[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERKs) 1 and 2 is correlated to cell survival, but in some cases ERKs can act in signal transduction pathways leading to apoptosis. Treatment of mouse fibroblasts with 20 microM etoposide elicited a sustained phosphorylation of ERK 1/2, that increased until 24 h from the treatment in parallel with caspase activity. The inhibitor of ERK activation PD98059 abolished caspase activation, but caspase inhibition did not reduce ERK 1/2 phosphorylation, suggesting that ERK activation is placed upstream of caspases. Both ERK and caspase activation were blocked in cells depleted of polyamines by the ornithine decarboxylase inhibitor alpha-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO). In etoposide-treated cells, DFMO also abolished phosphorylation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinases triggered by the drug. Polyamine replenishment with exogenous putrescine restored the ability of the cells to undergo caspase activation and ERK 1/2 phosphorylation in response to etoposide. Ornithine decarboxylase activity decreased after etoposide, indicating that DFMO exerts its effect by depleting cellular polyamines before induction of apoptosis. These results reveal a role for polyamines in the transduction of the death signal triggered by etoposide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulate DNA synthesis in chick embryo cardiomyocytes (CM) via nitric oxide and polyamine biosynthesis. Here we show an involvement of nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-kappaB) in the induction of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the key enzyme in polyamine biosynthesis. In addition NF-kappaB activation appears to favor survival of CM by reducing caspase activation. TNF and LPS also stimulate phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), which is required for the changes in ODC and caspase activity, but not for NOS induction or NF-kappaB activation. In conclusion, these results indicate that NF-kappaB, in cooperation with ERK, plays a pivotal role in the growth stimulating effects of TNF and LPS, leading to the induction of both ODC and NOS and to the reduction of caspase activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The release of mitochondrial anapoptogenic factors, like cytochrome c, into the cytosol is a fundamental step for caspase activation and induction of apoptosis. In this report it is shown that
the polyamine spermine causes the exit of cytochrome c from heart mitochondria. Polyamines are ubiquitous compounds necessary for growth processes, whose excessive accumulation
can trigger apoptosis. The release of cytochrome c caused by spermine is a selective process that is independent of mitochondria damage. The cytochrome c-releasing power of spermine is not affected by cyclosporin A, differently from the effect of permeability transition inducers.
Addition of cytochrome c to cytosol extracts from chick embryo heart cells (CEHC) or H9C2 ventricular cardiomyoblasts triggers the onset of caspase
activity. In a cardiac cell-free model of apoptosis, the latent caspase activity of cytosolic extracts from CEHC can be activated
by cytochrome c released from spermine-treated heart mitochondria. The activated caspase activity is inhibited by nitric oxide donor molecules.
These data suggest that prolonged and sustained elevation of polyamines, characteristic of heart hypertrophy, could be involved
in the development of apoptosis.
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology 06/2001; 33(6). · 5.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have recently shown that tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFalpha) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulate DNA synthesis in chick embryo cardiomyocytes (CMs). The aim of the present research was to investigate the pathways involved in this mitogenic response.
CMs were isolated from 10-day-old chick embryos and grown to confluence. After 20 h of serum starvation the cells were treated with TNFalpha and LPS, and/or specific agonists and antagonists to manipulate the levels of polyamines, NO, cGMP and their biosynthetic enzymes ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC). ODC, NOS, sGC activities and cGMP contents were determined by radiochemical procedures. DNA synthesis was determined by incorporation of [3H]-thymidine.
Treatment of CMs with TNFalpha and LPS increased cell number and [3H]-thymidine incorporation. Addition of TNFalpha and LPS provoked an induction of ODC, with consequent polyamine accumulation, and a more delayed enhancement of NOS activity, which appeared to be independent of the activation of the ODC-polyamine system. TNFalpha and LPS treatment also enhanced cGMP level in CMs and both polyamine and NO biosyntheses appeared to be required. Experiments with specific inhibitors of ODC and NOS, as well as with inhibitors of sGC and cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG), showed that polyamine-, NO- and cGMP-dependent pathways are required for the mitogenic action of TNFalpha and LPS. Moreover, addition of exogenous polyamines to untreated cells raised the cGMP level in a NO-dependent fashion, and enhanced [3H]-thymidine incorporation. The latter effect was inhibited by sGC or PKG inhibitors. Treatment of quiescent cells with NO donors, 8-bromo-cGMP or YC-1, an sGC activator, also promoted DNA synthesis. Furthermore, putrescine and NO donor can additively activate sGC in cell-free extracts.
