Penn Dental Medicine

Established in 1878, Penn Dental Medicine is among the oldest university-affiliated dental schools in the nation. The school's mission is to transform global oral health and well-being through exceptional clinical care, innovation, education, and research.

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  • Publication
    In Vitro Replication of Cyanobacterial Plasmids from Synechocystis PCC 6803
    (1994-09-01) Yang, Xiaoyu; Daniell, Henry; McFadden, Bruce
    Little knowledge of DNA replication in cyanobacteria is available. In this study, we report the development and characterization of an in vitro system for studies of replication of the endogenous plasmids from the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803. This system (fraction III) was isolated at high salt concentrations and partially purified on a heparin-agarose column. DNA polymerases in Synechocystis 6803 appeared to be associated with membranes and could be released by the addition of ammonium sulfate to 20% saturation. DNA synthesis in fraction III was dependent on the addition of cyanobacterial plasmids isolated from the same strain. The in vitro replication products consist mostly of the supercoiled form of the plasmids. Unlike replication of many Escherichia coli plasmids, replication of cyanobacterial plasmids did not require added ATP, was not inhibited by omission of the ribonucleotides, and was insensitive to the RNA polymerase inhibitor rifampicin and the gyrase inhibitor novobiocin, but was inhibited by ethidium bromide. These data suggest that RNA may not be involved in the initiation of replication of cyanobacterial plasmids from Synechocystis 6803. In addition, intermediates of replication have been detected by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Density labeling experiments also indicate that cyanobacterial plasmid synthesis in vitro occurs by a semiconservative replication.
  • Publication
    Evaluating Two Methods for Fingerprinting Genomes of Actinobacillus Actinomycetemcomitans
    (1993-12-01) Slots, J.; Liu, Y. B.; DiRienzo, J. M.; Chen, C.
    The arbitrary primer polymerase chain reaction (AP-PCR) and Southern blot restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) were used to genotype the periodontal pathogen A. actinomycetemcomitans. Total genomic DNA from 73 strains was extracted by conventional methods. Three random-sequence 10-base oligonucleotide primers were chosen for AP-PCR. The amplified DNA products were separated electrophoretically in a 1% agarose gel containing ethidium bromide and the banding patterns were compared among different strains. For RFLP analysis, DNA was digested with EcoRI, separated on a 0.8% agarose gel and transferred to a nylon membrane. The membrane was probed with a previously characterized 5.2 kilobases (kb) DNA fragment cloned from A. actinomycetemcomitans strain Y4. The probe was labeled with digoxigenin, and hybridized fragments were detected with anti-digoxigenin antibody. AP-PCR produced 4–10 DNA bands in the 0.5–5 kb regions and distinguished 9, 13 or 17 genotypes, depending on the specific primer used. Southern blot RFLP analysis revealed 12 hybridization patterns consisting of 1 or 2 DNA fragments (2–23 kb). The addition of the Southern blot analysis to the AP-PCR analysis gave rise to a total of 30 DNA profiles among the 73 A. actinomycetemcomitans study strains. The results indicate that both AP-PCR and Southern blot analysis are useful in clonal analysis of A. actinomycetemcomitans.
  • Publication
    Phagocytosis-Dependent Ketogenesis in Retinal Pigment Epithelium
    (2017-05-12) Reyes-Reveles, Juan; Dhingra, Anuradha; Alexander, Desiree; Bragin, Alvina; Philp, Nancy J.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen
    Daily, the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) ingests a bolus of lipid and protein in the form of phagocytized photoreceptor outer segments (OS). The RPE, like the liver, expresses enzymes required for fatty acid oxidation and ketogenesis. This suggests that these pathways play a role in the disposal of lipids from ingested OS, as well as providing a mechanism for recycling metabolic intermediates back to the outer retina. In this study, we examined whether OS phagocytosis was linked to ketogenesis. We found increased levels of β-hydroxybutyrate (β-HB) in the apical medium following ingestion of OS by human fetal RPE and ARPE19 cells cultured on Transwell inserts. No increase in ketogenesis was observed following ingestion of oxidized OS or latex beads. Our studies further defined the connection between OS phagocytosis and ketogenesis in wild-type mice and mice with defects in phagosome maturation using a mouse RPE explant model. In explant studies, the levels of β-HB released were temporally correlated with OS phagocytic burst after light onset. In the Mreg−/− mouse where phagosome maturation is delayed, there was a temporal shift in the release of β-HB. An even more pronounced shift in maximal β-HB production was observed in the Abca4−/− RPE, in which loss of the ATP-binding cassette A4 transporter results in defective phagosome processing and accumulation of lipid debris. These studies suggest that FAO and ketogenesis are key to supporting the metabolism of the RPE and preventing the accumulation of lipids that lead to oxidative stress and mitochondrial dysfunction.
