Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 27

Search results for: VERO

27 Cytogenetic Characterization of the VERO Cell Line Based on Comparisons with the Subline; Implication for Authorization and Quality Control of Animal Cell Lines

Authors: Fumio Kasai, Noriko Hirayama, Jorge Pereira, Azusa Ohtani, Masashi Iemura, Malcolm A. Ferguson Smith, Arihiro Kohara

Abstract:

The VERO cell line was established in 1962 from normal tissue of an African green monkey, Chlorocebus aethiops (2n=60), and has been commonly used worldwide for screening for toxins or as a cell substrate for the production of viral vaccines. The VERO genome was sequenced in 2014; however, its cytogenetic features have not been fully characterized as it contains several chromosome abnormalities and different karyotypes coexist in the cell line. In this study, the VERO cell line (JCRB0111) was compared with one of the sublines. In contrast to 59 chromosomes as the modal chromosome number in the VERO cell line, the subline had two peaks of 56 and 58 chromosomes. M-FISH analysis using human probes revealed that the VERO cell line was characterized by a translocation t(2;25) found in all metaphases, which was absent in the subline. Different abnormalities detected only in the subline show that the cell line is heterogeneous, indicating that the subline has the potential to change its genomic characteristics during cell culture. The various alterations in the two independent lineages suggest that genomic changes in both VERO cells can be accounted for by progressive rearrangements during their evolution in culture. Both t(5;X) and t(8;14) observed in all metaphases of the two cell lines might have a key role in VERO cells and could be used as genetic markers to identify VERO cells. The flow karyotype shows distinct differences from normal. Further analysis of sorted abnormal chromosomes may uncover other characteristics of VERO cells. Because of the absence of STR data, cytogenetic data are important in characterizing animal cell lines and can be an indicator of their quality control.

Keywords: VERO, cell culture passage, chromosome rearrangement, heterogeneous cells

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26 Establishment of a Thermostable Newcastle Disease Vaccine Candidate Strain and Its Adaptation to Vero Cells

Authors: Humayun Kabir, Amirul Hasan, Yu Miyaoka, Makiko Yamaguchi, Chisaki Kadota, Kazuaki Takehara

Abstract:

From field isolates of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in Japan, one avirulent strain, APMV/northern pintail/Japan/Aomori/2003 (dk-Aomori/03, NDV 261), was selected for its excellent thermostability, and the strain was heat-treated at 56℃ temperatures for 30 min with each passage into Vero cells to maintain thermostability and to adapt Vero cells. After serial 20 passages in Vero cells, it was named NDV Vero20. When growth curves were tested in Vero cells, NDV Vero20 grew well to compare the original NDV261. The HN gene was sequenced, and found motifs that show thermostability. The intracerebral pathogenicity index (ICPI) test score was 0. The thermostability of the virus was confirmed by storing it at different temperatures, including at 37°C. When susceptible chicks were inoculated with NDV Vero20 through eye drops, induced adequate levels of antibody were measured using a serum neutralization test. The results showed that NDV Vero20, a vaccine candidate strain is thermostable, Vero cell adapted, and has immunogenic potential, which would make as an alternative to the traditional embryonated chicken eggs-based vaccine.

Keywords: Newcastle disease virus, thermostability, vaccine, Vero cell adaptability

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25 Platform Development for Vero Cell Culture on Microcarriers Using Dissociation-Reassociation Method

Authors: Thanunthon Bowornsakulwong, Charukorn Charukarn, Franck Courtes, Panit Kitsubun, Lalintip Horcharoen

Abstract:

Vero cell is a continuous cell line that is widely used for the production of viral vaccines. However, due to its adherent characteristic, scaling up strategy in large-scale production remains complicated and thus limited. Consequently, suspension-like Vero cell culture processes based on microcarriers have been introduced and employed while also providing increased surface area per volume unit. However, harvesting Vero cells from microcarriers is a huge challenge due to difficulties in cells detaching, lower recovery yield, time-consuming and dissociation agent carry-over. To overcome these problems, we developed a dissociation-association platform technology for detaching and re-attaching cells during subculturing from microcarriers to microcarriers, which will be conveniently applied to seed trains strategies in large scale bioreactors. Herein, Hillex-2 was used to culture Vero cells in serum-containing media using spinner flasks as a scale-down model. The overall confluency of cells on microcarriers was observed using inverted microscope, and the sample cells were daily detached in order to obtain the kinetics data. The metabolites consumption and by-products formation were determined by Nova Biomedical BioprofileFlex.

Keywords: dissociation-reassociation, microcarrier, scale up, Vero cell

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24 In vitro Study on Characterization and Viability of Vero Cell Lines after Supplementation with Porcine Follicular Fluid Proteins in Culture Medium

Authors: Mayuva Youngsabanant, Suphaphorn Rabiab, Hatairuk Tungkasen, Nongnuch Gumlungpat, Mayuree Pumipaiboon

Abstract:

The porcine follicular fluid proteins (pFF) of healthy small size ovarian follicles (1-3 mm in diameters) of Large White pig ovaries were collected by sterile technique. They were used for testing the effect on cell viability and characterization of Vero cell lines using MTT assay. Two hundred microliter of round shape Vero cell lines were culture in 96 well plates with DMEM for 24 h. After that, they were attachment to substrate and some changed into fibroblast shape and spread over the surface after culture for 48 h. Then, Vero cell lines were treated with pFF at concentration of 2, 4, 20, 40, 200, 400, 500, and 600 µg proteins/mL for 24 h. Yields of the best results were analyzed by using one-way ANOVA. MTT assay reviewed an increasing in percentage of viability of Vero cell lines indicated that at concentration of 400-600 µg proteins/mL showed higher percentage of viability (115.64 ± 6.95, 106.91 ± 5.27 and 116.73 ± 20.15) than control group. They were significantly different from the control group (p < 0.05) but lower than the positive control group (DMEM with 10% heat treated fetal bovine serum). Cell lines showed normal character in fibroblast elongate shape after treated with pFF except in high concentration of pFF. This result implies that pFF of small size ovarian follicle at concentration of 400-600 µg proteins/mL could be optimized concentration for using as a supplement in Vero cell line culture medium to promote cell viability instead of growth hormone from fetal bovine serum. This merit could be applied in other cell biotechnology researches. Acknowledgements: This work was funded by a grant from Silpakorn University and Faculty of Science, Silpakorn University, Thailand.

