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Marine invertebrate extracts induce colon cancer cell death via ROS-mediated DNA oxidative damage and mitochondrial impairment

Marine compounds are a potential source of new anticancer drugs. In this study, the antiproliferative effects of 20 invertebrate marine extracts on three colon cancer cell models (HGUE-C-1, HT-29, and SW-480) were evaluated. Extracts from two nudibranchs (Phyllidia varicosa, NA and Dolabella auricularia, NB), a holothurian (Pseudocol ochirus violaceus, PS), and a soft coral (Carotalcyon sp., CR) were selected due to their potent cytotoxic capacities. The four marine extracts exhibited strong antiproliferative effects and induced cell cycle arrest at the G2/M transition, which evolved into early apoptosis in the case of the CR, NA, and NB extracts and necrotic cell death in the case of the PS extract. All the extracts induced, to some extent, intracellular ROS accumulation, mitochondrial depolarization, caspase activation, and DNA damage. The compositions of the four extracts were fully characterized via HPLC-ESI-TOF-MS analysis, which identified up to 98 compounds. We propose that, among the most abundant compounds identified in each extract, diterpenes, steroids, and sesqui- and seterterpenes (CR); cembranolides (PS); diterpenes, polyketides, and indole terpenes (NA); and porphyrin, drimenyl cyclohexanone, and polar steroids (NB) might be candidates for the observed activity. We postulate that reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation is responsible for the subsequent DNA damage, mitochondrial depolarization, and cell cycle arrest, ultimately inducing cell death by either apoptosis or necrosis.

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Using fluid walls for single-cell cloning provides assurance in monoclonality

Single-cell isolation and cloning are essential steps in many applications, ranging from the production of biotherapeutics to stem cell therapy. Having confidence in monoclonality in such applications is essential from both research and commercial perspectives, for example, to ensure that data are of high quality and regulatory requirements are met. Consequently, several approaches have been developed to improve confidence in monoclonality. However, ensuring monoclonality using standard well plate formats remains challenging, primarily due to edge effects; the solid wall around a well can prevent a clear view of how many cells might be in a well. We describe a method that eliminates such edge effects: solid confining walls are replaced by transparent fluid ones, and standard low-cost optics can confirm monoclonality.

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Enhanced dissolution of silver nanoparticles in a physical mixture with platinum nanoparticles based on the sacrificial anode effect

A strategy to reduce implant-related infections is the inhibition of the initial bacterial implant colonization by biomaterials containing silver (Ag). The antimicrobial efficacy of such biomaterials can be increased by surface enhancement (nanosilver) or by creating a sacrificial anode system for Ag. Such a system will lead to an electrochemically driven enhanced Ag ion release due to the presence of a more noble metal. Here we combined the enlarged surface of nanoparticles (NP) with a possible sacrificial anode effect for Ag induced by the presence of the electrochemically more noble platinum (Pt) in physical mixtures of Ag NP and Pt NP dispersions. These Ag NP/Pt NP mixtures were compared to the same amounts of pure Ag NP in terms of cell biological responses, i.e. the antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli as well as the viability of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC). In addition, Ag NP was analyzed by ultraviolet–visible (UV–vis) spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry, and atomic absorption spectroscopy. It was found that the dissolution rate of Ag NP was enhanced in the presence of Pt NP within the physical mixture compared to a dispersion of pure Ag NP. Dissolution experiments revealed a fourfold increased Ag ion release from physical mixtures due to enhanced electrochemical activity, which resulted in a significantly increased toxicity towards both bacteria and hMSC. Thus, our results provide evidence for an underlying sacrificial anode mechanism induced by the presence of Pt NP within physical mixtures with Ag NP. Such physical mixtures have a high potential for various applications, for example as antimicrobial implant coatings in the biomedicine or as bactericidal systems for water and surface purification in the technical area.

