Hydrophobic interaction of human, mouse, and rabbit interferons with immobilized hydrocarbons. (1/984)

Interferons of human, mouse, and rabbit origin bind to straight chain hydrocarbons immobilized on agarose. The hydrophobic nature of binding is established by the following observations: (a) a positive correlation between the length of hydrocarbon ligand and the strength of interaction; (b) a stronger interaction with hydrocarbon ligands terminated with apolar rather than polar head groups; (c) a lack of dependence of binding on ionic strength and pH of the solvent; (d) a reversal of binding by ethylene glycol, a hydrophobic solute; (e) an increasing eluting efficacy of tetraalkylammonium ions with the length of their alkyl substituents. The hydrophobic interactions of human interferon underlie the efficiency of two-step chromatographic procedures. For example, human embryo kidney interferon can be purified about 3,600-fold by sequential chromatography on (a) concanavalin A-agarose, (b) octyl-agarose. Another two-step procedure: (a) concanavalin A-agarose, (b) L-tryptophan-agarose, gives about 10,000-fold purification. The overall recovery of interferon in both cases in close to 90%.  (+info)

Hydrocarbon chain packing and the effect of ethanol on the thermotropic phase behavior of mixed-chain phosphatidylglycerols. (2/984)

Previous studies in this laboratory have delineated the relationship between the acyl chain asymmetry of mixed-chain phosphatidylcholines and the effect of ethanol concentration ([EtOH]) on their melting behavior (Li et al., Biophys J., 70 (1996) 2784-2794). This present investigation extends these findings to another phospholipid family by using high-resolution differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) to characterize the effect of ethanol concentration on the main phase transition temperature (Tm) of five molecular species of mixed-chain phosphatidylglycerol (PG). For C(14):C(18)PG, C(15):C(17)PG, C(16):C(16)PG, and C(17):C(15)PG, a biphasic profile in the Tm versus [EtOH] plot was observed, and the minimum in the plot for each PG occurred at 33, 15, 19, and 36 mg/ml, respectively. This biphasic behavior is typical of phospholipids whose acyl chain asymmetry is fairly small. For C(18):C(14)PG, only a linear decrease in the Tm was observed as a function of ethanol concentration; this effect is characteristic of highly asymmetric phospholipids. Our DSC results obtained with mixed-chain PG in the presence of ethanol demonstrate that the acyl chain asymmetry of the five lipids studied can be ranked as follows: C(15):C(17)PG+info)

Resolution and purification of histones on homologous series of hydrocarbon-coated agaroses. (3/984)

Hydrophobic chromatography on alkyl-agarose columns has been applied to the fractionation of histones. This paper describes: (a) a two-column method for the resolution of whole histone from calf thymus into its five main components (H1, H2a, H2b, H3 and H4), (b) a rapid one-step procedure for the isolation of the H3 fraction from whole histone, (c) an alternative one-step procedure for the resolution of H3 and H2a (which co-elute during gel exclusion chromatography on Biogel P-60). These experiments are also used for gaining further insight into the mechanism of action of hydrocarbon-coated agaroses.  (+info)

Histone-hydrocarbon interaction. Partition of histones in aqueous two-phase systems containing poly(ethylene glycol)-bound hydrocarbons. (4/984)

The hydrophobic properties of histones have been examined with help of the two-phase partition technique using dextran-poly(ethylene glycol)-water systems. We have found that different fatty acid esters of poly(ethylene glycol) interact with total histones in a manner similar to proteins of the type beta-lactoglobulin and serum albumins. Thus the maximum interaction occurs when the fatty acid contains 16-18 carbon atoms. With less than eight carbon atoms in the polymer-bound fatty acid, no histone-hydrocarbon interaction is observed. The interaction of the five individual histone fractions with palmitate depends on the type of salt used and on its concentration. We suggest that the histones can be divided into three groups with decreasing hydrophobic properties: H3, H2a greater than H4, H2b greater than H1.  (+info)

Toxic polyneuropathy of shoe-industry workers. A study of 122 cases. (5/984)

The toxic polyneuropathy observed in a group of shoe-industry workers in Italy was clinically characterised by a symmetrical prevalently distal motor deficit, with occasional marked weakness of pelvic girdle muscles, and frequently by only subjective sensory symptoms; non-specific disturbances usually preceded neurological signs. Subclinical cases of 'minimal' chronic neuropathy, characterised by alterations of a neurogenic type in the EMG without a reduction of motor nerve conduction velocity, were also observed. Worsening of the clinical picture, with further lowering of nerve conduction velocity, was noted in some cases up to four months after removal from the toxic environment. In the most severe cases clinical recovery took up to three years. The electromyographic and electroneurographic features were consistent with a mixed axonal neuropathy, with clear prevalence of the damage in the distal part of the nerve (dying-back neuropathy). Volatile substances, such as n-hexane and other low boiling point hydrocarbons found in high percentage in solvents and glues, are suggested as the causative agent.  (+info)

Microbial oxidation of methane and methanol: isolation of methane-utilizing bacteria and characterization of a facultative methane-utilizing isolate. (6/984)

