(1/3619) The effects of digestive enzymes on characteristics of placental insulin receptor. Comparison of particulate and soluble receptor preparations.

The role of the surrounding membrane structure on the binding characteristics of the insulin receptor was studied by using several digestive enzymes. The effects observed with particulate membrane preparations are compared with those from soluble receptor preparations. beta-Galactosidase and neuraminidase had no effect on insulin binding to either particulate or soluble receptors from human placentae. Exposure to 2 units of phospholipase C/ml increased insulin binding to particulate membranes, but was without effect on the soluble receptor preparation. The increase in binding to particulate membranes was shown to be due to an increase in apparent receptor number. After 5 min exposure to 500 microgram of trypsin/ml there was an increase in insulin binding to the particulate membrane fraction, owing to an increase in receptor affinity. After 15 min exposure to this amount of trypsin, binding decreased, owing to a progressive decrease in receptor availability. In contrast, this concentration of trypsin had no effect on the solubilized receptor preparation. Because of the differential effects of phospholipase C and trypsin on the particulate compared with the solubilized receptor preparations, it is concluded that the effects of these enzymes were due to an effect on the surrounding membrane structure. Changes in receptor configuration due to alterations within the adjoining membrane provide a potential mechanism for mediating short-term alterations in receptor function.  (+info)

(2/3619) Complete sequence of a 184-kilobase catabolic plasmid from Sphingomonas aromaticivorans F199.

The complete 184,457-bp sequence of the aromatic catabolic plasmid, pNL1, from Sphingomonas aromaticivorans F199 has been determined. A total of 186 open reading frames (ORFs) are predicted to encode proteins, of which 79 are likely directly associated with catabolism or transport of aromatic compounds. Genes that encode enzymes associated with the degradation of biphenyl, naphthalene, m-xylene, and p-cresol are predicted to be distributed among 15 gene clusters. The unusual coclustering of genes associated with different pathways appears to have evolved in response to similarities in biochemical mechanisms required for the degradation of intermediates in different pathways. A putative efflux pump and several hypothetical membrane-associated proteins were identified and predicted to be involved in the transport of aromatic compounds and/or intermediates in catabolism across the cell wall. Several genes associated with integration and recombination, including two group II intron-associated maturases, were identified in the replication region, suggesting that pNL1 is able to undergo integration and excision events with the chromosome and/or other portions of the plasmid. Conjugative transfer of pNL1 to another Sphingomonas sp. was demonstrated, and genes associated with this function were found in two large clusters. Approximately one-third of the ORFs (59 of them) have no obvious homology to known genes.  (+info)

(3/3619) Modulation of acute and chronic inflammatory processes by cacospongionolide B, a novel inhibitor of human synovial phospholipase A2.

1. Cacospongionolide B is a novel marine metabolite isolated from the sponge Fasciospongia cavernosa. In in vitro studies, this compound inhibited phospholipase A2 (PLA2), showing selectivity for secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) versus cytosolic PLA2 (cPLA2), and its potency on the human synovial enzyme (group II) was similar to that of manoalide. 2. This activity was confirmed in vivo in the 8 h zymosan-injected rat air pouch, on the secretory enzyme accumulating in the pouch exudate. Cacospongionolide B, that is bioavailable when is given orally, reduced the elevated levels of sPLA2 present in paw homogenates of rats with adjuvant arthritis. 3. This marine metabolite showed topical anti-inflammatory activity on the mouse ear oedema induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol acetate (TPA) and decreased carrageenin paw oedema in mice after oral administration of 5, 10 or 20 mg kg(-1). 4. In the mouse air pouch injected with zymosan, cacospongionolide B administered into the pouch, induced a dose-dependent reduction in the levels of eicosanoids and tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) in the exudates 4 h after the stimulus. It also had a weak effect on cell migration. 5. The inflammatory response of adjuvant arthritis was reduced by cacospongionolide B, which did not significantly affect eicosanoid levels in serum, paw or stomach homogenates and did not induce toxic effects. 6 Cacospongionolide B is a new inhibitor of sPLA2 in vitro and in vivo, with anti-inflammatory properties in acute and chronic inflammation. This marine metabolite was active after oral administration and able to modify TNFalpha levels, and may offer an interesting approach in the search for new anti-inflammatory agents.  (+info)

(4/3619) Inhibitory sites in enzymes: zinc removal and reactivation by thionein.

Thionein (T) has not been isolated previously from biological material. However, it is generated transiently in situ by removal of zinc from metallothionein under oxidoreductive conditions, particularly in the presence of selenium compounds. T very rapidly activates a group of enzymes in which zinc is bound at an inhibitory site. The reaction is selective, as is apparent from the fact that T does not remove zinc from the catalytic sites of zinc metalloenzymes. T instantaneously reverses the zinc inhibition with a stoichiometry commensurate with its known capacity to bind seven zinc atoms in the form of clusters in metallothionein. The zinc inhibition is much more pronounced than was previously reported, with dissociation constants in the low nanomolar range. Thus, T is an effective, endogenous chelating agent, suggesting the existence of a hitherto unknown and unrecognized biological regulatory system. T removes the metal from an inhibitory zinc-specific enzymatic site with a resultant marked increase of activity. The potential significance of this system is supported by the demonstration of its operations in enzymes involved in glycolysis and signal transduction.  (+info)

(5/3619) E-CELL: software environment for whole-cell simulation.

