Although the anticodon is the primary element in Escherichia coli tRNAValfor recognition by valyl-tRNA synthetase (ValRS), nucleotides in the acceptor stem and other parts of the tRNA modulate recognition. Study of the steady state aminoacylation kinetics of acceptor stem mutants of E.coli tRNAValdemonstrates that replacing any base pair in the acceptor helix with another Watson-Crick base pair has little effect on aminoacylation efficiency. The absence of essential recognition nucleotides in the acceptor helix was confirmed by converting E.coli tRNAAlaand yeast tRNAPhe, whose acceptor stem sequences differ significantly from that of tRNAVal, to efficient valine acceptors. This transformation requires, in addition to a valine anticodon, replacement of the G:U base pair in the acceptor stem of these tRNAs. Mutational analysis of tRNAValverifies that G:U base pairs in the acceptor helix act as negative determinants of synthetase recognition. Insertion of G:U in place of the conserved U4:A69 in tRNAValreduces the efficiency of aminoacylation, due largely to an increase in K m. A smaller but significant decline in aminoacylation efficiency occurs when G:U is located at position 3:70; lesser effects are observed for G:U at other positions in the acceptor helix. The negative effects of G:U base pairs are strongly correlated with changes in helix structure in the vicinity of position 4:69 as monitored by19F NMR spectroscopy of 5-fluorouracil-substituted tRNAVal. This suggests that maintaining regular A-type RNA helix geometry in the acceptor stem is important for proper recognition of tRNAValby valyl-tRNA synthetase.19F NMR also shows that formation of the tRNAVal-valyl-tRNA synthetase complex does not disrupt the first base pair in the acceptor stem, a result different from that reported for the tRNAGln-glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase complex.
The switch from latency to viral replication in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed human B cells is mediated by Zta, the protein product of immediate-early EBV gene BZLF1. BZLF1 transcription is normally suppressed in EBV-transformed B cells but can be induced in some cell lines upon ligation of surface immunoglobulin by mechanisms that include the activation of Ca(2+)-dependent signaling pathways. The multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase type IV/Gr (CaMKIV/Gr) is normally absent in primary human B cells, but its expression is induced by the EBV oncoprotein LMP1 in the course of B-cell growth transformation by EBV. In this study, we demonstrate that activated CaMKIV/Gr induces transcription from the BZLF1 promoter and upregulates the expression of Zta in permissive cells. Transcriptional activation of the BZLF1 promoter by CaMKIV/Gr is dependent on the CREB/AP1 binding element ZII and is greatly augmented by the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase calcineurin. These results outline a virus-regulated mechanism involving CaMKIV/Gr which promotes transition from latency to productive viral replication in response to Ca(2+)-mobilizing extracellular signals.
BACKGROUND: MHC class I molecule-restricted cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses are induced following either intramuscular (i.m.) injection of a DNA plasmid encoding influenza virus nucleoprotein (NP) or transplantation of myoblasts stably transfected with the NP gene, the latter indicating that synthesis of NP by myocytes in vivo is sufficient to induce CTL. The present study was designed to investigate the role of muscle cells and involvement of professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in priming CTL responses following DNA vaccination. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Parent-->F1 bone marrow (BM) chimeric mice were generated whose somatic cells include muscle cells bearing both parental MHC haplotypes, while their professional APCs express only the donor MHC haplotypes. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Upon injection of NP DNA, or after infection with influenza virus, CTL responses generated in the chimeras were restricted to the donor MHC haplotype. Thus cells of BM lineage were definitively shown to be responsible for priming such CTL responses after infection or DNA immunization. Moreover, expression of antigen by muscle cells in BM chimeric mice after myoblast transplantation is sufficient to induce CTL restricted only by the MHC haplotype of the donor BM. This indicates that transfer of antigen from myocytes to professional APCs can occur, thus obviating a requirement for direct transfection of BM-derived cells.
