Downregulation of metallothionein-IIA expression occurs at immortalization.
Metallothioneins (MTs) may modulate a variety of cellular processes by regulating the activity of zinc-binding proteins. These proteins have been implicated in cell growth regulation, and their expression is abnormal in some tumors. In particular, MT-IIA is expressed 27-fold less in human colorectal tumors and tumor cell lines compared with normal tissue (Zhang et al., 1997). Here we demonstrate that MT-IIA downregulation occurs when human cells become immortal, a key event in tumorigenesis. After immortalization MT-IIA expression remains inducible but the basal activity of the MT-IIA promoter is decreased. MT-IIA downregulation at immortalization is one of the most common immortalization-related changes identified to date, suggesting that MT-IIA has a role in this process. (+info)
Somatic recording of GABAergic autoreceptor current in cerebellar stellate and basket cells.
Patch-clamp recordings were performed from stellate and basket cells in rat cerebellar slices. Under somatic voltage clamp, short depolarizing pulses were applied to elicit action potentials in the axon. After the action potential, a bicuculline- and Cd2+-sensitive current transient was observed. A similar response was obtained when eliciting axonal firing by extracellular stimulation. With an isotonic internal Cl- solution, the peak amplitude of this current varied linearly with the holding potential, yielding an extrapolated reversal potential of -20 to 0 mV. Unlike synaptic or autaptic GABAergic currents obtained in the same preparation, the current transient had a slow rise-time and a low variability between trials. This current was blocked when 10 mM BAPTA was included in the recording solution. In some experiments, the current transient elicited axonal action potentials. The current transient was reliably observed in animals aged 12-15 d, with a mean amplitude of 82 pA at -70 mV, but was small and rare in the age group 29-49 d. Numerical simulations could account for all properties of the current transient by assuming that an action potential activates a distributed GABAergic conductance in the axon. The actual conductance is probably restricted to release sites, with an estimated mean presynaptic current response of 10 pA per site (-70 mV, age 12-15 d). We conclude that in developing rats, stellate and basket cell axons have a high density of GABAergic autoreceptors and that a sizable fraction of the corresponding current can be measured from the soma. (+info)
Cadmium-mediated activation of the metal response element in human neuroblastoma cells lacking functional metal response element-binding transcription factor-1.
Metal response element-binding transcription factor-1 (MTF-1) binds specifically to metal response elements (MREs) and transactivates metallothionein (MT) gene expression in response to zinc and cadmium. This investigation contrasts the mechanism of mouse MT gene (mMT-I) promoter activation by cadmium and zinc in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells to determine whether MTF-1 binding to the MRE is necessary for activation by these metals. Cadmium activated a mMT-1 promoter (-150 base pairs) luciferase reporter 20-25-fold through a MRE-dependent mechanism. In contrast, zinc had little effect on the mMT-1 luciferase reporter. IMR-32 cells lacked MRE binding activity, and treatment with zinc in vitro or in vivo did not generate a MTF-1. MRE complex, suggesting that IMR-32 cells lack functional MTF-1. Overexpression of mMTF-1 regenerated a zinc-mediated induction of the MRE without affecting cadmium activation. Because no other transition metals tested activated the MRE, this effect appeared to be cadmium-specific. These data demonstrate that in IMR-32 human neuroblastoma cells, zinc and cadmium can use independent mechanisms for activation of the mMT-I promoter and cadmium-mediated MRE activation is independent of MTF-1 and zinc. (+info)
Enhanced bioaccumulation of heavy metal ions by bacterial cells due to surface display of short metal binding peptides.
Metal binding peptides of sequences Gly-His-His-Pro-His-Gly (named HP) and Gly-Cys-Gly-Cys-Pro-Cys-Gly-Cys-Gly (named CP) were genetically engineered into LamB protein and expressed in Escherichia coli. The Cd2+-to-HP and Cd2+-to-CP stoichiometries of peptides were 1:1 and 3:1, respectively. Hybrid LamB proteins were found to be properly folded in the outer membrane of E. coli. Isolated cell envelopes of E. coli bearing newly added metal binding peptides showed an up to 1.8-fold increase in Cd2+ binding capacity. The bioaccumulation of Cd2+, Cu2+, and Zn2+ by E. coli was evaluated. Surface display of CP multiplied the ability of E. coli to bind Cd2+ from growth medium fourfold. Display of HP peptide did not contribute to an increase in the accumulation of Cu2+ and Zn2+. However, Cu2+ ceased contribution of HP for Cd2+ accumulation, probably due to the strong binding of Cu2+ to HP. Thus, considering the cooperation of cell structures with inserted peptides, the relative affinities of metal binding peptide and, for example, the cell wall to metal ion should be taken into account in the rational design of peptide sequences possessing specificity for a particular metal. (+info)
Relationship between L-type Ca2+ current and unitary sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release events in rat ventricular myocytes.
