The Influence of Synthesis Method on Characteristics of Buffer and Organic Solutions of Thermo- and pH-Responsive Poly( N-[3-(diethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide)s

Thermo- and pH-responsive poly(N-[3-(diethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide)s were synthesized by free radical polymerization and RAFT polymerization. The molar masses of the samples were 33,000-35,000 g∙mol-1. Investigations of the dilute solutions showed that the prepared samples were flexible chain polymers.
The behavior of the synthesized polymers in the buffer solutions was analyzed by turbidity and light scattering at a pH range of 7-13 and a concentration range of 0.0002-0.008 g·cm-3. When the concentrated solutions were at a low temperature, there were macromolecules and aggregates, which were formed due to the interaction of hydrophobic units. For the investigated samples, the lower critical solution temperatures were equal.
The phase separation temperatures decreased as pH increased. The influence of polydispersity index on the characteristics of the samples in the solutions was analyzed. The radii of molecules of poly(N-[3-(diethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide) obtained by RAFT polymerization at this temperature at the onset and end of the phase separation interval were lower than ones for samples synthesized by conventional free radical polymerization.
Keywords: aggregation; conformational and hydrodynamic characteristics; phase separation temperatures; poly(N-[3-(diethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide); synthesis; thermo- and pH- responsive polymers.

Detonation nanodiamonds as enhancers of E. coli photodynamic inactivation by phthalocyanines in a high molarity buffer solution

Antimicrobial therapy, especially inactivation of multi-antibiotic-resistant strains, requires creating new approaches for drug action and targeted delivery in different environmental conditions. In this work, detonation nanodiamonds (DNDs) were used to deliver polycationic zinc phthalocyanines to E. coli cells.
It is shown that in aqueous solutions, zinc phthalocyanines with cholinyl peripheral substituents form complexes with negatively charged DND based on electrostatic interactions.
About 40-70 phthalocyanine molecules can bind to a single DND particle, depending on the number of charged groups of the dye molecule. During the complex formation, quenching of phthalocyanine fluorescence and a decrease in its ability to generate reactive oxygen species were observed.
In the presence of bacterial cells, phthalocyanine left the complex and induced a photodynamic effect, the magnitude of which depended on the phthalocyanine charge, the molarity of the buffer solution, and the stoichiometry of the phthalocyanine-DND complex. It was found that at physiological values of the ionic strength of the solution, the photodynamic effect of phthalocyanine with a charge of 8+ in combination with a DND is higher than that of the initial phthalocyanine. Thus, nanodiamonds are a promising platform for the delivery of photosensitizers in antimicrobial therapy.
Keywords: Detonation nanodiamond; Photodynamic inactivation; Phthalocyanine.

Tunneling in the Hydrogen-Transfer Reaction from a Vitamin E Analog to an Inclusion Complex of 2,2-Diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl Radical with β-Cyclodextrin in an Aqueous Buffer Solution at Ambient Temperature

Recently, increasing attention has been paid to quantum mechanical behavior in biology. In this study, we investigated the involvement of quantum mechanical tunneling in the hydrogen-transfer reaction from Trolox, a water-soluble analog of vitamin E (α-tocopherol), to 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical (DPPH) in a phosphate buffer solution (0.05 M, pH 7.0).
DPPH was used as a reactivity model of reactive oxygen species and solubilized in water using β-cyclodextrin (β-CD). The second-order rate constants, kH and kD, in 0.05 M phosphate buffer solutions prepared with H2O (pH 7.0) and D2O (pD 7.0), respectively, were determined for the reaction between Trolox and DPPH, using a stopped-flow technique at various temperatures (283-303 K).
Large kinetic isotope effects (KIE, kH/kD) were observed for the hydrogen-transfer reaction from Trolox to the β-CD-solubilized DPPH in the whole temperature range. The isotopic ratio of the Arrhenius prefactor (AH/AD = 0.003), as well as the isotopic difference in the activation energies (19 kJ mol-1), indicated that quantum mechanical tunneling plays a role in the reaction.

Buffer concentration dramatically affects the stability of S-nitrosothiols in aqueous solutions

S-nitrosothiols (RSNOs) are an important group of nitric oxide (NO)-donating compounds with low toxicity and wide biomedical applications. In this paper, we, for the first time, demonstrate that the concentration of buffer remarkably affects the stability of RSNOs including naturally occurring S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) and synthetic S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP).
For a solution with a high concentration of GSNO (e.g., 50 mM) and an initial near-neutral pH, the optimal buffer concentration is close to the GSNO concentration under our experimental conditions. A lower buffer concentration does not have adequate buffer capacity to resist the pH drop caused by GSNO decomposition.
The decreased solution pH further accelerates GSNO decomposition because GSNO is most stable at near-neutral pH according to our density-functional theory (DFT) calculations. A higher-than-optimal buffer concentration also reduces the GSNO stability because buffer ingredients including phosphate, Tris base, and HEPES consume NO/N2O3. In contrast to GSNO, the highest SNAP stability is obtained when the starting solution at a neutral pH does not contain buffer, and the stability decreases as the buffer concentration increases.
This is because SNAP is more stable at mildly acidic pH and the SNAP decomposition-induced pH drop stabilizes the donor. When the RSNO concentration is low (e.g., 1 mM), the buffer concentration also matters because any excess buffer accelerates the donor decomposition.
Since the effect of buffer concentration was previously overlooked and suboptimal buffer concentrations were often used, this paper will aid in the formulation of RSNO solutions to obtain the maximum stability for prolonged storage and sustained NO release.

In-solution buffer-free digestion allows full-sequence coverage and complete characterization of post-translational modifications of the receptor-binding domain of SARS-CoV-2 in a single ESI-MS spectrum

Subunit vaccines based on the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 provide one of the most promising strategies to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. The detailed characterization of the protein primary structure by mass spectrometry (MS) is mandatory, as described in ICHQ6B guidelines.
In this work, several recombinant RBD proteins produced in five expression systems were characterized using a non-conventional protocol known as in-solution buffer-free digestion (BFD). In a single ESI-MS spectrum, BFD allowed very high sequence coverage (≥ 99%) and the detection of highly hydrophilic regions, including very short and hydrophilic peptides (2-8 amino acids), and the His6-tagged C-terminal peptide carrying several post-translational modifications at Cys538 such as cysteinylation, homocysteinylation, glutathionylation, truncated glutathionylation, and cyanylation, among others. The analysis using the conventional digestion protocol allowed lower sequence coverage (80-90%) and did not detect peptides carrying most of the above-mentioned PTMs.

Buffer Solution pH3

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The two C-terminal peptides of a dimer [RBD(319-541)-(His)6]2 linked by an intermolecular disulfide bond (Cys538-Cys538) with twelve histidine residues were only detected by BFD. This protocol allows the detection of the four disulfide bonds present in the native RBD, low-abundance scrambling variants, free cysteine residues, O-glycoforms, and incomplete processing of the N-terminal end, if present. Artifacts generated by the in-solution BFD protocol were also characterized. BFD can be easily implemented; it has been applied to the characterization of the active pharmaceutical ingredient of two RBD-based vaccines, and we foresee that it can be also helpful to the characterization of mutated RBDs.