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1.  Acetylcholinesterase assay for cerebrospinal fluid using bupivacaine to inhibit butyrylcholinesterase 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:17.
Background
Most test systems for acetylcholinesterase activity (E.C.3.1.1.7.) are using toxic inhibitors (BW284c51 and iso-OMPA) to distinguish the enzyme from butyrylcholinesterase (E.C.3.1.1.8.) which occurs simultaneously in the cerebrospinal fluid. Applying Ellman's colorimetric method, we were looking for a non-toxic inhibitor to restrain butyrylcholinesterase activity. Based on results of previous in vitro studies bupivacaine emerged to be a suitable inhibitor.
Results
Pharmacokinetic investigations with purified cholinesterases have shown maximum inhibition of butyrylcholinesterase activity and minimal interference with acetylcholinesterase activity at bupivacaine final concentrations between 0.1 and 0.5 mmol/l. Based on detailed analysis of pharmacokinetic data we developed three equations representing enzyme inhibition at bupivacaine concentrations of 0.1, 0.2 and 0.5 mmol/l. These equations allow us to calculate the acetylcholinesterase activity in solutions containing both cholinesterases utilizing the extinction differences measured spectrophotometrically in samples with and without bupivacaine. The accuracy of the bupivacaine-inhibition test could be confirmed by investigations on solutions of both purified cholinesterases and on samples of human cerebrospinal fluid. If butyrylcholinesterase activity has to be assessed simultaneously an independent test using butyrylthiocholine iodide as substrate (final concentration 5 mmol/l) has to be conducted.
Conclusions
The bupivacaine-inhibition test is a reliable method using spectrophotometrical techniques to measure acetylcholinesterase activity in cerebrospinal fluid. It avoids the use of toxic inhibitors for differentiation of acetylcholinesterase from butyrylcholinesterase in fluids containing both enzymes. Our investigations suggest that bupivacaine concentrations of 0.1, 0.2 or 0.5 mmol/l can be applied with the same effect using 1 mmol/l acetylthiocholine iodide as substrate.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-17
PMCID: PMC64563  PMID: 11801199
2.  Isolation and characterization of a novel lepidopteran-selective toxin from the venom of South Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:16.
Background
Scorpion venom contains insect and mammal selective toxins. We investigated the venom of the South Indian red scorpion, Mesobuthus tamulus for the purpose of identifying potent insecticidal peptide toxins.
Results
A lepidopteran-selective toxin (Buthus tamulus insect toxin; ButaIT) has been isolated from this venom. The primary structure analysis reveals that it is a single polypeptide composed of 37 amino acids cross-linked by four disulfide bridges with high sequence homology to other short toxins such as Peptide I, neurotoxin P2, Lqh-8/6, chlorotoxin, insectotoxin I5A, insect toxin 15 and insectotoxin I1. Three dimensional modeling using Swiss automated protein modeling server reveals that this toxin contains a short α-helix and three antiparallel β-strands, similar to other short scorpion toxins. This toxin is selectively active on Heliothis virescens causing flaccid paralysis but was non-toxic to blowfly larvae and mice.
Conclusion
This is the first report of a Heliothine selective peptide toxin. Identification of diverse insect selective toxins offer advantages in employing these peptides selectively for pest control.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-16
PMCID: PMC64496  PMID: 11782289
3.  Reconstitution of licensed replication origins on Xenopus sperm nuclei using purified proteins 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:15.
Background
In order to ensure precise chromosome duplication, eukaryotes "license" their replication origins during late mitosis and early G1 by assembling complexes of Mcm2-7 onto them. Mcm2-7 are essential for DNA replication, but are displaced from origins as they initiate, thus ensuring that no origin fires more than once in a single cell cycle.
