Key Molecular Events (key + molecular_event)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

The elusive intermediate on the folding pathway of the prion protein

FEBS JOURNAL, Issue 6 2008
David C. Jenkins
A key molecular event in prion diseases is the conversion of the cellular conformation of the prion protein (PrPC) to an altered disease-associated form, generally denoted as scrapie isoform (PrPSc). The molecular details of this conformational transition are not fully understood, but it has been suggested that an intermediate on the folding pathway of PrPC may be recruited to form PrPSc. In order to investigate the folding pathway of PrP we designed and expressed two mutants, each possessing a single strategically located tryptophan residue. The secondary structure and folding properties of the mutants were examined. Using conventional analyses of folding transition data determined by fluorescence and CD, and novel phase-diagram analyses, we present compelling evidence for the presence of an intermediate species on the folding pathway of PrP. The potential role of this intermediate in prion conversion is discussed. [source]

Hapten,protein binding: from theory to practical application in the in vitro prediction of skin sensitization

Maja Divkovic
In view of the forthcoming European Union ban on in vivo testing of cosmetic and toiletry ingredients, following the publication of the 7th amendment to the Cosmetics Directive, the search for practical, alternative, non-animal approaches is gathering pace. For the end-point of skin sensitization, the ultimate goal, i.e. the development and validation of alternative in vitro/in silico assays by 2013, may be achieved through a better understanding of the skin sensitization process on the cellular and molecular levels. One of the key molecular events in skin sensitization is protein haptenation, i.e. the chemical modification of self-skin protein(s) thus forming macromolecular immunogens. This concept is widely accepted and in theory can be used to explain the sensitizing capacity of many known skin sensitizers. Thus, the principle of protein or peptide haptenation could be used in in vitro assays to predict the sensitization potential of a new chemical entity. In this review, we consider some of the theoretical aspects of protein haptenation, how mechanisms of protein haptenation can be investigated experimentally and how we can use such knowledge in the development of novel, alternative approaches for predicting skin sensitization potential in the future. [source]

Molecular characterization of conditionally immortalized cell lines derived from mouse early embryonic inner ear

John A. Germiller
Abstract Inner ear sensory hair cells (HCs), supporting cells (SCs), and sensory neurons (SNs) are hypothesized to develop from common progenitors in the early embryonic otocyst. Because little is known about the molecular signals that control this lineage specification, we derived a model system of early otic development: conditionally immortalized otocyst (IMO) cell lines from the embryonic day 9.5 Immortomouse. This age is the earliest stage at which the otocyst can easily be separated from surrounding mesenchymal, nervous system, and epithelial cells. At 9.5 days post coitum, there are still pluripotent cells in the otocyst, allowing for the eventual identification of both SN and HC precursors,and possibly an elusive inner ear stem cell. Cell lines derived from primitive precursor cells can also be used as blank canvases for transfections of genes that can affect lineage decisions as the cells differentiate. It is important, therefore, to characterize the "baseline state" of these cell lines in as much detail as possible. We characterized seven representative "precursor-like" IMO cell populations and the uncloned IMO cells, before cell sorting, at the molecular level by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunocytochemistry (IHC), and one line (IMO-2B1) in detail by real-time quantitative PCR and IHC. Many of the phenotypic markers characteristic of differentiated HCs or SCs were detected in IMO-2B1 proliferating cells, as well as during differentiation for up to 30 days in culture. These IMO cell lines represent a unique model system for studying early stages of inner ear development and determining the consequences of affecting key molecular events in their differentiation. Developmental Dynamics 231:815,827, 2004. 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Whole genome analysis for liver metastasis gene signatures in colorectal cancer

Dong Hyuk Ki
Abstract Liver metastasis is one of the major causes of death in colorectal cancer (CRC) patients. To understand this process, we investigated whether the gene expression profiling of matched colorectal carcinomas and liver metastases could reveal key molecular events involved in tumor progression and metastasis. We performed experiments using a cDNA microarray containing 17,104 genes with the following tissue samples: paired tissues of 25 normal colorectal mucosa, 27 primary colorectal tumors, 13 normal liver and 27 liver metastasis, and 20 primary colorectal tumors without liver metastasis. To remove the effect of normal cell contamination, we selected 4,583 organ-specific genes with a false discovery rate (FDR) of 0.0067% by comparing normal colon and liver tissues using significant analysis of microarray, and these genes were excluded from further analysis. We then identified and validated 46 liver metastasis-specific genes with an accuracy of 83.3% by comparing the expression of paired primary colorectal tumors and liver metastases using prediction analysis of microarray. The 46 selected genes contained several known oncogenes and 2 ESTs. To confirm that the results correlated with the microarray expression patterns, we performed RT-PCR with WNT5A and carbonic anhydrase II. Additionally, we observed that 21 of the 46 genes were differentially expressed (FDR = 2.27%) in primary tumors with synchronous liver metastasis compared with primary tumors without liver metastasis. We scanned the human genome using a cDNA microarray and identified 46 genes that may play an important role in the progression of liver metastasis in CRC. 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc. [source]

Gene expression profiling of colorectal cancer and metastases divides tumours according to their clinicopathological stage

Astrid Koehler
Abstract Gene expression profiling of matched colorectal carcinomas and metastases could reveal key molecular events involved in tumour progression and metastasis. Expression profiles have been created from 25 colorectal carcinomas (CRCs, pT1,4), corresponding normal colonic mucosa, and 14 liver metastases using cDNA arrays containing 1176 cancer-related genes (Clontech). Hierarchical clustering clearly distinguished carcinomas from non-cancerous tissues, separated tumours into high-stage (pT4 and extensive lymph node or distant metastases) and low-stage (,pT3) groups, and correlated with the histopathological classification in 87% (33/38 cases). Most primary tumours and matched liver metastases clustered on terminal branches of the dendrogram. Statistical analysis (Mann,Whitney U -test) revealed 40 tumour-specific genes (29 up-regulated, 11 down-regulated) which allowed identification of malignant tissue samples by cluster analysis. A specific expression signature in matching metastases was not found, but a set of 23 classifier genes with statistically significant expression patterns in high- and low-stage tumours was identified. These genes may represent important targets in colorectal carcinogenesis and might provide useful clinicopathological tools in the management of colorectal cancer. Copyright 2004 Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]