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(1/20616) Sonic hedgehog signaling by the patched-smoothened receptor complex.

BACKGROUND: The Hedgehog (Hh) family of secreted proteins is involved in a number of developmental processes as well as in cancer. Genetic and biochemical data suggest that the Sonic hedgehog (Shh) receptor is composed of at least two proteins: the tumor suppressor protein Patched (Ptc) and the seven-transmembrane protein Smoothened (Smo). RESULTS: Using a biochemical assay for activation of the transcription factor Gli, a downstream component of the Hh pathway, we show here that Smo functions as the signaling component of the Shh receptor, and that this activity can be blocked by Ptc. The inhibition of Smo by Ptc can be relieved by the addition of Shh. Furthermore, oncogenic forms of Smo are insensitive to Ptc repression in this assay. Mapping of the Smo domains required for binding to Ptc and for signaling revealed that the Smo-Ptc interaction involves mainly the amino terminus of Smo, and that the third intracellular loop and the seventh transmembrane domain are required for signaling. CONCLUSIONS: These data demonstrate that Smo is the signaling component of a multicomponent Hh receptor complex and that Ptc is a ligand-regulated inhibitor of Smo. Different domains of Smo are involved in Ptc binding and activation of a Gli reporter construct. The latter requires the third intracellular loop and the seventh transmembrane domain of Smo, regions often involved in coupling to G proteins. No changes in the levels of cyclic AMP or calcium associated with such pathways could be detected following receptor activation, however.  (+info)

(2/20616) Activation of Src in human breast tumor cell lines: elevated levels of phosphotyrosine phosphatase activity that preferentially recognizes the Src carboxy terminal negative regulatory tyrosine 530.

Elevated levels of Src kinase activity have been reported in a number of human cancers, including colon and breast cancer. We have analysed four human breast tumor cell lines that exhibit high levels of Src kinase activity, and have determined that these cell lines also exhibit a high level of a phosphotyrosine phosphatase activity that recognizes the Src carboxy-terminal P-Tyr530 negative regulatory site. Total Src kinase activity in these cell lines is elevated as much as 30-fold over activity in normal control cells and specific activity is elevated as much as 5.6-fold. When the breast tumor cells were grown in the presence of the tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor vanadate, Src kinase activity was reduced in all four breast tumor cell lines, suggesting that Src was being activated by a phosphatase which could recognize the Tyr530 negative regulatory site. In fractionated cell extracts from the breast tumor cells, we found elevated levels of a membrane associated tyrosine phosphatase activity that preferentially dephosphorylated a Src family carboxy-terminal phosphopeptide containing the regulatory tyrosine 530 site. Src was hypophosphorylated in vivo at tyrosine 530 in at least two of the tumor cell lines, further suggesting that Src was being activated by a phosphatase in these cells. In preliminary immunoprecipitation and antibody depletion experiments, we were unable to correlate the major portion of this phosphatase activity with several known phosphatases.  (+info)

(3/20616) Leptin suppression of insulin secretion and gene expression in human pancreatic islets: implications for the development of adipogenic diabetes mellitus.

Previously we demonstrated the expression of the long form of the leptin receptor in rodent pancreatic beta-cells and an inhibition of insulin secretion by leptin via activation of ATP-sensitive potassium channels. Here we examine pancreatic islets isolated from pancreata of human donors for their responses to leptin. The presence of leptin receptors on islet beta-cells was demonstrated by double fluorescence confocal microscopy after binding of a fluorescent derivative of human leptin (Cy3-leptin). Leptin (6.25 nM) suppressed insulin secretion of normal islets by 20% at 5.6 mM glucose. Intracellular calcium responses to 16.7 mM glucose were rapidly reduced by leptin. Proinsulin messenger ribonucleic acid expression in islets was inhibited by leptin at 11.1 mM, but not at 5.6 mM glucose. Leptin also reduced proinsulin messenger ribonucleic acid levels that were increased in islets by treatment with 10 nM glucagon-like peptide-1 in the presence of either 5.6 or 11.1 mM glucose. These findings demonstrate direct suppressive effects of leptin on insulin-producing beta-cells in human islets at the levels of both stimulus-secretion coupling and gene expression. The findings also further indicate the existence of an adipoinsular axis in humans in which insulin stimulates leptin production in adipocytes and leptin inhibits the production of insulin in beta-cells. We suggest that dysregulation of the adipoinsular axis in obese individuals due to defective leptin reception by beta-cells may result in chronic hyperinsulinemia and may contribute to the pathogenesis of adipogenic diabetes.  (+info)

(4/20616) p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase can be involved in transforming growth factor beta superfamily signal transduction in Drosophila wing morphogenesis.

