(1/43244) Activation of systemic acquired silencing by localised introduction of DNA.

BACKGROUND: In plants, post-transcriptional gene silencing results in RNA degradation after transcription. Among tobacco transformants carrying a nitrate reductase (Nia) construct under the control of the cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (35S-Nia2), one class of transformants spontaneously triggers Nia post-transcriptional gene silencing (class II) whereas another class does not (class I). Non-silenced plants of both classes become silenced when grafted onto silenced stocks, indicating the existence of a systemic silencing signal. Graft-transmitted silencing is maintained in class II but not in class I plants when removed from silenced stocks, indicating similar requirements for spontaneous triggering and maintenance. RESULTS: Introduction of 35S-Nia2 DNA by the gene transfer method called biolistics led to localised acquired silencing (LAS) in bombarded leaves of wild-type, class I and class II plants, and to systemic acquired silencing (SAS) in class II plants. SAS occurred even if the targeted leaf was removed 2 days after bombardment, indicating that the systemic signal is produced, transmitted and amplified rapidly. SAS was activated by sense, antisense and promoterless Nia2 DNA constructs, indicating that transcription is not required although it does stimulate SAS. CONCLUSIONS: SAS was activated by biolistic introduction of promoterless constructs, indicating that the DNA itself is a potent activator of post-transcriptional gene silencing. The systemic silencing signal invaded the whole plant by cell-to-cell and long-distance propagation, and reamplification of the signal.  (+info)

(2/43244) Impaired translesion synthesis in xeroderma pigmentosum variant extracts.

Xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XPV) cells are characterized by a cellular defect in the ability to synthesize intact daughter DNA strands on damaged templates. Molecular mechanisms that facilitate replication fork progression on damaged DNA in normal cells are not well defined. In this study, we used single-stranded plasmid molecules containing a single N-2-acetylaminofluorene (AAF) adduct to analyze translesion synthesis (TLS) catalyzed by extracts of either normal or XPV primary skin fibroblasts. In one of the substrates, the single AAF adduct was located at the 3' end of a run of three guanines that was previously shown to induce deletion of one G by a slippage mechanism. Primer extension reactions performed by normal cellular extracts from four different individuals produced the same distinct pattern of TLS, with over 80% of the products resulting from the elongation of a slipped intermediate and the remaining 20% resulting from a nonslipped intermediate. In contrast, with cellular extracts from five different XPV patients, the TLS reaction was strongly reduced, yielding only low amounts of TLS via the nonslipped intermediate. With our second substrate, in which the AAF adduct was located at the first G in the run, thus preventing slippage from occurring, we confirmed that normal extracts were able to perform TLS 10-fold more efficiently than XPV extracts. These data demonstrate unequivocally that the defect in XPV cells resides in translesion synthesis independently of the slippage process.  (+info)

(3/43244) Overexpression of CuZn superoxide dismutase protects RAW 264.7 macrophages against nitric oxide cytotoxicity.

Initiation of nitric oxide (NO.)-mediated apoptotic cell death in RAW 264.7 macrophages is associated with up-regulation of mitochondrial manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD; SOD2) and down-regulation of cytosolic copper zinc superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD; SOD1) at their individual mRNA and protein levels. To evaluate the decreased CuZnSOD expression and the initiation of apoptosis we stably transfected macrophages to overexpress human CuZnSOD. Individual clones revealed a 2-fold increase in CuZnSOD activity. Expression of a functional and thus protective CuZnSOD was verified by attenuated superoxide (O2(.)-)-mediated apoptotic as well as necrotic cell death. In this study we showed that SOD-overexpressing macrophages (R-SOD1-12) were also protected against NO.-initiated programmed cell death. Protection was substantial towards NO. derived from exogenously added NO donors or when NO. was generated by inducible NO synthase activation, and was evident at the level of p53 accumulation, caspase activation and DNA fragmentation. Stimulation of parent and SOD-overexpressing cells with a combination of lipopolysaccharide and murine interferon gamma produced equivalent amounts of nitrite/nitrate, which ruled out attenuated inducible NO. synthase activity during protection. Because protection by a O2(.)--scavenging system during NO. -intoxication implies a role of NO. and O2(.)- in the progression of cell damage, we used uric acid to delineate the role of peroxynitrite during NO.-elicited apoptosis. The peroxynitrite scavenger uric acid left S-nitrosoglutathione or spermine-NO-elicited apoptosis unaltered, blocking only 3-morpholinosydnonimine-mediated cell death. As a result we exclude peroxynitrite from contributing, to any major extent, to NO. -mediated apoptosis. Therefore protection observed with CuZnSOD overexpression is unlikely to stem from interference with peroxynitrite formation and/or action. Unequivocally, the down-regulation of CuZnSOD is associated with NO. cytotoxicity, whereas CuZnSOD overexpression protects macrophages from apoptosis.  (+info)

