A family of S-methylmethionine-dependent thiol/selenol methyltransferases. Role in selenium tolerance and evolutionary relation. (57/155046)

Several plant species can tolerate high concentrations of selenium in the environment, and they accumulate organoselenium compounds. One of these compounds is Se-methylselenocysteine, synthesized by a number of species from the genus Astragalus (Fabaceae), like A. bisulcatus. An enzyme has been previously isolated from this organism that catalyzes methyl transfer from S-adenosylmethionine to selenocysteine. To elucidate the role of the enzyme in selenium tolerance, the cDNA coding for selenocysteine methyltransferase from A. bisulcatus was cloned and sequenced. Data base searches revealed the existence of several apparent homologs of hitherto unassigned function. The gene for one of them, yagD from Escherichia coli, was cloned, and the protein was overproduced and purified. A functional analysis showed that the YagD protein catalyzes methylation of homocysteine, selenohomocysteine, and selenocysteine with S-adenosylmethionine and S-methylmethionine as methyl group donors. S-Methylmethionine was now shown to be also the physiological methyl group donor for the A. bisulcatus selenocysteine methyltransferase. A model system was set up in E. coli which demonstrated that expression of the plant and, although to a much lesser degree, of the bacterial methyltransferase gene increases selenium tolerance and strongly reduces unspecific selenium incorporation into proteins, provided that S-methylmethionine is present in the medium. It is postulated that the selenocysteine methyltransferase under selective pressure developed from an S-methylmethionine-dependent thiol/selenol methyltransferase.  (+info)

RNA antisense abrogation of MAT1 induces G1 phase arrest and triggers apoptosis in aortic smooth muscle cells. (58/155046)

The human MAT1 gene (menage a trois 1) is an assembly factor and a targeting subunit of cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK)-activating kinase. The novel mechanisms by which MAT1 forms an active CDK-activating kinase and determines substrate specificity of CDK7-cyclin H are involved in the cell cycle, DNA repair, and transcription. Hyperplasia of vascular smooth muscle cells (SMC) is a fundamental pathologic feature of luminal narrowing in vascular occlusive diseases, and nothing is yet known regarding the cell cycle phase specificity of the MAT1 gene in its involvement in SMC proliferation. To investigate such novel regulatory pathways, MAT1 expression was abrogated by retrovirus-mediated gene transfer of antisense MAT1 RNA in cultured rat aortic SMCs. We show that abrogation of MAT1 expression retards SMC proliferation and inhibits cell activation from a nonproliferative state. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that these effects are due to G1 phase arrest and apoptotic cell death. Our studies indicate a link between cell cycle control and apoptosis and reveal a potential mechanism for coupling the regulation of MAT1 with G1 exit and prevention of apoptosis.  (+info)

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor II-derived peptides inhibit VEGF. (59/155046)

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) directly stimulates endothelial cell proliferation and migration via tyrosine kinase receptors of the split kinase domain family. It mediates vascular growth and angiogenesis in the embryo but also in the adult in a variety of physiological and pathological conditions. The potential binding site of VEGF with its receptor was identified using cellulose-bound overlapping peptides of the extracytosolic part of the human vascular endothelial growth factor receptor II (VEGFR II). Thus, a peptide originating from the third globular domain of the VEGFR II comprising residues 247RTELNVGIDFNWEYP261 was revealed as contiguous sequence stretch, which bound 125I-VEGF165. A systematic replacement with L-amino acids within the peptide representing the putative VEGF-binding site on VEGFR II indicates Asp255 as the hydrophilic key residue for binding. The dimerized peptide (RTELNVGIDFNWEYPAS)2K inhibits VEGF165 binding with an IC50 of 0.5 microM on extracellular VEGFR II fragments and 30 microM on human umbilical vein cells. VEGF165-stimulated autophosphorylation of VEGFR II as well as proliferation and migration of microvascular endothelial cells was inhibited by the monomeric peptide RTELNVGIDFNWEYPASK at a half-maximal concentration of 3-10, 0.1, and 0.1 microM, respectively. We conclude that transduction of the VEGF165 signal can be interrupted with a peptide derived from the third Ig-like domain of VEGFR II by blockade of VEGF165 binding to its receptor.  (+info)

