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(Synthetic biology)

Youjin V Lee, Bozhi Tian
Three seemingly distinct directions of nanomaterials research - photovoltaics, biofuel production, and biological modulation - have been sequentially developed over the past several decades. In this Mini Review, we discuss how the insights gleaned from nanomaterials-based solar energy conversion can be adapted to biointerface designs. Due to their size- and shape-dependent optical properties and excellent synthetic control, nanomaterials have shown unique technological advantages as the light absorbers or energy transducers...
March 19, 2019: Nano Letters
Giulia Giubertoni, Federica Burla, Cristina Martinez-Torres, Biplab Dutta, Galja Pletikapić, Eddie G Pelan, Yves L A Rezus, Gijsje H Koenderink, Huib J Bakker
The macroscopic mechanical properties of biological hydrogels are broadly studied and successfully mimicked in synthetic materials, but little is known about the molecular interactions that mediate these properties. Here we use two-dimensional infrared spectroscopy (2D-IR) to study the pH-induced gelation of hyaluronic acid, a ubiquitous biopolymer, which undergoes a transition from a viscous to an elastic state in a narrow pH range around 2.5. We find that the gelation originates from the enhanced formation of strong inter-chain connections, consisting of a double amide-COOH hydrogen-bond and an N-D-COO- hydrogen-bond on the adjacent sugars of the hyaluronan disaccharide unit...
March 19, 2019: Journal of Physical Chemistry. B
Song-Lin Zhang, Chang Xiao, Hai-Xing Wan, Xiaoming Zhang
A general and selective method is developed that allows difunctionalization of terminal alkynes by a Cu(iii)-CF3 complex and a carboxylic acid regioselectively and with unusual syn-stereochemistry. This method is broadly applicable to various carboxylic acids and terminal alkynes, producing a range of biologically active trifluoromethyl enol carboxylic esters. The synthetic potential of this method is further demonstrated by the late-stage functionalization of a complex pharmaceutical compound dehydrocholic acid...
March 19, 2019: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
D Längle, F Wesseler, D Flötgen, H Leek, A T Plowright, D Schade
A novel synthetic approach is used to prepare a diverse set of "first-in-class" dihydropyridine-based TGFβ receptor degraders bearing photoaffinity labels. These probes serve as valuable tools to study TGFβ receptor fates and dynamics - an important challenge in chemical biology.
March 19, 2019: Chemical Communications: Chem Comm
Lewis E Johnson, Jason S Kingsbury, Delwin L Elder, Rose Ann Cattolico, Luke N Latimer, William Hardin, Evelien De Meulenaere, Chloe Deodato, Griet Depotter, Sowmya Madabushi, Nicholas W Bigelow, Brittany A Smolarski, Trevor K Hougen, Werner Kaminsky, Koen Clays, Bruce H Robinson
Dyes with nonlinear optical (NLO) properties enable new imaging techniques and photonic systems. We have developed a dye (DANPY-1) for photonics applications in biological substrates such as nucleic acids; however, the design specification also enables it to be used for visualizing biomolecules. It is a prototype dye demonstrating a water-soluble, NLO-active fluorophore with high photostability, a large Stokes shift, and a favorable toxicity profile. A practical and scalable synthetic route to DANPY salts has been optimized featuring: (1) convergent Pd-catalyzed Suzuki coupling with pyridine 4-boronic acid, (2) site-selective pyridyl N-methylation, and (3) direct recovery of crystalline intermediates without chromatography...
March 19, 2019: Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
K Bertrand, J H Lefevre, B Creavin, M Luong, C Debove, T Voron, N Chafai, E Tiret, Y Parc
PURPOSE: Perineal hernia (PH) is a tardive complication following abdomino-perineal resection (APR). Many repair methods are described and evidences are lacking. The aim of this study was to report PH management, analyze surgery outcomes and review the available literature. METHODS: We retrospectively included all consecutive PH repair after APR performed between 2001 and 2017. We recorded data on APR surgery, PH symptoms and repair, and follow-up (recurrence and morbidity)...
March 18, 2019: Hernia: the Journal of Hernias and Abdominal Wall Surgery
Waqas Ahmed, Mian Abdul Hafeez, Rais Ahmed
Small noncoding RNAs, a large class of ancient posttranscriptional regulators, are increasingly recognized and utilized as key modulators of gene expression in a broad range of microorganisms. Owing to their small molecular size and the central role of Watson-Crick base pairing in defining their interactions, structure and function, numerous diverse types of trans-acting RNA regulators that are functional at the DNA, mRNA and protein levels have been experimentally characterized. It has become increasingly clear that most small RNAs play critical regulatory roles in many processes and are, therefore, considered to be powerful tools for genetic engineering and synthetic biology...
