The Arabidopsis dwarf1 mutant is defective in the conversion of 24-methylenecholesterol to campesterol in brassinosteroid biosynthesis. (1/301)

Since the isolation and characterization of dwarf1-1 (dwf1-1) from a T-DNA insertion mutant population, phenotypically similar mutants, including deetiolated2 (det2), constitutive photomorphogenesis and dwarfism (cpd), brassinosteroid insensitive1 (bri1), and dwf4, have been reported to be defective in either the biosynthesis or the perception of brassinosteroids. We present further characterization of dwf1-1 and additional dwf1 alleles. Feeding tests with brassinosteroid-biosynthetic intermediates revealed that dwf1 can be rescued by 22alpha-hydroxycampesterol and downstream intermediates in the brassinosteroid pathway. Analysis of the endogenous levels of brassinosteroid intermediates showed that 24-methylenecholesterol in dwf1 accumulates to 12 times the level of the wild type, whereas the level of campesterol is greatly diminished, indicating that the defective step is in C-24 reduction. Furthermore, the deduced amino acid sequence of DWF1 shows significant similarity to a flavin adenine dinucleotide-binding domain conserved in various oxidoreductases, suggesting an enzymatic role for DWF1. In support of this, 7 of 10 dwf1 mutations directly affected the flavin adenine dinucleotide-binding domain. Our molecular characterization of dwf1 alleles, together with our biochemical data, suggest that the biosynthetic defect in dwf1 results in reduced synthesis of bioactive brassinosteroids, causing dwarfism.  (+info)

Effects of LY295427, a low-density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor up-regulator, on LDL receptor gene transcription and cholesterol metabolism in normal and hypercholesterolemic hamsters. (2/301)

The action of LY295427 [(3alpha,4alpha, 5alpha)-4-(2-propenylcholestan-3-ol)], a compound that derepresses low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R) expression in a cell-based model, was examined in hamsters. It was found that the compound does not have an effect in normal chow-fed hamsters, in which LDL-R levels are not repressed, but exerts a marked hypocholesterolemic effect (>70% decrease) in cholesterol-coconut oil-fed hamsters, in which LDL-R is repressed. In this model, there is a dose-response for cholesterol lowering with an approximate ED50 value of 40 mg/kg/day and an inverse relationship between serum cholesterol and serum LY295427 levels. LDL-R mRNA is increased (2-fold) and liver cholesterol ester content is decreased (>90%). Unlike the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarylcoenzyme A reductase inhibitor lovastatin, the decreased serum cholesterol is confined to the non-high-density lipoprotein fraction. Furthermore, LY295427 does not affect cholesterol biosynthesis, and it does not have a significant effect on cholesterol absorption. These data suggest that LY295427 acts in the hypercholesterolemic hamster by derepressing LDL-R transcription, thereby enhancing cholesterol clearance from the blood. The results with LY295427 suggest that compounds that act to increase LDL-R may represent a novel approach in the pharmacotherapy for hypercholesterolemia.  (+info)

BAS1: A gene regulating brassinosteroid levels and light responsiveness in Arabidopsis. (3/301)

The Arabidopsis bas1-D mutation suppresses the long hypocotyl phenotype caused by mutations in the photoreceptor phytochrome B (phyB). The adult phenotype of bas1-D phyB-4 double mutants mimics that of brassinosteroid biosynthetic and response mutants. bas1-D phyB-4 has reduced levels of brassinosteroids and accumulates 26-hydroxybrassinolide in feeding experiments. The basis for the mutant phenotype is the enhanced expression of a cytochrome P450 (CYP72B1). bas1-D suppresses a phyB-null allele, but not a phyA-null mutation, and partially suppresses a cryptochrome-null mutation. Seedlings with reduced BAS1 expression are hyperresponsive to brassinosteroids in a light-dependent manner and display reduced sensitivity to light under a variety of conditions. Thus, BAS1 represents one of the control points between multiple photoreceptor systems and brassinosteroid signal transduction.  (+info)

Potentiation of platinum antitumor effects in human lung tumor xenografts by the angiogenesis inhibitor squalamine: effects on tumor neovascularization. (4/301)

