Alkaline phosphatases are non-specific phosphomonoesterases that are distributed widely in species ranging from bacteria to man. This study has concentrated on the tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase from arctic shrimps (shrimp alkaline phosphatase, SAP). Originating from a cold-active species, SAP is thermolabile and is used widely in vitro, e.g. to dephosphorylate DNA or dNTPs, since it can be inactivated by a short rise in temperature. Since alkaline phosphatases are zinc-containing enzymes, a multiwavelength anomalous dispersion (MAD) experiment was performed on the zinc K edge, which led to the determination of the structure to a resolution of 1.9 A. Anomalous data clearly showed the presence of a zinc triad in the active site, whereas alkaline phosphatases usually contain two zinc and one magnesium ion per monomer. SAP shares the core, an extended beta-sheet flanked by alpha-helices, and a metal triad with the currently known alkaline phosphatase structures (Escherichia coli structures and a human placental structure). Although SAP lacks some features specific for the mammalian enzyme, their backbones are very similar and may therefore be typical for other higher organisms. Furthermore, SAP possesses a striking feature that the other structures lack: surface potential representations show that the enzyme's net charge of -80 is distributed such that the surface is predominantly negatively charged, except for the positively charged active site. The negatively charged substrate must therefore be directed strongly towards the active site. It is generally accepted that optimization of the electrostatics is one of the characteristics related to cold-adaptation. SAP demonstrates this principle very clearly.
Polar fishes are known to have serum proteins and glycoproteins that protect them from freezing, by a noncolligative process. Measurements of antifreeze concentrations in ice and scanning electron micrographs of freeze-dried antifreeze solutions indicate that the antifreezes are incorporated in ice during freezing. The antifreezes also have a pronounced effect on the crystal habit of ice grown in their presence. Each of four antifreezes investigated caused ice to grow in long needles whose axes were parallel to the ice c axis. Together these results indicate the antifreezes adsorb to ice surfaces and inhibit their growth. A model in which adsorbed antifreezes raise the curvature of growth steps on the ice surface is proposed to account for the observed depression of the temperature at which freezing occurs and agrees well with experimental observations. The model is similar to one previously proposed for other cases of crystal growth inhibition.
The paper is concerned with the results of recent researches devoted to studies of the structure, properties and physiological role of alpha 2-macroglobulin, one of main inhibitors of blood proteolytic enzymes. Data are presented on its primary and quaternary structure, mechanisms of interaction with proteinases. The role of alpha 2-macroglobulin in regulation of the activity of proteinases participating in blood coagulation, fibrinolysis, kininogenesis, immune reactions is shown. Possibilities of its application in medicine are discussed.
Alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (Amacr) catalyzes the racemization of alpha-methyl-branched CoA esters. Sequence comparisons have shown that this enzyme is a member of the family III CoA transferases. The mammalian Amacr is involved in bile acid synthesis and branched-chain fatty acid degradation. In human, mutated variants of Amacr have been shown to be associated with disease states. Amino acid sequence alignment of Amacrs and its homologues from various species revealed 26 conserved protic residues, assumed to be potential candidates as catalytic residues. Amacr from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MCR) was taken as a representative of the racemases. To determine their importance for efficient catalysis, each of these 26 protic residues of MCR was mutated into an alanine, respectively, and the mutated variants were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. It was found that four variants (R91A, H126A, D156A, and E241A) were properly folded but had much decreased catalytic efficiency. Apparently, Arg91, His126, Asp156, and Glu241 are important catalytic residues of MCR. The importance of these residues for catalysis can be rationalized by the 1.8 A resolution crystal structure of MCR, which shows that the catalytic site is at the interface between the large and small domain of two different subunits of the dimeric enzyme. This crystal structure is the first structure of a complete enzyme of the bile acid synthesis pathway. It shows that MCR has unique structural features, not seen in the structures of the sequence related formyl-CoA transferases, suggesting that the family III CoA transferases can be subdivided in at least two classes, being racemases and CoA transferases.
HLA-DR2 is negatively associated with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). The aim of the present study was to analyze DR2-positive patients among 425 consecutively diagnosed unrelated Swedish children with IDDM and in 367 matched controls. HLA-DRB, -DQA and -DQB were determined by Taq I restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. Amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and hybridization with sequence-specific oligonucleotide probes was done for DQA1, DQB1 and DRB1 and DRB5. DR2 was positive in 11/425 patients (3%) and 101/367 (28%) controls (OR 0.07, p
To characterize prostate-specific antigen (PSA) produced by cancer cells, different isoforms of PSA secreted by the human prostate cancer cells, LNCaP, were purified. LNCaP-PSA production was induced by synthetic androgen, R1881. LNCaP-PSA was separated into four pools. The molecular mass of LNCaP-PSA isoforms in these pools was 34 kDa under reducing conditions and 29 kDa under nonreducing conditions on SDS/PAGE. pI of LNCaP-PSA isoforms varied from 6.8 to 8.2. Pool A had the highest specific activity, 37 nmol/(min x mg). All the pools formed stable complexes with alpha1-antichymotrypsin and alpha2-macroglobulin. The pools contained 10-60% of N-terminally correctly processed LNCaP-PSA isoforms. According to the molecular modelling, the addition or deletion of two or four N-terminal amino acids could affect the three-dimensional structure and thereby remarkably reduce the enzyme activity of LNCaP-PSA.
