(1/4427) Two groups control light-induced Schiff base deprotonation and the proton affinity of Asp85 in the Arg82 his mutant of bacteriorhodopsin.

Arg(82) is one of the four buried charged residues in the retinal binding pocket of bacteriorhodopsin (bR). Previous studies show that Arg(82) controls the pK(a)s of Asp(85) and the proton release group and is essential for fast light-induced proton release. To further investigate the role of Arg(82) in light-induced proton pumping, we replaced Arg(82) with histidine and studied the resulting pigment and its photochemical properties. The main pK(a) of the purple-to-blue transition (pK(a) of Asp(85)) is unusually low in R82H: 1.0 versus 2.6 in wild type (WT). At pH 3, the pigment is purple and shows light and dark adaptation, but almost no light-induced Schiff base deprotonation (formation of the M intermediate) is observed. As the pH is increased from 3 to 7 the M yield increases with pK(a) 4.5 to a value approximately 40% of that in the WT. A transition with a similar pK(a) is observed in the pH dependence of the rate constant of dark adaptation, k(da). These data can be explained, assuming that some group deprotonates with pK(a) 4.5, causing an increase in the pK(a) of Asp(85) and thus affecting k(da) and the yield of M. As the pH is increased from 7 to 10.5 there is a further 2.5-fold increase in the yield of M and a decrease in its rise time from 200 micros to 75 micros with pK(a) 9. 4. The chromophore absorption band undergoes a 4-nm red shift with a similar pK(a). We assume that at high pH, the proton release group deprotonates in the unphotolyzed pigment, causing a transformation of the pigment into a red-shifted "alkaline" form which has a faster rate of light-induced Schiff base deprotonation. The pH dependence of proton release shows that coupling between Asp(85) and the proton release group is weakened in R82H. The pK(a) of the proton release group in M is 7.2 (versus 5.8 in the WT). At pH < 7, most of the proton release occurs during O --> bR transition with tau approximately 45 ms. This transition is slowed in R82H, indicating that Arg(82) is important for the proton transfer from Asp(85) to the proton release group. A model describing the interaction of Asp(85) with two ionizable residues is proposed to describe the pH dependence of light-induced Schiff base deprotonation and proton release.  (+info)

(2/4427) Lack of response to imatinib mesylate in a patient with accelerated phase myeloproliferative disorder with rearrangement of the platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta-gene.

Imatinib mesylate has been reported to produce positive results in atypical chronic myeloproliferative disorders (CMD) with chromosomal translocations that disrupt the platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta gene (PDGFRB). We used imatinib to treat a 49-year old man with atypical CMD in accelerated phase and the H4 (D10S170)-PDGFRB fusion gene. After 3 months of treatment, we observed grade 4 hematologic toxicity and a lack of response.  (+info)

(3/4427) Reversal of a full-length mutant huntingtin neuronal cell phenotype by chemical inhibitors of polyglutamine-mediated aggregation.

BACKGROUND: Huntington's disease (HD) is an inherited neurodegenerative disorder triggered by an expanded polyglutamine tract in huntingtin that is thought to confer a new conformational property on this large protein. The propensity of small amino-terminal fragments with mutant, but not wild-type, glutamine tracts to self-aggregate is consistent with an altered conformation but such fragments occur relatively late in the disease process in human patients and mouse models expressing full-length mutant protein. This suggests that the altered conformational property may act within the full-length mutant huntingtin to initially trigger pathogenesis. Indeed, genotype-phenotype studies in HD have defined genetic criteria for the disease initiating mechanism, and these are all fulfilled by phenotypes associated with expression of full-length mutant huntingtin, but not amino-terminal fragment, in mouse models. As the in vitro aggregation of amino-terminal mutant huntingtin fragment offers a ready assay to identify small compounds that interfere with the conformation of the polyglutamine tract, we have identified a number of aggregation inhibitors, and tested whether these are also capable of reversing a phenotype caused by endogenous expression of mutant huntingtin in a striatal cell line from the HdhQ111/Q111 knock-in mouse. RESULTS: We screened the NINDS Custom Collection of 1,040 FDA approved drugs and bioactive compounds for their ability to prevent in vitro aggregation of Q58-htn 1-171 amino terminal fragment. Ten compounds were identified that inhibited aggregation with IC50 < 15 microM, including gossypol, gambogic acid, juglone, celastrol, sanguinarine and anthralin. Of these, both juglone and celastrol were effective in reversing the abnormal cellular localization of full-length mutant huntingtin observed in mutant HdhQ111/Q111 striatal cells. CONCLUSIONS: At least some compounds identified as aggregation inhibitors also prevent a neuronal cellular phenotype caused by full-length mutant huntingtin, suggesting that in vitro fragment aggregation can act as a proxy for monitoring the disease-producing conformational property in HD. Thus, identification and testing of compounds that alter in vitro aggregation is a viable approach for defining potential therapeutic compounds that may act on the deleterious conformational property of full-length mutant huntingtin.  (+info)

(4/4427) The origin recognition core complex regulates dendrite and spine development in postmitotic neurons.

