M J Bienkowski

Buck Institute for Research on Aging, Novato, California, United States

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Publications (39)239.18 Total impact

  • Alfredo G. Tomasselli, Michael J. Bienkowski
    03/2010: pages 35 - 58; , ISBN: 9780470594087
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    ABSTRACT: Compounds capable of stimulating soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) activity might become important new tools to treat hypertension. While rational design of these drugs would be aided by elucidation of the sGC three-dimensional structure and molecular mechanism of activation, such efforts also require quantities of high quality enzyme that are challenging to produce. We implemented the titerless infected-cells preservation and scale-up (TIPS) methodology to express the heterodimeric sGC. In the TIPS method, small-scale insect cell cultures were first incubated with a recombinant baculovirus which replicated in the cells. The baculovirus-infected insect cells (BIIC) were harvested and frozen prior to cell lysis and the subsequent escape of the newly replicated virus into the culture supernatant. Thawed BIIC stocks were ultimately used for subsequent scale up. As little as 1 mL of BIIC was needed to infect a 100-L insect cell culture, in contrast to the usual 1L of high-titer, virus stock supernatants. The TIPS method eliminates the need and protracted time for titering virus supernatants, and provides stable, concentrated storage of recombinant baculovirus in the form of infected cells. The latter is particularly advantageous for virus stocks which are unstable, such as those for sGC, and provides a highly efficient alternative for baculovirus storage and expression. The TIPS process enabled efficient scale up to 100-L batches, each producing about 200mg of active sGC. Careful adjustment of expression culture conditions over the course of several 100-L runs provided uniform starting titers, specific activity, and composition of contaminating proteins that facilitated development of a process that reproducibly yielded highly active, purified sGC.
    Protein Expression and Purification 02/2009; 65(2):122-32. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) has been purified from 100 L cell culture infected by baculovirus using the newer and highly effective titerless infected-cells preservation and scale-up (TIPS) method. Successive passage of the enzyme through DEAE, Ni(2+)-NTA, and POROS Q columns obtained approximately 100mg of protein. The sGC obtained by this procedure was already about 90% pure and suitable for various studies which include high throughput screening (HTS) and hit follow-up. However, in order to obtain enzyme of greater homogeneity and purity for crystallographic and high precision spectroscopic and kinetic studies of sGC with select stimulators, the sGC solution after the POROS Q step was further purified by GTP-agarose affinity chromatography. This additional step led to the generation of 26 mg of enzyme that was about 99% pure. This highly pure and active enzyme exhibited a M(r)=144,933 by static light scattering supportive of a dimeric structure. It migrated as a two-band protein, each of equal intensity, on SDS-PAGE corresponding to the alpha (M(r) approximately 77,000) and beta (M(r) approximately 70,000) sGC subunits. It showed an A(430)/A(280)=1.01, indicating one heme per heterodimer, and a maximum of the Soret band at 430 nm indicative of a penta-coordinated ferrous heme with a histidine as the axial ligand. The Soret band shifted to 398 nm in the presence of an NO donor as expected for the formation of a penta-coordinated nitrosyl-heme complex. Non-stimulated sGC had k(cat)/K(m)=1.7 x 10(-3)s(-1)microM(-1) that increased to 5.8 x 10(-1)s(-1)microM(-1) upon stimulation with an NO donor which represents a 340-fold increase due to stimulation. The novel combination of using the TIPS method for co-expression of a heterodimeric heme-containing enzyme, along with the application of a reproducible ligand affinity purification method, has enabled us to obtain recombinant human sGC of both the quality and quantity needed to study structure-function relationships.
