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We have used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with degenerate oligonucleotides derived from two conserved regions of the norepinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid transporters to identify novel Na(+)-dependent transporters in rat brain. One PCR product hybridized to a 4.0 kb RNA concentrated in subpopulations of putative glutamatergic neurons including mitral cells of the olfactory bulb, pyramidal cells of layer V of the cerebral cortex, pyramidal cells of the piriform cortex, and pyramidal cells of field CA3 of the hippocampus. Transient expression of the cognate cDNA conferred Na(+)-dependent L-proline uptake in HeLa cells that was saturable (Km = 9.7 microM) and exhibited a pharmacological profile similar to that for high affinity L-proline transport in rat brain slices. The cloned transporter cDNA predicts a 637 aa protein with 12 putative transmembrane domains and exhibits 44%-45% amino acid sequence identity with other members of the emerging family of neurotransmitter transporters. These findings support a synaptic role for L-proline in specific excitatory pathways in the CNS.
The effect of adrenaline on the secretion of cortisol and cyclic AMP (cAMP) and on the accumulation of four different mRNAs encoding cholesterol side-chain cleavage cytochrome P450 (P450scc), 17 alpha-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450(17 alpha)), 21-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450c21) and 11 beta-hydroxylase cytochrome P450 (P450(11 beta)) was studied in bovine adrenocortical cells in primary culture and compared with the effects of ACTH. Treatment of cultured cells with adrenaline (1-100 mumol/l) showed a biphasic response in cortisol release over 1-24 h. Concentration of cAMP in the culture media increased from a basal level of < 0.06 pmol/dish to a maximal level of 40.14 +/- 8.9 pmol/dish with a half-maximal release of 20.07 pmol cAMP/dish in the medium reached 1.2 h after treatment with 10 mumol adrenaline/l. This stimulation resulted in an uniform increase in the levels of all four P450 mRNAs as revealed by Northern blot analysis. Increasing doses of adrenaline produced a maximal mRNA accumulation at a concentration of 10 mumol adrenaline/l. Incubation of the cells with 10 mumol adrenaline/l for 1-24 h produced a biphasic time-course with a half-maximal stimulation after about 5-6 h. Maximal stimulation with ACTH (100 nmol/l) caused different accumulations of the four mRNAs: P450sec mRNA increased twice as much and P450(17 alpha) mRNA six times as much as the accumulation of P450c21 mRNA and P450(11 beta) mRNA, which was about ten-fold over basal values. Propranolol totally blocked the stimulatory effect of adrenaline but not the effect of ACTH.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
A unique cAMP regulatory sequence, -129/-96 base pairs (bp), associated with the gene encoding human cytochrome P450C21 (CYP21B) binds a nuclear protein designated ASP, as described previously (Kagawa, N., and Waterman, M. R. (1991) J. Biol. Chem. 266, 11199-11204). This putative transcription factor required for cAMP-dependent transcription of the human CYP21B gene has been purified from the nuclear extracts of mouse Y1 cells by using sequence-specific DNA-affinity chromatography. The purified ASP is 78 kDa as estimated by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and binds to its specific recognition site, -126/-113-bp CACTCTGTGGGCGG, which has been demonstrated to be the minimum cAMP regulatory sequence of the human CYP21B gene. To characterize ASP more precisely, an antibody was raised against the 78-kDa protein. This antibody led to a supershift of the DNA.ASP complex on gel shift analysis and inhibition of in vitro transcription promoted by the ASP binding sequence, thereby indicating that ASP is a 78-kDa transcription factor. Upon DNase I footprinting experiments, ASP showed a characteristic footprint which very closely resembles but is distinct from that of Sp1 which also occupies a binding site within -129/-96 bp. Furthermore, the addition of purified ASP enhanced the mRNA synthesis promoted by the minimum cAMP regulatory sequence in a cell-free transcription system using HeLa cell extracts, whereas added Sp1 does not. These results indicate that ASP is a primary transcription factor for the cAMP-dependent regulation of the human CYP21B gene.
BACKGROUND - Little is known about the factors regulating growth and maintenance of human leptomeningeal cells. The influence of cerebrospinal fluid on these functions is also unknown. Possible mediators include the transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta) family, three closely related peptides that regulate proliferation and numerous other physiologic processes in most mesenchymal cells.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - Expression of both mRNA and protein for TGF beta isoforms TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2, and TGF beta 3 as well as TGF beta-competing activity were evaluated in primary human leptomeningeal cultures by Northern blot analysis, immunohistochemistry, and a radioreceptor assay, respectively. TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2, and TGF beta 3 immunoreactivity was also evaluated in brain sections containing leptomeninges from which these cell cultures were established. An additional study analyzed human cerebrospinal fluid for TGF beta-like activity.
RESULTS - Transcripts for TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3 were detected in RNA from each of the eight leptomeningeal cultures. Significant TGF beta 1 immunoreactivity was detected in leptomeningeal tissue from five of eight cases. TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3 immunostaining was seen in eight and seven of the cases, respectively. Similarly, cells cultured from these meninges exhibited variable TGF beta 1 and extensive TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3 immunoreactivity. Radioreceptor assays of conditioned media from four cultures demonstrated significant latent TGF beta-like activity. TGF beta radioreceptor competing activity was also detected by radioreceptor assay in normal blood-free cerebrospinal fluid from 32 patients without neurological disease. In addition, pooled cerebrospinal fluid (from six additional patients) exhibited dose dependent TGF beta-like activity in the radioreceptor assay, stimulation of AKR-2B cell growth in soft agar and inhibition of growth in CCL-64 cell assays suggesting that cerebrospinal fluid contains TG beta-like activity.
