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Purpose - The purpose of this study was to characterize the palmitoyl-proteome in lens fiber cells. S-palmitoylation is the most common form of protein S-acylation and the reversible nature of this modification functions as a molecular switch to regulate many biological processes. This modification could play important roles in regulating protein functions and protein-protein interactions in the lens.
Methods - The palmitoyl-proteome of bovine lens fiber cells was investigated by combining acyl-biotin exchange (ABE) chemistry and mass-spectrometry analysis. Due to the possibility of false-positive results from ABE experiment, a method was also developed for direct detection of palmitoylated peptides by mass spectrometry for validating palmitoylation of lens proteins MP20 and AQP5. Palmitoylation levels on AQP5 in different regions of the lens were quantified after iodoacetamide (IAA)-palmitate exchange.
Results - The ABE experiment identified 174 potential palmitoylated proteins. These proteins include 39 well-characterized palmitoylated proteins, 92 previously reported palmitoylated proteins in other tissues, and 43 newly identified potential palmitoylated proteins including two important transmembrane proteins in the lens, AQP5 and MP20. Further analysis by direct detection of palmitoylated peptides confirmed palmitoylation of AQP5 on C6 and palmitoylation of MP20 on C159. Palmitoylation of AQP5 was found to only occur in a narrow region of the inner lens cortex and does not occur in the lens epithelium, in the lens outer cortex, or in the lens nucleus.
Conclusions - AQP5 and MP20 are among 174 palmitoylated proteins found in bovine lens fiber cells. This modification to AQP5 and MP20 may play a role in their translocation from the cytoplasm to cell membranes during fiber cell differentiation.
Metastasis contributes to poor prognosis in many types of cancer and is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Tumor cells metastasize to distant sites via the circulatory and lymphatic systems. In this review, we discuss the potential of circulating tumor cells for diagnosis and describe the experimental therapeutics that aim to target these disseminating cancer cells. We discuss the advantages and limitations of such strategies and how they may lead to the development of the next generation of antimetastasis treatments.
Bioactivation of 5-hydroxy-[carbonyl-(14)C]thalidomide, a known metabolite of thalidomide, by human artificial or native cytochrome P450 3A enzymes, and nonspecific binding in livers of mice was assessed using two-dimensional electrophoresis combined with accelerator mass spectrometry. The apparent major target proteins were liver microsomal cytochrome c oxidase subunit 6B1 and ATP synthase subunit α in mice containing humanized P450 3A genes or transplanted humanized liver. Liver cytosolic retinal dehydrogenase 1 and glutathione transferase A1 were targets in humanized mice with P450 3A and hepatocytes, respectively. 5-Hydroxythalidomide is bioactivated by human P450 3A enzymes and trapped with proteins nonspecifically in humanized mice.
Microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) is essential for the assembly of triglyceride-rich apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. Previous studies in our laboratory identified a novel splice variant of MTP in mice that we named MTP-B. MTP-B has a unique first exon (1B) located 2.7 kB upstream of the first exon (1A) for canonical MTP (MTP-A). The two mature isoforms, though nearly identical in sequence and function, have different tissue expression patterns. In this study we report the identification of a second MTP splice variant (MTP-C), which contains both exons 1B and 1A. MTP-C is expressed in all the tissues we tested. In cells transfected with MTP-C, protein expression was less than 15% of that found when the cells were transfected with MTP-A or MTP-B. In silico analysis of the 5'-UTR of MTP-C revealed seven ATGs upstream of the start site for MTP-A, which is the only viable start site in frame with the main coding sequence. One of those ATGs was located in the 5'-UTR for MTP-A. We generated reporter constructs in which the 5'-UTRs of MTP-A or MTP-C were inserted between an SV40 promoter and the coding sequence of the luciferase gene and transfected these constructs into HEK 293 cells. Luciferase activity was significantly reduced by the MTP-C 5'-UTR, but not by the MTP-A 5'-UTR. We conclude that alternative splicing plays a key role in regulating MTP expression by introducing unique 5'-UTRs, which contain elements that alter translation efficiency, enabling the cell to optimize MTP levels and activity.
