Studies of the actin-based motility of pathogens have provided important insights into the events occurring at the leading edge of motile cells   . To date, several actin-cytoskeleton-associated proteins have been implicated in the motility of Listeria or Shigella: vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP), vinculin and the actin-related protein complex of Arp2 and Arp3    . To further investigate the underlying mechanism of actin-tail assembly, we examined the localization of components of the actin cytoskeleton including Arp3, VASP, vinculin and zyxin during vaccinia, Listeria and Shigella infections. The most striking difference between the systems was that a phosphotyrosine signal was observed only at the site of vaccinia actin-tail assembly. Micro-injection experiments demonstrated that a phosphotyrosine protein plays an important role in vaccinia actin-tail formation. In addition, we observed a phosphotyrosine signal on clathrin-coated vesicles that have associated actin-tail-like structures and on endogenous vesicles in Xenopus egg extracts which are able to nucleate actin tails  . Our observations indicate that a host phosphotyrosine protein is required for the nucleation of actin filaments by vaccinia and suggest that this phosphoprotein might be associated with cellular membranes that can nucleate actin. (+info)
(2/4283) The exocyst is an effector for Sec4p, targeting secretory vesicles to sites of exocytosis.
Polarized secretion requires proper targeting of secretory vesicles to specific sites on the plasma membrane. Here we report that the exocyst complex plays a key role in vesicle targeting. Sec15p, an exocyst component, can associate with secretory vesicles and interact specifically with the rab GTPase, Sec4p, in its GTP-bound form. A chain of protein-protein interactions leads from Sec4p and Sec15p on the vesicle, through various subunits of the exocyst, to Sec3p, which marks the sites of exocytosis on the plasma membrane. Sec4p may control the assembly of the exocyst. The exocyst may therefore function as a rab effector system for targeted secretion. (+info)
(3/4283) Cellular sites for dynorphin activation of kappa-opioid receptors in the rat nucleus accumbens shell.
The nucleus accumbens (Acb) is prominently involved in the aversive behavioral aspects of kappa-opioid receptor (KOR) agonists, including its endogenous ligand dynorphin (Dyn). We examined the ultrastructural immunoperoxidase localization of KOR and immunogold labeling of Dyn to determine the major cellular sites for KOR activation in this region. Of 851 KOR-labeled structures sampled from a total area of 10,457 microm2, 63% were small axons and morphologically heterogenous axon terminals, 31% of which apposed Dyn-labeled terminals or also contained Dyn. Sixty-eight percent of the KOR-containing axon terminals formed punctate-symmetric or appositional contacts with unlabeled dendrites and spines, many of which received convergent input from terminals that formed asymmetric synapses. Excitatory-type terminals that formed asymmetric synapses with dendritic spines comprised 21% of the KOR-immunoreactive profiles. Dendritic spines within the neuropil were the major nonaxonal structures that contained KOR immunoreactivity. These spines also received excitatory-type synapses from unlabeled terminals and were apposed by Dyn-containing terminals. These results provide ultrastructural evidence that in the Acb shell (AcbSh), KOR agonists play a primary role in regulating the presynaptic release of Dyn and other neuromodulators that influence the output of spiny neurons via changes in the presynaptic release of or the postsynaptic responses to excitatory amino acids. The cellular distribution of KOR complements those described previously for the reward-associated mu- and delta-opioid receptors in the Acb shell. (+info)
(4/4283) Functional activities and epitope specificity of human and murine antibodies against the class 4 outer membrane protein (Rmp) of Neisseria meningitidis.
Antibodies against the class 4 outer membrane protein (OMP) from Neisseria meningitidis have been purified from sera from vaccinees immunized with the Norwegian meningococcal group B outer membrane vesicle vaccine. The human sera and purified antibodies reacted strongly with the class 4 OMP in immunoblots, whereas experiments with whole bacteria showed only weak reactions, indicating that the antibodies mainly reacted with parts of the class 4 molecule that were not exposed. The purified human anti-class 4 OMP antibodies and the monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were neither bactericidal nor opsonic against live meningococci. Three new MAbs against the class 4 OMP were generated and compared with other, previously described MAbs. Three linear epitopes in different regions of the class 4 OMP were identified by the reaction of MAbs with synthetic peptides. The MAbs showed no blocking effect on bactericidal activity of MAbs against other OMPs. However, one of the eight purified human anti-class 4 OMP antibody preparations, selected from immunoblot reactions among sera from 27 vaccinees, inhibited at high concentrations the bactericidal effect of a MAb against the class 1 OMP. However, these antibodies were not vaccine induced, as they were present also before vaccination. Therefore, this study gave no evidence that vaccination with a meningococcal outer membrane vesicle vaccine containing the class 4 OMP induces blocking antibodies. Our data indicated that the structure of class 4 OMP does not correspond to standard beta-barrel structures of integral OMPs and that no substantial portion of the OmpA-like C-terminal region of this protein is located at the surface of the outer membrane. (+info)
(5/4283) Association of the aggrecan keratan sulfate-rich region with collagen in bovine articular cartilage.
