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(1/21932) A novel in vivo assay for the analysis of protein-protein interaction.

The Ras Recruitment System (RRS) is a method for identification and isolation of protein-protein interaction. The method is based on translocation of cytoplasmic mammalian Ras protein to the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane through protein-protein interaction. The system is studied in a temperature-sensitive yeast strain where the yeast Ras guanyl nucleotide exchange factor is inactive at 36 degrees C. Protein-protein interaction results in cell growth at the restrictive temperature. We developed a gene reporter assay for the analysis of protein-protein interaction in mammalian cells. Ras activation in mammalian cells induces the mitogen-activated kinase cascade (MAPK), which can be monitored using Ras-dependent reporter genes. This greatly extends the usefulness of the system and provides a novel assay for protein-protein interaction in mammalian cells.  (+info)

(2/21932) Decisive structural determinants for the interaction of proline derivatives with the intestinal H+/peptide symporter.

To elucidate the decisive structural factors relevant for dipeptide-carrier interaction, the affinity of short amide and imide derivatives for the intestinal H+/peptide symporter (PEPT1) was investigated by measuring their ability to inhibit Gly-Sar transport in Caco-2 cells. Dipeptides with proline or alanine in the C-terminal position displayed affinity constants (Ki) of 0.15-1.2 mM and 0.08-9.5 mM, respectively. There was no clear relationship between hydrophobicity, size or ionization status of the N-terminal amino acid and the affinity of the dipeptides. However, analyzing the individual peptide bond conformations of Xaa-Pro dipeptides, a striking correlation between the cis/trans ratios (trans contents 24-70%) and the affinity constants was observed. After correcting the Ki values for the incompetent cis isomers, the Ki corr values of most dipeptides were in a small range of 0.1-0.16 mM. This result revealed the decisive role of peptide bond conformation even for a transport protein that is quite promiscuous in substrate translocation. When measuring affinity constants of Xaa-Pro and Xaa-Sar dipeptides, the cis/trans ratios cannot be ignored. Lower affinities of Lys-Pro, Arg-Pro and Pro-Pro indicate that additional molecular factors affect their binding at PEPT1. The Ki values obtained for the corresponding Xaa-Ala dipeptides support this conclusion. Potential substrates or inhibitors of peptide transport were found among Xaa-piperidides and Xaa-thiazolidides. Dipeptides with N-terminal proline displayed a very diverse affinity profile. However, in contrast to current knowledge, several Pro-Xaa dipeptides such as Pro-Leu, Pro-Tyr and Pro-Pro are recognized by PEPT1 with appreciable affinities. Binding seems mainly determined by the hydrophobicity of the C-terminal amino acid and the rigidity of the structure.  (+info)

(3/21932) Involvement of proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 in platelet activation: tyrosine phosphorylation mostly dependent on alphaIIbbeta3 integrin and protein kinase C, translocation to the cytoskeleton and association with Shc through Grb2.

