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#28407193   2017/04/13 Save this To Up

A rapid and high-quality method for total RNA isolation from Haematococcus pluvialis.

Haematococcus pluvialis, as the most potential natural source of astaxanthin, which is a powerful antioxidant with high economic value, has attracted more and more scientific attention in recent years. An in-depth understanding of the mechanism for how H. pluvialis produces astaxanthin requires the intensive investigations on its genetic information. In particular, many reported studies were based on a variety of RNA analyses. However, it is difficult to extract RNA with high quality and quantity from H. pluvialis, because of the blockage from its thick cell wall and contamination by a large quantity of pigments, polysaccharides, and lipids. Therefore, we proposed an optimized Trizol-based RNA extraction method for H. pluvialis by investigating the effect of cell wall broken ways, algal strains, and cell growth status on total RNA isolation. Using this rapid, convenient, and cost-saving method, isolated H. pluvialis RNA had high quantity and quality (with an RNA integrity number of 7.0 and a concentration of 1604.1 ng/μL) equivalent to that isolated by commercial kit, enabling its applications into downstream RNA analyses.

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#28223550   2017/02/22 Save this To Up

NADH autofluorescence, a new metabolic biomarker for cancer stem cells: Identification of Vitamin C and CAPE as natural products targeting "stemness".

Here, we assembled a broad molecular "tool-kit" to interrogate the role of metabolic heterogeneity in the propagation of cancer stem-like cells (CSCs). First, we subjected MCF7 cells to "metabolic fractionation" by flow cytometry, using fluorescent mitochondrial probes to detect PCG1α activity, as well ROS and hydrogen-peroxide (H2O2) production; NADH levels were also monitored by auto-fluorescence. Then, the various cell populations were functionally assessed for "stem cell activity", using the mammosphere assay (3D-spheroids). Our results indicate that a sub-population of MCF7 cells, with increased PGC1α activity, high mitochondrial ROS/H2O2 production and high NADH levels, all form mammospheres with a higher efficiency. Thus, it appears that mitochondrial oxidative stress and the anti-oxidant response both contribute to the promotion of mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidative metabolism in CSCs. Further validation was provided by using specific inhibitors to target metabolic processes (the NAD+ salvage pathway, glycolysis, mitochondrial protein synthesis and OXPHOS), significantly reducing CSC propagation. As a consequence, we have now identified a variety of clinically-approved drugs (stiripentol), natural products (caffeic acid phenyl ester (CAPE), ascorbic acid, silibinin) and experimental pharmaceuticals (actinonin, FK866, 2-DG), that can be used to effectively inhibit CSC activity. We discuss the use of CAPE (derived from honey-bee propolis) and Vitamin C, as potential natural therapeutic modalities. In this context, Vitamin C was ~10 times more potent than 2-DG for the targeting of CSCs. Similarly, stiripentol was between 50 to 100 times more potent than 2-DG.

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#28096213   2017/01/18 Save this To Up

Endothelial cell regulation of salivary gland epithelial patterning.

Perfusion-independent regulation of epithelial pattern formation by the vasculature during organ development and regeneration is of considerable interest for application in restoring organ function. During murine submandibular salivary gland development, the vasculature co-develops with the epithelium during branching morphogenesis; however, it is not known whether the vasculature has instructive effects on the epithelium. Using pharmacological inhibitors and siRNA knockdown in embryonic organ explants, we determined that VEGFR2-dependent signaling is required for salivary gland epithelial patterning. To test directly for a requirement for endothelial cells in instructive epithelial patterning, we developed a novel ex vivo cell fractionation/reconstitution assay. Immuno-depletion of CD31(+) endothelial cells in this assay confirmed a requirement for endothelial cells in epithelial patterning of the gland. Depletion of endothelial cells or inhibition of VEGFR2 signaling in organ explants caused an aberrant increase in cells expressing the ductal proteins K19 and K7, with a reduction in Kit(+) progenitor cells in the endbuds of reconstituted glands. Addition of exogenous endothelial cells to reconstituted glands restored epithelial patterning, as did supplementation with the endothelial cell-regulated mesenchymal factors IGFBP2 and IGFBP3. Our results demonstrate that endothelial cells promote expansion of Kit(+) progenitor cells and suppress premature ductal differentiation in early developing embryonic submandibular salivary gland buds.

