1,406 research outputs found

    1H NMR Relaxometric Study of Chitosan-Based Nanogels Containing Mono- and Bis-Hydrated Gd(III) Chelates: Clues for MRI Probes of Improved Sensitivity

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    Hydrogel nanoparticles composed of chitosan and hyaluronate and incorporating Gd-based MRI contrast agents with different hydration number (e.g., [Gd(DOTA)(H2O)]‚ąí and [Gd(AAZTA)(H2O)2]‚ąí) were prepa..

    Novel Nanogels Loaded with Mn(II) Chelates as Effective and Biologically Stable MRI Probes

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    Here it is described nanogels (NG) based on a chitosan matrix, which are covalently stabilized by a bisamide derivative of Mn-t-CDTA (t-CDTA = trans-1,2-diaminocyclohexane-N,N,N & PRIME;,N & PRIME;-tetraacetic acid). the Mn(II) complex acts both as a contrast medium and as a cross-linking agent. These nanogels are proposed as an alternative to the less stable paramagnetic nanogels obtained by electrostatic interactions between the polymeric matrix and paramagnetic Gd(III) chelates. The present novel nanogels show: i) relaxivity values seven times higher than that of typical monohydrated Mn(II) chelates at the clinical fields, thanks to the combination of a restricted mobility of the complex with a fast exchange of the metal-bound water molecule; ii) high stability of the formulation over time at pH 5 and under physiological conditions, thus excluding metal leaking or particles aggregation; iii) good extravasation and accumulation, with a maximum contrast achieved at 24 h post-injection in mice bearing subcutaneous breast cancer tumor; iv) high T-1 contrast (1 T) in the tumor 24 h post-injection. These improved properties pave the way for the use of these paramagnetic nanogels as promising magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) probes for in vitro and in vivo preclinical applications

    Evaluation of energy metabolism and calcium homeostasis in cells affected by Shwachman-Diamond syndrome

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    Isomorphic mutation of the SBDS gene causes Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS). SDS is a rare genetic bone marrow failure and cancer predisposition syndrome. SDS cells have ribosome biogenesis and their protein synthesis altered, which are two high-energy consuming cellular processes. The reported changes in reactive oxygen species production, endoplasmic reticulum stress response and reduced mitochondrial functionality suggest an energy production defect in SDS cells. In our work, we have demonstrated that SDS cells display a Complex IV activity impairment, which causes an oxidative phosphorylation metabolism defect, with a consequent decrease in ATP production. These data were confirmed by an increased glycolytic rate, which compensated for the energetic stress. Moreover, the signalling pathways involved in glycolysis activation also appeared more activated; i.e. we reported AMP-activated protein kinase hyper-phosphorylation. Notably, we also observed an increase in a mammalian target of rapamycin phosphorylation and high intracellular calcium concentration levels ([Ca2+]i), which probably represent new biochemical equilibrium modulation in SDS cells. Finally, the SDS cell response to leucine (Leu) was investigated, suggesting its possible use as a therapeutic adjuvant to be tested in clinical trials

    Hypomorphic FANCA mutations correlate with mild mitochondrial and clinical phenotype in Fanconi anemia

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    Fanconi anemia is a rare disease characterized by congenital malformations, aplastic anemia, and predisposition to cancer. Despite the consolidated role of the Fanconi anemia proteins in DNA repair, their involvement in mitochondrial function is emerging. The purpose of this work was to assess whether the mitochondrial phenotype, independent of genomic integrity, could correlate with patient phenotype. We evaluated mitochondrial and clinical features of 11 affected individuals homozygous or compound heterozygous for p.His913Pro and p.Arg951Gln/Trp, the two residues of FANCA that are more frequently affected in our cohort of patients. Although p.His913Pro and p.Arg951Gln proteins are stably expressed in cytoplasm, they are unable to migrate in the nucleus, preventing cells from repairing DNA. In these cells, the electron transfer between respiring complex I-III is reduced and the ATP/AMP ratio is impaired with defective ATP production and AMP accumulation. These activities are intermediate between those observed in wild-type and FANCA-/- cells, suggesting that the variants at residues His913 and Arg951 are hypomorphic mutations. Consistent with these findings, the clinical phenotype of most of the patients carrying these mutations is mild. These data further support the recent finding that the Fanconi anemia proteins play a role in mitochondria, and open up possibilities for genotype/phenotype studies based on novel mitochondrial criteria

    Discovery of a novel glucose metabolism in cancer: The role of endoplasmic reticulum beyond glycolysis and pentose phosphate shunt

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    Cancer metabolism is characterized by an accelerated glycolytic rate facing reduced activity of oxidative phosphorylation. This "Warburg effect" represents a standard to diagnose and monitor tumor aggressiveness with (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose whose uptake is currently regarded as an accurate index of total glucose consumption. Studying cancer metabolic response to respiratory chain inhibition by metformin, we repeatedly observed a reduction of tracer uptake facing a marked increase in glucose consumption. This puzzling discordance brought us to discover that (18)F-fluorodeoxyglucose preferentially accumulates within endoplasmic reticulum by exploiting the catalytic function of hexose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase. Silencing enzyme expression and activity decreased both tracer uptake and glucose consumption, caused severe energy depletion and decreased NADPH content without altering mitochondrial function. These data document the existence of an unknown glucose metabolism triggered by hexose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase within endoplasmic reticulum of cancer cells. Besides its basic relevance, this finding can improve clinical cancer diagnosis and might represent potential target for therapy
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