Inhibitory innervation of cat sphincter of Oddi.
1 Electrical stimulation with trains of 0.1-0.2 ms pulses of the cat isolated sphincter of Oddi inhibited the spontaneous contractile activity and lowered base-line tension considerably. A contraction usually followed the period of stimulation. 2 These inhibitory effects were prevented by tetrodotoxin 0.1-0.5 mug/ml but were not reduced by hexamethonilm, morphine, or blockade of alpha- or beta-adrenoreceptors of cholinoceptors with phenoxy-benzamine propranolol or atropine, respectively. 3 Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine-5'-diphosphate (ADP) inhibited the spontaneous sphincter activity and caused relaxation thus mimicking the effects of the C-terminal octapeptide of cholecystokinin (C8-CCK), isoprenaline and prostaglandin E1 and E2. 4 ATP alone (greater than 100 mug/ml) or ATP (greater than 10 mug/ml) plus dipyridamole (1 mug/ml), relaxed the sphincter to the same degrees as did the field stimulation. 5 In sphincter maximally contracted by acetylcholine, the effect of stimulation was more marked than that recorded in uncontracted preparations. 6 The present findings suggest that the sphincter of Oddi receives inhibitory nerves that are neither cholinergic nor adrenergic. (+info
Membrane deinsertion of SecA underlying proton motive force-dependent stimulation of protein translocation.
The proton motive force (PMF) renders protein translocation across the Escherichia coli membrane highly efficient, although the underlying mechanism has not been clarified. The membrane insertion and deinsertion of SecA coupled to ATP binding and hydrolysis, respectively, are thought to drive the translocation. We report here that PMF significantly decreases the level of membrane-inserted SecA. The prlA4 mutation of SecY, which causes efficient protein translocation in the absence of PMF, was found to reduce the membrane-inserted SecA irrespective of the presence or absence of PMF. The PMF-dependent decrease in the membrane-inserted SecA caused an increase in the amount of SecA released into the extra-membrane milieu, indicating that PMF deinserts SecA from the membrane. The PMF-dependent deinsertion reduced the amount of SecA required for maximal translocation activity. Neither ATP hydrolysis nor exchange with external SecA was required for the PMF-dependent deinsertion of SecA. These results indicate that the SecA deinsertion is a limiting step of protein translocation and is accelerated by PMF, efficient protein translocation thereby being caused in the presence of PMF. (+info
A novel nucleotide incorporation activity implicated in the editing of mitochondrial transfer RNAs in Acanthamoeba castellanii.
In Acanthamoeba castellanii, most of the mtDNA-encoded tRNAs are edited by a process that replaces one or more of the first three nucleotides at their 5' ends. As a result, base pairing potential is restored at acceptor stem positions (1:72, 2:71, and/or 3:70, in standard tRNA nomenclature) that are mismatched according to the corresponding tRNA gene sequence. Here we describe a novel nucleotide incorporation activity, partially purified from A. castellanii mitochondria, that has properties implicating it in mitochondrial tRNA editing in this organism. This activity is able to replace nucleotides at the first three positions of a tRNA (positions 1, 2, and 3), matching the newly incorporated residues through canonical base pairing to the respective partner nucleotide in the 3' half of the acceptor stem. Labeling experiments with natural (Escherichia coli tRNATyr) and synthetic (run-off transcripts corresponding to A. castellanii mitochondrial tRNALeu1) substrates suggest that the nucleotide incorporation activity consists of at least two components, a 5' exonuclease or endonuclease and a template-directed 3'-to-5' nucleotidyltransferase. The nucleotidyltransferase component displays an ATP requirement and generates 5' pppN... termini in vitro. The development of an accurate and efficient in vitro system opens the way for detailed studies of the biochemical properties of this novel activity and its relationship to mitochondrial tRNA editing in A. castellanii. In addition, the system will allow delineation of the structural features in a tRNA that identify it as a substrate for the labeling activity. (+info
A processive single-headed motor: kinesin superfamily protein KIF1A.
A single kinesin molecule can move "processively" along a microtubule for more than 1 micrometer before detaching from it. The prevailing explanation for this processive movement is the "walking model," which envisions that each of two motor domains (heads) of the kinesin molecule binds coordinately to the microtubule. This implies that each kinesin molecule must have two heads to "walk" and that a single-headed kinesin could not move processively. Here, a motor-domain construct of KIF1A, a single-headed kinesin superfamily protein, was shown to move processively along the microtubule for more than 1 micrometer. The movement along the microtubules was stochastic and fitted a biased Brownian-movement model. (+info
Low resting potential and postnatal upregulation of NMDA receptors may cause Cajal-Retzius cell death.
