Detection of ALMB-toxin in the larval body of Myrmeleon bore by anti-N-terminus peptide antibodies.
Antibodies were raised against a synthetic antigen carrying the N-terminus peptide of ALMB-toxin, which had been isolated from the antlion, Myrmeleon bore, that exhibited high specificity to the toxin. Analyses with the antibodies showed the toxin to be present mainly at the larval stage and localized in a region from the thorax to abdomen of the larval body. (+info)
Role of metabolic activation in the pathogenesis of chemically induced pulmonary disease: mechanism of action of the lung-toxic furan, 4-ipomeanol.
Many xenobiotics produce hepatic injury due to their metabolism in the liver to highly reactive electrophile intermediates which form covalent conjugates with nucleophilic cellular constituents. This presentation describes studies indicating that the production of chemically reactive metabolites by pulmonary metabolism of xenobiotics can also play a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of chemically induced lung disease. (+info)
Selective killing of CD8+ cells with a 'memory' phenotype (CD62Llo) by the N-acetyl-D-galactosamine-specific lectin from Viscum album L.
As reported previously by our group, among the toxic proteins from Viscum album L. only the mistletoe lectins (MLs) induce the apoptotic killing pathway in human lymphocytes. Although one may expect a homogenous distribution of carbohydrate domains on cell surface receptors for the carbohydrate binding B chains of the toxic protein, the sensitivity of cells to these B chains obviously differ. Here we report a selective killing of CD8+ CD62Llo cells from healthy individuals by the galNAc-specific ML III (and RCA60, which binds to gal and galNAc), while the gal-specific ML I was less effective. This selective killing is not sufficiently explained by protein synthesis inhibition alone, since this subset was not affected by other ribosome inhibiting proteins such as the lectin from Ricinus communis (RCA120), lectin from Abrus precatorus (APA), abrin A, and inhibitors of RNA, DNA and/or protein synthesis such as actinomycin D, mitomycin C, and cycloheximide. We conclude that CD8+ cells with 'memory' phenotype (CD62Llo) are more sensitive to the ML III-mediated killing than their CD8+ CD62Lhi counterparts, CD4+ T cells, and CD19+ B cells. These cells probably express a distinct receptor with galNAc domains that is missing or not active on CD8+ cells with a 'naive' phenotype. (+info)
Mistletoe lectin activates caspase-8/FLICE independently of death receptor signaling and enhances anticancer drug-induced apoptosis.
Mistletoe lectin I (ML-I) is a major active component in plant extracts of Viscum album that is increasingly used in adjuvant cancer therapy. ML-I exerts potent immunomodulating and cytotoxic effects, although its mechanism of action is largely unknown. We show that treatment of leukemic T- and B-cell lines with ML-I induced apoptosis, which required the prior activation of proteases of the caspase family. The involvement of caspases is demonstrated because (a) a peptide caspase inhibitor almost completely prevented ML-I-induced cell death and (b) proteolytic activation of caspase-8, caspase-9, and caspase-3 was observed. Because caspase-8 has been implicated as a regulator of apoptosis mediated by death receptors, we further investigated a potential receptor involvement in ML-I-induced effects. Cell death triggered by ML-I was neither attenuated in cell clones resistant to CD95 nor in cells that were rendered refractory to other death receptors by overexpressing a dominant-negative FADD mutant. In contrast, ML-I triggered a receptor-independent mitochondria-controlled apoptotic pathway because it rapidly induced the release of cytochrome c into the cytosol. Because ML-I was also observed to enhance the cytotoxic effect of chemotherapeutic drugs, these data may provide a molecular basis for clinical trials using MLs in anticancer therapy. (+info)
Peptidyl inhibitors of shaker-type Kv1 channels elicit twitches in guinea pig ileum by blocking kv1.1 at enteric nervous system and enhancing acetylcholine release.
