Tropical enteropathy in Rhodesia. (1/859)

Tropical enteropathy, which may be related to tropical sprue, has been described in many developing countries including parts of Africa. The jejunal changes of enteropathy are seen in Rhodesians of all social and racial categories. Xylose excretion, however, is related to socioeconomic status, but not race. Upper socioeconomic Africans and Europeans excrete significantly more xylose than lower socioeconomic Africans. Vitamin B12 and fat absorption are normal, suggesting predominant involvement of the proximal small intestine. Tropical enteropathy in Rhodesia is similar to that seen in Nigeria but is associated with less malabsorption than is found in the Caribbean, the Indian subcontinent, and South East Asia. The possible aetiological factors are discussed. It is postulated that the lighter exposure of upper class Africans and Europeans to repeated gastrointestinal infections may accound for their superior xylose absorption compared with Africans of low socioeconomic circumstances. It is further suggested that the milder enteropathy seen in Africa may be explained by a lower prevalence of acute gastroenteritis than in experienced elsewhere in the tropics.  (+info)

Uridine diphosphate xylosyltransferase activity in cartilage from manganese-deficient chicks. (2/859)

The glycosaminoglycan content of cartilage is decreased in manganese deficiency in the chick (perosis). The activity of xylosyltransferase, the first enzyme in the biosynthetic pathway of sulphated glycosaminoglycans, was studied in the epiphysial cartilage of 4-week-old chicks which had been maintained since hatching on a manganese-deficient diet. Enzymic activity was measured by the incorporation of [14C]xylose from UDP-[14C]xylose into trichloroacetic acid precipitates. Optimal conditions for the xylosyltransferase assay were established and shown to be the same for both control and manganese-deficient cartilage. Assay of the enzyme by using an exogenous xylose acceptor showed no difference in xylosyltransferase activity between control and manganese-deficient tissue. Further, the extent of xylose incorporation was greater in manganese-deficient than in control cartilage preparations, suggesting an increase in xylose-acceptor sites on the endogenous acceptor protein in the deficient cartilage. 35S turnover in the manganese-deficient cartilage was also increased. The data suggest that the decreased glycosaminoglycan content in manganese-deficient cartilage is due to decreased xylosylation of the acceptor protein plus increased degradation of glycosaminoglycan.  (+info)

Purification and some chemical properties of 30 kDa Ginkgo biloba glycoprotein, which reacts with antiserum against beta 1-->2 xylose-containing N-glycans. (3/859)

From the seeds of Ginkgo biloba, a glycoprotein, which is a major component that reacts with an antiserum against beta 1-->2 xylose-containing N-glycans, has been purified and characterized. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the purified glycoprotein was H-K-A-N-X-V-T-V-A-F-V-M-T-Q-H-L-L-F-G-Q-. The molecular mass was estimated to be 17 kDa and 16 kDa by SDS-PAGE under reducing conditions, however, the molecular mass of this glycoprotein in the native state was 30,762 by MALDI-TOF MS, suggesting that this glycoprotein consists of two subunits; one is glycosylated and the other is not. The structure of N-glycan linked to this glycoprotein (designated 30 kDa GBGP) was identified as Man3Fuc1Xyl1GlcNAc2, which is the predominant N-glycan linked to the storage glycoproteins in the same seeds (Kimura, Y et al. (1998) Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 62, 253-261). From the peptic digest of the carboxymethylated glycosylated subunit, one glycopeptide was purified by RP-HPLC and the amino acid sequence was identified as H-K-A-N-N(Man3Fuc1Xyl1Glc-NAc2)-V-T-V-A-F, which corresponded to the N-terminal amino acid sequence.  (+info)

A mutated PtsG, the glucose transporter, allows uptake of D-ribose. (4/859)

Mutations arose from an Escherichia coli strain defective in the high (Rbs/ribose) and low (Als/allose and Xyl/xylose) affinity D-ribose transporters, which allow cells to grow on D-ribose. Genetic tagging and mapping of the mutations revealed that two loci in the E. coli linkage map are involved in creating a novel ribose transport mechanism. One mutation was found in ptsG, the glucose-specific transporter of phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system and the other in mlc, recently reported to be involved in the regulation of ptsG. Five different mutations in ptsG were characterized, whose growth on D-ribose medium was about 80% that of the high affinity system (Rbs+). Two of them were found in the predicted periplasmic loops, whereas three others are in the transmembrane region. Ribose uptakes in the mutants, competitively inhibited by D-glucose, D-xylose, or D-allose, were much lower than that of the high affinity transporter but higher than those of the Als and Xyl systems. Further analyses of the mutants revealed that the rbsK (ribokinase) and rbsD (function unknown) genes are involved in the ribose transport through PtsG, indicating that the phosphorylation of ribose is not mediated by PtsG and that some unknown metabolic function mediated by RbsD is required. It was also found that D-xylose, another sugar not involved in phosphorylation, was efficiently transported through the wild-type or mutant PtsG in mlc-negative background. The efficiencies of xylose and glucose transports are variable in the PtsG mutants, depending on their locations, either in the periplasm or in the membrane. In an extreme case of the transmembrane change (I283T), xylose transport is virtually abolished, indicating that the residue is directly involved in determining sugar specificity. We propose that there are at least two domains for substrate specificity in PtsG with slightly altered recognition properties.  (+info)

