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See detailDevelopment of pure prolactin receptor antagonists
Bernichtein, Sophie; Kayser, Christine; Dillner, Karin et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2003), 278(38), 35988-99

Prolactin (PRL) promotes tumor growth in various experimental models and leads to prostate hyperplasia and mammary neoplasia in PRL transgenic mice. Increasing experimental evidence argues for the ... [more ▼]

Prolactin (PRL) promotes tumor growth in various experimental models and leads to prostate hyperplasia and mammary neoplasia in PRL transgenic mice. Increasing experimental evidence argues for the involvement of autocrine PRL in this process. PRL receptor antagonists have been developed to counteract these undesired proliferative actions of PRL. However, all forms of PRL receptor antagonists obtained to date exhibit partial agonism, preventing their therapeutic use as full antagonists. In the present study, we describe the development of new human PRL antagonists devoid of agonistic properties and therefore able to act as pure antagonists. This was demonstrated using several in vitro bioassays, including highly sensitive assays able to detect extremely low levels of receptor activation. These new compounds also act as pure antagonists in vivo, as assessed by analyzing their ability to competitively inhibit PRL-triggered signaling cascades in various target tissues (liver, mammary gland, and prostate). Finally, by using transgenic mice expressing PRL specifically in the prostate, which exhibit constitutively activated signaling cascades paralleling hyperplasia, we show that these new PRL analogs are able to completely revert PRL-activated events. These second generation human PRL antagonists are good candidates to be used as inhibitors of growth-promoting actions of PRL. [less ▲]

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See detailDual effects of an extra disulfide bond on the activity and stability of a cold-adapted alpha-amylase
D'Amico, Salvino ULg; Gerday, Charles ULg; Feller, Georges ULg

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(48), 46110-46115

Chloride-dependent alpha-amylases constitute a well conserved family of enzymes thereby allowing investigation of the characteristics of each member to understand, for example, relevant properties ... [more ▼]

Chloride-dependent alpha-amylases constitute a well conserved family of enzymes thereby allowing investigation of the characteristics of each member to understand, for example, relevant properties required for environmental adaptation. In this context, we have constructed a double mutant (Q58C/A99C) of the cold-active and heat-labile alpha-amylase from the Antarctic bacterium Pseudoalteromonas haloplanktis, defined on the basis of its strong similarity with the mesophilic enzyme from pig pancreas. This mutant was characterized to understand the role of an extra disulfide bond specific to warm-blooded animals and located near the entrance of the catalytic cleft. We show that the catalytic parameters of the mutant are drastically modified and similar to those of the mesophilic enzyme. Calorimetric studies demonstrated that the mutant is globally stabilized (DeltaDeltaG = 1.87 kcal/mol at 20 degrees C) when compared with the wild-type enzyme, although the melting point (T-m) was not increased. Moreover, fluorescence quenching experiments indicate a more compact structure for the mutated a-amylase. However, the strain imposed on the active site architecture induces a 2-fold higher thermal inactivation rate at 45 degreesC as well as the appearance of a less stable calorimetric domain. It is concluded that stabilization by the extra disulfide bond arises from an enthalpy-entropy compensation effect favoring the enthalpic contribution. [less ▲]

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See detailPitx factors are involved in basal and hormone-regulated activity of the human prolactin promoter
Quentien, M. H.; Manfroid, Isabelle ULg; Moncet, D. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(46), 44408-44416

The pituitary-specific POU homeodomain factor Pit-1 likely interacts with other factors for cell-specific expression of prolactin. Here we identify the paired-like homeobox transcription factors Pitx1 and ... [more ▼]

