Candida albicans hyphae grow in a highly polarized fashion from their tips. This polarized growth requires the continuous delivery of secretory vesicles to the tip region. Vesicle delivery depends on Sec2p, the Guanine Exchange Factor (GEF) for the Rab GTPase Sec4p. GTP bound Sec4p is required for the transit of secretory vesicles from the trans-Golgi to sites of polarized growth. We previously showed that phosphorylation of Sec2p at residue S584 was necessary for Sec2p to support hyphal, but not yeast growth. Here we show that on secretory vesicles SEC2 mRNA is physically associated with Sec2p. Moreover, we show that the phosphorylation of S584 allows SEC2 mRNA to dissociate from Sec2p and we speculate that this is necessary for Sec2p function and/or translation. During hyphal extension, the growing tip may be separated from the nucleus by up to 15??m. Transport of SEC2 mRNA on secretory vesicles to the tip localizes SEC2 translation to tip allowing a sufficient accumulation of this key protein at the site of polarized growth.
GGGGCC repeat expansions of C9orf72 represent the most common genetic variant of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal degeneration, but the mechanism of pathogenesis is unclear. Recent reports have suggested that the transcribed repeat might form toxic RNA foci that sequester various RNA processing proteins. Consensus as to the identity of the binding partners is missing and whole neuronal proteome investigation is needed. Using RNA fluorescence in situ hybridization we first identified nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA foci in peripheral and central nervous system biosamples from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with a repeat expansion of C9orf72 (C9orf72+), but not from those patients without a repeat expansion of C9orf72 (C9orf72-) or control subjects. Moreover, in the cases examined, the distribution of foci-positive neurons correlated with the clinical phenotype (t-test P < 0.05). As expected, RNA foci are ablated by RNase treatment. Interestingly, we identified foci in fibroblasts from an asymptomatic C9orf72+ carrier. We next performed pulldown assays, with GGGGCC5, in conjunction with mass spectrometry analysis, to identify candidate binding partners of the GGGGCC repeat expansion. Proteins containing RNA recognition motifs and involved in splicing, messenger RNA nuclear export and/or translation were significantly enriched. Immunohistochemistry in central nervous system tissue from C9orf72+ patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis demonstrated co-localization of RNA foci with SRSF2, hnRNP H1/F, ALYREF and hnRNP A1 in cerebellar granule cells and with SRSF2, hnRNP H1/F and ALYREF in motor neurons, the primary target of pathology in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Direct binding of proteins to GGGGCC repeat RNA was confirmed in vitro by ultraviolet-crosslinking assays. Co-localization was only detected in a small proportion of RNA foci, suggesting dynamic sequestration rather than irreversible binding. Additional immunohistochemistry demonstrated that neurons with and without RNA foci were equally likely to show nuclear depletion of TDP-43 (?(2) P = 0.75) or poly-GA dipeptide repeat protein inclusions (?(2) P = 0.46). Our findings suggest two non-exclusive pathogenic mechanisms: (i) functional depletion of RNA-processing proteins resulting in disruption of messenger RNA splicing; and (ii) licensing of expanded C9orf72 pre-messenger RNA for nuclear export by inappropriate association with messenger RNA export adaptor protein(s) leading to cytoplasmic repeat associated non-ATG translation and formation of potentially toxic dipeptide repeat protein.
Neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated protein 4-2 (Nedd4-2) mediates the internalisation / degradation of epithelial Na(+) channel subunits (?-, ?- and ?-ENaC). Serum / glucocorticoid inducible kinase 1 (SGK1) and protein kinase A (PKA) both appear to inhibit this process by phosphorylating Nedd4-2-Ser(221), -Ser(327) and -Thr(246). This Nedd4-2 inactivation process is thought to be central to the hormonal control of Na(+) absorption. The present study of H441 human airway epithelial cells therefore explores the effects of SGK1 and / or PKA upon the phosphorylation / abundance of endogenous Nedd4-2; the surface expression of ENaC subunits, and electrogenic Na(+) transport. Effects on Nedd4-2 phosphorylation/abundance and the surface expression of ENaC were monitored by western analysis, whilst Na(+) absorption was quantified electrometrically. Acutely (20min) activating PKA in glucocorticoid-deprived (24h) cells increased the abundance of Ser(221)-phosphorylated, Ser(327)-phosphorylated and total Nedd4-2 without altering the abundance of Thr(246)-phosphorylated Nedd4-2. Activating PKA under these conditions did not cause a co-ordinated increase in the surface abundance of ?-, ?- and ?-ENaC and had only a very small effect upon electrogenic Na(+) absorption. Activating PKA (20min) in glucocorticoid-treated (0.2µM dexamethasone, 24h) cells, on the other hand, increased the abundance of Ser(221)-, Ser(327)- and Thr(246)-phosphorylated and total Nedd4-2; increased the surface abundance of ?-, ?- and ?-ENaC and evoked a clear stimulation of Na(+) transport. Chronic glucocorticoid stimulation therefore appears to allow cAMP-dependent control of Na(+) absorption by facilitating the effects of PKA upon the Nedd4-2 and ENaC subunits.
