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(1/1003) Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase 1 by UV irradiation is inhibited by wortmannin without affecting c-iun expression.

Activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinases (JNKs)/stress-activated protein kinases is an early response of cells upon exposure to DNA-damaging agents. JNK-mediated phosphorylation of c-Jun is currently understood to stimulate the transactivating potency of AP-1 (e.g., c-Jun/c-Fos; c-Jun/ATF-2), thereby increasing the expression of AP-1 target genes. Here we show that stimulation of JNK1 activity is not a general early response of cells exposed to genotoxic agents. Treatment of NIH 3T3 cells with UV light (UV-C) as well as with methyl methanesulfonate (MMS) caused activation of JNK1 and an increase in c-Jun protein and AP-1 binding activity, whereas antineoplastic drugs such as mafosfamide, mitomycin C, N-hydroxyethyl-N-chloroethylnitrosourea, and treosulfan did not elicit this response. The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor wortmannin specifically blocked the UV-stimulated activation of JNK1 but did not affect UV-driven activation of extracellular regulated kinase 2 (ERK2). To investigate the significance of JNK1 for transactivation of c-jun, we analyzed the effect of UV irradiation on c-jun expression under conditions of wortmannin-mediated inhibition of UV-induced stimulation of JNK1. Neither the UV-induced increase in c-jun mRNA, c-Jun protein, and AP-1 binding nor the activation of the collagenase and c-jun promoters was affected by wortmannin. In contrast, the mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase inhibitor PD98056, which blocked ERK2 but not JNK1 activation by UV irradiation, impaired UV-driven c-Jun protein induction and AP-1 binding. Based on the data, we suggest that JNK1 stimulation is not essential for transactivation of c-jun after UV exposure, whereas activation of ERK2 is required for UV-induced signaling leading to elevated c-jun expression.  (+info)

(2/1003) The Saccharomyces cerevisiae ETH1 gene, an inducible homolog of exonuclease III that provides resistance to DNA-damaging agents and limits spontaneous mutagenesis.

The recently sequenced Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome was searched for a gene with homology to the gene encoding the major human AP endonuclease, a component of the highly conserved DNA base excision repair pathway. An open reading frame was found to encode a putative protein (34% identical to the Schizosaccharomyces pombe eth1(+) [open reading frame SPBC3D6.10] gene product) with a 347-residue segment homologous to the exonuclease III family of AP endonucleases. Synthesis of mRNA from ETH1 in wild-type cells was induced sixfold relative to that in untreated cells after exposure to the alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). To investigate the function of ETH1, deletions of the open reading frame were made in a wild-type strain and a strain deficient in the known yeast AP endonuclease encoded by APN1. eth1 strains were not more sensitive to killing by MMS, hydrogen peroxide, or phleomycin D1, whereas apn1 strains were approximately 3-fold more sensitive to MMS and approximately 10-fold more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide than was the wild type. Double-mutant strains (apn1 eth1) were approximately 15-fold more sensitive to MMS and approximately 2- to 3-fold more sensitive to hydrogen peroxide and phleomycin D1 than were apn1 strains. Elimination of ETH1 in apn1 strains also increased spontaneous mutation rates 9- or 31-fold compared to the wild type as determined by reversion to adenine or lysine prototrophy, respectively. Transformation of apn1 eth1 cells with an expression vector containing ETH1 reversed the hypersensitivity to MMS and limited the rate of spontaneous mutagenesis. Expression of ETH1 in a dut-1 xthA3 Escherichia coli strain demonstrated that the gene product functionally complements the missing AP endonuclease activity. Thus, in apn1 cells where the major AP endonuclease activity is missing, ETH1 offers an alternate capacity for repair of spontaneous or induced damage to DNA that is normally repaired by Apn1 protein.  (+info)

(3/1003) Mismatch repair and differential sensitivity of mouse and human cells to methylating agents.

