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(1/6541) Glucocorticoid down-regulation of fascin protein expression is required for the steroid-induced formation of tight junctions and cell-cell interactions in rat mammary epithelial tumor cells.

Glucocorticoid hormones, which are physiological regulators of mammary epithelium development, induce the formation of tight junctions in rat Con8 mammary epithelial tumor cells. We have discovered that, as part of this process, the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone strongly and reversibly down-regulated the expression of fascin, an actin-bundling protein that also interacts with the adherens junction component beta-catenin. Ectopic constitutive expression of full-length mouse fascin containing a Myc epitope tag (Myc-fascin) in Con8 cells inhibited the dexamethasone stimulation of transepithelial electrical resistance, disrupted the induced localization of the tight junction protein occludin and the adherens junction protein beta-catenin to the cell periphery, and prevented the rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton. Ectopic expression of either the carboxyl-terminal 213 amino acids of fascin, which includes the actin and beta-catenin-binding sites, or the amino-terminal 313 amino acids of fascin failed to disrupt the glucocorticoid induction of tight junction formation. Mammary tumor cells expressing the full-length Myc-fascin remained generally glucocorticoid responsive and displayed no changes in the levels or protein-protein interactions of junctional proteins or the amount of cytoskeletal associated actin filaments. However, a cell aggregation assay demonstrated that the expression of Myc-fascin abrogated the dexamethasone induction of cell-cell adhesion. Our results implicate the down-regulation of fascin as a key intermediate step that directly links glucocorticoid receptor signaling to the coordinate control of junctional complex formation and cell-cell interactions in mammary tumor epithelial cells.  (+info)

(2/6541) Filament assembly from profilin-actin.

Profilin plays a major role in the assembly of actin filament at the barbed ends. The thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for barbed end assembly from profilin-actin have been measured turbidimetrically. Filament growth from profilin-actin requires MgATP to be bound to actin. No assembly is observed from profilin-CaATP-actin. The rate constant for association of profilin-actin to barbed ends is 30% lower than that of actin, and the critical concentration for F-actin assembly from profilin-actin units is 0.3 microM under physiological ionic conditions. Barbed ends grow from profilin-actin with an ADP-Pi cap. Profilin does not cap the barbed ends and is not detectably incorporated into filaments. The EDC-cross-linked profilin-actin complex (PAcov) both copolymerizes with F-actin and undergoes spontaneous self-assembly, following a nucleation-growth process characterized by a critical concentration of 0.2 microM under physiological conditions. The PAcov polymer is a helical filament that displays the same diffraction pattern as F-actin, with layer lines at 6 and 36 nm. The PAcov filaments bound phalloidin with the same kinetics as F-actin, bound myosin subfragment-1, and supported actin-activated ATPase of myosin subfragment-1, but they did not translocate in vitro along myosin-coated glass surfaces. These results are discussed in light of the current models of actin structure.  (+info)

(3/6541) Regulatory sequences of the mouse villin gene that efficiently drive transgenic expression in immature and differentiated epithelial cells of small and large intestines.

Villin is an early marker of epithelial cells from the digestive and urogenital tracts. Indeed villin is expressed in the stem cells and the proliferative cells of the intestinal crypts. To investigate the underlying molecular mechanisms and particularly those responsible for the restricted tissue specificity, a large genomic region of the mouse villin gene has been analyzed. A 9-kilobase (kb) regulatory region of the mouse villin gene (harboring 3.5 kb upstream the transcription start site and 5.5 kb of the first intron) was able to promote transcription of the LacZ reporter gene in the small and large intestines of transgenic mice, in a transmissible manner, and thus efficiently directed subsequent beta-galactosidase expression in epithelial cells along the entire crypt-villus axis. In the kidney, the transgene was also expressed in the epithelial cells of the proximal tubules but is likely sensitive to the site of integration. A construct lacking the first intron restricted beta-galactosidase expression to the small intestine. Thus, the 9-kb genomic region contains the necessary cis-acting elements to recapitulate the tissue-specific expression pattern of the endogenous villin gene. Hence, these regulatory sequences can be used to target heterologous genes in immature and differentiated epithelial cells of the small and/or large intestinal mucosa.  (+info)

(4/6541) gas2 is a multifunctional gene involved in the regulation of apoptosis and chondrogenesis in the developing mouse limb.

The growth-arrest-specific 2 (gas2) gene was initially identified on account of its high level of expression in murine fibroblasts under growth arrest conditions, followed by downregulation upon reentry into the cell cycle (Schneider et al., Cell 54, 787-793, 1988). In this study, the expression patterns of the gas2 gene and the Gas2 peptide were established in the developing limbs of 11.5- to 14. 5-day mouse embryos. It was found that gas2 was expressed in the interdigital tissues, the chondrogenic regions, and the myogenic regions. Low-density limb culture and Brdu incorporation assays revealed that gas2 might play an important role in regulating chondrocyte proliferation and differentiation. Moreover, it might play a similar role during limb myogenesis. In addition to chondrogenesis and myogeneis, gas2 is involved in the execution of the apoptotic program in hindlimb interdigital tissues-by acting as a death substrate for caspase enzymes. TUNEL analysis demonstrated that the interdigital tissues underwent apoptosis between 13.5 and 15.5 days. Exactly at these time points, the C-terminal domain of the Gas2 peptide was cleaved as revealed by Western blot analysis. Moreover, pro-caspase-3 (an enzyme that can process Gas2) was cleaved into its active form in the interdigital tissues. The addition of zVAD-fmk, a caspase enzyme inhibitor, to 12.5-day-old hindlimbs maintained in organ culture revealed that the treatment inhibited interdigital cell death. This inhibition correlated with the absence of the Gas2 peptide and pro-caspase-3 cleavage. The data suggest that Gas2 might be involved in the execution of the apoptotic process.  (+info)

(5/6541) Interaction of 5-lipoxygenase with cellular proteins.

