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(1/977) Caffeine can override the S-M checkpoint in fission yeast.

The replication checkpoint (or 'S-M checkpoint') control prevents progression into mitosis when DNA replication is incomplete. Caffeine has been known for some time to have the capacity to override the S-M checkpoint in animal cells. We show here that caffeine also disrupts the S-M checkpoint in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. By contrast, no comparable effects of caffeine on the S. pombe DNA damage checkpoint were seen. S. pombe cells arrested in early S phase and then exposed to caffeine lost viability rapidly as they attempted to enter mitosis, which was accompanied by tyrosine dephosphorylation of Cdc2. Despite this, the caffeine-induced loss of viability was not blocked in a temperature-sensitive cdc2 mutant incubated at the restrictive temperature, although catastrophic mitosis was prevented under these conditions. This suggests that, in addition to S-M checkpoint control, a caffeine-sensitive function may be important for maintenance of cell viability during S phase arrest. The lethality of a combination of caffeine with the DNA replication inhibitor hydroxyurea was suppressed by overexpression of Cds1 or Chk1, protein kinases previously implicated in S-M checkpoint control and recovery from S phase arrest. In addition, the same combination of drugs was specifically tolerated in cells overexpressing either of two novel S. pombe genes isolated in a cDNA library screen. These findings should allow further molecular investigation of the regulation of S phase arrest, and may provide a useful system with which to identify novel drugs that specifically abrogate the checkpoint control.  (+info)

(2/977) Increased sensitivity of hydroxyurea-resistant leukemic cells to gemcitabine.

Tumor cell resistance to certain chemotherapeutic agents may result in cross-resistance to related antineoplastic agents. To study cross-resistance among inhibitors of ribonucleotide reductase, we developed hydroxyurea-resistant (HU-R) CCRF-CEM cells. These cells were 6-fold more resistant to hydroxyurea than the parent hydroxyurea-sensitive (HU-S) cell line and displayed an increase in the mRNA and protein of the R2 subunit of ribonucleotide reductase. We examined whether HU-R cells were cross-resistant to gemcitabine, a drug that blocks cell proliferation by inhibiting ribonucleotide reductase and incorporating itself into DNA. Contrary to our expectation, HU-R cells had an increased sensitivity to gemcitabine. The IC50 of gemcitabine was 0.061 +/- 0.03 microM for HU-R cells versus 0.16 +/- 0.02 microM for HU-S cells (P = 0.005). The cellular uptake of [3H]gemcitabine and its incorporation into DNA were increased in HU-R cells. Over an 18-h incubation with radiolabeled gemcitabine (0.25 microM), gemcitabine uptake was 286 +/- 37.3 fmol/10(6) cells for HU-R cells and 128 +/- 8.8 fmol/10(6) cells for HU-S cells (P = 0.03). The incorporation of gemcitabine into DNA was 75 +/- 6.7 fmol/10(6) cells for HU-R cells versus 22 +/- 0.6 fmol/10(6) cells for HU-S cells (P < 0.02). Our studies suggest that the increased sensitivity of HU-R cells to gemcitabine results from increased drug uptake by these cells. This, in turn, favors the incorporation of gemcitabine into DNA, resulting in enhanced cytotoxicity. The increased sensitivity of malignant cells to gemcitabine after the development of hydroxyurea resistance may be relevant to the design of chemotherapeutic trials with these drugs.  (+info)

(3/977) A glycyl radical site in the crystal structure of a class III ribonucleotide reductase.

Ribonucleotide reductases catalyze the reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. Three classes have been identified, all using free-radical chemistry but based on different cofactors. Classes I and II have been shown to be evolutionarily related, whereas the origin of anaerobic class III has remained elusive. The structure of a class III enzyme suggests a common origin for the three classes but shows differences in the active site that can be understood on the basis of the radical-initiation system and source of reductive electrons, as well as a unique protein glycyl radical site. A possible evolutionary relationship between early deoxyribonucleotide metabolism and primary anaerobic metabolism is suggested.  (+info)

(4/977) Binding of Cob(II)alamin to the adenosylcobalamin-dependent ribonucleotide reductase from Lactobacillus leichmannii. Identification of dimethylbenzimidazole as the axial ligand.

The ribonucleoside triphosphate reductase (RTPR) from Lactobacillus leichmannii catalyzes the reduction of nucleoside 5'-triphosphates to 2'-deoxynucleoside 5'-triphosphates and uses coenzyme B12, adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), as a cofactor. Use of a mechanism-based inhibitor, 2'-deoxy-2'-methylenecytidine 5'-triphosphate, and isotopically labeled RTPR and AdoCbl in conjunction with EPR spectroscopy has allowed identification of the lower axial ligand of cob(II)alamin when bound to RTPR. In common with the AdoCbl-dependent enzymes catalyzing irreversible heteroatom migrations and in contrast to the enzymes catalyzing reversible carbon skeleton rearrangements, the dimethylbenzimidazole moiety of the cofactor is not displaced by a protein histidine upon binding to RTPR.  (+info)

(5/977) Allosteric control of three B12-dependent (class II) ribonucleotide reductases. Implications for the evolution of ribonucleotide reduction.

