High-throughput screening of small molecules in miniaturized mammalian cell-based assays involving post-translational modifications.
BACKGROUND: Fully adapting a forward genetic approach to mammalian systems requires efficient methods to alter systematically gene products without prior knowledge of gene sequences, while allowing for the subsequent characterization of these alterations. Ideally, these methods would also allow function to be altered in a temporally controlled manner. RESULTS: We report the development of a miniaturized cell-based assay format that enables a genetic-like approach to understanding cellular pathways in mammalian systems using small molecules, rather than mutations, as the source of gene-product alterations. This whole-cell immunodetection assay can sensitively detect changes in specific cellular macromolecules in high-density arrays of mammalian cells. Furthermore, it is compatible with screening large numbers of small molecules in nanoliter to microliter culture volumes. We refer to this assay format as a 'cytoblot', and demonstrate the use of cytoblotting to monitor biosynthetic processes such as DNA synthesis, and post-translational processes such as acetylation and phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of these assays to natural-product screening through the identification of marine sponge extracts exhibiting genotype-specific inhibition of 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and suppression of the anti-proliferative effect of rapamycin. CONCLUSIONS: We show that cytoblots can be used for high-throughput screening of small molecules in cell-based assays. Together with small-molecule libraries, the cytoblot assay can be used to perform chemical genetic screens analogous to those used in classical genetics and thus should be applicable to understanding a wide variety of cellular processes, especially those involving post-transitional modifications. (+info)
Gadd45, a p53-responsive stress protein, modifies DNA accessibility on damaged chromatin.
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)
Stable remodeling of tailless nucleosomes by the human SWI-SNF complex.
The histone N-terminal tails have been shown previously to be important for chromatin assembly, remodeling, and stability. We have tested the ability of human SWI-SNF (hSWI-SNF) to remodel nucleosomes whose tails have been cleaved through a limited trypsin digestion. We show that hSWI-SNF is able to remodel tailless mononucleosomes and nucleosomal arrays, although hSWI-SNF remodeling of tailless nucleosomes is less effective than remodeling of nucleosomes with tails. Analogous to previous observations with tailed nucleosomal templates, we show both (i) that hSWI-SNF-remodeled trypsinized mononucleosomes and arrays are stable for 30 min in the remodeled conformation after removal of ATP and (ii) that the remodeled tailless mononucleosome can be isolated on a nondenaturing acrylamide gel as a novel species. Thus, nucleosome remodeling by hSWI-SNF can occur via interactions with a tailless nucleosome core. (+info)
Virus infection leads to localized hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4 at the IFN-beta promoter.
Transcriptional activation of the human interferon-beta (IFN-beta) gene by virus infection requires the assembly of a higher order nucleoprotein complex, the enhanceosome, which consists of the transcriptional activators NF-kappa B (p50/p65), ATF-2/c-jun, IRF-3 and IRF-7, architectural protein HMGI(Y), and the coactivators p300 and CBP. In this report, we show that virus infection of cells results in a dramatic hyperacetylation of histones H3 and H4 that is localized to the IFN-beta promoter. Furthermore, expressing a truncated version of IRF-3, which lacks a p300/CBP interaction domain, suppresses both histone hyperacetylation and activation of the IFN-beta gene. Thus, coactivator-mediated localized hyperacetylation of histones may play a crucial role in inducible gene expression. (+info)
Histone octamer transfer by a chromatin-remodeling complex.
RSC, an abundant, essential chromatin-remodeling complex related to SWI/SNF complex, catalyzes the transfer of a histone octamer from a nucleosome core particle to naked DNA. The newly formed octamer-DNA complex is identical with a nucleosome in all respects. The reaction requires ATP and involves an activated RSC-nucleosome intermediate. The mechanism may entail formation of a duplex displacement loop on the nucleosome, facilitating the entry of exogeneous DNA and the release of the endogenous molecule. (+info)
Basic homopolyamino acids, histones and protamines are potent antagonists of angiogenin binding to ribonuclease inhibitor.
A radio-ribonuclease inhibitor assay based on the interaction of 125I-angiogenin with ribonuclease inhibitor (RI) was used to detect pancreatic-type ribonucleases and potential modulators of their action. We show that highly basic proteins including the homopolypeptides poly-arginine, poly-lysine and poly-ornithine, core histones, spermatid-specific S1 protein and the protamines HP3 and Z3 were strong inhibitors of angiogenin binding to RI. A minimum size of poly-arginine and poly-lysine was required for efficient inhibition. The inhibition likely resulted from direct association of the basic proteins with the acidic inhibitor, as RI bound to poly-lysine and protamines while 125I-angiogenin did not. Antagonists of the angiogenin-RI interaction are potential regulators of either angiogenin-triggered angiogenesis and/or intracellular RI function, depending on their preferential target. (+info)
H5 Histone and DNA-relaxing enzyme of chicken erythrocytes. Interaction with superhelical DNA.
The interaction of closed circular duplex DNA with the lysine-rich H5 histone fraction of avian erythrocytes has been studied. H5, like H1 histone, interacts preferentially with superhelical DNA. The extent of interaction increases with increasing negative or positive superhelicity. Salt-extracted lysine-rich histones show the same specificity for interaction with superhelices as do acid-extracted preparations. Chicken erythrocyte nuclei contain DNA-relaxing enzyme. This enzyme is extracted from the nuclei at lower salt concentrations than those required to extract H1 and H5 histones and is, therefore, probably a function of a protein distinct from H1 and H5 histones. (+info)
Proteinuria induces tubular cell turnover: A potential mechanism for tubular atrophy.
BACKGROUND: Proteinuria and tubular atrophy have both been closely linked with progressive renal failure. We hypothesized that apoptosis may be induced by tubular cell exposure to heavy proteinuria, potentially leading to tubular atrophy. Apoptosis was studied in a rat model of "pure" proteinuria, which does not induce renal impairment, namely protein-overload proteinuria. METHODS: Adult female Lewis rats underwent intraperitoneal injection of 2 g of bovine serum albumin (BSA, N = 16) or sham saline injections (controls, N = 8) daily for seven days. Apoptosis was assessed at day 7 in tissue sections using in situ end labeling (ISEL) and electron microscopy. ISEL-positive nuclei (apoptotic particles) were counted in blinded fashion using image analysis with NIH Image. Cell proliferation was assessed by detection of mRNA for histone by in situ hybridization, followed by counting of positive cells using NIH Image. RESULTS: Animals injected with saline showed very low levels of apoptosis on image analysis. BSA-injected rats had heavy proteinuria and showed both cortical and medullary apoptosis on ISEL. This was predominantly seen in the tubules and, to a lesser extent, in the interstitial compartment. Overall, the animals injected with BSA showed a significant 30-fold increase in the number of cortical apoptotic particles. Electron microscopy of tubular cells in a BSA-injected animal showed a progression of ultrastructural changes consistent with tubular cell apoptosis. The BSA-injected animals also displayed a significant increase in proximal tubular cell proliferation. This increased proliferation was less marked than the degree of apoptosis. CONCLUSION: Protein-overload proteinuria in rats induces tubular cell apoptosis. This effect is only partially balanced by proliferation and potentially provides a direct mechanism whereby heavy proteinuria can induce tubular atrophy and progressive renal failure. (+info)