A mammalian homologue of GCN2 protein kinase important for translational control by phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor-2alpha.
A family of protein kinases regulates translation in response to different cellular stresses by phosphorylation of the alpha subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 (eIF-2alpha). In yeast, an eIF-2alpha kinase, GCN2, functions in translational control in response to amino acid starvation. It is thought that uncharged tRNA that accumulates during amino acid limitation binds to sequences in GCN2 homologous to histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS) enzymes, leading to enhanced kinase catalytic activity. Given that starvation for amino acids also stimulates phosphorylation of eIF-2alpha in mammalian cells, we searched for and identified a GCN2 homologue in mice. We cloned three different cDNAs encoding mouse GCN2 isoforms, derived from a single gene, that vary in their amino-terminal sequences. Like their yeast counterpart, the mouse GCN2 isoforms contain HisRS-related sequences juxtaposed to the kinase catalytic domain. While GCN2 mRNA was found in all mouse tissues examined, the isoforms appear to be differentially expressed. Mouse GCN2 expressed in yeast was found to inhibit growth by hyperphosphorylation of eIF-2alpha, requiring both the kinase catalytic domain and the HisRS-related sequences. Additionally, lysates prepared from yeast expressing mGCN2 were found to phosphorylate recombinant eIF-2alpha substrate. Mouse GCN2 activity in both the in vivo and in vitro assays required the presence of serine-51, the known regulatory phosphorylation site in eIF-2alpha. Together, our studies identify a new mammalian eIF-2alpha kinase, GCN2, that can mediate translational control. (+info)
Myopathy with anti-Jo-1 antibodies: pathology in perimysium and neighbouring muscle fibres.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate muscle pathology and clinical characteristics in patients with a myopathy and serum antibodies to the Jo-1 antigen (histidyl t-RNA synthetase). BACKGROUND: Anti-Jo-1 antibodies occur in syndromes that may include muscle weakness and pain, Raynaud's phenomenon, interstitial lung disease, arthritis, and a skin rash different from that seen in dermatomyositis. The muscle pathology is not well defined. METHODS: Case series. Review of charts, muscle biopsies, and laboratory records. Features of myopathology in 11 patients with anti-Jo-1 antibody associated myopathies were compared with other types of inflammatory myopathies. RESULTS: Myopathology in patients with anti-Jo-1 antibodies consistently included fragmentation of, and macrophage predominant inflammation in, perimysial connective tissue. Perifascicular myopathic changes, including atrophy, regenerating muscle fibres, and some muscle fibre necrosis, were most common in regions near the connective tissue pathology and were most prominent in patients with more severe weakness. Unlike many other inflammatory myopathies, inflammation in endomysial and perivascular regions was uncommon. By contrast with dermatomyositis, capillary density was normal. CONCLUSIONS: Myopathological changes in the anti-Jo-1 antibody syndrome include perimysial connective tissue fragmentation and inflammation, with muscle fibre pathology in neighbouring perifascicular regions. Myositis with anti-Jo-1 antibodies may result from an immune mediated disorder of connective tissue. (+info)
The shdA gene is restricted to serotypes of Salmonella enterica subspecies I and contributes to efficient and prolonged fecal shedding.
Little is known about factors which enable Salmonella serotypes to circulate within populations of livestock and domestic fowl. We have identified a DNA region which is present in Salmonella serotypes commonly isolated from livestock and domestic fowl (S. enterica subspecies I) but absent from reptile-associated Salmonella serotypes (S. bongori and S. enterica subspecies II to VII). This DNA region was cloned from Salmonella serotype Typhimurium and sequence analysis revealed the presence of a 6,105-bp open reading frame, designated shdA, whose product's deduced amino acid sequence displayed homology to that of AIDA-I from diarrheagenic Escherichia coli, MisL of serotype Typhimurium, and IcsA of Shigella flexneri. The shdA gene was located adjacent to xseA at 52 min, in a 30-kb DNA region which is not present in Escherichia coli K-12. A serotype Typhimurium shdA mutant was shed with the feces in reduced numbers and for a shorter period of time compared to its isogenic parent. A possible role for the shdA gene during the expansion in host range of S. enterica subspecies I to include warm-blooded vertebrates is discussed. (+info)
Uncharged tRNA activates GCN2 by displacing the protein kinase moiety from a bipartite tRNA-binding domain.