The essential herpesvirus adaptor protein HVS ORF57, which has homologs in all other herpesviruses, promotes viral mRNA export by utilizing the cellular mRNA export machinery. ORF57 protein specifically recognizes viral mRNA transcripts, and binds to proteins of the cellular transcription-export (TREX) complex, in particular ALYREF. This interaction introduces viral mRNA to the NXF1 pathway, subsequently directing it to the nuclear pore for export to the cytoplasm. Here we have used a range of techniques to reveal the sites for direct contact between RNA and ORF57 in the absence and presence of ALYREF. A binding site within ORF57 was characterized which recognizes specific viral mRNA motifs. When ALYREF is present, part of this ORF57 RNA binding site, composed of an ?-helix, binds preferentially to ALYREF. This competitively displaces viral RNA from the ?-helix, but contact with RNA is still maintained by a flanking region. At the same time, the flexible N-terminal domain of ALYREF comes into contact with the viral RNA, which becomes engaged in an extensive network of synergistic interactions with both ALYREF and ORF57. Transfer of RNA to ALYREF in the ternary complex, and involvement of individual ORF57 residues in RNA recognition, were confirmed by UV cross-linking and mutagenesis. The atomic-resolution structure of the ORF57-ALYREF interface was determined, which noticeably differed from the homologous ICP27-ALYREF structure. Together, the data provides the first site-specific description of how viral mRNA is locked by a herpes viral adaptor protein in complex with cellular ALYREF, giving herpesvirus access to the cellular mRNA export machinery. The NMR strategy used may be more generally applicable to the study of fuzzy protein-protein-RNA complexes which involve flexible polypeptide regions.
IMPORTANCE Pancreas divisum is an uncommon congenital anomaly that may result in chronic pancreatitis (chronic pancreatitis secondary to pancreas divisum [CPPD]) and intractable pain. We evaluated the role of the Frey procedure in the management of patients with pain related to CPPD as compared with patients with chronic pancreatitis secondary to alcohol (CPA) or idiopathic causes (ICP). OBJECTIVE To review our experience with the Frey procedure for the management of chronic pancreatitis related to pancreas divisum. DESIGN This was a 2-year institutional retrospective of patients undergoing the Frey procedure for chronic pancreatitis related-pain from April 2008 to June 2010. SETTING Academic tertiary care referral center. PARTICIPANTS A consecutive sample of 14 patients undergoing the Frey procedure for chronic pancreatitis and disease-related intractable pain. We sought to examine the utility of the Frey procedure in patients with CPPD as compared with CPA and ICP. INTERVENTION The Frey procedure. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES Perioperative outcomes and postoperative narcotic requirement were compared among patient groups. RESULTS Fourteen patients underwent the Frey procedure. The etiology of the disease was pancreas divisum in 6 patients, alcohol in 5, and idiopathic in 3. The most common indication for surgery was intractable pain, and all patients had undergone endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for attempted relief in the past. There were no statistically significant differences in median operative time (263 minutes), intraoperative blood loss (425 mL), median length of stay (9.5 days), or rate of morbidity (21%) between the 3 etiologies. Two-thirds of patients required less or no opioid at follow-up, although follow-up was significantly longer for CPPD and ICP than CPA (median, 249, 259, and 42 days, respectively; P?<?.02). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE In this series, outcomes for patients with CPPD treated with the Frey procedure were equivalent to those treated for CPA. Patients with pancreas divisum and a dilated pancreatic duct may be ideally suited for this surgical strategy. The potential advantage of this approach over minor duct sphincteroplasty and lateral pancreaticojejunostomy is the removal of the fibrotic tissue of the head of the pancreas, thought to be the epicenter of pain in this condition. The benefits over resection alone include a more extensive ductal drainage procedure.
Concentration of mycobacteria from sputum by centrifugation prior to acid-fast microscopy increases case finding compared to direct microscopy of the sputum (direct smear). However, centrifugation has to be performed outside the safety cabinet and many laboratories do not have access to a centrifuge. Magnetic bead extraction of the mycobacteria is an alternative method that can be performed in a cabinet with just a magnet. Magnetic TB-Bead (Microsens Medtech Ltd) extraction of mycobacteria from sputum prior to microscopy was compared to direct smear on 78 sputum samples. Microscopy of the TB-Bead extracts identified all of 26 of the direct smear positive samples either with the same microscopy score or, in 19/27 of samples, with an increased microscopy score which aided microscopy detection. In addition, microscopy of the TB-Bead extracts identified 10 additional positive samples compared to direct smear; which represents a statistically significant increase in case finding of 38% (p = 0.002) compared to direct smear. In a separate study, TB-Beads enabled further 4 positive samples to be detected from 30 centrifuged pellets that were originally smear negative; two of these were subsequently found to be positive when the original deposits were reinvestigated by smear microscopy. By concentrating mycobacteria from sputum and sputum deposits, TB-Beads have been demonstrated to increase the number of positive sputum samples which could increase case-finding. The TB-Bead method is simple and rapid and compatible with use within a safety cabinet.
Tree species growing along the forest-grassland ecotone are near the moisture limit of their range. Small increases in temperature can increase vapor pressure deficit (VPD) which may increase tree water use and potentially hasten mortality during severe drought. We tested a 40% increase in VPD due to an increase in growing temperature from 30 to 33°C (constant dewpoint 21°C) on seedlings of 10 tree species common to the forest-grassland ecotone in the southern Great Plains, USA. Measurement at 33 vs 30°C during reciprocal leaf gas exchange measurements, that is, measurement of all seedlings at both growing temperatures, increased transpiration for seedlings grown at 30°C by 40% and 20% for seedlings grown at 33°C. Higher initial transpiration of seedlings in the 33°C growing temperature treatment resulted in more negative xylem water potentials and fewer days until transpiration decreased after watering was withheld. The seedlings grown at 33°C died 13% (average 2 d) sooner than seedlings grown at 30°C during terminal drought. If temperature and severity of droughts increase in the future, the forest-grassland ecotone could shift because low seedling survival rate may not sufficiently support forest regeneration and migration.