    Protein Expression and Purification 02/2009; 65(2):133-9. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: BACE, or beta-secretase, is an attractive target in the treatment of Alzheimer's Disease because of its involvement in the generation of amyloid beta peptides. BACE is a type I transmembrane aspartyl protease composed of pre-, pro-, catalytic, transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. For the present study, the coding sequence was truncated just before the transmembrane domain and the resulting construct was extended with the C-terminal addition of a (His)(6) and expressed in several mammalian host cells. The enzyme expressed in CHO cells had the best crystallographic behavior and was purified in large quantities in a three step procedure. The purified BACE was comprised of two forms, namely the full length proBACE construct beginning with Thr(1), and a derivative missing the first 24 amino acids beginning with E(25). These BACE precursors co-crystallized in the presence of inhibitors yielding structures to 3.2 A resolution. HIV-1 protease treatment of this mixture resulted in complete cleavage of the F(39)-V(40) bond, leaving the V(40)EM...ES(432) (His)(6) derivative that was purified yielding an enzyme that was no more active than untreated BACE but co-crystallized with inhibitors producing well shaped, bipyramidal co-crystals diffracting to 2.6 A resolution.
    Protein and Peptide Letters 02/2008; 15(2):119-30. · 1.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and synthesis of a novel series of potent BACE1 hydroxyethylamine inhibitors. These inhibitors feature hydrogen bonding substituents at the C-5 position of the isophthalamide ring with improved selectivity over cathepsin D.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 07/2007; 17(12):3378-83. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The design and synthesis of a novel series of potent and cell permeable peptidomimetic inhibitors of the human beta-secretase (BACE) are described. These inhibitors feature a hydroxyethyl secondary amine isostere and a novel aromatic ring replacement for the C-terminus. The crystal structure of BACE in complex with this hydroxyethyl secondary amine isostere inhibitor is also presented.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2007; 50(4):776-81. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a novel series of potent inhibitors of human beta-secretase. These compounds possess the hydroxyethyl amine transition state isostere. A 2.5A crystal structure of inhibitor 32 bound to BACE is provided.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 02/2007; 17(1):73-7. · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe an optimized series of acyclic hydroxyethylamine transition state isosteres of beta-secretase that incorporates a variety of P(2) side chains that yield potent inhibitors with excellent cellular activity. A 2.2A crystal structure of compound 13 is shown.
    Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters 02/2007; 17(1):78-81. · 2.34 Impact Factor
  • Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 11/2003; 46(22):4625-30. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The involvement of beta-secretase (BACE1; beta-site APP-cleaving enzyme) in producing the beta-amyloid component of plaques found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, has fueled a major research effort to characterize this protease. Here, we describe work toward understanding the substrate specificity of BACE1 that began by considering the natural APP substrate and its Swedish mutant, APPSw, and proceeded on to include oxidized insulin B chain and ubiquitin substrates. From these findings, and the study of additional synthetic peptides, we determined that a decapeptide derived from APP in which the P3-P2' sequence, ...VKM--DA..., was replaced by ...ISY--EV... (-- = beta site of cleavage), yielded a substrate that was cleaved by BACE1 seven times faster than the corresponding APPSw peptide, SEVNL--DAEFR. The expanded peptide, GLTNIKTEEISEISY--EVEFRWKK, was cleaved an additional seven times faster than its decapeptide counterpart (boldface), and provides a substrate allowing assay of BACE1 at picomolar concentrations. Several APP mutants reflecting these beta-site amino acid changes were prepared as the basis for cellular assays. The APPISYEV mutant proved to be a cellular substrate that was superior to APPSw. The assay based on APPISYEV is highly specific for measuring BACE1 activity in cells; its homolog, BACE2, barely cleaved APPISYEV at the beta-site. Insertion of the optimized ISY--EV motif at either the beta-site (Asp1) or beta'-site (Glu11) directs the rate of cellular processing of APP at these two accessible sites. Thus, we have identified optimal BACE1 substrates that will be useful to elucidate the cellular enzymatic actions of BACE1, and for design of inhibitors that might be of therapeutic benefit in Alzheimer's disease.