Although structurally very similar, the aspartate transcarbamoylases (ATCase) of Serratia marcescens and Escherichia coli differ in both regulatory and catalytic characteristics. Most notably, CTP stimulates the catalytic activity of the S. marcescens ATCase and CTP/UTP inhibitory synergism has been lost. These allosteric characteristics contradict the traditional logic developed from the E. coli enzyme in which CTP and UTP function together as end products of the pyrimidine pathway to allosterically control the catalytic activity. In this study, five divergent residues (r93–r97) of the regulatory polypeptide of the S. marcescens enzyme have been replaced with their E. coli counterparts. These residues correspond to the S5′ β-strand of the allosteric effector binding domain at the junction of the allosteric and zinc domains of the regulatory polypeptide. In spite of the fact that the chimeric ATCase (SM:rS5′ec) retained 455 out of 460 amino acids of the S. marcescens enzyme, it possessed characteristics similar to those of the E. coli enzyme: (1) the [Asp]0.5 decreased from 40 to 5 mM; (2) ATP activation of the enzyme was greatly reduced; (3) CTP was converted from a strong activator to a strong inhibitor; and (4) the synergistic inhibition by CTP and UTP was restored. The S5′ β-strand is located at the outer surface of a five-stranded β-sheet of the allosteric domain, providing a potential structural mechanism defining the allostery of this enzyme.
Fragile histidine triad protein (Fhit) is a diadenosine triphosphate (ApppA) hydrolase encoded at the human chromosome 3 fragile site which is frequently disrupted in tumors. Reintroduction of FHIT coding sequences to cancer cell lines with FHIT deletions suppressed the ability of these cell lines to form tumors in nude mice even when the reintroduced FHIT gene had been mutated to allow ApppA binding but not hydrolysis. Because this suggested that the tumor suppressor activity of Fhit protein depends on substrate-dependent signaling rather than ApppA catabolism, we prepared two crystalline forms of Fhit protein that are expected to model its biologically active, substrate bound state. Wild-type and the His96Asn forms of Fhit were overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and crystallized in the presence and absence of ApppA and an ApppA analog. Single crystals obtained by vapor diffusion against ammonium sulfate diffracted Xrays to beyond 2.75 Å resolution. High quality native synchrotron X-ray data were collected for an orthorhombic and a hexagonal crystal form.
Fhit; nucleotide-binding; tumor-suppressor; ApppA
Furin catalyzes the proteolytic maturation of many proproteins within the trans-Golgi network (TGN)/endosomal system. Furin's cytosolic domain (cd) directs both the compartmentalization to and transit between its manifold processing compartments (i.e., TGN/biosynthetic pathway, cell surface, and endosomes). Here we report the identification of the first furin cd sorting protein, ABP-280 (nonmuscle filamin), an actin gelation protein. The furin cd was used as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify ABP-280 as a furin-binding protein. Binding analyses in vitro and coimmunoprecipitation studies in vivo showed that furin and ABP-280 interact directly and that ABP-280 tethers furin molecules to the cell surface. Quantitative analysis of both ABP-280-deficient and genetically replete cells showed that ABP-280 modulates the rate of internalization of furin but not of the transferrin receptor, a cycling receptor. However, although ABP-280 directs the rate of furin internalization, the efficiency of sorting of the endoprotease from the cell surface to early endosomes is independent of expression of ABP-280. By contrast, efficient sorting of furin from early endosomes to the TGN requires expression of ABP-280. In addition, ABP-280 is also required for the correct localization of late endosomes (dextran bead uptake) and lysosomes (LAMP-1 staining), demonstrating a pleio-tropic role for this actin binding protein in the organization of cellular compartments and directing protein traffic. Finally, and consistent with the trafficking studies on furin, we showed that ABP-280 modulates the processing of furin substrates in the endocytic but not the biosynthetic pathways. The novel roles of ABP-280 and the cytoskeleton in the sorting of furin in the TGN/endosomal system and the formation of proprotein processing compartments are discussed.
Background—Atropine decreases the frequency of
transient lower oesophageal sphincter relaxation (TLOSR) through an
unknown mechanism. Gastric distension and pharyngeal receptor
excitation are two possible sources for the afferent stimulus
responsible for TLOSR.
Aims—To determine whether atropine affects gastric
distension induced TLOSR and pharyngeal receptor mediated lower
oesophageal sphincter (LOS) relaxation.
Methods—Oesophageal manometry and pH recordings
were performed in 10 healthy volunteers on two separate days in the
postprandial setting, following either atropine (15 µg/kg
intravenous bolus and 4 µg/kg/h as a maintenance dose) or placebo.
