While preferential repair of the transcribed strands within active genes has been demonstrated in organisms as diverse as humans and Escherichia coli, it has not previously been shown to occur in chromosomal genes in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We found that repair of cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers in the transcribed strand of the expressed RPB2 gene in the chromosome of a repair-proficient strain is much more rapid than that in the nontranscribed strand. Furthermore, a copy of the RPB2 gene borne on a centromeric ARS1 plasmid showed the same strand bias in repair. To investigate the relation of this strand bias to transcription, we studied repair in a yeast strain with the temperature-sensitive mutation, rpb1-1, in the largest subunit of RNA polymerase II. When exponentially growing rpb1-1 cells are shifted to the nonpermissive temperature, they rapidly cease mRNA synthesis. At the permissive temperature, both rpb1-1 and the wild-type, parental cells exhibited rapid, proficient repair in the transcribed strand of chromosomal and plasmid-borne copies of the RPB2 gene. At the nonpermissive temperature, the rate of repair in the transcribed strand in rpb1-1 cells was reduced to that in the nontranscribed strand. These findings establish the dependence of strand bias in repair on transcription by RNA polymerase II in the chromosomes and in plasmids, and they validate the use of plasmids for analysis of the relation of repair to transcription in yeast.
Contamination of food by Listeria monocytogenes is thought to occur most frequently in food-processing environments where cells persist due to their ability to attach to stainless steel and other surfaces. Once attached these cells may produce multicellular biofilms that are resistant to disinfection and from which cells can become detached and contaminate food products. Because there is a correlation between virulence and serotype (and thus phylogenetic division) of L. monocytogenes, it is important to determine if there is a link between biofilm formation and disease incidence for L. monocytogenes. Eighty L. monocytogenes isolates were screened for biofilm formation to determine if there is a robust relationship between biofilm formation, phylogenic division, and persistence in the environment. Statistically significant differences were detected between phylogenetic divisions. Increased biofilm formation was observed in Division II strains (serotypes 1/2a and 1/2c), which are not normally associated with food-borne outbreaks. Differences in biofilm formation were also detected between persistent and nonpersistent strains isolated from bulk milk samples, with persistent strains showing increased biofilm formation relative to nonpersistent strains. There were no significant differences detected among serotypes. Exopolysaccharide production correlated with cell adherence for high-biofilm-producing strains. Scanning electron microscopy showed that a high-biofilm-forming strain produced a dense, three-dimensional structure, whereas a low-biofilm-forming strain produced a thin, patchy biofilm. These data are consistent with data on persistent strains forming biofilms but do not support a consistent relationship between enhanced biofilm formation and disease incidence.
To trigger an effective immune response, antigen and antigen-presenting cells travel to the lymph nodes via collecting lymphatic vessels. However, our understanding of the regulation of collecting lymphatic vessel function and lymph transport is limited. To dissect the molecular control of lymphatic function, we developed a unique mouse model that allows intravital imaging of autonomous lymphatic vessel contraction. Using this method, we demonstrated that endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) in lymphatic endothelial cells is required for robust lymphatic contractions under physiological conditions. By contrast, under inflammatory conditions, inducible NOS (iNOS)-expressing CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) cells attenuate lymphatic contraction. This inhibition of lymphatic contraction was associated with a reduction in the response to antigen in a model of immune-induced multiple sclerosis. These results suggest the suppression of lymphatic function by the CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) cells as a potential mechanism of self-protection from autoreactive responses during on-going inflammation. The central role for nitric oxide also suggests that other diseases such as cancer and infection may also mediate lymphatic contraction and thus immune response. Our unique method allows the study of lymphatic function and its molecular regulation during inflammation, lymphedema, and lymphatic metastasis.
