(1/3209) Alzheimer's disease: clues from flies and worms.

Presenilin mutations give rise to familial Alzheimer's disease and result in elevated production of amyloid beta peptide. Recent evidence that presenilins act in developmental signalling pathways may be the key to understanding how senile plaques, neurofibrillary tangles and apoptosis are all biochemically linked.  (+info)

(2/3209) Axin prevents Wnt-3a-induced accumulation of beta-catenin.

When Axin, a negative regulator of the Wnt signaling pathway, was expressed in COS cells, it coeluted with glycogen synthase kinase-3beta (GSK-3beta), beta-catenin, and adenomatous polyposis coli protein (APC) in a high molecular weight fraction on gel filtration column chromatography. In this fraction, GSK-3beta, beta-catenin, and APC were co-precipitated with Axin. Although beta-catenin was detected in the high molecular weight fraction in L cells on gel filtration column chromatography, addition of conditioned medium expressing Wnt-3a to the cells increased beta-catenin in the low molecular weight fraction. However, Wnt-3a-dependent accumulation of beta-catenin was greatly inhibited in L cells stably expressing Axin. Axin also suppressed Wnt-3a-dependent activation of Tcf-4 which binds to beta-catenin and acts as a transcription factor. These results suggest that Axin forms a complex with GSK-3beta, beta-catenin, and APC, resulting in the stimulation of the degradation of beta-catenin and that Wnt-3a induces the dissociation of beta-catenin from the Axin complex and accumulates beta-catenin.  (+info)

(3/3209) Allosteric regulation of even-skipped repression activity by phosphorylation.

The Drosophila homeodomain protein Even-skipped (Eve) is a well characterized transcriptional repressor. Here, we show that Eve's ability to function in vitro is negatively regulated by phosphorylation. DNA-binding activity was unaffected by phosphorylation, but phosphorylated Eve was unable to interact with the TATA-binding protein (TBP), a known target for repression. Unexpectedly, phosphorylation of the Eve N terminus, which is dispensable for repression and TBP binding, was necessary and sufficient to inactivate Eve. LiCl, which specifically inhibits glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3), reduced Eve phosphorylation in nuclear extract and blocked inhibition of repression. In addition, Eve was phosphorylated and inactivated by purified GSK-3 beta plus casein kinase II. Our results suggest a novel mechanism of transcriptional control involving phosphorylation-induced allosteric interference with a repressive protein-protein interaction.  (+info)

(4/3209) Wingless signaling leads to an asymmetric response to decapentaplegic-dependent signaling during sense organ patterning on the notum of Drosophila melanogaster.

Wnt and Decapentaplegic cell signaling pathways act synergistically in their contribution to macrochaete (sense organ) patterning on the notum of Drosophila melanogaster. The Wingless-signaling pathway was ectopically activated by removing Shaggy activity (the homologue of vertebrate glycogen synthase kinase 3) in mosaics. Proneural activity is asymmetric within the Shaggy-deficient clone of cells and shows a fixed "polarity" with respect to body axis, independent of the precise location of the clone. This asymmetric response indicates the existence in the epithelium of a second signal, which we suggest is Decapentaplegic. Ectopic expression of Decapentaplegic induces extra macrochaetes only in cells which also receive the Wingless signal. Activation of Hedgehog signaling generates a long-range signal which can promote macrochaete formation in the Wingless activity domain. This signal depends upon decapentaplegic function. Autonomous activation of the Wingless signal response in cells causes them to attenuate or sequester this signal. Our results suggest a novel patterning mechanism which determines sense organ positioning in Drosophila.  (+info)

(5/3209) Xenopus axin interacts with glycogen synthase kinase-3 beta and is expressed in the anterior midbrain.

Axin is encoded by the fused locus in mice and is required for normal vertebrate axis formation. It has recently been shown that axin associates with APC, beta-catenin and glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) in a complex that appears to regulate the level of cytoplasmic beta-catenin. We have identified the Xenopus homologue of axin through its interaction with GSK-3b. Xenopus axin (Xaxin) is expressed maternally and throughout early development with a low level of ubiquitous expression. Xaxin also shows remarkably high expression in the anterior mesencephalon adjacent to the forebrain-midbrain boundary.  (+info)

(6/3209) Regulation of beta-catenin signaling by the B56 subunit of protein phosphatase 2A.

Dysregulation of Wnt-beta-catenin signaling disrupts axis formation in vertebrate embryos and underlies multiple human malignancies. The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) protein, axin, and glycogen synthase kinase 3beta form a Wnt-regulated signaling complex that mediates the phosphorylation-dependent degradation of beta-catenin. A protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) regulatory subunit, B56, interacted with APC in the yeast two-hybrid system. Expression of B56 reduced the abundance of beta-catenin and inhibited transcription of beta-catenin target genes in mammalian cells and Xenopus embryo explants. The B56-dependent decrease in beta-catenin was blocked by oncogenic mutations in beta-catenin or APC, and by proteasome inhibitors. B56 may direct PP2A to dephosphorylate specific components of the APC-dependent signaling complex and thereby inhibit Wnt signaling.  (+info)

(7/3209) Differential activation of c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase and p38 pathways during FTY720-induced apoptosis of T lymphocytes that is suppressed by the extracellular signal-regulated kinase pathway.

FTY720 is a novel immunosuppressive drug derived from a metabolite from Isaria sinclairii that is known to induce apoptosis of rat splenic T cells. In this study, we examined the intracellular signaling pathway triggered by FTY720. Treatment of human Jurkat T lymphocytes with FTY720-induced apoptosis characterized by DNA fragmentation. The same treatment induced activation of protein kinases such as c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK), p38/CSBP (CSAID-binding protein), and a novel 36-kDa myelin basic protein (MBP) kinase, but not extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK). Pretreatment of Jurkat cells with DEVD-CHO blocked FTY720-induced DNA fragmentation as well as the activation of p38/CSBP. However, DEVD-CHO treatment failed to inhibit FTY720-induced activation of JNK and the 36-kDa MBP kinase. We have also demonstrated that activation of the ERK signaling pathway completely suppressed the FTY720-induced apoptotic process including activation of caspase 3 and activation of JNK and the 36-kDa MBP kinase. Furthermore, transient expression of constitutively active mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK) protected the cells from FTY720-induced cell death. The effect of MEK was canceled by coexpression of a mitogen-activated protein kinase phosphatase, CL100. These results indicate that JNK and p38 pathways are differentially regulated during FTY720-induced apoptosis and that activation of ERK pathway alone is sufficient to cancel the FTY720-induced death signal.  (+info)

(8/3209) Negative regulation of axis formation and Wnt signaling in Xenopus embryos by the F-box/WD40 protein beta TrCP.

Screening a maternal Xenopus expression library for activities that synergize with low levels of injected beta-catenin, we have isolated a clone encoding the C-terminal end of x-beta TrCP-2, a highly conserved protein belonging to the F-box/WD40 family of ubiquitin-ligase specificity factors. We show that x-beta TrCP-2 expression reduces dorsal axis formation in Xenopus embryos. A dominant negative mutant lacking the F-box triggers the opposite effect, inducing secondary axes and activating the expression of Wnt responsive genes in ectodermal explants. In light of the existence of beta TrCP transcripts associated with the vegetal cortex, we propose that beta TrCP plays a fundamental role in the establishment of the dorsal determinants during cortical rotation in Xenopus.  (+info)