References of "Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS"
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See detailMesenchymal stem cells and neural crest stem cells from adult bone marrow: characterization of their surprising similarities and differences.
Wislet, Sabine ULg; Laudet, Emerence ULg; Neirinckx, Virginie ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2012), 69(15), 2593-2608

The generation of neuronal cells from stem cells obtained from adult bone marrow is of significant clinical interest in order to design new cell therapy protocols for several neurological disorders. The ... [more ▼]

The generation of neuronal cells from stem cells obtained from adult bone marrow is of significant clinical interest in order to design new cell therapy protocols for several neurological disorders. The recent identification in adult bone marrow of stem cells derived from the neural crest stem cells (NCSC) might explain the neuronal phenotypic plasticity shown by bone marrow cells. However, little information is available about the nature of these cells compared to mesenchymal stem cells (MSC), including their similarities and differences. In this paper, using transcriptomic as well as proteomic technologies, we compared NCSC to MSC and stromal nestin-positive cells, all of them isolated from adult bone marrow. We demonstrated that the nestin-positive cell population, which was the first to be described as able to differentiate into functional neurons, was a mixed population of NCSC and MSC. More interestingly, we demonstrated that MSC shared with NCSC the same ability to truly differentiate into Tuj1-positive cells when co-cultivated with paraformaldehyde-fixed cerebellar granule neurons. Altogether, those results suggest that both NCSC and MSC can be considered as important tools for cellular therapies in order to replace neurons in various neurological diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailCycling or not cycling: cell cycle regulatory molecules and adult neurogenesis.
Beukelaers, Pierre ULg; Vandenbosch, Renaud ULg; Caron, Nicolas ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2012), 69(9), 1493-1503

The adult brain most probably reaches its highest degree of plasticity with the lifelong generation and integration of new neurons in the hippocampus and olfactory system. Neural precursor cells (NPCs ... [more ▼]

The adult brain most probably reaches its highest degree of plasticity with the lifelong generation and integration of new neurons in the hippocampus and olfactory system. Neural precursor cells (NPCs) residing both in the subgranular zone of the dentate gyrus and in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricles continuously generate neurons that populate the dentate gyrus and the olfactory bulb, respectively. The regulation of NPC proliferation in the adult brain has been widely investigated in the past few years. Yet, the intrinsic cell cycle machinery underlying NPC proliferation remains largely unexplored. In this review, we discuss the cell cycle components that are involved in the regulation of NPC proliferation in both neurogenic areas of the adult brain. [less ▲]

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See detailWnt1 and BMP2: two factors recruiting multipotent neural crest progenitors isolated from adult bone marrow
Glejzer, Aneta ULg; Laudet, Emerence ULg; Leprince, Pierre ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2011), 68/12

Recent studies have shown that neural crestderived progenitor cells can be found in diverse mammalian tissues including tissues that were not previously shown to contain neural crest derivatives, such as ... [more ▼]

Recent studies have shown that neural crestderived progenitor cells can be found in diverse mammalian tissues including tissues that were not previously shown to contain neural crest derivatives, such as bone marrow. The identification of those ‘‘new’’ neural crest-derived progenitor cells opens new strategies for developing autologous cell replacement therapies in regenerative medicine. However, their potential use is still a challenge as only few neural crest-derived progenitor cells were found in those new accessible locations. In this study, we developed a protocol, based on wnt1 and BMP2 effects, to enrich neural crest-derived cells from adult bone marrow. Those two factors are known to maintain and stimulate the proliferation of embryonic neural crest stem cells, however, their effects have never been characterized on neural crest cells isolated from adult tissues. Using multiple strategies from microarray to 2D-DIGE proteomic analyses, we characterized those recruited neural crest-derived cells, defining their identity and their differentiating abilities. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing human pluripotent stem cells to untangle neurodegenerative disease mechanisms
Malgrange, Brigitte ULg; Borgs, Laurence ULg; Grobarczyk, Benjamin ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2011), 68(4), 635-49

Human pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPS), retain the ability to self-renew indefinitely, while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into all ... [more ▼]

