Induction of the soxRS regulon of Escherichia coli by superoxide.
The soxRS regulon orchestrates a multifaceted defense against oxidative stress, by inducing the transcription of approximately 15 genes. The induction of this regulon by redox agents, known to mediate O-2 production, led to the view that O-2 is one signal to which it responds. However, redox cycling agents deplete cellular reductants while producing O-2, and one may question whether the regulon responds to the depletion of some cytoplasmic reductant or to O-2, or both. We demonstrate that raising [O-2] by mutational deletion of superoxide dismutases and/or by addition of paraquat, both under aerobic conditions, causes induction of a member of the soxRS regulon and that a mutational defect in soxRS eliminates that induction. This establishes that O-2, directly or indirectly, can cause induction of this defensive regulon. (+info)
Neuronal pyruvate carboxylation supports formation of transmitter glutamate.
Release of transmitter glutamate implies a drain of alpha-ketoglutarate from neurons, because glutamate, which is formed from alpha-ketoglutarate, is taken up by astrocytes. It is generally believed that this drain is compensated by uptake of glutamine from astrocytes, because neurons are considered incapable of de novo synthesis of tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates, which requires pyruvate carboxylation. Here we show that cultured cerebellar granule neurons form releasable [(14)C]glutamate from H(14)CO(3)(-) and [1-(14)C]pyruvate via pyruvate carboxylation, probably mediated by malic enzyme. The activity of pyruvate carboxylation was calculated to be approximately one-third of the pyruvate dehydrogenase activity in neurons. Furthermore, intrastriatal injection of NaH(14)CO(3) or [1-(14)C]pyruvate labeled glutamate better than glutamine, showing that pyruvate carboxylation occurs in neurons in vivo. This means that neurons themselves to a large extent may support their release of glutamate, and thus entails a revision of the current view of glial-neuronal interactions and the importance of the glutamine cycle. (+info)
The pi-helix translates structure into function.
A search for the occurrence of the rare pi-helix was performed with Iditis from the Oxford Molecular Group upon the Protein Data Bank. In 8 of the 10 confirmed crystal structures that harbor the pi-helix, its unique conformation has been linked directly to the formation or stabilization of a specific binding site within the protein. In the discussion to follow, the role for each of these eight pi-helices will be addressed in regard to protein function. It is clear upon closer examination that the conformation of the pi-helix has evolved to provide unique structural features within a variety of proteins. (+info)
Selective disruption of protein aggregation by cyclodextrin dimers.
Beta-cyclodextrin (CD) dimers (n = 11) were synthesized and tested against eight enzymes, seven of which were dimeric or tetrameric, for inhibitor activity. Initial screening showed that only L-lactate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase were inhibited but only by two specific CD dimers in which two beta-CDs were linked on the secondary face by a pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic group. Further investigation suggested that these CD dimers inhibit the activity of L-lactate dehydrogenase and citrate synthase at least in part by disruption of protein-protein aggregation. (+info)
Oxygen- and growth rate-dependent regulation of Escherichia coli fumarase (FumA, FumB, and FumC) activity.
Escherichia coli contains three biochemically distinct fumarases which catalyze the interconversion of fumarate to L-malate in the tricarboxylic acid cycle. Batch culture studies indicated that fumarase activities varied according to carbon substrate and cell doubling time. Growth rate control of fumarase activities in the wild type and mutants was demonstrated in continuous culture; FumA and FumC activities were induced four- to fivefold when the cell growth rate (k) was lowered from 1.2/h to 0.24/h at 1 and 21% O(2), respectively. There was a twofold induction of FumA and FumC activities when acetate was utilized instead of glucose as the sole carbon source. However, these fumarase activities were still shown to be under growth rate control. Thus, the activity of the fumarases is regulated by the cell growth rate and carbon source utilization independently. Further examination of FumA and FumC activities in a cya mutant suggested that growth rate control of FumA and FumC activities is cyclic AMP dependent. Although the total fumarase activity increased under aerobic conditions, the individual fumarase activities varied under different oxygen levels. While FumB activity was maximal during anaerobic growth (k = 0.6/h), FumA was the major enzyme under anaerobic cell growth, and the maximum activity was achieved when oxygen was elevated to 1 to 2%. Further increase in the oxygen level caused inactivation of FumA and FumB activities by the high oxidized state, but FumC activity increased simultaneously when the oxygen level was higher than 4%. The same regulation of the activities of fumarases in response to different oxygen levels was also found in mutants. Therefore, synthesis of the three fumarase enzymes is controlled in a hierarchical fashion depending on the environmental oxygen that the cell encounters. (+info)
Regulation of the tricarboxylic acid cycle in gram-positive, facultatively anaerobic bacilli.
