Polymorphism in a cyclic parthenogenetic species: Simocephalus serrulatus. (1/1365)

A survey of sixteen isozyme loci using electrophoretic techniques was conducted for three isolated natural populations and one laboratory population of the cyclic parthenogenetic species, Simocephalus serrulatus. The proportion of polymorphic loci (33%-60%) and the average number of heterozygous loci per individual (6%-23%) in the three natural populations were found to be comparable to those found in most sexually reproducing organisms. Detailed analyses were made for one of these populations using five polymorphic loci. The results indicated that (1) seasonal changes in genotypic frequencies took place, (2) apomicitic parthenogenesis does not lead to genetic homogeneity, and (3) marked gametic disequilibrium at these five loci was present in the population, indicating that selection acted on coadapted groups of genes.  (+info)

Evolutionary relationships of pathogenic clones of Vibrio cholerae by sequence analysis of four housekeeping genes. (2/1365)

Studies of the Vibrio cholerae population, using molecular typing techniques, have shown the existence of several pathogenic clones, mainly sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones. However, the relationship of the pathogenic clones to environmental V. cholerae isolates remains unclear. A previous study to determine the phylogeny of V. cholerae by sequencing the asd (aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase) gene of V. cholerae showed that the sixth-pandemic, seventh-pandemic, and U.S. Gulf Coast clones had very different asd sequences which fell into separate lineages in the V. cholerae population. As gene trees drawn from a single gene may not reflect the true topology of the population, we sequenced the mdh (malate dehydrogenase) and hlyA (hemolysin A) genes from representatives of environmental and clinical isolates of V. cholerae and found that the mdh and hlyA sequences from the three pathogenic clones were identical, except for the previously reported 11-bp deletion in hlyA in the sixth-pandemic clone. Identical sequences were obtained, despite average nucleotide differences in the mdh and hlyA genes of 1.52 and 3.25%, respectively, among all the isolates, suggesting that the three pathogenic clones are closely related. To extend these observations, segments of the recA and dnaE genes were sequenced from a selection of the pathogenic isolates, where the sequences were either identical or substantially different between the clones. The results show that the three pathogenic clones are very closely related and that there has been a high level of recombination in their evolution.  (+info)

Activities of glucose metabolic enzymes in human preantral follicles: in vitro modulation by follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, epidermal growth factor, insulin-like growth factor I, and transforming growth factor beta1. (3/1365)

Modulation of glucose metabolic capacity of human preantral follicles in vitro by gonadotropins and intraovarian growth factors was evaluated by monitoring the activities of phosphofructokinase (PFK) and pyruvate kinase (PK), two regulatory enzymes of the glycolytic pathway, and malate dehydrogenase (MDH), a key mitochondrial enzyme of the Krebs cycle. Preantral follicles in classes 1 and 2 from premenopausal women were cultured separately in vitro in the absence or presence of FSH, LH, epidermal growth factor (EGF), insulin-like growth factor (IGF-I), or transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1) for 24 h. Mitochondrial fraction was separated from the cytosolic fraction, and both fractions were used for enzyme assays. FSH and LH significantly stimulated PFK and PK activities in class 1 and 2 follicles; however, a 170-fold increase in MDH activity was noted for class 2 follicles that were exposed to FSH. Although both EGF and TGFbeta1 stimulated glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzymes for class 1 preantral follicles, TGFbeta1 consistently stimulated the activities of both glycolytic enzymes more than that of EGF. IGF-I induced PK and MDH activities in class 1 follicles but negatively influenced PFK activity for class 1 follicles. In general, only gonadotropins consistently stimulated both glycolytic and Krebs cycle enzyme activities several-fold in class 2 follicles. These results suggest that gonadotropins and ovarian growth factors differentially influence follicular energy-producing capacity from glucose. Moreover, gonadotropins may either directly influence glucose metabolism in class 2 preantral follicles or do so indirectly through factors other than the well-known intraovarian growth factors. Because growth factors modulate granulosa cell mitosis and functionality, their role on energy production may be related to specific cellular activities.  (+info)

The use of variable lactate/malic dehydrogenase ratios to distinguish between progenitor cells of cartilage and bone in the embryonic chick. (4/1365)

The activities of LDH and MDH have been studied, both in differentiated cartilage and bone from the embryonic chick, and in the pool of mixed osteogenic and chondrogenic stem cells found on the quadratojugal, a membrane bone. In confirmation of the model proposed by Reddi & Huggins (1971) we found that the LDH/MDH ratio was greater than 1 in cartilage and less than 1 in bone. Furthermore we established, for the first time, that ratios occurred in the chondrogenic and osteogenic stem cells, similar to the ratios in their differentiated counterparts. Alteration in LDH/MDH resulted from variations in the level of LDH/mug protein. MDH/mug protein remained constant, even when LDH/MDH was changing. We interpret these results in terms of adaptation of chondrogenic progenitor cells for anaerobic metabolism and anticipate that our model will be applicable to other skeletal systems where stem cells are being studied.  (+info)

