R D Conde

Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata, Mar del Plata, Provincia de Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Publications (25)64.32 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls) and ubiquitin-like domain-containing proteins (Ulds) found in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes display an ubiquitin fold. We previously characterized a 124-amino acid polypeptide (P400) from the haloalkaliphilic archaeon Natrialba magadii having structural homology with ubiquitin family proteins. The reported N. magadii's genome allowed the identification of the Nmag_2608 gene for the protein containing P400, which belongs to specific orthologs of halophilic organisms. It was found that Nmag_2608 has an N-terminal signal peptide with a lipobox motif characteristic of bacterial lipoproteins. Also, it presents partial identity with the ubiquitin-like domain-containing proteins, soluble ligand binding β-grasp proteins. Western blots and heterologous expression tests in E. coli evidenced that Nmag_2608 is processed and secreted outside the cell, where it could perform its function. The analysis of Nmag_2608 expression in N. magadii's cells suggests a co-transcription with the adjoining Nmag_2609 gene encoding a protein of the cyclase family. Also, the transcript level decreased in cells grown in low salinity and starved. To conclude, this work reports for the first time an extracellular archaeal protein with an ubiquitin-like domain.
    Extremophiles 04/2012; 16(3):437-46. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin protein belongs to the β-grasp fold family, characterized by four or five β-sheets with a single α-helical middle region. Ubiquitin-like proteins (Ubls) are structural homologues with low sequence identity to ubiquitin and are widespread among both eukaryotes and prokaryotes. We previously demonstrated by bioinformatics that P400, a polypeptide from the haloalkaliphilic archaeon Natrialba magadii, has structural homology with both ubiquitin and Ubls. This work examines the secondary structure of P400 by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR). After expression in Escherichia coli, recombinant P400 (rP400) was separated by PAGE and eluted pure from zinc-imidazole reversely stained gels. The requirement of high salt concentration of this polypeptide to be folded was corroborated by intrinsic fluorescence spectrum. Our results show that fluorescence spectra of rP400 in 1.5 M KCl buffer shifts and decreases after thermal denaturation as well as after chemical treatment. rP400 was lyophilized and rehydrated in buffer containing 1.5 M KCl before both immunochemical and FTIR tests were performed. It was found that rP400 reacts with anti-ubiquitin antibody after rehydration in the presence of high salt concentrations. On the other hand, like ubiquitin and Ubls, the amide I' band for rP400 shows 10% more of its sequence to be involved in β-sheet structures than in α-helix. These findings suggest that P400 is a structural homologue of the ubiquitin family proteins.
    Biophysics of Structure and Mechanism 06/2011; 40(9):1101-7. · 2.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of frequent protein malnutrition on liver function has not been intensively examined. Thus, the effects of alternating 5 days of a protein and amino acid-free diet followed by 5 days of a complete diet repeated three times (3 PFD-CD) on female mouse liver were examined. The expression of carbonic anhydrase III (CAIII), fatty acid synthase (FAS), glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) in liver were assessed by proteomics, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and Northern blotting. The activities of liver GSTs, glutathione reductase (GR) and catalase (CAT), as well as serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT) and glutamic-pyruvic transaminase (SGPT) were also tested. Additionally, oxidative damage was examined by measuring of protein carbonylation and lipid peroxidation. Liver histology was examined by light and electron microscopy. Compared with control mice, 3 PFD-CD increased the content of FAS protein (+90%) and FAS mRNA (+30%), while the levels of CAIII and CAIII mRNAs were decreased (-48% and -64%, respectively). In addition, 3 PFD-CD did not significantly change the content of GSTP1 but produced an increase in its mRNA level (+20%), while it decreased the activities of both CAT (-66%) and GSTs (-26%). After 3 PFD-CD, liver protein carbonylation and lipid peroxidation were increased by +55% and +95%, respectively. In serum, 3 PFD-CD increased the activities of both SGOT (+30%) and SGPT (+61%). In addition, 3 PFD-CD showed a histological pattern characteristic of hepatic damage. All together, these data suggest that frequent dietary amino acid deprivation causes hepatic metabolic and ultrastructural changes in a fashion similar to precancerous or cancerous conditions.
