Showing papers in "Biological Chemistry in 2002"
TL;DR: This review compares currently identified connexin genes in both the mouse and human genome and discusses the functions of gap junctions deduced from targeted mouse mutants and human genetic disorders.
Abstract: Gap junctions are clustered channels between contacting cells through which direct intercellular communication via diffusion of ions and metabolites can occur. Two hemichannels, each built up of six connexin protein subunits in the plasma membrane of adjacent cells, can dock to each other to form conduits between cells. We have recently screened mouse and human genomic data bases and have found 19 connexin (Cx) genes in the mouse genome and 20 connexin genes in the human genome. One mouse connexin gene and two human connexin genes do not appear to have orthologs in the other genome. With three exceptions, the characterized connexin genes comprise two exons whereby the complete reading frame is located on the second exon. Targeted ablation of eleven mouse connexin genes revealed basic insights into the functional diversity of the connexin gene family. In addition, the phenotypes of human genetic disorders caused by mutated connexin genes further complement our understanding of connexin functions in the human organism. In this review we compare currently identified connexin genes in both the mouse and human genome and discuss the functions of gap junctions deduced from targeted mouse mutants and human genetic disorders.
TL;DR: There is mounting evidence that reactive sulfur species (RSS) with stressor properties similar to the ones found in ROS are formed under conditions of oxidative stress, providing new antioxidant drug targets.
Abstract: The ingredients of oxidative stress include a variety of reactive species such as reactive oxygen and reactive nitrogen species (ROS, RNS). While sulfur is usually considered as part of cellular antioxidant systems there is mounting evidence that reactive sulfur species (RSS) with stressor properties similar to the ones found in ROS are formed under conditions of oxidative stress. Thiols as well as disulfides are easily oxidised to sulfur species with sulfur in higher oxidation states. Such agents include thiyl radicals, disulfides, sulfenic acids and disulfide-S-oxides. They rapidly oxidise and subsequently inhibit thiol-proteins and enzymes and can be considered as a separate class of oxidative stressors providing new antioxidant drug targets.
TL;DR: An overview of the biochemical mechanisms by which NO and ONOO regulate or alter mitochondrial functions is provided, supporting the concept that mitochondria constitute central loci of the toxic effects of excess reactive nitrogen species.
Abstract: Nitric oxide (*NO) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-) avidly interact with mitochondrial components, leading to a range of biological responses spanning from the modulation of mitochondrial respiration, mitochondrial dysfunction to the signaling of apoptotic cell death. Physiological levels of *NO primarily interact with cytochrome c oxidase, leading to a competitive and reversible inhibition of mitochondrial oxygen uptake. In turn, this leads to alterations in electrochemical gradients, which affect calcium uptake and may regulate processes such as mitochondrial transition pore (MTP) opening and the release of pro-apoptotic proteins. Large or persistent levels of *NO in mitochondria promote mitochondrial oxidant formation. Peroxynitrite formed either extra- or intra-mitochondrially leads to oxidative damage, most notably at complexes I and II of the electron transport chain, ATPase, aconitase and Mn-superoxide dismutase. Mitochondrial scavenging systems for peroxynitrite and peroxynitrite-derived radicals such as carbonate (CO3*-) and nitrogen dioxide radicals (*NO2) include cytochrome c oxidase, glutathione and ubiquinol and serve to partially attenuate the reactions of these oxidants with critical mitochondrial targets. Detection of nitrated mitochondrial proteins in vivo supports the concept that mitochondria constitute central loci of the toxic effects of excess reactive nitrogen species. In this review we will provide an overview of the biochemical mechanisms by which *NO and ONOO- regulate or alter mitochondrial functions.
TL;DR: Emerging findings suggest a variety of potential mechanisms of action of flavonoids and their bioavailable metabolites in cytoprotection against oxidative stress, which may be independent of conventional antioxidant reducing activities.
