Biochemistry (Moscow), Supplement Series B: Biomedical Chemistry (v.4, #3)

Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) near certain genes revealed association of FAT (fat mass and obesity-associated gene), MC4R (melanocortin 4 receptor gene), and other genes with obesity. However, involvement of the FAT expression products in the regulation of energy balance remains to be clarified. The function of MC4R encoding melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) is somewhat better understood. α-, β-, and γ- MSH encoded by the POMC gene bind to MC4R, reduce food intake, and slow down fat accumulation. Expression of POMC encoding MSH is enhanced by leptin binding to its receptor (LepRb) in hypothalamic neurons. Mutations in human and animal MC4R, POMC, and LEP genes are associated with obesity. More than 60 mutations in MC4R, more than 20 mutations in POMC and fewer LEP mutations have been reported. Nonsense mutations and reading frame shifts block gene expression and thereby disrupt protein synthesis. Missense mutations frequently affect protein folding in endoplasmic reticulum; unfolded or misfolded proteins remain in the cytoplasm and undergo degradation. Certain missence mutations do not interfere with gene expression and folding of proteins but impair their functioning at the periphery. p.S127L mutation in MC4R, p.E206X and p.F144L mutations in POMC as well as other mutations in homozygous and heterozygous forms account for impaired energy balance in humans. The following mutations have been identified in the LEP gene: G133fsX15, p.R105X, p.R105W, and p.S141C mutations. In homozygous form they are associated with obesity and other pathological conditions.
Keywords: gene; mutation; obesity

The nuclear glutathione and its functions by V. I. Kulinsky; L. S. Kolesnichenko (224-227).
During recent years the nuclear localization of glutathione has been confirmed and this fraction has been quantitatively determined. The nuclear GSH and the enzymes of its metabolism realize independent and important functions. They considerably differ from functions of hyaloplasmic and mitochondrial GSH. Glutathione interacts with regulatory pathways, involved into signal transmission into the nucleus.
Keywords: glutathione; enzymes of its metabolism; cell nucleus

Studies of neurodegenerative disorders attract much attention of the world scientific community due to increasing dissemination of Alzheimer’s disease. The reason for such pathologies consists in transition of a “healthy” molecule or peptide from its native conformation into a very stable “pathological” form. During this process, molecules existing in the “pathological” conformation aggregate and form amyloid fibrils that can undergo an uncontrolled increase. Novel knowledge is required on sporadic forms of Alzheimer’s disease, on the nature of triggering mechanisms of the conformational transitions of beta-amyloid fragments from normally functioning proteins into new structure, nano-beta-amyloids, that escape of neuronal and whole-body control resulted in the loss of neurons. This review summarized results of studies on the formation of amyloid fibrils and their role in pathogenesis of amyloid diseases.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease; beta-amyloid; amyloid fibril; structure; kinetics of fibril formation

Electrochemical immunoanalysis of cardiac myoglobin by V. V. Shumyantseva; T. V. Bulko; M. Yu. Vagin; E. V. Suprun; A. I. Archakov (237-242).
Methods of myoglobin determination based on electrochemical analysis by means of analysis of electrochemical parameters of modified electrodes have been proposed. The method of direct detection is based on interaction of myoglobin with anti-myoglobin with subsequent electrochemical registration of this hemoprotein. The electrode surface was modified by a membrane-like synthetic didodecyldimethylammonium bromide (DDAB), gold nanoparticles and antibodies to human cardiac myoglobin the electrochemical reduction of myoglobin heme was registered provided that the antigen (myoglobin) was present in the samples. The reaction of myoglobin binding to antibodies immobilized on the electrode surface was also registered using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The study of electro analytical characteristics revealed high specificity and sensitivity of the developed method. The biosensor was characterized by low detection limit and a high working range of the detected concentrations from 17.8 to 1780 ng/ml (from 1 to 100 nM). The method of myoglobin determination based on a signal of gold nanoparticles has also been proposed. The signal was detected with stripping voltammetry. There was a change in the cathodic peak area and the peak height of gold oxide reduction for the electrodes with antibodies and the electrodes with the antibody-myoglobin complex.
Keywords: gold nanoparticles; myoglobin; cardiac biomarkers; electrochemical impedance spectroscopy; stripping voltammetry

