Infrared spectroscopic studies of cells and tissues: triple helix proteins as a potential biomarker for tumors.
ABSTRACT: In this work, the infrared (IR) spectra of living neural cells in suspension, native brain tissue, and native brain tumor tissue were investigated. Methods were developed to overcome the strong IR signal of liquid water so that the signal from the cellular biochemicals could be seen. Measurements could be performed during surgeries, within minutes after resection. Comparison between normal tissue, different cell lineages in suspension, and tumors allowed preliminary assignments of IR bands to be made. The most dramatic difference between tissues and cells was found to be in weaker IR absorbances usually assigned to the triple helix of collagens. Triple helix domains are common in larger structural proteins, and are typically found in the extracellular matrix (ECM) of tissues. An algorithm to correct offsets and calculate the band heights and positions of these bands was developed, so the variance between identical measurements could be assessed. The initial results indicate the triple helix signal is surprisingly consistent between different individuals, and is altered in tumor tissues. Taken together, these preliminary investigations indicate this triple helix signal may be a reliable biomarker for a tumor-like microenvironment. Thus, this signal has potential to aid in the intra-operational delineation of brain tumor borders.
Project description:Time-resolved surface-enhanced IR-absorption spectroscopy triggered by electrochemical modulation has been performed on cytochrome c oxidase from Rhodobacter sphaeroides. Single bands isolated from a broad band in the amide I region using phase-sensitive detection were attributed to different redox centers. Their absorbances changing on the millisecond timescale could be fitted to a model based on protonation-dependent chemical reaction kinetics established previously. Substantial conformational changes of secondary structures coupled to redox transitions were revealed.
Project description:Environmental stimulation during brain development is an important risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative disease. Clinical evidence indicates that prenatal exposure to particulate air pollutants leads to diffuse damage to the neurovascular unit in the developing brain and accelerates neurodegeneration. Maternal exposure to carbon black nanoparticles (CB-NPs), used as a model for particulate air pollution, induces long-lasting diffuse perivascular abnormalities. We aimed to comprehensively characterize the perivascular abnormalities related to maternal NPs exposure using Fourier transform infrared microspectroscopy (in situ FT-IR) and classical staining analysis. Pregnant ICR mice were intranasally treated with a CB-NPs suspension (95 ?g/kg at a time) on gestational days 5 and 9. Brains were collected 6 weeks after birth and sliced to prepare 10-?m-thick serial sections. Reflective spectra of in situ FT-IR were acquired using lattice measurements (x-axis: 7, y-axis: 7, 30-?m apertures) around a centered blood vessel. We also performed mapping analysis of protein secondary structures. Serial sections were stained with using periodic acid-Schiff or immunofluorescence to examine the phenotypes of the perivascular areas. Peaks of amide I bands in spectra from perivascular areas were shifted by maternal NPs exposure. However, there were two types of peak-shift in one mouse in the exposure group. Some vessels had a large peak-shift and others had a small peak-shift. In situ FT-IR combined with traditional staining revealed that the large peak-shift was induced around blood vessel adjacent to astrocytes with glial fibrillary acidic protein and aquaporin-4 over-expression and perivascular macrophages (PVMs) with enlarged lysosome granules. Furthermore, protein secondary structural analysis indicated that maternal NPs exposure led to increases in ?-sheet content and decreases in ?-helix content in areas that are mostly close to the centered blood vessel displaying histopathological changes. These results suggest that ?-sheet-rich waste proteins, which are denatured by maternal NPs exposure, likely accumulate in the perivascular space as they are processed by the clearance systems in the brain. This may in turn lead the denaturation of PVMs and astrocyte activation. The risk of neurodegeneration may be enhanced by exposure to particulate air pollutants during brain development following the perivascular accumulation of ?-sheet-rich waste proteins.
Project description:X-ray crystallography of collagen model peptides has provided high-resolution structures of the basic triple-helical conformation and its water-mediated hydration network. Vibrational spectroscopy provides a useful bridge for transferring the structural information from X-ray diffraction to collagen in its native environment. The vibrational mode most useful for this purpose is the amide I mode (mostly peptide bond C=O stretch) near 1650 cm-1. The current study refines and extends the range of utility of a novel simulation method that accurately predicts the infrared (IR) amide I spectral contour from the three-dimensional structure of a protein or peptide. The approach is demonstrated through accurate simulation of the experimental amide I contour in solution for both a standard triple helix, (Pro-Pro-Gly)10, and a second peptide with a Gly --> Ala substitution in the middle of the chain that models the effect of a mutation in the native collagen sequence. Monitoring the major amide I peak as a function of temperature gives sharp thermal transitions for both peptides, similar to those obtained by circular dichroism spectroscopy, and the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra of the unfolded states were compared with polyproline II. The simulation studies were extended to model early stages of thermal denaturation of (Pro-Pro-Gly)10. Dihedral angle changes suggested by molecular dynamics simulations were made in a stepwise fashion to generate peptide unwinding from each end, which emulates the effect of increasing temperature. Simulated bands from these new structures were then compared to the experimental bands obtained as temperature was increased. The similarity between the simulated and experimental IR spectra lends credence to the simulation method and paves the way for a variety of applications.