Proline-rich tyrosine kinase 2 (Pyk2) (also known as RAFTK, CAKbeta or CADTK) has been identified as a member of the focal adhesion kinase (FAK) family of protein-tyrosine kinases and it has been suggested that the mode of Pyk2 activation is distinct from that of FAK. In the present study we investigated the mode of Pyk2 activation in human platelets. When platelets were stimulated with thrombin, Pyk2, as well as FAK, was markedly tyrosine-phosphorylated, in a manner mostly dependent on alphaIIbbeta3 integrin-mediated aggregation. The residual Pyk2 tyrosine phosphorylation observed in the absence of platelet aggregation was completely abolished by pretreatment with BAPTA/AM [bis-(o-aminophenoxy)ethane-N,N,N',N'-tetra-acetic acid acetoxymethyl ester]. The Pyk2 phosphorylation was inhibited by protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors at concentrations that inhibited platelet aggregation. In contrast, direct activation of PKC with the active phorbol ester PMA induced the tyrosine phosphorylation of Pyk2 and FAK but only when platelets were fully aggregated with the exogenous addition of fibrinogen (the ligand for alphaIIbbeta3 integrin). Furthermore, PMA-induced Pyk2 (and FAK) tyrosine phosphorylation was also observed when platelets adhered to immobilized fibrinogen. The activation of the von Willebrand factor (vWF)--glycoprotein Ib pathway with botrocetin together with vWF failed to induce Pyk2 (and FAK) tyrosine phosphorylation. Most Pyk2 and FAK was present in the cytosol and membrane skeleton fractions in unstimulated platelets. When platelets were stimulated with thrombin, both Pyk2 and FAK were translocated to the cytoskeleton in an aggregation-dependent manner. In immunoprecipitation studies, Pyk2, as well as FAK, seemed to associate with Shc through Grb2. With the use of glutathione S-transferase fusion proteins containing Shc-SH2, Grb2-SH2, and Grb2 N-terminal and C-terminal SH3 domains, it was implied that the proline-rich region of Pyk2 (and FAK) binds to the N-terminal SH3 domain of Grb2 and that the phosphotyrosine residue of Shc binds to the SH2 domain of Grb2. Although Pyk2 and FAK have been reported to be differentially regulated in many cell types, our results suggest that, in human platelets, the mode of Pyk2 activation is mostly similar to that of FAK, in terms of alphaIIbbeta3 integrin-dependent and PKC-dependent tyrosine phosphorylation. Furthermore, Pyk2, as well as FAK, might have one or more important roles in post-aggregation tyrosine phosphorylation events, in association with the cytoskeleton and through interaction with adapter proteins including Grb2 and Shc.  (+info)

(4/21932) Aut7p, a soluble autophagic factor, participates in multiple membrane trafficking processes.

Aut7p, a protein recently implicated in autophagic events in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, exhibits significant homology to a mammalian protein, p16, herein termed GATE-16 (Golgi-associated ATPase Enhancer of 16 kDa), a novel intra-Golgi transport factor. Here we provide evidence for the involvement of Aut7p in different membrane trafficking processes. Aut7p largely substitutes for the activity of GATE-16 in mammalian intra-Golgi transport in vitro. In vivo, AUT7 interacts genetically with endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi SNAREs, specifically with BET1 and SEC22. Aut7p interacts physically with the following two v-SNAREs: Bet1p, which is involved in endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi vesicular transport, and Nyv1p, implicated in vacuolar inheritance. We suggest that, in addition to its role in autophagocytosis, Aut7p has pleiotropic effects and participates in at least two membrane traffic events.  (+info)

(5/21932) Targeting motifs and functional parameters governing the assembly of connexins into gap junctions.

To study the assembly of gap junctions, connexin--green-fluorescent-protein (Cx--GFP) chimeras were expressed in COS-7 and HeLa cells. Cx26-- and Cx32--GFP were targeted to gap junctions where they formed functional channels that transferred Lucifer Yellow. A series of Cx32--GFP chimeras, truncated from the C-terminal cytoplasmic tail, were studied to identify amino acid sequences governing targeting from intracellular assembly sites to the gap junction. Extensive truncation of Cx32 resulted in failure to integrate into membranes. Truncation of Cx32 to residue 207, corresponding to removal of most of the 78 amino acids on the cytoplasmic C-terminal tail, led to arrest in the endoplasmic reticulum and incomplete oligomerization. However, truncation to amino acid 219 did not impair Cx oligomerization and connexon hemichannels were targeted to the plasma membrane. It was concluded that a crucial gap-junction targeting sequence resides between amino acid residues 207 and 219 on the cytoplasmic C-terminal tail of Cx32. Studies of a Cx32E208K mutation identified this as one of the key amino acids dictating targeting to the gap junction, although oligomerization of this site-specific mutation into hexameric hemichannels was relatively unimpaired. The studies show that expression of these Cx--GFP constructs in mammalian cells allowed an analysis of amino acid residues involved in gap-junction assembly.  (+info)

(6/21932) Identification of mammalian TOM22 as a subunit of the preprotein translocase of the mitochondrial outer membrane.