1. The time courses of Ca2+ current and Ca2+ spark occurrence were determined in single rat ventricular myocytes voltage clamped with patch pipettes containing 0.1 microM fluo-3. Acquisition of line-scan images on a laser scanning confocal microscope was synchronized with measurement of Cd2+-sensitive Ca2+ currents. In most cells, individual Ca2+ sparks were observed by reducing Ca2+ current density with nifedipine (0.1-8 microM). 2. Ca2+ sparks elicited by depolarizing voltage-clamp pulses had a peak [Ca2+] amplitude of 289 +/- 3 nM with a decay half-time of 20.8 +/- 0.2 ms and a full width at half-maximum of 1.40 +/- 0.03 microm (mean +/- s. e.m., n = 345), independent of the membrane potential. 3. The time between the beginning of a depolarization and the initiation of each Ca2+ spark was calculated and data were pooled to construct waiting time histograms. Exponential functions were fitted to these histograms and to the decaying phase of the Ca2+ current. This analysis showed that the time constants describing Ca2+ current and Ca2+ spark occurrence at membrane potentials between -30 mV and +30 mV were not significantly different. At +50 mV, in the absence of nifedipine, the time constant describing Ca2+ spark occurrence was significantly larger than the time constant of the Ca2+ current. 4. A simple model is developed using Poisson statistics to relate macroscopic Ca2+ current to the opening of single L-type Ca2+ channels at the dyad junction and to the time course of Ca2+ spark occurrence. The model suggests that the time courses of macroscopic Ca2+ current and Ca2+ spark occurrence should be closely related when opening of a single L-type Ca2+ channel initiates a Ca2+ spark. By comparison with the data, the model suggests that Ca2+ sparks are initiated by the opening of a single L-type Ca2+ channel at all membrane potentials encountered during an action potential. (+info)
Delayed rectifier potassium current in undiseased human ventricular myocytes.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to investigate the properties of the delayed rectifier potassium current (IK) in myocytes isolated from undiseased human left ventricles. METHODS: The whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique was applied in 28 left ventricular myocytes from 13 hearts at 35 degrees C. RESULTS: An E-4031 sensitive tail current identified the rapid component of IK (IKr) in the myocytes, but there was no evidence for an E-4031 insensitive slow component of IK (IKs). When nifedipine (5 microM) was used to block the inward calcium current (ICa), IKr activation was fast (tau = 31.0 +/- 7.4 ms, at +30 mV, n = 5) and deactivation kinetics were biexponential and relatively slow (tau 1 = 600.0 +/- 53.9 ms and tau 2 = 6792.2 +/- 875.7 ms, at -40 mV, n = 7). Application of CdCl2 (250 microM) to block ICa altered the voltage dependence of the IKr considerably, slowing its activation (tau = 657.1 +/- 109.1 ms, at +30 mV, n = 5) and accelerating its deactivation (tau = 104.0 +/- 18.5 ms, at -40 mV, n = 8). CONCLUSIONS: In undiseased human ventricle at 35 degrees C IKr exists having fast activation and slow deactivation kinetics; however, there was no evidence found for an expressed IKs. IKr probably plays an important role in the frequency dependent modulation of repolarization in undiseased human ventricle, and is a target for many Class III antiarrhythmic drugs. (+info)
Differences in pharmacological properties of dopamine release between the substantia nigra and striatum: an in vivo electrochemical study.
The properties of dopamine (DA) release in the rat substantia nigra (SN) and striatum were investigated using high-speed chronoamperometric recordings in brain slices. In both brain regions, a 2-min bath superfusion with 30 mM KCl produced robust DA-like electrochemical signals, with the mean amplitude of the signal being >10-fold greater in the striatum than the SN. The reproducibility of the response was confirmed by a second stimulus (S2)/first-stimulus (S1) ratio of >0.8 in both regions. The bath application of tetrodotoxin significantly reduced the S2/S1 ratio in both the striatum and SN, implicating the requirement for voltage-sensitive sodium channels in the DA-release process. However, the application of cadmium chloride, a nonselective blocker of voltage-sensitive calcium channels, reduced the S2/S1 ratio only in the striatum and not within the SN. Moreover, removal of Ca2+ from the buffer did not significantly affect release within the SN, despite a >85% reduction in release within the striatum. In addition, although the D2 receptor antagonist sulpiride enhanced the S2/S1 ratio in the striatum, no effect of this agent was seen in the SN. Finally, the application of d-amphetamine produced DA-like electrochemical signals in both the striatum and SN. However, the amplitude of the d-amphetamine-evoked response, relative to the KCl-evoked release, was much smaller in the striatum than in the SN. Taken together, these data support the hypothesis that differences in the mechanism or mechanisms of release exist between somatodendritic and axonal elements within the nigrostriatal pathway. (+info)
Selective effects of neuronal-synaptobrevin mutations on transmitter release evoked by sustained versus transient Ca2+ increases and by cAMP.
Synaptobrevin is a key constituent of the synaptic vesicle membrane. The neuronal-synaptobrevin (n-syb) gene in Drosophila is essential for nerve-evoked synaptic currents, but miniature excitatory synaptic currents (mESCs) remain even in the complete absence of this gene. To further characterize the defect in these mutants, we have examined conditions that stimulate secretion. Despite the inability of an action potential to trigger fusion, high K+ saline could increase the frequency of mESCs 4- to 17-fold in a Ca2+-dependent manner, and the rate of fusion approached 25% of that seen in wild-type synapses under the same conditions. Similarly, the mESC frequency in n-syb null mutants could be increased by a Ca2+ ionophore, A23187, and by black widow spider venom. Thus, the ability of the vesicles to fuse in response to sustained increases in cytosolic Ca2+ persisted in the absence of this protein. Tetanic stimulation could also increase the frequency of mESCs, particularly toward the end of a train and after the train of stimuli. In contrast, these mutants did not respond to an elevation of cAMP induced by an activator of adenylyl cyclase, forskolin, or a membrane-permeable analog of cAMP, dibutyryl cAMP, which in wild-type synapses causes a marked increase in the mESC frequency even in the absence of external Ca2+. These results are discussed in the context of models that invoke a special role for n-syb in coupling fusion to the transient, local changes in Ca2+ and an as yet unidentified target of cAMP. (+info)