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Pink D.B.S.,Innovascreen Inc. | Schulte W.,Innovascreen Inc. | Parseghian M.H.,Stonsa Biopharm Inc. | Zijlstra A.,Innovascreen Inc. | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The leaky, heterogeneous vasculature of human tumors prevents the even distribution of systemic drugs within cancer tissues. However, techniques for studying vascular delivery systems in vivo often require complex mammalian models and time-consuming, surgical protocols. The developing chicken embryo is a well-established model for human cancer that is easily accessible for tumor imaging. To assess this model for the in vivo analysis of tumor permeability, human tumors were grown on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), a thin vascular membrane which overlays the growing chick embryo. The real-time movement of small fluorescent dextrans through the tumor vasculature and surrounding tissues were used to measure vascular leak within tumor xenografts. Dextran extravasation within tumor sites was selectively enhanced an interleukin-2 (IL-2) peptide fragment or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF treatment increased vascular leak in the tumor core relative to surrounding normal tissue and increased doxorubicin uptake in human tumor xenografts. This new system easily visualizes vascular permeability changes in vivo and suggests that vascular permeability may be manipulated to improve chemotherapeutic targeting to tumors. © 2012 Pink et al.


Zhang Y.,Dalhousie University | Schulte W.,Innovascreen Inc | Pink D.,Innovascreen Inc | Phipps K.,Dalhousie University | And 5 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2010

Background: Diphtheria toxin (DT) has been utilized as a prospective anti-cancer agent for the targeted delivery of cytotoxic therapy to otherwise untreatable neoplasia. DT is an extremely potent toxin for which the entry of a single molecule into a cell can be lethal. DT has been targeted to cancer cells by deleting the cell receptor-binding domain and combining the remaining catalytic portion with targeting proteins that selectively bind to the surface of cancer cells. It has been assumed that "receptorless" DT cannot bind to and kill cells. In the present study, we report that "receptorless" recombinant DT385 is in fact cytotoxic to a variety of cancer cell lines. Methods: In vitro cytotoxicity of DT385 was measured by cell proliferation, cell staining and apoptosis assays. For in vivo studies, the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on angiogenesis. The CAM and mouse model system was used to evaluate the effect of DT385 on HEp3 and Lewis lung carcinoma (LLC) tumor growth, respectively. Results: Of 18 human cancer cell lines tested, 15 were affected by DT385 with IC50 ranging from 0.12-2.8 μM. Furthermore, high concentrations of DT385 failed to affect growth arrested cells. The cellular toxicity of DT385 was due to the inhibition of protein synthesis and induction of apoptosis. In vivo, DT385 diminished angiogenesis and decreased tumor growth in the CAM system, and inhibited the subcutaneous growth of LLC tumors in mice. Conclusion: DT385 possesses anti-angiogenic and anti-tumor activity and may have potential as a therapeutic agent. Copyright: © 2010 Zhang et al.


Quail D.F.,University of Western Ontario | Walsh L.A.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Zhang G.,University of Western Ontario | Findlay S.D.,University of Western Ontario | And 7 more authors.
Cancer Research | Year: 2012

Tumor vascularization is requisite for breast cancer progression, and high microvascular density in tumors is a poor prognostic indicator. Patients bearing breast cancers expressing human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-associated genes similarly exhibit high mortality rates, and the expression of embryonic proteins is associated with tumor progression. Here, we show that Nodal, a hESC-associated protein, promotes breast cancer vascularization. We show that high levels of Nodal are positively correlated with high vascular densities in human breast lesions (P = 0.0078). In vitro, we show that Nodal facilitates breast cancer-induced endothelial cell migration and tube formation, largely by upregulating the expression and secretion of proangiogenic factors by breast cancer cells. Using a directed in vivo angiogenesis assay and a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay, we show that Nodal promotes vascular recruitment in vivo. In a clinically relevant in vivo model, whereby Nodal expression was inhibited following tumor formation, we found a significant reduction in tumor vascularization concomitant with elevated hypoxia and tumor necrosis. These findings establish Nodal as a potential target for the treatment of breast cancer angiogenesis and progression. ©2012 AACR.


Kain K.H.,Innovascreen Inc. | Miller J.W.I.,Vanderbilt University | Jones-Paris C.R.,Vanderbilt University | Thomason R.T.,Vanderbilt University | And 4 more authors.
Developmental Dynamics | Year: 2014

A long and productive history in biomedical research defines the chick as a model for human biology. Fundamental discoveries, including the description of directional circulation propelled by the heart and the link between oncogenes and the formation of cancer, indicate its utility in cardiac biology and cancer. Despite the more recent arrival of several vertebrate and invertebrate animal models during the last century, the chick embryo remains a commonly used model for vertebrate biology and provides a tractable biological template. With new molecular and genetic tools applied to the avian genome, the chick embryo is accelerating the discovery of normal development and elusive disease processes. Moreover, progress in imaging and chick culture technologies is advancing real-time visualization of dynamic biological events, such as tissue morphogenesis, angiogenesis, and cancer metastasis. A rich background of information, coupled with new technologies and relative ease of maintenance, suggest an expanding utility for the chick embryo in cardiac biology and cancer research. Developmental Dynamics 243:216-228, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