Lithium-associated hyperparathyroidism has been attributed to multigland hyperplasia requiring bilateral exploration and subtotal parathyroidectomy. Recent studies suggest that some patients may have single gland disease and be eligible for minimally invasive parathyroidectomy.
The TREX complex couples nuclear pre-mRNA processing with mRNA export and contains multiple protein components, including Uap56, Alyref, Cip29 and the multi-subunit THO complex. Here, we have identified Chtop as a novel TREX component. We show that both Chtop and Alyref activate the ATPase and RNA helicase activities of Uap56 and that Uap56 functions to recruit both Alyref and Chtop onto mRNA. As observed with the THO complex subunit Thoc5, Chtop binds to the NTF2-like domain of Nxf1, and this interaction requires arginine methylation of Chtop. Using RNAi, we show that co-knockdown of Alyref and Chtop results in a potent mRNA export block. Chtop binds to Uap56 in a mutually exclusive manner with Alyref, and Chtop binds to Nxf1 in a mutually exclusive manner with Thoc5. However, Chtop, Thoc5 and Nxf1 exist in a single complex in vivo. Together, our data indicate that TREX and Nxf1 undergo dynamic remodelling, driven by the ATPase cycle of Uap56 and post-translational modifications of Chtop.
The timely differentiation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC) and non-tubercular mycobacterium (NTM) species is urgently needed in patient care since the routine laboratory method is time consuming and cumbersome. An easy and cheap method which can successfully distinguish MTC from NTM was established and evaluated. 38 mycobacterial type and reference strains and 65 clinical isolates representing 10 species of mycobacterium were included in this study. Metabolites of p-nitrobenzoic acid (PNB) reduction were identified using liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). A spectrophotometric method was developed to detect these metabolites, which was evaluated on a number of MTC and NTM species. All of the tested NTM species and strains reduced PNB to p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), while none of the MTC strains showed a similar activity. Spectrophotometric detection of PABA had 100% sensitivity and specificity for MTC and NTM differentiation among the type strains and the clinical isolates tested. PABA was identified as one of the metabolites of PNB reduction. All the tested NTM species metabolized PNB to PABA whereas the MTC members lacked this activity. A simple, specific and cost-effective method based on PABA production was established in order to discriminate MTC from NTM from cultured organisms.
The TREX complex couples nuclear mRNA processing events with subsequent export to the cytoplasm. TREX also acts as a binding platform for the mRNA export receptor Nxf1. The sites of mRNA transcription and processing within the nucleus have been studied extensively. However, little is known about where TREX assembly takes place and where Nxf1 is recruited to TREX to form the export competent mRNP. Here we have used sensitized emission Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM)-FRET, to produce a spatial map in living cells of the sites for the interaction of two TREX subunits, Alyref and Chtop, with Nxf1. Prominent assembly sites for export factors are found in the vicinity of nuclear speckles in regions known to be involved in transcription, splicing and exon junction complex formation highlighting the close coupling of mRNA export with mRNP biogenesis.
SRSF2 is a prototypical SR protein which plays important roles in the alternative splicing of pre-mRNA. It has been shown to be involved in regulatory pathways for maintaining genomic stability and play important roles in regulating key receptors in the heart. We report here the solution structure of the RNA recognition motifs (RRM) domain of free human SRSF2 (residues 9-101). Compared with other members of the SR protein family, SRSF2 structure has a longer L3 loop region. The conserved aromatic residue in the RNP2 motif is absent in SRSF2. Calorimetric titration shows that the RNA sequence 5AGCAGAGUA3 binds SRSF2 with a K(d) of 61 ± 1 nM and a 1:1 stoichiometry. NMR and mutagenesis experiments reveal that for SFSF2, the canonical ?1 and ?3 interactions are themselves not sufficient for effective RNA binding; the additional loop L3 is crucial for RNA complex formation. A comparison is made between the structures of SRSF2-RNA complex with other known RNA complexes of SR proteins. We conclude that interactions involving the L3 loop, N- and C-termini of the RRM domain are collectively important for determining selectivity between the protein and RNA.
The structure of BPSL1549, a protein of unknown function from Burkholderia pseudomallei, reveals a similarity to Escherichia coli cytotoxic necrotizing factor 1. We found that BPSL1549 acted as a potent cytotoxin against eukaryotic cells and was lethal when administered to mice. Expression levels of bpsl1549 correlate with conditions expected to promote or suppress pathogenicity. BPSL1549 promotes deamidation of glutamine-339 of the translation initiation factor eIF4A, abolishing its helicase activity and inhibiting translation. We propose to name BPSL1549 Burkholderia lethal factor 1.
The cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor seliciclib (1, CYC202) is in phase II clinical development for the treatment of cancer. Here we describe the synthesis of novel purines with greater solubility, lower metabolic clearance, and enhanced potency versus CDKs. These compounds exhibit novel selectivity profiles versus CDK isoforms. Compound ?S?R-21 inhibits CDK2/cyclin E with IC(50)=30 nM, CDK7-cyclin H with IC(50)=1.3 ?M, and CDK9-cyclinT with IC(50)=0.11 ?M; it (CCT68127) inhibits growth of HCT116 colon cancer cells in vitro with GI(50)=0.7 ?M; and shows antitumour activity when dosed p.o. at 50mg/kg to mice bearing HCT116 solid human tumour xenografts.
