Sialyltransferase isoforms are phosphorylated in the cis-medial Golgi on serine and threonine residues in their luminal sequences. (1/1010)

ST6Gal-I (alpha2,6-sialyltransferase) is expressed as two isoforms, STTyr and STCys, which exhibit differences in catalytic activity, trafficking through the secretory pathway, and proteolytic processing and secretion. We have found that the ST6Gal-I isoforms are phosphorylated on luminal Ser and Thr residues. Immunoprecipitation of 35S- and 32P-labeled proteins expressed in COS-1 cells suggests that the STTyr isoform is phosphorylated to a greater extent than the STCys isoform. Analysis of domain deletion mutants revealed that STTyr is phosphorylated on stem and catalytic domain amino acids, whereas STCys is phosphorylated on catalytic domain amino acids. An endoplasmic reticulum retained/retrieved chimeric Iip33-ST protein demonstrates drastically lower phosphorylation than does the wild type STTyr isoform. This suggests that the bulk of the ST6Gal-I phosphorylation is occurring in the Golgi. Treatment of cells with the ionophore monensin does not significantly block phosphorylation of the STTyr isoform, suggesting that phosphorylation is occurring in the cis-medial Golgi prior to the monensin block. This study demonstrates the presence of kinase activities in the cis-medial Golgi and the substantial phosphorylation of the luminal sequences of a glycosyltransferase.  (+info)

Intracellular trafficking pathways in the assembly of connexins into gap junctions. (2/1010)

Trafficking pathways underlying the assembly of connexins into gap junctions were examined using living COS-7 cells expressing a range of connexin-aequorin (Cx-Aeq) chimeras. By measuring the chemiluminescence of the aequorin fusion partner, the translocation of oligomerized connexins from intracellular stores to the plasma membrane was shown to occur at different rates that depended on the connexin isoform. Treatment of COS-7 cells expressing Cx32-Aeq and Cx43-Aeq with brefeldin A inhibited the movement of these chimera to the plasma membrane by 84 +/- 4 and 88 +/- 4%, respectively. Nocodazole treatment of the cells expressing Cx32-Aeq and Cx43-Aeq produced 29 +/- 16 and 4 +/- 7% inhibition, respectively. In contrast, the transport of Cx26 to the plasma membrane, studied using a construct (Cx26/43T-Aeq) in which the short cytoplasmic carboxyl-terminal tail of Cx26 was replaced with the extended carboxyl terminus of Cx43, was inhibited 89 +/- 5% by nocodazole and was minimally affected by exposure of cells to brefeldin A (17 +/-11%). The transfer of Lucifer yellow across gap junctions between cells expressing wild-type Cx32, Cx43, and the corresponding Cx32-Aeq and Cx43-Aeq chimeras was reduced by nocodazole treatment and abolished by brefeldin A treatment. However, the extent of dye coupling between cells expressing wild-type Cx26 or the Cx26/43T-Aeq chimeras was not significantly affected by brefeldin A treatment, but after nocodazole treatment, transfer of dye to neighboring cells was greatly reduced. These contrasting effects of brefeldin A and nocodazole on the trafficking properties and intercellular dye transfer are interpreted to suggest that two pathways contribute to the routing of connexins to the gap junction.  (+info)

Identification of the minimal intracellular vacuolating domain of the Helicobacter pylori vacuolating toxin. (3/1010)

Helicobacter pylori secretes a cytotoxin (VacA) that induces the formation of large vacuoles originating from late endocytic vesicles in sensitive mammalian cells. Although evidence is accumulating that VacA is an A-B toxin, distinct A and B fragments have not been identified. To localize the putative catalytic A-fragment, we transfected HeLa cells with plasmids encoding truncated forms of VacA fused to green fluorescence protein. By analyzing truncated VacA fragments for intracellular vacuolating activity, we reduced the minimal functional domain to the amino-terminal 422 residues of VacA, which is less than one-half of the full-length protein (953 amino acids). VacA is frequently isolated as a proteolytically nicked protein of two fragments that remain noncovalently associated and retain vacuolating activity. Neither the amino-terminal 311 residue fragment (p33) nor the carboxyl-terminal 642 residue fragment (p70) of proteolytically nicked VacA are able to induce cellular vacuolation by themselves. However, co-transfection of HeLa cells with separate plasmids expressing both p33 and p70 resulted in vacuolated cells. Further analysis revealed that a minimal fragment comprising just residues 312-478 functionally complemented p33. Collectively, our results suggest a novel molecular architecture for VacA, with cytosolic localization of both fragments of nicked toxin required to mediate intracellular vacuolating activity.  (+info)

Organic cation transport in rat choroid plexus cells studied by fluorescence microscopy. (4/1010)

Quinacrine uptake and distribution were studied in a primary culture of rat choroid plexus epithelial cells using conventional and confocal fluorescence microscopy and image analysis. Quinacrine rapidly accumulated in cells, with steady-state levels being achieved after 10-20 min. Uptake was reduced by other organic cations, e.g., tetraethylammonium (TEA), and by KCN. Quinacrine fluorescence was distributed in two cytoplasmic compartments, one diffuse and the other punctate. TEA efflux experiments indicated that more than one-half of intracellular organic cation was in a slowly emptying compartment. The protonophore monensin both emptied that TEA compartment and abolished punctate quinacrine fluorescence, suggesting that a large fraction of total intracellular organic cation was sequestered in acidic vesicles, e.g., endosomes. Finally, quinacrine-loaded vesicles were seen to move within the cytoplasm and to abruptly release their contents at the blood side of the cell; the rate of release was greatly reduced by the microtubule disrupter nocodazole.  (+info)

Tamoxifen inhibits acidification in cells independent of the estrogen receptor. (5/1010)

