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(1/6230) Cell polarization: chemotaxis gets CRACKing.

An early stage in the establishment of cell polarity during chemotaxis of Dictyostelium dicoideum has been identified by a recent study; the new results also show that the development of cell polarity does not rely upon cytoskeletal rearrangement, and may use a spatial sensing mechanism.  (+info)

(2/6230) Deletion analysis of the Drosophila Inscuteable protein reveals domains for cortical localization and asymmetric localization.

The Drosophila Inscuteable protein acts as a key regulator of asymmetric cell division during the development of the nervous system [1] [2]. In neuroblasts, Inscuteable localizes into an apical cortical crescent during late interphase and most of mitosis. During mitosis, Inscuteable is required for the correct apical-basal orientation of the mitotic spindle and for the asymmetric segregation of the proteins Numb [3] [4] [5], Prospero [5] [6] [7] and Miranda [8] [9] into the basal daughter cell. When Inscuteable is ectopically expressed in epidermal cells, which normally orient their mitotic spindle parallel to the embryo surface, these cells reorient their mitotic spindle and divide perpendicularly to the surface [1]. Like the Inscuteable protein, the inscuteable RNA is asymmetrically localized [10]. We show here that inscuteable RNA localization is not required for Inscuteable protein localization. We found that a central 364 amino acid domain - the Inscuteable asymmetry domain - was necessary and sufficient for Inscuteable localization and function. Within this domain, a separate 100 amino acid region was required for asymmetric localization along the cortex, whereas a 158 amino acid region directed localization to the cell cortex. The same 158 amino acid fragment could localize asymmetrically when coexpressed with the full-length protein, however, and could bind to Inscuteable in vitro, suggesting that this domain may be involved in the self-association of Inscuteable in vivo.  (+info)

(3/6230) Polarized distribution of Bcr-Abl in migrating myeloid cells and co-localization of Bcr-Abl and its target proteins.

Bcr-Abl plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of Philadelphia chromosome-positive leukemia. Although a large number of substrates and interacting proteins of Bcr-Abl have been identified, it remains unclear whether Bcr-Abl assembles multi-protein complexes and if it does where these complexes are within cells. We have investigated the localization of Bcr-Abl in 32D myeloid cells attached to the extracellular matrix. We have found that Bcr-Abl displays a polarized distribution, colocalizing with a subset of filamentous actin at trailing portions of migrating 32D cells, and localizes on the cortical F-actin and on vesicle-like structures in resting 32D cells. Deletion of the actin binding domain of Bcr-Abl (Bcr-AbI-AD) dramatically enhances the localization of Bcr-Abl on the vesicle-like structures. These distinct localization patterns of Bcr-Abl and Bcr-Abl-AD enabled us to examine the localization of Bcr-Abl substrate and interacting proteins in relation to Bcr-Abl. We found that a subset of biochemically defined target proteins of Bcr-Abl redistributed and co-localized with Bcr-Abl on F-actin and on vesicle-like structures. The co-localization of signaling proteins with Bcr-Abl at its sites of localization supports the idea that Bcr-Abl forms a multi-protein signaling complex, while the polarized distribution and vesicle-like localization of Bcr-Abl may play a role in leukemogenesis.  (+info)

(4/6230) Changes in basement membrane thickness in the human endometrium during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.

We have examined aspects of the fine structure of the basal laminae associated with the luminal and glandular epithelium and small blood vessels in the human endometrium. Four short studies are presented and reviewed. Study 1 examined biopsies from 20 fertile women taken on days after the luteinizing hormone surge (LH): LH +2, 4, 6, 8 and 10. The basal lamina (both lamina densa and lucida) increased in thickness over the period studied. Study 2 again studied the glandular epithelium and examined the effect of RU486 (a progesterone receptor blocker) administered on day LH +3 and biopsied on day LH +6. The basal laminae were found to be the same as LH +2 control group but thinner than LH +6 control. Study 3 documented increased thickness of the basal laminae between LH +6, 8 and 13 in the luminal epithelium. The within-group coefficient of variation was 16% and 27% for LH +6 and LH +13 groups but only 2 % for LH +8. Study 4 demonstrated an increase in basal lamina thickness associated with small blood vessels between LH +6 and LH +10 in normal fertile women. The basal lamina provides the interface between epithelial and mesenchymal environments; changes in its structure can alter the phenotypic expression of the epithelia. It is one of the maternal barriers that must be transgressed by the trophoblast during implantation. Together, these combined studies provide quantitative baseline structural information on the electron microscopical appearance of the basal lamina during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle.  (+info)

(5/6230) Myometrial zonal differentiation and uterine junctional zone hyperplasia in the non-pregnant uterus.