    Journal of Neurochemistry 04/2003; 84(5):1006-17. · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • R Yan, J B Munzner, M E Shuck, M J Bienkowski
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    ABSTRACT: BACE1 and BACE2 define a new subfamily of membrane-anchored aspartyl proteases. Both endoproteases share similar structural organization including a prodomain, a catalytic domain formed via DTG and DSG active site motifs, a single transmembrane domain, and a short C-terminal tail. BACE1 has been identified as the Alzheimer's beta-secretase, whereas BACE2 was mapped to the Down's critical region of human chromosome 21. Herein we show that purified BACE2 can be autoactivated in vitro. Purified BACE2 cleaves human amyloid precursor protein (APP) sequences at the beta-secretase site, and near the alpha-secretase site, mainly at A beta-Phe(20)--Ala(21) and also at A beta-Phe(19)--Phe(20). Alternatively, in cells BACE2 has a limited effect on the beta-secretase site but efficiently cleaves the sequences near the alpha-secretase site. The in vitro specificity of APP processing by BACE2 is distinct from that observed in cells. BACE2 localizes in the endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi, trans-Golgi network, endosomes, and plasma membrane, and its cellular localization patterns depend on the presence of its transmembrane domain. BACE2 chimeras that increase localization of BACE2 in the trans-Golgi network do not change its APP processing patterns. Thus, BACE2 can be distinguished from BACE1 on the basis of autoprocessing of the prosegment, APP processing specificity, and subcellular localization patterns.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 10/2001; 276(36):34019-27. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by accumulation of amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. The major components of plaque, beta-amyloid peptides (Abetas), are produced from amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the activity of beta- and gamma-secretases. beta-secretase activity cleaves APP to define the N-terminus of the Abeta1-x peptides and, therefore, has been a long- sought therapeutic target for treatment of AD. The gene encoding a beta-secretase for beta-site APP cleaving enzyme (BACE) was identified recently. However, it was not known whether BACE was the primary beta-secretase in mammalian brain nor whether inhibition of beta-secretase might have effects in mammals that would preclude its utility as a therapeutic target. In the work described herein, we generated two lines of BACE knockout mice and characterized them for pathology, beta-secretase activity and Abeta production. These mice appeared to develop normally and showed no consistent phenotypic differences from their wild-type littermates, including overall normal tissue morphology and brain histochemistry, normal blood and urine chemistries, normal blood-cell composition, and no overt behavioral and neuromuscular effects. Brain and primary cortical cultures from BACE knockout mice showed no detectable beta-secretase activity, and primary cortical cultures from BACE knockout mice produced much less Abeta from APP. The findings that BACE is the primary beta-secretase activity in brain and that loss of beta-secretase activity produces no profound phenotypic defects with a concomitant reduction in beta-amyloid peptide clearly indicate that BACE is an excellent therapeutic target for treatment of AD.
    Human Molecular Genetics 07/2001; 10(12):1317-24. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the gene encoding the amyloid protein precursor (APP) cause autosomal dominant Alzheimer's disease. Cleavage of APP by unidentified proteases, referred to as beta- and gamma-secretases, generates the amyloid beta-peptide, the main component of the amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease patients. The disease-causing mutations flank the protease cleavage sites in APP and facilitate its cleavage. Here we identify a new membrane-bound aspartyl protease (Asp2) with beta-secretase activity. The Asp2 gene is expressed widely in brain and other tissues. Decreasing the expression of Asp2 in cells reduces amyloid beta-peptide production and blocks the accumulation of the carboxy-terminal APP fragment that is created by beta-secretase cleavage. Solubilized Asp2 protein cleaves a synthetic APP peptide substrate at the beta-secretase site, and the rate of cleavage is increased tenfold by a mutation associated with early-onset Alzheimer's disease in Sweden. Thus, Asp2 is a new protein target for drugs that are designed to block the production of amyloid beta-peptide peptide and the consequent formation of amyloid plaque in Alzheimer's disease.
