Identification of a novel family of targets of PYK2 related to Drosophila retinal degeneration B (rdgB) protein. (1/5824)

The protein tyrosine kinase PYK2 has been implicated in signaling pathways activated by G-protein-coupled receptors, intracellular calcium, and stress signals. Here we describe the molecular cloning and characterization of a novel family of PYK2-binding proteins designated Nirs (PYK2 N-terminal domain-interacting receptors). The three Nir proteins (Nir1, Nir2, and Nir3) bind to the amino-terminal domain of PYK2 via a conserved sequence motif located in the carboxy terminus. The primary structures of Nirs reveal six putative transmembrane domains, a region homologous to phosphatidylinositol (PI) transfer protein, and an acidic domain. The Nir proteins are the human homologues of the Drosophila retinal degeneration B protein (rdgB), a protein implicated in the visual transduction pathway in flies. We demonstrate that Nirs are calcium-binding proteins that exhibit PI transfer activity in vivo. Activation of PYK2 by agents that elevate intracellular calcium or by phorbol ester induce tyrosine phosphorylation of Nirs. Moreover, PYK2 and Nirs exhibit similar expression patterns in several regions of the brain and retina. In addition, PYK2-Nir complexes are detected in lysates prepared from cultured cells or from brain tissues. Finally, the Nir1-encoding gene is located at human chromosome 17p13.1, in proximity to a locus responsible for several human retinal diseases. We propose that the Nir and rdgB proteins represent a new family of evolutionarily conserved PYK2-binding proteins that play a role in the control of calcium and phosphoinositide metabolism downstream of G-protein-coupled receptors.  (+info)

Involvement of poly (ADP-ribose)-polymerase in the Pax-6 gene regulation in neuroretina. (2/5824)

The quail Pax-6 gene is expressed from two promoters named P0 and P1. P0 promoter is under the control of a neuroretina-specific enhancer (EP). This enhancer activates the P0 promoter specifically in neuroretina cells and in a developmental stage-dependent manner. The EP enhancer binds efficiently, as revealed by southwestern experiments, to a 110 kDa protein present in neuroretina cells but not in Quail Embryos Cells and Retinal Pigmented Epithelium which do not express the P0-initiated mRNAs. To study the role of p110 in Pax-6 regulation, we have purified the p110 from neuroretina cells extracts. Based on the peptide sequence of the purified protein, we have identified the p110 as the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). Using bandshift experiments and footprinting studies, we present evidence that PARP is a component of protein complexes bound to the EP enhancer that increases the on rate of the protein complex formation to DNA. Using PARP inhibitors (3AB and 6.5 Hphe), we show that these products are able to inhibit EP enhancer activity in neuroretina cells. Finally, we demonstrate that these inhibitors are able to decrease the expression of the P0-initiated mRNA in the MC29-infected RPE cells which, in contrast to the RPE cells, accumulated the PARP in response to v-myc expression. Our results suggest that PARP is involved in the Pax-6 regulation.  (+info)

BMP7 acts in murine lens placode development. (3/5824)

Targeted inactivation of the Bmp7 gene in mouse leads to eye defects with late onset and variable penetrance (A. T. Dudley et al., 1995, Genes Dev. 9, 2795-2807; G. Luo et al., 1995, Genes Dev. 9, 2808-2820). Here we report that the expressivity of the Bmp7 mutant phenotype markedly increases in a C3H/He genetic background and that the phenotype implicates Bmp7 in the early stages of lens development. Immunolocalization experiments show that BMP7 protein is present in the head ectoderm at the time of lens placode induction. Using an in vitro culture system, we demonstrate that addition of BMP7 antagonists during the period of lens placode induction inhibits lens formation, indicating a role for BMP7 in lens placode development. Next, to integrate Bmp7 into a developmental pathway controlling formation of the lens placode, we examined the expression of several early lens placode-specific markers in Bmp7 mutant embryos. In these embryos, Pax6 head ectoderm expression is lost just prior to the time when the lens placode should appear, while in Pax6-deficient (Sey/Sey) embryos, Bmp7 expression is maintained. These results could suggest a simple linear pathway in placode induction in which Bmp7 functions upstream of Pax6 and regulates lens placode induction. At odds with this interpretation, however, is the finding that expression of secreted Frizzled Related Protein-2 (sFRP-2), a component of the Wnt signaling pathway which is expressed in prospective lens placode, is absent in Sey/Sey embryos but initially present in Bmp7 mutants. This suggests a different model in which Bmp7 function is required to maintain Pax6 expression after induction, during a preplacodal stage of lens development. We conclude that Bmp7 is a critical component of the genetic mechanism(s) controlling lens placode formation.  (+info)

Isolation and characterization of drosocrystallin, a lens crystallin gene of Drosophila melanogaster. (4/5824)

We have cloned the drosocrystallin gene (dcy) of Drosophila melanogaster, which encodes a major protein of the corneal lens, previously described in part by Komori et al. (1992, J. Cell Sci. 102, 191-201). Synthesis of the DCY protein starts weakly in 2-day-old pupae, reaches a peak at day 3 and day 4 of pupal development, and decreases very fast in young adults. The dcy mRNA is detected in the compound eyes as well as in the ocelli. The presence of a putative signal peptide and the extracellular location of DCY suggest that DCY is a secreted protein. Interestingly, the dcy gene shows sequence similarities to some insect cuticular proteins and is detected as well in two closely related Drosophila species, D. sechellia and D. simulans, and in one more distantly related species, D. virilis. This finding supports the hypothesis that Drosophila used the same strategy as vertebrates and mollusks, namely, recruiting a multifunctional protein for refraction in the lens, by a gene-sharing mechanism. Furthermore, it supports our intercalary evolution hypothesis, which suggests that the development of an elaborate structure (for example, a compound eye) from an original primitive form (an ancestral photoreceptor organ) can be achieved by recruiting novel genes into the original developmental pathway.  (+info)