Tamoxifen has been reported to have numerous physiological effects that are independent of the estrogen receptor, including sensitization of resistant tumor cells to many chemotherapeutic agents. Drug-resistant cells sequester weak base chemotherapeutics in acidic organelles away from their sites of action in the cytosol and nucleus. This work reports that tamoxifen causes redistribution of weak base chemotherapeutics from acidic organelles to the nucleus in drug-resistant cells. Agents that disrupt organelle acidification (e.g., monensin, bafilomycin A1) cause a similar redistribution. Measurement of cellular pH in several cell lines reveals that tamoxifen inhibits acidification of endosomes and lysosomes without affecting cytoplasmic pH. Similar to monensin, tamoxifen decreased the rate of vesicular transport though the recycling and secretory pathways. Organellar acidification is required for many cellular functions, and its disruption could account for many of the side effects of tamoxifen.  (+info)

Caspases are the main executioners of Fas-mediated apoptosis, irrespective of the ceramide signalling pathway. (6/1010)

Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) or cytotoxic anti-Fas antibodies lead to the activation of apoptotic proteases (caspases) and to sphingomyelinase-mediated ceramide generation. Caspases and ceramide are both known to induce apoptosis on its own, but their relative contribution to Fas- and TNF-induced cell death is not well established. We report here that rapid apoptosis induced by TNF in U937 cells or anti-Fas in Jurkat cells, in the presence of cycloheximide, induced only a very low increase (<20%) in the cell ceramide content. Neither treatment with inhibitors of sphingomyelinases nor incubation of cells with fumonisin B1, which inhibits de novo ceramide synthesis, prevented TNF and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Increasing or depleting the cell ceramide content by prolonged culture in the presence of monensin or fumonisin B1, respectively, did not prevent TNF and Fas-mediated apoptosis. Treatment of cells with sphingomyelinase inhibitors did not affect to the activation of CPP32 (caspase-3) induced by TNF or anti-Fas antibodies. Chromatin condensation and fragmentation in cells treated with anti-Fas or TNF was abrogated by peptide inhibitors of caspases, which also inhibited Fas-, but not TNF-induced cell death. These results indicate that while ceramide does not seem to act as a critical mediator of TNF and Fas-induced apoptosis, it is generated as a consequence of CPP32 activation and could contribute to the spread of the intracellular death signal.  (+info)

Sodium-dependent glutamate uptake by an alkaliphilic, thermophilic Bacillus strain, TA2.A1. (7/1010)

A strain of Bacillus designated TA2.A1, isolated from a thermal spring in Te Aroha, New Zealand, grew optimally at pH 9.2 and 70 degrees C. Bacillus strain TA2.A1 utilized glutamate as a sole carbon and energy source for growth, and sodium chloride (>5 mM) was an obligate requirement for growth. Growth on glutamate was inhibited by monensin and amiloride, both inhibitors that collapse the sodium gradient (DeltapNa) across the cell membrane. N, N-Dicyclohexylcarbodiimide inhibited the growth of Bacillus strain TA2.A1, suggesting that an F1F0-ATPase (H type) was being used to generate cellular ATP needed for anabolic reactions. Vanadate, an inhibitor of V-type ATPases, did not affect the growth of Bacillus strain TA2.A1. Glutamate transport by Bacillus strain TA2.A1 could be driven by an artificial membrane potential (DeltaPsi), but only when sodium was present. In the absence of sodium, the rate of DeltaPsi-driven glutamate uptake was fourfold lower. No glutamate transport was observed in the presence of DeltapNa alone (i.e., no DeltaPsi). Glutamate uptake was specifically inhibited by monensin, and the Km for sodium was 5.6 mM. The Hill plot had a slope of approximately 1, suggesting that sodium binding was noncooperative and that the glutamate transporter had a single binding site for sodium. Glutamate transport was not affected by the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone, suggesting that the transmembrane pH gradient was not required for glutamate transport. The rate of glutamate transport increased with increasing glutamate concentration; the Km for glutamate was 2.90 microM, and the Vmax was 0.7 nmol. min-1 mg of protein. Glutamate transport was specifically inhibited by glutamate analogues.  (+info)

Phosphorylation of arylsulphatase A occurs through multiple interactions with the UDP-N-acetylglucosamine-1-phosphotransferase proximal and distal to its retrieval site by the KDEL receptor. (8/1010)

Phosphorylation of oligosaccharides of the lysosomal enzyme arylsulphatase A (ASA), which accumulate in the secretions of cells that mis-sort most of the newly synthesized lysosomal enzymes due to a deficiency of mannose 6-phosphate receptors, was found to be site specific. ASA residing within the secretory route of these cells contains about one third of the incorporated [2-3H]mannose in phosphorylated oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides carrying two phosphate groups are almost 2-fold less frequent than those with one phosphate group and only a few of the phosphate groups are uncovered. Addition of a KDEL (Lys-Asp-Glu-Leu) retention signal prolongs the residence time of ASA within the secretory route 6-fold, but does not result in more efficient phosphorylation. In contrast, more than 90% of the [2-3H]mannose incorporated into secreted ASA (with or without a KDEL retention signal) is present in phosphorylated oligosaccharides. Those with two phosphate groups are almost twice as frequent as those with one phosphate group and most of the phosphate groups are uncovered. Thus, ASA receives N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate groups in a sequential manner at two or more sites located within the secretory route proximal and distal to the site where ASA is retrieved by the KDEL receptor, i.e. proximal to the trans-Golgi. At each of these sites up to two N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphate groups can be added to a single oligosaccharide. Of several drugs known to inhibit transit of ASA through the secretory route only the ionophore monensin had a major inhibitory effect on phosphorylation, uncovering and sialylation.  (+info)