Owensboro Cancer Research Program

Fort Mitchell, KY, United States

Owensboro Cancer Research Program

Fort Mitchell, KY, United States
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Seber L.E.,University of Louisville | Seber L.E.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Barnett B.W.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Barnett B.W.,BASF | And 6 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Lunasin is a peptide derived from the soybean 2S albumin seed protein that has both anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities. Large-scale animal studies and human clinical trials to determine the efficacy of lunasin in vivo have been hampered by the cost of synthetic lunasin and the lack of a method for obtaining gram quantities of highly purified lunasin from plant sources. The goal of this study was to develop a large-scale method to generate highly purified lunasin from defatted soy flour. A scalable method was developed that utilizes the sequential application of anion-exchange chromatography, ultrafiltration, and reversed-phase chromatography. This method generates lunasin preparations of >99% purity with a yield of 442 mg/kg defatted soy flour. Mass spectrometry of the purified lunasin revealed that the peptide is 44 amino acids in length and represents the original published sequence of lunasin with an additional C-terminal asparagine residue. Histone-binding assays demonstrated that the biological activity of the purified lunasin was similar to that of synthetic lunasin. This study provides a robust method for purifying commercial-scale quantities of biologically-active lunasin and clearly identifies the predominant form of lunasin in soy flour. This method will greatly facilitate the development of lunasin as a potential nutraceutical or therapeutic anticancer agent. © 2012 Seber et al.


Barton C.,University of Louisville | Kouokam J.C.,University of Louisville | Kouokam J.C.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Lasnik A.B.,University of Louisville | And 10 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2014

Griffithsin (GRFT) is a red-alga-derived lectin that binds the terminal mannose residues of N-linked glycans found on the surface of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), HIV-2, and other enveloped viruses, including hepatitis C virus (HCV), severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and Ebola virus. GRFT displays no human T-cell mitogenic activity and does not induce production of proinflammatory cytokines in treated human cell lines. However, despite the growing evidence showing the broad-spectrum nanomolar or better antiviral activity of GRFT, no study has reported a comprehensive assessment of GRFT safety as a potential systemic antiviral treatment. The results presented in this work show that minimal toxicity was induced by a range of single and repeated daily subcutaneous doses of GRFT in two rodent species, although we noted treatment-associated increases in spleen and liver mass suggestive of an antidrug immune response. The drug is systemically distributed, accumulating to high levels in the serum and plasma after subcutaneous delivery. Further, we showed that serum from GRFT-treated animals retained antiviral activity against HIV-1-enveloped pseudoviruses in a cell-based neutralization assay. Overall, our data presented here show that GRFT accumulates to relevant therapeutic concentrations which are tolerated with minimal toxicity. These studies support further development of GRFT as a systemic antiviral therapeutic agent against enveloped viruses, although deimmunizing the molecule may be necessary if it is to be used in long-term treatment of chronic viral infections. © 2014, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Carter L.G.,University of Kentucky | Lewis K.N.,U.S. National Institute on Aging | Lewis K.N.,University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | Wilkerson D.C.,University of Kentucky | And 12 more authors.
American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2012

Emerging research has shown that subtle factors during pregnancy and gestation can influence long-term health in offspring. In an attempt to be proactive, we set out to explore whether a nonpharmacological intervention, perinatal exercise, might improve offspring health. Female mice were separated into sedentary or exercise cohorts, with the exercise cohort having voluntary access to a running wheel prior to mating and during pregnancy and nursing. Offspring were weaned, and analyses were performed on the mature offspring that did not have access to running wheels during any portion of their lives. Perinatal exercise caused improved glucose disposal following an oral glucose challenge in both female and male adult offspring (P < 0.05 for both). Blood glucose concentrations were reduced to lower values in response to an intraperitoneal insulin tolerance test for both female and male adult offspring of parents with access to running wheels (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01, respectively). Male offspring from exercised dams showed increased percent lean mass and decreased fat mass percent compared with male offspring from sedentary dams (P < 0.01 for both), but these parameters were unchanged in female offspring. These data suggest that short-term maternal voluntary exercise prior to and during healthy pregnancy and nursing can enhance long-term glucose homeostasis in offspring.


