(1/427) Caspase-9 can be activated without proteolytic processing.

The recombinant form of the proapoptotic caspase-9 purified following expression in Escherichia coli is processed at Asp315, but largely inactive; however, when added to cytosolic extracts of human 293 cells it is activated 2000-fold in the presence of cytochrome c and dATP. Thus, the characteristic activities of caspase-9 are context-dependent, and its activation may not recapitulate conventional caspase activation mechanisms. To explore this hypothesis we produced recombinant forms of procaspase-9 containing mutations that disabled one or both of the interdomain processing sites of the zymogen. These mutants were able to activate downstream caspases, but only in the presence of cytosolic factors. The mutant with both processing sites abolished had 10% of the activity of wild-type, and was able to support apoptosis, with equal vigor to wild-type, when transiently expressed in 293 cells. Thus caspase-9 has an unusually active zymogen that does not require proteolytic processing, but instead is dependent on cytosolic factors for expression of its activity.  (+info)

(2/427) A cytosolic factor is required for mitochondrial cytochrome c efflux during apoptosis.

Treatment of HL-60 cells with staurosporine (STS) induced mitochondrial cytochrome c efflux into the cytosol, which was followed by caspase-3 activation and apoptosis. Consistent with these observations, in vitro experiments demonstrated that, except for cytochrome c, the cytosol of HL-60 cells contained sufficient amounts of all factors required for caspase-3 activation. In contrast, treatment of HCW-2 cells (an apoptotic-resistant HL-60 subclone) with STS failed to induce significant amounts of mitochondrial cytochrome c efflux, caspase-3 activation, and apoptosis. In vitro assays strongly suggested that a lack of cytochrome c in the cytosol was the primary limiting factor for caspase-3 activation in HCW-2 cells. To explore the mechanism which regulates mitochondrial cytochrome c efflux, we developed an in vitro assay which showed that cytosolic extracts from STS-treated, but not untreated, HL-60 cells contained an activity, which we designated 'CIF' (cytochrome c-efflux inducing factor), which rapidly induced cytochrome c efflux from HL-60 mitochondria. In contrast, there was no detectable CIF activity in STS-treated HCW-2 cells although the mitochondria from HCW-2 cells were responsive to the CIF activity from STS-treated HL-60 cells. These experiments have identified a novel activity, CIF, which is required for cytochrome c efflux and they indicate that the absence of CIF is the biochemical explanation for the impaired ability of HCW-2 cells to activate caspase-3 and undergo apoptosis.  (+info)

(3/427) Touching the heart of HIV-1 drug resistance: the fingers close down on the dNTP at the polymerase active site.

Comparison of the recently solved structure of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT)-DNA-dNTP ternary complex with the previously solved structure of RT-DNA binary complex suggests mechanisms by which the HIV-1 RT becomes resistant to nucleoside-analog inhibitors, drugs currently used in the treatment of AIDS.  (+info)

(4/427) Binding of nucleotide triphosphates to cardiotoxin analogue II from the Taiwan cobra venom (Naja naja atra). Elucidation of the structural interactions in the dATP-cardiotoxin analogue ii complex.

Snake venom cardiotoxins have been recently shown to block the enzymatic activity of phospholipid protein kinase and Na+,K+-ATPase. To understand the molecular basis for the inhibitory effects of cardiotoxin on the action of these enzymes, the nucleotide triphosphate binding ability of cardiotoxin analogue II (CTX II) from the Taiwan cobra (Naja naja atra) venom is investigated using a variety of spectroscopic techniques such as fluorescence, circular dichroism, and two-dimensional NMR. CTX II is found to bind to all the four nucleotide triphosphates (ATP, UTP, GTP, and CTP) with similar affinity. Detailed studies of the binding of dATP to CTX II indicated that the toxin molecule is significantly stabilized in the presence of the nucleotide. Molecular modeling, based on the NOEs observed for the dATP.CTX II complex, reveals that dATP binds to the CTX II molecule at the groove enclosed between the N- and C-terminal ends of the toxin molecule. Based on the results obtained in the present study, a molecular mechanism to account for the inhibition of the enzymatic activity of the phospholipid-sensitive protein kinase and Na+,K+-ATPase is also proposed.  (+info)

(5/427) Cytochrome c and dATP-mediated oligomerization of Apaf-1 is a prerequisite for procaspase-9 activation.

To elucidate the mechanism of activation of procaspase-9 by Apaf-1, we produced recombinant full-length Apaf-1 and purified it to complete homogeneity. Here we show using gel filtration that full-length Apaf-1 exists as a monomer that can be transformed to an oligomeric complex made of at least eight subunits after binding to cytochrome c and dATP. Apaf-1 binds to cytochrome c in the absence of dATP but does not form the oligomeric complex. However, when dATP is added to the cytochrome c-bound Apaf-1 complex, complete oligomerization occurs, suggesting that oligomerization is driven by hydrolysis of dATP. This was supported by the observation that ATP, but not the nonhydrolyzable adenosine 5'-O-(thiotriphosphate), can induce oligomerization of the Apaf-1-cytochrome c complex. Like the spontaneously oligomerizing Apaf-530, which lacks its WD-40 domain, the oligomeric full-length Apaf-1-cytochrome c complex can bind and process procaspase-9 in the absence of additional dATP or cytochrome c. However, unlike the truncated Apaf-530 complex, the full-length Apaf-1 complex can release the mature caspase-9 after processing. Once released, mature caspase-9 can process procaspase-3, setting into motion the caspase cascade. These observations indicate that cytochrome c and dATP are required for oligomerization of Apaf-1 and suggest that the WD-40 domain plays an important role in oligomerization of full-length Apaf-1 and the release of mature caspase-9 from the Apaf-1 oligomeric complex.  (+info)

(6/427) Xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XP-V) correcting protein from HeLa cells has a thymine dimer bypass DNA polymerase activity.

