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(1/56413) Separation of shoot and floral identity in Arabidopsis.

The overall morphology of an Arabidopsis plant depends on the behaviour of its meristems. Meristems derived from the shoot apex can develop into either shoots or flowers. The distinction between these alternative fates requires separation between the function of floral meristem identity genes and the function of an antagonistic group of genes, which includes TERMINAL FLOWER 1. We show that the activities of these genes are restricted to separate domains of the shoot apex by different mechanisms. Meristem identity genes, such as LEAFY, APETALA 1 and CAULIFLOWER, prevent TERMINAL FLOWER 1 transcription in floral meristems on the apex periphery. TERMINAL FLOWER 1, in turn, can inhibit the activity of meristem identity genes at the centre of the shoot apex in two ways; first by delaying their upregulation, and second, by preventing the meristem from responding to LEAFY or APETALA 1. We suggest that the wild-type pattern of TERMINAL FLOWER 1 and floral meristem identity gene expression depends on the relative timing of their upregulation.  (+info)

(2/56413) Characterization of an amphioxus paired box gene, AmphiPax2/5/8: developmental expression patterns in optic support cells, nephridium, thyroid-like structures and pharyngeal gill slits, but not in the midbrain-hindbrain boundary region.

On the basis of developmental gene expression, the vertebrate central nervous system comprises: a forebrain plus anterior midbrain, a midbrain-hindbrain boundary region (MHB) having organizer properties, and a rhombospinal domain. The vertebrate MHB is characterized by position, by organizer properties and by being the early site of action of Wnt1 and engrailed genes, and of genes of the Pax2/5/8 subfamily. Wada and others (Wada, H., Saiga, H., Satoh, N. and Holland, P. W. H. (1998) Development 125, 1113-1122) suggested that ascidian tunicates have a vertebrate-like MHB on the basis of ascidian Pax258 expression there. In another invertebrate chordate, amphioxus, comparable gene expression evidence for a vertebrate-like MHB is lacking. We, therefore, isolated and characterized AmphiPax2/5/8, the sole member of this subfamily in amphioxus. AmphiPax2/5/8 is initially expressed well back in the rhombospinal domain and not where a MHB would be expected. In contrast, most of the other expression domains of AmphiPax2/5/8 correspond to expression domains of vertebrate Pax2, Pax5 and Pax8 in structures that are probably homologous - support cells of the eye, nephridium, thyroid-like structures and pharyngeal gill slits; although AmphiPax2/5/8 is not transcribed in any structures that could be interpreted as homologues of vertebrate otic placodes or otic vesicles. In sum, the developmental expression of AmphiPax2/5/8 indicates that the amphioxus central nervous system lacks a MHB resembling the vertebrate isthmic region. Additional gene expression data for the developing ascidian and amphioxus nervous systems would help determine whether a MHB is a basal chordate character secondarily lost in amphioxus. The alternative is that the MHB is a vertebrate innovation.  (+info)

(3/56413) Bone resorption induced by parathyroid hormone is strikingly diminished in collagenase-resistant mutant mice.

Parathyroid hormone (PTH) stimulates bone resorption by acting directly on osteoblasts/stromal cells and then indirectly to increase differentiation and function of osteoclasts. PTH acting on osteoblasts/stromal cells increases collagenase gene transcription and synthesis. To assess the role of collagenase in the bone resorptive actions of PTH, we used mice homozygous (r/r) for a targeted mutation (r) in Col1a1 that are resistant to collagenase cleavage of type I collagen. Human PTH(1-34) was injected subcutaneously over the hemicalvariae in wild-type (+/+) or r/r mice four times daily for three days. Osteoclast numbers, the size of the bone marrow spaces and periosteal proliferation were increased in calvariae from PTH-treated +/+ mice, whereas in r/r mice, PTH-induced bone resorption responses were minimal. The r/r mice were not resistant to other skeletal effects of PTH because abundant interstitial collagenase mRNA was detected in the calvarial periosteum of PTH-treated, but not vehicle-treated, r/r and +/+ mice. Calcemic responses, 0.5-10 hours after intraperitoneal injection of PTH, were blunted in r/r mice versus +/+ mice. Thus, collagenase cleavage of type I collagen is necessary for PTH induction of osteoclastic bone resorption.  (+info)

(4/56413) Molecular cloning and epitope analysis of the peanut allergen Ara h 3.

Peanut allergy is a significant IgE-mediated health problem because of the increased prevalence, potential severity, and chronicity of the reaction. Following our characterization of the two peanut allergens Ara h 1 and Ara h 2, we have isolated a cDNA clone encoding a third peanut allergen, Ara h 3. The deduced amino acid sequence of Ara h 3 shows homology to 11S seed-storage proteins. The recombinant form of this protein was expressed in a bacterial system and was recognized by serum IgE from approximately 45% of our peanut-allergic patient population. Serum IgE from these patients and overlapping, synthetic peptides were used to map the linear, IgE-binding epitopes of Ara h 3. Four epitopes, between 10 and 15 amino acids in length, were found within the primary sequence, with no obvious sequence motif shared by the peptides. One epitope is recognized by all Ara h 3-allergic patients. Mutational analysis of the epitopes revealed that single amino acid changes within these peptides could lead to a reduction or loss of IgE binding. By determining which amino acids are critical for IgE binding, it might be possible to alter the Ara h 3 cDNA to encode a protein with a reduced IgE-binding capacity. These results will enable the design of improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for food-hypersensitivity reactions.  (+info)

(5/56413) CAR-dependent and CAR-independent pathways of adenovirus vector-mediated gene transfer and expression in human fibroblasts.

