(1/949) Degradation of chloronitrobenzenes by a coculture of Pseudomonas putida and a Rhodococcus sp.

A single microorganism able to mineralize chloronitrobenzenes (CNBs) has not been reported, and degradation of CNBs by coculture of two microbial strains was attempted. Pseudomonas putida HS12 was first isolated by analogue enrichment culture using nitrobenzene (NB) as the substrate, and this strain was observed to possess a partial reductive pathway for the degradation of NB. From high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and 1H nuclear magnetic resonance analyses, NB-grown cells of P. putida HS12 were found to convert 3- and 4-CNBs to the corresponding 5- and 4-chloro-2-hydroxyacetanilides, respectively, by partial reduction and subsequent acetylation. For the degradation of CNBs, Rhodococcus sp. strain HS51, which degrades 4- and 5-chloro-2-hydroxyacetanilides, was isolated and combined with P. putida HS12 to give a coculture. This coculture was confirmed to mineralize 3- and 4-CNBs in the presence of an additional carbon source. A degradation pathway for 3- and 4-CNBs by the two isolated strains was also proposed.  (+info)

(2/949) Role of lysine and tryptophan residues in the biological activity of toxin VII (Ts gamma) from the scorpion Tityus serrulatus.

Toxin VII (TsVII), also known as Ts gamma, is the most potent neurotoxin in the venom of the Brazilian scorpion Tityus serrulatus. It has been purified to homogeneity using a new fast and efficient method. Chemical modification of TsVII with the tryptophan-specific reagent o-nitrophenylsulfenyl chloride yielded three modified derivatives (residues Trp39, Trp50 and Trp54). Acetylation of TsVII mostly generated the monoacetylated Lys12 derivative. No side reactions were detected, as indicated by endoproteinase Lys-C peptide mapping, Edman degradation and electrospray mass spectrometry. Circular dichroism and fluorimetric measurements showed that none of the chemical modifications altered the overall structure of the derivatives. The acetylation of Lys12 or the sulfenylation of Trp39 or Trp54 led to a loss of both toxicity in mice and apparent binding affinity for rat brain and cockroach synaptosomal preparations. Sulfenylation of Trp50, however, moderately affected the toxicity of TsVII in mice and had almost no effect on its binding properties. A 3-dimensional model of TsVII was constructed by homology modeling. It suggests that the most reactive residues (Lys12 and Trp39 and Trp54) are all important in the functional disruption of neuronal sodium channels by TsVII, and are close to each other in the hydrophobic conserved region.  (+info)

(3/949) Initial reactions in the biodegradation of 1-chloro-4-nitrobenzene by a newly isolated bacterium, strain LW1.

Bacterial strain LW1, which belongs to the family Comamonadaceae, utilizes 1-chloro-4-nitrobenzene (1C4NB) as a sole source of carbon, nitrogen, and energy. Suspensions of 1C4NB-grown cells removed 1C4NB from culture fluids, and there was a concomitant release of ammonia and chloride. Under anaerobic conditions LW1 transformed 1C4NB into a product which was identified as 2-amino-5-chlorophenol by 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. This transformation indicated that there was partial reduction of the nitro group to the hydroxylamino substituent, followed by Bamberger rearrangement. In the presence of oxygen but in the absence of NAD, fast transformation of 2-amino-5-chlorophenol into a transiently stable yellow product was observed with resting cells and cell extracts. This compound exhibited an absorption maximum at 395 nm and was further converted to a dead-end product with maxima at 226 and 272 nm. The compound formed was subsequently identified by 1H and 13C NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry as 5-chloropicolinic acid. In contrast, when NAD was added in the presence of oxygen, only minor amounts of 5-chloropicolinic acid were formed, and a new product, which exhibited an absorption maximum at 306 nm, accumulated.  (+info)

(4/949) Cyclo-oxygenase-2 mediates P2Y receptor-induced reactive astrogliosis.

