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(1/4047) Prior protein intake may affect phenylalanine kinetics measured in healthy adult volunteers consuming 1 g protein. kg-1. d-1.

Study of the amino acid metabolism of vulnerable groups, such as pregnant women, children and patients, is needed. Our existing protocol is preceded by 2 d of adaptation to a low 13C formula diet at a protein intake of 1 g. kg-1. d-1 to minimize variations in breath 13CO2 enrichment and protein metabolism. To expand on our potential study populations, a less invasive protocol needs to be developed. We have already established that a stable background 13CO2 enrichment can be achieved on the study day without prior adaptation to the low 13C formula. Therefore, this study investigates phenylalanine kinetics in response to variations in prior protein intake. Healthy adult subjects were each fed nutritionally adequate mixed diets containing 0.8, 1.4 and 2.0 g protein. kg-1. d-1 for 2 d. On d 3, subjects consumed an amino acid-based formula diet containing the equivalent of 1 g protein. kg-1. d-1 hourly for 10 h and primed hourly oral doses of L-[1-13C]phenylalanine for the final 6 h. Phenylalanine kinetics were calculated from plasma-free phenylalanine enrichment and breath 13CO2 excretion. A significant quadratic response of prior protein intake on phenylalanine flux (P = 0.012) and oxidation (P = 0.009) was identified, such that both variables were lower following adaptation to a protein intake of 1.4 g. kg-1. d-1. We conclude that variations in protein intake, between 0.8 and 2.0 g. kg-1. d-1, prior to the study day may affect amino acid kinetics and; therefore, it is prudent to continue to control protein intake prior to an amino acid kinetics study.  (+info)

(2/4047) Phe161 and Arg166 variants of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase. Implications for NADPH recognition and structural stability.

Phe161 and Arg166 of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase from Pseudomonas fluorescens belong to a newly discovered sequence motif in flavoprotein hydroxylases with a putative dual function in FAD and NADPH binding [1]. To study their role in more detail, Phe161 and Arg166 were selectively changed by site-directed mutagenesis. F161A and F161G are catalytically competent enzymes having a rather poor affinity for NADPH. The catalytic properties of R166K are similar to those of the native enzyme. R166S and R166E show impaired NADPH binding and R166E has lost the ability to bind FAD. The crystal structure of substrate complexed F161A at 2.2 A is indistinguishable from the native enzyme, except for small changes at the site of mutation. The crystal structure of substrate complexed R166S at 2.0 A revealed that Arg166 is important for providing an intimate contact between the FAD binding domain and a long excursion of the substrate binding domain. It is proposed that this interaction is essential for structural stability and for the recognition of the pyrophosphate moiety of NADPH.  (+info)

(3/4047) The accessibility of iron at the active site of recombinant human phenylalanine hydroxylase to water as studied by 1H NMR paramagnetic relaxation. Effect of L-Phe and comparison with the rat enzyme.

The high-spin (S = 5/2) Fe(III) ion at the active site of recombinant human phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) has a paramagnetic effect on the longitudinal relaxation rate of water protons. This effect is proportional to the concentration of enzyme, with a paramagnetic molar-relaxivity value at 400 MHz and 25 degrees C of 1. 3 (+/- 0.03) x 10(3) s-1 M-1. The value of the Arrhenius activation energy (Ea) for the relaxation rate was -14.4 +/- 1.1 kJ/mol for the resting enzyme, indicating a fast exchange of water protons in the paramagnetic environment. The frequency dependence of the relaxation rate also supported this hypothesis. Thus, the recombinant human PAH appears to have a more solvent-accessible catalytic iron than the rat enzyme, in which the water coordinated to the metal is slowly exchanging with the solvent. These findings may be related to the level of basal activity before activation for these enzymes, which is higher for human than for rat PAH. In the presence of saturating (5 mM) concentrations of the substrate L-Phe, the paramagnetic molar relaxivity for human PAH decreased to 0.72 (+/- 0.05) x 10(3) s-1 M-1 with no significant change in the Ea. Effective correlation times (tauC) of 1.8 (+/- 0.3) x 10(-10) and 1.25 (+/- 0.2) x 10(-10) s-1 were calculated for the enzyme and the enzyme-substrate complex, respectively, and most likely represent the electron spin relaxation rate (tauS) for Fe(III) in each case. Together with the paramagnetic molar-relaxivity values, the tauC values were used to estimate Fe(III)-water distances. It seems that at least one of the three water molecules coordinated to the iron in the resting rat and human enzymes is displaced from coordination on the binding of L-Phe at the active site.  (+info)

(4/4047) A different approach to treatment of phenylketonuria: phenylalanine degradation with recombinant phenylalanine ammonia lyase.

