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Blood-feeding parasites use mechanistically distinct proteases to digest hemoglobin (Hb), often as multienzyme cooperative cascades. We investigated the roles played by 3 distinct proteases from adults of the human hookworm Necator americanus. The aspartic protease Na-APR-1 and the cysteine protease Na-CP-3 were expressed in catalytically active form in(More)
Because of its presumed adverse health effects, particulate air pollution (PM) has received growing attention, but the cellular mechanisms by which PM exerts toxicity are not well elucidated. PM has been associated with early mortality from illnesses that share endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress as a mechanism of pathogenesis. In this study, we examined(More)
Cells adapt to hypoxia by a cellular response, where hypoxia-inducible factor 1alpha (HIF-1alpha) becomes stabilized and directly activates transcription of downstream genes. In addition to this "canonical" response, certain aspects of the pathway require integration with Notch signaling, i.e., HIF-1alpha can interact with the Notch intracellular domain(More)
Optimised gradient reversed-phase high-performance liquid chromatography electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry (LC/MS) methods, in combination with a [3H]-brevetoxin binding assay (RLB), revealed multiple ciguatoxins in a partially purified extract of a highly toxic Lutjanus sebae (red emperor) from the Indian Ocean. Two major ciguatoxins of 1140.6 Da(More)
Hookworms are blood-feeding intestinal parasites of mammalian hosts and are one of the major human ailments affecting approximately 600 million people worldwide. These parasites form an intimate association with the host and are able to avoid vigorous immune responses in many ways including skewing of the response phenotype to promote parasite survival and(More)
The control of vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) has become an increasing burden on health care resources since their discovery over 20 years ago. Current techniques employed for their detection include time-consuming and laborious phenotypic methods or molecular methods requiring costly equipment and consumables and highly trained staff. An accurate,(More)
Venomous animals are thought to inject the same combination of toxins for both predation and defence, presumably exploiting conserved target pharmacology across prey and predators. Remarkably, cone snails can rapidly switch between distinct venoms in response to predatory or defensive stimuli. Here, we show that the defence-evoked venom of Conus geographus(More)
Ciguatera is a food poisoning identified as the principal risk factor in the consumption of tropical fish in Oceania. The syndrome, which follows ingestion of ciguatoxin-contaminated ciguateric fishes, is characterised by an array of gastrointestinal and neurological features. In this report we examine forensic samples associated with a human fatality using(More)
A novel method for the determination of hepatotoxins; microcystins (MCs), and nodularin (Nod) in lake water and domestic chlorinated tap water has been developed using liquid chromatography hyphenated with electrospray ionization triple quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-ESI-MS/MS). Optimization of the mass spectrometer parameters and mobile-phase composition(More)
We report the isolation and initial characterisation of Indian Ocean ciguatoxin (I-CTX) present in toxic lipid soluble extracts isolated from ciguateric fishes collected off the Republic of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. Following i.p. injection of this extract, mice displayed symptoms that were similar, though not identical, to those produced by Pacific(More)