This study describes human chorionic mesenchymal stem cell (hCMSC) lines obtained from the chorion of human term placenta with high therapeutic potential in human organ pathology. In vitro, hCMSCs could be differentiated into derivatives of all three germ layers, and it was demonstrated ex vivo that they effectively facilitated repair of injured epithelium. It is concluded that the chorion of human term placenta is an abundant source of multipotent stem cells that are promising candidates for cell-based therapies.
We describe human chorionic mesenchymal stem cell (hCMSC) lines obtained from the chorion of human term placenta with high therapeutic potential in human organ pathology. hCMSCs propagated for more than 100 doublings without a decrease in telomere length and with no telomerase activity. Cells were highly positive for the embryonic stem cell markers OCT-4, NANOG, SSEA-3, and TRA-1–60. In vitro, cells could be differentiated into neuron-like cells (ectoderm), adipocytes, osteoblasts, endothelial-like cells (mesoderm), and hepatocytes (endoderm)—derivatives of all three germ layers. hCMSCs effectively facilitated repair of injured epithelium as demonstrated in an ex vivo-perfused human lung preparation injured by Escherichia coli endotoxin and in in vitro human lung epithelial cultures. We conclude that the chorion of human term placenta is an abundant source of multipotent stem cells that are promising candidates for cell-based therapies.
Adult stem cells; Cytokines; Mesenchymal stem cells; Placenta; Telomerase
We describe human chorionic mesenchymal stem cell (hCMSC) lines obtained from the chorion of human term placenta with high therapeutic potential in human organ pathology. hCMSCs propagated for more than 100 doublings without a decrease in telomere length and with no telomerase activity. Cells were highly positive for the embryonic stem cell markers OCT-4, NANOG, SSEA-3, and TRA-1– 60. In vitro, cells could be differentiated into neuron-like cells (ectoderm), adipocytes, osteoblasts, endothelial-like cells (mesoderm), and hepatocytes (endoderm)— derivatives of all three germ layers. hCMSCs effectively facilitated repair of injured epithelium as demonstrated in an ex vivo-perfused human lung preparation injured by Escherichia coli endotoxin and in in vitro human lung epithelial cultures. We conclude that the chorion of human term placenta is an abundant source of multipotent stem cells that are promising candidates for cell-based therapies.
Adult stem cells; Cytokines; Mesenchymal stem cells; Placenta; Telomerase
Acyl-CoA synthetase enzymes are essential for de novo lipid synthesis, fatty acid catabolism, and remodeling of membranes. Activation of fatty acids requires a two-step reaction catalyzed by these enzymes. In the first step, an acyl-AMP intermediate is formed from ATP. AMP is then exchanged with CoA to produce the activated acyl-CoA. The release of AMP in this reaction defines the superfamily of AMP-forming enzymes. The length of the carbon chain of the fatty acid species defines the substrate specificity for the different acyl-CoA synthetases (ACS). On this basis, five sub-families of ACS have been characterized. The purpose of this review is to report on the large family of mammalian long-chain acyl-CoA synthetases (ACSL), which activate fatty acids with chain lengths of 12 to 20 carbon atoms. Five genes and several isoforms generated by alternative splicing have been identified and limited information is available on their localization. The structure of these membrane proteins has not been solved for the mammalian ACSLs but homology to a bacterial form, whose structure has been determined, points at specific structural features that are important for these enzymes across species. The bacterial form acts as a dimer and has a conserved short motif, called the fatty acid Gate domain, that seems to determine substrate specificity. We will discuss the characterization and identification of the different spliced isoforms, draw attention to the inconsistencies and errors in their annotations, and their cellular localizations. These membrane proteins act on membrane-bound substrates probably as homo- and as heterodimer complexes but have often been expressed as single recombinant isoforms, apparently purified as monomers and tested in Triton X-100 micelles. We will argue that such studies have failed to provide an accurate assessment of the activity and of the distinct function of these enzymes in mammalian cells.
Unsaturated fatty acids are susceptible to oxidation and damaged chains are removed from glycerophospholipids by phospholipase A2. De-acylated lipids are then re-acylated by lysophospholipid acyltransferase enzymes such as LPCAT1 which catalyses the formation of phosphatidylcholine (PC) from lysoPC and long-chain acyl-CoA.
Activity of LPCAT1 is inhibited by Ca2+, and a Ca2+-binding motif of the EF-hand type, EFh-1, was identified in the carboxyl-terminal domain of the protein. The residues Asp-392 and Glu-403 define the loop of the hairpin structure formed by EFh-1. Substitution of D392 and E403 to alanine rendered an enzyme insensitive to Ca2+, which established that Ca2+ binding to that region negatively regulates the activity of the acyltransferase amino-terminal domain. Residue Cys-211 of the conserved motif III is not essential for catalysis and not sufficient for sensitivity to treatment by sulfhydryl-modifier agents. Among the several active cysteine-substitution mutants of LPCAT1 generated, we identified one to be resistant to treatment by sulfhydryl-alkylating and sulfhydryl-oxidizer agents.
