Gene cloning and nucleotide sequencing and properties of a cocaine esterase from Rhodococcus sp. strain MB1. (65/1703)

A strain of Rhodococcus designated MB1, which was capable of utilizing cocaine as a sole source of carbon and nitrogen for growth, was isolated from rhizosphere soil of the tropane alkaloid-producing plant Erythroxylum coca. A cocaine esterase was found to initiate degradation of cocaine, which was hydrolyzed to ecgonine methyl ester and benzoate; both of these esterolytic products were further metabolized by Rhodococcus sp. strain MB1. The structural gene encoding a cocaine esterase, designated cocE, was cloned from Rhodococcus sp. strain MB1 genomic libraries by screening recombinant strains of Rhodococcus erythropolis CW25 for growth on cocaine. The nucleotide sequence of cocE corresponded to an open reading frame of 1,724 bp that codes for a protein of 574 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of cocaine esterase has a region of similarity with the active serine consensus of X-prolyl dipeptidyl aminopeptidases, suggesting that the cocaine esterase is a serine esterase. The cocE coding sequence was subcloned into the pCFX1 expression plasmid and expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant cocaine esterase was purified to apparent homogeneity and was found to be monomeric, with an M(r) of approximately 65,000. The apparent K(m) of the enzyme (mean +/- standard deviation) for cocaine was measured as 1.33 +/- 0.085 mM. These findings are of potential use in the development of a linked assay for the detection of illicit cocaine.  (+info)

Interaction between the tobacco mosaic virus movement protein and host cell pectin methylesterases is required for viral cell-to-cell movement. (66/1703)

Virus-encoded movement protein (MP) mediates cell-to-cell spread of tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) through plant intercellular connections, the plasmodesmata. The molecular pathway by which TMV MP interacts with the host cell is largely unknown. To understand this process better, a cell wall-associated protein that specifically binds the viral MP was purified from tobacco leaf cell walls and identified as pectin methylesterase (PME). In addition to TMV MP, PME is recognized by MPs of turnip vein clearing virus (TVCV) and cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV). The use of amino acid deletion mutants of TMV MP showed that its domain was necessary and sufficient for association with PME. Deletion of the PME-binding region resulted in inactivation of TMV cell-to-cell movement.  (+info)

Spirochaeta aurantia has diacetyl chloramphenicol esterase activity. (67/1703)

The free-living spirochete Spirochaeta aurantia was nearly as susceptible to diacetyl chloramphenicol, the product of chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, as it was to chloramphenicol itself. This unexpected susceptibility to diacetyl chloramphenicol was wholly or partly the consequence of intrinsic carboxylesterase activity, as indicated by high-performance liquid chromatography, thin-layer chromatography, and microbiological assays. The esterase converted the diacetate to chloramphenicol, thus inhibiting spirochete growth. The esterase activity was cell associated, reduced by proteinase K, eliminated by boiling, and independent of the presence of either chloramphenicol or diacetyl chloramphenicol. S. aurantia extracts also hydrolyzed other esterase substrates, and two of these, alpha-napthyl acetate and 4-methylumbelliferyl acetate, identified an esterase of approximately 75 kDa in a nondenaturing gel. Carboxylesterases occur in Streptomyces species, but in this study their activity was weaker than that of S. aurantia. The S. aurantia esterase could reduce the effectiveness of cat as either a selectable marker or a reporter gene in this species.  (+info)

Utilization of biotin in proliferating human lymphocytes. (68/1703)