Microencapsulated multicellular tumor spheroids as a novel in vitro model for drug screening by A. M. Tsoy; D. S. Zaytseva-Zotova; E. F. Edelweiss; A. Bartkowiak; J. -L. Goergen; E. L. Vodovozova; E. A. Markvicheva (243-250).
To generate multicellular tumor spheroids (MTS) based on human breast adenocarcinoma MCF-7 cells and to study them as a novel in vitro model for anticancer drug screening, a technique for cell microencapsulation in biocompatible alginate-chitosan microcapsules has been used in this study. Using the MTS based on the MCF-7 cells methotrexate (MTX) cytotoxicity has been investigated. A set of MTS with an average size of 150, 200 and 300 μm was prepared as a function of cultivation time. Cell viability was evaluated after MTS incubation in cultivation medium containing various MTX concentrations (1, 2, 10, 50 and 100 nM) for 48 h. MTS were shown to be markedly more resistant to MTX than the monolayer culture. The increase of the spheroid size was in correlation with the enhanced MTS resistance to MTX. Thus, at 100 nM MTX a number of viable cells in MTS with the size of 300 μm was 2.5-fold higher than that in the monolayer culture. It is suggested that the cells microencapsulated into MTS can better mimic cell behavior in small solid tumors compared to the monolayer culture. In the future MTS could be proposed as a novel in vitro model for anticancer drug screening.
Keywords: microencapsulation; multicellular tumor spheroids; alginate-chitosan microcapsules; methotrexate

Regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis and metabolism in Hep G2 cells by Δ8(14)-15-ketoergostane derivatives by A. R. Mehtiev; V. I. Fedchenko; Ya. V. Tkachev; V. P. Timofeev; A. Yu. Misharin (251-257).
The comparative study of effects of 5α-cholest-8(14)-en-15-on-3β-ol (I), (22E)-5α-ergosta-8(14),22-dien-15-on-3β-ol (II), (22S,23S)-22,23-oxido-5α-ergost-8(14)-en-15-on-3β-ol (III), and (22R,23R)-22,23-oxido-5α-ergost-8(14)-en-15-on-3β-ol (IV) on HMG-CoA reductase, CYP27A1 and CYP3A4 genes expression in Hep G2 cells was performed. In the contrast to the 15-ketocholestane derivative (I), 15-ketoergostane derivatives (II–IV) decreased the HMG-CoA reductase mRNA level; (22R, 23R)-22,23-oxido-5α-ergost-8(14)-en-15-on-3β-ol (IV) significantly increased CYP3A4 mRNA level (320% from control). Ketosterol (II) was found to be a more potent inhibitor of cholesterol biosynthesis in Hep G2 cells during prolonged incubation, compared with ketosterol (I). The side chain conformation of compounds (I)–(IV) was evaluated by computational modeling; the correlation between biological activity of these compounds and conformational flexibility of their side chains was found. The results obtained indicate that Δ8(14)-15-ketoergostane derivatives may be used as a sterol biosynthesis and metabolism regulators in liver cells.
Keywords: oxysterols; cholesterol; biosynthesis; regulation; Hep G2 cells; sterol side chain conformation

