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1.  Arsenic trioxide induces depolymerization of microtubules in an acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line 
The Korean Journal of Hematology  2012;47(2):105-112.
Arsenic trioxide (As2O3) is a well-known and effective treatment that can result in clinical remission for patients diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). The biologic efficacy of As2O3 in APL and solid tumor cells has been explained through its actions on anti-proliferation, anti-angiogenesis, and apoptotic signaling pathways. We theorize that As2O3 activates a pathway that disrupts microtubule dynamics forming abnormal, nonfunctioning mitotic spindles, thus preventing cellular division. In this study, we investigated how As2O3 induces apoptosis by causing microtubule dysfunction.
Cultured NB4 cells were treated with As2O3, paclitaxel, and vincristine. Flow cytometric analysis was then performed. An MTT assay was used to determine drug-mediated cytotoxicity. For tubulin polymerization assay, each polymerized or soluble tubulin was measured. Microtubule assembly-disassembly was measured using a tubulin polymerization kit. Cellular microtubules were also observed with fluorescence microscopy.
As2O3 treatment disrupted tubulin assembly resulting in dysfunctional microtubules that cause death in APL cells. As2O3 markedly enhanced the amount of depolymerized microtubules. The number of microtubule posttranslational modifications on an individual tubulin decreased with As2O3 concentration. Immunocytochemistry revealed changes in the cellular microtubule network and formation of polymerized microtubules in As2O3-treated cells.
The microtubules alterations found with As2O3 treatment suggest that As2O3 increases the depolymerized forms of tubulin in cells and that this is potentially due to arsenite's negative effects on spindle dynamics.
PMCID: PMC3389058  PMID: 22783356
Acute promyelocytic leukemia; Arsenic trioxide; Tubulin; Apoptosis; Antimitotic agents
3.  Improved Thermostability and Acetic Acid Tolerance of Escherichia coli via Directed Evolution of Homoserine o-Succinyltransferase▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2008;74(24):7660-7668.
In Escherichia coli, growth is limited at elevated temperatures mainly because of the instability of a single enzyme, homoserine o-succinyltransferase (MetA), the first enzyme in the methionine biosynthesis pathway. The metA gene from the thermophile Geobacillus kaustophilus cloned into the E. coli chromosome was found to enhance the growth of the host strain at elevated temperature (44°C), thus confirming the limited growth of E. coli due to MetA instability. In order to improve E. coli growth at higher temperatures, we used random mutagenesis to obtain a thermostable MetAE. coli protein. Sequencing of the thermotolerant mutant showed five amino acid substitutions: S61T, E213V, I229T, N267D, and N271K. An E. coli strain with the mutated metA gene chromosomally inserted showed accelerated growth over a temperature range of 34 to 44°C. We used the site-directed metA mutants to identify two amino acid residues responsible for the sensitivity of MetAE. coli to both heat and acids. Replacement of isoleucine 229 with threonine and asparagine 267 with aspartic acid stabilized the protein. The thermostable MetAE. coli enzymes showed less aggregation in vivo at higher temperature, as well as upon acetic acid treatment. The data presented here are the first to show improved E. coli growth at higher temperatures solely due to MetA stabilization and provide new knowledge for designing E. coli strains that grow at higher temperatures, thus reducing the cooling cost of bioprocesses.
PMCID: PMC2607180  PMID: 18978085

Results 1-3 (3)