Regulation of chamber-specific gene expression in the developing heart by Irx4. (1/8990)

The vertebrate heart consists of two types of chambers, the atria and the ventricles, which differ in their contractile and electrophysiological properties. Little is known of the molecular mechanisms by which these chambers are specified during embryogenesis. Here a chicken iroquois-related homeobox gene, Irx4, was identified that has a ventricle-restricted expression pattern at all stages of heart development. Irx4 protein was shown to regulate the chamber-specific expression of myosin isoforms by activating the expression of the ventricle myosin heavy chain-1 (VMHC1) and suppressing the expression of the atrial myosin heavy chain-1 (AMHC1) in the ventricles. Thus, Irx4 may play a critical role in establishing chamber-specific gene expression in the developing heart.  (+info)

Gamma-Actinin, a new regulatory protein from rabbit skeletal muscle. I. Purification and characterization. (2/8990)

A new regulatory protein which we have designated as gamma-actinin has been isolated from native thin filaments of rabbit skeletal muscle. Depolymerized native thin filaments were fractionated by salting out with ammonium sulfate, and the precipitates obtained at 40--60% ammonium sulfate saturation were further subjected to DEAE-Sephadex and Sephadex G-200 column chromatography. The purified gamma-actinin was shown to have a chain weight of 35,000 daltons and had a strong inhibitory action on the polymerization of G-actin. The results of amino acid analysis indicated a unique amino acid composition of gamma-actinin as compared with other structural proteins of muscle. Non-polar and neutral amino acid residues were abundant. One cysteine residue was contained per one molecule of gamma-actinin and played a critical role in the maintenance of the inhibitory activity. Pelleting of gamma-actinin with F-actin showed that gamma-actinin binds to F-action.  (+info)

Connectin, an elastic protein from myofibrils. (3/8990)

The elastic protein isolated from myofibrils of chicken skeletal muscle was compared with extracellular non-collagenous reticulin prepared from chicken liver and skeletal muscle. The amino acid compositions of these proteins were similar except that their contents of Phe, Leu, Cys/2, and Hyp were different. The impregnations of the elastic protein and reticulin with silver were also different. The reticulin was not at all elastic. It also differed from reticulin in solubility and antigenicity. It is proposed to call the intracellular elastic protein connectin.  (+info)

Model-independent analysis of the orientation of fluorescent probes with restricted mobility in muscle fibers. (4/8990)

The orientation of proteins in ordered biological samples can be investigated using steady-state polarized fluorescence from probes conjugated to the protein. A general limitation of this approach is that the probes typically exhibit rapid orientational motion ("wobble") with respect to the protein backbone. Here we present a method for characterizing the extent of this wobble and for removing its effects from the available information about the static orientational distribution of the probes. The analysis depends on four assumptions: 1) the probe wobble is fast compared with the nanosecond time scale of its excited-state decay; 2) the orientational distributions of the absorption and emission transition dipole moments are cylindrically symmetrical about a common axis c fixed in the protein; 3) protein motions are negligible during the excited-state decay; 4) the distribution of c is cylindrically symmetrical about the director of the experimental sample. In a muscle fiber, the director is the fiber axis, F. All of the information on the orientational order of the probe that is available from measurements of linearly polarized fluorescence is contained in five independent polarized fluorescence intensities measured with excitation and emission polarizers parallel or perpendicular to F and with the propagation axis of the detected fluorescence parallel or perpendicular to that of the excitation. The analysis then yields the average second-rank and fourth-rank order parameters ( and ) of the angular distribution of c relative to F, and and , the average second-rank order parameters of the angular distribution for wobble of the absorption and emission transition dipole moments relative to c. The method can also be applied to other cylindrically ordered systems such as oriented lipid bilayer membranes and to processes slower than fluorescence that may be observed using longer-lived optically excited states.  (+info)

Aging-specific expression of Drosophila hsp22. (5/8990)

hsp22 is among the least abundantly expressed Drosophila heat shock (hs) genes during both development and heat stress. In contrast, hsp22 was found to be the most abundantly expressed hs gene during Drosophila aging. During aging, hsp22 RNA was induced 60-fold in the head, with somewhat lower level induction in abdomen and thorax. Induction of the other hs gene RNAs was 150-fold, with particularly abundant expression in eye tissue. Aging-specific induction of hsp22 was reproduced by hsp22:lacZ fusion reporter constructs in transgenic flies. Analysis of specific promoter mutations in transgenic flies indicated that functional heat shock response elements are required for hsp22 induction during aging. Finally, comparison of hsp22 RNA and protein expression patterns suggests that aging-specific expression of hsp22 is regulated at both the transcriptional and the posttranscriptional levels. Aging-specific induction of hsp22 is discussed with regard to current evolutionary theories of aging.  (+info)