The long-patch mismatch repair pathway contributes to the cytotoxic effect of methylating agents and loss of this pathway confers tolerance to DNA methylation damage. Two methylation-tolerant mouse cell lines were identified and were shown to be defective in the MSH2 protein by in vitro mismatch repair assay. A normal copy of the human MSH2 gene, introduced by transfer of human chromosome 2, reversed the methylation tolerance. These mismatch repair defective mouse cells together with a fibroblast cell line derived from an MSH2-/- mouse, were all as resistant to N-methyl-N-nitrosourea as repair-defective human cells. Although long-patch mismatch repair-defective human cells were 50- to 100-fold more resistant to methylating agents than repair-proficient cells, loss of the same pathway from mouse cells conferred only a 3-fold increase. This discrepancy was accounted for by the intrinsic N-methyl-N-nitrosourea resistance of normal or transformed mouse cells compared with human cells. The >20-fold differential resistance between mouse and human cells could not be explained by the levels of either DNA methylation damage or the repair enzyme O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase. The resistance of mouse cells to N-methyl-N-nitrosourea was selective and no cross-resistance to unrelated DNA damaging agents was observed. Pathways of apoptosis were apparently intact and functional after exposure to either N-methyl-N-nitrosourea or ultraviolet light. Extracts of mouse cells were found to perform 2-fold less long-patch mismatch repair. The reduced level of mismatch repair may contribute to their lack of sensitivity to DNA methylation damage.  (+info)

(4/1003) Tightly regulated and inducible expression of rabbit CYP2E1 using a tetracycline-controlled expression system.

A tetracycline (Tc)-controlled gene expression system that quantitatively controls gene expression in eukaryotic cells () was used to express cytochrome P-450 2E1 (CYP2E1) in HeLa cells in culture. The rabbit CYP2E1 cDNA was subcloned into the Tc-controlled expression vector (pUHD10-3) and transfected into a HeLa cell line constitutively expressing the Tc-controlled transactivator, a positive regulator of expression in the absence of Tc. The expression of CYP2E1 was tightly regulated. There was a time-dependent induction of CYP2E1 after removal of Tc. In the absence of Tc, the enzyme was induced more than 100-fold and expressed about 18 pmol of CYP2E1/mg microsomal protein. At maximal levels of expression the enzyme catalyzed the formation of 158 pmol 6-hydroxychlorzoxazone/min/mg total cellular protein. In addition, the level of the enzyme could be modulated by the concentration of Tc in the media. In the absence of Tc, exposure of cells to N-nitrosodimethylamine caused a significant dose-dependent decrease in cell viability. In contrast, menadione, a redox cycling toxicant, was less toxic to the cells after induction of CYP2E1 when compared with noninduced cells. Pulse-chase studies conducted 72 h after removal of Tc indicated a rapid turnover of CYP2E1 with a half-life of 3.9 h. Addition of the ligand, 4-methylpyrazole, and the suicide substrate, 1-aminobenzotrizole, decreased the degradation of CYP2E1. This cell line offers a useful system to examine the role of CYP2E1 in the cytotoxicity of xenobiotics and to investigate post-translational regulation of the enzyme.  (+info)

(5/1003) Cells deficient in DNA polymerase beta are hypersensitive to alkylating agent-induced apoptosis and chromosomal breakage.

DNA polymerase beta (beta-pol), which is involved in base excision repair, was investigated for its role in protection of cells against various genotoxic agents and cytostatic drugs using beta-pol knockout mouse fibroblasts. We show that cells lacking beta-pol are highly sensitive to induction of apoptosis and chromosomal breakage by methylating agents, such as N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine and methyl methanesulfonate and the cross-linking antineoplastic drugs mitomycin C and mafosfamide. The cross-sensitivity between the agents observed suggests that beta-pol is involved in repair not only of DNA methylation lesions but also of other kinds of DNA damage induced by various cytostatic drugs. Cells deficient in beta-pol were not hypersensitive to cisplatin, melphalan, benzo(a)pyrene diol epoxide, chloroethylnitrosourea, or UV light. Because both established and primary beta-pol knockout fibroblasts displayed the hypersensitive phenotype, which, moreover, was complemented by transfection with a beta-pol expression vector, the alkylating agent hypersensitivity can clearly be attributed to the beta-pol deficiency. The results demonstrate that beta-pol-driven base excision repair is highly important for protection of cells against cell killing due to apoptosis and induced chromosomal breakage and suggest that incompletely repaired DNA damage causes chromosomal changes and may act as a trigger of DNA damage-induced apoptosis.  (+info)

(6/1003) Molecular analysis of mutants obtained by treatment with alkylating agents in a quadruplicated white-ivory strain of Drosophila melanogaster.

