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(1/1229) Glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase in ram and stallion epididymal fluids: origin and regulation.

Microsequencing after two-dimensional electrophoresis revealed a major protein, glutathione-independent prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS) in the anterior epididymal region fluid of the ram and stallion. In this epididymal region, PGDS was a polymorphic compound with a molecular mass around 30 kDa and a range of pI from 4 to 7. PGDS represented 15% and 8% of the total luminal proteins present in this region in the ram and stallion, respectively. The secretion of the protein as judged by in vitro biosynthesis, and the presence of its mRNA as studied by Northern blot analysis, were limited to the proximal caput epididymidis. Using a specific polyclonal antibody raised against a synthetic peptide, PGDS was found throughout the epididymis, decreasing in concentration toward the cauda region. PGDS was also detected in the testicular fluid and seminal plasma by Western blotting. Castration and efferent duct ligation in the ram led to a decrease in PGDS mRNA and secretion. PGDS mRNA was not detected in the stallion 1 mo after castration, and it was restored by testosterone supplementation. This study showed that PGDS is present in the environment of spermatozoa throughout the male genital tract. Its function in the maturation and/or protection of spermatozoa is unknown.  (+info)

(2/1229) Prostacyclin synthase gene transfer accelerates reendothelialization and inhibits neointimal formation in rat carotid arteries after balloon injury.

Prostacyclin (PGI2), a metabolite of arachidonic acid, has the vasoprotective effects of vasodilation, anti-platelet aggregation, and inhibition of smooth muscle cell proliferation. We hypothesized that an overexpression of endogenous PGI2 may accelerate the recovery from endothelial damage and inhibit neointimal formation in the injured artery. To test this hypothesis, we investigated in vivo transfer of the PGI2 synthase (PCS) gene into balloon-injured rat carotid arteries by a nonviral lipotransfection method. Seven days after transfection, a significant regeneration of endothelium was observed in the arteries transfected with a plasmid carrying the rat PCS gene (pCMV-PCS), but little regeneration was seen in those with the control plasmid carrying the lacZ gene (pCMV-lacZ) (percent luminal circumference lined by newly regenerated endothelium: 87. 1+/-6.9% in pCMV-PCS-transfected vessels and 6.9+/-0.2% in pCMV-lacZ vessels, P<0.001). BrdU staining of arterial segments demonstrated a significantly lower incorporation in pCMV-PCS-transfected vessels (7. 5+/-0.3% positive nuclei in vessel cells) than in pCMV-lacZ (50. 7+/-9.6%, P<0.01). Moreover, 2 weeks after transfection, the PCS gene transfer resulted in a significant inhibition of neointimal formation (88% reduction in ratio of intima/media areas), whereas medial area was similar among the groups. Arterial segments transfected with pCMV-PCS produced significantly higher levels of 6-keto-PGF1alpha, the main metabolite of PGI2, compared with the segments transfected with pCMV-lacZ (10.2+/-0.55 and 2.1+/-0.32 ng/mg tissue for pCMV-PCS and pCMV-placZ, P<0.001). In conclusion, this study demonstrated that an in vivo PCS gene transfer increased the production of PGI2 and markedly inhibited neointimal formation with accelerated reendothelialization in rat carotid arteries after balloon injury.  (+info)

(3/1229) Effects of lithium on pigmentation in the embryonic zebrafish (Brachydanio rerio).

Pigment cell precursors of the embryonic zebrafish give rise to melanophores, xanthophores and/or iridophores. Cell signaling mechanisms related to the development of pigmentation remain obscure. In order to examine the mechanisms involved in pigment cell signaling, we treated zebrafish embryos with various activators and inhibitors of signaling pathways. Among those chemicals tested, LiCl and LiCl/forskolin had a stimulatory effect on pigmentation, most notable in the melanophore population. We propose that the inositol phosphate (IP) pathway, is involved in pigment pattern formation in zebrafish through its involvement in the: (1) differentiation/proliferation of melanophores; (2) dispersion of melanosomes; and/or (3) synthesis/deposition of melanin. To discern at what level pigmentation was being effected we: (1) counted the number of melanophores in control and experimental animals 5 days after treatment; (2) measured tyrosinase activity and melanin content; and (3) employed immunoblotting techniques with anti-tyrosine-related protein-2 and anti-melanocyte-specific gene-1 as melanophore-specific markers. Although gross pigmentation increased dramatically in LiCl- and LiCl/forskolin treated embryos, the effect on pigmentation was not due to an increase in the proliferation of melanophores, but was possibly through an increase in melanin synthesis and/or deposition. Collectively, results from these studies suggest the involvement of an IP-signaling pathway in the stimulation of pigmentation in embryonic zebrafish through the synthesis/deposition of melanin within the neural crest-derived melanophores.  (+info)

(4/1229) Induction of tumor antigen-specific immunity using plasmid DNA immunization in mice.