Patients with different forms of the diabetes, particularly with insulin-independent type 2 diabetes, have a wide spectrum of the disturbances of the functions of reproductive system. It is suggested that the main reason of these disturbances is altered sensitivity of reproductive system tissues to the regulatory action of hormones. The aim of this study was the identification of the changes in functioning of adenylyl cyclase system (ACS) sensitive to human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and the peptide hormones in the ovary, testes and uterus of rats with neonatal streptozotocin (STZ) diabetes that is similar to the type 2 diabetes in humans. The effects of hCG, PACAP-38 and relaxin, realizing their effects via stimulatory G proteins (Gs), and somatostatin, acting via the inhibitory G protein (Gi), on adenylyl cyclase (AC) activity and GTP binding to the G proteins were studied. In rats with STZ type 2 diabetes the regulatory effects of hCG and PACAP-38 decreased in the ovary and testes, while the effects of somatostatin decreased in all investigated tissues (especially in the uterus). This caused attenuation of the hormonal effects, stimulating (hCG and PACAP-38) or inhibiting (somatostatin) AC activity, and in the decrease of their stimulatory effect on the GTP binding. At the same time a significant decrease of ACS sensitivity to relaxin in the tissues of diabetic rats was not found. Data obtained suggest that one of the key reasons for impairments of reproductive functions in experimental type 2 diabetes is the decrease of ACS sensitivity to the hormones, hCG, PACAP-38 and somatostatin, which play an important role in the reproductive system functioning.
Keywords: Adenylyl cyclase; reproductive system; somatostatin; chorionic gonadotrophin; G protein

Hepatotoxic effects of acetaminophen. Protective properties of tryptophan derivatives by I. K. Dremza; V. T. Cheshchevik; S. V. Zabrodskaya; Yu. Z. Maksimchik; E. Yu. Sudnikovich; E. A. Lapshina; I. B. Zavodnik (264-268).
Rat intoxication with acetaminophen (APAP) (500–1500 mg/kg body weight, intragastrically) caused a considerable dose-dependent decrease in reduced glutathione (GSH) level in both liver cell cytoplasm and mitochondria (at the dose 1500 mg/kg body weight by 60% and 33%, respectively). The decrease in cytoplasmic GSH level was more pronounced than in mitochondria. Despite of significant mitochondrial GSH depletion we did not observe any inactivation of the mitochondrial enzymes: succinate dehydrogenase, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, glutathione peroxidase, and also any decrease in the respiratory activity of liver mitochondria isolated from APAP-intoxicated rats. We have investigated hepatoprotector properties of tryptophan derivatives, melatonin and N-acetyl-nitrosotryptophan (a nitric oxide donor). The pineal gland hormone, melatonin, a known antioxidant (10 mg/kg body weight), did not prevent intramitochondrial GSH, but decreased the APAP hepatotoxicity evaluated as the decrease in the activity of marker enzymes of hepatic damage, ALT and AST and total bilirubin content in blood plasma of intoxicated rats, whereas NNT did not exhibit any hepatoprotective effects.
Keywords: acetaminophen; melatonin; tissue respiration; oxidative stress; hepatotoxicity; hepatoprotectors

The effect of CpG-rich DNA fragments on the development of hypertension in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) by N. N. Veiko; I. L. Konorova; M. E. Neverova; O. V. Fidelina; N. A. Mkrtumova; E. S. Ershova; M. S. Kon’kova; A. Yu. Postnov (269-278).
In this study we have investigated properties of blood plasma extracellular DNA (cell-free DNA, cfDNA) from patients with essential arterial hypertension (AH). Concentration of cell-free DNA was basically the same as in healthy donors, however, the content of the marker, CpG-rich cell-free DNA fragments (CpG-DNA) of the transcribed area of the ribosomal repeat (TArDNA, CpG-DNA) was higher in AH patients. For evaluation of the effect of CpG-DNA on the development of arterial hypertension 2-day-old SHR rat pups and corresponding controls of normotensive WKY rats received a single subcutaneous injection of human TArDNA (700 ng) to generate anti-CpG-DNA antibodies (and thus to alter the CpG-DNA content in total cfDNA). After 9 weeks blood pressure (BP) in SHR rats immunized with CpG-DNA was significantly lower than in control SHR rats and was basically the same as in WKY rats. However, subsequently, BP of the immunized SHR exhibited age-related increase, which reached the stably high values typical for mature SHR 8 weeks later compared with control SHR. Analysis of cfDNA has shown that in 17-week-old immunized SHR rats concentrations of cell-free DNA and its small DNA fragments are lower and the content of CpG-DNA (rat TArDNA) is higher than in corresponding controls. These changes were accompanied by a 3.5-fold increase in blood endonuclease activity and the decrease in content of free (unbound to cfDNA) anti-CpG-DNA antibodies. Total content of anti-CpG-DNA antibodies in the immunized rats was the same as in control animals. Thus, the delayed age-related increase in stable BP observed in immunized SHR rats is obviously not associated with increased generation of anti-CpG-DNA antibodies. Possible reasons of this effect are discussed.
Keywords: ribosomal genes; cell-free DNA; arterial hypertension; SHR; WKY; DNA antibodies