Abstract: There is an increasing awareness of the role of certain nutritional components, including dietary flavonoids found in fruit, vegetables and beverages, in the maintenance of health and prevention of chronic diseases. In this regard, recent studies highlight an exciting role with respect to their potential neuroprotective actions, in particular towards deficits commonly observed with aging, such as reduced performance of cognitive, memory and learning tasks. These neurological functions, and possible mechanisms involved in controlling them, can be influenced by supplementation of single dietary flavonoids, or as part of a flavonoid-rich preparation. With this, a renewed emphasis is aimed at further understanding their modes and sites of action. Moreover a common theme among many in vitro studies examining mechanisms of neuroprotection is the failure to include biologically relevant metabolites of the flavonoids known to enter the circulation, and thus most likely to be bioavailable to cells and tissues. This oversight will ultimately influence the mechanisms of action proposed to explain the neuroprotection observed in animals and human studies. As such, emerging findings suggest a variety of potential mechanisms of action of flavonoids and their bioavailable metabolites in cytoprotection against oxidative stress, which may be independent of conventional antioxidant reducing activities. Such mechanisms might involve their interaction with cell signalling cascades, their influence on gene expression and the down regulation of pathways leading to cell death.
TL;DR: In this review various lysosomal proteases and their potential contribution to propagation of apoptosis are discussed.
Abstract: Apoptosis or programmed cell death is the major mechanism used by multicellular organisms to remove infected, excessive and potentially dangerous cells. Cysteine proteases from the caspase family play a crucial role in the process. However, there is increasing evidence that lysosomal proteases are also involved in apoptosis. In this review various lysosomal proteases and their potential contribution to propagation of apoptosis are discussed.
TL;DR: In this paper, the dual role of Tcf proteins in the Wnt signalling cascade is discussed and the role of the Tcf-beta-catenin complexes is discussed.
Abstract: The Wnt signalling cascade plays an important role during embryonic patterning and cell fate determination and is highly conserved throughout evolution. Factors of the TCF/LEF HMG domain family (Tcfs) are the downstream effectors of this signal transduction pathway. Upon Wnt signalling, a cascade is initiated that results in the translocation of beta-catenin to the nucleus, where it interacts with Tcf to generate a transcriptionally active complex. This bipartite transcription factor is targeted to the upstream regulatory regions of Tcf target genes. In the absence of Wnt signals, beta-catenin is degraded in the cytoplasm via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Several proteins are instrumental in achieving this tight regulation of beta-catenin levels in the cell, including adenomatous polyposis coli (APC), GSK3 beta, and Axin/Conductin. Deregulation of the Wnt signalling pathway is implicated in several forms of cancer, such as colon carcinoma and melanoma. This deregulation is achieved via mutation of APC, beta-catenin or Axin, resulting in elevated beta-catenin levels and the presence of constitutively active Tcf-beta-catenin complexes in the nucleus. The accompanying inappropriate activation of target genes is considered to be a critical, early event in this carcinogenesis. In addition to regulating beta-catenin levels, normal healthy cells have evolved a second level of regulation, by manipulating the activity of the Tcf proteins themselves. In the absence of Wnt signalling, Tcf complexes with several transcriptional repressor proteins ensuring active repression of Tcf target genes. In this review the dual role of Tcf proteins in the Wnt signalling cascade will be discussed.
TL;DR: It is revealed that the intracellular transit iron pool, which is methodically assessed as chelatable iron, is substantially defined by the method and/or the ironchelating indicator applied for its detection, since the iron ions are bound to a large number of different ligands in different metabolic compartments.
Abstract: A very small, predominantly cytosolic pool of iron ions plays the central role in the cellular iron metabolism. It links the cellular iron uptake with the insertion of the metal in iron storage proteins and other essential iron-containing molecules. Furthermore, this transit ('labile') pool is essentially involved in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases. Due to its high physiological and pathophysiological significance, numerous methods for its characterization have been developed during the last five decades. Most of these methods, however, influence the size and nature of the transit iron pool artificially, as they are not applicable to viable biological material. Recently, fluorescence spectroscopic methods for measurements within viable cells have become available. Although these methods avoid the artifacts of previous methods, studies using fluorescent iron indicators revealed that the 'intracellular transit iron pool', which is methodically assessed as 'chelatable iron', is substantially defined by the method and/or the iron-chelating indicator applied for its detection, since the iron ions are bound to a large number of different ligands in different metabolic compartments. A more comprehensive characterization of the nature and the role of the thus not uniform cellular transit iron pool therefore requires parallel employment of different indicator molecules, which clearly differ in their intracellular distribution and their physico-chemical characteristics.
TL;DR: The neuroprotective potential of antioxidant phenolic structures including αtocopherol (vitamin E) and 17βestradiol (estrogen) in vitro is summarized and an outlook is given on the neuroprot protective potential of aromatic amines and imines, which may comprise novel lead structures for antioxidant drug design.
