There is a real need for simple structures that define a ?-strand conformation, a secondary structure that is central to peptide-protein interactions. For example, protease substrates and inhibitors almost universally adopt this geometry on active site binding. A planar pyrrole is used to replace two amino acids of a peptide backbone to generate a simple macrocycle that retains the required geometry for active site binding. The resulting ?-strand templates have reduced peptide character and provide potent protease inhibitors with the attachment of an appropriate amino aldehyde to the C-terminus. Picomolar inhibitors of cathepsin L and S are reported and the mode of binding of one example to the model protease chymotrypsin is defined by X-ray crystallography.
The carboxylesterase Est55 has been cloned and expressed in Bacillus subtilis strains. Est55, which lacks a classical, cleavable N-terminal signal sequence, was found to be secreted during the stationary phase of growth such that there is more Est55 in the medium than inside the cells. Several cytoplasmic proteins were also secreted in large amounts during late stationary phase, indicating that secretion in B. subtilis is not unique to Est55. These proteins, which all have defined cytoplasmic functions, include GroEL, DnaK, enolase, pyruvate dehydrogenase subunits PdhB and PdhD, and SodA. The release of Est55 and those proteins into the growth medium is not due to gross cell lysis, a conclusion that is supported by several lines of evidence: constant cell density and secretion in the presence of chloramphenicol, constant viability count, the absence of EF-Tu and SecA in the culture medium, and the lack of effect of autolysin-deficient mutants. The shedding of these proteins by membrane vesicles into the medium is minimal. More importantly, we have identified a hydrophobic ?-helical domain within enolase that contributes to its secretion. Thus, upon the genetic deletion or replacement of a potential membrane-embedding domain, the secretion of plasmid gene-encoded mutant enolase is totally blocked, while the wild-type chromosomal enolase is secreted normally in the same cultures during the stationary phase, indicating differential specificity. We conclude that the secretion of Est55 and several cytoplasmic proteins without signal peptides in B. subtilis is a general phenomenon and is not a consequence of cell lysis or membrane shedding; instead, their secretion is through a process(es) in which protein domain structure plays a contributing factor.
Human interleukin-15 (hIL-15) is an important cytokine to activate endothelial cells and can be regulated by many other cytokines. The aim of this study is to examine the ability of interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) to induce the production of human interleukin-15 (hIL-15) and IL-15 receptor (IL-15Ralpha) by human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). The data are summarized as follows: 1. Northern blot revealed that IL-15 mRNA was up-regulated by IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. 2. Intracellular IL-15 protein was visualized by fluorescence microscopy, whereas the expression of IL-15 on the surface of HUVECs was detected by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), and no detectable IL-15 in the medium was verified by ELISA. 3. IL-15Ralpha was detected on the surface of HUVECs by FACS after IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha stimulation, whereas Western blotting revealed that the elevated expression on surface IL-15Ralpha was not due to the increased protein expression. The conclusion demonstrated from our results is that IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha play an important role in regulating the expression of IL-15 and IL-15Ralpha on the surface of HUVECs.
A synthetic enzymatic pathway was designed for the deep oxidation of glucose in enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs). Polyphosphate glucokinase converts glucose to glucose-6-phosphate using low-cost, stable polyphosphate rather than costly ATP. Two NAD-dependent dehydrogenases (glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase) that were immobilized on the bioanode were responsible for generating two NADH per glucose-6-phosphate (i.e., four electrons were generated per glucose via a diaphorase-vitamin K(3) electron shuttle system at the anode). Additionally, to prolong the enzyme lifetime and increase the power output, all of the recombinant enzymes that originated from thermophiles were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. The maximum power density of the EFC with two dehydrogenases was 0.0203 mW cm(-2) in 10 mM glucose at room temperature, which was 32% higher than that of an EFC with one dehydrogenase, suggesting that the deep oxidation of glucose had occurred. When the temperature was increased to 50°C, the maximum power density increased to 0.322 mW cm(-2), which was approximately eight times higher than that based on mesophilic enzymes at the same temperature. Our results suggest that the deep oxidation of glucose could be achieved by using multiple dehydrogenases in synthetic cascade pathways and that high power output could be achieved by using thermostable enzymes at elevated temperatures.
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