[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The effects of nerve growth factor (NGF) from cobra venom (cvNGF) on growth of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma (EAC) cells inoculated subcutaneously in mice have been studied. The carcinoma growth slows down, but does not stop, during a course of cvNGF injections and restores after the course has been discontinued. The maximal anti-tumor effect has been observed at a dose of 8 nmoles cvNGF/kg body weight. cvNGF does not impact on lifespan of mice with grafted EAC cells. K252a, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, attenuates the anti-tumor effect of cvNGF indicating the involvement of TrkA receptors in the process. cvNGF has induced also increase in body weight of the experimental animals. In overall, cvNGF shows the anti-tumor and weight-increasing effects which are opposite to those described for mammalian NGF (mNGF). However in experiments on breast cancer cell line MCF-7 cvNGF showed the same proliferative effects as mNGF and had no cytotoxic action on tumor cells in vitro. These data suggest that cvNGF slows down EAC growth via an indirect mechanism in which TrkA receptors are involved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For a small library of natural products from marine sponges and ascidians, in silico docking to the Lymnaea stagnalis acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP), a model for the ligand-binding domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), was carried out and the possibility of complex formation was revealed. It was further experimentally confirmed via competition with radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin ([125I]-αBgt) for binding to AChBP of the majority of analyzed compounds. Alkaloids pibocin, varacin and makaluvamines С and G had relatively high affinities (Ki 0.5-1.3 μM). With the muscle-type nAChR from Torpedo californica ray and human neuronal α7 nAChR, heterologously expressed in the GH4C1 cell line, no competition with [125I]-αBgt was detected in four compounds, while the rest showed an inhibition. Makaluvamines (Ki ~ 1.5 μM) were the most active compounds, but only makaluvamine G and crambescidine 359 revealed a weak selectivity towards muscle-type nAChR. Rhizochalin, aglycone of rhizochalin, pibocin, makaluvamine G, monanchocidin, crambescidine 359 and aaptamine showed inhibitory activities in electrophysiology experiments on the mouse muscle and human α7 nAChRs, expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes. Thus, our results confirm the utility of the modeling studies on AChBPs in a search for natural compounds with cholinergic activity and demonstrate the presence of the latter in the analyzed marine biological sources.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human LYNX1, belonging to the Ly6/neurotoxin family of three-finger proteins, is membrane-tethered with a GPI anchor and modulates the activity of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Recent preparation of LYNX1 as an individual protein in the form of water-soluble domain lacking GPI anchor (ws-LYNX1; Lyukmanova et al, 2011) revealed the attachment at the agonist-binding site in the acetylcholine-binding protein (AChBP) and muscle nAChR but outside it in the neuronal nAChRs. Here we obtained a series of ws-LYNX1 mutants (T35A, P36A, T37A, R38A, K40A, Y54A, Y57A, K59A) and examined by radioligand analysis or patch-clamp technique their interaction with the AChBP, Torpedo californica nAChR and chimeric receptor composed of the α7 nAChR extracellular ligand-binding domain and the transmembrane domain of α1 glycine receptor (α7-GlyR). Against AChBP there was either no change in activity (T35A, T37A), slight decrease (K40A, K59A) and even enhancement for the rest mutants (most pronounced for P36A and R38A). With both receptors many mutants lost inhibitory activity, but the increased inhibition was observed for P36A at α7-GlyR. Thus, there are subtype-specific and common ws-LYNX1 residues recognizing distinct targets. Since ws-LYNX1 was inactive against glycine receptor, its ″non-classical″ binding sites on α7 nAChR should be within the extracellular domain. Micromolar affinities and fast washout rates measured for ws-LYNX1 and its mutants are in contrast to nanomolar affinities and irreversibility of binding for α-bungarotoxin and similar snake α-neurotoxins also targeting α7 nAChR. This distinction may underlie their different actions, i.e. nAChRs modulation versus irreversible inhibition, for these two types of three-finger proteins.