What are protective effects of anti-ricin A-chain aptamer?
Tributyltin, a ubiquitous pollutant that has a potent effect on gene activity, could be promoting obesity, according to an article in the December issue of BioScience. The chemical is used in antifouling paints for boats, as a wood and textile preservative, and as a pesticide on high-value food crops, among many other applications. Tributyltin affects
Full Post: Chemical used in antifouling paints may promote obesity
Ricin, a lectin from the castor bean plant Ricinus communis is considered one of the most potent plant toxins.
Ricin poisoning can cause severe tissue damage and inflammation and can result in death. Most accidental exposures occur by ingestion of the seeds of castor beans whereby the toxin is released after the seed coat is damaged. The ingested toxin causes severe gastrointestinal damage with symptoms and death due to multiorgan failure or cardiovascular collapse.
A research article to be published on November 7, 2008 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team was led by Dr. Kam-Meng Tchou-Wong from New York University School of Medicine in United States.
Authors investigated the therapeutic potential of an RNA ligand (aptamer) specific for the catalytic ricin A-chain (RTA), the protective effects of a 31-nucleotide RNA aptamer (31RA), which formed a high affinity complex with RTA, against ricin-induced toxicity in cell-based luciferase translation and cell cytotoxicity assays were evaluated.
They have shown that 31RA RNA aptamer can protect against ricin ribotoxicity in cell-based luciferase and cell cytotoxicity assays. Hence, RNA aptamer that inhibits RTA enzymatic activity represents a novel class of nucleic acid inhibitor that has the potential to be developed as a therapeutic agent for the treatment of ricin intoxication.
In this report, authors utilized a stable cell-based luciferase assay and showed that 31RA aptamer also neutralized the inhibitory effects of ricin on translation inhibition in cell-free and cell-based luciferase assays and ricin-induced cytotoxicity assay. The use of a stably transfected cell-based luciferase assay will facilitate the development of high throughput screening for inhibitors of ricin as potential antidotes for the treatment of ricin intoxication.
MaxCyte, Inc announced today the European launch of the MaxCyte STX Scalable Transfection System at SMi’s Cell-Based Assay Conference held in London, November 19 and 20, 2008. MaxCyte is a sponsor at the conference. “MaxCyte is pleased to have this opportunity to support SMi and the pharmaceutical industry in technical discussions on state of the
Full Post: MaxCyte STX scalable transfection system launched in London
Evolving HIV viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with long-term exposure to current treatments propel scientists to continue exploring alternative HIV treatments. In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has identified broad-spectrum aptamers. Aptamers are synthetic molecules that prevent the HIV virus from reproducing. In lab tests, aptamers known as RT5,
Full Post: Researcher refines aptamers to prevent HIV resistance
Medicinal plants have been used as traditional remedies for hundreds of years. Among them, S. barbata has been traditionally used in treatment of hepatitis, inflammation, osteomyelitis and gynecological diseases in China. Studies indicate that extracts from S. barbata have growth inhibitory effects on a number of human cancers. Reports are available on the treatment of
Full Post: Researchers look at anti-tumor mechanisms of Scutellaria barbata
Ocimum Biosolutions has announced issuance of United States Patent No. 7,428,554 which covers the company’s proprietary system and method for determining matching patterns within gene expression data and US Patent No. 7426441, which covers methods for determining renal toxins. The US Patent No. 7,428,554 covers a method for determining matching patterns within gene expression
Full Post: Ocimum Biosolutions awarded two U.S. patents for gene expression technology
A research team from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-Harvard Center for Nanotechnology Excellence has custom-designed nanoparticles that can deliver the anticancer drug cisplatin specifically to prostate cancer cells. The nanoparticles are composed of two different polymers and are decorated with a nucleic acid aptamer that binds to the tumor marker prostate-specific membrane antigen.
Full Post: Targeted nanoparticles boost platinum-based anticancer therapy