BBA - General Subjects (v.1780, #5)

Membrane type sialidase inhibits the megakaryocytic differentiation of human leukemia K562 cells by Un-Ho Jin; Ki-Tae Ha; Kyung-Woon Kim; Young-Chae Chang; Young-Coon Lee; Jeong-Heon Ko; Cheorl-Ho Kim (757-763).
The membrane type sialidase (Neu3) has been suggested to participate in cell growth, migration and differentiation. To determine whether a Neu3 is able to modulate megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells, we studied the functional significance of human Neu3 induced by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). Northern blot and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) indicated that the induction of hST3Gal V, which synthesizes ganglioside GM3 and reduction of Neu3 by PMA, are linked for the expression of differentiation marker protein, CD41b surface antigen. To elucidate the mechanism underlying the down-regulation of the CD41b surface antigen expression when Neu3 gene is expressed in PMA-treated cells, we characterized the Neu3-mediated signaling pathway. Neu3 overexpression inhibited the PMA-induced ERK1/2 and p38 MAPK phosphorylation in the K562 cells. Down-regulation of expression of CD41b surface antigen was dependent on expression of Neu3 gene. However, a Neu3 inhibitor Neu5Ac2en induced morphological changes, showing megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells, with expression of CD41b surface antigen, while a specific glucosylceramide synthase inhibitor PDMP inhibited megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells. The molecular mechanisms involved in Neu3-involved inhibition of CD41b surface antigen expression in K562 cells have been suggested: the Neu3 degrades membrane sialic acids and the resulting signaling pathway of the PKC/ERKs/p38 MAPK is down-regulated, causing a decrease in CD41b surface antigen expression and inhibition of megakaryocytic differentiation of K562 cells.
Keywords: Membrane-specific sialidase (Neu3); CD41b surface antigen; Human leukemia K562 cell; PKC/ERKs/p38 MAPK-dependent pathway; Megakaryocytoid differentiation;

Stabilization of scleral collagen by glycerol aldehyde cross-linking by N.A. Danilov; N.Yu. Ignatieva; E.N. Iomdina; S.A. Semenova; G.N. Rudenskaya; T.E. Grokhovskaya; V.V. Lunin (764-772).
The paper aims at the evaluation of prospects for using glyceraldehyde as a cross-linking agent for the scleral tissue. Stability parameters (denaturation temperature, Young's modulus, ultimate tensile stress, proteolytic resistance) and analytical parameter (fluorescence intensity) were determined during the glycation process of isolated rabbit sclera. The analysis of fluorescence spectral characteristic provided information about some glycation products. The glyceraldehyde treatment was resulted in a significant increase in thermal stability, proteolytic resistance and improvement of biomechanical characteristics (Young's modulus, ultimate tensile stress). Unique properties of the reaction between scleral collagen and glyceraldehyde are observed at short cross-linking times. The appearance of intermediate collagen fraction with lowest thermal and proteolytic stability was detected.
Keywords: Collagen; Glyceraldehyde; DSC (differential scanning calorimetry); Degradation; Mechanical test; Cross-linking;

Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs, EC are plant enzymes that can inhibit the translation process by removing single adenine residues of the large rRNA. These enzymes are known to function in defense against pathogens, but their biological role is unknown, partly due to the absence of work on RIPs in a model plant. In this study, we purified a protein showing RIP activity from Arabidopsis thaliana by employing chromatography separations coupled with an enzymatic activity. Based on N-terminal and internal amino acid sequencing, the RIP purified was identified as a mature form of pectin methylesterase (PME, At1g11580). The purified native protein showed both PME and RIP activity. PME catalyzes pectin deesterification, releasing acid pectin and methanol, which cause cell wall changes. We expressed the full-length and mature form of cDNA clones into an expression vector and transformed it in Escherichia coli for protein expression. The recombinant PME proteins (full-length and mature) expressed in E. coli did not show either PME or RIP activity, suggesting that post-translational modifications are important for these enzymatic activities. This study demonstrates a new function for an old enzyme identified in a model plant and discusses the possible role of a protein's conformational changes corresponding to its dual enzymatic activity.
Keywords: Dual enzymatic activity; Escherichia coli; Post-translational modification; Protein purification;

