Assaying potential carcinogens with Drosophila. (1/2088)

Drosophila offers many advantages for the detection of mutagenic activity of carcinogenic agents. It provides the quickest assay system for detecting mutations in animals today. Its generation time is short, and Drosophila is cheap and easy to breed in large numbers. The simple genetic testing methods give unequivocal answers about the whole spectrum of relevant genetic damage. A comparison of the detection capacity of assays sampling different kinds of genetic damage revealed that various substances are highly effective in inducing mutations but do not produce chromosome breakage effects at all, or only at much higher concentrations than those required for mutation induction. Of the different assay systems available, the classical sex-linked recessive lethal test deserves priority, in view of its superior capacity to detect mutagens. Of practical importance is also its high sensitivity, because a large number of loci in one fifth of the genome is tested for newly induced forward mutations, including small deletions. The recent findings that Drosophila is capable of carrying out the same metabolic activation reactions as the mammalian liver makes the organism eminently suitable for verifying results obtained in prescreening with fast microbial assay systems. An additional advantage in this respect is the capacity of Drosophila for detecting short-lived activation products, because intracellular metabolic activation appears to occur within the spermatids and spermatocytes.  (+info)

p50(cdc37) acting in concert with Hsp90 is required for Raf-1 function. (2/2088)

Genetic screens in Drosophila have identified p50(cdc37) to be an essential component of the sevenless receptor/mitogen-activated kinase protein (MAPK) signaling pathway, but neither the function nor the target of p50(cdc37) in this pathway has been defined. In this study, we examined the role of p50(cdc37) and its Hsp90 chaperone partner in Raf/Mek/MAPK signaling biochemically. We found that coexpression of wild-type p50(cdc37) with Raf-1 resulted in robust and dose-dependent activation of Raf-1 in Sf9 cells. In addition, p50(cdc37) greatly potentiated v-Src-mediated Raf-1 activation. Moreover, we found that p50(cdc37) is the primary determinant of Hsp90 recruitment to Raf-1. Overexpression of a p50(cdc37) mutant which is unable to recruit Hsp90 into the Raf-1 complex inhibited Raf-1 and MAPK activation by growth factors. Similarly, pretreatment with geldanamycin (GA), an Hsp90-specific inhibitor, prevented both the association of Raf-1 with the p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 heterodimer and Raf-1 kinase activation by serum. Activation of Raf-1 via baculovirus coexpression with oncogenic Src or Ras in Sf9 cells was also strongly inhibited by dominant negative p50(cdc37) or by GA. Thus, formation of a ternary Raf-1-p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 complex is crucial for Raf-1 activity and MAPK pathway signaling. These results provide the first biochemical evidence for the requirement of the p50(cdc37)-Hsp90 complex in protein kinase regulation and for Raf-1 function in particular.  (+info)

UV irradiation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in ices: production of alcohols, quinones, and ethers. (3/2088)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in water ice were exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation under astrophysical conditions, and the products were analyzed by infrared spectroscopy and mass spectrometry. Peripheral carbon atoms were oxidized, producing aromatic alcohols, ketones, and ethers, and reduced, producing partially hydrogenated aromatic hydrocarbons, molecules that account for the interstellar 3.4-micrometer emission feature. These classes of compounds are all present in carbonaceous meteorites. Hydrogen and deuterium atoms exchange readily between the PAHs and the ice, which may explain the deuterium enrichments found in certain meteoritic molecules. This work has important implications for extraterrestrial organics in biogenesis.  (+info)

Salmonella typhimurium and lipopolysaccharide stimulate extracellularly regulated kinase activation in macrophages by a mechanism involving phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and phospholipase D as novel intermediates. (4/2088)

Activation of the extracellularly regulated kinase (ERK) pathway is part of the early biochemical events that follow lipopolysaccharide (LPS) treatment of macrophages or their infection by virulent and attenuated Salmonella strains. Phagocytosis as well as the secretion of invasion-associated proteins is dispensable for ERK activation by the pathogen. Furthermore, the pathways used by Salmonella and LPS to stimulate ERK are identical, suggesting that kinase activation might be solely mediated by LPS. Both stimuli activate ERK by a mechanism involving herbimycin-dependent tyrosine kinase(s) and phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Phospholipase D activation and stimulation of protein kinase C appear to be intermediates in this novel pathway of MEK/ERK activation.  (+info)

Involvement of tyrosine phosphorylation in HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor-induced cell death in L6 myoblasts. (5/2088)

