School of Chemistry - Research Publications

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    Mitochondrial COA7 is a heme-binding protein with disulfide reductase activity, which acts in the early stages of complex IV assembly
    Formosa, LE ; Maghool, S ; Sharpe, AJ ; Reljic, B ; Muellner-Wong, L ; Stroud, DA ; Ryan, MT ; Maher, MJ (NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2022-02-25)
    Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) assembly factor 7 (COA7) is a metazoan-specific assembly factor, critical for the biogenesis of mitochondrial complex IV (cytochrome c oxidase). Although mutations in COA7 have been linked to complex IV assembly defects and neurological conditions such as peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, and leukoencephalopathy, the precise role COA7 plays in the biogenesis of complex IV is not known. Here, we show that loss of COA7 blocks complex IV assembly after the initial step where the COX1 module is built, progression from which requires the incorporation of copper and addition of the COX2 and COX3 modules. The crystal structure of COA7, determined to 2.4 Å resolution, reveals a banana-shaped molecule composed of five helix-turn-helix (α/α) repeats, tethered by disulfide bonds. COA7 interacts transiently with the copper metallochaperones SCO1 and SCO2 and catalyzes the reduction of disulfide bonds within these proteins, which are crucial for copper relay to COX2. COA7 binds heme with micromolar affinity, through axial ligation to the central iron atom by histidine and methionine residues. We therefore propose that COA7 is a heme-binding disulfide reductase for regenerating the copper relay system that underpins complex IV assembly.
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    Oxidative desulfurization pathway for complete catabolism of sulfoquinovose by bacteria
    Sharma, M ; Lingford, JP ; Petricevic, M ; Snow, AJD ; Zhang, Y ; Jarva, MA ; Mui, JW-Y ; Scott, NE ; Saunders, EC ; Epa, R ; da Silva, BM ; Pires, DEV ; Ascher, DB ; McConville, MJ ; Davies, GJ ; Williams, SJ ; Goddard-Borger, ED (NATL ACAD SCIENCES, 2022-01-25)
    Catabolism of sulfoquinovose (SQ; 6-deoxy-6-sulfoglucose), the ubiquitous sulfosugar produced by photosynthetic organisms, is an important component of the biogeochemical carbon and sulfur cycles. Here, we describe a pathway for SQ degradation that involves oxidative desulfurization to release sulfite and enable utilization of the entire carbon skeleton of the sugar to support the growth of the plant pathogen Agrobacterium tumefaciens SQ or its glycoside sulfoquinovosyl glycerol are imported into the cell by an ATP-binding cassette transporter system with an associated SQ binding protein. A sulfoquinovosidase hydrolyzes the SQ glycoside and the liberated SQ is acted on by a flavin mononucleotide-dependent sulfoquinovose monooxygenase, in concert with an NADH-dependent flavin reductase, to release sulfite and 6-oxo-glucose. An NAD(P)H-dependent oxidoreductase reduces the 6-oxo-glucose to glucose, enabling entry into primary metabolic pathways. Structural and biochemical studies provide detailed insights into the recognition of key metabolites by proteins in this pathway. Bioinformatic analyses reveal that the sulfoquinovose monooxygenase pathway is distributed across Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria and is especially prevalent within the Rhizobiales order. This strategy for SQ catabolism is distinct from previously described pathways because it enables the complete utilization of all carbons within SQ by a single organism with concomitant production of inorganic sulfite.
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    A polymer inclusion membrane composed of the binary carrier PC-88A and Versatic 10 for the selective separation and recovery of Sc
    Sharaf, M ; Yoshida, W ; Kubota, F ; Kolev, SD ; Goto, M (ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2018-01-01)
    This study reports on the selective separation of scandium (Sc) from other rare earth metals (REMs) using a polymer inclusion membrane (PIM). The PIM prepared with PC-88A (2-ethylhexyl hydrogen-2-ethylhexylphosphonate) alone as the carrier showed high extractability but the poor back-extraction of the extracted Sc3+ ions did not allow the transport of these ions to the receiving solution of a membrane transport system. To overcome this problem, a novel approach was introduced using a mixture of carriers that allowed Sc3+ transport into the receiving solution. A cellulose triacetate (CTA) based PIM containing both PC-88A and Versatic 10 (decanoic acid) as carriers and dioctyl phthalate (DOP) as a plasticizer was prepared for the selective separation of Sc3+ from other REM ions in nitrate media. The membrane composition was optimized and the effect of operational parameters such as pH of the feed solution and composition of the receiving solution was explored. The flux at the membrane/feed solution interface was found to depend significantly on the carrier concentration in the PIM, pH of the feed solution and the receiving solution acidity. The newly developed PIM allowed quantitative and selective transport of Sc3+ thus demonstrating its suitability for the selective recovery of this metal.
