Transforming growth factor-betas (TGF-βs), including beta2 (TGF-β2), constitute a superfamily of multifunctional cytokines with important implications in morphogenesis, cell differentiation and tissue remodeling. TGF-β2 is thought to play important roles in multiple developmental processes and neuron survival. However, before we carried out these investigations, a TGF-β2 gene down-regulated transgenic animal model was needed. In the present study, expressional silencing TGF-β2 was achieved by select predesigning interference short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting mouse TGF-β2 genes.
Four homozygous transgenic offspring were generated by genetic manipulation and the protein expressions of TGF-β2 were detected in different tissues of these mice. The transgenic mice were designated as Founder 66, Founder 16, Founder 53 and Founder 41. The rates of TGF-β2 down-expression in different transgenic mice were evaluated. The present study showed that different TGF-β2 expressions were detected in multiple tissues and protein levels of TGF-β2 decreased at different rates relative to that of wild type mice. The expressions of TGF-β2 proteins in transgenic mice (Founder 66) reduced most by 52%.
The present study generated transgenic mice with TGF-β2 down-regulated, which established mice model for systemic exploring the possible roles of TGF-β2 in vivo in different pathology conditions.
TGF-β2; Knock down; Transgenic mouse; Protein levels; Distributions
Studies have shown that inflammation promoted atherosclerotic progression; however, it remains unclear whether inflammation promoted atherosclerotic progression properties by altering cholesterol metabolism in human macrophages. In the present study, we evaluated a potential mechanism of inflammation on atherogenic effects. We evaluated the ability of TNFa to affect Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) and cholesterol uptake and its mechanism(s) of action in human macrophages.
We initially determined the potential effects of TNFa on cholesterol efflux in the human macrophages. We also determined alterations in mRNA and protein levels of ABCA1, ABCG1, LXRa, CD-36, SR-A in human macrophages using quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Western immunoblot analyses. The cholesterol efflux rate and protein expression of ABCA1, ABCG1, LXRa, CD-36, SR-A were quantified in human macrophages under PKC-θ inhibition using PKC-θ siRNA. Our results showed that TNFa inhibited the rate of cholesterol efflux and down-regulation the expression levels of ABCA1, ABCG1 and LXRa and up-regulation the expression levels of CD-36, SR-A in human macrophages; PKC-θ inhibition by PKC-θ siRNA attenuated the effect of TNFa on ABCA1, ABCG1, LXRa, SR-A, CD-36 expression.
Our results suggest TNFa alter cholesterol metabolism in human macrophages through the inhibition of Reverse cholesterol transport and enhancing cholesterol uptake via PKC-θ-dependent pathway, implicating a potential mechanism of inflammation on atherogenic effects.
Reverse cholesterol transport; Cholesterol efflux; TNFa
The cytochrome P450s are monooxygenases that insert oxygen functionalities into a wide variety of organic substrates with high selectivity. There is interest in developing efficient catalysts based on the “peroxide shunt” pathway in the cytochrome P450s, which uses H2O2 in place of O2/NADPH as the oxygenation agent. We report on our initial studies using cytochrome c peroxidase (CcP) as a platform to develop specific “peroxygenation” catalysts.
The peroxygenase activity of CcP was investigated using 1-methoxynaphthalene as substrate. 1-Methoxynaphthalene hydroxylation was monitored using Russig’s blue formation at standard reaction conditions of 0.50 mM 1-methoxynaphthalene, 1.00 mM H2O2, pH 7.0, 25°C. Wild-type CcP catalyzes the hydroxylation of 1-methoxynaphthalene with a turnover number of 0.0044 ± 0.0001 min-1. Three apolar distal heme pocket mutants of CcP were designed to enhance binding of 1-methoxynaphthalene near the heme, constructed, and tested for hydroxylation activity. The highest activity was observed for CcP(triAla), a triple mutant with Arg48, Trp51, and His52 simultaneously mutated to alanine residues. The turnover number of CcP(triAla) is 0.150 ± 0.008 min-1, 34-fold greater than wild-type CcP and comparable to the naphthalene hydroxylation activity of rat liver microsomal cytochrome P450. While wild-type CcP is very stable to oxidative degradation by excess hydrogen peroxide, CcP(triAla) is inactivated within four cycles of the peroxygenase reaction.