Conserved residues of human XPG protein important for nuclease activity and function in nucleotide excision repair. (60/155046)

The human XPG endonuclease cuts on the 3' side of a DNA lesion during nucleotide excision repair. Mutations in XPG can lead to the disorders xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) and Cockayne syndrome. XPG shares sequence similarities in two regions with a family of structure-specific nucleases and exonucleases. To begin defining its catalytic mechanism, we changed highly conserved residues and determined the effects on the endonuclease activity of isolated XPG, its function in open complex formation and dual incision reconstituted with purified proteins, and its ability to restore cellular resistance to UV light. The substitution A792V present in two XP complementation group G (XP-G) individuals reduced but did not abolish endonuclease activity, explaining their mild clinical phenotype. Isolated XPG proteins with Asp-77 or Glu-791 substitutions did not cleave DNA. In the reconstituted repair system, alanine substitutions at these positions permitted open complex formation but were inactive for 3' cleavage, whereas D77E and E791D proteins retained considerable activity. The function of each mutant protein in the reconstituted system was mirrored by its ability to restore UV resistance to XP-G cell lines. Hydrodynamic measurements indicated that XPG exists as a monomer in high salt conditions, but immunoprecipitation of intact and truncated XPG proteins showed that XPG polypeptides can interact with each other, suggesting dimerization as an element of XPG function. The mutation results define critical residues in the catalytic center of XPG and strongly suggest that key features of the strand cleavage mechanism and active site structure are shared by members of the nuclease family.  (+info)

Two distinct isoforms of cDNA encoding rainbow trout androgen receptors. (61/155046)

Androgens play an important role in male sexual differentiation and development. The activity of androgens is mediated by an androgen receptor (AR), which binds to specific DNA recognition sites and regulates transcription. We describe here the isolation of two distinct rainbow trout cDNA clones, designated rtAR-alpha and rtAR-beta, which contain the entire androgen receptor coding region. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequence of rtAR-alpha to that of rtAR-beta revealed 85% identity. Interestingly, despite this high homology, rtAR-alpha activated transcription of an androgen-responsive reporter gene in co-transfection assays, but rtAR-beta did not. These results suggest that rainbow trout contains two distinct isoforms of androgen receptors whose functions differ. The region of rtAR-beta responsible for its inactivity was mapped to its ligand binding domain by analyzing chimeras of the rtAR-alpha, rtAR-beta, and rtGR-I (glucocorticoid) receptors. Alteration of any one of three out of four segments within this domain restored activity. Extracts made from COS-1 cells transfected with an rtAR-alpha expression plasmid produced a high level of [3H]mibolerone binding, whereas no binding was observed by extracts of cells transfected with an rtAR-beta expression plasmid. These data demonstrate that the lack of transactivation activity of rtAR-beta is due to its inability to bind hormone.  (+info)

A soluble form of the avian hepatitis B virus receptor. Biochemical characterization and functional analysis of the receptor ligand complex. (62/155046)

Avian hepatitis B virus infection is initiated by the specific interaction of the extracellular preS part of the large viral envelope protein with carboxypeptidase D (gp180), the primary cellular receptor. To functionally and biochemically characterize this interaction, we purified a soluble form of duck carboxypeptidase D from a baculovirus expression system, confirmed its receptor function, and investigated the contribution of different preS sequence elements to receptor binding by surface plasmon resonance analysis. We found that preS binds duck carboxypeptidase D with a 1:1 stoichiometry, thereby inducing conformational changes but not oligomerization. The association constant of the complex was determined to be 2.2 x 10(7) M-1 at 37 degreesC, pH 7.4, with an association rate of 4.0 x 10(4) M-1 s-1 and a dissociation rate of 1.9 x 10(-3) s-1, substantiating high affinity interaction of avihepadnaviruses with their receptor carboxypeptidase D. The separately expressed receptor-binding domain, comprising about 50% of preS as defined by mutational analysis, exhibits similar constants. The domain consists of an essential element, probably responsible for the initial receptor contact and a part that contributes to complex stabilization in a conformation sensitive manner. Together with previous results from cell biological studies these data provide new insights into the initial step of hepadnaviral infection.  (+info)