    Journal of physiology and biochemistry 09/2010; 67(1):43-52. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this work was to evaluate the effects of a diet depleted of amino acids (protein-free diet, or PFD), as well as the supplementation with methionine (PFD+Met), on the antioxidant status of the female mouse liver. With this purpose, cytosolic protein spots from two-dimensional non-equilibrium pH gel electrophoresis were identified by several procedures, such as mass spectrometry, Western blot, gel matching and enzymatic activity. PFD decreased the contents of catalase (CAT), peroxiredoxin I (Prx-I), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) by 67%, 37% and 45%, respectively. Gene expression analyses showed that PFD caused a decrease in CAT (-20%) and GPx (-30%) mRNA levels but did not change that of Prx-I. It was also found that, when compared to a normal diet, PFD increased the liver contents of both reactive oxygen species (+50%) and oxidized protein (+88%) and decreased that of glutathione (-45%). Supplementation of PFD with Met prevented these latter effects to varying degrees, whereas CAT, Prx-I and GPx mRNA levels resulted unmodified. Present results suggest that dietary amino acid deprivation deranges the liver antioxidant defences, and this can be, in part, overcome by supplementation with Met.
    Journal of physiology and biochemistry 06/2010; 66(2):93-103. · 1.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin, a protein widely conserved in eukaryotes, is involved in many cellular processes, including proteolysis. While sequences encoding ubiquitin-like proteins have not been identified in prokaryotic genomes sequenced so far, they have revealed the presence of structural and functional homologs of ubiquitin in Bacteria and Archaea. This work describes the amplification and proteomic analysis of a 400-bp DNA fragment from the haloalkaliphilic archaeon Natrialba magadii. The encoded polypeptide, P400, displayed structural homology to ubiquitin-like proteins such as those of the ThiS family and Urm1. Expression of the P400 DNA sequence in Escherichia coli cells yielded a recombinant polypeptide that reacted with anti-ubiquitin antibodies. In addition, a putative open reading frame encoding P400 was identified in the recently sequenced genome of N. magadii. Together, these results evidence the presence in Archaea of structural homologs of ubiquitin- related proteins.
    International Microbiology 09/2009; 12(3):167-73. · 2.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The proteolytic activity of the leaf extracellular space of wheat cultivars Pigüé and Isla Verde was estimated after inoculation of either detached leaves or plants with the fungus Septoria tritici. Pigüé is resistant, whereas Isla Verde is susceptible to the disease caused by S. tritici. Viable conidiospores of the fungus caused similar increases in both hydrogen peroxide production and chitinase activity of the cultivars studied. In contrast, they caused a decrease in the extracellular serine proteinase activity of Isla Verde and a significant increase in that of Pigüé. Independently of the cultivar from which it was extracted, the extracellular serine proteinase inhibited the germination of Septoria tritici conidiospores. These results suggest that the proteolytic activity of the leaf extracellular space can participate in the defence of wheat plants against Septoria tritici. Its regulation may be controlled by specific defence components of each cultivar.
    Journal of Phytopathology 08/2008; 150(3):105 - 111. · 1.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Leaf blotch of wheat is a widespread and highly active disease that affects wheat production. In addition to the use of chemicals and proper cultivation methods, microbial antagonists are used to control plant pathogens. Trichoderma spp. stimulate a systemic induced response in plants. Therefore, the efficacy of Trichoderma spp. against wheat leaf blotch was evaluated under greenhouse conditions. The susceptible plants were sprayed with Septoria tritici conidiospores. In order to select an efficient method of pretreatment with Trichoderma spp., leaf spraying and seed coating with 14 isolates were tested in 2003 and 2004. The extent of leaf necrosis area and pycnidial coverage was estimated. Antagonism was assessed by the capacity of each Trichoderma spp. isolate to restrict the progress of leaf blotch, 21 days after inoculation. Of the two methods, seed coating was more efficacious against leaf blotch than leaf spraying. Amongst the 14 isolates tested, the isolate prepared from T. harzianum (Th5) produced the highest level of protection. None of the treatments caused changes in plant stem diameter or dry weight. Trichoderma spp. did not get into leaves while S. tritici was present, even in asymptomatic leaf extracts. In addition, the leaf apoplast antifungal proteolytic activity was measured in plants 7, 15, and 22 days after sowing. This antifungal action decreased in plants only inoculated with S. tritici, but increased in those grown from seeds coated with the T. harzianum (Th5) isolate. This increase conferred resistance to the susceptible wheat cultivar. The endogenous germin-like protease inhibitor coordinated the proteolytic action. These results suggest that T. harzianum stimulates a biochemical systemic induced response against leaf blotch.
