Mrj encodes a DnaJ-related co-chaperone that is essential for murine placental development.
We have identified a novel gene in a gene trap screen that encodes a protein related to the DnaJ co-chaperone in E. coli. The gene, named Mrj (mammalian relative of DnaJ) was expressed throughout development in both the embryo and placenta. Within the placenta, expression was particularly high in trophoblast giant cells but moderate levels were also observed in trophoblast cells of the chorion at embryonic day 8.5, and later in the labyrinth which arises from the attachment of the chorion to the allantois (a process called chorioallantoic fusion). Insertion of the ROSAbetageo gene trap vector into the Mrj gene created a null allele. Homozygous Mrj mutants died at mid-gestation due to a failure of chorioallantoic fusion at embryonic day 8.5, which precluded formation of the mature placenta. At embryonic day 8.5, the chorion in mutants was morphologically normal and expressed the cell adhesion molecule beta4 integrin that is known to be required for chorioallantoic fusion. However, expression of the chorionic trophoblast-specific transcription factor genes Err2 and Gcm1 was significantly reduced. The mutants showed no abnormal phenotypes in other trophoblast cell types or in the embryo proper. This study indicates a previously unsuspected role for chaperone proteins in placental development and represents the first genetic analysis of DnaJ-related protein function in higher eukaryotes. Based on a survey of EST databases representing different mouse tissues and embryonic stages, there are 40 or more DnaJ-related genes in mammals. In addition to Mrj, at least two of these genes are also expressed in the developing mouse placenta. The specificity of the developmental defect in Mrj mutants suggests that each of these genes may have unique tissue and cellular activities. (+info)
p50(cdc37) acting in concert with Hsp90 is required for Raf-1 function.
Genetic screens in Drosophila have identified p50(cdc37) to be an essential component of the sevenless receptor/mitogen-activated kinase protein (MAPK) signaling pathway, but neither the function nor the target of p50(cdc37) in this pathway has been defined. In this study, we examined the role of p50(cdc37) and its Hsp90 chaperone partner in Raf/Mek/MAPK signaling biochemically. We found that coexpression of wild-type p50(cdc37) with Raf-1 resulted in robust and dose-dependent activation of Raf-1 in Sf9 cells. In addition, p50(cdc37) greatly potentiated v-Src-mediated Raf-1 activation. Moreover, we found that p50(cdc37) is the primary determinant of Hsp90 recruitment to Raf-1. Overexpression of a p50(cdc37) mutant which is unable to recruit Hsp90 into the Raf-1 complex inhibited Raf-1 and MAPK activation by growth factors. Similarly, pretreatment with geldanamycin (GA), an Hsp90-specific inhibitor, prevented both the association of Raf-1 with the p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 heterodimer and Raf-1 kinase activation by serum. Activation of Raf-1 via baculovirus coexpression with oncogenic Src or Ras in Sf9 cells was also strongly inhibited by dominant negative p50(cdc37) or by GA. Thus, formation of a ternary Raf-1-p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 complex is crucial for Raf-1 activity and MAPK pathway signaling. These results provide the first biochemical evidence for the requirement of the p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 complex in protein kinase regulation and for Raf-1 function in particular. (+info)
Chaperone activity with a redox switch.
Hsp33, a member of a newly discovered heat shock protein family, was found to be a very potent molecular chaperone. Hsp33 is distinguished from all other known molecular chaperones by its mode of functional regulation. Its activity is redox regulated. Hsp33 is a cytoplasmically localized protein with highly reactive cysteines that respond quickly to changes in the redox environment. Oxidizing conditions like H2O2 cause disulfide bonds to form in Hsp33, a process that leads to the activation of its chaperone function. In vitro and in vivo experiments suggest that Hsp33 protects cells from oxidants, leading us to conclude that we have found a protein family that plays an important role in the bacterial defense system toward oxidative stress. (+info)
Recovery following relief of unilateral ureteral obstruction in the neonatal rat.
BACKGROUND: Obstructive nephropathy is a primary cause of renal insufficiency in infants and children. This study was designed to distinguish the reversible and irreversible cellular consequences of temporary unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) on the developing kidney. METHODS: Rats were subjected to UUO or sham operation in the first 48 hours of life, and the obstruction was removed five days later (or was left in place). Kidneys were removed for study 14 or 28 days later. In additional groups, kidneys were removed at the end of five days of obstruction. Immunoreactive distribution of renin was determined in arterioles, and the distribution of epidermal growth factor, transforming growth factor-beta1, clusterin, vimentin, and alpha-smooth muscle actin was determined in tubules and/or interstitium. The number of glomeruli, glomerular maturation, tubular atrophy, and interstitial collagen deposition was determined by morphometry. Renal cellular proliferation and apoptosis were measured by proliferating cell nuclear antigen and the TdT uridine-nick-end-label technique, respectively. The glomerular filtration rate was measured by inulin clearance. RESULTS: Renal microvascular renin maintained a fetal distribution with persistent UUO; this was partially reversed by the relief of obstruction. Although glomerular maturation was also delayed and glomerular volume was reduced by UUO, the relief of obstruction prevented the reduction in glomerular volume. Although relief of obstruction did not reverse a 40% reduction in the number of nephrons, the glomerular filtration rate of the postobstructed kidney was normal. The relief of obstruction did not improve tubular cell proliferation and only partially reduced apoptosis induced by UUO. This was associated with a persistent reduction in the tubular epidermal growth factor. In addition, the relief of obstruction reduced but did not normalize tubular expression of transforming growth factor-beta1, clusterin, and vimentin, all of which are evidence of persistent tubular injury. The relief of obstruction significantly reduced interstitial fibrosis and expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin by interstitial fibroblasts, but not to normal levels. CONCLUSIONS: The relief of obstruction in the neonatal rat attenuates, but does not reverse, renal vascular, glomerular, tubular, and interstitial injury resulting from five days of UUO. Hyperfiltration by remaining nephrons and residual tubulointerstitial injury in the postobstructed kidney are likely to lead to deterioration of renal function later in life. (+info)
Ca2+ regulation of interactions between endoplasmic reticulum chaperones.
