(1/43764) Fitzgerald factor (high molecular weight kininogen) clotting activity in human plasma in health and disease in various animal plasmas.

Fitzgerald factor (high molecular weight kininogen) is an agent in normal human plasma that corrects the impaired in vitro surface-mediated plasma reactions of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and kinin generation observed in Fitzgerald trait plasma. To assess the possible pathophysiologic role of Fitzgerald factor, its titer was measured by a functional clot-promoting assay. Mean +/- SD in 42 normal adults was 0.99+/-0.25 units/ml, one unit being the activity in 1 ml of normal pooled plasma. No difference in titer was noted between normal men and women, during pregnancy, or after physical exercise. Fitzgerald factor activity was significantly reduced in the plasmas of eight patients with advanced hepatic cirrhosis (0.40+/-0.09 units/ml) and of ten patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (0.60+/-0.30 units/ml), but was normal in plasmas of patients with other congenital clotting factor deficiencies, nephrotic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or sarcoidosis, or under treatment with warfarin. The plasmas of 21 mammalian species tested appeared to contain Fitzgerald factor activity, but those of two avian, two repitilian, and one amphibian species did not correct the coagulant defect in Fitzgerald trait plasmas.  (+info)

(2/43764) Stabilization of poly-L-lysine/DNA polyplexes for in vivo gene delivery to the liver.

We are developing a self-assembling non-viral in vivo gene delivery vehicle based on poly-l-lysine and plasmid DNA. We have characterized poly-l-lysines of different chain lengths for DNA condensation and strength of DNA binding. Poly-l-lysine chains >20 residues bound DNA efficiently in physiological saline, while shorter chains did not. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid to PLL increased the PLL chain length required for efficient DNA binding in saline and for efficient DNA condensation. By electron microscopy, poly-l-lysine/DNA polyplexes appeared as toroids 25-50 nm in diameter or rods 40-80 nm long; conjugation of asialoorosomucoid to the polylysine component increased the size of resulting polyplexes to 50-90 nm. In water, poly-l-lysine and asialoorosomucoid-PLL polyplexes have effective diameters of 46 and 87.6 nm, respectively. Polyplexes containing only poly-l-lysine and DNA aggregated in physiological saline at all charge ratios and aggregated at neutral charge ratios in water. Attachment of asialoorosomucoid lessened, but did not eliminate, the aggregation of PLL polyplexes, and did not result in efficient delivery of polyplexes to hepatocytes. Conjugation of polyethylene glycol to poly-l-lysine sterically stabilized resulting polyplexes at neutral charge ratios by shielding the surfaces. For efficient in vivo gene delivery, polyplexes will need to be sterically stabilized to prevent aggregation and interaction with serum components.  (+info)

(3/43764) Herpes virus induced proteasome-dependent degradation of the nuclear bodies-associated PML and Sp100 proteins.

The PML protein is associated to nuclear bodies (NBs) whose functions are as yet unknown. PML and two other NBs-associated proteins, Sp100 And ISG20 are directly induced by interferons (IFN). PML and Sp100 proteins are covalently linked to SUMO-1, and ubiquitin-like peptide. PML NBs are disorganized in acute promyelocytic leukemia and during several DNA virus infections. In particular, the HSV-1 ICP0 protein is known to delocalize PML from NBs. Thus, NBs could play an important role in oncogenesis, IFN response and viral infections. Here, we show that HSV-1 induced PML protein degradation without altering its mRNA level. This degradation was time- and multiplicity of infection-dependent. Sp100 protein was also degraded, while another SUMO-1 conjugated protein, RanGAP1 and the IFN-induced protein kinase PKR were not. The proteasome inhibitor MG132 abrogated the HSV-1-induced PML and Sp100 degradation and partially restored their NB-localization. HSV-1 induced PML and Sp100 degradation constitutes a new example of viral inactivation of IFN target gene products.  (+info)

(4/43764) Characterization and partial purification of a novel neutrophil membrane-associated kinase capable of phosphorylating the respiratory burst component p47phox.

The phosphorylation of p47phox is widely viewed as an important step in the activation of the neutrophil respiratory burst oxidase system. The exact nature of the kinase(s) responsible remains to be elucidated. We show here that such a kinase was detected on neutrophil membranes activated by either PMA or formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine. This enzyme is not intrinsic to the neutrophil membrane and could be eluted with 0.5 M NaCl. The kinase activity was partially purified and was found not to be due to the presence of previously suggested kinases, including protein kinase C isotypes, mitogen-activated protein kinase and protein kinase B. Gel filtration and renaturation in substrate gels suggest a molecular mass of between 45 and 51 kDa. The kinase activity was independent of calcium and lipids but was potently inhibited by staurosporine. Treatment with protein phosphatase 2Ac suggested that the kinase was activated by serine/threonine phosphorylation. Phosphopeptide maps indicated that the kinase phosphorylated p47phox on similar sites to those found in vivo. These results indicate that activation of neutrophils by PMA results in the activation of a membrane-associated kinase that may play a part in the regulation of neutrophil NADPH oxidase through its ability to phosphorylate p47phox.  (+info)

(5/43764) Heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein D0B is a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein.