Current laboratory diagnosis of Lyme disease relies on tests for the detection of antibodies to Borrelia burgdorferi, the etiologic agent of the disease. These tests are often unreliable because of a lack of sensitivity and specificity and test-to-test variability. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification for detection of B. burgdorferi in skin biopsy specimens. Forty-six 2-mm skin biopsy samples were obtained from 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of erythema migrans, 9 of whom were receiving antibiotic therapy at the time of biopsy. Specimens were ground in BSK medium with separate aliquots taken for culture and PCR. Of the specimens from the untreated group, 57% (21 of 37) were positive by culture and 22% (8 of 37) were culture negative; 22% (8 of 37) of the cultures were uninformative because of contamination. By comparison, 22 (59%) of 37 specimens were positive by PCR amplification. Of 21 culture-positive samples, 13 (62%) were also positive by PCR analysis. Thus, the sensitivity of the PCR was 59 to 62%, based on either a clinical or cultural diagnosis of untreated Lyme disease. None of the nine specimens from antibiotic-treated patients grew in culture, whereas two of the nine were positive by PCR analysis. Given the complexity and time required for culture, PCR is a promising technique for the diagnosis of early Lyme disease.
Neuron maintenance and survival require late endocytic transport from distal processes to the soma where lysosomes are predominantly localized. Here, we report a role for Snapin in attaching dynein to late endosomes through its intermediate chain (DIC). snapin(-/-) neurons exhibit aberrant accumulation of immature lysosomes, clustering and impaired retrograde transport of late endosomes along processes, reduced lysosomal proteolysis due to impaired delivery of internalized proteins and hydrolase precursors from late endosomes to lysosomes, and impaired clearance of autolysosomes, combined with reduced neuron viability and neurodegeneration. The phenotypes are rescued by expressing the snapin transgene, but not the DIC-binding-defective Snapin-L99K mutant. Snapin overexpression in wild-type neurons enhances late endocytic transport and lysosomal function, whereas expressing the mutant defective in Snapin-DIC coupling shows a dominant-negative effect. Altogether, our study highlights new mechanistic insights into how Snapin-DIC coordinates retrograde transport and late endosomal-lysosomal trafficking critical for autophagy-lysosomal function, and thus neuronal homeostasis.
A biological process for remediation of groundwater contaminated with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE) can only be applied if the transformation products are environmentally acceptable. Studies with enrichment cultures of PCE- and TCE-degrading microorganisms provide evidence that, under methanogenic conditions, mixed cultures are able to completely dechlorinate PCE and TCE to ethylene, a product which is environmentally acceptable. Radiotracer studies with [14C]PCE indicated that [14C]ethylene was the terminal product; significant conversion to 14CO2 or 14CH4 was not observed. The rate-limiting step in the pathway appeared to be conversion of vinyl chloride to ethylene. To sustain reductive dechlorination of PCE and TCE, it was necessary to supply an electron donor; methanol was the most effective, although hydrogen, formate, acetate, and glucose also served. Studies with the inhibitor 2-bromoethanesulfonate suggested that methanogens played a key role in the observed biotransformations of PCE and TCE.
Telomeres consist of nucleotide repeats and a protein complex at chromosome ends that are essential to maintaining chromosomal integrity. Several studies have suggested that subjects with shorter telomeres are at increased risk of bladder and lung cancer. In comparison to normal tissues, telomeres are shorter in high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia and prostate cancer. We examined prostate cancer risk associated with relative telomere length as determined by quantitative PCR on prediagnostic buffy coat DNA isolated from 612 advanced prostate cancer cases and 1049 age-matched, cancer-free controls from the PLCO Cancer Screening Trial. Telomere length was analyzed as both a continuous and a categorical variable with adjustment for potential confounders. Statistically significant inverse correlations between telomere length, age and smoking status were observed in cases and controls. Telomere length was not associated with prostate cancer risk (at the median, OR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.67, 1.08); associations were similar when telomere length was evaluated as a continuous variable or by quartiles. The relationships between telomere length and inflammation-related factors, diet, exercise, body mass index, and other lifestyle variables were explored since many of these have previously been associated with shorter telomeres. Healthy lifestyle factors (i.e., lower BMI, more exercise, tobacco abstinence, diets high in fruit and vegetables) tended to be associated with greater telomere length. This study found no statistically significant association between leukocyte telomere length and advanced prostate cancer risk. However, correlations of telomere length with healthy lifestyles were noted, suggesting the role of these factors in telomere biology maintenance and potentially impacting overall health status.
