Cyclotides Suppress Human T-Lymphocyte Proliferation by an Interleukin 2-Dependent Mechanism.

Cyclotides Suppress Human T-Lymphocyte Proliferation by an Interleukin 2-Dependent Mechanism.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e68016
Gründemann C, Thell K, Lengen K, Garcia-Käufer M, Huang YH, Huber R, Craik DJ, Schabbauer G, Gruber CW

Cyclotides are a diverse and abundant group of ribosomally synthesized plant peptides containing a unique cyclic cystine-knotted topology that confers them with remarkable stability. Kalata B1, a representative member of this family of mini-proteins, has been found to inhibit the proliferation of human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Analysis of T-cell proliferation upon treatment with chemically synthesized kalata B1 mutants revealed a region comprising inter-cysteine loops 1 and 2 of the cyclotide framework to be important for biological activity. Cytokine signaling analysis using an ‘active’ kalata B1 mutant [T20K], and the reference drug cyclosporin A (CsA) demonstrated that treatment of activated T-lymphocytes with these compounds decreased the expression of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) surface receptor as well as IL-2 cytokine secretion and IL-2 gene expression, whereas the ‘inactive’ kalata B1 mutant [V10K] did not cause any effects. The anti-proliferative activity of [T20K] kalata B1 was antagonized by addition of exogenous IL-2. Furthermore, treatment with [T20K] kalata B1 led to an initial reduction of the effector function, as indicated by the reduced IFN-? and TNF-? production, but the levels of both cytokines stabilized over time and returned to their normal levels. On the other hand, the degranulation activity remained reduced. This indicated that cyclotides interfere with T-cell polyfunctionality and arrest the proliferation of immune-competent cells through inhibiting IL-2 biology at more than one site. The results open new avenues to utilize native and synthetically-optimized cyclotides for applications in immune-related disorders and as immunosuppressant peptides. HubMed – drug


Enhanced Active Targeting via Cooperative Binding of Ligands on Liposomes to Target Receptors.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67550
Sugiyama T, Asai T, Nedachi YM, Katanasaka Y, Shimizu K, Maeda N, Oku N

To achieve effective active targeting in a drug delivery system, we previously developed dual-targeting (DT) liposomes decorated with both vascular endothelial growth factor receptor-1 (VEGFR-1)-targeted APRPG and CD13-targeted GNGRG peptide ligands for tumor neovessels, and observed the enhanced suppression of tumor growth in Colon26 NL-17 tumor-bearing mice by the treatment with the DT liposomes encapsulating doxorubicin. In this present study, we examined the binding characteristics of DT liposomes having a different couple of ligands, namely, APRPG and integrin ?v?3-targeted GRGDS peptides. These DT liposomes synergistically associated to stimulated human umbilical vein endothelial cells compared with single-targeting (ST) liposomes decorated with APRPG or GRGDS. The results of a surface plasmon resonance assay showed that ST liposomes modified with APRPG or GRGDS peptide selectively bound to immobilized VEGFR-1 or integrin ?v?3, respectively. DT liposomes showed a higher affinity for a mixture of VEGFR-1 and integrin ?v?3 compared with ST liposomes, suggesting the cooperative binding of these 2 kinds of ligand on the liposomal surface. In a biodistribution assay, the DT liposomes accumulated to a significantly greater extent in the tumors of Colon26 NL-17 tumor-bearing mice compared with other liposomes. Moreover, the intratumoral distribution of the liposomes examined by confocal microscopy suggested that the DT liposomes targeted not only angiogenic endothelial cells but also tumor cells due to GRGDS-decoration. These findings suggest that “dual-targeting” augmented the affinity of the liposomes for the target cells and would thus be useful for active-targeting drug delivery for cancer treatment. HubMed – drug


Serotype Distribution and Antimicrobial Resistance of Streptococcus pneumoniae Isolates Causing Invasive Diseases from Shenzhen Children’s Hospital.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67507
Ma X, Zhao R, Ma Z, Yao K, Yu S, Zheng Y, Yang Y

To provide guidance for clinical disease prevention and treatment, this study examined the epidemiology, antibiotic susceptibility, and serotype distribution of Streptococcus pneumoniae (S. pneumoniae) associated with invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPDs) among children less than 14 years of age in Shenzhen, China.All the clinical strains were isolated from children less than 14 years old from January 2009 to August 2012. The serotypes and antibiotic resistance of strains of S. pneumoniae were determined using the capsular swelling method and the E-test.A total of 89 strains were isolated and 87 isolates were included. The five prevailing serotypes were 19F (28.7%), 14 (16.1%), 23F (11.5%), 19A (9.2%) and 6B (6.9%). The most common sequence types (ST) were ST271 (21.8%), ST876 (18.4%), ST320 (8.0%) and ST81 (6.9%) which were mainly related to 19F, 14, 19A and 23F, respectively. The potential coverage by 7-, 10-, and 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine were 77.0%, 77.0%, and 89.7%, respectively. Among the 87 isolates investigated, 11.5% were resistant to penicillin, and for meningitis isolates, the resistance rate was 100%. Multi-drug resistance (MDR) was exhibited by 49 (56.3%) isolates. Eighty-four isolates were resistance to erythromycin, among which, 56 (66.7%) carried the ermB gene alone and 28 (33.3%) expressed both the ermB and mefA/E genes.The potential coverage of PCV13 is higher than PCV7 and PCV10 because high rates of serotypes 19A and 6A in Shenzhen. The clinical treatment of IPD needs a higher drug concentration of antibiotics. Continued surveillance of the antimicrobial susceptibility and serotypes distribution of IPD isolates may be necessary. HubMed – drug


Abnormal resting-state activities and functional connectivities of the anterior and the posterior cortexes in medication-naïve patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(6): e67478
Cheng Y, Xu J, Nie B, Luo C, Yang T, Li H, Lu J, Xu L, Shan B, Xu X

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is a mental illness characterized by the loss of control. Because the cingulate cortex is believed to be important in executive functions, such as inhibition, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques to examine whether and how activity and functional connectivity (FC) of the cingulate cortex were altered in drug-naïve OCD patients.Twenty-three medication-naïve OCD patients and 23 well-matched healthy controls received fMRI scans in a resting state. Functional connectivities of the anterior cingulate (ACC) and the posterior cingulate (PCC) to the whole brain were analyzed using correlation analyses based on regions of interest (ROI) identified by the fractional amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (fALFF). Independent Component Analysis (ICA) was used to identify the resting-state sub-networks.fALFF analysis found that regional activity was increased in the ACC and decreased in the PCC in OCD patients when compared to controls. FC of the ACC and the PCC also showed different patterns. The ACC and the PCC were found to belong to different resting-state sub-networks in ICA analysis and showed abnormal FC, as well as contrasting correlations with the severity of OCD symptoms.Activity of the ACC and the PCC were increased and decreased, respectively, in the medication-naïve OCD patients compared to controls. Different patterns in FC were also found between the ACC and the PCC with respect to these two groups. These findings implied that the cardinal feature of OCD, the loss of control, may be attributed to abnormal activities and FC of the ACC and the PCC. HubMed – drug