Is dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine a substrate for convertase? (57/1703)

Convertase has homology with carboxylesterases, but its substrate(s) is not known. Accordingly, we determined whether dipalmitoylphosphatidylcholine (DPPC), the major phospholipid in surfactant, was a substrate for convertase. We measured [(3)H]choline release during cycling of the heavy subtype containing [(3)H]choline-labeled DPPC with convertase, phospholipases A(2), B, C, and D, liver esterase, and elastase. Cycling with liver esterase or peanut or cabbage phospholipase D produced the characteristic profile of heavy and light peaks observed on cycling with convertase. In contrast, phospholipases A(2), B, and C and yeast phospholipase D produced a broad band of radioactivity across the gradient without distinct peaks. [(3)H]choline was released when natural surfactant containing [(3)H]choline-labeled DPPC was cycled with yeast phospholipase D but not with convertase or peanut and cabbage phospholipases D. Similarly, yeast phospholipase D hydrolyzed [(3)H]choline from [(3)H]choline-labeled DPPC after incubation in vitro, whereas convertase, liver esterase, or peanut and cabbage phospholipases D did not. Thus convertase, liver esterase, and plant phospholipases D did not hydrolyze choline from DPPC either on cycling or during incubation with enzyme in vitro. In conclusion, conversion of heavy to light subtype of surfactant by convertase may require a phospholipase D type hydrolysis of phospholipids, but the substrate in this reaction is not DPPC.  (+info)

Quantitative analysis of gene amplification in insecticide-resistant Culex mosquitoes. (58/1703)

The amplification of carboxylesterase structural genes followed by their overexpression is the most common mechanism of resistance to organophosphorus insecticides in Culex mosquitoes. Most resistant Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes have co-amplified estalpha2(1) and estbeta2(1) genes. Recently, Southern, DNA dot-blot analysis and phosphorimaging technology were used to quantify the est gene copy number in aphids and mosquitoes. Although more accurate than autoradiography, this method relies on probe hybridization, which can be variable. We have directly measured gene and mRNA copy number by using real-time quantitative PCRs in mosquitoes. The acquisition of fluorescence from incorporation of the double-strand-specific dye SYBR GreenI into a PCR product once per cycle is used to provide an absolute quantification of the initial template copy number. Thus it has been possible to show that estalpha2(1) and estbeta2(1) are co-amplified approx. 80-fold in the genome of the resistant PelRR strain of C. quinquefasciatus. The two genes, although co-amplified in a 1:1 ratio, are differentially transcribed: the estbeta2(1) gene from this amplicon has greater transcription than estalpha2(1) in all individual mosquito larvae tested, with an average ratio of 10:1. Purified esterases from mosquito homogenates were found in a ratio of 3:1, which, combined with the quantitative mRNA data, suggests the operation of both transcriptional and translational control mechanisms to regulate the expression of the amplified genes in C. quinquefasciatus insecticide-resistant mosquitoes.  (+info)

Regulation of the juvenile hormone esterase gene by a composite core promoter. (59/1703)

Transcription from the core promoter of the juvenile hormone esterase gene (-61 to +28) requires the presence of both an AT-rich motif (TATA box) and an initiator motif for any transcription to occur, when assayed by either transcription in vitro with lepidopteran Sf9 nuclear extracts or by transient-transfection assay in Sf9 cells. Additional gel-shift experiments indicated that at least one additional binding site is essential for transcription to occur. Mutational analysis in the transcription-in vitro and cell-transfection assays demonstrated that a 14-bp region from +13 to +27 relative to the transcription start site is also essential for transcription to occur. Whereas the wild-type core promoter is highly transcriptionally active, inclusion of additional flanking sequences to position -212 reduces that activity approx. 100-fold, and inclusion of the 5' region out to position -500 reduces transcription by 200-fold. The pattern of dependence on both the AT-rich motif and the initiator for detectable transcription, and the high innate activity being repressed by 5'-binding factors, was recapitulated in mosquito C7-10 cells. This study demonstrates that the cellular juvenile hormone esterase gene is organized as a composite core promoter, dependent on both TATA-box and initiator-binding factors, an organization that has been more commonly reported for viral promoters. This highly active composite core promoter is made more complex by the absolute dependence on the presence of a third site shortly downstream from the initiator, which is distinct from the 'downstream promoter element' described from some TATA-less genes. The juvenile hormone esterase gene thus appears to be a model of a cellular composite core promoter with a multipartite, indispensible requirement for not just both the TATA box and initiator, but also for at least a third core element as well.  (+info)

