(1/31) Internalization of transthyretin. Evidence of a novel yet unidentified receptor-associated protein (RAP)-sensitive receptor.

Transthyretin (TTR) is a plasma carrier of thyroxine and retinol-binding protein (RBP). Though the liver is the major site of TTR degradation, its cellular uptake is poorly understood. We explored TTR uptake using hepatomas and primary hepatocytes and showed internalization by a specific receptor. RBP complexed with TTR led to a 70% decrease of TTR internalization, whereas TTR bound to thyroxine led to a 20% increase. Different TTR mutants showed differences in uptake, suggesting receptor recognition dependent on the structure of TTR. Cross-linking studies using hepatomas and (125)I-TTR revealed a approximately 90-kDa complex corresponding to (125)I-TTR bound to its receptor. Given previous evidence that a fraction of TTR is associated with high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and that in the kidney, megalin, a member of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family (LDLr) internalizes TTR, we hypothesized that TTR and lipoproteins could share related degradation pathways. Using lipid-deficient serum in uptake assays, no significant changes were observed showing that TTR uptake is not lipoprotein-dependent or due to TTR-lipoprotein complexes. However, competition studies showed that lipoproteins inhibit TTR internalization. The scavenger receptor SR-BI, a HDL receptor, and known LDLr family hepatic receptors did not mediate TTR uptake as assessed using different cellular systems. Interestingly, the receptor-associated protein (RAP), a ligand for all members of the LDLr, was able to inhibit TTR internalization. Moreover, the approximately 90-kDa TTR-receptor complex obtained by cross-linking was sensitive to the presence of RAP. To confirm that RAP sensitivity observed in hepatomas did not represent a mechanism absent in normal cells, primary hepatocytes were tested, and similar results were obtained. The RAP-sensitive TTR internalization together with displacement of TTR uptake by lipoproteins, further suggests that a common pathway might exist between TTR and lipoprotein metabolism and that an as yet unidentified RAP-sensitive receptor mediates TTR uptake.  (+info)

(2/31) Monovalent fusion proteins of IgE mimotopes are safe for therapy of type I allergy.

By screening phage display random peptide libraries with purified immunoglobulin E (IgE) from birch pollen-allergic patients, we previously defined peptides mimicking natural IgE epitopes (mimotopes) of the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1. The present study aimed to define a monovalent carrier for the IgE mimotopes to induce protective antibodies directed to the IgE epitopes, suitable for mimotope-specific therapy. We expressed the selected mimotopes as fusion proteins together with streptococcal albumin binding protein (ABP). The fusion proteins were recognized specifically by anti-Bet v 1 human IgE, which demonstrated that the mimotopes fused to ABP resemble the natural IgE epitope. Bet v 1-specific IgG was induced by immunization of BALB/c mice with fusion proteins. These IgG antibodies could inhibit IgE binding to Bet v 1. Skin testing of Bet v 1 allergic mice showed that the ABP mimotope constructs did not elicit type I skin reactions, although they possess IgE binding structures. Our data suggest that IgE mimotopes are safe for epitope-specific immunotherapy of sensitized individuals, when presented in a monovalent form. Therefore, ABP-fused mimotopes are promising candidates for a new type of immunotherapy based on the precise induction of blocking antibodies.  (+info)

(3/31) Polymerized albumin receptor on rat liver cells.

The polymerized albumin hypothesis was proposed for the mechanism of a hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection of human liver parenchymal cells on the basis that a receptor for polymerized albumin treated with glutaraldehyde was detected on isolated human liver parenchymal cells. However, some controversy exists regarding this hypothesis, because a receptor for formaldehyde-treated bovine serum albumin (f-BSA) has been found on liver non-parenchymal cells. Therefore, we characterized the uptake of polymerized rat serum albumin (p-RSA) and f-BSA by rat liver in vivo, and their bindings to liver cells in vitro. Most p-RSA and f-BSA was taken up by the liver after intravenous administration, and the uptake of p-RSA was inhibited by a 1,000-fold excess of f-BSA. In addition, more than 80% of p-RSA taken up by the liver was found in the non-parenchymal cells, and the remainder was found in the parenchymal cells. P-RSA as well as f-BSA could bind to isolated rat liver parenchymal and non-parenchymal cells. Furthermore, p-RSA and f-BSA could bind to isolated rat liver cell plasma membranes, and these bindings were completely inhibited by 1,000-fold excess of either f-BSA or p-RSA. These results indicate that there is a receptor, which can recognize both p-RSA and f-BSA, on not only rat liver non-parenchymal cells but also the parenchymal cells. It is also indicated that the receptor on the parenchymal cells as well as the non-parenchymal cells is involved in the in vivo uptake of p-RSA.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)  (+info)

(4/31) Emx2 and Pax6 function in cooperation with Otx2 and Otx1 to develop caudal forebrain primordium that includes future archipallium.