Keywords: cell viability, porcine follicular fluid, MTT assay, Vero cell line

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23 The Influence of Polysaccharide Isolated from Morinda citrifolia Fruit to the Growth of Vero, He-La and T47D Cell Lines against Doxorubicin in vitro

Authors: Ediati Budi Cahyono, Triana Hertiani, Nauval Arrazy Asawimanda, Wahyu Puji Pratomo

Abstract:

Background: Doxorubicin is widely used as a chemotherapeutic drug despite having many side effects. It may cause macrophage dysfunction and decreasing proliferation of lymphocyte. Noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit which has rich of polysaccharide content has potential as antitumor and immunostimulant effect. The isolation of polysaccharide from Noni fruit has been optimized according to four different methods based on macrophage and lymphocyte activities. We found the highest polysaccharide content from one of the four methods isolation. A method of polysaccharide isolation which has the highest immunostimulant effect was used for further observation as co-chemotherapy. The aim of the study: was to evaluate the isolated polysaccharide from the method of choice as co-chemotherapy of doxorubicin for the growth of Vero, He-La, and T47D cell lines in vitro. The method: in vitro growth assay of Vero, He-La, and T47D cell lines was done using MTT-reduction method, and apoptosis test was done by double staining method to evaluate the induction apoptotic effect of the combination. Every group was treated with doxorubicin and isolated polysaccharide from method of choice with 4 variances of concentrations (25 µg/ml, 50 µg/ml, 100 µg/ml and 200 µg/ml) a long with negative control (doxorubicin only) and normal control (without doxorubicin or polysaccharide administration). Results: The combination of polysaccharide fraction in the concentration of 100μg/ml with 2μmol of doxorubicin against He-La and T47D cell lines influenced the highest cytotoxic effect by suppressing cell viability comparing with doxorubicin only. The combination of polysaccharide fraction in the concentration of 100μg/ml with 2μmol of doxorubicin-induced apoptotic effect the He-La cell line comparing with doxorubicin only. The result of the study: it can be concluded that the combination of polysaccharide fraction and doxorubicin effect more selective toward He-La and T47D cell lines than to Vero cell line. It can be suggested isolated polysaccharide from the method of choice has co-chemotherapy activity against doxorubicin.

Keywords: polysaccharide, noni fruit, doxorubicin, cancer cell lines, vero cell line

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22 Cytotoxic, Antimicrobial and Antiviral Activities of Acovenoside A: A Cardenolide Isolated from an Egyptian Cultivar of Acokanthera spectabilis Leaves

Authors: Howaida I. Abd-Alla, Amal Z. Hassan, Maha Soltan, Atef G. Hanna, Mounir M. El-Safty

Abstract:

Acokanthera oblongifolia (Apocynaceae) is used for treatment of several infection diseases and is a well-known cardiac glycoside-containing plant. The infusion of their leaves is gargled to treat tonsillitis and is used medicinally to treat snakebites. The total cardiac glycosides content in the leaves was determined by referring to gitoxigenin as a reference compound. Two triterpenes, lup-20(29)-en-3β-ol (1) and oleanolic acid (2); two cardenolides, acovenoside A (3) and acobioside A (4) were isolated from the ethyl acetate extract. Their structures were determined on the basis of spectral analysis. Major constituents isolated from this species were evaluated for cytotoxicity against normal lung cell line (Wi38) and antimicrobial activities against Gram-positive (two strains) and Gram-negative bacteria (four strains), yeast-like fungi (two strains) and fungi (five strains). The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of the compounds was determined using broth microdilution method. Their viral inhibitory effects against avian influenza virus type A (AI-H5N1) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) in specific pathogen free (SPF) embryonated chicken eggs (ECE), chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEF) and Vero cells were evaluated. The cardenolide (3) showed viral inhibitory effects against AI-H5N1 and NDV in SPF ECE. The two cardenolides isolated have shown potent cytotoxicity against Vero cells. Compound (3) showed potent anti-Gram-negative bacteria activity. These results suggested that acovenoside A might be promising for future antiviral and antimicrobial drug design.

Keywords: Acokanthera, AI-H5N1, Cardenolides, NDV, SPF-ECE, VERO, Wi38 , Microbe

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21 Production of Single-Chain Antibodies against Common Epitopes of ErbB1 and ErbB2 Using Phage Display Antibody Library

Authors: Gholamreza Hashemitabr, Reza Valadan, Alireza Rafiei, Mohammad Reza Bassami

Abstract:

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy among women worldwide. Cancer cells use a complex multilayer network of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFRs) signaling pathways to support their survival and growth. The overlapping networks of EGFRs signaling pathways account for the failure of most ErbB-targeted therapies. The aim of this study was to enrich a pool of recombinant antibody fragments against common epitopes of ErbB1 and ErbB2 in order to simultaneous blockade of ErbBs signaling pathways. ErbB1 and ErbB2 were expressed stably in VERO cells. Selection of recombinant antibodies was performed on live cells expressing either of ErbB1 and ErbB2 receptors using subtractive phage display approach. The results of PCR and DNA fingerprinting in the last round of panning showed that most clones contained insert (80% and 85% for ErbB1 and ErbB2 respectively) with an identical restriction pattern. The selected clones showed positive reaction to both ErbB1 and ErbB2 receptors in phage-ELISA test. Furthermore, the resulting soluble antibody fragments recognized common epitopes of both immunoprecipitated ErbB1 and ErbB2 in western blot. Additionally, the antibodies directed against the dimerization domain of ErbB1 demonstrated a significant absorbance in EGF-stimulated VERO/ErbB1 cells than non-stimulated cells (1.91 and 1.09 respectively). Moreover, the results of dimerization inhibition test showed that these antibodies blocked ErbB1 and ErbB2 dimerization on the surface of ErbB1 and ErbB2 expressing VERO cells. Regarding the importance of pan-ErbB approach to cancer therapy, the antibodies developed here might provide novel therapeutics for simultaneous blockade of ErbBs signaling pathways.

Keywords: breast cancer, single-chain antibody, ErbB1, ErbB2, epitope

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20 Mechanism of in Vitro Inhibition of Alpha-Amylase, Alpha-Glucosidase by Ethanolic Extracts of Polyalthia Longifolia, Its in Vitro Cytotoxicity on L6, Vero Cell-Lines and Influence of Glucose Uptake by Rat Hemi-Diaphragm

Authors: P. Gayathri, G. P. Jeyanthi

Abstract:

The bark of Polyalthia longifolia is used in ayurvedic system of medicine for the manangement of various ailments including diabetes mellitus. The bark of P. longifolia extracts was extracted using various polar and non-polar solvents and tested for inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase among which the ethanolic extracts were found to be more potent. The ethanolic extracts of the bark were tested for the in vitro inhibition of alpha-amylase using starch as substrate and alpha-glucosidase using p-nitro phenyl alpha-D-gluco pyranoside as substrate to establish its in vitro antidiabetic effect. The mechanism of inhibition was determined by Dixon plot and Cornish-Bowden plot. The cytotoxic effect of the extract was tested on L6 and Vero cell-lines. The extract was partially purified by TLC. The individual effect of the ethanolic extract, TLC fractions and its combinatorial effect with insulin and glibenclamide on glucose uptake by rat hemi-diaphragm were studied.Results revealed that the ethanolic extracts of Polyalthia longifolia bark exhibited competitive inhibition of alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase. The extracts were also found not to be cytotoxic at the highest dose of 1 mg/mL. Glucose uptake study revealed that the extract alone and when combined with insulin, decreased the glucose uptake when compared to insulin control, however the purified TLC fractions exhibited significantly higher (p<0.05) glucose uptake by the rat hemi-diaphragm when compared to insulin. The study shows various possible mechanism of in vitro antidiabetic effect of the P. longifolia bark.

