School of Chemistry - Research Publications

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    Microencapsulation-based cell therapies.
    Marikar, SN ; El-Osta, A ; Johnston, A ; Such, G ; Al-Hasani, K (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-06-08)
    Mapping a new therapeutic route can be fraught with challenges, but recent developments in the preparation and properties of small particles combined with significant improvements to tried and tested techniques offer refined cell targeting with tremendous translational potential. Regenerating new cells through the use of compounds that regulate epigenetic pathways represents an attractive approach that is gaining increased attention for the treatment of several diseases including Type 1 Diabetes and cardiomyopathy. However, cells that have been regenerated using epigenetic agents will still encounter immunological barriers as well as limitations associated with their longevity and potency during transplantation. Strategies aimed at protecting these epigenetically regenerated cells from the host immune response include microencapsulation. Microencapsulation can provide new solutions for the treatment of many diseases. In particular, it offers an advantageous method of administering therapeutic materials and molecules that cannot be substituted by pharmacological substances. Promising clinical findings have shown the potential beneficial use of microencapsulation for islet transplantation as well as for cardiac, hepatic, and neuronal repair. For the treatment of diseases such as type I diabetes that requires insulin release regulated by the patient's metabolic needs, microencapsulation may be the most effective therapeutic strategy. However, new materials need to be developed, so that transplanted encapsulated cells are able to survive for longer periods in the host. In this article, we discuss microencapsulation strategies and chart recent progress in nanomedicine that offers new potential for this area in the future.
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    Speciation of inorganic arsenic in aqueous samples using a novel hydride generation microfluidic paper-based analytical device (µPAD).
    Bonacci, ME ; Almeida, MIGS ; Zhang, Y ; Kolev, SD (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022-06-03)
    The development of the first microfluidic paper-based analytical device (µPAD) for the speciation of inorganic arsenic in environmental aqueous samples as arsenite (As(III)) and arsenate (As(V)) which implements hydride generation on a paper platform is described. The newly developed µPAD has a 3D configuration and uses Au(III) chloride as the detection reagent. Sodium borohydride is used to generate arsine in the device's sample zone by reducing As(III) in the presence of hydrochloric acid or both As(III) and As(V) (total inorganic As) in the presence of sulfuric acid. Arsine then diffuses across a hydrophobic porous polytetrafluoroethylene membrane into the device's detection zone where it reduces Au(III) to Au nanoparticles. This results in a color change which can be related to the concentration of As(III) or total inorganic As (i.e., As(III) and As(V)) concentration. Under optimal conditions, the µPAD is characterized by a limit of detection of 0.43 mg L-1 for total inorganic As (As(III) + As(V)) and 0.41 mg L-1 for As(III) and a linear calibration range in both cases of 1.2-8.0 mg As L-1. The newly developed µPAD-based method was validated by applying it to groundwater and freshwater samples and comparing the results with those obtained by conventional atomic spectrometric techniques.
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    Modulation of Slow Magnetic Relaxation in Gd(III)-Tetrahalosemiquinonate Complexes
    Dunstan, MA ; Brown, DS ; Sorace, L ; Mole, RA ; Boskovic, C (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2022-06-20)
    Incorporating lanthanoid(III)-radical magnetic exchange coupling is a possible route to improving the performance of lanthanoid (Ln) single-molecule magnets (SMMs), molecular materials that exhibit slow relaxation and low temperature quantum tunnelling of the magnetization. Complexes of Gd(III) can conveniently be used as model systems to study the Ln-radical exchange coupling, thanks to the absence of the orbital angular momentum that is present for many Ln(III) ions. Two new Gd(III)-radical compounds of formula [Gd(18-c-6)X4 SQ(NO3 )].I3 (18-c-6=18-crown-6, X4 SQ⋅- =tetrahalo-1,2-semiquinonate, 1: X=Cl, 2: X=Br) have been synthesized, and the presence of the dioxolene ligand in its semiquinonate form confirmed by X-ray crystallography, UV-Visible-NIR spectroscopy and voltammetry. Static magnetometry and EPR spectroscopy indicate differences in the low temperature magnetic properties of the two compounds, with antiferromagnetic exchange coupling of JGd-SQ ∼-2.0 cm-1 (Hex =-2JGd-SQ (SGd SSQ )) determined by data fitting. Interestingly, compound 1 exhibits slow magnetic relaxation in applied magnetic fields while 2 relaxes much faster, pointing to the major role of packing effects in modulating slow relaxation of the magnetization.
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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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    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.