A protein-glucan intermediate during paramylon synthesis. (1/1612)

A sodium deoxycholate extract containing glucosyltransferase activity was obtained from a particulate preparation from Euglena gracilis. It transferred glucose from UDP-[14C]glucose into material that was precipitated by trichloroacetic acid. This material released beta-(1 leads to 3)-glucan oligosaccharides into solution on incubation with weak acid, weak alkali and beta-(1 leads to 3)-glucosidase. The products of the incubation of the deoxycholate extract with UDP-[14C]glucose were analysed by sodium dodecyl sulphate/polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis. Radioactive bands were obtained that had the properties of beta-(1 leads to 3)-glucan covalently linked to protein by a bond labile to weak acid. High-molecular-weight material containing a beta-(1 leads to 3)-glucan was also shown to be present by gel filtration. The bond linking glucan to aglycone is possibly a pyrophosphate linkage. It is proposed that in Euglena gracilis beta-(1 leads to 3)-glucan (paramylon) is synthesized on a protein primer.  (+info)

Relationship between glycosyl hydrolase inventory and growth physiology of the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus on carbohydrate-based media. (2/1612)

Utilization of a range of carbohydrates for growth by the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus was investigated by examining the spectrum of glycosyl hydrolases produced by this microorganism and the thermal labilities of various saccharides. Previously, P. furiosus had been found to grow in batch cultures on several alpha-linked carbohydrates and cellobiose but not on glucose or other beta-linked sugars. Although P. furiosus was not able to grow on any nonglucan carbohydrate or any form of cellulose in this study (growth on oat spelt arabinoxylan was attributed to glucan contamination of this substrate), significant growth at 98 degrees C occurred on beta-1,3- and beta-1,3-beta-1,4-linked glucans. Oligosaccharides generated by digestion with a recombinant laminarinase derived from P. furiosus were the compounds that were most effective in stimulating growth of the microorganism. In several cases, periodic addition of beta-glucan substrates to fed-batch cultures limited adverse thermochemical modifications of the carbohydrates (i.e., Maillard reactions and caramelization) and led to significant increases (as much as two- to threefold) in the cell yields. While glucose had only a marginally positive effect on growth in batch culture, the final cell densities nearly tripled when glucose was added by the fed-batch procedure. Nonenzymatic browning reactions were found to be significant at 98 degrees C for saccharides with degrees of polymerization (DP) ranging from 1 to 6; glucose was the most labile compound on a mass basis and the least labile compound on a molar basis. This suggests that for DP of 2 or greater protection of the nonreducing monosaccharide component may be a factor in substrate availability. For P. furiosus, carbohydrate utilization patterns were found to reflect the distribution of the glycosyl hydrolases which are known to be produced by this microorganism.  (+info)

Increase of hematopoietic responses by triple or single helical conformer of an antitumor (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan preparation, Sonifilan, in cyclophosphamide-induced leukopenic mice. (3/1612)

It has been suggested that the immunopharmacological activity of soluble (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan depends on its conformation in mice. In this study, we examined the relationship between the conformation of Sonifilan (SPG) and hematopietic responses in cyclophosphamide (Cy)-induced leukopenic mice. SPG, a high molecular weight (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan, has a triple helical conformation in water, and it was changed by treatment with aqueous sodium hydroxide to the single helical conformer (SPG-OH). The effects of SPG or SPG-OH on hematopoietic responses in cyclophosphamide induced leukopenic mice were investigated by monitoring i) gene expression of cytokines by RT-PCR, ii) protein synthesis of interleukin 6 (IL-6) by ELISA and iii) colony formation of bone marrow cells (BMC). The mice administered Cy and SPG or SPG-OH expressed and produced higher levels of IL-6 mRNA and protein than the mice administered only Cy. Gene expression of NK1.1 was also induced by Cy/SPG (or SPG-OH) treatment. Induced gene expression of stem cell factor (SCF) and macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) by SPG/SPG-OH were also found in in vitro culture of BMC from Cy treated mice. These results strongly suggested that conformation of the glucans, single and triple helix, are independent of the hematopietic response.  (+info)

Further studies of the role of cyclic beta-glucans in symbiosis. An NdvC mutant of Bradyrhizobium japonicum synthesizes cyclodecakis-(1-->3)-beta-glucosyl. (4/1612)

The cyclic beta-(1-->3),beta-(1-->6)-D-glucan synthesis locus of Bradyrhizobium japonicum is composed of at least two genes, ndvB and ndvC. Mutation in either gene affects glucan synthesis, as well as the ability of the bacterium to establish a successful symbiotic interaction with the legume host soybean (Glycine max). B. japonicum strain AB-14 (ndvB::Tn5) does not synthesize beta-glucans, and strain AB-1 (ndvC::Tn5) synthesizes a cyclic beta-glucan lacking beta-(1-->6)-glycosidic bonds. We determined that the structure of the glucan synthesized by strain AB-1 is cyclodecakis-(1-->3)-beta-D-glucosyl, a cyclic beta-(1-->3)-linked decasaccharide in which one of the residues is substituted in the 6 position with beta-laminaribiose. Cyclodecakis-(1-->3)-beta-D-glucosyl did not suppress the fungal beta-glucan-induced plant defense response in soybean cotyledons and had much lower affinity for the putative membrane receptor protein than cyclic beta-(1-->3),beta-(1-->6)-glucans produced by wild-type B. japonicum. This is consistent with the hypothesis presented previously that the wild-type cyclic beta-glucans may function as suppressors of a host defense response.  (+info)

