Ligand-dependent activation of transcription in vitro by retinoic acid receptor alpha/retinoid X receptor alpha heterodimers that mimics transactivation by retinoids in vivo.
All-trans and 9-cis retinoic acids (RA) signals are transduced by retinoic acid receptor/retinoid X receptor (RAR/RXR) heterodimers that act as functional units controlling the transcription of RA-responsive genes. With the aim of elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms, we have developed an in vitro transcription system using a chromatin template made up of a minimal promoter and a direct repeat with 5-spacing-based RA response element. RARalpha and RXRalpha were expressed in and purified from baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells, and transcription was carried out by using naked DNA or chromatin templates. Transcription from naked templates was not affected by the presence of RA and/or RAR/RXR heterodimers. In contrast, very little transcription occurred from chromatin templates in the absence of RA or RAR/RXR heterodimers whereas their addition resulted in a dosage-dependent stimulation of transcription that never exceeded that occurring on naked DNA templates. Most importantly, the addition of synthetic agonistic or antagonistic retinoids to the chromatin transcription system mimicked their stimulatory or inhibitory action in vivo, and activation by a RXR-specific retinoid was subordinated to the binding of an agonist ligand to the RAR partner. Moreover, the addition of the p300 coactivator generated a synergistic enhancement of transcription. Thus, the dissection of this transcription system ultimately should lead to the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms by which RAR/RXR heterodimers control transcription in a ligand-dependent manner. (+info
Differential plasma membrane targeting of voltage-dependent calcium channel subunits expressed in a polarized epithelial cell line.
1. Voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs) show a highly non-uniform distribution in many cell types, including neurons and other polarized secretory cells. We have examined whether this can be mimicked in a polarized epithelial cell line (Madin-Darby canine kidney), which has been used extensively to study the targeting of proteins. 2. We expressed the VDCC alpha1A, alpha1B or alpha1C subunits either alone or in combination with accessory subunits alpha2-delta and the different beta subunits, and examined their localization immunocytochemically. An alpha1 subunit was only targeted to the plasma membrane if co-expressed with the accessory subunits. 3. The combination alpha1C/alpha2-delta and all beta subunits was always localized predominantly to the basolateral membrane. It has been suggested that this is equivalent to somatodendritic targeting in neurons. 4. In contrast, the alpha1B subunit was expressed at the apical membrane with all the accessory subunit combinations, by 24 h after microinjection. This membrane destination shows some parallels with axonal targeting in neurons. 5. The alpha1A subunit was consistently observed at the apical membrane in the combinations alpha1A/alpha2-delta/beta1b or beta4. In contrast, when co-expressed with alpha2-delta/beta2a, alpha1A was clearly targeted to the basolateral membrane. 6. In conclusion, the VDCC alpha1 subunit appears to be the primary determinant for targeting the VDCC complex, but the beta subunit can modify this destination, particularly for alpha1A. (+info
Solution structure of BID, an intracellular amplifier of apoptotic signaling.
We report the solution structure of BID, an intracellular cross-talk agent that can amplify FAS/TNF apoptotic signal through the mitochondria death pathway after Caspase 8 cleavage. BID contains eight alpha helices where two central hydrophobic helices are surrounded by six amphipathic ones. The fold resembles poreforming bacterial toxins and shows similarity to BCL-XL although sequence homology to BCL-XL is limited to the 16-residue BH3 domain. Furthermore, we modeled a complex of BCL-XL and BID by aligning the BID and BAK BH3 motifs in the known BCL-XL-BAK BH3 complex. Additionally, we show that the overall structure of BID is preserved after cleavage by Caspase 8. We propose that BID has both BH3 domain-dependent and -independent modes of action in inducing mitochondrial damage. (+info
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces differentiation of a retinoic acid-resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line (UF-1) associated with expression of p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p27(KIP1).
