(1/5338) Crystal structure of MHC class II-associated p41 Ii fragment bound to cathepsin L reveals the structural basis for differentiation between cathepsins L and S.

The lysosomal cysteine proteases cathepsins S and L play crucial roles in the degradation of the invariant chain during maturation of MHC class II molecules and antigen processing. The p41 form of the invariant chain includes a fragment which specifically inhibits cathepsin L but not S. The crystal structure of the p41 fragment, a homologue of the thyroglobulin type-1 domains, has been determined at 2.0 A resolution in complex with cathepsin L. The structure of the p41 fragment demonstrates a novel fold, consisting of two subdomains, each stabilized by disulfide bridges. The first subdomain is an alpha-helix-beta-strand arrangement, whereas the second subdomain has a predominantly beta-strand arrangement. The wedge shape and three-loop arrangement of the p41 fragment bound to the active site cleft of cathepsin L are reminiscent of the inhibitory edge of cystatins, thus demonstrating the first example of convergent evolution observed in cysteine protease inhibitors. However, the different fold of the p41 fragment results in additional contacts with the top of the R-domain of the enzymes, which defines the specificity-determining S2 and S1' substrate-binding sites. This enables inhibitors based on the thyroglobulin type-1 domain fold, in contrast to the rather non-selective cystatins, to exhibit specificity for their target enzymes.  (+info)

(2/5338) Bile duct epithelial cells exposed to alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate produce a factor that causes neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury in vitro.

The acute hepatotoxicity induced by alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT) in rats is manifested as neutrophil-dependent necrosis of bile duct epithelial cells (BDECs) and hepatic parenchymal cells. This hepatotoxicity mirrors that of drug-induced cholangiolitic hepatitis in humans. Since BDECs are primary targets of ANIT-induced toxicity, we hypothesized that after exposure to ANIT, BDECs produce a factor(s) that causes neutrophil chemotaxis and neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury. To test this hypothesis BDECs were isolated from male Sprague Dawley rats and incubated with ANIT (6.25, 12.5, 25, or 50 microM) or vehicle for 24 h. The conditioned medium (CM) was collected and placed in the bottom chamber of a two-chambered chemotaxis system, while isolated neutrophils were placed in the top chamber. Chemotaxis was indicated by neutrophil migration through a membrane to the bottom chamber. CM from BDECs exposed to each concentration of ANIT was chemotactic, whereas CM from vehicle-treated BDECs was not. ANIT alone caused a modest degree of chemotaxis at 50 microM. The conditioned media were added to isolated hepatocytes or to hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures and incubated for 24 h. Hepatocyte toxicity was indicated by alanine aminotransferase release into the culture medium. CM from vehicle-treated BDECs did not cause hepatocyte killing in either hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures or hepatocyte cultures. In contrast, the addition of CM from ANIT-treated BDECs (CM-BDEC-A) to hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures resulted in hepatocyte killing. The same CM was not cytotoxic to hepatocyte cultures devoid of neutrophils. The hepatocyte killing could not be explained by residual ANIT in the CM, which was below the limit of detection (< or = 0.5 microM). The addition of antiproteases afforded protection against neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury induced by CM-BDEC-A. These results indicate that ANIT causes BDECs to release a factor(s) that attracts neutrophils and stimulates them to injure hepatocytes in vitro.  (+info)

(3/5338) A new sugar chain of the proteinase inhibitor from latex of Carica papaya.

The structure of a sugar chain of the proteinase inhibitor from the latex of Carica papaya was studied. Sugar chains liberated on hydrazinolysis were N-acetylated, and their reducing-end residues were tagged with 2-aminopyridine. One major sugar chain was detected on size-fractionation and reversed-phase HPLC analyses. The structure of the PA-sugar chain was determined by two-dimensional sugar mapping combined with sequential exoglycosidase digestion and partial acid hydrolysis, and by 750 MHz 1H-NMR spectroscopy. The structure found was Manalpha1-6(Manalpha1-3)Manalpha1-6(Manalpha1-3) (Xylbeta1-2)Manbeta1- 4GlcNAcbeta1-4(Fucalpha1-3)GlcNAc. This sugar chain represents a new plant-type sugar chain with five mannose residues.  (+info)

(4/5338) CD44 cleavage induced by a membrane-associated metalloprotease plays a critical role in tumor cell migration.