  • Publication
    Localization of Caveolin-1 and C-Src in Mature and Differentiating Photoreceptors: Raft Proteins Co-Distribute with Rhodopsin During Development
    (2011-12-01) Berta, Ágnes I.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Magyar, Attila; Szél, Ágoston; Kiss, Anna L.
    Numerous biochemical and morphological studies have provided insight into the distribution pattern of caveolin-1 and the presence of membrane rafts in the vertebrate retina. To date however, studies have not addressed the localization profile of raft specific proteins during development. Therefore the purpose of our studies was to follow the localization pattern of caveolin-1, phospho-caveolin-1 and c-src in the developing retina and compare it to that observed in adults. Specific antibodies were used to visualize the distribution of caveolin-1, c-src, a kinase phosphorylating caveolin-1, and phospho-caveolin-1. The labeling pattern of this scaffolded complex was compared to those of rhodopsin and rhodopsin kinase. Samples were analyzed at various time points during postnatal development and compared to adult retinas. The immunocytochemical studies were complemented with immunoblots and immunoprecipitation studies. In the mature retina caveolin-1 and c-src localized mainly to the cell body and IS of photoreceptors, with only very weakly labeled OS. In contrast, phospho-caveolin-1 was only detectable in the OS of photoreceptors. During development we followed the expression and distribution profile of these proteins in a temporal sequence with special attention to the period when OS formation is most robust. Double labeling immunocytochemistry and immunoprecipitation showed rhodopsin to colocalize and co-immunoprecipitate with caveolin-1 and c-src. Individual punctate structures between the outer limiting membrane and the outer plexiform layer were seen at P10 to be labeled by both rhodopsin and caveolin-1 as well as by rhodopsin and c-src, respectively. These studies suggest that membrane raft specific proteins are co-distributed during development, thereby pointing to a role for such complexes in OS formation. In addition, the presence of small punctate structures containing caveolin-1, c-src and rhodopsin raise the possibility that these proteins may transport together to OS during development and that caveolin-1 exists predominantly in a phosphorylated form in the OS. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
  • Publication
    Evaluation of the Humoral Immune Response to the Cytolethal Distending Toxin of Aggregatibacter Actinomycetemcomitans Y4 in Subjects with Localized Aggressive Periodontitis
    (2009-04-01) Xynogala, I.; Volgina, A.; DiRienzo, J. M.
    Introduction Cytolethal distending toxin (Cdt) is potentially one of several virulence factors of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, the prime etiological agent of localized aggressive periodontitis (LAP). Little is known regarding the Cdt-specific antibody response in humans. The current study is a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the toxin-specific antibody response in a cohort of LAP patients and age-, race- and sex-matched controls. Methods Ninety-five subjects provided a total of 692 serum samples. Sera were analysed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays to determine the titers of antibody against the intact Cdt holotoxin as well as the individual subunit proteins (CdtA, CdtB, and CdtC). Neutralization of growth inhibition mediated by Cdt was evaluated in a modified colony-forming assay using Chinese hamster ovary cells. Results Fourteen of the 95 subjects exhibited significant serum Cdt-binding activity. There were no differences in the percentages of seropositive individuals or in the mean antibody titers between the control and LAP groups. Binding activity was detected against each of the three Cdt subunit proteins in all of the positive samples. Neutralization of Cdt-mediated growth inhibition was detected in samples from all of the seropositive subjects (range 20–75%). Conclusions Cdt, a recently identified A. actinomycetemcomitans virulence factor, is capable of inducing a neutralizing antibody response indicating that the toxin is produced during natural infection of humans. The failure of a vast majority (20 of 23) of the LAP subjects to mount a significant anti-Cdt response may in part explain their relative susceptibility to the disease.