Results
Here we show that a combination of purified nucleoplasmin, the origin recognition complex (ORC), Cdc6, RLF-B/Cdt1 and Mcm2-7 can promote functional origin licensing and the assembly of Mcm2-7 onto Xenopus sperm nuclei. The reconstituted reaction is inhibited by geminin, a specific RLF-B/Cdt1 inhibitor. Interestingly, the purified ORC used in the reconstitution had apparently lost the Orc6 subunit, suggesting that Orc6 is not essential for replication licensing. We use the reconstituted system to make a preliminary analysis of the different events occuring during origin assembly, and examine their nucleotide requirements. We show that the loading of Xenopus ORC onto chromatin is strongly stimulated by both ADP, ATP and ATP-γ-S whilst the loading of Cdc6 and Cdt1 is stimulated only by ATP or ATP-γ-S.
Conclusions
Nucleoplasmin, ORC, Cdc6, RLF-B/Cdt1 and Mcm2-7 are the only proteins required for functional licensing and the loading of Mcm2-7 onto chromatin. The requirement for nucleoplasmin probably only reflects a requirement to decondense sperm chromatin before ORC can bind to it. Use of this reconstituted system should allow a full biochemical analysis of origin licensing and Mcm2-7 loading.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-15
PMCID: PMC60996  PMID: 11737877
4.  Effect of alpha-tocopherol on pulmonary antioxidant defence system and lipid peroxidation in cigarette smoke inhaling mice 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:14.
Background
Free radicals generated in biological systems by cigarette smoke (CS) inhalation can cause oxidative stress in tissues, resulting in lipid peroxidation (LPO). In view of the antioxidant properties of α-tocopherol (AT), in the present study, effects of AT on antioxidant defence system and LPO were investigated in mice inhaling CS for different time intervals.
Results
Male Balb/c mice were fed orally with AT (5 I.U./Kg.b.wt.) and /or exposed to CS for 2, 4, 6 or 8 weeks. No effect was observed on body growth, diet consumption, water intake and lung weight due to AT and /or CS treatment in any of the groups as compared to their control counterparts. After two weeks of treatment, no change in LPO, reduced glutathione (GSH) levels and antioxidant enzymes were observed except for glutathione reductase (GR) which increased in all the treated groups. A significant increase in pulmonary LPO levels was observed in mice exposed to CS inhalation for 4, 6 or 8 weeks. There was a gradual increase in the LPO levels as the extent of CS inhalation increased from 4 to 8 weeks. However, the extent of increase in LPO levels due to CS exposure for 4, 6 or 8 weeks in the mice treated with AT was comparatively less. A significant decrease in the GSH levels was also observed in all the animals exposed to CS for 4, 6 or 8 weeks. There was a significant increase in the activities of catalase, glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) and GR observed in all the groups exposed to CS for 4,6 or 8 weeks. The increase in above antioxidant enzymes seems to be insufficient to combat the oxidative stress posed by CS inhalation. There was a marked decrease observed in the LPO levels in the animals treated with AT alone for 4, 6, or 8 weeks, when compared to their control counterparts. However, the supplementation of AT for 4, 6 or 8 weeks demonstrated a significant increase in GSH levels.
Conclusion
It appears from our studies that AT exhibits its antioxidant role either directly by scavenging the oxidative species or indirectly by modulating the GSH levels.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-14
PMCID: PMC60661  PMID: 11734073
5.  The intein of the Thermoplasma A-ATPase A subunit: Structure, evolution and expression in E. coli 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:13.
Background
Inteins are selfish genetic elements that excise themselves from the host protein during post translational processing, and religate the host protein with a peptide bond. In addition to this splicing activity, most reported inteins also contain an endonuclease domain that is important in intein propagation.
Results
The gene encoding the Thermoplasma acidophilum A-ATPase catalytic subunit A is the only one in the entire T. acidophilum genome that has been identified to contain an intein. This intein is inserted in the same position as the inteins found in the ATPase A-subunits encoding gene in Pyrococcus abyssi, P. furiosus and P. horikoshii and is found 20 amino acids upstream of the intein in the homologous vma-1 gene in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In contrast to the other inteins in catalytic ATPase subunits, the T. acidophilum intein does not contain an endonuclease domain.