D-cyclins represent components of cell cycle machinery. To test the efficacy of targeting D-cyclins in cancer treatment, we engineered mouse strains that allow acute and global ablation of individual D-cyclins in a living animal. Ubiquitous shutdown of cyclin D1 or inhibition of cyclin D-associated kinase activity in mice bearing ErbB2-driven mammary carcinomas triggered tumor cell senescence, without compromising the animals' health. Ablation of cyclin D3 in mice bearing Notch1-driven T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemias (T-ALL) triggered tumor cell apoptosis. Such selective killing of leukemic cells can also be achieved by inhibiting cyclin D associated kinase activity in mouse and human T-ALL models. Inhibition of cyclin D-kinase activity represents a highly-selective anticancer strategy that specifically targets cancer cells without significantly affecting normal tissues.
Many diseases have an inflammatory component, where neutrophil interactions with the vascular endothelium lead to barrier dysfunction and increased permeability. Neutrophils increase permeability through secreted products such as the chemokines CXCL1, 2, 3, and 8, through adhesion-dependent processes involving beta(2) integrins interacting with endothelial ICAM-1, and through combinations where beta(2) integrin engagement leads to degranulation and secretion of heparin-binding protein. Some neutrophil products, such as arachidonic acid or the leukotriene LTA4, are further processed by endothelial enzymes via transcellular metabolism before the resulting products thromboxane A2 or LTC4 can activate their cognate receptors. Neutrophils also generate reactive oxygen species that induce vascular leakage. This review focuses on the mechanisms of neutrophil-mediated leakage.
Identification of the relative importance of within- and between-host variability in infectiousness and the impact of these heterogeneities on the transmission dynamics of infectious agents can enable efficient targeting of control measures. Cattle, a major reservoir host for the zoonotic pathogen Escherichia coli O157, are known to exhibit a high degree of heterogeneity in bacterial shedding densities. By relating bacterial count to infectiousness and fitting dynamic epidemiological models to prevalence data from a cross-sectional survey of cattle farms in Scotland, we identify a robust pattern: approximately 80% of the transmission arises from the 20% most infectious individuals. We examine potential control options under a range of assumptions about within- and between-host variability in infection dynamics. Our results show that the within-herd basic reproduction ratio, R(0), could be reduced to <1 with targeted measures aimed at preventing infection in the 5% of individuals with the highest overall infectiousness. Alternatively, interventions such as vaccination or the use of probiotics that aim to reduce bacterial carriage could produce dramatic reductions in R(0) by preventing carriage at concentrations corresponding to the top few percent of the observed range of counts. We conclude that a greater understanding of the cause of the heterogeneity in bacterial carriage could lead to highly efficient control measures to reduce the prevalence of E. coli O157.
Angiogenesis is important for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) growth, and blocking angiogenesis can lead to EOC regression. Cediranib is an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) -1, VEGFR-2, VEGFR-3, and c-kit.
We conducted a phase II study of cediranib for recurrent EOC or peritoneal or fallopian tube cancer; cediranib was administered as a daily oral dose, and the original dose was 45 mg daily. Because of toxicities observed in the first 11 patients, the dose was lowered to 30 mg. Eligibility included <or= two lines of chemotherapy for recurrence. End points included response rate (via Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors [RECIST] or modified Gynecological Cancer Intergroup CA-125), toxicity, progression-free survival (PFS), and overall survival (OS).