The pituitary-specific POU homeodomain factor Pit-1 likely interacts with other factors for cell-specific expression of prolactin. Here we identify the paired-like homeobox transcription factors Pitx1 and Pitx2 as factors functionally activating the proximal human prolactin promoter (hPRL-164luc). Using in vitro binding assays and a series of site-specific mutations of the proximal hPRL promoter, we mapped the 131 and B2 bicoid sites involved in Pitx-mediated transactivation of the hPRL-164luc construct. In somatolactotroph GH4C1 cells, basal proximal hPRL promoter activity was inhibited by a Pitx2 dominant-negative form in a dose-dependent manner, whereas binding disruptive mutations in the Pitx sites significantly reduced basal activity of the promoter. We also show that synergistic activation of hPRL-164luc by Pitx2 and Pit-1 requires the integrity of the B2 Pitx binding site, and at least one of the P1 and P2 Pit-1 response elements. In addition, mutation in the B2 Pitx site results in attenuation of the promoter's responsiveness to forskolin, thyrotropin-releasing hormone, and epidermal growth factor. Conversely, Pitx1 or Pitx2 overexpression in GH4C1 cells leads to an enhancement of the drugs stimulatory effects. Altogether, these results suggest that full responsiveness to several signaling pathways regulating the hPRL promoter requires the B2 Pitx binding site and that Pitx factors may be part of the proteic complex involved in these regulations. Finally, in situ hybridization analysis showing coexpression of the PRL and Pitx2 genes in rat and human lactotroph cells corroborates the physiological relevance of these results. [less ▲]

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See detailAssociation of the adaptor TANK with the IκB kinase (IKK) regulator NEMO connects IKK complexes with IKKε and TBK1 kinases
Chariot, Alain ULg; Leonardi, Antonio; Muller, Jean-Noel ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(40), 37029-37036

Canonical activation of NF-kappaB is mediated via phosphorylation of the inhibitory IkappaB proteins by the IkappaB kinase complex (IKK). IKK is composed of a heterodimer of the catalytic IKKalpha and ... [more ▼]

Canonical activation of NF-kappaB is mediated via phosphorylation of the inhibitory IkappaB proteins by the IkappaB kinase complex (IKK). IKK is composed of a heterodimer of the catalytic IKKalpha and IKKbeta subunits and a presumed regulatory protein termed NEMO (NF-kappaB essential modulator) or IKKgamma. NEMO/IKKgamma is indispensable for activation of the IKKs in response to many signals, but its mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we identify TANK (TRAF family member-associated NF-kappaB activator) as a NEMO/IKKgamma-interacting protein via yeast two-hybrid analyses. This interaction is confirmed in mammalian cells, and the domains required are mapped. TANK was previously shown to assist NF-kappaB activation in a complex with TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) or IKKepsilon, two kinases distantly related to IKKalpha/beta, but the underlying mechanisms remained unknown. Here we show that TBK1 and IKKepsilon synergize with TANK to promote interaction with the IKKs. The TANK binding domain within NEMO/IKKgamma is required for proper functioning of this IKK subunit. These results indicate that TANK can synergize with IKKepsilon or TBK1 to link them to IKK complexes, where the two kinases may modulate aspects of NF-kappaB activation. [less ▲]

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See detailA novel family 8 xylanase, functional and physicochemical characterization
Collins, T.; Meuwis, Marie-Alice ULg; Stals, I. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(38), 35133-35139

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See detailPhosphorylation of varicella-zoster virus IE63 protein by casein kinases influences its cellular localization and gene regulation activity
Bontems, Sébastien ULg; Di Valentin, Emmanuel ULg; Baudoux, Laurence et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(23), 21050-21060

During the early phase of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, Immediate Early protein 63 (IE63) is expressed rapidly and abundantly in the nucleus, while during latency, this protein is confined ... [more ▼]