Vuyyuri S.B.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Rinkinen J.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Worden E.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Shim H.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Ascorbic acid (AA) exhibits significant anticancer activity at pharmacologic doses achievable by parenteral administration that have minimal effects on normal cells. Thus, AA has potential uses as a chemotherapeutic agent alone or in combination with other therapeutics that specifically target cancer-cell metabolism. We compared the effects of AA and combinations of AA with the glycolysis inhibitor 3-(3-pyridinyl)-1-(4-pyridinyl)-2-propen-1-one (3-PO) on the viability of three non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines to the effects on an immortalized lung epithelial cell line. AA concentrations of 0.5 to 5 mM caused a complete loss of viability in all NSCLC lines compared to a <10% loss of viability in the lung epithelial cell line. Combinations of AA and 3-PO synergistically enhanced cell death in all NSCLC cell lines at concentrations well below the IC50 concentrations for each compound alone. A synergistic interaction was not observed in combination treatments of lung epithelial cells and combination treatments that caused a complete loss of viability in NSCLC cells had modest effects on normal lung cell viability and reactive oxygen species (ROS) levels. Combination treatments induced dramatically higher ROS levels compared to treatment with AA and 3-PO alone in NSCLC cells and combination-induced cell death was inhibited by addition of catalase to the medium. Analyses of DNA fragmentation, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase cleavage, annexin V-binding, and caspase activity demonstrated that AA-induced cell death is caused via the activation of apoptosis and that the combination treatments caused a synergistic induction of apoptosis. These results demonstrate the effectiveness of AA against NSCLC cells and that combinations of AA with 3-PO synergistically induce apoptosis via a ROS-dependent mechanism. These results support further evaluation of pharmacologic concentrations of AA as an adjuvant treatment for NSCLC and that combination of AA with glycolysis inhibitors may be a promising therapy for the treatment of NSCLC. © 2013 Vuyyuri et al.


Hamorsky K.T.,University of Louisville | Hamorsky K.T.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Grooms-Williams T.W.,University of Louisville | Husk A.S.,University of Louisville | And 5 more authors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy | Year: 2013

Broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (bnMAbs) may offer powerful tools for HIV-1 preexposure prophylaxis, such as topical microbicides. However, this option is hampered due to expensive MAb biomanufacturing based on mammalian cell culture. To address this issue, we developed a new production system for bnMAb VRC01 in Nicotiana benthamiana plants using a tobamovirus replicon vector. Unlike conventional two-vector-based expression, this system was designed to overexpress fulllength IgG1 from a single polypeptide by means of kex2p-like enzyme recognition sites introduced between the heavy and light chains. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) revealed that gp120-binding VRC01 IgG1 was maximally accumulated on 5 to 7 days following vector inoculation, yielding ∼150 mg of the bnMAb per kg of fresh leaf material. The plant-made VRC01 (VRC01p) was efficiently purified by protein A affinity followed by hydrophobic-interaction chromatography. ELISA, surface plasmon resonance, and an HIV-1 neutralization assay demonstrated that VRC01p has gp120-binding affinity and HIV-1-neutralization capacity virtually identical to the human-cell-produced counterpart. To advance VRC01p's use in topical microbicides, we analyzed combinations of the bnMAb with other microbicide candidates holding distinct antiviral mechanisms in an HIV-1 neutralization assay. VRC01p exhibited clear synergy with the antiviral lectin griffithsin, the CCR5 antagonist maraviroc, and the reverse transcriptase inhibitor tenofovir in multiple CCR5-tropic HIV-1 strains from clades A, B, and C. In summary, VRC01p is amenable to robust, rapid, and large-scale production and may be developed as an active component in combination microbicides with other anti-HIV agents such as antiviral lectins, CCR5 antagonists, and reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Hamorsky K.T.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Hamorsky K.T.,University of Louisville | Kouokam J.C.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Kouokam J.C.,University of Louisville | And 6 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2013

