Myotonic dystrophy protein kinase (DMPK)-binding protein, MKBP, has high homology with a small heat shock protein, HSP27. Western blotting analyses showed that MKBP level in rat heart rapidly increased, with a sharp peak at one week after birth (3-fold the level at the fetus), but that it rapidly decreased (1/10 of peak value at 13 weeks). Human myocardium also showed similar age-dependency. Similar but small increase of HSP27 was observed in the neonatal rat myocardium, but not in constitutive and inducible forms of HSP70. Immunofluorescence analysis localized MKBP at the Z lines and intercalated discs in the rat myocardium. MKBP may protect actin cytoskeleton or other proteins of heart muscle against oxidative stress in the neonate.
In a previous report (13), using immunocytochemical and fluorescence-labeling techniques, we demonstrated that transferrin is synthesized in cultured human fibroblasts and that it is assocated with tubulins in the cells. These morphological findings led us to attempt to elaborate those issues in more detail by biochemical methods. In this report, we were able to prove the association of transferrin produced in cells with tubulins. In addition, the transferrin associated with tubulins was found to bind to iron. These results suggest that endogenous transferrin plays a role in preventing damage caused by free radicals which can be induced by the interaction of iron with the hydrogen peroxide produced in cells.
We investigated the relationship of actin filament organization to occludin and tight junction strands in primary cultured rat hepatocytes using an actin depolymerizing agent, mycalolide B. In control cultures, well-developed circumferential actin filaments and occludin immunoreactivity were observed on the most subapical plasma membrane of the cells, and tight junction strands formed well-developed networks in freeze-fracture replicas. In hepatocytes treated with 3 μM mycalolide B for 6h, circumferential actin filaments and occludin immunoreactivity disappeared from the cell borders. However, there were no marked abnormalities of tight junction strands in freeze fracture replicas. Similar results were obtained from cells cultured in medium with 0.05 mM Ca2+ for 6h. The close association of occludin with actin and the existence of intact tight junction strands that are virtually free of both occludin and actin suggest a physiological role of occludin, but not the other proteins forming the tight junction strands, in the linkage between actin cytoskeleton and tight junction.
It has been well documented that the extracellular matrix components fibronectin and laminin promote or regulate morphogenesis of the myocardial cells in mammalian heart. However, their chronological change of expression (or localization) in the human heart remains elusive. In this study, fibronectin and laminin in the left ventricle of forty-two human fetuses aged from 8 to 26 weeks gestation and left ventricular tissues obtained from a 2-week old infant and two adults were investigated by Western blot analyses and indirect immunofluorescence technique with monoclonal antibodies. In the fetal heart, fibronectins were present along the endocardium, epicardium, and linings of larger blood vessels. In 14-16 weeks gestation, fibronectin immunofluorescence became stronger but not evenly dispersed in the interstitium. After 24 weeks gestation, they were strongly positive only in the relatively larger blood vessels, as well as those in the infant and adult cardiac tissues. Laminins were strongly positive along the endocardium and basement membrane of the myocardial cells and fibroblasts during fetal life. After birth, laminins formed fine fibrillar network along the basement membrane in association with the transverse tubules of myocarial cell; these morphological characteristics remained in the adult cardiac tissues. These results indicate that fibronectin expression is relatively constant during fetal life but decreases after birth; in contrast, laminin expression is not age-dependent and constant throughout the life.
The outer doublet microtubules in ciliary and flagellar axonemes are presumed to be connected with each other by elastic links called the inter-doublet links or the nexin links, but it is not known whether there actually are such elastic links. In this study, to detect the elasticity of the putative inter-doublet links, shear force was applied to Chlamydomonas axonemes with a fine glass needle and the longitudinal elasticity was determined from the deflection of the needle. Wild-type axonemes underwent a high-frequency, nanometer-scale vibration in the presence of ATP. When longitudinal shear force was applied, the average position of the needle tip attached to the axoneme moved linearly with the force applied, yielding an estimate of spring constant of 2.0 (S.D.: 0.8) pN/nm for 1 μm of axoneme. This value did not change in the presence of vanadate, i.e., when dynein does not form strong cross bridges. In contrast, it was at least five times larger when ATP was absent, i.e., when dynein forms strong cross bridges. The measured elasticity did not significantly differ in various mutant axanemes lacking the central-pair microtubules, a subset of inner-arm dynein, outer-arm dynein, or the radial spokes, although it was somewhat smaller in the latter two mutants. It was also observed that the shear displacement in an axoneme in the presence of ATP often took place in a stepwise manner. This suggests that the inter-doublet links can reversibly detach from and reattach to the outer doublets in a cooperative manner. This study thus provides the first direct measure of the elasticity of inter-doublet links and also demonstrates its dynamic nature.
In order to analyze in detail the process of immortalization of human cells, SV40LT was introduced into two chromosome 11p- fibroblast strains from Wilms' tumor patients. Both fibroblasts, hereafter referred to as CM1 and CM2, displayed the mutant phenotype in the crisis stage of cellular aging. In comparison to a control fibroblast, the density of the CM1 strain was abnormally high while the crisis period of the CM2 strain was abnormally long. The CM1 immortalization was 7 times greater than the control and the CM2 strain had the highest frequency of immortalization, 7 times greater than the CM1. These findings indicate that genes associated with chromosome 11p- may be involved in the immortalization of human cells. During their abnormal crisis periods, the cells derived from the patients with Wilms' tumor showed an extremely high frequency of chromosomal aberrations and mutations (6TGs→6TGr). These results indicate that when the growth-arrested cells from Wilms' patients are induced to grow with the introduction of SV40LT at the crisis stage they are highly mutable, resulting in their immortalization in vitro.
To produce oscillatory bending movement in cilia and flagella, the activity of dynein arms must be regulated. The central-pair microtubules, located at the centre of the axoneme, are often thought to be involved in the regulation, but this has not been demonstrated definitively. In order to determine whether the central-pair apparatus are directly involved in the regulation of the dynein arm activity, we analyzed the movement of singlet microtubules that were brought into contact with dynein arms on bundles of doublets obtained by sliding disintegration of elastase-treated flagellar axonemes. An advantege of this new assay system was that we could distinguish the bundles that contained the central pair apparatus from those that did not, the former being clearly thicker than the latter. We found that microtubule sliding occurred along both the thinner and the thicker bundles, but its velocity differed between the two kinds of bundles in an ATP concentration dependent manner. At high ATP concentrations, such as 0.1 and 1 mM, the sliding velocity on the thinner bundles was significantly higher than that on the thicker bundles, while at lower ATP concentrations the sliding velocity did not change between the thinner and the thicker bundles. We observed similar bundle width-related differences in sliding velocity after removal of the outer arms. These results provide first evidence suggesting that the central pair and its associated structures may directly regulate the activity of the inner (and probably also the outer) arm dynein.