Abstract: Many neurodegenerative disorders and syndromes are associated with an excessive generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative stress. The pathways to nerve cell death induced by diverse potential neurotoxins such as peptides, excitatory amino acids, cytokines or synthetic drugs commonly share oxidative downstream processes, which can cause either an acute oxidative destruction or activate secondary events leading to apoptosis. The pathophysiological role of ROS has been intensively studied in in vitro and in vivo models of chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and of syndromes associated with rapid nerve cell loss as occuring in stroke. In AD, oxidative neuronal cell dysfunction and cell death caused by protofibrils and aggregates of the AD-associated amyloid beta protein (Abeta) may causally contribute to pathogenesis and progression. ROS and reactive nitrogen species also take part in the complex cascade of events and the detrimental effects occuring during ischemia and reperfusion in stroke. Direct antioxidants such as chain-breaking free radical scavengers can prevent oxidative nerve cell death. Although there is ample experimental evidence demonstrating neuroprotective activities of direct antioxidants in vitro, the clinical evidence for antioxidant compounds to act as protective drugs is relatively scarce. Here, the neuroprotective potential of antioxidant phenolic structures including alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and 17beta-estradiol (estrogen) in vitro is summarized. In addition, the antioxidant and cytoprotective activities of lipophilic tyrosine- and tryptophan-containing structures are discussed. Finally, an outlook is given on the neuroprotective potential of aromatic amines and imines, which may comprise novel lead structures for antioxidant drug design.
TL;DR: The importance of the cellular environment in determining the fate of nitric oxide and the ability of Snitrosation to regulate mitochondrialdependent apoptosis at the level of mitochondrial bioenergetics, cytochrome c release, caspases, mitogen associated protein kinases, and the Bcl-2 family of proteins are focused on.
Abstract: Nitric oxide, generated by endogenous nitric oxide synthases or nitric oxide donors, can promote or prevent apoptosis induced by diverse pro-apoptotic stimuli in cell culture models. Both mitochondrial-dependent and -independent apoptotic signaling pathways mediate this dichotomous cellular response to nitric oxide. The molecular mechanisms behind these effects are complex and involve a number of nitrogen oxide-related species that are more reactive than nitric oxide itself. The local cellular environment plays a dynamic role in determining the nature and concentration of these species. Important components of the microenvironment include: the cellular redox state, glutathione, transition metals and the presence of other oxygen- and nitrogen-centered radicals. In particular, redox-sensitive nitrosating species are favorably generated under physiological conditions and capable of modifying multiple cell signaling pathways through reversible S-nitrosation reactions. Cytochrome c release from mitochondria is an important mechanism for the activation of caspase-3 and the initiation of cell death in response to 'intrinsic' pro-apoptotic stimuli, including oxidative and nitrosative stress. In turn, caspases and mitogen associated protein kinases may modulate cytochrome c release through their effects on the Bcl-2 family of proteins. This review will focus on (i) the importance of the cellular environment in determining the fate of nitric oxide and (ii) the ability of S-nitrosation to regulate mitochondrial-dependent apoptosis at the level of mitochondrial bioenergetics, cytochrome c release, caspases, mitogen associated protein kinases, and the Bcl-2 family of proteins.
TL;DR: This review will focus on the different signalling events that are triggered by p38 activity, and analyse how these events contribute to specific gene expression and cellular responses.
Abstract: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are evolutionarily conserved enzymes which connect cell-surface receptors to regulatory targets within cells and convert receptor signals into various outputs. In mammalian cells, four distinct MAPKs have been identified: the extracellular signal-related kinases (ERK)-1/2, the c-jun N-terminal kinases or stress-activated protein kinases 1 (JNK1/2/3, or SAPK1s), the p38 MAPKs (p38 alpha/beta/gamma/delta, or SAPK2s), and the ERK5 or big MAP kinase 1 (BMK1). The p38 MAPK cascade is activated by stress or cytokines and leads to phosphorylation of its central elements, the p38 MAPKs. Downstream of p38 MAPKs there is a diversification and extensive branching of signalling pathways. For that reason, we will focus in this review on the different signalling events that are triggered by p38 activity, and analyse how these events contribute to specific gene expression and cellular responses.
TL;DR: Molecular mechanisms of nickel carcinogenesis are considered from the point ofview of nickelinduced gene silencing by DNA hypermethylation in mammalian cells and by its ability to inhibit histone acetylation.
Abstract: A brief review of the molecular mechanisms of nickel carcinogenesis is presented. Molecular mechanisms of nickel carcinogenesis are considered from the point-of-view of nickel-induced gene silencing by DNA hypermethylation in mammalian cells and by its ability to inhibit histone acetylation. Model systems designed to study the molecular mechanism of gene silencing are discussed.