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Azemiopsin, a novel polypeptide, was isolated from the Azemiops feae viper venom by combination of gel filtration and reverse-phase HPLC. Its amino acid sequence (DNWWPKPPHQGPRPPRPRPKP) was determined by means of Edman degradation and mass spectrometry. It consists of 21 residues and, unlike similar venom isolates, does not contain cysteine residues. According to circular dichroism measurements, this peptide adopts a β-structure. Peptide synthesis was used to verify the determined sequence and to prepare peptide in sufficient amounts to study its biological activity. Azemiopsin efficiently competed with α-bungarotoxin for binding to Torpedo nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) (IC(50) 0.18 ± 0.03 μm) and with lower efficiency to human α7 nAChR (IC(50) 22 ± 2 μm). It dose-dependently blocked acetylcholine-induced currents in Xenopus oocytes heterologously expressing human muscle-type nAChR and was more potent against the adult form (α1β1εδ) than the fetal form (α1β1γδ), EC(50) being 0.44 ± 0.1 μm and 1.56 ± 0.37 μm, respectively. The peptide had no effect on GABA(A) (α1β3γ2 or α2β3γ2) receptors at a concentration up to 100 μm or on 5-HT(3) receptors at a concentration up to 10 μm. Ala scanning showed that amino acid residues at positions 3-6, 8-11, and 13-14 are essential for binding to Torpedo nAChR. In biological activity azemiopsin resembles waglerin, a disulfide-containing peptide from the Tropidechis wagleri venom, shares with it a homologous C-terminal hexapeptide, but is the first natural toxin that blocks nAChRs and does not possess disulfide bridges.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2012; 287(32):27079-86. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate synaptic transmission in the muscle and autonomic ganglia and regulate transmitter release in the brain. The nAChRs composed of α7 subunits are also expressed in non-excitable cells to regulate cell survival and proliferation. Up to now, functional α7 nAChRs were found exclusively on the cell plasma membrane. Here we show that they are expressed in mitochondria and regulate early pro-apoptotic events like cytochrome c release. The binding of α7-specific antibody with mouse liver mitochondria was revealed by electron microscopy. Outer membranes of mitochondria from the wild-type and β2-/- but not α7-/- mice bound α7 nAChR-specific antibody and toxins: FITC-labeled α-cobratoxin or Alexa 555-labeled α-bungarotoxin. α7 nAChR agonists (1 µM acetylcholine, 10 µM choline or 30 nM PNU-282987) impaired intramitochondrial Ca(2+) accumulation and significantly decreased cytochrome c release stimulated with either 90 µM CaCl(2) or 0.5 mM H(2)O(2). α7-specific antagonist methyllicaconitine (50 nM) did not affect Ca(2+) accumulation in mitochondria but attenuated the effects of agonists on cytochrome c release. Inhibitor of voltage-dependent anion channel (VDAC) 4,4'-diisothio-cyano-2,2'-stilbene disulfonic acid (0.5 µM) decreased cytochrome c release stimulated with apoptogens similarly to α7 nAChR agonists, and VDAC was co-captured with the α7 nAChR from mitochondria outer membrane preparation in both direct and reverse sandwich ELISA. It is concluded that α7 nAChRs are expressed in mitochondria outer membrane to regulate the VDAC-mediated Ca(2+) transport and mitochondrial permeability transition.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(2):e31361. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the ability of four non-conjugated alpha7-subunit fragments of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor to induce an immune response and to protect memory in olfactory bulbectomized mice which demonstrate abnormalities similar to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Vaccination only with the alpha7-subunit fragment 173-193 was shown to rescue spatial memory, to restore the level of alpha7 acetylcholine receptors in the cortex, and to prevent an increase in the amyloid-beta (Abeta) level in brain tissue in these animals. Antibodies against the peptide 173-193 were revealed in blood serum and cerebrospinal liquid in the bulbectomized mice. Passive immunization with mouse blood sera containing antibodies to the peptide 173-193 also restored memory in bulbectomized animals. The observed positive effect of both active and passive immunization with the fragment of alpha7-subunit on memory of bulbectomized mice provides a new insight into an anti-AD drug design.