The house dust mite, Dermatophagoides farinae, was fractionated by a Sephadex G-200 column. Its allergenic (IgE-reacting) and immunogenic (IgG-reacting) components were investigated. By means of skin test, the molecular weight (MW) of major allergenic components of mite was found to be approximately 9,000 to 21,000 daltons. Immunogenic components were investigated by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay using each fraction as an antigen and mice plasma and human serum as antibodies. With mouse plasma, high IgG antibody titers were observed in fractions that contained the part of the mite with high MW (greater than 150,000). With human sera, high IgG antibody titers were observed in fractions that contained the part of the mite with MW more than 30,000. Heterogeneity of human IgG antibody responses against mite antigen was also suggested.
alpha-Neoendorphin-like immunoreactivities (alpha-NE-IR) were demonstrated in tissues from three patients with medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (MCT). A large amount of alpha-NE-IR was detected in the extracts of primary tumors and metastatic lymphatic tissues by a highly sensitive and specific radioimmunoassay (RIA). Gel filtration analyses showed two different molecular-weight forms of the alpha-NE-IR: One eluted at the void fraction and the other at the position of [125I]-alpha-NE on Sephadex (Pharmacia Fine Chemical, Uppsala, Sweden) G-50 chromatography. Immunohistochemical examination revealed the presence of alpha-NE-IR in the C-cell carcinoma. These data presumably reflect that alpha-NE, the opioid peptide derived from preproenkephalin B, is synthesized in the MCT.
We compared the ability of assay for cross-linked carboxyterminal telopeptide of type I collagen (ICTP) and CrossLaps assay to reflect increased pathological degradation of type I collagen in serum and synovial fluid samples of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA; n = 40). ICTP and CrossLaps concentrations were correlated with each other and with markers of collagen synthesis (PINP and PIIINP, amino terminal propeptides of type I and type III procollagens, respectively) and with markers of inflammation, i.e., C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). Serum ICTP was increased in half of the RA patients, whereas CrossLaps assays were increased only occasionally. Serum ICTP correlated with the other markers of collagen metabolism as well as with CRP and ESR. Serum CrossLaps correlated only with PINP and ICTP, but not with serum PIIINP, CRP or ESR. Two patients had false-positive reactions in the CrossLaps assay due to the rheumatoid factor. The ICTP and CrossLaps antigens were clearly separate peaks in gel filtration analysis. The CrossLaps assay is able to detect the same ICTP antigen, but not vice versa. The ICTP assay reflects increased matrix metalloproteinase-mediated collagen degradation in joints in RA. In contrast, the physiological cathepsin K-mediated bone resorption measured by the CrossLaps assay was only occasionally increased.
Coastal environments of Kandalaksha Gulf in the White Sea (Russia) despite nature conservation efforts are heavily influenced by human activities. Biological effects of complex environmental pollution, including organic substances, heavy metals, and oil hydrocarbons, were assessed in widely distributed marine invertebrates, Gammarus duebeni (Crustacea, Amphipoda) and Mytilus edulis (Mollusca, Bivalvia), collected from a series of anthropogenically-impacted areas and distanced reference sites in Kandalaksha Gulf. The parameters of intracellular protein degradation pathways such as cytosol calpain system and lysosomal cathepsins B (CatB) and cathepsin D (CatD) were studied. The response reactions observed in invertebrates vary in specificity and ranged from adaptive to destructive depending on the total contaminant level and the nature of predominant pollutant. The ecological relevance of studied parameters as biomarkers was confirmed by their ability to indicate both expose to pollutants and adverse effects at the organism level.
Brominated flame retardants and phenolic compounds, of which several have been shown to exhibit endocrine disrupting effects, were screened in extracts of Finnish human adipose tissue samples. The samples were collected during autopsy from 39 subjects, of which 23 were males and 16 females. The samples were homogenised and extracted, and then cleaned-up by preparative gel permeation chromatography. The phenolic compounds were determined in silylated extracts. A total of 21 individual compounds were analysed in the extracts by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (HRGC-LRMS) in the selected ion monitoring mode. The most commonly occurring compounds were 4-octylphenol diethoxylate, 4,4'-dihydroxybiphenyl, and 2,2',4,4'-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE-47), but also some other alkylphenols, pentabromophenol, and 2,2',4,4',5-penta- and 2,2',4,4',5,5'-hexabromodiphenyl ether could be detected in 1-6 samples. The concentrations were ranging from trace amounts to 71 ng/g of lipid weight. The mean concentration of BDE-47 was 1.20 ng/g lipids, however, in 15 of the samples the concentration was below the detection limit. Compared to other European studies the average concentration of BDE-47 obtained in this study is at the lower end of the reported concentrations.