Human non-gravid myometrium differentiates in response to ovarian sex steroids into a subendometrial layer or junctional zone and an outer myometrial layer. Compared to the outer myometrial layer, the junctional zone myocytes are characterized by higher cellular density and lower cytoplasmic-nuclear ratio. These structural differences allow in-vivo visualization of the myometrial zonal anatomy by T2-weighted magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. The human myometrium is also functionally polarized. Video-vaginosonography studies have shown that propagated myometrial contractions in the non-pregnant uterus originate only from the junctional zone and that the frequency and orientation of these contraction waves are dependent on the phase of the menstrual cycle. The mechanisms underlying zonal myometrial differentiation are not known, but growing evidence suggests that ovarian hormone action may be mediated through cytokines and uterotonins locally released by the basal endometrial layer and endometrio-myometrial T-lymphocytes. Irregular thickening of the junctional zone due to inordinate proliferation of the inner myometrium, junctional zone hyperplasia, is a common MR finding in women suffering from menstrual dysfunction. Preliminary data suggest that junctional zone hyperplasia is further characterized by loss of normal inner myometrial function. Although irregular thickening of the junctional zone has been associated with diffuse uterine adenomyosis, the precise relationship between subendometrial smooth muscle proliferation and myometrial invasion by endometrial glands and stroma remains to be established.  (+info)

(6/6230) Sodium reabsorption and distribution of Na+/K+-ATPase during postischemic injury to the renal allograft.

BACKGROUND: A loss of proximal tubule cell polarity is thought to activate tubuloglomerular feedback, thereby contributing to glomerular filtration rate depression in postischemic acute renal failure (ARF). METHODS: We used immunomicroscopy to evaluate the segmental distribution of Na+/K+-ATPase in tubules of recipients of cadaveric renal allografts. Fractional excretion (FE) of sodium and lithium was determined simultaneously. Observations were made on two occasions: one to three hours after graft reperfusion (day 0) and again on post-transplant day 7. An inulin clearance below or above 25 ml/min on day 7 was used to divide subjects into groups with sustained (N = 15) or recovering (N = 16) ARF, respectively. RESULTS: In sustained ARF, the fractional excretion of sodium (FENa) was 40 +/- 6% and 11 +/- 5%, and the fractional excretion of lithium (FELi) was 76 +/- 5% and 70 +/- 2% on days 0 and 7, respectively. Corresponding findings in recovering ARF were 28 +/- 2% and 6 +/- 2% for the FENa and 77 +/- 4% and 55 +/- 3% (P < 0.05 vs. sustained) for FELi. Na+/K+-ATPase distribution in both groups was mainly basolateral in distal straight and convoluted tubule segments and collecting ducts. However, Na+/K+-ATPase was poorly retained in the basolateral membrane of proximal convoluted and straight tubule segments in sustained and recovering ARF on both days 0 and 7. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that loss of proximal tubule cell polarity for Na+/K+-ATPase distribution is associated with enhanced delivery of filtered Na+ to the macula densa for seven days after allograft reperfusion. Whether an ensuing activation of tubuloglomerular feedback is an important cause of glomerular filtration rate depression in this form of ARF remains to be determined.  (+info)

(7/6230) Coupling assembly of the E-cadherin/beta-catenin complex to efficient endoplasmic reticulum exit and basal-lateral membrane targeting of E-cadherin in polarized MDCK cells.

The E-cadherin/catenin complex regulates Ca++-dependent cell-cell adhesion and is localized to the basal-lateral membrane of polarized epithelial cells. Little is known about mechanisms of complex assembly or intracellular trafficking, or how these processes might ultimately regulate adhesion functions of the complex at the cell surface. The cytoplasmic domain of E-cadherin contains two putative basal-lateral sorting motifs, which are homologous to sorting signals in the low density lipoprotein receptor, but an alanine scan across tyrosine residues in these motifs did not affect the fidelity of newly synthesized E-cadherin delivery to the basal-lateral membrane of MDCK cells. Nevertheless, sorting signals are located in the cytoplasmic domain since a chimeric protein (GP2CAD1), comprising the extracellular domain of GP2 (an apical membrane protein) and the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of E-cadherin, was efficiently and specifically delivered to the basal-lateral membrane. Systematic deletion and recombination of specific regions of the cytoplasmic domain of GP2CAD1 resulted in delivery of <10% of these newly synthesized proteins to both apical and basal-lateral membrane domains. Significantly, >90% of each mutant protein was retained in the ER. None of these mutants formed a strong interaction with beta-catenin, which normally occurs shortly after E-cadherin synthesis. In addition, a simple deletion mutation of E-cadherin that lacks beta-catenin binding is also localized intracellularly. Thus, beta-catenin binding to the whole cytoplasmic domain of E-cadherin correlates with efficient and targeted delivery of E-cadherin to the lateral plasma membrane. In this capacity, we suggest that beta-catenin acts as a chauffeur, to facilitate transport of E-cadherin out of the ER and the plasma membrane.  (+info)

(8/6230) Identification and characterization of genes required for hyphal morphogenesis in the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans.

In the filamentous fungus Aspergillus nidulans, germination of an asexual conidiospore results in the formation of a hyphal cell. A key feature of spore germination is the switch from isotropic spore expansion to polarized apical growth. Here, temperature-sensitive mutations are used to characterize the roles of five genes (sepA, hypA, podB-podD) in the establishment and maintenance of hyphal polarity. Evidence that suggests that the hypA, podB, and sepA genes are required for multiple aspects of hyphal morphogenesis is presented. Notably, podB and sepA are needed for organization of the cytoskeleton at sites of polarized growth. In contrast, podC and podD encode proteins that appear to be specifically required for the establishment of hyphal polarity during spore germination. The role of sepA and the pod genes in controlling the spatial pattern of polarized morphogenesis in germinating spores is also described. Results obtained from these experiments indicate that the normal pattern of germ-tube emergence is dependent upon the integrity of the actin cytoskeleton.  (+info)