Melbourne Dental School - Research Publications
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ItemThe Potential of Calcium Phosphate Nanoparticles as Adjuvants and Vaccine Delivery VehiclesSun, Z ; Li, W ; Lenzo, JC ; Holden, JA ; McCullough, MJ ; O'Connor, AJ ; O'Brien-Simpson, NM (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-12-22)Vaccination is one of the most efficacious and cost-effective ways to protect people from infectious diseases and potentially cancer. The shift in vaccine design from disrupted whole pathogens to subunit antigens has brought attention on to vaccine delivery materials. For the last two decades, nanotechnology-based vaccines have attracted considerable attention as delivery vehicles and adjuvants to enhance immunogenicity, exemplified with the current COVID vaccines. The nanoparticle vaccines display unique features in protecting antigens from degradation, controlled antigen release and longer persisting immune response. Due to their size, shape and surface charge, they can be outstanding adjuvants to achieve various immunological effects. With the safety and biodegradable benefit of calcium phosphate nanoparticles (CaP NPs), they are an efficient carrier for vaccine design and adjuvants. Several research groups have studied CaP NPs in the field of vaccination with great advances. Although there are several reports on the overview of CaP NPs, they are limited to the application in biomedicine, drug delivery, bone regeneration and the methodologies of CaP NPs synthesis. Hence, we summarised the basic properties of CaP NPs and the recent vaccine development of CaP NPs in this review.
ItemC-terminus amidation influences biological activity and membrane interaction of maculatin 1.1Zhu, S ; Li, W ; O'Brien-Simpson, N ; Separovic, F ; Sani, M-A (SPRINGER WIEN, 2021-04-23)Cationic antimicrobial peptides have been investigated for their potential use in combating infections by targeting the cell membrane of microbes. Their unique chemical structure has been investigated to understand their mode of action and optimize their dose-response by rationale design. One common feature among cationic AMPs is an amidated C-terminus that provides greater stability against in vivo degradation. This chemical modification also likely modulates the interaction with the cell membrane of bacteria yet few studies have been performed comparing the effect of the capping groups. We used maculatin 1.1 (Mac1) to assess the role of the capping groups in modulating the peptide bacterial efficiency, stability and interactions with lipid membranes. Circular dichroism results showed that C-terminus amidation maintains the structural stability of the peptide (α-helix) in contact with micelles. Dye leakage experiments revealed that amidation of the C-terminus resulted in higher membrane disruptive ability while bacteria and cell viability assays revealed that the amidated form displayed higher antibacterial ability and cytotoxicity compared to the acidic form of Mac1. Furthermore, 31P and 2H solid-state NMR showed that C-terminus amidation played a greater role in disturbance of the phospholipid headgroup but had little effect on the lipid tails. This study paves the way to better understand how membrane-active AMPs act in live bacteria.
ItemTumor Associated Macrophages: Origin, Recruitment, Phenotypic Diversity, and TargetingHourani, T ; Holden, JA ; Li, W ; Lenzo, JC ; Hadjigol, S ; O'Brien-Simpson, NM (FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2021-12-20)The tumor microenvironment (TME) is known to have a strong influence on tumorigenesis, with various components being involved in tumor suppression and tumor growth. A protumorigenic TME is characterized by an increased infiltration of tumor associated macrophages (TAMs), where their presence is strongly associated with tumor progression, therapy resistance, and poor survival rates. This association between the increased TAMs and poor therapeutic outcomes are stemming an increasing interest in investigating TAMs as a potential therapeutic target in cancer treatment. Prominent mechanisms in targeting TAMs include: blocking recruitment, stimulating repolarization, and depletion methods. For enhancing targeting specificity multiple nanomaterials are currently being explored for the precise delivery of chemotherapeutic cargo, including the conjugation with TAM-targeting peptides. In this paper, we provide a focused literature review of macrophage biology in relation to their role in tumorigenesis. First, we discuss the origin, recruitment mechanisms, and phenotypic diversity of TAMs based on recent investigations in the literature. Then the paper provides a detailed review on the current methods of targeting TAMs, including the use of nanomaterials as novel cancer therapeutics.
ItemRecent Applications of Aggregation Induced Emission Probes for Antimicrobial Peptide StudiesLuu, T ; Li, W ; O'Brien-Simpson, NM ; Hong, Y (WILEY-V C H VERLAG GMBH, 2021-03-25)Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are being intensively investigated as they are considered promising alternatives to antibiotics where their clinical efficacy is dwindling due to the emergence of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Accompanying with the development of AMPs, a number of fluorescent probes have been developed to facilitate the understanding the modes of action of AMPs. These probes have been used to monitor the binding process, determine the working mechanism and evaluate the antimicrobial properties of AMPs. In particular, with the recent advance of aggregation-induced emission (AIE) fluorophores, that show many advantageous properties over traditional probes, there is an increasing research interest in using AIE probes for AMP studies. In this review, we give an overview of AMP development, highlight the recent progress of using fluorescence probes in particularly AIE probes in the AMP field and propose the future perspective of developing potent antimicrobial agents to combat AMR.