CD44 is a cell surface receptor for hyaluronate, a component of the extracellular matrix (ECM). Although CD44 has been implicated in tumor invasion and metastasis, the molecular mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here we find that CD44 expressed in cancer cells is cleaved at the membrane-proximal region of the ectodomain and the membrane-bound cleavage product can be detected using an antibody against the cytoplasmic domain of CD44. Furthermore, we report that CD44 cleavage is mediated by a membrane-associated metalloprotease expressed in cancer cells. A tissue inhibitor of metalloproteases-1 (TIMP-1), as well as metalloprotease inhibitors, inhibit CD44 cleavage in the cell-free assay. Contrary, serine protease inhibitors enhance CD44 cleavage, and the enhancement can be prevented by pretreatment with a metalloprotease inhibitor. Thus, CD44 cleavage is regulated by an intricate balance between some proteases and their inhibitors. Interestingly, treatment with the metalloprotease blocker 1,10-phenanthroline, which strongly prevent the CD44 cleavage, suppressed RERF-LC-OK lung cancer cell migration on a hyaluronate substrate, but not on several other substrates. These results suggest that CD44 cleavage plays a critical role in an efficient cell-detachment from a hyaluronate substrate during the cell migration and consequently promotes CD44-mediated cancer cell migration. Our present data indicate that CD44, not only ECM per se, is one of the targets of pericellular proteolysis involved in tumor invasion and metastasis.  (+info)

(5/5338) Role of proteases in implantation.

Implantation of the embryo into the endometrium is a critical step in the establishment of pregnancy and the failure of embryos to implant is a major limiting factor in the success of reproductive technologies. Furthermore, one or more of the molecules of importance at implantation could provide a suitable target for post-coital contraception. While there is considerable species variation in the extent to which the trophoblast invades the maternal endometrium and makes contact with the maternal blood supply, many of the molecular mechanisms are conserved among species. Three families of protease are involved in the matrix degradation required for implantation: the cysteine, serine and matrix metalloproteinases. Other proteases are required for the activation of regulatory molecules. Although trophoblast from all species appears to have a high invasive potential, this is limited by the presence of partner protease inhibitors, the presence of which provides restraint to this invasion. It is the balance between the proteases and their inhibitors at any focal point that determines the site and extent of trophoblast invasion. This review examines the literature regarding proteases and their inhibitors at early implantation sites across a range of species with very different forms of placentation and evaluates their common features and their dissimilarities.  (+info)

(6/5338) Dietary fish oils inhibit early events in the assembly of very low density lipoproteins and target apoB for degradation within the rough endoplasmic reticulum of hamster hepatocytes.

Dietary fish oils inhibited secretion and stimulated intracellular degradation of apolipoprotein (apo)B in hamster hepatocytes, while dietary sunflower oils stimulated secretion and had no effect on degradation of apoB. To investigate the intracellular site at which fish oils act, we have made use of our previous observations that inhibition of degradation by N-acetyl-leucyl-leucyl-norleucinal (ALLN) results in accumulation of apoB in the trans -Golgi membrane and does not stimulate secretion, while inhibition of degradation by o-phenanthroline results in accumulation of apoB in the rough endoplasmic reticulum membrane and stimulates secretion. Thus, ALLN protects apoB which has been diverted from secretion and o -phenanthroline protects apoB which is targetted for secretion. Addition of o -phenantholine to the incubation medium of hepatocytes from fish oil-fed hamsters inhibited degradation of apoB and stimulated its secretion in particles of the density of VLDL, while addition of ALLN had no effect. These observations suggest that dietary fish oils reversibly inhibit early steps in the assembly of very low density lipoprotein precursors and target apoB for degradation in the rough endoplasmic reticulum.  (+info)

(7/5338) Suppression of experimental abdominal aortic aneurysms by systemic treatment with a hydroxamate-based matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor (RS 132908).

