Genetic polymorphism and interethnic variability of plasma paroxonase activity. (1/1703)

A method for determining plasma paroxonase activity using an auto-analyser is described. Frequency distributions for British and Indian subjects show bimodality. A study of 40 British families confirms the presence of a genetic polymorphism with regard to plasma paroxonase activity. Two phenotypes can be defined, controlled by two alleles at one autosomal locus. The frequency of the low activity phenotype is less in the Indian population than in the British population. Malay, Chinese, and African subjects fail to show obvious bimodality.  (+info)

Comparison of two in vitro activation systems for protoxicant organophosphorous esterase inhibitors. (2/1703)

In order to perform in vitro testing of esterase inhibition caused by organophosphorous (OP) protoxicants, simple, reliable methods are needed to convert protoxicants to their esterase-inhibiting forms. Incubation of parathion or chlorpyrifos with 0.05% bromine solution or uninduced rat liver microsomes (RLM) resulted in production of the corresponding oxygen analogs of these OP compounds and markedly increased esterase inhibition in SH-SY5Y human neuroblastoma cells. Neither activation system affected cell viability or the activity of AChE or NTE in the absence of OP compounds. Although parathion and chlorpyrifos were activated by RLM, bromine activation required fewer steps and produced more esterase inhibition for a given concentration of chlorpyrifos. However, RLM activation of OP protoxicants produced metabolites other than oxygen analogs and may, therefore, be more relevant as a surrogate for OP biotransformation in vivo. This methodology makes the use of intact cells for in vitro testing of esterase inhibition caused by protoxicant organophosphate compounds a viable alternative to in vivo tests.  (+info)

Inhibition of translation and cell growth by minigene expression. (3/1703)

A random five-codon gene library was used to isolate minigenes whose expression causes cell growth arrest. Eight different deleterious minigenes were isolated, five of which had in-frame stop codons; the predicted expressed peptides ranged in size from two to five amino acids. Mutational analysis demonstrated that translation of the inhibitory minigenes is essential for growth arrest. Pulse-labeling experiments showed that expression of at least some of the selected minigenes results in inhibition of cellular protein synthesis. Expression of the deleterious minigenes in cells deficient in peptidyl-tRNA hydrolase causes accumulation of families of peptidyl-tRNAs corresponding to the last minigene codon; the inhibitory action of minigene expression could be suppressed by overexpression of the tRNA corresponding to the last sense codon in the minigene. Experimental data are compatible with the model that the deleterious effect of minigene expression is mediated by depletion of corresponding pools of free tRNAs.  (+info)

Pectin methylesterase gene (pmeA) from Aspergillus oryzae KBN616: its sequence analysis and overexpression, and characterization of the gene product. (4/1703)

A gene (pmeA) encoding pectin methylesterase was isolated from a shoyu koji mold, Aspergillus oryzae KBN616, and characterized. The structural gene comprised 1,370 bp with six introns. The PMEA protein consisted of 331 amino acids with a putative signal peptide of 17 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence was very similar to those of Aspergillus niger PMEA and Aspergillus aculeatus PME1. The pmeA gene was efficiently expressed under control of the A. oryzae TEF1 gene promoter for purification and characterization of the ezymatic properties. PMEA had a molecular mass of 38.5 kDa, a pH optimum of 5.0, and a temperature optimum of 55 degrees C.  (+info)

Localization of a candidate surfactant convertase to type II cells, macrophages, and surfactant subfractions. (5/1703)

Pulmonary surfactant exists in the alveolus in several distinct subtypes that differ in their morphology, composition, and surface activity. Experiments by others have implicated a serine hydrolase in the production of the inactive small vesicular subtype of surfactant (N. J. Gross and R. M. Schultz. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1044: 222-230, 1990). Our laboratory recently identified this enzyme in the rat as the serine carboxylesterase ES-2 [F. Barr, H. Clark, and S. Hawgood. Am. J. Physiol. 274 (Lung Cell. Mol. Physiol. 18): L404-L410, 1998]. In the present study, we determined the cellular sites of expression of ES-2 in rat lung using a digoxygenin-labeled ES-2 riboprobe. ES-2 mRNA was localized to type II cells and alveolar macrophages but not to Clara cells. Using a specific ES-2 antibody, we determined the protein distribution of ES-2 in the lung by immunohistochemistry, and it was found to be consistent with the sites of mRNA expression. Most of the ES-2 in rat bronchoalveolar lavage is in the surfactant-depleted supernatant, but ES-2 was also consistently localized to the small vesicular surfactant subfraction presumed to form as a consequence of conversion activity. These results are consistent with a role for endogenous lung ES-2 in surfactant metabolism.  (+info)

Preferential release of 11-cis-retinol from retinal pigment epithelial cells in the presence of cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein. (6/1703)