    Biocontrol Science and Technology 01/2007; 17(7):687-698. · 0.71 Impact Factor
  • Débora Nercessian, Rubén D Conde
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    ABSTRACT: The metabolism of ribosomes during growth of the haloalkaliphilic archaeon Natronococcus occultus was examined. The ribosome content was higher during exponential growth and diminished to 35% of the maximum in the stationary stage. The incorporation of H3-orotic acid and C14-uracil into rRNA was higher during exponential growth. After that, it decreased to 39% of the maximum in the stationary stage. The labeling of non-ribosomal RNA took place almost exclusively in the exponential stage. From loss of radioactivity, the half-life of rRNA was 11.43, 14.85, 5.28 and 7.14 h during the initial, exponential, late exponential and stationary growth stages, respectively. These results suggested that increased synthesis combined with diminished degradation were responsible for the high ribosome content displayed by Ncc. occultus during exponential growth. In contrast, diminished synthesis together with increased degradation provoked its posterior loss.
    Research in Microbiology 10/2006; 157(7):625-8. · 2.89 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The presence of endoproteinases in the intercellular washing fluid of the first wheat (Triticum aestivum) leaf 13 days after sowing was investigated. Two activities were detected after separation of the intercellular fluid proteins by SDS-PAGE using slab gels containing gelatin as substrate. Their sizes were 70 and 100 kDa. Both enzymes hydrolyzed gelatin and casein. They also seem to be involved in the degradation of a 40 kDa protein component of the intercellular fluid. These results indicate that both enzymes are endoproteinases. They were also obtained from leaves previously sumitted to intercellular fluid extraction. However, the 100 kDa enzyme yield was low, indicating that it is mainly located in the intercellular washing fluid. Assays performed with either specific substrates or inhibitors indicate that both enzymes are serine proteinases.
    Physiologia Plantarum 04/2006; 88(2):287 - 293. · 3.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The contents of glutathione S-transferase (GST) subunits, carbonic anhydrase III (CAIII), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) and a 230 kDa protein are affected by protein deprivation in mouse liver. In order to know if particular amino acids control these contents, the effects of feeding for 5 days with diets containing different amino acids were examined. After an exploration using SDS-PAGE analysis, the action of selected diets was further examined by distinct techniques. The 230 kDa protein was identified as fatty acid synthase (FAS) by both mass spectrometry and amino acid sequence analyses. Dietary tests showed that: (1) a protein-free diet (PFD) increased the content of glutathione S-transferases P1 and M1, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, while the content of glutathione S-transferase A3, fatty acid synthase and carbonic anhydrase III decreased; (2) a protein-free diet having either methionine or cysteine preserved the normal contents of glutathione S-transferases P1, A3, M1 and carbonic anydrase III; (3) a protein-free diet having threonine preserved partially the normal contents of glutathione S-transferases P1, A3, M1 and carbonic anhydrase III; (4) a protein-free diet having methionine, threonine and cysteine prevented in part the loss of fatty acid synthase; and (5) the glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase content was controlled by increased carbohydrate level and/or by lower amino acid content of diets, but not by any specific amino acid. These data indicate that methionine and cysteine exert a main role on the control of liver glutathione S-transferases A3 and P1, and carbonic anhydrase III. Thus, they emerge necessary to prevent unsafe alterations of liver metabolism caused by protein deprivation.
    The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology 11/2004; 36(10):1993-2004. · 4.15 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A protein resistant to heat and proteolysis that inhibits serine proteases was isolated from wheat leaf apoplasts. Based on trypsin inhibition, its more active form was a 66-69 kDa oligomer. It was dissociated in an 18-21 kDa monomer having an amino terminal sequence identical to the Box A of germins and germin-like proteins. Like these proteins, it was glycosylated and showed manganese superoxide dismutase activity. The monomer displayed three forms when examined by 2D western blot: two of 19 kDa, pI 5.8 and 6.2; and one of 21 kDa, pI 5.8. It was found that the protein controls serine protease activity in the apoplast of plants challenged with the fungus Septoria tritici.