Retinoic acid (RA) resistance is a serious problem for patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) who are receiving all-trans RA. However, the mechanisms and strategies to overcome RA resistance by APL cells are still unclear. The biologic effects of RA are mediated by two distinct families of transcriptional factors: RA receptors (RARs) and retinoid X receptors (RXRs). RXRs heterodimerize with 1, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3] receptor (VDR), enabling their efficient transcriptional activation. The cyclin-dependent kinase (cdk) inhibitor p21(WAF1/CIP1) has a vitamin D3-responsive element (VDRE) in its promoter, and 1,25(OH)2D3 enhances the expression of p21(WAF1/CIP1) and induces differentiation of selected myeloid leukemic cell lines. We have recently established a novel APL cell line (UF-1) with features of RA resistance. 1,25(OH)2D3 can induce growth inhibition and G1 arrest of UF-1 cells, resulting in differentiation of these cells toward granulocytes. This 1, 25(OH)2D3-induced G1 arrest is enhanced by all-trans RA. Also, 1, 25(OH)2D3 (10(-10) to 10(-7) mol/L) in combination with RA markedly inhibits cellular proliferation in a dose- and time-dependent manner. Associated with these findings, the levels of p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p27(KIP1) mRNA and protein increased in these cells. Northern blot analysis showed that p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p27(KIP1) mRNA and protein increased in these cells. Northern blot analysis showed that p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p27(KIP1) transcripts were induced after 6 hours' exposure to 1,25(OH)2D3 and then decreased to basal levels over 48 hours. Western blot experiments showed that p21(WAF1/CIP1) protein levels increased and became detectable after 12 hours of 1,25(OH)2D3 treatment and induction of p27(KIP1) protein was much more gradual and sustained in UF-1 cells. Interestingly, the combination of 1, 25(OH)2D3 and RA markedly enhanced the levels of p27(KIP1) transcript and protein as compared with levels induced by 1, 25(OH)2D3 alone. In addition, exogenous p27(KIP1) expression can enhance the level of CD11b antigen in myeloid leukemic cells. In contrast, RA alone can induce G1 arrest of UF-1 cells; however, it did not result in an increase of p21(WAF1/CIP1) and p27(KIP1) transcript and protein expression in RA-resistant cells. Taken together, we conclude that 1,25(OH)2D3 induces increased expression of cdk inhibitors, which mediates a G1 arrest, and this may be associated with differentiation of RA-resistant UF-1 cells toward mature granulocytes. (+info
CRE DNA binding proteins bind to the AP-1 target sequence and suppress AP-1 transcriptional activity in mouse keratinocytes.
Previously, we have shown that nuclear extracts from cultured mouse keratinocytes induced to differentiate by increasing the levels of extra-cellular calcium contain Fra-1, Fra-2, Jun B, Jun D and c-Jun proteins that bind to the AP-1 DNA binding sequence. Despite this DNA binding activity, AP-1 reporter activity was suppressed in these cells. Here, we have detected the CREB family proteins CREB and CREMalpha as additional participants in the AP-1 DNA binding complex in differentiating keratinocytes. AP-1 and CRE DNA binding activity correlated with the induction of CREB, CREMalpha and ATF-1 and CREB phosphorylation at ser133 (ser133 phospho-CREB) in the transition from basal to differentiating keratinocytes, but the activity of a CRE reporter remained unchanged. In contrast, the CRE reporter was activated in the presence of the dominant-negative (DN) CREB mutants, KCREB and A-CREB, proteins that dimerize with CREB family members and block their ability to bind to DNA. The increase in CRE reporter activity in the presence of these mutants suggests that CRE-mediated transcriptional activity is suppressed in keratinocytes through protein-protein interactions involving a factor that dimerizes with the CREB leucine zipper. In experiments where the A-CREB mutant was co-transfected with an AP-1 reporter construct, transcriptional activity was also increased indicating that a CREB family member binds AP-1 sites and represses AP-1 transcriptional activity as well. Exogenous expression of the transcriptional repressor CREMalpha down-regulated both CRE and AP-1 reporters in keratinocytes suggesting that this factor may contribute to the suppression of AP-1 transcriptional activity observed in differentiating keratinocytes. (+info
Impairment of the proapoptotic activity of Bax by missense mutations found in gastrointestinal cancers.
