BBA - General Subjects (v.1619, #2)

Iron influences many aspects of cell function on different biochemical levels. This review considers effects mediated through iron-dependent changes in gene expression in mammalian cells. Several classes of related genes are responsive to cellular iron levels, but no clear patterns readily account for the toxicity of iron overload or the consequences of removal of iron with chelating agents. Here we group some of the genes influenced by iron status into those related to iron metabolism, oxygen and oxidative stress, energy metabolism, cell cycle regulation, and tissue fibrosis. Iron excess and chelation do not generally result in a continuous or graded transcriptional response, but indicate operation of distinct mechanisms. An emerging concept is that iron signals through generation of reactive oxygen species to activate transcription factors such as NF-κB, whereas iron removal mimics hypoxia, perhaps by disrupting iron-based O2 sensors and influencing gene expression through, e.g., the hypoxia-inducible factor, HIF-1. Heme and other metalloporphyrins have other distinct mechanisms for regulating transcription. Regulation of gene expression through iron-responsive elements in mRNAs coded by several genes is one of the best understood mechanisms of translational control.
Keywords: Cell function; Iron overload; Chelation;

Galectin-1, a β-galactoside-binding dimeric lectin, interacts with the extracellular matrix (ECM) of smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and with particular ECM proteins. Enrichment of the ECM with galectin-1 affects adhesion and proliferation of cultured SMCs. Here we investigated whether galectin-1 (1) interacts with glycosaminoglycan (GAG) chains, (2) cross-links between ligands and facilitates the incorporation of GAGs, vitronectin and plasma fibronectin in the ECM of vascular SMCs. A recombinant galectin-1 fusion protein GalH, used in this study, formed dimers and interacted with ECM proteins. GAG chains inhibited these interactions. Among the studied GAG chains, only chondroitin sulfate B interacted with GalH in β-galactoside-dependent manner. GalH did not bridge between ECM proteins on solid phase and [125I]-labelled ECM proteins or GAGs in solution. The ECM incorporated less vitronectin in the presence of soluble GalH. GalH-enriched ECM incorporated less vitronectin and chondroitin sulfate B. The ECM partially depleted of endogenous galectins incorporated more chondroitin sulfate B compared to untreated ECM. These results suggest that galectin-1 is likely to be involved in the ECM assembly affecting incorporation of some ECM components important for SMC behaviour.
Keywords: Galectin-1; Extracellular matrix; Chondroitin sulfate;

Human α3/4fucosyltransferase (FT3) catalyses the synthesis of fucosylated glycoconjugates involved in cell–cell interactions. FT3 has two potential N-glycosylation sites at Asn154 and Asn185. Soluble secretory forms of the enzyme (SFT3) and mutant forms with the first, second and both glycosylation sites (SFT3DN1, SFT3DN2, SFT3DN) mutated have been expressed in baby hamster kidney (BHK) and Spodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells. Deletion of the first or both sites caused total enzyme inactivation. Deletion of the second site caused 99% and 75% decrease of secretory enzyme expression in BHK and Sf9 cells, respectively. Sf9 cells produced 1 mg/l SFT3 and 0.3 mg/l SFT3DN2; these values were 175- and 3750-fold higher, respectively, than those observed for BHK cells. A significant amount of protein was accumulated intracellularly in Sf9 cells which for SFT3 was active and for SFT3DN2 was inactive, indicating the importance of the glycans from the second glycosylation site for protein folding. The corresponding full-length forms FT3, FT3DN1 and FT3DN2 associated with calnexin as observed by immunoprecipitation studies, which indicated the possible role of this chaperon in the folding of glycosylated glycosyltransferases.
Keywords: Fucosyltransferase; N-glycosylation; Folding; Insect Sf9 cell; Mammalian BHK cell;

A His-tag based immobilization method for the preparation and reconstitution of apoflavoproteins by Marco H Hefti; Fin J Milder; Sjef Boeren; Jacques Vervoort; Willem J.H van Berkel (139-143).
The NifL PAS domain from Azotobacter vinelandii is a flavoprotein with FAD as the prosthetic group. Here we describe a novel immobilization procedure for the large-scale preparation of apo NifL PAS domain and its efficient reconstitution with either 2,4a-13C-FAD or 2,4a-13C-FMN. In this procedure, the His-tagged holoprotein is bound to an immobilized metal affinity column and the flavin is released by washing the column with buffer containing 2 M KBr and 2 M urea. The apoprotein is reconstituted on-column with the (artificial) flavin cofactor, and then eluted with buffer containing 250 mM imidazole. Alternatively, the immobilized apoprotein can be released from the column matrix before reconstitution.The His-tag based immobilization method of preparing reconstituted (or apo) NifL PAS domain protein has the advantage that it combines a protein affinity chromatography technique with limited protein loss, resulting in a high protein yield with extremely efficient flavin reconstitution. This on-column reconstitution method can also be used in cases where the apoprotein is unstable. Therefore, it may develop as a universal method for replacement of flavin or other cofactors.
Keywords: Apoflavoprotein; Deflavination; Flavin; His-tagged protein; IMAC; Immobilization; PAS domain; Reconstitution; NifL;

