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All records of the exotic mammalian family Ptolemaiidae are known from 182 m of section in the lower to middle parts of the upper Eocene and lower Oligocene Jebel Qatrani Formation, Fayum Depression, Egypt. Previous tentative assignments of ptolemaiid affinity have suggested that these animals are allied with the primitive suborder Pantolesta (currently placed in the order Cimolesta). Though perhaps ultimately derived from an unknown member of that group, the likelihood that ptolemaiids constitute a distinct group is considered, and analysis of all known materials of Ptolemaia, Qarunavus, and Cleopatrodon demonstrates that these genera belong in their own order, the Ptolemaiida, described here. The morphologically unique dentition and only known ptolemaiid cranium, that of Ptolemaia grangeri, is described. Although Qarunavus and Cleopa...
Plasmid-encoded addiction genes augment the apparent stability of various low copy number bacterial plasmids by selectively killing plasmid-free (cured) segregants or their progeny. The addiction module of plasmid prophage P1 consists of a pair of genes called phd and doc. Phd serves to prevent host death when the prophage is retained and, should retention mechanisms fail, Doc causes death on curing. Doc acts as a cell toxin to which Phd is an antidote. In this study we show that host mutants with defects in either subunit of the ClpXP protease survive the loss of a plasmid that contains a P1 addiction module. The small antidote protein Phd is fully stable in these two mutant hosts, whereas it is labile in a wild-type host. We conclude that the role of ClpXP in the addiction mechanism of P1 is to degrade the Phd protein. This conclusio...
EBNA 2 (Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen 2) is an acidic transactivator essential for EBV transformation of B lymphocytes. We show that EBNA 2 directly interacts with general transcription factor IIH. Glutathione S-transferase (GST)-EBNA 2 acidic domain fusion protein depleted transcription factor IIH activity from a TFIIH nuclear fraction. The p89 (ERCC3), p80 (ERCC2), and p62 subunits of TFIIH were among the proteins retained by GST-EBNA 2. Eluates from the GST-EBNA 2 beads reconstituted activity in a TFIIH-dependent in vitro transcription assay. The p62 and p80 subunits of TFIIH independently bound to GST-EBNA 2, whereas the p34 subunit of TFIIH only bound in the presence of p62. A Trp-->Thr mutation in the EBNA 2 acidic domain abolishes EBNA 2 transactivation in vivo and greatly compromised EBNA 2 association with TFIIH activity ...
The E6 protein of the high-risk human papillomaviruses inactivates the tumor suppressor protein p53 by stimulating its ubiquitinylation and subsequent degradation. Ubiquitinylation is a multistep process involving a ubiquitin-activating enzyme, one of many distinct ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes, and in certain cases, a ubiquitin ligase. In human papillomavirus-infected cells, E6 and the E6-associated protein are thought to act as a ubiquitin-protein ligase in the ubiquitinylation of p53. Here we describe the cloning of a human ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that specifically ubiquitinylates E6-associated protein. Furthermore, we define the biochemical pathway of p53 ubiquitinylation and demonstrate that in vivo inhibition of various components in the pathway leads to an inhibition of E6-stimulated p53 degradation.
Mutations in the gene encoding the beta subunit of rod cGMP phosphodiesterase are known causes of photoreceptor degeneration in two animal models of retinitis pigmentosa, the rd (retinal degeneration) mouse and the Irish setter dog with rod/cone dysplasia. Here we report a screen of 92 unrelated patients with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa for defects in the human homologue of this gene. We identified seven different mutations that cosegregate with the disease. They were found among four patients with each patient heterozygously carrying two mutations. All of these mutations are predicted to affect the putative catalytic domain, probably leading to a decrease in phosphodiesterase activity and an increase in cGMP levels within rod photoreceptors. Mutations in the gene encoding the beta subunit of rod phosphodiesterase are the ...
NADPH-protochlorophyllide oxidoreductase (POR; EC 1.6.99.1) catalyzes the only known light-dependent step in chlorophyll synthesis of higher plants, the reduction of protochlorophyllide (Pchlide) to chlorophyllide. In barley, two distinct immunoreactive POR proteins were identified. In contrast to the light-sensitive POR enzyme studied thus far (POR-A), levels of the second POR protein remained constant in seedlings during the transition from dark growth to the light and in green plants. The existence of a second POR-related protein was verified by isolating and sequencing cDNAs that encode a second POR polypeptide (POR-B) with an amino acid sequence identity of 75% to the POR-A. In the presence of NADPH and Pchlide, the in vitro-synthesized POR-A and POR-B proteins could be reconstituted to ternary enzymatically active complexes that ...
One of the more intriguing aspects of transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGF beta 1) is its ability to function as both a mitogenic factor for certain mesenchymal cells and a potent growth inhibitor of lymphoid, endothelial, and epithelial cells. Data are presented indicating that c-myc may play a pivotal role in both the mitogenic and antiproliferative actions of TGF beta 1. In agreement with previous studies using C3H/10T1/2 fibroblasts constitutively expressing an exogenous c-myc cDNA, we show that AKR-2B fibroblasts expressing a chimeric estrogen-inducible form of c-myc (mycER) are able to form colonies in soft agar in the presence of TGF beta 1 only when c-myc is activated by hormone. Whereas these findings support a synergistic role for c-myc in mitogenic responses to TGF beta 1, we also find that c-myc can antagonize the growth-...
The ryanodine receptor-like Ca2+ channel (RyRLC) is responsible for Ca2+ wave propagation and Ca2+ oscillations in certain nonmuscle cells by a Ca(2+)-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) mechanism. Cyclic ADP-ribose (cADPR), an enzymatic product derived from NAD+, is the only known endogenous metabolite that acts as an agonist on the RyRLC. However, the mode of action of cADPR is not clear. We have identified calmodulin as a functional mediator of cADPR-triggered CICR through the RyRLC in sea urchin eggs. cADPR-induced Ca2+ release consisted of two phases, an initial rapid release phase and a subsequent slower release. The second phase was selectively potentiated by calmodulin which, in turn, was activated by Ca2+ released during the initial phase. Caffeine enhanced the action of calmodulin. Calmodulin did not play a role in inositol 1,4,5-tri...
The development of megakaryocytes (MKs) from their marrow precursors is one of the least understood aspects of hematopoiesis. Current models suggest that early-acting MK colony-stimulating factors, such as interleukin (IL) 3 or c-kit ligand, are required for expansion of hematopoietic progenitors into cells capable of responding to late-acting MK potentiators, including IL-6 and IL-11. Recently, the Mp1 ligand, or thrombopoietin (Tpo), has been shown to display both MK colony-stimulating factor and potentiator activities, at potencies far greater than that of other cytokines. In light of these findings, we tested the hypothesis that Tpo is absolutely necessary for MK development. In this report we demonstrate that neutralizing the biological activity of Tpo eliminates MK formation in response to c-kit ligand, IL-6, and IL-11, alone and...
To complete the molecular characterization of coatomer, the preformed cytosolic complex that is involved in the formation of biosynthetic transport vesicles, we have cloned and characterized the gene for non-clathrin-coat protein alpha (alpha-COP) from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The derived protein, molecular weight of 135,500, contains four WD-40 repeated motifs (Trp/Asp-containing motifs of approximately 40 amino acids). Disruption of the yeast alpha-COP gene is lethal. Comparison of the DNA-derived primary structure with peptides from bovine alpha-COP shows a striking homology. alpha-COP is localized to coated transport vesicles and coated buds of Golgi membranes derived from CHO cells.
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