Pharyngeal receptor mediated LOS relaxation was studied in nine
subjects by rapid injection of minute amounts of water (0.05, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, and 0.4 ml) in the pharynx before and after atropine. Gastric
distension mediated TLOSR was studied in eight subjects by insufflating
the stomach with 300, 600 and 900 ml of CO2 before and
Results—Atropine reduced the frequency of
spontaneous gastro-oesophageal reflux and TLOSR compared with placebo
(p<0.05). Pharyngeal stimulation resulted in bolus volume dependent
LOS relaxation. Atropine decreased the frequency and amplitude of pharyngeal receptor mediated LOS relaxation at bolus volumes of 0.05, 0.1, and 0.2 ml. Gastric distension resulted in intermittent episodes
of TLOSR. The frequency of gastric distension induced TLOSR was
significantly decreased by atropine.
Conclusion—(1) Atropine reduces the frequency of
spontaneous reflux and TLOSR in normal subjects; and (2) gastric
distension induced TLOSR and pharyngeal receptor mediated LOS
relaxation is inhibited by atropine.
lower oesophageal sphincter relaxation; anticholinergic; pharynx; gastric distension
AIM—To investigate the immunogenicity and safety of existing recommendations for hepatitis B vaccination in preterm infants.
METHODS—Recombinant hepatitis B vaccine (H-B-VAX II, 5 µg per dose) was given to 85 preterm infants divided into two groups, using two different schedules. Forty four group A infants with birthweights of < 2000 g received three doses at 1, 2, and 7 months of age. Forty one group B infants with birthweights of ⩾2000 g received three doses at 0, 1, and 6 months of age.
RESULTS—After vaccination, 42 infants from group A (95%) and 37 infants from group B (90%) developed protective levels of antibody. The final seropositive rate and the geometric mean concentration of hepatitis B surface antibody between the two groups were not significantly different. The immune response of preterm infants to hepatitis B vaccines was similar to that of term infants in a previous study.
CONCLUSIONS—Preterm infants can be given hepatitis B vaccines using one of the above two different schedules, at a cutoff birthweight of 2000 g.
Keywords: hepatitis B vaccine, prematurity, antibodies
AIMS: To determine, by strain identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, whether transmission has occurred between individuals or whether new strains are present. METHODS: A rapid protocol for random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was developed. This protocol was applied to 64 strains of M tuberculosis that had been confirmed by culture and microbiological methods. RESULTS: There are five groups of M tuberculosis prevalent in Taipei city, Taiwan. The major types are groups I and III. Groups I and II had been prevalent until the end of last year when, according to our group analysis, they had been eradicated. However, group III was continuously present from the middle of 1995 to the middle of 1996, and group IV was present at the end of both years, which indicated that both groups were transmitted continuously. These clustered strains had demographic characteristics consistent with a finding of transmission tuberculosis. Also, there were 13 of 64 strains with unique RAPD fingerprints that were inferred to be due primarily to the reactivation of infection. In the drug resistance analysis, the major type represented included group III and part of group IV. CONCLUSIONS: Our preliminary data imply, not only that the prevalence of M tuberculosis in Taipei city is due to transmission rather than reactivation, but that drug resistance also may play a role in tuberculosis transmission.
BACKGROUND: The treatment of small spontaneous pneumothorax can involve observation, tube thoracostomy, and surgery. This study evaluated the use of short wave diathermy as a method of accelerating the resolution of small pneumothoraces. METHODS: Twenty two patients with pneumothoraces of less than 30% by volume were randomly allocated to receive short wave diathermy for 25 minutes each day (n = 11) or observation with bed rest (n = 11). Chest radiographs were taken until the pneumothoraces resolved. RESULTS: There were no significant differences in the clinical characteristics between the two groups of patients. However, the mean (SD) rate of absorption was significantly higher with short wave diathermy than with observation (3.44 (0.94)% versus 1.57 (0.53)%, difference = 1.87, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.19 to 2.55, p < 0.001). The time to complete reexpansion was shorter with short wave diathermy than with observation (6.86 (3.51) days versus 11.64 (3.61) days, difference = -4.78 days, 95% CI -7.95 to - 1.61, p < 0.005). No evidence of damage resulting from short wave diathermy was found. CONCLUSIONS: Although further study is necessary, these results indicate that short wave diathermy may be an alternative treatment for patients with small spontaneous pneumothoraces.
