Ca2+ sensitization of smooth muscle contractility induced by ruthenium red. (1/396)

The effects of ruthenium red (RuR) on contractility were examined in skinned fibers of guinea pig smooth muscles, where sarcoplasmic reticulum function was destroyed by treatment with A-23187. Contractions of skinned fibers of the urinary bladder were enhanced by RuR in a concentration-dependent manner (EC50 = 60 microM at pCa 6.0). The magnitude of contraction at pCa 6.0 was increased to 320% of control by 100 microM RuR. Qualitatively, the same results were obtained in skinned fibers prepared from the ileal longitudinal smooth muscle layer and mesenteric artery. The maximal contraction induced by pCa 4.5 was not affected significantly by RuR. The enhanced contraction by RuR was not reversed by the addition of guanosine 5'-O-(2-thiodiphosphate) or a peptide inhibitor of protein kinase C [PKC-(19-31)]. The application of microcystin, a potent protein phosphatase inhibitor, induced a tonic contraction of skinned smooth muscle at low Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]; pCa > 8.0). RuR had a dual effect on the microcystin-induced contraction-to- enhancement ratio at low concentrations and suppression at high concentrations. The relaxation following the decrease in [Ca2+] from pCa 5.0 to >8.0 was significantly slowed down by an addition of RuR. Phosphorylation of the myosin light chain at pCa 6.3 was significantly increased by RuR in skinned fibers of the guinea pig ileum. These results indicate that RuR markedly increases the Ca2+ sensitivity of the contractile system, at least in part via inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase.  (+info)

Cyanobacterial PPP family protein phosphatases possess multifunctional capabilities and are resistant to microcystin-LR. (2/396)

The structural gene for a putative PPP family protein-serine/threonine phosphatase from the microcystin-producing cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7820, pp1-cyano1, was cloned. The sequence of the predicted gene product, PP1-cyano1, was 98% identical to that of the predicted product of an open reading frame, pp1-cyano2, from a cyanobacterium that does not produce microcystins, M. aeruginosa UTEX 2063. By contrast, PP1-cyano1 displayed less than 20% identity with other PPP family protein phosphatases from eukaryotic, archaeal, or other bacterial organisms. PP1-cyano1 and PP1-cyano2 were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Both enzymes exhibited divalent metal dependent phosphohydrolase activity in vitro toward phosphoserine- and phosphotyrosine-containing proteins and 3-phosphohistidine- and phospholysine-containing amino acid homopolymers. This multifunctional potential also was apparent in samples of PP1-cyano1 and PP1-cyano2 isolated from M. aeruginosa. Catalytic activity was insensitive to okadaic acid or the cyanobacterially produced cyclic heptapeptide, microcystin-LR, both potent inhibitors of mammalian PP1 and PP2A. PP1-cyano1 and PP1-cyano2 displayed diadenosine tetraphosphatase activity in vitro. Diadenosine tetraphosphatases share conserved sequence features with PPP family protein phosphatases. The diadenosine tetraphosphatase activity of PP1-cyano1 and PP1-cyano2 confirms that these enzymes share a common catalytic mechanism.  (+info)

Ca2+-independent phosphorylation of myosin in rat caudal artery and chicken gizzard myofilaments. (3/396)

1. Smooth muscle contraction is activated primarily by the Ca2+-calmodulin (CaM)-dependent phosphorylation of the 20 kDa light chains (LC20) of myosin. Activation can also occur in some instances without a change in intracellular free [Ca2+] or indeed in a Ca2+-independent manner. These signalling pathways often involve inhibition of myosin light chain phosphatase and unmasking of basal kinase activity leading to LC20 phosphorylation and contraction. 2. We have used demembranated rat caudal arterial smooth muscle strips and isolated chicken gizzard myofilaments in conjunction with the phosphatase inhibitor microcystin-LR to investigate the mechanism of Ca2+-independent phosphorylation of LC20 and contraction. 3. Treatment of Triton X-100-demembranated rat caudal arterial smooth muscle strips with microcystin at pCa 9 triggered a concentration-dependent contraction that was slower than that induced by pCa 4.5 or 6 but reached comparable steady-state levels of tension. 4. This Ca2+-independent, microcystin-induced contraction correlated with phosphorylation of LC20 at serine-19 and threonine-18. 5. Whereas Ca2+-dependent LC20 phosphorylation and contraction were inhibited by a synthetic peptide (AV25) based on the autoinhibitory domain of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), Ca2+-independent, microcystin-induced LC20 phosphorylation and contraction were resistant to AV25. 6. Ca2+-independent LC20 kinase activity was also detected in chicken gizzard smooth muscle myofilaments and catalysed phosphorylation of endogenous myosin LC20 at serine-19 and/or threonine-18. This is in contrast to MLCK which phosphorylates threonine-18 only after prior phosphorylation of serine-19. 7. Gizzard Ca2+-independent LC20 kinase could be separated from MLCK by differential extraction from myofilaments and by CaM affinity chromatography. Its activity was resistant to AV25. 8. We conclude that inhibition of smooth muscle myosin light chain phosphatase (MLCP) unmasks the activity of a Ca2+-independent LC20 kinase associated with the myofilaments and distinct from MLCK. This kinase, therefore, probably plays a role in Ca2+ sensitization and Ca2+-independent contraction of smooth muscle in response to stimuli that act via Ca2+-independent pathways, leading to inhibition of MLCP.  (+info)

