UK-18892, a new aminoglycoside: an in vitro study. (1/6505)

UK-18892 is a new aminoglycoside antibiotic, a derivative of kanamycin A structurally related to amikacin. It was found to be active against a wide range of pathogenic bacteria, including many gentamicin-resistant strains. The spectrum and degree of activity of UK-18892 were similar to those of amikacin, and differences were relatively minor. UK-18892 was about twice as active as amikacin against gentamicin-susceptible strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Both amikacin and UK-18892 were equally active against gentamicin-resistant strains of P. aeruginosa. There were no appreciable differences in the activity of UK-18892 and amikacin against Enterobacteriaceae and Staphylococcus aureus. Cross-resistance between these two antimicrobials was also apparent.  (+info)

Prodigious substrate specificity of AAC(6')-APH(2"), an aminoglycoside antibiotic resistance determinant in enterococci and staphylococci. (2/6505)

BACKGROUND: High-level gentamicin resistance in enterococci and staphylococci is conferred by AAC(6')-APH(2"), an enzyme with 6'-N-acetyltransferase and 2"-O-phosphotransferase activities. The presence of this enzyme in pathogenic gram-positive bacteria prevents the successful use of gentamicin C and most other aminoglycosides as therapeutic agents. RESULTS: In an effort to understand the mechanism of aminoglycoside modification, we expressed AAC(6')-APH(2") in Bacillus subtilis. The purified enzyme is monomeric with a molecular mass of 57 kDa and displays both the expected aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferase and O-phosphotransferase activities. Structure-function analysis with various aminoglycosides substrates reveals an enzyme with broad specificity in both enzymatic activities, accounting for AAC(6')-APH(2")'s dramatic negative impact on clinical aminoglycoside therapy. Both lividomycin A and paromomycin, aminoglycosides lacking a 6'-amino group, were acetylated by AAC(6')-APH(2"). The infrared spectrum of the product of paromomycin acetylation yielded a signal consistent with O-acetylation. Mass spectral and nuclear magnetic resonance analysis of the products of neomycin phosphorylation indicated that phosphoryl transfer occurred primarily at the 3'-OH of the 6-aminohexose ring A, and that some diphosphorylated material was also present with phosphates at the 3'-OH and the 3"'-OH of ring D, both unprecedented observations for this enzyme. Furthermore, the phosphorylation site of lividomycin A was determined to be the 5"-OH of the pentose ring C. CONCLUSIONS: The bifunctional AAC(6')-APH(2") has the capacity to inactivate virtually all clinically important aminoglycosides through N- and O-acetylation and phosphorylation of hydroxyl groups. The extremely broad substrate specificity of this enzyme will impact on future development of aminoglycosides and presents a significant challenge for antibiotic design.  (+info)

Probing interactions between HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and its DNA substrate with backbone-modified nucleotides. (3/6505)

BACKGROUND: To gain a molecular understanding of a biochemical process, the crystal structure of enzymes that catalyze the reactions involved is extremely helpful. Often the question arises whether conformations obtained in this way appropriately reflect the reactivity of enzymes, however. Rates that characterize transitions are therefore compulsory experiments for the elucidation of the reaction mechanism. Such experiments have been performed for the reverse transcriptase of the type 1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 RT). RESULTS: We have developed a methodology to monitor the interplay between HIV-1 RT and its DNA substrate. To probe the protein-DNA interactions, the sugar backbone of one nucleotide was modified by a substituent that influenced the efficiency of the chain elongation in a characteristic way. We found that strand elongation after incorporation of the modified nucleotide follows a discontinuous efficiency for the first four nucleotides. The reaction efficiencies could be correlated with the distance between the sugar substituent and the enzyme. The model was confirmed by kinetic experiments with HIV-1 RT mutants. CONCLUSIONS: Experiments with HIV-1 RT demonstrate that strand-elongation efficiency using a modified nucleotide correlates well with distances between the DNA substrate and the enzyme. The functional group at the modified nucleotides acts as an 'antenna' for steric interactions that changes the optimal transition state. Kinetic experiments in combination with backbone-modified nucleotides can therefore be used to gain structural information about reverse transcriptases and DNA polymerases.  (+info)

High-throughput screening of small molecules in miniaturized mammalian cell-based assays involving post-translational modifications. (4/6505)

BACKGROUND: Fully adapting a forward genetic approach to mammalian systems requires efficient methods to alter systematically gene products without prior knowledge of gene sequences, while allowing for the subsequent characterization of these alterations. Ideally, these methods would also allow function to be altered in a temporally controlled manner. RESULTS: We report the development of a miniaturized cell-based assay format that enables a genetic-like approach to understanding cellular pathways in mammalian systems using small molecules, rather than mutations, as the source of gene-product alterations. This whole-cell immunodetection assay can sensitively detect changes in specific cellular macromolecules in high-density arrays of mammalian cells. Furthermore, it is compatible with screening large numbers of small molecules in nanoliter to microliter culture volumes. We refer to this assay format as a 'cytoblot', and demonstrate the use of cytoblotting to monitor biosynthetic processes such as DNA synthesis, and post-translational processes such as acetylation and phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of these assays to natural-product screening through the identification of marine sponge extracts exhibiting genotype-specific inhibition of 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and suppression of the anti-proliferative effect of rapamycin. CONCLUSIONS: We show that cytoblots can be used for high-throughput screening of small molecules in cell-based assays. Together with small-molecule libraries, the cytoblot assay can be used to perform chemical genetic screens analogous to those used in classical genetics and thus should be applicable to understanding a wide variety of cellular processes, especially those involving post-transitional modifications.  (+info)

