Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) was fused with staphylococcal protein A (SpA) and used as a substrate for proteases. An SpA-EGFP assay was done in three steps: (i) digestion of SpA-EGFP by proteases, (ii) addition of rabbit IgG immobilized on Sepharose beads, and (iii) measurement of the fluorescence intensity of supernatant. The assay was sensitive enough to measure picogram levels of trypsin and chymotrypsin, and may be applicable to various other proteases as one of the most sensitive methods.
The spheroid of specific cells is often regarded as the better form in artificial organs and mammalian cell bioreactors for improved cell-specific functions. In this study, freshly harvested primary rat hepatocytes, which had been cultivated as spheroids and entrapped in a synthetic thermo-reversible extracellular matrix, were examined for differentiated morphology and enhanced liver-specific functions as compared to a control set (hepatocytes in single-cell form). A copolymer of N-isopropylacrylamide (98 mole % in the feed) and acrylic acid (poly(NiPAAm-co-AAc)), and the adhesion molecule, an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD)-incorporated thermo-reversible matrix, were used to entrap hepatocytes in the form of either spheroids or single cells. In a 28-day culture period, the spheroids in the RGD-incorporated gel maintained higher viability and produced albumin and urea at constant rates, while there was lower cell viability and less albumin secretion by the spheroids in p(NiPAAm-co-AAc). Hepatocytes cultured as spheroids in the RGD-incorporated gel would constitute a potentially useful three-dimensional cell system for application in a bio-artificial liver device.
(1S,2S,5R,6S )-6-(3,4-Methylenedioxyphenyl)-3,7-dioxabicyclo[3.3.0]octan-1,2-diol ((+)-1-hydroxysamin 1) was synthesized, starting from olefin 8. Stereoselective α-hydroxylation was achieved after converting 8 to aldehyde 13. Resulting unstable α-hydroxy aldehyde 14 was then transformed to (+)-1-hydroxysamin (1). This is a new efficient synthetic route to 1,2-oxygenated 6-arylfurofuran lignans.
A series of sulfoximine-based transition-state analogue inhibitors with a varying alkyl side chain was synthesized to probe the recognition of a Cys substrate by E. coliγ-glutamylcysteine synthetase (γ-GCS). The sulfoximines with a small alkyl group (H, methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl and CH2OH) each served as a slow-binding inhibitor, the sulfoximine with an ethyl being by far the most potent inhibitor to cause facile and irreversible enzyme inhibition. As the size of the side chain changed from an ethyl, the inhibition potency markedly decreased to reduce the overall affinity with concomitant loss in the inactivation rate and with facile enzyme reactivation by dilution. The sulfoximine without a side chain inhibited the enzyme with almost the same potency as that of L-buthionine-(SR)-sulfoximine (BSO). The free energy difference calculated from the inhibition constants indicates that the side chain of Cys was recognized by its size through hydrophobic interaction and contributed almost equally or even more than the carboxy group to the overall binding of Cys in the transition state.
The ceramide sex pheromone [(2S,2′R,3S,4R)-2-(2′-hydroxy-21′-methyldocosanoylamino)-1,3,4-pentadecanetriol (1)] of the female hair crab (Erimacrus isenbeckii) was synthesized by starting from (S)-serine and 12-bromo-1-dodecanol.
Both the (17R)- and (17S)-isomers of volicitin, which is contained in the oral secretion of the beet armyworm and induces corn seedlings to emit a blend of volatile compounds to attract the natural enemy of the herbivore, were synthesized via the semi-hydrogenation of an intermediary diyne and (Z)-selective olefination as the key steps. They were both obtained as crystalline compounds.
Two conformationally restricted analogues of (−)-indolactam-V (1) (cis and trans amides) were examined for their binding selectivity to the synthetic C1 peptides of all protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes. Although the binding constants of the cis amide-restricted analogue (2) were equal to those of 1, the trans amide-restricted analogue (3) bound significantly only to the novel PKC (δ, ε, η, θ) isozymes.
The kinetics of thermal inactivation of A. terreus α-rhamnosidase was studied using the substrate p-nitrophenyl α-L-rhamnoside between 50°C and 70°C. Up to 60°C the inactivation of the purified enzyme was completely reversible, but samples of crude or partially purified enzyme showed partial reversibility. The presence of the product rhamnose, the substrate naringin, and other additives reduced the reversible inactivation, maintaining in some cases full enzyme activity at 60°C. A mechanism for the inactivation process, which permitted the reproduction of experimental results, was proposed. The products rhamnose (inhibition constant, 2.1 mM) and prunin (2.6 mM) competitively inhibited the enzyme reaction. The maximum hydrolysis of supersaturated naringin solution, without enzyme inactivation, was observed at 60°C. Hydrolysis of naringin reached 99% with 1% naringin solution, although the hydrolysis degree of naringin was only 40% due to products inhibition when the initial concentration of flavonoid was 10%. The experimental results fitted an equation based on the integrated Michaelis-Menten's, including competitive inhibition by products satisfactorily.
