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(1/1719) Properties of non-polymerizable tropomyosin obtained by carboxypeptidase A digestion.

Tropomyosin digested with carboxypeptidase A [EC 3.4.12.2] (CTM) shows a lower viscosity than the undigested protein in solution. From the relation between the viscosity decrease and the amount of amino acids liberated from the carboxyl terminus during this digestion, it is inferred that loss of the tri-peptide-Thr-Ser-Ile from the C-terminus is responsible for the decrease in viscosity. The secondary structure of -TM was not affected by the digestion according to circular dichroic measurements. The viscosity of CTM did not increase in methanol-water mixtures, whereas that of tropomyosin increased markedly. These results indicate that polymerizability was lost upon the removal of a small peptide from the C-terminus without change in the secondary structure. A decrease in the viscosity of tropomyosin solutions was observed on the addition of CTM, indicating that CTM interacts with intact tropomyosin. The dependence of the viscosity decrease on the amount of CTM showed that CTM binds tropomyosin in a one-to-one ratio as a result of end-to-end interaction. Since paracrystals having a 400 A repeated band structure could be grown in the presence of Mg ions at neutral pH, side-by-side interactions in CTM molecules remain intact, even though polymerizability is lost. The disc gel electrophoretic pattern showed that troponin could bind to CTM, but no increase in viscosity due to the complex was observed in solution. That is, the C-terminal part of tropomyosin is not required for the formation of the complex. The amount of CTM bound to F-actin was less than half of that bound to undigested tropomyosin, and could be reduced to one-tenth by a washing procedure. In the presence of troponin, however, the amount recovered to the level of tropomyosin normally bound to F-actin. Therefore, it is concluded that troponin is bound in the middle of the tropomyosin molecule and strengthens the binding of tropomyosin to F-actin.  (+info)

(2/1719) Immunofluorescence detection of ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) proteins with their carboxyl-terminal threonine phosphorylated in cultured cells and tissues.

Ezrin/radixin/moesin (ERM) proteins are thought to play an important role in organizing cortical actin-based cytoskeletons through cross-linkage of actin filaments with integral membrane proteins. Recent in vitro biochemical studies have revealed that ERM proteins phosphorylated on their COOH-terminal threonine residue (CPERMs) are active in their cross-linking activity, but this has not yet been evaluated in vivo. To immunofluorescently visualize CPERMs in cultured cells as well as tissues using a mAb specific for CPERMs, we developed a new fixation protocol using trichloroacetic acid (TCA) as a fixative. Immunoblotting analyses in combination with immunofluorescence microscopy showed that TCA effectively inactivated soluble phosphatases, which maintained the phosphorylation level of CPERMs during sample processing for immunofluorescence staining. Immunofluorescence microscopy with TCA-fixed samples revealed that CPERMs were exclusively associated with plasma membranes in a variety of cells and tissues, whereas total ERM proteins were distributed in both the cytoplasm and plasma membranes. Furthermore, the amounts of CPERMs were shown to be regulated in a cell and tissue type-dependent manner. These findings favored the notion that phosphorylation of the COOH-terminal threonine plays a key role in the regulation of the cross-linking activity of ERM proteins in vivo.  (+info)

(3/1719) Formate-induced inhibition of photoreceptor function in methanol intoxication.

Formic acid is the toxic metabolite responsible for the retinal and optic nerve toxicity produced in methanol intoxication. Previous studies in our laboratory have documented formate-induced retinal dysfunction and histopathology in a rodent model of methanol intoxication. The present studies define the time and concentration dependence of formate-induced retinal toxicity in methanol-intoxicated rats. Retinal function was assessed 24, 48, and 72 h after the initial dose of methanol by flicker electroretinographic measurements. Retinal histopathology was assessed at the same time intervals. Rod- and cone-mediated electroretinogram (ERG) responses were attenuated in a formate concentration- and time-dependent manner, and both retinal sensitivity and maximal responsiveness to light were diminished. Attenuation of UV-cone-mediated responses was temporally delayed in comparison to the functional deficits observed in the 15 Hz/510 nm responses, which have a rod-mediated component and occurred at significantly higher formate concentrations. Both 15 Hz/510 nm and UV-cone-mediated ERG responses were undetectable by 72 h; however, if light intensity was increased, a retinal ERG response could be recorded, indicating that photoreceptor function was profoundly attenuated, but not abolished, under these intoxication conditions. Functional changes preceded structural alterations. Histopathological changes were most pronounced in the outer retina with evidence of inner segment swelling, photoreceptor mitochondrial disruption, and the appearance of fragmented photoreceptor nuclei in the outer nuclear layer. The nature of both the functional and structural alterations observed are consistent with formate-induced inhibition of mitochondrial energy production, resulting in photoreceptor dysfunction and pathology.  (+info)

(4/1719) Positive selection of novel peroxisome biogenesis-defective mutants of the yeast Pichia pastoris.

We have developed two novel schemes for the direct selection of peroxisome-biogenesis-defective (pex) mutants of the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. Both schemes take advantage of our observation that methanol-induced pex mutants contain little or no alcohol oxidase (AOX) activity. AOX is a peroxisomal matrix enzyme that catalyzes the first step in the methanol-utilization pathway. One scheme utilizes allyl alcohol, a compound that is not toxic to cells but is oxidized by AOX to acrolein, a compound that is toxic. Exposure of mutagenized populations of AOX-induced cells to allyl alcohol selectively kills AOX-containing cells. However, pex mutants without AOX are able to grow. The second scheme utilizes a P. pastoris strain that is defective in formaldehyde dehydrogenase (FLD), a methanol pathway enzyme required to metabolize formaldehyde, the product of AOX. AOX-induced cells of fld1 strains are sensitive to methanol because of the accumulation of formaldehyde. However, fld1 pex mutants, with little active AOX, do not efficiently oxidize methanol to formaldehyde and therefore are not sensitive to methanol. Using these selections, new pex mutant alleles in previously identified PEX genes have been isolated along with mutants in three previously unidentified PEX groups.  (+info)

(5/1719) Distribution of gangliosides, GM1 and GM3, in the rat oviduct.