T. acidophilum has different codon usage frequencies as compared to Escherichia coli. Initially, the low abundance of rare tRNAs prevented expression of the T. acidophilum A-ATPase A subunit in E. coli. Using a strain of E. coli that expresses additional tRNAs for rare codons, the T. acidophilum A-ATPase A subunit was successfully expressed in E. coli.
Conclusions
Despite differences in pH and temperature between the E. coli and the T. acidophilum cytoplasms, the T. acidophilum intein retains efficient self-splicing activity when expressed in E. coli. The small intein in the Thermoplasma A-ATPase is closely related to the endonuclease containing intein in the Pyrococcus A-ATPase. Phylogenetic analyses suggest that this intein was horizontally transferred between Pyrococcus and Thermoplasma, and that the small intein has persisted in Thermoplasma apparently without homing.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-13
PMCID: PMC60005  PMID: 11722801
6.  Binding specificity of Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Aa for purified, native Bombyx mori aminopeptidase N and cadherin-like receptors 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:12.
Background
To better understand the molecular interactions of Bt toxins with non-target insects, we have examined the real-time binding specificity and affinity of Cry1 toxins to native silkworm (Bombyx mori) midgut receptors. Previous studies on B. mori receptors utilized brush border membrane vesicles or purifed receptors in blot-type assays.
Results
The Bombyx mori (silkworm) aminopeptidase N (APN) and cadherin-like receptors for Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal Cry1Aa toxin were purified and their real-time binding affinities for Cry toxins were examined by surface plasmon resonance. Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac toxins did not bind to the immobilized native receptors, correlating with their low toxicities. Cry1Aa displayed moderate affinity for B. mori APN (75 nM), and unusually tight binding to the cadherin-like receptor (2.6 nM), which results from slow dissociation rates. The binding of a hybrid toxin (Aa/Aa/Ac) was identical to Cry1Aa.
Conclusions
These results indicate domain II of Cry1Aa is essential for binding to native B. mori receptors and for toxicity. Moreover, the high-affinity binding of Cry1Aa to native cadherin-like receptor emphasizes the importance of this receptor class for Bt toxin research.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-12
PMCID: PMC60004  PMID: 11722800
7.  Differential modulation of cellular death and survival pathways by conjugated bile acids 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:11.
Background
The liver-derived McNtcp.24 cells transport bile acids and show distinctive responses to the two classes of conjugated bile acids. Whereas taurine-conjugated bile acids are non-toxic, glycine-conjugated bile acids efficiently induce apoptosis. The aim of this study was to determine if the differential sensitivity is limited to cells that normally transport bile acids and if bile acid binding proteins could reduce bile acid-mediated apoptosis. The apical sodium/bile acid co-transporter (asbt) was expressed in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells to establish active bile acid transport in a non-liver-derived cell model (CHO.asbt). A high-affinity bile acid binder was expressed in McNtcp.24 cells.
Results
The tolerance of McNtcp.24 cells to taurine-conjugated bile acids was associated with the stimulation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) activity. Treatment of CHO.asbt cells with taurine- and glycine-conjugated bile acids resulted in apoptosis. Unlike in McNtcp.24 cells, PI3K activity was not increased in CHO.asbt cells treated with taurine-conjugated bile acids. High level expression of a bile acid binder did not attenuate bile acid-induced cytotoxicity in McNtcp.24 cells.
Conclusion
The data suggest that McNtcp.24 cells possess a mechanism that can elaborate distinctive responses to the different classes of bile acids. Additionally, activation of a signaling pathway involving PI3K appears to be the dominant mechanism responsible for the tolerance of McNtcp.24 cells to taurine-conjugated bile acids.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-11
PMCID: PMC59694  PMID: 11707155
8.  β1 integrins show specific association with CD98 protein in low density membranes 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:10.