During the early phase of varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infection, Immediate Early protein 63 (IE63) is expressed rapidly and abundantly in the nucleus, while during latency, this protein is confined mostly to the cytoplasm. Because phosphorylation is known to regulate many cellular events, we investigated the importance of this modification on the cellular localization of IE63 and on its regulatory properties. We demonstrate here that cellular casein kinases I and II are implicated in the in vitro and in vivo phosphorylation of IE63. A mutational approach also indicated that phosphorylation of the protein is important for its correct cellular localization in a cell type-dependent fashion. Using an activity test, we demonstrated that IE63 was able to repress the gene expression driven by two VZV promoters and that phosphorylation of the protein was required for its full repressive properties. Finally, we showed that IE63 was capable of exerting its repressive activity in the cytoplasm, as well as in the nucleus, suggesting a regulation at the transcriptional and/or post-transcriptional level. [less ▲]

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See detailSubdivision of the helix-turn-helix GntR family of bacterial regulators in the FadR, HutC, MocR, and YtrA subfamilies
Rigali, Sébastien ULg; Derouaux, Adeline ULg; Giannotta, F. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(15), 12507-12515

Haydon and Guest (Haydon, D. J, and Guest, J. R. (1991) FEMS Microbiol Lett. 63, 291-295) first described the helix-turn-helix GntR family of bacterial regulators. They presented them as transcription ... [more ▼]

Haydon and Guest (Haydon, D. J, and Guest, J. R. (1991) FEMS Microbiol Lett. 63, 291-295) first described the helix-turn-helix GntR family of bacterial regulators. They presented them as transcription factors sharing a similar N-terminal DNA-binding (D-b) domain, but they observed near-maximal divergence in the C-terminal effector-binding and oligomerization (E-b/O) domain. To elucidate this C-terminal heterogeneity, structural, phylogenetic, and functional analyses were performed on a family that now comprises about 270 members. Our comparative study first focused on the C-terminal E-b/O domains and next on DNA-binding domains and palindromic operator sequences, has classified the GntR members into four subfamilies that we called FadR, HutC, MocR, and YtrA. Among these subfamilies a degree of similarity of about 55% was observed throughout the entire sequence. Structure/function associations were highlighted although they were not absolutely stringent. The consensus sequences deduced for the DNA-binding domain were slightly different for each subfamily, suggesting that fusion between the D-b and E-b/O domains have occurred separately, with each subfamily having its own D-b domain ancestor. Moreover, the compilation of the known or predicted palindromic cis-acting elements has highlighted different operator sequences according to our subfamily subdivision. The observed C-terminal E-b/O domain heterogeneity was therefore reflected on the DNA-binding domain and on the cis-acting elements, suggesting the existence of a tight link between the three regions involved in the regulating process. [less ▲]

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See detailCloning and characterization of ADAMTS-14, a novel ADAMTS displaying high homology with ADAMTS-2 and ADAMTS-3.
Colige, Alain ULg; Vandenberghe, Isabel; Thiry, Marc ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(8), 5756-66

The processing of amino- and carboxyl-propeptides of fibrillar collagens is required to generate collagen monomers that correctly assemble into fibrils. Mutations in the ADAMTS2 gene, the ... [more ▼]

The processing of amino- and carboxyl-propeptides of fibrillar collagens is required to generate collagen monomers that correctly assemble into fibrils. Mutations in the ADAMTS2 gene, the aminopropeptidase of procollagen I and II, result in the accumulation of non-fully processed type I procollagen, causing human Ehlers-Danlos syndrome type VIIC and animal dermatosparaxis. In this study, we show that the aminopropeptide of type I procollagen can be cleaved in vivo in absence of ADAMTS-2 activity and that this processing is performed at the cleavage site for ADAMTS-2. In an attempt to identify the enzyme responsible for this alternative aminoprocollagen peptidase activity, we have cloned the cDNA and determined the primary structure of human and mouse ADAMTS-14, a novel ADAMTS displaying striking homologies with ADAMTS-2 and -3. The structure of the human gene, which maps to 10q21.3, and the mechanisms of generation of the various transcripts are described. The existence of two sites of initiation of transcription, in two different promoter contexts, suggests that transcripts resulting from these two sites can be differently regulated. The tissue distribution of ADAMTS-14, the regulation of the gene expression by various cytokines and the activity of the recombinant enzyme are evaluated. The potential function of ADAMTS-14 as a physiological aminoprocollagen peptidase in vivo is discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of a karyopherin alpha 2 recognition site in PLAG1, which functions as a nuclear localization signal.
Braem, Caroline V; Kas, Koen; Meyen, Eva et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(22), 19673-8

