(1/34889) Effect of hepatocarcinogens on the binding of glucocorticoid-receptor complex in rat liver nuclei.

The effects of a number of carcinogens and hepatotoxins on the binding kinetics of the interactions of glucocorticoidcytosol receptor complex with nuclear acceptor sites in rat liver were investigated. Both the apparent sites in rat liver were investigated. Both the apparent concentration of nuclear binding sites and the Kd were significantly diminished following treatment of rats with sublethal doses of the carcinogens aflatoxin B1, diethylnitrosamine, dimethylnitrosamine, thioacetamide, 3'-methyl-4-dimethylaminoazobenzene, 4-dimethylaminoazobenzene, and 3-methylcholanthrene. Treatment with actinomycin D resulted in a slight reduction in the apparent concentration of nuclear acceptor sites but had no effect on the nuclear binding Kd. The hepatotoxic but noncarcinogenic analgesic, acetaminophen, as well as the weakly toxic aflatoxin B1 cognate, aflatoxin B2, were without effect on the kinetics or binding capacity of glucocorticoid-nuclear acceptor site interaction. These experiments suggest that chemically induced alteration of functional glucocorticoid binding sites on chromatin may be involved in the biochemical effects produced in liver by carcinogens of several chemical types. This experimental model may provide a useful approach for further elucidation of early events in carcinogenesis.  (+info)

(2/34889) Membrane-tethered Drosophila Armadillo cannot transduce Wingless signal on its own.

Drosophila Armadillo and its vertebrate homolog beta-catenin are key effectors of Wingless/Wnt signaling. In the current model, Wingless/Wnt signal stabilizes Armadillo/beta-catenin, which then accumulates in nuclei and binds TCF/LEF family proteins, forming bipartite transcription factors which activate transcription of Wingless/Wnt responsive genes. This model was recently challenged. Overexpression in Xenopus of membrane-tethered beta-catenin or its paralog plakoglobin activates Wnt signaling, suggesting that nuclear localization of Armadillo/beta-catenin is not essential for signaling. Tethered plakoglobin or beta-catenin might signal on their own or might act indirectly by elevating levels of endogenous beta-catenin. We tested these hypotheses in Drosophila by removing endogenous Armadillo. We generated a series of mutant Armadillo proteins with altered intracellular localizations, and expressed these in wild-type and armadillo mutant backgrounds. We found that membrane-tethered Armadillo cannot signal on its own; however it can function in adherens junctions. We also created mutant forms of Armadillo carrying heterologous nuclear localization or nuclear export signals. Although these signals alter the subcellular localization of Arm when overexpressed in Xenopus, in Drosophila they have little effect on localization and only subtle effects on signaling. This supports a model in which Armadillo's nuclear localization is key for signaling, but in which Armadillo intracellular localization is controlled by the availability and affinity of its binding partners.  (+info)

(3/34889) Association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by nascent snRNA transcripts.

BACKGROUND: Coiled bodies are nuclear organelles that are highly enriched in small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and certain basal transcription factors. Surprisingly, coiled bodies not only contain mature U snRNPs but also associate with specific chromosomal loci, including gene clusters that encode U snRNAs and histone messenger RNAs. The mechanism(s) by which coiled bodies associate with these genes is completely unknown. RESULTS: Using stable cell lines, we show that artificial tandem arrays of human U1 and U2 snRNA genes colocalize with coiled bodies and that the frequency of the colocalization depends directly on the transcriptional activity of the array. Association of the genes with coiled bodies was abolished when the artificial U2 arrays contained promoter mutations that prevent transcription or when RNA polymerase II transcription was globally inhibited by alpha-amanitin. Remarkably, the association was also abolished when the U2 snRNA coding regions were replaced by heterologous sequences. CONCLUSIONS: The requirement for the U2 snRNA coding region indicates that association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by the nascent U2 RNA itself, not by DNA or DNA-bound proteins. Our data provide the first evidence that association of genes with a nuclear organelle can be directed by an RNA and suggest an autogenous feedback regulation model.  (+info)

(4/34889) Caspase-mediated cleavage of p21Waf1/Cip1 converts cancer cells from growth arrest to undergoing apoptosis.

The cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p21waf1/Cip1 is a downstream effector of the p53-dependent cell growth arrest. We report herein that p21 was cleaved by caspase-3/CPP32 at the site of DHVD112L during the DNA damage-induced apoptosis of cancer cells. The cleaved p21 fragment could no more arrest the cells in G1 phase nor suppress the cells undergoing apoptosis because it failed to bind to the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and lost its capability to localize in the nucleus. Thus, caspase-3-mediated cleavage and inactivation of p21 protein may convert cancer cells from growth arrest to undergoing apoptosis, leading to the acceleration of chemotherapy-induced apoptotic process in cancer cells.  (+info)

(5/34889) Anopheles gambiae Ag-STAT, a new insect member of the STAT family, is activated in response to bacterial infection.