Patent
INNOVASCREEN Inc | Date: 2011-01-14

A stage adaptor for imaging a biological specimen is described. The adaptor having a housing; a vented chamber contained within the housing; and a removable lid for covering the vented chamber. A depression is provided on the removable lid for receiving an objective from a microscope. An aperture is also provided at the apex of the depression for viewing inside the vented chamber. Also described is an integrated stage adaptor and imaging system as well as a method for imaging the biological specimen using the stage adaptor.


Patent
Innovascreen Inc. | Date: 2012-08-24

In accordance with the present invention, a family of membrane fusion protein and polynucleotides encoding the proteins have been identified. The proteins and nucleotides are derived from the family Reoviridae. Two membrane fusion proteins have been isolated from reoviruses isolated from poikilothermic hosts: the p14 protein from reptilian reovirus (RRV) isolated from python, and the p16 protein from aquareovirus (AQV) isolated from salmon. The genes encoding these proteins have been cloned and sequenced. Analysis of the amino acid sequences of these proteins show that both lack the typical fusion peptide motif found in other membrane fusion proteins. Expression of these proteins in cells results in cell-cell fusion.


Patent
Innovascreen Inc. | Date: 2011-09-29

Disclosed is a recombinant polypeptide for facilitating membrane fusion. The recombinant polypeptide having a sequence with at least 80% sequence identity with the ectodomain of p14 fusion-associated small transmembrane (FAST) protein and having a functional myristoylation motif, a transmembrane domain from a FAST protein and a sequence with at least 80% sequence identity with the endodomain of p15 FAST protein. A targeting ligand can be added to the recombinant polypeptide for selective fusion. The recombinant polypeptide can be included in the membrane of a liposome, or the like, to facilitate the delivery of bioactive compounds, such as siRNA, or the recombinant polypeptide can be mixed with a lipid carrier and added to cultured cells to induce cell-cell fusion and heterokaryon formation.


Patent
Innovascreen Inc. | Date: 2010-11-04

In accordance with the present invention, a family of membrane fusion protein and polynucleotides encoding the proteins have been identified. The proteins and nucleotides are derived from the family Reoviridae. Two membrane fusion proteins have been isolated from reoviruses isolated from poikilothermic hosts: the p14 protein from reptilian reovirus (RRV) isolated from python, and the p16 protein from aquareovirus (AQV) isolated from salmon. The genes encoding these proteins have been cloned and sequenced. Analysis of the amino acid sequences of these proteins show that both lack the typical fusion peptide motif found in other membrane fusion proteins. Expression of these proteins in cells results in cell-cell fusion.


PubMed | Innovascreen Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2012

The leaky, heterogeneous vasculature of human tumors prevents the even distribution of systemic drugs within cancer tissues. However, techniques for studying vascular delivery systems in vivo often require complex mammalian models and time-consuming, surgical protocols. The developing chicken embryo is a well-established model for human cancer that is easily accessible for tumor imaging. To assess this model for the in vivo analysis of tumor permeability, human tumors were grown on the chorioallantoic membrane (CAM), a thin vascular membrane which overlays the growing chick embryo. The real-time movement of small fluorescent dextrans through the tumor vasculature and surrounding tissues were used to measure vascular leak within tumor xenografts. Dextran extravasation within tumor sites was selectively enhanced an interleukin-2 (IL-2) peptide fragment or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF treatment increased vascular leak in the tumor core relative to surrounding normal tissue and increased doxorubicin uptake in human tumor xenografts. This new system easily visualizes vascular permeability changes in vivo and suggests that vascular permeability may be manipulated to improve chemotherapeutic targeting to tumors.


PubMed | Innovascreen Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists | Year: 2014

A long and productive history in biomedical research defines the chick as a model for human biology. Fundamental discoveries, including the description of directional circulation propelled by the heart and the link between oncogenes and the formation of cancer, indicate its utility in cardiac biology and cancer. Despite the more recent arrival of several vertebrate and invertebrate animal models during the last century, the chick embryo remains a commonly used model for vertebrate biology and provides a tractable biological template. With new molecular and genetic tools applied to the avian genome, the chick embryo is accelerating the discovery of normal development and elusive disease processes. Moreover, progress in imaging and chick culture technologies is advancing real-time visualization of dynamic biological events, such as tissue morphogenesis, angiogenesis, and cancer metastasis. A rich background of information, coupled with new technologies and relative ease of maintenance, suggest an expanding utility for the chick embryo in cardiac biology and cancer research.

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