The detection of sweet-tasting compounds is mediated in large part by a heterodimeric receptor comprised of T1R2؉T1R3. Lactisole, a broad-acting sweet antagonist, suppresses the sweet taste of sugars, protein sweeteners, and artificial sweeteners. Lactisole's inhibitory effect is specific to humans and other primates; lactisole does not affect responses to sweet compounds in rodents. By heterologously expressing interspecies combinations of T1R2؉T1R3, we have determined that the target for lactisole's action is human T1R3. From studies with mouse/ human chimeras of T1R3, we determined that the molecular basis for sensitivity to lactisole depends on only a few residues within the transmembrane region of human T1R3. Alanine substitution of residues in the transmembrane region of human T1R3 revealed 4 key residues required for sensitivity to lactisole. In our model of T1R3's seven transmembrane helices, lactisole is predicted to dock to a binding pocket within the transmembrane region that includes these 4 key residues.Taste is a primal sense that enables diverse organisms to identify and ingest sweet-tasting nutritious foods and to reject bitter-tasting environmental poisons (1). Taste perception can be categorized into five distinct qualities: salty, sour, bitter, umami (amino acid taste), and sweet (1). Salty and sour depend on the actions of ion channels. Bitter, umami, and sweet depend on G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) 1 and coupled signaling pathways. Sweet taste in large part depends on a heterodimeric receptor comprised of T1R2ϩT1R3 (2-5).The T1R taste receptors (T1R1, T1R2, and T1R3) are most closely related to metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), Ca 2ϩ -sensing receptors (CaSRs), and some pheromone receptors (6 -10). All of these receptors are class-C GPCRs, with the large clam shell-shaped extracellular amino-terminal domain (ATD) characteristic of this family. Following the ATD is a cysteine-rich region that connects the ATD to the heptahelical transmembrane domain (TMD); following the TMD is a short intracellular carboxyl-terminal tail. The solved crystal structure of the ATD of mGluR1 identifies a "Venus flytrap module" (VFTM) involved in ligand binding (11). The canonical agonist glutamate binds within the VFTM in a cleft formed by the two lobes of this module to stabilize a closed active conformation of the mGluR1 ATD. In contrast, several positive and negative allosteric modulators of class-C GPCRs have been identified and shown to act via binding not within the VFTM but instead within the TMD (12-16).Over the past few decades, multiple models of the sweet receptor's hypothetical ligand binding site have been generated based on the structures of existing sweeteners but without direct knowledge of the nature of the sweet receptor itself. A consensus feature of these models is the presence of A-H-B groups, in which the AH group is a hydrogen donor and the B group is an electronegative center. These models have explanatory and predictive value for some, but not all sweeteners, suggesting th...
In a cohort study of 56 convalescent patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), titers of immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies and neutralizing antibodies (NAbs) against SARS-associated coronavirus were assessed at regular intervals (at 1, 4, 7, 10, 16, and 24 months after the onset of disease) by use of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and neutralization assay. IgG antibody and NAb titers were highly correlated, peaking at month 4 after the onset of disease and decreasing thereafter. IgG antibodies remained detectable in all patients until month 16, and they became undetectable in 11.8% of patients at month 24. The finding that NAbs remained detectable throughout follow-up is reassuring in terms of protection provided against reinfection; however, NAb titers decreased markedly after month 16.
A wide variety of chemically diverse compounds taste sweet, including natural sugars such as glucose, fructose, sucrose, and sugar alcohols, small molecule artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and acesulfame K, and proteins such as monellin and thaumatin. Brazzein, like monellin and thaumatin, is a naturally occurring plant protein that humans, apes, and Old World monkeys perceive as tasting sweet but that is not perceived as sweet by other species including New World monkeys, mouse, and rat. It has been shown that heterologous expression of T1R2 plus T1R3 together yields a receptor responsive to many of the above-mentioned sweet tasting ligands. We have determined that the molecular basis for species-specific sensitivity to brazzein sweetness depends on a site within the cysteine-rich region of human T1R3. Other mutations in this region of T1R3 affected receptor activity toward monellin, and in some cases, overall efficacy to multiple sweet compounds, implicating this region as a previously unrecognized important determinant of sweet receptor function.Obesity and diabetes have reached epidemic proportions in developed societies. Although in part this is because of a more sedentary lifestyle, our strong preference for sweet tasting foods and their abundance is a major factor. Replacing sugar with low-or non-caloric sweeteners may be of benefit. To design more effective sweeteners it is important to understand at the molecular level how the sweet taste receptor functions. It has been demonstrated that the combination of T1R2 ϩ T1R3 recognizes and responds to many sweet ligands, including sugars, small molecule artificial sweeteners, and protein sweeteners (1, 2).T1R2 and T1R3 are subclass 3 G-protein-coupled receptors (1-7). Other members of this subclass are metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs), 1 calcium-sensing receptors, pheromone receptors, and other taste/olfactory receptors (T1R1, 5.24 odor receptor) (8). Each member of this family has a large extracellular amino-terminal domain (ATD) followed by a cysteine-rich linker domain and a seven-transmembrane-spanning helical region.The solved crystal structures of the ATD of homodimeric metabotropic glutamate type 1 receptor (mGluR1) show that the mGluR1 ligand-binding region consists of two amino-terminal protomers (9). Each protomer comprises LB1 and LB2 domains that form a clamshell-like structure with the ligandbinding domain lying between LB1 and LB2. The free-form I (open-open_R) is thought to be in the resting state, whereas the free-form II (closed-open_A) is thought to be the active state. Agonist binding stabilizes the active closed-open_A conformer and promotes a shift of equilibrium toward the active state. The role of the cysteine-rich region, which links the ATD to the transmembrane domain, is presently unknown.Based on sequence homology and predicted secondary structural similarity to mGluR1, it seems likely that the T1R2 ϩ T1R3 sweet receptor will also have open-open and open-closed forms and that small sweet compounds may stabilize the ac...
