Intracellular signalling: PDK1--a kinase at the hub of things.
Phosphoinositide-dependent kinase 1 (PDK1) is at the hub of many signalling pathways, activating PKB and PKC isoenzymes, as well as p70 S6 kinase and perhaps PKA. PDK1 action is determined by colocalization with substrate and by target site availability, features that may enable it to operate in both resting and stimulated cells. (+info)
High-throughput screening of small molecules in miniaturized mammalian cell-based assays involving post-translational modifications.
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)
Plasma membrane recruitment of RalGDS is critical for Ras-dependent Ral activation.
In COS cells, Ral GDP dissociation stimulator (RalGDS)-induced Ral activation was stimulated by RasG12V or a Rap1/Ras chimera in which the N-terminal region of Rap1 was ligated to the C-terminal region of Ras but not by Rap1G12V or a Ras/Rap1 chimera in which the N-terminal region of Ras was ligated to the C-terminal region of Rap1, although RalGDS interacted with these small GTP-binding proteins. When RasG12V, Ral and the Rap1/Ras chimera were individually expressed in NIH3T3 cells, they localized to the plasma membrane. Rap1Q63E and the Ras/Rap1 chimera were detected in the perinuclear region. When RalGDS was expressed alone, it was abundant in the cytoplasm. When coexpressed with RasG12V or the Rap1/Ras chimera, RalGDS was detected at the plasma membrane, whereas when coexpressed with Rap1Q63E or the Ras/Rap1 chimera, RalGDS was observed in the perinuclear region. RalGDS which was targeted to the plasma membrane by the addition of Ras farnesylation site (RalGDS-CAAX) activated Ral in the absence of RasG12V. Although RalGDS did not stimulate the dissociation of GDP from Ral in the absence of the GTP-bound form of Ras in a reconstitution assay using the liposomes, RalGDS-CAAX could stimulate it without Ras. RasG12V activated Raf-1 when they were coexpressed in Sf9 cells, whereas RasG12V did not affect the RalGDS activity. These results indicate that Ras recruits RalGDS to the plasma membrane and that the translocated RalGDS induces the activation of Ral, but that Rap1 does not activate Ral due to distinct subcellular localization. (+info)
Structural basis of profactor D activation: from a highly flexible zymogen to a novel self-inhibited serine protease, complement factor D.
The crystal structure of profactor D, determined at 2.1 A resolution with an Rfree and an R-factor of 25.1 and 20.4%, respectively, displays highly flexible or disordered conformation for five regions: N-22, 71-76, 143-152, 187-193 and 215-223. A comparison with the structure of its mature serine protease, complement factor D, revealed major conformational changes in the similar regions. Comparisons with the zymogen-active enzyme pairs of chymotrypsinogen, trypsinogen and prethrombin-2 showed a similar distribution of the flexible regions. However, profactor D is the most flexible of the four, and its mature enzyme displays inactive, self-inhibited active site conformation. Examination of the surface properties of the N-terminus-binding pocket indicates that Ile16 may play the initial positioning role for the N-terminus, and Leu17 probably also helps in inducing the required conformational changes. This process, perhaps shared by most chymotrypsinogen-like zymogens, is followed by a factor D-unique step, the re-orientation of an external Arg218 to an internal position for salt-bridging with Asp189, leading to the generation of the self-inhibited factor D. (+info)
Arginine methylation and binding of Hrp1p to the efficiency element for mRNA 3'-end formation.
Hrp1p is a heterogeneous ribonucleoprotein (hnRNP) from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae that is involved in the cleavage and polyadenylation of the 3'-end of mRNAs and mRNA export. In addition, Hrplp is one of several RNA-binding proteins that are posttranslationally modified by methylation at arginine residues. By using functional recombinant Hrp1p, we have identified RNA sequences with specific high affinity binding sites. These sites correspond to the efficiency element for mRNA 3'-end formation, UAUAUA. To examine the effect of methylation on specific RNA binding, purified recombinant arginine methyltransferase (Hmt1p) was used to methylate Hrp1p. Methylated Hrp1p binds with the same affinity to UAUAUA-containing RNAs as unmethylated Hrpl p indicating that methylation does not affect specific RNA binding. However, RNA itself inhibits the methylation of Hrp1p and this inhibition is enhanced by RNAs that specifically bind Hrpl p. Taken together, these data support a model in which protein methylation occurs prior to protein-RNA binding in the nucleus. (+info)
Co-expression of glutathione S-transferase with methionine aminopeptidase: a system of producing enriched N-terminal processed proteins in Escherichia coli.
