Listeria species escape from the phagosomes of interleukin-4-deactivated human macrophages independent of listeriolysin.
Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of infections like sepsis and meningitis, especially in immunocompromised hosts. Human macrophages are able to phagocytose and digest L. monocytogenes but IL-4 prevents human macrophages from killing the bacteria, the mechanisms of which are unknown. In the present study, we examined various listeria species and strains including wild-type and deletion mutants in human macrophages pretreated with IL-4. To analyse the IL-4-mediated deactivation process, we combined quantitative infection assays with various morphologic methods. IL-4 facilitates survival and escape of the pathogenic L. monocytogenes wild-type strain 10403S from the macrophage phagosomes. In untreated macrophages, the isogenic listeriolysin deletion mutant strain DP-L2161 was killed and did not escape from the phagolysosomes. However, after macrophage deactivation with IL-4 DP-L2161 survived and escaped from the phagosomes. This was also the case, but to a lesser extent, even for the naturally avirulent L. innocua. As detected by confocal laser-scanning fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy, IL-4 permitted the escape of all listeria species tested, including DP-L2161 and L. innocua from the phagosomal compartment of the macrophages. We conclude that escape from the phagosome and survival of the listeria species tested in IL-4-deactivated human macrophages is independent of the virulence factor listeriolysin. (+info
Mapping key functional sites within yeast TFIID.
The transcription factor TFIID, composed of the TATA box-binding protein (TBP) and 14 TBP-associated factors (TAFs), plays a key role in the regulation of gene expression by RNA polymerase II. The structure of yeast TFIID, as determined by electron microscopy and digital image analysis, is formed by three lobes, labelled A-C, connected by thin linking domains. Immunomapping revealed that TFIID contains two copies of the WD-40 repeat-containing TAF5 and that TAF5 contributes to the linkers since its C- and N-termini were found in different lobes. This property was confirmed by the finding that a recombinant complex containing TAF5 complexed with six histone fold containing TAFs was able to form a trilobed structure. Moreover, the N-terminal domain of TAF1 was mapped in lobe C, whereas the histone acetyltransferase domain resides in lobe A along with TAF7. TBP was found in the linker domain between lobes A and C in a way that the N-terminal 100 residues of TAF1 are spanned over it. The implications of these data with regard to TFIID function are discussed. (+info
Constitutive versus regulated SNARE assembly: a structural basis.
SNARE complex formation is essential for intracellular membrane fusion. Vesicle-associated (v-) SNARE intertwines with target membrane (t-) SNARE to form a coiled coil that bridges two membranes and facilitates fusion. For the SNARE family involved in neuronal communications, complex formation is tightly regulated by the v-SNARE-membrane interactions. However, it was found using EPR that complex formation is spontaneous for a different SNARE family that is involved in protein trafficking in yeast. Further, reconstituted yeast SNAREs promoted membrane fusion, different from the inhibited fusion for reconstituted neuronal SNAREs. The EPR structural analysis showed that none of the coiled-coil residues of yeast v-SNARE is buried in the hydrophobic layer of the membrane, making the entire coiled-coil motif accessible, again different from the deep insertion of the membrane-proximal region of neuronal v-SNARE into the bilayer. Importantly, yeast membrane fusion is constitutively active, while synaptic membrane fusion is regulated, consistent with the present results for two SNARE families. Thus, the v-SNARE-membrane interaction may be a major molecular determinant for regulated versus constitutive membrane fusion in cells. (+info
A differential role for actin during the life cycle of Trypanosoma brucei.
Actin is expressed at similar levels but in different locations in bloodstream and procyclic forms of Trypanosoma brucei. In bloodstream forms actin colocalizes with the highly polarized endocytic pathway, whereas in procyclic forms it is distributed throughout the cell. RNA interference demonstrated that in bloodstream forms, actin is an essential protein. Depletion of actin resulted in a rapid arrest of cell division, termination of vesicular traffic from the flagellar pocket membrane leading to gross enlargement of the pocket, loss of endocytic activity and eventually cell death. These results indicate that actin is required for the formation of coated vesicles from the flagellar pocket membrane, which is the first step in the endocytic pathway. Although loss of actin in procyclic cells did not affect growth, the trans region of the Golgi became distorted and enlarged and appeared to give rise to a heterogeneous population of vesicles. However, the flagellar pocket was not affected. These findings suggest that trypanosomes have different functional requirements for actin during the bloodstream and procyclic phases of the life cycle. (+info
A lysosomal tetraspanin associated with retinal degeneration identified via a genome-wide screen.
The Drosophila visual system has provided a model to study phototransduction and retinal degeneration. To identify new candidate proteins that contribute to these processes, we conducted a genome-wide screen for genes expressed predominately in the eye, using DNA microarrays. This screen appeared to be comprehensive as it led to the identification of all 22 eye-enriched genes previously shown to function in phototransduction or implicated in retinal degeneration. In addition, we identified 93 eye-enriched genes whose roles have not been previously defined. One of the eye-enriched genes encoded a member of a large family of transmembrane proteins, referred to as tetraspanins. We created a null mutation in the eye-enriched tetraspanin, Sunglasses (Sun), which resulted in light-induced retinal degeneration. We found that the Sun protein was distributed primarily in lysosomes, and functioned in a long-known but poorly understood phenomenon of light-induced degradation of rhodopsin. We propose that lysosomal tetraspanins in mammalian cells may also function in the downregulation of rhodopsin and other G-protein-coupled receptors, in response to intense or prolonged agonist stimulation. (+info
Capacitance measurements of exocytosis in mouse pancreatic alpha-, beta- and delta-cells within intact islets of Langerhans.
