Binding of blood proteins to carbon nanotubes reduces cytotoxicity
With the potential wide uses of nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes in biomedical applications, and the growing concerns of nanotoxicity of these engineered nanoparticles, the importance of nanoparticle–protein interactions cannot be stressed enough. In this study, we use both experimental and theoretical approaches, including atomic force microscope images, fluorescence spectroscopy, CD, SDS-PAGE, and molecular dynamics simulations, to investigate the interactions of single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) with human serum proteins, and find a competitive binding of these proteins with different adsorption capacity and packing modes. The π-π stacking interactions between SWCNTs and aromatic residues (Trp, Phe, Tyr) are found to play a critical role in determining their adsorption capacity. Additional cellular cytotoxicity assays, with human acute monocytic leukemia cell line and human umbilical vein endothelial cells, reveal that the competitive bindings of blood proteins on the SWCNT surface can greatly alter their cellular interaction pathways and result in much reduced cytotoxicity for these protein-coated SWCNTs, according to their respective adsorption capacity. These findings have shed light toward the design of safe carbon nanotube nanomaterials by comprehensive preconsideration of their interactions with human serum proteins. 
Peripheral Blood Proteins Predict Mortality in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Rationale: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a lethal lung disease of unknown etiology with a variable and unpredictable course.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify and validate plasma proteins that are predictive of outcome in IPF.
Methods: Plasma samples were available for 241 patients with IPF (140 derivation and 101 validation). In the derivation cohort, concentrations of 92 proteins were analyzed using a multiplex bead-based immunoassay and concentrations of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-7, MMP-1, and surfactant protein D were assessed by ELISA. In the validation cohort concentrations of intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1, IL-8, and vascular cell adhesion molecule (VCAM)-1 were assessed by bead-based multiplex assay, and S100A12 and MMP-7 by ELISA. Associations of biomarkers with mortality, transplant-free survival, and disease progression were tested in the derivation and validation cohorts using nonparametric methods of survival analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model, and an integrated risk prediction score was derived and tested.
Measurements and Main Results: High concentrations of MMP-7, ICAM-1, IL-8, VCAM-1, and S100A12 predicted poor overall survival, poor transplant-free survival, and poor progression-free survival in the derivation cohort. In the independent validation cohort high concentrations of all five were predictive of poor transplant-free survival; MMP-7, ICAM-1, and IL-8 of overall survival; and ICAM-1 of poor progression-free survival. The personal clinical and molecular mortality prediction index derived in the derivation cohort was highly predictive of mortality in the validation cohort.
Conclusions: Our results suggest that plasma proteins should be evaluated as a tool for prognosis determination in prioritization of patients for lung transplantation and stratification in drug studies. 
Interaction of Gold Nanoparticles with Common Human Blood Proteins
In order to better understand the physical basis of the biological activity of nanoparticles (NPs) in nanomedicine applications and under conditions of environmental exposure, we performed an array of photophysical measurements to quantify the interaction of model gold NPs having a wide range of NP diameters with common blood proteins. In particular, absorbance, fluorescence quenching, circular dichroism, dynamic light scattering, and electron microscopy measurements were performed on surface-functionalized water-soluble gold NPs having a diameter range from 5 to 100 nm in the presence of common human blood proteins: albumin, fibrinogen, γ-globulin, histone, and insulin. We find that the gold NPs strongly associate with these essential blood proteins where the binding constant, K, as well as the degree of cooperativity of particle−protein binding (Hill constant, n), depends on particle size and the native protein structure. We also find tentative evidence that the model proteins undergo conformational change upon association with the NPs and that the thickness of the adsorbed protein layer (bare NP diameter <50 nm) progressively increases with NP size, effects that have potential general importance for understanding NP aggregation in biological media and the interaction of NP with biological materials broadly. 
