Sensitized photomodification of mammalian DNA polymerase beta. A new approach for highly selective affinity labeling of polymerases. (1/303)

To enhance the specificity of polymerase photoaffinity labeling, a novel approach based on sensitized photomodification has been developed. A base-substituted analog of TTP containing a pyrene group (PyrdUTP) was synthesized and used as an active site-bound photosensitizer for photoaffinity modification of DNA polymerase beta (pol beta). 5'-[32P]-labeled primer was elongated in situ by pol beta with a photoreactive analog of TTP (FAB-4-dUTP). The pyrene sensitizer (PyrdUTP), excited by light (365-450 nm), can activate the photoreagent, cross-linking it to pol beta as a result of fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The initial rate of pol beta photomodification was shown to increase by a factor of ten. The selectivity of pol beta photosensitized modification was proved by adding human replication protein A.  (+info)

Post-replicative base excision repair in replication foci. (2/303)

Base excision repair (BER) is initiated by a DNA glycosylase and is completed by alternative routes, one of which requires proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and other proteins also involved in DNA replication. We report that the major nuclear uracil-DNA glycosylase (UNG2) increases in S phase, during which it co-localizes with incorporated BrdUrd in replication foci. Uracil is rapidly removed from replicatively incorporated dUMP residues in isolated nuclei. Neutralizing antibodies to UNG2 inhibit this removal, indicating that UNG2 is the major uracil-DNA glycosylase responsible. PCNA and replication protein A (RPA) co-localize with UNG2 in replication foci, and a direct molecular interaction of UNG2 with PCNA (one binding site) and RPA (two binding sites) was demonstrated using two-hybrid assays, a peptide SPOT assay and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays. These results demonstrate rapid post-replicative removal of incorporated uracil by UNG2 and indicate the formation of a BER complex that contains UNG2, RPA and PCNA close to the replication fork.  (+info)

Analysis of the p53 tumor suppressor gene in rheumatoid arthritis synovial fibroblasts. (3/303)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether mutations in the tumor suppressor gene p53 may contribute to the transformed-appearing phenotype of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial fibroblasts. METHODS: We performed p53 gene mutation analysis using different molecular approaches. Synovial fibroblasts of 10 patients with RA were cultured and RNA and DNA were harvested after 3-5 passages in cell culture. Sequence analysis of all exons of the p53 gene was performed using 3 different techniques: 1) single-strand conformational polymorphism, 2) nonisotopic RNase cleavage assay, and 3) base excision sequence scanning T-scan, followed by sequence analysis of specific gene segments. RESULTS: Although p53 antigen could be detected by immunocytochemistry in numerous cultured fibroblasts, gel electrophoresis analysis of products obtained using all 3 methods and subsequent sequence analysis showed no specific mutation pattern in the genome of the synovial fibroblasts from patients in Germany, including the known "hot spots" within the p53 genome. However, p53 mutations were identified in different clones of 3 additional RA synovial fibroblast populations from the United States. Sequence analysis of the p53 promoter did not reveal mutational base changes. CONCLUSION: The findings of the study support the hypothesis that the majority of the mutations of the p53 gene observed in RA synovium are not derived from the genome of RA synovial fibroblasts, and that the variability of the mutation pattern reflects, in part, the heterogeneity of the disease.  (+info)

Phase II/pharmacodynamic trial of dose-intensive, weekly parenteral hydroxyurea and fluorouracil administered with interferon alfa-2a in patients with refractory malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract. (4/303)

PURPOSE: Combined depletion of pyrimidine and purine DNA precursors has resulted in therapeutic synergism in vitro. The aims of the current study were to test this strategy in patients with refractory tumors and to assess its effects on selected nucleotide pools. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A single-institution phase II trial was initiated in patients with advanced carcinomas of the stomach and pancreas. Patients had measurable disease and had no prior chemotherapy except adjuvant fluorouracil (5FU) or gemcitabine. 5FU was administered by CADD + pump at 2.6 g/m(2) intravenously by 24-hour infusion on days 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, and 36. Parenteral hydroxyurea (HU) was administered at 4.3 g/m(2) as a 24-hour infusion concurrently with 5FU. Interferon alfa-2a (IFN-alpha2a) was administered at 9 million units subcutaneously on days 1, 3, and 5 each week. No drug was administered in weeks 7 and 8. Pharmacodynamic studies were performed to assess drug effects on levels of deoxyuridine triphosphate (dUTP) and thymidine triphosphate (TTP) pools in peripheral-blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) before and 6 hours after treatment using a highly sensitive DNA polymerase assay. RESULTS: There were 53 patients enrolled onto the study (gastric carcinoma, 31; pancreatic carcinoma, 22). The median age was 61 years, with 22% of patients > or = 70 years old. The predominant grade 3 to 4 toxicities were leukopenia (49%), granulocytopenia (55%), and thrombocytopenia (22%). Severe diarrhea occurred in 12%, mucositis in 0%, and vomiting in 10% of patients. Patients > or = 70 years had no greater incidence of toxicities. Among the 30 assessable patients with gastric carcinoma, there were two (7%) complete responders and 11 (37%) partial responders (median duration, 7 months). Among the 21 assessable patients with pancreatic carcinoma, there was one responder. Median survival among all patients with gastric carcinoma was 10 months and 13 months for patients with pancreatic carcinoma. Twenty-three patients had samples studied for levels of dUTP and TTP. There was no change in the levels of TTP before and after treatment. Furthermore, dUTP was detected in only five of 28 samples after treatment with no increase in the dUTP/TTP ratio. CONCLUSION: Combination therapy with high-dose, weekly infusional HU and 5FU with IFN-alpha2a modulation was well-tolerated with activity in gastric cancer. Patients > or = 70 years tolerated therapy as well as younger patients. This was the first study to correlate levels of TTP and dUTP after treatment with clinical outcome. In PBMCs used as a surrogate tissue, HU abrogated the 5FU-induced increase in dUTP levels without reversing the overall efficacy of the regimen.  (+info)

