Immunoreactive pancreatic Reg protein in sera from cystic fibrosis patients with and without pancreatic insufficiency.
BACKGROUND: The biological function of the Reg protein, a non-enzymic protein produced in fairly large amounts by pancreatic acinar cells, remains elusive. Its susceptibility to proteolysis leading to precipitation of the proteolysis product at neutral pH suggests that it could contribute to the protein plugging observed in cystic fibrosis (CF). AIMS: To study its behaviour in the serum of CF patients with or without pancreatic insufficiency and to compare it with that of other pancreatic secretory proteins. PATIENTS: 170 patients (93 with CF, 55 controls, and 22 with chronic pancreatitis) were studied. METHODS: Reg protein was measured using a specific enzyme immunoassay and its molecular form in CF sera was characterised by gel filtration. Molecular gene expression was investigated by dot-blot hybridisation. RESULTS: Reg protein was present in all CF sera studied from patients with or without pancreatic insufficiency, and in all cases the level was significantly higher than in controls. Its chromatographic behaviour in CF sera was identical with that of the protein present in normal serum. No correlation was found between the levels of Reg protein and trypsin(ogen) (or lipase) in CF, nor in control sera or normal pancreatic juice. Molecular gene expression of the corresponding proteins investigated in pancreatic tissues showed an absence of correlation between the mRNA levels. CONCLUSIONS: Reg protein may not be a secretory exocrine protein like the digestive enzymes but rather a hormone-like secretory substance with an endocrine or paracrine function. (+info)
Biophysical characterization of lithostathine. Evidences for a polymeric structure at physiological pH and a proteolysis mechanism leading to the formation of fibrils.
Lithostathine is a calcium carbonate crystal habit modifier. It is found precipitated under the form of fibrils in chronic calcifying pancreatitis or Alzheimer's disease. In order to gain better insight into the nature and the formation of fibrils, we have expressed and purified recombinant lithostathine. Analytical ultracentrifugation and quasi-elastic light scattering techniques were used to demonstrate that lithostathine remains essentially monomeric at acidic pH while it aggregates at physiological pH. Analysis of these aggregates by electron microscopy showed an apparently unorganized structure of numerous monomers which tend to precipitate forming regular unbranched fibrils. Aggregated forms seem to occur prior to the apparition of fibrils. In addition, we have demonstrated that these fibrils resulted from a proteolysis mechanism due to a specific cleavage of the Arg(11)-Ile(12) peptide bond. It is deduced that the NH(2)-terminal undecapeptide of lithostathine normally impedes fiber formation but not aggregation. A theoretical model explaining the formation of amyloid plaques in neurodegenerative diseases or stones in lithiasis starting from lithostathine is described. Therefore we propose that lithostathine, whose major function is unknown, defines a new class of molecules which is activated by proteolysis and is not involved in cytoskeleton nor intermediate filament functions. (+info)
Serum reg protein level is not related to the beta cell destruction/regeneration process during early phases of diabetogenesis in type I diabetes.
OBJECTIVE: In type I diabetes mellitus, early markers of beta cell damage are needed in order to detect the infraclinical development of the disease. The reg protein may be a good candidate, as the reg gene has been proposed to play a role in the pancreatic beta cell destruction/regeneration process during diabetogenesis in animal models of autoimmune diabetes. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis whether serum reg protein level could be representative of either the destructive or regenerative process at the beta cell level during the early phases of type I diabetes in humans. DESIGN AND METHODS: We used a highly specific immunoassay to measure serum reg protein level in controls and in three groups of either diabetes prone or diabetic subjects: recently diagnosed diabetic patients, long-standing diabetic patients and islet cell antibody-positive non-diabetic subjects. RESULTS: We found no significant difference between the values observed in these three groups in comparison with control group (90.7+/-18.1ng/ml, 83.1+/-5.6ng/ml, 98.7+/-24.5ng/ml vs 85.5+/- 5.6ng/ml respectively). Moreover, when the insulin reserve was evaluated at 6 months in the recently diagnosed group, serum reg protein levels were not different between patients with or without residual insulin secretion (at onset: 103+/-42 vs 70.3+/-8. 5ng/ml respectively; at 6 months: 79.7+/-25.8ng/ml vs 81.6+/-15ng/ml respectively). In contrast, trypsin levels were significantly lower in every group of diabetic patients. Results were expressed as means +/- S.E.M. and groups compared by Student's t-test (P<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that serum reg protein level cannot be used as a marker for the progression of the diabetogenic process in type I diabetes. (+info)
Molecular cloning and tissue-specific expression of a new member of the regenerating protein family, islet neogenesis-associated protein-related protein.