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#27660101   2016/09/29 Save this To Up

Riccardin D-N induces lysosomal membrane permeabilization by inhibiting acid sphingomyelinase and interfering with sphingomyelin metabolism in vivo.

Lysosomes are important targets for anticancer drug discovery. Our previous study showed that Riccardin D-N (RD-N), a natural macrocylic bisbibenzyl derivative produced by Mannich reaction, induced cell death by accumulating in lysosomes. Experiments were performed on human lung squamous cell carcinoma tissue from left inferior lobar bronchus of patient xenografts and H460 cells. RD-N was administrated for 25days. The specimens of xenografts in Balb/c athymic (nu+/nu+) male mice were removed for immunohistochemistry, subcellular fractionation, enzyme activities and Western blotting analysis. mRFP-GFP-LC3 reporter was used to examine autophagy in H460 cells. Sphingomyelin assay was evaluated by thin-layer chromatography and assay kit. Lysosomal membrane permeabilization (LMP) caused by acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) inhibition and subsequent changes of sphingomyelin (SM) metabolism selectively destabilized the cancer cell lysosomes in RD-N-treated H460 cells in vitro and tumor xenograft model in vivo. The destabilized lysosomes induced the release of cathepsins from the lysosomes into the cytosol and further triggered cell death. These results explain the underlying mechanism of RD-N induced LMP. It can be concluded that a more lysosomotropic derivative was synthesized by introduction of an amine group, which could have more potential applications in cancer therapy.

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#27064884   2016/04/12 Save this To Up

A comparative evaluation of four DNA extraction protocols from whole blood sample.

All organisms have Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) within their cells. DNA is a complex molecule that contains all of the information necessary to build and maintain an organism. DNA extraction is one of the most basic and essential techniques in the study of DNA that allow huge advances in molecular biology, biotechnology and bioinformatics laboratories. Whole blood samples are one of the main sources used to obtain DNA and there are many different protocols available in this issue. In current research, compared four DNA extraction protocols from blood samples; include modified phenol-chloroform protocol, two salting-out and enzyme free method and from commercial kit. The extracted DNAs by these protocols were analyzed according to their time demands, quality and quantity, toxicity and functionality in PCR method. Also the quality and quantity of the extracted DNA were surveyed by gel electrophoresis and Nanodrop spectrophotometry methods. It was observed that there are not significantly differences between these methods about DNA Purity (A260/A280), but the DNA yield (ng DNA/μl) of phenol/chloroform method was higher than other methods. In addition, phenol/chloroform was the most toxic method and it takes more time than other methods. Roche diagnostics GmbH kit was the most expensive among the four methods but the least extraction time was required and it was the safest method.

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#27009329   2016/03/24 Save this To Up

Residual matrix from different separation techniques impacts exosome biological activity.

Exosomes are gaining a prominent role in research due to their intriguing biology and several therapeutic opportunities. However, their accurate purification from body fluids and detailed physicochemical characterization remain open issues. We isolated exosomes from serum of patients with Multiple Myeloma by four of the most popular purification methods and assessed the presence of residual contaminants in the preparations through an ad hoc combination of biochemical and biophysical techniques - including Western Blot, colloidal nanoplasmonics, atomic force microscopy (AFM) and scanning helium ion microscopy (HIM). The preparations obtained by iodixanol and sucrose gradients were highly pure. To the contrary, those achieved with limited processing (serial centrifugation or one step precipitation kit) resulted contaminated by a residual matrix, embedding the exosomes. The contaminated preparations showed lower ability to induce NfkB nuclear translocation in endothelial cells with respect to the pure ones, probably because the matrix prevents the interaction and fusion of the exosomes with the cell membrane. These findings suggest that exosome preparation purity must be carefully assessed since it may interfere with exosome biological activity. Contaminants can be reliably probed only by an integrated characterization approach aimed at both the molecular and the colloidal length scales.