    Journal of Experimental Botany 06/2003; 54(386):1335-41. · 5.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Two-dimensional non-equilibrium pH gel electrophoresis (2D-NEPHGE) analysis was used to evaluate the effects of dietary protein depletion on the protein composition of mouse liver cytosol. Analysing the cytosol from both normal and protein depleted liver, the position in gels of more than three hundred protein spots was determined. After 5 days of protein depletion, about 20% of the spots either increased or decreased more than 2 fold. Five spots of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) were recognised by specific antibodies. The glutathione S-transferase (GSTs) subunits Ybl, Yc and Yf were identified by the simultaneous analysis of both glutathione-binding cytosolic proteins and the corresponding standards. As estimated by internal optical density (IOD) of spots, the changes caused by protein depletion in GAPDH and GST subunit contents were similar to those obtained by other methods. By means of mass spectrometric analysis of tryptic peptides generated from spots and/or comparison of two-dimensional gel electrophoretic patterns, carbonic anhydrase III (CAIII), Cu, Zn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD) and a cytochrome P450 cytosolic protein (cyt P450) were identified. These three proteins, as well as GSTs, are related with intracellular detoxification and free radical scavenging systems. Their contents were regulated by dietary protein restriction in a manner indicative of diminished liver defence against oxidising agents.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 05/2001; 220(1-2):49-56. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of low temperature on the protein metabolism of wheat primary leaves was examined. In seedlings transferred from 25 to 5 C, total soluble protein accumulation, in vivo protein synthesis and breakdown, in vitro protein breakdown, and SDS-PAGE profiles of proteinases in gelatine-containing gels were analysed. Leaf protein content increased within a 7-d period (70 % over the initial value) in plants exposed to 5 C. The fast protein accumulation observed on days 0 – 2 was mainly attributed to a decreased breakdown. In further days, parallelly to a slowdown in the rate of protein accumulation, the leaf proteolytic activity increased. The incubation temperature also had an influence on the proteolytic activity: Q 10 values for the 15 – 5 C range were 80 – 200 % higher than those observed for the 25 – 15 C range. On the other hand, the in vivo protein synthesis capacity, at either 25 or 55 C, was not significantly modified in cold-treated plants. In addition to the enhanced activities of two serine-proteinases (previously found in control plants by SDS-PAGE analysis), cold-treated plants displayed a new proteinase, which had not been detected so far.
    Biologia Plantarum 01/2000; 43(3):363-367. · 1.69 Impact Factor
  • Débora Nercessian, Rubén D. Conde
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in protein turnover during growth and stationary phase of Natronococcus occultus were studied. The cell capacity for protein synthesis was maximal at the exponential growth phase. This was coincident with increases in both protein/DNA an RNA/DNA ratios. At the onset of exponential growth phase, the synthesis of extracellular protein was higher than that of intracellular protein. Amino acid analysis revealed cells to contain high levels of free glutamic acid (68 to 35 fold higher than free proline), the content of which and total amino groups decreased with growth. Protein breakdown was assessed from the decay of radioactive label. At any growth phase, the half-life of N. occultus bulk protein was shorter than those displayed by eubacteria. Because half-life remained unchanged during lag and early exponential growth phase, the associated increase of cellular protein was ascribed to an increased synthesis. Amino acid composition analysis of bulk protein showed a strong correlation between short half-life and high contents of hydrophobic and acidic amino acids.
    Journal of Basic Microbiology 01/2000; 40(2):119-126. · 1.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The in vivo radioactivity decay of glutathione S-transferase (GST) was observed in livers of normal-fed (N), protein-depleted (D), and re-fed mice (R), labelled with [35S]methionine. Half-lives in days at N, D and R, respectively, were: total GST, 1.7, 1.4, 4.3; Yb1-subunit, 2.0, 1.8, 3.3; Yc-subunit, 2.4, 1.0, 4.2; Yf-subunit, 1. 1, 2.1, 5.0. These findings, together with the fact that the proportions of GST-subunits depend on dietary protein, show that breakdown contributes differentially to control the content of each GST subunit. Data also indicate that GSTs are long-life proteins.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 12/1998; 1448(1):46-50. · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of protein depletion followed by refeeding with a normal diet on the content of mouse liver cytosolic proteins was studied. By peptide-mass fingerprinting and N-terminal sequencing, three polypeptides whose contents changed with dietary protein level were identified as glutathione S-transferases (GST) Yb1, Yc and Yf subunits. Five days of depletion caused the increase of Yb1 and Yf (21.6% and 78.5%, respectively) and the decrease of Yc (31.2%). After two days of refeeding, Yb1 and Yc were practically restored, while the neoplastic marker Yf remained higher (63.4%). None of the nutritional conditions tested induced new GSTs. While protein depletion-refeeding altered the ratios between the constitutive GST subunits, total liver GST content and activity were unaffected by depletion and slightly increased by refeeding. The increased amounts of Yb1 and Yf, and the maintenance of total GST content, indicate that during protein depletion, the GST subunits levels are controlled by mechanisms different from the majority of cytosolic proteins.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/1997; 1357(3):272-80. · 4.66 Impact Factor