Sixteen actinomycetes capable of utilizing dibenzofuran as a sole source of carbon and energy were isolated, including Rhodococcus, Microbacterium, and Terrabacter genera. Heretofore, no dibenzofuran-utilizing strain belonging to the genus Microbacterium has been reported. Five extradiol dioxygenase genes (dfdB, and edi1 to 4) of the strain Rhodococcus sp. YK2 were cloned and analyzed. The nucleotide sequence of dfdB gene was almost identical to the bphC1 gene of Terrabacter sp. DPO360, which was involved in dibenzofuran metabolism in this strain. Southern and Northern hybridization analyses using these extradiol dioxygenase genes as probes suggest that the dfdB gene in YK2 was conserved in diverse dibenzofuran-utilizing actinomycetes; also, the dfdB gene was the only expressed gene among five extradiol dioxygenase genes in the medium containing DF as a sole carbon source. These results suggest that the dfdB gene is important for dibenzofuran metabolism not only in the strain YK2, but also in diverse dibenzofuran-degrading actinomycetes.
In this study, we investigated the estrogenic activity of environmental estrogens by a competition binding assay using a human recombinant estrogens receptor (hERβ) and by a proliferation assay using MCF-7 cells and a sulforhodamine-B assay. In the binding assay, pharmaceuticals had a stronger binding activity to hERβ than that of some phytoestrogens (coumestrol, daidzein, genistein, luteolin, chrysin, flavone, and naringenin) or industrial chemicals, but phytoestrogens such as coumestrol had a binding activity as strong as pharmaceuticals such as 17α-ethynylestradiol (EE), tamoxifen (Tam), and mestranol. In the proliferation assay, pharmaceuticals such as diethylstilbestrol, EE, Tam, and clomiphene, and industrial chemicals such as 4-nonylphenol, bisphenol A, and 4-dihydroxybiphenyl had a proliferation-stimulating activity as strong as 17β-estradiol (ES). In addition, we found that phytoestrogens such as coumestrol, daidzein, luteolin, and quercetin exerted a proliferation stimulating activity as strong as ES. Furthermore, we examined the suppression of proliferation-stimulating activity, induced by environmental estrogen, by flavonoids, such as daidzein, genistein, quercetin, and luteolin, and found that these flavonoids suppressed the induction of the proliferation-stimulating activity of environmental estrogens. The suppressive effect of flavonoids suggests that these compounds have anti-estrogenic and anti-cancer activities.
Via a transient expression assay system, an experimental study was undertaken to characterize the effects of insect ecdysone and juvenile hormone analogue on the transient expression of the luciferase gene under the control of the immediate-early gene (ie-1) promoter of Bombyx mori nuclear polyhedrosis virus. The results demonstrated that the transcriptional activity of the ie-1 promoter was increased to a certain extent by different insect hormone treatments in uninfected insect cells or fifth instar silkworm larvae transfected with a plasmid containing a luciferase gene driven by the ie-1 promoter. By ecdysone treatment alone, an increase of 5-7 fold was reached in Bm-N, or Bm-5 cells, or in the early developmental stage of fifth instar larvae. By treatment with juvenile hormone analogue alone, about 2-fold, in Bm-N, Bm-5, and Sf-21 cells, or about 5-fold increase in the middle developmental stage of larvae was given, respectively. By co-treatment with ecdysone and juvenile hormone analogue, the incease was given between that of ecdysone and juvenile hormone analogue treatment alone. In addition, the synergistic effects of foreign/endogenous hormones on the activity of ie-1 promoter are discussed.