Interaction of NE-dlg/SAP102, a neuronal and endocrine tissue-specific membrane-associated guanylate kinase protein, with calmodulin and PSD-95/SAP90. A possible regulatory role in molecular clustering at synaptic sites. (63/155046)

NE-dlg/SAP102, a neuronal and endocrine tissue-specific membrane-associated guanylate kinase family protein, is known to bind to C-terminal ends of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor 2B (NR2B) through its PDZ (PSD-95/Dlg/ZO-1) domains. NE-dlg/SAP102 and NR2B colocalize at synaptic sites in cultured rat hippocampal neurons, and their expressions increase in parallel with the onset of synaptogenesis. We have identified that NE-dlg/SAP102 interacts with calmodulin in a Ca2+-dependent manner. The binding site for calmodulin has been determined to lie at the putative basic alpha-helix region located around the src homology 3 (SH3) domain of NE-dlg/SAP102. Using a surface plasmon resonance measurement system, we detected specific binding of recombinant NE-dlg/SAP102 to the immobilized calmodulin with a Kd value of 44 nM. However, the binding of Ca2+/calmodulin to NE-dlg/SAP102 did not modulate the interaction between PDZ domains of NE-dlg/SAP102 and the C-terminal end of rat NR2B. We have also identified that the region near the calmodulin binding site of NE-dlg/SAP102 interacts with the GUK-like domain of PSD-95/SAP90 by two-hybrid screening. Pull down assay revealed that NE-dlg/SAP102 can interact with PSD-95/SAP90 in the presence of both Ca2+ and calmodulin. These findings suggest that the Ca2+/calmodulin modulates interaction of neuronal membrane-associated guanylate kinase proteins and regulates clustering of neurotransmitter receptors at central synapses.  (+info)

gp49B1 inhibits IgE-initiated mast cell activation through both immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs, recruitment of src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1, and suppression of early and late calcium mobilization. (64/155046)

We define by molecular, pharmacologic, and physiologic approaches the proximal mechanism by which the immunoglobulin superfamily member gp49B1 inhibits mast cell activation mediated by the high affinity Fc receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI). In rat basophilic leukemia-2H3 cells expressing transfected mouse gp49B1, mutation of tyrosine to phenylalanine in either of the two immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motifs of the gp49B1 cytoplasmic domain partially suppressed gp49B1-mediated inhibition of exocytosis, whereas mutation of both abolished inhibitory capacity. Sodium pervanadate elicited tyrosine phosphorylation of native gp49B1 and association of the tyrosine phosphatases src homology 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) and SHP-2 in mouse bone marrow-derived mast cells (mBMMCs). SHP-1 associated transiently with gp49B1 within 1 min after coligation of gp49B1 with cross-linked FcepsilonRI in mBMMCs. SHP-1-deficient mBMMCs exhibited a partial loss of gp49B1-mediated inhibition of FcepsilonRI-induced exocytosis at concentrations of IgE providing optimal exocytosis, revealing a central, but not exclusive, SHP-1 requirement in the counter-regulatory pathway. Coligation of gp49B1 with cross-linked FcepsilonRI on mBMMCs inhibited early release of calcium from intracellular stores and subsequent influx of extracellular calcium, consistent with SHP-1 participation. Because exocytosis is complete within 2 min in mBMMCs, our studies establish a role for SHP-1 in the initial counter-regulatory cellular responses whereby gp49B1 immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motifs rapidly transmit inhibition of FcepsilonRI-mediated exocytosis.  (+info)