A mechanism of the toxicity of artificial ribonucleases for human cancer cells by E. B. Logashenko; I. L. Kuznetsova; E. I. Ryabchikova; V. V. Vlassov; M. A. Zenkova (279-287).
The ability of artificial ribonucleases, low molecular weight compounds exhibiting RNA cleavage in vitro, to cause human cancer cell death in a concentration-dependent manner has been studied. The cytotoxic effect of artificial ribonucleases on cells appeared at rather low concentrations of these compounds (10−5 M). The study of mechanisms of the cytotoxic effect has shown that in addition to ribonuclease activity these compounds exhibit membranotropic activity. This activity allows the compounds to penetrate effectively inside cells. The cytotoxic effect of artificial ribonucleases involves damage of cell membrane, detachment of plasmalemma and impairments of its macromolecular organization. However, in the case of shortterm exposure to these compounds, cells survive even with damaged membrane.
Keywords: artificial ribonucleases; citotoxicity; membranotropic activity; antineoplastic drugs

This paper describes a simple and sensitive reversed-phase HPLC method for the determination of total homocysteine, total cysteine, total glutathione (GSH + GSSG), and neuroactive amino acids (Asp, Glu, Tau, GABA) using precolumn derivatization with ortho-phtaldialdehyde and fluorimetric detection at 360 and 470 nm for emission and excitation, respectively. Derivatization was performed with ortho-phthaldialdehyde in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol after alkylation of free sulfhydryl groups with iodoacetic acid. For determination of total aminothiols, the disulfide bonds were reduced and protein-bound thiols were released by addition of dithiothreitol to the plasma sample. The advantage of this method is the simultaneous determination of both homocysteine/cysteine/glutathione and neuroactive amino acids in the sample. The plasma levels of studied compounds were determined in 14 healthy volunteers (20–45 years old) and 55 patients with chronic hepatitis C (20–49 years old) and the resulting values were in a good agreement with results published earlier. The calibration curves were linear over a concentration range of 5–100 μM in plasma (r 2 = 0.985−0.996). The intraday and interday coefficients of variation were 3–6% and 4–7%, respectively. The recovery of the standards added to the plasma samples ranged from 94 to 102%. The limits of detection (LOD) were 0.2–0.5 ng per 10 μl of the injection volume (signal-to-noise ratio of 3).
Keywords: aminothiols; amino acids; plasma; HPLC; hepatitis C

A modified method for a single run separation and identification of the molecular species of different phospholipid classes in a complex extract has been proposed. It includes reverse phase HPLC with a mass spectrometric detection. This approach has been employed for the analysis of glycerophospholipids and sphingolipids of human erythrocytes and several ceramide fractions have been identified[L2], that were missed in previous studies employing similar methods. The proposed scheme of experiment decreased the number of procedures needed for a complete phospholipid profiling of the sample.
Keywords: phospholipids; lipidomics; HPLC; mass-spectrometry; erythrocytes

Preparation of affinity sorbents with immobilized synthetic ligands for therapeutic apheresis by P. A. Levashov; O. I. Afanasieva; O. A. Dmitrieva; E. V. Klesareva; I. Yu. Adamova; M. I. Afanasieva; Zh. D. Bespalova; M. V. Sidorova; S. N. Pokrovsky (303-307).
The practical aspects of preparation and stability of medical sorbents are considered. A simple and convenient technique has been developed for synthesis of highly effective biospecific autoclavable sorbents based on the polysassharide matrix; synthetic ligands (amino acid, oligopeptide, or oligosaccharide) containing primary amino group were immobilized to the matrix via a spacer. The developed approach may be used for preparation of various affinity sorbents suitable for application in medicine and biotechnology.
Keywords: affinity sorbents; apheresis; immunoglobulins