Project description:Ruthenium coordination complexes have the potential to serve as novel theranostic agents for cancer. However, a major limitation in their clinical implementation is effective tumor accumulation. In this study, we have developed a liposome-based theranostic nanodelivery system for [Ru(phen)2dppz](ClO4)2 (Lipo-Ru). This ruthenium polypyridine complex emits a strong fluorescent signal when incorporated in the hydrophobic lipid bilayer of the delivery vehicle or in the DNA helix, enabling visualization of the therapeutic agent in tumor tissues. Incubation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells with Lipo-Ru induced double-strand DNA breaks and triggers apoptosis. In a mouse model of triple-negative breast cancer, treatment with Lipo-Ru dramatically reduced tumor growth. Biodistribution studies of Lipo-Ru revealed that more than 20% of the injected dose accumulated in the tumor. These results suggest that Lipo-Ru could serve as a promising theranostic platform for cancer.
Project description:Homopurine (AG) and homopyrimidine (CT) oligodeoxyribonucleotides predicted to form triple-helical (triplex) structures have been shown to specifically suppress gene expression when supplied to cultured cells. Here we present evidence that homopurine RNA (effector) sequences designed to form a triplex with a homopurine. homopyrimidine sequence 3' to the termination codon of the insulin-like growth factor type I receptor (IGF-IR) structural gene can efficiently suppress IGF-IR gene transcription. Transfection vectors were constructed to drive transcription of either AG or CT variant triplex-forming strands. To increase the probability of obtaining stable transfectants with adequate expression of effector sequences, these were designed to be transcribed together with cDNA sequences conferring neomycin resistance as a fusion transcript. Rat C6 glioblastoma cells transfected with the AG variant showed dramatic reduction of IGF-IR transcripts compared with untransfected cells. The AG transfectants also exhibited marked down-regulation of the IGF-I, and an enhanced accumulation of serine protease inhibitor nexin-I mRNA. Similar changes in gene expression were observed following transfection of C6 cells with constructs transcribing antisense RNA to IGF-IR transcripts, but were not observed in C6 cells transfected with either the CT triplex variant or with vector lacking triplex-forming sequences. Moreover, C6 cells transfected with AG triplex variant displayed a dramatic inhibition of tumor growth when injected into nude mice. The results suggest that a triple-helix strategy can be used to inhibit transcription elongation of the IGF-IR gene, and emphasize the efficacy of triplex-mediated gene inhibition in an animal model.
Project description:Although fibrous collagens are major structural components of extracellular matrix in mammals, collagen overproduction is associated with many human diseases including cancers and fibrosis. Collagen is typically identified in biomedical research by Western blot and immunohistochemistry; however, anticollagen antibodies employed in these analyses are difficult to prepare and their affinities to collagen can diminish if collagen becomes denatured during analyses. Previously, we discovered that single-stranded collagen mimetic peptides [CMPs, sequence: (GlyProHyp)(9)] can bind to denatured collagen chains by triple helix hybridization. Here, we present collagen-specific staining methods using simple CMPs conjugated to common fluorophores (e.g., carboxyfluorescein), which allow direct detection of collagens and collagen-like proteins in SDS-PAGE and in various mammalian tissue sections. By directly staining SDS-PAGE gels with fluorescently labeled CMPs, both intact (type I, II, and IV) and MMP-1 cleaved collagen (type I) chains as well as complement factor C1q were detected. Collagen bands containing as little as 5 ng were optically visualized, while no staining was observed for fibronectin, laminin, and a collection of proteins from mammalian cell lysate. The CMP was unable to stain collagen-like bacterial protein, which contains numerous charged amino acids that are believed to stabilize triple helix in place of Hyp. We also show that fluorescently labeled CMPs can specifically visualize collagens in fixed tissue sections (e.g., skin, cornea, and bone) more effectively than anticollagen I antibody, and allow facile identification of pathologic conditions in fibrotic liver tissues.
