In diverse organisms, calorie restriction slows the pace of ageing and increases maximum lifespan. In the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, calorie restriction extends lifespan by increasing the activity of Sir2 (ref. 1), a member of the conserved sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases. Included in this family are SIR-2.1, a Caenorhabditis elegans enzyme that regulates lifespan, and SIRT1, a human deacetylase that promotes cell survival by negatively regulating the p53 tumour suppressor.
The telomerase ribonucleoprotein is a promising target for cancer therapy, as it is highly active in many human malignancies. A novel telomerase targeting approach combines short interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of endogenous human telomerase RNA (hTer) with expression of a mutant-template hTer (MT-hTer). Such combination MT-hTer/siRNA constructs induce a rapid DNA damage response, telomere uncapping, and inhibition of cell proliferation in a variety of human cancer cell lines.
Expression of the catalytic subunit of human telomerase, hTERT, extends human primary fibroblast life span. Such life span extension has generally been reported to be accompanied by net telomere lengthening, which led to the hypothesis that it is the telomere lengthening that causes the life span extension. Here we show that hTERT+C and hTERT-FlagC, mutant telomerase proteins with either 10 additional residues or a FLAG epitope added to the hTERT C-terminus, confer significant but limited life span extension to IMR90 human primary lung fibroblasts.
Telomerase is a specialized reverse transcriptase with a built-in RNA template. Base pairing between the templating domain of telomerase RNA and a telomeric DNA primer is normally a characteristic of elongation of telomeric DNA. Here we demonstrate the mechanism by which Tetrahymena telomerase bypasses a requirement for template-primer pairing in order to add telomeric DNA de novo to completely non-telomeric DNA primers. We show that this reaction initiates by copying the template residue at the 3' boundary of the telomerase RNA template sequence.
Protein engineering of cytochrome P450 monooxygenases (P450s) has been very successful in generating valuable non-natural activities and properties, allowing these powerful catalysts to be used for the synthesis of drug metabolites and in biosynthetic pathways for the production of precursors of artemisinin and paclitaxel. Collected experience indicates that the P450s are highly 'evolvable' - they are particularly robust to mutation in their active sites and readily accept new substrates and exhibit new selectivities.
The Pd-catalyzed TBHP-mediated Wacker-type oxidation of internal alkenes is reported. The reaction uses 2-(4,5-dihydro-2-oxazolyl)quinoline (Quinox) as ligand and TBHP(aq) as oxidant to deliver single ketone constitutional isomer products in a predictable fashion from electronically biased olefins. This methodology is showcased through its application on an advanced intermediate in the total synthesis of the antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Spectrochimica Acta. Part A, Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
The development of new synthesis methods for monodispersed nanocrystals using cheap and nontoxic chemicals, environmentally benign solvents and renewable materials remains a challenge to the scientific community. The present work reports a new green method for the synthesis of gold nanoparticles. Four different ayurvedic arishtams are used for the reduction of Au(3+) to Au nanoparticles. This method is simple, efficient, economic and nontoxic. Gold nanoparticles having different sizes in the range from 15 to 23 nm could be obtained.
Drug Metabolism and Disposition: The Biological Fate of Chemicals
Ginseng extract has been reported to decrease the incidence of 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene (DMBA)-initiated tumorigenesis in mice. A potential mechanism for this effect by ginseng is inhibition of DMBA-bioactivating cytochrome P450 (P450) enzymes. In the present in vitro study, we examined the effect of a standardized Panax ginseng (or Asian ginseng) extract (G115), a standardized Panax quinquefolius (or North American ginseng) extract (NAGE), and individual ginsenosides (Rb1, Rb2, Rc, Rd, Re, Rf, and Rg1) on CYP1 catalytic activities, as assessed by 7-ethoxyresorufin O-dealkylation.
Green tea (Camellia sinensis) is rich in catechins, of which (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant. Studies in animal models of carcinogenesis have shown that green tea and EGCG can inhibit tumorigenesis during the initiation, promotion and progression stages. Many potential mechanisms have been proposed including both antioxidant and pro-oxidant effects, but questions remain regarding the relevance of these mechanisms to cancer prevention.
Leukotrienes generated by 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX)-catalyzed reaction are key regulators of inflammation. In ionophore-stimulated (A23187; 1-2.5 μM) human blood neutrophils or differentiated HL-60 cells, vitamin E forms differentially inhibited leukotriene B(4) (LTB(4)) with an IC(50) of 5-20 μM for γ-tocopherol, δ-tocopherol (δT), and γ-tocotrienol, but a much higher IC(50) for α-tocopherol.