TL;DR: This review focuses on the functional conservation of HR from fungi to mammals and on the role of the individual proteins in this process, which has the potential to lead to accurate repair of DSBs.
Abstract: The induction of double-strand breaks (DSBs) in DNA by exposure to DNA damaging agents, or as intermediates in normal cellular processes, constitutes a severe threat for the integrity of the genome. If not properly repaired, DSBs may result in chromosomal aberrations, which, in turn, can lead to cell death or to uncontrolled cell growth. To maintain the integrity of the genome, multiple pathways for the repair of DSBs have evolved during evolution: homologous recombination (HR), non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) and single-strand annealing (SSA). HR has the potential to lead to accurate repair of DSBs, whereas NHEJ and SSA are essentially mutagenic. In yeast, DSBs are primarily repaired via high-fidelity repair of DSBs mediated by HR, whereas in higher eukaryotes, both HR and NHEJ are important. In this review, we focus on the functional conservation of HR from fungi to mammals and on the role of the individual proteins in this process.
TL;DR: It is found that CA-074Me, the methyl ester of the E-64 derivative CA-74, inactivates both cathepsin B and cat hepsin L within murine fibroblasts within living cells.
Abstract: Studies using inhibitors that reportedly discriminate between cathepsin B and related lysosomal cysteine proteinases have implicated the enzyme in a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. The most popular substance to selectively inhibit cathepsin B in vivo is CA-074Me, the methyl ester of the E-64 derivative CA-074. However, we now have found that CA-074Me inactivates both cathepsin B and cathepsin L within murine fibroblasts. In contrast, exposure of these cells to the parental compound CA-074 leads to the selective inhibition of endogenous cathepsin B, while intracellular cathepsin L remains unaffected. These results indicate that CA-074 rather than CA-074Me should be used to specifically inactivate cathepsin B within living cells.
TL;DR: It can be assumed that the orchestrated expression and interaction of a variety of extracellular and cell surface proteins rather than any particular one is responsible for the staphylococcal pathogenicity and that the proteases apparently play an important role in this complex process.
Abstract: Bacterial proteases secreted into an infected host may exhibit a wide range of pathogenic potentials. Staphylococci, in particular Staphylococcus aureus, are known to produce several extracellular proteases, including serine-, cysteine- and metalloenzymes. Their insensitivity to most human plasma protease inhibitors and, even more, the ability to inactivate some of these make the proteases potentially harmful. Indeed, several recent studies have shown that staphylococcal proteases are able to interact with the host defense mechanisms and tissue components as well as to modify other pathogen-derived virulence factors. A tight, cell density-dependent control of proteolytic activity expression, similar to that of the well-defined virulence determinants, further suggests the role of staphylococcal proteases in the infection process. Consistently, alterations in coordinated expression of extracellular proteins markedly diminished the virulence. However, despite these data and the fact that a strain deficient in sspABC operon coding for serine (sspA) and cysteine (sspB) proteases was highly attenuated in virulence in the animal infection model, it was impossible to unambiguously demonstrate the importance of any particular protease as a virulence factor. Therefore, it can be assumed that the orchestrated expression and interaction of a variety of extracellular and cell surface proteins rather than any particular one is responsible for the staphylococcal pathogenicity and that the proteases apparently play an important role in this complex process. Such redundant mechanism is very well suited for promoting the survival of staphylococci under diverse environmental conditions encountered in the infected host.
TL;DR: A new method for analyzing processing proteinases using Bafilomycin A1 and proteinase inhibitors is developed, including results obtained using this method.
Abstract: Lysosomal proteinases are translated as preproenzymes, transferred through the Golgi apparatus as proenzymes, and localized in lysosomes as the mature enzymes. Pulse-chase analyses and the immunoisolation of proenzymes or recombinant proenzymes are useful tools for analyzing this process, but the processing proteinases that participate in this pathway are largely unknown. Recently, we developed a new method for analyzing processing proteinases using Bafilomycin A1 and proteinase inhibitors. Here we summarize the recent progress including our results obtained using this method.
TL;DR: It is discovered that the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-3 binds the hemopexin C domain of gelatinase A leading to its efficient cleavage, converting an agonist to a potent receptor antagonist, indicating that the intersection between theChemokine and MMP families is broad with important implications for the control of inflammatory and immune processes.