The activation of the pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) is the most frequent gain-of-function mutation found in pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands. To gain more insight into the regulation of ... [more ▼]

The activation of the pleomorphic adenoma gene 1 (PLAG1) is the most frequent gain-of-function mutation found in pleomorphic adenomas of the salivary glands. To gain more insight into the regulation of PLAG1 function, we searched for PLAG1-interacting proteins. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we identified karyopherin alpha2 as a PLAG1-interacting protein. Physical interaction between PLAG1 and karyopherin alpha2 was confirmed by an in vitro glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay. Karyopherin alpha2 escorts proteins into the nucleus via interaction with a nuclear localization sequence (NLS) composed of short stretches of basic amino acids. Two putative NLSs were identified in PLAG1. The predicted NLS1 (KRKR) was essential for physical interaction with karyopherin alpha2 in glutathione S-transferase pull-down assay, and its mutation resulted in decreased nuclear import of PLAG1. Moreover, NLS1 was able to drive the nuclear import of the cytoplasmic protein beta-galactosidase. In contrast, predicted NLS2 of PLAG1 (KPRK) was not involved in karyopherin alpha2 binding nor in its nuclear import. The residual nuclear import of PLAG1 after mutation of the NLS1 was assigned to the zinc finger domain of PLAG1. These observations indicate that the nuclear import of PLAG1 is governed by its zinc finger domain and by NLS1, a karyopherin alpha2 recognition site. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular characterization of a specific thiamine triphosphatase widely expressed in mammalian tissues
Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Makarchikov, Alexander F; Antunes, Adelio F et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2002), 277(16), 13771-13777

Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is found at low concentrations in most animal tissues, and recent data suggest that it may act as a phosphate donor for the phosphorylation of some proteins. In the mammalian ... [more ▼]

Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is found at low concentrations in most animal tissues, and recent data suggest that it may act as a phosphate donor for the phosphorylation of some proteins. In the mammalian brain, ThTP synthesis is rapid, but its steady-state concentration remains low, presumably because of rapid hydrolysis. In this report we purified a soluble thiamine triphosphatase (ThTPase; EC 3.6.1.28) from calf brain. The bovine ThTPase is a 24-kDa monomer, hydrolyzing ThTP with virtually absolute specificity. Partial sequence data obtained from the purified bovine enzyme by tandem mass spectrometry were used to search the GenBank(TM) data base. A significant identity was found with only one human sequence, the hypothetical 230-amino acid protein MGC2652. The coding regions from human and bovine brain mRNA were amplified by reverse transcription-PCR, cloned in Escherichia coli, and sequenced. The human open reading frame was expressed in E. coli as a GST fusion protein. Transformed bacteria had a high isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside-inducible ThTPase activity. The recombinant ThTPase had properties similar to those of human brain ThTPase, and it was specific for ThTP. The mRNA was expressed in most human tissues but at relatively low levels. This is the first report of a molecular characterization of a specific ThTPase. [less ▲]

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See detailMetal Ion Binding and Coordination Geometry for Wild Type and Mutants of Metallo-Beta -Lactamase from Bacillus Cereus 569/H/9 (Bcii): A Combined Thermodynamic, Kinetic, and Spectroscopic Approach
De Seny, Dominique ULg; Heinz, U.; Wommer, S. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(48), 45065-78

One high affinity (nm) and one low affinity (microM) macroscopic dissociation constant for the binding of metal ions were found for the wild-type metallo-beta-lactamase from Bacillus cereus as well as six ... [more ▼]

