(1/16452) Inducible NO synthase: role in cellular signalling.

The discovery of endothelium-derived relaxing factor and its identification as nitric oxide (NO) was one of the most exciting discoveries of biomedical research in the 1980s. Besides its potent vasodilatory effects, NO was found under certain circumstances to be responsible for the killing of microorganisms and tumour cells by activated macrophages and to act as a novel, unconventional type of neurotransmitter. In 1992, Science picked NO as the 'Molecule of the Year', and over the past years NO has become established as a universal intercellular messenger that acutely affects important signalling pathways and, on a more long-term scale, modulates gene expression in target cells. These actions will form the focus of the present review.  (+info)

(2/16452) An overview of the evolution of overproduced esterases in the mosquito Culex pipiens.

Insecticide resistance genes have developed in a wide variety of insects in response to heavy chemical application. Few of these examples of adaptation in response to rapid environmental change have been studied both at the population level and at the gene level. One of these is the evolution of the overproduced esterases that are involved in resistance to organophosphate insecticides in the mosquito Culex pipiens. At the gene level, two genetic mechanisms are involved in esterase overproduction, namely gene amplification and gene regulation. At the population level, the co-occurrence of the same amplified allele in distinct geographic areas is best explained by the importance of passive transportation at the worldwide scale. The long-term monitoring of a population of mosquitoes in southern France has enabled a detailed study to be made of the evolution of resistance genes on a local scale, and has shown that a resistance gene with a lower cost has replaced a former resistance allele with a higher cost.  (+info)

(3/16452) Overexpression of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase under the control of mouse metallothionein I promoter in transgenic mice: evidence for a striking post-transcriptional regulation of transgene expression by a polyamine analogue.

We recently generated a transgenic mouse line overexpressing spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase (SSAT) gene under its own promoter. The tissue polyamine pools of these animals were profoundly affected and the mice were hairless from early age. We have now generated another transgenic-mouse line overexpressing the SSAT gene under the control of a heavy-metal-inducible mouse metallothionein I (MT) promoter. Even in the absence of heavy metals, changes in the tissue polyamine pools indicated that a marked activation of polyamine catabolism had occurred in the transgenic animals. As with the SSAT transgenic mice generated previously, the mice of the new line (MT-SSAT) suffered permanent hair loss, but this occurred considerably later than in the previous SSAT transgenic animals. Liver was the most affected tissue in the MT-SSAT transgenic animals, revealed by putrescine overaccumulation, significant decrease in spermidine concentration and >90% reduction in the spermine pool. Even though hepatic SSAT mRNA accumulated to massive levels in non-induced transgenic animals, SSAT activity was only moderately elevated. Administration of ZnSO4 further elevated the level of hepatic SSAT message and induced enzyme activity, but not more than 2- to 3-fold. Treatment of the transgenic animals with the polyamine analogue N1,N11-diethylnorspermine (DENSPM) resulted in an immense induction, more than 40000-fold, of enzyme activity in the liver of transgenic animals, and minor changes in the SSAT mRNA level. Liver spermidine and spermine pools were virtually depleted within 1-2 days in response to the treatment with the analogue. The treatment also resulted in a marked mortality (up to 60%) among the transgenic animals which showed ultrastructural changes in the liver, most notably mitochondrial swelling, one of the earliest signs of cell injury. These results indicated that, even without its own promoter, SSAT is powerfully induced by the polyamine analogue through a mechanism that appears to involve a direct translational and/or heterogenous nuclear RNA processing control. It is likewise significant that overexpression of SSAT renders the animals extremely sensitive to polyamine analogues.  (+info)

(4/16452) Identification of a cAMP response element within the glucose- 6-phosphatase hydrolytic subunit gene promoter which is involved in the transcriptional regulation by cAMP and glucocorticoids in H4IIE hepatoma cells.