Effects of Phytase Supplementation of Low Protein Diets on Performance, Egg Quality Traits and Blood Biochemical Parameters of Laying Hens
Effects of phytase supplementation of low protein diets on performance, egg quality traits and blood biochemical parameters of laying hens were evaluated by using 216 Lohmann LSL-Lite hens. Birds were randomly divided in 36 cages (n=6). Based on a 3×2 factorial arrangement of treatments, 6 iso-caloric experimental diets consisting three levels of crude protein (CP, 150, 138, and 126 g/kg) and phytase (0 and 300 FTU/kg) were formulated and fed to hens with 6 replicates per diet. Collected data of feed intake (FI), egg production (EP), egg mass (EM) and calculated feed conversion ratio (FCR), egg quality traits and blood parameters during 7-wk trial period were analyzed based on completely randomized design. Decreasing dietary crude protein significantly decreased EP, EM and FI and increased FCR (P < .05). In the first egg sampling (wk 3) egg index, yolk index, yolk color, egg gravity, shell weight and shell thickness were not significantly affected by dietary treatment (P > .05). Decreasing dietary CP significantly increased Haugh unit compared to the control group. In the second egg sampling period (wk 7), Haugh unit significantly decreased in the hens fed low protein diets compared to the control group (P < .05). Phytase supplementation did not have any beneficial effect on productive performance of laying hens and egg quality traits (P > .05). There was no interaction between protein level and phytase on egg traits except for egg index (P < .05). There was no interaction between CP levels and phytase on blood parameters except for Heterophil count (P < .01). Interaction between protein levels and phytase on lymphocyte as well as heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio was significant (P < .05). In conclusion, feeding low CP diets significantly decreased blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and LDL in compared to the control group (P < .05). 
The Possible Mechanisms through Which Dietary Protein Increases Renal Blood Flow and Glomerular Filtration Rate
Obesity has been associated with a multitude of co-morbid conditions, most importantly with diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases. Diet is one of the major key factors of a successful weight management schemes to ensure a healthy weight. High protein, low carbohydrate and low fat diets are reported to be effective for weight management and gained particular popularity in the recent past. As a result, most individuals have shifted to high protein diet in an attempt to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight or body composition. On the other hand, high dietary protein is well known to increase renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate and may potentially increase the future risk of renal disease due to increased glomerular pressure and hyperfiltration injury. The mechanism by which protein diet acts on the kidney is not well known; however, multiple potential mechanisms have been postulated. This review discusses the possible mechanisms through which dietary protein intake may influence renal function parameters. 
 Ge, C., Du, J., Zhao, L., Wang, L., Liu, Y., Li, D., Yang, Y., Zhou, R., Zhao, Y., Chai, Z. and Chen, C., 2011. Binding of blood proteins to carbon nanotubes reduces cytotoxicity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(41), pp.16968-16973.
 Richards, T.J., Kaminski, N., Baribaud, F., Flavin, S., Brodmerkel, C., Horowitz, D., Li, K., Choi, J., Vuga, L.J., Lindell, K.O. and Klesen, M., 2012. Peripheral blood proteins predict mortality in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine, 185(1), pp.67-76.
 Lacerda, S.H.D.P., Park, J.J., Meuse, C., Pristinski, D., Becker, M.L., Karim, A. and Douglas, J.F., 2010. Interaction of gold nanoparticles with common human blood proteins. ACS nano, 4(1), pp.365-379.
 Kashani, S., Mohebbifar, A., Habibian, M. and Torki, M. (2013) “Effects of Phytase Supplementation of Low Protein Diets on Performance, Egg Quality Traits and Blood Biochemical Parameters of Laying Hens”, Annual Research & Review in Biology, 4(4), pp. 684-698. doi: 10.9734/ARRB/2014/4444.
 Aluko, E. O., Nna, V. U. and Adekunbi, D. A. (2015) “The Possible Mechanisms through Which Dietary Protein Increases Renal Blood Flow and Glomerular Filtration Rate”, Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research, 7(6), pp. 458-469. doi: 10.9734/BJMMR/2015/16214.