Protein engineering of CcP can increase the rate of peroxygenation of apolar substrates but the initial constructs are more susceptible to oxidative degradation than wild-type enzyme. Further developments will require constructs with increased rates and selectivity while maintaining the stability of wild-type CcP toward oxidative degradation by hydrogen peroxide.
Cytochrome c peroxidase; Peroxygenase activity; Heme pocket mutants; 1-methoxynaphthalene
Lamins A and C, two major structural components of the nuclear lamina that determine nuclear shape and size, are phosphoproteins. Phosphorylation of lamin A/C is cell cycle-dependent and is involved in regulating the assembly–disassembly of lamin filaments during mitosis. We previously reported that P-STM, a phosphoepitope-specific antibody raised against the autophosphorylation site of p21-activated kinase 2, recognizes a number of phosphoproteins, including lamins A and C, in mitotic HeLa cells.
Here, using recombinant proteins and synthetic phosphopeptides containing potential lamin A/C phosphorylation sites in conjunction with in vitro phosphorylation assays, we determined the lamin A/C phosphoepitope(s) recognized by P-STM. We found that phosphorylation of Thr-19 is required for generating the P-STM phosphoepitope in lamin A/C and showed that it could be created in vitro by p34cdc2/cyclin B kinase (CDK1)-catalyzed phosphorylation of lamin A/C immunoprecipitated from unsynchronized HeLa S3 cells. To further explore changes in lamin A/C phosphorylation in living cells, we precisely quantified the phosphorylation levels of Thr-19 and other sites in lamin A/C isolated from HeLa S3 cells at interphase and mitosis using the SILAC method and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. The results showed that the levels of phosphorylated Thr-19, Ser-22 and Ser-392 in both lamins A and C, and Ser-636 in lamin A only, increased ~2- to 6-fold in mitotic HeLa S3 cells.
Collectively, our results demonstrate that P-STM is a useful tool for detecting Thr-19-phosphorylated lamin A/C in cells and reveal quantitative changes in the phosphorylation status of major lamin A/C phosphorylation sites during mitosis.
P-STM antibody; Phosphoepitope; Lamin A/C; Mitosis; SILAC
Hydroxysteroid (17beta) dehydrogenase X (HSD10) is a multifunctional protein encoded by the HSD17B10 gene at Xp11.2. In response to stress or hypoxia-ischemia its levels increase rapidly. Expression of this gene is also elevated significantly in colonic mucosa of the inactive ulcerative colitis patients. However, accurate information about its several transcripts is still lacking, and additional evidence for its escape from X-chromosome inactivation remains to be obtained in order to help settle a debate (He XY, Dobkin C, Yang SY: Does the HSD17B10 gene escape from X-inactivation? Eur J Hum Genet 2011, 19: 123-124).
Two major HSD17B10 transcription start sites were identified by primer extension at -37 and -6 as well as a minor start site at -12 nucleotides from the initiation codon ATG. Epigenetic analysis of the 5’-flanking region of the HSD17B10 gene showed that there was little 5-methylcytosine (<3%) in a normal male, and that none of CpG dinucleotides in the CpG island approached 50% methylation in females.
The actual length of first exon of the HSD17B10 gene was found to be about a quarter larger than that originally reported. Its transcripts result from a slippery transcription complex. The hypomethylation of the CpG island provides additional evidence for the variable escape of the HSD17B10 gene from X-chromosome inactivation which could influence the range of severity of HSD10 deficiency, an inherited error in isoleucine metabolism, in heterozygous females.
CpG island; DNA methylation; TATA-less promoter; X-chromosome inactivation; HSD10 deficiency
Signal peptide peptidase (SPP) is a multi-transmembrane aspartic protease involved in intramembrane-regulated proteolysis (RIP). RIP proteases mediate various key life events by releasing bioactive peptides from the plane of the membrane region. We have previously isolated Arabidopsis SPP (AtSPP) and found that this protein is expressed in the ER. An AtSPP-knockout plant was found to be lethal because of abnormal pollen formation; however, there is negligible information describing the physiological function of AtSPP. In this study, we have investigated the proteolytic activity of AtSPP to define the function of SPPs in plants.
We found that an n-dodecyl-ß-maltoside (DDM)-solubilized membrane fraction from Arabidopsis cells digested the myc-Prolactin-PP-Flag peptide, a human SPP substrate, and this activity was inhibited by (Z-LL)2-ketone, an SPP-specific inhibitor. The proteolytic activities from the membrane fractions solubilized by other detergents were not inhibited by (Z-LL)2-ketone. To confirm the proteolytic activity of AtSPP, the protein was expressed as either a GFP fusion protein or solely AtSPP in yeast. SDS-PAGE analysis showed that migration of the fragments that were cleaved by AtSPP were identical in size to the fragments produced by human SPP using the same substrate. These membrane-expressed proteins digested the substrate in a manner similar to that in Arabidopsis cells.
