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Springdale, AR, United States

Ye R.-S.,Nanchang University | Zhang Z.-H.,Nanchang University | Xu H.-Y.,Nanchang University | Xu F.,Nanchang University | And 4 more authors.
Biotechnology Letters | Year: 2013

Candida albicans is an opportunistic human pathogen whose disinfection is a challenge. ε-Poly-l-lysine (ε-PL), an antagonistic agent, can disrupt cell membranes and inhibit the growth of C. albicans. Genes that were differentially-expressed in response to ε-PL were isolated from C. albicans and identified by suppression subtractive hybridization. Ten subtracted clones, that share >98 % homology with known genes of C. albicans, were isolated. Among these, four genes encoded cell wall-associated proteins. Real-time quantitative PCR and northern blot hybridization suggest that these genes are involved in the response to ε-PL. These findings will help to determine the mechanism of the antimicrobial activity of ε-PL against C. albicans. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. Source

Tan Y.,University of Florida | Cao Z.,Emory University | Sajja H.K.,Emory University | Lipowska M.,Emory University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of X-Ray Science and Technology | Year: 2013

PURPOSE: To demonstrate diffuse optical tomography (DOT) corrected fluorescence molecular tomography (FMT) for quantitatively imaging tumor-targeted contrast agents in a 4T1 mouse mammary tumor model. PROCEDURES: In the first set of experiments, we validated our DOT corrected FMT method using subcutaneously injected 4T1 cells pre-labeled with a near-infrared (NIR) Cy 5.5 dye labeled recombinant amino-terminal fragment (ATF) of the receptor binding domain of urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), which binds to uPA receptor (uPAR) that is highly expressed in breast cancer tissues. Next, we apply the DOT corrected FMT method to quantitatively evaluate the ability of sensitive tumor imaging after systemic delivery of new uPAR-targeted optical imaging probes in the mice bearing 4T1 mammary tumors. These uPAR-targeted optical imaging probes are ATF peptides labeled with a newly developed NIR-830 dye being conjugated to magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles (IONPs). RESULTS: Our results have shown that DOT corrected FMT can accurately quantify and localize the injected imaging probe labeled 4T1 cells. Following systemic delivery of the targeted imaging nanoprobes into the mice bearing orthotopic mammary tumors, specific accumulation of the imaging probes in the orthotopic mammary tumors was detected in the mice that received uPAR targeted NIR-830-ATF-IONP probes but not in the mice injected with non-targeted NIR-830-mouse serum albumin (MSA)-IONPs. Additionally, DOT corrected FMT also enables the detection of both locally recurrent tumor and lung metastasis in the mammary tumor model 72 hrs after systemic administration of the uPAR-targeted NIR-830-labeled ATF peptide imaging probes. CONCLUSIONS: DOT corrected FMT and uPAR-targeted optical imaging probes have great potential for detection of breast cancer, recurrent tumor and metastasis in small animals. © 2013 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved. Source

Pusic K.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Xu H.,Oceannanotech LLC | Stridiron A.,University of Hawaii at Manoa | Aguilar Z.,Oceannanotech LLC | And 2 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2011

In this proof-of-concept study we report the use of <15. nm, water soluble, inorganic nanoparticles as a vaccine delivery system for a blood stage malaria vaccine. The recombinant malarial antigen, Merozoite Surface Protein 1 (rMSP1) of Plasmodium falciparum served as the model vaccine. The rMSP1 was covalently conjugated to polymer-coated quantum dot CdSe/ZnS nanoparticles (QDs) via surface carboxyl groups, forming rMSP1-QDs. Anti-MSP1 antibody responses induced by rMSP1-QDs were found to have 2-3. log higher titers than those obtained with rMSP1 administered with the conventional adjuvants, Montanide ISA51 and CFA. Moreover, the immune responsiveness and the induction of parasite inhibitory antibodies were significantly superior in mice injected with rMSP1-QDs. The rMSP1-QDs delivered via intra-peritoneal (i.p.), intra-muscular (i.m.), and subcutaneous (s.c.) routes were equally efficacious. The high level of immunogenicity exhibited by the rMSP1-QDs was achieved without further addition of other adjuvant components. Bone marrow derived dendritic cells were shown to efficiently take up the nanoparticles leading to their activation and the expression/secretion of key cytokines, suggesting that this may be a mode of action for the enhanced immunogenicity. This study provides promising results for the use of water soluble, inorganic nanoparticles (<15. nm) as potent vehicles/platforms to enhance the immunogenicity of polypeptide antigens in adjuvant-free immunizations. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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