5-lipoxygenase (EC 188.8.131.52) oxidizes polyunsaturated fatty acids by molecular oxygen. The enzyme acts in close contact with the cell membranes, which main components are ionic and non-ionic lipids. In order to investigate the kinetic parameters of 5-lipoxygenase reaction in vitro, extremely hydrophobic fatty acid substrate (linoleic acid) should be solubilized in the reaction mixture. We used Lubrol PX ("Sigma" Chem. Co), as a non-ionic detergent consisted of oligoethylene glycol and fatty alcohol. Linoleic acid and Lubrol PX formed mixed micelles thus solubilizing the fatty acid substrate in a buffer with appropriate pH. We have studied the sizes and shapes of mixed micelles Lubrol PX/linoleic acid (aggregates type 1) and Lubrol PX/linoleic acid/SDS (aggregates type 2; SDS was an effective activator of potato tuber 5-lipoxygenase) by means of gel-filtration and laser light scattering techniques. The parameters under investigation were molecular weights, Stocks radii and shapes of the mixed micelles. The average molecular weights and Stocks radii of the mixed micelles type 1 determined by mean of gel-filtration on Sephadex G-200 were 95,142 +/- 5184 Da and 3.45 +/- 0.11 nm, respectively. The same parameters for the mixed micelles type 2 were 73,694 +/- 893 Da and 3.02 +/- 0.02 nm, respectively. The strong similarity in physicochemical parameters for both types of mixed micelles indicated that SDS did not influence the size and shape of mixed micelles of Lubrol PX and linoleic acid. The activatory action of SDS on potato tuber lipoxygenase may be a result of electrostatic effect or direct participation of SDS in enzymatic catalysis. The laser light scattering technique allowed to determine two main fraction of particles in type 1 system with hydrodynamic diameters 2.6 and 5.7 nm and relative contribution to light scattering 13 and 87%, respectively. The particles with d = 5.7 nm were interpreted as the mixed micelles. The particles with d = 2.6 nm were interpreted as isolated molecules of Lubrol PX, linoleic acid and (or) their premicellar aggregates. The data obtained are to be used in creation of reliable physical and mathematical models of 5-lipoxygenase.
Familial LCAT deficiency (FLD) is a disease characterized by a defect in the enzyme lecithin:cholesterol acyltransferase (LCAT) resulting in low HDL-C, premature corneal opacities, anemia as well as proteinuria and renal failure. We have identified the first French Canadian kindred with familial LCAT deficiency. Two brothers, presenting classical signs of FLD, were shown to be homozygous for a novel LCAT mutation. This c.102delG mutation occurs at the codon for His35 and causes a frameshift that stops transcription at codon 61 abolishing LCAT enzymatic activity both in vivo and in vitro. It has a dramatic effect on the lipoprotein profile, with an important reduction of HDL-C in both heterozygotes (22%) and homozygotes (88%) and a significant decrease in LDL-C in heterozygotes (35%) as well as homozygotes (58%). Furthermore, the lipoprotein profile differs markedly between the two affected brothers who had different APOE genotypes. We propose that APOE could be an important modifier gene explaining heterogeneity in lipoprotein profiles observed among FLD patients. Our results suggest that a LCAT-/- genotype associated with an APOE epsilon2 allele could be a novel mechanism leading to dysbetalipoproteinemia.
The gene encoding MG Orn has been identified from a metagenomic library created from the intertidal zone in Svalbard and encodes a protein of 184 amino acid residues. The mg orn gene has been cloned, recombinantly expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified to homogeneity. Biochemical characterization of the enzyme showed that it efficiently degrades short RNA oligonucleotide substrates of 2mer to 10mer of length and has an absolute requirement for divalent cations for optimal activity. The enzyme is more heat-labile than its counterpart from E. coli and exists as a homodimer in solution. The crystal structure of the enzyme has been determined to a resolution of 3.15 Å, indicating an important role of a disulfide bridge for the homodimer formation and as such for the function of MG Orn. Substitution of the Cys110 residue with either Gly or Ala hampered the dimer formation and severely affected the enzyme's ability to act on RNA. A conserved loop containing His128-Tyr129-Arg130 in the neighboring monomer is probably involved in efficient binding and processing of longer RNA substrates than diribonucleotides.