Background
The CD98 (4F2, FRP-1) is a widely expressed cell surface protein heterodimer composed of a glycosylated heavy chain and a non-glycosylated light chain. Originally described as a T cell activation antigen, it was later shown to function in amino acid transport, cell fusion and homotypic cell aggregation. Several lines of evidence suggest its functional interaction with integrins but the biochemical basis for this interaction has been unclear.
Results
We demonstrate that CD98 constitutively and specifically associates with β1 integrins (α2β1,α3β1, α5β1 and α6β1), but minimally with α4β1. Integrin-CD98 association was established by reciprocal immunoprecipitation experiments, and confirmed by CD98-induced clustering of α3β1 but not α4β1 on the surface of rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Integrin-CD98 association is independent of the α subunit cytoplasmic tail, is maintained in α3β1 ligand-interaction deficient mutants, and is not inhibited by EDTA. Within the CD98 heavy chain, a C109S mutation (but not a C330S mutation) caused a loss of β1 integrin association. The same C109S mutation also caused a loss of CD98 light chain association. Importantly, CD98 associated selectively with β1 integrins present in low density "light membrane" fractions on a sucrose gradient. CD98 was not present in dense fractions that contained the majority of β1 integrins. Notably, the C109S mutant of CD98, that did not associate with β1 integrins, showed also a reduced localization into light membrane fractions.
Conclusions
We demonstrate that CD98 association with β1 integrins is specific, occurs in the context of low density membranes, and may require the CD98 light chain.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-10
PMCID: PMC59658  PMID: 11696247
9.  The Metal Coordination of sCD39 during ATP Hydrolysis 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:9.
Background
The hydrolysis of ATP and ADP by ecto-nucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolase 1 (CD39) requires divalent cations, like Ca2+ and Mg2+. In spite of considerable work, it is not clear whether divalent cations bind to the enzyme in the absence of nucleotide or only as nucleotide-Me+2 complex. Here we study the protein ligands for Me+2.
Results
When VO2+ was used as a substitute for Ca2+, the ATPase activity of soluble CD39 was 25% of that with Ca2+ as cofactor. Protein ligands of the VO2+-nucleotide complex bound to the catalytic site of soluble CD39 were characterized by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The EPR spectrum contained one species designated T with VO2+-AMPPNP as ligand. Two species D1 and D2 were observed when VO2+-AMPCP was bound to soluble CD39. The results suggest that species D1 and D2 represent the metal-ADP complexes at the catalytic site of soluble CD39 corresponding to the intermediate formed during ATP hydrolysis and the substrate for further hydrolysis, respectively.
Conclusions
VO2+ can functionally substitute for Ca2+ as a cofactor of sCD39, and it produces four different EPR features when bound in the presence of different nucleotides or in the absence of nucleotide. The metal coordination for each conformation corresponding to each EPR species is proposed, and the mechanism of sCD39 catalysis is discussed.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-9
PMCID: PMC57746  PMID: 11591225
10.  The effect of EGTA and Ca++ in regulation of the brain Na/K-ATP-ase by noradrenaline 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:8.
Background
The Na/K-ATPase activity of the brain synaptic plasma membranes (SPM) is regulated by noradrenaline (NA) and the synaptosomal factor SF (soluble protein obtained from the synaptosome cytosol). In the absence of SF, NA inhibits Na/K-ATPase, while, on addition of SF to the reaction medium, there is a NA-dependent activation of Na/K-ATPase . On the other hand, EGTA augments the Na/K-ATPase activity and attenuates the ability of NA to inhibit Na/K-ATPase.
Results
Considering that Ca2+ ion is a Na/K-ATPase modifier, it can be assumed that the effect of NA and SF is a Ca2+-dependent process. However, in the presence of 0.3 mM EGTA and 0.1 mM NA, the apparent inhibition constant for Ca2+ (at [Ca2+] > 0.3 mM) is not SF dependent, while the apparent activation constant for SF does not change at increasing Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+] < 0.3 mM). At various Ca2+ concentrations (0.06, 0.35 and 0.6 mM), no significant changes occur in the mode of action of NA on the Na/K-ATPase activity in the presence of 5 μg/ml SF. EGTA also has no effect on the NA-independent activation of Na/K-ATPase evoked by high SF concentrations.