Abstract: Increasingly it is being recognized that matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are important processing enzymes that regulate cellular behaviour and immune cell function by selective proteolysis of cell surface receptors and adhesion molecules, cytokines and growth factors. These functions will likely prove to be as important in vivo as the proposed roles of MMPs in pathological matrix degradation. To screen for new protease substrates we have reported a novel 'exosite scanning' strategy that utilizes protease substrate-binding exosite domains as yeast two-hybrid baits. We discovered that the chemokine monocyte chemoattractant protein-3 (MCP-3) binds the hemopexin C domain of gelatinase A (MMP-2) leading to its efficient cleavage, converting an agonist to a potent receptor antagonist. We have now found that other MMPs cleave MCP-1, MCP-2, MCP-3, MCP-4, SDF-lalpha and SDF-1beta indicating that the intersection between the chemokine and MMP families is broad with important implications for the control of inflammatory and immune processes. Use of engineered substrates with altered exosite binding affinities further revealed the power of exosites in dictating proteolytic specificity - either directing cleavage of non-preferred sites or in other cases virtually eliminating proteolysis of readily accessible scissile bonds. Hence, bioinformatic searches for protease substrates based on scissile bond preference will only reveal a subset of substrates unless the influence of exosites is considered.
TL;DR: This review focuses on known nonantioxidant properties of carotenoids, including retinoiddependent signaling, stimulation of gap junctional communications, impact on the regulation of cell growth and induction of detoxifying enzymes, such as cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases.
Abstract: Dietary antioxidants such as carotenoids, tocopherols, vitamin C or flavonoids exhibit biological activities that are not directly related to their antioxidant properties. The parent compounds and/or their metabolites have impact on cellular signaling pathways, influence the expression of certain genes or act as inhibitors of regulatory enzymes. Thus, they reveal additional biological effects which might be of importance in context with the prevention of degenerative diseases related to the consumption of a diet rich in antioxidants. This review focuses on known non-antioxidant properties of carotenoids, including retinoid-dependent signaling, stimulation of gap junctional communications, impact on the regulation of cell growth and induction of detoxifying enzymes, such as cytochrome P450-dependent monooxygenases.
TL;DR: Here the recently identified superoxide (O2)dependent formation of peroxynitrate (O 2NOO) and the central role of vitamin C are of special importance.
Abstract: Nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) is an oxidizing free radical which can initiate a variety of destructive pathways in living systems, and several diseases are suspected to be connected with both exogenously and endogenously formed NO 2 . Peroxynitrite (ONOO-/ONOOH) is believed to be an important endogenous source of NO 2 radicals, but other sources, among them enzymatically ones, have been identified recently. It also became clear during the last few years that in vivo formation of 3-nitrotyrosine strictly depends on the availability of NO 2 radicals. Since nitrogen dioxide is a very toxic compound an arsenal of antioxidants (e.g. vitamin C, glutathione, vitamin E, and β-carotene) must eliminate this harmful radical in vivo. Here the recently identified superoxide (O 2 _ - )-dependent formation of peroxynitrate (O 2 NOO - ) and the central role of vitamin C are of special importance.
TL;DR: The effects of fatty acids and fatty acid oxidation products on signal transduction pathways, particularly those involved in apoptosis, can be considered in terms of their overall importance relative to the much better studied protein or peptide signaling factors.
Abstract: It is well established that fatty acid metabolites of cyclooxygenase, lipoxygenase (LOX), and cytochrome P450 are implicated in essential aspects of cellular signaling including the induction of programmed cell death Here we review the roles of enzymatic and non-enzymatic products of polyunsaturated fatty acids in controlling cell growth and apoptosis Also, the spontaneous oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids yields reactive aldehydes and other products of lipid peroxidation that are potentially toxic to cells and may also signal apoptosis Significant conflicting data in terms of the role of LOX enzymes are highlighted, prompting a re-evaluation of the relationship between LOX and prostate cancer cell survival We include new data showing that LNCaP, PC3, and Du145 cells express much lower levels of 5-LOX mRNA and protein compared with normal prostate epithelial cells (NHP2) and primary prostate carcinoma cells (TP1) Although the 5-LOX activating protein inhibitor MK886 killed these cells, another 5-LOX inhibitor AA861 hardly showed any effect These observations suggest that 5-LOX is unlikely to be a prostate cancer cell survival factor, implying that the mechanisms by which LOX inhibitors induce apoptosis are more complex than expected This review also suggests several mechanisms involving peroxisome proliferator activated receptor activation, BCL proteins, thiol regulation, and mitochondrial and kinase signaling by which cell death may be produced in response to changes in non-esterified and non-protein bound fatty acid levels Overall, this review provides a context within which the effects of fatty acids and fatty acid oxidation products on signal transduction pathways, particularly those involved in apoptosis, can be considered in terms of their overall importance relative to the much better studied protein or peptide signaling factors
TL;DR: Based on the activity of PfGST in extracts of P. falciparum, the enzyme represents 1 to 10% of cellular protein and might therefore serve as an efficient in vivo buffer for parasitotoxic hemin.