Lymphocytes are part of the immune system and respond to antigenic stimulation with proliferation. We sought to determine whether mitogen-stimulated, proliferating lymphocytes increase the cellular uptake of biotin and, if so, to identify mechanisms that mediate the increase. Lymphocytes were isolated from human peripheral blood; proliferation of lymphocytes was induced by incubation with pokeweed lectin, concanavalin A or phytohemagglutinin. Biotin uptake was quantitated by determination of [3H] uptake into the lymphocytes during incubation with [3H]biotin after establishing that [3H]biotin is not metabolized within the lymphocytes during the incubation period (<5%). Biotin uptake into proliferating lymphocytes increased to 278-722% of the control values for nonproliferating lymphocytes. Kinetic analysis of biotin transport provided evidence that the increase is mediated by an increased number of transporters on the cell surface rather than by an increase in transporter affinity. Cycloheximide, an inhibitor of protein synthesis, completely suppressed the mitogen-stimulated increase in biotin transport. This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that proliferating lymphocytes increase biotin uptake by increasing the synthesis of new transporters. Biotin affinity and structural specificity were similar in proliferating and nonproliferating lymphocytes, suggesting that mitogens induced an increase in the number of the same transporter molecule that mediates transport in unstimulated lymphocytes. Mitogen-stimulated lymphocytes exhibited 2.5 times greater activities of biotin-dependent beta-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase compared with time 0 (at 72 h after addition of mitogen). This observation is consistent with the hypothesis that proliferating lymphocytes increase biotin uptake at least in part to provide adequate coenzyme for biotin-dependent carboxylases.  (+info)

Lipases and carboxylesterases: possible roles in the hepatic utilization of vitamin A. (69/1703)

The formation and hydrolysis of retinyl esters are key processes in the metabolism of the fat-soluble micronutrient vitamin A. Long-chain acyl esters of retinol are the major chemical form of vitamin A (retinoid) stored in the body. Although retinyl esters are found in a variety of tissues and cell types, most of the total body retinoid is accounted for by the retinyl esters stored in the liver. Thus, these esters represent the major endogenous source of retinoid that can be delivered to peripheral tissues for conversion to biologically active forms. This paper summarizes the current state of our knowledge about the identity, function and regulation of the hepatic enzymes that are potentially involved in catalyzing the hydrolysis of retinyl esters. These enzymes include several known and characterized lipases and carboxylesterases.  (+info)

Characterization of CPT-11 hydrolysis by human liver carboxylesterase isoforms hCE-1 and hCE-2. (70/1703)

7-Ethyl-10-[4-(1-piperidino)-1-piperidino] carbonyloxy-camptothecin (irinotecan; CPT-11) is a prodrug activated by carboxylesterase enzymes. We characterized the hydrolysis of CPT-11 by two recently identified human carboxylesterase (hCE) enzymes, hCE-1 and hCE-2. Km and Vmax for hCE-1 and hCE-2 are 43 microM and 0.53 nmol/min/mg protein and 3.4 microM and 2.5 nmol/min/mg protein, respectively. hCE-2 has a 12.5-fold higher affinity for CPT-11 and a 5-fold higher maximal rate of CPT-11 hydrolysis when compared with hCE-1. In cytotoxicity assays, incubation of 1 microM CPT-11 with hCE-2 (3.6 microg/ml) resulted in a 60% reduction in survival of SQ20b cells. No significant reduction in cell survival was observed after incubation of CPT-11 with hCE-1. These data indicate that hCE-2 is a high-affinity, high-velocity enzyme with respect to CPT-11. hCE-2 likely plays a substantial role in CPT-11 activation in human liver at relevant pharmacological concentrations.  (+info)

Cloning, characterization, controlled overexpression, and inactivation of the major tributyrin esterase gene of Lactococcus lactis. (71/1703)