Conclusions
Taking into account that in the absence of EGTA similar results have been obtained, it can be concluded that the effect of NA and SF on brain Na/K-ATPase is a Ca2+-independent process.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-8
PMCID: PMC56634  PMID: 11570982
11.  The fission yeast COP9/signalosome is involved in cullin modification by ubiquitin-related Ned8p 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:7.
Background
The function of the fission yeast cullins Pcu1p and Pcu4p requires modification by the ubiquitin-related peptide Ned8p. A recent report by Lyapina et al. shows that the COP9/signalosome (CSN), a multifunctional eight subunit complex, regulates Ned8p modification of Pcu1p. Disruption of caa1/csn1, which encodes subunit 1 of the putative S. pombe CSN, results in accumulation of Pcu1p exclusively in the modified form. However, it remained unclear whether this reflects global control of all cullins by the entire CSN complex.
Results
We demonstrate that multiple CSN subunits control Ned8p modification of Pcu3p, another fission yeast cullin, which, in complex with the RING domain protein Pip1p, forms a ubiquitin ligase that functions in cellular stress response. Pcu3p is modified by Ned8p on Lys 729 and accumulates exclusively in the neddylated form in cells lacking the CSN subunits 1, 3, 4, and 5. These CSN subunits co-elute with Pcu3p in gel filtration fractions corresponding to ∼ 550 kDa and specifically bind both native and Ned8p-modified Pcu3p in vivo. While CSN does not influence the subcellular localization of Pcu3p, Pcu3p-associated in vitro ubiquitin ligase activity is stimulated in the absence of CSN.
Conclusions
Taken together, our data suggest that CSN is a global regulator of Ned8p modification of multiple cullins and potentially other proteins involved in cellular regulation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-7
PMCID: PMC37391  PMID: 11504566
12.  Color transitions in coral's fluorescent proteins by site-directed mutagenesis 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:6.
Background
Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) cloned from jellyfish Aequorea victoria and its homologs from corals Anthozoa have a great practical significance as in vivo markers of gene expression. Also, they are an interesting puzzle of protein science due to an unusual mechanism of chromophore formation and diversity of fluorescent colors. Fluorescent proteins can be subdivided into cyan (~ 485 nm), green (~ 505 nm), yellow (~ 540 nm), and red (>580 nm) emitters.
Results
Here we applied site-directed mutagenesis in order to investigate the structural background of color variety and possibility of shifting between different types of fluorescence. First, a blue-shifted mutant of cyan amFP486 was generated. Second, it was established that cyan and green emitters can be modified so as to produce an intermediate spectrum of fluorescence. Third, the relationship between green and yellow fluorescence was inspected on closely homologous green zFP506 and yellow zFP538 proteins. The following transitions of colors were performed: yellow to green; yellow to dual color (green and yellow); and green to yellow. Fourth, we generated a mutant of cyan emitter dsFP483 that demonstrated dual color (cyan and red) fluorescence.
Conclusions
Several amino acid substitutions were found to strongly affect fluorescence maxima. Some positions primarily found by sequence comparison were proved to be crucial for fluorescence of particular color. These results are the first step towards predicting the color of natural GFP-like proteins corresponding to newly identified cDNAs from corals.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-6
PMCID: PMC34604  PMID: 11459517
13.  Regulation of prostaglandin synthesis and cell adhesion by a tryptophan catabolizing enzyme 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:5.
Background
The tryptophan catabolizing enzyme, indoleamine 2,3, dioxygenase (IDO) is one of two mammalian enzymes, which can catabolize the rarest essential amino acid, tryptophan. IDO is inducible by cytokines such as interferon-γ and plays a role in inflammation and maternal tolerance of fetal allografts, although its exact mode of action is unclear. Therefore, we investigated the circumstances under which IDO is expressed in vitro together with the effects of overexpression of IDO on the growth and morphology of cells.
