Radiation target analysis indicates that phenylalanine hydroxylase in rat liver extracts is a functional monomer.
The minimal enzymatically functional form of purified rat hepatic phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) is a dimer of identical subunits. Radiation target analysis of PAH revealed that the minimal enzymatically active form in crude extracts corresponds to the monomer. The 'negative regulation' properties of the tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor in both crude and pure samples implicates a large multimeric structure, minimally a tetramer of PAH subunits. Preincubation of the samples with phenylalanine prior to irradiation abolished this inhibition component without affecting the minimal functional unit target sizes of the enzyme in both preparations. The characteristics of rat hepatic PAH determined by studies of the purified enzyme in vitro may not completely represent the properties of PAH in vivo. (+info)
Case study of the effects of atmospheric aerosols and regional haze on agriculture: an opportunity to enhance crop yields in China through emission controls?
The effect of atmospheric aerosols and regional haze from air pollution on the yields of rice and winter wheat grown in China is assessed. The assessment is based on estimates of aerosol optical depths over China, the effect of these optical depths on the solar irradiance reaching the earth's surface, and the response of rice and winter wheat grown in Nanjing to the change in solar irradiance. Two sets of aerosol optical depths are presented: one based on a coupled, regional climate/air quality model simulation and the other inferred from solar radiation measurements made over a 12-year period at meteorological stations in China. The model-estimated optical depths are significantly smaller than those derived from observations, perhaps because of errors in one or both sets of optical depths or because the data from the meteorological stations has been affected by local pollution. Radiative transfer calculations using the smaller, model-estimated aerosol optical depths indicate that the so-called "direct effect" of regional haze results in an approximately 5-30% reduction in the solar irradiance reaching some of China's most productive agricultural regions. Crop-response model simulations suggest an approximately 1:1 relationship between a percentage increase (decrease) in total surface solar irradiance and a percentage increase (decrease) in the yields of rice and wheat. Collectively, these calculations suggest that regional haze in China is currently depressing optimal yields of approximately 70% of the crops grown in China by at least 5-30%. Reducing the severity of regional haze in China through air pollution control could potentially result in a significant increase in crop yields and help the nation meet its growing food demands in the coming decades. (+info)
Rejoining of radiation-induced single-strand breaks in deoxyribonucleic acid of Escherichia coli: effect of phenethyl alcohol.
Single-strand breaks in deoxyribonucleic acid of Escherichia coli B/r cells exposed to 20 krads of gamma radiation could be rejoined by incubation of irradiated cells in growth medium. In the presence of 0.25% phenethyl alcohol, this repair was completely inhibited although deoxyribonucleic acid and protein syntheses were suppressed only partially. (+info)
Promotion of secondary anti-DNP antibody production in mice by type III pneumococcal polysaccharide (SIII) and dinitrophenylated rabbit antibody to SIII.
Type III pneumococcal polysaccharide (SIII) is able markedly to increase the adoptive IgG ANTI-DNP antibody response of B cells primed to DNP-flagellin and stimulated with DNP conjugated to the heterologous carrier, rabbit globulin, provided the latter has anti-SIII activity. The stimulatory effect is apparently accessory cell-dependent as well as being unequivocally T cell-dependent. Although no positive evidence is available, the possibility exists that non-specific T-cell activation is involved in the stimulating effect of anti-SIII plus SIII. (+info)
Male infertility risk factors in a French military population.
We investigated infertility risk factors by conducting a population-based case-control study in the military population of the French town of Brest. Sixty couples who had sought medical advice for infertility of more than 12 months duration (cases) were compared with 165 couples who had had a child (controls). All the men in these couples had been employed by the military. The infertility risk factors studied were male and female medical factors, occupational and environmental exposures. We obtained age-adjusted odds ratios of 7.4 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.4--39.5] for testis surgery, and 13.0 for varicocele (95% CI: 1.4--120.3) in men. In logistic regression, the age-adjusted odds ratio for men who had worked in a nuclear submarine was found to be 2.0 (95% CI: 1.0--3.7), and that for heat exposure was 4.5 (95% CI: 1.9--10.6). One limitation of this study is the lack of exposure measurements, especially for potential exposure to nuclear radiation (type of reactor used in nuclear-powered submarines, inability to obtain personal dosimeters worn by military personnel working in nuclear submarines). In conclusion, this study suggests that in this military population, having worked as a submariner in a nuclear-powered submarine, and having worked in very hot conditions, should be considered as risk factors for infertility. (+info)
Despite growing concern about electromagnetic radiation, the interaction between 50- to 60-Hz fields and biological structures remains obscure. Epidemiological studies have failed to prove a significantly correlation between exposure to radiation fields and particular pathologies. We demonstrate that a 50- to 60-Hz magnetic field interacts with cell differentiation through two opposing mechanisms: it antagonizes the shift in cell membrane surface charges that occur during the early phases of differentiation and it modulates hyperpolarizing K channels by increasing intracellular Ca. The simultaneous onset of both mechanisms prevents alterations in cell differentiation. We propose that cells are normally protected against electromagnetic insult. Pathologies may arise, however, if intracellular Ca regulation or K channel activation malfunctions. (+info)
The farnesyl transferase inhibitor RPR-130401 does not alter radiation susceptibility in human tumor cells with a K-Ras mutation in spite of large changes in ploidy and lamin B distribution.
BACKGROUND: Growth inhibition by RPR-130401, a non-peptidomimetic farnesyltransferase inhibitor, was investigated without or with combined exposure to ionizing radiation in three human tumor cell lines (HCT-116, MiAPaCa-2 and A-549) bearing a point mutation in the K-Ras gene. RESULTS: RPR-130401 inhibited cell growth with an IC50 of 50 nM (HCT-116), 120 nM (MiAPaCa-2) and 710 nM (A-549), with a poor incidence of apoptosis. The drug brought about G1 and S phase depletion together with arrest of cells in G2 phase and induced a significant accumulation of hyperploid cells showing active S phase DNA synthesis, with HCT-116 and A-549 cells being the most and least responsive, respectively. The drug also produced dramatic changes of the nuclear lamin B pattern, without lamin B cleavage and perturbation of the actin cytoskeleton. On the other hand, RPR-130401 elicited strictly additive interaction in combined treatment with ionizing radiation with regard to cell kill, altered cell cycle progression and induced hyperploidy. CONCLUSIONS: The data suggest that disruption of orderly progression through mitosis and cytokinesis, is a major outcome of drug action and that this effect proceeds from inhibition of lamin B farnesylation. It is anticipated from the strict additivity of RPR-130401 and radiation that neither induced radiation resistance nor acute or late complications of radiotherapy, should occur in combined treatment with RPR-130401. (+info)