(4/43244) Co-expression of glutathione S-transferase with methionine aminopeptidase: a system of producing enriched N-terminal processed proteins in Escherichia coli.

We describe here an Escherichia coli expression system that produces recombinant proteins enriched in the N-terminal processed form, by using glutathione S-transferase cGSTM1-1 and rGSTT1-1 as models, where c and r refer to chick and rat respectively. Approximately 90% of the cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1 overexpressed in E. coli under the control of a phoA promoter retained the initiator methionine residue that was absent from the mature isoenzymes isolated from tissues. The amount of initiator methionine was decreased to 40% of the expressed cGSTM1-1 when the isoenzyme was co-expressed with an exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene under the control of a separate phoA promoter. The recombinant proteins expressed were mainly methionine aminopeptidase. The yield of cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 10% of that expressed in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene. By replacing the phoA with its natural promoter, the expression of methionine aminopeptidase decreased drastically. The yield of the co-expressed cGSTM1-1 was approx. 60% of that in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene; approx. 65% of the initiator methionine residues were removed from the enzyme. Under similar conditions, N-terminal processing was observed in approx. 70% of the recombinant rGSTT1-1 expressed. By increasing the concentration of phosphate in the growth medium, the amount of initiator methionine on cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 14% of the overexpressed isoenzymes, whereas no further improvement could be observed for rGSTT1-1. The initiator methionine residue does not affect the enzymic activities of either cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1. However, the epoxidase activity and the 4-nitrobenzyl chloride-conjugating activity of the purified recombinant rGSTT1-1 are markedly higher that those reported recently for the same isoenzyme isolated from rat livers.  (+info)

(5/43244) Differential regulation of the human nidogen gene promoter region by a novel cell-type-specific silencer element.

Transfection analyses of the human nidogen promoter region in nidogen-producing fibroblasts from adult skin revealed multiple positive and negative cis-acting elements controlling nidogen gene expression. Characterization of the positive regulatory domains by gel mobility-shift assays and co-transfection studies in Drosophila SL2 cells unequivocally demonstrated that Sp1-like transcription factors are essential for a high expression of the human nidogen gene. Analysis of the negative regulatory domains identified a novel silencer element between nt -1333 and -1322, which is bound by a distinct nuclear factor, by using extracts from adult but not from embryonal fibroblasts. In embryonal fibroblasts, which express significantly higher amounts of nidogen mRNA as compared with adult fibroblasts, this inhibitory nidogen promoter region did not affect nidogen and SV40 promoter activities. The silencer element seems to be active only in nidogen-producing cells. Therefore this regulatory element might function in vivo to limit nidogen gene expression in response to external stimuli. However, none of the identified regulatory elements, including the silencer, contribute significantly to cell-specific expression of the human nidogen gene. Instead we provide evidence that gene expression in epidermal keratinocytes that are not producing nidogen is repressed by methylation-specific and chromatin-dependent mechanisms.  (+info)

(6/43244) Role of retinoid receptors in the regulation of mucin gene expression by retinoic acid in human tracheobronchial epithelial cells.