    Nature 01/2000; 402(6761):533-7. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human platelet heparanase has been purified to homogeneity and shown to consist of two, non-covalently associated polypeptide chains of molecular masses 50 and 8 kDa. Protein sequencing provided the basis for determination of the full-length cDNA for this novel protein. Based upon this information and results from protein analysis and mass spectrometry, we propose a scheme to define the structural organization of heparanase in relation to its precursor forms, proheparanase and pre-proheparanase. The 8- and 50-kDa chains which make up the active enzyme reside, respectively, at the NH(2)- and COOH-terminal regions of the inactive precursor, proheparanase. The heparanase heterodimer is produced by excision and loss of an internal linking segment. This paper is the first to suggest that human heparanase is a two-chain enzyme.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/1999; 274(42):29587-90. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ATP-sensitive, inwardly rectifying K+ channel, ROMK, has been suggested to be the low-conductance ATP-sensitive K+ channel identified in apical membranes of mammalian renal thick ascending limb (TAL) and cortical collecting duct (CCD). Mutations in the human ROMK gene (KIR 1.2) have been identified in kindreds with neonatal Bartter's syndrome. In the present study, we generated polyclonal antibodies raised against both a COOH-terminal (amino acids 252-391) ROMK-maltose binding protein (MBP) fusion protein and an NH2-terminal (amino acids 34-49) ROMK peptide. Affinity-purified anti-ROMK COOH-terminal antibody detected the 45-kDa ROMK protein in kidney tissues and HEK-293 cells transfected with ROMK1 cDNA. The antibody also recognized 85- to 90-kDa proteins in kidney tissue; these higher molecular weight proteins were abolished by immunoabsorption with ROMK-MBP fusion protein and were also detected on Western blots using anti-ROMK NH2-terminal antibody. Immunofluoresence studies using anti-ROMK COOH-terminal antibody showed intense apical staining along the loop of Henle and distal nephron; staining with preimmune and immunoabsorbed serum was negative. When colocalized with distal nephron markers [the thiazide-sensitive cotransporter (rTSC1), the bumetanide-sensitive cotransporter (rBSC1), the vacuolar type H(+)-ATPase, and neuronal nitric oxide synthase (NOS I)], the ROMK protein was found primarily at the apical border of cells in the TAL, macula densa, distal convoluted tubule, and connecting tubule. Within the CCD, the ROMK protein was expressed in principal cells and was absent from intercalated cells. The tubule localization and polarity of ROMK staining are consistent with the distribution of ROMK mRNA and provide more support for ROMK being the low-conductance K+ secretory channel in the rat distal nephron.
    The American journal of physiology 12/1997; 273(5 Pt 2):F739-48. · 3.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Detailed analyses of transcripts encoding various isoforms of the human potassium (K+, inward rectifying) channel ROM-K (also referred to as K(ir)1.1) revealed the existence of at least five distinct transcripts [Shuck et al., J. Biol. Chem. 269 (1994) 24261-24270]. These five hROM-K transcripts appear to be the result of alternative splicing of five exons. The nucleotide sequence of the genomic DNA including and spanning these exons (the KCNJ1 locus) was obtained directly from lambda and P1 clones (a total of 40 kb). The organization of the hKCNJ1 gene was determined by combining this sequence information with data obtained from primer extension and RT-PCR experiments. It appears that the hKCNJ1 gene utilizes multiple promoters, with promoter-like elements found 5' of exons 1, 4, or 5. The promoter 5' of exon 5 was unexpected; thus, it appears that the hKCNJ1 gene is capable of producing six distinct hROM-K transcripts via the use of three promoters and alternative splicing of five exons. Comparisons of the rat and human ROM-K cDNA sequences find human homologs (orthologs) for two of the three distinct rROM-K transcripts. A search of the complete human KCNJ1 sequence with the exon sequence that defines the other rROM-K transcript located a region of shared nucleotides, a putative sixth exon, in the hKCNJ1 gene. This finding suggests that the rKCNJ1 gene may contain an exon that is no longer or infrequently used in transcripts derived from the hKCNJ1 gene.