Direct sputum smear microscopy is the mainstay of TB diagnosis in most low and middle income countries, and is highly specific for Mycobacterium tuberculosis in such settings. However it is limited by low sensitivity, particularly in HIV co-infected patients. Concentration by centrifugation has been reported to be more sensitive than direct smear preparation, but is only suitable for referral laboratories. Simpler concentration methods that could be applied in peripheral laboratories are urgently needed.
The hTREX complex mediates cellular bulk mRNA nuclear export by recruiting the nuclear export factor, TAP, via a direct interaction with the export adaptor, Aly. Intriguingly however, depletion of Aly only leads to a modest reduction in cellular mRNA nuclear export, suggesting the existence of additional mRNA nuclear export adaptor proteins. In order to efficiently export Kaposis sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) intronless mRNAs from the nucleus, the KSHV ORF57 protein recruits hTREX onto viral intronless mRNAs allowing access to the TAP-mediated export pathway. Similarly however, depletion of Aly only leads to a modest reduction in the nuclear export of KSHV intronless mRNAs. Herein, we identify a novel interaction between ORF57 and the cellular protein, UIF. We provide the first evidence that the ORF57-UIF interaction enables the recruitment of hTREX and TAP to KSHV intronless mRNAs in Aly-depleted cells. Strikingly, depletion of both Aly and UIF inhibits the formation of an ORF57-mediated nuclear export competent ribonucleoprotein particle and consequently prevents ORF57-mediated mRNA nuclear export and KSHV protein production. Importantly, these findings highlight that redundancy exists in the eukaryotic system for certain hTREX components involved in the mRNA nuclear export of intronless KSHV mRNAs.
A pelmanism (matched-pairs) game was used in order to test the hypothesis that survival-relevant stimuli that are likely to have been present during human evolution (e.g., a snake in attack position) enjoy a memory advantage over other survival-relevant (but “modern”) stimuli (e.g., a threatening image of a gunman). Survival-relevant stimuli were matched for arousal and presented in one of two 5 x 4 grids, along with filler items. Participants were asked to match the pairs in the grids by clicking on successive squares to reveal stimuli. Participants made significantly fewer errors when matching evolutionarily relevant survival stimuli than when matching the other stimuli. Additionally, on incorrect trials, the attempted matches were significantly closer to the actual locations of evolutionarily relevant targets than to those of other stimuli. The results suggest that objects that likely posed a consistent threat throughout human evolutionary history are better remembered than other, equally arousing and survival-relevant, stimuli. [corrected]
The place theory proposed by Jeffress (1948) is still the dominant model of how the brain represents the movement of sensory stimuli between sensory receptors. According to the place theory, delays in signalling between neurons, dependent on the distances between them, compensate for time differences in the stimulation of sensory receptors. Hence the location of neurons, activated by the coincident arrival of multiple signals, reports the stimulus movement velocity. Despite its generality, most evidence for the place theory has been provided by studies of the auditory system of auditory specialists like the barn owl, but in the study of mammalian auditory systems the evidence is inconclusive. We ask to what extent the somatosensory systems of tactile specialists like rats and mice use distance dependent delays between neurons to compute the motion of tactile stimuli between the facial whiskers (or vibrissae). We present a model in which synaptic inputs evoked by whisker deflections arrive at neurons in layer 2/3 (L2/3) somatosensory barrel cortex at different times. The timing of synaptic inputs to each neuron depends on its location relative to sources of input in layer 4 (L4) that represent stimulation of each whisker. Constrained by the geometry and timing of projections from L4 to L2/3, the model can account for a range of experimentally measured responses to two-whisker stimuli. Consistent with that data, responses of model neurons located between the barrels to paired stimulation of two whiskers are greater than the sum of the responses to either whisker input alone. The model predicts that for neurons located closer to either barrel these supralinear responses are tuned for longer inter-whisker stimulation intervals, yielding a topographic map for the inter-whisker deflection interval across the surface of L2/3. This map constitutes a neural place code for the relative timing of sensory stimuli.
The size, composition and functioning of the spinal cord is likely to depend on appropriate numbers of progenitor and differentiated cells of a particular class, but little is known about how cell numbers are controlled in specific cell cohorts along the dorsoventral axis of the neural tube. Here, we show that FatJ cadherin, identified in a large-scale RNA interference (RNAi) screen of cadherin genes expressed in the neural tube, is localised to progenitors in intermediate regions of the neural tube. Loss of function of FatJ promotes an increase in dp4-vp1 progenitors and a concomitant increase in differentiated Lim1(+)/Lim2(+) neurons. Our studies reveal that FatJ mediates its action via the Hippo pathway mediator Yap1: loss of downstream Hippo components can rescue the defect caused by loss of FatJ. Together, our data demonstrate that RNAi screens are feasible in the chick embryonic neural tube, and show that FatJ acts through the Hippo pathway to regulate cell numbers in specific subsets of neural progenitor pools and their differentiated progeny.
The rapid response system (RRS) is a process of accessing help for health professionals when a patient under their care becomes severely ill. Recent studies and meta-analyses show a reduction in cardiac arrests by a one-third in hospitals that have introduced a rapid response team, although the effect on overall hospital mortality is less clear. It has been suggested that the difficulty in establishing the benefit of the RRS has been due to implementation difficulties and a reluctance of clinical staff to call for additional help. This assertion is supported by the observation that patients continue to have poor outcomes in our institution despite an established RRS being available. In many of these cases, the patient is often unstable for many hours or days without help being sought. These poor outcomes are often discovered in an ad hoc fashion, and the real numbers of patients who may benefit from the RRS is currently unknown. This study has been designed to answer three key questions to improve the RRS: estimate the scope of the problem in terms of numbers of patients requiring activation of the RRS; determine cognitive and socio-cultural barriers to calling the Rapid Response Team; and design and implement solutions to address the effectiveness of the RRS.