Abstract: Glutathione S-transferases (GSTs), which occur abundantly in most organisms, are essentially involved in the intracellular detoxification of numerous substances including chemotherapeutic agents, and thus play a major role in the development of drug resistance. A gene encoding a protein with sequence identity of up to 37% with known GSTs was identified on chromosome 14 of the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum. It was amplified using gametocyte cDNA and expressed in Escherichia coli as a hexahistidyl-tagged protein of 26 kDa subunit size. The homodimeric enzyme (PfGST) was found to catalyse the glutathione (GSH)-dependent modification of 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene and other typical GST substrates such as o-nitrophenyl acetate, ethacrynic acid, and cumene hydroperoxide. The Km value for GSH was 164+/-20 microM. PfGST was inhibited by cibacron blue (Ki=0.5 microM), S-hexylglutathione (Ki=35 microM), and protoporphyrin IX (Ki=10 microM). Hemin, a most toxic compound for parasitised erythrocytes, was found to be an uncompetitive ligand of PfGST with a Ki of 6.5 microM. Based on the activity of PfGST in extracts of P. falciparum, the enzyme represents 1 to 10% of cellular protein and might therefore serve as an efficient in vivo buffer for parasitotoxic hemin. Destabilising ligands of GST are thus expected to be synergistic with the antimalarial drug chloroquine, which itself was found to be a very weak inhibitor of PfGST (IC50>200 microM). X-ray quality crystals of PfGST (250x200x50 microm) will serve as starting point for structure-based drug design.
TL;DR: A brief review of the inhibitory activity of catechins derived from green tea toward proteases involved in tumor invasion is focused on.
Abstract: Several reports have attributed to green tea chemopreventive and therapeutic properties. Epidemiological studies have linked the regular use of green tea to a reduced incidence of breast and colon carcinomas. Tea contains several antioxidants, including polyphenols of the catechin (green tea) and theaflavin (black tea) groups. Green tea derivatives have been shown to act in vitro and in vivo as anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-tumor drugs. Despite the extensive body of data only few studies have investigated the molecular mechanisms underlying these effects. In this brief review we focus on the inhibitory activity of catechins derived from green tea toward proteases involved in tumor invasion.
TL;DR: The RASSF1A gene is a candidate for a tumor suppressor gene in 3p21.3 and is epigenetically inactivated in a large percentage of human lung cancers, in particular small cell carcinomas.
Abstract: Loss of genetic material from chromosome 3p21.3 is one of the most common and earliest events in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and many other solid tumors. The chromosomal area 3p21.3 is thought to harbor at least one important tumor suppressor gene, which, despite many years of investigation, has remained elusive. In our previous studies, we have identified and cloned a gene from the common homozygous deletion area at 3p21.3. The gene, named RASSF1A (Ras ASSociation domain Family 1A), has homology to a mammalian Ras effector. The RASSF1A gene is epigenetically inactivated in a large percentage of human lung cancers, in particular small cell carcinomas. A high frequency of methylation of RASSF1A is found also in breast cancers, renal cell carcinomas, ovarian, gastric and bladder cancers, and in neuroblastomas. The RASSF1A gene is a candidate for a tumor suppressor gene in 3p21.3.
TL;DR: Some recent findings that stress the role of lipid rafts as key players in yeast protein sorting and cell polarity are discussed.
Abstract: Cellular membranes contain many types and species of lipids. One of the most important functional consequences of this heterogeneity is the existence of microdomains within the plane of the membrane. Sphingolipid acyl chains have the ability of forming tightly packed platforms together with sterols. These platforms or lipid rafts constitute segregation and sorting devices into which proteins specifically associate. In budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, lipid rafts serve as sorting platforms for proteins destined to the cell surface. The segregation capacity of rafts also provides the basis for the polarization of proteins at the cell surface during mating. Here we discuss some recent findings that stress the role of lipid rafts as key players in yeast protein sorting and cell polarity.
