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The Pfs230 N-terminal fragment, Pfs230D1+: expression and characterization of a potential malaria transmission-blocking vaccine candidate.

Control and elimination of malaria can be accelerated by transmission-blocking interventions such as vaccines. A surface antigen of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes, Pfs230, is a leading vaccine target antigen, and has recently progressed to experimental clinical trials. To support vaccine product development, an N-terminal Pfs230 antigen was designed to increase yield, as well as to improve antigen quality, integrity, and homogeneity.

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Proteins and Antibodies H Beta Amyloid (1 42) ELISA Amino Terminal Fragment o Rabbit anti human amino t Beta Amyloid (40) ELISA K Antibodies, Rabbit: Rabb eNOS Blocking Peptide;App Androgen Receptor , Mouse VDAC Porin Blocking Pepti 4 Androstene 3,17 dione C Alpha- Amylase Blocking P Annexin VIII Blocking Pep

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Preclinical Efficacy of a Lipooligosaccharide Peptide Mimic Candidate Gonococcal Vaccine.

The global spread of multidrug-resistant strains of constitutes a public health emergency. With limited antibiotic treatment options, there is an urgent need for development of a safe and effective vaccine against gonorrhea. Previously, we constructed a prototype vaccine candidate comprising a peptide mimic (mimitope) of a glycan epitope on gonococcal lipooligosaccharide (LOS), recognized by monoclonal antibody 2C7. The 2C7 epitope is (i) broadly expressed as a gonococcal antigenic target in human infection, (ii) a critical requirement for gonococcal colonization in the experimental setting, and (iii) a virulence determinant that is maintained and expressed by gonococci. Here, we have synthesized to >95% purity through a relatively facile and economical process a tetrapeptide derivative of the mimitope that was cyclized through a nonreducible thioether bond, thereby rendering the compound homogeneous and stable. This vaccine candidate, called TMCP2, when administered at 0, 3, and 6 weeks to BALB/c mice at either 50, 100 or 200 μg/dose in combination with glucopyranosyl lipid A-stable oil-in-water nanoemulsion (GLA-SE; a Toll-like receptor 4 and T1-promoting adjuvant), elicited bactericidal IgG and reduced colonization levels of gonococci in experimentally infected mice while accelerating clearance by each of two different gonococcal strains. Similarly, a 3-dose biweekly schedule (50 μg TMCP2/dose) was also effective in mice. We have developed a gonococcal vaccine candidate that can be scaled up and produced economically to a high degree of purity. The candidate elicits bactericidal antibodies and is efficacious in a preclinical experimental infection model. has become resistant to most antibiotics. The incidence of gonorrhea is also sharply increasing. A safe and effective antigonococcal vaccine is urgently needed. Lipooligosaccharide (LOS), the most abundant outer membrane molecule, is indispensable for gonococcal pathogenesis. A glycan epitope on LOS that is recognized by monoclonal antibody (MAb) 2C7 (called the 2C7 epitope) is expressed almost universally by gonococci Previously, we identified a peptide mimic (mimitope) of the 2C7 epitope, which when configured as an octamer and used as an immunogen, attenuated colonization of mice by gonococci. Here, a homogenous, stable tetrameric derivative of the mimitope, when combined with a T1-promoting adjuvant and used as an immunogen, also effectively attenuates gonococcal colonization of mice. This candidate peptide vaccine can be produced economically, an important consideration for gonorrhea, which affects socioeconomically underprivileged populations disproportionately, and represents an important advance in the development of a gonorrhea vaccine.

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Evaluation of the Tetrakis(3-Hydroxy-4-Pyridinone) Ligand THPN with Zirconium(IV): Thermodynamic Solution Studies, Bifunctionalization, and in Vivo Assessment of Macromolecular Zr-THPN-Conjugates.

Zirconium-89 (Zr) is a suitable radionuclide for positron-emission tomography (PET) of long-circulating targeting vectors such as monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Due to stability concerns for the most widely used Zr-chelating agent desferrioxamine B (DFO) in preclinical studies, alternative Zr-chelators are currently being developed. We recently reported on the first tetrakis(3-hydroxy-4-pyridinone) (3,4-HOPO) ligand THPN, which was identified as a promising Zr-chelator. In this study, we aimed to further explore this octadentate chelate in vitro and in vivo. The [Zr(THPN)] thermodynamic stability was quantified in solution titration studies, which revealed one of the highest formation constants reported for a zirconium chelate (log β 50.3(1), pM = 42.8). Solution stabilities with iron(III) were also exceptionally high and can compete with some of the strongest Fe-chelates. A first bifunctional derivative of the octadentate ligand, -SCN-Bn-THPN, was then produced in a multistep synthesis. To assess and compare the long-term Zr complex stability, bifunctional THPN, as well as the literature chelators -SCN-Phe-DFO and -SCN-Phe-DFO*, were conjugated to the high-molecular weight (800 kDa) polymeric carrier hyperbranched polyglycerol (HPG). The functionalized HPGs were radiolabeled with Zr, and the integrity of the radioconjugates was assessed over several days in vitro and in vivo. While all three radioconjugates remained >95% intact over 5 days in human plasma, the in vivo study in healthy mice revealed higher physiologic stability of the DFO and DFO* radiochelates over bifunctional THPN conjugates. This was evidenced by increased bone uptake of osteophilic Zr for THPN. This finding contrasts with the exceptionally high thermodynamic stability of the chelate and suggests either a kinetic or metabolic lability, or may stem from coordinative changes due to the covalent conjugation of the Zr-THPN radiochelate as suggested by density functional theory (DFT) calculations. These important findings inform the design of next generation 3,4-HOPO chelates with the aim of improving the physiologic stability. This study furthermore demonstrates how HPG can be used as a robust carrier tool to assess and compare the long-term in vivo stability of radiochelates.