Information on thyroid tumors is scant in patients with primary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) and history of head and neck irradiation. The study objective was to investigate thyroid pathology in primary HPT patients with irradiation history presenting for parathyroidectomy.
To establish recurrence patterns among locally advanced head and neck non-nasopharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients treated with radical (chemo-) radiotherapy and to correlate the sites of loco-regional recurrence with radiotherapy doses and target volumes
The ability to amplify genetic material using PCR has transformed the field of diagnostics. Now any organism can be detected by identifying the presence of specific nucleic acids. However, there still remain areas in which traditional PCR cannot easily be applied. In this chapter, we describe a different flavour of PCR in which an enzyme acts on a DNA substrate to convert it into a DNA product that can be detected by PCR. This opens up new areas for the application of the PCR technique and we will show how the technique can be used to detect immunoconjugates, bacterial drug resistance, and bacterial contamination.
The herpesvirus proteins HSV-1 ICP27 and HVS ORF57 promote viral mRNA export by utilizing the cellular mRNA export machinery. This function is triggered by binding to proteins of the transcription-export (TREX) complex, in particular to REF/Aly which directs viral mRNA to the TAP/NFX1 pathway and, subsequently, to the nuclear pore for export to the cytoplasm. Here we have determined the structure of the REF-ICP27 interaction interface at atomic-resolution and provided a detailed comparison of the binding interfaces between ICP27, ORF57 and REF using solution-state NMR. Despite the absence of any obvious sequence similarity, both viral proteins bind on the same site of the folded RRM domain of REF, via short but specific recognition sites. The regions of ICP27 and ORF57 involved in binding by REF have been mapped as residues 104-112 and 103-120, respectively. We have identified the pattern of residues critical for REF/Aly recognition, common to both ICP27 and ORF57. The importance of the key amino acid residues within these binding sites was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. The functional significance of the ORF57-REF/Aly interaction was also probed using an ex vivo cytoplasmic viral mRNA accumulation assay and this revealed that mutants that reduce the protein-protein interaction dramatically decrease the ability of ORF57 to mediate the nuclear export of intronless viral mRNA. Together these data precisely map amino acid residues responsible for the direct interactions between viral adaptors and cellular REF/Aly and provide the first molecular details of how herpes viruses access the cellular mRNA export pathway.
Insulin-induced Na(+) retention in the distal nephron may contribute to the development of oedema/hypertension in patients with type 2 diabetes. This response to insulin is usually attributed to phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1) but a role for protein kinase B (PKB) has been proposed. The present study therefore aimed to clarify the way in which insulin can evoke Na(+) retention.
The conserved TREX mRNA export complex is known to contain UAP56, Aly, Tex1, and the THO complex. Here, we carried out proteomic analysis of immunopurified human TREX complex and identified the protein CIP29 as the only new component with a clear yeast relative (known as Tho1). Tho1 is known to function in mRNA export, and we provide evidence that CIP29 likewise functions in this process. Like the known TREX components, a portion of CIP29 localizes in nuclear speckle domains, and its efficient recruitment to mRNA is both splicing- and cap-dependent. We show that UAP56 mediates an ATP-dependent interaction between the THO complex and both CIP29 and Aly, indicating that TREX assembly is ATP-dependent. Using recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli, we show that UAP56, Aly, and CIP29 form an ATP-dependent trimeric complex, and UAP56 bridges the interaction between CIP29 and Aly. We conclude that the interaction of two conserved export proteins, CIP29 and Aly, with UAP56 is strictly regulated by ATP during assembly of the TREX complex.
Although the serum and glucocorticoid-inducible protein kinase 1 (SGK1) appears to be involved in controlling epithelial Na(+) absorption, its role in this physiologically important ion transport process is undefined. As SGK1 activity is dependent upon target of rapamycin complex 2 (TORC2)-catalysed phosphorylation of SGK1-Ser(422) , we have explored the effects of inhibiting TORC2 and/or TORC1 upon the hormonal control of Na(+) absorption.
Few studies have examined the need for vitamin D supplementation after total thyroidectomy. This study examines the role of postoperative day (POD) 1 serum calcium and parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels in predicting the need for long-term vitamin D supplementation after total thyroidectomy.
The serine-arginine rich family of proteins play important roles in the regulation of both constitutive and alternative splicing. SC35 (also known as SFRS2 and PR264) is a member of this family and contains one RNA recognition motif (RRM domain) and a RS domain at the C-terminus which is enriched with arginine and serine residues. SC35 is specifically involved in major regulatory pathways for cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. Determining the structure of SC35 would enable greater understanding of how its structure relates to its many functions. Complete (1)H, (13)C and (15)N assignments of the RRM domain of SC35 are presented. The assignments were obtained using 2D heteronuclear and 3D triple-resonance experiments with the uniformly [(15)N,(13)C]-labelled protein. The chemical shifts are used to predict the 3-dimensional structure of this RRM domain in the absence of RNA.
Combinatorial RNA interference (co-RNAi) is a valuable tool for highly effective gene suppression of single and multiple-genes targets, and can be used to prevent the escape of mutation-prone transcripts. There are currently three main approaches used to achieve co-RNAi in animal cells; multiple promoter/shRNA cassettes, long hairpin RNAs (lhRNA) and miRNA-embedded shRNAs, however, the relative effectiveness of each is not known. The current study directly compares the ability of each co-RNAi method to deliver pre-validated siRNA molecules to the same gene targets.