TNFalpha and LPS stimulate DNA synthesis in chick embryo CMs and this effect is mediated by polyamines, NO and intracellular cGMP.
Cardiovascular Research 03/2001; 49(2):408-16. · 5.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caspase enzymes are a family of cysteine proteases that play a central role in apoptosis. Recently, it has been demonstrated that caspases can be S-nitrosylated and inhibited by nitric oxide (NO). The present report shows that in chick embryo heart cells (CEHC), NO donor molecules such as S-nitroso-N-acetylpenicillamine (SNAP), S-nitrosoglutathione, spermine-NO or sodium nitroprusside inhibit caspase activity in both basal and staurosporine-treated cells. However, the inhibitory effect of NO donors on caspase activity is accompanied by a parallel cytotoxic effect, that precludes NO to exert its antiapoptotic capability. N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) at a concentration of 10 mM blocks depletion of cellular glutathione and cell death in SNAP-treated CEHC, but it poorly affects the ability of SNAP to inhibit caspase activity. Consequently, in the presence of NAC, SNAP attenuates not only caspase activity but also cell death of staurosporine-treated CEHC. These data show that changes in the redox environment may inhibit NO-mediated toxicity, without affecting the antiapoptotic capability of NO, mediated by inhibition of caspase enzymes. NO may thus be transformed from a killer molecule into an antiapoptotic agent.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 08/1999; 1450(3):406-13. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide (NO) is a molecule involved in several signal transduction pathways leading either to proliferation or to cell death. Induction of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), the key enzyme of polyamine biosynthesis, represents an early event preceding DNA synthesis. In some cell types increased ODC activity seems to be involved in cytotoxic response. We investigated the role of NO and ODC induction on the events linked to cell proliferation or to cell death in cultured chick embryo cardiomyocytes. Exposure of cardiomyocytes to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) caused NO synthase (NOS) and ODC induction as well as increased incorporation of [3H]-thymidine. This last effect was blocked by a NOS inhibitor and was strongly reduced by difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), an irreversible inhibitor of ODC. Sodium nitroprusside (SNP), an exogenous NO donor, inhibited the increases of NOS and ODC activities and abolished the mitogenic effect of TNF and LPS. Moreover, SNP alone caused cell death in a dose dependent manner. The cytotoxicity of SNP was not affected by DFMO while it was prevented by antioxidants. The results suggest that different pathways would mediate the response of cardiomyocytes to NO: they can lead either to ODC induction and DNA synthesis when NO is formed through NOS induction or to growth inhibition and cell death, when NO is supplied as NO donor. Increased polyamine biosynthesis would mediate the proliferative response of NO, while the cytotoxicity of exogenous NO seems to involve some oxidative reactions and to depend on the balance between NO availability and cellular redox mechanisms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effect of the aging on the activities of enzymes involved in UMP-CMP metabolism were evaluated in the heart of newborn (1-day-old), young (20-day-old), adult (12-month-old), and aged (30-month-old) chickens. In newborn animals, UMP metabolism proceeds preferentially towards cytidine compounds rather than to breakdown. In addition, two pathways different from those involved in de novo synthesis may contribute to the synthesis of UMP: one, through cytosine deaminase that shows its maximal activity; the other, by uridine kinase, the main "salvage" enzyme of pyrimidine nucleotides. In young chickens, pyrimidine metabolism regards especially UMP. In fact, the lower activities of cytidylate phosphatase and cytosine deaminase, together with the remarkable increase of uridine kinase indicate that the metabolic flux converges on the main salvage pathway. In adult chickens, pyrimidine catabolism is enhanced, as supported by the maximal activity of the enzymes involved in UMP-CMP breakdown. On the contrary, the remarkable reduction of the anabolic enzymes suggests a limited resort to the salvage pathways. Finally, in aged chickens a reduced pyrimidine catabolism and a greater utilization of the salvage pathways appear to take place, thus contributing to the maintenance of pyrimidine nucleotide pool.
