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(1/4935) Activation of c-Abl tyrosine kinase requires caspase activation and is not involved in JNK/SAPK activation during apoptosis of human monocytic leukemia U937 cells.

Genotoxic stress triggers the activation of several sensor molecules, such as p53, JNK1/SAPK and c-Abl, and occasionally promotes the cells to apoptosis. We previously reported that JNK1/SAPK regulates genotoxic stress-induced apoptosis in p53-negative U937 cells by activating caspases. c-Abl is expected to act upstream of JNK1/SAPK activation upon treatment with genotoxic stressors, but its involvement in apoptosis development is still unclear. We herein investigated the kinase activities of c-Abl and JNK1/SAPK during apoptosis elicited by genotoxic anticancer drugs and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in U937 cells and their apoptosis-resistant variant UK711 cells. We found that the activation of JNK1/SAPK and c-Abl correlated well with apoptosis development in these cell lines. Unexpectedly, however, the JNK1/SAPK activation preceded the c-Abl activation. Moreover, the caspase inhibitor Z-Asp suppressed c-Abl activation and the onset of apoptosis but not the JNK1/SAPK activation. Interestingly, c-Abl tyrosine kinase inhibition by CGP 57148 reduced apoptosis without interfering with JNK1/SAPK activation. These results indicate that c-Abl acts not upstream of JNK1/ SAPK but downstream of caspases during the development of p53-independent apoptosis and is possibly involved in accelerating execution of the cell death pathway.  (+info)

(2/4935) Hemoglobin Providence. A human hemoglobin variant occurring in two forms in vivo.

Hemoglobin Providence Asn and Hemoglobin Providence Asp are two abnormal hemoglobins which apparently arise from a single genetic change that substitutes asparagine for lysine at position 82 (EF6) in the beta chain of human hemoglobin. The second form appears to be thr result of a partial in vivo deamidation of the asparagine situated at position beta 82. Cellulose acetate and citrate agar electrophoresis of hemolysates from patients with this abnormality shows three bands. Globin chain electrophoresis at acid and alkaline pH shows three beta chains. These three chains correspond to the normal beta A chain and two abnormal beta chains. Sequence analysis indicates that the two abnormal chains differ from beta A at only position beta 82. In the two abnormal chains, the residue which is normally lysine is substituted either by asparagine or by aspartic acid. These substitutions are notable because beta 82 lysine is one of the residues involved in 2,3-diphosphoglycerate binding. Additionally, beta 82 lysine is typically invariant in hemoglobin beta chain sequences. Sequence data on the two forms of Hemoglobin Providence are given in this paper. The functional properties of these two forms are described in the next paper.  (+info)

(3/4935) N-Acetylaspartate distribution in rat brain striatum during acute brain ischemia.

Brain N-acetylaspartate (NAA) can be quantified by in vivo proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and is used in clinical settings as a marker of neuronal density. It is, however, uncertain whether the change in brain NAA content in acute stroke is reliably measured by 1H-MRS and how NAA is distributed within the ischemic area. Rats were exposed to middle cerebral artery occlusion. Preischemic values of [NAA] in striatum were 11 mmol/L by 1H-MRS and 8 mmol/kg by HPLC. The methods showed a comparable reduction during the 8 hours of ischemia. The interstitial level of [NAA] ([NAA]e) was determined by microdialysis using [3H]NAA to assess in vivo recovery. After induction of ischemia, [NAA]e increased linearly from 70 micromol/L to a peak level of 2 mmol/L after 2 to 3 hours before declining to 0.7 mmol/L at 7 hours. For comparison, [NAA]e was measured in striatum during global ischemia, revealing that [NAA]e increased linearly to 4 mmol/L after 3 hours and this level was maintained for the next 4 h. From the change in in vivo recovery of the interstitial space volume marker [14C]mannitol, the relative amount of NAA distributed in the interstitial space was calculated to be 0.2% of the total brain NAA during normal conditions and only 2 to 6% during ischemia. It was concluded that the majority of brain NAA is intracellularly located during ischemia despite large increases of interstitial [NAA]. Thus, MR quantification of NAA during acute ischemia reflects primarily changes in intracellular levels of NAA.  (+info)

(4/4935) Distinct sensitivities of OmpF and PhoE porins to charged modulators.

The inhibition of the anion-selective PhoE porin by ATP and of the cation-selective OmpF porin by polyamines has been previously documented. In the present study, we have extended the comparison of the inhibitor-porin pairs by investigating the effect of anions (ATP and aspartate) and positively charged polyamines (spermine and cadaverine) on both OmpF and PhoE with the patch-clamp technique, and by comparing directly the gating kinetics of the channels modulated by their respective substrates. The novel findings reported here are (1) that the activity of PhoE is completely unaffected by polyamines, and (2) that the kinetic changes induced by ATP on PhoE or polyamines on OmpF suggest different mechanisms of inhibition. ATP induces a high degree of flickering in the PhoE-mediated current and appears to behave as a blocker of ion flow during its presumed transport through PhoE. Polyamines modulate the kinetics of openings and closings of OmpF, in addition to promoting a blocker-like flickering activity. The strong correlation between sensitivity to inhibitors and ion selectivity suggests that some common molecular determinants are involved in these two properties and is in agreement with the hypothesis that polyamines bind inside the pore of cationic porins.  (+info)

(5/4935) His ... Asp catalytic dyad of ribonuclease A: histidine pKa values in the wild-type, D121N, and D121A enzymes.

Bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A) has a conserved His ... Asp catalytic dyad in its active site. Structural analyses had indicated that Asp121 forms a hydrogen bond with His119, which serves as an acid during catalysis of RNA cleavage. The enzyme contains three other histidine residues including His12, which is also in the active site. Here, 1H-NMR spectra of wild-type RNase A and the D121N and D121A variants were analyzed thoroughly as a function of pH. The effect of replacing Asp121 on the microscopic pKa values of the histidine residues is modest: none change by more than 0.2 units. There is no evidence for the formation of a low-barrier hydrogen bond between His119 and either an aspartate or an asparagine residue at position 121. In the presence of the reaction product, uridine 3'-phosphate (3'-UMP), protonation of one active-site histidine residue favors protonation of the other. This finding is consistent with the phosphoryl group of 3'-UMP interacting more strongly with the two active-site histidine residues when both are protonated. Comparison of the titration curves of the unliganded enzyme with that obtained in the presence of different concentrations of 3'-UMP shows that a second molecule of 3'-UMP can bind to the enzyme. Together, the data indicate that the aspartate residue in the His ... Asp catalytic dyad of RNase A has a measurable but modest effect on the ionization of the adjacent histidine residue.  (+info)

(6/4935) Chemotactic responses of Escherichia coli to small jumps of photoreleased L-aspartate.

Computer-assisted motion analysis coupled to flash photolysis of caged chemoeffectors provides a means for time-resolved analysis of bacterial chemotaxis. Escherichia coli taxis toward the amino acid attractant L-aspartate is mediated by the Tar receptor. The physiology of this response, as well as Tar structure and biochemistry, has been studied extensively. The beta-2, 6-dinitrobenzyl ester of L-aspartic acid and the 1-(2-nitrophenyl)ethyl ether of 8-hydroxypyrene-1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid were synthesized. These compounds liberated L-aspartate and the fluorophore 8-hydroxypyrene 1,3,6-tris-sulfonic acid (pyranine) upon irradiation with near-UV light. Photorelease of the fluorophore was used to define the amplitude and temporal stability of the aspartate jumps employed in chemotaxis experiments. The dependence of chemotactic adaptation times on aspartate concentration, determined in mixing experiments, was best fit by two Tar aspartate-binding sites. Signal processing (excitation) times, amplitudes, and adaptive recovery of responses elicited by aspartate jumps producing less than 20% change in receptor occupancy were characterized in photorelease assays. Aspartate concentration jumps in the nanomolar range elicited measurable responses. The response threshold and sensitivity of swimming bacteria matched those of bacteria tethered to glass by a single flagellum. Stimuli of similar magnitude, delivered either by rapid mixing or photorelease, evoked responses of similar strength, as assessed by recovery time measurements. These times remained proportional to change in receptor occupancy close to threshold, irrespective of prior occupancy. Motor excitation responses decayed exponentially with time. Rates of excitation responses near threshold ranged from 2 to 7 s-1. These values are consistent with control of excitation signaling by decay of phosphorylated pools of the response regulator protein, CheY. Excitation response rates increased slightly with stimulus size up to values limited by the instrumentation; the most rapid was measured to be 16 +/- 3 (SE) s-1. This increase may reflect simultaneous activation of CheY dephosphorylation, together with inhibition of its phosphorylation.  (+info)

(7/4935) D-Aspartate stimulation of testosterone synthesis in rat Leydig cells.

D-Aspartate increases human chorionic gonadotropin-induced testosterone production in purified rat Leydig cells. L-Aspartate, D-,L-glutamate or D-,L-asparagine could not substitute for D-aspartate and this effect was independent of glutamate receptor activation. Testosterone production was enhanced only in cells cultured with D-aspartate for more than 3 h. The increased production of testosterone was well correlated with the amounts of D-aspartate incorporated into the Leydig cells, and L-cysteine sulfinic acid, an inhibitor of D-aspartate uptake, suppressed both testosterone production and intracellular D-aspartate levels. D-Aspartate therefore is presumably taken up into cells to increase steroidogenesis. Intracellular D-aspartate probably acts on cholesterol translocation into the inner mitochondrial membrane, the rate-limiting process in steroidogenesis.  (+info)

(8/4935) Deamidation and isoaspartate formation in smeared tau in paired helical filaments. Unusual properties of the microtubule-binding domain of tau.

An extensive loss of a selected population of neurons in Alzheimer's disease is closely related to the formation of paired helical filaments (PHFs). The most striking characteristic of PHFs upon Western blotting is their smearing. According to a previously described protocol (Morishima-Kawashima, M., Hasegawa, M., Takio, K., Suzuki, M., Titani, K., and Ihara, Y. (1993) Neuron 10, 1151-1160), smeared tau was purified, and its peptide map was compared with that of soluble (normal) tau. A CNBr fragment from soluble tau (CN5; residues 251-419 according to the 441-residue isoform) containing the microtubule-binding domain migrated at 15 and 18 kDa on SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, whereas that from smeared tau exhibited two larger, unusually broad bands at approximately 30 and approximately 45 kDa, presumably representing dimers and trimers of CN5. In the peptide map of smeared tau-derived CN5, distinct peaks eluting at unusual locations were noted. Amino acid sequence and mass spectrometric analyses revealed that these distinct peptides bear isoaspartate at Asn-381 and Asp-387. Because no unusual peptides other than aspartyl or isoaspartyl peptide were found in the digests of smeared tau-derived CN5, it is likely that site-specific deamidation and isoaspartate formation are involved in its dimerization and trimerization and thus in PHF formation in vivo.  (+info)