High-throughput screening of small molecules in miniaturized mammalian cell-based assays involving post-translational modifications. (1/851)

BACKGROUND: Fully adapting a forward genetic approach to mammalian systems requires efficient methods to alter systematically gene products without prior knowledge of gene sequences, while allowing for the subsequent characterization of these alterations. Ideally, these methods would also allow function to be altered in a temporally controlled manner. RESULTS: We report the development of a miniaturized cell-based assay format that enables a genetic-like approach to understanding cellular pathways in mammalian systems using small molecules, rather than mutations, as the source of gene-product alterations. This whole-cell immunodetection assay can sensitively detect changes in specific cellular macromolecules in high-density arrays of mammalian cells. Furthermore, it is compatible with screening large numbers of small molecules in nanoliter to microliter culture volumes. We refer to this assay format as a 'cytoblot', and demonstrate the use of cytoblotting to monitor biosynthetic processes such as DNA synthesis, and post-translational processes such as acetylation and phosphorylation. Finally, we demonstrate the applicability of these assays to natural-product screening through the identification of marine sponge extracts exhibiting genotype-specific inhibition of 5-bromodeoxyuridine incorporation and suppression of the anti-proliferative effect of rapamycin. CONCLUSIONS: We show that cytoblots can be used for high-throughput screening of small molecules in cell-based assays. Together with small-molecule libraries, the cytoblot assay can be used to perform chemical genetic screens analogous to those used in classical genetics and thus should be applicable to understanding a wide variety of cellular processes, especially those involving post-transitional modifications.  (+info)

Promoter and exon-intron structure of the protein kinase C gene from the marine sponge Geodia cydonium: evolutionary considerations and promoter activity. (2/851)

We report the gene structure of a key signaling molecule from a marine sponge, Geodia cydonium. The selected gene, which codes for a classical protein kinase C (cPKC), comprises 13 exons and 12 introns; the introns are, in contrast to those found in cPKC from higher Metazoa, small in size ranging from 93 nt to 359 nt. The complete gene has a length of 4229 nt and contains exons which encode the characteristic putative regulatory and catalytic domains of metazoan cPKCs. While in the regulatory domain only one intron is in phase 0, in the catalytic domain most introns are phase 0 introns, suggesting that the latter only rarely undergo module duplication. The 5'-flanking sequence of the sponge cPKC gene contains a TATA-box like motif which is located 35-26 nt upstream from the start of the longest sequenced cDNA. This 5'-flanking sequence was analyzed for promoter activity. The longest fragment (538 nt) was able to drive the expression of luciferase in transient transfections of NIH 3T3 fibroblasts; the strong activity of the sponge promoter was found to be half the one displayed by the SV40 reference promoter. Deletion analysis demonstrates that the AP4 site and the GC box which is most adjacent to the TATA box are the crucial elements for maximal promoter activity. The activity of the promoter is not changed in 3T3 cells which are kept serum starved or in the presence of a phorbol ester. In conclusion, these data present the phylogenetically oldest cPKC gene which contains in the 5'-flanking region a promoter functional in the heterologous mammalian cell system.  (+info)

Apicularens A and B, new cytostatic macrolides from Chondromyces species (myxobacteria): production, physico-chemical and biological properties. (3/851)

A novel macrolide, apicularen A, was produced by several species of the genus Chondromyces. Initially it was discovered by bioassay-guided RP-HPLC-fractionation of culture extracts of Chondromyces robustus, strain Cm a13. Apicularen A showed no antimicrobial activity, but was highly cytotoxic for cultivated human and animal cells, with IC50 values ranging between 0.1 and 3 ng/ml. A cometabolite of apicularen A, the N-acetylglucosamine glycoside apicularen B, was distinctly less cytotoxic with IC50 values between 0.2 and 1.2 microg/ml, and showed weak activity against a few Gram-positive bacteria. Apicularen A is chemically closely related to the salicylihalamides A and B from the marine sponge Haliclona sp.  (+info)

Latrunculin-A causes mydriasis and cycloplegia in the cynomolgus monkey. (4/851)

PURPOSE: To determine the effect of latrunculin (LAT)-A, which binds to G-actin and disassembles actin filaments, on the pupil, accommodation, and isolated ciliary muscle (CM) contraction in monkeys. METHODS: Pupil diameter (vernier calipers) and refraction (coincidence refractometry) were measured every 15 minutes from 0.75 to 3.5 hours after topical LAT-A 42 microg (approximately 10 microM in the anterior chamber [AC]). Refraction was measured every 5 minutes from 0.5 to 1.5 hours after intracameral injection of 10 microl of 50 microM LAT-A (approximately 5 microM in AC), with intramuscular infusion of 1.5 mg/kg pilocarpine HCl (PILO) during the first 15 minutes of measurements. Pupil diameter was measured at 1 and 2 hours, and refraction was measured every 5 minutes from 1 to 2 hours, after intravitreal injection of 20 microl of 1.25 mM LAT-A (approximately 10 microM in vitreous), with intramuscular infusion of 1.5 mg/kg PILO during the first 15 minutes of measurements (all after topical 2.5% phenylephrine), and contractile response of isolated CM strips, obtained <1 hour postmortem and mounted in a perfusion apparatus, to 10 microM PILO +/- LAT-A was measured at various concentrations. RESULTS: Topical LAT-A of 42 microg dilated the pupil without affecting refraction. Intracameral LAT-A of 5 microM inhibited miotic and accommodative responses to intramuscular PILO. Intravitreal LAT-A of 10 microM had no effect on accommodative or miotic responses to intramuscular PILO. LAT-A dose-dependently relaxed the PILO-contracted CM by up to 50% at 3 microM in both the longitudinal and circular vectors. CONCLUSIONS: In monkeys, LAT-A causes mydriasis and cycloplegia, perhaps related to its known ability to disrupt the actin microfilament network and consequently to affect cell contractility and adhesion. Effects of LAT-A on the iris and CM may have significant physiological and clinical implications.  (+info)