The data from the in vitro cell-free assay indicated that the membrane fraction of both Arabidopsis cells and AtSPP recombinantly expressed in yeast actually possessed proteolytic activity for a human SPP substrate. We concluded that plant SPP possesses proteolytic activity and may be involved in RIP.
Signal peptide peptidase (SPP); Endoplasmic reticulum (ER); Aspartic protease; Regulated intramembrane proteolysis (RIP); Arabidopsis thaliana
α-Dystroglycan (α-DG) is heavily glycosylated within its central mucin-like domain. The glycosylation shell of α-dystroglycan is known to largely influence its functional properties toward extracellular ligands. The structural features of this α-dystroglycan domain have been poorly studied so far. For the first time, we have attempted a recombinant expression approach in E. coli cells, in order to analyze by biochemical and biophysical techniques this important domain of the α-dystroglycan core protein.
We expressed the recombinant mucin-like domain of human α-dystroglycan in E. coli cells, and purified it as a soluble peptide of 174 aa. A cleavage event, that progressively emerges under repeated cycles of freeze/thaw, occurs at the carboxy side of Arg461, liberating a 151 aa fragment as revealed by mass spectrometry analysis. The mucin-like peptide lacks any particular fold, as confirmed by its hydrodynamic properties and its fluorescence behavior under guanidine hydrochloride denaturation. Dynamic light scattering has been used to demonstrate that this mucin-like peptide is arranged in a conformation that is prone to aggregation at room temperature, with a melting temperature of ~40°C, which indicates a pronounced instability. Such a conclusion has been corroborated by trypsin limited proteolysis, upon which the protein has been fully degraded in less than 60 min.
Our analysis indirectly confirms the idea that the mucin-like domain of α-dystroglycan needs to be extensively glycosylated in order to reach a stable conformation. The absence/reduction of glycosylation by itself may greatly reduce the stability of the dystroglycan complex. Although an altered pattern of α-dystroglycan O-mannosylation, that is not significantly changing its overall glycosylation fraction, represents the primary molecular clue behind currently known dystroglycanopathies, it cannot be ruled out that still unidentified forms of αDG-related dystrophy might originate by a more substantial reduction of α-dystroglycan glycosylation and by its consequent destabilization.
Dystroglycan; Dynamic light scattering; Capillary electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) —aspirin, naproxen, nimesulide, and piroxicam— lowered activation of type II cAMP-dependent protein kinase A (PKA-II) in isolated rat adipocytes, decreasing adrenaline- and dibutyryl cAMP (Bt2cAMP)-stimulated lipolysis. The molecular bases of insulin-like actions of NSAID were studied.
Based on the reported inhibition of lipolysis by H2O2, catalase was successfully used to block NSAID inhibitory action on Bt2cAMP-stimulated lipolysis. NSAID, at (sub)micromolar range, induced an H2O2 burst in rat adipocyte plasma membranes and in whole adipocytes. NSAID-mediated rise of H2O2 was abrogated in adipocyte plasma membranes by: diphenyleneiodonium, an inhibitor of NADPH oxidase (NOX); the NOX4 antibody; and cytochrome c, trapping the NOX-formed superoxide. These three compounds prevented the inhibition of Bt2cAMP-stimulated lipolysis by NSAIDs. Inhibition of aquaporin-mediated H2O2 transport with AgNO3 in adipocytes allowed NOX activation but prevented the lipolysis inhibition promoted by NSAID: i.e., once synthesized, H2O2 must reach the lipolytic machinery. Since insulin inhibits adrenaline-stimulated lipolysis, the effect of aspirin on isoproterenol-stimulated lipolysis in rat adipocytes was studied. As expected, isoproterenol-mediated lipolysis was blunted by both insulin and aspirin.