The REF/ALY mRNA export adaptor binds TAP/NXF1 via an arginine-rich region, which overlaps with its RNA-binding domain. When TAP binds a REF:RNA complex, it triggers transfer of the RNA from REF to TAP. Here, we have examined the effects of arginine methylation on the activities of the REF protein in mRNA export. We have mapped the arginine methylation sites of REF using mass spectrometry and find that several arginines within the TAP and RNA binding domains are methylated in vivo. However, arginine methylation has no effect on the REF:TAP interaction. Instead, arginine methylation reduces the RNA-binding activity of REF in vitro and in vivo. The reduced RNA-binding activity of REF in its methylated state is essential for efficient displacement of RNA from REF by TAP in vivo. Therefore, arginine methylation fine-tunes the RNA-binding activity of REF such that the RNA-protein interaction can be readily disrupted by export factors further down the pathway.
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARgamma) agonists, such as rosiglitazone and pioglitazone, sensitize cells to insulin, and are therefore used to treat type 2 diabetes. However, in some patients, these drugs induce oedema, and the present study tests the hypothesis that this side effect reflects serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1)-dependent enhancement of epithelia Na(+) absorption.
Based on measuring responses to rat whiskers as they are mechanically stimulated, one recent study suggests that barrel-related areas in layer 2/3 rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) contain a pinwheel map of whisker motion directions. Because this map is reminiscent of topographic organization for visual direction in primary visual cortex (V1) of higher mammals, we asked whether the S1 pinwheels could be explained by an input-driven developmental process as is often suggested for V1. We developed a computational model to capture how whisker stimuli are conveyed to supragranular S1, and simulate lateral cortical interactions using an established self-organizing algorithm. Inputs to the model each represent the deflection of a subset of 25 whiskers as they are contacted by a moving stimulus object. The subset of deflected whiskers corresponds with the shape of the stimulus, and the deflection direction corresponds with the movement direction of the stimulus. If these two features of the inputs are correlated during the training of the model, a somatotopically aligned map of direction emerges for each whisker in S1. Predictions of the model that are immediately testable include (1) that somatotopic pinwheel maps of whisker direction exist in adult layer 2/3 barrel cortex for every large whisker on the rats face, even peripheral whiskers; and (2) in the adult, neurons with similar directional tuning are interconnected by a network of horizontal connections, spanning distances of many whisker representations. We also propose specific experiments for testing the predictions of the model by manipulating patterns of whisker inputs experienced during early development. The results suggest that similar intracortical mechanisms guide the development of primate V1 and rat S1.
The mRNA export adaptors provide an important link between multiple nuclear mRNA processing events and the mRNA export receptor TAP/NXF1/Mex67p. They are recruited to mRNA through transcriptional and post-transcriptional events, integrating this information to licence mRNA for export. Subsequently they hand mRNA over to TAP and switch TAP to a higher-affinity RNA-binding state, ensuring its stable association with mRNA destined for export. Here we discuss the structure and function of adaptors and how they are recruited to mRNA.
Somites are formed progressively from the presomitic mesoderm (PSM) in a highly regulated process according to a strict periodicity driven by an oscillatory mechanism. The Notch and Wnt pathways are key components in the regulation of this somitic oscillator and data from Xenopus and zebrafish embryos indicate that the Notch-downstream target Nrarp participates in the regulation of both activities. We have analyzed Nrarp/nrarp-a expression in the PSM of chick, mouse and zebrafish embryos, and we show that it cycles in synchrony with other Notch regulated cyclic genes. In the mouse its transcription is both Wnt- and Notch-dependent, whereas in the chick and fish embryo it is simply Notch-dependent. Despite oscillating mRNA levels, Nrarp protein does not oscillate in the PSM. Finally, neither gain nor loss of Nrarp function interferes with the normal expression of Notch-related cyclic genes.
The role of SGK1 (serum- and glucocorticoid-induced protein kinase 1) in the glucocorticoid induction of alpha-ENaC (epithelial Na+ channel alpha subunit) gene transcription was explored by monitoring the transcriptional activity of a luciferase-linked, alpha-ENaC reporter gene construct (pGL3-KR1) expressed in H441 airway epithelial cells. Dexamethasone evoked a concentration-dependent (EC50 approximately 4 microM) increase in transcriptional activity dependent upon a glucocorticoid response element in the alpha-ENaC sequence. Although dexamethasone also activated endogenous SGK1, artificially increasing cellular SGK1 activity by expressing a constitutively active SGK1 mutant (SGK1-S422D) in hormone-deprived cells did not activate pGL3-KR1. Moreover, expression of catalytically inactive SGK1 (SGK1-K127A) suppressed the activation of endogenous SGK1 without affecting the transcriptional response to dexamethasone. Increasing cellular PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) activity by expressing a membrane-anchored form of the catalytic PI3K-P110alpha subunit [CD2 (cluster of differentiation 2)-P110alpha] also activated endogenous SGK1 without affecting pGL3-KR1activity. A catalytically inactive form of CD2-P110alpha (R1130P), on the other hand, prevented the dexamethasone-induced activation of SGK1, but did not inhibit the activation of pGL3-KR1. However, expression of SGK1-S422D or CD2-P110alpha enhanced the transcriptional responses to maximally effective concentrations of dexamethasone and this effect occurred with no change in EC50. Dexamethasone-induced (0.3-300 nM) activation of pGL3-KR1 was unaffected by inhibitors of PI3K (PI-103 and wortmanin) and by rapamycin, a selective inhibitor of the TORC1 (target of rapamycin complex 1) signalling complex. Dexamethasone-induced activation of the alpha-ENaC gene promoter can thus occur independently of SGK1/PI3K, although this pathway does provide a mechanism that allows this transcriptional response to dexamethasone to be enhanced.
