Localization and environment of tryptophans in soluble and membrane-bound states of a pore-forming toxin from Staphylococcus aureus. (1/649)

The location and environment of tryptophans in the soluble and membrane-bound forms of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin were monitored using intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Fluorescence quenching of the toxin monomer in solution indicated varying degrees of tryptophan burial within the protein interior. N-Bromosuccinimide readily abolished 80% of the fluorescence in solution. The residual fluorescence of the modified toxin showed a blue-shifted emission maximum, a longer fluorescence lifetime as compared to the unmodified and membrane-bound alpha-toxin, and a 5- to 6-nm red edge excitation shift, all indicating a restricted tryptophan environment and deeply buried tryptophans. In the membrane-bound form, the fluorescence of alpha-toxin was quenched by iodide, indicating a conformational change leading to exposure of some tryptophans. A shorter average lifetime of tryptophans in the membrane-bound alpha-toxin as compared to the native toxin supported the conclusions based on iodide quenching of the membrane-bound toxin. Fluorescence quenching of membrane-bound alpha-toxin using brominated and spin-labeled fatty acids showed no quenching of fluorescence using brominated lipids. However, significant quenching was observed using 5- and 12-doxyl stearic acids. An average depth calculation using the parallax method indicated that the doxyl-quenchable tryptophans are located at an average depth of 10 A from the center of the bilayer close to the membrane interface. This was found to be in striking agreement with the recently described structure of the membrane-bound form of alpha-toxin.  (+info)

The synthesis and hydrolysis of long-chain fatty acyl-coenzyme A thioesters by soluble and microsomal fractions from the brain of the developing rat. (2/649)

1. The specific activities of long-chain fatty acid-CoA ligase (EC6.2.1.3) and of long-chain fatty acyl-CoA hydrolase (EC3.1.2.2) were measured in soluble and microsomal fractions from rat brain. 2. In the presence of either palmitic acid or stearic acid, the specific activity of the ligase increased during development; the specific activity of this enzyme with arachidic acid or behenic acid was considerably lower. 3. The specific activities of palmitoyl-CoA hydrolase and of stearoyl-CoA hydrolase in the microsomal fraction decreased markedly (75%) between 6 and 20 days after birth; by contrast, the corresponding specific activities in the soluble fraction showed no decline. 4. Stearoyl-CoA hydrolase in the microsomal fraction is inhibited (99%) by bovine serum albumin; this is in contrast with the microsomal fatty acid-chain-elongation system, which is stimulated 3.9-fold by albumin. Inhibition of stearoyl-CoA hydrolase does not stimulate stearoyl-CoA chain elongation. Therefore it does not appear likely that the decline in the specific activity of hydrolase during myelogenesis is responsible for the increased rate of fatty acid chain elongation. 5. It is suggested that the decline in specific activity of the microsomal hydrolase and to a lesser extent the increase in the specific activity of the ligase is directly related to the increased demand for long-chain acyl-CoA esters during myelogenesis as substrates in the biosynthesis of myelin lipids.  (+info)

Interleukin-1 stimulates Jun N-terminal/stress-activated protein kinase by an arachidonate-dependent mechanism in mesangial cells. (3/649)

BACKGROUND: We have studied interleukin-1 (IL-1)-stimulated signals and gene expression in mesangial cells (MCs) to identify molecular mechanisms of MC activation, a process characteristic of glomerular inflammation. The JNK1 pathway has been implicated in cell fate decisions, and IL-1 stimulates the Jun N-terminal/stress-activated protein kinases (JNK1/SAPK). However, early postreceptor mechanisms by which IL-1 activates these enzymes remain unclear. Free arachidonic acid (AA) activates several protein kinases, and because IL-1 rapidly stimulates phospholipase A2 (PLA2) activity release AA, IL-1-induced activation of JNK1/SAPK may be mediated by AA release. METHODS: MCs were grown from collagenase-treated glomeruli, and JNK/SAPK activity in MC lysates was determined using an immunocomplex kinase assay. RESULT: Treatment of MCs with IL-1 alpha induced a time-dependent increase in JNK1/SAPK kinase activity, assessed by phosphorylation of the activating transcription factor-2 (ATF-2). Using similar incubation conditions, IL-1 also increased [3H]AA release from MCs. Pretreatment of MCs with aristolochic acid, a PLA2 inhibitor, concordantly reduced IL-1-regulated [3H]AA release and JNK1/SAPK activity, suggesting that cytosolic AA in part mediates IL-1-induced JNK1/SAPK activation. Addition of AA stimulated JNK1/SAPK activity in a time- and concentration-dependent manner. This effect was AA specific, as only AA and its precursor linoleic acid stimulated JNK1/SAPK activity. Other fatty acids failed to activate JNK1/SAPK. Pretreatment of MCs with specific inhibitors of AA oxidation by cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase, and cytochrome P-450 epoxygenase had no effect on either IL-1- or AA-induced JNK1/SAPK activation. Furthermore, stimulation of MCs with the exogenous cyclooxygenase-, lipoxygenase-, phosphodiesterase-, and epoxygenase-derived arachidonate metabolites, in contrast to AA itself, did not activate JNK1/SAPK. CONCLUSION: We conclude that IL-1-stimulated AA release, in part, mediates stimulation of JNK1/SAPK activity and that AA activates JNK1/SAPK by a mechanism that does not require enzymatic oxygenation. JNK1 signaling pathway components may provide molecular switches that mediate structural rearrangements and biochemical processes characteristic of MC activation and could provide a novel target(s) for therapeutic intervention.  (+info)

