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PDZ domains are ubiquitous protein interaction modules that play a key role in cel­lular signaling. Their binding specificity involves recognition of the carboxyl-termi- nus of various proteins, often belonging to receptor and ion channel families. PDZ domains also mediate more complicated molecular networks through PDZ-PDZ in­teractions, recognition of internal protein sequences or phosphatidylinositol moi­eties. The domains often form a tandem of multiple copies, but equally often such tandems or single PDZ domain occur in combination with other signaling domains (for example SH3, DH/PH, GUK, LIM, CaMK). Common occurrence of PDZ domains in Metazoans strongly suggests that their evolutionary appearance results from the complication of signaling mechanisms in multicellular organisms. Here, we focus on their structure, specificity and role in signaling pathways.
Sporulation of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae - equivalent to gametogenesis in higher organisms, is a complex differentiation program induced by starvation of cells for nitrogen and carbon. Such environmental conditions activate coordinated, sequential changes in gene expression leading to production of haploid, stress-resistant spores. Sporulation comprises two rounds of meiosis coupled with spore morphogenesis and is tightly controlled to ensure viable progeny. This review concerns the regulation of differentiation process by nutritional and transcriptional signals.
Under normal physiological conditions, the majority of hepatocytes are in the functional state (G0 phase). After injury or liver partial hepatectomy (PH), hepatocytes are rapidly activated to divide. To understand the mechanism underlying hepatocyte G0/G1 transition during rat liver regeneration, we used the Rat Genome 230 2.0 Array to determine the expression changes of genes, then searched the GO and NCBI databases for genes associated with the G0/G1 transition, and QIAGEN and KEGG databases for the G0/G1 transition signaling pathways. We used expression profile function (E t ) to calculate the activity level of the known G0/G1 transition signal pathways, and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis 9.0 (IPA) to determine the interactions among these signaling pathways. The results of our study show that the activity of the signaling pathways of HGF, IL-10 mediated by p38MAPK, IL-6 mediated by STAT3, and JAK/STAT mediated by Ras/ERK and STAT3 are significantly increased during the priming phase (2–6 h after PH) of rat liver regeneration. This leads us to conclude that during rat liver regeneration, the HGF, IL-10, IL-6 and JAK/STAT signaling pathways play a major role in promoting hepatocyte G0/G1 transition in the regenerating liver.
Contribution of the protein kinase A (PKA) and protein kinase C (PKC) signalling pathways to the regulation of 11y3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type II (HSD11B2) gene expression was investigated in human breast cancer cell line MCF-7. Treatment of the cells with an adenylyl cyclase activator, forskolin, known to stimulate the PKA pathway, resulted in an increase in HSD11B2 mRNA content. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR revealed attenuation of the effect of forskolin by phorbol ester, tetra- decanoyl phorbol acetate (TPA), an activator of the PKC pathway. It was also demon­strated that specific inhibitors significantly reduced the effect of activators of the two pathways. Stimulation of the PKA pathway did not affect, whereas stimulation of the PKC pathway significantly reduced MCF-7 cell proliferation in a time-dependent manner. A cell growth inhibitor, dexamethasone, at high concentrations, caused a 40% de­crease in proliferation of MCF-7 cells and this effect was abolished under conditions of increased HSD11B2 expression. It was concluded that in MCF-7 cells, stimulation of the PKA signal transduction pathway results in the induction of HSD11B2 expression and that this effect is markedly reduced by activation of the PKC pathway. Activation of the PKC pathway also resulted in inhibition of cell proliferation, while activation of the PKA pathway abolished the antiproliferative effect of dexamethasone. These effects might be due to oxidation of dexamethasone by the PKA-inducible HSD11B2.
Skeletal muscle is highly adaptable, being capable of undergoing changes in its structural and functional properties in response to physiological stimuli. The fast-to-slow muscle fiber-type transition is evoked by increased motor nerve activity. Recently, the calcineurin (CaN) signaling pathway has been implicated in the transcriptional regulation of slow muscle fiber genes. Here we investigated the effect of treatment with a CaN-specific inhibitor, FK506, on skeletal muscle fiber-type transition in functionally overloaded muscles. The overloaded plantaris muscle showed fast-to-slow muscle fiber type transition, i.e., a decrease in myosin heavy chain (MHC) IIb, an increase in MHCIIa+d/x, and new expression of MHCI. In the FK506-administered group, however, overload-induced muscle fiber-type transition was completely prevented. We have demonstrated, therefore, that the CaN signaling pathway is required for fast-to-slow skeletal muscle fiber-type transition. Furthermore, we also confirmed that the protein expression levels of downstream effectors of CaN signaling exhibit a transient increase in the early phase of the overloaded condition.
PDZ domains are ubiquitous protein–protein interaction modules which bind short, usually carboxyterminal fragments of receptors, other integral or membrane-associated proteins, and occasionally cytosolic proteins. Their role in organizing multiprotein complexes at the cellular membrane is crucial for many signaling pathways, but the rules defining their binding specificity are still poorly understood and do not readily explain the observed diversity of their known binding partners. Two homologous RhoA-specific, multidomain nucleotide exchange factors PDZRhoGEF and LARG contain PDZ domains which show a particularly broad recognition profile, as suggested by the identification of five diverse biological targets. To investigate the molecular roots of this phenomenon, we constructed a phage display library of random carboxyterminal hexapeptides. Peptide variants corresponding to the sequences identified in library selection were synthesized and their affinities for both PDZ domains were measured and compared with those of peptides derived from sequences of natural partners. Based on the analysis of the binding sequences identified for PDZRhoGEF, we propose a sequence for an ‘optimal’ binding partner. Our results support the hypothesis that PDZ–peptide interactions may be best understood when one considers the sum of entropic and dynamic effects for each peptide as a whole entity, rather than preferences for specific residues at a given position.
CD14 plays a crucial role in the inflammatory response to lipopolysaccharide (LPS), which interacts with TLR4 and MD-2 to enable cell activation, resulting in inflammation. Upstream inhibition of the inflammation pathway mediated by bacterial LPS, toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) and cluster of differentiation antigen 14 (CD14) was proven to be an effective therapeutic approach for attenuating harmful immune activation. To explore the effect of CD14 downregulation on the expression of TLR4 signaling pathway-related genes after LPS stimulation in buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) monocyte/macrophages, effective CD14 shRNA sequences were screened using qRT-PCR and FACS analysis with buffalo CD14 shRNA lentiviral recombinant plasmids (pSicoRGFP-shRNA) and buffalo CD14 fusion expression plasmids (pDsRed-N1-buffalo CD14) co-transfected into HEK293T cells via liposomes. Of the tested shRNAs, shRNA-1041 revealed the highest knockdown efficiency (p < 0.01). When buffalo peripheral blood monocyte/macrophages were infected with shRNA-1041 lentivirus and stimulated with LPS, the expression of endogenous CD14 was significantly decreased by CD14 shRNA (p < 0.01), and the mRNA expression levels of TLR4, IL-6 and TNF-α were also significantly downregulated compared to the control groups (p < 0.01). These results demonstrated that the knockdown of endogenous CD14 had clear regulatory effects on the signal transduction of TLR4 after stimulation with LPS. These results may provide a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of CD14 regulation in the development of several buffalo diseases.
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