Messenger RNA (mRNA) export adaptors play an important role in the transport of mRNA from the nucleus to the cytoplasm. They couple early mRNA processing events such as 5 capping and 3 end formation with loading of the TAP/NXF1 export receptor onto mRNA. The canonical adaptor REF/ALY/Yra1 is recruited to mRNA via UAP56 and subsequently delivers the mRNA to NXF1 . Knockdown of UAP56 [2, 3] and NXF1 [4-7] in higher eukaryotes efficiently blocks mRNA export, whereas knockdown of REF only causes a modest reduction, suggesting the existence of additional adaptors [8-10]. Here we identify a new UAP56-interacting factor, UIF, which functions as an export adaptor, binding NXF1 and delivering mRNA to the nuclear pore. REF and UIF are simultaneously found on the same mRNA molecules, and both proteins are required for efficient export of mRNA. We show that the histone chaperone FACT specifically binds UIF, but not REF, via the SSRP1 subunit, and this interaction is required for recruitment of UIF to mRNA. Together the results indicate that REF and UIF represent key human adaptors for the export of cellular mRNAs via the UAP56-NXF1 pathway.
Using desktop, computer-simulated virtual environments (VEs), the authors conducted 5 experiments to investigate blocking of learning about a goal location based on Shape B as a consequence of preliminary training to locate that goal using Shape A. The shapes were large 2-dimensional horizontal figures on the ground. Blocking of spatial learning was found when the initially trained Shape A was presented in the context of auxiliary shapes that were anticipated to be irrelevant to goal localization. When Shape A was initially presented in the absence of these auxiliary shapes, no evidence of blocking between shapes was apparent. The results are discussed in terms of the similarity between spatial and other forms of contingency learning, the operation of a specialized geometric module, and changes in attention as a consequence of discrimination learning.
Arginine and lysine methylation are widespread protein post-translational modifications. Peptides containing these modifications are difficult to retain using traditional reversed-phase liquid chromatography because they are intrinsically basic/hydrophilic and often fragment poorly during collision induced fragmentation (CID). Therefore, they are difficult to analyze using standard proteomic workflows. To overcome these caveats, we performed peptide separations at neutral pH, resulting in increased retention of the hydrophilic/basic methylated peptides before identification using MS/MS. Alternatively trifluoroacetic acid (TFA) was used for increased trapping of methylated peptides. Electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) mass spectrometry was then used to identify and characterize methylated residues. In contrast to previous reports utilizing ETD for arginine methylation, we observed significant amount of side-chain fragmentation. Using heavy methyl stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture it was shown that, similar to CID, a loss of monomethylamine or dimethylamine from the arginine methylated side-chain during ETD can be used as a diagnostic to determine the type of arginine methylation. CID of lysine methylated peptides does not lead to significant neutral losses, but ETD is still beneficial because of the high charge states of such peptides. The developed LC MS/MS methods were successfully applied to tryptic digests of a number of methylated proteins, including splicing factor proline-glutamine-rich protein (SFPQ), RNA and export factor-binding protein 2 (REF2-I) and Sul7D, demonstrating significant advantages over traditional LC MS/MS approaches.
Vitalistic thinking has traditionally been associated with reasoning about biological phenomena. The current research aimed to investigate a broader range of vitalistic thinking than previously studied. Esoteric notions of energy are frequently used by individuals when making causal attributions for strange occurrences, and previous literature has linked such thinking with paranormal, magical, and superstitious beliefs. Two experiments are described that aim to investigate whether adults are vitalistic when asked to make causal judgments, and whether this can be predicted by thinking styles and prior paranormal belief. Experiment 1 asked participants to rate three causal options (one of which was vitalistic) for six vignettes. Scores on one dimension of paranormal belief (New Age Philosophy) and analytical thinking significantly predicted vitalism, but scores on intuitive thinking and Traditional Paranormal Beliefs did not. Experiment 2 extended the findings by asking participants to generate their own causal responses. Again, paranormal belief was found to be the best predictor of vitalism, but this time Traditional Paranormal Beliefs were associated with vitalistic responses whilst both intuitive and analytical thinking were unable to significantly predict classification. Results challenge previous findings, suggesting that vitalistic thinking may operate differently when applied to everyday causal reasoning.
The optimal protocol for the detection and treatment of postthyroidectomy hypoparathyroidism is unknown. We sought to identify and treat patients at risk for symptomatic hypocalcemia on the basis of a single parathyroid hormone (PTH) obtained the morning after surgery (POD1).
Ca2+i signalling is pivotal to sperm function. Progesterone, the best-characterized agonist of human sperm Ca2+i signalling, stimulates a biphasic [Ca2+]i rise, comprising a transient and subsequent sustained phase. In accordance with recent reports that progesterone directly activates CatSper, the [Ca2+]i transient was detectable in the anterior flagellum (where CatSper is expressed) 1-2 s before responses in the head and neck. Pre-treatment with 5 ?M 2-APB (2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate), which enhances activity of store-operated channel proteins (Orai) by facilitating interaction with their activator [STIM (stromal interaction molecule)] amplified progesterone-induced [Ca2+]i transients at the sperm neck/midpiece without modifying kinetics. The flagellar [Ca2+]i response was unchanged. 2-APB (5 ?M) also enhanced the sustained response in the midpiece, possibly reflecting mitochondrial Ca2+ accumulation downstream of the potentiated [Ca2+]i transient. Pre-treatment with 50-100 ?M 2-APB failed to potentiate the transient and suppressed sustained [Ca2+]i elevation. When applied during the [Ca2+]i plateau, 50-100 ?M 2-APB caused a transient fall in [Ca2+]i, which then recovered despite the continued presence of 2-APB. Loperamide (a chemically different store-operated channel agonist) enhanced the progesterone-induced [Ca2+]i signal and potentiated progesterone-induced hyperactivated motility. Neither 2-APB nor loperamide raised pHi (which would activate CatSper) and both compounds inhibited CatSper currents. STIM and Orai were detected and localized primarily to the neck/midpiece and acrosome where Ca2+ stores are present and the effects of 2-APB are focussed, but store-operated currents could not be detected in human sperm. We propose that 2-APB-sensitive channels amplify [Ca2+]i elevation induced by progesterone (and other CatSper agonists), amplifying, propagating and providing spatio-temporal complexity in [Ca2+]i signals of human sperm.