One high affinity (nm) and one low affinity (microM) macroscopic dissociation constant for the binding of metal ions were found for the wild-type metallo-beta-lactamase from Bacillus cereus as well as six single-site mutants in which all ligands in the two metal binding sites were altered. Surprisingly, the mutations did not cause a specific alteration of the affinity of metal ions for the sole modified binding site as determined by extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) and perturbed angular correlation of gamma-rays spectroscopy, respectively. Also UV-visible absorption spectra for the mono-cobalt enzymes clearly contain contributions from both metal sites. The observations of the very similar microscopic dissociation constants of both binding sites in contrast to the significantly differing macroscopic dissociation constants inevitably led to the conclusion that binding to the two metal sites exhibits negative cooperativity. The slow association rates for forming the binuclear enzyme determined by stopped-flow fluorescence measurements suggested that fast metal exchange between the two sites for the mononuclear enzyme hinders the binding of a second metal ion. EXAFS spectroscopy of the mono- and di-zinc wild type enzymes and two di-zinc mutants provide a definition of the metal ion environments, which is compared with the available x-ray crystallographic data. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural Determinants of Cold Adaptation and Stability in a Large Protein
D'Amico, Salvino ULg; Gerday, Charles ULg; Feller, Georges ULg

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(28), 25791-6

The heat-labile alpha-amylase from an antarctic bacterium is the largest known protein that unfolds reversibly according to a two-state transition as shown by differential scanning calorimetry. Mutants of ... [more ▼]

The heat-labile alpha-amylase from an antarctic bacterium is the largest known protein that unfolds reversibly according to a two-state transition as shown by differential scanning calorimetry. Mutants of this enzyme were produced, carrying additional weak interactions found in thermostable alpha-amylases. It is shown that single amino acid side chain substitutions can significantly modify the melting point T(m), the calorimetric enthalpy Delta H(cal), the cooperativity and reversibility of unfolding, the thermal inactivation rate constant, and the kinetic parameters k(cat) and K(m). The correlation between thermal inactivation and unfolding reversibility displayed by the mutants also shows that stabilizing interactions increase the frequency of side reactions during refolding, leading to intramolecular mismatches or aggregations typical of large proteins. Although all mutations were located far from the active site, their overall trend is to decrease both k(cat) and K(m) by rigidifying the molecule and to protect mutants against thermal inactivation. The effects of these mutations indicate that the cold-adapted alpha-amylase has lost a large number of weak interactions during evolution to reach the required conformational plasticity for catalysis at low temperatures, thereby producing an enzyme close to the lowest stability allowing maintenance of the native conformation. [less ▲]

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See detailFli-1 inhibits collagen type I production in dermal fibroblasts via an Sp1-dependent pathway.
Czuwara-Ladykowska, Joanna; Shirasaki, Fumiaki; Jackers, Pascale ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(24), 20839-20848

Fibrosis is characterized by the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), especially collagen. Because Ets factors are implicated in physiological and pathological ECM remodeling, the aim of ... [more ▼]