Using in situ patch-clamp techniques in rat telencephalic slices, we have followed resting potential (RP) properties and the functional expression of NMDA receptors in neocortical Cajal-Retzius (CR) cells from embryonic day 18 to postnatal day 13, the time around which these cells normally disappear. We find that throughout their lives CR cells have a relatively depolarized RP (approximately -50 mV), which can be made more hyperpolarized (approximately -70 mV) by stimulation of the Na/K pump with intracellular ATP. The NMDA receptors of CR cells are subjected to intense postnatal upregulation, but their similar properties (EC50, Hill number, sensitivity to antagonists, conductance, and kinetics) throughout development suggest that their subunit composition remains relatively homogeneous. The low RP of CR cells is within a range that allows for the relief of NMDA channels from Mg2+ blockade. Our findings are consistent with the hypothesis that CR cells may degenerate and die subsequent to uncontrolled overload of intracellular Ca2+ via NMDA receptor activation by ambient glutamate. In support of this hypothesis we have obtained evidence showing the protection of CR cells via in vivo blockade of NMDA receptors with dizocilpine. (+info
Purinogen is not an endogenous substrate used in endothelial cells during substrate deprivation.
Porcine aortic endothelial cells (PAEC) are known to be metabolically robust. They are capable of surviving extended periods of complete lack of exogenous substrate, and purine release has been shown to be significantly up-regulated. The endogenous substrates used during substrate deprivation, as well as the sources responsible for the increased purine release, have not been completely identified. We tested the possibility that a phosphoglyceroyl-ATP-containing polymer, purinogen, might support PAEC hibernation induced by lack of exogenous substrate. This involved isolation of the acid-insoluble fraction of PAEC, which was presumed to contain purinogen, and analysis by HPLC and 31P NMR. No evidence supporting the presence of triphosphate-containing compounds (purinogen) was found. Similar results were obtained in the rat heart. The majority of the products in the acid-insoluble, alkaline-treated fraction were identified as RNA degradation products (2'- and 3'-nucleoside monophosphates). A [14C]adenosine labelling experiment showed that incorporation of adenosine into the acid-insoluble fraction was almost completely prevented after inhibition of RNA synthesis with actinomycin D. Furthermore, RNA isolated from PAEC and subsequently treated with alkali showed a profile that was almost identical with the HPLC profile of the acid-insoluble fraction. Finally, substrate-free incubation of the cells did not quantitatively or qualitatively influence the distribution of acid-insoluble derivatives. We conclude that PAEC survival during the absence of exogenous substrate is not supported by purinogen but rather by some other, yet-to-be-identified, endogenous substrate. (+info
An RNA switch at the 5' splice site requires ATP and the DEAD box protein Prp28p.
Pre-mRNA splicing requires dramatic RNA rearrangements hypothesized to be catalyzed by ATP-dependent RNA unwindases of the DExD/H box family. In a rearrangement critical for the fidelity of 5' splice site recognition, a base-pairing interaction between the 5' splice site and U1 snRNA must be switched for a mutually exclusive interaction between the 5' splice site and U6 snRNA. By lengthening the U1:5' splice site duplex, we impeded this switch in a temperature-dependent manner and prevented formation of the spliceosome's catalytic core. Using genetics, we identified the DExD/H box protein Prp28p as a potential mediator of the switch. In vitro, the switch requires both Prp28p and ATP. We propose that Prp28p directs isomerization of RNA at the 5' splice site and promotes fidelity in splicing. (+info
Splicing factor Prp8 governs U4/U6 RNA unwinding during activation of the spliceosome.
The pre-mRNA 5' splice site is recognized by the ACAGA box of U6 spliceosomal RNA prior to catalysis of splicing. We previously identified a mutant U4 spliceosomal RNA, U4-cs1, that masks the ACAGA box in the U4/U6 complex, thus conferring a cold-sensitive splicing phenotype in vivo. Here, we show that U4-cs1 blocks in vitro splicing in a temperature-dependent, reversible manner. Analysis of splicing complexes that accumulate at low temperature shows that U4-cs1 prevents U4/U6 unwinding, an essential step in spliceosome activation. A novel mutation in the evolutionarily conserved U5 snRNP protein Prp8 suppresses the U4-cs1 growth defect. We propose that wild-type Prp8 triggers unwinding of U4 and U6 RNAs only after structurally correct recognition of the 5' splice site by the U6 ACAGA box and that the mutation (prp8-201) relaxes control of unwinding. (+info