Acinetobacter baumannii, A. nosocomialis, and A. pittii have recently emerged as opportunistic human pathogens capable of causing severe human disease; however, the molecular mechanisms employed by Acinetobacter to cause disease remain poorly understood. Many pathogenic members of the genus Acinetobacter contain genes predicted to encode proteins required for the biogenesis of a type II secretion system (T2SS), which have been shown to mediate virulence in many Gram-negative organisms. Here we demonstrate that Acinetobacter nosocomialis strain M2 produces a functional T2SS, which is required for full virulence in both the Galleria mellonella and murine pulmonary infection models. Importantly, this is the first bona fide secretion system shown to be required for virulence in Acinetobacter. Using bioinformatics, proteomics, and mutational analyses, we show that Acinetobacter employs its T2SS to export multiple substrates, including the lipases LipA and LipH as well as the protease CpaA. Furthermore, the Acinetobacter T2SS, which is found scattered amongst five distinct loci, does not contain a dedicated pseudopilin peptidase, but instead relies on the type IV prepilin peptidase, reinforcing the common ancestry of these two systems. Lastly, two of the three secreted proteins characterized in this study require specific chaperones for secretion. These chaperones contain an N-terminal transmembrane domain, are encoded adjacently to their cognate effector, and their disruption abolishes type II secretion of their cognate effector. Bioinformatic analysis identified putative chaperones located adjacent to multiple previously known type II effectors from several Gram-negative bacteria, which suggests that T2SS chaperones constitute a separate class of membrane-associated chaperones mediating type II secretion.
Lipid droplets are intracellular energy storage organelles composed of a hydrophobic core of neutral lipid, surrounded by a monolayer of phospholipid and a diverse array of proteins. The function of the vast majority of these proteins with regard to the formation and/or turnover of lipid droplets is unknown. Our laboratory was the first to report that microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP), a lipid transfer protein essential for the assembly of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, was expressed in adipose tissue of humans and mice. In addition, our studies suggested that MTP was associated with lipid droplets in both brown and white fat. Our observations led us to hypothesize that MTP plays a key role in lipid droplet formation and/or turnover. The objective of these studies was to gain insight into the function of MTP in adipocytes. Using molecular, biochemical, and morphologic approaches we have shown: 1) MTP protein levels increase nearly five-fold as 3T3-L1 cells differentiate into adipocytes. 2) As 3T3-L1 cells undergo differentiation, MTP moves from the juxtanuclear region of the cell to the surface of lipid droplets. MTP and perilipin 2, a major lipid droplet surface protein, are found on the same droplets; however, MTP does not co-localize with perilipin 2. 3) Inhibition of MTP activity has no effect on the movement of triglyceride out of the cell either as a lipid complex or via lipolysis. 4) MTP is found associated with lipid droplets within hepatocytes from human fatty livers, suggesting that association of MTP with lipid droplets is not restricted to adipocytes. In summary, our data demonstrate that MTP is a lipid droplet-associated protein. Its location on the surface of the droplet in adipocytes and hepatocytes, coupled with its known function as a lipid transfer protein and its increased expression during adipocyte differentiation suggest a role in lipid droplet biology.