Protein kinase GCN2 regulates translation in amino acid-starved cells by phosphorylating elF2. GCN2 contains a regulatory domain related to histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS) postulated to bind multiple deacylated tRNAs as a general sensor of starvation. In accordance with this model, GCN2 bound several deacylated tRNAs with similar affinities, and aminoacylation of tRNAphe weakened its interaction with GCN2. Unexpectedly, the C-terminal ribosome binding segment of GCN2 (C-term) was required in addition to the HisRS domain for strong tRNA binding. A combined HisRS+ C-term segment bound to the isolated protein kinase (PK) domain in vitro, and tRNA impeded this interaction. An activating mutation (GCN2c-E803V) that weakens PK-C-term association greatly enhanced tRNA binding by GCN2. These results provide strong evidence that tRNA stimulates the GCN2 kinase moiety by preventing an inhibitory interaction with the bipartite tRNA binding domain. (+info)
Histidyl-tRNA synthetase from Salmonella typhimurium: specificity in the binding of histidine analogues.
The topography of the active site of histidyl-tRNA synthetase has been investigated by determining Ki values for a variety of structural analogues of histidine, using the ATP-PPi exchange and tRNA aminoacylation reactions. Using these kinetic constants it has been possible to have a measure of the relative binding affinity of the enzyme for the histidine analogues. The following conclusions have been drawn: (a) the enzyme is stereospecific in the formation of aminoacyl-tRNA complexes, since the D-isomer of histidine does not influence the two reactions; (b) the carboxyl group is not required for binding; (c) bulky derivatives of the carboxyl group prevent the molecules from binding to the enzyme; (d) the amino group permits a good binding affinity; (e) the length of the ring side chain plays a very important role as point of attachment to the enzyme; (f) the kinds of heteroatoms on the ring determine the inhibitory properties of the analogues. (+info)
The tRNA-binding moiety in GCN2 contains a dimerization domain that interacts with the kinase domain and is required for tRNA binding and kinase activation.
GCN2 stimulates translation of GCN4 mRNA in amino acid-starved cells by phosphorylating translation initiation factor 2. GCN2 is activated by binding of uncharged tRNA to a domain related to histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS). The HisRS-like region contains two dimerization domains (HisRS-N and HisRS-C) required for GCN2 function in vivo but dispensable for dimerization by full-length GCN2. Residues corresponding to amino acids at the dimer interface of Escherichia coli HisRS were required for dimerization of recombinant HisRS-N and for tRNA binding by full-length GCN2, suggesting that HisRS-N dimerization promotes tRNA binding and kinase activation. HisRS-N also interacted with the protein kinase (PK) domain, and a deletion impairing this interaction destroyed GCN2 function without reducing tRNA binding; thus, HisRS-N-PK interaction appears to stimulate PK function. The C-terminal domain of GCN2 (C-term) interacted with the PK domain in a manner disrupted by an activating PK mutation (E803V). These results suggest that the C-term is an autoinhibitory domain, counteracted by tRNA binding. We conclude that multiple domain interactions, positive and negative, mediate the activation of GCN2 by uncharged tRNA. (+info)
Mutations that bypass tRNA binding activate the intrinsically defective kinase domain in GCN2.
The protein kinase GCN2 is activated in amino acid-starved cells on binding of uncharged tRNA to a histidyl-tRNA synthetase (HisRS)-related domain. We isolated two point mutations in the protein kinase (PK) domain, R794G and F842L, that permit strong kinase activity in the absence of tRNA binding. These mutations also bypass the requirement for ribosome binding, dimerization, and association with the GCN1/GCN20 regulatory complex, suggesting that all of these functions facilitate tRNA binding to wild-type GCN2. While the isolated wild-type PK domain was completely inert, the mutant PK was highly active in vivo and in vitro. These results identify an inhibitory structure intrinsic to the PK domain that must be overcome on tRNA binding by interactions with a regulatory region, most likely the N terminus of the HisRS segment. As Arg 794 and Phe 842 are predicted to lie close to one another and to the active site, they may participate directly in misaligning active site residues. Autophosphorylation of the activation loop was stimulated by R794G and F842L, and the autophosphorylation sites remained critical for GCN2 function in the presence of these mutations. Our results imply a two-step activation mechanism involving distinct conformational changes in the PK domain. (+info)
Rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease in a dermatomyositis patient with high levels of creatine phosphokinase, severe muscle symptoms and positive anti-Jo-1 antibody.
It has been reported that there is a subgroup of dermatomyositis (DM) patients with rapidly progressive interstitial lung disease (ILD) who have mild muscle symptoms, slightly increased levels of muscle enzymes, and absence of anti-Jo-1 antibody. A 51-year-old woman with DM was intubated requiring mechanical ventilation because of a rapidly progressing ILD in spite of the absence of the typical poor prognostic factors. A high dose or pulse therapy of corticosteroids was not effective, but additional treatment of cyclosporine gradually improved her respiratory condition. It is not clear why a rapidly progressive ILD occurred in this case lacking poor prognostic factors. However, if corticosteroid treatment is not effective, additional administration of cyclosporine in the early period of rapidly progressive ILD may rescue deteriorating cases. (+info)