Induction of bovine polioencephalomalacia with a feeding system based on molasses and urea. (1/5625)

Polioencephalomalacia (PEM), a disease first described in the United States and related to intensive beef production, appeared in Cuba coincident with the use of a new, molasses-urea-based diet to fatten bulls. Because the only experimental means so far of reproducing PEM has been with amprolium, a structural analog of thiamin, the present study attempted to induce the disease using the molasses-urea-based diet. Six Holstein bulls (200-300 kg) were studied during consumption of three successive diets: 1) commercial molasses-urea-restricted forage diet of Cuban feedlots, 2) a period in which forage was gradually withdrawn and 3) a forage-free diet composed only of molasses, urea and fish meal. PEM was reproduced in this way. At ten-day intervals, blood concentrations of glucose, lactate, pyruvate and urea were measured, as well as when clinical signs of PEM appeared. The signs, clinical course and lesions of the experimentally induced disease were comparable to those of field cases. The biochemical results suggested a block in pyruvate oxidation as in PEM elsewhere in the world. No evidence existed of urea intoxication. In addition, brain and liver concentration of total thiamin from field cases and normal animals were found to be similar.  (+info)

Induction of AT-specific DNA-interstrand crosslinks by bizelesin in genomic and simian virus 40 DNA. (2/5625)

Bizelesin is a bifunctional AT-specific DNA alkylating drug. Our study characterized the ability of bizelesin to induce interstrand crosslinks, a potential lethal lesion. In genomic DNA of BSC-1 cells, bizelesin formed from approx. 0.3 to 6.03+/-0.85 interstrand crosslinks per 106 base pairs, at 5-100 nM drug concentration, respectively, comparable to the number of total adducts previously determined in the same system (J.M. Woynarowski, M.M. McHugh, L.S. Gawron, T.A. Beerman, Biochemistry 34 (1995) 13042-13050). Bizelesin did not induce DNA-protein crosslinks or strand breaks. A model defined target, intracellular simian virus 40 (SV40) DNA, was employed to map at the nucleotide level sites of bizelesin adducts, including potential interstrand crosslinks. Preferential adduct formation was observed at AT tracts which are abundant in the SV40 matrix associated region and the origin of replication. Many sites, including each occurrence of 5'-T(A/T)4A-3', co-mapped on both DNA strands suggesting interstrand crosslinks, although monoadducts were also formed. Bizelesin adducts in naked SV40 DNA were found at similar sites. The localization of bizelesin-induced crosslinks in AT-rich tracts of replication-related regions is consistent with the potent anti-replicative properties of bizelesin. Given the apparent lack of other types of lesions in genomic DNA, interstrand crosslinks localized in AT-rich tracts, and to some extent perhaps also monoadducts, are likely to be lethal effects of bizelesin.  (+info)

Subunit dissociation in fish hemoglobins. (3/5625)

The tetramer-dimer dissociation equilibria (K 4,2) of several fish hemoglobins have been examined by sedimentation velocity measurements with a scanner-computer system for the ultracentrifuge and by flash photolysis measurements using rapid kinetic methods. Samples studied in detail included hemoglobins from a marine teleost, Brevoortia tyrannus (common name, menhaden); a fresh water teleost, Cyprinus carpio, (common name, carp); and an elasmobranch Prionace glauca (common name, blue shark). For all three species in the CO form at pH 7, in 0.1 M phosphate buffer, sedimentation coefficients of 4.3 S (typical of tetrameric hemoglobin) are observed in the micromolar concentration range. In contrast, mammalian hemoglobins dissociate appreciably to dimers under these conditions. The inability to detect dissociation in three fish hemoglobins at the lowest concentrations examined indicates that K 4,2 must have a value of 10(-8) M or less. In flash photolysis experiments on very dilute solutions in long path length cells, two kinetic components were detected with their proportions varying as expected for an equilibrium between tetramers (the slower component) and dimers (the faster component); values of K 4,2 for the three fish hemoglobins in the range 10(-9) to 10(-8) M were calculated from these data. Thus, the values of K 4,2 for liganded forms of the fish hemoglobins appear to be midway between the value for liganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-6) M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (K 4,2 approximately 10(-12) M). This conclusion is supported by measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride to enhance the degree of dissociation. All three fish hemoglobins are appreciably dissociated at guanidine concentrations of about 0.8 M, which is roughly midway between the guanidine concentrations needed to cause comparable dissociation of liganded human hemoglobin (about 0.4 M) and unliganded human hemoglobin (about 1.6 M). Kinetic measurements on solutions containing guanidine hydrochloride indicated that there are changes in both the absolute rates and the proportions of the fast and slow components, which along with other factors complicated the analysis of the data in terms of dissociation constants. Measurements were also made in solutions containing urea to promote dissociation, but with this agent very high concentrations (about 6 M) were required to give measureable dissociation and the fish hemoglobins were unstable under these conditions, with appreciable loss of absorbance spectra in both the sedimentation and kinetic experiments.  (+info)

Isolation and characterization of major intrinsic microsomal membrane proteins. (4/5625)

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)

