Mammalian staufen is a double-stranded-RNA- and tubulin-binding protein which localizes to the rough endoplasmic reticulum.
Staufen (Stau) is a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-binding protein involved in mRNA transport and localization in Drosophila. To understand the molecular mechanisms of mRNA transport in mammals, we cloned human (hStau) and mouse (mStau) staufen cDNAs. In humans, four transcripts arise by differential splicing of the Stau gene and code for two proteins with different N-terminal extremities. In vitro, hStau and mStau bind dsRNA via each of two full-length dsRNA-binding domains and tubulin via a region similar to the microtubule-binding domain of MAP-1B, suggesting that Stau cross-links cytoskeletal and RNA components. Immunofluorescent double labeling of transfected mammalian cells revealed that Stau is localized to the rough endoplasmic reticulum (RER), implicating this RNA-binding protein in mRNA targeting to the RER, perhaps via a multistep process involving microtubules. These results are the first demonstration of the association of an RNA-binding protein in addition to ribosomal proteins, with the RER, implicating this class of proteins in the transport of RNA to its site of translation. (+info)
An intact sperm nuclear matrix may be necessary for the mouse paternal genome to participate in embryonic development.
We have been interested in determining the minimally required elements in the sperm head that are necessary in order for the paternal genome to participate in embryogenesis. We used an ionic detergent, mixed alkyltrimethylammonium bromide (ATAB), plus dithiothreitol (DTT) to remove the acrosome and almost all of the perinuclear theca, leaving only the sperm nucleus morphologically intact. We also tested the stability of the sperm nuclear matrix by the ability to form nuclear halos. Sperm nuclei washed in freshly prepared 0.5% ATAB + 2 mM DTT completely decondensed when extracted with salt, but nuclei washed in the same buffer that was 1 wk old, and then extracted with salt, produced nuclear halos, indicating stable nuclear matrices. When we treated sperm heads with freshly prepared ATAB+DTT and injected them into oocytes, none of the oocytes developed into live offspring. In contrast, sperm heads treated in the same way but with 1-wk-old ATAB+DTT solution could support development of about 30% of the oocytes to live offspring. Electron microscopy demonstrated that most of the perinuclear theca had been removed in both cases. These data suggest that at least in the mouse, the only component of the spermatozoa that is crucial for participation in embryologic development is the sperm nucleus with a stable nuclear matrix. (+info)
A novel trans-complementation assay suggests full mammalian oocyte activation is coordinately initiated by multiple, submembrane sperm components.
To initiate normal embryonic development, an egg must receive a signal to become activated at fertilization. We here report that the ability of demembranated sperm heads to activate is abolished after incubation over the range 20-44 degreesC and is sensitive to reducing agents. On the basis of this observation, we have developed a microinjection-based, trans-complementation assay in order to dissect the heat-inactivated sperm-borne oocyte-activating factor(s) (SOAF). We demonstrate that the failure of heat-inactivated sperm heads to activate an egg is rescued by coinjection with dithiothreitol-solubilized SOAF from demembranated sperm heads. The solubilized SOAF (SOAFs) is trypsin sensitive and is liberated from demembranated heads in a temperature-dependent manner that inversely correlates with the ability of sperm heads to activate. This argues that SOAFs is a proteinaceous molecular species required to initiate activation. Injection of oocytes with mouse or hamster sperm cytosolic factors, but not SOAFs alone, induced resumption of meiosis, further suggesting that these cytosolic factors and SOAF are distinct. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that full mammalian oocyte activation is initiated by the coordinated action of one or more heat-sensitive protein constituents of the perinuclear matrix and at least one heat-stable submembrane component. (+info)
Transforming growth factor-beta induces formation of a dithiothreitol-resistant type I/Type II receptor complex in live cells.
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) binds to and signals via two serine-threonine kinase receptors, the type I (TbetaRI) and type II (TbetaRII) receptors. We have used different and complementary techniques to study the physical nature and ligand dependence of the complex formed by TbetaRI and TbetaRII. Velocity centrifugation of endogenous receptors suggests that ligand-bound TbetaRI and TbetaRII form a heteromeric complex that is most likely a heterotetramer. Antibody-mediated immunofluorescence co-patching of epitope-tagged receptors provides the first evidence in live cells that TbetaRI. TbetaRII complex formation occurs at a low but measurable degree in the absence of ligand, increasing significantly after TGF-beta binding. In addition, we demonstrate that pretreatment of cells with dithiothreitol, which inhibits the binding of TGF-beta to TbetaRI, does not prevent formation of the TbetaRI.TbetaRII complex, but increases its sensitivity to detergent and prevents TGF-beta-activated TbetaRI from phosphorylating Smad3 in vitro. This indicates that either a specific conformation of the TbetaRI. TbetaRII complex, disrupted by dithiothreitol, or direct binding of TGF-beta to TbetaRI is required for signaling. (+info)
Studies of the role of endothelium-dependent nitric oxide release in the sustained vasodilator effects of corticotrophin releasing factor and sauvagine.