To investigate which retinoid receptors are critical in the regulation by all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) of the mucin genes MUC2, MUC5AC and MUC5B in cultured normal human tracheobronchial epithelial (NHTBE) cells, we used pan-RAR-, pan-RXR- and RAR- isotype (alpha, beta and gamma)-selective agonists and RARalpha- and RARgamma-selective antagonists (RAR is RA receptor and RXR is retinoid X receptor). RAR-, RARalpha- and RARgamma-selective agonists strongly induced mucin mRNAs in a dose-dependent manner, while the RARbeta-selective retinoid only weakly induced mucin gene expression at very high concentrations (1 microM). The pan-RXR-selective agonist by itself did not induce mucin gene expression, but acted synergistically with suboptimal concentrations of the pan-RAR agonist. A retinoid with selective anti-activator-protein-1 activity only marginally induced mucin gene expression. The RARalpha antagonist strongly inhibited mucin gene induction and mucous cell differentiation caused by RA and by the RARalpha- and RARgamma-selective retinoids. In contrast, the RARgamma antagonist only weakly inhibited RARalpha-selective-retinoid-induced mucin gene expression, but completely blocked mucin gene expression induced by the RARgamma-selective retinoid. Our studies indicate that RARalpha is the major retinoid receptor subtype mediating RA-dependent mucin gene expression and mucous cell differentiation, but that the RARgamma isotype can also induce mucin genes. Furthermore these studies suggest that RARbeta is probably not (directly) involved in RA-induced mucin gene expression.  (+info)

(7/43244) Differential regulation of vascular endothelial growth factor and its receptor fms-like-tyrosine kinase is mediated by nitric oxide in rat renal mesangial cells.

Under conditions associated with local and systemic inflammation, mesangial cells and invading immune cells are likely to be responsible for the release of large amounts of nitric oxide (NO) in the glomerulus. To further define the mechanisms of NO action in the glomerulus, we attempted to identify genes which are regulated by NO in rat glomerular mesangial cells. We identified vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor fms-like tyrosine kinase (FLT-1) to be under the regulatory control of exogenously applied NO in these cells. Using S-nitroso-glutathione (GSNO) as an NO-donating agent, VEGF expression was strongly induced, whereas expression of its FLT-1 receptor simultaneously decreased. Expressional regulation of VEGF and FLT-1 mRNA was transient and occurred rapidly within 1-3 h after GSNO treatment. Expression of a second VEGF-specific receptor, fetal liver kinase-1 (FLK-1/KDR), could not be detected. The inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1beta mediated a moderate increase in VEGF expression after 24 h and had no influence on FLT-1 expression. In contrast, platelet-derived growth factor-BB and basic fibroblast growth factor had no effect on VEGF expression, but strongly induced FLT-1 mRNA levels. Obviously, there is a differential regulation of VEGF and its receptor FLT-1 by NO, cytokines and growth factors in rat mesangial cells.  (+info)

(8/43244) Comparison of the fibrin-binding activities in the N- and C-termini of fibronectin.

Fibronectin (Fn) binds to fibrin in clots by covalent and non-covalent interactions. The N- and C-termini of Fn each contain one non-covalent fibrin-binding site, which are composed of type 1 (F1) structural repeats. We have previously localized the N-terminal site to the fourth and fifth F1 repeats (4F1.5F1). In the current studies, using proteolytic and recombinant proteins representing both the N- and C-terminal fibrin-binding regions, we localized and characterized the C-terminal fibrin-binding site, compared the relative fibrin-binding activities of both sites and determined the contribution of each site to the fibrin-binding activity of intact Fn. By fibrin-affinity chromatography, a protein composed of the 10F1 repeat through to the C-terminus of Fn (10F1-COOH), expressed in COS-1 cells, and 10F1-12F1, produced in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, displayed fibrin-binding activity. However, since 10F1 and 10F1.11F1 were not active, the presence of 12F1 is required for fibrin binding. A proteolytic fragment of 14.4 kDa, beginning 14 residues N-terminal to 10F1, was isolated from the fibrin-affinity matrix. Radio-iodinated 14.4 kDa fibrin-binding peptide/protein (FBP) demonstrated a dose-dependent and saturable binding to fibrin-coated wells that was both competitively inhibited and reversed by unlabelled 14.4 kDa FBP. Comparison of the fibrin-binding affinities of proteolytic FBPs from the N-terminus (25.9 kDa FBP), the C-terminus (14.4 kDa) and intact Fn by ELISA yielded estimated Kd values of 216, 18 and 2.1 nM, respectively. The higher fibrin-binding affinity of the N-terminus was substantiated by the ability of both a recombinant 4F1.5F1 and a monoclonal antibody (mAb) to this site to maximally inhibit biotinylated Fn binding to fibrin by 80%, and by blocking the 90% inhibitory activity of a polyclonal anti-Fn, by absorption with the 25.9 kDa FBP. We propose that whereas the N-terminal site appears to contribute to most of the binding activity of native Fn to fibrin, the specific binding of the C-terminal site may strengthen this interaction.  (+info)