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(1/603) Increased phosphoglycerate kinase in the brains of patients with Down's syndrome but not with Alzheimer's disease.

Impaired glucose metabolism in Down's syndrome (DS) has been well-documented in vivo, although information on the underlying biochemical defect is limited and no biochemical studies on glucose handling enzymes have been carried out in the brain. Through gene hunting in fetal DS brain we found an overexpressed sequence homologous to the phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK) gene. This finding was studied further by investigating the activity levels of this key enzyme of carbohydrate metabolism in the brains of patients with DS. PGK activity was determined in five brain regions of nine patients with DS, nine patients with Alzheimer's disease and 14 controls. PGK activity was significantly elevated in the frontal, occipital and temporal lobe and in the cerebellum of patients with DS. PGK activity in corresponding brain regions of patients with Alzheimer's disease was comparable with controls. We conclude that our findings complement previously published data on impaired brain glucose metabolism in DS evaluated by positron emission tomography in clinical studies. Furthermore, we show that in DS, impaired glucose metabolism, represented by increased PGK activity, is a specific finding rather than a secondary phenomenon simply due to neurodegeneration or atrophy. These observations are also supported by data from subtractive hybridization, showing overexpressed PGK in DS brains at the transcriptional level early in life.  (+info)

(2/603) Hox gene expression in limbs: colinearity by opposite regulatory controls.

Genes of the HoxD complex have a crucial role in the morphogenesis of vertebrate limbs. During development, their functional domains are colinear with their genomic positions within the HoxD cluster such that Hoxd13 and Hoxd12 are necessary for digit development, whereas Hoxd11 and Hoxd10 are involved in making forearms. Mutational analyses of these genes have demonstrated their importance and illustrated the requirement for a precise control of their expression during early limb morphogenesis. To study the nature of this control, we have scanned the posterior part of the HoxD complex with a targeted reporter transgene and analyzed the response of this foreign promoter to limb regulatory influences. The results suggest that this regulation is achieved through the opposite effects of two enhancer elements which would compete with each other for interacting with nearby-located promoters. The physical position of a given gene within this genomic interval of opposite regulations might thus determine its final expression pattern. This model provides a conceptual link between the morphology of the future limb and the genetic organization of the Hox gene cluster, a translation of a genomic context into a morphogenetic topology.  (+info)

(3/603) Position-dependent inhibition of class-switch recombination by PGK-neor cassettes inserted into the immunoglobulin heavy chain constant region locus.

The Ig heavy chain (IgH) constant region (CH) genes are organized from 5' to 3' in the order Cmicro, Cdelta, Cgamma3, Cgamma1, Cgamma2b, Cgamma2a, Cepsilon, and Calpha. Expression of CH genes downstream of Cdelta involves class-switch recombination (CSR), a process that is targeted by germ-line transcription (GT) of the corresponding CH gene. Previously, we demonstrated that insertion of a PGK-neor cassette at two sites downstream of Calpha inhibits, in cultured B cells, GT of and CSR to a subset of CH genes (including Cgamma3, Cgamma2a, Cgamma2b, and Cepsilon) that lie as far as 120 kb upstream. Here we show that insertion of the PGK-neor cassette in place of sequences in the Igamma2b locus inhibits GT of and CSR to the upstream Cgamma3 gene, but has no major effect on the downstream Cgamma2a and Cepsilon genes. Moreover, replacement of the Cepsilon exons with a PGK-neor cassette in the opposite transcriptional orientation also inhibits, in culture, GT of and CSR to the upstream Cgamma3, Cgamma2b, and Cgamma2a genes. As with the PGK-neor insertions 3' of Calpha studied previously, the Cgamma1 and Calpha genes were less affected by these mutations both in culture and in mice, whereas the Cgamma2b gene appeared less affected in vivo. Our findings support the existence of a long-range 3' IgH regulatory region required for GT of and CSR to multiple CH genes and suggest that PGK-neor cassette insertion into the locus short circuits the ability of this region to facilitate GT of dependent CH genes upstream of the insertion.  (+info)

(4/603) A conserved sequence block in the murine and human TCR J alpha region: assessment of regulatory function in vivo.

Temporal control of rearrangement at the TCR alpha/delta locus is crucial for development of the gamma delta and alpha beta T cell lineages. Because the TCR delta locus is embedded within the alpha locus, rearrangement of any V alpha-J alpha excises the delta locus, precluding expression of a functional gamma delta TCR. Approximately 100 kb spanning the C delta-C alpha region has been sequenced from both human and mouse, and comparison has revealed an unexpectedly high degree of conservation between the two. Of interest in terms of regulation, several highly conserved sequence blocks (> 90% over > 50 bp) were identified that did not correspond to known regulatory elements such as the TCR alpha and delta enhancers or to coding regions. One of these blocks lying between J alpha 4 and J alpha 3, which appears to be conserved in other vertebrates, has been shown to augment TCR alpha enhancer function in vitro and differentially bind factors from nuclear extracts. To further assess a plausible regulatory role for this element, we have created mice in which this conserved sequence block is either deleted or replaced with a neomycin resistance gene driven by the phosphoglycerate kinase promoter (pgk-neor). Deletion of this conserved sequence block in vivo did have a local effect on J alpha usage, echoing the in vitro data. However, its replacement with pgk-neor had a much more dramatic, long range effect, perhaps underscoring the importance of maintaining overall structure at this locus.  (+info)

(5/603) Site-directed mutagenesis of proline 204 in the 'hinge' region of yeast phosphoglycerate kinase.