The gene encoding the major intracellular tributyrin esterase of Lactococcus lactis was cloned using degenerate DNA probes based on 19 known N-terminal amino acid residues of the purified enzyme. The gene, named estA, was sequenced and found to encode a protein of 258 amino acid residues. The transcription start site was mapped 233 nucleotides upstream of the start codon, and a canonical promoter sequence was identified. The deduced amino acid sequence of the estA product contained the typical GXSXG motif found in most lipases and esterases. The protein was overproduced up to 170-fold in L. lactis by use of the nisin-controlled expression system recently developed for lactic acid bacteria. The estA gene was inactivated by chromosomal integration of a temperature-sensitive integration vector. This resulted in the complete loss of esterase activity, which could then be recovered after complementation of the constructed esterase-deficient strain with the wild-type estA gene. This confirms that EstA is the main enzyme responsible for esterase activity in L. lactis. Purified recombinant enzyme showed a preference for short-chain acyl esters, surprisingly also including phospholipids. Medium- and long-acyl-chain lipids were also hydrolyzed, albeit less efficiently. Intermediate characteristics between esterases and lipases make intracellular lactococcal EstA difficult to classify in either of these two groups of esterolytic enzymes. We suggest that, in vivo, EstA could be involved in (phospho)lipid metabolism or cellular detoxification or both, as its sequence showed significant similarity to S-formylglutathione hydrolase (FGH) of Paracoccus denitrificans and human EstD (or FGH), which are part of a universal formaldehyde detoxification pathway.  (+info)

Poly(3-hydroxyvalerate) depolymerase of Pseudomonas lemoignei. (72/1703)

Pseudomonas lemoignei is equipped with at least five polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) depolymerase structural genes (phaZ1 to phaZ5) which enable the bacterium to utilize extracellular poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB), poly(3-hydroxyvalerate) (PHV), and related polyesters consisting of short-chain-length hxdroxyalkanoates (PHA(SCL)) as the sole sources of carbon and energy. Four genes (phaZ1, phaZ2, phaZ3, and phaZ5) encode PHB depolymerases C, B, D, and A, respectively. It was speculated that the remaining gene, phaZ4, encodes the PHV depolymerase (D. Jendrossek, A. Frisse, A. Behrends, M. Andermann, H. D. Kratzin, T. Stanislawski, and H. G. Schlegel, J. Bacteriol. 177:596-607, 1995). However, in this study, we show that phaZ4 codes for another PHB depolymeraes (i) by disagreement of 5 out of 41 amino acids that had been determined by Edman degradation of the PHV depolymerase and of four endoproteinase GluC-generated internal peptides with the DNA-deduced sequence of phaZ4, (ii) by the lack of immunological reaction of purified recombinant PhaZ4 with PHV depolymerase-specific antibodies, and (iii) by the low activity of the PhaZ4 depolymerase with PHV as a substrate. The true PHV depolymerase-encoding structural gene, phaZ6, was identified by screening a genomic library of P. lemoignei in Escherichia coli for clearing zone formation on PHV agar. The DNA sequence of phaZ6 contained all 41 amino acids of the GluC-generated peptide fragments of the PHV depolymerase. PhaZ6 was expressed and purified from recombinant E. coli and showed immunological identity to the wild-type PHV depolymerase and had high specific activities with PHB and PHV as substrates. To our knowledge, this is the first report on a PHA(SCL) depolymerase gene that is expressed during growth on PHV or odd-numbered carbon sources and that encodes a protein with high PHV depolymerase activity. Amino acid analysis revealed that PhaZ6 (relative molecular mass [M(r)], 43,610 Da) resembles precursors of other extracellular PHA(SCL) depolymerases (28 to 50% identical amino acids). The mature protein (M(r), 41,048) is composed of (i) a large catalytic domain including a catalytic triad of S(136), D(211), and H(269) similar to serine hydrolases; (ii) a linker region highly enriched in threonine residues and other amino acids with hydroxylated or small side chains (Thr-rich region); and (iii) a C-terminal domain similar in sequence to the substrate-binding domain of PHA(SCL) depolymerases. Differences in the codon usage of phaZ6 for some codons from the average codon usage of P. lemoignei indicated that phaZ6 might be derived from other organisms by gene transfer. Multialignment of separate domains of bacterial PHA(SCL) depolymerases suggested that not only complete depolymerase genes but also individual domains might have been exchanged between bacteria during evolution of PHA(SCL) depolymerases.  (+info)