Capacitance measurements of exocytosis were applied to functionally identified alpha-, beta- and delta-cells in intact mouse pancreatic islets. The maximum rate of capacitance increase in beta-cells during a depolarization to 0 mV was equivalent to 14 granules s(-1), <5% of that observed in isolated beta-cells. Beta-cell secretion exhibited bell-shaped voltage dependence and peaked at +20 mV. At physiological membrane potentials (up to approximately -20 mV) the maximum rate of release was approximately 4 granules s(-1). Both exocytosis (measured by capacitance measurements) and insulin release (detected by radioimmunoassay) were strongly inhibited by the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nifedipine (25 microm) but only marginally (<20%) affected by the R-type Ca(2+) channel blocker SNX482 (100 nm). Exocytosis in the glucagon-producing alpha-cells peaked at +20 mV. The capacitance increases elicited by pulses to 0 mV exhibited biphasic kinetics and consisted of an initial transient (150 granules s(-1)) and a sustained late component (30 granules s(-1)). Whereas addition of the N-type Ca(2+) channel blocker omega-conotoxin GVIA (0.1 microm) inhibited glucagon secretion measured in the presence of 1 mm glucose to the same extent as an elevation of glucose to 20 mm, the L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker nifedipine (25 microm) had no effect. Thus, glucagon release during hyperglycaemic conditions depends principally on Ca(2+)-influx through N-type rather than L-type Ca(2+) channels. Exocytosis in the somatostatin-secreting delta-cells likewise exhibited two kinetically separable phases of capacitance increase and consisted of an early rapid (600 granules s(-1)) component followed by a sustained slower (60 granules s(-1)) component. We conclude that (1) capacitance measurements in intact pancreatic islets are feasible; (2) exocytosis measured in beta-cells in situ is significantly slower than that of isolated cells; and (3) the different types of islet cells exhibit distinct exocytotic features. (+info
Malignant myoepithelial cells are associated with the differentiated papillary structure and metastatic ability of a syngeneic murine mammary adenocarcinoma model.
BACKGROUND: The normal duct and lobular system of the mammary gland is lined with luminal and myoepithelial cell types. Although evidence suggests that myoepithelial cells might suppress tumor growth, invasion and angiogenesis, their role remains a major enigma in breast cancer biology and few models are currently available for exploring their influence. Several years ago a spontaneous transplantable mammary adenocarcinoma (M38) arose in our BALB/c colony; it contains a malignant myoepithelial cell component and is able to metastasize to draining lymph nodes and lung. METHODS: To characterize this tumor further, primary M38 cultures were established. The low-passage LM38-LP subline contained two main cell components up to the 30th subculture, whereas the higher passage LM38-HP subline was mainly composed of small spindle-shaped cells. In addition, a large spindle cell clone (LM38-D2) was established by dilutional cloning of the low-passage MM38-LP cells. These cell lines were studied by immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy and ploidy, and syngeneic mice were inoculated subcutaneously and intravenously with the different cell lines, either singly or combined to establish their tumorigenic and metastatic capacity. RESULTS: The two subpopulations of LM38-LP cultures were characterized as luminal and myoepithelium-like cells, whereas LM38-HP was mainly composed of small, spindle-shaped epithelial cells and LM38-D2 contained only large myoepithelial cells. All of them were tumorigenic when inoculated into syngeneic mice, but only LM38-LP cultures containing both conserved luminal and myoepithelial malignant cells developed aggressive papillary adenocarcinomas that spread to lung and regional lymph nodes. CONCLUSION: The differentiated histopathology and metastatic ability of the spontaneous transplantable M38 murine mammary tumor is associated with the presence and/or interaction of both luminal and myoepithelial tumor cell types. (+info
Sexually dimorphic metabolism of branched-chain lipids in C57BL/6J mice.
Despite the importance of branched chain lipid oxidation in detoxification, almost nothing is known regarding factors regulating peroxisomal uptake, targeting, and metabolism. One peroxisomal protein, sterol carrier protein-x (SCP-x), is thought to catalyze a key thiolytic step in branched chain lipid oxidation. When mice with substantially lower hepatic levels of SCP-x were tested for susceptibility to dietary stress with phytol (a phytanic acid precursor and peroxisome proliferator), livers of phytol-fed female but not male mice i). accumulated phytol metabolites (phytanic acid, pristanic acid, and Delta-2,3-pristanic acid); ii). exhibited decreased fat tissue mass and increased liver mass/body mass; iii). displayed signs of histopathological lesions in the liver; and iv). demonstrated significant alterations in hepatic lipid distributions. Moreover, both male and female mice exhibited phytol-induced peroxisomal proliferation, as demonstrated by liver morphology and upregulation of the peroxisomal protein catalase. In addition, levels of liver fatty acid binding protein, along with SCP-2 and SCP-x, increased, suggesting upregulation mediated by phytanic acid, a known ligand agonist of the peroxisomal proliferator-activated receptor alpha. In summary, the present work establishes a role for SCP-x in branched chain lipid catabolism and demonstrates a sexual dimorphic response to phytol, a precursor of phytanic acid, in lipid parameters and hepatotoxicity. (+info