Our previous studies have shown that the HMG-CoA reductase (HCR) inhibitor (HCRI), simvastatin, causes myopathy in rabbits and kills L6 myoblasts. The present study was designed to elucidate the molecular mechanism of HCRI-induced cell death. We have demonstrated that simvastatin induces the tyrosine phosphorylation of several cellular proteins within 10 min. These phosphorylations were followed by apoptosis, as evidenced by the occurrence of internucleosomal DNA fragmentation and by morphological changes detected with Nomarski optics. Simvastatin-induced cell death was prevented by tyrosine kinase inhibitors. The MTT assay revealed that the addition of mevalonic acid into the culture medium partially inhibited simvastatin-induced cell death. Thus, these results suggested that protein tyrosine phosphorylation might play an important role in the intracellular signal transduction pathway mediating the HCRI-induced death of myoblasts.  (+info)

Dose-specific production of chlorinated quinone and semiquinone adducts in rodent livers following administration of pentachlorophenol. (6/2088)

Production of chlorinated quinoid metabolites was investigated in the livers of Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice following single oral administration of pentachlorophenol (PCP) (0-40 mg/kg body weight) and in male Fischer 344 rats, following chronic ingestion of PCP at 1,000 ppm in the diet for 6 months (equivalent to 60 mg PCP/kg body weight/day). Analyses of the rates of adduction in the livers of Sprague-Dawley rats and B6C3F1 mice suggested that the production of tetrachloro-1,2-benzosemiquinone (Cl4-1,2-SQ) adducts was proportionally greater at low doses of PCP (less than 4-10 mg/kg body weight) and was 40-fold greater in rats than in mice. Production of tetrachloro-1,4-benzoquinone (Cl4-1,4-BQ) adducts, on the other hand, was proportionally greater at high doses of PCP [greater than 60-230 mg/kg body weight] and was 2- to 11-fold greater in mice than in rats over the entire range of dosages. A mathematical model employed these data to predict the rates of daily adduct production and steady state levels of PCP-derived quinone and semiquinone adducts in rats and mice. To evaluate predictions of the model, levels of PCP-derived adducts at steady state were investigated in the livers of male Fischer 344 rats chronically ingesting 60 mg PCP/kg body weight/day. Levels of total Cl4-1,4-BQ-derived adducts in liver cytosolic proteins (Cp) (22.0 nmol/g) and in liver nuclear proteins (Np) (3.07 nmol/g) were comparable to those of model predictions (15.0 and 3.02 nmol/g for Cp and Np, respectively). Overall, these results suggest that species differences in the metabolism of PCP to semiquinones and quinones were, in part, responsible for the production of liver tumors in mice but not rats in chronic bioassays.  (+info)

Stimulation of ultraviolet-induced apoptosis of human fibroblast UVr-1 cells by tyrosine kinase inhibitors. (7/2088)

Damnacanthal is an anthraquinone compound isolated from the root of Morinda citrifolia and was reported to have a potent inhibitory activity towards tyrosine kinases such as Lck, Src, Lyn and EGF receptor. In the present study, we have examined the effects of damnacanthal on ultraviolet ray-induced apoptosis in ultraviolet-resistant human UVr-1 cells. When the cells were treated with damnacanthal prior to ultraviolet irradiation, DNA fragmentation was more pronounced as compared to the case of ultraviolet irradiation alone. The other tyrosine kinase inhibitors, herbimycin A and genistein, also caused similar effects on ultraviolet-induced apoptosis but to a lesser extent. Serine/threonine kinase inhibitors, K252a, staurosporine and GF109203X, rather suppressed the ultraviolet-induced DNA cleavage. Immunoblot analysis showed that pretreatment with damnacanthal followed by ultraviolet irradiation increased the levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases and stress-activated protein kinases. However, the other tyrosine kinase inhibitors did not increase the phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinases but stimulated phosphorylation of stress-activated protein kinases. Consequently, the ultraviolet-induced concurrent increase in both phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinases and stress-activated protein kinases after pretreatment with damnacanthal might be characteristically related to the stimulatory effect of damnacanthal on ultraviolet-induced apoptosis.  (+info)

Terreic acid, a quinone epoxide inhibitor of Bruton's tyrosine kinase. (8/2088)

Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) plays pivotal roles in mast cell activation as well as in B cell development. Btk mutations lead to severe impairments in proinflammatory cytokine production induced by cross-linking of high-affinity IgE receptor on mast cells. By using an in vitro assay to measure the activity that blocks the interaction between protein kinase C and the pleckstrin homology domain of Btk, terreic acid (TA) was identified and characterized in this study. This quinone epoxide specifically inhibited the enzymatic activity of Btk in mast cells and cell-free assays. TA faithfully recapitulated the phenotypic defects of btk mutant mast cells in high-affinity IgE receptor-stimulated wild-type mast cells without affecting the enzymatic activities and expressions of many other signaling molecules, including those of protein kinase C. Therefore, this study confirmed the important roles of Btk in mast cell functions and showed the usefulness of TA in probing into the functions of Btk in mast cells and other immune cell systems. Another insight obtained from this study is that the screening method used to identify TA is a useful approach to finding more efficacious Btk inhibitors.  (+info)