Human pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic (hES) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPS), retain the ability to self-renew indefinitely, while maintaining the capacity to differentiate into all cell types of the nervous system. While human pluripotent cell-based therapies are unlikely to arise soon, these cells can currently be used as an inexhaustible source of committed neurons to perform high-throughput screening and safety testing of new candidate drugs. Here, we describe critically the available methods and molecular factors that are used to direct the differentiation of hES or hiPS into specific neurons. In addition, we discuss how the availability of patient-specific hiPS offers a unique opportunity to model inheritable neurodegenerative diseases and untangle their pathological mechanisms, or to validate drugs that would prevent the onset or the progression of these neurological disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailAnnexins as organizers of cholesterol- and sphingomyelin-enriched membrane microdomains in Niemann-Pick type C disease.
Domon, Magdalena; Nasir, Mehmet Nail ULg; Matar, Gladys et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2011), 69(11), 1773-1785

Growing evidence suggests that membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingomyelin are sites for numerous cellular processes, including signaling, vesicular transport, interaction with ... [more ▼]

Growing evidence suggests that membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol and sphingomyelin are sites for numerous cellular processes, including signaling, vesicular transport, interaction with pathogens, and viral infection, etc. Recently some members of the annexin family of conserved calcium and membrane-binding proteins have been recognized as cholesterol-interacting molecules and suggested to play a role in the formation, stabilization, and dynamics of membrane microdomains to affect membrane lateral organization and to attract other proteins and signaling molecules onto their territory. Furthermore, annexins were implicated in the interactions between cytosolic and membrane molecules, in the turnover and storage of cholesterol and in various signaling pathways. In this review, we focus on the mechanisms of interaction of annexins with lipid microdomains and the role of annexins in membrane microdomains dynamics including possible participation of the domain-associated forms of annexins in the etiology of human lysosomal storage disease called Niemann-Pick type C disease, related to the abnormal storage of cholesterol in the lysosome-like intracellular compartment. The involvement of annexins and cholesterol/sphingomyelin-enriched membrane microdomains in other pathologies including cardiac dysfunctions, neurodegenerative diseases, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and cancer is likely, but is not supported by substantial experimental observations, and therefore awaits further clarification. [less ▲]

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See detailBone marrow-derived mesenchymal cells and MMP13 contribute to experimental choroidal neovascularization.
Lecomte, Julie ULg; Louis, Krystel; Detry, Benoît ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2011), 68

In this study, we evaluate the potential involvement of collagenase-3 (MMP13), a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family member, in the exudative form of age-related macular degeneration characterized by a ... [more ▼]

In this study, we evaluate the potential involvement of collagenase-3 (MMP13), a matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family member, in the exudative form of age-related macular degeneration characterized by a neovascularisation into the choroid. RT-PCR analysis revealed that human neovascular membranes issued from patients with AMD expressed high levels of Mmp13. The contribution of MMP13 in choroidal neovascularization (CNV) formation was explored by using a murine model of laser-induced CNV and applying it to wild-type mice (WT) and Mmp13-deficient mice (Mmp13 ( -/- ) mice). Angiogenic and inflammatory reactions were explored by immunohistochemistry. The implication of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells was determined by BM engraftment into irradiated mice and by injecting mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) isolated from WT BM. The deficiency of Mmp13 impaired CNV formation which was fully restored by WT BM engraftment and partially rescued by several injections of WT MSC. The present study sheds light on a novel function of MMP13 during BM-dependent choroidal vascularization and provides evidence for a role for MSC in the pathogenesis of CNV. [less ▲]

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See detailThe emerging role of lysine acetylation of non-nuclear proteins
Close, Pierre ULg; Creppe, Catherine; Gillard, Magali ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2010), 67(8), 1255-1264

Lysine acetylation is a post-translational modification that critically regulates gene transcription by targeting histones as well as a variety of transcription factors in the nucleus. More recent reports ... [more ▼]

Lysine acetylation is a post-translational modification that critically regulates gene transcription by targeting histones as well as a variety of transcription factors in the nucleus. More recent reports have also demonstrated that numerous proteins located outside the nucleus are also acetylated and that this modification has profound consequences on their functions. This review describes the latest findings on the substrates acetylated outside the nucleus and on the acetylases and deacetylates that catalyse these modifications. Protein acetylation is emerging as a major mechanism by which key proteins are regulated in many physiological processes such as migration, metabolism and aging as well as in pathological circumstances such as cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrotubule targeting agents: from biophysics to proteomics
Calligaris, David ULg; Verdier-Pinard, Pascal; Devred, François et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2010), 67(7), 1089-1104

