Low-temperature sensitivity and enhanced Bohr effect in red deer (Cervus elaphus) haemoglobin: a molecular adaptive strategy to life at high altitude and low temperature.
A study of the functional properties of haemoglobin from red deer (Cervus elaphus) whose habitat varies over a wide range of latitude, was performed. The oxygen-binding properties of the most common haemoglobin phenotype from the species living in Sardinia were examined with particular attention to the effect of pH, chloride, 2, 3-bisphosphoglycerate and temperature. Results indicate that red deer haemoglobin, like all haemoglobins from ruminants so far examined, is characterized by a low intrinsic oxygen affinity, with chloride being its main physiological modulator in vivo. The functional results and the low temperature sensitivity of the oxygen affinity are discussed in the light of the amino acid sequence of closely related ruminant haemoglobins. (+info)
Acclimation of Arabidopsis leaves developing at low temperatures. Increasing cytoplasmic volume accompanies increased activities of enzymes in the Calvin cycle and in the sucrose-biosynthesis pathway.
Photosynthetic and metabolic acclimation to low growth temperatures were studied in Arabidopsis (Heynh.). Plants were grown at 23 degrees C and then shifted to 5 degrees C. We compared the leaves shifted to 5 degrees C for 10 d and the new leaves developed at 5 degrees C with the control leaves on plants that had been left at 23 degrees C. Leaf development at 5 degrees C resulted in the recovery of photosynthesis to rates comparable with those achieved by control leaves at 23 degrees C. There was a shift in the partitioning of carbon from starch and toward sucrose (Suc) in leaves that developed at 5 degrees C. The recovery of photosynthetic capacity and the redirection of carbon to Suc in these leaves were associated with coordinated increases in the activity of several Calvin-cycle enzymes, even larger increases in the activity of key enzymes for Suc biosynthesis, and an increase in the phosphate available for metabolism. Development of leaves at 5 degrees C also led to an increase in cytoplasmic volume and a decrease in vacuolar volume, which may provide an important mechanism for increasing the enzymes and metabolites in cold-acclimated leaves. Understanding the mechanisms underlying such structural changes during leaf development in the cold could result in novel approaches to increasing plant yield. (+info)
Accumulation of small heat-shock protein homologs in the endoplasmic reticulum of cortical parenchyma cells in mulberry in association with seasonal cold acclimation.
Cortical parenchyma cells of mulberry (Morus bombycis Koidz.) trees acquire extremely high freezing tolerance in winter as a result of seasonal cold acclimation. The amount of total proteins in endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-enriched fractions isolated from these cells increased in parallel with the process of cold acclimation. Protein compositions in the ER-enriched fraction also changed seasonally, with a prominent accumulation of 20-kD (WAP20) and 27-kD (WAP27) proteins in winter. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of WAP20 exhibited homology to ER-localized small heat-shock proteins (smHSPs), whereas that of WAP27 did not exhibit homology to any known proteins. Like other smHSPs, WAP20 formed a complex of high molecular mass in native-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Furthermore, not only WAP20 but also 21-kD proteins reacted with antibodies against WAP20. Fractionation of the crude microsomes by isopycnic sucrose-gradient centrifugation revealed that both WAP27 and WAP20 were distributed on a density corresponding to the fractions with higher activity of ER marker enzyme, suggesting localization of these proteins in the ER. When ER-enriched fractions were treated with trypsin in the absence of detergent, WAP20 and WAP27 were undigested, suggesting localization of these proteins inside the ER vesicle. The accumulation of a large quantity of smHSPs in the ER in winter as a result of seasonal cold acclimation indicates that these proteins may play a significant role in the acquisition of freezing tolerance in cortical parenchyma cells of mulberry trees. (+info)
Y-Chromosome evidence for a northward migration of modern humans into Eastern Asia during the last Ice Age.
The timing and nature of the arrival and the subsequent expansion of modern humans into eastern Asia remains controversial. Using Y-chromosome biallelic markers, we investigated the ancient human-migration patterns in eastern Asia. Our data indicate that southern populations in eastern Asia are much more polymorphic than northern populations, which have only a subset of the southern haplotypes. This pattern indicates that the first settlement of modern humans in eastern Asia occurred in mainland Southeast Asia during the last Ice Age, coinciding with the absence of human fossils in eastern Asia, 50,000-100,000 years ago. After the initial peopling, a great northward migration extended into northern China and Siberia. (+info)
Seasonal variations in coronary heart disease.
Coronary heart disease exhibits a winter peak and summer trough in incidence and mortality, in countries both north and south of the equator. In England and Wales, the winter peak accounts for an additional 20,000 deaths per annum. It is likely that this reflects seasonal variations in risk factors. Seasonal variations have been demonstrated in a number of lifestyle risk factors such a physical activity and diet. However, a number of studies have also suggested a direct effect of environmental temperature on physiological and rheological factors. We review the available evidence on seasonal variations in coronary heart disease and possible explanations for them. (+info)
New psychrophilic and psychrotolerant Bacillus marinus strains from tropical and polar deep-sea sediments and emended description of the species.