CONCLUSIONS - These findings suggest that the human leptomeninges synthesize TGF beta 1, TGF beta 2 and TGF beta 3 and secrete latent TGF beta s at least in vitro. Human cerebrospinal fluid may also contain TGF beta isoforms. Collectively, these observations raise the possibility that members of the TGF beta family contribute to biologic processes of the leptomeninges.
The EFII cis element is a 38-bp sequence at the 5' end of the Rous sarcoma virus long terminal repeat, extending from nucleotides -229 to -192 (with respect to the viral transcription start site), which is recognized by sequence-specific DNA-binding proteins in avian fibroblast nuclear extracts (L. Sealy and R. Chalkley, Mol. Cell. Biol. 7:787-798, 1987). We demonstrate that multiple copies of the EFII cis element strongly activate transcription of a reporter gene in vivo. We correlate the region of the EFII cis element which activates transcription in vivo with the in vitro binding site for three nuclear factors, EFIIa, EFIIb, and EFIIc. The sequence motif recognized by EFIIa, -b, and -c is also found in consensus binding sites for members of a rapidly growing family of transcription factors related to the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP). EFIIa, -b, and -c are present in fibroblast and epithelial cell lines from various species but are much less abundant in differentiated rat liver and kidney cells. The EFIIa binding activity is particularly abundant in an avian B-cell lymphoma line. As judged from molecular weight analysis, cell type distribution, and sequence recognition properties, the EFII factors under study appear to differ from most of the previously described C/EBP-related factors and thus may expand the diversity of the C/EBP family.
A cDNA representing a 5.2-kb defective, endogenous murine leukemia proviral sequence (EPI-EPS) was isolated from a C57BL/6 mouse cDNA epididymal library. Northern blot analysis demonstrated that EPI-EPS was predominantly expressed in the C57BL/6 mouse epididymis and vas deferens with 10-fold lower expression in the seminal vesicle, kidney, and submandibular gland. Analysis of tissues from other inbred strains of mice as well as the wild mouse, Mus musculus musculus, showed a similar pattern of tissue expression. EPI-EPS expression was also highly androgen regulated in both the reproductive and nonreproductive tissues of the C57BL/6 strain. However, a differential response to testosterone replacement was observed between tissues. Expression of EPI-EPS mRNA in the epididymis and vas deferens exhibited only a partial recovery to precastration levels after testosterone replacement; in the kidney and submandibular gland there was a complete recovery of EPI-EPS expression. Finally, EPI-EPS expression was also highly restricted in the female tissues, with expression limited to the oviduct and uterus. EPI-EPS, however, was not estrogen regulated in the female. These results suggest that a proviral sequence, EPI-EPS, is expressed in M. m. musculus and several inbred strains of mice due to its integration near a highly tissue-specific and androgen-regulated genetic locus.
The three ras genes code for proteins with a putative role in cellular signal transduction. They belong to a larger family of small guanosine-triphosphate (GTP)-binding proteins. The ras proteins acquire transforming activity when amino acids are substituted at one of a few specific sites, as a result of a point mutation in the gene. In about one third of adenocarcinomas of the lung, a K-ras mutation is present in codon 12 of the gene. Patients with early stages of K-ras mutation-positive tumors have a very unfavorable prognosis, even if apparently radical resection of the tumor has taken place. K-ras mutations are very rare among nonsmokers, and it is reasonable to assume that carcinogens in tobacco smoke directly cause the mutation. The types of ras mutations found in lung cancer are different from those in gastrointestinal malignancies. Colon cancer is mainly associated with mutations leading to substitution of the normal glycine at amino acid position 12 of K-ras by either valine or aspartic acid, and mutations in N-ras are not exceptional. In contrast, the predominant mutation in lung cancer leads to substitution of cysteine in codon 12. Several other members of the ras gene superfamily are also expressed in human lung cancer, but a possible relationship with lung tumorigenesis remains to be established.
We describe transgenic mouse lines that express lacZ under the control of the Hox 3.3 Promoter II. The correct anterior boundary can be fixed by 3.6 kb of promoter DNA (plus 1.6 kb of 5' transcribed sequences), both in tissues of ectodermal and mesodermal origin. The posterior border, however, is not respected, and lacZ expression continues into the tail region. One line has particularly strong graded expression in the anterior proximal limb bud. Other lines, containing a shorter promoter fragment (0.6 kb), have ectopic expression in the head region, including one line that has expression in the anterior half of the retina. Such mouse lines make it possible to molecularly distinguish cells in regions of the embryo that look otherwise identical and may be useful in studying the establishment of molecular differences in the mouse embryo.
Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF beta) has been implicated in the regulation of hepatocyte function. We have examined TGF beta 1 regulation of albumin and alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) mRNA levels in a well differentiated mouse hepatoma cell line (BWTG3). TGF beta 1 reversibly decreased steady state mRNA levels of both albumin and AFP. By nuclear run-on assays, we found that TGF beta 1 caused no significant change in transcription rates for albumin or AFP. Pretreatment with actinomycin-D prevented the TGF beta 1-induced decrease in albumin and AFP mRNA levels. Also, if cells were treated with actinomycin-D after a 12-h exposure to TGF beta 1, actinomycin-D abrogated the further decrease in albumin and AFP mRNA levels that occurred after treatment with TGF beta 1 alone. Cycloheximide pretreatment blocked the TGF beta 1-induced decrease in albumin and AFP mRNA levels. TGF beta 1 altered neither the rate of BWTG3 cell growth nor the levels of mRNA for the growth-associated protooncogene c-myc. These data suggest that TGF beta 1 has regulatory effects on specific hepatocyte functions that are independent of growth regulatory effects. The decrease in albumin and AFP mRNAs caused by TGF beta 1 is posttranscriptional and dependent upon de novo RNA and protein synthesis.