A mutation in the RIEG1 gene associated with Peters' anomaly. (5/5824)

Mutations within the RIEG1 homeobox gene on chromosome 4q25 have previously been reported in association with Rieger syndrome. We report a 3' splice site mutation within the 3rd intron of the RIEG1 gene which is associated with unilateral Peters' anomaly. The mutation is a single base substition of A to T at the invariant -2 site of the 3' splice site. Peters' anomaly, which is characterised by ocular anterior segment dysgenesis and central corneal opacification, is distinct from Rieger anomaly. This is the first description of a RIEG1 mutation associated with Peters' anomaly.  (+info)

A binding site for homeodomain and Pax proteins is necessary for L1 cell adhesion molecule gene expression by Pax-6 and bone morphogenetic proteins. (6/5824)

The cell adhesion molecule L1 regulates axonal guidance and fasciculation during development. We previously identified the regulatory region of the L1 gene and showed that it was sufficient for establishing the neural pattern of L1 expression in transgenic mice. In the present study, we characterize a DNA element within this region called the HPD that contains binding motifs for both homeodomain and Pax proteins and responds to signals from bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs). An ATTA sequence within the core of the HPD was required for binding to the homeodomain protein Barx2 while a separate paired domain recognition motif was necessary for binding to Pax-6. In cellular transfection experiments, L1-luciferase reporter constructs containing the HPD were activated an average of 4-fold by Pax-6 in N2A cells and 5-fold by BMP-2 and BMP-4 in Ng108 cells. Both of these responses were eliminated on deletion of the HPD from L1 constructs. In transgenic mice, deletion of the HPD from an L1-lacZ reporter resulted in a loss of beta-galactosidase expression in the telencephalon and mesencephalon. Collectively, our experiments indicate that the HPD regulates L1 expression in neural tissues via homeodomain and Pax proteins and is likely to be a target of BMP signaling during development.  (+info)

Ectopic bone morphogenetic proteins 5 and 4 in the chicken forebrain lead to cyclopia and holoprosencephaly. (7/5824)

Proper dorsal-ventral patterning in the developing central nervous system requires signals from both the dorsal and ventral portions of the neural tube. Data from multiple studies have demonstrated that bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) and Sonic hedgehog protein are secreted factors that regulate dorsal and ventral specification, respectively, within the caudal neural tube. In the developing rostral central nervous system Sonic hedgehog protein also participates in ventral regionalization; however, the roles of BMPs in the developing brain are less clear. We hypothesized that BMPs also play a role in dorsal specification of the vertebrate forebrain. To test our hypothesis we implanted beads soaked in recombinant BMP5 or BMP4 into the neural tube of the chicken forebrain. Experimental embryos showed a loss of the basal telencephalon that resulted in holoprosencephaly (a single cerebral hemisphere), cyclopia (a single midline eye), and loss of ventral midline structures. In situ hybridization using a panel of probes to genes expressed in the dorsal and ventral forebrain revealed the loss of ventral markers with the maintenance of dorsal markers. Furthermore, we found that the loss of the basal telencephalon was the result of excessive cell death and not a change in cell fates. These data provide evidence that BMP signaling participates in dorsal-ventral patterning of the developing brain in vivo, and disturbances in dorsal-ventral signaling result in specific malformations of the forebrain.  (+info)

Modifications to rat lens major intrinsic protein in selenite-induced cataract. (8/5824)

PURPOSE: To identify modifications to rat lens major intrinsic protein (MIP) isolated from selenite-induced cataract and to determine whether m-calpain (EC is responsible for cleavage of MIP during cataractogenesis. METHODS: Cataracts were induced in rats by a single injection of sodium selenite. Control and cataract lenses were harvested on day 16 and dissected into cortical and nuclear regions. Membranes were washed with urea buffer followed by NaOH. The protein was reduced/alkylated, delipidated, and cleaved with cyanogen bromide (CNBr). Cleavage products were fractionated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), and peptides were characterized by mass spectrometry and tandem mass spectrometry. MIP cleavage by m-calpain was carried out by incubation with purified enzyme, and peptides released from the membrane were analyzed by Edman sequencing. RESULTS: The intact C terminus, observed in the control nuclear and cataractous cortical membranes, was not observed in the cataractous nuclear membranes. Mass spectrometric analysis revealed heterogeneous cleavage of the C terminus of MIP in control and cataract nuclear regions. The major site of cleavage was between residues 238 and 239, corresponding to the major site of in vitro cleavage by m-calpain. However, sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometric analysis indicated that in vivo proteolysis during cataract formation also included sites closer to the C terminus not produced by m-calpain in vitro. Evidence for heterogeneous N-terminal cleavage was also observed at low levels with no differences between control and cataractous lenses. The major site of phosphorylation was determined to be at serine 235. CONCLUSIONS: Specific sites of MIP N- and C-terminal cleavage in selenite-induced cataractous lenses were identified. The heterogeneous cleavage pattern observed suggests that m-calpain is not the sole enzyme involved in MIP C-terminal processing in rat lens nuclei.  (+info)