NSAIDs activate NOX4 in adipocytes to produce H2O2, which impairs cAMP-dependent PKA-II activation, thus preventing isoproterenol-activated lipolysis. H2O2 signaling in adipocytes is a novel and important cyclooxygenase-independent effect of NSAID.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug(s) (NSAID); Protein kinase A (PKA); H2O2; Lipolysis; Acetylsalicylic acid; Aspirin
The improvement of biomedical properties, e.g. biocompatibility, of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) by copolymerization is a promising trend in bioengineering. We used strain Azotobacter chroococcum 7B, an effective producer of PHAs, for biosynthesis of not only poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) and its main copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate-co-3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHB-HV), but also alternative copolymer, poly(3-hydroxybutyrate)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PHB-PEG).
In biosynthesis we used sucrose as the primary carbon source and valeric acid or poly(ethylene glycol) 300 (PEG 300) as additional carbon sources. The chemical structure of PHB-PEG and PHB-HV was confirmed by 1H nuclear-magnetic resonance (1H NMR) analysis. The physico-chemical properties (molecular weight, crystallinity, hydrophilicity, surface energy) and surface morphology of films from PHB copolymers were studied. To study copolymers biocompatibility in vitro the protein adsorption and COS-1 fibroblasts growth on biopolymer films by XTT assay were analyzed. Both copolymers had changed physico-chemical properties compared to PHB homopolymer: PHB-HV and PHB-PEG had less crystallinity than PHB; PHB-HV was more hydrophobic than PHB in contrast to PHB-PEG appeared to have greater hydrophilicity than PHB; whereas the morphology of polymer films did not differ significantly. The protein adsorption to PHB-PEG was greater and more uniform than to PHB and PHB-PEG copolymer promoted better growth of COS-1 fibroblasts compared with PHB homopolymer.
Thus, despite low EG-monomers content in bacterial origin PHB-PEG copolymer, this polymer demonstrated significant improvement in biocompatibility in contrast to PHB and PHB-HV copolymers, which may be coupled with increased protein adsorption and hydrophilicity of PEG-containing copolymer.
Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate); Poly(ethylene glycol); Copolymer; Hydrophilicity; Biocompatibility; COS-1
The archeaon Sulfolobus solfataricus P2 encodes a thermoacidophilic cellulase which shows an extreme acid and thermal stability with a pH optimum at 1.8 and a temperature optimum at 80°C. This extraordinary enzyme could be useful for biotechnological exploitation but the expression and purification in expression hosts like E. coli is unsatisfactory due to the high aggregation tendency of the recombinant enzyme. The thermophilic cellulase CelA from Thermotoga maritima belongs to the same glycoside hydrolase family (GH12) but has a neutral pH optimum. In contrast to SSO1949 this enzyme is expressed partially soluble in E. coli.
We aimed to constructed a hybrid enzyme based on these two beta-endoglucanases which should successfully combine the advantageous properties of both cellulases, i.e. recombinant expression in E. coli, acidophily and thermophily. We constructed two hybrid proteins after bioinformatic analysis: both hybrids are expressed insoluble in E. coli, but one hybrid enzyme was successfully refolded from washed inclusion bodies.
The refolded active chimeric enzyme shows a temperature optimum of approximately 85°C and a pH optimum of approximately pH 3 thus retaining the advantageous properties of the Sulfolobus parent enzyme. This study suggests that the targeted construction of chimeric enzymes is an alternative to point mutational engineering efforts as long as parent enzymes with the wanted properties are available.
Analysis of factors contributing to high affinity antibody-protein interactions provides insight into natural antibody evolution, and guides the design of antibodies with new or enhanced function. We previously studied the interaction between antibody D5 and its target, a designed protein based on HIV-1 gp41 known as 5-Helix, as a model system [Da Silva, G. F.; Harrison, J. S.; Lai, J. R., Biochemistry, 2010, 49, 5464–5472]. Antibody D5 represents an interesting case study because it is derived from the VH1-69 germline segment; this germline segment is characterized by a hydrophobic second heavy chain complementarity determining region (HCDR2) that constitutes the major functional paratope in D5 and several antibodies derived from the same progenitor.
Here we explore side chain requirements for affinity and specificity in D5 using phage display. Two D5-based libraries were prepared that contained diversity in all three light chain complementarity determining regions (LCDRs 1–3), and in the third HCDR (HCDR3). The first library allowed residues to vary among a restricted set of six amino acids (Tyr/Ala/Asp/Ser/His/Pro; D5-Lib-I). The second library was designed based on a survey of existing VH1-69 antibody structures (D5-Lib-II). Both libraries were subjected to multiple rounds of selection against 5-Helix, and individual clones characterized. We found that selectants from D5-Lib-I generally had moderate affinity and specificity, while many clones from D5-Lib-II exhibited D5-like properties. Additional analysis of the D5-Lib-II functional population revealed position-specific biases for particular amino acids, many that differed from the identity of those side chains in D5.
