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Endocannabinoids, including anandamide (arachidonoyl ethanolamide) have been implicated in the regulation of a growing number of physiological and pathological processes. Anandamide can be generated from its membrane phospholipid precursor N-arachidonoyl phosphatidylethanolamine (NAPE) through hydrolysis by a phospholipase D (NAPE-PLD). Recent evidence indicates, however, the existence of two additional, parallel pathways. One involves the sequential deacylation of NAPE by alpha,beta-hydrolase 4 (Abhd4) and the subsequent cleavage of glycerophosphate to yield anandamide, and the other one proceeds through phospholipase C-mediated hydrolysis of NAPE to yield phosphoanandamide, which is then dephosphorylated by phosphatases, including the tyrosine phosphatase PTPN22 and the inositol 5' phosphatase SHIP1. Conversion of synthetic NAPE to AEA by brain homogenates from wild-type and NAPE-PLD(-/-) mice can proceed through both the PLC/phosphatase and Abdh4 pathways, with the former being dominant at shorter (<10 min) and the latter at longer (60 min) incubations. In macrophages, the endotoxin-induced synthesis of anandamide proceeds uniquely through the phospholipase C/phosphatase pathway.
Frequency-dependent acceleration of relaxation (FDAR) is an important intrinsic mechanism that allows for diastolic filling of the ventricle at higher heart rates, yet its molecular mechanism is still not understood. Previous studies showed that FDAR is dependent on functional sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) and can be abolished by phosphatase or by Ca/CaM kinase (CaMKII) inhibition. Additionally, CaMKII activity/autophosphorylation has been shown to be frequency-dependent. Thus, we tested the hypothesis that CaMKII phosphorylation of SR Ca(2+)-handling proteins (Phospholamban (PLB), Ca(2+) release channel (RyR)) mediates FDAR. Here we show that FDAR occurs abruptly in fluo-4 loaded isolated rat ventricular myocytes when frequency is raised from 0.1 to 2 Hz. The effect is essentially complete within four beats (2 s) with the tau of [Ca(2+)](i) decline decreasing by 42+/-3%. While there is a detectable increase in PLB Thr-17 and RyR Ser-2814 phosphorylation, the increase is quantitatively small (PLB<5%, RyR approximately 8%) and the time-course is clearly delayed with regard to FDAR. The low substrate phosphorylation indicates that pacing of myocytes only mildly activates CaMKII and consistent with this CaMKIIdelta autophosphorylation did not increase with pacing alone. However, in the presence of phosphatase 1 inhibition pacing triggered a net-increase in autophosphorylated CaMKII and also greatly enhanced PLB and RyR phosphorylation. We conclude that FDAR does not rely on phosphorylation of PLB or RyR. Even though CaMKII does become activated when myocytes are paced, phosphatases immediately antagonize CaMKII action, limit substrate phosphorylation and also prevent sustained CaMKII autophosphorylation (thereby suppressing global CaMKII effects).
Protein serine/threonine phosphatase (PP2A) is a major cellular enzyme implicated in the control of numerous signaling processes. The accurate measurement of PP2A activity in crude cell lysates, immune complexes, and purified preparations provides insight into the function and regulation of this essential enzyme, which, in turn, can lead to a better understanding of the signaling pathways that it modulates. The method presented here utilizes 6,8-difluoro-4-methylumbelliferyl phosphate (DiFMUP) and a FLEXstation for the continuous measure of PP2A activity associated with many different protein preparations. This automated fluorescence-based assay offers several distinct advantages over colorimetric and radioactive assays of phosphatase activity including (1) decreased substrate preparation time, (2) real-time kinetic data, (3) high sensitivity, and (4) the capability to analyze a wide variety of phosphatases.