Effects of linoleic acid metabolites on electrical activity in adult rat ventricular myocytes. (4/649)

Leukotoxin (Lx), an epoxide derivative of linoleic acid, has been suggested to be a toxic mediator of multiple organ failure in burn patients and of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Lx production was recently shown during myocardial ischemia/reperfusion. However, a recent study suggested that to be toxic Lx must be metabolized to Lx-diol. In the present study, isolated adult rat ventricular myocytes were studied with the whole-cell patch-clamp technique to determine the effects of these compounds on cardiac electrical activity. Measurements of action potentials showed that neither linoleic acid nor Lx (100 microM) caused any significant changes in action potential properties. However, Lx-diol in the range of 10-100 microM produced a dose dependent increase in duration and a decrease in overshoot of the action potential. Subsequent voltage clamp experiments isolating Na current (INa) and transient outward K current (Ito) revealed that Lx-diol inhibited INa and Ito by about 80% at 100 microM, while linoleic acid and Lx had no effect on these currents at the same concentration. While Lx-diol produced the same inhibition of INa and Ito at 100 microM, its effects were more potent on Ito with significant inhibition at 10 microM. Lx-diol also hastened the activation kinetics of Ito but not INa. The action of Lx-diol was rapid (reaching steady state in 3-5 min) and was reversible in 5-10 min following washout. Thus, Lx-diol could favor arrhythmias or cardiac arrest in intact heart and may be responsible for the cardiac problems seen in systemic inflammatory response syndrome. These results further support the suggestion that Lx is not toxic in the heart but rather must be metabolized to Lx-diol to produce toxic effects on cardiac muscle.  (+info)

A novel Lyn-binding peptide inhibitor blocks eosinophil differentiation, survival, and airway eosinophilic inflammation. (5/649)

Receptor antagonists block all receptor-coupled signaling pathways indiscriminately. We introduce a novel class of peptide inhibitors that is designed to block a specific signal from a receptor while keeping other signals intact. This concept was tested in the model of IL-5 signaling via Lyn kinase. We have previously mapped the Lyn-binding site of the IL-5/GM-CSF receptor common beta (beta c) subunit. In the present study, we designed a peptide inhibitor using the Lyn-binding sequence. The peptide was N-stearated to enable cellular internalization. The stearated peptide blocked the binding of Lyn to the beta c receptor and the activation of Lyn. The lipopeptide did not affect the activation of Janus kinase 2 or its association with beta c. The inhibitor blocked the Lyn-dependent functions of IL-5 in vitro (e.g., eosinophil differentiation from stem cells and eosinophil survival). It did not affect eosinophil degranulation. When applied in vivo, the Lyn-binding peptide significantly inhibited airway eosinophil influx in a mouse model of asthma. The lipopeptide had no effect on basophil histamine release or on the proliferation of B cells and T cells. To our knowledge, this is the first report on an inhibitor of IL-5 that blocks eosinophil differentiation, survival, and airway eosinophilic inflammation. This novel strategy to develop peptide inhibitors can be applied to other receptors.  (+info)

Production in vitro by the cytochrome P450 CYP94A1 of major C18 cutin monomers and potential messengers in plant-pathogen interactions: enantioselectivity studies. (6/649)

