(1/5843) Hsp60 is targeted to a cryptic mitochondrion-derived organelle ("crypton") in the microaerophilic protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica.

Entamoeba histolytica is a microaerophilic protozoan parasite in which neither mitochondria nor mitochondrion-derived organelles have been previously observed. Recently, a segment of an E. histolytica gene was identified that encoded a protein similar to the mitochondrial 60-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp60 or chaperonin 60), which refolds nuclear-encoded proteins after passage through organellar membranes. The possible function and localization of the amebic Hsp60 were explored here. Like Hsp60 of mitochondria, amebic Hsp60 RNA and protein were both strongly induced by incubating parasites at 42 degreesC. 5' and 3' rapid amplifications of cDNA ends were used to obtain the entire E. histolytica hsp60 coding region, which predicted a 536-amino-acid Hsp60. The E. histolytica hsp60 gene protected from heat shock Escherichia coli groEL mutants, demonstrating the chaperonin function of the amebic Hsp60. The E. histolytica Hsp60, which lacked characteristic carboxy-terminal Gly-Met repeats, had a 21-amino-acid amino-terminal, organelle-targeting presequence that was cleaved in vivo. This presequence was necessary to target Hsp60 to one (and occasionally two or three) short, cylindrical organelle(s). In contrast, amebic alcohol dehydrogenase 1 and ferredoxin, which are bacteria-like enzymes, were diffusely distributed throughout the cytosol. We suggest that the Hsp60-associated, mitochondrion-derived organelle identified here be named "crypton," as its structure was previously hidden and its function is still cryptic.  (+info)

(2/5843) Carbon 13 NMR study of nonenzymatic reactions of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate with selected amino acids and of related reactions.

Carbon 13 nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy has been used to monitor the nonenzymatic reactions of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate with glycine, alanine, valine, serine, and with several other model compounds. Isotopically enriched amino acids were employed so that low concentrations could be utilized while still allowing relatively rapid acquisition of spectral data. The results for alanine and serine are particularly noteworthy in that alanine is deaminated to pyruvate and pyruvate is aminated to alanine, but contrary to the enzymatic reactions of various serine dehydratases wherein serine is converted to pyruvate, the nonenzymatic reaction utilizing serine results in hydroxypruvate rather than pyruvate formation. In the reverse reaction, hydroxypyruvate is aminated to serine but very inefficiently relative to the amination of pyruvate to alanine. The experimental results have been formulated into a proposed reaction mechanism for deamination of amino acids by pyridoxal-P.  (+info)

(3/5843) Presence of the vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter in GABAergic and glycinergic synaptic terminal boutons.

The characterization of the Caenorhabditis elegans unc-47 gene recently allowed the identification of a mammalian (gamma)-amino butyric acid (GABA) transporter, presumed to be located in the synaptic vesicle membrane. In situ hybridization data in rat brain suggested that it might also take up glycine and thus represent a general Vesicular Inhibitory Amino Acid Transporter (VIAAT). In the present study, we have investigated the localization of VIAAT in neurons by using a polyclonal antibody raised against the hydrophilic N-terminal domain of the protein. Light microscopy and immunocytochemistry in primary cultures or tissue sections of the rat spinal cord revealed that VIAAT was localized in a subset (63-65%) of synaptophysin-immunoreactive terminal boutons; among the VIAAT-positive terminals around motoneuronal somata, 32.9% of them were also immunoreactive for GAD65, a marker of GABAergic presynaptic endings. Labelling was also found apposed to clusters positive for the glycine receptor or for its associated protein gephyrin. At the ultrastructural level, VIAAT immunoreactivity was restricted to presynaptic boutons exhibiting classical inhibitory features and, within the boutons, concentrated over synaptic vesicle clusters. Pre-embedding detection of VIAAT followed by post-embedding detection of GABA or glycine on serial sections of the spinal cord or cerebellar cortex indicated that VIAAT was present in glycine-, GABA- or GABA- and glycine-containing boutons. Taken together, these data further support the view of a common vesicular transporter for these two inhibitory transmitters, which would be responsible for their costorage in the same synaptic vesicle and subsequent corelease at mixed GABA-and-glycine synapses.  (+info)

(4/5843) Multiplex sequence analysis demonstrates the competitive growth advantage of the A-to-G mutants of clarithromycin-resistant Helicobacter pylori.