A methane-utilizing organism capable of growth both on methane and on more complex organic substrates as a sole source of carbon and energy, has been isolated and studied in detail. Suspensions of methane-grown cells of this organism oxidized C-1 compounds (methane, methanol, formaldehyde, formate); hydrocarbons (ethane, propane); primary alcohols (ethanol, propanol); primary aldehydes (acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde); alkenes (ethylene, propylene); dimethylether; and organic acids (acetate, malate, succinate, isocitrate). Suspensions of methanol-or succinate-grown cells did not oxidize methane, ethane, propane, ethylene, propylene, or dimethylether, suggesting that the enzymatic systems required for oxidation of these substrates are induced only during growth on methane. Extracts of methane-grown cells contained a particulate reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent methane monooxygenase activity. Oxidation of methanol, formaldehyde, and primary alcohols was catalyzed by a phenazine methosulfate-linked, ammonium ion-requiring methanol dehydrogenase. Oxidation of primary aldehydes was catalyzed by a phenazine methosulfate-linked, ammonium ion-independent aldehyde dehydrogenase. Formate was oxidized by a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-specific formate dehydrogenase. Extracts of methane-grown, but not succinate-grown, cells contained the key enzymes of the serine pathway, hydroxypyruvate reductase and malate lyase, indicating that the enzymes of C-1 assimilation are induced only during growth on C-1 compounds. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase was induced during growth on glucose. Extracts of methane-grown cells contained low levels of enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, including alpha-keto glutarate dehydrogenase, relative to the levels found during growth on succinate.  (+info)

Inhibition of Bacillus subtilis spore germination by various hydrophobic compounds: demonstration of hydrophobic character of the L-alanine receptor site. (7/984)

L-Alanine-initiated germination of Bacillus subtilis spores was inhibited by various kinds of hydrophobic compounds. Good correlation of inhibitory effect with hydrophobicity of the compound was demonstrated by using regression analysis in which the hydrophobic character was expressed by the partition coefficient in an octyl alcohol-water system. The correlation coefficient for 20 alcohols was 0.959, and that for 19 miscellaneous compounds was 0.906. Regression lines of the alcohols and other hydrophobic compounds were almost identical, showing that hydrophobic interaction played an important role in inhibition. Diphenylamine was one of the most effective inhibitors examined. n-Octyl, n-nonyl, and n-decyl alcohols were the most effective alcohols. The mode of inhibition by diphenylamine and n-octyl alcohol was a "mixed type" (competitive plus noncompetitive type) with respect to L-alanine; that by D-alanine was competitive inhibition. Sites for diphenylamine, n-octyl alcohol, and D-alanine may have overlapped. Inhibition was reversible by washing; heat resistance, stainability, and germination rate of the washed spores remained unaltered. Thus, we confirmed that the inhibition may occur before the initial trigger reaction of germination and that it may be due to the interaction between a hydrophobic compound and a hydrophobic region closely associated with the L-alanine receptor site on the spore.  (+info)

Molecular analysis of microbial community structures in pristine and contaminated aquifers: field and laboratory microcosm experiments. (8/984)

This study used phylogenetic probes in hybridization analysis to (i) determine in situ microbial community structures in regions of a shallow sand aquifer that were oxygen depleted and fuel contaminated (FC) or aerobic and noncontaminated (NC) and (ii) examine alterations in microbial community structures resulting from exposure to toluene and/or electron acceptor supplementation (nitrate). The latter objective was addressed by using the NC and FC aquifer materials for anaerobic microcosm studies in which phylogenetic probe analysis was complemented by microbial activity assays. Domain probe analysis of the aquifer samples showed that the communities were predominantly Bacteria; Eucarya and Archaea were not detectable. At the phylum and subclass levels, the FC and NC aquifer material had similar relative abundance distributions of 43 to 65% beta- and gamma-Proteobacteria (B+G), 31 to 35% alpha-Proteobacteria (ALF), 15 to 18% sulfate-reducing bacteria, and 5 to 10% high G+C gram positive bacteria. Compared to that of the NC region, the community structure of the FC material differed mainly in an increased abundance of B+G relative to that of ALF. The microcosm communities were like those of the field samples in that they were predominantly Bacteria (83 to 101%) and lacked detectable Archaea but differed in that a small fraction (2 to 8%) of Eucarya was detected regardless of the treatment applied. The latter result was hypothesized to reflect enrichment of anaerobic protozoa. Addition of nitrate and/or toluene stimulated microbial activity in the microcosms, but only supplementation of toluene alone significantly altered community structures. For the NC material, the dominant subclass shifted from B+G to ALF, while in the FC microcosms 55 to 65% of the Bacteria community was no longer identifiable by the phylum or subclass probes used. The latter result suggested that toluene exposure fostered the proliferation of phylotype(s) that were otherwise minor constituents of the FC aquifer community. These studies demonstrated that alterations in aquifer microbial communities resulting from specific anthropogenic perturbances can be inferred from microcosm studies integrating chemical and phylogenetic probe analysis and in the case of hydrocarbon contamination may facilitate the identification of organisms important for in situ biodegradation processes. Further work integrating and coordinating microcosm and field experiments is needed to explore how differences in scale, substrate complexity, and other hydrogeological conditions may affect patterns observed in these systems.  (+info)