MOTIVATION: Genome sequencing projects and further systematic functional analyses of complete gene sets are producing an unprecedented mass of molecular information for a wide range of model organisms. This provides us with a detailed account of the cell with which we may begin to build models for simulating intracellular molecular processes to predict the dynamic behavior of living cells. Previous work in biochemical and genetic simulation has isolated well-characterized pathways for detailed analysis, but methods for building integrative models of the cell that incorporate gene regulation, metabolism and signaling have not been established. We, therefore, were motivated to develop a software environment for building such integrative models based on gene sets, and running simulations to conduct experiments in silico. RESULTS: E-CELL, a modeling and simulation environment for biochemical and genetic processes, has been developed. The E-CELL system allows a user to define functions of proteins, protein-protein interactions, protein-DNA interactions, regulation of gene expression and other features of cellular metabolism, as a set of reaction rules. E-CELL simulates cell behavior by numerically integrating the differential equations described implicitly in these reaction rules. The user can observe, through a computer display, dynamic changes in concentrations of proteins, protein complexes and other chemical compounds in the cell. Using this software, we constructed a model of a hypothetical cell with only 127 genes sufficient for transcription, translation, energy production and phospholipid synthesis. Most of the genes are taken from Mycoplasma genitalium, the organism having the smallest known chromosome, whose complete 580 kb genome sequence was determined at TIGR in 1995. We discuss future applications of the E-CELL system with special respect to genome engineering. AVAILABILITY: The E-CELL software is available upon request. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The complete list of rules of the developed cell model with kinetic parameters can be obtained via our web site at: http://e-cell.org/.  (+info)

(6/3619) Do enzymes obey the Baldwin rules? A mechanistic imperative in enzymatic cyclization reactions.

It is commonly assumed that enzymes have evolved to abide by the same energetic and stereoelectronic principles that govern reactions in solution. The principles formulated for organic ring-closure reactions can be used to develop a hypothesis for analysis of enzyme-catalyzed cyclization reactions.  (+info)

(7/3619) Specific gene expression in pancreatic beta-cells: cloning and characterization of differentially expressed genes.

Identification and characterization of genes expressed preferentially in pancreatic beta-cells will clarify the mechanisms involved in the specialized properties of these cells, as well as providing new markers of the development of type 1 diabetes. Despite major efforts, relatively few beta-cell-specific genes have been characterized. We applied representational difference analysis to identify genes expressed selectively in the pancreatic beta-cell line betaTC1 compared with the pancreatic alpha-cell line alphaTC1 and isolated 26 clones expressed at higher levels in the beta-cells than in the alpha-cells. DNA sequencing revealed that 14 corresponded to known genes (that is, present in GenBank). Only four of those genes had been shown previously to be expressed at higher levels in beta-cells (insulin, islet amyloid polypeptide, neuronatin, and protein kinase A regulatory subunit [RIalpha]). The known genes include transcription factors (STAT6) and mediators of signal transduction (guanylate cyclase). The remaining 12 genes are absent from the GenBank database or are present as expressed sequence tag (EST) sequences (4 clones). Some of the genes are expressed in a highly specific pattern-expression in betaTC1 and islet cells and in relatively few of the non-beta-cell types examined; others are expressed in most cell types tested. The identification of these differentially expressed genes may aid in attaining a clearer understanding of the mechanisms involved in beta-cell function and of the possible immunogens involved in development of type 1 diabetes.  (+info)

(8/3619) Enzyme-mononucleotide interactions: three different folds share common structural elements for ATP recognition.

Three ATP-dependent enzymes with different folds, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, D-Ala:D-Ala ligase and the alpha-subunit of the alpha2beta2 ribonucleotide reductase, have a similar organization of their ATP-binding sites. The most meaningful similarity was found over 23 structurally equivalent residues in each protein and includes three strands each from their beta-sheets, in addition to a connecting loop. The equivalent secondary structure elements in each of these enzymes donate four amino acids forming key hydrogen bonds responsible for the common orientation of the "AMP" moieties of their ATP-ligands. One lysine residue conserved throughout the three families binds the alpha-phosphate in each protein. The common fragments of structure also position some, but not all, of the equivalent residues involved in hydrophobic contacts with the adenine ring. These examples of convergent evolution reinforce the view that different proteins can fold in different ways to produce similar structures locally, and nature can take advantage of these features when structure and function demand it, as shown here for the common mode of ATP-binding by three unrelated proteins.  (+info)