Together these results suggest that there is some permissiveness for alternative side chains in the LCDRs and HCDR3 of D5, but that replacement with a minimal set of residues is not tolerated in this scaffold for 5-Helix recognition. This work provides novel information about this high-affinity interaction involving an antibody from the VH1-69 germline segment.
The androgen receptor (AR) is a member of the nuclear receptor (NR) superfamily of ligand-inducible DNA transcription factors, and is the major mediator of male sexual development, prostate growth and the pathogenesis of prostate cancer. Cell and gene specific regulation by the AR is determined by availability of and interaction with sets of key accessory cofactors. Ski-interacting protein (SKIP; SNW1, NCOA62) is a cofactor shown to interact with several NRs and a diverse range of other transcription factors. Interestingly, SKIP as part of the spliceosome is thought to link mRNA splicing with transcription. SKIP has not been previously shown to interact with the AR.
The aim of this study was to investigate whether SKIP interacts with the AR and modulates AR-dependent transcription. Here, we show by co-immunoprecipitation experiments that SKIP is in a complex with the AR. Moreover, SKIP increased 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT) induced N-terminal/C-terminal AR interaction from 12-fold to almost 300-fold in a two-hybrid assay, and enhanced AR ligand-independent AF-1 transactivation. SKIP augmented ligand- and AR-dependent transactivation in PC3 prostate cancer cells. Live-cell imaging revealed a fast (half-time=129 s) translocation of AR from the cytoplasm to the nucleus upon DHT-stimulation. Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments suggest a direct AR-SKIP interaction in the nucleus upon translocation.
Our results suggest that SKIP interacts with AR in the nucleus and enhances AR-dependent transactivation and N/C-interaction supporting a role for SKIP as an AR co-factor.
The editors of BMC Biochemistry would like to thank all of our reviewers who have contributed to the journal in volume 13 (2012).
Conjugation of the ubiquitin-like modifier Nedd8 to cullins is critical for the function of SCF-type ubiquitin ligases and thus facilitates ubiquitin conjugation and ultimately degradation of SCF substrates, including several cell cycle regulators. Like ubiquitin, Nedd8 is produced as a precursor that must first be processed before it becomes active. In Saccharomyces cerevisiae this is carried out exclusively by the enzyme Yuh1.
Here we show that in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, the Yuh1 orthologue, Uch1, is not the sole Nedd8 processing enzyme. Instead it appears that deubiquitylating enzymes can efficiently process the Nedd8 precursor in vivo.
Several enzymes contribute to Nedd8 precursor processing including a number of deubiquitylating enzymes.
Ubiquitin; Nedd8; Rub1; Cullin; Protein degradation; Precursor processing
Heparin cofactor II (HCII) is a circulating protease inhibitor, one which contains an N-terminal acidic extension (HCII 1-75) unique within the serpin superfamily. Deletion of HCII 1-75 greatly reduces the ability of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) to accelerate the inhibition of thrombin, and abrogates HCII binding to thrombin exosite 1. While a minor portion of HCII 1-75 can be visualized in a crystallized HCII-thrombin S195A complex, the role of the rest of the extension is not well understood and the affinity of the HCII 1-75 interaction has not been quantitatively characterized. To address these issues, we expressed HCII 1-75 as a small, N-terminally hexahistidine-tagged polypeptide in E. coli.
Immobilized purified HCII 1-75 bound active α-thrombin and active-site inhibited FPR-ck- or S195A-thrombin, but not exosite-1-disrupted γT-thrombin, in microtiter plate assays. Biotinylated HCII 1-75 immobilized on streptavidin chips bound α-thrombin and FPR-ck-thrombin with similar KD values of 330-340 nM. HCII 1-75 competed thrombin binding to chip-immobilized HCII 1-75 more effectively than HCII 54-75 but less effectively than the C-terminal dodecapeptide of hirudin (mean Ki values of 2.6, 8.5, and 0.29 μM, respectively). This superiority over HCII 54-75 was also demonstrated in plasma clotting assays and in competing the heparin-catalysed inhibition of thrombin by plasma-derived HCII; HCII 1-53 had no effect in either assay. Molecular modelling of HCII 1-75 correctly predicted those portions of the acidic extension that had been previously visualized in crystal structures, and suggested that an α-helix found between residues 26 and 36 stabilizes one found between residues 61-67. The latter region has been previously shown by deletion mutagenesis and crystallography to play a crucial role in the binding of HCII to thrombin exosite 1.