Keywords: alpha-amylase, alpha-glucosidase, dixon, cornish-bowden, L6 , Vero cell-lines, glucose uptake, polyalthia longifolia bark, ethanolic extract, TLC fractions

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19 Effect of Surfactant Level of Microemulsions and Nanoemulsions on Cell Viability

Authors: Sonal Gupta, Rakhi Bansal, Javed Ali, Reema Gabrani, Shweta Dang

Abstract:

Nanoemulsions (NEs) and microemulsions (MEs) have been an attractive tool for encapsulation of both hydrophilic and lipophillic actives. Both these systems are composed of oil phase, surfactant, co-surfactant and aqueous phase. Depending upon the application and intended use, both oil-in-water and water-in-oil emulsions can be designed. NEs are fabricated using high energy methods employing less percentage of surfactant as compared to MEs which are self assembled drug delivery systems. Owing to the nanometric size of the droplets these systems have been widely used to enhance solubility and bioavailability of natural as well as synthetic molecules. The aim of the present study is to assess the effect of % age of surfactants on cell viability of Vero cells (African Green Monkeys’ Kidney epithelial cells) via MTT assay. Green tea catechin (Polyphenon 60) loaded ME employing low energy vortexing and NE employing high energy ultrasonication were prepared using same excipients (labrasol as oil, cremophor EL as surfactant and glycerol as co-surfactant) however, the % age of oil and surfactant needed to prepare the ME was higher as compared to NE. These formulations along with their excipients (oilME=13.3%, SmixME=26.67%; oilNE=10%, SmixNE=13.52%) were added to Vero cells for 24 hrs. The tetrazolium dye, 3-(4,5-dimethylthia/ol-2-yl)-2,5-diphi-iiyltclrazolium bromide (MTT), is reduced by live cells and this reaction is used as the end point to evaluate the cytoxicity level of a test formulation. Results of MTT assay indicated that oil at different percentages exhibited almost equal cell viability (oilME ≅ oilNE) while surfactant mixture had a significant difference in the cell viability values (SmixME < SmixNE). Polyphenon 60 loaded ME and its PlaceboME showed higher toxicity as compared to Polyphenon 60 loaded NE and its PlaceboNE that can be attributed to the higher concentration of surfactants present in MEs. Another probable reason for high % cell viability of Polyphenon 60 loaded NE might be due to the effective release of Polyphenon 60 from NE formulation that helps in the sustenance of Vero cells.

Keywords: cell viability, microemulsion, MTT, nanoemulsion, surfactants, ultrasonication

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18 Chitosan Hydrogel Containing Nitric Oxide Donors with Potent Antibacterial Effect

Authors: Milena Trevisan Pelegrino, Bruna De Araujo Lima, Mônica H. M. Do Nascimento, Christiane B. Lombello, Marcelo Brocchi, Amedea B. Seabra

Abstract:

Nitric oxide (NO) is a small molecule involved in a wide range of physiological and pathophysiological processes, including vasodilatation, control of inflammatory pain, wound healing, and antibacterial activities. As NO is a free radical, the design of drugs that generates therapeutic amounts of NO in controlled spatial and time manners is still a challenge. In this study, the NO donor S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) was incorporated into the thermoresponsive Pluronic F-127 (PL) - chitosan (CS) hydrogel, in an easy and economically feasible methodology. CS is a polysaccharide with known antimicrobial and biocompatibility properties. Scanning electron microscopy, rheology and differential scanning calorimetry techniques were used for hydrogel characterization. The results demonstrated that the hydrogel has a smooth surface, thermoresponsive behavior, and good mechanical stability. The kinetics of NO release and GSNO diffusion from GSNO-containing PL/CS hydrogel demonstrated a sustained NO/GSNO release, in concentrations suitable for biomedical applications, at physiological and skin temperatures. The GSNO-PL/CS hydrogel demonstrated a concentration-dependent toxicity to Vero cells, and antimicrobial activity to Pseudomonas aeruginosa (minimum inhibitory concentration and minimum bactericidal concentration values of 0.5 µg·mL-1 of hydrogel, which correspondents to 1 mmol·L-1 of GSNO). Interesting, the concentration range in which the NO-releasing hydrogel demonstrated antibacterial effect was not found toxic to Vero mammalian cell. Thus, GSNO-PL/CS hydrogel is suitable biomaterial for topical NO delivery applications.

Keywords: antimicrobial, chitosan, biocompatibility, S-nitrosothiols

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17 Assessment of Selected Marine Organisms from Malaysian Coastal Areas for Inhibitory Activity against the Chikungunya Virus

Authors: Yik Sin Chan, Nam Weng Sit, Fook Yee Chye, van Ofwegen Leen, de Voogd Nicole, Kong Soo Khoo

Abstract:

Chikungunya fever is an arboviral disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquitoes. It has resulted in epidemics of the disease in tropical countries in the Indian Ocean and South East Asian regions. The recent spread of this disease to the temperate countries such as France and Italy, coupled with the absence of vaccines and effective antiviral drugs make chikungunya fever a worldwide health threat. This study aims to investigate the anti-chikungunya virus activity of selected marine organism samples collected from Malaysian coastal areas, including seaweeds (Caulerpa racemosa, Caulerpa sertularioides and Kappaphycus alvarezii), a soft coral (Lobophytum microlobulatum) and a sponge (Spheciospongia vagabunda). Following lyophilization (oven drying at 40C for K. alvarezii) and grinding to powder form, each sample was subjected to sequential solvent extraction using hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol and distilled water in order to extract bioactive compounds. The antiviral activity was evaluated using monkey kidney epithelial (Vero) cells infected with the virus (multiplicity of infection=1). The cell viability was determined by Neutral Red uptake assay. 70% of the 30 extracts showed weak inhibitory activity with cell viability ≤30%. Seven of the extracts exhibited moderate inhibitory activity (cell viability: 31%-69%). These were the chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol and methanol extracts of C. racemosa; chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of L. microlobulatum; and the chloroform extract of C. sertularioides. Only the hexane and ethanol extracts of L. microlobulatum showed strong inhibitory activity against the virus, resulting in cell viabilities (mean±SD; n=3) of 73.3±2.6% and 79.2±0.9%, respectively. The corresponding mean 50% effective concentrations (EC50) for the extracts were 14.2±0.2 and 115.3±1.2 µg/mL, respectively. The ethanol extract of the soft coral L. microlobulatum appears to hold the most promise for further characterization of active principles as it possessed greater selectivity index (SI>5.6) compared to the hexane extract (SI=2.1).