Effects of microcystins on phosphorylase-a binding to phosphatase-2A: kinetic analysis by surface plasmon resonance biosensor. (4/396)

Cyclic heptapeptide microcystins are a group of hepatoxicants which exert the cytotoxic effects by inhibiting the catalytic activities of phosphatase-2A (PP-2A) and phosphatase-1 (PP-1) and thus disrupt the normal signal transduction pathways. Microcystins interact with PP-2A and PP-1 by a two-step mechanism involving rapid binding and inactivation of protein phosphatase catalytic subunit, followed by a slower covalent interaction. It was proposed that inactivation of PP-2A/PP-1 catalytic activity by microcystins precedes covalent adduct formation. In this study, we used a biosensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to examine the effects of three microcystins, MCLR, MCRR and MCYR, on the binding between PP-2A and its substrate, phosphorylase-a (PL-a), during the first step of the interaction. The SPR biosensor provides real-time information on the association and dissociation kinetics of PL-a with immobilized PP-2A in the absence and presence of microcystins. It was found that the affinity of PL-a to microcystin-bound PP-2A was four times smaller compared to unbound PP-2A, due to 50% decreases in the association rates and two-fold increases in dissociation rates of PL-a binding to PP-2A. The results suggest that the rapid binding of microcystins to the PP-2A catalytic site leads to the formation of a noncovalent microcystin/PP-2A adduct. While the adduct formation fully inhibits the catalytic activity of PP-2A, it only results in partial inhibition of the substrate binding. The similar effects of the three microcystins on PP-2A suggest that the toxins bind to PP-2A at the same site and cause similar conformational changes. The present work also demonstrates the potential application of biosensor technology in environmental toxicological research.  (+info)

Association of the type 1 protein phosphatase PP1 with the A-kinase anchoring protein AKAP220. (5/396)

The cyclic AMP (cAMP)-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and the type 1 protein phosphatase (PP1) are broad-specificity signaling enzymes with opposing actions that catalyze changes in the phosphorylation state of cellular proteins. Subcellular targeting to the vicinity of preferred substrates is a means of restricting the specificity of each enzyme [1] [2]. Compartmentalization of the PKA holoenzyme is mediated through association of the regulatory subunits with A-kinase anchoring proteins (AKAPs), whereas a diverse family of phosphatase-targeting subunits directs the location of the PP1 catalytic subunit (PP1c) [3] [4]. Here, we demonstrate that the PKA-anchoring protein, AKAP220, binds PP1c with a dissociation constant (KD) of 12.1 +/- 4 nM in vitro. Immunoprecipitation of PP1 from cell extracts resulted in a 10.4 +/- 3.8-fold enrichment of PKA activity. AKAP220 co-purified with PP1c by affinity chromatography on microcystin sepharos Immunocytochemical analysis demonstrated that the kinase, the phosphatase and the anchoring protein had distinct but overlapping staining patterns in rat hippocampal neurons. Collectively, these results provide the first evidence that AKAP220 is a multivalent anchoring protein that maintains a signaling scaffold of PP1 and the PKA holoenzyme.  (+info)

A constitutively "phosphorylated" guanylyl cyclase-linked atrial natriuretic peptide receptor mutant is resistant to desensitization. (6/396)