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#26956090   2016/03/09 Save this To Up

Improved lysis of single bacterial cells by a modified alkaline-thermal shock procedure.

Single-cell genomics (SCG) is a recently developed tool to study the genomes of unculturable bacterial species. SCG relies on multiple-strand displacement amplification (MDA), PCR, and next-generation sequencing (NGS); however, obtaining sufficient amounts of high-quality DNA from samples is a major challenge when performing this technique. Here we present an improved bacterial cell lysing procedure that combines incubation in an alkaline buffer with a thermal shock (freezing/heating) treatment to yield highly intact genomic DNA with high efficiency. This procedure is more efficient in lysing Bacillus subtilis and Synechocystis cells compared with two other frequently used lysis methods. Furthermore, 16S ribosomal RNA gene and overall genome recovery were found to be improved by this method using single cells from a Utah desert soil community or Escherichia coli single cells, respectively. The efficiency of genome recovery for E. coli single cells using our procedure is comparable with that of the REPLI-g Single Cell (sc) Kit, but our method is much more economical. By providing high-quality genome templates suitable for downstream applications, our procedure will be a promising improvement for SCG research.

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#26741887   2016/03/29 Save this To Up

In Vitro Validation of a Closed Device Enabling the Purification of the Fluid Portion of Liposuction Aspirates.

Adipose tissue harvested through lipoaspiration is widely exploited in plastic and cosmetic surgery, because of its remarkable trophic properties, especially relying on the presence of adipose-derived stem cells. The common procedures for adipose-derived stem cell isolation are mainly based on tissue fractionation and enzymatic digestion, requiring multiple hours of uninterrupted work, unsuitable for direct surgical applications. Recent studies demonstrated the feasibility of isolating adipose stromal cells without the need for enzymatic digestion. These studies reported the processing of the fluid portion of liposuctioned adipose tissue (lipoaspirate fluid), which contains a significant amount of progenitor cells endowed with plastic and trophic features. In this article, the authors introduce a brand new closed device--the MyStem EVO kit--which allows nonenzymatic tissue separation and rapid isolation of lipoaspirate fluid from human liposuctioned adipose tissue.

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#26242641   2015/08/05 Save this To Up

An optimised direct lysis method for gene expression studies on low cell numbers.

There is increasing interest in gene expression analysis of either single cells or limited numbers of cells. One such application is the analysis of harvested circulating tumour cells (CTCs), which are often present in very low numbers. A highly efficient protocol for RNA extraction, which involves a minimal number of steps to avoid RNA loss, is essential for low input cell numbers. We compared several lysis solutions that enable reverse transcription (RT) to be performed directly on the cell lysate, offering a simple rapid approach to minimise RNA loss for RT. The lysis solutions were assessed by reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) in low cell numbers isolated from four breast cancer cell lines. We found that a lysis solution containing both the non-ionic detergent (IGEPAL CA-630, chemically equivalent to Nonidet P-40 or NP-40) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) gave the best RT-qPCR yield. This direct lysis to reverse transcription protocol outperformed a column-based extraction method using a commercial kit. This study demonstrates a simple, reliable, time- and cost-effective method that can be widely used in any situation where RNA needs to be prepared from low to very low cell numbers.

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#25596337   2015/04/14 Save this To Up

Optimal isolation of mitochondria for proteomic analyses.

Considering the key role of mitochondria in cellular (dys)functions, we compared a standard isolation protocol, followed by lysis in urea/detergent buffer, with a commercially available isolation buffer that rapidly yields a mitochondrial protein fraction. The standard protocol yielded significantly better overall resolution and coverage of both the soluble and membrane mitochondrial proteomes; although the kit was faster, it resulted in recovery of only approximately 56% of the detectable proteome. The quality of "omic" analysis depends on sample handling; for large-scale protein studies, well-resolved proteomes are highly dependent on the purity of starting material and the rigor of the extraction protocol.

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