Major Means (major + mean)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Regulation of NMDA receptor trafficking and function by striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP)

Steven P. Braithwaite
Abstract Regulation of N -methyl- d -aspartate (NMDA) receptors is critical for the normal functioning of the central nervous system. There must be precise mechanisms to allow for changes in receptor function required for learning and normal synaptic transmission, but within tight constraints to prevent pathology. Tyrosine phosphorylation is a major means by which NMDA receptors are regulated through the equilibrium between activity of Src family kinases and tyrosine phosphatases. Identification of NMDA receptor phosphatases has been difficult, the best candidate being striatal-enriched tyrosine phosphatase (STEP). Here we demonstrate that STEP is a critical regulator of NMDA receptors and reveal that the action of this tyrosine phosphatase controls the constitutive trafficking of NMDA receptors and leads to changes in NMDA receptor activity at the neuronal surface. We show that STEP binds directly to NMDA receptors in the absence of other synaptic proteins. The activity of STEP selectively affects the expression of NMDA receptors at the neuronal plasma membrane. The result of STEP's action upon the NMDA receptor affects the functional properties of the receptor and its downstream signaling. These effects are evident when STEP levels are chronically reduced, indicating that there is no redundancy amongst phosphatases to compensate for altered STEP function in the CNS. STEP may have evolved specifically to fill a pivotal role as the NMDA receptor phosphatase, having a distinct and restricted localization and compartmentalization, and unique activity towards the NMDA receptor and its signaling pathway. [source]

Functional analysis of mutations in the ATP loop of the Wilson disease copper transporter, ATP7B,

HUMAN MUTATION, Issue 5 2010
Leiah M. Luoma
Abstract Wilson disease (WND) is an autosomal recessive disorder resulting from mutation of ATP7B. Transport of copper by ATP7B from the trans -Golgi of hepatocytes into apical membrane-trafficked vesicles for excretion in the bile is the major means of copper elimination from the body. Although copper is an essential nutrient, homeostasis must be carefully maintained. If homeostasis is disrupted, copper can accumulate within the liver, kidney, cornea, and/or brain. The range of organs affected leads to clinical heterogeneity and difficulty in WND diagnosis. Sequencing of ATP7B is an important adjunct for diagnosis but has led to the discovery of many novel missense variants. Although prediction programs are available, functional characterization is essential for determining the consequence of novel variants. We have tested 12 missense variants localized to the ATP loop of ATP7B and compared three predictive programs (SIFT, PolyPhen, and Align-GVGD). We found p.L1043P, p.G1000R, p.G1101R, p.I1102T, p.V1239G, and p.D1267V deleterious; p.G1176E and p.G1287S intermediate; p.E1173G temperature sensitive; p.T991M and p.I1148T mild; and p.R1228T functioning as wild type. We found that SIFT most often agreed with functional data (92%), compared with PolyPhen (83%) and Align-GVGD (67%). We conclude that variants found to negatively affect function likely contribute to the WND phenotype in patients. Hum Mutat 31:569,577, 2010. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Sibling rivalry: competition between Pol X family members in V(D)J recombination and general double strand break repair

Stephanie A. Nick McElhinny
Summary:, The nonhomologous end-joining pathway is a major means for repairing double-strand breaks (DSBs) in all mitotic cell types. This repair pathway is also the only efficient means for resolving DSB intermediates in V(D)J recombination, a lymphocyte-specific genome rearrangement required for assembly of antigen receptors. A role for polymerases in end-joining has been well established. They are a major factor in determining the character of repair junctions but, in contrast to ,core' end-joining factors, typically appear to have a subtle impact on the efficiency of end-joining. Recent work implicates several members of the Pol X family in end-joining and suggests surprising complexity in the control of how these different polymerases are employed in this pathway. [source]

Modulation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis proliferation by MtrA, an essential two-component response regulator

Marek Fol
Summary Paired two-component regulatory systems consisting of a sensor kinase and a response regulator are the major means by which bacteria sense and respond to different stimuli. The role of essential response regulator, MtrA, in Mycobacterium tuberculosis proliferation is unknown. We showed that elevating the intracellular levels of MtrA prevented M. tuberculosis from multiplying in macrophages, mice lungs and spleens, but did not affect its growth in broth. Intracellular trafficking analysis revealed that a vast majority of MtrA overproducing merodiploids were associated with lysosomal associated membrane protein (LAMP-1) positive vacuoles, indicating that intracellular growth attenuation is, in part, due to an impaired ability to block phagosome,lysosome fusion. A merodiploid strain producing elevated levels of phosphorylation-defective MtrA (MtrAD53N) was partially replicative in macrophages, but was attenuated in mice. Quantitative real-time PCR analyses revealed that expression of dnaA, an essential replication gene, was sharply upregulated during intramacrophage growth in the MtrA overproducer in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Chromatin immunoprecipitation using anti-MtrA antibodies provided direct evidence that MtrA regulator binds to dnaA promoter in vivo indicating that dnaA promoter is a MtrA target. Simultaneous overexpression of mtrA regulator and its cognate mtrB kinase neither inhibited growth nor sharply increased the expression levels of dnaA in macrophages. We propose that proliferation of M. tuberculosis in vivo depends, in part, on the optimal ratio of phosphorylated to non-phosphorylated MtrA response regulator. [source]

Social Welfare Reform Since the 1997 Economic Crisis in Korea: Achievement, Limits, and Future Prospects

Inhoe Ku
Social welfare reform has been implemented in Korea since the 1997 financial crisis. A dominant concern of the reform was on equality and social solidarity. A major means to this end was establishing universalistic social insurance programs like those in developed welfare states. The reform efforts produced some positive results but were not greatly successful. Income polarization and the deteriorating economic status of low-income families have become big social issues. Many low-income families have not gained many benefits from the reformed social security system. The rapid aging of the population is creating an exploding demand for social spending, risking the fiscal sustainability of major social insurance programs. The reform experience suggests that a social welfare system based on western-style universal social insurance may be too expensive to sustain and not very effective in protecting disadvantaged families in Korea. More attention is being paid to expenditure control and efficiency. Social insurance programs may need to be leaner than those in traditional welfare states. Targeted programs, such as the "making work pay" policy, are likely to be expanded more broadly to low-income families. The future of the Korean welfare state may hinge on successful employment support for working families and extensive investment in their human capital. [source]