p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38) has been extensively studied as a stress-responsive kinase, but its role in development remains unknown. The fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, has two p38 genes, D-p38a and D-p38b. To elucidate the developmental function of the Drosophila p38's, we used various genetic and pharmacological manipulations to interfere with their functions: expression of a dominant-negative form of D-p38b, expression of antisense D-p38b RNA, reduction of the D-p38 gene dosage, and treatment with the p38 inhibitor SB203580. Expression of a dominant-negative D-p38b in the wing imaginal disc caused a decapentaplegic (dpp)-like phenotype and enhanced the phenotype of a dpp mutant. Dpp is a secretory ligand belonging to the transforming growth factor beta superfamily which triggers various morphogenetic processes through interaction with the receptor Thick veins (Tkv). Inhibition of D-p38b function also caused the suppression of the wing phenotype induced by constitutively active Tkv (TkvCA). Mosaic analysis revealed that D-p38b regulates the Tkv-dependent transcription of the optomotor-blind (omb) gene in non-Dpp-producing cells, indicating that the site of D-p38b action is downstream of Tkv. Furthermore, forced expression of TkvCA induced an increase in the phosphorylated active form(s) of D-p38(s). These results demonstrate that p38, in addition to its role as a transducer of emergency stress signaling, may function to modulate Dpp signaling.  (+info)

(5/20616) Ligand substitution of receptor targeted DNA complexes affects gene transfer into hepatoma cells.

We have targeted the serpin enzyme complex receptor for gene transfer in human hepatoma cell lines using peptides < 30 amino acids in length which contain the five amino acid recognition sequence for this receptor, coupled to poly K of average chain length 100 K, using the heterobifunctional coupling reagent sulfo-LC SPDP. The number of sulfo-LC SPDP modified poly-L-lysine residues, as well as the degree of peptide substitution was assessed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Conjugates were prepared in which 3.5%, 7.8% or 26% of the lysine residues contained the sulfo-LC SPDP moiety. Each of these conjugates was then coupled with ligand peptides so that one in 370, one in 1039, or one in 5882 lysines were substituted with receptor ligand. Electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy were used to assess complex structure and size. HuH7 human hepatoma cells were transfected with complexes of these conjugates with the plasmid pGL3 and luciferase expression measured 2 to 16 days after treatment. All the protein conjugates in which 26% of the K residues were modified with sulfo-LC SPDP were poor gene transfer reagents. Complexes containing less substituted poly K, averaged 17 +/- 0.5 nm in diameter and gave peak transgene expression of 3-4 x 10(6) ILU/mg which persisted (> 7 x 10(5) ILU) at 16 days. Of these, more substituted polymers condensed DNA into complexes averaging 20 +/- 0.7 nm in diameter and gave five-fold less luciferase than complexes containing less substituted conjugates. As few as eight to 11 ligands per complex are optimal for DNA delivery via the SEC receptor. The extent of substitution of receptor-mediated gene transfer complexes affects the size of the complexes, as well as the intensity and duration of transgene expression. These observations may permit tailoring of complex construction for the usage required.  (+info)

(6/20616) Characterization of Moraxella (Branhamella) catarrhalis lbpB, lbpA, and lactoferrin receptor orf3 isogenic mutants.

Pathogenic members of the family Neisseriaceae produce specific receptors to acquire iron from their host's lactoferrin and transferrin. Recently, putative Moraxella catarrhalis lactoferrin receptor genes and a third open reading frame (lbpB, lbpA, and orf3) were cloned and sequenced. We describe the preliminary characterization of isogenic mutants deficient in LbpB, LbpA, or Orf3 protein.  (+info)

(7/20616) Three receptor genes for plasminogen related growth factors in the genome of the puffer fish Fugu rubripes.

Plasminogen related growth factors (PRGFs) and their receptors play major roles in embryogenesis, tissue regeneration and neoplasia. In order to investigate the complexity and evolution of the PRGF receptor family we have cloned and sequenced three receptors for PRGFs in the teleost fish Fugu rubripes, a model vertebrate with a compact genome. One of the receptor genes isolated encodes the orthologue of mammalian MET, whilst the other two may represent Fugu rubripes orthologues of RON and SEA. This is the first time three PRGF receptors have been identified in a single species.  (+info)

(8/20616) Cloning, molecular analysis and differential cell localisation of the p36 RACK analogue antigen from the parasite protozoon Crithidia fasciculata.

The family of the RACK molecules (receptors for activated C kinases) are present in all the species studied so far. In the genus Leishmania, these molecules also induce a strong immune reaction against the infection. We have cloned and characterised the gene that encodes the RACK analogue from the parasite trypanosomatid Crithidia fasciculata (CACK). The molecule seems to be encoded by two genes. The sequence analysis of the cloned open reading frame indicates the existence of a high degree of conservation not only with other members of the Trypanosomatidae but also with mammalians. The study of the protein kinase C phosphorylation sites shows the presence of three of them, shared with the mammalian species, additional to those present in the other protozoa suggesting a certain phylogenetic distance between the protozoon Crithidia fasciculata and the rest of the Trypanosomatidae. The CACK-encoded polypeptide shows an additional sequence of four amino acids at the carboxy-terminal end, which produces a different folding of the fragment with the presence of an alpha-helix instead of the beta-sheet usual in all the other species studied. A similar result is elicited at the amino-terminal end by the change of three amino acid residues. The immunolocalisation experiments show that the CACK displays a pattern with a distribution mainly at the plasma membrane, different from that of the related Leishmania species used as control, that displays a distribution close to the nucleus. Altogether, the data suggest that the existence of the structural differences found may have functional consequences.  (+info)