Feruloyl esterase activity of the Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome can be attributed to previously unknown domains of XynY and XynZ. (60/1703)

The cellulosome of Clostridium thermocellum is a multiprotein complex with endo- and exocellulase, xylanase, beta-glucanase, and acetyl xylan esterase activities. XynY and XynZ, components of the cellulosome, are composed of several domains including xylanase domains and domains of unknown function (UDs). Database searches revealed that the C- and N-terminal UDs of XynY and XynZ, respectively, have sequence homology with the sequence of a feruloyl esterase of strain PC-2 of the anaerobic fungus Orpinomyces. Purified cellulosomes from C. thermocellum were found to hydrolyze FAXX (O-(5-O-[(E)-feruloyl]-alpha-L-arabinofuranosyl)-(1-->3)-O-beta-D- xyl opyranosyl-(1-->4)-D-xylopyranose) and FAX(3) (5-O-[(E)-feruloyl]-[O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->2)]-O-alpha-L- arabinofuranosyl-[1-->3])-O-beta-D-xylopyranosyl-(1-->4)-D-xylopyranose) , yielding ferulic acid as a product, indicating that they have feruloyl esterase activity. Nucleotide sequences corresponding to the UDs of XynY and XynZ were cloned into Escherichia coli, and the expressed proteins hydrolyzed FAXX and FAX(3). The recombinant feruloyl esterase domain of XynZ alone (FAE(XynZ)) and with the adjacent cellulose binding domain (FAE-CBD(XynZ)) were characterized. FAE-CBD(XynZ) had a molecular mass of 45 kDa that corresponded to the expected product of the 1,203-bp gene. K(m) and V(max) values for FAX(3) were 5 mM and 12.5 U/mg, respectively, at pH 6.0 and 60 degrees C. PAX(3), a substrate similar to FAX(3) but with a p-coumaroyl group instead of a feruloyl moiety was hydrolyzed at a rate 10 times slower. The recombinant enzyme was active between pH 3 to 10 with an optimum between pH 4 to 7 and at temperatures up to 70 degrees C. Treatment of Coastal Bermuda grass with the enzyme released mainly ferulic acid and a lower amount of p-coumaric acid. FAE(XynZ) had similar properties. Removal of the 40 C-terminal amino acids, residues 247 to 286, of FAE(XynZ) resulted in protein without activity. Feruloyl esterases are believed to aid in a release of lignin from hemicellulose and may be involved in lignin solubilization. The presence of feruloyl esterase in the C. thermocellum cellulosome together with its other hydrolytic activities demonstrates a powerful enzymatic potential of this organelle in plant cell wall decomposition.  (+info)

Tandem mass spectrometric analysis of aspergillus niger pectin methylesterase: mode of action on fully methyl-esterified oligogalacturonates. (61/1703)

The substrate specificity and the mode of action of Aspergillus niger pectin methylesterase (PME) was determined using both fully methyl-esterified oligogalacturonates with degrees of polymerization (DP) 2-6 and chemically synthesized monomethyl trigalacturonates. The enzymic activity on the different substrates and a preliminary characterization of the reaction products were performed by using high-performance anion-exchange chromatography at neutral pH. Electrospray ionization tandem MS (ESI-MS/MS) was used to localize the methyl esters on the (18)O-labelled reaction products during the course of the enzymic reaction. A. niger PME is able to hydrolyse the methyl esters of fully methyl-esterified oligogalacturonates with DP 2, and preferentially hydrolyses the methyl esters located on the internal galacturonate residues, followed by hydrolysis of the methyl esters towards the reducing end. This PME is unable to hydrolyse the methyl ester of the galacturonate moiety at the non-reducing end.  (+info)

