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(1/8246) Identification of APC2, a homologue of the adenomatous polyposis coli tumour suppressor.

The adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) tumour-suppressor protein controls the Wnt signalling pathway by forming a complex with glycogen synthase kinase 3beta (GSK-3beta), axin/conductin and betacatenin. Complex formation induces the rapid degradation of betacatenin. In colon carcinoma cells, loss of APC leads to the accumulation of betacatenin in the nucleus, where it binds to and activates the Tcf-4 transcription factor (reviewed in [1] [2]). Here, we report the identification and genomic structure of APC homologues. Mammalian APC2, which closely resembles APC in overall domain structure, was functionally analyzed and shown to contain two SAMP domains, both of which are required for binding to conductin. Like APC, APC2 regulates the formation of active betacatenin-Tcf complexes, as demonstrated using transient transcriptional activation assays in APC -/- colon carcinoma cells. Human APC2 maps to chromosome 19p13.3. APC and APC2 may therefore have comparable functions in development and cancer.  (+info)

(2/8246) Structural basis of profactor D activation: from a highly flexible zymogen to a novel self-inhibited serine protease, complement factor D.

The crystal structure of profactor D, determined at 2.1 A resolution with an Rfree and an R-factor of 25.1 and 20.4%, respectively, displays highly flexible or disordered conformation for five regions: N-22, 71-76, 143-152, 187-193 and 215-223. A comparison with the structure of its mature serine protease, complement factor D, revealed major conformational changes in the similar regions. Comparisons with the zymogen-active enzyme pairs of chymotrypsinogen, trypsinogen and prethrombin-2 showed a similar distribution of the flexible regions. However, profactor D is the most flexible of the four, and its mature enzyme displays inactive, self-inhibited active site conformation. Examination of the surface properties of the N-terminus-binding pocket indicates that Ile16 may play the initial positioning role for the N-terminus, and Leu17 probably also helps in inducing the required conformational changes. This process, perhaps shared by most chymotrypsinogen-like zymogens, is followed by a factor D-unique step, the re-orientation of an external Arg218 to an internal position for salt-bridging with Asp189, leading to the generation of the self-inhibited factor D.  (+info)

(3/8246) The virulence plasmid-encoded impCAB operon enhances survival and induced mutagenesis in Shigella flexneri after exposure to UV radiation.

Upon exposure to UV radiation, Shigella flexneri SA100 displayed survival and mutation frequencies comparable to those of Escherichia coli AB1157, which contains a functional UmuDC error-prone DNA repair system. Survival of SA100 after UV irradiation was associated with the presence of the 220-kb virulence plasmid, pVP. This plasmid encodes homologues of ImpA and ImpB, which comprise an error-prone DNA repair system encoded on plasmid TP110 that was initially identified in Salmonella typhimurium, and ImpC, encoded upstream of ImpA and ImpB. Although the impB gene was present in representatives of all four species of Shigella, not all isolates tested contained the gene. Shigella isolates that lacked impB were more sensitive to UV radiation than isolates that contained impB. The nucleotide sequence of a 2.4-kb DNA fragment containing the imp operon from S. flexneri SA100 pVP was 96% identical to the imp operon from the plasmid TP110. An SA100 derivative with a mutation in the impB gene had reduced survival following UV irradiation and less UV-induced mutagenesis relative to the parental strain. We also found that S. flexneri contained a chromosomally encoded umuDC operon; however, the umuDC promoter was not induced by exposure to UV radiation. This suggests that the imp operon but not the umuDC operon contributes to survival and induced mutagenesis in S. flexneri following exposure to UV radiation.  (+info)

(4/8246) Alternating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody specificity: drug-induced vasculitis in a patient with Wegener's granulomatosis.

We describe a patient who presented with Wegener's granulomatosis associated with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) directed against proteinase 3 (PR3) with a cytoplasmic immunofluorescence pattern (cANCA), whose ANCA type changed to antimyeloperoxidase antibodies with a perinuclear immunofluorescence pattern (pANCA) when treated with propylthiouracil, and changed back to anti-PR3 antibodies with cANCA after the medication was discontinued. The patient developed flares of vasculitis symptoms associated with rises in either type of ANCA. Tests for antimyeloperoxidase ANCA were repeatedly negative before the drug was started, strongly implicating the drug as the cause of the episode. This case demonstrates that patients with idiopathic ANCA-positive vasculitis may quickly develop a superimposed drug-associated ANCA-positive vasculitis. Iatrogenic vasculitis should be suspected when a patient with idiopathic vasculitis with one type of ANCA develops the other type of ANCA.  (+info)

(5/8246) An Arabidopsis 14-3-3 protein can act as a transcriptional activator in yeast.