1. The mechanisms of the sustained vasodilator actions of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and sauvagine (SVG) were studied using rings of endothelium de-nuded rat thoracic aorta (RTA) and the isolated perfused rat superior mesenteric arterial vasculature (SMA). 2. SVG was approximately 50 fold more potent than CRF on RTA (EC40: 0.9 +/- 0.2 and 44 +/- 9 nM respectively, P < 0.05), and approximately 10 fold more active in the perfused SMA (ED40: 0.05 +/- 0.02 and 0.6 +/- 0.1 nmol respectively, P < 0.05). Single bolus injections of CRF (100 pmol) or SVG (15 pmol) in the perfused SMA caused reductions in perfusion pressure of 23 +/- 1 and 24 +/- 2% that lasted more than 20 min. 3. Removal of the endothelium in the perfused SMA with deoxycholic acid attenuated the vasodilatation and revealed two phases to the response; a short lasting direct action, and a sustained phase which was fully inhibited. 4. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with L-NAME (100 microM) L-NMMA (100 microM) or 2-ethyl-2-thiopseudourea (ETPU, 100 microM) had similar effects on the vasodilator responses to CRF as removal of the endothelium, suggesting a pivotal role for nitric oxide. However the selective guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[l,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-alpha]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10 microM) did not affect the response to CRF. 5. High potassium (60 mM) completely inhibited the vasodilator response to CRF in the perfused SMA, indicating a role for K channels in this response. 6. Compared to other vasodilator agents acting via the release of NO, the actions of CRF and SVG are strikingly long-lasting, suggesting a novel mechanism of prolonged activation of nitric oxide synthase. (+info)
Mutant and wild type human alpha-synucleins assemble into elongated filaments with distinct morphologies in vitro.
alpha-Synuclein is a soluble presynaptic protein which is pathologically redistributed within intracellular lesions characteristic of several neurodegenerative diseases. Here we demonstrate that wild type and two mutant forms of alpha-synuclein linked to familial Parkinson's disease (Ala30 --> Pro and Ala53 --> Thr) self-aggregate and assemble into 10-19-nm-wide filaments with distinct morphologies under defined in vitro conditions. Immunogold labeling demonstrates that the central region of all these filaments are more robustly labeled than the N-terminal or C-terminal regions, suggesting that the latter regions are buried within the filaments. Since in vitro generated alpha-synuclein filaments resemble the major ultrastructural elements of authentic Lewy bodies that are hallmark lesions of Parkinson's disease, we propose that self-aggregating alpha-synuclein is the major subunit protein of these filamentous lesions. (+info)
Opposite behavior of two isozymes when refolding in the presence of non-ionic detergents.
GroEL has a greater affinity for the mitochondrial isozyme (mAAT) of aspartate aminotransferase than for its cytosolic counterpart (cAAT) (Mattingly JR Jr, Iriarte A, Martinez-Carrion M, 1995, J Biol Chem 270:1138-1148), two proteins that share a high degree of sequence similarity and an almost identical spatial structure. The effect of detergents on the refolding of these large, dimeric isozymes parallels this difference in behavior. The presence of non-ionic detergents such as Triton X-100 or lubrol at concentrations above their critical micelle concentration (CMC) interferes with reactivation of mAAT unfolded in guanidinium chloride but increases the yield of cAAT refolding at low temperatures. The inhibitory effect of detergents on the reactivation of mAAT decreases progressively as the addition of detergents is delayed after starting the refolding reaction. The rate of disappearance of the species with affinity for binding detergents coincides with the slowest of the two rate-limiting steps detected in the refolding pathway of mAAT. Limited proteolysis studies indicate that the overall structure of the detergent-bound mAAT resembles that of the protein in a complex with GroEL. The mAAT folding intermediates trapped in the presence of detergents can resume reactivation either upon dilution of the detergent below its CMC or by adding beta-cyclodextrin. Thus, isolation of otherwise transient productive folding intermediates for further characterization is possible through the use of detergents. (+info)
PhoP-PhoQ-regulated loci are required for enhanced bile resistance in Salmonella spp.
As enteric pathogens, Salmonella spp. are resistant to the actions of bile. Salmonella typhimurium and Salmonella typhi strains were examined to better define the bile resistance phenotype. The MICs of bile for wild-type S. typhimurium and S. typhi were 18 and 12%, respectively, and pretreatment of log-phase S. typhimurium with 15% bile dramatically increased bile resistance. Mutant strains of S. typhimurium and S. typhi lacking the virulence regulator PhoP-PhoQ were killed at significantly lower bile concentrations than wild-type strains, while strains with constitutively active PhoP were able to survive prolonged incubation with bile at concentrations of >60%. PhoP-PhoQ was shown to mediate resistance specifically to the bile components deoxycholate and conjugated forms of chenodeoxycholate, and the protective effect was not generalized to other membrane-active agents. Growth of both S. typhimurium and S. typhi in bile and in deoxycholate resulted in the induction or repression of a number of proteins, many of which appeared identical to PhoP-PhoQ-activated or -repressed products. The PhoP-PhoQ regulon was not induced by bile, nor did any of the 21 PhoP-activated or -repressed genes tested play a role in bile resistance. However, of the PhoP-activated or -repressed genes tested, two (prgC and prgH) were transcriptionally repressed by bile in the medium independent of PhoP-PhoQ. These data suggest that salmonellae can sense and respond to bile to increase resistance and that this response likely includes proteins that are members of the PhoP regulon. These bile- and PhoP-PhoQ-regulated products may play an important role in the survival of Salmonella spp. in the intestine or gallbladder. (+info)