TL;DR: Mechanisms of how the GPIlinked receptor transmits signals to the intracellular milieu and how uPAR participates in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton reorganization and cell adhesion during cell migration are discussed.
Abstract: Cell migration is a complex process requiring tight control of several mechanisms including dynamic reorganization of the actin cytoskeleton and adhesion to the extracellular matrix. The GPI-anchored urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) has an important role in the regulation of cell motility in many cell types. This is partly due to the localization of proteolytic activity on the cell surface by binding of the serine protease uPA. Results accumulated over the last decade suggest that uPAR is also involved in motility control through other mechanisms. These include induction of signal transduction events after ligation with uPA, binding to the extracellular matrix molecule vitronectin (VN), and association with integrins and other transmembrane partners. In this review these mechanisms will be discussed with a special emphasis on how the GPI-linked receptor transmits signals to the intracellular milieu and how uPAR participates in the regulation of actin cytoskeleton reorganization and cell adhesion during cell migration.
TL;DR: New, but mainly circumstantial evidence, suggests that at least some kallikreins may be part of a novel enzymatic cascade pathway which is turnedon in aggressive forms of ovarian and probably other cancers.
Abstract: Serine proteases are proteolytic enzymes with an active serine residue in their catalytic site. Kallikreins are a subgroup of the serine protease family which is known to have diverse physiological functions. The human kallikrein gene family has now been fully characterized and includes 15 members tandemly located on chromosome 19q13.4. Here we discuss the common structural features of kallikreins at the DNA, mRNA and protein levels and summarize their tissue expression and hormonal regulation patterns. Kallikreins are expressed in many tissues including the salivary gland, endocrine tissues such as testis, prostate, breast and endometrium, and in the central nervous system. Most genes appear to be under steroid hormone regulation. The occurrence of several splice variants is common among kallikreins, and some of the splice variants seem to be tissue-specific and might be related to certain pathological conditions. Kallikreins are secreted in an inactive 'zymogen' form which is activated by cleavage of an N-terminal peptide. Some kalikreins can undergo autoactivation while others may be activated by other kallikreins or other proteases. Most kallikreins are predicted to have trypsin-like enzymatic activity except three which are probably chymotrypsin-like. New, but mainly circumstantial evidence, suggests that at least some kallikreins may be part of a novel enzymatic cascade pathway which is turned-on in aggressive forms of ovarian and probably other cancers.
TL;DR: It is demonstrated that βcarotene provides protection against singlet oxygenmediated lipid peroxidation, but does not slow free radical mediated lipid per oxidation, and α Tocopherol does not protect cells from singinglet oxygen, butdoes inhibit free radical formation in cell membranes.
Abstract: Singlet oxygen initiates lipid peroxidation via a nonfree radical mechanism by reacting directly with unsaturated lipids to form lipid hydroperoxides (LOOHs). These LOOHs can initiate free radical chain reactions leading to membrane leakage and cell death. Here we compare the ability and mechanism by which three small-molecule membrane antioxidants (beta-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and nitric oxide) inhibit lipid peroxidation in membranes. We demonstrate that beta-carotene provides protection against singlet oxygen-mediated lipid peroxidation, but does not slow free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation. Alpha-Tocopherol does not protect cells from singlet oxygen, but does inhibit free radical formation in cell membranes. Nitric oxide provides no direct protection against singlet oxygen exposure, but is an exceptional chain-breaking antioxidant as evident from its ability to blunt oxygen consumption during free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation. These three small-molecule antioxidants appear to have complementary mechanisms for the protection of cell membranes from detrimental oxidations.
TL;DR: The in vivo oxidatively modified LDL has numerous features that correspond to the atherogenic minimally modified LDL produced in vitro, which could account for a relevant link between nutrition and early biological processes that foster the development of atherosclerosis.
Abstract: Consumption of a meal containing oxidized and oxidizable lipids gives rise to an increased plasma concentration of lipid hydroperoxides, detectable by a sensitive chemiluminescence procedure. This is associated with increased susceptibility of LDL to oxidation, apparently due a structural perturbation at the particle surface brought about by lipid oxidation products. The postprandial modification of LDL is at least partially accounted for by an increase of LDL-, a subfraction containing lipid oxidation products where apoprotein-B-100 (apoB-100) is denatured. Consuming the meal with a suitable source of antioxidants, such as those found in red wine, minimizes this postprandial oxidative stress. The inhibition of peroxidation of lipids present in the meal during digestion is a possible mechanism for the observed protection of LDL. The in vivo oxidatively modified LDL- has numerous features that correspond to the atherogenic minimally modified LDL produced in vitro. These modified particles could account for a relevant link between nutrition and early biological processes that foster the development of atherosclerosis.
