- Auf der ganzen Welt ist der Brauch, zu Weihnachten und zum Jahreswechsel einen grünen Baum mit allerlei Schmuck aufzustellen, bekannt und beliebt. In Deutschland werden im Jahr über 27 Mio. Weihnachtsbäume verkauft, wobei sich ein deutlicher Trend zum "Zweitbaum" zeigt: Einer für den Garten, der andere für die gute Stube. Der größte europäische Weihnachtsbaum-Produzent ist Dänemark, und auch bei uns sind Anzucht, Kultur und Vermarktung längst zu einem bedeutenden Feld des Gartenbaus und der Land- und Forstwirtschaft geworden. Dabei ist der Brauch, geschmückte Nadelbäume in die Häuser zu bringen, keineswegs uralt und angestammt. Aus römischer Zeit ist überliefert, dass zum Jahreswechsel immergrüne Lorbeerzweige zum Schutz vor Gefahren von außen an den Haustüren befestigt wurden. Im mittelalterlichen Deutschland verfolgte man denselben Zweck mit heimischem Immergrün: Zweige von Eibe und Stechpalme, Wacholder, Mistel, Fichte und Tanne sollten Haus und Hof beschützen.
Post-transcriptional regulation of 5-lipoxygenase mRNA expression via alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay
Bernd Lothar Sorg
- 5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) catalyzes the two initial steps in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes (LT), a group of inflammatory lipid mediators derived from arachidonic acid. Here, we investigated the regulation of 5-LO mRNA expression by alternative splicing and nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD). In the present study, we report the identification of 2 truncated transcripts and 4 novel 5-LO splice variants containing premature termination codons (PTC). The characterization of one of the splice variants, 5-LOΔ3, revealed that it is a target for NMD since knockdown of the NMD factors UPF1, UPF2 and UPF3b in the human monocytic cell line Mono Mac 6 (MM6) altered the expression of 5-LOΔ3 mRNA up to 2-fold in a cell differentiation-dependent manner suggesting that cell differentiation alters the composition or function of the NMD complex. In contrast, the mature 5-LO mRNA transcript was not affected by UPF knockdown. Thus, the data suggest that the coupling of alternative splicing and NMD is involved in the regulation of 5-LO gene expression.
Competition between pentoses and glucose during uptake and catabolism in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae
- Background: In mixed sugar fermentations with recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains able to ferment D-xylose and L-arabinose the pentose sugars are normally only utilized after depletion of D-glucose. This has been attributed to competitive inhibition of pentose uptake by D-glucose as pentose sugars are taken up into yeast cells by individual members of the yeast hexose transporter family. We wanted to investigate whether D-glucose inhibits pentose utilization only by blocking its uptake or also by interfering with its further metabolism.
Results: To distinguish between inhibitory effects of D-glucose on pentose uptake and pentose catabolism, maltose was used as an alternative carbon source in maltose-pentose co-consumption experiments. Maltose is taken up by a specific maltose transport system and hydrolyzed only intracellularly into two D-glucose molecules. Pentose consumption decreased by about 20 - 30% during the simultaneous utilization of maltose indicating that hexose catabolism can impede pentose utilization. To test whether intracellular D-glucose might impair pentose utilization, hexo-/glucokinase deletion mutants were constructed. Those mutants are known to accumulate intracellular D-glucose when incubated with maltose. However, pentose utilization was not effected in the presence of maltose. Addition of increasing concentrations of D-glucose to the hexo-/glucokinase mutants finally completely blocked D-xylose as well as L-arabinose consumption, indicating a pronounced inhibitory effect of D-glucose on pentose uptake. Nevertheless, constitutive overexpression of pentose-transporting hexose transporters like Hxt7 and Gal2 could improve pentose consumption in the presence of D-glucose.
Conclusion: Our results confirm that D-glucose impairs the simultaneous utilization of pentoses mainly due to inhibition of pentose uptake. Whereas intracellular D-glucose does not seem to have an inhibitory effect on pentose utilization, further catabolism of D-glucose can also impede pentose utilization. Nevertheless, the results suggest that co-fermentation of pentoses in the presence of D-glucose can significantly be improved by the overexpression of pentose transporters, especially if they are not inhibited by D-glucose.