Results
Overexpression of IDO in the murine macrophage cell line RAW 264.7 and the murine fibrosarcoma cell line MC57, resulted in the growth of macroscopic cell foci, with altered cell adhesion properties. The expression of IDO was also detected during adhesion of wild type, nontransfected cells in tissue culture to standard cell growth substrates. Inhibition of this expression, likewise resulted in alterations in cell adhesion. Overexpression of IDO or inhibition of endogenous IDO expression was accompanied by changes in metalloproteinase expression and also in the expression and activity of the cyclooxygenase enzymes. In the case of RAW cells, IDO effects on cell growth could be reversed by adding back prostaglandins.
Conclusions
These results suggest that catabolism of the rarest essential amino acid may regulate processes such as cell adhesion and prostaglandin synthesis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-5
PMCID: PMC31925  PMID: 11375052
14.  Upregulation of the SERCA-type Ca2+ pump activity in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress in PC12 cells 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:4.
Background
Ca2+-ATPases of endoplasmic reticulum (SERCAs) are responsible for maintenance of the micro- to millimolar Ca2+ ion concentrations within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of eukaryotic cells. This intralumenal Ca2+ storage is important for the generation of Ca2+ signals as well as for the correct folding and posttranslational processing of proteins entering ER after synthesis. ER perturbations such as depletion of Ca2+ or abolishing the oxidative potential, inhibition of glycosylation, or block of secretory pathway, activate the Unfolded Protein Response, consisting of an upregulation of a number of ER-resident chaperones/stress proteins in an effort to boost the impaired folding capacity.
Results
We show here that in PC12 cells, depletion of ER Ca2+ by EGTA, as well as inhibition of disulphide bridge formation within the ER by dithiotreitol or inhibition of N-glycosylation by tunicamycin, led to a 2- to 3-fold increase of the SERCA-mediated 45Ca2+ transport to microsomes isolated from cells exposed to these stress agents. The time course of this response corresponded to that for transcriptional upregulation of ER stress proteins, as well as to the increase in the SERCA2b mRNA, as we recently observed in an independent study.
Conclusions
These findings provide the first functional evidence for the increase of SERCA pumping capacity in cells subjected to the ER stress. Since at least three different and unrelated mechanisms of eliciting the ER stress response were found to cause this functional upregulation of Ca2+ transport into the ER, these results support the existence of a coupling between the induction of the UPR pathway in general, and the regulation of expression of at least one of the SERCA pump isoforms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-4
PMCID: PMC31332  PMID: 11319943
15.  Search for antisense copies of beta-globin mRNA in anemic mouse spleen 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:3.
Background
Previous studies by Volloch and coworkers have reported that during the expression of high levels of β-globin mRNA in the spleen of anemic mice, they could also detect small but significant levels of an antisense (AS) globin RNA species, which they postulated might have somehow arisen by RNA-directed RNA synthesis. For two reasons we undertook to confirm and possibly extend these studies. First, previous studies in our lab have focussed on what is an unequivocal example of host RNA-directed RNA polymerase activity on the RNA genome of human hepatitis delta virus. Second, if AS globin species do exist they could in turn form double-stranded RNA species which might induce post-transcriptional gene silencing, a phenomenon somehow provoked in eukaryotic cells by AS RNA sequences.
Results
We reexamined critical aspects of the previous globin studies. We used intraperitoneal injections of phenylhydrazine to induce anemia in mice, as demonstrated by the appearance and ultimate disappearance of splenomegaly. While a 30-fold increase in globin mRNA was detected in the spleen, the relative amount of putative AS RNA could be no more than 0.004%.
Conclusions
Contrary to earlier reports, induction of a major increase in globin transcripts in the mouse spleen was not associated with a detectable level of antisense RNA to globin mRNA.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-3
PMCID: PMC31331  PMID: 11286637
16.  Osmotic stress-dependent serine phosphorylation of the histidine kinase homologue DokA 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:2.