Keywords: antiviral, seaweed, sponge, soft coral, vero cell

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16 Evaluation of South African Plants with Acaricide Activity against Ticks

Authors: G. Fouché, J. N. Eloff, K. Wellington

Abstract:

Acaricides are commonly used to control ticks but are toxic, harmful to the environment and too expensive to resource-limited farmers. Traditionally, many communities in South Africa rely on a wide range of indigenous practices to keep their livestock healthy. One of these health care practices includes the use of medicinal plants and this offers an alternative to conventional medicine. An investigation was conducted at the CSIR in South Africa, and selected indigenous plants used in communities were scientifically evaluated for the management of ticks in animals. 17 plants were selected from 239 plants used traditionally in South Africa. Two different organic extracts were prepared from the 17 samples, resulting in 34 plant samples. These were tested for efficacy against two tick species, namely Rhipicephalus microplus and Rhipicephalus turanicus. The plant extracts were also screened against Vero cells and most were found to have low cytotoxicity. This study has shown that there is potential for the development of botanicals as natural acaricides against ticks that are non-toxic and environmentally benign.

Keywords: South Africa, ticks, plant extracts, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus

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15 Antiviral Activity of Interleukin-11 in Response to Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Infection

Authors: Li Yuchen, Wu Qingxin, Jin Yuxing, Yang Qian

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Interleukin-11 (IL-11), a well-known anti-inflammatory factor, helps to protect against intestinal epithelium damage caused by physical or chemical factors. However, little is known about the role of IL-11 during viral infection. Herein, high mRNA and protein levels of IL-11 were found in epithelial cells and jejunum of piglets during porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) infection, and IL-11 expression was positively correlated with the level of viral infection. Pretreatment with recombinant porcine IL-11 (pIL-11) suppressed PEDV replication in Vero E6 cells, while IL-11 knockdown promoted viral infection. Furthermore, pIL-11 inhibited viral infection by preventing PEDV-mediated apoptosis of cells through activating the IL-11/STAT3 signal pathway. Conversely, application of a STAT3 phosphorylation inhibitor significantly antagonized the anti-apoptosis function of pIL-11 and counteracted its inhibition of PEDV. Our data suggested that that IL-11 is a novel PEDV-inducible cytokine, and its production enhances the anti-apoptosis ability of epithelial cells against PEDV infection. The potential uses of IL-11 as a novel therapeutic against devastating viral diarrhea in piglets deserves more attention and study.

Keywords: Interleukin-11, Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus, STAT3, anti-apoptosis

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14 Preparation and Evaluation of siRNA Loaded Polymeric Nanoparticles

Authors: Riddhi Trivedi, Shrenik Shah

Abstract:

For Si RNA to be delivered various biodegradable polymers are trialed by many researchers. One of them is Chitosan (CS) nanoparticles which have been extensively studied for siRNA delivery but the stability and efficacy of such particles are highly dependent on the types of cross-linker used. Hence the attempts are made in this study with PGA To address this issue, three common cross-linkers; Ethylene glycol diacrylate (ED) and poly-D-glutamic acid (PGA) were used to prepare siRNA loaded CS-ED/PGA nanoparticles by ionic gelation method. The nanoparticles which were obtained were compared for its characterization in terms of its physicochemical properties i.e. particle size of the resultant particles, zeta potential, its encapsulation capacity in the polymer. Among all the formulations prepared with different crosslinker PGA siRNA had the smallest particle size (ranged from 120 ± 1.7 to 500 ± 10.9 nm) with zeta potential ranged from 22.1 ± 1.5 to +32.4 ± 0.5 mV, and high entrapment ( > 91%) and binding efficiencies. Similarly, CS-ED nanoparticles showed better siRNA protection during storage at 4˚C and as determined by serum protection assay. TEM micrographs revealed the assorted morphology of CS-PGA-siRNA nanoparticles in contrast to irregular morphology displayed by CS-ED-siRNA. All siRNA loaded nanoparticles were found to give initial burst release which after some time followed by a sustained release of siRNA which were loaded inside. All the formulations showed concentration-dependent cytotoxicity with when cytotoxicity performed by HeLa and normal vero cell lines.

Keywords: chitosan, siRNA, cytotoxicity, cell line study

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13 Antimicrobial Activity of Ethnobotanically Selected Medicinal Plants Used in the Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Authors: Thilivhali Emmanuel Tshikalange, Phiwokuhle Mamba

Abstract:

Ten medicinal plants used traditionally in the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and urinary tract infections (UTIs) were selected from an ethnobotanical database developed in Mpumalanga. The plants were investigated for their antimicrobial activity against five bacterial strains (Escherichia coli, Klebsiella oxytoca, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Staphylococcus aureus) and one fungal strain (Candida albicans). Eight of the plants inhibited the growth of all microorganisms at a concentration range of 0.4 mg/ml to 12.5 mg/ml. Acacia karroo showed the most promising antimicrobial activity, with a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 0.4 mg/ml on Staphylococcus aureus and 0.8 mg/ml on Neisseria gonorrhoeae. All ten plants were further investigated for their antioxidant activities using the DPPH scavenging method. Acacia karroo and Rhoicissus tridentata subsp. cuneifolia showed good antioxidant activity with IC50 values of 0.83 mg/ml and 0.06 mg/ml, respectively. The toxicity of plants was determined using the XTT reduction method against Vero cells. None of the ten plants showed toxicity on the cells. The obtained results confirmed that Acacia karroo and possibly Rhoicissus tridentata subsp. cuneifolia have the potential of being used as antimicrobial agents in the treatment of STDs and UTIs. These results support and validate traditional use of medicinal plants studied.