In contrast to the current view that psychrophily combined with an absolute requirement for NaCl is connected with the Gram-negative cell wall type, psychrophilic and psychrotolerant, NaCl-requiring, Gram-positive bacteria have been isolated from tropical Atlantic, Arctic and Antarctic deep-sea sediments. Some of the isolates are even extremely psychrophilic, having maximum growth temperatures of 4 degrees C. On the basis of phenotypic characteristics, DNA base analyses, DNA-DNA hybridizations and partial and complete 16S rRNA gene sequence analyses, the strains from the three distinct geographical regions have been allocated to the obligately marine species Bacillus marinus. The distribution and origin of B. marinus are discussed and an emended description of the species is presented. (+info)
Heat-shock protein expression is absent in the antarctic fish Trematomus bernacchii (family Nototheniidae).
The heat-shock response, the enhanced expression of one or more classes of molecular chaperones termed heat-shock proteins (hsps) in response to stress induced by high temperatures, is commonly viewed as a 'universal' characteristic of organisms. We examined the occurrence of the heat-shock response in a highly cold-adapted, stenothermal Antarctic teleost fish, Trematomus bernacchii, to determine whether this response has persisted in a lineage that has encountered very low and stable temperatures for at least the past 14-25 million years. The patterns of protein synthesis observed in in vivo metabolic labelling experiments that involved injection of (35)S-labelled methionine and cysteine into whole fish previously subjected to a heat stress of 10 degrees C yielded no evidence for synthesis of any size class of heat-shock protein. Parallel in vivo labelling experiments with isolated hepatocytes similarly showed significant amounts of protein synthesis, but no indication of enhanced expression of any class of hsp. The heavy metal cadmium, which is known to induce synthesis of hsps, also failed to alter the pattern of proteins synthesized in hepatocytes. Although stress-induced chaperones could not be detected under any of the experimental condition used, solid-phase antibody (western) analysis revealed that a constitutively expressed 70 kDa chaperone was present in this species, as predicted on the basis of requirements for chaperoning during protein synthesis. Amounts of the constitutively expressed 70 kDa chaperone increased in brain, but not in gill, during 22 days of acclimation to 5 degrees C. The apparent absence of a heat-shock response in this highly stenothermal species is interpreted as an indication that a physiological capacity observed in almost all other organisms has been lost as a result of the absence of positive selection during evolution at stable sub-zero temperatures. Whether the loss of the heat-shock response is due to dysfunctional genes for inducible hsps (loss of open reading frames or functional regulatory regions), unstable messenger RNAs, the absence of a functional heat-shock factor or some other lesion remains to be determined. (+info)
Mitochondrial oxyconformity and cold adaptation in the polychaete Nereis pelagica and the bivalve Arctica islandica from the Baltic and White Seas.
The rates of oxygen uptake of the marine polychaete Nereis pelagica and the bivalve Arctica islandica depend on the availability of ambient oxygen. This is manifest both at the tissue level and in isolated mitochondria studied between oxygen tensions (P(O2)) of 6.3 and 47.6 kPa (47-357 mmHg). Oxyconformity was found in both Baltic Sea (Kiel Bight) and cold-adapted White Sea populations of the two species. However, mitochondria isolated from White Sea specimens of N. pelagica and A. islandica showed a two- to threefold higher aerobic capacity than mitochondria prepared from Baltic Sea specimens. We tested whether mitochondrial oxyconformity can be explained by an additional electron pathway that is directly controlled by P(O2). Mitochondrial respiration of both invertebrate species was inhibited by cyanide (KCN) and by salicylhydroxamic acid (SHAM). The overall rate of mitochondrial oxygen consumption increased at high P(O2). Phosphorylation efficiency (ADP/O ratio) decreased at elevated P(O2) (27.5-47.6 kPa, 206-357 mmHg), regardless of whether malate or succinate was used as a substrate. In contrast to the invertebrate mitochondria studied, mitochondria isolated from bovine heart, as an oxyregulating control species, did not show an elevated rate of oxygen uptake at high P(O2) in any respiratory state, with the exception of state 2 malate respiration. In addition, rates of ATP formation, respiratory control ratios (RCR) and ADP/O ratios remained virtually unchanged or even tended to decreased. In conclusion, the comparison between mitochondria from oxyregulating and oxyconforming organisms supports the existence of an alternative oxidase in addition to the classical cytochrome c oxidase. In accordance with models discussed previously, oxidative phosphorylation does not explain the rate of mitochondrial oxygen consumption during progressive activation of the alternative electron transport system. We discuss the alternative system, thought to be adaptive in confined, usually hypoxic environments, where excess oxygen can be eliminated and oxygen levels can be kept low by an increase in the rate of oxygen consumption, thereby minimizing the risk of oxidative stress. (+info)