The 14-3-3 proteins are a group of highly conserved and widely distributed eukaryotic proteins with diverse functions. One 14-3-3 protein, AFT1 from Arabidopsis thaliana, was found to be able to activate transcription in yeast. When fused to the DNA-binding domain of a bacterial protein LexA, AFT1 can activate transcription of reporter genes that contain LexA operator sequences in their promoters. Although the in vivo function of AFT1 is not completely known, its similarity to previously identified proteins found in transcription complexes of Arabidopsis and maize suggests that AFT1 and some other 14-3-3 proteins may activate gene expression in other systems as well.  (+info)

(6/8246) Dengue virus NS3 serine protease. Crystal structure and insights into interaction of the active site with substrates by molecular modeling and structural analysis of mutational effects.

The mosquito-borne dengue viruses are widespread human pathogens causing dengue fever, dengue hemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome, placing 40% of the world's population at risk with no effective treatment. The viral genome is a positive strand RNA that encodes a single polyprotein precursor. Processing of the polyprotein precursor into mature proteins is carried out by the host signal peptidase and by NS3 serine protease, which requires NS2B as a cofactor. We report here the crystal structure of the NS3 serine protease domain at 2.1 A resolution. This structure of the protease combined with modeling of peptide substrates into the active site suggests identities of residues involved in substrate recognition as well as providing a structural basis for several mutational effects on enzyme activity. This structure will be useful for development of specific inhibitors as therapeutics against dengue and other flaviviral proteases.  (+info)

(7/8246) Bile duct epithelial cells exposed to alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate produce a factor that causes neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury in vitro.

The acute hepatotoxicity induced by alpha-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT) in rats is manifested as neutrophil-dependent necrosis of bile duct epithelial cells (BDECs) and hepatic parenchymal cells. This hepatotoxicity mirrors that of drug-induced cholangiolitic hepatitis in humans. Since BDECs are primary targets of ANIT-induced toxicity, we hypothesized that after exposure to ANIT, BDECs produce a factor(s) that causes neutrophil chemotaxis and neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury. To test this hypothesis BDECs were isolated from male Sprague Dawley rats and incubated with ANIT (6.25, 12.5, 25, or 50 microM) or vehicle for 24 h. The conditioned medium (CM) was collected and placed in the bottom chamber of a two-chambered chemotaxis system, while isolated neutrophils were placed in the top chamber. Chemotaxis was indicated by neutrophil migration through a membrane to the bottom chamber. CM from BDECs exposed to each concentration of ANIT was chemotactic, whereas CM from vehicle-treated BDECs was not. ANIT alone caused a modest degree of chemotaxis at 50 microM. The conditioned media were added to isolated hepatocytes or to hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures and incubated for 24 h. Hepatocyte toxicity was indicated by alanine aminotransferase release into the culture medium. CM from vehicle-treated BDECs did not cause hepatocyte killing in either hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures or hepatocyte cultures. In contrast, the addition of CM from ANIT-treated BDECs (CM-BDEC-A) to hepatocyte-neutrophil cocultures resulted in hepatocyte killing. The same CM was not cytotoxic to hepatocyte cultures devoid of neutrophils. The hepatocyte killing could not be explained by residual ANIT in the CM, which was below the limit of detection (< or = 0.5 microM). The addition of antiproteases afforded protection against neutrophil-dependent hepatocellular injury induced by CM-BDEC-A. These results indicate that ANIT causes BDECs to release a factor(s) that attracts neutrophils and stimulates them to injure hepatocytes in vitro.  (+info)

(8/8246) Subtilisin-like proprotein convertases, PACE4 and PC8, as well as furin, are endogenous proalbumin convertases in HepG2 cells.

Serum albumin is synthesized as a larger precursor form, proalbumin, which undergoes proteolytic processing at a dibasic site by a hepatic proprotein convertase within the secretory pathway to generate the mature form. Although furin, a member of the subtilisin-like proprotein convertase (SPC) family, was thought to be the only candidate hepatic convertase for proalbumin, SPC family members other than furin were recently suggested to also be involved in proalbumin processing. This study was designed to identify the endogenous proprotein convertases involved in proalbumin processing. Since human hepatoma HepG2 cells are highly differentiated and produce major plasma proteins, this cell line was used as a model for hepatocytes. Northern blot analysis revealed that PACE4, furin and PC8 of the SPC family were expressed in HepG2 cells as well as in the liver. Ribonuclease protection assay showed that PACE4A-II mRNA is the major transcript in HepG2 cells among the PACE4 isoforms. The coexpression studies showed that furin, PACE4A-II and PC8 were all able to convert proalbumin to albumin correctly. To elucidate the roles of these endogenous SPC family members in proalbumin processing, the antisense RNA for PACE4, furin and PC8 was stably expressed in HepG2 cells, respectively. The expression of each antisense RNA resulted in approximately 30% inhibition of endogenous proalbumin processing. We therefore concluded that PACE4 and PC8, as well as furin, are involved in the processing of proalbumin in HepG2 cells, and that these SPC family members are functionally redundant in this processing.  (+info)