The expression of a luciferase reporter gene under the control of the human glucose 6-phosphatase gene promoter was stimulated by both dexamethasone and dibutyryl cAMP in H4IIE hepatoma cells. A cis-active element located between nucleotides -161 and -152 in the glucose 6-phosphatase gene promoter was identified and found to be necessary for both basal reporter-gene expression and induction of expression by both dibutyryl cAMP and dexamethasone. Nucleotides -161 to -152 were functionally replaced by the consensus sequence for a cAMP response element. An antibody against the cAMP response element-binding protein caused a supershift in gel-electrophoretic-mobility-shift assays using an oligonucleotide probe representing the glucose 6-phosphatase gene promoter from nucleotides -161 to -152. These results strongly indicate that in H4IIE cells the glucose 6-phosphatase gene-promoter sequence from -161 to -152 is a cAMP response element which is important for the regulation of transcription of the glucose 6-phosphatase gene by both cAMP and glucocorticoids.  (+info)

(5/16452) Regulation and function of family 1 and family 2 UDP-glucuronosyltransferase genes (UGT1A, UGT2B) in human oesophagus.

Human UDP-glucuronosyltransferases (UGTs) are expressed in a tissue-specific fashion in hepatic and extrahepatic tissues [Strassburg, Manns and Tukey (1998) J. Biol. Chem. 273, 8719-8726]. Previous work suggests that these enzymes play a protective role in chemical carcinogenesis [Strassburg, Manns and Tukey (1997) Cancer Res. 57, 2979-2985]. In this study, UGT1 and UGT2 gene expression was investigated in human oesophageal epithelium and squamous-cell carcinoma in addition to the characterization of individual UGT isoforms using recombinant protein. UGT mRNA expression was characterized by duplex reverse transcriptase-PCR analysis and revealed the expression of UGT1A7, UGT1A8, UGT1A9 and UGT1A10 mRNAs. UGT1A1, UGT1A3, UGT1A4, UGT1A5 and UGT1A6 transcripts were not detected. UGT2 expression included UGT2B7, UGT2B10 and UGT2B15, but UGT2B4 mRNA was absent. UGT2 mRNA was present at significantly lower levels than UGT1 transcripts. This observation was in agreement with the analysis of catalytic activities in oesophageal microsomal protein, which was characterized by high glucuronidation rates for phenolic xenobiotics, all of which are classical UGT1 substrates. Whereas UGT1A9 was not regulated, differential regulation of UGT1A7 and UGT1A10 mRNA was observed between normal oesophageal epithelium and squamous-cell carcinoma. Expression and analysis in vitro of recombinant UGT1A7, UGT1A9, UGT1A10, UGT2B7 and UGT2B15 demonstrated that UGT1A7, UGT1A9 and UGT1A10 catalysed the glucuronidation of 7-hydroxybenzo(alpha)pyrene, as well as other environmental carcinogens, such as 2-hydroxyamino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo-(4, 5-beta)-pyridine. Although UGT1A9 was not regulated in the carcinoma tissue, the five-fold reduction in 7-hydroxybenzo(alpha)pyrene glucuronidation could be attributed to regulation of UGT1A7 and UGT1A10. These data elucidate an individual regulation of human UGT1A and UGT2B genes in human oesophagus and provide evidence for specific catalytic activities of individual human UGT isoforms towards environmental carcinogens that have been implicated in cellular carcinogenesis.  (+info)

(6/16452) Regulation of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:dolichyl-phosphate N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase by retinoic acid in P19 cells.

UDP-N-acetylglucosamine:dolichyl-phosphate N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphate transferase (GPT) is the first enzyme in the dolichol pathway of protein N-glycosylation, and is implicated in the developmental programmes of a variety of eukaryotes. In the present study we describe the effects of all-trans-retinoic acid (RA) on the levels of GPT protein and enzymic activity, and on the transcription rate of the GPT gene, in mouse P19 teratocarcinoma cells. RA caused a dose-dependent and protein-synthesis-dependent induction of enzyme activity. The maximum induction of GPT activity (about 3-fold) required 2 days of exposure to 1 microM RA. Induced GPT activity also resulted in an increase in the rate of incorporation of [3H]mannose into Glc3Man9GlcNAc2. Enzymic activities paralleled GPT gene expression. The GPT gene was induced (2-fold) after 7 h of RA treatment. An approx. 3-fold increase in a 48 kDa GPT protein and approx. 4-fold increases in the levels of three GPT transcripts (1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 kb) were observed after 2 days of RA treatment. The enhanced levels of GPT protein and mRNAs began to decline 3 days after the initiation of differentiation, and GPT expression was down-regulated during cellular differentiation. GPT activity decreased about 2. 8-fold to a constant level in differentiated P19 cells. The results indicate that the RA-induced enzyme activity was mainly determined by increased transcription of the GPT gene. RA-treated P19 cells were about 4-fold more resistant to tunicamycin, a fungal antibiotic which inhibits GPT, than were control cells. In addition, GPT activity in membranes from RA-treated P19 cells exhibited approx. 4-fold increased resistance to tunicamycin compared with activity in membranes from untreated control cells, demonstrating that resistance to tunicamycin is correlated with induced GPT activity. Furthermore, increased GPT activity had regulatory significance with regard to the rate of incorporation of [3H]mannose into Glc3Man9GlcNAc2-P-P-dolichol and into glycoproteins. Together, the data provide additional insights into the hormonal regulation of GPT and present evidence that the RA-mediated induction of GPT has a regulatory impact on the dolichol pathway.  (+info)