Forty-seven patients were enrolled; 46 were treated. Clinical benefit rate (defined as complete response [CR] or partial response [PR], stable disease [SD] > 16 weeks, or CA-125 nonprogression > 16 weeks), which was the primary end point, was 30%; eight patients (17%; 95% CI, 7.6% to 30.8%) had a PR, six patients (13%; 95% CI, 4.8% to 25.7%) had SD, and there were no CRs. Eleven patients (23%) were removed from study because of toxicities before two cycles. Grade 3 toxicities (> 20% of patients) included hypertension (46%), fatigue (24%), and diarrhea (13%). Grade 2 hypothyroidism occurred in 43% of patients. Grade 4 toxicities included CNS hemorrhage (n = 1), hypertriglyceridemia/hypercholesterolemia/elevated lipase (n = 1), and dehydration/elevated creatinine (n = 1). No bowel perforations or fistulas occurred. Median PFS was 5.2 months, and median OS has not been reached; median follow-up time is 10.7 months.
Cediranib has activity in recurrent EOC, tubal cancer, and peritoneal cancer with predictable toxicities observed with other TKIs.
The in vitro and in vivo analysis of the ribonuclease E-deficient (rne-) and the altered mRNA stability protein-deficient (ams-) strains of Escherichia coli has demonstrated that they carry mutations in the same structural gene. Strains encoding either thermolabile RNase E (rne-3071) or Ams protein (ams-1) are defective in both rRNA processing and mRNA turnover. Immediately after a shift to the nonpermissive temperature, the chemical decay rate of bulk mRNA is slowed 2- to 3-fold, and within 70 min, precursors to 5S rRNA begin to accumulate. In addition, all of the phenotypes associated with either the rne-3071 or the ams-1 alleles were complemented by a recombinant plasmid carrying ams+. When taken together with previous genetic studies, these results suggest that the role of ribonuclease E in mRNA turnover involves endonucleolytic cleavages at the proposed ACAG(A/U)AUUUG consensus sequence.
To assess the effectiveness of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition in preventing the development of diabetic nephropathy (albuminuria greater than 300 mg/24h).
Open randomised controlled study of four years' duration.
Outpatient diabetic clinic in tertiary referral centre.
44 normotensive (mean blood pressure 127/78 (SD 12/10) mm Hg) insulin dependent diabetic patients with persistent microalbuminuria (30-300 mg/24h).
The treatment group (n = 21) was initially given captopril (25 mg/24 h). The dose was increased to 100 mg/24 h during the first 16 months and thiazide was added after 30 months. The remaining 23 patients were left untreated.
Albuminuria, kidney function, development of diabetic nephropathy (albuminuria greater than 300 mg/24 h), and arterial blood pressure.
Clinical and laboratory variables were comparable at baseline. Urinary excretion of albumin was gradually reduced from 82 (66-106) to 57 (39-85) mg/24 h (geometric mean (95% confidence interval)) in the captopril treated group, whereas an increase from 105(77-153) to 166 (83-323) mg/24 h occurred in the control group (p less than 0.05). Seven of the untreated patients progressed to diabetic nephropathy, whereas none of the captopril treated patients developed clinical overt diabetic nephropathy (p less than 0.05). Systemic blood pressure, glomerular filtration rate, haemoglobin A1c concentration, and urinary excretion of sodium and urea remained practically unchanged in the two groups.
The findings suggest that angiotensin converting enzyme inhibition postpones the development of clinical overt diabetic nephropathy in normotensive insulin dependent diabetic patients with persistent microalbuminuria.
The analysis of protein sorting signals responsible for the retention of reticuloplasmins (RPLs), a group of soluble proteins that reside in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), has revealed a structural similarity between mammalian and plant ER retention signals. We present evidence that the corresponding epitope is conserved in a vast family of soluble ER resident proteins. Microsequences of RPL60 and RPL90, two abundant members of this family, show high sequence similarity with mammalian calreticulin and endoplasmin. RPL60/calreticulin cofractionates and costains with the lumenal binding protein (BiP). Both proteins were detected in the nuclear envelope and the ER, and in mitotic cells in association with the spindle apparatus and the phragmoplast. Immunoprecipitation of proteins from in vivo-labeled cells demonstrated that RPL60/calreticulin is associated with other polypeptides in a stress- and ATP-dependent fashion. RPL60/calreticulin transcript levels increased rapidly in abundance during the proliferation of the secretory apparatus and the onset of hydrolase secretion in gibberellic acid-treated barley aleurone cells. This induction profile is identical to that of the well-characterized ER chaperones BiP and endoplasmin. However, expression patterns in response to different stress conditions as well as tissue-specific expression patterns indicate that these genes are differentially regulated and may not act in concert.
Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) have diverse and sometimes paradoxical effects during embryonic development. To determine the mechanisms underlying BMP actions, we analyzed the expression and function of two BMP receptors, BMPR-IA and BMPR-IB, in neural precursor cells in vitro and in vivo. Neural precursor cells always express Bmpr-1a, but Bmpr-1b is not expressed until embryonic day 9 and is restricted to the dorsal neural tube surrounding the source of BMP ligands. BMPR-IA activation induces (and Sonic hedgehog prevents) expression of Bmpr-1b along with dorsal identity genes in precursor cells and promotes their proliferation. When BMPR-IB is activated, it limits precursor cell numbers by causing mitotic arrest. This results in apoptosis in early gestation embryos and terminal differentiation in mid-gestation embryos. Thus, BMP actions are first inducing (through BMPR-IA) and then terminating (through BMPR-IB), based on the accumulation of BMPR-IB relative to BMPR-IA. We describe a feed-forward mechanism to explain how the sequential actions of these receptors control the production and fate of dorsal precursor cells from neural stem cells.
Mutations in the human Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase gene (SOD1) are found in 20% of kindreds with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Transgenic mice (line G1H) expressing a human SOD1 containing a mutation of Gly-93 --> Ala (G93A) develop a motor neuron disease similar to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, but transgenic mice (line N1029) expressing a wild-type human SOD1 transgene do not. Because neurofilament (NF)-rich inclusions in spinal motor neurons are characteristic of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, we asked whether mutant G1H and/or N1029 mice develop similar NF lesions. NF inclusions (i.e., spheroids, Lewy body-like inclusions) were first detected in spinal cord motor neurons of the G1H mice at 82 days of age about the time these mice first showed clinical evidence of disease. Other neuronal intermediate filament proteins (alpha-internexin, peripherin) also accumulated in these spheroids. The onset of accumulations of ubiquitin immunoreactivity in the G1H mice paralleled the emergence of vacuoles and NF-rich spheroids in neurons, but they did not colocalize exclusively with spheroids. In contrast, NF inclusions were not seen in the N1029 mice until they were 132 days old, and ubiquitin immunoreactivity was not increased in the N1029 mice even at 199 days of age. Astrocytosis in spinal cord was associated with a marked increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity in the G1H mice, but not in the N1029 mice. Finally, comparative studies revealed a striking similarity between the cytoskeletal pathology in the G1H transgenic mice and in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These findings link a specific SOD1 mutation with alterations in the neuronal cytoskeleton of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Thus, neuronal cytoskeletal abnormalities may be implicated in the pathogenesis of human familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
A quantitative and selective genetic assay was developed to monitor expansions of trinucleotide repeats (TNRs) in yeast. A promoter containing 25 repeats allows expression of a URA3 reporter gene and yields sensitivity to the drug 5-fluoroorotic acid. Expansion of the TNR to 30 or more repeats turns off URA3 and provides drug resistance. When integrated at either of two chromosomal loci, expansion rates were 1 x 10(-5) to 4 x 10(-5) per generation if CTG repeats were replicated on the lagging daughter strand. PCR analysis indicated that 5-28 additional repeats were present in 95% of the expanded alleles. No significant changes in CTG expansion rates occurred in strains deficient in the mismatch repair gene MSH2 or the recombination gene RAD52. The frequent nature of CTG expansions suggests that the threshold number for this repeat is below 25 in this system. In contrast, expansions of the complementary repeat CAG occurred at 500- to 1,000-fold lower rates, similar to a randomized (C,A,G) control sequence. When the reporter plasmid was inverted within the chromosome, switching the leading and lagging strands of replication, frequent expansions were observed only when CTG repeats resided on the lagging daughter strand. Among the rare CAG expansions, the largest gain in tract size was 38 repeats. The control repeats CTA and TAG showed no detectable rate of expansions. The orientation-dependence and sequence-specificity data support the model that expansions of CTG and CAG tracts result from aberrant DNA replication via hairpin-containing Okazaki fragments.
1. Excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were recorded under whole-cell voltage clamp from granule cells in slices of rat cerebellum. EPSCs from individual mossy fibre inputs were identified by their all-or-none appearance in response to a graded stimulus. Excitatory synaptic transmission was investigated at room temperature (approximately 24 degrees C) and at near-physiological temperature (approximately 34 degrees C) by analysing current fluctuations in the peak and decay of the non-N-methyl-D-aspartate (non-NMDA) component of EPSCs. 2. In a subset of synapses the mean EPSC amplitude remained unchanged as the probability of transmitter release was substantially lowered by raising the extracellular [Mg2+] and lowering [Ca2+]. These synapses were considered to have only one functional release site. Single-site synapses had small EPSCs (139 +/- 16 pS, n = 5, at 24 degrees C) with a large coefficient of variation (c.v. = 0.23 +/- 0.02, n = 5) and an amplitude distribution that was well fitted by a Gaussian distribution in four out of five cases. The EPSC latency had a unimodal distribution and its standard deviation had a temperature dependence with a temperature coefficient (Q10; range, 24-35 degrees C) of 2.4 +/- 0.4 (n = 4). 3. Peak-scaled non-stationary fluctuation analysis of single-site EPSCs indicated that the mean conductance of the underlying non-NMDA channels was 12 +/- 2 pS (n = 4) at 35 degrees C. Upper and lower limits for mean channel open probability (Po), calculated from fluctuations in the EPSC peak amplitude, were 0.51 and 0.38, respectively. These estimates, together with the open probability of the channel when bound by transmitter, suggest that only about 50% of the non-NMDA channels were occupied following the release of a quantum of transmitter. 4. At some multi-site synapses EPSCs had a low c.v. (0.4 +/- 0.01, n = 5) at 34 degrees C and non-stationary fluctuation analysis gave a parabolic variance-mean current relationship. This suggests that practically all of the non-NMDA receptors were occupied by glutamate at the peak of EPSC. The channel open probability (Po = 0.84 +/- 0.03, n = 5) at these 'saturated' multi-site synapses will therefore equal the open probability of the channel when bound by transmitter (Po,max). 5. Non-stationary fluctuation analysis of EPSCs from 'saturating' multi-site synapses indicated that 170 +/- 40 postsynaptic non-NMDA channels were exposed to transmitter at the peak of the EPSC. The mean conductance of the synaptic channels was 10 +/- 2 pS (n = 5) at 34 degrees C. 6. At synapses with multiple release sites the EPSC decay time became faster when release probability was lowered (by reducing the external [Ca2+]/[Mg2+] ratio), indicating that the transmitter concentration profile depended on release probability. No such speeding of the EPSC decay was observed at single-site synapses. 7. Our results suggest that release of a packet of transmitter from a single release site does not saturate postsynaptic non-NMDA receptors at cerebellar mossy fibre-granule cell synapses. However, at multi-site synapses transmitter released from neighbouring sites can overlap, changing the transmitter concentration profile in the synaptic cleft. We conclude that the level of postsynaptic receptor occupancy can depend on the probability of transmitter release at individual multi-site synapses.