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In complex tissues where multiple subtypes of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are expressed, immunohistochemistry has been the most popular tool for investigation of nAChR subunit distribution. However, recent studies with nAChR subunit knockout mice demonstrated that a large panel of antibodies is unsuitable. Thus, we aimed to develop a histochemical method for selective labeling of alpha7 nAChR with neurotoxins, utilizing alpha7 nAChR-transfected cells, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and spinal cord from wild-type and knockout mouse. The specificity of Alexa Fluor 488-conjugated alpha-bungarotoxin (Alexa-alphaBgt) was demonstrated in binding to alpha7-transfected cells inhibited by long-chain alpha-cobratoxin (CTX), but not short-chain alpha-neurotoxin II (NTII). In contrast, binding to Torpedo muscle-type nAChRs and to motor end plates in mouse tongue sections was prevented by both CTX and NTII. In tissue sections of DRG, expressing all neuronal nAChR subunits, only CTX precluded Alexa-alphaBgt labeling of neurons, with no staining for alpha7 nAChR knockout tissue. It proved that alpha7 nAChRs are the major alphaBgt-binding sites in mouse DRG. Corresponding results were obtained for terminals in the spinal cord. Thus, we present a protocol utilizing Alexa-alphaBgt and non-labeled CTX/NTII that allows specific histochemical detection of alpha7 nAChR with a spatial resolution at the level of single axon terminals.
Journal of Neurochemistry 06/2009; 109(4):1087-95. · 3.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neuronal nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) containing alpha7 subunit are well represented in the brain and some non-neuronal tissues, and their malfunctioning is associated with diverse pathologies. Therefore, detection and quantification of alpha7 nAChR are important tasks. The affinity-purified antibodies were prepared against the 1-23 and 179-190 fragments of the human and rat alpha7 nAChR extracellular domain. The specificity and selectivity of these alpha7 (1-23) and alpha7 (179-190) antibodies was tested by ELISA in model systems: the E. coli-expressed alpha7 subunit extracellular domain and the pituitary cell line GH(4)C(1) stably expressing human alpha7 nAChR. On the rat brain slices two antibodies and biotinylated alpha-cobratoxin specifically stained the hippocampus region known to be rich in alpha7 nAChR. Western blot analysis revealed that in the human thalamus membranes and in rat brain membranes, antibodies alpha7 (1-23) stained a single band of 62 kDa, while the alpha7 (179-190) antibodies stained a doublet of 53-54 kDa. The results obtained show that utilization of model systems and a combination of several antibodies with appropriately labeled toxins may provide better ways for detection of alpha7 nAChR.
Life Sciences 06/2007; 80(24-25):2202-5. · 2.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have compared specificity of a panel of polyclonal antibodies against synthetic fragments of the alpha7 subunit of homooligomeric acetylcholine receptor (AChR) and some subunits of heteromeric AChRs. The antibody interaction with extracellular domain of alpha7 subunit of rat AChR (residues 7-208) produced by heterologous expression in E. coli and rat adrenal membranes was investigated by the ELISA method. For comparison, membranes from the Torpedo californica ray electric organ enriched in muscle-type AChR and polyclonal antibodies raised against the extracellular domain (residues 1-209) of the T. californica AChR alpha1 subunit were also used. Antibody specificity was also characterized by Western blot analysis using rat AChR extracellular domain alpha7 (7-208) and the membrane-bound T. californica AChR. Epitope localization was analyzed within the framework of AChR extracellular domain model based on the crystal structure of acetylcholine-binding protein available in the literature. According to this analysis, the 179-190 epitope is located on loop C, which is exposed and mobile. Use of antibodies against alpha7 (179-190) revealed the presence of alpha7 AChR in rat adrenal membranes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyclonal antibodies obtained by immunization of rabbits with native form of weak toxin (WTX) from cobra Naja kaouthia venom efficiently interacted with WTX and a weak toxin from Naja oxiana venom, but not so with their denaturated forms. These antibodies could also bind with lower affinity other groups of three-fingered toxins: long-chain alpha-neurotoxins, muscarinic toxins and cytotoxins, but practically did not bind short-chain alpha-neurotoxins. The efficiency of toxin-antibody interaction depends on the group (weak toxins, long or short alpha-neurotoxins, cytotoxins etc.) to which the toxin belongs, but not on species of snake from which the toxin originates. There is a correlation between the results obtained and phylogenetic analysis of the three-fingered toxins which revealed that WTX is very close to other weak toxins, relatively close to long alpha-neurotoxins, cytotoxins and muscarinic toxins, but is distant from the short alpha-neurotoxins.