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Ambient and supplemental magnetic fields promote myogenesis via a TRPC1-mitochondrial axis: evidence of a magnetic mitohormetic mechanism

We show that both supplemental and ambient magnetic fields modulate myogenesis. A lone 10 min exposure of myoblasts to 1.5 mT amplitude supplemental pulsed magnetic fields (PEMFs) accentuated in vitro myogenesis by stimulating transient receptor potential (TRP)-C1–mediated calcium entry and downstream nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT)-transcriptional and P300/CBP-associated factor (PCAF)-epigenetic cascades, whereas depriving myoblasts of ambient magnetic fields slowed myogenesis, reduced TRPC1 expression, and silenced NFAT-transcriptional and PCAF-epigenetic cascades. The expression levels of peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator 1α, the master regulator of mitochondriogenesis, was also enhanced by brief PEMF exposure. Accordingly, mitochondriogenesis and respiratory capacity were both enhanced with PEMF exposure, paralleling TRPC1 expression and pharmacological sensitivity. Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats–Cas9 knockdown of TRPC1 precluded proliferative and mitochondrial responses to supplemental PEMFs, whereas small interfering RNA gene silencing of TRPM7 did not, coinciding with data that magnetoreception did not coincide with the expression or function of other TRP channels. The aminoglycoside antibiotics antagonized and down-regulated TRPC1 expression and, when applied concomitantly with PEMF exposure, attenuated PEMF-stimulated calcium entry, mitochondrial respiration, proliferation, differentiation, and epigenetic directive in myoblasts, elucidating why the developmental potential of magnetic fields may have previously escaped detection. Mitochondrial-based survival adaptations were also activated upon PEMF stimulation. Magnetism thus deploys an authentic myogenic directive that relies on an interplay between mitochondria and TRPC1 to reach fruition.

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Combined effects of gold nanoparticles and ionizing radiation on human prostate and lung cancer cell migration

The effect of 15 nm-sized gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) and/or ionizing radiation (IR) on the migration and adhesion of human prostate (DU145) and lung (A549) cancer cell lines was investigated. Cell migration was measured by observing the closing of a gap created by a pipette tip on cell monolayers grown in 6-well plates. The ratio of the gap areas at 0 h and 24 h were used to calculate the relative migration. The relative migration of cells irradiated with 5 Gy was found to be 89% and 86% for DU145 and A549 cells respectively. When the cells were treated with 1 mM AuNPs this fell to ~75% for both cell lines. However, when the cells were treated with both AuNPs and IR an additive effect was seen, as the relative migration rate fell to ~60%. Of interest was that when the cells were exposed to either 2 or 5 Gy IR, their ability to adhere to the surface of a polystyrene culture plate was significantly enhanced, unlike that seen for AuNPs. The delays in gap filling (cell migration) in cells treated with IR and/or AuNPs can be attributed to cellular changes which also may have altered cell motility. In addition, changes in the cytoskeleton of the cancer cells may have also affected adhesiveness and thus the cancer cell’s motility response to IR.

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Functional peptide presentation on different hydrogen bonding biomaterials using supramolecular additives

Supramolecular biomaterials based on hydrogen bonding units can be conveniently functionalized in a mix-and-match approach using supramolecular additives. The presentation of bioactive additives has been sparsely investigated in supramolecular-based elastomeric biomaterials. Here it was investigated how cell adhesive peptides are presented and affect the surface in supramolecular biomaterials based either on ureido-pyrimidinone (UPy) or bisurea (BU) moieties. Polycaprolactone modified with UPy or BU moieties served as the base material. RGD or cyclic (c)RGD were conjugated to complementary supramolecular motifs, and were mixed with the corresponding base materials as supramolecular additives. Biomaterial surface morphology changed upon bioactivation, resulting in the formation of random aggregates on UPy-based materials, and fibrous aggregates on BU-materials. Moreover, peptide type affected aggregation morphology, in which RGD led to larger cluster formation than cRGD. Increased cRGD concentrations led to reduced focal adhesion size and cell migration velocity, and increased focal adhesion numbers in both systems, yet most prominent on functionalized BU-biomaterials. In conclusion, both systems exhibited distinct peptide presenting properties, of which the BU-system most strongly affected cellular adhesive behavior on the biomaterial. This research provided deeper insights in the differences between supramolecular elastomeric platforms, and the level of peptide introduction for biomaterial applications.

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Flow-enhanced vascularization and maturation of kidney organoids in vitro

Kidney organoids derived from human pluripotent stem cells exhibit glomerular- and tubular-like compartments that are largely avascular and immature in static culture. Here, we report an in vitro method for culturing kidney organoids under flow on millifluidic chips, which greatly expands their endogenous pool of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) and generates vascular networks with perfusable lumens surrounded by mural cells. Vascularized kidney organoids cultured under flow exhibit more mature podocyte and tubular compartments with enhanced cellular polarity and adult gene expression, compared to static controls. However, the association of vessels with these compartments is reduced upon disrupting the endogenous VEGF gradient. Glomerular vascular development progresses through intermediate stages akin to the embryonic mammalian kidney’s formation of capillary loops abutting foot processes. The ability to induce substantial vascularization and morphological maturation of kidney organoids in vitro under flow opens new avenues for studying kidney development, disease, and regeneration.