Keywords: antimicrobial, antioxidant, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, sexually transmitted diseases

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12 Nagami Kumkuat: A Source of Antiviral and Antimicrobial Bioactive Compounds

Authors: Howaida I. Abd-Alla, Nagwa M. M. Shalaby

Abstract:

The fruit rind of Fortunella margarita (Nagami Kumkuat) was investigated for its chemical constituents. Thirteen metabolites were obtained and classified into, a sterol; β-sitosterol (1) and twelve phenolic compounds, three coumarins; xanthotoxin (2), isopimpinellin (3), umbelliferone (4), nine flavonoids of O-glycosides of flavone; apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (5), apigenin-7-O-rhamnoglucoside (rhoifolin) (6), C-glycosides; vitexin (7), vicenin II (8), and the methoxylated; 6-methoxyapigenin-7-methyl ether (9) and tangeretin (10) as well as flavanones class; naringenin (11), liquiritigenin (12), hesperdin (hesperetin-7-rhamnoglucoside) (13). All compounds were identified for the first time in F. margarita except compound (8). The major glycosides 5, 6, and 13 and total crude extract showed potential antiviral activity against live Newcastle disease virus vaccine strains (Komarov and LaSota) and live infectious bursitis viruses vaccine strain D78 replication in VERO cell cultures and on specific pathogen-free embryonated chicken eggs. Antiviral inhibitory concentration fifty (IC50), cytotoxic concentration fifty (CC50), and therapeutic index (TI) were calculated. In addition, the extract and compounds 7 and 13 showed marked antimicrobial activity against different strains of fungi, Gram-positive and negative bacteria, including some foodborne pathogens of animal origin, caused human disease. These results suggested that the extract of F. margarita may be considered potentially useful as a source of natural antiviral and antimicrobial agents. It can be used as an ingredient for functional food and/or pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: antimicrobial, antiviral, Fortunella margarita, Nagami Kumkuat, phenolic secondary metabolites

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11 Isolation and Elimination of Latent and Productive Herpes Simplex Virus from the Sacral and Trigeminal Ganglions

Authors: Bernard L. Middleton, Susan P. Cosgrove

Abstract:

There is an immediate need for alternative anti-herpetic treatment options effective for both primary infections and reoccurring reactivations of herpes simplex virus types 1 (HSV-1) and 2 (HSV-2). Alternatives currently approved for the purposes of clinical administration includes antivirals and a reduced set of nucleoside analogues. The present article tests a treatment based on a systemic understanding of how the herpes virus affects cell inhibition and breakdown and targets different phases of the viral cycle, including the entry stage, reproductive cross mutation, and cell-to-cell infection. The treatment consisted of five immunotherapeutic core compounds (5CC), which were hypothesized to be capable of neutralizing human monoclonal antibodies. The tested 5CC were noted as being functional in the application of eliminating the DNA synthesis of herpes viral interferon (IFN) - induced cellular antiviral response. They were here found to neutralize antiviral reproduction by blocking cell-to-cell infection. The activity of the 5CC was tested on RC-37 in vitro using an assay plaque reduction and in vivo against HSV-1 and HSV-2. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 5CC was 0.0009% for HSV-1 plaque formation and 0.0008% for HSV-2 plaque formation. Further tests were performed to evaluate the susceptibility of HSV-1 and HSV-2 to anti-herpetic drugs in Vero cells after virus entry. There were high-level markers of the 5CC virucidal activity in the viral suspension of HSV-1 and HSV-2. These concentrations of the 5CC are nontoxic and reduced plaque formation by 98.2% for HSV-1 and 93.0% for HSV-2. Virus HSV-1 and HSV-2 titers were reduced significantly by 5CC to the point of being negative, ranging 0.01–0.09 in 72%. The results concluded the 5CC as being an effective treatment option for the herpes simplex virus.

Keywords: synergy pharmaceuticals, herpes treatment, herpes cure, synergy pharmaceuticals treatment

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10 Silica Nanofibres – Promising Material for Regenerative Medicine

Authors: Miroslava Rysová, Zdena Syrová, Tomáš Zajíc, Petr Exnar

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Currently, attention of tissue engineers has been attracted to novel nanofibrous materials having advanced properties and ability to mimic extracellular matrix (ECM) by structure which makes them interesting candidates for application in regenerative medicine as scaffolding and/or drug delivering material. Throughout the last decade, more than 200 synthetic and natural polymers have been successfully electrospun leading to the formation of nanofibres with a wide range of chemical, mechanical and degradation properties. In this family, inorganic nanofibres represent very specific group offering an opportunity to manufacture inert to body, well degradable and in properties tunable material. Aim of this work, was to reveal unique properties of silica (SiO2, CAS 7631-86-9) nanofibres and their potential in field of regenerative medicine. Silica nanofibres were prepared by sol-gel method from tetraethyl orthosilicate (TEOS, CAS 78-10-4) as a precursor and subsequently manufactured by needleless electrospinning on NanospiderTM device. Silica nanofibres thermally stabilized under 200°C were confirmed to be fully biodegradable and soluble in several simulated body fluids. In vitro cytotoxicity tests of eluate (ES ISO 10993-5:1999) and in direct contact (ES ISO 10993-5:2009) showed no toxicity - e.g. cell viabilities reached values exceeding 80%. Those results were obtained equally from two different cell lines (Vero, 3T3). Non-toxicity of silaca nanofibres´ eluate was additionally confirmed in real time by testing on xCelligence (ACEA Biosciences, Inc.) device. Both cell types also showed good adhesion to material. To conclude, all mentioned results lead to resumption that silica nanofibres have a potential as material for regenerative medicine which opens door to further research.

Keywords: cytotoxicity, electrospinning, nanofibres, silica, tissue engineering

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9 Yellow Necklacepod and Shih-Balady: Possible Promising Sources Against Human Coronaviruses

Authors: Howaida I. Abd-Alla, Omnia Kutkat, Yassmin Moatasim, Magda T. Ibrahim, Marwa A. Mostafa, Mohamed GabAllah, Mounir M. El-Safty

Abstract:

Artemisia judaica (known shih-balady), Azadirachta indica and Sophora tomentosa (known yellow necklace pod) are members of available medicinal plants well-known for their traditional medical use in Egypt which suggests that they probably harbor broad-spectrum antiviral, immunostimulatory and anti-inflammatory functions. Their ethyl acetate-dichloromethane (1:1, v/v) extracts were evaluated for the potential anti-Middle East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (anti-MERS-CoV) activity. Their cytotoxic activity was tested in Vero-E6 cells using 3-(4,-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) method with minor modification. The plot of percentage cytotoxicity for each extract concentration has calculated the concentration which exhibited 50% cytotoxic concentration (TC50). A plaque reduction assay was employed using safe dose of extract to evaluate its effect on virus propagation. The highest inhibition percentage was recorded for the yellow necklace pod, followed by Shih-balady. The possible mode of action of virus inhibition was studied at three different levels viral replication, viral adsorption and virucidal activity. The necklace pod leaves have induced virucidal effects and direct effects on the replication of virus. Phytochemical investigation of the promising necklace pod led to the isolation and structure determination of nine compounds. The structure of each compound was determined by a variety of spectroscopic methods. Compounds 4-O-methyl sorbitol 1, 8-methoxy daidzin 6 and 6-methoxy apigenin-7-O-β-D-glucopyranoside 8 were isolated for the first time from the Sophora genus and the other six compounds were the first time that they were isolated from this species according to available works of literature. Generally, the highest anti-CoV 2 activity of S. tomentosa was associated with the crude ethanolic extract, indicating the possibility of synergy among the antiviral phytochemical constituents (1-9).