The internal Cys-207 of sorghum leaf NADP-malate dehydrogenase can form mixed disulphides with thioredoxin. (5/1365)

The role of the internal Cys-207 of sorghum NADP-malate dehydrogenase (NADP-MDH) in the activation of the enzyme has been investigated through the examination of the ability of this residue to form mixed disulphides with thioredoxin mutated at either of its two active-site cysteines. The h-type Chlamydomonas thioredoxin was used, because it has no additional cysteines in the primary sequence besides the active-site cysteines. Both thioredoxin mutants proved equally efficient in forming mixed disulphides with an NADP-MDH devoid of its N-terminal bridge either by truncation, or by mutation of its N-terminal cysteines. They were poorly efficient with the more compact WT oxidised NADP-MDH. Upon mutation of Cys-207, no mixed disulphide could be formed, showing that this cysteine is the only one, among the four internal cysteines, which can form mixed disulphides with thioredoxin. These experiments confirm that the opening of the N-terminal disulphide loosens the interaction between subunits, making Cys-207, located at the dimer contact area, more accessible.  (+info)

Relationships between environmental organochlorine contaminant residues, plasma corticosterone concentrations, and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in Great Lakes herring gull embryos. (6/1365)

Experiments were conducted to survey and detect differences in plasma corticosterone concentrations and intermediary metabolic enzyme activities in herring gull (Larus argentatus) embryos environmentally exposed to organochlorine contaminants in ovo. Unincubated fertile herring gull eggs were collected from an Atlantic coast control site and various Great Lakes sites in 1997 and artificially incubated in the laboratory. Liver and/or kidney tissues from approximately half of the late-stage embryos were analyzed for the activities of various intermediary metabolic enzymes known to be regulated, at least in part, by corticosteroids. Basal plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined for the remaining embryos. Yolk sacs were collected from each embryo and a subset was analyzed for organochlorine contaminants. Regression analysis of individual yolk sac organochlorine residue concentrations, or 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin equivalents (TEQs), with individual basal plasma corticosterone concentrations indicated statistically significant inverse relationships for polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDDs/PCDFs), total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), non-ortho PCBs, and TEQs. Similarly, inverse relationships were observed for the activities of two intermediary metabolic enzymes (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and malic enzyme) when regressed against PCDDs/PCDFs. Overall, these data suggest that current levels of organochlorine contamination may be affecting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and associated intermediary metabolic pathways in environmentally exposed herring gull embryos in the Great Lakes.  (+info)

Two-dimensional electrophoresis of Malassezia allergens for atopic dermatitis and isolation of Mal f 4 homologs with mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase. (7/1365)

The yeast Malassezia furfur is a natural inhabitant of the human skin microflora that induces an allergic reaction in atopic dermatitis. To identify allergens of M. furfur, we separated a crude preparation of M. furfur antigens as discrete spots by 2-D PAGE and detected IgE-binding proteins using sera of atopic dermatitis patients. We identified the known allergens, Mal f 2 and Mal f 3, and determined N-terminal amino acid sequences of six new IgE-binding proteins including Mal f 4. The cDNA and genomic DNA encoding Mal f 4 were cloned and sequenced. The gene was mitochondrial malate dehydrogenase and encoded Mal f 4 composed of 315 amino acids and a signal sequence of 27 amino acids. We purified Mal f 4, which had a molecular mass of 35 kDa from a membrane fraction of a lysate of cultured cells. Thirty of 36 M. furfur-allergic atopic dermatitis patients (83.3%) had elevated serum levels of IgE to purified Mal f 4, indicating that Mal f 4 is a major allergen. There was a significant correlation of the Phadebas RAST unit values of Mal f 4 and the crude antigen, but not between Mal f 4 and the known allergen Mal f 2.  (+info)

Transcriptional regulation of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe malic enzyme gene, mae2. (8/1365)

The NAD-dependent malic enzyme from Schizosaccharomyces pombe catalyzes the oxidative decarboxylation of L-malate to pyruvate and CO2. Transcription of the S. pombe malic enzyme gene, mae2, was studied to elucidate the regulatory mechanisms involved in the expression of the gene. No evidence for substrate-induced expression of mae2 was observed in the presence of 0.2% L-malate. However, transcription of mae2 was induced when cells were grown in high concentrations of glucose or under anaerobic conditions. The increased levels of malic enzyme may provide additional pyruvate or assist in maintaining the redox potential under fermentative conditions. Deletion and mutation analyses of the 5'-flanking region of the mae2 gene revealed the presence of three novel negative cis-acting elements, URS1, URS2, and URS3, that seem to function cooperatively to repress transcription of the mae2 gene. URS1 and URS2 are also present in the promoter region of the S. pombe malate transporter gene, suggesting co-regulation of their expression. Furthermore, two positive cis-acting elements in the mae2 promoter, UAS1 and UAS2, show homology with the DNA recognition sites of the cAMP-dependent transcription factors ADR1, AP-2, and ATF (activating transcription factor)/CREB (cAMP response element binding).  (+info)