Escherichia coli SpoT protein, with 702 amino acid residues, is a bifunctional enzyme catalyzing both guanosine 5′-diphosphate 3′-diphosphate (ppGpp) degradation and its synthesis. First, we investigated how many domains are included in SpoT protein, by limited hydrolysis of the protein with serine proteases, α-chymotrypsin, and elastase. Based on the results, we deduced that SpoT protein is composed of two major domains, an N-terminal half domain from Met1 to Phe373 and a C-terminal half domain from Glu374 to Asn702 (C-terminal end). In addition, by a further α-chymotrypsin digestion, two cleaved sites were found at Arg196 in the N-terminal half domain (D12) and at Lys475 in the C-terminal half domain (D34), to produce four minor domains, D1, D2, D3, and D4. Next, plasmids expressing the two major domains (D12 and D34) and four minor domains (D1, D2, D3, and D4) were constructed. Consequently, the deduced SpoT minor domains as well as the major domains were expressed as stable protein units, except for D4. D4 may also be folded into a stable protein in E. coli cells, since high expression of D4 from a plasmid results in host cell lethality. E. coli relA−, spoT− double null strains expressing D1, D2, and D12 recovered cell growth in M9 minimal medium, but the transformants of D3, D4, and D34 did not grow in the minimal medium. This indicates that ppGpp synthetic activities could be restricted in the N-terminal half domain (D12, D1, and D2).
An extracellular polysaccharide (EPS) was recovered and purified from the culture fluid of a sheathed bacterium, Sphaerotilus natans. Glucose, rhamnose, and aldobiouronic acid were detected in the acid hydrolysate of EPS by thin-layer chromatography (TLC). The aldobiouronic acid was found to be composed of glucuronic acid and rhamnose by TLC and gas-liquid chromatography analyses of the corresponding neutral disaccharide. The structure of EPS was identified by methylation linkage analysis and nuclear magnetic resonance. Additionally, partial acid hydrolysates of EPS were prepared and put through fast atom bombardment-mass spectrometry to determine the sugar sequence of EPS. The resulting data showed that EPS produced by S. natans is a new gellan-like polysaccharide constructed from a tetrasaccharide repeating unit, as shown below. →4)-α-D-Glcp-(1→2)-β-D-GlcAp-(1→2)-α-L-Rhap- (1→3)-β-L-Rhap-(1→
We isolated and analysed two genomic DNAs that encode the heat-shock protein Hsp30 from Coriolus versicolor. The amino acid sequences substitute only three amino acid substitutions. The promoter regions contain the consensus heat-shock element, a xenobiotic-response element, a stress-response element, and a metal-response element. The levels of mRNAs for Hsp30 increased markedly after exposure of C. versicolor to pentachlorophenol and levels were higher than those after heat shock.
While dnaK and tig are the essential components for nascent polypeptide folding in E. coli, deletion did not confer synthetic lethality in B. subtilis, suggesting that under normal growth conditions, another system or mechanism with a specific role prevails. Likewise, survival at high temperature suffered dramatically, resulting from deletion of several sets of heat shock genes, thus during sudden stress various heat shock genes act synergistically to protect the proteins.
A gene of exo-1,3-β-D-glucanase (exgS) was cloned from a koji mold, Aspergillus saitoi, genomic DNA using PCR. The exgS has an ORF comprising 2832 bp, which contains one intron of 45 bp, and encodes 945 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequences showed that the ExgS has a non-homologous linker region consisting of 180 amino acids, which encompassed highly conserved regions observed in Exg homologues from filamentous fungi. A recombinant protein (ExgS) has been recovered from the cultural filtrate of an Aspergillus oryzae strain that carried an expression vector containing full length of the exgS. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of the recombinant exo-1,3-β-D-glucanase (ExgS) were identical to that of native ExgS from A. saitoi.
We have recently reported that the antituberculosis drug, pyrazinamide (PZA), caused a significant increase in the conversion ratio of tryptophan to niacin in rats. In the present work, we investigated whether or not pyrazinoic acid (POA), a putative metabolite of PZA, increased the conversion ratio of tryptophan to niacin. Weaning rats were fed with a niacin-free and tryptophan-limited diet (negative control diet), or with the negative control diet supplemented with 0.003% nicotinic acid (positive control diet) or 1% POA (test diet) for 27 days. The growth rate was almost same between the groups fed on the positive control diet and the test diet. Dietary POA significantly increased the conversion ratio of tryptophan to niacin. Although POA did not directly inhibit the activity of α-amino-β-carboxymuconate-ε-semialdehyde decarboxylase (ACMSD), the rate-limiting enzyme in the tryptophan-niacin pathway, liver ACMSD activity was only not detected in the test diet group. These results suggest that a derivative of POA metabolized by rats inhibited the ACMSD activity.
The structure of the yellow pigment found in salted radish roots was studied. It was found that 1-(2-thioxopyrrolidin-3-yl)-1,2,3,4-tetrahydro-β-carboline-3- carboxylic acid (TPCC) was unstable under neutral pH, and was easily converted into the yellow pigment. The yellow pigment was isolated and identified as 2-[3-(2-thioxopyrrolidin-3-ylidene)methyl]-tryptophan (TPMT) by IR, MS, 1H-, and 13C-NMR spectroscopy. In addition, we proved that this compound was the main yellow pigment in salted radish roots. This compound induced no mutagenicity in Salmonella typhimurium TA98 and TA100, either with or without prior activation.