Aggrecan, the predominant large proteoglycan of cartilage, is a multidomain macromolecule with each domain contributing specific functional properties. One of the domains contains the majority of the keratan sulfate (KS) chain substituents and a protein segment with a proline-rich hexapeptide repeat sequence. The function of this domain is unknown but the primary structure suggests a potential for binding to collagen fibrils. We have examined binding of aggrecan fragments encompassing the KS-rich region in a solid-phase assay. A moderate affinity (apparent Kd = 1.1 microM) for isolated collagen II, as well as collagen I, was demonstrated. Enzymatic digestion of the KS chains did not alter the capacity of the peptide to bind to collagen, whereas cleavage of the protein core abolished the interaction. The distribution of the aggrecan KS-rich region in bovine tarsometatarsal joint cartilage was investigated using immunoelectron microscopy. Immunoreactivity was relatively low in the superficial zone and higher in the intermediate and deep zones of the uncalcified cartilage. Within the pericellular and territorial matrix compartments the epitopes representing the aggrecan KS-rich region were detected preferentially near or at collagen fibrils. Along the fibrils, epitope reactivity was non-randomly distributed, showing preference for the gap region within the D-period. Our data suggest that collagen fibrils interact with the KS-rich regions of several aggrecan monomers aligned within a proteoglycan aggregate. The fibril could therefore serve as a backbone in at least some of the aggrecan complexes. (+info)
(6/4283) Impaired lysosomal processing of beta2-microglobulin by infiltrating macrophages in dialysis amyloidosis.
BACKGROUND: Macrophages may participate in amyloid fibril formation by processing the protein precursor. Although this theory seems to apply for amyloidosis, in which proteolytic cleavage is a prerequisite for amyloid fibril formation, it has not been demonstrated for beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) amyloidosis. We aimed to establish the role played by macrophages in beta2m amyloidosis. METHODS: We used a double immunogold electron microscopy technique, including mouse antihuman CD68, rabbit antihuman beta2m, amyloid P component, and lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP-1) antibodies. Differential density labeling studies of beta2m and amyloid P component were performed extra- and intracellularly to assess protein processing by macrophages. RESULTS: The cells surrounding amyloid fibrils were found to be mostly CD68 positive, suggesting that they were of monocyte-macrophage lineage. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid fibrils was also observed; these fibrils were constantly surrounded by LAMP-1-linked gold particles, demonstrating that intracellular beta2m was almost exclusively lysosomal. The rough-surface endoplasmic reticulum was not labeled by beta2m antibody, suggesting that there was no active synthesis of beta2m by the cells. As a marker of endocytosis, protruded cytoplasmic processes in close relation with the intracellular accumulations of beta2m amyloid fibrils were observed. No difference in density labeling (extracellular vs. intracellular) was observed for beta2m, whereas intracellular P component labeling was significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS: All of these data are strongly suggestive of phagocytosis and not synthesis of amyloid fibrils by macrophages. Further, they demonstrate an impaired lysosomal processing specific for beta2m, as other compounds of the amyloid fibrils (P component) are significantly cleared. (+info)
(7/4283) Morphology of intraepithelial corpuscular nerve endings in the nasal respiratory mucosa of the dog.
Corpuscular nerve endings in the nasal respiratory mucosa of the dog were investigated by immunohistochemical staining specific for protein gene product 9.5 by light and electron microscopy. In the nasal respiratory mucosa, complex corpuscular endings, which displayed bulbous, laminar and varicose expansions, were distributed on the dorsal elevated part of the nasal septum and on the dorsal nasal concha. The endings were 300-500 microm long and 100-250 microm wide. Some axons gave rise to a single ending while others branched into 2 endings. Cryostat sections revealed that the corpuscular endings were located within the nasal respiratory epithelium. On electron microscopy, immunoreactive nerve terminals that contained organelles, including mitochondria and neurofilaments, were observed within the epithelial layer near the lumen of the nasal cavity. Some terminals contacted the goblet cell. Such terminal regions were covered by the cytoplasmic process of ciliated cells and were never exposed to the lumen of the nasal cavity. These nerve endings are probably activated by pressure changes. (+info)
(8/4283) Presence of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter in GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic terminal boutons.
The characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-47 gene recently allowed the identification of a mammalian (gamma)-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter, presumed to be located in the synaptic vesicle membrane. In situ hybridization data in rat brain suggested that it might also take up glycine and thus represent a general Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transporter (VIAAT). In the present study, we have investigated the localization of VIAAT in neurons by using a polyclonal antibody raised against the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of the protein. Light microscopy and immunocytochemistry in primary cultures or tissue sections of the rat spinal cord revealed that VIAAT was localized in a subset (63-65%) of synaptophysin-immunoreactive terminal boutons; among the VIAAT-positive terminals around motoneuronal somata, 32.9% of them were also immunoreactive for GAD65, a marker of GABAergic presynaptic endings. Labelling was also found apposed to clusters positive for the glycine receptor or for its associated protein gephyrin. At the ultrastructural level, VIAAT immunoreactivity was restricted to presynaptic boutons exhibiting classical inhibitory features and, within the boutons, concentrated over synaptic vesicle clusters. Pre-embedding detection of VIAAT followed by post-embedding detection of GABA or glycine on serial sections of the spinal cord or cerebellar cortex indicated that VIAAT was present in glycine-, GABA- or GABA- and glycine-containing boutons. Taken together, these data further support the view of a common vesicular transporter for these two inhibitory transmitters, which would be responsible for their costorage in the same synaptic vesicle and subsequent corelease at mixed GABA-and-glycine synapses. (+info)