  • S M Goicoechea, R D Conde
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of protein depletion and refeeding with a normal diet on calpain activity was examined in mouse kidney soluble homogenate. In terms of units per gram of protein, it increased 2.9 times with depletion and decreased upon refeeding. After a DEAE-Sephacel chromatography, the homogenate yielded three enzymatic activities. Their sum, assessed as total calpain activity, was higher than the activity measured before fractionation and did not appreciably change during protein depletion and refeeding. Because the proportion of total activity displayed by the complete homogenate increased with depletion and decreased with refeeding, a low calpastatin content in depleted kidney was envisaged. This was confirmed by direct estimations: depleted kidney had 6 times less calpastatin compared to both normal and 16 h refed tissue. We concluded that a decrease in calpastatin content contributes to an increased calpain activity related to degradable protein in protein depleted kidney. In view of this, it seems not unlikely that the in vivo rate of protein breakdown depicted by kidney during protein depletion and refeeding is in part effected through modulation of the calpain proteolytic system.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 02/1997; 166(1-2):95-9. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Plants respond to pathogen infection and environmental stress by regulating the coordinate expression of many stress-related genes. In plants, the expression of the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is induced under environmental stress. This work was aimed at investigating whither the expression pattern of cytosolic GAPDH is also modulated upon infection of potato plants (Solanum tuberosum L.) with the late blight fungal agent Phytophthora infestans. Northern blot analysis showed the accumulation of the GAPDH gene transcripts in leaves and stems of inoculated potato plants. When tuber discs were treated with eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an elicitor found in P. infestans, GAPDH gene transcripts level increased. The increase was parallel to that of the hydroxymethyl glutharyl coenzyme A reductase (HMGR), an enzyme involved in pathogen defense reactions. Glucans obtained from P. infestans cell wall acts synergistically with EPA on GAPDH and HMGR gene induction. Salicylic acid, an endogenous signal for inducing systemic acquired resistance, was also effective in stimulating the GAPDH transcript accumulation in potato leaves. These experiments suggest that related multi-component factors, which are part of both primary and secondary metabolism, are probably regulated by similar signal transduction pathways when they are induced under biotic or abiotic stress conditions.
    Plant Molecular Biology 04/1996; 30(5):961-72. · 3.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Wheat leaves(Triticum aestivum L. cv. San Agustin INTA) were detached at the moment they had reached maximum expansion, put in tubes containing water and left in darkness. Under these conditions, leaf protein content decreased mainly as consequence of an increased rate of breakdown. In the range of 0 to 72 h after detachment, western blot analysis of leaf protein extracts displayed both similar proportions of total protein and quality of ubiquitin conjugates. Northern blot analysis of leaf RNA extracts revealed a 1.6 kb ubiquitin mRNA transcript which increased 3.5-fold after 48 h of treatment. Thus wheat leaves maintain both their ability for the ubiquitination of proteins and the transcription of ubiquitin mRNA at stages of senescence in which rates of protein breakdown are increased. The results suggest that the ubiquitin-dependent proteolytic pathway contributes to leaf protein breakdown during senescence
    Biologia Plantarum 01/1996; 38(3):321-328. · 1.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of protein depletion and refeeding with a normal diet on mouse liver soluble homogenate calpain activity was studied. It was unchanged when expressed in terms of whole liver (units/liver). However, when expressed in terms of degradable protein (units/mg protein) it increased with depletion and decreased with refeeding. DEAE Sephacel chromatography of soluble homogenate yielded three calpain activities which were eluted at 0.04, 0.16 and 0.23 M NaCl, respectively. On the basis of whole liver, they decreased with depletion and increased with refeeding. Immunochemical analysis revealed similar changes in the mass of the calpain eluted with 0.16 M NaCl. The sum of these three activities (total liver calpain activity) was higher than the activity displayed by the soluble homogenate, indicating that they were separated from calpastatin. Furthermore, the percentage of total calpain activity displayed by soluble homogenate increased with depletion and decreased with refeeding, suggesting that depleted liver had the lowest calpastatin content. This was confirmed by direct measurements which indicated that depleted homogenate had in average 5.5 and 3.1 times less calpastatin compared to normal and 16 hours refed liver, respectively. It is concluded that a remarkable decrease in calpastatin content maintained unchanged whole liver soluble homogenate calpain activity during protein depletion and refeeding and contributes to an increased calpain activity related to degradable protein in depleted livers. This increase is in accordance with the high in vivo rate of protein breakdown depicted by these livers.
    Hormone and Metabolic Research 05/1994; 26(4):175-80. · 2.15 Impact Factor