Fibrosis is characterized by the excessive deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM), especially collagen. Because Ets factors are implicated in physiological and pathological ECM remodeling, the aim of this study was to investigate the role of Ets factors in collagen production. We demonstrate that the expression of collagenous proteins and collagen alpha2(I) (COL1A2) mRNA was inhibited following stable transfection of Fli-1 in dermal fibroblasts. Subsequent analysis of the COL1A2 promoter identified a critical Ets binding site that mediates Fli-1 inhibition. In contrast, Ets-1 stimulates COL1A2 promoter activity. In vitro binding assays demonstrate that both Fli-1 and Ets-1 form DNA-protein complexes with sequences present in COL1A2 promoter. Furthermore, Fli-1 binding to the COL1A2 is enhanced via Sp1-dependent interaction. Studies using Fli-1 dominant interference and DNA binding mutants indicate that Fli-1 inhibition is mediated by both direct (DNA binding) and indirect (via protein-protein interaction) mechanisms and that Sp1 is an important mediator of the Fli-1 function. Furthermore, experiments using the Gal4 system in the context of different cell types as well as experiments with the COL1A2 promoter in different cell lines demonstrate that the direction and magnitude of the effect of Fli-1 is promoter- and cell context-specific. We propose that Fli-1 inhibits COL1A2 promoter activity by competition with Ets-1. In addition, we postulate that another factor (co-repressor) may be required for maximal inhibition after recruitment to the Fli-1-Sp1 complex. We conclude that the ratio of Fli-1 to Ets-1 and the presence of co-regulatory proteins ultimately control ECM production in fibroblasts. [less ▲]

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See detailThiomandelic acid, a broad spectrum inhibitor of zinc beta-lactamases: kinetic and spectroscopic studies.
Mollard, C.; Moali, C.; Papamicael, C. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(48), 45015-23

Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics mediated by metallo-beta-lactamases is an increasingly worrying clinical problem. Candidate inhibitors include mercaptocarboxylic acids, and we report studies of a ... [more ▼]

Resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics mediated by metallo-beta-lactamases is an increasingly worrying clinical problem. Candidate inhibitors include mercaptocarboxylic acids, and we report studies of a simple such compound, thiomandelic acid. A series of 35 analogues were synthesized and examined as metallo-beta-lactamase inhibitors. The K(i) values (Bacillus cereus enzyme) are 0.09 microm for R-thiomandelic acid and 1.28 microm for the S-isomer. Structure-activity relationships show that the thiol is essential for activity and the carboxylate increases potency; the affinity is greatest when these groups are close together. Thioesters of thiomandelic acid are substrates for the enzyme, liberating thiomandelic acid, suggesting a starting point for the design of "pro-drugs." Importantly, thiomandelic acid is a broad spectrum inhibitor of metallo-beta-lactamases, with a submicromolar K(i) value for all nine enzymes tested, except the Aeromonas hydrophila enzyme; such a wide spectrum of activity is unprecedented. The binding of thiomandelic acid to the B. cereus enzyme was studied by NMR; the results are consistent with the idea that the inhibitor thiol binds to both zinc ions, while its carboxylate binds to Arg(91). Amide chemical shift perturbations for residues 30-40 (the beta(3)-beta(4) loop) suggest that this small inhibitor induces a movement of this loop of the kind seen for other larger inhibitors. [less ▲]

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See detailInteraction Between The N-Terminal Domain Of Gastric H,K-Atpase And The Spectrin Binding Domain Of Ankyrin Iii
Festy, F.; Robert, Jocelyne ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(11), 7721-6

We screened a cDNA bank of rabbit gastric fundic mucosa by two-hybrid assays looking for binding partners of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. We extracted five clones sharing more ... [more ▼]

We screened a cDNA bank of rabbit gastric fundic mucosa by two-hybrid assays looking for binding partners of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. We extracted five clones sharing more than 90% sequence identity. The longest clone codes for a protein sharing a high identity (96 and 96.8%, respectively) with a fragment of the membrane domain, from Arg-835 to Ser-873, plus the major part of the "spectrin binding domain" going from Glu-874 to Leu-1455 of human and mouse ankyrin III. We conclude that the membrane and spectrin binding domains of the rabbit ankyrin III are candidates for the binding partner of the N-terminal domain of the rabbit gastric H,K-ATPase. To validate the ankyrin-ATPase interaction and to test its specificity, we produced both domains in yeast and bacteria, coimmunoprecipitated them with an anti-ATPase antibody, and copurified them by affinity chromatography. The sequence of rabbit ankyrin III was not known, and this is the first report demonstrating that the ankyrin III and the H,K-ATPase interact with no intermediate. The interaction involves the N-terminal domain of the ATPase on one hand and the spectrin binding domain of the ankyrin on the other. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Human Vpac(1) Receptor - Three-Dimensional Model And Mutagenesis Of The N-Terminal Domain
Lins, Laurence ULg; Couvineau, A.; Rouyer-Fessard, C. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(13),