  • Publication
    Distinct Roles of Receptor Phosphorylation, G Protein Usage, and Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Activation on Platelet Activating Factor-Induced Leukotriene C4 Generation and Chemokine Production
    (2002-06-21) Ahamed, Jasimuddin; Ali, Hydar
    Platelet activating factor (PAF) interacts with cell surface G protein-coupled receptors on leukocytes to induce degranulation, leukotriene C4 (LTC4) generation, and chemokine CCL2 production. Using a basophilic leukemia RBL-2H3 cell line expressing wild-type PAF receptor (PAFR) and a phosphorylation-deficient mutant (mPAFR), we have previously demonstrated that receptor phosphorylation mediates desensitization of PAF-induced degranulation. Here, we sought to determine the role of receptor phosphorylation on PAF-induced LTC4 generation and CCL2 production. We found that PAF caused a significantly enhanced LTC4 generation in cells expressing mPAFR when compared with PAFR cells. In contrast, PAF-induced CCL2 production was greatly reduced in mPAFR cells. Pertussis toxin and U0126, which inhibit Gi and p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (ERK) activation, respectively, caused very little inhibition of PAF-induced CCL2 production (∼20% inhibition). In contrast, these inhibitors almost completely blocked both PAF-induced ERK phosphorylation and LTC4 generation in PAFR cells. However, in mPAFR cells pertussis toxin only partially inhibited PAF-induced ERK phosphorylation. A Ca2+/calmodulin inhibitor had no effect on PAF-induced ERK phosphorylation in PAFR cells but completely blocked the response in mPAFR cells. These data demonstrate that receptor phosphorylation, which serves to desensitize PAF-induced LTC4 generation, is required for chemokine CCL2 production. They also indicate a previously unrecognized selectivity in G protein usage and ERK activation for PAF-induced responses. Whereas PAF-induced CCL2 production is, in large part, mediated independently of Gi activation or ERK phosphorylation, LTC4 generation requires ERK phosphorylation, which is mediated by different G proteins depending on the phosphorylation status of the receptor.
  • Publication
    Diabetes Aggravates Periodontitis by Limiting Repair Through Enhanced Inflammation
    (2012-04-01) Pacios, S.; Kang, J.; Galicia, J.; Gluck, K.; Hamel, P.; Ovaydi-Mandel, A.; Petrov, S.; Alawi, F.; Graves, D. T.
    Periodontitis is the most common lytic bone disease and one of the first clinical manifestations of diabetes. Diabetes increases the risk of periodontitis. The aim of the present study was to examine mechanisms by which diabetes aggravates periodontitis. Ligature-induced periodontitis was examined in Goto-Kakizaki rats with type 2 diabetes. A tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-specificinhibitor, pegsunercept, was applied to diabetic rats after the onset of periodontal disease. Interferon-γ (IFN-γ), TNF-α, interleukin-1 β (IL-1β), fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGFβ-1), bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2), and BMP-6 were measured by real-time RT-PCR, and histological sections were examined for leukocyte infiltration and several parameters related to bone resorption and formation. Inflammation was prolonged in diabetic rats and was reversed by the TNF inhibitor, which reduced cytokine mRNA levels, leukocyte infiltration, and osteoclasts. In contrast, new bone and osteoid formation and osteoblast numbers were increased significantly vs. untreated diabetic animals. TNF inhibition in diabetic animals also reduced apoptosis, increased proliferation of bone-lining cells, and increased mRNA levels of FGF-2, TGFβ-1, BMP-2, and BMP-6. Thus, diabetes prolongs inflammation and osteoclastogenesis in periodontitis and through TNF limits the normal reparative process by negatively modulating factors that regulate bone. © FASEB.
  • Publication
    Molecular Strategies for Gene Containment in Transgenic Crops
    (2002-10-15) Daniell, Henry
    The potential of genetically modified (GM) crops to transfer foreign genes through pollen to related plant species has been cited as an environmental concern. Until more is known concerning the environmental impact of novel genes on indigenous crops and weeds, practical and regulatory considerations will likely require the adoption of gene-containment approaches for future generations of GM crops. Most molecular approaches with potential for controlling gene flow among crops and weeds have thus far focused on maternal inheritance, male sterility, and seed sterility. Several other containment strategies may also prove useful in restricting gene flow, including apomixis (vegetative propagation and asexual seed formation), cleistogamy (self-fertilization without opening of the flower), genome incompatibility, chemical induction/deletion of transgenes, fruit-specific excision of transgenes, and transgenic mitigation (transgenes that compromise fitness in the hybrid). As yet, however, no strategy has proved broadly applicable to all crop species, and a combination of approaches may prove most effective for engineering the next generation of GM crops.