Dephosphorylation of the natriuretic peptide receptor-A (NPR-A) is hypothesized to mediate its desensitization in response to atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP) binding. Recently, we identified six phosphorylation sites within the kinase homology domain of NPR-A and determined that the conversion of these residues to alanine abolished the ability of the receptor to be phosphorylated or to be activated by ANP and ATP. In an attempt to generate a form of NPR-A that mimics a fully phosphorylated receptor but that is resistant to dephosphorylation, we engineered a receptor variant (NPR-A-6E) containing glutamate substitutions at all six phosphorylation sites. Consistent with the known ability of negatively charged glutamate residues to substitute functionally, in some cases, for phosphorylated residues, we found that NPR-A-6E was activated 10-fold by ANP and ATP. As determined by guanylyl cyclase assays, the hormone-stimulated activity of the wild-type receptor declined over time in membrane preparations in vitro, and this loss was blocked by the serine/threonine protein phosphatase inhibitor microcystin. In contrast, the activity of NPR-A-6E was more linear with time and was unaffected by microcystin. The nonhydrolyzable ATP analogue adenosine 5'-(beta,gamma-imino)-triphosphate was half as effective as ATP in stimulating the wild-type receptor but was equally as potent in stimulating NPR-A-6E, suggesting that ATP is required to keep the wild-type but not 6E variant phosphorylated. Finally, the desensitization of NPR-A-6E in whole cells was markedly blunted compared with that of the wild-type receptor, consistent with its inability to shed the negative charge from its kinase homology domain via dephosphorylation. These data provide the first direct test of the requirement for dephosphorylation in guanylyl cyclase desensitization and they indicate that it is an essential component of this process.  (+info)

Mitotic aberrations induced by carbaryl reflect tyrosine kinase inhibition with coincident up-regulation of serine/threonine protein phosphatase activity: implications for coordination of karyokinesis and cytokinesis. (7/396)

The insecticide carbaryl and its metabolite 1-naphthol cause partial uncoupling of karyokinesis and cytokinesis in V79 Chinese hamster fibroblasts; karyokinesis is blocked in metaphase, the microtubules of the spindle depolymerize and the chromosomes and spindle remnants become displaced to the periphery of the cell. A high frequency of these disturbed cells elongate and a smaller fraction initiate a cleavage furrow. Here, we attempt to determine the potential targets for carbaryl and 1-naphthol in cytokinesis-specific signalling, led by the fact that the potential protein phosphatase inhibitor 1-naphthyl phosphate was previously identified in treated cells. We found that the typical cytological pattern induced by carbaryl and 1-naphthol could be obtained with tyrphostins, specific tyrosine kinase inhibitors, indicating that the carbaryl-induced effects could be due to tyrosine kinase inhibition. This was confirmed by tyrosine kinase assays showing that carbaryl, 1-naphthol and 2-naphthol were equally efficient at inhibiting tyrosine kinase activity as tyrphostin B44(-). As tyrosine kinases can act as regulatory factors in determining dephosphorylation rates, the activities of type-1 (PP1) and type-2A (PP2A) serine/threonine protein phosphatases were also determined. There was a clear up-regulation of the overall PP1/PP2A activities in cells treated with carbaryl, 1-naphthol or tyrphostin B44(-). This stimulation was shown to be indirect because these compounds had no effect on the activity of purified human PP1 in the test tube. 2-Naphthol, which has been found to be less efficient with regard to displacement of chromatin, did not cause up-regulation, but a significant decrease in PP1/PP2A activity. We suggest that a net decrease in tyrosine kinase activity in combination with a net increase in PP1/PP2A activity is a precondition for cell elongation and cytokinesis in mammalian cells and that the corresponding enzymes are targets in the network of activities serving to coordinate karyokinesis and cytokinesis.  (+info)

Nonribosomal peptide synthesis and toxigenicity of cyanobacteria. (8/396)

Nonribosomal peptide synthesis is achieved in prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes by the thiotemplate function of large, modular enzyme complexes known collectively as peptide synthetases. These and other multifunctional enzyme complexes, such as polyketide synthases, are of interest due to their use in unnatural-product or combinatorial biosynthesis (R. McDaniel, S. Ebert-Khosla, D. A. Hopwood, and C. Khosla, Science 262:1546-1557, 1993; T. Stachelhaus, A. Schneider, and M. A. Marahiel, Science 269:69-72, 1995). Most nonribosomal peptides from microorganisms are classified as secondary metabolites; that is, they rarely have a role in primary metabolism, growth, or reproduction but have evolved to somehow benefit the producing organisms. Cyanobacteria produce a myriad array of secondary metabolites, including alkaloids, polyketides, and nonribosomal peptides, some of which are potent toxins. This paper addresses the molecular genetic basis of nonribosomal peptide synthesis in diverse species of cyanobacteria. Amplification of peptide synthetase genes was achieved by use of degenerate primers directed to conserved functional motifs of these modular enzyme complexes. Specific detection of the gene cluster encoding the biosynthetic pathway of the cyanobacterial toxin microcystin was shown for both cultured and uncultured samples. Blot hybridizations, DNA amplifications, sequencing, and evolutionary analysis revealed a broad distribution of peptide synthetase gene orthologues in cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate a molecular approach to assessing preexpression microbial functional diversity in uncultured cyanobacteria. The nonribosomal peptide biosynthetic pathways detected may lead to the discovery and engineering of novel antibiotics, immunosuppressants, or antiviral agents.  (+info)