The changes in the interaction between food proteins and water and in their surface functional property during enzymatic hydrolysis were investigated. Ovalbumin, a soy protein isolate (SPI), and casein were hydrolyzed with trypsin, and the degree of hydrolysis, water activity aw, and foaming capacity of each hydrolysate were measured. Ovalbumin showed the minimum value for aw, and the values for SPI and casein progressively decreased during hydrolysis. Therefore, the activity coefficient of water, γw (=aw/xw, where xw is the mole fraction of water) was obtained to remove the influence of mole change and to examine the interaction of protein hydrolysates with water. In order to calculate xw in a sample during protein hydrolysis, a method for roughly estimating the number of moles of the protein hydrolysate in a solution was developed. The strategy was to modify the TNBS (2, 4, 6-trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid) method and to combine this method with the modified Ellman method and the determination of lysine by an amino acid analyzer. During enzymatic hydrolysis, each protein sample showed a minimum γw value and maximum foaming capacity.
The 70% methanol extract from ezoishige (Pelvetia babingtonii de Toni) inhibited the rat-intestinal α-glucosidase, sucrase and maltase activities, with IC50 values of 2.24 and 2.84 mg/ml. Sucrose was orally administered with or without the extract to rats at 1000 mg/kg. The postprandial elevation in the blood glucose level at 15 and 30 min after the administration of sucrose with the extract was significantly suppressed when compared with the control. These results suggest that the extract from ezoishige has potent α-glucosidase inhibitors and would be effective for suppressing postprandial hyperglycemia.
Tea catechins inhibited TBARS accumulation in HepG2 cells, the order of effectiveness being (−)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)>(−)-epigallocatechin (EGC)≥(−)-epicatechin gallate (ECG)>(−)-epicatechin (EC). EGCG and EGC protected the depletion of α-tocopherol in the cells, and the glutathione content was enhanced by all four catechins. Moreover, all four catechins suppressed the formation of glutathione disulfide and the activation of glutathione peroxidase induced by tert-butylated hydroperoxide.
Three quercetin glucosides were isolated from flower buds of Japanese butterbur (Petasites japonicus subsp. gigantea Kitam.) together with caffeic acid as the ingredients that had DPPH radical scavenging activity, using the DPPH-HPLC method for measuring the radical scavenging activity. These quercetin glucosides were identified as quercetin 3-O-β-D-glucoside, quercetin 3-O-β-D-6″-O-acetylglucoside, and rutin, and the amounts of the glucosides in flower buds were also examined by HPLC. The flower buds were harvested from four different sites, the total amount of quercetin glucosides in each site was 100-170 mg/100 g fr. wt., and there were no great differences of the amounts between growing fields.
α-Glucosidase inhibitory activities were found in aqueous methanol extracts of the seeds of Momordica charantia and the fruit bodies of Grifola frondosa. An active principle against the enzyme prepared from rat small intestine acetone powders was isolated and characterized. The structure of the isolated compound was identified as D-(+)-trehalose by FDMS, 1H-, 13C-NMR, and [α]D measurements. The inhibitory activity of trehalose was compared with 1-deoxynojirimycin. Trehalose showed 45% inhibitory activity at the concentration of 2×10−3 M, but 1-deoxynojirimycin had 52% inhibitory activity at 1×10−7 M.
Effects of dietary eritadenine on liver microsomal Δ6-desaturase activity and the fatty acid profile of phosphatidylcholine, cholesteryl esters, and triglycerides of liver microsomes or plasma were investigated in rats fed different fats (palm oil, olive oil, and safflower oil). The activity of Δ6-desaturase was influenced by both dietary fat types and eritadenine. In rats fed control diets, Δ6-desaturase activity was higher in the order of the palm oil, olive oil, and safflower oil groups. In rats fed eritadenine-supplemented diets, the enzyme activity was markedly decreased to a constant level irrespective of dietary fat type. The 20:4n-6/18:2n-6 ratio of phosphatidylcholine and cholesteryl esters, as compared with triglycerides, was highly sensitive to eritadenine. The results suggest that the activity of Δ6-desaturase is regulated by dietary fats and eritadenine independently, and that the effect of eritadenine is stronger than that of dietary fats.
To investigate the effects of lentinan from Lentinas edodes and polysaccharides from Agaricus blazei (ABPS) on the expression of cytochrome P450s (CYPs), lentinan (10 mg/kg/day) or ABPS (200 mg/kg/day) was administered to female BALB/c mice four times every other day by intraperitoneal injection. Lentinan and ABPS suppressed both the constitutive and 3-methylcholanthrene-induced CYP1A expression and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylation activity in the liver.
