Structure and anticoagulant activity of sulfated fucans. Comparison between the regular, repetitive, and linear fucans from echinoderms with the more heterogeneous and branched polymers from brown algae.
Sulfated fucans are among the most widely studied of all the sulfated polysaccharides of non-mammalian origin that exhibit biological activities in mammalian systems. Examples of these polysaccharides extracted from echinoderms have simple structures, composed of oligosaccharide repeating units within which the residues differ by specific patterns of sulfation among different species. In contrast the algal fucans may have some regular repeating structure but are clearly more heterogeneous when compared with the echinoderm fucans. The structures of the sulfated fucans from brown algae also vary from species to species. We compared the anticoagulant activity of the regular and repetitive fucans from echinoderms with that of the more heterogeneous fucans from three species of brown algae. Our results indicate that different structural features determine not only the anticoagulant potency of the sulfated fucans but also the mechanism by which they exert this activity. Thus, the branched fucans from brown algae are direct inhibitors of thrombin, whereas the linear fucans from echinoderms require the presence of antithrombin or heparin cofactor II for inhibition of thrombin, as reported for mammalian glycosaminoglycans. The linear sulfated fucans from echinoderms have an anticoagulant action resembling that of mammalian dermatan sulfate and a modest action through antithrombin. A single difference of one sulfate ester per tetrasaccharide repeating unit modifies the anticoagulant activity of the polysaccharide markedly. Possibly the spatial arrangements of sulfate esters in the repeating tetrasaccharide unit of the echinoderm fucan mimics the site in dermatan sulfate with high affinity for heparin cofactor II. (+info
Effect of the hemolytic lectin CEL-III from Holothuroidea Cucumaria echinata on the ANS fluorescence responses in sensitive MDCK and resistant CHO cells.
The addition of CEL-III to sensitive MDCK cells preincubated with 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonate (ANS) caused an increase in the fluorescence intensity of the probe. The increase in the ANS fluorescence caused by CEL-III was Ca2+-dependent and strongly inhibited by 0.1 M lactose, indicating that Ca2+-dependent binding of CEL-III to specific carbohydrate receptors on the plasma membrane is responsible for this phenomenon. In contrast, no significant effect of CEL-III on the ANS fluorescence was observed in CHO cells, which are highly resistant to CEL-III cytotoxicity. In MDCK cells, energy transfer from tryptophan residues to bound ANS molecules was observed in the presence of CEL-III, but not in CHO cells. Furthermore, the amount of ANS bound to MDCK cells increased as the concentration of CEL-III increased. Therefore, a simple interpretation is that the CEL-III-induced increase in ANS fluorescence is attributable to an increase of the hydrophobic region in the plasma membrane where ANS could bind. Immunoblotting analysis of proteins from cells treated with CEL-III indicated that CEL-III oligomers were irreversibly bound to the cells, and the amount of oligomer bound to MDCK cells was much greater than that bound to CHO cells under any conditions tested. The oligomerization may be accompanied by an enhancement of the hydrophobicity of CEL-III molecules, which in turn provides new ANS-binding sites. The difference in susceptibility of MDCK and CHO cells to CEL-III cytotoxicity may be due to a difference in oligomerization of bound CEL-III. (+info
Arginine kinase evolved twice: evidence that echinoderm arginine kinase originated from creatine kinase.
