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Owensboro, KY, United States

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.

Park J.,Sungkyunkwan University | Hwang H.-S.,Sungkyunkwan University | Buckley K.J.,Ohio State University | Park J.-B.,Silla University | And 4 more authors.
Plant Cell Reports | Year: 2010

The Curtovirus C4 protein is required for symptom development during infection of Arabidopsis. Transgenic Arabidopsis plants expressing C4 from either Beet curly top virus or Beet severe curly top virus produced phenotypes that were similar to symptoms seen during infection with wild-type viruses. The pseudosymptoms caused by C4 protein alone were novel to transgenic Arabidopsis and included bumpy trichomes, severe enations, disorientation of vascular bundles and stomata, swelling, callus-like structure formation, and twisted siliques. C4 induced abnormal cell division and altered cell fate in a variety of tissues depending on the C4 expression level. C4 protein expression increased the expression levels of cell-cycle-related genes CYCs, CDKs and PCNA, and suppressed ICK1 and the retinoblastoma-related gene RBR1, resulting in activation of host cell division. These results suggest that the Curtovirus C4 proteins are involved actively in host cell-cycle regulation to recruit host factors for virus replication and symptom development. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

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.

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.

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.

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