Endocytosis of Eph receptors is critical for a number of biological processes, including modulating axon growth cone collapse response and regulating cell surface levels of receptor in epithelial cells. In particular, ephrin-A ligand stimulation of tumor cells induces EphA2 receptor internalization and degradation, a process that has been explored as a means to reduce tumor malignancy. However, the mechanism and regulation of ligand-induced Eph receptor internalization are not well understood. Here we show that SHIP2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase 2) is recruited to activated EphA2 via a heterotypic sterile alpha motif (SAM)-SAM domain interaction, leading to regulation of EphA2 internalization. Overexpression of SHIP2 inhibits EphA2 receptor endocytosis, whereas suppression of SHIP2 expression by small interfering RNA-mediated gene silencing promotes ligand-induced EphA2 internalization and degradation. SHIP2 regulates EphA2 endocytosis via phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-dependent Rac1 activation. Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate levels are significantly elevated in SHIP2 knockdown cells, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase inhibitor decreases phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate levels and suppresses increased EphA2 endocytosis. Ephrin-A1 stimulation activates Rac1 GTPase, and the Rac1-GTP levels are further increased in SHIP2 knockdown cells. A dominant negative Rac1 GTPase effectively inhibited ephrin-A1-induced EphA2 endocytosis. Together, our findings provide evidence that recruitment of SHIP2 to EphA2 attenuates a positive signal to receptor endocytosis mediated by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and Rac1 GTPase.
Lhermitte-Duclos disease (LDD) is a rare cerebellar tumor associated with Cowden disease (CD) and germline mutations in the PTEN gene. To further define these relationships, we reviewed clinical and pathologic findings in 31 LDD cases and analyzed the status of the PTEN pathway in 11 of them. We hypothesized that the granule cell hypertrophy in LDD is secondary to activation of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), a downstream effector in the PTEN/AKT pathway and a major regulator of cell growth. Histopathologically, in addition to the classical findings of LDD, we observed prominent vascular proliferation and vacuolization of the white matter in many of the lesions. Four patients met diagnostic criteria for CD, and many of the remaining patients had some clinical features of CD. Immunohistochemical analysis showed high levels of phospho-AKT and phospho-S6 in the large ganglionic cells forming the lesions, indicating activation of the PTEN/AKT/mTOR pathway and suggesting a central role for mTOR in the pathogenesis of LDD. These data support recommendations for genetic testing and screening for CD in patients with LDD and suggest a novel therapy for LDD through pharmacologic inhibition of mTOR.
We have examined the pattern of striatal messenger RNA expression of over 8000 genes in a rat model of levodopa (L-DOPA)-induced dyskinesia and Parkinson disease (PD). 6-Hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA)-lesioned rats were treated with L-DOPA or physiological saline for 22 days and repeatedly tested for antiakinetic response to L-DOPA and the development of abnormal involuntary movements (AIMs). In a comparison of rats that developed a dyskinetic motor response to rats that did not, we found striking differences in gene expression patterns. In rats that developed dyskinesia, GABA neurons had an increased transcriptional activity, and genes involved in Ca2+ homeostasis, in Ca2+ -dependent signaling, and in structural and synaptic plasticity were upregulated. The gene expression patterns implied that the dyskinetic striatum had increased transcriptional, as well as synaptic activity, and decreased capacity for energy production. Some basic maintenance chores such as ribosome protein biosynthesis were downregulated, possibly a response to expended ATP levels.
The mammalian tumor suppressor, phosphatase and tensin homologue deleted on chromosome 10 (PTEN), inhibits cell growth and survival by dephosphorylating phosphatidylinositol-(3,4,5)-trisphosphate (PI[3,4,5]P3). We have found a homologue of PTEN in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe (ptn1). This was an unexpected finding because yeast (S. pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae) lack the class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases that generate PI(3,4,5)P3 in higher eukaryotes. Indeed, PI(3,4,5)P3 has not been detected in yeast. Surprisingly, upon deletion of ptn1 in S. pombe, PI(3,4,5)P3 became detectable at levels comparable to those in mammalian cells, indicating that a pathway exists for synthesis of this lipid and that the S. pombe ptn1, like mammalian PTEN, suppresses PI(3,4,5)P3 levels. By examining various mutants, we show that synthesis of PI(3,4,5)P3 in S. pombe requires the class III phosphoinositide 3-kinase, vps34p, and the phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate 5-kinase, its3p, but does not require the phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate 5-kinase, fab1p. These studies suggest that a pathway for PI(3,4,5)P3 synthesis downstream of a class III phosphoinositide 3-kinase evolved before the appearance of class I phosphoinositide 3-kinases.