This review explores various aspects of the interaction between microtubule targeting agents and tubulin, including binding site, affinity, and drug resistance. Starting with the basics of tubulin ... [more ▼]

This review explores various aspects of the interaction between microtubule targeting agents and tubulin, including binding site, affinity, and drug resistance. Starting with the basics of tubulin polymerization and microtubule targeting agent binding, we then highlight how the three-dimensional structures of drug-tubulin complexes obtained on stabilized tubulin are seeded by precise biological and biophysical data. New avenues opened by thermodynamics analysis, high throughput screening, and proteomics for the molecular pharmacology of these drugs are presented. The amount of data generated by biophysical, proteomic and cellular techniques shed more light onto the microtubule-tubulin equilibrium and tubulin-drug interaction. Combining these approaches provides new insight into the mechanism of action of known microtubule interacting agents and rapid in-depth characterization of next generation molecules targeting the interaction between microtubules and associated modulators of their dynamics. This will facilitate the design of improved and/or alternative chemotherapies targeting the microtubule cytoskeleton. [less ▲]

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See detailNew insights into short-chain prenyltransferases: structural features, evolutionary history and potential for selective inhibition.
Vandermoten, Sophie ULg; Haubruge, Eric ULg; Cusson, M.

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2009), 66

Isoprenoids form an extensive group of natural products involved in a number of important biological processes. Their biosynthesis proceeds through sequential 1'-4 condensations of isopentenyl diphosphate ... [more ▼]

Isoprenoids form an extensive group of natural products involved in a number of important biological processes. Their biosynthesis proceeds through sequential 1'-4 condensations of isopentenyl diphosphate (C(5)) with an allylic acceptor, the first of which is dimethylallyl diphosphate (C(5)). The reactions leading to the production of geranyl diphosphate (C(10)), farnesyl diphosphate (C(15)) and geranylgeranyl diphosphate (C(20)), which are the precursors of mono-, sesqui- and diterpenes, respectively, are catalyzed by a group of highly conserved enzymes known as short-chain isoprenyl diphosphate synthases, or prenyltransferases. In recent years, the sequences of many new prenyltransferases have become available, including those of several plant and animal geranyl diphosphate synthases, revealing novel mechanisms of product chain-length selectivity and an intricate evolutionary path from a putative common ancestor. Finally, there is considerable interest in designing inhibitors specific to short-chain prenyltransferases, for the purpose of developing new drugs or pesticides that target the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway. [less ▲]

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See detailTLR-4, IL-1R and TNF-R signaling to NF-kB: variations on a common theme
Verstrepen, L.; Bekaert, T.; Chau, Tieu-Lan ULg et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2008), 65

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as well as the receptors for tumor necrosis factor (TNF-R) and interleukin-1 (IL-1R) play an important role in innate immunity by regulating the activity of distinct ... [more ▼]

Toll-like receptors (TLRs) as well as the receptors for tumor necrosis factor (TNF-R) and interleukin-1 (IL-1R) play an important role in innate immunity by regulating the activity of distinct transcription factors such as nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB). TLR, IL-1R and TNF-R signaling to NF-kappaB converge on a common IkappaB kinase complex that phosphorylates the NF-kappaB inhibitory protein IkappaBalpha. However, upstream signaling components are in large part receptor-specific. Nevertheless, the principles of signaling are similar, involving the recruitment of specific adaptor proteins and the activation of kinase cascades in which protein-protein interactions are controlled by poly-ubiquitination. In this review, we will discuss our current knowledge of NF-kappaB signaling in response to TLR-4, TNF-R and IL-1R stimulation, with a special focus on the similarities and dissimilarities among these pathways. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of constitutively active GTPases on fibroblast behavior.
Zhang, Z.-G.; Lambert, Charles ULg; Servotte, S. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2006), 63(1), 82-91

The GTP-binding proteins RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac1 regulate the organization and turnover of the cytoskeleton and cell-matrix adhesions, structures bridging cells to their support, and translating forces ... [more ▼]

The GTP-binding proteins RhoA, Cdc42 and Rac1 regulate the organization and turnover of the cytoskeleton and cell-matrix adhesions, structures bridging cells to their support, and translating forces, external or generated within the cell. To investigate the specific requirements of Rho GTPases for biomechanical activities of clonal cell populations, we compared side-by-side stable lines of human fibroblasts expressing constitutively active (CA) RhoA, Cdc42 or Rac1. There was no marked effect of any CA GTPase on cell adhesion to different extracellular matrix proteins. Cell spreading was CA Rho GTPase specific and independent of the extracellular matrix proteins allowing adhesion. Mechanical properties were dramatically restricted by CA RhoA on bi- and in tri-dimensional surroundings, were boosted by CA Rac1 on bi-dimensional surroundings only, and were not or marginally affected by CA Cdc42. In conclusion, the action of Rho GTPases appears to depend on the task cells are performing. [less ▲]

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See detailThe neurotrophic receptor TrkB: a drug target in anti-cancer therapy ?
Desmet, Christophe ULg; Peeper, Daniel S.