Theoretical projections suggest that refuges from exposure can delay insect adaptation to environmentally benign insecticides derived from Bacillus thuringiensis, but experimental tests of this approach have been limited. We tested the refuge tactic by selecting two sets of two colonies of diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) for resistance to B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai in the laboratory. In each set, one colony was selected with no refuge and the other with a 10 per cent refuge from exposure to B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai. Bioassays conducted after nine selections were completed show that mortality caused by B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai was significantly greater in the refuge colonies than in the no-refuge colonies. These results demonstrate that the refuges delayed the evolution of resistance. Relative to a susceptible colony, final resistance ratios were 19 and 8 for the two no-refuge colonies compared to 6 and 5 for the refuge colonies. The mean realized heritability of resistance to B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai was 0.046 for colonies without refuges, and -0.002 for colonies with refuges. Selection with B. thuringiensis subsp. aizawai decreased susceptibility to B. thuringiensis toxin Cry1Ab, but not to Cry1C or B. thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. Although the ultimate test of refuges will occur in the field, the experimental evidence reported here confirms modelling results indicating that refuges can slow the evolution of insect resistance to B. thuringiensis.
Refuge Resistance Bacillus Thuringiensis Plutella Xylostella
Furin catalyzes the proteolytic maturation of many proproteins within the trans-Golgi network (TGN)/endosomal system. Furin's cytosolic domain (cd) directs both the compartmentalization to and transit between its manifold processing compartments (i.e., TGN/biosynthetic pathway, cell surface, and endosomes). Here we report the identification of the first furin cd sorting protein, ABP-280 (nonmuscle filamin), an actin gelation protein. The furin cd was used as bait in a yeast two-hybrid screen to identify ABP-280 as a furin-binding protein. Binding analyses in vitro and coimmunoprecipitation studies in vivo showed that furin and ABP-280 interact directly and that ABP-280 tethers furin molecules to the cell surface. Quantitative analysis of both ABP-280-deficient and genetically replete cells showed that ABP-280 modulates the rate of internalization of furin but not of the transferrin receptor, a cycling receptor. However, although ABP-280 directs the rate of furin internalization, the efficiency of sorting of the endoprotease from the cell surface to early endosomes is independent of expression of ABP-280. By contrast, efficient sorting of furin from early endosomes to the TGN requires expression of ABP-280. In addition, ABP-280 is also required for the correct localization of late endosomes (dextran bead uptake) and lysosomes (LAMP-1 staining), demonstrating a pleiotropic role for this actin binding protein in the organization of cellular compartments and directing protein traffic. Finally, and consistent with the trafficking studies on furin, we showed that ABP-280 modulates the processing of furin substrates in the endocytic but not the biosynthetic pathways. The novel roles of ABP-280 and the cytoskeleton in the sorting of furin in the TGN/ endosomal system and the formation of proprotein processing compartments are discussed.
Previous studies have indicated that neuro-endocrine cells store monoamines and acetylcholine (ACh) in different secretory vesicles, suggesting that the transport proteins responsible for packaging these neurotransmitters sort to distinct vesicular compartments. Molecular cloning has recently demonstrated that the vesicular transporters for monoamines and ACh show strong sequence similarity, and studies of the vesicular monoamine transporters (VMATs) indicate preferential localization to large dense core vesicles (LDCVs) rather than synaptic-like microvesicles (SLMVs) in rat pheochromocytoma PC12 cells. We now report the localization of the closely related vesicular ACh transporter (VAChT). In PC12 cells, VAChT differs from the VMATs by immunofluorescence and fractionates almost exclusively to SLMVs and endosomes by equilibrium sedimentation. Immunoisolation further demonstrates colocalization with synaptophysin on SLMVs as well as other compartments. However, small amounts of VAChT also occur on LDCVs. Thus, VAChT differs in localization from the VMATs, which sort predominantly to LDCVs. In addition, we demonstrate ACh transport activity in stable PC12 transformants overexpressing VAChT. Since previous work has suggested that VAChT expression confers little if any transport activity in non-neural cells, we also determined its localization in transfected CHO fibroblasts. In CHO cells, VAChT localizes to the same endosomal compartment as the VMATs by immunofluorescence, density gradient fractionation, and immunoisolation with an antibody to the transferrin receptor. We have also detected ACh transport activity in the transfected CHO cells, indicating that localization to SLMVs is not required for function. In summary, VAChT differs in localization from the VMATs in PC12 cells but not CHO cells.