Complement receptor 2 (CR2) is important in the regulation of the B lymphocyte response; the regulation of its expression is therefore of central importance. We recently reported that a 42 kDa heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) is involved in the transcriptional regulation of the human CR2 gene [Tolnay, Lambris and Tsokos (1997) J. Immunol. 159, 5492-5501]. We cloned the cDNA encoding this protein and found it to be identical with hnRNP D0B, a sequence-specific RNA-binding protein. By using a set of mutated oligonucleotides, we demonstrated that the recombinant hnRNP D0B displays sequence specificity for double-stranded oligonucleotide defined by the CR2 promoter. We conducted electrophoretic mobility-shift assays to estimate the apparent Kd of hnRNP D0B for the double-stranded DNA motif and found it to be 59 nM. Interestingly, hnRNP D0B displayed affinities of 28 and 18 nM for the sense and anti-sense strands of the CR2 promoter-defined oligonucleotide respectively. The significantly greater binding affinity of hnRNP D0B for single-stranded DNA than for double-stranded DNA suggests that the protein might melt the double helix. The intranuclear concentration of sequence-specific protein was estimated to be 250-400 nM, indicating that the protein binds to the CR2 promoter in vivo. Co-precipitation of a complex formed in vivo between hnRNP D0B and the TATA-binding protein demonstrates that hnRNP D0B interacts with the basal transcription apparatus. Our results suggest a new physiological role for hnRNP D0B that involves binding to double- and single-stranded DNA sequences in a specific manner and functioning as a transcription factor.  (+info)

(6/43764) The endosome fusion regulator early-endosomal autoantigen 1 (EEA1) is a dimer.

EEA1, an early-endosomal protein originally identified as an autoantigen, is essential for endocytic membrane fusion. It interacts with early endosomes via binding to the membrane lipid phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PtdIns3P) and the active form of the small GTPase Rab5. Most of the EEA1 sequence contains heptad repeats characteristic of proteins involved in coiled-coil protein-protein interactions. Here we have investigated the ability of EEA1 to self-interact. Crosslinking of cytosolic and recombinant EEA1 resulted in the disappearance of the 180-kDa monomer in SDS/PAGE and the strong appearance of a approximately 350-kDa crosslinked product. Glycerol gradient centrifugation experiments indicated that native EEA1 had the same hydrodynamic properties as the approximately 350-kDa crosslinked complex. Two-hybrid analysis indicated that N- and C-terminal fragments of EEA1 can interact with themselves, but not with each other, suggesting that EEA1 forms parallel coiled-coil dimers. The ability of the C-terminus of EEA1 to dimerize correlates with its ability to bind to Rab5 and early endosomes, whereas its binding to PtdIns3P is independent of dimerization. These data enable us to propose a model for the quaternary structure of EEA1.  (+info)

(7/43764) A 55-kilodalton immunodominant antigen of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 has arisen via horizontal gene transfer.

A 55-kDa outer membrane protein of Porphyromonas gingivalis W50 is a significant target of the serum immunoglobulin G antibody response of periodontal disease patients and hence may play an important role in host-bacterium interactions in periodontal disease. The gene encoding the 55-kDa antigen (ragB, for receptor antigen B) was isolated on a 9.5-kb partial Sau3AI fragment of P. gingivalis W50 chromosomal DNA in pUC18 by immunoscreening with a monoclonal antibody to this antigen. The 1.6-kb open reading frame (ORF) encoding RagB was located via subcloning and nested-deletion analysis. Sequence analysis demonstrated the presence of an upstream 3.1-kb ORF (ragA) which is cotranscribed with ragB. A number of genetic characteristics suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by a horizontal gene transfer event. These include a significantly reduced G+C content relative to that of the P. gingivalis chromosome (42 versus 48%) and the presence of mobility elements flanking this locus in P. gingivalis W50. Furthermore, Southern blotting and PCR analyses showed a restricted distribution of this locus in laboratory and clinical isolates of this bacterium. The association of ragAB+ P. gingivalis with clinical status was examined by PCR analysis of subgingival samples. ragAB+ was not detected in P. gingivalis-positive shallow pockets from periodontal disease patients but was present in 36% of the P. gingivalis-positive samples from deep pockets. These data suggest that the ragAB locus was acquired by certain P. gingivalis strains via horizontal gene transfer and that the acquisition of this locus may facilitate the survival of these strains at sites of periodontal destruction.  (+info)

(8/43764) Role of the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase cascade in human neutrophil killing of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans and in migration.

Killing of Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans by neutrophils involves adherence of the microorganisms, phagocytosis, and a collaborative action of oxygen reactive species and components of the granules. While a number of intracellular signalling pathways have been proposed to regulate neutrophil responses, the extent to which each pathway contributes to the killing of S. aureus and C. albicans has not been clearly defined. We have therefore examined the effect of blocking one such pathway, the extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) cascade, using the specific inhibitor of the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase, PD98059, on the ability of human neutrophils to kill S. aureus and C. albicans. Our data demonstrate the presence of ERK2 and a 43-kDa form of ERK but not ERK1 in human neutrophils. Upon stimulation with formyl methionyl leucyl phenylalanine (fMLP), the activities of both ERK2 and the 43-kDa form were stimulated. Despite abrogating the activity of both ERK forms, PD98059 only slightly reduced the ability of neutrophils to kill S. aureus or C. albicans. This is consistent with our finding that PD98059 had no effect on neutrophil adherence or degranulation, although pretreatment of neutrophils with PD98059 inhibited fMLP-stimulated superoxide production by 50%, suggesting that a change in superoxide production per se is not strictly correlated with microbicidal activity. However, fMLP-stimulated chemokinesis was markedly inhibited, while random migration and fMLP-stimulated chemotaxis were partially inhibited, by PD98059. These data demonstrate, for the first time, that the ERK cascade plays only a minor role in the microbicidal activity of neutrophils and that the ERK cascade is involved primarily in regulating neutrophil migration in response to fMLP.  (+info)