A mitochondrial outer membrane protein of approximately 22 kDa (1C9-2) was purified from Vero cells assessing immunoreactivity with a monoclonal antibody, and the cDNA was cloned based on the partial amino acid sequence of the trypsin-digested fragments. 1C9-2 had 19-20% sequence identity to fungal Tom22, a component of the preprotein translocase of the outer membrane (the TOM complex) with receptor and organizer functions. Despite such a low sequence identity, both shared a remarkable structural similarity in the hydrophobicity profile, membrane topology in the Ncyt-Cin orientation through a transmembrane domain in the middle of the molecule, and the abundant acidic amino acid residues in the N-terminal domain. The antibodies against 1C9-2 inhibited the import of a matrix-targeted preprotein into isolated mitochondria. Blue native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of digitonin-solubilized outer membranes revealed that 1C9-2 is firmly associated with TOM40 in the approximately 400-kDa complex, with a size and composition similar to those of the fungal TOM core complex. Furthermore, 1C9-2 complemented the defects of growth and mitochondrial protein import in Deltatom22 yeast cells. Taken together, these results demonstrate that 1C9-2 is a functional homologue of fungal Tom22 and functions as a component of the TOM complex.  (+info)

(7/21932) Inhibition of NFkappaB by methyl chlorogenate from Eriobotrya japonica.

Methylchlorogenic acid (MC) is one of the main components in the leaves of Eriobotrya japonica. We previously reported that MC is the most potent antioxidant among several components of Eriobotrya japonica, and its antioxidant activity is stronger than that of chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants are expected to inhibit redox-sensitive NFkappaB activation since NFkappaB is readily influenced by cellular oxidative state. Based on these findings, in vivo experiments with MC were conducted to determine its ability to downregulate the NFkappaB activation in mouse liver. Results clearly showed that MC is a potent suppressor of BHP-induced NFkappaB activation. We observed a significant reduction by MC on BHP-induced translocation of p65 subunit of NFkappaB. This may be due to formation of p50/p65 heterodimer, which is mainly inducible NFkappaB. MC slightly blocked the BHP-induced IkappaB alpha degradation. There is a possibility of IkappaB alpha resynthesis via activated NFkappaB during a 5 h waiting period following BHP injection. The present results suggest that MC may inhibit NFkappaB activation, exhibiting its ability to downregulate the NFkappaB-dependent gene expression. Thus, it can be expected that MC may have potential for therapeutic intervention on various NFkappaB-dependent pathological conditions such as inflammatory or possibly mutagenic processes.  (+info)

(8/21932) Functional and structural characterization of synthetic HIV-1 Vpr that transduces cells, localizes to the nucleus, and induces G2 cell cycle arrest.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) Vpr contributes to nuclear import of the viral pre-integration complex and induces G(2) cell cycle arrest. We describe the production of synthetic Vpr that permitted the first studies on the structure and folding of the full-length protein. Vpr is unstructured at neutral pH, whereas under acidic conditions or upon addition of trifluorethanol it adopts alpha-helical structures. Vpr forms dimers in aqueous trifluorethanol, whereas oligomers exist in pure water. (1)H NMR spectroscopy allows the signal assignment of N- and C-terminal amino acid residues; however, the central section of the molecule is obscured by self-association. These findings suggest that the in vivo folding of Vpr may require structure-stabilizing interacting factors such as previously described interacting cellular and viral proteins or nucleic acids. In biological studies we found that Vpr is efficiently taken up from the extracellular medium by cells in a process that occurs independent of other HIV-1 proteins and appears to be independent of cellular receptors. Following cellular uptake, Vpr is efficiently imported into the nucleus of transduced cells. Extracellular addition of Vpr induces G(2) cell cycle arrest in dividing cells. Together, these findings raise the possibility that circulating forms of Vpr observed in HIV-infected patients may exert biological effects on a broad range of host target cells.  (+info)