The relationships between degree of lectin–cell binding, cytotoxicity and cytoagglutinating activity of three Wheat Germ Agglutinin isolectins (WGA-1, WGA-2, WGA-3) against normal lymphocytes and cultured leukemic cell lines (Jurkat, MOLT-4, Raji, Daudi, K-562) were studied. All WGA-isolectins interacted in a similar degree with normal lymphocytes, while in the case of leukemic cells, the degree of isolectin–cell binding increased in the order: WGA-1⩽WGA-3<WGA-2 at isolectin concentrations 0.5 μM and higher, and WGA-3<WGA-2⩽WGA-1 at 0.25 μM isolectin concentration. The WGA interacted in higher degree with Jurkat, Raji, Daudi and K-562, followed by MOLT-4 and normal lymphocytes. The velocity of cytoagglutination in the presence of 0.25 μM WGA-isolectins increased in the order: WGA-3<WGA-2⩽WGA-1, and was better expressed in Jurkat, Raji, Daudi and K-562, followed by MOLT-4 and normal lymphocytes. The cytotoxicity of isolectins was very well expressed against Jurkat, MOLT-4, Raji and Daudi, and less expressed against K-562 and normal lymphocytes. In the case of leukemic cells, the cytotoxic effect of WGA-isolectins increased in the order: WGA-3<WGA-2=WGA-1. A very good positive correlation was determined between velocity of cytoagglutination and degree of lectin–cell binding (r=0.77, P<0.001). A good inverse correlation was found between cytotoxicity and degree of lectin–cell binding (r=−0.34, P<0.001), and poor correlation was observed between cytotoxicity and cytoagglutinating activity of WGA-isolectins (r=0.16, P<0.01).The results suggest that the WGA-isolectins, structurally distinguishable in only several amino acid sequences, interacted in different degrees with leukemic cells and manifested different cytoagglutinating and cytotoxic activity.
Keywords: Cultured leukemic cell line; Cytoagglutination; Cytotoxicity; Lectin–cell binding; Wheat Germ Agglutinin isolectin;

High resolution magic angle spinning (HRMAS) 1H NMR spectroscopy was used to metabolically characterise Ishikawa cells, a human cell line derived from endometrial adenocarcinoma. The spectra obtained had well-resolved resonances from the nucleotide derivatives of uridine and adenosine. Using a combination of diffusion- and relaxation-weighted spectroscopy, the cellular environment of key metabolites previously identified as related to cell growth was also investigated. As Ishikawa cells are hormone-responsive, the metabolic action of tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), was also investigated. Cells were exposed to 5, 1 and 0.1 μM tamoxifen. Using the statistical regression technique of prediction to latent structures by partial least squares, a predictive model was built modelling the metabolic profile of the cells against exposure to tamoxifen. These spectral changes were characterised by increased resonance intensities from ethanolamine (3.26 ppm), glucose (3.34–3.94 ppm), glutamate (2.14, 2.32 ppm), tyrosine (7.24 ppm), uridine (7.85 ppm) and adenosine (8.20 ppm), and a relative decrease in contributions from myo-inositol resonances (3.30, 3.62, 3.55 ppm). The nucleotide changes suggest that tamoxifen affects RNA transcription, while the changes in ethanolamine and myo-inositol concentrations are indicative of cell membrane turnover.
Keywords: Endometrial cancer; Ishikawa cell; Metabolic profile; 1H NMR spectroscopy; Tamoxifen; Selective estrogen receptor modulator;

