Fitzgerald factor (high molecular weight kininogen) clotting activity in human plasma in health and disease in various animal plasmas.
Fitzgerald factor (high molecular weight kininogen) is an agent in normal human plasma that corrects the impaired in vitro surface-mediated plasma reactions of blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, and kinin generation observed in Fitzgerald trait plasma. To assess the possible pathophysiologic role of Fitzgerald factor, its titer was measured by a functional clot-promoting assay. Mean +/- SD in 42 normal adults was 0.99+/-0.25 units/ml, one unit being the activity in 1 ml of normal pooled plasma. No difference in titer was noted between normal men and women, during pregnancy, or after physical exercise. Fitzgerald factor activity was significantly reduced in the plasmas of eight patients with advanced hepatic cirrhosis (0.40+/-0.09 units/ml) and of ten patients with disseminated intravascular coagulation (0.60+/-0.30 units/ml), but was normal in plasmas of patients with other congenital clotting factor deficiencies, nephrotic syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or sarcoidosis, or under treatment with warfarin. The plasmas of 21 mammalian species tested appeared to contain Fitzgerald factor activity, but those of two avian, two repitilian, and one amphibian species did not correct the coagulant defect in Fitzgerald trait plasmas. (+info
Purification and properties of whale thyroid-stimulating hormone III. Properties of isolated multiple components.
Properties of the four purified components of whale thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) have been compared. The amino acid composition shows close similarity among these components. Their hexosamine and sialic acid contents are of the same magnitude, whereas the neutral sugar composition differs somewhat from each other. The molecular weight of whale TSH determined by sedimentation equilibrium is 29,000, and no difference in molecular weight as well as in Stokes radius as determined by gel filtration has been detected among these four components. The amino acid and carbohydrate compositions of whale TSH resemble those of TSH from other species, especially those of non-primate mammalian TSH. Whale TSH contains, unlike bovine TSH but like human TSH, 1-2 residues of sialic acid as a constituent carbohydrate. (+info
Genealogy of families of SINEs in cetaceans and artiodactyls: the presence of a huge superfamily of tRNA(Glu)-derived families of SINEs.
Several novel (sub)families of SINEs were isolated from the genomes of cetaceans and artiodactyls, and their sequences were determined. From comparisons of diagnostic nucleotides among the short interspersed repetitive elements (SINEs) in these (sub)families, we were able to draw the following conclusions. (1) After the divergence of the suborder Tylopoda (camels), the CHRS family of SINEs was newly created from tRNA(Glu) in a common ancestor of the lineages of the Suina (pigs and peccaries), Ruminantia (cows and deer), and Cetacea (whales and dolphins). (2) After divergence of the Suina lineage, the CHR-1 SINE and the CHR-2 SINE were generated successively in a common ancestor of ruminants, hippopotamuses, and cetaceans. (3) In the Ruminantia lineage, the Bov-tA SINE was generated by recombination between the CHR-2 SINE and Bov-A. (4) In the Suina lineage, the CHRS-S SINE was generated from the CHRS SINE. (5) In this latter lineage, the PRE-1 family of SINEs was created by insertion of part of the gene for tRNA(Arg) into the 5' region of the CHRS-S family. The distribution of a particular family of SINEs among species of artiodactyls and cetaceans confirmed the most recent conclusion for paraphyly of the order Artiodactyla. The present study also revealed that a newly created tRNA(Glu)-derived family of SINEs was subjected both to recombination with different units and to duplication of an internal sequence within a SINE unit to generate, during evolution, a huge superfamily of tRNA(Glu)-related families of SINEs that are now found in the genomes of artiodactyls and cetaceans. (+info
A review of virus infections of cataceans and the potential impact of morbilliviruses, poxviruses and papillomaviruses on host population dynamics.