(7/16452) Glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase in ram and stallion epididymal fluids: origin and regulation.

Microsequencing after two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed a major protein, glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) in the anterior epididymal region fluid of the ram and stallion. In this epididymal region, PGDS was a polymorphic compound with a molecular mass around 30 kDa and a range of pI from 4 to 7. PGDS represented 15% and 8% of the total luminal proteins present in this region in the ram and stallion, respectively. The secretion of the protein as judged by in vitro biosynthesis, and the presence of its mRNA as studied by Northern blot analysis, were limited to the proximal caput epididymidis. Using a specific polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide, PGDS was found throughout the epididymis, decreasing in concentration toward the cauda region. PGDS was also detected in the testicular fluid and seminal plasma by Western blotting. Castration and efferent duct ligation in the ram led to a decrease in PGDS mRNA and secretion. PGDS mRNA was not detected in the stallion 1 mo after castration, and it was restored by testosterone supplementation. This study showed that PGDS is present in the environment of spermatozoa throughout the male genital tract. Its function in the maturation and/or protection of spermatozoa is unknown.  (+info)

(8/16452) Down-regulation of oxytocin-induced cyclooxygenase-2 and prostaglandin F synthase expression by interferon-tau in bovine endometrial cells.

Oxytocin (OT) is responsible for the episodic release of luteolytic prostaglandin (PG) F2alpha from the uterus in ruminants. The attenuation of OT-stimulated uterine PGF2alpha secretion by interferon-tau (IFN-tau) is essential for prevention of luteolysis during pregnancy in cows. To better understand the mechanisms involved, the effect of recombinant bovine IFN-tau (rbIFN-tau) on OT-induced PG production and cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) and PGF synthase (PGFS) expression in cultured endometrial epithelial cells was investigated. Cells were obtained from cows at Days 1-3 of the estrous cycle and cultured to confluence in RPMI medium supplemented with 5% steroid-free fetal calf serum. The cells were then incubated in the presence or absence of either 100 ng/ml OT or OT+100 ng/ml rbIFN-tau for 3, 6, 12, and 24 h. OT significantly increased PGF2alpha and PGE2 secretion at all time points (p < 0.01), while rbIFN-tau inhibited the OT-induced PG production and reduced OT receptor binding in a time-dependent manner. OT increased the steady-state level of COX-2 mRNA, measured by Northern blot, which was maximal at 3 h (9-fold increase) and then decreased with time (p < 0.01). OT also caused an increase in COX-2 protein, which peaked at 12 h (11-fold increase), as measured by Western blot. Addition of rbIFN-tau suppressed the induction of COX-2 mRNA (89%, p < 0.01) and COX-2 protein (50%, p < 0.01) by OT. OT also increased PGFS mRNA, and this stimulation was attenuated by rbIFN-tau (p < 0.01). To ensure that the decrease in COX-2 was not solely due to down-regulation of the OT receptor, cells were stimulated with a phorbol ester (phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate; PMA) in the presence and absence of rbIFN-tau. The results showed that rbIFN-tau also decreased PMA-stimulated PG production and COX-2 protein. It can be concluded that rbIFN-tau inhibition of OT-stimulated PG production is due to down-regulation of OT receptor, COX-2, and PGFS.  (+info)