One of the central issues in developmental neurobiology is how the forebrain is organized ontogenetically. The traditional view is that the anterior neuroectoderm first develops into mesencephalic and prosencephalic vesicles; the latter vesicle subsequently develops into the diencephalon and secondary prosencephalon, of which dorsal parts protrude to generate the telencephalon. The diencephalon yields the pretectum, thalamus, and prethalamus, and the telencephalon produces the archipallium, neopallium, and ganglionic eminences. By identifying cell descendants that once expressed Emx2 with use of the Cre knock-in mutant into the Emx2 locus and analyzing phenotypes of double mutants between Emx2 and Otx2/Otx1 and between Emx2 and Pax6, we propose that at the 3-6 somite stage, the anterior neuroectoderm develops into three primordia: midbrain, caudal forebrain, and rostral forebrain. The caudal forebrain primordium generates not only the pretectum, thalamus, and prethalamus but also the archipallium, cortical hem, choroid plexus, choroidal roof, and eminentia thalami. The primordium corresponds to the Emx2- or Pax6-positive region at the 3-6 somite stage that most probably does not include the future neopallium or commissural plate. Otx2 and Otx1 that are expressed in the entire future forebrain and midbrain cooperate with this Emx2 and Pax6 expression in the development of the caudal forebrain primordium; Emx2 and Pax6 functions are redundant. In the embryonic day 9.5 Emx2-/-Pax6-/- double mutant, the caudal forebrain remained unspecified and subsequently transformed into tectum in a mirror image of the endogenous one.  (+info)

(5/31) Computational evidence for protein-mediated fatty acid transport across the sarcolemma.

Long-chain fatty acids (FAs) are important substrates used by the heart to fulfil its energy requirements. Prior to mitochondrial oxidation, blood-borne FAs must pass through the cell membrane of the cardiac myocyte (sarcolemma). The mechanism underlying the sarcolemmal transport of FAs is incompletely understood. The aim of the present study was to estimate the trans-sarcolemmal FA uptake rate using a comprehensive computer model, in which the most relevant mechanisms proposed for cardiac FA uptake were incorporated. Our in silico findings show that diffusion of FA, present in its unbound form (uFA) in close proximity to the outer leaflet of the sarcolemma and serving as sole FA source, is insufficient to account for the physiological FA uptake rate. The inclusion of a hypothetical membrane-associated FA-TFPC (FA-transport-facilitating protein complex) in the model calculations substantially increased the FA uptake rate across the sarcolemma. The model requires that the biological properties of the FA-TFPC allow for increasing the rate of absorption of FA into the outer leaflet and the 'flip-flop' rate of FA from the outer to the inner leaflet of the sarcolemma. Experimental studies have identified various sarcolemma-associated proteins promoting cardiac FA uptake. It remains to be established whether these proteins possess the properties predicted by our model. Our findings also indicate that albumin receptors located on the outer leaflet of the sarcolemma facilitate the transfer of FA across the membrane to a significant extent. The outcomes of the computer simulations were verified with physiologically relevant FA uptake rates as assessed in the intact, beating heart in experimental studies.  (+info)

(6/31) Differential degradation of a recombinant albumin-binding receptor in Escherichia coli.

The degradation in Escherichia coli of the recombinant serum-albumin-binding receptor derived from streptococcal protein G was investigated using a dual-affinity fusion approach. The proteolytic degradation of the receptor was characterized when fused to human proinsulin and human secretin. Several cleavages occurred at sequences not normally regarded as proteolytically sensitive, such as the dipeptide sequences Ile-Gly, Val-Ser and Ser-Ala. Depending on the fusion partner, large differences in the degradation of the albumin-binding domain were observed. Thus, susceptibility to proteolysis of a recombinant protein can be affected by a neighbouring domain.  (+info)

(7/31) Transthyretin protects Alzheimer's mice from the behavioral and biochemical effects of Abeta toxicity.


(8/31) Comparison of albumin receptors expressed on bovine and human group G streptococci.

The albumin receptor expressed by bovine group G streptococci was extracted and affinity purified. The protein was characterized for species reactivity, and monospecific antibodies were prepared to the purified receptor. The bovine group G albumin receptor was compared functionally, antigenically, and for DNA homology with the albumin-binding protein expressed by human group G streptococci. In agreement with previous reports, the albumin-binding activity of human strains was mediated by a unique domain of the type III immunoglobulin G-Fc-binding molecule, protein G. The albumin receptor expressed by bovine group G strains was found to lack any immunoglobulin G-binding potential but displayed a wider profile of species albumin reactivity than protein G. Both albumin receptors could inhibit the binding of the other to immobilized human serum albumin, and each displayed similar binding properties. Antigenic comparison of the two albumin receptors demonstrated a low level of cross-reactivity; however comparison at the DNA level, using an oligonucleotide probe specific for the albumin-binding region of protein G, demonstrated that the two albumin receptors expressed by human and bovine group G streptococcal strains do not display significant homology.  (+info)