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R-spondins constitute a recently discovered small family of growth factors, and the evidence of their role in several developmental pathways is growing fast. In this work we describe the chromosomal location of the four RSPO genes in the donkey. Using horse BACs, we localized RSIPO1 on EAS 5q23, RSPO2 on EAS 12q13, RSPO3 on EAS 24q26, and RSPO4 on EAS 15p13. Moreover, RSPO2, RSPO3, and RSPO4 are the first genes mapped on donkey chromosomes 12, 24, and 15, respectively.
Physiologically, angiogenesis is tightly regulated, or otherwise it leads to pathologi­cal processes, such as tumors, inflammatory diseases, gynecological diseases and dia­betic retinopathy. The vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent and criti­cal inducer of angiogenesis. The VEGF gene expression is regulated by a variety of stimuli. Hypoxia is one of the most potent inducers of the VEGF expression. The hypoxia inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) plays as a key transcription factor in hypo- xia-mediated VEGF gene upregulation. Nitric oxide (NO) as well as hypoxia is re­ported to upregulate the VEGF gene by enhancing HIF-1 activity. The Akt/protein kinase B (PKB) pathway may be involved in NO-mediated HIF-1 activation in limited cell lines. There are some reports of negative effects of NO on HIF-1 and VEGF activ­ity. These conflicting data of NO effects may be attributed mainly to the amount of re­leased NO. Indeed, NO can be a positive or negative modulator of the VEGF gene un­der the same conditions simply by changing its amounts. The VEGF-mediated angiogenesis requires NO production from activated endothelial NO synthase (eNOS). Activation of eNOS by VEGF involves several pathways including Akt/PKB, Ca2+ /calmodulin, and protein kinase C. The NO-mediated VEGF expression can be regulated by HIF-1 and heme oxygenase 1 (HO-1) activity, and the VEGF-mediated NO production by eNOS can be also modulated by HIF-1 and HO-1 activity, depending upon the amount of produced NO. These reciprocal relations between NO and VEGF may contribute to regulated angiogenesis in normal tissues.
A dihydropyridine-sensitive gastric mucosal calcium channels were isolated from the solubilized epithelial cell membranes by affinity chromatography on wheat germ agglutinin. The channels following labeling the calcium antagonist receptor site with [³H]PN200-100 were reconstituted into phospholipid vesicles which exhibited active ⁴⁵Ca²⁺ uptake as evidenced by La³⁺ displacement assays. The uptake of calcium was independent of sodium and potassium gradients indicating the electroneutral nature of the process. The channels responded in a dose dependent manner to dihydropyridine calcium antagonist, PN200-110, which at 0.5/zm exerted maximal inhibitory affect of 66% on ⁴⁵Ca²⁺ uptake, while a 52% enhacement in ⁴⁵Ca²⁺ uptake occurred with a specific calcium channel activator, BAY K8644. On platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) binding in the presence of ATP, channel protein showed an increase in tyrosine phosphorylation of 55 and 170 kDa calcium channel proteins. Such phosphorylated channels following reconstitution into vesicles displayed a 78% greater ⁴⁵Ca²⁺ uptake. The results demonstrate the importance of PDGF in the regulation of gastric mucosal calcium uptake.
PDGF is one of the most potent serum mitogens, and the signalling mechanism by way of its receptor tyrosine-kinase has been extensively studied since its first purifica­tion in 1979. The identification of homology between the simian sarcoma virus onco­gene, v-sis, and the B-chain of PDGF, as well as the frequent over-expression of both the ligands and receptors in various tumours and stroma led to the proposal of the PDGF-mediated autocrine and paracrine hypothesis. Consistent with the important roles of PDGF in the growth and survival of cells, the expression and activity of PDGF receptors are tightly controlled by both positive and negative feedback mechanisms at different levels. The deregulation of the control system can result in serious pathological conditions such as chronic inflammation and tumours. Understanding the molecular mechanisms for the regulatory system and the signalling pathway of PDGF is essential in order to find effective therapies in the diseases where PDGF is involved.
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