Structural and functional changes in acute liver injury. (1/8245)

Carbon tetrachloride produces liver cell injury in a variety of animal species. The first structurally recognizable changes occur in the endoplasmic reticulum, with alteration in ribosome-membrane interactions. Later there is an increase in intracellular fat, and the formation of tangled nets of the ergastoplasm. At no time are there changes in mitochondria or single membrane limited bodies in cells with intact plasmalemma, although a relative increase in cell sap may appear. In dead cells (those with plasmalemma discontinuties) crystalline deposits of calcium phosphatase may be noted. Functional changes are related to the endoplasmic reticulum and the plasma membrane. An early decrease in protein synthesis takes place; an accumulation of neutral lipid is related to this change. Later alterations in the ergastoplasmic functions (e.g., mixed function oxidation) occurs. Carbon tetrachloride is not the active agent; rather, a product of its metabolism, probably the CC1, free radical, is. The mechanisms of injury include macromolecular adduction and peroxide propagation. A third possibility includes a cascade effect with the production of secondary and tertiary products, also toxic in nature, with the ability to produce more widespread damage to intracellular structures.  (+info)

NMD3 encodes an essential cytoplasmic protein required for stable 60S ribosomal subunits in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. (2/8245)

A mutation in NMD3 was found to be lethal in the absence of XRN1, which encodes the major cytoplasmic exoribonuclease responsible for mRNA turnover. Molecular genetic analysis of NMD3 revealed that it is an essential gene required for stable 60S ribosomal subunits. Cells bearing a temperature-sensitive allele of NMD3 had decreased levels of 60S subunits at the nonpermissive temperature which resulted in the formation of half-mer polysomes. Pulse-chase analysis of rRNA biogenesis indicated that 25S rRNA was made and processed with kinetics similar to wild-type kinetics. However, the mature RNA was rapidly degraded, with a half-life of 4 min. Nmd3p fractionated as a cytoplasmic protein and sedimented in the position of free 60S subunits in sucrose gradients. These results suggest that Nmd3p is a cytoplasmic factor required for a late cytoplasmic assembly step of the 60S subunit but is not a ribosomal protein. Putative orthologs of Nmd3p exist in Drosophila, in nematodes, and in archaebacteria but not in eubacteria. The Nmd3 protein sequence does not contain readily recognizable motifs of known function. However, these proteins all have an amino-terminal domain containing four repeats of Cx2C, reminiscent of zinc-binding proteins, implicated in nucleic acid binding or protein oligomerization.  (+info)

Single atom modification (O-->S) of tRNA confers ribosome binding. (3/8245)

Escherichia coli tRNALysSUU, as well as human tRNALys3SUU, has 2-thiouridine derivatives at wobble position 34 (s2U*34). Unlike the native tRNALysSUU, the full-length, unmodified transcript of human tRNALys3UUU and the unmodified tRNALys3UUU anticodon stem/loop (ASLLys3UUU) did not bind AAA- or AAG-programmed ribosomes. In contrast, the completely unmodified yeast tRNAPhe anticodon stem/loop (ASLPheGAA) had an affinity (Kd = 136+/-49 nM) similar to that of native yeast tRNAPheGmAA (Kd = 103+/-19 nM). We have found that the single, site-specific substitution of s2U34 for U34 to produce the modified ASLLysSUU was sufficient to restore ribosomal binding. The modified ASLLysSUU bound the ribosome with an affinity (Kd = 176+/-62 nM) comparable to that of native tRNALysSUU (Kd = 70+/-7 nM). Furthermore, in binding to the ribosome, the modified ASLLys3SUU produced the same 16S P-site tRNA footprint as did native E. coli tRNALysSUU, yeast tRNAPheGmAA, and the unmodified ASLPheGAA. The unmodified ASLLys3UUU had no footprint at all. Investigations of thermal stability and structure monitored by UV spectroscopy and NMR showed that the dynamic conformation of the loop of modified ASLLys3SUU was different from that of the unmodified ASLLysUUU, whereas the stems were isomorphous. Based on these and other data, we conclude that s2U34 in tRNALysSUU and in other s2U34-containing tRNAs is critical for generating an anticodon conformation that leads to effective codon interaction in all organisms. This is the first example of a single atom substitution (U34-->s2U34) that confers the property of ribosomal binding on an otherwise inactive tRNA.  (+info)

Studies on a nonpolysomal ribonucleoprotein coding for myosin heavy chains from chick embryonic muscles. (4/8245)

A messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) particle containing the mRNA coding for the myosin heavy chain (MHC mRNA) has been isolated from the postpolysomal fraction of homogenates of 14-day-old chick embryonic muscles. The mRNP sediments in sucrose gradient as 120 S and has a characteristic buoyant density of 1.415 g/cm3, which corresponds to an RNA:protein ratio of 1:3.8. The RNA isolated from the 120 S particle behaved like authentic MHC mRNA purified from chick embryonic muscles with respect to electrophoretic mobility and ability to program the synthesis of myosin heavy chain in a rabbit reticulocyte lysate system as judged by multi-step co-purification of the in vitro products with chick embryonic leg muscle myosin added as carrier. The RNA obtained from the 120 S particle was as effective as purified MHC mRNA in stimulating the synthesis of the complete myosin heavy chains in rabbit reticulocyte lysate under conditions where non-muscle mRNAs had no such effect. Analysis of the protein moieties of the 120 S particle by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis shows the presence of seven distinct polypeptides with apparent molecular weights of 44,000, 49,000, 53,000, 81,000, 83,000, and 98,000, whereas typical ribosomal proteins are absent. These results indicate that the 120 S particles are distinct cellular entities unrelated to ribosomes or initiation complexes. The presence of muscle-specific mRNAs as cytoplasmic mRNPs suggests that these particles may be involved in translational control during myogenesis in embryonic muscles.  (+info)

Purification and characterization of initiation factor IF-E2 from rabbit reticulocytes. (5/8245)

Initiation factor IF-E2 was isolated from rabbit reticulocytes and purified 120-fold to near homogeneity by ammonium sulfate fractionation, column chromatography on DEAE-cellulose and phosphocellulose, and, when suitable, by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The factor is a complex protein containing three nonidentical polypeptides of molecular weight 57,000, 52,000, and 36,000. It behaves as a complex throughout its purification and during polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis in nondenaturing buffer but its thress components are readily separated by electrophoresis in denaturing buffers. None of its components corresponds to any of the polypeptides of the other initiation factors or to any proteins of ribosomes washed in buffers containing a high salf concentration. A stoichiometric ratio of 1:1:1 was determined for the three polypeptides; based on the assumption of one copy each per complex, the calculated factor molecular weight is 145,000, a value in agreement with the measured value of 160,000. Initiation factor IF-E2 was radioactively labeled in vitro by reductive alkylation or by phosphorylation with a protein kinase also isolated from rabbit reticulocytes. Neither procedure causes a measurable change in the ability of the factor to form a ternary complex with GTP and the initiator methionyl-tRNA. 5'-Guanylyl-methylenediphosphonate may substitute for GTP, but only at relatively high concentrations. The binding of labeled initiation factor IF-E2 and methionyl-tRNA to the 40 S ribosomal subunit was studied by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Appreciable binding of the factor is seen only when all three components of the ternary complex are included in the reaction mixture. The binding of either the factor or methionyl-tRNA was not stimulated by the addition of globin messenger RNA and initiation factor IF-E3. It was shown that all three polypeptide components of initiation factor IF-E2 are bound to these nascent initiation complexes.  (+info)

Structure and functions of nucleolin. (6/8245)

Nucleolin is an abundant protein of the nucleolus. Nucleolar proteins structurally related to nucleolin are found in organisms ranging from yeast to plants and mammals. The association of several structural domains in nucleolin allows the interaction of nucleolin with different proteins and RNA sequences. Nucleolin has been implicated in chromatin structure, rDNA transcription, rRNA maturation, ribosome assembly and nucleo-cytoplasmic transport. Studies of nucleolin over the last 25 years have revealed a fascinating role for nucleolin in ribosome biogenesis. The involvement of nucleolin at multiple steps of this biosynthetic pathway suggests that it could play a key role in this highly integrated process.  (+info)

Use of an internal ribosome entry site for bicistronic expression of Cre recombinase or rtTA transactivator. (7/8245)

Conditional gene targeting depends on tissue and time specificity of recombination events. Endogenous promoters are often used to drive various transgenic constructs. To avoid the problems associated with reconstituting a specific expression pattern in transgenic animals by this method, we tested the internal ribosome entry site of the encephalomyocarditis virus, to enable linkage of the Cre recombinase or rtTA trans-activator to 3' untranslated ends of endogenous genes. Here we report that these constructs function effectively in COS cells. The data suggest that these cassettes will be appropriate for 3' targeting of mouse genes.  (+info)

Comparison of synonymous codon distribution patterns of bacteriophage and host genomes. (8/8245)

Synonymous codon usage patterns of bacteriophage and host genomes were compared. Two indexes, G + C base composition of a gene (fgc) and fraction of translationally optimal codons of the gene (fop), were used in the comparison. Synonymous codon usage data of all the coding sequences on a genome are represented as a cloud of points in the plane of fop vs. fgc. The Escherichia coli coding sequences appear to exhibit two phases, "rising" and "flat" phases. Genes that are essential for survival and are thought to be native are located in the flat phase, while foreign-type genes from prophages and transposons are found in the rising phase with a slope of nearly unity in the fgc vs. fop plot. Synonymous codon distribution patterns of genes from temperate phages P4, P2, N15 and lambda are similar to the pattern of E. coli rising phase genes. In contrast, genes from the virulent phage T7 or T4, for which a phage-encoded DNA polymerase is identified, fall in a linear curve with a slope of nearly zero in the fop vs. fgc plane. These results may suggest that the G + C contents for T7, T4 and E. coli flat phase genes are subject to the directional mutation pressure and are determined by the DNA polymerase used in the replication. There is significant variation in the fop values of the phage genes, suggesting an adjustment to gene expression level. Similar analyses of codon distribution patterns were carried out for Haemophilus influenzae, Bacillus subtilis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis and their phages with complete genomic sequences available.  (+info)