Reduced folate carrier expression in acute lymphoblastic leukemia: a mechanism for ploidy but not lineage differences in methotrexate accumulation. (1/414)

Methotrexate (MTX) is one of the most active and widely used agents for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). To elucidate the mechanism for higher accumulation of MTX polyglutamates (MTX-PG) in hyperdiploid ALL and lower accumulation in T-lineage ALL, expression of the reduced folate carrier (RFC) was assessed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction in ALL blasts isolated from newly diagnosed patients. RFC expression exhibited a 60-fold range among 29 children, with significantly higher expression in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL (median, 11.3) compared with nonhyperdiploid ALL (median, 2.1; P <.0006), but no significant difference between nonhyperdiploid B-lineage and T-lineage ALL. Furthermore, mRNA levels of RFC (mapped by FISH to chromosome 21) were significantly related to chromosome 21 copy number (P =.0013), with the highest expression in hyperdiploid ALL blasts with 4 copies of chromosome 21. To assess the functional significance of gene copy number, MTX-PG accumulation was compared in ALL blasts isolated from 121 patients treated with either low-dose MTX (LDMTX; n = 60) or high-dose MTX (HDMTX; n = 61). After LDMTX, MTX-PG accumulation was highest in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL with 4 copies of chromosome 21 (P =.011), but MTX-PG accumulation was not significantly related to chromosome 21 copy number after HDMTX (P =.24). These data show higher RFC expression as a mechanism for greater MTX accumulation in hyperdiploid B-lineage ALL and indicate that lineage differences in MTX-PG accumulation are not due to lower RFC expression in T-lineage ALL.  (+info)

Antitumor activity of poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel on syngeneic and xenografted tumors. (2/414)

Poly(L-glutamic acid)-paclitaxel (PG-TXL) is a new water-soluble paclitaxel derivative that has shown remarkable antitumor activity against both ovarian and breast tumors. The purpose of this study was to test whether the antitumor efficacy of PG-TXL depends on tumor type, as is the case for paclitaxel, and to test whether paclitaxel-resistant tumors could be responsive to PG-TXL. We evaluated the therapeutic activity of PG-TXL against four syngeneic murine tumors (MCa-4, MCa-35, HCa-1, and FSa-II) inoculated i.m. into C3Hf/Kam mice, a human SKOV3ip1 ovarian tumor injected i.p. into nude mice, and a human MDA-MB-435Lung2 breast tumor grown in the mammary fat pad of nude mice. Two paclitaxel-responsive murine tumors, MCa-4 and MCa-35, showed significant growth delay with PG-TXL given as a single i.v. injection at its maximum tolerated dose of 160 mg of equivalent paclitaxel/kg or even at a lower dose of 120 mg of equivalent paclitaxel/kg. The other two murine tumors, HCa-1 and FSa-II, did not respond particularly well to either of the two agents, although significant growth delay was observed for both tumors with PG-TXL. In mice with SKOV3ip1 tumors, the median survival times for mice treated with PG alone and PG-TXL at doses of 60 or 120 mg of equivalent paclitaxel/kg were 43, 61, and 75 days, respectively; no survival difference was found between paclitaxel-treated and Cremophor vehicle-treated mice. In mice with MDA-MB-435Lung2 tumor, PG-TXL at a dose of 120 mg of equivalent paclitaxel/kg produced regression of the tumor in 50% of the animals, and in the remaining mice, micrometastases in the lung were found only in 25% of the animals. In comparison, treatment with paclitaxel at 60 mg/kg did not result in tumor regression, and the rate of lung metastases was 42%. These results clearly demonstrate that PG-TXL has significant therapeutic activity against breast and ovarian tumors tested in this study. Future studies to elucidate the mechanism of action of PG-TXL and to assess its clinical applications are warranted.  (+info)

An inhibitor of exported Mycobacterium tuberculosis glutamine synthetase selectively blocks the growth of pathogenic mycobacteria in axenic culture and in human monocytes: extracellular proteins as potential novel drug targets. (3/414)