Primary fibroblasts are not efficiently transduced by subgroup C adenovirus (Ad) vectors because they express low levels of the high-affinity Coxsackie virus and adenovirus receptor (CAR). In the present study, we have used primary human dermal fibroblasts as a model to explore strategies by which Ad vectors can be designed to enter cells deficient in CAR. Using an Ad vector expressing the human CAR cDNA (AdCAR) at high multiplicity of infection, primary fibroblasts were converted from being CAR deficient to CAR sufficient. Efficiency of subsequent gene transfer by standard Ad5-based vectors and Ad5-based vectors with alterations in penton and fiber was evaluated. Marked enhancement of binding and transgene expression by standard Ad5 vectors was achieved in CAR-sufficient fibroblasts. Expression by AdDeltaRGDbetagal, an Ad5-based vector lacking the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) alphaV integrin recognition site from its penton base, was achieved in CAR-sufficient, but not CAR-deficient, cells. Fiber-altered Ad5-based vectors, including (a) AdF(pK7)betagal (bearing seven lysines on the end of fiber) (b) AdF(RGD)betagal (bearing a high-affinity RGD sequence on the end of fiber), and (c) AdF9sK betagal (bearing a short fiber and Ad9 knob), demonstrated enhanced gene transfer in CAR-deficient fibroblasts, with no further enhancement in CAR-sufficient fibroblasts. Together, these observations demonstrate that CAR deficiency on Ad targets can be circumvented either by supplying CAR or by modifying the Ad fiber to bind to other cell-surface receptors.  (+info)

(6/56413) Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases and insecticide resistance in insects.

Cytochrome P450 monooxygenases are involved in many cases of resistance of insects to insecticides. Resistance has long been associated with an increase in monooxygenase activities and with an increase in cytochrome P450 content. However, this increase does not always account for all of the resistance. In Drosophila melanogaster, we have shown that the overproduction of cytochrome P450 can be lost by the fly without a corresponding complete loss of resistance. These results prompted the sequencing of a cytochrome P450 candidate for resistance in resistant and susceptible flies. Several mutations leading to amino-acid substitutions have been detected in the P450 gene CYP6A2 of a resistant strain. The location of these mutations in a model of the 3D structure of the CYP6A2 protein suggested that some of them may be important for enzyme activity of this molecule. This has been verified by heterologous expression of wild-type and mutated cDNA in Escherichia coli. When other resistance mechanisms are considered, relatively few genetic mutations are involved in insecticide resistance, and this has led to an optimistic view of the management of resistance. Our observations compel us to survey in more detail the genetic diversity of cytochrome P450 genes and alleles involved in resistance.  (+info)

(7/56413) Leptin suppression of insulin secretion and gene expression in human pancreatic islets: implications for the development of adipogenic diabetes mellitus.

Previously we demonstrated the expression of the long form of the leptin receptor in rodent pancreatic beta-cells and an inhibition of insulin secretion by leptin via activation of ATP-sensitive potassium channels. Here we examine pancreatic islets isolated from pancreata of human donors for their responses to leptin. The presence of leptin receptors on islet beta-cells was demonstrated by double fluorescence confocal microscopy after binding of a fluorescent derivative of human leptin (Cy3-leptin). Leptin (6.25 nM) suppressed insulin secretion of normal islets by 20% at 5.6 mM glucose. Intracellular calcium responses to 16.7 mM glucose were rapidly reduced by leptin. Proinsulin messenger ribonucleic acid expression in islets was inhibited by leptin at 11.1 mM, but not at 5.6 mM glucose. Leptin also reduced proinsulin messenger ribonucleic acid levels that were increased in islets by treatment with 10 nM glucagon-like peptide-1 in the presence of either 5.6 or 11.1 mM glucose. These findings demonstrate direct suppressive effects of leptin on insulin-producing beta-cells in human islets at the levels of both stimulus-secretion coupling and gene expression. The findings also further indicate the existence of an adipoinsular axis in humans in which insulin stimulates leptin production in adipocytes and leptin inhibits the production of insulin in beta-cells. We suggest that dysregulation of the adipoinsular axis in obese individuals due to defective leptin reception by beta-cells may result in chronic hyperinsulinemia and may contribute to the pathogenesis of adipogenic diabetes.  (+info)

(8/56413) Alternative sulfonylurea receptor expression defines metabolic sensitivity of K-ATP channels in dopaminergic midbrain neurons.

ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channels couple the metabolic state to cellular excitability in various tissues. Several isoforms of the K-ATP channel subunits, the sulfonylurea receptor (SUR) and inwardly rectifying K channel (Kir6.X), have been cloned, but the molecular composition and functional diversity of native neuronal K-ATP channels remain unresolved. We combined functional analysis of K-ATP channels with expression profiling of K-ATP subunits at the level of single substantia nigra (SN) neurons in mouse brain slices using an RT-multiplex PCR protocol. In contrast to GABAergic neurons, single dopaminergic SN neurons displayed alternative co-expression of either SUR1, SUR2B or both SUR isoforms with Kir6.2. Dopaminergic SN neurons expressed alternative K-ATP channel species distinguished by significant differences in sulfonylurea affinity and metabolic sensitivity. In single dopaminergic SN neurons, co-expression of SUR1 + Kir6.2, but not of SUR2B + Kir6.2, correlated with functional K-ATP channels highly sensitive to metabolic inhibition. In contrast to wild-type, surviving dopaminergic SN neurons of homozygous weaver mouse exclusively expressed SUR1 + Kir6.2 during the active period of dopaminergic neurodegeneration. Therefore, alternative expression of K-ATP channel subunits defines the differential response to metabolic stress and constitutes a novel candidate mechanism for the differential vulnerability of dopaminergic neurons in response to respiratory chain dysfunction in Parkinson's disease.  (+info)