Mrj encodes a DnaJ-related co-chaperone that is essential for murine placental development. (1/8916)

We have identified a novel gene in a gene trap screen that encodes a protein related to the DnaJ co-chaperone in E. coli. The gene, named Mrj (mammalian relative of DnaJ) was expressed throughout development in both the embryo and placenta. Within the placenta, expression was particularly high in trophoblast giant cells but moderate levels were also observed in trophoblast cells of the chorion at embryonic day 8.5, and later in the labyrinth which arises from the attachment of the chorion to the allantois (a process called chorioallantoic fusion). Insertion of the ROSAbetageo gene trap vector into the Mrj gene created a null allele. Homozygous Mrj mutants died at mid-gestation due to a failure of chorioallantoic fusion at embryonic day 8.5, which precluded formation of the mature placenta. At embryonic day 8.5, the chorion in mutants was morphologically normal and expressed the cell adhesion molecule beta4 integrin that is known to be required for chorioallantoic fusion. However, expression of the chorionic trophoblast-specific transcription factor genes Err2 and Gcm1 was significantly reduced. The mutants showed no abnormal phenotypes in other trophoblast cell types or in the embryo proper. This study indicates a previously unsuspected role for chaperone proteins in placental development and represents the first genetic analysis of DnaJ-related protein function in higher eukaryotes. Based on a survey of EST databases representing different mouse tissues and embryonic stages, there are 40 or more DnaJ-related genes in mammals. In addition to Mrj, at least two of these genes are also expressed in the developing mouse placenta. The specificity of the developmental defect in Mrj mutants suggests that each of these genes may have unique tissue and cellular activities.  (+info)

Molecular chaperones: small heat shock proteins in the limelight. (2/8916)

Small heat shock proteins have been the Cinderellas of the molecular chaperone world, but now the crystal structure of a small heat shock protein has been solved and mutation of two human homologues implicated in genetic disease. Intermediate filaments appear to be one of the key targets of their chaperone activity.  (+info)

Cooperative binding of heat shock factor to the yeast HSP82 promoter in vivo and in vitro. (3/8916)

Previous work has shown that heat shock factor (HSF) plays a central role in remodeling the chromatin structure of the yeast HSP82 promoter via constitutive interactions with its high-affinity binding site, heat shock element 1 (HSE1). The HSF-HSE1 interaction is also critical for stimulating both basal (noninduced) and induced transcription. By contrast, the function of the adjacent, inducibly occupied HSE2 and -3 is unknown. In this study, we examined the consequences of mutations in HSE1, HSE2, and HSE3 on HSF binding and transactivation. We provide evidence that in vivo, HSF binds to these three sites cooperatively. This cooperativity is seen both before and after heat shock, is required for full inducibility, and can be recapitulated in vitro on both linear and supercoiled templates. Quantitative in vitro footprinting reveals that occupancy of HSE2 and -3 by Saccharomyces cerevisiae HSF (ScHSF) is enhanced approximately 100-fold through cooperative interactions with the HSF-HSE1 complex. HSE1 point mutants, whose basal transcription is virtually abolished, are functionally compensated by cooperative interactions with HSE2 and -3 following heat shock, resulting in robust inducibility. Using a competition binding assay, we show that the affinity of recombinant HSF for the full-length HSP82 promoter is reduced nearly an order of magnitude by a single-point mutation within HSE1, paralleling the effect of these mutations on noninduced transcript levels. We propose that the remodeled chromatin phenotype previously shown for HSE1 point mutants (and lost in HSE1 deletion mutants) stems from the retention of productive, cooperative interactions between HSF and its target binding sites.  (+info)

Gadd45, a p53-responsive stress protein, modifies DNA accessibility on damaged chromatin. (4/8916)

This report demonstrates that Gadd45, a p53-responsive stress protein, can facilitate topoisomerase relaxing and cleavage activity in the presence of core histones. A correlation between reduced expression of Gadd45 and increased resistance to topoisomerase I and topoisomerase II inhibitors in a variety of human cell lines was also found. Gadd45 could potentially mediate this effect by destabilizing histone-DNA interactions since it was found to interact directly with the four core histones. To evaluate this possibility, we investigated the effect of Gadd45 on preassembled mononucleosomes. Our data indicate that Gadd45 directly associates with mononucleosomes that have been altered by histone acetylation or UV radiation. This interaction resulted in increased DNase I accessibility on hyperacetylated mononucleosomes and substantial reduction of T4 endonuclease V accessibility to cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers on UV-irradiated mononucleosomes but not on naked DNA. Both histone acetylation and UV radiation are thought to destabilize the nucleosomal structure. Hence, these results imply that Gadd45 can recognize an altered chromatin state and modulate DNA accessibility to cellular proteins.  (+info)

