Biochemistry (Moscow) (v.76, #9)

This review presents observations on the role of Epac proteins (exchange protein directly activated by cAMP) in immunoregulation mechanisms. Signaling pathways that involve Epac proteins and their domain organization and functions are considered. The role of Epac1 protein expressed in the immune system cells is especially emphasized. Molecular mechanisms of the cAMP-dependent signal via Epac1 are analyzed in monocytes/macrophages, T-cells, and B-lymphocytes. The role of Epac1 is shown in the regulation of adhesion, leukocyte chemotaxis, as well as in phagocytosis and bacterial killing. The molecular cascade initiated by Epac1 is examined under conditions of antigen activation of T-cells and immature B-lymphocytes.
Keywords: Epac proteins; monocytes/macrophages; T-lymphocytes; B-lymphocytes

Whole genome methylation scanning based on phi29 polymerase amplification by R. Brooks; R. J. Rose; M. B. Sheahan; S. Kurdyukov (999-1002).
Identifying differences in DNA methylation is critical to understanding how epigenetics influences gene expression during processes such as development. Here, we propose a method that employs a single, methylation-sensitive restriction endonuclease of choice, to produce discrete pools of methylated and unmethylated DNA from the same sample. A pool of restriction fragments representing unmethylated regions of the genome is first obtained by digestion with a methylation-sensitive endonuclease. The restriction-digested DNA is then concatamerized in the presence of stuffer-adaptor DNA, which prevents interference from originally unmethylated DNA by blocking the ends of the restriction fragments. The concatamerized DNA is amplified by phi29 polymerase to remove methylation marks, and again digested with the same endonuclease to produce a pool of DNA fragments representing methylated portions of the genome. The two pools of DNA fragments thus obtained can be analyzed by end-sequencing or hybridization to a genomic array. In this report we detail a proof of concept experiment that demonstrates the feasibility of our method.
Keywords: whole genome methylation; phi29 polymerase; whole genome amplification; next-generation sequencing

Placenta is a source of carbohydrate-binding proteins that function as molecular scavengers, but they could also be involved in interactions that assist in metabolic control. Mannose/N-acetyl-glucosamine (Man/GlcNAc)-binding proteins from placenta were isolated and their reactivity towards placental insulin and insulin-like growth factor receptors (IR and IGF-Rs) was analyzed. The lectins reduced the binding of insulin and IGF-I in a dose-dependent manner, while almost no effect was observed on the binding of IGF-II. The shape of the inhibition curves changed, suggesting altered binding specificity. The presence of sugar could not reverse completely the effect of the lectins, implicating both lectin-sugar and protein-protein conformational recognition. Since biological molecules in our experimental system were those that are in close relation in vivo, placental Man/GlcNAc-specific lectins may be regarded as potential allosteric modulators of lig- and-receptor interactions in a system of homologous ligands, selectively affecting only binding to tyrosine kinase type receptors (IR and IGF-1R).
Keywords: insulin; insulin-like growth factors; receptors; lectins; placenta

Influence of proteasome inhibitor bortezomib on the expression of multidrug resistance genes and Akt kinase activity by L. A. Panischeva; E. S. Kakpakova; E. Y. Rybalkina; A. A. Stavrovskaya (1009-1016).
The goal of this work was to study the mechanisms of ABC family transport proteins’ regulation by a new-generation antitumor drug — the proteasome inhibitor bortezomib (Velcade). ABC transporters determine the multidrug resistance of tumor cells (MDR). We confirmed our previously discovered observation that bortezomib affects the expression of genes involved in the formation of MDR (ABCB1 gene, also known as MDR1, and ABCC1-MRP1), reducing the amount of their mRNA. This effect was found to depend on Akt kinase activity: the Akt activity inhibitor Ly 294002 increased the amount of MRP1 mRNA in KB 8-5 cells. It was also shown that bortezomib increased the amount of Akt kinase phosphorylated form in cell lines of malignant cells KB 8-5 and K 562/i-S9 that overexpressed ABCB1 transporter (Pgp), and did not affect the amount of activated Akt in the corresponding wild-type cells. When exposed to bortezomib, selection of resistant to it cell variants was much faster for a Pgp-overexpressing cell population (compared to wild-type cells). It is shown that bortezomib affects the amount of MRP1 gene mRNA, relocating the multifunctional protein YB-1, dependent on Akt activity, from cytoplasm to nuclei of MCF-7 breast cancer cells. The data indicate that the transcriptional activity of YB-1 might be one of the mechanisms that determine the effect of bortezomib on the amount of MRP1 gene mRNA.
Keywords: ABC protein family; multidrug resistance of tumors; bortezomib; Akt kinase