Clarithromycin resistance in Helicobacter pylori is due to point mutation within the 23S rRNA. We examined the growth rates of different types of site-directed mutants and demonstrated quantitatively the competitive growth advantage of A-to-G mutants over other types of mutants by a multiplex sequencing assay. The results provide a rational explanation of why A-to-G mutants are predominantly observed among clarithromycin-resistant clinical isolates.  (+info)

(5/5843) The role of proline and glycine in determining the backbone flexibility of a channel-forming peptide.

Alamethicin is a helical 20-amino acid voltage-gated channel-forming peptide, which is known to exhibit segmental flexibility in solution along its backbone near alpha-methylalanine (MeA)-10 and Gly-11. In an alpha-helical configuration, MeA at position 10 would normally hydrogen-bond with position 14, but the presence of proline at this position prevents the formation of this interhelical hydrogen bond. To determine whether the presence of proline at position 14 contributes to the flexibility of this helix, two analogs of alamethicin were synthesized, one with proline 14 replaced by alanine and another with both proline 14 and glycine 11 replaced by alanine. The C-termini of these peptides were derivatized with a proxyl nitroxide, and paramagnetic enhancements produced by the nitroxide on the Calpha protons were used to estimate r-6 weighted distances between the nitroxide and the backbone protons. When compared to native alamethicin, the analog lacking proline 14 exhibited similar C-terminal to Calpha proton distances, indicating that substitution of proline alone does not alter the flexibility of this helix; however, the subsequent removal of glycine 11 resulted in a significant increase in the averaged distances between the C- and N-termini. Thus, the G-X-X-P motif found in alamethicin appears to be largely responsible for mediating high-amplitude bending motions that have been observed in the central helical domain of alamethicin in methanol. To determine whether these substitutions alter the channel behavior of alamethicin, the macroscopic and single-channel currents produced by these analogs were compared. Although the substitution of the G-X-X-P motif produces channels with altered characteristics, this motif is not essential to achieve voltage-dependent gating or alamethicin-like behavior.  (+info)

(6/5843) NMDA receptor characterization and subunit expression in rat cultured mesencephalic neurones.

1. NMDA-induced changes in free intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) were determined in individual cultured rat mesencephalic neurones by the fura-2 method. mRNA expression encoding NMDA receptor subunits (NR1, NR2A-D) was examined by RT-PCR. 2. NMDA (1-100 microM, plus 10 microM glycine) induced a concentration-dependent increase in [Ca2+]i (EC50 = 5.7 microM). The effect of NMDA was virtually insensitive to tetrodotoxin (0.3 microM) and nitrendipine (1 microM), but dependent on extracellular Ca2+. 5,7-Dichlorokynurenic acid (10 microM), a specific antagonist at the glycine binding site on the NMDA receptor, abolished the NMDA response. 3. Memantine, an open-channel blocker, and ifenprodil, a preferential non-competitive NR1/NR2B receptor antagonist diminished the NMDA effect with an IC50 value of 0.17 and 1 microM, respectively. Ethanol at 50 and 100 mM caused about 25 and 45%-inhibition, respectively. 4. Agarose gel analysis of the PCR products followed by ethidium bromide fluorescence or CSPD chemiluminescence detection revealed an almost exclusive expression of the NR1 splice variants lacking exon (E) 5 and E22. The 3' splice form without both E21 and E22 exceeded that containing E21 by approximately 4 fold. The relative amounts of NR2A, NR2B, NR2C corresponded to approximately 1:2:1. NR2D mRNA was also detectable. 5. In conclusion, mesencephalic neurones bear ethanol-sensitive NMDA receptors which might be involved in the development of ethanol dependence and withdrawal. The high affinity of NMDA to this receptor, its sensitivity to ifenprodil and memantine may suggest that the mesencephalic NMDA receptor comprises the NR1 splice variant lacking E5, NR2B, and NR2C, respectively.  (+info)

(7/5843) Antagonist activity of alpha-substituted 4-carboxyphenylglycine analogues at group I metabotropic glutamate receptors expressed in CHO cells.