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    Editor's page - Historical Records of Australian Science
    MAROSKE, S ; Rae, I (CSIRO, 2022-07-29)
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    Enhanced anticancer potency with reduced nephrotoxicity of newly synthesized platin-based complexes compared with cisplatin.
    Salehi, R ; Abyar, S ; Ramazani, F ; Khandar, AA ; Hosseini-Yazdi, SA ; White, JM ; Edalati, M ; Kahroba, H ; Talebi, M (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-05-18)
    As a platinum-containing anticancer drug, cisplatin is the keystone for treating many malignancies. Nephrotoxicity is the main dose-limiting toxicity, and several hydration therapies and supplementary strategies are utilized to reduce cisplatin-induced kidney damage, so the discovery and development of effective and safe antitumor drugs are still on the path of human health. Herein, a new four-coordinated Pt complex [Pt(TSC)Cl] using N(4)-phenyl-2-formylpyridine thiosemicarbazone (HTSC) was synthesized and characterized by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, 1HNMR, FT-IR, LC/MS and CHN elemental analysis. The Pt(TSC)Cl complex revealed antiproliferative activity against A549, MCF-7 and Caco-2 cell lines with a low micromolar IC50 (200-1.75 µM). Specifically, the Pt(TSC)Cl complex displayed more selectivity in Caco-2 cells (IC50 = 2.3 µM) than cisplatin (IC50 = 107 µM) after 48 h of treatment. Moreover, compared with cisplatin, a known nephrotoxic drug, the Pt(TSC)Cl complex exhibited lower nephrotoxicity against Hek293 normal cells. We also found that the Pt(TSC)Cl complex can effectively prevent cancer cell propagation in sub-G1 and S phases and induce apoptosis (more than 90%). Real time PCR and western analysis demonstrated that the expression pattern of apoptotic genes and proteins is according to the intrinsic apoptosis pathway through the Bax/Bcl-2-Casp9-Casp3/Casp7 axis. Collectively, our findings indicated that the Pt(TSC)Cl complex triggers apoptosis in Caco-2 cell lines, while low nephrotoxicity was shown and may be considered a useful anticancer drug candidate for colorectal cancers for further optimization and growth.
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    Opening Magnetic Hysteresis by Axial Ferromagnetic Coupling: From Mono‐Decker to Double‐Decker Metallacrown
    Wang, J ; Li, Q ; Wu, S ; Chen, Y ; Wan, R ; Huang, G ; Liu, Y ; Liu, J ; Reta, D ; Giansiracusa, MJ ; Wang, Z ; Chilton, NF ; Tong, M (Wiley, 2021-03)
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    Sonosynthesis of nanobiotics with antimicrobial and antioxidant properties.
    Zhu, H ; Wen, Q ; Bhangu, SK ; Ashokkumar, M ; Cavalieri, F (Elsevier BV, 2022-05)
    Transforming small-molecule antibiotics into carrier-free nanoantibiotics represents an opportunity for developing new multifunctional therapeutic agents. In this study, we demonstrate that acoustic cavitation produced by high-frequency ultrasound transforms the antibiotic doxycycline into carrier-free nanobiotics. Upon sonication for 1 h at 10-15 W cm-3, doxycycline molecules underwent hydroxylation and dimerization processes to ultimately self-assemble into nanoparticles of ∼100-200 nm in size. Micrometer sized particles can be also obtained by increasing the acoustic power to 20 W cm-3. The nanodrugs exhibited antioxidant properties, along with antimicrobial activity against both Gram-positive (S. aureus) and Gram-negative (E. coli) bacterial strains. Our results highlight the feasibility of the ultrasound-based approach for engineering drug molecules into a nanosized formulation with controlled and multiple bio-functionalities.