Evolutionary relationships of Metazoa within the eukaryotes based on molecular data from Porifera. (5/851)

Recent molecular data provide strong support for the view that all metazoan phyla, including Porifera, are of monophyletic origin. The relationship of Metazoa, including the Porifera, to Plantae, Fungi and unicellular eukaryotes has only rarely been studied by using cDNAs coding for proteins. Sequence data from rDNA suggested a relationship of Porifera to unicellular eukaryotes (choanoflagellates). However, ultrastructural studies of choanocytes did not support these findings. In the present study, we compared amino acid sequences that are found in a variety of metazoans (including sponges) with those of Plantae, Fungi and unicellular eukaryotes, to obtain an answer to this question. We used the four sequences from 70 kDa heat-shock proteins, the serine-threonine kinase domain found in protein kinases, beta-tubulin and calmodulin. The latter two sequences were deduced from cDNAs, isolated from the sponge Geodia cydonium for the phylogenetic analyses presented. These revealed that the sponge molecules were grouped into the same branch as the Metazoa, which is statistically (significantly) separated from those branches that comprise the sequences from Fungi, Plantae and unicellular eukaryotes. From our molecular data it seems evident that the unicellular eukaryotes existed at an earlier stage of evolution, and the Plantae and especially the Fungi and the Metazoa only appeared later.  (+info)

Effects of petrosaspongiolide M, a novel phospholipase A2 inhibitor, on acute and chronic inflammation. (6/851)

The marine product petrosaspongiolide M is a novel inhibitor of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), showing selectivity for secretory PLA2 versus cytosolic PLA2, with a potency on the human synovial enzyme (group II) similar to that of manoalide. This compound was more potent than manoalide on bee venom PLA2 (group III) and had no effect on group I enzymes (Naja naja and porcine pancreatic PLA2). Inhibition of PLA2 was also observed in vivo in the zymosan-injected rat air pouch, on the secretory enzyme accumulated in the pouch exudate. Petrosaspongiolide M decreased carrageenan paw edema in mice after the oral administration of 5, 10, or 20 mg/kg. This marine metabolite (0.01-1.0 micromol/pouch) induced a dose-dependent reduction in the levels of prostaglandin (PG)E2, leukotriene B4, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha in the mouse air pouch injected with zymosan 4 h after the stimulus. It also had a weaker effect on cell migration. The inflammatory response of adjuvant arthritis was reduced by petrosaspongiolide M, which also inhibited leukotriene B4 levels in serum and PGE2 levels in paw homogenates. In contrast with indomethacin, this marine compound did not reduce PGE2 levels in stomach homogenates. Petrosaspongiolide M is a new inhibitor of secretory PLA2 in vitro and in vivo, with anti-inflammatory properties in acute and chronic inflammation.  (+info)

Origin of the integrin-mediated signal transduction. Functional studies with cell cultures from the sponge Suberites domuncula. (7/851)

Sponges (phylum Porifera) represent the phylogenetically oldest metazoan animals. Recently, from the marine sponge Geodia cydonium a first cDNA encoding a putative integrin receptor molecule was isolated. In the present study basic functional experiments have been conducted to test the hypothesis that in sponges integrin polypeptides also function as adhesion molecules and as outside-in signaling molecules. The sponge Suberites domuncula has been used for the experiments because from this sponge only has a cell culture been established. Here we report that aggregation factor (AF)-mediated cell-cell adhesion is blocked by the RGDS peptide which is known to interact with beta integrin. Both RGDS and AF were found to stimulate DNA synthesis within 24 h. The beta subunit of the integrin receptor was cloned from S. domuncula; the estimated 91-kDa molecule comprises the characteristic signatures. Evolutionary conservation of the beta integrin was assessed by comparison with corresponding beta integrin subunits from evolutionary higher metazoan taxa. Addition of RGDS or of AF to isolated cells of S. domuncula causes a rapid (within 1-2 min) increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration which is further augmented in the presence of Ca2+. Furthermore, incubation of the cells with RGDS or AF causes an activation of the GTP-binding protein Ras. In addition it is shown that after a prolonged incubation of the cells with RGDS and AF the expression of the genes coding for Ras and for calmodulin is upregulated. These results suggest that the integrin receptor functions in the sponge system not only as adhesion molecule but also as a molecule involved in outside-in signaling.  (+info)

Studies on the mechanism of collagen glucosyltransferase reaction. (8/851)

The mechanism of collagen glucosyltransferase reaction was studied with enzyme preparations purified about 2500-5000-fold from extract of homogenate of whole chick embryos. Data obtained in experiments on initial velocity and inhibition kinetics of the reaction were consistent with an ordered mechanism in which the substrates are bound to the enzyme in the following order: Mn2+, UDP-glucose and collagen substrate, the addition of Mn2+ being at thermodynamic equilibrium and the binding site of the UDP-glucose to the enzyme not being the same as that for Mn2+ and collagen substrate. Only one metal co-factor seems to be involved in the reaction. The collagen substrate can probably also react in some conditions with enzyme-Mn2+ and with enzyme-Mn2+-UDP, and the UDP with the free enzyme, but in all these instances dead-end complexes are formed. Evidence is presented for an ordered release of the products in the following order: glucosylated collagen, UDP and Mn2+, in which Mn2+ need not leave the enzyme during each catalytic cycle.  (+info)