The use of a white-ivory (wi) strain of Drosophila melanogaster carrying four copies of this allele, (wi)4, has proved to be useful in detecting somatic mutation in genotoxicity testing. Nevertheless, until now very little information exists about the nature of the genetic effects detected in such a strain. This work presents molecular data on the changes that have taken place in different germinal mutants obtained after treatment with alkylating agents. Three different phenotypes were obtained: wild-type red eyes, dark red eyes and eyes lighter than (wi)4. Our results show that, in at least one of the four copies of the allele, the wild-type red eye phenotypes are due to a precise excision of the 2.96 kb duplicated region characteristic of the wi allele. These data agree with previous results obtained in a strain carrying only a single copy of the wi allele. The dark red eye mutants analysed seemed to be generated as a cluster and all proved to be caused by deletions at the 3'-end of the duplicated wi region in two of the copies of the (wi)4 genome. Finally, the light eye mutants (obtained at high frequencies) failed to show alterations at the molecular level, although we cannot discard the possibility that they might have originated by the loss of some of the wi copies of the (wi)4 strain.  (+info)

(7/1003) Alterations in Bacillus subtilis transforming DNA induced by beta-propiolactone and 1,3-propane sultone, two mutagenic and carcinogenic alkylating agents.

Transforming DNA was exposed to either beta-propiolactone or 1,3-propane sultone and then used for transformation of competent bacteria to nutritional independence from tyrosine and tryptophan (linked markers) and leucine (an unlinked marker). The ability to transform was progressively lost by the DNA during incubation with either of these two chemicals. For all three markers the inactivation curve was biphasic, with a short period of rapid inactivation followed by one characterized by a much slower rate. The overall rate of inactivation was different for all three markers and presumably was related to the size of the marker. The decrease in the transforming activity was in part due to the slower rate of penetration of alkylated DNA through the cellular membrane and its inability to enter the recipient bacteria. This decrease in the rate of cellular uptake, even for DNA eventually destined to enter the cell, began almost immediately after its exposure to the chemical and ended up with an almost complete lack of recognition of the heavily alkylated DNA by the specific surface receptors of competent cells. Such DNA attached to sites on the surface of competent bacteria which were different from receptors specific for the untreated nucleic acid. This attachment was not followed by uptake of the altered DNA. Presence of albumin during the incubation with a carcinogen further increased the degree of inactivation, indicating that the artificial nucleoproteins produced under such conditions were less efficient in the transformation assay than was the naked DNA. Cotransfomration of close markers progressively decreased, beginning immediately after the start of incubation of DNA with the chemicals. Extensively alkylated DNA fractionated by sedimentation through sucrose density gradients showed a peculiar distribution of cotransforming activity for such markers; namely, molecules larger than the bulk of DNA ("megamolecules") showed less ability to transform the second marker than did some of the apparently smaller molecules which sedimented more slowly through the gradient. An increase in cotransformation of distant markers was evident in DNA molecules after a short exposure to an alkylating agent, but cotransformation of such markers was absent in DNA treated for longer periods. The observed changes in the transforming and cotransforming activities of the alkylated DNA can be explained by what is known about the physicochemistry of such DNA and in particular about the propensity of the alkylated and broken molecules to form complexes with themselves and with other macromolecules.  (+info)

(8/1003) The role of thiotepa in allogeneic bone marrow transplantation for genetic diseases.

Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), graft rejection, disease recurrence and long-term toxicity remain significant obstacles to successful allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (BMT) in children with genetic diseases. In an attempt to improve results, we used a preparative regimen consisting of three alkylating agents, busulfan (BU), thiotepa (TTP) and cyclophosphamide (CY), for T cell-depleted allogeneic bone marrow transplantation instead of the conventional BU-CY protocol. The effect of this intensified regimen was investigated in 26 consecutive children with genetic diseases who underwent T cell-depleted BMT from HLA-identical siblings. Sixteen patients were males and 10 females, of median age 5 (0.2-14) years. The diseases included beta-thalassemia major, osteopetrosis, severe combined immunodeficiency, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, familial agranulocytosis, congenital idiopathic hemolytic anemia (CIHA), Gaucher's disease, Niemann-Pick disease, Hurler's syndrome, and adrenoleukodystrophy. The conditioning regimen consisted of BU 4 mg/kg x 4 days (-8 to -5), TTP 5 mg/kg x 2 days (-4 and -3), and CY 60 mg/kg x 2 days (-2 and -1). Engraftment was as expected, with WBC >1.0 x 10(9)/l at day +19 (10-33), ANC >0.5 x 10(9)/l at day +22 (10-56) and platelets >25 x 10(9)/l at day +32 (18-131). Transplant-related mortality was 19%. Overall survival and disease-free survival (DFS) at 60 months follow-up were both 77%. Our results with the BU-TTP-CY regimen followed by T cell-depleted BMT in genetic diseases may provide a basis for prospective comparison with the standard conditioning regimen of BU-CY in the management of children suffering from these conditions.  (+info)