SNAP-23 participates in SNARE complex assembly in rat adipose cells. (6/8990)

SNARE proteins are required for vesicle docking and fusion in eukaryotic cells in processes as diverse as homotypic membrane fusion and synaptic vesicle exocytosis [SNARE stands for SNAP receptor, where SNAP is soluble NSF attachment protein]. The SNARE proteins syntaxin 4 and vesicle-associated membrane protein (VAMP) 2/3 also participate in the insulin-stimulated translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular vesicles to the plasma membrane in adipose cells. We now report the molecular cloning and characterization of rat SNAP-23, a ubiquitously expressed homologue of the essential neuronal SNARE protein SNAP-25 (synaptosomal-associated protein of 25 kDa). Rat SNAP-23 is 86% and 98% identical respectively to human and mouse SNAP-23. Southern blot analysis reveals that the rat, mouse and human SNAP-23 genes encode species-specific isoforms of the same protein. Co-immunoprecipitation of syntaxin 4 and SNAP-23 shows association of these two proteins in rat adipose cell plasma membranes, and insulin stimulation does not alter the SNAP-23/syntaxin 4 complex. In addition, we demonstrate for the first time the participation of SNAP-23, along with syntaxin 4 and VAMP2/3, in the formation of 20S SNARE complexes prepared using rat adipose cell membranes and recombinant alpha-SNAP and NSF proteins. The stoichiometry of the SNARE complexes formed is essentially identical using membranes from either unstimulated or insulin-stimulated adipose cells. These data demonstrate that rat SNAP-23 associates with syntaxin 4 before insulin stimulation and is present in the SNARE complexes known to mediate the translocation of GLUT4 from intracellular vesicles to the plasma membrane of rat adipose cells.  (+info)

Tumour necrosis factor-alpha regulates expression of the CCAAT-enhancer-binding proteins (C/EBPs) alpha and beta and determines the occupation of the C/EBP site in the promoter of the insulin-responsive glucose-transporter gene in 3T3-L1 adipocytes. (7/8990)

We have demonstrated previously that treatment of 3T3-L1 adipocytes with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) results in a rapid (4 h) and significant (75-80%) reduction in the rate of transcription of the GLUT4 gene. Control of GLUT4 gene transcription has been suggested at least in part to reside with the CCAAT-enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) family (alpha, beta and delta isoforms) of transcription factors. Using electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we have examined the ability of TNF to alter the occupation of the C/EBP site in the GLUT4 promoter. The data suggest that in fully differentiated adipocytes the C/EBP site is a ligand for predominantly alpha/alpha homodimers; however, after exposure to TNF, a shift in occupancy of the site occurs and the ligands become alpha/beta heterodimers and beta/beta homodimers. Partner selection in dimer formation appears to be controlled by selective translocation of the beta-isoform from the cytosol to the nucleus after exposure of the cells to TNF.  (+info)

Intestinal trefoil factor binds to intestinal epithelial cells and induces nitric oxide production: priming and enhancing effects of mucin. (8/8990)

Intestinal trefoil factor (ITF or TFF3), NO and epithelium-associated mucin have important roles in sustaining mucosal integrity in the gastrointestinal tract. In the present study we examined ITF-binding molecules on IEC-18 cells (an intestinal epithelial cell line) with the use of flow cytometry and localized these molecules on the cell surface by confocal microscopy. Furthermore, we studied the interaction of mucin and ITF and their co-operative effect on NO production by the epithelium. Stimulation of cells with mucin (5 mg/ml) for 90 min resulted in a 5-fold increase in ITF binding. Treatment of IEC-18 cells with actinomycin D or cycloheximide attenuated mucin-enhanced ITF binding. Ligand blot analysis confirmed the induction of ITF-binding protein in IEC-18 cells by mucin. These results indicate that transcriptional and translational mechanisms are involved in the effect of mucin. Treatment with ITF overnight resulted in a low level of nitrite production by the cells, a 5-fold increase over control, in a concentration-dependent manner. ITF-induced NO production was attenuated by 1400W, a selective type II nitric oxide synthase (NOS2) inhibitor. By immunoblotting we found that NOS2 was up-regulated by ITF treatment. Priming IEC-18 cells with mucin for 90 min enhanced the effect of ITF on NO production, suggesting that the up-regulation of ITF-binding molecules by mucin might be physiologically relevant. Taken together, these observations indicate (1) that ITF-binding molecules that are up-regulated by mucin exist on the intestinal epithelial surface, and (2) that ITF modulates epithelial NO production via the NOS2 pathway, which is enhanced by mucin.  (+info)