TL;DR: This review of recent results from combined biochemical and biophysical efforts which have yielded new insights into the threedimensional structure and function of HNS highlights key elements of the different mechanisms which make HNS such a versatile regulator.
Abstract: The small DNA binding protein H-NS is attracting broad interest for its profound involvement in the regulation of bacterial physiology. It is involved in the regulation of many genes in response to a changing environment and functions in the adaptation to many different kinds of stress. Many H-NS-controlled genes, including the hns gene itself, are further linked to global regulatory networks. H-NS thus plays a key role in maintaining bacterial homeostasis under conditions of a rapidly changing environment. In this review we summarize recent results from combined biochemical and biophysical efforts which have yielded new insights into the three-dimensional structure and function of H-NS. The protein consists of two distinct domains separated by an unstructured linker region, and the structural details available today have helped to understand how these domains may interact with each other or with ligand molecules. Functional studies have, in addition, revealed mechanistic clues for the various H-NS activities, like temperature- or growth phase-dependent regulation. Important elements for the specific regulatory activities of H-NS comprise different modes of DNA binding, protein oligomerization, the competition with other regulators and the fact that the topology of the target DNA is modulated during complex formation. The distinctive ability to recognize nucleic acid structures in combination with other proteins also explains H-NS-dependent post-transcriptional activities where the interaction with defined RNA structures and the interference with RNA/protein complexes during mRNA translation are crucial for regulation. Thus, protein/protein interactions, in combination with the recognition and modulation of nucleic acid structures, are key elements of the different mechanisms which make H-NS such a versatile regulator.
TL;DR: It is suggested that many of the effects previously attributed to the antioxidant functions of αtocopherol can also be explained by nonantioxidant mechanisms.
Abstract: Molecules provided with an antioxidant function may have additional properties, the latter being sometimes of greater importance than the former. In the last ten years, alpha-tocopherol has revealed precise cellular functions, some of which are independent of its antioxidant/radical scavenging ability. At the posttranslational level, alpha-tocopherol inhibits protein kinase C and 5-lipoxygenase and activates protein phosphatase 2A and diacylglycerol kinase. Some genes (CD36, alpha-TTP, alpha-tropomyosin, and collagenase) are affected by alpha-tocopherol at the transcriptional level. alpha-Tocopherol also induces inhibition of cell proliferation, platelet aggregation and monocyte adhesion. These effects are unrelated to the antioxidant activity of vitamin E, but rather are believed to be a result of specific interactions of vitamin E with components of the cell, e. g. proteins, enzymes and membranes. This review focuses on novel non-antioxidant functions of alpha-tocopherol and discusses the possibility that many of the effects previously attributed to the antioxidant functions can also be explained by non-antioxidant mechanisms.
TL;DR: It is shown that Trigger Factor follows a threestate equilibrium, and in vivo most of the ribosomes are in complex with monomeric TF, while Uncomplexed TF, however, is in a monomerdimer equilibrium with approximately two thirds of TF existing in a dimeric state.
Abstract: Trigger Factor (TF) is the first chaperone that interacts with nascent chains of cytosolic proteins in Escherichia coli. Although its chaperone activity requires association with ribosomes, TF is present in vivo in a 2-3 fold molar excess over ribosomes and a fraction of it is not ribosome-associated after cell lysis. Here we show that TF follows a three-state equilibrium. Size exclusion chromatography, crosslinking and analytical ultracentrifugation revealed that uncomplexed TF dimerizes with an apparent Kd of 18 microM. Dimerization is mediated by the N-terminal ribosome binding domain and the C-terminal domain of TF, whereas the central peptidyl prolyl isomerase (PPlase) and substrate binding domain does not contribute to dimerization. Crosslinking experiments showed that TF is monomeric in its ribosome-associated state. Quantitative analysis of TF binding to ribosomes revealed a dissociation constant for the TF-ribosome complex of approximately 1.2 microM. From these data we estimate that in vivo most of the ribosomes are in complex with monomeric TF. Uncomplexed TF, however, is in a monomer-dimer equilibrium with approximately two thirds of TF existing in a dimeric state.