Agmatine modulates the in vivo biosynthesis and interconversion of polyamines and cell proliferation by Magdalena Dudkowska; Jeanne Lai; Giulia Gardini; Agnieszka Stachurska; Barbara Grzelakowska-Sztabert; Sebastiano Colombatto; Małgorzata Manteuffel-Cymborowska (159-166).
Agmatine has recently gained wide interest as a bioactive arginine metabolite with a multitude of physiological functions. This study evaluates the in vivo role of agmatine in the modulation of metabolism and intracellular level of polyamines. Here, we report that agmatine, administered to mice, differentially affects the renal and liver activity of the two key enzymes regulating polyamine biosynthesis and interconversion/degradation. Thus, agmatine exerts a negative regulation of ODC activity and protein content, and positive regulation of SSAT activity, having no effect on ODC and SSAT transcript level. Agmatine modulation of ODC and SSAT activities is noticeably augmented by the inhibitor of its catabolism, aminoguanidine. Antizyme and eIF4E protein content appears to be affected by agmatine only insignificantly and apparently do not contribute to agmatine-induced down-regulation of ODC content. The homeostasis of spermidine and spermine is preserved after agmatine injection, while the putrescine level decreases. Furthermore, when tested in a mouse kidney injury model, agmatine, partially but significantly, reduces [3H] thymidine incorporation into DNA. This is consistent with suppressed renal tubule epithelial cell proliferation. The findings provide in vivo evidence of a substantial role of agmatine as a modulator of polyamine biosynthesis and degradation and suggest its suppressive effect on cell proliferation.
Keywords: Agmatine; Polyamine metabolism; Antizyme; Enzymes;

Evidence of a balance between phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc glycosylation of Tau proteins—a role in nuclear localization by Tony Lefebvre; Stéphanie Ferreira; Laetitia Dupont-Wallois; Thierry Bussière; Marie-Joëlle Dupire; André Delacourte; Jean-Claude Michalski; Marie-Laure Caillet-Boudin (167-176).
Both phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc glycosylation posttranslationally modify microtubule-associated Tau proteins. Whereas the hyperphosphorylation of these proteins that occurs in Alzheimer's disease is well characterized, little is known about the O-GlcNAc glycosylation. The present study demonstrates that a balance exists between phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc glycosylation of Tau proteins, and furthermore that a dysfunction of this balance correlates with reduced nuclear localization.The affinity of Tau proteins for WGA lectin, together with evidence from [3H]-galactose transfer and analysis of beta-eliminated products, demonstrated the presence of O-GlcNAc residues on both cytosolic and nuclear Tau proteins. In addition, our data indicated the existence of a balance between phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc glycosylation events. Indeed, as demonstrated by 2D-electrophoresis and Western blotting, O-GlcNAc residues were mainly located on the less phosphorylated Tau 441 variants, whereas the more phosphorylated forms were devoid of O-GlcNAc residues. Furthermore, the Tau protein hyperphosphorylation induced by cellular okadaic acid treatment was correlated with reduced incorporation of O-GlcNAc residues into Tau proteins and with diminished Tau transfer into the nucleus. Hence, this paper establishes a direct relationship between O-GlcNAc glycosylation, phosphorylation and cellular localization of Tau proteins.
Keywords: O-N-acetylglucosamine; Phosphorylation; Tau protein; Nuclear transport; Alzheimer's disease;

An orally available iron chelator is desirable for the treatment of secondary iron overload. Pyridoxal isonicotinoyl hydrazone (PIH) and its analogs effectively mobilize iron in vivo and in vitro, and are therefore promising candidates for this purpose. PIH analogs undergo significant amino acid-catalyzed hydrolysis in cell culture medium and in serum, achieving equilibrium with their corresponding aldehydes and hydrazides with half-times of 1–8 h. The extent of hydrolysis in RPMI is significant, even in experiments of a few hours' duration, although the half-life of PIH in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) is approximately 24 h. Therefore, the biological effects (e.g., 59Fe mobilization, toxicity) of these iron chelators have been underestimated in previous studies. Measurement of the affinity of PIH analogs for Fe3+ under conditions in which hydrolysis is minimal resulted in conditional affinity constants of 1026 to 1027 M, which are much lower than predicted by the overall formation constants determined under conditions that likely allowed extensive hydrolysis. These data indicate the importance of hydrolysis of PIH analogs in the interpretation of previous studies, and the importance of designing clinically useful analogs whose efficacies are not limited by hydrolysis.
Keywords: Pyridoxal isonicotinoyl hydrazone; Iron chelator; Iron mobilization; Hydrolysis; Condensation;

Wound-healing of the gastric mucosa is suggested to be stimulated by hepatocyte growth factor (HGF). Polyamines are shown to contribute to repair after damage in the gastric mucosa. The present study was designed to elucidate whether HGF can stimulate wound-healing of the gastric mucosa via polyamine production, using rabbit gastric mucosal cells in primary culture. A wound was made as a round cell-free area in the cell sheet of confluent cultured cells. When HGF was added to the culture medium, such denuded area was significantly reduced in size compared with the control, but the reduction was inhibited by addition of d,l-α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an inhibitor of a rate-limiting enzyme (ornithine decarboxylase) of polyamine biosynthesis, to the culture medium. However, the inhibitory effect by DFMO was reversed by pretreatment with spermidine, but not with putrescine. Intracellular levels of polyamines in the whole confluent cells including the cells around the denuded area were not changed by addition of HGF, but putrescine and spermidine levels were decreased by further addition of DFMO. We conclude that spermidine may be involved in stimulation by HGF in the repair after damage of gastric mucosal cells.
Keywords: Spermidine; Hepatocyte growth factor; Mucosal cell;

