Association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by nascent snRNA transcripts. (1/2526)

BACKGROUND: Coiled bodies are nuclear organelles that are highly enriched in small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and certain basal transcription factors. Surprisingly, coiled bodies not only contain mature U snRNPs but also associate with specific chromosomal loci, including gene clusters that encode U snRNAs and histone messenger RNAs. The mechanism(s) by which coiled bodies associate with these genes is completely unknown. RESULTS: Using stable cell lines, we show that artificial tandem arrays of human U1 and U2 snRNA genes colocalize with coiled bodies and that the frequency of the colocalization depends directly on the transcriptional activity of the array. Association of the genes with coiled bodies was abolished when the artificial U2 arrays contained promoter mutations that prevent transcription or when RNA polymerase II transcription was globally inhibited by alpha-amanitin. Remarkably, the association was also abolished when the U2 snRNA coding regions were replaced by heterologous sequences. CONCLUSIONS: The requirement for the U2 snRNA coding region indicates that association of snRNA genes with coiled bodies is mediated by the nascent U2 RNA itself, not by DNA or DNA-bound proteins. Our data provide the first evidence that association of genes with a nuclear organelle can be directed by an RNA and suggest an autogenous feedback regulation model.  (+info)

Hsp60 is targeted to a cryptic mitochondrion-derived organelle ("crypton") in the microaerophilic protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica. (2/2526)

Entamoeba histolytica is a microaerophilic protozoan parasite in which neither mitochondria nor mitochondrion-derived organelles have been previously observed. Recently, a segment of an E. histolytica gene was identified that encoded a protein similar to the mitochondrial 60-kDa heat shock protein (Hsp60 or chaperonin 60), which refolds nuclear-encoded proteins after passage through organellar membranes. The possible function and localization of the amebic Hsp60 were explored here. Like Hsp60 of mitochondria, amebic Hsp60 RNA and protein were both strongly induced by incubating parasites at 42 degreesC. 5' and 3' rapid amplifications of cDNA ends were used to obtain the entire E. histolytica hsp60 coding region, which predicted a 536-amino-acid Hsp60. The E. histolytica hsp60 gene protected from heat shock Escherichia coli groEL mutants, demonstrating the chaperonin function of the amebic Hsp60. The E. histolytica Hsp60, which lacked characteristic carboxy-terminal Gly-Met repeats, had a 21-amino-acid amino-terminal, organelle-targeting presequence that was cleaved in vivo. This presequence was necessary to target Hsp60 to one (and occasionally two or three) short, cylindrical organelle(s). In contrast, amebic alcohol dehydrogenase 1 and ferredoxin, which are bacteria-like enzymes, were diffusely distributed throughout the cytosol. We suggest that the Hsp60-associated, mitochondrion-derived organelle identified here be named "crypton," as its structure was previously hidden and its function is still cryptic.  (+info)

A novel interaction mechanism accounting for different acylphosphatase effects on cardiac and fast twitch skeletal muscle sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium pumps. (3/2526)

In cardiac and skeletal muscle Ca2+ translocation from cytoplasm into sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) is accomplished by different Ca2+-ATPases whose functioning involves the formation and decomposition of an acylphosphorylated phosphoenzyme intermediate (EP). In this study we found that acylphosphatase, an enzyme well represented in muscular tissues and which actively hydrolyzes EP, had different effects on heart (SERCA2a) and fast twitch skeletal muscle SR Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA1). With physiological acylphosphatase concentrations SERCA2a exhibited a parallel increase in the rates of both ATP hydrolysis and Ca2+ transport; in contrast, SERCA1 appeared to be uncoupled since the stimulation of ATP hydrolysis matched an inhibition of Ca2+ pump. These different effects probably depend on phospholamban, which is associated with SERCA2a but not SERCA1. Consistent with this view, the present study suggests that acylphosphatase-induced stimulation of SERCA2a, in addition to an enhanced EP hydrolysis, may be due to a displacement of phospholamban, thus to a removal of its inhibitory effect.  (+info)

Rational analyses of organelle trajectories in tobacco pollen tubes reveal characteristics of the actomyosin cytoskeleton. (4/2526)

To gain insight into the characteristics of organelle movement and the underlying actomyosin motility system in tobacco pollen tubes, we collected data points representing sequential organelle positions in control and cytochalasin-treated cells, and in a sample of extruded cytoplasm. These data were utilized to reconstruct approximately 900 tracks, representing individual organelle movements, and to produce a quantitative analysis of the movement properties, supported by statistical tests. Each reconstructed track appeared to be unique and to show irregularities in velocity and direction of movement. The regularity quotient was near 2 at the tip and above 3 elsewhere in the cell, indicating that movement is more vectorial in the tube area. Similarly, the progressiveness ratio showed that there were relatively more straight trajectories in the tube region than at the tip. Consistent with these data, arithmetical dissection revealed a high degree of randomlike movement in the apex, lanes with tip-directed movement along the flanks, and grain-directed movement in the center of the tube. Intercalated lanes with bidirectional movement had lower organelle velocity, suggesting that steric hindrance plays a role. The results from the movement analysis indicate that the axial arrangement of the actin filaments and performance of the actomyosin system increases from tip to base, and that the opposite polarity of the actin filaments in the peripheral (+-ends of acting filaments toward the tip) versus the central cytoplasm (+-ends of actin filaments toward to the grain) is installed within a few minutes in these tip-growing cells.  (+info)

Redundant systems of phosphatidic acid biosynthesis via acylation of glycerol-3-phosphate or dihydroxyacetone phosphate in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (5/2526)