The glycoside composition and sequence of an extracellular polysaccharide flocculant of Klebsiella pneumoniae H12 was analyzed. GC and HPLC analysis of the acid-hydrolysate identified its constituent monosaccharides as D-Glc, D-Man, D-Gal, and D-GlcA in an approximate molar ratio of 3.9:1.0:2.3:3.6. To analyze the glycoside sequence, the polysaccharide was partially hydrolyzed by acid and enzyme treatment. GC, HPLC, TLC, MALDI-TOF/MS, and 1H- and 13C- NMR spectroscopy characterized the obtained oligosaccharides.
The results clarified the partial structure of H12 polysaccharide as a linear polymer of a unit of pentasaccharide with a side chain of one D-GlcA to D-Glc moiety (see below). Although the existence of other sequences or other constituent glycosides could not be fully excluded, H12 polysaccharide must be a novel types as such a complicated unit for a polymer has not so far been reported. The partial structure of a H12 polysaccharide flocculant is also discussed in this report.
A gene (btrC2) encoding the 20-kDa subunit of 2-deoxy-scyllo-inosose (DOI) synthase, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of 2-deoxystreptamine, was identified from the butirosin-producer Bacillus circulans by reverse genetics. The deduced amino acid sequence of BtrC2 closely resembled that of YaaE of B. subtilis, but the function of the latter has not been known to date. Instead, BtrC2 appeared to show sequence similarity to a certain extent with HisH of B. subtilis, an amidotransferase subunit of imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase. Disruption of btrC2 reduced the growth rate compared with the wild type, and simultaneously antibiotic producing activity was lost. Addition of NH4Cl to the medium complemented only the growth rate of the disruptant, and both the growth rate and antibiotic production were restored by addition of yeast extract. In addition, a heterologous co-expression system of btrC2 with btrC was constructed in Escherichia coli. The simultaneously over-expressed BtrC2 and BtrC constituted a heterodimer, the biochemical features of which resembled those of DOI synthase from B. circulans more than those of the recombinant homodimeric BtrC. Despite the similarity of BtrC2 to HisH the heterodimer showed neither aminotransfer nor amidotransfer activity for 2-deoxy-scyllo-inosose as a substrate. All the observations suggest that BtrC2 is involved not only in the secondary metabolism, but also in the primary metabolism in B. circulans. The function of BtrC2 in the butirosin biosynthesis appears to be indirect, and may be involved in stabilization of DOI synthase and in regulation of its enzyme activity.
A hyper extracellular protein producer, Bacillus subtilis 327UH, produced large amounts of levan in a medium containing 20% sucrose, and the yield of levan after 10 hours was more than 60%, when based on the fructose amount of sucrose. After transformation of 327UH with a levanase-deficient 168SC (sacC::Cmr) chromosomal DNA, a Cmr transformant 327UHSC (sacC::CmrdegSU(Hy)) produced 3 times longer levan than that of the wild type.
A preparation method of total DNA from Lipomyces yeasts was improved in order to exclude extracellular acidic polysaccharide thoroughly. The method combined an ultracentrifuge and polyethylene glycol precipitation with the usual method. The total DNAs obtained were analyzed for G+C content and by DNA-DNA hybridization. The results all agreed almost completely with literature data. All the DNA samples prepared using this method were pure enough for these taxonomic analyses and could also be used as templates of PCR for amplification of small subunit ribosomal DNA and the internal transcribed spacer region.
Acinetobacter sp. strain SOD-1, capable of rapidly degrading salad oil, was isolated from soil. Strain SOD-1 showed good growth and degraded 68.7±2.7 and 83.0% of an initial 3000 ppm salad oil suspension in 24 h at 20°C and pH 7.0 and at 35°C and pH 8.0, respectively. The degradation rate depended on pH, temperature, phosphate concentration, and initial cell density.
We here isolated an Enterococcus hirae mutant unable to grow well at pH 10. The influx rate calculated from steady-state 42K+/K+ exchange and the intracellular K+ concentration of the mutant were reduced to 53 and 55% of those of the wild-type, respectively. The activities of two high-affinity K+ uptake systems, KtrI and KtrII, were normal in the mutant, but the kinetics of net K+ uptake at pH 10 indicated that a low-affinity K+ uptake with a Km of about 20 mM (Kawano, M, Abuki, R, Igarashi, K, Kakinuma, Y. (2001) Arch. Microbiol. 175: 41-45), which were seen in the wild-type, was deficient in this mutant.