It is known that gangliosides, being ubiquitous membrane components, play important roles in cell-cell recognition, differentiation and transmembrane signalling. GM3, GM1 and GD1a were detected in the rat oviduct as major gangliosides by thin-layer chromatography (TLC) analysis. The total amounts of gangliosides from the oviducts at various times after hormone injection were not much changed. In order to identify their distribution and possible changes during ovulation, frozen sections of the rat oviducts were stained with specific monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against the ganglio-series gangliosides. GM3 and GM1 were expressed in a different manner, but GD1a and other gangliosides were not immunohistochemically detected. In the ampullar region, GM3 was expressed in all the stroma and epithelial cells, but not GM1. GM1 was also not observed in epithelial cells. Staining by anti-GM1 monoclonal antibodies revealed long and minute thread-like structures in some of the stroma cells, whereas anti-GM3 monoclonal antibodies stained the entire cytoplasm, but not the nucleus, of all the stroma and epithelial cells. Other ganglio-series gangliosides, including GD1a, were not detected to some extent in the ampullar region by immunohistochemistry. Thus, these data suggest that GM3 and GM1 are oviduct-specific gangliosides.  (+info)

(6/1719) Effects of nickel and cobalt on kinetics of methanol conversion by methanogenic sludge as assessed by on-line CH4 monitoring.

When metals were added in a pulse mode to methylotrophic-methanogenic biomass, three methane production rate phases were recognized. Increased concentrations of Ni and Co accelerated the initial exponential and final arithmetic increases in the methane production rate and reduced the temporary decrease in the rate. When Ni and Co were added continuously, the temporary decrease phase was eliminated and the exponential production rate increased. We hypothesize that the temporary decrease in the methane production rate and the final arithmetic increase in the methane production rate were due to micronutrient limitations and that the precipitation-dissolution kinetics of metal sulfides may play a key role in the biovailability of these compounds.  (+info)

(7/1719) Antimalarial activities of various 4-pyridinemethanols with special attention to WR-172,435 and WR-180,409.

Pilot appraisals of the activities of 10 specially selected 2,6-substituted-4-pyridinemethanols against acute Plasmodium falciparum infections in owl monkeys identified three derivatives that were two to three times as active as chloroquine against infections with a 4-aminoquinoline-susceptible strain and, at the same doses, were equally effective against infections with a strain fully resistant to treatment with maximally tolerated doses of chloroquine, quinine, and pyrimethamine. Two of these derivatives, WR-172,435 and WR-180,409, deemed worthy of evaluation in human volunteers, were studied in greater depth in owl monkeys infected with either the multidrug-resistant Smith strain of P. falciparum or the pyrimethamine-resistant Palo Alto strain of P. vivax. These studies showed (i) that at the same total oral dose, 3-day and 7-day treatment schedules were equally effective and slightly superior to a single-dose schedule; (ii) that WR-172,435 was slightly more active than WR-180,409 in each treatment regimen; (iii) that intravenous delivery of WR-180,409 phosphate was feasible and effective; (iv) that both compounds effected control of parasitemia more rapidly than any standard or newly discovered antimalarial drug; and (v) that WR-172,435 and WR-180,409 had therapeutic indexes at least four to eight times those exhibited by chloroquine in infections with 4-aminoquinoline-susceptible strains, indexes retained by these pyridinemethanols against infections with various drug-resistant strains.  (+info)

(8/1719) Microbial oxidation of methane and methanol: isolation of methane-utilizing bacteria and characterization of a facultative methane-utilizing isolate.

A methane-utilizing organism capable of growth both on methane and on more complex organic substrates as a sole source of carbon and energy, has been isolated and studied in detail. Suspensions of methane-grown cells of this organism oxidized C-1 compounds (methane, methanol, formaldehyde, formate); hydrocarbons (ethane, propane); primary alcohols (ethanol, propanol); primary aldehydes (acetaldehyde, propionaldehyde); alkenes (ethylene, propylene); dimethylether; and organic acids (acetate, malate, succinate, isocitrate). Suspensions of methanol-or succinate-grown cells did not oxidize methane, ethane, propane, ethylene, propylene, or dimethylether, suggesting that the enzymatic systems required for oxidation of these substrates are induced only during growth on methane. Extracts of methane-grown cells contained a particulate reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-dependent methane monooxygenase activity. Oxidation of methanol, formaldehyde, and primary alcohols was catalyzed by a phenazine methosulfate-linked, ammonium ion-requiring methanol dehydrogenase. Oxidation of primary aldehydes was catalyzed by a phenazine methosulfate-linked, ammonium ion-independent aldehyde dehydrogenase. Formate was oxidized by a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-specific formate dehydrogenase. Extracts of methane-grown, but not succinate-grown, cells contained the key enzymes of the serine pathway, hydroxypyruvate reductase and malate lyase, indicating that the enzymes of C-1 assimilation are induced only during growth on C-1 compounds. Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase was induced during growth on glucose. Extracts of methane-grown cells contained low levels of enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, including alpha-keto glutarate dehydrogenase, relative to the levels found during growth on succinate.  (+info)