In the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae lipid particles harbor two acyltransferases, Gat1p and Slc1p, which catalyze subsequent steps of acylation required for the formation of phosphatidic acid. Both enzymes are also components of the endoplasmic reticulum, but this compartment contains additional acyltransferase(s) involved in the biosynthesis of phosphatidic acid (K. Athenstaedt and G. Daum, J. Bacteriol. 179:7611-7616, 1997). Using the gat1 mutant strain TTA1, we show here that Gat1p present in both subcellular fractions accepts glycerol-3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate as a substrate. Similarly, the additional acyltransferase(s) present in the endoplasmic reticulum can acylate both precursors. In contrast, yeast mitochondria harbor an enzyme(s) that significantly prefers dihydroxyacetone phosphate as a substrate for acylation, suggesting that at least one additional independent acyltransferase is present in this organelle. Surprisingly, enzymatic activity of 1-acyldihydroxyacetone phosphate reductase, which is required for the conversion of 1-acyldihydroxyacetone phosphate to 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate (lysophosphatidic acid), is detectable only in lipid particles and the endoplasmic reticulum and not in mitochondria. In vivo labeling of wild-type cells with [2-3H, U-14C]glycerol revealed that both glycerol-3-phosphate and dihydroxyacetone phosphate can be incorporated as a backbone of glycerolipids. In the gat1 mutant and the 1-acylglycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase slc1 mutant, the dihydroxyacetone phosphate pathway of phosphatidic acid biosynthesis is slightly preferred as compared to the wild type. Thus, mutations of the major acyltransferases Gat1p and Slc1p lead to an increased contribution of mitochondrial acyltransferase(s) to glycerolipid synthesis due to their substrate preference for dihydroxyacetone phosphate.  (+info)

Surface proteins of gram-positive bacteria and mechanisms of their targeting to the cell wall envelope. (6/2526)

The cell wall envelope of gram-positive bacteria is a macromolecular, exoskeletal organelle that is assembled and turned over at designated sites. The cell wall also functions as a surface organelle that allows gram-positive pathogens to interact with their environment, in particular the tissues of the infected host. All of these functions require that surface proteins and enzymes be properly targeted to the cell wall envelope. Two basic mechanisms, cell wall sorting and targeting, have been identified. Cell well sorting is the covalent attachment of surface proteins to the peptidoglycan via a C-terminal sorting signal that contains a consensus LPXTG sequence. More than 100 proteins that possess cell wall-sorting signals, including the M proteins of Streptococcus pyogenes, protein A of Staphylococcus aureus, and several internalins of Listeria monocytogenes, have been identified. Cell wall targeting involves the noncovalent attachment of proteins to the cell surface via specialized binding domains. Several of these wall-binding domains appear to interact with secondary wall polymers that are associated with the peptidoglycan, for example teichoic acids and polysaccharides. Proteins that are targeted to the cell surface include muralytic enzymes such as autolysins, lysostaphin, and phage lytic enzymes. Other examples for targeted proteins are the surface S-layer proteins of bacilli and clostridia, as well as virulence factors required for the pathogenesis of L. monocytogenes (internalin B) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (PspA) infections. In this review we describe the mechanisms for both sorting and targeting of proteins to the envelope of gram-positive bacteria and review the functions of known surface proteins.  (+info)

Rat liver GTP-binding proteins mediate changes in mitochondrial membrane potential and organelle fusion. (7/2526)

The variety of mitochondrial morphology in healthy and diseased cells can be explained by regulated mitochondrial fusion. Previously, a mitochondrial outer membrane fraction containing fusogenic, aluminum fluoride (AlF4)-sensitive GTP-binding proteins (mtg) was separated from rat liver (J. D. Cortese, Exp. Cell Res. 240: 122-133, 1998). Quantitative confocal microscopy now reveals that mtg transiently increases mitochondrial membrane potential (DeltaPsi) when added to permeabilized rat hepatocytes (15%), rat fibroblasts (19%), and rabbit myocytes (10%). This large mtg-induced DeltaPsi increment is blocked by fusogenic GTPase-specific modulators such as guanosine 5'-O-(3-thiotriphosphate), excess GTP (>100 microM), and AlF4, suggesting a linkage between DeltaPsi and mitochondrial fusion. Accordingly, stereometric analysis shows that decreasing DeltaPsi or ATP synthesis with respiratory inhibitors limits mtg- and AlF4-induced mitochondrial fusion. Also, a specific G protein inhibitor (Bordetella pertussis toxin) hyperpolarizes mitochondria and leads to a loss of AlF4-dependent mitochondrial fusion. These results place mtg-induced DeltaPsi changes upstream of AlF4-induced mitochondrial fusion, suggesting that GTPases exert DeltaPsi-dependent control of the fusion process. Mammalian mitochondrial morphology thus can be modulated by cellular energetics.  (+info)

Occurrence of prostasome-like membrane vesicles in equine seminal plasma. (8/2526)

Equine seminal plasma was shown to contain membrane vesicles that are similar to the well characterized prostasomes in human seminal plasma. Determination of nucleoside and nucleotide concentrations of these particles have shown that ATP, ADP and adenosine are the main components of the nucleotidic pool. 5' nucleotidase, endopeptidase and dipeptidyl peptidase i.v. activities have been found on the surface of the particles. The interaction between these prostasome-like vesicles and spermatozoa was demonstrated by electron micrograph scans which revealed the steps of a fusion-like process leading to mixing of the membranes. In addition, endopeptidase activity, a marker enzyme of these seminal vesicles that is normally absent from equine spermatozoa, was shown to be acquired by these cells after interaction with the vesicles. The addition of these vesicles to equine spermatozoa resulted in the modification of adenylate catabolism. Therefore, a role in stabilizing the energy charge of the spermatozoa thus allowing longer viability is proposed for these organelles.  (+info)