Telomerase activity was examined in two species of bat, Hipposideros armiger and Rousettus leschenaultia, which have similar body mass and lifespan but differ in use of hibernation. We found that telomerase activity was present in all tissues sampled, but it was greater in metabolically active tissues such as liver, spleen, and kidney. Of special interest is the raised activity found in the heterothermic bat H. armiger, and the hibernating bats having raised values for spleen, heart, and kidney. These findings show that maintenance of high levels of telomerase is an essential part of the regulation of cellular activities during hibernation.
Keywords: bat; body mass; hibernation; telomerase activity

Mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone derivative SkQ1 decreases ischemia-reperfusion injury during liver hypothermic storage for transplantation by D. V. Cherkashina; I. A. Sosimchik; O. A. Semenchenko; V. V. Volina; A. Yu. Petrenko (1022-1029).
The ability of the mitochondria-targeted plastoquinone derivative 10-(6′-plastoquinonyl)decyl triphenylphosphonium (SkQ1) to decrease ischemia-reperfusion injury in isolated liver during hypothermic storage (HS) was studied. Rat liver was stored for 24 h at 4°C without or in the presence of 1 μM SkQ1 with following reperfusion for 60 min at 37°C. The presence in the storage medium of SkQ1 significantly decreased spontaneous production of reactive oxygen species and intensity of lipid peroxidation in the liver during HS and reperfusion. The GSH level after HS in solution with SkQ1 was reliably higher, but reperfusion leveled this effect. At all stages of experiment the presence of SkQ1 did not prevent the decrease of antioxidant enzyme activities such as catalase, GSH peroxidase, GSH reductase, and glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. The addition of SkQ1 to the storage medium improved energetic function of the liver, as was revealed in increased respiratory control index of mitochondria and ATP level. SkQ1 exhibited positive effect on the liver secretory function and morphology after HS as revealed in enhanced bile flow rate during reperfusion and partial recovery of organ architectonics and state of liver sinusoids and hepatocytes. The data point to promising application of mitochondria-targeted antioxidants for correction of the ischemia-reperfusion injury of isolated liver during long-term cold storage before transplantation.
Keywords: mitochondria-targeted antioxidant; SkQ1 ; ischemia-reperfusion injury; hypothermic storage of isolated liver; free radical processes; respiratory activity of mitochondria

Selenoprotein dSelK in Drosophila elevates release of Ca2+ from endoplasmic reticulum by upregulating expression of inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate receptor by S. B. Ben; Q. Y. Wang; L. Xia; J. Z. Xia; J. Cui; J. Wang; F. Yang; H. Bai; M. S. Shim; B. J. Lee; L. G. Sun; C. L. Chen (1030-1036).
dSelK (G-rich), a homolog of human and mouse SelK, is one of three selenoproteins in Drosophila melanogaster. It is the only trans-membrane selenoprotein in D. melanogaster integrated into both the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane and the Golgi apparatus. The gene expression profile of Drosophila Schneider 2 (S2) cells after the dsRNA interference (dsRNAi) targeting of dSelK was examined with the GeneChip Drosophila Genome 2.0 Array (Affymetrix), a high-density oligonucleotide microarray encompassing nearly the full Drosophila genome. The results showed that the transcriptional expression of eight genes whose proteins are located on (or related to) the ER or the Golgi apparatus was highly induced or repressed by the dsRNAi treatment. The mRNA levels of the inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate receptor (IP3 receptor), whose gene product is integrated into the ER membrane and regulates the release of Ca2+ from the ER to the cytosol, were significantly downregulated. In contrast, the expression of inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate kinase 1, which is a cytosolic protein with opposing functions to the IP3 receptor, was significantly upregulated. Quantitative real-time PCR verified these results. The concentration of intracellular free Ca2+ of the Drosophila S2 cells was significantly decreased after the knockdown of dSelK, whereas overexpression of dSelK significantly increased the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration. These results indicate that dSelK in D. melanogaster is involved in regulating the release of Ca2+ from the ER to the cytosol and may play important roles in the signal transduction pathways involving Ca2+ mobilization.
Keywords: Drosophila melanogaster ; selenoprotein; dSelK; dsRNAi; inositol 1,4,5-tris-phosphate receptor; Ca2+

Identification of latent periodicity in domains of alkaline proteases by Xiaofeng Ji; Jun Sheng; Fang Wang; Suzhen Zhang; Jianhua Hao; Haiying Wang; Mi Sun (1037-1042).
Internal repeats in protein sequences have wide-ranging implications for the structure and function of proteins. A keen analysis of the repeats in protein sequences may help us to better understand the structural organization of proteins and their evolutionary relations. In this paper, a mathematical method for searching for latent periodicity in protein sequences is developed. Using this method, we identified simple sequence repeats in the alkaline proteases and found that the sequences could show the same periodicity as their tertiary structures. This result may help us to reduce difficulties in the study of the relationship between sequences and their structures.

