Peroxisome is a single-membrane-bounded ubiquitous organelle containing a hundred different enzymes that catalyze various metabolic pathways such as β-oxidation of very long-chain fatty acids and synthesis of plasmalogens. To investigate peroxisome biogenesis and human peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs) including Zellweger syndrome, more than a dozen different complementation groups of Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell mutants impaired in peroxisome biogenesis are isolated as a model experimental system. By taking advantage of rapid functional complementation assay of the CHO cell mutants, successful cloning of PEX genes encoding peroxins required for peroxisome assembly invaluably contributed to the accomplishment of cloning of pathogenic genes responsible for PBDs. Peroxins are divided into three groups: 1) peroxins including Pex3p, Pex16p and Pex19p, are responsible for peroxisome membrane biogenesis via Pex19p- and Pex3p-dependent class I and Pex19p- and Pex16p-dependent class II pathways; 2) peroxins that function in matrix protein import; 3) those such as Pex11pβ are involved in peroxisome division where DLP1, Mff, and Fis1 coordinately function.
Intracellular signaling pathways include both the activation and the inhibition of biological processes. The activation of Ca2+ regulation of actin-myosin interactions was examined first, whereas it took 20 years for the author to clarify the inhibitory mode by using Physarum polycephalum, a lower eukaryote. This review describes the investigation of the inhibitory mode since 1980. The inhibitory effect of Ca2+ on myosin was detected chemically by ATPase assays and mechanically by in vitro motility assays. The Ca2+-binding ability of Physarum myosin is as high as that of scallop myosin. Ca2+ inhibits Physarum myosin, whereas it activates scallop myosin. We cloned cDNA of the myosin heavy chain and light chains to express a hybrid of Physarum and scallop myosin, and found that the Ca-binding light chain (CaLc), which belongs to an alkali light chain class, plays a major role in Ca inhibition. The role of CaLc was confirmed by mutating its EF-hand, Ca-binding structure and expressing Physarum myosin as a recombinant protein. Thus, the data obtained by classical protein purification were confirmed by the results obtained with the modern recombinant techniques. However, there are some discrepancies that remain to be solved as described in Section XII.
Class A penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are active in the final step of bacterial peptidoglycan biosynthesis. They possess a transglycosylase (TG) domain to polymerize the glycan chains and a transpeptidase (TP) domain to catalyze peptide cross-linking. We reported that knockout of the Pbp gene in the moss Physcomitrella patens (ΔPpPbp) results in a macrochloroplast phenotype by affecting plastid division. Here, expression of PpPBP-GFP in ΔPpPbp restored the wild-type phenotype and GFP fluorescence was observed mainly in the periphery of each chloroplast. Stable transformants expressing Anabaena PBP with the plastid-targeting sequence, or PpPBP replacing the Anabaena TP domain exhibited partial recovery, while chloroplast number was recovered to that of wild-type plants in the transformant expressing PpPBP replacing the Anabaena TG domain. Transient expression experiments with site-directed mutagenized PpPBP showed that mutations in the conserved amino acids in both domains interfered with phenotype recovery. These results suggest that both TG and TP functions are essential for function of PpPBP in moss chloroplast division.
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