RNA editing in Arabidopsis mitochondria effects 441 C to U changes in ORFs. (5/303)

On the basis of the sequence of the mitochondrial genome in the flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana, RNA editing events were systematically investigated in the respective RNA population. A total of 456 C to U, but no U to C, conversions were identified exclusively in mRNAs, 441 in ORFs, 8 in introns, and 7 in leader and trailer sequences. No RNA editing was seen in any of the rRNAs or in several tRNAs investigated for potential mismatch corrections. RNA editing affects individual coding regions with frequencies varying between 0 and 18.9% of the codons. The predominance of RNA editing events in the first two codon positions is not related to translational decoding, because it is not correlated with codon usage. As a general effect, RNA editing increases the hydrophobicity of the coded mitochondrial proteins. Concerning the selection of RNA editing sites, little significant nucleotide preference is observed in their vicinity in comparison to unedited C residues. This sequence bias is, per se, not sufficient to specify individual C nucleotides in the total RNA population in Arabidopsis mitochondria.  (+info)

Drug-resistant variants of Escherichia coli thymidylate synthase: effects of substitutions at Pro-254. (6/303)

Drug-resistant variants of thymidylate synthase (TS) can potentially be used in gene therapy applications to decrease the myelosuppressive side effects of TS-directed anticancer agents or to select genetically modified cells in vivo. Mutations of proline 303 of human TS confer resistance to TS-directed fluoropyrimidines and antifolates (). We generated the corresponding variants in Escherichia coli TS (ecTS), position 254, to better understand the mechanism by which mutations at this residue confer resistance. In addition, because ecTS is intrinsically resistant to several antifolates when compared with human TS, we suspected that greater resistance could be achieved with the bacterial enzyme. The P254L enzyme conferred >100-fold resistance to both raltitrexed and 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine (FdUrd) compared with wild-type ecTS. Four additional mutants (P254F, P254S, P254G, and P254D), each of which complemented growth of a TS-deficient cell line, were generated, isolated, and characterized. Steady-state values of K(m) for dUMP and k(cat) were not substantially different among the variants and were comparable with the wild-type values, but K(m) for methylenetetrahydrofolate (CH(2)H(4)PteGlu) was >10-fold higher for P254D. Values of k(on) and k(off) for nucleotide binding, which were obtained by stopped-flow spectroscopy, were virtually unchanged among the mutants. Drastic differences were observed for CH(2)H(4)PteGlu binding, with K(d) values >15-fold higher than observed with the wild-type enzyme; surprisingly, the proposed isomerization reaction that is very evident for the wild-type enzyme is not observed with P254S. The decrease in affinity for CH(2)H(4)PteGlu correlates well with K(i) values obtained for three TS-directed inhibitors. These results show that mutations at Pro-254 specifically affect the initial binding interactions between enzyme and cofactor and also alter the ability of the mutant enzymes to undergo conformational changes that occur on ternary complex formation. The crystal structure of P254S was determined at 1.5 A resolution and is the most precise structure of TS available. When compared with wild-type TS, the structure shows local conformational changes affecting mostly Asp-253; its carbonyl is rotated approximately 40 degrees, and the side chain forms an ion pair with Arg-225.  (+info)

Properties of Leishmania major dUTP nucleotidohydrolase, a distinct nucleotide-hydrolysing enzyme in kinetoplastids. (7/303)

We have previously reported the presence, in the parasitic protozoan Leishmania major, of an enzyme involved in controlling intracellular dUTP levels. The gene encoding this enzyme has now been overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity. Biochemical and enzymic analyses of the Leishmania enzyme show that it is a novel nucleotidohydrolase highly specific for deoxyuridine 5'-triphosphate. The enzyme has proved to be a dimer by gel filtration and is able to hydrolyse both dUTP and dUDP quite efficiently, acting as a dUTP nucleotidohydrolase (dUTPase)-dUDP nucleotidohydrolase but has a limited capacity to act upon other nucleoside di- or triphosphates. The reaction products are dUMP and PP(i) when dUTP is the substrate and dUMP and P(i) in the case of dUDP. The enzyme is sensitive to inhibition by the reaction product dUMP but not by PP(i). dUTPase activity is highly dependent on Mg(2+) concentrations and markedly sensitive to the phosphatase inhibitor, NaF. In summary, Leishmania dUTPase appears to be markedly different to other proteins characterized previously that accomplish the same function.  (+info)

An isotopic assay of dUTPase activity based on coupling with thymidylate synthase. (8/303)

A new rapid, sensitive and convenient procedure is presented allowing determination of dUTPase activity. With [5-(3)H]dUTP used as the substrate, dUTPase, converts it to the corresponding monophosphate and is coupled with thymidylate synthase-catalyzed reaction, resulting in tritium release from [5-(3)H]dUMP. Following charcoal absorption of the labeled nuleotides, radioactivity of tritiated water is determined. The new assay was tested to show comparable results with a previously described assay, based on measuring dUTPase-catalyzed [5-(3)H]dUMP production.  (+info)