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2006), 63(7-8), 755-759

Increasing evidence implies altered signaling through the neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB in promoting tumor formation and metastasis. TrkB, sometimes in conjunction with its primary ligand ... [more ▼]

Increasing evidence implies altered signaling through the neurotrophic receptor tyrosine kinase TrkB in promoting tumor formation and metastasis. TrkB, sometimes in conjunction with its primary ligand BDNF, is often overexpressed in a variety of human cancers, ranging from neuroblastomas to pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas, in which it may allow tumor expansion and contribute to resistance to anti-tumor agents. In vitro, TrkB acts as a potent suppressor of anoikis (detachment-induced apoptosis), which is associated with the acquisition of an aggressive tumorigenic and metastatic phenotype in vivo. In view of its predicted contribution to tumorigenicity and metastasis in humans, TrkB corresponds to a potential drug target, and preclinical models have already been established. The encouraging results of pharmacological Trk inhibitors in tumor xenograft models suggest that TrkB inhibition may represent a promising novel anti-tumor therapeutic strategy. This hypothesis is currently being evaluated in clinical trials. Here, we will discuss the latest developments on TrkB in these contexts as well as highlight some critical questions that remain to be addressed for evaluating TrkB as a therapeutic target in cancer [less ▲]

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See detailHorizontal gene transfer from Eukarya to Bacteria and domain shuffling: the alpha-amylase model
Da Lage, J. L.; Feller, Georges ULg; Janecek, S.

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2004), 61(1), 97-109

alpha-Amylases are present in all kingdoms of the living world. Despite strong conservation of the tertiary structure, only a few amino acids are conserved in interkingdom comparisons. Animal alpha ... [more ▼]

alpha-Amylases are present in all kingdoms of the living world. Despite strong conservation of the tertiary structure, only a few amino acids are conserved in interkingdom comparisons. Animal alpha-amylases are characterized by several typical motifs and biochemical properties. A few cases of such alpha-amylases have been previously reported in some eubacterial species. We screened the bacterial genomes available in the sequence databases for new occurrences of animal-like alpha-amylases. Three novel cases were found, which belong to unrelated bacterial phyla: Chloroflexus aurantiacus, Microbulbifer degradans, and Thermobifida fusca. All the animal-like alpha-amylases in Bacteria probably result from repeated horizontal gene transfer from animals. The M. degradans genome also contains bacterial-type and plant-type alpha-amylases in addition to the animal-type one. Thus, this species exhibits alpha-amylases of animal, plant, and bacterial origins. Moreover, the similarities in the extra C-terminal domains (different from both the alpha-amylase domain C and the starch-binding domain), when present, also suggest interkingdom as well as intragenomic shuffling. [less ▲]

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See detailMolecular adaptations to cold in psychrophilic enzymes
Feller, Georges ULg

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2003), 60(4), 648-662

Psychrophiles or cold-loving organisms successfully colonize cold environments of the Earth's biosphere. To cope with the reduction of chemical reaction rates induced by low temperatures, these organisms ... [more ▼]

Psychrophiles or cold-loving organisms successfully colonize cold environments of the Earth's biosphere. To cope with the reduction of chemical reaction rates induced by low temperatures, these organisms synthesize enzymes characterized by a high catalytic activity at low temperatures associated, however, with low thermal stability. Thanks to recent advances provided by Xray crystallography, protein engineering and biophysical studies, we are beginning to understand the molecular adaptations responsible for these properties which appear to be relatively diverse. The emerging picture suggests that psychrophilic enzymes utilize an improved flexibility of the structures involved in the catalytic cycle, whereas other protein regions if not implicated in catalysis may or may not be subjected to genetic drift. [less ▲]