Mutant forms of LPCAT1 that are not inhibited by Ca2+ and sulfhydryl-alkylating and –oxidizing agents will provide a better understanding of the physiological function of a mechanism that places the formation of PC, and the disposal of the bioactive species lysoPC, under the control of the redox status and Ca2+ concentration of the cell.
Lands’ cycle; Cysteine oxidation; Calcium binding; Plasma membrane
Chlamydia trachomatis (Ct) is an obligate intracellular human pathogen that multiplies within a parasitophorous vacuole called an inclusion. We report that the location of several host-cell proteins present in the cytosol, the nucleus, and membranes was altered during Ct development. The acyl-CoA synthetase enzyme ACSL3 and the soluble acyl-CoA binding protein ACBD6 were mobilized from organelle membranes and the nucleus, respectively, into the lumen of the inclusion. The nuclear protein ZNF23, a pro-apoptosis factor, was also translocated into the inclusion lumen. ZNF23, among other proteins, might be targeted by Ct to inhibit host cell apoptosis, thereby enabling bacterial survival. In contrast, the acyl-CoA:lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase LPCAT1, an endoplasmic reticulum membrane protein, was recruited to the inclusion membrane. The coordinated action of ACBD6, ACSL3 and LPCAT1 likely supports remodeling and scavenging of host lipids into bacterial-specific moieties essential to Ct growth. To our knowledge, these are the first identified host proteins known to be intercepted and translocated into the inclusion.
Activation of fatty acids by acyl-CoA synthetase enzymes is required for de novo lipid synthesis, fatty acid catabolism, and remodeling of biological membranes. Human long-chain acyl-CoA synthetase member 6, ASCL6, is a form present in the plasma membrane of cells. Splicing events affecting the amino-terminus and alternative motifs near the ATP-binding site generate different isoforms of ACSL6.
Isoforms with different fatty acid Gate-domain motifs have different activity and the form lacking this domain, isoform 3, showed no detectable activity. Enzymes truncated of the first 40 residues generate acyl-CoAs at a faster rate than the full-length protein. The gating residue, which prevents entry of the fatty acid substrate unless one molecule of ATP has already accessed the catalytic site, was identified as a tyrosine for isoform 1 and a phenylalanine for isoform 2 at position 319. All isoforms, with or without a fatty acid Gate-domain, as well as recombinant protein truncated of the N-terminus, can interact to form enzymatic complexes with identical or different isoforms.
The alternative fatty acid Gate-domain motifs are essential determinants for the activity of the human ACSL6 isoforms, which appear to act as homodimeric enzyme as well as in complex with other spliced forms. These findings provide evidence that the diversity of these enzyme species could produce the variety of acyl-CoA synthetase activities that are necessary to generate and repair the hundreds of lipid species present in membranes.
The asymmetric distribution of the amino-containing phospholipids, phosphatidyl-serine (PS) and phosphatidyl-ethanolamine (PE), across the two leaflets of red blood cell (RBC) membrane is essential to the function and survival of the cell. PS and PE are sequestered in the inner leaflet by an ATP-dependent transport activity of a membrane protein known as the RBC flippase that specifically moves amino-phospholipids from the outer to the inner leaflet. The enucleated RBC lacks the means to replace damaged enzymes and inactivation of the flippase can lead to the unwarranted exposure of PS on the cell surface. Loss in the ability to maintain phospholipid asymmetry is exacerbated in RBC disorders and PS-exposing RBCs present in the circulation play a significant role in the pathology of hemoglobinopathies. We identified the Atp8a1 protein, a member of the family of the P4-type ATPases, as a RBC flippase candidate. Atp8a1 is expressed in RBC precursors and is present in the membrane of mature red cells. The flippase activity of the protein was established in purified secretory vesicles of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ATPase activity was stimulated by PS and PE. In addition, Atp8a1 can move PS molecules across the leaflets of the vesicle membrane in presence of ATP.
flippase; ATP8A1; PS transport; red blood cell; sickle cell disease
The formation of acyl-CoA by the action of acyl-CoA synthetases plays a crucial role in membrane lipid turnover, including the plasma membrane of erythrocytes. In human, five Acyl-CoA Synthetase Long-chain (ACSL) genes have been identified with as many as 3 different transcript variants for each.
Acyl-CoA Synthetase Long-chain member 6 (ACSL6) is responsible for activation of long-chain fatty acids in erythrocytes. Two additional transcript variants were also isolated from brain and testis. We report the expression in reticulocytes of two new variants and of the one isolated from brain. All three represented different spliced variants of a mutually exclusive exon pair. They encode a slightly different short motif which contains a conserved structural domain, the fatty acid Gate domain. The motifs differ in the presence of either the aromatic residue phenylalanine (Phe) or tyrosine (Tyr). Based on homology, two new isoforms for the closely related ACSL1 were predicted and characterized. One represented a switch of the Phe- to the Tyr-Gate domain motif, the other resulted from the exclusion of both. Swapping of this motif also appears to be common in all mammalian ACSL member 1 and 6 homologs.
We propose that a Phe to Tyr substitution or deletion of the Gate domain, is the structural reason for the conserved alternative splicing that affects these motifs. Our findings support our hypothesis that this region is structurally important to define the activity of these enzymes.
