Invertebrate Systems (invertebrate + system)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Novel ,-carboxyglutamic acid-containing peptides from the venom of Conus textile

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 12 2006
Eva Czerwiec
The cone snail is the only invertebrate system in which the vitamin K-dependent carboxylase (or ,-carboxylase) and its product ,-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla) have been identified. It remains the sole source of structural information of invertebrate ,-carboxylase substrates. Four novel Gla-containing peptides were purified from the venom of Conus textile and characterized using biochemical methods and mass spectrometry. The peptides Gla(1),TxVI, Gla(2),TxVI/A, Gla(2),TxVI/B and Gla(3),TxVI each have six Cys residues and belong to the O -superfamily of conotoxins. All four conopeptides contain 4- trans -hydroxyproline and the unusual amino acid 6- l -bromotryptophan. Gla(2),TxVI/A and Gla(2),TxVI/B are isoforms with an amidated C-terminus that differ at positions +1 and +13. Three isoforms of Gla(3),TxVI were observed that differ at position +7: Gla(3),TxVI, Glu7,Gla(3),TxVI and Asp7-Gla(3),TxVI. The cDNAs encoding the precursors of the four peptides were cloned. The predicted signal sequences (amino acids ,46 to ,27) were nearly identical and highly hydrophobic. The predicted propeptide region (,20 to ,1) that contains the ,-carboxylation recognition site (,-CRS) is very similar in Gla(2),TxVI/A, Gla(2),TxVI/B and Gla(3),TxVI, but is more divergent for Gla(1),TxVI. Kinetic studies utilizing the Conus,-carboxylase and synthetic peptide substrates localized the ,-CRS of Gla(1),TxVI to the region ,14 to ,1 of the polypeptide precursor: the Km was reduced from 1.8 mm for Gla (1),TxVI lacking a propeptide to 24 m when a 14-residue propeptide was attached to the substrate. Similarly, addition of an 18-residue propeptide to Gla(2),TxVI/B reduced the Km value tenfold. [source]

Drosophila neuromuscular synapse assembly and function require the TGF-, type I receptor saxophone and the transcription factor Mad

Joel M. Rawson
Abstract Transforming growth factor-,s (TGF-,) comprise a superfamily of secreted proteins with diverse functions in patterning and cell division control. TGF-, signaling has been implicated in synapse assembly and plasticity in both vertebrate and invertebrate systems. Recently, wishful thinking, a Drosophila gene that encodes a protein related to BMP type II receptors, has been shown to be required for the normal function and development of the neuromuscular junction (NMJ). These findings suggest that a TGF-,-related ligand activates a signaling cascade involving type I and II receptors and the Smad family of transcription factors to orchestrate the assembly of the NMJ. Here we demonstrate that the TGF-, type I receptor Saxophone and the downstream transcription factor Mothers against dpp (Mad) are essential for the normal structural and functional development of the Drosophila NMJ, a synapse that displays activity-dependent plasticity. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Neurobiol 55: 134,150, 2003 [source]

Cross-reactivity of antibodies to actin- depolymerizing factor/cofilin family proteins and identification of the major epitope recognized by a mammalian actin-depolymerizing factor/cofilin antibody

Alisa E. Shaw
Abstract Members of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family of proteins are expressed in all eukaryotic cells. In higher vertebrates, cells often express as many as three different ADF/cofilin genes and each of these proteins may be phosphorylated on serine 3, giving rise to up to six different species. Also, many avian, amphibian, and invertebrate systems have been useful in studying different aspects of ADF/cofilin function. Antibodies have been prepared against different members of the ADF/cofilin family, but no systematic examination of their cross-reactivity has been reported. Although ADF and cofilins within a single vertebrate species have about a 70% sequence homology, antibodies often differentiate between these proteins. Here, Western blotting was used with chemiluminescence substrates of different sensitivities to determine the relative immunoreactivities of different polyclonal rabbit antibodies and a mouse monoclonal antibody to purified ADF/cofilins from plants, protists, nematodes, insects, echinoderms, birds, and mammals. From immunocross-reactivities and sequence alignments, the principal epitope in mammalian ADF and cofilin-1 recognized by an antibody raised against avian ADF was identified. The specificity of an antibody to the phosphopeptide epitope of metazoan ADF/cofilins was confirmed by two-dimensional (2-D) immunoblot analysis. Futhermore, this bank of antibodies was used to identify by Western blotting a putative member of the ADF/cofilin family in the sea slug, Aplysia californica. [source]

The GABAergic-like system in the marine demosponge Chondrilla nucula

Paola Ramoino
Abstract Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is believed to be the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system, a function that has been extended to a number of invertebrate systems. The presence of GABA in the marine demosponge Chondrilla nucula was verified using immunofluorescence detection and high-pressure liquid chromatography. A strong GABA-like immunoreactivity (IR) was found associated with choanocytes, exopinacocytes, endopinacocytes lining inhalant, and exhalant canals, as well as in archaeocytes scattered in the mesohyl. The capacity to synthesize GABA from glutamate and to transport it into the vesicles was confirmed by the presence in C. nucula of glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) and vesicular GABA transporters (vGATs), respectively. GAD-like and vGAT-like IR show the same distribution as GABA-like IR. Supporting the similarity between sponge and mammalian proteins, bands with an apparent molecular weight of about 65,67 kDa and 57 kDa were detected using antibodies raised against mammalian GAD and vGAT, respectively. A functional metabotropic GABAB -like receptor is also present in C. nucula. Indeed, both GABAB R1 and R2 isoforms were detected by immunoblot and immunofluorescence. Also in this case, IR was found in choanocytes, exopinacocytes, and endopinacocytes. The content of GABA in C. nucula amounts to 1225.75 79 pmol/mg proteins and GABA is released into the medium when sponge cells are depolarized. In conclusion, this study is the first indication of the existence of the GABA biosynthetic enzyme GAD and of the GABA transporter vGAT in sponges, as well as the first demonstration that the neurotransmitter GABA is released extracellularly. Microsc. Res. Tech., 2007. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]