Biochemistry and molecular biology international 01/1999; 46(6):1181-9.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activities of enzymes involved in GMP metabolism were studied in the heart of aging chickens. In newborn (1-day-old) animals, GMP breakdown apparently leads to the final products of purine metabolism, as the activity of hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyl-transferase (HGPRT), the salvage enzyme of GMP is not detectable. On the contrary, HGPRT shows maximal activity in young (20-day-old) chickens, when xanthine oxidase activity is very low, indicating that the metabolic flux converges on the salvage pathway. Again, maximal activity of the catabolic enzymes and a limited resort to the salvage pathway characterize GMP metabolism of adult (12-month-old) hearts. Finally, in aged (30-month-old) chickens, a reduced GMP catabolism and a greater utilization of the salvage pathway might contribute to the maintenance of the guanine nucleotide pool. In conclusion, the pattern of the activities of enzymes relating to GMP metabolism in the aging heart, compared to AMP metabolism, indicates a parallel temporal regulation of the purine pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activities of enzymes involved in adenine nucleotide metabolism and the concentration of their metabolic products were studied in the hearts of chickens from birth to advanced age. In particular, in order to investigate the main mechanisms which contribute to ensure availability of adenine nucleotides during ageing of the heart, IMP concentration and the activities of enzymes involved in its turnover were studied. In newborn animals, AMP degradation, though limited in amount, was found to lead to the final products of purine metabolism. In fact, the activity of hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl-transferase (HPRT)-the salvage enzyme of IMP-was not detected. On the contrary, in young chickens, the low concentration of final products of purine metabolism, together with a remarkable activity of HPRT and a high concentration of IMP, indicates that metabolic flux converges on the salvage pathway. In adult chickens, an increase of purine catabolism was observed. This, together with an optimal concentration of endogenous adenine nucleotides, is indicative of a particularly high AMP metabolism. Finally, in chickens of advanced age, a reduced purine catabolism appeared to take place, thus contributing to the maintenance of the adenine nucleotide pool. In ageing heart, a major role of IMP turnover probably consists in the preservation of adenine nucleotides and in the recovery of high-energy phosphates.
Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Physiology 07/1996; 114(2):99-104. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biochemical and structural changes occurring in the myocardium with aging are mainly resulting from the association of a general tissue atrophy with the hypertrophy of the remaining myocytes. Whilst hypertrophy seems to be a compensatory process to the loss of cardiomyocytes and to a mild systolic hypertensive condition that accompanies elderly people, atrophy should be the modification more closely related to aging 'per se.' In support to the free radical theory of aging, several signs of oxidative damage have been shown in the aged heart, such as lipofuscin accumulation, decreased phospholipid unsaturation index, greater formation of both hydrogen peroxide and 8-hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine. As a compensatory reaction, the activities of the main oxygen-radical scavenger enzymes are stimulated in the mitochondria of aged rat heart. Endothelium-mediated vasoregulation is more susceptible to oxidative stress in aged with respect to young rats, suggesting that also the vasculature can be negatively influenced by the oxygen free radicals generated during aging. The possible primary role of oxygen free radicals in the development of myocardial atrophy is also discussed.
Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 02/1996; 160-161:159-66. · 2.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The activity of adenylate deaminase, adenylate phosphatase and adenosine deaminase, as well as the endogenous content of adenine nucleotides, was examined in the heart of ageing chickens. In new-born (1-day-old) and young (20-day-old) chickens, AMP degradation in the heart seems to proceed preferentially through deamination, while in adult (1-year-old) through dephosphorylation. Compared with the adult heart, a 2-year-old one exhibits a decline of AMP catabolism. The total adenine nucleotide content and the concentration of ATP are higher in adult and aged chicken hearts, than in new-born and young ones. Adaptive mechanisms might occur in the heart of ageing chickens to ensure an adequate availability of adenine nucleotides.
Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Physiology 02/1995; 110(1):27-31. · 2.17 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The influence of [Mg2+] on the basal or stimulated activity of adenylate cyclase from the hearts of young (1 month old) and aged (24 months old) rats has been investigated in vitro. The basal activity of cardiac adenylate cyclase, and its responsiveness to stimulatory or inhibitory effectors, declined with age. This is probably due to alterations at the catalytic moiety of the signal transduction system, such as an impairment in the affinity of the catalytic moiety for ATP and a lower capacity of the catalytic moiety to bind activated stimulatory (Gs) or inhibitory (Gi) guanine nucleotide binding proteins. Compared to the enzyme from the heart of aged rats, unstimulated adenylate cyclase from the heart of young rats was more sensitive to an increase in [Mg2+] in the incubation mixture, as shown by a greater increase in basal activity and in the affinity of the enzyme for ATP. An increase in [Mg2+] counteracted the inhibitory effect of spermine on adenylate cyclase more