Mycobacterium tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria export abundant quantities of proteins into their extracellular milieu when growing either axenically or within phagosomes of host cells. One major extracellular protein, the enzyme glutamine synthetase, is of particular interest because of its link to pathogenicity. Pathogenic mycobacteria, but not nonpathogenic mycobacteria, export large amounts of this protein. Interestingly, export of the enzyme is associated with the presence of a poly-L-glutamate/glutamine structure in the mycobacterial cell wall. In this study, we investigated the influence of glutamine synthetase inhibitors on the growth of pathogenic and nonpathogenic mycobacteria and on the poly-L-glutamate/glutamine cell wall structure. The inhibitor L-methionine-S-sulfoximine rapidly inactivated purified M. tuberculosis glutamine synthetase, which was 100-fold more sensitive to this inhibitor than a representative mammalian glutamine synthetase. Added to cultures of pathogenic mycobacteria, L-methionine- S-sulfoximine rapidly inhibited extracellular glutamine synthetase in a concentration-dependent manner but had only a minimal effect on cellular glutamine synthetase, a finding consistent with failure of the drug to cross the mycobacterial cell wall. Remarkably, the inhibitor selectively blocked the growth of pathogenic mycobacteria, all of which release glutamine synthetase extracellularly, but had no effect on nonpathogenic mycobacteria or nonmycobacterial microorganisms, none of which release glutamine synthetase extracellularly. The inhibitor was also bacteriostatic for M. tuberculosis in human mononuclear phagocytes (THP-1 cells), the pathogen's primary host cells. Paralleling and perhaps underlying its bacteriostatic effect, the inhibitor markedly reduced the amount of poly-L-glutamate/glutamine cell wall structure in M. tuberculosis. Although it is possible that glutamine synthetase inhibitors interact with additional extracellular proteins or structures, our findings support the concept that extracellular proteins of M. tuberculosis and other pathogenic mycobacteria are worthy targets for new antibiotics. Such proteins constitute readily accessible targets of these relatively impermeable organisms, which are rapidly developing resistance to conventional antibiotics.  (+info)

Isolation of tubulin polyglutamylase from Crithidia; binding to microtubules and tubulin, and glutamylation of mammalian brain alpha- and beta-tubulins. (4/414)

Trypanosomatids have a striking cage-like arrangement of submembraneous microtubules. We previously showed that alpha- and beta- tubulins of these stable microtubules are extensively modified by polyglutamylation. Cytoskeletal microtubular preparations obtained by Triton extraction of Leishmania tarentolae and Crithidia fasciculata retain an enzymatic activity that incorporates radioactive glutamic acid in a Mg2+-ATP-dependent manner into alpha- and beta-tubulins. The tubulin polyglutamylase is extracted by 0.25 M salt. The Crithidia enzyme can be purified by ATP-affinity chromatography, glycerol-gradient centrifugation and ion-exchange chromatography. After extraction from the microtubular cytoskeleton the glutamylase forms a complex with alphabeta tubulin, but behaves after removal of tubulin as a globular protein with a molecular mass of 38x10(3). In highly enriched fractions a corresponding band is the major polypeptide visible in SDS-PAGE. The enzyme from Crithidia recognises mammalian brain tubulin, where it incorporates glutamic acid preferentially into the more acidic variants of both alpha- and beta-tubulins. Synthetic peptides with an oligoglutamyl side chain, corresponding to the carboxy-terminal end of brain alpha- and beta-tubulins, are accepted by the enzyme, albeit at low efficiency. The polyglutamylase elongates the side chain by up to 3 and 5 residues, respectively. Other properties of the tubulin polyglutamylase are also discussed.  (+info)

Nucleosome movement by CHRAC and ISWI without disruption or trans-displacement of the histone octamer. (5/414)

The chromatin accessibility complex (CHRAC) belongs to the class of nucleosome remodeling factors that increase the accessibility of nucleosomal DNA in an ATP-dependent manner. We found that CHRAC induces movements of intact histone octamers to neighboring DNA segments without facilitating their displacement to competing DNA or histone chaperones in trans. CHRAC-induced energy-dependent nucleosome sliding may, in principle, explain nucleosome remodeling, nucleosome positioning, and nucleosome spacing reactions known to be catalyzed by CHRAC. The catalytic core of CHRAC, the ATPase ISWI, also mobilized nucleosomes at the expense of energy. However, the directionality of the CHRAC- and ISWI-induced nucleosome movements differed drastically, indicating that the geometry of the native complex modulates the activity of its catalytic core.  (+info)