Islet neogenesis-associated protein (INGAP) is a protein expressed during islet neogenesis. We have cloned a novel cDNA having a similar sequence to INGAP cDNA. The cDNA encodes 175 amino acids designated INGAP-related protein (INGAPrP). INGAP is expressed in cellophane-wrapped pancreas, but not in normal pancreas, whereas INGAPrP was abundantly expressed in normal pancreas. (+info)
Expression of Reg and cytokeratin 20 during ductal cell differentiation and proliferation in a mouse model of autoimmune diabetes.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the existence of beta-cell differentiation and proliferation in the low-dose streptozotocin (ld-STZ) mouse model of autoimmune diabetes. DESIGN: We studied the expression of Reg protein and cytokeratin 20 (CK20), the presence of proliferative phenomena (judged by the incorporation of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)), and the co-expression of Reg, CK20 or BrdU with insulin. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Diabetes was induced in male C57Bl6/J mice by administration of ld-STZ. The animals were killed at days 10 and 23 from the beginning of the induction of disease. Five animals were used at each time point and each group was evaluated for blood glucose concentrations, insulitis, expression of Reg and CK20 pancreatic proteins and BrdU incorporation, together with staining for insulin by immunohistochemistry and laser confocal microscopy. RESULTS: All mice treated with ld-STZ were hyperglycemic and histological investigation showed a mild or severe insulitis both at day 10 and at day 23. At day 10, immunochemistry revealed an intense expression of Reg and CK20 in pancreatic ducts in ld-STZ mice, but not in control mice. Reg and CK20 immunoreactive cells were also positive for insulin. In contrast, at day 23, pancreatic sections reacted weakly with anti-Reg and anti-CK20 antibody; co-localization with insulin was observed for both Reg and CK20. The incorporation of BrdU was observed only in insulin-positive cells in pancreatic sections from mice killed at day 10. CONCLUSIONS: These observations show an islet regeneration mechanism in response to an autoimmune attack, and that the ld-STZ mouse is a suitable model in which to evaluate intervention strategies. (+info)
Mechanism of calcite crystal growth inhibition by the N-terminal undecapeptide of lithostathine.
Pancreatic juice is supersaturated with calcium carbonate. Calcite crystals therefore may occur, obstruct pancreatic ducts, and finally cause a lithiasis. Human lithostathine, a protein synthesized by the pancreas, inhibits the growth of calcite crystals by inducing a habit modification: the rhombohedral (10 14) usual habit is transformed into a needle-like habit through the (11 0) crystal form. A similar observation was made with the N-terminal undecapeptide (pE(1)R(11)) of lithostathine. We therefore aimed at discovering how peptides inhibit calcium salt crystal growth. We solved the complete x-ray structure of lithostathine, including the flexible N-terminal domain, at 1.3 A. Docking studies of pE(1)R(11) with the (10 14) and (11 0) faces through molecular dynamics simulation resulted in three successive steps. First, the undecapeptide progressively unfolded as it approached the calcite surface. Second, mobile lateral chains of amino acids made hydrogen bonds with the calcite surface. Last, electrostatic bonds between calcium ions and peptide bonds stabilized and anchored pE(1)R(11) on the crystal surface. pE(1)R(11)-calcite interaction was stronger with the (11 0) face than with the (10 14) face, confirming earlier experimental observations. Energy contributions showed that the peptide backbone governed the binding more than did the lateral chains. The ability of peptides to inhibit crystal growth is therefore essentially based on backbone flexibility. (+info)
Identification of a receptor for reg (regenerating gene) protein, a pancreatic beta-cell regeneration factor.
Reg (regenerating gene) was isolated as a gene specifically expressed in regenerating islets (Terazono, K., Yamamoto, H., Takasawa, S., Shiga, K., Yonemura, Y., Tochino, Y., and Okamoto, H. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 2111-2114). Rat and human Reg gene products, Reg/REG proteins, have been demonstrated to stimulate islet beta-cell growth in vitro and in vivo and to ameliorate experimental diabetes. In the present study, we isolated a cDNA for the Reg protein receptor from a rat islet cDNA library. The cDNA encoded a cell surface 919-amino acid protein, and the cells into which the cDNA had been introduced bound Reg protein with high affinity. When the cDNA was introduced into RINm5F cells, a pancreatic beta-cell line that shows Reg-dependent growth, the transformants exhibited significant increases in the incorporation of 5'-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine as well as in the cell numbers in response to Reg protein. A homology search revealed that the cDNA is a homologue to a human multiple exostoses-like gene, the function of which has hitherto been unknown. These results strongly suggest that the receptor is encoded by the exostoses-like gene and mediates a growth signal of Reg protein for beta-cell regeneration. (+info)
Death from early colorectal cancer is predicted by the presence of transcripts of the REG gene family.
An intrinsic component of colorectal carcinogenesis may be the capacity to activate regenerative responses simultaneously with inhibition of apoptosis. Since apoptosis is known to be inhibited in colorectal cancer, this study sought evidence for the activation of the REG family of genes which are considered to be activated during regeneration of intestinal mucosa. Transcripts for the REG gene were found in 53% of colorectal cancers and for the PAP gene in 60% of colorectal cancers, by RT-PCR. Using in situ hybridization, the REG transcripts were found to be present in the tumour cells themselves rather than inflammatory or stromal cells. There were no significant correlations between the expression of these two genes and tumour stage, age or sex of the patient population or tumour site. However, in patients with non-metastatic disease who underwent ostensibly curative surgery, the expression of REG alone and co-expression of REG with PAP had a highly significantly adverse effect on survival. These data provide support for the concept that, in some tumours, carcinogenesis involves a regenerative process which co-exists with apoptotic inhibition and may provide a valuable selective indicator of the need for adjuvant therapy in those patients with early-stage colorectal cancer whose disease is destined to recur after curative surgery. (+info)