Fecal coliform elevated-temperature test: a physiological basis. (1/1861)

The physiological basis of the Eijkman elevated-temperature test for differentiating fecal from nonfecal coliforms was investigated. Manometric studies indicated that the inhibitory effect upon growth and metabolism in a nonfecal coliform at 44.5 degrees C involved cellular components common to both aerobic and fermentative metabolism of lactose. Radioactive substrate incorporation experiments implicated cell membrane function as a principal focus for temperature sensitivity at 44.5 degrees C. A temperature increase from 35 to 44.5 degrees C drastically reduced the rates of [14C]glucose uptake in nonfecal coliforms, whereas those of fecal coliforms were essentially unchanged. In addition, relatively low levels of nonfecal coliform beta-galactosidase activity coupled with thermal inactivation of this enzyme at a comparatively low temperature may also inhibit growth and metabolism of nonfecal coliforms at the elevated temperature.  (+info)

Calorimetric studies on the stability of the ribosome-inactivating protein abrin II: effects of pH and ligand binding. (2/1861)

The effects of pH and ligand binding on the stability of abrin II, a heterodimeric ribosome-inactivating protein, and its subunits have been studied using high-sensitivity differential scanning calorimetry. At pH7.2, the calorimetric scan consists of two transitions, which correspond to the B-subunit [transition temperature (Tm) 319.2K] and the A-subunit (Tm 324.6K) of abrin II, as also confirmed by studies on the isolated A-subunit. The calorimetric enthalpy of the isolated A-subunit of abrin II is similar to that of the higher-temperature transition. However, its Tm is 2.4K lower than that of the higher-temperature peak of intact abrin II. This indicates that there is some interaction between the two subunits. Abrin II displays increased stability as the pH is decreased to 4.5. Lactose increases the Tm values as well as the enthalpies of both transitions. This effect is more pronounced at pH7.2 than at pH4.5. This suggests that ligand binding stabilizes the native conformation of abrin II. Analysis of the B-subunit transition temperature as a function of lactose concentration suggests that two lactose molecules bind to one molecule of abrin II at pH7.2. The presence of two binding sites for lactose on the abrin II molecule is also indicated by isothermal titration calorimetry. Plotting DeltaHm (the molar transition enthalpy at Tm) against Tm yielded values for DeltaCp (change in excess heat capacity) of 27+/-2 kJ.mol-1.K-1 for the B-subunit and 20+/-1 kJ.mol-1.K-1 for the A-subunit. These values have been used to calculate the thermal stability of abrin II and to surmise the mechanism of its transmembrane translocation.  (+info)

Structure-function analysis of the UDP-N-acetyl-D-galactosamine:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase. Essential residues lie in a predicted active site cleft resembling a lactose repressor fold. (3/1861)

Mucin-type O-glycosylation is initiated by a family of UDP-GalNAc:polypeptide N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferases (ppGaNTases). Based on sequence relationships with divergent proteins, the ppGaNTases can be subdivided into three putative domains: each putative domain contains a characteristic sequence motif. The 112-amino acid glycosyltransferase 1 (GT1) motif represents the first half of the catalytic unit and contains a short aspartate-any residue-histidine (DXH) or aspartate-any residue-aspartate (DXD)-like sequence. Secondary structure predictions and structural threading suggest that the GT1 motif forms a 5-stranded parallel beta-sheet flanked by 4 alpha-helices, which resembles the first domain of the lactose repressor. Four invariant carboxylates and a histidine residue are predicted to lie at the C-terminal end of three beta-strands and line the active site cleft. Site-directed mutagenesis of murine ppGaNTase-T1 reveals that conservative mutations at these 5 positions result in products with no detectable enzyme activity (D156Q, D209N, and H211D) or <1% activity (E127Q and E213Q). The second half of the catalytic unit contains a DXXXXXWGGENXE motif (positions 310-322) which is also found in beta1,4-galactosyltransferases (termed the Gal/GalNAc-T motif). Mutants of carboxylates within this motif express either no detectable activity, 1% or 2% activity (E319Q, E322Q, and D310N, respectively). Mutagenesis of highly conserved (but not invariant) carboxylates produces only modest alterations in enzyme activity. Mutations in the C-terminal 128-amino acid ricin-like lectin motif do not alter the enzyme's catalytic properties.  (+info)

Ontogeny of intestinal safety factors: lactase capacities and lactose loads. (4/1861)

We measured intestinal safety factors (ratio of a physiological capacity to the load on it) for lactose digestion in developing rat pups. Specifically, we assessed the quantitative relationships between lactose load and the series capacities of lactase and the Na+-glucose cotransporter (SGLT-1). Both capacities increased significantly with age in suckling pups as a result of increasing intestinal mass and maintenance of mass-specific activities. The youngest pups examined (5 days) had surprisingly high safety factors of 8-13 for both lactase and SGLT-1, possibly because milk contains lactase substrates other than lactose; it also, however, suggests that their intestinal capacities were being prepared to meet future demands rather than just current ones. By day 10 (and also at day 15), increased lactose loads resulted in lower safety factors of 4-6, values more typical of adult intestines. The safety factor of SGLT-1 in day 30 (weanling) and day 100 (adult) rats was only approximately 1.0. This was initially unexpected, because most adult intestines maintain a modest reserve capacity beyond nutrient load values, but postweaning rats appear to use hindgut fermentation, assessed by gut morphology and hydrogen production assays, as a built-in reserve capacity. The series capacities of lactase and SGLT-1 varied in concert with each other over ontogeny and as lactose load was manipulated by experimental variation in litter size.  (+info)

