Isolation and purification of rat mammary tumor peroxidase. (1/12820)

7,12-Dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced rat mammary tumors often contain high levels of the enzyme perioxidase, a putative marker of estrogen dependence. This enzyme can be effectively extracted with 0.5 M CaCl2, giving rise to a soluble peroxidase with a molecular weight of about 50,000 as determined by gel filtration. This is the same size as the estrogen-induced peroxidase of rat uterus but smaller than other mammalian peroxidases. Further purification of the rat mammary tumor peroxidase by concanavalin A-Sepharose chromatography and hydrophobic interaction chromatography on phenyl Sepharose provides a 640-fold purification of the enzyme.  (+info)

Activity in saline of phthalylated or succinylated derivatives of mycobacterial water-soluble adjuvant. (2/12820)

A water-soluble fraction (WSA) of the cell wall can substitute for mycobacterial cells in Freund complete adjuvant. However, when WSA is administered in saline instead of in a water-in-oil emulsion, its adjuvant activity is very weak, and under certain experimental conditions it can even inhibit the humoral immune response. The data reported in the present study show that after treatment by phthalic or succinic anhydride the adjuvant activity of WSA was markedly changed, since high levels of circulating antibodies were produced when these derivatives were administered with an antigen in an aqueous medium. Moreover, the antigenic determinants of WSA were modified and acylated WSA had no tuberculin-like activity.  (+info)

Gibberellic acid stabilises microtubules in maize suspension cells to cold and stimulates acetylation of alpha-tubulin. (3/12820)

Gibberellic acid is known to stabilise microtubules in plant organs against depolymerisation. We have now devised a simplified cell system for studying this. Pretreatment of a maize cell suspension with gibberellic acid for just 3 h stabilised protoplast microtubules against depolymerisation on ice. In other eukaryotes, acetylation of alpha-tubulin is known to correlate with microtubule stabilisation but this is not established in plants. By isolating the polymeric tubulin fraction from maize cytoskeletons and immunoblotting with the antibody 6-11B-1, we have demonstrated that gibberellic acid stimulates the acetylation of alpha-tubulin. This is the first demonstrated link between microtubule stabilisation and tubulin acetylation in higher plants.  (+info)

A novel trans-complementation assay suggests full mammalian oocyte activation is coordinately initiated by multiple, submembrane sperm components. (4/12820)

To initiate normal embryonic development, an egg must receive a signal to become activated at fertilization. We here report that the ability of demembranated sperm heads to activate is abolished after incubation over the range 20-44 degreesC and is sensitive to reducing agents. On the basis of this observation, we have developed a microinjection-based, trans-complementation assay in order to dissect the heat-inactivated sperm-borne oocyte-activating factor(s) (SOAF). We demonstrate that the failure of heat-inactivated sperm heads to activate an egg is rescued by coinjection with dithiothreitol-solubilized SOAF from demembranated sperm heads. The solubilized SOAF (SOAFs) is trypsin sensitive and is liberated from demembranated heads in a temperature-dependent manner that inversely correlates with the ability of sperm heads to activate. This argues that SOAFs is a proteinaceous molecular species required to initiate activation. Injection of oocytes with mouse or hamster sperm cytosolic factors, but not SOAFs alone, induced resumption of meiosis, further suggesting that these cytosolic factors and SOAF are distinct. Collectively, these data strongly suggest that full mammalian oocyte activation is initiated by the coordinated action of one or more heat-sensitive protein constituents of the perinuclear matrix and at least one heat-stable submembrane component.  (+info)

MENT, a heterochromatin protein that mediates higher order chromatin folding, is a new serpin family member. (5/12820)

Terminal cell differentiation is correlated with the extensive sequestering of previously active genes into compact transcriptionally inert heterochromatin. In vertebrate blood cells, these changes can be traced to the accumulation of a developmentally regulated heterochromatin protein, MENT. Cryoelectron microscopy of chicken granulocyte chromatin, which is highly enriched with MENT, reveals exceptionally compact polynucleosomes, which maintain a level of higher order folding above that imposed by linker histones. The amino acid sequence of MENT reveals a close structural relationship with serpins, a large family of proteins known for their ability to undergo dramatic conformational transitions. Conservation of the "hinge region" consensus in MENT indicates that this ability is retained by the protein. MENT is distinguished from the other serpins by being a basic protein, containing several positively charged surface clusters, which are likely to be involved in ionic interactions with DNA. One of the positively charged domains bears a significant similarity to the chromatin binding region of nuclear lamina proteins and with the A.T-rich DNA-binding motif, which may account for the targeting of MENT to peripheral heterochromatin. MENT ectopically expressed in a mammalian cell line is transported into nuclei and is associated with intranuclear foci of condensed chromatin.  (+info)

Isolation and characterization of major intrinsic microsomal membrane proteins. (6/12820)