Assuming that the KD value for HCII 1-75 of 330-340 nM faithfully predicts that of this region in intact HCII, and that 1-75 binding to exosite 1 is GAG-dependent, our results support a model in which thrombin first binds to GAGs, followed by HCII addition to the ternary complex and release of HCII 1-75 for exosite 1 binding and serpin mechanism inhibition. They further suggest that, in isolated or transferred form, the entire HCII 1-75 region is required to ensure maximal binding of thrombin exosite 1.
Heparin cofactor II; Thrombin; Serpins; Exosites; Coagulation; Inhibition
The hetero-hexamer of the eukaryotic minichromosome maintenance (MCM) proteins plays an essential role in replication of genomic DNA. The ring-shaped Mcm2-7 hexamers comprising one of each subunit show helicase activity in vitro, and form double-hexamers on DNA. The Mcm4/6/7 also forms a hexameric complex with helicase activity in vitro.
We used an Escherichiai coli expression system to express various domains of Schizosaccharomyces pombe Mcm4, 6 and 7 in order to characterize their domain structure, oligomeric states, and possible inter-/intra-subunit interactions. We also successfully employed a co-expression system to express Mcm4/6/7 at the same time in Escherichiai coli, and have purified functional Mcm4/6/7 complex in a hexameric state in high yield and purity, providing a means for generating large quantity of proteins for future structural and biochemical studies.
Based on our results and those of others, models were proposed for the subunit arrangement and architecture of both the Mcm4/6/7 hexamer and the Mcm2-7 double-hexamer.
Cell cycle proteins; DNA-binding proteins; Recombinant proteins; Protein binding; Protein oligomerization; Schizosaccharomyces pombe; Escherichiai coli
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are crucial components of signal transduction systems in multicellular animals. Surprisingly, numerous RTKs have been identified in the genomes of unicellular choanoflagellates and other protists. Here, we report the first biochemical study of a unicellular RTK, namely RTKB2 from Monosiga brevicollis.
We cloned, expressed, and purified the RTKB2 kinase, and showed that it is enzymatically active. The activity of RTKB2 is controlled by autophosphorylation, as in metazoan RTKs. RTKB2 possesses six copies of a unique domain (designated RM2) in its C-terminal tail. An isolated RM2 domain (or a synthetic peptide derived from the RM2 sequence) served as a substrate for RTKB2 kinase. When phosphorylated, the RM2 domain bound to the Src homology 2 domain of MbSrc1 from M. brevicollis. NMR structural studies of the RM2 domain indicated that it is disordered in solution.
Our results are consistent with a model in which RTKB2 activation stimulates receptor autophosphorylation within the RM2 domains. This leads to recruitment of Src-like kinases (and potentially other M. brevicollis proteins) and further phosphorylation, which may serve to increase or dampen downstream signals. Thus, crucial features of signal transduction circuitry were established prior to the evolution of metazoans from their unicellular ancestors.
Tyrosine kinase; Choanoflagellate; Receptor; SH2 domain
There is extensive evidence for the interaction of metabolic enzymes with the eukaryotic cytoskeleton. The significance of these interactions is far from clear.
Presentation of the hypothesis
In the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis presented here, the cytoskeleton senses and integrates the general metabolic activity of the cell. This activity depends on the binding to the cytoskeleton of enzymes and, depending on the nature of the enzyme, this binding may occur if the enzyme is either active or inactive but not both. This enzyme-binding is further proposed to stabilize microtubules and microfilaments and to alter rates of GTP and ATP hydrolysis and their levels.
Testing the hypothesis
Evidence consistent with the cytoskeletal integrative sensor hypothesis is presented in the case of glycolysis. Several testable predictions are made. There should be a relationship between post-translational modifications of tubulin and of actin and their interaction with metabolic enzymes. Different conditions of cytoskeletal dynamics and enzyme-cytoskeleton binding should reveal significant differences in local and perhaps global levels and ratios of ATP and GTP. The different functions of moonlighting enzymes should depend on cytoskeletal binding.
Implications of the hypothesis
The physical and chemical effects arising from metabolic sensing by the cytoskeleton would have major consequences on cell shape, dynamics and cell cycle progression. The hypothesis provides a framework that helps the significance of the enzyme-decorated cytoskeleton be determined.