Beta-glucan reflects liver injury after preservation and transplantation in dogs. (5/1612)

Graft failure and extrahepatic organ complications, which frequently develop after transplantation, may be related to inflammatory mediators stimulated by endotoxin (ET). The role of endotoxemia after liver transplantation is controversial and may depend upon differences in the ET assay method used in the various contradicting studies. While the standard Limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) is reactive for ET and beta-glucan, a novel turbidimetric assay method enables separate determinations of ET and beta-glucan. Beagle dogs undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation were divided into two groups. In Group I (n = 6) the grafts were transplanted immediately and in Group II (n = 6) grafts were preserved for 48 h in University of Wisconsin (UW) solution. Animals received cyclosporine immunosuppression and were followed for 14 days. Daily measurements of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) were performed. Samples for ET and beta-glucan measurement were collected serially and processed using the turbidimetric assay method. While no graft failure was seen in Group I, three of six Group II animals died from graft failure within 1 day after transplantation. Preservation and reperfusion injury was much more severe in the Group II grafts than in Group I grafts. While endotoxemia could not be detected, postoperative beta-glucan levels (undetectable pretransplant) were seen in both groups. Beta-glucan levels were much higher in Group II grafts than in Group I grafts, and correlated with the severity of liver damage. In conclusion, this study shows that beta-glucan, instead of ET, appears during the early posttransplant period. We believe that posttransplant elevation of beta-glucan is related to liver damage, especially endothelial damage by preservation and reperfusion.  (+info)

Fission yeast alpha-glucan synthase Mok1 requires the actin cytoskeleton to localize the sites of growth and plays an essential role in cell morphogenesis downstream of protein kinase C function. (6/1612)

In fission yeast protein kinase C homologues (Pck1 and Pck2) are essential for cell morphogenesis. We have isolated mok1(+) in a genetic screen to identify downstream effectors for Pck1/2. mok1(+) is essential for viability and encodes a protein that has several membrane-spanning domains and regions homologous to glucan metabolic enzymes. mok1 mutant shows abnormal cell shape, randomization of F-actin and weak cell wall. Biochemical analysis shows that Mok1 appears to have alpha-glucan synthase activity. Mok1 localization undergoes dramatic alteration during the cell cycle. It localizes to the growing tips in interphase, the medial ring upon mitosis, a double ring before and dense dot during cytokinesis. Double immunofluorescence staining shows that Mok1 exists in close proximity to actin. The subcellular localization of Mok1 is dependent upon the integrity of the F-actin cytoskeleton. Conversely, overexpression of mok1(+) blocks the translocation of cortical actin from one end of the cell to the other. pck2 mutant is synthetically lethal with mok1 mutant, delocalizes Mok1 and shows a lower level of alpha-glucan. These results indicate that Mok1 plays a crucial role in cell morphogenesis interdependently of the actin cytoskeleton and works as one of downstream effectors for Pck1/2.  (+info)

(1-->3)-beta-D-glucan may contribute to pollen sensitivity. (7/1612)

The amount of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan in pollen from different plants was evaluated using the Limulus assay with a specific lysate. The amount ranged from 79 to 1800 ng/10(6) pollen. A calculation of the inhaled dose suggests that the amount of (1-->3)-beta-D-glucan present during periods with a high pollen content in the air exceeds levels that cause airways inflammation.  (+info)

KNR4, a suppressor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae cwh mutants, is involved in the transcriptional control of chitin synthase genes. (8/1612)

The KNR4 gene, originally isolated by complementation of a K9 killer-toxin-resistant mutant displaying reduced levels of both 1,3-beta-glucan and 1,3-beta-glucan synthase activity, was recloned from a YCp50 genomic library as a suppressor of Saccharomyces cerevisiae calcofluor-white-hypersensitive (cwh) mutants. In these mutants, which were characterized by increased chitin levels, the suppressor effect of KNR4 resulted, for some of them, in a lowering of polymer content to close to wild-type level, with no effect on the contents of beta-glucan and mannan. In all cases, this effect was accompanied by a strong reduction in mRNA levels corresponding to CHS1, CHS2 and CHS3, encoding chitin synthases, without affecting expression of FKS1 and RHO1, two genes encoding the catalytic subunit and a regulatory component of 1,3-beta-glucan synthase, respectively. Overexpression of KNR4 also inhibited expression of CHS genes in wild-type strains and in two other cwh mutants, whose sensitivity to calcofluor white was not suppressed by this gene. The physiological relevance of the KNR4 transcriptional effect was addressed in two different ways. In a wild-type strain exposed to alpha-factor, overexpression of this gene inhibited CHS1 induction and delayed shmoo formation, two events which are triggered in response to the pheromone, whereas it did not affect bud formation and cell growth in a chs1 chs2 double mutant. A chimeric protein made by fusing green fluorescent protein to the C terminus of Knr4p which fully complemented a knr4delta mutation was found to localize in patches at presumptive bud sites in unbudded cells and at the incipient bud site during bud emergence. Taken together, these results demonstrate that KNR4 has a regulatory role in chitin deposition and in cell wall assembly. A mechanism by which this gene affects expression of CHS genes is proposed.  (+info)