Induction of selective blood-tumor barrier permeability and macromolecular transport by a biostable kinin b1 receptor agonist in a glioma rat model
- Treatment of malignant glioma with chemotherapy is limited mostly because of delivery impediment related to the blood-brain tumor barrier (BTB). B1 receptors (B1R), inducible prototypical G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) can regulate permeability of vessels including possibly that of brain tumors. Here, we determine the extent of BTB permeability induced by the natural and synthetic peptide B1R agonists, LysdesArg9BK (LDBK) and SarLys[DPhe8]desArg9BK (NG29), in syngeneic F98 glioma-implanted Fischer rats. Ten days after tumor inoculation, we detected the presence of B1R on tumor cells and associated vasculature. NG29 infusion increased brain distribution volume and uptake profiles of paramagnetic probes (Magnevist and Gadomer) at tumoral sites (T1-weighted imaging). These effects were blocked by B1R antagonist and non-selective cyclooxygenase inhibitors, but not by B2R antagonist and non-selective nitric oxide synthase inhibitors. Consistent with MRI data, systemic co-administration of NG29 improved brain tumor delivery of Carboplatin chemotherapy (ICP-Mass spectrometry). We also detected elevated B1R expression in clinical samples of high-grade glioma. Our results documented a novel GPCR-signaling mechanism for promoting transient BTB disruption, involving activation of B1R and ensuing production of COX metabolites. They also underlined the potential value of synthetic biostable B1R agonists as selective BTB modulators for local delivery of different sized-therapeutics at (peri)tumoral sites.
Zoo Basel Newsletter. 2012, Januar
RFID tracking of sublethal effects of two neonicotinoid insecticides on the foraging behavior of Apis mellifera
Christof W. Schneider
- The development of insecticides requires valid risk assessment procedures to avoid causing harm to beneficial insects and especially to pollinators such as the honeybee Apis mellifera. In addition to testing according to current guidelines designed to detect bee mortality, tests are needed to determine possible sublethal effects interfering with the animal's vitality and behavioral performance. Several methods have been used to detect sublethal effects of different insecticides under laboratory conditions using olfactory conditioning. Furthermore, studies have been conducted on the influence insecticides have on foraging activity and homing ability which require time-consuming visual observation. We tested an experimental design using the radiofrequency identification (RFID) method to monitor the influence of sublethal doses of insecticides on individual honeybee foragers on an automated basis. With electronic readers positioned at the hive entrance and at an artificial food source, we obtained quantifiable data on honeybee foraging behavior. This enabled us to efficiently retrieve detailed information on flight parameters. We compared several groups of bees, fed simultaneously with different dosages of a tested substance. With this experimental approach we monitored the acute effects of sublethal doses of the neonicotinoids imidacloprid (0.15–6 ng/bee) and clothianidin (0.05–2 ng/bee) under field-like circumstances. At field-relevant doses for nectar and pollen no adverse effects were observed for either substance. Both substances led to a significant reduction of foraging activity and to longer foraging flights at doses of ≥0.5 ng/bee (clothianidin) and ≥1.5 ng/bee (imidacloprid) during the first three hours after treatment. This study demonstrates that the RFID-method is an effective way to record short-term alterations in foraging activity after insecticides have been administered once, orally, to individual bees. We contribute further information on the understanding of how honeybees are affected by sublethal doses of insecticides.
Molecular networks in FGF signaling: Flotillin-1 and Cbl-associated protein compete for the binding to fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2
- Fibroblast growth factor receptor substrate 2 (FRS2α) is a signaling adaptor protein that regulates downstream signaling of many receptor tyrosine kinases. During signal transduction, FRS2 can be both tyrosine and threonine phosphorylated and forms signaling complexes with other adaptor proteins and tyrosine phosphatases. We have here identified flotillin-1 and the cbl-associated protein/ponsin (CAP) as novel interaction partners of FRS2. Flotillin-1 binds to the phosphotyrosine binding domain (PTB) of FRS2 and competes for the binding with the fibroblast growth factor receptor. Flotillin-1 knockdown results in increased Tyr phosphorylation of FRS2, in line with the inhibition of ERK activity in the absence of flotillin-1. CAP directly interacts with FRS2 by means of its sorbin homology (SoHo) domain, which has previously been shown to interact with flotillin-1. In addition, the third SH3 domain in CAP binds to FRS2. Due to the overlapping binding domains, CAP and flotillin-1 appear to compete for the binding to FRS2. Thus, our results reveal a novel signaling network containing FRS2, CAP and flotillin-1, whose successive interactions are most likely required to regulate receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, especially the mitogen activated protein kinase pathway.