    Gene 04/1997; 188(1):9-16. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of these studies was to examine the molecular mechanisms involved in transcriptional regulation of the gene for the intracellular structural variant of the IL-1 receptor antagonist (icIL-1Ra) molecule. By reverse transcription-PCR analysis, constitutive expression of endogenous icIL-1Ra mRNA was observed in the epithelial cell lines A431 and HT-29, but not in the macrophage cell lines RAW 264.7 and U937, or in the lymphocyte cell lines Raji and Jurkat. However, icIL-1Ra mRNA expression was observed in response to stimulation with LPS in RAW 264.7 cells and to PMA and LPS in U937 cells. To examine the mechanisms of transcriptional regulation, 4.5 kb of the 5' flanking sequence was isolated from the human icIL-1Ra gene, sequenced, cloned into a luciferase expression vector (pIC4525.Luc), and examined in transfection studies. The pIC4525.Luc construct exhibited a pattern of expression in epithelial and macrophage cell lines similar to that of the endogenous icIL-1Ra gene. To obtain a generalized map of cell type-specific and inducible cis-acting DNA elements, nested 5' deletional mutants of the icIL-1Ra promoter were constructed. Results from transfection studies with these icIL-1Ra promoter/luciferase fusion constructs indicated that constitutive expression in epithelial cells was under the control of three positively acting regions located between bases -4525 to -1438, -288 to -156, and -156 to -49. In contrast, basal expression of pIC4525.Luc in transfected but unstimulated RAW 264.7 cells was under the control of a weak inhibitory region located between bases -4525 to -1438 and a strong positive element between -156 and -49. LPS induction of icIL-1Ra transcription in RAW 264.7 cells was regulated by strong positively acting DNA regions between bases -1438 to -909 and -156 to -49. In summary, the proximal region of the icIL-1Ra promoter, between bases -156 to -49, contains positive cis-acting elements that are needed for expression in both epithelial and monocyte cell lines. However, our results indicate that the ability of this proximal promoter region to control expression is strongly influenced, both positively and negatively, by other upstream cis-acting elements in a cell type-specific manner.
    The Journal of Immunology 02/1997; 158(2):748-55. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The DNA sequence encoding the rat brain inward rectifier-10 K+ channel was amplified from rat brain RNA using reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and used to clone the human homolog. Low stringency screening of a human kidney cDNA library and subsequent DNA sequence analysis identified two related K+ inward rectifier cDNAs, referred to as Kir1.2 and Kir1.3, which were derived from transcription of distinct human genes. Kir1.2 represents the human homolog of the rat BIRK-10 sequence, whereas Kir1.3 was unique compared with all available sequence data bases. The genes that encode Kir1.2 and Kir1.3 were mapped to human chromosomes 1 and 21, respectively. Both genes showed tissue-specific expression when analyzed by Northern blots. Kir1.2 was only detected in brain > kidney and was detected at high levels in all brain regions examined. Kir1.3 was most readily detected in kidney and was also expressed in pancreas > lung. Comparative analysis of the predicted amino acid sequences for Kir1.2 and Kir1.3 revealed they were 62% identical. The most remarkable difference between the two polypeptides is that the Walker Type A consensus binding motif present in both Kir1.1 and Kir1.2 was not conserved in the Kir1.3 sequence. Expression of the Kir1.2 polypeptide in Xenopus oocytes resulted in the synthesis of a K+-selective channel that exhibited an inwardly rectifying current-voltage relationship and was inhibited by external Ba2+ and Cs+. Kir1.2 current amplitude was reduced by >85% when the pH was decreased from pH 7.4 to 5.9 using the membrane-permeant buffer acetate but was relatively unaffected when pH was similarly lowered using membrane-impermeant biphthalate. The inhibition by intracellular protons was voltage-independent with an IC50 of pH 6.2 and a Hill coefficient of 1.9, suggesting the cooperative binding of 2 protons to the intracellular face of the channel. In contrast, Kir1.3 expression in Xenopus oocytes was not detectable despite the fact that the cRNA efficiently directed the synthesis of a polypeptide of the expected Mr in an in vitro translation system. Co-expression of Kir1.3 with either Kir1.1 or Kir1.2 reduced currents resulting from expression of these inward-rectifier subunits alone, consistent with a dominant negative influence on Kir1.1 and Kir1.2 expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/1997; 272(1):586-93. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Granulomas (GR) mediated predominantly by Th1/type 1 (IFN-gamma) and Th2/type 2 (IL-4, IL-5, IL-10) cytokines were induced by i.v. injection of sensitized CBA/J mice with carbohydrate beads coated with Mycobacterium tuberculosis or Schistosoma mansoni egg Ags, respectively. GR macrophages (Mphi) from types 1 and 2 GR both produced IL-1ra, but the former showed accelerated IL-1ra-producing capacity, releasing two- to threefold greater amounts on day 4 than those of type 2 GR, as measured by sandwich ELISA. In vivo depletion of IL-1ra exacerbated GR size and augmented regional cytokine production in both types of responses. To determine the critical cytokines mediating IL-Ira expression, oil-elicited peritoneal Mphi were exposed to graded doses (0.1 to 10 ng/ml) of cytokines (IL-1beta, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha) for 24 h, then stimulated with opsonized zymosan. Of the cytokines tested, IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha were the best costimuli for IL-1ra production in the presence of zymosan, whereas IL-1beta, IL-10, and IL-12 were not active. In vivo depletion of IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, IFN-gamma, or TNF-alpha with 5 mg of cytokine-specific neutralizing rabbit IgG revealed that IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha were required for maximal IL-1ra production by Mphi. Furthermore, the delayed IL-1ra production by type 2 GR Mphi could be related to later TNF-alpha production. Our findings indicate that IL-1ra is a common regulatory product of inflammatory Mphi and is particularly promoted by type 1 cytokines, IFN-gamma, and TNF-alpha.
    The Journal of Immunology 05/1996; 156(7):2503-9. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The rat ROMK gene encodes inwardly rectifying, ATP-regulated K+ channels [K. Ho, C. G. Nichols, W. J. Lederer, J. Lytton, P. M. Vassilev, M. V. Kanazirska, and S. C. Hebert. Nature Lond. 362: 31-38, 1993; H. Zhou, S. S. Tate, and L. G. Palmer. Am. J. Physiol. 266 (Cell Physiol. 35): C809-C824, 1994], and mRNA encoding these channels is widely expressed in distal cortical and outer medullary nephron segments [see companion study; W.-S. Lee and S. C. Hebert. Am. J. Physiol. 268 (Renal Fluid Electrolyte Physiol. 37): F1124-F1131, 1995]. Using approaches based on homology to ROMK1, we have identified two additional ROMK isoforms, ROMK2b and ROMK3. Analysis of the nucleotide sequences of the ROMK isoforms indicates that molecular diversity of ROMK transcripts is due to alternative splicing at both the 5'-coding and 3'-noncoding regions. The splicing at the 5' end of ROMK gives rise to channel proteins with variable-length NH2 termini containing different initial amino acid sequences. Functional expression of these isoforms in Xenopus oocytes showed that they form functional Ba(2+)-sensitive K+ channels. The nephron distribution of mRNAs encoding alternatively spliced isoforms of ROMK (ROMK1-ROMK3) was investigated by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of nephron segments dissected from rat kidney. Nondegenerate PCR primer pairs were designed to span at least one intron and to amplify specific alternatively spliced forms of ROMK.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
    The American journal of physiology 07/1995; 268(6 Pt 2):F1132-40. · 3.28 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
239.18 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010
    • Buck Institute for Research on Aging
      Novato, California, United States
  • 2003
    • Institute of Molecular Biology
      Mayence, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany