A note on power approximations for the transmission/disequilibrium test.
The transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT) is a popular method for detection of the genetic basis of a disease. Investigators planning such studies require computation of sample size and power, allowing for a general genetic model. Here, a rigorous method is presented for obtaining the power approximations of the TDT for samples consisting of families with either a single affected child or affected sib pairs. Power calculations based on simulation show that these approximations are quite precise. By this method, it is also shown that a previously published power approximation of the TDT is erroneous. (+info)
Iron dependence of tryptophan hydroxylase activity in RBL2H3 cells and its manipulation by chelators.
Tryptophan hydroxylase requires Fe2+ for in vitro enzyme activity. In this study, the intracellular activity of tryptophan hydroxylase was assessed by applying 3-hydroxybenzylhydrazine (NSD-1015), an inhibitor of aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase, to monolayer cultures of RBL2H3 cells, a serotonin producing mast cell line. The effect of manipulating intracellular 'free' iron levels on enzyme activity was analyzed by administration of iron chelators. Desferrioxamine (DFO) suppressed the intracellular enzyme activity. Salicylaldehyde isonicotinoyl hydrazone (SIH) also suppressed enzyme activity, but stimulated it when administered in the Fe-bound form. Hemin also stimulated enzyme activity, which progressively increased over several hours to more than sixfold the initial level. DFO and SIH inhibited the hemin stimulatory effect when administered simultaneously with hemin. Both suppression and stimulation with these chelators took place without a significant decrease or increase in the amount of enzyme. These results indicate that there was an inadequate supply of Fe2+ in the cells to support full activity of tryptophan hydroxylase. (+info)
Characterization of a stable form of tryptophan hydroxylase from the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni.
A cDNA (Schistosoma mansoni tryptophan hydroxylase; SmTPH) encoding a protein homologous to tryptophan hydroxylase, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of serotonin, was cloned from the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni. Bacterial expression of SmTPH as a histidine fusion protein produced soluble active enzyme, which was purified to apparent homogeneity and a final specific activity of 0.17 micromol/min/mg of protein. The purified enzyme was found to be a tetramer of approximately 240 kDa with a subunit size of 58 kDa. Several of the biochemical and kinetic properties of SmTPH were similar to those of mammalian tryptophan hydroxylase. Unlike the mammalian enzyme, however, SmTPH was found to be stable at 37 degrees C, its t((1)/(2)) being nearly 23 times higher than that of a similarly expressed rabbit tryptophan hydroxylase. A semiquantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction showed that the level of SmTPH mRNA in a larval stage of the parasite (cercaria) is 2.5 times higher than in adult S. mansoni, suggesting possible differences in the level of enzyme expression between the two developmental stages. This study demonstrates for the first time the presence of a functional tryptophan hydroxylase in a parasitic helminth and further suggests that the parasites are capable of synthesizing serotonin endogenously. (+info)
Maternal and zygotic control of serotonin biosynthesis are both necessary for Drosophila germband extension.
In the accompanying paper, we report that Drosophila gastrulae genetically depleted for the 5-HT(2Dro) serotonin receptor or for serotonin show abnormal germband extension. In wild-type gastrulae, peaks of both the 5-HT(2Dro) receptor and serotonin coincide precisely with the onset of germband extension. Here, we assessed the genetic requirement for this peak of serotonin. We report the characterisation of the serotonin content of individual Drosophila embryos, progeny from flies heterozygous for mutations in genes that are involved in the serotonin synthesis pathway and include the GTP-cyclohydrolase, tryptophan hydroxylase and DOPA decarboxylase loci. The peak of serotonin synthesis at the beginning of germband extension appears strictly dependent upon the maternal deposition of biopterins, products of GTP-cyclohydrolase and cofactors of tryptophan hydroxylase and upon the zygotic synthesis of both tryptophan hydroxylase and DOPA decarboxylase enzymes. Mutant embryos with an impairment in this peak of serotonin synthesis die with a cuticular organisation which is also observed in embryos deficient for the 5-HT(2Dro) receptor. This characteristic cuticular phenotype is thus the hallmark of desynchronisation of the morphogenetic movements during gastrulation. Together, these findings provide additional support for the notion that serotonin, acting through the 5-HT(2Dro) receptor, is necessary for proper gastrulation. (+info)
Peroxynitrite inactivates tryptophan hydroxylase via sulfhydryl oxidation. Coincident nitration of enzyme tyrosyl residues has minimal impact on catalytic activity.
Tryptophan hydroxylase, the initial and rate-limiting enzyme in serotonin biosynthesis, is inactivated by peroxynitrite in a concentration-dependent manner. This effect is prevented by molecules that react directly with peroxynitrite such as dithiothreitol, cysteine, glutathione, methionine, tryptophan, and uric acid but not by scavengers of superoxide (superoxide dismutase), hydroxyl radical (Me(2)SO, mannitol), and hydrogen peroxide (catalase). Assuming simple competition kinetics between peroxynitrite scavengers and the enzyme, a second-order rate constant of 3.4 x 10(4) M(-1) s(-1) at 25 degrees C and pH 7.4 was estimated. The peroxynitrite-induced loss of enzyme activity was accompanied by a concentration-dependent oxidation of protein sulfhydryl groups. Peroxynitrite-modified tryptophan hydroxylase was resistant to reduction by arsenite, borohydride, and dithiothreitol, suggesting that sulfhydryls were oxidized beyond sulfenic acid. Peroxynitrite also caused the nitration of tyrosyl residues in tryptophan hydroxylase, with a maximal modification of 3.8 tyrosines/monomer. Sodium bicarbonate protected tryptophan hydroxylase from peroxynitrite-induced inactivation and lessened the extent of sulfhydryl oxidation while causing a 2-fold increase in tyrosine nitration. Tetranitromethane, which oxidizes sulfhydryls at pH 6 or 8, but which nitrates tyrosyl residues at pH 8 only, inhibited tryptophan hydroxylase equally at either pH. Acetylation of tyrosyl residues with N-acetylimidazole did not alter tryptophan hydroxylase activity. These data suggest that peroxynitrite inactivates tryptophan hydroxylase via sulfhydryl oxidation. Modification of tyrosyl residues by peroxynitrite plays a relatively minor role in the inhibition of tryptophan hydroxylase catalytic activity. (+info)
Cloning and expression of recombinant human pineal tryptophan hydroxylase in Escherichia coli: purification and characterization of the cloned enzyme.
The first step in the biosynthesis of melatonin in the pineal gland is the hydroxylation of tryptophan to 5-hydroxytryptophan. A cDNA of human tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) was cloned from a library of human pineal gland and expressed in Escherichia coli. This cDNA sequence is identical to the cDNA sequence published from the human carcinoid tissue . This human pineal hydroxylase gene encodes a protein of 444 amino acids and a molecular mass of 51 kDa estimated for the purified enzyme. Tryptophan hydroxylase from human brainstem exhibits high sequence homology (93% identity) with the human pineal hydroxylase. The recombinant tryptophan hydroxylase exists in solution as tetramers. The expressed human pineal tryptophan hydroxylase has a specific activity of 600 nmol/min/mg when measured in the presence of tetrahydrobiopterin and L-tryptophan. The enzyme catalyzes the hydroxylation of tryptophan and phenylalanine at comparable rates. Phosphorylation of the hydroxylase by protein kinase A or calmodulin-dependent kinase II results in the incorporation of 1 mol of phosphate/mol of subunit, but this degree of phosphorylation leads to only a modest (30%) increase in BH(4)-dependent activity when assayed in the presence of 14-3-3. Rapid scanning ultraviolet spectroscopy has revealed the formation of the transient intermediate compound, 4alpha-hydroxytetrahydrobiopterin, during the hydroxylation of either tryptophan or phenylalanine catalyzed by the recombinant pineal TPH. (+info)
Brain tryptophan hydroxylase: purification of, production of antibodies to, and cellular and ultrastructural localization in serotonergic neurons of rat midbrain.
Tryptophan hydroxylase [EC 220.127.116.11; L-tryptophan, tetrahydropteridine:oxygen oxidoreductase (5-hydroxylating)], the enzyme catalyzing the rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of serotonin, was purified 79-fold from the region of the raphe nucleus of rat midbrain by sequential column chromatography and disc-gel electrophoresis. In electrophoresis three bands were distinguished, A, B, and C, which, when separated and submitted individually to electrophoresis, reproduced the same three bands. Bands A and C were enzymatically active and inhibited by para-chlorohenylalanine. Antibodies produced to each of the three bands crossreacted by immuno double diffusion and electrophoresis with each other and homogenates of raphe nuclei; they completely inhibited enzyme activity only of tryptophan hydroxylase. Tryptophan hydroxylase was localized by light and electron immunohistochemistry to serotonin neutrons of the raphe. Ultrastructurally, in cell bodies, the enzyme was distributed in cytoplasm and in association with endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus. In dendrites and axons, it was associated with microtubules. Tryptophan hydroxylase in brain is only neuronal and cytoplasmic, exists in multiple forms, and is associated with microtubules, suggesting it may be transported from sites of synthesis in cell body into axons. (+info)
Immunohistochemical characterisation of epithelial cells of rodent harderian glands in primary culture.
The aims of the current investigation were (1) to establish an efficient procedure for the isolation of rodent harderian gland cells and to define conditions for maintenance of viable differentiated cells; (2) to compare the in vitro growth pattern of cultured epithelial cells; and (3) to characterise the cultured epithelial cells from 3 rodent species: Wistar rats, Syrian hamsters and Djungarian hamsters. We have established primary culture conditions that permit the maintenance of viable and differentiated secretory cells from adult rodent harderian gland. This study demonstrates that the cell growth pattern is faster in hamsters than in rats and despite morphological changes, epithelial cells reestablish their distinctive (biochemical/metabolic) phenotype as indicated by lipid-containing vacuoles, porphyrin pigment and serotonin and tryptophan hydroxylase labelling. (+info)