Squalamine is a novel anti-angiogenic aminosterol that is postulated to inhibit neovascularization by selectively inhibiting the sodium-hydrogen antiporter exchanger. To determine how to most effectively use this agent in patients with cancer, we examined the antitumor effects of squalamine with or without cytotoxic agents in human lung cancer xenografts and correlated these observations with the degree of tumor neovascularization. No direct cytotoxic effects of squalamine against tumor cells were observed in vitro with or without cisplatin. Squalamine was effective in inhibiting the establishment of H460 human tumors in BALBc nude mice but was ineffective in inhibiting the growth of H460, CALU-6, or NL20T-A human tumor xenografts when administered i.p. to mice bearing established tumors. However, when combined with cisplatin or carboplatin, squalamine increased tumor growth delay by > or =1.5-fold in the three human lung carcinoma cell lines compared with cisplatin or carboplatin alone. No enhancement of antitumor activity was observed when squalamine was combined with paclitaxel, vinorelbine, gemcitabine, or docetaxel. Repeated cycles of squalamine plus cisplatin administration delayed H460 tumor growth >8.6-fold. Squalamine plus cisplatin reduced CD31 vessel formation by 25% compared with controls, squalamine alone, or cisplatin alone; however, no inhibition in CD31 vessel formation was observed when squalamine was combined with vinorelbine. These data demonstrate that the combination of squalamine and a platinum analog has significant preclinical antitumor activity against human lung cancer that is related to the anti-angiogenic effects of squalamine.  (+info)

Bile salt excretion in skate liver is mediated by a functional analog of Bsep/Spgp, the bile salt export pump. (5/301)

Biliary secretion of bile salts in mammals is mediated in part by the liver-specific ATP-dependent canalicular membrane protein Bsep/Spgp, a member of the ATP-binding cassette superfamily. We examined whether a similar transport activity exists in the liver of the evolutionarily primitive marine fish Raja erinacea, the little skate, which synthesizes mainly sulfated bile alcohols rather than bile salts. Western blot analysis of skate liver plasma membranes using antiserum raised against rat liver Bsep/Spgp demonstrated a dominant protein band with an apparent molecular mass of 210 kDa, a size larger than that in rat liver canalicular membranes, approximately 160 kDa. Immunofluorescent localization with anti-Bsep/Spgp in isolated, polarized skate hepatocyte clusters revealed positive staining of the bile canaliculi, consistent with its selective apical localization in mammalian liver. Functional characterization of putative ATP-dependent canalicular bile salt transport activity was assessed in skate liver plasma membrane vesicles, with [(3)H]taurocholate as the substrate. [(3)H]taurocholate uptake into the vesicles was mediated by ATP-dependent and -independent mechanisms. The ATP-dependent component was saturable, with a Michaelis-Menten constant (K(m)) for taurocholate of 40+/-7 microM and a K(m) for ATP of 0.6+/-0.1 mM, and was competitively inhibited by scymnol sulfate (inhibition constant of 23 microM), the major bile salt in skate bile. ATP-dependent uptake of taurocholate into vesicles was inhibited by known substrates and inhibitors of Bsep/Spgp, including other bile salts and bile salt derivatives, but not by inhibitors of the multidrug resistance protein-1 or the canalicular multidrug resistance-associated protein, indicating a distinct transport mechanism. These findings provide functional and structural evidence for a Bsep/Spgp-like protein in the canalicular membrane of the skate liver. This transporter is expressed early in vertebrate evolution and transports both bile salts and bile alcohols.  (+info)

Squalamine is not a proton ionophore. (6/301)