Casade Blue (CB), a fluorescent dye, was used to investigate the dynamics of interactions between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumenal chaperones including calreticulin, protein disulfide isomerase (PDI), and ERp57. PDI and ERp57 were labeled with CB, and subsequently, we show that the fluorescence intensity of the CB-conjugated proteins changes upon exposure to microenvironments of a different polarity. CD analysis of the purified proteins revealed that changes in the fluorescence intensity of CB-ERp57 and CB-PDI correspond to conformational changes in the proteins. Using this technique we demonstrate that PDI interacts with calreticulin at low Ca2+ concentration (below 100 microM), whereas the protein complex dissociates at >400 microM Ca2+. These are the Ca2+ concentrations reminiscent of Ca2+ levels found in empty or full ER Ca2+ stores. The N-domain of calreticulin interacts with PDI, but Ca2+ binding to the C-domain of the protein is responsible for Ca2+ sensitivity of the interaction. ERp57 also interacts with calreticulin through the N-domain of the protein. Initial interaction between these proteins is Ca2+-independent, but it is modulated by Ca2+ binding to the C-domain of calreticulin. We conclude that changes in ER lumenal Ca2+ concentration may be responsible for the regulation of protein-protein interactions. Calreticulin may play a role of Ca2+ "sensor" for ER chaperones via regulation of Ca2+-dependent formation and maintenance of structural and functional complexes between different proteins involved in a variety of steps during protein synthesis, folding, and post-translational modification. (+info)
The mammalian endoplasmic reticulum stress response element consists of an evolutionarily conserved tripartite structure and interacts with a novel stress-inducible complex.
When mammalian cells are subjected to calcium depletion stress or protein glycosylation block, the transcription of a family of glucose-regulated protein (GRP) genes encoding endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperones is induced to high levels. The consensus mammalian ER stress response element (ERSE) conserved among grp promoters consists of a tripartite structure CCAAT(N9)CCACG, with N being a strikingly GC-rich region of 9 bp. The ERSE, in duplicate copies, can confer full stress inducibility to a heterologous promoter in a sequence-specific but orientation-independent manner. In addition to CBF/NF-Y and YY1 binding to the CCAAT and CCACG motifs, respectively, we further discovered that an ER stress-inducible complex (ERSF) from HeLa nuclear extract binds specifically to the ERSE. Strikingly, the interaction of the ERSF with the ERSE requires a conserved GGC motif within the 9 bp region. Since mutation of the GGC triplet sequence also results in loss of stress inducibility, specific sequence within the 9 bp region is an integral part of the tripartite structure. Finally, correlation of factor binding with stress inducibility reveals that ERSF binding to the ERSE alone is not sufficient; full stress inducibility requires integrity of the CCAAT, GGC and CCACG sequence motifs, as well as precise spacing among these sites. (+info)
Calreticulin, a peptide-binding chaperone of the endoplasmic reticulum, elicits tumor- and peptide-specific immunity.
Calreticulin (CRT), a peptide-binding heat shock protein (HSP) of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), has been shown previously to associate with peptides transported into the ER by transporter associated with antigen processing (Spee, P., and J. Neefjes. 1997. Eur. J. Immunol. 27: 2441-2449). Our studies show that CRT preparations purified from tumors elicit specific immunity to the tumor used as the source of CRT but not to an antigenically distinct tumor. The immunogenicity is attributed to the peptides associated with the CRT molecule and not to the CRT molecule per se. It is further shown that CRT molecules can be complexed in vitro to unglycosylated peptides and used to elicit peptide-specific CD8(+) T cell response in spite of exogenous administration. These characteristics of CRT closely resemble those of HSPs gp96, hsp90, and hsp70, although CRT has no apparent structural homologies to them. (+info)
DYT1 mutation in French families with idiopathic torsion dystonia.
A GAG deletion at position 946 in DYT1, one of the genes responsible for autosomal dominant idiopathic torsion dystonia (ITD), has recently been identified. We tested 24 families and six isolated cases with ITD and found 14 individuals from six French families who carried this mutation, indicating that 20% of the affected families carried the DYT1 mutation. Age at onset was always before 20 years (mean, 9+/-4 years). Interestingly, the site of onset was the upper limb in all but one patient. Dystonia was generalized in seven patients and remained focal or segmental in three patients. The absence of common haplotypes among DYT1 families suggests that at least six independent founder mutations have occurred. In addition, one Ashkenazi Jewish family carried the common haplotype described previously in Ashkenazi Jewish patients, but it was absent in the other family. Moreover, the dystonia remained focal in the latter family when compared with the usual generalized phenotype in patients with the common Ashkenazi Jewish haplotype. This indicates that there are at least two founder mutations in this population. (+info)