A new insect member of the STAT family of transcription factors (Ag-STAT) has been cloned from the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae. The domain involved in DNA interaction and the SH2 domain are well conserved. Ag-STAT is most similar to Drosophila D-STAT and to vertebrate STATs 5 and 6, constituting a proposed ancient class A of the STAT family. The mRNA is expressed at all developmental stages, and the protein is present in hemocytes, pericardial cells, midgut, skeletal muscle and fat body cells. There is no evidence of transcriptional activation following bacterial challenge. However, bacterial challenge results in nuclear translocation of Ag-STAT protein in fat body cells and induction of DNA-binding activity that recognizes a STAT target site. In vitro treatment with pervanadate (vanadate and H2O2) translocates Ag-STAT to the nucleus in midgut epithelial cells. This is the first evidence of direct participation of the STAT pathway in immune responses in insects.  (+info)

(6/34889) A premature termination codon interferes with the nuclear function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner.

Premature translation termination codon (PTC)-mediated effects on nuclear RNA processing have been shown to be associated with a number of human genetic diseases; however, how these PTCs mediate such effects in the nucleus is unclear. A PTC at nucleotide (nt) 2018 that lies adjacent to the 5' element of a bipartite exon splicing enhancer within the NS2-specific exon of minute virus of mice P4 promoter-generated pre-mRNA caused a decrease in the accumulated levels of P4-generated R2 mRNA relative to P4-generated R1 mRNA, although the total accumulated levels of P4 product remained the same. This effect was seen in nuclear RNA and was independent of RNA stability. The 5' and 3' elements of the bipartite NS2-specific exon enhancer are redundant in function, and when the 2018 PTC was combined with a deletion of the 3' enhancer element, the exon was skipped in the majority of the viral P4-generated product. Such exon skipping in response to a PTC, but not a missense mutation at nt 2018, could be suppressed by frame shift mutations in either exon of NS2 which reopened the NS2 open reading frame, as well as by improvement of the upstream intron 3' splice site. These results suggest that a PTC can interfere with the function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner and that the PTC is recognized in the nucleus.  (+info)

(7/34889) A novel genetic screen for snRNP assembly factors in yeast identifies a conserved protein, Sad1p, also required for pre-mRNA splicing.

The assembly pathway of spliceosomal snRNPs in yeast is poorly understood. We devised a screen to identify mutations blocking the assembly of newly synthesized U4 snRNA into a functional snRNP. Fifteen mutant strains failing either to accumulate the newly synthesized U4 snRNA or to assemble a U4/U6 particle were identified and categorized into 13 complementation groups. Thirteen previously identified splicing-defective prp mutants were also assayed for U4 snRNP assembly defects. Mutations in the U4/U6 snRNP components Prp3p, Prp4p, and Prp24p led to disassembly of the U4/U6 snRNP particle and degradation of the U6 snRNA, while prp17-1 and prp19-1 strains accumulated free U4 and U6 snRNA. A detailed analysis of a newly identified mutant, the sad1-1 mutant, is presented. In addition to having the snRNP assembly defect, the sad1-1 mutant is severely impaired in splicing at the restrictive temperature: the RP29 pre-mRNA strongly accumulates and splicing-dependent production of beta-galactosidase from reporter constructs is abolished, while extracts prepared from sad1-1 strains fail to splice pre-mRNA substrates in vitro. The sad1-1 mutant is the only splicing-defective mutant analyzed whose mutation preferentially affects assembly of newly synthesized U4 snRNA into the U4/U6 particle. SAD1 encodes a novel protein of 52 kDa which is essential for cell viability. Sad1p localizes to the nucleus and is not stably associated with any of the U snRNAs. Sad1p contains a putative zinc finger and is phylogenetically highly conserved, with homologues identified in human, Caenorhabditis elegans, Arabidospis, and Drosophila.  (+info)

(8/34889) Vascular endothelial growth factor activates nuclear factor of activated T cells in human endothelial cells: a role for tissue factor gene expression.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic inducer that stimulates the expression of tissue factor (TF), the major cellular initiator of blood coagulation. Here we show that signaling triggered by VEGF induced DNA-binding and transcriptional activities of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and AP-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). VEGF also induced TF mRNA expression and gene promoter activation by a cyclosporin A (CsA)-sensitive mechanism. As in lymphoid cells, NFAT was dephosphorylated and translocated to the nucleus upon activation of HUVECs, and these processes were blocked by CsA. NFAT was involved in the VEGF-mediated TF promoter activation as evidenced by cotransfection experiments with a dominant negative version of NFAT and site-directed mutagenesis of a newly identified NFAT site within the TF promoter that overlaps with a previously identified kappaB-like site. Strikingly, this site bound exclusively NFAT not only from nuclear extracts of HUVECs activated by VEGF, a stimulus that failed to induce NF-kappaB-binding activity, but also from extracts of cells activated with phorbol esters and calcium ionophore, a combination of stimuli that triggered the simultaneous activation of NFAT and NF-kappaB. These results implicate NFAT in the regulation of endothelial genes by physiological means and shed light on the mechanisms that switch on the gene expression program induced by VEGF and those regulating TF gene expression.  (+info)