(1/782) The staphylococcal transferrin-binding protein is a cell wall glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase.

Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis possess a 42-kDa cell wall transferrin-binding protein (Tpn) which is involved in the acquisition of transferrin-bound iron. To characterize this protein further, cell wall fractions were subjected to two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis blotted, and the N-terminus of Tpn was sequenced. Comparison of the first 20 amino acid residues of Tpn with the protein databases revealed a high degree of homology to the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH). Analysis of staphylococcal cell wall fractions for GAPDH activity confirmed the presence of a functional enzyme which, like Tpn, is regulated by the availability of iron in the growth medium. To determine whether Tpn is responsible for this GAPDH activity, it was affinity purified with NAD+ agarose. Both S. epidermidis and S. aureus Tpn catalyzed the conversion of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate to 1,3-diphosphoglycerate. In contrast, Staphylococcus saprophyticus, which lacks a Tpn, has no cell wall-associated GAPDH activity. Native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the affinity-purified Tpn revealed that it was present in the cell wall as a tetramer, consistent with the structures of all known cytoplasmic GAPDHs. Furthermore, the affinity-purified Tpn retained its ability to bind human transferrin both in its native tetrameric and SDS-denatured monomeric forms. Apart from interacting with human transferrin, Tpn, in common with the group A streptococcal cell wall GAPDH, binds human plasmin. Tpn-bound plasmin is enzymatically active and therefore may contribute to the ability of staphylococci to penetrate tissues during infections. These studies demonstrate that the staphylococcal transferrin receptor protein, Tpn, is a multifunctional cell wall GAPDH.  (+info)

(2/782) The iron transport protein NRAMP2 is an integral membrane glycoprotein that colocalizes with transferrin in recycling endosomes.

The natural resistance associated macrophage protein (Nramp) gene family is composed of two members in mammals, Nramp1 and Nramp2. Nramp1 is expressed primarily in macrophages and mutations at this locus cause susceptibility to infectious diseases. Nramp2 has a much broader range of tissue expression and mutations at Nramp2 result in iron deficiency, indicating a role for Nramp2 in iron metabolism. To get further insight into the function and mechanism of action of Nramp proteins, we have generated isoform specific anti-Nramp1 and anti-Nramp2 antisera. Immunoblotting experiments indicate that Nramp2 is present in a number of cell types, including hemopoietic precursors, and is coexpressed with Nramp1 in primary macrophages and macrophage cell lines. Nramp2 is expressed as a 90-100-kD integral membrane protein extensively modified by glycosylation (>40% of molecular mass). Subcellular localization studies by immunofluorescence and confocal microscopy indicate distinct and nonoverlapping localization for Nramp1 and Nramp2. Nramp1 is expressed in the lysosomal compartment, whereas Nramp2 is not detectable in the lysosomes but is expressed primarily in recycling endosomes and also, to a lower extent, at the plasma membrane, colocalizing with transferrin. These findings suggest that Nramp2 plays a key role in the metabolism of transferrin-bound iron by transporting free Fe2+ across the endosomal membrane and into the cytoplasm.  (+info)

(3/782) Mitochondrial involvement in Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, hereditary spastic paraplegia and Friedreich's ataxia.

Respiratory chain dysfunction has been identified in several neurodegenerative disorders. In Friedreich's ataxia (FA) and Huntington's disease (HD), where the respective mutations are in nuclear genes encoding non-respiratory chain mitochondrial proteins, the defects in oxidative phosphorylation are clearly secondary. In Parkinson's disease (PD) the situation is less clear, with some evidence for a primary role of mitochondrial DNA in at least a proportion of patients. The pattern of the respiratory chain defect may provide some clue to its cause; in PD there appears to be a selective complex I deficiency; in HD and FA the deficiencies are most severe in complex II/III with a less severe defect in complex IV. Aconitase activity in HD and FA is severely decreased in brain and muscle, respectively, but appears to be normal in PD brain. Free radical generation is thought to be of importance in both HD and FA, via excitotoxicity in HD and abnormal iron handling in FA. The oxidative damage observed in PD may be secondary to the mitochondrial defect. Whatever the cause(s) and sequence of events, respiratory chain deficiencies appear to play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegeneration. The mitochondrial abnormalities induced may converge on the function of the mitochondrion in apoptosis. This mode of cell death is thought to play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases and it is tempting to speculate that the observed mitochondrial defects in PD, HD and FA result directly in apoptotic cell death, or in the lowering of a cell's threshold to undergo apoptosis. Clarifying the role of mitochondria in pathogenesis may provide opportunities for the development of treatments designed to reverse or prevent neurodegeneration.  (+info)