March 18, 2019: Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology
Roland Remenyi, Raymond Li, Mark Harris
Advanced labeling technologies allow researchers to study protein turnover inside intact cells and to track the labeled protein in downstream applications. In the context of a viral infection, the combination of imaging and fluorescent labeling of viral proteins sheds light on their biological activity and interaction with the host cell. Initial approaches have fused fluorescent proteins such as green fluorescent protein (GFP) to the viral protein-of-interest. In contrast, self-labeling enzyme tags such as the commercial SNAP-tag, a modified version of human O6 -alkylguanine-DNA-alkyltransferase, covalently link synthetic ligands, which users can add on demand...
February 20, 2019: Bio-protocol
Raúl García-Granados, Jordy Alexis Lerma-Escalera, José R Morones-Ramírez
The "-omics" era has brought a new set of tools and methods that have created a significant impact on the development of Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology. These fields, rather than working separately, depend on each other to prosper and achieve their individual goals. Synthetic Biology aims to design libraries of genetic components (promoters, coding sequences, terminators, transcriptional factors and their binding sequences, and more), the assembly of devices, genetic circuits and even organism; in addition to obtaining quantitative information for the creation of models that can predict the behavior of biological systems (Cameron et al...
2019: Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Jingxin Shao, Imke A B Pijpers, Shoupeng Cao, David S Williams, Xuehai Yan, Junbai Li, Loai K E A Abdelmohsen, Jan C M van Hest
Morphologically discrete nanoarchitectures, which mimic the structural complexity of biological systems, are an increasingly popular design paradigm in the development of new nanomedical technologies. Herein, engineered polymeric stomatocytes are presented as a structural and functional mimic of red blood cells (RBCs) with multifunctional therapeutic features. Stomatocytes, comprising biodegradable poly(ethylene glycol)- block -poly(D,L-lactide), possess an oblate-like morphology reminiscent of RBCs. This unique dual-compartmentalized structure is augmented via encapsulation of multifunctional cargo (oxygen-binding hemoglobin and the photosensitizer chlorin e6)...
March 6, 2019: Advanced Science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany)
Paul Bird, Stephen Hall, Peter Nash, Carol A Connell, Kenneth Kwok, David Witcombe, Krishan Thirunavukkarasu
Objectives: Tofacitinib is an oral JAK inhibitor for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We examined response to tofacitinib 5 or 10 mg two times a day in patients with seropositive vs seronegative RA. Methods: Data were pooled from five Phase III studies of conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (csDMARD)- or biological DMARD-inadequate responders (ORAL Step [NCT00960440]; ORAL Scan [NCT00847613]; ORAL Solo [NCT00814307]; ORAL Sync [NCT00856544]; ORAL Standard [NCT00853385])...
2019: RMD Open
Emily Baumrin, Abby Van Voorhees, Amit Garg, Steven R Feldman, Joseph F Merola
BACKGROUND: Herpes zoster (HZ) incidence is linked to immunosuppression. Patients with psoriasis (PsO) and/or psoriatic arthritis (PsA) on systemic therapy may be at increased risk for HZ. OBJECTIVE: To assess HZ risk in patients with PsO/PsA by systemic treatment and provide recommendations regarding HZ vaccination. METHODS: A systematic literature search was performed of HZ in patients with PsO/PsA. HZ vaccination guidelines were reviewed and the medical board of the National Psoriasis Foundation made consensus recommendations in PsO/PsA patients based on graded evidence...
March 15, 2019: Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology
John F Kokai-Kun, Tracey Roberts, Olivia Coughlin, Chenxiong Le, Heidi Whalen, Ralph Stevenson, Vincent J Wacher, Joseph Sliman
BACKGROUND: Infections with Clostridium difficile are a health threat, yet no products are currently licensed for prevention of primary C difficile infections. Intravenous β-lactam antibiotics are considered to confer a high risk of C difficile infection because of their biliary excretion into the gastrointestinal tract and disruption of the gut microbiome. ribaxamase (SYN-004) is an orally administered β-lactamase that was designed to be given with intravenous β-lactam antibiotics to degrade excess antibiotics in the upper gastrointestinal tract before they disrupt the gut microbiome and lead to C difficile infection...