Phenylketonuria (PKU), with its associated hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) and mental retardation, is a classic genetic disease and the first to have an identified chemical cause of impaired cognitive development. Treatment from birth with a low phenylalanine diet largely prevents the deviant cognitive phenotype by ameliorating HPA and is recognized as one of the first effective treatments of a genetic disease. However, compliance with dietary treatment is difficult and when it is for life, as now recommended by an internationally used set of guidelines, is probably unrealistic. Herein we describe experiments on a mouse model using another modality for treatment of PKU compatible with better compliance using ancillary phenylalanine ammonia lyase (PAL, EC 4.3.1.5) to degrade phenylalanine, the harmful nutrient in PKU; in this treatment, PAL acts as a substitute for the enzyme phenylalanine monooxygenase (EC 1.14.16.1), which is deficient in PKU. PAL, a robust enzyme without need for a cofactor, converts phenylalanine to trans-cinnamic acid, a harmless metabolite. We describe (i) an efficient recombinant approach to produce PAL enzyme, (ii) testing of PAL in orthologous N-ethyl-N'-nitrosourea (ENU) mutant mouse strains with HPA, and (iii) proofs of principle (PAL reduces HPA)-both pharmacologic (with a clear dose-response effect vs. HPA after PAL injection) and physiologic (protected enteral PAL is significantly effective vs. HPA). These findings open another way to facilitate treatment of this classic genetic disease.  (+info)

(5/4047) Rho family small G proteins play critical roles in mechanical stress-induced hypertrophic responses in cardiac myocytes.

-Mechanical stress induces a variety of hypertrophic responses, such as activation of protein kinases, reprogramming of gene expression, and an increase in protein synthesis. In the present study, to elucidate how mechanical stress induces such events, we examined the role of Rho family small GTP-binding proteins (G proteins) in mechanical stress-induced cardiac hypertrophy. Treatment of neonatal rat cardiomyocytes with the C3 exoenzyme, which abrogates Rho functions, suppressed stretch-induced activation of extracellular signal-regulated protein kinases (ERKs). Overexpression of the Rho GDP dissociation inhibitor (Rho-GDI), dominant-negative mutants of RhoA (DNRhoA), or DNRac1 significantly inhibited stretch-induced activation of transfected ERK2. Overexpression of constitutively active mutants of RhoA slightly activated ERK2 in cardiac myocytes. Overexpression of C-terminal Src kinase, which inhibits functions of the Src family of tyrosine kinases, or overexpression of DNRas had no effect on stretch-induced activation of transfected ERK2. The promoter activity of skeletal alpha-actin and c-fos genes was increased by stretch, and these increases were completely inhibited by either cotransfection of Rho-GDI or pretreatment with C3 exoenzyme. Mechanical stretch increased phenylalanine incorporation into cardiac myocytes by approximately 1.5-fold compared with control, and this increase was also significantly suppressed by pretreatment with C3 exoenzyme. Overexpression of Rho-GDI or DNRhoA did not affect angiotensin II-induced activation of ERK. ERKs were activated by culture media conditioned by stretch of cardiomyocytes without any treatment, but not of cardiomyocytes with pretreatment by C3 exoenzyme. These results suggest that the Rho family of small G proteins plays critical roles in mechanical stress-induced hypertrophic responses.  (+info)

(6/4047) Role of aromaticity of agonist switches of angiotensin II in the activation of the AT1 receptor.