Excessive cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) induction may play a role in chronic neurological diseases characterized by inflammation and astrogliosis. We have previously identified an astroglial receptor for extracellular nucleotides, a P2Y receptor, whose stimulation leads to arachidonic acid (AA) release, followed, 3 days later, by morphological changes resembling reactive astrogliosis. Since COX-2 may be upregulated by AA metabolites, we assessed a possible role for COX-2 in P2Y receptor-mediated astrogliosis. A brief challenge of rat astrocytes with the ATP analogue alpha,beta-methylene ATP (alpha,beta(me)ATP) resulted, 24 h later, in significantly increased COX-2 expression. The selective COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 completely abolished alpha,beta(me)ATP-induced astrocytic activation. Constitutive astroglial COX-1 or COX-2 did not play any role in purine-induced reactive astrogliosis. PGE2, a main metabolite of COX-2, also induced astrocytic activation. These data suggest that a P2Y receptor mediates reactive astrogliosis via induction of COX-2. Antagonists selective for this receptor may counteract excessive COX-2 activation in both acute and chronic neurological diseases.  (+info)

(5/949) COX-2 and cytosolic PLA2 mediate IL-1beta-induced cAMP production in human vascular smooth muscle cells.

Interleukin (IL)-1 is a potent vasodilator that causes prolonged induction of prostacyclin (PGI2) and cAMP synthesis in human vascular smooth muscle cells (HVSMC). The present study investigated IL-1 induction of PG synthetic enzymes in HVSMC and tested their respective roles in PGI2 and cAMP production. Cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 mRNA was not detectable in either control or IL-1-treated HVSMC, as assessed by RT-PCR. In contrast, COX-2 mRNA was detectable in control HVSMC, increased markedly (16-fold) after 1 h of IL-1 exposure, and increased further (52-fold) after 24 h. COX-2 protein levels, assessed by Western analysis, were increased concomitantly. HVSMC contained mRNA encoding both the secreted and cytosolic forms of phospholipase A2 (sPLA2 and cPLA2, respectively). IL-1 stimulation did not affect sPLA2 mRNA levels, but cPLA2 mRNA levels increased at 8 h, after the initial induction of PG synthesis. HVSMC constitutively expressed PGI2 synthase mRNA, and its levels were not affected by IL-1. A selective COX-2 inhibitor, NS-398, reversed IL-1-induced PGI2 and cAMP production, supporting a role of COX-2 in mediating increased PG synthesis. IL-1-induced cAMP was also reversed by a selective cPLA2 inhibitor, AACOCF3, but not by thioetheramide phosphorylcholine, which inhibits sPLA2 preferentially over cPLA2, supporting a requirement for cPLA2-derived arachidonic acid in IL-1-induced PG synthesis. The delayed induction of cPLA2 mRNA was also attenuated by NS-398, suggesting that it was secondary to the initial COX-2-induced PG synthesis. Together, the results support the hypothesis that IL-1 induces intracellular PG synthesis in HVSMC via rapid upregulation of COX-2, which utilizes cPLA2-derived arachidonic acid to generate PG metabolites that regulate adenylate cyclase.  (+info)

(6/949) Comparison of activation of CPT-11 by rabbit and human carboxylesterases for use in enzyme/prodrug therapy.