Transcription of the pcbAB, pcbC and penDE genes of Penicillium chrysogenum AS-P-78 is repressed by glucose and the repression is not reversed by alkaline pHs. (5/1861)

Glucose repressed transcription of the penicillin biosynthesis genes pcbAB, pcbC and penDE when added at inoculation time to cultures of Penicillium chrysogenum AS-P-78 but it had little repressive effect when added at 12 h and no effect when added at 24 or 36 h. A slight increase in the expression of pcbC and penDE (and to a smaller extent of pcbAB) was observed in glucose-grown cultures at pH 6.8, 7.4 and 8.0 as compared with pH 6.2, but alkaline pHs did not override the strong repression exerted by glucose. Transcription of the actin gene used as control was not significantly affected by glucose or alkaline pHs. Repression by glucose of the three penicillin biosynthetic genes was also observed using the lacZ reporter gene coupled to each of the three promoters in monocopy transformants with the constructions integrated at the pyrG locus. Glucose repression of the three genes encoding enzymes of penicillin biosynthesis therefore appears to be exerted by a regulatory mechanism independent from pH regulation.  (+info)

Lectins as membrane components of mitochondria from Ricinus communis. (6/1861)

1. Mitochondria were isolated from developing endosperm of Ricinus communis and were fractionated into outer membrane and inner membrane. The relative purity of the two membrane fractions was determined by marker enzymes. The fractions were also examined by negative-stain electron microscopy. 2. Membrane fractions were sequentially extracted in the following way. (a) Suspension in 0.5M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1; (b)suspension in 0.1M-EDTA (disodium salt)/0.05M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1; (c) sonication in 0.05M-potassium phosphate, pH7.1;(d)sonication in aq. Triton X-100 (0.1%). The membranes were pelleted by centrifugation at 100 000g for 15 min, between each step. Agglutination activity in the extracts was investigated by using trypsin-treated rabbit erythrocytes. 3. The addition of lactose to inner mitochondrial membrane resulted in the solubilization of part of the lectin activity, indicating that the protein was attached to the membrane via its carbohydrate-binding site. Pretreatment of the membranes with lactose before tha usual extraction procedure showed that lactose could extract lectins that normally required more harsh treatment of the membrane for solubilization. 4. Lectins extracted from inner membranes were purified by affinity chromatography on agarose gel. Polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of purified samples in sodium dodecyl sulphate indicated that at least part of the lectin present in inner mitochondrial membrane was identical with the R. communis agglutinin of mol.wt. 120 000.  (+info)

Amino acid substitutions in a conserved region in the stalk of the Newcastle disease virus HN glycoprotein spike impair its neuraminidase activity in the globular domain. (7/1861)

The ectodomain of the paramyxovirus haemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) glycoprotein spike can be divided into two regions: a membrane-proximal, stalk-like structure and a terminal globular domain. The latter contains all the antibody recognition sites of the protein, as well as its receptor recognition and neuraminidase (NA) active sites. These two activities of the protein can be separated by monoclonal antibody functional inhibition studies and mutations in the globular domain. Herein, we show that mutation of several conserved residues in the stalk of the Newcastle disease virus HN protein markedly decrease its NA activity without a significant effect on receptor recognition. Thus, mutations in the stalk, distant from the NA active site in the globular domain, can also separate attachment and NA. These results add to an increasing body of evidence that the NA activity of this protein is dependent on an intact stalk structure.  (+info)

Effect of the hemolytic lectin CEL-III from Holothuroidea Cucumaria echinata on the ANS fluorescence responses in sensitive MDCK and resistant CHO cells. (8/1861)

The addition of CEL-III to sensitive MDCK cells preincubated with 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS) caused an increase in the fluorescence intensity of the probe. The increase in the ANS fluorescence caused by CEL-III was Ca2+-dependent and strongly inhibited by 0.1 M lactose, indicating that Ca2+-dependent binding of CEL-III to specific carbohydrate receptors on the plasma membrane is responsible for this phenomenon. In contrast, no significant effect of CEL-III on the ANS fluorescence was observed in CHO cells, which are highly resistant to CEL-III cytotoxicity. In MDCK cells, energy transfer from tryptophan residues to bound ANS molecules was observed in the presence of CEL-III, but not in CHO cells. Furthermore, the amount of ANS bound to MDCK cells increased as the concentration of CEL-III increased. Therefore, a simple interpretation is that the CEL-III-induced increase in ANS fluorescence is attributable to an increase of the hydrophobic region in the plasma membrane where ANS could bind. Immunoblotting analysis of proteins from cells treated with CEL-III indicated that CEL-III oligomers were irreversibly bound to the cells, and the amount of oligomer bound to MDCK cells was much greater than that bound to CHO cells under any conditions tested. The oligomerization may be accompanied by an enhancement of the hydrophobicity of CEL-III molecules, which in turn provides new ANS-binding sites. The difference in susceptibility of MDCK and CHO cells to CEL-III cytotoxicity may be due to a difference in oligomerization of bound CEL-III.  (+info)