Paraoxonase polymorphism (Gln192Arg) as a determinant of the response of human coronary arteries to serotonin. (62/1703)

Background-Oxidation of LDL plays a role in endothelial dysfunction. Paraoxonase, an enzyme present on HDL, protects LDL against oxidation. Paraoxonase activity is genetically determined in part, and 3 genotypes have been described with variable enzymatic activity. We hypothesized that the paraoxonase polymorphism might influence endothelial function. Methods and Results-Twenty-seven patients with clinical manifestations of coronary artery disease underwent provocative testing by intracoronary administration of serotonin. None of the coronary arteries studied had significant (>50%) stenosis. Ten patients had the QQ genotype and 17 had the QR genotype. At proximal segments, the mean percentage reduction in lumen diameter in response to serotonin was greater in QQ patients than in QR patients (10(-5) mol/L: P<0.05; 10(-4) mol/L: P<0.006). Similarly, at distal segments, constriction in response to serotonin was greater in QQ patients than in QR patients (10(-6) mol/L: P<0. 03; 10(-5) mol/L: P<0.07). Conclusions-These results suggest a higher synthesis or release of endothelium-derived relaxing factors to counteract the vasoconstrictor effect of serotonin in patients with the R allele. These findings provide evidence that the paraoxonase polymorphism may play a role in the regulation of coronary vasomotor tone.  (+info)

The gene encoding polyneuridine aldehyde esterase of monoterpenoid indole alkaloid biosynthesis in plants is an ortholog of the alpha/betahydrolase super family. (63/1703)

The biosynthesis of the anti-arrhythmic alkaloid ajmaline is catalysed by more than 10 specific enzymes. In this multistep process polyneuridine aldehyde esterase (PNAE) catalyses a central reaction by transforming polyneuridine aldehyde into epi-vellosimine, which is the immediate precursor for the synthesis of the ajmalane skeleton. PNAE was purified from cell suspension cultures of Rauvolfia serpentina. The N-terminal sequence and endoproteinase LysC fragments of the purified protein were used for primer design and for the amplification of specific PCR products leading to the isolation of PNAE-encoding cDNA from a R. serpentina library. The PNAE cDNA was fused with a C-terminal His-tag, expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity using Ni-affinity chromatography. The pure enzyme shows extraordinary substrate specificity, completely different to other esterases. Sequence alignments indicate that PNAE is a new member of the alpha/beta hydrolase super family.  (+info)

Molecular basis for the temperature sensitivity of Escherichia coli pth(Ts). (64/1703)

The gene pth, encoding peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase (Pth), is essential for protein synthesis and viability of Escherichia coli. Two pth mutants have been studied in depth: a pth(Ts) mutant isolated as temperature sensitive and a pth(rap) mutant selected as nonpermissive for bacteriophage lambda vegetative growth. Here we show that each mutant protein is defective in a different way. The Pth(Ts) protein was very unstable in vivo, both at 43 degrees C and at permissive temperatures, but its specific activity was comparable to that of the wild-type enzyme, Pth(wt). Conversely, the mutant Pth(rap) protein had the same stability as Pth(wt), but its specific activity was low. The thermosensitivity of the pth(Ts) mutant, presumably, ensues after Pth(Ts) protein levels are reduced at 43 degrees C. Conditions that increased the cellular Pth(Ts) concentration, a rise in gene copy number or diminished protein degradation, allowed cell growth at a nonpermissive temperature. Antibiotic-mediated inhibition of mRNA and protein synthesis, but not of peptidyl-tRNA drop-off, reduced pth(Ts) cell viability even at a permissive temperature. Based on these results, we suggest that Pth(Ts) protein, being unstable in vivo, supports cell viability only if its concentration is maintained above a threshold that allows general protein synthesis.  (+info)