Escherichia coli strain MG1655 was chosen for sequencing because the few mutations it carries (ilvG rfb-50 rph-1) were considered innocuous. However, it has a number of growth defects. Internal pyrimidine starvation due to polarity of the rph-1 allele on pyrE was problematic in continuous culture. Moreover, the isolate of MG1655 obtained from the E. coli Genetic Stock Center also carries a large deletion around the fnr (fumarate-nitrate respiration) regulatory gene. Although studies on DNA microarrays revealed apparent cross-regulation of gene expression between galactose and lactose metabolism in the Stock Center isolate of MG1655, this was due to the occurrence of mutations that increased lacY expression and suppressed slow growth on galactose. The explanation for apparent cross-regulation between galactose and N-acetylglucosamine metabolism was similar. By contrast, cross-regulation between lactose and maltose metabolism appeared to be due to generation of internal maltosaccharides in lactose-grown cells and may be physiologically significant. Lactose is of restricted distribution: it is normally found together with maltosaccharides, which are starch degradation products, in the mammalian intestine. Strains designated MG1655 and obtained from other sources differed from the Stock Center isolate and each other in several respects. We confirmed that use of other E. coli strains with MG1655-based DNA microarrays works well, and hence these arrays can be used to study any strain of interest. The responses to nitrogen limitation of two urinary tract isolates and an intestinal commensal strain isolated recently from humans were remarkably similar to those of MG1655.
Transcription of an aqpZ-lac fusion in a single copy on the Escherichia coli chromosome increased as cells entered the stationary growth phase. This was true in a variety of media, and increased transcription in enriched medium required the RpoS sigma factor. Expression of the aqpZ-lac fusion was not affected by up- or downshifts in osmolality. Disruption of aqpZ had no detectable adverse effects.
Ammonium transport (Amt) proteins appear to be bidirectional channels for NH3. The amt genes of the hyperthermophiles Aquifex aeolicus and Methanococcus jannaschii complement enteric amtB mutants for growth at 25 nM NH3 at 37°C. To our knowledge, Amt proteins are the first hyperthermophilic membrane transport proteins shown to be active in a mesophilic bacterium. Despite low expression levels, His-tagged Aquifex Amt could be purified by heating and nickel chelate affinity chromatography. It could be studied genetically in Escherichia coli.
Methylammonium and ammonium (MEP) permeases of Saccharomyces cerevisiae belong to a ubiquitous family of cytoplasmic membrane proteins that transport only ammonium (NH4+ + NH3). Transport and accumulation of the ammonium analog [14C]methylammonium, a weak base, led to the proposal that members of this family were capable of energy-dependent concentration of the ammonium ion, NH4+. In bacteria, however, ATP-dependent conversion of methylammonium to γ-N-methylglutamine by glutamine synthetase precludes its use in assessing concentrative transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. We have confirmed that methylammonium is not metabolized in the yeast S. cerevisiae and have shown that it is little metabolized in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. However, its accumulation depends on the energy-dependent acidification of vacuoles. A Δvph1 mutant of S. cerevisiae and a Δvma1 mutant, which lack vacuolar H+-ATPase activity, had large (fivefold or greater) defects in the accumulation of methylammonium, with little accompanying defect in the initial rate of transport. A vma-1 mutant of N. crassa largely metabolized methylammonium to methylglutamine. Thus, in fungi as in bacteria, subsequent energy-dependent utilization of methylammonium precludes its use in assessing active transport across the cytoplasmic membrane. The requirement for a proton gradient to sequester the charged species CH3NH3+ in acidic vacuoles provides evidence that the substrate for MEP proteins is the uncharged species CH3NH2. By inference, their natural substrate is NH3, a gas. We postulate that MEP proteins facilitate diffusion of NH3 across the cytoplasmic membrane and speculate that human Rhesus proteins, which lie in the same domain family as MEP proteins, facilitate diffusion of CO2.
In Klebsiella pneumoniae, NifA-dependent transcription of nitrogen fixation (nif) genes is inhibited by a flavoprotein, NifL, in the presence of molecular oxygen and/or combined nitrogen. We recently demonstrated that the general nitrogen regulator NtrC is required to relieve NifL inhibition under nitrogen (N)-limiting conditions. We provide evidence that the sole basis for the NtrC requirement is its role as an activator of transcription for glnK, which encodes a PII-like allosteric effector. Relief of NifL inhibition is a unique physiological function for GlnK in that the structurally related GlnB protein of enteric bacteria—apparently a paralogue of GlnK—cannot substitute. Unexpectedly, although covalent modification of GlnK by uridylylation normally occurs under N-limiting conditions, several lines of evidence indicate that uridylylation is not required for relief of NifL inhibition. When GlnK was synthesized constitutively from non-NtrC-dependent promoters, it was able to relieve NifL inhibition in the absence of uridylyltransferase, the product of the glnD gene, and under N excess conditions. Moreover, an altered form of GlnK, GlnKY51N, which cannot be uridylylated due to the absence of the requisite tyrosine, was still able to relieve NifL inhibition.