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Mitochondrial Ca2+ (mCa2+) handling is an important regulator of liver cell function that controls events ranging from cellular respiration and signal transduction to apoptosis. Cytosolic Ca2+ enters mitochondria through the ruthenium red-sensitive mCa2+ uniporter, but the mechanisms governing uniporter activity are unknown. Activation of many Ca2+ channels in the cell membrane requires PLC. This activation commonly occurs through phosphitidylinositol-4,5-biphosphate (PIP2) hydrolysis and the production of the second messengers inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate [I(1,4,5)P3] and 1,2-diacylglycerol (DAG). PIP2 was recently identified in mitochondria. We hypothesized that PLC exists in liver mitochondria and regulates mCa2+ uptake through the uniporter. Western blot analysis with anti-PLC antibodies demonstrated the presence of PLC-delta1 in pure preparations of mitochondrial membranes isolated from rat liver. In addition, the selective PLC inhibitor U-73122 dose-dependently blocked mCa2+ uptake when whole mitochondria were incubated at 37 degrees C with 45Ca2+. Increasing extra mCa2+ concentration significantly stimulated mCa2+ uptake, and U-73122 inhibited this effect. Spermine, a uniporter agonist, significantly increased mCa2+ uptake, whereas U-73122 dose-dependently blocked this effect. The inactive analog of U-73122, U-73343, did not affect mCa2+ uptake in any experimental condition. Membrane-permeable I(1,4,5)P3 receptor antagonists 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate and xestospongin C also inhibited mCa2+ uptake. Although extra mitochondrial I(1,4,5)P3 had no effect on mCa2+ uptake, membrane-permeable DAG analogs 1-oleoyl-2-acetyl-sn-glycerol and DAG-lactone, which inhibit PLC activity, dose-dependently inhibited mCa2+ uptake. These data indicate that PLC-delta1 exists in liver mitochondria and is involved in regulating mCa2+ uptake through the uniporter.
The RNA strand in an RNA/DNA duplex with unpaired ribonucleotides can undergo self-cleavage at bulge sites in the presence of a variety of divalent metal ions (Hüsken et al., Biochemistry, 1996, 35:16591-16600). Transesterification proceeds via an in-line mechanism, with the 2'-OH of the bulged nucleotide attacking the 3'-adjacent phosphate group. The site-specificity of the reaction is most likely a consequence of the greater local conformational freedom of the RNA backbone in the bulge region. A standard A-form backbone geometry prohibits formation of an in-line arrangement between 2'-oxygen and phosphate. However, the backbone in the region of an unpaired nucleotide appears to be conducive to an in-line approach. Therefore, the bulge-mediated phosphoryl transfer reaction represents one of the simplest RNA self-cleavage systems. Here we focus on the conformational features of the RNA that underlie site-specific cleavage. The structures of an RNA/DNA duplex with single ribo-adenosyl bulges were analyzed in two crystal forms, permitting observation of 10 individual conformations of the RNA bulge moiety. The bulge geometries cover a range of relative arrangements between the 2'-oxygen of the bulged nucleotide and the P-O5' bond (including adjacent and near in-line) and give a detailed picture of the conformational changes necessary to line up the 2'-OH nucleophile and scissile bond. Although metal ions are of crucial importance in the catalysis of analogous cleavage reactions by ribozymes, it is clear that local strain or conformational flexibility in the RNA also affect cleavage selectivity and rate (Soukup & Breaker, RNA, 1999, 5:1308-1325). The geometries of the RNA bulges frozen out in the crystals provide snapshots along the reaction pathway prior to the transition state of the phosphoryl transfer reaction.
We have determined single crystal structures of an A-DNA decamer and a B-DNA dodecamer at 0.83 and 0.95 A, respectively. The resolution of the former is the highest reported thus far for any right-handed nucleic acid duplex and the quality of the diffraction data allowed determination of the structure with direct methods. The structures reveal unprecedented details of DNA fine structure and hydration; in particular, we have reexamined the overall hydration of A- and B-form DNA, the distribution of water around phosphate groups, and features of the water structure that may underlie the B to A transition.
Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
BACKGROUND - Expression of microbial protein sequences in eukaryotic cells transfected by transcriptional/translational permissive cDNA constructs can induce systemic humoral and cellular responses in vivo. Two methods of in vivo transfection have been described to date. One method uses large quantities of naked DNA injected into skeletal muscle. The second method uses relatively small quantities of DNA complexed to gold particles for bollistic penetration of the plasma membrane of keratinocytes. The major disadvantage of the bolistic method is that instrumentation is required which is not generally available.
OBJECTIVES - The objectives of this study were to determine whether the use of DNA complexed with a cationic lipopolyamine could reduce the quantity of DNA required to induce systemic humoral responses following muscle transfection and whether similar DNA/lipopolyamine complexes could induce mucosal humoral responses following airway exposure.
STUDY DESIGN - Balb/c mice were exposed by nasal aerosol or intramuscular inoculation to a mammalian transcriptional/translational permissive DNA construct containing the entire sequence for the HIV-1 envelope polyprotein. Experimental animals were further segregated by the number of exposures at 3-week intervals and whether the DNA was complexed to dioctadecylamidoglycylspermine (DOGS) at a 5:1 molar charge ratio of DOGS/DNA.
RESULTS - DOGS facilitated in vivo transfection of mouse muscle reduced the quantity of DNA required for a systemic humoral response to surface expressed HIV-envelope proteins by one order of magnitude. Exposure of airway mucosa to both 10 micrograms and 1 microgram quantities of DNA complexed to DOGS produced systemic humoral responses to HIV-envelope as well as mucosal antibodies in pulmonary and colonic epithelia. Molecular modeling of DOGS/DNA complexes at the 5:1 charge ratio used in this study indicates that the DNA component is not exposed to aqueous solvents and may be relatively resistant to degradation under common biological environments.
CONCLUSION - Facilitated transfer of DNA by DOGS to transcriptional/translational competent cells offers several distinct advantages to the use of DNA alone. Since significantly smaller amounts of DNA are required, the potential for the induction of antibodies against DNA itself lessens the likelihood for the development of a lupus-like syndrome. More importantly, however, is the apparent ability to transfect mucosal cells which results in the development of specific mucosal immune responses. This procedure may allow the development of general methods for the induction of mucosal immunity at the level of entry for mucosal pathogens without the disadvantages inherent in live attenuated vectors.