Abstract: Immune escape of tumor cells is one of the main obstacles hindering the effectiveness of cancer immunotherapy. We developed a novel strategy to block immune escape by transfecting tumor cells in vivo with genes of pathogenic antigens from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB). This induces presentation of the TB antigen on tumor cell surfaces, which can be recognized by antigen presenting cells (APCs) as a “danger signal” to stimulate antitumor immune response. This strategy is also expected to amplify the immune response against tumor-associated antigens, and block immune escape of the tumor. DNA/PEI/chondroitin sulfate ternary complex is a highly effective non-viral gene vector system for in vivo transfection. A therapeutic complex was prepared using a plasmid encoding the TB antigen, early secretory antigenic target-6 (ESAT-6). This was injected intratumorally into syngeneic tumor-bearing mice, and induced significant tumor growth suppression comparable to or higher than similar complexes expressing cytokines such as interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-12 (IL-12). Co-transfection of the cytokine-genes and the ESAT-6-gene enhanced the antitumor efficacy of either treatment alone. In addition, complete tumor regression was achieved with the combination of ESAT-6 and IL-2 genes.
Abstract: We have reported that ternary complexes of plasmid DNA with conventional linear polyethylenimine (l-PEI) and certain polyanions were very stably dispersed, and, with no cryoprotectant, they could be freeze-dried and re-hydrated without the loss of transfection ability. These properties enabled the preparation of a concentrated suspension of very small pDNA complex, by preparing the complexes at highly diluted conditions, followed by condensation via lyophilization-and-rehydration procedure. Recently, a high potency linear polyethylenimine having no residual protective groups, i.e., Polyethylenimine “Max” (PEI “Max”), is available, which has been reported to induce much higher gene expression than conventional l-PEI. We tried to prepare the small DNA/PEI “Max”/polyanion complexes by a similar freeze-drying method. Small complex particles could be obtained without apparent aggregation, but transfection activity of the rehydrated complexes was severely reduced. Complex-preparation conditions were investigated in details to achieve the freeze-dried DNA/PEI “Max”/polyanion small ternary complexes with high transfection efficiency. DNA/PEI “Max”/polyanion complexes containing cytokine-coding plasmids were then prepared, and their anti-tumor therapeutic efficacy was examined in tumor-bearing mice.
Abstract: Chemical modification of nucleosides in mRNA is an important technology to regulate the immunogenicity of mRNA. In this study, various previously reported mRNA formulations were evaluated by analyzing in vitro protein expression and immunogenicity in multiple cell lines. For the macrophage-derived cell line, RAW 264.7, modified mRNA tended to have reduced immunogenicity and increased protein expression compared to the unmodified mRNA. In contrast, in some cell types, such as hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HuH-7) and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs), protein expression was decreased by mRNA modification. Further analyses revealed that mRNA modifications decreased translation efficiency but increased nuclease stability. Thus, mRNA modification is likely to exert both positive and negative effects on the efficiency of protein expression in transfected cells and optimal mRNA formulation should be determined based on target cell types and transfection purposes.
Abstract: Corneal keratocyte apoptosis triggered by cornel debridement is one mechanism of corneal disorders. In this study, the feasibility of cyclo-(d-Trp-Tyr) peptide nanotubes (PNTs) as carriers of caspase 3 silence shRNA delivery was assessed. A model of epithelial injury by epithelial debridement was applied to investigate the feasibility of PNTs as gene delivery carriers on corneal injury. First, the PNTs were found within 2 μm in length and 300 nm in width by an atomic force microscope and confocal laser microscope system. Plasmid DNAs were observed to be associated with PNTs by atomic force microscope and confocal laser scanning microscope. The plasmids were associated with tyrosine of PNTs with a binding constant of 2.7 × 108 M−1. The stability of plasmid DNA with PNTs against the DNase was found at 60 min. Using thioflavin T pre-stained PNTs on the corneal eye drop delivery, the distribution of PNTs was in the epithelial and stroma regions. After corneal debridement, the rhodamine-labeled plasmid DNA and thioflavin T pre-stained PNTs were also delivered and could be observed in the stroma of cornea. PNTs complexed with anti-apoptotic plasmid caspase 3 silencing shRNA eye drop delivery decreased 41% of caspase 3 activity after the first dose by caspase 3 activity and Western blot analysis.
Abstract: Daptomycin is an important antimicrobial for clinical practice, mainly because it remains very active against Gram-positive resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and vancomycin-resistant enterococci. Development of microbiological methods for the analysis of antimicrobials is highly recommended, since they can provide important information about their biological activities, which physicochemical methods are not able to provide. Considering that there are no studies in the literature describing microbiological methods for the analysis of daptomycin, the aim of this work was to validate a microbiological method for the quantitation of daptomycin by the turbidimetric assay. Staphylococcus aureus was used as the test microorganism, and the brain heart infusion broth was used as the culture medium. The validation of the method was performed according to the ICH guidelines, and it was shown to be linear, precise, robust, accurate and selective, over a concentration range of 8.0 to 18.0 µg mL−1. Student’s t-test showed the interchangeability of the proposed method with a previously-validated HPLC method. The developed turbidimetric method described in this paper is a convenient alternative for the routine quality control of daptomycin in its pharmaceutical dosage form.
Abstract: Transdermal drug delivery offers a number of advantages including improved patient compliance, sustained release, avoidance of gastric irritation, as well as elimination of pre-systemic first-pass effect. However, only few medications can be delivered through the transdermal route in therapeutic amounts. Microneedles can be used to enhance transdermal drug delivery. In this review, different types of microneedles are described and their methods of fabrication highlighted. Microneedles can be fabricated in different forms: hollow, solid, and dissolving. There are also hydrogel-forming microneedles. A special attention is paid to hydrogel-forming microneedles. These are innovative microneedles which do not contain drugs but imbibe interstitial fluid to form continuous conduits between dermal microcirculation and an attached patch-type reservoir. Several microneedles approved by regulatory authorities for clinical use are also examined. The last part of this review discusses concerns and challenges regarding microneedle use.