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    Evaluation of a lanthanide nanoparticle-based contrast agent for microcomputed tomography of porous channels in subchondral bone
    Silva, MO ; Kirkwood, N ; Mulvaney, P ; Ellis, A ; Stok, KS (WILEY, 2022-05-19)
    Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic joint disease that causes disability and pain. The osteochondral interface is a gradient tissue region that plays a significant role in maintaining joint health. It has been shown that during OA, increased neoangiogenesis creates porous channels at the osteochondral interface allowing the transport of molecules related to OA. Importantly, the connection between these porous channels and the early stages of OA development is still not fully understood. Microcomputed tomography (microCT) offers the ability to image the porous channels at the osteochondral interface, however, a contrast agent is necessary to delineate the different X-ray attenuations of the tissues. In this study BaYbF5 -SiO2 nanoparticles are synthesized and optimized as a microCT contrast agent to obtain an appropriate contrast attenuation for subsequent segmentation of structures of interest, that is, porous channels, and mouse subchondral bone. For this purpose, BaYbF5 nanoparticles were synthesized and coated with a biocompatible silica shell (SiO2 ). The optimized BaYbF5 -SiO2 27 nm nanoparticles exhibited the highest average microCT attenuation among the biocompatible nanoparticles tested. The BaYbF5 -SiO2 27 nm nanoparticles increased the mean X-ray attenuation of structures of interest, for example, porous channel models and mouse subchondral bone. The BaYbF5 -SiO2 contrast attenuation was steady after diffusion into mouse subchondral bone. In this study, we obtained for the first time, the average microCT attenuation of the BaYbF5 -SiO2 nanoparticles into porous channel models and mouse subchondral bone. In conclusion, BaYbF5 -SiO2 nanoparticles are a potential contrast agent for imaging porous channels at the osteochondral interface using microCT.
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    Lysozyme microspheres incorporated with anisotropic gold nanorods for ultrasound activated drug delivery.
    Bhargawa, B ; Sharma, V ; Ganesh, M-R ; Cavalieri, F ; Ashokkumar, M ; Neppolian, B ; Sundaramurthy, A (Elsevier BV, 2022-05)
    We report on the fabrication of lysozyme microspheres (LyMs) incorporated with gold nanorods (NRs) as a distinctive approach for the encapsulation and release of an anticancer drug, 5-Fluorouracil (5-FU). LyMs with an average size of 4.0 ± 1.0 µm were prepared by a sonochemical method and characterized using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). The LyMs were examined using hydrophobic (nile red) as well as hydrophilic (trypan blue) dyes under confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) to obtain information about the preferential distribution of fluorescent molecules. Notably, the fluorescent molecules were accumulated in the inner lining of LyMs as the core was occupied with air. The encapsulation efficiency of 5-FU for LyMs-NR was found to be ∼64%. The drug release from control LyMs as well as LyMs incorporated with NRs was investigated under the influence of ultrasound (US) at 200 kHz. The total release for control LyMs and LyMs incorporated with gold NRs was found to be ∼70 and 95% after 1 h, respectively. The density difference caused by NR incorporation on the shell played a key role in rupturing the LyMs-NR under US irradiation. Furthermore, 5-FU loaded LyMs-NR exhibited excellent anti-cancer activity against the THP-1 cell line (∼90% cell death) when irradiated with US of 200 kHz. The enhanced anti-cancer activity of LyMs-NR was caused by the transfer of released 5-FU molecules from bulk to the interior of the cell via temporary pores formed on the surface of cancer cells, i.e., sonoporation. Thus, LyMs-NR demonstrated here has a high potential for use as carriers in the field of drug delivery, bio-imaging and therapy.
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    An ion mobility mass spectrometer coupled with a cryogenic ion trap for recording electronic spectra of charged, isomer-selected clusters
    Buntine, JT ; Carrascosa, E ; Bull, JN ; Jacovella, U ; Cotter, MI ; Watkins, P ; Liu, C ; Scholz, MS ; Adamson, BD ; Marlton, SJP ; Bieske, EJ (AIP Publishing, 2022-04-01)
    Infrared and electronic spectra are indispensable for understanding the structural and energetic properties of charged molecules and clusters in the gas phase. However, the presence of isomers can potentially complicate the interpretation of spectra, even if the target molecules or clusters are mass-selected beforehand. Here, we describe an instrument for spectroscopically characterizing charged molecular clusters that have been selected according to both their isomeric form and their mass-to-charge ratio. Cluster ions generated by laser ablation of a solid sample are selected according to their collision cross sections with helium buffer gas using a drift tube ion mobility spectrometer and their mass-to-charge ratio using a quadrupole mass filter. The mobility- and mass-selected target ions are introduced into a cryogenically cooled, three-dimensional quadrupole ion trap where they are thermalized through inelastic collisions with an inert buffer gas (He or He/N2 mixture). Spectra of the molecular ions are obtained by tagging them with inert atoms or molecules (Ne and N2), which are dislodged following resonant excitation of an electronic transition, or by photodissociating the cluster itself following absorption of one or more photons. An electronic spectrum is generated by monitoring the charged photofragment yield as a function of wavelength. The capacity of the instrument is illustrated with the resonance-enhanced photodissociation action spectra of carbon clusters (Cn +) and polyacetylene cations (HC2nH+) that have been selected according to the mass-to-charge ratio and collision cross section with He buffer gas and of mass-selected Au2 + and Au2Ag+ clusters.