αA- and αB-crystallins are small heat shock proteins that bind thermodynamically destabilized proteins thereby inhibiting their aggregation. Highly expressed in the mammalian lens, the α-crystallins have been postulated to play a critical role in the maintenance of lens optical properties by sequestering age-damaged proteins prone to aggregation as well as through a multitude of roles in lens epithelial cells. Here, we have examined the role of α-crystallins in the development of the vertebrate zebrafish lens. For this purpose, we have carried out morpholino-mediated knockdown of αA-, αBa- and αBb-crystallin and characterized the gross morphology of the lens. We observed lens abnormalities, including increased reflectance intensity, as a consequence of the interference with expression of these proteins. These abnormalities were less frequent in transgenic zebrafish embryos expressing rat αA-crystallin suggesting a specific role of α-crystallins in embryonic lens development. To extend and confirm these findings, we generated an αA-crystallin knockout zebrafish line. A more consistent and severe lens phenotype was evident in maternal/zygotic αA-crystallin mutants compared to those observed by morpholino knockdown. The penetrance of the lens phenotype was reduced by transgenic expression of rat αA-crystallin and its severity was attenuated by maternal αA-crystallin expression. These findings demonstrate that the role of α-crystallins in lens development is conserved from mammals to zebrafish and set the stage for using the embryonic lens as a model system to test mechanistic aspects of α-crystallin chaperone activity and to develop strategies to fine-tune protein-protein interactions in aging and cataracts.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Secreted protein, acidic, cysteine-rich (SPARC) is a glycoprotein that binds to collagen type I and other proteins in the extracellular matrix. Using whole-exome sequencing to identify the molecular defect in two unrelated girls with severe bone fragility and a clinical diagnosis of osteogenesis imperfecta type IV, we identified two homozygous variants in SPARC (GenBank: NM_003118.3; c.497G>A [p.Arg166His] in individual 1; c.787G>A [p.Glu263Lys] in individual 2). Published modeling and site-directed mutagenesis studies had previously shown that the residues substituted by these mutations form an intramolecular salt bridge in SPARC and are essential for the binding of SPARC to collagen type I. The amount of SPARC secreted by skin fibroblasts was reduced in individual 1 but appeared normal in individual 2. The migration of collagen type I alpha chains produced by these fibroblasts was mildly delayed on SDS-PAGE gel, suggesting some overmodification of collagen during triple helical formation. Pulse-chase experiments showed that collagen type I secretion was mildly delayed in skin fibroblasts from both individuals. Analysis of an iliac bone sample from individual 2 showed that trabecular bone was hypermineralized on the material level. In conclusion, these observations show that homozygous mutations in SPARC can give rise to severe bone fragility in humans.
Copyright © 2015 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - To construct, express and purify human fusion proteins composed of a single-chain antibody fragment scFv that recognizes the prostate specific membrane antigen (PSMA) protein, Fdt, HA2 and tp, and to analyze the binding activity of the expressed fusion proteins.
METHODS - The fusion protein genes scFv, scFv-tp, and scFv-Fdt-HA2-tp were amplified by PCR, and the genes obtained were then cloned into the expression vector pET28 and expressed in E. coli BL21. The expressed products were identified by SDS-PAGE and Western blot and purified with Ni(2+)-NTA chelating agarose. The antigen-binding activity of the fusion proteins was determined by ELISA.
RESULTS - The human anti-PSMA fusion gene was successfully constructed and expressed in M15 as the inclusion body after induced with IPTG. All the target proteins expressed could bind the PSMA antigen.
CONCLUSION - Fusion proteins can specifically bind the PSMA antigen. This finding contributes to the study of the targeted delivery of siRNA.
BACKGROUND/PURPOSE - Escherichia coli is a common pathogen to cause clinical and subclinical mastitis in cows. A total of 57 E. coli isolates from raw milk from cows were characterized genetically and biochemically.
METHODS - Extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) genes, the mechanism for fluoroquinolone resistance, and variations in virulence genes and genomes of these E. coli isolates were investigated by the antimicrobial susceptibility test, simplex and multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).
RESULTS - All E. coli isolates were resistant to cloxacillin (100%) and to a lesser extent (50%) to tetracycline, neomycin, gentamycin, ampicillin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime (CTX), and ceftazidime (CAZ). Nearly 70% of the isolates were resistant to at least two antimicrobials and 28.1% carried AmpA and AmpC genes simultaneously. The predominant bla gene was bla, followed by bla, bla, bla, and bla Among the six (10.5%) ESBL-producing E. coli carrying bla, bla, or bla, two isolates 31 of ST410 in the ST23 complex and 58 of ST167 in the ST10 complex were also resistant to ciprofloxacin, enrofloxacin, and levofloxacin, with mutations at codon 83 from serine to leucine and codon 87 from aspartic acid to asparagine in GyrA and at codon 80 from serine to isoleucine in ParC. These isolates were genetically diverse in pulsotype analysis, lacked toxin genes of human pathogenic E. coli and carried mostly the prevalent virulence genes fimH, papGII, and α-hemolysin.
CONCLUSION - Lacking virulence genes examined, genetic diverse E. coli isolates are unrelated to human pathogenic E. coli. Enhancing sanitation in milk processing and transportation is needed to eliminate multidrug-resistant (MDR), fluoroquinolone-resistant, and ESBL-producing E. coli isolates.
Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.