Treatment of the membrane matrix derived from hepatic microsomes with buffered 1 M urea resulted in the selective extraction of a group of proteins together with a portion of the membrane lipid. Thorough chemical characterization of this fraction has been performed, and the proteins have been fractionated by two different procedures. The first of these, preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, has produced five highly homogeneous membrane proteins which have been characterized with regard to molecular weight, electrophoretic behavior in five different polyacrylamide systems, NH2 terminus, relative carbohydrate content, isoelectric point, and amino acid composition. The five proteins of this group fell in the molecular weight range of 54,000 to 96,000 and had isoelectric points ranging from pH 4.9 to pH 6.7. Further fractionation of the urea-soluble proteins by gel filtration in a sodium dodecyl sulfate-containing medium resulted in the isolation of four homogeneous molecular weight classes of proteins which have been characterized with respect to various physicochemical parameters. The major membrane glycoprotein (apparent molecular weight, 171,000) was isolated by this procedure and found to contain approximately equal amounts of NH2-terminal glycine and serine. suggesting the presence of at least two polypeptide chains in this molecular weight region. From the urea-insoluble fraction of the membrane comprising approximately 80% of the total protein, five intrinsic polypeptides designated S-5 through S-9 were isolated. S-5 (54,000) and S-6 (49,000) represent the most prominent components in the microsomal membrane, accounting for close to 30% of the total protein. Also isolated and characterized is the smallest membrane protein (S-9), a hydrophobic polypeptide of molecular weight 16,000. All of the urea-insoluble proteins are glycoproteins, and S-7 (35,000) gives the second most intense stain for carbohydrate of all proteins in the microsomal membrane.  (+info)

The interaction of n-tetraalkylammonium compounds with a human organic cation transporter, hOCT1. (7/12820)

Polyspecific organic cation transporters in epithelia play an important role in the elimination of many endogenous bioactive amines and therapeutically important drugs. Recently, the first human organic cation transporter (hOCT1) was cloned from liver. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effect of molecular size and hydrophobicity on the transport of organic cations by hOCT1. We studied the interaction of a series of n-tetraalkylammonium (n-TAA) compounds (alkyl chain length, N, ranging from 1 to 6 carbons) with hOCT1 in a transiently transfected human cell line, HeLa. [14C]tetraethylammonium (TEA) uptake was measured under different experimental conditions. Both cis-inhibition and trans-stimulation studies were carried out. With the exception of tetramethylammonium, all of the n-TAAs significantly inhibited [14C]TEA uptake. A reversed correlation of IC50 values (range, 3.0-260 microM) with alkyl chain lengths or partition coefficients (LogP) was observed. trans-Stimulation studies revealed that TEA, tetrapropylammonium, tetrabutylammonium, as well as tributylmethylammonium trans-stimulated TEA uptake mediated by hOCT1. In contrast, tetramethylammonium and tetrapentylammonium did not trans-stimulate [14C]TEA uptake, and tetrahexylammonium demonstrated an apparent "trans-inhibition" effect. These data indicate that with increasing alkyl chain lengths (N >/= 2), n-TAA compounds are more poorly translocated by hOCT1 although their potency of inhibition increases. Similar findings were obtained with nonaliphatic hydrocarbons. These data suggest that a balance between hydrophobic and hydrophilic properties is necessary for binding and subsequent translocation by hOCT1.  (+info)

Structural determinants of the eosinophil: chemotactic activity of the acidic tetrapeptides of eosinophil chemotactic factor of anaphylaxis. (8/12820)

The acidic tetrapeptides of ECF-A, Ala/Val-Gly-Ser-Glu, exhibit peak in vitro chemotactic activity for human eosinophils at concentrations of 3 X 10(-8) M to 10(-6) M, and rapidly deactivate eosinophils to homologous and other stimuli at concentrations as low as 10(-10) M. The analogue Leu-Gly-Ser-Glu reaches peak activity at 10(-8)M-10(-7)M, while Phe-Gly-Ser-Glu requires 10(-4)M to elicit a peak response. Although inversion of the order of glycine and serine does not alter the eosinophil chemotactic activity of the tetrapeptides, deletion of glycine increases by 10-fold the concentration required for peak chemotactic activity, indicating the critical nature of the spacing between NH2- and COOH-terminal residues. The substituent COOH-terminal tripeptide, which is only marginally chemotactic, irreversibly suppresses eosinophil chemotactic responsiveness at a concentration 10,000-fold higher than concentrations necessary for deactivation by the intact tetrapeptide. The high concentration of tripeptide required for this cell directed effect, which is assumed to be analogous to deactivation, is attributed to the absence of the NH2-terminal residue which would facilitate effective interaction with the eosinophil. A substituent NH2-terminal tripeptide and amides of the NH2-terminal amino acids, which are devoid of chemotactic and deactivating activities, reversibly inhibit the tetrapeptide stimulus in a dose-response fashion. The additional finding that the NH2-terminal tripeptide protects the eosinophil from deactivation by the intact tetrapeptide confirms that the competitive interaction is stimulus specific.  (+info)