Keywords: coronavirus, MERS-CoV, mode of action, necklace pod, shih-balady

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8 Cytotoxicity of 13 South African Macrofungal Species and Mechanism/s of Action against Cancer Cell Lines

Authors: Gerhardt Boukes, Maryna Van De Venter, Sharlene Govender

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Macrofungi have been used for the past two thousand years in Asian countries, and more recently in Western countries, for their medicinal properties. Biological activities include antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticancer and immunomodulatory to name a few. Several biologically active compounds have been identified and isolated. Macrofungal research in Africa is poorly documented and to the best of our knowledge non-existent. South Africa has a rich macrofungal biodiversity, which includes endemic and exotic macrofungal species. Ethanolic extracts of 13 macrofungal species, including mushrooms, bracket fungi and puffballs, were prepared and screened for cytotoxicity against a panel of seven cell lines, including A549 (human lung adenocarcinoma), HeLa (human cervical adenocarcinoma), HT-29 (human colorectal adenocarcinoma), MCF7 (human breast adenocarcinoma), MIA PaCa-2 (human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma), PC-3 (human prostate adenocarcinoma) and Vero (African green monkey kidney epithelial) cells using MTT. Cell lines were chosen according to the most prevalent cancer types affecting males and females in South Africa and globally, and the mutations they contain. Preliminary results have shown that three of the macrofungal genera, i.e. Fomitopsis, Gymnopilus and Pycnoporus, have shown cytotoxic activity, ranging between IC50 ~20 and 200 µg/mL. The molecular mechanism of action contributing to cell death investigated and being investigated include apoptosis (i.e. DNA cell cycle arrest, caspase-3 activation and mitochondrial membrane potential), autophagy (i.e. acridine orange and LC3B staining) and ER stress (i.e. thioflavin T staining and caspase-12) in the presence of melphalan, chloroquine and thapsigargin/tuncamycin as positive controls, respectively. The genus, Pycnoporus, has shown the best cytotoxicity of the three macrofungal genera. Future work will focus on the identification and isolation of novel active compounds and elucidating the mechanism/s of action.

Keywords: cancer, cytotoxicity, macrofungi, mechanism/s of action

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7 Reduction of the Cellular Infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 by a Mucoadhesive Nasal Spray

Authors: Adam M. Pitz, Gillian L. Phillipson, Jayant E. Khanolkar, Andrew M. Middleton

Abstract:

New emerging evidence suggests that the nose is the predominant route for entry of the SARS-CoV-2 virus into the host. A virucidal suspension test (conforming in principle to the European Standard EN14476) was conducted to determine whether a commercial liquid gel intranasal spray containing 1% of the mucoadhesive hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) could inhibit the cellular infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Virus was added to the test product samples and to controls in a 1:8 ratio and mixed with one part bovine serum albumin as an interfering substance. The test samples were pre-equilibrated to 34 ± 2°C (representing the temperature of the nasopharynx) with the temperature maintained at 34 ± 2°C for virus contact times of 1, 5 and 10 minutes. Neutralized aliquots were inoculated onto host cells (Vero E6 cells, ATCC CRL-1586). The host cells were then incubated at 36 ± 2°C for a period of 7 days. The residual infectious virus in both test and controls was detected by viral-induced cytopathic effect. The 50% tissue culture infective dose per mL (TCID50/mL) was determined using the Spearman-Karber method with results reported as the reduction of the virus titer due to treatment with test product, expressed as log10. The controls confirmed the validity of the results with no cytotoxicity or viral interference observed in the neutralized test product samples. The HPMC formulation reduced SARS-CoV-2 titer, expressed as log10TCID50, by 2.30 ( ± 0.17), 2.60 ( ± 0.19), and 3.88 ( ± 0.19) with the respective contact times of 1, 5 and 10 minutes. The results demonstrate that this 1% HPMC gel formulation can reduce the cellular infectivity of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with an increasing viral inhibition observed with increasing exposure time. This 1% HMPC gel is well tolerated and can reside, when delivered via nasal spray, for up to one hour in the nasal cavity. We conclude that this intranasal gel spray with 1% HPMC repeat-dosed every few hours may offer an effective preventive or early intervention solution to limit the transmission and impact of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Keywords: hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, mucoadhesive nasal spray, respiratory viruses, SARS-CoV-2

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6 Material Response Characterisation of a PolyJet 3D Printed Human Infant Skull

Authors: G. A. Khalid, R. Prabhu, W. Whittington, M. D. Jones

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To establish a causal relationship of infant head injury consequences, this present study addresses the necessary challenges of cranial geometry and the physical response complexities of the paediatric head tissues. Herein, we describe a new approach to characterising and understanding infant head impact mechanics by developing printed head models, using high resolution clinical postmortem imaging, to provide the most complete anatomical representation currently available, and biological material response data-matched polypropylene polymers, to replicate the relative mechanical response properties of immature cranial bone, sutures and fontanelles. Additive manufacturing technology was applied to creating a physical polymeric model of a newborn infant skull, using PolyJet printed materials. Infant skull materials responses, were matched by a response characterisation study, utilising uniaxial tensile testing (1 mm min-1 loading rate), to determine: the stiffness, ultimate tensile strength and maximum strain of rigid and rubber additively manufactured acrylates. The results from the mechanical experiments confirm that the polymeric materials RGD835 Vero White Plus (White), representing the frontal and parietal bones; RGD8510- DM Rigid Light Grey25 (Grey), representing the occipital bone; and FLX9870-DM (Black) representing the suture and fontanelles, were found to show a close stiffness -correlation (E) at ambient temperatures. A 3D physical model of infant head was subsequently printed from the matched materials and subsequently validated against results obtained from a series of Post Mortem Human Surrogate (PMHS) tests. A close correlation was demonstrated between the model impact tests and the PMHS. This study, therefore, represents a key step towards applying printed physical models to understanding head injury biomechanics and is useful in the efforts to predict and mitigate head injury consequences in infants, whether accidental or by abuse.