Background
Two-component systems consisting of histidine kinases and their corresponding receivers are widespread in bacterial signal transduction. In the past few years, genes coding for homologues of two-component systems were also discovered in eukaryotic organisms. DokA, a homologue of bacterial histidine kinases, is an element of the osmoregulatory pathway in the amoeba Dictyostelium. The work described here addresses the question whether DokA is phosphorylated in vivo in response to osmotic stress.
Results
We have endogenously overexpressed individual domains of DokA to investigate post-translational modification of the protein in response to osmotic shock in vivo. Dictyostelium cells were labeled with [32P]-orthophosphate, exposed to osmotic stress and DokA fragments were subsequently isolated by immunoprecipitation. Thus, a stress-dependent phosphorylation could be demonstrated, with the site of phosphorylation being located in the kinase domain. We demonstrate biochemically that the phosphorylated amino acid is serine, and by mutational analysis that the phosphorylation reaction is not due to an autophosphorylation of DokA. Furthermore, mutation of the conserved histidine did not affect the osmostress-dependent phosphorylation reaction.
Conclusions
A stimulus-dependent serine phosphorylation of a eukaryotic histidine kinase homologue was demonstrated for the first time in vivo. That implies that DokA, although showing typical structural features of a bacterial two-component system, might be part of a eukaryotic signal transduction pathway that involves serine/threonine kinases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-2
PMCID: PMC31330  PMID: 11299049
17.  Plasma lipases and lipid transfer proteins increase phospholipid but not free cholesterol transfer from lipid emulsion to high density lipoproteins. 
BMC Biochemistry  2001;2:1.
Background
Plasma lipases and lipid transfer proteins are involved in the generation and speciation of high density lipoproteins. In this study we have examined the influence of plasma lipases and lipid transfer protein activities on the transfer of free cholesterol (FC) and phospholipids (PL) from lipid emulsion to human, rat and mouse lipoproteins. The effect of the lipases was verified by incubation of labeled (3H-FC,14C-PL) triglyceride rich emulsion with human plasma (control, post-heparin and post-heparin plus lipase inhibitor), rat plasma (control and post-heparin) and by the injection of the labeled lipid emulsion into control and heparinized functionally hepatectomized rats.
Results
In vitro, the lipase enriched plasma stimulated significantly the transfer of 14C-PL from emulsion to high density lipoprotein (p<0.001) but did not modify the transfer of 3H-FC. In hepatectomized rats, heparin stimulation of intravascular lipolysis increased the plasma removal of 14C-PL and the amount of 14C-PL found in the low density lipoprotein density fraction but not in the high density lipoprotein density fraction. The in vitro and in vivo experiments showed that free cholesterol and phospholipids were transferred from lipid emulsion to plasma lipoproteins independently from each other. The incubation of human plasma, control and control plus monoclonal antibody anti-cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP), with 14C-PL emulsion showed that CETP increases 14C-PL transfer to human HDL, since its partial inhibition by the anti-CETP antibody reduced significantly the 14C-PL transfer (p<0.05). However, comparing the nontransgenic (no CETP activity) with the CETP transgenic mouse plasma, no effect of CETP on the 14C-PL distribution in mice lipoproteins was observed.
Conclusions
It is concluded that: 1-intravascular lipases stimulate phospholipid transfer protein mediated phospholipid transfer, but not free cholesterol, from triglyceride rich particles to human high density lipoproteins and rat low density lipoproteins and high density lipoproteins; 2-free cholesterol and phospholipids are transferred from triglyceride rich particles to plasma lipoproteins by distinct mechanisms, and 3 - CETP also contributes to phospholipid transfer activity in human plasma but not in transgenic mice plasma, a species which has high levels of the specific phospholipid transfer protein activity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-2-1
PMCID: PMC31329  PMID: 11242564

Results 1-17 (17)