effectively in young rats than in aged rats. On the other hand, an increase in [Mg2+] facilitated the stimulation of adenylate cyclase by Gpp(NH)p, isoproterenol and forskolin more in aged rats than in young rats. GDP beta S prevented the positive effect of high [Mg2+] on the stimulation of adenylate cyclase by forskolin, suggesting that an increased [Mg2+] favors the activation of Gs or the formation of functional complexes between the catalytic moiety and Gs. We suggest that aging leads to a higher requirement for Mg2+ at the allosteric site on the catalytic moiety whose occupancy is essential for the full expression of stimulated activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The metabolic and functional activity of the heart closely depends on cAMP and therefore on the integrity of adenylate cyclase (AC) system. Alterations of this signal transduction system might be co-responsible for the impairment of cardiac performance observed with aging. Evidence is here provided that basal activity of cardiac membrane-bound (48,000 x g) AC significantly declines with the age of the rat (1, 12, 24 month-old). This is accompanied with the decrease of cAMP content, which leads to the fall of cAMP/cGMP molar ratio a possible final determinant of cardiac performance. Kinetic analyses indicate that aging is associated with a net increase of the Km of a cardiac AC, while the Vmax is unaffected. Besides, the response in vitro of AC from 24-month-old heart to the inhibitor spermine or a different stimulants, such as Gpp (NH) p, isoproterenol, PGE1 or forskolin, is significantly lower than that of AC from 1 month-old one. The suggestion is made that aging causes an impairment in the capability of the catalytic moiety of cardiac AC to make functional complexes with activated guanine nucleotide binding proteins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyunsaturated fatty acids are involved at several steps in the turnover of phosphatidylinositol mediated by alpha 1-adrenoceptors. We have cultured neonatal rat cardiomyocytes in a medium containing docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6n3) and have investigated the effects produced by the change in the fatty acid composition of phosphatidylinositol on alpha 1-adrenoceptor-mediated phosphatidylinositol metabolism. The experimental cells, in which phosphatidylinositol was significantly enriched in docosahexaenoic acid and depleted in arachidonic acid, showed a reduced ability to incorporate labeled inositol into phospholipids in comparison with control cells, both in basal conditions and after stimulation by phenylephrine. This decreased incorporation led to a reduced availability of inositol phospholipids, substrates of phospholipase C, and to a reduced production of inositol phosphates under basal conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The exposure of quiescent cultures of cardiac cells to 1 microM spermine for 2 hours leads to an increase of the content of intracellular polyamines and to a 40% decrease of basal adenylate cyclase activity. The response of adenylate cyclase to stimulation by PGE1 is reduced by about 50% after spermine treatment. The effects of the amine on adenylate cyclase are completely prevented by pretreating the cells with pertussis toxin which blocks the activation of the inhibitory guanine binding protein (Gi). In vitro experiments with adenylate cyclase from cells pre-treated with pertussis toxin show that spermine fails to reduce basal enzyme activity and to counteract the stimulation by PGE1 or forskolin. Cholera toxin, which blocks the deactivation of the stimulatory protein (Gs), does not influence the effects of spermine either in vivo or in vitro. The results suggest that spermine acts through the activation of Gi. This hypothesis is supported by the fact that, in vitro, the inhibition of stimulated adenylate cyclase by the amine is synergistic with that of a stable analog of GDP, GDP beta S, which causes deactivation of Gs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pattern of uridylate phosphatase and uridine phosphorylase has been studied in the liver, brain, heart and thigh muscles of the chick during development. The study of enzymes involved in pyrimidine metabolism confirms that differences in utilisation of the metabolic pathways exist during ontogenesis. In the liver, starting from the 12th day, an active metabolic pathway, leading to UMP via cytosine should be added to the catabolic ones. In the brain, the second period of embryogenesis should be characterized by a lower utilisation of the catabolic pathways and by an increase of the anabolic ones. In the heart, pyrimidine metabolism during development regards especially UMP. In skeletal muscle, pyrimidine metabolism shows low activity.
The Italian journal of biochemistry 01/1990; 39(6):361-7.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In confluent and serum-starved embryonic heart cell cultures, the addition of serum (10%), glucagon (GLU, 0.1 microM) or isoproterenol (ISO, 10 microM), causes the onset of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity, with a maximum after 5-6 hr. This is paralleled by polyamine accumulation and by the induction of TAT, which, in the case of GLU and ISO, exhibits maximal activity at 4-3 hr respectively, followed by a net decline. Cyclic AMP (cAMP) also accumulates after exposure to GLU or ISO. However, under different conditions of ODC inhibition, serum fails to induce TAT, thus supporting a relevant role of cellular polyamines in serum action. Conversely, cAMP and TAT responses to GLU or ISO are markedly improved under prevention of polyamine accumulation, which also leads to a longer lasting TAT inducibility. The suggestion is made that polyamines are not required in the cAMP-dependent mechanism of TAT induction, but rather in the restoration of the basal activity of the enzyme.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 05/1988; 152(2):497-504. · 2.28 Impact Factor