Potent and selective peptidyl blockers of the Shaker-type (Kv1) voltage-gated potassium channels were used to determine the role of these channels in regulating the spontaneous motility of smooth muscle preparations. Margatoxin (MgTX), kaliotoxin, and agitoxin-2 at 1 to 10 nM and agitoxin-1 at 50 to 100 nM induce twitches in guinea pig ileum strips. These twitches are abolished by tetrodotoxin (TTX, 0.5 microM), atropine (1 microM), hexamethonium (10 microM), or nifedipine (0.1 microM). It is proposed that blockade of Kv1 channels by MgTX, kaliotoxin, or the agitoxins increases excitability of intramural nerve plexuses in the ileum, promoting release of acetylcholine from excitatory motor nerve terminals. This, in turn, leads to Ca2+-dependent action potentials and twitching of the muscle fibers. MgTX does not induce twitches in several other guinea pig and/or rat vascular, genitourinary, or gastrointestinal smooth muscles, although small increases in spontaneous myogenic activity may be seen in detrusor muscle exposed to >30 nM MgTX. This effect is not reversed by TTX or atropine. The TTX- and atropine-sensitive twitches of guinea pig ileum are also induced by nanomolar concentrations of alpha-dendrotoxin, a selective blocker of Shaker Kv1.1 and 1.2 subtypes, or stichodactylatoxin, a peptide isolated from sea anemone that displays high affinity for Kv1.1 and 1.3, but not by charybdotoxin, which blocks Kv1.2 and 1.3 but not 1.1. The data taken together suggest that high-affinity blockade of Kv1.1 underlies the ability of MgTX, kaliotoxin, agitoxin-1, agitoxin-2, alpha-dendrotoxin, and stichodactylatoxin to elicit TTX-sensitive twitches in guinea pig ileum. (+info)
Production of phospholipase C (alpha-toxin), haemolysins and lethal toxins by Clostridium perfringens types A to D.
To obtain high yields of extracellular enzymes and toxins for immunological analysis, type culture collection strains of Clostridium perfringens types A to D and 28 fresh isolates of C. perfringens type A from humans were grown in fermenters under controlled conditions in a pre-reduced proteose peptone medium. The type culture collection strains all showed different characteristics with respect to growth rates and pH optima for growth. Production of phospholipase C (alpha-toxin), haemolysin and lethal activity varied considerably between the different types. Growth and extracellular protein production in fermenters with pH control and static or stirred cultures were compared. Production of all extracellular proteins measured was markedly improved by cultivation in fermenters with pH control. Strain ATCC13124 produced five times more phospholipase C than any of 28 freshly isolated strains of C. perfringens type A, grown under identical conditions. Haemolytic and lethal activities of the ATCC strain were equal or superior to the activities of any of the freshly isolated strains. There were no differences in the bacterial yields and in the production of extracellular toxins between type A strains isolated from clinical cases of gas gangrene and abdominal wounds, and those isolated from faecal samples from healthy persons. (+info)
A role for the mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin in biofilm formation by Vibrio cholerae El Tor.
While much has been learned regarding the genetic basis of host-pathogen interactions, less is known about the molecular basis of a pathogen's survival in the environment. Biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces represents a survival strategy utilized by many microbes. Here it is shown that Vibrio cholerae El Tor does not use the virulence-associated toxin-coregulated pilus to form biofilms on borosilicate but rather uses the mannose-sensitive hemagglutinin (MSHA) pilus, which plays no role in pathogenicity. In contrast, attachment of V. cholerae to chitin is shown to be independent of the MSHA pilus, suggesting divergent pathways for biofilm formation on nutritive and nonnutritive abiotic surfaces. (+info)
The Doc toxin and Phd antidote proteins of the bacteriophage P1 plasmid addiction system form a heterotrimeric complex.
The toxin (Doc) and antidote (Phd) proteins of the plasmid addiction system of bacteriophage P1 were purified as a complex. Cocrystals of the complex contained a 2:1 molar ratio of Phd:Doc as assayed by dye binding following SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and as determined by amino acid analysis. Gel filtration and analytical ultracentrifugation revealed that the two addiction proteins interact in solution to form a P2D trimer composed of one Doc and two Phd molecules. These results support a model in which Phd inhibits the toxic activity of Doc by direct binding. Circular dichroism experiments showed that changes in secondary structure accompany formation of the heterotrimeric complex, raising the possibility that Phd may act by an allosteric mechanism. Studies of Phd and Doc molecules labeled with fluorescent energy donor and acceptor groups gave an equilibrium dissociation constant of about 0.8 microM(2) and a very short, sub second half-life of complex dissociation. As a consequence, low concentrations of free Doc toxin are likely to be present both transiently and in the steady state in cells containing the Phd antidote, making mechanisms of single-hit Doc toxicity improbable. (+info)