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
Differences in benzo(a)pyrene metabolism between rodent liver microsomes and embryonic cells.
Differences in benzo(a)pyrene metabolite pattern have been shown by rodent liver microsomes (Sprague-Dawley) and rodent embryo cells from Syrian hamsters and NIH Swiss mice. Rodent liver induced by methylcholanthrene shows marked quantitative variation between species. Additional pattern changes were found in mouse and hamster embryo secondary cultures with a reduction of the K-region metabolites and a marked increase in 9-hydroxybenzo(a)-pyrene. These results are indicative of a region-specific attack on the carcinogen by the cell monooxygenases which is distinct from the liver attack of microsomal enzymes on benzo(a)pyrene. These results suggest that activation and detoxification of benzo(a)pyrene may be species and tissue variable, and susceptibility and resistence to malignant transformation may be predicted on induction of a fortuitous combination of intermediate metabolic steps. (+info
Ambiguity of the thymidine index.
The observed thymidine indices of seven experimental tumor lines are compared as a function of duration of emulsion exposure. The effects of dose level of tritiated thymidine and background threshold are also evaluated. The results indicate that an arbitrary high background threshold discriminates against "lightly" labeled cells at short periods of exposure but that the chosen threshold becomes less critical with longer exposure. The observed thymidine index increases with increasing duration of emulsion exposure but appears to approach a plateau for all tumor systems. The "thymidine index curves" are significantly different for each tumor. There is an inverse relationship between the dose of tritiated thymidine and the duration of exposure required to recognize the same fraction of cells as labeled in a given tumor. Similar experimental conditions do not necessarily guarantee a valid basis for comparison of observed thymidine indices among tumors. (+info
Morphogenesis of callosal arbors in the parietal cortex of hamsters.
The morphogenesis of callosal axons originating in the parietal cortex was studied by anterograde labeling with Phaseolus lectin or biocytin injected in postnatal (P) hamsters aged 7-25 days. Some labeled fibers were serially reconstructed. At P7, some callosal fibers extended as far as the contralateral rhinal fissure, with simple arbors located in the homotopic region of the opposite cortical gray matter, and two or three unbranched sprouts along their trajectory. From P7 to P13, the homotopic arbors became more complex, with branches focused predominantly, but not exclusively, in the supra- and infragranular layers of the homotopic region. Simultaneously, the lateral extension of the trunk axon in the white matter became shorter, finally disappearing by P25. Arbors in the gray matter were either bilaminar (layers 2/3 and 5) or supragranular. A heterotopic projection to the lateral cortex was consistently seen at all ages; the heterotopic arbors follow a similar sequence of events to that seen in homotopic regions. These observations document that callosal axons undergo regressive tangential remodeling during the first postnatal month, as the lateral extension of the trunk fiber gets eliminated. Radially, however, significant arborization occurs in layer-specific locations. The protracted period of morphogenesis suggests a correspondingly long plastic period for this system of cortical fibers. (+info
A premature termination codon interferes with the nuclear function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner.
Premature translation termination codon (PTC)-mediated effects on nuclear RNA processing have been shown to be associated with a number of human genetic diseases; however, how these PTCs mediate such effects in the nucleus is unclear. A PTC at nucleotide (nt) 2018 that lies adjacent to the 5' element of a bipartite exon splicing enhancer within the NS2-specific exon of minute virus of mice P4 promoter-generated pre-mRNA caused a decrease in the accumulated levels of P4-generated R2 mRNA relative to P4-generated R1 mRNA, although the total accumulated levels of P4 product remained the same. This effect was seen in nuclear RNA and was independent of RNA stability. The 5' and 3' elements of the bipartite NS2-specific exon enhancer are redundant in function, and when the 2018 PTC was combined with a deletion of the 3' enhancer element, the exon was skipped in the majority of the viral P4-generated product. Such exon skipping in response to a PTC, but not a missense mutation at nt 2018, could be suppressed by frame shift mutations in either exon of NS2 which reopened the NS2 open reading frame, as well as by improvement of the upstream intron 3' splice site. These results suggest that a PTC can interfere with the function of an exon splicing enhancer in an open reading frame-dependent manner and that the PTC is recognized in the nucleus. (+info
In vivo chaperone activity of heat shock protein 70 and thermotolerance.
Heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) is thought to play a critical role in the thermotolerance of mammalian cells, presumably due to its chaperone activity. We examined the chaperone activity and cellular heat resistance of a clonal cell line in which overexpression of Hsp70 was transiently induced by means of the tetracycline-regulated gene expression system. This single-cell-line approach circumvents problems associated with clonal variation and indirect effects resulting from constitutive overexpression of Hsp70. The in vivo chaperone function of Hsp70 was quantitatively investigated by using firefly luciferase as a reporter protein. Chaperone activity was found to strictly correlate to the level of Hsp70 expression. In addition, we observed an Hsp70 concentration dependent increase in the cellular heat resistance. In order to study the contribution of the Hsp70 chaperone activity, heat resistance of cells that expressed tetracycline-regulated Hsp70 was compared to thermotolerant cells expressing the same level of Hsp70 plus all of the other heat shock proteins. Overexpression of Hsp70 alone was sufficient to induce a similar recovery of cytoplasmic luciferase activity, as does expression of all Hsps in thermotolerant cells. However, when the luciferase reporter protein was directed to the nucleus, expression of Hsp70 alone was not sufficient to yield the level of recovery observed in thermotolerant cells. In addition, cells expressing the same level of Hsp70 found in heat-induced thermotolerant cells containing additional Hsps showed increased resistance to thermal killing but were more sensitive than thermotolerant cells. These results suggest that the inducible form of Hsp70 contributes to the stress-tolerant state by increasing the chaperone activity in the cytoplasm. However, its expression alone is apparently insufficient for protection of other subcellular compartments to yield clonal heat resistance to the level observed in thermotolerant cells. (+info
Requirement for transcription factor NFAT in interleukin-2 expression.
The nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factor is implicated in expression of the cytokine interleukin-2 (IL-2). Binding sites for NFAT are located in the IL-2 promoter. Furthermore, pharmacological studies demonstrate that the drug cyclosporin A inhibits both NFAT activation and IL-2 expression. However, targeted disruption of the NFAT1 and NFAT2 genes in mice does not cause decreased IL-2 secretion. The role of NFAT in IL-2 gene expression is therefore unclear. Here we report the construction of a dominant-negative NFAT mutant (dnNFAT) that selectively inhibits NFAT-mediated gene expression. The inhibitory effect of dnNFAT is mediated by suppression of activation-induced nuclear translocation of NFAT. Expression of dnNFAT in cultured T cells caused inhibition of IL-2 promoter activity and decreased expression of IL-2 protein. Similarly, expression of dnNFAT in transgenic mice also caused decreased IL-2 gene expression. These data demonstrate that NFAT is a critical component of the signaling pathway that regulates IL-2 expression. (+info
Isolation of human transcripts expressed in hamster cells from YACs by cDNA representational difference analysis.
Gene isolation methods used during positional cloning rely on physical contigs consisting of bacterial artificial chromosomes, P1, or cosmid clones. However, in most instances, the initial framework for physical mapping consists of contigs of yeast artificial chromosome (YACs), large vectors that are suboptimal substrates for gene isolation. Here we report a strategy to identify gene sequences contained within a YAC by using cDNA representational difference analysis (RDA) to directly isolate transcripts expressed from the YAC in mammalian cells. The RDA tester cDNAs were generated from a previously reported hamster cell line derived by stable transfer of a 590-kb YAC (911D5) that expressed NPC1, the human gene responsible for Niemann-Pick type C (NP-C). The driver cDNAs were generated from a control hamster cell line that did not contain the YAC that expressed NPC1. Among the gene fragments obtained by RDA, NPC1 was the most abundant product. In addition, two non-NPC1 fragments were isolated that were mapped to and expressed from 911D5. One of these RDA gene fragments (7-R) spans more than one exon and has 98% sequence identity with a human cDNA clone reported previously as an expressed sequence tag (EST), but not mapped to a chromosomal region. The other fragment (2-R) that had no significant sequence similarities with known mammalian genes or ESTs, was further localized to the region of overlap between YACs 911D5 and 844E3. The latter YAC is part of a contig across the NP-C candidate region, but does not contain NPC1. This two-part approach in which stable YAC transfer is followed by cDNA RDA should be a useful adjunct strategy to expedite the cloning of human genes when a YAC contig is available across a candidate interval. (+info