  • Publication
    Expression of Fungal Cutinase and Swollenin in Tobacco Chloroplasts Reveals Novel Enzyme Functions and/or Substrates
    (2013-02-25) Verma, Dheeraj; Jin, Shuangxia; Kanagaraj, Anderson; Singh, Nameirakpam D.; Daniel, Jaiyanth; Kolattukudy, Pappachan E.; Miller, Michael; Daniell, Henry
    In order to produce low-cost biomass hydrolyzing enzymes, transplastomic lines were generated that expressed cutinase or swollenin within chloroplasts. While swollenin expressing plants were homoplasmic, cutinase transplastomic lines remained heteroplasmic. Both transplastomic lines showed interesting modifications in their phenotype, chloroplast structure, and functions. Ultrastructural analysis of chloroplasts from cutinase- and swollenin-expressing plants did not show typical lens shape and granal stacks. But, their thylakoid membranes showed unique scroll like structures and chloroplast envelope displayed protrusions, stretching into the cytoplasm. Unusual honeycomb structures typically observed in etioplasts were observed in mature chloroplasts expressing swollenin. Treatment of cotton fiber with chloroplast-derived swollenin showed enlarged segments and the intertwined inner fibers were irreversibly unwound and fully opened up due to expansin activity of swollenin, causing disruption of hydrogen bonds in cellulose fibers. Cutinase transplastomic plants showed esterase and lipase activity, while swollenin transplastomic lines lacked such enzyme activities. Higher plants contain two major galactolipids, monogalactosyldiacylglycerol (MGDG) and digalactosyldiacylglycerol (DGDG), in their chloroplast thylakoid membranes that play distinct roles in their structural organization. Surprisingly, purified cutinase effectively hydrolyzed DGDG to MGDG, showing alpha galactosidase activity. Such hydrolysis resulted in unstacking of granal thylakoids in chloroplasts and other structural changes. These results demonstrate DGDG as novel substrate and function for cutinase. Both MGDG and DGDG were reduced up to 47.7% and 39.7% in cutinase and 68.5% and 67.5% in swollenin expressing plants. Novel properties and functions of both enzymes reported here for the first time should lead to better understanding and enhanced biomass hydrolysis.
  • Publication
    Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin induces cytosol acidification in LFA-1 expressing immune cells
    (2016-02-01) Balashova, N.; Dhingra, A.; Boesze-Battaglia, K.; Lally, E. T.
    Studies have suggested that Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans leukotoxin (LtxA) kills human lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18)-bearing immune cells through a lysosomal-mediated mechanism. Lysosomes are membrane-bound cellular organelles that contain an array of acid hydrolases that are capable of breaking down biomolecules. The lysosomal membrane bilayer confines the pH-sensitive enzymes within an optimal acidic (pH 4.8) environment thereby protecting the slightly basic cytosol (pH 6.8-7.5). In the current study, we have probed the effect of LtxA-induced cytolysis on lysosomal integrity in two different K562 erythroleukemia cell lines. K562-puro/LFA-1 cells were stably transfected with CD11a and CD18 cDNA to express LFA-1 on the cell surface while K562-puro, which does not express LFA-1, served as a control. Following treatment with 100 ng ml-1 LtxA cells were analyzed by live cell imaging in conjunction with time-lapse confocal microscopy and by flow cytometry. Using a pH-sensitive indicator (pHrodo®) we demonstrated that the toxin causes a decrease in the intracellular pH in K562-puro/LFA-1 cells that is noticeable within the first 15 min of treatment. This process correlated with the disappearance of lysosomes in the cytosol as determined by both acridine orange and LysoTracker® Red DND-99 staining. These changes were not observed in K562-puro cells or when heat inactivated toxin was added to K562-puro/LFA-1. Our results suggest that LtxA induces lysosomal damage, cytosol acidification, which is followed by cell death in K562-puro/LFA-1 cells. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S.