The cDNA sequence and serological data for HLA-B73 are reported. Anti-B73 sera are found relatively frequently, considering the rarity of the antigen. It was noted early that in some cases the antibodies in sera of multiparous women did not react with the eliciting cells (fathers) and thus all behaved as a naturally occurring antibody. We report on 18 B73 antisera found during the screening of 55,000 Danish sera. Only one of the 17 stimulators typed also had the B73 tissue type. Ten of the stimulators had antigens from the B7 CREG (B7, B22, B27, B42, B67, B73), whereas none of the responders had such tissue types. In seven cases the serum was not able to react with the stimulator's lymphocytes in a cytotoxicity assay and in four cases the stimulator lymphocytes could not deplete the anti-B73 activity from the serum in absorption experiments. The cDNA of B73 was expressed correctly in COS cells and was recognized on the cell surface by a monospecific serum. The alpha 1 alpha 2 domains of B73 are most similar to those of the HLA-B22 family. Interestingly, the alpha 3 and transmembrane domains of HLA-B73 are not standard human domains, but are most similar to the corresponding domains of some gorilla and chimpanzee HLA-B genes.
Previous results [(1988) Arct. Med. Res. 47, 83-88] have shown that hemoglobin from reindeer is characterized by a low overall heat of oxygenation. This particular aspect has been investigated further in a series of precise oxygen equilibrium experiments. The results obtained show a peculiar dependence of the temperature effect on the fractional saturation of hemoglobin with oxygen, which could be regarded as a very interesting case of molecular adaptation to extreme environmental conditions.
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a prothrombotic condition, involving increased thrombin generation and fibrinogen concentrations. Vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) prevent arterial thromboembolism if optimal anticoagulation is achieved by individualised drug doses, assessed by determining the Prothrombin time-related International Normalized Ratio (Pt-INR). There is evidence that formation of tight-laced fibrin networks is pathogenic in prothrombotic diseases. This study was performed among AF patients, to test whether long-term treatment with VKAs affects the structure of fibrin networks, and whether the effect is altered by employing different coagulation triggers: exogenous thrombin (1 IU/ml), 10 pM tissue factor (TF) or a commercial Pt-INR reagent (containing 400-fold more TF). In the thrombin-based method, fibrin network porosity (scanning electron microscopy) and liquid permeability (flow measurements) correlated inversely to fibrinogen concentrations, while positive correlations to the degree of anticoagulation were shown with the Pt-INR reagent. In the method with 10 pM TF, the two above relationships were detected, though the influence of Pt-INR was more profound than that of fibrinogen concentrations. Moreover, greater shortening of clot lysis time (CLT) arose from more permeable clots. As a coagulation trigger, 10 pM TF vs exogenous thrombin or the Pt-INR reagent is more informative in reflecting the in vivo process from thrombin generation to fibrin formation. Since fibrin network permeability rose in parallel to elevations of INR and shortening of CLT in AF patients, antithrombotic effects on prevention of thrombotic complications may be achieved from impairment of thrombin generation, resulting in formation of permeable clots susceptible to fibrinolysis.
The C825T polymorphism in the gene encoding the G protein beta 3 subunit (GNB3) causes enhanced G protein activation and the increased in vitro cell proliferation. We investigated the association of gene GNB3 C825T polymorphism with coronary artery disease (CAD) in the Russian population. A total of 313 patients with CAD diagnosed on the basis of clinical studies and coronary angyography were examined. The control group included 132 individuals that lacked clinical CAD symptoms and had matching profile of coronary artery disease risk factors. Blood pressure was measured using standard protocols. Increased levels of diastolic and systolic pressure was observed in both groups. The allele and genotype frequencies of this polimorphic marker were significantly higher in the CAD patients than in control. We found that the frequency of allele C and gen-. otype CC was significantly higher in the CAD patients (OR = 1.55; P = 0.0079; OR = 1.63; P = 0.0215, respectively), which suggests higher risk of this pathology in carriers of allele C and genotype CC. Thus, in the Russian population coronary artery disease is associated with GNB3 allele C and genotype CC.