Several recent studies have examined the possibility of producing tumor-specific cytotoxicity with various enzyme/ prodrug combinations. The enzymes are targeted to tumor cells either with antibodies (ADEPT, antibody directed enzyme prodrug therapy) or with viruses (VDEPT). The goal of the present study was to identify an appropriate enzyme for use in activating the prodrug 7-ethyl-10-[4-(1-piper-idino)-1-piperidino]carbonyloxycamptothe cin (CPT-11). In this study, we compared the efficiency of CPT-11 metabolism by rabbit and human carboxylesterases in in vitro and in situ assays. Although the rabbit and human enzymes are very similar (81% identical; 86% homologous) and the active site amino acids are 100% identical, the rabbit enzyme was 100-1000-fold more efficient at converting CPT-11 to SN-38 in vitro and was 12-55-fold more efficient in sensitizing transfected cells to CPT-11. In vivo, Rh30 rhabdomyosarcoma cells expressing the rabbit carboxylesterase and grown as xenografts in immune-deprived mice were also more sensitive to CPT-11 than were control xenografts or xenografts expressing the human enzyme. Each of the three types of xenografts regressed when the mice were treated with CPT-11 given i.v. at 2.5 mg of CPT-11/kg/daily for 5 days/week for 2 weeks [(dx5)2] (one cycle of therapy), repeated every 21 days for a total of three cycles. However, following cessation of treatment, recurrent tumors were detected in seven of seven mice bearing control Rh30 xenografts and in two of seven mice bearing Rh30 xenografts that expressed the human enzyme. No tumors recurred in mice bearing xenografts that expressed the rabbit carboxylesterase. We conclude that rabbit carboxylesterase/CPT-11 may be a useful enzyme/prodrug combination.  (+info)

(7/949) IL-17 in synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis is a potent stimulator of osteoclastogenesis.

IL-17 is a newly discovered T cell-derived cytokine whose role in osteoclast development has not been fully elucidated. Treatment of cocultures of mouse hemopoietic cells and primary osteoblasts with recombinant human IL-17 induced the formation of multinucleated cells, which satisfied major criteria of osteoclasts, including tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase activity, calcitonin receptors, and pit formation on dentine slices. Direct interaction between osteoclast progenitors and osteoblasts was required for IL-17-induced osteoclastogenesis, which was completely inhibited by adding indomethacin or NS398, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxgenase-2 (COX-2). Adding IL-17 increased prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) synthesis in cocultures of bone marrow cells and osteoblasts and in single cultures of osteoblasts, but not in single cultures of bone marrow cells. In addition, IL-17 dose-dependently induced expression of osteoclast differentiation factor (ODF) mRNA in osteoblasts. ODF is a membrane-associated protein that transduces an essential signal(s) to osteoclast progenitors for differentiation into osteoclasts. Osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor (OCIF), a decoy receptor of ODF, completely inhibited IL-17-induced osteoclast differentiation in the cocultures. Levels of IL-17 in synovial fluids were significantly higher in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients than osteoarthritis (OA) patients. Anti-IL-17 antibody significantly inhibited osteoclast formation induced by culture media of RA synovial tissues. These findings suggest that IL-17 first acts on osteoblasts, which stimulates both COX-2-dependent PGE2 synthesis and ODF gene expression, which in turn induce differentiation of osteoclast progenitors into mature osteoclasts, and that IL-17 is a crucial cytokine for osteoclastic bone resorption in RA patients.  (+info)

(8/949) Specificity and genetic restrictions of the guinea-pig immune response to dinitrophenyl-lysyl-alanyl octapeptides.

A series of 2,4-dinitrophenyl (DNP) octapeptides containing L-lysine and L-alanine were prepared to examine the specificity and genetic restrictions of both cellular and humoral immune responses in inbred guinea-pigs. Strains 2 and 13 guinea-pigs were therefore immunized with Lys4-Ala3-Lys(DNP), Lys3Ala4-Lys(DNP), Lys2-Ala5-Lys(DNP) and Lys-Ala6-Lys(DNP). Only Lys4-Ala3-Lys(DNP) was under Ir gene control and could induce both antibody and T-cell responses in strain 2 guinea-pigs. In contrast, Lys4-Ala3-Lys(DNP) injected in strain 13 guinea-pigs and the other DNP-octapeptides injected in strain 2 or 13 guinea-pigs elicited only antibody formation and no specific T-cell mediated response. Antibody formed in the absence of specific T-cell responsiveness in either strain 2 or 13 was hapten specific and lacked the capacity to discriminate the immunizing antigen from closely related DNP-peptides. Antibody produced by animals with specific T-cell responses, on the other hand, was exquisitely specific for the immunizing peptide and could discriminate it from closely related peptides.  (+info)