Yellow Fluorescent Protein-Based Assay to Measure GABAA Channel Activation and Allosteric Modulation in CHO-K1 Cells.

Yellow Fluorescent Protein-Based Assay to Measure GABAA Channel Activation and Allosteric Modulation in CHO-K1 Cells.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59429
Johansson T, Norris T, Peilot-Sjögren H

The ?-aminobutyric acid A (GABAA) ion channels are important drug targets for treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Finding GABAA channel subtype selective allosteric modulators could lead to new improved treatments. However, the progress in this area has been obstructed by the challenging task of developing functional assays to support screening efforts and the generation of cells expressing functional GABAA ion channels with the desired subtype composition. To address these challenges, we developed a yellow fluorescent protein (YFP)-based assay to be able to study allosteric modulation of the GABAA ion channel using cryopreserved, transiently transfected, assay-ready cells. We show for the first time how the MaxCyte STX electroporation instrument can be used to generate CHO-K1 cells expressing functional GABAA ?2?3?2 along with a halide sensing YFP-H148Q/I152L (YFP-GABAA2 cells). As a basis for a cell-based assay capable of detecting allosteric modulators, experiments with antagonist, ion channel blocker and modulators were used to verify GABAA subunit composition and functionality. We found that the I(-) concentration used in the YFP assay affected both basal quench of YFP and potency of GABA. For the first time the assay was used to study modulation of GABA with 7 known modulators where statistical analysis showed that the assay can distinguish modulatory pEC50 differences of 0.15. In conclusion, the YFP assay proved to be a robust, reproducible and inexpensive assay. These data provide evidence that the assay is suitable for high throughput screening (HTS) and could be used to discover novel modulators acting on GABAA ion channels. HubMed – drug


Meta-analysis of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis fingerprints based on a constructed salmonella database.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59224
Zou W, Chen HC, Hise KB, Tang H, Foley SL, Meehan J, Lin WJ, Nayak R, Xu J, Fang H, Chen JJ

A database was constructed consisting of 45,923 Salmonella pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. The patterns, randomly selected from all submissions to CDC PulseNet during 2005 to 2010, included the 20 most frequent serotypes and 12 less frequent serotypes. Meta-analysis was applied to all of the PFGE patterns in the database. In the range of 20 to 1100 kb, serotype Enteritidis averaged the fewest bands at 12 bands and Paratyphi A the most with 19, with most serotypes in the 13-15 range among the 32 serptypes. The 10 most frequent bands for each of the 32 serotypes were sorted and distinguished, and the results were in concordance with those from distance matrix and two-way hierarchical cluster analyses of the patterns in the database. The hierarchical cluster analysis divided the 32 serotypes into three major groups according to dissimilarity measures, and revealed for the first time the similarities among the PFGE patterns of serotype Saintpaul to serotypes Typhimurium, Typhimurium var. 5-, and I 4,[5],12:i:-; of serotype Hadar to serotype Infantis; and of serotype Muenchen to serotype Newport. The results of the meta-analysis indicated that the pattern similarities/dissimilarities determined the serotype discrimination of PFGE method, and that the possible PFGE markers may have utility for serotype identification. The presence of distinct, serotype specific patterns may provide useful information to aid in the distribution of serotypes in the population and potentially reduce the need for laborious analyses, such as traditional serotyping. HubMed – drug


Bioengineered 3D Human Kidney Tissue, a Platform for the Determination of Nephrotoxicity.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59219
Desrochers TM, Suter L, Roth A, Kaplan DL

The staggering cost of bringing a drug to market coupled with the extremely high failure rate of prospective compounds in early phase clinical trials due to unexpected human toxicity makes it imperative that more relevant human models be developed to better predict drug toxicity. Drug-induced nephrotoxicity remains especially difficult to predict in both pre-clinical and clinical settings and is often undetected until patient hospitalization. Current pre-clinical methods of determining renal toxicity include 2D cell cultures and animal models, both of which are incapable of fully recapitulating the in vivo human response to drugs, contributing to the high failure rate upon clinical trials. We have bioengineered a 3D kidney tissue model using immortalized human renal cortical epithelial cells with kidney functions similar to that found in vivo. These 3D tissues were compared to 2D cells in terms of both acute (3 days) and chronic (2 weeks) toxicity induced by Cisplatin, Gentamicin, and Doxorubicin using both traditional LDH secretion and the pre-clinical biomarkers Kim-1 and NGAL as assessments of toxicity. The 3D tissues were more sensitive to drug-induced toxicity and, unlike the 2D cells, were capable of being used to monitor chronic toxicity due to repeat dosing. The inclusion of this tissue model in drug testing prior to the initiation of phase I clinical trials would allow for better prediction of the nephrotoxic effects of new drugs. HubMed – drug


Opa1 is required for proper mitochondrial metabolism in early development.

PLoS One. 2013; 8(3): e59218
Rahn JJ, Stackley KD, Chan SS

Opa1 catalyzes fusion of inner mitochondrial membranes and formation of the cristae. OPA1 mutations in humans lead to autosomal dominant optic atrophy. OPA1 knockout mice lose viability around embryonic day 9 from unknown reasons, indicating that OPA1 is essential for embryonic development. Zebrafish are an attractive model for studying vertebrate development and have been used for many years to describe developmental events that are difficult or impractical to view in mammalian models. In this study, Opa1 was successfully depleted in zebrafish embryos using antisense morpholinos, which resulted in disrupted mitochondrial morphology. Phenotypically, these embryos exhibited abnormal blood circulation and heart defects, as well as small eyes and small pectoral fin buds. Additionally, startle response was reduced and locomotor activity was impaired. Furthermore, Opa1 depletion caused bioenergetic defects, without impairing mitochondrial efficiency. In response to mitochondrial dysfunction, a transient upregulation of the master regulator of mitochondrial biogenesis, pgc1a, was observed. These results not only reveal a new Opa1-associated phenotype in a vertebrate model system, but also further elucidates the absolute requirement of Opa1 for successful vertebrate development. HubMed – drug



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