Proteases are important enzymes involved in numerous essential physiological processes and hold a strong potential for industrial applications. The proteolytic activity of insects’ gut is endowed by many isoforms with diverse properties and specificities. Thus, insect proteases can act as a tool in industrial processes.
In the present study, purification and properties of a serine alkaline protease from Periplaneta americana and its potential application as an additive in various bio-formulations are reported. The enzyme was purified near to homogeneity by using acetone precipitation and Sephadex G-100 gel filtration chromatography. Enzyme activity was increased up to 4.2 fold after gel filtration chromatography. The purified enzyme appeared as single protein-band with a molecular mass of ~ 27.8 kDa in SDS-PAGE. The optimum pH and temperature for the proteolytic activity for purified protein were found around pH 8.0 and 60°C respectively. Complete inhibition of the purified enzyme by phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride confirmed that the protease was of serine-type. The purified enzyme revealed high stability and compatibility towards detergents, oxidizing, reducing, and bleaching agents. In addition, enzyme also showed stability towards organic solvents and commercial detergents.
Several important properties of a serine protease from P. Americana were revealed. Moreover, insects can serve as excellent and alternative source of industrially important proteases with unique properties, which can be utilized as additives in detergents, stain removers and other bio-formulations. Properties of the P. americana protease accounted in the present investigation can be exploited further in various industrial processes. As an industrial prospective, identification of enzymes with varying essential properties from different insect species might be good approach and bioresource.
Periplaneta americana; Serine alkaline protease; Chemostability; Insect proteases; Industrial catalyst
Alpha-1 proteinase inhibitor (API) is a plasma serpin superfamily member that inhibits neutrophil elastase; variant API M358R inhibits thrombin and activated protein C (APC). Fusing residues 1-75 of another serpin, heparin cofactor II (HCII), to API M358R (in HAPI M358R) was previously shown to accelerate thrombin inhibition over API M358R by conferring thrombin exosite 1 binding properties. We hypothesized that replacing HCII 1-75 region with the 13 C-terminal residues (triskaidecapeptide) of hirudin variant 3 (HV354-66) would further enhance the inhibitory potency of API M358R fusion proteins. We therefore expressed HV3API M358R (HV354-66 fused to API M358R) and HV3API RCL5 (HV354-66 fused to API F352A/L353V/E354V/A355I/I356A/I460L/M358R) API M358R) as N-terminally hexahistidine-tagged polypeptides in E. coli.
HV3API M358R inhibited thrombin 3.3-fold more rapidly than API M358R; for HV3API RCL5 the rate enhancement was 1.9-fold versus API RCL5; neither protein inhibited thrombin as rapidly as HAPI M358R. While the thrombin/Activated Protein C rate constant ratio was 77-fold higher for HV3API RCL5 than for HV3API M358R, most of the increased specificity derived from the API F352A/L353V/E354V/A355I/I356A/I460L API RCL 5 mutations, since API RCL5 remained 3-fold more specific than HV3API RCL5. An HV3 54-66 peptide doubled the Thrombin Clotting Time (TCT) and halved the binding of thrombin to immobilized HCII 1-75 at lower concentrations than free HCII 1-75. HV3API RCL5 bound active site-inhibited FPR-chloromethyl ketone-thrombin more effectively than HAPI RCL5. Transferring the position of the fused HV3 triskaidecapeptide to the C-terminus of API M358R decreased the rate of thrombin inhibition relative to that mediated by HV3API M358R by 11-to 14-fold.
Fusing the C-terminal triskaidecapeptide of HV3 to API M358R-containing serpins significantly increased their effectiveness as thrombin inhibitors, but the enhancement was less than that seen in HCII 1-75–API M358R fusion proteins. HCII 1-75 was a superior fusion partner, in spite of the greater affinity of the HV3 triskaidecapeptide, manifested both in isolated and API-fused form, for thrombin exosite 1. Our results suggest that HCII 1-75 binds thrombin exosite 1 and orients the attached serpin scaffold for more efficient interaction with the active site of thrombin than the HV3 triskaidecapeptide.
Alpha1-proteinase inhibitor; Thrombin; Hirudin; Serpins; Coagulation; Inhibition
In vertebrates, bile salts are primarily synthesized in the liver and secreted into the intestine where they aid in absorption of dietary fats. Small amounts of bile salts that are not reabsorbed into enterohepatic circulation are excreted with waste. In sexually mature male sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus L.) a bile salt is released in large amounts across gill epithelia into water where it functions as a pheromone. We postulate that the release of this pheromone is associated with a dramatic increase in its biosynthesis and transport to the gills upon sexual maturation.