Development of a hepatocyte-specific prostaglandin E(1) polymeric prodrug and its potential for preventing carbon tetrachloride-induced fulminant hepatitis in mice. (6/414)

A polymeric prodrug of prostaglandin E(1) (PGE(1)) was synthesized using galactosylated poly(L-glutamic acid hydrazide) (Gal-HZ-PLGA) as a biodegradable and targetable carrier to hepatocytes. Poly(L-glutamic acid hydrazide) was prepared by reacting poly(gamma-benzyl-L-glutamate) with hydrazine monohydrate, followed by reaction with 2-imino-2-methoxyethyl-1-thiogalactosides to obtain Gal-HZ-PLGA after i.v. injection. (111)In-labeled galactosylated poly(L-glutamic acid hydrazide) ((111)In-Gal-HZ-PLGA) rapidly accumulated in the liver in a dose-dependent manner, whereas (111)In-poly(L-glutamic acid hydrazide) did not, indicating the involvement of a galactose-specific mechanism in the uptake of (111)In-Gal-HZ-PLGA. Fractionation of liver cells revealed that (111)In-Gal-HZ-PLGA was preferentially taken up by liver parenchymal cells. After being taken up by the liver, (111)In-Gal-HZ-PLGA was gradually degraded, and radioactive metabolites with low molecular weight were detected within 10 min after injection. Then, PGE(1) or [(3)H]PGE(1) was coupled to Gal-HZ-PLGA via a hydrazone bond under mild conditions to obtain PGE(1) conjugate. After i.v. injection, [(3)H]PGE(1) conjugate was rapidly taken up by the liver (more than 80% of the dose). After injection of the conjugate, (3)H radioactivity remained in the liver, representing about 70% of the dose, even at 24 h, whereas little radioactivity remained in the organ at 1 h after the injection of free [(3)H]PGE(1). Finally, its pharmacological activity was examined in mice with fulminant hepatitis induced by peritoneal injection of carbon tetrachloride. The i.v. injection of PGE(1) conjugate at a dose of 1 mg (0.074 mg PGE(1))/kg effectively inhibited the increase of plasma glutamic pyruvic transaminase activity, whereas twice this dose (0.15 mg/kg) of free PGE(1) had little effect. These results suggest that the PGE(1) conjugate is an excellent polymeric prodrug of PGE(1) for hepatitis therapy.  (+info)

Synthetic peptides identify the minimal substrate requirements of tubulin polyglutamylase in side chain elongation. (7/414)

The minimal sequence requirement of Crithidia tubulin polyglutamylase is already fulfilled by tubulin-related peptides carrying a free alpha-carboxylate on a glutamic acid residue. Since the product of each glutamylation step fulfills the substrate requirements necessary for the next cycle, very long side chains are generated with brain tubulin as a substrate. Up to 70 mol of glutamic acid was incorporated per alphabeta-heterodimer. We speculate that the strict choice of a particular glutamate residue for the formation of the isopeptide bond initiating a novel side chain is made by a tubulin monoglutamylase which requires the entire tubulin as substrate.  (+info)

Contribution of the cell wall component teichuronopeptide to pH homeostasis and alkaliphily in the alkaliphile Bacillus lentus C-125. (8/414)

A teichuronopeptide (TUP) is one of major structural components of the cell wall of the facultative alkaliphilic strain Bacillus lentus C-125. A mutant defective in TUP synthesis grows slowly at alkaline pH. An upper limit of pH for growth of the mutant was 10.4, while that of the parental strain C-125 was 10.8. Gene tupA, directing synthesis of TUP, was cloned from C-125 chromosomal DNA. The primary translation product of this gene is likely a cytoplasmic protein (57. 3 kDa) consisting of 489 amino acid residues. Introduction of the tupA gene into the TUP-defective mutant complemented the mutation responsible for the pleiotropic phenotypes of the mutant, leading to simultaneous disappearance of the defect in TUP synthesis, the diminished ability for cytoplasmic pH homeostasis, and the low tolerance for alkaline conditions. These results demonstrate that the acidic polymer TUP in the cell wall plays a role in pH homeostasis in this alkaliphile.  (+info)