Arginine kinase (AK) was isolated from the longitudinal muscle of the sea cucumber Stichopus japonicus. Unlike the monomeric 40 kDa AKs from molluscs and arthropods, but like the cytoplasmic isoenzymes of vertebrate creatine kinase (CK), the Stichopus enzyme was dimeric. To explore the evolutionary origin of the dimeric AK, we determined its cDNA-derived amino acid sequence of 370 residues. A comparison of the sequence with those of other enzymes belonging to the phosphagen kinase family indicated that the entire amino acid sequence of Stichopus AK is apparently much more similar to vertebrate CKs than to all other AKs. A phylogenetic tree also strongly suggests that the Stichopus AK has evolved from CK. These results support the conclusion that AK evolved at least twice during the evolution of phosphagen kinases: first at an early stage of phosphagen kinase evolution (its descendants are molluscan and arthropod AKs) and secondly from CK later in metazoan evolution. A comparison of the amino acid sequence around the guanidino specificity (GS) region (which is a possible candidate for the guanidine substrate recognition site in the phosphagen kinase family) of the Stichopus enzyme with those of other phosphagen kinases showed that the GS region of the Stichopus enzyme was of the AK type: five amino acid deletions in the flexible loop region that might help to accommodate larger guanidine substrates in the active site. The presence of the AK-type deletions in the Stichopus AK, even though it seems that the enzyme's most immediate ancestor was probably CK, strongly suggests that the GS region has a role in substrate specificity. Stichopus AK and presumably other echinoderm AKs seem to have evolved from the CK gene; the sequence of GS region might have been replaced by the AK type via exon shuffling. The presence of an intron near the GS region in the Stichopus AK gene supports this hypothesis. (+info
Molecular mechanism for pore-formation in lipid membranes by the hemolytic lectin CEL-III from marine invertebrate Cucumaria echinata.
The pore-forming activity of CEL-III, a Gal/GalNAc specific lectin from the Holothuroidea Cucumaria echinata, was examined using artificial lipid membranes as a model system of erythrocyte membrane. The carboxyfluorescein (CF)-leakage studies clearly indicated that CEL-III induced the formation of pores in the dipalmitoyl phosphatidyl choline (DPPC)-lactosyl ceramide (LacCer) liposomes effectively but not in the DPPC-glucosyl ceramide (GlcCer) liposomes or DPPC liposomes. Such a leakage of CF was strongly inhibited by lactose, a potent inhibitor of CEL-III, suggesting that the leakage is mediated through the specific binding of CEL-III to the carbohydrate chains on the surface of the liposomes. The leakage of CF from the DPPC-lactosyl ceramide liposomes was pH-dependent, and it increased with increasing pH. The immunoblotting analysis and circular dichroism data indicated that upon interaction with liposomes, CEL-III associated to form an oligomer concomitantly with a marked conformational change. Furthermore, channel measurements showed that CEL-III has an ability to form small ion channels in the planar lipid bilayers consisting of diphytanoylphosphatidylcholine and human globoside (Gb4Cer)/LacCer. (+info
Carbohydrate-dependent hemolytic activity of the conjugate composed of a C-type lectin, CEL-I, and an amphiphilic alpha-helical peptide, 4(3)-beta Ala2.
A lectin-cationic peptide conjugate, 4(3)-CEL-I, was prepared from an invertebrate C-type lectin, CEL-I, and an amphiphilic alpha-helical peptide, 4(3)-beta Ala2 [Ac-(Leu-Ala-Arg-Leu)3-beta Ala2]. When 4(3)-CEL-I was incubated with rabbit erythrocytes, hemolysis was observed, especially at basic pH. Inhibition experiment using some carbohydrates suggested that hemolytic activity of 4(3)-CEL-I was caused by the interaction between 4(3)-beta Ala2 portion in the conjugate and the lipid bilayer after binding to the carbohydrate chains on the cell surface by the lectin activity of CEL-I. (+info
An analysis of actin delivery in the acrosomal process of thyone.