1. We have investigated the antagonist properties of 6 alpha-substituted phenylglycine analogues based on the structure of 4-carboxyphenylglycine (4-CPG) for group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1alpha and mGlu5a) permanently expressed in CHO cells. 2. (S)-4-CPG and (S)-MCPG were the most selective mGlu1alpha receptor antagonists. Longer chain alpha-carbon substitutions resulted in a progressive loss of antagonist affinity at mGlu1alpha receptors but not at mGlu5a receptors. Thus mGlu1alpha receptor antagonists require small aliphatic groups at the alpha-position. Alpha-cyclopropyl-4-CPG showed a tendency towards mGlu5a selectivity, suggesting that bulky groups at this position may favour mGlu5a receptor antagonism. 3. We demonstrate that the mGlu5a receptor displays agonist-dependent antagonism. L-glutamate-induced Ca2+ release in mGlu5a receptor expressing cells was more susceptible to antagonism by cyclic alpha-carbon derivatives than (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG)-induced Ca2+ release in the same cell line. 4. The data presented suggests that mGlu1alpha and mGlu5a receptors have different steric and/or conformational requirements for the binding of antagonists and different amino acids which could interact with agonists. 5. These phenylglycine analogues could provide leads for the development of subtype selective antagonists.  (+info)

(8/5843) Mechanisms involved in the metabotropic glutamate receptor-enhancement of NMDA-mediated motoneurone responses in frog spinal cord.

1. The metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonist trans-(+/-)-1-amino-1,3-cyclopentanedicarboxylic acid (trans-ACPD) (10-100 microM) depolarized isolated frog spinal cord motoneurones, a process sensitive to kynurenate (1.0 mM) and tetrodotoxin (TTX) (0.783 microM). 2. In the presence of NMDA open channel blockers [Mg2+; (+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a,d]cyclohepten-5,10-imine hydrogen maleate (MK801); 3,5-dimethyl-1-adamantanamine hydrochloride (memantine)] and TTX, trans-ACPD significantly potentiated NMDA-induced motoneurone depolarizations, but not alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-proprionate (AMPA)- or kainate-induced depolarizations. 3. NMDA potentiation was blocked by (RS)-alpha-methyl-4-carboxyphenylglycine (MCPG) (240 microM), but not by alpha-methyl-(2S,3S,4S)-alpha-(carboxycyclopropyl)-glycine (MCCG) (290 microM) or by alpha-methyl-(S)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-MAP4) (250 microM), and was mimicked by 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) (30 microM), but not by L(+)-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate (L-AP4) (100 microM). Therefore, trans-ACPD's facilitatory effects appear to involve group I mGluRs. 4. Potentiation was prevented by the G-protein decoupling agent pertussis toxin (3-6 ng ml(-1), 36 h preincubation). The protein kinase C inhibitors staurosporine (2.0 microM) and N-(2-aminoethyl)-5-isoquinolinesulphonamide HCI (H9) (77 microM) did not significantly reduce enhanced NMDA responses. Protein kinase C activation with phorbol-12-myristate 13-acetate (5.0 microM) had no effect. 5. Intracellular Ca2+ depletion with thapsigargin (0.1 microM) (which inhibits Ca2+/ATPase), 1,2-bis(O-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetracetic acid acetyl methyl ester (BAPTA-AM) (50 microM) (which buffers elevations of [Ca2+]i), and bathing spinal cords in nominally Ca2+-free medium all reduced trans-ACPD's effects. 6. The calmodulin antagonists N-(6-aminohexyl)-5-chloro-1-naphthalenesulphonamide (W7) (100 microM) and chlorpromazine (100 microM) diminished the potentiation. 7. In summary, group I mGluRs selectively facilitate NMDA-depolarization of frog motoneurones via a G-protein, a rise in [Ca2+]i from the presumed generation of phosphoinositides, binding of Ca2+ to calmodulin, and lessening of the Mg2+-produced channel block of the NMDA receptor.  (+info)