option, the mPEG-modified RBC must maintain normal cellular structure and functions. To this end, mPEG-derivatization was found to have no significant detrimental effects on RBC structure or function at concentrations that effectively blocked antigenic recognition of a variety of RBC antigens. Importantly, RBC lysis, morphology, and hemoglobin oxidation state were unaffected by mPEG-modification. Furthermore, as shown by functional studies of Band 3, a major site of modification, PEG-binding does not affect protein function, as evidenced by normal SO4- flux. Similarly, Na+ and K+ homeostasis were unaffected. The functional aspects of the mPEG-modified RBC were also maintained, as evidenced by normal oxygen binding and cellular deformability. Perhaps most importantly, mPEG-derivatized mouse RBC showed normal in vivo survival ( approximately 50 days) with no sensitization after repeated transfusions. These data further support the hypothesis that the covalent attachment of nonimmunogenic materials (eg, mPEG) to intact RBC may have significant application in transfusion medicine, especially for the chronically transfused and/or allosensitized patient.  (+info)

(6/6763) Enhancement of endocytosis due to aminophospholipid transport across the plasma membrane of living cells.

Formation of intracellular vesicles is initiated by membrane budding. Here we test the hypothesis that the plasma membrane surface area asymmetry could be a driving force for vesicle formation during endocytosis. The inner layer phospholipid number was therefore increased by adding exogenous aminophospholipids to living cells, which were then translocated from the outer to the inner layer of the membrane by the ubiquitous flippase. Addition of either phosphatidylserine or phosphatidylethanolamine led to an enhancement of endocytosis, showing that the observed acceleration does not depend on the lipid polar head group. Conversely, a closely related aminophospholipid that is not recognized by the flippase, lyso-alpha-phosphatidylserine, inhibited endocytosis, and similar results were obtained with a cholesterol derivative that also remains in the plasma membrane outer layer. Thus an increase of lipid concentration in the inner layer enhanced internalization, whereas an increase of the lipid concentration in the outer layer inhibited internalization. These experiments suggest that transient asymmetries in lipid concentration might contribute to the formation of endocytic vesicles.  (+info)

(7/6763) The pharmacokinetics of artemisinin after administration of two different suppositories to healthy Vietnamese subjects.

Eight healthy Vietnamese male subjects received 400 mg artemisinin formulated into fatty suppositories (FS), and six different subjects received 500 mg of artemisinin formulated in polyethylene glycol suppositories (PEGS). Plasma concentrations were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection; concentration versus time curves were analyzed with nonparametric methods. No statistically significant differences were found between the two formulations. The maximum concentration (Cmax) was 100 +/- 102 microg/L (mean +/- SD, range = 24-330) microg/L (FS), the pharmacokinetic lag time (Tlag) was 1.3 +/- 1.0 hr (range = 0-3) (FS), and the time of the maximum concentration (Tmax) was 7.1 +/- 2.1 hr (range = 3-10) hr (FS). Because artemisinin is not available for intravenous dosage, absolute bioavailability cannot be assessed. However, compared with a previous study on oral artemisinin in healthy Vietnamese subjects, bioavailability relative to oral administration was estimated to be approximately 30%. We conclude that therapeutic blood concentrations of artemisinin can be reached after rectal dosage. The dose after rectal administration should probably be higher than after oral administration; doubling or tripling the oral dose might be necessary, which would imply a rectal dose of at least 20 mg/kg of body weight given twice a day.  (+info)

(8/6763) Opposite behavior of two isozymes when refolding in the presence of non-ionic detergents.

GroEL has a greater affinity for the mitochondrial isozyme (mAAT) of aspartate aminotransferase than for its cytosolic counterpart (cAAT) (Mattingly JR Jr, Iriarte A, Martinez-Carrion M, 1995, J Biol Chem 270:1138-1148), two proteins that share a high degree of sequence similarity and an almost identical spatial structure. The effect of detergents on the refolding of these large, dimeric isozymes parallels this difference in behavior. The presence of non-ionic detergents such as Triton X-100 or lubrol at concentrations above their critical micelle concentration (CMC) interferes with reactivation of mAAT unfolded in guanidinium chloride but increases the yield of cAAT refolding at low temperatures. The inhibitory effect of detergents on the reactivation of mAAT decreases progressively as the addition of detergents is delayed after starting the refolding reaction. The rate of disappearance of the species with affinity for binding detergents coincides with the slowest of the two rate-limiting steps detected in the refolding pathway of mAAT. Limited proteolysis studies indicate that the overall structure of the detergent-bound mAAT resembles that of the protein in a complex with GroEL. The mAAT folding intermediates trapped in the presence of detergents can resume reactivation either upon dilution of the detergent below its CMC or by adding beta-cyclodextrin. Thus, isolation of otherwise transient productive folding intermediates for further characterization is possible through the use of detergents.  (+info)