The squid Watasenia scintillans emits blue light from numerous photophores. According to Tsuji [F.I. Tsuji, Bioluminescence reaction catalyzed by membrane-bound luciferase in the “firefly squid”, Watasenia scintillans, Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1564 (2002) 189–197.], the luminescence from arm light organs is caused by an ATP-dependent reaction involving Mg2+, coelenterazine disulfate (luciferin), and an unstable membrane-bound luciferase. We stabilized and partially purified the luciferase in the presence of high concentrations of sucrose, and obtained it as particulates (average size 0.6–2 µm). The ATP-dependent luminescence reaction of coelenterazine disulfate catalyzed by the particulate luciferase was investigated in detail. Optimum temperature of the luminescence reaction is about 5 °C. Coelenterazine disulfate is a strictly specific substrate in this luminescence system; any modification of its structure resulted in a very heavy loss in its light emission capability. The light emitter is the excited state of the amide anion form of coelenteramide disulfate. The quantum yield of coelenterazine disulfate is calculated at 0.36. ATP could be replaced by ATP-γ-S, but not by any other analogues tested. The amount of AMP produced in the luminescence reaction was much smaller than that of coelenteramide disulfate, suggesting that the reaction mechanism of the Watasenia bioluminescence does not involve the formation of adenyl luciferin as an intermediate.
Keywords: Watasenia scintillans; Coelenterazine disulfate; Bioluminescence; ATP; Luciferase;

Degradation of caspase-activated DNase by the ubiquitin–proteasome system by Tadamiki Tsuruta; Kentaro Oh-hashi; Kazutoshi Kiuchi; Yoko Hirata (793-799).
DNA fragmentation is one of the most characteristic features of apoptotic cells and caspase-activated DNase (CAD) is considered to be a major nuclease responsible for DNA fragmentation. CAD forms a complex with its inhibitor (ICAD), which is also required for the functional folding of CAD, leading to CAD stabilization in cells. In this paper, we investigated the involvement of the ubiquitin–proteasome system in CAD stability. The expression and ubiquitination of CAD was remarkably increased by MG132 treatment in the absence of ICAD. These results suggest that CAD protein may be preferentially degraded by the ubiquitin–proteasome system in the absence of ICAD to maintain protein quality control.
Keywords: CAD; ICAD; HeLa; NIH3T3; Ubiquitination;

Increased fructose concentration in diabetes mellitus causes fructation of several proteins. Here we have studied fructose-induced modifications of hemoglobin. We have demonstrated structural changes in fructose-modified hemoglobin (Fr-Hb) by enhanced fluorescence emission with excitation at 285 nm, more surface accessible tryptophan residues by using acrylamide, changes in secondary and tertiary structures by CD spectroscopy, and increased thermolability by using differential scanning calorimetry in comparison with those of normal hemoglobin, HbA0. Release of iron from hemoglobin is directly related with the extent of fructation. H2O2-induced iron release from Fr-Hb is significantly higher than that from HbA0. In the presence of H2O2, Fr-Hb degrades arachidonic acid, deoxyribose and plasmid DNA more efficiently than HbA0, and these processes are significantly inhibited by desferrioxamine or mannitol. Thus increased iron release from Fr-Hb may cause enhanced formation of free radicals and oxidative stress in diabetes. Compared to HbA0, Fr-Hb exhibits increased carbonyl formation, an index of oxidative modification. Functional modification in Fr-Hb has also been demonstrated by its decreased peroxidase activity and increased esterase activity in comparison with respective HbA0 activities. Molecular modeling study reveals Lys 7(α), Lys 127(α) and Lys 66(β) to be the probable potential targets for fructation in HbA0.
Keywords: Hemoglobin; Diabetes mellitus; Hemoglobin modification; Fructation; Oxidative stress; Free iron;