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A basic glycoprotein oxiagin with molecular mass of 49.8 kDa was isolated from the venom of Central Asian cobra Naja oxiana. Partial amino acid sequence determination has shown that oxiagin belongs to reprolysins, a subfamily of animal metalloproteinases possessing a characteristic multidomain structure. Oxiagin was found to inhibit the classical pathway of the complement system. A study of the oxiagin influence on the different stages of the classical pathway showed that it inhibited the formation of C3-convertase. To achieve it, oxiagin binds to IgG on the surface of sheep erythrocytes sensitized with rabbit antibodies, thus, preventing the interaction of component C2 (without its inactivation) with immobilized C4b. IC50 for the inhibiton of classical pathway of complement system by oxiagin is 80 nM, while it does not affect the alternative pathway at concentrations up to 1.2 microM. Oxiagin possessed hemagglutinating activity towards sheep and rabbit erythrocytes, and this activity as well as the complement inhibition by oxiagin were suppressed by D-galactose. Oxiagin is the first representative of snake venom reprolysins that inhibits the complement system, utilizing non-proteolytic inhibiting strategy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A protein corresponding to the extracellular 1-209 domain of the alpha-subunit of the nicotine acetylcholine receptor from the electric organ of Torpedo californica was prepared using the corresponding cDNA domain by culturing Escherichia coli cells on a synthetic medium supplemented with 5-fluoro-L-tryptophan. The presence of a (His)(6) fragment preceding the 1-209 sequence allowed purification of the protein isolated from inclusion bodies by affinity chromatography on Ni-NTA A-arose. The incorporation of 5-fluorotryptophan residues was found by (FNMR)-F-19 to be similar to50%. The spectrum of the protein reduced in the denaturing conditions and subsequently reoxidized in a dilute solution under denaturing conditions in the presence of 0.05% SDS was sufficiently resolved, which allowed partial assignment of (19)resonances using the Trp60Phe mutant protein. The ability of the prepared domains to specifically bind snake alpha-neurotoxins was demonstrated with the use of radioiodinated alpha-bungarotoxin and trifluoroacetylated a-cobratoxin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A sensitive nonradioactive method for detection of substances interacting with the neuronal 7-type nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) was proposed. The method uses biotinylated -cobratoxin (Bt-CTX) and is based on the ability of the N-terminal ligand-binding extracellular domain (LBED) of AChR to interact with -cobratoxin (CTX) as does the whole receptor. LBED produced by heterologous expression of a gene fragment of the 7 subunit of AChR from the rat brain in Escherichia coli cells was sorbed in wells of a 96-well plate and incubated with Bt-CTX. The specifically bound Bt-CTX was determined by staining with streptavidin–peroxidase complex. The ability of other compounds to interact with 7-AChR was checked according to the degree with which they inhibit the Bt-CTX binding to LBED. Nicotine, carbamylcholine, d-tubocurarin, anabaseine, conotoxin ImI, and neurotoxin II were used as model compounds. The sensitivity of this method was comparable with that of the radioligand method (up to 10 pmol).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A protein corresponding to the extracellular 1–209 domain of the α-subunit of the nicotine acetylcholine receptor from the electric organ of Torpedo californica was prepared using the corresponding cDNA domain by culturing Escherichia coli cells on a synthetic medium supplemented with 5-fluoro-L-tryptophan. The presence of a (His)6 fragment preceding the 1–209 sequence allowed purification of the protein isolated from inclusion bodies by affinity chromatography on Ni-NTA Agarose. The incorporation of 5-fluorotryptophan residues was found by 19F NMR to be ∼50%. The spectrum of the protein reduced in the denaturing conditions and subsequently reoxidized in a dilute solution under denaturing conditions in the presence of 0.05% SDS was sufficiently resolved, which allowed partial assignment of 19F resonances using the Trp60Phe mutant protein. The ability of the prepared domains to specifically bind snake α-neurotoxins was demonstrated with the use of radioiodinated α-bungarotoxin and trifluoroacetylated α-cobratoxin.