(4/782) Mechanism of increased iron absorption in murine model of hereditary hemochromatosis: increased duodenal expression of the iron transporter DMT1.

Hereditary hemochromatosis (HH) is a common autosomal recessive disorder characterized by tissue iron deposition secondary to excessive dietary iron absorption. We recently reported that HFE, the protein defective in HH, was physically associated with the transferrin receptor (TfR) in duodenal crypt cells and proposed that mutations in HFE attenuate the uptake of transferrin-bound iron from plasma by duodenal crypt cells, leading to up-regulation of transporters for dietary iron. Here, we tested the hypothesis that HFE-/- mice have increased duodenal expression of the divalent metal transporter (DMT1). By 4 weeks of age, the HFE-/- mice demonstrated iron loading when compared with HFE+/+ littermates, with elevated transferrin saturations (68.4% vs. 49.8%) and elevated liver iron concentrations (985 micrograms vs. 381 micrograms). By using Northern blot analyses, we quantitated duodenal expression of both classes of DMT1 transcripts: one containing an iron responsive element (IRE), called DMT1(IRE), and one containing no IRE, called DMT1(non-IRE). The positive control for DMT1 up-regulation was a murine model of dietary iron deficiency that demonstrated greatly increased levels of duodenal DMT1(IRE) mRNA. HFE-/- mice also demonstrated an increase in duodenal DMT1(IRE) mRNA (average 7.7-fold), despite their elevated transferrin saturation and hepatic iron content. Duodenal expression of DMT1(non-IRE) was not increased, nor was hepatic expression of DMT1 increased. These data support the model for HH in which HFE mutations lead to inappropriately low crypt cell iron, with resultant stabilization of DMT1(IRE) mRNA, up-regulation of DMT1, and increased absorption of dietary iron.  (+info)

(5/782) Linkage disequilibrium and haplotype analysis in German Friedreich ataxia families.

The main mutation causing Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is the expansion of a GAA repeat localized within the intron between exon 1 and exon 2 of the gene X25. This expansion has been observed in 98% of FRDA chromosomes. To analyze frequencies of markers tightly linked to the Friedreich ataxia gene and to investigate wheter a limited number of ancestral chromosomes are shared by German FRDA families, a detailed analysis employing nine polymorphic markers was performed. We found strong linkage disequilibria and association of FRDA expansions with a few haplotypes. FRDA haplotypes differ significantly from control haplotypes. Our results confirm that GAA repeat expansions in intron 1 of the frataxin gene are limited to a few chromosomes and indicate an obvious founder effect in German patients. Based on these analyses, we estimate a minimum age of the mutation of 107 generations.  (+info)

(6/782) Purification of a 76-kDa iron-binding protein from human seminal plasma by affinity chromatography specific for ribonuclease: structural and functional identity with milk lactoferrin.