It has been proposed that some bystander T cell activation may in fact be due to T cell antigen receptor (TCR) cross-reactivity that is too low to be detected by the effector cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL). However, this hypothesis is not supported by direct evidence since no TCR ligand is known to induce T cell proliferation and differentiation without being recognized by the effector CTL. Here we report that transgenic T cells expressing a T cell receptor to influenza virus A/NT/68 nucleoprotein (NP) 366-374:Db complexes clonally expand and become effector CTLs in response to homologous peptides from either A/PR8/34 (H1N1), A/AA/60 (H2N2), or A/NT/68 (H3N2). However, the effector T cells induced by each of the three peptides kill target cells pulsed with NP peptides from the H3N2 and H2N2 viruses, but not from the H1N1 virus. Thus, NP366–374 from influenza virus H1N1 is the first TCR ligand that can induce T cell proliferation and differentiation without being recognized by CTLs. Since induction of T cell proliferation was mediated by antigen-presenting cells that express costimulatory molecules such as B7, we investigated if cytolysis of H1N1 NP peptide–pulsed targets can be restored by expressing B7-1 on the target cells. Our results revealed that this is the case. These data demonstrated that costimulatory molecule B7 modulates antigen specificity of CTLs, and provides a missing link that explains some of the bystander T cell activation.
In normal mice, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins are bound to many different peptides, derived from the proteins of their host. In the thymus, the diversity of this collection of MHC + peptide ligands allows thymocytes bearing many different T cell receptors (TCRs) to mature by low avidity reactions between the MHC + peptide ligands and the thymocyte TCRs. To investigate this problem, the selection of T cells specific for a well-studied combination of MHC + peptide, IEk + moth cytochrome c 88–103 (MCC), was investigated. Mice were created that expressed IEk bound to a single peptide, either a variant of MCC in which a critical TCR contact residue, 99K, was changed to A, or a variant of a mouse hemoglobin 64–76 (Hb) peptide, 72A. IEk bound to the MCC variant caused the clonal deletion of some T cells specific for the IEk + MCC ligand; nevertheless, it also positively selected many T cells that could react with this ligand. Some of the TCRs on the selected T cells were related to those on cells from normal mice and some were not. IEk bound to the Hb variant, on the other hand, did not select any T cells which could react with IEk + MCC. These results demonstrate that although positive selection is a partially degenerate event, the sequence of the peptide involved in positive selection controls the selected repertoire.
Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) A1 is an abundant nuclear protein that plays an important role in pre-mRNA processing and mRNA export from the nucleus. A1 shuttles rapidly between the nucleus and the cytoplasm, and a 38-amino acid domain, M9, serves as the bidirectional transport signal of A1. Recently, a 90-kD protein, transportin, was identified as the mediator of A1 nuclear import. In this study, we show that transportin mediates the nuclear import of additional hnRNP proteins, including hnRNP F. We have also isolated and sequenced a novel transportin homolog, transportin2, which may differ from transportin1 in its substrate specificity. Immunostaining shows that transportin1 is localized both in the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm, and nuclear rim staining is also observed. The nuclear localization of A1 is dependent on ongoing RNA polymerase II transcription. Interestingly, a pyruvate kinase–M9 fusion, which normally localizes in the nucleus, also accumulates in the cytoplasm when RNA polymerase II is inhibited. Thus, M9 itself is a specific sensor for transcription-dependent nuclear transport. Transportin1–A1 complexes can be isolated from the cytoplasm and the nucleoplasm, but transportin1 is not detectable in hnRNP complexes. RanGTP causes dissociation of A1-transportin1 complexes in vitro. Thus, it is likely that after nuclear import, A1 dissociates from transportin1 by RanGTP and becomes incorporated into hnRNP complexes, where A1 functions in pre-mRNA processing.