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterologous expression of the extracellular domains (ECDs) of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (AChR) subunits may give large amounts of proteins for studying the functional and spatial characteristics of their ligand-binding sites. The ECD of the α7 subunit of the homo-oligomeric α7 neuronal AChR appears to be a more suitable object than the ECDs of other heteromeric neuronal or muscle-type AChRs. The rat α7 ECDs (amino-acid residues ≈ 1–210) were recently expressed in Escherichia coli as fusion proteins with maltose-binding protein [Fischer, M., Corringer, P., Schott, K., Bacher, A. & Changeux, J. (2001) Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA98, 3567–3570] and glutathione S-transferase (GST) [Utkin, Y., Kukhtina, V., Kryukova, E., Chiodini, F., Bertrand, D., Methfessel, C. & Tsetlin, V. (2001) J. Biol. Chem.276, 15810–15815]. However, these proteins exist in solution mostly as high-molecular mass aggregates rather than monomers or oligomers. In the present work it is found that refolding of GST–α7-(1–208) protein in the presence of 0.1% SDS considerably decreases the formation of high-molecular mass aggregates. The C116S mutation in the α7 moiety was found to further decrease the aggregation and to increase the stability of protein solutions. This mutation slightly increased the affinity of the protein for α-bungarotoxin (from Kd≈ 300 to 150 nm). Gel-permeation HPLC was used to isolate the monomeric form of the GST–α7-(1–208) protein and its mutant almost devoid of SDS. CD spectra revealed that the C116S mutation considerably increased the content of β structure and made it more stable under different conditions. The monomeric C116S mutant appears promising both for further structural studies and as a starting material for preparing the α7 ECD in an oligomeric form.
European Journal of Biochemistry 01/2002; 269(11). · 3.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel "weak toxin" (WTX) from Naja kaouthia snake venom competes with [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin for binding to the membrane-bound Torpedo californica acetylcholine receptor (AChR), with an IC(50) of approximately 2.2 microm. In this respect, it is approximately 300 times less potent than neurotoxin II from Naja oxiana and alpha-cobratoxin from N. kaouthia, representing short-type and long-type alpha-neurotoxins, respectively. WTX and alpha-cobratoxin displaced [(125)I]alpha-bungarotoxin from the Escherichia coli-expressed fusion protein containing the rat alpha7 AChR N-terminal domain 1-208 preceded by glutathione S-transferase with IC(50) values of 4.3 and 9.1 microm, respectively, whereas for neurotoxin II the IC(50) value was >100 microm. Micromolar concentrations of WTX inhibited acetylcholine-activated currents in Xenopus oocyte-expressed rat muscle AChR and human and rat alpha7 AChRs, inhibiting the latter most efficiently (IC(50) of approximately 8.3 microm). Thus, a virtually nontoxic "three-fingered" protein WTX, although differing from alpha-neurotoxins by an additional disulfide in the N-terminal loop, can be classified as a weak alpha-neurotoxin. It differs from the short chain alpha-neurotoxins, which potently block the muscle-type but not the alpha7 AChRs, and is closer to the long alpha-neurotoxins, which have comparable potency against the above-mentioned AChR types.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2001; 276(19):15810-5. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The immunomodulatory properties of the major gangliosides of human placenta were studied. All the gangliosides investigated suppressed the cytotoxic activity of human natural killer cells. The magnitude of the inhibitory effect depended on ganglioside structure. Gangliosides GM1, GM3, and GD3 were the most effective suppressors. Some of the placental gangliosides (GD3, GD1a, IV3NeuAc-nLc4Cer, VI3NeuAc-nLc6Cer) also inhibited lymphoblastic transformation, and one of them (GM3) strongly stimulated the Con-A-induced T-suppressor activity of human lymphocytes. It is suggested that the combined action of the placental gangliosides on maternal effector cells may be involved in the defence of the human embryo against the maternal immune system.