Neuroinflammation, especially innate immunocyte-mediated neuroinflammation, has been reported to participate in pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, the involvement of adaptive immune cells, such as CD4+ T lymphocytes, in pathogenesis of AD is not well clarified. Herein, we focus on T helper 17 (Th17) cells, a subpopulation of CD4+ T cells with high proinflammation, and show the implication of the cells in neurodegeneration of AD. Amyloid β1-42 (Aβ1-42) was bilaterally injected into hippocampus of rats to induce AD. On days 7 and 14 following the Aβ1-42 administration, escape latency of the rats in Morris water maze was increased, expression of amyloid precursor protein was upregulated, but expression of protein phosphatase 2A was downregulated in the hippocampus, and Nissl stain showed neuronal loss and gliosis in CA1 region. Infusion of FITC-linked albumin in blood circulation and combination with immunostaining of hippocampal sections for RORγ, a specific transcriptional factor of Th17 cells, demonstrated blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and Th17 cells’ infiltration into brain parenchyma of AD rats. Expression of Th17 proinflammatory cytokines, interleukin (IL)-17 and IL-22, was increased in the hippocampus, and concentrations of the two cytokines were elevated in both the cerebrospinal fluid and the serum in AD occurrence and development. Compared with intact or saline-treated control rats, AD animals indicated an upregulated expression of Fas and FasL in the hippocampus. Further, the immunofluorescent histochemistry on AD hippocampal sections with NeuN, RORγ, Fas and FasL displayed that Fas was principally expressed by neurons and FasL was predominantly expressed by Th17 cells, and that neuronal apoptosis shown by TUNEL and NeuN double-labeled cells increased. These results suggest that Th17 cells, which were infiltrated into AD brain parenchyma, participate in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration of AD by release of proinflammatory cytokines and by direct action on neurons via Fas/FasL apoptotic pathway.
Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) have emerged as functional materials for various potential applications. However, the availability of three-dimensional (3D) COFs is still limited, and nearly all of them exhibit neutral porous skeletons. Here we report a general strategy to design porous positively charged 3D ionic COFs by incorporation of cationic monomers in the framework. The obtained 3D COFs are built of 3-fold interpenetrated diamond net and show impressive surface area and CO uptakes. The ion-exchange ability of 3D ionic COFs has been highlighted by reversible removal of nuclear waste model ions and excellent size-selective capture for anionic pollutants. This research thereby provides a new perspective to explore 3D COFs as a versatile type of ion-exchange materials.
The cyclic AMP receptor protein (CRP) is a bacterial regulator that controls more than 100 promoters, including those involved in catabolite repression. In the present study, a null deletion of the crp gene was constructed for Yersinia pestis bv. microtus strain 201. Microarray expression analysis disclosed that at least 6% of Y. pestis genes were affected by this mutation. Further reverse transcription-PCR and electrophoretic mobility shift assay analyses disclosed a set of 37 genes or putative operons to be the direct targets of CRP, and thus they constitute the minimal CRP regulon in Y. pestis. Subsequent primer extension and DNase I footprinting assays mapped transcriptional start sites, core promoter elements, and CRP binding sites within the DNA regions upstream of pla and pst, revealing positive and direct control of these two laterally acquired plasmid genes by CRP. The crp disruption affected both in vitro and in vivo growth of the mutant and led to a >15,000-fold loss of virulence after subcutaneous infection but a <40-fold increase in the 50% lethal dose by intravenous inoculation. Therefore, CRP is required for the virulence of Y. pestis and, particularly, is more important for infection by subcutaneous inoculation. It can further be concluded that the reduced in vivo growth phenotype of the crp mutant should contribute, at least partially, to its attenuation of virulence by both routes of infection. Consistent with a previous study of Y. pestis bv. medievalis, lacZ reporter fusion analysis indicated that the crp deletion resulted in the almost absolute loss of pla promoter activity. The plasminogen activator encoded by pla was previously shown to specifically promote Y. pestis dissemination from peripheral infection routes (subcutaneous infection [flea bite] or inhalation). The above evidence supports the notion that in addition to the reduced in vivo growth phenotype, the defect of pla expression in the crp mutant will greatly contribute to the huge loss of virulence of this mutant strain in subcutaneous infection.
SummaryZipA is an essential cell division protein in Escherichia coli that is recruited to the division site early in the division cycle. As it is anchored to the membrane and interacts with FtsZ, it is a candidate for tethering FtsZ filaments to the membrane during the formation of the Z ring. In this study, we have investigated the requirements for ZipA localization to the division site. ZipA requires FtsZ, but not FtsA or FtsI, to be localized, indicating that it is recruited by FtsZ. Consistent with this, apparently normal Z rings are formed in the absence of ZipA. The interaction between FtsZ and ZipA occurs through their carboxy-terminal domains. Although a MalE-ZipA fusion binds to FtsZ filaments, it does not affect the GTPase activity or dynamics of the filaments. These results are consistent with ZipA acting after Z ring formation, possibly to link the membrane to FtsZ filaments during invagination of the septum.
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