Tractable System (tractable + system)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Megakaryocytes derived from human embryonic stem cells: a genetically tractable system to study megakaryocytopoiesis and integrin function

Summary.,Background:,The platelet fibrinogen receptor, a heterodimer consisting of integrin subunits ,IIb and ,3, is required for platelet aggregation, spreading, and hemostasis. Platelet agonists such as thrombin and adenosine diphosphate (ADP) lead to the activation of ,IIb,3, thereby enhancing its affinity and avidity for binding fibrinogen (inside-out signaling). Furthermore, fibrinogen binding to ,IIb,3 triggers cytoskeletal changes and granule release (outside-in signaling).Aim:,Genetic approaches to characterize the molecular pathways involved in ,IIb,3 signaling are not possible with anucleate blood platelets. Therefore, we have established an OP9 stromal cell co-culture system to generate megakaryocytes from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).Results:,,IIb,3 activation, measured by soluble fibrinogen binding to hESC-derived megakaryocytes, /GPIb,+ cells, is readily detectable following stimulation with known platelet agonists. Dose,response curves for peptide agonists specific for the two platelet thrombin receptors, protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) and PAR4, show a relative responsiveness that mirrors that of human platelets, and sub-maximal ADP responses are augmented by epinephrine. Moreover, hESC-derived megakaryocytes undergo lamellipodia formation, actin filament assembly, and vinculin localization at focal adhesions when plated on a fibrinogen-coated surface, characteristic of ,IIb,3 outside-in signaling. Undifferentiated hESCs genetically modified by lentiviral infection can be cloned and maintained in an undifferentiated state and then differentiated into megakaryocytes capable of ,IIb,3 activation.Conclusion:,Using hESCs, we have developed a renewable source of human megakaryocytes, and a genetically tractable system for studying megakaryocytopoiesis and ,IIb,3 signaling in the native cellular environment. [source]

Expression of helminth genes in Leishmania: an experimental transfection system to test immunological function

SUMMARY Functional analysis of genes from parasitic helminths requires, at the present time, heterologous expression. We have adapted the well-characterized system of transfection in Leishmania protozoal parasites, as a means of analysing the effect of single filarial genes on the mammalian immune system. For example, testing the function of the Brugia malayi abundant larval transcript (ALT) gene-transfected Leishmania mexicana were found to be significantly more virulent in macrophages in vitro. The course of infection in vivo is also aggravated by expression of the ALT gene. Examples are also given of transgenes which reduced in vitro growth within macrophages, as well as others which exert no effect on the protozoal parasitism. Thus, Leishmania transfection provides a tractable system to analyse helminth gene function within the context of the host immune system. [source]

Structural mechanisms of multidrug recognition and regulation by bacterial multidrug transcription factors

Maria A. Schumacher
Summary The increase in bacterial resistance to multiple drugs represents a serious and growing health risk. One component of multidrug resistance (MDR) is a group of multidrug transporters that are often regulated at the transcriptional level by repressors and/or activators. Some of these transcription factors are also multidrug-binding proteins, frequently recognizing the same array of drugs that are effluxed by the transporters that they regulate. How a single protein can recognize such chemically disparate compounds is an intriguing question from a structural standpoint and an important question in future drug development endeavours. Unlike the multidrug transporters, the cytosolic multidrug-binding regulatory proteins are more tractable systems for structural analyses. Here, we describe recent crystallographic studies on MarR, BmrR and QacR, three bacterial transcription regulators that are also multidrug-binding proteins. Although our understanding of multidrug binding and transcriptional regulation by MarR is in its initial stages, the structure of a BmrR,TPP+,DNA complex has revealed important insights into the novel transcription activation mechanism of the MerR family, and the structures of a QacR,DNA complex and QacR bound to six different drugs have revealed not only the mechanism of induction of this repressor but has afforded the first view of any MDR protein bound to multiple drugs. [source]