Antiviral resistance mutations potentiate HBV surface antigen-induced transcription of hfgl2 prothrombinase gene by Weina Li; Meifang Han; Yong Li; Dan Chen; Xiaoping Luo; Qin Ning (1043-1050).
Antiviral resistance mutations in the hepatitis B virus (HBV) polymerase (pol) gene have been demonstrated to play an important role in the progression of liver disease and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma. The HBV pol gene overlaps the S gene encoding surface antigen (HBsAg). Previous studies from our laboratory have shown that HBV core protein (HBc) and X protein (HBx), but not HBV S protein (HBs), promote hfgl2 prothrombinase transcription. To investigate whether the nucleotide (nucleoside)-induced resistant mutations of HBs potentiate transcription of hfgl2 prothrombinase gene, we generated two mutant HB expression constructs harboring rtM204V/sI195M or rtM204I/sW196L mutations. Two mutant expression plasmids were co-transfected with hfgl2 promoter luciferase-reporter plasmids and β-galactosidase plasmid in CHO cells and HepG2 cells, respectively. Luciferase assay showed that the rtM204I/V mutant HBs could activate the transcription of hfgl2 promoter compared with the wild type HBs. Site-directed mutagenesis and further experiment (co-transfection) demonstrated that transcription factor Ets translocated to its cognate cis-element in the hfgl2 promoter. The results show that mutated HBs caused by antiviral drug resistance induce transcription of the hfgl2 gene dependent on the transcription factor Ets.
Keywords: hfgl2 ; antiviral resistance; HBsAg; transcription; mutation

Differential inhibition/inactivation of mitochondrial complex I implicates its alteration in malignant cells by A. Ghosh; S. Bera; S. Ghosal; S. Ray; A. Basu; M. Ray (1051-1060).
Methylglyoxal strongly inhibited mitochondrial respiration of a wide variety of malignant tissues including sarcoma of mice, whereas no such significant effect was noted on mitochondrial respiration of normal tissues with the exception of cardiac cells. This inhibition by methylglyoxal was found to be at the level of mitochondrial complex I (NADH dehydrogenase) of the electron transport chain. L-Lactaldehyde, which is structurally and metabolically related to methylglyoxal, could protect against this inhibition. NADH dehydrogenase of submitochondrial particles of malignant and cardiac cells was inhibited by methylglyoxal. This enzyme of these cells was also inactivated by methylglyoxal. The possible involvement of lysine residue(s) for the activity of NADH dehydrogenase was also investigated by using lysine-specific reagents trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) and pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (PP). Inactivation of NADH dehydrogenase by both TNBS and PP convincingly demonstrated the involvement of lysine residue(s) for the activity of the sarcoma and cardiac enzymes, whereas both TNBS and PP failed to inactivate the enzymes of skeletal muscle and liver. Together these studies demonstrate a specific effect of methylglyoxal on mitochondrial complex I of malignant cells and importantly some distinct alteration of this complex in cancer cells.
Keywords: sarcoma; NADH dehydrogenase; methylglyoxal; lactaldehyde

Interaction of transketolase from human tissues with substrates by L. E. Meshalkina; O. N. Solovjeva; G. A. Kochetov (1061-1064).
The Michaelis constant values for substrates of transketolase from human tissues were determined over a wide range of substrate concentrations. It is shown that K m values determined by other authors are significantly overestimated and explained why this is so.
Keywords: human tissues transketolase; thiamine diphosphate; K m for substrates of human tissues transketolase

Relative DNase, RNase (efficiency of hydrolysis of ribo- and deoxyribooligonucleotides (ON)), and phosphatase (removal of the ON 5′ terminal phosphate) catalytic activities of antibodies (AB) obtained after rabbit immunization by DNA, DNase I, and DNase II were compared. It is shown that electrophoretically homogeneous preparations of polyclonal AB from non-immunized rabbits did not exhibit such activities. Immunization of rabbits by DNA, DNase I, and DNase II results in generation of IgG abzymes that exhibit high activity in the ON hydrolysis reaction and even higher activity in cleavage of 5′ terminal phosphate of ON. In this case K m values for supercoiled plasmid DNA and ON found in reactions of their AB-dependent nuclease hydrolysis and phosphatase cleavage of 5′ terminal phosphate differ by 2–4 orders of magnitude. This shows that nuclease and phosphatase activities belong to different abzyme fractions within polyclonal AB. Thus, in this work data indicative of the possibility of a formation of antibodies exhibiting phosphatase activity after immunization of animals with DNA, DNase I, and DNase II, were obtained for the first time. Possible reasons for production of AB with phosphatase activity after immunization of rabbits with these immunogens are discussed.
Keywords: immunization of rabbits with DNA, DNase I, and DNase II; abzymes with RNase, DNase, and phosphatase activities