A pink-colored iron-binding protein has been found in large amount in human seminal plasma and identified as a lactoferrin isoform. Its purification, by a modification of a three-step chromatography procedure developed in an attempt to purify a ribonuclease from the same fluid, provided about 15-18 mg of pure protein from 100 ml of seminal plasma. Despite its ability to bind a ribonuclease ligand during the affinity step, the iron-binding protein did not display any detectable RNase activity in a standard assay with yeast RNA as substrate. It showed an apparent molecular weight of 76 kDa and resulted to be quite similar, if not identical, to human milk lactoferrin in many respects. Its N-terminal sequence (31 amino acid residues) starting with Arg-3 was identical to that of one of the N-terminally truncated lactoferrin variants isolated from human milk. Moreover, the amino acid sequence of a number of peptides, which represented about 23% of the entire sequence, has been also shown to be identical to that of the corresponding peptides of human milk lactoferrin. Double diffusion analysis revealed full recognition by antibodies anti-human milk lactoferrin of the human seminal plasma protein. Using immunoblotting analysis, both human milk lactoferrin and human seminal protein were recognized by antibodies anti-milk lactoferrin. When tested for its iron binding capacity, with Fe-NTA as iron donor, the protein purified was able to bind iron up to 100% saturation, as judged by absorbance at 465 nm.  (+info)

(7/782) Purified meningococcal transferrin-binding protein B interacts with a secondary, strain-specific, binding site in the N-terminal lobe of human transferrin.

Neisseria meningitidis, grown in iron-limited conditions, produces two transferrin-binding proteins (TbpA and TbpB) that independently and specifically bind human serum transferrin (hTF) but not bovine serum transferrin (bTF). We have used surface plasmon resonance to characterize the interaction between individual TbpA and TbpB and a series of full-length human-bovine chimaeric transferrins (hbTFs) under conditions of variable saturation with iron. A comparative analysis of hTF and hbTF chimaera-binding data confirmed that the major features involved in Tbp binding are located in the C-terminal lobe of hTF and that isolated TbpA can recognize distinct sites present in, or conformationally influenced by, residues 598-679. Binding by TbpB was maintained at a significant but decreased level after replacement of the entire hTF C-terminal lobe by the equivalent bovine sequence. The extent of this binding difference was dependent on the meningococcal strain and on the presence of hTF residues 255-350. This indicated that TbpB from strain SD has a secondary, strain-specific, binding site located within this region, whereas TbpB from strain B16B6 does not share this recognition site. Binding of TbpA was influenced primarily by sequence substitutions in the hTF C-terminal lobe, and co-purified TbpA and TbpB (TbpA+B) was functionally distinct from either of its components. The limited divergence between hTF and bTF has been related to observed differences in binding by Tbps and has been used to delineate those regions of hTF that are important for such interactions.  (+info)

(8/782) Intermediate expansions of a GAA repeat in the frataxin gene are not associated with type 2 diabetes or altered glucose-induced beta-cell function in Danish Caucasians.

A variable expansion of a GAA repeat is present in the first intron of the frataxin gene, also termed FRDA1 or X25. Long repeat lengths (>66 repeats) are present in patients with Friedreich's ataxia, while an intermediate expansion (10-66 repeats) has recently been reported to be highly associated with type 2 diabetes. Using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay, we found that 32.4% (95%CI 29.9-34.9) of 636 Danish Caucasian type 2 diabetic patients were carriers of an intermediate expansion, whereas the frequency was 30.4% (26.4-34.4) among 224 matched glucose-tolerant control subjects (P = 0.6). In the control subjects, the values of serum insulin and C-peptide responses during an oral glucose tolerance test were similar between the 69 carriers and 155 noncarriers. Furthermore, we investigated a possible relationship between expansions of the FRDA1 gene and glucose-induced beta-cell function in 338 young Caucasians (33.7% [30.1-37.3] carriers) and in 215 glucose-tolerant subjects (31.0% [26.6-35.4] carriers) with a type 2 diabetic parent. In neither population did the carriers differ from noncarriers according to values of fasting plasma glucose, serum insulin, or C-peptide, acute serum insulin, or C-peptide responses after intravenous glucose. In conclusion, intermediate expansion of the frataxin trinucleotide repeat is not associated with type 2 diabetes or altered glucose-induced insulin secretion in Danish Caucasians.  (+info)