Isolation of large numbers of surface IgD+CD38− naive and surface IgD−CD38− memory B cells allowed us to study the intrinsic differences between these two populations. Upon in vitro culture with IL-2 and IL-10, human CD40–activated memory B cells undergo terminal differentiation into plasma cells more readily than do naive B cells, as they give rise to five- to eightfold more plasma cells and three- to fourfold more secreted immunoglobulins. By contrast, naive B cells give rise to a larger number of nondifferentiated B blasts. Saturating concentrations of CD40 ligand, which fully inhibit naive B cell differentiation, only partially affect that of memory B cells. The propensity of memory B cells to undergo terminal plasma cell differentiation may explain the extensive extra follicular plasma cell reaction and the limited germinal center reaction observed in vivo after secondary immunizations, which contrast with primary responses in carrier-primed animals. This unique feature of memory B cells may confer two important capacities to the immune system: (a) the rapid generation of a large number of effector cells to efficiently eliminate the pathogens; and (b) the prevention of the overexpansion and chronic accumulation of one particular memory B cell clone that would freeze the available peripheral repertoire.
Secondary infections due to a marked immunosuppression have long been recognized as a major cause of the high morbidity and mortality rate associated with acute measles. The mechanisms underlying the inhibition of cell-mediated immunity are not clearly understood but dysfunctions of monocytes as antigen-presenting cells (APC) are implicated. In this report, we demonstrate that measles virus (MV) replicates weakly in the resting dendritic cells (DC) as in lipopolysaccharide-activated monocytes, but intensively in CD40-activated DC. The interaction of MV-infected DC with T cells not only induces syncytia formation where MV undergoes massive replication, but also leads to an impairment of DC and T cell function and cell death. CD40-activated DC decrease their capacity to produce interleukin (IL) 12, and T cells are unable to proliferate in response to MV-infected DC stimulation. A massive apoptosis of both DC and T cells is observed in the MV pulsed DC–T cell cocultures. This study suggests that DC represent a major target of MV. The enhanced MV replication during DC–T cell interaction, leading to an IL-12 production decrease and the deletion of DC and T cells, may be the essential mechanism of immunosuppression induced by MV.
The cytoplasmic domains of integrins are essential for cell adhesion. We report identification of a novel protein, ICAP-1 (integrin cytoplasmic domain– associated protein-1), which binds to the β1 integrin cytoplasmic domain. The interaction between ICAP-1 and β1 integrins is highly specific, as demonstrated by the lack of interaction between ICAP-1 and the cytoplasmic domains of other β integrins, and requires a conserved and functionally important NPXY sequence motif found in the COOH-terminal region of the β1 integrin cytoplasmic domain. Mutational studies reveal that Asn and Tyr of the NPXY motif and a Val residue located NH2-terminal to this motif are critical for the ICAP-1 binding. Two isoforms of ICAP-1, a 200–amino acid protein (ICAP-1α) and a shorter 150–amino acid protein (ICAP-1β), derived from alternatively spliced mRNA, are expressed in most cells. ICAP-1α is a phosphoprotein and the extent of its phosphorylation is regulated by the cell–matrix interaction. First, an enhancement of ICAP-1α phosphorylation is observed when cells were plated on fibronectin-coated but not on nonspecific poly-l-lysine–coated surface. Second, the expression of a constitutively activated RhoA protein that disrupts the cell–matrix interaction results in dephosphorylation of ICAP-1α. The regulation of ICAP-1α phosphorylation by the cell–matrix interaction suggests an important role of ICAP-1 during integrin-dependent cell adhesion.
To identify genes expressed by a specific subset of dendritic cells found in vivo a polymerase chain reaction–based cDNA subtraction technique was applied to the recently described germinal center dendritic cells. A novel member of the disintegrin metalloproteinase family was cloned which comprises a not typical zinc-chelating catalytic site most similar to a bacterial metalloproteinase. Dendritic cell precursors or immature dendritic cells express no or low levels of the message. It is induced to high levels upon spontaneous or CD40-dependent maturation and in a mixed lymphocyte reaction. In situ hybridization showed distinct expression of this gene in the germinal center. This, together with the findings that certain disintegrin metalloproteinases regulate the activity of tumor necrosis factor α and that metalloproteinases have also been implicated in FasL processing, suggest that this novel molecule may play an important role in dendritic cell function and their interactions with germinal center T cells.