Three separate classes of ribonucleotide reductases are known, each with a distinct protein structure. One common feature of all enzymes is that a single protein generates each of the four deoxyribonucleotides. Class I and III enzymes contain an allosteric substrate specificity site capable of binding effectors (ATP or various deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates) that direct enzyme specificity. Some (but not all) enzymes contain a second allosteric site that binds only ATP or dATP. Binding of dATP to this site inhibits the activity of these enzymes. X-ray crystallography has localized the two sites within the structure of the Escherichia coli class I enzyme and identified effector-binding amino acids. Here, we have studied the regulation of three class II enzymes, one from the archaebacterium Thermoplasma acidophilum and two from eubacteria (Lactobacillus leichmannii and Thermotoga maritima). Each enzyme has an allosteric site that binds ATP or various deoxyribonucleoside triphosphates and that regulates its substrate specificity according to the same rules as for class I and III enzymes. dATP does not inhibit enzyme activity, suggesting the absence of a second active allosteric site. For the L. leichmannii and T. maritima enzymes, binding experiments also indicate the presence of only one allosteric site. Their primary sequences suggest that these enzymes lack the structural requirements for a second site. In contrast, the T. acidophilum enzyme binds dATP at two separate sites, and its sequence contains putative effector-binding amino acids for a second site. The presence of a second site without apparent physiological function leads to the hypothesis that a functional site was present early during the evolution of ribonucleotide reductases, but that its function was lost from the T. acidophilum enzyme. The other two B12 enzymes lost not only the function, but also the structural basis for the site. Also a large subgroup (Ib) of class I enzymes, but none of the investigated class III enzymes, has lost this site. This is further indirect evidence that class II and I enzymes may have arisen by divergent evolution from class III enzymes.  (+info)

(6/977) Enzyme-mononucleotide interactions: three different folds share common structural elements for ATP recognition.

Three ATP-dependent enzymes with different folds, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, D-Ala:D-Ala ligase and the alpha-subunit of the alpha2beta2 ribonucleotide reductase, have a similar organization of their ATP-binding sites. The most meaningful similarity was found over 23 structurally equivalent residues in each protein and includes three strands each from their beta-sheets, in addition to a connecting loop. The equivalent secondary structure elements in each of these enzymes donate four amino acids forming key hydrogen bonds responsible for the common orientation of the "AMP" moieties of their ATP-ligands. One lysine residue conserved throughout the three families binds the alpha-phosphate in each protein. The common fragments of structure also position some, but not all, of the equivalent residues involved in hydrophobic contacts with the adenine ring. These examples of convergent evolution reinforce the view that different proteins can fold in different ways to produce similar structures locally, and nature can take advantage of these features when structure and function demand it, as shown here for the common mode of ATP-binding by three unrelated proteins.  (+info)

(7/977) The activation of ribonucleotide reductase in animal organs as the cellular response against the treatment with DNA-damaging factors and the influence of radioprotectors on this effect.

Cellular requirements for deoxyribonucleotide (dNTP) pools during DNA synthesis are related to ensuring of the accuracy of DNA copying during replication and repair. This paper covers some problems on the reactions of dNTP synthesis system in organs of animals against the treatment with DNA-damaging agents. Ribonucleoside diphosphate reductase (NDPR) is the key enzyme for the synthesis of dNTP, since it catalyses the reductive conversion of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. The results obtained show that the rapid and transient increase in NDPR activity in animal organs occurs as cellular response against the treatment with DNA-damaging agents (SOS-type activation). We have also found the intensive radioprotector-stimulated activation of deoxyribonucleotide synthesis as well as DNA and protein synthesis in mice organs within 3 days after the administration of two radioprotectors, indralin and indometaphen, that provide the high animal survival. Our studies suggest that these effects are the most important steps in the protective mechanism of the radioprotectors and are responsible for the high animal survival.  (+info)

(8/977) Immunogenicity of herpes simplex virus type 1 mutants containing deletions in one or more alpha-genes: ICP4, ICP27, ICP22, and ICP0.

Replication defective mutants of HSV have been proposed both as vaccine candidates and as vehicles for gene therapy because of their inability to produce infectious progeny. The immunogenicity of these HSV replication mutants, at both qualitative and quantitative levels, will directly determine their effectiveness for either of these applications. We have previously reported (Brehm et al., J. Virol., 71, 3534, 1997) that a replication defective mutant of HSV-1, which expresses a substantial level of viral genes without producing virus particles, is as efficient as wild-type HSV-1 in eliciting an HSV-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) response. In this report, we have further evaluated the immunogenic potential of HSV-1-derived replication defective mutants by examining the generation of HSV-specific CTL following immunization with viruses that are severely restricted in viral gene expression due to mutations in one or more HSV alpha genes (ICP4, ICP27, ICP22, and ICP0). To measure the CTL responses induced by the HSV alpha-mutants, we have targeted two H-2Kb-restricted CTL epitopes: an epitope in a virion protein, gB (498-505), and an epitope in a nonvirion protein, ribonucleotide reductase (RR1 822-829). The HSV mutants used in this study are impaired in their ability to express gB while a majority of them still express RR1. Our findings demonstrate that a single immunization with these mutants is able to generate a strong CTL response not only to RR1 822-829, but also to gB498-505 despite their inability to express wild-type levels of gB. Furthermore, a single immunization with any individual mutant can also provide immune protection against HSV challenge. These results suggest that mutants which are restricted in gene expression may be used as effective immunogens in vivo.  (+info)