The human VPAC(1) receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide belongs to the class II family of G-protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane ... [more ▼]

The human VPAC(1) receptor for vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase activating peptide belongs to the class II family of G-protein-coupled receptors with seven transmembrane segments. Like for all class II receptors, the extracellular N-terminal domain of the human VPAC(1) receptor plays a predominant role in peptide ligand recognition. To determine the three-dimensional structure of this N-terminal domain (residues 1-144), the Protein Data Bank (PDB) was screened for a homologous protein. A subdomain of yeast lipase B was found to have 27% sequence identity and 50% sequence homology with the N-terminal domain (8) of the VPAC(1) receptor together with a good alignment of the hydrophobic clusters. A model of the N-terminal domain of VPAC(1) receptor was thus constructed by homology. It indicated the presence of a putative signal sequence in the N-terminal extremity. Moreover, residues (Glu(36), Trp(67), Asp(68), Trp(73), and Gly(109)) which were shown to be crucial for VIP binding are gathered around a groove that is essentially negatively charged. New putatively important residues for VIP binding were suggested from the model analysis. Site-directed mutagenesis and stable transfection of mutants in CHO cells indicated that Pro(74), Pro(87), Phe(90), and Trp(110) are indeed important for VIP binding and activation of adenylyl cyclase activation. Combination of molecular modeling and directed mutagenesis provided the first partial three-dimensional structure of a VIP-binding domain, constituted of an electronegative groove with an outspanning tryptophan shell at one end, in the N-terminal extracellular region of the human VPAC(1) receptor. [less ▲]

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See detailExpression and function of the collagen receptor GPVI during megakaryocyte maturation.
Lagrue-Lak-Hal, A. H.; Debili, N.; Kingbury, G. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(18), 15316-25

In this report, the expression and function of the platelet collagen receptor glycoprotein VI (GPVI) were studied in human megakaryocytes during differentiation and maturation of mobilized blood and cord ... [more ▼]

In this report, the expression and function of the platelet collagen receptor glycoprotein VI (GPVI) were studied in human megakaryocytes during differentiation and maturation of mobilized blood and cord blood derived CD34(+) cells. By flow cytometry, using an anti-GPVI monoclonal antibody or convulxin, a GPVI-specific ligand, GPVI was detected only on CD41(+) cells including some CD41(+)/CD34(+) cells, suggesting expression at a stage of differentiation similar to CD41. These results were confirmed at the mRNA level using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. GPVI expression was low during megakaryocytic differentiation but increased in the more mature megakaryocytes (CD41(high)). As in platelets, megakaryocyte GPVI associates with the Fc receptor gamma chain (FcRgamma). The FcR gamma chain was detected at the RNA and protein level at all stages of megakaryocyte maturation preceding the expression of GPVI. The other collagen receptor, alpha(2)beta(1) integrin (CD49b/CD29), had a pattern of expression similar to GPVI. Megakaryocytic GPVI was recognized as a 55-kDa protein by immunoblotting and ligand blotting, and thus it presented a slightly lower apparent molecular mass than platelet GPVI (58 kDa). Megakaryocytes began to adhere to immobilized convulxin via GPVI after only 8-10 days of culture, at a time when megakaryocytes were maturing. At this stage of maturation, they also adhered to immobilized collagen by alpha(2)beta(1) integrin-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Convulxin induced a very similar pattern of protein tyrosine phosphorylation in megakaryocytes and platelets including Syk, FcRgamma, and PLC(gamma)2. Our results showed that GPVI is expressed early during megakaryocytic differentiation but functionally allows megakaryocyte adherence to collagen only at late stages of differentiation when its expression increases. [less ▲]

