WW: An isolated three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet domain that unfolds and refolds reversibly; evidence for a structured hydrophobic cluster in urea and GdnHCl and a disordered thermal unfolded state. (1/338)

The objective of this study was to evaluate the suitability of the WW domain as a desirable model system to understand the folding and stability of an isolated three-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet structure. The WW domain was subjected to thermal and chaotropic denaturation/reconstitution utilizing a variety of biophysical methods. This three-stranded sheet folds reversibly and cooperatively utilizing both urea and GdnHCl as denaturants; however, the denatured state retains structure in the form of a hydrophobic cluster involving at least one aromatic side chain. In contrast to chaotropic denaturation, thermal denaturation appears to be more complete and may be a two state process. The suitability of the WW domain for future studies aimed at understanding the kinetics and thermodynamics of antiparallel beta-sheet folding clearly emerges from this initial study. The most exciting and significant result in this manuscript is the finding that the chaotropic denatured state of WW has a hydrophobic cluster as discerned by near-UV CD evidence. The role that the denatured state plays in the folding and stability of a three-stranded beta-sheets, and its capacity for preventing aggregation may be particularly important and is the subject of ongoing studies.  (+info)

Detection of putative Zn(II) binding sites within Escherichia coli RNA polymerase: inconsistency between sequence-based prediction and 65Zn blotting. (2/338)

The availability of repeating 'Cys' and/or 'His' units in a particular order prompts the prediction of Zn(II) finger motifs in a protein. Escherichia coli RNA polymerase has two tightly bound Zn(II) per molecule of the enzyme as detected by atomic absorption spectroscopy. One Zn(II) was identified to be at the beta subunit, whereas the other putative Zn(II) binding site has recently been predicted to be at the N-terminal half of the beta' subunit, from primary sequence analysis. We show here that the beta' subunit has no ability to bind 65Zn(II). On the other hand, the N-terminal domain of the alpha subunit has strong Zn(II) binding ability with no obvious functional implications.  (+info)

Thiopental attenuates hypoxic changes of electrophysiology, biochemistry, and morphology in rat hippocampal slice CA1 pyramidal cells. (3/338)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Thiopental has been shown to protect against cerebral ischemic damage; however, it has undesirable side effects. We have examined how thiopental alters histological, physiological, and biochemical changes during and after hypoxia. These experiments should enable the discovery of agents that share some of the beneficial effects of thiopental. METHODS: We made intracellular recordings and measured ATP, sodium, potassium, and calcium concentrations from CA1 pyramidal cells in rat hippocampal slices subjected to 10 minutes of hypoxia with and without 600 micromol/L thiopental. RESULTS: Thiopental delayed the time until complete depolarization (21+/-3 versus 11+/-2 minutes for treated versus untreated slices, respectively) and attenuated the level of depolarization at 10 minutes of hypoxia (-33+/-6 versus -12+/-5 mV). There was improved recovery of the resting potential after 10 minutes of hypoxia in slices treated with thiopental (89% versus 31% recovery). Thiopental attenuated the changes in sodium (140% versus 193% of prehypoxic concentration), potassium (62% versus 46%), and calcium (111% versus 197%) during 10 minutes of hypoxia. There was only a small effect on ATP (18% versus 8%). The percentage of cells showing clear histological damage was decreased by thiopental (45% versus 71%), and thiopental improved protein synthesis after hypoxia (75% versus 20%). CONCLUSIONS: Thiopental attenuates neuronal depolarization, an increase in cellular sodium and calcium concentrations, and a decrease in cellular potassium and ATP concentrations during hypoxia. These effects may explain the reduced histological, protein synthetic, and electrophysiological damage to CA1 pyramidal cells after hypoxia with thiopental.  (+info)

Mitotic misregulation and human aging. (4/338)

Messenger RNA levels were measured in actively dividing fibroblasts isolated from young, middle-age, and old-age humans and humans with progeria, a rare genetic disorder characterized by accelerated aging. Genes whose expression is associated with age-related phenotypes and diseases were identified. The data also suggest that an underlying mechanism of the aging process involves increasing errors in the mitotic machinery of dividing cells in the postreproductive stage of life. We propose that this dysfunction leads to chromosomal pathologies that result in misregulation of genes involved in the aging process.  (+info)

Oestrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptors in ovarian neoplasia: correlation between immunohistochemical and biochemical receptor analyses. (5/338)

