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Rogers N.H.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr
Annals of Medicine

It was previously assumed that brown adipose tissue (BAT) is present in humans only for a short period following birth, the time in which mechanisms of generating heat by way of shivering are not yet developed. Although BAT is maximally recruited in early infancy, findings in recent years have led to a new consensus that metabolically active BAT remains present in most children and many adult humans. Evidence to date supports a slow and steady decline in BAT activity throughout life, with the exception of an intriguing spike in the prevalence and volume of BAT around the time of puberty that remains poorly understood. Because BAT activity is more commonly observed in individuals with a lower body mass index, an association seen in both adult and pediatric populations, there is the exciting possibility that BAT is protective against childhood and adult obesity. Indeed, the function and metabolic relevance of human BAT is currently an area of vigorous research. The goal of this review is to summarize what is currently known about changes that occur in BAT during various stages of life, with a particular emphasis on puberty and aging. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd. Source

Kazane S.A.,Scripps Research Institute | Kazane S.A.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Axup J.Y.,Scripps Research Institute | Kim C.H.,Scripps Research Institute | And 10 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society

With the recent clinical success of bispecific antibodies, a strategy to rapidly synthesize and evaluate bispecific or higher order multispecific molecules could facilitate the discovery of new therapeutic agents. Here, we show that unnatural amino acids (UAAs) with orthogonal chemical reactivity can be used to generate site-specific antibody-oligonucleotide conjugates. These constructs can then be self-assembled into multimeric complexes with defined composition, valency, and geometry. With this approach, we generated potent bispecific antibodies that recruit cytotoxic T lymphocytes to Her2 and CD20 positive cancer cells, as well as multimeric antibody fragments with enhanced activity. This strategy should accelerate the synthesis and in vitro characterization of antibody constructs with unique specificities and molecular architectures. © 2012 American Chemical Society. Source

Larman H.B.,Scripps Research Institute | Larman H.B.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Scott E.R.,Scripps Research Institute | Wogan M.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | And 4 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research

A sensitive and highly multiplex method to directly measure RNA sequence abundance without requiring reverse transcription would be of value for a number of biomedical applications, including high throughput small molecule screening, pathogen transcript detection and quantification of short/degraded RNAs. RNA Annealing, Selection and Ligation (RASL) assays, which are based on RNA template-dependent oligonucleotide probe ligation, have been developed to meet this need, but technical limitations have impeded their adoption. Whereas DNA ligase-based RASL assays suffer from extremely low and sequence-dependent ligation efficiencies that compromise assay robustness, Rnl2 can join a fully DNA donor probe to a 3′-diribonucleotide-terminated acceptor probe with high efficiency on an RNA template strand. Rnl2-based RASL exhibits sub-femtomolar transcript detection sensitivity, and permits the rational tuning of probe signals for optimal analysis by massively parallel DNA sequencing (RASL-seq). A streamlined Rnl2-based RASL-seq protocol was assessed in a small molecule screen using 77 probe sets designed to monitor complex human B cell phenotypes during antibody class switch recombination. Our data demonstrate the robustness, cost-efficiency and broad applicability of Rnl2-based RASL assays. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research. Source

Kumar M.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Welzel G.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Chatterjee A.K.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters

The design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel dimeric pyrazinoylguanidines for the treatment of cystic fibrosis (CF) are reported herein. When administered directly to the lung in a guinea pig tracheal potential difference (TPD) model, the dimeric compounds were found to have superior potency, longer duration of action in the lung, and significantly reduced extra-pulmonary exposure in comparison to the corresponding monomeric ENaC blockers, which have been evaluated in the clinic but shown to have dose-limiting kidney toxicity. © 2015. Source

Liu T.,Scripps Research Institute | Liu Y.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Wang Y.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | Hull M.,California Institute for Biomedical Research Calibr | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society

The bovine antibody (BLV1H12) which has an ultralong heavy chain complementarity determining region 3 (CDRH3) provides a novel scaffold for antibody engineering. By substituting the extended CDRH3 of BLV1H12 with modified CXCR4 binding peptides that adopt a β-hairpin conformation, we generated antibodies specifically targeting the ligand binding pocket of CXCR4 receptor. These engineered antibodies selectively bind to CXCR4 expressing cells with binding affinities in the low nanomolar range. In addition, they inhibit SDF-1-dependent signal transduction and cell migration in a transwell assay. Finally, we also demonstrate that a similar strategy can be applied to other CDRs and show that a CDRH2-peptide fusion binds CXCR4 with a Kd of 0.9 nM. This work illustrates the versatility of scaffold-based antibody engineering and could greatly expand the antibody functional repertoire in the future. © 2014 American Chemical Society. Source

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