Role of nitric oxide in lipopolysaccharide-induced hepatic injury in D-galactosamine-sensitized mice as an experimental endotoxic shock model. (5/8916)

The role of nitric oxide (NO) in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced hepatic injury was studied in D-galactosamine (D-GalN)-sensitized mice. The inducible isoform of NO synthase (iNOS) was immunohistochemically detected on hepatocytes around blood vessels in livers of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS not on hepatocytes in mice injected with D-GalN or LPS alone, although mRNA for iNOS was found in those mice. Nitrotyrosine (NT) was also found in livers of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS. The localization of NT was consistent with that of iNOS, and the time courses of NT and iNOS expression were almost the same. Expression of iNOS and NT was detected exclusively in the hepatic lesions of mice injected with D-GalN and LPS. Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha neutralizing antibody inhibited iNOS and NT expression and hepatic injury. The results suggested that NO from iNOS may play a role in LPS-induced hepatic injury on D-GalN-sensitized mice as an experimental endotoxic shock model.  (+info)

Role of Listeria monocytogenes exotoxins listeriolysin and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C in activation of human neutrophils. (6/8916)

Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) are essential for resolution of infections with Listeria monocytogenes. The present study investigated the role of the listerial exotoxins listeriolysin (LLO) and phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PlcA) in human neutrophil activation. Different Listeria strains, mutated in individual virulence genes, as well as purified LLO were used. Coincubation of human neutrophils with wild-type L. monocytogenes provoked PMN activation, occurring independently of phagocytosis events, with concomitant elastase secretion, leukotriene generation, platelet-activating factor (PAF) synthesis, respiratory burst, and enhanced phosphoinositide hydrolysis. Degranulation and leukotriene formation were noted to be solely dependent on LLO expression, as these features were absent when the LLO-defective mutant EGD- and the avirulent strain L. innocua were used. These effects were fully reproduced by a recombinant L. innocua strain expressing LLO (INN+) and by the purified LLO molecule. LLO secretion was also required for PAF synthesis. However, wild-type L. monocytogenes was more potent in eliciting PAF formation than mutants expressing LLO, suggesting the involvement of additional virulence factors. This was even more obvious for phosphoinositide hydrolysis and respiratory burst: these events were provoked not only by INN+ but also by the LLO-defective mutant EGD- and by a recombinant L. innocua strain producing listerial PlcA. We conclude that human neutrophils react to extracellularly provided listerial exotoxins by rapid cell activation. Listeriolysin is centrally involved in triggering degranulation and lipid mediator generation, and further virulence factors such as PlcA apparently contribute to trigger neutrophil phosphoinositide hydrolysis and respiratory burst. In this way, listerial exotoxins may influence the host defense against infections with L. monocytogenes.  (+info)

Chaperone activity with a redox switch. (7/8916)

Hsp33, a member of a newly discovered heat shock protein family, was found to be a very potent molecular chaperone. Hsp33 is distinguished from all other known molecular chaperones by its mode of functional regulation. Its activity is redox regulated. Hsp33 is a cytoplasmically localized protein with highly reactive cysteines that respond quickly to changes in the redox environment. Oxidizing conditions like H2O2 cause disulfide bonds to form in Hsp33, a process that leads to the activation of its chaperone function. In vitro and in vivo experiments suggest that Hsp33 protects cells from oxidants, leading us to conclude that we have found a protein family that plays an important role in the bacterial defense system toward oxidative stress.  (+info)

Overexpression of human homologs of the bacterial DnaJ chaperone in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis. (8/8916)

OBJECTIVE: To study the expression of the chaperone family of J proteins in the synovial tissue of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or osteoarthritis. METHODS: Rabbit antibodies specific for a synthetic peptide (pHSJ1: EAYEVLSDKHKREIYD), representing the most conserved part of all J domains thus far identified--among them the Drosophila tumor suppressor Tid56--were used in immunohistochemical analyses of frozen sections of synovial tissue and immunoblotting of protein extracts of adherent synovial cells. IgG specific for Tid56 was also used. RESULTS: Both antisera predominantly and intensely stained synovial lining cells from RA patients; other cells did not stain or stained only faintly. In immunoblots, anti-pHSJ1 specifically detected several bands with molecular weights of >74 kd (type I), 57-64 kd (type II), 41-48 kd (type III), and < or =36 kd (type IV). The strongest band detected in RA adherent synovial cells was the type II band, whereas in a B cell line, a type I band was prominent. CONCLUSION: Several potentially new members of the J family are described. The type II band represents the human homolog of the Drosophila Tid56 protein and is strongly expressed in RA synovial tissue.  (+info)