Hepatoma-derived growth factor (HDGF) is a protein which is highly expressed in a variety of tumours. HDGF has mitogenic, angiogenic, neurotrophic and antiapoptotic activity but the molecular mechanisms by which it exerts these activities are largely unknown nor has its biological function in tumours been elucidated. Mass spectrometry was performed to analyse the HDGFStrep-tag interactome. By Pull–down-experiments using different protein and nucleic acid constructs the interaction of HDGF and nucleolin was investigated further.
A number of HDGFStrep-tag copurifying proteins were identified which interact with RNA or are involved in the cellular DNA repair machinery. The most abundant protein, however, copurifying with HDGF in this approach was nucleolin. Therefore we focus on the characterization of the interaction of HDGF and nucleolin in this study. We show that expression of a cytosolic variant of HDGF causes a redistribution of nucleolin into the cytoplasm. Furthermore, formation of HDGF/nucleolin complexes depends on bcl-2 mRNA. Overexpression of full length bcl-2 mRNA increases the number of HDGF/nucleolin complexes whereas expression of only the bcl-2 coding sequence abolishes interaction completely. Further examination reveals that the coding sequence of bcl-2 mRNA together with either the 5′ or 3′ UTR is sufficient for formation of HDGF/nucleolin complexes. When bcl-2 coding sequence within the full length cDNA is replaced by a sequence coding for secretory alkaline phosphatase complex formation is not enhanced.
The results provide evidence for the existence of HDGF and nucleolin containing nucleoprotein complexes which formation depends on the presence of specific mRNAs. The nature of these RNAs and other components of the complexes should be investigated in future.
Nucleolin; Bcl-2; Ribonucleoproteins
The ubiquitin ligase COP1, COnstitutively Photomorphogenic 1, functions in many biological responses in mammalian cells, but its downstream pathway remains unclear.
Here, we identified FIP200, a key regulator of mammalian autophagy, as a novel COP1-interacting protein by yeast two-hybrid screening. The interaction was confirmed by a GST-pulldown assay. Split-GFP analysis revealed that interaction between COP1 and FIP200 predominantly occurred in the cytoplasm and was enhanced in cells treated with UV irradiation. Different forms of FIP200 protein were expressed in cultured mammalian cells, and ectopic expression of COP1 reduced one of such forms.
These data suggest that COP1 modulates FIP200-associated activities, which may contribute to a variety of cellular functions that COP1 is involved in.
COP1; FIP200(RB1CC1); UV; Autophagy
The α-isoform of the Type 1A Phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3Kα) has protein kinase activity as well as phosphoinositide lipid kinase activity. The best described substrate for its protein kinase activity is its regulatory subunit, p85α, which becomes phosphorylated on Serine 608. Phosphorylation of Serine 608 has been reported to down-regulate its lipid kinase activity.
We have assessed whether oncogenic mutants of PI3Kα, which have up-regulated lipid kinase activity, have altered levels of Serine 608 phosphorylation compared to wild type PI3Kα, and whether differential phosphorylation of Serine 608 contributes to increased activity of oncogenic forms of PI3Kα with point mutations in the helical or the kinase domains. Despite markedly increased lipid kinase activity, protein kinase activity was not altered in oncogenic compared to wild type forms of PI3Kα. By manipulating levels of phosphorylation of Serine 608 in vitro, we found no evidence that the protein kinase activity of PI3Kα affects its phosphoinositide lipid kinase activity in either wild-type or oncogenic mutants of PI3Kα.
Phosphorylation of p85α S608 is not a significant regulator of wild-type or oncogenic PI3Kα lipid kinase activity.
PI3K; PIK3CA; Phosphoinositide; Kinase; Mutation; Oncogene; Phosphorylation
An important controversy in the relationship between beef tenderness and muscle characteristics including biochemical traits exists among meat researchers. The aim of this study is to explain variability in meat tenderness using muscle characteristics and biochemical traits available in the Integrated and Functional Biology of Beef (BIF-Beef) database. The BIF-Beef data warehouse contains characteristic measurements from animal, muscle, carcass, and meat quality derived from numerous experiments. We created three classes for tenderness (high, medium, and low) based on trained taste panel tenderness scores of all meat samples consumed (4,366 observations from 40 different experiments). For each tenderness class, the corresponding means for the mechanical characteristics, muscle fibre type, collagen content, and biochemical traits which may influence tenderness of the muscles were calculated.