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See detailRole of plasminogen activator-plasmin system in tumor angiogenesis
Rakic, Jean-Marie ULg; Maillard, Catherine ULg; Jost, M. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2003), 60(3), 463-473

New blood formation or angiogenesis has become a key target in therapeutic strategies aimed at inhibiting tumor growth and other diseases associated with neovascularization. Angiogenesis is associated ... [more ▼]

New blood formation or angiogenesis has become a key target in therapeutic strategies aimed at inhibiting tumor growth and other diseases associated with neovascularization. Angiogenesis is associated with important extracellular remodeling involving different proteolytic systems among which the plasminogen system plays an essential role. It belongs to the large serine proteinase family and can act directly or indirectly by activating matrix metalloproteinases or by liberating growth factors and cytokines sequestered within the extracellular matrix. Migration of endothelial cells is associated with significant upregulation of proteolysis and, conversely, immunoneutralization or chemical inhibition of the system reduces angiogenesis in vitro. On the other hand, genetically altered mice developed normally without overt vascular anomalies indicating the possibility of compensation by other proteases in vivo. Nevertheless, they have in some experimental settings revealed unanticipated roles for previously characterized proteinases or their inhibitors. In this review, the complex mechanisms of action of the serine proteases in pathological angiogenesis are summarized alongside possible therapeutic applications. [less ▲]

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See detailThiamine triphosphate and thiamine triphosphatase activities: from bacteria to mammals
Makarchikov, Alexander F; Lakaye, Bernard ULg; Gulyai, I. E. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2003), 60(7), 1477-1488

In most organisms, the main form of thiamine is the coenzyme thiamine diphosphate. Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is also found in low amounts in most vertebrate tissues and can phosphorylate certain ... [more ▼]

In most organisms, the main form of thiamine is the coenzyme thiamine diphosphate. Thiamine triphosphate (ThTP) is also found in low amounts in most vertebrate tissues and can phosphorylate certain proteins. Here we show that ThTP exists not only in vertebrates but is present in bacteria, fungi, plants and invertebrates. Unexpectedly, we found that in Escherichia coli as well as in Arabidopsis thaliana, ThTP was synthesized only under particular circumstances such as hypoxia (E. coli) or withering (A. thaliana). In mammalian tissues, ThTP concentrations are regulated by a specific thiamine triphosphatase that we have recently characterized. This enzyme was found only in mammals. In other organisms, ThTP can be hydrolyzed by unspecific phosphohydrolases. The occurrence of ThTP from prokaryotes to mammals suggests that it may have a basic role in cell metabolism or cell signaling. A decreased content may contribute to the symptoms observed during thiamine deficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailRole of Cys221 and Asn116 in the zinc-binding sites of the Aeromonas hydrophila metallo-beta-lactamase.
Vanhove, Marc; Zakhem, M.; Devreese, B. et al

in Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS (2003), 60(11), 2501-9

The CphA metallo-beta-lactamase produced by Aeromonas hydrophila exhibits two zinc-binding sites. Maximum activity is obtained upon binding of one zinc ion, whereas binding of the second zinc ion results ... [more ▼]

The CphA metallo-beta-lactamase produced by Aeromonas hydrophila exhibits two zinc-binding sites. Maximum activity is obtained upon binding of one zinc ion, whereas binding of the second zinc ion results in a drastic decrease in the hydrolytic activity. In this study, we analyzed the role of Asn116 and Cys221, two residues of the active site. These residues were replaced by site-directed mutagenesis and the different mutants were characterized. The C221S and C221A mutants were seriously impaired in their ability to bind the first, catalytic zinc ion and were nearly completely inactive, indicating a major role for Cys221 in the binding of the catalytic metal ion. By contrast, the binding of the second zinc ion was only slightly affected, at least for the C221S mutant. Mutation of Asn116 did not lead to a drastic decrease in the hydrolytic activity, indicating that this residue does not play a key role in the catalytic mechanism. However, the substitution of Asn116 by a Cys or His residue resulted in an approximately fivefold increase in the affinity for the second, inhibitory zinc ion. Together, these data suggested that the first zinc ion is located in the binding site involving the Cys221 and that the second zinc ion binds in the binding site involving Asn116 and, presumably, His118 and His196. [less ▲]

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See detailEpithelial supporting cells can differentiate into outer hair cells and Deiters' cells in the cultured organ of Corti
Malgrange, Brigitte ULg; Thiry, Marc ULg; Van De Water, Thomas R. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2002), 59(10), 1744-1757