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Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in collision sports: Possible mechanisms of transformation into chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability, contributing to ~30% of all injury-related deaths in the US. TBI occurs when a force transmitted to the head causes neuropathologic damage and impairment of brain function. TBI doubles risk of suicide and is the major determinant of acquired seizure disorders. TBI arising from closed head trauma (CHT) significantly increases the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD) and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Evidence for a possible role of TBI as a risk factor for sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS) has been provided by studies of professional players of European football. Depending on age, genetic make-up (in particular, being a carrier of one or two ApoE4 alleles), the number of TBIs sustained, their severity, the time periods involved, and many other factors that affect vulnerability, decades may pass after occurrence of one or more TBIs before sequelae such as AD, PD, sALS or CTE become clinically evident. Among college and professional football players who experience repeated concussions and sub-concussive blows to the head, the risk of developing CTE increases with the number of years actively devoted to the sport, and the degree of exposure to physical impacts inherent in the position played. Following a moderate or severe concussion, or a series of mild blows to the head, the brain may undergo subtle pathophysiological changes that are unlikely to be detected with confidence using available diagnostic methods. Biomarkers are being sought that can help the attending physician infer the likely presence of an ongoing occult neurodegenerative process. One example of the adverse effect of collision on the brain is "heading" the soccer ball-a feat that, repeated over years of competition, has been found to produce severe brain damage in veteran players. CTE has attracted increasing national attention because of its devastating effects in a high proportion of retired professional players of American football. In a study of brains from deceased former football players, contributed mostly by family members, CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 110 of 111 of National Football League (NFL) veterans. In the CTE-positive subjects, the authors observed extensive brain atrophy, astrogliosis, myelinated axonopathy, microvascular injury, perivascular neuroinflammation, and phosphorylated tau protein pathology. CTE's neuropathology has been formally defined as a tauopathy characterized by a distinct perivascular accumulation of hyperphosphorylated tau in neurons and astrocytes within cerebral sulci. Although the mechanism that underlies the unforeseen emergence of CTE long after the occurrence of one or more closed head traumas is unknown, an explanation proposed by Albayram and associates is persuasive. They discovered TBI-induced neuronal production of the toxic compound cis P-tau, an abnormal and destructive isomer of the normal and benign trans P-tau, in mouse models of CTE. Cis P-tau produced a CTE-like syndrome via a process they termed cistauosis. Cistauosis can be blocked in laboratory animals by cis P-tau monoclonal antibody, which prevents later development of tau tangles, brain atrophy and virtual CTE. In a subsequent study, the same group found in human samples obtained post-TBI from a variety of causes, that cis P-tau is induced in cortical axons and cerebrospinal fluid and positively correlates with axonal injury and clinical outcome. Thus, cis P-tau appears to contribute to short-term and long-term sequelae after TBI, but may be subject to neutralization by cis-antibody treatment.

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-(Carboxymethyl)arginine Is One of the Dominant Advanced Glycation End Products in Glycated Collagens and Mouse Tissues.

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) accumulate in proteins during aging in humans. In particular, the AGE structure -(carboxymethyl)arginine (CMA) is produced by oxidation in glycated collagen, accounting for one of the major proteins detected in biological samples. In this study, we investigated the mechanism by which CMA is generated in collagen and detected CMA in collagen-rich tissues. When various protein samples were incubated with glucose, the CMA content, detected using a monoclonal antibody, increased in a time-dependent manner only in glycated collagen, whereas the formation of -(carboxymethyl)lysine (CML), a major antigenic AGE, was detected in all glycated proteins. Dominant CMA formation in glycated collagen was also observed by electrospray ionization-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). During incubation of glucose with collagen, CMA formation was enhanced with increasing glucose concentration, whereas it was inhibited in the presence of dicarbonyl-trapping reagents and a metal chelator. CMA formation was also observed upon incubating collagen with glyoxal, and CMA was generated in a time-dependent manner when glyoxal was incubated with type I-IV collagens. To identify hotspots of CMA formation, tryptic digests of glycated collagen were applied to an affinity column conjugated with anti-CMA. Several CMA peptides that are important for recognition by integrins were detected by LC-MS/MS and amino acid sequence analyses. CMA formation on each sequence was confirmed by incubation of the synthesized peptides with glyoxal and ribose. LC-MS detected CMA in the mouse skin at a higher level than other AGEs. Furthermore, CMA accumulation was greater in the human aorta of older individuals. Overall, our study provides evidence that CMA is a representative AGE structure that serves as a useful index to reflect the oxidation and glycation of collagen.