Our results indicated that lower shear force values were associated with more tender meat. In addition, muscles in the highest tenderness cluster had the lowest total and insoluble collagen contents, the highest mitochondrial enzyme activity (isocitrate dehydrogenase), the highest proportion of slow oxidative muscle fibres, the lowest proportion of fast-glycolytic muscle fibres, and the lowest average muscle fibre cross-sectional area. Results were confirmed by correlation analyses, and differences between muscle types in terms of biochemical characteristics and tenderness score were evidenced by Principal Component Analysis (PCA). When the cluster analysis was repeated using only muscle samples from m. Longissimus thoracis (LT), the results were similar; only contrasting previous results by maintaining a relatively constant fibre-type composition between all three tenderness classes.
Our results show that increased meat tenderness is related to lower shear forces, lower insoluble collagen and total collagen content, lower cross-sectional area of fibres, and an overall fibre type composition displaying more oxidative fibres than glycolytic fibres.
Tenderness; Beef; Meta-analysis; Muscle biochemistry
Presenilin-1 (PS1) is a transmembrane protein first discovered because of its association with familial Alzheimer’s disease. Mice with null mutations in PS1 die shortly after birth exhibiting multiple CNS and non-CNS abnormalities. One of the most prominent features in the brains of PS1−/− embryos is a vascular dysgenesis that leads to multiple intracerebral hemorrhages. The molecular and cellular basis for the vascular dysgenesis in PS1−/− mice remains incompletely understood. Because the extracellular matrix plays key roles in vascular development we hypothesized that an abnormal extracellular matrix might be present in endothelial cells lacking PS1 and examined whether the lack of PS1 affects expression of fibronectin a component of the extracellular matrix known to be essential for vascular development.
We report that primary as well as continuously passaged PS1−/− endothelial cells contain more fibronectin than wild type cells and that the excess fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells is incorporated into a fibrillar network. Supporting the in vivo relevance of this observation fibronectin expression was increased in microvascular preparations isolated from E14.5 to E18.5 PS1−/− embryonic brain. Reintroduction of PS1 into PS1−/− endothelial cells led to a progressive decrease in fibronectin levels showing that the increased fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells was due to loss of PS1. Increases in fibronectin protein in PS1−/− endothelial cells could not be explained by increased levels of fibronectin RNA nor based on metabolic labeling studies by increased protein synthesis. Rather we show based on the rate of turnover of exogenously added biotinylated fibronectin that increased fibronectin in PS1−/− endothelial cells results from a slower degradation of the fibronectin fibrillar matrix on the cell surface.
These studies show that PS1 regulates the constitutive turnover of the fibronectin matrix in endothelial cells. These studies provide molecular clues that may help to explain the origin of the vascular dysgenesis that develops in PS1−/− embryonic mice.
Endothelial cells; Extracellular matrix; Fibronectin; Presenilin-1; Vascular development
Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK) phosphorylates and activates particular downstream protein kinases — including CaMKI, CaMKIV, and AMPK— to stimulate multiple Ca2+-signal transduction pathways. To identify previously unidentified CaMKK substrates, we used various nucleotides as phosphate donors to develop and characterize an in vitro phosphorylation assay for CaMKK.
Here, we found that the recombinant CaMKK isoforms were capable of utilizing Mg-GTP as a phosphate donor to phosphorylate the Thr residue in the activation-loop of CaMKIα (Thr177) and of AMPK (Thr172) in vitro. Kinetic analysis indicated that the Km values of CaMKK isoforms for GTP (400-500 μM) were significantly higher than those for ATP (~15 μM), and a 2- to 4-fold decrease in Vmax was observed with GTP. We also confirmed that an ATP competitive CaMKK inhibitor, STO-609, also competes with GTP to inhibit the activities of CaMKK isoforms. In addition, to detect enhanced CaMKI phosphorylation in brain extracts with Mg-GTP and recombinant CaMKKs, we found potential CaMKK substrates of ~45 kDa and ~35 kDa whose Ca2+/CaM-induced phosphorylation was inhibited by STO-609.
These results indicated that screens that use STO-609 as a CaMKK inhibitor and Mg-GTP as a CaMKK-dependent phosphate donor might be useful to identify previously unidentified downstream target substrates of CaMKK.
Calmodulin; CaMKK; Phosphate donor; GTP; Phosphorylation