Xeroderma pigmentosum variant (XP-V) represents one of the most common forms of this cancer-prone DNA repair syndrome. Unlike classical XP cells, XP-V cells are normal in nucleotide excision repair but defective in post-replication repair. The precise molecular defect in XP-V is currently unknown, but it appears to be a protein involved in translesion synthesis. Here we established a sensitive assay system using an SV40 origin-based plasmid to detect XP-V complementation activity. Using this system, we isolated a protein from HeLa cells capable of complementing the defects in XP-V cell extracts. The protein displays novel DNA polymerase activity which replicates cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer-containing DNA templates. The XPV polymerase activity was dependent on MgCl2, sensitive to NEM, moderately sensitive to KCl, resistant to both aphidicolin and ddTTP, and not stimulated by PCNA. In glycerol density gradients, the activity co-sedimented with a 54 kDa polypeptide at 3.5S, indicating that the monomeric form of this polypeptide was responsible for the activity. The protein factor corrected the translesion defects of extracts from three XPV cell strains. Bypass DNA synthesis by the XP-V polymerase occurred only in the presence of dATP, indicating that it can incorporate only dATP to bypass a di-thymine lesion.  (+info)

(7/427) The oxidized forms of dATP are substrates for the human MutT homologue, the hMTH1 protein.

The possibility that Escherichia coli MutT and human MTH1 (hMTH1) hydrolyze oxidized DNA precursors other than 8-hydroxy-dGTP (8-OH-dGTP) was investigated. We report here that hMTH1 hydrolyzed 2-hydroxy-dATP (2-OH-dATP) and 8-hydroxy-dATP (8-OH-dATP), oxidized forms of dATP, but not (R)-8,5'-cyclo-dATP, 5-hydroxy-dCTP, and 5-formyl-dUTP. The kinetic parameters indicated that 2-OH-dATP was hydrolyzed more efficiently and with higher affinity than 8-OH-dGTP. 8-OH-dATP was hydrolyzed as efficiently as 8-OH-dGTP. The preferential hydrolysis of 2-OH-dATP over 8-OH-dGTP was observed at all of the pH values tested (pH 7.2 to pH 8.8). In particular, a 5-fold difference in the hydrolysis efficiencies for 2-OH-dATP over 8-OH-dGTP was found at pH 7.2. However, E. coli MutT had no hydrolysis activity for either 2-OH-dATP or 8-OH-dATP. Thus, E. coli MutT is an imperfect counterpart for hMTH1. Furthermore, we found that 2-hydroxy-dADP and 8-hydroxy-dGDP competitively inhibited both the 2-OH-dATP hydrolase and 8-OH-dGTP hydrolase activities of hMTH1. The inhibitory effects of 2-hydroxy-dADP were 3-fold stronger than those of 8-hydroxy-dGDP. These results suggest that the three damaged nucleotides share the same recognition site of hMTH1 and that it is a more important sanitization enzyme than expected thus far.  (+info)

(8/427) Role of cytochrome c and dATP/ATP hydrolysis in Apaf-1-mediated caspase-9 activation and apoptosis.

Apaf-1 plays a critical role in apoptosis by binding to and activating procaspase-9. We have identified a novel Apaf-1 cDNA encoding a protein of 1248 amino acids containing an insertion of 11 residues between the CARD and ATPase domains, and another 43 amino acid insertion creating an additional WD-40 repeat. The product of this Apaf-1 cDNA activated procaspase-9 in a cytochrome c and dATP/ATP-dependent manner. We used this Apaf-1 to show that Apaf-1 requires dATP/ATP hydrolysis to interact with cytochrome c, self-associate and bind to procaspase-9. A P-loop mutant (Apaf-1K160R) was unable to associate with Apaf-1 or bind to procaspase-9. Mutation of Met368 to Leu enabled Apaf-1 to self-associate and bind procaspase-9 independent of cytochrome c, though still requiring dATP/ATP for these activities. The Apaf-1M368L mutant exhibited greater ability to induce apoptosis compared with the wild-type Apaf-1. We also show that procaspase-9 can recruit procaspase-3 to the Apaf-1-procaspase-9 complex. Apaf-1(1-570), a mutant lacking the WD-40 repeats, associated with and activated procaspase-9, but failed to recruit procaspase-3 and induce apoptosis. These results suggest that the WD-40 repeats may be involved in procaspase-9-mediated procaspase-3 recruitment. These studies elucidate biochemical steps required for Apaf-1 to activate procaspase-9 and induce apoptosis.  (+info)