A catalytic mechanism that explains a low catalytic activity of serine dehydratase like-1 from human cancer cells: Crystal structure and site-directed mutagenesis studies by Taro Yamada; Junichi Komoto; Tatsuo Kasuya; Yoshimi Takata; Hirofumi Ogawa; Hisashi Mori; Fusao Takusagawa (809-818).
SDH (l-serine dehydratase, EC is a pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes dehydration of l-Ser/Thr to yield pyruvate/ketobutyrate and ammonia. A SDH isoform (cSDH) found in human cancer cell lines has relatively low catalytic activity in comparison with the liver enzyme (hSDH). The crystal structure of cSDH has been determined at 2.8 Å resolution. A PLP is covalently attached to K48 by Schiff-base linkage in the active site. The ring nitrogen of PLP is involved in a H-bonding with C309, but is apparently not protonated. Twenty-three amino residues that compose the active site surfaces were identified. The human and rat liver enzymes (hSDH and rSDH) have the same residues, while residues G72, A172, and S228 in cSDH are replaced with A66, S166, and A222, respectively, in hSDH. These residues in hSDH and cSDH were mutated to make complementary pairs of mutated enzymes, and their kinetic parameters were determined. C303 of hSDH and C309 of cSDH which are H-bonding partner of the ring nitrogen of PLP were mutated to alanine and their kinetic parameters were also determined. The crystal structures and the mutation data suggest that having a glycine at residue 72 of cSDH is the major reason for the reduction of catalytic activity of cSDH. Changing alanine to glycine at residue 72 increases the flexibility of the substrate binding-loop (71S(G/A)GN74), so that the bound substrate and PLP are not pushed deep into the active cleft. Consequently, the proton transfer rate from SG of C309 to N1 of the bound PLP is decreased, which determines the rate of catalytic reaction.
Keywords: Serine dehydratase; Isoform; Crystal structure; Mutagenesis; Catalytic mechanism; PLP-dependent β-elimination;

Generation and accumulation of the amyloid β peptide (Aβ) following proteolytic processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) by BACE-1 (Beta-site APP Cleaving Enzyme-1, β-secretase) and γ-secretase is a main causal factor of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Consequently, inhibition of BACE-1, a rate-limiting enzyme in the production of Aβ, is an attractive therapeutic approach for the treatment of AD. In this study, we discovered that natural flavonoids act as non-peptidic BACE-1 inhibitors and potently inhibit BACE-1 activity and reduce the level of secreted Aβ in primary cortical neurons. In addition, we demonstrated the calculated docking poses of flavonoids to BACE-1 and revealed the interactions of flavonoids with the BACE-1 catalytic center. We firstly revealed novel pharmacophore features of flavonoids by using cell-free, cell-based and in silico docking studies. These results contribute to the development of new BACE-1 inhibitors for the treatment of AD.
Keywords: Flavonoid; BACE-1; Aβ; Alzheimer's disease; Primary neuron; Pharmacophore;

Expression of phase I and phase II genes in mouse embryonic stem cells cultured in the presence of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin by Tui Neri; Valeria Merico; Silvia Garagna; Carlo Alberto Redi; Maurizio Zuccotti (826-836).
Embryonic stem (ES) cells have features that resemble the pluripotent cells of peri-implantation embryos and have been used as an in vitro model to assess the effects of test substances on these stages of development. Here, for the first time, we report on the effects of the xenobiotic 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-para-dioxin (TCDD) on mouse ES cells cultured with TCDD at concentrations ranging from 0.0001 to 100 nM for 15 min to 48 h. TCDD effects were determined by analysing the induction of Cyp1A1, Cyp1A2, Cyp1B1 (phase I) and Nqo1, Gsta1, Ugt1a6 (phase II) genes. Cyp1A1 was the phase I gene most rapidly induced (4 h at 1 nM); Cyp1B1 was induced at 48 h (1 nM), whereas Cyp1A2 expression was not affected. TCDD did not alter phase II gene expression, which remained at basal levels throughout the 48 h of culture. We studied more accurately the expression of Cyp1A1, the earliest gene to respond to the presence of TCDD. We found that: 1) Cyp1A1 gene induction is dependent on the duration of exposure (precisely it is first induced after 3 h of culture at 1 nM, the minimum effective-dose); 2) Cyp1A1 induction requires the continuous presence of TCDD, being interrupted 4 h after removal of the xenobiotic; and 3) induced expression of CYP1A1 protein is dependent on TCDD concentration, the higher the concentration the earlier the production of the enzyme. Furthermore, after 48 h of treatment, TCDD did not promote either apoptosis or changes to the differentiation status of the ES cells. These results are the first important step to investigate the effects of dioxin on the very early stages of mammalian development.
Keywords: Embryonic stem cell; Dioxin; Ahr gene battery;