A novel H2A/H4 nucleosomal histone acetyltransferase in Tetrahymena thermophila. (5/6505)

Recently, we reported the identification of a 55-kDa polypeptide (p55) from Tetrahymena macronuclei as a catalytic subunit of a transcription-associated histone acetyltransferase (HAT A). Extensive homology between p55 and Gcn5p, a component of the SAGA and ADA transcriptional coactivator complexes in budding yeast, suggests an immediate link between the regulation of chromatin structure and transcriptional output. Here we report the characterization of a second transcription-associated HAT activity from Tetrahymena macronuclei. This novel activity is distinct from complexes containing p55 and putative ciliate SAGA and ADA components and shares several characteristics with NuA4 (for nucleosomal H2A/H4), a 1.8-MDa, Gcn5p-independent HAT complex recently described in yeast. A key feature of both the NuA4 and Tetrahymena activities is their acetylation site specificity for lysines 5, 8, 12, and 16 of H4 and lysines 5 and 9 of H2A in nucleosomal substrates, patterns that are distinct from those of known Gcn5p family members. Moreover, like NuA4, the Tetrahymena activity is capable of activating transcription from nucleosomal templates in vitro in an acetyl coenzyme A-dependent fashion. Unlike NuA4, however, sucrose gradient analyses of the ciliate enzyme, following sequential denaturation and renaturation, estimate the molecular size of the catalytically active subunit to be approximately 80 kDa, consistent with the notion that a single polypeptide or a stable subcomplex is sufficient for this H2A/H4 nucleosomal HAT activity. Together, these data document the importance of this novel HAT activity for transcriptional activation from chromatin templates and suggest that a second catalytic HAT subunit, in addition to p55/Gcn5p, is conserved between yeast and Tetrahymena.  (+info)

Virus infection leads to localized hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4 at the IFN-beta promoter. (6/6505)

Transcriptional activation of the human interferon-beta (IFN-beta) gene by virus infection requires the assembly of a higher order nucleoprotein complex, the enhanceosome, which consists of the transcriptional activators NF-kappa B (p50/p65), ATF-2/c-jun, IRF-3 and IRF-7, architectural protein HMGI(Y), and the coactivators p300 and CBP. In this report, we show that virus infection of cells results in a dramatic hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4 that is localized to the IFN-beta promoter. Furthermore, expressing a truncated version of IRF-3, which lacks a p300/CBP interaction domain, suppresses both histone hyperacetylation and activation of the IFN-beta gene. Thus, coactivator-mediated localized hyperacetylation of histones may play a crucial role in inducible gene expression.  (+info)

Gibberellic acid stabilises microtubules in maize suspension cells to cold and stimulates acetylation of alpha-tubulin. (7/6505)

Gibberellic acid is known to stabilise microtubules in plant organs against depolymerisation. We have now devised a simplified cell system for studying this. Pretreatment of a maize cell suspension with gibberellic acid for just 3 h stabilised protoplast microtubules against depolymerisation on ice. In other eukaryotes, acetylation of alpha-tubulin is known to correlate with microtubule stabilisation but this is not established in plants. By isolating the polymeric tubulin fraction from maize cytoskeletons and immunoblotting with the antibody 6-11B-1, we have demonstrated that gibberellic acid stimulates the acetylation of alpha-tubulin. This is the first demonstrated link between microtubule stabilisation and tubulin acetylation in higher plants.  (+info)

Expanded lysine acetylation specificity of Gcn5 in native complexes. (8/6505)

The coactivator/adaptor protein Gcn5 is a conserved histone acetyltransferase, which functions as the catalytic subunit in multiple yeast transcriptional regulatory complexes. The ability of Gcn5 to acetylate nucleosomal histones is significantly reduced relative to its activity on free histones, where it predominantly modifies histone H3 at lysine 14. However, the association of Gcn5 in multisubunit complexes potentiates its nucleosomal histone acetyltransferase activity. Here, we show that the association of Gcn5 with other proteins in two native yeast complexes, Ada and SAGA (Spt-Ada-Gcn5-acetyltransferase), directly confers upon Gcn5 the ability to acetylate an expanded set of lysines on H3. Furthermore Ada and SAGA have overlapping, yet distinct, patterns of acetylation, suggesting that the association of specific subunits determines site specificity.  (+info)