The origin recognition complex (ORC) ensures exactly one round of genome replication per cell cycle through acting as a molecular switch that precisely controls the assembly, firing, and inactivation of the replication initiation machinery. Recent data indicate that it may also coordinate the processes of mitosis and cytokinesis and ensure the proper distribution of replicated genome to daughter cells. We have found that the ORC core subunits are highly expressed in the nervous system. They are selectively localized to the neuronal somatodendritic compartment and enriched in the membrane fraction. siRNA knockdown of ORC subunits dramatically reduced dendritic branch formation and severely impeded dendritic spine emergence. Expression of ORC ATPase motif mutants enhanced the branching of dendritic arbors. The ORC core complex thus appears to have a novel role in regulating dendrite and dendritic spine development in postmitotic neurons.  (+info)

(5/4427) A glue for heterochromatin maintenance: stable SUV39H1 binding to heterochromatin is reinforced by the SET domain.

Trimethylation of histone H3 lysine 9 and the subsequent binding of heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) mediate the formation and maintenance of pericentromeric heterochromatin. Trimethylation of H3K9 is governed by the histone methyltransferase SUV39H1. Recent studies of HP1 dynamics revealed that HP1 is not a stable component of heterochromatin but is highly mobile (Cheutin, T., A.J. McNairn, T. Jenuwein, D.M. Gilbert, P.B. Singh, and T. Misteli. 2003. Science. 299:721-725; Festenstein, R., S.N. Pagakis, K. Hiragami, D. Lyon, A. Verreault, B. Sekkali, and D. Kioussis. 2003. Science. 299:719-721). Because the mechanism by which SUV39H1 is recruited to and interacts with heterochromatin is unknown, we studied the dynamic properties of SUV39H1 in living cells by using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching and fluorescence resonance energy transfer. Our results show that a substantial population of SUV39H1 is immobile at pericentromeric heterochromatin, suggesting that, in addition to its catalytic activity, SUV39H1 may also play a structural role at pericentromeric regions. Analysis of SUV39H1 deletion mutants indicated that the SET domain mediates this stable binding. Furthermore, our data suggest that the recruitment of SUV39H1 to heterochromatin is at least partly independent from that of HP1 and that HP1 transiently interacts with SUV39H1 at heterochromatin.  (+info)

(6/4427) Rho GTPase regulation of exocytosis in yeast is independent of GTP hydrolysis and polarization of the exocyst complex.

Rho GTPases are important regulators of polarity in eukaryotic cells. In yeast they are involved in regulating the docking and fusion of secretory vesicles with the cell surface. Our analysis of a Rho3 mutant that is unable to interact with the Exo70 subunit of the exocyst reveals a normal polarization of the exocyst complex as well as other polarity markers. We also find that there is no redundancy between the Rho3-Exo70 and Rho1-Sec3 pathways in the localization of the exocyst. This suggests that Rho3 and Cdc42 act to polarize exocytosis by activating the exocytic machinery at the membrane without the need to first recruit it to sites of polarized growth. Consistent with this model, we find that the ability of Rho3 and Cdc42 to hydrolyze GTP is not required for their role in secretion. Moreover, our analysis of the Sec3 subunit of the exocyst suggests that polarization of the exocyst may be a consequence rather than a cause of polarized exocytosis.  (+info)

(7/4427) Roles of SGS1, MUS81, and RAD51 in the repair of lagging-strand replication defects in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Yeast cells lacking the SGS1 DNA helicase and the MUS81 structure-specific endonuclease display a synthetic lethality that is suppressed by loss of the RAD51 recombinase. This epistatic interaction suggests that the primary function of SGS1 or MUS81, or both genes, is downstream of RAD51. To identify RAD51-independent functions of SGS1 and MUS81, a synthetic-lethal screen was performed on the sgs1 mus81 rad51triple mutant. We found that mutation of RNH202, which encodes a subunit of the hetero-trimeric RNase H2, generates a profound synthetic-sickness in this background. RNase H2 is thought to play a non-essential role in Okazaki fragment maturation. Cells lacking RNH202 showed synthetic growth defects when combined with either mus81 or sgs1 alone. But, whereas the loss of RAD51 had little effect on rnh202 sgs1 double mutants, it strongly inhibited the growth of rnh202 mus81 cells. These data indicate that the primary function of SGS1, but not MUS81, is downstream of RAD51. SGS1 must have some RAD51-independent function, however, since the growth of rnh202 mus81 rad51cells was further compromised by the loss of SGS1. Consistent with these results, we show that rnh202 cells display a sensitivity to DNA-damaging agents that is exacerbated in the absence of RAD51 or MUS81. These data support a model in which defects in lagging-strand replication are repaired by the Mus81 endonuclease or through a pathway dependent on Rad51 and Sgs1.  (+info)

(8/4427) A G protein-coupled receptor, groom-of-PDF, is required for PDF neuron action in circadian behavior.

The neuropeptide Pigment-Dispersing Factor (PDF) plays a critical role in mediating circadian control of behavior in Drosophila. Here we identify mutants (groom-of-PDF; gop) that display phase-advanced evening activity and poor free-running rhythmicity, phenocopying pdf mutants. In gop mutants, a spontaneous retrotransposon disrupts a coding exon of a G protein-coupled receptor, CG13758. Disruption of the receptor is accompanied by phase-advanced oscillations of the core clock protein PERIOD. Moreover, effects on circadian timing induced by perturbation of PDF neurons require gop. Yet PDF oscillations themselves remain robust in gop mutants, suggesting that GOP acts downstream of PDF. gop is expressed most strongly in the dorsal brain in regions that lie in proximity to PDF-containing nerve terminals. Taken together, these studies implicate GOP as a PDF receptor in Drosophila.  (+info)