The immunoglobulin-like modules Cepsilon3 and alpha2 are the minimal units necessary for human IgE-FcepsilonRI interaction.
Atopic allergy is a genetically determined immunodisorder that affects almost 20% of the population worldwide. Immediate symptoms of type I allergy are caused by the release of biologic mediators from effector cells induced by IgE-allergen complexes that cross-link the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI). Chronic disease manifestations result from allergen-specific T-cell activation, a process that is enhanced when allergens are presented via FcepsilonRI-bound IgE. We report the baculovirus expression, as soluble recombinant proteins, of the minimal units required for human IgE and FcepsilonRI interaction: Cepsilon3 represents the third constant domain of the IgE heavy chain, and alpha2 is the membrane-proximal Ig-like module from FcepsilonRIalpha. Native overlay experiments showed binding of human FcepsilonRIalpha to recombinant Cepsilon3 and of natural or recombinant human IgE to recombinant alpha2. Moreover, recombinant Cepsilon3 inhibited binding of natural IgE antibodies to alpha2, and preincubation of human IgE with alpha2 inhibited anti-IgE-triggered histamine release from human basophils. Isolated Cepsilon3 and alpha2 can now be used for the molecular and structural analysis of the IgE-FcepsilonRI interaction, as well as for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. (+info)
The structure of chromatophores from purple photosynthetic bacteria fused with lipid-impregnated collodion films determined by near-field scanning optical microscopy.
Lipid-impregnated collodion (nitrocellulose) films have been frequently used as a fusion substrate in the measurement and analysis of electrogenic activity in biological membranes and proteoliposomes. While the method of fusion of biological membranes or proteoliposomes with such films has found a wide application, little is known about the structures formed after the fusion. Yet, knowledge of this structure is important for the interpretation of the measured electric potential. To characterize structures formed after fusion of membrane vesicles (chromatophores) from the purple bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides with lipid-impregnated collodion films, we used near-field scanning optical microscopy. It is shown here that structures formed from chromatophores on the collodion film can be distinguished from the lipid-impregnated background by measuring the fluorescence originating either from endogenous fluorophores of the chromatophores or from fluorescent dyes trapped inside the chromatophores. The structures formed after fusion of chromatophores to the collodion film look like isolated (or sometimes aggregated, depending on the conditions) blisters, with diameters ranging from 0.3 to 10 microm (average approximately 1 microm) and heights from 0.01 to 1 microm (average approximately 0.03 microm). These large sizes indicate that the blisters are formed by the fusion of many chromatophores. Results with dyes trapped inside chromatophores reveal that chromatophores fused with lipid-impregnated films retain a distinct internal water phase. (+info)
Dot blot assay for detection of antidiacyltrehalose antibodies in tuberculous patients.
A simple dot blot test with diacyltrehalose (DAT) as the antigen was developed to detect anti-DAT antibodies in tuberculous patients. To enhance antigen-antibody reaction detection, rabbit serum raised against human immunoglobulins was used prior to incubation with a protein A-colloidal gold complex. With the dot blot system, it was possible to obtain a sensitivity similar to that of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a specificity of 97.14%, versus a specificity of 94.29% by the ELISA. We conclude that this simple and fast assay could be used in places where ELISA equipment is not easy available and that it might also be applicable with other Mycobacterium tuberculosis immunogenic antigens. (+info)
A simple methodological approach for counting and identifying culturable viruses adsorbed to cellulose nitrate membrane filters.
We identified conditions under which Buffalo green monkey cells grew on the surfaces of cellulose nitrate membrane filters in such a way that they covered the entire surface of each filter and penetrated through the pores. When such conditions were used, poliovirus that had previously been adsorbed on the membranes infected the cells and replicated. A plaque assay method and a quantal method (most probable number of cytopathic units) were used to detect and count the viruses adsorbed on the membrane filters. Polioviruses in aqueous suspensions were then concentrated by adsorption to cellulose membrane filters and were subsequently counted without elution, a step which is necessary when the commonly used methods are employed. The pore size of the membrane filter, the sample contents, and the sample volume were optimized for tap water, seawater, and a 0.25 M glycine buffer solution. The numbers of viruses recovered under the optimized conditions were more than 50% greater than the numbers counted by the standard plaque assay. When ceftazidime was added to the assay medium in addition to the antibiotics which are typically used, the method could be used to study natural samples with low and intermediate levels of microbial pollution without decontamination of the samples. This methodological approach also allowed plaque hybridization either directly on cellulose nitrate membranes or on Hybond N+ membranes after the preparations were transferred. (+info)
Identification of tyrosine phosphatases that dephosphorylate the insulin receptor. A brute force approach based on "substrate-trapping" mutants.