Protein splicing is a self-catalyzed process involving the excision of an intervening polypeptide sequence, the intein, and joining of the flanking polypeptide sequences, the extein, by a peptide bond. We have studied the in vitro splicing of erythropoietin (EPO) using a truncated form of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis RecA mini-intein in which the homing endonuclease domain was replaced with a hexahistidine sequence (His-tag). The intein was inserted adjacent to cysteine residues to assure that the spliced product had the natural amino acid sequence. When expressed in Escherichia coli, intein-containing EPO was found entirely as inclusion bodies but could be refolded in soluble form in the presence of 0.5 M arginine. Protein splicing of the refolded protein could be induced with a reducing agent such as DTT or tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine and led to the formation of EPO and mini-intein along with some cleavage products. Protein splicing mediated by the RecA intein requires the presence of a cysteine residue adjacent to the intein insertion site. We compared the efficiencies of protein splicing adjacent to three of the four cysteine residues of EPO (Cys29, Cys33 and Cys161) and found that insertion of intein adjacent to Cys29 allowed far more efficient protein splicing than insertion adjacent to Cys33 or Cys161. For ease of purification, our experiments involved a His-tagged EPO fusion protein and a His-tagged intein and the spliced products (25 kDa EPO and 24 kDa mini-intein) were identified by Western blotting using anti-EPO and anti-His-tag antibodies and by mass spectroscopy. The optimal splicing yield at Cys29 (40%) occurred at pH 7.0 after refolding at 4°C and splicing for 18 h at 25°C in the presence of 1 mM DTT.
Keywords: Erythropoietin; Protein splicing; RecA intein; Protein folding;

Excitation energy transport and trapping in concentrated solid solutions of flavomononucleotide by P. Bojarski; L. Kułak; H. Grajek; G. Żurkowska; A. Kamińska; B. Kukliński; C. Bojarski (201-208).
Excitation energy transport and trapping is studied for monomer–fluorescent dimer system of flavomononucleotide (FMN) in polyvinyl alcohol films (PVA). It is shown that the theory neglecting reverse energy transfer (RET) from dimers to monomers does not allow for the explanation of concentration quenching and concentration depolarization results presented herein. Much better agreement has been obtained using generalized energy transport theory in which fluorescent dimers are treated as imperfect traps for excitation energy. Such parameters like the dimer quantum yield and its emission anisotropy are estimated.
Keywords: Excitation energy; Flavomononucleotide; Polyvinyl alcohol film;

Human milk contains S100B protein by Diego Gazzolo; Giovanni Monego; Valentina Corvino; Matteo Bruschettini; Pierluigi Bruschettini; Giovanni Zelano; Fabrizio Michetti (209-212).
The present study constitutes the first finding of the calcium-binding protein S100B and of its mRNA in human milk, as revealed by a quantitative immunoluminometric assay, by Western blot analysis and by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay followed by restriction enzyme digestion. The concentration of S100B in milk is markedly higher than that observed in other biological fluids such as cord blood, peripheral blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid and amniotic fluid. This finding could be related to a possible trophic role, which has been hypothesized for the protein.
Keywords: S100B protein; Newborn; Human milk;

Binding of hydrophobic ligands by Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA-I lectin by Stoyanka R Stoitsova; Raina N Boteva; R.J Doyle (213-219).
The ability of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA-I lectin to bind the fluorescent hydrophobic probe, 2-(p-toluidinyl) naphthalene sulfonic acid (TNS), and adenine was examined by spectrofluorametry and equilibrium dialysis. Interaction of TNS with PA-I caused significant enhancement of TNS fluorescence. The Hill coefficient (3.8±0.3) and the dissociation constant (8.7±0.16 μM) showed that TNS probably bound to four high affinity hydrophobic sites per PA-I tetramer. Interactions between PA-I and adenine were examined by equilibrium dialysis using [3H] adenine. The results indicated the presence of at least two classes of binding sites—one high and four lower affinity sites per tetramer with dissociation constants of 3.7±1.5 and 42.6±1.2 μM, respectively. These were distinct from the TNS sites as titration of TNS-equilibrated PA-I with adenine caused TNS fluorescence enhancement. The titration curve confirmed the existence of two classes of adenine-binding sites. Conversely, when PA-I was first equilibrated with adenine and then titrated with TNS, no TNS-binding was registered. This may indicate that conformational rearrangements of the lectin molecule caused by adenine prevent allosterically TNS binding.
Keywords: Lectin; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Adenine; TNS;