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Human Peripheral Blood Eosinophils Express High Levels of the Purinergic Receptor P2X4.

Extracellular nucleotides are important mediators of cell activation and trigger multiple responses via membrane receptors known as purinergic receptors (P2). P2X receptors are ligand-gated ion channels, activated by extracellular ATP. P2X4 is one of the most sensitive purinergic receptors, that is typically expressed by neurons, microglia, and some epithelial and endothelial cells. P2X4 mediates neuropathic pain via brain-derived neurotrophic factor and is also involved in inflammation in response to high ATP release. It is therefore involved in multiple inflammatory pathologies as well as neurodegenerative diseases. We have produced monoclonal antibodies (mAb) directed against this important human P2X4 receptor. Focusing on two mAbs, we showed that they also recognize mouse and rat P2X4. We demonstrated that these mAbs can be used in flow cytometry, immunoprecipitation, and immunohistochemistry, but not in Western blot assays, indicating that they target conformational epitopes. We also characterized the expression of P2X4 receptor on mouse and human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). We showed that P2X4 is expressed at the surface of several leukocyte cell types, with the highest expression level on eosinophils, making them potentially sensitive to adenosine triphosphate (ATP). P2X4 is expressed by leucocytes, in human and mouse, with a significant gender difference, males having higher surface expression levels than females. Our findings reveal that PBL express significant levels of P2X4 receptor, and suggest an important role of this receptor in leukocyte activation by ATP, particularly in P2X4 expressing eosinophils.

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The immunomodulatory functions and molecular mechanism of a new bursal heptapeptide (BP7) in immune responses and immature B cells.

The bursa of Fabricius (BF) is the acknowledged central humoural immune organ unique to birds and plays a vital role in B lymphocyte development. In addition, the unique molecular immune features of bursal-derived biological peptides involved in B cell development are rarely reported. In this paper, a novel bursal heptapeptide (BP7) with the sequence GGCDGAA was isolated from the BF and was shown to enhance the monoclonal antibody production of a hybridoma. A mouse immunization experiment showed that mice immunized with an AIV antigen and BP7 produced strong antibody responses and cell-mediated immune responses. Additionally, BP7 stimulated increased mRNA levels of sIgM in immature mouse WEHI-231 B cells. Gene microarray results confirmed that BP7 regulated 2465 differentially expressed genes in BP7-treated WEHI-231 cells and induced 13 signalling pathways and various immune-related functional processes. Furthermore, we found that BP7 stimulated WEHI-231 cell autophagy and AMPK-ULK1 phosphorylation and regulated Bcl-2 protein expression. Finally, chicken immunization showed that BP7 enhanced the potential antibody and cytokine responses to the AIV antigen. These results suggested that BP7 might be an active biological factor that functions as a potential immunopotentiator, which provided some novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of the effects of bursal peptides on immune functions and B cell differentiation.

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Opsonic monoclonal antibodies enhance phagocytic killing activity and clearance of from blood in a quantitative qPCR mouse model.

Patients with impaired immunity often have rapid progression of tuberculosis (TB) which can lead to highly lethal (MTB) sepsis. Opsonic monoclonal antibodies (MABs) directed against MTB that enhance phagocytic killing activity and clearance of MTB from blood may be useful to enhance TB immunity.

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Interleukin-4 and interleukin-13 evoke scratching behaviour in mice.

Persistent and relapsing itch commonly manifests in inflammatory skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis (AD). AD pathogenesis is driven by interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13). Dupilumab, a monoclonal antibody blocking the action of IL-4 and IL-13 effectively reduces the symptoms of AD and itch. Little is known whether IL-4 and IL-13 directly contribute to itch transduction. A recently published study (Oetjen et al, Cell, 2017, 171, 217) found IL-4 and IL-13 to directly activate itch-sensory neurons in vitro. Surprisingly, they found no significant increase in scratching after intradermally injecting high doses (2.5 ug/ml) of IL-4 and IL-13 into mice. Similar experiments in our lab, however, suggested that both IL-4 and IL-13 contribute to acute itch in vivo. We intradermally injected lower doses (1 ug/ml) of IL-4 and IL-13 into mice and found a significant increase of scratching bouts compared to vehicle. Interestingly, the combined treatment of IL-4 and IL-13 produced additive increase of scratching and acute pruritus at an earlier time point compared to each cytokine administered alone. In summary, our study shows a rapid and significant increase of scratching after intradermal injection of IL-4, IL-13 or combined IL-4/ IL-13 compared to vehicle in mice 5-10 minutes after injection. Our data suggest that IL-4 and IL-13 alone and combined directly act as potent acute pruritogens on sensory nerves. This finding expands our understanding of cytokines as pruritogens, how targeted anticytokine medications act in AD, and about neuroimmune communication in the skin.

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