Microbial desulfurization of organic sulfur compounds in petroleum. (1/233)

Sulfur removal from petroleum is important from the standpoint of the global environment because the combustion of sulfur compounds leads to the production of sulfur oxides, which are the source of acid rain. As the regulations for sulfur in fuels become more stringent, the existing chemical desulfurizations are coming inadequate for the "deeper desulfurization" to produce lower-sulfur fuels without new and innovative processes. Biodesulfurization is rising as one of the candidates. Several microorganisms were found to desulfurize dibenzothiophene (DBT), a representative of the organic sulfur compounds in petroleum, forming a sulfur-free compound, 2-hydroxybiphenyl. They are promising as biocatalysts in the microbial desulfurization of petroleum because without assimilation of the carbon content, they remove only sulfur from the heterocyclic compounds which is refractory to conventional chemical desulfurization. Both enzymological and molecular genetic studies are now in progress for the purpose of obtaining improved desulfurization activity of organisms. The genes involved in the sulfur-specific DBT desulfurization were identified and the corresponding enzymes have been investigated. From the practical point of view, it has been proved that the microbial desulfurization proceeds in the presence of high concentrations of hydrocarbons, and more complicated DBT analogs are also desulfurized by the microorganisms. This review outlines the progress in the studies of the microbial desulfurization from the basic and practical point of view.  (+info)

Overexpression of recombinant proteins with a C-terminal thiocarboxylate: implications for protein semisynthesis and thiamin biosynthesis. (2/233)

A facile and rapid method for the production of protein C-terminal thiocarboxylates on DNA-encoded polypeptides is described. This method, which relies on the mechanism of the cleavage reaction of intein-containing fusion proteins, can produce multi-milligram quantities of protein C-terminal thiocarboxylate quickly and inexpensively. The utility of this method for protein semisynthesis and implications for studies on the biosynthesis of thiamin are discussed.  (+info)

Heating garlic inhibits its ability to suppress 7, 12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-induced DNA adduct formation in rat mammary tissue. (3/233)

The present studies compared the impact of heating, either by microwave or convection oven, on the ability of garlic to reduce the in vivo bioactivation of 7,12-dimethylbenz(a)anthracene (DMBA) in 55-d-old female Sprague-Dawley rats. In study 1, rats were fed a semipurified casein-based diet and treated by gastric gavage thrice weekly for 2-wk with crushed garlic (0.7 g in 2 mL corn oil) or the carrier prior to DMBA treatment (50 mg/kg body weight). Providing crushed garlic reduced by 64% (P < 0.05) the quantity DMBA-induced DNA adducts present in mammary epithelial cells compared to controls. In study 2, microwave treatment for 60 s, but not 30 s, decreased (P < 0.05) the protection provided by garlic against DMBA-induced adduct formation. In study 3, allowing crushed garlic to stand for 10 min prior to microwave heating for 60 s significantly (P < 0.05) restored its anticarcinogenic activity. Microwave heating of garlic for 30 s resulted in a 90% loss of alliinase activity. Heating in a convection oven (study 4) also completely blocked the ability of uncrushed garlic to retard DMBA bioactivation. Study 5 revealed that providing either 0.105 micromol diallyl disulfide or S-allyl cysteine by gastric gavage thrice weekly for 2 wk was effective in retarding DMBA bioactivation but isomolar alliin was not. These studies provide evidence that alliinase may be important for the formation of allyl sulfur compounds that contribute to a depression in DMBA metabolism and bioactivation.  (+info)

Inhibitory effect of sulfur-containing compounds in Scorodocarpus borneensis Becc. on the aggregation of rabbit platelets. (4/233)

The inhibitory effects of three pure compounds isolated from wood garlic, 2,4,5-trithiahexane (I), 2,4,5,7-tetrathiaoctane (II), and 2,4,5,7-tetrathiaoctane 2,2-dioxide (III), on rabbit platelet aggregation induced by collagen, arachidonic acid, U46619, ADP (adenosine 5'-diphosphate), PAF (platelet aggregating factor), and thrombin were studied in vitro. The anti-aggregating activity of 2,4,5,7-tetrathiaoctane 4,4-dioxide (IV) was also measured with collagen and arachidonic acid. I, II, III, and IV inhibited the platelet aggregation induced by all tested agonists. I, II, and III exhibited a stronger inhibitory effect against the thrombin-induced aggregation of GFP (gel-filtered platelets) than against the aggregation induced by the other agonists. Notably, the IC50 value for III was 4 microM, which is approximately 2.5 times stronger than MATS (methyl allyl trisulfide), a major anti-platelet compound isolated from garlic. In inhibiting collagen-induced aggregation, II was as potent as MATS and aspirin, with a marked disaggregation effect on the secondary aggregation by arachidonic acid, at the rate of 47.05%/min at a concentration of 10(-4) M. I, II, and III also suppressed U46619-induced aggregation. These results suggest that sulfur-containing compounds in wood garlic not only inhibit arachidonic acid metabolism but also suppress aggregation in association with the function of the platelet plasma membrane.  (+info)

Modulation of fibroblast growth factor-2 receptor binding, signaling, and mitogenic activity by heparin-mimicking polysulfonated compounds. (5/233)

Basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF-2) interacts with high-affinity tyrosine-kinase fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFRs) and low-affinity heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in target cells. Both interactions are required for FGF-2-mediated biological responses. Here we report the FGF-2 antagonist activity of novel synthetic sulfonic acid polymers with distinct chemical structures and molecular masses (MMs). PAMPS [poly(2-acrylamido-2-methyl-1-propanesulfonic acid)], (MM approximately 7,000-10,000), PAS [poly(anetholesulfonic acid)], (MM approximately 9,000-11,000), PSS [poly(4-styrenesulfonic acid)], (MM = 70,000), and poly(vinylsulfonic acid) (MM = 2,000), inhibited FGF-2 binding to HSPGs and FGFRs in fetal bovine aortic endothelial GM 7373 cells. They also abrogated the formation of the HSPG/FGF-2/FGFR ternary complex, as evidenced by their capacity to prevent FGF-2-mediated cell-cell attachment of FGFR-1-overexpressing, HSPG-deficient Chinese hamster ovary cells to wild-type HSPG-bearing cells. Direct interaction of the polysulfonates with FGF-2 was demonstrated by their ability to protect the growth factor from proteolytic cleavage. Accordingly, molecular modeling, based on the crystal structure of the interaction of FGF-2 with a heparin hexamer, showed the feasibility of docking PAMPS into the heparin-binding domain of FGF-2. In agreement with their FGF-2-binding capacity, PSS, PAS, and PAMPS inhibited FGF-2-induced cell proliferation in GM 7373 cells and murine brain microvascular endothelial cells. The antiproliferative activity of these compounds was associated with the abrogation of FGF-2-induced tyrosine phosphorylation of FGFR-1. Moreover, the polysulfonates PSS and PAS inhibited FGF-2-induced activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase-1/2, involved in FGF-2 signal transduction. In conclusion, sulfonic acid polymers bind FGF-2 by mimicking heparin interaction. These compounds may provide a tool to inhibit FGF-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation in angiogenesis and tumor growth.  (+info)

Effects of nonsulfur and sulfur amino acids on the regulation of hepatic enzymes of cysteine metabolism. (6/233)

To determine the role of nonsulfur vs. sulfur amino acids in regulation of cysteine metabolism, rats were fed a basal diet or diets supplemented with a mixture of nonsulfur amino acids (AA), sulfur amino acids (SAA), or both for 3 wk. Hepatic cysteine-sulfinate decarboxylase (CSDC), cysteine dioxygenase (CDO), and gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (GCS) activity, concentration, and mRNA abundance were measured. Supplementation with AA alone had no effect on any of these measures. Supplementation of the basal diet with SAA, with or without AA, resulted in a higher CDO concentration (32-45 times basal), a lower CSDC mRNA level (49-64% of basal), and a lower GCS-heavy subunit mRNA level (70-76%). The presence of excess SAA and AA together resulted in an additional type of regulation: a lower specific activity of all three enzymes was observed in rats fed diets with an excess of AA and SAA. Both SAA and AA played a role in regulation of these three enzymes of cysteine metabolism, but SAA had the dominant effects, and effects of AA were not observed in the absence of SAA.  (+info)