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Organ-on-chips made of blood: endothelial progenitor cells from blood reconstitute vascular thromboinflammation in vessel-chips

"Therapeutic approaches to treat vascular dysfunction and thrombosis at disease- and patientspecific levels is an exciting proposed direction in biomedical research. However, this cannot be achieved with animal preclinical models alone and new in vitro techniques, like human organ-onchips, currently lack inclusion of easily obtainable and phenotypically-similar human cell sources. Therefore, there is an unmet need to identify sources of patient primary cells and apply them in organ-on-chips to increase personalized mechanistic understanding of diseases and to assess drugs. In this study, we provide a proof-of-feasibility of utilizing Blood Outgrowth Endothelial Cells (BOECs) as a disease-specific primary cell source to analyze vascular inflammation and thrombosis in vascular organ-chips or “vessel- chips”. These blood-derived BOECs express several factors that confirm their endothelial identity. The vessel-chips are cultured with BOECs from healthy or diabetic patients and form an intact 3D endothelial lumen. Inflammation of BOEC endothelium with exogenous cytokines reveals vascular dysfunction and thrombosis in vitro similar to in vivo observations. Interestingly, our study with vessel-chips also reveal that unstimulated BOECs of type 1 diabetic pigs show phenotypic behavior of the disease – high vascular dysfunction and thrombogenecity – when compared to control BOECs or normal primary endothelial cells. These results demonstrate the potential of organ-on-chips made from autologous endothelial cells obtained from blood in modeling vascular pathologies and therapeutic outcomes at a disease and patient-specific level."

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Micropatterned substrates with physiological stiffness promote cell maturation and Pompe disease phenotype in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived skeletal myocytes

Recent advances in bioengineering have enabled cell culture systems that more closely mimic the native cellular environment. Here we demonstrated that human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived myogenic progenitors formed highly-aligned myotubes and contracted when seeded on two-dimensional micropatterned platforms. The differentiated cells showed clear nuclear alignment and formed elongated myotubes dependent on the width of the micropatterned lanes. Topographical cues from micropatterning and physiological substrate stiffness improved the formation of well-aligned and multi-nucleated myotubes similar to myofibers. These aligned myotubes exhibited spontaneous contractions specifically along the long axis of the pattern. Notably, the micropatterned platforms developed bundle-like myotubes using patient-derived iPSCs with a background of Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type II), and even enhanced the disease phenotype as shown through the specific pathology of abnormal lysosome accumulations. A highly-aligned formation of matured myotubes holds great potential in further understanding the process of human muscle development, as well as advancing in vitro pharmacological studies for skeletal muscle diseases.

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Novel Thienopyrimidine Derivative, RP-010, induces β-Catenin fragmentation and is efficacious against prostate cancer cells

Thienopyrimidines containing a thiophene ring fused to pyrimidine are reported to have a wide-spectrum of anticancer efficacy in vitro. Here, we report for the first time that thieno[3,2-d]pyrimidine-based compounds, also known as the RP series, have efficacy in prostate cancer cells. The compound RP-010 was efficacious against both PC-3 and DU145 prostate cancer (PC) cells (IC50 < 1 µM). The cytotoxicity of RP-010 was significantly lower in non-PC, CHO, and CRL-1459 cell lines. RP-010 (0.5, 1, 2, and 4 µM) arrested prostate cancer cells in G2 phase of the cell cycle, and induced mitotic catastrophe and apoptosis in both PC cell lines. Mechanistic studies suggested that RP-010 (1 and 2 µM) affected the wingless-type MMTV (Wnt)/β-catenin signaling pathway, in association with β-catenin fragmentation, while also downregulating important proteins in the pathway, including LRP-6, DVL3, and c-Myc. Interestingly, RP-010 (1 and 2 µM) induced nuclear translocation of the negative feedback proteins, Naked 1 and Naked 2, in the Wnt pathway. In addition, RP-010 (0.5, 1, 2 and 4 µM) significantly decreased the migration of PC cells in vitro. Finally, RP-010 did not produce significant toxic effects in zebrafish at concentrations of up to 6 µM. In conclusion, RP-010 may be an efficacious and relatively nontoxic anticancer compound for prostate cancer. Future mechanistic and in vivo efficacy studies are needed to optimize the hit compound RP-010 for lead optimization and clinical use.

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