The facultative anaerobes Bacillus polymyxa Hino G, B. polymyxa Hino J, and B.macerans were observed to have imcomplete tricarboxylic acid cycles. They were devoid of malate dehydrogenase and all had very low levels of alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. B. polymyxa Hino J was devoid of alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase when grown aerobically and anerobically. Citrate synthase from B. polymyxa was inhibited by adenosine triphosphate but not reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide and resembled enzymes from other gram-positive bacteria in this respect. Like the citrate synthases from gram-negative, facultative anaerobes and chemolithotrophs, the enzyme from B. polymyxa was inhibited by alpha-ketoglutarate. Inhibition by adenosine triphosphate was shown to be competitive with acetyl-coenzyme A and alpha-ketoglutarate inhibition was competitive with oxaloacetate. (+info)
Integrated steady state rate equations and the determination of individual rate constants.
Integrated steady state rate equations have been used to determine the kinetic constants (Vs, Ks, Vp, and Kp) and rate constants (k1, k2, k3, and k4) of the reversible enzyme mechanism: (see article). The fumarase reaction has been used as a model to illustrate the procedures for determining these constants. In contrast to initial velocity studies, the values of the constants have been obtained by examining the enzyme reaction in only one direction rather than in both forward and reverse directions. To accomplish this, a new procedure is described for fitting data to integrated rate equations which eliminates problems encountered when data are analyzed graphically. The advantages of examining on enzyme reaction in one direction with these new procedures allow this method to be extended to the examination of enzymes with simple mechanisms where initial velocities are difficult to measure because either the substrate or product is not readily available, or because the reaction is not readily reversible. (+info)
Neuroprotection from delayed postischemic administration of a metalloporphyrin catalytic antioxidant.
Reactive oxygen species contribute to ischemic brain injury. This study examined whether the porphyrin catalytic antioxidant manganese (III) meso-tetrakis (N-ethylpyridinium-2-yl)porphyrin (MnTE-2-PyP(5+)) reduces oxidative stress and improves outcome from experimental cerebral ischemia. Rats that were subjected to 90 min focal ischemia and 7 d recovery were given MnTE-2-PyP(5+) (or vehicle) intracerebroventricularly 60 min before ischemia, or 5 or 90 min or 6 or 12 hr after reperfusion. Biomarkers of brain oxidative stress were measured at 4 hr after postischemic treatment (5 min or 6 hr). MnTE-2-PyP(5+), given 60 min before ischemia, improved neurologic scores and reduced total infarct size by 70%. MnTE-2-PyP(5+), given 5 or 90 min after reperfusion, reduced infarct size by 70-77% and had no effect on temperature. MnTE-2-PyP(5+) treatment 6 hr after ischemia reduced total infarct volume by 54% (vehicle, 131 +/- 60 mm(3); MnTE-2-PyP(5+), 300 ng, 60 +/- 68 mm(3)). Protection was observed in both cortex and caudoputamen, and neurologic scores were improved. No MnTE-2-PyP(5+) effect was observed if it was given 12 hr after ischemia. MnTE-2-PyP(5+) prevented mitochondrial aconitase inactivation and reduced 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine formation when it was given 5 min or 6 hr after ischemia. In mice, MnTE-2-PyP(5+) reduced infarct size and improved neurologic scores when it was given intravenously 5 min after ischemia. There was no effect of 150 or 300 ng of MnTE-2-PyP(5+) pretreatment on selective neuronal necrosis resulting from 10 min forebrain ischemia and 5 d recovery in rats. Administration of a metalloporphyrin catalytic antioxidant had marked neuroprotective effects against focal ischemic insults when it was given up to 6 hr after ischemia. This was associated with decreased postischemic superoxide-mediated oxidative stress. (+info)