5-Lipoxygenase (5LO) plays a pivotal role in cellular leukotriene synthesis. To identify proteins interacting with human 5LO, we used a two-hybrid approach to screen a human lung cDNA library. From a total of 1.5 x 10(7) yeast transformants, nine independent clones representing three different proteins were isolated and found to specifically interact with 5LO. Four 1.7- to 1.8-kb clones represented a 16-kDa protein named coactosin-like protein for its significant homology with coactosin, a protein found to be associated with actin in Dictyostelium discoideum. Coactosin-like protein thus may provide a link between 5LO and the cytoskeleton. Two other yeast clones of 1.5 kb encoded transforming growth factor (TGF) type beta receptor-I-associated protein 1 partial cDNA. TGF type beta receptor-I-associated protein 1 recently has been reported to associate with the activated form of the TGF beta receptor I and may be involved in the TGF beta-induced up-regulation of 5LO expression and activity observed in HL-60 and Mono Mac 6 cells. Finally, three identical 2.1-kb clones contained the partial cDNA of a human protein with high homology to a hypothetical helicase K12H4. 8 from Caenorhabditis elegans and consequently was named DeltaK12H4. 8 homologue. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence revealed the presence of a RNase III motif and a double-stranded RNA binding domain, indicative of a protein of nuclear origin. The identification of these 5LO-interacting proteins provides additional approaches to studies of the cellular functions of 5LO.  (+info)

(6/6541) The small GTPase RalA targets filamin to induce filopodia.

The Ras-related small GTPases Rac, Rho, Cdc42, and RalA bind filamin, an actin filament-crosslinking protein that also links membrane and other intracellular proteins to actin. Of these GTPases only RalA binds filamin in a GTP-specific manner, and GTP-RalA elicits actin-rich filopods on surfaces of Swiss 3T3 cells and recruits filamin into the filopodial cytoskeleton. Either a dominant negative RalA construct or the RalA-binding domain of filamin 1 specifically block Cdc42-induced filopod formation, but a Cdc42 inhibitor does not impair RalA's effects, which, unlike Cdc42, are Rac independent. RalA does not generate filopodia in filamin-deficient human melanoma cells, whereas transfection of filamin 1 restores the functional response. RalA therefore is a downstream intermediate in Cdc42-mediated filopod production and uses filamin in this pathway.  (+info)

(7/6541) Heparin inhibits proliferation of myometrial and leiomyomal smooth muscle cells through the induction of alpha-smooth muscle actin, calponin h1 and p27.

Mast cells are widely distributed in human tissues, including the human uterus. However, the function of mast cells in uterine smooth muscle has not been clearly established. Mast cells possess secretory granules containing such substances as heparin, serotonin, histamine and many cytokines. To help establish the role of mast cells in the human myometrium, the action of heparin was investigated using smooth muscle cells (SMC) from normal myometrium and from leiomyoma. The proliferation of cultured myometrial and leiomyomal SMC was inhibited by heparin treatment. Flow cytometric analysis showed that the population in the G1 phase of the cell cycle increased under heparin treatment. Western blotting analysis showed that markers of SMC differentiation such as alpha-smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA), calponin h1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27 were induced by heparin, whereas cell-cycle-related gene products from the G1 phase of the cell cycle, such as cyclin E and cdk2, were not changed. Taken together, these results indicate that heparin inhibits the proliferation of myometrial and leiomyomal SMC through the induction of alpha-SMA, calponin h1 and p27. We suggest that heparin from mast cells may induce differentiation in uterine SMC and may influence tissue remodelling and reconstruction during physiological and pathophysiological events.  (+info)

(8/6541) Profilin and the Abl tyrosine kinase are required for motor axon outgrowth in the Drosophila embryo.

The ability of neuronal growth cones to be guided by extracellular cues requires intimate communication between signal transduction systems and the dynamic actin-based cytoskeleton at the leading edge. Profilin, a small, actin-binding protein, has been proposed to be a regulator of the cell motility machinery at leading edge membranes. However, its requirement in the developing nervous system has been unknown. Profilin associates with members of the Enabled family of proteins, suggesting that Profilin might link Abl function to the cytoskeleton. Here, genetic analysis in Drosophila is used to demonstrate that mutations in Profilin (chickadee) and Abl (abl) display an identical growth cone arrest phenotype for axons of intersegmental nerve b (ISNb). Moreover, the phenotype of a double mutant suggests that these components function together to control axonal outgrowth.  (+info)