In photoreceptor cells of the retina, photoisomerization of 11-cis-retinal to all-trans-retinal triggers phototransduction. Regeneration of 11-cis-retinal proceeds via a complex set of reactions in photoreceptors and in adjacent retinal pigment epithelial cells where all-trans-retinol is isomerized to 11-cis-retinol. Our results show that isomerization in vitro only occurs in the presence of apo-cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein. This retinoid-binding protein may drive the reaction by mass action, overcoming the thermodynamically unfavorable isomerization. Furthermore, this 11-cis-retinol/11-cis-retinal-specific binding protein potently stimulates hydrolysis of endogenous 11-cis-retinyl esters but has no effect on hydrolysis of all-trans-retinyl esters. Apo-cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein probably exerts its effect by trapping the 11-cis-retinol product. When retinoid-depleted retinal pigment epithelial microsomes were preincubated with different amounts of all-trans-retinol to form all-trans-retinyl esters and then [3H]all-trans-retinol was added, as predicted, the specific radioactivity of [3H]all-trans-retinyl esters increased during subsequent reaction. However, the specific radioactivity of newly formed 11-cis-retinol stayed constant during the course of the reaction, and it was largely unaffected by expansion of the all-trans-retinyl ester pool during the preincubation. The absence of dilution establishes that most of the ester pool does not participate in isomerization, which in turn suggests that a retinoid intermediate other than all-trans-retinyl ester is on the isomerization reaction pathway.  (+info)

Production of poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-4-hydroxybutyric acid) and poly(4-hydroxybutyric acid) without subsequent degradation by Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava. (7/1703)

A Hydrogenophaga pseudoflava strain was able to synthesize poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid-co-4-hydroxybutyric acid) [P(3HB-co-4HB)] having a high level of 4-hydroxybutyric acid monomer unit (4HB) from gamma-butyrolactone. In a two-step process in which the first step involved production of cells containing a minimum amount of poly(3-hydroxybutyric acid) [P(3HB)] and the second step involved polyester accumulation from the lactone, approximately 5 to 10 mol% of the 3-hydroxybutyric acid (3HB) derived from the first-step culture was unavoidably reincorporated into the polymer in the second cultivation step. Reincorporation of the 3HB units produced from degradation of the first-step residual P(3HB) was confirmed by high-resolution 13C nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. In order to synthesize 3HB-free poly(4-hydroxybutyric acid) [P(4HB)] homopolymer, a three-stage cultivation technique was developed by adding a nitrogen addition step, which completely removed the residual P(3HB). The resulting polymer was free of 3HB. However, when the strain was grown on gamma-butyrolactone as the sole carbon source in a synthesis medium, a copolyester of P(3HB-co-4HB) containing 45 mol% 3HB was produced. One-step cultivation on gamma-butyrolactone required a rather long induction time (3 to 4 days). On the basis of the results of an enzymatic study performed with crude extracts, we suggest that the inability of cells to produce 3HB in the multistep culture was due to a low level of 4-hydroxybutyric acid (4HBA) dehydrogenase activity, which resulted in a low level of acetyl coenzyme A. Thus, 3HB formation from gamma-butyrolactone is driven by a high level of 4HBA dehydrogenase activity induced by long exposure to gamma-butyrolactone, as is the case for a one-step culture. In addition, intracellular degradation kinetics studies showed that P(3HB) in cells was completely degraded within 30 h of cultivation after being transferred to a carbon-free mineral medium containing additional ammonium sulfate, while P(3HB-co-4HB) containing 5 mol% 3HB and 95 mol% 4HB was totally inert in interactions with the intracellular depolymerases. Intracellular inertness could be a useful factor for efficient synthesis of the P(4HB) homopolymer and of 4HB-rich P(3HB-co-4HB) by the strain used in this study.  (+info)

Relationship between succinate transport and production of extracellular poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) depolymerase in Pseudomonas lemoignei. (8/1703)

The relationship between extracellular poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) depolymerase synthesis and the unusual properties of a succinate uptake system was investigated in Pseudomonas lemoignei. Growth on and uptake of succinate were highly pH dependent, with optima at pH 5.6. Above pH 7, growth on and uptake of succinate were strongly reduced with concomitant derepression of PHB depolymerase synthesis. The specific succinate uptake rates were saturable by high concentrations of succinate, and maximal transport rates of 110 nmol/mg of cell protein per min were determined between pH 5.6 and 6. 8. The apparent KS0.5 values increased with increasing pH from 0.2 mM succinate at pH 5.6 to more than 10 mM succinate at pH 7.6. The uptake of [14C]succinate was strongly inhibited by several monocarboxylates. Dicarboxylates also inhibited the uptake of succinate but only at pH values near the dissociation constant of the second carboxylate function (pKa2). We conclude that the succinate carrier is specific for the monocarboxylate forms of various carboxylic acids and is not able to utilize the dicarboxylic forms. The inability to take up succinate2- accounts for the carbon starvation of P. lemoignei observed during growth on succinate at pH values above 7. As a consequence the bacteria produce high levels of extracellular PHB depolymerase activity in an effort to escape carbon starvation by utilization of PHB hydrolysis products.  (+info)