Site-specific mutants have been produced in order to investigate the role of proline 204 in the 'hinge' region of yeast phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK). This totally conserved proline has been shown to be the only cis-proline in the high resolution crystal structures of yeast, B. stearothermophilus, T. brucei and T. maritima PGK, and may therefore have a role in the independent folding of the two domains or in the 'hinge' bending of the molecule during catalysis. The residue was replaced by a histidine (Pro204His) and a phenylalanine (Pro204Phe), and the resulting proteins characterised by differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), circular dichroism (CD), tryptophan fluorescence emission and kinetic analysis. Although the secondary and tertiary structure of the Pro204His protein is generally similar to that of the wild-type enzyme as assessed by CD, the enzyme is less stable to heat and guanidinium chloride denaturation than the wild-type. In the denaturation experiments two transitions were observed for both the wild-type and the Pro204His mutant, as have been previously reported for yeast PGK [Missiakas, D., Betton, J.M., Minard, P. & Yon, J.M. (1990) Biochemistry 29, 8683-8689]. The first transition is accompanied by an increase in fluorescence intensity leading to a hyperfluorescent state, followed by the second, corresponding to a decrease in fluorescence intensity. However, for the Pro204His mutant, the first transition proceeded at lower concentrations of guanidinium chloride and the second transition proceeded to the same extent as for the wild-type protein, suggesting that sequence-distant interactions are more rapidly disrupted in this mutant enzyme than in the wild-type enzyme, while sequence-local interactions are disrupted in a similar way. The Michaelis constants (K(m)) for both 3-phospho-D-glycerate and ATP are increased only by three or fourfold, which confirms that, as expected, the substrate binding sites are largely unaffected by the mutation. However, the turnover and efficiency of the Pro204His mutant is severely impaired, indicating that the mechanism of 'hinge' bending is hindered. The Pro204Phe enzyme was shown to be significantly less well folded than the wild-type and Pro204His enzymes, with considerable loss of both secondary and tertiary structure. It is proposed that the proline residue at 204 in the 'hinge' region of PGK plays a role in the stability and catalytic mechanism of the enzyme.  (+info)

(6/603) Pgk1 and Hprt gene activity in the peri-implantation mouse embryo is influenced by the parental origin of the X-chromosome.

The activity of two X-linked genes, Pgk1 and Hprt, that are localized on X-chromosomes of different parental origins in the XX mouse embryo was analyzed by the quantification of allele-specific transcripts. For the Pgk1 gene, the maternal allele-specific transcripts were consistently more abundant than the paternal transcripts in the blastocyst and the late gastrula. For the Hprt gene, the Hprt(b) allele was preferentially expressed in the blastocysts when it is present on the maternal X-chromosome. However, this skewed expression of the maternal allele was not observed in the reciprocal situation when the Hprt(a) allele was on the maternal X-chromosome. Like the Pgk1 locus, significantly more maternal Hprt transcripts were found in the gastrula-stage embryos irrespective of their genotypes. One possible interpretation of these results is that, in the XX mouse embryos, the genetic loci on maternal X-chromosome may be transcriptionally more active than their paternal counterparts during peri-implantation development.  (+info)

(7/603) What controls glycolysis in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei?

On the basis of the experimentally determined kinetic properties of the trypanosomal enzymes, the question is addressed of which step limits the glycolytic flux in bloodstream form Trypanosoma brucei. There appeared to be no single answer; in the physiological range, control shifted between the glucose transporter on the one hand and aldolase (ALD), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), phosphoglycerate kinase (PGK), and glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GDH) on the other hand. The other kinases, which are often thought to control glycolysis, exerted little control; so did the utilization of ATP. We identified potential targets for anti-trypanosomal drugs by calculating which steps need the least inhibition to achieve a certain inhibition of the glycolytic flux in these parasites. The glucose transporter appeared to be the most promising target, followed by ALD, GDH, GAPDH, and PGK. By contrast, in erythrocytes more than 95% deficiencies of PGK, GAPDH, or ALD did not cause any clinical symptoms (Schuster, R. and Holzhutter, H.-G. (1995) Eur. J. Biochem. 229, 403-418). Therefore, the selectivity of drugs inhibiting these enzymes may be much higher than expected from their molecular effects alone. Quite unexpectedly, trypanosomes seem to possess a substantial overcapacity of hexokinase, phosphofructokinase, and pyruvate kinase, making these "irreversible" enzymes mediocre drug targets.  (+info)

(8/603) Multiple elements influence transcriptional regulation from the human testis-specific PGK2 promoter in transgenic mice.

The PGK2 gene is expressed in a strictly tissue-specific manner in meiotic spermatocytes and postmeiotic spermatids during spermatogenesis in eutherian mammals. Previous results indicate that this is regulated at the transcriptional level by core promoter sequences that bind ubiquitous transcription factors and by sequences in a 40-base pair (bp) upstream enhancer region (E1/E4) that bind tissue-specific transcription factors. Transgenic mice carrying different PGK2 promoter sequences linked to the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (CAT) reporter gene, one containing only the 40-bp E1/E4 enhancer sequence plus the core promoter and two containing 515 bp of PGK2 promoter but with either the E1/E4 enhancer region or the Sp1-binding site in the core promoter disrupted by in vitro mutagenesis, all showed levels of expression reduced to less than half that of the wild-type 515 PGK2/CAT transgene. These results indicate that multiple factor-binding regions normally regulate initiation of transcription from the PGK2 promoter. The single disruption of any one of these binding activities reduced, but did not abolish, transgene expression. This is consistent with an "enhanceosome"-like function in this promoter involving multiple bound activator proteins that interact in a combinatorial manner to synergistically promote testis-specific transcription.  (+info)