Significantly greater antioxidant anticancer activities of 2,3-dehydrosilybin than silybin by Axel Huber; Piyanut Thongphasuk; Gerhard Erben; Wolf-Dieter Lehmann; Sabine Tuma; Wolfgang Stremmel; Walee Chamulitrat (837-847).
Silybin or silymarin extract has been used to treat liver diseases, and has now been entered into clinical trials for cancer treatment. Here, we compared antioxidant and anticancer activities between silybin and its oxidized form 2,3-dehydrosilybin (DHS). With IC50 at three-fold lower concentrations than silybin, DHS inhibited reactive oxygen species generation in glucose–glucose oxidase system and HepG2 cells. Compared with silybin, DHS elicited greater protection against H2O2-induced HepG2 cell death and galactosamine-induced liver injury in vivo. It is known that oxidants induce releases of metalloproteinases (MMP)-2,-9 which are responsible for invasive and metastasis potentials of transformed cells. DHS at 10 μM markedly inhibited MMP-2,-9 releases as well as invasiveness, while silybin at 90 μM had marginal effects. DHS but not silybin at 30 μM induced apoptosis and loss of mitochondrial membrane potentials. LD50 of DHS was five-fold lower than that of silybin. Our data suggest that DHS may be more useful therapeutically than silybin.
Keywords: Flavonoid; Reactive oxygen species; Antioxidant; Cytoprotection; Liver injury; Apoptosis; MMP-9; Invasion; Transformed cell;

Examination of intrinsic sulfonamide resistance in Bacillus anthracis: A novel assay for dihydropteroate synthase by Michelle Wright Valderas; Babak Andi; William W. Barrow; Paul F. Cook (848-853).
Dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS) catalyzes the formation of dihydropteroate and Mg-pyrophosphate from 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin diphosphate and para-aminobenzoic acid. The Bacillus anthracis DHPS is intrinsically resistant to sulfonamides. However, using a radioassay that monitors the dihydropteroate product, the enzyme was inhibited by the same sulfonamides. A continuous spectrophotometric assay for measuring the enzymatic activity of DHPS was developed and used to examine the effects of sulfonamides on the enzyme. The new assay couples the production of MgPPi to the pyrophosphate-dependent phosphofructokinase/aldolase/triose isomerase/α-glycerophosphate dehydrogenase reactions and monitors the disappearance of NADH at 340nm. The coupled enzyme assay demonstrates that resistance of the B. anthracis DHPS results in part from the use of the sulfonamides as alternative substrates, resulting in the formation of sulfonamide-pterin adducts, and not necessarily due to an inability to bind them.
Keywords: Dihydropteroate synthase; Dihydropteroate; 6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin diphosphate; para-Aminobenzoic acid; Coupled spectrophotometric assay; Sulfonamide;

Photosensitizer effects on cancerous cells: A combined study using synchrotron infrared and fluorescence microscopies by Sirinart Chio-Srichan; Matthieu Réfrégiers; Frédéric Jamme; Slavka Kascakova; Valérie Rouam; Paul Dumas (854-860).
Hypocrellin A (HA), a lipid-soluble peryloquinone derivative, isolated from natural fungus sacs of Hypocrella bambusae, has been reported to be a highly potential photosensitizer in photodynamic therapy (PDT). It has been studied increasingly because of its anticancer activities when irradiated with light. We have studied the interaction mechanisms of HA with HeLa cells as a function of incubation time. Fluorescence microscopy confirmed that HA localisation is limited in the cytoplasm before eventually concentrating in clusters around the nucleus. The IR spectra of HA-treated, PDT-treated and control HeLa cells were recorded at the ESRF Infrared beamline (ID21). Principal component analysis has been used to assess the IR spectral changes between the various HeLa cells spectral data sets (The Unscrambler software, CAMO). PCA revealed that there is a frequency shift of protein amide I and amide II vibrational bands, indicating changes in the protein secondary structures of the HA-treated and PDT-treated cancer cells compared to the control cells. In addition, the relative DNA intensity in HA-treated cells decreases gradually along the incubation time. The use of synchrotron infrared microscopy is shown to be of paramount importance for targeting specifically the biochemical modification induced in the cell nucleus.
Keywords: Hypocrellin; Infrared; Fluorescence; Microscopy; Synchrotron; Photodynamic therapy; Cancer cell;