Factors affecting counteraction by methylamines of urea effects on aldose reductase. (5/859)

The concentration of urea in renal medullary cells is high enough to affect enzymes seriously by reducing Vmax or raising Km, yet the cells survive and function. The usual explanation is that the methylamines found in the renal medulla, namely glycerophosphocholine and betaine, have actions opposite to those of urea and thus counteract its effects. However, urea and methylamines have the similar (not counteracting) effects of reducing both the Km and Vmax of aldose reductase (EC, an enzyme whose function is important in renal medullas. Therefore, we examined factors that might determine whether counteraction occurs, namely different combinations of assay conditions (pH and salt concentration), methylamines (glycerophosphocholine, betaine, and trimethylamine N-oxide), substrates (DL-glyceraldehyde and D-xylose), and a mutation in recombinant aldose reductase protein (C298A). We find that Vmax of both wild-type and C298A mutant generally is reduced by urea and/or the methylamines. However, the effects on Km are much more complex, varying widely with the combination of conditions. At one extreme, we find a reduction of Km of wild-type enzyme by urea and/or methylamines that is partially additive, whereas at the other extreme we find that urea raises Km for D-xylose of the C298A mutant, betaine lowers the Km, and the two counteract in a classical fashion so that at a 2:1 molar ratio of betaine to urea there is no net effect. We conclude that counteraction of urea effects on enzymes by methylamines can depend on ion concentration, pH, the specific methylamine and substrate, and identity of even a single amino acid in the enzyme.  (+info)

Mutations in catabolite control protein CcpA separating growth effects from catabolite repression. (6/859)

Carbon catabolite repression in Bacillus megaterium is mediated by the transcriptional regulator CcpA. A chromosomal deletion of ccpA eliminates catabolite repression and reduces the growth rate on glucose. We describe four single-amino-acid mutations in CcpA which separate the growth effect from catabolite repression, suggesting distinct regulatory pathways for these phenotypes.  (+info)

Transport and utilization of hexoses and pentoses in the halotolerant yeast Debaryomyces hansenii. (7/859)

Debaryomyces hansenii is a yeast species that is known for its halotolerance. This organism has seldom been mentioned as a pentose consumer. In the present work, a strain of this species was investigated with respect to the utilization of pentoses and hexoses in mixtures and as single carbon sources. Growth parameters were calculated for batch aerobic cultures containing pentoses, hexoses, and mixtures of both types of sugars. Growth on pentoses was slower than growth on hexoses, but the values obtained for biomass yields were very similar with the two types of sugars. Furthermore, when mixtures of two sugars were used, a preference for one carbon source did not inhibit consumption of the other. Glucose and xylose were transported by cells grown on glucose via a specific low-affinity facilitated diffusion system. Cells derepressed by growth on xylose had two distinct high-affinity transport systems for glucose and xylose. The sensitivity of labeled glucose and xylose transport to dissipation of the transmembrane proton gradient by the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone allowed us to consider these transport systems as proton symports, although the cells displayed sugar-associated proton uptake exclusively in the presence of NaCl or KCl. When the V(max) values of transport systems for glucose and xylose were compared with glucose- and xylose-specific consumption rates during growth on either sugar, it appeared that transport did not limit the growth rate.  (+info)

The essential Staphylococcus aureus gene fmhB is involved in the first step of peptidoglycan pentaglycine interpeptide formation. (8/859)

The factor catalyzing the first step in the synthesis of the characteristic pentaglycine interpeptide in Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan was found to be encoded by the essential gene fmhB. We have analyzed murein composition and structure synthesized when fmhB expression is reduced. The endogenous fmhB promoter was substituted with the xylose regulon from Staphylococcus xylosus, which allowed glucose-controlled repression of fmhB transcription. Repression of fmhB reduced growth and triggered a drastic accumulation of uncrosslinked, unmodified muropeptide monomer precursors at the expense of the oligomeric fraction, leading to a substantial decrease in overall peptidoglycan crosslinking. The composition of the predominant muropeptide was confirmed by MS to be N-acetylglucosamine-(beta-1,4)-N-acetylmuramic acid(-L-Ala-D-iGln-L-Lys-D-Ala-D-Ala), proving that FmhB is involved in the attachment of the first glycine to the pentaglycine interpeptide. This interpeptide plays an important role in crosslinking and stability of the S. aureus cell wall, acts as an anchor for cell wall-associated proteins, determinants of pathogenicity, and is essential for the expression of methicillin resistance. Any shortening of the pentaglycine side chain reduces or even abolishes methicillin resistance, as occurred with fmhB repression. Because of its key role FmhB is a potential target for novel antibacterial agents that could control the threat of emerging multiresistant S. aureus.  (+info)