South Carolina Center for Biotechnology

Orangeburg, United States

South Carolina Center for Biotechnology

Orangeburg, United States
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Franklin R.B.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Levy B.A.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Zou J.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Hanna N.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | And 7 more authors.
Journal of Gastrointestinal Cancer | Year: 2012

Purpose: Hepatocellular cancer (HCC) is a deadly and most rapidly increasing cancer in the USA and worldwide. The etiology and factors involved in development of HCC remain largely unknown. A marked decrease in zinc occurs in HCC. Its role and involvement in HCC has not been identified. We investigated the relationship of cellular zinc changes to the development of malignancy, and the identification of potential zinc transporters associated with the inability of hepatoma cells to accumulate zinc. Methods: The detection of relative zinc levels in situ in normal hepatic cells vs. hepatoma was performed on normal and HCC tissue sections. ZIP1, 2, 3, and 14 transporters were identified by immunohistochemistry. Results: Intracellular zinc levels are markedly decreased in HCC hepatoma cells vs. normal hepatic cells in early stage and advanced stage malignancy. ZIP14 transporter is localized at the plasma membrane in normal hepatocytes, demonstrating its functioning for uptake and accumulation of zinc. The transporter is absent in the hepatoma cells and its gene expression is downregulated. The change in ZIP14 is concurrent with the decrease in zinc. ZIP1, 2, 3 are not associated with normal hepatocyte uptake of zinc, and HCC zinc depletion. HepG2 cells exhibit ZIP14 transporter. Zinc treatment inhibits their growth. Conclusions: ZIP14 downregulation is likely involved in the depletion of zinc in the hepatoma cells in HCC. These events occur early in the development of malignancy possibly to protect the malignant cells from tumor suppressor effects of zinc. This provides new insight into important factors associated with HCC carcinogenesis. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011.

Kanak M.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Alseiari M.,Claflin University | Balasubramanian P.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Addanki K.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | And 7 more authors.
Applied Immunohistochemistry and Molecular Morphology | Year: 2010

Background: One of the most fascinating discoveries in biology in recent years is unquestionably the identification of the family of small, noncoding RNAs known as microRNAs (miRNAs). Each miRNA targets multiple mRNA species through recognition of complementary sequences, typically located at multiple sites within the 3 untranslated region. In animals, single-stranded miRNA binds specific messenger RNA (mRNA) by a mechanism that is yet to be fully characterized. The bound mRNA remains untranslated resulting in reduced levels of the corresponding protein; however, if the sequence match between the miRNA and its target is precise, the bound mRNA can be degraded resulting in reduced levels of the corresponding transcript. Eukaryotic genes are also regulated by triplex formation between double helix and a third small RNA or DNA molecule. Thousands of triplex-forming (TF) islands in human genomes are mapped. However, the role of TF miRNAs within the hairpin structures of miRNA and the target mRNA has not been reported. We have explored TF complexes between human miRNAs (hsa-miR) that are complementary to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-1 and their antiviral potential as therapeutic agents. Methods: We downloaded mature miRNA sequences from the human miRBase Sequence Database (http://microrna., and computationally analyzed miRNAs that have significant homologies to HIV-1 genome (pNL 4-3 Accession #AF324493). We developed an algorithm to look for triplex-binding motifs (C+CG and T AT) and selected 4 miRNAs with 3 negative controls. TF stability was tested by using fluorophore-labeled duplexes connected by a single hexaethylene glycol moiety, representing HIV-1 proviral motifs, and black-hole quencher-1 labeled oligonucleotides, representing miRNA. Results: Fifty miRNAs were discovered that showed greater than 80% homology to HIV-1, of which 4 hsa-miR that exhibited an ability to form stable triplex with double stranded-HIV-1 sequences were selected. Three negative controls were used. The TF stability of the 4 hsa-miRs and the negative controls were confirmed and measured. Stably transfected Hela-CD4+ cell lines expressing each of the hsa-miR were developed. All 4 miRNAs exhibited a significant inhibition of HIV-1 as measured by HIV-1 p24 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (>90%; P>0.001) when compared with the 3 negative controls. By using immunohistochemical staining with triplex binding monoclonal antibodies, significant expression of TF miRNAs was detected in the cell lines, but not in the negative controls (P<0.001). Conclusions: In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that besides the well-established post-transcriptional silencing based on mRNA degradation, miRNAs may be responsible for long-term latency of HIV-1 by TF, a different mechanism. We provide a possible molecular mechanism by which HIV-1 homologous miRNAs may impart resistance to HIV-1 and suggest a new miRNA-based therapeutic strategy for HIV-1. Copyright © 2010 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Bagasra O.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Golkar Z.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Garcia M.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Rice L.N.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Pace D.G.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology
Medical Hypotheses | Year: 2013