Introduction: Cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) is a component of an internationally licensed oral cholera vaccine. The protein induces neutralizing antibodies against the holotoxin, the virulence factor responsible for severe diarrhea. A field clinical trial has suggested that the addition of CTB to killed whole-cell bacteria provides superior short-term protection to whole-cell-only vaccines; however, challenges in CTB biomanufacturing (i.e., cost and scale) hamper its implementation to mass vaccination in developing countries. To provide a potential solution to this issue, we developed a rapid, robust, and scalable CTB production system in plants. Methodology/Principal Findings: In a preliminary study of expressing original CTB in transgenic Nicotiana benthamiana, the protein was N-glycosylated with plant-specific glycans. Thus, an aglycosylated CTB variant (pCTB) was created and overexpressed via a plant virus vector. Upon additional transgene engineering for retention in the endoplasmic reticulum and optimization of a secretory signal, the yield of pCTB was dramatically improved, reaching >1 g per kg of fresh leaf material. The protein was efficiently purified by simple two-step chromatography. The GM1-ganglioside binding capacity and conformational stability of pCTB were virtually identical to the bacteria-derived original B subunit, as demonstrated in competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, surface plasmon resonance, and fluorescence-based thermal shift assay. Mammalian cell surface-binding was corroborated by immunofluorescence and flow cytometry. pCTB exhibited strong oral immunogenicity in mice, inducing significant levels of CTB-specific intestinal antibodies that persisted over 6 months. Moreover, these antibodies effectively neutralized the cholera holotoxin in vitro. Conclusions/Significance: Taken together, these results demonstrated that pCTB has robust producibility in Nicotiana plants and retains most, if not all, of major biological activities of the original protein. This rapid and easily scalable system may enable the implementation of pCTB to mass vaccination against outbreaks, thereby providing better protection of high-risk populations in developing countries. © 2013 Hamorsky et al.


McConnell E.J.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Devapatla B.,University of Louisville | Yaddanapudi K.,University of Louisville | Davis K.R.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | Davis K.R.,University of Louisville
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Lunasin, a soybean bioactive peptide, has both chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic activities. The aim of this study was to determine the chemotherapeutic potential of lunasin against human lung cancer. Treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cells with highly purified soybean-derived lunasin caused limited, cell-line specific anti-proliferative effects on anchoragedependent growth whereas two normal bronchial epithelial cell lines were unaffected. Lunasin's antiproliferative effects were potentiated upon utilization of anchorageindependent conditions. Furthermore, NSCLC cell lines that were unaffected by lunasin in anchorage-dependent assays exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition in colony formation or colony size. Mouse xenograft studies revealed that 30 mg lunasin/kg body weight per day decreased NSCLC H1299 tumor volume by 63.0% at day 32. Mechanistic studies using cultured NSCLC H661 cells showed that lunasin inhibited cell cycle progression at the G1/S phase interface without inducing apoptosis. Immunoblot analyses of key cell-cycle proteins demonstrated that lunasin altered the expression of the G1 specific cyclin-dependent kinase complex components, increased levels of p27Kip1, reduced levels of phosphorylated Akt, and ultimately inhibited the sequential phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein (RB). These results establish for the first time that lunasin can inhibit NSCLC proliferation by suppressing cell-cycle dependent phosphorylation of RB.