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See detailDistinct carbohydrate recognition domains of an invertebrate defense molecule recognize Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria.
Bilej, M.; De Baetselier, P.; Van Dijck, E. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(49), 45840-7

Coelomic fluid of Eisenia foetida earthworms (Oligochaeta, Annelida) contains a 42-kDa defense molecule named CCF for coelomic cytolytic factor. By binding microbial antigens, namely the O-antigen of ... [more ▼]

Coelomic fluid of Eisenia foetida earthworms (Oligochaeta, Annelida) contains a 42-kDa defense molecule named CCF for coelomic cytolytic factor. By binding microbial antigens, namely the O-antigen of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), beta-1,3-glucans, or N,N'-diacetylchitobiose present, respectively, on Gram-negative bacteria or yeast cell walls, CCF triggers the prophenoloxidase activating pathway. We report that CCF recognizes lysozyme-predigested Gram-positive bacteria or the peptidoglycan constituent muramyl dipeptide as well as muramic acid. To identify the pattern recognition domains of CCF, deletion mutants were tested for their ability to reconstitute the prophenoloxidase cascade in E. foetida coelomic fluid depleted of endogenous CCF in the presence of LPS, beta-1,3-glucans, N,N'-diacetylchitobiose, and muramic acid. In addition, affinity chromatography of CCF peptides was performed on immobilized beta-1,3-glucans or N,N'-diacetylchitobiose. We found that the broad specificity of CCF for pathogen-associated molecular patterns results from the presence of two distinct pattern recognition domains. One domain, which shows homology with the polysaccharide and glucanase motifs of beta-1,3-glucanases and invertebrate defense molecules located in the central part of the CCF polypeptide chain, interacts with LPS and beta-1,3-glucans. The C-terminal tryptophan-rich domain mediates interactions of CCF with N,N'-diacetylchitobiose and muramic acid. These data provide evidence for the presence of spatially distinct carbohydrate recognition domains within this invertebrate defense molecule. [less ▲]

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See detailProcollagen II amino propeptide processing by ADAMTS-3. Insights on dermatosparaxis.
Fernandes, R. J.; Hirohata, S.; Engle, J. M. et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (2001), 276(34), 31502-9

The amino and carboxyl propeptides of procollagens I and II are removed by specific enzymes as a prerequisite for fibril assembly. Null mutations in procollagen I N-propeptidase (ADAMTS-2) cause ... [more ▼]

The amino and carboxyl propeptides of procollagens I and II are removed by specific enzymes as a prerequisite for fibril assembly. Null mutations in procollagen I N-propeptidase (ADAMTS-2) cause dermatosparaxis in cattle and the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (dermatosparactic type) in humans by preventing proteolytic excision of the N-propeptide of procollagen I. We have found that procollagen II is processed normally in dermatosparactic nasal cartilage, suggesting the existence of another N-propeptidase(s). We investigated such a role for ADAMTS-3 in Swarm rat chondrosarcoma RCS-LTC cells, which fail to process the procollagen II N-propeptide. Stable transfection of RCS-LTC cells with bovine ADAMTS-2 or human ADAMTS-3 partially rescued the processing defect, suggesting that ADAMTS-3 has procollagen II N-propeptidase activity. Human skin and skin fibroblasts showed 30-fold higher mRNA levels of ADAMTS-2 than ADAMTS-3, whereas ADAMTS-3 mRNA was 5-fold higher than ADAMTS-2 mRNA in human cartilage. We propose that both ADAMTS-2 and ADAMTS-3 process procollagen II, but ADAMTS-3 is physiologically more relevant, given its preferred expression in cartilage. The findings provide an explanation for the sparing of cartilage in dermatosparaxis and, perhaps, for the relative sparing of some procollagen I-containing tissues. [less ▲]

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