We have shown previously that the octapeptide angiotensin II (Ang II) activates the AT1 receptor through an induced-fit mechanism (Noda, K., Feng, Y. H., Liu, X. P., Saad, Y., Husain, A., and Karnik, S. S. (1996) Biochemistry 35, 16435-16442). In this activation process, interactions between Tyr4 and Phe8 of Ang II with Asn111 and His256 of the AT1 receptor, respectively, are essential for agonism. Here we show that aromaticity, primarily, and size, secondarily, of the Tyr4 side chain are important in activating the receptor. Activation analysis of AT1 receptor position 111 mutants by various Ang II position 4 analogues suggests that an amino-aromatic bonding interaction operates between the residue Asn111 of the AT1 receptor and Tyr4 of Ang II. Degree and potency of AT1 receptor activation by Ang II can be recreated by a reciprocal exchange of aromatic and amide groups between positions 4 and 111 of Ang II and the AT1 receptor, respectively. In several other bonding combinations, set up between Ang II position 4 analogues and receptor mutants, the gain of affinity is not accompanied by gain of function. Activation analysis of position 256 receptor mutants by Ang II position 8 analogues suggests that aromaticity of Phe8 and His256 side chains is crucial for receptor activation; however, a stacked rather than an amino-aromatic interaction appears to operate at this switch locus. Interaction between these residues, unlike the Tyr4:Asn111 interaction, plays an insignificant role in ligand docking.  (+info)

(7/4047) Identification of determinants in E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes required for hect E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase interaction.

Members of the hect domain protein family are characterized by sequence similarity of their C-terminal regions to the C terminus of E6-AP, an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase. An essential intermediate step in E6-AP-dependent ubiquitination is the formation of a thioester complex between E6-AP and ubiquitin in the presence of distinct E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes including human UbcH5, a member of the UBC4/UBC5 subfamily of E2s. Similarly, several hect domain proteins, including Saccharomyces cerevisiae RSP5, form ubiquitin thioester complexes, indicating that hect domain proteins in general have E3 activity. We show here, by the use of chimeric E2s generated between UbcH5 and other E2s, that a region of UbcH5 encompassing the catalytic site cysteine residue is critical for its ability to interact with E6-AP and RSP5. Of particular importance is a phenylalanine residue at position 62 of UbcH5 that is conserved among the members of the UBC4/UBC5 subfamily but is not present in any of the other known E2s, whereas the N-terminal 60 amino acids do not contribute significantly to the specificity of these interactions. The conservation of this phenylalanine residue throughout evolution underlines the importance of the ability to interact with hect domain proteins for the cellular function of UBC4/UBC5 subfamily members.  (+info)

(8/4047) Mechanism of the cleavage specificity of Alzheimer's disease gamma-secretase identified by phenylalanine-scanning mutagenesis of the transmembrane domain of the amyloid precursor protein.

Proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein by beta-secretase yields A4CT (C99), which is cleaved further by the as yet unknown gamma-secretase, yielding the beta-amyloid (Abeta) peptide with 40 (Abeta40) or 42 residues (Abeta42). Because the position of gamma-secretase cleavage is crucial for the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease, we individually replaced all membrane-domain residues of A4CT outside the Abeta domain with phenylalanine, stably transfected the constructs in COS7 cells, and determined the effect of these mutations on the cleavage specificity of gamma-secretase (Abeta42/Abeta40 ratio). Compared with wild-type A4CT, mutations at Val-44, Ile-47, and Val-50 led to decreased Abeta42/Abeta40 ratios, whereas mutations at Thr-43, Ile-45, Val-46, Leu-49, and Met-51 led to increased Abeta42/Abeta40 ratios. A massive effect was observed for I45F (34-fold increase) making this construct important for the generation of animal models for Alzheimer's disease. Unlike the other mutations, A4CT-V44F was processed mainly to Abeta38, as determined by mass spectrometry. Our data provide a detailed model for the active site of gamma-secretase: gamma-secretase interacts with A4CT by binding to one side of the alpha-helical transmembrane domain of A4CT. Mutations in the transmembrane domain of A4CT interfere with the interaction between gamma-secretase and A4CT and, thus, alter the cleavage specificity of gamma-secretase.  (+info)