A PCR assay was developed by using degenerate primers that allow amplification of a 414-bp fragment of DNA from the rickettsia-like organisms Rochalimaea henselae and R. quintana. Internal oligonucleotides were used as hybridization probes, permitting rapid differentiation of these two Rochalimaea species. DNAs from 12 different isolates of R. henselae were amplified with the PCR primers, and the resulting 414-bp PCR product hybridized only with the R. henselae-specific probe. DNAs from four different isolates of R. quintana were amplified and produced a PCR product of the same size that hybridized only with the R. quintana-specific probe. DNAs from isolates of R. elizabethae, R. vinsonii, Bartonella bacilliformis, and Afipia felis failed to amplify the 414-bp fragment in the PCR assay. This two-step assay was applied to DNAs extracted from 16 fresh (unfixed) lymph node biopsy specimens and nine aspirates from patients with clinical cat scratch disease (CSD) to assay for the presence of R. henselae or R. quintana DNA in these samples. Twenty-one (84%) of 25 lymph node samples from CSD patients were positive for R. henselae, while none were positive for R. quintana. The characteristic 414-bp fragment was not amplified from eight lymph node tissue samples from non-CSD cases. These results provide evidence that R. henselae, and not R. quintana, plays the central role in the etiology of CSD.
Micromolar amounts of the divalent ionophore A23187 can activate echinoderm eggs. The activations by ionophore A23187 were examined in terms of membrane elevation, the program of membrane conductance changes, the respiratory burst, and the increases in protein and DNA synthesis which normally accompany activation by sperm. In all these respects activation by the ionophore was fairly normal although subsequent cleavage and embryonic development was limited. Ionophore A23187 activations of the cortex of Lytechinus pictus and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus eggs were compared in various ionic media and were found to be completely independent of the ionic composition of the external solution. Respiration and protein synthesis of L. pictus eggs in singly substituted ionic media also indicated that these activations were independent of external sodium, calcium, or magnesium. These results suggest that the ionophore acts by releasing intracellular Ca(++). Consistent with this interpretation is the finding that eggs preloaded with (45)Ca show a 20-fold increase in (45)Ca-efflux when activated by ionophore A23187 or fertilization. Measurements of the "free" and "bound" calcium and magnesium in homogenates of the unfertilized eggs show that most of the Mg(++) is already available in the soluble form, whereas Ca(++) is sequestered but available for release. We propose that both normal fertilization and ionophore activation affect the metabolism of the egg by releasing Ca(++) sequestered in intracellular stores.
Transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF-beta 1) is a key regulator of cell growth and differentiation. Under normal physiological conditions, it is made as a biologically latent complex whose significance is unknown. Previous work has indicated that active TGF-beta 1 has a very short plasma half-life in rats (Coffey, R. J., L. J. Kost, R. M. Lyons, H. L. Moses, and N. F. La-Russo. 1987. J. Clin. Invest. 80:750-757). We have investigated the possibility that latent complex formation may extend the plasma half-life of TGF-beta 1 and alter its organ distribution. Radiolabeled latent TGF-beta 1 was formed by noncovalent association of 125I-TGF-beta 1 with the TGF-beta 1 precursor "pro" region from recombinant sources. TGF-beta 1 in this latent complex had a greatly extended plasma half-life (greater than 100 min) in rats compared with active TGF-beta 1 (2-3 min). Whereas active TGF-beta 1 was rapidly taken up by the liver, kidneys, lungs, and spleen and degraded, TGF-beta 1 in the latent complex was largely confined to the circulation, and was less than 5% degraded after 90 min. The pharmacokinetics of TGF-beta 1 in the latent complex were shown to be critically dependent on the degree of sialylation of the complex. The results suggest that formation of latent complexes may switch endogenous TGF-beta 1 from an autocrine/paracrine mode of action to a more endocrine mode involving target organs distant from the site of synthesis.
There are many potential complications which have been reported in association with the naevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome. We have been able to show the relative frequencies of these problems in a population based study of 84 cases in the north west of England. The major complications of basal cell carcinomas and jaw cysts occur in over 90% of patients by 40 years of age, but may both occur before 10 years of age. Less well described complications are ovarian calcification or fibroma (24%), medulloblastoma (5%), cardiac fibroma (3%), cleft palate (5%), and ophthalmic abnormalities such as squint or cataract (26%). This study more clearly defines the possible complications of the syndrome and gives clearer guidelines for counselling and screening affected and at risk persons.