Role of glucagon on the control of hepatic protein synthesis and degradation in the rat in vivo. (5/5625)

The effect of glucagon on hepatic protein systhesis and proteolysis has been investigated. The intraperitoneal administration of 200 mug of glucagon produced an increase of the polypeptide chains completion time which was maximal 5 min after its administration and approached control values at 20 min. The increase of the polypeptides chains completion time observed at 5 min after the hormone administration represents a 38% inhibition of the hepatic protein synthetic rate. When glucagon was continuously supplied by intravascular infusion, maximal inhibition was attained throughout the experiment. This inhibition of protein synthesis brought about by glucagon was accompanied by an increase in the polyribosomal state of aggregation, indicating that the hormone acts mainly if not exclusively, on the elongation or termination step, or both. The administration of glucagon produced also a progressive increase in the hepatic valine concentration. This increase could not be accounted for the the decrease in plasma valine levels, suggesting that the rise in haptic valine concentration is an expression of hepatic proteolysis rather than the result of an accelerated transport of amino acids across the hepatocyte plasma membrane. The different time sequence in the glucagon-induced effects of protein synthesis and proteolysis suggests that both effects are independent and probably mediated by different mechanisms.  (+info)

Tolerance of Arc repressor to multiple-alanine substitutions. (6/5625)

Arc repressor mutants containing from three to 15 multiple-alanine substitutions have spectral properties expected for native Arc proteins, form heterodimers with wild-type Arc, denature cooperatively with Tms equal to or greater than wild type, and, in some cases, fold as much as 30-fold faster and unfold as much as 50-fold slower than wild type. Two of the mutants, containing a total of 14 different substitutions, also footprint operator DNA in vitro. The stability of some of the proteins with multiple-alanine mutations is significantly greater than that predicted from the sum of the single substitutions, suggesting that a subset of the wild-type residues in Arc may interact in an unfavorable fashion. Overall, these results show that almost half of the residues in Arc can be replaced by alanine en masse without compromising the ability of this small, homodimeric protein to fold into a stable, native-like structure.  (+info)

Specificity of native-like interhelical hydrophobic contacts in the apomyoglobin intermediate. (7/5625)

On exposure to mildly acidic conditions, apomyoglobin forms a partially folded intermediate, I. The A, B, G, and H helices are significantly structured in this equilibrium intermediate, whereas the remainder of the protein is largely unfolded. We report here the effects of mutations at helix pairing sites on the stability of I in three classes of mutants that: (i) truncate hydrophobic side chains in native helix packing sites, (ii) truncate hydrophobic side chains not involved in interhelical contacts, and (iii) extend hydrophobic side chains at residues not involved in interhelical contacts. Class I mutants significantly decrease the stability and cooperativity of folding of the intermediate. Class II and III mutants show smaller effects on stability and have little effect on cooperativity. Qualitatively similar results to those found in I were obtained for all three classes of mutants in native myoglobin (N), demonstrating that hydrophobic burial is fairly specific to native helix packing sites in I as well as in N. These results suggest that hydrophobic burial along native-like interhelical contacts is important for the formation of the cooperatively folded intermediate.  (+info)

Influence of haemodialysis on plasma total homocysteine concentration. (8/5625)

BACKGROUND: The high prevalence of hyperhomocysteinaemia in uraemic patients is of interest because of the cardiovascular risk associated with increased plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) concentration. Treatment with folic acid lowers tHcy in haemodialysis patients, however, in most patients not to normohomocysteinaemic levels. With possible tHcy-lowering modifications in mind, we studied the influence of standard haemodialysis on tHcy. METHODS: In 56 folate-loaded haemodialysis patients, tHcy and parameters of dialysis adequacy were measured. In six patients, interdialytic curves of tHcy and serum creatinine concentrations were obtained and in five patients, the amount of homocysteine (Hcy) in dialysate was determined. RESULTS: tHcy (21.8+/-14.4 micromol/l) correlated significantly with Kt/V (r=0.32, P<0.05), total Kt/V (r=0.29, P<0.05), nPCR (r=0.30, P<0.05) and serum concentrations of albumin (r=0.28, P<0.05) and cobalamines (r=-0.27, P<0.05). In a multiple linear regression analysis, only serum albumin concentrations significantly predicted tHcy (r=0.34, P < 0.05). During dialysis, tHcy decreased by 28% and remained constant for at least 8 h after treatment. The amount of Hcy recovered in dialysate was 63 micromol (12-158 micromol). There was no difference in tHcy between those who had residual renal function and those who had not. CONCLUSIONS: The direct relationship between tHcy and Kt/V seemed to be mediated by the serum albumin concentration. The shape of the interdialytic tHcy curve suggested facilitated Hcy removal for at least 8 h after dialysis possibly due to reduced levels of inhibitory activities against relevant enzyme(s). The dialysed amount of Hcy did not seem to contribute significantly to Hcy removal. Thus, modifications of standard dialytic regimens are not likely to be effective from a tHcy-lowering point of view whereas convective procedures such as haemofiltration or haemodiafiltration might be more effective.  (+info)