The major C(18) cutin monomers are 18-hydroxy-9,10-epoxystearic and 9,10,18-trihydroxystearic acids. These compounds are also known messengers in plant-pathogen interactions. We have previously shown that their common precursor 9,10-epoxystearic acid was formed by the epoxidation of oleic acid in Vicia sativa microsomes (Pinot, Salaun, Bosch, Lesot, Mioskowski and Durst (1992) Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 184, 183-193). Here we determine the chirality of the epoxide produced as (9R,10S) and (9S,10R) in the ratio 90:10 respectively. We further show that microsomes from yeast expressing the cytochrome P450 CYP94A1 are capable of hydroxylating the methyl terminus of 9,10-epoxystearic and 9,10-dihydroxystearic acids in the presence of NADPH to form the corresponding 18-hydroxy derivatives. The reactions were not catalysed by microsomes from yeast transformed with a void plasmid or in absence of NADPH. After incubation of a synthetic racemic mixture of 9,10-epoxystearic acid with microsomes of yeast expressing CYP94A1, the chirality of the residual epoxide was shifted to 66:34 in favour of the (9S,10R) enantiomer. Both enantiomers were incubated separately and V(max)/K(m) values of 16 and 3.42 ml/min per nmol of P450 for (9R, 10S) and (9S,10R) respectively were determined, demonstrating that CYP94A1 is enantioselective for the (9R,10S) enantiomer, which is preferentially formed in V. sativa microsomes. Compared with the epoxide, the diol 9,10-dihydroxystearic acid was a much poorer substrate for the omega-hydroxylase, with a measured V(max)/K(m) of 0.33 ml/min per nmol of P450. Our results indicate that the activity of CYP94A1 is strongly influenced by the stereochemistry of the 9, 10-epoxide and the nature of substituents on carbons 9 and 10, with V(max)/K(m) values for epoxide>>oleic acid>diol.  (+info)

Differential induction of plant volatile biosynthesis in the lima bean by early and late intermediates of the octadecanoid-signaling pathway. (7/649)

Plants are able to respond to herbivore damage with de novo biosynthesis of an herbivore-characteristic blend of volatiles. The signal transduction initiating volatile biosynthesis may involve the activation of the octadecanoid pathway, as exemplified by the transient increase of endogenous jasmonic acid (JA) in leaves of lima bean (Phaseolus lunatus) after treatment with the macromolecular elicitor cellulysin. Within this pathway lima bean possesses at least two different biologically active signals that trigger different biosynthetic activities. Early intermediates of the pathway, especially 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid (PDA), are able to induce the biosynthesis of the diterpenoid-derived 4,8, 12-trimethyltrideca-1,3,7,11-tetraene. High concentrations of PDA result in more complex patterns of additional volatiles. JA, the last compound in the sequence, lacks the ability to induce diterpenoid-derived compounds, but is highly effective at triggering the biosynthesis of other volatiles. The phytotoxin coronatine and amino acid conjugates of linolenic acid (e.g. linolenoyl-L-glutamine) mimic the action of PDA, but coronatine does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The structural analog of coronatine, the isoleucine conjugate of 1-oxo-indanoyl-4-carboxylic acid, effectively mimics the action of JA, but does not increase the level of endogenous JA. The differential induction of volatiles resembles previous findings on signal transduction in mechanically stimulated tendrils of Bryonia dioica.  (+info)

Use of structured triacylglycerols containing predominantly stearic and oleic acids to probe early events in metabolic processing of dietary fat. (8/649)

Early events in the metabolic processing of dietary triacylglycerol may have an important impact on subsequent development of risk factors for coronary heart disease. We have used structured triacylglycerols containing predominantly stearic or oleic acids at the sn -2 position to probe aspects of the processing of dietary fatty acids presented to adipose tissue in chylomicron-triacylglycerol. Studies were conducted on 14 healthy women who were given meals containing 85 g carbohydrate and 60 g of either of the two structured triacylglycerols in random order. Systemic concentrations and arterio-venous differences across adipose tissue for plasma triacylglycerol and non-esterified fatty acids were measured, together with analysis of the fatty acid composition of the relevant fractions. The stereo-specific structure of the ingested triacylglycerol was largely preserved in chylomicron-triacylglycerol. Systemic concentrations of total and individual non-esterified fatty acids were not significantly different after ingestion of the two fats, nor were their rates of release across adipose tissue. The composition of non-esterified fatty acids released from adipose tissue changed after the meal to reflect more closely the composition of the triacylglycerol ingested, but again no significant differences were observed between the two test meals. There was no detectable release of monoacylglycerol from adipose tissue after either test meal. We conclude that the environment for lipoprotein lipase action in adipose tissue in vivo is likely to be highly organized, such that there is no release of monoacylglycerol, nor preferential uptake or release of fatty acids from chylomicron-triacylglycerol according to the nature or the position within triacylglycerol of the fatty acid.  (+info)