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are developmental conditions characterized by deficits in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication, and obsessive/stereotyped patterns of behavior. Although there is no reliable neurophysiological marker associated with ASDs, dysfunction of the parieto-frontal mirror neuron system and underdeveloped olfactory bulb (OB) has been associated with the disorder. It has been reported that the number of children who have ASD has increased considerably since the early 1990s. In developed countries, it is now reported that 1-1.5% of children have ASD, and in the US it is estimated that one in 88 children suffer from ASD. Currently, there is no known cause for ASD. During the last three decades, the most commonly accepted paradigm about autism is that it is a genetically inherited disease. The recent trio analyses, in which both biological parents and the autistic child's exomes are sequenced, do not support this paradigm. On the other hand, the environmental factors that may induce genetic mutations in vitro have not been clearly identified, and there is little irrefutable evidence that pesticides, water born chemicals, or food preservatives play critical roles in inducing the genetic mutations associated with known intellectual deficiencies that have been linked to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Here, we hypothesize and provide scientific evidence that ASD is the result of exposure to perfumes and cosmetics. The highly mutagenic, neurotoxic, and neuromodulatory chemicals found in perfumes are often overlooked and ignored as a result of a giant loophole in the Federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act of 1973, which explicitly exempts fragrance producers from having to disclose perfume ingredients on product labels. We hypothesize that perfumes and cosmetics may be important factors in the pathogenesis of ASD. Synthetic perfumes have gained global utility not only as perfumes but also as essential chemicals in detergents, cosmetics, soap, and a wide variety of commonly used items, even in food flavoring to enhance product taste. Here we provide evidence that a majority of perfumes are highly mutagenic at femtomolar concentrations, and cause significant neuromodulations in human neuroblastoma cells at extremely low levels of concentration, levels that are expected to reach a developing fetal brain if the pregnant mothers are exposed to these chemicals. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Addanki K.C.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Sheraz M.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Knight K.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | Williams K.,South Carolina Center for Biotechnology | And 2 more authors.
Indian Journal of Medical Microbiology | Year: 2011

Purpose: There is an urgent need to detect a rapid field-based test to detect anthrax. We have developed a rapid, highly sensitive DNA-based method to detect the anthrax toxin lethal factor gene located in pXO1, which is necessary for the pathogenicity of Bacillus anthracis. Materials and Methods: We have adopted the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) so that instead of capturing antibodies we capture the DNA of the target sequence by a rapid oligo-based hybridization and then detect the captured DNA with another oligoprobe that binds to a different motif of the captured DNA sequences at a dissimilar location. We chose anthrax lethal factor endopeptidase sequences located in pXO1 and used complementary oligoprobe, conjugated with biotin, to detect the captured anthrax specific sequence by the streptavidin-peroxidase- based colorimetric assay. Result: Our system can detect picomoles (pMoles) of anthrax (approximately 33 spores of anthrax) and is >1000 times more sensitive than the current ELISA, which has a detection range of 0.1 to 1.0ng/mL. False positive results can be minimized when various parameters and the colour development steps are optimized. Conclusion: Our results suggest that this assay can be adapted for the rapid detection of minuscule amounts of the anthrax spores that are aerosolized in the case of a bioterrorism attack. This detection system does not require polymerase chain reaction (PCR) step and can be more specific than the antibody method. This method can also detect genetically engineered anthrax. Since, the antibody method is so specific to the protein epitope that bioengineered versions of anthrax may not be detected.

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