We show an 8000-fold increase in transcription of cyp7a1, a three-fold increase in transcription of cyp27a1, and a six-fold increase in transcription of cyp8b1 in the liver of mature male sea lamprey over immature male adults. LC–MS/MS data on tissue-specific distribution and release rates of bile salts from mature males show a high concentration of petromyzonol sulfate (PZS) in the liver and gills of mature males. 3-keto petromyzonol sulfate (3kPZS, known as a male sex pheromone) is the primary compound released from gills, suggesting a conversion of PZS to 3kPZS in the gill epithelium. The PZS to 3kPZS conversion is supported by greater expression of hsd3b7 in gill epithelium. High expression of sult2b1 and sult2a1 in gill epithelia of mature males, and tissue-specific expression of bile salt transporters such as bsep, slc10a1, and slc10a2, suggest additional sulfation and transport of bile salts that are dependent upon maturation state.
This report presents a rare example where specific genes associated with biosynthesis and release of a sexual pheromone are dramatically upregulated upon sexual maturation in a vertebrate. We provide a well characterized example of a complex mechanism of bile salt biosynthesis and excretion that has likely evolved for an additional function of bile salts as a mating pheromone.
Pheromone; Gill; Bile salt; CYP7A1; 3-keto petromyzonol sulfate; Petromyzon marinus
BTBD10 binds to Akt and protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) and inhibits the PP2A-mediated dephosphorylation of Akt, thereby keeping Akt activated. Previous studies have suggested that BTBD10 plays an important role in preventing motor neuronal death and accelerating the growth of pancreatic beta cells. Because levels of BTBD10 expression are much lower in many non-nervous tissues than nervous tissues, there may be a relative of BTBD10 that has BTBD10-like function in non-neuronal cells.
A 419-amino-acid BTBD10-like protein, named KCTD20 (potassium channel tetramerization protein domain containing 20), was to found to bind to all Akt isoforms and PP2A. Overexpression of KCTD20 increased Akt phosphorylation at Thr308, as BTBD10 did, which suggests that KCTD20 as well as BTBD10 positively regulates the function of Akt. KCTD20 was ubiquitously expressed in non-nervous as well as nervous tissues.
KCTD20 is a positive regulator of Akt and may play an important role in regulating the death and growth of some non-nervous and nervous cells.
BTBD10; Akt; KCTD20
Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MCM) is an adenosylcobalamin-dependent enzyme that catalyses the interconversion of (2R)-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA. In humans, a deficit in activity of MCM, due to an impairment of intracellular formation of adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin results in a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations ranging from moderate to fatal. Consequently, MCM is the subject of abundant literature. However, there is a lack of consensus on the reliable method to monitor its activity. This metabolic pathway is highly solicited in ruminants because it is essential for the utilization of propionate formed during ruminal fermentation. In lactating dairy cows, propionate is the major substrate for glucose formation. In present study, a reversed-phase high performance liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) was optimized and validated to evaluate MCM activity in bovine liver. The major aim of the study was to describe the conditions to optimize reproducibility of the method and to determine stability of the enzyme and its product during storage and processing of samples.
Specificity of the method was good, as there was no interfering peak from liver extract at the retention times corresponding to methylmalonyl-CoA or succinyl-CoA. Repeatability of the method was improved as compared to previous RP-HPLC published data. Using 66 μg of protein, intra-assay coefficient of variation (CV) of specific activities, ranged from 0.90 to 8.05% and the CV inter-day was 7.40%. Storage and processing conditions (frozen homogenate of fresh tissue vs. fresh homogenate of tissue snapped in liquid nitrogen) did not alter the enzyme activity. The analyte was also stable in liver crude extract for three frozen/thawed cycles when stored at -20°C and thawed to room temperature.
The improved method provides a way for studying the effects of stages of lactation, diet composition, and physiology in cattle on MCM activity over long periods of time, such as a complete lactation period. Interestingly, this sensitive and accurate method could benefit the study of the cobalamin status in experimental studies and clinical cases.
Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase; Liver; Cattle; Dairy cow; Succinyl-CoA; RP-HPLC
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an essential nutrient of most living tissues that readily acts as a strong reducing agent, which is abundant in fruits and vegetables. Although, it inhibits cell growth in many human cancer cells in vitro, treatment in cancer is still controversial. Hence, the purpose of this study was to investigate the molecular mechanism of the inhibitory effect of vitamin C on AGS cell growth, and protein profiles in AGS cells after exposure to vitamin C treatment, by using proteomic tools.
Vitamin C showed a cytotoxic effect on AGS cells (IC50 300 μg/mL) and, 20 differentially expressed proteins (spot intensities which show ≥2 fold change and statistically significant, p<0.05 between the control and vitamin-C treated group) were successfully identified by assisted laser desorption/ ionization-time of flight/mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF/MS). Of the 20 proteins, six were up-regulated and fourteen were down-regulated. Specifically, 14-3-3σ, 14-3-3ϵ, 14-3-3δ, tropomyosin alpha-3 chain and tropomyosin alpha-4 chain were down-regulated and peroxiredoxin-4 and thioredoxin domain-containing proteins 5 were up-regulated. The identified proteins are mainly involved in cell mobility, antioxidant and detoxification, signal transduction and protein metabolism. Further, the expressions of 14-3-3 isoforms were verified with immuno-blotting analysis.
Our proteome results suggest that the apoptosis related proteins were involved in promoting and regulating cell death of AGS cells, and might be helpful to understand the molecular mechanism of vitamin C on AGS cell growth inhibition.
Vitamin C; Gastric cancer; AGS cells; Proteome analysis; 14-3-3 isoforms
Streptomyces sp. N174 chitosanase (CsnN174), a member of glycoside hydrolases family 46, is one of the most extensively studied chitosanases. Previous studies allowed identifying several key residues of this inverting enzyme, such as the two catalytic carboxylic amino acids as well as residues that are involved in substrate binding. In spite of the progress in understanding the catalytic mechanism of this chitosanase, the function of some residues highly conserved throughout GH46 family has not been fully elucidated. This study focuses on one of such residues, the arginine 42.
Mutation of Arg42 into any other amino acid resulted in a drastic loss of enzyme activity. Detailed investigations of R42E and R42K chitosanases revealed that the mutant enzymes are not only impaired in their catalytic activity but also in their mode of interaction with the substrate. Mutated enzymes were more sensitive to substrate inhibition and were altered in their pattern of activity against chitosans of various degrees of deacetylation. Our data show that Arg42 plays a dual role in CsnN174 activity.
Arginine 42 is essential to maintain the enzymatic function of chitosanase CsnN174. We suggest that this arginine is influencing the catalytic nucleophile residue and also the substrate binding mode of the enzyme by optimizing the electrostatic interaction between the negatively charged carboxylic residues of the substrate binding cleft and the amino groups of GlcN residues in chitosan.
Chitosanase; Glycoside hydrolase family GH46; Substrate inhibition; Inverting mechanism; Enzyme-substrate interaction; Arginine
Vesicle fusion is an essential process for maintaining the structure and function of the endomembrane system. Fusion is mediated by t-SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) fusion proteins on the target membrane and v-SNAREs on the vesicle membrane; v-and t-SNAREs interact with each other, driving vesicle fusion with the target membrane. The Arabidopsis thaliana trans-Golgi network resident SNAREs SYP41 and VTI12, along with YKT61/62, have been shown to function in vesicle fusion in vitro, consistent with immunoprecipitation results showing their interaction in Arabidopsis cell extracts. Conflicting published results have indicated that SYP4 family members are either functionally redundant or have distinct and essential functions; the reason for this discrepancy is unclear.
Here we used a proteoliposome fusion assay to demonstrate that SYP42 and SYP43 can substitute for SYP41 in driving lipid mixing, providing support for functional overlap between family members. Previous reports have also suggested that VTI11 and VTI12 SNAREs show partial overlap in function, despite having mostly distinct localizations and binding partners. We show that VTI11 can substitute for VTI12 in in vitro lipid mixing reactions, providing molecular support for the genetic evidence for partial functional redundancy in vivo.
Our data provide biochemical evidence for functional overlap in membrane fusion between members of the SYP4 or VTI1 SNARE groups, supporting previous genetic data suggesting redundancy.
Membrane fusion; SNARE; Trans-Golgi network; Vesicle trafficking
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