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Modifications and Conjugates for Biomedicine and Nanotechnology
Biochemistry and Evolution

Abstract

Objectives

Frozen and freeze-dried plasmas may be used for local prothrombin time system calibration, for direct international normalized ratio (INR) determination, and for quality assessment. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness of INRs assigned with various types of thromboplastins to frozen and freeze-dried pooled plasmas obtained from patients treated with vitamin K antagonists.

Methods

INRs were calculated according to the international sensitivity index (ISI) model using various thromboplastins and instruments, i.e. International Standards for thromboplastin as well as six commercial reagents prepared from rabbit and bovine brain, and recombinant human tissue factor. The uncertainty of the INRs was assessed using the standard deviations of clotting times and ISI values. Commutability of the plasmas was assessed according to the approved Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI) Guideline EP30-A. Validation of a set of six frozen plasma pools for direct INR determination was performed according to the Subcommittee on Control of Anticoagulation of the Scientific and Standardization Committee of the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (SSC/ISTH) guidelines.

Results

For all frozen and freeze-dried plasmas, the INRs calculated with bovine thromboplastin Thrombotest were lower than the INRs assigned with other thromboplastins. With a few exceptions, the frozen and freeze-dried pooled plasmas were commutable. When the set of six frozen plasma pools was used for local calibration, the analytical bias of the INR was less than ±10% for all commercial reagents except Thrombotest.

Conclusions

Processing of fresh plasmas to prepare pooled frozen plasmas and freeze-dried plasmas may lead to different INR assignments depending on the thromboplastin used. Despite minor INR differences, a set of six frozen plasma pools could be used for local calibration by direct INR determination.

Abstract

Metallo-aminopeptidases (mAPs) control many physiological processes. They are classified in different families according to structural similarities. Neutral mAPs catalyze the cleavage of neutral amino acids from the N-terminus of proteins or peptide substrates; they need one or two metallic cofactors in their active site. Information about marine invertebrate’s neutral mAPs properties is scarce; available data are mainly derived from genomics and cDNA studies. The goal of this work was to characterize the biochemical properties of the neutral APs activities in eight Cuban marine invertebrate species from the Phyla Mollusca, Porifera, Echinodermata, and Cnidaria. Determination of substrate specificity, optimal pH and effects of inhibitors (1,10-phenanthroline, amastatin, and bestatin) and cobalt on activity led to the identification of distinct neutral AP-like activities, whose biochemical behaviors were similar to those of the M1 and M17 families of mAPs. Additionally, M18-like glutamyl AP activities were detected. Thus, marine invertebrates express biochemical activities likely belonging to various families of metallo-aminopeptidases.

Abstract

For a long time, our understanding of metabolism has been dominated by the idea of biochemical unity, i.e., that the central reaction sequences in metabolism are universally conserved between all forms of life. However, biochemical research in the last decades has revealed a surprising diversity in the central carbon metabolism of different microorganisms. Here, we will embrace this biochemical diversity and explain how genetic redundancy and functional degeneracy cause the diversity observed in central metabolic pathways, such as glycolysis, autotrophic CO2 fixation, and acetyl-CoA assimilation. We conclude that this diversity is not the exception, but rather the standard in microbiology.

Abstract

In bacteria, cell-surface polysaccharides fulfill important physiological functions, including interactions with the environment and other cells as well as protection from diverse stresses. The Gram-negative delta-proteobacterium Myxococcus xanthus is a model to study social behaviors in bacteria. M. xanthus synthesizes four cell-surface polysaccharides, i.e., exopolysaccharide (EPS), biosurfactant polysaccharide (BPS), spore coat polysaccharide, and O-antigen. Here, we describe recent progress in elucidating the three Wzx/Wzy-dependent pathways for EPS, BPS and spore coat polysaccharide biosynthesis and the ABC transporter-dependent pathway for O-antigen biosynthesis. Moreover, we describe the functions of these four cell-surface polysaccharides in the social life cycle of M. xanthus.

Abstract

Background

Biotin is currently a matter of concern for laboratories using biotin-streptavidin-based immunoassays. Biotin interferences have been reported for high-sensitive troponin T (hsTnT) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) assays. We aimed to evaluate the new generation of hsTnT and TSH electrochemiluminescent immunoassays announced to be less sensitive to biotin.

Methods

Firstly, we assessed the analytical performances of new generation assays (imprecision, bias, total error, limit of quantification) and compared previous and new generation assays in the absence of biotin. Secondly, we challenged both generations of assays with samples spiked with seven different biotin levels. The efficiency of new generation assays was also compared to the streptavidin beads treatment.

Results

New generation assays presented suitable analytical performances. Previous and new generations of hsTnT and TSH assays were commutable in the absence of biotin. In the presence of biotin, we confirmed that previous generation assays were affected by biotin concentration as low as 40.5 ng/mL and that new generation assays were not affected up to the announced tolerance threshold of 1200 ng/mL. After the streptavidin beads treatment, we observed a higher imprecision for both parameters and a constant 10% negative bias for TSH compared to new generation assays.

Conclusions

New generation of electrochemiluminescent immunoassays appears as a reliable systematic solution to prevent biotin interference for hsTnT and TSH testing.