BACKGROUND: Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAAs) are associated with chronic inflammation, disruption of medial elastin, and increased local production of elastolytic matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). The purpose of this study was to investigate how treatment with a hydroxamate-based MMP antagonist (RS 132908) might affect the development of experimental AAAs. METHODS: Male Wistar rats underwent intraluminal perfusion of the abdominal aorta with 50 units of porcine pancreatic elastase followed by treatment for 14 days with RS 132908 (100 mg/kg/day subcutaneously; n = 8) or with vehicle alone (n = 6). The external aortic diameter (AD) was measured in millimeters before elastase perfusion and at death, with AAA defined as an increase in AD (DeltaAD) of at least 100%. Aortic wall elastin and collagen concentrations were measured with assays for desmosine and hydroxyproline, and fixed aortic tissues were examined by light microscopy. RESULTS: AAAs developed in all vehicle-treated rats, with a mean AD (+/- SE) that increased from 1.60 +/- 0.03 mm before perfusion to 5.98 +/- 1.02 mm on day 14 (DeltaAD = 276.4 +/- 67.7%). AAAs developed in only five of eight animals (62.5%) after MMP inhibition, with a mean AD that increased from 1.56 +/- 0.05 mm to 3.59 +/- 0.34 mm (DeltaAD = 128.1 +/- 18.7%; P <.05, vs vehicle). The overall inhibition of aortic dilatation attributable to RS 132908 was 53.6 +/- 6.8%. Aortic wall desmosine fell by 85.4% in the vehicle-treated rats (1210.6 +/- 87.8 pmol/sample to 176.7 +/- 33.4 pmol/sample; P <.05) but only by 65.6% in the animals treated with RS 312908 (416.2 +/- 120.5 pmol/sample). In contrast, hydroxyproline was not significantly affected by either elastase perfusion or drug treatment. Microscopic examination revealed the preservation of pericellular elastin and a greater degree of fibrocollagenous wall thickening after MMP inhibition, with no detectable difference in the extent of inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Systemic MMP inhibition suppresses aneurysmal dilatation in the elastase-induced rodent model of AAA. Consistent with its direct inhibitory effect on various MMPs, RS 132908 promotes the preservation of aortic elastin and appears to enhance a profibrotic response within the aortic wall. Hydroxamate-based MMP antagonists may therefore be useful in the development of pharmacologic approaches to the suppression of AAAs.  (+info)

(8/5338) HaCaT human keratinocytes express IGF-II, IGFBP-6, and an acid-activated protease with activity against IGFBP-6.

The insulin-like growth factor (IGF) system plays an important role in skin. HaCaT human keratinocytes proliferate in response to IGFs and synthesize IGF-binding protein-3 (IGFBP-3). Recently, IGFBP-6 was also identified by NH2-terminal sequencing, but it has not been identified by Western ligand blotting. In the present study, IGFBP-6 was detected in HaCaT-conditioned medium by use of immunoblotting and Western ligand blotting with 125I-labeled IGF-II. Proteolytic activity against IGFBPs, an important mechanism for regulation of their activity, was then studied. An acid-activated, cathepsin D-like protease that cleaved both IGFBP-6 and IGFBP-3 was detected. Although proteolysis did not substantially reduce the size of immunoreactive IGFBP-6, it greatly reduced the ability of IGFBP-6 to bind 125I-IGF-II as determined by Western ligand blotting and solution assay. HaCaT keratinocytes do not express IGF-I mRNA, but IGF-II mRNA and protein expression was detected. These observations suggest the possibility of an autocrine IGF-II loop that is regulated by the relative expression of IGF-II, IGFBP-3, and IGFBP-6, and IGFBP proteases in these keratinocytes, although demonstration of this loop requires further study.  (+info)