The organ of Corti is a complex structure containing a single row of inner hair cells (IHCs) and three rows of outer hair cells (OHCs), supported respectively by one row of inner phalangeal cells and ... [more ▼]

The organ of Corti is a complex structure containing a single row of inner hair cells (IHCs) and three rows of outer hair cells (OHCs), supported respectively by one row of inner phalangeal cells and three rows of Deiters' cells. When fetal rat organ of Corti explants are cultured, supernumerary OHCs and supernumerary Deiters' cells are produced, without any additional cell proliferation. Analysis of semi- and ultrathin sections revealed that supernumerary OHCs are produced at the distal edge of the organ of Corti. Quantitative analysis of cell types present in the organ of Corti demonstrates that when the number of OHCs increases: (i) the total number of cells remains constant; (ii) the number of Deiters' cells increases; (iii) the number of tectal cells decreases and of Hensen's cells decreases. Using specific HC markers, i.e. jagged2 (Jag2) and Math1, we showed that in addition to existing OHCs, supernumerary OHCs, tectal cells and Hensen's cells expressed these markers in embryonic day 19 organ of Corti explants after 5 days in vitro. The results of this study suggest that Hensen's cells retain the capacity to differentiate into either tectal cells, which differentiate into OHCs, or into undertectal cells which differentiate into Deiters' cells. [less ▲]

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See detailThe 2.4-A crystal structure of the penicillin-resistant penicillin-binding protein PBP5fm from Enterococcus faecium in complex with benzylpenicillin.
Sauvage, Eric ULg; Kerff, Frédéric ULg; Fonze, E. et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (2002), 59(7), 1223-32

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane proteins involved in the final stages of peptidoglycan synthesis and represent the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics. Enterococci are naturally resistant ... [more ▼]

Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are membrane proteins involved in the final stages of peptidoglycan synthesis and represent the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics. Enterococci are naturally resistant to these antibiotics because they produce a PBP, named PBP5fm in Enterococcus faecium, with low-level affinity for beta-lactams. We report here the crystal structure of the acyl-enzyme complex of PBP5fm with benzylpenicillin at a resolution of 2.4 A. A characteristic of the active site, which distinguishes PBP5fm from other PBPs of known structure, is the topology of the loop 451-465 defining the left edge of the cavity. The residue Arg464, involved in a salt bridge with the residue Asp481, confers a greater rigidity to the PBP5fm active site. In addition, the presence of the Val465 residue, which points into the active site, reducing its accessibility, could account for the low affinity of PBP5fm for beta-lactam. This loop is common to PBPs of low affinity, such as PBP2a from Staphylococcus aureus and PBP3 from Bacillus subtilis. Moreover, the insertion of a serine after residue 466 in the most resistant strains underlines even more the determining role of this loop in the recognition of the substrates. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo new aminopeptidases from Ochrobactrum anthropi active on D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide.
Fanuel, L; Thamm, Iris ULg; Kostanjevecki, V et al

in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences : CMLS (1999), 55(5), 812-8

Two new enzymes which hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide have been detected in Ochrobactrum anthropi LMG7991 extracts. The first enzyme, DmpB, was purified to homogeneity and found to be homologous to the ... [more ▼]

Two new enzymes which hydrolyse D-alanyl-p-nitroanilide have been detected in Ochrobactrum anthropi LMG7991 extracts. The first enzyme, DmpB, was purified to homogeneity and found to be homologous to the Dap protein produced by O. anthropi SCRC C1-38 (ATCC49237). The second enzyme, DmpA, exhibits a similar substrate profile when tested on p-nitroanilide derivatives of glycine and L/D-alanine, but the amounts produced by the Ochrobactrum strain were not sufficient to allow complete purification. Interestingly, the DmpA preparation also exhibited an L-aminopeptidase activity on the tripeptide L-Ala-Gly-Gly but it was not possible to be certain that the same protein was responsible for both p-nitroanilide and peptide hydrolysing activities. The gene encoding the DmpA protein was cloned and sequenced. The deduced protein sequence exhibits varying degrees of similarity with those corresponding to several open reading frames found in the genomes of other prokaryotic organisms, including Mycobacteria. None of these gene products has been isolated or characterised, but a tentative relationship can be proposed with the NylC amidase from Flavobacterium sp. K172. [less ▲]

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