Ly-6A is a murine antigen which is implicated in lymphocyte activation and may be involved in activation of hematopoietic stem cells. Antibody cross-linking studies and antisense experiments have suggested that Ly-6A is a lymphocyte coactivation molecule. To better understand the function of Ly-6A, we used gene targeting to produce Ly-6A null mice which are healthy and have normal numbers and percentages of hematopoietic lineages. However, T lymphocytes from Ly-6A–deficient animals proliferate at a significantly higher rate in response to antigens and mitogens than wild-type littermates. In addition, Ly-6A mutant splenocytes generate more cytotoxic T lymphocytes compared to wild-type splenocytes when cocultured with alloantigen. This enhanced proliferation is not due to alterations in kinetics of response, sensitivity to stimulant concentration, or cytokine production by the T cell population, and is manifest in both in vivo and in vitro T cell responses. Moreover, T cells from Ly-6A–deficient animals exhibit a prolonged proliferative response to antigen stimulation, thereby suggesting that Ly-6A acts to downmodulate lymphocyte responses.
Recent understanding of the mechanism of immunoglobulin G (IgG) catabolism has yielded new insight into antibody-mediated diseases. We proposed that β2-microglobulin (β2m)–deficient mice have been protected from systemic lupus erythematosis (SLE)–like syndromes because they lack the β2m-associated IgG protection receptor (FcRn) and therefore catabolize IgG, including pathogenic IgG autoantibodies, considerably more rapidly than normal mice. Such an hypothesis would predict that β2m-deficient mice would also be resistant to experimental bullous pemphigoid, a disease with a pathogenesis thought to be much simpler than SLE, being the result of antibody directed toward a pathogenic epitope on the epidermal hemidesmosome that anchors basal keratinocytes to the basement membrane. To test this hypothesis, we administered pathogenic rabbit antibody directed toward the hemidesmosome to β2m-deficient mice and to normal control mice, both intraperitoneally and intradermally, and assessed the mice clinically, histologically, and immunologically for manifestations of skin disease. We found that the β2m-deficient mice were protected when the antibody was given intraperitoneally whereas intradermal administration resulted in blisters only slightly less severe than those seen in normal mice. These data would indicate that autoantibody-mediated inflammation might be prevented or controlled by appropriate modulation of FcRn function.
The Drosophila para sodium channel α subunit was expressed in Xenopus oocytes alone and in combination with tipE, a putative Drosophila sodium channel accessory subunit. Coexpression of tipE with para results in elevated levels of sodium currents and accelerated current decay. Para/TipE sodium channels have biophysical and pharmacological properties similar to those of native channels. However, the pharmacology of these channels differs from that of vertebrate sodium channels: (a) toxin II from Anemonia sulcata, which slows inactivation, binds to Para and some mammalian sodium channels with similar affinity (Kd ≅ 10 nM), but this toxin causes a 100-fold greater decrease in the rate of inactivation of Para/TipE than of mammalian channels; (b) Para sodium channels are >10-fold more sensitive to block by tetrodotoxin; and (c) modification by the pyrethroid insecticide permethrin is >100-fold more potent for Para than for rat brain type IIA sodium channels. Our results suggest that the selective toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides is due at least in part to the greater affinity of pyrethroids for insect sodium channels than for mammalian sodium channels.
Na+ channels; pyrethroid; insecticide; toxin; Xenopus oocyte
The zebrafish is a polular nonmammalian model for studies of neural development. We have derived cell cultures, initiated from blastula-stage zebrafish embryos, that differentiate in vitro into neurons and astrocytes. Cultures were initiated in basal nutrient medium supplemented with bovine insulin, trout serum, trout embryo extract and fetal bovine serum. After two weeks in culture the cells exhibited extensive neurite outgrowth and possessed elevated levels of acetylcholinesterase enzyme activity. Ultrastructural analysis revealed that the neurites possessed microtubules, synaptic vessicles and areas exhibiting growth cone morphology. The cultures expressed proteins recognized by antibodies to the neuronal and astrocyte-specific markers, neurofilament and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). Poly-D-lysine substrate stimulated neurite outgrowth in the cultures and inhibited the growth of nonneuronal cells. Medium conditioned by the buffalo rat liver line, BRL, promoted the growth and survival of the cells in culture. Mitotically active cells were identified in cultures that had undergone extensive differentiation. The embryo cell cultures provide an in vitro system for investigations of biochemical parameters influencing zebrafish neuronal cell growth and differentiation.
zebrafish; neural differentiation; fish cell culture; fish embryo