Project description:Among collagen members in the collagen superfamily, type XIX collagen has raised increasing interest in relation to its structural and biological roles. Type XIX collagen is a Fibril-Associated Collagen with Interrupted Triple helices member, one main subclass of collagens in this superfamily. This collagen contains a triple helix composed of three polypeptide segments aligned in parallel and it is associated with the basement membrane zone in different tissues. The molecular structure of type XIX collagen consists of five collagenous domains, COL1 to COL5, interrupted by six non-collagenous domains, NC1 to NC6. The most relevant domain by which this collagen exerts its biological roles is NC1 domain that can be cleavage enzymatically to release matricryptins, exerting anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic effect in murine and human models of cancer. Under physiological conditions, type XIX collagen expression decreases after birth in different tissues although it is necessary to keep its basal levels, mainly in skeletal muscle and hippocampal and telencephalic interneurons in brain. Notwithstanding, in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, altered transcript expression levels show a novel biological effect of this collagen beyond its structural role in basement membranes and its anti-tumor and anti-angiogenic properties. Type XIX collagen can exert a compensatory effect to ameliorate the disease progression under neurodegenerative conditions specific to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in transgenic SOD1G93A mice and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. This novel biological role highlights its nature as prognostic biomarker of disease progression in and as promising therapeutic target, paving the way to a more precise prognosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
Project description:Three-dimensional (3D) histology is the next frontier for modern anatomo-pathology. Characterizing abnormal parameters in a tissue is essential to understand the rationale of pathology development. However, there is no analytical technique, in vivo or histological, that is able to discover such abnormal features and provide a 3D distribution at microscopic resolution. Here, we introduce a unique high-throughput infrared (IR) microscopy method that combines automated image correction and subsequent spectral data analysis for 3D-IR image reconstruction. We performed spectral analysis of a complete organ for a small animal model, a mouse brain with an implanted glioma tumor. The 3D-IR image is reconstructed from 370 consecutive tissue sections and corrected using the X-ray tomogram of the organ for an accurate quantitative analysis of the chemical content. A 3D matrix of 89 × 106 IR spectra is generated, allowing us to separate the tumor mass from healthy brain tissues based on various anatomical, chemical, and metabolic parameters. We demonstrate that quantitative metabolic parameters can be extracted from the IR spectra for the characterization of the brain vs. tumor metabolism (assessing the Warburg effect in tumors). Our method can be further exploited by searching for the whole spectral profile, discriminating tumor vs. healthy tissue in a non-supervised manner, which we call 'spectromics'.
Project description:Site-specific isotopic labeling of molecules is a widely used approach in IR spectroscopy to resolve local contributions to vibrational modes. The induced frequency shift of the corresponding IR band depends on the substituted masses, as well as on hydrogen bonding and vibrational coupling. The impact of these different factors was analyzed with a designed three-stranded ?-sheet peptide and by use of selected 13 C isotope substitutions at multiple positions in the peptide backbone. Single-strand labels give rise to isotopically shifted bands at different frequencies, depending on the specific sites; this demonstrates sensitivity to the local environment. Cross-strand double- and triple-labeled peptides exhibited two resolved bands that could be uniquely assigned to specific residues, the equilibrium IR spectra of which indicated only weak local-mode coupling. Temperature-jump IR laser spectroscopy was applied to monitor structural dynamics and revealed an impressive enhancement of the isotope sensitivity to both local positions and coupling between them, relative to that of equilibrium FTIR spectroscopy. Site-specific relaxation rates were altered upon the introduction of additional cross-strand isotopes. Likewise, the rates for the global ?-sheet dynamics were affected in a manner dependent on the distinct relaxation behavior of the labeled oscillator. This study reveals that isotope labels provide not only local structural probes, but rather sense the dynamic complexity of the molecular environment.
Project description:TAL2 is a member of the basic helix-loop-helix family and is essential for the normal development of the mouse brain. However, the function of TAL2 during brain development is unclear. P19 cells are pluripotent mouse embryonal carcinoma cells that adopt neural fates upon exposure to all-trans retinoic acid (atRA) and culture in suspension. We found that the expression of Tal2 gene was induced in P19 cells after addition of atRA in suspension culture. Tal2 expression was detected within 3?h after the induction, and had nearly returned to basal levels by 24?h. When GFP-tagged TAL2 (GFP-TAL2) was expressed in P19 cells, we observed GFP-TAL2 in the nucleus. Moreover, we showed that atRA and retinoic acid receptor ? regulated Tal2 expression. These results demonstrate for the first time that atRA induces Tal2 expression in P19 cells, and suggest that TAL2 commits to the acquisition of neural fate in brain development.