Squalamine, an aminosterol antibiotic isolated from the dogfish shark, creates relatively large defects in phospholipid bilayers, allowing the unrestricted translocation of small molecules across these compromised membranes (B.S. Selinsky, Z. Zhou, K.G. Fotjik, S. R. Jones, N.R. Dollahon, A.E. Shinnar, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1370 (1998) 218-234). However, an aminosterol structurally similar to squalamine was found to act as a proton ionophore in anionic phospholipid vesicles. In contrast with squalamine, gross membrane disruption was not observed with this synthetic analog (G. Deng, T. Dewa, S.L. Regen, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 118 (1996) 8975-8976). In this report, the ionophoric activity of squalamine was tested in anionic and zwitterionic phospholipid vesicles. No ionophoric activity was observed for squalamine in vesicles comprised of phosphatidylglycerol (PG), phosphatidylcholine (PC), or a mixture of the two lipids. Experiments using radiolabeled squalamine indicated that all of the squalamine added to PG vesicles remained with the vesicles, while approximately one-half of the squalamine added to PC vesicles was incorporated. We have synthesized the aminosterol analog of squalamine possessing ionophoric activity, and its ionophoric activity in PG vesicles was confirmed. The synthetic compound possessed no measurable lytic activity when added to preformed phospholipid vesicles. As both compounds possess significant antimicrobial activity, these results suggest that either multiple mechanisms for the antimicrobial activity of aminosterols exist, depending upon the aminosterol structure, or possibly an unrelated common mechanism for antimicrobial activity remains to be discovered.  (+info)

Auxin regulates the initiation and radial position of plant lateral organs. (7/301)

Leaves originate from the shoot apical meristem, a small mound of undifferentiated tissue at the tip of the stem. Leaf formation begins with the selection of a group of founder cells in the so-called peripheral zone at the flank of the meristem, followed by the initiation of local growth and finally morphogenesis of the resulting bulge into a differentiated leaf. Whereas the mechanisms controlling the switch between meristem propagation and leaf initiation are being identified by genetic and molecular analyses, the radial positioning of leaves, known as phyllotaxis, remains poorly understood. Hormones, especially auxin and gibberellin, are known to influence phyllotaxis, but their specific role in the determination of organ position is not clear. We show that inhibition of polar auxin transport blocks leaf formation at the vegetative tomato meristem, resulting in pinlike naked stems with an intact meristem at the tip. Microapplication of the natural auxin indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) to the apex of such pins restores leaf formation. Similarly, exogenous IAA induces flower formation on Arabidopsis pin-formed1-1 inflorescence apices, which are blocked in flower formation because of a mutation in a putative auxin transport protein. Our results show that auxin is required for and sufficient to induce organogenesis both in the vegetative tomato meristem and in the Arabidopsis inflorescence meristem. In this study, organogenesis always strictly coincided with the site of IAA application in the radial dimension, whereas in the apical-basal dimension, organ formation always occurred at a fixed distance from the summit of the meristem. We propose that auxin determines the radial position and the size of lateral organs but not the apical-basal position or the identity of the induced structures.  (+info)

Squalamine improves retinal neovascularization. (8/301)

PURPOSE: Modalities for inhibiting neovascularization may be one avenue to the development of effective therapies for retinopathy. The effect of squalamine, an antiangiogenic amino sterol, on oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) was assessed in a mouse model. METHODS: OIR was induced in C57BL6 mice by a 5-day exposure to 75% oxygen from postnatal day (P)7 through P12. Squalamine (25 mg/kg, subcutaneous)treated animals received either daily doses for five days from P12 to P16 or one dose just after removal from oxygen on P12. Each set of animals was killed at P17 to P21. Retinopathy was assessed with a retinopathy scoring system evaluation of retinal wholemounts and by quantification of neovascular nuclei on retinal sections. RESULTS: Animals receiving 5 days of squalamine after a 5-day exposure to oxygen had total retinopathy scores (expressed as median score with 25th and 75th quartiles in parentheses) of 4(3, 5) versus oxygen-only-reared animals with scores of 8(7, 9; P < 0.001). Animals reared in room air and animals exposed to squalamine only had similar retinopathy scores: 1(1, 2) and 1(0, 2). Oxygen-reared animals receiving single-dose squalamine also showed improvement, with a median retinopathy score of 4(4, 6.75) versus oxygen-only-reared animals with median retinopathy score of 9(7, 10; P < 0.001). There was a decreased number of neovascular nuclei extending beyond the inner limiting membrane on retinal sections in animals treated with 5 days (P < 0.01) and 1 day (P < 0.001) of squalamine. CONCLUSIONS: Squalamine significantly improved retinopathy and may be a novel agent for effective treatment of ocular neovascularization.  (+info)