AIM: To investigate the correlation between immunohistochemical and biochemical steroid receptor analyses by measurement of oestrogen, progesterone, and androgen receptor status in ovarian neoplasia. METHODS: Tissue samples were obtained from 27 ovarian neoplasms, including two borderline tumours. Immunohistochemical staining of the tissue slides was scored semiquantitatively, incorporating the intensity and percentage of positive staining (histo-score). Tumours with a histo-score of 10 or more were considered steroid receptor positive. The epithelial and stromal fractions of the tumours were analysed separately. To study the uniformity of receptor expression throughout a tumour, up to four samples were analysed. RESULTS: Immunohistochemical histo-scores of the oestrogen receptor in the epithelial fractions were significantly correlated with the biochemical oestrogen receptor values (r = 0.408). Androgen receptor status in the epithelial fraction was correlated with that in the stromal fraction (r = 0.741), while androgen receptor histo-scores in the epithelial fraction correlated with the biochemical assay values (r = 0.463). On biochemical analysis, 17 of the 27 ovarian tumours were oestrogen receptor positive and seven were progesterone receptor positive. On immunohistochemical analysis, eight tumours were oestrogen receptor positive and two were progesterone receptor positive. Biochemical analysis showed that 14 of the 26 tumours were slightly androgen receptor positive (10-50 fmol/mg protein), while all the others were negative. On immunohistochemical analysis, seven of the 26 tumours were androgen receptor positive. When two or more specimens from one tumour were analysed, marked differences in steroid status were found, especially in progesterone receptor and androgen receptor expression. Some parts of a tumour were steroid receptor positive, while other parts were negative owing to heterogeneity of expression. CONCLUSIONS: Immunohistochemical and biochemical analysis of steroid receptors in ovarian tumours correlated weakly or not at all. Heterogeneity of expression within a tumour and the presence of progesterone and androgen receptors in the stromal fraction partly accounted for this observation. Biochemical and immunohistochemical androgen receptor status was much lower than in previous reports.  (+info)

Trehalose effect on low temperature protein dynamics: fluctuation and relaxation phenomena. (6/338)

We performed spectral diffusion experiments in trehalose-enriched glycerol/buffer-glass on horseradish peroxidase where the heme was replaced by metal-free mesoporphyrin IX, and compared them with the respective behavior in a pure glycerol/buffer-glass (Schlichter et al., J. Chem. Phys. 2000, 112:3045-3050). Trehalose has a significant influence: spectral diffusion broadening speeds up compared to the trehalose-free glass. This speeding up is attributed to a shortening of the correlation time of the frequency fluctuations most probably by preventing water molecules from leaving the protein interior. Superimposed to the frequency fluctuation dynamics is a relaxation dynamics that manifests itself as an aging process in the spectral diffusion broadening. Although the trehalose environment speeds up the fluctuations, it does not have any influence on the relaxation. Both relaxation and fluctuations are governed by power laws in time. The respective exponents do not seem to change with the protein environment. From the spectral dynamics, the mean square displacement in conformation space can be determined. It is governed by anomalous diffusion. The associated frequency correlation time is incredibly long, demonstrating that proteins at low temperatures are truly nonergodic systems.  (+info)

A new method for mapping nucleic acid sequence homology by electron microscopy. (7/338)

We describe here a new method for the electron microscopic mapping of sequence homology in nucleic acids. Specific segments of the T7 chromosome have been isolated following digestion with the restriction endonuclease from Hemophilus aegyptious (Haey). Denatured segments are annealed to the l-strand of T7 DNA; treatment of the hybrid with glyoxal allows only guanosine residues in the single-chain region to the reacted, producing an adduct which will no longer hydrogen bond with its complement on the r-strand. When the segment is displaced and the glyoxalated l-strand allowed to renature with the r-strand, "H" shaped structures are produced in which the duplex region corresponds to the position of sequence homology with the segment. The conditions employed for glyoxalation do not detectably disrupt duplex regions as small as 400 base pairs. This procedure should be generally useful for observing sequence homology in more complex DNA molecules containing duplex regions which can be specifically enriched for and their arrangement determined by electron microscopy.  (+info)

A novel method to determine the topology of peroxisomal membrane proteins in vivo using the tobacco etch virus protease. (8/338)

Most proteins essential for the biogenesis of peroxisomes (peroxins) that are identified to date are associated with or are integral components of the peroxisomal membrane. A prerequisite in elucidating their function is to determine their topology in the membrane. We have developed a novel tool to analyze the topology of peroxisomal membrane proteins in the yeast Hansenula polymorpha in vivo using the 27-kDa NIa protease subunit from the tobacco etch virus (TEVp). TEVp specifically cleaves peptides containing the consensus sequence, EXXYXQ downward arrowS (tev). We show that cytosolic TEVp and peroxisomal TEVp.SKL are selectively active on soluble cytosolic and peroxisomal tev-containing proteins in vivo, respectively, without affecting the viability of the yeast cells. The tev sequence was introduced in between the primary sequence of the peroxisomal membrane proteins Pex3p or Pex10p and the reporter protein enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP). Co-synthesis of these functional tev-GFP tagged proteins with either cytosolic TEVp or peroxisomal TEVp.SKL revealed that the C termini of Pex3p and Pex10p are exposed to the cytosol. Additional applications of the TEV protease to study peroxisome biogenesis are discussed.  (+info)