Transformation of sulfur compounds by an abundant lineage of marine bacteria in the alpha-subclass of the class Proteobacteria. (7/233)

Members of a group of marine bacteria that is numerically important in coastal seawater and sediments were characterized with respect to their ability to transform organic and inorganic sulfur compounds. Fifteen strains representing the Roseobacter group (a phylogenetic cluster of marine bacteria in the alpha-subclass of the class Proteobacteria) were isolated from seawater, primarily from the southeastern United States. Although more than one-half of the isolates were obtained without any selection for sulfur metabolism, all of the isolates were able to degrade the sulfur-containing osmolyte dimethyl sulfoniopropionate (DMSP) with production of dimethyl sulfide (DMS). Five isolates also degraded DMSP with production of methanethiol, indicating that both cleavage and demethylation pathways for DMSP occurred in the same organism, which is unusual. Five isolates were able to reduce dimethyl sulfoxide to DMS, and several isolates also degraded DMS and methanethiol. Sulfite oxygenase activity and methanesulfonic acid oxygenase activity were also present in some of the isolates. The ability to incorporate the reduced sulfur in DMSP and methanethiol into cellular material was studied with one of the isolates. A group-specific 16S rRNA probe indicated that the relative abundance of uncultured bacteria in the Roseobacter group increased in seawater enriched with DMSP or DMS. Because this group typically accounts for >10% of the 16S ribosomal DNA pool in coastal seawater and sediments of the southern United States, clues about its potential biogeochemical role are of particular interest. Studies of culturable representatives suggested that the group could mediate a number of steps in the cycling of both organic and inorganic forms of sulfur in marine environments.  (+info)

An anti-platelet agent, OPC-29030, inhibits translocation of 12-lipoxygenase and 12-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid production in human platelets. (8/233)

1. In human platelets, arachidonic acid is mainly metabolized by the two enzyme systems; cyclo-oxygenase and 12-lipoxygenase. Cyclo-oxygenase produces prostaglandin H(2) which is further converted to thromboxane B(2). 12-Lipoxygenase synthesizes 12(S)-hydroperoxyeicosatetraenoic acid which is reduced to 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12(S)-HETE). 2. An anti-platelet compound, OPC-29030, dose-dependently inhibited 12(S)-HETE production with an IC(50) of 0.06+/-0.01 microM, but not synthesis of thromboxane B(2) in human platelets. Although the compound suppressed 12(S)-HETE production in human platelets, cytosolic 12-lipoxygenase activity was not inhibited up to 10 microM. Essentially identical data were obtained with a 12-lipoxygenase of human erythroleukaemia cells which had megakaryocyte/platelet-like properties. 3. OPC-29030 also suppressed production of 5(S)-HETE, a 5-lipoxygenase product, in rat basophilic leukaemia cells without inhibiting enzyme activity. It has been shown that 5-lipoxygenase binds to membrane 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) to produce 5(S)-HETE, and thus FLAP inhibitor suppresses cellular 5(S)-HETE production. 4. A FLAP inhibitor, L-655,238, suppressed platelet 12(S)-HETE production, but had no effect on the 12-lipoxygenase activity. 5. Western blot analysis showed that platelet 12-lipoxygenase translocated from cytosol to membranes upon thrombin stimulation, and OPC-29030 suppressed this process in a dose-dependent manner. 6. These results suggest that the 12-lipoxygenase of human platelets binds to FLAP or a similar protein, and OPC-29030 suppresses 12(S)-HETE production by inhibiting a certain step of the 12-lipoxygenase translocation.  (+info)