We describe here an Escherichia coli expression system that produces recombinant proteins enriched in the N-terminal processed form, by using glutathione S-transferase cGSTM1-1 and rGSTT1-1 as models, where c and r refer to chick and rat respectively. Approximately 90% of the cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1 overexpressed in E. coli under the control of a phoA promoter retained the initiator methionine residue that was absent from the mature isoenzymes isolated from tissues. The amount of initiator methionine was decreased to 40% of the expressed cGSTM1-1 when the isoenzyme was co-expressed with an exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene under the control of a separate phoA promoter. The recombinant proteins expressed were mainly methionine aminopeptidase. The yield of cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 10% of that expressed in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene. By replacing the phoA with its natural promoter, the expression of methionine aminopeptidase decreased drastically. The yield of the co-expressed cGSTM1-1 was approx. 60% of that in the absence of the exogenous methionine aminopeptidase gene; approx. 65% of the initiator methionine residues were removed from the enzyme. Under similar conditions, N-terminal processing was observed in approx. 70% of the recombinant rGSTT1-1 expressed. By increasing the concentration of phosphate in the growth medium, the amount of initiator methionine on cGSTM1-1 was decreased to 14% of the overexpressed isoenzymes, whereas no further improvement could be observed for rGSTT1-1. The initiator methionine residue does not affect the enzymic activities of either cGSTM1-1 or rGSTT1-1. However, the epoxidase activity and the 4-nitrobenzyl chloride-conjugating activity of the purified recombinant rGSTT1-1 are markedly higher that those reported recently for the same isoenzyme isolated from rat livers. (+info)
Altered trafficking of lysosomal proteins in Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome due to mutations in the beta 3A subunit of the AP-3 adaptor.
Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is a genetic disorder characterized by defective lysosome-related organelles. Here, we report the identification of two HPS patients with mutations in the beta 3A subunit of the heterotetrameric AP-3 complex. The patients' fibroblasts exhibit drastically reduced levels of AP-3 due to enhanced degradation of mutant beta 3A. The AP-3 deficiency results in increased surface expression of the lysosomal membrane proteins CD63, lamp-1, and lamp-2, but not of nonlysosomal proteins. These differential effects are consistent with the preferential interaction of the AP-3 mu 3A subunit with tyrosine-based signals involved in lysosomal targeting. Our results suggest that AP-3 functions in protein sorting to lysosomes and provide an example of a human disease in which altered trafficking of integral membrane proteins is due to mutations in a component of the sorting machinery. (+info)
S-myristoylation of a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C in Trypanosoma brucei.
Covalent modification with lipid can target cytosolic proteins to biological membranes. With intrinsic membrane proteins, the role of acylation can be elusive. Herein, we describe covalent lipid modification of an integral membrane glycosylphosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (GPI-PLC) from the kinetoplastid Trypanosoma brucei. Myristic acid was detected on cysteine residue(s) (i.e. thiomyristoylation). Thiomyristoylation occurred both co- and post-translationally. Acylated GPI-PLC was active against variant surface glycoprotein (VSG). The half-life of fatty acid on GPI-PLC was 45 min, signifying the dynamic nature of the modification. Deacylation in vitro decreased activity of GPI-PLC 18-30-fold. Thioacylation, from kinetic analysis, activated GPI-PLC by accelerating the conversion of a GPI-PLC.VSG complex to product. Reversible thioacylation is a novel mechanism for regulating the activity of a phospholipase C. (+info)