March 15, 2019: Lancet Infectious Diseases
Chonglong Wang, Shuli Zhao, Xixi Shao, Ji-Bin Park, Seong-Hee Jeong, Hyo-Jin Park, Won-Ju Kwak, Gongyuan Wei, Seon-Won Kim
Naturally occurring carotenoids have been isolated and used as colorants, antioxidants, nutrients, etc. in many fields. There is an ever-growing demand for carotenoids production. To comfort this, microbial production of carotenoids is an attractive alternative to current extraction from natural sources. This review summarizes the biosynthetic pathway of carotenoids and progresses in metabolic engineering of various microorganisms for carotenoid production. The advances in synthetic pathway and systems biology lead to many versatile engineering tools available to manipulate microorganisms...
March 18, 2019: Microbial Cell Factories
Shyi-Jou Chen, Gu-Jiun Lin, Jing-Wun Chen, Kai-Chen Wang, Chiung-Hsi Tien, Chih-Fen Hu, Chia-Ning Chang, Wan-Fu Hsu, Hueng-Chuen Fan, Huey-Kang Sytwu
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory autoimmune disease of unknown etiology. It is characterized by the presence of rheumatoid factor and anticitrullinated peptide antibodies. The orchestra of the inflammatory process among various immune cells, cytokines, chemokines, proteases, matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs), and reactive oxidative stress play critical immunopathologic roles in the inflammatory cascade of the joint environment, leading to clinical impairment and RA. With the growing understanding of the immunopathogenic mechanisms, increasingly novel marked and potential biologic agents have merged for the treatment of RA in recent years...
March 16, 2019: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Jing Li, Jian Sun, Xinyue Gao, Zhixin Wu, Guangdong Shang
Homologous recombination-based recombineering is a widely used DNA cloning and modification technique; recombineering efficiency improvement would be helpful for high-throughput DNA manipulation. Escherichia coli primase DnaG variants, such as DnaG Q576A and DnaG K580A, increase the recombineering efficiency via impairment of the interaction between primase and the replisome and boost the loading of more ssDNA on the replication fork. Bacterial adaptive immunity origin CRISPR-Cas9 is emerging as a powerful genome editing strategy...
March 16, 2019: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Graham M Donovan
Homeostasis is the biological notion of certain outputs being stable with respect to input perturbations, at least over a relatively broad range. In general this is a result of coordination of regulatory mechanisms, and is thought to occur throughout biology. Recently the mathematical concept of infinitesimal homeostasis has been introduced, with the key idea being that the emergence of homeostasis is governed by certain geometric structures; these have previously been found in several mathematical models of biological processes...
March 13, 2019: Mathematical Biosciences
Christiane N Nday, Despoina Eleftheriadou, Graham Jackson
It is well established that during Alzheimer disease (AD), gradual loss of neuronal networks occurs in the brain, consequently, affecting cognition and memory tasks of the patients. Among other causative factors, oxidative stress induces changes that are eventually accompanied by an irreversible disruption of synaptic connectivity and death of neurons. Moreover, aging and oxidative stress cause alterations to the blood brain barrier, leading to increased permeability, which are thought to further aggravate the underlying pathology...
January 2019: Hellenic Journal of Nuclear Medicine
Mohammad Mohajeri, Petri T Kovanen, Vanessa Bianconi, Matteo Pirro, Arrigo F G Cicero, Amirhossein Sahebkar
Mast cells are tissue-resident cells, which have been proposed to participate in various inflammatory diseases, among them the cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). For mast cells to be able to contribute to an inflammatory process, they need to be activated to exocytose their cytoplasmic secretory granules. The granules contain a vast array of highly bioactive effector molecules, the neutral protease tryptase being the most abundant protein among them. The released tryptase may act locally in the inflamed cardiac or vascular tissue, so contributing directly to the pathogenesis of CVDs...
March 12, 2019: Pharmacology & Therapeutics
Jenn-Haung Lai, Xiao Chun Ling, Ling-Jun Ho
The introduction of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (bDMARD) treatments for various types of autoimmune arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthropathy and ankylosing spondylitis, represents a new era of treatment for patients with a refractory response to conventional synthetic DMARDs (csDMARDs). Many new bDMARDs with different modalities or that target different pro-inflammatory molecules, likely cytokines, are rapidly emerging. Hence, physicians in the field may be confused about choosing appropriate bDMARDs for their patients...
March 12, 2019: Biochemical Pharmacology
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