We have evaluated the ability of bioballistic "gene gun" immunization of mice with plasmid DNA encoding clinically relevant tumor antigens to induce protective antitumor immunity. Mice immunized with plasmid cDNA encoding the cervical carcinoma-associated human papillomavirus 16-E7 gene product exhibited potent anti-E7-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and were protected completely against a subsequent challenge with the E7+ C3 sarcoma. Of perhaps greater clinical interest, genetic immunization using cDNA encoding the normal, germline-encoded murine melanosomal protein tyrosinase-related protein-2 (TRP-2) resulted in delayed outgrowth of TRP-2+ B16 melanoma in mice and was associated with an in vivo activation of TRP-2-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Codelivery of plasmid cDNA encoding TRP-2 and the T helper 1-biasing cytokine murine interleukin-12 considerably enhanced the antitumor efficacy of these gene-based melanoma vaccines.  (+info)

(5/1229) The AcbC protein from Actinoplanes species is a C7-cyclitol synthase related to 3-dehydroquinate synthases and is involved in the biosynthesis of the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose.

The putative biosynthetic gene cluster for the alpha-glucosidase inhibitor acarbose was identified in the producer Actinoplanes sp. 50/110 by cloning a DNA segment containing the conserved gene for dTDP-D-glucose 4,6-dehydratase, acbB. The two flanking genes were acbA (dTDP-D-glucose synthase) and acbC, encoding a protein with significant similarity to 3-dehydroquinate synthases (AroB proteins). The acbC gene was overexpressed heterologously in Streptomyces lividans 66, and the product was shown to be a C7-cyclitol synthase using sedo-heptulose 7-phosphate, but not ido-heptulose 7-phosphate, as its substrate. The cyclization product, 2-epi-5-epi-valiolone ((2S,3S,4S,5R)-5-(hydroxymethyl)cyclohexanon-2,3,4,5-tetrol), is a precursor of the valienamine moiety of acarbose. A possible five-step reaction mechanism is proposed for the cyclization reaction catalyzed by AcbC based on the recent analysis of the three-dimensional structure of a eukaryotic 3-dehydroquinate synthase domain (Carpenter, E. P., Hawkins, A. R., Frost, J. W., and Brown, K. A. (1998) Nature 394, 299-302).  (+info)

(6/1229) COX-2 and cytosolic PLA2 mediate IL-1beta-induced cAMP production in human vascular smooth muscle cells.

Interleukin (IL)-1 is a potent vasodilator that causes prolonged induction of prostacyclin (PGI2) and cAMP synthesis in human vascular smooth muscle cells (HVSMC). The present study investigated IL-1 induction of PG synthetic enzymes in HVSMC and tested their respective roles in PGI2 and cAMP production. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 mRNA was not detectable in either control or IL-1-treated HVSMC, as assessed by RT-PCR. In contrast, COX-2 mRNA was detectable in control HVSMC, increased markedly (16-fold) after 1 h of IL-1 exposure, and increased further (52-fold) after 24 h. COX-2 protein levels, assessed by Western analysis, were increased concomitantly. HVSMC contained mRNA encoding both the secreted and cytosolic forms of phospholipase A2 (sPLA2 and cPLA2, respectively). IL-1 stimulation did not affect sPLA2 mRNA levels, but cPLA2 mRNA levels increased at 8 h, after the initial induction of PG synthesis. HVSMC constitutively expressed PGI2 synthase mRNA, and its levels were not affected by IL-1. A selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, reversed IL-1-induced PGI2 and cAMP production, supporting a role of COX-2 in mediating increased PG synthesis. IL-1-induced cAMP was also reversed by a selective cPLA2 inhibitor, AACOCF3, but not by thioetheramide phosphorylcholine, which inhibits sPLA2 preferentially over cPLA2, supporting a requirement for cPLA2-derived arachidonic acid in IL-1-induced PG synthesis. The delayed induction of cPLA2 mRNA was also attenuated by NS-398, suggesting that it was secondary to the initial COX-2-induced PG synthesis. Together, the results support the hypothesis that IL-1 induces intracellular PG synthesis in HVSMC via rapid upregulation of COX-2, which utilizes cPLA2-derived arachidonic acid to generate PG metabolites that regulate adenylate cyclase.  (+info)

(7/1229) Prostaglandin endoperoxide-dependent vasospasm in bovine coronary arteries after nitration of prostacyclin synthase.