Copyright The Rockerfeller University Press
A hallmark of signal transduction is the dynamic and inducible post-translational modification of proteins. In addition to the well characterized phosphorylation of proteins, other modifications have been shown to be regulatory, including O-linked beta-N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc). O-GlcNAc modifies serine and threonine residues on a myriad of nuclear and cytosolic proteins, and for several proteins there appears to be a reciprocal relationship between phosphorylation and O-GlcNAc modification. Here we report further evidence of this yin-yang relationship by demonstrating that O-GlcNAc transferase, the enzyme that adds O-GlcNAc to proteins, exists in stable and active complexes with the serine/threonine phosphatases PP1beta and PP1gamma, enzymes that remove phosphate from proteins. The existence of this complex highlights the importance of understanding the dynamic relationship between O-GlcNAc and phosphate in modulating protein function in many cellular processes and disease states such as Alzheimer's disease and type II diabetes.
OBJECTIVES - To explore the significance of PTEN (phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted on chromosome 10) in the development of human primary hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
METHODS - PTEN protein expression in cancerous liver tissues and paired para-carcinoma liver tissues from 60 HCC patients was detected by immunohistochemistry and PTEN mRNA expression was analyzed by northern blot. The significance of PTEN in the development of HCC was analyzed by investigating the relationship between the expression levels of PTEN protein and mRNA, and the clinicopathological parameters of HCC patients.
RESULTS - PTEN protein was immunohistochemically stained in the cytoplasmic region of para-carcinoma liver tissues in all the 60 patients, while only 48.3% (29/60) of the patients were positive for PTEN protein in cancerous liver tissues. The positive rate of PTEN protein in HCC tissues were relative to the histological gading and the presence of tumor thrombus. In grade I - II, III, and IV, the positive rates were 84.0%, 23.8%, and 21.4% respectively, and in the group with tumor thrombus was 26.7%, while in the group without tumor thrombus was 55.6%. Northern blot showed that there existed four PTEN mRNA transcripts with the length of 5.5kb, 4.4kb, 2.4kb, and 1.8kb respectively. The level of PTEN mRNA expression in HCC tissues was much lower than that in the paired para-carcinoma liver tissues. The low expression level of the 5.5kb and 4.4kb transcripts was significantly associated with serum AFP value, presence of tumor thrombus, state of satellite lesion and histological grading. The low expression level of the 2.4kb transcript in HCC was significantly associated with the presence of tumor thrombus and satellite lesions in HCC patients. However, no evident relationship between the lowered expression level of the 1.8kb transcript and the clinicopathological parameters of HCC was observed in these 60 patients.
CONCLUSIONS - Down-regulation of PTEN expression may play an important role in the development of HCC and the expression level of PTEN may be a potential adjuvant parameter in forecasting the progress and prognosis of HCC.
Phosphatidylinositol-5-phosphate (PI-5-P) is a newly identified phosphoinositide with characteristics of a signaling lipid but no known cellular function. PI-5-P levels are controlled by the type II PI-5-P 4-kinases (PIP4K IIs), a family of kinases that converts PI-5-P into phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate (PI-4,5-P2). The PI-5-P pathway is an alternative route for PI-4,5-P2 synthesis as the bulk of this lipid is generated by the canonical pathway in which phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate (PI-4-P) is the intermediate. Here we examined the effect of activation of the PI-5-P pathway on phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling by expressing PIP4K II beta in cells that lack this enzyme. Although PIP4K II generates PI-4,5-P2, a substrate for PI3K, expression of this enzyme reduced rather than increased phosphatidylinositol-3,4,5-trisphosphate (PI-3,4,5-P3) levels in cells stimulated with insulin or cells expressing activated PI3K. This reduction in PI-3,4,5-P3 levels resulted in decreased activation of the downstream protein kinase, Akt/PKB. Consistent with these results, expression of IpgD, a bacterial phosphatase that converts PI-4,5-P2 to PI-5-P, resulted in Akt activation, and this effect was partially reversed by PIP4K II beta. PIP4K II beta expression did not impair insulin-dependent association of PI3K with insulin receptor substrate 1 (IRS1) but abbreviated Akt activation, indicating that PIP4K II regulates PI-3,4,5-P3 degradation rather than synthesis. These data support a model in which the PI-5-P pathway controls insulin signaling that leads to Akt activation by regulating a PI-3,4,5-P3 phosphatase.