Keywords: infant head trauma, infant skull, material response, post mortem human subjects, polyJet printing

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5 Aptamers: A Potential Strategy for COVID-19 Treatment

Authors: Mohamad Ammar Ayass, Natalya Griko, Victor Pashkov, Wanying Cao, Kevin Zhu, Jin Zhang, Lina Abi Mosleh

Abstract:

Respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Early evidence pointed at the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2) expressed on the epithelial cells of the lung as the main entry point of SARS-CoV-2 into the cells. The viral entry is mediated by the binding of the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of the spike protein that is expressed on the surface of the virus to the ACE-2 receptor. As the number of SARS-CoV-2 variants continues to increase, mutations arising in the RBD of SARS-CoV-2 may lead to the ineffectiveness of RBD targeted neutralizing antibodies. To address this limitation, the objective of this study is to develop a combination of aptamers that target different regions of the RBD, preventing the binding of the spike protein to ACE-2 receptor and subsequent viral entry and replication. A safe and innovative biomedical tool was developed to inhibit viral infection and reduce the harms of COVID-19. In the present study, DNA aptamers were developed against a recombinant trimer S protein using the Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential enrichment (SELEX). Negative selection was introduced at round number 7 to select for aptamers that bind specifically to the RBD domain. A series of 9 aptamers (ADI2010, ADI2011, ADI201L, ADI203L, ADI205L, ADIR68, ADIR74, ADIR80, ADIR83) were selected and characterized with high binding affinity and specificity to the RBD of the spike protein. Aptamers (ADI25, ADI2009, ADI203L) were able to bind and pull down endogenous spike protein expressed on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 virus in COVID-19 positive patient samples and determined by liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry analysis (LC-MS/MS). LC-MS/MS data confirmed that aptamers can bind to the RBD of the spike protein. Furthermore, results indicated that the combination of the 9 best aptamers inhibited the binding of the purified trimer spike protein to the ACE-2 receptor found on the surface of Vero E6 cells. In the same experiment, the combined aptamers displayed a better neutralizing effect than antibodies. The data suggests that the selected aptamers could be used in therapy to neutralize the effect of the SARS-CoV-2 virus by inhibiting the interaction between the RBD and ACE-2 receptor, preventing viral entry into target cells and therefore blocking viral replication.

Keywords: aptamer, ACE-2 receptor, binding inhibitor, COVID-19, spike protein, SARS-CoV-2, treatment

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4 Evaluation of Medicinal Plants, Catunaregam spinosa, Houttuynia cordata, and Rhapis excelsa from Malaysia for Antibacterial, Antifungal and Antiviral Properties

Authors: Yik Sin Chan, Bee Ling Chuah, Wei Quan Chan, Ri Jin Cheng, Yan Hang Oon, Kong Soo Khoo, Nam Weng Sit

Abstract:

Traditionally, medicinal plants have been used to treat different kinds of ailments including infectious diseases. They serve as a good source of lead compounds for the development of new and safer anti-infective agents. This study aimed to investigate the antimicrobial potential of the leaves of three medicinal plants, namely Catunaregam spinosa (Rubiaceae; Mountain pomegranate), Houttuynia cordata (Saururaceae; "fishy-smell herb") and Rhapis excelsa (Arecaceae; “broadleaf lady palm”). The leaves extracts were obtained by sequential extraction using hexane, chloroform, ethyl acetate, ethanol, methanol and water. The antibacterial and antifungal activities were assessed using a colorimetric broth microdilution method against a panel of human pathogenic bacteria (Gram-positive: Bacillus cereus and Staphylococcus aureus; Gram-negative: Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa) and fungi (yeasts: Candida albicans, Candida parapsilosis and Cryptococcus neoformans; Moulds: Aspergillus fumigatus and Trichophyton mentagrophytes) respectively; while antiviral activity was evaluated against the Chikungunya virus on monkey kidney epithelial (Vero) cells by neutral red uptake assay. All the plant extracts showed bacteriostatic activity, however, only 72% of the extracts (13/18) were found to have bactericidal activity. The lowest minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) were given by the hexane extract of C. spinosa against S. aureus with the values of 0.16 and 0.31 mg/mL respectively. All the extracts also possessed fungistatic activity. Only the hexane, chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of H. cordata exerted inhibitory activity against A. fumigatus, giving the lowest fungal susceptibility index of 16.7%. In contrast, only 61% of the extracts (11/18) showed fungicidal activity. The ethanol extract of R. excelsa exhibited the strongest fungicidal activity against C. albicans, C. parapsilosis and T. mentagrophytes with minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) values of 0.04–0.08 mg/mL, in addition to its methanol extract against T. mentagrophytes (MFC=0.02 mg/mL). For anti-Chikungunya virus activity, only chloroform and ethyl acetate extracts of R. excelsa showed significant antiviral activity with 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of 29.9 and 78.1 g/mL respectively. Extracts of R. excelsa warrant further investigations into their active principles responsible for antifungal and antiviral properties.

Keywords: bactericidal, Chikungunya virus, extraction, fungicidal

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3 Preliminary Design, Production and Characterization of a Coral and Alginate Composite for Bone Engineering

Authors: Sthephanie A. Colmenares, Fabio A. Rojas, Pablo A. Arbeláez, Johann F. Osma, Diana Narvaez

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The loss of functional tissue is a ubiquitous and expensive health care problem, with very limited treatment options for these patients. The golden standard for large bone damage is a cadaveric bone as an allograft with stainless steel support; however, this solution only applies to bones with simple morphologies (long bones), has a limited material supply and presents long term problems regarding mechanical strength, integration, differentiation and induction of native bone tissue. Therefore, the fabrication of a scaffold with biological, physical and chemical properties similar to the human bone with a fabrication method for morphology manipulation is the focus of this investigation. Towards this goal, an alginate and coral matrix was created using two production techniques; the coral was chosen because of its chemical composition and the alginate due to its compatibility and mechanical properties. In order to construct the coral alginate scaffold the following methodology was employed; cleaning of the coral, its pulverization, scaffold fabrication and finally the mechanical and biological characterization. The experimental design had: mill method and proportion of alginate and coral, as the two factors, with two and three levels each, using 5 replicates. The coral was cleaned with sodium hypochlorite and hydrogen peroxide in an ultrasonic bath. Then, it was milled with both a horizontal and a ball mill in order to evaluate the morphology of the particles obtained. After this, using a combination of alginate and coral powder and water as a binder, scaffolds of 1cm3 were printed with a SpectrumTM Z510 3D printer. This resulted in solid cubes that were resistant to small compression stress. Then, using a ESQUIM DP-143 silicon mold, constructs used for the mechanical and biological assays were made. An INSTRON 2267® was implemented for the compression tests; the density and porosity were calculated with an analytical balance and the biological tests were performed using cell cultures with VERO fibroblast, and Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) as visualization tool. The Young’s moduli were dependent of the pulverization method, the proportion of coral and alginate and the interaction between these factors. The maximum value was 5,4MPa for the 50/50 proportion of alginate and horizontally milled coral. The biological assay showed more extracellular matrix in the scaffolds consisting of more alginate and less coral. The density and porosity were proportional to the amount of coral in the powder mix. These results showed that this composite has potential as a biomaterial, but its behavior is elastic with a small Young’s Modulus, which leads to the conclusion that the application may not be for long bones but for tissues similar to cartilage.