The acrosomal process of the sea cucumber Thyone briareus can extend 90 microm in 10 s, but an epithelial goldfish keratocyte can only glide a few microns in the same time. Both speeds reflect the rate of extension of an actin network. The difference is in the delivery of actin monomers to the polymerization region. Diffusion supplies monomers fast enough to support the observed speed of goldfish keratocytes, but previous models have indicated that the acrosomal process of Thyone extends too rapidly for diffusion to keep up. Here we reexamine the assumptions made in earlier models and present a new model, the Actin Reconcentration Model, that includes more biological detail. Salt and water fluxes during the acrosomal reaction and the nonideality of the cytoplasm are particularly significant for actin delivery. We find that the variability of the acrosomal growth curve can be explained by the salt and water fluxes, and that nonideality magnifies the effect of actin concentration changes. We calculate the speed of process growth using biologically relevant parameters from the literature and find that the predictions of the model fall among the experimental data. (+info
Maintaining the line of defense: regeneration of Cuvierian tubules in the sea cucumber Holothuria forskali (Echinodermata, Holothuroidea).
When irritated, individuals of the sea cucumber Holothuria forskali expel a few Cuvierian tubules which lengthen, instantly become sticky, and rapidly immobilize most organisms with which they come into contact. After expulsion, the lost tubules are readily regenerated. When only a few tubules have been expelled, there is often a latent period before the regeneration starts. In contrast, when many tubules have been expelled, the regenerative process starts immediately but proceeds in successive waves of 10 to 30 tubules that begin to regenerate at 10-day intervals. However, in all cases, the complete regeneration of a given tubule takes about 5 weeks and may be divided into three successive phases: an initial repair phase including the overall 48-h post-autotomy period, a true regenerative phase taking about 4 weeks to complete, and a growth phase of about one more week. Initial regeneration events occur by epimorphosis, cell proliferation being essential to the regenerative process, whereas late events occur mainly by morphallaxis, with migration of the newly differentiated cells. The mesothelium is the tissue layer in which cell proliferation is the most precocious and the most important, involving both peritoneocytes and undifferentiated cells (which seem to be dedifferentiated peritoneocytes). As regeneration proceeds, the percentage of undifferentiated cells regularly decreases in parallel with the differentiation of granular (adhesive-secreting) cells and myocytes. The myocytes then separate off from the mesothelium and migrate within the connective tissue layer. Three types of pseudopodial cells follow one another in the tubule connective tissue during regeneration. Type 1 cells have all the characteristics of echinoderm phagocytes and may have a fibroblastic function, cleaning the connective tissue compartment before new collagen synthesis starts. Type 2 cells are rather undifferentiated and divide actively. The presence of type 3 cells is closely associated with the appearance of collagen fibers, and it is suggested that they have a fibroblastic function. In the inner epithelium, cells also divide actively, but only those in which spherules have not yet differentiated in the basal intraconnective processes. It appears, therefore, that in the three tissue layers of the tubules, regeneration proceeds by cell dedifferentiation, then proliferation, and finally by differentiation. Cuvierian tubules thus constitute a very efficient defensive mechanism: their large number, sparing use, and particular regeneration dynamics make them an almost inexhaustible line of defense maintained at limited energy cost. (+info
Filamentous fungi associated with holothurians from the sea of Japan, off the primorye coast of Russia.
Holothurians (Holothurioidea, Echinodermata) are known to contain triterpene glycosides, which show antifungal activity. Nevertheless, fungi can be isolated from all organs of holothurians. During 1995-1996, mycelial fungi from several Far-Eastern holothurians--Apostichopus japonicus, Eupentacta fraudatrix, Cucumaria japonica--were collected from the Sea of Japan near the coast of Primorye (Russia) and studied. Twenty-seven species of marine fungi, mostly facultative ones belonging to the mitosporic fungi, were isolated from the holothurians and identified. Fungi isolated from the holothurian surface were more diverse and abundant than those from internal organs and coelomic fluids. Of the holothurians studied, Cucumaria japonica was poorest in abundance and diversity of fungi. The fungi Cladosporium brevicompactum and C. sphaerospermum were common in the holothurian coelom. Because of their high proteolytic activity, these fungi may be pathogenic to holothurians. The detritovorus holothurian A. japonicus was shown to modify the fungal assemblages within the marine bottom sediments. (+info