We have reported previously that codon 169 of the proapoptotic gene BAX is a mutational hot spot in gastrointestinal cancer. Two different mutations were found in this codon, replacing the wild-type threonine by alanine or methionine. To compare the proapoptotic activity of these Bax mutants with wild-type Bax, we established an ecdysone (muristerone A)-inducible system in cultured human embryonal kidney 293 cells. Addition of muristerone A induced a dose-dependent decrease in the viability of cells transfected with wild-type BAX, but this loss of viability was inhibited in cells transfected with BAX mutants. Furthermore, muristerone A induced morphological changes characteristic of apoptosis, including cell shrinkage, rounding, formation of apoptotic bodies, detachment and nuclear condensation and fragmentation, in cells transfected with wild-type BAX. These hallmarks of apoptosis were clearly diminished in cells transfected with BAX mutants. Mutation of threonine 169 did not affect the binding of Bax to Bax, Bcl-2, or Bcl-X(L). These results demonstrate that missense mutations at codon 169 of BAX are functional because they inhibit its apoptotic activity. This is the first report of the functional significance of missense mutations in BAX, or any other proapoptotic member of the Bcl-2 family, in primary human tumors. (+info
Auxiliary subunits operate as a molecular switch in determining gating behaviour of the unitary N-type Ca2+ channel current in Xenopus oocytes.
1. We systematically examined the biophysical properties of omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive neuronal N-type channels composed of various combinations of the alpha1B, alpha2/delta and beta1b subunits in Xenopus oocytes. 2. Whole-cell recordings demonstrated that coexpression of the beta1b subunit decelerated inactivation, whereas the alpha2/delta accelerated both activation and inactivation, and cancelled the kinetic effects of the beta1b. The alpha2/delta and the beta1b controlled voltage dependence of activation differently: the beta1b significantly shifted the current-voltage relationship towards the hyperpolarizing direction; however, the alpha2/delta shifted the relationship only slightly in the depolarizing direction. The extent of voltage-dependent inactivation was modified solely by the beta1b. 3. Unitary currents measured using a cell-attached patch showed stable patterns of opening that were markedly different among subunit combinations in their kinetic parameters. The alpha2/delta and the beta1b subunits also acted antagonistically in regulating gating patterns of unitary N-type channels. Open time was shortened by the alpha2/delta, while the fraction of long opening was enhanced by the beta1b. The alpha2/delta decreased opening probability (Po), while the beta1b increased Po. alpha1Balpha2/deltabeta1b produced unitary activity with an open time distribution value in between those of alpha1Balpha2/delta and alpha1Bbeta1b. However, both the alpha2/delta and the beta1b subunits reduced the number of null traces. 4. These results suggest that the auxiliary subunits alone and in combination contribute differently in forming gating apparatuses in the N-type channel, raising the possibility that subunit interaction contributes to the generation of functional diversity of N-type channels in native neuronal preparations also. (+info
PER and TIM inhibit the DNA binding activity of a Drosophila CLOCK-CYC/dBMAL1 heterodimer without disrupting formation of the heterodimer: a basis for circadian transcription.
The Drosophila CLOCK (dCLOCK) and CYCLE (CYC) (also referred to as dBMAL1) proteins are members of the basic helix-loop-helix PAS (PER-ARNT-SIM) superfamily of transcription factors and are required for high-level expression of the circadian clock genes period (per) and timeless (tim). Several lines of evidence indicate that PER, TIM, or a PER-TIM heterodimer somehow inhibit the transcriptional activity of a putative dCLOCK-CYC complex, generating a negative-feedback loop that is a core element of the Drosophila circadian oscillator. In this report we show that PER and/or TIM inhibits the binding of a dCLOCK-CYC heterodimer to an E-box-containing DNA fragment that is present in the 5' nontranscribed region of per and acts as a circadian enhancer element. Surprisingly, inhibition of this DNA binding activity by PER, TIM, or both is not accompanied by disruption of the association between dCLOCK and CYC. The results suggest that the interaction of PER, TIM, or both with the dCLOCK-CYC heterodimer induces a conformational change or masks protein regions in the heterodimer, leading to a reduction in DNA binding activity. Together with other findings, our results strongly suggest that daily cycles in the association of PER and TIM with the dCLOCK-CYC complex probably contribute to rhythmic expression of per and tim. (+info