In the present study we used a bioassay to study the effects of peroxynitrite (ONOO-) on angiotensin II (A-II)-triggered tension in isolated bovine coronary arteries in order to show the consequences of the previously reported PGI2-synthase inhibition by ONOO- in this model. The following results were obtained: 1. 1 micromol L(-1) ONOO- impaired A-II-induced vasorelaxation and caused a second long lasting constriction phase. Indomethacin (10(-5)M) prevented both effects. U51605, a dual blocker of PGI2-synthase and thromboxane (TX)A2-synthase mimicked the effects of ONOO-. 2. The selective TXA2/prostaglandin endoperoxide (PGH2) receptor antagonist SQ29548 antagonized the second vasoconstriction phase after ONOO- -treatment. Since a generation of TXA2 and 8-iso-prostaglandin F2alpha could be excluded a direct action of unmetabolized PGH2 on the TXA2/PGH2 receptor was postulated. 3. ONOO- dose-dependently inhibited the conversion of 14C-PGH2 into 6-keto-PGF1alpha in isolated bovine coronary arteries with an IC50-value of 100 nM. 4. Immunoprecipitation of 3-nitrotyrosine-containing proteins with a monoclonal antibody revealed PGI2-synthase as the only nitrated protein in bovine coronary arteries treated with 1 micromol 1(-1) ONOO-. 5. Using immunohistochemistry a co-localization of PGI2-synthase and nitrotyrosine-containing proteins was clearly visible in both endothelial and vascular smooth muscle cells. We concluded that ONOO- not only eliminated the vasodilatory, growth-inhibiting, antithrombotic and antiadhesive effects of PGI2 but also allowed and promoted an action of the potent vasoconstrictor, prothrombotic agent, growth promoter, and leukocyte adherer, PGH2.  (+info)

(8/1229) Otx1 and Otx2 activities are required for the normal development of the mouse inner ear.

The Otx1 and Otx2 genes are two murine orthologues of the Orthodenticle (Otd) gene in Drosophila. In the developing mouse embryo, both Otx genes are expressed in the rostral head region and in certain sense organs such as the inner ear. Previous studies have shown that mice lacking Otx1 display abnormal patterning of the brain, whereas embryos lacking Otx2 develop without heads. In this study, we examined, at different developmental stages, the inner ears of mice lacking both Otx1 and Otx2 genes. In wild-type inner ears, Otx1, but not Otx2, was expressed in the lateral canal and ampulla, as well as part of the utricle. Ventral to the mid-level of the presumptive utricle, Otx1 and Otx2 were co-expressed, in regions such as the saccule and cochlea. Paint-filled membranous labyrinths of Otx1-/- mutants showed an absence of the lateral semicircular canal, lateral ampulla, utriculosaccular duct and cochleosaccular duct, and a poorly defined hook (the proximal part) of the cochlea. Defects in the shape of the saccule and cochlea were variable in Otx1-/- mice and were much more severe in an Otx1-/-;Otx2(+/)- background. Histological and in situ hybridization experiments of both Otx1-/- and Otx1-/-;Otx2(+/)- mutants revealed that the lateral crista was absent. In addition, the maculae of the utricle and saccule were partially fused. In mutant mice in which both copies of the Otx1 gene were replaced with a human Otx2 cDNA (hOtx2(1)/ hOtx2(1)), most of the defects associated with Otx1-/- mutants were rescued. However, within the inner ear, hOtx2 expression failed to rescue the lateral canal and ampulla phenotypes, and only variable rescues were observed in regions where both Otx1 and Otx2 are normally expressed. These results suggest that both Otx genes play important and differing roles in the morphogenesis of the mouse inner ear and the development of its sensory organs.  (+info)