Protein-induced modulation of chloroplast membrane morphology
Anu Bheemaiah Machettira
Lucia E. Groß
Benjamin L. Weis
Maik Sascha Sommer
- Organelles are surrounded by membranes with a distinct lipid and protein composition. While it is well established that lipids affect protein functioning and vice versa, it has been only recently suggested that elevated membrane protein concentrations may affect the shape and organization of membranes. We therefore analyzed the effects of high chloroplast envelope protein concentrations on membrane structures using an in vivo approach with protoplasts. Transient expression of outer envelope proteins or protein domains such as CHUP1-TM–GFP, outer envelope protein of 7 kDa–GFP, or outer envelope protein of 24 kDa–GFP at high levels led to the formation of punctate, circular, and tubular membrane protrusions. Expression of inner membrane proteins such as translocase of inner chloroplast membrane 20, isoform II (Tic20-II)–GFP led to membrane protrusions including invaginations. Using increasing amounts of DNA for transfection, we could show that the frequency, size, and intensity of these protrusions increased with protein concentration. The membrane deformations were absent after cycloheximide treatment. Co-expression of CHUP1-TM–Cherry and Tic20-II–GFP led to membrane protrusions of various shapes and sizes including some stromule-like structures, for which several functions have been proposed. Interestingly, some structures seemed to contain both proteins, while others seem to contain one protein exclusively, indicating that outer and inner envelope dynamics might be regulated independently. While it was more difficult to investigate the effects of high expression levels of membrane proteins on mitochondrial membrane shapes using confocal imaging, it was striking that the expression of the outer membrane protein Tom20 led to more elongate mitochondria. We discuss that the effect of protein concentrations on membrane structure is possibly caused by an imbalance in the lipid to protein ratio and may be involved in a signaling pathway regulating membrane biogenesis. Finally, the observed phenomenon provides a valuable experimental approach to investigate the relationship between lipid synthesis and membrane protein expression in future studies.
De novo sequencing, assembly and analysis of the genome of the laboratory strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK113-7D, a model for modern industrial biotechnology
Jurgen F. Nijkamp
Marcel van den Broek
Stefan de Kok
Wilbert HM Heijne
Chris J. Paddon
Roeland C. van Ham
Marcel JT Reinders
Jack T. Pronk
Dick de Ridder
- Saccharomyces cerevisiae CEN.PK 113-7D is widely used for metabolic engineering and systems biology research in industry and academia. We sequenced, assembled, annotated and analyzed its genome. Single-nucleotide variations (SNV), insertions/deletions (indels) and differences in genome organization compared to the reference strain S. cerevisiae S288C were analyzed. In addition to a few large deletions and duplications, nearly 3000 indels were identified in the CEN.PK113-7D genome relative to S288C. These differences were overrepresented in genes whose functions are related to transcriptional regulation and chromatin remodelling. Some of these variations were caused by unstable tandem repeats, suggesting an innate evolvability of the corresponding genes. Besides a previously characterized mutation in adenylate cyclase, the CEN.PK113-7D genome sequence revealed a significant enrichment of non-synonymous mutations in genes encoding for components of the cAMP signalling pathway. Some phenotypic characteristics of the CEN.PK113-7D strains were explained by the presence of additional specific metabolic genes relative to S288C. In particular, the presence of the BIO1 and BIO6 genes correlated with a biotin prototrophy of CEN.PK113-7D. Furthermore, the copy number, chromosomal location and sequences of the MAL loci were resolved. The assembled sequence reveals that CEN.PK113-7D has a mosaic genome that combines characteristics of laboratory strains and wild-industrial strains.
Zoo Basel Newsletter. 2012, März