Kessans S.A.,Arizona State University | Linhart M.D.,Arizona State University | Matoba N.,Arizona State University | Matoba N.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program | And 2 more authors.
Plant Biotechnology Journal | Year: 2013

The transmembrane HIV-1 envelope protein gp41 has been shown to play critical roles in the viral mucosal transmission and infection of CD4+ cells. Gag is a structural protein configuring the enveloped viral particles and has been suggested to constitute a target of the cellular immunity that may control viral load. We hypothesized that HIV enveloped virus-like particles (VLPs) consisting of Gag and a deconstructed form of gp41 comprising the membrane proximal external, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains (dgp41) could be expressed in plants. To this end, plant-optimized HIV-1 genes were constructed and expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana by stable transformation, or transiently using a Tobamovirus-based expression system or a combination of both. Our results of biophysical, biochemical and electron microscopy characterization demonstrates that plant cells could support not only the formation of enveloped HIV-1 Gag VLPs, but also the accumulation of VLPs that incorporated dgp41. These findings provide further impetus for the journey towards a broadly efficacious and inexpensive subunit vaccine against HIV-1. © 2013 Society for Experimental Biology, Association of Applied Biologists and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


Matoba N.,Owensboro Cancer Research Program
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2011

Recombinant protein pharmaceuticals are now widely used in treatment of chronic diseases, and several recombinant protein subunit vaccines are approved for human and veterinary use. With growing demand for complex protein pharmaceuticals, such as monoclonal antibodies, manufacturing capacity is becoming limited. There is increasing need for safe, scalable, and economical alternatives to mammalian cell culture-based manufacturing systems, which require substantial capital investment for new manufacturing facilities. Since a seminal paper reporting immunoglobulin expression in transgenic plants was published in 1989, there have been many technological advances in plant expression systems to the present time where production of proteins in leaf tissues of nonfood crops such as Nicotiana species is considered a viable alternative. In particular, transient expression systems derived from recombinant plant viral vectors offer opportunities for rapid expression screening, construct optimization, and expression scale-up. Extraction of recombinant proteins from Nicotiana leaf tissues can be achieved by collection of secreted protein fractions, or from a total protein extract after grinding the leaves with buffer. After separation from solids, the major purification challenge is contamination with elements of the photosynthetic complex, which can be solved by application of a variety of facile and proven strategies. In conclusion, the technologies required for safe, efficient, scalable manufacture of recombinant proteins in Nicotiana leaf tissues have matured to the point where several products have already been tested in phase I clinical trials and will soon be followed by a rich pipeline of recombinant vaccines, microbicides, and therapeutic proteins.


PubMed | University of Washington and Owensboro Cancer Research Program
Type: | Journal: BMC biotechnology | Year: 2015

Griffithsin is a broad spectrum antiviral lectin that inhibits viral entry and maturation processes through binding clusters of oligomannose glycans on viral envelope glycoproteins. An efficient, scaleable manufacturing process for griffithsin active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is essential for particularly cost-sensitive products such as griffithsin -based topical microbicides for HIV-1 prevention in resource poor settings. Our previously published purification method used ceramic filtration followed by two chromatography steps, resulting in a protein recovery of 30%. Our objective was to develop a scalable purification method for griffithsin expressed in Nicotiana benthamiana plants that would increase yield, reduce production costs, and simplify manufacturing techniques. Considering the future need to transfer griffithsin manufacturing technology to resource poor areas, we chose to focus modifying the purification process, paying particular attention to introducing simple, low-cost, and scalable procedures such as use of temperature, pH, ion concentration, and filtration to enhance product recovery.We achieved >99% pure griffithsin API by generating the initial green juice extract in pH4 buffer, heating the extract to 55C, incubating overnight with a bentonite MgCl2 mixture, and final purification with Capto multimodal chromatography. Griffithsin extracted with this protocol maintains activity comparable to griffithsin purified by the previously published method and we are able to recover a substantially higher yield: 885% of griffithsin from the initial extract. The method was scaled to produce gram quantities of griffithsin with high yields, low endotoxin levels, and low purification costs maintained.The methodology developed to purify griffithsin introduces and develops multiple tools for purification of recombinant proteins from plants at an industrial scale. These tools allow for robust cost-effective production and purification of griffithsin. The methodology can be readily scaled to the bench top or industry and process components can be used for purification of additional proteins based on biophysical characteristics.

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