Keywords: alginate, biomaterial, bone engineering, coral, Porites asteroids, SEM

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2 Possible Involvement of DNA-methyltransferase and Histone Deacetylase in the Regulation of Virulence Potential of Acanthamoeba castellanii

Authors: Yi H. Wong, Li L. Chan, Chee O. Leong, Stephen Ambu, Joon W. Mak, Priyadashi S. Sahu

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Background: Acanthamoeba is a free-living opportunistic protist which is ubiquitously distributed in the environment. Virulent Acanthamoeba can cause fatal encephalitis in immunocompromised patients and potential blinding keratitis in immunocompetent contact lens wearers. Approximately 24 species have been identified but only the A. castellanii, A. polyphaga and A. culbertsoni are commonly associated with human infections. Until to date, the precise molecular basis for Acanthamoeba pathogenesis remains unclear. Previous studies reported that Acanthamoeba virulence can be diminished through prolonged axenic culture but revived through serial mouse passages. As no clear explanation on this reversible pathogenesis is established, hereby, we postulate that the epigenetic regulators, DNA-methyltransferases (DNMT) and histone-deacetylases (HDAC), could possibly be involved in granting the virulence plasticity of Acanthamoeba spp. Methods: Four rounds of mouse passages were conducted to revive the virulence potential of the virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba castellanii strain (ATCC 50492). Briefly, each mouse (n=6/group) was inoculated intraperitoneally with Acanthamoebae cells (2x 105 trophozoites/mouse) and incubated for 2 months. Acanthamoebae cells were isolated from infected mouse organs by culture method and subjected to subsequent mouse passage. In vitro cytopathic, encystment and gelatinolytic assays were conducted to evaluate the virulence characteristics of Acanthamoebae isolates for each passage. PCR primers which targeted on the 2 members (DNMT1 and DNMT2) and 5 members (HDAC1 to 5) of the DNMT and HDAC gene families respectively were custom designed. Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) was performed to detect and quantify the relative expression of the two gene families in each Acanthamoeba isolates. Beta-tubulin of A. castellanii (Genbank accession no: XP_004353728) was included as housekeeping gene for data normalisation. PCR mixtures were also analyzed by electrophoresis for amplicons detection. All statistical analyses were performed using the paired one-tailed Student’s t test. Results: Our pathogenicity tests showed that the virulence-reactivated Acanthamoeba had a higher degree of cytopathic effect on vero cells, a better resistance to encystment challenge and a higher gelatinolytic activity which was catalysed by serine protease. qPCR assay showed that DNMT1 expression was significantly higher in the virulence-reactivated compared to the virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba strain (p ≤ 0.01). The specificity of primers which targeted on DNMT1 was confirmed by sequence analysis of PCR amplicons, which showed a 97% similarity to the published DNA-methyltransferase gene of A. castellanii (GenBank accession no: XM_004332804.1). Out of the five primer pairs which targeted on the HDAC family genes, only HDAC4 expression was significantly difference between the two variant strains. In contrast to DNMT1, HDAC4 expression was much higher in the virulence-attenuated Acanthamoeba strain. Conclusion: Our mouse passages had successfully restored the virulence of the attenuated strain. Our findings suggested that DNA-methyltransferase (DNMT1) and histone deacetylase (HDAC4) expressions are associated with virulence potential of Acanthamoeba spp.

Keywords: acanthamoeba, DNA-methyltransferase, histone deacetylase, virulence-associated proteins

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1 Development of Peptide Inhibitors against Dengue Virus Infection by in Silico Design

Authors: Aussara Panya, Nunghathai Sawasdee, Mutita Junking, Chatchawan Srisawat, Kiattawee Choowongkomon, Pa-Thai Yenchitsomanus

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Dengue virus (DENV) infection is a global public health problem with approximately 100 million infected cases a year. Presently, there is no approved vaccine or effective drug available; therefore, the development of anti-DENV drug is urgently needed. The clinical reports revealing the positive association between the disease severity and viral titer has been reported previously suggesting that the anti-DENV drug therapy can possibly ameliorate the disease severity. Although several anti-DENV agents showed inhibitory activities against DENV infection, to date none of them accomplishes clinical use in the patients. The surface envelope (E) protein of DENV is critical for the viral entry step, which includes attachment and membrane fusion; thus, the blocking of envelope protein is an attractive strategy for anti-DENV drug development. To search the safe anti-DENV agent, this study aimed to search for novel peptide inhibitors to counter DENV infection through the targeting of E protein using a structure-based in silico design. Two selected strategies has been used including to identify the peptide inhibitor which interfere the membrane fusion process whereby the hydrophobic pocket on the E protein was the target, the destabilization of virion structure organization through the disruption of the interaction between the envelope and membrane proteins, respectively. The molecular docking technique has been used in the first strategy to search for the peptide inhibitors that specifically bind to the hydrophobic pocket. The second strategy, the peptide inhibitor has been designed to mimic the ectodomain portion of membrane protein to disrupt the protein-protein interaction. The designed peptides were tested for the effects on cell viability to measure the toxic to peptide to the cells and their inhibitory assay to inhibit the DENV infection in Vero cells. Furthermore, their antiviral effects on viral replication, intracellular protein level and viral production have been observed by using the qPCR, cell-based flavivirus immunodetection and immunofluorescence assay. None of tested peptides showed the significant effect on cell viability. The small peptide inhibitors achieved from molecular docking, Glu-Phe (EF), effectively inhibited DENV infection in cell culture system. Its most potential effect was observed for DENV2 with a half maximal inhibition concentration (IC50) of 96 μM, but it partially inhibited other serotypes. Treatment of EF at 200 µM on infected cells also significantly reduced the viral genome and protein to 83.47% and 84.15%, respectively, corresponding to the reduction of infected cell numbers. An additional approach was carried out by using peptide mimicking membrane (M) protein, namely MLH40. Treatment of MLH40 caused the reduction of foci formation in four individual DENV serotype (DENV1-4) with IC50 of 24-31 μM. Further characterization suggested that the MLH40 specifically blocked viral attachment to host membrane, and treatment with 100 μM could diminish 80% of viral attachment. In summary, targeting the hydrophobic pocket and M-binding site on the E protein by using the peptide inhibitors could inhibit DENV infection. The results provide proof of-concept for the development of antiviral therapeutic peptide inhibitors to counter DENV infection through the use of a structure-based design targeting conserved viral protein.

Keywords: dengue virus, dengue virus infection, drug design, peptide inhibitor

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