The metazoan TREX complex is recruited to mRNA during nuclear RNA processing and functions in exporting mRNA to the cytoplasm. Nxf1 is an mRNA export receptor, which binds processed mRNA and transports it through the nuclear pore complex. At present, the relationship between TREX and Nxf1 is not understood. Here we show that Nxf1 uses an intramolecular interaction to inhibit its own RNA-binding activity. When the TREX subunits Aly and Thoc5 make contact with Nxf1, Nxf1 is driven into an open conformation, exposing its RNA-binding domain, allowing RNA binding. Moreover, the combined knockdown of Aly and Thoc5 markedly reduces the amount of Nxf1 bound to mRNA in vivo and also causes a severe mRNA export block. Together, our data indicate that TREX provides a license for mRNA export by driving Nxf1 into a conformation capable of binding mRNA.
Melioidosis is a disease caused by infection with Burkholderia pseudomallei. The molecular basis for the pathogenicity of B. pseudomallei is poorly understood. However, recent work has identified the first toxin from this bacterium and shown that it inhibits host protein synthesis. Here, we review the illness that is potentially associated with biological warfare, the pathogen and its deadly molecular mechanism of action, as well as therapeutic developments that may follow.
Temporal regulation of embryonic neurogenesis is controlled by hypostable transcription factors. The mechanism of the process is unclear. Here we show that the RNase III Drosha and DGCR8 (also known as Pasha), key components of the microRNA (miRNA) microprocessor, have important functions in mouse neurogenesis. Loss of microprocessor in forebrain neural progenitors resulted in a loss of stem cell character and precocious differentiation whereas Dicer deficiency did not. Drosha negatively regulated expression of the transcription factors Neurogenin 2 (Ngn2) and NeuroD1 whereas forced Ngn2 expression phenocopied the loss of Drosha. Neurog2 mRNA contains evolutionarily conserved hairpins with similarities to pri-miRNAs, and associates with the microprocessor in neural progenitors. We uncovered a Drosha-dependent destabilization of Neurog2 mRNAs consistent with microprocessor cleavage at hairpins. Our findings implicate direct and miRNA-independent destabilization of proneural mRNAs by the microprocessor, which facilitates neural stem cell (NSC) maintenance by blocking accumulation of differentiation and determination factors.
To explore the causes of failure to activate the rapid response system (RRS). The organisation has a recognised incidence of staff failing to act when confronted with a deteriorating patient and leading to adverse outcomes.
Human cancers often contain genetic alterations that disable G1/S checkpoint control and loss of this checkpoint is thought to critically contribute to cancer generation by permitting inappropriate proliferation and distorting fate-driven cell cycle exit. The identification of cell permeable small molecules that activate the G1/S checkpoint may therefore represent a broadly applicable and clinically effective strategy for the treatment of cancer. Here we describe the identification of several novel small molecules that trigger G1/S checkpoint activation and characterise the mechanism of action for one, CCT020312, in detail. Transcriptional profiling by cDNA microarray combined with reverse genetics revealed phosphorylation of the eukaryotic initiation factor 2-alpha (EIF2A) through the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 3 (EIF2AK3/PERK) as the mechanism of action of this compound. While EIF2AK3/PERK activation classically follows endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress signalling that sets off a range of different cellular responses, CCT020312 does not trigger these other cellular responses but instead selectively elicits EIF2AK3/PERK signalling. Phosphorylation of EIF2A by EIF2A kinases is a known means to block protein translation and hence restriction point transit in G1, but further supports apoptosis in specific contexts. Significantly, EIF2AK3/PERK signalling has previously been linked to the resistance of cancer cells to multiple anticancer chemotherapeutic agents, including drugs that target the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway and taxanes. Consistent with such findings CCT020312 sensitizes cancer cells with defective taxane-induced EIF2A phosphorylation to paclitaxel treatment. Our work therefore identifies CCT020312 as a novel small molecule chemical tool for the selective activation of EIF2A-mediated translation control with utility for proof-of-concept applications in EIF2A-centered therapeutic approaches, and as a chemical starting point for pathway selective agent development. We demonstrate that consistent with its mode of action CCT020312 is capable of delivering potent, and EIF2AK3 selective, proliferation control and can act as a sensitizer to chemotherapy-associated stresses as elicited by taxanes.
Glucocorticoids appear to control Na? absorption in pulmonary epithelial cells via a mechanism dependent upon serum and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1), a kinase that allows control over the surface abundance of epithelial Na? channel subunits (?-, ?- and ?-ENaC). However, not all data support this model and the present study re-evaluates this hypothesis in order to clarify the mechanism that allows glucocorticoids to control ENaC activity.
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