Viruses belonging to 9 families have been detected in cetaceans. We critically review the clinical features, pathology and epidemiology of the diseases they cause. Cetacean morbillivirus (family Paramyxoviridae) induces a serious disease with a high mortality rate and persists in several populations. It may have long-term effects on the dynamics of cetacean populations either as enzootic infection or recurrent epizootics. The latter presumably have the more profound impact due to removal of sexually mature individuals. Members of the family Poxviridae infect several species of odontocetes, resulting in ring and tattoo skin lesions. Although poxviruses apparently do not induce a high mortality, circumstancial evidence suggests they may be lethal in young animals lacking protective immunity, and thus may negatively affect net recruitment. Papillomaviruses (family Papovaviridae) cause genital warts in at least 3 species of cetaceans. In 10% of male Burmeister's porpoises Phocoena spinipinnis from Peru, lesions were sufficiently severe to at least hamper, if not impede, copulation. Members of the families Herpesviridae, Orthomyxoviridae and Rhabdoviridae were demonstrated in cetaceans suffering serious illnesses, but with the exception of a 'porpoise herpesvirus' their causative role is still tentative. Herpes-like viruses and caliciviruses (Caliciviridae) give rise to cutaneous diseases in Monodontidae and Delphinidae. Antibodies to several serotypes of caliciviruses were found in odontocetes and mysticetes. An unrecognized Hepadnaviridae was detected by serology in a captive Pacific white-sided dolphin Lagenorhynchus obliquidens with chronic persistent hepatitis. Adenoviruses (Adenoviridae) were isolated from the intestinal tracts of mysticeti and a beluga Delphinapterus leucas but were not associated with any pathologies. We discuss the potential impact of Paramyxoviridae, Poxviridae and Papovaviridae on the dynamics of several odontocete populations. (+info
Using protein structural information in evolutionary inference: transmembrane proteins.
We present a model of amino acid sequence evolution based on a hidden Markov model that extends to transmembrane proteins previous methods that incorporate protein structural information into phylogenetics. Our model aims to give a better understanding of processes of molecular evolution and to extract structural information from multiple alignments of transmembrane sequences and use such information to improve phylogenetic analyses. This should be of value in phylogenetic studies of transmembrane proteins: for example, mitochondrial proteins have acquired a special importance in phylogenetics and are mostly transmembrane proteins. The improvement in fit to example data sets of our new model relative to less complex models of amino acid sequence evolution is statistically tested. To further illustrate the potential utility of our method, phylogeny estimation is performed on primate CCR5 receptor sequences, sequences of l and m subunits of the light reaction center in purple bacteria, guinea pig sequences with respect to lagomorph and rodent sequences of calcitonin receptor and K-substance receptor, and cetacean sequences of cytochrome b. (+info
Model dependence of the phylogenetic inference: relationship among carnivores, Perissodactyls and cetartiodactyls as inferred from mitochondrial genome sequences.
Some previous analysis of mitochondrial proteins strongly support the Carnivora/Perissodactyla grouping excluding Cetartiodactyla (Artiodactyla + Cetacea) as an outgroup, but the support of the hypothesis remains equivocal from the analysis of several nuclear-encoded proteins. In order to evaluate the strength of the support by mitochondrial proteins, phylogenetic relationship among Carnivora, Perissodactyla, and Cetartiodactyla was estimated with the ML method by using the updated data set of the 12 mitochondrial proteins with several alternative models. The analyses demonstrate that the phylogenetic inference depends on the model used in the ML analysis; i.e., whether the site-heterogeneity is taken into account and whether the rate parameters are estimated for each individual proteins or for the concatenated sequences. Although the analysis of concatenated sequences strongly supports the Carnivora/Perissodactyla grouping, the total evaluation of the separate analyses of individual proteins, which approximates the data better than the concatenated analysis, gives only ambiguous results, and therefore it is concluded that more data are needed to resolve this trichotomy. (+info
Elemental analysis of cetacean skull lesions associated with nematode infections.
The elemental composition of both healthy and eroded cetacean skulls associated with nematode infections was evaluated. A total of 27 samples of eroded and non-eroded prepared museum cetacean skulls were characterised by elemental (CHN), X-ray fluorescence, and X-ray diffraction methods. The inorganic composition and crystal line structure (hydroxylapatite-like minerals) were similar for both types of skull samples, but the CHN values clearly differed. The results suggest that the carbon-rich fraction is lost in eroded areas, probably as a result of glycosaminoglycan-degrading Crassicauda enzymes. (+info
Consistency of SINE insertion topology and flanking sequence tree: quantifying relationships among cetartiodactyls.
Short interspersed nuclear elements (SINEs) have been used to generate unambiguous phylogenetic topologies relating eukaryotic taxa. The irreversible nature of SINE retroposition is supported by a large body of comparative genome data and is a fundamental assumption inherent in the value of this qualitative method of inference. Here, we assess the key assumption of unidirectional SINE insertion by comparing the SINE insertion-derived topology and the phylogenetic tree based on seven independent loci of five taxa in the order Cetartiodactyla (Cetacea + Artiodactyla). The data sets and analyses were largely independent, but the loci were, by definition, linked, and thus their consistency supported an irreversible pattern of SINE retroposition. Moreover, our analyses of the flanking sequences provided estimates of divergence times among cetartiodactyl lineages unavailable from SINE insertion analysis alone. Unexpected rate heterogeneity among sites of SINE-flanking sequences and other noncoding DNA sequences were observed. Sequence simulations suggest that this rate heterogeneity may be an artifact resulting from the inaccuracies of the substitution model used. (+info