Many pharmacologically important receptors, including all cytokine receptors, signal via tyrosine (auto)phosphorylation, followed by resetting to their original state through the action of protein tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). Establishing the specificity of PTPs for receptor substrates is critical both for understanding how signaling is regulated and for the development of specific PTP inhibitors that act as ligand mimetics. We have set up a systematic approach for finding PTPs that are specific for a receptor and have validated this approach with the insulin receptor kinase. We have tested nearly all known human PTPs (45) in a membrane binding assay, using "substrate-trapping" PTP mutants. These results, combined with secondary dephosphorylation tests, confirm and extend earlier findings that PTP-1b and T-cell PTP are physiological enzymes for the insulin receptor kinase. We demonstrate that this approach can rapidly reduce the number of PTPs that have a particular receptor or other phosphoprotein as their substrate. (+info)
Distribution and localization of calmodulin-binding proteins in bull spermatozoa.
Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that a decrease in the calmodulin binding properties of a few sperm proteins occurs during the capacitation process, an effect associated with a decrease in intracellular calmodulin concentrations. Using biotinylated-calmodulin nitrocellulose overlay assay on protein extracts of subcellular fractions of bull spermatozoa, one of these proteins (p32) is detected in the flagellar-enriched fractions, whereas p30 is found in the fraction enriched with sperm heads. This latter calmodulin binding protein, p30, appears to be associated with the perinuclear theca. None of these binding proteins was solubilized by nonionic detergents. Sodium dodecyl sulfate was effective solubilizing p32, whereas p30 was extracted only in conditions reported to isolate the perinuclear theca. Cellular localization of calmodulin binding proteins was also achieved by incubating spermatozoa fixed on slides with biotinylated calmodulin and revealed in a further step by fluorescein-conjugated streptavidin. Using this procedure, it was found that calmodulin binds to the sub- and postacrosomal areas of the sperm head along with the midpiece in the presence of Ca(2+). Only a sharp band of fluorescence at the subacrosomal area was observed when this procedure was performed in the absence of Ca(2+) in the presence of EGTA. The pattern of cellular calmodulin binding was highly decreased when spermatozoa were incubated under capacitating conditions, in the presence of heparin, in agreement with the published effect of capacitation on calmodulin binding proteins. (+info)
Inflammatory cytokine production by immunological and foreign body multinucleated giant cells.
Multinucleated giant cells (MGC) are a common feature of granulomas. The mechanism of their formation has been studied extensively, but their function has not been completely characterized. A new method for the in vivo production of MGC was developed involving subcutaneous injection of microscopic nitrocellulose particles with adsorbed mycobacterial antigens into the footpads of sensitized BALB/c mice (immune [I]-MGC), or by nitrocellulose administration to non-sensitized mice (foreign body [FB]-MGC). The development of granulomas with a highly enriched MGC population was observed 2 weeks after the nitrocellulose injection. MGC were larger with a greater number of nuclei in I-MGC than in FB-MGC. From days 7-28 after nitrocellulose administration, the production of interleukin-1alpha (IL-1alpha) and tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) was demonstrated in both MGC types by in situ reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. After 2 months, the MGC had ceased production of IL-1alpha and TNF-alpha, but the expression of transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) was very high, occurring together with extensive fibrosis. These results suggest that MGC are an active source of inflammatory cytokines, which can contribute to the initiation, maintenance and down-regulation of granulomatous inflammation induced by immunological and inert substances. (+info)
Avian retrovirus DNA internal attachment site requirements for full-site integration in vitro.
Concerted integration of retrovirus DNA termini into the host chromosome in vivo requires specific interactions between the cis-acting attachment (att) sites at the viral termini and the viral integrase (IN) in trans. In this study, reconstruction experiments with purified avian myeloblastosis virus (AMV) IN and retrovirus-like donor substrates containing wild-type and mutant termini were performed to map the internal att DNA sequence requirements for concerted integration, here termed full-site integration. The avian retrovirus mutations were modeled after internal att site mutations studied at the in vivo level with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and murine leukemia virus (MLV). Systematic overlapping 4-bp deletions starting at nucleotide positions 7, 8, and 9 in the U3 terminus had a decreasing detrimental gradient effect on full-site integration, while more internal 4-bp deletions had little or no effect. This decreasing detrimental gradient effect was measured by the ability of mutant U3 ends to interact with wild-type U3 ends for full-site integration in trans. Modification of the highly conserved C at position 7 on the catalytic strand to either A or T resulted in the same severe decrease in full-site integration as the 4-bp deletion starting at this position. These studies suggest that nucleotide position 7 is crucial for interactions near the active site of IN for integration activity and for communication in trans between ends bound by IN for full-site integration. The ability of AMV IN to interact with internal att sequences to mediate full-site integration in vitro is similar to the internal att site requirements observed with MLV and HIV-1 in vivo and with their preintegration complexes in vitro. (+info)